A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Benjamin A. Oliver
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is owned by Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.
Terra was sleeping soundly when she heard the doorbell. She awoke with a start, then looked at the clock.
According to it, she had just under two minutes to make it to school.
She was a blur getting ready; it took her approximately four seconds. She then rushed downstairs, grabbed her lunch, said goodbye to her parents, and rushed out the door.
"She seems quite full of energy this morning," Terra's father noted, impressed at his daughter's speed. "Has something… happened to her recently?"
"She's been off fighting evil," Kasumi said happily.
Terra's father thought about it for a moment, then nodded. "Yes… That would explain it."
When Serena woke up that morning, her clock said that she was going to be late. She attributed it to setting clock ahead. She would have stayed in bed had Luna not gotten her up. She also remembered that she had to meet Terra this morning, so she went to her house.
Ten seconds after she rang the doorbell, Terra ran out at an incredible speed, grabbed her by the arm and rushed off towards school.
This would not be a very abnormal experience for Serena had she not been flying behind the running Terra.
Terra was, however, running at just under mach one, was leaping over buildings to find shortcuts, and Serena WAS hanging in the air behind her as she ran.
Therefore, as one might guess, Serena's mind was whirling as this happened. Anyone else who saw this dismissed it as a figment of their imagination.
Terra, on the other hand, was so concentrated on getting to school on time that she didn't notice that she was, for all intents and purposes, breaking the laws of physics. Not to mention the speed limit. And, after studious avoidance of potential property damage, they had arrived at school… with a minute to spare.
"How… how did you do that?" Serena asked, recovering from the shock of the acceleration and deceleration. She suddenly wondered if Terra would mind doing it again. It was better than a roller coaster ride.
"I don't know… All of the sudden, I… could," Terra replied thoughtfully, in a very nice, sweet tone. "You know, I couldn't do that until this morning… Maybe it has something to do with the 'Sailor Senshi' thing…"
"Oh, could be, could be," Arby said, climbing out of Terra's lunch.
"WHAT'S THAT?!" Serena shouted, backing off in horror.
"What? Oh, him. He's an ArbyFish," Terra said cheerfully. "He's the one who showed up and asked me to help last night."
"In-deed!" the green and white ArbyFish confirmed.
"Oh my," Terra said, surprised at the blonde girl's reaction. "Well, he's the one that gave me a pendant and told me to say a phrase…"
Serena pulled herself off the ground. "Oh… so, he's kinda like Luna, then?" she asked, calming down.
"Luna?" Terra asked.
"My cat," Serena responded.
"Luna's awake?" Arby asked hopefully. Serena nodded. "'Scuse me, gotta go make a mushroom deliv'ry."
The ArbyFish flew off.
Serena and Terra looked at each other and shrugged, continuing their walk to school.
"By the way, what was he doing in your lunch?" Serena asked.
"Sleeping… I think. You'll have to ask him to be certain. To be honest, I haven't the foggiest idea," the cheerful redhead replied, still smiling. Then the bell rang. "Oh my!"
"Oh no, we're still late!"
"But if we're late, then why are there so many people walking around?"
Serena thought about it. "Oh! That was the FIRST bell. We still have five minutes."
Terra smiled… even more deeply than before. "Good. Being late would be delinquency. My mother would kill me if I was late for school."
Serena raised an eyebrow, completely unable to visualize the concept. "YOUR mother?"
Terra nodded, smiling. "Figuratively speaking, of course."
That particular morning, Luna had been following Serena and discussing possible past-life identities of the Starlight Knight and Tuxedo Mask, and later how to search for the Moon Princess.
Luna's memory was a tad fuzzy on the subject because of light brain damage incurred by the long wait in cryo-freeze, but she didn't know that. She did, however, remember the personality of the Moon Princess.
When Luna elaborated on this, Serena said that it sounded a lot like Terra, with whom she had become familiar while showing her around.
The moon cat had then followed Serena to Terra's house, where Serena had rung the doorbell and been snatched by what was, from Luna's perspective, a red, white, and blue blur.
Luna had then tried to follow the remaining dust trail, but a minute later, she had become buried in a pile of mushrooms that had been dropped on her.
"'Ello. 'Ow are you?" Luna heard a voice with an odd accent say. Dread instantly began to creep into her mind.
Oh no, it couldn't be… Luna thought in terror as she emerged from the pile, finally seeing the fluttering green seal. "ARBY?!" she shouted in complete and utter shock and disbelief.
"I'm back!" Arby said happily.
"No! I refuse to believe that this is happening!" Luna said, closing her eyes and covering her ears as best she could, humming loudly. All at once, memories of Arby came cascading back: memories of a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong…
~~~ Flashback ~~~
"I'm glad you could all be here to witness this momentous occasion," the Mercurian scientist said. "I would also like to thank and acknowledge the presence of Queen Serenity, who assisted us in funding this project; First Advisor Luna, for the donation of her DNA for this experiment; and the many scientists who worked on this project." Each nodded at their acknowledgment.
The observers were behind a thick pane of Plexiglas, and the scientists were communicating via microphone.
There was an interesting thing about the Silver Millennium: Nearly everybody used magic. It was the most powerful, most useful, and most available source of power in the Solar system… for those that could use it.
Those that couldn't had to stick to banging rocks together to light their fires, and could forget about doing anything really impressive like teleporting or spontaneously turning into a giant, fifty-meter-tall destructive cloud with a snap of their fingers.
At the dawn of the Silver Millennium, many of the native Mercurians were not very adept at magic, and eventually tired of having to bash rocks together and having to trade mined mineral deposits for vital materials that the planet could not produce on its own. Capitalism? Maybe, but having to constantly purchase and replace magical airstones to keep from suffocating on the atmosphere-devoid planet was a bit much.
When the prices for food and life-support escalated, it was finally decided that this would no longer be tolerated. The Mercurian government sent a message to the worlds it traded with, saying that it wouldn't take this anymore, and would find a non-magical way to do things… or die trying.
The other worlds that Mercury traded with (mainly Venus and the Moon) were somewhat shocked at the declaration, and replied that it was a futile effort; technology simply wasn't that advanced. They added that they would have ships standing by to resupply them, should they suddenly decide to change their mind at the last minute.
At that time, the people of Mercury were renowned for their lack of power and ingenuity. And so, it came as a great surprise when they, after only two months' work, developed hydroponics and terraforming, along with several other unexpected technologies.
A couple economic collapses later, Mercury was the most advanced world in the solar system (with the possible exception of Pluto… No telling with that planet, though). But in order to fully explore—
[GET ON WITH IT!!!]
Sorry, sorry! Where was I? Oh, yeah… The science project…
"As you know, this is our first step in being able to repair errors in the genetic structure and even repair an entire being from something as small as a single cell," another scientist continued. "Using this technology, terminally-ill patients could be restored from nothing more than their genetic samples." She clasped her hands together before finishing, "Well… This is it, the moment of truth."
She and other workers on the project began the final parts of the experiment.
The genetic sample was placed into the main unit. The main unit was essentially a large cylindrical tank filled with the proper chemicals. People began working at their various stations. They stopped, with a sense that completion was near.
One scientist off to the left noticed something odd about a steel plate cover of the main unit. He called over his supervisor. They removed the plate and looked in.
The two gasped and turned around, shocked at what they had just seen. One slammed his fist down on a button.
*WOOOP!*WOOOP!* Alarms sounded.
[WARNING! DANGER LEVEL CODE: WILL ROBINSON! ALL MUST EVACUATE NOW!] a slightly digitized voice said in an urgent tone.
Everyone hurried out of the affected area. They could see the beginnings of a dark green smoke forming in the lab as something began forcing its way out of the tank. It jarred repeatedly, huge dents appearing in the surface.
[DANGER: WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!]
As the last person left, the tank ripped open.
Smoke poured from the container, obscuring the shape that left it. The fifteen-inch-thick steel blast doors slammed closed.
The former observers went quickly to find whatever cover they could when the lab guards and the Queen's Sailor Senshi came forward to combat what horrors could have been created in the lab.
"I'm truly sorry," the head scientist said to Queen Serenity, preparing for imminent destruction at the hands (Or, more likely claws) of the failed experiment.
The steel doors began to glow a bright red.
The Sailor Senshi took ready defensive positions.
The door shattered inward in a flash of fire, sparks, and smoke.
When the smoke cleared, the doorway was empty… Or so everyone thought, until Luna picked up the terrifying, oh so terrifying words:
"'Ello! 'Ow are you?"
~~~ End Flashback ~~~
It was a frightening experience, Luna thought grimly. It had been the result of sabotage by an unknown party. The project was scrapped soon afterwards, since nobody wanted to risk a repeat incident.
Later, she had apologized to what had called itself the 'ArbyFish' for overreacting, and taken it upon herself to try to train him to become a royal advisor as she had. She thought it wouldn't be THAT much trouble to teach him.
She was wrong.
"Mushroom for the teacher?" Arby asked, overjoyed at finding his mentor.
"Um, no thanks. Perhaps later," Luna said, lightly frightened, scrambling out of the pile and continuing to try to get to Serena.
"'Ey, wait! I'm not through with you yet," Arby said, fluttering after the dark-furred cat.
Atomic Starlight Knight had just finished the final touches on what he euphemistically called 'The First Harbinger of Total Destruction'. Forty tons of Slice-em, Dice-em, Nuke-Em-Till-They-Glow power.
Yes, an excellent level-one sparring partner for my reincarnation, he thought.
Isn't this a little… excessive? he responded in an uneasy mental tone.
Nah, I watched Dragon Ball Z yesterday. This kind of thing is routine.
Ah, so when will the 50g training begin? he considered sarcastically.
As soon as I get the room set up, he thought seriously.
Oooookay. If you say so…
Well, get cracking!
Yeah, maybe we can blow something up!
Later, later. In just a few minutes…
But I want to blow something up now!
But I want to blow something up now! the personality in question insisted annoyingly.
*WHAM!* "Shut up, shut up! Everyone just SHUT UP!!" He yelled, pounding on his head.
Yes, there would be explosions today. He had called ahead and contracted for the removal of an old warehouse district. Nobody lived there. He had checked twice. The entire area was condemned and slated for demolition. Hey, public service AND random destruction of property for no apparent reason. Couldn't beat that.
He really couldn't ask anyone but himself to fight this thing. And so he would. With that in mind, he and his creation teleported to the area and began to set things up.
Back at school, Terra had just finished an exam, with half an hour to spare. She turned in her work and took out her SciFi novel and began to read. Then the intercom sparked to life.
Terra Incognito, please report to the parking lot, the intercom crackled.
Terra looked to the teacher, who shrugged, then to Serena, who was agonizing over one of the test questions.
Serena couldn't find a relation.
So, Terra packed up her book and went to the parking lot.
When she got there, she didn't see anyone. After about half a minute, she turned around to go back in.
Then she was grabbed from behind…
Terra found herself in a completely different area. There were abandoned, boarded-up buildings all over the place. She turned to look at who had taken her.
He looked like a shadow. And by a shadow, I mean that he was mostly invisible, and she wasn't entirely sure it was a he. It could have easily been, but she wasn't sure.
"Why am I here?" Terra asked as nicely as she could, given the shock factor. But she was good at asking nicely, regardless of the situation.
"Many have asked that question… Nobody really knows, although many believe that—" The shadow said in a dry voice until being cut off by Terra.
"No, why am I here NOW?" Terra clarified.
"Oh. I thought you wanted a philosophical discussion… Ah, well. You're here until you beat THAT," the shadow replied, pointing behind Terra. She turned around to see a hulking blue piece of evil-looking machinery flexing its three-foot razor-sharp claws and rotating its Gatling-gun style weaponry. It had an evil gleam in its red, roving eye-light. She turned back to the shadow.
"That?" Terra asked, wide-eyed.
"That," the shadow confirmed.
"Okay…" Terra began uneasily, turning towards the robot.
"Begin," the shadow said before waving goodbye and disappearing entirely. Terra turned back to the robot, feeling more than a little worried. She kept smiling, of course, albeit nervously.
It leapt at her, Gatling-energy canons blazing, claws fully extended. Massive property damage ensued.
Terra, using her recently advanced capabilities, acted on impulse and jumped out of the way.
The 'mech landed and turned toward her, guns still blazing. It launched a missile.
Terra jumped on top of the missile, then used it as a springboard to hop behind the robot. The missile exploded, destroying about half a block. The robot turned around, decimating another few buildings as Terra dodged once again.
Things proceeded in much the same manner for about three minutes. Terra would dodge, and the robot would blow things up. Occasionally, the robot would get a shot in, knocking Terra through a building or two, yet she remained relatively unscathed.
Looking around at the destruction, Terra decided that this had to end, one way or another. She jumped at the robot, kicking its arm hard enough to dislodge it. The arm clattered loudly to the ground.
"Oh my… Are you okay?" Terra asked, a little worried about the damage. The robot looked at the arm on the ground, then turned to Terra, nodded, then gave a sort of a "thumbs up" sign with its claws and continued fighting.
It scored a hit and knocked her down. Terra got up and brushed herself off.
"I've had quite enough of you!" She said sternly.
Terra, now in her equivalent of a killing rage, which would be slight annoyance for nearly any other being, leapt upwards, grabbed its other arm, and executed a total body flip on the robot, which crashed to the ground on its back. The other arm broke loose.
The robot got up.
"Are you beaten yet?" Terra asked nicely.
"TIS BUT A SCRATCH," the robot said in its digitized voice.
"A scratch?! Your arms are off!" Terra said incredulously, yet apologetically.
"I'VE HAD WORSE. COME ON, YA PANSY," it said, kicking Terra into another building, collapsing it entirely.
Terra climbed out of the rubble, looking slightly disheveled.
The robot kicked her again, sending her back a few yards, her feet digging into the pavement.
"Stop that, please," Terra said calmly.
"CHICKEN!" it taunted.
"I'll have your leg," Terra said.
Terra dove straight at the leg, shearing it off with a swift kick. The robot now hopped up and down on its remaining leg.
"You're a loony," Terra said, coming to that conclusion through extrapolation.
It kept hopping toward her.
She tapped lightly on the knee-joint.
Its leg collapsed out from under it. The robot fell face down into the asphalt.
"ALL RIGHT, WE'LL CALL IT A DRAW," it said grudgingly.
Terra began to walk off to look for the shadow. The shadow appeared behind her, grabbing her and disappearing.
"OH, I SEE. RUNNIN' AWAY, EH? COME BACK AND GET WHAT'S COMIN' TO YA!" the robot boomed from its prone position on the road. "I'LL BITE YOUR LEGS OFF!"
Walking back into the classroom, looking as beat up as she did, yet still having a completely happy expression, Terra couldn't help but notice the questioning stares of the students that were looking up from their tests at her.
"What happened, Terra?" Serena asked, "It looks like you got into a wrestling match with a lawnmower and lost."
"No, actually," Terra said, calmly shaking her head, brushing back a stray lock of red hair.
"What happened?" Ms. Haruna asked with concern.
"What?" Melvin pressed. The rest of the class was obviously waiting in suspense for the answer.
"I won," she replied in a nonchalant manner, returning to her desk, calmly taking out her book and resuming.
A mass facefault ensued.
Now, THAT was fun, Atomic Starlight Knight thought as he picked up the battered remains of the robot. The area slated for demolition had been almost completely cleared by the fighting.
I haven't been able to knock down that much since… Well, since the first time I entered this system.
Ah, yes, those were the days…
~~~ Flashback ~~~
A planetary system was the location of the main events. Its star was nothing out of the ordinary. However, all of its planets were inhabited to one degree or another. An amazing array of civilizations were apparent, the most prominent centered around the third innermost planet and its satellite.
Many powerful beings existed within this solar system, some backed by the power of entire worlds; the Senshi. Not only this, but also the ruler of the Moon, the third planet's satellite, held an artifact that tapped into the fabric of reality itself: the Silver Imperium Crystal.
It was the Silver Millennium at its highest, and the inhabitants, when united, could ward off any threat that thought to destroy it.
That is, provided they had advance warning and time to prepare.
But sometimes, they were just caught off guard…
Such was the case in this particular scenario, as a large spherical object unobtrusively wound its way through the solar system, going almost unnoticed until it intercepted the orbit of Jupiter and plunged deep into the planet's thick atmosphere, blackening a small portion of the gas giant as it did so.
This event was completely forgotten as the blemish disappeared, and no one thought anything more of it.
Ten years after the sphere arrived, a large spacecraft emerged from deep within Jupiter. Witnesses of its rising described it as something from a nightmare. It was pure black, with a slightly pointed ellipse at the front, connected to a sloped semi-cylindrical body, which encased a yellow 'eye'. On the back, it had two struts that connected to two cylinders, parts of which were glowing an ominous blue.
The spacecraft reached escape velocity and headed straight for Pluto. There, it destroyed several key buildings, throwing the inhabitants into disarray, and its dark controller left its craft and personally fought and incapacitated Sailors Uranus and Neptune. Sailor Pluto managed to escape unharmed.
When the creature felt it had accomplished its goal there, it chose Saturn as its next target, destroying the spaceports and wreaking havoc on the population centers.
The local Senshi was home, however, and dealt a great deal of damage to the spacecraft's shields, requiring the pilot to once again exit its craft and personally deal with the Senshi. After a long and drawn-out battle, Sailor Saturn was defeated.
After incapacitating all of the other powerful fighters it could find, the horrible menace went for the Moon.
On its way, it encountered a fleet of ships sent to stop it.
Destroying or disabling every vessel it considered a threat, the beast continued onward.
As it arrived, the ship proceeded to blast the capital city to pieces, its dark controller intent on the obliteration of the Lunar civilization.
However, the four inner Senshi were present to ward off this threat, as was the Moon's queen. They were in no mood to just stand by and let it happen.
"Moon Cosmic Power!" Queen Serenity intoned, holding aloft the Imperium Silver Crystal, attached to the Crescent Moon Wand.
[Imperium Silver or Silver Imperium? Oh well, same thing. Or was it the Ginzuishou? The Atomic Starlight Knight could never remember…]
The Crystal's energy swept forward, shearing away the remnants of the craft's shields, finally leaving it open to other attacks. Queen Serenity nearly collapsed from the effort, but held onto the Wand to shield the area from the energy discharges the craft kept emitting.
[Torpedoes and Phasers!]
"Looks like it's up to us now," Venus observed, as all the Senshi began a combined attack whose call was drowned out as a torpedo exploded nearby.
Serenity could not hold the defense for much longer and survive; but then, she could not drop it and survive much longer either, come to think of it…
The combined powers forced their way to the craft, impacting at an angle, tearing across the hull, ripping apart the front section and throwing deep gashes along the rest. Using what was left of its power, the craft turned and fired its engines, moving into an orbit that would hopefully take it back to Jupiter, where the home base rested.
All began to breathe a sigh of relief when they saw something else coming.
From the shattered front of the vessel flew a dark shape. It swooped toward the Senshi with a loud, enraged screech.
They ducked a snatch of its talons. It flew down and landed in front of them, lashing out with its huge jaws, roaring menacingly.
"Mercury Ice Storm!" Mercury said, creating a ferocious gust of ice, encasing the monster in a glacier.
It broke free, shattering the ice as it began to glow with a blue energy, growling as it created its own version of the ice storm. High velocity blocks of ice hit Mercury repeatedly, knocking her cold.
The remaining Senshi threw their attacks at once.
"Mars Celestial Fire, SURROUND!"
"Supreme Thunder DRAGON!"
"Venus Love Chain Entangle!"
The beast cried out in agony as the attacks struck home. It instantly retaliated, unleashing enhanced versions of the original attacks upon the senders. By the end, they were effectively disabled, for the time being.
It turned toward the only one remaining that was worth fighting: The Queen.
Serenity was rapidly running out of options. She felt that she needed to find some way of communicating with it; she had to convince it to stop!
Enhancing any latent telepathy she may have possessed with the Crystal, she attempted to contact the creature.
Acting on reflex, the creature copied the telepathic connection, downloading information from the Queen and the Senshi's minds. Soon, it was able to understand what was being said to it on a mental level.
~Why are you doing this?~ Serenity asked, keeping her mental tone even.
The creature stopped. It was genuinely dumbfounded at the question. It had, apparently, never felt the need to consider this.
The internal chaos and turmoil churned out a multitude of answers on a low level. It smiled its fanged grin as it finally came up with a definite answer.
~BECAUSE I ENJOY IT!!!~ the beast returned triumphantly, screeching and continuing to advance toward the Queen.
Serenity's expression darkened as she processed what it had just communicated to her. Could this be true? A creature delighting only in destruction? No other reason? She had to cut off this inner philosophical debate, as the monster had seemed to have resolved its confusion and was preparing another assault.
The Queen's available courses of action were once again reduced. Grasping at an idea, she began to call upon another feature of the Silver Imperium Crystal.
"Moon Crystal Healing!" Serenity shouted, holding the crystal forward, attempting to cleanse the evil in the beast before her. It stopped, writhing in agony as the magic did its work.
After a second of this, the chaotic nature of the creature's thoughts calmed down significantly and it started to think semi-coherently. In the next second, its thoughts went on an almost overlapping analysis.
Wait, why AM I doing this?!
You just said it. You enjoy it.
I checked the minds of the others. Why don't they enjoy it?
A quick, yet absurdly extensive inner discussion followed.
Oh… OOPS! Eh, heheh… Is my face red, or what?
Who'da thunk it…
You mean… they DON'T like being destroyed?
Not as much as I like destroyin' 'em…
What kind of life is that?!
Small, puny life forms…
Heh. I'm the most resilient thing they've ever fought!
Here's something interesting: Fashion Design!
Where's the fun in that?
Hmm… That's interesting.
They flog their young? Sheesh, and they think I'm barbaric…?
Hey, I'm losing power here…
It has something to do with the crystal that… woman… has.
Queen Serenity, ruler of the Moon Kingdom… The most influential force in the solar system… Holder of the most powerful artifacts in the known galaxy… Lots of trusted friends… An all-in-all terrific person…
That's who she and those girls… the Senshi think she is.
Oh. Nice record. She has a daughter, you know.
That's nice… Oh, she's a CUTE one, isn't she?
Queen Serenity likes to think so…
The princess is about nine right now, huh?
Isn't that sweet? Family groups, peace, love… and war!
Can't forget war! Destruction! YEAH!!
For at least two more seconds, several encyclopedias' worth of data, feelings, and beliefs were catalogued in the creature's still-turbulent mind. It didn't know quite what to make of most of it.
What is the deal with the low-cut royal gowns?!?!?!?!
How much wood COULD a woodchuck chuck…
you're caught in a storm,
o/Oh, I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts…!\o
PORK is the other white meat!?
A planet where APES evolved from MEN?!
Red-collared sailor suits WITH red miniskirts?!
o/I'm Serenity the Eighth, I am!\o
A red, tuxedo-style sailor-Senshi uniform with high heels!?
There was a Senshi
I do NOT care for these peoples' fashion sense…
A PRINCE who was born to be Queen!? What the… ?!
Maybe if they forego the tiara and add bracelets…
But what does DANK really mean!?
The earrings HAVE to go…
Her mind was covered in CHOCOLATE?!
GREEN hair?! She has GREEN hair?! What's wrong with blue?
Then, the destructive beast noted something…
Look! The Senshi are up again.
And they look mad.
Wow, remember that last volley they sent?
Yeah, that was painful!
Must've been weakened by that bout with Saturn…
Saturn was nothing—
—Right! It was the crystal that I… her… them… &#$%!
It was the Ginzuishou's power…
…Which seems to have cut off most of mine.
My defenses are shot… It'll be at least an hour before—
And the Senshi are charging up for another round!!!!
Behind Queen Serenity, Sailors Mars, Venus, and Jupiter had managed to stand. Mercury wasn't able to do much else than groan.
Uh, oh. I'm dead.
Got that right. I can't block a gnat, much less—
Unless you find some way to convince them not to.
Is it too late for an apology?
Let's see… You caused destruction on a planetary scale, inflicted huge casualties, wiped out their fleet, nearly killed this particular group, and to top it off, you're a "big, scary monster," to quote one of their thoughts. I don't think a simple 'sorry' would suffice.
Right. I checked. They want this threat GONE.
So, your point being? Oh, perhaps you're thinking that they MIGHT not destroy me if they thought I didn't do it, at least not of my own free will, and if I am no longer a threat?
That's the idea, but you're still a "big, scary monster."
Hey, if that's a problem, shapeshift.
Can I do that?
Yeah, but if you want them to not detect that you're really a "big, scary monster," you'll have to lock yourself in for a while, modify your aura, and act like a nice whatever-it-is you shifted into.
Not to mention finding a plausible story to come up with.
Okay, I could probably deal with that, just check what I know of them, and… Yeah. Could work.
Whatever you're going to do, do it now. They're closing in.
Serenity hadn't noticed the Senshi moving, since she was still concentrating on her attempt to purge the evil from the monster.
The weakened Senshi desperately began to call upon their powers, gathering together whatever energies they could for their attacks against their foe.
"Jupiter Thunder, CRASH!"
"Venus Crescent Beam, SMASH!"
"Mars Fire, IGNITE!"
All right, shift and submerge!
All attacks impacted on the creature, driving it down. Unable to stop itself, it reflexively retaliated, creating duplicate attacks, all slamming into the Senshi, taking them out before it also went down.
The unexpected response caused a psychic shockwave that tore through the beast's mind as it struggled to complete what it started.
As Serenity finished her act, the creature blurred and shifted into a much smaller form.
Slumped on the ground before them was a young girl, perhaps nine years old. She was wearing a green dress, had red hair, and was very unconscious.
Serenity fell to her knees, breathing raggedly.
All of the inner Senshi survived, as did the Queen.
And so did the girl.
That was fun, Atomic Starlight Knight thought. It was the first time he had ever been defeated. It was about time, too. The 'destroy everything' angle was getting REALLY old. It took him a long time to get his mind back in order, but he did it, and now he had something evil to fight. That was much more satisfying than just 'everything'. Left the nice landscape behind, too.
He wasn't as powerful as he was before, but the challenge was fun. He kinda missed his shapeshifting capabilities, though. The "Moon Crystal Healing" had sapped his resources, completely severing his link to his more powerful energy resources, and so he couldn't exactly destroy a planet anymore. Another result of either the Healing or the informational discussion was that he really didn't want to, either. Not an inhabited one, in any case.
Inanimate objects were fun to watch explode, but for some reason, the wanton mass destruction of civilization just didn't have the same satisfying effect it once did. He knew; he'd tried.
Oh, well, A.S.K. thought. He had learned to work limited and on an energy budget a long time ago, and had since only stored reserves for emergencies. About twenty thousand years worth of emergency energy, actually, but oddly enough, he didn't feel like bragging at this time. He didn't have much use for it, though, since his knowledge of things to do with that energy had been severely reduced somewhere during the end of the Silver Millennium.
He couldn't destroy civilizations… Well, he could, but it just wouldn't be proper.
However, for now, blowing up evil was fine. Maybe he'd find some use for that reserve sometime.
Luna had caught up to Serena and Terra, who looked a lot better than when she had just fought the robot, not that Luna knew about that.
It had taken Luna most of the day, with Arby chasing her around, but she made it. She fully intended to discuss the question as to whether Terra was the Moon Princess or not.
Arby was still following, off on a rant about why you need to stay away from mold.
"Oh, ya see, ya gotta 'void mold. Bad for ya mushrooms. Mushrooms'd attempt ta foight it off, but it wouldn't work all that well. But if ya've got mold, what ya need to do is fill up somethin' loike eighty billion gallons a' anti-mildew spray and throw it all on the fire. The fire'll take out that mould roight noicely if ya inject an anti-inflammatory inta' the mushroom's… ecosystem, and then if ya poile on some'a'ya green beans… Senzu beans'll work out, but the REAL powa' is in the GREEN beans… Truly magnificent power, along with the mushrooms and devastatin' th' mold," Arby rambled on intelligently.
"Serena, Terra!" Luna called to the girls.
"Oh, there you are, Luna. What is it?" Serena asked.
"We still need to find out about the Moon Princess," Luna replied, happy to talk about something other than fungus.
"Oh, right! And you thought Terra might be it?" Serena replied, remembering the earlier conversation.
"Actually, you did," Luna said.
"Oh yeah. Anyway," Serena said, turning to Terra, "do you think you could be the reincarnation of a Princess that lived on the Moon thousands of years ago?"
Terra blinked. She thought about it. "Hmm. Interesting. Moon Princess," she contemplated, then frowned. "Doesn't ring a bell."
"Do you remember anything from the Silver Millennium? Dreams, flashbacks, anything like that?" Luna asked.
"No, I'm sorry. I don't remember a thing about it," Terra said supportively.
"Please try. It's very important," Luna said.
"No, it's just that, I do remember something about a princess, but whenever I try to remember more, I hit a block, and get a dull headache for a few minutes. Is there anything you could do to help me remember if I was?" Terra asked.
The black moon cat thought for a second. "I do have telepathic abilities… I could try to revive memories about that, if they exist."
"Well, then, do it," Serena said.
"Are you ready?" Luna asked Terra.
The cheerful redhead nodded enthusiastically.
"All right… Luna Mind-meld!" Luna said as she began the telepathic connection.
The telepathic cat dove into Terra's mind, surprised to find it neatly swept, dusted, and looking as if nobody had lived there until recently; everything was all wrapped in neat little pink bows. She did a quick mental scan, becoming extremely fascinated at finding that the blur that took Serena earlier was Terra, and was also quite surprised at finding out about the battle with the robot.
She shrugged those off, looking for Silver Millennium memories, but the only thing she found was an unusual psychic connection. Following that, she wandered into an extremely odd place.
The best description for the mind Terra was linked to was… a bachelor pad. Random articles of 'clothing' strewn all over the place, a stacked and numbered 'can' collection, and about a thousand 'tenants'.
Things got stranger when the destruction of many planets were shown on a mental equivalent of a television set, put to the music of the 1812 Overture. Encyclopedias were strewn across a table, along with plausible plans for world domination that were completely covered in coffee stains.
Philosophical discussions, political debates, sparring matches, and wall-street stock markets were breaking out all over the place.
Luna was extremely confused. She searched for anything recognizable. She found a dark, ominous presence, but it was constantly being beaten up by several 'people' at once.
Past that, there was a 'photo album'. Checking into that, Luna found many recognizable snapshots of semi-familiar locations from the Silver Millennium. There were also depictions of battles, the final one of which involved Queen Serenity fighting Metallia.
Flipping through it mentally, Luna found groups of pictures with two girls next to Queen Serenity. One she recognized as the Moon Princess that she was looking for, but she wasn't able to make out any other features for some reason. The other she instantly recognized as Terra. The caption under the picture read from left to right: Moon Princess, Queen Serenity, Moon Princess (adopted). The name on the right was circled with black marker, with a glowing "ME!" inscribed next to it.
Luna suddenly felt a jar to her consciousness. She turned around to see huge knights attacking her with very large fish. She pulled out as fast as she could. Each jar seemed to knock out a memory of this particular experience.
"Luna, Luna? LUUUNAAA! Are you okay?" Serena was saying, waving a hand in front of Luna's eyes. Luna shook herself awake and looked at Terra, who was smiling pleasantly at being able to help.
"What? Yes, Serena, I'm fine," Luna said, then turned to Terra, "I lost part of what I found out along the way, but I'm sure that you are a Moon Princess!"
"Cool! So she's the one I have to protect?" Serena asked.
"I said a Moon Princess. I'm almost certain that there is another one," Luna replied, attempting to recall whatever she could.
"Another princess?" Serena asked.
"Yes," Luna said. "One of them was adopted, I think."
"An adopted princess?" Serena asked, unsure of the concept.
"Yes, it was unusual… as were the circumstances concerning her arrival to the Moon Kingdom," Luna said, attempting to recover her own memory.
"What happened?" Serena asked.
Luna couldn't remember exactly right now. "I'll… tell you later," she said, backing out of the conversation.
Later that night, Luna made a report to Central Control. After the ridiculous password, she told what she had found.
"The adopted Moon Princess… This was unexpected. As was the reappearance of Arby," Central Control said.
"Do you know who awakened him?" Luna asked.
"No. Report back when you have found more," Central Control replied before shutting off communication.
"So what am I supposed to do now?" Luna asked rhetorically. There was a click and a hum as a machine activated behind her.
"'Ello, sir, I am C-3PO, 'uman cyborg relations," an odd voice said. (Oh, come on! We all know that it's Arby by now, right? Right.) Luna turned to see Arby talking to a different machine.
"Password: I would very much like a piece of cheese," Arby finished. "With gravy."
[My information: a mental scan was attempted. A defensive retaliation incurred. The training is going well. What do you have to report?] the machine intoned casually.
"Secon'd Control, got any more 'a those 'eavy blunt objects?" Arby asked anxiously.
[Arby! I told you to only contact me if you knew something I didn't,] Second Control replied disapprovingly.
"Oh. Roight. But do ya 'ave any?" Arby asked.
Second Control sighed. [Sure, I'll send one right over. A reminder: they are NOT used for crushing insects.]
"Oh, but I likes to! Gives 'em flava'!" Arby said pleadingly.
[What the… Oh, just forget it. Pick it up at the usual spot. And before you ask, YES, I'll include the toothpicks,] Second Control said before signing off.
"Thank you very much," Arby said, saluting.
"Arby?! Who was that, and what was that all about?" Luna asked.
The ArbyFish turned around. "'Ello, Luna. That was Second Control. 'E woke me up, and I just asked for an 'eavy blunt object. Gotta have blunt objects n' toothpicks, ya know. Heavy… blunt… seals… toothpicks… sort a' a package deal when ya come to think 'bout it."
"W…why?!" Luna asked in complete confusion.
"Well, sum a' th' mushrooms are stagin' a revolt. Ya see, if I club the mushrooms and feed 'em toothpicks, I don't 'ave to club the seals," Arby said confidently.
Luna raised an eyebrow. "I see…" she said, constantly losing confidence in her student's sanity… As if he had any in the first place.
"Well, gotta go get back to work. Got mushrooms ta farm 'n toothpicks ta manufact'r, ya know," Arby said before flying off.
Luna sighed in relief. "Perhaps one of these days I'll find out what he's talking about," she said to herself, then reconsidered. "Then again, maybe, just maybe, if I'm very lucky, I'll never have to…"
[End Chapter 2.]
"Today, we learned that if a large, spherical object unobtrusively enters your kingdom…"
<Scene of a large, spherical object diving into Jupiter's atmosphere>
"…YOU SHOULD BLAST IT TO ATOMS! YEAH, BABY!!!!!"
<Scene of a dark creature blasting the Moon Kingdom>
"And never hold back! Sailor Nuke sez…"
"BWAHA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA!!!"
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