The Great Upheaval

Herein is chronicled the event known as “The Great Upheaval”: a prophesied time of unprecedented turmoil within the Pantheon. Spurred on by Lucifer, the Creator of Chaos, Homura Akemi succumbed to her fears for Madoka Kaname’s safety. Using a Magatama she gained from the Demon Lord, Homura betrayed her friend, committing an act previously thought impossible, an act that threw the Pantheon into absolute pandemonium: the destruction of a Main House Overdeity’s powers.

The words that follow describe what happened next.

And the cast is seen here.

Prologue: Disturbance in the Aether

In the Magical Girl Sisterhood, Sakura Kinamoto was afraid. She could sense it through the Sakura Cards; they knew that something was afoot. She closed her eyes, chanting her special spell.

Sakura: Everything will be all right. Everything will be all right. Everything will be all right.

But Sakura knew that that wasn’t the case. It was a complete disaster. Kero floated toward her.

Kero: Even I can feel it too. Sakura…
Sakura: (opens eyes)‘ Kero-chan…the Cards….(picks up The Light) They’re….terrified.
Kero: There is a huge disturbance in the air. Sakura, you have to be ready for it.

Kero closed his eyes as his wings enlarged, cocooning him. Then, the wings retracted, and here he had transformed into his regal lion-like form.

Kerberos: Sakura, are you ready?
Sakura: I am, Kero-chan. (smiles) Everything will be all right.

Kerberos looked at that smile, knowing that it wasn’t really all right—or at the most, Sakura was making herself believe that everything would be all right. He knew that the worst was yet to come.

In her temple, Yuna let out a shrill whistle. There was some silence before the sound of footsteps came. Rushing into her door was Tidus.

Tidus: Yuna, did you call for me?
Yuna: Tidus…I’m afraid.
Tidus: What’s wrong?
Yuna: A storm is coming…(looks past her window and amongst the rest of the Magical Girl Sisterhood) My friends can feel it….something is about to happen.
Tidus: Yuna…(Goes and hugs her) I’ll stay by your side to weather the storm. This is our story, we will help make it a happy ending.
Yuna: ….
Tidus: I’ll get Lulu to help out. She knows better than to see you go out on this alone. And, also…
Yuna: Yes, Tidus?
Tidus: ….Never mind, it’s not important. I’ll send the word to Lulu right away. Will you be all right until then?
Yuna: I’ll be fine. (looks at her Garment Grid) I can take care of myself. I might go see Laguna or Ratchet for target practice.
Tidus: I don’t know if it’s a good idea now…maybe you should Gilgamesh if he isn’t busy.
Yuna: Last I saw him, he was screaming about chasing off some “Snake-like fiend” and all of that. (giggles)

Tidus also shared a laugh before the two shared one more hug. Then, Tidus dashed off to the House of Personal Appearance, all while Yuna sat on her bed. She clasped her hands in prayer.

From his throne in the mortal realm, the Satyr King Xenagos looked up at the night sky. The constellations – the storybook that spelled out the Tales of the Gods – were starting to illustrate a new story, one that would lead to betrayal, power torn apart, upheaval.


That word put a devilish grin on his face whenever he thought of it. An oracle he had captured had first spoken of the word a while ago. The divine world would be shaken forever.

Xenagos laughed once the vague details of the prophecy were spelled out. It was just proof that the gods were nothing more than a group of charlatans – bickering, meddling, acting like they were no different than mortals.

Xenagos: They look mortal, smell mortal, eat like mortals, fight like mortals, bleed like mortals… they might as well be mortals fighting on earthly ground!

But what would come to pass would spell out the truth hidden from the masses. The truth that a god – one who styled themselves as lord of the Pantheon, the greatest of these – would fall from the heavens. He was ecstatic to even think about it – not even his thousand magically charged revels could match this feeling.

Xenagos: After all, if one born of the gods could fall and become man…

He clapped his hands. Satyrs started dancing around him, and a bonfire appeared apparently out of nowhere. An attendant presented him with a goblet overflowing with wine. His latest revel – his final revel – would celebrate this monumental event in the most fitting way possible.

Xenagos: (laughs mockingly, holding his goblet up for a toast) Long live the queen!

The shattering of the line between mortality and divinity was imminent. Xenagos was ready.

One Week Earlier

(The House of Magic, three days after the Fear Toxin Incident)Homura is in the bathroom, brushing her hair. She had just got out of the shower: she hadn’t freshened up at all between the time she got hit with Joker’s pizza and now: that was a good…week, maybe? In any case, it felt good to be back home after the Fear Toxin fiasco. That much was certain.

So what was the matter?

She didn’t know. She didn’t know what it was, but there WAS something …tugging at her in a notably painful manner…ah…that would be the brush, caught in a tangle. Homura grunted. All this time and she STILL wasn’t used to having long hair.

A few tugs yield nothing but pain. Homura directs her full attention, biting her lip as she gives the brush an almighty pull. It breaks through with an ominous noise. Homura finishes up, opening the medicine cabinet and replacing the brush, then closing the cabinet.

Her heart nearly explodes.

There was something behind her, reflected in the mirror. To say someONE would have given the impression that it was a person, and this thing most certainly wasn’t, though it was clearly trying to be. The nightmarish thing had a long head, bald as an egg, with ashen, grayish, dead-looking skin stretched taut. Set within its face were two empty eye sockets, a sunken nose and scowling mouth. It was inhumanly tall, garbed in a chest-baring golden raiment.

Homura: GUUH-!

Homura bashes her funny bone painfully on the sink as she spins around. She finds herself face-to-face with a smirking blonde magical girl.

The Blonde Girl: Why Homura Akemi…you look like you’ve seen a monster.

Homura takes a look over her shoulder at the mirror. The ghoulish figure is gone. The Magical Girl is standing where it had been seconds before…had she been seeing things? A hallucination from leftover fear toxin in her veins? Homura takes a deep breath to calm herself. Her arm is throbbing, and her chest hurts from her heartbeat’s split-second acceleration to light speed. She appraises the Magical Girl.

Louisa Ferre, if Homura remembered correctly. She had approached her one day, talking about the House of Prophecy’s latest prediction: she so-called Great Upheaval. Though Homura hadn’t placed much stock in it at first, Louisa had made a good point: if the Great Upheaval would change everything in the Pantheon and beyond as was foretold, and it truly did spring from Homura’s native world, only Madoka could possibly be the epicenter.

Louisa: My apologies. I suppose after everything that’s happened, you wouldn’t like people sneaking up on you.
Homura: How the hell did you get in here?
Louisa: *Shrugs* Front door. You’d think you’d keep it locked, particularly after…

She shakes her head with a weary sigh.

Louisa: I’m just glad you’re safe. You AND Her Grace. Let me tell you: this ‘Fear Toxin Incident’ was too close for comfort.

Homura tries to ignore her as she pulls out a toothbrush, smearing it with toothpaste and beginning to brush vigorously.

Louisa: If not for the Investigation Team’s intervention, well…

Homura spits forcefully into the sink, grabbing a bottle of mouthwash nearby, gulping in a mouthful and sloshing it as loudly as she can, trying to drown out the Magical Girl’s words.

Louisa: That was luck…pure luck that she held on long enough for them to show up. Of course, one wouldn’t know that listening to the other apostles.

She shakes her head with a derisive snort.

Louisa: You should hear the tall tales they’re coming up with: that she knew Nyarlathotep had taken your place and was biding her time…that she beat him AND Joker on her own. I don’t think any of them even mentioned the Investigation Team, or Sayaka-san, Kyoko-sama and Mami-sama for that matter.

Homura spits out the mouthwash, placing both hands on the sink and sighing deeply.

Homura: What are you getting at, Louisa?

Louisa sighs.

Louisa: I’m saying nothing’s changed. Things are right back to as they were: Her Grace is as saintly as ever, considered as perfect and infallible as she ever was. The lesson to be learned here was either missed or actively ignored.

Homura is silent for a few seconds. Louisa’s words are impossible to ignore. They are almost intoxicating, hypnotic: they demanded Homura’s full attention no matter how hard she tried to block them out.

Homura: And…what lesson would that be?

Louisa is rummaging through a nearby cabinet, uncovering a bag of cherry lozenges. She pops one into her mouth.

Louisa: The lesson being that Her Grace is incapable of running the Sisterhood. Or at the very least there must be a sweeping reform of how she runs it, and how she is viewed. The Great Upheaval approaches still, Homura Akemi, and should the Sisterhood merely ignore its vulnerabilities and charge into combat, rallied behind a leader mistakenly believed to be invincible…I see doom in their future.

Homura says nothing for a moment. She’s fighting not to respond. But her resolve slips.

Homura: But what you’ve suggested is…it’s a betrayal of everything she fought for. She erased herself from an entire plane of existence for all Magical Girls…everywhere. She chose a destiny of endlessly fighting witches in order to save us all. *She suddenly looks a little more annoyed, and she adopts a more aggressive stance* You’d be a witch if it weren’t for her sacrifice! And what you’re suggesting I do…it’d ruin her! You’re okay with that?!?

Louisa meets her with a steady gaze.

Louisa: Whether I’d be a witch or not is entirely irrelevant, Homura Akemi. What matters here, now, is that despite her earlier accomplishments, she has proven herself to be an incompetent leader running the Sisterhood. She is too vulnerable, too gullible to be such a high-priority target. It doesn’t matter what she did in the past: right now, Her Grace is a ticking time bomb. It wasn’t three days ago, it may not be next week, or next month, or next year. But when she goes off, her sacrifice back then simply will not matter one bit. She’ll be just as broken, we’ll be just as screwed, and your mission will have failed.

Homura has no answer. Louisa presses still further.

Louisa: Listen to your gut. You KNOW it to be true.

Homura looks away. Louisa steps in front of her gaze.

Louisa: You KNOW it! You know her kingdom is a house of cards! And to bite your tongue to spare her feelings, to let it collapse on top of her, on the entire Sisterhood…THAT is the betrayal.

Homura is silent. The internal conflict is almost palpable. Then she speaks.

Homura: They’ll never understand. There’s no way I could explain such a thing to the Sisterhood in a way they’d accept. I’d be turning my back on them…forever. I could never take it back…my very name would become blasphemy amongst them. Madoka…Madoka would never forgive me.

Dead silence. Louisa speaks in a dead, even tone.

Louisa: Is she worth it?

Homura says nothing.

Louisa: Is. She. Worth. It?

Homura takes a deep breath and lets it out an a whoosh. She turns to Louisa, about to answer, when a voice echoes from downstairs.

Madoka: Homura-chan, dinner’s ready!

Homura snaps out of her fog, shaking her head and glaring at Louisa.

Homura: Leave.

Louisa cocks her head.

Louisa: Hm?

Homura clenches her fists.

Homura: Just…leave. I-I’m coming, Madoka!

Louisa looks a little disappointed.

Louisa: Hmm…well, I suppose it IS a big decision, and you’ve just been through a lot. I don’t mind giving you more time to think. Until we meet again, Homura Akemi.

And with that, she’s gone, vanishing like smoke in the wind. Homura starts to get changed. But despite her shouting-down of the mysterious Magical Girl, Louisa’s words still echo in her head.

It wasn’t a decision she could make now, not alone. But it was one she had to make. And she had a few ideas of who to get advice from.

Some Time Later…

Archer heaved a sigh as he pulled on his red coat. The golden armor he had gained from Araya had been junked; most of the power he had gained from the Origin awakening had been lost to force his way out of the Phantom Zone, and the rest of it was used up in the ensuing chaos.He was basically on the run. He had made it clear to the GUAG that he had no interest in overtly rejoining them, even as he fought alongside them, and the Joker had been surprisingly quiet about the whole Fake Defector thing. At the same time, he found that the GUAE was testing his loyalty by sending him on missions which targeted those friends and allies of his, and Archer adamantly refused to embark on them. And Itachi had severed ties with him out of fear that he would be implicated too; Archer was currently Masterless, but with Sorin Markov’s help had created a mana bond with the House of Magic to sustain himself.

For now, he would have to continue this Reverse Mole mission, and be a lot more quiet about it…

Homura: Archer.

He turned around to make eye contact with the actual rechristened and redeemed Herald of Madoka.

Archer: So, it’s the real you this time?
Homura: That is correct. And I need to ask you a few questions.

Archer got up from his perch, somewhat intrigued. He prepared Kanshou and Bakuya in his head, just in case.

Homura: You are a Counter Guardian, right?
Archer: Yes.
Homura: Your job as a Counter Guardian is to save the world?
Archer: …You could say that.
Homura: You do this by killing?
Archer: …That is true.
Homura: In that regard, do you compare yourself to Madoka? The Law of Cycles?

Archer stopped. This was something he wouldn’t expect Homura to ask. Comparing a Counter Guardian – a mass murderer – to a goddess……who “saved” people by terminating them before they could become monsters.

Archer: I could see why you would say so.
Homura: One more question: do you hate being a Counter Guardian?

Archer took a while to answer Homura’s question, one that basically struck right at his heart.

Archer: …Yes. Yes, I do.
Homura: That’s all I needed to know.

Before Archer could say anything, Homura vanished, moving away in her own time.

The Duty of a Goddess

Madoka’s temple. Homura and Madoka are eating together. Madoka gives her herald a probing look: it couldn’t be her imagination. Homura looked more melancholy than ever.

Madoka: Homura-chan…are you alright?

Homura looks up. She had been thinking about how to phrase her question, but now that Madoka had directly asked her, there was no way she could blow it off.

Homura: Madoka… do you…do you like your job?

Madoka seems shocked.

Madoka: What do you mean, Homura-chan? I love my job. I love being able to do my part helping the Puella Magi. I’m glad I was able to find a place in the world. I mean… *she looked down at her plate* I was worried, for the longest time. I felt like I would just go through life asking things of other and being a burden, not being able to offer anything back. *She grins a bit, scratching the back of her head* Though I have to say, I never expected a job quite like this! Wehihihi…
Homura: …And the danger?

Madoka’s grin fades.

Madoka: Eh? Oh…well…

That question…took a little thinking. Yeah…yeah, she could see where Homura was coming from: the Fear Toxin incident was still fresh in everyone’s mind. If not for the Investigation Team’s intervention, Gretchen truly WOULD have been reborn. Yes…the danger was a part of the job, and it was one she didn’t like in the slightest. Madoka bit her lip, thinking hard before coming up with an answer.

Madoka: Well…I guess the danger just comes with the role. Of course I don’t like it…I’m not someone who lives for peril, but it comes with my duty. I can’t just abandon the Puella Magi because of danger to myself.

Homura stiffens suddenly.

Homura: Duty…? So it’s an obligation…!

Madoka looks a little nervous now.

Madoka: Homura…chan?

Homura’s eyes have gained a strange, haunted look.

Homura: *Under her breath* I see…I completely misunderstood…*she shakes herself a bit and looks up, smiling nervously* Thank you, Madoka. I think I understand you a little better now.
Madoka: O…kay…

She hesitantly goes back to eating. Homura pushes the food around on her plate.

Just like Archer, then. Madoka did what she did out of a sense of obligation. Of course she did, she was just that kind of person. She felt she had no other choice; she wouldn’t have made the wish she did, thrown herself into a life of constant peril, if there was any other way to get the same result.

If there was any other way…now there was one…No…no, not yet. Such a big decision…She still had a few more Gods to talk to.

Present TimeWhatever It TakesHomura simply couldn’t concentrate.

It was fortune that she had read the sermon a million times before: she didn’t want to think about how badly she’d be stumbling over it if she hadn’t committed it to memory. Whatever the case, she droned on autopilot, her mind a million miles away rolling over and over what Madoka had told her.‘Duty…’She had thrown her life away for the sake of her ‘duty’. In all honesty, Homura should have seen it coming the more she thought about it. Casting her mind back, Madoka hadn’t really answered her question, did she?

  • Flashback*
    Homura: Are you really alright with that, Madoka? Even though I’ll never be able to sense you again?!?
    Madoka: It’s too soon to give up yet…
  • End Flashback*
    ????: …mi-san? Akemi-san!
    Homura: Huh?!?

She jerks up in surprise, realizing that the Magical Girls seated in front of her are giggling. She looks over to Mami standing next to her, who has a small smile on her face. Homura looks down at the page in front of her and feels her face grow hot. She was completely off-track! How the heck did she get on Dictation 2:17?!? She had gone BACKWARDS!

Frantically flipping the page, Homura clears her throat loudly.

Homura: And thus She stood before the Great Black Beast that was Her sadness and pain and cried out in a mighty voice: ‘I have no reason to despair!’ And Her arrows pierced the Great Black Beast and the Great Black Beast that was Her sadness and pain was no more. Saggita Luminis.
Magical Girls: …Saggita Luminis.
Homura: *closing the book* And that should do it for today. May the blessings of Her Grace be with you all.

The parishioners begin to file out. Homura leans against the pulpit, heaving a deep sigh as Mami approaches her.

Mami: Having an off-day?

Homura doesn’t say anything. Mami sighs a bit. Even after everything, Homura still isn’t one to talk about her feelings so easily.

Mami: Well, if you ever do need someone to talk to…

She turns to leave when Homura speaks up.

Homura: Mami-san… if someone’s sacrifice makes something better, do you think it’s worth it?

Mami pauses. For Homura to say such a thing…

Mami: Nothing in life is free, Akemi-san. You and I know that better than anyone.

Homura bites her lip.

Homura: What if they didn’t have a choice? If they were forced to make that sacrifice, one way or another?

Mami goes rigid. For a split second, she could almost hear it: the deafening crash, mingling with the shriek of twisting metal… She didn’t even need to say anything. Already, Homura knew what she was thinking.

Mami: I don’t regret becoming a Magical Girl. I would have died otherwise…

Homura gritted her teeth. No, that was wrong. That was a stupid question to ask. Their circumstances were nothing alike. Mami was right: she had thrown away her normal life for the life of a Magical Girl, with all the perks and detriments. Madoka didn’t owe these Magical Girls anything. They had made their mistakes and had to pay for it. That was what is meant to contract with Kyubey. And yet Madoka had taken all that pain and suffering unto herself for them and them alone, because she felt she had to!

Slowly, the dull burn of anger grew in the pit of Homura’s stomach. How could she have been so stupid!

Homura: Never mind.

But Mami’s interest has been piqued. She begins to turn around.

Mami: Akemi-san…

Homura is silent in a way that Mami knows the conversation is over. Shaking her head, she leaves. Homura looks down at the pulpit, aiming to put the Holy Writ away. It’s gone.

????: Unfair, isn’t it?

Homura closes her eyes. She doesn’t even need to turn around. By this point she recognized that voice.

Homura: You…

Louisa smirks, looking up from the Holy Writ she had taken right out from under Homura’s nose.

Louisa: You’re starting to realize it now, aren’t you? Her Grace, abandoning her life, safety and happiness to pursue an obligation not her own, leaving you, who loves her above all, to wallow in sickness and worry, in the name of those you never met. The cruelest irony is this: her creed, despite her beliefs, is to herself. She wears her duty as chains, of her own volition, never realizing that she could take them off any time she wishes. Duty…what crueler concept could there be? And her vulnerabilities continue to be ignored, setting up her loyal sheep to be slaughtered. As it stands, Homura Akemi…nobody wins.

Homura turns to face her.

Homura: And that…thing you gave me. How will that solve anything?
Louisa: The ‘thing’ in question is called a Magatama: the Lady In Black, custom-made specifically for you. Ingest it, and you will gain the power to drain Her Grace’s godlike abilities. Once that happens, she will have no choice but to step down. Without this grand, pointless endeavor holding her back, she will be free to do as she wills, and you will have all the power in the world to keep her safe. And you…the leader of the Sisterhood, perhaps? Imagine what you could accomplish, with your strength and savvy. And I’m not the only one who thinks this. I know of your talks with the others: Vader, Raoh, Archer. Even Her Grace Herself, though she would never admit it. They all know in their heart of hearts that this is the right course of action. (Her eyes narrow) And so do you.

God damn that Louisa…she made point after point, didn’t she? Madoka was kind, generous and empathetic to a fault; all reasons Homura loved her with all her heart, but would they do the trick against the dangers the Pantheon had to offer? The last time didn’t turn out so well.

Madoka was many wonderful things, but she was no leader.

Homura: …You win.

Homura closed her eyes, reaching into her buckler and removing the small box Louisa had given her.

Homura: Ingest it, you say?

Louisa smirks as Homura opens the box and pulls out a small stone worm-like insect.

Homura: If this turns me into a monster, you’ll be the first one I kill. You know that, don’t you?
Louisa: I promise, this is not some Incubator’s contract. Just place it against your Soul Gem and relax.

Homura holds her hand out, and, painfully slowly, she does as she is told. The reaction is instantaneous. The stone worm bursts to life, squealing as it wriggles out of Homura’s grip and burrows into her Soul Gem. The amethyst diamond turns jet black, pulses for a split second, then begins surging with every color of the rainbow. Homura’s hand shoots to her wrists, tears gathering in her eyes.

Louisa: Steady now. It’ll be over in a moment. Just relax.
Homura: N…ngh!

Homura takes a deep breath, clenching her teeth so she doesn’t bite her tongue. From the gem on her hand, green lines snake across her skin, glowing brightly as they cover her body with arcane tattoos before fading away entirely. Homura drops to her knees, trying to catch her breath.

Louisa: It is done.

Homura slowly stands up.

Louisa: Impressive…you truly are made of iron, Homura Akemi. Naoki Kashima screamed like a damned fool when he got his Magatama…
Homura: So what happens now?
Louisa: Clutch Her Grace with your hands, and her powers will be yours. If I may make a suggestion, perhaps at the celebration held tonight in her honor. (She pulls a face and speaks under her breath) For doing absolutely nothing and nearly turning into a witch…

Homura doesn’t hear her. She stares at her hands.

Homura: I’m really doing this…I’m about to turn my back on…everyone. The Sisterhood…and Madoka…
Louisa: You’re simply doing what you do best, no?

Homura chuckles a bit. Louisa seems genuinely surprised.

Homura: I never expected anyone to understand. They never see past what I’m doing…they don’t care about the ‘why’. And that’s if they even believe me. But you…there’s something different about you.
Louisa: We’re both thinkers. We realize the ends justify the means. We’ve figured out kindness defeats us, courage explodes in our faces, and dedication has no reward. We deeply prize our power, we each have something to fight for, and we’ll do whatever it takes to win. (She smirks) We are kindred spirits, you and I.

This time, Homura smiles; She knew she had no other choice if it came to protecting Madoka from very high threats.

Homura: I’ll be going now…

She departed to meet up with the other Puella Magi. Louisa smiled as the Herald of Madoka left, her grin growing wider and more psychotic.

Louisa: Tick-tock, Madoka Kaname. Your day of reckoning is nigh…soon, everyone will see you for who you really are.

The Beginning of a Dark Metamorphosis

Flynn: Phew…done.

It was a busy day in the Treasure Department in the pantheon. Flynn, the god of Samurai Ponytails had just finished installing his latest import of security weapons he bought from the House of Commerce: sixteen shiny new sentry turrets, three new Domains and a microwave hallway. As far as his purchases went, this one had been a little barebones, honestly, but it was all he could afford on his budget: he had really splurged that last time. He could only hope it was enough: they were, after all, protecting a device that could turn all of creation into nothingness if destroyed. To him, it was his duty was to prevent the destruction of the device; the Yamato Perpetual Reactor. Many deities initially scoffed at the idea of how it would eliminate all of existence if was destroyed, but he didn’t pay them any mind. He knew better than anyone else what the machine could do.

He would take on any intruders by himself if the defenses were breached. He had made it clear that so long as he drew breath, nothing and nobody would bring harm to the Reactor, from the Disgraces to Dream himself. He didn’t need that idiot Demi-Fiend.

Flynn: (I can do this myself. The turrets they’ve provided me are very powerful… No plans on the microwave hallway yet.)

Taking a deep breath, he felt something eerie within his gut.

Flynn: (…..Perhaps it’s my imagination.)

Still…Flynn raises his left arm.

Flynn: Burroughs. How much cash do I have left?

The woman appears on the screen.

Burroughs: You’re fresh out of demand, but there’s 26000 Macca in your emergency fund.
Flynn: Enough for…three landmines and a Butterfingers bar. Alright, transfer into my demand account.

Flynn blinks. Since when did Burroughs have a sense of humor? But more pressing was…

Flynn: Burroughs, transfer 26000 Macca from emergency fund to demand.
Burroughs: I cannot comply with that order. You requested that money under lockdown for just such a situation. It will become available in fifty-seven days, thirteen hours, nineteen minutes and twenty-six seconds.
Flynn: Override.
Burroughs: It’s for your own good, Master.

Flynn threw up his hands.

Flynn: Son of a…! Fine! Don’t blame me when all of existence goes ‘boink’.
Burroughs: That’s unlikely. Most gods don’t even know the reactor’s in the Pantheon. Even if someone does find out, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to pierce its defenses.

After taking another deep breath, Flynn departed the Treasure Department, grumbling under his breath.

In the Magical Girl Sisterhood headquarters, Homura sighed as she helped the other Puella Magi set up for the party. She was in charge of mixing the punch, but her mind was a million miles away. Louisa’s words still echoed in her ears.. Reluctant as she was, she didn’t have any other choice; If the GUAE corrupted Madoka into Kriemhild Gretchen, the entire pantheon would be doomed, likely before the Reset Button could be pushed. She gulped as she thought about it very hard.

Homura: *Sigh* (Should I… really do this? Not only will the other magical girls will be angry, but the entire GUAG will hunt me down for doing so… I can’t do this at this moment… Forgive me, everyone…)

As she monologues about her decision, Mami appeared, with Charlotte perched on her shoulder.

Mami: Akemi-san… You’re distant. Something’s wrong, I can tell.
Homura: …There IS one thing I should speak with you about.
Mami: And what is that?
Homura: Madoka may be a wonderful friend and ally to many deities in the pantheon, but she hasn’t done any action to stop the Witches from existing again.

Mami frowned and paused at such a statement as Charlotte climbed down her arm onto the table.

Mami: A…Akemi-san…that’s ridiculous. That’s almost heresy! The Witch System is gone, Madoka-sama made sure of that…! C-charlotte, don’t…don’t drink from the bowl.

She scoops up the little witch as Charlotte pulls herself up onto the edge of the punch bowl, nearly upending it as she leans forward as if to dunk her head in. Mami takes a nearby ladle and pours a plastic cup of the punch, handing it to Charlotte. Charlotte sits down on the table, somehow managing to drink from a cup the size of her own body with only a minimum of spillage.

Homura: Then let me ask you this: what’s stopping Kyubey from trying to bring it back?
Mami: He wouldn’t dare. He’s no friend of Tzeench! He’d never bring back the Witch System, because it runs on the Warp!

So even Mami believed that. Well, Madoka wouldn’t let the truth out to her: that the Witch System did not, in fact, run on the Warp. That was a lie she had told to make doubly sure Kyubey wouldn’t try to restore it.

Mami: Besides, we have a counter against it now even if he did. (giggles a bit) As you found out.

Ah yes. The ‘Persona’: Madoka had told her everything. Sayaka Miki had summoned Oktavia von Seckendorff as a Guardian Entity, and used it to great effect during the battle. She wouldn’t stop bragging about it after she had come to, either… it was like seeing her back when she first became a Magical Girl.

Homura: Even if Sayaka Miki gained that Witch as a ‘Persona’ as those Investigation Team members call it, that weasel could change it to take over Sayaka at any minute!
Mami: I doubt it. He has nothing to gain from doing so: the Law of the Cycles gives him what he wants. Akemi-san, please, I understand you’re slow to trust, but you can only be so cynical before it becomes paranoia. Come to the TV World and face yourself! Just imagine what you could do for Madoka-sama with Homulilly on your side!

This again. The same blind optimism Madoka was loved for… The same kind of hope that doomed them the last time… Homura clenched her teeth in frustration; Even with her grace’s wish to eliminate the witches out of existence… Even if they could find a way to control them… They would still come back to take over their bodies in some way through Kyubey’s machinations. She takes a deep breath before giving her fellow Puella Magi a warning.

Homura: Mami Tomoe…you must promise me never to get a Persona.
Mami: …I cannot make that promise, Akemi-san. The Investigation Team plans to help me explore the rest of my labyrinth tomorrow. I seek to have Candeloro as my Persona by day’s end.

The two stare each other down.

Homura:…If you’ll excuse me, I… need some time to myself.

She couldn’t take this senseless endeavor any longer. she departs to her temple in the House of Time and Space to think about it a bit more. The conversation she had with Mami proved that things haven’t changed at all.

Sheep. Lemmings, every last one of them, blind to the danger…

Mami: (Akemi-san… Please… Get a Persona for yourself before you become a witch.)

In the House of Food, the Investigation Team were eating as celebration for turning the witches into Personas. They were allowed to eat for free there for a week. This was no easy accomplishment for them.

Teddie: Yaahhhooooo! I’m glad we can take all of the food with us into our temples!
Yosuke: Slow your roll, Teddie. Remember, we got that party at the Sisterhood’s place tonight. Don’t want you to pop a seam.
Yu: (I can’t believe the Grand Commissioners deified the rest of the Investigation Team as a reward… I think I’m very happy about this.)
Rise: Did you see Sayaka-sempai go up against Homulilly? You’d think she’d been a Persona User for years!
Naoto: Tatsuya Suou has even sent congratulation letters to all of us. I’d never thought we’d be this famous. Still, we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. We still have to help the rest of Sayaka-sempai’s friends: Kyouko Sakura, Mami Tomoe, Madoka Kaname herself, and Homura Akemi.
Yosuke: You think it’s just them? Dude, the whole Sisterhood wants in on it! Applications from the Puella Magi are flooding in!
Chie: I have to wonder if the Pretty Cures and the other kind of Magical Girls have ‘Shadows’ as well.
Yu: As long as they have personalities, they have Shadows.
Teddie: Oh wow! I wonder if they’ll ask for our help too? All those pretty girls asking for aid conquering the darkest sides of themselves…three cheers for the law of averages!
Kanji: Yeah, that’s great and all, but what about that Homura chick? She’s going to be a tough one.
Yukiko: That’s… A good question, Kanji. She didn’t so much as thank Sayaka-san after she helped stop her.
Naoto: Indeed. Homura Akemi is truly a lone wolf: she’s adverse to giving or receiving help from pretty much anyone. I could tell she was extremely embarrassed by having to be rescued. However, I believe I have a solution: Homura Akemi will do anything to protect Madoka Kaname. If we ask Madoka Kaname to request Homura Akemi work with us, it’s likely she’ll be more open to the idea.
Yu: Good idea. Everyone, let’s go to Madoka!

Two Hours LaterIn her temple in the House of Time And Space, Homura was lying in her bed, pondering long and hard. She clenched her fist and teeth in desperation; she didn’t trust these ‘Personas’ one bit. Even if Oktavia was completely under Sayaka’s control, how long would that last? Out of nearly a hundred timelines, Sayaka had become a witch more often then any of them. Had the little fool completely forgotten that?

Louisa: May I come in?

Homura shot up in bed with a gasp. There she was, standing upside down on the ceiling with a smile on her face. How did she enter from the CEILING? The jaded Puella Magi didn’t care about this one bit. She was a little surprised to find was somewhat relieved to see the mysterious magical girl. Even so…

Homura: I really wish you’d stop doing that.
Louusa: So you’re beginning to realize it, haven’t you? It’s as they say: Pride comes before a fall; Those Puella Magi are overly confident, expecting that the malicious weasel won’t change the system again. I dread to see what happens to…
Homura: You don’t need to say anything else, Louisa. I told you, you win. At least some of the deities here may sympathize with my choice.
Louisa: That’s the spirit. Though they may curse you, you will have my support to the end.

Before they could continue, the doorbell to her temple rang.

Louisa: No need to get up, Homura Akemi.

Doing as she’s told, Homura looks up as Louisa dropped from the ceiling, approached the front door and opened it. Madoka stood there, twiddling her fingers.

Louisa: Your Grace…I’m sorry, but Homura Akemi is resting. I was just delivering the medicine she requested.
Madoka: Oh. I just had a message for her. Maybe you can deliver it for me. Are you a friend of Homura’s?

Louisa genuflects.

Louisa: Louisa Ferre, Your Grace.

Madoka grimaces slightly, scratching at her neck a bit. It was a tic she had unfortunately picked up as of late. She hated when people groveled like this, it always made her itch. But in any case…

Madoka: Please tell Homura-chan to meet with the Investigation Team as soon as she can. I wish for her to get their help obtaining a Persona. And…and this is an official order from the Queen of the Sisterhood.
Louisa: Of course. May you reign for ever and ever, Your Grace.

She took a bow before she closed the door. Madoka was puzzled that HOMURA, of all people, made a new friend. She scratched her head as she decides to return to her temple. That Louisa girl she just met… Madoka couldn’t quite place her finger on it, but there was something strange about her.Inside Homura’s temple, Louisa scratched her chin.

Louisa: Hmm…

The Investigation Team’s leader, Yu Narukami…rather poor timing on his part. He and his teammates could be obstacles. Louisa approached Homura, who had sat up in bed, having overheard the conversation.

Louisa: It seems that Her Grace wants to you to rendezvous with the Investigation Team. She insists you face Homulilly and make her your Persona.
Homura: ‘As soon as I can.’ The party’s in a few hours; that’s when I make my move. (she flips her hair) I don’t think the Investigation Team is something to worry about.
Louisa: Do not underestimate them; They will bring The Knights of the Sisterhood on you should you ever refuse… We must of think a way to have the Sisterhood off our trail.

Curse them… Knowin this wouldn’t be easy, The two magical girls pondering deep and hard. after five minutes, Homura stood up with a small smile on her face.

Homura: I think I have a plan.
Lousia: And what is that?

She walked up to her and whispered to her ear. What was Homura planning to do?

15 minutes later…

At the Sisterhood, Usagi Tsukino was patrolling the area to monitor any strange activity. Recently, she’s beginning to see a small portion of Magical Girls having odd conversations: apparently, a number of them were having eerily similar dreams. This probably wouldn’t have worried her as much if it hadn’t come on the heels of the Fear Toxin incident. Could this be another trick the GUAE are pulling out this time? Sakura approaches her with Kero by her side.

Sakura: Usagi… Has everyone been fine?
Usagi: Yes, it has. There’s something I have to ask you. Have you seen any of the Magical girls acting strange as of recent?

Sakura had a nervous look on her face, shaking in fear in what’s to come next.

Sakura: N-no… The majority of the Pretty Cures and the ones from Nanoha’s world are acting fine from I’ve seen.
Usagi: If that’s the case… Then we should ask Madoka to make sure no abnormal actions occur.

Suddenly, Madoka appeared. To their surprise, she had a completely normal expression on her face. Did something anger her? Sakura and Usagi looked toward each other, bewildered, before looking at Madoka again.

Madoka: Girls, I’m back. Has anyone messed up on the preparations on the party?
Sakura: Madoka…. We have… Something to ask of you.

The Magical Girl Queen fixed her clothes as Usagi asked her the same question she asked Sakura.

Usagi: Have any of your apostles been acting strangely?

The question gave her a little pause. Madoka cocked her head.

Madoka: Strangely? Strangely how?
Usagi: Bad dreams. Like, they’re all having the same bad dream.

Madoka seems a little nervous at the idea.

Madoka: Like…prophetic dreams?

Usagi scratches at her chin, trying to remember what she had heard.

Usagi: They were in this…this white void kind of place, and these four people appeared. They all looked like friends or family, and were all monochrome, like they didn’t have any colors.

Madoka blinks.

Madoka: That’s…creepy. Did they say anything?
Usagi: I don’t know.

Madoka shakes her head.

Madoka: I should know of any magic affecting my apostles, and I haven’t sensed anything. But we’re all on edge after what Nyarlathotep did. Thank you for telling me, Usagi-chan, I’ll keep an eye out.

Destructive Despair

In the House of Emotion, Leonard McCoy took a walk around the sub-houses. Right now, he was in the Sadness Sub-House. Suddenly, he sees a temple having a monochromatic color, sporting a white aura as if it developed a heavy fog; One he’s never seen before. Who inhabited it? Who knows. He, in his gut, felt as if he had a bad stomach ache at the thought of going inside.

McCoy: For some reason, looking at that temple makes me feel uneasy, and I don’t like it one bit. Better meet up with Kirk after this inspection.

Not wanting to get caught in it, he left for the Anger Subhouse.

Had he had taken a closer look, he would have seen gray foliage slowly and steadily growing around the temple, spreading across the ground like an encroaching blight. Had he looked even closer, he’d have seen the four shapeless entities that nearly blended in to their surroundings.

Entity 1: The Great Upheaval draws near…
Entity 2: It heralds the doom of the Sisterhood. The future has been declared. There is nothing they can do to stop it.
Entity 3: Soon, they will know the deepest despair, and in despair they shall seek salvation…
Entity 4: We shall give them guidance. They will be the instruments of our will. By their hand, all of creation will know the splendor of nothingness… we will finally be free…

The Investigation Team were in the Sisterhood, waiting for Homura to arrive so they can get into the TV world, conquer her witch, and use it as a ‘Persona.’ To their surprise, she was a lot later than usual. Even after Madoka gave her the order. Was she busy doing other stuff? Some of them were losing their patience. Kanji mainly.

Kanji: Shit, what’s taking Homura girl so long?
Yu: Usually, she’d come here instantly on Madoka’s order.
Yukiko: If she doesn’t come, we should ask someone else. Maybe Kyouko-san would be up for it.
Chie: The red-haired girl? Well, I don’t think we have to worry about convincing her; did you see her geeking out over Oktavia?
Teddie: And once we have Mami as a Persona-user, I’ll gonna invite her to my temple once that creepy asylum corrupting deities is destroyed.
Naoto: …You should hold off on that…oh! Is that…

Homura is striding toward them, shopping bags in her hands.

Kanji: Kept us waiting long enough. What the heck took you?
Rise: Kanji, be nice, something probably came up.

Homura nods, looking slightly embarrassed.

Homura: I received your message. If Madoka wills it, I would be happy to enlist your help getting a Persona. Unfortunately, I am not in any condition to enter the TV World as of now; my wounds from my time as Homulilly haven’t fully healed, and I’m mentally exhausted as well.

Yu nods a bit.

Yu: Right: the TV World’s not somewhere you want to go unless you’re in top form.
Homura: I must apologize. I estimate that I will be ready in a few days time. I ask that you have patience until then.
Yosuke: Hey, no problem. We’re just glad you’re okay.

Homura bows slightly, then holds up one of the bags.

Homura: If you’ll excuse me, I need to drop off some ice cream for the party tonight.
Yu: Right! We’ll see you there: Madoka-san invited us too.

Homura seems a little taken aback.

Homura: Oh! Well, that makes sense. You were the one who slew Nyarlathotep. Indeed: I will look forward to seeing you there. Perhaps you could tell me more about Personas.
Yosuke: Well, you’ve come to the right people. Lookin’ forward to it, Homura-san.

Homura nods, walking off down the hallway. Her smile dissolves off her face as soon as her back is to them. She’s halfway down the hallway when…

Louisa: Worried about the Investigation Team?

By this point, Homura had come to expect the Magical Girl’s sudden entrances. She frowned as she looked up at Louisa, who was keeping pace alongside her.

Homura: I didn’t expect them to be invited to the party. If they interfere…
Louisa: You need not to worry. If all goes well, you’ll possess power unimaginable, surpassing even that of Her Grace. Fighting them off if they make the mistake of challenging you would be child’s play. And if by some fluke they give you trouble, I’ll lend a hand.
Homura: Hmm…

They were at their destination. Louisa disappeared into thin air. Homura paid her no mind. By this point she had gotten used to Louisa’s habit of popping in and out of sight. Right now, she had bigger things to worry about. Pushing the door open, she walked into the recreation room to help the other Puella Magi. Sayaka did a bit of a double take.

Sayaka: You… Why are you here?
Mami: I thought you were in the TV world, Akemi-san?
Homura: I still need time to recover. We plan to enter the TV in a few days.
Kyoko: Right, right. Sayaka really banged you up back there, didn’t she…just toss the food on the table.

Homura placed the bags on the table, hoping the others couldn’t see her gritting her teeth. Kyoko had been just as insufferable as Sayaka Miki had been: you’d think she was the one with the Persona judging by how she bragged about it.

Kyoko: I know I’m putting in an application! You won’t be able to run wild much longer, Ophelia!
Mami: You’ll have to wait your turn, Sakura-san: we’re already halfway through my dungeon, and we’re going back in tomorrow.
Kyoko: Tch…fine…hey, wait! Sayaka, you can enter the TV now, right? So I don’t have to wait for the Investigation Team! You can take me there!
Sayaka: Whoa, wait a minute, I’m not sure I’m ready to become some professional Persona-getter-guy. I’m still learning the basics myself!

Homura stood there quietly, looking at them speak about ‘Personas.’ Not saying a word, she resumed setting up the food for the party. She couldn’t bear to keep up the act much longer. The more she heard them chatter, the worse her pounding headache got. She had forgotten what a chore they were to deal with: all those sunny, gawking grins, even after having their whole world on the brink of disaster; They were naive… so was Madoka.

Mami: That can all wait, girls. For now, let’s all work hard and celebrate our victory!

The Puella Magi resumed setting up the party materials and ornaments for their victory against Nyarlathotep.

1 hour and 45 minutes later…

The Puella Magi were done with all of the preparations for the celebration party. All of the other magical girls; the Pretty Cures, the ones from Nanoha’s world, along with the Investigation Team, had a nice time with each other. Homura sat quietly in a corner, slowly sipping a cup of punch.

Homura: …..

She closed her eyes. Sure, there was laughter and happiness amongst each other, but it didn’t make her smile one bit; Louisa was right; Of all the Puella Magi, she was the capable one from the start. Barring that utterly transparent lie, Madoka didn’t do a single thing to prevent Kyubey from reverting the Witch System to it’s original state after she wished the Witches out of existence. Why did she let Madoka in charge when she herself could have easily lead the team more effectively? Why did she allow Madoka to put herself in danger like she had? Just a few days ago, it had nearly costed them everything. It was something that echoed in her mind as the others partied. Suddenly, Madoka approached her.

Madoka: Homura-chan, is there anything wrong?
Homura: I’m not good with crowds.
Madoka: I see…
Homura: If you’re going to ask about me getting a Persona, I plan to. I just need to recover first. Even the Investigation Team agrees.

The Magical Girl Leader was worried. She couldn’t let Homura, who was her herald, her most important apostle to become a witch again.

Madoka: …I guess. It’s just, after everything that’s happened, I can’t help but be nervous. I don’t want anything to happen to you, Homura-chan.

How longer must she keep up this act? She slowly clenched her first to remain calm as Madoka joined the rest of the party. Her face turned grimmer the minute she looked at them.

Homura: (Madoka… I haven’t noticed it for a long time until now… You may be the kindest person in the pantheon, but you are not fit to be leader of the Sisterhood…)

A tear streamed down her right eye, feeling remorse for the planned action she will eventually do to Madoka.

Homura: (…Forgive me…)

The announcements were about to begin, and as Madoka’s herald, she joined the rest of them. Usagi was seen holding a microphone. Madoka looked up and gasped a bit as she hurried toward her, rifling through her pockets as she did.

Madoka: Uh oh! Um…Oh, I’m sure I just had them!
Usagi: Attention, members of the Sisterhood! The Sisterhood has been more determined than ever since the defeat of the Joker and Nyarlathotep. We must steel ourselves, for the GUAE is still out there. But I’m sure we can stand together and beat them back! Especially…

She looks over to her left.

Usagi: With friends like the Investigation Team. Let’s give a big hand for the guests of honor!

Applause rises up from the crowd as the Investigation Team makes their way over to Usagi. Rise is waving to the crowd: it’s almost like she’s at one of her concerts. Kanji, on the other hand, looks as if he has been inflicted with a serious case of stage fright. Naoto is also clearly nervous. Madoka just made it as Yu approached Usagi.

Usagi: The Investigation Team risked their lives to defeat Nyarlathotep, and in doing so rescued Her Grace from his clutches. For their bravery, we award them with the Sisterhood Order of Merit!

She turns around as Madoka nearly crashes into her, holding up a handful of gold metals emblazoned with the Sisterhood insignia.

Madoka: Found them!

Everyone giggles a bit. Homura buries her face in her hands as she feels it start to burn. Madoka pins the medals on each member of the Investigation Team and gives them a kiss on the cheek in turn. Teddie almost goes comatose with elation when she gets to him.

Usagi: And there are others to recognize on this day. Miki Sayaka, Tomoe Mami, Sakura Kyoko.

The girls in question approach Usagi and Madoka. Madoka proceeds to pin three more metals on them.

Usagi: These Puella Magi fought to defend Her Grace’s apostles from Homulilly, and managed to save Akemi Homura’s life in the process. And Miki Sayaka…

She claps a hand on Sayaka’s shoulder.

Usagi: For your great accomplishment, for the courage needed to face your flaws, and your demonstration of a wondrous new power, we humbly accept your application to join our ranks. Let us welcome a new Saint of the Sisterhood!

The crowd erupts in cheers. Sayaka is smiling broadly, wiping a tear from her eye.

Usagi: And now, let us hear from Her Grace herself!

The crowd went into silence as Usagi gives Madoka the microphone sends the members of the Sisterhood, it’s worshippers, and members of the GUAG a speech.

Madoka: I am pleased to see all of you here.. Members of the GUAG, if you’re hearing this… I’m so glad that you’ve all protected my apostles… and, well, myself, from turning into witches. I thank you all for supporting us!

The crowd clapped their hands in joy as Madoka continued her speech with one last statement.

Madoka: Members of the GUAG… Please continue your hard work!

The crowd cheered once again as she gave the microphone back to Usagi.

Usagi: Give all of these guys one more round of applause for the Sisterhood’s future!

The crowd clapped in unison at the Investigation Team, Mami, Sayaka, and Kyoko. Homura, who reluctantly clapped slowly, but didn’t smile, just wanted this to get finished so the rest of the Sisterhood could leave, leaving only her and Madoka alone. She looked at the crowd to see their smiling faces. Suddenly, she noticed Louisa amongst them, surprising her a bit. The mystical magical girl clapped slowly, a small, sardonic grin on her face. The jaded magical ignored her as if she wasn’t there and looked at Usagi and Madoka.2 hours laterThe celebration party is still going strong. The Magical Girls continue to laugh, talk, eat, dance and have fun with each other. Homura finishes a slice of cake and groans in frustration.

Louisa: Bee in your bonnet?
Homura: This is going nowhere.

Louisa scratches her chin, then shrugs a bit.

Louisa: Well, I’m at a loss. I thought it’d be over by now. Might as well enjoy yourself.

Homura looks over in shock.

Homura: What?
Louisa: You heard me. Enjoy yourself: eat food, talk with people. Maybe you can ask Her Grace for a dance. I’ll ask the DJ for a fitting song, if you’d like.
Homura: How will dancing solve…

She stops, then her eyes light up.

Homura: Oh.

Louisa smirks.

Louisa: Well, go get her.

Homura gets up, searching through the crowd until she finds Madoka, who is talking with The Investigation Team, Mami, Kyoko and Sayaka. She clears her throat, and Madoka turns around.

Madoka: Oh, Homura-chan.

Homura opens her mouth, then pauses. Even now, even with her goal in mind and the end in sight, the words seemed reluctant to come. She couldn’t help it: the idea of dancing with Madoka was still…

Homura: Youwandancewime?

Madoka cocks her head.

Madoka: Pardon?

Mami seems to have caught on and smiles gently.

Mami: Just relax, Akemi-san.

Homura takes a deep breath.

Homura: Do you want to dance with me?

Everyone who heard Homura’s question went dead silent, barring a few Squeeing Magical Girls. Madoka’s face goes as pink as her hair.

Madoka: Um…of course! I mean, I have two left feet, but I’d love to dance with you!

Homura slowly reaches out, taking Madoka by the hand and leading her to the dance floor. The occupants step back to give them space. Louisa approaches the DJ and whispers something in her ear. The DJ nods, fiddles with her rig, and asoothing melody rises over the room. All eyes are on Madoka and her beloved herald as they begin a slow waltz.

Rise puts a hand to her heart.

Rise: Oh my god, that’s the sweetest thing! Hey, Senpai, maybe after they’re done…

Kyoko rolls her eyes.

Kyoko: Right, yeah, adorable. So getting back on topic, how do you summon a Persona, do you just will it, or…?

She had spent the better part of the last half hour bombarding the Investigation Team with questions about Personas. Sayaka rolls her eyes.

Sayaka: Slow down, Kyoko. You don’t even HAVE a Persona yet. Actually, I was just thinking I could get some training from you all. I was pretty much just running on instinct against Homulilly. Narukami-senpai, would you like to teach me? I mean, you use a sword, I use a sword…
Yu: Sure thing.
Kyoko: And then when you’ve mastered the basics, we can go to the TV World together!
Naoto: I suppose, as long as you stay clear of Humanoid Shadows for the time being. Even we have trouble against them.

Kyoko rolls her eyes.

Kyoko: You realize I’ve fought ‘Humanoid Shadows’ before, right?

Naoto seems a little embarrassed.

Naoto: Oh! Yes, that’s right; Witches and Shadows are one and the same. How careless of me to forget.

Hearing them talking about still made Homura a bit frustrated, but she still danced with Madoka to not let it have it end the dance.

Madoka: Homura-chan… Are you feeling okay?

The question made her pause a bit as she took a breath to calm down and reluctantly replied calmly.

Homura: Yes, Madoka. I apologize for being in a trance.

The reply made Madoka smile a bit as they continued dancing. Homura felt eyes upon her: she looked up and saw Louisa watching the both of them. Slowly, the blonde magical girl nodded.

Madoka: Is something bothering you, Homura-chan?

Homura didn’t answer: Madoka had only a split second to realize her herald’s grip on her hands had become painfully tight. Then the whole world tilted and an overwhelmingly ‘blue‘ taste filled her mouth. She had only enough time to register a series of horrified gasps from the onlookers before she slipped into unconsciousness.

Usagi: Madoka, are you alright!?

Madoka lay crumpled and unmoving on the ground, her body flickering with static like an old television. Then there was a mighty flash of light, and her body changed entirely. Gone was the beautiful goddess with a shining white dress and flowing hair. In her place was a plain, raggedy-looking 14-year-old girl in the Mitakihara school uniform.

Homura stares down at Madoka’s unconscious body, then slowly raises her arms as her body glows with dark energy. Her form is shifting: her clothes are tearing away, to be replaced instantaneously with a new raiment. Black as night, the dress was extremely low-cut, leaving very little to the imagination. Darkness flowed like liquid around her hands, forming skintight Opera Gloves. Shadows surged from her back, forming into a pair of black feathered wings. She observes her surroundings, smirking as she stares at the stunned, horrified crowd around her. Mami is the first to break the silence.

Mami: Akemi…san?
Usagi: H-hey…Homura?

Homura’s only response is a low, sinister chuckle. A deep voice, a male voice, reverberates through the room.

Louisa: Look at her.

Louisa is making her way to Homura’s side. Everyone backs away as she looks the black-garbed magical girl up and down. Then she turns and addresses the crowd, speaking in that same deep, echoing voice.

Louisa: She’s beautiful, don’t you agree? Strength and beauty are one and the same.

Usagi steps forward, blinking her eyes hard as if trying to wake herself up.

Usagi: Homura…what have you DONE?

Homura raises her hand, a strange jewel appearing in her palm.

Homura: Isn’t it obvious? I have betrayed the Magical Girl Sisterhood, and stolen Madoka Kaname’s powers for myself. I shall use them as I see fit, and crush those who stand before me.

Louisa does a bit of a double take.

Louisa: (Hmm…another one who bought the propaganda. I’ll have to teach her what being a devil actually means…)

Even so, it was too good not to follow up.

Louisa: She is a being of Chaos and Desire now. A being who disrupts providence and acts as an agitator of this world.

Her smile becomes truly psychotic as a dark aura envelops her.

Louisa: Rather like myself.

Everyone cries out in shock as her form changes. Six massive, leathery wings burst from her back, horns sprout from her forehead, and she floats into the air, spreading her arms as her clothes turn to dust, leaving only a tattered ribbon covering her as her body crawls and shift into a gray-skinned, masculine form. The demon turns to Homura.

Lucifer: Now come, Homura Akemi. I am sure you wish to try your new abilities, and I have just the place to do it…

Homura starts to answer, but a scream from the crowd cuts her off.


Homura wheels around, holding out her hand. Nanoha has jumped from the crowd, firing a colossal blast of energy directly at her. The beam roars through the air, collides with Homura’s outstretched palm, and stops dead. Homura shows no signs of exertion as she holds the blast back, the energy slowly flickering and dying out. Nanoha’s eyes widen as she frantically tries to reload.

Lucifer: (Bemused) Unless, of course, you accept her challenge.
Homura: No. They are beneath me. I would get no true test out of them.

Lucifer smirks.

Lucifer: Well said.

He gestures, a hellish-looking portal ripping itself open in space.

Lucifer: Beyond lies the Labyrinth of Amala. It should serve as the true test of your new power you rightfully deserve. Step forth, my disciple of darkness: glory awaits!

Homura’s grin widens as she steps toward the portal. She is only steps from it when…

Madoka: Homura…chan…?

Homura looks down. Madoka has turned her head toward her, staring in growing shock at her friend’s new form.

Madoka: Homura-chan…what’s going on? Why are you wearing that?

For a second, only a second, Homura’s grin trembles. Then she throws her shoulders back, flares her skeletal wings, and steps through the portal. Madoka watches in horror as the portal closes behind Homura, then turns her wide-eyed gaze to Lucifer. The monstrous being scowls down at her.

Lucifer: Burn my name into your mind, Kaname: I am the Demon Lord Lucifer: he who destroyed your pitiful façade. (Turns his attention to the crowd) You see your savior for who she truly is now, don’t you! A frightened child, suckling at the teat of ill-gotten power, and poisoned by the grievous sin of naiveté! Beware, Magical Girl Sisterhood: stay your course and this will be but the beginning of your descent into chaos!

And in a whirling vortex of dark energy, he is gone, leaving the Sisterhood and the Investigation Team into a stunned, horrified silence.

The silence was broken by a series of despair-filled howls, followed by the shattering of at least twenty five Soul Gems. Sayaka’s eyes went wide as the world started to distort.

Sayaka: Ohhh crap. PERSONA!

Naoki Kashima, the Demi-fiend, was training with his spells in the House of Combat to retain his prowess. Only a few of the pantheon’s strongest deities wanted to fight him. The rest feared him, and for very good reasons. Dealing the death blow to the final opponent, he ended his training simulation, having battled hundreds of the strongest demons, gaining a few valuable accessories in the process.

Naoki: (These demons are pretty strong… and very strange looking. The Pantheon has picked them well. Still, I think I could kick the difficulty up a bit next time.)

He takes a breath as he throws on his hoodie, and walks out of the House of Combat. Suddenly, he felt an eerie wind soothing down on the horn protruding from the back of his neck.

Naoki: (What is this… It’s probably nothing to do with me.)

He looked at the other deities ranked lower than he was fighting each other. He cared a little about this and smiled. He decided to go outside the Main House to find any more requests from the higher-ups.

Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks. The wind kicked up again and an all-too-familiar chill raced down his spine.

Naoki: This aura…Lucifer?!?

None of them knew how they escaped. The Investigation Team had stayed behind, fighting alongside Sayaka, Kyoko and Mami against the small battalion of witches that had spawned while Usagi and Sakura helped evacuate a majority of magical girls to their temples. While the battle was, to their knowledge, still ongoing, nobody seemed seriously injured at the moment. Still, there was no feeling of victory. Not after what had just happened.

They had been betrayed by one of their most trusted members, and the damage she had caused seemed…unimaginable. Madoka seemed stable for the moment, though still unconscious, and then there was that little tidbit about her being in her human form again. Sakura and Nanoha rushed to Usagi, planning on what to do next.

Usagi: We need to keep her safe. We should take her back to her temple and keep an eye on her. Nanoha, come with me in case we get ambushed. Sakura, aid the rescue efforts.
Nanoha and Sakura: Right!

Nanoha hefts Madoka onto her back while Sakura rushed back to the battle raging behind them. Usagi takes a look at Nanoha’s face. While her expression is resolute, she still seems kind of shaken.

Usagi: Hang in there, Nanoha. Are you alright?

Nanoha shakes her head a bit.

Nanoha: That was Starlight Breaker…that was friggin’ Starlight Breaker. I put everything I had into it, and she just swatted it away…

Usagi takes her hand in a comforting grip.

Usagi: Don’t worry, we’ll make it out of this, I swear.

A flash of blinding light cuts her off. Nanoha nearly drops Madoka as she reaches up to shield her eyes. The glare slowly fades, and a massive figure hovers before them. Usagi acted purely on instinct. After everything that had transpired, she wasn’t about to let anything get the drop on her. Whipping out the Cutie Moon Rod, she waved it in a complex series of motions.

????: BE SILENT.

Usagi gags violently, her hand going to her throat as her voice jams. Nanoha puts Madoka down as quickly and gently as she can, but the figure raises a hand.

????: Do not be afraid. I mean you no harm.

The figure calmly approached them. Now that her vision had stopped swimming, Usagi could see him clearly. He looked like some strange mechanical angel, clad in a glowing robe.

???: I am Metatron: The Highest Seraph of The Lord. I was sent from on high to deliver comfort in these dark times.

Usagi slowly lowers the wand. The angel doesn’t seem hostile. But she didn’t put the weapon away. She couldn’t shake the feeling that doing so would be a huge mistake. She gingerly takes a breath and sings two soft notes: apparently she had her voice back.

Usagi: What do you mean, comfort?
Metatron: We, the forces of light and order, have long battled Lucifer and his minions. Our war spans the ages; we attempt to bring law to the unenlightened masses, as Lucifer seeks to drag them into chaos and darkness.

Usagi sighs a bit.

Usagi: ANOTHER incarnation of Chaos?

Metatron seems slightly nettled at the interruption, but he brushes it off.

Metatron: THE incarnation of Chaos, Usagi Tsukino. He is nothing like the shadows you fought long ago. It is from Lucifer all things chaotic and wicked spring: violence, knowledge, hatred, envy, freedom. And he is devious, as you yourselves learned.

His cold green eyes level on Madoka, who still shows no signs of waking up. In doing so, he doesn’t notice Nanoha do a double take, catching Usagi’s eye and mouthing “freedom?”. Usagi had clearly noticed it too, as her hand tightens on the Cutie Wand.

Metatron: Already, he has extended his hooks into the weak-minded Homura Akemi. His machinations have left your organization in the grip of madness. As the sworn enemies of Lucifer and all he stands for, we are here to aid his victims.
Nanoha: What kind of aid?
Metatron: As you no longer have a leader, I shall take command of the Sisterhood on The Lord’s behalf, and the angels will join your ranks. Together, we shall crush Lucifer and all who serve him.

Aaaand there we go…Nanoha had been expecting something like that. She holds up a hand to Usagi, stepping forward gingerly.

Nanoha: Well, we appreciate the whole ‘battalion of angels’ thing, but we already HAVE a leader all picked out.
Metatron: Oh?

His voice has picked up a bit of a sharp, dangerous edge. Still, Nanoha squares her shoulders, pointing at Usagi.

Nanoha: Yeah, she was vice-leader. Naturally, she’s the leader now that Madoka-sama is out of commission.

Metatron’s expression didn’t change, but there was a clear pressure in the air. There was no doubt he hadn’t expected this reaction.

Metatron: Perhaps you fail to grasp the gravity of the situation: you are enemies of Lucifer. He is beyond you: only the power of The Lord can offer sanctuary now against him.

Nanoha and Usagi got close to each other and whispered about their decision.

Nanoha: What do we do?
Usagi: (whispering) This guy won’t take no for an answer, but I don’t want to pick a fight with him. Not while…

She glances over to Madoka. A fight now would put her in danger, and even so Usagi’s throat still ached from whatever Metatron had done to silence her earlier. Metatron was powerful, there was no denying it.

It seemed that Metatron was looking impatient.

Metatron: Well? Have you made up your decision, Usagi Tsukino?
Usagi: Um…this is a big request. I mean, you’re not even a Magical Girl. I mean, we COULD swear you in, but I’m not sure how the others would react, especially after everything that happened. At the very least, we need to keep Madoka-sama safe. Could we get back to you after we’ve stopped the rioting back there, maybe? Once things calm down, we might be able to work something out.

Metatron paused, thinking.

Metatron: Hmm…perhaps you could hand Madoka Kaname over to me. My angels are well capable of defending her.

The two Magical girls tightly gripped their weapons. The seraph was clearly scowling.

Metatron: I see. Very well, I shall grant you all time to make your decision. However, be warned; should you decline, you will be labeled as blasphemers of the Lord. We will show no mercy on you. Until we meet again…

The angel vanished in a pillar of light. Usagi takes a sigh of relief of the delay she request upon Metatron. If she accepted, the Sisterhood wouldn’t be the same. She turned to Nanoha, who was now holding Madoka again, to plan their next move.

Usagi: Phew…that should satisfy him. At least, for a little while. Let’s get Madoka to the temple, then head back to help Sakura-san.
Nanoha: Got it.
Sakura: Don’t bother.

As Nanoha proceeds to take Madoka to her temple Sakura and the Investigation Team arrive. They’re all in bad shape: Kyoko’s legs are mangled, and she’s being held up by Mami and Sayaka, but they’re all badly injured.

Usagi: Oh my god!
Nanoha: Hey, Kyouko, you alright?

Kyoko waves a hand, flinching a little.

Kyoko: This is nothing. You shoulda seen what happened to Rambo over here before I pulled her out…she looked like hamburger meat before those healing powers kicked in.

Sayaka was shaking her head.

Sayaka: I don’t know what happened! Everything was going fine, but then Oktavia just fizzled out, and then all the witches dogpiled me!
Yu: You must’ve ran out of SP…that’s something you need to watch out for.
Sakura: We’ve evacuated pretty much everyone, but the rioting’s only getting worse back there. Some of the witches are starting to fuse together.

Sakura nods sadly.

Sakura: Or something like that. In any case, it’s out of our hands. We need to contact the House of Defense and ask for backup. But enough about us; how’s…?

Nanoha looks back at Madoka, shaking her head.

Nanoha: Still out cold.

Sayaka grinds her teeth.

Sayaka: Homura…that bitch…! I knew it, didn’t I? Didn’t I tell you all you couldn’t trust her!?!

Sayaka slammed her foot into the ground in anger. Kyoko flinched.

Kyoko: OWW! No sudden movements, dammit!
Usagi: Sayaka-san… let’s worry about that later. Right now, we should go to the House of Defense and have them help us eliminate that thing. You Puella Magi should go back to your temples.
Nanoha: While I escort Madoka, I should ask some of the Deities from the House of Magic to help us.
Yu: We’ll stay here and keep those witches at bay. We’ve handled creatures like this before…still, it won’t be easy defeating it. Everyone, be sure to stay on your guard.
Investigation Team: Right!

Usagi shook her head.

Usagi: No, you can’t! You’re hurt badly.
Yu: We’ll just hold the perimeter and make sure none of them get out. The least we can do is limit the damage.

Usagi was a bit worried about The Investigation Team facing the abominations. But it was no time for questions. She turned to Nanoha and Sakura.

Sakura: Are you sure they’re going to be alright?
Usagi: …They are. Let’s just get some backup.

The three Magical girl leaders went to their separate destinations to find help.



In the House of Defense, some of the deities were going on missions out of the pantheon for undisclosed reasons. Others stayed for the sake of guard duty. They were doing their own business. The Taskmaster was finished giving the 501st endurance sessions.

Taskmaster: You have all done very well. I shall reward you something later! DISMISSED!

The 501st were going to rest in their temples in the House of War. They were just starting to move out when Usagi and Sakura burst through the door.

Usagi: H-*gasp*-help! We need backup! Th-*wheeze*-the Sisterhood…a riot…Madoka’s been…!
Taskmaster: A riot in the Sisterhood? What, the party got out of hand or something?
Sakura: It’s not funny! We’ve been betrayed! Homura did something to Madoka! She stole her powers, and now everyone’s freaking out!
Taskmaster: Someone of your ranks have betrayed the Sisterhood? Tell me more.

Usagi and Madoka explained everything to the Taskmaster. From Homura’s betrayal, to Madoka having her powers stolen from her, to witches raiding the Sisterhood HQ.

Taskmaster: Huh…501st! Come back here NOW!

The squadron of deities rushed back, forming a rectangular formation to Taskmaster and waited for their orders.

Taskmaster: Break’s over, maggots! I want you all to follow these lovely ladies to Magical Girl Sisterhood and wipe the witches off the face of the Pantheon!
The 501st: YES SIR!
Taskmaster: You in the back row! Bring your master, Darth Vader, there along with you!

The soldiers from the rear saluted, rushing off and returning a few minutes later with the Sith Lord in question.

Taskmaster: Listen up! Follow these two girls back to the Sisterhood HQ, and stay sharp: witches are bitches, and they’ll rip you apart if you don’t keep your heads on straight!

At his command, the majority of the 501st followed Usagi and Sakura to the Sisterhood. Even in the short time it had taken for the two to get the 501st, the Sisterhood’s HQ had deteriorated even further; the flames were so bright that it looked like a sunrise over the horizon from a distance, and with a thrill of horror, Sakura could see the huge marble statue of Madoka that had stood proudly out front smashed on the ground.

Vader: Find any survivors and evacuate them to safety. Lend aid to the Investigation Team if you see them, but do not make them your priority.
Sakura: Please be careful: I saw at least one witch fusion in there. The last one was so powerful not even Homu-

She paused. A foul taste had filled her mouth.

In the House of Magic, Harry, one of the Houses Guardians, was practicing his magic. Speed-casting, to be more precise. He was preparing for his next challenge in two days time.

Harry: Well, I’ve pretty much got the quick-draw down. Still, it can’t hurt to expand my arsenal. I’d better learn some new magic before the challenge tomor-

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Harry stopped his magical practice to go to the door and open it. Nanoha was outside, exhausted from running to the House of Magic.

Harry: Nanoha, what’s wrong?
Nanoha: Quick…! *wheezes* The Sisterhood… Homura… Has betrayed Madoka… *Wheezes* And the witches… have attacked Sisterhood HQ!
Harry: What!? Where’s Madoka? I’m sure you’re can do fine without me.
Nanoha: Homura stole her powers. She’s out cold in her temple.

That one statement has put an expression of surprise and horror on Harry’s face.

Harry: We should inform the GUAG about this.
Nanoha: We’ll do that later. Where’s Doctor Strange and Merlin?
Harry: They’re both away, I’m afraid.
Nanoha: Dang it…! At a time like this? We need your help to get rid of the witches. They’re in Sisterhood HQ!
Harry: Very well… I’ll go with you.
Nanoha: Usagi and Sakura are already getting backup at the House of Defense. We need to hurry: some of the witches are starting to fuse together. If we don’t stop them, we’ll have another Walpurgis on our hands.

Nanoha and Harry set out for the Magical Girl Sisterhood HQ. The former looked up to see the flames coming from Sisterhood HQ, almost as if the sun came down on the ground.

Back at the Sisterhood HQ, The Investigation Team fought as hard as they could, fending off the witches from escaping the Sisterhood. Yu, now with Izanagi-no-Okami, used Mind Charge to power up his next spell while the other members of the Investigation Team stalled the witches.

Chie: Guh! There’s just too many of them…Yukiko, look out!
Yu: Everyone! Stand back!

The rest of Investigation Team did as they were told, allowing Yu to fire a Megidolaon at the witches, flattening a crowd of familiars and damaging their master.

Yu: Remember, pocket their Grief Seeds if you can! We…we might be able to bring them back!

Yosuke commanded Susano-o to use Brave Blade, and it sent another witch crashing through a nearby wall. The impact combined with the damage the fire had already inflicted was too much for the structure, and it caved in on top of the witch.

Yosuke: Hate to say it, dude, but I’ve got my hands full just holding these freaks back…OH NO YOU DON’T!

Susano-o fired a Garudyne, but the bizarre creature dodged, scuttling along the ground and leaping for Yosuke’s Persona. Rokuten Maoh’s sword caught it in midair, sending it tumbling ass-over-teakettle back into the quarantine. But seconds later, a colossal form rose from the flames. The Investigation Team stopped, transfixed by the sight of the witch rising into the air.

Amidst the roaring of the fire, a new sound was heard: a horrible, sobbing laugh. Screams rose up from a crowd of Magical Girls who had been watching, and they fell over each other trying to flee.


Rise slowly pushed up Kouzeon’s visor, her eyes wide.

Rise: Oh god…that thing’s power…! It’s up there with the Reaper, maybe stronger! Run! You can’t beat that thing in your current state, just run!
Yu: Everyone, get the other Magical Girls out of here! I’ll hinder this thing with ‘that’!

The Investigation Team went to the other Magical Girls, picked them up and ran off with the rest of them. Yu uses another Mind Charge,

Nagisa Misumi: What about Narukami-san?
Yosuke: We should leave this to him! Let’s get out of here!

As the Investigation Team evacuated the rest of the Magical Girls, Yu launched his hand outward as he commanded his Izanagi-no-Okami his ultimate attack, the Myriad Truths, at the witch. Unfortunately, even with Mind Charge, there was only minor damage on it’s body.

Yu: (Damn… and that’s it…)

Yu collapsed on his knees.

Rise: Senpai…! No…he put everything he had into that attack! He’s got nothing left!

As the group were escorting the Magical Girl out of Sisterhood HQ, Two white suited soldiers appeared and lifted up Yu by his shoulders and dragged him to safety. They looked behind them to see Usagi, Sakura, Taskmaster, Darth Vader, and the 501st arrived into Sisterhood HQ.

Yu: Darth Vader… and Taskmaster…? I’d be a goner if you guys didn’t arrive in time.
Taskmaster: The cavalry has ariiii… whoa… okay, we’ll need a whole lot more firepower if we want to take that freak out!
Vader: 501st, Assist the investigation Team and get the rest of the Magical girls out of Sisterhood HQ! Stay clear of that giant witch!

The 501st helped the Investigation Team getting the Magical girls out. Nanoha and Harry arrived in time to look at Walpurgisnacht.

Harry: That’s Walpurgisnacht?!? It’s huge!
Nanoha: With power to match. Not even Homura could beat it on her own…we should stay away from that thing at all costs.

The two of them spotted Usagi and Sakura along with Vader, Taskmaster, and Yu, flying to their side.

Nanoha: Usagi! Sakura! I’m sorry, but this is all the help I can get!
Usagi: We’ll have to buy time for the rest of the higher-ups to show up!
Sakura: Everyone, look out!

Everyone looked as Walpurgisnacht threw buildings at them and everyone else in the vicinity.

Harry: Protego Totalum! Protego!

The spells worked about as well as one would expect. Harry just managed to get out of the way before a chunk of building smashed through his barrier like a rock through a window.

Sakura: Harry!
Harry: It’s no use! Not even I’m strong enough to stop something like this!
Taskmaster: This dame’s no slacker..! We’re gonna need a specially strong unit to get this freakshow out of the pantheon!
Usagi: Now what are we going to do? Madoka’s in her temple, and she’s the only one who could beat this thing! …Huh?

Usagi looked to her left to see a boy in a hoodie.

Usagi: Run! It’s dangerous here!

The figure didn’t respond; reaching down, he threw off his hoodie in one swift motion, revealing a familiar figure.

Yu: Those marks… It can’t be…
Taskmaster: Who is that guy? Is he a weakling?

Naoki paid no attention to either of them. He simply stared up at Walpurgisnacht, taking a deep breath to steady himself. Then he leaned back: dark energy gathered around him, his tattoos glowing sickly green as electricity coursed around his head.

Usagi: H-hey…what’s…
Naoki: Hnngh…HYAH!

The Freikugel tore through the air, plowing into Walpurgisnacht and all but obliterating it. No longer supported by a torso, its arms fell heavily to the ground, leaving only the gear floating in the air. Then it too wobbled and yawed heavily, falling out of the sky with a brain-rattling crash. The stunned silence was broken by the sound of Sayaka’s sword falling from her limp fingers and clattering on the ground.

Nanoha: So…THAT just happened.
Usagi: …With just one shot…who…are you?

Naoki picks his coat off the ground, brushing it off and donning it.

Naoki: Figures…why would he stick around here anyway?

Usagi blinks, a little annoyed that she’s being ignored. She steps closer, about to ask again, when Naoki looks right at her.

Naoki: You in charge?
Usagi: Um…I guess so.
Naoki: He WAS here, wasn’t he?
Usagi: He…wha…who?

Naoki rolls his eyes.

Naoki: Lucifer. He was here, wasn’t he?

Usagi’s eyes widen.

Usagi: You know Lucifer?!? What, do you work for Metatron?

This time, Naoki actually chuckles a bit.

Naoki: Metatron? No, I don’t work for Metatron.
Usagi: If you don’t work for Metatron… Then what are you doing here?
Naoki: I’ve sensed Lucifer here. What was he doing here?
Usagi: It’s a long story.

She explained to him everything that happened; Homura’s betrayal, the theft of Madoka’s power, Lucifer christening her as a being of Chaos and Desire. The Demifiend scowled.

Naoki: Did he say where he was going?
Usagi: Yes…yes he did! The Labyrinth of…um…
Naoki: Amala. Thank you for your help.

He bows. Nanoha laughs nervously.

Nanoha: We should be the ones thanking YOU! I mean, you pretty much saved our bacon!

Naoki raises an eyebrow.

Naoki: What, from THAT thing?

He chuckles grimly. A cold stone grows in Nanoha’s stomach.

Nanoha: What’s so funny?

Naoki shakes his head.

Naoki: If that thing gave you all this much trouble, then if what you say is true and Lucifer and Metatron are involved in all this…you have my condolences.

Nanoha’s jaw drops.

Nanoha: Your condol-! Just who do you think you are?!? You think this is a joke?!?

Naoki scowls again.

Naoki: Hardly. This situation couldn’t be less of a joke if it tried. The Grand War has found you all, and I guarantee, it’s only going to get worse. You think you’re all in deep shit now? This is a kiddie pool compared to what’s coming next.
Sakura: What do you mean?
Naoki: I mean there are things out there. Things beyond good and evil. Things that hate each others guts and will do anything…ANYTHING…to beat the other. And they’ve decided to get you involved. I assure you…I do not think this is a joke. You are all in very…VERY serious trouble.

A horrible silence follows his words. Naoki turns to walk away.

Naoki: In any case, Lucifer’s in the Labyrinth of Amala?
Usagi: Y…Yes.
Naoki: If that’s the case… We may meet again some time.

And with that, he walks away without so much as a backwards glance.

Taskmaster: …Just who was that guy?
Yu: Naoki Kashima…the Demifiend. I heard the stories, but to see him in action…
Vader: It’s clear that he respects the power of these two beings, however…Lucifer and Metatron…if they’re powerful enough to warrant caution from one such as him…
Usagi: I don’t even want to think about what they’re capable of…

Without saying anything further, the group decided to head for the GUAG Command. If what the mysterious Demifiend said was true, they would need all the help they could get.`1 hour later‘In the GUAG Command Center, Cosmos, after learning that Walpurgisnacht has vanished, gathered her forces to clean up the damage the abominable witch had caused to Sisterhood HQ, and by proxy, the rest of the pantheon. The GUAG scientists were working on the Grief Seeds, but it was slow going. Under normal circumstances, Madoka would be able to undo the transformation with ease, but…

Cosmos shook her head.

Cosmos: I don’t believe it…how could Melkor have…?
Sakura: It wasn’t the GUAE. I don’t think Lucifer works with them.

Cosmos pours herself a cup of tea to calm her nerves.

Cosmos: That’s even worse, to be honest…some lone wolf managed to do this much damage…at least you two are safe.

Usagi hung her head in sadness. Such a sentiment certainly didn’t make her feel any better.

Cosmos: We must address the issue of Homura. She was already powerful enough, but if what you’re saying is true, her powers must be incalculable by this point. And if this ‘Lucifer’ has her under his thrall…

She trailed off. Sakura scratched her chin.

Sakura: Thrall…thrall, that’s it! Homura isn’t someone who would just end up and become evil out of the blue! She’s brainwashed, no question! So all we have to do is find some way to…remove…the…

Her voice trailed off as she registered the level of desperation in her voice. Cosmos sighed.

Cosmos: I pray it’s brainwashing. Well-and-true betrayal is the pinnacle of evil, and for someone like Homura to fall of her own accord is-
????: So it wasn’t a dream.

Usagi and Sakura whirl around and Cosmos leaps to her feet. A pink pigtail is visible from the doorframe to Cosmos’ chambers. Slowly, a familiar face leans into view.

Usagi: Madoka!

She and Sakura rush to give her a hug.

Madoka: I kept pinching myself, hoping I was having a nightmare, but…this is really happening, isn’t it?

Usagi shakes her head, tears of relief streaming unimpeded down her face.

Usagi: Forget about that, Madoka, I’m just so glad you’re safe!
Cosmos: So am I. Miss Kaname.
Madoka: …Where is she? Where’s Homura-chan? I…I have to find her…

Cosmos shook her head.

Cosmos: We can’t let you, Miss Kaname. You’re in too much danger right now. Listen: we’ll have Usagi and Sakura escort you back to your temple. You should be safe there. Let us worry about Miss Akemi. Don’t you worry: we’ll bring her back.

It was happening again. The thing she feared most of all, the thing she utterly hated about herself back when she was mortal: she was weak again. Helpless again. Everyone was fretting and hurting over her and she couldn’t do anything. Back to square one. And it was all because of…

Madoka: Lucifer.

Everyone in earshot drew back a bit: they had never heard such venom in Madoka’s voice before. A dead silence followed as Madoka fought back tears.

Madoka: That’s his name, isn’t it? That’s what he told me! He’s the one who brainwashed Homura-chan! This is all because of him!

Usagi held her tighter as she lost composure entirely and broke down sobbing.

Usagi: And he won’t get away with it. Don’t worry, Madoka, we’ll get your powers back and bring Homura home safe and sound. Everything…everything will be back to the way it was.

She could only hope she could follow through on that promise.

The Labyrinth of Amala

Homura stared at her hands in wonder as the Barong that had been attacking her disintegrated.

Lucifer had been right: power unimaginable. Power that could annihilate anything and anyone that could possibly hurt Madoka. She couldn’t begin to conceive of what she could do if she cut loose. And all it had taken was stabbing her dearest friend in the back. Homura’s steps through the flooded hallway slowed slightly, a frown creasing her face.

Madoka…she must have woken up by now. Even now, it didn’t take much to bring that final look of shock and confusion she had worn into Homura’s mind’s eye. She could only imagine what she thought of her at this point.

But then Homura shook herself, flaring her wings and scattering jet-black feathers. There was no point in dwelling on it at this point. The end of the 5th and final Kalpa was but steps away. The circular door slid out of the way as Homura approached, and she stepped on the circular platform in the center of the room. It lurched, then descended. Down, down, down…if she wasn’t in hell already, this platform was surely taking her there.

Suddenly, there was thunderous cheering and applause: Homura looked around at the myriad peepholes in the walls surrounding her. Countless glowing eyes stared at her as she continued her trip into the bowels of the labyrinth.

Then it was over, and Homura found herself in front of a curtained stage. Slowly, painfully, the curtain squeaked its way up, revealing a posh living chamber with bookshelves and a roaring fireplace. An old gentleman in a wheelchair sat in the center, staring at her with cold, cataracts-ridden eyes. The old man raised a hand, and the cheers from the demons around her fell silent. Then he waved a gnarled finger, beckoning Homura over.

Homura paused, then spread her wings and flew over the gap to the stage. The old man looked her up and down, smirking.

Lucifer: Welcome, Homura Akemi. Welcome to the Amala Abyss. You have slain all who stood against you and stand before me now; a feat well worthy of praise.

But then the old man’s smirk faded.

Lucifer: However, there is one last test you must pass, to prove yourself worthy of the strength you now hold. To prove yourself capable of battling the one who means your beloved Madoka harm.

A new enemy? Some fool wished harm upon Madoka? Homura clenched her fists.

Homura: And who is that?

Lucifer closes his eyes.

Lucifer: The one who would silence her forever, who would remove a rival so that his reign would continue for all time: The Great Will.

Boos and hisses erupted from the peepholes around them. Lucifer let them jeer for a few moments, then silenced them again with a gesture.

Lucifer: Already, his forces have approached the Sisterhood.

The Sisterhood…she though she had put it behind her. But Homura stayed silent and let Lucifer continue his speech.

Lucifer: He seeks to remove Madoka Kaname’s desires and enslave her mind, along with of the rest of the Sisterhood. It is the fate he would bestow upon all of creation, unless we can stop him. Your power would prove a valuable asset in the Grand War against him. However…

He laboriously pushed himself to his feet, the fire behind him flickering and plunging the stage into darkness. And the shadows continued to spread, out all around Homura until the two of them stood in a vast dark void.

Lucifer: As I said, there is one more test: I must make absolutely sure your power would be enough to stop him. To that end, would you do me the honor of this ba-“

A tremendous distortion in the air behind Homura catches their attention. Homura spins around, erecting a barrier in the nick of time: a young boy with glowing tattoos explodes into view, raising a glowing blade of pure energy above his head and bringing it crashing down. The barrier pulses, and Naoki is sent flying backwards, tumbling along the ground before managing to recover and take a fighting stance.

Homura has no chance to ask him who he was, why he was shirtless or what on earth he was thinking: Naoki charges, inhaling deeply before breathing an opaque gray fog. Homura flaps her wings and blows the fog away, just in time to catch Naoki’s punch. She braces herself against the ground, grinding her teeth as the Demifiend tries to push past her guard.

Whoever this boy was, he was powerful: Homura was actually expending some effort trying to hold him back. At length, she extended a finger, pointing it directly at him, and he is thrown back, handspringing off the ground and landing in a crouch. The adversaries glare at each other from across the void as Naoki gets to his feet, darkness gathering around him as he raises his arms. Homura looks down as the ground begins to shake, glowing cracks appearing beneath her. She takes to the air, but it’s too late: the Gaia Rage’s shockwave catches her, and she is tossed through the air with a scream of pain. She hits the ground hard, coughing as she tries to get the wind back in her. The pain is fading quickly, and she struggles to her feet. Naoki starts forward, but Lucifer, who has sat back down in his wheelchair watching bemusedly, holds up a hand to stop him.

Lucifer: That will do, Naoki Kashima.

Naoki seems a little miffed, shooting a sideways glance at his maker.

Naoki: So, I’m obsolete, is that it?

Lucifer laughs.

Lucifer: Hardly. But I’m not the kind of demon who relies on just ONE ultimate soldier. And judging by that little skirmish, I think you two could complement each other quite nicely. Now…

He lookes over to Homura, who has gotten to her feet.

Lucifer: I actually think Naoki Kashima here made my point for me: what counts for omnipotence in one world doesn’t mean much when you step into ours. You are strong, Homura Akemi, make no mistake. But the scope of the battles to come are a little larger than what you’re used to. Now, as I was saying earlier…I must know for myself the extent of the power of darkness you hold within.

He stands up again, shadows gathering around him. Homura watches as a towering shadow rises up, spreading its massive wings. Naoki backpedals out of range, not taking his eyes off the monster that has appeared before them.

Lucifer: Behold the supreme power of darkness, created by none other than the Great Will himself! Let this be a battle to remember: I will accept nothing else! Homura Akemi…FACE ME!

Naoki watched as the devils threw themselves at each other, and the void echoed with the sound of their battle

At the House of Magic, Usagi and Sakura escorted Madoka to her temple.

Sakura: Hey, Madoka…the rest of the Sisterhood is working with the GUAG. Do you…want us to keep you company for a while?

Usagi nods in agreement. Madoka doesn’t say anything. Her expression is vacant and downcast. But she still nods and holds the door open for the Mother-Saints. Sakura and Usagi enter the temple. No matter how many times they had come to visit, the two are still impressed by what they see: befitting Madoka’s status…or rather, former status, her temple was really quite beautiful: a marble throne with comfy cushions surrounded by greco-roman pillars, leading off into verdant gardens. The sound of trickling fountains made a nice ambient noise.

Before, this had all done true justice to Madoka’s divine nature. Now it made the plain little 14-year-old look smaller than ever. Madoka stares at her throne. Was she even allowed to sit in it anymore? A painfully normal child like her in a chair meant for a goddess…what a sight that would be. Usagi noticed her friend’s shoulders starting to shake again. She comforts her with a smile.

Usagi: It’s alright, Madoka…there’s more to you than just your powers… you know that! No matter what anyone does, nobody can take away what you did for the Puella Magi. That’s why you have your title as Goddess of Magical Girls.

Madoka tries to smile, wiping her eyes.

Sakura: …You’ve already done so much for us. It’s only fair that we return the favor, right?

Sakura’s words of encouragement have made her sport a small dose of courage. She hasn’t lost everything, after all.

Madoka: Usagi-san… Sakura-san…
Usagi: Madoka… As acting leader of Sisterhood, I will make you proud.

The pink-haired girl teared up in joy, shifting a bit as she wiped her eyes.

Madoka: Um…if it wouldn’t be too much trouble…do you two want to stay the night? I…I don’t want to be alone.

Usagi and Sakura looked at each other. Well, the answer was obvious, wasn’t it?

Usagi: Of course we’ll stay the night! We can make s’mores and hot chocolate and…!
Sakura: I should leave Kero at home. Got it.

This time, Madoka actually giggled a bit. Usagi turned to leave.

Usagi: I’ll be right back. I’ll just need to grab my pajamas and stuff.
Sakura: Don’t go anywhere, Madoka!

Madoka waved as the two hurried out the door, then turned, approaching her throne. Reaching out, she smoothed out the cushion with her hand, then slowly lowered herself onto it. Well…it didn’t seem like a lightning bolt was about to smite her or anything. Madoka allowed a smile to come to her face.

Madoka: My friends…thank you.

Usagi and Sakura returned a few minutes later, laden with pajamas, junk food, and other essentials. Whatever worries Madoka had still been feeling were soon drowned under the sweet taste of chocolate, graham cracker and toasted marshmallow.

Nightmares of Nonexistence

This was…wrong.

Was she dreaming? It seemed the most likely: trying to cast her mind back to remember was oddly exhausting. Still, she vaguely remember falling asleep.

So why was she here in this…white void? White void…why did that seem…familiar? She had heard someone mention a white void recently, didn’t she? It was then Madoka realized she wasn’t alone. Something hovered in front of her. She had almost overlooked it: the figure was white in color, nearly blending into its surroundings.

Other than its odd coloring, it looked just like her mother.

Madoka’s attempt to call out to this ghostly Junko Kaname was in vain: her mouth moved silently, as if this infinite void swallowed her very voice. So she simply stared at the being before her. It was her mom, from head to toe. But that look on her face…she had never seen that look before. There was the Thousand-Yard Stare, and then there was the dead expression she was seeing now.

Then ‘Junko’ spoke, taking Madoka by surprise.

“Junko”: Freedom and order, destruction and sustenance. Man is a pitiful creature who cannot escape that cycle. Now you too, for all your power, have been caught in this wretched torrent. And look at the destruction that has been wrought.

Not her mom. Definitely not her mom. Madoka would never hear her say such things, and not in that strange, echoing voice.

And then all of a sudden there was another. Madoka realized with a jolt that a ghostly-white Mami had come to hover beside the specter of her mom. It shared that same cold, empty gaze, and when it spoke, it was in that same strange, echoing voice.

“Mami”: The Great Upheaval has begun, and your light has faded. Your light, which shone as a beacon of hope to all who beheld it, has faded away. Even your light has faded.

Madoka wanted to scream, to demand to know where she was and what was going on, who these being were that perverted the forms of her loved ones. But her voice refused to work, and now there was a third specter: Kyubey.

“Kyubey”: Your most valiant efforts were in vain: your attempts to bring hope to those lost in despair were ground to dust. It was an inevitable outcome: you were a fool to think otherwise.

Madoka couldn’t even move to pinch herself awake: her body was completely unresponsive. All she could do was float there as the gazes from these ghostly figures bore into her. And now a fourth appeared, and had Madoka not been rendered mute she would have gasped out loud.


It was exactly like the other ones: a white specter of Homura in her Magical Girl uniform. And yet there was something different. Tears were leaking from its eyes and trickling down its face.

“Homura”: Look at my form…it is the face of the one who betrayed you. How fragile was the hope you believed in: you and your flock. It shattered along with your power. Now the blinding light is gone, and they see the world for what it truly is: an abyss of despair, cursed to be torn between Law and Chaos. Forever.
“Kyubey”: The world is naught but pain. This cannot continue.
“Mami”: But what? What can possibly be done?
“Junko:” But there is a way…

Madoka is only vaguely away of a voice calling her name. Tears of terror are streaming down her face, and she is gritting her teeth trying desperately to move.

“Mami”: Yes! A way to end all suffering…forever.
????: …doka! Madoka!
“Kyubey”: There is no other way! It must be done!
????:‘ Wake up…! Come on, snap out of it!

Madoka’s eyes are flicking to and from trying to find the source of the new voice. It sounds familiar. ‘Safe’, somehow. If she could only get to it…! But then “Homura” is mere inches from her, her blank, teary eyes staring directly into Madoka’s. Madoka can barely hear the thing’s voice over the sound of her own heartbeat thundering in her ears.

“Homura”: End it. End it all.

Madoka shoots up in bed, her wild, terror-filled scream echoing off the pillars for what seems like an eternity. She took a few deep breaths before looking at Usagi and Sakura.

Madoka: I saw them. I had the dream!
Usagi: ‘The’ dream?
Madoka: …That dream…I had the dream! You told me yesterday: the white void room, those people, I saw them!

The two magical girls looked at each other in shock before staring back at Madoka.

Sakura: Take a deep breath and start from the beginning.

Madoka took a breath, the racing of her heart causing the motion to send an ache through her chest, then tried to remember what had happened. It wasn’t hard, almost as easy as recalling the dream she had had of Homura fighting Walpurgisnacht such a long time ago. To say the least, it didn’t inspire confidence.

Madoka: There were four of them. They looked like my mom, Mami-chan, Kyubey and…and Homura-chan.

She explained to them that the four figures told her that her hope was meaningless and the only course of action was to end existence. Usagi looked at Sakura.

Sakura: Maybe…maybe it’s nothing. I mean, we talked about the dream yesterday, maybe all the stress just…

Usagi shook her head. She could understand Sakura’s line of thinking: they did not need another catastrophe on their hands, not at this point. But burying their heads in the sand would just make things worse.

Usagi: We can’t risk it. Not after everything that’s happened.

The three of them brushed their teeth, ate breakfast, put their clothes on, and quickly exited Madoka’s temple to gather all members of the Sisterhood.1 hour laterRepairs of the Sisterhood HQ were still ongoing, so Usagi, Sakura and Madoka stood on top of a hill, Usagi shouting into a bullhorn.

Usagi: Emergency! All members of the Sisterhood! Please come to Sisterhood HQ at once!
Sakura: Remember, they’re already under a lot of stress. We want to explain this in a way that won’t freak them out more.

Slowly, Magical Girls began crowding around the three. Madoka could feel their gazes upon her, could practically smell their disbelief. Seeing her as her mortal self, unable to do anything else to aid them. Usagi cleared her throat.

Usagi: Thank you all for assembling. I understand that you’re all in bad shape right now, and unfortunately, the truth is, we have reason to believe that the attack is still ongoing. I understand that a number of you have had strange dreams as of late, of ghostly figures of your acquaintances or loved ones in a white void. I…understand that these beings have said some unnerving things.

The Magical Girls murmured amongst themselves. Suddenly, a girl with green hair stepped out of the crowd.

Magical Girl: What does it matter at this point? If we are under attack, then that’s it! How are we supposed to fight back in our condition!
Usagi: D-dakini, you can’t think like that! If you think like that, you’ve already lost, you know that! It’s one of our most basic tenants that we’ll never give up hope!

The Magical Girl clenched her fists.

Dakini: Hope? That’s hope, standing right there!

Madoka flinches away a bit as Dakini points an accusing finger at her.

Dakini: And Lucifer ran roughshod over her! Over all of us! How are we supposed to fight back against something that could beat Her Grace!?!
Usagi: We’re not sure that these weird ghost people have anything to do with Lucifer! Listen, Madoka told me what these things have said in your dreams. I can only imagine how that sounds to some of you, especially nowadays.

The Magical Girls murmur again, a few hanging their heads in shame. But then another Magical Girl walks up to stand beside Dakini. The blonde girl clutches her teddy bear tighter to her chest as she looks up at the Mother-Saints.

Magical Girl: What else are we supposed to do? I could barely drag myself out of bed this morning…I kept asking myself what would be the point?!? All this time in the Sisterhood, I was sure I wouldn’t have to suffer or despair anymore! You promised you would protect us…MADOKA!

This drew a gasp from the crowd. The use of Her Grace’s real name by anyone other than a Mother-Saint was…!

Madoka was shaking her head.

Madoka: I’m sorry that I let you all down! But I never meant to convince you all that I was invincible! I wasn’t!
Sakura: She’s right! Just because she was the strongest Magical Girl didn’t mean she was perfect!

But it’s clear the situation was rapidly deteriorating. The crowd’s murmuring had picked up into an angry buzz.

Magical Girl 1: WE TRUSTED YOU!
Magical Girl 3: YOU LIED TO US!

Madoka is flinching back, a terrified look on her face. The Magical Girls below don’t look desperate enough to charge, but their anger and pain was more than enough. Usagi waved her hands.

Usagi: Everyone, calm down! Panicking isn’t going to…please, freaking out’s only going to make everything…SHUT! UP!

The Magical Girls fell silent, staring at her in shock. Usagi seemed a little surprised herself: she hadn’t expected her odango covers to amplify her voice like that. She hadn’t used that ability in ages. Still, she shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth: it had shut the Magical Girls up quite nicely.

Usagi: Shame on you! You think this is how Magical Girls are supposed to act?!? What do you think makes Madoka such a wonderful person?!? You think now that she’s not an Overdeity anymore, her teachings just lost their meaning?!? That just because she doesn’t have her powers anymore, she doesn’t deserve respect?!? THERE’S MORE TO A MAGICAL GIRL THAN A BUNCH OF FLASHY POWERS AND CUTE ACCESSORIES! Being a magical girl is about kindness to all, courage in the face of danger, and dedication to the protection of the innocent! You all KNOW that! And no matter what anyone does, Madoka’s still the person who gave her mortal life so that magical girls everywhere didn’t have to despair! And now that she’s not some invincible goddess, you’re just going to throw her sacrifice away?!? REALLY?!?

The Magical Girls stare at each other. A few hide their faces in shame.

Usagi: We’ve taken a heavy blow. There’s no denying that. What Lucifer did was abominable, and I swear, In the Name of the Moon, he will be punished for it! But if you’re all saying that now that Madoka’s mortal again, we don’t stand a chance… that we should just roll over and die like those ghost guys are telling us…if you’re saying that it’s a mistake to have hope…well, you’re wrong. It’s simple as that. If you think it’s a mistake to have hope, I’ll tell you you’re wrong. And I’ll say it as many times as it takes.

Madoka looks over at Usagi…that was…!

Madoka: (tearing up in joy) Usagi-chan…!

She wiped the tears from her face as Sakura took a step forward to lecture them.

Sakura: If you’re going to lash out at someone, it shouldn’t be Madoka. She did nothing but the best by you that she could. Lucifer’s the bad guy here.

The numerous magical girls were all silent on Sakura’s words. Usagi sighed in relief: it looks like they defused the situation.

Sakura: Remember, we’re not alone: we have allies who will be willing to help us fix this. Cosmos has promised to mobilize the whole GUAG against Lucifer if she has to. We’ll get Madoka her powers back, and everything will be fine. We’ll work as long as it takes to put things back to normal.
Usagi: Until then, don’t listen to a word those ghosts say. Whatever they are, they’re not our friends. That…that is all.

And with that, she walked away with Madoka and Sakura following close behind. The other Magical Girls dispersed as well. Dakini stood in place, watching everyone walk away, and she clenched her teeth so hard they hurt.

What the hell did they know? Usagi and Sakura were from a different world than her: those sappy words didn’t mean much in the Puellaverse. As for Madoka, she was just deluded. Without her power protecting them…there was nothing left.

Blonde Magical Girl: Dakini?

Dakini looked over at her. The look on her face must have unnerved the blonde girl, as she clutched her bear even tighter. Dakini took a deep breath and tried to relax.

Dakini: Elena…please tell me you didn’t buy their nonsense.
Elena: No…no, I didn’t.

Dakini smiled sadly. It was good to see her best friend hadn’t lost her mind.

Dakini: I’m glad you haven’t listened to them.
Elena: Why would I? Usagi has no idea what she’s talking about. She doesn’t know what we’ve been through.

Elena buried her face in her teddy bear.

Elena: Dakini…I’m done. I can’t go back to the way things were. I just…I just can’t.

Dakini paused, then reached up and removed her Soul Gem from near her left-side collarbone. Elena followed suit, taking off her soul gem from a hairpin and laying it on the ground.

Elena: On…on three?

Dakini nodded, placing her Soul Gem on the ground near her friend’s, then raising her foot above it.

Dakini: One…

Elena raised her foot above her Gem.

Dakini: Two…

Elena squeezed her eyes shut.


A second passed, then another one. Elena began to wobble a bit, trying to keep her balance as she waited with bated breath for Dakini’s to shout the final number.

But when Dakini did yell, it was an inarticulate scream of fury. Elena’s eyes shot open to see Dakini clutching her head, screaming at the top of her lungs.


Elena picked up her gem, then hurried over to embrace her friend. Dakini broke down sobbing so hard she couldn’t even speak.

Flynn, after fighting some high class monsters, have bought some weapons, this time from the House of Technology, to protect the Reactor. Two high-class homing rocket turrets, An anti-infiltrator sentry, and five invisible trap cages. With this, he wouldn’t need anyone’s help should the Reactor be attacked. He was on the verge of finishing the rocket turrets. While he was satisfied with what he has now so far for the Reactor, he still he had no plans for the microwave hallway. He contacted Burroughs for suggestions.

Flynn: Burroughs… what should I do with the microwave hallway?
Burroughs: Do we NEED a microwave hallway at this point?

Flynn opens his mouth to retort, but then paused. An idea had sprouted up the samurai’s head.

Flynn: Never mind: I think I have an idea.
Burroughs: And what is that?
Flynn: I could-

Suddenly, Burroughs’ screen flashed bright red, an alarm erupting from the speaker.

Burroughs: Alert: intruders detected near front gate!

Flynn stiffened.

Flynn: How many?!?
Burroughs: Three heat signatures detected, along with powerful magic.

Flynn lowered his gauntlet and took off running.

Flynn: All I needed to hear.

His gauntlet deactivating the traps as he approached, Flynn tore through the building, bursting through the door and looking around for the fools who dared to approach the reactor.

There they were: three of them, just as Burroughs said. Rather weird outfits on them: one wore a purple, rather frilly dress, the darker-skin one wore face paint and a midriff-baring tribal outfit, and…was that a viking? Yeah, that was a viking: horned helmet and all. They hadn’t seemed to have noticed him yet.


The three jumped a mile at the sound of his furious yell, looking up in shock at the ponytailed god charging right at them. The viking was the first to react, steeling herself and raising her sword, but she was one step behind: Flynn had already raised his gauntlet, and the screen had started to glow.


The Magical Girls’ jaws dropped as one as the towering demon appeared, roaring.

Tribal Magical Girl: Kuna nini TENA??!?

The girl in purple gestured, myriad shining needles appearing from nowhere and hurling toward Sanat. The pointy objects struck the demon and bounced off with no visible effect. The gesture didn’t seem to do so much as aggravate the beast.

Viking: RUN!

The Magical Girls took off at full speed. Flynn watched them flee, debating with himself whether he wanted to chase them down.

Flynn: They won’t be back. Now…lunch. Burroughs, put an order though to the House of Food for a-
Burroughs: Four more intruders detected. I also have readings of powerful magic from them.

Flynn grimaced.

Flynn: You’re kidding.

He turned around, and there they were. Four Magical Girls standing by the western gate, one of them taking aim at the autoturrets above her with something…

Flynn: Sanat!

The Eternal Youth zoomed forward, roaring and dragging its claw on the ground with a horrible scraping noise. The Magical Girls took one look at the beast and fled. Flynn scowled as he watched them vanish from sight. What the hell were Magical Girls doing out here? Most gods didn’t even know the Reactor existed, and if anyone did, it wouldn’t be them. Of course, that wasn’t what really unnerved the samurai: it was the fact they were clearly trying to break in.

Flynn: Burroughs, put me in contact with the Demi-Fiend.

A pause, then Burroughs spoke.

Burroughs: Apologies, Master, but I can’t seem to get through to him. He may be out of range.
Flynn: Son of a…*sigh*…well, the House of Magic’s not too far from here. It should be fine so long as I hurry.
Burroughs: I’ll register that as a new quest on the list.

Flynn pounded on the door to Madoka’s temple. A few minutes later, it creaked open. Flynn started talking almost instantly.

Flynn: Hey, I need to talk to-

He trailed off, looking down at the pink-haired little girl who had opened the door with ever-mounting confusion. But then he cleared his throat.

Flynn: My apologies, I thought you were someone else. My name is Flynn, I’m a friend of Madoka Kaname’s. Is she in?
Madoka: Flynn…it’s…it’s me.

Flynn stared, dumbstruck. It took a moment to recover.

Flynn: Miss Kaname?

Madoka hung her head. Flynn kneeled down to look her in the eye.

Burroughs: Congratulations on completing the quest!
Flynn: My god, what happened? I mean you’re…
Usagi: Her powers were stolen.

Flynn looked up to see Usagi and Sakura approaching. Usagi walked up, extending a hand.

Usagi: I’m not sure we’ve met. My name is Usagi Tsukino. Right now, I’m acting leader of the Sisterhood.
Sakura: And I’m Sakura Kinomoto, a Mother-Saint of the Sisterhood.

Flynn shook each of their hands in turn.

Flynn: Flynn. It’s a pleasure to meet you both.
Usagi: Same here. Now, you needed to see us about something?

Flynn looks back and forth to make sure nobody else is listening in, then leans in close and drops his voice to a whisper.

Flynn: What I’m about to tell you can’t leave this room. You see, I’m the guardian of the Pantheon’s energy source: the Yamato Perpetual Reactor. It’s an artifact from my world with unimaginable power, so much so that most gods in the Pantheon don’t know it exists, let alone its location. So imagine my surprise when I found some Magical Girls trying to break in.

Usagi jerked back in surprise.

Usagi: Break in? But why would they…?

Flynn is looking over at Madoka, his expression clouding over as the realization slowly dawns on him.

Flynn: Wait a moment…no, they couldn’t be…

Now Usagi is thoroughly confused.

Usagi: Um…Mr. Flynn?

Flynn is scratching at his chin.

Flynn: The Magical Girls…how have they taken this little…

He gestures at Madoka.

Flynn: Issue with her losing her powers? I can’t imagine they’ve just shrugged it off.

Usagi hung her head.

Usagi: Really badly. We’re trying to keep their hopes up, but I could tell that many of them are starting to despair.

Flynn freezes at the sound of the word.

Flynn: Desp-!

He rounds on Usagi.

Flynn: There’s no way that any of them knew about the Reactor on their own…and considering everything you’ve told me, and what they were doing…Miss Tsukino…PLEASE tell me they haven’t been having strange dreams.

Usagi hesitates, clearly afraid of how the samurai would react. But Sakura beats her to the punch.

Sakura: How’d you know?

Flynn’s eyes nearly pop out of his head. He stumbles backwards, hitting the door frame and slumping against it.

Flynn: No. No, not here! They CAN’T be here…!
Usagi: Those four people…. Do you know them?

How did they get into the Pantheon? Flynn was sure that he destroyed them in his home world!

Flynn: Not ‘people’. They’re called The White, and they want nothing more than to destroy reality. They’re despair incarnate, and they think ending reality is the only way to ease their pain. And…and somehow they managed to get into the Pantheon.

Usagi jumps a bit as Flynn grabs her shoulders.

Flynn: Miss Tsukino, you can’t let the Magical Girls out of your sight! The White have a way of getting in your head! Miss Kaname losing her powers must have inspired an insane amount of despair, and they’re feeding off of it, trying to use the Magical Girls to get what they want! Chain them to the wall if you have to, but you can’t let them near the Reactor! You understand?

Usagi nodded, not taking her wide eyes off of the panicking samurai before looking at Sakura.

Sakura: We need to work fast: there are a LOT of Magical Girls to keep track of.
Usagi: Yeah!
Madoka: Take me with you! Maybe they’ll still listen to me!

Usagi and Sakura paused. They really want to take her with them. However, Usagi shook her head.

Usagi: I’m sorry, Madoka, but it’s just too volatile right now. If what Flynn says is true, they’re out of your hands, and if we accidentally set off another riot, you’ll be in danger.

Madoka sighed. Flynn raises his gauntlet and contacted Burroughs.

Flynn: Don’t take it personally, Miss Kaname. The White are in a league all their own…Burroughs, what’s the protection status on the Reactor!
Burroughs: Steady as she goes. And before you ask, he’s still not picking up.
Flynn: Son of a…

Sakura is massaging her temples.

Sakura: Hueee…first Lucifer and now these “White” guys…I’m starting to think I’m just having some crazy nightmare, nobody’s luck is THIS bad!

Flynn does a double take.

Flynn: LUCIFER?!? Lucifer’s involved too?!?

He puts his hand onto a wall in disbelief. He never imagined that that the Demon Lord had a hand in all of this.

Usagi: Yes. He manipulated one of our own to steal her powers.
Flynn: Good lord…but in any case, he can wait for later. The White take precedence no question. Miss Tsukino and Miss Kinomoto, get anyone you can find to round up the Magical Girls. I’m going to back to the Reactor, just in case; I get nervous whenever I’m away too long.

Usagi and Sakura nodded in agreement. However, there is just one problem…

Sakura: But who are we going to find for help?
Flynn: Anyone. Anyone who can speak, sign language or communicate in any way. Find the Magical Girls and spread the word: “The White are trying to trick you.” But then…

He scowled a bit. He couldn’t believe he was about to say this.

Flynn: If you see a guy with glowing green tattoos and an ego the size of a small country, tell him to get to the Reactor.

Sakura’s eyes lit up.

Sakura: Glowing tattoos? You must be talking about the Demifiend! I know where he is: he said he’s going to the “Labyrinth of Amala” to look for Lucifer!

Flynn stomped the ground in anger. Really bad timing for the Demi-fiend.

Flynn: At a time like this!? Dammit, and I don’t know how to get to the Labyrinth! Ugh, whatever. I’m heading back to the Reactor.
Burroughs: I’ll register that as a new quest on the list.

The Mikado Samurai stormed off to the Reactor, leaving Usagi, Sakura, and Madoka remaining.

Madoka: Usagi-san… Sakura-san… if I can’t come with you, at least let me look for someone else to spread the word.
Usagi: Madoka… Very well… Just stay safe.

Madoka nodded as the two Mother-Saints of the Sisterhood depart the House of Magic.

30 minutes later…

Flynn returned to the Reactor’s bunker, breaking into a full run halfway there as Burroughs sounded the alarm: sure enough, seven Magical Girls, making a human pyramid so that the one on top could attempt to jump the electric fence. Flynn raised his arm and summoned Ancient of Days.

Flynn: GET LOST!

A few Stigmatic Gleams fired at their feet drove the point home, and the Magical Girls fled. Flynn shook his head, gritting his teeth. It was getting worse. The White’s words were spreading among the Sisterhood, and they were getting bolder. They hadn’t managed to get past the first defensive line yet, but still, the fact they were trying at all was bad enough.

Flynn counted himself lucky that the Magical Girls were fleeing rather than fighting. Defeating them would be child’s play, but they were still the apostles of his friend. Hurting a fellow Hope Bringer, especially going through such trials as of late…that’s something Flynn wanted to avoid.

Still, if the Magical Girls did attack in force…

Flynn shook his head. No sense worrying about it at the moment. Madoka and the others were working to counteract The White anyway, and who knows? Maybe they’d stop the Magical Girls from attacking long enough for him to hunt the bastards down.

Maybe… He entered the bunker, Burroughs congratulating him on completing his quest.

Burroughs: Motion detected near the-never mind, looks like the sentry guns scared them off…motion detected near the south end…warning, sentry gun #1018 destroyed!

No…! They were getting bolder. That hadn’t taken long at all…barely minutes between the last attack and this one, and now they had claimed one of his sentry guns. They still had a huge gauntlet to run between them and the Reactor, and the weapons seemed to be keeping the Magical Girls busy, but the truth was ultimately that Flynn’s worst nightmare was happening: the Reactor was under attack. Flynn raised his gauntlet again.

Flynn: Kashima, for the love of all things, get this message and get back here, now! We are literally under siege!

Flynn had asked them to ‘gather the Magical Girls’; he clearly had no idea what he was requesting. Out of the literal thousands of them, all having been taken by the Law of Cycles, they had seen a small army acting bizarrely. Collecting them would be like herding cats, even if they weren’t under the influence of a group of despair elementals.

The ones they did find seemed entirely unwilling to talk. They glared daggers at Usagi and Sakura, and stared at Madoka with shame-filled eyes, as if they knew she would never approve of what was going through their minds. Still others seemed drawn to something in the west, as they wandered trance-like in that direction.

Luckily, they had managed to get some help from the GUAG in their endeavors, among them a deity they reluctantly enlisted. Kiritsugu Emiya was feared by everyone in the House of Magic, and his presence had snapped a few of the Magical Girls out of it. Word was spreading and gods of the GUAG were coming out of the woodwork, but ultimately…

Usagi: Flynn says they just keep coming.
Sakura: Hooeee?!? But-but Mister Rogers is helping us! There’s no way we’re still losing!

Madoka looked over at the god in question: Fred Rogers was comforting a large group of crying Magical Girls. She shook her head.

Madoka: But not even he can be everywhere at once. There’s just too many Puella Magi to keep track of.
Kyoko: So what’s your suggestion?

She gave a yank on her chain-spear. The five Magical Girls bound by it grunted in discomfort and ceased their struggles.

Kyoko: Things have gone to hell, but I’ve got plenty of living left to do: I haven’t even had a chance to punch Homura in her stupid face yet!
Sayaka: Once we’re done getting all of the Puella Magi, we’re gonna do just that, Kyoko. This is all happening because of her.

One of the bound Puella Magi looked up, a wild look in her eyes.

Puella Magi: You’re delusional! All of you! Homura has Her Grace’s powers, we don’t stand a chance against her! The Sisterhood has fallen! There’s nothing left for any of us! It’s as the Prophets of the White World have said: all hope is lo-!

Her voice chokes off as Sayaka drives her heel into her face. The Puella Magi slumps against her bindings, knocked out cold.

Sayaka: Drama queen.

Madoka flinches.

Madoka: Um, Sayaka…could you try not to hurt them too bad? I mean, they’re still my apostles, and I know we can snap them out of it.

Sayaka restrained herself from attacking the Magical Girls and sighed in frustration. Usagi kneels down by the bound Magical Girls in front of her.

Usagi: Didn’t I say it already? The Sisterhood may have taken a blow, but we still have those who support us. Maybe we can’t stop Homura or Lucifer on our own, and if that’s the case, we’ll get help. But we’ll never get the chance if you just give in to The White.

The Magical Girls paused for a bit. They looked down to the ground.

Usagi: Please, don’t give up hope. As long as you hold onto it, Lucifer hasn’t truly won.

They looked at Usagi, this time, with some of them in tears. Mami smiles at Usagi’s speech.

Mami: (Of Course… Miss Litchi… Rushuna… Thank you.)

She adjusted her beret on her head as she turned to follow the others.

Magical Girl: The House of Treasures.

The girls turn around at the sound of her voice. The Magical Girl has averted her eyes.

Magical Girl: The Reactor’s in the House of Treasures. If you want to stop the others, they’ll be congregating there.

Madoka’s eyes light up.

Madoka: Of course! If we head off there, we can stop them all at once!

And with that, they took off running, praying that they could get there first.

Labyrinth of AmalaHomura stares in amazement at the room in front of her. It was her room, down to the swinging pendulum. It was as if Lucifer had plucked it from Mitakihara City and transported it to the Labyrinth.

Lucifer: Welcome home, Homura Akemi. I suggest you get settled in: things are moving quickly up on the surface, and I’ll need you in top condition.

Homura turns to the Demon Lord, seated once again in his wheelchair. He has a surprisingly warm smile on his face, offset only slightly by the magnificent black eye he had acquired during their fight. Homura smiles, bows and enters her room, the almost-organic door closing behind her.

Lucifer gestures to the Woman in Black standing behind him, and she grips the handles of his wheelchair and rolls him down the hallway toward his chambers.

Lucifer: Now, to other business. Where is Naoki Kashima? Last I saw him was after my fight with Homura Akemi.
Woman in Black: Long gone, my lord. He left without a word.

Lucifer sighs a bit. It was an unfortunate drawback to the Demifiend project, but unavoidable. The Demon Lord was many things, but he was in no way a hypocrite: forcing Naoki to work for him was out of the question. Even so, despite the valuable combat data he had gained, it was a serious loss to not have the Demifiend himself…

Lucifer: That does sound like him…comes and goes as he pleases. Perhaps I made him TOO much like myself. But it doesn’t matter. I have all the time in the world, and until then, Homura Akemi will fill in quite nicely.

Back in her room, Homura is reclining on her bed, trying to relax and ignore the aches and pains from her fight. If Lucifer had been holding back, he hadn’t shown it: even with her new power, it was one of the toughest fights she had ever experienced.

She could have gone for some aspirin…or at the very least a cold drink.

No sooner did the thought enter her mind when a icy liquid splashed onto her face. She was wide awake in an instant, spluttering as she shot up in bed, wiping her face and looking around furiously for the culprit.

Homura: WHO…?!?

She blinked in surprise. There they were, five of them, standing on her bed: five childlike creatures with blank, staring eyes and…really creepy smiles. The one in the middle with the frizzy black hair was holding a tray; the glass that rested on it lay on its side. It had upended somehow, spilling a strange purple liquid all over the bottom of the tray, and evidently Homura herself.

Homura was just trying to find her tongue when she looked around the room and an iron glove gripped her stomach. There were more of them. They were EVERYWHERE: helping themselves to her fridge, playing cards on the floor, swinging from the pendulum and giggling, all the while chanting something.

Clara Dolls: Fort! Da! Fort! Da! Fort! Da!
Homura: …Lord Lucifer?!?

The Yamato Perpetual Reactor

Things were getting very bleak for Flynn; the attacks were becoming more and more frequent, and larger in scale every time. Now a huge army of magical girls were marching towards the Reactor, having already blown up a huge chunk of its defenses in the process. Flynn had begun calling Naoki every two minutes, damn near begging him to get his ass to the bunker.

Flynn: Kashima, what the hell’s taking you?!? They’re almost at the Reactor!

He raised his arm, summoning a trio of demons and sending them charging out of the Reactor room. Raising his arm, he watched the camera feed: the demons managed to cut down a number of the Magical Girls before the others struck back, running down the demons and continuing their advance. The gauntlet they had run had cut their numbers severely, but there were still a ton of them.

????: Hello.

Flynn drew his sword, spinning around and pointing it at the source of the voice. Naoki slowly raised two fingers, gently pushing the weapon out of his face. Flynn pointed a trembling finger at the Demifiend, practically seething.

Flynn: What…the hell…took you?
Naoki: Got caught up watching Akemi and Lucifer going at it. So, what’s the problem?

Flynn took a deep breath to calm down and explain himself.

Flynn: The problem, Kashima, is the small army of Puella Magi trying to destroy reality!

He practically shoved his gauntlet in Naoki’s mouth. The Demifiend watches the camera feed, raising an eyebrow.

Naoki: What ‘small army’? There’s only, like, thirty-seven of them….oh! Thirty-four…that had to hurt.

Flynn grunted in frustration at the Demifiend’s comment. Apparently, Naoki had inherited more than just his power from Lucifer: he may not have any interest in the Magical Girls, but that was just cold.

Flynn: There’s still thirty-four of them.

The Demifiend scoffed.

Naoki: And the great ‘Champion of Tokyo’ would have trouble against them? Some rival you are…

*CLANG!*The two flinched at the sudden, horrible sound. A moment;s pause and then it came again; a deafening metallic crash as the blast door to the Reactor buckled.

Naoki threw off his hoodie, his tattoos flaring brightly.

Another crash, and the door was dented further. Flynn looked back at the Reactor, then at his Gauntlet. The force field was still working. He took a deep breath and readied his sword.

Flynn: ”I’m sorry, Miss Kaname. I know you tried your best to stop this without bloodshed…

*CLANG!* *CLANG!* *CRAAAAASH!*With a final, mighty blow, the door was knocked off its hinges. For a moment, the two sides stared each other down: the two guardians of the Reactor on one side gazed into the despair-filled eyes of Madoka’s apostles on the other.

Then the green-haired girl ahead of them stepped forward.

Dakini: Move aside.

Flynn said nothing, but shook his head firmly.

Dakini: We’re going to destroy the Reactor. You won’t stop us.
Naoki: If you’re tired of living, you could just kill yourself. Don’t drag everyone else into it.

Dakini…laughed? Sobbed? It was hard to tell what the noise she made was.

Dakini: They’re too deluded to realize that there’s no hope left. They’re just going to grasp at straws until they finally succumb to despair.

A blonde Magical Girl with a teddy bear walked up next to her.

Elena: We’re doing them a kindness: doing what they don’t have the courage to do.

Flynn’s face darkens like a storm cloud.

Flynn: Courage? It takes courage to risk failure, to fumble in the dark until you see the light. You’ve given in to The White’s moaning, plain and simple. I know them better than anyone; they’re nowhere near the saviors you seem to think they are. They’re a bunch of desperate, selfish spirits. That’s it. They can’t kill themselves, so they’re trying to trick you into doing it for them.

His face softens and he lowers his sword.

Flynn: Magical Girls, please…I am begging you. This goes against everything the Sisterhood stands for. For all the love you claim to have for your Messiah, you’re just abandoning her teachings and taking the easy way out rather than try to rebuild. Listen: I know Lucifer. I’ve fought Lucifer. I’ve BEATEN Lucifer. Just turn around, walk away, and I’ll help you fight him. I swear on my honor as a Samurai of the Eastern Kingdom of Mik-
Dakini: SHUT UP!

He cuts himself short as Dakini winds up and throws a chakram at his head. He ducks out of the way, and everyone holds their breath as the blade whirs towards the Reactor: it strikes a barrier in midair and bounces off harmlessly. Flynn stares in amazement as Dakini seethes in fury.

Dakini: Shut up, shut up, shut up! I don’t want to hear any more! You have no right to judge us! You have no idea what life was like before Her Grace! We’re never going back there! NEVER! We’re sick of disappointments! We’re sick of despair! We’re sick of Hope Spots! We’re ending it, here and now, and we’re taking Lucifer and Homura and Melkor and EVERYTHING ELSE DOWN WITH US!

She turns to her comrades.

Dakini: They can’t stop us all! GET THEM!

And with a bellowing warcry, the Magical Girls charge. Naoki takes a fighting stance and rushes forward. Flynn closes his eyes and looks away as he raises his arm.


Outside the Bunker

Madoka: There it is! That huge bunker in the middle of Max Security! That has to be it!

Usagi and Sakura looked the bunker up and down. There are no Puella Magi in sight, but Usagi’s expression sours as she gazes at the electric fence. It’s been torn apart, throwing off sparks at intermittent points.

Usagi: Oh no…
Sakura: We’re too late!

Madoka paid them no mind as she carefully steps into the bunker, keeping an eye out in case something popped out at her. Usagi and Sakura notice that she’s moved ahead and rush in after her as she opens the heavy door and steps into the bunker.

A horrible crunch fills the air.

All three Magical Girls freeze. Madoka takes a breath and slowly looks down. Her eyes go wide and the color drains from her face. She gasps for air, her legs wobbling beneath her as her mind reels trying to comprehend what she’s seeing. Usagi catches her as she starts to pitch over, and Sakura’s hands shoot to her mouth.

Soul Gems. Or at least, what’s left of them. The ground is littered with so many multicolored shards it’s as if someone smashed a stained-glass window all over the floor.

Sakura: Who could have…Mister Flynn couldn’t possibly…!

Usagi is looking around at the demolished defenses lining the hallway. She doesn’t even register Madoka wandering out of her grip and stumbling down the hall as if in a trance, her footsteps crunching against the shards on the ground. The trail of destruction the Magical Girls blazed makes a pathway for her as she approaches the large room ahead of her.

The ponytailed young man standing in the middle of the room in front of the large, spiked metal ring braces himself as he sees her approach, then lowers his blade as he catches the look in her eye. The Demifiend leaning up against the Reactor gives her a moment’s glance, then looks away.

Madoka stares around the room: it too is piled high with shattered Soul Gems. Their owners were nowhere to be seen, having faded away as all Puella Magi do upon death. But Madoka didn’t need to see corpses to know what kind of slaughter had taken place.

Flynn: Miss Kaname…

Madoka stares at him in shock. From head to toe, Flynn is covered in blood. She doesn’t even hear Usagi calling her name, pays no attention as she is turned away from the sight, Usagi covering her eyes and pulling her close. She and Sakura stare in dumbstruck horror at the two men standing in front of her.

Sakura: And the Demifiend’s here too…?
Usagi: W-what is the meaning of this?

Naoki doesn’t answer. Flynn grinds his teeth, unable to look at the Mother-Saints.

Flynn: We had no other choice. This is the Reactor: the Magical Girls knocked down the door and went right for it. If we hadn’t killed them, it would have been the end. The end to EVERYTHING. If they had destroyed the Reactor, it would have caused a chain reaction: a black hole that would swallow the whole Pantheon, and everything beyond. We…we tried to talk them out of it, but…

The acting leader Mother-Saint clenched her fists in anger.

Usagi: Even so…how…how could you do such a thing!? You’re the Champion of Tokyo…! You-
Flynn: Weren’t you listening?!? I had no other choice!

There were tears in his eyes. Before Usagi could say anything else, Madoka spoke quietly.

Madoka: …Let’s go back…
Usagi: W-wait. What about Mr.-

Flynn interrupts Usagi, in a slightly calmer tone.

Flynn: Please…just go.

Without saying a word, the magical girl leaders left the bunker. Flynn waited until they were out of sight, then chucked his sword across the room.


Naoki thinks for a moment, then rushes out of the bunker. He catches them just as they cross the electric fence.

Naoki: HEY!

The Magical Girls stop, watching the Demifiend approach. His face is unreadable: Usagi can’t tell what he’s thinking.

Sakura: What do you want?

Naoki stares them down for a moment.

Naoki: You said Lucifer’s the one who kicked this all off. I know where to find him.

Sakura can’t believe her ears.

Sakura: You said it was called the Labyrinth of Amala…wait, are you saying you’ll take us there?

Naoki nodded.

Naoki: Yes, I can show you how to get to the Labyrinth. Lucifer is there, and so is Homura Akemi.

Madoka’s eyes widened at the mention of Homura’s name and turned to face Naoki.

Madoka: Please… I need to talk to her.
Usagi: Madoka…

The determined look on Madoka’s face left no room for argument.

Naoki: Very well…

Gesturing, Naoki created a strange portal.

Naoki: This portal leads to the first Kalpa of the Labyrinth of Amala. When you get there, look through the peephole. Lucifer will lend you an audience…probably.

Madoka turned to him.

Madoka: Mister…
Naoki: Naoki.
Madoka: Mister Naoki, please come with us. You know the Labyrinth better than anyone. Would you help us?

Naoki shakes his head.

Naoki: The Samurai is going after The White for they did, and if that’s the case, I’ll need to guard the Reactor, especially since the defenses have been wrecked. Besides, if I know Lucifer as well as I think I do, my presence won’t make a difference.
Sakura: Meaning…?
Naoki: I’m doing this so you can talk to Lucifer: don’t expect to walk out of there with her powers. He may not even let you into the Labyrinth itself. But at the very least, you deserve to know who you’re dealing with.

The magical girl leaders stared at the Demifiend for a moment. Then they took each others hands and stepped through the portal.

Prelude to Rebellion

Labryinth of AmalaHomura was in her room, trying to ignore the Clara Doll poking her repeatedly in the ribs as she tried to fall asleep, when she felt it. She shot straight up with a gasp, the Clara Doll jumping back and giggling to itself, apparently convinced that its incessant prodding had finally gotten to her. But Homura’s eyes were not on the strange creature, but rather the ceiling.

Homura: She’s here…!

She could feel it in her gut. It was inconceivable, but there was no denying it.

Homura: Madoka…what are you doing here? It’s not safe: the demons will rip you apart!

She leaped out of bed and rushed out the door.

First Kalpa

Madoka blinked the spots out of her eyes as she and the others looked around. Unbidden, a single word floated into her mind at about the same time Sakura vocalized it.

Sakura: Hell?

It certainly gave off that vibe: the Labyrinth, with its reddish, almost organic walls pulsing with demonic power, almost gave the perception of the insides of some ancient, evil beast. Usagi shivered, rubbing her arms.

Usagi: The malice in the air is suffocating.
Madoka: Homura-chan’s here…in this horrible place?

It had to be brainwashing. There was no way Homura-chan would be caught dead in this abyss of her own free will.

It was then that Madoka noticed something sitting in the middle of the room: a tower with a cluster of pitch-black holes in the middle. The Demifiend had said something about a peephole…

Madoka: That must be it: Mister Naoki told us to look in the holes.

Her expression darkens.

Madoka: And we’ll be able to talk with Lucifer.

Usagi and Sakura look at each other. Then Sakura takes a deep breath and steps forward, Usagi following suit. The three girls stand around the peepholes, bracing themselves.

Usagi: On three. One…two…three!

On the signal, they lean forward, peering into the dark holes.

For a moment, nothing happens. Then Madoka gasps as for a split second, the face of a scowling old man flashes before her eyes. Then her vision hurls her down a twisting, spiraling tunnel, and a second later, she is staring at a curtained stage, hovering in the middle of a hellish abyss. The walls of the abyss are lined with patterns of peepholes like the one they were staring into, and they realize with thrills of horror that there are glowing, disembodied eyes hovering in the darkness.

There is a pause that lasts just long enough for the three to take in these bizarre surroundings before the curtains of the stage slowly rise, the hinges squeaking loudly.

An old man in a wheelchair sits in the middle of the stage, turning his cold eyes directly toward them. Madoka fights the urge to draw back: the already-unsettling atmosphere had become almost overwhelming at his appearance.

The old man scowls for a moment, then smirks.

Lucifer: Hello, Kaname.

Madoka’s face went into an expression of absolute calm. Only her ragged breathing betrayed her fury.

Madoka: You. You’re…
Lucifer: Yes. I am the Demon Lord Lucifer. I figured you would make it here eventually. I’m surprised, though: I never expected it to be so quickly. And you’ve brought your friends as well: Sakura Kinomoto, Mistress of the Clow Cards, and Usagi Tsukino, Sailor Moon. I bid you all welcome to the Amala Labyrinth.
Sakura: Where is Homura?!? Send her here: Madoka’s going to take her powers back!

Lucifer shakes his head.

Lucifer: No. If you wish to speak to Homura Akemi, I shall fetch her. But as it stands now, I cannot in good faith send her to fight you: it would be a pointless waste of your lives.

He gestures, and the Woman in Black standing behind him fades away.

Lucifer: Now…until Homura Akemi arrives, I can only assume you have many questions. Ask away.

Madoka gripped the edges of her peephole.

Madoka: I have only one. You brainwashed my best friend…had her steal my powers…you’ve thrown the Sisterhood into despair…you’ve destroyed us! Why?

Lucifer is clearly unimpressed by Madoka’s anger. He fiddles with the goat head on the cane in his hands.

Lucifer: I suspended your license, as it were. You’ve spent the last week or so proving you don’t deserve your powers, so I took them away from you.
Usagi: What? What does that even mean?!? If anyone deserves-

Lucifer shakes his head.

Lucifer: Twice she was taken off-guard, one after the other, and twice it has ended in catastrophe. Once, when Nyarlathotep impersonated Homura Akemi. And again not even a week afterward, when I orchestrated the Great Upheaval. Both of these happened despite her omniscience. She deserves absolute power? Don’t be obtuse. The power was never even hers to begin with: a side effect of Homura Akemi’s manipulations of the timeline. If anyone deserves that power, it is she.

The air beside him ripples, then surges with dark energy and raven-black feathers. When it clears, a familiar form stands beside him. Lucifer smirks as he looks her up and down.

Lucifer: And I think she wears it quite well, don’t you think?

Madoka’s eyes widen and she nearly shoves her whole head into the peephole.


Homura looks up, staring into Madoka’s eyes. The corner of her mouth turns up in a smirk.

Lucifer: Do not worry. She won’t attack you… she’s said it herself that you’re lower than her.

Madoka turns to Usagi.

Madoka: Usagi-chan, please: if you use Moon Tiara Stardust…!
Usagi: You got it!

She removes her tiara as it starts to glow.


Lucifer watched as a storm of shining dust rushes down the peephole and closes in on Homura. The black-winged demon allows the dust to surround her for a moment, then flaps her wings and blows it away. Usagi goes pale.

Usagi: No…no way! The brainwashing is that strong?!?

Lucifer blinks. There is a look of genuine shock on his face.

Lucifer: Brainwashing? You think I…!

The demon lord throws his head back, and his laughter echoes through the abyss.

Lucifer: Brainwashing!? Oh, you are out of the loop, aren’t you? It seems that you don’t know either of us very well, do you, Kaname?

Madoka stares in horror as the realization slowly comes to her.

Madoka: Wh-what are you saying…?
Homura: He’s saying that I am not brainwashed. I stole your powers and allied with him of my own free will.

Madoka slumps to her knees, and her mind reeled. It was a lie…it had to be. In her heart of hearts, Madoka had been hoping that the brainwashing theory had been true. Now that hope had been dashed.

Madoka: It can’t be true…
Sakura: No…I won’t believe it! You can’t have possibly-!
Lucifer: I am Chaos. Freedom. Desire. Did you think I was like the Great Will and his forces? Did you think I would force her to serve under me?
Homura: Lord Lucifer has a firmer grasp on reality than anyone in the Sisterhood. That’s why I work with him. Because as sweet as her words are, Madoka’s teaching are empty calories. His victory over you simply proves the point: for as kind and gentle as she is, she’s a guileless little fool, as as always was from the moment we met. If you weren’t, we wouldn’t be in this situation, would we, Madoka?

The lecture was enough to put Madoka on the verge of crying. Usagi is grinding her teeth.

Usagi: Enough…you…you horrid…!

Lucifer watches in amusement as Usagi strains her vocabulary to find an appropriately venomous word for him. Finally, she gives up.

Usagi: That TEARS it! In the Name of the Moon, I will make you PAY for what you’ve done! Face us, Lucifer!

Lucifer sighs, slowly raising his hand and pointing it directly at them. A warping, grinding noise fills the air. Sakura peers around the pillar to see the far wall twisting, forming a dark tunnel.

Lucifer: I have a better idea. So far, you have done nothing but prove my points, but if Kaname is really that serious about getting her powers back, I suppose I can give her a fighting chance.

Madoka slowly walks toward the tunnel, Usagi noticing just in time and putting a hand on her shoulder. The Mother-Saints stare at the black abyss, bracing themselves for some horrible monster or something.

Lucifer: Beyond that tunnel lies the first of Amala’s Kalpas. Four more lie beyond it, and all are fraught with peril; danger enough to give the legendary Demifiend pause. If Kaname wishes to regain her former glory, she must prove herself worthy of it. Conquer all five Kalpas, alone, make your way to Homura Akemi and me, and win your powers back from her in single combat. That is your trial, Kaname. Do you accept?

The two magical girls were reviled by Lucifer’s challenge. Homura turned to Lucifer, wide-eyed.

Homura: What are you—
Lucifer: (glances to Homura, whispering) You think she’d accept? Just play along.

Sakura quickly stepped in.

Sakura: You’re insane… Madoka would die fighting against Homura!
Lucifer: You give her too much credit. The first demon she encounters would cut her down.
Homura: What’s it going to be, Madoka?

Madoka stood in place, trembling and clenching her fists. Finally, she turned away.

Madoka: Ghh…I…I can’t.

The two magical girls sighed in relief. It was good to know that she was thinking straight…

Madoka thought about her next choice very hard.

Madoka: (What should I do? They will kill me if I don’t think of anything fast.)

Lucifer leaned back in his wheelchair

Lucifer: I shall send all three of you back to the Pantheon, so that you may meditate on what you have seen and heard. You are welcome to return and take my challenge when you have obtained power, Kaname. Rather…when you have EARNED power. Until that time comes…farewell.
Madoka: Wait-!

But already she feels weightless, and she hears Usagi and Sakura screaming as the three of them tumble through space. She hits the ground hard, knocking the wind out of her, and when she blinks the spots out of her eyes, she finds herself in a familiar place.

Usagi: The bunker…he kicked us out of the Labyrinth.

The three of them were outside of the bunker to the Yamato Perpetual Reactor.

Sakura: Darn it! Let’s find Mr. Naoki and have him send us back!
Usagi: There’s no point: we start playing by Lucifer’s rules as soon as we step into it, and his ‘trial’ is insane. I guess we’ll just have to hold off, at least for now.
Madoka: Homura-chan… you really did…
Usagi: This is only going to get worse. We should go to Cosmos and report this to her.

They went to the GUAG Command to await more instructions. Madoka tightened her fists in anger as they departed the bunker.

Madoka: (Lucifer…. I’ll get my powers and Homura-chan back. I swear!)

GUAG Command, 1 hour laterCosmos was informing the other higher-ups about the presence of Lucifer in the Pantheon.

Cosmos: It is at these times that all members of the GUAG be on alert for Lucifer! He has taken one of our own, Homura Akemi, into his ranks and brainwashed her. Be on the lookout for any of his activities!

Finished with her speech, Cosmos sat in her throne chair, sighing to herself. Suddenly, Madoka, Usagi, and Sakura, opened the door to her room, reporting her of their actions.

Cosmos: You three have returned. Did you get anything on Lucifer?
Sakura: Yes, we did. We have some very unpleasant information on Homura to tell you.
Cosmos: What is it?

The Leader of the GUAG raised an eyebrow as the three of them tell her about their adventures.

Usagi: We managed to track down Homura and I attempted to use Moon Tiara Stardust on her. It… it didn’t work. Homura… she’s not brainwashed.

Cosmos stared, speechless.

Usagi: Apparently, Lucifer used the Fear Toxin Incident to convince her to turn on us: she believes that Nyarlathotep managing to trick Madoka was proof that she can’t be trusted with her powers.

The Grand Leader of the GUAG did a double take before she finally spoke.

Cosmos: If he convinced her to turn on us, he must have a reason for doing this.
Madoka: Why would he have Homura-chan steal my powers?
Cosmos: I don’t know much about this ‘Lucifer’, but I refuse to believe he’s doing this out of ‘tough love’. He’s getting something out of the deal, and this whole thing about you not being worthy of your powers… it’s just a smokescreen. An excuse.
????: I would think that would be obvious. He got Homura Akemi.

Everyone whirled around at the sound of this new voice.

Cosmos: Who…?

The being that floated behind them could only be described as an angel, with jet-black wings and long, greasy looking black hair. He smirked, bowing to them.

Cosmos: Identify yourself.
????: I am Mastema, an angel of the Great Will. Please, forgive my intrusion.
Cosmos: The Great Will?
Mastema: He is known by many names: The Lord, YHVH, Elohim…whatever you choose to call him, he is the very incarnation of Law, and as his servants, we angels are dedicated to battling Lucifer and his followers. Followers like, for example, Homura Akemi: the Demon Lord has drifted her away and will use her against the Lord and our forces. If he were to succeed, the world would be plunged into eternal Chaos.
Cosmos: I see…
Mastema: As I have told you, we are the nemeses of Lucifer. If you wish to challenge him, it’s only natural that we lend our aid.

Sakura, Usagi, and Cosmos stayed very cautious of Mastema’s intentions. Usagi had a sinking feeling that the angel’s reasons sounded familiar…

Usagi: Mister Mastema, do you…do you know Metatron?

Mastema nodded.

Mastema: Indeed I do, Miss Tsukino. As the Lord’s face and voice, he is my immediate superior. His powers are quite vast: if he were to lend his aid to y-
Cosmos: I don’t think that would be necessary. I’ve already taken steps to mobilize our forces against Lucifer, and I believe they will be sufficient to deal with him.
Mastema: …Do you?

Metatron… Usagi had mentioned a ‘Metatron’, hadn’t she? And what he had said about ‘freedom’ that had caught her attention…

Cosmos stared Mastema down.

Cosmos: Yes. We will not require the assistance of your angels in our fight against Lucifer, Mastema, though we appreciate the offer.

Sakura, Usagi, and Madoka stood by Cosmos’ side, the latter two staring fiercely at Mastema.

Mastema: Is that so? Are you secretly siding with Lucifer?
Cosmos: We have no intention in allying with the Demon Lord.
Mastema: I see…

The four of them looked nervously at Mastema, who looked at Madoka, who hid behind the group.

Mastema: Ah, yes…of course you would be nervous of us, after everything that’s happened. Fortunately, in his great wisdom, The Lord has instructed me to give you a gift. As a token of our alliance, I shall empower Miss Kaname with the light of Heaven.

Madoka stiffened, taking a half-step forward.

Madoka: The light of Heaven?
Mastema: You will become an angel. Though it is unlikely it would match your former strength, it may be enough for you to stand against Lucifer’s forces.

Madoka paused, a swell of joy leaping in her heart for a moment before crashing back down. This seemed a bit familiar, now didn’t it? Mastema seemed to have realized her line of thinking.

Mastema: I assure you, Miss Kaname: this is nothing like an Incubator’s contract. You will not become a Witch, or anything of the sort. The power of The Lord will permeate every cell of your body, and grant you incredible-
Cosmos: I hate to disappoint your boss, but we must decline his aid.

This time, the smile on Mastema’s face vanished completely. The area around them darkened, and the room began to quiver slightly.

Mastema: You misunderstand, Lady Cosmos. This is not a request. The Lord has spoken, and his Will be done: the Sisterhood belongs to him now. Defiance will not be tolerated…

The change in Cosmos’ demeanor is instant and absolute. An incredible force seems to exude from her. Usagi feels at once protected and overwhelmed by it. Mastema draws back.

Usagi: (thinking) No way…this is Miss Cosmos?!?
Cosmos: Leave. Now.

Mastema has collected himself, and stares back at Cosmos.

Mastema: I will return, Lady Cosmos, and you will bend your knee before The Lord, as will all of creation. Whether willingly…or by force.

Mastema floated back to the sky, vanishing in a flare of light. The magical girl leaders nervously looked at each other. Whoever this ‘Great Will’ was, Cosmos had just spat in his face, and judging by Mastema’s reaction, he wasn’t going to take it well. The four of them discussed their next course of action.

Usagi: What should we do now?
Cosmos: I’ll get members of Command for a meeting. Apparently, we’re enemies of the Great Will now on top of Lucifer…
Madoka: What do we do?
Cosmos: Miss Tsukino and Miss Kinomoto, you should go back to your temples. Madoka stay here. I have a feeling those angels will come back for you.
Sakura: Got it… Usagi. Let’s go home.
Usagi: Please, Miss Cosmos… take good care of Madoka.

The two Mother-saints bowed down and departed her throne room and then, the Command Center, leaving Cosmos and Madoka remaining.

Labyrinth of Amala

Homura was adjusting things in her room before meeting up with Lucifer. She still regretted her decision to admit the reason of her choice to Madoka back in her stage; If she were to find Madoka now, she would have been taken captive instantly. Suddenly, Lucifer slowly opened the door.

Lucifer: I’m sorry to interrupt your activities, Homura Akemi.
Homura: You haven’t disturbed anything. What is it?
Lucifer: Things are moving quickly on the surface; The Great Will has made his move against Kaname.
Homura: W…what!?

Hearing this statement made her clench her teeth in anger.

Homura: And what does this ‘Great Will’ want with her?
Lucifer: He wants her out of the way. His servant Mastema attempted to fool her into taking the power of an angel into her. In doing so, she would have lost her sense of self: become nothing more than an empty shell spewing God’s praises. But now that Cosmos has insulted him, he seeks to destroy her entirely.
Homura: No…
Lucifer: The Great Will is gathering his forces against her, the Sisterhood, and the GUAG. Perhaps this would be a good time to test out your new power. Are you ready?

A wide smile was on Homura’s face; With this power, she was ready and able to do anything.

Homura: Of course.

Her smile was followed by a smile on Lucifer’s face.

Lucifer: Splendid… Please enter the stage once you’re done with your room. I will gather my strongest subordinates to aid you.

Lucifer walked out of the room to do just that, leaving Homura to herself.

Homura: (Madoka… Even if you hate me for betraying you… I swear I will protect you from any forces from harm.)

Homura continued to fix up her room, humming to herself.

Labyrinth Stage, 10 minutes later…

Homura arrived slightly earlier than expected. There was only a small crowd in front of her. The audience paid no mind to her, discussing about the events of the pantheon. Lucifer appeared with a fat blue man in a tiger loincloth, wielding a skull-topped staff.

Lucifer: Ah, Homura Akemi. I believe you’ve already met Beelzebub. He will accompany you on your mission.

Ah, yes, Beelzebub: Homura had met him on her journey through the Labyrinth, and the two had fought as part of her trial. Beezlebub walked to Homura, bowing slightly.

Beezlebub: It is good to see you are well, Akemi. It will be my pleasure to fight alongside you in the coming battle.
Beelzebub: Is there something wrong?
Homura: Uh, no…I’m just slightly surprised to see you again. I mean, when we fought, I ended up…

Beelzebub snorted.

Beelzebub: I am eternal, Akemi: just as thousands of flies appear from filth, I will always return.

Several more entities arrived at the stage and more members of the audience arrived. Lucifer was ready to announce his attack on YHVH’s forces, and Homura stepped backstage out of view.

Lucifer: Demons! Beings of freedom, chaos and desire…all of you who have waited faithfully in the darkness, hear me! The time has come: the pitiful tyrant who calls himself the Lord seeks to enslave the Pantheon into his mindless rule. Will we allow it?!?

The crowd’s roar shook the Labyrinth. The Lord of Chaos raised his hand to quiet the crowd.

Lucifer: Of course we won’t! We shall crush him; the Great Will and his empty, pitiful puppets! The time for “Rebellion” draws near!

The demonic crowd’s cheer once again echoed through the halls of the Labyrinth.

Lucifer: My devoted followers: I give you the general that shall lead you to victory! My newest disciple, our new champion! Behold: HOMURA AKEMI!

A storm of black feathers erupted beside him, dispersing to reveal the raven-haired demon. The crowd’s cheering reached a fever pitch.

Lucifer: Now, my brethern… to the House of Ambiguity!

House of MagicUsagi and Sakura were walking to the main area with Mami, Sayaka, and Kyoko waiting for them.

Mami: Usagi… Sakura… You have returned here, but where is Madoka?
Sakura: She is under custody of Cosmos.
Kyoko: What reason does Cosmos want with her?
Usagi: The angels are after Madoka. They want her to be an angel.
Sayaka: First Lucifer, and now the angels? Ugh, now what do we do?
Mami: I guess she needs some time to herself. I guess we should follow Cosmos lead. By the way, did you two find anything on Akemi-san?
Usagi: Y-yeah… We found out that Lucifer didn’t brainwash Homura.
Kyoko: Wait, seriously?!?
Mami: She betrayed us of her own accord…
Sayaka: Homura… When I see her, I’ll…I’ll…!

Sayaka kicked the ground in anger.

Kyoko: Get your ass kicked. Seriously, Sayaka, you’re totally outmatched. We all are…
Sakura: You three, Get Nanoha here and help her gather the magical girls. It’s an urgent matter.
Sayaka: I’ll bring them by force if I have to.
Mami: Of course. (To Usagi) With Madoka gone and you acting as leader, I presume Nanoha will act as a Mother-Saint?
Usagi: That should be obvious. Sakura and I will be waiting at Sisterhood HQ.
Mami: Understood.

The Puella Magi Triplet ran off to find Nanoha and gather the Magical Girls that weren’t killed by Flynn and The Demifiend to the Sisterhood Headquarters while the Mother Saints head for the front of the still-repaired Sisterhood HQ.

House of Emotion

There was no mistake. The white foliage, the oppressive, exhausting atmosphere…the Monochrome Forest. It had overgrown a large section of the House of Emotion, and many of the gods and goddesses stood around it, watching the strange forest from a distance and muttering nervously. Having gotten permission from Leonard McCoy to go in, Flynn took a breath, gently nudged Karin Maaka out of his way and started forward, his hand on the hilt of his sword and his strongest demons at the ready.

Flynn: NGH!

THAT he hadn’t expected: a solid wall of air impeding his progress. The ache in his nose told him he had struck it face-first. A few of the gods chuckled as he probed the wall with the fingers of one hand, massaging his nose with the other.


The colossal demon appeared, already pulling back its giant fist. The thunderous blow struck the barrier, which collapsed under the impact. Almost instantly, Flynn felt his feet leave the ground, and with a gasp he was dragged through the air into the Monochrome Forest.

Back in the white void again…which meant that any second…

????: Our fifth son…whose destiny is undefined.

There they were, appearing one after the other. Hugo, K, Isabeau and…

“Issachar”: Why have you come here? To slay us? To slay me…again?

Flynn clenched his fists, trying to clear his mind as he stared into the teary eyes of the White perverting the form of his friend.

“Isabeau”: Your hope endures, even after all of our attempts, and look what it has wrought.
“K”: The blood of those who followed your close friend Madoka stains your hands. They sought a release from despair: the truth was revealed to them, and you cut them down, rather than accept the truth yourself.

Flynn grinds his teeth.

Flynn: You damnable vultures…taking advantage of the Puella Magi to use as proxies to destroy the Reactor! They were in agony and you egged them on!
“Hugo”: Our fifth son…make no mistake. We realized long ago that you are beyond redemption. As such, we shall find others to serve our purposes. You are but an obstacle.
“Issachar”: You will learn what folly it was to step into our domain. The grief of those who call themselves Puella Magi has strengthened us: I assure you, you will not defeat us again.
Flynn: You’re the ones who’ve made a mistake. This time, I will vanquish you and your perverted philosophies!

Flynn readied himself to against the omnicidal deities. “K” and “Isachaar” used Blank Bullet to fire at Flynn, who ran from the projectile, while “Isabeau” homed in on Flynn and used Impossible Slash, which the samurai blocked. “Hugo” unleashed Naught Wave at him. Masakado’s Shadow took the Naught Wave and repelled Isabeau from Flynn.

Flynn: (I have to wrap this up fast!)

Masakado’s Shadow performed Curse Thy Enemy, damaging them and kicking up a cloud of dust.

Flynn: (Did it destroy them…? No, shi-!)

A Naught Wave erupted from the cloud, striking Masakado’s Shadow, which vanished in a blast of blue light. Flynn’s eyes bulged.

Flynn: (NO! THE INSTANT KILL!) Damn…okay, Lilith, Invitation!

The earwig-like demon appeared, chuckling darkly as it created a summoning hexagram. Masakado’s Shadow rose from its depths. Flynn nodded in satisfaction, turning to face his archenemies. They were gone. Infinite white trees spread out before him.


He looked down at his gauntlet.

Flynn: Burroughs…
Burroughs: Way ahead of you.

The familiar ‘searching’ prompt appeared as the gauntlet whirred and beeped, then Burroughs reappeared.

Burroughs: I’ve locked onto The White’s signals. I’ll prompt you when you’re in range of them. And also…
Flynn: Also?
Burroughs: I’ve detected another presence in the Monochrome Forest on top of the Demons and White. Judging by the biosignature, it appears to be human.

Flynn stiffened. A human having wandered into the Monochrome Forest? Not good…the place was a deathtrap.

Flynn: Dammit…I need to find the White, but I can’t just leave someone here. I’ll…I’ll see if I can find them while I’m searching for the White. If I take them down, the Forest vanishes anyway, and the human will be rescued.
Burroughs: I’ll register that as a new quest on the list.

Flynn began his search for the White. He walked very carefully around the forest.7 minutes laterFlynn still walked around the Forest, and there were still no signs of the White, which slightly frustrated him. He extended his arm to contact Burroughs again.

Flynn: Burroughs, have you seen any sign of them?
Burroughs: Negative. The readings are all over the place. Let me recalibrate…

The rustling of leaves caught Flynn’s attention. He drew his sword, preparing for whatever was about to pop out at him.


A young boy burst from the foliage, closely pursued by an Abaddon. The creature’s gaping mouth burst from the earth, the demon attempting to close it around its prey.


Bolts of lightning erupted from Flynn’s gauntlet, striking the demon and vaporizing it. The boy fell to the ground, covering his head as the lightning snapped mere inches from him before going silent. Flynn kneeled down by the cowering boy.

Flynn: It’s gone. Are you hurt?
Boy: Please… Get me out of here…
Flynn: Stay still for a few minutes. I assure you, I won’t cause you any harm.

Flynn took a closer look at the boy. His clothes were damaged, and there were a few wounds on on him. Flynn held out his gauntlet, a digitized outline of a small vial appearing before taking form. Flynn tossed the boy the vial.

Flynn: Healing Water.

The boy uncorked the vial, downing its contents in one swig.

Boy: Thank you…I haven’t drank something for two days…
Flynn: Can you move now?
Boy: Y-yes.

The boy stood up and weakly walked to Flynn’s side, wobbling for a moment before pitching over, catching Flynn’s arm to stay steady.

Flynn: Easy! This place does things to you.
Boy: What, besides the demons?
Flynn: Why did you come here, anyway?

The boy’s stomach growled as he takes his breath to explain.

Boy: I don’t know…I just had this weird dream and then I woke up here.

Flynn’s scowled.

Flynn: About four people you knew, right? And they spewed nonsense about ‘ending it all’?

The boy seemed shocked.

Boy: Yeah, they…they told me that what I was doing was cruel. When I tried to argue with them, I woke up in this place.
Flynn: The Monochrome Forest. But the big question is what did you do to catch the attention of The White?
Boy: Who?
Flynn: Those four specters you saw in your dream. They’re these…I guess you could call them ‘despair elementals’. They seek nothing more than the destruction of reality.
Boy: Despair? Well…that answers that question. I know why they’re after me: I’m the God of Hope Bringers.

Flynn blinks in surprise.

Flynn: Makoto Naegi…!?

Before Makoto could ask the strange man how he knew his name, the gauntlet Flynn wore beeped loudly.

Burroughs: Four powerful demons nearby. Master, you’re surrounded!

At a time like this? How will he defeat The White along the demons infesting the forest and protect the young boy?

Flynn: Damn…it’s The White! Naegi, stand back! MASAKADO’S SHADOW!

The samurai summoned Masakdo’s Shadow once again. Naegi looked behind him and saw a White Sayaka Maizono coming right at him.

Naegi: Behind us!

Masakado’s Shadow slammed a massive hand between Naegi and the Blank Bullet, and it bounced off harmlessly. Flynn turned in the direction of the deafening noises and saw “Hugo”.

Flynn: You’re not running again. I’m going to end this… SANAT KUMARA!

Flynn summoned Sanat as “Isabeau/Aoi Asahina” appeared behind him and rushed up to him, only for Masakado’s Shadow to interfer and use Curse Thy Enemy on “her”, damaging it, obliterating. Another Naught Wave was fired at them, everyone dodging at the last second. “Isachaar” (or Kyoko Kirigiri, depending on who you asked) appeared in front of Sanat, who performed Deadly Fury to pummel “Issachar,” but the White only got hit from one of them. Blank Bullets fired at Flynn and Naegi, but Sanat blocked the bullets with its massive red claw and used Gaea Rage. The ground exploded beneath the White hiding among the trees, revealing itself to be “K/Monokuma”, who explodes seconds later leaving only “Hugo/Sayaka” and “Issachar/Kyoko” remaining.

Flynn: Two more. I’m going to end this here… ALILAT!

A crystal-like deity appeared and cast Megidolaon on the two White figures, generating a mushroom cloud.

Naegi: Did it get them?
Flynn: I’m certain it did.

A few seconds later, the The smoke cleared up and the two White figures were beginning to crack.

“Hugo”: Defeated again. It matters little. So long as mankind knows their powerlessness, they will despair, and so long as they despair, we will return. Mark our words, we will prove that nonexistence is the ultimate truth.
“Isachaar”: All hope will eventually be for naught. Yours is no exception, Our Fifth Son. We will guide them to nothingness.

The two White figures shattered, leaving Flynn and Naegi remaining.

Burroughs: All four of The White have been destroyed. The forest should disappear soon.

Flynn and Naegi looked around the Forest and saw a glimpse of the House of Emotion; The Forest was slowly going to disintegrate.

Burroughs: Congratulations on completing your quest.
Naegi: Finally… the Pantheon…oh, I could kiss the dirt.

The sounds of the surprised murmurings of gods and goddesses reached their ears as the Forest vanished entirely. A few of them were cheering. McCoy, being the guardian of the House of Emotion, was in front of them. They saw Flynn walking towards them.

McCoy: Are those things… Despair Elementals as you call them. Are they gone?
Flynn: For now. The White have a nasty habit of reincarnating.
McCoy: It’s a miracle you went inside and rescued that kid. That forest popped up a while ago, but I never imagined there were entities inside.
Flynn: Mister McCoy, if The White ever resurface, please send me in to take them out again.
McCoy: Will do, samurai

Flynn departed the House of Emotion, supporting the exhausted Makoto.

McCoy: Things are getting bad. It’s already a headache that glitch is on the loose and there are there deities being corrupted by the asylum. Now these ghostly entities are possessing Magical Girls? I have a bad feeling things are going to get worse.

The House of Food, 15 minutes laterFlynn and Naegi were eating some food to rejuvenate the latter. Flynn gets a fish soup dish and Naegi gets a Chicken Ramen Soup. And considering that Naegi hadn’t eaten in two days, it was only natural that he was eating as such: he was practically inhaling it, stopping only when the dish was scraped dry. Naegi took a moment to catch his breath, then addressed Flynn.

Naegi: How did you know my name?
Flynn: Miss Kaname wouldn’t stop talking about you. You two are kindred spirits. Considering all that’s happened recently, you may have a chance with her yet…

He chuckles a bit at his own grim joke. Naegi looks a little confused as he takes a plate of french fries from the waiter that had just arrived. He practically drowns them in barbeque sauce before starting on them.

Naegi: What do you mean?

Flynn blinks a bit as Naegi reaches for a glass of water.

Flynn: What do you mean, ‘what do you mean’…oh, right. You were trapped in the Monochrome Forest.

He takes a deep breath.

Flynn: Yesterday, Homura Akemi…betrayed Miss Kaname. Stole her powers.

He reacts just in time, moving his soup clear as Naegi stiffens, then spews a mouthful of water across the table.

Naegi: No way… Why did she betray her?

Flynn took a deep breath and explained to him.

Flynn: Have you heard of Lucifer?
Naegi: Lucifer?

As he was in the White’s domain for two days, Naegi had no idea what transpired throughout the pantheon.

Flynn: The Demon Lord… The embodiment of mankind’s limitless desires. The reason Miss Akemi stole Madoka’s powers is because of him. Everything went wrong after that: the Puella Magi are…no, the whole Sisterhood’s falling apart, and The White capitalized on it.
Naegi: They went into their dreams too? What happened next?

The champion samurai of Mikado scowled in sorrow as he explained further as he went closer to Naegi spoke in a more quiet voice.

Flynn: They…tried to do something incredibly stupid. Let’s just leave it at that.

Naegi knew better than to press.

Naegi: Where are the Magical girls now?
Flynn: Most of them should be in the Sisterhood, or what’s left of it. Since you are the God of Hope Bringers, you should have a trick or two to get them back to their senses.
Naegi: Alright.

He got up his chair, ready to go to Sisterhood HQ

Naegi: I hope we meet again… Wait, what’s your name?
Flynn: Flynn.
Naegi: Flynn… Thank you for rescuing me…

Flynn smiled as he saw Naegi leave for the Sisterhood HQ, only for him to frown after he left. He takes his food with him and left for Treasure Department to guard the Reactor.

Outside Magical Girl Sisterhood HQNanoha and the Puella Magi Triplet have gathered all the remaining Magical Girls who weren’t slaughtered by Flynn and Naoki outside the constructed Sisterhood HQ with Usagi and Sakura waiting for them.

Nanoha: We’ve gathered them all here!
Usagi: Good… Everyone! We’re going to GUAG Command Center! We’ll give you more details as we walk.

Usagi, Sakura, Nanoha, and The Puella Magi Triplet form a horizontal line with Usagi in the center, lead the magical girls, and marched to the GUAG Command Center.

Sayaka: Do no stray in line.
Mami: You should take a bit easier on them. They’re still apostles after all.
Sayaka: *sigh* Fine…

For three straight minutes, they continued to march to the GUAG Command Center until…

???: Wait!

The Sisterhood looked to where the voice was coming from. It was that of a boy’s; Naegi ran in front of them, walking backwards

Kyoko: You… Aren’t you one of Madoka’s friends?
Naegi: Where’s Madoka?
Nanoha: She’s in the GUAG Command. We’re heading there to protect her.
Naegi: What is she doing in the GUAG Command?
Sakura: We’ll tell you more about it when get to the Command Center.

Makoto joined the march to the GUAG Command Center. He looked back at many of the Magical Girls, who looked depressed.

Makoto: (I’d better not do this now.)

18 minutes laterThe Sisterhood plus Naegi arrived in front of the GUAG Command Center and went to a complete halt at the entrance. Usagi cleared her throat as she begin to speak into the mircor.

Usagi: Everyone of the Sisterhood! I’ve gathered you all here for some devastating news: A group of tyrannical Angels and Seraphs are now after Madoka, so we’re forced to team up with the rest of the GUAG…

Well, that did the trick…the gathered Magical Girls erupted in screams of fury.

Magical Girl 1: Lucifer’s taken Her Grace’s powers away, and now, a group of Angels want to take her away?
Magical Girl 2: We’re, like, totally done for… I knew Yu Narukami was, like, all secretly planning to backstab us by summoning Lucifer, y’know?
Sakura: How could you say that? Narukami had nothing to do with Lucifer!
Magical Girl 2: Oh yeah? We, like, saw him summon Lucifer when he fought Nyarlathotep! He had this totes straight face througout the entire party! He and his Investigation Team were all quiet about it!
Usagi: What are you talking about!? He had no knowledge of Lucifer’s plans!
Magical Girl 2: Let’s find him! Maybe if we kill the summoner-!
Sayaka: No, Personas aren’t the actual guys, they’re just figments of your mind that LOOK like…!

Nobody was listening to her. A riot was brewing, with the Sisterhood rookies babbling claims that the Investigation Team had a hand in Lucifer’s plan. Naegi stepped in front of the Magical girls.

Magical Girl 2: This is all Yu’s fault!
Sayaka: Would you all just calm down?!? Personas don’t work like you think they do!
Magical Girl 2: OH EM GEE, WOULD YOU, LIKE, SHUT UP?!? I totally saw it! Yu Narukami can summon Lucifer whenever he feels like it!
Naegi: No, that’s wrong!

The magical girls went deathly quiet, all of them turning to glare at the kid who had just shouted at them.

Magical Girl 3: That’s…Makoto Naegi!
Magical Girl 2: Oh. Em. Gee. Like, are you serious? You must have, like, a death wish or something.
Magical Girl 1: No: he’s a Hope Bringer: one of Her Grace’s greatest allies…
Magical Girl 2: Um…so was, like, HOMURA!
Magical Girl 3: He’s not Homura. Let’s at least give him a chance.

Naegi relaxed.

Naegi: Thanks. But really, it’s Sayaka who should have a chance to speak: she’s the one who knows the most about Personas than any of us, right? I mean, she’s the one who actually HAS one. If she’s saying Personas don’t work like you seem to think, you should at least listen to her.

Sayaka seems taken aback, but then nods.

Sayaka: Well, I only know a little bit about Personas, but from what I understand, Personas aren’t the deities themselves that you summon: they’re all aspects of your personality that take their forms. Yu didn’t summon Lucifer, he summoned a Persona that LOOKS like him! Personas are pretty much mindless: they’re familiars more than anything. There’s no way a Persona would be able to pull off something like this. They can’t act on their own: once that happens, they degrade back into Shadows, and at that point, they don’t listen to anyone.
Magical Girl 1: So what you’re saying is…
Naegi: Yu Narukami is innocent. If what Sayaka’s saying about Personas is true, there’s no way that Yu is behind this.

That was a close one. The magical girl rookies calmed down, allowing Usagi to get them back in formation.

Naegi: (I can’t let the White take advantage of this again.)

Naegi went in front of Usagi, facing towards the Magical girls to give out a lecture.

Naegi: Members of the Sisterhood! Please hear what I have to say! You mustn’t lose hope!! No matter how bad things are… How much the odds are stack against us… You must never give in to despair! If you lose hope now, Who will defend the Sisterhood’s honor?

Many of the magical girls looked at each other, regretful of their actions towards the Mother Saints, while he continued his speech.

Naegi: If you lose hope now, the Sisterhood’s name will be tarnished! No more! So please… Have hope in Her Grace! Do it for her sake!

And that was the end of Naegi’s speech. The Magical girls, while in tears clapped slowly in joy. The Mother Saints and the Puella Magi Quartet were put in awe of the effect Naegi’s lecture towards the Magical Girls.

Kyoko: In… Incredible…
Nanoha: Wow…with just a few words…
Mami: I can see why he’s friends with Madoka now.

But Sakura was watching the other Magical Girls. Usagi walked close to Naegi to speak more quietly. Since he was one of Madoka’s closest allies, Usagi had make this a secret with him.

Usagi: Naegi… don’t tell anyone else outside the Sisterhood what I’m about to tell you… If you weren’t here, who knows when the White could drive them into attacking the Reactor again.
Naegi: …Reactor? What Reactor?

Naegi had no idea what she was talking about. Usagi had to explain. She, along with frowned as she spoke further.

Usagi: The Yamato Perpetual Reactor… It was a device can wipe out the entirety of reality if it’s destroyed.
Naegi: I’ve never heard such a device before…
Usagi: We did everything to stop them from destroying it. We failed to reason with them.
Naegi: …What happened next?

Usagi was on the verge of tears as she explained further.

Usagi: They marched on the Reactor, and…and were killed.
Naegi: Who…who killed…?
Usagi: One of them… was a being known as the Demifiend… The other one…

Reluctant, Usagi held back on saying Flynn’s name. She knew Madoka was unhappy about the result of that incident.

Usagi: The other… was a samurai named Flynn.

Flynn? The kind samurai he just met in the House of Food? This revelation had made Naegi widened his eyes in horror.

Naegi: Flynn!? But he was so nice before… That’s wro-
Usagi: Naegi…I saw it with my own eyes.

Usagi calmed down, with tears dropping from her eyes.

Usagi: He didn’t do it for sport; he tried to talk them down, but they refused to listen to him. He and the Demi-fiend had no choice.

The GUAG higher-ups returned with some very powerful deities, causing the conversation between the two of them to end. Cosmos and Madoka coming outside of Command Center building.

Cosmos: You’re all here… The Sisterhood’s her too? Hm?

Cosmos looked how all of the magical girls in line smiling. She was surprised to see Naegi was here as well.

Naegi: Miss Cosmos… Madoka…
Madoka: Naegi-san.
Cosmos: Makoto Naegi… Did you manage to calm these girls down?
Naegi: Y-yes…
Madoka: Nagei-san…. Thank you.
Naegi: I guess I owe you girls one.
Flonne: Since you’re Super High-School Level Hope, it’s natural for you to calm these girls down.
Picard: Cosmos, are we ready?
Cosmos: Yes.

Before they could enter the building, the clouds darkened and lighting was shot from the sky.

Cosmo: Mother-Saints, get Madoka inside the building immediately… I have a bad feeling about this.
Usagi: Roger… (turns to the Sisterhood) Everyone, get inside the GUAG Command Center! Let’s go!

At Cosmos’ instruction, The Sisterhood rushed to the building and the Mother-Saints escorted Madoka inside the GUAG Central Base. The clouds swirled violently, and two beings appeared from the sky: Metatron and Mastema, hovering silently in midair. Seconds later, there was a thunderclap so loud it shook the ground beneath Cosmos’s feet, and the clouds split open. A huge yellow head appeared in the sky, scowling down at Cosmos and narrowing its red eyes.

???: So… thou art Cosmos, art thou not?

His voice was so loud, so booming, so overwhelming that even with its clearly calm, even tone it cracked the windows of GUAG HQ. Cosmos stared back, trying to keep eye contact with this new being.

Cosmos: You… You’re the Great Will…YHVH.
YHVH: Twice I has’t hath sent mine servants unto thee, twice those gents has’t toldeth thee to surrender control of the Sisterhood, and twice thou has’t rebuked. Now I grace thee all with mine presence, to giveth thee all a solemn warning: thither wilt not beest a third time. The Sisterhood… nay, the GUAG, is under mine rule now. Thou wilt bow down and pledge thy undying loyalty unto me, or I shalt erase thee from the world.
Cosmos: I…!
YHVH: This is thy final warning. If thou shalt defied me for the third time, then I may consider all of thee as sinners of mine will! However… doeth thou know where the one known as Madoka Kaname resideth now?

Flonne stepped forward.

Flonne: You big meanie! Hasn’t she been through enough? Why are you so obsessed with her anyway?
YHVH: Be silent, small one! An angel of all beings should know better than to speak to me without leave! Besides, I am under no obligation to explain myself to thee: thou shalt produce Madoka Kaname at once.
Flonne: No way! We’re not going to sell her out…!

YHVH unleashed a terrible aura: Flonne grunted as it bore down on her, bracing herself against the ground as hard as she could to try to stay standing. This only served to make YHVH angrier, and Flonne collapsed to her knees as the pressure nearly tripled in response.

YHVH: My patience is wearing thin, fools! Tell me where to find the False Messiah, or I shall raze the Pantheon to its foundations!

Cosmos approached The Great Will.

Cosmos: She…we don’t know where she i-

YHVH’s shout was so intense that Cosmos was nearly blown of her feet.

Cosmos: S-she said she was going somewhere, but she didn’t say!
YHVH: Then I shall simply burn creation until I find her! Tis a pity…tis my rightful domain after all: to reduce it to ashes, with all that live within…ah well. Mayhap we shalt find Madoka Kaname before too much damage is inflicted. If not, I will simply rebuild anew.
Picard: You can’t be serious. You plan to make war with all creation to find some powerless highschooler?

YHVH looked at him, scowling.

YHVH: Jean Luc Picard…thou thinkst I hast forgotten how she was revered? “Thou shalt have no other gods but me”: she was a false messiah, and despite all the supposed virtues she held, she still led others away from the truth. Away from me. I sought to spare her life: she is as much a victim of the Lightbringer as anyone else, and as such, I wished to empower her and turn her loyalty toward myself.
Picard: So that’s it: you wanted her to be a figurehead.
YHVH: I wished her to learn her place. For all intents, her crimes are severe: for another to claim themselves as a path to salvation…I should not have given her a chance to atone to begin with. But I am, after all, merciful. Instead of having my angels kill her where she stood, I extended aid to her, and the GUAG, in hopes that we may form an alliance against my great enemy.

His face darkened.

YHVH: But thou and thy “GUAG” made a terrible error: thou refused. And now Madoka Kaname, the False Messiah, shalt pay dearly for it. I offered salvation, but now she shall know only oblivion.

His aura intensified still further. The assembled gods of the GUAG braced themselves for a fight they knew was hopeless.

YHVH: Enough talk: damnation to all of you!

Before he could unleash his attack, an angel approached the giant head.

Angel: My Lord, Lucifer and his filthy ilk are preparing an attack against us!

The GUAG gasped in surprise at the mention of Lucifer. Mastema approached the angel.

Mastema: Get the angels ready. I will be there shortly. Have one of the angels check on one of our followers at that place. He shall help us eventually.

He looked at the Great Will and bowed down to them, before vanishing in a pillar of light.

Metatron: My Lord… I too shall gather the angels to suppress Lucifer’s attack!
YHVH: Nay, Metatron; that duty falls to Mastema. Thy task is to find Madoka Kaname. My orders still stand: give all in thy sight a taste of the Fire of Sinai, until thou uncovers her corpse.

His eyes zeroed in on the GUAG members on the ground.

YHVH: Thou shalt start…with them.
Mastema: Understood, my lord!

A portal appeared in the sky, and YHVH began to drift away.

YHVH: Despair, GUAG…for thou hast called down the wrath of god. Metatron…kill them!

Metatron descended, spreading his arms as a luminous glow wrapped itself around him.

Cosmos: We’ll hold him off. Picard, get the God Emperor and his forces here immediately. He’s in the House of Life And Death!

Picard nodded and took off running. Metatron glanced toward him for a moment, but Flonne, now, transformed as an Archangel, placed himself between Metatron and the fleeing Starship Commander.

Flonne: Not so fast!

Metatron regarded the angel for a moment, then lowered his arms, chuckling coldly. Flonne had just enough time to brace herself before twin beams of searing energy plowed into her. Cosmos waved an arm and light spears glowed into existence, hurling themselves at the angel and striking his head. Flonne summoned feather and fired them at Metatron and hitting him dead on, knocking the angel back.

Pantheon Treasure Department

Flynn, who was finished eating, has arrived outside of the Reactor’s bunker. Before he went inside, the device on his gauntlet was beeping louder than usual.

Burrough: It seems that a colossal presence has entered the pantheon.
Flynn: Do you know who it is?
Burroughs: It has a very similar energy signature to the Ancient of Days. But this one is several orders of magnitude stronger.
Flynn: Then it can only be-!

Before Flynn could finish, he saw Naoki running outside of the bunker.

Naoki: Samurai! We have a problem!
Flynn: It’s him, isn’t it? The Great Will…God.
Naoki: Yes… The one born of man’s desire to maintain order… I didn’t expect him to be here in the Pantheon.
Flynn: What is he doing here?
Naoki: I’m pondering the same question myself, but he’s come in force: I sensed Metatron, too, and I think he’s fighting someone right now.
Flynn: Tch…of all the times…who’s going to protect the Reactor? The White are gone, but there could be other Puella Magi just waiting to attack.
Naoki: We should worry about that later. We have to get going now!
Flynn: Kashima, wait!

Without hesitation, Naoki stormed out of the Treasure Department. Flynn stomped the ground in exasperation. The samurai was now in a very bleak situation.

Burroughs: If you go now, the Reactor will be left undefended. What do you want to do, Master?
Flynn: Damn it…when Lucifer showed up, I should have realized this would happen eventually: he and the Great Will are a package deal, and they’ve dragged their stupid war to the Pantheon…

He took a deep breath to calm his nerves.

Flynn: The White won’t be back for a while, and Naegi should have talked some sense into the Magical Girls by now. The defenses still standing should hold up against a decent force. Besides…it pains me to leave the Reactor undefended, but I think I can manage to be away from it for a while.
Burroughs: I’ll register that as a new quest on the list.

Flynn runs out of the Treasure Department, following Naoki to Metatron’s whereabouts.

GUAG Command Center, Outdoors

Cosmos and Flonne held their own against Metatron, but the angel was still fighting strong as ever. Cosmos used a Level 3 Elegy on him. Flonne rose above Metatron, summoned a dragon and commanded it breath fire at him. It barely scratched the mechanical angel, and he focused his eyes on Cosmos as they began to glow a hellish red. Flonne spread her wings as she tried to cast as fast as she could. But something beat her to it: before Metatron could attack Cosmos, a bone-shattering punch connected with his jaw, and the Fire of Sinai went wild, tearing a huge gash across the top of GUAG headquarters. Metatron recovered, swinging his hand and swatting at the pest that had attacked him, who swooped out of the way, floating level with the angel’s eyes and staring him down. Metatron regarded the strange man in the blue, caped jumpsuit, stopping as he noticed the ‘S’ logo on his chest.

Metatron: The Kryptonian…
Cosmos: Superman… thank you: if you hadn’t shown up…
Superman: You can thank me later. I’ll keep him occupied.

As Superman charged at the angel and gave him a few hard punches, an intermediate glyph was summoned at the palm of Flonne’s hand. The Archangel followed Superman from a short distance and gives him a warning.

Flonne: Mister Superman, stand back! I’ll handle this!
Superman: Wait, Flonne!

The Man of Steel backed away from Metatron, allowing Flonne to unleash a giant robot to fire against the angel, which caused an explosion with the dust kicking up. Seconds later, Metatron blew it away with a flap of his wings, revealing himself to be only moderately damaged. Raising his hands, the angel cast Megidolaon on the two of them, engulfing them in a tremendous white explosion.

Superman: AAAAAGHH!
Cosmos: Superman! Flonne!

Flonne tumbled backwards, trying to recover from the devastating blow. Superman was much more the worse for wear: the attack had been magic in nature, punching through his defenses. Metatron switched his attention to Cosmos, staring menacingly at her. The GUAG leader trembled in fear as she charged up a spell.

Metatron: Still you resist? For what: that girl? So be it: you can take your misguided heroism to Hell.

The angel’s eyes glowed as he prepared a Fire of Sinai.

Cosmos: (Everyone… I’m sorry…)
????: Hnngh…HYAH!
Cosmos: Huh?
Metatron: Wh-AAARGH!

A searing bolt of energy tore through the air, smashing clean through Metatron’s chest. The sparking hole sealed itself up as Metaron looked around wildly for the culprit. Cosmos looked over and saw another figure stepping in front of Metatron, who seemed nothing short of livid.

Metatron: YOU!
Naoki: How long has it been, Metatron?
Metatron: No doubt you’re here on Lucifer’s orders…
Naoki: It’s less that and more that I really, really don’t like you.
Metatron: Either way, you stand against the will of the Lord. And so you will be our enemy as well.

Flynn arrived, trying to catch his breath.

Flynn: Kashima!

He then looks at Metatron.

Metatron: The Samurai has come to defy us as well?
Flynn: So…you’re Metatron, huh?
Naoki: Is there a reason you’re doing this, Metatron?
Metatron: Madoka Kaname tried to be a symbol of salvation. There is no other path to salvation but the Lord. For her blasphemy, we w-
Flynn: So basically, you’re just Merkabah with a different coat of paint. That’s all I needed to hear…MASAKADO’S SHADOW!!!

Flynn summoned Masakado’s Shadow as Naoki looked at Cosmos.

Naoki: Do not worry. We will not harm you after we deal with this angel.
Cosmos: I understand. I will help you both.

Masakado’s Shadow instantly attacked Metatron, casting Curse Thy Enemy against the angel, with Naoki following up by using Magma Axis against him, causing him heavy damage.

Metatron had used Tarukaja and Makukaja to strengthen himself, followed by a searing Fire of Sinai at Flynn, Naoki, Cosmos and Masakado’s Shadow. Masakado’s Shadow spread its arms, its huge bulk taking the full force of the blast.

Flynn: Let’s pick it up a bit. LILITH!! SANAT!!

Flynn summoned Lilith and Sanat. The Eternal Youth used Dark Energy, slashing away with Deadly Fury and pummeling Metatronm while Lilith was occupied healing Masakado’s Shadow with Diarahn. Cosmos used a level 3 Cheer to strengthen the group physically, followed by a level 3 Elegy to weaken the mechanical angel.

Cosmos: That should be enough for you two to Keep him occupied. Even when I weaken him, he’ll still be strong. I’ll revive these… Wha-

The leader of the GUAG turning to the spot Kent and Flonne to find only Superman unconscious.

Cosmos: (Huh? Where’s Flonne? She must have gone to get backup.)

Cosmo rushed to his aid and tried to heal them, but Metatron noticed this, broke away from the fight with Flynn and The Demifiend, and attacked her.

???: You will harm her no longer, vile angel!

A voice has stopped Metatron in his tracks. The angel has turned to see a massive black-skinned man in mid-tone green armor holding a hammer. One of his gauntlets has what appears to be a flame thrower built into it. He rushed into Ger and whacked him with his weapon, catching him off guard and slightly crippling him, allowing Cosmos to heal the Kryptonian.

Metatron: Graaargh…!

Metatron slowly recovered to see the culprit who attacked him with a hammer.

Metatron: You…
???: You must be Metatron. I am Vulkan, Primarch of the Salamanders! I have been under orders from the Emperor to take you down and protect the one Madoka.
Metatron: So the God Emperor even sent his forces to protect that false messiah?
???: Withdraw!

Another figure arrived. He has blonde hair and an extraordinarily pretty face.

Sanguinius: We are giving you a warning, angel! Withdraw now, or you shall face the full might of the Emperor’s army!

Metatron was now surrounded by several powerful forces. With his body being heavily damaged, he was now in a very bad condition; There was no way for him to fight back and hunt down Madoka. There was only one thing the angel had to do…

Metatron: …You, who support the girl known as Madoka Kaname. You may have won this round, but the next time we meet, I shall not be alone this time… We will never rest to hunt her down. There will be no one to worship her! Our Lord is absolute! Savor this victory while you can…

The group watched the angel make his retreat; flying into the sky creating a portal, disappearing from the heroes’ sight . The Clouds returned to its normal light blue color. Cosmos takes a breath of relief.

Flynn: He’s gone…
Cosmos: Everyone… Thank you for protecting me.

Cosmos was finished healing Superman.

Superman: Uggh… That hurt… Where’s Metatron?
Sanguinius: He has fled from us. There is no longer any need to chase him.
Superman: Good to hear… Where’s Flonne?
Cosmos: I don’t know where she is.
Superman: Lamington must’ve picked her up in the crossfire. Lamington is like Bruce, so he should come up with some surprises by now.
Cosmos: Our main priority is to keep Madoka safe. Vulkan, Sanguinius: go inside the GUAG Command Center and protect the Sisterhood.
Vulkan and Sanguinius: Understood, Miss Cosmos!

Two of the Emperor’s subordinates went inside the GUAG Command Center to keep the Sisterhood from getting out.

Superman: I will inform Bruce and the others if Lamington didn’t beat me to him first.

The kryptonian flew off to find his fellow super-heroes and bring them to GUAG HQ, leaving only Cosmos, Naoki, and Flynn, the latter of whom’s face was suddenly filled with grief.

Cosmos: So, samurai… and-
Naoki: Demi-fiend.
Cosmos: Demi-fiend. Will you help us?
Naoki: I will go, but I’ll let you know this: I’m not going against those two to protect that girl.
Cosmos: …what do you mean?
Naoki: She’s friends with the Samurai. I barely know her. I’m just here to fight the Great Will.
Flynn: Miss Cosmos… I’m sorry, but I can’t be on your side… Not after what I’ve done to Madoka.
Cosmos: What did you do to Madoka?

Flynn took a deep breath he gives her the full story.

Flynn: Very well… You’ll never forgive me for confessing this… Kashima and I were the ones who killed a small army of her apostles, who were driven into despair by a group of entities known as the White. They were going into the Treasure Department and destroy a device so dangerous, the fabric of reality will be wipe off enitrely.
Cosmos: What is the name of device?
Naoki: The Yamato Perpetual Reactor. The Samurai tried to reason with the magical girls, but that failed, and we had no other choice but to put them out of their misery… I think you know the rest from there.

Cosmos went silent for a few seconds. She would be angry at Flynn for doing such a deed, but considering his circumstances, she hugged him, with a single tear streaming from her right eye.

Cosmos: …I’m sorry you had to go through so much pain killing them… I promise to keep the Reactor a secret.
Flynn: Thank you. I will protect Madoka with all my strength.
Naoki: You’re too soft, samurai. Goddess, since you’ve mentioned Madoka, there’s something I remembered. As we speak, Lucifer is going to use that girl as his general against the Great Will…’Homura’ or something.
Cosmos: His general…is that another reason he tried to have to steal Madoka’s powers?
Naoki: It’s THE reason. Make no mistake: anything else is just window-dressing. Lucifer’s goal has always been to defeat the Great Will; it’s why he…’made’ me. But with me not being as…cooperative as he had hoped, he’s decided to try again with that Homura girl. And with her under his wing, he may well get what he wants: her power is mindblowing. She could give me a run for my money…
Flynn: She could beat you, Kashima.
Naoki: Shut your face!
Flynn: Like a red-headed stepchild.
Naoki: Like I’m about to do to you, Samurai…!

Cosmos was just about to tell them both to knock it off when Picard arrived, along with a man in golden armor. Along with him were several other men.

???: Looks like you succeeded in taking out the angel. Where’s Madoka Kaname?
Cosmos: G-God-Emperor…. You’ve finally arrived. She is inside.
God-Emperor: Where are Vulkan and Sanguinius now?
Cosmos: They’re inside protecting Madoka. Metatron escaped; We’ve managed to drive him off him thanks to the assistance of these two people.
God-Emperor: Good… My men and I will go inside to give her aid. Men! To the Central Base!

The God Emperor and his men have marched inside the base.

Cosmos: Why don’t we discuss more of this when we get inside?
Flynn: I’m sorry, Miss Cosmos, but we must go.
Cosmos: Wait!

The two males left to find Lucifer. Cosmos takes a breath calming herself. Without saying a word she went inside the the GUAG Central Base to regroup. She barely took two steps in before freezing in her tracks. A chill raced up her spine as she beheld a familiar person.

Cosmos: You…!

The black-clad woman sitting before her smirked, as she ran her fingers though a near-petrified Madoka’s hair.

Homura: Cosmos.

Cosmos braces herself for battle, even as the wounds she sustained from Metatron throbbed. Homura chuckles a bit, leaning over and kissing Madoka lightly on the head before standing up.

Homura: I’m impressed: I didn’t expect you to be able to drive him off. It would seem my presence here was…unneeded, at least this time.
Cosmos: What…are you doing here?
Homura: What I gave my soul for, of course: I was the final line of defense between the Great Will and Madoka.

Cosmos clenched her fists.

Cosmos: We’re well capable of keeping her safe from YHVH. You just stay far away from her!

Homura’s grin widened as an immense pressure bore down on Cosmos, who fell to her knees.

Homura: Don’t try to give me orders, Cosmos. I am no longer beholden to you. I follow a worthy leader now.
Cosmos: G…gkk…

Homura regards Cosmos for a moment before withdrawing her aura and turning away. Cosmos gasps for air as the pressure releases its grip.

Homura: ..Some Overdeity. You and Melkor…you have no idea what’s about to transpire, do you?

She head-tilts back towards Cosmos.

Homura: If the GUAG’s best and brightest could barely stop Metatron, you’ll NEVER beat YHVH. So why don’t you leave it to the experts?

Cosmos glares at her. Homura sighs.

Homura: What am I saying: my apologies, allow me to rephrase that. This no longer concerns you. Madoka is mine to protect, and I won’t permit her safety in the hands of weaklings like the GUAG. There’s something I must do. Should we ever cross paths again, I will have no mercy on you and your forces. Farewell.

And with that, she vanished in a swirl of feathers. Cosmos stood up, rushing to Madoka’s side, as the pink-haired girl released the breath she had been holding.

Cosmos: Are you…

Madoka nods silently. Cosmos relaxes a bit, then helps her to her feet.

Cosmos: Come on.

—-Inside The GUAG Central Base, Discussion Room

Cosmos, The God-Emperor, Picard, have all sat down to decide their next plan. Cosmos told both Picard and The God Emperor everything about Madoka.

God-Emperor: So it’s true, then. Homura Akemi has fallen to Chaos. I would see to it that she must be punished!
Picard: That will be difficult: her power is…colossal. Possibly even stronger than Madoka’s.

Before they could discuss further, Superman broke into the glass, making everyone stare at him.

Superman: The glasses we had were cracked anyway. That out of the way, Bruce and the others should be on their way. Now, what were you talking about?
Picard: We were discussing about our next move.
Superman: Oh, right.
God-Emperor: Should we defeat the Great Will first, but it would be a slightly iresome task for even my men.
Cosmos: Since The Great Will is going to kill Madoka, we should deal with him first and then Lucifer later.
Superman: Will those boys help us like last time?
Cosmos: Yes, but…
Superman: Well?
Cosmos: I doubt they’re doing it for the same reasons we’re doing it…
God-Emperor: There is little time before that tyrant’s angels strike here again. I shall gather my men and have them rally at the front.

The God-Emperor left the Discussion Hall to get his men head outside the Central Base.

Picard: Where is Madoka now?
Cosmos: She’s in the bunker.
Superman: Since when did you have a bunker made?
Cosmos: Ever since the Fear Toxin Incident, I had the Grand Commisioners make us one should something powerful like the witches destroy the pantheon.
Picard: Adding all this is that there’s a blackout in several areas of the pantheon caused by the Iron Giant. Good thing the House of Food is still functioning.

Suddenly, another figure appeared before the them. The figure had a mask on his face and wore a white suit.

???: Please forgive my tardy attendance.
Picard: Philemon… You’re not late.
Superman: We are gathering everyone here to protect Madoka.
Philemon: Where is the kind girl now?
Cosmos: She’s in the basement. I must let you know that she isn’t the powerful deity you once know her as. Lucifer has Homura Akemi steal her powers.
Philemon: Lucifer? The Lord of Chaos?

Philemon seemed surprised to hear Cosmos mention Lucifer. He looked down on the floor.

Cosmos: Yes, him. He is planning to make her his new general against the Forces of Law.
Philemon: …I must speak with one of the Puella Magi.
Cosmos: The God Emperor is going to get Sanguinius and Vulkan. I should follow him.

Cosmos stood up and left followed the God-Emperor to the Sisterhood with Philemon following her shortly after.

House of Mentalism

Thanks to a blackout, the area was completely dark. It was enough for many of the mastermind deities to put their plans on hiatus. This did not affect creatures known as the incubators. One of them was Kyubey. He was planning his next move to revert the Puella Magi system, something was secretly planning for a long time.

As he continued to walk around the House of Mentalism, Kyubey flew through the House of Mentalism for a short time to find a way out of the House of and go to the House of Commerce.

However, before he could find the exit in the House of Mentalism, he felt as if a hand catched and squeezed him.

???: You won’t stray around any longer… Kyubey.
Kyubey: (That voice.) Homura Akemi… What are you doing?

He couldn’t see anything; his eyes were concealed in complete darkness.

Kyubey: W-what are you doing?

Homura creates a black cage out of magic and puts Kyubey inside.

Homura: Ufufufu… This here is a cage I’ve modified to nullify your magic.
Kyubey: P-please… A-any-

The incubator felt his power was draining Homura chuckled at his suffering, a sight of which is very satisfying for her.

Kyubey: GAAAHH!
Homura: Do you have anything to say before you squeal, Incubator?
Kyubey: Please…. There’s something… I have to tell you.

The Former Herald closed in on Kyubey to hear him speak. The constant face the weasel always had was now that of a face of fear.

Kyubey: I helped that clown… by strengthening the effects of the Fear Toxin.
Homura: …You helped the Joker!?

How was that possible? Only the Puella Magi and potential ones could see him. Did he make an exception to the rule? The revelation made Homura temporarily take him out of the cage and ferociously grab him. What the magical weasel saw was a supremely enraged face.

Homura: You… How did you help him?
Kyubey: After he put in that Fear Toxin substance, I used the Soul Gen Stimulation to emulate another poison without his knowledge.
Homura: Why did you do it?!
Kyubey: Madoka Kaname’s concept of the Magical Girl system was superior to ours. I wanted to find a way to one up her system.
Homura: By trying to have me turn into a witch!? I will never forgive you for doing such an act.

Homura threw Kyubey back in the cage and set the anti-magic function on, leaving Kyubey constantly tortured, and walked out of the House of Mentalism with a smirk on her face.

Homura: (Hehehehehe… Perfect. Only one more target left.)

Growing the wings on her back, she flew away to her next destination: The House of Theater.

House of Theater, 13 minutes later

The Joker was outside own temple, wearing a magician costume and a mask. He was preparing for yet another one of his crimes. This time, to discreetly steal the finest piece of Robotics from the House of Technology. All he needed to do was to wait for Harley to arrive.

Joker: (Grr… What’s taking her so long? I should have taken off without her.)

He sighed as he looked up in the sky.

Joker: The clouds have been dark lately. I guess I missed out on the fun elsewhere.

Nothing unusual for him. It was his type of time. Closing his eyes, he inhaled smoothly before exhaling calmly, opening his eyes. Suddenly there was a black clad women, holding a cage, in the sky, coming his way.

Grunt 1: Do you know who that lady is?
Joker: Let’s wait until she comes down.

Homura descended from the sky as the Joker and his grunts expected. She walked slowly towards him.

Homura: Hello… Joker.

He may not have shown it, but her voice was enough to make the Clown Prince of Crime to be slightly startled, grinning.

Joker: Ah, it is you, Homu… When did you get such a makeover? Did you make some reservations with Batsy?

The Joker and his men laughed at her new dress. Wasting no time answering his questions, Homura used her magic to petrify him and his men in adamant crystal. A wide grin of satisfication on her face as she looked at the Joker, now petrified and helpless, alongside his.

Homura: That should nicely answer your question. This is for what you’ve done to me in the Fear Toxin Incident. Good luck escaping. It’s a permanent spell. Good luck having your friends get you out of there.

With her two targets were now dealt with, Homura was now done carrying out her revenge; She then looked at a pink diamond creature walking around to find something. Taking a closer look at it, she looked at its resemblance to Madoka. Without a single word, She went back to the House of Ambiguity to help The Forces of Chaos prepare for the war against the angels and seraphs of the Forces of Law.

GUAG Central Base Bunker

As Cosmos and Philemon arrived, the God-Emperor have already assembled his subordinates. Cosmos saw The Magical Girls in the Sisterhood trembling in fear in the wake of YHVH’s presence.

God-Emperor: We’re going outside to rally the forces against YHVH… Where’s Picard and the Krpytonian?
Cosmos: They’re upstairs in the Office.
God-Emperor: Good. Tell them to meet us in the front door.

The Emperor and his subordinates walked out of the bunker and head for the front door to the Central Base, Leaving Cosmos, Philemon, Madoka, The Mother-Saints, The Puella Magi triplet, and Naegi inside. Sayaka was surprised to see Philemon in a place outside his domain, a rarity in and of itself.

Sayaka: Philemon? Why are you here?
Philemon: Sayaka Miki… There’s something I must reveal to you in private. Follow me.

Sayaka grunted as she went.

Sayaka: Okay… There’s something I have to give you as well.

Philemon exited the bunker with Sayaka following him.

Naegi: What does he want with her?
Cosmos: It’s something…. rather unpleasant, but that isn’t the time. Mother-saints, Mami, Kyoko, I want you to gather your strongest friends here now. This is an absolute order!
Usagi, Sakura, Nanoha, Mami, and Kyoko: Right!

The five members of the Sisterhood exited the bunker to get their strongest and skilled allies to the Central Base. It was at the

Cosmos: Stay here, Madoka. The Angels are still hunting you down.
Madoka: It’s fine… I’ll stay here. If I can’t do anything, I can help the Magical Girls boost their morale!
Naegi: Miss Cosmos, can I go as well? Please… I can help you recruit them.
Cosmos: Yes, you may help them as well.

Naegi was slowly walking out of the bunker. Before he fully exited the place, a fog of black smoke erupted before them. Amidst the smoke, a familiar figure approached them, adjusting his tie. He ignored Naegi as he spoke to Cosmos and Madoka.

???: It is a pleasure to meet you again, Kaname.
Cosmos: You must be Lucifer, am I not mistaken?
Lucifer: In the flesh, Grand Commander of The GUAG.
Naegi: You… You’re the one Flynn was talking about!

The Demon Lord heard the boy spoke, but didn’t turn to speak to him. He cleared his throat as he began to speak again.

Lucifer: Ah, yes… The Samurai must have told you everything about me, Naegi… where were we? Ah yes… Kaname… my new champion… Your former herald… has imprisoned a certain white weasel in the pantheon. As we speak, he is imprisoned in a dimensional cage where he can’t escape.
Madoka: Homura-chan…? Trapped Kyubey? Kyubey would never do anythin-
Lucifer: Naive…why do you insist on proving me right, Kaname? The Incubator has been secretly plotting to revert the Puella Magi system to its roots for a long time. Yet another little tidbit that escaped your omniscience.
Naegi: You… Do you know how much pain you’ve caused to this girl?
Lucifer: You think she’s immune from pain? That she is somehow too sacred to be defied? Is it not reasonable that Hope be tested and shattered if found wanting? Would you rather her powers have failed to protect her apostles at a critical moment? Her weakness nearly destroyed the Pantheon: I hope they remember that as they search for a leader truly capable of leading the Sisterhood.
Cosmos: We don’t need your guidance to have someone lead it for us. Someone is already the leader of the Sisterhood: Usagi Tsukino!

Lucifer paused when Cosmos mentioned Usagi as the leader of the Sisterhood.

Lucifer: Ah, yes… The one known as Sailor Moon…

His frown deepens.

Lucifer: A rather sensitive individual, isn’t she? I do hope she’s up for the challenge.
Cosmos: We don’t need more of your commentary! Just leave!

Lucifer created a portal.

Lucifer: Very well…I wish the Sisterhood the best of luck. You’ll need it for the war that’s brewing. Until we meet again.

The portal faded as he walked through it. As Naegi resumed to walk out of the bunker, Madoka’s eyes were in tears. Cosmos comforted the depowered young girl.

Cosmos: It’s okay, Madoka… We’ll be here to protect you. (Thinking) Lucifer, and the Great Will: those two have power that eclipses even Melkor’s…if we want to have even a prayer, we’ll need to get stronger. Much stronger…

Sayaka and Philemon were standing in the latter’s realm. At least, Sayaka was standing: Philemon was kneeling down to pick up his mask, which had flown off his face when Sayaka had punched him.


Philemon didn’t answer. Tears gathered in Sayaka’s eyes.

Sayaka: If you had told us, we could have stopped the Fear Toxin Incident: it was the ammo Lucifer needed to get to Homura!

Before she could lash out at him, Philemon stopped her by raising her hand at her and carefully explained his reasons.

Philemon: It is true that I have been aware of the Crawling Chaos’ activities. I knew you’d be able to stop him, and so you did. However, I…I never expected the Demon Lord to be involved.

A secret monkey wrench. His explanation calmed her to her senses, but she still kept a very stern look towards him. It made sense: Nyarlathotep was his enemy: Lucifer was off his radar. For what it was worth, Lucifer was probably counting on it. Philemon walked up to Sayaka, who was unaware that he had tears on his face.

Philemon: Sayaka Miki…I under-planned. I admit it. This could have been avoided if we had nipped Nyarlathotep in the bud: Lucifer wouldn’t have been able to manipulate Homura Akemi without his help. Please tell them… I am so sorry for my incompetence. Now go: Help your friends protect Madoka Kaname from the Great Will’s wrath.
Sayaka: …I will…

Everything around Sayaka was fading to white as they were finished with their conversation. As she came to, she was back outside of the bunker. Wasting no time pondering questions, she heads for the base to get members of the GUAG to the Central Base.

30 minutes later

Homura arrived in the House of Ambiguity, where The Forces of Chaos were using as a stronghold in the form of factory, after putting the cage she imprisoned Kyubey inside at her temple in the House of Time And Space. There, she met all of the demons inside. As soon as she was about to go her own room, Lucifer arrived through the portal.

Lucifer: Are you finished dealing wrath against those with your new power, Akemi?
Homura: Of course.

On her face was a smile, but began to turn into a frown of remorse; Since she had betrayed the Sisterhood, it would be nearly impossible for her to protect Madoka on her own, what with the GUAG’s strongest guarding her.

Homura: Lucifer… How am I going to protect Madoka now?

This was going to be troublesome. A slightly saddened Lucifer approaches her.

Lucifer: Do not worry. What you are doing is an act kindness for her… You said it yourself: Some of the deities here will sympathize with you.
Homura: T…thank you…
Lucifer: I can feel your deepest desires that you want the best of her. I have other news.
Homura: What is it?
Lucifer: A young madman aspires to conquer the pantheon for himself. His threats are empty and are of no concern to us. Now… (Turns to the demons) Demons… Fallen Angels… All creatures, who embody freedom and desire… The War against The Forces of Law has come!

All of the demons around Lucifer cheered. The Demon lord raised his hand as Homura stepped forward.

Homura: Everyone, let us begin our strike against angels and seraphs… Follow me!

Spreading the black wings on her back, Homura flew up into the sky, with the other demons following her. As she led the demons, a single tear was shed on her face.

Homura: (Madoka…)