Chapter 9

        It was a matter of time before the remaining team members at Office Building 52375 returned safely to the inhibitor room, thanks to Homura's time-stopping powers.
        Medic unleashed an Ubercharge from his Sentry Medigun onto Soldier's Reanimator box. Even though Soldier wore blue clothing, his Reanimator allowed him to spring awake from his headshot-induced coma.
        "Back from the dead and reporting for duty!" announced Soldier.
        FemScout was delighted that the Reanimator box worked. "Alright, yeah... no, it's a pretty good job," she admitted.
        "You deserve a medal, Doc," continued Soldier as he put his Reanimator away.
        "I am the Ubermensch!" yelled Medic in satisfaction.
        "It worked..." sighed Kurisu, as she turned her attention to Sasha, who still needed medical attention after the attack. However, Kurisu couldn't help but watch as the five magical girls, who were back in their school uniforms, continued their impromptu picnic nearby.
        Meanwhile, Scout grinned at the five girls while he stood at the primary inhibitor. He noticed that Madoka had made Homura give in and have a bite as well.
        It was time for the Fugitive to speak once more.
        "Fellas?" called Scout.
        Mami tapped the walkie-talkie on her hip a few times while FemScout, Soldier, and Medic moved closer to the primary inhibitor. Madoka went over to Kurisu and let her borrow her phone so she could listen in as well.
        "Thanks," said Kurisu.
        Soon enough, the Fugitive's voice returned to the Resurrection Movement's comm devices.
        "Team, you there? Ok, from what I heard, Sasha got hurt just like Kurisu did when that frigging Hostile hit her. Is that right?"
        "Yeah," replied FemScout.
        "That is gonna be something to look into. I mean, they shouldn't have been hurt..."
        "Hmm..." sighed Madoka.
        "But, team, you did a great job slowing down Miss Stocking," announced the Fugitive. "Madoka and Mami Tomoe, that was a Tiro Duet, right? Pretty awesome. And, Homura, thank you very much for seeking us out."
        Homura frowned for a moment as she watched Madoka and Mami nod at each other. She only returned for Madoka's sake... and maybe that of Mami as well, not so she could help a Fugitive who lost his mind six months ago.
        And Homura seemed to be the only one who cared about what happened back then.
        "You know," continued the Fugitive, "the thing is, we haven't dealt with Her Highness Elsa yet, and-- Wait. I got something. Hold on, team."
        As the Resurrection Movement quietly waited for their unseen commander to continue his briefing, Sasha finally rejoined the Holy Quintet girls in their picnic in the inhibitor room, while Medic's Sentry Medigun helped to eliminate the pain in her chest.

        The girls even managed to convince Kurisu to have some of what they had left.
        In the meantime, FemScout, Soldier, and Spy stood guard. They didn't see any trouble in the area.
        Scout took these few minutes before the Fugitive's return to use the primary inhibitor.
        Some previously-recorded footage of Strength appeared on the viewscreen. She was lumbering along with her giant mechanical hands at her sides just outside The Castle, the area where a gathering was held the week before.
        "Screw you, Tank!" yelled Scout before he burst into a chuckle.
        "Hello, team?" the Fugitive called.
        All the people in the inhibitor room directed their attention to the primary inhibitor.
        "Good, you're still here. I found something that might be of interest. Excuse me, Mami Tomoe and Homura?"
        Mami and Homura looked at each other and then at the inhibitor as they began to make their way towards it. Homura gave Madoka a pat on the shoulder along the way.
        "Sorry, but I kinda just found this photo Her Highness took last week."
        With a signal scramble and the electronic chime from earlier, a square-shaped photo appeared on the inhibitor's viewscreen. On the somewhat-lopsided photo, Elsa was in the bottom left corner, in front of the bespectacled Mami who was just behind her, and Homura who leaned in from the side. They were in front of a very dark, unclear background.
        "Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" cheered Scout.
        FemScout couldn't help but burst into laughter. "Yeah... yeah!"
        Mami covered her mouth with her right hand as she pointed with her left at the viewscreen. In turn, Homura's mouth opened a bit in surprise before she glared at the screen. Though Homura felt that the Fugitive should not have the right to use such a photo against them, it was only fair; Elsa had made it so the general public could see the photo, after all.
        "Sheesh, what's all the fuss about?" asked Kurisu. She had remained with Sasha, who still had Medic's healing stream on her.
        The Fugitive continued. "Obviously, the both of you know Her Highness more than I do, and... Wait. I'm getting something. I found out where Miss Strength is. She's about to pound..."
        He paused.
        "Aw, great. She's gonna pound Elsa to bits!"
        Mami looked at the viewscreen with a silent gasp. Homura slammed her hand down onto the frontal column as the Fugitive continued his talk.
        A live image appeared on the viewscreen. In the black voids between worlds, Elsa had a spiked curved ice barrier in front of her and Anna. She was presumably defending herself and her sister from Strength's giant hands. However, the viewscreen only showed the two royal sisters.
        "Mami Tomoe and Homura, you gotta head over to where Elsa is right now,"
ordered the Fugitive.

        Mami nodded, while Homura continued to glare at the viewscreen.
        "I want the others to hold out right here."
        "Gotcha," agreed Scout.
        "What's that?" reacted Soldier.
        "You know, just in case Miss Strength decides to attack the rest of us, so stay here." the Fugitive clarified. "Except for you, Medic. Now that I know for sure you have the Reanimator boxes, I want you to use one of them on Engineer. He's gonna need it."


*   *   *

        Strength began to push against the spiked ice barrier with her right fist. Elsa pushed toward the air with her left hand and struggled to keep her barrier from getting any closer.
        "You all right?" asked Anna.
        Elsa replied with a quick nod.
        Suddenly, a double musket shot rang out, soon followed by two white musket rifles clattering in front of Elsa before fading away.
        Elsa and Anna looked up and saw Homura, in her magical girl outfit, firing two pistols at Strength's chest. However, they didn't seem very effective, as the gunfire drew Strength's attention to Homura.
        But three more of Mami's muskets hovered into place around Homura, all aimed at Strength, and went off.
        Strength remained unfazed. She threw her left fist down and shattered the barrier.
        Anna looked behind her and saw Mami waiting there in her own magical outfit.
        "Oh, hello!" greeted Anna.
        Elsa gasped upon seeing Mami. "You've come back! I was wondering if we'd meet again."
        Mami took a bow toward the two.
        Homura set off an amplified gunshot using her time-stopping powers. She had emptied out her pistols at Strength before she flung them away. However, the gunshot didn't seem to do any more damage than anything else she and Mami were throwing at the Opposition Member.
        Strength raised her right fist and began to throw a punch at Homura.
        Suddenly, her punch was slowed to a stop, marked with the audible crackling of forming ice.
        Anna gave Elsa a thumbs-up. "Very nice!" she cheered.
        Two more muskets soared in and blasted Strength in the head at point-blank.
        "Did you do that? Thank you," Elsa told Mami.
        "Yeah," replied Mami with a nod. "Since I don't have a lot of stamina, this is about the only thing I could do for you."
        Homura frowned upon hearing Mami's odd statement, but had no time to dwell on it. Strength had recovered from the shot to the head and pulled her right fist back for another punch. But Homura had stepped over to where the others were.
        "Ha! Feeling a bit... chilly?" taunted Elsa.
        She swept her left hand quickly in front of her and created another curved barrier of ice spikes. Then she pushed her right hand forward and sent the barrier sliding toward Strength, who braced her giant hands against it.
        Before long, though, Strength began to slowly push the barrier toward the group. Anna wrapped an arm around Elsa, which helped slow down Strength's advance. As Homura watched the two royal sisters with a softened facial expression, Mami gestured once more and summoned another musket rifle. It soared right up to Strength's head once more and shot it.
        Strength stumbled backwards from the impact, forcing her to move her hands off the ice barrier. However, before Elsa could push the barrier against her once more, Strength briefly looked over to the side and disappeared in a time-screw teleport.
        As soon as the glowing portal faded, Elsa waved her hand, and the ice barrier disappeared from the area.
        "You guys are the best," Anna told Mami and Homura. All she could do was smile in relief because those two had arrived at such a perfect time.
        Mami happily nodded at the two sisters.
        But Homura refused to smile, as she felt there was trouble nearby.
        Mami remembered that her walkie-talkie was on her hip. She tapped it once.
        The Fugitive's voice returned to the team's comm channels.
        "Resurrection Movement, I found out more about those gasmasked men you fought off. They claim to be Time Police, like some sort of crazy law enforcement or something."
        Elsa was too busy giving a high-five to Anna to listen to the report.
        "But last week, they arrested a young girl who had blonde hair and a big red bow on her head. I think they kidnapped her because she didn't meet up with someone she was supposed to m-- Wait, hold on."
        A girl with blonde hair and a red bow on her head? Homura thought.
        Mami let her mouth open in a gasp once more, but she soon heard Elsa speak up.
        "I'd call that a success," noted Elsa, referring to their defense against Strength.
        The Fugitive heard her, and then spoke up quickly.
        "Homura? Mami Tomoe? I heard Elsa over there..." he noted.
        Mami took the walkie-talkie from her hip and gave it to Elsa without a second thought.
        "Why, hello," Elsa spoke into the device.
        "Elsa... we gotta talk," asserted the Fugitive.
        Elsa briefly looked at the others before refocusing her attention.
        "Last week, you claimed you were 'busy with royal engagements'. Why? Don't you even have time to join the team anymore?"
        "What?" replied Elsa. Her eyebrows began to droop as the Fugitive became more agitated.
        "I gave you the chance... and you never said anything. What have you been doing this whole time?!"
        "Now hold on!"
        BANG BANG!
        Two gunshots rang out, forcing Mami and Homura to stumble away from Anna and Elsa.
        The four of them looked around and saw that three masked Time Police officers had arrived in the area, carrying pistols and an electric baton.
        "Mami Tomoe and Homura, don't you dare do anything," ordered the Fugitive.
        "What? I..." asked Elsa in disbelief toward the walkie-talkie she was holding.
        "Why would you do that?" asked Anna.
        One of the officers shot the walkie-talkie out of Elsa's hand. It slid over to Mami.
        "Let's see if she can do this herself," the Fugitive suggested in a low tone of voice.
        The three officers talked amongst themselves.
        "Confirm priority-one sighted."
        "I got one accomplice here."
        "Inoculate, pacifying."
        Elsa did not hesitate to take action.
        She managed to create a layer of frost on the suits of two of the officers with each of her hands, stopping them in place.
        "Watch out!" cried Anna.
        The remaining officer, whose suit wasn't covered in frost, fired a shot, but she dodged it. Elsa took a look behind her...
        ...and realized too late that the officer had shot Anna instead.
        "You got me big time," announced Anna, who was on her knees. She felt too numb to try to stand up.
        The officer then put his gun away and took the baton from one of the other officers. He began to make his way toward Anna.
        "No. No!" shouted Elsa.
        The officer struck Elsa with the baton and forced her to take a few steps back.
        "You are gonna be sorry about that!" yelled Anna.
        But then the officer saw two musket rifles hovering in midair.
        The muskets shot the two officers whose suits Elsa struck with her ice powers. Two overlapping long beeps marked the men's defeat as they fell to the floor.
        But the remaining officer was still right next to Anna.
        Elsa looked quickly at Mami and Homura. They could not reach Anna in time, but Mami gestured forward with her arm once more and summoned another musket rifle in midair. It rushed toward the officer as fast as it could.
        The officer placed his left palm onto Anna's back.
        Elsa could not do anything else but reach out with her hand.
        "Vacate citizen," declared the officer.
        "Ugh, so close..." moaned Anna sadly.
        "Anna!" yelled Elsa.
        But it was too late.
        "Final verdict administered," the officer declared coldly.
        The glowing portal that Elsa saw fade away in front of her had swallowed up Anna, sending her to parts unknown.
        The musket then swooped in right in front of the officer and shot him down at point-blank.
        Mami and Homura quickly rushed over to Elsa, who had just collapsed onto her knees in shock. However, it was Mami who expressed sympathy for Elsa as she placed her arm around her shoulder as best as she could.
        "No..." gasped Elsa.
        The three of them heard the Fugitive's voice over Mami's walkie-talkie.
        "Elsa said she'd join us, but she never really said yes or anything. Just a simple 'yes' for sure was all I wanted and..."
        "Stop it..." whimpered Mami.
        "I don't wanna deal with this anymore. Both of you, get Elsa somewhere safe before I change my mind. That is all."
        Homura could only grimace toward the walkie-talkie as the call ended. She knew that one thing was certain.
        The Time Police had succeeded in kidnapping Anna, the same way they kidnapped a girl named Chitoge Kirisaki just days before.




Chapter 10 >