Homura woke up once again. Her hair was still long and braided, she still had her glasses, and she still had her soul gem on her hand. It all felt so familiar, and yet she realized something was extremely different.
She waved in front of her face… And images and text began flashing everywhere. She tried waving it all away, but it wouldn’t stop. What was this?
And then she remembered: “Welcome to the Cybernet, Neoakemi.”
It all came back to her in a flash: the double-wish, all her failures in the previous timeline, everything. “Oh man, I’m fucked…” she muttered.
She felt so dizzy… All these flashing Cybernet things weren’t helping, either. She wanted to throw up… But… no. She was stronger than that.
Oh man… Oh man… She remembered what happened to Sayaka, and then to all the others when they attempted to fight Walpurgisnacht. That was a true hell, and it was all Homura’s fault.
As she thought about Sayaka, images of her started flashing in front of her eyes. Pictures from various social media profiles, her yaoi fanart from years ago– everything. What the hell…
She took her glasses off, because at this point they were just hurting her eyes, when combined with this Cybernet stuff. As she removed them, she remembered the other part of her double-wish transformation, and looked at her left forearm. She made some waving gestures, and surely enough, a holographic computer screen, complete with a keyboard, sprung up. She wondered… What was Kana– No, Madoka doing right now? So she typed “Madoka Kaname”, let the screen load for a second…
And a chatbox appeared.
“What?” Homura was very– On the chatbox, the word ‘What’ appeared. “What the hell?” That too. “No… stop!” Something beeped. “Did that… work?” Nothing came up on the chatbox.
A chatbox… Homura had no idea what this was supposed to be for, or how it worked. She was able to use this screen on her wrist to augment the information appearing in her eyes (presumably a result of that visor that formed in front of her during her secondary transformation), but she wasn’t sure exactly how they interacted. Maybe the eye part let her access the databases of the Cybernet, while the wrist part let her communicate–
“What is this thing?” popped up on the chatbox. On the thumbnail next to those words was a small picture of… Madoka.
Homura typed up a message. “I’m not sure. What are you seeing on your end?”
A few minutes later, she received a message. “A giant text box appearing in the air next to me. It’s really strange.”
“I’m sorry; I don’t know how this works. Are you typing these messages or using voice commands?”
“I am typing it,” Madoka wrote. “There is a holographic keyboard below each message. How are you doing this?”
“I don’t know,” Homura wrote. “It is very strange. I am only testing it out now.”
“Who are you?”
Oh yeah. Once again, Homura was a stranger. One that only appeared in text box form, at that. “I am Homura Akemi. I am supposed to transfer to your class in Mitakihara Middle next week and I need to tell you about–” No, no… she backspaced that. “My name is Homura Akemi; I’m a second-year middle schooler. Who are you?”
“My name is Madoka Kaname. You can call me Madoka. I’m also a second-year middle schooler!” Homura’s heart began racing. It was like… something new. Like an all-new life that she could finally do right, after all these massive screw-ups.
“What are you doing right now?”
“I’m trying to save this cat. It got hit by a car. :(“
Homura’s memory jogged… Cat… Cat… Oh no. That’s where Gyuhey met Madoka in every single timeline! “No! Please don’t try to save that cat! Trust me! I really need you to trust me, is that OK?”
A response did not come for several minutes, until, finally: “OK. I don’t think it was going to make it anyway. :(“
Whew. That was an extremely close call.
“Can you please go back in time before Gyuhey tricked me? I know you can do that.”
“You want to save me, right? Then you have to do this… please…”
She had to be careful with Madoka in this timeline. She had to fulfill her promise. Her double-wish.
Homura typed her next message slowly. “Do you want to meet me and test out this technology I have?”
“Where did it come from?” Madoka asked. They sat in a coffee shop; Homura tried sipping at her coffee, but it was extremely hot, and showed no signs of cooling off any time soon. She wondered if coffee shops heated their drinks so much in order to keep customers there longer. It would be an ingenious plot, if true. “It is a very weird device; I’ve never seen anything like it.” Madoka seemed much more interested in her Cybernet computer than Homura, strangely enough.
“It came from…” Homura tried to come up with a good excuse… but she couldn’t think of one… “Listen, Madoka. I want to tell you something very serious.”
“Yes?” Madoka cocked her head to the side.
“I’m… I am a magical girl. I was tricked into gaining great powers by a strange being known as Gyuhey, but the cost was too great, and now I am trapped, reliving the same month over and over, trying to save you from certain death. I used to have the power to control time, but I now have this strange technology to work with.”
Madoka didn’t respond for a few seconds. “Oh my,” she said, finally. She then burst into laughter.
“Ah…” Homura blushed intensely.
“You’re really cute, Homura,” Madoka said. “Do you braid your hair every day, or do you keep it like that?”
“Madoka…” She forgot that her hair was still long. Also, she was very much a non-fan of Madoka changing the subject like that. Did her story really sound so unbelievable that it was completely comical?
“I’m sorry. I just really like your hair like that.”
“Well… I’ve been meaning to get it cut. I like it better short now.”
“That might be even cuter! When are you going to get it done?”
Homura stared at Madoka and felt the same feelings she had been feeling for this entire wretched lifetime since she became a magical girl. She had to make it this time, please… This was her last timeline; she lost her powers, and this was her final attempt. It couldn’t go wrong, or else she was done. “Actually… I wanted to get it done today,” she said. “Do you want to go with me?”
“Hmm… I’ll call my dad to see when I need to be back.”
“Better late than never, I always say,” said Madoka’s father as Homura and Madoka entered the house and walked into the kitchen. It was the definition of a sleek, post-modern home, with strange architecture and even weirder decor. However, it was much nicer than Homura’s apartment, so it was a welcome change.
“Dad,” Madoka began. “Meet Homura Akemi. She’s my new friend.” Her heart skipped a beat upon hearing the word “friend” from Madoka. It had been so long since that was actually a true statement.
Madoka’s mother, still in business attire, entered the kitchen and checked this new friend out. “You never said your new friend was going to look so pretty!” she exclaimed. “I love your haircut. It’s so stylish!” All of these compliments were going to go to Homura’s head if they didn’t stop, she could feel it…
“Mom! You’re home!” Madoka ran over to her mother and hugged her. Apparently, Madoka’s mother worked very late or something.
“Everyone, it’s time to eat,” Madoka’s father said. “Let’s all sit down.”
They all sat in their chairs; Homura sat right next to Madoka, and she dipped her some spaghetti from the bowl. She hadn’t had Italian food in a very long time, so she wasn’t sure what to expect.
“Don’t worry,” Madoka whispered. “My dad’s tomatoes are some of the best in the whole world! You’ll love it.”
Sure enough, Homura began eating the spaghetti, and instantly fell in love. “Delicious,” she said. Everyone else at the table laughed.
Homura looked over at the high chair and stared at Madoka’s brother Tatsuya. They met each other’s eye, and for a moment, she felt like he was actually returning her stare with one of his own. Had they… met somewhere before?
Before she could think of this any further, Madoka’s mother began speaking to her. “You’re the first girl Madoka’s brought over before, you know,” she said. “You ought to consider yourself lucky.”
“Well it’s true, isn’t it?” she laughed. Homura felt like she could no longer blush, because her face was simply going to remain permanently red.
“Um… I wanted to tell you something,” Homura said suddenly. “I’m… transferring to your school next week, Madoka.”
She had no idea why she just said that. “I… I have no idea why I just said that,” she said.
“That’s really nice,” Madoka’s mother said. “Maybe you’ll be in the same class.”
“We… we are,” Homura said. This was a little awkward.
Madoka didn’t seem creeped out by this though; she seemed very happy, actually. “Next Monday, right?”
“Well then, I can’t wait for that,” she said.
Neither could Homura, honestly.
Homura smiled for the first time in a very long time.
“I don’t know…” Sayaka said. “She seems kinda suspicious, if you ask me…” Homura felt like twisting her hair in her finger out of anxiety, though of course there wasn’t much there for her to do that with.
The three of them stood on the roof. It was the first time Homura stood up here in this timeline, but it had to be the thousandth time she had done it through the past few months. Well, months in her own point of view.
“Sayaka, stop being so mean,” Madoka said. “Homura is very cool! She isn’t weird or anything.” Homura very much doubted that she wasn’t weird. After all, she met Madoka in this timeline by communicating her through the Cybernet…
Sayaka looked at Homura and squinted for a second before relaxing her expression. “You seem fine, I guess. I just feel like… something’s a little off here.” She took one step closer. “Like you have something to hide…” Homura blushed, and Sayaka started laughing. “Oh, man, you’re so precious.”
Precious… So she still didn’t exactly exude that “coolness” she had been working so hard to perfect. That was somewhat disappointing.
“Anyway,” Sayaka said. “Just don’t upset Madoka! Alright, transfer student?”
“I’ll protect her at any cost,” Homura said with an incredibly serious tone.
Sayaka cracked up again.
Homura and Madoka walked home from school. It had been a few days at school, and Homura had once again adjusted to her new life here. It was the exact same school and the exact same events as every other timeline, but this time she felt much more confident. About everything. Right now, she felt like doing nothing else but grabbing Madoka’s hand and keeping her next to her for the rest of time, but she kept having to remind herself that Madoka had only met her a few days ago, unlike the seeming eternity that Homura had known Madoka.
“I wish Sayaka were here,” Madoka said. “But she said she had to go see Kyosuke today, so– Oh, I’m sorry. Kyosuke is…”
“Sayaka’s crush,” Homura finished without realizing.
“Ah… Yes, you’re right…”
She didn’t know what was getting into her this time. Maybe her whole charade of hiding her time travel was finally beginning to unravel? Could she keep this up any longer? “I’m sorry,” she said. “I just… I noticed the way she talked about him.”
Madoka tried to think back to when Sayaka brought him up, and scratched her head in confusion. She never did bring him up, though it seemed that Madoka wasn’t paying quite enough attention to know that. “Well, I really hope she’s happy right now…”
Yes… so did Homura. Because unhappy meant magical girl, and magical girl inevitably meant witch. She had to make sure–
At that moment, Homura felt a chill down her spine. She realized she knew someone was watching. And the Cybernet did too, as images of newspaper clippings citing certain “strange sightings” slid into her view.
It was Gyuhey, of course.
That blue-and-green demon of her nightmares.
“Madoka. We need to go somewhere safe,” she said. Before Madoka could respond, she grabbed her hand and began running towards a very crowded clothes store. The more people around, the better protected Madoka was from Gyuhey. She was finally holding Madoka’s hand, just… not in the way she expected.
“Homura!” Madoka yelled. They were now in the middle of the store and people were starting to look at them strangely for running inside when there was no rain or anything of the sort. Madoka was yelling and everyone had turned their heads towards them. “What are you doing, Homu–”
Homura plugged her up with a kiss. Right in the middle of the store. People started reflexively looking away, and she was able to divert attention away from them by sneaking around to the jeans section.
“Homura!” Madoka whispered harshly.
“I had to do it,” Homura whispered back.
Apparently, Madoka had been on a complete mental delay, because at that moment, she suddenly locked up, realizing what Homura had done. “Y-You…”
“I…I– Uh. Oh.” Homura realized she probably just used that moment as an excuse to kiss her– Shit. That was Homura’s first kiss with Madoka. She very nearly fainted.
“Homura, I didn’t know you… um… “ Madoka trailed off.
“I didn’t… I mean…” Homura straightened herself out and regained her composure. “I need to explain something to you.”
“You mean on the day we met, you were telling the truth after all…” Madoka said. “Wow! I guess… This explains your weird computer stuff too, right?”
Homura transformed back into her school clothes.
“Yes,” Homura said. “And all of this is why you need to trust me about everything I say. Gyuhey is going to stop at nothing to ensnare us all for his insane goals, and you’re the most precious one to him. You make a very powerful magical girl, but also a very powerful witch, and I can’t let that happen to you.”
Homura looked at her soul gem… It was very dull; she hadn’t fought a witch for quite some time, and it was starting to show. “I have to fight these witches to survive, or else I will turn into one. It’s an endless cycle, and I am never going to be able to get past it. But you can still be saved.
“So please. Will you stay out of all this magical girl business?”
Madoka nodded, and then grabbed Homura’s hand and raised it up to her face. “I’ll do everything I can to help you.”
“Um…” That wasn’t exactly the answer she was hoping for. “Everything except turn into a magical girl yourself, right?”
Homura let go of Madoka’s hand began looking off into the distance of the city. It was sunset, and nearly dark. She knew Madoka would have to go home very soon, so she began to depart from her. “Now, I need to go fight a witch or two to purify my soul gem. If you will excuse me…” She knew the locations of every single witch in the city by now, practically, though she had no idea how she would use her new Cybernet powers to fight the witches, instead of her time-freezing and hammerspace. She wished the double-wish simply added to her powers, rather than changing them completely…
But before she could leave, Madoka stepped in front of her. “But you and I.. Are we really…?”
“Well, after what we did in the clothes store, I thought you were sort of… confessing… to me.” Madoka’s blushing face seemed to be even brighter than Homura’s usually was. Which it was at this very moment, as soon as Madoka said this.
“I was… I was just trying to…” For all the time Homura had spent as a magical girl, she always forgot that, in the beginning of each timeline, she HAD just recovered from extensive heart surgery. So her heart was not very good at… taking sudden assaults like this. It began to race, and beat to the point that it hurt too much to stand.
“Homura? Are you alright?”
“Yes…” Homura said in between the pained beats. “I’m just… really happy right now.”
“You’re going to be a lot less happy if you don’t explain yourself right now,” a voice said. Homura and Madoka both turned around and saw– Mami Tomoe, standing there in full magical girl regalia. No– not magical girl regalia. It was… a military officer’s uniform?!
“Mami?!” Homura shouted in pure shock.
“Who the hell are you? Tell me, maggot!” Mami lifted her gun and pointed it at Homura. It wasn’t a normal musket like usual, but instead, a custom-designed rifle that could clearly hold many more than one shot.
“My name is Homura Neoakemi!” she answered. “Now lay your weapon– Neoakemi?” In her visor flashed images of herself from all periods of life, and every single one of them was corrected to have “Neoakemi” as her last name. “What does this even mean?” Madoka and Mami both seemed very confused by Homura, so she tried to brush it off. “Nevermind that! Mami, please lower your weapon so that we can explain what’s going on.”
She refused to do so. “I don’t know anything about you except for what Gyuhey told me, but I know you’re a foe of mine!” she yelled. “You’re trying to capture witches so you can unleash them all on the populace and harvest their grief seeds like a farm!” What a completely needlessly elaborate lie that was. Gyuhey was nothing if not… well, completely insane.
“Um… No I’m not!” Homura yelled back. This yelling was getting really annoying, as well.
“Gyuhey begs to differ, Neoakemi-san. Who am I going to trust more? My protector, or a villain like you?”
“What the hell? Gyuhey is very obviously the bad guy here. How did we even get tricked by that asshole?” Homura was more fed up with this than she could possibly put into words.
“It doesn’t matter now what excuses you have,” Mami began. “Because I made my double-wish to become strong enough to defeat you!”
“You… Oh no.” Homura turned to Madoka. “Please run.”
Madoka did so, just in time for Mami and Homura to jump at each other, each with soaring punches instead of guns like what was expected.
Homura was still faster than anyone else could possibly hope to catch up with, so she was handily defeating Mami in hand-to-hand combat. Mami must have quickly realized this as well, because she jumped backwards and pulled out two rifles that she began firing at Homura.
“Shit!” Homura shouted. Without her time-freezing powers, she’d be–
A magical barrier, exuding from her Cybernet computer, blocked each of the shots. She had no idea how she activated it, but she was extremely glad she was not dead.
Mami then used her hair-magic that she was wont to use, but in this instance, she created several monstrous-looking soldiers, each holding their own weapons and firing at Homura. This must have been the result of her double-wish, and Homura was not going to be able to adapt to it very quickly.
How could she fight back? She had no idea how to use any of her technology for any actual witch-battling purposes, let alone fighting another magical girl!
She began typing furiously on her computer, whose magical barrier was beginning to crack. “How to use this damn thing for battle,” she wrote, and then pressed enter. In her visor appeared a dozen how-to manuals and hundred-page guides. “This isn’t helping me!”
One of the hair-soldiers switched to a shotgun (made of hair) and blasted away at Homura’s shield. It was not going to last very long at all.
“Surrender now, and I’ll spare you,” Mami said. “At least until I let Gyuhey decide your fate, that is,” she added.
No amount of jumping and dodging was going to get her out of this one this time.
With all her heart, she hoped something would work…
She focused her entire mind on one word: “Attack.”
A giant beam of light burst forth from her left hand and plowed through the hair soldiers, destroying them all. Mami was so caught off-guard from the attack that she fell backwards, the array of medals on her chest bouncing several times along with her… well, the rest of her chest.
Homura used this moment to escape, and she was very glad she was too fast to keep up with. Hopefully Madoka got far enough away… please…
“You want me to make a double-wish?” Sayaka scoffed. “If everything else you’re saying is true, you’re insane.”
“I know it sounds crazy, but it’s the only way we can bring balance to this situation, and actually defeat Walpurgisnacht at the end of the month. Otherwise, it’s going to end up like every single other timeline I’ve been through, especially with that maniac General Tomoe going around blasting everyone.”
“You have to believe her!” Madoka told Sayaka.
“Easy for you to say, Miss Not-a-Magical-Girl.” Sayaka crossed her arms. “If I’m already destined to become a witch and curse everyone around me, why would I want to become an even more horrible monster?”
“Because… If we succeed, we will never become witches or monsters or any of that,” Homura said.
“I sincerely doubt that,” Sayaka said. “I’m starting to regret ever becoming a magical girl in the first place…”
“As you very, very well should.” Though Homura thought about it; given the chance to make her original wish again and try to save Madoka from dying, would she do it again?
Of course she would.
So no, she couldn’t say she would ever regret her wish, in the end.
Madoka pleaded to Sayaka. “Don’t you think Kyosuke will think of you even more highly if you’re strong enough to save the entire world?”
Homura yelped. “Ah, Madoka, don’t–”
“You may be right…” Sayaka said. “I’ll consider it.”
No amount of facepalming was going to help Homura right now.
This was a horrible, terrible idea, and Homura already realized nothing good would come of it. But she needed to defeat Walpurgisnacht, and she needed to keep Madoka safe, and maybe this would help.
“I don’t know why you wanted to meet me here,” Mami said as the two of them stood in the middle of a cramped hallway in a deserted office building. “But if you want to give yourself up, I’ll be glad to take you in. Gyuhey will be proud.”
“Why did you waste your double-wish on such a trifling matter as defeating me?” Homura asked. “Surely there are better things you could have chosen.”
“It’s because I can’t stand to see magical girls go astray.” Mami pulled out her weapons and summoned two hair-soldiers. “And as General Tomoe, I cannot let any troops go AWOL without punishment. I act according to Gyuhey’s will, and his will is to bring you in.”
“Good enough reason to me,” Homura said, summoning a light-based bow-and-arrow with Cybernet. She finally figured out how to use her computer to fight, and it was going to come in handy. “Though we both know the real reason why you hate my presence so much– because you’re still hurt from Kyoko Sakura.”
Mami froze; her hair-soldiers dissipated. “How do you know that name?”
“Because she’s with me now!” Kyoko Sakura burst through the wall like a skinny Japanese female Kool-Aid Man, brandishing her new weapon, a Pocky-spear. Her new name, apparently, was Kyokannibal, based after her new ability to gain the powers of whatever she ate, but all these double-wish names were extremely stupid, Neoakemi probably being the worst of the bunch.”
Mami began scowling, and even more hair-soldiers popped up from the ground. “You’re under arrest, Kyoko Sakura! For I, General Tomoe, am going to bring the both of you to justice!”
“No you can’t. Nobody can,” said someone else. From the other side of the hallway burst Sayaka through a wall like a blue raspberry-flavored Japanese female Kool-Aid Man. Except she looked positively… hopeless. Oh no, was she about to turn into–
“Before you say anything, Neoakemi,” said Sayaka. “I’m fine. But only as fine as everything else in the world, which is… not very fine at all.” It was as if someone took her entire body, and lowered the saturation by 20%; she looked gray, and that was speaking literally.
Her weapons seemed to be the same cutlasses as always. But Sayaka herself seemed completely different. “I’m not Sayaka anymore,” she said. “I’m Sayakan’t.”
“I like Negasayaka better myself,” said Gyuhey, that blue bastard, who had appeared at the end of the hallway just now. “But I only come up with the preliminary names. They do not end up mattering that much, so you are free to choose whatever you want. Even you, Neoakemi.”
This hallway was way too cramped for this.
The nearest elevator opened, and out came Madoka, holding Hitomi and Kyosuke by her hands. They seemed completely out of it. “Everyone, please help! They won’t respond to anything I say! It’s like they’re in some sort of… trance!”
“It’s pointless, Madoka. They have a witch’s kiss,” Sayakan’t said. “The only way to save them is to kill the witch that has entrapped them, but there’s really no reason to bother doing that.”
“Can we cut all this crap out?” Kyokannibal asked. “I just wanted to beat Mami up for being an asshole and dumping me.” Dumping her… Homura seemed to have gotten that story completely wrong, somehow.
“I agree with Kyoko,” Homura said. “I challenged Mami to a duel to win her over to my side. All I want to do is gather a team to fight Walpurgisnacht, not start some sort of magical girl civil war…”
“Like you can defeat Walpurgisnacht,” Gyuhey said in what should have been a sarcastic line, but instead was one delivered completely sincerely. “I have my doubts that anyone can defeat that witch, even after making their double-wishes.”
“Well I’ve seen it done many times,” Homura said. “This time will be no exception.”
Everyone but Madoka and Sayaka looked at her strangely, and she remembered she never explained to everyone else about her adventures in time travel. It didn’t matter.
“Gyuhey… Can you explain all of this madness?” asked General Tomoe.
“I’d rather not.”
“Then should we find the witch responsible for these two students and bring it to justice?” asked General Tomoe once again.
“Fine with me.
The four magical girls, with nothing left to do, teamed up and defeated the witch within three minutes of entering its lair.
Homura woke up suddenly.
Oh… Whatever it was, it was just a nightmare. She couldn’t remember it anymore, but whatever it was, it scared her immensely.
She realized Madoka’s arm was wrapped around her… She must have climbed into her bed during the night. She hated having to watch over Madoka every single night the past few weeks, but it did have its benefits, including maximum cuddling time.
“Madoka…” she whispered. “Are you awake?”
“I’ll take that as a no.” Homura laid her head back down on her pillow and tried to go back to sleep.
It didn’t work very well. She was just too anxious.
She was extremely glad that Gyuhey had decided to stop telling Mami to try and kidnap Madoka, but she wasn’t so sure that Sayaka and Kyoko wouldn’t try to do the same themselves, or that Mami would try again anyway.
Apparently, double-wishing makes people a little… mentally unstable, because all three of the other magical girls had gone completely nuts. General Tomoe blindly followed the orders of Gyuhey, who wasn’t even trying to hide his obviously-evil nature, and didn’t seem to be able to reason with anyone. Kyokannibal was even more of a glutton than before, and was obsessed with challenging everyone to battles after not being able to fight Mami in the hallway way back when. Negasayaka was so completely nihilistic that she was the most unpredictable and impulsive one in the group; there was no telling what she’d do, because she no longer cared about the consequences of anything she did.
That magical girl civil war concept very quickly became a reality, and now all four of them were fighting each other for seemingly no real reason other than the insanity of everyone involved. Homura had no idea why she never snapped; maybe her experience in so many timelines helped her get past that? She couldn’t figure it out.
But as long as Madoka was safe, and as long as Walpurgisnacht was eventually defeated… Everything was alright with Homura.
“I love you,” she said to Madoka before trying to go back to sleep.
“Rabu tsu…” Madoka muttered, still asleep.
She brushed her hand through Madoka’s hair and closed her eyes.
Homura and Madoka walked, hand-in-hand, down a very busy street. The skies were darkening, the rain had already begun pouring from the sky, and Homura knew that Walpurgisnacht was going to come in about two days. So she only needed to keep Madoka safe for another, well, two days, before she could finally fulfill the first part of her wish. She would be so happy.
They had to continue to be in large crowds so that none of the other magical girls couldn’t attack. Because if there’s something none of them wanted at all, it was getting the whole world to notice as–
“Hold it right there, you two! General Tomoe is here to capture you both!”
Mami, riding the giant snake-like witch Charlotte that she had apparently captured earlier, was destroying cars left and right, and shooting at Homura in the middle of public, with absolutely no regard to the civilians around them.
“You have to stop this, you madwoman!” Homura shouted. She transformed into a magical girl and began throwing cluster bombs made of light. Luckily, her weapons could hit only the targets she desired, so she didn’t need to be especially careful. The Cybernet was great that way.
Three bombs impacted on Charlotte and knocked her to the ground. Mami jumped off the witch and began chasing after Homura through the fleeing crowds.
“Homura! Where do we go?” asked Madoka, barely keeping up with her.
“I don’t know! Just follow me, alright?”
But in the middle of all the people, and all the explosions–
She lost her.
“MADOKA!” She screamed, but the blasts from Mami’s dozens of hair-soldiers as well as the shrieks from Charlotte, now loose and wreaking havoc all over the city (and somehow visible to non-magical humans now, apparently) covered her voice up.
“MADOKA!” Mami jumped down and swiped at her with her rifle’s bayonet, but she roll-dodged out of the way and knocked her over with a light-disc. “MADOKA! WHERE ARE YOU?!”
Kyokannibal swooped in and punched Homura in the face, knocking her to the other side of the street. That must have been payback for the second timeline…
“Y’all about to face some pain,” Kyokannibal said almost incomprehensibly, chomping down on a lollipop. She suddenly gained the power to shoot blue spirals out of her arms, because that made any sense at all, and blasted away at Mami and Homura. Both of the magical girls dodged, but the spirals crashed through a nearby building and wrecked its first floor completely. The building started to collapse on itself. The three of them darted away as quickly as they could
But Negasayaka, standing right underneath it, simply stood there, watching the rest. “I don’t know why you bother running. It’s not like our soul gems won’t just heal our bodies in a few minutes anyw–” The building crashed and fell on top of her.
Kyoko and Mami jumped back and forth, bouncing against the walls of buildings and attacking each other. Having consumed a pack of sno-balls, Kyoko somehow gained the power to shoot pink orbs of death out of her mouth, so the two of them were blocking each other’s shots, timed perfectly.
Homura looked everywhere she could for Madoka. Not a single person with pink hair persisted in the area. Perfect. She had completely lost her.
“What is wrong with all of you?!” Homura angrily asked the others as they kept fighting. “I can’t find Madoka, and all you want to do is fight each other!” As she said this, Negasayka leapt to attack her, but she dodged, and Negasayaka hit the concrete head-first.
She left the battle, though Mami appeared to be giving chase. She raced down alleyways, looked through the empty buildings… and nothing. Where could she be?
She suddenly realized– She typed in a message on her keyboard. “Madoka! Where are you?”
Only seconds later, Madoka replied, with only a location marker. Homura ran towards it with all her might, avoiding sno-ball blasts and attacking hair-soldiers along the way.
Once she got there.. “No! MADOKA!”
Madoka stood over Gyuhey, and held her hands to her chest, just the same as Homura had done.
“It’s okay, Homura,” she said. “I’m doing this for the best. You’re still going to save me.”
Homura was about to burst into tears. “Madoka! But we can’t live happily ever after if you’re a–”
“You are the one that said that we don’t have to become witches or monsters,” Madoka said, giving a smile to reassure her. “I love you, Homura.” She turned to Gyuhey and narrowed her eyes. “Yes, Gyuhey. I’m going to use both of my wishes!”
“Go forward, Madoka Kaname!”
“I wish to save the world from all evils that plague it! And then, I wish to save Homura and the others from themselves!”
That… was an extremely badly-worded wish.
One blinding burst of light later, and Madoka was now wearing a black robe with a hood, and was wielding a giant scythe almost twice as long as she was tall.
“Go forth Shinigamidoka!” Gyuhey said. “I believe you will become our greatest magical girl, and then our greatest monster. Thank you so much.”
Shinigamidoka ignored that and stared straight at Homura. She knew that stare; it was the one that Homura had trained herself to–
Madoka lunged forward and kissed Homura. “Let’s save the world,” she said as she broke away.
Kyoko, Mami, and Sayaka were just about to reach the plaza where Homura and Madoka stood, and Madoka raised her scythe. “You three have been judged by Shinigamidoka! You will be purified!”
The three of them did not seem to care much of what she just said, and they continued to race towards her to attack, so she jumped at them and sliced her scythe. Sayaka’s cutlasses tore in half vertically.
Charlotte, bursting out of a skyscraper, plummeted mouth open, towards Shinigamidoka. But she merely looked up, tossed her weapon, and cut the witch in half. It exploded in a fiery burst of special effects.
“MY BABY!” General Tomoe screamed. “THE BRIG IS TOO KIND FOR WHAT YOU’LL EXPERIENCE!” At this, she summoned an absolutely incredible number of hair soldiers, every single one of them designed to attack Madoka.
Homura wouldn’t stand for this, though. She created a bow-and-arrow and began firing bursts of energy at each of them. She had no experience using this weapon for combat aside from training sessions with Madoka in the second timeline, but it felt completely natural to her. It was as if the Cybernet was entering her consciousness and teaching her how to become adept at any skill she wished for.
Each of the hair soldiers went down and exploded into yellow strands. General Tomoe, however, was too focused on shooting down Madoka to notice that her army had already been decimated. The two zoomed around in the air, and bullets flew practically everywhere.
Sayakan’t stood among the rubble of a downed skyscraper and watched the battle above her. “I don’t really care about this anymore,” she said. “I think I just want to go home.” Several explosions in the distance went off and the ground shook violently for fifteen seconds. Almost every building in a three-block radius collapsed.“I assume that this means my home probably no longer exists.”
“What the hell was that?” Kyokannibal asked, rapidly consuming every single piece of food held within her six arms before jumping back into the sky and attacking both General Tomoe and Shinigamidoka.
Homura was somewhat confused as to why they weren’t actively trying to kill her right now. Was Madoka the only one that mattered now? What was the point in all those explosions? Where did they come from, anyway?
Lightning began striking from the sky, and the thunder rumbled loudly. One of the bolts hit Kyoko and sent her flying to the ground. There was more lightning at once than anything Homura had ever seen, and she had lived in Florida in the United States for three years as a child.
Something was wrong. Something–
Everyone, Gyuhey included, turned their heads. In the sky, slowly floating towards the scene of the battle was a teenage girl in her school uniform. She looked unremarkable in almost every way, but Homura realized something was extremely off about all of this.
She descended to the ground and touched down near some rubble. Even though the rainstorm had begun to pick up, no raindrops fell on this girl’s head. It was as if some sort of barrier was protecting her from them.
Another girl walked up next to her. She had the same uniform on, and had strangely-grayish hair, despite being a teenager as well. And while she did not seem to possess the incredible powers of the other girl, her smile was twisted and her stare was harsher than anything Homura had ever been able to make.
“My name is Kiiko Kawakami,” the girl with the powers said. “And I have been informed that this universe is one of the most powerful out there. So I wish to practice my skills on all of you.”
The other girl stepped forward and bowed. “My name is Aaya Saito,” she said. “What Kiiko means by this is, she is going to kill all of you, and destroy your planet. My apologies in advance if this is upsetting to you. Please don’t take it personally.”
Homura saw the look in Kiiko’s eyes. A look of someone who had given up, like Negasayaka, but someone who still possessed enough rage to do something about it. And it was terrifying.
For the first time in a long time, Homura was truly scared. And she was right for it, because Walpurgisnacht spawned at this very same moment.