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The air itself seemed to faintly shimmer with magical energy as Mariette's fury resounded through it, causing ripples to form in the surface of the lake. And in a single moment, all hell broke loose; portals rapidly opened in every direction around Caroline, and out of them poured out a force beyond imagination. In addition to the tentacles familiar to all, grasping and whipping like a roused kraken from the deep, there were also creatures of the dark that jumped out at the vampire girl, the kind of minions only a Dark Magical Girl could bend to her will. While any other girl would have been utterly overwhelmed at the sheer malevolence that Mariette unleashed, Caroline only giggled at the sight, insanity coursing through her crimson eyes.

"Hahaa! Toys! Toys!" She screamed in utter delight, and spun her spear in place, deflecting the first wave of tentacles before jumping up; a Shadow was suddenly pierced by her red spear as it was thrown, leaving it impaled in gruesome fashion. Just as Mariette knew from personal experience, Caroline was a fighter unlike no other; unlike Minnie, who fought with grace and composure, the terror before her was like a deranged madwoman, her movements precarious and contorting. Yet, there was a method to her madness; as if she was simply dancing around, she extended elongated nails from her fingers, and performed a wide scratch around her as she dashed through the air, tearing the surrounding Shadows and tendrils apart. She also grabbed one of the Shadow's arms, and met the creature's rubberband attack with a giant snap of her jaws, biting the neck off the summoned being. She shot blood out of her palms, solidifying it, into a a pair of curved scimitars that she swung around with wild abandon, slashing faster than the naked eye could follow. However, despite her efforts, she could not close the distance to Mariette.
"More! MORE!" She cried, and continued fighting, kept busy by the portal-based barrage.

"Holy crap...I sure am glad I never had to fight Mariette," Helga commented, only to realize this was their chance to slip by Caroline while she was distracted. When Alexander ran up to her, she nodded, and began running towards the secret entrance, gesturing for the magical boy to follow after her.
”Roger!” Penny did the same, and jumped up to the deck of Earth Bastion, preparing to storm the castle with all of her might as she charged up in electricity, her fists clenched as she stood with legs apart, teeth grit as she powered up. The ship hit the water with a big splash, and soon enough was afloat, sailing swiftly across the lake, soon leaving Mariette, Eli, Suwako and Shade ashore to fight with Caroline.

"Oops! Big sister will be mad! Come in, Curie!" Caroline screamed amidst her fighting, and threw up a sphere of blood into the air. Once it reached the apex, it exploded, causing red rain for a couple of seconds.

"Freeze!"

A young woman's voice could next be heard coming from the castle as Earth Bastion approached it. And then, a sound of crackling could be heard; like a rapid wave of cold, the lake was instantly frozen, causing Earth Bastion to be stuck in place.
"Who dares trespass upon Lady Justine's estate?" Another, more mature voice could be heard. And then, the crew on the ship saw her: floating high above, with the soles of her feet pushing out bright flames like rocket jets, and with her arms crossed over her chest, they saw her:



"The Curie Corps, gatekeepers of her holy land, will not tolerate this intrusion! Doris, attack! Kimble, flank them! Umeko, provide covering fire!"
She screamed, and pointed with her giant sword.

"Understood. Beginning purification."
The crew saw another woman floating over the ice, her hands tucked to her sleeves as she approached the ship, in full visual range:


The crew then felt how winds began picking up around the ship. They then saw a gust of green winds rapidly blow in their direction from behind them.
"Nyaaah, I'll slice them to ribbonyah!"
Far away, thanks to their enhanced vision, they could see a catlike form that seemed to ride the winds:

The bestial girl then swung what looked like a sickle in her hands, and a gust of wind was shot at them; it sliced at Scout's leg, causing her to drop to one knee from the wound.

”Scout! Watch out-AGHHHH!” Penny cried out as she was suddenly shot on her shoulder, and the harsh sound of a ricocheting bullet could be heard; the nearby girls were fortunate their magical bodies were protected from deafening. It was a far distance, but Alicia managed to see where the shot came from: standing atop the castle rooftop was a familiar face aiming a sniper rifle at them: Umeko.
”Not you again, dammit!”

However, despite the danger, Amber felt that the winds of fate blew in her favor, as Earth Bastion was now just 200 meters away from the castle: she could reach the rooftop of the castle by flying, if she chose to do so.


Helga, Alex, and Makoto ran through the gloomy tunnel for what felt like a long time, and noticed that the way split up at several points in a mazelike fashion. "Damn, it's confusing in here. I think it's...This way?"
However, Alex also felt how fate pushed him to walk a certain path, and as he led it he could sense a magical boy just like him lurking the passages. As he peeked around a corner he saw Ilia, the snakelike monster boy, slithering about, clearly patrolling; if they waited, they could let him pass by without him noticing them, and they could go on without alerting him.




Meanwhile, the fight was heating up on the lake shore, as Suwako joined in the attack and Mariette began performing more complex attacks, using her portals to redirect attacks and multiply her output. At that point even Caroline, the ferocious vampire, began to struggle; she kept slashing and biting, but to no avail. And soon enough, one of the vines pulled out a scimitar from her hand, while another struck from behind, vines and tentacles now wrapping around her as she was stunned for an eyeblink. However, the moment the tendrils touched her body, they slipped right through, as if grasping viscous liquid.

"HAAHAAHAA!" Caroline laughed, and her red dress bubbled on the surface.
"Caroline can play pudding, and play sweet red! Dennie taught Caroline how!"
Taking advantage of the surprise, she then swiftly dashed in, her arm raised in an overhead swing, aimed at Mariette.
"MARIMARIII!"

Suddenly, sparks flew in the air, and Caroline's eyes turned to slits as they saw how Shade parried her attack with her fists. Some of Caroline's blood spilled on them, and Caroline leaped back, snarling.

"Go away! Caroline only wants to play with long-haired dolls!" Her dress flowed as if bustled by harsh winds, and blood began puddling around her as she summoned a battleaxe with a wide blade.

"Caroline will be gentle..."
Looks pretty dope. I like it.


-Uh Oh-


Helga had a concerned look on her face as she stood between Amber and Makoto, her eyes shifting between them as they spoke up. Of course, she agreed with her Lady's suggestion on how the crew would split up, but the squirrel girl also had valid points to make.
”Who in their right mind would let you alone down there? That's just stupid,” Penny chimed in, pointing at Makoto.
”Besides, I think captain's plan sounds good.” She stretched her metallic arms, and a humming sound could be heard inside her as she became worked up.
Helga sighed, and then looked at Alicia and Mariette. "Well yes, I did. But it's not like she ever explained to me what she can do. But I can say this with certainty; she uses Space magic, and not just teleporting or dimensional travel, either. She can summon items she has touched personally, out of other items she has touched...She can even enchant her surrounding environments and modify the space within them. She's the strongest out of Justine's Four-uh, Three Elites. Even Mariette struggled against her when they fought," she said, and smirked as she remembered what happened, before she bit her lip. "Uhh, not to mock you or anything."

”Enough standing around! Just play rock-paper-scissors or something, we can't-Huh?” Penny turned as she heard Eli's scream, her arms making a lock-in sound as she tried to see where the threat was. She was distracted by Eli suddenly popping behind her through Mariette's portal.
"Eli? What is it?" Helga asked, and then looked over to where everyone else was staring in various stages of confusion.
"Um...Well..." Anaya mumbled, and pointed at the one person that didn't seem to fit in with the rest of them, the odd duck of the group: Libby. As everyone's eyes settled on her, she turned her gaze around herself, looking around to see what had gotten Eli and the rest so riled up with a little smile.
"Hm? Hm hm hm?" She hummed, a dumb grin on her face. But, it didn't last long; she turned her attention to Mariette.
And then, she began giggling.

"Hee hee..."

"Hee hee hee..."

"Hee he-HEE HEE HEE!"

As Libby laughed maniacally, a crimson vortex of blood suddenly formed around her, enveloping her and knocking back anyone near her. Helga gasped, her eyes widening upon her realization as she braced against the strong wind that pushed at them.

"It can't be...!"

The red tornado churned and swirled around her for only a lingering moment, before it ended. And as it did, Anaya let out a cry. Standing before them was a girl whom Mariette and Eli have met, and whom had haunted their consciousness ever since:





"Oopsies! Caroline was found out!" She spoke, her fangs now visible to everyone.
"Caroline wanted to play hide and seek even more, but Ellie found out!"

"Watch out! She's Justine's little sister, Caroline von Visceral!" Helga cried out, her legs shaking as she tried to put on a courageous front.
"She...She is PSYCHO!"

Caroline's red dress seemed to waver and slither around her as she stood there with her bare feet, seemingly made of blood as it flowed like liquid.
She grinned widely, her eyes intense as they shifted from one girl to the next. And then, they settled on Eli.

"Ellie...Caroline is grateful. Dennie was such a nice doll...to play with...She was delicious...And she gave Caroline new powers, powers to play hide and seek! It was so...much...fun..."

She then looked down at her open palm, and breathed heavily.
"Big sister wanted Caroline to play hide and seek...But...Caroline wants to play with dolls...Squishy cute dolls...Pretty dolls with long hair...Dolls with...sweet...sweet...SWEET RED!"
She then held a hand to her side, and a red spear with intricate design formed from blood flowing out of her palm.
"Play with Caroline, Ellie, Mariette! Play with Caroline lots and lots and LOTS!"
Helga slouched closer to Anaya, her snout sniffing the air as she growled at the dark magical girl; it seemed that she also considered her a threat for contributing to her distress and frustration now that she was only directed by pure instinct. However, before the dragon girl managed to lift her claws, Amber intervened, causing her to blink and stare in shock, like a deer in the headlights. Anaya only nodded once at Amber's advice, her gaze also unmoving. Helga took a step closer, and sniffed at Amber, her snout nearly prodding at the pirate girl. "...L..."
She managed to speak between growls. "...Lady..." She slowly lifted her arms, and caught Amber in her hold as they wrapped around her. Amber then realized she was successful in calming Helga down, and the golden scales rippled off her like dust, returning her back to her previous state. "I'm sorry," she mumbled, her face tucked on Amber's shoulder. "I got so mad, I...It brought out bad habits."

As the two shared in their tender moment, Penny groaned.
”Ugh, save the mushiness for later! We gotta get going already!” the mechanical monster girl went right up to the Gorelion's carcass, and bent down to tuck her arms under it.
”NRGH! Of course I gotta be the one to clean up the mess from my ship! YAAAHH!” She lifted the dead abomination, and lobbed it over the deck, making a thud as it landed on the ground.
She wiped her hands, grinning pridefully. ”Now, get your booty back at the helm, captain, or I'll keelhaul yar!” Libby Bibby watched on the sidelines, and giggled at Penny. Then she bounced over to Eli, and doubled over, grinning. "Heehee! Eli's more smushy, like pudding!"
As this was happening, Scout followed Alicia inside the ship, rubbing her eye.
"I think I'll take a break too. I'm so tired I'll pass out."
And so, once the entire crew of the Earth Bastion was back inside, the vehicle charged ahead at full steam, leaving the bloody battlefield behind.






The mighty ship rolled forward undeterred, passing by the strange, dreamlike world that was the world of Overcity. They passed by ruins built around a massive, seemingly bottomless pit, as well as a forest that sung a beautifully ethereal song, and even a rainbow that led to a metal cooking pot full of gold coins. However, there was no sign of magical creatures one might have expected to see, such as leprechauns or unicorns. Instead, they could only see an occasional Gorelion or two lurking in the darkness; they did not dare approach without an outside incentive, and simply watched as the ship rolled by.
After about half an hour, the crew could see, far in the horizon, a gothic structure:



It was a grand feat of architecture, standing tall and ominous, lighted in a red hue against the blood moon that shone behind it. However, they soon realized that the castle was surrounded on all sides by a vast lake of murky water, eerily still. "That's the place," Helga commented, leaning against the railing with her claws raking across it. "She's gonna be expecting us, since I'm sure she was the one who sent the hounds at us. And it's already half moon...We need to hurry."
Earth Bastion stopped at the lake shore, and Helga hopped out. "If I remember correctly..." She reached out towards a dead tree near the shore, and pulled down on a branch; it was actually a lever, and opened up a secret passage, with stone stairs leading down into darkness under the lake. "This should lead down to the dungeons. While our main group of fighters storm the castle with one group on the ship, and the other with flying girls, a third team could infiltrate and rescue the captives. However, I think Justine may have Sonia guarding them. What do you think, everyone? Should we split the party to three? And if we do, who goes where?"

While Helga was discussing their plan of action with the others, Libby Bibby turned to look at Eli, now mostly healed thanks to the healing effect that Alexander had bestowed on the ship.
"Ellieee! Let's go together the sneaky peaky way! Libby can play hide and seek really well! and Libby knows you can too!" As she said that, she flashed a big smile, her red eyes staring intently. She leaned over a bit, and Eli and Anaya caught a glance of something resembling a spiky red tattoo peeking from her neckline, exposed due to her collar still opened from the previous fight. Then, something strange happened: as the sight of the mark came to their consciousness, both of them realized how familiar it was. And then they realized, thanks to their close affiliation with their respective Patrons, that the cheerful girl was....



....A servant of a Horror. In addition, they could gather from the subtle, previously undetected magical aura, that she had a Bane; it was something related to emotion.

"Huh? Is something wrong, Ellie?" She asked, leaning over even closer, smiling. Eli could feel Libby's breath on her as she giggled softly, her lips parted. At that very moment, she saw them: in the faint crimson glow, in the looming shadow of a dark fortress, she could not mistake the very same fangs that had taken her twin sister's life.
@ArkmageddonCat

That's unfortunate to hear. Don't worry, we will. Hopefully we'll see you in other RP's.
Things at Solaire once again took a slower pace, yet there was an air of uncertainty surrounding squad Sigma; what would become of of its members; would they be able to stay together, even amidst the political intrigue that threatened to split them apart? Maria and Zim didn't rest on their laurels, and were convicted to fight for their fellow pilots' lives, against all odds. It seemed all hope was lost for them, but Elise happened to provide a channel for their voices; when she received the evidence data from Maria, she gave thanks in a returning message, and asked that no word would spread from her involvement in the shady affair.

The pilots did not have much time to ponder on what the possible results of their deal would before came a day of celebration. Ariin had asked permission to hold an event, and Lorenzo agreed on the conditions that they clean up after themselves among others. The old professor himself seemed to widely smile as he invited Ana over, and showed her a pretty red dress for her to wear at the party. "Ah, my daughter's homecoming dance~" He mumbled, living out a delusional fantasy as the android went elsewhere to change. "But, she needs a date. And I'm not willing to let any man here touch my darling Ana. Hmm...Maybe she could go..."

It turned out that Ariin's party had attracted people outside the squad, as a few soldiers and engineers had caught wind of the plans, and attempted to crash the party. However, they soon left once Ana arrived, now wearing her pretty dress. She was accompanied by several others, who weren't on the guest list: Irina was one, wearing a modest blue dress. She did not say anything, and simply found a corner spot where she leaned on the wall and stared at the party, seemingly bored. Lorenzo's beautiful research assistant Dariya Chovalenko was also there, and she stepped in with an enchanting presence, her sultry eyes gazing at Zim in particular. "Ahh, Zim! My, it's been forever since we've met! I've been so...busy working with the professor." She gave a seductive smile, and traced a finger on his shoulder.
"Blowing up an entire Cruxi fleet all on your own...aren't you a naughty boy~" She then felt a weak hand tug on her dress, and he turned with a smile. "Oh, you'd like to speak with them too? Ok then. Say hello to everyone, Elora!"

Just like Ana and Dariya, Elora was wearing a frilly pink dress. However, she was wearing a nearly featureless white mask over her face, with green tron lines running in complicated cybernetic patterns over it. When she was given the command to greet, she clasped her hands before her, and gave a curtsy, her posture disturbingly perfect. "H-Hello..." She spoke in a low voice, and then hugged Dariya's side, trembling in fright. "She must be a little shy. Oh, and don't mind the mask. She feels better with it on," Dariya said, and then went right over to partake of some table treats. Elora on the other hand was left to stand there awkwardly, with everyone staring at her. "Um...Thank you for letting me attend the party."
Woop woop
@DarkRecon
There's been posts planned to be coming soon. Also, most of the discussion is on our Discord channel.


-The Enemy Of My Enemy-




The battlefield around the Earth Bastion turned more hectic, but the crew of Magical Girls on it continued fighting valiantly, some even going as far as unleashing great magic to eradicate the magical manifestations of malice. Makoto was one such example, able to take the shot of energy unleashed from Penny's Gauss discharge and manipulate the nearly unstoppable force with an instant gravity well, speeding it up so that it hit the Gorelion pinning Penny. Aided by Mariette redirecting projectiles through her portals, the monster was swiftly slain by the shot piercing it. As a result, the tongue released its grip on Penny, and the robotic monster girl stretched her arms out, wiping herself of the beast's saliva.
”I gotta hand it to ya, that was impressive, squirrel girl. But it was my shot, so technically I got the kill.”

Amber made a swift turn with Earth Bastion towards the west, and rammed right into the Gorelion that directly attacked the ship. However, despite the great mass of the ship, it was stopped by the sheer strength of the single Gorelion, letting out a bloodcurdling roar as it pushed with all it's might. Then, Amber felt how the ship slightly rose on the left side; the abomination was soon going to tip the entire vehicle over.


In that critical moment, Alicia unleashed the full potential of her magic, and launched a great beam of light that banished the darkness, and burned the pushing Gorelion; it growled in anguish, but soon enough, it was reduced to but a pile of ash, smited by brilliant light.
The beam then swept over to the closest target now that the west was cleared, which was a lone gorelion on the north, annihilating it. And then, it aimed for the the Gorelion on the deck. However, it ended up hitting the portal Mariette created to protect Libby; the beast's pounding was rendered useless as it clawed and struck at the ground, but the portal was shattered by Alicia's attack coming from the other side. Fortunately, with Scout's help and as Alicia squeezed in a few more seconds of the beam before it turned too taxing on her mana reserves, the two managed to also destroy the Gorelion on the deck, turned to a big, crusty chunk of half-burned carcass.
"Yeah! Eat it!"
It looked as if it was about to fall on Libby, but the magical girl rolled away in a silly fashion.
"Holey moley guacamoley smoley!"

Shade did not manage to free herself from the prone Gorelion with the slam on the tongue, but managed to buy a bit more time before she would be dragged into the horrific monster's gaping maw from the beast reeling in addition to Mariette also peppering this beast with redirected projectiles. But then, she would be met with a rescue, and from the most unlikely of circumstances.


Eli came blasting out of the Earth Bastion's cannon, and cut through the beast in glorious fashion; like a cannonball fitted with sharp blades, it easily sliced the beast, causing black blood to rain over Shade. Then, Eli splatted hard against the ground like a water balloon; Eli now felt a pain equivalent to having all her bones broken, and as a result could not move, unable to keep her form consistent as she slowly spread into a puddle. But, she was successful in slaying the Gorelion, and it released Shade. Healing magic will be required for the both of them to recover.

Anaya kept shooting at the only Gorelion left, but was snatched by a tongue. Helga, now turned absolutely furious, seemed to turn into a full monster; she developed scales on her skin, a muscular lizard tail, and a dragon-like snout. She roared like a mythic being, and charged into the fray by jumping off the deck, her claws now strong enough to rend the final monster into pieces. By the end of it, she was coated in black blood, her breathing hard, and she looked towards an alarmed Anaya as she recovered and stood up, stepping towards her with a slouched figure, long claws dragging behind her.
"Umm, Helga?"
@Brithwyr
Do you want to take Caora back? I haven't done anything too crazy with him.
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