Jan 21, 2019 7:26 PM
Freya characters in Fabulous
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(Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa--)

Oh. Her wings can feel pain. That's neat to know.

(--aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa--)

Alicia dives back into the parking lot, clawing at herself and rolling from side to side to dislodge the monsters still clinging to her.

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Rolling helps! They're not very durable. She kills the ones that are on her, and the swarm is still slow enough that the remaining several hundred lag behind her slightly as they chase her out of the gym in a carpet of black.

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She scrambles back, half-dragging her body using the three wings that're still responding reliably to her mental commands.

 

It is possible, Alicia admits to herself, that I might have made some bad decisions today.

 

She eyes the approaching swarm. She knows she could probably outrun it, still--get back to Atlanta, lick her wounds, come up with a better plan than engaging otherwordly monsters in fisticuffs--but if she did that the remaining swarmlings would have several more minutes to rampage and they've be getting faster and stronger all the while.

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Yeah. How would she feel if just one of her classmates got hurt out here while she was backtracking to look for help.

Can't risk that.

Have to focus. Have to win.

 

She scrabbles her way up on top of a reasonably defensible-looking motor vehicle, takes one last look at the approaching swarm, closes her eyes and reenters the dreamscape.

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There it is, right where she left it. Wow, she looks awful. (She can hear them, skittering up to the car, buzzing into the air on little black wings...)

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(Yeah. This would be a kind of absurd time to start from scratch, wouldn't it?)

Alicia starts from scratch. Grabs hold of everything her body's wearing and tears it away in a single mental motion.

(Her body is now standing naked in a parking lot.)

Alicia is so many steps removed from caring about that right now.

(What she needs is change. To reforge her vessel into something more suitable for channeling the magic she's tapped into.)

No time for careful deliberation. She acts or she dies.

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The swarm crawls up the tires. It wafts through the air. Some land on her shoulders. Some creep onto her toes.

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Think. Fast, fast, fast before they erode her aesthetic again.

She remembers a wardrobe option that intrigued her back when she entered this mental space the first time around.

She grabs the Armor lever with both metaphysical hands and pulls. Silvery chains unspool across her, knitting themselves together over a buffering layer of supple leather. Elegantly sloped plates click together over it all: her arms, her legs, her body, her wings. An ornamented half-helm replace her previous outfit's hairband.

When the armor's done growing into place, she throws a generous helping of glowing star-studs across its crests and edges.

 

Then she seeks the edge of the dream again, ready to face whatever awaits her beyond.

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The armor helps, except insofar as she's accidentally trapped a few bugs between it and her; those itch and squirm and start trying to burrow into her legs and back where they're trapped. The bugs that are trapped outside are not immediately able to get through leather and plate and mail.

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A good defense. But defenses don't win fights, O Sensei taught her that much.

She dives from atop the car, down into the swarm churning below. Tucks her head in, takes the impact with the ground on the shoulder (the one that's currently got a swarmling burrowing into it) and rolls with the impact.

After a full rotation, she slaps her palms down on the pavement to either side of her to check her remaining momentum (the whole sequence hurts a bit more than diving, rolling on and then slapping a training mat but the movement still works.)

Her wings are splayed out to either side of her--covered as much ground as possible when she came down. One of them still hangs limp. The other three are already grasping around, looking to cause more damage.

(Twelve a second. She just has to kill twelve a second. Piece of cake.)

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She kills the one on her shoulder. The ones on her legs are still alive. They're getting faster, and faster... she can still hit them, but the gore isn't doing anything for her armor any more than it did for her last outfit.

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She tries to rise to her feet. Doesn't quite manage it. Splits the difference and lifts her body skyward with her wings then sort of just flops it over: dropping it belly down on top of the next nearest big concentration of swarmlings.

Her forearms come up to protect her face, holding it a couple inches of the pavement at the moment of impact. Her legs come down limp. She sees a swarmling on the ground between her forearms, right in front of her eyes. She tries to headbutt it before it has a chance to get toothy.

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Squish. She's killed about half of the swarm... which means there are only three hundred and fifty tiny monsters still trying to kill her.

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Ha! She's got them on the run now!

(They're all over her. The flying ones especially are hard to deal with. She can hear metal rattling as they dig their teeth into chain links.)

She props herself up against the car, gripping it with one wing for support while her other two wings swing wildly through the swarm trying to score lucky hits. She gets quite a few. It's a real fish in a barrel situation, when she thinks about it. Hardly fair at all.

(One of them breaks through the chain and bites into her hip. She slaps at it quickly, but not before it's had a chance to sink its teeth into her skin.)

She keeps one foot planted beside the tire. With her other, she stomps intermittently at the few swarmlings still trying to make an approach along the pavement.

(While her hands're occupied prying the swarmling loose from her hips, another alights upon the side of her face and burrows into her cheek. She bites it.)

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With a noise like a kalimba, a rainbow beam of light shoots past Alicia's cheek to obliterate a monster. Then there's another beam, and another, faster and faster, and the sound of wings overhead.

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Atlanta?

 

Alicia spits out a mangled wad of blood and chitin, stomps another crawler, wraps her wings around herself like a cage of metal and risks a glance skyward.

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Not Atlanta; different magical girl, all stained-glass rainbows, hovering above her and taking out swarm with careful pings of rainbow beam.

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Alicia's tired. But she's still got another fifteen odd seconds of hard fighting left in her, doesn't she?

She focuses on the swarm again. Its numbers are really dwindling now.  She swipes at the stragglers, doing her best to keep the monsters occupied and packed tightly together while this interloper calls down the artillery.

 

One of her legs completely gives out as she works, but she still has the truck to lean on so she's fine.

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The artillery eventually gets every swarmling that isn't actually on Alicia. "This is gonna sting!" she calls down. "Here goes nothing - Rainbow Fire!"

Alicia goes up in a wash of stinging many-colored flame. It does sting, especially in her open wounds, though it doesn't actually injure her.

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(Okay. It's done.)

 

Alicia crumples. Her body is tired and her armor is heavy and her everything hurts.

She leans her back against the tire. Her wings slump out to either side.

 

"Thank you." She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. "I think you might've just saved my life."

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"No shit!" says the rainbow girl, coming in for a landing well away from the swarm splatter. "What were you thinking? Bug goo ain't pretty!"

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"I've only been an MG for about ten minutes." Alicia laughs, which makes her left cheek feel breezy in an astoundingly unpleasant way. "...might still have a few things I need to figure out?"

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"Don't wade into swarms! - Christ, girl, fix your shit, you can't get all your blood back where it belongs but you don't gotta keep the holes!"

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"Oh." She touches the hole in question. "That's good to know."

 

 

She slips back into her dreamscape, tosses her gore splattered armor into the same void her past two outfits went into, and then sets about applying new flesh to the wounds her body's incurred.

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"WEAR CLOTHES," roars rainbow girl.

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