Chapter 6

        The second-Homura began to place her right palm on top of the frontal triangular column.
        Suddenly, an alarm-like drone sounded as an eerie green glow from her left filled the area. The doppelganger looked at the destroyed Inhibitor 2, which was still pumping out its column of smoke.
        The drone sounded again three times as the inhibitor filled the area with the green glow at the same time as the blares. The second-Homura stepped back, and raised her right hand into a fist toward the machine while keeping it near her chest. She braced herself for something to happen.
        The inhibitor sent out a long electric bolt high into the air. It emerged from the right edge of the glowing slash that spread across its viewscreen.
        Then it sent out another bolt right at Inhibitor 3.
        The second-Homura did not stop to consider what the inhibitor's zaps did, nor what they affected. She went back to looking up that Fugitive conversation with Elsa.
        Just outside the giant double doors of Drogentote Medical Hospital, Medic was using a Sentry-like Medigun on a recovering Kurisu. This Medigun, which had been in storage for months, was built from a repurposed Sentry gatling gun on the nozzle, and a repainted Dispenser casing for the backpack. The nozzle had a piece of red-painted metal at the tip.
        "I take it you're going to try things out now?" asked Kurisu.
        "Ready for the charge!" called Medic.
        An electric bolt suddenly shot down from the sky and slammed Kurisu down to the ground.
        A signal scramble engulfed the area in a brief wash of pixels. When the area became clear once more, Medic noticed that Kurisu looked a bit... different, as if her hair could flow more freely.
        Kurisu looked up at Medic and stammered, "I-I'm not saying I agree with these experiments, though!"
        Medic chuckled at Kurisu's apparent state of denial. He noticed, though, that her mouth visibly moved a lot more than it used to....


*   *   *

        For a winter day, it wasn't chilly at all outside Office Building 52375.
        This building was located in an urban area. When it wasn't a battleground for hostage situations, the complex served as a popular hangout area during the winter, despite being a messy workplace with papers on the floor in several areas. Some of the Codename Fortress mercenaries preferred the warm heated hallways of the offices compared to their Coldfront base. As it turned out, some of the Holy Quintet girls also liked being there last winter.
        Two of these girls, Kyoko and Sayaka, were in their school uniforms. They were sitting together and having a picnic with Sasha Braus, sharing some food they just got nearby. Sasha was a brown-haired ponytailed girl who was in a distinct jacketed belted uniform and seemed to have constant cravings for food. She herself had just placed her own sandwiches, similar to the one she had with Heavy six months ago, in a tall stack between the three.
        Sasha took one of her sandwiches and grabbed the top crust with both her hands.

        "You can... have half..." she muttered.
        "Oh, don't even sweat it!" called Kyoko. She held out a box of fried shrimp tempura that Sayaka was having, for Sasha to see.
        Sasha grabbed a piece of tempura from the box and shoved it into her mouth. As she did, she noticed Sayaka glaring at Kyoko for taking her food and offering it to that hungry girl. Sayaka offered Sasha some meatballs and sausages that Kyoko had brought. Kyoko looked at Sayaka in surprise. Sasha then quickly gave the both a thumbs-up while still holding her sandwich and munching on the tempura.
        " 'Ey!" came the sound of Scout's voice.
        The next thing Kyoko knew, she had caught a can of Bonk! Atomic Punch in her hand. However, instead of the regular Cherry Fission flavour, it was a holiday-branded Exothermic Eggnog. Also, the can was topped with a red bow and had a candy cane-like straw inside it.
        Kyoko looked up and saw that Scout had brought FemScout, Spy, Madoka, and Mami along, as well as a rough-looking man with a red-brimmed feathered hat that clashed with his blue military outfit and covered his eyes. Kyoko also noticed that Mami was wearing her glasses again and had already transformed into her magical girl outfit, but she didn't mind. She smiled at Madoka, who smiled back.
        "Glad you could make it today, Madoka," greeted Kyoko.
        But any further manner of friendly greeting was stopped when Soldier burst into laughter. Sasha glared at Soldier while keeping a grip on her sandwich. Even Scout and FemScout stared at Soldier in confusion.
        "Smells delicious!" called Soldier as he looked at the picnic that Kyoko, Sayaka, and Sasha were having.
        Sasha gasped.
        "Now hear this: you will give me all of that there. I will eat them up, because this is not a tea party!"
        "Oh, really?" said Kyoko.
        "This is war," Soldier said as he turned his attention to Madoka. "And you better get into a frilly dress."
        "Hold it!" warned Sayaka as she pointed at Soldier. "Don't you dare mix Madoka up in your shady schemin'!"
        Just then, Soldier saw someone leaning down from the roof of the building through one of the windows. It was Stocking, who seemed to pout at the snow-covered ground beneath her.
        "Another girl with a frilly dress... I got a good feeling about this!" Soldier said enthusiastically, and left the group behind.
        After a lengthy pause, Sasha and Kyoko looked at the others and gestured toward the food they had out.
        "Want some?" Kyoko offered.
        Soldier soon arrived outside at the area where that blue-haired girl was moments earlier.
        "Come on out!" called Soldier.
        There was no response. Even the rooftop ledge seemed empty.
        "Come here, sister... you little frilly-dress miss."
        Stocking peeked out from the rooftop and told Soldier, "Number one, that was cheesy. Number two..."
        She looked around once.
        "What the hell?!" Stocking shrieked. She shrugged in a very annoyed manner before she hid from Soldier once more.
        "Dammit, cupcake, get out here!" called Soldier.
        A light suddenly beamed out from the rooftop.
        Back inside, Kyoko, Sayaka, and Spy looked out the window. Meanwhile, Sasha offered some of their food, including her stack of sandwiches, to Madoka and Mami. The two Scouts tried their holiday Bonk! drinks.
        "Oh, Soldier, please!" groaned Spy. "This is getting awkward!"
        "Your country did not prepare you for the level of violence you will meet on my battlefield!" taunted Soldier. "Now come out so we can kick your ass!"
        Stocking then landed in front of Soldier with her hands on her hips.
        Her hair, as well as the bow on it, was now in brighter, more vibrant shades of blue and pink. She now wore a grayish-white corset-like dress accented with blue hearts. Her thigh-high socks, which wrapped her legs just above her open-toed high heels, were in a vibrant blue and white. Finally, she seemed to have wings coming out of her back and a yellow halo above her head.
        Stocking reached down toward her legs with both her hands.
        She changed her socks into her twin swords once more, leaving her legs bare. Then she swung her swords at Soldier.
        Soldier was unfazed.
        But Stocking didn't care. She also didn't care that her katanas didn't even work against him.
        She felt that if she hit the idiotic musclehead in front of her enough times, then something would finally happen to him. She then swung her swords one after the other.
        "You kids today don't know how to dominate!" sneered Soldier.
        "Maggots!" called Soldier while raising an L-shaped "loser" gesture on his head.
        All the team members inside the building were now looking out the window. They watched Soldier as he took the Hostile leader's sword slashes like they were nothing, and taunted the sanity out of her.
        Scout and FemScout had their guns ready.
        Spy reached inside his suit for something.
        Mami held a worried gasp on her face as she held her Soul Gem in her hand.
        Madoka began to get worried herself. She thought, That girl down there looks like an angel, so why is she a Hostile?

        Sasha quietly munched on a sausage, also with a worried look on her face.
        Kyoko quietly yawned, and then gestured for Sayaka and herself to find an exit.
        Sayaka nodded.
        "Get a haircut, hippie!" yelled Soldier.
        Stocking gasped. She then raised a sword in her right hand high in the air. But she didn't need to slash it down.
        A thin white beam struck Soldier in the head from afar. It sent him crashing to the ground with a pained scream.
        As Stocking sighed in relief, she saw several hovering white intricately-patterned musket-rifles arrive in the area. Some of them were pointing at where that bullet came from. But the other rifles were aimed at her, and she did not like that at all.
        One swing of her katana knocked the rifles out of the air before they could fire. Stocking then began to look for an entrance to the building she was at. Those multiple guns showing up and that bullet to the military man's head-- the same kind from six months ago-- meant only one thing:
        That two-bit Resurrection Movement was still around.
        Little did Stocking know that another trap-like box, much like the one she took from that hardhat-wearing man months ago, now lay well-hidden beside that military man who was just shot.




Chapter 7 >