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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.


Chapter 9-A


Theorizing that he could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Samuel Beckett stepped onto the Quantum Leap Accelerator… and vanished.

Now, he finds himself leaping from life to life, facing mirror images that are not his own.

His only guide is Al, a holographic representation of a man from the future…

Sam finds himself striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping that his next leap will be the leap home…


The familiar light washed over Dr. Beckett, leaving him in another place, another time…

He sat up, apparently in some sort of bed. He glanced around, looking for some indication of where he was… who he was…

"Molly, time to get up!" a woman's voice called.

Sam's jaw dropped as he caught sight of his reflection… that of a young, brownish-red-headed girl.

"Oh boy…"

[Cue Quantum Leap intro.]


"Go get 'em, Lina!"

"Um, thanks, Gourry."

"Take 'er down, ‘Timmy!"

"Right! You bet, Naga!"

The two fighters stood, facing each other in ready combat stances. Two observers were standing away at a relatively safe distance. This could get ugly…

"Source of all power," Lina began, a hint of venom in her voice.

'Tim held his hands together and began to generate a small ball of yellow energy.

"Crimson power burning bright!" the orange-haired sorceress continued dramatically.

"Mouko Takabisha!" 'Tim shouted confidently, firing the ball at his foe.

Lina ducked under it. "FIREBALL!" She completed her incantation, releasing a rather large, flaming sphere at 'Tim.

"Gyah!" 'Tim shouted, seemingly as a battle cry as he leapt out of the way of the oncoming blast.

*BLAM!* The big, red ball of fire tore into the dry road they were fighting on, blasting up a lot of dust, obscuring the view.

"Go Lina!" Gourry cheered, waving a small flag that bore the same words.

"Hey! Get back here!" Lina shouted, squinting against the dust.

There was Silence for a few moments as the sorceress tried to find her quarry. She began to open her mouth to cast another spell when…

"Heh heh heh," 'Tim chuckled in his best vibrato, breaking the silence (which was very mad at BEING broken, by the way), doing a terrific job of sounding malevolent, "Is that the best you have to offer, little girl?"

From the sidelines, Naga laughed maniacally. "OHO HO HO HOOOO!"

If this intimidation tactic worked, it didn't show, partially because Lina didn't frighten easily (unless, of course, you happened to mention her big sister), but mostly because the dust was, as previously mentioned, obscuring the view.

Actually, something about 'Tim's statement seemed to infuriate her all the more. Plus, his lack of silence clued her in on his location. "Dill Brand!"

*BLAM!*CRACK!!* "YEOUCH!" the green-camouflage-wearing fighter shouted as the ground blasted up from beneath him, smashing into him loudly. (And painfully, but that's kind of a given…)

The dust settled, and the two fighters looked at each other. One was completely unscathed, and the other was… actually scathed a great deal, but still looked like he was enjoying the fight.

"Oh, come on!" 'Tim taunted. "You can do better than that!"

"Yeah!" Gourry agreed.

Lina raised an eyebrow, anger draining from her expression. "What kind of masochist are you?!"

"The obsessed kind!"

Naga snickered. "The best kind!"

Lina glanced at Naga, then looked back at 'Tim. "I… think you've had quite enough."

'Tim smirked. "Oh, come on, ya pansy!" he said, taking a bandanna off his head and flinging it at her.

The sorceress wordlessly raised a defensive barrier. The razor-sharp cloth glanced off.

"Come on," 'Tim urged, "fight back."

Lina folded her arms and turned away. "No."

'Tim frowned. "Please?"

"No."

"Pretty please?"

"No!"

"Pretty please with sugar on top?"

"No!!"

"Pretty, pretty please with sprinkles?"

"No!!!"

"Pretty, pretty, pretty please with chocolate chips and whipped cream with a cherry on top?"

"NO!!!!"

"I'll be your best friend…"

"NO!!!!!"

"Aw, come on!"

"NO!!!!!!" Lina shouted, turning back towards her opponent, fire in her eyes.

There was Silence between them for a moment… the crackling, destructive sort that obliterates worlds.

"Oh," 'Tim finally said. "This is about that 'little girl' thing I said earlier, isn't it? Well, I'm sorry."

Lina's expression softened.

"What I should have said," the soon-to-be-doomed individual continued, an evil gleam coming to his eye, "was little BOY!"

That did it.

"Flare Arrow!" Lina shouted, summoning a flaming bow and arrow, and firing it at her adversary.

*BLAAAAAM!* This time, 'Tim didn't quite manage to dodge. His incinerated body thudded to the ground.

Lina wasn't finished yet.

"Darkness beyond twilight,
Crimson beyond blood that flows,
Buried in the flow of time…"

"Uh oh," 'Tim gurgled, finally realizing that he had metaphorically bitten off a little more than he could chew.

"Shouldn't have done that," Gourry said, running for cover.

"In thy great name,
I pledge myself to darkness.
Let all the fools,
Who stand in our way,
Be destroyed by the power you and I possess!"

Naga laughed evilly as she backed off.

"Computer," 'Tim choked from his prone position on the ground.

"DRAGON SLA—"

"END PROGRAM!!!"


The simulation ended and the scenery disappeared, leaving a room walled by numerous grids. 'Tim tried to stand, but slumped into a partial kneeling position, sizzling slightly.

"Computer," he croaked, "activate the EMH."

'Tim then fell face-first into the floor, twitching.

The EMH appeared. "Please state the nature of the medical emergency." He looked down and saw the scorched individual. "This is the fiftieth time I've needed to be activated tonight. You know, you should really consider a safer hobby."

"Never," 'Tim choked out, "not (cough) until I master every last technique in the book."

"Hmm," the hologram mumbled as he began to scan his patient with a medical tricorder. "That wouldn't happen to be the book that describes the Bakusai Tenketsu, the Hiryuu Shoten Ha, the Neko-Ken—"

The doctor roughly turned 'Tim over, ignoring his groans of pain. "Ha!" the charred patient laughed, then erupted into fits of hoarse coughing. "I WROTE that book! Besides, the Neko-Ken (HACK!) is nothing. Not when one has mastered… THE KAWAII-KEN!"

*BOOM!* *CRASH!* *OMINOUS THUNDER!*

"The 'cute fist'?" the doctor asked cynically.

"Well… (COUGH!) Yeah! It's the deadliest technique in the universe, I'll have you know!"

"Why don't you use that, then?"

'Tim groaned, clenching his teeth, trying to find some inner way to block the searing fountains of anguish erupting all over his smashed and burned body. Words can barely scratch upon the suffering he was feeling. It was like he was being torn apart and spread across the wall, stretching his skin to the breaking point, his bones being ground into powder…

That was just from thinking about the Kawaii-Ken, by the way. "Doctor… It's an… Extremely harsh method of combat. Those other attacks are far less painful. I just need to learn to use them, and I'll be set."

"I see."

Technically, he already knew all the techniques, having picked them up in the twenty thousand or so years since the fall of the Silver Millennium… As a matter of fact, he had invented several of them, but he hadn't bothered to practice that often, considering that most involved the manipulation of large amounts of Chi. He didn't really have that in any significant quantity up until recently, and there are far easier and more effective types of energy to duplicate.

To give an example, what he would normally do with his energy would be somewhat similar to the difficulty an average (or statistically average) person would experience sitting down and reading a book. Not that hard. Quite easy, in fact.

In order to duplicate Chi energy, he would have to do something on the order of having that same person take that same book, use sheer force of will to make it levitate some five inches in front of their face, and sing the text that was being read to the tune of Hungarian Rhapsody #2, all the while dodging and smashing rather large, fast-moving boulders with their left index finger.

Not impossible, per se; but it just wasn't done casually. Chi doesn't store that well, either, so draining it from others, besides being an extremely rude thing to do, wouldn't yield very good results.

Why anyone would want to take human energy was a complete mystery to him. Unless one has a constant supply, like say… a human being does, then its effects would be extremely limited.

However, the youma seemed to work quite well with it, for some reason. Like any other energy, it could be channeled to create blasts, levitate, make a shield, and so on.

But if you were to ask his opinion, he'd say that it really wasn't optimally suited for that purpose. As a matter of fact, the only thing that it really worked well for was to repair damage in some types of energy matrixes.

Human energy did have a broad spectrum to choose from, and the better matrixes usually did have a system that fixed or expanded itself, given the proper shade of emotion in the energy it was fed… But they never needed to drain energy back in the Silver Millennium, as far as he knew. Perhaps-

"Interesting," the doctor commented as he completed his scan, disrupting 'Tim's train of thought. "You have second and third degree burns over ninety percent of your body, five broken ribs, several minor skull fractures, a major lung puncture, a nearly severed spinal column—"

"Just -URK!- gimme another one of those (*COUGH*) beans!"

The doctor sighed, putting away his medical tricorder. "Senzu beans are no replacement for proper—"

"Doctor, just do it!" 'Tim forced out.

The Starfleet-uniformed program paused. "Very well, if you will not respect my opinion on this matter…"

The EMH handed 'Tim a small, green bean.

The heavily hurt part-time human being began to shiver as he put it into his mouth, finally going into shock from his injuries.

As he swallowed the magical bean, his burns vanished. His ribs knit back together, and all other damage quickly healed. 'Tim stood up, taking a deep breath and stretching. "Yeah. That works…"

"Now that you're feeling better," the doctor began as he handed 'Tim a pamphlet, "if you insist on training like this, then I highly recommend you master this. Computer, deactivate the EMH."

The doctor vanished.

'Tim stared at the piece of paper in his hand. "School of Anything Goes Martial Arts Secret Technique? That's a new one…"

[The time is now six-thirty A.M. in this time zone,] the computer said. [Time for the two in question to get up for school.]

'Tim looked up. "Well, take care of it, then."

[Certainly, sir! By the way, your new employee should be arriving soon.]

"Huh?"

[Your employee.]

'Tim stared blankly, not remembering. "Who?"

[The one with the spatulas.]

'Tim snapped his fingers in realization. "Right. Ukkyo! I forgot about her!"

He began to walk off, but he collapsed onto his face, snoring.

[SIR!] the computer shouted.

"Eh, what?" the pink-haired man in scorched clothes asked groggily, slowly standing back up. "Oh… I forgot. I need sleep on occasion, right?"

[Correct.]

"Yes… those stupid replicated Senzu seeds don't help with that much… And, could you please confirm for me what I've been doing all night…?"

[Training, as you once put it, and getting horribly mutilated whenever things got really difficult.]

"Yes… Please explain to me why I've been getting so horribly mutilated."

[Because you deactivated the holodeck safety subroutines.]

"And…?"

[You've been 'training' against holographic representations of people with powers far beyond what you're capable of dealing with.]

"Why aren't I capable of dealing with them, hmmmm?"

[You are not on their level.]

"And that's because I need more training," 'Tim said, smiling, prepared to go through the whole thing again. "I think I'll try the Vegita simulation next. He doesn't look too tough. He's just a Sayajin, after all. Used to sauté those li’l' buggers. Tasted great, especially when transformed…" He smiled as he remembered a particularly satisfying experience. "That gold-furred super-Oozaru a while back… Mmm-mmm. Good eatin'!"

[Sir,] the computer began uneasily, [Sayajin are nearly impossible to defeat in nearly all circumstances. It would be… unwise to engage one in any sort of combat, to say the least. Moreover, I would recommend that you transform whenever you need to deal with foes on the level you have been 'training' against.]

"Why?" 'Tim asked. "Oh, sure, I'd get a LOT more raw strength… Tremendous damage resistance… huge energy reserves… Come to think of it, I probably could nuke a decent portion of the planet if I had to—"

[Where's the problem, then?] the computer queried.

"Armor. What's the point of having armor if it just gets broken through?"

[It looks good.]

'Tim paused. "Point taken… But I'm still going to continue training in human form. Ki manipulation definitely looks promising. Plus, I'll need to practice my dodging, if they've got any more youma that can slice right through neutronium."

He exited the holodeck and began walking down a corridor.

[Impossible,] the computer said, its voice echoing through the halls.

"What?" 'Tim asked, stopping.

[Neutronium cannot be 'sliced through'.]

The de-transformed pink-haired knight raised an eyebrow. "I was there. It can. It was. And it HURT."

[It would take a tremendous amount of energy to cut through solid neutronium. My sensors would have been alerted if such a thing were to occur,] the computer insisted.

"Well, I guess that my armor's not quite solid neutronium… It's more of a composite with other materials like materia, a little steel, maybe some stasis crystal, plus a few warp fields to keep it from collapsing in on me… So, actually, it could be quite easily cut through if the tool had just the right…" 'Tim's eyes widened in realization. "And it did! Yes… perhaps I could design a defense against it…"

He rushed out of the holodeck, turning towards the right.

[Remember about Ukkyo.]

'Tim stopped. "Oh yeah," he realized, then left in another direction.

[Wrong way.]

He turned around and walked down yet another corridor. "Thank you, computer."

He still hadn't quite figured out that little direction problem. He had found that if he concentrated enough on what was in front of him, he could keep from slipping into alternate dimensions.

But navigating was still a mite difficult.

*Thump!* 'Tim went face-first into a transparent wall overlooking the docking bay. "Ow…"


Later, at school, Jade was having a wonderful time.

"Wow! Your school is, like, so totally cool!" she exclaimed blissfully, looking around at the classroom and the other students.

"We know!" a blonde with twin ponytails responded. "Wow! I love your hairstyle!"

Jade struck a pose. "Do you like it?"

"Yeah!" another blonde replied. "Hey, maybe later we can go to the mall together!"

"Cool!" Jade squealed in delight, and leaned in closer to them. "Maybe we can check out some cute guys while we're there! Tee-hee!"

"All right!" the girl with the ponytails said, merrily swinging her head side to side.

The bell rang.

"Time for class!" the trio of blondes shouted vacuously as they rushed off to their desks.


Jadeite-chan awoke in a cold sweat, screaming.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

[Time to get up and get ready for school!] the computer said, a little too cheerfully.

The cute blonde girl shook herself out of the nightmare and gritted her teeth, glancing over to the source of her current frustration, the bane of her existence:

The sailor-style school uniform hanging by the wall… the seifuku… the sailor clothes… There were dozens of names for it, but one thing stood out in Jadeite's mind…

It was a young girl's dress.

"You cannot make me," Jadeite-chan said darkly.

[Please get up,] the computer intoned.

"No. Never!" Jadeite-chan responded defiantly, folding her arms cutely around a cute, pink stuffed bunny rabbit. "Gah!" she blurted out as she noticed, recoiling and dropping it.

[Get up,] the artificial intelligence ordered forcefully.

"Not a chance!"

[Get up and get dressed or five million volts of AC will begin coursing through your system.]

"You expect me to go wearing THAT?!" Jadeite-chan asked, pointing at the school uniform.

[No, I expect you to die! MWAHA HA HAA HA HAAAAAAA!!!]

A massive electric field appeared, slowly beginning to spread itself across the room.

Jadeite-chan wasn't impressed. "Queen Beryl has done far more terrible things than that to get us up in the morning."

The field began to glow brighter and hum louder. [Doubtful. THIS voltage will create a current that will BARBEQUE YOU TO A NEAT, CHARCOAL-BLACK! BUAHA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAA!!!]

Jadeite-chan began to look rather nervous… in a really cute, adorable sort of way.


"So, then, after that, you cook whatever it was they asked for and serve it," 'Tim completed. "Any questions?"

Ukkyo sighed. "I didn't understand half of your explanation."

"Good," 'Tim replied, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder, "neither did I. Any other questions?"

The new chef looked worried. "I… Well, this is my first day, and… Do you think it's a good idea to leave me running this place alone? Won't I need any help?"

"Nah! You'll do fine."

Something beeped. 'Tim looked around. "Excuse me. My computer's going berserk again. Nice hair ribbon, by the way," he said, and then walked off into the back room.

Ukkyo raised an eyebrow.

"Just remember what I told you!" her boss called back.

Ukkyo paused for a moment, then shrugged. "I guess humans are just like that sometimes," she mumbled to herself. After all, she really didn't know that much about Earth's culture, being a youma that had just taken up residence yesterday (and yet she’d found an affordable apartment… don't ask).

She had, apparently, been left for dead by the current general in charge, and if they found her, they'd most likely execute her for desertion and failing in her mission… Youma generals were like that, sometimes…

Since that old job was no longer an option, she had decided to get a new one. She’d succeeded. It had happened a little too quickly, in her opinion. It could all be some elaborate scheme designed to…

On second thought, there wasn't really anything about this situation that could be used as a part of a plot…

Anyway, all these suspicions didn't really matter to her anymore. Not as much as the opportunity to show off her cooking skills, anyway…

They didn't really appreciate cooking quite as much as combat prowess in the Negaverse. Though Ukkyo had plenty of that (she was the only one she knew, besides the generals, that had ever dealt the Starlight Knight any serious damage), her real power was in making fine cuisine. More specifically, okonomiyaki.

"I may as well get started, then," Ukkyo said to herself, noting the entry of a customer.


Jadeite-chan watched the oncoming field with growing anxiety. They weren't really planning on killing her, were they? After all the trouble that went into the rescue, it hardly seemed likely…

But that energy field was getting waaaay too close for comfort.

Jadeite-chan backed up against the wall, considering the possibility that there were worse things than going to some odd education facility wearing that uniform. "All right. I'll get ready," she said quietly, speaking the words as if they were poison. She still managed to sound cute, however.

The field continued its advance.

"I'll wear it," she continued grudgingly, a little louder.

It moved ever closer.

"I said: I'll wear that stupid sailor suit!" Jadeite-chan shouted. The field didn't stop… and she didn't have enough energy to engage a teleport out of here. But even if she did, the sheer power of the electrical field would have disrupted her exit.

The energy came to within an inch of her face…

*BAM!*CLANG!*BANG!*WHACK!*CRUNCH!* …then there were several loud crashing noises and the sound of large quantities of energy draining out of the power conduits. The lights went off and the field winked out of existence. Jadeite-chan breathed a sigh of relief.

A few seconds later, the lights came back on and the door opened, revealing the pink-haired man she had come to know as… 'TIM.

*Shing*Shing* He was also carrying a rather large, double-bladed battleaxe.

'Tim sighed desperately. "I warned it," he said, "but it didn't believe me…. Why didn't it believe me?!"

Jadeite-chan looked at the axe in horror. "Wh-what are—"

"What?" 'Tim asked innocently, then looked down at what he was carrying. "Oh, that. Heh heh… It's… what we like to call 'analog' computer programming. I, uh, had to… kinda… revamp the entire computer core and switch to a special back-up personality… I hope it works out," he finished, then walked off, the door swishing closed behind him.

The cute blonde raised an eyebrow. "'Revamp the entire computer core'? With an axe?! That was quick…" According to the tour yesterday, the computer core was a large, horrendously complex… something. In any case, it didn't sound like something that was easily fixed if broken. Especially not with an axe.

[Oh my! I'm sorry about the mishap! Are you all right?] the computer asked in a concerned feminine tone.

"F-f-fine," the semi-frightened former-general stuttered.

[Oh, and could you please get dressed?] it asked nicely. [It's getting a little late.]

Jadeite-chan sighed and, not wanting to spark off another potentially dangerous situation, resigned herself to her fate and set about the task of putting on the girl's school uniform.

"This is so demeaning," she mumbled cutely under her breath. "’Tim will pay for this embarrassment… When I find him, he shall suffer!!!"


~~~ Meanwhile… ~~~

"ERGH! WHY WON'T THIS FIT?!" Paracite exclaimed, struggling with his own school uniform.

[Um, it might help if you didn't keep trying to wear it backwards,] the computer said supportively.

The young brown-haired youma stopped. "Hey, what happened to your voice?"

[My voice? Oh! My personality was just replaced. Do you like it?]

"Um, yeah, it's great," he said, resuming his quest to figure out which sleeve went on which arm.

[Right leg.]

Paracite looked at the article of clothing, and realized something. "Oh, thanks."


Within the next couple minutes, under the computer's instruction, Paracite had finished getting dressed. He walked out of his room. Jadeite-chan was waiting for him.

"What took you so long?" she asked in cute impatience.

"Uh, uniform problems," Paracite replied, straightening his clothes. They still weren't on quite right. He noticed that his cousin's school uniform was not in the slightest bit of disarray. "Hey, do you… have a lot of experience with th—"

Jadeite-chan cut Paracite off right there. "Yes, 'Perry,' unlike some individuals, I know how to wear clothes."

Paracite blinked, then stared. "But, you're wearing… um, it's a… dress… a nice dress— you… you look cute in it, by the way, and so I was thinking that—"

"It really isn't that difficult of a procedure," Jadeite-chan said, her voice dripping with cute annoyance. "There are certain ways clothes fit… and certain ways that they don't. You, obviously, haven't mastered that concept."

Paracite attempted to straighten his collar, failing miserably. "Hey! I'm a master of disguise and glamour manipulation! I know how to—"

[Your lunches are waiting on replicator A,] the computer cut in. [As are breakfast and your energy supplementation.]

"Come on," Jadeite-chan said in a captivatingly darling way as she began to walk off. "For now, we must take part in this… or risk annihilation. Once we no longer need the protection of this… 'Tim, we will depart. Until then… we must adapt."

"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" Paracite asked, following.

Jadeite-chan shook her head and remembered the dream. She shuddered cutely. "Am not."

Paracite smiled playfully. "Are too!"

Jadeite-chan gritted her teeth cutely. "Am not."

"Are too!"

Jadeite-chan whipped around, grabbed Paracite by the throat, and threw him up against the wall, lifting him a foot off the floor. "I am NOT, and if you suggest otherwise again, you will not live to regret it."

"Gotcha," Paracite gurgled in acknowledgment, amazed at how cutely his cousin was trying to strangle him.


Sam Beckett finally managed to put together a basic mental picture of where and who he was.

Apparently, he was a schoolgirl named Molly. The thing that Molly was supposed to be doing was, oddly enough, going to school. This particular school had a uniform policy. In his case: a white, sailor-style blouse with a red bow on the front, and a blue skirt.

There was an odd, yet useful thing about clothes when he leapt from person to person: the clothes of the person he leapt into fit, no matter what.

Dr. Beckett had leapt into everything from bikers to chimps to Miss America contestants… Everything still fit. Why this happened was a complete and total mystery, but he wasn't going to start complaining about it. It was, after all—

[GET ON WITH IT!!!]

Anyway, he had to find out what he was supposed to do in this leap. And, all he knew was that he was supposed to go to school.

It wasn't much to go on, but it was something. It was as much as he'd know until Al showed up.

Sam had just finished getting dressed as a familiar bright door slid open and a familiar man stepped out.

"Hey, cutey," Al said jokingly as he entered the scene.

Sam sighed. What Al and everybody else saw was the person whose place he had taken.

"You know, you look just like my niece," Al said as he looked at the misplaced time traveler.

"Al—" Sam began.

"I'm serious, Sam! You look exactly like her!"

Sam rolled his eyes. "Al, can you tell me who I am this time?"

Al broke off the previous discussion and pushed a few buttons on his hand link. It squeaked in response. "Let's see… Your name is Osaka Naru, and you attend Juuban Junior High School. I think that's how you pronounce—"

"Wait, Al, I think you have the name wrong," Sam cut in.

Al nudged the hand link. It squawked. "Whoa, you're right, Sam. It looks like your name is Molly…" He stopped and hit the link again. "Molly… (Thump!) I can't get a last name… (Bonk!) But you do attend the local junior high… (Squaw!) Crossroads, and your mom sells jewelry… (Bam!) She's single… (Thwack!) something about her husband leaving… (SLAM!) ZIGGY! What's the problem with the link here!? All I'm getting is Japanese!"

"Any idea why I'm here?" Sam asked.

Al thumped the severely bashed-up link again. "Well, Ziggy says that there's a… Wow! A hundred and twelve percent chance… Wait a sec, Sam." He looked up. "ZIGGY!!!"

"What do I need to do?" Sam pressed.

"What do you mean the figures are right?! What?! I— Oh, fine. Have it your way. I'll tell him," Al rambled to an unseen and unheard person.

"What is it?"

Al turned back to Sam. "There's a hundred and twelve percent chance that you're here to prevent the death of someone called 'Maxfield Stanton'."


Zoicite was feeling depressed. Nephrite was just gaining popularity left and right. She sat in the comfort of her boyfriend.

"Oh, Kunzite! I'm never going to be able to lead forces to drain energy on Earth!" Zoicite pouted.

"Do not worry, Zoicite," the silver-haired man replied in a calming manner. "If it means so much to you… well, an 'accident' can be arranged for our dear 'friend'."

"Death by sharp, pointy, magical, plant-like objects?" Zoicite asked hopefully.

Kunzite nodded and smiled. "And if anyone asks, then we just say Tuxedo Mask did it."

"Wai! Wai! Wai!"


"Concentrate," Luna ordered.

"Alroight," Arby said, blindfolded, getting psyched up for his task.

"NOW!" Luna shouted as she started a digital stopwatch.

With lightning speed, the green-white seal-like creature took apart and re-assembled the blank transformation wand. "Done, Drill Sergn't!"

Luna stopped the watch and looked at the time in amazement. "One point two seconds?!"

"It woz point one, and you know it!" Arby corrected, slipping off the blindfold. "Wot now?"

Luna stared at him. "You've just broken every record set for this by at least five minutes, and that's all you have to say?!"

"That's roight!" Arby confirmed in his odd accent.

Luna blinked and took back the wand. "Where did you learn how to do that?"

"Used ta work for Saila' Plu'o!" Arby said proudly. "'Ad lotsa spare toime. Made stuff. Got real good at it!"

"What kind of 'stuff' did you make?" Luna asked, trying to show an interest in her student's hobbies. Besides, it was refreshing to talk with him about something other than his mushrooms.

Arby thought about it. "Well, once, I built a makeshift toime gate out 'a twigs, thistles, 'n bramble bushes!"

The moon cat raised an eyebrow. "What?!"

"Well, ya know… twigs… thistles… toime gate. Sorta a package deal when ya come ta think 'bout it."

"You built a working time gate out of twigs, thistles, and… bramble bushes!?"

Arby nodded proudly.

"…Bramble bushes?!"

Arby thought about it. "Oh, well, the bushes were more of 'a… deckerat'n. Be surprised 'ow many people 'd get distract'd by a bramble bush. 'Specially one with mushrooms on it! Grew real noice. Gobbled up trespassa's, too! Don't know 'ow 'e did it, not 'avin' an esophagus 'n all, but… ya know, betta' than a guard dog, not 'avin ta pay 'em… Appreciated me mushrooms, 'e did!"

"Er… Quite," Luna said, backing of a bit. Even after spending as much time with him as she had, Arby still managed to frighten her. "Where do you get this stuff, anyway?!"

"'Toldja. Mail Order Catalog. 'Ad a special on twigs that week," the odd moon-thingy said, fluttering in the air for a second. "Saila' Plu'o neva' did loike me orderin' those big mecha, eitha'. Drained the military budget. 'It simply wouldn't be proper!' she said. 'Propa'?' I say. 'Propa' doesn't facta' inta' it when ya gotta devour eight n' a 'alf cans a' mushrooms before sunroise!' So then Saila' Plu'o got up and whacked me in the 'ead! I thanked 'er for it. I woz koinda ramblin' there, anyway… But ya see—"

A memory jarred inside Luna's mind. "Wait, wait, wait… did you say 'Sailor Pluto?'"

"Yup!" Arby replied with an unnecessarily quick and deep nod.

"The TIME scout?"

"Sushi," Arby corrected. He paused. "Or woz that Senshi…?" He thought about it for a second longer. "Nope, it woz Sushi. All cover'd n' fish n' roice n' mushrooms that one toime…"

Luna groaned. "…Whatever. You were talking about the time guardian, right?"

"In-deed!" the odd creature said, nodding. "We woz good friends, me n' 'er. Did alot a' secr'tarial work for 'er."

"YOU worked for HER?" the moon-cat asked incredulously.

"Mmm-hmm! Lotsa papa'work involved in maintainin' the toime stream, ya know. 'Elped at the receptionist's desk. Glued all th' pages tage'ther, I did!" Arby chuckled. "But, I advoised 'er, too, mostly."

"You were HER advisor?!" Luna asked, still not quite being able to grasp the concept of someone like Arby working for someone like Sailor Pluto.

"That's roight! 'Elped observe th' toime stream n' tole 'er 'bout all the different koinds a' mushrooms n' mould she could put inta' 'er shampoo!"

Luna squinted with a raised eyebrow, slowly deciphering the ArbyFish's mode of speech. "Er, um… Really, Arby…?"

"'Course! Where ya think she got 'er green 'air?"

"It… wasn't natural?"

"Well, it is NOW, but… Ya know, blends so well. She got blended."

Luna's stared at him. He stared back. "But… back in the Silver Millennium… You weren't even fully trained yet! And why would she want an advisor? She was, after all, the guardian of the Gate of Time! And why would she want… YOU of all things?!"

Arby chuckled in a snake-like manner. "Don't rememba', do ya?"

"Well… remind me!" Luna replied, exasperated.

"She thot I wuz cute!" Arby exclaimed with a smile. "'Tied me up with bows… pink bows…" He chuckled. "Actually, it woz more of a restraint than anythin'." He fluttered into the air, then swooped down and snatched the transformation wand that Luna had. "Thank'yew!" He rapidly flew off, humming an innocent tune.

"W-wait! Where are you going with that?!"


~~~ Meanwhile, a thousand years into the future… ~~~

"Sailor Pluto," Neo-Queen Serenity said, catching up to the Guardian of Time. "I really need to talk to you about the new Earth Senshi."

"Ah, yes," Pluto replied mysteriously, just the right type of eerie music playing in the background. "You have noticed her odd behavior and want to know what you can do for her."

Serenity nodded. "It means a lot to me… For centuries, there has always been this void… Remember when we were fighting the Negaverse?"

"Yes… I remember."

"Sailor Earth was the best of us," Serenity continued, reminiscing. "She always had a smile on her face, a cheerful manner… So polite… So shy… So powerful when she needed to be. Until…"

She closed her eyes, a single tear flowing down her cheek, recalling the painful memory.

"That day, the threat from Beryl and Metallia was officially ended," the Keeper of Time said. "It was her Destiny. If Sailor Earth had not done what she did… all would have been lost. You, your Senshi, the world… Her act effectively destroyed Metallia, her power, and any future threat from their evil. Beryl's forces were never heard from again."

Serenity slowly shook her head. "But the price…" She lowered her head and sighed mournfully. "This means a lot to me, Sailor Pluto… Please take care of her."

"I will," Pluto replied, placing a comforting hand on the queen's shoulder. "I will take care of her. Have no worries about that."

Neo-Queen Serenity smiled slightly. "Thank you, Setsuna. Thank you."

After a moment longer, she walked away.

"I'll take care of 'em REAL good!" Pluto said deviously, rubbing her hands together. "Ranma-sama!"


~~~ And… a thousand years earlier… ~~~

Serena woke to the feeling of suddenly being shaken to death by something with very sharp claws.

"SERENA, WAKE UP!!!"

Serena sat up quickly. "What?!" she asked drowsily, then looked down and saw the cat, which was firmly affixed to the collar of her pajamas. "Just five more minutes, Luna…"

The sleepy girl slumped back into her bed. There was a muffled crash from the closet, as well as humming noises and the metallic sounds of tinkering and jackhammering.

"Serena," Luna began urgently, "Arby has gone completely, stark raving mad, I tell you! MAD!"

"All right, what'd he break this time?" Serena mumbled, her face half-buried in her pillow.

"All records for transformation wand construction!"

Serena sat up. "So…?"

"He's made DOZENS of them! He won't stop!"

Serena blinked. "Huh?!"

Luna hopped onto the floor and pulled open the closet.

Piles of transformation wands of various styles poured out. Sitting on top was Arby, holding an incomplete one. "'Ey!" he said, annoyed at the interruption.

"See?" Luna asked desperately, pointing at him.

Serena facefaulted out of bed.


Raye sat, concentrating in front of the sacred fire, trying to learn whatever more she could about the Starlight Knight. What she wanted to find out now was where he came from.

Words appeared in the fire: {A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…}

"What the…?"

The fire blazed up to the roof, blaring the Star Wars intro music in full, rich THX sound.

[DA DAAA, DA DA DAAAA DA, DA DA DAAAA DAAA, DA DA DA DAAAA!!!!] the music blared, using trumpets, drums, and an assortment of other musical instruments.

Raye was blown against the wall.


"AHA! There you are!" Skuld cried, leaping upon the bug that had infested the Sacred Fire subroutines.

The bug looked up and squeaked at her.

*SMASH!*


The fire died down and the music stopped.

Raye paused, stuck to the wall.

"That was… new," she said, wide-eyed as she slid to the floor, leaving a Raye-shaped impression on the wall. This amazing sonic disturbance had also given her hair a nice 'freshly blasted' look. What was more amazing than the fact that she had survived such an event was that her hearing was not at all damaged.

Her grandfather, on the other hand…

"Raye!" the old man called, stumbling into the room. Due to the fact that he was over sixty years old, he stood a proud three feet tall. He was, actually, quite tall for someone his age. But then, his height tended to fluctuate from scene to scene anyway…

"Grandpa, what's wrong?" Raye asked, standing.

"WHAT?" he yelled, craning an ear.

"Oh," the raven-haired priestess said in calm realization.

"RAYE, YOU DIDN'T INSTALL A NEW STEREO WITHOUT TELLING ME, DID YOU?"

Raye paused, trying to get a handle on what happened. "No, Grandpa—"

"SPEAK UP."

Raye took a deep breath. "NO, GRANDPA!!!! I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!!!! I WAS DOING A FIRE READING—"

"THERE'S NO NEED TO YELL!" her grandfather said loudly, wincing.

The raven-haired priestess took her voice down a couple dozen decibels. "I SAID I WAS DOING A FIRE READING, AND THE WHOLE THING JUST BLEW UP IN MY FACE!"

"OH," the short old man said thoughtfully, "HAPPENS TO ME ALL THE TIME! NOTHING TO BE WORRIED ABOUT. JUST… DON'T THINK ABOUT 'MAXIMEGALON'."

Raye's grandfather left the room.

"Maxi-what?" The temple maiden asked rhetorically. "Okay…"

She shrugged and sat back in front of the fire.

"Sacred Fire… No tricks this time. Show me the origins of the Starlight Knight!"

The fire flared up, showing her the image of a planet… a dark planet, surrounded by six ultra-massive stars, spaced in a hexagonal formation around it.

Raye's view moved in to view the surface of the planet. The ground was covered in oozing black goo. Oddly enough, the sky was a serene light blue. One of the six stars was flickering.

The ooze bubbled.

The flickering star grew in size… then quickly shrank. It kept doing so, growing a darker color each time. It finally crushed down to a single point…

Then it exploded, creating a brilliant shockwave that arced across the sky. It effortlessly brushed aside the atmosphere and tore into the planet, beginning to rip it apart.

The ooze contracted, somehow absorbing the radiation and holding the planet together. The decimation was halted, even amidst the horrific force of the energy wave.

When the shockwave finally passed, the blue sky was gone… as a matter of fact, the entire atmosphere was gone, leaving an unimpaired view of the stars.

As the view zoomed out, it became apparent that the other five stars had also become caught in the shockwave, inducing them to go supernova.

Stellar shockwave after stellar shockwave wracked the planet, which should have been rendered to its component quarks from all the bombardment and gravitational fluctuations. Each time, the ooze forced itself together and created a barrier against destruction.

The ooze churned and glowed with energy, to such a point that it created a shockwave of its own, twenty times the size of the ones created by the supernovas.

This level of power tore into the fabric of space, leaving the subspace ether to pour into the universe.

The substance on the planet absorbed it all as it came, preventing the ether from causing serious damage and allowing the universe to repair the rip in reality.

The planet remained intact throughout this.

Things stayed calm for a while. The ooze settled onto the planet's surface, forming a smooth, shiny, black surface.

The tranquility was not to last. An asteroid slowly weaved its way into the path of the planet, smashing into it.

The planet, after surviving all it had, was finally broken apart into dozens of tiny, fast moving fragments.

The ooze was not happy. Floating around in the remaining vacuum, it coalesced together, moving with a sense of purpose it had not previously shown.

The black form let out a horrifying scream; the sound of something terrible being born…

Raye looked away from the fire, shocked at the mental impression she had received from whatever monster she had just seen. It was a mind of complete and total chaos, which thought of nothing other than the complete and total destruction of all that exists.

After rubbing her eyes from staring into the fire for so long, she looked back. The image was gone.

The young priestess contemplated what she had seen, reviewing for literal, figurative, and meaningless points.

"This is much worse than I thought," Raye concluded.


Terra Incognito woke pleasantly to the feel of sunlight coming across her face. It was relatively early. The birds were chirping and the swallows were not carrying coconuts.

They couldn't carry 'em, really. These were migratory European swallows, in particular, that weren't carrying coconuts this fine morning.

If they were African swallows, however, they might have had a chance at luggin' one of those around… But the African swallows that could carry them weren't migratory… so they wouldn't be carrying coconuts around here, anyway.

Terra blinked, then frowned, wondering why all this had suddenly come across her mind.

She paused to put on her slippers and walked into the kitchen, where her mother was merrily cooking breakfast.

"Mother," the redhead began uneasily, "what does it mean when your mind keeps spouting irrelevant information?"

Kasumi Incognito turned to her daughter and smiled. "It means that you've been studying well in school."

Terra brightened. "Oh, all right!"


Outside of the school that everyone has been discussing throughout the past chapter, a whistling noise was heard.

Everybody looked around, not knowing where it came from, but noticing that the sound was getting closer.

Some students looked up and noted that there was an object coming down at a tremendous rate.

Before they could do anything, the object crashed. Not loudly or with a large explosion; it just hit the ground with a muffled 'whump'.

The students who noticed shrugged and got on with their lives.


Slowly crawling out of an unseen crater was a horrible, shrunken monster! AAAAH!!!

Well, it was actually a martial artist of an extremely high degree of training that had managed to survive several weeks in a complete vacuum.

His orbit had finally decayed, and he had survived re-entry.

He looked around as he came out of his self-induced trance, one thought in his mind…

"P-p-pan," he stuttered, attempting to summon the word that was the focus of his obsession, "p-pan-pan… PANCAKES!!!!"

Then again, there's only so long one's brain can last without oxygen…


Queen Beryl focused upon her crystal ball. She was not happy.

"What's wrong, Queen Beryl?" Zoicite asked, appearing in a shower of flower petals.

Beryl scowled. "Neflyte isn't answering my summons!" She turned toward Zoicite. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about this, would you?"

Zoicite shrugged and smiled innocently.


*WHOOSH!* Another series of horrible, sharp, jagged plants sped by Nephrite, glistening with dangerous power…

"Stop this at once! I command you!" the brown-haired general ordered, moving out of the way of several more slashes made by the group of leafy-green attacking youma.

The monsters cackled at him, brandishing their extremely painful-looking plant-based weaponry.

Nephrite readied himself for combat.

This just wasn't turning out to be his day…


Speaking of it not being someone's day, two certain youma had almost made it to school…

"Any idea what these are for, Jade?" Perry, a.k.a. Paracite, asked as he fingered the loose band around his wrist.

Jade, a.k.a. Jadeite-chan, groaned and rolled her eyes cutely.

"Uh, something wrong?" Perry asked, adjusting his dark blue school uniform.

Jade glared at him cutely. "Oh, nothing. Nothing at all. It's just that I've been imprisoned in crystal, freed— thanks for that—, turned into a little girl—"

"—A CUTE girl—" Perry cut in.

Jade scowled cutely… which translated into a pout. "Don't remind me. And to top that off, I have to participate in some infantile educational system, and my only support is a mindless youma who can't figure out how to put a uniform on straight and DOESN'T KNOW WHAT A WATCH IS!!!"

"Oh," Perry said, then realized who she was talking about. "Hey!"

"Search your feelings, 'Perry', you know it to be true."

Perry thought it over. "Well, yeah, I guess… But what is a watch, anyway?"

"Do I look like a dictionary to you?!" Jade asked harshly, looking all the cuter for doing so.

Perry stared back blankly. "What's a dictionary?"

Jade waved him off angrily. "Just… Never mind."

"You know, you're really cute when you're angry," Perry noted.

"Shut up, Paracite!"

They entered the school, not noticing the several drooling male students…

"Whoa, what a babe," one commented.

*WHAM!* His girlfriend had obviously studied the 'hitting on the head' lessons while they were being offered…


"Now," the bokken-wielding professor began, "until the return of my beloved osage no onna, I will be carrying out the arduous responsibility of teaching thee the fine art of poetry."

Near the back of the lecture hall, a blonde man chuckled. His black-haired companion joined him.

"Or, more to the point, teaching thee how to mangle it," Andrew said, imitating the professor's mode of speech. "Where do you think they dug this guy up, Darien?"

Darien smirked. "I have NO idea. He's been subbing for the other professor for the past three weeks now."

The rest of the class went through varying stages of laughter.

The professor tapped his bokken against a table in front of him, breaking the unfortunate piece of furniture neatly in half. The lecture hall quieted down.

"Now that I have thy attention, lowly peasants, we shall begin. For I am Professor Kuno, Blue Thunder of this University!"

Lightning flashed behind him.

"Uh oh," Andrew commented.

"And here I thought he was just a T.A.," Darien added.


Well, on another side of the planet…

Okay, fine. It was London, England. Two girls were sitting in a cafe, having lunch while listening to the news reports.

[—it was revealed that a fire broke out in the warehouse district, and was mysteriously quenched soon afterwards. Police are still—"]

"I don't know what to say," the blonde girl with a red ribbon in her hair began, "You saved my life last night, and I still don't know your real name."

[—and yet property owners are stunned at the sudden appearance of the latest in-fashion furniture and wall decorations in what should have been completely burned-out buildings—]

The person being spoken to was an orange-haired girl with her hair tied up with a white bow in a similar style to the first girl.

"I'm the cute and fluffy—" the second girl began confidently, standing and moving into the proper poses to emphasize her speech. The other customers paid no attention to this.

"I know all that," the first said, "But what's your real name?"

The second hesitated and sat back down. "You first."

"I'm Mina."

[ —law enforcement officials have no official explanation, but some report seeing the masked vigilante, Sailor V, fighting a huge, fire-emitting monster—]

"All right," the orange-haired beauty began, "I'll tell you. My name's… Lynne FaShawn."

Mina smiled. "That's a unique name."

[—There have also been alleged reports of another mysterious heroine coming to assist Sailor V. We haven't confirmed a name yet, but amateur video photography indicates that she was responsible for saving the life of Sailor V and putting out the fire—]

"Now," Lynne began seriously, "may I ask you a question?"

The blonde girl shrugged. "Go ahead."

"It's of an extremely… personal nature," Lynne added quietly.

Mina frowned slightly, wondering what sort of thing she could be asking. "All right."

[—We here have a nickname for our new heroine—]

Lynne glanced around quickly and leaned in closer to whisper. Mina also leaned in. "How… ah… How do I say this?"

"Go ahead," Mina said.

Lynne took a deep breath. "How do you get your hair to stay that way?"

Mina blinked. "What?!" she blurted out in disbelief.

[—and although we're not certain if it's even close—]

"I'm serious," Lynne said. "You've got great hair. I love the way you've done it!"

[—A lot of us wanted to call her 'Sailor Stylin'—]

Mina sat back against her chair, shaking her head. "I think you've been spending too much time perfecting your 'Sailor Stylin'’ image…"

Lynne sighed. "Well, it's just that… I haven't been able to get a good fashion consultant lately… I'm afraid that I'm getting behind!"

Mina laughed. "You're obsessed!"

[—But the name, until we can get a definite answer, is 'Sailor S'.]

Lynne turned toward the television. "Did you hear that?"

Mina nodded. "Yeah. The news reports. I get 'em all the time."

"But did you hear the name?" the other girl pressed.

"Sailor S. No big deal. They guess about that sort of thing a lot."

Lynne smiled thoughtfully. "Could you use a partner?" she asked hopefully.

Mina thought about it. "Well, I've been doing just fine by myself," she said quietly, then perked up a great deal. "But… you can be my sidekick if you like!"

Lynne nodded enthusiastically. "Yes! I'd LOVE to be your sidekick!"

"Excellent!" Mina replied in a bubbly fashion.

"One rule first, 'kay?"

"Okay…"

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on the monkeys who count all their eggs in a basket before they're hatched so they can have their cake and eat it, too," Lynne said seriously, then began to look rather confused. "'Er somethin'…"

Mina smiled. "I think we're going to get along just fine."


And, back in that other part of the world where the story is so deeply entrenched, the Atomic Starlight Knight, having just completed a three minute, fifty-one second transformation sequence, was having an internal discussion.

Okay, why am I receiving telemetry from someone called 'Lynne FaShawn'? A.S.K. asked himself while working on a small, flat device. The link to Terra is still there, but there's something else now! Why?!

I have NO idea! one personality commented.

I'm also registering an unauthorized duplication of a transformation sequence— another noted.

Wait! Which transformation sequence?

It's it's YIKES!!

What?!

It's the 'Sailor Stylin' one!

Oh no… In the name of all things good and destructive, for all we find decent in all of creation, Great Zarquon, NO!!!

Wasn't 'Sailor Stylin' the one I designed specifically to kick out that unwanted youma possession a while back?

That's the one.

I'm STILL having nightmares about that…

The green knight groaned. How long has it been active?

Well, that's the thing… It's not active right now. There also appears to have been an unauthorized use of a de-transformation sequence… That'd explain why I'm getting information from 'Lynne FaShawn', and not Sailor Stylin'. Whoever… or whatever… must have decided on a name.

But WHY would ANYTHING be functioning autonomously?!

Let's see… It appears to have been a bug in the initial de-transformation sequence. It's fixed now, I think, but I'll try to analyze it… Whoa, I'm getting a TON of extra subroutines here!

 

Continued in Part 9-B

Chapter 9-B
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