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<Union-IC> [A] In German, Adalinda | NPC Base Commander says, "This is the commander of base P7-99-Phoebe, in an iteration of Siberia, in the Frigid Reaches. We have an intruder who, while presently contained, has used a term that is on my 'alert' list. The term 'Puella Magi', when used by non-Union-affiliated individuals, is to be reported as soon as possible. Not only did the intruder use that term, but she claims to be one and to wish to join the Union."
<Union-IC> [A] In German, Adalinda | NPC Base Commander says, "She also claims to be from the same iteration of Earth as Colonel Solid Snake."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake makes a noise not unlike an aborted spittake. "-what?!"
<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "I'm ready to check it out if you don't mind me helping."
<Union-IC> [A] In German, Adalinda | NPC Base Commander says, "Shall I continue to keep her detained, sir?"
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…well, that's not somethin' you hear everyday. I'm not too far from there, should I head over?"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "…yeah. Yeah, keep her there, I'm on my way. Saito, is it? I've never been all that keyed into this magical girl business, I could use someone with experience. Ketchum, you too."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Got it, heading in."
<Union-IC> [A] In German, Adalinda | NPC Base Commander says, "Yes, sir. We will prepare for your arrival."
<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "Yes, sir."

Union Base P7-99-Phoebe is not really an easy place to sneak into. For an Elite? More plausible. But still not EASY per se… But that's just what has happened. Not only that, but the infiltrator appears to be a teenage girl no older than 16, and she made herself known to the base commander and the other officers by appearing in the middle of a meeting. The meeting table, which had looked completely normal before, suddenly was revealed to have had a clever light-warping effect right in the middle of it that this girl was crouched under. She just stood up, scared everyone, and nearly got shot.
After the panic subsided, the blonde-haired, leotard-clad girl had explained that she had infiltrated the base to prove her abilities and that she wanted to join the Union. She also identified herself as a Puella Magi, and from the same world as the legendary hero, Solid Snake. Stuff like Puella Magi are restricted knowledge to most people in the Union. Most wouldn't recognize the full connotations and certainly wouldn't know the worrying details.
It just so happened the base commander was one of the few non-Elite people to know this was a term that — if it cropped up — he was to report on immediately. So he did. And now Union Elites, including Solid Snake himself, are coming to investigate. Because as far as the Elites knew, Magical Girls of the type derived from contracts with Kyubey only appear on one or two worlds. While worrying that Kyubey may be contracting new Puella Magi OUTSIDE his world of influence, hopefully it's the first iteration of the Puella Magi Earth. At least those girls don't turn into Witches.
But if it's the second, more recent iteration…
…Then there's all kinds of potential for Really Bad Things(tm) to happen or already be happening.

<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito and Specio says, "Unison In."
<Union-IC> [A] Alya says, "… good hunting, everyone."

Ash has had a variety of run-ins with Puella Magi.

Moreover, he's also completely unsurprised as to the prospect of Kyubey contracting off-world. He would be more surprised at the prospect that it hadn't happened already; the damned stuffed toy from Hell is very efficient with it, and his kind would likely look for energy sources anywhere they could, and there are plenty of angsty beings to choose from. That said, it still doesn't explain just why she didn't just go to the Department of the Elite and sign up like everyone else - making this entire situation all the more curious.

Ash is less than dressed to impressed as he heads into the facility, looking like he in fact hadn't even dressed for the cold weather. And he hadn't, going through one of the immediate external warp gates, he didn't really need it for 30 seconds out in the cold, although it's still in his pack if he needs it. As such, he looks not entirely unlike what one might expect from a kid to be wandering around in summer, not an up-tight, professional Elite. Passing through the checkpoints, he probably elicits a few odd looks from some of the soldiers who have never actually seen an Elite before.

He's shown into the conference room and briefed, possibly the first here. It is, however, noteworthy that he has no Pokemon out. Yet.

"Christ." "Well, you know what they say, sir. Be careful what you wish for."

Solid Snake doesn't get out in the field much these days. With his rank, there's a lot of desk work, strategy meetings and intel analysis; even if he does mostly tend to have his hands in the Union's more covert operations, it's still a far cry from the field work he's best suited for. It gets to the point where he'll take almost any excuse he can find to get out of Njorun and into his octocamo suit.

The Multiverse has a habit of being a monkey's paw, at times.

The colonel spends the trip suiting up and booting up, having simply grabbed the carrying cases for his octocamo and his usual setup of gear; a situation like this with an unknown Elite involved, it's practically regulation to treat it as a potential hot zone. His personal AI, Adai, helps him run through the checks, bantering back and forth now and then with the older man's grumbles.

By the time the transport he's riding reaches P7-99-Phoebe, he's suited up, stepping out into the cold in full gear, Solid Eye online and equipped, but no weapons drawn. Much like Ash, he's not going to have much trouble getting through any security checkpoints.

<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "I'd like the full context required to engage in meaningful conversation with this Puella Magi, if it's classified my private band is open."

Altea Saito does look the part of magical girl, except the few pieces of armor, but those are details, as she comes rushing in through the warp gate and into the area. Security checks should be easy when you're an Elite who is known to be coming, so that shouldn't be that hard. She heads into the conference room, salutes to Ash, the supposed Puella Magi, the base commander, and any other officers who might be on site at this moment.

Once in there, she looks at the Puella Magi, and though her kind of magical girl isn't the same as those of the Puella Magi, she at least has some context that non-magical girls might lack. If nothing else, she looks the part of magical girl. Gungnir is held in her hand, and she bows to the girl, "I am Private Saito Altea of the Union Elite Forces, I'm a kind of magical girl and though I'm not an officer, I've been told they're on their way."

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I can only give you the details on my side of things. Back home the year's 2019. There's a shadow group called the Patriots running things, or trying to. Used to try a lot harder, but the Union helped me deal with that pretty hard. These days the big issue is PMCs being used to fight proxy wars and the proliferation of cyborg tech."
<Union-IC> [A] Staren says, "…What does that have to do with Puella Magi?"
<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "This one is from his world."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "She claims she's from my world, Staren."

The 'intruder' was not very keen on the idea of being stuck in a waiting cell, though she was more okay with remaining in an adjacent conference room under armed guard. Ash is briefed, and when Solid Snake arrives, he too is briefed if Ash doesn't brief him first or if they aren't together when they enter the room. Basically, the situation is explained in as much detail as is requested. Light-warping camouflage, magic usage that Union sensors didn't even pick up until she stepped out of concealment, clothing mimicking that of Colonel Snake but not entirely matching it, even a monocle over her left eye with a glowing red gemstone in it. She didn't attack anyone or cause problems beyond the whole sneaking in and appearing during a supposedly secure meeting.
But people are still understandably suspicious about her.
She says her name is 'Kara'.
Altea entering the adjoining conference room to talk to Kara results in her blinking a bit and hesitantly waving. "There's… More magical girls? I hadn't met any before now. Hm. Well, if there's precedent that makes it even more likely I can join up!" Then she turns to look at the wall that seperates her from the other room and seems to be very… Intently looking at it. Almost like she's looking THROUGH it to the people on the other side. "Well, nice to meet you, Private Saito. I'm Kara." A pause and then, "…Puella Magi Kara, 'hero of the people', that is! I keep forgetting to use my title. Hey, who are those people in the other room? Are those the officers?"
It seems she really can see through the wall — at least to some degree. She can tell two new people (Ash and Snake) have arrived. She seems to be a bit tired, as she rests her rear on the edge of the conference table and stoically crosses her arms. But she has dark rings under her eyes, indicating she hasn't slept much recently. Whenever Ash and Snake have had their full of information they can join Altea in the second conference room or order Kara brought into the main one, or whatever they wish to do.

Snake listens in silence for the most part, nodding his head a little now and then, asking for clarification here and there. He doesn't have all the pertinent info memorized, but he's got an AI with a direct link to Union databases, and she's able to fill in the gaps for him.

He also doesn't blame the suspicion. People from his world have this habit of not being real stable.

"Might as well go take a look," he grunts in Ash's general direction, before making the short trip from one room to the next. The sight that greets him is… eerie, in a lot of ways. The only response he can think of is, "…hell, you got the gear harness right." It's a lot to process.

Ash, for his part, is quickly talking over the situation in whispers with one of the other soldiers.

…and then he's saluted. He waves it off a bit as though she doesn't need to bother with that formality. "Don't worry 'bout it," he says quietly, though does give a respectful nod as he does so.

He nods in confirmation to Snake. However, just before he enters the room, it does call attention to her mentioning the 'new people.'

Hm.

He doesn't say anything for the moment, keeping back. He may introduce himself to try to make her feel a LITTLE less pressured if no one else does, though he's still suspicious. He may not know a ton about Snake's world (although he does know some, seeing as how he's probably been in a few engagements with Metal Gears), but he knows enough about Puella Magi to know something rotten may be residing a place within a certain European nation with a name starting with a 'D' and ending in 'mark.'

Altea Saito has two options, either she can do this slowly and try to get it carefully there or she can just be straight and to the point. From what she has pieced together, doing the latter is probably harsh but the message is harsh and trying to sweeten it up won't do Kara any good, at all. So she just spills the beans and gets it over with.

"Kyubey is a bastard, his wishes are never worth the cost you've paid for them, and you might not know the full impact yet. I'm not an officer and I can't recruit you, but I do know there are other Puella Magi in the Union who can explain the full details of what you've gotten yourself into."

Altea takes a breath, "I'm not the same kind of magical girl. My magic is part inherent, part due to training, and part due to other minor factors. I do know that Colonel Sna—" And as dramatics demand, that's obviously right where Snake walks in, and Altea salutes again, "Sir!"

The blonde teenager turns her attention off what her magic eye is telling her is on the other side of the wall and onto Altea. She frowns at the insult to Kyubey. "I haven't regretted making my wish yet. I don't feel inclined to start. You're welcome to your opinions, as I fight for freedom — even the freedom to say things I might not personally like — but I'll reserve judgement until I learn more from those others you mentioned." Then she rubs her nose and says, "Though I do think you're kind of a jerk. Until you've had the guts to wager your soul for a wish, I don't think you should be telling me if it's worth it or not." Ah, if only she knew.
The door between the two rooms slides open and two men enter. Kara barely even sees Ash when he enters. Or rather, she sees him, but her mind goes blank. Her wide-eyed gaze is focused solely on Solid Snake. She sees him and… Can't believe it. She could see SOME things through the opaque wall. Rather excellent thermal-imaging, courtesy of her magic, but that was about it. Her dropped jaw turns into a broad smile when she gets the compliment (or so she is taking it as). "Oh, man. Oh, man! Oh, man oh man oh man! I have been… I have been a fan of yours ever since I first heard about you! Mister Solid Snake, you're… Oh, man, I can't believe this is happening!" She's bouncing on her heels and trying not to make too much of an idiot of herself.
This attempt becomes more likely to succeed when she stops bouncing and stands at attention, saluting Solid Snake and Ash and saying, "Puella Magi Kara, Hero of the People, reporting for duty! I've been dreaming of this day for years, but only recently did I get the chance to live it. I thought I'd be fine fighting alone, but…" she trails off for a bit and reaches up with her left hand to adjust the monocle on her eye as the glow seems to fade slightly. "…I think I'll be able to fight more bad guys and rescue more people when I have proper military backing. Where do I sign up?"

Ash is, once again, saluted.

This is a bit of a strange thing for him, all things considered. He's a little bit surprised, but, he's aware they have to put up a unified front.

As such, after a second, returns the salute, although he lets Snake do the talking for now - this is a native from his world, after all, and he's definitely the senior officer in here.

. o O (Still wonder why she didn't just sign up.) Ash thinks at his Pokemon, feeling a little suspicious.

. o O (Saurba bul bulbasaur… <Wonder if maybe the Department turned her down.>)

. o O (Worth lookin' into.) He decides he has a few questions for ARTHUR once the meeting is over.

Snake comes to a complete dead stop.

The urge to reach up and start rubbing his nose is /strong/. But he manages to resist. Somehow.

"At ease," he grunts instead, to both girls in the room. Now of all times, he does not have military decorum in him, and as yet one of the girls in this room isn't even part of the command structure he's in.

It takes Snake a moment or two to even decide what it is he's going to say; he covers that time by heading over to the nearest unoccupied chair at the conference table, pulling it out and sliding into it. Only once he's done that, and mentally braced himself for what's to come, does the 'legendary soldier' begin. "Alright. Let's hear your story."

Altea Saito steps back when the Puella Magi bitches at her, and decides to let Snake handle it for now. She'll let one of the other Puella Magi handle the full story, and maybe this Kara will apologize. Maybe not, maybe they won't ever get the chance. Who can tell? Altea doesn't really seem to care right now, just here to listen and make sure nothing will go horribly wrong… though the others should be more than capable of handling it, right?

Kara looks briefly to Ash, squinting as though seeing something when he communicates with his pokemon but giving no indication she knows what exactly was said or even that telepathic speech is what she picked up. Then again, maybe she just glanced at him for some other reason. It's hard to say. She relaxes a bit, standing with feet apart and hands behind her back when she is told to stand 'at ease'. She waits until Snake sits down in a chair and says he wants to hear her story. Wow! The way he is all calm and stuff is sooo coooool~!
She tries to mimic this by taking a few moments to push down all the things she WANTS to say and instead ordering her thoughts. Then she says, "My name is Kara, as I mentioned before. If I have a surname, no one knows it. As far as the orphanage workers know, if I have a parents they were likely killed in the civil war between the forces of the dictator-for-life of my country and the equally-loathsome rebels. They both used whatever means they felt were necessary to achieve their ends. Those who did not aid the rebellion were threatened, beaten, tortured, or… Uh… Assaulted. Those who aided the rebellion or were accused of such received similar treatment from the army until they gave up information or were executed as traitors."
Aside from the one brief moment of faltering in her story-telling, Kara seems to be rather calm for a teenage girl describing these things. "The orphanage was poor, not equipped to take care of as many orphans as lived there, we had no power, the water was dirty, and food was scarce and poor quality when we got it. For many years I didn't know life could be different than that…" She then turns her head to look at the only other girl in the room and gives a difficult-to-read expression towards Altea. After a few seconds of silence, during which she seems to glance the other Magical Girl over and gain a thoughtful look, she turns to face forward again. "Then we started hearing about you, General Solid Snake." He's not a general, but she doesn't know that.
"We started hearing stories about you, what you were doing for people like us. Countries being run by dictators, or with innocent civilians caught up in wars they had no reason to be in… We didn't know all of what you'd done, but I'd heard enough to know that you were a hero. For the first time in my life, I had hope that things might be better someday."
"About two weeks ago, I met a strange creature named 'Kyubey'. At first I thought he was some kind of genetic experiment gone wrong. But he told me that he had magic — demonstrated it for me — and told me that if I made a contract with him, I could have any wish granted. ANY wish, no matter how impossible it might seem. I wasn't sure if I believed him, but I figured it was worth a shot right? So… I wished that I could be as strong, and famous, and great a hero as you, Mister Snake. I wished I could help people and fight the villains of the world too. That wish was granted. I've been fighting ever since that day. Kyubey mentioned that there were things called 'Witches' I would have to fight, but I haven't run into any yet."
Such a touching story. Then she goes and ruins it by adding on, "So I've just been killing evil humans instead."

Ash blinks as he notices Kara's attention. Wait, did she…

He's not entirely certain, though it's somewhat unnerving. He subtly tells his Pokemon to 'keep it down' before nodding a bit.

His arms are folded and his face is unwavering in the face of this, although he silently curses Kyubey. Again. That thing has taken too many lives.

Though the tactical part of his brain considers whether or not anyone has tried to contract with Kyubey with the wish being 'kill all Incubators.'

Hey, it's worth a shot.

Killing bad humans?… mph. Depends on how bad they are. Ash's hands aren't exactly pure as the driven snow from the shedding of blood himself, that's for certain. Although hunting down humans seems to be something the other Puella Magi have avoided to this point. He ponders saying something but retains his silence for the moment.

For most of the story, Solid Snake is quiet. It's the kind of tale he's all too used to hearing in people he runs into from his world; most of them, however, end up in the military, the classic 'special forces wack-job' that's slowly becoming a thing of the past. This one's taken another route entirely - and her particular descent into delusion is painful for Snake to hear on another level entirely.

Because there's a good girl in there, who wants to do good for people. But it's all based around such a fragile worldview she's going to shatter when she starts getting a real taste of things and finds out she hasn't escaped the kind of life she grew up in.

Snake takes a deep breath. This is going to be rough. He's at least been briefed on how dangerous despair and negative emotion is for Puella Magi. But if he doesn't address it now, the crash will only be that much harder later.

"Finding a way out is more than most people ever pull off," Snake finally says. It's clear by his tone he's choosing his words carefully. "Most people never make it out of that kind of life at all, just end up the next generation of soldiers in the war. It's a hell of a thing, and it's good you got out. But I want to make sure you understand what you're getting yourself into. I know it looks pretty on the news, but the truth of things is a lot less heroic and a bit more mud and blood most of the time."

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…Snake."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I know."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…if she hasn't been killing Witches… where's she getting grief seeds?"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "…"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Shit."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…alright, we've got a potential emergency here, we need a grief seed to this location /NOW/."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Damn it all, um. Snake, maybe we oughta tell her that the brass has to talk about it."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash ngh. "Could try psionics if it comes down to it but that's a long-shot…"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Hold on. Let's see how she responds. Damn it, I really put my foot in the shit, here."

Ash, at the moment, has covered his mouth a bit as though thinking. Though at the moment he IS transmitting, and muffling the transmission.

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Either way, getting a Grief Seed here would be a good idea. For all we know she takes it well and she's on her last legs."

Kara is silent as she waits for Snake to speak and then listens intently when he starts carefully explaining to her. A variety of expressions and body language are shown throughout, ranging from happiness, to sadness, to determination, to fear. At the end, she's smiling. But it's a tight, bitter smile. "Yes, sir. Mud and blood. I've seen a lot of that lately, but you've likely seen more than I can imagine. But even if it's ugly, it has to be done, right? It's… Important that soldiers exist as a tool. I get that. But… Sometimes people can't just blindly follow orders. They can't just… Let people tell them whether it's right or wrong to go into an orphanage and start 'recruiting' new soldiers, right? Sometimes, when you come home and find something like that — everyone you've ever known either already gone or being loaded into trucks and taken… Taken, who-knows-where!" No longer standing in any specific position, Kara swings a hand to indicate 'wherever' in general.
"Someone has to stop that, right? It's like you said, eventually they'll just become new soldiers and the whole hellish cycle starts all over again. So the bad guys need to be taken out before that can happen. If they're at the top or at the bottom, those who carry out such things need to face justice, right? Like those thugs in the woods on my way here. Sure, maybe they didn't attack me, but I'd heard they'd been waylaying travellers and vehicles. They'd have attacked me eventually anyway, or any number of others! So, they just had to die right?—And I even gave them the chance to surrender!"
Seemingly very agitated now, practically yelling and pacing up and down the conference room in short, quick steps, she says, "For scum like that, humans that aren't even human — just parasites surviving off the suffering of others — they can't be allowed to keep hurting people, right? What does it matter if it's one, or a dozen, or an entire army! If they're evil, they just need to die! They can't…" She stops, staggering slightly for a moment, one hand on the conference table to support her while her left hand goes up to that gemstone-monocle on her left eye as though it's paining her.
"…I made it this far. Maybe I stumbled a few times along the way. Maybe not everyone had to die. But what choice did I have? I couldn't just let them keep hurting people. I couldn't keep… I…" She looks around the room as tears stream from her eyes. "W-why are you all looking at me like that?" Even if no one is looking at her in any special way, it's like she isn't seeing what everyone else is looking at. "D-do you think you could have done better!? You think you're all so special! You weren't THERE! You didn't have to CHOOSE!"
Then she looks right at Solid Snake and her features twist in an expression of utter misery as she seems to grab the air itself and pull it around her like a cloak.
She vanishes.

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Uh-oh."
<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "Sirs, this is bad news, right?"
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "VERY."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake swears. "Shit! Ketchum, Altea, find her. Whatever tools you two have."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake takes a breath.
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Yessir, should we evac the base?"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Affirmative. Sound the general evac alert. If you find her and she hasn't changed yet, try to talk her down, but-"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Be ready to aim for the eyepiece. I think that's the spot."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Snake, I've got a… /theory./"
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "That I /might/ be able to use to help her."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "But it's a long-shot."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I'm listening. Talk and search."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Telepathic link, possibly forced. That way she won't have to take the negative emotions on her own."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "I don't like it but if it's this or nothing…"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "If she's right on the edge, Ketchum…"
<Union-IC> [A] Cecily says, "Let me know if I can help with the evac effort, or anything at all."
<Union-IC> [A] Untamed Breeze says, "What the hell's going on? Is one of the Puella Magi… in a bad situation?"
<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "I'm not an espionage specialist of any kind, sir. I can use my eyes and move at high speed, but I don't have any real ways to search for individuals beyond that."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "If she's right on the edge then it's a crapshoot no matter what we do."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I'm gonna stop pulling verbal punches, here."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "If I have to choose between her and you, Ketchum, I'll pull the trigger myself."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "It won't come to that, I can protect myself. The question is whether or not it'd actually /work/."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Do what you have to, but don't get yourself messed up if she's doomed no matter what."

Ash comes to a realization just as Snake's explaining, unrelated to what the contents of said explanation is - hence why he was talking on the radio.

And then she wigs out. Fast. Ash is about to say something to try to calm her, and then —

Vanish.

A cold feeling settles in Ash's head. Things just got much, much more serious.

He reaches for his Pokeballs, quickly flicking off two of them.

"KARA, COME BACK!" Ash calls aloud. "Snake wasn't done talking yet!"

The Pokeballs materialize into Pikachu and Butterfree.

"Try to find her!" he orders, though his Pokemon, already listening, are all too aware of the situation. Pikachu begins sniffing at the ground, trying to pick up her scent, and Butterfree's eyes and antennae flash, attempting to send out an AWACS-like psionic pulse to try to find her.

However, it's possible she's cloaked her scent trail, and it's possible Free's psionic pulse will completely fail.

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Got it."
<Union-IC> [A] In German, Adalinda | With General Evacuation Alarm in the background, an NPC Comm. Officer says, "We have a report of a suspicious cardboard box moving down the northern hallway near the weapons lockers in building 4."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Copy. Moving to intercept."
<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "Moving."

Snake is silent at first, but as her attitude goes from bitter to agitated, the concern starts to seep into his expression. He might be a fairly simple man, but rather than stupid, he is actually pretty sharp, and the implications for this growing emotional turmoil on the girl's part are bad enough that adrenaline is already starting to flow. By the time she's ranting at them, the former general is quietly reaching for his SOCOM - but then, more quickly than he can react, she's gone.

In a heartbeat, Snake's up and on his feet. "Kara! Kara, you can't do this! A lot of people are gonna get hurt if you give in to this!" Damn it, Snake is a terrible person for inspirational speeches.

In a flash, Snake deals out orders over radio, and then switches his own suite of gear on. The Solid Eye, already booted and ready, is easily able to provide both IR and Soliton Radar feeds; he's not entirely sure it's going to be able to find her, but it's better than nothing.

When one of the comms officers gives them coordinates, Snake is in motion almost before he can think about it. With no regard for the state of the door afterwards, he simply slams it open and starts running, letting Adai guide him via HUD in the rigt direction.

Altea Saito hears the report over the radio and Gungnir pingz, <BLITMANEUVRIEREN> (lightning maneuvers) and with that, a Belkan triangle appears below her feet and she speeds up to far beyond human speeds. Not supersonic but definitely fast enough to make many car owners jealous. She follows the indicated path to the 'suspicious' box, ready to act on instructions if provided, assuming the box is still there once she arrives.

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Saito, watch yourself. If you find her, do not engage unless she opens fire."
<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "Yes, sir."

Scent is faint, but it's there. The speed at which this girl has changed locations is astonishing. The conference room doors weren't even touched. The scent, however, indicates that she went right up to the ceiling and a very slightly misplaced fan grating shows that's probably how she got out. Silently. Unseen. That is some serious stealth magic. Whether tracking by scent or by Elite technology or simply going to where they're told to go, all three of the Union Elites make it to building 4 — yes, she even changed BUILDINGS in that brief timeframe.
When they reach the appropriate building, passing out into the cold for a moment inbetween, they find that the lights are flickering, there's blood-spatter all over the place but no signs of any bodies.
Altea is first to arrive due to her speed, and thus can confirm that there is indeed a very suspicious cardboard box in the hallway. Various words are written on it and some are printed or stamped on, in a variety of languages. The letters are faded though, and only one phrase stands out — one in French. If Altea can't read French, then she wouldn't understand it. The box shuffles suddenly, gradually scooting down the hall. Various crates, wooden and more advanced materials line the corridor.
Once Ash gets close enough, the scent of Kara changes gradually and noticeably for Pikachu, but what it means is unclear right now.
Scoot. Scoot. Stop. Silence. Then… Scoot. Scoot. Stop. Silence. The box keeps repeating this. Perhaps Kara does not know she has been spotted yet? For some reason, Butterfree will have been completely unable to pick up on Kara, aside from PERHAPS a general sort of… 'Icky feeling' in the air, unattached to anything in particular.

Ash, on the other hand, doesn't follow the provided directions. They could be a ruse of some sort, after all. Rather, he lets Pikachu do the guidance.

"Pika." <Up there.> Pikachu says. Deciding to save time he quickly has Bulbasaur materialize, lash out his whips to penetrate the ceiling, and climbs up, dematerializing the walking salad as he hurries along through the snow, not even bothering with his coat as Pikachu leads the way.

Soon they're in the other building and Ash is following most quickly, Pikachu's sniffing suddenly turning… off.

"…pika chu." <…scent's changing.> Pikachu says in caution.

Ash's face twists into a deeper frown. "Butterfree?" he asks, not bothering with psionic inquiry - although Butterfree shakes his head in the negative.

They have to hurry - it may already be too late. Ash quietly concentrates as he tries to prepare himself mentally in case he has to attempt to stablize her psionically. He moves faster now, Butterfree suddenly taking higher up and attempting to scan for the girl, both with his psionic senses, as well as using his compound eyes.

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash's Pikachu says, "…pika chu." <…scent's changing.>
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "…"
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash's Charmander says, "Man char charmander…" <I posit that the biochemical changes are already underway.>
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Do you think we can stop it?" "Man char charmander…" <I would rather not speculate, but if we are to save her, it must be done NOW.>
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake's tone gets a little cold. "As of now, she's considered a hostile."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash's Butterfree says, "Free butter…" <I can't pick up anything, unless a 'room full of crates' is what you're interested in. I'm gonna stick to the ceiling and see if I can do better than that.>
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…if I can get close enough to touch her… Butterfree, I'll need you to dematerialize for that."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash's Butterfree says, "Free…" <Got it. Sticking close.>
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "If she's already changing she may be hostile."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I hate to be the bad guy here, but we have to assume she's too far gone."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "I'm going to be careful, Snake. And I'm ready to fire if I need to. Pikachu's already got an electrical charge loaded up in case she's already turned when we get there."

Altea Saito looks around warily. She's fought a witch before, but this is new, and she's not sure what's going to be happening. She's not even sure what the relationship between 'Puella Magi' and 'Witch' is beyond that they fight eachother, so she just clutches to Gungnir like this is a life or death situation, with all the hostile talk on Radio.

It's a mad dash to cross the grounds, but once in, Snake slows down, going into cautious 'enemy territory' mode even before the blood and emptiness become apparent. They, however, are what prompts the man to finally draw his pistol, switching on the laser sight and advancing as if expecting enemy hostiles at any moment, following Ash's lead and, by extension, Pikachu's nose. It's what Ash says next over the tactical band that finally seals it for Snake - she's most likely too far gone by now.

This just turned into a mercy killing.

It's with caution that he edges closer to the box, but stops before getting too close. It's still close enough, however, for him to read the writing, and murmur the translation over his radio.

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake murmurs, "A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…hm?"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "The writing. The biggest stuff says that in French."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Got it."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash's Pikachu says, "…ka chu pika." <…I think Snake's right. At first I thought it was something from these other boxes and the cold, but that blood…>
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash's Pikachu says, "Pika." <It's not her's.>

As people arrive at the proper location in the hallway, Pikachu continueing to check the smell of the 'hero of the people' Puella Magi, the scent of Kara trails off to the side… NOT to the box itself. The reason why Butterfree hasn't been able to pick up on Kara at all also becomes obvious. Solid Snake's Solid Eye will have also been able to see it… There's a cooling body lying curled up in a ball next to the wall. A blonde-haired girl in what might generously be termed 'civilian clothes' but probably were scavenged from a homeless shelter. She looks dirty, tired, her cheeks having patches of relative cleanness only because her tears have washed away some of the filth.
Her eyes look blank and expressionless, and… She doesn't appear to be breathing.
So what the HELL is in that box and does anyone REALLY want to know?
The first question is answered a few seconds later as the edge of the box lifts up slightly and an enormous black-and-red mechanical-looking appendage that seems to practically BURN with wrongness previously undetectable but now ALL too evident bursts out into the hallway, encompassing the entire corridor in and instant and drawing everyone inside of the box so fast that even Elites with supernatural reflexes just plain don't have the time to react. It's impossibly fast. So fast it might not even be solely speed-based so much as perception-based.
There's darkness for a short while, and the sound of powerful winds blowing, along with intense cold.

Every means of detection available should indicate for those who know what to look for that… They are no longer in any 'normal' reality. As a rather large cardboad box suddenly flies off of the trio, it becomes obvious that Kara has already become a Witch. From the outside, this Labyrinth — and that is what this is — was very small. But on the inside, it's not. It looks like it may well be the size of an entire country. A frozen country being hit by a constant blizzard. Expanding outwards in every direction is snow, icy boulders, and tall, dark mountains.
Even with the driving snow in people's eyes, and painfully-cold winds, it's clear that things are even more distorted than they should be. It's as dark as a starless night in the middle of winter. The sky is completely shrouded. Nuclear winter? Further, things seem somewhat grainy, and indistinct, like an old-fashioned movie. It feels like someone can wander forever in the blizzard and never reach the edge.
Somewhat nearby, as pelting ice stings any exposed flesh, it appears there are a series of winter-camouflaged bunkers, towers, garages, and so on. Humanoid figures seem to be trudging along in the distance, pacing the rooftops, and so on. They look a bit like some of the enemy soldiers Snake has fought in the past — but faceless, indistinct, without any degree of true humanity to them.
Just tools to fight war with.
This is one hell of a labyrinth.

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Watch out-!"
<Union-IC> [0] Altea Saito says, "Wuah?"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Adai?" "As near as I can tell, it matches the accounts, sir. I think we're in a Witch's Labyrinth."
<Union-IC> [6-XO] Lloyd Irving says, "Son of a… Good luck, everyone."

Pikachu's nose twitches as they go in.

The blood on the walls they HADN'T been expecting as they chattered outside the hallway, attempting to formulate a plan of action.

Until they arrive. Blood everywhere. It takes Pikachu several seconds to confirm it as some of the crates have some things that are rather powerful stenches to a mouse (perhaps the base commander is a pickled herring addict?), but afterwards, he confirms it.

The plan of action is no longer viable.

Butterfree remains fairly high in the sky as he attempts to scan for anything untowards as Ash approaches, less than happy about it.

"…pika." <…here.> Pikachu says, as they come to the corpse.

Ash kneels down, looking over the girl, touching the neck to search for a pulse.

Damn.

He stands up sharply as he glances around - no doubt about it.

And it's about then that everything goes to hell. Ending up in the cold, Ash quickly yanks his coat out of his pack, realizing he'd better suit up for this as he glances around, careful to start slipping it on in a way that he can still run, fight, or even abandon the garment if need be. Butterfree remains in the sky lest swooping down should call the attention of the familiars.

'A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.'

The transition comes before Snake is able to react. It's so fast and so sudden that all he can do is stagger as reality completely changes around him, stumbling a step or two as they finally find themselves in a different reality… but one that feels all too familiar to the old soldier. The frigid, near-arctic cold, the faceless enemy soldiers patrolling a fortified base… it's a place he's been to a few times in life, and far too many times in memory.

Slowly, Snake holsters his pistol, swapping the SOCOM out for the heavier firepower of a FAMAS assault rifle. "…I'm no hero," he mutters, more to himself than anyone else. "Never was. Only one thing I do well." He chambers around, then speaks up. "Ketchum. Saito. We've gotta bring this thing down. Only thing we can still do for her."

Altea Saito freezes as they are sucked into the Witch's labyrinth and looks around terrifiedly. She steels herself and grabs hold of Gungnir and nods to Snake, "What's the plan, sir?" Is all she can bring out as she stares at the surrounding area, trying to figure out a course of action, or something resembling it… hopefully, Snake or Ash will have a better one than she does.

The rooftops of the bunkers, the grounds surrounding them, snowy-terrain vehicles, all have various soldiers on them, wandering about on patrol, or sitting ready. It's hard to tell how many there are or even their exact positions without shielding one's eyes and peering closely (at least for those without Thermal Imaging gadgets like Snake), but they don't seem to be aware of the intruders quite yet. They're likely Familiars.
And yet for some reason, without the Elites even attacking, the Familiars start falling. A spray of blood there, a neck-snap there, a muffled shot from a silenced weapon over yonder… The Familiars fall quickly and successively, barely having the time to turn towards where their fellows are falling before they join them. In the grainy darkness and freezing winds, the silhouette of a nimble figure might occasionally be made out when it is outlined by snow or a bunker's wall. It seems to be completely black, but for a single glowing-green eye in the middle of its head. It performs agile flips, extremely fast dashes, killing Familiar after Familiar, and then leaps into the air, does a backwards somersault onto a bunker's rooftop, and then leaps off behind the building and out of sight.
The corpses of the Familiars remain where they are for several seconds, then they start fizzling, dissolving into grey motes of indistinct material, and reforming gradually into the humanoids they were before. Who the heck was that? Was that… Kara's Witch form? If so, why would she be killing her own Familiars? One thing is for certain… Getting out of this cold and perhaps past these soldiers while they're still putting themselves back together may be better to do sooner rather than later.
Especially when an electronic chime echoes out over the howling of the storm, and a computerized female voice makes an announcement that indicates that staying out here is probably going to be lethal relatively soon.

<Union-IC> [A] In German, Adalinda | In the background of the radios of Snake, Altea, and Ash, there is suddenly a loud electronic chime of some kind, and then a computerized female voice announces, "Attention, all personnel: Rocket launch will commence in t-minus, 60 minutes. For your safety, please evacuate to one of the radiation-shielded sub-levels."

Butterfree's compound eyes pick THAT one up.

He silently watches as the figure moves around rapidly, mentally summarizing what's going on. Ash scowls sharply as the being goes out of sight, but he doesn't want to expose the bug to the cold unduely - it might weaken him far faster than would be good for the mission /or/ the bug.

He flutters down and Ash Pokeballs him.

"I think that girl's probably our Witch, did ou see her?" Ash inquires. "She was /fast/."

He frowns a little. He's not sure that he can keep up if it comes right down to it. Pikachu's probably going to have to be his Pokemon of choice for this, maybe Pidgeotto. He keeps an eye out.

And then the 'rocket launch' announcement comes up. Two things come to mind - either this place is going to get nuked or /somewhere else/ is going to get nuked.

Pikachu sniffs the area, trying to determine what, if anything, can be smelled - including Kara, or whatever it is that Kara turned into. He also keeps his ears swiveling about, the radar-like sensory organs hopefully providing some insight as Ash manages to fully pull on his jacket, protecting him from the cold. It's not perfect, but it's better than burning up his body's own energy in a combat situation.

Ash pauses for a moment, before, reluctantly, releasing Butterfree again next to him, keeping close to the bug and in fact grabbing onto him to try to keep him warmer as the bug tries to use his paranormal senses to see if he can find anything radiation-related. But it's questionable if it can work like that; he can pick up quite a few things, but radiation may be a bit much, although he's picked up some kinds of energy before.

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "I'm gonna have Butterfree scan and see if he can sense anything, but… not even counting that this is a Witch's barrier, I dunno that he'll be able to find anything. *exhale* What do you need me to do, Snake?"

"I've never been in one of these," Snake replies to Altea, keeping his weapon ready but not yet shouldering it. "Only have the intel Adai gave me. But the way I understand it, we have to figure out where the Witch is, piss her off, then kill her."

The octocamo activates at an unseen command, turning itself a white that will make him nigh invisible against the snow field. He brings up the FAMAS when something seems to be killing the familiars, watching it until it's no longer present, only to lapse into a faint frown as it disappears. "…I saw it-"

And they have a time limit. A very worrying one.

"Let's get moving," Snake declares simply. "Keep up, walk like I am. Let's try not to raise any alarms until we have to." His pace is brisk but measured, carefully lifting his legs up and putting them down so as not to kick up powder or trip himself.

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "For now, surveillance. Any intel you can get us. I get the feeling we need to find it and kill it before that sixty's up."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake pauses. "…I think this is Shadow Moses. Or her idea of it. I think that's what's going on here."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…you've never been in one, alright, better explain a bit. Long story short a Witch's Labrynth is an alternate reality. They're basically a mini-god here, although they're not invincible. Regular physics are not necessarily the same here."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I got the brief."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Alright."

Altea Saito follows in Snake's footsteps, carefully. She's clutching Gungnir and ready to act when needed, somewhere hoping that it'll be a while. but generally just preparing to fight while she doesn't have to fight yet, knowing that the fight will come, even if it isn't there yet…

Scents stand out more here, because the snow has no real scent to it. But the smells being picked up are really, really, really messed up. There are few things Pikachu would have in his experience to compare against these smells, most likely. Not because they're so unique that an extremely veteran pokemon wouldn't recognize them, but because they're just plain… WEIRD. They aren't any one thing, don't seem to follow any rules or logic. At one point, Pikachu might even be smelling himself coming from a distance away! But one smell stands out. Blood. It keeps surging and then, after a few seconds, diminishing… Only to surge again somewhere else.
As the trio make their way through the snow, the Familiars they succeed in bypassing don't notice them. But there's more up ahead who don't appear to have been killed yet. Staticky voices start calling out in a gibberish mish-mash of various languages and no-languages. None of the words match anything, and some of it is just 'sounds' rather than meaning. But as guns start opening up on the trio, the message is clear regardless.
!!
On the other side of all the Familiars shooting at them, there's a somewhat larger building than the others, with a freighter-style inclined-ramp elevator that looks like it could probably support a tank. It seems to be powered and ready to descend. Now they just need to GET there as the snow flies up from where rounds impact it, the sharp report of single-fire and automatic weapons warring with the screaming wind.

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "So much for not raising any alarms. Hit hard and keep moving!"

The transition from quick, stealthy movement to smooth, urgent combat advance comes with only the briefest pause, during which the alarm on Snake's face at someone opening fire on them is plain.

!

And then Snake is all business, FAMAS up and levelled on the firing 'soldiers', he begins to unload three-round bursts of his own, aiming for body- and headshots wherever possible. "So much for not raising any alarms," he grunts, his own words from before turned into a somewhat bitter little twist of irony. "Hit hard and keep moving!" Without surprise, all they can do is punch a hole before the familiars can react.

Butterfree picks up aggression.

This is unusual since he's NOT usually able to get much in the way of ranged psionic communications. It occurs to Ash that /MAYBE/ they can use that to their advantage somehow. His mind starts turning as Pikachu's scent trail goes completely haywire. "Pika chu ka pika…" <Seems like space has gone topsy-turvey…> Pikachu comments.

"Charmander char." <It likely has.> Charmadner comments from Ash's Pokeball, causing the trainer to nod.

And then of course… weaponsfire comes in.

He decides not to bother with trying to take out individual targets.

With a smooth motion he hurls one POkeball out — resulting in Pidgeotto, whose body glows purple as he leaves a streak of energy behind him for a split second. Which should, with any luck, send the bullets aimed at him right back at their sources.

That said, Ash also hits the dirt and Pikachu charges in case that doesn't work with the oddities of the barrier.

When Snake fires upon the Familiars, they go down rather readily. If it had been a mundane opponent shooting at them, they might have had more of a chance. Instead, these Familiars actually fly apart when they're shot by an Elite. They don't just fall down, or die, or similar like when the Witch was killing them. They nearly EXPLODE into strips of film, and spent casings, not leaving anything behind except for crude, wooden crosses to mark their final resting places — where they fell and did not 'reform'.
The same is true with the skill Pidgeotto uses. The rounds that come towards Ash and his companions are flung back at their senders… But they don't seem to be as dramatically killed by their own bullets. Their deaths are gruesome, but more conventional. They simply get really large holes in them from where their own shots hit them, and then they fall down and don't get back up. The snow around them turns red as they keep bleeding and bleeding and bleeding.
Staying in place at this point is probably not a good idea. The soldiers on the ground in this area seem to have been taken down. But sentry towers start shining search lights down on the base's grounds. Heading for that elevator-platform before the heroes are detected is probably their best best right now—
*CHIME*
"Attention, all personnel. Rocket launch will commence in t-minus 45 minutes. For your safety, please evacuate to one of the radiation-shielded sub-levels."
It has totally not been 15 minutes since the last announcement. Maybe, like… 5 minutes tops, gun/bird-fight included. Oh, well. Labyrinth physics. What are you going to do?

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "…Snake, I've got an idea. But I have no idea if it's going to work."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I'm listening."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Butterfree was able to pick up /emotions/. Normally Butterfree isn't a strong enough psychic to do this. Since I usually have to /touch/ anyone I'm trying to mindlink with /and/ because Butterfree is usually my psychic bridge, I /might/ be able to force a link of some kind and try to get some information."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "It's not a huge chance, but it might work. On the other hand it's entirely possible I'll just get gibberish."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Since I doubt there's much left in the Witch that's like human thought."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "At this point that's not a risk I'm willing to take. I trust you, Ash, but I don't trust this place."

"Move! Watch the searchlights!"

It's basic soldier's instinct for Snake, who himself is already moving as best he can; the currently-white octocamo does a good bit to augment his strength, so it's not as difficult as it might otherwise be. And that's thankful, because while searchlights simply mean 'you can be seen and very easily shot' in the real world, around here the 'death' they represent may be both more and less literal.

So with time counting down far more quickly than it ought, Snake moves. And avoids the searchlights. And, where he finds a moment, here and there, he unloads bursts of automatic fire, at the watchtowers, and at any enemies in their way.

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, amidst the sound of running, "Alright. If you change your mind, let me know, 'cuz it might work if we run outta options. I /can/ protect myself."

Fortunately it seems that there's nothing FIRING on them right this second, giving Ash a chance to regroup. He quickly dematerializes Pidgeotto again to protect him, as well as Butterfree. He has an idea, and he turns it over in his head quietly…

"…Snake, I've got an idea." He frowns, glancing around, before he quickly snaps into radio - following the lead of his commander, of course.

The idea thus rejected, Ash quickly Pokeballs Butterfree as well, deciding to switch to someone a bit more directly useful, opening the ball to reveal Charmander.

The fiery little lizard leaps to Ash's OTHER shoulder, and as such Pikachu and Charmander tag-team, attempting to avoid as much fire as he can, and the search lights.

He has more than a few close calls, calls he'd rather NOT have, resistant to bullets or not; in fact, one clips his arm, a reminder that for all the crack-tripness in here they are very much real, as he follows after Snake.

He flicks out his phaser and sets it to 'kill' - but he doesn't fire, since doing so would just disrupt his Pokemon.

The lights shatter when shot. There doesn't appear to be any soldiers in the sentry towers despite those search lights having been used and directed moments before. Blood pours down in waterfalls from the towers, along with lengths of barbed wire such as might ring the fences of a P.O.W. camp. Living sentry towers. That explains how the lights were being aimed.
…Kind of.
As any patrolling soldiers are taken down, and three seperate towers are knocked out (and bleed out all over. Where is all that blood even COMING from!?), the Elites eventually make it to the freight-elevator. There's a metal box on a pole with a cable sticking out the bottom and winding down out of sight. The box has two buttons on it. An 'up' arrow and a 'down' arrow.
This one isn't rocket science to figure out. If anyone presses the down arrow button, the lift starts to descend with a mechanical whirring, gradually sliding straight down, and then shifting gears to head down an inclined tunnel on the metal tracks. That computerized voice announces they have 30 minutes left as they descend too. Stupid computer.
The tunnel is, at first, kind of techy-looking but not too much to see. There are lights lining the passage, but the lights start flickering or just being dark the further down they go. Eventually, they're in almost complete darkness and there are weird squelching noises, cracking and tearing sounds, and warm wetness drips on them from the ceiling. Suddenly, emergency lights come on, revealing the platform elevator they're standing on has transformed into a flattened tank, complete with treads, and it's been running over the bodies of civilians all the way down. Piles of them, all laid out across the rails and tracks. Men, women, children, and old-people. Soldiers are hanging from nooses from the ceiling, with black sacks over their heads. They've been bleeding on the Elites from up there. The walls are no longer those of a tunnel, but rusted metal, with rivets, and metal plates welded on, and so forth.
Then the platform lurches to a stop without having reached the bottom. There's a few seconds to worry about what's going to happen, then there's a sensation in the air that everyone can feel, psychic or non. A strange emotion not belonging to those who feel it, not influencing them, but recognized as permeating everything anyone.
Tenacity. The feeling of never giving in, of continuing to push and push beyond the limits of one's mind and body, continuing to fight and struggle even when it means one's death, and never ever ever ever surrendering.
Then the platform/tank starts moving again. This time, very, very, very fast. Infact, it's almost like they aren't moving at all, but rather the tunnel is flying up to meet them. Blast doors shoot up at the Elites, sliding open one after another with just BARELY enough time to not ram into them. It seems the Witch knows she has guests.

Then the final set of blast doors swing open and there is a blinding flash of several colors of light, the explosion of artillery mixed with the bursting of fireworks, and those Elites still in the game find themselves standing in a huge hangar-like room, with flags of all manner of nations and affiliations flying through the air, rolling across the walls and over each other, the symbols constantly changing as one flag overcomes another…
And then RUNES hit them, imprinting themselves on the minds of the Elite, as a female figure clad all in black, with a single, artificial, glowing green cybernetic eye in the middle of her face drops from the ceiling and lands in a crouch with a knife in one hand and a handgun in the other.

http://vickyvivivicci.deviantart.com/art/Paradox-Runes-337565969
Paradox
The Heroic Witch

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake makes a strained sound.
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Open fire?"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Everything you've got!"

Silently, Ash wishes he brought Porygon, so he could reformat that stupid computer with Wrecky's endless collection of old television quotes.

However, that doesn't apply to the task at hand. Pikachu and Charmander remain on his shoulder and Ash slides his phaser back into the holster. The reason? Look less hostile. It might give them an advantage - and he's got plenty of firepower on his shoulders if the need should arise.

Although he's seen many horrible things in his days in the Multiverse - and a few on Witch Hunts - it's never /quite/ easy. However, he's able to keep it together, mind cohesive and coherent as he's in Battle Mode. Worry about the others later - these dead people aren't real, anyway. Or at least, he hopes they aren't…

…though it occurs to him that if she was completely unhinged they might have ended up being previous victims. That would explain the other sources of blood. He remains standing on the tank carefully. His Pokemon have similar reactions, save for Squirtle, who is completely oblivious…

And Bulbasaur.

Since Bulbasaur has seen and helped liberate Nazi death-camps in person… he's used to the horrors of war. This is in it's own terrible way a cakewalk.

Tenacity - if there's an emotion Ash feels often, it's that, but he identifies this coming from another source. He scowls. This isn't going to be easy - a Witch that's determined for the sake of determination? A paradox if there ever was —

*KA-RUNES!*

— yeah that makes sense. Ash scowls a little as he shakes off the mild surprise that always accompanies a telepathic rune deployment.

At the moment, he's in the follower position and as such he very quickly asks Snake if it's alright to open fire, just in case the old soldier has another idea.

And unsurprisingly the answer is yes.

*KRAKA-BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!* A burst of Thunder tears through the sky, attempting to smash RIGHT INTO the Witch. The firepower is set to lethal - neither competition, nor stun.

Ash is under no illusions here. Kara is lost.

Now they have to make sure they don't go with her.

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "I'm gonna try to short out as much of her cybernetics as I can."

The whole time the elevator is going down, Snake is on his guard. Every single freight elevator he stepped onto during the Shadow Moses incident had at least one nasty surprise in store. It probably ends up looking a little strange to have the former field marshal constantly sweeping his rifle back and forth, the red light on his Solid Eye gleaming. As the surroundings grow more disturbing, in an odd twist, he grows calmer - the horror of atrocity maginified by the mind's eye into a twisted spectacle of blood only forces him to shut down any lingering traces of regret, nerves or other emotion and operate on an almost mechanical level instead.

It also tells him they're getting close, especially when it starts moving like a demented rollercoaster ride.

A tremendous pyrotechnic display of firepower and faux patriotism does little to rattle Solid Snake. But the sudden assault of information on his mind quite literally staggers the soldier, and the Witch herself triggers all sorts of unpleasant memories.

She reminds him too much of Gray Fox.

Snake doesn't have any fancy tricks. Not so readily available, anyway. But a full-auto spray from an assault rifle usually works just fine.

The lightning bolt that comes at Paradox is too fast for humans to dodge. Lightning is FAST. She tosses her knife into the air and it attracts the lightning in a way that a knife probably normally wouldn't outside this barrier. As the improvised lightning rod crackles in mid-air, the Witch is already on the move. Snake's shots at her are met with her own in turn. Further, with her handgun, she shoots each round dead-center, having started shooting at the same time the old soldier did. Several pairs of bullets — practically fused together by the force of their impacts — hit the concrete floor and start spinning around in circles because their kinetic energy needs to be depleted SOMEHOW.
However, handguns have significantly less ammo than an automatic weapon, and a full-burst is a lot more than can be matched even with absurd, physics-warped skills. Paradox is gunned down as several fireworks burst behind her in a dazzling display, cannons firing from one side of the hanger towards a line of howitzers on the other. The black-clad figure falls to the ground full of holes. Was it really that easy?
The lightning-strike melted knife finally hits the ground with a clatter. Then the howitzers return fire.
Just as the cycle of war repeats over and over, one side attacking another and the other side attacking in turn, generating feelings of being wronged, of loss, of hate on BOTH sides, it doesn't seem these weapons are going to stop shooting until the Witch herself is dead. And it seems she is not dead.
The body of Paradox, lying still on the floor, is desecrated by her own self. She erupts from her corpse, seeming unarmed, but the faint glint of something thin and metallic in the light of all the unceasing air-bursting colorful displays may be the only warning people get before mono-filament wire starts lashing out near-invisibly to attempt to entangle and cut right through flesh like it's nothing.
This emerging-from-her-own-corpse thing better not be recurring.

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Ketchum! When I say 'pop', close your eyes five seconds later."
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Roger."

Solid Snake is far faster than most ordinary people, and the Octocamo makes him faster still. This is a man who's fought evenly in an unarmed match with a cyborg ninja. But monofilament is something on a whole other level in terms of evasion and counteracting. He manages to hurl himself out of the way, catching a fleeting glimpse that others might never have even noticed until it was too late, and still comes out of it with a cut along his cheek and a deeper mark down his left shoulder, right through the bullet-resistant material of his sneaking suit.

When your opponent's strategy can't be countered? Change the game.

"Pop," Snake calls out, the same moment he pulls the pin out of the grenade he's just palmed. It's lobbed in a low underhand, close to the ground, where it will be harder for the monowire to intercept - and five seconds later, it explodes into a powerful concussive POP and a blinding flash of light.

That's just the distraction, however, for Snake to back up, slapping in a new magazine while he moves, and open up again with the FAMAS.

Ash scowls more than a bit as his attack is deflected. OK, this is not going to be easy - not that Ash expected it to be.

He also knows that there's a timer on this - they have maybe 10 minutes to win before whatever it is that's going to happen, happens. And he would rather not find out the hard way.

Ash decides an alternative strategy is going to be necessary - and he feels the hate clawing at him. The emotions. But that's fine - he's already unhappy enough with it.

Going on a hunch, Ash decides to do a couple of things here that are pretty… unconventional.

First things first - try to find a weak point. It's possible that the old corpses might tie into her somehow, and with that, Charmander fires off a burst of Ember, hoping to consume the ruined body in flames.

That's part one.Part TWO - done after Ash and PIkachu are clipped by more bullets, and Charmander's armor takes a hit - involves the zaprat and Bulbasaur. Ash quickly flicks out a Pokeball to release Bulbasaur; with a crack and a bang, Bulbasaur is released - just as "Pop" is called.

Five seconds later, after Ash and his Pokemon shut their eyes, his Pokemon snap into action, Pikachu first firing off THunder Wave in an attempt to fry the girl's cybernetics to try to make it harder to parry, and a Thunder Wave would be just that. Bulbasaur, meanwhile, snakes his vine whips out to try to ensnare her as best as he can and pin her to the ground. She is going WAY too fast here. The tactics may be less lethal, but if they can pin her down for long enough they might be able to gain an advantage.

<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Snake, gonna try to slow her down."

The blinding flash and concussive force are disrupting to a great many people. Paradox doesn't seem too bothered by the visual aspect thanks to that artificial eye, but the sound at least seems to confuse her enough that, while in the process of trying to slash the grenade in half with her wire and failing, she also is too distracted to notice as Snake starts shooting again.
The bodies all the way up the tunnel like who-knows-how-far are set on fire. They're off in another part of the barrier — in the passage to the center of the barrier, but if they had any connection to Paradox's abilities, they're totally burnt to a crisp now! The electrical current that surged up the distracted Witch's body slows her down, though she is using that wire to attempt to slice right through the vines that come close to her when Snake shoots her down again. Just like the first time, there's no blood spray from the injuries, though her slowed reflexes seem to stick with her as she erupts from her own corpse a second time. Her movements seem slightly more awkward—Oh, that's because she is carrying a flamethrower. Crap.
At the same time, the computerized voice announces, "Attention, all personnel. Rocket launch commencing in t-minus 60 seconds." WAIT, WHAT!? "For your safety, please evacuate to a radiation-shielded sub-level IMMEDIATELY." Paradox unleashes with a heavy stream of napalm as a large portion of the hangar floor they're standing on suddenly shifts, revealing previously-hidden edges. Then the floor of the hangar starts descending, similarly to the elevator platform from before. This time it's going straight down, and a Witch is sweeping clinging flames over the area the whole way while her own corpse lies in two seperate locations.
The voice is counting down the whole time as they descend down a long, dark shaft — half heavy-industrial, half dirt with the coffins of soldiers given an 'honorable burial' visible sticking out of the walls. Some of the coffins fall out of the dirt and spill their rotten contents all over the places. Some coffins don't have anything but empty uniforms in them. But one thing becomes clear when the walls suddenly aren't there anymore, and the floor descends into an absolutely MASSIVE, cavernous sub-hangar, with hundreds of rockets of all kinds angled and aimed at a single location right in the center… Where the 'elevator' comes to a stop.
…Everyone is screwed if they don't do something fast.
"…30. 29. 28. 27. 26. 25."

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "…Ketchum!"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I need you to focus all your firepower on the floor! /Everything you've got/!"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I'll distract the Witch!"
<Union-IC> [5-SA] Ash says, "Got it."

Once again, Snake is fast. Snake is faster than most people could hope to be. But 'fast' isn't always 'fast enough'.

The octocamo protects him from the worst of it. But it comes out the other side badly burnt, and part of Snake's face scorched besides. But as painful as the injuries are, he quite literally cannot afford to hurt right now - or he'll stop hurting ever again.

So while the Colonel barks out orders to Ketchum, he's making his own plans. It requires Snake to set his feet, taking up an extremely stable posture; Ash probably already knows what's to come even before the Stinger missile launcher comes out.

…and then a second one joins it on his other shoulder.

And the 'infinity' symbol on his bandana lights up.

Snake levels both weapons, and doesn't even bother waiting for tone. He fires the launcher on his right shoulder, and then uses the clockwise torque to brace himself a little better for firing the launcher on his left shoulder, which leads straight back to the right again. Right, left, right, left, a cadence of high-explosive firepower any one of which could take out a military vehicle, and he's saturation-bombarding Paradox's general area.

The combined recoil starts to push him back across the floor, but Snake just lets himself slide. And keeps. On. Firing.

With time running out, and not a lot of options, Ash listens to the orders and quickly calculates the best possible attack pattern.

"EVERYONE, /GO/!" he calls aloud, opening up his Pokeballs, revealing Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pidgeotto and Butterfree.

And without any verbal confirmation they begin an onslaught.

Bulbasaur starts with a massive burst of Solar Beam. Pikachu fires as well, dropping to all fours, a 'click' audible within him before firing off a single, massively chargedd bolt of electricity - Zap Cannon. Charmander simply releases a massive gout of explosive flame in the form of Blast Burn, with Squirtle accompanying with Hydro Cannon. Pidgeotto contributes with Whirlwind, attempting to drill through it with air blades, and Butterfree finishes with a burst of Hyper Beam.

Ash himself only contributes phaser power. Why? Simple enough - Snake said firepower; there might be something critical about it being ranged weapons. Besideswhich, considering how much they're pumping into it, it doesn't seem like it's a terribly great idea to wade into the middle of it to start punching at the ground.

As Snake fires rocket launchers at Paradox, she discards the flamethrower and barely misses being completely blown up by the first rocket as she flips backwards, drawing a pair of Glocks from thin air and shooting the second rocket in mid-air while she's still coming out of her air-flip. The explosion throws her further through the air as flames broil away her black bodysuit, and the third missile can't even be aimed at as it blows up on the ground where Paradox is about to land and takes off one of her legs just from proximity. As missile after missile comes at her, devastating the platform while the countdown continues relentlessly, she manages her insane skills and defensive maneuvers less and less until she's just getting nailed and obliterated with one rocket after another, until there's no visible corpse left amidst the flames and explosions.
But the countdown continues.
Light. Lightning. Fire. Water. Wind. Raw radiant energy. A beam that can tear apart matter on the atomic level.
The concrete ground is made of concrete. It is not made of adamantium or durasteel or unobtanium or ridiculatinium. It breaks and it breaks HARD under this onslaught, destroying the platform completely and sending the Elites plummeting into a deep, dark pit. "10. 9. 8." They manage to miraculously land with minimal injuries (for the most part), though they are now at the bottom of a shaft that does not appear to be radiation-shielded or lead-lined or in any way special aside from having tons of flaming debris piled up in the middle. "7. 6. 5." Oh god, why isn't the countdown stopping? Paradox is NOWHERE TO BE SEEN. She HAS to be dead!
"4. 3. 2." Then the rubble erupts in a sudden geyser of dust and fragments, and Paradox, tattered, worn, but nowhere near dead, surges up with a red-hot katana in one hand, raised over her head and ready to be plunged down towards Snake. "1."
The blow is never delivered. Never attempted. She just stops, the green light of her cybernetic eye flickering. "Rocket launch aborted." A wheezing sound hisses out of the many holes all over Paradox's body, blood finally appearing for the first time from her injuries. As she falls backwards, the entire shaft flies apart like wrapping paper, the rubble scattering to the unfelt and unheard hurricane winds.
Paradox's body starts dissolving and the barrier starts crumbling as a line of gigantic, ethereal soldiers appear in the enormous white void the Elites now find themselves in. The soldiers raise their rifles and… Give a silent, three-volley salute over Paradox's nearly-vanished corpse.
The barrier finally crumbles completely, and with a weird warbling noise, the Union Elites find themselves back in the blood-stained hallway in building 4 of Union Base P7-99-Phoebe. The body of Kara still lies curled up against the wall, now quite cold. Also still in the hallway is the cardboard box that was the means by which people were dragged into the labyrinth to begin with. The same cardboard box with the same sentence in French.
"A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer."
Lying on top of the box is a Grief Seed.

<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "…one minute longer, huh…"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake's radio transmits the sound of a lighter being flicked. "…thanks for the vote of confidence, kid."
<Union-IC> [2] Eleanor Lamb says, "Snake?"
<Union-IC> [2] Eleanor Lamb says, "…Everything… okay down there?"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "…Gonna need medical attention. Cleanup team to Union Base P7-00-Phoebe. We've got a Grief Seed here, I want it put in the hands of Akemi or Kaname."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "And I want the body buried in Arlington. My world."
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "I'll make the paperwork happen."
<Union-IC> [2] Eleanor Lamb says, "…Sir."
<Union-IC> [2] Eleanor Lamb says, "Right away. Casualties?"
<Union-IC> [5-Of] Solid Snake says, "Unknown for certain. Likely a number of Union personnel, don't know where the bodies went. One for certain. The girl."
<Union-IC> [2] Eleanor Lamb sighs, sadly. "Sir."

That was unpleasant, to say the least. He plummets, well aware of the fact that a long fall is rarely healthy for the complexion - or anything else, really - gravity not being anyone's friend.

*WHAM!*

That and several other small splats are audible as Ash and his Pokemon quickly roll away, ready to fight. Paradox seems to be ready and waiting to attack Snake.

"PIKACHU, DO IT!" he yells aloud, and Pikachu attempts to snap off Swift, but they probably won't be making it in time.

…but they don't need to.

Ash and his Pokemon rematerialize, the teenager hitting the ground on one knee, panting slightly and wincing at his rib that took the impact. "…did it."

He swallows heavily. At least they damn well better have done it.

Solid Snake is, in those last few moments, after all the firepower, after all the falling - after time runs out and the Witch still lives, with nothing to shield them all - prepared for what may very well be his last moment.

He's still standing in that ready pose several seconds after the barrier has collapsed and reality has asserted itself, his breathing heavy, favoring his left side from the burn damage. Only once he's sure things have dissolved completely does the old soldier finally stow first one Stinger launcher, then the other, and let out a shaky breath. He finds himself staring at the box, thinking about the words there. "…one minute longer, huh…"

His head turns around towards the now-cold body that was once a girl who, deluded though she might have been, only wanted to do the right thing and live up to an ideal.

Solid Snake discovers that he feels very… old.

Quietly, he takes out a pack of cigarettes, shakes one loose, puts it in his mouth, then produces a lighter. There's a flick, a point of flame, and then a quiet inhalation.

"…thanks for the vote of confidence, kid," Snake finishes, his tone subdued. He just wishes he felt like he could live up to it.

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/77 Posted Author
AAR: Union Base P7-99-Phoebe Mon Nov 12 Solid Snake


A text-only report filed by Adai.

Snake got word earlier that an unkown girl had infiltrated P7-99-Phoebe and shown herself right in the middle of a military meeting, claiming to be a Puella Magi and also from his own world. He went out to investigate with the help of Ash Ketchum and Altea Saito.

She was exactly what she said she was, more or less - it looks like Kyubey's branching out. And without Witches to hunt, she was already critical, which the group didn't realize until it was too late. She fled, and they pursued, but by the time they found her again, she was gone.

The three of them were able to destroy the Witch, whose Labyrinth seemed to be based on her idealized version of Snake's experience, with a large dose of her own war-torn past. The Witch seemed like she was going to hit them with some sort of nuclear-based strike, but at the last second the countdown aborted and the Witch died, leaving behind a Grief Seed.

At present, 8 base personnel remain unaccounted for, presumed dead. Other than that, all personnel escaped unharmed, and responding Elites were treated for injuries. The Grief Seed has been flagged for transfer to Homura Akemi or Madoka Kaname for safekeeping.

=============================== IC - Cutscenes ===============================
Message: 24/63 Posted Author
Witch Card: Paradox Mon Nov 12 Adalinda


Name: Paradox
Type: Heroic witch
Nature: Tenacity
Description: Paradox is the Heroic witch, with the tenacious nature. She stealthily takes down humans who wander into her labyrinth before they even know she is there. Paradox believes she is a hero and that she is protecting something by killing 'the enemy'. However, she is no longer able to distinguish who is an enemy and who isn't, and thus uses her weapons and abilities against everyone with complete self-assurance. She is so tenacious that she refuses to stop fighting even in death. Only recognizing her defeat by a superior opponent will allow her to be laid to rest.
Summary: A homeless orphan girl from an impoverished third-world country grew up admiring Solid Snake because of all the stories of his heroism. He saved so many people from nuclear annihilation, invasion, or simply the cruel regime of dictators. She didn't know all the details, but she knew he was this awesome person and she wanted to be strong and famous and great just like him when she grew up. Sadly, she had no means to achieve this. Then she met Kyubey.

Minions:
Salut - Soldiers with rifles who perform a three-volley salute when Paradox dies.
The Enemy - Faceless 'enemy soldiers' who wander the grounds of the labyrinth for Paradox to kill. They are also a hazard for intruders into the labyrinth, but they can be killed permanently by such intruders, whereas they 'respawn' endlessly when Paradox kills them, representing there always being another threat to eliminate in a world torn apart by war.

Enter: Puella Magi Kara by VictoriaScottVictoriaScott, 13 Nov 2012 15:05

Refugee Camp(#676Ten)
This is a Multiverse standard refugee camp set up for refugees of the Cirus-Marrine crises.

There are a lot of tents and temporary housing and overall space is sparce, but thanks to the efforts of people throughout the Multiverse, refugees are well taken care of.

A recreation area with temporary, low budget entertainment areas have been set up near the back of the camp. At the back of the rec area a small theater stand has been set up for various forms of live entertainment.

Contents:
Tony Stark
Jinx
Freya
Reina Kinney
E18-A Orion
Pepper Potts
Sunshine
Shizune Nakamura
Rarity
Negi Springfield
Staren

"Gooood evening, morning, afternoon and super-noon everyone and welcome to the Whose Line Is It Anyway Charity show!"

Pinkie Pie's voice echoes throughout the back end of the refugee camp where a temporary theater has been set up. It's been all decked out in bright banners and everything. There aren't any chairs set up, but people are bringing their own, bringing blankets, etc. Consessions have been set up to one side, selling popcorn, pop, and other treats from Sugar Cube Corner and Sweet Apple Acres.

Off to the side of it a simple desk has been set up - Which a certain pony stands on top of, somehow holding a microphone in one forehoof.

Pinkie Pie has gone all out, dressing up in a black tux for the event.

In a blur of rainbow, Rainbow Dash zips up alongside her. She hasn't been decked out for the evening, but somehow Pinkie managed to convince her to at least wear a top hat and white cuffs for the eveng.

"The show where we make it all up and the points mean jack squat! We're you're hosts, the awwwesome Rainbow Dash!"

Pinkie Pie giggles, "And the funtastic Pinkie Pie! Welcome everyone! We've got a super duper aamaaazing cast and show lined up for you today! They're totally spifferific!"

Rainbow Dash rolls her eyes, but grins, holding up a microphone to her face. "Yeah, you might as well tell them what we're doing here, Pinks."

"Oh yeah!" Pinkie Pie bounces off of the table and up to where four chairs have been set up near the back of the theater. Well within view, but not in the center of attention - Yet. "We've a bunch of really neato skits lined up that the really good sports are going to act out for us! Totally on the fly! Except not with an actual fly. I mean they're going to make it up as they go!"

"Yeah!" Rainbow Dash nods her head, "So who did we sucker -" She grins innocently, "I mean, who'd we get to volunteer for this? Let's bring 'em out and meet them!"

That would be where a pony in back would start to usher the 'cast' out, where Pinkie Pie is ready with a microphone to let them introduce themselves.

Mortimer Balman has arrived.

Twilight Sparkle has arrived.

For all the "lessons" Orion was imprinted with about astrodynamics or even basic, personal-level human interactions, he's been left with this big gap in subjects like culture and society. And not all exploration requires locomotion.

Parked on the outskirts, beyond where any fee might need to be, the dark grey starship has settled on its landing gear. Not a noise nor motion comes from the metal hulk. However, within the audience area, a boy appears - eager to listen, but also looking around for anyone he might know.

Well, there's nothing like a good comedy show, Sunshine always says. Actually, he doesn't always say that, but he's thinking of adopting it as a catchphrase of sorts. The only problem is that he can't think where he could possibly use it.

In any case, he's here with a bag of popcorn, sitting in the back row to avoid being noticed. It doesn't really work, considering he's ten feet and one thousand pounds of shiny golden sand that takes two seats to hold him, but hey, at least he's making an effort. He just keeps munching away at that popcorn as his shadowy 'eyes' eagerly scan the stage for the volunteers.

When Jinx heard the rumors that there was an improve show being run by Dash and Pinkie Pie for the peope of Cirrus Marine, she felt intrigued… and kinda guilty. I mean, she didn't actually do anything to these people, but she's still allied to the people that did by virtue of being one of Nightmare Moon's lackies. ._. Still, she wants to do something— anything, to help out.

And that's why Jinx is here, with a set of trays on her back, handing out cupcakes and pie slices and drinks to the crowd. She even has one of those silly caps you see concession people wearing at sports stadiums. In all honesty, she looks pretty rediculous, but at least she's helping!

And easily seen by any of the less trusting people so they can keep an eye on her.

._.

Tony Stark has never done this particular sort of attention whoring before, but he is well-versed in attention whoring in general, so how hard could this be? He strides out confidently, looking very smart in an immaculate suit, and… somewhat ruining the effect (or, the argument could be made, perfecting it) by chomping obviously on a piece of gum. He thanks Pinkie and takes a quick turn on the microphone.

"Hi. My name's Tony. I'm here to impress a girl." He touches a finger to his temple in a mock salute, waggles a wave and a wink at some random female figure in the audience, and saunters back to let someone else take center stage.

"The girls love him, and the boys want to be him, it's Negi Springfield!"

CHAMO's introduction is followed by the teenaged Negi dropping onto the stage from the sky, riding his staff down and hopping down with a drop, and then twirling it and giving a smile and wave to the audience, as he introduces himself, "Good evening everyone. My name is Negi Springfield. Nice to meet you, and let's enjoy outselves." Before heading to the stage himself, standing beside Tony.

In the audience, there's a shrill wolf-whistle to Tony Stark. And a woman in a green sweatshirt and jeans laughs, in spite of herself as she leans back, running a hand over her head quietly, and chatting with a very official looking man sitting next to her.

"The girls like her, the boys like her, and most of Negi's students wish they were her right now- — YUNOMI STADLER!" Chamo calls out again, and Yunomi just appears, as her older guise, and lands on Negi's lap with a laugh and a look of surprise.

"Good evening everyone! I'm Yunomi Stadler, let's get this Raccoon-dog and Pony show on the road!" Yunomi grins cheekily, from Negi's lap, before she blinks and re-appears in the chair beside him, straightening herself out.

"She's red hot and red headed. She's none other than Reina Kinney!" Chamo then adds, and Reina steps out as well, giving a casual wave to the crowd, but little else. She doesn't seem to dash out or stride out, just casually walking out.

"Hi, I'm Reina Kinney. I may not seem like a funny woman, but looks can definitely be deceiving." She nods and then goes to wait with the others.

Adjusting her glasses slightly, a certain junior martial artist steps out onstage with brisk movements, leaning into the mic with what she hopes is a game smile. "Hello, everyone, my name's Shizune Nakamura, and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. But that's perfect," she adds with a wry look, "Since we're making it up as we go along anyway," she adds with a grin.

Rarity pokes her head out from offstage for a moment. "What? We're starting already? But I didn't get my makeup yet. Oooh, where is that powder girl? I can't have my complexion being cooked by those stagelights." The unicorn disappears behind stage again…. only to get unceremoniously shoved out by a stagehand moments later, despite her protesting "This is not the star quality treatment I was promised! And that dressing room was just a closet with a star taped to the door anyways!"

"She may be easy on the eyes," Pinkie Pie swings heartily into an intro without missing a beat, or being bothered by the unicorn's fussing. "But that prim and proper primadonna might cut you with her sharp looks — Rarity!"

Rarity stops mid-pout to turn and -glare- at Pinkie Pie. Whom just giggles in return as her point is proven.

"Is that a matzo in your pants or are you just happy to see me? It's Mortimer Balman!"

Mortimer is of course sitting in a comfy chair, rolling his eyes and waving to the crowd after Pinkie Pie introduces him. For those who don't get the joke- Matzo is Jewish flatbread. The joke is now hilarious. LAUGH DAMN YOU.

"And that's all folks! Bye~!"

Pinkie Pie giggles, and then bounces off of the stage once she's introduced everyone.

Wait, what?

A second later there's a burst of confetti from above stage, and Pinkie Pie drops back down again.

"Just kidding! Now we get to the extra special fun part!"

Rainbow Dash laughs, standing up on the announcer's table, "Yup, now we get to the actual games! First up we've got a game called Party Quirks, and for this we're going to pull out Tony, Shizune, Negi aaaaand Rarity! Look under your chairs, guys!"

Sure enough, underneath each of the chairs of the called out cast members there will be an envelope. (OOC: These will be paged in a second!)

"On each of these cards is a weird or special quirk for party members coming to a party that Tony is going to be hosting! We'll ring you guys in-"

Pinkie Pie makes an appropriate 'Ding dong!' noise.

"-Uh, yeah. And then they have to act out these quirks. At the end, Tony's got to figure out what each of their quirks are!"

Pinkie Pie giggles, and starts bouncing back to the announcers table, "Take it away, Tony!"

Rarity just huffs and rolls her eyes, having gotten somewhat use to Pinkie Pie's peculiarities over the last couple of years. She just pulls the envelope out from under her chair with her magic, pulls it open and looks at the note inside… and has to resist not facehoofing. Definately Pinkie Pie's ideas.

Serving drinks, serving drinks, serving drinks— oh hey! The improv show is starting! After taking a moment to give awya the last of the treats on her tray, jinx retreats to somewhere that she won't be in everyone's way and sits down to watch. This should be good!

Reina meanwhile takes a seat and a drink. She leans back and watches, wondering if she'll actually laugh tonight. She rarely ever does that , except when she makes a sarcastic joke or remark.

Sunshine lets out a rather loud chuckle. "Guofuo, nice opener. Now let's see what the real show is all about…" he thinks aloud, taking a soft drink from Jinx's tray. Hey, wait a minute. Something about that pony is familiar…

Nah, it's probably nothing. All ponies look the same anyway.

Negi gets into position and opens his own envelope, and blinks for a moment as he reads it, before shrugging a bit, before popping the envelop into his pocket, and waits behind the spot for the door, waiting for his cue.

Tony Stark shrugs agreeably and lifts an imaginary phone to his face. "No, I said belly dancers, not necromancers. The h…eck is wrong with you, it's not Halloween— hold on. We can discuss exactly how you've /ruined/ this party later, I think I hear someone at the door." He saunters over to the imaginary door, glances back to Pinkie for the cue, and once it's given, opens it. "Hey! glad you could make it…?"

Pinkie is too busy watching, so after a second, Rainbow Dash rolls her eyes, and presses on the top of Pinkie's head.

Pinkie appropriately goes 'Ding-dong!' to let Negi in.

Shizune reaches down under her chair in a quick gesture, pulls out the envelope, and opens it. Whatever's inside causes her eyebrows to jump way up, before she gives a little shrug, stuffs it back in, and leaves it on her chair. Obediently, she falls into place at the back of the line, and waits.

Negi steps right in, and looks up to Tony, and proceeds to says, "Oh hi, thanks for *BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP* me here, *BEEPBEEP*." Stepping right by and picking up a an imaginary glass of juice and sipping on it, "Name's *BEEP*BEEP* *BEEP*BEEP*."

Freya who came to the show laughs at Negi performance.

In her chair, Yunomi giggles as she leans forward, sipping her bottle of water as she watches Negi beep.

Not laughing yet, Reina starts to smirk a little with a raised eyebrow. She takes a drink again.

Tony Stark replies with dignity, "Glad you could come, *BEEP*BEEP*." It's more of a squawk than a beep when he tries to duplicate the noise. "Wasn't sure you'd make it." And he hazards his guess, "Must be pretty busy down at the network censorship office?" He adds, casually, "Try the veal, it's the best in the city. Or so I'm told."

Pinkie Pie just starts to giggle-snort, rolling back on her haunches. Even Rainbow starts laughing, causing her to take a second to remember that they have to ring the next person in. She has to grab Pinkie Pie in a headlock to make her sit still long enough for her to press on her head.

"Ding-dong!" Goes Pinkie, ringing Rarity in.

For a little, Orion stares, not quite getting the jokes. Then, finally, he bursts into a giggle. The avatar also happens to see Freya, so he navigates through the crowd a murmurs a quiet hi.

Freya smiles and quietly say Hi back to Orion.

"Close!" Pinkie Pie manages to say between giggling.

Negi just continues the conversation, despite beind more or less discovered instantly, though there was till a few more hints, "Oh yes, they were. I was not sure if I could show up here. You see, *BLEEPBLEEP* was the *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEP* at the *BLEEPBLEEP*. I was *BLEEPBLEEP* to the point where *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEP* and *BLEEPBLEEP* were *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEP* and *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEP* for the last *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEP*. It was just a just a *BLEEPBLEEP* shame that I could not *BLEEPBLEEP*." He pauses for a moment, before saying. "*BLEEP*"

Tony Stark wriggles his little finger in his ear and makes an exaggerated eyeroll of 'I'm being deafened' pain as he's bleeped into oblivion. "You should get treatment for the tourettes, man. Or you're gonna /get/ censored into oblivion."

Rarity naturally 'enters' with all the prose you would expect of an unicorn of her nature, head held high and somewhat snootily. Hard to tell if she's being herself, or it's part of the act. "Good evening, gentlemen. I presume everything is in order? If you don't mind me looking around, I'm sure everything will be " She stops and jerks her head to the side, ears up as if she had heard something. "What was that?" Makes as if to sniff the air, and then trots off to another part of the stage and… starts seemingly randomly squinting.

Tony Stark calls over to the white unicorn, "Lovely to see you, Inspector. Can I get you a drink?"

"Nope!" Pinkie Pie announces to Tony, "You were closer before! He's being beeped beeeecaaacaaaauuuusseeee~…?"

Then, because it's time for the last party member to arrive, Dash presses on Pinkie's head again.

"Ding-dong!"

Negi Springfield is trying his best to not give it away precisely what the issue is with him. "Hi, miss. I hope you are well *BLEEPBLEEP*. It could have been a whole lot worse. Are you *BLEEPBLEEP* for *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEP* in *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEP* miss? I'm sure I could help you with yours search for the *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEP* source of… *BLEEPBLEEP**BLEEP*"
He directs to Rarity.

And 'in' walks Shizune, her face mashed into her bicep as if she were trying to replace her nose with her shoulder. "Wrrrrr! Wrrrrr! Hello, Tony! Wrrrrrrrr!" It's a strange, high-pitched noise, her arm flapping about as if she's trying to flail it up and down. "You've got a real nice room here, I'll just make myself at home!" She immediately makes a beeline for Negi.

With a sudden sense of URgency, and possibly a string of curses, Pepper Potts is up, and stalking out.
Pepper Potts has left.

If Tony's close or not Rarity doesn't make an indication to him as she looks up. "Why yes. Lemonade would be fine. I wager there is no shortage of—" She stops midsentence, only to abruptly SHRIEK as if something had startled her and jumps in the arms of the nearest person comically as she wails, "Oh, the horror! The stinging sour hot horror!"

what, of course she's drama queening it up.

Sunshine has to think about it for a bit as more and more of the volunteers enter the scene, but it seems he finally gets it as he starts chuckling again.

Negi is incidentally the closest, and catches Rarity, "Miss, why are you *BLEEPBLEEP* *BLEEPBLEEP* my arms?"

Tony Stark flings his hands wide. "Seriously, dude, tone it down a notch on the swearing. This is a family party. That I… tried to hire belly dancers for." He… stares at Shizune, shakes his head helplessly and pinches the bridge of his nose. He mimes getting a cup of lemonade for Rarity and abruptly finds his arms full of pony. "Aw, now you've made me spill it," he complains. "You shouldn't… be so nervous about everything?"
Tony Stark and Negi caught her together!

Rarity ends up sprawling across BOTH set of arms, just as she does her couch usually.

Still smirking, Reina continues to drink and watch this whole show. She's not giggling yet, almost like she's trying to make a conscious effort to try to keep from laughing.
Rarity fortunately is a very light pony, being a finicky eater

No sooner have Tony and Negi caught Rarity than Shizune bumps into them all, peering over their shoulders in the most annoying and invasive way possible, still flailing her new arm-nose. "Wrrrrrr! Wrrrr! Do you need help? I'll work for peanuts!"

Freya ahs and get what Negi is!

"I… really don't think a flying elephant will help," Tony retorts, making a show of dropping Rarity on the floor though really he lets her down as gently as possible.

Negi sighs and carefully sets Rarity down, as he looks to Tony, "Sir, look. I know this seems odd, but I am not *BLEEPBLEEP* right now. I have a *BLEEPBLEEP* for not *BLEEPBLEEP* like you. The Big words are hard to *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEP* *BLEEPBLEEP* *BLEEPBLEEP* the *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEP*. Kay?"

"Nope!" Pinkie Pie giggles. "And oooh, so cloooose! She's an elephant that's…?"

Rainbow Dash is snickering her head off. "And he's being bleeped because he's saying words that are… what?"

The moment Rarity is set down, Shizune immediately shifts tracks to her. "Wrrrrr! Wrrrrrr! Hey where did you get your hair done? Wrrrrrr!"

"I get partial points for this, right?" Tony mutters good-naturedly. "Sir. I really need to you to slow down, and use smaller words. I'm not sure you're sober enough to use anything over one syllable."
Rainbow Dash stomps down on Pinkie Pie's tail. She goes. "BZZZZZZZZZ!"

"Yup! Got it!"

Tony Stark stabs a finger at Shizune. "And you're a very NOSY elephant, you know that?"

Rarity ends up dangling partially out of Negi's arms when Tony 'drops' her, turning her hamming it up literally upside down. "Noooo, you fool! That may of been the last of it now! All the stock is going up in flames!" And then he sets her down as well, but she gives him a mock glare. "My goodness, watch your mouth! This is serious but there may be children in the audience." .. She just ad libbed a Pinkie Pie moment. Followed by squinting at Shizune. "Why I did it myself, of course… but that's not the point right now!"

Negi sighs in relief and says, "Thank you, for *BLEEPBLEEPBLEEP*…" He pauses for a moment, before saying, "You *BLEEP*." And walking off the stage. He doesn't actually SAY the last word, but it's comedy.

Unable to help herself, Shizune finally loses her composure. There's only so much silly over-acted 'elephant' one girl can take. "I almost did my best impression of you, Mr. Stark," she teases, heading back off to the side.

Tony Stark makes a gesture after Negi that is just rude enough to imply that he understood that last word, but not rude enough to cross the 'family friendly' boundary. He waggles his fingers in a farewell wave to Shizune as he nails her character, and then turns his attention back to Rarity, pulling thoughtfully at his beard. The word 'stock' makes him think of those endless meetings… "Don't worry, there's more lemonade… Madame Chairperson?"

Giggling, Pinkie Pie shakes her head. "Nope! You were closer before!"

Rarity turns her head again to glare at Tony. Stands on her back legs to make vage jesturing in front of her as if trying to point at something. "How can you say that to my face when all the production material is literally burning up in front of us? Oh why, oh why? Why must I endure such a soured turn of events? There is no reason for such conflageration!"

Tony Stark giggles at himself, rolling a hand around in a circular motion as if to kick his brain into gear. "Okay, okay, hot and sour… sorry," he laughs, "all that's coming to mind is soup. Ok," he mutters, "inspector was closer… uh… you're… fire inspector? Soup nazi? I… have no idea."

Rarity narrows her eyes slightly at Tony. "We're talking about lemonade, I'm nitpicking over stock being ruined, and you have no idea what conflageration even means, do you?" It's really hard to tell if she's still acting at this point or if she's annoyed with his inability to guess.

Tony Stark is still barely containing a laugh as his shoulders quiver but he puts on his most serious face to stare down Rarity. "I know what a conflagration is!" he snipes back. "It's a big fire. Am I… being fired due to a sour stock market?" He knows it's an awful guess and he shrugs apologetically to her, biting down on his lip to hold the giggles in.

Negi is sitting in the background trying his very politest not to face-palm.

Tony Stark tries again. "Are you a lemon farmer who lost all your stock in a fire?"
Yeah, Tony looks well and truly stuck. Pinkie or someone had better bail him out.

"Ahahahaha!" The outburst of laughter comes from the desk as Pinkie Pie rolls. "That's not it, but you get a point for the horrible punnery! Of course, since the points mean nothing…"

"…" Rarity throws her hooves in the air. "I cannot work under these conditions!" Then turns and stomps off the stage, playing the primadonna thing to the hilt now.

"Inspector in a lemonade factory with the lemons burning for no reason, but that was closer!"

Pinkie Pie collapses into giggles once more.

Negi just laughs in the background, giving some light applause in the mean tim.

And Rainbow Dash is flat out on the announcers table, slapping at it with her hoof in her laughter.

Shizune is doing her level best to cover her mouth and avoid laughing.

Her level best isn't good enough.

Freya smiles and shakes her head giggling..

Tony Stark flings an arm after Rarity. "That was a little overly specific, wasn't it?" He appeals to the audience. "Seriously, guys, back me up here." As his eyes sweep over those assembled they narrow ever so slightly at the absence of a certain woman in a green sweatshirt. He maintains his public facade, smiling and waving and pinging a finger off his head in a 'derp, I totally should have known THAT' gesture as he returns to his chair, but privately he's tuning his codec.

By now, Reina has stopped drinking, because she's actually giggling a little now. Then her giggles form into full laughs!

And Mort is of course just leaning his head into his hand, snorting and trying not to laugh too much.

It takes a few seconds, but Pinkie Pie manages to stop laughing long enough - Because she's laughed herself into hiccups. "That -hic- was -hic - hilarious!" She says between hiccups. "500 points -hic- to Tony for the puns!"

"Aaaand 200 cool points a piece for the rest. Of course, cool points equal triple," Rainbow Dash adds, snickering to herself. She collects a card from the stack that had been knocked around all over the place by their laughter. "Next up, we've got Question's Only!"

"Yuparoony!" Pinkie Pie bounces up and down a few times on the table, sending it wobbling and almost making it collapse. "And it's for Mort, Yunomi, Reina aaaand Negi! You four are going to act out a scene talking /only/ in questions!"

"Yeah, and if you mess up, we buzz you out!" Rainbow Dash shows an example of this by stepping on Pinkie's tail. She goes: BZZZZZZZZ! "And if you take too long, we buzz you out too. 'Cause there's no room for slowpokes!"

"Nope-a-dope! Okay! So! You're all people at that big doozy of a Multiverse Mall and you're trying to decide which store to go to first when suddenly, ALIENS EVERYWHERE! You're up firsty, Mort and Yunomi!"
"
Giggling still, Reina looks up and nods. "Speaking only in questions? Would you believe me if I said I can handle that?" She asks with a chuckle.

Mortimer hops up onto his feet, makes like he is holding a large gun of some sort, and.. Runs up to Yunomi. "Did you hear that?"

Negi hops back to his feet and positions himself on Yunomi's side of the stage.

Freya smiles and just watches the show. This should be intersting..

E18-A Orion also continues to watch, giggling from time to time at the antics on stage.

Tony Stark folds his arms contentedly over his chest and leans back in his chair with his legs splayed out before him to watch the chaos ensue. Chewing his gum again. He must have tucked it into his cheek for the earlier bit. It also helps to cover the subvocalizations still being passed over his radio.

"Oh boy, I love this game!" Jinx says with the clapping of hooves. n_n

"It does sound like a highly comedic premise." Twilight says from beside Jinx. When did she get here?

Rarity having had her fun on stage for the time being Rarity has wandered down into the audience, and spots her two friengs.. Though she looks slightly surprised to see Jinx here. "Well that was embarassing. But I suppose worth it if the show is being enjoyed. Hello dahlings."

Yunomi blinks and looks up "Did I hear what?" She asks, and puts a hand to one of her tanuki-like ears, looking to Mortimer.

Mortimer looks around nervously. "Didn't hear that awful screeching?"

"Oh, hello Rarity! That was a great showing up there!" Jinx replies with as she looks at Rarity, still wearing her little concessionist hat.

"You mean that /wasn't/ your mother?!" Yunomi asks, incredulously, looking at Charr as she grins brightly.

Both Pinkie and Rainbow Dash burst out laughing at that one.

Freya laughs too.

Mortimer stumbles a bit as he tries to answer, "No that would.. Bah!" BZZZZZT. Off the main stage he goes.

Negi just snickers from off stage, waiting his turn.,

Rainbow Dash steps on Pinkie's tail: BZZZZZZZZZZT Now time for Reina!

Rarity puts a hoof over her mouth to keep from laughing too hard at a joke about someone's mother in that manner. That would be uncivilized!… even if it was funny.

Reina jumps on, still giggling as she arrives. She finally regains her composure as she asks, "Are you going to say anything to me?"

"… did I forget my line?" Yunomi asks, blinking to Reina.

"How can you be forgetful when we're surrounded by aliens in a mall?" Reina asks, trying to make exaggerated gestures with her arms.

Tony Stark chortles appreciatively at Yunomi's latest.

Yunomi leaps behind Reina!

"THERE'S ALIENS AT THE MALL?!"

"If you didn't notice them here, then did you come here to get your eyes examined?!" Reina questions Yunomi in an extreme manner, pointing to Yunomi's eyes.

Sunshine is laughing uproariously by this point, even slapping his knee with an enormous golden hand. He'd wipe away a tear of mirth, but it'd just be absorbed into his face anyway.

"Is the optomitrist an alien?" Yunomi questions curiously, and mimes putting on a pair of glasses. Which end up being her goggles anyway.

Freya laughs at Yunomi's latest question.

Suddenly: BZZZZZZZZT

"Too long, Reina! Negi's turn!" Rainbow Dash announces!

Negi promptly hops onto the stage, and in a pannicky tone asks, "What do we do, what do we do?!"

"Aren't /YOU/ the planner?!" Yunomi asks, and hides behind Negi.

And puts on his glasses.

Negi blinks and asks, "Do I look like I'm qualified for this?

… and promptly puts his glasses back on him, shaking her head.

"… yes." Yunomi giggles, and then bounds off laughing.

BZZZZT! Now Mort's turn!

And Morty hops back onto the stage, looking around with wide eyes. "Do you think this is a bug hunt, man?"

The jokes about vision and seeing are something the sensor-laden ship-borne positronic can especially relate to. Orion almost never stops giggling or laughing through the last couple of jokes.

Freya thinks this is all very silly, and is enjoying it immensely.

Even though she was buzzed off, Reina still can't stop giggling.

Negi simply looks about and says, "Would that take too long to start?"

Morty looks at Negi puzzledly. "What are you talking about?"

Negi stares back, "Aren't we talking about the bug hunt starting?

Mortimer glares at Negi. "Haven't you been paying attention?!

Negi Springfield says, "Why wouldn't I be?"

Mortimer sighs exasperatedly, "Don't you know they could be in this room RIGHT NOW?!"

Negi pauses for a moment before just bluntly saying. "Yes. PRepare for your abduction."

BZZZZZZ goes the Pinkie Pie, buzzing Reina in!

Yunomi bursts into laughter, curling her body up a little.

Negi grins and hops off the stage.

Even though Rainbow Dash is rolling on her back laughing.

Before Reina can say anything, just as she's hopping on stage, Mortimer asks, "Do you think we're going to get out of this alive?" Staring off at nothing, wistfully.

Reina Kinney says, "Can you try to handle it?"

Mort looks sidelong at Reina. "Isn't that *your* job?"

Sighing, Reina says, "Why are you so interested in my line of work?

Mortimer's voice gets overly dramatic, "Don't you want to spend our last moments together?"

"Couldn't we at least have a last meal first, that is if the food court is still functioning?" Reina asks, gesturing in the direction of what would be where the food court is.

Mortimer looks thoughtful for a moment, "What would you like to have?"

Reina pauses for a moment. "Does anyone ever give thought to what their last meal would be?"

Negi just snickers back there.

Mortimer pauses too. "..No." Throws his hands up into the air, defeatedly.

Rainbow Dash somehow manages while laughing to slap on Pinkie's tail for a quick BUZZZZZ to buzz Yunomi in!

"Didn't I see you earlier?" Reina asks with a slight smirk.

"Did you find the optomitrist?" Yunomi questions. She's somehow gotten Negi's glasses, and is trying them on. Upside-down.

Negi Springfield HEY!

"Shouldn't we be looking for a way out of this madhouse instead?" Reina asks, gesturing for Yunomi to flip the glasses around

Yunomi does, and holds them so the handles are pointed out.

"Madhouse? Is it Christmas already?!"

"Do you believe in Santa Claus?" Reina asks, gesturing again.

"Didn't he beat Snake last year?" Yunomi asks, and does an action pose!

".. I don't even remember what topic this started on," Rarity murmurs between snickers, lost but amused.

"How would I know?" Reina says, scratching her head.

"I know, isn't it great!?" Wait, when did Pinkie Pie appear next to Rarity?

Because she's Pinkie Pie, that's when

"You could ask the aliens?" Yunomi suggests with a Grin.

"Do they even speak our language?" Reina asks, while pretending to take out a book and look at it.

"Isn't it on page six?" Yunomi says, leaning over Reina's shoulder and pointing. She mouths: Bah weep grah nah weep nini bong.

"Wait, were you the one who borrowed it previously without telling me?" Reina asks.

Twilight Sparkle blinks. "I find it highly unlikely that there would be a book about alien languages in a mall."

Tony Stark briefly places a hand over his face and giggles silently at that comment from the audience.

Rarity asides to Twilight "I think that's the joke, dahling."

Twilight Sparkle blinks again, looking to Rarity, then back to the stage. "..oh."

"… didn't I say it was for homework?" Yunomi asks embarrassedly, rubbing the back of her head.

"What grade are you in?" Reina asks.

"Aren't you in my science class?" Yunomi inquires back.

"No I'm not…" Then Reina facepalms. "DOH!"

Without Pinkie Pie, Dash has to make the buzzing sound herself. Between cracking up. "BZZZ BZZ BZZZZ! That's it, folks! Five hundred radical points to Yunomi for awesome use of goggles!"

Yunomi pats her Izzet goggles, and returns Negi's glasses to him with a quiet "sorry…"

Tony Stark grins and applauds, giving Yunomi a nod. Respect.

Negi just giggles and shakes his head, before taking them back and says, "I was thinking of getting Contacts eventually."

"You look good with or without them." Yunomi gives a smile to Negi, and goes and sits down grabbing a drink from her waterbottle with a nod to Stark.

After a second, Rainbow looks around her. Pinkie Pie hasn't popped up again yet! "Wait, where'd she… Ugh, figures." She rolls her eyes. "Guess it's the Rainbow Dash show! Next up, scenes from a hat! This is for Tony, Shizune, Reina and Morty."

"Where'd we put those scenes anyway?" Rainbow muses, rubbing the side of her head. She shrugs, and lifts the top hat off of her head. And causes dozens of little strips of paper to fall out on top of her.

She sighs out of the corner of her muzzle, causing her bangs to flare out and sending a few strips of paper to fly away. "Yeah, yeah. So, in this game we've got loads of awesome scene ideas from the audience in this hat." Dash sets the hat aside and starts picking up pieces of paper to drop back in it. "We're gonna see how many of these those guys can act out!"

Absently she takes a strip of paper off of her head. "We'll start with this one. It better be a cool one." A pause, and she blinks, looking a little confused as she reads out: "Things you can say to a wizard, but not your girlfriend."

Negi for whatever reason just finds himself walking to the center stage. Waiting for the onslaught.

After taking a few moments to think of something, Shizune smoothly stands up, looking a touch awkward, scratching the back of her head, and mutters in an almost dejected tone, "I think the magic is gone…"

Tony Stark pushes himself up, rolling his tongue thoughtfully in his cheek as he tucks his gum away again. He chucks his thumb over his shoulder. "So I was just out getting the staff polished…"

NEgi doesn't say a word."

Orion doesn't look like he gets it. His face is wrinkled with confusion.

Rarity puts a hoof over her mouth at the topic… and the responses it gets. "Oh my."

Twilight Sparkle headtilts. "What's wrong with polishing one's staff?"

Freya thinks on it for a secon. "oh dear.."

Rarity then facehoofs as lovably naive Twilight doesn't get it

Mortimer pops forward. "You know that robe really does make you look fat." And then pops back into line.

Pepper Potts has arrived.

Rainbow Dash makes the buzzing sound for Pinkie, who is rolling around giggling next to Rarity. Rainbow then plucks a piece of paper from her tail.

"Titles for Lotor's Biography," She says, barely managing to avoid snickering.

Bradley Carbunkle has arrived.

Yunomi bursts out laughing from her seat, snorting water.

Only vaguely familiar with Lotor, poor Shizune stays off to the side for this one.

Mortimer pops forward again. "How Green Was My Handstump." Pretending to read a book cover, and then back into line.

Tony Stark had just started to offer, "That's an amazing beard you have going there," but he cuts himself off at the new prompt. "Am I Blue?"

Sunshine's laughter has died down to some quiet snickering at both the people on stage and the reactions. Oh, this is well worth the price of admission.
Tony Stark then suggests, "How to Make Friends and Turn Them Into Hideous Monsters."

Meanwhile, out in the audience a grumpy looking redhead sat herself down with the official looking gentleman, and she cranes her head slightly, looking up for Tony on stage.

Yunomi gets up, unable to contain herself, and steps in. SHe looks at a 'book cover.

"Between the Lions…"

Mort walks forwards, pantomiming taking a book off the shelf. "Always Watch For Incoming Boots." Walks offstage, pretending to read.

Yunomi goes back to her chair giggling.

Negi steps onto the stage and mimes picking up a book, and reads the cover…
Negi Springfield says, "My secrets to making the entire Union Mad… Foreward written by Cossack.""

"BZZZ!" Goes the Dash, who is trying hard not to laugh too hard

And failing marvelously.

This time she actually has to go to the hat to pull one out at random.

"Difficult things to sell door-to-door."

Rarity holds a hoof up to her mouth to shout at the stage "Lotor's biography!"

Negi steps back to the stage, "How would you like to own the entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica."

"I Am not an Elf—" Tony again stops himself at the buzzer and reconfigures stance, assuming what he considers to be his hard-sell posture. "Sir can I interest you in these slightly used prophylactics?"

Mortimer steps back up. Gestures to himself.

Pepper's laughing in the audience, partially covering her mouth. THe official looking gentleman next to her is giggling, his face red.

*THUNK* That would be the sound of Rainbow Dash falling over on her table and laughing.

Negi walks back up to the stage, and displays, "Lotor's Biography… Forward Written by Cossack."

Tony Stark has to cover his mouth and laugh at Negi's offering, but he rallies with, "Have you accepted Goddish as your personal saviour?"

Mortimer goes back up again, pulling Tony along with him. "As you can see ma'am he's just the picture of good health, and for an extra five dollars we'll even shave the beard."

Tony Stark flexes helpfully.

Okay, that was too much even for her. Possibly because she gets the connotations involved better than some of her friends would… Either way Rarity starts laughing hard enough at Mortimer that she's got to lean on Pinkie Pie for support.

Then realizes Pinkie Pie is there in the first place. Blinks. "… Aren't you suppose to be helping Dash MC?"

That earns another wolf-whsitle from the audience

Tony Stark lifts one arm up high, miming holding up something large. "Fish?" he offers.

Mortimer runs into the audience real quick, picks up Rarity, and puts her on the stage. …And just gestures to her.

"Three dollars!"

"Eight dollars!"
"Three and a bag of sweedish fish!"

Despite laughing so hard, Rainbow manages a "BZZ-*haha*-ZZZZ! No points for that last one, Mort!"

She then gropes around inside the hat to grab a slip of paper from the hat. And once she reads it, bursts out laughing again.

Then, once she calms down a little, says: "What women really say about Tony Stark."

Rarity eeks as she's hauled off to the stage and put on display. She opens her mouth to say something snappy, but it's cut short by offers actually being shouted out. Blink.. and then she puffs her curled bangs with one hoof. "Well at least some people have good taste."

Pepper, in the audience, puts her hands over her mouth, and blushes.

Oh, what a gift. Tony makes a broadly thoughtful face, stroking his goatee, eyes seeking out that particular redhead in the crowd. He steps up to center stage, puts the microphone right up to his mouth, and breaths, "…oh my god."

Mortimer walks up on stage and gets a horrified look on his face. "The hell is that thing on your chin?"

Pepper turns a brilliant shade of red in the audience, her hands over her mouth as she laughs so hard that she begins to tear up.

With a quick step, Shizune trots up to the mic, leans in, and then makes a horrified face. "…oh my /god/."

Twilight Sparkle laughs!

At /that/ one, Potts completely loses it laughing.

"BAAAHAHAHAHAHAH!" Rainbow Dash laughs at Shizune, rolling around on her table.

And then rolls right off the table with a *THUD*

"Ow."

Negi Springfield just rolls laughing.

Yunomi is leaning back against her chair, laughing hard enough to turn the pinks inside her ears red.

Mortimer steps back up again. "Tony.. Sweetie.. …Leave the mask on."

Freya winces hearing that one then start laughing..

Negi Springfield just can't find it in himself to step onto the stage this time.

Tony Stark laughs heartily and gives Shizune a playful shove. Then puts up both hands in surrender.

Rarity -technically- isn't suppose to be in on this game, but seeing as she's already been dragged onto stage she decides to chim in anyways, seeing as she actually -is- a woman. Well, mare. Same difference. "I'm only dating him for the big shiny in his chest."

"Oh! Oh! My turn!" Wait, Pinkie was just… And now she's just…

Forget it, just forget it.

While Rainbow Dash is too busy laughing, Pinkie Pie plucks a piece of paper off of the table and reads:

"What Rainbow Dash does in her cloud home when she thinks she's alone."

THAT stops Rainbow's laughter. "HEY!"

"That's what it says, Dashie!"

Tony Stark rallies back promptly with, "Calls in light rainfall to the weather channel, then pees over the side."

Mortimer frowns at Stark. "You're supposed to pantomime it.." But shrugs, and goes up next. And then.. Mimies sleeping. Because everypony knows Dash is a lazybutt.

Without skipping a beat, Shizune trots right up to the mic again past Tony, shoots him the eternal 'Mr.-Stark-That-Is-Horrible' look, and then mimes reading a book. "…with… foreword… by… Cossack…"

Oh, right. Panto. Tony throws himself down on the stage and thrusts one hand out, examining his nails critically. An invisible phone is held up with one hunched shoulder. "And then I told him, 'no way, I would /so/ never go out with Tony Stark, the man has a GROWTH on his face. So gross!'"

Mortimer steps up again, begins acting like he's digging through stuff. "I know you're in ONE of these drawers, Pinkie!!"

Almost immediately, Shizune barks a surprised laugh before she can cover her mouth.

Rainbow Dash appears from the other side of the table to stick her tongue out at the others. Though she's grinning behind it, as she swipes the hat back off of the table.

"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up!"

"… And I only did that once!"

Wait, which part? Eh, she's probably just joking around.

She reaches into the hat and pulls out another strip.

Then starts snickering again. "Oh, this'll be awesome: Things you won't hear on the broadband radio."

Negi Springfield Steps forewards

Negi Springfield says… Nothing.

Negi Springfield walks off.

Tony Stark steps up to the mic again, clears his throat, leans in… and pointedly remains silent.

Mortimer walks up to the mic. "I'm the most chaste and nonviolent person you'll ever meet." Walks back to the line.

Yunomi, who apparently just didn't want to stay still any longer, walks up to the Mic, and executes Lotor's voice:

"… forward… by… Cossack…"

Yunomi bounces back to her seat to wait her turn again.

Blitz Raptor has arrived.

*WHUD WHUD WHUD* Rainbow Dash pounds on the table with a forehoof. The hat falls over, spilling the pieces of paper back over again, a few falling on top of her nose. Her laughter dies off just long enough so she can gather one of them up in her hoof to read.

"What Solid Snake hides in his cardboard boxes."

Freya just facepalms.

Negi steps onto the stage.

Well, Sunshine doesn't know Rainbow Dash very well, so he didn't actually get any of that last round. But the radio bit has him guffawing again. "Chaste and nonviolent, guofuofuo, it's so true!"

Tony Stark clears his throat, leans over the mic with hands clasped innocently behind his back, and /croons/, "First, you cut a hole in the box…"

Negi Springfield mimes lifting a box, and says, "Huh… Another box."

Inspired once more, Shizune takes a few steps forward, leans down as if peering in a box, and makes a confused face. "Mr. Stark?"

Mortimer steps up to the mic, pretends to be reading. "Foreword by Cossack.." Steps back into line.

Tony Stark snatches the imaginary box from Shizune and peers in, himself. "Oh my /god/…"

Unable to help herself, Shizune erupts into laughter.

Pepper apparently thinks this is pretty riotous, and is wiping at her eyes.

Rarity flops over in another fit of giggles in spite of herself

Mortimer steps up to the mic again, pretends to be looking into a box. "…Waldo!"

Yunomi hops up, and stands on her tip-toes to look inside the box.

"Otakon? What /is/ that?!"

"BZZZZZZZZZZZ" Goes the Pinkie Pie, who stepped on her own tail accidentally when she was laughing too hard.

"Oops, guess we're done with that one!"

Somehow, Rainbow Dash manages to make herself stop laughing. She's half sprawled out on top of the table, her other half flat out on the floor. "Yeah, yeah. Okay, what's up next Pinks?"

Pinkie Pie looks over to where the cards were supposed to be. Which are now strewn about everywhere when Rainbow was rolling around laughing. "Uhm…" She pauses. Then just grabs one. "Here we go! Ooooh! This is a goodie one!" She says, bouncing up and down a few times. "This one is superheroes! It's for Yunomi, Rarity, Negi and Tony!" A pause, "Wait, aren't they super-heroes already?" She shrugs a little, "Oh well! For this one they're going to be wacky fun super-heroes who are off to save the world from something!"

"Oh this'll be cool. Let's have Rarity start us out as our super-hero, and then she'll name the next one coming in, right?"

"Yup! And then the next! Oh, and we need extra super suggestions from the audience! We neeeeed a type of super hero for Rarity to be and a crazy funny crises!"

Not getting out of this one, Rarity!

"Junk Pony!"

"DRAMA QUEEN!
"She's already that.."

Rarity says, "MY PLOT IS JUST FINE THE SIZE IT IS!" Rarity shouts back at the 'Junk Pony' remark."

Rainbow Dash says jokingly, "Give us something she isn't already!"

Freya says, "Opera Man!"

Mortimer Balman immediately chokes on his water and begins coughing.

"AQUA PONY!"

"Explosion Mare"

"Diamond Mare!" someone from the audience shouts!

"What about Shower Gal!"

"SPANKY!"
Rarity makes a -._-. expression at the audience. "I hate you all right now."

"Oh! Oh! Explosion Mare! I like that one!" Pinkie Pie bounces a few times, then grabs a pencil and starts to scribble something down.

"Right, now what crises is she and the other super heroes going to be solving?" Rainbow calls out, grinning from ear to ear.
Freya says, "Baby sitting!"

"Shortage of Marshmallows!"

"There's no attractive men left in the world!"

"Fashion is out of date!"

"Changing a diaper!" Jinx shouts!

"AQUA PONY!"

"Schmooze!"

"Pinkie Pie has gone missing!"

"Fluttershy is /really/ Evil!"

"Doctor Whooves has arrived!"

Yunomi hops up as she grins from her seat, setting her water down as she stretches her arms.

"Hair salon robbery!"

"Her costume has a tear in it!"

"Evil cats from outer space!"

Yunomi on a surgar high!

"The sun is fake!"

"AQUA PONY!"

"Twice!"
Pepper Potts says, "No ice cream left in Equestria!""

Twilight Sparkle exclaims, "All the books are gone!"

"The rum is gone!"

Sunshine pitches in, "Someone stole all the sand from the beaches!"

Rarity lets out an exasperated sigh. "Well if I'm going to be forced to humiliating myself in public for the sake of charity." The fashionista trots off to the side of the stage, plucks down a curtain and snatchs up a towel with her magic, and trots back on stage with the curtain tied around her neck like a cape and, after using her horn to poke a pair of holes in it, ties the towel over her face as a mask. "I'm at least going to do it properly dressed for the part." Oi, does she ever not think of something fashion related?

"BUT WHY IS ALL THE RUM GONE?!"

"BECAUSE YOU DRANK IT ALL!"

Pinkie Pie gigglesnorts, "Sillies, I'm right here!"

Yeah, she doesn't get it.

"Baby sitting isn't exactly a crises," Remarts Rainbow Dash, sticking her tongue out.

"Oh, that's what /you/ think," She gets from Pinkie Pie. Rainbow Dash just rolls her eyes.

"Hair salon robbery is too obvious. Uh…" Rainbow rubs her chin a little. "I heard shortage of marshmallows! There we go!"

Pinkie giggles, bouncing up and down a few times. "That's a good one! Explosion mare! The world is running out of Marshmallows! What are you and your super duper extra awesome friends going to do!?"

Rarity closes her eyes and achems softly, taking a moment to get into character.

Then goes right back into her usual melodramatic act, foreleg to forehead. "Oh, the horror! All the marshmellows in the world are disappearing. And at the worst possible time, the superhero campout is this weekend. Whatever shall we do?"

The answer is apparently mimicing pulling out a celphone, dialing it, and holding it up to her head. "Yes, that's right. Marshmellows. Gone… what, no, I'm still here… Whatever! Get over here so we can figure out who I need to explode. Twice!"

Yunomi peers at Rarity, and she hops out, striking a dramatic pose! "I'm here!" she says, with /DRAMATIC ENTRY/.

"Oh thank goodness you're here," 'Explosion Mare' pauses a moment for effect, "Wet Towel Whipping Girl!"

Yunomi pantomimes rolling and whipping a towel, with appropriate whipcracking noise.

"What seems to be the problem, Explosion Mare?!" she calls out… whipcrack!

"All the marshmellows in the world are disappearing!" Rarity rears back, resuming her overly damatic posing. "Of all the terrible things to happen, this Is. The. WORST. POSSIBLE. THING."

And then pauses mid-pose to turn her head towards the audience. "Drama bomb."

Twilight Sparkle giggles
.
Rainbow Dash double face-hoofs.

Others groan.

Rarity asides towards the desk. "You never did specify -what kind- of explosion."

Morty just bursts into laughter, slamming his fist on the arm of his chair.

Tony Stark patiently waits for his cue to come in, covering his mouth with a curled fist and snickering into it.

Rainbow Dash just shakes her head, groaning at the awful pun.

Rarity ahems. Making Dash groan makes her night right there. Turns back to the towel girl. "I think we're going to need more help…."

Sunshine joins Mort in his raucous laughter, his cheeks stained dark by those mirthful tears.

"What?! That's AWFUL — this is even worse than finding Tony Stark in Snake's /box/! How am I ever going to have my s'mores now?!" she pauses, and her face straightens, and she goes "… oh my…."

Then she turns to Rarity again, quite serious. "We're going to have to call in the re-enforcements to the Awesome League of Heroes. ALlow me to Introduce my new sidekick — Dances-Everywhere Lad!"

Negi pops in, and is already doing the Tango before he even gets onto stage, "You could have waited a little longer for me…" He tugs Yunomi and begins a Tango with her. "What's the dillema?"

Even Twilight is giggling. And her sense of humor is not the sharpest!

"It's a bit late for Things Women Say To Tony Stark," Rarity retorts to that waited for me line. "We need to do something about this marshmellow crisis, before I explode from frustration!"

Off to one side, Shizune's eyes go wide behind her glasses. She has to cover her mouth to laugh again.

Yunomi gives a squeal as she's pulled into a tango, and she lets Negi lead, pantomiming towel-whipping at the turns and pauses, and she draws up close to Negi, looking him in the eyes.

"SHould we call out the /special reserves/?" she inquires… punctuating with a whipcrack.

Negi smiles and spins Yunomi out and says, "I'll give our last ally a call right now!" As he begins to tapdance.

Tony Stark leaps into the fray. "I heard your Morse-tapping, Always Dancing Lad. What's the trouble?"

Twilight Sparkle giggles. "Morse-tapping! A clever reference to how Morse code can be tapped out, and tap dancing!" Thanks Twilight.

Negi looks to Tony and says, "Aqua Pony! You've shown up just on time! The world is running out of Marshmallows." Negi suddenly hops over to Rarity and pulls her onto her high legs for a tango of her own.

At the end of her spin, Yunomi gives another whipcrack, and giggles as she crowd goes wild.

Tony Stark is now Aqua Pony.

Tony Stark immediately drops to his hands and knees and then 'rears' up heroically. "If my ability to talk to fish can help, then I am at your service, fellow heros!" And then, for no discernable reason, "Shoo-shoo be doo!"

And the Crowd Goes Wild.

THUNK, Rainbow Dash hits the ground again laughing again.

And Mortimer falls out of the chair laughing.

Freya just shakes her head and start laughing..

Sunshine doesn't get it. He doesn't care. He accidentally knocks the guy next to him out of his seat from slapping his back too hard.

Rarity is struggling to not make her next explosion one of laughter, even as she's danced around by Negi. "As long as you can do something more useful. Last time all you did was get tanked."

"Ba-dum—" WHIPCRACK!

"To be fair, it was a… fishy situation — but this is even worse. Aqua Pony, can you ask your Fishy Friends to tell us where they have—" CRACK! CRACK! "… seen the Marshmallows go?"

Tony Stark hangs his head. "With great power comes great responsibility. Sometimes it's just more than an Aqua Pony can handle… Yes, Wet Towel Whipping Girl. I shall use my great power to ask the FISH what's happened." He 'trots' a little way across the stage and mimes sitting up to hook his front 'hooves' over the edge of a fishtank, and plunges his head in. "FRIEND FISH!" he shouts, trying to make his voice sound warped and wobbly. It ends up sounding a bit like Zoidberg. "Have you seen the missing marshmallows?"

He pauses, pretending to listen. Nods a couple of times, pulls his head out and shakes vigorously like a wet dog. Deep breath. "They don't know anything," he reports.
Tony Stark rears up again and neighs triumphantly, "Shoo be doo!"

Negi in the mean time releases Rarity's hooves and just begins to do the Robot.

Tony Stark gallops triumphantly off the stage!

Negi then spins and says, "I'll make haste to the Stars. I'll dance among them until they reveal the secrets of the missing marshmallows…" And he proceeds to Riverdance off the stage.
"Worst… super heroes… ever…" Rainbow Dash manages between fits of laughter.

"As for me, I know /all/ the ways into the locker room dens of The Evil Jock. I'll… do my investigating there!" Whip-CRACK! "Until we meet again, Explosion Mare! AWAY!" And Yunomi heads offstage!

Rarity does an increasingly noticable eye twitch as each 'hero' makes their proclimation and proceeds off the stage. "The world.. is.. so doomed… I CANT TAKE IT ANY LONGER!"

And there's an *explosion* of light. And then just the cape and mask flop to the floor afterwards.

Of course Rarity just made a bright flash with her magic and ditched the costume to run off stage when no one could see her.

"Guofuofuofuo, oh that slaps me on the knee." Sunshine manages to get out once his laughter dies down again. Alright, what's the next skit going to be, he wonders?
And the crowd (Plus Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie) just erupts in laughter and applause. Mostly laughter.

It takes a few minutes, but the two pony mares finally manage to get over their laughter. Pinkie Pie bounces up first, gigglesnorting with each bounce.

"That was fandifertastic! Amazerific! Way to go, super heroes!" She gigglesnorts, "Even though you didn't actually save the day. Oh well, we'll find the marshmallows later!"

"Pinkie Pie, you are SO random." Rainbow says as she pushes herself back up to all four hooves. "So what do we have next?"

"Oh, it's a good one, but it's also the last one," Pinkie Pie says, looking a little sad. "But that's okay, because we all had a super amazing fun time, right!?"

A massive cheer rises from the crowd for all of the 'cast' on stage.

"Yup! And since it's the last one, we're going to do a /hoedown!/"

Which ilicits a groan from Rainbow Dash. "Good luck with that one guys. I'm so glad I'm -HEY! Let go!"

She finds herself abruptly being pushed out into the open by Pinkie Pie, who has pinned Rainbow's wings down so that she can't just fly off.
"Nuh-uh, Dashie! It's in the rules that the host has to join the others in a hoe down! And I just knoooowww you love hoedowns!"

"I do not!"

"Silly, of course you do! Now, we need to announce our winner who'll co-host with me for it!"

Pinkie Pie pauses, rubbing at her chin. "Our winner is…" She closes her eyes, swirls her forehoof around, and then abruptly points at one of the contestants.

Landing on Tony.

"Tony Stark! Congrats, Tony! You're our winnerific winner who gets to co-host with me for the Hoedown! Yunomi, Negi and Mort will get to Hoedown with Dashie!"

"Now we juuuust need something to sing about!" Pinkie Pie turns away from the glowering Rainbow Dash to the audience, "Okie dokie, audience! Give us something that reaaaally ticks you off!"

"LOTOR!"

"XIANG!"

"JELLY!"
"RUSTY NAILS IN YOUR SHOES!"

"WUBS!"

Twilight Sparkle calls out, "Overdue books!"

"TONY STARK!"

"THE RUM IS ALL GONE!"
Tony Stark thrusts both fists in the air like an Olympic gold medalist, bows graciously and jogs over to stand by Pinkie Pie. "I second Tony Stark!" he calls out.

"I DRANK IT LIKE YOU SAID!"

"Lemons!"

A white unicorn mare with a blue mane pokes her head out from behind the piano on the side of the set. "I heard that, Tavi!"

"SOUR MILK!"

"AQUA PONY!"

"Snake's box!"

"Dude, enough with the aqua pony already."

"Lotor's book!"

"FRIENDSHIP!"

Twilight Sparkle blinks. "Hey!"

"GET HIM!"

"Who the hell let Chris Brown in here?"

Tony Stark cups his hands to his mouth. "The lemons are on fire!"

But there was only a mysterious patch of sand where Sunshine was sitting a few moments ago.

"YEAH TAKE THOSE LEMONS!"
"… Birds!"

"UNCLEAR LOVE INTERESTS!"
"OH MY /GOD/!"

"Ponies who think they know fashion but actually know nothing!"

Rarity heys! "I heard that!"

"PINKIE PI—-" WHACK!

"UNFAIR DISTRIBUTION OF HANDS AMONGST SPECIES!"

Lyra glances back and forth as Bonbon and Carrot Top glare at her from either side. "What? It sounded rediculous enough!"

Pepper looks back. Someone just got hit with a cake.

"I second the fashion remark!"

"Not sitting in chairs properly!"

"Eeeeeviiiiiil!"

"MUFFINS!"

"Hey! I /like/ muffins!"

"Mmmm. … muffins.."

"Worn out shoes!"

"MATH!"

"CHECK LISTS!"

"WOMANIZERS!"
Rarity then blinks a few times at the stage. "… Huh, I figured Pinkie Pie would be doing the musical number."

"Someone already said Tony Stark!"

Mortimer Balman eyes out at the audience at the womanizers comment.. Oh they meant Stark.

"PANTS!"

"Oh wow, so many goodsie woodsie ideas," Says Pinkie Pie after she bounces back up to the table with Tony.

She cants her head to the side, hmmming. "Oh! Lemons! They're always so sour and full of themselves! And they catch on fire when you least expect it!" She slaps one forehoof in the other. "Okay guys, you're doing the lemon hoedown! With musical guest, Vinyl Scratch!"

Behind the piano, the white unicorn raises up a hoof and waves it vigorously. Then someone pushes away the piano, and there's DJ PON-3's mixing table there behind it instead.

At first it produces what sounds like a regular hoedown on the piano.

Then the beat drops, and it turns into a hoedown dubstep.
Tony Stark turns and casts a bemused look over the audience at that, purses his lips, shakes his head and tsks.

Out in the audience, Pepper just gives a smile, leaning back in the grass a bit as her boss is having a /grand/ ol' time up on stage.

Rarity purses her lips. "Lemons? Let's hope this doesn't hit a sour note…."

"Like your fashion sense!"

Mortimer, being first to go, steps up and begins doing that little step-dancing-in-place thing.. Pausing only to look at Scratch for a minute. Shaking his head and rolling his eyes, he'd go back to doing the step-dance-in-place, and try to think of how to rhyme to freakin' /dubstep/. Nobody RHYMES to dubstep. >:| but oh well, here goes.

"Boy do I hate lemons, I think they really suck. Every time I eat them, my mouth just gets stuck! There's no way you can enjoy them, not with any class. So take your friggin' lemons, and shove them up your.. …Nose."

Nice save there, Morty.

Tony Stark catcalls, "Nose doesn't rhyme with class!"

"This is a charity event." Rarity turns and GLARES back at the audience for the fashion comments. "So don't make me come back there and charitously Love and Tolerate your smartflanks!" Hfffs and sits back down…. Fortunately Morty's start off picks up her mood and she starts snickering again, then starts stomping her hooves along.

Negi is up next, and he sort of grooves to the Dubstep for a while, just sort of getting the hang of it, before stepping forward.

"I once was handed lemons, and told to make lemonade.
"but as it turns out, those lemons missed the grade.
"I suppose I would have liked to give those lemons back
"But at least it's not a book, with a forward by Cossack…"

Tony Stark collapses over the table with a thunk, his ribs heaving with laughter. He manages to pick himself up and bellow, "Get some new material!"

"Drop the beat!" Yunomi calls out, and she brings up her goggles, and in her hands two glowing balls of light appear, just the right size to be lemons, leaving light trails behind them as she nods to the beat.

"I thought I needed lemons, so I went down to the store,"
when I thought I had them, they hadn't any more. I found some at the farmstand, but it kind of missed the mark — though the box was scribbled 'Lemons', I had picked up Tony Stark!"

It should be Pinkie Pie doing the hoedown out here! Why did she make Rainbow Dash do it? The rainbow maned pegasus in a spiffy tophat hmphs when the music starts and folds her forelimbs over her chest. After a second though, she starts to tap a hoof a little to the beat. She's still frowning, but she cants her head slightly to the side, listening to the dubstep beat.

Okay, so maybe it's not SO bad.

And when the others start to go off on theirs, she starts to grin a bit, and unfolds her forelimbs from her chest, her head beating slightly in time.

"I thought I liked lemons, I thought they were so cool"
"They made such great drinks, but colt was I a fool!"
"Then one day the lemon factory became a frier!"
"Who would have known that lemonds could catch on fire!"

Negi just calls out the last line of Rainbow Dash's verse with everyone else, "COULD CATCH ON FIIIREEEE!"

Yunomi loops an arm around Negi's shoulder as she sings the last line with him and Dash, and at the end presses a little kiss to his cheek for him being /such/ a good sport about stealing his glasses, multiple times.
As they finish off the last line, Pinkie Pie hops back up on top of the table, making it wobble.

"Thank you everyone! Thank you! You've been supermegaawesomeazing tonight!"

She hops off of the table again to bounce up to where the others are, hopping up next to Rainbow Dash.

"Take a bow, everyone, take a bow!"
*APPLAUSE*

Start Part 2
BGM: Darren Korb - Brusher Patrol (http://youtu.be/BYaFbFLAQlQ)

Last time on Return of Harmony: Let the Games Begin!

As the Harmony Knights and their friends made way for the maze that seems like it may promise to have the Elements of Harmony, they ran smack dab into the Lord of Chaos himself, Discord.

Not only taking away the knights ability to fly and use magic, he separated the two groups. He sent the Harmony Knights into what he called the 'Maze of Harmony' (All GM poses have *MOH* in front of Maze of Harmony sections). And he sent their friends into the peppermint candy walled labyrinth he called the Maze of Disharmony (All GM poses have the *MOD* in front of Maze of Disharmony sections).

The Harmony Knights were separated as soon as they could put one hoof forward announcing 'TOGETHER!'. On the other side of the labyrinth, their friends were allowed stay together - But for how long.

Dimensions in the mazes quickly became warped and confusing, and both sides quickly learned that getting through them is not going to be easy. And cheating? It's hard to cheat against a god o chaos who knows all the tricks.

But things… Are not as they seem.

Things have been quiet for Twilight Sparkle… Too quiet, after a brief chat with the God of Chaos.

Applejack had a little run in at the Garden of Truth. To her it was revealed that the friendship between the Harmony Knights would be broken as a result of their mission. And since re-uniting with Twilight Sparkle, she's been acting a little… Strange.

Fluttershy, oh poor, sweet little Fluttershy. She thought that those butterflies were perfectly innocent, despite the fact that they were talking butterflies. But she would be so unlucky as to find out that they were Discord himself, as he forced a magic spell upon her shouting, 'ARRIVADERCI!' before disappearing from sight.

Pinkie Pie has found the PARTY OF HER LIFE. Balloons GALORE! Confetti and all the best party fixings she could possibly imagine! It'd be the time of her life, honestly! At least, until one of the many laughing and cheering balloons wraps its string around her leg, and trips her up.

That's when the sound of the laughter changes…

As for Rarity and Rainbow Dash, aside from the warped geography of the strange maze, things have been… Overall quiet. So far.

Meanwhile, in the Maze of Discord:

It didn't take long for the group to get seperated. Yuna and Charr were the first to be broken from the rest. And as luck would have it, they met up with a strange three headed hydra with heads called Tim and Bob. … They never bothered to get the third's, but it was probably just 'Toast'. But did they pick the right door or the wrong door?

Either way, their leads back out into the confusing maze, where they might hear clucking for a second - Before it dies off.

As for Knight Pegasus, the Honorable Knight had a run in with some garden statues. And a chicken… in the worst possible sand trap ever. But is it really a chicken? Luckily, Knight's soothing tone calmed it. At least a little bit. When he offers the thing his tail, it grabs on with its beak and wings to start to pull itself out.

Stuck behind another hall, Staren and Captain Marvelous and his crew were having a race towards the laughter! It's getting louder the further they get down the hall, and they can see what seem to be spotlights ahead of them…

And now, we return to the episode already in progress.

No sooner had Discord disappeared than Twilight rounded a corner with AJ in tow. "Fluttershy! I'm so glad you are alright!" Twilight exclaims, running toward Fluttershy and aiming to wrap a hug around Fluttershy's neck. "I was starting to feel concerned! But, nothing can stop us! Right?" she says to her friends.

"That's right, Twi." Applejack agrees, but it somehow sounds a lot less sincere than usual. She's still glancing around nervously. Very strange.

Fluttershy blinks. Her expression hardens, and she brings her forelegs up, and gives a hard /PUSH/.

"Oh, /boo hoo hoo/. So concerned for 'pooor little Fluttershy'. Well, why didn't you find ME first with that /stupid/ magical horn of yours!" she points, "Oh… /wait/." she touches her hoof to her cheek. "It's /gone/! And you're /totally/ useless without it!"

"Eep!" *splat* The strings around her back legs causes Pinkie Pie to trip, and fall facefirst into the only puddle in middle of the whole area. Not even a chocolate rain puddle either, just a normal mud pie making mud puddle. And Pinkie Pie really isn't in the mood for mud pies with real mud right now. She spits a stream of it out, then quirks an ear at the laughing. Shakes a bit out of her mane and turns her head to see who's laughing. Maybe she found her friends and they're laughing because taking a sudden dive into a puddle is kind of funny. "Helloooo?"

SUDDENLY, something bursts through a wall of the hedgemaze, and there stands Earth Pony Raditz, his wings having been taken away, "Oh, I am SO done with this maze!" Already a hoof raised up, ready to charge up an energy blast so he can blast into the center.

Yuna is still somewhat out of sorts as she emerges from the door (wherever she and Charr came out), and starts trying to get her bearings. It would be a big help if she could get Elner to help with mapping … assuming the maze is even consistent enough to be mappable in the first place.

The best she can do at the moment is follow the sound of voices.

*MOD*

AND THEN, part of a candy wall near Yuna shatters and HEERREEE'S RADITZ!
OH YEAH!

Once the chicken(?) has a good enough grip Knight Pegasus starts to flap his wings…gently, so as not to blast sand around and make things worse. "Alright, ready? Here we go." And then he starts to flap his way over to the edge of the sand pit…hopefully with chicken(?) in tow.

Unfortunately? It's not a chicken.

Once Knight drags it out of the sand, it becomes most obviously something else, because where there SHOULD be chicken legs, it has the green, long body of a serpant.

As soon as the 'chicken' is back on solid ground though, it lets go, clucking happily. Then starts pecking at the grass. Is it kissing the ground? Oh, who knows. But whatever it's doing, the cockatrice is awfully happy to be on the ground again. It doesn't seem all that eager to turn Knight into stone at the moment.

"AUGH!" Well, something doesn't sound all that happy that the cockatrice is back on solid ground. "Are you /joking/ me!? What sort of knight are you?!" Discord's voice rings out. Luckily, it's /not/ coming from the bizarre lizard chicken. Sure enough, Discord appears in a flash of light. The cockatrice gives out a frightened cluck, then huddles up behind Knight. "That thing's a menace! Turning things to stone, UGH. Just. UGH! It makes me SICK!"

So he might have a slight adversion to being stoned.

With a motion of his hand, the sand raises up out of the pit, leaving a seemingly bottomless pit. Then, he drops it down on top of Knight, forming an elaborate sand-castle around him.

"Guard THAT, oh brave 'knight'! HAH!"

"Everyone deserves a chance," the pegasus replies, though he's not sure if Discord is still listening. Nor does he care. Then he glances vaguely in the general direction of the cockatrice. "You should probably come with me. I don't think he sounds very fond of you." Was that a hint of a smile on the reploid's face? Nah, probably just imagining things. Either way he sets out in a random direction, extending one of his wings to rake against the sand wall as he passes. Just to see how sturdy it is.

"Oh… Um… Excuse me?"

There's a different sort of voice. Just from behind Knight in the sand castle. There… wasn't anyone else in there before, was there? Except for the cockatrice, and that just gives a confused cluck.

Standing in the corner of the sand castle is a butter yellow pony. She may almost be mistaken for that one pegasus that had come with them. But… She's not. The voice is slightly off, her hair is in a different, shorter style, and instead of three butterflies, the look to be three blossoms on her flank.

"… Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to intrude. But that was very kind of you… I'm sure the cockatrice is very sorry about all the different ponies that it turned to stone. Aren't you?" That last bit was directed at the cockatrice itself.

It clucks forlornly, and … actually looks down, as if a little remorseful.

"As long as he can put them back I suppose it's no problem." Knight glances between the cockatrice and the pony. Was it hers? It certainly seemed to respond to her as if that were the case. "Who are you, and how did you get here?" he asks, not unkindly, though still rather brisk…no sense dawdling in a place like this. Who /knows/ what that Discord has planned. She could even be involved…though he keeps that thought to himself for now. Just in case she turns out to be an innocent.

With a little eep, the yellow pony puts a hoof up to her muzzle. "Oh… I'm sorry… I didn't introduce myself… I'm… Um…" The next part is muttered out, barely audible. But the robot's auditory sensors might be able to hear 'an echo of Kindness'. She eeps again, and backs agaisnt the wall - Which doesn't crunch like it should if someone was touching it. Come to think of it, she is a little… translucent, as if she isn't actually there.

"I… I'm sorry. I'm here because … oh… you were so kind to that poor thing. Um. But I don't have much time… That mean, awful Discord… he's doing something and we think we know what."

The image fades out briefly, as if it were a signal that was being lost. It returns again, but dimly. "I don't have much time… But the girls, the Elements… I'm afraid something very bad is happening and… and they need to remember…"

It's dimming faster by the second.

"… 'Roar of the beast… gone in one bite…' … When she's ready, I mean…"

Then, she's gone.

"Knight Pegasus. Nice to meet you." His expression softens somewhat as she tries to back into the wall. Is this what a ghost is like, then? (Though a small part of his mind points out she could easily have been an illusion). "I'll make sure they get the message," he says soberly, even giving the girl a crisp salute with one of his hooves before setting out once again. "And thank you."

He then goes quiet because really, who knows what kind of stuff Discord might have put in this castle? No sense in getting ambushed. His optics rove the area ahead as he walks, keeping alert for traps or ambushes.
As for the castle itself, it crunches, like sand. Then a wall falls, threatening to bury Knight in sand. But other than that, it's just a sand castle that the reploid would have to dig his way out of - And probably get sand in places that are better off not getting sand in.
But the cockatrice helps dig.

The Go-Onger!Gokaigers continue whooshing forwards. "Laughter… and spotlights? Did he set up a comedy club?" Don wonders.
"At this point, nothing would surprise me," Marvelous answers. "Let's keep moving!"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!" Yuna leaps about half *again* her pony-form height as Raditz abruptly powers through the candy hedge with an energy blast charging. "Be careful where you point that thing, I'm *right here* you could've nailed me with it!!"

Raditz rolls his eyes as he keeps charging that ball of ki on his hoof, "Oh come on, I've been keeping track of everyone's ki, no chance I'd have hit you. Anyway, I'm gonna make a short-cut, and there's nothing Discord or whatever his face can do to stop -this-." And he's about ready to lob the blast and try to plow through the maze.

Was there a rule about this? If there wasn't, Discord might wanna make an Ammendment.

*MOH*

The laughter around Pinkie Pie becomes harsh and cruel, and it quickly becomes obvious that the ballons aren't laughing with her, they're laughing /at/ her. One balloon in particular breaks away from the rest of them. Like the rest, it has a face on it, but this one has sort of a snaggle tooth, and one eye that's bigger than the other. "What's the matter, Pinkie Pie?" Discord doesn't even bother changing his voice this time. But he does manage to almost make it sound concerned. "I thought you liked a good party and a good laugh?"

Whoever set up today's itinerary didn't tell Rarity that there was outdoor sports set up. Did the path she just walked up and down do a loop-de-loop? Don't ask how that works. But in this maze, geography and gravity all seem to be rather messed up.

But as she passes by one path, something shiny might briefly catch her eye.

*MOH*

The Gokaigers and Staren come out of the hall to find… Someone has set up what looks to be a comedy bar at the end of the hall. There are tables full of… bears. Bears that are dressed in suits and shirts and shorts. And they're laughing. Laughing bears. A club full of laughing bears. Well, some people might find that funny.

Up on the stage there's a bear standing upright in front of the microphone. He has a wild looking hairdo, and is wearing a pair of bermuda shorts. "Thank you, thank you! And for our next guess, please welcome Equestria's /oldest/ blank flank, the palace gardener!" He motions to the side, and spotlights focus on a very old, brown pony wearing a raggedy cap and with a corn cob pipe. He tries to dig his hooves into the ground as he's being pushed out by several wild cats in suits.

Aside from Raditz, nothing comes out at Raditz and Yuna. As for where his Ki senses are leading him… It's telling him back through the hole he just made, now.

Staren skates into the 'club', ready for whatever nefarious trick Discord might have for him…

…Okay, he wasn't ready for this. A… bear comedy club. He just kind of stands there open-mouthed for a moment, until he's given something to focus on. That gardner! A blank flank at his age, really? That's sad… but he doesn't deserve to be laughed at! "Hey!" Staren strides towards the stage, dramatically pointing at MC Bear. "Can't you see he doesn't want to be laughed at?! Let him go!"

Twilight winces at the shove from Fluttershy, then blinks a few times. "Wh-…what..?" she says, confused, and a little hurt. She looks to Applejack, then back to Fluttershy. "What…happened to you two? Are you sure you're alright?" Twilight says, obvious concern in her voice. She looks between her two friends for any clues about what mind have happened to them.

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Standing up for the less fortunate!

"Ah didn't notice anythin' wrong." Applejack answers, then glances around a few more times.

"WHat/ever/." FLuttershy states as she walks over to Applejack, and she narrows her eyes. "What's up with your /eyes/. Seriously, did you get kicked in the head or something?" She asks cruelly, "Maybe it's an improvement if you fell outta the appletree."

Applejack reels back a bit underneath Fluttershy's glare, shaking her head. "Nope! Nothin' wrong with anythin', everythin's fine!"

With a flash, the Gokaigers return to their civilian forms, looking around that the bizarre surroundings. "Indeed," Ahim de Famille says, agreeing with Staren as she steps forward. "It's clear he doesn't want to be here. Release him!"

Pinkie Pie pauses at the talking balloon as she gets up, then squints one eye at it. "Oh, it's you." It's… almost scary that she takes all this so casually. Then again, she -is- the most chaotic of the six herself. "Well, yeah. But you're not suppose to laugh -at- ponies. You laugh -with- them, like my friends do when I do something silly to entertain them." Snorts and rolls her blue eyes the other way. "For a guy with a sense of humor you sure don't know a lot of about laughter."

Rarity made the outdoor sports crack in the first half of the episode already. Sheesh. Doesn't matter, by this time she's given up on trying to make sense of the maze and just focus on finding her friends and getting out of it. She almost doesn't notice the sparkle but backs up a few moments later. "Was that?…" All the necklaces do have a gemstone in them, after all. "Oh, what a time to be without my gem-finding magic!", she complains, but takes off down the new path all the same.

Twilight can hardly believe her eyes and ears! Applejack….can't be that oblivious, can she? But…wouldn't that have to mean she is…lying? But…that's impossible!! And Fluttershy! She's…being mean! Fluttershy -can't- be mean! Well…she has shown some forcefulness a few times, such as against the dragon atop the mountain outside Ponyville, but…she's the Element of Kindness! She's never actually mean!

Twilight can only stare in disbelief for a few moments, her ears flat against her head. She headshakes as if trying to clear away this imposibility in front of her, but it doesn't help, which makes her mmph softly. "Alright…let's just keep going. We still have to find Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, -and- the Elements." Feeling a bit annoyed at her two friends, Twilight clops off into the maze again. Her ears perk, and she speeds up a bit.

Was that laughter she heard?

About Raditz's ball of energy that he plans on throwing in order to create a shortcut through the maze? The Saiyan-Pony growls and lobs the ki blast at a wall, expecting it to go right through and punch a hole through the maze… However, rather than working properly, the blast SUDDENLY repels Raditz BACKWARDS, like a rocket, sending him crashing back through the hole he made in the wall, with no damage done. "Ugh… That is… NOT how that's supposed to work…"

SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Raditz doesn't get to make himself a shortcut via energy blast. Instead is sent flying backwards. Pain happens

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - Liarjack Liarjack, pants on Firejack.

SUMMARY - Fluttershy «< - You won't like me when I'm discorded!
SUMMARY - Twilight Sparkle «< - I don't like you guys when you are discorded!!
SUMMARY - Applejack «< - I like you guys when you are discorded!!!
SUMMARY - Fluttershy «< - Boo hoo hoo, why don't you write a letter?
SUMMARY - Discord «< - I LOVE you all when you're discorded!~
SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Bullsh*t

*MOH*

Around and around Pinkie Pie the Discord Balloon floats. He tilts to the side, as if canting to the side in innocence or confusion. "Oh really? It's hardly different than what your so called friends do all of the time!" He lets out a chuckle, and five balloons bob away from the rest of the pack. One is blue, another is white, a third is purple, and two more are yellow and orange. They all have faces sort of similar to those of the harmony knights. As they swirl around Pinkie Pie, they begin to laugh sarcastically at her. "HA HA HA HA HA~!"

It doesn't take long for Rarity to come to the end of the path. Dead end, already!? Bad luck, Rarity!

But wait, what was that?

Three gemstones glitter in the dead end wall. Three bright, glowing crystals, about the same shape as Rarity's cutie mark.

"Welcome," Says Discord's voice as his face is briefly reflected in the gemstones, "It's your lucky day, Rarity! You've found the one thing in Equestria that could rival my face for sheer beauty." He snickers quietly, "What do you think? You like?"

*MOD*

A bear bar! Who'd have thunk it? All of the bears laugh loudly at the old gardener as he's forced up on stage. It's… really a strange sort of sound really, sort of a mix between a laugh and a roar all at once. They don't even stop when Staren and the Gokaiger's try to tell them to stop.

The comedian bear at the top of the stage roars in laughter, "Oh, look, we have a couple of people who think they know what /real/ comedy is about! Look at this kid! What's with the skin?! He looks like a really skinny hairless cat that got up on his hind legs and started talking!" All around him, the bears roar in laughter.

CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH. One by one, Raditz crashes through peppermint candy walls. Since when were those things so fragile? Or maybe it's just works for a saiyen.

The downside is though that he would very quickly loose track of Yuna. He wouldn't even be able to sense her anymore. And to make matters worse… The holes he just burst through are closing up very quickly.

Staren is unsurprised at the MC's attention shifting. He can take it more than some poor pony… Especially when the bear doesn't come up with anything _really_ insulting. "Yeah, yeah, laugh it up." He keeps walking and leaps up onto the stage. "You call that a joke? Man, this poor audience, they must have forgotten what _real_ humor is like if they're laughing at you! Gimme that!" He makes a grab for the mic, but if the MC won't give it up, eh, fine.

"So, my neighbor came over at 3 in the morning last night to talk to me! Cane you believe it, 3 in the frickin' morning! He was pounding on the door, making a real racket… It's a good thing I wasn't asleep! Fortunately, I was up practicing my drums!"

SUMMARY - Staren «< - rolling Perform (Comedy)

Pinkie Pie takes a few steps back as the balloons start to float towards her. "It is -not- the same thing. What good is it to laugh if it's not making others happy?" Uh oh. Suddenly this party wasn't so fun after all. Ears flop as even the usually overly energy pink pony starts to slink a bit. ".. Can I just go out of the maze now? This game isn't very fun any more…"

Hard to tell if it's Discord's magic or just her imagination getting overactive again, but some of those cruel laughing balloons start to actually look like her friends…. ;_;

Raditz grits his teeth and blinks as the walls close up behind him, prompting him to get back up to his hooves and charge right back at the candy wall, in order to break through it just like he did before.

THIS TIME TO NO AVAIL. Instead, Raditz only crashes hard against it, and groans. "What gives…? Oh right, crazy bonkers Discord…" He grumbles and gets moving, following his Ki sense for the others once more, despite the fact that his sense is being thrown off entirely. Pretty sure Twilight Sparkle is somewhere…

SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Following his Ki sense for Twilight Sparkle. Probably failing. Badly.

Alas, if she had her horn and her magic she might of sensed that gemstone studded rock wall coming up as she turned that last bend. But such is naught, and her hurried pace is brought to a crashing halt as she thuds into the stone and falls backwards on her flanks. Squeezes her eyes shut as she rubs her head with a hoof. "ooo… Dumb rock!"

She gets up just as Discord speaks, blinking once as she realizes the stones are in the same arrangement as her mark. Being marred by the distorted image of that fiend's reflection, but still. She trots a few steps closer, eyes starting to do the swirly thing. "Oh, I liiike…"

But then she stops abruptly, shaking her head a few times to clear. "No! I shant not be mislead by your cheap trickery!" Hissing at the gems she turns and starts to walk the other way, but it only takes a few moments before she's grunting and straining as if trying to pull against an unrelenting drag. "Be strong Rarity… you need to find the girls… once you have your magic back… just a little… farther…"

Then just as suddenly whirls around and leaps for the bedazzled stone, making up for her lack of magic by giving it a few good hoof blows with that pony-karate she's been learning.

"MINE!!!!"

Meanwhile, in a different part of the maze, Knight Pegasus emerges from a gigantic mound of sand that might, at one point, have been a castle. Though he's carrying a cockatrice by the scruff of its neck, he doesn't seem to be in the slightest bit winded (reploid remember?). Once he's free he sets the sorta-chicken down and shakes himself out like a giant dog, though it doesn't get all (or even most) of the sand out. Oh well, he's dealt with worse. For a moment, Knight considers plowing ahead…then he remembers something and starts to backtrack, gesturing with his head. "Come on, let's go put everything back to normal before we move on."

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Backtracking to unstone things (he's lawful good…mostly)

"What… are you doing?" Marvelous questions, as Staren starts to do his own stand-up.
"It's as good an idea as any," Joe points out. "There must be some sort of puzzle for us to get past here. Since it's a comedy club, maybe we have to tell jokes?" The team's eyes all fall on Don, who looks around nervously.
"…I have to be the one to do it?" he asks.
"Sure. You're the designated comic relief on the Galleon after all," Marvelous says. They continue to listen to Staren's efforts while Don tries to think of some jokes himself.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Is it a joke puzzle?

*MOH*

Around and around the balloons gather around Pinkie Pie. All laughing at her. And not pleasantly at that. No, this is harsh laughter, like a bully laughing at someone they just pushed down. Or perhaps bears, laughing at a poor old, black flank gardener.

The Discord balloon floats underneath those balloons with the faces of Pinkie Pie's friends, looking at the pink pony curiously. "Aw, poor Pinkie Pie," He says, actually sounding sympathetic towards her. But looks at her in the eyes, and his begin to swirl hypnotically. "And here I thought laughter made you happy!"

But does it? Does it /really/? What is laughter but another form of cruelty, laughing at someone elses misfortunes! Who wants a good laugh, really!? Not the Pinkie Pie!

Reflected in the gemstones in the wall, Discord raises a brow slightly. "Oh really now? What would they do but take away your gemstone? We wouldn't want that, now would we?"

And just as Rarity turns back around, his eyes would begin their hypnotic swirling trance. Which she'd get a full blast of as she starts to paw at the rock.

The ground gives way surprisingly fast. And in a very short time Rarity would find herself with the biggest mother of ALL DIAMONDS EVER.

*MOD*

Startled, the gardener takes a step backwards away from Staren as he approaches the stage. But the MC seems distracted by Staren and his refusal to laugh at his insults. Though as the gardener looks out in the crowd, he stops. And he seems to be watching Luka for some reason.

But the startled MC lets Staren have the mic, letting him have a go. And as Staren rattles off his joke… The bar is quiet. Almost dead quiet. Like, you could hear a pindrop quiet. Then, there's a sprinkling of laughter in the back. Which starts to catch through the rest of the crowd slowly, but surely.

Soon after Knight digs his way out of the sand, the cockatrice follows. It shakes itself off - All of itself off, including its serpentine like backside. It looks like it's about to hurry off… Then Knight reminds it of the people it stoned. It clucks in what sounds like a regretful tone, but follows back down the hall to where all the stone statues were. Sure enough, when it touches the roc with its beak, the statue begins to melt away into a brilliant, silver feathered bird that streeetches, letting out a melodious song.

Oh, Twilight seems to be that way. Or… Maybe it's that way? Or… Wait, why does it feel like she's a few thousand feet above Raditz now? Talk about confusing.

But what's not confusing is the scream that Raditz would hear off in the distance.

It sounds like Yuna.

SUMMARY - Discord «< - THIS IS ME CONFUSING YOU!

A few moments of the whole swirly eye thing, and then Pinkie Pie's expression turns into the complete opposite of what it usually is as she bellows "QUIT LAUGHING AT ME! Or I'm gonna have Pokey Pierce hunt down every last one of you and then pop-pop-pop see who's laughing then!"

Uh boy

Raditz growls as his Ki senses are thrown off entirely, shaking his head clear and muttering, "Should have brought my damn scouter with me…" He decides to take a different approach this time and focuses on his regular senses, just before he hears the distant scream, "What the—Yuna? You were just…!" He looks over his shoulder to where he thought Yuna was last placed, only to spot a wall directly behind him that wasn't there before. "Oh right, moving walls…"

He then shakes his head, and breaks into a gallop, rushing through the maze in order to find her, "Why couldn't you just summon your big damn robot or something…! Solve this whole mess!"

Twilight begins running faster as she hears that dreadful laughing. Whoever is being laughed at must surely be feeling terrible about now! "Come on, girls! Someone is in trouble over there!" she calls out to Fluttershy and Applejack as she runs. Of course…she's less concerned with whether they are actually coming at this point. She glances over her shoulder, but doesn't really wait for them to catch up.

Twilight rounds the corner to the party just as all the balloons are popping, and looks around in confusion as she clops toward Pinkie. Who was laughing? She lets out a sigh of relief as she nears Pinkie. "Pinkie! I'm so glad to see you!" she says, smiling happily to her usually bouncy and cheerful friend.

Applejack runs after Twilight, but doesn't seem to be nearly as concerned as her. When they round the corner and see a bunch of popping balloons and a strangely desaturated Pinkie Pie, she just shrugs. "See? Nothin' wrong here either. Everythin' is comin' up daisies."

Rainbow Dash zips off to a corner as quickly as she can, to avoid being seen by anything down the hall. But she hasn't seen /anything/ yet. She huffs, blowing her front bangs up a little bit. "This is seriously lame. I haven't seen /anything/ yet, not even the girls!" She snorts quietly, "I bet Fluttershy's still at the start of the maze. I'm going to have to go back after her, aren't I?"

"Ugh. This looks like another /failure/. What's wrong, Fearless Leader? Can't find the right way out?" Fluttershy chides, then flings a piece of balloon at Applejack, and laughs cruelly. "Ha, ha, ha!"
At the sound of Twilight's voice Pinkie Pie turns around, but is hardly smiling and bouncy as she snaps "Oh arrre you? Why, need a good laugh?", in an unusually bitter sarcastic tone. That's… bizarre, even for Pinkie Pie. Then just hmphs and stomps off to go back into the hedge maze. "Don't just stand there all useless. The sooner we get out of here the sooner you can leave me alone."

SUMMARY - Fluttershy «< - Yep. Fluttermean.
SUMMARY - Rainbow Dash «< - The last great hope!
SUMMARY - Discord «< - You're doomed, girls.

Even as she's digging into the rock the normally bright and clear purple and white color ripples out of her form, so by the time the stone grumbles away and dust settles its hard to tell what's dust and what's pony. Rarity is left panting and uncharacteristically dirtied up, but isn't fussing about it for a change. "Well that took longer than I would of liked… but what does it matter?" She promptly latchs onto the diamond that's got to be nearly three times her own size. "Who would of thought those three little gems would of turned out to be one big, beautiful hunk of diamond?" With a groan she somehow manages to squirm under the huge stone and hoist it onto her back and start trudging off.

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - In the hedgemaze, everything is fine. In the hedgemaze, everything is fine. You've got your good things, and I've got mine.
SUMMARY - Raditz «< - HI TOM

Yuna - the real one - finally unburies her head from under her forelimbs and looks up at the wall Raditz departed through with his usual charming disregard for collateral damage. Only there's no hole there. "… wait a sec. You wanted me to summon El-Line *here*?!" she calls back to Raditz. "I didn't even bring the trio!"

She shakes her head, then turns around to try to get her bearings - again - and start picking her way through the maze again. And she's managed to get separated from Charr on top of everything else. Juuuuust lovely.

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - Confused and alone and increasingly unhappy
SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Confused, alone, and increasingly annoyed.

Knight looks up at the roc as it's 'awakened'. "If you can understand me, you need to get out of here. As fast as you can." Hopefully it can hear him, and hopefully Discord's too busy with his 'games' to harass the bird before it can fly away. "Good work," he says to the cockatrice before moving on. "Let's get the rest of them and then we can start looking for the exit."

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Moving on to the next statue

"They're enjoying it," Ahim observes. "Try some more," she says, urging Staren on. "Maybe enough laughter will allow us to escape."

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - It's one of the elements after all.

so…

Staren looks out at the silence. "Woah, tough crowd. Well, if you'll /bear/ with me for a moment…" Actually he didn't think this far ahead. He only had the one joke. And they'll never like his calculus joke. Wait, he has the whole internet in his head! All he has to do is search for… oh right. Radios are down. Uhhhhhh okay, think Staren, you must remember _some_ comedy routines…

"Okay, you're a great audience after all! I'm glad I came all the way to canterlot to talk to you guys! It's a great place! So the hotel I'm staying at? Did you know it doesn't have a 13th floor? But people on the 14th floor, you know what floor you're really on! If you jump out a window, you will die earlier! Unless you're a pegasus. What is it with the number 13 that makes it so unlucky, anyway? Is it how it looks? 'Cuz then the letter B should be unlucky. It looks like a squished-together 13! 'Hi there, what's your name?' 'Bob' 'Get the frick away!'"

*MOH*

"Hehehehe… Four down… Two two go…"

Sure, things have been free and clear for Rainbow Dash up until now. But then she hears something crackling in the distance, like lightning. A white cloud bobs about along the hallway in front of her, popping and cracking with yellow, red and blue lightning.

*MOD*

Unfortunately for Raditz and Yuna, Raditz can't hear what Yuna is saying. But soon, Yuna wouldn't be able to hear the hothead's voice anymore. Instead, she hears something else. That clucking again. And a voice off to her right. Then, a shadow rushes overhead, but it's not Discord, it's a silvery bird flying away. But then it's gone in a silvery light.

The hothead, however, hasn't come across the source of the scream yet. But he's getting close. There's a flare of ki energy off that would feel much like Yuna's. But it's diminishing quickly…

The silvery bird watches Knight Pegasus for a moment, then nods, and croons quietly. It seems intelligent, at least. It takes off, swooping over head. Then it disappears from the maze in a silvery light, not the trademark white flash of Discord's magic.

The bears… Seem to like Staren's jokes! They're all laughing now loudly. Even the MC is having a hard time trying to keep a smile off of his face!

… But then, one by one, the disappears begin to disappear in purple smoke. Even the stage disappears, leaving only Staren, the Gokaigers, and the gardener.

"Thanks sonny! Name's Greenhoof! Mr. Greenhoof!" The old gardner says in a slow, somewhat older voice. He picks up his hat and doffs it off to Staren. "You sure gave them a laugh! Why I was just minding my own business tending to the garden as I always do, when the strangest thing came out and said that he needed me for something. Then poof!" He flops down on his flanks tiredly, looking almost like he's too tired to get back up again, "I was here getting laughed at by bears."

He pauses again, then looks back to Luka. Or more specifically, the silver feather she has. "… Why it is! That's a Silvenade bird feather! Queen Celestia keeps one of those birds for people who get lost in the mazes. One of those will whisk one pony away back to the palace!

The sight of the silver bird gives Yuna a direction to go in - and even though it disappears, Yuna wastes no time in cantering after it, taking what turns are necessary to keep going in more or less *that* direction. Besides, if push comes to shove, she should at least be able to get to the outer edge of the maze if she keeps going in one direction long enough … granted, she has no idea which side she's heading for.

"Ehhh?!" The Gokaigers react with amazement to the gardener's revelation.
"So that's what that bird statue was back there," Joe says, pounding his front hooves together. "It must have been one of those Silvenade birds turned to stone."
"But the way back there is blocked," Marvelous says. "If we can find a way to get back to where we were, we might be able to get that bird to bring us out of this maze!"

Twilight stares at Pinkie Pie, then growls. "Come on! We have to keep going. Nothing can stop us if we stay together." Twilight says, though it is a bit more forced than usual. She isn't entirely sure she wants to be together with her friends at the moment. They are all being so mean!

Twilight takes off into the maze again, really wishing she had her magic about now. As she keeps going, Twilight soon turns a bend to find… "Rarity! Thank goodness! Are you-…" Twilight starts to use her standard greeting thus far, but…Rarity is carrying a huge rock. Just a simple, grey, rock, albeit a large one. "Uh…Rarity? Why are you carrying that huge boulder around?" Twilight asks, motioning a hoof at Rarity's 'diamond'.

Raditz continues his sprint, growling as he feels himself getting closer, but he's pretty sure running around the maze trying to find the correct route was going to be taking too long, and be WAY too dangerous to keep up, so he once again resorts to the brute force method of charging into the walls and trying to plow through, regardless of how hard the walls are. He's going to get to his destination, "Hang on, Yuna…! I'm almost there…!"

He then calls out, "Alright Q! Or Discord, if that's what your calling yourself! I don't care if you're Discord or Q or not! How about we just settle this Saiyan to Freakshow?!"

SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Charging through walls! Possibly hurting his head in the process, but he's got a hard head. Also, he's calling out a challenge!

SUMMARY - Twilight Sparkle «< - With friends like these…

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - Following the bird's direction, for lack of anything more coherent.

Staren starts to sweat, not sure how long he can keep this up. What's next? Right, the 'do not disturb' joke… He waits for the laughter to die down, flashing a forced smile, but… his audience disappears!

Leaving him with the Gokaigers and the gardner. Staren nods. "No problem." he pats the pony on the back. "Pleased to meet you. I'm Staren. We're here to find the elements of harmony… if they're even here." He looks back at Luka and the Gokaigers. "Hmm. Is there any use in any of us leaving? Or we could send Mr. Greenhoof to safety… or we could hope Discord will leave him alone, and save it in case someone really needs to escape…" He hmms. It's hard to tell what the best thing to do here is. Okay, THINK.

Staren closes his eyes and strokes his chin. Mr. Greenhoof could be in serious trouble. He might get turned to stone. What good would sending a party member away do? If they're injured? Staren has healing potions— wait, that's magic! Damn! Although, he'd rather lose the game than risk anyone's life…

Staren nods and opens his eyes. "Perhaps we should send Mr. Greenhoof to safety, while he has a chance. I can give him a recording of what's happened so far, to show the Queen if it will help somehow."

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Should we send the NPC to safety?

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - We were on the wrong track apparently!

Applejack flinches at the piece of balloon flung at her by Fluttershy, but takes off after Twilight again when she continues on through the maze. When they come across Rarity, she gives the huge rock a good looking over. "Eeyup, looks like a precious stone ta me. Good find, Rares."

Just as Rainbow Dash was about to get /seriously/ bored of this maze, she hears the crack of thunder. She turns her head just quickly enough to spot the white cloud with crackling electricity spark past her. "Aww yeah!" Grinning, she launches herself off of the ground - And too late remembers that she doesn't have her wings.

Because then she lands with a THUD, falling flat on her face when gravity takes over.

She spits grass out of her mouth as she picks herself back up to all four hooves. "Oooh Discord is SO going to get it when I see him! Take away MY wings, will you?"

The crackle of thunder catches her attention again, and Rainbow grins. "I've got you now, element!" Gritting her teeth, she rushes off to follow it down the hall.

"Well, if we can only pick one," Marvelous says. And as he thinks about it, of course they'll only be able to pick one. The bird probably won't be able to find its way back to this place that might not even be in the same world they left. "…of course it'd be him. We're not going to abandon each other after all."
"Besides… we aren't allowed to fly, and that includes riding a bird," Luka points out. "We won't take the easy way out of this maze."

Rarity stops and -stares- at Twilight. "Boulder?!" There's a thud as the huge stone is dumped off her back and she turns to cling to it. "This is no mere stone! It's only the biggest, most beautiful diamond I have ever seen! Found it without any magic, no less." Then a pause as she narrows her eyes at the other girls, and clings to it more closely. "And it's -mine-, so stop staring at it so enviously!"

"Ah wasn't lookin' at anythin'." Applejack says, quickly looking away.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Sticking together.

"Oooh of course it is Rarity," Pinkie Pie chips in sarcasticly. "Nopony else wants your big fat rock anyways."
Knight, having no idea the creature was important, simply watches it go before gesturing at the cockatrice. "Come on, I think there's still a pony left. Once he's free we can move on."

"Oh, is that so? Well, -I'm- looking at your diamond. Ha ha ha!" says Fluttershy, staring intently at Rarity's rock and smirking smugly. "What are you gonna do about it? Aww, are you gonna start crying? 'Boo hoo hoo. Someone is looking at my rock.'" the usually nice and gentle former pegasus says in a distasteful, sarcastic tone.

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Quest: Unstone Things (1/2)

SUMMARY - Twilight Sparkle «< - picks up where Fluttershy left off. Hopefully she won't mind!

"Don't listen to them, they're just jealous of how fabulous you are," Rarity croons as she pets the diamond everyone else sees as a giant boulder. Is she baby talking to it? Yes she is.

Applejack starts laughing.

Pinkie Pie snaps her head around to shove her face into Applejack's with a glare. "And what are -you- laughing at?!"
*MOH*

The crackling cloud zips and zooms around in front of Rainbow Dash, leading her down one corridor, and then another. It turns a corner, and zips right into an open room. In it there's a pair of trees, just a little bit apart, with a cloud stretched between them like some sort of hammock. And lying on top of the cloud with a pair of sunglasses on his head and a tie-dye shirt over his chest, is Discord.

He streeetches out, his back crackling far too many times for it to be healthy. "Mmm, I can see why you like these cloud so much." He pats at the side of it, floofing it slightly. "Very plush!"

*MOD*

Mr. Greenhoof shakes his head. "You don't need the bird," He admits, nudging his head slightly at the feather. "Just a feather will do. It teleports a pony right out of the labyrinth if you hold it right." He pauses, smiling at the group of people around them. "You'd do that for me? Thank you kindly, that's very generous!" He puts his hat back on top of his head. "O'course I'll tell Queen Celestia anything you need!"

With a cluck, the head of a chicken appears in Yuna's path. … That's about all there is that's chicken though, the rest of it is a long, serpentine body. It doesn't pay Yuna any mind though, instead slithering up the path to what looked to be a pony statue to touch it with its beak. Slowly, the pony starts to become un-stoned.

Also, she'd see Knight Pegasus if she looked around the corner.

"Q? How quaint!" Rumbles a voice somewhere ahead of Raditz. And then, to the left of Raditz, where he would see the Draconiquis himself at the end of square room with three exits. Discord lounges out on top of one of the peppermint candy walls. Though he looks slightly transparent, like he's not really there. "Or quirky. Quixotic?" He lets out a low chuckle, "But get it straight, I am Discord."

Applejack suddenly finds herself with a faceful of Pinkie Pie. "Apple pie." she says, then starts glancing around some more.

Staren nods, pulling a spare communicator from his pocket and uploading his vision and hearing records to her. He looks at the Gokaigers. "She will see all that we saw. Any other messages on top of that?" He'll let the Gokaigers say their pieces, then hand the communicator to Mr. Greenhoof.

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Sending messages in a bottle

Twilight can only stand there, staring at her friends. Until finally she growls and rubs at her face before throwing her hooves up. "Whatever! Let's just hurry up and find Rainbow Dash and the Elements so we can get out of here!" she says as she trudges off into the maze again. "Come on!" she says grumpily. Why are all of her friends acting so strange? It's so unlike them! she thinks to herself. It doesn't occur to her that her friends could be under some kind of spell. Having no magic herself must be affecting her judgement.

Raditz skids to a halt when he finds himself at the wall upon which Discord is perching, and allows himself a smirk, "Huh, not Q? At least I won't get in trouble with Sisko…" He shakes his head, "Never mind that, Jackass, I'm just gonna get this problem solved already. How about you get yourself into fighting form and put 'em up."

He's already charging up his Ki, ready to brawl.

Rarity somehow manages to wiggle up under the diamond (boulder) and hoist it onto her back again and starts to follow the others… But it doesn't take long for her stamina to start to wear thin and lag behind. "A.. little help… here…"

Twilight Sparkle , hearing her friend ask for help, is quick to lend a hoof, or a back in this case. "There you go, Rarity." she says with a smile.

Luka frowns a bit as she removes the feather from her mane, then gives it to the gardener.
"Not much else to say," Marvelous says. "But… right now it doesn't look like we're any closer to those elements than we were."

Nodding, Mr. Greenhoof takes the device. "Will do! Thank you mightily!" Then, after taking the feather between his teeth, Mr. Greenhooves disappears in a flash of silver light.

"Hmph. Did NOPONY take my advice to heart?" Comes Discord's voice once the gardener is gone. "What's right is wrong and is wrong is right, and yet you KEEP choosing the wrong answers! I thought heroes were better at taking directions." He doesn't appear though. Instead what DOES appear is about a couple dozen extra large water balloons above them. They hover there for a second.

"Oh well. Your loss, I suppose~!"

Gravity re-asserts itself at once, and all the balloons fall towards Staren, Captain Marevelous and his team. Fortunately, they're nothing explosive or really dangerous.

Unfortunately, they're full of whipped cream.

"Oh, my, how horrendious!" Comes a dignified, feminine voice. It sounds… Slightly familiar, but the accent isn't quite right. Somehow untouched by the whipped cream is a very, very light blue pony with a curled purple and red tail and mane.

"How DELICIOUS!" Very abruptly, a white pegasus drops down out of the sky, flying upside down right in front of Staren. "SURPRISE! Though that's not a really good surprise… I like funnier surprises. His surprises are mean.

Both of them are slightly translucent an their voices a little hollow… Almost like they're not quite there.

Staren frowns at Discord's words. "Hey, that last one had no right answer! We might need that feather later! And I had no idea how the comedy thing would work out, I figured they would make fun of me or something!" Staren points a finger… dramatically in front of him, since the voice is sourceless.

And then he gets creamed. "Ugh! Ack!" He starts to wipe it off, then looks at the… ghost ponies? "Who are you guys, and why are you here?" He also lifts a hand to his nose and gives the whipped cream a sniff. Then a lick. "Hey, it's whipped cream!" and then he starts licking his hand off, like a cat.

"But if we did the wrong thing, then we did the right thing…" Don says, sounding very confused, before suddenly being covered in whipped cream. Marvelous just looks annoyed.
Then come the ghost ponies. "Who are you supposed to be?" Marvelous asks, trying to wipe off the cream. "Are you on our side, or Discord's?"

Standing proudly, the light blue pony holds a hoof up to her chest. "Why, you could call us echoes of the first harmony knights, darling. I of course was generosity." She frowns delicately. "Something /dreadful/ is happening to them…" She shakes her head slowly from side to side. "But your generosity towards that old pony drew me to you. Just enough of a spark to get our attention!"

The white pegasus bounces a few times, giggling. "Oh that looks /delicious/! Oh, oh, I have a great idea for a surprise!" But then, she stops bouncing, and instead smiles at Staren. "Oh yeah, and your great jokes drew me to you, because I was laughter! Buuuut we don't really have a lot of time."

Their forms fizzle a little, going out briefly. Then coming back, except looking a little more… dim. Like they're fading fast.

The unicorn shakes her head, and sighs quietly. "We're already almost out of time, dears. Discord has done something to the elements… We think we know what. It's important that they remember who they are and remember themselves…"

"Yup, and what a great time they had together!" Chirps the white pegasus, perky despite the fact that she's fading.

"When the time comes, they'll need to know…" It looks like the unicorn is having a hard time staying around… "'More and more and more, never enough'"

"Oh, right, the cluess!" Chirps the white pegasus, who almost looks like she's fading away into the whipped cream, "… 'Party of one, fun for none'!"

But before they can ask them what they're talking about, both figures are gone.

The whipped cream is still there though.

"The first harmony knights?" Staren looks them over curiously, and listens. "I'm terrible at riddles, what does that" He looks around for the ponies. "mean? …Well, it was nice to meet you." He crosses his arms and thinks. Then he looks up and shouts. "I am a scientist! There is _so_ much with what just happened that doesn't make sense and needs to be explained and investigated! Echoes? Are they ghosts, spirits, or just illusions created by you? Why would they know how to deal with you in the first place? There is a lot to figure out here! But I'm going to do the WRONG thing… Accept it at face value and leave it alone! And now I'm going to do another wrong thing, by making demands of some kind of godlike being of chaos that could turn me into a bug and crush me if he wanted! Enough of your maze! Open the way to the elements already!"

"I think she was laughing at you." Fluttershy says to Pinkie Pie, that same evil smirk on the yellow and pink pegasus's face. "Ha. Ha. Ha. Gasp! Oh no! I am laughing at you, too! Ha ha ha!" Fluttershy says with a grin, then looks to Twilight as she follows after. "Oooh. Our fearless leader is once again leading us nowhere. I am soooo glad you are here."

Yuna comes up short at the sight of that creature … and it's turning the 'statue' back into a living pony?

She approaches quietly, continuing to keep one eye on the cockatrice; she's still in her Light Suit, so she *can* blast it if it tries to attack her or anything.
Rarity lets out a small sigh as Twilight takes up some of the weight, for a moment sounding normal again. "Ah, thank you dahling." But then turns to squint at the purple pony. "But don't get any ideas" she murmurs, the moment not lasting as she gives Twilight an accusing prod in the side. "I know where you live." Then starts to trot along with the huge stone supported between them.

Though by the time they get anywhere Twilight's going to somehow end up carrying it by herself.
Rainbow Dash stops dead when she runs right into King Jerklord himself. Even without her wings she screetches to a halt immediately, stopping just inside the room despite how fast she was running. "YOU!" She glares at him, narrowing her eyes. "Get off of there and put 'em up!"

She might be facing the greatest threat that Equestria has seen since Nightmare Moon, but when has she shown anything like common sense?

Rainbow Dash rears up on her hind legs and puts up her forelimbs. Then lashes them out in front of her, she was trying to box. Or kickbox, as it might be.

"Time for you to get a face full of hoof! Come on! Let's go!" She kicks out her forehooves in front of her, then dodges. Kick kick, dodge! "I'm not afraid of you!"

Upon hearing the sound of footsteps, Knight's shield flips up and two fins extend from beneath it, making it appear as if there's a vaguely crossbow-like weapon mounted beneath. Which is now pointed at her. As he turns around, however, he lowers the weapon and folds it away. "Oh, it's you. Don't worry, he's with me. Don't look him in the eyes and you should be fine. He seems friendly enough." He then glances over at the cockatrice. "She's a friend."

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Peacemaking

Applejack, as always, follows after them. She doesn't even offer to help Twilight and Rarity.

*MOH*

Discord rolls his eyes and pushes himself up to sit upright on the cloud. "Hey," He holds his hands out before him defensively, "Cool it, I'm here to deliver a message!" He then sighs as he pushes himself up off of the cloud bed and up to his hind feet. He makes no motion to try and attack Rainbow Dash, nor to bring about any chaos towards her. Instead, he reaches up to take his sunglasses off of his head.

"Listen closely, because this is important."

He appears to the side of her, "A weighty choice is yours to make-" Then darts away, and somehow appears on the other side. "The right selection or a big mistake!" Then, he appears from above, hovering next to her. "If a wrong choice you choose to persue, the foundations of home will crumble without you."

Then, he snaps his fingers, and the white cloud that Rainbow Dash had been following zips up again. It spins around and around, before showing the image of what looks to be Cloudsdale…

… And it's falling apart.

*MOD*

"You know, I'm getting a distinct feeling of deja vu," Discord says with a roll of his eyes. He then sighs, and pushes himself up to sit, his legs dangling off of the edge of the wall. "Tsk tsk, always down to business with you sorts, isn't it? And here I thought I was going to have so much /fun/!"

Then, Discord is gone. Or is he?

No, he's not. Instead his transluscent form is right behind Raditz. "Fine then, if you wish to meet your fate so soon." He snaps his fingers, and there is the sound of something grinding, as on all sides of him, the doors slide open.

Through the door to the left is a flash of gold. It almost looks like… It might be the Elements!

The other door right in front him… looks like an exit!

And the third…

What looks to be Yuna is lying there on the floor. She seems to be unconscious. She certainly isn't moving, that's for sure.

"Make your choice. You could take the elements… But then you'll be stuck in this maze. Maybe forever. Or you could save your friend and, well, likewise be stuck here forever."

"Or you could just leave them all."

As he finishes, the doors begin to slide shut again, slowly. But fast enough that he'd only have time to go through one.

"But we all know you're no hero, right?" He lets out a low chuckle, "What are 'friends' and 'harmony' to you?"

SUMMARY - Discord «< - Discord also stands for 'Big Douchebag'

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - …is wrong, is right, is wrong, is right…

And being one is a spoof anyways and the other is gone, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy are bickering in the background somewhere.

And Applejack is being useless.

Sure enough, Twilight is soon carrying the huge boulder all by herself. "Nnng…d-don't worry…girls…as a team…we're unstoppable…" she is panting as she walks, sweat rolling down her brow and sides. "I-if…we can just find…Rainbow Dash…then…we'll find the elements. Then, Discord will be defeated!" She's staying optimistic! She has to, because all her other friends are being useless. Kind of like Applejack.

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Time to be right by being wrong!

Yuna blinks, backing up a little and turning - and smiles in relief as she spots another sort-of-familiar face. "Ah, you already met this one? I'll keep the warning in mind …"

Her relief now that she's not wandering the maze alone is palpable, even a non-telepath could feel it. "You haven't seen Charr around here, have you?" she asks Knight Pegasus.

"Oh yeah!?" Rainbow Dash kicks out her forehoove a couple of times. "Well I've got a message here for you too!"

But when Discord starts to actually sound /serious/, Rainbow drops back down to all four hooves. She looks confused, frowning a little at the Draconiquis. "Oh yeah? What the hay do you mean?" She gives him a doubtful look, glaring at him as she leans away from him. Only for him to appear on the OTHER side. She glares even harder, narrowing her eyes at him in annoyance.

But then, when he starts to talk about the foundations of home crumbling, Rainbow's eyes grow wide in alarm. "Wh-what do you mean?"

As she watches the image in the cloud, her expression turns to one of fear. Pillars fall, threatening homes and families alike. Her family, even. "Cloudsdale… Crumble? Without me?!"

"NO!"

Raditz blinks as the three doors are presented to him, and for a moment he flinches, his instincts actually urging towards the door behind which Yuna is supposedly behind. Priority number one, right. He then stops himself, before saying to himself, "Wait, Raditz, this is a trap… Exactly what he wants you to do, to rush off and do something stupid…"

Still eying the doors, there are certain that Discord uses that strikes hard at home, and he turns his glare towards the spirit of Chaos, "I'm no Hero? The hell are you talking about? I'm in the Union, I'm nothing if NOT a hero." Despite saying this, his words lack some conviction.

"Luka being generous is definitely the wrong thing," Joe quips, as their mysterious visitors disappear. She shoots him a glare.
"He's right. Running around in here isn't getting us anywhere," Marvelous says. "Especially if we're supposed to end up 'back where we began'!"

SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Not Gonna Fall for Discord's tricks!… Or is he?

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - We want progress!
*MOH*

With a flick of Discord's fingers, a neatly wrapped, blue box with a golden yellow bow appears in front of Rainbow Dash, hovering tantalizingly in front of her.

"That box contains your wings," The lord of chaos says as he hovers around alongside Rainbow Dash. "You can take them and leave the game," He points a thumb over his shoulder, "Or you can carry on aimlessly wandering this mage." A malevolent grin forms on his muzzle as he runs one claw down Rainbow DAsh's other cheek. "Your choice."

*MOD*

"Oh yeah?" Discord flashes Raditz a toothy grin, showing more of his snaggle tooth.

"Prove it. I don't think you have what it takes."

Then in a flash, he's gone.

Better hurry, those doors? They're closing fast.
"Afraid not. Did you lose track of him as well?" Knight frowned. Finding everybody was going to be a pain unless Discord was obliging enough to bring everyone back. And, well, who could count on him anyway? The pegasus glanced over at the pony-that-was-once-a-statue, his head tilting to one side curiously.
… *Maze

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Waiting for the unthawing

Raditz at Discord's taunting and disappearing, before turning towards the Door of the downed Yuna, and dashes towards it, saying, "I don't have anything to prove to that jackass! Come on, Yuna, we're getting you out of here!"

Rarity pauses to take a look around. Or maybe she's just making sure Twilight didn't run off with -her- giant gemstone (that's really a boulder). "I bet she found something silly like a new ball and just ran off already."

Raditz glares at Discord's taunting and disappearing, before turning towards the Door of the downed Yuna, and dashes towards it, saying, "I don't have anything to prove to that jackass! Come on, Yuna, we're getting you out of here!"

That is the reak Yuna, right?
real*

*THUNK* The door behind Raditz slams firmly shut behind him, effectively locking him in the hall that he chose.

And as soon as the door slams closed, so does the energy signal from the body. Because as soon as Raditz tries to grab Yuna's body, it's longer a body, it's a pie thrower in her uniform.

Which goes off, launching a banana cream pie, point blank, right at Raditz's face.

"Hahahahaha! Ooh, that's rich! Not going to be fooled by me, hmmm?" Discord's voice calls out, cackling. "Well now who's the fool?"

But he doesn't appear, and no matter how much Raditz yells, he's not going to respond to him.

"Ugh, talk about lame," Says a voice that… Sounds a little familiar coming from the corner of the room. Except that the figure that says it looks absolutely unfamiliar. It's a pink pegasus with a cobalt blue mane and tail, and a bow around the base of her tail. But she has a fiesty look in her eyes. Well, that someone can see. She looks a little transparent, so it's… hard to tell. "What sort of trick is that? I mean, sure, the whole pie to the face prank is a classic… But using friends? That's just lame."

Raditz, having been pied, can't help but pause for a moment, before licking the cream up, "Huh… Actually tasty…" He shakes his head, and grumbles, "Fine, I'll get the jackass later… See how he likes getting his clocked cleaned then…" With that, he rushes to try to find anyone else.

Raditz skids to halt and blinks and turns to the pegasus, blinking a bit, and approaching cautiously, "Yeah, yeah, the pie was funny… Using Yuna wasn't.. Who the hell are you?"

"I'm like some sort of echo or something," The pink pegasus says, rubbing the side of her head, "I don't really get it. But I was the first harmony knight of loyalty!" She grins, showing a bit of familiar pride. But it fades quickly as her own body fizzles briefly. "Ugh, and that Discord guy did something to the Elements of Harmony. Or is doing it. I don't know. But if I'm here, things are bad, really bad." She sighs, shaking her head a little bit, "I can't even stay long, but… the Element, she needs to remember. She's got to remember…"

Her body fades a little more. "Oh come on!" As if willing it, her body brightens slightly. "… Yeah, I really don't have much time. Listen, she's got to remember how to be loyal."

Despite her best efforts, she fades more. And quickly, to the point where she can just barely be seen…

"… 'Fly, fly, break the sky…'" Her voice says.

Then she's gone.

Twilight continues to struggle along under the weight of the huge boulder. "That doesn't sound like Rainbow Dash." Twilight pants. "She wouldn't abandon us for some silly ball." Twilight is starting to get tired, carrying this boulder around so long. "Please, girls, Let's just keep going. I'm sure we'll find Rainbow Dash soon and then we'll find the elements."

That's right, Rainbow Dash would /never/ let them down! She'd never leave them hanging! She'd always-…

What was that rainbow streak flying out of the Maze of Harmony? It looks… Awfully familiar.

Applejack looks up. Then continues on. "Oh look, Rainbow Dash ain't leavin' us. Jes' as loyal as ever."

Twilight looks over at Applejack. "Well, of course she isn't leaving us. Rainbow Dash would never…" Twilight's eyes widen as she looks up and sees the rainbow streak. "N-no…it can't be true!" She drops the boulder and runs forward. "Rainbow Dash!!" she calls out as loudly as possible. "RAINBOW DASH!!!"

Twilight comes to a stop slowly, then slumps down on her haunches, ears flat against her head, eyes watching the tip of that rainbow streak move off. What will happen now? Rainbow Dash has not only abandoned them, but broken one of the rules!

Staren stands looking up, arms outstretched in his best SMITE ME OH MIGHTY SMITER pose… and nothing happens. "Man, it worked for _Yusuke_. Is it because I'm too smart and know what I'm doing here? How were we supposed to win, Discord? Just… stand by and watch that poor guy get made fun of?!" It didn't even occur to him as an _option_ at the time, but now… Ugh, he feels a little sick at the idea. Oh, sure, Mr Greenhooves wouldn't be _physically_ hurt and they'd have got through the maze…

But he just couldn't do that! He couldn't _not_ prevent someone from feeling that pain!

But he _is_ a scientist, and a rationalist. And science and rationality should _always_ win, in the end. The right thing is to one-box on Newcomb's problem and win, not argue about how two-boxing was 'right' even though you lost!

Staren drops to his knees. "Did we… fail?"

"No fair, she got her wings back. I bet she's running away with the rest of our stuff to— EEK!" Rarity jumps as Twilight bolts, then quickly latchs back onto the giant stone. "Be careful! You'll scratch it! Bah, I should of never trusted you to carry it in the first place!"

Yuna nods to Knight Pegasus. "We got separated coming out of the … uh, 'reward' track - or a trap, really - for one of the puzzles. We learned something that might be useful if we can get back to the same maze that the Harmony Knights are in, though … or it might be useful later on, I don't know."

Knight nods his head. "Hopefully we can find a way back to that maze. Let's also hope everyone else can find that path as well."

Marvelous looks toward Staren for a while, before finally shaking his head. "No. We can't give up. It's not over yet. We have to get back to the Knights of Harmony, and deliver those messages," he says. "If winning this game means ignoring the suffering in front of us… doing Discord's dirty work… it's not worth winning!"

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Rousing speech time.

Raditz blinks a bit as the pink and blue pony fades out, and he takes a moment to actually show off that heart of gold in that hulking jerk that he is, "OY! The hell does that mean! Fight the damn fading, and talk to me! 'Fly, Fly, Break the sky'?! Come on!" As though trying to will the aparition to stay longer.

Seeing as she disappears, he blinks a little, and grumbles, "Great, a riddle." He glances about to the sky just as a rainbow streaks off. "The hell…? Dash…?"

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Did I fail a Conviction roll without even realizing it? Have I failed my Art?

SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Confused by G1 Cameo!

*BOTH MAZES*

The ground begins to rattle and shake, like there was an earthquake. Dark clouds start to fill the sky overhead, crackling with thunder. All around in either maze, the walls begin to fall, collapsing all on their own, disappearing into the ground. Both mazes are collapsing, leaving both teams… Surprisingly close to one another, standing on the same patch of ground.

"Well, well well!" Calls out Discord's voice from nearby. He hovers into view as the dust begins to settle. He looks, for once, actually angry. "SomePONY broke the no wings no magic rule!"

He lifts up his eagle claw, and gives it a snap. At once, all those who lost their wings or horns get them returned - And in the right place, too, despite how funny that might be.

"Game's OVER my little ponies!" He cackles, pointing a claw at the lot of them, "You DIDN'T find your precious elements of harmony!"

In a flash of light, a pink umbrella appears in his lion's claw. He lifts it up above him and unfolds it - Upside down, so that the curved part of the umbrella points upwards. It also meows as he unfolds it. "Looks like we might be due for a big ole storm of CHAOS! Mwahahahahaha!"

On command, lightning crackles behind him.

Staren slowly stands. "I hope you're right. The suffering in front of us…" He looks off in what he _thinks_ is the direction of Ponyville. "One pony getting made fun of, while countless more live in a world of confusing and frightening chaos…" The ultra-correct, third option, is to kick Discord's ass and free _everyone_, but what if he really _can't_ do that?

And then… the maze rumbles, "Woah, what's going on?!"

And then he's back with the others. He runs over to Twilight excitedly, leaning over to hug her (he's still in catboy form). It might be a kind of messy hug thanks to the whipped cream. "I'm so glad everybody's alright!"

And then he stands up. "Alright. So we didn't win the game. But what now? It can't all be over just like that! _That_ would be… _boring_."

Meanwhile, in the background, Applejack sidles up to the boulder. "Uh, Rarity? This here diamond o' yers?" she says, delicately rubbing a hoof down the rock's side. "Twilight said we should split it six ways, since we found it tagether."

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Yay everybody's okay! Have a hug twi!
SUMMARY - Staren «< - Using Convince on Discord! Wait, is that a good idea?!
SUMMARY - Applejack «< - Trying to steal Rarity's diamond.

"Stupid Rainbow Dash, of course she'd be the one to break the rules and ruin everything. That's not funny at all!" Pinkie Pie actually sounds.. mad.

Raditz blinks as Discord declares it game over, and his wings are brought back, "What… Wait what?" He flaps his wings real quick to make sure they're legit, before grinning and taking to the air to regroup, and calls over, "I don't know what the hell that's about, but we've got numbers, let's just kick Discord's ass right now—"

He then pauses as he looks at the boulder being carried by Twilight, and stares for a moment, before shaking his head, "Twit, you're carrying a rock around. Why? I don't know, but let's get that off of you…" He says, as he moves to try lift it off of her, since he's considerably stronger.
Twi, not Twit*

A crackle of energy runs along Yuna's horn as she turns to face Discord. She looks tired, and she is - not just exhaustion from running around the maze to no avail, on the heels of a day spent providing what relief and support she can to the refugees, but she's strung out emotionally as well. "Enough already, Discord," she says fiercely. "What. Did. You. *DO?!?*"

… but not too tired to miss that several of her friends are, well, not themselves.

SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Trying to help with the rock.

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - Facing down Discord, and not a happy camper.

"Well, I guess that's that. Time to get this beauty home." At least now that she's got her horn back she can use her magic to lug it around.

And then -two- ponies try to touch HER stone and Applejack threatens to break it apart for all of them.

"HII-YAH!" … Maybe those karate lessons are getting a little -too- good, as Rarity promptly jump-kicks the applepony away from her stone and then smacks Raditz with a chop to the back that would make Miss Piggy jealous. "You keep your grubbly little hooves off of my Tom!"

She named it now? Oh for Celestia's sake…

"That's just fine with us," Marvelous says. "We've had enough of your rules anyway!" He points a hoof toward Discord. "With all our powers combined, we have more than enough to take those Elements back with our own hooves! Is everyone ready… hm?" He's looking around and noticing that… well, the Knights of Harmony aren't exactly looking up for a teamup roll call at the moment. "What's… going on with them over there?"

Applejack gets kicked right in the snout, and backs off…for a few seconds. Then she's right back at it, jumping onto the boulder and clinging as tight as she can.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Come on, ponies, you're getting your own Vs. special, get your head in the game.

Raditz gets Karate Chopped in the back, and he's actually knocked to the ground for his effort. He blinks and shakes his head clear of the Cobwebs, before glaring at Rarity and yelling, "Rarity, what the hell was that for?! The damn rock is obviously too big for—-Did you just call it Tom?"

Rarity doesn't respond to Raditz, because she's too busy jumping right back on top of Applejack to brawl. "I said hooves off, you uncouth hillfilly!" CATFIGHT! .. err .. MAREFIGHT!

Knight immediately drops into a wide-legged battle stance as soon as they reappear. He glances over at the girls and immediately notices something…off…which is confirmed as soon as they start brawling. A quick snap of the wings /launches/ him into the air. He's about to try and block Rarity but she's already fighting with Applejack, so he settles for dropping between the two fighters and the rest of the group. "Discord. What did you do to them?" And why does it sound like there's a thread of anger in the reploid's usual calm voice?

Twilight is startled when the maze suddenly shrinks into the ground, then blinks as her horn reappears. She looks around at the gathering of her friends and allies, then back at Discord. She gets back to her feet, having already dropped the rock. "What did you do? Where are the elements? Why weren't we able to find them in the maze? Were they even in there?" she machineguns at Discord, glaring at him.

Fluttershy flies over Tom and places a hoof on top of him. "I'm touching Tom. Ha ha ha." she says, grinning evilly. She pokes the rock a few times as her wings keep her aloft over Tom. She grins even more, then places the other hoof on top of Tom. "Oooh. Tom is so big and hard. I'm going to keep him all for myself." She begins tugging on Tom, somehow gripping the rock with her hooves.

Twilight just watches all of this, with no idea of what to do.

Raditz is further confused by the mares that weren't Twilight acting completely bonkers right now, particularly Fluttershy who seems rather vicious. At which point he just growls and says, "Right, Less talking, more punching Discord in the face!"

With that, he begins to charge up energy for an attack, "KAME-HAME—-!" Presuming nopony stops him.

"Yeah. Big and hard. Like -your head-." Pinkie Pie snipes at Fluttershy. "How do you like being the one insulted, huh? Buncha jerks."

As if this were all some sort of joke, Discord just keeps laughing. He laughs so hard that he falls over backwards, hitting the ground with his legs kicking in the air. "Oh… Hahahaha, you ponies…" He reaches up, and wipes a tear of laughter away from an eye, "You ponies are just TOO much! This is the most fun that I've had in /eons/!"

But as Discord is being questioned by a rather threatening looking pony, his laughter dies off a little. Just a little.

It's still obvious that he's laughing in his voice.

"Do? Oh, I didn't /do/ anything. Hehehe. Well, not much of anything." He breaks out snickering again, holding an arm to his chest. "It's just /too/ entertaining!"

He /almost/ looks like he's about to break out laughing again at Twilight Sparkle. "Oh wait, did you…" He can't do it, he can't not laugh. He rolls on the ground, laughing out loud again. "How funny! You actually thought the Elements were IN the labyrinth!"

He forces himself back up to his feet, but only hovers a foot off of the ground. He then snaps his fingers, and briefly, the pit they are all in changes into something else.

And into what looks to be a flashback of the conversation back in the hall of memories. You can tell, because everything is blue, and there's Discord as a glass figure in the window.

~Tiwsts and turns of my master plan. Then find the elements back where you began~

The real Discord standing next to Twilight Sparkle grins mischeviously. "I never /said/ they were in the labyrinth."

With a flash, the scene returns to the way it was once again, with all of them standing in the pit where the labyrinth was.

"ENOUGH ALREADY!!!" yells Yuna - and her horn stops merely crackling and *flares*, casting a wave of light over the area. It's not just illumination, either - there's a noticeable impact and a bit of a tingle, like if you just got slapped lightly across the cheeks. Not hard enough to really hurt, but enough to get your attention. Which is, in fact, the *point* of what Yuna's doing - trying to interrupt the fight that's breaking out between the Harmony Knights who are still here.

She hears Discord out, still giving him a spectacularly baleful look, and her horn continuing to cast that radiance over the area. Then … she starts singing.

o/~ Until the wind's direction changes, I'm just waiting in this place
Not even stepping forward, for fear of regrets

o/~ With my heart adorned in its opposite colors
I was always stopping on my journey

o/~ I hear a voice calling to me,
telling me not to forget that I'm not alone
All the people who can't be replaced are here,
In a place where their hearts can shine … stay in my heart

There's a slight resonance in the radiance as Yuna sings, hoping - praying, really - that she can get through to her friends with the song, draw them back out of the grip of whatever's messed with their heads.

Staren just frowns at Discord as he speaks, standing maybe a little protectively next to Twilight. And then he facepalms. "So I was right in the first place, the labyrinth was just a wild goose chase!" He points at Discord. "Was there even anything to win at all?!" He almost said 'what was the point' but the answer is obvious: Discord's amusement.

Staren is so absorbed in his own complaining that he doesn't notice the odd behavior of the harmony knights, or his more violent comrades trying to attack the chaos god.

Raditz flits his eyes to look at the Ponies, and hmphs a bit, still holding his charging up blast in his hands, "I think this can be all solved with careful application of—-KAMEHAMEHAA!!" He throws his hooves out, sending the blast in Discord's direction! Finally an opportunity to end him.

Applejack suddenly feels like she was just slapped, and turns in the direction the feeling came from. As Yuna starts to sing, the cowpony lisens, seeming to be drawn in by the song. It's working, it's really working!

"That's the worst singin' Ah've ever heard."

Or maybe not. Applejack reaches into one of her saddlebags which were totally there the whole time and picks out an apple, throwing it at Yuna's mouth. Maybe it'll get stuck there, or maybe it'll just bounce harmlessly off her face. Maybe she'll even block or dodge it. Applejack doesn't care, as long as it stops that singing.

Being she didn't actually get into the fight yet, Pinkie Pie just rolls her eyes at Yuna's outburst and starts to wander away. "A musical number? That's it, I'm outta here." .. But… Pinkie's the one that's usually -staring- the random song and dance routines…

Rarity oofs as the metaphorical slap knocks her on her flank. Well, at least it got her to stop trying to beat up Applejack and Flutershy, if not in the way intended. "What a drag. Come along Tom, lets get out of this dump." She uses her magic to hoist the giant stone onto her back. It doesn't work quite as well as it should since it's really a boulder and not a diamond, but she doesn't seem to notice it. "Bah, all that idiotic running around for nothing has sapped more of my energy than I thought. Nevermind. Let's go home and get you nice and polished up~"

"!!!" Yuna staggers a bit as the apple lands right in her mouth; fortunately it hits just after she finished breathing in, or it might have interrupted something a bit more critical than her attempt to snap her friends out of their state.

Yuna manages to steady herself shortly thereafter … and for lack of a better way to deal with the apple, plus the fact that she's still peeved off, she chomps down on it.

*Crunch!!* *munch munch munch munch munch …*

There, that ought to keep the doctor away another day. She doesn't go back to singing, and her horn has stopped casting that radiance over the area … she's just looking at the Harmony Knights, or the couple of them who are still here. She's not entirely sure if the message she was given should be delivered now, or saved for later …

Knight doesn't seem amused. "'Much', he says." He briefly considers trying to force the issue, but he waits to see what Raditz's attack does before charging. He's not entirely sure that it'll work. Nor is it immediately obvious why the pegasus seems so peeved.

"It was a trap," Joe says, glaring at Discord. "You only made us go through those mazes so you could do *that*," he continues, jerking his head towards the discorded ponies.
"But you didn't get us with your tricks!" Marvelous declares, looking over to watch Yuna for a bit. "We'll do what we can to break them out of that spell, then we'll finish you!"
"Maybe… Maybe we should use those hints we got!" Don suggests.
"That's right… Those messages were intended for them," Ahim says. "…Hold on… they're leaving! We have to catch up to them!"
Marvelous looks between Pinkie and Rarity, then back at Discord, with a growl. Going after the discorded ponies means leaving Discord himself to do whatever he wants. It's definitely a dilemma. And with the amount of power Discord has, could he be sure the hints would work? But, he thinks back to the appearance of the legendary knights who gave them the clues. And briefly… he was reminded of the quest he and his crew were undertaking in their own world. Meeting the Super Sentai heroes who'd protected the Earth in the past, and earning their approval… This was almost the same thing.
"They trusted us," he says. "We'll follow them! And be back for YOU," he adds toward Discord, "later!" With that the Gokaigers go rushing off after Pinkie and Rarity.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - So did they get the Elements of Harmony's ultimate power?
SUMMARY - Staren «< - Questioning Discord — Could we even have won anything?
SUMMARY - Raditz «< - Oh, we're still doing this? Right. Kamehameha at Discord, for great Justice.

"Anything to win?" Discord says as he hovers down in front of Staren, his voice mocking, "Perhaps we haven't met. I'm Discord, spirit of chaos and disharmony? Heellooo? Who says I had to let you win anything? I won /my/ entertainment!"

In a flash of light, Discord produces a pair of ear muffs. And he promptly places them over his head when Yuna begins to sing. "Blagh blagh blagh. It'll take more than simply /singing/ at me," He says with a snort, "Really, you think that ponies didn't /try/ that the last time I was free. But, ah well."

He then takes out his umbrella again and calmly walks five feet to the side as Raditz launches a blast at him.

"Do you always expect your opponants to just stand around while you power up? Oh, and gazunteight."

Grinning toothily, Discord tosses his umbrella over his shoulder. Where lands, it turns into a bunch of kittens that then scatter off in all different directions.

"Keep trying Twilight Sparkle and friends." His voice turns mocking as he walks away from them. "Maybe the magic of /friendship/ can help you. Now, if you'll excuse me." He crouches down, picking up a bag of popcorn. "I have some chaos to wreak! Ta ta!"

With a snap of his fingers, he disappears in a flash of light.

The Gokaigers' decision helps Yuna make up her mind, and she canters over to Applejack. "Hey … two things. First off -" She smiles. "Thanks for the apple, the timing was bad but it tasted good anyway. And second … there's a message I need to give you."

Raditz blinks a little as his attack just misses. Hits nothing. HE SIDE STEPPED. THAT ASSHOLE. "Oh, I am going to hurt you slowly."

"Ah didn't give you any apples." Applejack says to Yuna, glaring down at her. "An' Ah don't care what yer message is, so jes' go away. It's all yer fault everythin's goin' the way it is anyway."

Knight, meanwhile, makes a calculated decision to follow Twilight since she's the only one who seems normal. Which means she could be in trouble if the others are being controlled.

Staren steps back, not liking Discord being so close to him. And sighs and rolls his eyes as Discord confirms his suspicions. So… basically, he was right all along. It's a good thing he _didn't_ try… doing something 'wrong' for the sake of winning an unwinnable game.

And now Discord is gone. Staren turns to look at the others. "You know, if the labyrinth was for nothing, whose to say the riddle has _any_ meaning? Maybe the answer has been in front of us all along! Could it be that the power of the elements isn't in _objects_, but in _people_? _You_ all are the elements…"

At this point, Staren kind of trails off because he notices the ponies are leaving. "Uh, guys?"

"The one you threw at me," Yuna says, patiently and gently. "As for the message …. well. It'll keep, I suppose, until you're ready to hear it."

A piece of her is sorely tempted to try repeating the message anyway, but she has no idea if it'll even work more than once; Besides, the Elements of Harmony, the physical items that are associated with the aspects and their powers, are still unaccounted for.

At any rate, the game's over, so Yuna can call Elner back down and share the upshot of what happened. They can also start searching for 'jewelry' in the ground hereabouts - Elner's sensors should be able to pick up on the discrepancy in minerals, if they're buried in the ground hereabouts.

Harmony Choices Made: Honesty, Kindness, Laughter, Generosity, Loyalty
Disharmony Choices made: None

Bonus Scene Unlocked: Stars in the Dark

=============================== IC - Cutscenes ===============================
Message: 24/21 Posted Author
Stars in the Dark… Thu Jun 28 Rainbow Dash


The faintly translucent figures of five mares glowed slightly in a void. They stood floating around a small starburst of bright purple light in an otherwise field of white.

They were nothing but echoes of the first Knights. Imprints on the Elements of Harmony, stirred awake by Discord's tampering to act as guardians of the spirits. One by one, the harmonious actions made by the friends of the spirits of the elements drew them out. But as the Elements were becoming dormant again and with their tasks complete, so to were they fading again.

Honesty, an orange earth pony with a blond mane, sighed as she hung her head. "T'ain't looking all that good, y'all."

"We've got to trust in those girls and Queen Celestia!" A pink pegasus with a cobalt blue mane said. Loyalty lifted her head up with confidence. "They'll come through!"

On the left of the pink pegasus, a butter yellow earth pony shifted a forehoof, scuffing the ground that wasn't there. "I hope so…" Kindness's voice was whispery soft and barely audible, "Oooh… Do you think what we said to their friends will help?"

"I'm not really sure how," Came the dignified sounding voice of a pale blue unicorn with a curled, purple and red mane. Generosity sighed quietly. "We didn't exactly have much to go on, dears. Or time to tell them properly."

A white pegasus with blond, frizzy hair shook her head. "I know! It was totally a surprise!" Laughter paused, then giggled, "A Surprise! Get it!?"

They all fell silent as their forms and the violet spark of light between them dimmed slightly.

"Um, but not the good sort of surprise," Laughter admitted, a little meekly.

"If the elements somehow go dormant again…" Generosity said bracingly after a second.

"… Then the spirits of the Elements need to be reminded of what's most important," Said a sixth, young mare's voice from the spark of violet light. "So the physical connections can be re-made."

"Ah know," Said honesty. "I just ain't all that good at riddles."

Loyalty folded her forelimbs over her chest. "Me neither, but it's not like we had time for a chat! It took most of the left over power just to keep Discord from hearing for that long!"

"Cheer up, girls!" Laughter bounced up and down a few times cheerfully despite the situation, "I know all our riddles were grrr-eat surprises!"

"Yes," The voice from violet spark said, "We will just have to hope that it was enough…"


In the palace, as chaos thickened over the skies, Queen Celestia held her head bowed, her brows furrowed in anger. "… Discord… It was a trap."

But something different caught her attention… She lifted her head slightly. Five brief bursts of harmony. Faint and fleeting. But they were already gone. "What does this mean…?"

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/60 Posted Author
AAR: Mazes of (Dis)Harmony 1/2 Sun Jul 01 Yuna Kagurazaka


<voice report>

My apologies for the delay in this report, but … it's really been hard to piece together exactly what happened, and things have been really busy.
At any rate. Twilight Sparkle had been working over that 'riddle' that Discord gave us as a clue, and came to the conclusion that it was a reference to the labyrinth hedge-maze on the grounds of the castle in Canterlot. So a group of us gathered to see if we could find our way through the maze - the Harmony Knights, myself, Charr, the Gokaigers, Staren, Raditz … Knight Pegasus too. Oh, and Yusuke Urameshi.
Anyway. We gathered at the entrance to the maze, and Discord showed up - but then he split the group up before we could take on his 'game'. I think the six Harmony Knights wound up with the hedge-maze they were expecting, but the rest of us - the 'foreigners' to Equestria - were shunted to a different maze, made out of peppermint candies or something instead of plants. So I have no idea what happened to the Harmony Knights during the interval where we were, more or less literally, in different worlds.
In fact, I'm not even sure what happened to most of the group that I *was* with - because shortly after we entered the maze, a wall cut the path off behind me and Charr. There was an attempt to bust through it, but the wall bounced back and forth and thwarted the effort - I'm not kidding, that's really what happened. This goes beyond the normal magic of Equestria … but anyway, Charr and I headed onwards, where we heard voices, and the others made their own way through our maze.
The voices led me and Charr to a clearing with a three-headed dragon of some sort, and two doors. We realized pretty quickly from their conversation that one head was a truth-teller and one was a constant liar; the third was kind of a distraction, obsessed with toast. Or distracted by thoughts of muffins. At any rate, Charr and I tried to figure out which door would lead us towards the Elements of Harmony - which didn't work so well. I guess, in retrospect, that neither door would take us where we were trying to go. The door that we *did* wind up taking … the floor dropped out from under us, we fell into a pit of cotton candy, and Discord laughed at us, reminding us of the 'clue' he'd given us on entry: 'what's right is wrong and what's wrong is right'. So by taking the 'right' door, we'd made the wrong decision.
… I really really do not like that guy. Whatever Discord counts as.

<more>

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/61 Posted Author
AAR: Mazes of (Dis)Harmony 2/2 Sun Jul 01 Yuna Kagurazaka


<cont.>

There was a 'spirit' or something that helped us out of the pit - an orange mare with a QT Mark of … six apples? Somewhat reminiscent of Applejack, but older and, well, not entirely there physically. She gave me and Charr a message that may help Applejack later on, then disappeared. we got out of the hall and back into the maze - and then Charr took off, leaving me … well, kinda wandering and not sure what else was going on.
Finally, we were brought back to the real world, the normal Equestria, with the hedge-maze disappearing … and the Harmony Knights were, well. Not acting remotely like themselves. Rarity had an enormous diamond that she wasn't letting anyone else near, Rainbow Dash was flying off - and Discord said she had broken the rules of the game, although I'm not sure how she got her wings back. … I'm leaving a lot out here, aren't I; the Harmony Knights lost their wings and horns before any of us got to go into the maze; something tried to do the same to us 'foreigners' but we generally had a chance to fight off the effect.
Discord was decidedly not forthcoming about what happened to our native Equestrian friends; all I know is that they're not themselves, and my attempt such as it was to snap them out of it didn't work. At all. The one thing I'm pretty sure of is that there's no way for them to be Yamiko - if they had been, what I *did* try would have been more effective and less of a perceived and expressed annoyance.
I really hope we can dig up answers somewhere. Queen Celestia had told us Discord could manipulate the ponies of Equestria before; if that's what he's doing now, we may have our work cut out for us even more than we already did.

<end report; there are a couple of ranklocked (to 2+) images attached of the Harmony Knights squabbling amongst themselves, and one (also ranklocked) of Rainbow Dash flying away from, presumably, Canterlot>

Scene: Let the Games Begin!
BGM: Darren Korb - Brusher Patrol (http://youtu.be/BYaFbFLAQlQ)

Note: In this scene, off-world participants faced different tests given by Discord. The choices they had for each test was either harmonious and acting according to the elements of harmony, or disharmonious, acting against the Elements. The 'winning' choice in this case was to be the disharmonious choices. But the 'losing' choice had a runners-up prize of a clue that would help later on to purify the Spirits of Harmony. Choosing all one side or choosing all of the other would result in a different bonus scene. Because the harmony knights and their friends were split into two different mazes, all of the GM posts pertaining to the Harmony Knights maze started with *MOH*, and the other maze started with *MOD*

Canterlot - <Equestria> (Location #2)


Set in the mountains in the heart of pony kingdom lies the capital city
of Canterlot, home of Queens Celestia and Luna. The jewel of the kingdom,
Canterlot castle is visible from miles around, massive unicorn made spires
pointing the way for travelers.
A winding road at the base of the mountain leads up to the plateau that
Canterlot has been carved into. Walls have been erected along the walls at
several points, blocked off by guarded gates protecting the kingdom. Beyond
these walls is the city of Canterlot itself, rising up around the main road
that leads up to the castle.
Shops and houses all share a similar, ornate architecture that can be
found throughout the city and the castle itself. Domed buildings are
prevalent, and most buildings are made from carved, smooth stone, with
decorations that focus a great deal on solar and lunar themes. Most shops
and businesses are found alongside the main road itself, with residential
areas located off of roads branching off of the main street. Shops of all
sorts line the main road, featuring wares crafted by unicorn, pegasus and
earth pony hooves from all around the Kingdom of Canterlot.
The houses and shops become more and more ornate the closer to the
Castle they are, depicting more noble homes and businesses. Houses become
more like mansions, and shops more geared towards ponies with more refined
tastes.
Set up against the mountain itself is Canterlot Castle, rising high
above the city itself. White stone spires rise up from the castle grounds,
domed with gold in a myriad of different designs, most depicting the sun in
some way or form. Waterfalls surrounding the castle spill down into a
nearby lake, the foam causing prismatic rainbows to form near the castle at
all times. The lake itself forms a moat in front of the castle, a guarded
drawbridge protecting the castle. The castle gardens, blocked off for most
of the year, are barely visible beyond the lake near the spires. Near the
front of the castle is the castle ballroom, reserved for high class events,
and of course, the Grand Galloping Gala.

The weather is currently in chaos. Clouds of cotton candy fill the sky,
zipping about raining things from cotton candy to cola, jawbreaker hail or
even things a little more painful. Even the winds and the temperatures are
completely out of control and unpredictable.


Contents (1 player not shown) Exits
Applejack <#17> Extra Room
Charr <WarPony> <EF> Road to Equestria Fields
Discord
Jinx
Morg McGee <Livin'>
Nightmare Moon
Rainbow Dash <Pegasus>
Rarity <Unicorn>
Staren
Twilight Sparkle
Yusuke Urameshi

<X-Union-Chatter> Twilight Sparkle takes a deep breath, then lets it out slowly. "Well, I it is about time we get to work on Discord's riddle."
<X-Union-Chatter> George says, "Good luck, Miss Sparkle."
<X-Union-Chatter> Staren says, "I thought we _were_ working on it? I'm bad at riddles though…"
<X-Union-Chatter> Applejack says, "Ah've been busy in the kitchens makin' food fer all o' the refugees. Ain't had much time ta think 'bout it."
<X-Union-Chatter> Staren says, "Twists and turns, back where we began… It's not a classic riddle or an ancient one that was in any of those books you read, right? That I just haven't heard of because I'm not from here? Like, 'what walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the evening'… actually you probably don't _have_ the sphinx's riddle here, since it wouldn't make sense…"
<X-Union-Chatter> Freya says, "Good luck everyone! I'm no good with riddles."
<X-Union-Chatter> Mid-Alantic accented, Rarity says, "Staren, dear, -nothing- makes sense right now, so don't count out things for not making sense."
<X-Union-Chatter> Fluttershy whimpers "Ireallydon'tknowwhywehavetogothroughthelabyrinthandwecan'tjustgohomeandthinkreallyreally/REALLY/hardaboutit…"
<X-Union-Chatter> Twilight Sparkle says, "Twists and turns…twists and turns. Wait…twists and turns! The Palace Garden! There is a hedge-maze! I bet Discord hid the Elements somewhere inside!"
<X-Union-Chatter> Staren says, "Well I mean, that's an ancient riddle that a lot of people from earth know. The answer's Man, or humans. Crawling on all fours as a baby, then walking, then needing a cane when they're old. So… I don't think you'd have that riddle in Equestria."
<X-Union-Chatter> Staren says, "…"
<X-Union-Chatter> Staren says, "That maze. That's been there, right outside, this whole time."
<X-Union-Chatter> Twilight Sparkle hesitantly says, "Y-…yes…"
<X-Union-Chatter> Applejack says, "And /you/ didn't think o' it either."
<X-Union-Chatter> Staren groans, then head-hitting-wall sound. "Ow. The palace walls are hard."
<X-Union-Chatter> Mid-Alantic accented, Rarity says, ".. And all this begain there because that's where he was kept! Twilight, you're brilliant… though in hindsight that is somewhat obvious…"
<X-Union-Chatter> Rainbow Dash says, "Talk about being right underneath our noses."
<X-Union-Chatter> Knight Pegasus says, "Maybe that was the trick?"
<X-Union-Chatter> Applejack says, "This ain't the time fer criticizin'. We need ta get down there an' take care o' business while we can."
<X-Union-Chatter> Rainbow Dash says, "Aw yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Let's go get those Elements back!"
<X-Union-Chatter> Mid-Alantic accented, Rarity says, "Mmm, maybe that was the trick after all. So obvious we would all overlook it… Anyways, yes, lets go put an end to this madness properly."
<X-Union-Chatter> Applejack says, "Jes' lemme get this apron off, an' Ah'll join y'all lickety split!"
<X-Union-Chatter> Mid-Alantic accented, Rarity says, "I do -not- want to have to redo my entire summer lineup to accomidate for resisting chocolate milk-rain stains."
<X-Union-Chatter> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "I would've thought chocolate milk washes out decently, at least if you rinse it soon enough."
<X-Union-Chatter> Duncan Idaho says, "Good luck, ladies."
<X-Union-Chatter> Twilight Sparkle says, "Thank you."
<X-Union-Chatter> Freya says, "Good luck. Watch out for traps."
<X-Union-Chatter> Rainbow Dash says, "No problem! We'll have those things back in no time."

~Twists and Turns of my master plan, then find the elements back where you began~

A simple riddle, or so it would seem. And yet it could mean simply /so much/, to the point where it made it difficult for even some of the more eggheady of the ponies to have a difficult time trying to figure out what it could possibly mean. The answer, of course, is that eggheads have a tendency to overanalize, and that the real answer is right in front of their eyes.

Outside of the palace, and just outside of the protection offered by Queen Celestia is a labyrinth. By all appearances, it seems to be just an ordinary labyrinth, made up of tall bushes, cut into the shape of walls. It's sizable, taking up about as much space in the area behind the palace as the palace garden itself takes. Maybe even more. But of all the things outside of the safety of the palace walls, the labryinth seems to be almost entirely untouched by the chaos taking place throughout the city of Canterlot and through the rest of the palace grounds.

And it's perfectly visible from nearly any palace window facing the grounds behind the palace.

And especially from the top of the stairs in the front hall, where Queen Celestia is awaiting the fruits of those attempting to solve the riddle.

Twilight, confident she has figured out Discord's riddle, makes her way outside to the maze entrance at a full gallop. She skids to a stop just outside the entrance, then waits for the others to arrive. She is anxious to get started, and paces back and forth as she waits.
Morg McGee has disconnected.

Drawing all the courage she could muster, Fluttershy is following Twilight to the maze, flitting about in the air to make more room for those on the ground. Her ears are twitchy and her eyes are looking around in fearfulness as she draws herself after the violet egghe— …er… educated pony.

Staren watches out one of the palace windows, looking over the labyrinth. They can have drones and pegasi scout it from the air… And he can see the layout from up here, and add it to his HUD's automap so he won't get lost. That done, he activates his teleporter, appearing beside Twilight in a burst of light and giving a quick hug. "Congrats on figuring out the riddle, Twilight!" He then looks at the entrance to the hedge maze. "So now we just need to find the elements… assuming the riddle isn't just a wild goose chase in the first place, but I guess we really don't have any other leads…"

Applejack, having succeeded in taking off her apron and putting it in an appropriate place, joins the other ponies outside the entrance to the hedge labyrinth. Looking up at the tall, leafy walls, she whistles her admiration. "Mah, if'n that ain't a big bush. An' it goes all the way 'round, with all sorts o' twists an' turns inside, huh? Guess we can't jes' climb over." she says, then turns to Twilight. "Er, if'n ya don't mind mah askin', did ya tell Celestia 'bout this?"

Technically, Knight Pegasus is supposed to be in repairs still. But he was in good enough shape to walk (and fly), so that was good enough for him. Just his luck he happened to go wandering into a place that turned him into something…else, but there was open sky and that was good enough for him. It also meant he was in the area just in time, and so he appears in the skies over the garden shortly after the announcement. A quick loop over the hedge-maze just to get a feel for the place and then he was on the ground with everyone else, his wings folding stiffly against his side. The faint limp was /almost/ imperceptible by now.

True to her word, Yuna has been putting in what time she can on Equestria, helping with what relief efforts she's been able to coordinate. Mostly it's a matter of keeping ponies' spirits up, and Yuna's putting her celebrityhood to good use on that front - sometimes singing to groups to help encourage them, whether they're workers of some kind or just refugees; other times she sticks to kind but reassuring words and a helping hoof where she can provide them.

Even with Celestia's magic sheltering the palace and some of the grounds, there's no shortage of work to be done - and although Yuna finishes what she was doing and heads off to meet Twilight Sparkle and the others, a piece of her hates to leave relief work behind. Still, the faster the Elements of Harmony are recovered, the sooner this situation can be wrapped up.

Hopefully.

As Yuna approaches the entrance to the hedge-labyrinth, Elner descends from where the robo-faerie had been hovering near one of the castle's towers, analyzing whatever passes for the weather patterns right now in this vicinity.
And Rarity is following -behind- Fluttershy, if only to make sure the timid pegasus doesn't try to turn and dart back into the castle. And Pinkie Pie poinging along, as she is tendant to do. One can just guess where she's spent most of her time in Canterlot, considering the brown streaks dripping through her hair before they even got out into the garders…. Though her guzzling of as much chocolate rain and cotton candy as possible has kept them from harassing other ponies, if nothing else. "Hey Rainbow Dash, you think after all this the Cloudsdale factory could learn to make chocolate rain -sometimes- still? For like parties and special occasions and such, that'd be like the best thing to come out of this craziness -ever-."

Charr slowly enters the maze, once everypony else has gone on inside, and once he's finished polishing his knife to a mirror shine. "..A hedge maze? Hn.. Where you began.. What began here..?" Mulling this over, the old soldierpony meanders off in some random direction.

For the life of him it was HARD to resist the temptation to just say 'Sorry Celestia, I'll buy you a new one' and burn this whole damn thing to the ground. But he didn't, because he expected that Discord would either get upset at someone being as much of a cheating bastard as he was, that that was exactly what the draconequus wanted, or that his flames would mysteriously not burn the whole damn thing down. No matter; these hooves were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do.

A light-green pony trails behind Charr, standing outside the entrance with the other ponies. The sharp brown eyes, brown hair, and fist Q-T mark might be a giveaway, but moreso his voice. He's staring up at the maze, then just asks out loud for everyone, "Why don't we just blow this thing to hell, grab the crystal shard things, then kick some harmony ass?"

Staren perks up. "Ooh, burning it to the ground! That's a good idea!"

Yuna just *LOOKS* at Staren.

Doesn't even say anything, just LOOKS at him.

The entire time she's been there, Rainbow Dash had hardly even /looked/ at the palace hedge maze. So it was a hedge maze, big whoop. She didn't see the big deal over something that she could just /fly/ over. But now that there was the hunch that Discord had gone and hidden the Elements inside of it, she kind of wished that she paid more attention to it. A rainbow streak of colors follows along with the other girls, hovering along behind them, but never going too far ahead. Dash just rolls her eyes at Pinkie Pie, and folds her forelimbs over her chest. "Oh yeah, because that'd be an awesome use of storm clouds," She says sarcastically as she comes down to land next to th group.

Rainbow Dash then flashes a grin. "Hah, this'll be easy! I mean just look, dopey Discord forgot about these babies!" She stretches out her broad wings, and in a rush of wind, takes off. "I'll just fly over the maze and we'll have the elements back in no time!"

Meanwhile, the white shape of Queen Celestia can barely be seen in a window of the palace, watching the girls and their friends approach the labrynth.

Yuna's look is also turned to Charr before she softens her expression and looks to Twilight Sparkle.

The white-coated, shaggy-brown-maned unicorn stallion just blinks at Yuna. "What?"

And then Rainbow Dash reminds them all the pegasi fly. "Oh right… No need for burning, the pegasi can scout from the air, and maybe I can get some drones or golems here to help search…"

The Gokaigers discuss the riddle as they approach the labyrinth. "Well, this isn't exactly where *we* began," Joe says. "We've never been here before."
"Well, we aren't the ones who had those elements either," Marvelous points out. "We're just along for the ride at this point. Anyway, the 'twists and turns' part came first, so I'd guess we have to go through all this to find out what the other part means," he adds.

Applejack watches Rainbow Dash take flight, and a wide grin appears on her face. "Alright, good thinkin'! Ah can't believe Discord didn't think o' that himself!"

Rarity rolls her eyes for a moment, and gives Staren a nudge with her front leg. "While it's nice of you to produce your… animate sculptures to help guard around the castle, let's not send them stomping willy nilly through everything, mmmm? The less of a ruckus of we make, hopefully he won't realize we're catching onto him."

Pinkie Pie watchs as Rainbow Dash takes off. "You got get him girl." Then grabs a low floating cotton candy cloud, sticks her swizzle stray into it, and starts sucking on it… Then after a moment pauses to look at everypony else. "What? If we're going to get rid of these little babies I want to enjoy them as much as possible first!"

"If that guy realizes we're catching on to him, maybe he'll come down and we can start pounding his face in." Yusuke adds, scratching at the ground with his hoof a few times. "I still haven't figured out how to use this horn for a Spirit Gun, so I guess I've gotta use my hoof fists."

Knight glances from Rainbow Dash to Applejack and back again. "I wouldn't be so sure he didn't. It's worth a shot, though. I'll back you up." As Dash takes off he flaps his wings (winces a little from the motion) and launches into the air to follow her. He's taking care to be far enough away that he can keep on eye on her while (hopefully) avoiding anything that might get shot into the air in her direction.
It might almost look like Rainbow Dash will be able to fly over the labyrinth to scout it out.

Up until she reaches the height of the first hedge.

*FLASH!*

Rainbow Dash's wings abruptly disappear, leaving gravity to take over the rest.

Then, Fluttershy's wings disappear with a *flash*. Followed by Rarity's and Twilight Sparkle's horns, leaving them unable to use magic.

Even the outsiders would feel the tug of magic if they have wings or horns, but they'd be able to fight it if they put effort into it.

Fluttershy gives a small grin — this will be over quick if Dash is on the case — but when her friend's wings disappear, she gasps, and does her best to try and catch up to Dash to catch her — before her wings disappear!

She gives a bleating sound, her legs flailing in mid-air before she comes crashing to the ground!

"Aaah!"

Applejack's grin turns into a look of unpleasant surprise as suddenly, her friends' wings and horns just completely disappear. "Don't worry, sugarcube! Ah gotcha!" she shouts, running out to catch Fluttershy before she hits the ground. Rainbow Dash is a little further away, though, and with Fluttershy weighing her down, Applejack may not be able to reach her in time.
There's this thing called Gravity that Rainbow Dash has a limited appreciation for. But suddenly, she'd find that there isn't anything on her back actually there to keep her up in the air. At first she looks confused, staring behind her at her back. "What-?"

That's when Gravity comes calling, and Rainbow Dash starts to fall. Flat on her back. *THUD*

She stares, wide eyed, at her bare back. Sure enough, there's no wings! "What the!? My wings!"

Rarity blinks a couple of times as Rainbow Dash abruptly drops out of the air. "What was tha—" But before she can finish there's a flash just above her vision. And off to the side, which she glances to first. "Twilight, your horn!" Then puts a hoof to her forehead. "-My- horn! My beautiful horn!" Fortunately she doesn't start to do -that- whining, but it's still pretty shrill as she makes a fussy flail with her hooves.

Yuna arches her eyebrows. "Aerial scouting. That might work - Elner, see if you can lend them a … uh, see if —"

There's the flash, and Yuna lets out a loud yelp as she rears up, fighting whatever's trying to derprive her of her horn. Granted, she'd probably be able to manage without it - but that's still a piece of her, at least on Equestria, and the power that it represents is even more a part of Yuna at this stage of her life.

The struggle is short-lived but intense, and a more localized flash of light heralds its end - a 'frame' of wire and crystal protecting her horn as the Equestrian version of her Light Suit materializes. Yuna had been hoping this would be a night without combat, but she'd rather be equipped for it just in case.

"Apart from missing pieces," she says dryly as she settles back to all fours, "is everyone all right? Nobody's bleeding or in pain?"

Knight rushes in when he sees Dash start to fall, but…not quite fast enough, it seems. He gives a sympathetic wince at the loud 'thud'. It seems he's somehow managed to keep his wings in spite of the spiritual 'tug' on them. He starts to loop around into a graceful landing, folding his wings a little more adroitly before trotting over. "I think that means he wants us to play fair," the once-reploid observes calmly. A quick look around reveals that many of the others are having similar problems. "…for a given value of 'fair'."

Twilight looks to Staren. "Um…we are trying to be optimistic here, sweetie." she says to her friend. She looks around after that, smiling at so many responding to help them. "Thank you for coming, everyone. If we are to defeat Discord, we will need all the help we ca-" Twilight blinks as Dash takes to the skies. "Well, this could be faster than I th-"

Twilight is interrupted again by Rainbow Dash's wings disappearing, along with Fluttershy's wings, followed by her and Rarity's horn. "Wha! M-my horn!" She looks at Rarity. "Your horn!" Twilight looks around quickly, but doesn't see Discord anywhere. "This has to be the work of Discord! But, if he thinks this will stop us, he will be sorely disappointed." she says with determination and a stomp of a forehoof. She nods to Yuna at the question of whether she is alright.

Charr would follow the girls into the maze.. Only to feel his horn shatter like glass. "What the-?!" *tingle tingle tingle* "…" He LIKED that horn. He'd never really HAD one before and that one was so big and solid and it somehow made him feel very manly.. Stallionly. And now it was gone. "…Mew damn it. Alright, I'll play yer silly effin' game.." Irritated, he'd fish out his pipe and puff a few times… Aha! Pipe lit up. "Still got my flames, yah cock-eyed schmuck.." Muttering. He doesn't pause for the others, instead he just keeps on going, leaving them with the following words-

"No sense gettin' all burnt up over it; that's what he wants more likely'n not. Slows us down. Dust yerselves off an' keep a'move on. If'n you run into any /real/ trouble, scream. Scream /loud/. I'll burn this whole mishegas playpen t'th' ground if need be."

Staren nods to Rarity, "I guess you're right…" When he hears that *flash* sound, and feels something trying to warp his form… He's _not_ going along with it this time, and sees Rarity's horn disappear right in front of him! "Your horn!" And she called out to Twilight… He looks to the purple mare in alarm, and then at Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy… and the other outsiders to see who else is missing pieces. "I guess he _did_ think of pegasi… are you guys okay?! Twilight?" He knows magic, as her special talent, is probably even more important to her than to other unicorns. He smiles a bit as he sees her determination and nods supportively.

Boy, he really hopes this isn't permanent… That would suck…

Alas without her horn Rarity can't summon her cough to faint upon! Or maybe that's a good thing. As is she does lean back a bit with a foreleg to her forehead. "Oh, the shame! How will I ever face the masses without my" She stops as both Twilight and Charr chime in, which snaps her back to reality as she lowers back to all four hooves. ".. No, of course, you're right dahlings. This is just another cruel twist of that.. that… " Hoof stomp! "… Let's just get in there and fix this idiocricy." Is that even a word? She must not be a dictionary like her younger sister.

Giving a squeak as Fluttershy lands on poor Applejack, the light pony blinks her eyes, and gies a mumbled apology before cocnern for the others pops in. "We… is everyone okay?" she asks in a dazed manner — not that she can /do/ anything without her wings and powers… but she can still be concerned and kind!

"This is going to be tricky," Marvelous says. "It seems like this guy's doing all he can to stop us finding those elements… even taking away ponies' natural powers." Thinking of something, he checks his Mobirates, and is reassured to see that it's still there. "We still have ours, though. Looks like he only went for the wings and horns for now."

In the very entrance of the labyrinth, green light begins to glow, crackling and sparking with energy. Then all at once, it errupts into a blinding burst of bright light.

And when it fades, a tall creature, even taller than the queens, stands in the entrance. Standing about ten feet tall, Discord's body is long and windy, much like a serpents. But that's about where the similarities end. He has the arm of a lion, then the arm of an eagle, followed by the leg of a goat and then one of a dragon, with a long, dragon's tail wound behind him. His face is sort of like that of a pony - If someone mixed a pony with a goat, and gave them a deer's antler and then an antelopes horn. One snaggle tooth protrudes under his upper lip, his chin graced by a goatee.

Just so you can tell that he's evil.

"MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Lightning crackles behind him as he cackle, casting eerie shadows upon him. And making him look downright sinister.

And then the lightning fades, and he brings his hands to his muzzle, "You should see the LOOKS on your faces! Priceless! Hahahaha!"

He stops to catch his breath for a second, "Aaah… priceless… Ahem. Oh don't you worry," He says, grinning smugly down at the people gathered at the gates, "You'll get your wings and horns back all in good time."

In a flash, he disappears, re-appering hovering over Applejack. "I simply took them to ensure that there's no cheating," He grins at her, and nudges at Applejack's side as if sharing a joke. "You see," He holds up a claw, "This is the first rule of our little game." He zips away, hovering over Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, "No flying…"

Then he appears over by Twilight Sparkle, briefly poking at her forehead, "And no mag-ick."

After a pause, he seems to contimplate the others gathered who seem to have kept their powers. "Hm, seems like we have some rule breakers already." He stops to snicker, "No matter, a good game master always has plans for those trying to play outside the rules!"

SUMMARY - Discord «< - Being a smarmy douche.

Applejack, after letting Fluttershy go, trots over to Rainbow Dash to help her up. "You okay, Rainbow? Sorry 'bout that, Flut was closer an' Ah was sure ya could take a fall." she explains, for what it's worth. And then Discord himself appears.

"Look here, Discord. Ya can cause chaos all ya want, but Ah ain't gonna let ya get away with doin' this ta mah friends, ya hear?" She stomps the ground for emphasis. "Soon as we find our Elements, yer tail is goin' /right back inta that statue/."

Fluttershy, meanwhile, cowers behind Applejack, but feels a little emboldened and steps out. Stomps her own hoof, and gives a faint nod. Scary Chaos is scary.

Yuna gives Discord a baleful look. "As long as your rules don't include 'attack the "players" directly,' you don't have to worry about me doing anything outside the rules. I don't think much of your taste in games, but if playing along means my friends get the Elements of Harmony back faster, I'll stick to the rules you lay out."

…. which does leave something of a loophole that she could exploit, but really - there's nothing she can do outside the rules to get the Elements back in her friends' hooves any faster, is there? At least not right now. She needs the clues as much as everypony else at this point.

Staren steps back in surprise as Discord appears… and then frowns at the laughing. "So, we finally meet in person." His expression doesn't change as Discord continues. "And why should we play your game? How do we know _you'll_ follow the rules?"

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Frowning. But how do we know the incarnation of chaos will keep his word and play by the rules?

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - Not planning to break the rules. …. Not yet at least.

Rarity got over her little prima diva fit pretty quickly once Discord showed himself. "Right. So why don't you just save yourself the trouble like a proper gentleman and give us back what is properly ours. Horns, wings -and- Elements of Harmony. Or we'll have to get rough even without the—" She pauses at barely contained snickering, and turns her head to glare at Pinkie Pie.

"Sorry. Hehehe. Got chocolate rain up my nose." The perky pony giggles a bit more as she tosses the now drained cloud away over her shoulder and bounces up to the others. "Yeah, like, everything they said, you big meanie pants!" Pause, eye quirk. "Well if you wore pants." Makes a vage yanking motion with a hoof. "Maybe wear some undies so we can give you a really big wedgie?"

Rarity buries her face in a foreleg for a moment. "Pinkie Pie, please. It's random enough with just him here."
"
"Aaaaw. I'm just trying to lighten the mood a bit."

Yusuke reaches up when he feels the tug of magic on his horn, trying his best to keep himself intact in that little tug of war. The last thing he needs it to turn into a vulnerable schoolboy pony. Then Discord shows up, and he tilts his head, looking around at the other ponies. "Damn, knew he'd disappear before I could hoof punch him in the face…"

Charr huffed a bit. "Ignore him! He wants attention that bad, don't give it to'im! Focus on th' task at hand. There's plenty of us an' we'll find them Elements faster if'n we're busy doin' things rather than showerin' him with our focus." He's seen this kind of behavior before. And it annoys the ever loving HELL out of him. It was like Aku only more childish and less.. Outwardly violent. So far at least. Charr continued go walk on inside. He wasn't going to give Discord the satisfaction of direct attention if he could help it.

"…Task at hoof, rather."

SUMMARY - Charr «< - Charr goes on inside. Screw you Discord.

Yusuke reaches up when he feels the tug of magic on his horn, trying his best to keep himself intact in that little tug of war. The last thing he needs it to turn into a vulnerable schoolboy pony. Then Discord shows up, and he tilts his head, looking around at the other ponies. "Hey! You think I can't take you? Stop picking on ponies let's go at it!"

He starts running, then stands up on his hind hoofs, jumping up in an attempt to hoof Discord right in the face. "Bring it on! Screw all that puzzle crap, I'll beat it out of you!"

Twilight winces a bit at the poke to her forehead, then swats at Discord's hand with a hoof. "It seems unfair for you to get to choose all the rules." she says to the draconiquis. She nods in agreement with her friends as they voice their concerns about Discord breaking the rules. "You are flying about, after all, and using magic." she says to Discord, then raises an eyebrow. "What game are you talking about, anyway? Just our trip through the maze? Or are you making another 'game' for us to play while inside?"

With an annoyed huff, Rainbow Dash gets back up to her hooves. She only lets Applejack help her up for a second, before getting herself up on her own power. She glares over her shoulder at where her wings SHOULD be. "Ugh, are you serious? How am I supposed to scount this place out without my wings?" She mopes, ears flickering back in annoyance.

She's probably thinking that it's almost like being an earth pony, but luckily, she doesn't say it.

She turns that glare back on to Discord. Though as he goes on about his 'rules', Rainbow starts looking more confused. "Rules? What rules? Who said anything about any rules?"

Knight, already being in the area, subtly repositions himself between Discord's final stop and where Rainbow Dash and Applejack are standing. His shield detaches from his shoulder with a soft 'click' and its attached arm moves it into a ready posture. He's not really cleared for combat yet, but since when has that stopped him? He can at least take a few hits for the others first. Not having anything to add to the conversation, though, he simply glares at Discord while waiting to see where he's going with his monologue.

Marvelous crosses his arms and stares down Discord. "Some spirit of chaos you are, making us follow rules," he says. "Are you just bad enough at hiding things that we'd find those elements easy if we could fly or use magic?" Some serious taunting going on. "But sure… we'll play along," he finally says. "It'll be more interesting that way."

*FLASH*

Charr finds himself back outside of the maze again.

"Ah-ah-ah. I didn't say you could go yet~" Discord sing songs, shaking a finger accusingly at the Typhlosion turned pony.

Then Discord disappears again, seconds before Yusuke tries to hoof him in the face.

He re-appears near the entrance to the maze, hovers up to one of the pedastles, and leans agaisnt it with an elbow. "This is my game you're playing, Twilight Sparkle. So it's only fair that I make the rules," He points out, wagging a clawed digit at her. "And I /am/ the game master. I'm above the rules!"

"The second rule is: Only those ponies who wield - Hehehe, sorry, wielded - the elements of harmony may enter the maze of harmony! All others must go through the maze of disharmony!"

With a snap of his fingers, those people not from Equestria disappear. And re-appear in front of … What almost looks to be the same maze. Except for the fact that instead of the hedges being the bright green of healthy hedge, they are made of what looks to be walls of peppermint. Discord is still there, but the Harmony Knights are not.

All at once, radios from those in front of either maze sputter and die.

"And the third rule," Says both versions of him, hovering in front of the entrance of either maze, "Everyone must play or the game is over, and /I/ win!"

"Good luck everyone!" With a cackle, Discord disappears from the Maze of Harmony.

But he's still there in front of the Maze of Disharmony.

"Oh, but for you, I have one bit of advice. If the Elements you wish to see, remember my words carefully: What is wrong is right, and what is right is wrong." He lets out another of his cackling laugh. "Good lluuccckk~!" And then, he disappears again.

"Get back here you asshole!" Yusuke yells, on his feet again after missing his hoof to the face. "Get back here so I can pound your face in, bastard!" He's in yelling mode right now, leaving everyone else to decide how to approach the Maze of Disharmony.

And just to stick a pin in it Discord whisks off with their friends and allies to boot! A shame too, that knightly stallion was kind of cute. If only he wasn't really a robot… Dang it Rarity, keep your head on the matter at hand here. "That fellow is really starting to get on my nerves, and I use the phrase 'fellow' quite loosely."

Pinkie Pie trots up to the entrance of the maze and peeks into it. "Girls, something tells me even I don't like this game." She turns to look back to the others. "Shouldn't we go try and find our friends?"

"The only way we're going to be able to help them is find the Elements so we can put that obnoxious words-I-can't-say-in-public in his place." She turns to look to their de facto 'leader'. "Isn't that right, Twilight?"

"I'm gonna kill him. I'm gonna fuckin' kill'im. I'm gonna rip his guts out an' feed'em to my Absol. An' then if he's still alive I'm gonna suck his eyeballs out through his nose an' spit'em into a black hole." Charr is clearly /less than pleased/ with Discord's douchebaggery.

Looking fit to defectae fiery broken glass, Charr addresses his fellow foreigners. "Alright children, listen up- I may not be in charge but I do know that I'm jus' about th' most aggravated pony here, so I'm willin' t'count this if'n you lot are. We can't use our radios obviously, so use /noise/. If yer in trouble, roar, scream, tap out morse code, nuke a chunk'a th' maze, whatever. Somethin' so's somepony else can come an' getcha. Take a moment to get yerselves righted, bitch a little bit, an' then let's get our flanks in gear. Those girls need us as much as we need them. If you can find a way t'cheat that cock-eyed bastard's rules, I recommend doin' so."

With that, Charr turned and began walking in AGAIN. "Too Mew damned old fer this crap.."
SUMMARY - Charr «< - Charr's too old for this shit, Riggs.

Yuna wrinkles her nose at the smell of peppermint; it's not a bad smell, but it's likely to get annoyingly strong, especially if they start damaging leaves. "Right … Elner, you'd better stay out here," she tells the robo-faerie. "Go let Celestia know what's going on if she doesn't already, and if Discord lets you monitor the groups' progress, keep tabs on everyone for me. I'll want to know what I missed later."

Shoring up what dignity she has, Yuna looks around at her companions for the 'disharmony' maze run. She knows Charr well enough, and she's seen the Gokaigers before, both off Equestria and on it. Staren is a relatively familiar face too; Yusuke and Knight Pegasus are the ones she doesn't really know - she may have met Yusuke somewhere along the line, but the reploid-pony is a complete stranger to her. "I'm Yuna," she introduces herself with a bow to those she doesn't really know. "I hope we'll all get along well." Then she turns and follows Charr; she was going to take the lead, but he beat her to it and she's not going to put up a fight about something minor like that.

Applejack just keeps glaring daggers at Discord, even grinding her teeth a little. When the god of chaos finally disappears, she immediately starts heading toward the entrance. "Alright, y'all, we jes' have ta navigate this here maze. Ah'm sure that if'n we put our heads tagether, we can figure it out." she says, quickly calming herself down. This is not the time to let her anger get the better of her. She stops just under the entrance arch and looks back. "Y'all ready?"

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - Taking things as they come; Elner's going to try to keep a bird's-eye view of things if possible (not that it'll do Yuna a lot of good*)

SUMMARY - Rarity «< - Even Pinkie Pie doesn't like the prospect of this 'game'. Something is seriously bucked up here already.

Staren continues to scowl at Discord…

Until The Elements of Harmony disappear. No… the maze changed. He and the other outsiders have been teleported! Alarmed, he looks around and calls out, "Hey! Twilight, can you hear me?!" And now his radio's out. That… is really worrying actually. No chance to get backup. He tries to return to his scowling expression as Discord continues explaining.

When Discord cheerfully bids them good luck, Staren just flips him off. It's a gesture that doesn't work very well with hooves. So he transforms, but by then Discord is gone. "Hrmph." He reaches under his bandana and pulls the silver-and-opal amulet from his neck, so that he won't accidentally use it out of habit, tucking it into his labcoat pocket. "I guess we play for now. Come on." He looks around, waiting for the others before going in with them. He somehow doubts his automap will still match the maze, but it's worth a shot until it's proven not to work, at least.

"Charr, we should _not_ split up. What if there are monsters in the maze or something?"

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Flipping off Discord doesn't work with hooves! Switching forms and telling the group to stay together.

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - Getting a move on.

There's a little buzz sound from the Mobirates. Seems like the Gokaigers' communication was jammed along with the others' radios. "Well, let's get in there," he says, leading his team into the peppermint maze.
"We'd better find something that'll help at the end of this," Luka says.

Knight Pegasus glances between Staren and Charr. "Splitting up means we run the risk of being overwhelmed by the enemy. Staying together means we progress very slowly. Either way presents trouble. I suggest we split up, either way. If we run into trouble we can try to reunite."

Twilight blinkblinks as…all the friends of Harmony disappear. "Hey! What did you do with our friends?" Twilight demands, but Discord is gone before answering her. She huffs, then nods to Applejack. "We should get going. The sooner we reach the end of the maze, the sooner we get our connection to the Elements back."

Twilight rears up, kicking at the air. "Let's go girls! Equestria is depending on us!" With that, Twilight gallops into the maze. She feels…very awkward. Even though a horn has little effect on balance or speed, she doesn't have her magic, and that just makes her feel exposed and vulnerable. But, she doesn't let is show, knowing she and her friends will need plenty of confidence and few distractions to make it through.

"Yusuke Urameshi, Spirit Detective. I have tools that could help, but not when I'm a naked pony." Yusuke grumbles, beginning to walk toward the maze. "Come on, let's beat the hell out of anything we see until we find this guy. We really need any other plan? This crap is rigged, this is some David Bowie BS."

"Hey!" Rainbow Dash stomps on the ground as the others are abruptly whisked off. "That's totally not fair!" She then pauses, and lifts a hoof up to her face. "Oh, right, spirit of chaos. Iiii guess he doesn't really do that 'playing fair' thing." She lets out a little huff, glaring in the direction that Discord once was. But when Twilight calls out that Equestria is counting on them, Rainbow brightens up.

"Yeah! Like Twilight said, Equestria is counting on us, and there's no way we can let them down!" She nods her head firmly, and approaches the entrance to the maze. "There's nothing that we can't overcome if we all stick together!"

Fltutershy blinks, and her head tilts slightly at Yusuke… and she frowns. "What is a David Bowie Bee-Ess? I've never heard of —" she states, then was about to protest beating everything up … but even she knows deperate times call for desperate measures. And she quiets down as she turns to go with her friends!

A smile returns to Applejack's face as Twilight takes the lead, and she starts galloping after their unofficial leader. "Right ya are, Twi. An' when we're all tagether, there ain't /nopony/ who can stop us!"

She almost makes it too easy.

"I hope there are monsters, Staren." Charr turned around and straightened himself out, presenting that hardassed jarhead sergeant attitude that's.. Well, I'm not going to go into a four paragraph description of how it's intimidating. Just picture Charr as a sort of pony-like, Arab/Irish Jew version of R. Lee Ermey who is not happy but not quite to screaming yet. "Because if there are monsters here an' there part of Discord's games, I'm gonna find'em. I'm gonna find'em, I'm gonna cook'em an' then, I'm gonna eat'em. I've danced this jig before, Staren- god-like bein's fuckin' around with us mortal folk because it amuses'em. I did not enjoy it then an' I am not enjoyin' it now. Especially not when th' closest thing I have to a real family is out there riskin' their naive little necks fer what may well be jus' a fool's errand! We split up an' tear-ass our way through this joint. If you don't wanna split up, follow me. If you do, go whatever direction I don't so's we can cover more ground."

Yeah Charr's just not in a good mood right now. "…Sorry. I.. Shouldn't be so cross but I'm gettin' that bad feelin' again. Th' last time I had this feelin' a whole lot of people very nearly caught a serious case of dead. I don't wanna see a repeat performance."

Fluttershy looks around to her friends, and with Applejack and Twilight heading in… she follows as well "W-Wait for me! I still don't think this is a good idea…" she ventures, but… no one really to hear.

From here on out, events taking place in the Maze of Harmony will be noted with '*MOH*'. Events taking place in the Maze of Disharmony will be noted with '*MOD*'

*MOH*
Together! Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it?

As soon as all six of the girls enter the maze, there is a rumbling underneath their hooves. Then one by one, hedges erupt from the ground, growing rapidly up between each of the six girls. They effectively seperate them all from one another, making it impossible for any of them to take the same path.

*MOD*
As soon as Charr and Yuna walk through one pathway, there is a rumbling in the ground underneath them. Abruptly, another wall of peppermint erupts from behind them, blocking their path - And blocking the others from following them. There is only one way for those two to go now, and at the end of it, they can hear voices.

SUMMARY - Discord «< - Being even duchier.

Applejack skids to a halt as hedges suddenly spring up between her and the rest of the girls! "What the hay is goin' on here?" she says, looking around for some way to reunite with them. Nope, completely blocked off. /Of course/ Discord would do something like this, they should've expected it…

"Hey, y'all alright?" she calls out, hoping they haven't been teleported somewhere else as well as walled off from one another. She gets that nagging feeling again, like things are just going to keep getting worse.

"I'm all about eating some monsters. If that's what ponies do, well, when in Rome. And I wanna taste that sexy Texan pony's apples. It's only a matter of time before she gets turned human and starts wearing Daisy Dukes." Yusuke nods firmly a few times, solidifying his motivations in his mind. "And I wanna smash that douchebag's face in."

"The hell?" He watches as the peppermint wall raises, then immediately starts running. "You think I can't break through peppermint with a horn?!" Then starts running towards it, intending to smash his horn into the wall… y'know, despite having zero experience with smashing or having a horn.

Staren doesn't like the idea of splitting up. Sure, Charr can handle himself, and so can Staren, but… Yusuke… is… a spirit detective, and Yuna's a… magical girl, and the other guys are… pirate sentai. Okay, they probably _can_ all handle themselves. Still… He'd rather stay with Charr. Being _alone_ _and_ at the mercy of a reality warper sounds _really bad_.

And then the maze decides for him! "Charr! Yuna!" He crouches down, hovershoe thrusters firing as he leaps, trying to grab the top of the wall of peppermint (using the grapple tag up his left sleeve to get a grip if needed). "Wait up, let me get a look from the top of the maze!"

SUMMARY - Staren «< - So much for sticking together! Trying to scale the wall with thruster shoes and a retracting grapple gun.

"Eep!!" Yuna does a quick little four-step shuffle as the ground rumbles underneath her, moving forward a little faster - good thing, too, as the maze grows another wall to separate them from the others. "Charr and I are okay over here!" she calls out to the others, hoping that they can hear her and respond despite the hedge-wall. "What about the rest of you?" She glances at Charr, motioning for him to stop while they make sure the others are okay … but she's already heard the voices, and is wondering who else could be in the maze. Particularly when this is the version that *didn't exist* a few minutes ago, at least not on the castle grounds or that Yuna knew about.

… this is making her head hurt and she hasn't even run into Discord's REAL curveballs yet.

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - The only way out is through, but that doesn't stop me from making sure the others are okay.

Rarity huffs, muttering something to herself about not coming to Canterlot properly attired for extended sun and heat exposure, but follows after the other girls. Pinkie just poings along as usual.. though stops a moment and looks around. "What was that? Did anyone else just feel red—Oof!" She turns around just in time to smack into the hedge that comes up between her and Rarity.

On the other side Rarity jumps back with a gasp, then looks the other way as another wall of bush comes up between her and the others. "Oh, that is the last straw. Not only is he breaking us up, but these hedges are horribly tacky. Lilac is totally out of season. I doubt the Queens would -ever- allow such floral disarrangement in their royal gardens, the cad!"

Yes, Rarity is juust fine. With a hmmph she flicks her bangs out of her face with a hoof and starts truding down the corridor she's not stuck in.

"Okay girls, see you at the victory party at the end. Save some chocolate rain and face kicking for me!" However she manages it, Pinkie Pie is as cheerful as ever as she bounces down her path.

Knight just gives Yusuke a Look(Tm). "Focus, kid." He flicks his wings once but otherwise makes no effort to take flight, instead watching Staren make his attempt at scaling the wall. He has a feeling it's going to end badly. "We're all fine over here!" he calls out in response to Yuna. The 'for now' is left unsaid.

SUMMARY - Rarity «< - Rarity bitchs about the poor choice of fauna and gets moving. Pinkie Pie is… well, Pinkie Pie.

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Trying to be the Only Sane Pony.

Charr paused as the maze decided to mess with him. <._.> ears flattening to the sides of his head, he turned to face the wall. "…Hang on a sec. Lemme try somethin'.. Hey! Move back from th' wall!" Raising a hoof up to feel at the wall with closed eyes, Charr silently brushed his hoof along it for a few moments.. Before rearing back on his hind legs, reeling back his left hoof, "EYAH!" And then slamming said hoof into what he determined to be the /apparent/ weakest point as hard as he damn well could.

SUMMARY - Charr «< - Charr used BRICK BREAK on the Discord's PEPPERMINT WALL!

"AYEEEEEE!" Fluttershy cries out, skidding and shying away from a hedge, about to go a different way when /that/ way closes up on her. Giving a harsh cry as she panics and just covers her head with her forelegs, shivvering before Applejack and Rarity… and Pinkie's voices call out.

"I'm… I'm okay! she calls out. "… can't I stay right here? … no… I guess not…"

SUMMARY - Fluttershy «< - is being Flutterish and scared… but… but will be brave! /For Friendship/!

"Whoa!" Rainbow Dash staggers to the side to avoid trying smacked in the face by one of the hedges. Only to end up getting caught up in the hedge on the opposite side of her. "Oh come on, first you take away my wings, THEN you split us up? I am so giving this guy a kick in the face when we meet him!" But at least she can hear the girls on the opposite sides of her.

"Come on girls, let's get moving and finish this guy's lame game!" She calls out to them, trying to put as much encouragement in her voice as she can. "See you girls at the finish line!" And then, she's off, galloping down her path in the maze as quickly as she can.

The Gokaigers watch surprised as Charr and Yuna are cut off from the rest of the outsiders. "He's trying to split us up!" he exclaims. "Best get close together if you don't want to be on your own!" The Gokaigers, as expected, get into a tight formation, though it takes some thinking with pony bodies. They watch as the others attempt to do things like knock down and climb the walls.
"Let's help them out, everyone! No flying, no magic, but there's no rule against weapons!" Out come the Gokai Guns, which for some reason they can shoot with hooves. The Gokaigers focus their shots on one spot on the wall.

Twilight is just about to turn and try to reassure Fluttershy when the ground begins to shake beneath her hooves. "What now?!" she exclaims just before her question is answered by hedges rising from the ground, separating her from her friends.
Twilight nods as she hears Rainbow Dash. "Rainbow Dash is right, girls! Let's get through this and get Discord back under control." She starts through the maze, then calls out as she runs. "We don't have to fight, Discord. I'm sure you don't want to be locked in stone again. If you just stop all this, maybe we can all be friends rather than enemies." She is not above trying a little intimidation in an offer of friendship.

*MOH*
So far, the way is clear for the Harmony Knights. They haven't even had chocolate rained on them yet, so maybe Discord is trying to cut them a break. Or not. Who knows how this guy thinks.

But Twilight gets a response in the form of a low, evil chuckle. "Aw, well aren't you cute. We'll just see what you'll think after you're done with my game…"

*MOD*
As Charr uses all of his ancient Chinese secret knowledge to try and break down the peppermint wall between them, the wall… Bends. It bends much like it was made out of rubber.

On the opposite side of the wall, the wall bends outwards rapidly. And right into Yusuke as he tries to tackle the wall with his horn.

It then snaps back at Charr with all of the force of his brick break and Yusuke's tackle.

As it bounces back again, the wall smacks into the energy released by Captain Marvelous's crew. The energy ricochets, bouncing back and forth around the hall and generally being dangerous.

For some reason, Staren's grapple can't find the top of the maze. … Because the maze keeps getting taller, and taller, and taller as the hook shoots higher up.

Meanwhile, the voices behind Charr and Yuna grow louder. Three of them become distinctly aparent - And none of them sound like Discord.

"It's MY turn to guard the doors!" Says one.

"No, it's MINE. You had the turn last time!" Says another.

"Hehehehe, is it time for toast yet?" Says a third.

Applejack sighs in relief. Good, the others are all fine. She turns around toward the only path available to her, which of course looks just like every other path in this maze. She starts walking. "Alright, Ah'll see y'all at the center o' the maze! Don't get yerselves hurt now, ya hear?"

Yuna's ears flick as she hears the talk about 'guarding the doors' and 'toast', even as she backs away hastily from the violently reverberating wall. "Everyone *still* okay?" she asks as things hopefully settle down somewhat. "… look, Discord may not be planning to play fair, but if he's serious about making this a 'game' then it has to be possible for you guys to win too. See if there are other paths you can take - Charr and I can take care of ourselves, and there's something we need to check out."

At which point she tries to horn-prod Charr, if necessary, to get his attention. "C'mon, we've gotta see who that was talking. If there are guards then there's a way 'out' somewhere ahead of us, it's at least worth checking out. If the two of us can stick together, we can watch each other's backs if we run into trouble."

"….Aw /hell/." Charr knows THIS feeling. The leader of the Bug Gym did this to him once an eternity ago-AUGH. Energy bouncing back like that means that not only does his hoof fly into his face, but his whole body goes along for the ride, bouncing back and forth between the peppermint walls until it is all spent. "…" Charr rises to his feet and.. Say, is that smoke coming out of his ears? Why yes, yes it is! His mane and tail seem to be.. Catching alight too. "..Right. What Yuna said." Turning, he would pick a random direction- which hey, just happened to be the direction that would start leading him towards those voices! "Well let's not sit here with our thumbs up our butts then, let's get our flanks in gear."

*MOH*

Something rustles in the side path near Applejack. But nothing else is supposed to be in the labyrinth, is there? If she were to look, she could see what looks to be three apples in the center of the path to her right.

But they only stay put for a second, before tumbling off and down the next bend, rolling away all on their own.

"And your mane is on fire," Yuna adds in passing as she turns to lead the way in search of those guards. Or at least the voices. Two, three, however many there turn out to be.

Staren clings to the wall as it shakes about below, facepalming as things bounce around… and then he looks up. Did the maze get _taller_?! He sighs, and lowers himself down once the energy is done bouncing. "Alright. Come on guys, there's no point in standing around." If the entrance looks at _all_ like the original maze entrance, he picks the path that should lead to the center according to his map, unless Charr and Yuna are already in it. Otherwise, he picks a path at random. "Come on!"

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Picking a path and getting the group moving!

Applejack of course looks toward the sound, hoping that it might be one of her friends. But no, it's far too early for that. "What in tarnation?" she mutters at the sight of the apples, and then starts galloping after them when they roll off. She isn't sure why, but she's getting a /feeling/ from those apples, like they'll lead her where she needs to go. They're just like her QT mark, after all, so how could they steer her wrong?

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - Being manipulated.

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - Time to look for the guards, or whoever was talking

"Damnit!" Yusuke goes flying back, tumbling until he's laying on the ground, groaning. "That bastard thinks he can outthink me, when he's too afraid to even fight me man to man? Well, now I've got a master plan." He starts to push himself up, then begins to approach the wall again. "Everyone! Start licking the wall!" This time he approaches the wall again, and starts trying to lick it.

Staren sighs. "Guys, the wall grew taller when I tried to climb it. We're not going to lick our way through." Unless it suddenly works because Discord decides to be contrarian. He's okay with that.

As Knight follows after Staren, his path takes him near Yusuke. The pegasus takes the opportunity to grab Yusuke's tail in his mouth and attempt to forcibly drag him away from the wall. This goes without comment because his mouth is (obviously) full.

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Giddyup. :|

"Lick the wall? That'll take forever," Don complains. "Anyway, we got a hint, didn't we? Wrong is right, and right is wrong… Therefore, right is right, so… we should go to the right," he suggests.
"Unless that's wrong," Marvelous adds. "Anyway, I'm not sure we can trust any hints we get from the enemy. We should rely on ourselves." He puts a hoof to his chest.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Now I'm singing All Hail Shadow in my head.

*MOH*
The apples keep on rolling and rolling, just out of reach of Applejack. They take one fork, rolling further away from the center of the maze. And into…

The maze abruptly gives away to what looks to be an orchard. An apple orchard, full of all sorts of apple trees, brimming with red, green and yellow apples. When Applejack enters it, apples begin to fall from the trees, tumbling into piles that… start to roll around Applejack.

And form holes for eyes, and what looks to be a mouth.

*MOD*

It doesn't take long for Charr to find the source of the voices.

These voices actually turn out to be coming from a very large, red and blue polka-dotted dragon. Well, large in the sense that it is very fat, not that it is actually very tall. Except that instead of one head, this dragon has three heads. A three headed hydra. And it looks to be guarding two doors in the back wall. Both doors look exactly the same, except for the fact that they're on opposite sides of the room.

At once, one of the heads takes notice of Yuna and Charr coming down the path. "Hey look, Bob! Guests! We haven't had guests in so long, not since the LAST time Discord was set free!"

Bob, the other head, simply huffs, snorting out a little bit of smoke, "What would we want with guests? The last guests we had tried to cut me off."

"No they didn't, they tried to cut ME off."

"Did they bring toast?" Says the third, in a sort of detatched tone of voice.

Yusuke takes a lick of peppermint wall.

It tastes like peppermint.

It's not very effective.

In some obscure corner of the maze that is now somehow a -lot- bigger inside that it was outside, Pinkie Pie comes to a fork in the path. She looks to the left, then to the right, then stops and rubs her chin with a hoof. "Do I go left, or do I go right?" She holds a hoof in one direction across her chest. "Right means right, but right might not be right because Discord is crazier than I am." Then crosses it over with the other foreleg. "But left might not be right either because it isn't right. So it doesn't have the right of way." After a bit of fumbling her legs she just drops back to the ground, thinks for another moment, but then bounces off in the left. "Looks like I'm going to the left! Because if left isn't right, then right is all that's left. Right?"

Rarity also comes to a fork in the path.

No. Really, there is a fork lying in middle of the path.

Rarity snubs her nose in the air as she trots past and doesn't even acknowledge this gag with a response.

SUMMARY - Rarity «< - Bad word plays and sight gags ahead

The Gokaigers also end up going down the same path as Staren and Knight.
*MOD*

There is nothing down one of the paths that Knight, Staren and Yusuke go down (And Marvelous and his crew, if they chose to follow).

But as they go down one hall, they would see… a statue of a pony. It's not a very good one, mostly because it seems to be yelling. Really, who would want a yelling statue?

It's not moving. It's a statue.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - I probably should go somewhere to.

SUMMARY - Discord «< - Douchier and douchier.

Yuna smiles gamely as she trots towards the dragon - although she stops well out of biting range, and is ready to dodge (or fight) if the dragon shows any sign of making a hostile move. "We're kind of just passing through, but if you could point us in the right direction, Discord sent us here when we were trying to help some friends of ours." She glances at the two doors, then at each of the three heads.

She can pretty much smell a puzzle waiting to be solved. What was it Discord said at the entrance? 'What is wrong is right, and what is right is wrong …'

"So, what are your names?" she asks. No reason to be rude to the guard(s), after all. "One of you is Bob …"

"Hey!" Yusuke exclaims, but gets dragged away from the wall before yanking his tail away. "I think I get the riddle. Wrong is right, and right is wrong. That means we've gotta do the wrong things." That's his two cents at least, until they get to the statue. He stares up at it, tilting his head. "Alright, watch out for snake haired ladies. Unless it's just a statue… Maybe if I strain I can sense its spirit energy, if it's real." And so, he does strain. The least he could do is see if the thing is something alive.

Twilight frowns slightly at Discord's response to her. "Fine. Then, consider yourself warned. We will not allow Equestria to suffer under your cruel claw." she says back. She's unaware of AJ's apple ambush, or anything else that is happening to her friends. She just keeps galloping toward the center of the maze. She makes a few wrong turns, but she doesn't give up. She keeps going, occassionally calling out to see if any of her friends can heard her.

Charr just kind of stares at the hydra-door for a few moments while puffing on his pipe. He's had a moment to calm down, but he's still fairly agitated. "I don't care what yer names are. Yer obviously some kinda pet puzzle of Discord's so let's hear what th' punchline is afore I decide t'cheat an' we all find out how effective lava is."

Applejack keeps on running and running, the apples just out of her reach. Deep down inside, she feels that they're just leading her further away from the center, but an even stronger feeling is telling her that she's going the right way. She decides to trust the latter.

"What's an apple orchard doin' in the hedge maze…?" she wonders aloud, her gallop turning into a slow walk as she clops into the middle of the orchard. Then the apples start falling and turning into strange little faces. Well, that's…to be expected, probably. "Who're you? Why'd ya lead me here?"

Staren sees a statue. The idea that it's a pony that was turned to stone _immediately_ comes to mind. He walks over to it. "Hey, uh… I don't suppose you're still alive?" Looking around warily for what might have turned it to stone. "Wait…" He looks up. "Hey, you said you didn't turn ponies into stone!" Although… this could be a trick… aaagh!

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Investigating My Little Stony

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - Continuing to be manipulated.

*MOH*
Round and round the piles of apples circle around Applejack, "We are the guardians of the grove of truth!" Says one of them. "You may ask us one question!" Says the one made of green apples. "Past, present or future!" Says the third, made of yellow apples.

AND OH NO FLUTTERSHY LOOK OUT FOR THAT-… Vase of flowers that she see would see as she comes around the next corner.

*MOD*
"It's not me," Says the dragon head that the one called Bob. "He's Bob."

"Don't be such a prude. He is too Bob. And you may call me Tim!" Says the other one, sounding rather amicable, actually. For an aparent minion of Discord, they seem almost… Nice. Well, one of them does. "And oh of course! You don't want this door," He says, pointing to the one next to him with his muzzle. "It won't lead you to your friends."

"Don't listen to him," Says 'Bob'. He points at the door on his side. "This one will lead you straight to your friends!"

"Which door leads to the toast?" Asks the third.

"This one!" Says 'Bob', pointing to 'Tim's' Door. "How many times do we have to tell you, neither of them have toast?" Says Tim, rolling his eyes.

As for the statue… It doesn't move. Doesn't budge. Doesn't utter a word.

But there is another statue further down the path. This one looks like a very large bird. It's just as immobile as the other.

Staren gives the pony statue a worried look, but… it seems he can't meaningfully interact with this object. He frowns slightly at the bird statue. "Is that… a rock roc? I guess we follow the puns…" He approaches it, looking for the next statue or other weird object.

"Okay …" Yuna nods, looking between the two doors. "And what color is my mane?"

Now she remembers this one - one lies, one tells the truth, and the third is apparently just there to be a confusing distraction from the other two. She suspects Tim is the truth-telling head but it's best to make absolutely sure.

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Is that a roc rock? Let's take a look…

Fluttershy had been going at full tilt around the corner, panicking to herself about being seperated from her friends, eyes wide and mane flaring behind her before…

… A VASE OF FLOWERS! LOOK OUT!

She gives a sharp cry, and skids to a stop, leaving deep lines in the ground as she flops to her hindquarters, and looks at the flowers.

Flowers?

"Oh dear…" she murmers to ehrself, and thinking it /may/ be a trap, goes to sneakily tip-toe around the vase.

Ahim moves forward to the statue. "If it is a pony turned to stone… there's nothing we can do about it is there? We'd have to use magic to reverse the spell, and that's against the rules he set up at the beginning."
Meanwhile, Joe's gone on ahead and spotted the next statue. "Look, here's another one… It's a bird," he says, looking back to the others.
"Well isn't that interesting?" Marvelous says. "Let's look on ahead and see if there are any more of these statues."

Applejack rubs her chin with a hoof. One question, huh? Well, she'd better make it a good one, the whole of Equestria is riding on her and her friends' efforts! Now, what is the most logical thing to ask apples from a grove of truth?

"What's gonna come o' this mission?" she asks them. Wait, that's a dumb question, she should've asked them where her Element is! But alas, it is too late, the damage has been done.

Knight frowns as he looks at the statue, and then the bird further down. "This Discord was sealed into a statue, wasn't he? Do you suppose they're like him, sealed away to prevent them from causing trouble?" Or…maybe they were victims of Discord. But he doesn't voice that thought aloud. Instead he attempts to move past the statue while keeping an eye trained on it, just in case it decides to do something. Magic is kind of a headache.

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Moving along, nothing to see here.

Pinkie Pie continues to bounce along her route, not really paying attention and keeping going at this point. "This is the way we follow the maze, follow the maze, follow the maze! This is the way we follow the maze, so early in the morning!~", singsongs the pony as she poings along, despire her earlier misgivings about the 'game'.

Charr doesn't say anything since Yuna has this. He hates these puzzles, they're always annoying as hell.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Jiruma Maji Magiro is not allowed.

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - Asking dumb questions.

SUMMARY - Rarity «< - Pinkie Pie is being Pinkie Pie. Carry on with your chaos.

"What if we're in the future and these are the other ponies who already went through the maze? And a bird." Yusuke tosses out there, attempting to sense spirit energy in the next statue this time. At least if it's alive, this is one way to possibly figure it out. Unless ponies run on pure magic juice. "This is ridiculous. What's right is wrong, what's wrong is right…"

He stares over at a wall across from the statue, then starts running towards it, as if he intends to smash into it with his head. Similar to what he did with the rubbery peppermint wall. "Running through walls is wrong, so this is right because it's wrong and it can never be right because it's always wrong as long as it is right! Suck it!"

*MOH*

It's almost like the apples expected something like this because they all start to grin creeply. "This we can answer!" "But be warned that the truth…" "Might not always be pleasant!"

Apples roll and rumble towards a small pool, guiding Applejack towards it. The waters ripple as they get close… "For the answer you seek" "Go ahead, take a peek."

And when the waters smooth again, Applejack would see an image of her and her friends, all standing around. Then, she'd hear Rainbow Dash yelling at them in anger. "I hope I never see you again!"

Then Fluttershy, "Me too!" And Pinkie Pie and Rarity yelling, "Fine!" Then it shows Twilight in the waters, saying, "It's settled then! We each go our seperate ways!"

Then, one by one, they run off in different directions.

Meanwhile, something flutters out of the pot of flowers that Fluttershy so feared. She was right, it was a trap!

*MOD*

"Oh that's simple, it's a lovely shade of blonde!" Says 'Tim'.

"Are you blind? That's the brightest pink I've ever seen!" Says 'Bob'.

"Oh! Oh! It's toast!" Says the third.

Both heads smack into him.

Off to one path that the remaining group pass, Knight Pegasus might hear what sounds like a chicken clucking in distress. It's hard to see what's down there, but there are more statues lining the path…

Meanwhile, the glint of something silver might catch Joe's eye, sitting tucked away just to one side of the Roc statue. Yes, it's a Rock Roc. And that is a silver feather, glinting in just the way that it would catch Joe's eye.

Meanwhile, Yusuke would get… Something…. From the bird. It's faint. Too faint for the statue to be /alive/. But maybe… it was?

But as it turns out, maybe running at walls /is/ right this time, because this time, the wall CRACKS, and shatters right near the base, leaving a hole large enough for a pony to walk through into the next hall.

Yuna nods sagely, smiling. "I wanted to make sure - I haven't trusted anything since Discord broke loose."

Backstep a few paces, lean over, whisper to Charr, "My mane *is* still blonde, right? It didn't change color on me?"

Because you can never be TOO sure without narrowing down all the possibilities. But if Charr confirms that Yuna's mane is in fact still blonde, then she heads towards the door which Tim did not warn them away from …. although she stops before getting there, and looks at the three-headed dragon. "So what's through the other door? … Besides toast."

Again. You can never be TOO sure. And there's something to look for besides their friends, after all.

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - Unravelling the riddle - and inquiring about the other door for good measure.

Charr nods at Yuna. "Unless my eyes are playin' tricks on me, then aye.."

"AYEEEEEEEEE!" Fluttershy squeals, and goes to cover her head again… until she sees that it's just a butterfly! No harm can possibly come from a butterfly, right? Fluttershy's ears come up, and she goes to stand and walk past the flowers.

SUMMARY - Fluttershy «< - No harm can come from them… right?

Applejack approaches the pool, already dreading what she might see in it. But what she sees is far worse than she could ever have imagined. "No! Our friendship…over?" she cries, backing away from the pool in horror. And it's worse than that, the world in that image was even more chaotic than it is now… "The Harmony Knights…defeated?"

She takes her hat off, holding it over her heart as she lowers her head in sorrow. It almost looks like she's…/giving up/. "It can't be true…it just can't…"

*MOD*

"Oh, that door won't lead you to your friends either," Says 'Tim'. "And it definitly won't lead you any closer to the exit."

"Sure it will!" Announces 'Bob'. "It'll lead right to them! Don't be an idiot!"

"Awww, there's no toast?" A pause, "… Maybe muffins?"

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - And here we go.

"Hah! And Genkai said doing the same thing over and over again never gives you different results. I found a door!" Yusuke yells out. And if by door, he means huge smashed in hole, then he has indeed found/made one. He heads through without hesitation, briefly looking back at the statue again. "I think those statues were alive before, I can sense dim signs of spirit energy. But there's not a hell of a lot I can do except try and shove this guy's further up his ass and see if that does anything." he casually suggests, looking around in this next hall for more clues.

As AJ is having a horrible truth revealed to her, Twilight has slowed to a trot. She's starting to wonder if there even -is- an end to this maze, or if it just circles endlessly. She wouldn't put it past Discord to pull such a dirty trick. "Girls? Can you hear me?" she calls out. "Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie! Is anyone there?"

… so hang on a second.

Tim is apparently the truth-telling head, yet he says that neither of the doors will lead to their friends.
Bob, in his backwards manner, is verifying it.
And toast-boy is as unhelpful as ever.

"My head hurts," sighs Yuna. "Charr, are you making any better sense of this than I am?"

"Question," Knight said in as loud a voice as he dared so that the other two maze explorers could hear him. "Isn't a cockatrice similar to a chicken and capable of turning things into stone?" Because he thinks he might have found where the statues came from.

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - I've got a very bad feeling about this…

Staren winces as Yusuke charges the wall, sure it won't work — but it does! "The statues _were_ alive??" Staren looks at them in alarm. "I don't get it… Even for Discord, what good is turning people to stone? Once they're statues you can't really do more to mess with them, they're dead…" Well, Yusuke seems to have a good thing going, so Staren decides to go through the hole and see where it leads. "What's wrong is right… I can't believe that worked…" Discord: The true identity of Omega?! (No not that one, the philosophical thought experiment one) Somehow, Staren suspects it wouldn't work if _he_ tried it. "Sometimes. Sometimes a cockatrice's gaze just kills things, I think."

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Investigating the hole Yusuke made

"Th' answer is simple, Yuna- either we're goin' th' wrong way, or Discord's boys're screwin' with us so's we waste time. There is a principle fer this known as Hasim's Kegger; when in doubt, th' simplest solution is ale." This may not mean much to Yuna unless she remembers how flammable liquor is, and how flammable Charr is. The typhlosionpony walks up to the hydras and states his case very simply:

"Alright lads. One of you tells th' truth, one of you always lies, one of you is a complete moron. Therefore!" Charr reared up on his hind legs, and smashed 'Tim' right in the face with his (thankfully) hornless forehead.

SUMMARY - Charr «< - Charr attempts the classic 'Cutting The Knot' solution.

Luka comes to inspect the bird statue, while Joe examines it more closely. "Hang on, over there… there's a feather sticking out-" Before he can stop her, Luka has plucked the feather from its lodging place.
"If it was alive, it was probably beautiful," she says, sticking the feather in her mane.
"…Do what you want," Joe says, rejoining the others as they head through the hole.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Luka Millfy came from town, turned into a pony. Stuck a feather in her mane, I hope she won't get stony.

"Um, that's the truth-telling head you just headbutted, I think," Yuna points out.

*MOH*

One of the piles of apples shuffles up closer to Applejack, "If all the truth does…" It shuffles away, only for the green one to approach. "Is make your heart ache…" It pulls away again, only for the yellow pile to approach Applejack.

"Sometimes a lie…" Its eyes begin to swirl hypnotically with all sorts of different colors… …Is easier to take…

The voice is almost just as hypnotic. A lie is easier to take, isn't it? It's easier to lie then to tell the truth…

Nearby Twilight Sparkle, something rumbles, and a previously unseen passage way rattles open.

A second butterfly flutters past Fluttershy. And then a third! Oh, they're actually rather cute, aren't they?

"Fluttershy!" They say in unison, fluttering around her innocently. "Looks like you've been left behind by your so called friends, huh?"

*MOD*
"Trust me, my door's better," 'Tim' says, shaking his head.

"Says you," Bob rolls his eye, "I'm telling you, my door leads to your friends!" But he's lying, isn't he?

"I want muffins now."

And then, CRACK, Tim gets headbutted. He staggers backwards, his eyes wobbling, "What did you do that for!? That wasn't very nice!"

"Says you! That was the nicest thing they could do for you!" Laughs Bob.

Abruptly, the crack that had formed when Yusuke had broken through the wall seals up as soon as Staren, Yusuke, Captain Marvelous and his crew as they pass through it, leaving nothing but a solid peppermint wall behind them once more. And leaving Knight behind with the urgent clucking. Luckily, the feather is just a feather. A very pretty feather, but a feather.

Whatever it is that's down the hall of statues to the left of Knight… It /sounds/ like it's in trouble, whatever it is. The sound is getting even more urgent than before.

Charr gestures to Tim and Bob and the other one. "Now y'know which one is tellin' th' truth. So which way do we go?" Impatient hooftapping. "I wonder if'n th' third one exists solely t'attack people what ask sneaky questions when their guard is down.." Peer.

*MOD*

The third head stares right back at Charr. Then says, "I exist for toast!"

Answers that question, doesn't it?

Fluttershy's face lights up briefly at the butterflies, finally, something /GOOD/ happening out of all this.

Until the butterflies begin to speak. She listens, one ear cocked, but she gives a gentle smile and protests.

"Oh, no no! I'm certain that they are doing their /best/ to find me!" she states with her gentle confidence, one hoof rising up. If she had wings, they would fluff out slightly.

SUMMARY - Fluttershy «< - = I have faith in my friends!
Yuna lets out a breath. "Thanks for your help, Bob; I'm sorry about the headache, Tim. And if we get the chance to send some muffins out here for you, we will. I don't think toast will keep as well in transit, though."

And with that, she opens Tim's door and heads through, holding it open for Charr to follow. No point in getting FURTHER separated.

"Alright, back that way would be the direction that idol-voiced pony and the European guy are. That'd probably be the right way, or at least the way we want to go. So this other way would be the wrong way. Let's go the wrong way." Yusuke turns away from the direction he assumes Charr and Yuna would be, heading in what he assumes is the wrong way instead. "Hiei and Kurama would be a hell of a lot better at this than I am."

"Bye nice blond lady! Hope Discord gets you, jerk!" Says Tim.

"Have fun storming the castle!" Says Bob.

"Ooooh, toast castle!" Says the third that they never got the name of.

The door leads to another hall. And then, as soon as they pass through it, it snaps shut behind them.

Then the floor gives out into a pit about ten feet tall, ending in a soft stop in sticky cotton candy.

"Hahahahaha! Oh, those three are ever so much fun, aren't they?" Cackles a very familiar, probably hated voice. But he's not visible. "But it looks you two didn't listen to my advice! You were supposed to chose the WRONG choice! Hahahaha! Have fun getting free~"

Disharmony test: FAILED.

"………."

Yuna lowers her head, teeth gritted as she seethes quietly, and her horn crackles with barely-restrained energy as she struggles with the urge to just put holes in something.

She settles for taking a big bite out of the cotton candy in front of her, chewing slowly, letting her saliva dissolve the strands of spun sugar and swallowing the big mouthful in small portions.

She is *so* going to kick Discord in the hindquarters when she gets a chance.

Twitch. Twitch twitch. Smoke begins to appear as Charr snorts the stuff out in great quantities. "..Yuna. Move. Move now. I know yah didn't.. Do this on purpose.. So.. Jus'.. /Move/." Mane and tail promptly burst into flames, the typhlosionpony's eyes go bloodshot with rage, and then he just starts kinda.. Spitting flames everywhere he can reach.

Did you know that cotton candy is almost as flammable as toilet tissue? Seriously, stuff goes up like *that*.

But then, a rope falls off of the edge of the pit. It's sturdy, and if they pull on it, it doesn't come free.

From beyond the pit, there is a voice, "Hey, pardners. Sounds like that feller Discord is up to no good." It's a mare's voice. But while the accent would be familiar, the tone… It sort of sounds like Applejack, maybe? It sounds older though…

There is a mare standing on the edge of the pit. Golden orange, similar to a familiar orange pony and yellow maned. But instead of three apples, there's six? It's not Applejack.

Especially since… She's transluscent, like a bad hologram.

"?" Yuna looks up and back at Charr ….

Oh *hell*. She starts scrambling, firstly trying to get loose from the cotton candy, secondly to get the hell *out* of Charr's fire vectors. But given that she was leading the way ….

… well, hopefully her Light Suit'll keep her at least as safe as it usually does.

A rather singed Yuna manages to get to the rope and wastes absolutely no time at all in scrambling up it as fast as she can; she's not even *thinking* about how she can grip a rope with her hooves, she just *does* it. "Charr, if you can lay off the flames for a bit and maybe not burn the rope, we've got a rescue! Sort of." She canters around briefly, her tail swishing as she tries to make sure it's not smoldering or burning; she can't make much more certain than that about her mane. "You're one of Applejack's family, right?" she asks the six-apple mare as she finishes that round of damage control. "Or … well, at least you look like you would be. I don't remember meeting you, though."

So yeah. Charr's.. Less than pleased with this development. He has every reason to be! He's scared, scared for the girls. This Discord creep is slowly but surely proving those fears /right/ and this is cause for him to, as we used to say in the ghetto, get his knickers in a twist.

I'm not going to post all the angry roars and screaming, but suffice it to say there's an /impressive/ variety of combinations of words like fuck, faggot, dick, shit, dead, motherfucker, y'know the basics. The kind of things you /expect/ from an angry marine.

He's fine after a minute, blown off some steam. Wrecked some cotton candy. Left a nasty smell. "…Huh?" Looking up. "Oh. ..Sorry! Didn't mean t'scorch yah, Yuna.." He'd follow her up the rope afterwards.

The apple marked pony doesn't seem bothered by the flames all that much. But then again, she doesn't look like she's all that there. "I reckon you could sorta call us family," The orange pony admits, "Or 'least the image is of family, that of the first honesty knight! Y'all could call me an echo of that there element of honesty or somethin' all smart like that." She scuffs a hoof against the ground, "But I ain't really here. Y'see, that Discord feller is up to more no good than yah know. I ain't know what. But seein' that I'm here, he must've done somethin' mighty bad to the Element of Harmony." The image fizzles briefly, fading for a moment. Then returns, but a little dimmer. "Gosh darnit, the connection's gone broke. Look, I ain't got much time. Applejack… She's gonna need friends like you. You gotta remind her…"

The image fizzles a little more, like something's interfering with the reception. "When it's time… Remind 'er…"

"Darnit!" It dims further, almost becoming hard to see.

The voice can still be heard… But just barely. "One… and one… and one… equals… three thousand!"

Then, it's gone.

(OOC Note: The clue was wrong at first. It's now: One and one doesn't equal three thousand.)

Charr chews on his pipe a bit as he looks at Yuna. "…One.. An' one.. An' one.. Equals three thousand? What in th' Samual Langhorne /hell/ does that mean?"

"I'm not entirely sure," Yuna admits. "But harmony - taking the separate parts and blending them into something far more than the mere sum of those parts …" She nods. "That's the closest I can think of to a logical answer. So - help me remember it, will you?"

Charr tapped a hoof against his head. "Mind like a steelix's arse. Let's get outta here.."

"Well, that's just great." Knight cocks his head to one side as he hears the distressed clucking, though, and starts to head in that direction for lack of any better ideas. He uses his shield as an impromptu mirror, however, allowing him to move from statue to statue and peek around the corner before moving on to the next. What could be making that noise? Maybe it wasn't a cockatrice after all?

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - Making a practical approach on the creature

Applejack puts her hat back on, looking up when the apple piles start speaking again. She knows what they're saying is wrong, but…it feels so /right/. The pain of losing her friends is just too unbearable, and everything these strange creatures are saying just makes so much sense.

As their eyes turn into hypnotic swirls of color, it's only a second or two before Applejack's eyes follow suit. But more than that, the color is draining from her body. Starting at the top of her hat, it quickly flows down to the bottom of her hooves, leaving her a lot more…gray. After that, she just stands there as if dazed, staring off into space with her mouth hanging over and wobbling from side to side.

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - Discording complete.

Staren glances behind him, "Mister? We're going this—" But the wall closes up. He presses against it and bangs a fist on the wall. "Dammit! I… I'm sorry! It looks like we're separated! Hopefully a cockatrice can't hurt a reploid… Good luck! If you get turned to stone, we'll come find you after this is all over!" And then he turns to look around and survey the new area they're in.

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Good luck, robot dude whose name I forgot to ask! Now, what's on _this_ side of the wall?

Ahim seems a bit concerned about the goings-on behind them, but the closing wall fixes that problem. "I'm sure he will have the situation well in hand," she reassures the others. "Let us continue onwards."

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Door slam, set. Let's… GO ON!

Twilight is almost past the section of hedge when it opens, and skids to a stop to go back. She hears voices talking, but can't make out what they are saying, and by the time she spots AJ, the 'guardians of truth' are gone. She smiles with relief as she sees Applejack. "Applejack! I'm so glad I found you!" Twilight looks around for the source of the other voices, but only sees piles of apples. "Who were you talking with?" she asks. Feeling a bit hungry, she starts to try and take an apple. But…without a horn, her magic does not work. She sighs, and decides that apples in a Discorded area might be tainted somehow anyway. "Come on, let's keep going. I'm sure we'll find the others soon."

SUMMARY - Twilight Sparkle «< - Hungry for Truth

At the sound of Twilight's voice, Applejack shakes her head, clearing the swirls from her eyes. "Huh? What?" she mumbles, turning around to see her friend standing there. "Oh, I was talkin' ta, uh…nopony! I was talkin' ta nopony." Immediately after saying this, she bites her lip and starts glancing from side to side rapidly, as if checking to see if anyone's watching them. Strange…

At any rate, she follows Twilight further into the labyrinth.

SUMMARY - Applejack «< - Liarjack.

*MOH*

For a moment, the little faces of the butterflies look annoyed. But it passes quickly. "Well…" They flutter around her, innocently as can be. "It must be SO upsetting to know how weak and helpless they think you are!"

They aren't very nice butterflies, are they?

Meanwhile, while Pinkie Pie is bouncing along, she would hear the distinct sounds of… A PARTY!

*MOD*

Further and further down the hall knight Pegasus goes. And more and more there are statues… Statues of all sorts. But it doesn't take long to find the source of the clucking chicken.

Knight would come to a larger room, and in the center of the room it looks like there is a big pit of sand. In the center of that sand is… a chicken, about halfway submerged in the sand. It clucks and squacks, trying to get itself free, but the more that it struggles, the more that it sinks.

At least nothing is coming out and biting the others just yet… In fact, there is nothing down the hall that Staren, Yusuke and the sentai team take.

Staren looks around at the complete lack of interesting things. He tries licking the wall. "Well… if there's nothing here, we keep going until we find something. Let's hurry, guys, who knows what kind of danger the others may be in! You've got four legs, use 'em!" His hovershoes activate and he begins to skate onward faster, although making sure he doesn't get far ahead of the others.

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Nothing here? Let's go faster until we find something, guys!

"Oh, not at all!" she states, with a wide smile. "I /am/ weak and helpless, and I appreciate their understanding!" Fluttershy replies to the butterflies with a nod of her head, pleased that she's able to speak so nicely to these butterflies… in spite of them being kinda bullies.

(Somewhere, Angel Bunny blinks out of sleep. Someone /else/ is bullying Fluttershy! What a horrible nightmare!)

SUMMARY - Fluttershy «< - =n.n kindness, ho!

SUMMARY - Charr «< - Temper tantrum complete. Escape is go!

PINKIE PARTY SENSES TINGLING! Well that and it helps that a balloon drifts seemingly strayly past her in the same direction as the sounds of a party to help get the easily distracted ditzpony's attention. She actually stops and stares at it for a few moments… before realizing it's floating away. "Wait for me Mr. Party Balloon!" Quickly she bounces off after it.

*MOH*

The butterflies only look more annoyed at Fluttershy's response. How can butterflies look annoyed? Well, these ones DO.

"Yes, well," The voice briefly goes deeper, then goes higher again. "Surely it BURNS you up!" The voice goes softer still, trying to be innocent again. "I mean, that they're always pointing out your flaws, riiiight?"

Just LOOK at those innocent faces. So innocent. ^.^
When Knight comes into the room with the chicken his first thought is 'this is some kind of trap'. He considers just moving on, but this cues a heavy sigh. Unfortunately, he's not the kind to just walk away from someone in distress. So he calls out to the chicken: "Hey! Listen!" He's using his shield as a sun-visor just in case it really is turning things into stone with its eyes. "I can help you out of there," he says in as soothing a voice as he can manage under the circumstances, "but you have to calm down, alright?"

WHich is why she /suspects nothing/. Fluttershy gets a puzzled look up at the butterflies. Her lips purse slightly into a pout as her teal eyes curiously peer upwards. "Not really, in fact…"

And here comes the happy n.n face. She taps her forehoof on the ground. "I think I'm awfully lucky to have friends who want me to be the /best/ I can /be/." She smiles, her head tilting forward. She kinda feels… /bad/ for these misguided butterflies.

Twilight blinks a few times at AJ. "Did…you just…" Twilight shakes her head. "No…couldn't be." She dismisses her suspicion quickly. AJ never lies. So, Twilight takes off down the maze again, with Applejack in tow. Who will she find next? She hopes her other friends are equally unharmed!

*MOH*

For a moment, the butterflies all grit their teeth angrily. "AUGH!"

Then, in a flash, they all disappear. Only to be replaced by Discord in all of his glory.

"OH FOR GOODNESS SAKE!"

Huffing, he lands on the ground. He grits his teeth, simply /glaring/ at Fluttershy. Now we know he's evil, he's /glaring/ at Fluttershy.

He reaches out, and taps an eagle claw on top of her head. Light glows around his claw as the spell settles in, and starts to gather around Fluttershy. Kindness? Who wants to be KIND? No one deserves KINDNESS!

"You've been KIND for far too long my dear!" He huffs as the spell does its magic, and starts to stomp off in the other direction. "Time to be CRUEL!"

Then, he bends around backwards to glare ta her again, "ARRIVADERCI!"

Pinkie Pie's party senses are right! The ballon bobs and wobbles, and floats along the path, leading Pinkie Pie along down the hall deeper into the maze.

And then, leads into a room that is simply /decked out/ in party. Streamers and confetti and cakes and of course, LOTS AND LOTS OF BALLOONS! EVERYWHERE, BALLOONS!"

*MOD*

At first, when the chicken spots Knight, it starts to struggle even more, squacking in fear and anger. But as it struggles… Knight might see white feathers go into… something green and scalley where the chicken's feet SHOULD be. Oh, that can't possibly be good. But the beast is stuck in quicksand. And… it doesn't seem to be striking out at Knight, or trying to stare at him with its beady, red eyes. It clucks at Knight when he tries to calm it down, actually… seeming to listen a little bit.

Meanwhile, Staren would hear… Laughter? Not too far off in the distance to the right of him.

"We can speed up too," Marvelous responds, nodding to the team as they call out "Gokai Change!" <GOOOOO-ONGER!> answers the Mobirates, as a big silver icon that looks like a cross between a car speedometer, a letter G, and an eye flashes over the team, turning them into the Go-ongers. Normally they'd change into their Gokaiger forms first, adding an extra layer of protection, but they only need to go fast anyway. The tires on their boot cuffs spin as they slide off like drifting race cars after Staren, even making the sound of race cars.

Applejack just follows Twilight quietly, still glancing around from time to time.

Staren gives the gokaigers a confused look when they make racecar sounds. Uh… sure.

And then he hears laughter! "Guys, I hear something! Get ready for more weirdness!" He speeds up a little, watching the right wall for openings, ready for… who knows!

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Let's check out that laughter!

Fluttershy looks horrofied, ffacing Discord! /on her own/! But then… THEN… her colors fade from her head down, becomign a dusty, dirty yellow and a faded pink. Her eyes gain swirls as she teeters slightly, looking lost. Fluttershy! /Without Kindness/!

SUMMARY - Fluttershy «< - @_@

Pinkie Pie… actually slows down from a bounce to a trot as she sees BALLOONS everywhere. "Wow. This is the biggest, best balloon party I have every seen, ever!" Pause as she glances off to one side. "Granted it's the first balloon party I've ever seen." But then giggles and start trotting again. "But that just means there's nothing for it to be worse than instead!" Maybe this crazy game of crazy Discord's isn't so bad after all…

*ZIP!* A streak of color darts from one corner of a hallway to a nearby vase. Rainbow Dash stops, peeking out from behind it. She glances one way, then the next. Seeing nothing, she walks out and into the open. "Hmm. If I were the Elements of harmony…" She mutters, tapping her forehoof to her chin, "Where would I be." She huffs, looking behind her at her back. "I totally wouldn't be on the ground if I could help it. But, gotta keep moving!"

Rarity meanwhile has managed to find of all things a -hill- in middle of the maze. At least from her perspective it looks like a hill. If someone were able to see the hill from above the maze they'd see she's actually walking sideways across the hillside instead of up and down. Those accursed reality warpers!

By the time she gets to the 'top' and the path levels out into proper physics again, Rarity is looking rather grumpy and flustered. "I came to Canterlot expecting an audience with the Queens, not…" She pauses a second, then finishes with an obviously sour tone of distaste in her voice, "outdoor sports."

Knight cocks his head to one side. Would the right thing be to help the creature? Or would that be wrong because it was a monster? And if it was wrong, would that make it right? …on the other hand, Discord didn't exactly strike Knight as the trustworthy type. So maybe it wasn't worth worrying about. Either way, the pegasus snapped his wings outward. "Okay, here we go." And with a lunging start he leapt into the air, flying above the chicken(?) and dangling his tail in front of it. "Grab on and I'll pull you out." …probably.

SUMMARY - Knight Pegasus «< - One good turn deserves…?

End Part 1

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/37 Posted Author
Letter from Celestia Wed Jun 20 Rainbow Dash


<A letter marked urgent (And which was enchanted to tap an operator on the head until they scan it in) appears on the network. It is in Celestia's usual flowing, elegant script, but without the usual royal pomp and circumstance>

To the Union Elite Forces,

As of early this morning, the recent waves of chaos that have been plaguing Equestria have returned for the third time. Unlike previous waves, it has not yet withdrawn. Under the circumstances, I am confident that it shall not.

It is with no satisfaction that I must state that my concerns were correct.

Events have lead to the prison holding an ancient force of chaos to unexpectedly become weakened. These waves of chaos we have been experiencing were the result of this force's powers escaping, and an attempt from it to break free. Despite our best efforts, it has broken loose, and it is now freely spreading chaos across our world.

Do not be fooled by the seemingly benign and ridiculous forms of chaos that this force spreads. It is a cunning, powerful, and decidedly evil foe that threatens any peaceful existence. This force may not as of yet threaten the Multiverse - But I fear that may change if we do not act quickly to seal this threat again.

I have already requested the presence of the Harmony Knights Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle. Others who wish to join them to meet with me and discuss our options are advised to rendezvous with them in the capital city of Canterlot.

At that time I shall reveal all that I can.

Yours in Harmony,
Queen Celestia of Equestria

(OOC: See 15/29 for scene details.)


Scene: Chaos has a Name
BGM: pRK - Theme of Discord (http://youtu.be/YN4T2HM6X9Q)

Canterlot - <Equestria> (Location #2)


Set in the mountains in the heart of pony kingdom lies the capital city
of Canterlot, home of Queens Celestia and Luna. The jewel of the kingdom,
Canterlot castle is visible from miles around, massive unicorn made spires
pointing the way for travelers.
A winding road at the base of the mountain leads up to the plateau that
Canterlot has been carved into. Walls have been erected along the walls at
several points, blocked off by guarded gates protecting the kingdom. Beyond
these walls is the city of Canterlot itself, rising up around the main road
that leads up to the castle.
Shops and houses all share a similar, ornate architecture that can be
found throughout the city and the castle itself. Domed buildings are
prevalent, and most buildings are made from carved, smooth stone, with
decorations that focus a great deal on solar and lunar themes. Most shops
and businesses are found alongside the main road itself, with residential
areas located off of roads branching off of the main street. Shops of all
sorts line the main road, featuring wares crafted by unicorn, pegasus and
earth pony hooves from all around the Kingdom of Canterlot.
The houses and shops become more and more ornate the closer to the
Castle they are, depicting more noble homes and businesses. Houses become
more like mansions, and shops more geared towards ponies with more refined
tastes.
Set up against the mountain itself is Canterlot Castle, rising high
above the city itself. White stone spires rise up from the castle grounds,
domed with gold in a myriad of different designs, most depicting the sun in
some way or form. Waterfalls surrounding the castle spill down into a
nearby lake, the foam causing prismatic rainbows to form near the castle at
all times. The lake itself forms a moat in front of the castle, a guarded
drawbridge protecting the castle. The castle gardens, blocked off for most
of the year, are barely visible beyond the lake near the spires. Near the
front of the castle is the castle ballroom, reserved for high class events,
and of course, the Grand Galloping Gala.

The weather is currently in chaos. Clouds of cotton candy fill the sky,
zipping about raining things from cotton candy to cola, jawbreaker hail or
even things a little more painful. Even the winds and the temperatures are
completely out of control and unpredictable.


Contents (6 players not shown) Exits
Applejack <EF> Road to Equestria Fields
Captain Marvelous <Civilian>
Charr <WarPony>
Discord
Fluttershy <Plain>
Jinx
Karian <Mark vii power armor>
Rainbow Dash <Pegasus>
Staren
Twilight Sparkle
Yuna Kagurazaka <Pony>

Canterlot!

The proud capital of Equestria, and the home to the Queens!

The trek getting here was certainly interesting. Nothing was as it was supposed to be. Cotton candy clouds are everywhere. And it wasn't JUST cotton candy clouds either.

There's chocolate clouds and marshmallow clouds. Rain went from chocolate milk to cola, to orange pop to jawbreakers. Winds would pick up, and all sorts of things would blow by, from hats to shoes, to things that probably don't even belong on this world.

And then it'd all die off.

Only to start all over again after a few minutes.

But as Canterlot came into view, it looked like the palace and the surrounding city were in one piece. In fact, it almost looked peaceful. Maybe it's the powers of the Queens that is keeping the chaos at bay.

One way or another, Canterlot station is coming up fast, so those taking the train had better be ready for whatever comes their way.

At least the train itself is still functioning, though who knows how long that will last.

But it's a little soon to be reaching the station by train already…

Applejack, not being able to fly or teleport like some of her friends, of course took the train with everyone else. She stands at the window, looking out over the passing countryside, and heaves a sigh of relief as Canterlot Station comes into view. "Whew, Ah was expectin' some kind o' trouble, but it looks like we made it. Best still be on our guard, though, dunno what we might run into out there."

Fluttershy was on the train in, pacing fretfully between a pair of seats, her fetlock down and wings firmly planted to the side of her body. She looks like she hasn't been sleeping peacefully since the chaos begins, her eyelids are a little droopy and she's trying to hide her tiredness behind her nervous, fearful energy.
However, the sight of Canterlot brings her a sense of peace. If Celestia and Luna are still in power, then it can't be /all/ bad — can it?

Staren heard Equestria had trains but he's never been on one! It's… actually an experience he's never had! RIFTS Earth doesn't really have much in the way of railways, at least in America, and anywhere else, his mecha and teleporter take him wherever he needs to go! So since the elements of harmony are taking the train _anyway_, he happily gives it a try! He sits by a window, staring out at the passing countryside when he isn't discussing science and the pony field with Twilight (so apparently if a humanoid coems here, becomes a pegasus, injures their wing, and leaves, the injury goes to their chest and ribs! Weird huh?)

At one point Staren looks up at the sky. "Hey, check it out! Neopolitan clouds! And it's not raining chocolate anymore! It's—" he slides a window open and sticks his head out. "Mm, orange soda!" And then he gets bombarded with jawbreakers. "Owowow!" He quickly pulls his head back in and shuts the window.

Karian, in pony form, Sits near everyone else. Somehow, he managed to keep his armor on, roughly his height, and his power sword attached to him. He looks over everyone, expecting, and partly wanting something to pop out for him to bash on.

After the last two chaotic weather incidents, Yuna took particular note when she heard about Celestia's note to the Union, and made a point of arranging her schedule so she'd be able to attend the royal briefing. Elner is with her, predictably enough, and the little robo-faerie's barriers may have seen some use before getting on the train.

The sounds of assorted unpredictable weather smacking into the train's roof has had her somewhat on edge during the trip, but so far nothing has sprung a leak or the like … still, the approach to Canterlot station fills Yuna with a mix of relief and anticipation, not necessarily all positive. "I don't recall Queen Celestia being overly concerned about protocol … ?" she asks one of the Harmony Knights (they would know best, after all, especially Twilight Sparkle - so that's probably who Yuna's directing the question to.)

"Can't this thing go any faster?" Usually, Rainbow Dash doesn't mind the speed that the train rolls at. But today, the thing simply can't go fast enough! Through the course of the short trip she's gone to pacing back and forth along the halls, then tapping a beat on the wall of the train, anything to try and not think about the craziness that's going on outside of the train. It's not working really well. Finally she just flops down on top of a seat, rolling over on to her back. "I'm already sick of this weird stuff, it's making it a pain to fly anywhere fast."

Pinkie Pie, of course, has her head stuck out of the window, gladly gulping down anything that falls from the sky. Though the jawbreakers slow her down a little.

Charr is of course on the train too. Roll is with him- the rest of his pokemon crew is staying in Ponyville, to keep everypony safe. "Glad y'came Karian. Mew knows we might need yer strength. …Also, glad t'see that yah've figured out th' local ponyfyin' effect ain't harmful none. Roll dear, be a good girl an' give Mr. Karian a brew while we're waitin' fer th' train t'stop?" <Kay!> Roll would pull a beer out of her tail and offer it to Karian with a big goofy smile on her face <(^v^)>. "Mmm.." Charr looked out the window, watching as it rained.. Orange soda. …And then jawbreakers. That might be worse than hail, but /what in the hell is going on/? This doesn't make any sense. Unless.. Maybe they're defending against some sort of irritant with a massive sweet tooth? Might explain it..

"Pinkie dear, don't do that. Yer gonna get yer face all banged up. Here.. Aha, here we go. Use this t'catch them hard candies so's y'don't get all beaten up." He would produce an umbrella, stick it out a window, and pop it open, demonstrating to Pinkie that she could catch them with it without subjecting her face to beatings. Wouldn't do to have the girl get all messed up, now would it?

As the others talk amongst themselves, Twilight has several books spread out on the seat around her. She blinks a bit as she hears Staren yelping, and looks toward him. "I would suggest you keep the windows closed. Although the majority of the weather is harmless enough, you never know when the chaotic clouds could cast a cola cascade."

Twilight then looks to Yuna and smiles. "No, Queen Celestia is not overly concerned with protocol, but Queen Luna, if she is around, may be more concerned." she says.

"The train's already goin' as fast as it can, Rainbow. Calm yerself an' stop frettin'. We're almost there." Applejack says to Rainbow Dash, then turns to Pinkie. "What in tarnation…Pinkie, /stop that/. Ya know what that stuff did ta the animals, Ah ain't exactly excited ta find out what it'll do ta you. Last thing we need right now is a mutated Pinkie Pie eatin' everythin'." Just a little further, and they can get in there and find out how to stop all of this madness. That's what she keeps telling herself, anyway.

"A cola cascade?" Staren telekinesises a kerchief from his bag and wipes the orange soda off his face with it. "Man, this has got to be wreacking havoc on the poor plants. Once we take care of the chaos, I hope there are spells or something to undo the ecological damage…"

He looks over to Twilight. "Say, all this time coming to visit Equestria, but you know, I've never met the Queens! What are they like?"

Karian looks over and reaches, taking the brew and slurping it down. "Aye. I imagine so. Besides……I don't pass up the chance to slay some chaos. Though it will be a new experience like this."

Ever since the unfortunate incident with chocolate rain and a bolt of oddly-colored lightning, Morg has made it one of his more pressing goals to figure out what the hell is plaguing Equestria with all this unfortunate weather. Something is behind it — that much he's certain of. The big two questions on his mind, though, are of course 'what is it,' and 'how do I kill it?'

Rather than subject himself to the pride-consuming ordeal that is 'being quadropedal and just shy of adorable,' Morg has opted to cook up another contraption to keep the 'pony field' at bay. His coat sports a round, partially-transparent disk-like contraption filled with gearworks, ticking like a clock. It occasionally flickers with a spark from inside it, a flattish piece of black rock wedged into it the apparent core. He hears a mild buzzing sound the entire time he sits on the train, but ignores it, assuming it's just a side-effect of the ghost rock chunk and the pony field having a poor time of it.

"Heh. Alliteration," he mutters, mildly amused. He's been pretty quiet, sketching out schematics on a clipboard he brought along instead of talking. He finds his own brand of telekinesis is a poor substitute for actual hands.

"Sl-slaying?!" Fluttershy's snapped out of her thoughts, and she gives a squeak. "Who said there would be any slaying? Has that cloud creature returned?! Oh, oh horsefeathers…" she mutters, considering hiding beneath some of the sets and just /staying/ there — but she couldn't abandon her friends like that.

Always independent, the Gokaigers have the Gokai Galleon headed towards Canterlot and are traveling that way rather than riding the train. "So we're headed to the queens' castle," Joe says. "Maybe we should have Ahim do the talking."
"We'll see if there's any talking we need to do," Marvelous says. "What we should be focusing on is getting to the bottom of all this chaos. We'll find who's responsible and make them pay for ruining our vacation!" He claps his front hooves together, trying to look as tough as he can as a pony.

Chugga chugga, chugga chugga, CHOO CHOO!

Indiginant of the chaos, the train rattles on towards Canterlot.

But somehow, Canterlot doesn't seem to be getting closer now. In fact, it almost seems to be getting further away.

No, that's not right. It seems to be growing smaller, and smaller.

Until they pass a small miniature of the peaceful Canterlot.

Huh, guess it was only a model.

But that means that the chaos covered Canterlot that is coming up is the real deal.

Much like the rest of Equestria, bright, differently colored clouds are zipping about, raining a mess of all sorts of different things. Much like in Ponyville, there are inanimate objects that have gotten free and are running about. Royal guards are quite busy, herding ponies towards the palace - Which seems to be the single spot that is divoid of the chaos at the moment.

As the train pulls up to the station, it emits a hearty wheeze. Then all the steam coming out of its stack abruptly turns into confetti.

"Um. Last stop, Canterlot station?" Announces a very confused sounding conductor.

"Relax, Fluttershy." Charr looked down at the nervous little pegasus and smiled. "Karian.. Comes from a very violent world. Slaying wicked things, s'par fer th' course where he comes from, see? He's never been to a world like here, like Equestria, where war an' bloodshed /isn't/ th' daily norm. He'll get used to it, though. Maybe even figure out ways t'help spread Equestria's beauty an' kindness throughout his Imperium." Positive thinking! Optimism! Truly, such traits would make Charr the most dangerous thing in WH40K if he lived there fulltime. Well that and being a fire-breathing xenos.

"It'll be rather nice t'see th' Queens again. Even under such.. Worrisome circumstances." They are nice ponies. Pity he promised Twi he wouldn't flirt with them, but.. Ah well, there'll always be other opportunities. "Ah good, we're finally here. Well then, let's everypony make sure we don't leave nothin' behind, aye? Make sure yah gotcher wallets an' any concealed weaponry, candy, purses, an' comm equipment.. …Roll where's my wallet?" <I has it!> ^v^ "Oh good. Keep hold of it then, alright?" <Kay!> "Good girl." Looking out the window, Charr.. Stares at the little Canterlot model, then at the chaos-filled Canterlot. "…Gonna be one'a /those/ days, I can see that now.."

It was a model? Applejack guesses she should've expected that, but it's still a little disheartening to see the real Canterlot behind it, covered in chaos just like Ponyville was. "Well, that doesn't look good." she observes, picking up some saddlebags filled with apples from the seat next to her and somehow slipping them on. "Ah'm ready ta go if'n y'all are. An' Charr, Ah'd tell ya ta lay off o' the flirtin', but Ah'd hope that much is obvious in this kind o' situation."

Karian finished up the brew and hands the empty mug back ." We're here now…..let's more on and get to battle. Chaos waits to be destroyed." He says, stopping a moment. He looks over to Fluttershy and stares. "Charr is right. I have seen things that you don't want to see….believe me."

Rarity has been here the entire time! You know how it is, sometimes one of the girls just doesn't get as much time at the front of every scene than others. Despite the rather intricate and to-scale quality of the model in passing the unicorn squints, holding a forehoof up to her forehead to shade her keen eyes as she peers towards the -real- Canterlot. "The clouds appear to be avoiding the castle. Hopefully the Queens are warding it or some such."

Twilight considers Staren's words a moment. "Actually…I would imagine plants would enjoy a carbohydrate-filled soil. They would not have to work as hard at photosynthesis, and the acids in soda would help leech more of the minerals from the soil, I would imagine." she says, then smiles. "And as for the Queens, they are both kind and caring. Luna is still in a bit of culture shock from her long banishment, but she is starting to get used to modern society."

As Karian and Charr talk about slaying things, Twilight's ears lower. "Guys…we probably won't have to kill anything. This is Equestria, not one of the Earths. We try to handle things in a more peaceful way. No one has been injured yet, and so far the chaos has been little more than an annoyance rather tha-" Twilight blinks at the model of Canterlot, and her ears lower even more at the sight of the chaos-ridden capitol. "…ohmy…"

What kind of model gets smaller as you get closer to it? … or it was just that small all along, more likely. Funny how it's apparently sheltered from the chaos despite that, though.

Yuna shrugs a bit - weird as that is when she has four legs instead of two legs and two arms - and makes sure she has everything. Which consists of … in this case, herself, her wits, and Elner. "Thank you," she says to Twilight Sparkle, albeit a little belatedly, and she joins the others in disembarking from the train. "Elner, can you put up a barrier to keep the worst of the weather off us while still letting us move?"

"I'm not sure," Elner answers. "I can try if it becomes necessary, but we may just have to endure it and clean off when we get there."

"Right," says Yuna, ears flicking a bit. "And Karian - I'm glad to see you here too, even though this probably won't involve combat. I'm hoping it won't, really."

If anything DOES pop out from under a rock and try to maul Yuna or her friends, though, she knows how quickly she can transform.

Poking her head up to a closed window, Fluttershy's azure eyes peer over the edge, and then she gives a deflated sound. "Oh, oh no." she squeaks, her ears pinning back and her wings flicking downwards, and she glances both ways, and looks at Twilight, at Rarity and Applejack and Dash… and she gives a look to the jawbreaker-eating Pinkie-Pie, and tries to steel her resolve.

"Mmph! Bmph mmph mmphh!" Pinkie Pie says around a mouth full of jawbreakers. It sort of makes her look like a pony chipmunk. On the plus side that many jawbreakers will probably take her a little while to-*CRUUUNCH*

Nevermind.

Pony must have teeth like diamonds to chew through those things without breaking them. Seriously.

Rainbow Dash flicks her wings irritably, then rolls over on her chair. She opens her mouth to say something, but stops when she spots the model of Canterlot go past. "Uh. Yeah, thaaat's not worrying at all," She mutters, peering out her window at it. She pauses once she spots the real Canterlot. Even her ears start to low back a little bit. "Oooh that is so not good." After a second, her expression grows steely, and she hops off of her chair and into the aisle.

"Well what are we waiting for!? Come on, let's go out there and meet the Queens! And totally buck the face of whoever's doing this!"

Staren has to admit that 'just shy of cute' really doesn't fit Morg. He looks at the device for awhile, wondering how it works. He himself… well, he's more comfortable in his natural form, but the ponies have been so kind and accepting that he really wants to fit in, and so he's made an effort to try and get used to pony form. But he doesn't expect anyone else to.

Staren ohs at Twilight's botanical expertise. "Well, that's good then…". He looks alarmedly at the model, until he sees the _real_ Canterlot farther on. Then he chuckles a little. "It's only a model."

His expression grows a bit darker. "You say we won't have to kill anything, but what about that ice monster at winter wrap up? And the candy cloud monster? I think what we did to them qualifies as slaying… but they probably weren't intelligent beings." He frowns as he sees the chaos-overrun Canterlot. "Great. Hopefully we can put an end to this relatively soon." He stands and exits the train with the others.

'No one has been injured' his butt. "Speak for yourself," Morg says. "I was out there playin' human lightnin' rod. If I get my hands on whoever is behind all this crap…" He trails off into inaudible muttering, mostly just grumbling under his breath. He squints at his schematic for a moment and adds a few notations near some criss-crossing lines, apparently some piece of an internal mechanism or another.

Morg looks up when they come to a stop. His first thought is almost but not quite verbalized — he thinks that asking if they're being robbed is probably a faux pas here, and thus ends up stopping himself at the last second — and his second is almost as bad. Pointing out that where he's from, the only thing they do to monarchs is kick them in the teeth is probably an equally bad plan.

Marvelous gets a call on the Mobirates. It's Don, who's up in the crow's nest of the Gokai Galleon, looking ahead. "I think I see it… Things look pretty bad from here."
"Right then, we'll just have to be ready for anything when we get there," Marvelous answers. "Full speed ahead to Canterlot!"

Twilight looks toward Staren. "I said probably. I am not so naive as to think that in this new and vast Multiverse that…taking a life…might be necessary at some point. But," She looks toward the center tower before blinking as confetti flows over them. "Pinkie? Did you do something to the train?" she asks, then looks to Morg. "But, you were not injured, were you? I mean, you were knocked on your back and turned into a pony, but you did not seem damaged by the encounter."

She is soon galloping at full speed after Rainbow Dash, eager to see her mentor and to find out what she can from the Queens about what is happening in Equestria. "Come on, everyone! Visiting the Queens should be our first priority!"

"Right, good idea.." Charr picks up Roll and tosses her onto his back. "Hang on, now." <Whee!> "Try not t'fall behind, Karian!" Once Charr has his saddlebags hooked on, he starts galloping off after Twi and Dash as well.

Luckily, nothing jumps out of them as soon as the group come out of the train. Unless someone were to count getting rained on as something jumping out of them. Good thing it's only chocolate milk rain, and isn't the orange or red pop rain that they had seen on the train ride up there.

But needless to say, even Canterlot is under chaos. Albeit a much different sort of chaos than someone like Karian might be familiar with…

"Is this really such a good idea? M-Maybe we'll just be in the way?" Fluttershy pipes up quietly to no one except herself as she gallops after Dash and Twilight, her eyes going wide as she attempts to stay out of the shadows of any of those crazy clouds!

Applejack is right behind Rainbow Dash, as always, bolting out of the train and into the chaos of Canterlot's streets. "So what are we gonna do if'n we get stopped by somethin'?" she asks the others, curious if they have any real plan here. "Jes' barrel on through?"

Karian gets off the train and chases after Charr. "You forget I train with wolves!" He bellows, using the wolvish gait and pace in his gallop.

Rarity is quick to take after the others, though her concern lies to more than just the Queens themselves. "Oh I do hope Fancypants and Hoity Troity made it somewhere safe." If anything were to happen to the few higher class ponies she can actually -stand- as well as do business with, both her career and her social friendships could be in jeopardy. "I hope the girls will be okay back home. We were rather.. rushed in finding a foalsitter for them…"

Scene cut back to Ponyville, the Cutie Mark Crusaders sitting around a table as pots and pans rattle off-screen and occasionally roll past. There's an extra forth with them this time with a small purple unicorn.

Whom claps his hooves eagerly as Ditzy Doo drops a cooking tin on the table loudly, google-eyed expression topped off by a saucepan lopsidly sitting on her head like a helmet. "Time to make the muffins!"

"And don't empty the fridge this time!" Carrot Top shouts in exasperation from another room.

The trio just look at each other, wondering if they'd almost been better off going to face the chaos in Canterlot with their older siblings (and idol).

Yuna takes a deep breath, exits the train, and heads for the castle, following Rainbow Dash as closely as she can - which is probably a lost cause if Dash puts her wings and airspeed to use. Yuna probably winds up closer to the middle of the pack, maybe a bit further ahead than 'middle' - she's in decent shape, as required by both of her jobs.

"Oh I was injured," Morg says flatly, "but the fact of the matter is, I've had worse. Wasn't a big deal at the time. Just makin' sure you ain't forgettin' that it /can/ be dangerous." He follows them out, stuffing the clipboard into a pack he promptly swings over his shoulder. Morg jogs after them, picking up the pace once he's a little warmed up. He knows how this 'running into the crazy' stuff works all too well.

Perhaps notably, he does not go for his guns /immediately/. Maybe he has some degree of respect for these folks for trying to keep things peaceful.

"I think he used divine power to block the worst of the lightning. It might have seriously hurt him otherwise… Just because he survived it doesn't make it nothing…" Well, there's one advantage to pony form: Speed! He gallops towards the palace with the rest of them, letting those who know lead the way. He's sure Morg probably has some invention that allows him to keep up. "So, what's the proper protocol for meeting a god-Queen? I don't think I ever have before. Do I need to bow and stuff? Is it polite to show up as a pony or does that make me come off as a poser?" He doesn't mention that, being from a reprasentative democracy himself, he has a somewhat dim view of monarchies. But hey, if the Queens are at all responsible for how great things are in Ponyville, then they're doing a great job and should keep it up! Also, the fact that they might actually be gods, even if the ponies don't call them that, lends a little more credence than usual to the divine right of kings thing.

Staren doesn't go for the weapons yet either, but only as long as the group remains un-attacked. Any furniture that comes after them will be getting laser-blasted.

Since the streets of Canterlot are filled with chaos anyway, the Gokaigers decide to drop the Galleon's anchor inside the city. Joe, Luka, and Don stay behind to guard the Galleon while Marvelous and Ahim enter the city. They keep their guard up but don't transform just yet, as they head in the direction of the palace. They keep an eye out particularly for strange clouds and animated objects.

Twilight's ears lower again as she hears Morg. "I see…" she says softly, then huffs a bit at Staren. "I was making my judgement more on the fact that he was able to get up, and did not require medical attention." the purple pony says with a glance back toward Staren. "And, the proper protocol is to be polite. Introduce yourself, then allow her to speak. Celestia and Luna will provide us with all the information they can, then will most likely suggest a course of action." It's almost like there's some kind of method to their encounters.
You paged Rarity with 'I think we were going that they were stolen when they take them out. But they could just go into their packs or realize that they're missing from their necks.'

"An' if Luna starts shoutin', wait fer 'er ta finish an' then politely tell 'er she's doin' it again." Applejack adds. She's probably joking.

"Doing what again?" asks Yuna, cocking an ear at Applejack.

"Speaking in the 'Royal Canterlot Voice'." Twilight answers for the cow-pony.

"SPEAKING IN THE ROYAL CANTERLOT VOICE," Rarity belts out as loudly as possible from the other side of Yuna. She.. actually does a fairly good impersonation (that may or may not be because they have the same voice actor.)

Twilight Sparkle 's voice is drowned out by Rarity's imitation. ._.

Meanwhile, Fluttershy's hiding behind Luna, her wings shaking from the imitations.

Cue Yuna letting out a yelp as Rarity startles her with that high-volume impersonation … only to come down with two hooves on stray jawbreakers from earlier, leading to her going flank over fetlocks and slamming down on the ground in a most undignified manner.

"…. noted, Rarity, thanks for the warning," Yuna adds as she starts trying to get back up.

Even though she could probably just zip on ahead of the pack, Rainbow Dash stays back with the rest. She keeps closer to the 'herd', her rose colored eyes darting back and forth all around her. "Yeah, they're usually really cool about all that crazy protocol stuff," She says, zipping over Staren. Then abruptly pulls her wings in, and rolls to one side to avoid getting clobbered by another cotton candy. "Luna's actually kinda fun, buuut keep her away from a storn cloud."

A pause, as she passes a sign that says 'No Fly Zone'. "Uh, that's not literal, is it?"

It doesn't stop her at least, but a few flies attracted by the falling food abruptly stop dead in front of the sign, as if hitting a glass wall.

"Indeed!" Charr concurs. He's only met the Queens a few times, not as often as everypony else, but he's figured this stuff out by now. "Most signs're fer real, Yuna. An' y'should also-" *WHAM*. Charr runs straight into an unnaturally sturdy pane of glass as two unicorns carry it across the street. "…Y'should also.. Be wary.. Of sitcom jokes.. ..Ow.." <You okay uncle Charr??> "M'okay.." Charr ducks /under/ the pane, and continues on.

Staren doesn't make the mental connection that they're running like a herd. He wouldn't be sure what to think of that. The thought of being at all like a prey animal is never a pleasant one — ooh, he should look into how that makes their psychology different from humans! Maybe it's part of why they're so friendly, having less agressive ancestors? But he's not thinking about that right now.

Rarity's imitation gets a blank stare. "Uh, okay." He quirks an eyebrow at the sign and its effects on the flies.

"Great. Maybe whatever it is is trying to turn Equestria into Xanth."

Karian chases after Charr, and just sighs as he slams into the pane of glass. "Shall I invest in glasses for you, old boy?"
The castle itself is heavily guarded. Between two guards at the front gate, four guards walking the road in front of the palace, and two at the second gate, a whole squad of guards are on patrol at the palace. Other guards are guiding injured ponies into the palace itself.

Just briefly, if someone were to look at the stained glass windows in the centeral portion of the palace, they may see the white shape of Queen Celestia pacing back and forth before them.

Luckily, it doesn't seem like it's actually that necissary for all of the guards. The closer that they get to the palace, the less chaos there is, like something in the palace is somehow nullifying it. Or it's the palace itself. One way or another.

As the group nears the gates, the two pegasi guards on duty abruptly extend out their wings, blocking entry to the palace.

"Halt!" One announces, though his expression doesn't shift in the slightest. He pauses for a brief moment, eyes looking over the rag-tag group. They focus on Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie and Applejack the longest. "State your purpose."

A low-flying cotton candy cloud zips in front of Applejack, but she lowers her head and manages to barrel straight through it, slowed down for a bit by the sticky candy. Okay, maybe avoiding it would've better. "Yeah, purty much like that. That was a good impression o' the Queen, Rarity!" she says, and then comes to a sudden stop as an inconveniently placed rake suddenly snaps up and whaps her in the face. "Owch! Ah dunno 'bout you guys, but this is gettin' on mah nerves."

The cowpony steps around the rake, which sprouts little wooden legs and walks off to a nearby alleyway, and continues running while rubbing her nose. That sure did sting.

Fluttershy catches up, somehow clad now in caution tape and carrying a bit of a limp and a line of paint along her side, her head lowered in utter. Embarrassment.
"I… the… the benches! One lept up with wet paint and /attacked/ me!"

As the group passes in front of a few shops moments later one of the display windows smashes open as several now animate and lively ponniquins leap out and give chase after the intreped heros. Though while their legs are moving like running, they actually bob up and down on their stands like the horses on a merry-go-round would. Complete with creepy calliope music out of thin air.

"Keep going, I've got this one," Rarity snaps at the others as she turns sideways and skids to a stop. Her horn lights up with the crystal blue glow of her magic, and ever prepare for a Fashion Emergency as she is, pulls several hats and cloaks out of her bags. "Yoo hoo~. Over heeeeere." And magically flings the accessories over the ponniquins' heads and down an alley that, being the clothes horses they are, quickly turn and follow.

A few minutes later she catchs up with the others, just in time to be accousted by the guards. She quickly gives Twilight a nudge. "Go on dahling, you're the Queen's protege and all." And hopefully somepony remembered to bring the message they were sent as proof.

"I really hate doctors," Morg says simply. Hence, no medical attention!

He catches up a few seconds after the guards halt the group. He's largely keeping up with pony speed through supernatural endurance and long strides. Having two legs is not really ideal for catching equines, but he manages to make it work. Next time, he's bringing jet boots. Hoofing it kind of bites. Another unappreciative thought pops into his head. They probably wouldn't be okay with riders, either.

Morg takes a moment to catch his breath. He looks between the guards and the natives on their side of them, brow raised.

Twilight skids to a stop, possibly causing a few other ponies to smack into her. "Wh-what do you mean? We are the Harmony Knights and our entourage." With a glow of her horn and a flick of her magic, Twilight pulls a copy of Celestia's letter from her saddlebag and unrolls it before the guards' eyes. "I am Twilight Sparkle, Queen Celestia's faithful student, and these are my friends. Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie." She gestures to each in turn.

"The others are allies from the Union. As per Queen Celestia's request, you must permit us to enter the castle and consult with the Queens. Something terrible is happening to Equestria, and we may be the only ones who can stop it!" Twilight declares forcefully.

Charr looks at Twi, then at the explanation given. "'Cept me. I'm Mortimer Balman, CEO an' proprietor of Balman Industries- y'might know me better as Charr. Not a native, but I live here in Equestria now. An' this fella here is my friend Wolf Lord Karian, of th' Space Wolves Chapter of th' Adeptus Astartes, from th' Imperium of Man. Very high ranking milit'ry official. I'm sure you lads recognize at least /half/ of us from th' Grand Gallopin' Gala.. Unless yer new here, I s'pose."

Yuna smiles politely at the guards, and waits for the Harmony Knights to identify themselves to the guards. When Yuna's turn to state her name comes up, she bows politely, as close to Japanese style as you can get with four legs - it may be closer to an equine curtsey, really - before straightening up and facing the guards directly. "I'm Yuna Kagurazaka, a lieutenant in the Union Armed Forces, idol singer, and the Savior of Light." She doesn't usually use that last title, but this seems like an appropriate exception. She continues, "I'm here with the express invitation of Queen Celestia, to learn as much as she can tell us about the reasons behind all of the chaotic weather we've had lately."

And with that said, she pulls out a print-out of Celestia's letter. "If it helps, I can vouch for those in our group who aren't with the Union - Charr and his squad, and Karian," she indicates each of the two veterans as she names them, "have been steadfast allies in many a past incident, and Charr has been a loyal friend to Equestria and its people in recent events."

Ha ha, hoofing it is exactly what that device is keeping Morg from doing! Ahem. Staren has hoversneakers. He'd lend them if asked. Also, ponies are kind of small for adult human riders. It's probably a bad idea.

"They don't know you guys?" Well, the harmony knights don't _live_ here, after all, and Equestria doesn't have TV news. So maybe the guards have really never seen them! After Twilight speaks, Staren introduces himself. "I am Staren of the Free City of Lazlo." He bows just slightly, more of a big nod. "I have come to love this land and don't want to see it become…" He looks up at the sky. "Uh… whatever it's becoming. Candyland?"

"Your name is MORTIMER?!"

Marvelous and Ahim catch up with the Union members just as Twilight is making her announcement. "I should clarify," Ahim says to the guards, "We are not Union members ourselves, but we have found ourselves involved in these events and…" She looks towards Marvelous, somewhat questioning his stated motive for joining this fight. "We wish to help. I am Ahim de Famille, and this is Captain Marvelous. Along with some friends of ours we are Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger." Yes, they're a Pirate Squadron and they're coming to help out a monarch. Surprising huh?

Karian bowed his head slightly as he was introduced. "Aye. A wolf Lord is the equivilent to a general in military ranks. I also have served for 120 years in the name of the Allfather. I will be one of your best assets."
<H-OtherGames> I AM ERROR, AKA MyWiz says, "As per my alts, I have… a lot of ones that aren't going to go anywhere, but I have Sutherland (engineering), Marshall (tactical, Ash-clone), another tactical (going to be another Ash clone if I do it), a science guy I've done almost nothing with, and a KDF."

Applejack skids to a halt in front of the guards, coincidentally right in line with everyone else. After taking a second to catch her breath from that last little burst she needed to catch up with everyone, she introduces herself. "Applejack. Friend o' Twilight Sparkle. Jes' let us in already, the sooner we get all o' this resolved, the sooner we can get back ta our normal lives."

Wait.

"Yer name's Mortimer? Ah thought it was Charr."

Without breaking the cross that their wings form, the one pegasus steps forward to investigate the letter offered by Twilight Sparkle. He looks it over carefully, eyes darting across the page. Eyes then return to the group in front of him. He listens, watching each of them in turn. Then he nods his head. "My apologies, Twilight Sparkle," He says as he takes a step back into position, "These are trying times. We cannot take any chances." He nods at the other guard, and both of them retract their wings.

"You may enter. Queen Celestia is waiting for you all in the main hall of the central palace room."

A pause, as the guard looks at Marvelous and crew, then to Twilight. "If they are with you, they may also pass."

Luckily, no one else will question them once they pass.

The central palace room is past the gates and through the courtyard, past the east and west chambers. Ponies of all sorts fill the palace grounds to the point where it almost looks like it's the Gala all over again. Refugees and the injured, aparently. But there are fewer nearing the central palace, and although guards are on either side of the golden doors, they will let them through.

To where Queen Celestia, a bright white, tall equine of horse stature, is pacing back and forth at the top of the stairs, just in front of blue, yellow and red stained glass windows. Her prismatic mane of blue, green and pink swirls around her in an constant wind, her hooves shod in gold. Unlike other ponies in Equestria, she not only has a pair of broad wings folded agaisnt her back, but a white horn that sticks out from before a golden crown.

For once, she looks… worried.

Charr shakes his head, and begins walking along with Twi and other ponies, and while en route to the Royal Throne Room, explains. "No. I was born Mortimer Whitney Balman, 'cause my Ma wanted me t'be named after her paternal father. When I joined the Groudan Marine Corps, they gave me th' nickname of Charrinah-Jakal. Charrinah was one'a th' Children of Moltres, a great warrior hero, th' Flame of Justice. Jakal basically meant 'thousandth incarnation of'. I gen'rally go by Charr so's I don't forget.."

Fluttershy skids, and crashes into Applejack's back with a squeak of suprise, the white paint falling off and caution tape blown away as she spreads her wings, and gapes up at the guard. She might squeak something, but when they're allowed entry — her eyes grow a little bit brighter. Her stance a little prouder, and whens he walks, there's an intsy, wintsy bit more pride in her step.

Why? This is the Safest Place in All Equestria.

Unless you're a forest animal at the Gala.

Yuna bows politely to the guards as she passes them, and - once she's on the castle grounds proper and the chaotic weather is being kept at bay more effectively - she actually *relaxes*.

The fact that the grounds are serving as a shelter for so many ponies - some injured, some seemingly healthy but clearly deprived of their normal homes - makes it hard to really relax, but it's still calmer here than it was outside. Yuna has to fight an impulse to break from the group and start trying to lift ponies' spirits however she can; she's reminded of what Elner told her a week or two ago, of how the Darkness seeks to spread suffering …

Whatever's behind all the chaos, though, Celestia is the best source of information on what it is and how it might be possible to deal with it. Reminding herself of that prods Yuna to stick with her friends, nodding hello to Marvelous and Ahim as she registers their presence, and she stays fairly close to the pack (herd, whatever) en route to the throne room, giving Celestia a deep and polite bow upon entering.

"No offense to your mother or her choice in names, but I think Charr suits you just fine," Rarity replies to the explaination. "Though you are hardly the first business pony to only sign his legal name on legal documents."

If there's one thing that can quiet down even a talkative socialite such as Rarity, it's the sight of the Queen Alicorn. Especially when she looks aggitated. And while the Queens tend to not be high on enforcing formal graces Rarity briefly bows all the same out of social courtesy and graces. "Your Majest—y?" She blinks as she lifts her head and glances from one side of the hall to the other. But there is only Celestia and stained glass windows. "Where is Queen Luna?"

"Ahh, named after your Grandfather. I imagine he was as powerful a warrior as you. Be proud of the name." Karian says, looking over to charr. "Though…..you'll always either be the Salamander or Charr to me and my brothers."

Twilight phews when the guards allow them passage. Then blinks. "Mortimer..?" she says softly to herself. But, paying it little mind, she starts toward the central palace room. The Gokaigers get an odd look from Twilight. She is unsure if she recognizes them or not for a few moments, but finally she decides she does, and approves them for entry into the castle.

As soon as Twilight spots Celestia, she gallops up to her mentor quickly. "Queen Celestia! It is good to see you! I wish it were under better circumstances." She bows politely, then hugs Celestia. Then, she looks around herself. "That is a good question…is Queen Luna asleep?" she says to Celestia. "I know she is still getting used to daily life in modern Equestria, but…" Twilight hesitates, then sighs softly. "Queen Celestia, you mentioned in your letter that an ancient evil has freed itself. Can you tell us more?"

Morg does not relax when the guards let them pass. Now there are fighters on either side of them. If a scuffle breaks out, he doesn't want to have to be the one to be at the rear… but it looks like that is just the case. He sighs inwardly, jogging up behind the pony-filled herd. He stops when they do, in sight of the Queen. Morg blinks in surprise. He expected her to be… shorter.

Morg tips his hat. It's about as respectful as he gets if he hasn't seen you gut a Wendigo with a rusty spoon or fight your way out of a zombie-infested army arsenal. He's wary, but it might just be the atmosphere of worry from his erswhile companions and the buzzing combined. He raps the heel of his palm on the side of his head in mild agitation.

Staren just sort of "Oh."s at Charr's explanation. The somber tone of it keeps him from laughing at the middle name (Whitney?! _Charr_ has a girl's middle name?!) He's not sure what else to reply. He nods to the guards. "Of course. Security is important. We could be shapeshifters or something, after all!"

Staren frowns slightly as he sees the regugees and injured gathered here. So many… Seeing Celestia (he assumes that must be her) is mildly surprising, but it's also interesting to confirm that yes, all alicorns apparently have that stature and The Black Queen isn't a freak, at least not in that respect.

And he met TBQ in his normal form, as a pony he's over a foot and a half shorter. Celestia towers over him… but hey, he talks to borgs and power armor pilots all the time, so it's not really _that_ weird. "Uh… Your majesty. Pleased to meet you." He lowers his head, then realizes he's not really sure what the four-legged version of a bow is, so he looks to the others and copies them. "You have such a wonderful land and wonderful subjects — I hope we can stop that from changing. I, uh, I'm Staren of the Free City of Lazlo." He looks up at her and blinks. "I've never talked with a queen before. I've also never been very good at formality, so, uh, I hope I don't offend in advance." Yeah the throne room is just so far out of his element.

Applejack has to stop herself from running over to help the injured ponies as they pass, continually reminding herself that she has more important business to attend to here. The injured can wait. When she sees Celestia, her radiant glory darkened somewhat by her somber look, the cowpony takes off her hat with a forehoof, crosses that same foreleg over her chest, and lowers her head. A second later, she puts the hat back on and looks up to the Queen and Twilight, waiting for the explanation and plan of action.

Marvelous and Ahim arrive inside the palace. Ahim mostly looks concerned for the refugees, while Marvelous focuses his attention on Celestia. It takes a while for him to realize that the others, including Ahim, are bowing to her, and he manages to get himself to follow their example. It certainly feels strange bowing to a monarch, given that the empire that rules their universe is their greatest enemy. But the multiverse is a different place, after all. From the look of her, Celestia seems to fit her royal title much better than the Zangyack's whiny prince does anyway.

As they pass, Rainbow Dash just can't help but stick her tongue out at the guards and raspberry. Either they don't notice her, or they've been so well trained not to react. Probably the later one. It's sort of a thing she's got going on.

Gliding along with the pack, Dash can't help but look around at the ponies milling about the courtyard. "Geeze," She says, reaching up to rub at the back of her head as she watches a pink pony tend to the wounds of one of the guards. "Everypony's getting messed up by this." She shakes her head quickly as if to clear it, "Ugh, no way we can let this keep going!"

Rainbow doesn't actually land when they reach the throne room, which should probably be protocol. But she does bow over forward to the Queen, crossing a forehoof in front of her without even missing a wing beat. "We're here to help, Queen Celestia! Just point us at whoever's doing this!"

As the herd storms into the room, Queen Celestia looks up from her contimplation. She stops her pacing to face the group gathering in front of the staircase. A warm smile forms across her muzzle as she inclines her head to them. "Thank you Twilight, thank you all. I am glad that you could all come at such short notice." Her eyes turn towards all of those gathered before her in turn. Her presence is warming, as if someone were standing out on a pleasant, sunny day, but not opressive.

But her words, despite her comforting presence, are not. "I am afraid that things are quite grave."

A hoof is raised to stall off the stream of questions and comments, "You have many questions, and I will handle all that I can. While you are in my presence, this chaos cannot touch us." Though at the particular question of Luna, there is a brief flicker of what could almost be anger on Celestia's muzzle. "As for Queen Luna… She is well, but I am afraid that something dire has happened."

She turns, looking towards one of the staircases leading further into the palace, "Please, follow me."

Expecting her words to be followed, she starts up the stairs, leading them into a hall lined with stained glass murals that each depict a different scene.

Yuna doesn't waste any time, but falls into step behind Celestia. She's worrying now - Celestia and Luna are supposed, from what she knows of Equestria, to be sisters and more or less equal in power. What could have happened to Queen Luna … ?

She's almost too distracted to pay any attention to the stained-glass murals that the group is going past, but she does at least take note of them in passing, idly wondering whether they're strictly for decoration, or if they're historical … or prophetic.

Twilight is taken aback at the sight of what could almost be anger on her beloved mentor's muzzle. She is quick to follow when Celestia say so, and leads the party of adventurers up the stairs. As they walk, Twilight looks over the windows and the scenes depicted there in. She looks back to be sure everyone is following, then looks forward toward the Queen.

"What is causing all of this chaos, Queen Celestia? We have already consulted Nightmare Moon's followers and they confirmed that it is not her doing. All of this can't simply be random. Someone has to be controlling it at some level." Twilight says, though after the question it is mostly her talking aloud and trying to comb her own memory for anything like this in history books.
Rarity (rares) pages: Heh

Staren has _no idea_ what to expect. He's barely talked to Thomm and Plato (but he gets the impression they are Pretty Cool Guys who Run Lazlo and Doesn't Afraid of Anything). He has that nagging worry that, despite what the Elements say, she'll be stuck-up… but that doesn't seem to be the case. Ah, of course. _Equestria's_ ruler. Her subjects, at least the ones he's met, were quite nice, so why not her? She seems… fairly straightforward and reasonable. He follows, curiously looking over the murals, trying to decipher them and saving them in his cybernetic memory for later perusal. Where could they be going? The throne room? Wait…Throne room… does Celestia _have_ a throne? What's a throne for a horse look like, anyway, he wonders?

Twilight's musings draw him out of his thoughts. "Morg, you felt some sort of presense behind the chaos, right?"

Fluttershy follows behind, looking up at the stained glass murals and windows. The light and safety of Canterlot is mixed with the imposing images, ranging from ancient legend and battle to banishment, to her and her friends harnessing the Elements of Harmony. It was a little re-assuring, but she keeps up with the others, feeling quiet, for now. After all, she's not the brave one… the smart one… the strong one…

Rarity frowns a little as she follows, both at the answer and the brief glimmer of possible anger in the expression of the usually benevolent if not mischevious Queen, though mutters no more than a soft "Merde…" under her breath. She glances alongside to Twilight, who appears to share the same concern, and she knows Celestia the best of everypony gathered here. "I did not think it would be that old nag behind it. She wishes for an Equestria to rule, not plunge into anarchy."

Applejack nods, following behind the rest as they head up the stairs and into the hall of murals. The light shining through the stained glass makes for a pretty sight, casting colors of all kinds over the room, but the images on them do nothing to catch the cowpony's attention.

What could Celestia be so angry about? Where did Luna go, and what is she doing? And the question they came here to have answered, what is the cause of all of this, and how can they stop it? These are the things she is thinking of as they walk, but no answers come to her. Oh how she wishes she could have a brain like Twilight's at times.

Marvelous and Ahim follow alongside the others, also examining the windows. Marvelous wonders if any of the scenes are clues leading to lost treasures or powers of Equestria that they might find in the course of their battles here… though he doubts they'd be anything that the Gokaigers could use in their own quest. Even so, he's starting to like this place enough that he could help out even if there wasn't anything in it for himself.

Morg stalks after Queen Horsepants (hmmm, inappropriate; no pants) as she calls for them to follow. He's not impressed, thus far; she's about as whimsical as he expected, but seems more stressed out than wise and kind. Maybe whatever this is is more serious than they thought? Well, everyone /else/ — Morg got hit with friggin' lightning once already and has not discounted this as anything less than a major threat. (He's taking it personally.)

"Huh? Yeah. Somethin' like that. Couldn't figure out if it was actually a person or… somethin' else, but…" He shrugs, eyeing the murals. Always history in those. "…felt like it was toyin' with me last time."

"Fascinatin'.." Charr looks at the stained glass panes, occasionally pausing to scrutinize them before trotting to catch up. He does of course, stay behind the Mane Six, because he's not a presumptuous bastard to walk alongside them as equals.. Since, y'know, he's not, plus this is /their/ theme and all. "—some of these.. Look familiar.." …Wait a damn minute, these ARE familiar. CURIOUS PEER -.O

Karian quietly watches.

Each mural on either side of the hall depicts a different scene. They alternate between regular glass and a stained glass mural. Nearest the door, there is one that features six ponies, three at the top, three near the bottom on a blue background, circling six gemstones, each a different color. The ponies may look… slightly familiar, even if the colors are off. The next on the other side features…

Well, it's a bizarre creature. It features parts of a lion, a hawk, a pony, a dragon, and a goat. Several of these murals feature this creature. One, where it looks like it's playing puppet master over several ponies. Another, where it's surrounded by a white pony with a pink mane and a blue pony with a lighter blue mane. (http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/5336/stainedglassy.png)

"No, this is no force of Nightmare Moon's," Celestia confirms as she walks down the red carpet running along the center of the hall, "This force is far beyond anything Nightmare Moon could ever dream to acomplish. And much more dire." There is only a brief pause, and she looks at Twilight, "And you will not find it in any history books."

She does, after all, know her student.

Celestia comes to a stop in front of one of the glass windows featuring the bizarre creature, white as if turned to stone, being flanked by the white and blue winged unicorns. "This chaos is connected. And you are right," She nods her head sligtly to Morg and Staren, "There is a creature behind it. It seems as though an old foe of mine, someone I had thought defeated long ago, has returned." She looks up to the window, her delicate brows furrowing slightly, "His name… Is Discord."

Turning, she faces the group. Her brows furrow, her expression steely and determined. "Discord is the mischevious spirit of disharmony. Before my sister stood up to him, he ruled Equestria in an eternal state of chaos." Her eyes turn to the window featuring this 'Discord' acting like a puppeteer over ponies, "Life was miserable for all of the creatures of Equestria alike. Together, Luna and I set out to find the Elements of Harmony, the greatest secret of the pony tribes and greatest force of balance and harmony in Equestria. We combined our powers with the Elements and rose up against him. We sealed him away, turning him to stone."

Yuna frowns a bit as she listens to Celestia's story, studying the stained-glass windows, particularly the one with Discord playing puppeteer. "Mischievous, huh … looks like it's a bit more than just your typical pranks, if that -" She motions at the puppet crosses with her horn, then dips her head to 'trace' the strings to the ponies. "- is anything like what he could really do. Manipulating ponies against their will … well, even the events we've already seen vary from 'inconvenient' to 'actively dangerous'. Still, if the Elements of Harmony worked against him before …"

She trails off, turning to look up at Celestia. "… uh, this has something to do with why Luna's indisposed, doesn't it?" she asks uncertainly.

Rarity pauses to look at at the window with the 'familiar' ponies on it. "Tch. Those shades are all off. Though I suppose one cannot expect decorative glass to get -precisely- the exact coloration, even with Canterlot's finest craftsmares." Considering they also had to generalize multi-tone manes to one or two colors… which lends one to wonder why they chose pink for Celestia.

"So this is before Luna became posessed by Nightmare Moon and banished. Long before." The vogucorn turns her attention back to the others, ears laying back slightly. "Just that name sounds dreadful."

Six ponies… Staren glances between that one and the ponies beside him. Hmmmmmm… Then he looks at the picture of a statue of a mix-and-match critter. Eh, with griffons and manticores around is it _that_ weird? He follows Celestia's gaze to the other windows, frowning at the puppeteer one. He doesn't like the idea of anyone being a puppet.

For some reason, the automatic pattern-analysis and trope-observing part of Staren's brain adds thunder and a DUN DUN DUNNNN after Celestia reveals the name of Equestria's latest enemy.

"So… Why can't we just use the elements of harmony to re-seal him?" He strokes his chin. "Ah, is it a one time deal, or he's somehow become immune to them and that's how he escaped?"

"Shhh." Charr frowns at Staren and Rarity. "One would presume that's what Her Majesty woulda requested our presence here t'find out. Let'er explain." Nopony has any idea how hard it is for Charr to resist saying 'keep your mouths shut you idiots.'

Hey, this is why Staren apologized in advance!

Twilight blinks at the mention of no historical record, and actually seems a bit relieved. If her research couldn't find it, then it could only mean two things. Either she was incapable of finding it, or it was nowhere to be found. It being unfindable lets her limited ego relax a bit. "Discord…" she says softly, looking at the various windows as Celestia speaks.

Applejack starts to pay attention to the murals now, studying them with squinted eyes. Hey, those ponies on that one look like her and the other Harmony Knights. And in that one… "What the hay is all this, anyhow? Some kind o' fortune tellin' hall or somethin'?"

She looks back at her friends. "Ah dunno 'bout y'all, but Ah'm gettin' a mighty strong feelin' this ain't gonna be one o' our easier battles." And then back to Celestia. "Alright, we know the what. So now /how/ do we go 'bout beatin' someone like that…Discord?"

For once, Rainbow Dash is quiet. She follows along with the group, hovering just a foot or so over their heads. The continuous beat of her wings makes a pleasant breeze for anyone underneath her at least. She listens in rapt attention, hanging on Celestia's every word. That's weird, even for her. She probably thinks this whole deal with the chocolate milk rain is an insult to her weatherpony prowess.

"Alright Queen Celestia!" She shouts when Celestia announces that she and Luna once turned Discord to stone. "Hah, I always knew our Queens were totally kick flank!"

After a pause, she rubs at her chin, "So you just need the Elements to do it again, right? Hey, all you gotta do is ask!"

"Discord… so that's who's behind this," Ahim says, looking at the image. "If there's anything we can do to help, we'll be there," she adds. "Defeating things like that cotton candy monster will be no problem for us."

"I thought the spell we had cast with the Elements would keep him contained forever," Queen Celestia shakes her head slowly, "But as Luna and I are no longer connected to the Elements the spell has been broken. Since you six have recovered the Elements, they are now connected to you." She looks at the Harmony Knights each in turn. Even Pinkie Pie, who has been less upset about this whole chaos problem. "The spell cast over him has been weakening since then, but this past week, it has cracked enough for his power to seep through. Without our connections to the Elements, neither Queen Luna or I were able to truly sense what was going on, but I had my suspicions. Very early this morning, my suspicions were proven correct, and Discord broke fully from his binds."

Something rustles off to the side. A ruffle of cloth, and four imprints of hooves can be seen forming on the red carpet.

Celestia turns her attention towards this, and inclines her head, "At that time, my sister chose to try and face him on her own before I was awake." A frown creases Celestia's lips, and the tip of her horn shines, casting a bright white light on the room. At the point where the hoofprints meet the carpet, a shadow the general shape of a long legged pony can be seen. "And felt it amusing to curse her with invisibility."

The shadow moves, and the horn point pokes Celestia in the side.

"And muteness," Celestia continues in a heavy voice. "It will take time to undo the spell he placed on her."

"I have been doing what I can to prevent the chaos from entering the palace, but in order to ensure the safety of those here, I cannot leave. I need you six," She turns her head back to the harmony knights, "To wield the elements of harmony once again, and stop Discord before he thrusts all of Equestria into eternal chaos." Her eyes turn to the rest of the group, "And before he attempts to do the same to the Multiverse."

Yuna sucks in a quiet breath. "He's *that* powerful … ?" She bows her head briefly. "Even if you can't answer me, Queen Luna, I hope the spell on you gets unravelled soon. And whatever I can do to help all of you -" She looks from where she thinks Luna is, to Celestia, and then to the Harmony Knights. "- just let me know and I'll do my best."

Admittedly Yuna has a bit of a personal stake in this … actually on two levels: there's a modeling photo shoot that can't even be scheduled under these conditions, plus Yuna loves Equestria (despite not being a native) and doesn't like seeing this kind of suffering being inflicted on anyone, humans, ponies, or whatever.

But at the moment, her personal concerns are a distant second priority to the fact that Discord is shaping up to be the kind of opponent she's supposed to take a stand against. He may not be outright *evil*, but this is plenty bad enough.

"What can we off-worlders do to help out?" asks Yuna.

Staren listens to the explanation. Sealing spell broke when the artifacts bound to new owners. Makes sense. He gives a curious look at Luna or the lack thereof… and then when he hears the full extent of the curse he looks a bit horrified. "That's terrible! I'd go nuts if I couldn't talk!" He starts trying to think of solutions but surpresses it… if Twilight's teacher can't think of anything, he knows far less about magic so…

Although, he casts a glance at Morg. Could a god undo it? Sure, he's assumed Celestia's basically a god, but… Maybe raising the sun is _it_, all she does. Hmm. Well, if Morg can undo it he'll probably say something. He looks back to Celestia. And takes a sharp breath at the idea of THIS loos in the multiverse.

Still… they have the harmony knights assembled, and they apparently have the elements if Rainbow Dash thinks Celestia only needed to ask for them. "This sounds too simple. I'm guessing there's some complication that makes this a lot harder than it sounds? Uh, your majesty." Yeah he's not good at the formal thing.

Fluttershy is in no small amount of shock. Her teal eyes look upwards, and listening to Celestia's story, she positively /leaps/ in fright at the footprints appearing… but, learning it was the other Queen… her heart softens past the point of oatmeal.

"Oh… oh no. That… that's /awful/!" she squeaks quietly, her mouth working a moment as she tries to figure out what to say. She turns, and she looks to the New Moon Luna, then to Celestia, and she looks up to the windows. "You… you can… count me in." she squeaks… and her ears pin down a bit.

Applejack listens along with the rest, rubbing a chin with her forehoof. Yep, looks like they're gonna have to put this Discord fellow down themselves. The rustling sound causes her to snap her gaze over to the part of the carpet where the hoofprints have appeared, and she almost summons the Element of Honesty right then and there. Thankfully, it's just Luna.

"What a horrible thing ta do. Invisible /an'/ mute? That's like cuttin' 'er off from the rest o' the world, like leavin' 'er…all alone." she says, and the more she thinks about it the more she's horrified by the thought. She shudders, then looks back up to Celestia. "Whatever ya need us ta do, we'll do it, yer majesty."

She closes her eyes in concentration, a whirlwind of red swirling into being around her body. Her mane and tail whip around in the wind, but oddly, her hat stays in place on her head. Then, with a bright flash of light, the tornado of color is gone and she stands clad in her proud…nothing? "Hey, what gives? Where'd mah Element go?"

This doesn't bode well.

Rarity blinks a couple of times as Luna is revealed.. of sorts. "The poor dear. How she once felt, now manifested." And then behind her Pinkie Pie breaks out in giggles, which gets the unicorn to turn and glare at her. "Element aside, how can you be laughing at a time like this?"

"Don't you get it?" Pinkie Pie replies, pointing a hoof at where Luna was supposedly standing. "She's stuck unseen in shadows. She's been eclipsed."

"…" Rarity rolled her eyes again in exasperation. "Just shush and procure your Element, Pinkie." Before doing so herself… or least that was the idea. After a moment she stopped and put a hoof to her throat, which was still bare. "…but that always worked when I've needed to manifest the necklace as well."

Fluttershy follows suit… but from the element of Kindness's bearer— there's… nothing. She blinks. Her ears pin down darther, and she whispers "M-maybe I haven't been kind enough…?"

Luna, eclipsed? Staren rolls his eyes, but… he can see why a god of chaos would do that. As Applejack observes, she's all alone… yeah, he suddenly feels a raging need to kick the ass of whoever did this.

He watches the ponies henshin (a pleasantly short transformation sequence!) but apparently they're lacking the elements. Hmm… "Wait!" He raises a hoof. "Could the elements be invisible too? To make us panic, and hide them somewhere we'd never look, right where they're supposed to be!"

Twilight's eyes widen as Queen Luna is revealed to be…enchanted with a dampening spell! Or worse…possibly ensorceled in a way that cannot be reversed! "Oh my! Queen Luna!" she says worriedly, then looks toward Queen Celestia. "Don't worry, Queen Celestia and Queen Luna! We, your faithful subjects, and our allies, will bring Discord back under control!"

With that bold declaration, Twilight turns toward her friends. "Alright girls, let's get Harmonized!" Twilight closes her eyes, obviously expecting something to happen. But…nothing does. Twilight opens one eye after a moment, and looks down at herself, then at her friends, before both eyes pop open. "Wh-…what's happened? Why can we summon our Elements?!" Twilight looks more than a little worried at this developement, and turns quickly to Celestia. She doesn't know what to say, she can only stare at her mentor, pleading for some kind of answer with her eyes. "I-if we can't summon the Elements, how will we defeat Discord?!"

Morg isn't sure he can undo /anything/. He's got a problem with screwing around with cures and blessings and such — they don't come as intuitively to him as the rest of the divine package does for reasons that he does not often choose to disclose. He sticks his hands into his pockets, chewing this new information over. "Discord, huh?" He sounds a little thoughtful, but not terribly concerned. Of course, what might happen if it gets to /his/ world, which he's taken such case in secluding…

Morg suppresses a shudder.

"A'right," he says with a short nod. "So we find it before it can do anythin' more than candy rain and put it down. What've you got on this 'Discord?'" Step one: Get the local monarch to roll Acadamia: Occult and give you the results. Step two: Adventure!

There's a moment where Morg stops and eyes the various ponies. He leans over to Staren and mutters, still staring, "Is somethin' supposed to happen?"

Charr listens intently, and then looks back at the others.. Roll has fortunately curled up on his back to nap by now, so there's no need for him to worry about her crying over poor Luna being cursed like that. "Makes sense.." Muttering to himself for a few moments, you can almost hear the gears churning in his head. "M'lady Celestia.." He stands up straight to address the Queen. "..I understand th' situation as it's been presented, an' th' role what th' Harmony Knights play in all this. However, comma, I am inclined t'ask: what purpose d'yah ask of us? An' by us, I do not mean miss Kagurazaka, nor Staren, nor even this Morg fella. They are Union personnel, an' as far as I know th' Equestrian nation is at least nominally allied with th' Union. Their presence as such makes sense, diplomatics an' politics an' coalition efforts an' whatnot."

Charr continues, "But.. I am forced t'make further presumptions by th' presence of myself an' Lord Karian that yer not lookin' solely fer a solution by conventional means. Karian an' his Wolves. Me an' most'a my pokemon. We are warriors born. Violence, bloodshed, killin'; these are how our people have solved most such problems fer thousands'a years. Would it be wrong of me to assume that by our presence, y'would not be averse t'somepony findin' a more.. Permanent measure fer dealin' with this Discord problem? Or is there another task y'would ask of us?"

Another pause. "..Also, if'n it would please yah, I can send fer Nettle- she is a ghost pokemon what is bound t'me. It would be within her power t'facilitate communications between Queen Luna an' everypony else."

"…. well, that's a bad sign …" Yuna observes as the Elements of Harmony fail to manifest. Then she looks at Staren, shaking her head. "It's not that simple - even if the Elemental jewels were just invisible, the Harmony Knights would still have access to the link those jewels represent. They'd be able to feel the jewels like part of themselves, part of the magic that the Elements of Harmony bestow on the Knights. It's like me and Elner, or any magical girl and her powers - the link doesn't go away just because you can't *see* what you need. If the Elements aren't responding …. then something else is wrong. Really badly wrong."

Staren whispers back, 'Dunno, I've never actually seen them henshin before.' Charr's comment about him gets a bit of an eyeroll. Pff, like he cares what the Union thinks. And he is _so_ not here for _diplomacy_. Does he look like a diplomat?

Pinkie Pie sighs as no one appreciates her pun. "Oh, fiiiiine." Likewise she tries to summon the Element of Laughter… and like the others it fails to manifest. "Huh." She cranes her neck a bit to look down, then looks back and sticks her nose in her tail to make sure she didn't hide it somewhere and forget. A hoof in her puffy mane afterwards still turns up no Element.

"Oh well." Pinkie, being the most comfortable with the chaotic happenings due to herself being rather, well, random, just shrugs her shoulders. "If you need me, I'll be out in the chocolate rain~" She turns to trot off.

Though Pinkie Pie stops and stumbles back as an invisible hoof steps on her tail.

"Whoa, Luna's been here the whole time!?" Rainbow Dash keeps from falling out of the air in surprise, but only just barely. "I guess that's why she hasn't blown out our ear drums," She mutters under her breath. Quickly, Dash holds up her forehooves defensively, "But it still totally sucks!" She huffs, and smacks one forelimb into the other. "This Discord guy is seriously going down for messing with our queens and our home! Just point us at him and we'll make him wish he never got out of his stone bird bath!" A cocky grin forms along her muzzle, and she nods at the other girls.

Closing her eyes, she takes a deep breath and tries to focus. Which, for her, isn't all that easy. But she's always been able to find where the element is. Except… Nothing appears. She opens one eye after a second of not feeling anything on her neck, and reaches at her neck. "Yeah, this isn't good. Where the hay are the Elements?"

"This Discord guy… Sounds like a worthy opponent, I'd say," Marvelous says. He looks around at the ponies failing to summon their elements. "Well, that's going to be a problem. If they can't bring out those elements, then the power that's supposed to beat him is missing… unless maybe we can find some kind of substitute." He thinks for a while. "Just how powerful are these Elements of Harmony anyway? They can turn this Discord to stone, so they must be strong…"

A delicate frown forms across Celestia's lips as she regards Charr and Morg. "When Luna and I first used the Elements of Harmony on Discord, we had a seventh element; the element of surprise. We do not have this anymore. It may be necissary for some… extreme measures to ensure that the Harmony Knights can seal Discord once again. This is where people such as yourself would come in, Mortimer." Slowly, she shakes her head, "But I would reccomend against 'perminant' measures, if such measures would even work upon him. I do not know what will happen to Equestria if the spirit of chaos is fully removed. If it can be."

"I do not wish to find out."

Celestia opens her mouth to say more, but then stops abruptly. She stares, her eyes wide in alarm when one by one, the Harmony Knights tell her that… Their elements are not there.

"… What? How can that be?" For once, she appears a little taken off guard, and starts to pace, "The physical representations of your elements are bound to you and stored in a magical pocket medium that only you six can retrieve it from. This doesn't make sense!"

Mwa ha ha ha ha ha!

Laughter echoes through the hall. Malevolent laughter. The same that Yuna and those who saved Manehatten from Cloudzilla heard, and the same that Morg heard just before lightning smacked him down.

Make sense? Oh, what fun is there in making sense…

At once, Celestia's stance changes. Her muscles tense, standing ready for a fight, and she glares upwards, as if the voice were coming from above. "Discord! How did you get in here, this room is protected against you!" She stomps a hoof against the ground, "Show yourself!"

Fluttershy gives an 'eep!' of alarm, and does what comes naturally.

…Element of surprise? Did Celestia just make a _joke_?! Staren kind of stares at that.

And then… laughter. That clearly isn't from anyone in the room. His ears try to locate the source, and he looks around.

It speaks, and Celestia identifies the voice.

Staren gives Morg a sidewise glance, and then is suddenly in his near-human form and drawing his laser pistol (although he doesn't point it around — he keeps it aimed at the floor, finger off the trigger, at least until he can see a target…

Applejack /knew/ she had a bad feeling about this. And now, with the Harmony Knights, herself included, unable to connect to their Elements, things look to be getting very bad very fast. Oh look, there's even ominous laughter.

"Who the hay are you? If'n yer that Discord feller, then show yerself right here an' now, mister!" she calls out the voice, glancing around angrily while pawing the floor with a hoof. "Ya got a lotta crimes ta answer to, ya hear? Come on out!"

"We are without our best weapon against this madness? Oh whatever shall we d—" Rarity stops in mid 'Worst Possible Thing' faint as the laughter interrupts her melodramatics. Disembodied laughter. Almost immeadiately she turns to glare at Pinkie Pie.

"Don't look at me," the pink pony shrugs back. "This time the laughter isn't me. Though it sounds really amused."

Morg seems a little disappointed, but nods slightly. He can understand why that might be a problem. You need a little bit of chaos amidst everyday life if you want anything to be different. Oh well. Best to let the locals handle the pr—

"/That laugh/."

Morg whirls on the spot, his back to Staren's and the weird white metallic pistol he carries around held in his hands. He flicks a finger over the safety, keeping the weapon pointed at the floor, scanning the room for the source. "If he shows up just 'cause you ordered him to," Morg says slowly, feeling out the ebb and flow of order and chaos in the immediate vicinity, "I'll be a three-footed Jackalope."

Yuna's horn glows brightly as she hunkers down, planting her hooves further apart on the floor. "So you're the one who's behind what's happening all over Equestria?" she calls out, looking around as if to try and catch sight of Discord. The light from her horn intensifies … and then she transforms, the pony form of her Light Suit materializing around her unicorn body. Transformation complete, she sidesteps as though ready to try and protect Celestia - and potentially Luna as well, although she's depending on Elner to keep track of the invisibility/muteness-cursed alicorn.

Charr bows his head again. "As y'so wish then, m'lady. We w.." Pause. Earperk. Eyenarrow. "Roll." The little Delibird yawwns. <Whassit, uncle Charr..?> "Back in yer ball." <..okay..> Roll knows better than to ask questions or whine when Charr's tone gets like that, she just crawls into one of his saddlebags.. And vanishes with a *pop* sound. Unlike Staren and no doubt Karian, Charr is not drawing any weapons. He IS a weapon, the hell does he needs to pull one out for just yet. He doesn't say anything either, at first.

A thought then dawns on him. "….No sense in callin' him out. He has no cause t'show himself, either from cowardice or havin' an upper hoof we dunno about yet. If you've somethin' t'say, Discord.. Then say it! Speak whatever it is y'feel a need t'say, an' then leave us in peace."

Twilight is even more disheartened when she sees that Celestia, her mentor, has no idea how this could have happened. The sudden laughter makes her jump in surprise, then her expression goes to one of anger and determination. "What did you do to our Elements? Why can't we summon them?" she demands, stomping a hoof.

She looks over as Staren prepares to fight, then at the others as they shift to combat mode. If their elements have been stripped from them, can they really hope to damage Discord with more conventional weapons? she wonders to herself. "Stop this, Discord! You are endangering all of Equestria! Why are you doing all of this?!" the purple pony exclaims, looking around for any visible signs of the source of the voice.

Scuffing the ground with a hoof, looking ready to fight, Marvelous looks around. "We came here hoping we'd get a break from fighting, but you came along and gave us a reason to do just the opposite," he says. "Those we don't like, we take down… that's what it means to be a pirate! Discord… you won't be forgiven for this!"

Really, Celestia. I thought you knew better. Putting pictures of me in your most private rooms? Why, I'd almost blush if I could!

Celestia's expression turns to one of surprise, "… Of course!" Her frown returns, as she glares at a nearby window, "He's doing this through the images of himself in the stained glass windows. He's not really here!"

Not really here? Oh, that hurts. Hehehehe… Did you miss me, Celestia?

There is a flash of light in the stained glass window where Discord was puppeteering ponies, and the stained glass Discord begins to move, its mouth moving as Discord talks.

I missed you. It starts to float away, disappearing from the stained glass window it was in, only to appear in the other with the girls surrounding the elements. It's quite lonely being encased in stone all these years, but you wouldn't know that! He taps a fist on the glass Fluttershy's head, Because I don't turn ponies into stone!

Discord flits around the window, only to appear in the place of Twilight in the picture. He grins at Twilight, showing more of his snaggle tooth. Oh, I just borrowed them for a teensy little while. I'm sure you won't mind. With a flick of his finger, the elements disappear from the window.

Oh and look, you have new friends! Charmed, I'm sure.

With a huff from her nose, Celestia stamps on the ground once, "You won't get away with this, Discord!"

The glass Discord rolls his eyes. Ugh,I forgot how grim you could be Celestia. It's really quite boring. And I see you looked for the same attributes in your prized student! Getting right down to the nitty gritty of the matter! Why, we've only just met and you're already demanding my purpose? I'm sure that's breaking several of the heroes codes, or what have you.

Now that Discord's tipped his hand as to how he's 'projecting' into the room, it at least gives Yuna a discrete target to glare at. "Why are you causing so much havoc all over Equestria?" she asks, her voice stern but her tone a little gentler than it was just before. "Is this revenge for being sealed away? Causing so much suffering and distress over your feud with the Queens? Or is there another reason for it?"

Silently, she's asked Elner to see if the little robo-faerie can pick up on anything about how Discord is projecting. She doesn't expect Elner will be able to pick up on much, but it may be worth the effort …

Staren immediately turns and aims his pistol at the puppeteer Discord, but… if it's just manipulating the image, will shooting it do any good? He holds his fire for now. And… he goes from window to window. Staren mentally sighs a little bit. Pictures… aren't… supposed… to do that…

So, _This_ is the big bad? Discord's mixed-up appearance means nothing to Staren. He listens to every word, trying to build a mental personality profile so he can start looking for patterns, predicting… "Hero's codes? Are we supposed to have codes? I thought it was more of a general, protect the defenseless and innocent sort of thing. If we always follow the same rules, we'll be… predictable. Have them turned against us. _You're_ not going to be playing by any rules, why should we?"

That's right, Staren. Mouth off at the dangerous, potentially deific-level reality warper _and_ launch into a rant. This can't _possibly_ make things worse.

Applejack is feeling more than a little impatient with this…thing, right now. "Hey, you! Ah don't care who ya think ya are, this is gonna stop /right now/." With a swift movement, she grabs one of the apples from her saddlebags, tosses it in the air, and bucks it right at the glass Discord.

Of course, it just splats harmlessly against the surprisingly tough window, doing nothing more than soaking it in apple juice. She wasn't really expecting that to work, but it was worth a try. "Alright, Ah'm outta ideas. Anypony else got any?"

Rainbow Dash's expression turns to one of anger as Discord prattles off. She glares at his picture going back and forth through the windows, her tail flicking in annoyance. "Why the hay are we listening to this windbag? We've got to find where the Elements are so we can send him packing again!"

But then, he insults Celestia. Rainbow Dash hates bullies.

"HEY!" She points a hoof at the stained glass Discord, "Nopony insults the queen!" Then before anyone can stop her, she zooms straight at him. There's a flash of light just a second before she impacts with the window, and Discord is gone.

Leaving Rainbow to crash right into the window. Despite the pegasus's acceleration, it doesn't break. But her lips do stick to the window for a second, her eyes swirling as she pries herself free. As her wings start beating again to keep her aloft, there's another flash, and a larger glass Discord appears.

Oh, and you must be Rainbow Dash. Famed for her loyalty, the element of harmony you represent.

Huffing, Rainbow Dash somehow makes herself look taller in mid air, leaning closer to the glass Discord. "That's RIGHT! I'll always be loyal to the Queens!"

In a flash, Discord disappears again. Hehehehe. We'll see about that.

Charr's ears flatten to the side of his head. "Enough! This is a waste of time, Discord; unless you truly have nothin' better t'do than bandy words an' threats with children. So far yer provin' less to be some kinda creature of chaos, an' more one of annoyance! What. Do. You. WANT."

Flash, and Discord appears next to the window that Applejack just appled. Tsk tsk, honest Applejack. It'll take more than your apples to handle this.

"Ah got more where that came from!" Applejack responds, shaking a hoof at the window.

"Oooooo, that is totally not fair!", Pinkie Pie protests, sounding annoyed for the usually most hyperly optimistic member of the group, and even going so far as to stomp a hoof.

Rarity turns her head to peer at her. "I know, dahling. Between somehow stealing the Elements and mocking us and the Queens right in front of us."

Pinkie shakes her head so hard it makes her curls bounce like dozens of bouncing balls. "No no no, not that." Waves her hoof at the window Discord was inhabiting. "He gets to talk in -purple-! Like that guy that always talks to the yellow boxes on the radio. It's totally not fair at all. I wanna talk in colors."

Rarity… just stares dumbstruck. "Pinkie, dahling, I think the chocolate rain has gone to your head. You're being even more random than usual."

Yuna can't quite suppress a snarl as Discord starts taunting her friends. "You could at least answer my question," she growls at the entity. "And don't treat the Harmony Knights so lightly - you may want to just *stay* sealed away rather than face what the rest of us will do to you."

Twilight has to admit that she might be a bit angry too if she were turned to stone for a while. In fact…she knows she would, since she -was- turned to stone for a short while! She winces as Rainbow Dash slams into a window, and watches as AJ's apple becomes applesauce. "Queen Celestia is not boring! And neither am I! And…in my studies, I never came across a hero's code that mentioned beating around the bush! If anything it is a hero's purpose to resolve a situation quickly and decisively!" she responds. But, she doesn't attack. She's seen how effective that is.

"I…can understand that you are angry at being turned to stone, but…how will this make anything better? It will only make ponies want to be rid of you." Twilight looks toward the large glass Discord. "I was turned to stone, once, and it was not an enjoyable experience. So, I can sympathize. To an extent. But, your disruption of Equestria is unacceptable behavior, and will only earn you another ticket to imprisonment!"

Twilight blinks a bit at Pinkie Pie, and gives her one of those 'that is insane' kind of looks.

"If you were encased in stone, how do you know about these ponies?" Marvelous asks.
"If you know about them, perhaps you know about us," Ahim adds, stepping forward with confident poise, "You may have taken away the power of these Elements of Harmony, but our power, and the other powers of those assembled here, will surely make up for that!"
"If you were encased in stone, how do you know about these ponies?" Marvelous asks.
"If you know about them, perhaps you know about us," Ahim adds, stepping forward with confident poise, "You may have taken away the power of these Elements of Harmony, but our power, and the other powers of those assembled here, will surely make up for that!"

Staren isn't even responded to. He's not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Pinkie gets an eyetwitch. The last person he can recall who could see what 'colors' people talked in on the radio was the Naughty Sorceress. But she was from a game world, a _web_ game world, she might have had some kind of chat interface. But Pinkie… how…" He holds a hand to his forehead.

There's a logical explanation for all of this…

"First you complain about us skipping the heroes' code, then _you_ ignore the witty banter… ugh, fine… no fun in making _sense_, I suppose…"

Back in Ponyville's hospital, Burning Heart wakes up. He rubs his eyes, blinks a little, looks outside to see a cotton candy cloud zip by with a bunch of hideous mutated deerabbits munching on it, and then sighs and goes back to sleep. Buck heroing, nap time isn't over yet.

"Generally speakin'," Morg says quietly, watching the glass taunt them while he formulates a Cunning Plan (he keeps having to rework it because a lot of them involve gratuitous amounts of explosives and the nigh-eternal enmity of the royalty), "it ain't a bright idea to taunt the creature you're gunnin' for. Just makes 'em more keenly aware you're on their tail."

He has not put his gun away. He is not sure he can use it anyway.

Morg is talking back to it too! That makes Staren feel better.

In a flash, Discord appears in a window near Rarity. He stands upright, hands on his hips. The beautiful Rarity! Representing the element of generosity, if I'm not mistaken. Twilight Sparkle, the most illusive of them all, Magic. Fluttershy's is kindness, and Pinkie Pie's is a personal favorite of mine. Laughter!

Another flash, and Discord is on top of glass Twilight's head. It looks like he's doing a sort of celebratory shuffle at getting them all right. Or… Just for the sake of it. Really, I'm encased by the Elements of Harmony and you think that I don't stop to find out who the new bearers are? Chaos is not dumb, you know.

"Enough!" Celestia approaches the glass, glaring, "You heard them, Discord. What is it that you want? What have you done with the elements of harmony!"

Discord stops his shuffle to slouch over, his eyes rolling. Ugh, you are all so /boring/. Really, you should lighten up. Would add years to your life. It's really quite simple: I enjoy it~ There, are you happy? No, of course you wouldn't be. You are heroes after all. But fine, you want to be heroes? He shakes his head, and then in a flash is gone again. Fine, I'll tell you where I hid your precious elements of harmony. But I'll only tell you MY way.

Another flash, and he's gone. Only to appear, filling an entire one of the clear windows. He darts through the others, going back and forth between the two sides of the walls.

~To retrieve your missing elements, just make sense of this change of events: Twists and turns of my master plan, then find the elements back where you began.

He returns to the window that he started at, small again. Then in a flash, glass Discord stops moving and by all appearances returns to being just benign glass.

Cautiously, Celestia approaches the glass, staring at it as if it were still Discord. "He's gone, as far as I can tell. Now to keep him out." Her horn glows brightly. One by one, the murals with Discord in them turn to the more generic images seen back in the front hall. "He has been sealed so long that I have almost forgotten what exactly he can do."

Staren manages to bite off the thought 'Yeah, that _was_ pretty dumb to put images of him in your palace' before it can escape out his mouth.

So… the immediate danger is gone, at least for a moment. Staren holsters his pistol and reponifies. "Do we have any reason to believe anything he says?" He looks to Morg. "Did you sense anything about him? Is there any kind of, like… resonance or something?"

"What in tarnation is that supposed ta mean?" Applejack wonders aloud, raising an eyebrow in confusion. "An' jes' why is it such a big deal if'n he knows our Elements? It ain't like it's hard ta figure out."

"So he went to all that trouble just to mess with your heads?" Yuna asks Celestia and the Knights. "Plus whatever happened with the weather outside during that …"

Charr frowns. "…Quiet, Staren. Morg is thinkin'. So'm I." He isn't able to formulate the same kinds of Cunning Plans, but he is good at making things Stop Living or at least Hurt Badly. "..With all due respect, m'lady, I fear Karian an' I may not be able t'acquiece to yer wishes. If'n my past experiences can be relied 'pon, then it is only a matter of time afore his 'amusement' runs out, an' his antics escalate into somethin' truly dangerous. By yer leave, I'm gonna go sharpen my blades."

"Hey, I can think too! People always say I think _too much_!" Staren protests.

"That sounds like… some kind of riddle or something," Marvelous says. "Wouldn't surprise me if someone like that liked riddles. Maybe Don will be able to work out what he was talking about," he suggests. "We'll be getting back to the Galleon now. If anything happens, we'll be there at top speed."

Twilight approaches the window along with her mentor when Discord leaves. Or at least, seems to leave. She isn't sure he's actually gone. He could simply no longer be manipulating the windows, but still be watching them. Even with the images of Discord gone, how can they be sure? He has already proven that he can overpower the Queens, and somehow disabled the Elements of Harmony without even a sign of tampering.

Twilight looks up at Celestia worriedly. "Queen Celestia…" is all she says, unsure of what to do. She then looks around, attempting to spot the invisible Luna. "…how will we reactivate the Elements?" she says as she turns to look out the window. She then looks to the others. "Everyone…we must do our best to be prepared for anything." She looks to her mane friends. "We may be unable to summon our elements, but we are strong even without them, so there is no reason to give up." She then turns to the allies that have joined them. "But, without the Elements, we will be depending on support from you, our friends in the Union and elsewhere. We'll be sure to keep you updated on any developements or new information. Until we find a solution, I ask that you remain on standby, to help against any attacks Discord might make against Equestria or other worlds. I will prepare a report for the Union, and send those of you who are unaffiliated a copy." Twilight says, in full leadership mode.

Then, she blinks, and looks up at Celestia a bit sheepishly. "Um…that is, if those things are alright with you, Queen Celestia."

A frown forms along Celestia's lips as she regards Twilight. But instead of yelling at her for overstepping her bounds, a slight, proud smile forms along the corner of Celestia's lips. "You have grown to be a quite capable young mare, Twilight Sparkle. I am confident that you and your friends will be able to handle the obsticals now placed before you." She bends down her head to the unicorn, and touches her shoulder lightly with the tip of her horn, then the other shoulder. "I had feared that I was asking you and your friends to face a foe that you were not ready for. But I see now that if anypony can handle this, it is you, the harmony knights, and those you have befriended." She looks up to the now genericly patterned window once more. "For right now, I reccomend thinking over his riddle. I feel it was meant primarily for you Knights. I do not expect Discord to be truthful about returning the elements, but at the moment, it is the best lead."

"I shall keep watch in Canterlot palace. With Discord on the loose, my powers are best here, defending my ponies. His little… incursion aside, he should not be able to come near the palace. You are all welcome to stay, if you wish. Guest rooms will be provided for you."

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/43 Posted Author
Equestria's Status and Discord Sat Jun 23 Rainbow Dash


<Another letter from Celestia appears on the network>

To the Union Elite Forces,
As my faithful student has explained, Equestria is under a state of Emergency as a result of the rampant chaos created by Discord. The situation is strenuous, but it is as stable as it can be under the circumstances. We are maintaining what order we can and luckily, injuries thus far have been minor.

I regret that I will not be able to aid much in dealing with him; My powers are required in Canterlot to maintain the ward which keeps Discord and his chaos away from those seeking refuge in the Palace. But I will give what information and assistance that I can.

Discord is an ancient creature, even older than myself and Queen Luna. He is a spirit of disharmony and evil who seeks nothing more than to cause endless chaos. No one knows where he came from, but it was Luna and I, using the Elements of Harmony, who last sealed him away several thousand years ago. It was the necessary passing of the Elements to the current bearers which has caused his prison to unexpectedly weaken and eventually break.

Do not be fooled by the method of his chaos. Creating candy clouds and bizarre rain is merely his favorite joke - A parlor trick compared to his true powers.

Discord possesses the ability to warp reality around himself, twisting it to his own strange vision of the perfect world. He can teleport himself and others at will with ease to nearly anywhere that isn't heavily warded. And that is only the beginning. While I do not know how his powers will effect things from outside of our world, at their peak they seemed to have few limits.

Although he may act immature and chaotic, Discord is considerably intelligent and cunning. He has no consideration for anyone besides himself. And yet, he prefers to play with his targets, much like a cat playing with a mouse. I however doubt that he will side with the confederacy; his arrogance and large ego may prevent him from 'playing nice' with them.

Our primary goal in this matter is to solve Discord's riddle, retrieve the Elements of Harmony from him and return them to their rightful owners. I speculate that they are still limiting his power, and that he stole them to also learn how to remove their effects. With them we will be able to seal him once again and restore harmony to our world.

While the Elements are our best chance, I shall be open to listening to other methods of sealing powerful forces such as Discord. But bare in mind that our world is one of balance and harmony. Even imprisoned, Discord is a part of this balance. I do not wish to know what will happen if he is permanently removed.

Yours in Harmony,
Queen Celestia of Equestria

(OOC: Any questions, please page or @mail me or Rarity!)

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/37 Posted Author
Re: Equestria Sat Jun 23 Yuna Kagurazaka


<text post>

Two things.

First, Elner has provided the text of Discord's riddle which Rainbow Dash alluded to in her post. It's addressed (so to speak) to the Harmony Knights, and goes as follows:
"To retrieve your missing Elements, just make sense of this change of events:
Twists and turns of my master plan, then find the Elements back where you began."
Admittedly we don't have much to go on about what this 'master plan' may be yet, but I expect we'll find out. I'm not sure how much help individuals outside the Harmony Knights will be in solving the riddle, but hopefully we can all help put the pieces together as we find them. Anything which surfaces that's relevant to Discord or Equestria should be shared via Union network postings, particularly if it points at this 'master plan'.

Second, I'm ordering all available members of Starlit Hearts to make themselves available to help out in Equestria - whatever you're in a position to do. Don't take time that you can't already spare from other duties and necessities, but if you have a chance to go to Equestria and help out, do so. Keep in mind that the 'ponyfication' effect *CAN* be resisted - you don't even have to be an Elite, just focus on keeping your human shape when you pass through the warpgate and you should stay in human form. Or whatever other species you are. If you're not sure what you can do to help, ask one of the Harmony Knights.
Union personnel who aren't in Starlit Hearts are also invited to help out with the relief and support efforts, if you want to, but please coordinate with the Harmony Knights. They may want to appoint someone to focus on liaison and coordination for that.

(A note is appended to the main post here: "The Harmony Knights, since Yuna left out their individual names, are Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkle.")

<end post>

Scene 3: Chaos has a Name by RBDashRBDash, 08 Jul 2012 19:53

=============================== IC - Cutscenes ===============================
Message: 24/18 Posted Author
Investigating a Hunch… (1/2) Thu Jun 14 Rainbow Dash


To say that Queen Celestia was angry was an understatement. Furious, livid. Maybe even pissed.
At herself.

Cotton candy clouds? Chocolate milk rain? Animals becoming mutated and strange? Utensils animating themselves? Only one creature she knew of would find widespread chaos like that funny.

… Maybe two, but the Element of Laughter did not have that sort of power.

Celestia's hoofsteps beat on the chocolate milk soaked ground as she hurried out into the statue garden. Metal clattered behind her, a squad of guards struggling to keep up with their queens longer legged stride, lead by a white unicorn stallion in violet armor.

"I have been blind to think that he would not return," Celestia muttered under her breath. "Blind and distracted by the conflict outside of our world."

But why could she not sense it? While her power was able to clear the dusting of chaos that had formed over Canterlot, the reports she was getting from across the kingdom were unnerving. Surely she or Queen Luna should be able to feel the source of the flux of magic - Unless without her connection to the Elements of Harmony, the forces of chaos were able to cloud her senses.

That thought did not cheer Celestia in the slightest.

She prepared herself as she rounded the bend, readying her strength for a fight, her horn glowing a bright gold. The squad behind her took their cue from their queen and readied their weapons.

Cautiously, Queen Celestia stepped out into the garden…

=============================== IC - Cutscenes ===============================
Message: 24/19 Posted Author
Investigating a Hunch… (2/2) Thu Jun 14 Rainbow Dash


Nothing attacked.

The statue garden appeared as it always did, peaceful and serene. Even the centerpiece of the draconiquis statue, standing as if singing proudly, was in place - And undamaged.

Celestia frowned, and the light of her horn dimmed. "Stay on your guard," She ordered to the guards behind her. Stepping further into the garden, she approached the statue of the draconiquis. The unicorn leading the guards ordered them to fan out and clear the area, then followed close behind his queen.

"Your majesty," the stallion leading the squad spoke up. His violet armor with a starburst of red across his chest was the custom barding of a guard of high rank. "If I may ask, what are you looking for?"

Celestia approached the draconiquis statue, and stared it right in the face. Her eyes narrowed, as if she were daring it to move. "Something my sister and I have not faced in a long time," She said in a low voice. "Some names have power, and if my hunch is correct, I do not want to risk using his at this time."

She hoped her hunch was wrong. Because if she wasn't, it meant asking those six fillies and their friends to face something even she herself sometimes still had nightmares about.

For several long seconds, Celestia stared further at the statue. But she could see no sign that it had broken. Surely if the seal was failing, it would have split by now… Still, it worried her.

"Captain," She said abruptly, turning to look at the captain of the guards, "I want a full watch of your fastest, most alert ponies on this statue at all times. If anypony approaches it, if it cracks, makes a sound or moves in the slightest, they are to raise the alarm at once."

If the stallion thought the order was bizarre, he didn't show it. He stood at attention and saluted Queen Celestia crisply. "As you command, ma'am."

Queen Celestia looked back at the statue. For just a fraction of a second, she thought she saw from the corner of her eye that it was sticking its tongue out at her. But it was still in its original pose the moment she looked back.

"… And that includes if it makes faces."


Scene: … In the land of rainbows
BGM: General Mumble - Your Method to Madness Ratio is a Little Off (http://youtu.be/xHwN7bnlAgA)

Equestria Fields - <Equestria> (Location #0)


A long, sprawling expanse of meadows and grasslands stretches the
majority of the Kingdom known as Equestria. Here, hay fields grow mostly
un-tamed between the different cities and villages, and meadows stretch
across rolling hills. Smaller expanses of forestland dot the area here and
there, but meadows are most prevalent. Lakes dot the countryside, connected
by the great Whinnissippi river that cuts through the central fields.
Most of the actual fields of Equestria are untamed, but as a whole,
wild animals are not a threat. Several well maintained gravel roads stretch
throughout the fields, often patrolled by local pony law enforcement or the
Sun and Moon guard as one gets closer to one of the many civilized areas of
the land.
The larger three of these roads meet in a single point in a modest but
thriving village called Ponyville where many traders stop on their way to
larger cities. One road leads to the east into the mountains, and to the
far off capital city of Canterlot. To the north leads to to colder regions,
and the gryphon kingdom. The southern road breaks into two, and disappears
into a mass expanse of forest land and eventually to the cities
Fillydelphia and Hoofington. West out of Ponyville leads to a dark, untamed
forest, known only as the Everfree forest.

It is currently fall. The air is crisp and cool, and the leaves are a
myriad of colorful shades of oranges, reds, browns and yellows.


Contents (6 players not shown) Exits
Burning Heart <CG> Canterlot Grounds
Captain Marvelous <Gokaired> <CD> Castle in the Clouds
Fluttershy <Knight> <EF> Dark Forest Path
Freya <Mini-Freya> <MW> Mechanic's Wagon
Jinx <WW> Path Through the Woods
Noh <Normal> <PV> Road to Ponyville
Rainbow Dash <Pegasus>
Rarity <Unicorn>
Staren
Yuna Kagurazaka <Pony of Light>
READ ME - World Mechanics

<!-Scene-Hooks> Rainbow Dash | A male's voice comes over on a crackling and sputtering radio with really poor reception. "*ksss*-epeat, this is Cloudsdale *kssssh*-ather factory. We have a weather *ksss*-rgancy! Explosion in the cl-*ksssh* production, clouds have form-*ksss*-to a monster! It's heading *ksssh* Manehatten! Maneh-*kssh* guards and weather team be aware!"
From afar, Rarity (rares) .. won't even mention wonderbolts the first pose, so no one seens it coming.

<Union-IC> Rainbow Dash says, "Are you /kidding/ me!? We're already up to our wings in those stupid cotton candy clouds again in Ponyville!"
<Union-IC> Staren says, "Ugh, so I captured one to study for nothing?"
<Union-IC> Freya says, "I'm on my way."
<Union-IC> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Of all the timing … Rainbow Dash, I'm outside Ponyville at the moment, where do you need me?"
<Union-IC> Staren says, "Ooh! Freya's so tall, she could just grab the clouds and eat them!"
<Union-IC> Freya says, "I don't like going big in Equestira. Causes too much commontion."
<Union-IC> Rainbow Dash audibly facehoofs. "There's no way I can leave Ponyville right now. Go see what's going on at Cloudsdale!"
<Union-IC> Burning Heart says, "Did I just hear Manehattan?"
<Union-IC> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Sounded like a monster of some kind headed for Manehatten … a monster made out of clouds? Huh. Wonder how big it is … I'm heading out now!"
<Union-IC> Mid-Alantic accented, Rarity says, "Oh dear oh dear oh dear."
<Union-IC> Fluttershy squeaks "I'm still in Cloudsdale… the factory's had a major accident; I… I helped a little here… I'm tailing the monster now!"
<Union-IC> Burning Heart says, "I'm going too!"
<Union-IC> Fluttershy sounds as if she's about to cry. "It's so scary."
<Union-IC> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Fluttershy, do you need backup to help deal with that monster, or should some of us head to the cloud factory to help out there?"
<Union-IC> Mid-Alantic accented, Rarity says, "Another flux of this chaos or whatever just rolled over Ponyville, there's no way we can leave now.. Oh, Fluttershy dear, do be careful."
<Union-IC> Rose Parker says, "Might as well head over to the factory to see if I can help with repairs."
<Union-IC> Fluttershy … squeaks "Can't we just go home?!""
<Union-IC> Burning Heart says, "We can't leave Ponyville? /I'll find a way/."
<Union-IC> Burning Heart says, "No cloud monster's stomping through /my/ hometown while I'm still conscious."
<Union-IC> Staren says, "Cloud monster? What?"
<Union-IC> Applejack says, "Aw hayseeds, /more/ chaos? Ah jes' got done cleanin' up from the last time!"
<Union-IC> Mid-Alantic accented, Rarity says, "If you can go, go… whoever that was. But some of us have our hooves full already."
<Union-IC> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "On it, heading to intercept the cloud monster. Whatever it is. Fluttershy, how far behind it are you? Elner's triangulating."
<Union-IC> Fluttershy squeaks "Not far enough…."

In Ponyville…

The clouds are back.

Pink clouds bearing chocolate milk rain zip and dart over the sky over Ponyville. And they brought the chaos with them.

Birds have become inflated and float around like strange, bird-like balloons. Sofas have staged a mass break out from Quills and Sofas. Books are growing on the library's trees. And this, on top of other strange occurrence.

The clouds alone are keeping the weather team busy. Even with Rainbow Dash and a few others employing tactics of using a net, more clouds just materialize out of no-where!

But compared to some places, that's not bad.

In Cloudsdale…

The city is under siege from pink clouds and cold, sticky cola.

Thankfully though, the experienced weather team stationed at Cloudsdale has learned from the last bout of chaos. Although the sky is a flurry of activity, it's the chaos that's having a difficult time keeping up with them this time around.

Until a warning siren from the massive factory in the southern side of the city begins to blare. An explosion rocks the entire city, but instead of heat or flames, large masses pink clouds explode from the weather factory.

But instead of just zipping off like the others, these clouds begin to condense. They form a large blob, that just keeps growing as more clouds from the weather factory gather into it.

And then, it starts to sink under the clouds.

By the time that the clouds hit the fields below Cloudsdale, it's grown truly massive, at least fifty feet tall. But it's not just a blob. When it reaches the ground, it's formed a pair of thick, stubby legs and stands somewhat upright. A pair of arms begin to meld from the rest of its bulbous body, and what almost looks to be a head.

All made out of what cotton candy clouds.

But at the same time, not.

A pair of what look to be hailstone eyes form in the face. A mouth splits open, and it utters a wordless cry as it appears to reach towards Cloudsdale with one of its stubby arms.

After a second it seems to realize that it's far too heavy to float back up there. It seems confused for a moment, looking around. But that's when it spots the tall buildings in the distance - Manehatten.

Picking up one massive foot, it starts its way towards the much more reachable city, leaving behind sticky, pink, cotton candy footprints in its wake.

<Union-IC> Fluttershy says, "… I'm going to have to do it… aren't I?"

And trailing some distance behind the monster escaping from the factory and making landfall below with the potential for wandering destruction is …. a cloud. This one looking like a normal fluffy white Equestria cloud. Just a normal little cloud.

Other than it's specifically following the monster from high over head.
.. and if you look close enough, you can maybe see the feathers of almost the same shade of white of wings partially sticking out of the fluff to steer.
And a pair of squinting purple spots that could be eyes up front.

Is this another speck of chaos? Or just a wily pegasus following the behemoth using 'cloud cover'…

Amusingly enough, Noh was already in Manehatten, not because of creatures or photo shoots or even any frippery like that! She was there because.. MANEHATTEN IS TOTALLY LIKE MANHATTEN! O-EM-GEE! And she has found, missing her own Manhatten, that Manehatten is a far easier to reach substitute that comes with far fewer things like being surrounded by Union police for simply being there. Which is what leaves the happy little Dhampir sitting on a trash can, licking a large ice cream bar of slightly teal color, and for the moment, undisturbed by giant monster chaos.

<Union-IC> Fluttershy says, "… I… I don't want to leave here without help, but if you need me in Ponyville for /anything/… you let me know."

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Another faint, crackly signal starts transmitting intermitten ".. beep beep… beep beep.. beep beep.." like it's trying to give others something to home in on to find the cloud monster.

<Union-IC> Rose Parker says, "Oh, this is just great. That cloud golem is amazingly huge. That kind of mass might actually be able to do some damage."

Following behind the crowd creature at a suprising clip, given her 2.5 wingpower, is a certain buttery-yellow pegasus, however there is something different.

For one thing, she has a depserate look of determination mixed in with abject /fear/. She's also glowing, dully, the yellow of her wings appearing slightly dewy as she descends from the clouds, and white barding on her body.

"Ohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh…."

"Ooooh dear! Oooooh dear!"

Watching from the edge of the Everfree Forest at the impossible to miss Giant Cotton Candy Monster, Jinx fidgets back and forth, unsure of what to do. She can't just ignore the problem, because all of those ponies in manehatten could get hurt! Maybe she should go back into the Everfree and try and convince Bramble or Nightmare Moon to help… then she realizes Nightmare moon would just go 'meh' and delight in the carnage, while the time it would take to fetch Bramble and come back would take too long.

"Oooh dear…"

With a loud gulp, Jinx stares at the distant creature of candied cotton, then takes in a deep breath before stomping her hoof on the ground. As she does so, black wind erupts from all around, swirling around her form before wrapping around her body to form black leather armor and a huge metal serrated fan. Then after a moment of hesitation, she paws at the ground a few time, tenses up, and CHAAAAARGES while screaming her 'battlecry'.

Which by the way would be, "THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEEEEEEAAAAAA!"

Burning Heart heard about that monster heading for Manehattan, and /immediately/ jumped out of bed, zipped down to the first floor of the hospital, and nearly broke the front door down barreling through it, leaving the medical staff scratching their heads as they tried to figure out what just happened. And now, the young hero charges across the landscape in the cloud monster's wake, slowly gaining on it. He's mostly healed by now, so there's little trouble other than some uncomfortableness from his burn wounds. And even if he were hurting, he'd ignore it anyway.

Because, you know, Manehattan is his /home/. His /parents/ live there. That monster is /going down/.

Rose is running through Equestria, apparently heading for a hot air balloon to head to cloudsdale before she looks up at the pink mass of clouds descending and says, "What in the world-?" before her eyes widen as she says, "You've got to be kidding me…" before she stares and then says, "I'm going to break several bones doing this-!" and charges towards the cotton candy cloud, apparently trying to bite off a small portion of the monster in order to get its attention as she runs past its legs, trying to get it to move away from the town.

"Okay now that's big..", Freya says seeing the cloud monster.. She sighs to herself. "I'm going to have to go full size on this monster.. Better some embarssment than a city getting destoryed!", and she shift up to normal big size! Hey look is a Gaint pony! She not as big as the clould monster! But still an impressive sight!

SUMMARY - Freya «< - Kaiju battle go!

SUMMARY - Noh «< - (Belatedly because of phone calls) Noh is sitting in Manehatten eating seasalt icecream.

This is possibly the first time that Yuna has ever been in Equestria while keeping her human form - but in this case, there's a very practical reason for it: she can't show off Rarity's designs for humans if she's in her pony form, after all.

But then cotton candy clouds start appearing all over the sky in and outside Ponyville, and Elner alerts Yuna before any of those airborne pink fluffblobs have a chance to appear over the glade that they're doing the photoshoot in. "Aw, great … Everyone, we're going to have to get back to this later," she calls out to the camera crew and support team. "Pack up your equipment and get back to the warpgate; Jiina and Marina will run the clothes back to Rarity's shop. Remember, don't leave *anything* when you leave that wasn't here when we got here."

There's some confusion amongst the personnel who came for Yuna's photoshoot, and a lot of annoyance; they went to a lot of trouble getting everything set up for this, and now they have to stop in the middle?

Yuna's transformation from her current outfit to her Light Suit hushes a lot of that, though, and by the time she can merge with Erina and take to the air, the photoshoot personnel are already well on their way to getting everything bundled together, buttoned up, and ready to leave Equestria again. Hopefully the rain will hold off until everything delicate is under wraps …

Giant monster attack? Staren knows what that means! This is exactly what the Wings of Nemesis used to specialize in.

A _fighter plane_, completely out of genre, flies over ponyville, heading after the monster. At least clouds move relatively slow! As it approaches the… beast? its parts suddenly whir in and out, reshaping the machine into… a giant robot pegasus, a little under 40 feet tall! It lands next to Freya, looking at her. "A giant pony? Did you get affected by poison joke too?" Staren asks over the loudspeakers.

SUMMARY - Yuna Kagurazaka «< - This is why so few people dual-class 'idol' and 'magical girl'. Always getting interrupted.

Freya looks at robot pegasus in surpise. "No this is something I Can do normally.."

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Giant monster? Time for mecha!

A giant monster attacking a city? It's like the Gokaigers never left the Super Sentai world. Since they'd already kept the Gokai Galleon anchored around Ponyville, once the ship's computers detect the disturbance heading toward Manehattan it's not long before they set a course to intercept the cloud creature.
"Kaizoku Gattai!"
With Marvelous' call for a Pirate Combination, the Gokai Machines emerge from the Gokai Galleon in matryoshka-doll fashion and combine into a humanoid form (not a pony- doing that would require a bit too much of a shift in the shape of the mecha that they also live in). For the finishing touch, a hat drops onto the robot's head.
"Gokai-Oh, ready!"
Brandishing a sword in each hand, Gokai-Oh prepares for battle with the cloud creature.

The beast lumbers on. It doesn't even notice when Rose lands on it and starts trying to take a small bite otu of it.

Whatever is fueling it probably didn't make it all that smart, because it doesn't even seem to take notice of, well, just about anything. The earth rattles and shakes with each of its massive footsteps as it continues on its direct path for the distant city, its long strides making short work of the distance. Massive footprints are left in its wake.

Sure they're footprints covered in sticky cotton candy, but they're the footprints of something massive and heavy.

Even trees in its path don't really slow it down - It simply reaches out with one massive cotton candy arm and sweeps them away, knocking a row of trees right out by the roots and flattening them to the ground.

This mass of cotton candy certainly isn't harmless. It might be bright pink like cotton candy, but for it to rip trees out like they were nothing, that cotton candy must be as tough as taffee.

SUMMARY - Captain Marvelous «< - Kansei! Gokai-oh!

<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says with what sounds like a bit of a mouth full, "I can't distract this thing, you'd think it would at least run after me."
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "/Keep trying/!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "I'm eating as fast as I can!"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "By the way, any help would be appreciated. It's hard to keep up with this thing on hoof."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | A mare's voice manages to break through the static coming from Cloudsdale "Just hold tight and keep trying down there. Assistance will be arriving shortly."

"AAAAAAAAAH!" Jinx screams in a mixture of fear and forced courage as she charges headlong towards the beast, brandishing her fan like a giant club, "AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!"

Then she starts to slow down, "AAAAAaaahhh…"

And then she stops, looks up at her fan, then promptly facepalms as she realizes just how stupid she was being, "… Right. Stupid me."

With that moment of insanity out of her system, Jinx does the /sensable/ thing and snaps open her fan, then sweeps it down in a wide arc, unleashing a blast of slicing wind at the giant monster.

<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka whistles, "That thing IS pretty big … I can't summon El-Line until Jiina and Marina get here, though!

Jinx does 9 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Jinx hit Rainbow Dash with her Not Your Average Spring Breeze moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

SUMMARY - Jinx «< - CHAAAAAARRR— Oh right. Duh. I Have /WIND POWERS/.

Burning Heart runs as fast as he can, which is a pretty decent clip as he's still keeping up with the thing. He even leaps over the giant footprints, careful to avoid the sticky pink cotton candy. That would be bad for speed, which he's kind of trying to keep up at the moment.

"HEY!" he shouts at it, not really caring if it hears him or not. "STOP RIGHT THERE! YOU'RE NOT TRASHING /MY/ HOMETOWN, GOT THAT!?" And, since he's managed to mostly catch up to it by now, he takes another huge leap and tries to punch it in the foot.

This will totally work.

Burning Heart missed Rainbow Dash with his Punching is the answer to everything! weak attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Slicing Wind is very yes.

Above, flitting about as her barding glows, Fluttershy's teal eyes narrow against the huge creature's form, and she takes a deep breath. Summoning and healing was her strong suit, and she decided long ago what was the best creature to deal with these cotton candy monsters.

One comes from the sky! Made of orange starlight and trailing a violet startrail, it goes for the creature's head, mouth wide.

THe other two come from the ground, one galloping in at a steady pace, the other prancing from behind a bush. All three are open-mouthed and hungry, and offer a wordless, soundless cry of joy: CANDY.

…Fluttershy is hitting the creature with the scariest, second-most-candy-loving creatures she knows.

Fluttershy does 10 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Fluttershy hit Rainbow Dash with her STARLIGHT CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "What…/what/. Oh, right. Cotton candy."

The dull, distant thud is one thing. Noh can pass that off as possibly really bad music being blast from a boombox somewhere nearby. But when the cans next to her begin rattling, she's forced to look up and finds herself.. staring.. at.. what could easily amount to a cotton candy version of the STAY PUFFT MARSHMALLOW MAN… tromping.. toward.. the city.. and.. uhm. …

"… That is not normal." Noh says, blinking. "That is not normal at all."

She licks her ice cream again, and then gives it a very sad frown because she then sighs, and must drop the half-eaten ice cream into a trash can. Bye bye ice cream. Before she stands, stretches, and starts to trot out to meet the monster with a very curious look on her face, already pulling a spoon almost as tall as she is from where it had been strapped to her back.

SUMMARY - Noh «< - Who you gonna call? … Someone else. o.o;

Flight Form may not be Yuna's fastest armor, but she still makes good time from the outskirts of Ponyville to the general area of Cloudsdale and Manehatten - and she can't help but whistle as she sees the cloud-monster which is heading for the big city. Even with Freya, Staren's mecha, and Gokai-Oh already converging to help fight Cloudzilla at its own size scale, she has to wonder whether she ought to have brought El-Line.

Which she couldn't, of course - she gave Jiina and Marina something else to do, and they're as important to forming the Matrix Figure as Elner and Erina are (plus, y'know, Yuna herself). She's going to do her best, though, snap-rolling past Staren and Freya, dipping perilously close to the trees, then comes up in front of the giant cotton-candy cloud kaijuu, deploying her pulse blasters and raking the rapid-fire barrage of energy bolts up the monster's front, from feet to face.

The Star Pegasus looks at little Jinx and Burning Heart attacking and just sort of facehooves. Well, _maybe_ it will work. Time to do his part! Normally he'd open up with the railgun, but… that monster looks like it's probably _really_ good at absorbing kinetic energy, so he'll open up with his beam sword instead! He raises a hoof… um…

Okay then! He raises his other forehoof, which has a plasma cannon connected to it, and fires! His shoulder-mounted pulse laser sweeps across the monster! both attacks are aimed for its midsection, so he won't accidentally hit its other attackers!

Staren used a combo attack on you and hit you for a total of 16 damage.
Staren uses Let's make some caramel! moderate combo attack on Rainbow Dash.

Yuna Kagurazaka used a combo attack on you and hit you for a total of 15 damage.
Yuna Kagurazaka uses Hi, I'm their little friend moderate combo attack on Rainbow Dash.

"Right time to take this thing down!", Freya charges at the gaint cotton candy creature and tires to take a bite out of it's arm!

Freya does 7 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Average hit.
Freya hit Rainbow Dash with her NOMNOMNOMNOM moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

IMMACLOUD, whomever the pegasus hiding inside may be, is still following the cotton candy cloud golem at a healthy overhead distance. Purple eyes blink a couple of times as Fluttershy flits by. Was expecting the Harmony Knights to be busy with their own town.

Far overhead in Cloudsdale, a second BOOM! can be briefly heard. Another explosion?… No, this one sound more like something taking off. Or somepony. Several someponies, as multiple trails of what looks like it could even be exhaust (or maybe just smokey colored clouds) can be seen speeding upwards from the city, arcing overhead, and then making a downward dive that's bringing them directly towards the location of the golem.

As they come into viewing range it's more clear just who they are, as the smoke marks the path of eight pegasi in familiar blue-with-gold-trim flightsuits hurtling down towards the candy-titan's position, yellow one with fire-streaked mane in the lead. Looks like your support has arrived guys!

"Time to show these people what we can really do Wonderbolts. Diving Streamers Formation, GO!" The v-formation narrows out into two almost parallel rows right behind Spitfire as the entire squad levels out and banks almost as if one being, speeding right in front of the golem's 'head' to try and blind it with their smoke-trails.

Too bad Rainbow Dash isn't here to totally fangirl geek-out.

Rarity does 5 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Rarity hit Rainbow Dash with her WONDERBOLTS ARE GO! weak attack! <Standard Mechanic>

<J-IC-Moderated> Jinx says, "Oh my… is that the Wonderbolts?"

SUMMARY - Rarity «< - The guest stars for the night arrive!

<J-IC-Moderated> Burning Heart says, "Is it?"
<J-IC-Moderated> Rose Parker says, "Wonderbolts?"
<J-IC-Moderated> Jinx says, "They're Equestria's top flying team!"
<J-IC-Moderated> Burning Heart says, "With them, we /can't/ lose!"
<J-IC-Moderated> Staren says, "Flying team… brilliant!"

<J-IC-Moderated> Freya says, "That's pretty cool."

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire ahems slightly. "Sorry we're a little late guys. Took a few minutes after the factory blue to get ranks together, it's the middle of spring training."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Better late than not at all! Glad to have your help!"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "As long as you're here now, that's all that matters!"
<1X-Supplemental> Freya says, "More help is always welcome.."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy eeks. "S-sp-spitfire! G-Good to ha-have" … pause… squeaking something.
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Hey, are you that pegasus I helped out of that tree?"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "That squeaking's pretty familiar."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Soarin' aw yeahs! "This is going to be as awesome as the time I ate fifteen pies in one meal!"

This might be tough for the Gokaigers. Some ponies are actually trying to attack the monster on foot. They'll have to work harder to avoid squishing the others underfoot. They begin their attack with a slash to the side just as the Wonderbolts go flying by.
"Those ponies have some good moves," Luka observes. "The Wonderbolts, they're called? You could learn from them, Joe." That gets a bit of a hmphs from Joe.

<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy …squeak.

Maybe the beast really had little to no intelligence, because it doesn't even flinch at the call of battle cries. Neither does it deviate from its path, as the giant beast was some sort of weird bug, and the lights of the now not-so-distant manehatten were attacting it straight at it.

It didn't even really seem to take notice when Jinx began to cut the wind, leaving thick furrows in its cotton candy hide. Or when Burning Heart tries to kick the golem - Only to get caught in its thick, sticky candy.

Though if Burning Heart doesn't find a way to get himself free, he would most certainly notice the ground coming up to meet him when the beast drops its foot back down to the ground.

It certainly does notice when it gets a few blasters to the face.

The beast opens its mouth in soundless pain. Or, well, it would be if it could feel pain. One hand comes up to try and cover its face. The other arm flails around, swinging straight at Freya with its heavy fist when she comes to try and chomp on its arm. If it could feel fear, it's a good bet that it would when the spectral filly trio begin to go to town on it.

The beast pulls its one hand away from its face again, its mouth still open wide. But not in pain. Instead, it begins to breath out… Rainbows? At least, it might look like that at first. But in fact, it's breathing out thousands of little tiny, round, colorful candies at super high velocity at its attackers. They might be small candies, but the vast number of them at that speed will hurt.

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire is probably rolling her eyes behind her goggles. "The Wonderbolts are primarily a performance team, so we'll do our best to keep that… thing's attention distracted."

Rainbow Dash does 22 damage to Burning Heart with an Obliterating hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Burning Heart with her Stop getting under foot, 'hero'! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>
Rainbow Dash does 14 damage to Freya with a Direct hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Freya with her COTTON CANDY HULK SMAAASSSH! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 3 damage to Jinx with a Graze hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Jinx with her Taste the Rainbow! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 13 damage to Yuna Kagurazaka with a Direct hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Yuna Kagurazaka with her Taste the Rainbow! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 10 damage to Staren with an Above Average hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Staren with her Taste the Rainbow! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash missed Fluttershy with her Taste the Rainbow! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 26 damage to Rose Parker with an Obliterating hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Rose Parker with her Taste the Rainbow! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash missed Rarity with her Taste the Rainbow! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "…It's _throwing up a rainbow at us_? _Seriously_?!"
<1X-Supplemental> Freya says, "Just when you think you seen everything…"
<1X-Supplemental> Jinx says, "A-aaaah! That isn't a rainbow! It's spitting candy at us!"

Rainbow Dash does 12 damage to Captain Marvelous with a Direct hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Captain Marvelous with her Taste the Rainbow! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy EEK!
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "…It's denting my mecha with _candy_."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren siiiiigh.

Captain Marvelous does 12 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Captain Marvelous hit Rainbow Dash with his Slashity moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

SUMMARY - Rainbow Dash «< - Skittles are bad for you!

That… wasn't quite as effective as Jinx had hoped it would be, but at least she managed to dom something! Unlike poor Burning heart. Ouch. @_x

Just as she's about to run to Burning heart's side to help him out, she looks up to see the streaking colors approaching from Cloudsdale and remarks, "Oh my… is that the Wonderbolts? They're Equestria's top flying team!" Yay! They're all sav—

ACK! CANDY BARRAGE!

Quickly raising her fan up as a shield and cowering behind it, Jinx manages to weather the worst of the abbrassive barrage of Skittles as she cries out in fear, "A-aaaah! That isn't a rainbow! It's spitting candy at us!"

Once the candy storm has passed, jinx peeks out and looks around at all the candies laying about, "… Pity Pinkie Pie isn't here. She would love this…" With that said, she lowers her guard once more and takes in a deep breath, then invokes powers that she hasn't done so in a long time. Black wind surrounds her as she raises her fan once more, then with a sweep, unleastes an ill Wind upon the creature!

Jinx debuffs Rainbow Dash.
SUMMARY - Jinx «< - Eat bad Luck Sugar Fiend!

… A rainbow of painful candy colors is being spat out at the people trying to fight it, and Noh just stands there, staring up at the candy collossus with a not too sure WHAT to do expression at it, before she shrugs, and starts to spin the spoon in her hand a bit, before she suddenly charges and leaps, bringing the spoon around to… try and scoop a big ol' chunk of cotton candy out of it's leg as she leaps!

Noh does 12 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Noh hit Rainbow Dash with her A Spoon Full Of Sugar For Me! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Freya oofs as she get it by the cotton candy monsters arm getting some of cotton candy stuck on her. The candy rainbow attack surpises her seeing everyone else getting it by the attack "Stop shooting rainbows at my freinds!", and she headbutts the cotton candy monster!

Freya does 12 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Freya hit Rainbow Dash with her Headbutt! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

SUMMARY - Noh «< - SPOONBATTOL. :|

At the impending candy doom, Fluttershy had made herself scarce, giving an eek and climbing skyward at an impressive pace, leaving a yellow and pink and white afterimage in her wake as the white barding flaps.

Her friends are hurt! She steels her resolve (… well. She at least bakes it from 'dough' to 'cookie') and takes a deep breath. She closes her eyes, and her wings glow as she summons the most terrifying, frightening thing that she can think of facing if she were to be facing it, if she were a candy.

It rises from the ground. Tripple its sources height, made out of pale pink light. The crest of its curls bounce as it hops, all four hooves leaving the ground. The curls of its tail bounce in time, and outlined on its flank in pale light are a trio of balloons as it heads to attack the cotton candy by taking a bite out of sugary evil!

Fluttershy does 7 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Above Average hit.
Fluttershy hit Rainbow Dash with her WEWEASE THA SECWET WEAPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON! (Hint: It's Pinkie Pie) moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

SUMMARY - Freya «< - Attacking Freya's freinds. Bad idea.

"Evasive maneuvers. Scatter!" As the cotton-candy-cloud golem starts flailing about and spitting torrets of colorful hard candies at its attackers the Wonderbolts break formation to speed off in various directions. The speed and agility of the most expert pegasus fliers in Equestria roll and weave through the assault with nopony taking a single hit before working their way back together overhead.

The 'cloud' finally poofs away as well, kicked off by another white Wonderbolt with blond mane as she bolts to join the others.

As the two of them briefly fly side by side Spitfire gives a front hoof salute to Soarin'. "Next sweep is yours. Go return the favor for that candy barrage."
"Yes ma'am!" Soarin' salutes back, then banks off from her and comes around for another fly-by as five other Wonderbolts take up formation with him. "Present arms!" He barks out like a squad leader, and the six pegasis all pull out…
Giant slices of watermelon.
"CHEW AND LOAD!" Which are promptly scarfed down in a flurry, then take up a Flying-V formation as they dive towards the titan with puffed cheeks and puckered lips.

The last order of "FIRE AT WILL!" is muffled due to the mouthful Soarin' has, but it gets the point across as the Wonderbolts dive so fast you'd swear you could hear the *NNNNRRRRRRRRRRH* sound used for diving planes in movies as the squad swoops in and strafes the cotton candy golem… with watermelon seeds at machine-gun burst velocity!

*SPIT-TOO-TOO-TOO-TOO-TOO-TOO-TOO-TOO!*

Rarity does 2 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Graze hit.
Rarity hit Rainbow Dash with her What? You expected them to actually have guns? moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Well, Cloudzilla may not be breathing nuclear fire, but it's still no Pink Sugar Heart Attack, that's for sure. Yuna's Light Suit flares under the onslaught of colorful little candies, the defensive aura repelling the tiny but hard projectiles, as Yuna herself shields her face with an arm and tries to hold her position in the air. The Wonderbolts' passage is a welcome sign of reinforcements - but it's going to take more than synchronized stunt flying to bring this candy-colored colossus down.

With her friends and allies beginning a relatively coordinated close assault, Yuna puts some more distance between herself and Cloudzilla, glancing back and forth to take stock of the terrain. Stopping this monster before it starts damaging architecture is a good idea, she thinks … not that it'll be any picnic repairing the more-natural terrain that's currently acting as a combination battlefield and roadway. For lack of any better ideas on how to use the terrain to our advantage, though, she pulls out the Matrix Divider, focusing power into the blade/barrel as she takes aim … and she squeezes off a shot at one of the monster's eyes.

Yuna Kagurazaka does 12 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Yuna Kagurazaka hit Rainbow Dash with her Go for the eyes, Boo! Rargh! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

"Alright, look at that!" Staren pumps a fist-err, hoof as he watches his blasts burn the candy man. Only for it to spit a _rainbow_ at him. Probably magic! He tries to dodge, but… he's just not used enough to using the pegasus's wings, and he gets hit…

by armor-piercing candy?!

"Seriously?!" he shouts at noone in particular. "Alright, you wanna fight candy man?" He lifts the Star Pegasus's other hoof again. Its beam sword activates, and the pegasus grips the hilt in its mouth, detaching it from the robot. "Let's do this!" the robot pegasus leaps into the air, and slashes at the monster!

Staren does 12 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Staren hit Rainbow Dash with his It worked for pikachu in Smash Brothers! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire says, "Hey, giant pony down there! And you with the machine… thing. You're the biggest things down there, keep yourselves blocking between it and the path to Manehattan. Everypony else just keep the pressure on it."
<1X-Supplemental> Jinx says, "R-right."
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Getting stepped on…really hurts."
<1X-Supplemental> Captain Marvelous says, "Got it."

As Burning Heart said on the radio, getting stepped on /really/ hurts. He can almost feel his bones cracking under the pressure of countless tons of cotton candy, but the nice thing about Earth Ponies is that they're /really resilient/. As the giant monster lifts its foot, the young hero still stuck to the underside, Burning Heart quickly pulls himself mostly free and starts trying to climb it. On one hand, it's pretty easy because of all the sticky cotton candy. On the other hand, it's pretty hard because of all the sticky cotton candy.

If that makes sense.

"Alright, you overgrown piece of fluffy, delicious candy, IT'S CHOW TIME!" he shouts at it again, and then takes a page from pretty much everyone else's books and starts trying to eat it as quickly as he can manage. Hey, it's not like he has a big plasma cannon to shoot it with or anything. He doesn't even have any weapons other than his hooves, and they clearly don't work.

Burning Heart does 1 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Mild Graze hit.
Burning Heart hit Rainbow Dash with his CHOW TIME moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rose looks at the giant cloud monster and says, "Alright, no more eating!" as she jumps down and tries to buck off pieces of the creature left and right, tearing into it with her hooves as she says, "This had better work."
Rose Parker missed Rainbow Dash with her moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Somehow, the hard candy attack actually puts Gokai-Oh somewhat off balance. The Gokaigers have to spin their helms hard to get it back on solid footing.
"Looks like we'll have to get serious here," Marvelous says, pounding on the button on top of his belt and flipping a Ranger Key into its key form. Doing all this with hooves, somehow. "We'll show this thing Magiranger's ultimate power! Let's go!" The team turns the keys in the helms, and the hatches on the arms, legs, and chest of Gokai-Oh open up, revealing a pair of dragon wings, claws, and finally a dragon's head from the chest.
"Magi-Gokai-Oh, ready!" Using the wings, Magi-Gokai-Oh takes off, flying at the monster and chomping at the cotton candy with its dragon jaws.

Captain Marvelous does 9 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Above Average hit.
Captain Marvelous hit Rainbow Dash with his MagiDragon used Bite! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>
Dark wind whips around the cotton candy creature. Almost immediately after, it stumbles. It manages to catch itself, but not before its knee falls into a large puddle of mud. The muddy water eats at the cotton candy composition of its leg, but the thing quickly starts to get itself back up to its feet again. Not without leaving some of its cotton candy knee behind. And then only to get its other knee gouged out by Noh's large spoon.

The Wonderbolts are certainly impressive with their dodging and flying. But overall, spitting watermelon seeds at it, even at high velocity, doesn't seem to dent the thing much. Its face just has little black specks on it now, like it has a bunch of blackheads.

It nearly stumbles again from Freya's headbutt - But its body is unsurprisingly soft. And really sticky.

And now it has a hole in its head. Yuna's attack blasts right through one of the thing's eyes. As in, straight through to the point where the other side of the landscape can be seen through the hole. But only for a second, before cotton candy flows around its head to fill in the spot. It had lost its hailstone eye, but the black watermelon seeds from the Wonderbolts attack are shifted into place on its face, giving it one black eye, and one white eye. Somehow, it makes it look a bit malevolent - Even though it is still made up of cotton candy.

Electricity starts to crackle across its form as the beast howls soundlessly in rage. A lot of electricity. It wreaths the beast, charging with an awful, loud electric hum. Then is unleashed in bolts of purple lightning arcing all around it at its attackers.

It is made up of things from the weather factory, after all. Including storm clouds.

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire gaps, feeling a staticy buildup all too familiar to pegasi, "Look out! It still has some weather capability!"
<1X-Supplemental> Freya says, "oh no."

Though it does look distinctly fearful at the spectral Pinkie Pie before it unleashes its lightning barrage. All sweets are known to fear her.

<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "This is gonna suck."

Rainbow Dash does 24 damage to Burning Heart with a Critical hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Burning Heart with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 4 damage to Captain Marvelous with a Graze hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Captain Marvelous with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>
Rainbow Dash does 5 damage to Fluttershy with a Graze hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Fluttershy with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 25 damage to Freya with an Obliterating hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Freya with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 16 damage to Jinx with a Direct hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Jinx with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 18 damage to Noh with a Direct hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Noh with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 18 damage to Rarity with a Direct hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Rarity with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 35 damage to Rose Parker with an Obliterating hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Rose Parker with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 14 damage to Staren with an Above Average hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Staren with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rainbow Dash does 5 damage to Yuna Kagurazaka with a Graze hit.
Rainbow Dash hit Yuna Kagurazaka with her Not tart, but shocking! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "…Ow."
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Looks like another week in the hospital for me."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka hisses softly. "Anyone need a lift out of harm's way?
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… That was unpleasent. But its legs are melting! Someone find water to melt the rest of it!"
<1X-Supplemental> Freya says, "okay t-that stung.. I'm f-fine Yuna!"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Where are we going to get that much water?"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Is there a lake around here?"
<1X-Supplemental> Freya says, "I could throw it into a lake er.. push it?"
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy gives a soft gasp. "I… I'm going to start helping on that end, Bu-Burning He-heart…" … "wh-what about a tornado?"
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Well, Earth's Manhattan is an island … I dunno about here, though. Wonderbolts, you know the terrain around here, right? Where's there a big body of water?"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "/Hurricane/, good. That'll do it for sure. And, er, thanks."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire, slightly surprised, "I was just considering the same thing. But we need a few to build air pressure and speed."
<1X-Supplemental> Jinx says, "O-ow… I can… I can help with that."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy takes a deep breath. "Jinx, help me focus on the worst of the injured; we'll take them as they come low."
<1X-Supplemental> Jinx says, "R-right…"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "I'm still on the back of its leg. Kind of hard to miss with all the pink around and all."

Purple lightning?! "Oh, shoot!" Once again, Staren is unable to dodge — getting the Star Pegasus to stop and maneuver on a dime is hard. _He needs to practice_. Fortunately… he's already a pony, so the lightning can't do anything but melt some of his mecha's armor plating. "You're made of CANDY! Why are you so tough?! You're made of fluff!" Since he's up in its face now anyway, he tries to just stab the plasma sword into it, and holds it there, to burn any candy that tries to fill in the wound!

Staren does 4 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Graze hit.
Staren hit Rainbow Dash with his Beam Sword Impale! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

SUMMARY - Staren «< - Stabbing it with a beam sword and holding it there

Fluttershy had had enough of sending lights after the cotton candy cloud; it was plain to see that her compatriots were in dire need of help. And she takes a deep breath. Her wings begin to glow, the butterfly on the golden necklace gaining a pink hue to it. Godlen energy extends from her as she arches her neck, her hair floating as if underwater as the energy directs towards Burning Heart.

"Hang on, everypony."

<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "Hang on, everypony."

Fluttershy restored Burning Heart by 14 (Level 2).

Unfortunately for Burning Heart, he's /right on the thing/ when it goes off, and gets a nice big zap for his trouble. It makes it very difficult to eat anything when your whole body is spasming, and this is no exception. Afterwards, he's noticeably charred, little smoke trails wafting up from his fur. Looks like another week in the hospital once this is over.

But for now, he hangs on. There's not a whole lot else he can do, really, just hang on and try to help where he can. He kind of wishes he had a horn, or at least wings. But, well, nothing he can do to change that. On the bright side, Fluttershy's healing magic is making him feel a /lot/ better. Good enough to /keep fighting/.

"Thanks, miss!" he calls out to her, and then resumes his climb, his hooves covered in pink sugar. He's not sure what he'll do, really. Maybe he can rip its eyes out and blind it or something, that'll be pretty distracting.

Yay! Her Bad Luck magic actually did something! Jinx is helping! :D

Unfortunately, it isn't really enough to stop the monster, and the crackling sounds gives Jinx pause as she shrinks back, "… oh dear… oh dear! ohdearohdearohdearohdear!"

In a desperate attempt to get out of harms way, Jinx turns and bolts… but you just can't /outrun/ lightning.

Especially when you have a large metal fan in your possession.

With a loud /crack/, the bolt strikes the fan and arcs into Jinx's body, locking up her muscles in mid-stride. the sudden loss of motor control causes her to tumble forward and collapses to the ground twitching.

When her body finally stops spasming, the Bad Luck pony groans and forces herself to her feet, then shakes her head.

Then with a deep breath, Jinx straightens up and /chaaaaarges/ once more at the beast—

And then runs right past it.

"Hold on a moment miss!" jinx calls out to Rose as she approaches, quickly pulling out a potion and some bandages, "Let me take care of those wounds. Here, drink this potion while I bandage you up."

After handing the potion to Rose, Jinx starts with the task of bandages the worsy of the wounds and burn marks.

Jinx restored Rose Parker by 12 (Level 2).

Yeehhouch! Freya really dislikes lighting so ver much.. "That stung..", she look a bit frazzled. But she not letting this monster get any futher! "You! Shall! Not! pass!", she lifs her front feet up and bring them down on the cotton candy monster!

Noh is given all of a few precious moments to find that she is successful before she's suddenly electrocuted by a storm burst. Amazingly it does not kill her. … Not so amazingly, since she was holding a metal object, it hits her rather spectacularly, and does a lot more damage than it otherwise would.

She blinks a few times to clear her eyes of the light flare, before she frowns at the giant thing. And, taking notice of the fact that water melts it, considers.
Water is something they need, she decides, but looking toward the city she also decides the hydrents there would not reach far enough in enough time. She does hmm though, and starts tapping her spoon on the ground in thought.

Freya does 20 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Critical hit.
Freya hit Rainbow Dash with her STOMP OF DOOM! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "There are hydrents in the city. They spray water. But they will not reach this far unless we have a hose. Or some manner by which to transport the water."

Yuna gets off lucky this time, getting zapped by some of the electricity, but mostly only catching the edges of it thanks to the distance she's at, and possibly also to the fact that she's out of Cloudzilla's line of fire on everyone else. Hey, she'll take whatever she can get.

On the other hand, she doesn't take it too well when her friends are being hurt. So Yuna isn't a terribly happy camper at the moment - setting aside the fact that her photoshoot, to help publicize Rarity's work for human customers (both actual and potential), just got rained out by the eruption of chaos which accompanied Cloudzilla's 'birth'.

"Regenerate all you want," Yuna calls out to the candy-colored colossus. "We'll just keep hitting you, shooting you, and taking bites out of you until you've got no mass left to regenrate with!" The Matrix Divider flares up in her hands again, brighter than before, as she zigs to one side for another clear shot ..

And when she has that clear line of fire, she pulls the trigger again, trying to blast a hole right through Cloudzilla's center of mass.

Yuna Kagurazaka does 12 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Above Average hit.
Yuna Kagurazaka hit Rainbow Dash with her Focused Flare Sniping strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

For some reason, the lightning attack didn't cause as much damage as the candy did. Maybe MagiDragon protected them from the lightning. "It's looking weak," Marvelous observes. "Let's bring it down!" Gokai-Oh drops from the sky as MagiDragon emerges on its own, circling around the monster.
"Gokai Magi Bind!"
MagiDragon continues circling around the cotton candy monster, creating three of the Magirangers' magic circles around it. As it flies back to rejoin Gokai-Oh, the circles close in around the monster, attempting to hold it in place before a huge, multicolored blast of magical energy comes down in the circles' center.

Captain Marvelous does 12 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Above Average hit.
Captain Marvelous hit Rainbow Dash with his Gokai Magi Bind strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rose is hit, and hit HARD by the lightning as she falls back her skeleton visible for a few moments before she staggers a bit, her skin mostly blackened and mane charred at the tips as she looks around. She then shakes her head a bit then says, "Ok! That thing is NOT just made of candy then." then looks up at it and says, "Come on Rose… Keep it together." as she continues to buck at the golem though not too all that much success

Rose Parker does 1 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Graze hit.
Rose Parker hit Rainbow Dash with her candybucking! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire strains through gritted teeth "Just a little more… everyone be ready to hit it with everything you can… NOW!"

Pegasi scatter in multiple directions once more as the monstrousity continues it's counterattacks, though not quite so luckily this time as Bluestreak spins out after getting zapped, and Skyhopper ends up doing some unintentional tree buzzing as he struggles to stabilize again. Fleetfoot pulls away from the attacks without getting hit, but her sheer speed causes her to overshoot the fight and is quite a distance away before she finally turns and starts back. Everypony else manages to avoid directly getting hit, but there's equal share of sparking tingles and frizzled manes to go around amongst the team.

Overhead they reco-ordinate with Spitfire, who's frowning a bit. Soarin' pants a few times as he hovers next to her. "Now what, Captain?"
"If it wants to mess with the weather, we'll show it how to do it right." There's some amused hint in her voice at others thinking of the same thing she was, but at the moment Spitfire is all business. "Double spiral, staggered formation. Go go go!" Upward the Wonderbolts go and start to fly in rounding passes. Eventually the wayward flung members from the last attacks catch up as well, and it doesn't take much more than a few minutes before visible swirls and jetstreams become visible in the air as the circling tightens, their smoke-trails (how do they even do that) acting in leiu of clouds as they compile within the building aggitation of weather phenomenom. Prehaps flying a bit closer to each other than pegasi should, but the Wonderbolts were professional fliers.

"NOW!" At the command the entire team dives as one, going into a dizzying spiral flightpath as they continue to build speed, smoke trails and colors combining until there's nothing more than a large churning blue and gold funnel that drops almost right on top of the candy golem. Even several of the best, fastest fliers in Equestria can't produce the sheer power of a tornado used to move water up to Cloudsdale, they -can- whip up a massive twister with enough suction to potentially immobilze a monster made out of a lighter substance like candy by floating it off the ground.

You have been stunned and cannot attack!
Rarity hit Rainbow Dash with her Wondernado stun attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Cloudzilla screams soundlessly as a blast of energy goes straight through its midsection from Yuna's blaster. Or, at least, that's sort of what it looks like. It's hard to tell when its face is made of cotton candy and incapable of making much of an expression at all. The hole left from the energy blast begins to regenerate quickly though - At least until Staren's sword goes right through the hole. It carmalizes the candy instantly, melting it. It then hardens quickly, leaving the beast with a saber sized hole in its gut.

Burning Heart is ignored - For the moment. He's a bit like a fly trying to crawl up someone's leg. But Freya's stomp sends the creature stumbling backwards, right into the return rainbow blast from Marvelous's squad. It trips over its own two feet, and starts to fall just as Rose hits it.

But it never hits the ground.

As th eblue streaks of the Wonderbolts flit through the air, wind whips up around the cloud beast. Its decent slows, then stops altogether when the twister materalizes. Then Cloudzilla begins to raise up off of the ground.

Yelling soundlessly, it gropes and swings at the Wonderbolts, trying to swat them out of the air. But then it starts spinning, and even a cotton candy monster can't keep track of what's going on when it's being spun.

Just better hope it doesn't upchuck more skittles.

But even though it's spinning, the thing is a massive, immobile target caught up in that whirlwind.

With her healing duties tended to for the moment, Jinx turns her attention to the massive cotton candy creature, now trapped inside of a giant vortex of wind… then debates what she should do. Finally she decides to try her luck.

Or rather try Cloudzilla's luck as the case may be.

Once more the black wind swirls around her as she winds up her fan, but rather than a simple gust of ill fortune as before, this time she unleastes a concentrated burst towards the creature!

Nothing happens. At first.

Then there is a deep rumbling in the earth as by some miracle, a pipeline gets pinched off by the caving in of ground neneath one of Cloudzilla's massive footprints in the ground. preassure builds deep within the ground, buldging the line.

And then in a massive geyser, the pipeline erupts, spraing gallons and gallons of water into the air where it is sucked into the vortex.

Jinx does 24 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Critical hit.
Jinx hit Rainbow Dash with her THAR SHE BLOWS! epic attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Ranged combat definitely has its advantages sometimes, but when the Wonderbolts rev up their tornado move, Yuna flits back further to make sure she won't get caught up in the violently twisting air currents.

Once Cloudzilla is safely suspended in midair, though, Yuna grins and calls out a "Nice work!" to the team of stunt pegasi, then grips the Matrix Divider in both hands, the barrel/blade starting to flare, crackling with power as Yuna focuses more and more energy into her weapon. "Time to clear the skies, everyone! TENKA … !!"

The crackling glow of the Matrix Divider intensifies further, until it looks like Yuna's holding onto a shard snapped off from a lightning bolt. It's not electricity, it just looks like it -

"ZAIMETSU!!!"

As Cloudzilla quickly gets a very direct demonstration of, when Yuna swings her weapon up to point at the candy-colored cloud monster and pulls the Divider's trigger, unleashing a massive blast of concussive, purifying Light.

Yuna Kagurazaka does 17 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Above Average hit.
Yuna Kagurazaka hit Rainbow Dash with her Annihilation of Sin Under Heaven epic attack! <Standard Mechanic>

As Burning Heart keeps climbing, looking more like a part of Cloudzilla now than a pony with all the cotton candy stuck to him, he realizes that he's probably not going to get up there before the thing goes down. He flinches a little as Yuna's BIIIIIIIIIMU~ bursts through it just a few meters above him, but quickly gets back to climbing. Even if he can't get up there, maybe he can still figure out something to do. Does the thing have a spine, for instance?

Whoa, /whoa/, what's going on? The Wonderbolts are launching into action, whipping up a whirlwind around the giant cloud monster and lifting it into the air. Suddenly, Burning Heart gets a brilliant idea. Dislodging himself from the beast, he lets himself be carried off by the wind, riding it up in a spiral around the cotton candy horror until he's just above it.

"Thanks for the ride!" he shouts to the Wonderbolts over the roaring of the wind, and then with a little maneuvering he sends himself rocketing down at its face. With another punch. Hey, why not?

FLuttershy is angry.

You wouldn't like it when she's angry.

This thing has not only destroyed her home town, is connected to the chaos in Ponyville, but is still not going down and now threatens /Manehattan/!

Fluttershy. Is not. Happy.

"… this… this is rediculous. /Utterly/ Rediculous." she states. "NOW YOU LISTEN UP! WHatever you are, whatever's causing this, it has got to stop! You're hurting the /animals/! You're hurting the /forests/ AND YOU ARE HURTING. MY. FRIENDS."

Fluttershy's fur has begun to glow, her hair kicking up like it's tossed in a windstorm as she concentrates her energy. She exhales. She inhales, and she gives a suprisingly loud yell as she summons the biggest thing she can think of.

Above, the celestial constellation of Cetus forms, and she draws herself upwards. The whale takes shape, and then with a mighty groan the star light creature descends from the sky in a mighty bellyflop!

… and fluttershy covers her eyes.

"Oh dear… I… I think I over did it…"

Fluttershy does 15 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Above Average hit.
Fluttershy hit Rainbow Dash with her It's a Whale of an Attack! epic attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Hmm. That didn't work _quite_ the way Staren expected, but pretty good nonetheless! He withdraws the sword, and the wonderbolts… wow. They _lifted the monster in a tornado_. Pegasus power is _impressive_. The Star Pegasus flies up after it, and tries to jab its sword in again and just leave it there this time, before lifting its plasma cannon again, Staren quickly reprogramming the weapon controls to turn it into a flamethrower. "Alright… let's make some caramel!"

And with that he begins burning the the candy monster.

Staren does 19 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Staren hit Rainbow Dash with his No really, let's make some caramel! uber attack! <Standard Mechanic>
Burning Heart does 8 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Above Average hit.
Burning Heart hit Rainbow Dash with his WHIRLWIND SURFING PUUUUUUNCH! epic attack! <Standard Mechanic>
"Still not done?" Marvelous says, bringing out another Ranger Key. "Let's go with Shinkenger's power next!" Turning the keys in the helms, the Gokaigers watch as a rainbow bridge stretches down from the sky, down which runs a mechanical red lion. The lion splits apart and attaches to the slots that MagiDragon had just vacated, while a samurai helmet replaces Gokai-Oh's pirate hat.

<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "I have no idea how that worked, but /I don't even care/."

Anyone that knows even the basics about tornados knows just how powerful and dangerous such weather formations can be. While pegasus spawned ones are a bit more under control, they are no less fierce and savage. Thus as the heroes' final assault beats down upon Cloudzilla suspended within the vortex, the other effect of the cyclone's fury starts to come into play.

The 'Wondernado' churns and whirls as a whole, but there's a vicious cutting wind between each of the Wonderbolts driving it as well. It's these minature jetstreams within the swirling spiral of the funnel that start to tear into the beast as it's form is weakened by the attacks, and as the team finally scatters in various directions to avoid the incoming assault it's like yanking multiple ropes at once in different directions to give the winds one final tearing pull. Drawn and quartered, weather style.

One of the Wonderbolts does salute Burning Heart in return as they pass. Probably Wave Chill, who's the team's resident windsurfer (which means literally surfing wind when it comes to pegasi).

<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "Alright, I've _got_ to learn how to fly pegasus-style if I'm going to keep using the Star Hawk here."

Rarity does 15 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Rarity hit Rainbow Dash with her It's going to BLOWN apart epic attack! <Standard Mechanic>

"Shinken-Gokai-Oh, ready!"
"Rekka Daizantou!"
The samurai-pirate-lion-robot summons a colossal flaming sword, preparing to swing it toward the monster. "Gokai Samurai Giri!" Down comes the sword in a powerful slash.

Captain Marvelous does 24 damage to Rainbow Dash with a Direct hit.
Captain Marvelous hit Rainbow Dash with his Samurai Slash, or something. epic attack! <Standard Mechanic>
The monster is caught in the vortex.. "RIGHT!", Freya lifts up her right foot as it start to glow! "Take this all my love and hate! SHINING FING.. HOOF!", and she slams her glowing hoof into the cotton candy monster! Then there a rather large expsoion!

Freya does 17 damage to Rainbow Dash with an Above Average hit.
Freya hit Rainbow Dash with her Kamboom! uber attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Trapped in that whirlwind, cloudzilla can do nothing more than stare as a literal onslaught comes down upon it.

It can't even do that really, with the way that it keeps spinning around and around and around.

Water gushes up from the ground, rushing up and melting its legs. Purifying light plows into its chest, making another, larger hole straight through the cloud beast. Even Burning Heart's hoof leaves a rather respectable dent - But the means that he does it is much cooler than the results. To add insult to injury, it starts to melt as a result of Staren's attempt to make hot cotton candy. Which Captain Marvelous and his team make worse, nearly slicing the beast in half.

What it can see, even spinning around and around like it is, was the giant, spectral whale that comes down from above. Luckily, the Wonderbolts decide to split at just the right time before the whale can fall. As the whale falls and the tornado destabalizes, the beast is literally squished and pulled apart at the same time. Part of it explodes out from the tornado, spitting cotton candy everywhere. The rest?

Crushed underneath the giant, heavy, spectral whale.

And when the smoke and tornado clears, there's nothing left of Cloudzilla except for splatterings of cotton candy clouds all over teh place. All begins to quiet once more.

Mehehahahahaha…

Quiet enough for a low, mischevious chuckle to blow in on the wind, as if laughing at the defenders. (http://youtu.be/tePkAepGD5E)

<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… Hm."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy … "I don't like the sound of that…."
<1X-Supplemental> Jinx says, "… Th-that was creepy…"
<1X-Supplemental> Freya says, "That was spooky. I got the shivers…"
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… I am… sure it was nothing."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "That can't be good."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "I have a bad, bad feeling about this…"
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "- Who's *laughing*?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Apparently someone who's enjoying this."

<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… However, 'Nothing' so often turns out to be /something/ that I… am not sure I like this nothing-something."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "With you there, Noh …"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire gwahs "Where'd that laughter come from?"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Whatever it is, a good punch to the nose will fix it."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "No idea .. hey, how far are we from Canterlot here?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire says, "Depends. Got to consider you've got to go up into a mountain as well as lateral distance, after all."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "I guess it's probably better measured in time than in distance."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Because I'm thinking maybe somebody ought to touch base with Queen Celestia and see if there's anything from her hunch …"

Oh yeah, that was /awesome/. Burning Heart doesn't really know why he keeps ending up having to fight giant monsters, but he's not bothered by it. It's just part of being a hero, really. At least he landed in a tree, where all the leaves and branches broke his fall. Still hurts, but…

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Spitfire hehs, "Needless to say, it's faster to fly than anything else. I'll have to send somepony to report this anyways."
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "You go do that. In the meantime, I'm gonna go back to the hospital and take a nap."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy sounds exhausted "I'm going straight back to Ponyville, I'm sure they'll need my help there."

Laughter. That's probably not good. Morg sensed something behind all this… and it's laughing?

Staren records the sound for later analysis, and collects some of the caramel, and retrieves his beam saber, deactivating it and returning it to its holder. "Alright. I'm going to head back to the warpgate, it's probably for the best if the giant mechanical pony doesn't hang around. Anyone need a lift or medical attention?" The robot pegasus looks around, searching for injured.

<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "— did… did you need… more help Burning Heart?"
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "Anyone need a lift out of here?"
<1X-Supplemental> Captain Marvelous says, "That's definitely not the kind of laugh I like."
<1X-Supplemental> Freya says, "I'm okay I'll just walk out.. Ow…"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Nah, I think I'm alright. Wait, no, hold on."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy …
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "I'm good, Staren, but thanks for the offer. And … I'm gonna head to Cloudsdale, then, see how bad the damage was there."
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart transmits sounds of rustling leaves and creaking branches.
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy …"D-do you n-need he-…" pause. Squeak.
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "I seem to be tangled in the tree, somehow. What do you call that, deja vu?"
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Or maybe irony?"
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, with voice going quieter and quieter "…I would… say it's… being… suck…" squeaks "in a tree…"
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "…So… how can I learn more about pegasus flying so I can pilot my mecha better when it's here?"
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "… hold tight. I'll get you down."
<1X-Supplemental> Burning Heart says, "Alright, thanks."

Allowing her armor to fade, sounding exhausted, the kindness knight drops down from the sky, searching the trees around for the poor Errant Burning Heart — caught in a tree!

It takes a few minutes of circling and wing-braking for the Wonderbolts to bleed off the rest of their speed and come down for a landing, and a few extra steps puts Spitfire and Soarin not far from the others. The fiery maned mare pauses a moment to pull off her goggles and try to shake some candy goo off of them. Soarin' … just licks it right off of his own. Which gets a bit of a disgusted look from her. ".. Just a few moments ago that was stomping around on a rampage."
"It's still candy," replies her wingcolt all too eagerly.

".. Right." Brown eyes roll a bit, but by this point she's use to it. "Fleetfoot, you're the fastest straight-a-way flier here." She won the last Wonderbolt Derby in Canterlot, after all. "Fly back to Canterlot and let them know the .. thing is taken care of." Fleetfoot salutes, then beats her wings to get back into the air and take off.

With that matter taken care of she turns back to the others. "And thanks to the rest of you. If it had been just us that thing could of done some real damage before we could of slowed it down any."

Burning Heart is the big pink and orange spot amidst the green foliage, kind of hard to miss. But to make it easier, he calls out to Fluttershy. "Hey! I'm down here!" It appears that he's managed to bury himself up to his neck in branches, in some convoluted mess that makes it quite difficult for him to move his legs.

Coming nearer to Burning Heart, Fluttershy alights on a brance, and assesses the situation by flying over, around and under the poor stuck pony.
"… okay." she squeaks, flitting about below him. "I'm… I'm going to push up on you from here. Try and climb out." she states softly, and comes up beneath Burning Heart to push upwards!

Hey, it /is/ that pony that he rescued from a tree a while back! Boy, talk about irony. "The roles are reversed, huh?" he thinks aloud, watching as Fluttershy flies around to look for a solution. When she starts pushing on him from below, he starts trying to wriggle free. It takes a few minutes, but he eventually manages to get a hoof out. From there, it's much easier, and he climbs out with a minimum of injuries. "Thanks again. I guess this makes up for that time, huh?"

Fluttershy blinks, and she pauses, and her head comes forward. Her fetlock coveres her eyes and she digs her hoof into a branch a little bit. She squeaks some answer, and her weight shifts as she continues to hover in the air.

Burning Heart raises an eyebrow, but quickly remembers that this pony is /really, really shy/. He rubs the back of his head with a hoof, not really sure what to say from here. "Well, uh…I should get going. Back to the hospital, you know? Look, you're doing a great job, saving ponies and all. You don't have to be so…shy. Anyway, see you later."

And then he walks off into the sunset, back in the direction of Ponyville.

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/28 Posted Author
AAR: Cloudzilla Tue Jun 19 Yuna Kagurazaka


<video report>

The video begins with a map of Equestria, much like Yuna's previous report; however, this time there's a bright highlight near the cities of Cloudsville and Manehattan, in addition to the fainter blob around Ponyville. Yuna begins narrating: "There was another chaotic-weather incident in Equestria last Friday. Part of it was a resurgence in those weird cotton-candy clouds that materialized earlier in the week, and the freaky events which coincided with them - Rainbow Dash and Rarity wound up dealing with that, at least around Ponyville - but the bigger concern was an explosion of some kind at the main weather factory in Cloudsdale. The report we heard said that the clouds had formed into some kind of monster; Fluttershy was either at or near Cloudsdale at the time, and she began following the monster, while the rest of us - myself, Burning Heart, Staren, Freya, and Rose Parker - headed to intercept. We were joined by the Gokaigers and Noh, as well as Jinx who happened to turn up and lend a hoof."
The map zooms in on the Cloudsdale-Manehattan area as Yuna continues. "Whatever the giant cloud monster was - I've kinda been calling it 'Cloudzilla,' for short - it wound up at ground level, and started heading through the woods towards Manehattan." The map is replaced by video of the monster: vaguely humanoid in shape, its body made of the pink cotton-candy cloudstuff from the prior incident, and with giant hailstones for eyes. It's also visibly huge, although it's hard to determine the actual size from this clip. "Freya was in giant form when she arrived on the scene, and Staren had brought his giant robot along - and under the circumstances, I don't blame them. The Gokaigers were using their giant combiner robot as well, Gokai-Oh. I couldn't summon El-Line, but with two robots and Freya already on the scene, it would've gotten too crowded … anyway."
What follows after that, as Yuna continues with her report, are seemingly random snippets of the fight progressing, including a team of eight pegasi in blue flight suits (marked with yellow lightning bolts) pitching in. "The Wonderbolts showed up to assist as well, and they were a huge help - we could probably have taken Cloudzilla down with who we already had, but they helped to make *sure* the monster didn't reach Manehattan; I'm not sure we would have avoided damage to the city without their help." There's a clip of the Wonderbolts working together to generate a tornado big enough to lift "Cloudzilla" helplessly into the sky; several attacks are launched up through the tornado - ranging from energy blasts to a torrent of water to a summoned constellation (Cetus the whale) to a flamethrower, among others, before the cotton-candy monster is obliterated beyond its ability to regenerate.
That clip ends with the sound of somebody chuckling before the video shifts back to the map. "There are two things I particularly need to note. One is that chuckle that Elner managed to include in the video footage - that wasn't any of us, it was … someone else. Or, much as I hate the cliche, something else. So we now have reason to suspect that a conscious, sentient mind is behind all of this. And that's the second thing - whatever happened with the chaotic weather in the middle of the week can no longer be considered an isolated incident. At the very least, we need to consider this an ongoing situation; anyone who's in Equestria should remain on alert for further incidents of this sort. Hopefully Queen Celestia will be able to come up with some solid information about what's going on."

<end report>

=============================== IC - Cutscenes ===============================
Message: 24/14 Posted Author
One Fateful Fieldtrip Tue Jun 12 Discord


The statue waited.

While waiting was all that statues of the sort could do, the statue was becoming impatient. It felt the bindings weakening, but it wasn't happening soon enough. Thousands of years waiting, and all it needed was a shove. It needed…

A mare's voice interrupted the statue's contemplation.

"Now this is a very interesting statue," A purple earth pony was telling the foals that had gathered in front of the statue. They were on a field trip to celebrate the nearing end of the school year. "What do you notice about it?"

"It's got an eagle claw!" A yellow filly with red hair shouted. "And a lion's paw!" Said an orange pegasus with a purple mane. "And a snake's tail!" Cried a white, curly maned unicorn, bouncing so eagerly that she earned annoyed glares from the others.

If the statue could grin, it would. Unnoticed, what little aura of energy it could manage flared.

Cheerilee smiled patiently at Applebloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle. "This creature is called a Draconiquis. He has the head of a pony and a body made up of all sorts of things. What do you suppose that represents?"

Applebloom spoke up first again, "Confusion!"

"It's evil!" Sweetie Belle said, bouncing again to try and get attention.

"It's chaos!" Scootaloo shouted, nearly knocking Sweetie Belle over.

"It's not chaos you dodo!" "Don't call me things I don't know the meaning of! And it is too chaos!" "Is not!"

Apple Bloom pushed her way inbetween the two of them, forcing them apart. "Yer both wrong!"

For a moment it looked like the fight would break up. But then Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle both leaped on top of Applebloom, and all three of them disappeared in a cloud of dust kicked up from their brawl.

In the middle of the statue, unnoticed by anyone, purple light pulsed. The chaos caused by the girls fight wasn't very much. But it was enough. The seal was failing faster.

Cheerilee shook her head, and approached the fighting fillies. "Ahem! My little ponies!" She called out to get the trio to stop fighting. "Actually, in a way you are all right. This statue represents discord, which means a lack of harmony between ponies." She fixed a bright, sweet smile on her face, "In fact! You three have displayed discord so well that I want each of you to write a paper explaining it!"

"Awwww!"

"Now come along everypony," Cheerilee said as she turned to walk away from the statue, her class following behind her. "And I don't want anymore fighting," She said, briefly fixing a steely glare on the three fillies.

The fillies followed, but they could still be heard arguing about whether the statue was about confusion, evil or chaos all the way out of the garden.

No one noticed the pulse of purple in the 'heart' of the statue. A crack split right up the front, and slowly began to make its way across the stone.

Several pigeons near the statue had begun to inflate like beach balls, bodies growing so large that their wings were too small for them to fly.

Hehehehehe…


Cue theme song: http://youtu.be/4By8YHOnILo

Scene: Not all is Right…
BGM: Michael A. & Whitetail - Prominence (http://youtu.be/VF5hctaMwHQ)

Central Ponyville - <Equestria> (Location #1)


In the direct crossroad of the three major roads this side of Equestria
is the village of Ponyville. The three roads, all gravel, meet in the
center of the villiage, forming the villiage square around a large
fountain. stores, houses and other buildings all spread out from there in a
haphazard circle. Most of the stores and homes in the village are of a more
rustic, older design, built with thatched roofs and function over design.
Businesses are mostly found near the center of the town, spread out
from there. Despite being a more rustic and relatively small villiage, it
has all of the comforts of a regular city, with all sorts of shops,
restaraunts and services, even a public bath house.
Houses are found a bit further out, most of them bearing a similar
cottage-like design to the businesses in the center of town. Not too far
from the center town is a large, hollowed out tree with the sign saying
'Library' on it. A central pavilion On the other side of the town square is
home to the mayor, and where most of the town meetings are held. Other
notiable businesses is the confectionary parlor Sugarcube corner,
Ponyville's most popular fashion boutique, and a number of cafes here and
there.
Far off to the west somepony can see the glimpses of a large apple
orchard, and on the edge of the villiage, there's a strange house that
almost seems to be made of clouds.

It is currently spring. Trees are just beginning to bloom, grasses are
bright and green, and the weather is cool, but not too chilly nor too warm.
Rain is pretty common, and there are an awful lot of mud puddles around.


Contents (2 players not shown) Exits
Applejack <BL> Books and Branches Library
Barrage Raptor <Standard> <DJ> DJ PON-3 Danceclub
Captain Marvelous <Civilian> <EF> Equestria Fields
Charr <WarPony> <RP> Residential Ponyville
Fluttershy <Knight> <SR> Sugarcube Corner
Jinx
Morg McGee <Livin'>
Noh <Normal>
Rainbow Dash <Pegasus>
Rarity <Unicorn>
Risa Kirian <Casual>
Staren
Tesseract <Unicorn>
Twilight Sparkle
Yuna Kagurazaka <Pony>

<X-Union-Chatter> Rainbow Dash says, "HEY, hey uh, orange jello guy! Loki! You aren't doing anything weird in Ponyville, are you?"

<X-Union-Chatter> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "I don't think Loki can be in two places at once when they're *that* far apart, Equestria's a long way from Titanium Valley … what's going on, Rainbow Dash?"

<X-Union-Chatter> Loki says, "I could send an astral projection if I wasn't being hit so much."

<X-Union-Chatter> Mid-Alantic accented, Rarity murmurs, "Oh my…" as she peaks out a window.

<X-Union-Chatter> Rainbow Dash says, "Ugh, someone thought it'd be a cool prank to make cotton candy clouds. And-HEY! IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO RAIN UNTIL TOMORROW!"

<X-Union-Chatter> Fluttershy transmits a soft 'eep…'

<X-Union-Chatter> Risa Kirian says, "Eh wha? Where?"

<X-Union-Chatter> Fluttershy says, "W-would this be a b-bad time to hide under the bed…?"

<X-Union-Chatter> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "…. What kind of rain are you getting from cotton candy clouds?"

<X-Union-Chatter> Morg McGee sniffs. "Trouble."

<X-Union-Chatter> Yunomi says, "I'm not there either!"

<X-Union-Chatter> Staren chuckles.

<X-Union-Chatter> Staren says, "Yes I imagine we'd have our hands full if it rained Yunomis."

<X-Union-Chatter> Tesseract says, "… Okay, now I wanna see this. No offense, but it sounds interesting."

<X-Union-Chatter> Rainbow Dash pause. Lip smacking sound. "Uh. Chocolate milk."

<X-Union-Chatter> Fluttershy says, "… chocolate rain?"

<X-Union-Chatter> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "…. that's weird. Those two don't even go together all that well."

<X-Union-Chatter> Risa Kirian says, "… Oh I have got to see this."

<X-Union-Chatter> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "I'm on my way, with Elner."

Several minutes ago…

The weather ponies had gone all out today for a clear weather day.

It was a clear blue sky above, with just the hint of clouds. Just enough clouds to provide shade from the warm sun above, but not enough to suggest that the weather was going to be anything but pleasant.

A blur of colors blazed across the sky as Rainbow Dash sped straight up and angled around to perform a loop. She arced down and sped into a defenseless white cloud, making it disipate into nothingness. "Hah! Take that! Now that is one perfect partly cloudy-HEY!"

Abruptly, something pink zoomed right past the cerulean pony, grazing her and making her spin out in mid air. She stops for a moment, eyes swirling dizzily. "Hey! Come back here you!" She didn't even consider that it was pink. A cloud was a cloud. In a burst of speed, Rainbow sped right at it, "Hah, gotchya!"

*SPLUT*

Rainbow hit the cloud at full speed, toppling over head over hooves. Instead of disipating the cloud like usual, she instead got caught up in it, like a fly getting caught in a bug trap. It stuck to her and made it impossible for her to fly away. "Eewwww! What is this?" Shaking off made bits of pink cloud fly everywhere, but some stuck to her. Cautious of a possible prank, she licked at some of the cloud stuff on a hoof. "… Cotton… candy?"

All around her, pink clouds zipped and zoomed, materializing out of thin air. After a quick conversation on the radio bud in her ear, she looks even more confused.

Thunder caught her attention, and she looked up. Just in time for a droplet of liquid to fall on her nose. "Wait a second! It's not supposed to rain until tomorrow! You can't just-"

The cloud opens up in a downpour, drenching Rainbow Dash in a second.

"You did…"

Annoyed, sticky, and now drenched, Rainbow Dash sped after the nearest pink cloud. "THAT'S IT! No more miss nice pony!"

Now…

Rainbow Dash's efforts to get rid of the pink clouds hasn't been going so well. Not only are they so sticky that she /can't/ just kick them out, they move all on their own, zipping and zooming. So while she's managed to corral some of the pink clouds - Sort of - they are more like corraling her, leading her over Sweet Apple Acres orchards.

But even though she's managed to keep some of them busy, there are many more pink clouds forming literally out of thin air. And they aren't just raining water. Which, really, would have been a mess in of itself. These clouds rain milk chocolate rain. The clouds are spotty, but prevailent over Ponyville in clumps, leaving moving areas of a downpour of chocolate milk rain all over the place.

Rose is walking through Equestria having arrived earlier and generally looking very confused at the state of things. Looking up, she notices Rainbow Dash trying to corral the clouds as they move about on their own and breaks into a gallop over towards Sweet Apple Acres, trying to figure out what's going on. .oO (They aren't supposed to move on their own around here, even normal clouds don't move that fast!) she thinks to herself before she reaches the gate of the main yard and says, "Hello? Is anyo-Anypony here? I'm from the Union, I'd like to offer help if I can. I know I'm not a pegasus but there has to be something I can do."

It's just another day in the life of a certain Bad Luck Pony as Jinx harvests some plants for her friend Bramble in the forest not too far from Ponyville proper. You'd be surprised how hard it is to find NORMAL plants in the Everfree after all, and some alchemy recipes requires plants that aren't hideously mutated by dark magic. Besides, it gives Jinx an excuse to get out of those gloomy old woods and spend some time someplace warm and inviting.

As she comes out of the woods with her saddlebags full of ingredients, she looks up at the bright, sunny day… and notices that it's not as bright and sunny as she thought.

Now normally this wouldn't be a big deal, since she would just assume that Rainbow Dash was just being lazy again and leaving the cloudbucking until the last minute. Except she sees Rainbow Dash in the skies over Sweet Apple Acres.

Locked in combat with a bunch of pink clouds zipping across the sky like mosquitoes.

Which are pouring chocolate milk in the form of rain.

"… What the hay?"

Curious about this inexplicable weather pattern, the Bad Luck pony sets aside her usual reluctants to approach Ponyville and hurries over to investigate.

Fluttershy had been camped out in her cottage attending to the bumps and bruises of a pair of adorable bouncing baby bears…. but at the sound of rain had alerted her to something amiss. She had originally planned on hiding under her bed — but with the encouragement of her bunny, she had flitted out of her cottage (after returning the baby bears to their rather off-put mother, who had been waiting outside), and donned a rainjacket.

"Oh dear… oh dear… chocolate coming from the skies?!" she mutters to herself, teal eyes turned upwards. "… this is /highly/ irregular… and ver…very… scary…" she gives a slight meep.

"… be brave Fluttershy… be brave Fluttershy…" she mumers to herself.

"Rrrmph.. Rrrf?" Falstaff paced back and forth around the house. Sniffing at the ground, ears twitching furiously. "Aowwwoooo…" Howling lowly every so often. "Mnuh?" Charr's head poked out from under a newspaper as he lazily swung in a hammock. "What's wrong, Falstaff?" "Rrrrmmph.. Aowrrooo.." "..You alright, ol' boy?" Pawing at the floor, Falstaff whined and hopped and darted his head all around. "Switchbait!" <Sah?> The butlerfree appearing as though from nowhere. "Th' hell is wrong with Falstaff?" <..I.. Don't know? Oh I say, Falstaff, don't drag your arse on the floor, you'll get piles!> "..Never seen him do /this/ before."

Something was off. ..But what? Falstaff didn't know. And since he didn't know he couldn't communicate it to the others. All he could do was fret and whine and let out little howls. "Dammit, boy, y'gotta give us somethin' t'work with here." *whine* "…He couldn't have gotten like, worms or somethin', could he?" <I should think not, I'd half expect madam Fluttershy to appear in a puff of kindness and-> Switchbait paused, and stared out the window.

<Sah.. The clouds here aren't usually bright pink, are they?> "..No. No they are not."

And once upon a time, a certain young lady had heard about a land that had dragons, magic controlled weather, and was populated by ponies. Interesting so far, right? Of course! Especially because of the dragon factor, but a deluge of paperwork and mass-amount of beginner's work had kept the lady from actually having a chance to visit Equestria. Today, reports of cotton-candy clouds and chocolate rain emplored Risa to ditch all the paperwork and boring stuff the Union seemed to have to take a quick jaunt through the nearest warp gate out of Njorun station and into Equestria proper.

Unlike most others, the apprentice dracomancer isn't phased by the transformation affect. Her teacher's link, despite his missint status, worked as a sort of shield against such effects, but she probably wouldn't realize how odd this was until a bit later. Spotting pink clouds and brown downpours Risa quickly takes off toward Ponvyille proper with a lot of curiousity and a bit of wonder forming in her mind. "What kind of magic would even do this?"

While Yuna had been thinking of heading out to visit Equestria, she was sufficiently preoccupied with other things this evening - at least until the 'weather report' came in from Rainbow Dash.

And Yuna has no idea what she can possibly do about it … but she heads for Ponyville anyway, changing into her (human configuration) raincoat before stepping through the last warpgate that leads to Equestria. It might not handle the transition as well as she's expecting, but it'll be better than nothing until she can get a proper pony-use raincoat from Rarity - and if it *does* change over properly, one less thing to worry about.

Shortly thereafter, pony-form Yuna is headed into Ponyville, angling her now-equine head under the raincoat's hood (and careful not to poke a hole in it with her horn) to try and take in the situation in the air. "Elner, fly on up and see what you can find," she asks her little robo-faerie companion; shielded from inclement weather by a small force-field bubble, Elner acknowledges the request and zips skywards to take a closer look at some of the clouds - preferably from *above* them, or to the side, rather than straight underneath.

Noh had checked the forcast for the week several days before when leaving. Which was why, as she stepped out of the vortex portal and dropped to the ground, she had NOT been expecting to splash when she did so. Which is what leaves the curious little girl sitting there a moment, licking her hands as she figures out she is, in fact, sitting in a puddle of chocolate milk. Eventually, though, she stands. It's not like she hasn't been hips deep in sludge and slime before, chocolate milk at least TASTES GOOD!

sucking on her hand, she finds her way toward the middle of Ponyvill proper, already summoning her spoon from her strife speccubus as she goes. NOT for battle mind you.. but because a /four foot tall spoon/ is useful for /catching chocolate milk in/ to /drink/.

Having been born in a spaceship carrying a city, crusing between one star and another, Tesseract is familiar with the idea of managed environments. She's also familiar with the idea of that management failing. But her original function was about exploring the unfamiliar, seeking out new worlds and seeing what kinds of interesting stuff could be found there. So when she heard about something as outlandish as chocolate rain, she hopped on her hovercycle, and sped on over.

Tesseract arrives on hoof, in the guise of a normal looking unicorn. (Her cycle is stashed behind a convenint tree) For all some may seem worried, she's just curious, trying to see everything that's going on, letting the chocolate milk pour over her. She takes a few samples as she walks through the town center. How is she sampling it? Drinking it is the most convient way.

What a day yesterday! Staren faced off against an evil alicorn, discovered she was a surprisingly competant fighter _without_ her dragon army, and… continued to gather anecdotal evidence that the village from Applebloom's ghost story might be _real_ and a terrible hazard to anyone who goes into everfree.

That's not why Staren has invited Morg over, though. Equestria's problems… well, he'd kind of like to take a crack at them himself before he runs off to Morg, because while he is a reliable source of answers to impossible problems, Staren worries this is making him lazy when it comes to solving problems himself.

No, he's invited Morg over because he thinks his best friends should meet! Morg and Twilight are two of the few people he can speak plainly to without much fear of miscommunication. He hopes they can get along.

Staren's teleporter deposits the two of them at the outskirts of Ponyville. Staren gives Morg a curious look… but he's still human. He was curious if gods turned into alicorns, and also what a QT mark for mad science would look like. A gatling pistol, perhaps? But that is a mystery that will have to wait for another day, as… chocolate… candy… rainclouds are moving in. Staren pulls a tarp-with-holes-in-it from his saddlebag (his bag of holding) and puts it on before the rain arrives, watching the clouds move… unnaturally. They seem to be gathering over sweet apple acres. "Well… I guess we should go investigate that. Twilight will probably go look too, and you can meet her then."

Applejack was just bringing a cart full of apples into the barn when it suddenly starts raining. Poking her head out of the large double doors, she peers up at the sky, bewildered by the appearance of pink clouds and…brown rain. Sticking out her tongue, she lets a few drops land on it.

"Chocolate milk? What the hayseeds is goin' on out there?" she mutters to herself, and then notices a streak of rainbow shooting through the sky and starts waving to Rainbow Dash, shouting to try and get her attention. "Hey! Hey, Rainbow! What's goin' on, Ah thought we weren't scheduled fer rain until tomorrah! An' what in tarnation is it doin' rainin' /chocolate/?"

The Gokai Galleon is once again parked just outside of Ponyville, as the Gokaigers are once again stopping by Equestria, hoping to get a break from foiling evil plots, schemes, and/or plans. They should have learned their lesson from last time…
The crew's split up at the moment, so Marvelous is on his own, browsing the shops. However, he soon gets a call on the Mobirates. Somehow… these pony bodies are weird with stuff like this… he answers it. It's Don Dogoier. "Captain, um… Are you getting chocolate rain over there?"
Marvelous looks up. "Not that I can tell… And are you sure that's not *supposed* to be happening? This is a land of colorful talking ponies, you know," he answers.
"Yes, but… last I checked the climate wasn't exactly conducive to raining chocolate… but over here, we're soaking in it…" Don says.
"Well, isn't that…" Marvelous was about to say it was "interesting", but just then a little pink cloud zipped over his head, and soon he himself was drenched in chocolate. "…right…" This is going to be quite a day.

"I had a dream like this once." As usual, Pinkie Pie has just popped onto the scene at random, and not far from Applejack either. "Except it was raining yummilicious strawberry sherbert, and I ate so much I inflated so big and round that I went *POP*. And then I woke up." The pink pony pauses for a moment, then shrugs. "Oh well, chocolate works too!" She promptly sticks out her tongue (farther than an equine really should be able to) to catch chocolate rain like one would snowflakes.

Morg probably deserves a curious look. As soon as they 'landed' from the teleport, his expression changed from fairly neutral to something more immediately concerned. It's the kind of look he gets when he thinks something hostile is coming, or when someone is trying something funky. The hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, and his left hand immediately yanks something off his belt, looping a short necklace made of turquoise and silver around his hand. It looks like there's a vague heat shimmer coming off of it.

His right, predictably, is on his gun.

Morg sniffs the air, glancing up at the odd inclement weather and surveying his definitely odd surroundings. He already feels out of place, and he /likes/ horses. "Should'a said if there'd be crazy magic 'round here immediately," he grumbles. The charm in his left hand is one against magic, though it is more designed for things like soul blasts and black magic curses and such. He can feel the weird magic floating around him. Something transformative…?

"Anyway, assumin' this ain't the usual… well, two birds, right? Lead the way." He's a little more at home as a problem solver. However, Morg suspects his brand of solution won't be taken too kindly around here…

When Twilight Sparkle learned, and witnessed, the strange things starting to happen, she started searching through her books for a solution. As she makes her way to Sweet Apple Acres, she is still reading, but as she nears the center of the chocolate rain storm, she uses her magic to teleport the book back to the safety of the library. Spike, the little purple dragon with green spines, is riding on her back as usual.

"Are you sure we have to get rid of them so soon? I mean, chocolate rain? That's pretty awesome." Spike is saying. Twilight giggles. "I'm sorry, Spike, but yes. There is no telling what what negative effects cotton candy clouds and chocolate rain could have on the plants and critters in Ponyville." Spike sighs. "Alright, but…just hang on a sec." Spike hops down and slurps at a chocolate puddle. "Mmmm…"

Locked in combat is about the right way to describe it. Though at one point she stops, only because another pegasus had zipped up to her, gesturing urgently. Rainbow shakes her head, pointing at the pink clouds, and zips off after them, leaving the other pegasus to fly off - Aparently towards Cloudsdale.

Rainbow Dash gets a few of the clouds corraled together over Sweet Apple Acres by zipping and zooming around them so quickly that even the pink cotton candy clouds can't keep up "Hah! Not so tough now, are you!?" She stops to glare at the clouds, grinning proudly. And that's when one of the clouds zips off, zooming over the farm's corn fields. "HEY!" Immediately, Rainbow gives chase. And the rest of the clouds follow after her like they're trying to corral /her/. "I didn't say you could go anywhere!"

When Applejack's shout hits her ears, Rainbow Dash breaks off from her persuit and loops down towards her. "There's crazy weather all over Equestria!" She says, wiping chocolate milk off of her brow. "I just got word that Cloudsdale is getting hammered by a major cola storm right now!" She bumps her chest with a forehoof, "But don't worry, I'm not leaving till I get control of Ponyville!"

Something pops near the barn. Then another. And another. The corn field that the cotton candy clouds just rained over has begun to pop. Like popcorn. Yellow, popped kernals of popcorn have begun popping right out of the husks, already buttered and salted. They're going off so quickly that popcorn is quickly starting to cover the ground around the husks.

Meanwhile, things are getting a little… Odd in the city itself.

Roses in one of the flower shops have abruptly started to move. They pluck themselves out of the ground, their roots becoming like little feet for them to walk around on. One or two even latch on to a passing pony - Which while not deadly, would really hurt with those sharp thorns.

Over near Brooms, mops and Bookends, a few mops have broken out of the front window, and are now rampaging in the street - By assaulting ponies, trying to clean their faces with their mop ends.

The sound of a shotgun blast rips through the streets, and a possessed mop falls to the ground, shattered, "Ha ha! Clean me, will you!" Comes the triumphant voice of Barrage (Raptor) Pony, a shotgun mounted over her shoulder, the barrel still smoking as she glares at the now-dead mop, "Nobody cleans me without my say so!" She looks up into the sky, to the pink clouds, and considers, "So this is normal here, right? I mean in a place with magical talking ponies, cotton candy clouds and chocolate milk rain should be par for the course."

Staren's pony form, by the way, is a white-coated unicorn stallion with a slightly shaggy brown mane and tail (a bit reminiscent of his usual hairstyle complete with spiky bangs, but it extends further down the back of his neck). His QT mark is a robot head, identifiable by its sensor visor and antenna ears.

"Oh, I thought you knew about the pony field… but you seem to have resisted it. It's harmless, though." He briefly transforms to catboy form and back again. "See? The clouds, though…" He looks up at them. "You sense magic is behind this? But the whole world is magical…"

At least Morg isn't alone with his problem solving methods. Charr and Staren tend towards the same.

But Staren's worries momentarily are set aside when he sees a familiar purple figure. He waves a hoof, "Hey, Twilight!" Once she's closer, he adds: "I have somebody I wanted you to meet. This is my friend Morg McGee. Morg, Twilight Sparkle."

And then his ears perk up and he looks towards the town. "Was that a gunshot?"

The shotgun rapport is followed by a feminine screech of fright! Fluttershy's eyes open wide and her wings go fast enough to suprisingly leave her slicker behind, floating down in the rain as she makes it to Apple Acres!

"Ohhorsefeathersthisreallycan'tbegood!" she squeals quietly to herself, heading to meet up with Twilight, Dash, Spike, and everyone. "Is this the work of Nigh— Night—… oh horsefeathers!"

"This is really… /really/ weird. I hope everypony is okay…" Jinx murmurs to herself as she slows down upon getting near Sweet Apple Acres itself. After being ambushed by the CMC a few weeks ago, she doesn't want to risk blundering into another trap, so she approaches carefulloy and watches everything around her as she weaves her way through the apple orchards towards AJ and Dash.

"Applejaaaaaack! Daaaaaash! What's going ooooooooon??"

Wow. This. All of this. Just. /All of it/. Noh is staring at everything around her in what could most certainly pass for amusement. Disbelief? Not entirely. "… I did not know it was another prank day," She says, as she finds herself walking up on Fluttershy, Twilight, Dash, Spike, et-al, "I would have brought the wiggling fruit jell to throw at people!" She grins! .. but seeing Fluttershy's fear turns her smile upside down, and she offers, "It is okay, Fluttershy. I will not let you get hurt. I promise." .. "Besides, Angel scares me and if you got hurt no one would be around to make him behave."

Now just arriving in the town center, Risa moves up beside the mecha-pony that's Barrage Raptor, hoping to help out. "Yeah well we have walking roses to deal with too!" she hollars, pointing out a dozen or so of the things, still wrapped in some really nice paper, marching toward the pair. With a mere thought, something happens to Risa, Down her neck, front, and along her arms dragonscale just fades in and fixes to her form, easily visible where skin is and outlined where clothes are instead. "I say we start practicing some agressive horticulture, you in?" Smirk.
Risa Kirian - done.

Charr and his pokemon assembled outside, staring up at the skies. Roll was of course sipping at the chocolate rain puddles. Nettle warily shuppeted, <I do not like this, Master. There is a strange magic at work here..> Switchbait concurred, <Indeed. But does it bode ill? I sense no immediate malice in the air..> Reder: <Hmph. Some local spellcaster no doubt miscast a spell or cast the wrong spell and now we're seeing wonky weather.> "P'raps.. Falstaff, don't lick at that. Roll, get up on Falstaff's back." Roll: <But but but IT'S CHOKLIT!> (9v9) "It might make you sick. And if it did, you couldn't have anymore chocolate, or even fish, could you?" Roll: <….Okay.. That's true…> Dejected, Roll climbed up onto Falstaff's back. <Can I catch chocolate raindrops in my mouth???> "…Alright, just not too much. Don't want a tummyache." <Bwee!!> <(^v^)> Flailing her flippers happily, Roll tried to catch the chocolaty rain in her beak. Difficult but she'd still get some.

Reder: <So whaddya wanna do, Sarge.> "I.. Don't know yet. Let's go see Twilight Sparkle. She knows more 'bout th' local magiophysics'a this place'n we do." Nettle: <I agree, Master. A wise idea.> "Let us go for a.. …walk.. ..Then.."

The whole damn town is going mad. Brooms and mops coming to life, bookends flying all over the place. "…Well. /This/ is new. Gah!" FWOOSH. A mop went up in flames as it began trying to wash Charr's face with chocolate and mud. "Ptfah! Pfttthbbttbleh! Yech. Mud an' chocolate sucks." Reder: <I suggest we go find the girls before we start getting accosted by enraged taxi cabs or new age retro hippies or some shit like that.> "An excellent idea."

Applejack isn't even startled by Pinkie's sudden appearance. She's pretty much /used/ to it by now. However, she does give the candypony a look of slight disbelief. Can /nothing/ faze that crazy mare?

"What in the hay are you-" she starts, but then Rainbow Dash comes down to tell her about the situation. The cowpony listens intently, placing a forehoof on her chin as she tries to figure out what might be the cause of all this madness. Her thoughts are soon interrupted, however, by all of the corn in the fields popping. And not long after, the apples in the orchard start growing to enormous size, their weight dragging the treetops to the ground. "/What in sam hill/-"

And then a small contingent of buffalos dressed like ballerinas prances by. Well, that's odd. Oh thank Celestia, there's Jinx. Maybe she'll have some clues. "Jinx! We ain't sure, things are goin' crazy all over Equestria! Is Nightmare Moon causin' all o' this?"

Tesseract does what she does best, which is to observe what is going on. Should the flowers walk over to her, she will simply observe and record. Should the mops try to clean her, she will move move to grab it mid-legnth in her mouth, testing if and how it struggles to get free. No, none of this makes sense. Yet. Part of the point of scientific observation is simply to collect data, with as little bias as possible.

The buffalo are suddenly stricken from reality by the power of Retcon.

A few moments later a purple umbrella appears over Twilight and Spike's heads, courtesy of Rarity having caught up with her friend on her own way to investigate. She herself is sporting a matching purple raincoat and hat. "No Spike dear," she replies first to the young dragon, "As cool as this may be to some, it is highly unnatural. Not to mention chocolate stains horribly! Here, hold this." The fashionista passes the umbrella to Spike, then turns to open her bags and pull out several more articles of rainy weather attire out of them with her magic. "Fear not everypony, I have enough rainslickers and bumbershoots for everyone! Courtesy of my newest line of summer troublesome weather fashions."

"What in the world?.." Rose says as she looks at the corn plants starting to pop before she looks over at Fluttershy and Applejack saying, "Well, looks like there's some kind of cleanup to do." before she says, "If someone is directing this, they've got food on the brain." then looks around saying, "I would offer to help clean this up, but it seems like it's appearing faster than we can do anything about it." then looks over at Rarity saying, "Well, that's helpful. It would be annoying to have to wash this chocolate out later. That would be sticky." she then pauses before saying, "When did this start? Maybe we can figure out who did this if we can understand when it started."

Barrage Raptor turns her head to look at Risa, and considers, "I'm down for it if you are." Barrage replies, as she turns her shotgun and hides it away in subspace, instead opting for something with a bit more kick. A flamethrower seems like the right kind of tool to take down walking ropes, "Let's get 'em!" She yells, as she charges headfirst towards the rope.

One of the first benefits of Elner going on high-altitude recon is determining that Sweet Apple Acres seems to be the main nexus of activity (at least friendly activity), so Yuna diverts course out to Applejack's family farm to rendezvous with her friends - but not without joining up with Rarity, Twilight, and the others with them. "So we don't have any idea who or what could be responsible for this? I have to admit, even I don't think this is really Nightmare Moon's style - she strikes me as the sort to go straight for damage, not wackiness …"

She pauses to borrow a proper rainslicker from Rarity, then waves to the others, somewhat belatedly - even Barrage, although Yuna blanches a little at seeing the gun-happy Replipony go for the artilery. "I … dunno if firepower is gonna help much, at least not until or unless we find out who's behind this," she calls out to Barrage, albeit a little weakly.

"Nope. Never came up. 'Pony field' — is that the technical term for it?" He looks at the sky again, squinting at something beyond the clouds. Or maybe something he imagines beyond the clouds. It's sometimes hard to tell with him. He eyes Staren for a moment, and shakes his head. "Think I'll stick with 'me.' I ain't leavin' anythin' like that to some random arcane phenomenon to decide for me." He sounds a little bitter for just a second, but it disappears.

Morg shrugs, walking along with Staren. "Got a nose for it. Somethin' 'bout my circumstances o' birth. It's one thing to sort of feel all of it all around ya, but another to just… pick it out, and what it wants." He peers around for a second, and then eyes Staren's friend with a little skepticism — which is to say, nothing unusual at all. He tips his hat with his right hand. "Howdy." He starts to add something else —

Morg hears the shotgun blast and almost draws. It's easy to tell that he's on a hair trigger, and someone setting off firearms in his immediate vicinity is one way to set him off. "Definitely. What the hell is going on?"

Marvelous fights off a few of the animated brooms with some well-placed pony kicks, making his way to Barrage Raptor and Risa. "Sounds like a plan. Why don't I help make a show of it… Gokai Change!" <GOOOOOKAIGER!> With a twist of the Ranger Key in the Mobirates, Marvelous becomes Gokai Red, slicing through the mops with the Gokai Saber held in his teeth.

With a flick of her wings, Rainbow Dash is about to dart off again. She stops when she hears Jinx's voice calling out to them. She opens her mouth to say something, brows pulled together, but Applejack says it for her. For a moment, Rainbow looks a little silly with her mouth open like that - But she gets some chocolate milk in there at least. "Yeah! What she said!" Rainbow points a hoof affirmatively at Applejack, nodding her head, "Is your /boss/ behind all this weird weather!?"

Weird is a good way to describe it.

The mop didn't really like being held by Tessarect. It wriggles and squirms, and tries to break free. A couple of its brethren decide to try and help it, trying to mop Tessarects face while she's busy with the one.

As for the others… Well, they're just mops really in the end. Slicing through them and shooting at them causes them to shatter apart into pieces of wood that lie still on the chocolate milk drenched ground.

… Did one shard of wood just twitch?

… Nah.

As if like an attempt to try and slow those people trying to stop the chaos, clumps of chocolate milk raining clouds gather over Barrage, Risa and Captain Marvelous and his crew, creating an absolute downpour of chocolate milk.

Of course, those little animals that Applejack is always trying to chase off just can't help but go after the ultra large fruit that causes the apple trees to bend over. Rabbits, squirrels and other critters all rush in, trying to grab a bite.

At this point there's so much rain coming down that the flamethrower proves useless, the pilot light going out before Barrage can even fire off her first blast. Of course she doesn't realize this until it's too late, and she slams headlong into a group of ropes.

There's a flurry of activity, but when the others get through the thick chocolate rain they'll find Barrage suspended upside down from a street sign by the very ropes she was trying to kill.

"Oh, this can't be good." Rose says before she runs off towards the brooms and says, "Get away!" and charges into them, trying to knock them back away from Tesseract saying, "Honestly. Only a few months here, and I've fallen into absolute pandemonium." then looks around before jumping away from the downpour and saying, "Aaah! That was close. There's got to be -something- that can be done." as a thoughtful look appears on her face as she tries to figure out some what to take care of this but not to very much success.

Twilight is about to reprimand Spike when she hears Staren. She blinks, then waves to him. "Hello Staren, and hello Morg. It is nice to meet you." she says to the pair before blinking as a bumbershoot covers her. Spike immediately takes the umbrella when Rarity says to, trying to hold it over both ponies, but mostly over Rarity. Leaving Twilight getting a bit drenched by chocolate rain. "Alright, everypony, I think I have a spell that should set everything right." Twilight calls out, then her horn starts to glow. The glow of purple magic increases more and more before a circular shockwave of purple pushes outward, then forms into a rainbow of colors as the wave flows over Ponyville, engulfing everyone and everything. It flows for miles in every direction before slowing, then dispersing. And…

Nothing happens. The clouds are still pink and cotton candy, and the rain is still chocolate milk. "Wha-…?" Twilight seems supremely baffled. "My…my Failsafe spell…failed?!?!" As she says this, a pink cloud files over, right above her, and starts pouring chocolate rain over her. Spike, more proocupied with protecting Rarity, has pulled the umbrella away from Twilight, leaving her to get soaked in chocolate milk.

Noh looks between them all, and finally moves to drape an arm comfortingly around Jinx' shoulders and neck, saying, thoughtfully, leaning against her spoon with the other side of her body, "I do not think this is.. ah. I do not think this tastes of the one called Nightmare Moon, yes? She is more up to.. uhm. To make people scared. Not give people great joy," she says, and as if in example of this 'great joy' she gestures in the direction she last saw Pinkie Pie heading. With a lopsided smug grin, of course. Before she leans in to whisper to Jinx, "I will protect you, too. You are my friend!" with a smile.

Mops, walking roses, and now chocolate rain. The utter downpour coming in from the pink clouds just makes the dracomancer grump, "Well," she muses, wiping her face off, "At least it tastes good!" she calls toward Barrage before darting forward. She doesn't actually try to grab the roses by their stems but instead by the gift paper they were wrapped in before trying to just throw them, snap them, break them, whatever she needs to do. "These clouds are really annoying! If they make chocolate rain do they spit vanillia lightning or something?!" She looks back toward the mech-pony to spot her hanging from a "Is that a sentient rope? Where did that come from?!" And without missing a beat Risa tries to find a way to cut down the trapped reploid-pony-raptor-pony.

Tesseract releases the mop after the others attack her. She doesn't seem to have taken much, if any, damage or annoyance from the attacks, she's just curious about all of this. "Thank you, but I'm fine," she ways to Rose. She looks around, at the way the pink clouds are acting towards those trying to control the chaos, and nods to herself.

<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Busy! Roses and Ropes and mops and *SPLASH* *BLEEP*"
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "This goes a bit beyond 'bad luck,' yeah. - Wait, ropes? Now what?"
<1X-Supplemental> Jinx says, "I was just harvesting some herbs and I saw all the pink clouds buzzing around!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "You tell me. I already asked, and it sounds like the Wyld can't leak into Equestria. All I know about the Wyld is that it's a place moderately crazier than what we have going on right now."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Its got the pony I was helping!"

Fluttershy arrives on the farm, and greatfully accepts rain gear, shivvering from the gunfire. Poor thing's a bit shell-shocked, but she looks around to her friends. She digs a hoof into the ground, and bows her head a little bit and asks, in a very quiet and demure voice "… is… is it too late to hide under the table?", with a weak smile… but quickly loses it. This really isn't a time to sit out. Summon the inner badass!

… however, she takes up an umbrella, holding it in her teeth, and covers Twilight. It's the least she could do.

Applejack takes notice of all those little animals running in to grab a bite to eat. She starts to run over to chase them off, but stops herself mid-stride. There are more important things to tend to here. "Rainbow Dash, knock off that tone. Jinx obviously ain't here fer a fight, jes' let the girl speak." she scolds the cyan pony, then notices the rest of her friends approaching. She waves to them too. "Hey, y'all! Hurry on over here, let's get inside the barn where it's nice an' dry!"

<1X-Supplemental> Captain Marvelous says, "I don't get it either. I'm trying to get my crew together…"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "..Strange.. …Strange indeed.."
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "Observation: this phenomenon, while seemingly purposless, does seem directed to stop efforts to stop it. This suggests two hypothisis."
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "Well it's not /my/ fault. I've got ponies telling me it's going on all over the place!"
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, ".. I would say this almost seems like the work of The Fae. But I have met less confusing Fae since coming to the multiverse, so it may not be."
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "First, that there is some hidden end to these actions, or they are a distraction from something else. Second, that some living agency is behind them."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Its bloody chaotic is what it is!"

Rarity lets out a squeal of shock as corn starts exploding into popcorn at random, ducking back under the umbrella Spike is holding for her as puffed kernals fly like delicious strapnel. Which naturally Pinkie Pie hops up next to her with mouth wide open to catch the strays. Rarity frowns as Twilight attempts to correct the madness… and it fails. The spell of one of the strongest in magic unicorns she knows -failed-?! "My stars and bridles, this is getting downright preposterious."

"Oh oh oh!" Pinkie Pie continues to hop up and down next to Rarity. "Rarity! I totally need one of your bumbershoots!"
Rarity peers back at her. "Don't you have your own umbrella hat?"
"Yes, but it's way too small. Trust me on this."
Rarity lets out a sigh as she rolls her eyes and magically passes an umbrella to Pinkie Pie. "Fiiiine."

Pinkie Pie yays and opens it. Then snaps it hard enough to make it reverse and bow outward. Then bounces merrily after the nearest cluster of raining clouds to use it like a bowl and catch as much chocolate rain as possible.

Rarity is about to scold her for misuse of a parasol, but is interrupted by a giant apple hitting the ground behind her. "AAACK!", wails the fashionista as she leaps and lands in the graps of the nearest possible person… Which just happens to be Spike. Which is going to look rediculous, considering Spike is like half her size, if that.

"I… I don't think so! She didn't say anything about any plans…" replies Jinx as both AJ and Dash question her about the chaos, "Besides… this isn't really Nightmare Moon's style, you know that. She's about fear, not… pranks. It's like someone is having a good laugh at our expense or something…"

Jinx looks around a bit nervously, but manages a smile when Noh sticks up for her. It's good to have friends.

Staren suddenly realizes just _how big of a risk_ the pony field could be. He has _no_ idea how it works. But, it's been safe so far… and as a shapeshifter he can just change back anytime. It's a worrying thought, though. What if whatever's going on starts to warp even _that_ universal effect? Oh, it _couldn't_ be that big…

The gunshot is soon drowned out by SOOO MUCH POPCORN. Staren backs away from the nearest corn, only to get plinked by popcorn from the other way, as it begins to rapidly accumulate on the ground. "Uhh… I don't think Nightmare Moon would attack us with chocolate rain and popcorn… would she?" He finds himself standing there as the popcorn level rises. Twilight's announcement of a spell to 'fix everything' gets his attention. "Wow, really? You have a spell for this situation? What are the odds of that?" He watches her cast, slightly taken aback and surprised by the raw power being displayed here… and then the _huge_ magical shockwave! He wonders what an _attack_ spell of hers would look like…

But nothing happened. "Uhh… what exactly was that spell supposed to do, Twilight?"

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity starts to say something but it's cut off into an "EEEEEK!" as she's started by giant falling fruit.
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Rarity?! What happened?!"
<1X-Supplemental> Barrage Raptor says, "So not cool."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Having a good laugh? This is so far beyond having a good laugh."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "I'm getting you down! just hold on!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity says, "That apple is huge! And it almost fell on my precious adorable head!"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "..How huge is huge."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "About as big as her."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "Clouds _and_ corn popping _and_ …giant fruit?"
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "There's a possible motivation, but that suggests that something intelligent is behind all of this."
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "I do not know. This is all very amusing to me! … But I am a Child of Spider."
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "Humor, that is."
<1X-Supplemental> Captain Marvelous says, "It certainly doesn't seem like any enemy we've faced before…"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "….Right then. I'm gonna g'head on an' initiate evac procedures t'Sweet Apple Acres afore somepony gets flattened."

Barrage Raptor is not one to be able to just sit back and relax when she's being held upside down by sapient rope, "Dumb rope! When I get down from here I'm gonna.." She doesn't know what she's gonna do. They don't want her to level the town just to blow up some rope…So she'll have to find alternative means to fight it.

<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "True, whomever it is might find someone getting seriously injured even more funny."

At this point, too much is going on for Yuna to keep track of everything at once - animated mops and ropes, plus crops apparently going crazy elsewhere if not closer at hand. The giant apple slamming to the ground near Rarity, though, gives her something to focus on - and for all that she'd rather keep a raincoat or something on, she finally has Elner trigger her transformation. replacing the raincoat with her pony-form Light Suit.

Only then does she look up to try and see where the apple that nearly planted Rarity fell from, her horn glowing faintly as if in preparation for her to attack. If there's anything *to* attack up there, anyway.
Yuna Kagurazaka changed her armor mode to Light Suit.

<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Hm… I would sooner say this is just random chaos. It would take a fairly erratic mind to come up with this."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Yeah, 'chaotic' seems to sum it all up at the moment … Who's where right now, anyway?"
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "But what's causing it then?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "I'm near sweet apple acres, heading to the barn."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Isn't that the million dollar question?"

At first there doesn't seem to be any harm to the little animals eating the strange fruits on the trees.

Then after a few bites, things get… Weirder.

The animals legs abruptly grow loooong and thin, and end in hooves. But they're still able to run around on all fours! Which they do, scurrying to the next tree.

Annoyed as she might be, Rainbow Dash does have to admit that this isn't really Nightmare's style. She huffs, blowing some damp bangs up from her forehead. They slick back down immediately. "Okay, so Nightmare didn't do it. So who is?" She says, shrugging wildly. Her expression softens at least - She's just more worried about her city is all.

When Twilight calls out that she's got everything handled, Rainbow cheers up a bit, grinning at the unicorn. "Alright Twilight! Knew you'd come through!" But when the explosion of light goes off and things are still the same… Rainbow's ears lay back against her head. "Well that was a bust." She looks around quickly, "Now what the hay are we supposed to do?"

<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "It's not random. There are too many patterns to call it random."
<1X-Supplemental> Jinx says, "Y-yeah, I don't think this is Nightmare Moon's doing. She didn't say anything about it and she's usually more direct and… well… mean."

Looking around, Risa manages to find something that a rope should fear. A KNIFE! When she comes back to help Barrage, "Brace yourself!" And then leaps up and slices the rope, hoping to set the reploid-raptor-pony free, "I think everyone's gathering at some farm, we probably should try to head in that direction!" she hollars, mostly over the chocolate downpour still going on, "And we can get out of this STUPID CHOCOLATE RAIN." Thunder, no lightning though, her question still hasn't been answered. "I think its out this way!" she calls, taking off, and in the direction of sweet apple acres. When she sees the rolling fields of popped pop-corn, "Yep this way!"

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Pinkie Pie, at the mention of erratic mind, "I totally did not do this…unless somepony found a way to make dreams come true… though then it would be clouds made of marshmellows and when I wake up my pillow would be gone. Again. Who keeps taking my pillow when I'm dreaming about marshmellows I don't know…."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "I'm heading for the farm to all of you! Heads up, we have some of those pink clouds drenching us!"
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "Doesn't have to be dreams. Could be you from an alternate dimension…"
<1X-Supplemental> Noh muses, "This is not the work of Spider or Coyote, I can tell that." She pauses, then asks, completely innocent, "Is your mouth ever dry when you wake up from the marshmallow dream?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity says, "Let's not give her any ideas."
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "I dunno what this is besides just totally /weird/."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Pinkie Pie pfffs, "Don't be silly, Staren. The me that's got wings and is white is totally a dream too. Maybe."
<1X-Supplemental> Captain Marvelous says, "Right… We should get to that farm too!"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "My crew'll provide AA support in case'a more fallin' huge things. I'll see if'n we can't herd ponies that'a way."
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "Twilight Sparkle, do you know of anything local that might be causing this?"

"Lead the way. I have no idea where the farm is." Barrage says, after picking herself up off the floor, "I wish Blitz was here. He'd have a much better idea of what to do than I do, but he hates being a pony."

<1X-Supplemental> Twilight Sparkle says, "I don't even know of anything in the multiverse that would be causing this!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "I do, but it can't reach here."
<1X-Supplemental> Applejack says, "Y'all can take shelter in the barn. It's plenty roomy."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity says, "Barn it is then."
<1X-Supplemental> Applejack says, "We can plan our next move in there."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Be there shortly!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Better than getting soaked by chocolate."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "…The multiverse… a raksha could, if we were in its realm, right? How much can a raksha do _outside_ its realm?"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "That won't fit everypony in town, but I've got that covered."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Raksha? You mean dream and soul eating, looks pretty with pointed ears?"
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "And thanks, Applejack, Charr."
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "Right, let's hit the barn!"
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "Those are the ones!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Well, Hunter said that the Wyld can't reach this far."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Supposedly, a bunch. This don't fit the usual modus operandi of the things from my neck o' the woods, though."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity says, "Rainbow Dash, don't you dare crash into it with everypony going there!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Believe me, that's the first thing I thought when I saw this kind of chaos."
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "Ugh, I didn't mean /literally/!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity says, "Never know with you."

So Nightmare Moon doesn't know either. "Alright, then. Ah trust ya, Jinx, an' it's true. This doesn't seem like her at all. Anyway, let's jes' get out o' this rain afore mah hat's soaked through completely." Applejack says, retreating into the cover of the large red building. It's warm, it's dry, there's plenty of hay to go around. Good for a pinch, and this is certainly a pinch.

<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Not enough missin' folks, too obvious to be frightenin'. Hrm…"
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "… the… the animals!"
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "It's also … well, not entirely benign, but I think Nightmare M— what's up, Fluttershy?"
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "…Could it be a raksha that's gone nuts?"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Ain't that redundant?"

Noh is likely to follow anywhere Jinx goes; she's enjoying all the chaos, but is keeping mostly quiet about her enjoyment because no one needs to turn their accusations to her. She's just the one enjoying it, not creating it. Although.

<1X-Supplemental> Applejack says, "Ignore 'em, Fluttershy! We can figger out how ta save 'em later!"
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… I think I would like to shake the hand… or hoof? Of the one causing this. It is … magnificent! A marvelous sort of pranking."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy gives a pitiful squeak.

"Falstaff, Switchbait, Nettle. You jus' became anti-air support. If anythin' huge starts fallin' outta th' sky what ain't a pony, zap it or cut it up or catch it so's it don't crush folks. Reder, yer with me, we're gonna evac everypony t'Sweet Apple Acres. Roll, if you see anypony gettin' real scared-like, you coax'em into followin' us, got it?" <Right!> <Gotcha.> <Kay!> <As you wish, Master.> <Of course, sah!> "Rrrrmph."

Sucking in air, Charr broke into a canter and began shouting. "ALRIGHT EVERYPONY! Head fer Sweet Apple Acres, fast as yah can go! Don't bring nothin' y'don't need- no toys, no games, flash cards, DJ equipment, clothes, nothin' like that! Only food, medicine, blankets, an' cleanin' supplies! I REPEAT! Everypony GET GOIN' to SWEET APPLE ACRES, NOW!" This was gonna take a while.. But Charr is a /very loud pony/. So they will, if nothing else, hear him. "Get yer FRIENDS, FAMILY, AN' ANYONE IN TH' IMMEDIATE VICINITY! Get movin'! No time fer dawdlin', m'little ponies! Move NOW!"

<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "This is /not/ magificent. This is /scary/."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "Pranking? APplejack's corn crop is completely ruined! And possibly the apples too."

"Twilight!" Jinx calls out, always happy to see the purple unicorn, even amidst all this chaos, "Oh thank Celestia you're here! Everything's going crazy!"

Understatement of the year.

"Please tell me you— YEEP!" Jinx jumps at Charr's commanding voice, then bolts into the barn, fearing his wrath more than everything else happening, "Oh dear oh dear!"

Okay, MORE weird stuff going on. But so far nothing has posed a serious threat to Tesseract; she's not near enough the trees for an apple to land on her… But she's got a model about the behavior that she'd like to test, see if it is of any use in predicting what is going on. So she heads on over to the Sweet Apple Acres barn, to take shelter there and see what happens next.

<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "But now she can sell chocolate popped corn to people. Do you know how delicious that is? And chocolate covered apples, the size of a pony? She could feed starving countries!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Pinkie Pie giggles at the thought.
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "If the starving countries don't mind turning into… whatever those animals are now…"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr |Reder tortles, <Hey Flutterflank. Don't worry about yer little animal friends. They'll run for safety on instinct.>

Morg relaxes fractionally. "Uh, likewise." He steps back, tipping his hat and letting chocolate milk and… popcorn? roll off the rim. He sighs inwardly. If he knew this little trek was going to be /this/ crazy, he would've packed something with a little more stopping power. Whenever something goes this sideways and wonky (technical term, wonky), it is always something big and crazy that is behind it.

The spell goes off. Morg inhales, wincing against the light and color and the buzzing sensation of a significant amount of magic being released right near him. His poncho — now chocolate-colored — flutters in a sudden breeze. And then… nothing happens. "In my experience, the only thing foolproof 'bout magic is that you should expect it to go wrong when you need it most." He sounds almost wise. Almost.

Morg looks towards the shouting, and then to Twilight and Staren. "Should we head thataway, or skip out and round up a posse? It ain't my house, so to speak, so it ain't my call." He shrugs. He's released the grip on his pistol, at least.

<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "Oh, I do not think the apples are what caused that."

The other four Gokaigers run into the square, also having transformed to shield themselves from the chocolate rain, before the whole team heads in the direction of the farm. On the way, Marvelous calls up to the Galleon…
"Hey bird, how's everything holding up?" he asks Navi.
"It's big trouble here! Some of those pink clouds keep trying to sneak in! I keep having to turn on the sprinkler systems… Everything's soaked in either chocolate or water… What'll you do? What'll you do?!"
"Just… keep taking care of things okay?" Marvelous says. "Cleaning up the Galleon can wait, we have to get to the bottom of this! We're heading for that farm."

<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "However! As one who follows a God of Stories and Tricks.. I can say this is… very good! No one has been fatally harmed yet, no?"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Yet."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr |Reder tortles, <Yeah.. Yet.>
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity yowls "That apple came pretty close!"

As if ponies want to go out into the weird chocolate milk rain! Most of them are ducking into their houses. A few will probably come. But most are resorting to their own shelters where it's… Mostly safe. At least safer than it is out there.

Luckily, Rainbow Dash CAN miss running into the broad side of a barn. She zips right into the open doors of the barn, completely missing the doors on either side.

"Bleeegh, I'm totally drenched in this stuff!" She complains as she comes down for a landing on all four hooves. One wing is stretched out, and she gives it a bit of a shake. Feathers are sticking a little together, but at least her wings still function. "First jello, now chocolate milk and cotton candy. This is seriously one weird week."

And it's only going to get weirder.

<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "'Yet' applies. This could be a cruel joker."
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "If this was of malicious intent.. why start with small tricks? Why start with harmless things like rain or clouds..? Why not, I do not know… set forth a plague of locusts, or the death of the first born?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity is likely overexaggerating like usual.
<1X-Supplemental> Charr |Reder tortles, <Better safe'n sorry, Noh.>

Twilight cannot believe it herself as her spell has no effect at all. She just stands there, staring, her mane and tail drooping from being soaked with chocolate milk, and her ears drooping from…well…shock. "Wh..what do we do now…?" she asks softly, still just standing there.

Spike, meanwhile, has turned very red as he is being hugged by Rarity. Rarity! "Haaaah…" He almost drops the umbrella, but remembers that he is holding it for Rarity, and flinches before making sure to hold it up. "Don't worry, Rarity, I won't let anything happen to you." he says in his best brave voice.

Twilight's eyes widen even more as the animals' legs suddenly lengthen to deer-like. "Wh-what…but…that…that simply can't happen at random!" Twilight's eye begins to twitch as she watches the deer-legged bunnies and things run around. She hears Charr, but even that doesn't snap her out of it.

<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "To put us off our guard. Convince us that it's harmless."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr |Reder tortles, <The Sarge an' us would rather be thought of as paranoid delusional fools than risk something bad /actually/ happening, you know?>
<1X-Supplemental> Twilight Sparkle says, "N-….not…this…shouldn't…*twitch*"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "What just-?.. Mutations?"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Well, that's why I'm sure it ain't somethin' I'm used to dealin' with. If it was somethin' we'd've heard of, like locusts and plagues for first-borns an' such, we could connect it to a certain legend and then to whatever might be out of it that's causin' it."

Fluttershy is distraught. Her animal friends are being invoulentarily changed. The crop is destroyed, and it's /still/ raining chocolate milk down on everything! The fruit has turned downright dangerous, and with a whimper, the yellow pony follows her friends into the barn, shaking off a bit as she looks to Rainbow Dash, adn she pins her ears back, taking a few steps back. "This can't be good… what if… what if things are… " she fidgits, digs her hoof into the ground again and just looks forlorn.

<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "This is insane. It's like reality is collapsing."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Then, if you know /that/, you can kill it. But this…"
<1X-Supplemental> Jinx says, "Twilight…?"
<1X-Supplemental> Noh, amused: "Since when does anyone or thing do that in the Multiverse?" to Staren. "Most of the things in the Multiverse that are dangerous… they are not so subtle."
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "HEY, pull yourself together, Twilight!"

Yuna joins the rush from Ponyville to Applejack's barn, letting out a sigh of relief once she's got a relatively solid roof over her head, and carefully trying to shake some of the chocolate milk out of her mane and tail before moving further inside from the door. "Twilight? Are you okay there?" she asks, noting that the purple unicorn seems perilously close to going into conniptions or something. "Slow down, breathe, and if you think you know something that'd help, tell us calmly."

<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… Besides. … The chocolate milk. it is delicious!"
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Slow down and breathe, Twilight. If you think you know something that'd help explain this, tell us calmly."

Rose trots up beside Fluttershy and says, "Hey… It's alright. Come on, we'll figure out what to do in time. We just need to get somewhere dry and plan for now alright?" smiling as best she can amongst the general chaos, then motions towards the barn with a hoof and says, "Let's head to the barn, alright?"

<1X-Supplemental> Charr |Reder tortles, <Yeah. We got evac and public safety under control- oop, hang on, giant delicious fruit incoming.>
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "It's not a breakdown of order, it's… a breakdown of logic. It's… it's…"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Chaos."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "But not quite."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Raw, complete chaos."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "The laws of nature are kinda out to lunch, is all I've really got so far."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Nah. We still got cause and effect."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee pauses a moment, and then audibly knocks on wood.
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "True. Plus, time is still moving in a straight line."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "No distortions, no gravity problems."

A few more minutes later and a drenched 'brown' haired lady would wander into the bar. Believe it or not her hair isn't normally that color, "That … is at the same time the best and worst kind of rain I have ever been in," she muses out loud to everyone there as she -tries- to wring some of the rain out of her hair, brushing her clothes off, and so on. "Does ANYONE know what could possibly be going on?" In all the chaos she and Barrage were going through in the city, she probably missed Twilight trying to correct everything.

Tesseract joins the others inside the barn, looking up at the roof, waiting, waiting…

Nothing happens.

"Huh. So much for that predictive system," Tess muses.

<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Can't say whether that'll stay around forever though."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Is anythin' man-made goin' nuts, or is it just natural things?"

This is just getting seriously out of hoof. "You can put me down now, Spike, thanks." Once she's on her own hooves once more, she turns and solves this matter with her friend the best way possible at the time like this.

She slaps Twilight (lightly) across the face with her tail.

"Snap out of it, Twilight Sparkle! Just because your first course of action didn't work as planned does not mean it is a lost cause." The unicorn turns, and if need be, will grab her friend to drag her towards the barn. "You are Celestia's best and formost student, I am certain you will eventually come up with something, but for now it is best if we conviene with everypony else in the barn where we're not going to drowned in chocolate. Come along, Pinkie."

Pinkie Pie looks down from her chocolate catching. "But.. chocolate rain!"

"Now."

"Oh okay." She dips the umbrella back enough to gulp down the chocolate she caught, then collapses it and poings after the others. "Maybe later we can get enough chocolate and use Charr's flaming mcflamypants-ness to make fondue!"

The wood Morg knocks on makes a cowbell sound.

<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "Some mops went mildly agressive with their business ends."

Staren just raises an eyebrow at the animals. Seeing the effect of eating the apples makes him reconsider drinking the milk and eating the popcorn. He kind of wanted to try it. Then again, the milk hasn't hurt anyone else…

Staren tilts his head slightly at Twilight's distress. He walks over to pat her on the back, then put a foreleg around her. "Hey. Don't worry, we'll think of something. We've got some pretty smart folk here, right?" He nods at her and Morg, and then gestures at the animals. "Right. It can't happen randomly. We'll _figure it out_! That's what scientists do!" He steps back. "Besides, even if we can't figure it out, we've got a god of madness on our side!" he cheerfully gestures a hoof at Morg. "He should be in his element right now!"

Staren frowns as he stands on all fours again, looking at Morg. "Although… you don't _look_ like someone in their element. …I guess divinity doesn't quite work that way?"

<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "But not with the hard ends."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Thank the gods for small favors on that one, Tesseract."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "I had to deal with walking roses. That was really weird."
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "…"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr |Reder tortles, <..This rain isn't letting up. That's bad.>
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, ".. The wood, it is a cow bell."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "I'm gonna see if I can do somethin' 'bout this."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Staren's right — I should be in my element here."

And upon noticing that Morg's wood knock made a cowbell sound, Noh, suddenly grinning, is poking at anything that is nearby and wooden with her spoon. Well. It appears they've found some way to keep her distracted!

<1X-Supplemental> Charr |Reder tortles, <Then get to work before the chocolate completely ruins every patch of farmable terrain here, Slowbro.>
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy sounds bewildered "Your element is is chocolate rain?"
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "… or cowbell wood?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "It sounds like chaos and madness more than anything."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Yeah, yeah. Nah — I'm, uh, I'm a god. Madness is one o' the things I'm a god of. So it stands to reason…"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee might be making a vague hand gesture.
<1X-Supplemental> Barrage Raptor says, "You're a god? Really?".
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "… are you in charge of the Union?"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Haven't gone /that/ mad."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr |Reder tortles, <Less yammering, more working!>
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy squeaks, extremely softly "Sorry!"
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "..Did that wood just ring?"
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "If so, that's going to mess up musical instruments, too."

Applejack is having trouble keeping track of everything in all the chaos, but she thinks she's mostly got things settled. Kind of. Everypony nearby is heading into the barn, at least, and that will keep them out of the rain and away from the worst of the danger from falling giant fruit and strange animal mutations. She indicates a bucket of water with a forehoof. "Rainbow Dash, ya can wash yerself off with that."

<1X-Supplemental> Noh answers Staren by jabbing a large box. "Yes! Is it not fantastic?"
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Wait, I know that voice.."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Noh?"
<1X-Supplemental> Staren opens his mouth, but can't think of anything to say, so eventually shuts it again.
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "Hello, my friend! It is a good thing to see you - or is that hear you? - Again! I come to Equestria… many time!"
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "Is like.. second home to me."
<1X-Supplemental> Barrage Raptor says, "So how do we stop this?"
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Its …unique, I'll admit to that."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Pinkie Pie aaws. "Noh gets two homes? No fair! I only have one… granted, it's over the bestest bakery ever, so I guess that counts more."
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "Oh, it is okay, Pinkie! I have earned a second home, because I used to have no home, for very long time! You see?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Pinkie Pie squees, "The hominess has been doubled!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash audibly facehoofs.
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "Hello! Chocolate rain! Cotton candy clouds!"
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy squeaks.
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "Exactly why Equestria is an awesome home, yes, Rainbow Dash!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity exasperated sigh, "Pinkie Pie would you focu — actually, no. Just keep doing whatever it is you do, it'll keep you comparitively out of trouble." "Okie Dokie Lok—eeey wait a minute, he's not here. Shoot, I need to think of a new saying."

The Gokaigers finally arrive at Sweet Apple Acres. "This situation is looking… well, I'd say 'serious' but it's really not," Marvelous says.
"Perhaps 'intensely strange' would be a better description for these events," Ahim suggests.
"That sounds about right," Marvelous agrees.
"And right now… we still don't even know why it's happening," Joe notes. "So we can't exactly come up with a plan for what to do about it…"

Twilight yelps softly as she is slapped, then whimpers softly and rubs her cheek as Staren offers reassurances. "N-no…it wasn't the spell failing…the…the animals…that simply shouldn't be able to happen…actually…none of this should be able to happen!" Twilight says as she recovers and starts toward the barn.

Spike blushes as Rarity says he can release her, which he does, but he keeps the umbrella over Rarity as they head toward the barn. As they head toward the barn, Twilight finally notices Jinx, and blinks. "Jinx? What are you doing here?" she asks, surprised. "Nightmare Moon isn't having you defend her castle from strange phenomena?"

<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Pinkie Pie regardless joins Noh in poking random things to see if they make strange sounds.
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Except that these aren't normal even for Equestria …. and for all that the weather seems to be relatively harmless, it's somewhat inconvenient."

Rarity sighs and sits down once they're inside the barn, using her magic to try and wring some chocolate out of her mane. The wet hair look isn't nearly as sexy when it's due to being wet and sticky splotchs of brown. "Good heavens, I haven't had this much chocolate in my mane since the last time Sweetie Belle attempted to make hot cocoa."

Tesseract manuivers for a place near the barn door. She wants to see what is going on outside, as she attempts to gather more data about what might be behind it.

<1X-Supplemental> Noh starts trying to help Pinkie bonk/clang/bikehorn/dogbark out 'the ABC song'.
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Twilight… Calm down. If it can be done, it can be undone… I hope."

Well this wasn't good. A lot of ponies were fleeing, but just as many if not more were just holing up in their homes. Not good. "Ugh.. ..Guess that's all we're gonna get outta here.. Reder!" <Yeah Sarge, whaddya need?> "Still got a bunch of ponies in town. Go to Town Hall. Falstaff! Go to th' Elementary School. Roll, getcherself to th' train station! Nettle, I want you watchin' th' edge'a town from our house! Switchbait, head fer th' Hospital! I'll head fer Sweet Apple Acres, then to th' town square!" A chorus of 'aye aye's and whatnot followed, and the group began splitting up to head for their appointed areas. "Maintain radio contact at all times! If you see anythin' stranger'n what's goin' on right now, report it! I want check-ins every five minutes!" And off Charr went, galloping for Sweet Apple Acres.
Charr - done.
"I just gotta clean off my feathers," Rainbow says, as she picks up the bucket and dribbles some water on her wings, "Before they get all sticky and it gets a /pain/ to fly." She starts working the water - Which is thankfully just water - into her feathers with her forehooves. It'll probably take a while to get all the cotton candy and chocolate milk out of them, that's for sure.

Rainbow looks back over to Twilight as she's dragged in. "Ugh, come /on/ Twilight, don't have a mental break down /now/." She rolls her eyes, "Seriously, you're like the smartest pony I know. We gotta figure out what to do with all this stuff!"

Morg pauses to rap his knuckles against a tree branch. It makes a sound not unlike a cowbell being rung. He makes a face that is oddly what he might make if he were kind of freaked out by it. It's never the /big/ things that get to him — just the little ones. He hastily withdraws his right hand, and affixes his Navajo charm in his left to a spot beneath his poncho. And he thought talking ponies were weird.

"Y'know, Staren's right. I should be in my element. I'm gonna see what I can do 'bout this." He strides away from Staren and the still-freaked Twilight Sparkle, out into the rain, one hand on his hat and the other shielded under his poncho. He licks his lips, briefly deciding that he dislikes the taste of chocolate when it isn't in a mug and plenty hot.

Stopping just off of the gravel roads, Morg looks up and around, squinting into the rain. He pulls a pair of goggles out from somewhere on his person and puts them on, once again deciding that the milk rain is no good. He cracks his knuckles and shakes out his hands and arms like someone preparing to do something impressive, or maybe just put on a good show. He takes a breath and tries to focus, reaching down into that reserve he feels in his chest, the thing he feels like the heat of the sun coming from inside rather than out.

It's all rather unusual to him. It feels like he's flexing a muscle he hasn't used in a while, or doesn't use enough. His divine power, when put into use, is a thing that is like breathing. It just comes naturally, but he is keenly aware of how unnatural it is. Maybe that's one of the reasons one of his purviews is madness, he thinks. "Alright you weather-gone-loco," he says to himself, that godly 'muscle' tensing, "let's make this a little /less/."

With an exhalation, he lets his power out. A weird shimmer of not-quite-white light comes from him, highlighting his body within the torrential downpour. Chocolate milk turns to water where it intersects the weird field around him, keeping him the normal kind of damp at the very least. Shadows lengthen, seemingly cast by invisible things with too many eyes and too many gangly limbs. He feels the rain, the churned mud of the earth and the weirdly-sounding wood, and looks for the connection… and the source.

Morg's mind is awhirl with something like an internal echo. His thoughts go in six directions at once, making it difficult to focus on any one thing but terribly easy to focus on /this/ one thing. "What are you?" he asks aloud, the strange echo coming on his voice. "Where are you?" He lets his influence spread, tying himself into the chaos and insanity that surrounds him. If he can connect to whatever sorcery is doing this, maybe he can just… tweak it.

"I am so not happy about any of this right now." Barrage Pony grumbles as she sits in a corner, still dripping wet with chocolate, "I thought cotton candy clouds and chocolate rain would be a normal occurance here in a magical talking pastel colored pony world, but this is…Malevolent."

Yuna looks around as more familiar (and unfamiliar) faces arrive in the barn. Seeing Morg go to work gets the bulk of her attention; while she's watching him from inside the barn, though, she divides her attention a little.

"Rainbow Dash, you were on weather duty when all this started, right?" the magical paladin-girl pony asks. "Did you happen to see where the clouds were coming from in the first place? Any consistent direction? Maybe a point of origin for what's going on? Or did the bizarreness get reported in a particular order from different towns or cities, like the effect took time to spread?"

For now, Risa is at a loss on what to do. Her abilities were mostly fiery and scale involved. Countering, altering, or stopping chaos was not on her resume in any way. She's STILL wringing out her hair when she pipes up, "Well its not normal, but, I mean, does ANYONE know who could be doing something like this? At times like this I would ask my teacher, so.." she glances over at Twilight Sparkle, "Twilight is it? Can you ask your teacher about all of this?"

A-WHOOO-ga! "Ooo, this one sounds like a car horn!" Another whomp and an air raid siren wails.
The smile fades instantly and suddenly there is a chocolate milk drimping Dhampir glued to Risa's side.

… Fun time is now over, apparently, for the moment.

<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "Madness… Dreams… No, this isn't chaotic."

Rarity's expression brightens somewhat at the suggestion. "That's a good idea… whoever you are." She gives a vage wave of a hoof in Risa's direction, though it's less of a dismissal and more of 'we'll worry about introductions when there's not a crisis'. Considering she was busy freaking her pretty head off she probably didn't notice Risa at the med-ward during the jello incident, so forgive her for not reconizing someone at a trying time.

She turns her attention back to Twilight. "You should send a message to Celestia. I'm sure they're getting reports from all over Equestria if this is truely that widespread, but you are one of the few ponies we know who could possibly garner a direct response from their royal highnesses."

"What the hay is he doing?" Rainbow Dash looks out of the barn at the strange human. Then again, most humans are strange. Seriously, standing on two legs and with their unwieldy finger things. They're just weird. She shakes her head a little, looking back at the others. "Okay, so, while he's gone all freaky, what are we going to do?"

When Yuna asks, Rainbow Dash shrugs her shoulders, causing her half cleaned wings to flutter a little bit. "Nope, I was just doing some routine cloud kicking before the next change was up." Her feathers ruffle, wings half flaring in her annoyance. "A Cloudsdale weather pony tried to get me to come help with the cola rain Cloudsdale was having, but there was no /way/ I'd leave you guys hanging till Ponyville was under control. I dunno about anywhere else."

For a second or two, Morg would be able to feel the chaos in the area - And it is chaos, being spread all across the harmony that is usually throughout Equestria. But this chaos? It's everywhere. Right now, it's spread thin, to the point where only 'minor' occurances of chaos crop up in the otherwise harmonious world. But it's spread everywhere equally to the point where it would be almost impossible to tell just where it's coming from. Just that it's there.

But you know the saying 'When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you?' Morg would get the distinct impression that the chaos was looking at him, from all around, investigating him as much as he tries to investigate the chaos. Whether or not it's an entity would be hard to tell. The chaos is just spread too thin and spread so far out everywhere to tell if there is a sapience behind it. But whatever it is, he has gotten the attention of the chaos.

And it laughs at him.

The chaos around the area does start to clear up though. Puffy pink clouds return to the normal white Equestrian clouds. Apples return to their original sizes. Animals become cute and cuddly again instead of hooved oddities.

But while the chaos clears elsewhere, it begins to condense at a spot above Morg. A large clump of rumbling, pink, cotton candy clouds begin to form. A bolt of violet lightning arcs from the cloud, a bolt of pure chaos, seeking the mad god below with an almighty *CRACK* of thunder.

"I'm sure your rulers are already working hard to discover the course of this disturbance," Ahim says. "Getting in touch with them would definitely be advisable." The Gokaigers watch as Morg is targeted. "I… don't like the looks of that," Don says.

Applejack, as usual, goes right for the most sensible solution. Which, incidentally, is the same one that several other ponies are suggesting. "Ah'm secondin' that idea. The Queens prob'ly know what's goin' on. But jes' in case they don't, what do we know right now? Maybe we can piece tagether some kind o' clue."

"KYAA!!" yelps Yuna at the sudden bolt of purple lightning, leaping about half again her height in shock.

It's a good thing that didn't happen until after Rainbow Dash had the chance to answer her question, though - any earlier and she would have missed it. There's a not-insignificant chance that she'll land latching on to Rarity (no matter how far apart they were initially).

Savior of Light, heroine of her universe, bold Union Elite … and she's still terrified of lightning, at least when it catches her by surprise to THAT extent.
Yuna Kagurazaka - done.

Staren starts to follow Twilight back to the barn… but then as Morg takes action, he stops to watch. "_Now_ he looks like he's in his element." He comments.

He is completely lacking in the sense to see that what Morg is doing may be a _terrible idea_.

It's actually fascinating to watch, he's never seen Morg actually _use_ his divine power before. He sees the chocolate wash off, and then… words echo…

And the chaos goes away! "Wow, good job, Morg!" He tries to clap hooves together, not having picked up the pony habit of stomping instead.

And then a cloud forms over Morg, and his just tilts his head a little and looks at it. What's it gonna do, dump chocolate on him?

Staren never expected _purple lightning_. "Aah! Morg, are you okay?!"

Pinkie Pie stops in trying to make things make funny sounds when her mane abruptly stands up on end, making the normally curly mess look more like a frizzy afro. "Oooh, my Pinkie Sense is tingling. And tingling mane means somepony is about to have a shocking revelation."

Cue the thunder and purple lightning. "See?"

Rarity eeps as she suddenly has Yuna latching onto her, tumbling over into the hay naturally stewn about such places as a barn as she's caught equally off guard.

Tesseract watches Morg get shocked. "I halfway expected something like that to happen when we entered the barn," she admits. "But I think he may have proven at least one of my ideas about this."

Its a moment or two after Risa asks her question to Twilight that she realizes she has a Noh suddenly latched to her side. "Er, hey, what's wrong?" that's about as far as she gets before she nearly leaps out of her skin at the thunderclap that comes from just a few yards away. She had pat Noh on the shoulder a moment ago, and suddenly she had been hanging on for dear life, "G-gah, what in fires was all that about?!" Her glance would turn toward Morg, rapidly, wondering if he's alright.

As the pokemon get to their assigned posts and begin watching for signs of trouble and signs of ponies that might be in trouble, Charr arrives at Sweet Apple Acres.. Just in time to dash past some folks and see /violet/ lightning blitz across the sky at Morg. "….That's.. Not normal. ..Not normal t'all.." Narrowing his eyes a bit, Charr sets out for the barn. Morg looks to be alright, relatively speaking, so Charr won't worry about him. He'll instead worry about the ponies who ran out this way. If they're safe, he can go back into town to coordinate patrol efforts. ..And maybe act as a lightning rod in case anymore crap like that happens.
Charr - done.

Noh is surprised to have the far larger Risa now clinging to /her/ for dear life; but … is somehow /unsurprised/ by Morg getting shocked by purple lightening. Instead she's looking up at the clouds thoughtfully… and then asks, "… Maybe it is a… god of some sort? There are… other Gods of Mischeif I have not met," she admits, "… Like uhm. Oh, I have not met Raven, or the Greek Gods.. I /have/ met a few Malkavian elders, but none of them could ever use lightening.."

… And then Noh adds, mumbled, "And it couldn't have been the sheep, that was /red/ lightening.."

"I agree with everyone — the Queens will know what's going on." Fluttershy squeaks, her head held low, wings clamped to her side, still dripping chocolate milk… until the lightning strikes. Then she squeals in fright! Bleats! And falls over!

Her legs stick up in the air, twitching slightly, wings splayed on the ground as she squeaks something indecipherable.

Twilight blinks again. "Contacting Queen Celestia would be a good idea, but…usually when it is something serious, she contacts us first…." Twilight says, seeming confused all the more by the thought that it could be serious and Celestia has not sent a letter through Spike. "Alright, Just a moment." Twilight's horn glows, and a quill and parchment materialize before her. "Spike, take a letter."

Spike nods, taking the magcially conjured writing materials. "Ready." "Dear Queen Celestia, Within the last few hours, Ponyville, and apparently all of Equestria, has experienced random, very unusual events. We are currently sheltered in Applejack's barn, but with what all is happening, I don't know how long we will be safe here. Please, Queen Celestia, advise us of your status, and of if there is anything you could tell us about these events. Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle."

Twilight nods to Spike, who stops writing. "Alright, send it." Spike nods, then takes a deep breath, holding up the letter before blowing his green fire over the letter, which burns to ash and floats away through the nearest window.

Barrage Raptor peers at Fluttershy as she bleats and falls over, "What in the blue hell was that?" She asks, confused.

Rarity sighs as Fluttershy does her bleating goat impersonation. "She… does that when startled." She's still a little surprised to have someone like Yuna who's normally very resolute clinging to her.

"… eh … eheheheh …" Yuna laughs weakly as she untangles herself from Rarity. "Sorry, the lightning kinda caught me by surprise … you okay there? I didn't hurt you or anything, did I?" she asks as she gets back up and offers Rarity a hoof to her feet as well.

Once Rarity's back up, Yuna goes to look out at Morg …

Rose jumps back as she notices the lightning bolt and says, "Aah! What was that?" then looks around before saying, "Morg, are you alright? That didn't look good…"
You paged Rarity with 'And 3) Take IBprophen before the scene starts.'

<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… Perhaps it is, ah, what is his name? The one with the mask that turns people into cartoon characters? I saw a movie on the teliovision with him in it! Exuro said it was just a sequel though, and was not as good as the first one."
<1X-Supplemental> Noh , yes, said tel-i-o-vision. She's not perfect at this English thing yet!

"Oh is that what that was?" Barrage reaches up and taps the side of her head with one of her hooves, "Sorry. I had my audial recievers set to filter out sudden loud noises." She shrugs, "I usually do that when I go out somewhere to shoot stuff, helps keep me from getting distracted by my own gunfire."

A moment passes, Risa loosens her grip on Noh, "Er, sorry. Caught me off guard," she admits sheepishly as she peers out the barn's entrance, wondering what Morg's state of being was. With everything that had happened she really wondered if the violet lightning may have turned him into some …thing. With everything that had happened so far she doubted her ability to predict what said lightning would turn someone into.

"Whoever it is…" Marvelous says, not seeming particularly fazed by the sound of the lightning. Maybe it's that helmet. "It seems like they might be watching us. So why don't they just come on out and show themselves?!" He looks around as if expecting something to appear. "The worst kind of enemies are the ones that just hide away in their lairs and don't come out and fight." Like Warz Gill, for instance.

It's only a matter of minutes before Spike would feel that familiar rumble in his stomach of 'return mail' then belch out a puff of flames that somehow become a scroll. This one bearing the royal seal of Canterlot, and upon being opened would read as follows:

"To My Faithful Student:

I am relieved to here you and your friends are okay in this upcropping of chaotic occurances. While I am aware of them, I have not yet fully confirmed their source other than… a very strong hunch. When I know more for certain I shall send for you and your Union allies to investigate the matter. In the meantime, do your best to help Ponyville and the surrounding area deal with the fluxations; we have already dispatched Royal Guards and the Wonderbolts to case other areas of Equestria. Be careful and stay safe.

Yours Regally,
Queen Celestia

The fact that there is this much chaos-stuff spread around a place that is usually one of the most orderly he could think of — a sense he only gets from trying to ferret out the chaos in the first place — is worrying in and of itself. "But where is it /coming/ from," he hisses under his breath, his voice multiplicitous. He closes his eyes. He's searching, searching, always searching —

It isn't actually a spell or a curse or anything like that, he thinks. It's directed, unnatural, but only in the sense that it is so unusual that it had to be caused by an external force. He can't find the force. Maybe he has to look further, or deeper. He feels /something/. It's familiar, somehow. What is it? Morg shifts his stance, widening it, boots digging into the chocolate-soaked mud. He stands there for a second or two longer, the glow diffusing outward a little further as he keeps looking… and that's when he realizes what it is.

It's the same feeling he gets when he's hunting something and it finds him first. The same feeling as when a creature has it's eyes on his back, just before it strikes. He always responds by trying to be quicker on the draw than whatever it is, but this time, he can't even /find/ it. He grunts in frustration, spooling out more of the wound-up energy, the god of madness' unearthly light shining ever brighter.

He feels the thin layer of chaotic energy retract, gathering up. It does it too fast for him to track where it's coming from — there isn't a connection, just a will, or something like one, directing it. Maybe? He doesn't really know. Chaos is never so easily read. And then… he feels it all come together, right above him.

Morg opens his eyes. They're odd, multicolored and somewhat luminous with an appearance like cracked glass. He stares at the sky, his eyes wild.

"Well I prob'ly should'a seen that one comin'."

The CRACK!! as the lightning strikes echoes far and wide. Morg's silhouette is briefly superimposed on the vision of those who look too closely when it strikes, an outline not unlike a blast shadow after a sufficiently powerful explosion. With it comes a flood of energy and a second flash of weirdly-colored light, his gathered power rushing outward as his will is shaken by the strike. The light isn't quite right, and it brings on a weird sensation for those nearest — something abruptly jumps into their heads, unique for everyone. A sudden idea, a leap in logic, a case of writer's block cured. Inspiration, sometimes good and sometimes unwelcome, the other side of his godly coin, comes in equal measure.

Morg is left lying on the ground in a heap, a pile of hat, poncho, duster with the wearer tangled up beneath it. Tendrils of smoke roll off of him, and the portruding metal bits from his armor and his weapons sizzle as they contact the mud. It is perhaps divine providence that the ammunition he's carrying doesn't cook off and pepper him and everyone around him… or maybe it was the anti-magic charm, now melted into slag, that lies next to him. He twitches intermittently, and exhales a wheeze and a groan. He tries to say 'my everything hurts,' but doesn't quite manage it.

He is a little worried, however, as to why he can't feel his hands, and why he /can/ feel his… horn?

The (temporarily) felled god of madness and inspiration wheezes again something vaguely understandable. It sounds something like, "God damn pony field."

Twilight smiles happily as Spike coughs up a letter. Her magic surrounds it almost immediately before she unseals it and floats it over to herself. She reads over it, then blinkblinks. "Queen Celestia doesn't know for sure, but she says she has a hunch which she is exploring. In the meantime, we…" Twilight trails off as she is hit by the wave of inspiration.

"Guys! I have an idea! Rainbow Dash! Fluttershy! You two gather those clouds! Applejack! Rarity! Once they have the clouds gathered, you two have to rope them and pull them down to earth!" The purple unicorn levitates ropes to AJ and Rarity, then magically urges RD and Fluttershy out into the storm. "Come on! We can do this!"

"Sadly I'm going to be of no help to this plan." Barrage says, "Because this plan doesn't involve flak cannons to shoot down the evil fluffy pink clouds. So I'll just wait in here."

Applejack listens to Twilight Sparkle as she reads the letter, nodding. "Okay, it sounds like Celestia at least has an /idea/ o' what it could be. That's a start. An' now we 'ave official orders, so the best we can do fer now is jes' try ta keep everythin'…orderly." she says, and then a sudden flash of violet lightning strikes Morg outside, and her head is filled with ideas, too many to sort through them in the middle of all the other mess. It's enough to give her a headache, and she starts rubbing the side of her head with a hoof.

She takes the rope offered by Twilight and, with years of practice behind her hooves, turns it into a functional lasso. At least now that she has a definite goal in mind, she can suppress all those other ideas and maybe lessen that headache a bit. "On it!" she says as she runs out side, getting to work on lassoing those clouds.

Seeing everypony safe, Charr's not anywhere near the group at Sweet Apple Acres anymore. He and his crew are inside of Ponyville.. Watching the skies, watching for anymore signs of weirdness or potential danger. All they're gonna do is sit on rooftops and watch stuff. Charr will fish out and light up a cigarette, but as he tries to smoke it it will turn into a cobra- *HSSS, HSSSSS!* At which point he'll hiss back even louder and scare it away. "This is gonna be a Monday.."

After being coaxed back to life from her place on the floor, looks bewildered at the suggestion that she go out with Dash and help… but… rather than argue the point (or at least what she would consider arguing the point), she gives a nod, and with a look of determination she goes to take to the sky, following the speedier Rainbow Dash.
Fluttershy - done.

Lightning strikes Morg, and Staren is struck by inspiration… but ideas aren't his first concern. "Morg?" When he sees the body dropped and smoking, he runs to it, shifting back to human-ish form on instinct. He's already kneeling down and pulling a potion from his bag as Morg wheezes, indicating he's still alive and conscious. Good. Staren sighs relief. He unstoppers the vial and holds it to Morg's lips. "Healing potion. Drink. And welcome to four legged-ness, I guess. It's probably not permanent. …How are you feeling?"

While Morg's trick had cleared some of the chaos, there was still the matters of the clouds that had zapped him. A few more are still darting about Ponyville, generally causing mayhem. Less than there were, but there are still some there.

And yet, there seems to be less chaos in the air than there was. Sort of like it's beginning to recede to wherever it came from… Those clouds are still a problem though.

While Rainbow Dash is usually used to having thunder and lightning being oh so very frightening, she's not used to being taken by /surprise/ by thunder and lightning. She knickers, and launches herself nearly ten feet into the air - Without actually flying. She drops back down after a second, but her feathers are all frizzled and standing out at every which end. "Whoa! What the hay!?" She stares at where the singed and downed god lays. And looks a little embarassed after a second for being actually startled by thunder.

Thankfully, there's a distraction. Both in the form of Twilight's letter, and the form of the ridiculous amounts of new flying stunts that pops into her mind that threatens to distract the easily distracted pegasus. But those have got to wait.

"Wait, so even Celestia doesn't even know what it is?" Rainbow Dash says impulsively. She does that. But then she pauses, "I mean, er. At least she's got an idea! Yeah!" She then grins, stomping her hoof when Twilight gets back to herself. "Now THAT is the Twilight we know! Come on gang! Fluttershy, run interference!" Wings flare out, and Rainbow Dash launches herself out of the doors and into the chocolate rain in a blur of rainbow colors.

In a short few beats of her wings, Rainbow is up into the sky, zipping around. Wherever she spies one of those wayward pink clouds, she zips around to it, and starts looping circles around them, leading them towards Fluttershy - Only because the clouds would be too confused to do anything more but stop. In a hurry, she starts to get them coralled together, working the remaining clumps into a bigger clump.

And so asking the teacher was a good idea! Woot. Risa seems pleased by it, and then more things start up. It would seem these ponies have a plan. Go teamwork! For now, she's watching, and decides to dismiss the scaled layer she had put down her front and arms. Nothing seems to need fighting anymore. Instead she decides that its been an interesting, but rough, day and has a seat beside Noh. "Ugh, all this chocolate milk. I'm gonna have to get some more clothes I think… and wash my hear. Three times."

Rarity just sort of pauses… blinking a few times. As she views herself as an artist the random stroke of inspiration isn't an unfamiliar occurance to her. But the sheer timing was a bit odd. Why now, in middle of total bizarreness would… not that she doesn't tuck it away for later all the same.

Then -stares- for a moment when Twilight offers her rope. "But I just got dry finally! And you want me to go back out tromping through -chocolate soaked- mud to wrangle candy clouds?" But a moment or two of looking back at her friend seems to get the point post the initial reaction of primadonna pouting that Rarity typically comes up with. "… Right. Lets hem this unraveled seam back up."

Which turns out to not be just her using some sort of sewing metaphore. Instead of bothering with lassos like the hillfilly, Rarity propels the length of rope like she would needle and thread, exploting the cotton candy clouds' own clinginess against the rope to practically stitch them together so Applejack can pull.
"Wait…" Don says, the first of the Gokaigers to share his sudden inspiration. "…A Gokai Gun with *two* cylinders? Why didn't I think of that before?"
"Save it for later," Marvelous says. "I don't think firepower is what we need right now."

"Anything I can usefully do?" Yuna asks Twilight Sparkle, although she does so while trying to mentally corral the song that just came to mind, lock it into her memory long enough to get it down on paper somewhere.

However, this is probably also going to mean that she's humming throughout the remainder of the scene, whenever she's not talking.

Tesseract watches… And considers… Wordlessly she leaves. She'll be exploring Equestria again, looking for data that might confirm or deny her new theroy as to WTF is going on. FOR SCIENCE!

Twilight looks towards the others gathered, then grins. "Alright! The rest of you! Get out there and start rounding up the critters! You just have to get them to gather up here in Sweet Apple Acres!" She smiles proudly as her friends get to work, even Rarity. But, out of concern for her friend, she floats an umbrella to Spike and has him follow after Rarity, to keep as much chocolate rain off of her as possible.

Twilight herself runs outside the barn to help gather critters, and waits for her friends to corral the candy clouds for collective consumption by cute critters.

Morg downs the potion when it's proffered, coughing a few more times. He sits up, notably lower to the ground. He's… fairly tan, and mostly covered by the strewn-about garments. Kind of a boring color for a unicorn, considering. "Drastically underevolved," he grumbles under his breath. He shakes his head. "God dammit. At least it got… most of it away." He looks up at the sky and collapses onto the ground again, this time in a more forward direction.

"Oog. I just… I gotta sit down for a bit." He sounds dazed. "That took it outta me. But, uh… least somethin' happened, right?" The rain is mostly gone, and the critters are normal critters again. He calls it a shocking success.

Morg groans inwardly at his own stupid pun.

Of course, when no pony is looking Pinkie Pie grabs a hoof-full of cotton candy cloud and stuffs it in her mouth. Followed by totally failing at not looking suspicious even as she helps herd assorted critters as directly. "I still like the chocolate rain better."

Rounding up the local small animals? That, Yuna can help with - in fact, she was helping with something of the sort at the last Winter Wrap-Up. And this time, the chaos has already happened, so the task won't be interrupted by sudden ice monster or out-of-nowhere flying kicks to her flank or side. And in the event that something violent DOES try to happen to Yuna, she's already in her battlesuit now, so she's better-protected than she was That Other Time in the first place.

Ooh, orders! Once issued, Risa quickly hops to her feet, gives a salute to Twilight and heads out of the barn to see if she can find some of the local fauna to bring back to the Barn. If Twilight has an idea, Risa's thinking she's the pony here to listen to. As she darts out of the barn though something occurs to her, she feels like she's forgotten about something. Eh, its nothing. Its not like there was a dragon in the barn, right? She would have saw it!

"Right then, time to do some herding I suppose." Rose says as she runs out towards the outside, attempting to herd the various creatures into a manageable position and seems to have an oddly easy time doing it saying, "Hey, this is kind of weird. It… I'm not too sure how to explain it, but I think I understand what they're going to do a bit more easily than I do when I'm in my human form."

Anyone who gets within fairly easy earshot of Yuna while she's attempting to help herd the animals will hear her either humming, or singing softly. It's a quiet but catchy tune, definitely the sort of thing you might hear at one of Yuna's concerts.

The chocolate rain seems to have trickled off in the process of dragging the clouds closer to the ground for the critters to dispose of, but Rarity certainly appreciates the sentiment of shielding her all the same. Especially since it's Spike doing so.

<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Uh… Do you think that cotton candy would mutate someone if they ate it?"

Staren pats Morg's back, mostly ignoring the chaos-coralling efforts as he's got a friend to focus on. Still, Morg seems to be feeling better. That's good. Cat ears twitch at the 'underevolved' comment. "The hooves are a bit more dextrous than you'd think, somehow. But I reccomend telekinesis if you've got it. You can borrow my amulet if it works with your power."

Curiousity killed the cat, but hopefully a curious look at Morg's QT mark won't kill the catboy. _He simply must know!_

And then he sits, too, returning to pony form and using telekinesis (his aura is electric blue-white, the color of leylines) to grab small woodland creatures (60 lbs or less) and help corral them.

<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash dryly, "Hasn't done anything to Pinkie Pie."

Applejack appreciates the help Rarity's giving her, but with her mouth full of rope, she can't exactly say as much. She does nod toward the seamstress, though, so that she at least knows that the cowpony is acknowledging her efforts. The thought of bringing up Rarity's initial reluctance to get out and do things because of the mud never even crosses her mind.

<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "I… Hm. Somehow, that's not too reassuring."
<1X-Supplemental> Applejack mumbles something that might be "Ah wouldn't get those clouds anywhere /near/ mah mouth."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Th' answer's simple, then: somepony keep an eye on Pinkie Pie, make sure she don't get sick or nothin'."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "So, um… WHat just _happened_. Morg?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Fair enough. A quick snack isn't worth risking mutation or sickness."
<1X-Supplemental> Twilight Sparkle says, "Tell that to Pinkie Pie."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Uh… lemme put my head on straight."
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "I've been analyzing the chocolate milk, so far it hasn't shown signs of toxins or radiation. Want me to try the same for a cotton candy cloud?"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Yes."

With the Gokaigers' teamwork, it's relatively easy for them to work together to round up some animals. To give themselves a bit more of a connection to nature, though, it's time to bring out the Ranger Keys again. <GAAAAAORANGER!> With a flash of a symbol that looks sort of like a lion's face, the Gokaigers change into Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger. Maybe looking more like animals will help them gain the trust of the animals here.

<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "I've never actually seen you use divine power before. That was pretty impressive, though I take it you didn't mean to get zapped."
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "…"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity achems. "Dahlings, I'm rather confident the mutation was due to whatever else was causing the strange effects and not specifically eating the cotton candy or giant fruit. For one, there are more woodland creatures present that there were eating various effects earlier." She of disconcerning eyes (when not distracted) would notice.
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… Pinkie, are the clouds as good as the cupcakes you make?"

With the combined efforts of the two fliers, they at least manage to get all of the pink clouds into a big clump. Mostly by Dash fooling the clouds out into thinking that Fluttershy would chase them. Who knew clouds could be smart? Once they're all together, Rainbow begins to zip around the clouds at super high speeds, zipping around and around and around, leaving a rainbow blur of colors in her wake. And clump them all into one big ball.

"Heads up!" Rainbow Dash shouts, "Your turn cowponies!" Abruptly Dash pulls away, leaving room for the two wranglers to do their job.

<1X-Supplemental> Twilight Sparkle says, "Rarity is right. Only some of the critters changed, and many more were eating the altered apples and candy clouds."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity | Pinkie Pie pffffts. "How can you even think anything would be as good as my cupcakes? For one, there's no hot sauce… hmm, hot sauce flavored cotton candy… but it is good, yup."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Might be right there. But I'd rather be called a paranoid old fool than be caught with my shower curtain drawn."
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "This whole thing gives me a headache."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Hot sauce cotton candy? I… Well, if you like it and aren't throwing up I guess it's alright."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "It's, uh… it feels kinda personal, lettin' out that kinda juice, so I don't do it much."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren nods. "I see."
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "Starting analysis… But I'm not too worried about slow acting poisons… Here I'm guessing, but it doesn't seem like it'd be the right kind of funny."
<1X-Supplemental> Noh says, "… I am reminded! I need your recipe! I promised I would learn to make cupcakes next!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Hm, well I see your point."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "An' I agree there, Dashers. Somethin's /off/.. Makes my nape hairs rise, an' it's drivin' Falstaff up a wall."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "So… What happened?"
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "Whomever this is… I don't know. Likes quick laughs, maybe?"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Why ain't I chucklin' then."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "I tried to sniff out whatever it was, but it was…"
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "They want to laugh at you, not laugh with you."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Too… diffuse? Yeah, that sounds right. Too diffuse to really get much. This place is pretty orderly most o' the time, right?"
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "I'm guessing here, without evidense or experience to back me up, but I don't think they care about anyone else enjoying their jokes."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "I dunno. I've never been far outside Ponyville."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Not countin' minor issues.. Aye, t'is."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "You'd think that if someone could do this, they would have done it earlier."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "I didn't think there was anything… especially orderly about it, although if there _is_ some force of order here… hmm…"
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Force of order? Are the Queens anything like that?"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Well, I'm hearin' y'all talk about how it wasn't s'posed to rain till tomorrow, and I'm guessin' it ain't 'cause you asked the weather-person."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Not saying they're causing it, it just sounded like you said that there was something counteracting this."
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "Managed weather, managed fauna, yes, Equestria is very orderly."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "It's not order so much as… Pegasi actually push clouds around."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "…I guess it is, though. Huh."
<1X-Supplemental> Tesseract says, "If not orderly, maybe predictable?"
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "Speaking of weather, I better check in with Cloudsdale now that everything is under control here."

And now this becomes a prime example of, despite how much they contrast each other and honestly get on the other's nerves rather easily due to coming from two entirely different points of view, when things are serious Rarity and Applejack can work almost perfectly together.

It's also a good reminder that Rarity is a lot stronger than her lithe build and flamboyant, often snooty demeanor would suggest, as she has little trouble helping with pulling the clouds in to be devoured.

<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Right, what Tesseract said." To Rose, "You must not know a terrible amount about magic. It's hard to change somethin' if it's really that set in stone. Folks actively make it a certain way all the time for as long as I bet any o' you can remember."

<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Watch yer flank, Dashers. Somethin' odd in th' air.. …Y'want an escort?"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "That's order. Point is, this was minor."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "So you're saying we're dealing with something beyond magic?"
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "… I'll go with her."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "… I want to check on things at home."
<1X-Supplemental> Yuna Kagurazaka says, "Let us know what you hear back, Dash. Should I stick around Equestria for the next day or so, see if anything further happens right away?"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "More like somethin' with a lot'a mystical muscle, but not an infinite amount."
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash blandly, "Just who'd be escorting who?"

Once the clouds are all gathered up, and roped, as per Twilight's instructions, she calls out, "Alright! Now, Applejack, Rarity, pull those clouds down to earth!" Twilight moves to where the clouds should touch down, and calls out loudly. "OH MY! LOOK AT ALL THESE CHOCOLATE-FILLED COTTON CANDY CLOUDS! IT WOULD BE ASHAME TO HAVE TO SHARE THEM! THEY LOOK SO FLUFFY AND DELICIOUS!" She then waits, using her magic to help guide the clouds downward.

Spike doesn't seem to care that the clouds are no longer threatening Rarity. He keeps holding the umbrella over Rarity, protecting her from too much sun exposure now.

<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Phew. Well that was a day."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Like I said: this was minor. The lightning bolt, /that/ was focused."
<1X-Supplemental> Rainbow Dash says, "Alright, come on Fluttershy. Let's go check it out."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "I bet whenever whoever it is that's doin' this shows up, it'll get worse before it gets better. Felt like I tipped my hand, there, though…"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Switchbait's got some nasty tricks up his mandibles, but then, y'/are/ lot faster.. How long d'yah think you fillies'll be?"
<1X-Supplemental> Captain Marvelous says, "This sounds like something I'll have to hang around and look at. Something that powerful, is probably a threat to more than just this place."
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity lets out a sigh, though it's mostly just to keep up images at this point. "Seeing as I'm already sweaty and dirty by this point I'll help Applejack get the farm back in order."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "There're a couple places I wouldn't want to see a force o' chaos spread to."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "If you an' Dashers ain't back in a days time, I'll ask 'bout a couple volunteers goin' t'make sure yer little house is in order, Fluttershy."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "Nah, you're lookin' at it all wrong."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "I don't wanna wander to far in case something else happens."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "…But I guess right now all we can do is wait to hear from Celestia or any other news…"
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "This is the perfect place for it to be. Chaos has a hard time seepin' into the cracks when there ain't no cracks."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "There's an inn. S'comfy an' th' rent's reasonable."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Good, good."
<1X-Supplemental> Morg McGee says, "This is the best place we can keep somethin' like this till we figure out how to put it down."

Applejack and Rarity make a /very/ good team when things get serious, this is true. The two of them together manage to wrangle the clouds down to ground level, a process made all the quicker by Twilight Sparkle's help. With that done, the cowpony finally lets go of the rope, sighs, and turns to Rarity with a smile.

"Thanks fer yer help, Rares. Ah'd offer ya some pie fer yer trouble, but Ah don't think we're quite done yet." she says, tipping her hat. "Now let's see jes' what we can do with this mess mah farm's been left in."

<1X-Supplemental> Twilight Sparkle says, "My library also has space available if you need a place to stay tonight. There are also inns available."
<1X-Supplemental> Staren says, "Twilight! Maybe check history books to see if this has ever happened before?"
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "I can stay wherever."
<1X-Supplemental> Rose Parker says, "Well, if you need some extra help cleaning up I'll stay."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "I've slept on bare stone before, a bed is always nice."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "… if… if you wouldn't mind… I could use someone to keep an eye on — my goodness, Angelbunny!"
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "Guess I better go draw up some new patrol routes real quick…"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity says, "I believe I saw Angel with the other rabbits, Fluttershy."

Morg rises to his feet. He grunts in annoyance at his lack of fingers and the stuff that fell off. Well, nothing doing. "Nah, I got it. Hold on." He furrows his brow in concentration for a moment. Morg glances up when his horn apparently starts glowing, shedding the off-white light that he had before, though without the unpleasant(?) side effects. Oddly, a fan of cards appears in front of him — a good one, too, as far as people who know poker can tell. A full house will do.

The duster, poncho and hat lift off of him and adjust themselves accordingly. He's mostly clothed as a result of telekinesis, though not a normal sort. He sighs inwardly. "Let's make sure this is all handled, /then/ take a breather. C'mon."

(Staren does not get a look at Morg's QT mark as a result of the telekinesis. His quest continues next episode.)

<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy sounds panicked "Does he still have the giant legs?!"
<1X-Supplemental> Rarity says, "No, they've all turned back to normal by the look of it."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy sounds releived.
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "Anyway, yeah. Wherever. I can pay if I need to, its not a bother."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "If anyone needs a hand I'll give it."
<1X-Supplemental> Fluttershy says, "I wouldn't /dream/ of charging you anything… you helped."
<1X-Supplemental> Risa Kirian says, "I'm glad to finally be able to do something for my allies."
<1X-Supplemental> Charr says, "If everythin's okay when y'get back from Cloudsdale, Fluttershy, I'd like yah t'have a look at Falstaff. ..He's still jittery an' jumpy, like he stepped in an anthill or somethin'."

"It sure would!" Pinkie Pie exclaims, already munching on the clouds even as they are lowered to the ground. Then, the animals perk before rushing the collection of clouds. Pinkie Pie is forced out as Equestrian critters gather around the clouds, munching on them happily. Twilight Sparkle smiles happily, feeling like things are under control now.

Twilight looks around at the chocolate covered popcorn, which Spike is idly munching on as he keeps holding the umbrella over Rarity. "I wonder what caused all this?" he asks aloud as he munches, following Rarity around like a faithful puppy. Twilight headshakes. "I'm not sure, but I do know that both Queen Celestia, Queen Luna, and I will not stop investigating until we know the source of the trouble. This time it was just clouds and food, and a little alteration to the animals, but next…houses could change….PONIES could change!"

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/18 Posted Author
AAR: Equestria weirdness (pt 1/2) Wed Jun 13 Yuna Kagurazaka


<Voice report, with images>

The first image to come up is a basic map of the area around Ponyville, including the primary warpgate, Sweet Apple Acres, and part of Everfree Forest. Yuna begins narrating her report: "Rainbow Dash was finishing her 'shift' on weather duty when she reported clouds made of cotton candy showing up around Ponyville. The appearance of these clouds was accompanied by reports of a chocolatey rain - chocolate milk, I think, rather than cocoa. It was out of the ordinary even for Equestria, but nothing too dangerous; still, the Harmony Knights started moving to investigate, and a number of Union and unaffiliated Elites went to help however we could."
The next image is a collection of photos, showing each of the Elites named as Yuna goes down the list. "Besides the Harmony Knights - all six of them - the Union was represented by myself, Risa Karian, Morg McGee, Rose Parker, Barrage Raptor, Staren, and Tesseract; the unaffiliated Elites present were the Gokaigers, Charr and his squad, and Noh Body. Jinx was there too, probably having been caught by the weather when it went weird; she pitched in as she could to try and help with things."
Back to the map, this time showing the Elites and where they initially gathered. "There were effectively two rendezvous points for everyone who came to investigate - Sweet Apple Acres, the farm owned and run by Applejack and her family, and Ponyville proper. The farm team quickly discovered that the bizarre weather was having its own effects on the crops: fruit grew *much* bigger than usual, corn started popping while still on the cob, stuff like that. The Ponyville team also observed some of the colossa1l-sized fruit, and besides that, there were a few cases of inanimate objects 'coming to life' - mops and brooms in one case, ropes in another, and I'm not sure what else. Nobody seemed to be getting hurt, though - embarassed or inconvenienced in most cases, and there was only one instance of near-injury, when a giant apple nearly landed on top of Rarity. Twilight Sparkle tried casting a 'Failsafe' spell in an effort to dispel whatever was going on, but it didn't work - much to her astonishment and dismay - and we all reconvened in the barn at Sweet Apple Acres to put together what we knew."

<more>

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/19 Posted Author
AAR: Equestria weirdness (pt 2/2) Wed Jun 13 Yuna Kagurazaka


<cont. from previous>

The second part of Yuna's report starts with a photo of Morg McGee (in human form) standing outside the barn, glowing with a not-quite-white light. Yuna continues, "By this point, we had confirmation that the weird weather and other oddness was happening all over Equestria, not just in the greater Ponyville area. Morg decided to see what he could do with his powers to try and lock onto the source of the chaos - and it didn't really work out as planned; things seemed to subside a little, then focused on him and he got zapped with some sort of purple lightning, winding up as a pony himself."
This is followed by a photo of Morg in his pony form (specifically a unicorn). Yuna continues, "At Rarity's suggestion, Twilight Sparkle sent a letter to Queen Celestia to see if she knew anything about what was happening. It didn't take long for a response to come back - but unfortunately, Queen Celestia didn't have anything concrete to tell us; she did have a hunch but nothing definite. After that, though, Twilight came up with an approach to work on cleaning up after the weirdness - which, I should note, had kind of 'stopped' after Morg got hit by the lightning bolt. It was like all the chaos had focused into that, and after the bolt struck, whatever was *causing* the chaos faded. The cotton-candy clouds and stuff were still around, but we pooled our efforts under Twilight Sparkle's coordination, and the clouds were dealt with, we were able to get the animals rounded up (they're all back to normal now, far as I know) … things are generally cleaned up by now, at least around Ponyville."
"We still don't have any idea what set all of this off in the first place, but the investigation is still ongoing, so - more when we know it."

<end report>

Scene 1: Not all is Right... by RBDashRBDash, 05 Jul 2012 04:05

We've been back up for a few hours at this point, everything seems functional. Let me know if there are any problems.

Re: MUSH go splat! by FearlessLeaderFearlessLeader, 13 Oct 2011 19:02

It's apparently down for maintenance. Hopefully Reliant will have it running by the time I get back.

Re: MUSH go splat! by FearlessLeaderFearlessLeader, 13 Oct 2011 15:54

Hey, all. This is MyWiz/Fearless Leader/Optimus/etc.

The MUSH server exploded around 11:32 AM or so, Eastern time. As of now (11:50) I can't log into the account. Other RPG-Works MU*'s seem to be affected (or at least M3 is). I've e-mailed the administrators asking what's going on, so I'm guessing whatever it is, it affects the entire server.

I'll post updates as I can get them, though by the time you read this it may already be back up. I have an important meeting to get to, so I won't be able to update this for an hour or two.

MUSH go splat! by FearlessLeaderFearlessLeader, 13 Oct 2011 15:52

This log was edited for readability purposes (removing typos mostly) and none of the content otherwise has been removed. - Sabrina

The Obelisk - Medical? <----------——

The third floor of The Obelisk is a comprehensive medical facility equipped with the best that could be salvaged from Confederate Headquarters! It is partitioned into extremely sterile work environments using transparent hard light walls that allow for constant observation of all activities- including the messy ones. Fortunately, that is more than enough to treat most of the injuries that might be encountered, even by Confederate Elites.

Unfortunately, the Medical Ward is woefully understaffed, and the staff that it does have consists largely of disgruntled bound demons, undead, elementals, automatons, and a fair number of unlucky refugees from the city below who were positively identified as having medical experience. Though they are in safe working environments (mostly), many of them are not particularly happy with their lot in life right now, and are less than pleasant to their patients. The only reason that they aren't actively sabotaging anything is because of the security cameras monitoring everyone's actions.

---—> 1 object not shown - 'more' to list <---—-
Sabrina C 0s 4 Psychic Menace
Cell C Imperfect+ 1h 4 Fear-Inspiring Perfection
John Darke C 58s 0 Team Rocket Agent


<D> Down to The Obelisk

<OOC> John Darke wavers

<OOC> Sabrina bites.

<OOC> John Darke says, "ow."

<OOC> Sabrina kids. :3

<OOC> John Darke says, "would you like to RP?"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Hello."

<OOC> John Darke says, "I see you are a fellow group member of TR"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I suppose you're asking because I am a rocket. And yeah sure, give me just a sec to finish writing powers/detail."

John Darke (Darke) pages: well, partly that, also though oocly, so you know, I am in the midst of a defection TP, which you might find ICly interesting if you find out about my wanting out.. and have something to say about it

You paged John Darke with 'Yes, provided she did find out I do imagine she'd try to 'persuade' him not to… and crush him like a bug if he didn't comply lol. She's a viciously loyal rocket, hence why she was once (and currently) an executive.'

You paged John Darke with 'Where do you wish to RP? I can't imagine here in the medical ward.'

John Darke (Darke) pages: Heh. His reasons are a matter of despair and regained sanity. he knows how wrong the things he has done are.. problem is he even gave Ash.. shall we say a very convincing piece of collateral to show how serious he was.

John Darke (Darke) pages: Well, yesterday I got my ass handed to me by yellow so I am in the medical ward to heal.

John Darke (Darke) pages: If you read my powers and flaws, so you know, he actually gave ash his STARTER, Crush.

You paged John Darke with 'Ah so. It'd probably be a medical visit then. Well… I don't see her visiting random rockets for no reason. But I guess she could be debriefing him. And yes, I saw who Crush was.'

John Darke (Darke) pages: Of course, in his current state, with your psychic abilities, you can almost certainly pick up on his emotional distress. considering it's been some months now since.

John Darke (Darke) pages: Well, Darke isn't just a random rocket, he was a high ranked elite. in the organization, only the top execs could really order him around.

John Darke (Darke) pages: Want me to set, anyways?

You paged John Darke with 'Would you care to open? Since she'd be visiting him in the ward? That, and, admittedly I am a tad rusty. :P. … Sure. :)'

<OOC> Sabrina says, "We're going to be rping in here Cell, hope that's okay with you. *realizes he's idle*"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Brb just a sec, getting some water."

In the Confederate Medical ward there are plenty of convalescent operatives, as is so often the case, but one thing that is perhaps less usual is that in one of the private rooms at the moment is the Team Rocket agent known as John Darke. Due to the excellent medical care being afforded to him, his injuries are healing, at least the physical ones, and he is right now sitting up on his bed, hugging at his knees. The injuries he had sustained include ones sustained by lightning, the beaks of a Dodria, and the teeth of a raticate. the worst however was the impact breakage of a number of his ribs.

<OOC> John Darke says, "ok"

*click, clack, click, clack, cla…*

The sound of heels clicking hurriedly against the hard marble floor of the Confederate Medical Ward can be heard echoing in the hallway not far from where John is waiting for a debriefing. The sound is emanating from a short (5'5'') woman dressed in a cranberry red sweater and midnight skirt with cherry red heels… her long, raven, hair hanging to ankle-length and swaying to and fro as she moves. Her visage is a mixture of displeasure and impatience as she makes her way down the hall - passing several servile demons along the way whom she pays absolutely no mind to. (*"Why of all persons would I be sent to interview this person. This… John Darke. There must be something going on… some niggling suspicion that needs confirming. Why else would they send me…?*) … She continued making her way to the private room of the TR Elite she was about to meet, possibly for the first time, and wondering why it had to be her. She was certainly not TR's most friendly interviewer that much everyone should know by now.

*Knock, knock, knock…* The dull thud of a relatively weaker hand rapping against the door to the room comes after several moments… followed by silence.

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Pardon the typos. I'll try to error proof my posts, but this is one of the things I am known for. Typo city. c.c."

<OOC> John Darke says, "It's ok. What IS known in the confederacy is that Crush has been seperated from him somehow, and his mental state is far from ideal."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Has it been an hour since we started? That can't be right, Cell's idle time just increased by an hour. o.o"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I see."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Thanks for the heads up. :)"

Sitting where he is, Darke turns to face the door and he calls out, "Who is it?" there's an obvious darkess in his voice.. "I guess you can come in.. I'm decent. " pretty thoroughly bandaged up, his legs are under the blanket, but his upper body is visible, and it looks very thin. He's not been eating properly lately. Also to the psychically inclined, there is a very definite aura of grief and pain, as well as a lot of regrets emanating from him that can be sensed.

<OOC> John Darke says, "Well, before his partner died, Darke WAS quite friendly. then he turned into a real psycho type."

Already before walking through the door, Sabrina could sense the dour and slightly disturbed aura emanating from the room's sole occupant. This did not serve to give her pause, however, as such things were not altogether uncommon amongst the Confederacy let alone TR.

*Creeeeaak…* The door is opened audibly, the metal hinges squealing with disleasure at the disurbance, the low effort to maintain the ward evident in their disrepair. As the dooor swings wide, in walks Sabrina… a woman of small stature but intimidating demeanor that stems partly from her attitude and partly from the strong negative psychic energies she projects. Two or three steps in, and she stops to stare piercingly at the bed occupant wordlessly. Examining him with her eyes (and other senses besides…)

"…Good Evening Mr. Darke. I am Sabrina, a member of TRs executive branch. I suppose you've been informed of my reasons for coming?"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I Should really work on making my pose less twinkish sounding with this character. I don't know quite how to describe the feel of her without using the word intimidating which is subjective.."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Forboding might be better. Ominous maybe."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Don't mind me, very self-conscious about my poses. XD."

As sabrina enters, Darke glares at her, his grey eyes narrowing just slightly, "I know who you are. And nobody has said anything to me. But I suppose you are here to give me a psychological evaluation since being seperated from Crush. Am I right?" While to most people Sabrina is a very intimidating presence, the pain and the deep madness withing John bolsters his mental fortitude.. or at least it makes sure he does not show any fear. however if Sabrina digs at all, she would soon find out the truth of where Crush is, the pain in his mind at the things he has done, the lives he has taken.

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Oh, and, I've read your finger and stuff. So I know some of that stuff. He's very angsty isn't he? xP. Sabrina is too in a way."

<OOC> John Darke says, "Your poses have been fine so far. I hope my own are suitable."

<OOC> John Darke says, "Yep, he is."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Your poses are great. :3"

<OOC> John Darke says, "What it was that intiially sent him mad was when he took revenge for his partner's death. He blew the head off his own identical twin brother."

<OOC> John Darke says, "That info would be in the TR files about him"

Sabrina doesn't even remotely flinch at the glare… but instead, her lips curl into something of an amused grin causing her ruby red eyes to narrow slightly. "…I see. You're a lively one aren't you?" A slightly mocking tone is used to underscore her mutual lack of intimidation. Before speaking again, she moves across the room without hesitation - making straight for the bed Darke is resting in and stopping at the foot of it. She crosses her arms somewhat then, … "It certainly seems that way. Why don't we start with your recent activities, leading up to what got you in here." She would, of course, be listening as much with her psychic senses as her auditory and visual ones…

«OOC> Sabrina says, "I see. I knew he had killed his twin from finger, but its nice to know about it being 'public knowledge'."

<OOC> John Darke says, "Less 'public' but recorded in TR files."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Hence why public was in quotes. :P"

John Darke sighs, "What about my recent activities? I have been mostly laying fairly low. There's no point in doing anything too likely to get the law on my case.. Not until I find out where the hell Crush is." Shaking his head, he continues.. he doesn't know the full details of Sabrina's abilities, that's not something he has tried to look into, he has only glanced at the roster regularly enough to know she exists, and she's an Exec. Because of this though, he can't help the flash in his memory.. the truth of him handing the pokeball over to Ash. "I was out at the rookery yesterday.. did what I could, but Yellow and her pokemon were just too much for me without Crush.. "

<OOC> John Darke says, "I know of course you are a definite threat to Darke's wanting out of Team Rocket, but the question is just what you'll choose to do about it."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "That's a good question. Even I am unsure of the answer, at this point. I can tell you though her reception of his harboring traitorous thoughts even in his emotional state is unlikely to make her happy. :P"

<OOC> John Darke nods, "Well, you probably will be able to figure something out. "

Though she listens quietly, she is in fact watching very intently for anything that might be of concern. As the man begins to go into detail about his doings though, and she catches a glimpse of contradictory mental imagery, Sabrina's prior slight smirk takes a rather serious downturn as Darke finishes speaking. He was lying. It was in his demeanor, it was in his thoughts, everything about this man practically screamed 'LIAR' to the psychic TR executive standing across from him. Without missing a beat, as he trails off, she interjects suddenly… "Would that be because you gave your pokemon to the trainer named Ash?" Her voice took a threatening tone. Yes, she recognized the boy from his thoughts. They had met before… that meddlesome boy… "That would be it wouldn't it? After all, losing the pokemon youve been linked with for quite some time can be very distressful… but why would someone do that intentionally. Maybe you can tell me..?"

John Darke 's eyes widen almost imperceptibly in alarm "What? What the helll would make you think I'd do something so goddamn stupid? Why would I give him, of all people, my first pokemon? " Shaking in his nerves, he shakes his head, in his mind, the thoughts suddenly utter chaos. "Another pokemon maybe.. to trick him into letting his guard down.. but never Crush.. "

<OOC> John Darke says, "Yes, that panicked Darke."

..As John Darke's mind begins reeling in alarm at her discovery, and his body begins to betray his utter nervousness, Sabrina briefly glows with a bluish hue and levitates off the ground several feet. Taking a seat practically in mid-air and crossing her legs daintily, she continues to penetrate him with her eyes silently as he begins trying to refute her words. All of this to underscore one simple point… "…I am the once renowned Psychic gym leader Sabrina of Saffron and a terror of the once formidable TR Triad where I hail from. I can see through you as one sees through flawless crystal." …Ordinarily, though the Multiverse has served to dull her powers quite considerably at times… she's not about to tell him that while she has an edge. "Why don't you just tell me what I need to know. If I have to take it from you by force, I promise you… will not enjoy it."

John Darke has nowhere to go, and he reaches for the one pokeball beside his bed. "Damned Psychic. You can stay the fuck out of my head, bitch. It was a plan.. to make ketchum lower his guard.. so I can kill him!" Of course he's lying.. but his eyes also show sheer madness. That pokball contains his Gyarados, Rage.. and it is definitely looking like he might set it on Sabrina in these confined quarters.

Sabrina's dangerous glare becomes something of a pompous smirk again as John reacts in his fear with threats and petty insults. Though she could sense the madness seething beneathing the surface of him, she did not seem to care. At least, for the moment. In fact, she begins to laugh audibly at his feeble attempts at intimidating her. She knew full well she had the advantage afterall, if he loosed that thing in here not only would every bound demon and ghoul in the place be on him like stink on… well… but there was also one other matter…

Swirling around her tiny frame appear six pokeballs from practically out of nowhere, teleported into the room most likely. They begin to orbit her form slowly… "…and you will do what with that? Even in your maddened state surely you can see this course of action would be the end of you. Do I really need to spell that out? Volunteering the information I desire would be a much better choice, don't you think…?"

<OOC> Sabrina uses Cell's tail as a vacuum cleaner to clean the floor randomly. :3

John Darke closes his eyes now, his thoughts suddenly seeming to crystallize, his entire body going very still. "You want to know why? I may as well be dead. It makes no difference. I'm losing my mind and you can see it. What is it to you if I want out? If I'm sick and tired of all the pain I have caused. The lives I have taken?"

Once more, her pompous smirk takes a dangerous downturn at his revelation… "…Out? You want out? You may well be right… if that is true then there really isn't much but death awaiting you. Leaving one of the strongest and most important criminal organizations… the Confederacy aside… has dire consequences. Every Rocket knows this even the lowly grunts. Do you earnestly believe we would allow such a valuable person to simply leave? … Further, what makes you believe the Union or its allies will show you any mercy? You're an inconsequential bug who has only served to aid a thorn in their side. That boy would only aid you so as to eliminate one of TRs key personnel. You'd likely be killed afterwards due to the enormous risks someone of your… nature… poses."

John Darke shakes his head, "You think I don't know that? I know more than almost anyone about Team Rocket. I've been a member of the organization for more than TWENTY YEARS. But I can't go on like this.. " Tears start to stream down his face now, "Don't you see? Are you so blind? Or are you such a monster that you simply do not care? I have NOTHING LEFT. I have nobody. "

Sabrina grimaces at his emotional display. Sickening…. yet, it reminds her painfully of someone else she knows quite close to her 'heart'. Not that it was any matter now. "…Ugh, disgusting." Sabrina groans with displeasure at the state of this man infront of her. Apparently a once dangerous TR agent… not that it surprised her any. Exploitation of the emotionally damaged and mentally-ill was a thing all too common where she was from. "Silence and be still… Dry up also." She stared at the weeping mess before her… pondering her options. Killing him was a possibility, and one mandated by the TR charter if he passed his usefulness dangerously. She did wonder, however, if he was not irredeemable even now… "..You could be subjected to personality reconditioning." She said, thinking aloud suddenly yet speaking to him as well. "Useless as you are now, it's perhaps fixable. It would end your pains and for you it would be better than death. Even if it is very close. There is the looming possibility you will be killed should you not comply… but why wouldn't you?"

John Darke blinks, it's almost like somebody has turned off a tap.. "I'm not useless. And the question is not why wouldn't I, but more why would I consent to simply have my mind rewritten? I would not be ME. And you know damn well why I'm unstable at the moment. "

<OOC> Sabrina says, "If you have requests or recomendations about how to treat this situation, I am all ears btw."

<OOC> John Darke says, "I like your ideas at the moment. There is one problem though. At the moment no conditioning can hold due to the links to his pokemon, one of whom is in Ash's hands."

<OOC> John Darke says, "Need to check one minor thing, and that is the possibility of forcing the bond broken."

<OOC> John Darke says, "Of course, whatever we do, if it keeps Dark alive, I expect I'll need to send in an 'upgrade' app for it."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "We could work out a solution for the long term where he is subjected to reconditioning regularly by Sabrina and her Pokemon. Arguably the most experienced people in TR when comes to minds, even linked ones. It could be discussed with staff.""

<OOC> John Darke nods.

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Yes, I imagine you will."

"You ARE useless to anyone in your present state. You are so damaged that you are almost incapable of functioning properly. I also never said 'completely rewritten'. There is no need for that. You merely need reconditioning and elimination or repression of what is causing your instability. It would free you from your emotinoal concerns and constraints and much of your sufffering if not all. It can be done." …She paused then, watching for his reaction to her offer before continuing.. "…Reluctantly, I would be willing to handle the matter personally as I am the only member of TR so well equipped to.."

John Darke frowns, looking at sabrina for a long moment through narrowed eyes. "Alright, but what about Crush? I HAVE to get him back. Somehow. Whatever it takes. " At least he is listening. "If.. you can truly stop it hurting.. I guess it could help."

<OOC> John Darke says, "did I mention that the reason why he killed his brother was that his brother himself had killed Darke's partner.. both in team Rocket and romantic."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "No I don't think you did but thats interesting to know. :)"

Sabrina laughs suddenly as he mentions his pokemon again.. and offers a wry smile. "Oh… we can get it back for you. Taking it back from that naive boy will be child's play." Of course, last time she saw Ash he most certainly was neither naive nor a boy. But she certainly thought him far from dangerous to her, thus her perception of him… that much one could gather from how she regards him so carelessly. "You will be having other meetings with him, yes? I am sure we could do something to convince him to bring it along. In your emotional state, I am fairly certain he trusts enough that you'd never cooperate with us. That wil be his folly…" She uncrosses her arms and brings her hands gently to rest in her lap as she says this.. "Now, you will cooperate yes? You will be all the better for it, it would be a very wise decision I assure you.."

John Darke keeps his gaze on Sabrina, and he nods. "I'll arrange to meet him at some point.. the sooner the better.. I've been apart from Crush far too long already. " his hands are still shaking.. "If I tell him I'm going to be attacking a bank again.. that is a chance for him to capture me.. "

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Getting Crush back would obviously be a mandatory part of 'rehabilitating' him so she is not lying."

<OOC> John Darke nods.

<OOC> John Darke says, "Thank you for the RP, anyway!"

"Yes, that is a good idea. He will undoubtedly bring it in attempt to convince you of the error of your actions… and I can offer my assistance in seizing him and getting back your Pokemon." She would relish the look on the boy's face most definitely… "Very well then…" …She begins to lower herself to the ground psychokinetically, very slowly, until her heels touch the floor once more with a soft *clack*. At this point, the pokeballs orbitting her frame blink back out of existence. "Yes, I will aid you. I would simply have to see the look on his face…" She says more to herself than John, and then the hands come to rest at her side. "I will leave you now, but we will see each again very soon."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Yes, thank you too it was fun. :)"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "You don't have to respond, we can leave it there. Unless you want to."

<OOC> John Darke says, "I think ending it there is a good place"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Me three. :)"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Have a good night."

<OOC> Sabrina assumed you were leaving since you thanked me. XD. Isn't going anywhere for a little while though.

<OOC> John Darke says, "I should call it a night soon, it's gone midnight for me"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Do you want me to post this or keep it private? I'll log it anyway as if you decide to go through with reconditioning staff will likely want it maybe."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I see. :)"

<OOC> John Darke says, "I would post it."

<OOC> John Darke says, "My being prevented from leaving and being reconditioned was actually one of the possible outcomes I had stated for my TP."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I do usually, but I try to always ask first. I'll log it and clean it up though. I always do."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Ah, I see. I hadn't realized."

<OOC> John Darke says, "Going to make an IC post reporting about it?"

<OOC> John Darke says, "My defection is a TP, with a number of possible outcomes, including of course my death."

<OOC> John Darke says, "So much the better getting a confed member of the pokemon cast involved."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I'll definitely post in MCM Wiki but, I dunno about a Fed post as this is more TR business. Then again, it occured in the Fed med ward. Cameras everywhere and such… I suppose a Fed post is mandatory this time."

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I am always happy to get involved in others stories. Thats what makes RP great."

<OOC> John Darke says, "I agree. it has been ages since I have done this much RP here"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Typing up a bbpost lol."

<OOC> John Darke nods.

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Want to see it before I post?"

<OOC> John Darke says, "I am happy to see it when it is posted. :)"

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I mean to make sure it doesn't contain details you don't want in that I may have missed."

<OOC> John Darke says, "ok, sure"

You paged John Darke with 'Report Classification: Low Priority: Classified

Reportee: Confederate Elite Sabrina, Team Rocket Admin.

Details: I met with an mentally unstable Confederate member, and Team Rocket Elite named John Darke in the Confederate Medical Ward for a mandatory debriefing. Room #12940, Floor Eleven. Apparently he had contact with a Union Elite which had adverse affects upon him in his mentally compromised state. As a precaution, and as an attempt to safeguard one of Team Rocket's more valuable personnel, I have volunteered to personally see to it that he gets the reconditioning I believe he requires. I will adress this matter more fully in person with Confederate and Team Rocket administrators at the next opportunity.

- Sabrina'

<OOC> John Darke says, "nice"

<OOC> Sabrina :)

<OOC> Sabrina says, "I take it posting is fine, then?"

<OOC> John Darke says, "Definitely"

You post your note about 'Debriefing John Darke…' in group 28 (Confederate - General) as message #46

<OOC> Sabrina says, "Thank you again for the RP. I enoyed it, and you have an interesting character to say the least. :)"

<OOC> John Darke says, "Thank you too"

Debriefing John Darke. by SheenaFujiSheenaFuji, 20 Sep 2011 01:47

Information has been discovered about where Marie-Alice was taken. It took two weeks to establish a warp gate or any other sort of transportation method that would take the rescuers directly to their destination. Just like the East Kaioushin had said, this world was 'sealed off' from the rest of the Multiverse. This world is the same as the one that Vegeta comes from as far as anyone can tell… But it is 392 years in the future from the point where Vegeta Unified into the Multiverse. That means it is even beyond the time from which Trunks originates (783 Age, if anyone is keeping track).

The world has been changed in many ways. It once was populated not only by humans and mutant animals, but also with a number of namek-sei-jin/namekians, and even the off-spring of Majin Buu himself, simply known as 'majin'! For about a century, the Earth was a place of both strife and progress. The ability to wield Ki was relatively well known to the world at large thanks to Son Gohan (or Gohan Son, if one prefers western name order) writing a book on the subject that became -very- popular. Remnants of the Planet Trade, no longer controlled by Frieza or his family, had attempted to invade Earth. The world even saw a re-emergence of Super Saiya-jin/Super Saiyans when those humans with at least a small amount of saiya-jin blood were able to use the Dragon Balls to wish for that inheritance to be awakened in full…

And then came the meteors. It was thought to simply be a meteor shower of previously unseen proportions at first, but when millions of these meteors swarmed towards Earth on a direct course, even adjusting their trajectories to hit the planet, Kami's replacement, Dende, realized the truth. This was an invasion. Intelligent, living meteors is what they were. Some bizarre alien species that was all stone and fire. They rampaged across the Earth, devastating everything and everyone. They were eventually defeated and destroyed, but not without setting civilization back hundreds of years. The world was still recovering by the time that Marie-Alice was first 'born' as a Bio-Android.

And then Malice wiped out every living thing on Earth except for herself awhile later. The Kaioushin had said they could return everyone Malice had killed to life with the Dragon Balls. But it seems not to have happened yet. When the Union members arrive through the warp portal that was forcibly punched through the 'seal' around this universe, they would find themselves standing in the middle of 'Satan City'. This may be a bit ominous to those who do not know that 'Hercule' is known by the name 'Mister Satan' in some versions of the Dragon Ball universe. Why is a city named after that loud-mouth though? Who knows?

A more important question would be, 'Why is the entire city empty?' If Trunks were here it would likely be all too familiar. The absence of life, as people are either dead… Or hiding from -becoming- dead. But those cities in his time were also ruined and battle-ravaged. The buildings and streets were damaged because of the destructive impulses of the Androids. This city seems mostly intact. The only strange thing to note is that there is an awful lot of abandoned clothing lying in the streets, and on the sidewalks, and inside of buildings, and everywhere else. It looks like it has been lying on the ground for a long, long time. Some of it is little more than weather-beaten scraps and rags.

It is late in the day and the sun is setting.

The overabundance of discarded or worn-out clothing, unfortunately, has an arriving Eternal Sailor Mars on guard, though she hadn't been quite so much moments before arriving in the large city. "I'm not liking this… I know an entire city doesn't just fall silent, not without some sort of catalyst…"

Vegeta flies through the warp-gate, unsure of exactly what was awaiting him on the other side. When he arrives, he seems shocked. But only midly so. After all, he had worked for Frieza, and had done planet eradications before. Seeing a place so desolate wasn't new to him, but knowing that it was Earth, a version of the world he inhabited, seems to shake him. He recovers quickly, however, realizing that it's not HIS world. Only one that is similar.

"Hmph," he says, "No life here. Not a soul. Not unusual, I suppose. It would seem that the Kaioshin have yet to make good on their promise of returning these people to life. Lazy…" He restrains his words a bit, crossing his arms. "So she's somewhere here, right? Let's hurry up and finish this."

Makoto Kino likewise is already transformed, and pulls out the spear she'd brought with her, but keeps it at a neutral stance. "You're right, but we've SEEN the catalyst, I think. This world's 'Sovereign of Silence.'

It is the day after Marie-Alice was taken to see her 'father'. It was actually a somewhat crude robotic replica, though perhaps sophisticated compared to 21st century technology. It had failed to capture her interest, awaken any hidden memories, or activate any dormant 'programming'. This is because she is no longer a Bio-Android. She has been in her 'bedroom' for more than 24 hours after that incident, and no one has even come by to give her food! That mushy mud-looking stuff had been making her feel weird after eating it. Her dreams were becoming stranger and stranger.

But she is less focused on the gnawing, painful hunger in her tiny stomach or the unusual nature of her dreams, and more on her writing. Then the sound of the door unlocking is heard and Marie turns her head to face the barrier. The door slides open only through the great strength of the android that looks like a saiyan —- #50. It is not supposed to be moved manually. Marie tried to move it herself already but she could not even make it budge. Maybe the lock was responsible for that, but the door itself was also quite heavy. When she sees that it is #50 she turns fully to face him and starts to stomp across the room, doing her best to demonstrate what an angry little girl she is. Stopping in front of #50, Marie places her hands on her hips and looks up at the android accusingly.

#50 is distracted, however. He is looking around the formerly sterile-white room, plain, undecorated, and seeing the names 'Vegeta' and 'Makoto' written on the walls and the plain, white-tile floor, over and over and over again. "How did you write this—?" he starts to ask, because Marie was -not- given any pens or paints or anything else to write with. Then he looks down at her hands. Marie's fingers are covered in a mix of a dried, rust-brown substance, more vibrant red smears, and fresh crimson liquid that matches her eyes. 'Blood,' #50 thinks to himself. 'She wrote their names in her own blood. How…?' The fingers are swollen and a bit purpled, and some red stains Marie's lips too. She bit her fingers hard enough to draw blood, just so that she could write on the walls.

"I want to go back to Miss Kino, Fifty. I want to go back to Vegeta! You said they were here, but I haven't seen anyone but you and that dummy in the rolling chair!" Marie yells hotly. #50 places a smile programmed to generate maximum comfort and trust in others on his face and says, "There is someone else I want you to meet first. He's" "No!" Marie interrupts, clenching her hands into fists now and glaring up at #50. He fights the urge to frown. "Now, now. You should try to show manners to your elders" "-I want to go home NOW.-" Marie interrupts again. #50's built-in scanners indicate that Marie-Alice's Ki is gradually increasing from a power level of '1' to where it is now… Around 10. That is the place she -should- have been at as a Bio-Android. No match for #50, of course, but as he opens his mouth with fake-smile in place to offer more lies, Marie's right eyebrow twitches upwards as she bares her teeth, and white whisps of Ki begin to rise from her. Her power level spikes upwards to around 100. #50 frowns now and stares at her. He can't waste anymore time here. He starts forward, intending to pick her up and carry her to the hover transport, but as soon as he reaches for her, Marie screams out loudly, her aura of Ki swelling and growing intense enough to push the artificial man backwards slightly. He is stunned, really. "2,000?" he asks outloud.

Then Marie-Alice tries to slip past him and out the door. When she is blocked, her frustration and desperation to escape take over. A number flashes in #50's right eye. It has six digits. Marie throws a fist at the android as she screams again, though this time it is so loud and forceful that the research facility vibrates!

There is no way that energy can -not- be felt by someone like Vegeta. Right now, Marie-Alice could probably beat Captain Ginyu with one hand tied behind her back based on energy levels alone! It's coming from the east, across the ocean, and on the west coast of the continent there. That is a long way to run, a somewhat shorter distance to fly, but it is definitely where Marie is. Her energy feels different from when she was Malice… But it is at least -partly- the same as back then. The part that was her, instead of other people she had absorbed.

For those who can not sense Ki, there is something else to catch their attention. Some sort of flying vehicle is approaching, zooming through the air above. Low-altitude flight, moving at a decent speed but not -too- fast, and identifiable as one of the vehicles from 'Dragon Ball Earth'. That means it is not an explorer or alien. It is someone from this world.

The hover plane thing is heading east — the same direction as Marie's energy is coming from.

The spike of energy catches her attention, just before she casts a sidelong glance at Jupiter and Vegeta, and Eternal Sailor Mars sighs before focusing intently. "It'll be quick for you to follow that energy signature, Vegeta-san, but for us… Jupiter-chan, what say you to the Sailor Teleport, even if we don't have as much power to put behind it?"

Vegeta's eyes flash. He felt the power radiating, growing suddenly. He could sense it clearly, and even beyond that, he recognized it. "That's her," he says, slightly stunned, "Marie-Alice's power… That's incredible! A human child capable of drawing out that kind of power?!" It was small compared to his own, but impressive nonetheless. He wasn't waiting around for the Sailors, though. Before Mars can finish her statement, the Prince is skyward, rocketing toward the source of the Ki.

"Time to find out what this other Saiy—" he starts to himself, but then realizes he can't sense another power. "She's either already disposed of him, or… another machine?!"

Makoto Kino nods, and reaches for Rei's hand. "It'll be rough, but we could do it, I think." She nods, "Let's get going."

The Ki-shrouded fist streaks towards #50, and it is met with artificial flesh acting as a coating for some material beyond the technological standards of even some of the most advanced universes in the Multiverse. #50's master and creator had told him that the material was so durable that when the universe eventually burned out and died, even if the android's power supply had long since been exhausted, his artificial skeleton — his 'shell' would remain. He would drift forever in a lifeless void, billion of years after his computer 'brain' had stopped working. Alone, dead, and yet whole.

Forever.

That scared #50. Not for the first time, he wishes that his maker had not found fear such a useful tool for controlling underlings that he programmed it into him. Not for the first time, #50 wonders if perhaps Doctor Gero had allowed him to feel fear because he enjoyed making everyone else suffer. But there are more pressing concerns. The fist of Marie-Alice strikes him alright… Right in the palm of the hand he had already moved to intercept the blow. It is a tremendously powerful punch, of course. For a child it is beyond comprehension for most. Marie-Alice is a Bio-Android, and so #50 just assumes that this is why his master wanted 'it' (as he called her) so badly. This untapped potential for power… This ability to just suddenly -surge- with strength… If that can be controlled and if the girl can be forced to evolve to her 'Perfect' stage, she might render Gero all but unstoppable.

If she can not be controlled, however… She would be a threat to more than just the scientist's enemies. Thinking and reacting at 'computer speeds', #50 easily intercepts the second punch from Marie-Alice, thrown without thought or concern for the fact her first had been stopped so easily. This second one is stronger than the first, however. As untrained as Marie is in combat, essentially just swinging her tiny fists without any intent other than to drive him back so she could escape, #50 finds himself driven back a couple inches as her Ki continues to climb. Where was she getting all this power!?

His artificial eyes widen in an uncontrolled facial expression of shock as Marie's power level peaks at about 3 million and then see-saws back and forth between slightly lower and slightly higher. 'This is ridiculous,' he thinks furiously, watching the girl moving even faster than before, pulling back her right arm and balling her hand into a fist so tight that her injured fingers start to bleed heavily from the pressure. Then she roars out a high-pitched cry of fury and fear and the desire to go home and be somewhere -safe-. #50 mutters some curses as he crosses both arms over each other in front of his face in an 'x-block'. Marie's fist strikes him on both forearms, and a shockwave ripples outwards, flinging the disinfectant-soaked blanket against the far wall, flinging the open door out in the hall and off its reinforced hinges, and pushing #50 backwards so far that his back strikes the wall behind him, feet digging lines of tortured metal where they were 'dug in'.

Marie-Alice's Ki suddenly begins to plummet almost as fast it came to her as she drops to the floor from where she had momentarily hung suspended from the force of her punch alone. Gasping for breath, the blue-grey hair of the girl frizzled with static in the air, she stares at #50 and fails to understand what just happened. Further, she fails to understand what she is seeing. The bracers and forearms of #50 are shredded to the point of exposing what lies underneath. A gleaming, silvery metal that almost looks -alive- such is it vibrancy. It is more reflective than polished chrome. Further, it appears to be what the 'saiyan' is -really- made out of.

#50 stands and lowers his arms. He stares seriously at Marie and then says, "Fine. I'll take you to Vegeta now." Marie wobbles on her feet a bit, but relaxes slightly as the android approaches her, picks the exhausted girl up and races to carry her out of the laboratory. He is not going to wait for the shuttle to arrive. He will just go and meet it.

Meanwhile, the shuttle is far slower than Vegeta and its pilot does not spot Mars or Jupiter, but it -is- on the way and the sight of a flying man -is- somewhat noticeable. So it locks onto Vegeta and begins to track his movements while waiting for orders on whether to shoot him down or not.

Amid a decidedly Christmas-like glow, Eternal Sailor Mars takes Jupiter's hand in response, just as the sigil of Mars flares into existence in the place of her tiara. "Right, and… Sailor Teleport!"

A faint 'boom', and she lands lightly on the sand knee-first, before recalling her tiara and rolling into a sprint towards the lab. "Could it be here…?"

The Prince ratchets his speed up, paying no mind to the shuttle as he pushes his body as fast as it will go. Which results in him reaching a strange lab in probably the blink of a normal human eye. He slows down and hits the ground in full stride, the fury of the royal Saiyan nearly palpable in the air. His aura hums wildly, spiking around him as his eyes settle on a door. He can no longer sense the overwhelming (to most normal people, not to Vegeta) power, but had noted its gradual fade. Crossing to the door in a few fluid strides, he wastes no time in knocking it off of his hinges and making his way inside.

That's the Saiyan way of "asking to come in".

Makoto Kino arrives in a big boom along with Sailor Mars. The twin hatchets of blue and green jade come out, as she steps in through the smashed-in door behind Vegeta. "Well, that's one way to knock, yeah."

Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter both arrive on the beach. They had teleported a comparatively short distance and it had been done rather safely since Mars was able to use her psychic awareness to pick up on the huge amount of energy being radiated. If Son Goku (or Goku Son, if one prefers western name-order) were here, he would likewise have told anyone who asked that teleporting (or using 'instant transmission') without something to home in on — a 'destination' that one can mentally track — is not something he would ever do. Then again, he probably does not know -how- to do that anyway. But King Kai at least would have likely explained at some point that just trying to 'transmit' to some place without ever being there, not having any energy to lock onto, or similar, is basically 'teleporting blind'. And to teleport somewhere you have never been before and have no idea what you will materialize on or in is crazy! To jump blind you have either got to be incredibly desperate or incredibly stupid!

If any of the senshi heard that said, a spontaneous coughing fit would likely break out amongst them. Sure, teleporting to the North Pole was incredibly foolhardy, but those were desperate times and it required desperate measures! And just out of curiosity, trying to teleport to an object in outerspace, such as, say, the Moon Kingdom, would have worked fine due to Kunzite's spell providing 'coordinates'.

On the other hand, teleporting to, say, an atmosphere-bearing asteroid on a collision-course with Earth… If someone familiar with teleportation were asked about -that-, he or she would likely say, "Well, given the immensity of space, the odds of not winding up trying to breath vacuum are ridiculous. The senshi could merge their powers to create a forceshield holding air but that would run out pretty quickly — long before they reached their objective."

It is at that point that Usagi would begin making choking noises, everyone else would look at Mercury, Rei would say something along the lines of, 'You never told us that!' And Ami, for her part, would combust in a fit of embarassment. Yes, that was not one of the safest or cleverest of plans the Sailor Senshi had ever enacted.

Teleportation tangent aside, this time around they -did- have something to home in on, and so Mars and Jupiter arrived safely.

Vegeta likewise arrives safely. Though his speed and Ki power are such these days that he can cross the vast expanse of water seperating the so-called 'eastern continent' and the 'western continent', and arrive on the west coast of the latter, he still touches down near the laboratory -after- the near-instantaneous teleportation of the two senshi. However, in the time it takes the senshi to finish re-materializing, get up from the sandy beach, and run up to join him, he has already made his way inside by simply disposing of the side-door that was quite solidly rusted shut before he removed it. It was a utility entrance rather than the main doors, but that does not seem to matter in the long-run, as this simply means that when Vegeta and Makoto are both within, they do not have to trek through the ground-floor's lobby, hallways, and all the rest, looking for a likely place for a reincarnated monster to be imprisoned.

They already have access to various stairwells and hallays, leading both up to the first floor, along this 'basement' level, and deeper. Choices, choices… The energy of Marie-Alice is now so minute that it would be easy to overlook it if one were not specifically sensing for it. It is the level of a child her age, or perhaps a bit lower. There is no sign of the power she displayed moments ago. However, whether one is listening for sounds or 'feeling' for energy, it would take only a few moments of quiet to get a rough direction and then proceed there. Basement level, same as the rescuers are already on… But both that weak Ki and the faint sounds of heavy boots on floor panels are moving away at a hurried pace. Hurried, but not running. It seems that no one knows they are here yet.

Sailor Jupiter falls in behind Vegeta. "You got anything, Your Highness?" Still being polite, even here. "I think I HEAR people moving away, but… I can't be sure."

Goku isn't usually one to arrive late in these situations, but this time he had been busy. As a Senior Ally of the Union, the Saiyan actually does a surprising amount of work within the Union! Not only battles, too. Peace keeping talks, for instance, is what takes up a lot of his time. But with those now over, the black haired, orange gi fighter can show his complete attention to the task at hand. Stepping through the warp gate that brings the Saiyan to Satan City, Goku looks around with narrow eyes. It was almost as if Cell were back. But then, with all the talk of bio-droids and such, he shouldn't be surprised. With a careful look at the eerie surroundings, he gets a lock in on Vegeta's high power level. A white aura rips across his form, the Saiyan charging into the sky. A white 'tail' of energy can be seen dragging behind as Goku hurtles over the ocean, leaving Satan City behind him. Unlike Vegeta, he isn't transformed into any 'super' state. He's just as he normally is, black springy hair lagging a bit behind him as he flies.

Vegeta can likely feel the Saiyan coming, as his energy is anything but discreet. Goku is still minutes away at best, but he was still on the way. He doesn't use Instant Transmission, simply because he believes that he doesn't need to. The highest energy level he could feel was that of the Saiyan Prince. Vegeta should be able to handle the situation for the moment.It is the level of a child her age, or perhaps a bit lower. There is no sign of the power she displayed moments ago. However, whether one is listening for sounds or 'feeling' for energy, it would take only a few moments of quiet to get a rough direction and then proceed there. Basement level, same as the rescuers are already on… But both that weak Ki and the faint sounds of heavy boots on floor panels are moving away at a hurried pace. Hurried, but not running. It seems that no one knows they are here yet.

Vegeta frowns. "I don't have time to negotiate a labyrinth. I hear footsteps. I can fly through these petty walls while you follow behind. I've got something in this direction. Don't dawdle." And, with that, Vegeta turns straight toward the energy, crosses his arms, then turns his head for a moment. "On second thought, wait here for Kakarott. When he gets here, he'll be able to get you to us. Got it?" He turns again, focuses on the minute power, then charges straight toward it, walls becoming walls with holes in them as he does.

At the moment she and Jupiter arrive via Sailor Teleport, Super Sailor Mars has Inferno out and cloaked in fire at almost the same time she conducts a psychic sweep of the building-besides her, however, Phobos, Deimos, and Blazer are also present, mostly to provide any aid to the team rushing to rescue Marie.

"Of course… Take too much time, and she could end up hurt-not something I'm particularly keen on having happen. I'm right behind ALL of you."

The false saiya-jin does have a sensor equivalent to a 'scouter' in many ways built into him, though able to measure energy levels as high as he likes without risking an explosion. At worst, it will just display an error if the energy can not be gauged. However, #50's range is a bit limited and he was not focusing on his surroundings, but rather on both the child carried under one of his bulky arms as though she were simply a sack of potatoes, and also on the location of the shuttle that is on its way to pick said child up.

He is not going to wait for it to arrive. He is going to fly out to meet it. Malice is too much of a burden to do things how they have been done so far. He was given instructions by his master… To trigger certain dormant programming lying in the bio-android's memory so that she would then be pliable, subservient, and manageable. He did exactly what he was told to do, but the child had -not- reacted how he had been told she would. It was as though this Marie-Alice was not actually a bio-android at all… He -had- entertained that notion for a moment, actually. But the recent display of enormous power that had previously been completely absent dispelled these doubts.

The armor and artificial flesh on his forearms had not vanished all on its own, after all. Malice had struck him with her full strength and simply destroyed the material. Of course, that strength could be attributed entirely to her Ki level at the time, as all indications were that her muscles were underdeveloped — the same as a young human child. What he found most strange was this obssessive behavior in regard to Vegeta and Makoto Kino. Just as the Doctor had said, this 'familiarity with Vegeta' was 'displeasing'. That she had written the names of both of those individuals on the walls and floor, over and over, in her -own- blood, was simply… Bizarre. Some sort of 'imprinting', akin to certain animals?

#50 does not know. But just as he places one booted foot on the step of a staircase that will lead him to the ground level, his internal sensor triggers an automatic alert. He technically does not need to -see- the number that starts flashing in the lens of his right eye, as his brain is a computer and thus the data is run through there directly, but for some reason his maker decided to display the number there anyway.

He glances down at the tired little girl he still carries apprehensively, but there is no indication this enormous power level is coming from her. This is good, because otherwise it would mean he is about to be destroyed. The number is in the hundreds of -billions-. #50 turns around, as his internal compass indicates this energy is coming from the south—

Just in time for a series of tremors and loud noises to reach him as Vegeta comes barreling right -through- the ceramic and metal walls and into the hallway he is in, right in front of him.

"Shit," #50 says in monotone.

#50 looks remarkably like a healthy saiya-jin male. If one does not see the exposed, gleaming, unnaturally-reflective metal of his 'skeleton' at first, he is, by all accounts, -identical- to such a being. But he has no energy to sense, and he is heavier than any flesh and blood being his size would be. Also he is carrying a weary, blue-grey-haired 6-years old girl under his left arm. She lifts her head, still breathing a bit quickly from her earlier exertion, but aside from her fingers being swollen, and a mix of red and purple, and covered in dried blood, she does not seem too terribly unwell. Paler than usual, perhaps a bit malnourished, but her crimson eyes still look upon Vegeta in the same way as usual. At first, just widened and taking in the world around her. Then they squint slightly as her tiny mouth spreads and turns upwards into a broad smile. "Vegeta! Vegeta!" she calls out and starts trying to get to the floor. #50 does not let her go, however, and even seems to be ignoring her efforts. This is a bad situation for him.

Marie-Alice wiggles a bit more, trying to pry the muscular arm off of her, and then looks up with a frown. "Fifty, you can put me down now!" #50 ignores her. She frowns more and raises an eyebrow. "You did what you said. You took me to Vegeta. I do not need more help. Please, put me down—" The android snaps out of the corner of his mouth, "Hush!"

Something is wrong here. Her new friend has acted very strangely in her opinion, but Marie assumed she just did not know enough about other people to judge. He took her to Vegeta. He promised, and then he did so. So what is going on now?

She just allows her short arms and stubby legs to dangle as she hangs and waits, focusing on Vegeta and not who is holding her. She looks at him -carefully-. "…Why did you dye your hair, Vegeta?"

It should be easy for the senshi — and Goku too — to make their way to Vegeta's location, even if they did -not- have instant transmission. There is a nice little tunnel through the building that the prince left behind.

Leaving a trail of white energy far behind him, Goku closes in on the energy location of Vegeta. As he gets close however, he picks up the energy signatures of Makoto and Rei. Both of them allies, no doubt. Likely passing the shuttle without much of a thought, the black haired Saiyan arrives at the Senshi's location only minutes after Vegeta went all Juggernaut on the building. He lands with a hard crouch, wind sweeping through the area as his momentum suddenly comes to a stop. The white aura around his body also fades. At this point, his energy suppresses to a bare minimum. If the Android hadn't senses him coming before, it's likely he won't now — Goku giving off not much at all.
"Makoto," He greets with a small smile and a wave. "Rei." He also greets the other, of course! "What's up guys? Didn't think I'd find anyone else than Vegeta here. What's the deal? Where's Mar…" It's now when he notices the holes in the wall.
"You didn't make fun of Vegeta's pink shirt, did you?" Doing so often sends him into a rage, after all. "You guys lead the way. I'll bring up the rear."

Vegeta frowns, glaring at the machine-Saiyan. "50? Is that what she just called you?" he says, eyes narrowing, "Put her down." He speaks the command as though issuing it to another Saiyan, but he raises a hand, aiming it toward the android. "Comply. NOW!" He glances toward Marie, noting her hands. "I didn't dye my hair, girl," he says gently, "This is what an ascended Saiyan looks like. Now, /FIFTY/," he sneers the last word, spitting it out as though it tasted bitter, "Put her down. And I promise you this. I will make your death swift."

About the moment that she arrives at Vegeta's location with Jupiter in tow, Super Sailor Mars, with a nod to Goku, readies the large bow and arrow of fire she's known for, taking aim at Fifty in case he decides to try running. "It's nice to see you too, Goku-san, even if this isn't the best time for pleasantries…"

A fierce frown, and the Soldier of Fire keeps her focus on the android holding Marie. "Don't you think of hurting her, or trying to run-make either move, and I'll make SURE that you go down. PERMANENTLY."

Makoto Kino leads the way. "Marie was taken here. Vegeta decided he'd clear the road. I won't argue with it." They start running to catch up., and what they see when they arrive. "Drop my girl without hurting her… And I won't have to crush every chip in your motherboard. One. By. One." Yeah. Makoto's a little pissed.

#50 considers his options quickly. Thinking at 'computer speeds' means he compiles a list of options very, very fast. None of them look very good. By the time Vegeta has made his demands, the android has narrowed it down to three feasible choices. He does not hesitate more than a second to do as commanded. Perhaps most of Vegeta's people would simply have let go of the girl at this point, dropping her, being so rough with someone that the Prince of saiyans cares enough about that he has offered a warning first before acting is an act that even a dull-witted warrior would be hesitant to do. Perhaps they are not gentle, but they would at least lower the child closer to the ground… And that is what #50 begins to do as Marie does not react with confusion to the explanation from Vegeta but just nods her head as though she understands what 'ascended saiyan' means. She finds herself being lowered to the floor carefully, and she winces briefly as the android takes one of her fingers and squeezes it just enough to get some fresh blood. That is probably not going to go over well, but Marie is not resisting. When she finally stands on her own two feet, #50 carefully lets go, eyeing the fire-bearing girl, the one with two hatchets… And possibly Goku himself coming up behind?

A Super Saiyajin at the second level, Son Goku and his who-knows-how-many levels if he gets serious, and two unknowns — with at -least- one of them apparently able to wield magic. Fifty has no defense against magic. Only his insanely durable metallic skeleton/frame would be resistant, and the android thinks the thermal energy would eventually transfer through that and destroy his electronics even if the flames themselves did not touch anything.

He finally removes his hand completely from Marie-Alice and rises slowly, offering a bow to Vegeta. "I'm sorry, your majesty. I didn't know this child was important to you," he offers in a remorseful tone. Is he seriously going to try to act like he is a real saiya-jin now? Well, as far as he knows no one knows what he really is… Except for the brunette. How did she…? Quickly, #50 figures it out. The damage he took… He did not inspect his arms afterwards. Well, time for plan B then.

Marie-Alice seems to hesitate. She wants to run to Vegeta — and Makoto! Her little heart is swelling with joy at seeing those two again! But something is almost… Holding her back.

Physically holding her back, that is. She is trying to lift her feet and walk forward, but each movement is slow, labored, and each step she takes winds up sliding backwards so that she stays in the same relative position. She does not know who the woman with the fire bow is nor the man with big hair like Vegeta's, but she wants to meet them. They came to see her! She does not understand why they are talking about Fifty that way though. They want to hurt him? Why? Her index finger throbs a bit where it was squeezed, and all of the digits are half-way between benumbed and pained. She does not understand why that finger was squeezed, but she did the damage to her fingers herself to begin with!

And still, her attempts to walk are hindered. She tries to run, but this barely goes any faster and is much harder. It is odd, seeing her running as fast as she can while remaining in the same place. It is not 'running in place', because she making full strides with her short legs, rather than just pumping her knees up and down. To those who see this, it would not take any genius to tell there is something happening.

#50 speaks up then, speaking to Makoto but not taking his eyes off of the man who could crush him easily. "She's not 'your' girl." He pauses only a couple seconds before adding on, "Infact, she is no one's 'girl'. 'She' is not even a -she-." He looks down at Marie as she continues to run in place, either ignoring or just not responding to these words. "It is a living weapon, designed by Doctor Sean Regal and created with technology invented by Doctor Gero. It is -property-, and its name is -Malice-. It was always named this… Ever since my creator provided Doctor Regal with the means to 'resurrect' Alice-Marie — Regal's daughter."

His eyes quickly flick back up to those who are confronting him. "It is a bio-android, just like the first of its kind… #21, also known as 'Cell'. Its owner wants it back now. You never had a claim on Malice in the first place, so you have no right to take it from him."

Super Saiyajin 2… Two times as strong as a Super Saiyajin's first level. #50 was not built to take on opponents like that. There was never a -need-. If Vegeta reverted to his 'basic' state and then powered down to only half of his maximum, he would still have ten times more energy and power than Fifty himself. He is an assistant and not a weapon. A protector and not an assassin. Or he -was- those things. Now he is a kidnapper, a liar, a jailer… He hates this existence, but he has no choice but to be what he is.

"I would like for you to leave now. You are trespassing. You can say goodbye to her—it, and then you should go home. My gravity beam will ensure Malice is not stolen a -second- time."

Indeed, Goku brings up the rear. Following in after Rei and Makoto, the black haired Saiyan takes a quick glance to Vegeta. No wonder he could sense the Prince. He was blazing away without hesitation! This could be bad. His eyes go from Vegeta back to the android, who, looks like a Saiyan. "…who are you?" He queries. Oddly enough, he felt no lifeforce or energy whatsoever from this being. Did that mean he was an android? "Vegeta, what's going on here? Fill us in?" He could have sworn that the things just said Prince.
But then… Fifty speaks. "Marie? You alright?" The sight of her caught in some sort of field is indeed an odd one. "Gero? Again? His lame technology is still around? Tch." It does seem that things are going on here which Goku cannot understand. A deeper thought, maybe.
"You're an android, right? Where are you taking her?"

Makoto Kino shakes her head. "You should keep better track of your toys. The weapon known as 'Malice' is gone. Destroyed. What you're tormenting is a little girl." She frowns. "And I will NOT sit by while another innocent girl is forced into being something like the Sovereign of Silence, ever again!" Were she more familiar with ki, she might be radiating, about now… instead, lightning crackles over the hatchets in each hand.

Despite having a Flame Sniper primed and aimed at Fifty, Super Sailor Mars knows well enough to keep from actually launching the attack, and especially as she watches Marie gets trapped in that field-there's no way the Soldier of Fire is going to risk hurting an innocent person, after all, and her expression becomes oddly calm as she regards the android.

"Even if we had no claim to her in the beginning, it doesn't mean we're just going to leave someone we care about in the hands of mad people. I'm holding back, but only because I've no intent on hurting her-let her choose of her own volition what she wants to do. Mako-chan, stand down… I'm going to try reasoning with him."

"Don't you DARE insult me, MACHINE!" His rage spikes, his hair turning a more brilliant shade of blonde. Mostly because of his aura becoming more lightning charged. "I gave you your choice. You chose wrong. No one tells the Prince where he is able to be. You stole her. She's not Malice anymore. Maybe you'd know that if your damn circuits were worth a damn!" A massive upsurgence of energy and be felt, physically, as a blue ball appears in front of his hand. The earth beneath them shakes and shatters as he charges. "RELEASE HER NOW! OR THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT OF YOU!"

Marie-Alice hears the words that her 'friend' speaks as she keeps running. She hears him explain. Not all the words are familiar, and there is much of it that goes over her head. However, adults often underestimate children. 'Grown-ups' do not realize just how much that a child picks up on. They are new to the world, paying attention, and learning from everything they see, hear, feel, or otherwise experience. Marie-Alice is still running despite not going anywhere. She is running even though she is gasping for breath from this unaccustomed exertion on top of two weeks of eating nothing but a muddy paste-like material. She is running not because she does not comprehend or is merely a simple, unevolved organic machine, but rather because she is too scared by what she is hearing to do anything else. She wants to get away! She wants to get away from Fifty and these bad things he is saying! But she can not. She is stuck in place, running, running… Can she -ever- stop running? What happens if she stops? Her body feels so heavy…

She lowers her head, tilting it forward, and strains as much as she can. Where is that power she had before? Why was she so strong then and so weak now? She feels vague flutterings of strength from within as her desperation grows, but it is like a small candle flame struggling to stay lit in the wind. It needs something more if it is going to burn as it should. She does not understand.

One might expect a wide variety of expressions or responses from the android… As 'real' as he looks, he is a machine. Will he react like one? He is advanced, but he also clearly serves an evil master. Will he sneer and offer speeches and reveal his true colors as a villain?

No to both of those questions. He starts off with a response to Goku. He does smirk a bit, nervous about this situation, and yet still amused or confident enough to offer a little smile. He does not shake in fear, he does not sweat. There is no way to know if he is really able to be a threat or not. "'Gero's technology is still around'?" he asks in mock confusion. "Yes. Yes, I suppose you could say that's true. And yes, I am an android. I am going to take her—it to where it can be of use to my creator." However, when Makoto speaks all pretense of confidence vanishes. His face shows shock and surprise!

"…You know the name 'Malice'? What do you mean 'destroyed'?" he demands. He files the name 'Sovereign of Silence' in his memory banks for now, though at this rate he does not know if he will get to actually use it for anything. On impulse, he switches on his internal communicator and sets it to transmit. The action is silent and has no visual indicators. Electricity in alarming amounts crackles around the woman whom #50 has identified as the same 'Miss Kino' that Marie has been whining about all this time. "You are already familiar with Malice…" He looks down at the girl, watches her long hair sway back and forth in time with the movements of a body that is not going anywhere.

"Let her—it…" He pauses and then continues, "Let -her- choose? My master said that someone had 'polluted' her mind and 'corrupted' her. He even said perhaps the gods of the universe were involved somehow. If you have altered her so that she does not remember what she really is, then of -course- she will choose you!" His voice is raised, his modulator fluctuating as all his programming and all of the experience he has gained since being activated are in conflict with this situation, these words, these people… All of it.

#50 doesn't know what to do. He knows what he -wants- to do, but he does not know what he -should- do. He raises his hand, the one with some of Marie's blood on it… He had intended to analyze the fluid and see if it could be duplicated somehow or otherwise turned to serve the ends of his master. Vegeta's power is concentrating so much Ki in one place that the light is nearly blinding and the walls and ceiling actually explode outwards without even launching an attack!

Exposed to the open air, #50 knows there is little option. He sticks the bloody finger into his mouth — a rather disturbing thing to see, honestly — and uses the sensors in his tongue to analyze the life's fluid on every level it can. His eyes widen and he withdraws his finger in disbelief. He looks at Marie, sees how hard she is trying, how her miniscule strength is failing her, and deactivates the gravity beam.

She nearly flies forward at first. Marie-Alice stumbles and windmills her arms in an attempt to regain her balance, but she eventually manages to cross the intervening distance and attempts to latch onto the leg of the nearest person she trusts. If that is Vegeta, then he may have a bit of a distraction. If the leg belongs to Makoto, then hopefully that electricity she is generating will not impact Marie somehow. Regardless, she clings on tightly and unless prompted to do otherwise she does not let go. Her breathing comes in short, shallow gasps. She has never been so tired before.

She looks back at Fifty as she stares at her. "What's… Wrong… Fifty?" she gets out. The android says in a stunned tone, "They're right. You're a human. I don't know how, but… You're not Malice. You're just a human." The android knows he has a job to do still. He knows he has a master and he can not disobey that man. But he also knows he was wrong. He drops both arms to his sides and falls to his knees. His heavy body makes the floor vibrate from the impact. The night sky is full of stars, a chill wind blows, and the sounds of settling masonry and such are the only noises other than electricity and the strange resonating of extremely focused Ki.

"I'm sorry," he says finally. He lowers his upper body then too, and bows fully, forehead to the floor, palms down. "I didn't know. I did what my master told me. He said… He said she was Malice. I didn't know Marie-Alice was just a girl. I didn't know there was another. I just didn't know." He is not begging for Vegeta or anyone else to spare him. This is not a repeat of Raditz or Frieza. #50 does not appear to be trying to negotiate his surrender, his release, or anything else. He is just apologizing for doing something he knows is wrong. Marie-Alice is confused. Confused, tired, worried about Fifty, but she still says the thing that only a child would say.

"It's okay, Fifty," Marie's voice drifts over as she regains control of her breathing somewhat. The android jolts as though he had been shocked. He was expecting the next thing he heard to be either a lightning bolt or 'Big Bang Attack', followed by his own circuity being blasted to oblivion. His shell would remain of course. The frame that holds him up. He does not think anything can destroy -that-. But he would still be 'dead'. When he hears Marie instead, he remains where he is, waiting. The little girl takes another few deep breaths, and then she says, "You aren't alone. If I'm human or bi-andro… androde…" Frowning slightly, Marie tries again. "If I'm like me or you're like you, you're still my friend. Don't be lonely! You're not alone!"

She somehow misinterpreted this whole thing. She thinks #50 is apologizing because -he- thought that Marie was the same sort of 'thing' as him, and that he had come to her because he was lonely and the only one of his kind or… Something.

Fifty raises his head slightly and stares at Marie in wide-eyed disbelief. She smiles at him.

In a rare display of nonaggression, Super Sailor Mars lets the bow-and the arrow, as well-dissipate harmlessly into the air, lowering both arms to her sides and moving to guard Marie as she runs towards either one of the two people she recognizes.

"There, there… Everything's going to be alright now, Marie-san. You're safe."

It's at the time that Fifty goes through the dogeza that the Soldier of Fire looks over at him, still remaining oddly calm. "You realized your mistake, and made an effort to atone for it."

The blow out from Vegeta causes Goku to back-step a little. The sheer volume of energy and power hits the low class Saiyan like a physical force, his hair blowing back. "Vegeta…!" He cries out in surprise, lifting his arms up to protect himself a little. He's actually getting very bright. "Vegeta, calm down! You don't know what he's capable of with Marie in such a position!" He cries, but unsure if his voice will even enter the Prince's ears.
When #50 continues to talk, it seems to seal the deal that the android wasn't going to be good for her. It was evidently clear that Marie wanted to get away, and be away from this android. But still. How strong WAS this android? They would only get one shot..would Vegeta's powered up form be enough? It's impossible to tell. The Saiyan grits his teeth a little, thinking. His black eyes go to the powered up Prince once gain, then to Rei.
And, just like that, he releases her. With Marie stumbling forward and then Fifty falling down in a defeated motion, Goku takes a bold step forward, as if looking at the droid carefully. "You might be looking for the older version of Marie, who self-destructued a month or so ago." The Saiyan speaks. "This Marie appears to be a… new version of her. Reborn anew. It happens sometimes, when King Yemma deems it fit or not." Unless there was something else going on. "Android Fifty, huh? Who is this Master? You can start fixing your mistakes and living a better life once you tell us some things. Is your Master a Doctor? Like Gero?"
Here's hoping Vegeta just doesn't blow the thing away. That could be bad. ._.

Vegeta's rage is extreme. The earth continues to shake, even as the android drops and releases Marie-Alice. His eyes remain locked on Fifty, rage coursing through his veins like the lightning through his aura. "HOW CAN YOU ALL BE SO FORGIVING?!" he bellows, his voice sounding feral, "THIS THING HELD HER HERE FOR HOW LONG?! AND NOW YOU WANT TO JUST WALK AWAY?!" His eyes widen, giving him a stark raving look. Before…

BZZT. Within a moment, Vegeta simultaneously, releases his Super Saiyan Two form and disperses the energy for his Big Bang Attack. "YOU'RE TOO GODDAMN SOFT! IF HE DOES -ANYTHING- TO MAKE ME REGRET THIS, I SWEAR…!!"

Makoto Kino tosses the hatchets aside as Marie is suddenly released. Her arms, now devoid of the electricity, reach down to catch the exhausted girl. "I gotcha, kiddo." He holds her close. "You okay?" She looks to 50. "We could take him in. Even if he can't tell us about his master, I'm sure Winry and the others could. Might even be able to give him more autonomy, even."

"Atone?" #50 asks with a quavering tone that implies he is either very scared, crying, or otherwise very upset. As his forehead thunks back onto the dusty floor, his body shakes all over, spasming, and then a most unexpected sound can be heard. #50 is laughing. He keeps laughing into the floor for awhile, until Goku starts to speak, at which point the laughter just cuts off so suddenly it may sound as though someone hit the 'stop' button on a tape player. Did they break his sanity or something? When he speaks again, his voice is still uneven for a moment, but it soon levels out. "Malice self-destructed… A month ago, you say? I guess the gate was not properly aligned if we missed by that much. We knew she had left this universe, but not -when-." He sighs and turns his head to the side, eyes closed, waiting for Vegeta to render judgement. He expects to be destroyed before he can divulge any information. When the Prince of Saiyans spares him, he considers begging for the elite warrior to reconsider. If he is destroyed he can not betray anyone. If he is destroyed he can not be forced to follow any more horrible orders. But he knows his communicator is still on. Everything he is saying, doing, hearing, seeing… All of it is being transmitted back to his master.

If that man thinks #50 would serve better as a walking neutron bomb than as a servant, his self-destruct will be activated remotely. There is no way the others would escape in time… hypothetically, at least. He sighs again and raises himself up onto his hands and knees and stays there. Looking at Goku, he says, "I can not 'atone' for what I have done, but I can at least help you keep her safe. Yes, my master is a scientist like Gero." A warning light comes on in #50's head. There are two such lights. The first is yellow, and is both 'strike one' and 'strike two' combined, essentially. It means his self-destruct has been primed.

"His name is Doctor Willow," he says without hesitation.

The red light does not come on. His master has chosen not to destroy him for now. "He is brilliant, but was paralyzed in an accident and thought dead. He had to have his brain transplanted to survive, and has been in hibernation ever since. His servants have been looking for the strongest body in the world so that he will never again be at risk of death by mere accidents — or by violence. Sadly, when the defenders of Earth such as yourselves finally passed away, no one else was deemed suitable. Doctor Willow decided to -create- a body he could inhabit and that would fulfill his needs. A body that can regenerate like a namek, grow stronger from every injury healed like a saiyan, survive in any environment and even with horrible wounds like one of Frieza's people, and pick up the abilities of any other species it encounters along the way? Perfect. He did not have the hands or the materials to make such a body, but he had the knowledge. So he gave it to the distraught father of Alice-Marie, and convinced Doctor Regal to use it. That was the plan. Malice would be his 'ultimate body'."

#50 goes silent. He will have to explain to his master later the meaning of this deception. And he will also have to try to give some indication that he does -not- want to serve this master anymore and would welcome any chance to be free of him. He has to give this secret message -without- letting his master realize he sent it too. The android hates his existence.

"I wish I could come with you, Miss Kino. But I have a self-destruct as well… A very strong explosive that can be activated remotely. If Doctor Willow finds out that I have betrayed him, he might use me as a weapon against all of you. He monitors my location at all times. Perhaps I can trick him somehow and have him send me on a mission to 'try again'… Then he will be expecting me to be in another world, and will not realize until it is too late that you have removed the explosive. I do not want to be his slave and I do not want to keep doing these evil deeds. As long as he can destroy me or use me to hurt innocent people, however… I have no choice."

Marie continues holding Makoto's leg, she looks at Mars, up at Jupiter — somehow recognized even with Disguise Magic in place — and then to Vegeta's fury and Goku's compassion… And then back to #50. "Come see us soon, Fifty. I want to go home. You should go home too. I don't get it… But I don't think you're bad." Then her eyes start to droop as she is held in Makoto's arms. She has never been held like this before. It makes her feel safe. She is so tired that feeling safe is all that she needs to doze off. Right in the middle of talking, she just falls asleep.

#50 looks at her and closes his eyes, and then rises to his feet. "I will provide you with any information I can the next time we meet. Perhaps you can even stop my master for good." He then just stands and waits for them to leave… or to change their minds and blow him up. Marie, for her part, just sleeps.

Vegeta growls. "I don't buy your story. SHE is the only thing saving you right now. If you ever show up before me for any reason other than to BEG for my forgiveness, you won't be so lucky. We're leaving. Now."

With Vegeta screaming at them, Goku just sort of looks at the Prince. "We both know he was under orders." Goku replies. "You know, people said the exact same thing about you after you tried to kill me on Earth." A grin, before he shrugs. "Anyway. You're right in a way, we can't just let him go around loose. That could be bad. He'll probably go back to his Master and report on things, who will then plan some more stuff." The Saiyan gives a brief nod.
"We'll take him back to Union HQ, and the officials will work out what to do with him. Judge his risks and all that."
Then Fifty begins to speak simply, much to the surprise of Goku himself. "Doctor Willow." Goku says, before taking it in. His eyes widen a little when learning that this android could self destruct, just like the other one did. "That'll do for now. I guess you cannot come with us just yet." The Saiyan clears his throat, before peering around at everyone. "Time for us to make way, gang. If you want a ride back to HQ, just give me a touch on the shoulder. I'll use Instant Transmission." Placing two fingers to his forehead, he focusses. "…in three….two….one….now." And just like that, he dissapears. Gone. Anyone who was touching Goku will also go, transported back to base.

A burst of fire, and Super Sailor Mars is gone, replaced just as quickly by a miko-robed Rei, and keeping close to both Jupiter and Marie.

"Mako-chan, if the two of you want to, you can use the shrine for rest-I'll be waiting for you to show up there."

The POP of a time-rift, and she steps back into it, and returns to her residence-turned-business.

Scene Four: Rescuers by Marie-AliceMarie-Alice, 11 Sep 2011 04:44

There were, at this point, four cutscenes posted to the Cutscene board, under the title of "Corrupted By Purity". All four will be included in this post. :)

Title: Corrupted By Purity

It had been almost two weeks since Marie-Alice was taken away. She had simply walked outside, met a stranger on the sidewalk, been engaged in conversation, and then that was the last that anyone saw of either her or the stranger. She did not know this, of course. She just knew that she had been taken to yet another different world… Not that she recognized any particular world at this point. She was new to life. She had started over. #50 had promised to take her to see the place she was born. He had promised to help her meet her father. He had promised to he her -friend-. She had believed him.

And yet, two weeks later she was still staying in the same research facility situated on the west coast of the western-most continent of this world. #50 said that Makoto would be here. He even said that '-we- all wanted it to be a surprise' when he was explaining the situation. That had made Marie -assume- that Vegeta would be here too.

She had yet to see a single face she recognized or any other indication that she was going to see such in the future. She was simply left in this 'bedroom' that was essentially just a sterile, white, undecorated room with a dusty blanket on the floor to sleep on. The blanket smelled bad, so she slept without it. Sometimes the door would open long enough for an unseen person to shove a tray of food into the room. The food did not look like the nicely-packed and delicious lunches that Makoto prepared for her before. It looked like mud. It tasted slightly more palatable than mud, but not by much.

Marie was getting restless. She had a strange dream the night before. There was a boy on a boat — or rather, 'boat' was the closest word that Marie could think of for what she saw. The 'boat' was sailing in the sky, moving amongst the stars, and the boy stood in one section of the enormous seashell-looking vessel and stared out at alien planets as he passed. The boy looked an awful lot like Vegeta might have when he was young. In Marie's dream, she was watching the boy as he glared at the vastness of space as though it had done him a personal wrong. Yet, despite his fierce expression… Marie-Alice could 'hear' his thoughts.

«One day, I will make things right. I will be strong enough to destroy Frieza, and then I will be free of Him. We will -all- be free of Him. I have to become the strongest… I have to become strong like -Him-… Even if I have to kill everyone in my way to do it.»

Marie-Alice found that she was in the same ring-shaped hallway on the outer rim of the 'boat'. She could hear young-Vegeta's thoughts, his loathing for Frieza, and his loathing for his own inability to stop his people from being destroyed. She thought she could see a glimpse of what he would turn into eventually if he pursued this path of vengeance. So she stepped forward and curtsied, the clicking of her shoes alerting the Prince that he was not alone. He stared at Marie both with wariness and confusion. «Where did that girl come from?» Vegeta thought. Marie-Alice asked calmly and quietly, "Is there any other way to be free?" The young saiya-jin's eyes widened in surprise. Then the entire vessel shook violently and Marie found herself shaking as well. The boy did not seem to even notice the tremors.

Then she woke up. #50 was kneeling next to her, shaking her awake. The 6-years old girl looked up at him with her crimson eyes and waited to see why he was here.

"Your father is ready to meet you, Malice."

For a while, Marie just laid there and continued staring up at #50 in confusion. Her face showed little emotion, but that was more out of a lack of practice at showing it than because she did not feel it. #50 looked down at the girl. She was clearly awake and aware of him, but she was not responding. "Malice?" she asked inquisitively after a few more seconds. #50 inwardly kicked his mental self for that screw-up. He had to recover somehow! "Oh, just a sort of nick-name… You know? If I shorten Marie-Alice so that it is just 'M. Alice', it comes out as 'Malice'!" Marie sat up and stroked her slightly-ruffled blue-grey hair. It was somewhat matted from sleeping on the floor. #50 moved back as the little girl climbed to her feet and looked up at him with a small smile. "Thank you, Fifty. I prefer my own name though."

#50 would have sweated if he was not an Android designed to look like a saiya-jin instead of the real thing. He had dodged a bullet there, but the fact that Marie did not even recognize the name 'Malice' was worrying. She was not even supposed to be able to smile! She was incomplete! Imperfect! Compared to Cell, she was in her 'Larval' stage right now. She did not have the 'data' necessary to act like a real human being. And yet…

Here she was, smiling up at him, and making him feel all kinds of guilty for kidnapping and deceiving a child. Marie's head titled to the side and she asked, "Can I take a bath soon? I am unwashed and the blanket smells bad. Did it make me smell bad too?" #50 glanced at the ragged comforter relocated from another part of Suncrown Laboratories after more than 30 years of disuse and simply tossed into Marie's room to serve as bedding. It had been stained with blood, so some chemical disinfectant had been used to 'clean' it. That was probably the smell. #50 himself could not smell anything, so he simply smiled reassuringly at Marie and said, "You're probably fine. But I'll see what I can do about finding a working bath for you." He did not know why he would promise such a thing. He could not do anything at all to help her. But he wanted her to be happy for some reason.

"Let's go meet your father now, Marie-Alice," he reminded the girl. Then she nodded and offered her small hand up to the towering artificial person. He hesitated, and then very carefully accepted the appendage as though it were made of porcelain. Compared to his mechanical strength and futuristic material construction she might as well have been. He lead her out of the room, and to the place where Doctor Sean Regal used to do his research… The place where the Bio-Android named Marie-Alice was grown in a tank and eventually became the monster called 'Malice'… Who in turn became this new little girl.

But if #50 or his master had known all of -those- details, the current situation would be quite different indeed.

#50 led Marie-Alice down many halls and corridors, having to use stairwells due to the generators for Suncrown Laboratories being mostly off-line. No elevators of 'lifts' or anything else were active. It was a lot of walking for such a young girl, and eventually she requested to be carried. #50 obliged, though he felt very uncomfortable holding this… -Creature- in his arms. That is how he was trying to make himself think about her. Marie-Alice was not a child. She was simply a living weapon that had not yet reached its final stage of development. That was easier.

Finally, they arrived at Dr. Regal's personal quarters and lab, underneath the main research facility's first five 'basement' levels. He put Marie down outside the door, and then pushed the metal plate open forcibly. No power to automatically open it. The room beyond was large and dark, though with -some- illumination in the form of computer stations that glowed green, and tanks of fluid that radiated a pale-blue light from within.

Marie-Alice looked around curiously, hoping to catch sight of someone. She had the idea in her head that perhaps she was here to see Vegeta. The face and the name ran through her head, over and over. She could not stop them from doing so. Was Vegeta her father? She hoped he was. That would be nice. She began to grow excited by this prospect and searched the darkness more eagerly as she and #50 walked through the expansive chamber, passing terminals, tables, file folders strewn on the floor, tool boxes, electronic parts, and so many other things. But Marie ignored all that. She just wanted to see Vegeta.

Finally, #50 stopped walking, almost as though at some silent signal. Marie paused a second later and looked up at him curiously. Then the sound of rusty wheels creaking could be heard, and she turned her gaze on a corner that lead into another hallway. Someone was just around that corner. She waited next to #50 because it seemed like the proper thing to do. The tension grew and grew, only the quiet hum of electricity in the computers and the soothing bubbling of the liquid-filled tanks interfering with the sound of rusty wheels rolling and squeaking…

Marie's eyes widened as the source of the sounds finally emerged from around the corner. It was a chair with wheels. Someone was sitting in the chair. Someone who finally came around the corner and turned to face Marie. It was someone she did not know. The man's eyes looked weird. Too wide, too vacant… And his smile seemed fake somehow. Marie was not experienced enough with people to tell when they were lying to her, but she could tell there was something wrong with this man.

He called out, "Marie, my dear!" #50 smiled confidently and in what he hoped was a reassuring manner to Marie as he explained, "We found him here a long time ago. His neck was hurt, but we fixed him up." Marie just looked at the man in the wheelchair. He held up his arms and spread them wide, invitingly, as he called out, "Come give me a hug, my lovely daughter!" Marie did not move a single inch.

#50's brow furrowed a bit as he looked down at Marie. This was not the behavior that his master had predicted. Marie-Alice's programming should have recognized her designer innately and responded. He asked, "Umm… Don't you want to give him a hug?" Marie looked up at #50 blankly, stared him right in his optical sensors, and asked, "Where is Vegeta?" If #50 had blood to run cold, it would have done so right then.

"Vegeta?" he asked uncomprehendingly. Marie-Alice looked up at the android expectantly. "We can talk about him later," he offered with a wave of his hand, intending to dismiss the matter. "Don't you recognize that man?" Marie-Alice frowned and wrinkled her brow in concentration. She then looked at the man in the wheelchair, still with arms extended, still smiling strangely… Disconcertingly, even. She did not have to dig too far into her rather brief lifetime's memories to determine that, no, she did not know this man. So she said so.

"I have never seen him before, Fifty," she replied. #50 was at a complete loss as to what to do. This was -not part of the plan-! This robotic replica of Dr. Regal was supposed to pacify the simple-minded Bio-Android until more thorough work could be done on advancing her evolutionary state. But Marie-Alice did not even recognize the robot's face! Eventually, Marie-Alice looked down at the floor, and then back up at #50. "Where is Miss Kino? Where is Vegeta? You said they were here. I would like to see them now." #50 tried to come up with another lie to stall for time, but even with advanced processors like his, he could not cope too quickly with this unexpected situation. So, as he stammered, Marie looked around, and then lowered her head, glancing quickly to the side…

Then she took off running! #50 reacted quickly. Marie-Alice was as fast as a completely normal 6-years old human girl. This is actually remarkably fast, as most parents can attest, but it is slower than an average adult and slower than a super-powerful android. He caught her in his arms and lifted her up. She began to yell and squirm, trying to break free! She was showing emotions she had not been programmed with! This whole plan was going to hell and #50 had no idea what he was supposed to do. Marie-Alice kept screaming out for Vegeta and Makoto. Trying to call them to her. It was not just that she was trying to 'escape'. She was simply desperate to find those two… Especially the former.

After a long, stressful trip back to ground level, Marie-Alice was deposited in the same sterilized room with the same chemical-drenched blanket and the door was shut and locked behind her. Once again she was alone. She sat down in a corner with her back to the wall, hugged her knees to her chest, and waited.

She waited for Vegeta to come for her.

—-

Outside, #50 reported to his master. The old man on the radio had some worrying things to say. "It seems that someone has polluted its mind somehow… The weapon has been -corrupted-. I smell the interference of the Kaiou in this… And its familiarity with Vegeta is very… Displeasing." "What should we do with her, master?" #50 asked. The man snapped, "'We' will do -nothing- with -It-." #50 closed his mouth and winced inwardly. Of course. He and Marie were not people. They were just imitations. "I will need to examine it in person. I will send a transport to pick you up. Bring it with you." #50 nodded and tried to respond with, "Yes, Doctor Ger—" but the radio link was already closed.

Sailor Jupiter is known for many things.

Speed is not necessarily one of them. This presents a problem, in this situation.

However, size and endurance, on the other hand… *ARE*. Her reflexes are likely fast enough to step in front of Rei, turning herself to try to take the brunt of the blast, protecting Sailor Mars as best she can.

The 'Death Ball' — even an imitation such as this — is not something that one should generally stand and try to block unless one is ridiculously powerful and has enough control over that power to produce a shield between oneself and the enormous sphere of destruction itself. Vegeta probably fits into that category, but neither Rei nor Makoto do likewise. Fortunately for the two teenage girls, as the sphere of crackling black Ki rushes at them, a wave of air pressure precedes it that -may- hurl them backwards and through the air a sufficient distance to have a chance of surviving.

The pressure wave is due to the sudden eruption of great force where there was none before, violently displacing all of the air that previously occupied that space. Where Vegeta winds up is unclear, as the two Senshi may be a bit too distracted. But with Jupiter taking the brunt of the strong pressure wave, it is likely to be Mars who is aware enough to realize that they are no longer moving, and yet they are still in mid-air. The two young women are able to look down at the sphere of energy as it seemingly -devours- the terrain around it, destroying a large part of this forest… But eventually, the Ki is depleted and fades away, leaving behind a significant crater and a lot of charred (and in some cases -molten-) earth.

How is the likely pained Jupiter and the Fire Senshi who was shielded bodily from the explosion just staying in the air like this? A glance up would reveal that they are being held by the collars of their fuku with one hand each by what appears to be a human woman. She is wearing a black undershirt, a grey jacket over it, and some loose grey pants on her legs. Her hair is fire-red, her skin pale, and her eyes are a pure, metallic silver throughout. Her expressionless face combined with her eyes and the fact she is hovering in mid-air are all clues as to what she likely is. But the Red-Ribbon Army symbol on her jacket is the final indicator. She gradually descends to the ground, moving straight down and producing an artificial-sounding humming noise as a side-effect of her flight. When she touches down, she lets go of both senshi and pushes them away lightly — though firmly.

There were probably lots of less destructive ways to self-destruct the device that was blocking Vegeta's Ki senses. This was pure over-kill. Further, the fact that Mars could sense it at all meant that it likely was at least -somewhat- organic, or at least 'alive' according to -someone's- definitions… A gun is not going to produce a noticeably psychic signature unless it has been held by or in the presence of an extremely traumatic, emotional, or supernaturally-charged event or being, for instance. Can a gun be used for evil? Yes. But it is not itself an agent of such, nor does it have any choice in what it is used for. Rei could -feel- that there was something there. Whether it was truly self-aware or not is unlikely to be something that can be determined now that it has been blown up, but if there were living components to it… Then the possibility exists that it was something like Malice was. Partially an inanimate machine and partially living flesh.

This produces another disturbing possibility. Did whomever made that device essentially just use some animal or person or -pieces- of animals/people as a disposable weapon!? More and more, evidence is pointing to the Red-Ribbon Army as the culprits in Marie's abduction. Who else would do something like this? Who else would have access to that kind of techology… To merge metal and flesh and create something so twisted? And yet one of their androids has just saved them both, or at least kept them from serious harm. What is going on here!?

Even as she descends two levels, the Soldier of Fire smiles faintly at her longtime friend's instinctive move to protect her from the explosion, though it's quickly followed by a heavy sigh as the signature she'd been following disappears. "Thanks, Mako-chan… I don't have anything to go on now, though…"

Of course, the fact that she's being held aloft by the collar of her uniform prompts Super Sailor Mars to look down at where she'd BEEN standing only moments before, then to her friend with a nervous sweatdrop, and finally to their rescuer. "Why am I…? Gege… Mako-chan, that was TOO close…"

Makoto Kino falls to her rear. She doesn't 'power-down', but she DOES look the worse for wear. "Thank you, Miss…." She prompts, simply, wary of the Red-Ribbon symbol.

The woman with the metal eyes remains motionless after landing, arms at her sides, even after Makoto speaks to her. After several seconds she slowly tilts her head forward… And then back up two seconds later. Apparently that is supposed to be a nod of acknowledgement. In a distinctly artificial, 'computerized' voice, the woman says, "This unit has been instructed to retrieve data on the presence of other units belonging to the Red-Ribbon Army in this world. One such unit was detected two days ago outside of an apartment complex in the Juuban district. 'Kino Makoto' is a resident within that apartment complex, and was reportedly housing a child who was last seen in the company of an unidentified male."

The woman does not pause to draw breath, and just seems to go on and on in her speech, pausing at the expected intervals that a normal person would, but not actually breathing at any point. "This unit seeks the man who has apparently abducted the human child that was previously cared for by Miss Kino." The woman finally stops in her continuous speech to turn her head towards Mars. "You have just referred to your companion as 'Mako-chan'. This unit had originally preceded here due to the detection of a large energy emanation, but might 'Mako-chan' be a familiar term of endearment or name abbrevation for 'Makoto'? If so, this unit has some questions about the unidentified unit. It bore the electronic signature of the Red-Ribbon Army, but it was not an Identification Number that was recognized or recorded in any of our databases. This unit's masters share a goal with those seeking the missing child. We wish to locate the unidentified unit, determine its origins, and prevent it from taking further criminal actions."

The android woman's head turns towards Jupiter then, and she just stares for awhile. Every few seconds, if no one says anything, her head swivels to look at the other senshi… And then repeats back and forth. If one of them speaks, that one is immediately given her attention. But really… This is just plain weird. Why would an army of thugs and world-conquering megalomaniacs want to stop one of their androids from performing 'criminal actions'? Further, how do they -not know- who one of their androids -is-?

"…I, uh… Yeah, I did, and it is. I came close to getting some information, but that quickly got destroyed in an explosion-as you probably saw."

After being set on the ground, Super Sailor Mars turns back to where the tree HAD been just moments before, sighing again and shaking her head. "I still can't believe that got ruined-it might've been one of our only leads…"

Makoto Kino says, "Yes. Mako-chan *IS* one of the other names that Makoto Kino's known by. So's Royal Sailor Jupiter, which is what I go by when I change like this. So, you Red Ribbons were watching my place, but you *WEREN'T* the ones that took Marie?" She gets herself up, favoring a shoulder. Seems she didn't get off unwounded after all."

Vegeta's energy flares like a raging flame as he returns to the scene, his eyes narrowed on the mechanical woman. "Hmph. You expect me to believe that a machine is after another machine built by the same people to stop HIM? Please. I'm not believing that for even a second. Obviously you've been sent to delay us from finding the girl, right? Hurry up and answer before I reduce you to microchips!" The aura pulses with lightning, the man's quiet anger manifesting in his golden energy.

The android woman is clearly nowhere near as sophisticated as Malice was. She looks human enough if one does not focus on her eyes, but the skin is too smooth, too reflective, too 'doll-like'. Likewise, the lack of emotion or expression is another indicator, though even Malice had shown that trait most of the time. Only rarely did she display emotion.

She/it begins to answer Makoto with, "That is correct—" but before the machine has even finished speaking her head is directed towards where an enormous energy signature is approaching from. Vegeta has likely already arrived before the android even completes its response to detecting him. At Vegeta's demand for an answer, the android says without hesitation. "Negative, Mister Briefs. This unit's instructions are to obtain information only. Performing diversionary missions against investigators is beyond this unit's parameters." …Did this android just call Vegeta 'Mister Briefs'?

"Shall this unit await further orders or proceed with President Briefs's original instructions?" the android asks politely in that computerized voice she/it has.

President Briefs?

….

What.

A few blinks, and Super Sailor Mars gazes intently at the android, not really comprehending what she just heard even while casting a confused sidelong glance at Vegeta and Jupiter. "…wait, did you just say President? I don't even… Vegeta-san, Jupiter-chan… Do either of you know what is going on? Because I certainly don't."

Makoto Kino frowns. "Briefs. That's the same last name as Trunks Briefs, isn't it? Any relation? And you are sent by them? Hmmm. Don't suppose you have any proof of that on ya, do you?"

Vegeta's rage subsides for a moment. Before billowing back full force. "I AM VEGETA, PRINCE OF ALL SAIYANS! And you DARE refer to me by Bulma's last name?! What orders did she give you?" His curiousity stems his urge to violently detonate the machine, but his towering aura shows his annoyance at being addressed how he had been. "Trunks is my son," he states plainly to Makoto, "He adopted his mother's last name since Saiyans do not typically have one. A tradition I still carry." The last statement is obviously a jab at the android, and he makes no effort to attempt to hide that fact.

The android shows no signs of fear or concern at the fact that Vegeta can probably do heavy damage to her/it rather easily. But whether this is because of how out-dated she is, or because she is stronger than she appears is unclear. After all, it is not as though anyone here can tell how powerful this model may be, due to the artificial Ki generators. The android woman responds first to Vegeta, seemingly prioritizing his questions over those of others.

"This unit is retrieving the data log of past orders from memory. Please relax and enjoy some music during this process." Then the woman closes her mouth but a song begins to play seemingly from her body or… Something. The song may be -strangely familiar- for some reason…

"Hikaru kumo tsukinuke Fly Away (Fly Away) <Break through the shining clouds Fly away! (Fly away)>
Karada-juu ni hirogaru panorama <A panorama is spreading through my body>
Kao wo kerareta chikyuu ga okotte (okotte) <The Earth gets mad from a kick to the face (Kick to the face)>
Kazan wo bakuhatsu saseru <Making volcanoes erupt>
Toketa koori no naka ni <In some melting polar ice>
Kyouryuu ga itara tamanori shikomitai ne <If there were a dinosaur inside, I'd want to train it to ride a ball>

"CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA—"

The music cuts out abruptly only for the android's voice to resume instantly. "Records accessed. This unit is aware of the Saiyan tradition of using a single name. Also aware of this tradition is Missus Briefs. She programmed this unit specifically to refer to you as 'Mister Briefs' in an attempt to pressure and antagonize you during the time period she wished to be married. The marriage idea was abandoned due to the vehement refusal on your part, but she never reprogrammed this unit to address you by anything other than 'Mister Briefs', for the reason: 'petty vengeance'."

Without even pausing to take a breath, the android continues with, "It was your son, President Briefs of Capsule Corporation, who ordered this unit to shift tasks from searching other worlds for technological advances that could be studied, duplicated, or improved upon by his company. The new orders are to support those soldiers of the affiliated world-protection force, the 'reformed' Red-Ribbon Army, in discovering why one of the electronic signatures that each of the android units designed by Missus Briefs and constructed by Capsule Corporation was detected in this world. There are no records of any missing units, and all inactive units in storage are accounted for."

Only after this long explanation does the robot turn to face Makoto and answer, "This unit can provide its electronic signature, its serial number, and its schematics to any authorized person who requests such. If these are not sufficient, a more general form of identification and evidence of construction can be provided to any who require such through displaying a section of this unit's inner workings that reveals 'Dynocapsule' technology is an integral part of its construction. A final method of confirmation is via a 'security question' that could only be answered by someone who is pre-authorized or was told the answer by one who was pre-authorized."

The android pauses finally, and turns her/its attention on Vegeta. "You are on the authorized list for most records and information, Mister Briefs. Only the most classified information would require you to answer the security question first. Answering correctly will provide full security override to you. Do you wish for me to ask the security question, sir?"

Just when one thinks the Multiverse can not get any more bizarre…

Despite the confusion she'd been given just a moment earlier, Super Sailor Mars shakes her head, turning to Vegeta and raising one hand in a rare display-at least for someone so short-tempered-of complete calmness. "Don't, Vegeta-san. If you go and destroy this android in a fit of rage, then we'll have very little to go on for finding who we've been searching for. I know it's not often I show much of Ami-chan, but at the moment… Cooler heads need to prevail-there's no need for anger in this."

Makoto Kino nods. "So, you're on a mission to gather information? Is that why my home was under surveillance? And what information *HAVE* you gathered?"

Vegeta narrows his eyes. "Even when she's not here, that woman knows how to irk me…" he growls, "Very well. I won't destroy you. After all, you've brought news that my son is now someone of authority. Surely this bodes well. Go ahead and ask me the question. But, I will warn you that I might not have the answer. Which will mean I have to reprogram you manually. And I assure you that it won't be pleasent."

Once again, though Rei and Makoto speak first, the android responds to Vegeta first. "The security question varies depending on whom is being asked it. It is selected from an encrypted database that has 'false' questions and 'false' answers included amongst the true questions and answers, to make it harder to illegally access the information through a computerized device. It is theoretically possible that you could reprogram this unit, sir, but based on both the sophistication of the encryption and the fact that, to the best of this unit's data, you have very little familiarity with computer programming, the probability of correctly extracting the information you desire rather than destroying it can best be summarized as '-1% multiplied by a googolplex'. In summary, this unit recommends against any and all attempts to reprogram it by yourself."

A brief pause, and then Bulma's voice is emitted from the android in the same manner the music was — likely via concealed speakers. "When was the first time in your entire life that you cried?" The android then turns her attention, but not her head, towards Makoto. Rei has been a voice of reason, but she has not asked any questions of the android so far, so no answers have been given to her. "The information gathered so far is that while the electronic signature matches the same format used by Capsule Corporation's androids, it also more closesly matches androids such as #16, #19, and #20, all built by Doctor Gero, rather than those built by Missus Briefs herself. It is likely that the unit detected prior to the disappearance of the missing child was thus built by Doctor Gero at some point, possibly from a world in which he was not defeated or in which he built further back-up units to activate automatically at a future time if he did not provide a 'reset' code to the timers on these activations."

The android then goes silent and waits.

That, of course, prompts Mars to simultaneously turn to Makoto and detransform-since, apparently, her pyrokinetic abilities as a Senshi aren't needed. She remains quiet, though.

Makoto Kino doesn't transform back just yet, but she does take a bit more of a neutral posture. She looks to Vegeta. She has an idea of the answer, but won't say it, so as not to insult the proud Saiyan.

Vegeta's eyes narrow. Dangerously. "That… I swear upon my name as the Prince of Saiyans that I will KILL that woman!" he roars, "This information better be damn worth it!" He clears his throat, glaring at the android, then at the two senshi. He's not happy about this in the slightest. "When Frieza came back in his final form, and beat me within an inch of my life, I told Kakarott of the secret of our homeworld. As I recounted it, I recalled the sadness I felt at losing my people. THAT is the answer to your question. Now, give me the information we need, unless that damn woman programmed more garbage into your wiring!"

The android says, "Access confirmed. You now have full access to all data this unit possesses, Vegeta." Wait, did she just switch from 'Mister Briefs' and 'Sir' to 'Vegeta'? Apparently he really -did- override the android's security measures. "The device on-site that was destroyed in the explosion detected by this unit left behind a residual 'echo' of a transmitter that was built into it. A beacon was likely in place to notify the owner of the device if it was destroyed. CC5, this unit's designation, can trace the beacon's signal to its point of origin. Likewise, there are signs of spatial and temporal damage to the immediate environment, indicating that there was not only a unsophisticated 'warpgate' or similar portal here recently, but that it had an element of so-called 'time travel' to it. This does not necessarily mean that someone actually travelled from the past or future, as it is possible that the destination was simply not properly integrated into the Multiverse at large and so carried with it some of its own 'residual time' when the gate was opened. As an example, a difference of 5 seconds between two worlds universes could produce a noticeably temporal difference such as this. The difference is more noticeable and more easily measured when two versions of the same universe are being compared, such as in this instance."

This android just -does not breathe- apparently — not even to fake being human! "The destination of the portal and the version of the same universe from which CC5 originates appear to have a time difference of approximately 352 standard Earth years, meaning that it is presently in the time period corresponding with the calendar date '1159 Age'. This is in contrast to the residual time period detected upon you, Vegeta. Aging seems to have been slowed or halted at some point, but to the greatest accuracy of CC5's data and sensors, you appear to originate from approximately 392 years prior to the portal destination's time period. In other words, you originate from 767 Age. This does technically mean that you are not the same Vegeta that is the father of Trunks Briefs nor the mate of Bulma Briefs, but CC5 was not programmed to differentiate between different versions of those individuals on the approved list. If a hypothetical version of you from the distant past was encountered, this malicious version would not have gone through the same experiences and changes as you have and would thus not be able to answer the security questions."

There is a brief silence, and then Capsule Corp 5, or whatever 'CC5' stands for, asks, "Would you like for CC5 to provide the coordinates for the portal destination, Vegeta?"

A glance at her fellow Senshi, and Rei steps back to give Vegeta room, making sure to keep her henshin wand concealed as she watches the exchange.

Scene Three: The Informant by Marie-AliceMarie-Alice, 11 Sep 2011 02:49

A saiyan/saiya-jin had taken Marie-Alice. Right off the sidewalk, right in front of Kino Makoto's apartment, in broad daylight… No one was able to stop him. No one tried. To be fair, a neighbor did call the police, but by the time they arrived it was -far- too late. No one recognized the man in question. Union databases held no records of anyone matching his description, saiya-jin or not. But he was wearing 'old-fashioned' combat armor typical of saiya-jin warriors. It was not the 'new and improved' version that Bulma Briefs had come up with later on, on Earth.

The fact that the Red-Ribbon Army is here and interested in Marie-Alice even -after- she was reborn as nothing more than a human girl — though one with a rather peculiar problem related to the fusing of multiple souls in one body — is worrying. The fact that an unknown saiya-jin conducted the kidnapping is likewise worrying. These two concerns may lead to two other, even -more- worrying possibilities… What if this saiya-jin and the Red-Ribbon Army are working together for some reason? Alternately, what if they are -not- working together, meaning a 6-years old girl is caught in the middle of a conflict between a likely-merciless killer and an army of power-hungry thugs who have all sorts of unpleasant reasons to be interested in someone intimately connected to the final project of the R-R's true leader — Doctor Gero? Which would be worse? That such a brutal fiend would side with -any- version of the R-R, lending his considerable power to such an organization… Or that Marie-Alice may simply be a prize to be won in a struggle between forces completely beyond her ability to influence?

What if she winds up a casualty in the cross-fire?

Prince Vegeta is unlikely to let something like that happen. Infact, it is -certain- he intends to tell anyone who would try to stop him to simply 'drop dead' and then continue doing what he was already doing without pause or delay. Rei Hino saw some horrible things last night while trying to help find this girl… This girl who used to be the same monster who perpretrated these same horrible deeds. It is likely that she has been told all that Makoto knows on the subject by now. 'Malice' was an artificial life form — a 'thinking weapon' similar to the 'Crystal Droids' of the Black Moon Family, but with far greater intelligence, versatility, and the ability to gain the powers of others by -eating them alive-. If the Black Moon goons had fielded something like -that-, would the Senshi have won? It was not an easy fight in the first place. They almost lost when they finally faced Wiseman. It took -two- Silver Crystals -and- all of the Senshi available at the time -and- Endymion with the power of his past self unleashed -all put together- to stop that monster.

What if one of the 'Droids' had simply 'eaten' one of the Senshi? Even the loss of -one- of them could have been the deciding factor in who won and who lost. What if it had been Mars? Would her friends have been able to stand up to a creature that could use the powers of Mars herself against them? Would they have been willing to strike down such a creature if they thought for even a moment that there might be a way to rescue the senshi of fire from her fate? The answer is no. Usagi has pulled off miracles in the face of frankly impossible odds before, but she would simply not have been able to destroy such a beast if she thought she could save Rei. Such a weapon would have finished the senshi if they did not know how to combat it in advance, or if yet another miracle was not pulled out of Sailor Moon's proverbial hat at the last second. Of course, such miracles did have a tendency to happen when most needed… And one must not lose hope or confidence in oneself…

No, worrying about the past is not the way. 'What-ifs' are for free-time and nightmares. No such creature was fielded back then. But in one version of 'Dragon Ball Earth', one such weapon -was- made, and it was named 'Cell'. Three-hundred years later, and countless failed attempts to safely duplicate this feat, Marie-Alice was crafted. And she succeeded where even Cell had failed. She had wiped the planet clean of life.

Malice was a frightening being. But Makoto, Rei, and Vegeta all know that in the end, Malice hated and feared herself as much as everyone else did. So she blew herself up. She wanted to stop hurting and killing. Marie-Alie is -not- Malice. Despite her physical appearance, she is less than a month old. She has not comitted the crimes that Malice did, and she does -not- deserve to be caught in all this.

Vegeta never had a choice. He was part of a warrior culture from the start. He did not know any better than to fight and destroy those who were weaker. Everyone told him this was correct. But even he had limits. Even he had a soul. It was Frieza who had stifled, controlled, and tormented Vegeta well into adulthood. Did Frieza have a sad past? An angsty history? Based on everything he has ever said and done, no. He just enjoys making other people suffer. Just as Frieza turned a boy who could have been a brave and noble leader to his people — even if rather violent — into a hate-filled, planet-eradicating fiend… Doctor Gero's blind ambition and hate made Marie-Alice into Malice, even if centuries removed from the original act. And now here she was, being given a second chance…

Vegeta should know better than anyone how rare second chances are. Goku gave him that chance, when everyone else in his life had merely supported his view of 'kill-or-be-killed'. No one else had ever bothered to care. And now here he was… Happy. Prince Vegeta, spoken of in stories 3 centuries after he died, not simply for his amazing power but for what he chose to do with it… He is witness to someone else who had never had a choice being given that same second chance.

And now a remnant of his own people and the scum of the Earth who have caused so much suffering for everyone, Vegeta included, are trying to take that chance away before Marie even has an opportunity to see where it leads her.

Not on Vegeta's ing watch.

Makoto probably feels similar. She was alone after her parents died in an airplane crash. It was an accent. She could not have done anything differently. She was alone until she met her friends. She knows the pain of isolation. This same pain has been suffered by Vegeta, and even Rei to a degree. Rei was called 'weird' because of her premonitions. Rei was left behind because of her passion — the passion of fire, and the passion of -life itself-. Usagi changed that. Usagi, just like Goku, offered these lonely souls a chance to know a different life.

What must Marie-Alice be feeling right now? Taken from her temporary home by a stranger, taken somewhere she has never been and does not know how to return from, taken right into the middle of what may well become a nuclear wear if this 'saiya-jin' abductors decides he would be better off cutting his losses and blowing the Red-Ribbon Army straight to Hell.

Marie-Alice is alone, and probably scared. None of the trio who were assembled at a forested area in the ever-shrinking wilderness of Japan where 'strange lights' had been reported the same night that Marie-Alice went missing intends to let this stand. They will make the ones who took this child regret their actions.

Right up to their last breaths.

The forest is one of the few remaining areas of more-or-less unspoiled natural splendor left on the Japanese islands. The hour is early evening, but it being summer means that it is still plenty light out. There is nothing out of place, except for a large patch of scorched terrain sitting directly in the middle of a clearing that did not exist a week ago. The burned earth appears to radiate outwards from a certain point, but not in the opposite direction. Intense heat focused one way only? With no sign of what caused that heat? No way that is natural.

And something that Rei is likely to detect… In one of the nearby trees, there is something sending out waves of 'disturbance'. It appears to actually be -inside- of the tree. Since she can pick it up, it is probably at least partially supernatural in origin, or perhaps psychic. To Vegeta? This entire area, and everything in it, even -himself- is 'blank'. As soon as he enters within 30 feet of the clearing, any attempt to feel Ki just becomes 'muted'. It is like being rendered blind and deaf at the same time.

After spending most of the day recovering from the traumatic visions she'd seen in the fire, Hino Rei's carefully working her way through the forested area, keeping a single ofuda between two fingers, even as a sudden burst of flame washes over her.

Now, despite the intensity of the fire, about all that's really changed is her clothing-which has become more of what the Sailor Team is recognized by.

It's while she moves amid the trees that Super Sailor Mars conducts a thorough psychic sweep-right up until the moment she comes to the source of the disturbance.

The Prince of Saiyans stands, his eyes narrowed. Marie-Alice, a girl resurrected to a point prior to Malice's rampage, gone. Taken by a Saiyan, as far as he knew. One garbed in armor he once wore. His blonde hair spikes up violently, his blue-green eyes surveying the area, his senses feeling dulled. He got no feelings of Ki in the area, not even from his own body. An aura of gold hums around him, lightning sparking in and out of it at random intervals. "What's the meaning of this?" he asks, looking toward the other two, his eyes narrowing to slits. "I don't sense anything here. Not even my own power. Something's wrong here and I don't much like it. We need to find this other Saiyan so that I might remind him who his Prince is. And make him regret what he did."

He was unsure as to why he cared. He was a good guy, now, but this sort of thing seemed to be more Kakarott's area of expertise. Malice had left him a psychic message before she killed herself, and Marie-Alice seemed to have a draw toward him. His name, repeated on the walls, flashed before his eyes. 'It doesn't make any sense,' he thinks, 'I was told her memory was lost. I can understand her now knowing my name, but to repeatedly write it so many times, and… when she hugged my leg when I first reached the Lookout. There's something more going on here. I need to know what it is.'

He crosses his arms, his eyes closing. "And the Red Ribbon Army is involved as well. Hope you two are ready for a fight, because there will be plenty of action when we track her down."
Somewhere, Fate T. Harlaown has connected.

Makoto Kino has brought herself, loaded for bear. Already transformed into Royal Sailor Jupiter, she's also brought along her weapons given to her by various friends over the years. Her twin blue-and-green-jade hatchets, and a spear made of Imperishable Alloy. Her face looks grim. Rather than like the droids, she's comparing them to the Death Busters. Marie-Alice is like Hotaru, an innocent young girl caught in the crossfire of powers beyond her control. And as with Hotaru? Makoto will be DAMNED if she lets this stand. She looks to Vegeta. "I'm counting on it. That was my *home*, Vegeta, and that girl…" Could have been practically a daughter. She shakes her head. "She needs our help."

The disturbance is unseen, but it is felt. It is buried beneath the surface of the tree's bark. Not that it has much bark, given the type of tree it is, but it has a solid exterior. It is not an illusion or anything like that. Even so, there is clearly something -inside- the tree that is probably responsible for the weird absence of sensation that Ki-sensitive individuals such as Vegeta are experiencing. Can Jupiter sense Ki yet? Unknown, but it would be just as useless right now.

The tree has something -in- it that is 'disturbing' the environment… And it blanks out Ki-sensing but -not- psychic or spiritual awareness? It does not take a genius like Mercury or Bulma to put two and two together, and being of the 'elite' or 'royal' caste, Vegeta is nowhere near being dumb like a low-class fighter. He has always been smart. Stubborn? Certainly. But he -thinks- when he fights. He -plans ahead-. And as soon as Mars tells everyone what she has discovered, it should be obvious to all three of them…

Someone did not want people like Vegeta to detect anything amiss and find this place. The fact that they intentionally geared this camouflage towards Ki-sensitive individuals but -not- ones sensitive to magic or 'evil' as are common in the version of Earth that the senshi hail from means that it is probably an outsider who was responsible. Someone unfamiliar with this world…

Someone like the Red-Ribbon Army. A device that blocks out Ki-detection? Definitely Gero-tech. No one else other than Bulma's family had both the scientific know-how -and- the knowledge of Ki existing to even -bother- inventing something like that. The scouters of the Tsufuru-jin/Tuffles and later on the Planet Trade? Their relevance to Ki was solely for measuring the over-all combat ability of a target. The actual importance and nature of Ki was barely understood, even by those who wielded it. The very -idea- that someone could alter their power level intentionally and suddenly was so foreign to those who relied on scouters that they almost always assumed it was a malfunction when it occurred. No, not even advanced, space-faring civilizations would have made something like this.

But Gero would have. He would have done it in an eye-blink if he thought it would help achieve his goals. So the question remains now… What will they do about it once Mars alerts the other investigators? Something was being concealed here. There is no sign of a saiya-jin nor Marie-Alice right now… But why leave the sense-blocker in place if there was no longer anything to find?

It's even as she turns to the others that Super Sailor Mars wills a double-ascension, amid a fierce glow of her uniform-possibly as an unconscious need for the maximum of her abilities as the Senshi of Fire.

"I'm… Picking something up, and it's coming from inside this tree. It's giving me the impression that we're going to find a critical clue regarding just who did this… Mars Divine Power, Make UP!"

Vegeta grimaces. "You can sense something? Why the hell is my sense being blocked? You say that tree, g— Rei?" he catches himself, pointing a hand at the tree in question. "Then, I'll start there. Marie-Alice isn't in there, right?" A golden pulse of energy begins to gather in front of his palm, swirling and twisting, as though the Prince is having trouble focusing his energy. Not being able to sense is really throwing him off. "Stay out of the way! I'm going to blast the damn thing open and find out just what's going on!"

Makoto Kino says, "I doubt she'd be inside the tree, but if Rei feels up to it, Let's let her try to get what info we can get out of it, before we blow it open." She looks to Rei. It made her sick the last time she touched what was apparently inside of Malice."

Moments after Makoto finishes speaking, it may become apparent, not just to Rei but to the other two as well, that something is happening. There is a steady, rapid increase in temperature in the area, to the extent that the tree that Rei is standing in front of has begun to smoke and smolder. Black is beginning to show on the surface and spread outwards, and there is no sign of the temperature increase stopping in the near future. It is probably going to be painful just to be -near- that tree — especially as it has burst into flames as of a couple seconds ago.

It is not safe here anymore. Time to go!

However, unless Vegeta grabs both of the girls immediately and takes off as fast as his barely-conceivable Super Saiya-jin speed can carry them all, it may be a bit late to avoid harm. Can Vegeta stand there and tank whatever is coming? Maybe. But just because he -can- probably take a nuclear blast to the face does not mean he -has- to.

The device inside the burning tree that is almost completely engulfed in flames already finally gives out. Ki senses are open and usable again. Just before a piercing ray of red light gets out through the damaged timber, the feeling of what could be summed up as a 'Pin-Point Death Ball' — essentially a micro-version of Frieza's own planet-destroying technique, compressed into a very small space — is likely to leak out into the general area. A self-destruct to not only remove all evidence but destroy any investigators in the area who are able to use Ki and -try- to do so!?

There is a flash of blindingly bright light of a deep red hue, and then a sphere of Ki radiates outwards, quickly turning into a dome that expands, and expands, obliterating the terrain, the foliage, any animals that were in the area, and possibly the trio of investigators… It continues out to about half a mile and then gradually slows its advance until it stops and fades away, leaving a very wide crater with very charred soil in and around it as the marker of where Vegeta, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupiter were standing.

Did they escape in time!?

For about a moment, Divine Sailor Mars does step aside-though Jupiter's levelheaded response gives the Soldier of Fire enough leeway to kneel in front of the tree and close her eyes so she can concentrate fully on just what's inside, without any mental distractions.

"It's not the typical spiritual signature of a person… But it's still enough to make me aware of it."

Of course, the sudden temperature spike is enough to simultaneously break her trance, and prompt the Soldier of Fire to quickly jump out of range. "Is it just me, or is it getting hotter here…? And why's the tree smoldering…? Oh, great-get away from the tree!"

Scene Two: Hunting by Marie-AliceMarie-Alice, 06 Sep 2011 23:12

Makoto Kino is standing outside an apartment in Juuban, rubbing her temple. The door is open a crack, and a policeman is talking with her. He seems apologetic, the words 'All we know, Miss Jupiter' being heard as you walk up. She shakes her head. "I know. Thank you.

That's enough to break whatever train of thought the second-in-command of the Guardian Senshi might've had, and it also prompts a frown from her just about the time she catches sight of her long-time friend.

"Where'd you last see her, Mako-chan?"

Makoto Kino says, "I saw her yesterday. I was planning to take her the the new bakery tonight. It's not finished, but the bedrooms are."

Hall pulls up very quietly. His economy car isn't exactly a noticable sort of thing, very much blending in with other vehicles, but Makoto should find it rather familiar if it's the sort of apartment complex where the lot is visible from the doors. Nathan slowly exits the car after parking, and moves to the door very deliberately, if not very quickly, making sure to take in the entire environment. His Essence-enhanced memory picks up every detail, committed immediately, searching for really anything that might help.

Once he does arrive, he nods and makes a small waving gesture. "Salutations." He says with a very calm sort of tone.

Makoto Kino nods. "Hall. Thank you." She looks to the policeman. "Thanks for the information. We'll take it from here." The policeman bows, and walks away. She opens the door, revealing Vegeta's name, written in a childish hand with markers, on every surface a 5 year old could reach, and attempts to write it on surfaces she couldn't.

Makoto Kino says, "The policeman *HAD* seen something, but not enough to be particularly helpful aside from ruling out Prince Vegeta's direct involvement."

A confused blink, and Rei raises one eyebrow before shaking her head.

"How's Vegeta-s-…oh. What could it have been then? If he wasn't actively involved in this disappearance, then…"

Of course, there's apparently no interest in bringing her alter-ego back into play, especially after just leaving an incident where SHE was needed.

"Have you managed to contact Vegeta himself?" Hall says. He seems somewhat caught off guard by the obsessive writing, but continues simply taking in every detail he can. He doesn't enter yet, cautiously deciding to try to maintain the environment exactly as it is for the moment, just on the off chance that anything might be lost. "I imagine this is, to say the least, the sort of obvious clue worth pursuing. Is it acceptable to enter?"

Makoto Kino says, "The policeman described a large man with spiky hair, wearing armor with a fuzzy belt that seemed to twitch a little. He looked away for a second, and they were gone, as if they flew away. Seems to scream 'saiyan' to me, but I could be wrong. And no, I haven't."

Makoto Kino says, "As for entering? Go ahead. It's our scene now. Since the apartment belongs to a Union Elite, they figured it best to let Elites handle it."

"That's actually kind of odd… If I had more to go on, then a fire-reading might help. As it is, though, that's not enough to give me anything more than a vague image…"

Given the past she's shared with Makoto, Rei doesn't exactly have quite as much of a hangup about entering her friend's apartment-and it's proven useful in numerous situations before.

Nathan nods. "He would likely be the one most informed of such things. Failing that, contacting Raditz or, at last resort, Goku, in terms of likely knowledge of this involved Saiyan." He says. He moves in with very gentle steps, continuing to sweep his vision slowly around the environment. "Failing that, we should get all information we can possibly find before then, discarding nothing."

A van pulled into the parking lot at about the time that the police left, which was after Nathan had arrived himself. If it stands out at all, the van would stand out due to its foreign design. While 'cars from Italy' are not going to be -common- in Japan, they are more common than vans that look like they come from 50 years in the future and possibly a different planet. It is a human-designed vehicle, but it just has elements to its frame that make it look… -Different-. To someone who has been to any populated version of 'Dragon Ball Earth', the design is clearly from that specific universe (though the variant thereof is always up for debate).

It is different, and that makes it perhaps noticeable, but the most significant factor of its appearance other than its design, though perhaps not something easily recognized as significant by those not -very- familiar with the past of those Earths is that the black van has a design on both sides of the vehicle. It is like a solid red hourglass that has been laid on its side. Inside this design, in white letters, are the words "Red's Rentals". The van just sits there, no one gets out, and there is no indication of what exactly is being rented by the employees of 'Red's Rentals'.

Amongst all the other things going on, and the focus in-doors, rather than out-doors, unless someone actually -does- look outside and decide to take notice of the van, there is no reason to suspect anything is odd.

"If this is involving such major forces as Saiyans, we should assume she was monitored before this presumed abduction." Nathan says. He pulls his vast memory of up, and in a brief, Essence-driven instance of investigative insight, determines the probable spaces within the house that Marie-Alice would have spent a majority of her time during her brief stay based on relative use and arrangement of materials within said spaces, and it is then a simple logical progression to locate the likely locations of anyone who might have been observing her.

"Please contact the owners of the buildings with a visible line of sight to these locations," He indicates them. "And determine if they have had temporary residents or frequent visitors matching the descriptions of the assumed perpetrators, or anyone who may otherwise appear suspicious. I will need to check all closed circuit television records of nearby locations for any possible sighting of regular visitors in these areas. With any luck, my memory will allow me to recognize and identify frequent visitors that appear only within the timeframe of her stay here." He says.

"This location itself may yet yield information, but I am still at a loss. Rei, do you have any likely insights?" Then he looks out the window to one of the locations in the line of sight. Oh what the heck. He stares at it for a long time, not seeming to react directly. It's a very long, somewhat frozen stare, as if Nathan is trying to piece a puzzle together. He is, of course, memorizing the appearance and design, though he doesn't seem to actually realize any significance it might have, simply commiting it, like everything else, to memory.

Makoto Kino shakes her head. "I'll get to work on that. A lot of the local owners like having this place as where a union elite stays on occasions. Kind of an unofficial 'koban'. The super here has my phone number." She looks over to Nathan. "What is it? See something?"

"The only way I'd really be able to get any useful information is through consulting the Sacred Fire, but it's certainly not going to happen here-unless Mako-chan's willing to let me use her fireplace for it…"

A brief sidelong glance at Nathan, and Rei narrows her eyes unconsciously-whether it's got to do with what he's seeing, or something else, it's enough to arouse a bit of wariness from the miko.

Hall is very quiet for a while. Then, "Is that a common vehicle in this location? It seems… conspicuous." He says, gesturing to the vehicle. "Did you invite any others to assist in the investigation?" He turns away, seeming to discard the focus, having memorized all there is to memorize.

Makoto Kino says, "I put the call in on the union chatter band, but…" She looks out at the car, then back. "No, that car's not from here. I saw that model all the time when I was training with Prince Vegeta to try to be able to walk around on Jupiter." She heads to a desk, opening a drawer to get out a camera. "Let's get a picture. I doubt it, but it's worth checking the union databases for the logo, right?"

There may be a few things that seem out of place, as far as where Rei conducts fire-readings, and WHAT as well…

One: She's doing it in a friend's apartment.

Two: She's using a fireplace.

Neither of these deter her, though, and after making sure to open the chimney flue, she gets to work with consulting the fire for substantial information-even as Makoto and Nathan discuss the van sitting outside.

"Indeed. Just in case." Hall says, nodding. "Speaking of, I should make sure to get all information that may even remotely be relevant to this situation, if said information is subject to change. The layout of the objects here is already committed to memory, but I think it would be prudent to get everything that might possibly change, even if there is only a slight chance it may have any connection. Extrapolation is the core of any investigation, and one cannot extrapolate with lost information." And, with that, he sets about checking such information as what the television's settings are, the degree to which doors are open or closed, and other such dynamic details that may give even the smallest bit of support to the investigation, even in the most improbable of situations.

If nothing else, he's very thorough. It's a very intense sort of examination.

Makoto Kino walks over to the window, to take a picture. She then sits down with a union comm, to upload the picture. She gets to work, waiting for the computers to analyze.

Rei stares into the fires of the fireplace… Once, when the entire solar system was inhabited, -before- the fall of Silver Millennium, the planet Mars had the Sacred Fire, capable of great feats of divination and prophecying. It was the same fire that was used to -forge- the Ginzuishou — the Silver Crystal — from its original Artifact. Further, Sailor Mars was the very first of the Sailor Senshi to appear.

The reincarnation of a descendant of the Martian people, Hino Rei, has retained the ability to read the fires… Perhaps the fireplace is not the Sacred Fire, but it is a focus, not the source of her gifts. And so she meditates, stares into the flames, enters a trance… And receives information both sought after and -not- sought after.

This apartment has been 'sensitized' to spiritual energy. There are residual traces of spirits, or 'souls' if one prefers, in turmoil. Hundreds? More? Less? 'Many' is the closest approximation. A lot of ghosts have been suffering here for the past two weeks.

But they are not here anymore — and neither is Marie-Alice.

Further, Rei, reincarnation of Sailor Mars, is attuned to such psychic energies beyond even the Moon Cats who could detect when various types of magic energy were being used for 'destructive' or 'evil' purposes. Rei can do that too, but she can also look -closer- at such evil. She can tell when something 'weird' is happening, or even -about- to happen.

What she may see are flickers of shadows outlined on the walls of the room. Silhouettes of people fighting, people being hurt, people being… -Killed-! And gradually, sounds begin to accompany these images! Screams of pain, rage, fear, despair… They all fight to drown each other out, but these are psychic impressions of a bloody past, not real sounds in the real world. So these memories of violence and death can likely be distinguished seperately and together, all at once, in all their horror. There is no blocking them out except perhaps for Rei snapping herself out of her trance. Two details that may stand out amongst all the others, however…

Detail #1 is the sick, wet, disturbing, slurping noise that is present in every shadowy display of a murder. It is the sound one would expect to be made when a -person-, a -human being-, is having his or her innards sucked out through a tube and then reduced to an energy-rich paste.

Detail #2 is that the one seemingly perpetrating these acts in every instance is a woman with long hair, and further… A second figure, barely discernible, standing behind the murderer in each case. A figure roughly humanoid, but with bulky protrusions on its back and a very oddly-shaped cranium… It does nothing itself. It just watches.

The sudden flood of intensely graphic images, along with the bombardment of screaming, hits Rei rather hard-enough to where she forcibly turns away from the fire and begins to vomit almost at the same time.

Once that's done, she simply stares in horror at empty space, apparently distraught by each of the visions the fire gave her.

Makoto Kino frowns, her own expression getting more and more angry, as she listens to what the radio is telling her, until she takes a deep breath. She then looks over as Rei collapses, vomiting. "Rei-chan, are you all right?"

Hall finishes his examination very quickly, now a living archive of the scene as it was, and returns to the room just in time to see Rei's reaction to the fire reading. There's a long pause, and he just freezes and stares. He looks for a long while. "This is incredibly concerning." He says. Regular Sherlock Holmes here. Then, Nathan moves nearby, kneeling next to Rei. "Is there anything you need? What is wrong?"

Even though Makoto and Nathan are now more or less hovering about her, Rei's still visibly shaken as a result of the visions she'd received, and it's actually gotten to the point where she's reduced to nothing more than tears and sobbing-she does look up at Nathan, and after working to regain her wits, the miko sighs heavily.

"Oh, kami… Mako-chan…? I've NEVER seen anything that horrible, even with all the things we fought in the past…"

Scene One: Investigation by Marie-AliceMarie-Alice, 06 Sep 2011 23:06

The plot started with three cutscene posts that are being placed here in one post.

Title: A Stray Child

She had dreams, Marie-Alice did. Most often these dreams were bad ones. She did not know why they were bad other than that they scared her. She was hurting people in these dreams. People she did not know and people she -did- know. It did not matter. She just kept hurting everyone until there was no one left to hurt.

Sometimes, though, she had good dreams. Dreams of a King she had been looking for for a long time. She dreamed of a King that would protect her and make things -right-. She dreamed of a King who would fix the broken things that had never been whole to start with. She knew his outline, but his face and his name… They were still lurking on the fringes of her sleeping memory. She met a man when she first arrived on Earth. He said his name was Vegeta, and from the first moment she saw him, she knew she liked him. She trusted him. She felt safe around him. But his name did not trigger the memories of the King from her dream. His face did not make her suddenly realize this was him. There was something missing… Something that was not quite 'him'. Maybe he was not the King.

Or maybe Vegeta was simply not the King -yet-.

That thought is what had been plaguing her as she tried to settle in to the apartment of Kino Makoto, weeks ago. She barely knew the young woman, but as soon as Makoto had offered to house and care for her upon their first meeting… Marie-Alice could just tell that Makoto was a good person. She had agreed after only a scant few seconds of consideration. But she sat in her new room — the only room she had ever had outside of the guest quarters in the halls of Heaven — and she wondered when she would see Vegeta again. She had paper and pens and though she had never been taught how to read or write she had picked up both skills quickly and readily. Art was a bit beyond her still, but she could still write.

Marie-Alice wrote. She wrote Vegeta's name. She wrote it in every color and on every piece of paper on both sides until there was no paper left to write on. Then she began writing on the walls. Her every thought was focused nearly obssessively on Vegeta. Why was he so important? Why did she know him on first meeting? What was it that was -missing- from her that once held the answers?

She did not know, and staring at the walls, even covered in Vegeta's name, did not yield any clues.

So on a Friday, one day before she went missing, she had figured out how to open the front door and just walked out of the apartment.

On that same day, she met a stranger.

The stranger that Marie met knew her name. He recognized her. He called to her, identified her, and talked to her as though they had long been acquainted. He said his name was 'Gojuugou' (more or less "#50" in Japanese). He said that he knew what Marie-Alice was looking for. He said he could take her to the place she was born… Her true home! He said he could help her meet her -father-! She had never even considered she might have a father. The idea was so new, so monumental, that she was overwhelmed by the possibility. #50 asked if she would come with him to see this place. What decided it for her was not seeing her birth place or her father… But that he wore the same sort of armor that the King had in her dream. The outline was wrong. The face, the name, the voice… None of them matched the King. But if #50 dressed like the King, then perhaps he could lead Marie to this mysterious figure.

She agreed to go with #50 on one condition.

"Would you please be my friend, Mister #50?" she asked in a calm, level, innocent tone. There was no duplicity in her voice or face because she intended none. As the man with the short-cropped, spiked, black hair looked into his own reflection in the red pupils of this little girl, he seemed to be taken aback. He had previously seemed as calm and in control as Marie herself. But her question had taken away that confidence, even if only for a moment. #50 made a minute inclination of his head and looked away with his coal-black eyes at the same time. Marie did not recognize the evasive body language. She did not even know that talking to strangers was bad.

"Sure," he answered vocally as he allowed an easy smile to spread on his lips again. He looked at the little girl with her pale-blue hair that bordered on grey, and told her, "I'll be your friend." He was lying. He was lying, but Marie believed him. She looked at him and she could not see anything bad. She could not tell much of -anything- about him, to be honest. But he said he would be her friend. There was nothing left to question.

"May I please return to the apartment of Miss Kino so that I may leave a note?" Marie asked. #50 twitched a bit as he answered, "We do not have time. We have to leave soon if we are to—" he trailed off as he looked into the placid face of Marie-Alice. Such perfect little features. More like a doll than a human, at first glance, but she was very real. "Miss Kino may become worried if she returns from school and I am not there. A note will not take very long to write, will it?"

#50 felt a mix of frustration and guilt. He could not let anyone know where he was taking this girl, but the fact that she cared about this 'Kino' woman, whomever that was, made him hesitate. Why did he hesitate? The voice in his head resonated throughout his mind. The familiar tones of suspicion, cruelty, and bitter hate, contained a disapproving sneer even in the form of faster-than-light radio transmissions. «Hurry up! The window for departure is in less than ten minutes! I expect you to be on-site for Gate Reversal with the target. You will -not- fail me in this.»

The old man's voice replaced frustration and concern with fear and shame. #50 would not fail his master. Not again. That last part had not been voiced, but it had been clear in the orders regardless. 'Do not fail me again.' It would be the last thing #50 would -ever- do.

Thinking quickly, he blurted out, "She already knows!" Marie-Alice blinked her red eyes in response to this as #50 wondered why he was debating with the girl instead of just grabbing her and flying the hell out of there. The surprise on Marie's face was the first emotion she had shown since he had seen her. "Miss Kino knows I am going to be gone?" Marie asked, no need to fake the confusion in her tone that she felt. #50 nodded eagerly, relieved that Marie was not just denying the story outright. "That's right! She will be joining us there! She… Uhh… Well, we all wanted it to be a surprise, but…" The widening of Marie's eyes as he raised a hand to rub his head made him become less eloquent in his explaining. "But… But better to spoil a surprise than to… Make you… Worry? Uhh…" #50 felt remarkably lame.

Then Marie smiled. She was not even supposed to be able to smile, based on what he knew of her. She was too incomplete and too imperfect. She could probably mimic it, but the genuine happiness he saw on her little half-moon of upwards-curved lips baffled him for some reason. Marie held up her tiny fists at about shoulder level and clenched them tight and then nodded her head in affirmation so hard that her hair flew about for a few seconds. "Yes!" she answered. The guilt returned even stronger than before as the girl happily swallowed the lie he had offered her. But what other choice was there?

"Shall we ride the train?" Marie asked, pulling #50 from his thoughts. He shook his head, allowing the worry he felt to remain gone from his face. He smiled knowingly and said, "I know a better way."

Moments later, one man who appeared to be a Saiya-jin and one little girl with oddly colored hair and eyes were both flying through the air without any mechanical aid, solely under the power of that previously mentioned 'Saiya-jin'. Marie was quiet during the flight, but she was not scared. She just stared at this world that was still so new to her.

So new, and so dangerous for a child alone.

That was more than 24 hours ago.

No one has seen Marie-Alice since.

"Taken" Minor TP by Marie-AliceMarie-Alice, 06 Sep 2011 23:04

Scene/Time to spectate?

The moon is high in the night sky, surrounded by twinkling stars. A small town in the Central Valley is mostly sleeping, aside from a few late-night travellers and some guards. Earlier the air was filled with the haunting sound of a distant organ, but now it is deathly silent.

And then the sounds of Dracula's army can be heard on the wind. Howls, grunts, roars, wails, all manner of monstrous noises getting closer and closer to the town. The ground begins to shake, and the guards ready their weapons, beginning to shake in fear where they stand.

Then the army comes over the crest of a nearby hill, and all manner of skeletons, zombies, monsters, automatons, and demons come pouring down toward the village. The guards shout in surprise and sound the warning bells, waking up everyone from their sleep. The townsfolk jolt up and look out of their windows to see the incoming army, then begin to panic and hide.

All the while, Dracula floats over the hill, watching his massive army approach the town with a slight grin on his face. Death floats beside him, silent as well. It seems the town will be wiped out in a matter of minutes, at least if nobody comes to their rescue.

Amid the distinct 'POP' of a time rift, and a swirl of raven-hued hair, the second-in-command of the Guardian Soldiers steps onto an opposing cliff overlooking the village with a folding chair hanging from one arm, and a small thermos of iced tea in her right hand.

After waiting for the rift to close again, and setting the chair up, Super Sailor Mars sits in it to keep an eye on the encroaching army of undead, frowning slightly as she catches sight of Dracula and Death hovering high above. 'There's no reason for me to get involved, it looks like-but I'm still here to supervise, since there aren't any officers present…'

Charr will arrive any minute now. His old, apparently beat up hovertruck will find a good place to land somewhere well outside of the town, and then he and several of his Pogeymanz will come strolling into town. The old Typhlosion-morph will look around and quietly smoke a rather nice, ornate pipe for several moments before looking down at his gathered crew. The ghostly sock-puppet, Nettle. The feral monstrosity of an Absol, Falstaff. And of course, his Butlerfree, Switchbait.

"..Mm.." Nettle would alight on Charr's shoulder, murmuring to him, <It is a small army, Master. I can feel the Reaper's presence here someplace, though.> "Do you think he will interfere?" <It is hard to say, Master. I do not think so, not this time. Not unless we goad him into a fight, heeheeheee…> "Not yet, dear. Inevitable though it may be, goading can come later." <As you wish, Master.> "Right then.. Alright you lot, listen up. SOP. Falstaff, evacuations. Switchbait, triage and medevac. Nettle, find and clear an SZ so Falstaff can get the civvies to safety." <Aye aye, sah!> Switchbait adjusted his cap and goggles, and flew off into the darkness. <As you wish, Master.> Nettle would fade away into invisibility. Falstaff merely growled and began trotting off to try and coax villagers away from the village- if need be, he could carry or scare them the way he wanted them to. But it depends on how fast they move, after all.

As for Charr.. He'd quietly walk towards the edge of the village, quietly smoking his pipe, and watch as Dracula's legions of horrors made their slow, shambling approach. "…What a terrible night to get your arse handed to you."

As soon as Hector heard that Dracula intended to attack village, he was up, and he was ready. Pretty much as soon as Dracula had come back, he'd been preparing for the inevitable confrontation. And, well… Here it is.

Within the village, as the poor peasants flee in terror, a magical circle hovers along the ground. A magical circle with a pentagram symbol in the center. Dracula certainly should remember this, if he can sense the power coming from it: it should, after all, be very, /very/ familiar. After all, it's his own power…

Two things explode from this magical circle. One of them is gold and black, humanoid and winged, who roars lustily for blood as he smells the coming darkness. Baal, the Innocent Devil crafted of Pride and Gluttony. The other, is a smaller being, with silver hair… And an absolutely massive scythe on his back that would reek of unholy energy. Hector… And he's got Death's Scythe. "Requiescat in pace…" Intones the Devil Forgemaster quietly.

A teal colored Mi-17 transport helicopter approaches the village from the south, passing overhead. It turns back along the path it came and begins to hover in proximity to where Dracula is standing.

A figure, sitting next to the pilot can be observed signaling for the pilot to stop. He unbuckles the belts that are restraining him and moves to the back of the Helicopter. There, he grasps a black thick rope and hooks it to a horizontal bar that spans the width of the opening that he is standing before. The figure is an Asian male, roughly 50 years old with a graying hairline and dressed in military fatigues. He looks back at the pilot for a moment, offering a final signal and then steps off the helicopter and descends down the black rope.

The Asian male lands in a slight half crouch once he finishes repelling down the rope. As he straightens himself, he reaches to his side and unhooks a strange yellow device from his belt and cradles it in his hand as he approaches Dracula.

"So, you are Dracula? I am Oka Taskahasi, head programmer at the Epicore Media Company. The Confederacy sent me to assist you in your endeavor this evening. Since it seems that your attack is already underway I will get to work."

Oka lifts the yellow device and extends it out before him. "Digivice IC, activate. Select Digital Template, Mummymon." The yellow device responds in a computerized voice to Oka's command. "Mummymon Digital Template selected. Beginning digital transference process."

A bright cone of blue line explodes from the yellow Digivice. Green trace lines materialize in the center of the light, wrapping together to form a sphere. Particles of data gather and form the rough outline of a humanoid creature. A texturing skin wraps itself around the digital body, filling in the creatures characteristics. The cone of light finally vanishes and the Digimon raises a bandaged wrapped hand to signal Dracula, "Greetings Lord of the Dark. I am Mummymon."

The darkness about isn't as much as it might have been on another night, but the moon, high in the sky, does allow quite a few shadows present. While these were undoutably bad in this area, with this enemy, sometimes allies could come from unexpected places. Specifically, in this case, the shadows of a family's cellar. They would slowly colasce, form, rework, from nothing to a shape, then something humaniod, and finally the figure of a uniformed woman. She looks around the cellar, and then to a terrified family, staring at them with a dirty, blood-covered face.

"Stay here." She says.

With that, she mounts the stairs upward to the surface, and walks toward the center of town, where the magic circle is being drawn, and the strange animal directs even stranger ones to do his bidding. She looks to Hector for a moment, nodding in recognition (And idly looking for Clare), before turning to Charr. Her form shifts, slightly, turning her uniform and load bearing equipment to an inky, dark black, matching the night. A tightly gloved hand moves to a pistol at her hip, that utters a ditonal beep of a electronic safety being disabled. "Identify yourself and your intentions. Be quick." She says, looking to the approching army. Contemplating."

Dracula turns his head slightly to look at Oka and Mummymon, then raises his head just a bit in greeting. "A good evening to you as well. I won't be needing your assistance, but please. Anyone interested in partaking in my cleansing is welcome." He grins and extends a hand from his cloak, gesturing toward the town in front of them.

As he speaks, Dracula notices a particularly familiar face arriving in the village, and he chuckles quietly. "Ah, Hector. Still siding with humans, I see. How unfortunate."

Meanwhile, the army has almost reached the town and is already launching their attack. Fireballs, magical blasts, bones, arrows, stones; projectiles of all sorts go flying through the air toward the houses and walls, obliterating the guards at the gate and setting houses ablaze. Pairs of hulking Malachi and Devils rain blows on the locked wooden gate, aiming to break it down, while more mobile creatures like Cave Trolls and Bugbears leap, climb, and fly over the walls, attacking anything close.

Despite her reluctance to get involved in the fighting, Super Sailor Mars isn't so reluctant to help with evacuating the villagers who haven't been killed-and with that, she leaves the chair and, as she freefalls into the village, throws out a small red-white ball holding her Pokemon companion. "I can't just sit around-there are people in danger down there! Blazer, let's get everyone out of here!"

For a moment, Hector just stands there, glaring up into the sky with eyes icy as glaciers. He can see his old master. He can similarly see the man next to him. Another defender? No. An attacker. Someone in league with Dracula. The thought makes Hector smirk coldly. "Baal, my friend… We have much to show these upstarts. We will show them the power of a Devil Forgemaster… And that The End comes for all, no matter who or what they may be."

Baal rumbles in agreement, before once again letting out a trumpeted roar of contempt and challenge. <Come, creatures of the night! I am The End! I am your master, and I shall feast upon each and every one of your benighted hearts!>

And then, the two are charging. Racing into the melee in defense of some of the poor villagers. Hector's scythe sweeps out gracefully, aiming to strike off a troll's hand before it can strike a villager, before turning his grip and attempting to viciously impale it through it's stomach, attempting to rip out insides and create tonight's first fountain of blood on the defending side.

Baal is decidedly less elegant with his attack. The Innocent Devil flies straight for a bugbear, halting abruptly to attempt to dig the formidable claws right into the creature's eye. And should it do so, it would grab the creature squarely by it's sides… and try to jam it's face inside, trying to feast, to feed, as he roars in hateful hunger. <More!>

Aside from good old Sailor Mars, there's other things to worry about for Dracula's forces in attacking the town- specifically, Switchbait and Falstaff. Old Switch might not be the deadliest of soldiers, but he is a fairly powerful little psychic, and should anything get near the people he's trying to help it's not going to be pretty. Though nominally a pacifistic creature, under such dire circumstances he has a tendency to undergo a fairly drastic and violent change in personality. <BUGGER OFF YOU SODDING PISSANT BEFORE I BONK YOU WITH MY FIST!> And then some poor horrific monstrosity's head would explode from the strain of a loud psychic scream directly into their brain meats. Yeah, Switch is kinda dangerous when he's angry.

But nowhere near as terrible as Falstaff. This is not a rational, sane creature pushed towards their edge- this is a maddened beast eager to be let out of its cage, eager for battle and blood. A terrible braying like that of a starved hellhound echoes throughout the town, no doubt sending villagers screaming in the other direction- which is what Falstaff wants, of course. This frees him up to indulge in meals that Charr rarely lets him have. A pair of those 'Malachi' are going to learn this the hard way, when one suddenly finds itself from from the waist down by a beam of icy power, and the other suddenly has a large, violent, hungry beast ripping at its flesh and shredding its face with jagged, worn claws. Falstaff is a lot stronger than he looks, despite his clear and obvious old age.

Charr on the other hand is focusing on the flyers for a few moments, while his boys handle things on the ground. Hopping up atop one of the now burning buildings, he'd throw his arm out, and a great long chain would fly forth, wrapping around a Bugbear and bringing it right to Charr's shit-eating-grinning face. "Evenin'." The last thing the monstrous eyeball would see is an opening mouth, and then.. Heat upon flesh-melting heat.

Another computerized voice is emitted from the Digivice iC that Oka is holding. It sounds a lot differently from the first one. The voice is a lot lower in tone and is not as generic sounding as the first one.

"A variety of enemies have gathered here on the field. There is a limited wireless network available in the area, but it is not strong enough to establish a full digital field to support our operations. Our options will be limited in this fight."

Oka looks down at the device and responds to the voices comments, "Next time we will bring more equipment with us Renzukemon. This situation will be an excellent test of the templates ability to function in a remote environment away from the digital ridge."

Renzukemon's voice emits again from the Digivice and is directed at Dracula instead of Oka. "We are mostly here to observe this "cleansing". I have been monitoring your methods since your arrived in the multiverse and I am very pleased at what I have seen so far. Mainly, I am interested in the lore surrounding your creatures and the knowledge that you possess of the supernatural. Such knowledge is rare and not readily accessible through the Internet. But I will speak to you about this another time and let you focus on the situation at hand."

After Renzukemon finishes, Oka turns his attention to Mummymon. "Mummymon, head to the village and support Dracula's army."

Mummymon smiles at Oka with a crooked, toothless grin and begins to shamble down the hill towards the village. Its slow saunter seems to indicate some sort of old injury that never truly healed. A low metallic scraping is heard each time Mummymon's left foot touches the ground, caused by the rusty splint that is attached to Mummymon's left leg. The grin that Mummymon is brandishing only grows wider as it releases a haunting cry that echoes over the village.

"Beeewaarrree Huumanns MUMMYMON-RAAA THE EVER LIIIVVVVIIIING HAS COME TO FEAST UPON YOUR ENTRAILS!!!!"

Amanda waits patiently for Charr to respond, but does see one of his creatures looking angry, and then heads start popping off. Given that the rest of his people seem to be destroying the creatures ahead of them by various means, she gives the barest shurg of her shoulders, and nods, slowly. "I will take your actions as your intentions." She states, simply, before looking to the approching army, and those jumping over the walls. She cocks her head slightly, and suddenly there is a spectral, deathly whistle above them, before the sky erupts in a bright, harsh light, the solar round manifested streaming the light of a noonday sun over the ground as it slowly decended.

She reached for the pistol at her hip, and pointed it toward one target; the Marchland bucked with it's selector on three round burst, electronically firing a group of rounds twoard's a bugbear's center mass; the 'rounds' were designed to unfurl into razor sharp blades inside a person, ripping interal organs to meaty chunks, and were patently illegal. If anyone carried to ask.

She targeted on creature, then another, then another, moving down the line of approching monsters until the clip was used up… after which, she reloaded and continued, moving like a scythe.

"Perhaps one day I will humor you," Dracula responds to Renzukemon as he watches his army make short work of the gate and pour endlessly into the town. "But, for now…I shall enjoy this."

As the monsters come pouring in, they proceed to attack with nearly no organization to their invasion. Some are taken down, but more quickly take their place. A firing squad of Lerajie move in front of the walls and crouch down, taking aim at the defenders and townsfolk alike and firing their rifles. The bullets pierce whoever they hit, ricocheting chaotically off any other surface they hit without losing velocity. Some skeletons armed with armor and weapons burst down doors of houses and charge for the defenders, while animated suits of armor follow alongside.

By this point, Super Sailor Mars is leading the majority of the villagers up and out of danger, even as Blazer splits away to help Charr cover their escape-both Phobos and Deimos, with a mental summon from their mistress, fly in to help as well, largely through pecking or clawing each of the undead abominations.

It seems to be a well-orchestrated plan on the part of the Senshi of War, as she directs a large-scale evacuation while her familiars help with guarding the village alongside Amanda and the Typhlosion-morph.

"Reder, go!" A pokeball falls to the ground. A very angry-looking Wartortle (which is saying a lot, given that most Wartortles wear an angry rape-face 24/7 anyway) pops out. "WAAAAAAAARRRR!" <IS IT TIME FOR BATTLE?!> "Reder, human civilians, safety, now! Follow Falstaff!" <Aye Sarge!> And then Reder goes off to do what he does best- hurt things. Fighting a Wartortle under normal circumstances is generally considered bad enough, they are a very violent and battle-hungry species of Pokemon to begin with. But fighting with Reder is like fighting your own weight in rabid, pissed off beavers. He catapults himself head-first into a skeleton, causing a domino effect in other skeletons going in front of it into some household full of screaming peasants. <Run, get outta here, follow the giant angry dog thing that breathes ice and shits lightning! GO! RUN! RUN!!> And once those poor folks are taken care, it's back out into the streets again, where the tiny beast begins singing joyously as he engages other members of Dracula's hordes. o/~ <All around the Oranberry bush, the Mankey chased the Quilava..> o/~ Leaping up onto some beast far larger than himself, getting right into its face. o/~ <The Mankey thought, twas all in fun!> o/~ And then he'd.. He'd /kiss/ the frightening beast, for some bizarre reason. But a close eye would take note that the horror he was kissing was filling up with water fast, until it was painfully bloated, and finally exploded. o/~ <POP GOES THE QUILAVA!> o/~ Much laughter follows.

Falstaff on the other claw, is far less musical about his affairs. His only concern is doing what Charr said- make people run away to safer havens. This means presenting himself as a barrier to anything that would dare try to pass him. The ancient beast's body seems to bulk up, almost twice its normal mass in pure muscle, stomping on the ground, mouth dripping saliva, eyes filled with rage and indifference. Woe betide any fell horror that comes too near, lest it be torn to pieces by the Absol's powerful claws, or rent asunder by the glowing broken blade sticking out of its forehead!

Switchbait of course is busy trying to help anyone wounded. <There we are, good as new, up and off you go now!> Mouth full of gauze, one hand with a suture and thread, and the other carrying little needles filled with morphine. Sweat pours off the Butlerfree's forehead as he works, for he must not only slap-patch the wounded so they can stand and flee, he must also drag them out of the line of fire, while sometimes contributing to that line of fire!

Despite the chaos raging around him, Charr seems markedly level-headed about the whole thing. He's not grinning like he normally does, but he doesn't seem to be going particularly nutso either- probably for the best. He seems to be trying to hold the front gates, setting the ground ablaze with his fiery breath and creating a short but potent inferno to slow the tides of damnation down, leaping from the top of the building and using his chain whip to grab and throw creatures into each other as though he were playing a game of marbles.

Mummymon raises a bandaged arm protectivly over its face to try and shield its eyes from the bright harsh light that is generated from the solar round.

"IT /BUURRNS/ I SAY.. IT /BUURRNNS/"

Back over in the area where Dracula is located, Oka cringes at the sound of Mummymons painful cry. He looks down at the Digivice iC in his hands and speaks into it.

"Renzukemon, what is Mummymon's status?"

"Mummymon watches to many movies. He is okay." Renzukemon comments in response to Oka's question. "I located the source of the round and am sending Mummymon to deal with it."

Mummymon pauses suddenly as it receives an update from Renzukemon's Digivice. The new information prompts Mummymon's evil grin to widen, while raising its voice to proclaim, "AH HA!!! I FOUND YOU! SNAKE BANDAGE!!"

In response to Mummymon's command, the dirt stained bandages entwined around its forearms begin to unwrap and fall downwards. Upon touching the ground, the bandages begin to snake across the ground at unnatural speed, speeding round anything that obstructs there path. Upon reaching the area of their intended target, the bandages stealthfully try to wrap themselves around Amanda's feet with the intention of tripping her. If this goes unnoticed, the bandages quickly being to entwine themselves and progress up her body until they are able to choke her.

Deep in the middle of the army of darkness, Hector swings Death's scythe gracefully, a veritable wall of death for any who tried to cross his path, to try and get behind him and harm the villagers. On the radio, though, he hears Mars saying how she's getting the villagers. Hector smirks. This is good… Now he has nothing to hold him back anymore. Or, at least… He thinks. There's still one more bit of business.

Seeing Amanda before him, Hector began to move forward, whistling sharply and drawing Baal towards his side as the two run for her side. "Is this what you had hoped to see, madame?" Despite being in the thick of battle, the Forgemaster's tone is just as icy as it normally is. "No matter. So long as it is not Lord Dracula that joins the battle, I suppose the assistance is appreciate—" That's when he stops. Bandages, going for Amanda. Hector curses. "Move, quickly!" He says, and once again, the scythe is at work, cutting at the waving bandages with a blade of pure, sharp, killing darkness.

However, more gunshots can be heard… One of which shoots Hector in his leg, drawing forth an angry curse of pain. The gunmen demons. Hector can't get there fast enough to deal with them before they fire off another volley. But that's why… "Baal! Go!" He points, and the Innocent Devil does indeed go. Flying high into the air, before swooping down low… Grasping for one of the female demons with the claws on his feet, while he buffets the others with his wingspan, grasping another in his hands, before taking off again.

And even amidst the rage of battle, the screams of the demons as they die and are feasted upon high into the air can be heard, as their tainted blood falls from the sky like rain.

Amanda Wheatly is busy killing more and more of the creatures, somewhat on automatic, keeping the enemy back from it's advance almost like a computer. The rounds that are fired from the enemy rifleman are noted, however, as the pistol drops to the ground in front of her, and she brings up a combat rifle that… certainly couldn't have been there before. She notes the melodramatic call of the mummy off to the side, but doesn't pay it much attention, instead bringing the rifle up and using the longer range and cyclic rate to continue sweeping across monstrosities that shouldn't be standing in the first place.

She looks somewhat curious at Hector as a clip ejects from the rifle, clinking once to the ground before dissolving into ectoplasmic slime. "What I had hoped? THis is a warzone. The enemy is different, but the priciples remain the same. It is what I expected. I do not need your apperciat-" She starts, before she cocks her head as the sythe cuts through bandages, as she quickly steps back. She follows the remains of the cloying things up the stream, before looking up to Mummymon. Her rifle beeps again, and she raises it to her sholder, ther 20 millimeter smart grenade receiving spectral programming before bursting out of the underbarrel grenade launcher and exploding a second later next to Mummymon in mid air, spreading a cloud of hot, high-burning white phosphourous.

She looks back to Hector, and his shot leg, stepping out in front of him, and taking out what demons approch. "Withdraw. I will cover you. You are wounded."

The Lerajie that remain switch their attention to Baal, though they aren't so much trying to save their doomed companions as they are trying to take out a problematic enemy.

As volleys continue to fire, the other monsters take different targets. A couple of towering Malachi recognize Charr as a threat and create skull seals in front of themselves, from which emerge rolling orbs of condensed nightmare that head for the pokemorph. A Nova Skeleton accompanied by a pair of Cave Trolls takes interest in Mars, launching a large energy beam at her while the Cave Trolls whip their spiked tongues in the direction of the villagers she tries to save.

Dracula, meanwhile, sighs. "This is becoming tiresome. This small force is not performing as well as I would like." With a wave of his hand, a crimson glow rises from behind the hill, brightening up the sky for a moment before fading. It seems like nothing else has happened for a moment, and then the ground begins to shake with heavy footsteps. It doesn't take long for the gigantic armored centaur, Eligor, to rise up from behind the hill and go galloping down to the town. Easily sixty feet or more in height, he fires his huge repeating crossbow bolts at the town as he approaches, causing a veritable earthquake with each step.

From her vantage point on the cliff overlooking the village, Super Sailor Mars raises a large-and THICK-wall of pure fire behind her to further protect the large group of villagers, just before she takes the full brunt of the energy beam head-on and gets smashed HARD against the Burning Wall.

Despite that, she's still got enough tenacity to simultaneously send a large-scale volley of fire-rings flying at the pair of cave trolls, before turning her attention to the skeleton. "Good, they're sa-AH! Ow…"

Meanwhile, Phobos and Deimos break away to attack the Nova Skeleton and draw it BACK into the range of a steady stream of intense flames from the Flareon present in the battle.

Mummymon only has a split second to blink before its body is consumed in the cloud of white phosphourous. Back over beside Dracula, Oka's eyes widen as he witnesses Mummymon transformation into BurningMummymon. "Mummymon is going to require some additional firepower, now would be a good time to test the data infusion process. Renzukemon, what is the strength of your wireless link with Mummymon?"

"The Digivice is maintaing a wireless link at 80 percent with Mummymon. With the new algorithims, our total bandwith is 300 mbps. We should be able to transmit a perfect level attribute modification with minimal packet loss." Renzukemon responds.

Oka presses a button on the Digivice iC, which causes the devices screen to light up and display an image of Mummymon. Seconds later, Oka dilivers a series of vocal commands to the Digivice.

"Initiate Digital Template attribute modification program."

"Access script under Myotismon Digital Template Directory, Myotismon.attribs."

"Transfer attribute attack "Night Raid" to active Mummymon Digital Template."

"Initiate Data Infusion!"

A brillant beam of purpe light explodes from Oka's Digivice the moment he utters the words "Initiate Data Infusion.". The light bends through the air and envelopes Mummymon in a protective glow, shielding Mummymon from any further damage from the white phosphourous. A green grid of tracer lines manifests around Mummymon as a brillant stream of glistening data particles flows through the beam of light. The data particles manifest themselves around Mummymon's back and assume the physical form of a black vampire cloak with a high collar that rises above Mummymon's ears. A new texture of bandages is applied to the sections of Mummymon's body that was burned by the phosphourous.

As the bright glow settles, Mummymon grabs a hold of the ends of the cloak and streches it out to show Amanda. "See my cloak, you can call me MyotisMummymon now. I think the vampire look suits me, what do you think?" Mummymon wraps the cloak around his arm and raises is to his nose so that only his eyes can be seen looking above the garment. Mummymon speaks in a pale, vamparic voice and says, "The blood is the life… and it shall be mine."

Mummymon waits a moment to see Amanda's recation and then extends his arms in front of him. The vampire cloak expands outwards, as if it was caught by an unseen wind as Mummymon shouts the words, "Nightmare Raid". Swarms of bats suddenly pour forth from the dark expanses of the cloak and begin to surround Amanda. The bats attack Amanda from every angle, scratching and biting at exposed flesh, clothing and anything else they can grasp onto. Once the bats surroud Amanda, Mummymon turns and unleashes the same attack on Hector.

Nettle giggles, far off from the town, in her little secured zone. Clouds begin to gather across the skies as she mutters dark incantations, lightning crackling across the skies. A little cover for her Master, and for those helping him~ It begins to rain shortly after she finishes whatever foul utterings she has intoned, lightning bolts occasionally dancing across the field of battle to startle and slow down the already disjointed horde. What fun! And the Master has provided her with a veritable smorgasbord- Shuppets feed off negative emotions, and all the villagers heading her way will sate her undead thirst for quite some time. <Yes, dearies, come to Nettle, you'll be safe here~ Eeeheeheeheeheeeheeee..> They'll probably be terrified, but at least they'll be safe.

Carrying a few of the wounded and children on his back, Falstaff rushes out of town towards Nettle, stopping only once he feels he's a suitable distance away. The beast waits until he sees no more people flowing out, then lets out a defeaning howl to inform everyone that evacuations are complete. And then he's off again to make his delivery.. And to protect the townies from anyone who might dare to attack them in their vulnerability.

Switchbait, too weak to physically carry anyone, is operating on the go- a couple of conscripted villagers carrying a gurney as he works to remove a bullet from some poor man's chest. <Hang on old boy, this will hurt a bit- terribly sorry but I'm out of morphine. Now here we go, lie back, stiff upper lip, think of Contiki!> Not exactly ideal conditions, but it's either remove the bullet and stitch the man up or leave him to bleed out and die painfully. Can't let that happen, wouldn't be proper!

Not following everyone out of town, Reder is having far too much fun with all the monsters and horrors that have lingered behind. Specifically, he's after the ones trying to hunt down the hapless townies as they make good their escape. <I'M GONNA MAKE YOU SQUEAL LIKE A SPOINK, EYEBITCH! C'MERE!> A no doubt confused Bugbear having enough time to see the Wartortle as it leapt upon it, and then nothing but blackness. Blackness, teeth, and pain.

A short converation across the local radio later, and Charr springs into action. Quite literally- utilizing his superior physical training, he creates an optical illusion of moving at incredible speeds, so fast that he seems to be leaving after-images for brief moments. This is, of course, as noted, an illusion: he's not really there. He's already moved past the nightmare orbs in their slow approach, he's already behind the Malachi. Who may or may not be puzzled as to why they're on fire- but that's not important. Charr's not after them, he's just providing a bit of a shield so he can dash off as gigantic crossbow bolts rain down. Finally deigning to draw one of his weapons, he retracts his chain-whip long enough to tie the end of it into a ring at the end of his larger-than-average Wavecleaver Daiklave. Then, providing some slack from the chain, he starts spinning it around, gathering momentum, until he's close enough to the Eligor that he can launch the sword at it and drive the blade deep into its armored chest. This.. /Probably/ won't hurt it very much, since it's y'know a skeleton and all. But that doesn't matter! What matters is that by doing this, Charr can hoist himself up as though he had a sword-based grappling hook, climbing up the Eligor until he's sitting on its shoulders. A good length of chain is ejected so that he can loop it around the great Eligor's skull, trying to catch the chain between its teeth like a bridle, so he can try to steer the damned thing. Oh this was going to be /fun/. They didn't call Charr the.. …Actually come to think of it I can't use that nickname in an RP pose, it's too NC. Still, rodeo time!

Unfortunately for the Larajie, Baal's not going to let them simply fire upon him. From up high above, the Innocent Devil drops his two snacks back down towards their comrades—both of which, disgustingly enough, have had their hearts quite literally ripped out of their chests. Even in the moonlight, Baal's mostly-dark coloration would make him hard to pinpoint precisely, and the Innocent Devil uses this to his advantage.

Back on the ground, Hector shakes his head with a grunt. "I have withstood far greater wounds than this. I will not be retreating until this invasion is ended. I owe humanity… At least that much." He's about to say more, but once again, the mummy-like creature is causing interference, and Hector can feel the ground trembling under the sheer size of Eligor. As the bats swirl around him, biting, scratching, Hector whirls like a tornado, swinging his scythe as he attempts to free himself and Amanda from the trap. Then he remembers—this scythe is a powerful magical item. It has magical properties. So… He should start using them.

The Forgemaster begins to spin the scythe rapidly around himself. Slowly but surely, dozens of miniature scythes begin to blink into existance around him, spinning and viciously tearing apart anything that they touch. Every single one flies out, some to target bats, others to fly straight for Mummymon and try to bury themselves into his covered flesh.

Baal is a Devil created by pride. As such, there's no way he'd let Charr have all of the fun with the giant monstrosity. He corkscrews in the air gracefully, avoiding crossbow bolts deftly, and rumbling darkly as he passes /very/ close to Charr's head. <What are you doing here, you odd creature?> He rumbles, a smirk of amusement on his blood-streaked face. <You had better hold on very tightly. And close your eyes, this may become bloody.> And he's flying… straight for the eye. Aw hell. Vicious claws and talons go to work, as the Devil begins to chop at the demon, that grin of sick pleasure never leaving his face.

Amanda Wheatly looks rather satisfied at the BurningMummyMon… or at least as satisfied as a ghost like her can look when engaging targets like this. She looks back to Hector as he stands and says his speech. "I would suggest paying what you owe over time. You can give no more if you are dead. Watch your own limits." She says, before gearing the thump of a large creature around them… and the large… monstrosity that is Eligor gets looks up at, and a hand brought to her ear. "I request-" She starts, before the bats come.

She kneels down as the bats pick at her, ripping off clothing that… imeediatly reforms, returning to a pristine apperance in wisps of shadows and energy; dirt and blood cover the ones going for her skin, but that, too, simply remains unchanged; she doesn't wound like a normal, living and breathing creature, but each peck, each bite robs her of a little more energy to form, or reform, as she goes for her belt. The grenade she has drops to the ground as she covers her eyes, the flashbang letting out an ear splitting burst of concussion and light, attempting to blind, or deafen those bats… or both.

Up on another hill, away from the town, a team of four soldiers, dressed in Union-issue battle armor and uniforms, skid to a halt, one of them flicking up her scope to the battlezone. "Bloody /fucking/ hell." Her clipped English accent is apparant. "Sir, Mandy's-" A man cuts her off as he helps another snap out a device on a tripod, hissing, "I know, goddamn it, I /know/. You want those things on us, do you?" He says, adjusting his cap with it's red and white hackle on display. "We help her another way. Set the bloody thing up and confirm drone readings."

The woman nods, and pats another man on the back, as the tripodded device hums, the rugged laptop connected to it flicked on and running. "Searching… Standard military encryption; frequency spectrum matches UCE tactical bands; matched allied ad-hoc here too, tagged green; possibly some unaffilateds… freqency spectrum matches Confederate Elite communications, but I've got no…" She frowns, and quickly types. "There it is; properitery transmission, short range and unknown; receiver point right at that damned spectre…" She swallows. "The mummy. The bad one. Give me a goddamn minute."

When Eligor arrives, he has a chance to burst through the wall of the town and slice a third of a building off with his sword before he is set upon. Charr's attack causes the demonic centaur to rear up on his back legs with a tremendous bellow, shaking his head and arms wildly to loosen the pokemorph. Eligor's flailing only gets worse as Baal burrows into the eye in the back of his head, and he crashes down on his front legs again with enough force to topple the house he already sliced and possibly knock several people off their feet. Once he has landed, Eligor continues to buck and wave around, aiming to throw his assailants off while still firing giant crossbow bolts in all directions.

Meanwhile, the rest of the horde has turned their attentions from genocide to demolition of the town itself. All manner of monsters ransack the houses and buildings, breaking anything they can and destroying the foundations of several homes, sending them toppling to the ground with the help of Eligor's tremors. A few still focus on the defenders, but they are only a secondary target now.

After recovering from the hit she'd taken up on the cliff, Super Sailor Mars simultaneously draws Inferno and invokes an ascension to the next stage of her power-her uniform glows a vibrant hue of red and gradually changes to one mirroring Eternal Sailor Moon's, with the exception of a tiara where there wasn't one on her friend's forehead and varying shades of red.

Even as that transition to greater power takes place, though, she's rushing to clear the structures in the village of rampaging undead-either through cleaving them in half with her saber or simply immolating them on the spot.

"Time to take this one stage higher, and keep this place intact. Mars Eternal Power, Make UP!"

Blazer, Phobos, and Deimos don't miss the cue, though, as they shift their focus to flash-roasting or pecking the horde of undead back to, well, death.

By now of course, all of Charr's pokemon are out of town. Well except Reder, Reder's sitting on a roof, chewing on his master's pipe, smoking it idly while watching him ride the Eligor with a grin. <Yeah get that fucker! Yeah! Falstaff's gonna have a new chewtoy or twenty by the end of the night!> Much clapping is to be had.

Charr ducks down a bit, blood sizzling and crackling as it meets his fiery mane. Lifting up and spitting some blood out of his mouth, he'd look up at Baal, "Hey, get outta the way, I wanna try and take this thing ALIVE! …Unalive! …Whatever the Hell this thing is, just don't kill it, at least not yet, yeah?!" Having mountains of experience riding huge, strong things that buck about- and recalling fond memories of a Snorlax-morph by the name of Bertha- he'd grip the chains tightly and try to steer the Eligor out of town. "Whoaaaa! Whoaaa damn your cursed hide, whoaaa! C'mon damn it, just whoa already!" He had a feeling he was going to need to hog-tie this thing later, if he could get it down.

The first cluster of bats hit by the flashbang suddenly stop dead in midair. The energy released by the weapon tears the skin off the bats, which immediatly dissolves into a mist of fine particles and vanishes. A black mass with a grid like pattern of green tracer lines is revealed under the sections of the skin that have been torn off the bats. The strange substance, along with the entire bat, breaks apart into a fine cloud of glistening data particles that fade away after a brief second. In a few seconds, Amanada finds herself surrounded in a cloud of the strange particles as all of the bats physical bodies break apart.

Hector also experiences a similar phenomenon as his mini-scythes slice apart the bats.

The same scythes that are thrown at Mummymon easily shred the vampire cloak and cut through the its protective covering of bandages. Mummymon's skin seems to dissolve in the locations that the scythes cut through the bandages and vanish from sight. Oily black material covered in a grid of green tracer lines is exposed to the air and a strange thing begins to happen, stray bits of data particles begin to float up from out of the black material and vanish from sight.

Mummymon falls to his knees and screams as his body convulses from unseen waves of pain.

Oka conveys an expression of concern towards the yellow device that he holds, "Mummymon's body is beginning to break down. Currently it is at 65 percent of its current strength. Several breaches have formed in its texture and data is escaping."

Renzukemon responds from the Digivice, "We are not going to take any action. I have backed up Mummymon's personality script. I want it to continue on as it is. We need to see how its body handles the stresses of combat in a remote location."

Amanda Wheatly looks over to Hector as she's pulled away, looking at him with a slight bit of annoyance as she's pulled through the streams of data around her from the 'dead' bats, before bringing up her rifle. "Do what you require, and be mindful of your rank." She notes, before raising her rifle toward the monster aboive, stomping about. Her GL gives a bit of a beep as she pauses, bringing it up, and cycling to rapid fire, firing one round after another, contact explosives that are meant to pierce through armor… but might do the same to bone. She will have a talk with the man a bit later.

The team of four remain silent at their vantage point, as the woman furiously types on sound deadened keys, before taking a sharp inward breath; the only sign of her exlatation at success. "Localized; a bit of packet transfer between our big boy and another source… possibly his handler. The way those creatures dissolved, I think we might be looking at a digital manifestation." She looks back to see vageuly confused and disgusted looks on her teammates, before rolling her eyes. "Point taken. Working at it now." The man behind her nods. "Hack what you can, then flood the area with white noise. Mortars aren't in position, but it's a minor cock-up."

At Oka's position, he might suddenly see that device he holds loses any connection it has to local networks around it as the area is flooded with white noise; at the same time, it looks like a military-grade decryption program is running, attempting to brute force access the device; if it can, it'll start copying information, and wiping what it copies as fast as the processor will allow.

Oka suddenly frowns as he notices a lit red led indicator light on the Digivice. "We've lost our link to Mummymon… Renzukemon what is going on?"

Silence fills the air for a few seconds and then Renzukemon responds, "I am unable to resume my connection with the network. Some type of signal is interfering with it. Give me a moment to investigate." After a few seconds of silence, Renzukemon speaks to Oka again, its computerized voice carries a hint of concern on it. "Sometype of decryption program is being run against our networks encryption. I don't have the processing power to try and block the attack. Oka, initiate digital convergance, I need to get my core out of this device before it is compensated." Oka starts to studder in protest, but Renzukemon's voice interrupts him…

"NOW OKA!!!"

With a forced gesture, Oka presses a couple buttons on the digivice and delivers a vocal confirmation in an anger laced voice, "Initiate Digital Convergance Process. Authorization, Oka Takahashi."

A large crack appears on the screen of the digivice as it suddenly begins to pulsate with a sickly green aura. Oka throws the Digivice to the ground and backs away from it as quickly as he can move. The device suddenly releases a brilliant stream of glowing particles that rises a great distance in the sky. The beam of light casts a pale green aura across the battlefield as it expands in all directions from the Digivice as a massive digital field is established in the sky.

Suddenly, huge clusters of sparkling data is rapidly expelled from the Digivice. Each cluster naturally seeks out other clusters and merge with each other, slowly adopting the roughly shape of a head and feet. As the body takes shape, the Digivice releases one final cluster of data particles, a digital core.

Roughly 7 ft in circumference, the digital core released from the Digivice is starkly different from the other data particles. A dark, inky tone of purple seems to stain the particles that make up the Digital Core, flowing around the outer edge of the core like a thick smoke. Rays of sickly grey light randomly pulsate from underneath the inky tone, beating almost in the same manner as a heart.

The Digital Core drifts up into the body and seems to merge with it. The inky purple tone spills forth from the core and taints the otherwise brilliant particles of data, causing them to dim until they are almost black. A grid of green tracers materializes overtop of the data particles, providing the body with a further degree of detail. The body seems to roughly incorporate a set of draconic features; claws, a snout, wings and teeth can vaguely be made out.

Suddenly, the brilliant green light that is bathing the Digimon fades from view as the Digivice breaks into a million pieces. The massive black mass wracks in pain and crashes to the ground, rolling around in agony. Streams of data begin to float away from the body as it breaks down.

Spreading its make shift wings, the dragon-like Digimon lifts itself awkwardly into the sky and pushes itself to fly away from the battlefield. Oka follows a few minutes later in the Helicopter that originally brought him here…

Dracula idly watches the display from Oka and his device, smirking a bit as the man retreats. "A shame," he comments, turning back to look at his army. "He will miss the finale of the grand performance." Death turns his head to regard Dracula. "…you will intervene, master?" "Of course. It is taking far too long to defeat them."

With that said, Dracula throws his arms to the side, his cape transforming into a pair of bloody, spiked bat wings as he levitates into the air. A circle of red runes appears above him, and dark energy crackles into the center of the circle, forming a black, flaming sphere that grows and grows.

Meanwhile, Eligor continues flailing wildly, beginning to smack his own head with his armored hand in an attempt to get Charr off him. One of Amanda's bullets shoots right through his front right knee, causing the demon to crash into a crouching position. Eligor's crossbows focus on Amanda now, firing bolts bigger than she is at her.

With a brief glance back in the direction of the Burning Wall guarding the villagers from harm, Eternal Sailor Mars cleaves her saber through one last undead soldier and immolates it at the same time, just before going pale as she hears Hector's exclamation and quickly rushes outside in time to catch the transformation of Dracula. "Good thing I managed to clear the village of any of those abominations-now I'l-… Did he just say-"

From where they are in the village, Blazer, Phobos, and Deimos pause, then quickly go into hiding far outside the potential blast radius since it seems they know something BAD is about to happen. By that same virtue, the Soldier of War and Fire rushes away from the village, intent on leading the villagers farther out.

Charr grunts, hanging on to Eligor like a true cowboy might. Well maybe not a true cowboy, he's not wearing assless chaps, jeans, or a Stetson. Nor is he being stupid and waving one arm in the air behind him, he's clinging to his impromptu reins for dear life! So not very cowboyish at all in retrospect, but oh well. Hector grunts something over the radio, but Charr isn't sure what it means- nor is he able to ask, since Eligor's flailing finally manages to actually hit him, a great hand slapping Charr and dazing him for a moment. He'd almost fall off, but since the chain is actually part of his arm, that'd let him remain 'saddled' as it were. "Hmph. Fine, guess you don't /care/ about your continued existence.." Gritting his teeth and growling, Charr's body begins.. Growing. Muscle mass begins increasing, until he's almost twice as thick and heavily muscled as normal. Feet planting themselves against Eligor's spine, he'd start pulling on the chain.. Apparently, trying to crack the monstrous thing's skull right off through raw brute force.

But that doesn't mean Charr is ignoring Dracula, of course. He's called for backup- for Nettle. His own personal expert on all things dark, evil, and magical. The tiny sock-puppet ghost fades into being next to her Master, little eyes glowing red, grin unnaturally wide and crooked. <What is your bidding, Master?> "The ren-faire fop. Remind him why sorcerers tend to have meatshields." <As you wish, Master. Eeeheeheeeheeheeee!> Floating up higher, away from the melee, Nettle sets her twisted sights upon Dracula off in the distance. The storm clouds begin to thicken, the rain falling harder, as she chants her dark incantations. Lightning bolts begin flying down from the blackened heavens at an alarming rate, every bolt coming ever closer to striking Dracula.

As Mummymon and his handler are forced to retreat, Hector finds himself in one of those rare moments on the battlefield when he can just observe a moment of peace in a time of chaos. Leaning himself against Death's Scythe, he looked around the battlefield. Flames. Souls crying as they were forced from their bodies before their time. Death, destruction, and chaos. This is what he used to do. This was his duty. Right now, amongst the carnage, Hector's mouth turns in disgust. "Never again," is all he says.

At least, that's all he has time for. Hector's moment of peace is broken as he begins to feel the pull of powerful unholy magic. He looks up—and sees the almighty horror of Dracula beginning his most powerful spell. "No…"

Quickly, he growls into his radio, then turns to go and find Amanda. "Madame Amanda, you must retreat! We all must retreat. The Demonic Megiddo is his most powerful spell, it will obliterate us all."

Baal gets tossed off as the demon rages around, trying to remove the two upon him. The Devil growls; he too can sense the darkness overflowing from Dracula. <I leave this demon to you! I must stop the vampire.> And then he's gone, flying as fast as he can towards Dracula, dodging bolts of lightning, corkscrewing, as he tries to distract the Vampire as well—namely by rending him with his yet-murderous claws.

Amanda looks satisfied at the effect she's having on the enemy, watching one of it's joints collapse from direct fire explosives… before turning to look at Hector. "You will surrender this area to him if you do; I will ask that you seriously consider what you are doing." She notes, before dashing away in a split second, sperentining to avoidthe crossbow bolts fired toward her. She does a good job of it, too… for a while, before one of them slams into her, throwing her into the ground with a slight splatter of slime from the impact and force of the blast. She struggles to get up, shadows wisping about all too slowly, weapon broken from her grasp as she tries to reform.

The team on the hill looks dissatisfied, for a moment, esspecially the woman, at the explosion of digitial data they've seen… but not collected. "I don't know what the bloody hell that was, sir, but I've only got partial bits of code transmitted. They went EMCON almost as soon as they realized there was a problem and I wasn't able to turn it around." The man in command nods, before looking back and nodding to the other two. "Right. You heard the comm; we need to get-"

And that's when they see the fire go toward Amanda, and her get hit, a strangled gasp coming from the other man in a group, as the woman speaks. "Sir, she's-" The argument starts, while the man in charge is already unslinging his plasma rifle. "Fuck retreat. Lay into him! Draw his fucking fire!"

There's a brief pause, and suddenly blue bolts of fast-flying plasma can be seen traveling fro the hill, attempting to slam into Eligor and distract him from his work with the fury of a unit in the foolhardy throws of a matter of honor.

In a flash, Death is suddenly in Baal's path, his scyhte spinning in the air in front of him to block the devil's attack. "Foolish construct! You dare attack the Lord of Darkness? You forget your place." With a wave of his scythe, Death beats away Baal's claws and aims a sideways slash for his head.

Dracula, meanwhile, has already nearly finished his spell. The vampire lord has used this attack many times in his life, and has perfected the casting of it for the highest efficiency. One bolt of lightning grazes a wing, while another actually manages to hit the other wing. Dracula winces at the intense pain, but by then the sphere he is creating is already as large as he is.

Dracula brings his arm in, then sweeps it toward the town, palm facing the area closest to everyone. "DEMONIC…MEGIDDO!"

At this point, Eligor is experiencing more than even he can deal with at once. He raises an arm to try and block the shots from the people on the hill, but Charr's attempt at snapping his spine is making it difficult for him to do that properly. It seems like any moment now, he might actually crack.

But, at the sound of their master's announcement of his attack, everyone in Dracula's army stops whatever they were doing and turn their heads to look at the ball of demonic flame descending toward them. They stand there for a moment…then suddenly panic and scramble to flee the area before the attack can hit.

Not many succeed, unfortunately. The orb crashes into the ground, and on impact it almost instantly shrinks into the size of a pinhead. The resulting moment of silence only lasts a millisecond, however, as a huge space of the town is suddenly engulfed by a flash of light and a raging explosion of shadows and hellfire, burning to ashes much of Dracula's army, the houses, and Eligor. The resulting shockwave knocks down speeds over the hills and knocks down whoever it hits, collapsing a few more structures in the process. But did the noble defenders make it out alive?

"Mars Flame…"

After making sure to gain at least a mile in distance from the village, and sending the villagers through a time-rift provided by Sailor Pluto, Eternal Sailor Mars turns to face in the general direction of Dracula, just as he unleashes that attack and all but obliterates the town. The resulting shockwave prompts her to duck close to the ground and grab on FIRMLY, even as all three of her companions move in close to keep from being blown away by the accompanying rush of wind-though that sets her hair and Blazer's fur to whipping wildly.

With a cautious glance once it's passed, the Soldier of Fire gets to her knees and-simultaneously-goes pale and wide-eyed as the extent of the utter devastation finally sinks in. "…oh, kami no… I didn't…"

Nettle's eyes widen for a moment. <..Poo.> She vanishes from sight, before the spell actually goes off, of course. It would be foolish to stick around and see what kind of damage such a thing could do, after all, and Nettle is no one's fool. Granted, where she's gone is a damn good question, but one that will no doubt be answered all in due time.

Off the distance, Switchbait looks up from his amateur surgery. <..The deuce? …!> The Butterfree's compound eyes widen, <COVER!> Leaping over his patient to cover the wounds he has yet to finish operating on, while Falstaff and Reder likewise use their tough Pokemon bodies to shield their charges.

As for Charr, well, that's a mystery that may not be solved for a little while yet. As soon as he hears Nettle cease her incantations, and feels her presence disappears, he lets go of the Eligor. The chain drags the old soldier-morph around until he's hanging from the thing's chest, and then he- no doubt like Hector- vanishes from sight as a result of the explosion. …Though, once all the dust clears, it becomes apparent that something new has been added to the battlefield.

Why is there an eight foot tall ball of ice just sitting there?

High in the air, Baal's attempt to distract the Lord of Darkness has obviously, horrifically, failed.

Baal growls in irritation as his attack is stopped by Death—which becomes a roar of pain as the scythe swings for his head and cuts through his face, puncturing two of his eyes. However, the Devil isn't slow, nor stupid; he flares his wings and beats backwards, just enough to avoid his head being cut off by the strike. <Damn you, second-rate creature!> Baal roars. <I ripped out your heart once, you pitiful wretch, and I shall do so again!> Or… So he would like to. transmitted from the link between himself and Hector, he feels his master's pain and anguish, forcing him to pause. <Master… Damnation.> The Devil levels it's four undamaged glaring eyes upon Death. <We will see this battle finished another time, wretch. The End comes for all, as you /so/ aptly remember.> He then quickly begins decending, looking for his master in the remains of that poor little hamlet.

As he watched Amanda get struck down by the crossbow bolts, Hector quickly ran to her side and began picking her up, carrying her—and RUNNING away from the village. He knows just what this attack will do. But he hears the screams of the minions… He knows he was too late. As such, all that he can do is hide behind one of the houses and try to shield Amanda with his own body. This is where he is found when the attack strikes, and as he feels the massive surge of heat and hate, he screams out in complete agony… But he does not let go, nor does he stop trying to cover Amanda.

And as the wind dies down, and the flames of Hell recede, Baal finds his master. And even the most powerful Innocent Devil, the toughest to control, lets loose a roar of rage and anguish as he sees his master, burned, bleeding, yet, still alive. But what about Amanda?…

vroom vrom…

Vroom Vroom…

VROOM VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

The sound of Prime's approach is quite obvious - he's not going for stealth here. The Autobot commander is girded for battle, as best as a Transformer can be girded, with heavy armor and weapons on his trailer. Unfortunately he notices on sensors - sensors one calls EYEBALLS (though he technically has optics) - that the situation has grown exceedingly grim here. The huge-ass EXPLOSION from the murderdeathspell is evidence enough of that.

In the driver's seat, Alexis grips the wheel tighter. "I think that's my cue." She suddenly, with the transformation sound, is sucked INTO the seat, becoming one with Optimus Prime, acting as his power core. Prime's speed increases.

By the time he makes it down the mountain pass, there's little to nothing for him to actually do other than help with the wounded. Which is, fortunately, one of the things he CAN do, likely stablize those too frail even for teleportation, assuming that anyone is even alive for that. He quickly scans for any friendly signals… and any life signs at all.

THere's the drop of the ball, and the people on the hill, firing one ball of plasma after another, watch the fireball slowly expand. There's a brief pause as the team abobe look at it slowly expand, the woman looking back to the man in charge. "Did we do… something, sir?" The man looks down, and briefly nods, before the fireball blows them back, throwing them onto the ground in a wave of concussion dust, and dirt.
Amands barely has time to react to the pick up, blinking, not in pain, but in confusion and slight annoyance, As she's dragged off. "I am… not… badly hurt." She says, Hector's hands getting slightly slick with ectoplasm as her form wavers and wisps off into shadows. And then the strike comes. As Hector looks around, he'll find… nothing, below him, His hands are covered in ectoplasm, shadows wisping around to disperse around them, and soon leaving like nothing was ever there.

And then a whisper, in his ear, dashing about, seeking Alexis and Hector and speaking in concerned worry. "Mine… mine are hurt… find them… save them." The end of the whisper goes, and it sounds, almost, /almost/ like it's pleading. "Please."

It's hard to keep track of what's going on sometimes, but Yuuno /does/ monitor the bands. Sometimes things happen and he just can't help out… but tonight, Nanoha isn't needing his watch, and the paranoid mage is able to rest. A little. People in trouble are enough to get him worked up, though, and he downloads the coordinates as soon as he hears. "Divider, lock in on those and help me out!"

<ENEMY NOT IMPORTANT. NO ACTIVE MAGES REGIS->

"If we find any on the way we'll engage, just do it!"

<AS YOU WISH, MEIN FUHRER. ENGAGING.>

A flare of green light and a crackle of a transport spell light up the small apartment Yuuno keeps in Uminari, and the effect is mirrored some distance away from Prime, landing the now-armored boy on the scorched earth. Curiously, the devastation doesn't shock him at all, or maybe he is just worried more about the wounded. "I have some healing spells… I'll help stabilize the wounded," he offers immediately, seeing the other fresh arrivals.

Yuuno Scrya changed his armor mode to Duelist Mode.

Suddenly a single airship decends from the clouds up above, followed shortly by another, and then a few more. Soon there are SWARMS of them in the sky, so thick that they're practically clouds of their own. A few airships equipped with Starfall Cannons descend ahead of the pack, locking onto whatever remains of Dracula's forces and /pounding/ them with intense blasts. The airships themselves avoid firing anywhere /near/ allies are, to avoid friendly fire, but any stragglers of Dracula's forces are going to feel the android queen's wrath descending from heaven.

On the bridge of the flagship USN Micheal, W4R-H34D is hooked up to the captain's chair, commanding the fleet. "Hey," he asks, "This is usually sis's job. Is it really alright?"

Dr. Switch is right next to him, overseeing the battle at a panel, responding, "It'll have to be. K4 is currently preoccupied, but she sounded rather urgent!"

"Well if you say so, Dad. I guess as torn up as this place is, no one's gonna notice a few extra craters!" says W4R, with entusiasm!

After a few volleys of Starfall shots, several smaller airships drop down, flying towards the ground. These are a bit more benevolent, equipped with several searchlights, and they scan the ground looking for friends who might need a bit of help.

With a rapid dismissal of whatever sense of self-preservation she might've had, and suppressing the exceptionally intense urge to run in fear, Eternal Sailor Mars heads back for the annihilated village with the intent on taking care of the people under her command despite her own sense of incredibly pervasive anguish.

Her friends and allies, after all, are in trouble, and as the second-in-command of the Guardian Senshi, she ISN'T just about to abandon them or her duty. All at once, she spots the heavily wounded Hector-and Baal near him, along with Amanda, and shifts her focus to treating their wounds-work that's usually in Sailor Mercury's field of expertise.

Phobos remains with her to assist as best he can, for being a raven, while Blazer and Deimos head for the statue of ice in case they can assist Charr in any way.

Of course, the telltale arrival of both Optimus and Yuuno has her largely concerned expression turning to a mixed one of concern and relief at having someone she's come to respect greatly present in the aftermath of battle. "Thank the kami you came, Optimus-sama, Scrya-san…"

The sudden appearance of the airships turns Mars' gaze up to the sky, though it's only ever more grateful that so much help's mobilized to provide much-needed aid.

A rapid screech to a halt, a bit of dust coming up as he does so. Although Prime does his best to keep from kicking up too much of it, as he'd rather not get dirt in the wounds of the patients to be.

A few seconds pass as the trailer separates from Prime himself, and the Autobot transforms to robot mode with the characteristic sound, the trailer transforming as well into Combat Deck, though many of the weapons have been switched to medical implements and repair instruments.
The trailer moves around to rapidly collect the injured.

"Rei. What's the status of this place?…" he inquires, optics settling firmly on the elephantine crater, having a feeling that this village would not be inhabited again for some time.

However, he notices a faint flitting feeling in his gut. "…eh?"

Alexis, curled into a pretzel that by all standards she shouldn't be able to get into, notices the light - which is odd since she shouldn't be able to see anything with her own eyes considering where she is. Said eyes widen. "— wha?…" A pause. "…Prime, I think… I think Amanda tried to contact me…"

Somewhere amidst all the shift-ery chaos, Reder and Falstaff and Switchbait look around at their new surroundings. <..The hell are we now?> <Would appear that we've had a bit of a rescue, then, ey?> <Bout fuckin' time. Sarge get dragged along too?> <Doesn't look like it.> <Well fuck.> Reder tapped Charr's pipe against his shell, looking around, then climbing up onto Falstaff's back. <C'mon Switch, we might as well start making tracks. The bipeds got this shit in hand, looks like.> Switch would patiently clean blood off of his paws, packing his tiny surgical tools away and hopping up onto the old Absol as well. <Jolly good old boy, but where are we going and how will we get there?> <Eh, we'll think'a somethin'. Head back home, wait for the Sarge to show up. Get a cab if we need to. C'mon 'staff, let's kick this spoink.> "Rrrff.." Falstaff then began meandering off. They'd just fade into the background, and filter out of wherever the Union had transported them to, of their own accord. They were good at that.

And somewhere on the battlefield, the great ball of ice shattered like glass, revealing a markedly unharmed Charr, with sweat pouring off his brow. Nettle giggled up at him from the pocket she had been hiding in, <It is good to see your skills have not gone to waste through lack of use, Master.> "Innit, though? Well.. …That was close." <Indeed, clearly you are becoming old if you are cutting things that close to the proverbial wire.> "Close only counts in ponyta shoes, self-destructs, and video games. It worked, so I'm happy. Now where is that foppy bastard.."

There's no more whisper than that first one they heard; there was alimit to how much disruption Amanda's form could take before manifestation become impossible. Where she was wasn't reachable by anything other than a seance or a trained paranormal investigator. However, there /was/ a beep of a Union military distress transponder, away from the town, in a hill nearby, where there really shouldn't have been any Elites. If they can home in, the biotelemetry of the group can be dectected. They're all alive, but one is in very bad shock, one's blood pressure is falling to incredibly low levels, and two of them indicate sucking chest wounds. None are conscious.

As Baal begins noticing the newcomers, he at first snarled hatefully and took a defensive position in front of his wounded master. Seeing that they were allies, however, he relaxed—but not much. <Master Hector is here. I know not where the ghost woman went. It is likely that her essence was annihilated by the Demonic Megiddo.> He… doesn't seem too phased on that. Which makes sense, given that his master's…

Not dead, thankfully—but it is a small number that can withstand being struck by the Demonic Megiddo and live to tell the tale, much less escape it without serious damage. Hector's out cold, slumped, his body covered in ectoplasm, with Death's Scythe planted firmly in the ground nearby. He's in no good shape to talk, and thus Baal does it for him. <Do not use any form of holy power upon him!> He growls at Rei, Optimus, anyone that'll hear him. <He and I are creatures of darkness. You would poison him instead of heal him.>

As the low flying airships search the ground, they find Eternal Sailor Mars and Optimus Prime as a searchlight sweeps over their location. One of the smaller airships, Messenger class, large enough to comfortably fit 10-15 people each, hovers down near Optimus and Mars, and a speaker system crackles and starts up as W4R's voice is transmitted through it, his voice distorted by static, "Hey, guys! What's up? Look, my sis sent me here to see if you guys needed any help cleaning up and getting out. I guess we're a little late to the party."

Elsewhere, a couple of other Messenger class airships search an area where a Union distress signal is coming from, and their searchlights land upon the broken forms of a group of very wounded people. A couple of the Messengers land next to the wounded, and several Nurse Droids pour out of the ships and attempt to stablize their condtions.

For the one losing blood pressure, a couple of nurse droids try to put pressure on his wounds to stop the bleeding, and also start bandaging him up. For the one with a chest wound, he is quickly carted off into one of the Messenger airships, where regeneration tech borrowed from the Union HQ has been set up to deal with such wounds. For the rest, they are carted off to the reletive safety of another Messenger ship to recieve proper treatment.

After watching Hector get loaded into the trailer for treatment, Eternal Sailor Mars looks up at Optimus as her expression turns back to one more professional-there's a large extent of respect she has for the Autobot commander, after all.

"The village is almost completely decimated, but there are relatively few deaths to report, aside from the guards and the small number of villagers who were attacked before I intervened. I led the majority of them to safety far from the village before it was destroyed, and sent them to the shrine as a temporary gathering point via a time-rift courtesy of Sailor Pluto. They'll be redirected to a safer location, from there, within the hour."

As Charr suddenly emerges from the ball of ice, Blazer and Deimos return to her side, even as she turns her attention to Baal and raises both hands placatingly. "I know to avoid using spiritual purification on any of you, and it's why I'm turning to what medical expertise I've picked up from one of my best friends. I'm taking full responsibility for whatever happens here, as I was the one who came to observe originally."

The airship that stops near her and Optimus, again, earns a calm gaze from the second-in-command of the Guardian Soldiers of Princess Serenity, and she lowers her arms again before bowing in respect. "Hello there. Our operation's ended, with relatively few casualties to speak of. But thank you for coming."

After his attack has hit, Dracula just floats where he is, watching the results of the blast. His wings fold over his back again, once more becoming his cape. He watches the remains of the town, sees the reinforcements arrive to pick up the nearly-dead…and laughs.

The sound begins low, then gradually rises in volume until the valley echos with his maniacal laughter. "Fools," he eventually shouts, his voice booming through the area. "You would have done well to step aside! Remember this, this demonstration of the true powers of the night, the next time you consider defying ME!" With a sweep of his cape, Dracula turns his back to the remnants of the town for a moment. "And Hector, if you can hear me…you and I are not finished. One day I will personally wipe your name from this world, and rid myself of another pathetic /stain/ on my legacy!"

With that, Dracula suddenly vanishes in a burst of shadow and screeching bats, with Death following suit almost immediately. The remnants of his invading force are left behind to fend for themselves, whatever they may be. And yet Dracula will certainly not count this as a failure.

"I understand. I'm only using scientific means." Optimus says. He taps into radio to signal K4's allies to take a look for anyone else — though likely only finds out that they already found who Amanda was speaking of, although Prime may have suspected she was referring to the others in the team.

"I understand," Optimus replies. "We'll use no holy methods for healing." He attempts to get a scan of Hector, frowning as best as he can with a non-existing mouth. He doesn't like the injuries that he sees.

His medical manipulators in his fingers shift around as he accesses different medications he stores in subspace, before injecting Hector with a few of them to help stablization via entirely non-holy means - and in fact, even injects a few traces of what might be a slightly /un/holy compound (though Prime carries only a small amount of this, he IS a physician, and not all things unholy are truly evil).

"Good work, Rei." he says, gently letting Auto-Launcher move Hector to the Combat Deck.

He stands, his Minicons coming off of Combat Deck and ending up front and center. "Sparkplug, Sureshock, Overrun, survey the area as quickly as possible. Make sure that there's no one else that we might be missing, especially anyone who might have been lost or fled in the confusion. Even if they aren't injured, death from exposure and starvation are just as dead as from injuries. I'll send Skyspy to assist you."

…and then, DRACULA.

Optimus' rifle materializes with a flash of light, and Sparkplug leaps to his commander's wrist, merging into it for extra firepower - ready for battle, it would seem. Optics lock onto Dracula as he makes his speech, though not willing to restart the hostilities at this point unless he needs to.

"And we'll be ready, Dracula." Prime promises grimly, and once he flees, dematerializes his rifle, and Sparkplug dismerges. Another day.

<CONTACTS NEGLIGIBLE, MEIN FUHRER. IT SUGGESTS RETURNING TO MONITOR UMINARI.>

"We're not here to fight, Divider," Yuuno reminds the talking sword he holds after Dracula disperses. Apparently the other forces weren't counted as 'threats' by the Device. The mage stares at the empty space where the two were for a long moment, then sighs, "These are our allies. Well… some of them. Standby and see if you can find anyone nearby, and keep an eye out for threats. Sir, Miss Hino, I'll try to find any wounded and stabilize them first. I know basic healing spells… they're slow, but they do work."

<STANDBY MODE>, the Device says in a… mildly petulant feminine tone, speaking something German-like. Baal calling attention to Hector has Yuuno heading over that way first, the young mage following them into the trailer. "I don't use holy power, don't worry. Just plain magic. I'll see what I can do." As for what he can do… some quick, simple healing spells that take a minute or two(clearly not something useful in combat, alas) are followed by the green flash of another teleport, this time attempting to get to Daystar Medical… after clearing the incoming first.

Well, since it seems that everyone is ready to disperse and part ways, Charr just kinda stands there looking.. Well, somewhat bemused. "How terribly rude. I suppose it's to be expected though, innit?" <Indeed, Master.> Nettle would float out of Charr's pocket and settle somewhere on his shoulder, half-hiding herself close to his neck. <Master, we should not leave yet.> "Eh?" Charr turned, and looked behind him at all the devastation. "…Ah.. Aye, we've a bit more work to do yet."

The Typhlosion-morph quietly looked around for his pipe.. Remembering that Reder had it, he settled for a simple cigarette. Not quite the same deliciousness as his Equestrian apple-flavored tobacco, but it would keep the taste of foul magics and death off his tongue, at least. He'd march up to Optimus Prime and look up at the giant robot-person, scrutinizing him for a moment. "We need to gather the dead so that their corpses can be burned, else they may rise and join Dracula's forces. It would also be wise if you and your Union boys and girls could find a priest or priestess of whatever religion the locals followed, so that their souls might be set at ease."

Once Baal is sure that his master isn't going to be given any poisonous holy magic, the Innocent Devil just… Stands there, watching, as the cleanup of the battle commences. He really has no part in all this; he isn't Belphegor. He can't heal anyone. He'll require Hector's assistance to repair his eyes and his face. Thus, the only thing left for him is to return to Wallachia and await his master's return.

However, before he goes, he flies over to Charr. <Well fought, odd creature,> the now four-eyed Devil rumbles. <Perhaps you do have some potential. I have no doubt I shall see you again.>

And with that, he lands… and disapears under the soot-and-ash stained earth, forming into his magic circle, the pentagram design pulsing slightly, as it begins to race off on it's long journey back home.

The reminder from Dracula has Eternal Sailor Mars turning and drawing an ofuda from one sleeve, though she puts it away again as he disappears and turns to give Charr a warm smile before glancing back up to Optimus and-though she's not involved with the Japanese or American armed forces-saluting professionally before recalling Blazer into his Pokeball and calling both Phobos and Deimos to her shoulders. "I couldn't have done anything less, Optimus-sama, since so many were depending on each one of us here to do our best. And thank the kami you're safe, Charr-san… I was worried…"

With a sidelong glance in the direction that Dracula disappeared in, Mars narrows her eyes. 'Whereever you may appear, I'll be waiting. Hector-san, and my friends, won't have to deal with you alone! That is a certainty!'

The three Messenger ships carrying Amanda's own fly up into the sky. A warpgate opens amidsts the fleet, and they travel through it, taking the wounded ones to Daystar. Several nurse droids, doctor droids, and surgeon droids work to keep them alive for the trip over, and for the most part every step is being taken to help ensure their survival. For now, let's hope they'll be okay.

Meanwhile, the airship near Prime, Mars, and now Charr hovers overhead. W4R-H34D's voice responds to Rei saying, "Sounds good. Sounds good. We'll continue sweeping the area for survivors. If any of you need a lift, the USN will gladly oblidge." And then, seemingly responding to Optimus, he says, "That's what we're here for, sir. Troop evactuations are already underway, and we've already sent some people back to daystar."

Elsewhere, a couple of Avenger class fighters sweep the area, scanning the ground for any remaining undead, in order to pick them off, but it doesn't seem like very many even survived the USN's opening bombings.

In addition to her role as the second-in-command of the Guardian Senshi, under Jupiter instead of Venus for the time being, Eternal Sailor Mars is the one who's capable of providing religious services-and it's perhaps that knowledge that leads her to simultaneously detransform and get to work with conducting mass funeral rites for the villagers killed in the incursion earlier, before channeling a small part of her pyrokinesis to cremate their remains.

Optimus Prime glances down to Charr, and nods. "Rei, if you're able, I think you'd be the most appropriate to administer a blessing. If not, then I can manage."

He glances towards Charr. "Thank you for your help incidentally." He pauses.

"…don't cremate /all/ the remains, please."

Prime apparently has Plans (TM). Which may be bad for Dracula, if he can use it to his advantage somehow…

Charr waved a hand. "No worries, aye?" And then he'd look over to Rei. "Heh.. No need to be concerned, Rei dear. That Dracula fellow has some fancy tricks up his sleeve.. But he didn't listen to me terribly well. Nor did anyone else, for that matter." A mischievous, almost impish, grin and glint in his eye appearing on his face. "I'm more a threat to him than he is to me.. Because I've been learnin' and listenin', while he flaunts and taunts." He wondered for a moment, how many of them had listened when he warned them about making a long-term enemy of Dracula? ..Had even Dracula listened? Had Death found and spoken with the Dusknoir? Ah well, that would yet remain to be seen. "Unless you folks need any further hands, I'll be on me way back home now. Things to do and all."

Many of the USN airships seem to be pulling out. Warpgates open up all over the sky, and the various ships begin to warp out. It looks like the USN's job is mostly done here. After all, with a fleet this large, all managed by one robot hivemind and without any real opposition, it's incredibly easy to cover an area such as this. Assuming that the rest of the heroes can make it out on their own, W4R pulls the entire fleet out.

He sends one last radio message to everyone else. «Well it was a fun meeting you. I'm moving out. Later!»

Scene/end

Scene/Showdown of the supernatural kind! Defend Hikawa no Jinja!

Hikawa no Jinja.

This shrine is a rather important part of Japanese history, as well as the former residence of the second-in-command of the Guardian Senshi-who just so happens to be inside taking a bath in an effort to relax. She's still got a special 'tool' of sorts with her, however, due to the tendency for enemies to attack with very little warning.

It seems like a good evening for an attack, at least on the outside. Dracula has come to be aware of a particularly troublesome Union member, Sailor Mars. He has decided to take it upon himself to try and eradicate her, and now walks calmly up to the shrine with Death floating silently behind him.

The Lord of Darkness stops once he is a few feet away from the entrance of the shrine, then lifts a hand and makes a gesture to Death. The reaper floats past Dracula, then summons his scythe and lifts it into the air, loudly rasping, "Sailor Mars! In the name of Lord Dracula, I order you to exit your shrine and face your judgment!"

Despite how relaxed she is, far from the front steps of her business, Rei's still keeping her spiritual senses open for any signs of trouble-and it's with the simultaneous squawking of both her ravens and the challenge from the courtyard that the disguised Senshi of Fire gets out of the bathtub to dry off and prepare for a fight. "Such a peaceful-…never mind. Why must people attack such sacred territory? Mars Crystal Power, Make UP!"

Death waits for a few moments, then, upon not actually hearing a direct response, sends several sickles through the air that embed themselves in the walls of Mars's shrine. "Shrine maiden," Death calls again. "Do you accept the challenge, or shall we burn this sacred land to the ground first?"

It's right about that time that a small orb of fire comes flying from an unknown point near the main building, just before a silhouetted form appears next to one of the pillars. "I've heard from you on numerous occasions, but not in such a positive light. For daring to violate such sanctity, I will see to it that you're stopped here! You're fighting on my terms!"

Rei Hino hit Dracula Vlad Tepes with her Fire Soul! tag attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Death falters a bit as the orb smacks into his chest, and as he rights himself he slashes his scythe to the side. "Arrogance!" he hisses. "Such arrogance."

The reaper looks over his shoulder to Dracula and bows his head slightly. "…with all respect, my master, I ask for one contest. If you would allow me the chance to demonstrate my power to this…wretch." Dracula just waves a hand in response, floating back to sit in a throne that emerges from a shadow on the ground and chuckling to himself. "Permission granted, old friend. It seems you have more of a reason to slay this child than I do."

Death bows once more, then as he turns to Rei another sickle appears in the air and flies spinning toward her, shouting, "In the name of the Lord of Darkness, Lord Dracula, you are hereby sentenced to death!"

You suffer 9 points of damage.

Dracula Vlad Tepes does 9 damage to Rei Hino with a Direct hit.

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his Sickle Toss weak attack! <Standard Mechanic>

That first strike cuts through part of the bow on the front of Super Sailor Mars' uniform, tearing a small cut into the fabric and skin beneath it at the same time. "Sentenced to death, you say? I'm not afraid of dying to defend my home, if it's needed-I've stared death in the face before, and even know someone who embodies it!"

Despite that first injury, though, she sprints off towards the fire-reading room to retrieve an entire stack of ofuda from the altar inside before emerging again and chanting in rapid Japanese to charge the entire stack of scrolls. "Not going to happen, though-not with so many people counting on me! Akuryo Taisan!"

Rei Hino hit Dracula Vlad Tepes with her Akuryo Taisan! stun attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Just as Death is about to throw his scythe at Mars as she retreats, he is suddenly frozen in place. The god grunts in surprise, trying in vain to make a movement.

Dracula, meanwhile, laughs and puts a leg on his opposite knee. "Interesting. None have managed to outright freeze Death before. I can see why you would be troublesome, child."

With the brief respite the scroll earns her, Super Sailor Mars retreats inside again to retrieve her fully repaired armor and get into it, then step out onto the courtyard again. "I'm one of the most knowledgeable in matters of the spiritual among the Sailor Team, and that gives me a great advantage against shinigami such as yourself. That's not all I can do, though-as you've found out."

With one final hiss of the suit, she raises one arm to fire off a missile from the arm-mounted missile launcher.

Rei Hino does 3 damage to Dracula Vlad Tepes with a Graze hit.

Rei Hino hit Dracula Vlad Tepes with her Unorthodox, but SUPER EFFECTIVE?! moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

The missile knocks into Death's shoulder, giving him a heavy blow, but doesn't hit in a way to make it explode. In fact, it keeps going on to Dracula, who idly raises a hand and blows it away with a fireball. "Keep your wits about you, Death," he calls, resting his head on his fist and that elbow on the arm of his throne.

"I certainly intend to, Master," Death replies as the stun wears off, allowing him more freedom of movement. As his scythe is already in the air, all he does then is swing it at Mars, sending the weapon spinning through the air toward the Sailor.

You suffer 5 points of damage.

Dracula Vlad Tepes does 5 damage to Rei Hino with a Graze hit.

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his Boomerang Scythe strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Even inside the armor, Super Sailor Mars is still able to make the most of her pyrokinetic abilities, mostly by moving in close for a steady stream of intense fire from the gauntleted fingertips as an interception tactic for the sickle. "Trying to attack me with ranged tactics? I'm just as good at those as you are, if not better! Fire Soul II!"

Rei Hino does 4 damage to Dracula Vlad Tepes with a Graze hit.

Rei Hino hit Dracula Vlad Tepes with her Fire Soul II! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Death floats mostly out of the way of the stream of fire, though it does set part of his cape on fire. He extinguishes the flame with a brush of his skeletal hand, then grabs the scythe as it returns to him. "Cocksure youth, you will die slowly," he responds, then slashes his scythe down. From it emerges a huge, ghostly, fanged skull that flies open-mouthed toward Mars, attempting to smash into her.

You suffer 19 points of damage.

Dracula Vlad Tepes does 19 damage to Rei Hino with a Direct hit.

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his Ghostly Skull strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Even with the armor she's hidden inside, Super Sailor Mars is still susceptible to being hit by such dark energy, especially with spiritual sensitivity as strong as hers tends to be. The strike of the ethereal skull is enough to drive the suit onto one knee atop the courtyard for at least three minutes, though she gets back up and conjures eight razor-sharp rings of fire with one finger before hurling them out all at once. "Be that as it may, I'm not-ugh…-afraid of it. Do your worst, because I REFUSE to go down without fighting! Burning Mandala!"

Rei Hino missed Dracula Vlad Tepes with her Burning Mandala! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Death suddenly vanishes in a burst of energy and shadow, reappearing on the ground to Mars's left. As the rings miss him, he lifts his scythe into the air, and it greatly increases in size and becomes sheathed in dark energy. "Foolish child! Your fearlessness is not bravery, only /stupidity/!" With that, Death quickly slashes the weapon horizontally, his blade slicing through the front of the shrine even if it misses Mars.

You suffer 10 points of damage.

Dracula Vlad Tepes does 10 damage to Rei Hino with an Average hit.

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his Thunder! Thunder! ThunderDeath, HOOOOOOO! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

The sudden reappearance by her side catches Mars off-guard, and she ends up paying for it with the loss of her suit's left arm as it falls away to expose the unprotected arm inside. More than that, though, she turns in time to watch the scythe tear a large swath through the sitting room and kitchen-it's enough to push her into a much angrier state, and summon a larger-than-normal bow of fire at the same time her uniform changes to reflect a much greater power. "You just- No more GAMES! Mars Eternal Power, Make UP!"

Rei Hino does 17 damage to Dracula Vlad Tepes with an Obliterating hit.

Rei Hino hit Dracula Vlad Tepes with her Get AGGRO! Mars Flame… Sniper! strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

As Death recovers from the swipe of his scythe, he is left open for the blast to hit his chest. The god is sent reeling with a grunt of pain, and he clutches his chest with his free hand as he recovers. "I will feast on your soul this night, pathetic tripe," he shouts, then swings his free arm toward Mars. "Fallen ones! Subdue her!"

As he speaks, the floor under Mars fills with an ethereal gas, and several ghostly figures reach out of the portal and grab the Sailor by the legs and torso.

You have been stunned and cannot attack!

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his Phantom Hands stun attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Even with her semi-damaged suit to protect her from tangible attacks, Eternal Sailor Mars is unaware of the multitude of phantasm hands until they grab a hold of her legs, then her armor-covered torso once she's fallen onto the courtyard.

The result is that the faceplate smacks the stone hard enough to slide open and leave her face exposed-it's rare that fear is one of the emotions she shows in combat, but that's exactly what happens as a chill runs down her spine.

Death appears above Mars in another flash of shadow and energy, his arms crossed in front of him. "Your fate is sealed, child," he rasps. "Too late for regrets."

With that, he reaches out with one of his skeletal hands and clasps onto Mars's face. Immediately, he begins sapping the life force from Mars, gradually eating away at her life in a painful drain.

You suffer 23 points of damage.

Dracula Vlad Tepes does 23 damage to Rei Hino with a Direct hit.

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his Soul Sucker uber attack! <Standard Mechanic>

At the moment her face is grabbed through the open faceplate, Eternal Sailor Mars' arms are quickly locked around Death's wrist in an effort to get away, though there's also a sudden reversal in the state of her uniform as life is sucked out of her.

'I can't let him do this, but he's draining too much of my strength… Phobos, Deimos, Blazer… Help…!' With enough recognition of the mental distress call, both ravens and her small fox-like Pokemon rush in with talons or fangs bared as a diversionary tactic.

Rei Hino does 17 damage to Dracula Vlad Tepes with a Direct hit.

Rei Hino hit Dracula Vlad Tepes with her Did you forget about the pets? Double Peck, and a Fire Fang, too! uber attack! <Standard Mechanic>

"What…" Death looks up at the noise from the creatures as they rush toward him, then is instantly met with their attacks. He falls back under their blows, letting go of Mars as his spirits sink back into the ground.

"Insolent…beasts!" Death raises his arms to block the rain of attacks, summoning spinning sickles that fly around erratically in all directions. "How dare you challenge me!"

You suffer 14 points of damage.

Dracula Vlad Tepes does 14 damage to Rei Hino with a Direct hit.

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his GETITOFFME moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

As she's finally released, a considerably weaker Sailor Mars gives a grateful smile to each of her companions, just before the three of them get downed by the barrage of sickles. One tears a gash into her somewhat sunken right cheek, causing a bit of blood to run down to the top of her uniform's collar.

"They responded to my call for help, and knew to attack you without any commands on my part… My fellow Senshi would've done the same, if they knew…"

Though she may have lost a lot of energy to the drain-attack, the Soldier of Fire's still got a small reserve, and she taps into it for one final strike. "This is all I've got left, but it'll have to do… Ultimate Burning Shockwave!"

Rei Hino does 21 damage to Dracula Vlad Tepes with a Direct hit.

<DRAMATIC ATTACK> Rei Hino hit Dracula Vlad Tepes with her Mars Ultimate Burning Shockwave! epic attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Just as Death looks up again once the pets are taken care of, he is hit by the flaming wave of Mars's attack. He lifts his arms to block it, but is still hit by the blast, his robes catching fire and sending him flying back. Death stabilizes himself in the air again with a groan, sweeping his arms out with a gust of air that extinguishes the flames covering him.

Death breathes heavily for a moment, glaring at Mars where she stands. Then, suddenly, he sweeps open his cloak and sends several small, flaming skulls at Rei.

You suffer 19 points of damage.

Dracula Vlad Tepes does 19 damage to Rei Hino with a Direct hit.

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his Flaming Skulls strong attack! <Standard Mechanic>

By now, most of what was the courtyard of Hikawa's been turned into a crater, and the main building's taken enough damage for a partial collapse. Sailor Mars, along with each of her companions-plus the suit of armor-are strewn haphazardly along the crater left by her final attack, even as each flaming skull pushes her closer to unconsciousness. "What… a tough… fig-ugh-fighter you are…"

Death exhales briefly and floats to the ground, levitating slowly toward Mars with his arms hidden under his cloak. Once he reaches her, one of his arms emerges, holding the scythe. "I am the god who governs death. You could not expect to win." As he releases the weapon, it floats upright above Mars. "I will have a warm place in Hell for you."

And with that, the blade comes down on Mars to stab her through the heart and push her at last over the edge of death.

You suffer 10 points of damage.

Dracula Vlad Tepes does 10 damage to Rei Hino with an Above Average hit.

Dracula Vlad Tepes hit Rei Hino with his FINISH HER moderate attack! <Standard Mechanic>

Rei Hino has been knocked out!

"So this is finally it, huh…? I came pretty damn close…"

At the state she's in, Sailor Mars isn't really able to dodge the incoming blow-even if she could, the rim of the crater wouldn't help much, and that is indeed the final strike. 'Mako-chan… Minna… I-…'

Scene/end

The Cavern of Death <-----------

This cavern starts as a great bone yard. The skeletons of many deceased beasts and people can be found, forming bridges, ladders, and all manner of structures, and fossils are everywhere. They're the main reason people venture to this place; it's a jackpot for a paleontologist. Who knows how many rare creatures and people are waiting to be discovered, documented, and possibly revived?

Unfortunately though, many of the skeletons have a tendency to come to life and attack. Zombies, ghosts, and ghouls of all kinds roam this cavern, and sometimes the rusty equipment of slain heroes will suddenly rise up to defend their masters' resting spots. Some people make parties out of arming themselves and coming here to make the undead re-dead, but they do so at their own risk.

The cavern gets flatter and emptier as it gets deeper, until finally at the very center one finds… nothing. It's a place where nothing naturally exists. No light, no sound, no smells, no obstacles, just… nothing, like what many say death actually is.


<@-Comm Signals> Hollow and cold, Deathspeaker whispers, "You are not of us… Trespasser upon these burial grounds… Join us in death." A rattling sound like many bones clattering follows this.
<@-Comm Signals> Arrogant-sounding, Veris says, "The dead shall give up their secrets to the living! It is the purpose of the dead to bow to those who live on! It is -why you exist-. Death is but a -resource-."
<@-Comm Signals> Hollow and cold, Deathspeaker whispers, "Arrogance… To obtain the secrets of the dead, you must join us in death. You would rob this Cavern of Death in life. But as one of the deceased…"
<@-Comm Signals> Arrogant-sounding, Veris laughs haughtily and then says, "Life is my domain, spirit! I am a Life-Sewer, and I will restore you -all- to your true forms!"
<@-Comm Signals> Hollow and cold, Deathspeaker whispers out, "…In death, -all- shall serve the -same master-."
<@-Comm Signals> The transmission statics out, but it is easily identified as emanating from 'The Cavern of Death'.

<Union-IC> Renae Brooke says, "Life-sewers… I remember those being explained."
<Union-IC> George says, "Miss Hel explained about them."
<Union-IC> Renae Brooke says, "Yes, so I remember."
<Union-IC> Renae Brooke says, "… please be careful, George!"
<Union-IC> Kevin Graham says, "…are ya comin' along, George?"
<Union-IC> Renae Brooke sounds a little relieved. "Oh, he's not?"
<Union-IC> Kevin Graham says, "I dunno."
<Union-IC> George says, "I… admit I would like more information about this life-sewer.."
<Union-IC> Kevin Graham says, "If ya do come, please be careful. This is likely t' be a very dangerous situation."
<Union-IC> George says, "I'm not /completely/ helpless, you know."
<Union-IC> Kevin Graham is still calm as he says, "I'm not sayin' ya aren't. Th' trainin' ya've had is likely t' 'ave been very different from mine. I only say this 'cuz o' that."
<Union-IC> Eleanor Lamb says, "Mr. George will do just fine. I have faith."
<Union-IC> George says, "…. Thank you, Miss Lamb. That's very kind of you."
<Union-IC> Kevin Graham is quiet, until he says, "….very well. If ya come, please be extremely careful."
<Union-IC> George says, "I'm always careful."

The Cavern of Death is, generally, not very appealing to the living. About the only life one is likely to find is in the form of fungi, mosses and lichens, and various scavengers that are attracted to the scent of rotting flesh. This is only on the outer portions of the cave, however. As one moves further inwards, plants of all kinds become fewer and fewer, and also less and less healthy. It is almost as though the soil, though it should be rich in nutrients due to decomposition, is less life-giving the deeper one goes… It is almost as though it begins to -take- life instead of -fuelling- it.

Vultures hover about the edges of the cave, especially outside of it, but they are long gone by the time the writhing masses of maggots the size of small -hills- become prevalent, and by the time even insects are no longer crunching underfoot or flying in faces, the area has become very quiet, very dark, and even lacking in the formerly omnipresent stench of death. Even the microbes that break down dead tissue, causing that all-too-recognizable smell, are absent. Life is not welcome here.

However the responders arrive, whether it be outside of the cavern or within, some amount of walking (or flying, for those so inclined) is likely to be necessary before reaching the site of the trouble. The cavern -is- large enough for a full-grown dragon to spreads his or her wings to their fullest extent and event fly around with room to spare. There is more space the deeper one goes, with the ceiling remaining fairly level throughout but the floor dropping away more and more… The instinctive fear of falling that many species possess is likely to be at least -somewhat- present if one looks down some of the steeper slopes and sees just how long of a fall one would have…

Worse, however, is the fact that the bottom can not truly be seen. There are 'ledges' made up of one thing or another… Dust and dirt, bones, corpses… There is even a series of platforms upon which this all rests that can be used as an easy way of identifying the general depth one is at — different 'levels' essentially. Each 'platform' is a vertebrae on the spinal column of some titanic creature that extends down into the Deep Dark.

Looking down into that darkness, so many miles below that even the magical flames on various scattered torches fail to illuminate it, one could easily imagine falling forever and never hitting anything at all.

The sounds of battle are distant, and the sensation of magic crackling through the air is faint, but they are a way to navigate to where Life-Sewer Veris is trying to steal the restless dead for his own purposes. It is also where those same undead are fighting back and attempting to claim Veris for their own.

<Union-IC> Renae Brooke says, "Father Kevin… will you need help?"
<Union-IC> Renae Brooke says, "It sounds like it."
<Union-IC> Kevin Graham says, "If ya deem it necessary, it won't be unwelcome."
<Union-IC> George says, "You can never have too many allies when dealing with these forces."

The undead or the living, it does not matter to Beelzebumon, so long as they can satisfy his desire for conflict and give him that blessed high he strives for.
Drawn here by the mysterious signal, the Demon Lord of Gluttony and his daemonicly possessed motorcycle rumbles deeper into the cavern, drawn to the distant sounds of battle. The leather-clad Digimon does not even give a parting glance to the maggots as he passes, simply crushing them beneath Behemoth's treads in passing. His eyes are only focused on what's ahead of him… and in anticipation of the coming battle, he grins.

A rotting cavern full of the touch of death, with added undead and hostile forces? Definitely not a place for novice priests. Which is probably why instead of boldly going where no living thing should be, he's sneaking. This was an opportunity; Hel had spoken about these life-sewers and he was curious to see what they did in action. By the horrors described, this meant he didn't intend to stop his allies from doing whatever they felt was necessary, but learning was learning, and besides, he knew what to do about undead.

As a hellish motorcycle and its infernal rider go past, George squinches into the mold and lichens and nastiness to simply get out of the way. Front line battle isn't what he was good at, and he knew it. Especially with Sanctuary left behind, unwilling to risk the spear being broken and leaving him permanently bereft of its aid. So: Sneaking.

But as the demon-digi seems to know where it (he?) was going, and was leaving a /trail/, better yet, through the nasty, the young priest is content to follow the trail left behind. Fighting? Him? No way, he heals people and hides in the back.

When coming to a place like this, sometimes making an entry from another spot instead of just showing up can be useful. Just ask Reina Kinney, who appears in a beam of light. She adjusts her ponytail briefly before looking around, surveying the general area. "Definitely not friendly territory," She mutters to herself, snapping her fingers and bringing her pistols forth, one in each hand. "I ain't about to go in unprepared, so whatever's in there better look out!"

The arrival to the Cavern of Death causes for the white clothed priest to fall still. He takes a slow, hissing breath. Kevin narrows his eyes slightly, before he steels himself to step on in. He does not appear dressed as one would expect from a priest. He is dressed in white fabric with red trim- easily designed for moving quickly and running. He's dressed more for combat than a typical man of the cloth. And even hanging from his belt is the small, one handed crossbow.
He closes his eyes, taking the time to mentally adjust himself, before he steps on into the cavern with a mumbled prayer. The echoed sounds of battle don't seem to bother him- not with the knowledge of what will be ahead of him. Once he has the opportunity to do so, though, he starts in a slight run, keeping his hand to the pendant, and hurrying his way to follow the sound. With the others traveling along, Kevin's willing to be in the front line- a defender in the front simply means he can be better prepared with shielding the rest.

Xarvonix honestly feels right at home here, not to mention would fit in rather nicely… but sightseeing for a new summer vacation home was hardly the purpose of the dracolich's presence. Fortunately despi