The cat hopped off the car and walked toward Joy and as it did so a circle of light began to form on the floor around her. More circles formed and runes began to appear between the circles. Lines and diagrams forming complication symbols. Then they began to rise up off the floor and begin to rotate around her.
The cat spoke louder then it previously had, “Joy Lamb, hear my call. Let the light inside you envelope. Let your powers awaken. Let you soul break free of it’s shackles. Awaken the magic inside of you and become reborn. Let it be so.”
The light from the runes continued to grow brighter and brighter. Soon nothing more then a glowing outline of Joy was visible. The light began to swirl around and around growing tighter and tighter around her. Then with a pop and a sparkle of light the glow broke up into mots spinning through the air.
Standing in the center was Joy. She was wearing a pink skirt which almost reached her knees. Frills and embroidered white runes spread across the skirt. She had a pink vest like shirt that had the same same white runes and exposed most of her arms which were partially wrapped in pink ribbons. Her long hair was tied up in an equally long pink ribbon.
“This, what is this?” Asked Joy is confusion. She felt light and free, like she was capable of anything.
“Your magic.” If a cat could smile then Blackberry would be doing so, After what happened with Luna he was worried that something would go wrong in the transformation but it seems that was just part of Luna’s powers. “It will protect you and make you stronger. There are other things you will be able to do as well but those depend on your own affinity and what suits you.”
Joy hesitated and then reached out once more and pulled the door open. Blackberry walked along side her as they walked into the darkness of the shopping mall. Like with Luna a glow spread around Joy, illuminating the ground around her. There were differences however, Joy’s light was much brighter then Luna’s and they could easily see the front of shops and a fair bit down the hallway. Joy’s light was also a different hue, hers was tinted red matching her pink clothing.
The only sound was the click of her shoes as she walked down the hallway. She could tell they were something heeled because she felt a little taller but somehow that didn’t seem to mess up her balance or make it more difficult to walk, it must have been a result of the magic.
Then there was that feeling again like something was wrong. She looked up at the ceiling and frowned. Blackberry’s gaze followed hers and he said, “You can sense it then, the Elder Darkness.”
Joy nodded, “It feels wrong. Out of place. There is something else too, something big.”
Blackberry nodded, “That is probably Luna. We need to hurry to assist her. Quickly, the stairs are this way.” Blackberry bounded off into the darkness and Joy began running after him. As she run up the stairs she had to stop at the top and step around the shattered remnant of a mannequin. It had been shattered by a large blunt object.
“Is Luna’s doing. It is one of the servants of the Elder Darkness. They are fast, resilient, and strong. Try to avoid fighting any of them until we meet up with Luna.”
“Fight them?” Joy sounded scared, her knees were beinging to shake again. Maybe it really had been a mistake for her to agree to help. “What would I even be able to do to them?”
“Believe in yourself.” Said Blackberry, “It is your strength that is set free, think of your own weapon, your way of fighting. It will come to you when you need it.”
Joy gathered up her courage and stepped over the broken mannequin. She could still feel the two strong forces and headed in that direction. As she walked she noticed more of the mannequins. They were broken and cast aside. Around them were broken shop windows and ruined merchandise. Then Joy saw one of the frozen people. She gasped and took several steps back.
The police man was frozen is place. He had been reaching to pull his gun when he stopped. There was a look of horror and fear on his face and Joy could only imagine what he must have been thinking when he froze like that. “What, what is this?” Stammered Joy.
“It is what this Elder Darkness does to people. It freezes them in place, they can not move or do anything. Unfortunately I think they are still aware while in this state.”
“Aware? Then…” Joy shivered and moved closer to the police man. She reached out and put a hand on the man’s shoulder. It was warm.
“Joy get down.” Came Blackberry’s shout from just beside Joy. She barely had seconds to register the incoming mannequin that was barreling toward her. She pushed at the police officer and he began to topple over. Just as he began to hit the ground the mannequin crashed into Joy. Had she not pushed the police officer or had she gotten out of the way it might have gotten both of them in its charge.
There was intense pain as she crashed into the wall and crumpled to the floor. She could blearily see the mannequin stand little more then a few feet away. She could hear Blackberry shouting something but she couldn’t make it would. All she could remember was Blackberry’s advice to believe in herself. She struggled vainly to think of a way to fight the mannequin as she scrambled out of the way of its second charge.
She couldn’t think of anything, different types of weapon flashed through her mind things that she had see on TV but none of them seemed like they would work. She wasn’t a fighter and had no idea what to think of or what to do with it if she did make a decision.
Her backward retreat pushed her up against the wall. She could see the mannequin quicker then she could do anything about. In moments it was next to her grabbing her with one of its hand and holding her to the wall. Its other hand held a long kitchen knife.
She thought that if she only had a weapon that could fight by itself that she could do something about it. In her fear she didn’t notice the glow that was beginning to form around her right hand. Instead she was concentrating on holding back the mannequin’s hand that held the knife with her own hands. Yet whatever dark energies powered the mannequin was stronger then Joy and the knife drew closer and closer to her.
If only she knew how to fight then she could win, if only she had the will to win, if only she was willing to be violent to win. That crack in her own heart spoke louder to her then anything else. If only she was willing to do what she need to to win.
There was the softest whisper, so soft it might have not even been a voice. “If that is your desire.” Two red sparks appeared in the glowing light around her right hand. There was a roaring of fire that erupted around her hand pushing the mannequin back a couple of steps. When the flames died there was a bracelet hanging around Joy’s right hand in the form of a snake eating its own tail.
“Speak it.” The voice whispers, “Speak my name and I will save you from the fear.”
Joy shook, not in fear but with something else. Her arm raise slowly and with the name bubbling to her mind she said, “Ouroboros awaken.”
The teeth of the snake released and in a ripple that took no more then a second it change into a sword. The blade shined green in the glow of Joy’s clothing. It wasn’t an instant after the sword fell into Joy’s hand that the blade sliced across the air and the was a slight whisking sound. Then there was a clatter and clink as the top half of the mannequin and the knife hit the floor.
Joy stood there shacking with the sword in her hands for a few moments trying to figure out what just happened. Then as swiftly as it had changed the first time the sword rippled and returned to the form of a snake. It clamped its teeth on its tail and settled around Joy’s arm.
Blackberry stepped over the form of the mannequin and said, “That was, impressive. I’ve seen some strange magical tools but that was quite interesting. What did you do?”
“I don’t really know. I was just desperate. Then Ouroboros was there to help me. I can’t explain it better then that. It wasn’t even me fighting there it was Ouroboros.”
“Maybe you managed to call some strange being to your aid or it might be your unconscious strength rising to the surface in physical form. Magic is strange like that. Whatever it is it will be a useful addition. The strength you showed will be useful. Now let’s get going, Luna needs our help and that mannequin has already delayed us longer then it should have.”
“Right” Joy shook the hand with Ouroboros on it and then headed in the direction that she could feel Luna and the Elder Darkness in. She wondered about the voice that had spoken to her, had that been Ouroboros? She wasn’t certain what to think but the weight on her arm felt comfortable like it was supposed to be there. There were currently more important things to worry about anyways.
Each of us magical girls has different powers
Blackberry once called me an energy type
I have so much magical power that it seeps out of me constantly
This buildup of energy enhances my physical abilities more then the other girls
It also means that I heal faster then the others
More importantly being an energy type lets me make attacks like my black-light beam
The disadvantage is that my reserves of magical energy is always strained
No matter how much power I can release eventually I will run out
Joy is different, Ouroboros lets her use her energy efficiently
She has the ability to tackle multiple different threats at the same time without wasting energy
Yet against larger threats Ouroboros has problems
There are limits to both the total strength and the amount released at the same time
For dealing with extremely powerful enemy or for large hordes my power is superior
Really it was like Fate had handed my the perfect partner
I hate Fate
It is always working for somebody else
I just didn’t know who until later
Chapter 5 - Team
Luna Star staggered and fell back before the mannequins. She had left quite a pile of them destroyed in her wake but that didn’t deter them. She had used the black-light beam several times already when things had seemed almost hopeless and each time it had helped for a while. However the Elder Darkness seemed to have a never ending supply of the mannequins. Luna had caught sight of the Porcelain Doll a couple of times but each time it had managed to escape because of the horde of mannequins.
Luna knew she probably had about one more use of the black-light beam before that was it. She would need it for the next time she caught sight of the doll. It was her last real chance to defeat the Elder Darkness. Until then she needed to hold out against the horde of mannequins. Her endurance was already flagging and she was already bleeding in several places. There were more holes in her clothing from other injures that had already healed. The fact that her current injures weren’t healing was even more proof that she was reaching her breaking point.