Inori bravely entered a dark alleyway. Her mystical senses told her a great evil was lurking ahead, and she was wearing her bright yellow Magical Girl costume for the occasion. The silky dress seemed to emit a soft light of its own in the dim passageway.

Inori stopped when she reached an unexpected sight. Two other girls were leaning against opposite walls in a small clearing. They appeared to be a few years older than their guest, probably in late high school. They were both dressed in their own Magical Girl uniforms, albeit much darker in color. Their dresses were also shorter, slimmer, and generally much more sensual in nature than Inori's rather elegant attire. The one dressed in black with pink trim grinned toward Inori before speaking first.

"Hey Yui, this one's pretty cute."

Yui, clad in black with blue trim, nodded in agreement.

"Yeah. I hope she turns out to be worthwhile, Chikane."

Chikane left the wall she had been leaning against so she could address the arriving Magical Girl.

"What's your name, sweetie?"

Inori was looking from side to side in the alley, apparently uncertain about something. She responded with slight hesitation.

"Inori..."

Chikane nodded and cast a warm smile before she continued.

"Nice to meet you, Inori. What are you doing here?"

Inori responded in an increasingly puzzled tone.

"I'm... confused. I sensed a powerful Witch in this direction, but..."

Chikane shook her head as she retained the same cheerful tone.

"Nope. No Witches here. We would have taken them out way before you if there were."

Her homely nature disappeared and her smirk became much more devious before she continued.

"Ohhh, you must have detected all the grief we've been causing."

Inori found herself taking a small step back in lingering fear. She blinked in surprise before speaking.

"Who are you?"

Chikane turned her head to acknowledge Yui before her eyes returned to Inori.

"We're Magical Girls just like you. Together, we like to call ourselves the Three Midwives."

Inori appeared as confused as ever as she thought out loud.

"Three Midwives? But there's only two of you..."

Just as Inori took another step back, a pair of slender arms emerged from the shadows behind her. She had backed into yet another girl who was clad in the same style of clothes as the first two strangers, now colored in black with yellow trim. The hostile Magical Girl used her superior strength to wrap her arms firmly around the smaller target's shoulders and waist.

Yui seemed to growl in annoyance before she spoke from her wall.

"You're late, Reimi."

Reimi giggled over Inori's shoulder as she winked and replied.

"You guys know how I love making entrances."

Inori had seen enough. She pushed herself forward and tried to squirm out of her restraints. It was all a futile effort, however, and she frantically shook her head as she shouted.

"Stop it! We're supposed to be on the same side!"

Chikane shook her head in disagreement and casually replied.

"There's no rules that say that. Magical Girls are just supposed to gather Grief Seeds through any means necessary."

Yui now spoke in support of her teammate.

"We don't like hunting Witches, though. It's too dangerous. We prefer to take a more direct approach, and Kyubey seems to be proud of us all the same."

Chikane walked further toward Inori. Once she was close enough, she reached to a braid on the captured girl's right side. She pulled a tiny ornament from her hair, which soon changed to its native form: a small, egg-shaped decoration that sat on a flat base in the palm of her hand. The object was a glowing yellow jewel surrounded by a golden metal grid. Chikane poked at it a few times in the same way a jeweler would inspect his fine work. When she was finished, she spoke with a satisfied smile.

"Your Soul Gem is adorable. It matches your outfit really well."

She then squinted as she studied the tiny sculpture that adorned the top of the egg.

"Your symbol has... horns, or ears, or something on it. Did your wish have something to do with animals?"

Inori's fear had increased due to Chikane's actions. She knew her life was now in another Magical Girl's hands, but Reimi's grip firmly prevented her from doing anything about it. Her only option was to play along, and she explained the origin of her miraculous powers in the calmest voice she could manage.

"I want to be a vet, and my friend's dog was sick, so I wished for the power to help him get better."

Chikane snickered in disbelief.

"That's all? Sheesh, you got ripped off big time. I hope your Grief Seed has a decent payoff, though."

This statement clearly perplexed Inori. She didn't know how to respond.

"I... don't have a Grief Seed. Only Witches have those."

Yui instantly knew what Inori's words meant. She replied in half-sarcastic pity.

"Aww, you're one of the ones Kyubey didn't explain all of the rules to. No wonder you made such a dumb wish."

Reimi had reached the same conclusion, and she spoke playfully into Inori's ear.

"Haven't you ever wondered why you're supposed to keep collecting Grief Seeds? You've been using them to absorb the emotional energy that's always building in your Soul Gem. If you didn't do that, your soul would be in too much turmoil for the shell to contain it. That's how Witches are born."

Inori gasped in horror. She didn't know what to believe, but escaping her captors was now her top priority. She began thrashing about in Reimi's arms as she summoned her signature weapon: a short, hallowed out white wand fit with a mouthpiece and several finger holes. Its wielder struggled to point the device toward Chikane as she shouted.

"You... you're lying!"

Chikane only shrugged.

"See for yourself, then."

The older girl then took to the ground to begin some new procedure, kneeling on the paved walkway and carefully placing the Soul Gem in front of her. Reimi covered for her by grabbing Inori's weapon with her closer arm as she taunted her prey.

"Heh. A flute? How do you even kill Witches with this thing? Playing out of tune?"

Inori desperately tried to regain the weapon as she growled through her teeth.

"Let go of that!"

Reimi smirked as she managed to stay in a game of tug-of-war over the wand. At the same time, Yui moved to a new position a few feet beside Chikane and summoned her own weapon. It was a large staff with a diamond-shaped point, which quickly popped open to reveal a single gun barrel built within. Yui carefully aimed the business end toward Inori's Soul Gem.

With Yui in place, Chikane encircled her hands around the Gem in the same way one would seek warmth from a small fire. When a distinct purple aura began pulsating from her fingertips, Inori suddenly writhed in agony and involuntarily allowed her instrument to clatter to the ground. When the trapped Magical Girl regained her composure, she was still wincing in pain and spoke weakly.

"I... I don't understand. What are you trying to do?"

Reimi rolled her eyes, finding her opponent to be a bit slow on the uptake.

"You're kind of a ditz, you know that?"

She shifted her elbow so Inori's head turned toward her kneeling teammate.

"Let me spell it out for you. Chikane is using an incantation to dirty up your Soul Gem. Once she's given it a nice dose of black magic, it'll crack open and you'll come out as your Witch self."

She then directed Inori toward the remaining Magical Girl.

"Yui, our sharpshooter over there, is going to put you out of your misery the second that happens. We get our Grief Seed, Kyubey gets his energy for entropy or whatever, and you get to become your adult form without having to hurt anyone. It's a pretty efficient system."

Inori was terrified by this revelation. She put up her most frantic struggle yet as she screamed in objection.

"Stop it! I don't want to be a Witch!"

Chikane groaned to herself and temporarily halted her efforts to complain.

"Ugh. Will you tell her to stuff a sock in it, Reimi? I can't concentrate on incubating her when she's whining like that."

Reimi cupped her hand over Inori's mouth accordingly, muzzling her resistance and allowing Chikane to return to her despicable task. Inori became somewhat calmer as she communicated in muffled whimpers, adding in a sharp yelp each time Chikane bombarded her Soul Gem with another concentrated wave of darkness. Her captor found the display too pathetic to watch when her eyes began to fill with frightful tears. Reimi spoke quietly to her prisoner after sighing in defeat.

"Promise not to yell anymore?"

Inori nodded obediently before Reimi removed her hand. The older girl then smirked as she defended her own unsavory actions.

"You're going to turn into a bad girl sooner or later, Inori. Even if you keep your Soul Gem clean and never transform into a monster, you'll still grow up to be someone like us. You'll be relying on the suffering of other Magical Girls in one way or another to cling to your own humanity. I doubt a sweetheart like you really wants either of those, so you should be glad we're helping you get through the rough part."

Inori closed her eyes and hung her head as far the crook of Reimi's arm would allow. After fighting back a flood of tears, she sadly replied.

"There... there has to be a better way..."

Reimi's response was delivered in the usual cynical matter, void of any sympathy toward Inori's predicament.

"Nope. We were all screwed the moment we made contracts with Kyubey, and now there's no going back."

Yui raised her voice from across the alleyway in agreement with Reimi.

"It's nothing personal, cutie. You know, survival of the fittest and all that stuff."

Before she had a chance to speak again, Inori suddenly threw her head back and let out a deafening scream. Her Soul Gem began throbbing with dark energy waves that filled the narrow space between Chikane's hands, and her Magical Girl outfit and weapon both disappeared in a flash of yellow light. She had reverted back to her civilian form, and her new appearance caused Reimi to blink a few times in mild surprise.

"Hmm... I don't recognize your school uniform. Your district must be pretty far away."

The hostage taker's expression then changed to evil delight before she spoke again.

"Oh well. They'll just have to get used to not having their precious little guardian around anymore."

Yui now donned a wicked smirk of her own. She sounded anxious as her eyes stared intently at the Soul Gem.

"I can't wait to see what your Witch form looks like, Inori."

While her enemies basked in delight, Inori became nearly lifeless in Reimi's arms. She barely had the energy to speak between sobbing breaths.

"Pl-... please... d-... don't do it..."

Reimi shook her head at Inori's pleas and only offered some more taunting words.

"Hey, don't worry so much. Yui will blow your brains out on her first shot. You won't be a Witch for too long."

Chikane finally released Inori's Soul Gem from the cage formed by her hands when she started to hear the sound of glass softly cracking. The once yellow jewel was now totally black, with negative energy boiling inside as its restraints slowly gave way. She grinned and announced the good news to her teammates.

"Here we go, guys! She's about to hatch!"

Seconds after saying this, the Soul Gem exploded into an enormous pillar of darkness. At the same moment, Inori closed her eyes for the final time and became like a rag doll in Reimi's grasp. Her youthful face was forever frozen in a look of troubled sleep.

As the black cloud expanded from its point of origin, it began altering the world around it. The walls of the alleyway were pushed outward and became the stained glass windows of a hectic cathedral. In the center of this holy place, at the exact spot where Inori's Soul Gem had been destroyed, arose a being resembling an angelic statue. The creature's wings began to open, revealing her beautiful yet sorrowful face. It was at this first opportune moment that Yui took her shot.

The Witch's head burst into marble rubble before she even got a chance to open her eyes. Her remains quickly followed suit, as the impact sent cracks splintering through her entire stone body. She had been struck by a single magical round with perfect accuracy, causing her Grief Seed to appear and fall to her crumbling feet. Her dimension collapsed on itself almost as rapidly as it had unfolded. As soon as the dust settled, the trio of Magical Girls were back in the alley as if nothing had happened. That is, nothing aside from the dead body Reimi was now placing on the ground.

None of the girls ever stopped to acknowledge the absurdity of what they had just witnessed. Instead, Chikane casually stepped forward before crouching on one knee at the spot the Grief Seed had landed. Up close, the object appeared as a tiny black sphere adorned by a sharp pin on one side and the same symbol that had sat on Inori's Soul Gem on the other. She lifted it into her hand and began rolling it through her fingers as she inspected it. After a few moments in deliberation, she shook her head and mumbled to her teammates.

"For such a rambunctious little thing, her Grief Seed is pretty crappy. Split between all of us, I doubt we'll get more than a couple of battles out of her."

Yui willed her weapon to disappear from her hands before she sighed in disappointment and stretched her arms.

"Do you think we teased her enough? You're the one who said her emotional state makes a big difference."

Chikane scratched her chin with her opposite hand before she shook her head.

"I don't think that's it. You guys did great with that. I guess she was just a weak one."

Reimi spoke next after coming to terms with her own discouragement.

"Did you see the Runes for her name?"

Chikane shrugged when she replied. She seemed to be disinterested in the matter.

"Yui's getting really good at this, so I only had a chance to read the first half. 'Celes' something or other."

Reimi moved to her next and probably more significant question after turning to Inori's lifeless form.

"Should we hide the body?"

Chikane's response came swiftly as she stored the new Grief Seed in her dress. She had thought the issue over well beforehand.

"Let the cops find it. Her family should at least be able to pay their last respects. Besides, we used magic to kill her, so it's not like they'll have any evidence to trace us."

The other two members of the team were quick to agree with this strategy, and the trio subsequently abandoned their victim in the alley. They joked among themselves and raised each other's spirits in anticipation of the next trap they would set as they walked away.


Note: I believe I have successfully invented the three most sadistic Puella Magi Madoka Magica characters in all of Puella Magi Madoka Magica history.