The Wings of Angels

1

"And Lo, the third great Prophet descended upon the masses, and with him he brought the blessings of fire!"

"AMEN!"

"And he so spoke to the loyal lambs of the flock that they may be cleansed of their sin!"

"AMEN!"

"Bring forth the chosen sacrifice!"

The child in the robe stepped up to the altar and kneeled before the man. He raised a hand. "In the name of the blessed holy residing within me, I cast out your doubts!"

"AMEN!"

"I cast out your transgressions!"

"AMEN!"

"I cast out the dark within you! Receive the holy flame and burn out your inequalities! Burn out your crimes against the above! BURN OUT THE HOLY SIN!" He scooped up a flaming piece of coal from the bowl on the altar, and held it aloft. "BURN THE SHELL AND AWAKEN THE GREAT ONES ALL AROUND US!"

The door burst open. "Stop right there, foul demon!" It was a small teenaged girl in a frilly costume, pointing a scepter with a crown-encircled heart at the suited man at the altar. "In the name of the true Holy One, I must punish this abomination!"

The man looked at her oddly for a moment, then dropped the burning coal back into the bowl. "Who are you? This is a private service!" He shouted, snapping his fingers to summon some large bruisers from behind the curtain. "Grab her!"

The girl's arm dropped a little as the large men closed on her. Behind her, a pink cat with a white crown shape on it's forehead slid around her ankle.

"Stay brave, Royale. You have the power." It said in a voice that sounded human, but with an otherworldly echo. "It won't harm their forms, just the darkness possessing them."

She nodded and held the scepter aloft. "Sanctify!" She shouted, and a burst of light surrounded her and the nearest thugs. When the light faded, they were all lying knocked out on the ground.

The suited man frowned. "SHE WISHES TO LEAD US DOWN THE PATH OF DARKNESS! AGENT OF THE EVIL BELOWS! STOP HER!" he yelled, pointing dramatically. The small congregation stood, turned, and surged in a mass of screaming flesh.

The girl shot off a few bursts of light, knocking some of them down, but their places were taken by others within seconds.

"Cerviel, I don't think I can take all of them down!" She said, panicked. "What do I do?"

"You need to remove the head. If he's eliminated, they will return to normal." The cat leaped up to her shoulder. "Try your other spell."

Holding the scepter up again, she nodded. "Holy…" power began to build, and the heart began to glow as a rumble overtook the building. "WAR!"

A massive blast of light erupted from the sky and shot down to completely surround the building. When it faded, all of the cultists were prone on the ground, and the leader was knocked into the wall behind the curtain. Most of the interior of the building was in rubble.

The girl stepped over the bodies, walking up to the leader. His suit was in tatters, and there were tendrils of shadows oozing from small cuts on his skin. He sat up, slowly, and when he was upright the girl could see that his face was gone.

Well, not gone exactly, but the flesh had been blasted off, revealing a black, scaly, demonic face with red eyes. It hissed at her. "Ssstupid little girl… You have only made me ssstronger!" He slowly stood, pulling off the flesh-suit he'd been wearing. "Now I can kill you that much easssier!"

She stepped back, but not in fear. Instead, she was assuming the proper position for her next move. Her scepter melted into a rapier, and she pointed it at the beast.

"You will find that trying to kill me is futile, foul demon! For I, Royale Heart, shall punish you in the name of the Holiest one!" She shouted, awash with new confidence. "Prepare yourself!"

It lunged, screaming infernal noises and clawing at her desperately. She avoided it with ease, slashing it's left arm to ribbons as it passed. When it turned to try to attack again, it found itself facing the thin point of the blade.

"Foulest of demons, I remove you from this world!" Royale Heart shouted. "SANCTIFY!"

"Hitomi-chan! Wake up, you're going to be late for school! Hitomi!" Mrs. Kasakawa shouted up the stairs. "How that girl manages to sleep so late I'll never know…" She returned to her kitchen where she had been making breakfast.

"Oh, dear, let her be. She's probably up all night talking to her friends." At the table Mr. Kasakawa was reading the newspaper. "Oh, look at this! That new Magical Girl took down a cult last night… It's been a while since one of them was in the news."

"Let me see." She peeked over her husband's shoulder and looked at the picture with accompanying article. "The newest Magical Girl calling herself Royale Heart eliminated the Cult of the Third Prophet, which had been under investigation by the police for suspected kidnapping of several homeless children in the past few months."

There was a sudden loud bang and furious stomping coming from Hitomi's room. "OH MY GOSH! I AM SO LATE LATE LAAAAAATE!" She shouted as she dashed through the kitchen, grabbed her lunch box, and raced out the door. "I'll see you tonight! Bye mom! Bye dad!" And then she was gone.

Tmp tmp tmp tmp Her racing footsteps pounded against the sidewalk as she ran up the hill.

I can't believe it! She thought to herself. Of all the days to be late! I hope I get there in time!

The roof of the school peeked into view over the hilltop. She picked up her pace, heart pounding. Ahead, there were a few other straggler students coming in late. She shouted a few 'good morning's to those she recognized from class, but didn't stop until she was inside her class.

"Good morning!"

"Okay, now that Hitomi-chan's finally here, we can get started." Sakura, president of the 'Cupid Club' said quietly to the rest of the girls in the huddle at the back of the class. "Akira-kun has been gone away at the competition for the basketball club for a week now, so we haven't had to worry about anyone trying to steal him from Ami-senpai. Cupid Club Vice President Hoshiko- your report?"

The vice-president nodded. "It appears that Kotone-san and Naoki-kun are getting along nicely, setting them up like that was a success, I would say. However, Kotone-san's little sister is a little jealous of her elder sister. We should see about setting her up with someone from her class. Maybe Haru-san?"

"Secretary Hitomi, what do you think?"

Hitomi was about to offer up her opinion when the teacher walked in and ordered everyone to their seats. The group agreed to meet at lunch to finish their meeting.

Class began without fanfare, and Hitomi found her seat by the window. It was one of the better seats in the classroom. Perfect if you wanted to catch a quick early-morning nap or work on a secret project. For Hitomi, it was time for a nap. She set the timer on her watch to go off in a hour and settled into the best position to nap discreetly.

"Make a wish. Give me a kiss. And the power of Angels be upon you." The small egg had this carved on it. But what did it mean? Angels? And why did it fall from the sky? Nobody else seemed to be able to see it…

Hitomi had been looking at it for a while now. What would she wish for? What was there to wish for to begin with? Well… There was always just wishing for stuff, affection, she could just wish for some guy to like her or something equally silly.

"I wish…" she whispered to the egg, holding it close to her mouth. "I wish for…" She stopped and thought. What did she want most of all?

A memory surfaced. Being too frightened to speak up, afraid of the most silly things, always worried that others were going to judge her once she did something. She could change that.

"I wish for courage." She pressed the egg to her lips, eyes closed and heart racing. There was a light, a bright white light, and then, she felt the egg change shape. She opened her eyes to see that it had changed into a red heart-shaped pendant with a silver crown on the front. She threw it down in shock.

A sphere came out of the pendant on the ground. It floated, then it changed shape, into a cat floating in the air. A voice called out to her.

"Awaken the heart of Royalty. Take thy item." It said, strangely booming.

Bravery coursed through her, and she touched the necklace, slowly pulling it into her hand. The cat opened it's eyes and spoke.

"I am Cerviel. I serve the Holiest Above. And you have now formed a contract with me. Until the evil Below has been abolished once again, you shall take the form you chose. Hold it aloft and repeat after me: Give me the Courage of a Queen and the Purity of a Princess." It was the voice from a moment ago.

She repeated the phrase, and the light shot into her heart. A warmth enveloped her and she began to change. Her hair lightened to blonde and curled into two tails, her regular clothes changed their shape and color, and a crown perched itself at an angle upon her head.

"In the name of the true Holy One, I, Royale Heart, must punish the Abomination!" The shout came out unbidden, and the light faded.

"Come, you are now tasked with cleansing the Evils from this world." Cerviel the cat jumped up on her shoulder. "There is much darkness in this world. You are the first source of light."

Hitomi's watch buzzed softly against her wrist. She opened her eyes and shut it off. Class was still going on, but nobody had noticed her sleeping in the back.

Running around town at all hours of the day & night chasing evil took a toll on her sleep schedule, so these micro-naps were a great help. She'd pick an hour where the teacher wouldn't be calling on the class much, be sitting in the back where she couldn't be easily seen, and knock out for a while.

The teacher started handing back the math test from the other day. Hitomi gulped a little. She was bad enough at math, but since she'd become Royale Heart, she'd had even less time to study. The paper landed on her desk and she covered it with her hand. She took a breath and looked.

It was a 27%. She sighed and proceeded to stuff the failing test into her desk where it would never again see the light of day.

Lunch rolled around, and the members of the 'Cupid Club' all met up on the roof to finish their meeting.

"Hitomi-chan, I believe we were on you? Your report on how Mariko-san and
Tsubasa-kun are doing?" Sakura gestured at Hitomi.

"Right. Well, I'm afraid to say things look a bit bleak for them right now. Tsubasa-kun was seen hanging around Shibuya with another girl, and it got back to Mariko-san. She's not speaking to him right now… I'm afraid that without a good explanation they may break up by the end of the week…" She sighed, somewhat forlorn.

"Well… I know that bad fortune can't be averted, and some of our members did express concern for Tsubasa-kun's faithfulness…" Sakura mulled this over a bit. "All right, I know what we're going to do. Karin-chan, you're in Tsubasa's class. I want you to ask him outright about what he was doing. You're still a trainee member, so he won't be as prone to lie to you."

"Sakura-sempai, I don't know if that'll work… The other students are starting to figure out what we do up here and some of them are pestering the official members to set them up with specific people. If it gets out I'm a trainee member, there'll be no end to my troubles." The smallest girl in the group shivered. "Plus Kumiko-senpai disbanded my last activity when we tried to make it an official club- I don't want to get on her bad side again! I was on cleanup duty every day for a whole month!"

Hitomi sighed. "I'll deal with Kumiko-san. She's in my class. I'll catch flak from her first if anything. If she tries to screw this one up, I'll warn everyone myself." The bells began to ring, signaling the end of lunch. "Alright, I'll talk to Mariko- she walks home with me sometimes. I'm sure we can sort this out."

Hitomi was enjoying her little chat with Mariko, who was still somewhat distraught over her boyfriend's unfaithfulness. She didn't know her walking buddy was secretly part of the school's matchmaking club, so she was more than happy to volunteer information.

"…And he's been so distant the past few weeks! I've tried everything and he still acts like he's got somewhere better to be most of the time…" Mariko sighed, near tears. "Oh, Hitomi-san I just don't know what I'm going to do…"

"I'm sure this will all end up for the best soon, Mariko-san, you just have to keep your chin up!" Hitomi patted her friend on the shoulder. "Now, what do you say we get some cake? I know a really good place not too far from here that has these delicious little-"

She was cut off by the explosion. It sent debris flying, and unfortunately threw Hitomi a fair distance as well. By the time she had gotten up, the monster had destroyed several smaller buildings and created a small mountain of rubble. She stood up, looked around, and once she was sure nobody would see her, she pulled out her pendant and held it aloft.

"Give me the Courage of the Queen and the Purity of a Princess!" she shouted and transformed. Then, she whistled before jumping up to shoot attacks at the creature. Within moments, Cerviel arrived and transformed himself into the pink form he used while they were fighting.

"What happened, Royale?" the cat asked as he jumped onto her shoulder. "where did this demon come from?"

"I don't know! I was walking home with Mariko-san… Oh no." she shot off another attack and dove down to where they had been standing. Her companion was nowhere to be found. "She's gone! Is she alright?" she looked around wildly.

"Keep your head on, Royale. You need to focus!" the cat berated her a moment before jumping down. "I will look for your friend. You go fight." He dashed off into the rubble and left Royale to fight.

She turned back to the monster and charged, firing off small burst attacks to keep it busy while she looked for a weakness. She was about to fire off a more powerful attack when she heard the voice.

It sounded… Odd. Like someone had pumped it through an auto tune program. It could have been either male or female, and it seemed to hurt the monster more than any of Hitomi's own attacks could have, all while giving Hitomi a sense of… Energy.

"One trick pony's only got one song, and one trick pony plays it all night long…"The song was coming from behind the monster. Hitomi jumped up onto the creature's back, jammed her scepter into it's flesh, and blasted it the rest of the way to death. "One trick pony never tries something new, one trick pony could be me or it could be you." The song finished, and it lent a massive energy boost to Hitomi's usual attack.

Once the creature fell and began dissolving, Hitomi looked up. Standing on top of a nearby building was a girl. She was wearing a black vest and skirt, both had bright rainbow trim, as well as matching stockings and bright mary-jane shoes that were currently flashing green. She also had on a pair of large headphones, and her hair was cut in a black bob with bright blue tips. In front of her, an old-fashioned microphone was floating.

The new girl leapt down, bringing her mike along. She landed in front of Hitomi, and bowed in greeting. "Pleasure to finally meet you, Royale heart."

"Who are you? Hitomi asked, slightly confused.

"Pardon my rudeness, I did fail to introduce myself. I am Pretty Rainbow Raver- And I believe we are allies in this war."