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Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 06:38 am
Title: The Road to Hell (Is Paved with Good Intentions)(Puella Magi Madoka Magica, AU: Apocalypse & Road Trip)
Summary/Preview: Magic girl vs Zombies, round 1
Content notes: Dark, preview of a longer series that I dearly wish to write

It was Sayaka who made the plan for them.

"Sayaka's gone," Kyouko told Mami. She had the blanket that Sayaka used when curling up next to the radio all night, listening to the broadcast sent out by the last surviving medical centre. We want to produce a vaccine, the broadcast had said. If you are immune to the effects of the epidemic come to us, it had said.

Of course Sayaka had gone. Even if her immunity was due to magic, she had to try. She had told Kyouko as much, over and over again in their many arguments.

"We have to go after her and beat some sense into her idiot head," said Kyouko. Her fingers were wound so tightly in the blanket the cloth looked as though it would tear.

Mami could argue with her, like Sayaka had. She could have explained why they needed to stay here: Mitakihara was their home. Mitakihara was where they had carved out safe areas to separate the infected from the rest of the population. Mitakihara had people that they needed to protect from demons and the infected alike.

Instead, Mami said, "Alright."

No one knew exactly what was the virus that caused the illness. They only knew the effects, which bore an uncanny resemblance to what Western fiction called "zombies". Living creatures would have their heartbeat slowed to such an extent that it was almost as if they were dead. This was with the exception of when they found a non-infected human or animal, where they would go into a biting frenzy. Most of these attacks were fatal. If the attacks were not, and they drew blood, the bitten person would be infected.

Unless they were a magic girl.

Whatever Kyuubey had done to transform their bodies, it had allowed them to escape the effects of the zombification. This was good, because the demons grew thick on the grief of the survivors. Without magic girls, Earth would have been destroyed by demons instead.

It was this consideration that had Mami pouring over maps and models of the city. Mami had to figure out a way to defend the city while they were gone. There was little the survivors could do against zombies without weapons, and even less that they could do against demons.

Kyouko thought it was a lost cause. "The quicker we get Sayaka, the quicker we can come back," she groused. "If you waste time setting up defenses that don't work for shit, she'll get further away. We won't be able to make it back before the demons and the zombies figure your defenses are just a front."

Mami thought it more prudent to shut the door and pretend that she didn't acknowledge Kyouko's point. Kyouko too kept well away from Mami's bedroom.

Which was how Mami knew that the knock on the door must be Homura. "Come in," she said.

Homura had brought with her more maps and diagrams. "I can help you with protection for Mitakihara, if you help me figure out the best way to enter the next few cities without running into zombie hordes," she said.

"You're coming?" Mami could not help the leap of excitment at the thought. Homura had not said anything when Kyouko and Mami told her their plan, only doled out Sayaka's portion of food among the three of them. One of Mami's plans had featured Homura staying back as the sole defense of the city, and the patrols she would need to cover the area effectively.

Homura was not usually a sentimental person, but she said, "I'm going with you to protect you."

Mami trusted Homura to have her back at any time. Hearing the sentiment said aloud however made her glow inside.

Mami tried not to keep that much food inside of her house. Even though going to the store everyday was dangerous, she could not bring herself to keep the food in her own place. As irrational as it was, it made her feel like she was hoarding, and keeping food from lost persons who might need it more than she did. Faced with a long trip and no certain idea of the food stores in the other cities, Mami had to reluctantly accept that they needed to bring all their available food in the car.

Mami had already carefully curated the store, and enough time had gone by that there was no longer any fresh meat and fruit in the supermarket. Instead she had canned meats, pickled vegetables and dried fruits, all of which she knew the expiry dates by heart. Even so, she told Homura and Kyouko to pile them in the exact same order that they had in the car they had procured for this purpose. Mami had left getting transport to Homura, and was careful not to ask questions about the way that she had obtained it.

Water was another concern. Mitakihara was lucky enough to have a steady supply of clear water, and they filled bottles of these. Homura had been wise enough to get a station wagon, and that meant plenty of free space. They piled more of these into the car.

There were other things - Kyouko took charge of grief cubes, Homura took charge of non-magical weapons so that they could conserve magic, while Mami took care of more mundane things like enough clothes and toiletries. Bit by bit, they accumulated all the things they needed.

Finally, Homura slammed the door on the trunk, satisfied. Mami looked out at the city, now so silent and serene.

It was Kyouko who broke the peace. "Never thought I'd do this again," she said, and took the Pocky out of her mouth. It was well-chewed on. Mami knew that Kyouko thought they didn't notice, but she saw Kyouko making a stick of Pocky last over two days, instead of the mere minutes that she used to do.

Now she broke off the bitten off bit, and put it in her mouth. The remainder she broke into half, and gave one piece to Mami, and the other to Homura.

Even after the last taste of chocolate had faded from Mami's mouth, Kyouko did not replace her Pocky with a single snack.

Whenever Sayaka entered a new city, she went straight.

She had no idea where the safe zones were, and if she stumbled upon a zombie nest in the process, well, exterminating them was what they used to do in Mitakihara anyway. She would be that city's protector, for as long as she could afford to stay there.

Demons were the one exception to her straight line rule, and it was in the process of fighting them that she found the girl.

She was cowering as a demon bore down on her, hands shielding her pink head. Sayaka put more force into her sword strikes, and the demon dissipated.

"Are you ok?" she asked.

The girl looked up, and in a quavering voice asked, "What were those giants?"

Sayaka tried not to let her jaw drop. The usual human only saw mist. Only magic girls could see the actual demons.

Or potential magic girls. As the girl stood, Sayaka could see she was not wearing a magic girl uniform. Instead, she was wearing something that made Sayaka think about a school uniform she had seen before. But they were too far from Mitakihara - surely Sayaka would not have known anyone from the schools here?

While Sayaka was trying to figure out this girl, she grabbed Sayaka's cape. "We shouldn't stand around! Those giants might come back again."

"Don't worry, they won't come while the defender of justice is in town!" Sayaka made the V-sign that always made Kyouko roll her eyes. This girl giggled instead. Sayaka liked her a lot already.

That's why it made her sad to say, "I won't be staying in this town long. You'll have to learn to defend yourself - "


"I'm going to the Kameda Medical centre," said Sayaka, squaring her shoulders. She waited for the girl to tell her that she was insane.

Instead the girl also straightened too. "The medical centre that is producing the vaccine?"

Sayaka shivered. Could it be - "That's the one," she said, trying for nonchalence instead of letting her excitment show.

"I haven't been infected by any of the zombies. Maybe I could help with the vaccine. But I was just too afraid to travel alone... " She turned pleading eyes to Sayaka. "But you aren't afraid of that. You're strong. If - if I could come along with you?"

Sayaka dispelled her sword so she could grasp both the girl's hands in hers. "That would be great," said Sayaka, unable to contain her excitement anymore. Finally, someone who thought like her! "What's your name?!"

The girl giggled, and bounced a little too. "I'm Kaname Madoka!"

"Yeah! Your new partner is me, Miki Sayaka!"

Only many many many days later, Sayaka would realise that she never told Madoka she had just arrived in town.

Kyuubey came to see them off.

As you requested, I have found some girls who could become magic girls when you are away, he told Mami. You must realise that without experience, they would be less effective.

"We've given them a good infrastucture already," said Homura. She had spent most of the early morning checking that the safe zones were well-fortified, and that men and women she trusted had been supplied with weapons. "They just have to hold the front."

Indeed. I wish you luck. The smaller the Earth's population, the less magic girls we will have.

"Thank you Kyuubey," said Mami. He was warm and comfortable in her arms, and she just wanted to hug him tightly forever while she looked back at her city.

But Kyuubey jumped out of her arms when Kyouko started the car up. Mami looked back at her city the last time, and then turned on her heel as resolutely as she could.

They left Mitakihara in the early morning light.
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 01:52 am (UTC)
Woah, awesome! I'd definitely read more!