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"Oh, hi Tim. Be nice to Bob, okay? Ehe~" Lily greeted the weasel, glad that she didn't have to force her entire smile. She finished up her breakfast and walked back to her room, speaking from beyond the door as she dressed.
"Yeah, it might be rough...But I still want to try. Besides, maybe I'll learn something too. I mean, you wouldn't want an airhead as a girlfriend, right?" Before Alex could answer, she stepped out, already wearing her uniform, a school bag swinging behind her as she made a twirl.
"How do I look? I put the blazer on correctly, right?" She asked, and made one final check at the mirror.
"Anyway, I'll be going on. I shouldn't be gone for more than a couple of hours. Call me if anything comes up. See ya later, Alex!" And with that, Lily left. Alex now had the choice of staying inside, going outside to check out the nearby commotion he was hearing, or check the news.



Sylvia nodded at Alicia's question, and magically zoomed in on the image. She then swept her hand over it, and the image turned into an X-ray, revealing white human shapes inside the cathedral.
"There was a Christian congregation when the witches appeared; about fifty in number are trapped inside. The monsters don't seem willing to enter the building, so they seem to be safe for the moment. However, I'm afraid the situation might escalate if they start to panic and try to escape. Everyone else had fled the perimeter."
She glared at Summer, who seemed to not pay any attention until Alicia flashed her thumb at the girl, causing her to startle. She glanced over to see that Penny arrived. "This is no time for fooling around! Get going now, you can explain the situation to the others on your way! May Beacon's light guide your way!"



The baseball stadium, once loud with the cheers of an energetic audience, were silenced into confusion by the creatures that had taken shape there; humanoid shapes formed out of strips of cloth, with desiccated human corpses peeking beneath. The human audience booed at first at the shambling creatures, thinking it was a poor scare prank by the local university. The monsters seemed confused themselves, wandering in circles and bumping into walls. But then, something far more horrible appeared; monsters of maddening morphology manifested, tearing into both the monsters and players alike, soon followed by the screaming audience who found themselves surrounded by dread at every turn.
Most humans resisted, swinging with their bats or trying to kick them away, but it was no use against the hungry and violent mass of teeth and tendrils.

The mummies proved to be far more capable: they seemed to not only match each minion in strength, but overcame them, controlling their bandages and linen cloths like whips that tore into their enemies, or wrapped around them and crushed them to bits. And whenever one would be pinned, it would groan, casting a potent curse that turned the closest minion to mere dust, or be consumed by scarabs that ate it from the inside. It was a proxy war, two mindless sides duking it out in near-silence, with the mummies winning 3-to-1.
It wasn't until Annabelle herself showed up that the tide seemed to turn; using her magic, the captured prisoners were carried by black bonds, dragged away and stuffed into portals she had prepared in far off buildings by runner minions. The mummies groaned and cursed the minions near them, but it did little to deter their slow transportation. It would have been an impressive sight for a mere bystander, but they were too busy running for their lives.

When Amaryllis dashed into the scene and attacked Annabelle's forces, the imprisoned mummies attacked; they launched bandages at both her and the Horror girl, attempting to bind them. However, Katarina arrived and shot at the mummies, and the remaining minions threw themselves in front of Annabelle, becoming bound in her place.
As a result of Katarina's attack, they were launched back by the projectile, nailing them to the stadium walls. They writhed in place, still in one piece, but were unable to remove themselves, resulting in them resorting to cursing anything near them. It also meant that Annabelle had to exert far more power into her chains to pull the lances out of the wall, or risk releasing the mummies for recapture if she wanted to bring the rest of the captured mummies.



Helga felt tense at the hostility the newcomer showed, and bared her teeth out of an old habit. "Who cares? Are you gonna just twiddle your thumbs or-" She jumped back when the girl summoned her weapon, and introduced herself as Victoria. She bared her own claws, hopping in place as she tried to mimic Su's Kung Fu stance in an attempt to intimidate her. Her eyes flashed to the direction of the other voice, and she squinted at the cybernetic cloak girl. "Oh, now you're even cramping on my style!" She hissed, and grit her teeth as she listened to Su. "Fine, Su! Make her pay for plagiarizing me, ok?" She then crouched down, and her metallic twintails made a mechanical sound, locking into place with steam escaping from slits on the side, not unlike a mecha. She looked up from her bowed head, smirking with her sharp teeth. "My name's Helga! Remember it well, cause it's time I show my new improvements!" And with that, she suddenly thrust her arms behind her, opened her palms, and blasted with her sound cannons as she jumped, launching her to strike at Victoria. While this was going on, the skeletons continued their slow, disorganized march; it seemed they were heading in the direction of the central park.



At the cathedral, devout Christians cowered in fear, clutching at their rosaries and hymnals, trying to use the wide benches as cover from the sickly green witches in pointy hats who zoomed around the tower on their gnarled broomsticks, their warty faces full of malice. "Heehehehee!" Their laughter carried in the wind. Eliza saw that there were twelve of them in total when she arrived; a group of four flew around the bell tower, three hovered next to the building, and the rest were scattered as they pleased. When she got their attention, the two hovering cackled in return, seemingly not alarmed by the girl's presence. "Ah, our thirteenth witch has arrived!" "Now we can have a coven, heheee!" The witches cackled, and drew out their black magic wands. "We're turning this into a gingerbread house! Then we can eat all the children who come here!" "Wonderful idea, Gretchen! Hehee!"

The witchy fun was cut short as Eliza quickly betrayed her intentions, and loudly announced her intentions to murder everyone. "She's not one of us!" One screeched, and was shot down by light spears, hitting the grass in a comical thwack; the civilians inside saw that she melted into green goo, leaving her black clothes behind. The other witches avoided the spears with deft aerial dodging, like riding miniature airplanes, and hid behind the church to avoid the bullets that followed; they blew circular holes on the roof of the building, exposing the civilians. "Aaaahh! They're destroying our sanctuary!" They screamed from below. "I'll cast a hex on you!" One of the witches screeched. "Hocus Pocus!" She aimed her wand, and a purple blast shot out of her wand, followed by many others of different colors from the other witches as they re-emerged, flanking her from groups of seven and five. They weren't the most difficult of projectiles to avoid, but the witches were far more mobile than she was, and in a moment's notice could box her in.
I just got really sick. Might be noro virus, but my money's on food poisoning + fever. Either way, my post is delayed until I get better. Sorry everyone.
Charlie listened to Su's explanation with a relaxed posture; he was a bit tense before as he expected a fight, but now he was all smiles. "Oh, we're not superheroes. We just...larp. Like super hardcore. Right Janice?" Now he received a slap to her cheek from the miffed girl, and he only laughed in response. "Don't mind her. She can be a bit moody." Noida hard her arms behind her back as she cocked her head form side to side, pouting. "But still, what a bummer! I was hoping we'd get to do some heroics!" When Su mentioned the ice cream, Charlie lifted an eyebrow. "A hotel, you say? Well now, that would sound wonderful. Especially if I get treated by such a pretty girl-Oof!" Suddenly, Janice punched Charlie. She stared intensely at Su. "Will there be...Ice cream?" She asked with a soft voice, very uncharacteristic for her tough appearance and violent attitude.
"Sure there is!" Helga responded, happy to see that the situation resolved itself. "Come on, I know the way there." After Charlie was lifted up by Noida, the whole group began walking there, Charlie still holding his arm. "Ooh, talk about jealous..." He muttered. Soon they were at the hotel. When the gang was busy admiring the lobby, Su whispered about the attack to Helga. Helga then quickly excused herself and dashed up the building.



Penny's attack wasn't very effective against Mika. She seemed to be fairly resilient, and the electricity coursing through Penny was little more than a static shock to her. It made her uncomfortable, but wasn't going to weaken her grip too much. It did make her hair stand up on end however.
”I'm going to have to groom my hair again!” When paired with her sprint, Penny was able to shake off Mika with little effort. The beast girl fell onto her back as soon as Penny dove off the roof. She giggled when she landed.
”Yay! I chased off the champion! Boteg's going to be so proud of me!” She cheered as she saw Penny flee from the scene.

"Mika! Are you okay?" Helga appeared from the rooftop entrance of the hotel alongside Sue. "Su just told me what happened, and we got back as soon as we could. Did the champion attack?"

”I'm fine” Mika lifted her legs into the air and kicked forward, which was enough to get her onto her feet. ”I think that was the champion person that Boteg kept talking about.” Mika folded her arms behind her back. ”She fled right away, but I got a really good look at her!” She giggled. ”She was really strong, and felt like she was made out of metal or something. She didn't look like she should have felt that hard though.” Mika's grin widened. ”Like a cyborg?”

Helga gasped in surprise, and nodded. "...If that is true...Then we have a bigger fish to fry than we thought." She offered her hand to Mika. "Now, let's go back. We have a couple of customers staying overnight, but I'll take care of them." She turned back to her maid uniform. "You get some good night's sleep, okay? We'll talk more tomorrow." And with that, the Golden Grove hotel had it's first magical encounters beyond Boteg's forces. It remained to be seen whether it would be the last.



When the sun was starting to show itself at the crack of dawn, Helga was already awake, delivering breakfast to Charlie's Angels who had stayed in the hotel and were now eating at the small restaurant at the bottom floor. While the other two had normal ones, Janice had a big banana split ice cream. Not only that, but she used a small spoon to eat it carefully, once again showing a different side than her initial impression had to tell.
"Hey Janice, leave some for me!" Noida exclaimed with a big smile, and cut a piece of the banana. Charlie was leaning back on the teetering chair, his hands behind his back. "Ahh, this is the life...I feel like a celebrity." Helga then appeared, and bowed. "I'm glad you have enjoyed your stay. Now here's the bill." Charlie gasped. "Oh crap, that's expensive...Uuuhh...Noida, you got cash?"

It was then that Su heard something at street-level. When she peered outside, she saw that at the end of the street was a massive horde of monsters; they resembled skeletons, with rusty, broken weapons and armor. They seemed to have a purpose to their wandering, as they were walking away from the direction of the hotel. "Come on, you gotta pay somehow." Helga was still occupied with Charlie, her cheeks puffed as she put her hands to her hips.. "Do I have to call the manager here? He's the kind of fellow you don't want to mess with!"

”It's fine, Helga. I was the one who invited them over.” Su was standing by a window, watching the monsters walk around outside. ”So long as they didn't damage anything in their room, we can let them go without paying. Just this once at least.” She didn't look away from the window. ”But maybe next time, don't eat quite that much ice cream.”

Janiuce's ears perked up, and she looked down at her ice cream, blushing profusely. Charlie immediately stood up, shaking his head. "Oh no no. I will pay, for serious. I'm not the kind of guy who'd dine and dash. I just realized I should have only reserved one room instead of two." Now Noida was the one who slapped him, not breaking her smile at all. "We can work the money off too, right Charlie?" Charlie blinked. "Uhh, yeah! Are you fine with that? Please?" Helga smirked. "Well, we might...Hey Su, you saw something?"

Su stepped away from the window. ”Yes, I just saw some very strangely dressed men outside. I don't remember a parade event being scheduled, and it's a little early for Halloween.” Su looked towards the group with her arms folded. ”Very convincing outfits.” She shot Helga a worried look. ”I hope Mika doesn't get distracted by it all. She's very much into Halloween, and those skeletons look very life like.”

Helga immediately realized what Su meant, and she turned towards the gang. "Um, I'll put it on the tab. I gotta go...clean rooms. Goodbye."

”I should also head off.” Su immediately followed after Helga, half breaking into a sprint.

Charlie blinked, but didn't say anything until she left. "Strange maid...Really cute, though-Ooof!"

Helga and Su hurried to the rooftop, where they saw the last glimpses of the skeleton legion turn a corner. Helga transformed, making sure her incantation was drowned by the wind, and then looked at Su. "Monsters...There might be other girls too. Let's check it out, Su."

Su had transformed on her way to the rooftop when no one was looking. Her magic permitted such types of quiet, fast transformations. ”I suppose it can't be helped. They could have at least waited for me to eat breakfast first.” Su passed a tiny cyclone between her hands. ”All the more reason to take care of this quickly.”

Helga had a wide smile on her lips. "That's what I like to hear." And with that, she jumped off the roof, landing on another one. As the two approached the skeletons, they realized that there was a magical girl at the scene, watching the skeletons. "Hey, what are you doing? Aren't you going to fight them?" She yelled out at the mysterious stranger.



Lily woke up with a bit of a wobble to her step, holding her head.
"Ooh...Did I see a vision in my dreams? It was something about...A dragon..It looked like...It was in pain..."
She was still wondering about that when she stepped out of the bathroom, her pajama shirt hanging off one shoulder and her hair upright due to static electricity.
"Morning, Alex," she called to him as she turned to the kitchen. "I saw something in my dream, it was-Aaagh!" She lifted her leg up in shock at the weasel. One of her eyes twitched as she a look of utter disbelief.
"Uhhh....What is this? Did you buy Bob a new friend?" She grabbed a bowl, and ate cereal from it as she sat down at the kitchen table. "Well...I guess it doesn't matter. I've decided that I want to go to school here. Ixion has promised to forge me the papers for it. But, uhh...Would you be fine with that?" She looked down her bowl. "I mean, I feel like I need to...see other people. I realized after our talk that I...I'm not the best with people, and relationships. So I thought, maybe I could try and make friends. Uhh, friends other than you, haha." She went back to stuffing her face with cereal, regretting her awkwardness.



The Beacon HQ's magical girls had a rude awakening, as sirens blared out across the facility. "Alert! Monsters have been sighted!" Sylvia announced on the loudspeakers. "Assemble at the briefing hall!"
Magical girls arrived to the hall with chairs littered haphazardly across the floor, and a giant monitor at the back wall. Sylvia spoke at the front. She opened the TV, and a map of Penrose was on it, with two red dots.
"We have identified the location of two sightings. One is at the Penrose Stadium, where a baseball game was just interrupted by a bunch of mummy-looking creatures. They are reported to attack with their bandages. The other group is a coven of witches: Halloween-looking hags, with green skin and curled noses. They're flying on broomsticks around the cathedral, here." She pointed with a stick at the map. "Alicia, Sally, you will lead separate squads to these locations, with reserves on standby." Sally nodded with a determined look, her ears flopping on her head as she did. "Penny, Aurelio and Cherry, you will be in Sally's team, and Summer and Janet will be in Alicia's, with volunteers as the rest. Our priority is to act fast, and eliminate the monsters before they cause further damage. Any questions?"
Sylvia bit her lower lip upon hearing Alicia's scathing words, and she turned her face away, not willing to meet the hot gaze. "I go as far as I need to..." She turned back to look at her, having found inner strength. "If it means I can protect you, and everyone else." The crowd once again cheered, but Sylvia was not in the mood for that. She gestured for the judge to end the chatter, and waited for Alicia's rebuttal.
The tension that followed was nearly palpable, and some audience members took some distance away from the pit, feeling stuffy. Sylvia blinked at the mention of Mariette. "You have a list?" She asked offhandedly, but then gasped as Alicia called Kimble for a testimony.

As the light girl might have expected, there was an uproar in the audience.
"Kimble? What does she know? Was she also Justine's pawn? What is going on?" Confusion ran rampant until the judge banged his mallet. "Bring her here," the Beckoner ordered, and soon enough the catgirl was led into the Hall of Judgement. She looked sheepish, her tail wrapped around herself as she looked around fearfully, the crowd parting before her like the Red Sea for Moses.
Once she was standing on the floating podium assigned for giving testimonies, Sylvia approached her. "Do you swear to speak the truth, and only the truth, while in the Hall of Judgement?" She asked, and Kimble nodded rapidly, her fluffy ears bouncing atop her head. "I purromise!"
Sylvia nodded. "The floor is yours, miss Hayden," she then said, and made way for the defendant to question the monster girl and make her case.

"We have a list," Alicia replied, glancing up at the Judge and those seated with him. "I gave it to the Beckoners so if you didn't know about it then I don't know what to say."

She waited as the courtroom was thrown into an uproar, determined to make the best of this opportunity while she had it. This could make her entire case, and affect Kimble as well. She watched like everyone else as the catgirl entered the courtroom, frowning with sympathy at how scared she looked. She had guessed that this would be hard on her, but she didn't have much choice. She just needed to have faith in her ability to handle it.

Once she was ready, Alicia floated forwards. She decided to start easy, and let her get comfortable before getting into the difficult questions. "Alright Kimble. Can you tell the court how you know me, where we met?" Easy enough, as far as she could tell.

" Okay," Kimble answered with a straight back, and looked around at the court before she began talking. "So, Mistr-Um, Miss Hayden and I met when we were in the Overcity. I was...Not myself then. " Kimble paused. "I was turned into a bad kitty...By Justine." The crowd gasped at the revelation, and even Sylvia seemed to be taken offguard, putting a hand to her mouth. "But then, Miss Hayden rescued me! She spared my life, and gave me a chance. I'm forever grateful, nya!" She then blinked and shut her mouth, feeling embarrassed to slip with her vocal tic at such a dramatic moment.

Alicia shot Kimble a pleased smile, appreciative of the testimony. It wasn't quite how she would have phrased things, but there was something to be said for winning over the audience. That said, now she had to move on to something more difficult. "Alright. And how did you come to work for Justine? How did she make you a 'bad kitty'?"

The proceedings had taken a significant turn with Alicia calling in Kimble. Janet didn't even know the monster girl was at the HQ. Watching the witness enter and take her place Janet was confused to say the least. What was Kimble doing here? And if another of Justine's girls were here, why was she on trial? Thanks to the magic that had been cast on her, the girl didn't have a overly strong reation.

This didn't mean that everything was good though. Kimble didn't blow up the Headquarters that killed several Beacon girls. Nor was she part of Beacon before that, to her knowledge anyway. Justine wasn't much about letting her minions get to know about their pasts. For now she would just have to wait and listen to where things went.

Kimble looked down, tears starting to form in her eyes. "She...She used magic. It was so dark I couldn't see anything. It felt like I couldn't even breathe. After that...I don't remember. I mean, not much...I remember being really angry, really cruel...and how I wanted to kill and hurt. But those weren't my real feelings! They were twisted!" Kimble then began sobbing, and Sylvia looked away, sighing from empathy. "How terrible...I had no idea she had that kind of power over others..." She mumbled. The audience whispered among each other in heated debate, as they tried to comprehend the implications to Beacon as a whole.

Alicia fell silent, not willing to speak for a minute or two after Kimble had finished. It wasn't entirely what she had wished for but she was not going to complain about the results. It seemed to have had quite an impact on the crowd at the very least.

During the moments of silence Aurelio reordered the magic he was casting over the Hall. He let the curtain of Patiencestay hanging over the spectators but would no longer supply the magic to kept it running and instead sent a flow of Confidence and Understanding towards Sylvia. Being forced to face your friends and foes was never a kind experience even if it was needed from time to time.

With that said, she returned to Kimble for one last question. "Thank you for that. You said that you didn't remember much from your time when you were serving under Justine. But do you recognize that girl?" she asked, pointing at the platform where the accused stood. "Or does the name 'Janet Howell' mean anything to you?"

Kimble nodded, feeling better as she was complimented by Alicia. "I do. Justine mentioned the name a couple of times, I think. She must have been the jellyfish girl who accompanied her."

"Wait, I have a question," Sylvia then asked. "We haven't detected any dark magic within Janet, how do you explain that?" Sylvia then asked. "If she was turned into a monster, how was she purified without the Beacon's involvement?"

The sudden swing in topic was also unexpected, but she did her best to respond without hurting her own case. "After HQ was attacked, me and Suwako ran into a pair of Djinn girls whose powers involved granting wishes. With what we were up against, I wished for something that could purify any corruption, no matter how deep. When I ran into Janet earlier today, I used that on her and removed her corruption." She'd been pretty busy at the time, so telling them about the encounter had slipped her mind when it had happened. And then she'd been in the Overcity for a while so there had been other things for her to focus on. But just to prove it she produced the vial where one might see lingering stars if they looked closely.

The mention of the djinn girls was another alarm for the Beacon. "I heard rumors about them, but it sounded super sketchy..." The whispers drifted. "Can they grant any wish you'd want? Sounds super dangerous." "We can't let them roam free."
And when Alicia actually produced the empty bottle, clearly labeled as a purification potion, the audience looked on in wonder. A moment of silence passed the jury's texting having turned from rapid responses to more deliberate writing. The judge broke the spell. "Do you have any further questions, miss Starshine?" Sylvia shook her head, and gave the faintest smile. "No, your honor."

With both sides having made their case, it was time for the jury's decision. The magical girls all stood up, and one of them announced. "Based on the current evidence, we have deemed Janet Howell as..." The entire hall seemed to hold its breath in anticipation.

"...Not guilty."

About a third of the audience booed and shouted, clearly upset by the decision, but the judge banged his mallet. "Order! Janet Howell," he addressed the girl, and her podium seemed to shift down, until it was hovering just above the pit. "By the light of Beacon, I shall revoke your excommunication, and welcome you back as our fellow chosen of justice. However, you will first be put under supervision. Alicia Hayden, you are to be assigned as her commanding officer. Prepare for further orders. Dismissed." With one final bang of the tiny mallet, the crowds began dispersing from the Hall, as judgement has been made. For the first time since it's construction, it was made in favor of the defendant.

Sylvia pushed aside the magical girls who wanted her commentary on the result, and reached Alicia and Janet as they were walking out. "Alicia, I'm sorry. I know that what I did was awful. But you have to understand my position; as much as I trust you, that's not enough to guarantee Beacon's safety."

It seemed that while she was gone, both from having been kidnapped and after being freed from Justine, a lot had happened. It was going to take some time to sort though it all. In only a day she'd managed to be clensed, had trial, and avoided being killed. Although she'd still have to step lightly. Just because she was cleared didn't mean everyone was happy about it. Turning to head out she looked down at her hands. They were red from how tightly she had them clenched.

With a sigh of relief Aurelio let go of the spells he had woven throughout the Hall and nearly sank to the floor as he did so. Large scale blanketing was always rough and the atmosphere of the trial wasn't doing him any favors, thankfully his spells would linger for a bit longer so it was unlikely that anything rash would be done so soon after the trial ended.

Straightening up he gave a deep bow to both the Judge and the rabbit that had vouched for him. He hoped he at least nodded in acknowledgement of the warning he had received earlier, but he honestly couldn't remember due to the focus he put in to his spell weaving. Then he turned and strode out of the Hall in search of the people more directly involved in the trial, lapping up the ambient emotions as he went.

"Well that was quite the event." His approach was mixed with an aura of Relaxation as he gently tried to sooth the friction that the trial surely had caused between everyone. "Hopfully you didn't mind me stepping in as I did, was just trying to keep everone on track."

Turning to Aurelio , Janet shook her head. "No that was helpful. I wondered where that came from. Thank you...." She trailed off, not knowing the boys name but offered a hand to shake. Hopefully he would get the hint. She was inturupted briefly as her things were being returned to her. Fishing around in her backpack she searched for her phone.

Aurelio took the offered hand without missing a beat "Glad to be of help." he replied with a grin "And I go by Aurelio while I'm suited up but otherwise my name's Kyle, pleasure to meet you all."

Having said her piece, Alicia fell silent and waited quietly as the jury went about their deliberation. She felt like she had done the best she could given the circumstances, she just hoped that the jury agreed with her. If she hadn't succeeded and Janet was found guilty, she didn't know what she'd do with herself.

A sigh of relief escaped upon hearing the verdict, the tension released from her body as she visibly sagged. She didn't mind the conditions that had come with the verdict, and was just glad that she had succeeded as she was pulled back from the middle of the room by the floating platform while everyone else exited.

Arriving at the entrance, she stopped as Sylvia came up to her. "I know," she assured the other girl, patting her on the shoulder. "You're doing your job. I'm just not used to finding myself in the crosshairs." She could imagine herself being on the other side, if she hadn't had the information that had proven her innocence.

"Yeah. I'm not sure I would have been able to present my case as well if I acted as defendant. Anyway, I got a lot of paperwork to finish now, so catch you later." And with that, Sylvia left, hounded by a horde of gossiping girls.

Alicia turned to Janet, flashing her a thumbs up. "Congratulations. I guess this means you have to call me Boss now." She then paused, a subdued frown taking over as she regarded her friend. "That is, if you want to stick around after everything that's happened." She wouldn't blame her if she needed some time after what she'd just been through.



Helga nodded back to Su, and moved towards the source of the sound some more, purposefully using her body to block line of sight to Su as she went to lean on a nearby fence, hopefully masquerading herself as a normal passerby. "Sure thing, twintails," the boy's voice responded, and soon enough, he stepped out of the shjadows to confront Helga. The magical boy had a wide grin on his face as he held his hands in his pockets. He was accompanied by two magical girls: a serious-looking girl with flowing red hair, sinister armor and an intense glare, and a more cheerful-looking girl with a native-looking islander outfit. "Hi there!" The boy lifted his hand up. "I'm Charlie, and these are Charlie's Angel's!" The red-haired girl squinted, and quickly slapped him in the back of the head. "Ouch! I mean, she's Janice, and the other one's Noida." Janice scoffed as she crossed her arms and looked away, while Noida came right up to Helga. "You're a magical girl, right? Is the other girl one too?" She pointed towards Su. Helga shook her head. "No, she's...I rescued her from a robber just now, and was leading her back to home. Isn't that right, Su?" Helga turned towards her.
Lily sniffled as she looked up at Alex, her sobbing interrupted by his explanation.
"Oh...So you didn't propose to me...That's...Kind of a relief."
Then, when Alex compared Amaryllis to a Shakespeare player, she let out a little giggle; Alex managed to calm her down.
"Yeah, it was actually pretty funny, now that I think about it."
She closed her eyes, and took a deep breath when her head was patted. Afterwards, she withdrew from him, and adjusted her crooked glasses with a blush, her fingers poking together.
"Because...You make me feel safe, Alex. The way you care about other people...It's inspiring. You even went out of your way to rescue me, when we just became friends. That's not something any friend would do."
She then yawned as the adrenaline began to pass, and she rubbed her eye.
"Anyway, I...Umm..I need some time alone. So, uhh...good night." She then retreated back to her room, and checked her phone; no messages or calls. She considered calling Shannon, but then threw the phone on the bed. She clutched at Justine's hat.

Dammit...This is your fault... She thought as she collapsed on the bed.



Helga blinked in surprise at Su's mention of the genies. "Oh, those two. Amber made them a wish, and restored my body. If they could do that, I'm sure they can reveal the location of the saboteur. Come on, let's go!"
Helga made sure she transformed, uttering an incantation under her breath that Su didn't hear, and the two ran through the dark streets of Penrose, the moon lighting their way. They turned on an intersection when somebody called out to them. "Oi ladies, what's the hurry?" Helga lifted her hand to signal a stop to Su without words, and cautiously turned towards the mysterious caller. "Who's there? Show yourself!" She responded, her arms tense as she fought the urge to bare her claws.



The crowds in the Hall of Judgement were too distracted by the drama happening at the upper center to notice how Aurelio parted from it, and walked right up to the edge of the Pit of Punishment; he could feel a great heat rising up from the fire and brimstone, not unlike an active volcano. When he began his magic, and directed the flow of emotions coursing through the room, the results were gradually more and more apparent; Alicia felt a blaze of fire in her heart, her will bolstered to withstand the harshest insult, while Janet became the very avatar of serenity, her expression as peaceful as a saint. The clamor in the jury ended, their attention no longer split, and wholly directed towards the debate presented by both sides. It seemed Aurelio's magic wasn't enough to affect every single member, as some kept typing away on their phones, but most had placed them away, silently observing. "Hey! What do you think you're doing!" The judge shouted, waving his tiny mallet towards the magical boy. "Use of magic is expressly forbidden in the Hall of Judgement!" But then, the white rabbit Beckoner spoke up: "It's fine. He simply helped us, so that we may proceed with the trial without complications."
The bear grumbled, but then sighed. "Fine. But if I catch you performing any illicit magic, you'll be the next one judged."

When Janet mentioned Justine's full name, the Beacon crowd seemed to gasp and shudder in fright. "You-Know-Who!" She could hear someone exclaim. She then heard a slap. "This isn't Harry Potter, Katie! Quiet!" Sylvia was not affected, her composure as strict as before. However, when Janet mentioned the Spark failing, she lifted a pointing finger towards her in dramatic fashion. "Objection!" She exclaimed, and the crowd cheered her on, whistling and waving their hands; Sylvia herself scoffed at the attention, and redirected her focus on the debate as the judge silenced the court. "The Spark has never been proven to fail any attempt at repelling corruptive and mind-influencing magic," she said. "Even if you don't believe it's a lie, it's possible that Justine has enchanted you to believe her lies as the absolute truth, and is still exerting influence over you, after her passing."

When Alicia made her counter, the crowd booed her, clearly favoring Sylvia. The bear banged on his mallet so loud a thunderbolt ran up from the Circle of Sanctuary, and ran down the pit. "QUIET IN THE COURT!"
The trial was heating up, with both sides now clashing. "Very well then. Miss Hayden, provide evidence that Janet is no longer affected by Justine's magic. Show us conclusive proof that she is innocent!" She pointed, gritting her teeth as she had to confront her own friend. The Hall was silent, waiting for Alicia's move; it was the climax, where hope and despair would clash.
A battle took place. Orange lights blocked the windows of a single house as darkness swallowed the city. Two Empaths were in struggle, shooting blasts powered with emotions at one another. However, only one of them had bathed in the seas of sorrow, wandered the streets of rage, climbed the mountains of despair, delved into the forest of anxiety or flown in the skies of hate. Only one of them had access to an interdimensional horror to guide them to the most emotionally charged worlds available. The battle quickly quieted down, the lights fading. A while after, a many-legged being landed on top of the building.

‘In here? Alright. Thanks,’ Ronja Koskela said into her phone as she carefully wandered the roof, one pair of legs moving at a time. Her hands spun her parasol, looking down on the fairly average building on the outskirts of Penrose at dusk. She closed the call and deposited her phone in the slight space in-between where her belly was swallowed into the spider’s abdomen that was her lower half and where her torso actually ended. Here, eh? There was an open window. Ronja crawled down easily over the wall and went inside.

No damage from the battle that had taken place was visible. Merely some chairs that had been knocked over and the occasional slide-mark from furniture. Notably a mirror of Asengav was leaning on the far wall, untouched. In the middle of the battlefield was a downed Magical Girl with half-open mouth and lifeless eyes, and standing over her was the smirking purple-clad blonde girl that was Suzette Laderoute, Empath of Asengav.

‘You took your time,’ Suzette said with a smirk.

‘I had to cross dimensions to get here,’ Ronja defended. She looked at the girl on the floor. ‘That her?’

‘Yupp. She’s a Puchuu girl that has been keeping up-to-date on the situation here in Penrose. I went ahead and punched all the will to resist out of her, so you can go ahead with the questioning. I’m going to go drench myself in hatred in the meantime,’ Suzette said, before turning to walk towards the mirror. Ronja kept her eyes focused on the downed Magical Girl, breathing out a bit.

‘Someone might have heard your fight. I would like to have some form of backup,’ Ronja stated. Suzette merely giggled as she knocked on the mirror. After a bit of time, it shimmered and opened a pathway to a world Ronja wasn’t familiar with.

‘Aw, is our residential spider-girl feeling lonely?’ Suzette looked back with a smirk. ‘Don’t worry. I just emptied myself. It was extremely draining to win while making sure there was no residential damage, I need to refill. I’ll be back when I’m full~’ Suzette giggled, before exiting through the mirror and vanishing from this world. Ronja merely sighed, and then crawled up to the downed Magical Girl. She took her phone out again and sent a message.

“Emptiness Empath” and “Psychorachnid” finishing up, should arrive in time.

Then, she turned to the girl beneath her, giving a little smile and spinning her parasol.

‘Alright. Time for you to share everything you know about the situation in Penrose,’ Ronja said, moving a hand down and stroking the hair of the girl. One of her spider-legs settled on the girl’s stomach.

‘Don’t worry about feeling guilty,’ she continued, as she pulled her hand and strands of memories left the girl’s mind in the shape of spider-web for Ronja to inspect.

‘You won’t remember.’



Lily stopped her motorcycle on top of the apartment building she and Alex were staying at, and then jumped off it, landing on the balcony to their apartment. She could have used the front door, but at that moment she was so happy she wanted to do things the more energetic way. She even hopped on the sofa, transforming back to her regular appearance as she held a hand to her ear looking at the ceiling.
"That was great, wasn't it?" She asked Alex. Then she nodded her head upon hearing Ixion speak in her head; she held her hand to her ear as if she was on the phone.
"Yeah, I know...I'll start looking tomorrow. I'm sure a ghosting ghoul like that's easy to find."
She then stood up and stretched her arms.
"To think that so many other girls were there helping out...We might be able to reach Victoria's dream. Huh, what is it Alex?" She asked in her bubbly demeanor, and went to the kitchen.

She opened the door to the fridge...And slammed it shut upon hearing his question. She blushed, her face a complete red as her legs began shaking.
"Wh-What?" She reached in her pocket reflexively, feeling the ring that Alex gave her.
Wait, didn't he propose to me? What is going on? Oh geez, don't panic in front of him!
She gave a nervous laugh, and turned towards Alex, leaning against the fridge as if she took refuge from it; her teeth began chattering from the cold.
"Aha, well...I don't know!" She stood back up, and gave a forced smile as she raised her shoulders and cocked her head to the side.
"I mean, I kissed a girl and liked it, but that doesn't make her my girlfriend, haha." It only took a single second to pass before Lily's joking confidence utterly shattered upon her realization, and she began panicking, talking in a rapid pace.
"No, forget what I said! I didn't want to kiss her, she just came up to me and did it, I didn't know what I was doing and-and I don't like girls-I mean I do like them but not in THAT way!"
As her anxiety started to reach critical mass, she lunged towards Alex, and hugged him. She shook as she buried her face in his chest.
"Why...Why do you think I changed my costume today, Alex?" She asked, her breath shallow as she was on the verge of crying.
"I've seen it...The way you look at other girls, and their...Ugh. I just know, you're gonna leave me behind...Like everyone else I've known. That's why I just rode from town to town; If I stayed for long, I would just be..." Tears drifted down her cheeks, and stained his clothes.
"But...this time I stayed...Because Penrose needs my help...You need my help. You're such a dummy...You even proposed, yet you still don't get it..."



Helga stood firm with her hands clasped in front of her, her face not moving an inch as Boteg explained the situation; her experience as Justine's lackey taught her to be diligent and attentive. She faced Su's suggestion with a nod, her eyes determined. "Yeah, I agree. Mariette wants to deny it, but she and Justine are not so different. She also has ambition...And the will to realize it." She then blinked as Mika showed off her performance, followed by wide-eyed awe. "Ahh, that's amazing, Mika!" She went over to the shorter girl, and patted her on the head. "Don't you worry, ok Mika? Me and Su will be coming right back. I promise. Alright, let's go, Su." She said, and followed after her waving off to Mika as she did. During the short time she had known the Beast girl, she had found herself drawn to her; maybe it was because she reminded her of her own wild past, or the fact she always wanted a little sister who she could dote over, and be idolized by, but in either case Helga felt a bond with her. "So, where are we headed to?"



The ursine judge cast a mean look towards Janet when she rejected the charges. It looked like she struck a nerve with the Beckoner, and with good reason. The entire hall was silent, tension high in the air.
"So you plead innocent...They always do," he spoke in a cold voice. "But is that really true?" He looked towards Alicia, expecting her to answer. After the Light user's confirmation, the spectators reacted confused, having not expected that to happen.
"Is Alicia lying?" She could hear a whisper among many others.
"I hear she actually slapped Cherry. The nerve of her."
"She turned into a bully!"
"I hope I'm not next..."

The judge sighed. "Very well. Prosecution, do you want to make your case now?" Sylvia nodded, and responded with a professional rigidness: "Yes, your honor. I would like to present evidence." She brought out a crystal ball, and from it projected a magical illusion to the upper center of the hall, where everyone could see it.
"This is surveillance footage depicting the training hall just moments before the incident." Alicia saw how Janet walked past the camera; she was wearing a black dress, carried a sports bag, and smiled and waved on her way.
Sylvia looked disheartened by seeing it again.
"As you can see, miss Howell was at the scene of the crime, planting the bomb. Next, I would like to ask for a witness to give testimony." Soon, another pod joined the center; Cherry was on it. Sylvia moved in front of her with his own podium. "Miss Sugarsweet, did you see miss Howell at the scene of the crime?"
Cherry bit her lip as she saw Alicia, but then took a deep breath. "I did...Janet walked right through the entrance as I began my shift. I traded with Cola, who had an appointment at the training hall." She looked shaken. "I...She didn't make it." She pointed at Janet, holding back tears. "And that bitch killed her!"
The judge banged his mallet again. "Order in court! Janet Howell, how do you answer to these claims?"
He asked, and the jury began writing on their smartphones.
@FamishedPants

Been a long time since we had a proper fire girl. And she's a good example of one. Accepted.
The entirety of Beacon's forces were alarmed of the coming trial that was about to be held; the entire base now turned busy as plans were made and squads were sent back and forth to cover for the temporary absence the event would cause in some patrols; many volunteered to participate, as word quickly spread on who was to be accused.
In the end, a massive congregation followed after Sylvia and Janet as the former pushed open over-sized doors, and entered the Hall of Divine Judgement, just past the water-cooler. The Hall was vast, made using space magic to accommodate a smaller room that would be physically possible. The most alarming thing Janet noticed was that the circular chamber lacked a floor, or a roof for that matter. The hole above showed a sunny sky, casting rays of pleasant sunlight from between fluffy white clouds; it evoked a feeling of celestial comfort. In contrast, the pit below was fiery, and fitted with pointy rocks; no second guesses were needed what that symbolized.

Janet was directed to step into and stand inside floating podium, which travelled to the center of the room. The other end of the chamber housed a tall, decorated podium that was also floating, resembling a black monolith at the bottom; the seat of the judge, with floating podiums for the prosecutor, defendant, and the jury at the sides. The rest of the space was fitted for spectators to watch. Sylvia sighed as she watched Janet slowly shift away, and gave one final look at Alicia; it was one of conflict, showing how she was split between her duty to Beacon, and the friendship she had with Alicia. "Alicia..." She mumbled, as if going to say something, when she was called in as the prosecutor. She then sighed, and made a single nod, closing her eyes as she stepped into her podium.

Everyone took their places in the podiums, with Alicia as the defendant and volunteers at the scene as the jury; the floating standing seats quickly arranged themselves in the 3-dimensional space, mostly surrounding Janet. A strange-looking Beckoner appeared at the judge's seat; it resembled a bear with a design split down the middle in design; one half represented virtue and faith, the other sin and punishment. Even the halo and wings on it's back had the same duality to it. Another Beckoner resembling a white rabbit appeared and gave it a judge's wig and tiny mallet for it to wear. When it hit the mallet, it caused a loud sound, like the clanging of a great bell. At that, many other Beckoners also arrived, flying high above them all. "Let us begin the trial for Janet Howell," the judge spoke. "In this Hall, you are sworn to speak the truth, and only the truth. Sylvia, list her charges."
Sylvia nodded, and brought out a futuristic notepad from her pocket, beginning to read it. "Janet Howell is accused of the following charges: betrayal against Beacon and her own sworn sisters, direct assault on Beacon's headquarters, multiple accounts of murder committed on Beacon's chosen, terrorism, giving into corruption and allying themselves with Justine von Visceral." The jury began whispering with wide eyes, their looks upon Janet harsh. The judge nodded. "Janet Howell, do you admit to committing these sins?"
@NuttsnBolts
Thank you.
Reminds me of Hermaeus Mora from The Elder Scrolls, or Tzeentch from Warhammer. I like it. Accepted.
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