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It's that time again...
I'd almost forgotten about this preview. Did I actually preview this?
With Setsuna I can never be sure.

*****
Big Ass Key spiny
*****
The winds of Eternity howled against her back and not so much kept her standing - as forced standing to be.
It was a very good thing - for the moment, Setsuna was holding the gates barred mostly by force of aching shoulders and will, Garnet Orb glowing crimson and the time Key buried firmly in the 'locked' position in the seal of time - but the delicate adjustments and machinations of technology and sorcery that /could/ be done would/will have been.
For the 'moment' the job was mainly keeping the things from bashing the door down - as they tried over and over again -
Eventually the attacks stopped and a ragged second later the time-winds died to a whisper as the gate itself entered the eye of the Cronos Typhoon she'd created to help drive the enemy back.
That would put the bulk of the storm squarely through their forces.
Setsuna braced herself wearily against the gates and gasped for breath in the sudden moment of calm.
She knew it would not last.
Against what existed beyond the gates of time, the never-born things from beyond the history of the worlds, even her time control could only accomplish so much.
"So many." She breathed as she recovered. "So many. " It had been worse before. Once. It would be worse again: history ment very little to things that existed beyond the gate. Every successive attack was all former attacks, too.
But the gate remained closed by the strength of it's 'lone' guardian. It's programs had not - yet -crashed.
For 'now'.
Setsuna flinched at the touch of her own fingers and was then turned gently around and forced to drink as another her dragged her away from the door - and yet another took her place.
Inside time she could never have held the gate at all. Here at the gates themselves...there was very, very little she could not hold it against, if she brought enough of herself.
"Unfortunately," The other her agreed, remembering the thought, "There are -still- only so many of me."
Only so many moments inside time she could be called from that she /had/ not been called from. Only so much time left at all, even when she could twist and change it here ruthlessly as was forbidden to her within the time-stream itself for very good reason.
Other beings might wield whatever time magics they wanted. If the Guardian of the Gate did so, the echos of her action could conceivably echo back from both ends of time - as indeed, it once had, in the abortion of time that had called itself 'Apsu'.
/Probably/ no one within time remembered that paradox loop - the result of violating her rule - to prevent the extinction of human life and possibly reality itself admittedly, but violated anyway - and dying. Dead or no, she'd had to clean up her own mess anyway.
Then again, with the inner and outer Senshi, all her experience occasionally did her no good at all in predicting what would go on.
"We ought to look into getting trustworthy help in the next century or so." She told herself wearily. "If such a thing exists."
"We might be surprised." The other her said and threw up a hand, shielding them both from the regathering storm wall. "There are a couple of maybe promising looking girls. Homura-chan, that Kinomoto girl - If they can manage not to horribly die."
"Managing not to horribly die," Setsuna told herself firmly, "Is something we should preach less and practice more."
"I think so too. On three?"
Setsuna nodded and then broke into a run for the gate, starting the count with "Three."


          • End of Time Spiny
            *****


Preview
Crimson eyes studied the papers carefully and within the hood that hid everything else but those glowing crimson orbs a thin, scimitar smile grew.
"My dear Cobalt," Their owner murmured raptly, "for keeping such detailed notes - /Thank you/."

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