At What Cost Victory: Chapter XI: Game On
Kotomi looked over and saw that Sana was not yet dressed. Instead, she was sitting in the lotus position in her slip.
"Sana, we have to.."

Sana seemed not to hear her. Gradually, she released her position and looked at her friend.

"Get the team together. I have something to share."

The girls gathered, and sat in a circle. Sana stood up and held the ball in her hand.

"I have every confidence that we will do well today. But I caution you. There is in the air a presence of evil. I was trying to focus on what it might be, so I could contact the authorities. But since I don't have a clear picture, I need your help.

Each of us has our apparatus for today's exhibition. In case the evil occurs during the demo, we need to arm ourselves. I found my most powerful charm spell, and I'd like to charm each of your objects, in case we need to do battle."

Tomoko scoffed, but Kotomi held her hand to her lips. She put her ribbon in the middle of the circle. Karin added her clubs, Ami her hoop.

Tomoko laughed again, then tossed her rope in..

"Go ahead, Sana. You never know when Dracula will show up at the mall."

She grabbed Ami by the wrist and moved her hand up. "If you need to sacrifice a virgin, I have a volunteer."

Ami grabbed her hand back. Sana had ignored her and simply placed her hand on the pile. She started to sing a wordless tune, closing her eyes as she sang. She stopped and looked up.

"Each of our apparatuses has the power of goodness. If someone evil comes at you, you can defend yourself with it. Or distract, if you choose to, so you can escape an attack. Each of you, imagine a strong person. Go to that person with your object. Not only will that person help you, but he or she will have a weapon, too, and can help you."

Karin looked shocked. "Help us? With weapons? What the hell is going to happen?"

Sana shook her head. "Be vigilant. Find your spirit guardian"

She closed her eyes again. For today, she knew what figure would protect her - the quiet, brooding cook in the food court. Karin thought of Takeo, the bar regular that called himself the Bloody King. Tomoko thought of Primero; Ami conjured up Miss Kudo.

Kotomi remembered Toreda, the bartender that had saved her from being mugged in the alley. She had invited him to the demo. I wonder if he'll come.

Tomoko did her demo first. Ami followed, then Sana. Karin added a little humor to her clubs routine. Many people laughed, but Kotomi was scanning the crowd. Where is Toreda? He promised to be here. She continued to look over the crowd until the moment they finished cheering for Karin. She walked out to the center of the demonstration area, and nodded for the music to begin.

A final glance at the crowd caused her to miss the charging figure headed towards her.

Junta, his dark hair askew and moist from his blood, ran up and tackled her. She hit the floor, momentarily stunned. Junta's face had changed into something feral. He based his teeth, and reached for her arm. She turned to get away; his hand missed her arm, landing on the small of her back. She could feel the fabric give way in his grasp. She struggled to keep her crotch uncovered as her butt emerged from her torn uniform.

And just as quickly, Junta stopped.

Karin stood over him, club in hand.

"Pick on somebody your own size!