"This is your destiny. Embrace it, Kyoko Sakura. With it, you will defend this world from a certain end."

When the stars threw down their spears...

Sometimes, when engaged in fierce combat against the latest Witch that threatened her town, Kyoko Sakura, daughter of the founder of a thriving offshoot of the Japanese Anglican Church- "He deserves to have his voice heard," people would tell one another while in line at the grocery store, "After all that poor family went through, they deserve the success-" liked to imagine herself as the archangel Michael, fighting against the angels of Lucifer in the Rebellion, casting out the wicked from Heaven with her spear (sure, Michael used a sword, not a spear, but if He didn't mind the blasphemy, surely he wouldn't mind the change in armaments) and her faith in God. Like the mightiest of the angels, she smote her enemy and wrung its evil stain from her city.

Always.

Afterwards, she would say a prayer, cleanse her soul gem with the dropped Grief Seed, and go back home for supper and to play Horsies with her sister. She was always the horse, clomping around the house on her hands and knees with Momo on her back until she was too sore to play anymore, but she didn't mind; she was the Big Sister, and that's what Big Sisters did.

And watered heaven with their tears...

So much blood.

So much blood.

So much blood.

Did he smile his work to see?

A week after she lost everything, lying on the bed in a plush hotel room she had bought with stolen money (or sometimes just outright broken into, when she couldn't be assed to smash an ATM that night), Kyoko looked at the dark swirl floating like tar in her Soul Gem, and wondered what it would be like if there was a flood. A real-honest-to-goodness Flood, one that took up the whole world like in Genesis, wiped away all of mankind. Momo hated that story; when their father read it to her and Kyoko together, Momo had cried so hard that he never read it again. He never even mentioned it in his sermons, which was fine, as the teachings of Jesus were more important than the Pentateuch anyway. Kyoko hadn't given it much thought after that.

But now, she had lots of time to think about things.

She thought, as she watched the blackness very slowly expand, about how wickedness was purged from the world to start again, how quickly man began to sin again once the waters had receded. She thought about rainbows, the promise of God that He would never again visit such a terrible thing upon mankind, and wondered if there were no more rainbows. Could He sweep away the sins of the modern world again? How long would it take this time for humankind to descent back into its usual state of horribleness, back to the place where fathers killed their daughters, and so many people cursed others that monsters were born from their Greed, from their Envy, from their Wrath?

Kyoko then imagined herself as that Flood, a girl, a vengeful angel dressed in endless flowing red and hair like a blazing candle, delivering God's vengeance at the tip of a spear, cleansing the world of Witches and the people who brought about Witches alike. She watched the tar spread through her red Soul Gem even faster now, so fast it looked more like oil being poured into a glass then a slowly spreading fungus. Briefly, she wondered what would happen if she let the blackness take over the red. Would she die? Probably, but who would care? There was no one on Earth who cared about Kyoko Sakura, not anymore. Maybe she should just give in. The blackness within the gem began to bubble like boiling pitch…

But then she would be weak. A weak little coward like her Father. No. She would not give up. She would keep fighting Witches, but for herself this time. Who gives a shit about the world, after all? Let them do whatever the hell they want. It's all about who survives. Just like she learned in Science class, years ago, when she still went to school: Survival of the Fittest. That's all that matters.

That's all that matters.

She opened up a box of pocky, and pulled out the Grief Seed hidden inside.

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

The brat in the Tuxedo Mask costume was staring at her.

"Ithinkyourhairispretty," he said all in one breath, face instantly erupting into a shade remarkable similar to the hair he had just complimented and the rose he was holding out to Kyoko. It was plastic, and had obviously come with the costume. He then scurried away as fast as his little legs could carry him, cape flapping in the wind anything but dramatically, still clutching the toy rose. The boy was scooped up by his mother, dressed in a dark blue business suit, who laughed and winked playfully at Kyoko. She said something to her son in a voice too low for even Kyoko's magically enhanced hearing to catch, to which the boy shook his head so hard the cheap, flimsy domino mask flew off his face.

Kyoko snorted and turned away, flipping up her hood and slouching as she hopped off the see-saw she was sitting on. She walked languidly to the exit. Her body language, despite a frame that couldn't have topped ninety pounds, screamed bad news, don't mess. No one bothered her on her way out; the smaller children, of which there were several in her path to the fence, scattered before her well before she reached them and returned to their previous positions as she passed, like a school of fish parting before a shark.

Once she ran out that holier-than-thou blue-haired bitch, Mikatihara was going to be a great territory. Kasamino was too small to support her, even when she only fought Witches when she had to. But here, in this boomtown city?

Never going to have to worry about running out of Grief Seeds ever again. Not in a city this fucked up. Sure, the new town was a shiny glass and glitzy steel, but underneath that shine, it was just a cesspool of rusting misery.

The city was like a beetle- shiny, pretty shell, but when you step on it, what do you get? Just a lot of smelly green shit that sticks to your boot. Naive little turds like that swordsgirl never understood that. They spent all their lives in the glass, doing their math homework and watching old Sailor Moon reruns, until they Contracted. Then had to go into the real city to hunt Witches, the slums and industrial parks where their parents sternly tell them to never go, and reality comes up and punches their teeth in.

Literally, if Kyoko could help it.

She had made it to the edge of the park when she felt it. A slight tug and vibration on her ring and the Soul Gem set into it. It was a slight pull behind her and to the right, one that she knew from experience to mean a familiar. She kept walking without breaking her stride; familiars weren't worth it. Witches and Grief Seeds, even in Mikatihara, were hard to come by, and she burned through her magic way too fast to chase after every Tom, Dick and Harry familiar that showed up.

Unless it tried to get into her business, she wasn't going to stop it. In fact, she wanted the thing to eat somebody. Then, it'd be one step closer to turning into a Witch itself, and then she could get it's Grief Seed. Food Chain.

"I'll protect you!" she heard a young voice shout behind her. Curiosity got the better of her, and she looked over her shoulder.

Over by the swings, the little boy, mask recovered and embarrassment forgotten, was standing protectively over what seemed to be a Gundam action figure, waving a foam sword at another toy he had set up a little further away. His mother was watching him from a picnic table a few feet away, looking between him and some forms she was filing out. Unnoticed by the boy and his mother, the familiar wound its way around the crossbar of the swing. It was a snake of all the colors of the rainbow, swirling about as it twitched and slid jerkily towards its prey. Kyoko stared at the familiar blandly as it raised itself to strike. There was a noise behind the woman from some kids playing on the slide, and the wail of a little girl who cut her knee. The mother turned to look at the commotion.

The familiar shook itself in anticipation, and lunged forward. Its mouth opened impossibly wide. Opalescent fangs dripped with neon green venom. It hurtled towards the triumphant hero and his mother, both clueless to the death that would soon claim them.

They stayed oblivious as a triangular spearhead neatly bisected the snake. It instantly dissolved into air. Instead of fangs, all that reached the snake's target was a gentle breeze on the little boy's neck. He didn't even notice death as it passed him by, blowing in the wind.

Like a fishing line reeling in a catch, the spear vanished in reverse into the soul gem just barely peeking out of Kyoko's sweatshirt pocket. By the time the boy's mother turned to look, the weapon was already gone.

"Just this once," she said to no one as she left the park. Mentally, she berated herself for wasting her magic on a familiar, for not looking out for herself like she should, that magical girls couldn't afford to be heroes.

She didn't notice that the fanged sneer beneath her hood had turned into a tiny smile, and that it stayed there all the way back to her hotel room.