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Some places are believed to be a nexus, a site where magical energies coalesce and spread out across the land. While blessed with such arcane force, they are also considered to be cursed, for they often draw in beings both good and evil: Patrons seeking power, resources, peace, or even simple amusement for themselves. And yet, so many have turned their sights to Penrose of all places. Is it a true nexus, where Horrors can truly manifest, and Gods can enact their divine will? Where Lesser Forces ride on wings of destiny, and Puchuu seek great promise and potential in hearts yet to shine? Or is it by mere chance of fate that so many Mahou have come together to stake their claim on the ravaged earth? Not even the most accomplished seer could tell what would lie in Penrose’s cloudy future.

A new year passed a week ago on the city, promising new change. For one, the mundane population has fully recovered and new construction sites have popped up among other relief efforts. This has been thanks to Covington Industries, a company that has risen to become the most popular and most employed in the city. If you were to ask the average citizen on the street who the Penrose Pick of the Month would be, 90% would answer Thane Covington, the CEO of Covington Industries. Despite his mysterious illness, the CEO has continued appearing in press conferences and public events through remote streaming, and has become a symbol of Penrose’s endurance and will to survive past any disaster.

“In today’s news, Thane Covington of Covington Industries has announced a purchase of the Penrose Orphanage-”

The TV was clicked off, and Lily yawned while tucked in a blanket burrito on the couch.
”Yep, old Thaney’s doing good work," she spoke to Alex as she grabbed chips from a bag and took out her smartphone.
”Magical girls can solve monster problems, but repairing the damage they can cause is a bit harder~"

She scrolled through Glimmr, the social media app, made by magical girls for magical girls, and looked through the Penrose tag.
”Hmm, Alicia liked the last meme I posted," she mumbled with a smile, and then stopped.
”Wait, what? Speaking of!"
She stood up, knocking over the bag of chips, and showed it to Alex.

”Monsters! And a lot of them, by the looks of it. This post mentions a pack running fast through Central. You know what this means, right Alex?" She asked with a determined smile. Then, she lifted her hand up to the ceiling, and called out her incantation:

"Let my spirit gallop across the field of clouds, and strike my foes down with thunderous applause!"

Crackling, electric energy surrounded her, followed by the clicking sound of a clock, until it hit twelve clicks, at which point the glow suffused, and Lily Lightning had taken the girl’s place.



”It’s time to frizzle some fiends!”



Meanwhile, at Beacon headquarters monitoring room, Alicia was making her routine patrol report writeup. Penny was about to head out of the room when Rachel stopped her. “Hey, Penny…There’s something Isthar wants to discuss with both you and Alicia. We need to hold a-”

That was when Elora spoke up: “Beacon patrol requesting backup! Multiple B-grade monsters sighted!”

Rachel turned to the cybermancer. “Location?”

Elora began typing fast, and soon dots began appearing on the map displayed on the wide screen before her.

“I’m detecting…six sites of activity, maybe four soon due to monster pack merging. Beacon patrol was detected at the industrial sector, but there’s only two signatures. There’s the train station with a low number of signatures, the hospital with a large number, probably civilians under assault…” Lines of code whisked by as Elora continued typing.
“Monsters identified: wendigos. Other sites include the Central Street, medium number but moving extremely fast. Requires personnel with high mobility. Then there’s the site at the Penrose Bank, small to medium number, and at the business district. Magical signature number…unknown at the moment.”

Rachel turned to Penny and Alicia. “Will you be heading out?” She asked.



Justine wandered the dark halls of her castle, wearing her white and black dress with her leathery bat wings folded on her back. Her pronounced canines glinted in the candlelight that always lighted up one step ahead of her, only to be snuffed out a step behind, as if leading her along a set path through the maze. Despite having lived in this grand place for untold centuries, Justine felt like she could become lost at any misstep, devoured by darkness that pooled around her. Soon, she saw footprints, made in blood, and chased after them; she recognized to whom they belonged. She rounded a corner, and…She saw someone facing away from her, staring at a bloody message on the back wall of the cold, dungeon-like room. She turned, and Justine saw her sister, smiling in a deranged fashion, her lips and hands stained. The message on the wall boiled as Justine read it:

SWEET RED

Then, before she realized it, Caroline screeched, her mouth widened far more than was humanly possible, filled with needle-like teeth, and lunged for her. Justine struggled, but her fangs were going for her neck-!

Justine woke up startled from her bed in Maura's abode, and breathed heavily as she came to terms with what she thought she saw, only to realize it was a nightmare. Of course, Justine no longer had her bat-like wings or old dress, her purified form having lost such relics of her monstrous past. Nor had she been in her castle ever since it’s destruction.
After her duel with Tenebra, Justine had occasionally woken up in the middle of the night from restless dreams.
”But why…” She mumbled as she took a hand towel from the nightstand, wiped her brow, and then hugged her knees.
”I keep seeing her in my dreams…Caroline…”
Hidden 14 days ago Post by Ariamis
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Ariamis MonMon

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[Reserved]
Hidden 4 days ago 4 days ago Post by Card Captor
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Card Captor The passing through Kamen Rider

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In hindsight, it was actually kind of amazing that things had been so calm for this long.

After all the hostility and tension that built up when the magical natives of Penrose returned from their vacation after a few days to find out that months had passed, and their home had become magical Detroit, it sometimes felt like a struggle to put the pieces back together, especially when the new kid in town were crazy zealots who tried to cause trouble for some of the locals they didn't like. The magical civil war (more of a civil battle to be honest) couldn't have helped.

Then things cooled down with a Christmas party...somehow. Only to get un-cooled down by the zealots. They should be on the brink of another magical civil war...

'And yet a week later, and all we got is a pack of monsters running around. A bigger than normal one, but still just a pack. As grateful as I am, something about this doesn't feel right.' Alexander thought to himself from his place behind Lily on her motorcycle as they sped through the city streets, the boy now numb to her insane driving "Hey Lily, doesn't this feel off to you? It's been a week since the tournament, and things have been quite till this random pack of monsters. That tournament didn't really have a happy ending, and I was expecting it to make the political tension in Penrose even worse. But this...just feels tame. Like the days before the Vacation, and I can't figure out why. It's kind of got me on edge. Hell, I've had time to take a collage course on magical cooking for fucks sake. Something about this just doesn't add up"
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Bright_Ops The Insane Scholar

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Coco


The sound of rain on the glass of the covered windows was a familiar, comforting one. If she kept the curtains firmly closed, she could even pretend that it actually was rain that was touching the glass.

Shortly after her Patron had granted her this apartment Coco occasionally had looked out the windows, trying to come to some understanding of the alien landscape that existed outside of the glass. Sometimes she still did when she felt an artistic urge seize her before she tried to capture a view that so few humans might have ever had the chance to see. But not when it rained. Never when it rained. That was the time when she closed the curtains and focused her attention elsewhere. Because that noise wasn't rain and what it was proved unsettling to witness.

So she enjoyed the comfort of her easy chair, a bowl with two packets of chicken flavored noodles steaming next to her as she continued to read through the collective works of Lovecraft while Rupert napped on his own comfy chair. Part of her choice of reading material was due to a desire to read some of the classics that had formed the corner stone of human literature; She had made it about halfway through the Count of Monte Cristo before the writing style had caused her to put it down and never pick it up again, but while Lovecraft's own writings were clearly old fashioned, she found it helped capture the themes the writer was striving for.

It was also educational. Oh a lot of it was simply the paranoia of a rather close minded man in an era where his certainties were being eroded and overturned at every corner and it was doubtful any of the 'gods' or alien races he had written about actually existed, but despite its flaws it did give one a fairly solid idea of what to expect when encountering the servants of a Horror.

Still, it was nice to have a little down time to herself. Greed would normally have been keeping her busy, but right now he wanted her laying low for a while. The political situation in Penrose was delicate with the balance the power currently in flex... and he wanted to make sure he knew just how to deploy her to make sure that the change was to their favor.
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A Tale From The Timeskip







It was several days after the Christmas Party when the call Violet had been dreading finally came. Al's familiar voice greeted her on the phone.

"Greetings, Miss Covington. Would you be available for a meeting, same time and place? There have been some new developments you might be interested about."

“Mister Scarpe, a pleasure as always,” Violet replied, her calm and polite demeanor betraying no hint of the fury she felt towards Scarpe and the Mint as a whole. They were the ones who had attacked Penny’s Sanctuary, after all, but Violet Covington wouldn’t know anything about such matters, and so her carefully constructed facade needed to be maintained. “I shall indeed be available this evening. What developments did you wish to discuss?”

"It is related to the assignment you have graciously offered to us," Al answered. "I would prefer explaining in person, if you don't mind."

“Very well,” Violet replied. “Then I shall see you tonight.”

With the call concluded, Violet was left to ruminate upon exactly what the Mint would utilize her company’s resources to accomplish. Despite her fervent hopes to the contrary, she feared that whatever it was, it wouldn’t be anything good...




That evening…

Al had appeared in Violet’s office as subtly as ever, and politely tipped his hat to her.
“Good evening, Miss Covington. I would like to start with the report on the investigation we have made on the magical curse put on your father.” He held out a file in his hand, and let it float to Violet’s desk, opening up and spreading the case files of two people, pictures included.
“We have identified two culprits for the incident. The first one is Amanda Valentine, a member of the Crimson Cradle. It is a magical terrorist organization that is currently operating in Penrose, and have been responsible for past attacks on people of wealth and influence,” he stated in a calm manner.
“However, while Amanda specializes in the manipulation of dreams, her arcane skills don’t quite match up to the profile of the nightmare curse that mister Covington is suffering from. That is the reason an accomplice is involved in this crime: Connie Williams. A freelancer, Williams has been identified as capable of casting nightmare-inducing spells. Valentine had employed Williams, and together they created a curse that has persisted despite our efforts to remove it.”

It took all of Violet’s willpower to maintain her impassive demeanor upon seeing the pictures Al presented her with. Thankfully, she had undertaken years of training since childhood to do just that, and so the heiress simply stated a curt, “I see,” as she committed the files’ details to memory. After doing so, her gaze returned to the Mint representative. “Have you discerned any motive?” she inquired. “Or perhaps the identity of some third party who hired them to commit this heinous act?” she added, having a strong suspicion of where this might be headed.

“It is currently under investigation, but a lead has been discovered that leads back to Silverburg,” Al answered. “Based on that lead, we have reasons to believe that a rival corporation has employed Crimson Cradle, and in turn Valentine and Williams, to sabotage Covington Industries by means of incapacitating your father.”
He lit a cigar. “They wanted to be discreet, so they didn’t hire an assassin. They wanted the company’s stocks to remain unchanged by creating a bizarre situation that has no explanation in the mundane world, and thus ensure it is ripe for the picking for a possible takeover. Which leads me to a new business proposition.”
Al now handed out a new paper of a business plan, the details of which were included within.
“It is only a matter of time before the Cradle may strike again or otherwise compromise the integrity of your business, using means the regular police can’t track. In short, I would like to offer your facilities magical security and surveillance. We are fully equipped to handle any attempts at corporate espionage that may come from magical sources, and can do so discreetly, without letting anyone else in the company know of our presence. We also have plans on creating automated defenses capable of defending against arcane attacks. Of course, all of this is to be offered for a reasonable fee to be agreed on.“

Violet had to fight off the desire to roll her eyes. This was certainly proceeding by the numbers. Of course he would insinuate that DDS was ultimately responsible. Playing into established animosities was an old trick, and one that would have worked flawlessly with her father. But not her. And especially not now… The new contract for additional security was concerning, to say the least, but Violet was content to play the part of the cooperative pawn for a while longer. After all, it wouldn’t do to tip her hand just yet, not when she could glean so much potentially useful information from this partnership.

“I suspected as much,” Violet would note with a scowl as she did her best to channel what she knew her father’s own reaction would be. “Our most implacable rival, Demiris Defense Systems, would most assuredly be willing to stoop to such underhanded methods. Especially if they thought it might give them a chance to challenge our current position of dominance in the world market. Thankfully, we have connections to the mystical world as well,” she added, while giving Al a confident smile. “I would be only too grateful to accept your offer of enhanced security. Whatever the price, I am sure it shall be well worth the expenditure if it prevents any further attacks from these detestable wretches.”

"I assure you it will," Al responded as he walked over to the desk, and took out a new paper, seemingly made of shimmering gold.
"I have prepared the contract in case you were interested in the proposal." He wrote into it with an onyx pen, and then offered it to Violet.
"As you can see, our rates are competent in the security standard without sacrificing quality. The package can also be modified to suit your needs."

Examining the contract, the heiress made careful note of the specifics, her photographic memory greatly assisting in this regard.

“I believe this shall be acceptable,” she declared after she had looked over each page, and ensured that her bedchamber and private study would remain free of any forms of surveillance. “Once again, it is a pleasure doing business with you,” she added as she produced an ornate pen and signed her name with a graceful flourish. The letters shimmered when she finished writing.

Al nodded, and accepted the paper back. "I will now begin the preparations for your new security. Thank you for choosing the Ebon Mint. Goodbye." He bowed, and then disappeared, like a flicker of flame in the darkness.

As soon as Violet was certain she was alone, the heiress retrieved a thin rectangular device from a secret compartment in her desk. Amanda and Connie would need to know about this immediately. Penny as well. Thankfully, she had recorded her entire conversation with the Mint representative, and she now transmitted that audio file to the relevant parties.
I can only hope this will be enough to keep them safe…




A few days later, Violet was once again contacted by Al Scarpe, this time, with details on how the Mint would be employing the resources of Covington Industries. The fact that an entire production facility would need to be retooled by technicians from someplace called The Gourd was concerning enough, but seeing what it had been retooled to produce was far, far worse. Still, the heiress mused, perhaps some good could come of even this shocking development. If the Mint's creations stood any chance of being effectively opposed, she would need to fully test their capabilities and see if any exploitable weaknesses presented themselves. Fortunately, she knew the perfect people to help her with that...




It was late at night. Even the most dedicated of Covington Industries’ employees had long since retired for the evening, and all was quiet in the vast testing chamber beneath Covington Tower. As was the case during Mayra’s prior visit, it was configured to resemble a generic urban area, bisected by a broad thoroughfare. It was in the observation room which overlooked this chamber that Violet Covington awaited the arrival of some very special guests.

A couple portals opened, because just like last time they had to convince Mariette to let them go. Still, as the three portals opened, so too did three individuals drop through. A girl in black hood with metal limbs, a dark-scaled dragon girl with blazing fiery hair and yellow details and a pink-haired witch in a purple dress that froze the floor where she landed.



‘HEEEEEEEY! WE’RE HEEEEEERE!’ Mayra called out happily and without a care in the world, waving into the giant chamber.

‘Wh-wha-’ Victoria staggered a bit. ‘I know we were invited, but are you sure you want to be that loud in the middle of the night?’ she asked, looking a tad worried.

‘Eeeeeeh, it’s probably fiiiiiine~!’ Mayra grinned happily, not really caring.

‘Hahaha!’ Jelena laughed a bit. ‘Last time was interrupted because Mayra went berserk, this time, I should get to fight something too! Perhaps some scraps to add to my collection…’ the metal-legged girl said, summoning some metal from her hammerspace handbag to circle around her already.

“Good evening, everyone, and welcome” a refined voice greeted them over the chamber’s speakers. If the trio were to look up at the observation room, they would see a dark-haired young woman smiling down at them. “I am Violet Covington, your host, and from the descriptions our mutual friend, Magical Dream Princess, provided, you must be Miss Mayra, Miss Jelena, and Miss Victoria, correct?”

‘… Huh, that’s not the kind of voice I imagined,’ Victoria commented.

‘That’s us! She invited us to break some bots for you, that right?’ Mayra said, enthusiastically from the front.

‘Do you mind if I take some parts of the robots with me? I’m very curious, haha,’ Jelena asked, chuckling for herself on the side.

“Yes,” Violet confirmed when Mayra voiced her question, “She did convey as much, and I have endeavored to prepare a suitable array of opponents for you. Unfortunately,” she added, addressing Jelena, “None of our drones are permitted to leave this building, unless, of course, you wish to purchase one.”

Depending on how good their eyesight was, they might see the corner of the heiress’s mouth curl up in a slight smirk.

“Furthermore, you will not be facing any of our upgraded combat drones this evening. Instead, I have a special treat for you, one which I believe you shall all find most enjoyable. A business associate recently commissioned the creation of a new line of combat automaton,” Violet explained. “They furnished the plans for it themselves, and although it pains me to admit it, their design is far in advance of anything Covington Industries has yet produced. Thus, I trust it will provide you with a challenge befitting your abilities. As an added bonus,” the heiress added, “I, too, shall take to the field. Ever since your first visit, I have been eager to see how my personal VR piloted command drone, The Violet Princess, would fare against you, and I believe this is a most excellent opportunity to put its abilities to the test.”

‘Ooooh, excellent!’ Mayra cracked her knuckles a bit, getting excited. ‘I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do! This might burn a little~’ Mayra said, maybe not entirely understanding that Violet might be commanding it over a distance.

‘Haha, the parts I was going to take with me would be the scrap-metal left after I’m done with them, but okaaay~!’ Jelena was feeling similarly excited, but more in the frowning determination way than Mayra just looking really happy.

‘… A business associate? Who’d have drone designs far superior to yours…?’ Victoria asked, sounding a touch worried, perhaps.

“As I am sure you are aware, I am not at liberty to discuss such things,” Violet told the ice mage. “As it is, I may be overstepping my bounds simply by allowing you to see them, to say nothing of fight them, but, like you, I am also curious as to their capabilities. Now then, shall we begin?”

‘Hahaha, got it, Skynet doesn’t want us to know they exist before Judgement Day, no problem, we can work with that, now bring on the Terminators~’ Jelena said with an amused tone. Neither Mayra nor Victoria understood the reference.

‘Eh. Oh, well. Alright, let’s do this,’ Victoria shrugged, and a layer of ice had already built up under her.

‘Thank you so much for letting us come fight your robots! We’re ready!’ Mayra said, breathing a bit heavily from excitement, smoke coming off her fiery body and her yellow lines glowing a bit, eyes sharp. Jelena and Victoria exchanged a look and decided to step just a couple steps away from Mayra before they started, just in case. Mayra wasn’t known for minding friendly fire.

Thick combat shutters would descend over the observation windows, and a series of red warning lights would flash, before a large door on the far side of the chamber slowly rose up to reveal the trio’s opponents. In the center of the formation was an imposing humanoid war machine, which seemed to hover about a foot off the ground. Large blades, glowing with purple energy, extended from its arms, while a pair of advanced energy cannons were perched on its shoulders. As impressive as this was, however, the several smaller machines on either side of it seemed to be on an altogether different level of sophistication.

The machines at first seemed strangely humanoid, sporting humanlike faces and hair, until Mayra and Victoria recognized the person they were intended to mimic from the combat poses they took; they were robots designed after Penny, the Queen of Sanctuary. Like their inspiration, the robots activated their leg thrusters and took to the air. Some of the robots activated chest-mounted Gauss cannons, while other robots dove, their arms wielding laser swords and with extra spider-like appendages designed for stabbing and slashing. While not as eye-catching as the larger robot, they seemed to mimic Penny's movements and mannerisms to an uncanny degree as they began their assault.

‘Wait-’ Victoria gasped at the sight. ‘That’s-!’ Jelena’s eyes widened. Back at home, they were constantly going through girls that they could encounter in Penrose, their threat-level, and how to potentially handle them. At the very top was-

The crack of a sudden explosion echoed through the chamber and made the two other girls flinch in different directions, as Mayra was no longer standing where she once was, but flying straight into the robots’ embrace, her limbs flinging from her jump and her eyes wide in sheer delight, grinning so widely, a trail of fire burning behind her. She spun to kick at the first robot, intending on intercepting the arms trying to pierce her with each of her punches and kicks coming with a crack of fire as they impacted. She wanted to brush her arm up against a laser sword to get a sense of how well her scales could resist it before she tried blocking one, but otherwise, she was up for a brawl.

‘Pffth, shooting at us?’ Victoria questioned as she dodged a couple Gauss cannons, because yikes, she couldn’t advance in open terrain assuming they aimed as well as Penny. ‘That’s not gonna fly in a real combat scenario. Because out there, you’re never facing just three girls. Let’s see how you handle… a TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT!’ Victoria shouted out, and the ice she’d been creating since she landed suddenly shattered, the pieces sent flying. Shattered so that each piece split into a perfect replica of Victoria, smirking and with perfect colours and all, all exactly as agile, and suddenly there was a purple myriad of ice girls dashing in to face the robots! The real one undoubtedly somewhere in there…

‘VICTORIA! CATCH!’ Jelena called, punching forward with one of her metal limbs, and a gathering of metal shards shot into the crowd of Victorias… and sunk inside them, the Victorias grinning in return. Jelena raised her metal hands, dangling her oversized fingers. ‘Now dance, my puppets…!’

With the metal inside the icy clones, Jelena could use her Metal specialization to throw them around. If she saw one in danger she could yank them out of danger as if with telekinesis, or just send another clone at the aggressor to punch an icy fist at the robot in question. In combination with Jelena’s Martial Training, Awareness, video game experience and that each soldier was a functioning intelligent Victoria this gave Jelena quite a tactical edge, not to mention experience with AI. ‘I’ll show you, I have quite the APM!’

Jelena had a couple of the clones protecting her if she found herself targeted, and of course used her agility to dodge Gauss cannons if those shot at her. The real Victoria was somewhere among the clones rushing to Mayra’s aid…!

Mayra successfully kicked and punched the Pennybot that went after her, spitting off two of the stabbing appendages as they were blasted with fiery power, proving the robots were not as durable as the nigh-invincible Queen. However, they were still unusually formidable for mass-produced models, as it successfully managed to cut a bit through Mayra’s hard scales, forcing her to knock the robot away before it cut deeper.

Victoria dodged the Gauss cannon shots, able to surpass their targeting software with her agility, though one shot grazed her leg. However, their heads turned rapidly as Victoria seemingly multiplied, having confused their A.I momentarily. However, they quickly recovered after a couple were destroyed by the clone assault, and proceeded to efficiently group up and separate small pockets of the ice-metal simulacrums, systematically eliminating them.

For now, Violet was content to stand back and observe the unfolding combat, taking note of every detail and committing them all to memory. She was also recording all the data gleaned and sending it to her private computer. To say she had a vested interest in learning the Pennybots’ various strengths and weaknesses was putting it mildly, indeed. This, after all, was one of the principle reasons why she was continuing to play along with the Mint’s plans. If she was able to discover any telling weaknesses in the new automatons’ defenses for her friends to exploit, then her distasteful partnership with the sinister organization would be well worth it. And if weaknesses were to be found, the heiress reflected with a grin, then this was certainly the trio who would find them…

The battle that waged between clones and drones confirmed something. They weren’t quite up-to-par with their look-alike, but as more and more Victorias were cracked open despite Jelena’s support, they proved something vital. If your name wasn’t Mayra, you did not want a straight fight with one of these.

‘You sure it was the sickly sweet girl that recommended this to us!? Because this seems like total villain-’ one of the Victoria clones was asking before a Gauss cannon blasted her into icy shards. All clones now had icy patches on their legs where the Gauss cannon had hit the real one, as Victoria had frozen over the scratch and replicated that onto all her clones.

‘Haha, I’m not complaining! I look forward to seeing what’ll happen when you release these babies on the world, miss heiress~!’ Jelena said, while focusing on army-movement to make the surviving clones as lethal as possible, sending them at the drones from various angles, trying to figure out what directions were their blind spots, if any, and also if they were interconnected so each saw what the others saw, because AI sometimes does that.

‘Hmpf, they sure can fight, but…’ Suddenly, a Victoria jumped out of a building trying to grab one of the Penny-bots fighting her clones from behind, with a wall of ice only the real one could make manifesting to attempt to freeze its limbs together and immobilize it. ‘How well do they resist Frostbite!?’ she asked, as she intended to send a freezing chill through the machine’s interior, freezing its joints and cracking its internal systems with ice, if so was even possible.

‘Or how about just complete internal disintegration?’ Jelena asked as he raised a hand towards the closest one. Using her metal specialization against a presumably metal drone, she sent the command to sever, just for whatever metal inside it to split apart and scatter like a frag grenade within the robot. Jelena prided herself on her ability to mold and move metal, so she reasoned it should be possible on the drones to utterly decimate them. If it worked, she wouldn’t do it again because that’d be boring, she just wanted to know if she could.

Mayra, meanwhile, was far too embroiled in delightful combat to banter. She confirmed the lightsaber DID penetrate her scales, albeit not instantly nor effortlessly. Being way ahead of Jelena and Victoria, she probably had more attention on her…

Another explosion blew her towards a drone preparing to Gauss cannon her. Just as it fired (or not, maybe), Mayra used Dark-magic to turn temporarily intangible, intending the cannon to fire straight through her and at the drone behind her, because she’d intentionally positioned herself for that and it’d be fun if it worked, albeit maybe they wouldn’t be tricked by that. Regardless, Mayra would course-correct to go after this drone, see if other drones could keep up, and if allowed to she’d charge dark magic into her limbs as she dove to just grab whatever attack came at her next, to apply…

A curse. A Dark-magic curse of paralyzation, to surge through the joints of the drone to prevent movement, which could theoretically just drop the drone. Except Mayra had the curse keep the boosters on the legs on, so if it worked the drone would likely just be sent uncontrollably crashing somewhere. One typically needed magic to resist magic, so maybe this would work? Mayra was going to dive back to gleefully admire the result if she got that far, because this was really fun.

Jelena discovered through numerous sacrificed clones that the Pennybots seemed to prioritize stable flight trajectories over kicking at clones coming in at lower angles from their sides, something the real Penny would likely do. As a result, the robots had an opening from attacks at those specific angles. Jelena also confirmed that the robots do share information over a network, able to synchronize their actions to a frightening degree.

The Pennybot ambushed by Victoria was immobilized by the wall of ice that had formed around it. However, she realized the robot’s core was hot enough to melt and weaken the integrity of the ice surrounding it, allowing it to break free with it’s superhuman strength. In the process, it shot a stabbing tendril right through Victoria’s shoulder, and was about to shoot with the gauss cannon when Victoria had punched hard enough to crack the frozen metal and scatter it’s pieces.

Jelena realized that while the Pennybots’ chassis and certain electronics were metallic, allowing her to manipulate them, there were also fibers and other synthetic materials that her Metal magic couldn’t touch. In addition, they also possessed innate magical resistance, forcing her to exert more mana and concentrate on a single robot in order to successfully rip it apart from the inside, leaving her open to flanking attacks from two other Pennybots as the targeted robot exploded, only to be slashed apart by her own metallic claws in a sudden counter.

The Pennybot aiming at Mayra shot through her in her intangible state and hit the other Pennybot, just as the dragon girl had hoped. The robots seemed to learn about this, as the robots then began to diversify their attack vectors, seemingly learning from their mistakes in real-time. However, at this point there were too few of them to make a proper resistance against the combined might of the girls, and they were subsequently destroyed. However, the results were clear to Violet; a dozen of the robots in a prototype testing phase were able to provide a real challenge to a team of veteran magical girls, something previously unforeseen to be possible by mechanical units.

Violet watched as the trio battled the Pennybots, wiping them out with respectable swiftness. Indeed, before the heiress herself could even take to the field, she found that the combat had already concluded. That said, the new automatons had certainly put up a good fight, something the trio’s exhausted and battered appearances provided ample evidence of.

“Well done,” Violet congratulated them. “That was a truly exemplary display. You have provided me with a wealth of valuable data, a gift for which I cannot thank you enough.”

‘… Phew… that was a bit of a shock,’ Jelena said, apparently having managed to counter-slice two of them, something she honestly hadn’t expected to be able to, but she definitely accepted it, the metal-limbed girl in a coat breathing a little heavily. She sure hadn’t expected detonating it from within to be that hard, could they upgrade that further? Surely they had to realize they were a weak point for metal-girls like herself to exploit, right?

‘… Ow,’ Victoria held her left hand onto her right shoulder, that had been completely pierced, icy magic covering the hole straight through her that had been created. ‘Just to confirm, were those aiming to kill us? I mean, it’s fair, we were aiming to destroy them, but, hah,’ she said, giggling a bit at the thought, albeit clearly hurting.

Mayra stood still, looking blankly down on the last robot she had smashed down. She wasn’t saying anything.

“No, just to injure,” Violet replied to Victoria’s query. “I would have disabled them myself, had they put any of you in mortal danger.” At least, she hoped she would have been able to… As it was, there was still much of the automatons’ programming that remained a mystery to her. Ideally, some of that mystery would dissolve, in the aftermath of tonight’s engagement, but the lack of knowledge, the lack of control, continued to worry her. The heiress’s troubled musings were broken a moment later, when she caught sight of Mayra. Turning the head of the Violet Princess to face the draconic girl, she called out to her over the machine’s speakers. “Mayra? Are you all right?”

‘Heh, nice to know,’ Victoria stated, while Jelena had descended on a collection of parts and was doing her utmost to investigate the pieces as well as she could while she was here, since she couldn’t take any with her.

Mayra, meanwhile, turned her head lightly towards Violet.

‘Is it your turn, now?’ Mayra asked, looking pretty intently at her.

Violet couldn’t help but let a sigh escape her lips. “I am afraid not,” she replied with a hint of disappointment. “After seeing how well you handled those automatons, I think that it would be foolish to pit the Violet Princess against you, for it is clearly no match for your great strength. I shall need to vastly enhance its capabilities before it can provide you the challenge you deserve. However,” the heiress added with a hint of amusement. “I believe I know someone who might serve as a more suitable opponent for you. Would you care to wait a moment, while I retrieve them?”

‘Wait,’ Mayra said, holding up a hand, before Violet was about to leave. ‘No, that’s not it. That’s not it at all,’ she said, shaking her head before smirking a bit up at the heiress. ‘That’s not what you wanted, was it? I could sense it. It was there. You wanted to see what you were capable of. To test your might. To challenge yourself.’ Mayra took a deep breath through her nose, as if smelling something good. ‘I smelled a kin. Another seeking to prove her worth. Who wants to spread her wings. It’s not about winning. It’s not about being strong enough. It’s just… to learn, to do, to live. Don’t… don’t take this away from yourself. Don’t take this away from me.’

‘Victoria. Jelena. Leave this to me,’ Mayra said, causing both girls to look at one another, shrug, and then walk off to the sidelines. Mayra, meanwhile, walked to stand in the middle of the road, gently stretching her muscles.

‘Come. Let yourself loose. No worry about winning or challenging. No worry about the bruising and scratching. Just the dance, and the thrill. I’ll accept it all. Come on,’ Mayra said, sinking down into a battle stance, her yellow lines blazing and her eyes positively glowing, mouth grinning widely. Give me your best shot.

For a moment, Violet was taken aback. “Mayra…” the heiress whispered, not at all expecting such a passionate speech from the chaotic and carefree monster girl. “Very well,” Violet replied, as the head of her personal command drone gave a slow nod. “Let us begin!”

The next instant, the Violet Princess’s maneuvering thrusters surged to life, sending the imposing machine speeding towards Mayra, its twin energy cannons firing a withering barrage as it came.

Yes! Mayra exclaimed, as Violet’s machine thrust towards her. ‘Now try to hit me!’

She kicked the ground with both foot and tail to dodge sideways to not get hit by the barrage of energy blasts. As she did, a burst of fire left her in Violet’s direction, weak fire that wouldn’t even reach her but it did endure for a time and cloak Mayra’s location from sight. A second later, Mayra blasted herself, the dragon girl coming running sideways on the wall to Violet’s left, grinning as she was ready to jump off the wall at her.

Whirling around with impressive agility, Violet brought her drone’s arm up in a sweeping slash. Although the energy blade mounted upon it was powerful enough to slice through steel as if it were butter, Violet was confident the weapon wouldn’t cause Mayra serious harm. It would probably incapacitate her, though, and it would definitely hurt. Assuming it made contact, of course.

The swinging arm headed to cleave into Mayra's flight-path, when a burst of flame sent her into the ground, landing on all fours. From there, the grinning dragon girl gripped the ground with her talons and swung around her legs, targeting Violet's own legs with two fast, consecutive kicks, intent on sweeping them down from under her… if the drone was even capable of being felled with those thrusters.

Mayra’s movements were too quick for the large machine to avoid, but since it wasn’t standing on the ground anyway, the kicks only served to push Violet back. Composing herself, the heiress turned sideways and pointed the blade of her right arm at Mayra, allowing the dragon girl to make the next move.

Mayra smirked back on her feet, and while crouched, she breathed in and then exhaled a forceful stream of fire from her mouth in Violet’s direction, and then pulled her head to sweep after her if she dodged sideways, eyes constantly alight in excitement.

With a mighty blast of her thrusters, Violet shot into the air to avoid the torrent of flame, firing a barrage of energy bolts at Mayra as she did so. Once she was positioned above the dragon girl, the heiress activated her thrusters once more, causing her to descend upon her opponent with all the force of a metallic meteor. Her energy blades extended before her, Violet aimed to pin Mayra to the ground, and thus prevent the draconic girl from making further use of her impressive agility.

The energy bolts forced Mayra to dodge, albeit it was a bit hard to dodge the blasts at this close range while also exhaling fire and a few of them struck into the girl’s scales. Undaunted, Mayra grinned through some pain as she instead expelled the last of her current breath for a great blast of fire forward, not where Violet was, except the blast would launch Mayra backwards while the fireball remained where Mayra had just been, if Violet proceeded with the descent.

Do you feel it!? Mayra shouted out at her from where she slid to a halt, breathing a bit heavily on account of having been hit a bit and just exhausted her breath breathing fire. Do you feel the thrill of the battle!? she asked again, and after a pause, just kicked off to launch herself directly at Violet’s location. She wanted to grab her now.

Seeing Mayra’s plan, Violet chose not to avoid the fireball before her, and instead dove into it, trusting her drone’s armor to withstand the heat and flame. The force of her impact dispersed much of the inferno, but the Violet Princess still presented an imposing appearance as it rose up to its full height amid the crackling flames. As a command drone, it was not intended to enter battle alone, especially not against someone of Mayra’s superhuman strength and agility, to say nothing of her magic, but Violet was pleased with its performance nonetheless.

“I do indeed!” Violet replied after Mayra called out to her. “This contest has been quite exhilarating, and you are a most worthy opponent. But, then,” she added as the draconic girl began her charge. “I expected nothing less!”

Her thrusters surging to life, Violet shot forward to meet Mayra, her drone’s arms spread wide. If the monster girl wanted to get in close, then the heiress would be happy to oblige. Once again trusting her drone’s durability, Violet would allow Mayra to grab the machine, before locking her against it with both arms. While the press of the energy blades kept Mayra contained, Violet would charge her energy cannons to maximum and fire twin stun blasts at her captive. With luck, this would be enough to put Mayra out of action, but if it wasn’t, the draconic girl would be in an excellent position to do the same to the Violet Princess. One way or another, the battle would be decided here.

Mayra gripped around the drone as she flew and used remaining fire to bring them both down to earth, her feet placing themselves on the ground. The blades closed in on her in an amusing hug, and the dragon girl realized those shoulder-cannons were charging and pointing straight in her face. Mayra grinned, and…

and she bent her back backwards as a blast of fire from her hands propelled the robot over her head as she athletically bridged herself to crack the machine’s head (and shoulders) into the asphalt right behind her in a magic-propelled suplex.

Mayra’s impressive agility once again allowed her to escape Violet’s attack. Turning the tables on the heiress, the monster girl performed a wrestling move that thoroughly incapacitated the Violet Princess. The glow of the drone’s energy weapons faded, giving Mayra clear evidence of her victory.

“Well done, Mayra,” Violet’s voice sounded from the chamber’s speakers. “I believe we can call this contest in your favor. Thank you for convincing me to take part,” she added in an appreciative tone. “It was a truly enjoyable experience.”

‘Woooooooooo-!’ Mayra called, falling back onto her back, breathing a bit heavily because that was some gamble she took at the end there. ‘You- you’re good! I wasn’t sure I’d win there for a second! You…’ she raised a clawed thumb upwards. ‘I like you! You got some guts! If you ever want to challenge me again, tell me, anytime! Tell me your name again, I won’t forget it this time!’

“It is Violet Covington,” the heiress replied with a slight giggle of amusement. “But you may call me Violet,” she added. “I believe you have more than earned it.”

‘Violet…’ Mayra breathed out the name with a satisfied smirk. ‘And I’m Mayra McCullough, first of my name! Until next time!’ … and then her arm collapsed and she started snoring. Apparently, she was really satisfied.

‘Looks like it’s over,’ Victoria said, walking over to stand above Mayra, looking up towards Violet. ‘We usually need to restrain Mayra to prevent her from going off to fight in Penrose just because she gets bored in the base. This has been very cathartic. I thank you,’ Violet bowed politely to Violet.

‘Thank you for breaking all those probably super-expensive drones! It was a blast!’ Jelena came over too, grinning a bit, and had both arms behind her back like she was hiding something… ‘So, uh, I tried fixing one of them. It didn’t go super-well. I mean, I’m pretty confident it works, but, uh,’ Jelena said, and then lifted out the thing behind her and placed it on its feet. The thing was half as tall as it once was, looked significantly more metallic, and had lost most of its weaponry. The outside was brand new, done by Jelena shaping metal to become a little metal dress over metallic legs. The eyes were pretty big, too, as Jelena used a bit of metal spec to make it tilt its head to look up at Violet. It’s totally a tiny robot Penny.

‘Yeah, uh, here, you can have it,’ Jelena said with a smirk, scratching her cheek a little with a not-as-oversized hand. Apparently she used some of the metal in her previously oversized hands. ‘I mean, of course you can, it’s already yours, but, uuh…’ Jelena continued. Victoria gave her and the robot a mildly confused look before looking back to Violet.

They would hear a sharp intake of breath, shortly after which, a previously hidden door opened and Violet herself stepped out. Rushing over to Jelena, she tentatively held her hands out to accept the girl’s small creation. “I-It’s… adorable…” the heiress whispered, her cheeks turning a bright red. “T-Thank you! Thank you so much!” she told Jelena, giving the girl a brilliant smile, before wrapping her up in a big hug. Sobering slightly, she added, “I will always cherish this.”

The two currently awake girls both looked a bit surprised that Violet came out herself to accept the gift fashioned from her own robots. Still, when it became clear just how much the heiress liked it, Jelena smirked once again and hugged her back with her metal arms upon receiving that big hug. ‘Haha, no problem. I’m happy you like it so much!’ Deeeeeeeefinitely had been worried she’d get chewed out for experimenting with things that didn’t belong to her.

‘Fufu. Digging favours with the rich girl, are we? Are you going to ask her to import a mountain of video games for you next?’ Victoria teased a little on the side, chuckling a little.

‘Aw, you’re going to tease me for being nice? Maybe I won’t ask if you can partake in some cakes and other high-class cuisine?’ Jelena teased right back, and Victoria got kinda pale and stopped smiling. She hadn’t considered that.

‘She likes good food,’ Jelena explained to Violet with a giggle after they eventually let go.

“As do I,” Violet replied with a smile, her face still a glowing crimson. “And if you were to give me some advance notice, I could perhaps arrange for us to share a meal together sometime. In your civilian guises, of course,” the heiress would add.

‘That sounds excellent! Right, Victoria?’ Jelena smirked so widely and proudly. Mayra’s still snoring on the ground beneath them.

‘Er, yes. Tha- that would be really nice,’ Victoria nodded over there, got awkward all of a sudden.

“I am glad you think so,” Violet told them warmly. “I trust she will be all right?” she asked, glancing over to Mayra’s slumbering form. The heiress was fairly confident that her draconic friend was perfectly fine, but she wanted to make sure, just in case.

Victoria nodded a bit excitedly. Then, at the mention of Mayra, she laughed out a bit. ‘Hah, I haven’t seen her this peaceful in ages,’ Victoria said, bending down and rather effortlessly picking the dragon-girl up, the icy girl holding the sleeping fire girl. There was no sign of the ice girl starting to melt.

‘Will you be all right, though? Can’t imagine the robots were particularly cheap, and you got their designs from an associate, was it?’ Jelena asked, rather curiously.

“That is correct,” Violet confirmed with a nod. “And this was merely an initial trial run. I advised the client that it would be prudent to have their design sufficiently tested, they agreed, and so it has been,” she explained, gesturing to the piles of wreckage surrounding them. “Clearly they shall need to make some substantial improvements, after seeing how swiftly their creations were dispatched.”

‘Whelp, sounds like you’re okay with it,’ Jelena said with a chuckle. ‘Hey, how come you’re friends with someone as sickly sweet and your complete opposite like Magical Dream Princess? Were you doing evil stuff and she persuaded you to be good again and now you’re friends?’ Jelena asked with a big smirk on her face.

‘Ey, don’t assume our friends were evil,’ said the other currently awake horror girl in here. ‘Still, I must admit I’m curious, too…’ Victoria said, looking a little curiously at Violet.

Violet was silent for a moment before finally responding.

“She saved my life,” the heiress explained, seemingly unoffended by Jelena’s remarks. “And yes,” she added, offering the metallic limbed girl a small smile. “I suppose she did persuade me to be a better person. I was walking such a dark path only a short time ago, although I was unaware of it myself. But then I met her, and she changed my life in so many ways. Because of her, I now walk a new path, the path I believe I was always meant to walk from the start. I am truly in her debt, and thus, when she asked if I could arrange tonight’s meeting, I simply could not refuse.”

‘Haha, see? I got a sense for this!’ Jelena said with a thumbs up. ‘I’m glad you’re doing better!’

‘Video game stories aren’t always going to correlate to reality,’ Victoria said.

‘I’m in her debt too, for reintroducing us…’ a dozy but apparently awake Mayra said, still kinda hanging in Victoria’s grip. ‘If we can help with anything else, just give us a call…!’ she said, lifting a tired limb and smiling.

‘… We should be getting back,’ Victoria mentioned.

“You can be sure I shall do that, Mayra,” the heiress replied with a warm smile. “Thank you.” Giving a nod to Victoria’s observation, she added, “I am afraid I, too, must be going. There are other matters that require my attention, even at this late hour. Until next we meet, please stay well,” she told them, while giving an elegant curtsy. “And may your sleep be filled with the most pleasant of dreams. Uh, t-that last part was something Magical Dream Princess wished for me to convey to you,” a somewhat flustered Violet hastily added.

‘Ahahaha, I get ya. Pleasant dreams to her, too…’ Mayra said, chuckling a bit as she let her arm drop again and let Victoria hold her. The other girls also nodded in appreciation.

‘Be nice to miss Violet, alright?’ Jelena crouched and patted the robot she’d shaped, which’d been standing entirely motionless the entire time. Maybe the AI hadn’t fully grasped its current shape or something. Still, Jelena smiled at it before waving and walking.

‘I look forward to our meal,’ Victoria said, and then they turned away, Jelena picking up a phone to tell them they were ready to return home, after which a portal opened and they were able to go through, satisfied with their battle, newly forged friendship and leaving behind a small girl robot for Violet to remember them by.




Nothing Particularly Important...


The blond-haired young man carefully adjusted his glasses as he gazed upon the featureless, black monolith that loomed before him. A moment later, the edifice began to glow with unnatural light, its shimmering surface seeming to ripple like water. The young man smiled as two figures emerged from the portal, which reassumed its inactive appearance immediately after their passage was complete. The pair of new arrivals were perhaps as diametrically opposed as one could imagine. The first was a tall, blocky, mountain of a man, with a thick grey beard and a stern gaze. He wore a formal business suit, meticulously tailored to fit his massive frame, and, although he seemed not to need it, his hands rested upon a cane of polished obsidian, atop which sat a glowing crimson gemstone. The second figure, on the other hand, was a far smaller, almost scrawny, young woman. She had messy, black hair, which cascaded down to her calves, and wore an oversized lab coat, which trailed behind her. Although the young woman’s eyes were partially obscured by a pair of goggles, it wasn’t hard for the young man to tell that she looked exceedingly bored. Still, that knowledge did nothing to dampen his spirits, and he smiled broadly as he greeted each new arrival in turn.

“Mister Demiris, Doctor Kannis, welcome!” he told the pair, spreading his arms wide. “I am Colonel Templeton, head of research here at SON. At least, I would be, if SON actually existed,” he added with a playful smirk. “Right this way, please,” he instructed, holding out his hand towards the long, dimly lit path ahead. “The director is expecting you.”

“Thank you, Colonel,” Demiris replied with a small nod. “Come along, Doctor,” he added, gazing down at his annoyed-looking companion.

“Yeah, yeah…” Nykannis grumbled. “Stupid meeting… I should be working in my lab right now,” she muttered. “Instead, I’m stuck playing show and tell…”

“I thought you enjoyed showing off your work to others,” Demiris remarked.

“Normally, I do,” the mad scientist conceded. “But when the people watching are a bunch of Neanderthals who can’t understand a word I’m saying, it becomes considerably less enjoyable…”

If Templeton heard the pair’s little conversation, he gave no sign, but the moment Nykannis finished her grumblings, he spoke up in a jovial voice. “I must say, it is such an honor to meet you in person, Doctor Kannis. I’m quite an admirer of your work, and I’m very much looking forward to what exciting developments you’ll be sharing with us today.”

The mad scientist’s gloomy demeanor brightened considerably after Templeton’s bout of hero-worship, her frown turning into a slightly demented little grin.

“Yeah, that’s the correct response to have,” she replied with a smug nod. “After all, when it comes to Science!, I’m the greatest there is! Nyahahaha! Soooo,” she added, running up next to the bespectacled young man, an excited gleam in her eyes. “Which of my world-shattering inventions is your personal favorite? The nano fluidic energy to matter replicators? Or maybe the zero-point quantum conversion block?! No! No! Don’t tell me! It’s gotta be the transdimensional tachyonic multiversal meta cannon! But wait! That’s not something you guys should even know about! You probably couldn’t even wrap your brains around the basic concept of it! You were just trying to get me to spill my secrets, weren’t you?! Well it won’t work! Gotta admit, it was a nice try, blondie, but you’ve clearly underestimated the incomparable super-scientific genius of⏤”

“Dr. Kannis,” Demiris intoned, a large hand taking hold of the mad scientist’s lab coat and pulling her back. “There will be time to discuss such matters later. For now, there is a more pressing concern to deal with.”

“S-Sir…?” Nykannis inquired, her voice having taken on a far more timid tone, following her imposing companion’s rebuke.

“Your hair,” Demiris clarified. “It is positively disgraceful. Please try and make yourself a bit more presentable.”

“Yes, sir…” Nykannis muttered.

The next instant, a swirling swarm of nanites set to work restyling the mad scientist’s limp tresses into something resembling a massive explosion. Greatly resembling a more exaggerated version of Albert Einstein’s signature appearance, it only served to accentuate her significantly-less-than-sane demeanor.

“Better?” she asked.

“Marginally,” Demiris replied.

The path down which they walked was surrounded by an impenetrable black void. Lights in the floor, placed at regular intervals, were the only sources of illumination, and even they did nothing to reveal what lay beyond the pathway. While this may have been disconcerting to some, in the case of this particular trio, it was as unremarkable as taking a stroll through a park. Soon enough, they came to an ornate set of double doors, which opened before them at their approach.

“After you,” Templeton said with a smile as he gestured for his guests to enter.

Upon doing so, they found themselves in a large room, dominated by a triangular table. A cone of light shone down upon it, while the rest of the chamber was cloaked in shadow. Seated on one of the vertices were two generals, their uniforms bearing six and seven stars, respectively. Opposite them sat an admiral and a blonde young woman in a somewhat skimpy military uniform. The “point” of the triangle was blunted, allowing for a single seat. This was occupied by a man in a business suit with a pyramid for a head, its cyclopean eye tracking the new arrivals as they took their seats at the triangle’s base.

“Director, Generals, Admiral, Recruiter,” Demiris said, nodding to each in turn. “A pleasure to see you again. Although I am sure you are all familiar with her work, allow me to formally introduce my Head of Research and Development, Doctor Nikki Yolanda Kannis.”

“Sup,” Nykannis replied, her tone once again completely devoid of enthusiasm.


If anything, her “audience” seemed even less enthusiastic, the only emotion in evidence during the long silence that followed being a slight smirk on the part of the recruiter. However, if they were trying to intimidate her, they were failing miserably, and Nykannis simply met their cold gazes with her own dead-eyed stare. After what seemed like several minutes had passed, the director finally spoke.

“Mr. Demiris,” he began, his voice a low baritone. “You requested this audience in order to unveil a new development, one which you insisted would revolutionize field operations on a scale as yet unimagined. Please, enlighten us.”

“Currently, every single one of your Shadow Unit operatives was procured ‘out in the wild’, so to speak,” Demiris explained, rising to his feet. “A product of the exemplary work conducted by our lovely recruiter,” he added, gesturing to the still-smirking blonde. “And while I have no desire to minimize her efforts in any way, I pose to you a simple question- What if, instead of poaching your agents from other mystical beings, you could simply create whatever operatives you required, whenever you required them?”

“You’re talking about MTOs,” the six-star general observed in a dull monotone.

“Indeed,” Demiris confirmed. “Made to order soldiers, the dream of every military commander in history, now, at last, a reality.”

“A bold claim,” the seven-star general noted. “And a rather dubious one, especially in light of your previous offerings.”

“Yes,” the director concurred. “While the enhanced teams you’ve provided us with thus far have proven most capable when employed against mundane opponents, they were distinctly sub-par when faced with more mystical adversaries. Am I to assume these new offerings will not simply be more of the same?”

“The teams you refer to were merely examples of Phase One,” Demiris replied. This, he added, activating the holoprojector at the center of the table, “is Phase Two.”

Displayed in midair was the image of a young woman wearing a high tech, but still rather skimpy suit of armor and wielding advanced energy weaponry.

Demiris turned to gaze down at his smaller companion. “Dr. Kannis, if you would care to elaborate?”

Nykannis, who had become so bored that she had constructed a small interdimensional gateway and was now dissecting the prismatic mass of tentacles she had pulled out of it, gave a tired sigh, before shoving the gateway, her tools, the creature, and its containment unit into a pocket dimension. Rising to her feet, she fixed her “audience” with an annoyed stare, before climbing onto the table and walking over to the holoprojector.

“Okay,” she began, lazily waving her hand to add additional images on either side of the young woman already displayed. “So, the operatives you’ve seen so far were created using just a fraction of The Artifact’s power. Essentially, they were just a test run to see what it was capable of, and what it’s capable of is way more than your limited minds can possibly comprehend. To put it simply, now that it’s secrets have been fully unlocked, something only my unparalleled super-scientific genius could have accomplished, I might add, we can create magical operatives with comparable power levels to anything any other type of Patron could produce. See, the thing holding our first four teams back was an inability to make use of the Cosmic Omniversal Infusion Numinospheric Synthesizers employed in the creation of nearly every other magical operative that exists in this universe. Now, as I’m sure most of you are probably COMPLETELY unaware of, it’s the Metaphysical Aetheric Numinosphere Accelerator that makes an operative magical in the first place, but these ‘COINS’ are the things that provide all the extra ‘MANA’ needed to really make ‘em a mystical force to be reckoned with!”

Now that she was discussing a topic that actually interested her, the Monarch of Mad Science was becoming a great deal more animated. Sobering slightly, she adjusted her goggles before continuing. “As a brief, but personally important aside, I wanna note that when I say ‘magic’ I’m referring to it as defined by Clarke’s Third Law. I’m well aware this isn’t the caveman juju you Neanderthals often think of it as. It’s a primary universal force that can be objectively defined and quantified, but the calculations required are pretty much guaranteed to make your heads explode, so I’ll just stick with calling it magic. I mean, I could use the term ‘Etheric Sciences’, but that’s a bit too limited for our purposes. ANYWAY, thanks to my unparalleled super-scientific genius, we can now use these COINS in either a full, or limited fashion when creating new operatives. Why would you ever want to limit yourselves? Allow me to explain. See, when you’re creating a magical operative, you have a choice to use a slightly limited amount of COINS and maintain full control over the process, OR, you can use a full COIN allotment, granting access to the most powerful abilities and options, at the cost of having a bit less control over the final product. Now, I know what you’re thinking- ‘That’s a stupid choice! Why can’t we have both?!’ Well, I agree, which is why you’re gonna LOVE this next bit!”

Grinning from ear to ear in a most maniacal fashion, Nykannis gestured to an image of several figures in glowing vats. “Unlike the other pathetic Patrons out there, we don’t need to go searching high and low for suitable candidates. When Mr. Demiris said we could make these things to order, he wasn’t just talking about the powers. While our first batch did require us to find the perfect, completely willing, volunteers, now that we’ve isolated the specific genetic and metaphysical markers, we can engineer them into any number of clones, and with our patented accelerated-growth chambers, time to full gestation is mere minutes! Nyahahaha! Do you have any idea what that means?!” she asked, one eye beginning to twitch as she looked over the still-impassive faces of SON’s most high-ranking members. “It MEANS we can crank these things out so fast that, even if we decide to go one of the full COINS routes, we’ll STILL be able to find the perfect combination of options in no time at all! And yes, you heard me right, I said ROUTES, plural! You’ve got no less than FIVE options to choose from! You can pick the operative’s weapon, greatly boosting its capabilities in the process, or you can pick the exact magic spec you want them to have, or give them additional combat abilities chosen by you, or even give yourselves more COINS to work with! And because you can run the process as many times as you want, the possibilities are literally INFINITE!!! NYAHAHAHAAA!!!”

Despite her maniacal cackling, Nykannis’s audience maintained their aura of stoicism. Or at least most of them did…

“Fascinating!” Templeton exclaimed. “That will synergize most splendidly with the data obtained from the Penrose operation!”

“No, it will not,” the director intoned, his unblinking, cyclopean eye fixed upon the bespectacled young man. “For there was no Penrose operation.”

“O-Of course, sir,” a flustered Templeton stammered. “M-My most sincere apologies…”

“Wow, ya sure got him on a tight leash,” Nykannis remarked. “But that’s fine,” she added with a dismissive wave of her hand. “You can keep your stupid little secrets. I mean, you guys haven’t even reached Level 1 on the Kardashev Scale yet, so I highly doubt you’re doing anything that would interest someone of my vast intellect.”

Still, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to take a look… she mused, while mentally ordering her hyperdimensional omniphasic nanites to do just that. Even with all the security measures SON had in place, Nykannis was confident they didn’t have a chance of detecting her creations.

“That was quite an intriguing presentation, Dr. Kannis,” the director conceded. “However, without a demonstration of their performance in the field, the viability of these new operatives cannot be fully verified. We shall require a brief interval in which to comprehensively discuss the ramifications of employing this new system you’ve devised. You shall be contacted once a decision has been made,” the cyclopean being added, while gesturing to the now open door. “Colonel Templeton will see you out.”

“Understandable,” Demiris replied with a nod as he rose to depart. “And we shall endeavor to provide you with a suitable demonstration to aid your decision-making. Come, Doctor,” he added as he ushered the mad scientist out of the chamber.

Soooo, they want a demonstration, huh? Nykannis thought to herself, her mouth curling into a wicked grin. I think that’s an excellent idea. All we need is a test subject, and I have just the person in mind…
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Majoras End Oyasumi~

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"Buckle up, Buttercup, this one's lengthy!"
- Finn

Christmas time was something Maura used to be fond of, the one day where families get together near the end of a year to feast and give gifts. She always found the decorations, the stories and such charming, but never got to celebrate it in the past. Her work came first.

But now? The mere thought of Christmas left a sour taste in her mouth. Bitter and disgusting.

It had been a week since that dreadful day had passed. As much as she wanted to meet up with Finn and the others to discuss their plans, she had informed Rowena she was going to be late. She felt drained. Maybe she could continue organizing the Cradle to keep her mind off things, she thought. What she didn't expect was Finn offering to help with that. Well, it was somewhat expected. He was a weird sort of new to the official organization thing like she was, so he was bound to ask about the strange space that housed their stock.

"Watch your step, gravity's a bit low in here." Maura told him as the two stepped inside. The boy stumbled, but regained his balance just as quick.

"Dark too. And cold, though I guess that isn't a problem for you, huh?" On his end, Finn used a bit of beast magic to help maneuver around the hammerspace. A pair of wings on his back, and the sight of...basically any nocturnal animal. Oliver did note his eyes looked weird having his pupils dialate so much. He looked around. "Man, this place is big! How are you going to organize all this by yourself??"

Maura shrugged. "It's a decent time-killer. I've already cleaned up a good bit of it, but then there's also the cadavers I gotta get into coffins..." She trailed off, sorting through some artifacts.

"The ca- what??" Finn's eye widened.

The witch pointed a thumb to the mausoleum section of the Cradle. "See for yourself. Veronica stored stiffs in here to keep them from reviving. It's how this stuff remains. Just kinda ends up...cursed." She explained. Though it wasn't enough to keep the boy from feeling off about it. Killing's one thing, but to keep the bodies like trophies? Necessary or not, even he wouldn't pull a stunt like that. But Finn couldn't say anything. He wouldn't, until they somehow found a way to keep the gear without the need of the bodies.

"Dark magical power, right?"

"Mhm."

"Makes sense." While the two idly talked, Finn looked around while purposefully avoiding the corpses. Eugh. until he spotted a pair of twin blades. While one looked like it once walked among angels, the other had a more hellish motif. He blinked once he realized what he found. "Hey, I remember these! Commissioned something from Riona after we fought Vladimir, right?" He asked Maura, remembering the day they brought Oliver back.

The witch looked over her shoulder at him. "Hm? Oh, yeah. I decided to put some of my own things in here. Was wondering when you'd want those back." she explained, picking up what looked like a yellow masquerade mask. Well, yellow with a golden trim. It looked normal at first glance, until one notices the ends had...tentacles. Instead of the common string. Maura rose a brow. Disguise artifact? Certainly a clingy one, if it's trying to grab at her face meant anything. "Hope Hastur doesn't want this back." With a shrug, she nonchalantly tossed the cursed thing aside for now. "How are the others? Oliver's not with you today?"

"Nah, he's working with Riona in getting that hotel set up. Said she saw a buisness opportunity in that abandoned thing. Hopefully she got someone to manage her bar while that's going on." Finn idly twirled one of the blades in his hands, trying to get a feel for them. Although he noticed his hands trembling, he felt a creeping urge to fight someone, something,

He simply ignored it, and set them down for now. "Miss Dewynter's going to be taking time off for the sake of her mental health. She was obviously against it at first, but I managed to convince her. Lauren's helping Valerie set up shop in one of HQ's rooms, if anyone can gather information it's them two. Mint's painted a target on Amanda's back, so I told her to lay low for a while, and Maribel's doing god-knows-what." Finn listed off.

"Rowena's visiting the twins' grave, and anyone else who didn't get specific orders are free to scout out for...something." He then frowned slightly. "Any news about Miss Howard?"

At the mention of Samantha, Maura paused, unsure of what to say. Or think. Even if they speculated, what happened with here back at the tournament was weird at best. "Well, I don't feel a splitting headache yet, so there's just using healing magic once or twice to prevent anything worse from happening to her." She sighed. "I won't lie, part of me is hoping to talk with Sam without worrying about Justine or some shit. But..."

While she talked, the boy caught sight of something staring back at him. An eye. A red eye, infact, floating in a strange lantern. Or whatever it's containted in. He grabbed the lantern and held it up to look at it closely.

Was it staring back at him?

...It was.

Ew.

Finn and the mystic artifact had a short staring contest, before he set the lantern back down with a shudder.

"You can have that too if you want! Heard it projects future events or something." Noticing this, Maura called back over to him.

"Erm, maybe later! Damn thing gives me Déjà vu..." Finn politely turned down the offer, shooting the artifact a quick glare. "Anyways, if you're worried then why did you let Justine stay at your place for the long run?" He asked, no ill will intended despite his question appearing harsh.

"Her old lair was destroyed a long time ago and she doesn't have anywhere else to go. I'd take any of you in if I have to, there's plenty of room."

"Hasn't that sort of kindness put you in this mess in the first place?"

Maura's brows furrowed in thought. "I said I'd keep an eye on her in case she did anything funny, didn't I?" Though when Finn rose a brow at her answer, she frowned. "I don't know at this rate. I could keep giving answers yet none would satisfy. I could say I see a bit of myself, one of my selves, in Justine. Or that I want to flip the bird at Father for being a fourth-dimensional prick, or I can sarcastically say I took her in because Ronnie's stray pets have been nothing but thorns in my side the whole time." She rambled on, getting progressively more frustrated.

"But no! But no. God, Maribel would get onto me for getting soft. I know it." The witch pinched the bridge of her nose.

The boy on the other hand felt hesitant in trusting the past-vampire. "Are...you sure we should-"

"I already know what you've heard."

Finn's eye widened. "R-Really now??"

Maura was strangely calm in contrast. "I looked back up to when my connection with Betty was severed. Frankly it was foolish of her to compare unintentional thralldom to something severe as, well, that." She said, careful around the subject for Finn's sake. "Especially since there were many factors to concider at the time. Elvira's song influencing the corrupted magicals' mental mutations for one, Veronica willing sacrificing her for a gamble against Justine's another thing that should've been sorted out yet by the time we got Betty back she's ditched town and left me to finish things off." Maura's eye twitched. She groaned, leaning against the wall with her arms crossed.

"That fucking party was a lost cause from the start. Anyways I'm not sure if she remembered exactly what happened or was playing dumb cause she didn't want to blame Veronica, but to solely blame Justine, call it that, then turn around and say it's cause you were tossed aside?? What the fuck????" She ranted on. "Look, what I'm saying is, don't worry about it. If I did, it'd be like ditching you when you got the title of Sinner."

"Y'know that's different. Wrath and...Lust I think, are two different levels of screwed up." Finn argued back. "But, I get your point. So now what?"

"Well if you're going to go up against Penny, we gotta look out for anything that'd give you a power boost. Without corrupting you, of course. We don't need a repeat of your past experiment."

At the mention of a previous screw up, Finn hovered a hand over his blind eye. Something he wasn't proud of, but learned to live with. "Right, think there's any bounties-"

"Not to interrupt anything, but we got hostiles breaking speed limits!"

Both their eyes widened once they heard Valerie through their magicoms. "Do we have a count? All units outside, what are we seeing??"

"So ya know those deer-looking demons that you're not supposed to say the name of or it gets stronger or some shit?"

"Yeah?"

"Yeah, we're seeing a bunch of them. I don't think I can fly that fast."

"I'm counting about six packs of them, can't tell what they're planning asides from merging packs, but if you hurry you can knock down a few." Valerie reported. Finn looked back to Maura, waiting on the go-ahead. She smiled back.

"Just be careful around Beacon, will you? I'll go check on the other two." With that, Maura opened an exit nearest to the boy's partner, and he hurried out.
Hidden 3 days ago Post by Bright_Ops
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Roxanna


If she was being completely honest with herself, Roxanna had lost the Christmas Spirit a long time ago. Back when she had been Argol and a young boy the holiday was a magical time of the year, but after a certain point the whole thing just became more of a hassle then anything due to the friction and conflict that was generated whenever their family got together. The fact that Roxanna didn't have any family of her own in order to go and visit likely didn't help but... Christmas was just another day for her.

However, for the holiday season, Roxanna did run something of a small 'business'... through the term was used lightly because while she wasn't an ordained priestess or had a shrine she could go and visit, some traditions of Ofuda had to be maintained and one of the most important was that the kamifuda and kifuda that she kept on her stand were not for sale. They were holy items after all and to sell them would be highly questionable at best. Instead she followed the method used by the shrines themselves: The items were 'received' by those that stopped by her homemade stall at the train station and in exchange they made a donation relevant to the time and effort she had to put in to make and bless in item in question.

With people returning from holidays or coming home for the New Year, inside of the train station was generally a good place to set up shop so those trying to stay out of the cold could come and have a look. Unfortunately, the presence of people also tended to draw less welcome attention... Which was why there were innocent people running away screaming, her stall had been toppled over and somewhat broken with the displayed items scattered over the ground and Roxanna herself impaling a kifuda dedicated to Ucchusma into the chest of a rotten looking humanoid deer thing with blood (both fresh and old) caked around its maw before kicking it hard enough to send it stumbling back to give herself a bit more room.

While it was true that ofuda writings dedicated to Ucchusma were generally made with a more passive cleansing of the unclean in mind, Roxanna couldn't help but feel somewhat vindicated by her belief in it as the deer creature started to violently claw at its chest, trying to dig out the kifuda as she saw flame start to shoot out of the puncture wound. With her current foe incapacitated and distracted by a deity that she was going to be offering some prayers to later, Roxanna quickly looked around to see how the rest of the fight was going.

The two clones she had created at the start of the fight were holding their own against two more of the rotten beasts, the damn things proving rather tanky to her physical blows but at least preventing them from chasing after fleeing human targets. The fourth one of the pack was still ripping around one of the food kiosks, consuming everything that it encountered. That had been a stroke of genius on her part; These creatures weren't mindless, but their hunger was so all consuming that it was easy to think otherwise. Actually reaching in and enhancing that drive to eat towards the nearest source of meat possible had proven to be somewhat easy since was inclined to do that anyway, so instead of hunting humans it was currently content with ripping into half cooked chicken and meat products that hadn't been put on the grill or into the deep fryer yet to try and lessen its hunger enough to start thinking of hunting humans again.

'Social, we need to end this quickly.' Roxanna thought in her mind... and wasn't that surprised by the fact a different voice answered her there.

'Fire would be the most effective tool to use, but despite how tough these things are they can be physically killed by more mundane means. Just remember to collect their icy hearts afterwards. They need to be burned in a fire hot enough to melt them to finish these things off for good, otherwise they'll just return in time.' It might not have been the quick and easy answer she had wanted, but Roxanna could appreciate just having information at all. That thing about the hearts alone was worth knowing.

'Do you think I could trick two of them into fighting each other? Make them so hungry they'll try and eat each other?' She asked at the speed of thought, with a reply coming a moment later after Social needed a moment to consider the possibilities.

'If it was just two, it would be possible. But you would need to focus on keeping them locked on each other and since there are four of them... Wouldn't recommend. Heads up, the one you impaled is just about done 'healing' itself.' Social's warning proved true, as the wendigo in question had managed to dig out the blessed wood from the gaping hole it had dug into its own chest, reveling the extent of the internal burns that was preventing the wounds from healing up as it cast the kifuda aside before roar-screaming in fury and pain.

Taking a deep breath, Roxanna charged forward in order to get the offensive on this opponent before it had a chance to collect itself... or worse, try to actually heal rather then just remove the object burning it from the inside out.
Hidden 3 days ago 1 day ago Post by Izurich
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Izurich 7/8 Weeb

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--It's Just a Burning Memory--


The cloudy sky finally revealed its intention as droplets of water began falling down, leaving their aerial nest to be embraced by mother earth's gravitational embrace. At first, only a few brave souls took the leap, but others soon followed and what was a mere drizzle turned into a full-fledged rain. Some made landfall onto the ground, some onto leaves, some onto roofs, and then some... "...?" ...onto the pale eyelids of a young girl with bright blonde long locks, although it was difficult to tell considering her hair - and most of her body - was caked in wet mud from head to toe.

Although her corpse-like complexion might imply otherwise, she was definitely alive as the rain stirred her awake, opening those lids to reveal a pair of blank red eyes, their round pupils emptily gazing at the gloomy sky. Her mind was a proverbial void, empty and formless, even as her body moved on autopilot to stand up, she thought of nothing, the pathetic state of her sickly thin body didn't bother her, hell, she didn't seem to care that she had not a single thread on her. She didn't move, content to just let the rain pour on her, poorly washing off the mud that stubbornly clung on her wiry frame.

That was when she heard a gentle voice in her head, the soft, warm voice of an older woman, one that would make you think of hearty homemade food served in front of a crackling fireplace. "Are you awake, my child?" It was so soothing, so tender, she felt like she could listen to her forever. Yes, she knew this person, her savior, her... "Mother..." The girl whispered, then ever so steadily cracked a smile, "Yes, I'm awake."

"Good girl, now, Mother needs your help with a little something..."

---

"Read 'em and weep, boys, full house!" Tommy placed down his cards onto the coffee table, revealing his hand and announcing his undeniable victory simultaneously. By the rules of the game, he was now sixty bucks richer.

"Aaah, fuck you, Tommy." Sam slouched, pressing his back against the dining chair he's occupying, frustrated, he was now twenty bucks poorer along with the other mobsters, except for this Sicilian schmuck, Tommy.

"Yea! Wiseguy's must be cheatin'!" Paulie snarked, making his contempt clear for Tommy's - rather suspicious - winning streak, he glared at the grinning prick then turned his gaze at the last of the mob quartet, "You with me right, Giuseppe?!"

Giuseppe "the Silent" stayed true to his moniker once more as he simply shrugged, but that one shrug spoke a thousand words, particularly that Sam and Paulie were nothing more than sore losers.

"Ha! Giuseppe here knows what's up, I’m just that good," Still high on his victory, the Italian-American man gathered the cards and started shuffling them, "Another round?"

"Eh, fuck it, sur- eh...?" Sam was about to agree, but then he heard creaking noises from where the back door was, "Oh, guys, I think Vito's back."

"Fuck, about time, eh? I'm so hungry I could eat a horse." Tommy stopped shuffling the cards as he was sure that the crew wanted to enjoy those mouth-watering Papa Ron's pizzas more than playing poker right now.

"The... fuck?"

...only for the person who showed up wasn't carrying pizza boxes, nor was she Vito. It was a naked little girl who looked like she'd weigh lighter than a feather, face covered in damp blonde locks that clung to her skin, dirty feet trailing mud prints all over the floor.

All four made-men were dumbfounded, including Giuseppe, they could only watch as the tiny 'zombie' trailed over to the suitcase, the suitcase that held the documents they were supposed to exchange with a representative of their blackmail victim for some fat G's . That snapped the men out of their trance.

"Oi oi oi, lil' shit, the fuck you think you doin'?!" Tommy - being the 'one in charge' of the group - was the first who took initiative as he swaggered over to the lost hobo brat and grabbed her shoulder, at that moment, he felt chills freezing his spine as the girl suddenly snapped her gaze at him like a possessed child straight out of the Exorcist. Her wide-opened eyes were blood-red with the narrow pupils of a reptile, glinting sharp fangs peeking from between her lips, pointed ears, and most bizarrely, a pair of fuckin' branches grew out of her back. What happened next was a blur as Tommy found himself thrown through the air, unceremoniously crashing onto a wall.

"...?! BITCH!!" Sam roared as he, Paulie, and Giuseppe all pulled out their glocks and unloaded everything onto the anorexic monster. Even though she's a small target, at this distance, most of the bullets found home into the girl's flesh... only to be literally pushed out of the wounds, clattering uselessly onto the floor while the holes closed up much faster than what should've been possible.

"Mother...?"

"Punish them, Caroline dear~"

As the trembling mafioso frantically tried to reload, it was already too late for them...

..........
.....
...

Unbothered by the mutilated and singed corpses of four dead men behind her, Caroline smashed open the suitcase’s locks, revealing its content to be a file of some documents and pictures. They appeared to be evidences against a certain politician involved in human trafficking or something like that, the blonde didn't personally care. She simply held out one hand over the items as deep blue light enveloped them. When she pulled her arm back, the documents became nothing more than pieces of blank paper and the photographs showed nothing but a flat black surface, The Mother had claimed them.

"You're such a sweetie, honey~"

"Ehehe~" The girl giggled mirthfully, hearing the praise was really nice and combined with the pleasure she had from siphoning the information, she was one happy little girl.

"Breaking News. This just in, groups of masked criminals are attacking Central Penrose as we speak. All citizens, please stay indoors until authorities have dealt with the threat." The newscaster reported, his voice relayed through the television's speakers.

"Hear that, child? Be a sweetie and investigate that for me, would you? It's not too far away from where you are."

"Yes, Mom~" The petite blonde nodded gingerly once as flames enveloped her body, purging all the filth off her thin frame, then they coalesced into the shape of an outfit, forming a scarlet ragged dress with a peculiar hem as it constantly ebbed and flaked off pieces of itself much like sparks from a burning campfire. Her back-length locks styled itself into a ponytail at her left temple before a red ribbon kept them in place, formed in the same manner as her dress.

Then, she held out her left hand as tongues of flames slithered outward to merge together, forming a peculiar sword-like magic staff that was taller than its wielder. That done, Caroline flapped her crystalline branch-wings and flew out of the mobster's hideout by crashing through a window before taking to the skies, soaring toward downtown Penrose.
Hidden 2 days ago Post by Shifter_Master
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Shifter_Master Atrast Nal Tunsha

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.:⋮Initilize⋮:.


‘And the day had been going so well’ Penny would sigh internally just as Elora started to speak. Whilst Penny was unsure who amongst the two of them had a stronger connection to Beacon’s servers a call for backup was something that neither of them would miss.

Still, she figured that it was par for the course here in Penrose. A week without something going wrong was almost too good to be true more often than not in this city. Not that the time between the end of the Christmas party and now wasn’t made use of. Penny had done what she could to prep for the Sanctuary to move, strove to maintain the peace she had between the Ascendency and the Sanctuary, while also worked to help the girls that she watched over at the Sanctuary. She had even found time to go see Brittany and do some magical maintenance.

The errors that nearly killed her back at the Beach had been patched up by her girlfriend, but Penny had kept a close eye on her systems since and learned that some of her magical traits were slowly and quietly destabilizing her system even if she didn’t use them. And it was the excessive use of them at Christmas that led to the near catastrophe.

Yet that was all just the chores from the day to day. Today she had been filling in for a Beacon girl who had a non-magical family emergency. Perfect life could only do so much for grandparents after all. Her ‘shift’ was almost over and she was just on her way out to see if her girlfriend was free.

But no, mass packs of Wendigos’ had to come out of nowhere and ruin that plan.

“Do you really need to ask?” Penny would reply to Rachel as processed the data that was feeding in. “I’ll head to the Business District.” She’d announce after only a moment. “Once I’m on site I’ll link up with you Elora so that we’ve got a better picture of what’s going on.” As much as the Ascendency and Penny didn’t get along the Queen hoped that they would still be willing to work together with this latest attack.

She turned and started rushing towards the teleporters. “And if you trust me” Her voice would continue from one of the speakers in the room even as she left. “I can also promise that the patrol in the industrial sector will get back up as well. If not, try and send Aurelio or someone like him. Please?”

Because, and Penny had no way of knowing if it was intended or not, but that patrol was uncomfortably close to the Sanctuary. Which meant that Penny could easily get support over there quickly. In fact before she even made it to the teleporter room Penny had already sent off a message to her court. After all, there where Wendigos near the Sanctuary. That wasn’t a good thing even without Beacon nearly landing at the front door.




Across the city, nestled away within the industrial sector, in one of the abandoned warehouses lay the Sanctuary. A safe haven for any and all that had no where else to go. It was a poor sight at first glance as much of the true worth was hidden below, though that didn’t raise its profile all that much truthfully.

Nevertheless three people within the Sanctuary would receive Penny’s message. The first among them was a regal catgirl. Penny had learned a bit from her actions at the Beach, and was working on keep her Regent in the loop where time permitted. Still her relationship with Dina had soured.

Next to notice their message was a towering muscular girl, who’s eyes and horns gave easy proof to her inhuman nature. Ashlyn was Penny’s captain of the guard, and who was in charge of matters of security while Penny was away. The wendigo situation was something she needed to know of.

The last to receive the message was a rather petit, but extremely buxom girl. Monica was as close to a spiritual advisor Penny had, due to the mino-girl’s status as a priestess of Hestia. Though that wasn’t the reason Penny contacted her, the reason was that Monica was one of the few Fire wielders that Penny knew would step up to help protect the Sanctuary.

Monica and Ashlyn would simply nod at each other having been cuddled up watching the movie that was playing. As they stood Ashlyn would call out “Belladonna!” Ashlyn’s sharp voice echoing out “We got a hunt and you’re up!”

“Minette! You’re on deck while we are out. Ellen, Tina! Eyes open incase they get past us.” Ashlyn would continue to give out orders. The number of girls who actually registered for Sanctuary defense was low over all, but that didn’t mean they weren’t prepared for this. The Sanctuary was on the outskirts of Penrose after all, they got a lot more low-grade monster run ins then most other places. So even with all the shouting there was barely any reaction from those that were shouted at. They were used to this.

It took only two minutes from when the message from Penny came in for the small squad of monster girls to head out. They had a home to protect, and Bacon bits to save and then chase off. Just another day in Penrose.
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