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Always, somewhere, someone is fighting for you.
As long as you remember her, you are not alone.
The world experienced a moment of breathtaking silence. It came to the girls in the alleyway, the wreckage of two souls between them; it came to the girls staring, surprised, at the being sitting on the windowsill of their classroom. It came to the girls fighting for their lives – the shining stars of light in the darkness, and the twisted, pitiful embers of those stars writhing in their self-inflicted hells. It came to the dying girls, the girls on the verge of breaking, and soothed their hearts and souls. Like a gentle caress, the warm embrace of a mother, the kiss of an early summer breeze…
If you told me it was wrong to harbor hope, I would say that that is wrong.
I would say it as many times as I had to.
The thick dark clouds overhead, Kyoen City’s constant oppressors for several weeks, blew apart all at once in a massive blast of force from the west. As the final shreds flew away over the horizon, the brilliant blue sky overhead became visible. People looking to the west glimpsed the remnants of a shining spear of light that had pierced the sky from below, and in the streets, murmurs of conversation began to rise up as people stopped and wondered at it.
Silence fell again as the voice swept across the world – a young girl, trembling with fear and determination, spoke, defying fate itself. Her voice resounded through the sky, and those who heard her felt their worries lessen. Salarymen on their way home from work sat a little straighter on the train; children tossing and turning in their sleep smiled.
I won’t let your wishes end in despair.
Her voice was not a physical sensation, but a thought. The universe hummed with it.
None of you will haunt anyone, or curse anyone. I’ll take your fates onto myself.
In a filthy alley in Imaizumi Ward's shipping district, Sasaki Akira held Murasaki Shizuka tightly, the crushed remnants of Shizuka's Soul Gem pressed between them. “I’m so sorry,” Akira murmured, kissing the top of Shizuka’s head. “I’m here now… you don’t have to be afraid anymore…” Shizuka, speechless, clutched at her in response.
Akira looked up at the girl floating nearby – Kaname Madoka. The name entered her mind as she opened her mouth, and immediately, she understood the wish she had made. Tears blurred her vision, and she held Shizuka tighter. “Thank you,” she murmured. “Thank you, Madoka. For everything...”
The girl smiled – a pure, innocent smile – and laid her hands on the girls’ heads. “You two are cute together,” she said. Then she closed her eyes. The light radiating from her body intensified, and...
The sun set on Kyoen City, putting an end to yet another day. None of the pedestrians walking home that night noticed a slight gloom in the air as the horizon darkened and the streetlights flickered on. If they had, they would have written it off as a trick of the fading light. Even those who could not see it, however, felt a slight uneasiness as the mist wove its way between people and into their eyes, ears and clothes. They rubbed their arms and huddled down, eager to get home and escape the unseasonable summer chill.
On a rooftop far above the city center, a small white creature sat and surveyed the pedestrians far below. To his reflective red eyes, some of them glowed brightly against the darkness, which was as visible to him as the clouds overhead would be to anyone else. “The miasma is thick tonight,” he commented to no one in particular. “I suppose we’d better get started...”
Vera rustled anxiously and fretted. Social groups! Does Mom want me to add social groups to me already busy plate! she thought angrily. She wandered around the streets as she always did at this hour hoping to gain sight of the demons that plagued Kaikin. Like anyone wants to talk to the fat foreigner girl anyway.
She stood with a green top and blue capris with blue and red strings left ever untied. She ran her fingers through her golden hair, touching her Soul Gem, a dimly going violet lightbulb. She pushed her glasses to her eyes scanning for demons, and hoping that her magic would last her through the fight.
I don't want to dissapear. she thought. I can't allow myself to be distracted by people. Especially people who don't understand the burden of a Magical Girl.
"Hey Asuka! How about we catch a movie together?"
The pink-haired girl in question smiled, turning to regard the suggestion. "Ah. I'd love to Kei-san... But I have something else I have to take care of. Maybe next time?" As soon as the words left her mouth she could see the dejected expression on the tall male's face. Another girl with green hair groaned and rolled her eyes, elbowing him in the side.
"She's always busy with something!" Came the exasperated voice of Yomiko. "I'm starting to think she has another set of friends who are too cool for us to mingle with."
"Oh will you stop?" A male voice interjected, and soon the last member of their clique, Daichi, revealed himself. "She's not cheating on us or anything. Let her be." He threw a wink over at Asuka, which made her smile widen. "She always makes it up to us in the end."
"Thank you Daichi." She bowed politely before then throwing the three of them a wave. "See you all at the party..." And with that she walked off, aware of the looks her retreating back she was getting. It couldn't be helped, though, so she soldiered on.
It was a pretty normal night by all accounts. And that meant the Demons were definitely going to be out on the prowl. As she walked past the various groups of oblivious stragglers she had to reflect on how unaware they were of the danger they were in. Her mind briefly flashed back to Kei and the others. They could just as easily get caught up in the miasma on a night like this. To have something happen to them would be...
'Looks like tonight is going to be interesting, Kyuubey.' She mentally spoke to the tiny white creature whom she absolutely knew was close by. 'This miasma is particularly stifling.'
Who is that? Vera called telepahtically hearing the voice. I'd rather go solo tonight, you know. Vera thought. Just function better that way.
This wasn't exactly a holiday, Ciel thought to herself as she put on her jacket and holstered her camera, holidays were meant for people unwind away from more stressful work. Yet here I am, she thought as she shut her hotel room door and triggered the electronic lock, going about my Magical Girl business as though I was still at home in Singapore, instead of enjoying myself completely here in Japan. Oh well, her mana consumption wasn't exactly going to stop unless she meditated and put her soul into hibernation.
At least I got to shop in Akiba already, she thought with a smile as she took the stairs to avoid unnecessary attention, getting that new keyboard and that new portable MP3 player was worth a few extra hours hunting demons for their remnants.
So far, Ciel had yet to encounter any local Magical Girls during her "evening runs", but the way her Gem kept pinging for the location of her peers in addition to further Demon-trace beyond her comfort-zone within a reasonable distance of her hotel suggested that meeting her local counterparts was only a matter of time. That last telepathic message from another Magical Girl to Kyubey pretty much confirmed it; it had been transmitted somewhere out there near the hotel.
My Japanese isn't the best, so I hope I can avoid making too much of a fool of myself even if I flub my lines talking to those other girls, she mused wryly as she used the side exit to leave the hotel discreetly.
edited 20th Oct '11 5:26:28 PM by AceOfScarabs
The possibility of another magical girl picking up on her telepathic transmission to Kyuubey never bothered Asuka. She had nothing to hide, really. Her communication with the magical girl overseer was always straightforward — perhaps even a little playful at times. Though humor was mostly lost on him, it never stopped her from trying to break his "shell".
A slight giggle rang out across the mind-link, resonating within the heads of those who were listening in. 'I'm afraid that won't exactly be a possibility.' She spoke out, voice filled with amusement. 'There's likely more than enough Demons to go around for everyone to get a shot. You're not the only one in need of replenishment. Sharing is only fair. '
There was no way Asuka was going to concede to someone else in this matter. Rounding a corner she continued onward, getting deeper and deeper within the brewing miasma. She could feel it pressing in around her, causing the ring which housed her soul gem in miniaturized form to vibrate and pulse greatly.
'Now then. I assume we've come to a fair agreement? Anyone else listening out there, perhaps?' She reached out mentally, trying to brush against the minds of any other magical girl in the vicinity.
"It's not that." She said. "I'm just bad with people." She looked around for another magical girl pressing the earring. She noted that the Japanese Magical girls tended to wear rings so she tried to find a girl wearing a ring before giving up in frustration.
"You win." she said. "''I just hope there's not a crowd.'"' She said walking toward the miasma.
edited 20th Oct '11 5:53:07 PM by RhymeBeat
"That's right, Asuka," Kyubey replied, peeking around the edge of a streetlight near her. "It hasn't been this bad in a while - and in this city, that's saying something!" He trotted a bit faster to catch up, then trailed along behind Asuka's left heel, looking back and forth across the street as they walked. "Do you have any crystals to dispose of? How about you, Vera?"
"Hello again, Ciel," Kyubey said as Ciel stepped out the door. He fell into step with her along the top of a retaining wall, then jumped to her shoulder as she mounted the ramp to street level. "You're so diligent! I wish I had more Magical Girls like you."
edited 20th Oct '11 5:50:23 PM by RedSavant
Post blanked due to nothing to respond to now.
edited 20th Oct '11 5:52:36 PM by RhymeBeat
Rhyme, please use quotes and italics for transmitted telepathic messages, and just italics for thoughts. Makes it easier to tell what's going on if we have a set format. =) Also, Vera likely wouldn't be able to hear Kyubey's message to Ciel - he has much better control over psychic communication than any of the girls, and he's just speaking to Ciel.
Back in a while!
edited 20th Oct '11 5:51:36 PM by RedSavant
I do have to keep my soul burning, Kyubey, Ciel said through telepathy, It's not like I could pack a stack of Demon-remnants through customs without awkward questions. And no, Vera, you don't need to be lonely if you're willing to work together.
So, she was going to finally encounter them tonight, she thought privately, Good thing she didn't have any plans for the night beyond fighting some Demons and keeping an eye out for unusual situations. Checking her gem as it glowed on her necklace, she was satisfied to see that her ultra-low power consumption over the last few days meant that even giving the night's share would mean nothing to her with the modest stockpile she had farmed over the last few evenings squirreled away in her field camp hotel room.
As she nimbly weaved through the throng of ordinary people on the streets, she kept her telepathic "chat channel" open in case of any more chatter.
edited 20th Oct '11 6:02:59 PM by AceOfScarabs
'I see.' Asuka mused, wondering now about this lone magical girl. This line of work usually tended to keep one separated from others. She herself was not against working with other girls. It always helped make things a bit easier when you had the same common enemy as another.
'There you are' She turned to look down at Kyubey, resting her hands on her hips. 'No crystals on me. For now, anyway. I gave you everything I had last time. You don't think I'm holding out on you...' The pink-haired girl grinned at her sometimes-companion as they crossed the street. 'Why Kyubey. Don't you trust me?'
'And hello there, newcomer.' She turned her attention to Ciel, whom she prodded through the connection. 'I don't believe we've met...'
Vera decided to arrive on the scene. "Hel—- she" said in English before switching back to Japanese. "Hello." she said. "I'm Vera Carol. And I just want to make sure this place is safe." she said.
—-Earlier that day—-
On the windswept runways of Yamanaka Airport, Alicia Maxwell stretched her stiff body, taking a deep breath of warm summer air. Not too far behind her was the Boeing 747 she had just scrambled out of; it had only recently landed, and people were still streaming out from the plane.
"Geez, sitting in one place for hours in a cramped cabin's tiring as hell. I'd be dead of boredom if it weren't for these books," Alicia grumbled, tugging on the book-containing knapsack slung over her shoulder for emphasis. "How do you even do it, Dad? All you had to read were those documents of yours, and you were done with them way before we landed."
"Patience is a virtue you obtain very easily as a businessman," answered William Maxwell, looking at his daughter with a smile. "But you'll have to suffer through one more cramped cabin today; you can rest in the hotel room later. Hurry up now, we need to catch a cab," he added, walking off to the airport building.
"Okay~." Alicia skipped over to William, clinging to his arm. "You sure we aren't gonna do some sightseeing in Yamanaka first, though? I hear there're some pretty cool things here."
"That's for our last couple of days here, alright? Don't worry, I have everything planned out."
Alicia paused and turned around. "What was that...?"
"What's up, Alice?"
"No, nothing. I thought I saw a weird rabbit-like thing just now... probably just my imagination, though."
William chuckled. "Well, as long as you don't follow it down the rabbit hole, you should be fine. Come on now."
edited 8th Nov '11 12:40:32 AM by Midreus
Ciel felt the new voice enter her thoughts. I'm Ciel, she replied, and I was supposed to be on holiday here. I guess our work as Demon-hunting magical girls never really ends.
I was replying to Asuka's telepath.
edited 20th Oct '11 7:12:25 PM by AceOfScarabs
"True." she said. "Just like superheroes in that sense. Your name sounds foreign." she said.
Machi Nazuna was reasonably content. Having botched a total of fifteen attempts of flagging down a taxi (her maid outfit may have had something to do with that), the last option left to her was to somehow decipher the Japanese subway system maps. Following several cups of coffee, she managed to trace her route on the map to the Kaikin Ward, the newest demon hotspot in the city. After breaking the fingers of a would-be-molester, she hopped into the streets of Kaikin. Overall a successful trip
The ward was already riddled with telepathic text messaging, completely open to interception from random passerbys, such as herself. Staying unnoticed at the edges of the sidewalks, Nazuna headed towards the Miasma.
edited 20th Oct '11 7:14:06 PM by neobowman
Funny, isn't it?
You spend your whole life aiming for the spotlight, and yet here you are, dying alone, your song unsung.
Melody... No, Ryoko... No point pretending anymore... There's no-one to pretend to, after all.
If you could do it all again... Would you-
Ugh, no! So cliche! I can't let my last thoughts be so... So...
And so Ryoko lay there, her life slowly fading away like the light of her Soul Gem. So this was it. Everything she'd done, everything was all leading up to this moment, alone, unforgotten, unremembered...
Her eyes felt heavy as the blood oozed out from underneath her. That witch... It hadn't seemed so strong. How did this happen? How could something like that...
...No. No regrets. Even if her life was always leading to this moment, she couldn't have regrets. She'd done the best she could, and after all, wasn't that enough? Even if she wasn't remembered... Even...
Death greets me warm, now I will just... Say... G-o-o-d-b-y-e...
Fade to black.
... ... ...
"I want to erase every Witch before they are born. Every Witch from every world, from the past and the future. With my own hands."
Another... Another chance? One more go before the great gig in the sky calls me home?
Rewind. Replay. Encore.
Band practice had gone a lot better this week. And it was all thanks to that... Cat... Thing... Okay, so she wasn't entirely sure what the little furry thing was, but thanks to him she'd finally done it.
Thanks to this "Cubey" or whatever, she'd finally become the world's greatest guitarist.
Sure, he'd mentioned something about demons and magic (sounded pretty metal, hah!), but Melody had casually brushed that aside. That was unimportant right now. What was important was that she was finally going to be in the spotlight, right where she deserved to b-
"...Gah, where's that noise coming from?"
Melody gave her temple a whack. She kept hearing something, something that sounded almost like someone talking, but... There was no-one there. And it wasn't like she was in a dark, cramped alley where someone could be hiding (hey, she had at least some common sense, after all), so...
"Gah, will you shut up already? I can't hear myself think!"
'Ah. I'm Asuka. And sorry Ciel, about your holiday being filled with Demon Hunting. I hope you at least got to take in some of the city's most promising sights? '
Reaching the thickest point of the miasma Asuka finally stopped, locking eyes with the younger girl who was already present. "And you must be Vera. Nice to meet you." She half-bowed, then straightened up with a sigh. "How long have you been contracted with Kyubey, if you don't mind me asking?"
The sudden intrusion of yet another magical girl into the mental link caught Asuka a little off guard. 'Our apologies. But this line is sort of permanently open between us magical girls. And who might you be?' She sent "feelers" in the exasperated girl's direction, curious about her identity.
edited 20th Oct '11 7:34:57 PM by maxyrama
"Two years." she said. "It's not an easy job..." she said.
Vera's quip over telepathy surprised Ciel, as she wasn't expecting there to be another like herself out and about.
Ah, another one of us? She asked, slipping unnoticed into an alley, You've here for a bit too, huh?
Without missing a beat, Ciel deftly skipped onto a dumpster and sprung forward, breaking into a sprint as she ran up the side of the alley and leapt on top of a shopping centre.
I've been spending a few days here in Kaikin, and oddly enough, I haven't any others like us until just now, she thought out "loud", or have I just been keeping a really low profile? By the way, I'm here from Singapore.
She smiled at Asuka's concern. No harm done to my holiday, she replied, I even got to see the life-size Gundam statue so having to go hunting in the evenings isn't so bad.
edited 20th Oct '11 7:48:01 PM by AceOfScarabs
"Magical girls?" Melody's face scrunched up in confusion. "Don't tell me you're with that Cube-cat thing, are you? I thought he was kidding with that crack about magical girls and demons!"
...Always a catch. She rubbed her temple and sighed. Looks like this wasn't the free lunch she'd thought it would be.
"...I'm Melody. Melody Harmonia, and how the hell are you in my head? You can't read my mind, right? Those songs are mine, missy! Write your own!"
"I'm an immigrant." she said. "From America. " she said. "I just don't want to be a burden."
She stared at the new arrival.
" I have no interest in your songs " she said. "Not a pirate and I know how important imagination is to everyone."
edited 20th Oct '11 7:45:54 PM by RhymeBeat
Alicia frowned at the maths textbook in her hands. It wasn't because she couldn't understand its contents (although she did still mix her algebra up at times), or because the couch she was lying on was uncomfortable (far from it, in fact; they had rented a room in what was possibly the best hotel Kaikin had to offer, and so far the facilities lived up to its reputation), but-
That white rabbit... it was staring at me, wasn't it?
She wasn't entirely sure herself, since by the time she turned around it was gone, but there was something about it that piqued her curiosity. Something... magical.
As long as I don't follow it down the rabbit hole, huh...?
Pushing the thought away, Alicia resumed staring at the maths textbook. She had promised her father that she'd finish this chapter before she went out to explore the city, after all; but in the end no new knowledge was streaming into her head, and within a few minutes she had given up and tossed the book onto the coffee table.
But I think the world inside the rabbit hole would be nice to explore, too.
In a moment, she had snatched up her cellphone and purse, threw her coat over herself, and left the room.
Sorry, Dad. I'll finish up with the textbook when I get back, I promise. You can call me if you need me, anyways.
Little did she know that the path she took after leaving the hotel would lead her straight into a nearby cloud of Miasma.
edited 20th Oct '11 11:00:37 PM by Midreus
'You mean Kyubey? Yes, we are with him. Sometimes. It can be complicated. He sort of has a habit of popping in and out wherever he wants. Isn't that right?' She turned to look at the white mascot, winking. 'Don't worry. None of us can read your mind, as far as I know, as long as you don't "voice" your thoughts too loudly at someone anyway. Kyubey provides a link that lets us keep in touch with one another.'
Asuka nodded her head slightly at Vera. 'I hope you and Ciel are enjoying Japan fairly well. I've never met any foreign magical girls, though I suppose we're all the same in certain respects.'
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