SNF 2023.01 - Battle for Midnight!

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Description: A new challenger appears! A surprise battle for the 'crown' of host of the Midnight Channel! Lyraelle Darkheart, famed streamer sensation and former hostess of the Midnight Channel appears ready to take her throne back the bat lady sorceress who's been sprawling over it since late last year. While presented as a fortuitous storyline angle to the public, there is much more than it seems, with another player pulling the strings of the whole ordeal. But who will prevail?

It's a very special night in the Midnight Channel arena. Since getting this job--which for Echo was a fairly sweet gig--Echo hasn't quite let the attention go to her head, at least not totally. The set she had constructed for the 'haunted house/budoir crypt' had been her idea, of course--but it still within the realms of something like public access TV. Not that she needed any of the finer touches paid for--she brought her own.

The bat woman is dressed in her usual long black dresses, but with her black leather knee high boots, likely the same she wore in RISTAR. This of course leaves her to be a bit more... sporty with this particular match, allowing her to float down from the 'sky' of the arena once it's projected and land on the floor of it, folding her wings behind her. She hadn't been expecting a match with Lyraelle of all people--it was probably an angle sort of match, if anything--at least in her mind. She wasn't sure how this was going to go. While the matches she had worked to set up were not really storylines or kayfabe, she somehow expected her being here and this match to be so--how it would appear she was likely in for a bit of a surprise.


Seated on a plush pink cushioned chair in front of a mirror, Lyraelle glares daggers at the glass. Behind her, a feminine pink imp floats in the air on flapping wings, carefully pulling the celebrity's signature pink hair into a perfect ponytail with the aid of a pink star gemstone clasp, brushing the normally wild, yet always effortlessly immaculate locks into submission.

"Owww. God, why does this take /forever/? You know, I never used to have to do this," Lyraelle whines, clenching her white cloth gloves into fists and hunching her bare shoulders in angst.

"I know, honey. You were a miracle of modern styling. You never explained your secret, though! Did you change conditioner?" the floating imp comments as they continue their labour.

"Something like that," Lyraelle says as she releases a modicum of the tension mounting in her shoulders. Opening one of her fists in front of her, she turns her green eyes down on it, then snaps her fingers, attempting to will the infernal green flame she once commanded into being above her palm. Instead, a burst of white motes of energy wink into existence, falling like pixie dust to snuff out on the floor.

"Ooh, I love the sparkles, sweetie! I mean, I love the whole new vibe you've got going on," the pink imp gushes, finishing with the brush and flitting over to a tiara lying on the dressing table before turning around to face Lyraelle. "Anyway, look on the bright side, babe. We get to have so much more quality time this way! Now hold that pretty head still, Princess!"

Lyraelle starts to open her mouth to protest, but doesn't manage to get any words out before the sparkling white crystal tiara is fitted around her brow before the imp starts quickly brushing her bangs to perfection.

"There you go, perfect! You know, I never would've known you were the world's second most famous succubus this time last year. You're like a totally new woman! Like, you've gone from Sexy Disney Villainess to Sexy Disney Princess!" the lisping imp praises.

"Shut -up!-" Lyraelle suddenly shouts at the imp, who recoils in horror. There's an awkward moment of silence before Lyraelle's expression shifts just as suddenly to a sugar-sweet smile. "You think I look like a Disney Princess? That's just what I was going for."

"Well, I mean," the imp says, fluttering around to Lyraelle's back again as it recovers and pointing at the lower half of the former Midnight Channel hostess' outfit, "are you planning on putting a dress over that?"

Lyraelle just gives a card shark smile before turning to a gaggle of colourful demons and monsters who've been waiting patiently the whole time for her pre-performance style session to be completed.

"Alright, everybody! Ready for showtime?"


A cranking sound signals the opening of a simulated portcullis. Several seconds later, there's suddenly a sound of trumpets throughout the arena as a procession of imps playing the instruments emerge from a tunnel leading into the virtual white castle backdrop that's been used in the augmented reality landscape to serve as the backstage entrance for the newly returned challenger.

A spindly green imp wearing a pink cap and white-and-pink coat suited to a herald strides out from the tunnel and unfurls a scroll.

"Ahem. Royal subjects, please rise for Her Celestial Majesty, Sovereign of the House of Lightheart, Supreme Duchess of Lyraelland, the Sultana of Sparkles, Princess Lyraelle!"

Then, emerging from the tunnel, a mechanical prinny doll under one arm and a star-capped wand in her other hand comes the transfigured figure of Lyraelle, dressed in a pale pink sheer leotard with a sweetheart lace overlay and collar at the front, decorated with thin pink ribbon tied in a bow between the cups. Around her waist is a semi-sheer white microskirt with a decorative pink bow in the middle. The skirt barely preserves modesty at the front of the leotard while practically abandoning it at the back, leaving the lowermost parts of her shapely derriere exposed to the elements as she piggybacks in on what appears in the augmented reality arena to be the world's burliest (and surliest) bipedal white unicorn. Echo alone can instead perceive the true nature of the unicorn - a minotaur that the bat woman may or may not recognize from her previous encounters as Lyraelle's butler and security agent, Zander. Lyraelle tosses the prinny doll down to the unicorn, who desperately scrambles not to drop it.

"Hello, minions~"

Lyraelle's signature greeting, accompanied by her standard head-tilt and sideways V salute, draws a cheer from the arena-side audience of darkstalkers, darkstalker lovers and darkstalker wannabes in virtual attendance as they start to clap and whoop on the seating.

"It looks like we have a USURPER here in our midst!" Lyraelle calls out, pointing her wand accusingly at Echo to a chorus of boos before the princess hops off of her trusty steed, landing on her pink platform Mary Janes. She takes a moment to smooth out her white over-the-knee socks, establishing her absolute territory to the delight of a brand new section of her fandom.

"So, you're the Regent that's been keeping my throne warm, huh?" Princess Lyraelle says as she steps forward, one hand shifting to her hip while the other twirls her wand between her white-gloved fingers. "Good news for you... I'm back!"

The wand stops spinning as Lyraelle sweeps it up and down, the gesture causing a shower of sparkles to flash and spill from the star gem at its head.

"So, it's time for you to hand it over, or I'm gonna have to get all 'Power of Love' on your butt!"

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Lyraelle         0/-------/-======|

Echo had been waiting for Lyraelle to make her appearance, idly playing with what looked like some kind of folding, bone-handled knife she flicked open and shut, idly, like one might do with a zippo lighter--Echo did not smoke, though she supposed she understood the appeal...

When the succubi queen does appear however, she quickly stuffs the implement back into a pouch at her belt and turns to confront tonight's special challenger.

"Oh, you have your valet with you tonight, I remember him~ love the shoes, not the color I'd pick, but..." Echo smacked her lips, ivory teeth a little less starkly white due to her not wearing as much makeup as she might have, no lipstick. Her eyes peered up and down the queen, before stepping back and taking a bow, before straightening back up. To Echo, this was still a 'work' or an 'angle' or a 'shoot' whatever the term one might be familiar with--terms she had learned fairly early on while making inroads into entertainment circles.

"Looks like our queen wants her throne back, but we'll see if the lovelies at home can overcome their addiction to their new lady of the dark--" Echo spread her wings and flapped them a little, her eyes glowing red briefly as she raised her hands, palms flat to the sky.

"Fall into me, skies crimson tears--abolish the rules made of stone!" and like that, spectral wisps and gaunt unearthly forms of skeletal torsos began to circle and caper around her. She raised one of the palms toward Lyraelle, and one of the white ghostly phantoms rushed outward, icy spectral fingers grasping for her!

COMBATSYS: Echo has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

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Lyraelle         0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0             Echo

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle just-defends Echo's Abracadaver!

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Lyraelle         0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0             Echo

Lyraelle holds her green-eyed gaze level on the darkly dressed darkstalker, keeping it steady and unwavering as Echo retorts. The former Demon Queen no longer has the telltale signs of demonic blood on display - she has no wings, nor tail, nor horns. There's something more subtle in her eyes, though, the way she holds her expression, defiant rather than imperious, devoid of the greed, the hunger, the desire to devour that deeper examination once revealed in her demonic stare. Either the Sparkle Princess is a consummate actor, or something has changed.

There's a faint tremble in Lyraelle's knees as Echo summons her skeletal spectres to threaten her, and she bites down on her glossy lower lip before waving her star-capped sceptre over her head.

"Minions! Defend your mistress!"

Off to one side, Lyraelle's usual entourage - the portly and squat Red Minion, the herald known as Green Minion, and the ram-horned yellow imp known as Dodge all exchange looks between them. Red Minion is dressed in a stout suit of onion-shaped steel armour, Green Minion is dressed in his pied pink and white herald's garb, and Dodge is wearing a smith's apron and clothing, giving the whole crew the look of being a Ren Faire troupe.

"You heard her, Red! This is your department!" Green says, voice cracking.

"I dunno, guys - ain't this against the rules -"

Suddenly, Zander steps up behind Red Minion and gives him a swift soccer kick to the backside, sending the steel-encased imp flying into the path of the phantasmal assailant reaching for Lyraelle. Red Minion lets out a scream as the icy claws grasp him in his mistress' place as she cowers behind him, eyes held tightly shut.

Once she realises that Red has intercepted the attack intended for her, Lyraelle mouths a silent 'thank you' to the beleaguered imp.

"Wow, Zee! That was pretty heartless! I didn't think you even liked Her Majesty!" Green Minion says, looking up at Zander.

Zander snorts. "If I have to carry her aristocratic arse around, then he has to do his job, too."

As Red Minion is carried off by the spectral claws, Lyraelle turns her eyes back toward Echo, glowering. "Your sacrifice will be remembered, Sir Red! Now, time to show you my newfound power..."

Lyraelle's chest swells as she draws in a deep breath and closes her eyes.

A second later:


As Lyraelle suddenly opens her eyes again, they're filled with a white-gold light - one that spills forth in a pair of twin beams unleashed with dazzling intensity at Echo.

"Hey, she still has eye lasers," a hairy arenaside darkstalker comments to another virtual spectator next to him.

"Technically, they weren't eye /lasers/ before, they were eye /beams,/" the other spectator remarks.

"Does that really matter anymore? I mean, they're lasers now, right?" the hairy darkstalker says.

"Oh, yeah, for sure," the other one replies.

COMBATSYS: Echo blocks Lyraelle's Dazzling Gaze.

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Lyraelle         1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0             Echo

"I didn't know this was a tag team match!" Echo seems surprised at the minotaur punting the poor imp minion into the path of her attack. Not that the poor thing would be met with some kinda fatal injury by her phantasmal servant--just well, he'd probably be hurting from the cold for a little bit. The shining, sparkling white light causes Echo to flinch and wrap her wings around her to shield her from the sudden surge of chi-energy--one which probably felt different than before. This whole thing felt a little different, to be fair.

"Ow, the queen has changed up her style a bit, I see," she throws her wings back and proceeds to step closer, boots hitting the mat as she raises her hands--what feels like unseen hands trying to grasp and pick Lyraelle right off the ground--tossing her over Echo and onto the other end of the arena!

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle counters Fling from Echo with Photo Bomb EX.

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Lyraelle         1/--=====/=======|======-\-------\0             Echo

"Oh, this isn't a tag team match," Lyraelle says with a smug smile, the luminescent glow fading from her eyes as she twirls her wand and tilts her head to one side. "My most trusted minions wear my colours because they represent me, whether acting as my voice or my shield! Think of it like crowdsourcing."

As the darkstalker approaches her, Lyraelle's expression becomes more serious again. Though her heart pounds in her chest, she maintains her poise, swinging her sceptre as she senses the unseen force grasping through the aether for her. A cord of brilliant energy flies loose from her sceptre like a cast fishing line or whip, snapping out toward Zander - or more specifically, toward the Pringer X doll that Zander is carefully tucking under his arms. The minotaur flails his limbs as the doll is yanked free of his grasp and back toward where Lyraelle was just standing as she spins off to one side before falling down on her ass as her platform shoes get out from under her.


Still, graceless as her evasion may be, the switcheroo is pulled off - the mecha-prinny doll caught by the invisible hand and tossed in Lyraelle's stead toward Echo.

The Pringer X doll's eyes glow red as it flies toward the darkstalker, a ringing like an egg timer rattling through it as it squawks mechanically:

<< DOOD! >>


The bomb detonates just as it gets into Echo's vicinity, blasting her with tremendous force - and a surprising amount of sparkles.

Meanwhile, still half-lying on the ground, Lyraelle has pulled out a pink smartphone, pointing it at herself and the explosion in the background and winking.


#beautiful #bombshell #newlook

Something was strange here--she could smell the sweat and sour odor of fear humans tended to give off when she approached, as well as the look on her--she was trying really hard. This shouldn't be--she realized somewhere internally, succubi were supposed to be really powerful--which as it turned out, was still apparently the case! There was definitely something though--no horns, or tail--not that disguise was difficult for a darkstalker, it was the main way Echo was able to move around at times.

"What the--" Echo is surprised by what is apparently... some kind of stuffed toy sailing toward her? Looking up and confused, the red glow from the prinny doll's eyes reflected in her own--she's not able to react fast enough, getting blown back and ending up tumbling against the edge of the arena. Ow.

"Ack... got some new tricks, I see," she rubbed her head and threw her hair out of her face, her wings flapping as she decided to just... leap at Lyraelle--this time before she could pull something /else/ on her--trying to strike her with one of her white-furred leathern wings!

COMBATSYS: Echo successfully hits Lyraelle with Wing Charge.
- Power hit! -

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Lyraelle         1/-======/=======|======-\-------\0             Echo

Stowing her smartphone mysteriously on her personage, Lyraelle stumbles back to her feet, smoothing out the seat of her skirt as she gets her shoes back under her.

"Well, you know me - I never half-ass a rebranding," Lyraelle claims as the whip of light fades into sparkles from her wand. She starts to twirl the sceptre in a defensive spin as Echo flies into the air, and as she does, more sparkles fly out from it, apparently in preparation for some other new manifestation of defensive power.

"Like - this... one?"

The energy sputters out just as it appears to be forming some kind of barrier, fading out of existence and leaving Lyraelle defenseless against Echo's winged charge.


The princess is caught across the throat by Echo's wing, knocking her to the ground as she clutches at the collar around her neck and coughs. It's a surprising display of fragility for anyone familiar with the Demon Queen's diabolical durability - though, perhaps the succubus had never been struck by such a lucky blow before. She had, after all, been possessed of supernatural swiftness - something not presently displayed by the Sparkle Princess.

She turns a pleading look toward the stands as she struggles to breathe.

"H-help me, minions!"

There's a collective gasp from the crowd.

Asking minions for /help/?

The beloved demonatrix had never stooped so low as to ask her minions for /help./ It doesn't sound regal or domineering at all. None are moved to the Sparkle Princess' aid; indeed, this is not the celebrated succubus they've invited into their offices, their homes, and their mobile phones.

This is a stranger, an impostor.

A single tear starts to crystallize at the corner of Lyraelle's eye as her heart starts to break.

However, one defiant fanatic, possessed of both an uncommon zeal and a willingness to accept change, rises to his feet, holding his hirsute arms in the air.

"Princess Lyraelle, take my energy!"

Instantly recognizing the meme, other attendees also rise up in imitation of the gesture.

Somehow, Lyraelle feels the warmth growing inside her, driving her to push herself back up to her feet as sparkles rain like fairy dust from from her body, a faint glow emanating from her skin.

She turns away from the crowd, wiping her tears away from her face with the sleeve of one of her white gloves, before turning back to smile and salute them with a two-fingered V.

"Thank you, minions~"

With the collective consciousness having realised that the vulnerability is all part of the show, the rebranded celebrity fighter is freed to focus on the fight, turning her green eyes back toward the bat-woman and readying her sceptre...

...ignoring the pain still lingering in her throat.

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle appeals to her minions!

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Lyraelle         1/-======/=======|======-\-------\0             Echo

The shot against the demon queen was as brutal as it was meant to, Echo's wings flapping and then turning vertical as she let herself fall back to her booted feet. "No horns or tail, but still got a lot of life left in you--and the fanclub is still around," Echo grins, apparently not minding having to play the heel here, that's sort of what she'd been tasked to do anyway. Of course she hadn't bet there had been some... actual changes with the previous host, here.

"Hadn't expected a show like this--lets make it a great one~" she raised her arms and energies began to surge around her, coallescing!

"Eden hardly a tranquil place--prophecy lears it's hateful face!" another strange incantation, of sorts--one she was not unknown to chant, especially when utilizing her magical abilities.

COMBATSYS: Echo raises arms, eyes glowing red as she conjures FELL MAGICKS to her aid!

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Lyraelle         1/-======/=======|=======\===----\1             Echo

As the dark power of Echo grows opposite her contrastingly wholesome aura, Lyraelle starts to weave a spell of her own, waving her wand and trailing brilliant glittering energy in the air after it as she does so.

"Glitter, glitter, gleam and sparkle! Prepare to face the might of...!"

A pregnant pause ensues as, presumably, the princess pontificates on the possible poetic paths that might permit a rhyme for the word 'sparkle.' On the other hand, appropriate mystical insight would suggest that there is no spell being cast at all - the chi on display is nothing more than a light show.


Suddenly, as Lyraelle snaps her sceptre forward to point at Echo, a rather scantily clad catgirl in a form-fitting black catsuit leaps into the frame from behind the batgirl. Rather than pouncing like a typical predator, though, the half-masked neko ninja leads her descent with her sleek derriere in imitation of the signature swoop for which Demon Queen Lyraelle was formerly infamous - the Neko Queen's Throne, as it were. If Echo doesn't avoid the surprise assault, she may find herself pinned beneath the kunoichi's backside as a ball of glittering chi comes flying toward her face from the Sparkle Princess' wand!

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle issues a challenge!!

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Lyraelle         1/-======/=======|=======\===----\1             Echo

COMBATSYS: Echo just-defends Lyraelle's Shameless Fanservice!

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Lyraelle         1/-======/=======|=======\===----\1             Echo

The darkstalker-ess seems to grow almost in height or intimidation factor as the dark energies swirl around her, making her seem oddly less real, like something computer generation. She grins and cracks the knuckles of her hands, flicking her wrist as what looks like a teacup appears like sleight of hand, with steaming earl grey inside.

The batlady folds her wings and stands firm, snapping her fingers as the descending catgirl comes to an abrupt stop in the air, then is suddenly turned upside down--greeted with what sounds like incessant cackling, and bellowing laughter. The two spirits, semi-transparent are of two markedly different silhouettes--one tall and slender, the other short and portly--both are however dressed in prison jumpsuits, and subtly crackle with electricity. They bring the catgirl with them--holding her each by one ankle as she's carried away from Echo before being dropped before leaving the arena floor, as Echo has finished sipping her tea and flicks the cup away.

"Those two, useless in life, I assure--but somewhat redeemed in death," Echo grins as they disappear, somehow dismissing them with her step forward. "Queen you may be, but not looking forward to rolling over so soon--nrrghh!" she snarled a bit as blue electricity crackled through the bat lady's white forearm, erupting in a charge that sailed right for Lyraelle!

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle blocks Echo's Energy Bolt.

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Lyraelle         2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\====---\1             Echo

The catgirl lets out a cry as she's carried away, another pawn sacrificed in the chess game between Princess and Necromancer. Lyraelle looks vaguely dismayed for a moment at the neko ninja's fate, the corners of her lips briefly downturned before flattening into a Mona Lisa smile.

"Somebody oughtta call the Ghostbusters," she comments coolly, before quickly raising her sceptre and holding it across both hands as she uses its haft to catch the oncoming bolt of blue electricity. The projectile crashes into the weapon, dispersing, but not without sending arcs of energy through the princess poseuse that cause her to convulse and double over momentarily.


Staggering backward, Lyraelle presses two fingers to her lips and whistles loudly before beckoning toward Zander.

"Mister Horny! Come hither!"

The virtual unicorn snorts as he's summoned, but lumbers straight for the princess, lifting her up and onto his shoulders. She rewards his obeissance by tapping her sceptre on his horn, a bright glow engulfing him in a thin golden aura as she bestows her blessing upon him.

"You've got Sparkle Power now, Mister Horny! Now, go get this usurper!"

Lyraelle gestures toward Echo, and Zander scuffs the ground with one of his massive hooves. He may not have the opportunity to turn his wrath on the true object of his loathing, but the next best thing that he can do is turn it on her enemies.

"Prepare to be crushed, foul sorceress!" the unicorn bellows before lowering his shoulders and aiming to charge toward Echo, carrying his mistress along with him as he tries to trample the necromancer!

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle successfully hits Echo with Royal Summons - Brute Force.

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Lyraelle         0/-------/-<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Echo

"The lead one keeps trying to ask me out~" Echo fires back, blinking and receding back as Lyra is able to take that energy blast like a champ, apparently--somehow warding it off with her scepter. Well isn't that special, one might say.

"Mister... Horny? Oh no--" Echo goed wide-eyed and retreats back--trying to turn and beat it when confronted with giant rampaging minotaur, but she winds up getting hit in the back of one of the bull man's knees--thrown to the arena floor and is subsequently stepped on--one of the hooves coming down hard on her left shoulder, to which there is a sickening CRUNCH. Echo's entire body spasms, arms and legs flail outward, while her back and head rear up in response to the pain. Darkstalkers play rough, after all--and they've recovered from worse.

Pulling herself back up takes a moment after the minotaur has trampled her--looking over at her left side and shoulder, the arm there now sort of hangs limply. Broken or dislocated? Her mouth is a bit bloody too, likely from cutting her lips on her own teeth when she was stepped on. The scarlet sullies the white fur, like wolves after a fresh meal against snow.

"I see his strength has not faltered, oof--" she stumbled, before regaining her balance. Straightening her back out, she simply smiled a little, and raised her right hand to make gestures in the air--fierce cold winds blowing against Lyra and Zander now as more of her minions materialized from thin air, a glowing blue headless armored man reached out and tried to wrestle with Zander, throwing an armored backhand at him--and perhaps hitting his rider by mistake!

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle dodges Echo's Swift Backhand.

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Lyraelle         0/-------/-<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Echo

Stampeding over Echo, Zander (AKA 'Mister Horny') ends up several feet beyond the bat before whirling around to face the other darkstalker.

"Witchcraft is a blight upon the hierarchy of Makai. Your kind can know nothing of true strength!" the unicorn-cosplaying bull-man bellows, raising a massive fist and shaking it above his head.

Lyraelle, who's been waving her wand around to scatter sparkles over her anthropomorphic steed's head, shifts her green eyes side to side before hiding the sceptre behind her back with one hand and ruffling Zander's mohawk with the other.

"That's right, Mister Horny~ You sure showed that trashbag necromancer who's boss!" she coos patronizingly.

"Indeed, Mistress," Zander concurs darkly, snorting.

Soon, the headless knight appears at Echo's bidding, though, causing Lyraelle's eyes to widen with concern as Zander's mouth... stretches into a grin? It's difficult to read minotaurs' expressions sometimes.

"Aha, a true contest of strength! Allow me this duel, mistress, and have at yon sorceress!"

Lyraelle ducks as the armored backhand nearly knocks her off of her mount, then quickly rolls backward off of his shoulders - giving a flash of fanservice as her skirt ends up momentarily skyward - before landing unsteadily on the ground.

"Knock yourself out," she encourages Zander as he starts to brawl with the headless spectre. Meanwhile, she snaps her sceptre to one side, the star-shaped gem head glowing with white chi.

"We're letting the minions do too much of the work, babe. Why don't you and I play for a bit?" Lyraelle suggests with a smirk, some of the confidence that the Demon Queen was once for returning to the Sparkle Princess' features. She spins forward, the same whip of energy flailing out from the sceptre and lashing out at Echo's face, the kinetic force imbued with photonic energy that sparks up blindingly whereever it should strike!

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle successfully hits Echo with Random Strike.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Lyraelle         1/=======/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Echo

While the strange Dullahan-esque spectre and Zander clash, Echo is left dealing with Lyraelle--even in her seriously injured state, she does not falter before the demon queen. The bright light energy produced by the sceptre is particularly searing against her--bringing up her arms to defend against it and giving a fanged snarl as the energy lashes her across the face, leaving her fur singed and her head thrown back by the blow of the energy whip. She is at her breaking point, and is apparently desperate--summoning all the powers of darkness to her aid!

"And now--the grand finale--" the entire arena began to darken and dark, blood red curtains arose around Lyra and the bat lady, the latter momentarily grinning as she floated off the ground, focusing a huge ball of energy in her arms--

And what looked like a giant pendulum blade came sailing out from red curtains, heading right for Lyraelle, while Zander while presumably struggling with the giant armored ghost, still.

"Ah..." Echo then spiraled to the floor, slapping into the arena floor and lying flattened out against it, out cold...?

COMBATSYS: Echo can no longer fight.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Lyraelle         2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle counters #Grand Guignol# from Echo with Royal Requisition - Sparkle Princess Selfie EX.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Lyraelle         1/-------/<<<<<<<|

As Zander and the spectre engage in an epic showdown off-camera, Lyraelle looks up to see her rival Midnight Channel hostess preparing her spell. As the arena darkens - more than just a trick of the Invidia augmented reality overlay - and the dark energy ball gathers in Echo's arms, Lyraelle clutches a hand at her side. Dashing forward as fast as her all-too-mortal legs can carry her, she leaps into the air, rearing her closed fist back before whirling it forward - but rather than a punch, she instead flings a handful of dazzling sparkles directly at Echo just as the pendulum starts to swing.

"Sparkle Power!" Lyraelle yells in true Magical Girl fashion as she invokes the blinding light, before swinging her hips around in a somewhat familiar maneuver - crashing backside-first into the bat and knocking her to the floor before she can hit it on Newton's own terms -


- and pinning Echo beneath her, the darkstalker cushioning her own landing as the pendulum sails harmlessly overhead.

"Whew," Lyraelle says, panting as she pulls her pink mobile phone from its hiding spot, pushing her tiara into place and quickly striking a casual lounging pose seated atop the fallen necromancer and saluting as she snaps another selfie for her InstaSlam and Hitter accounts.


#takingover #midnightchannel #victory

Putting away both the mini-phone and her smile, the Sparkle Princess turns a glower over her shoulder down at Echo.

"Well, that was a pretty good show, but tee-bee-ach, I thought you'd put up a bit more of a fight, Napoleon. Did you need more time to recover from the ass-kicking Velvet and their friends gave you, or were you just sandbagging so I wouldn't figure out who you'd picked as your new host?" she asks accusingly.

COMBATSYS: Lyraelle has ended the fight here.

"Uhhhnn..." Echo pulls herself up, not able to work magic right now with the state she's in. Of course, she isn't entirely helpless without it, either. She's still a Makai denizen, after all. Still a lot more dangerous than the average human.

"New magic, not like your old," she pushes herself up with her arms and elbows, no longer quite face-planted onto the match. "And here I thought this whole thing was your idea, heh--guess I was wrong," Echo shook her head, not in disagreement--but to clear it from her vision currently seeing double of the magical queen and her studly minotaur bodyguard. She tried to pull herself up more, but lacked the stamina, briefly falling back to her elbows again. To be fair, she was not accustomed to being a seat, exactly, this was new territory for her.

A bemused expression tugs the corners of Lyraelle's lips downward as she considers Echo's response to her inquisition, and she turns a little more toward Echo's upper half, tilting her own head as her skeptical frown deepens.

"Well, of course this was... wait. You're not the host, are you -"

"Of course she's the host~" a very familiar voice says from behind the pair.

Lyraelle whirls around, quickly scrambling to her feet as a figure starts to emerge from a cloud of infernal green smoke and brimstone.

"What?!" Lyraelle's mouth falls open, her shoulders going slack as her knees start to tremble. "You're not real!"

A pink-haired succubus in a revealing purple leotard sashays out of the obscuring smoke, purple thigh highs clicking on the simulated stone as she places a gloved hand on her hip and smirks, tail swaying behind her.

"I think you'll find that /you're/ the fake, here," the Demon Queen declares. Only the few actually on the field can sense the holographic nature of the succubus - to those attending remotely or watching at home, the simulacrum is virtually perfect, save for something slightly off about the voice that could be excused as a fault in the recording equipment.

"No way! Don't tell me you're all going to fall for some -"

The attendees suddenly all vanish as the live recording feed stops.

"Sorry, time for a commercial cut! You know how it is," the digital succubus says with a wink. "Anyway, looks like it's time that this pretender to get a royal escort off the premises. You'll be getting your payslip soon. Meanwhile, my loyal servant will continue co-hosting The Midnight Channel with me!"

A security crew of meaty-looking darkstalkers arrive to start ushering, pushing and carrying Lyraelle and her crew toward the exit.

"Looks like your Princess is in another castle!" the succubus taunts.

"You biiitch!!" the pink-clad princess protests loudly as she's dragged kicking and screaming out of the arena.

"Uh oh," Echo, in turn--is still surprised by this revelation, pulling herself up against whatever she can, and still not able to really do much about anything. Getting magically energy whipped, booty-bounced and used as a seat will have that effect on one, likely. Now the sorceress has a new kind of problem, one in a lot of pink, purple and an ojou-laugh.

Echo attempts to crawl away on her palms and wing claws, before getting slowly dragged back, and the camera cuts to black.

Log created on 19:54:14 01/18/2023 by Lyraelle, and last modified on 21:08:29 01/23/2023.