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.
The young redhead observed the Younger Inner Senshi from the top floor of the central palace tower.
"They expect to beat me?" Princess Terrifying muttered to herself, incredulous. "What a joke."
"They are the future," a voice the girl recognized as Queen Serenity said from behind her. "While they may not be very experienced or powerful right now, someday they will be."
Almost startled, Terra whirled around to face her adoptive mother. "Ah, Mother! What a surprise!"
Serenity looked down at the girl, concern filling her eyes. "I had hoped all of you would have gotten along better. I did not expect such an outburst. Why did you provoke them?"
Terra looked away, thinking about that. It was a good question. Why had she decided to pick a fight with a group of girls that had enough potential political status to affect her standing in the future?
Because they bothered me, she thought to herself.
But they weren't that bad.
They're a bunch of arrogant twits. They won't even admit that they're really semi-evolved monkeys!
Why, those STUCK UP little—
That's one theory. Another states that they were genetically engineered by a conglomerate of extraterrestrial scientists—
Or that they're part of the Greatest Computer in the Universe.
As her thoughts became more organized, it became readily apparent to her that it really had been a mistake to mince words with the Sailor Chibiscouts. Someday in the far future, they were probably going to be rulers of their worlds, barring civil unrest and coup attempts. It would have been a much more intelligent decision to be polite and make friends with the group, and over the next few years develop lasting friendships with each of them. They would have been most useful should her required recovery time be prolonged.
But noooo, no, no. You just had to get into a fight, didn't you?
Instant gratification is not always intelligent…
But it sure felt good!
Yeah, besides, Starlight's been going on the fritz. I haven't been getting in NEARLY enough destruction. Something has to snap!
Hey, mister Knight in Shining Armor! Did you get those pirates, or what?!
There was a pause as a long-distance communication came through. We blew up one of their ships, but the rest ran off, and the Mirage is too weighed-down to pursue. Sorry.
Princess Terrifying slapped her head in frustration. And WHAT can we do to correct this?
I'll try to hit some asteroids on the way back. My career is shot if they catch me brutally slaughtering anyone else.
Terra shook her head sadly.
"However, I suppose I cannot blame you," Serenity decided. "After all, when I was young, I got into a lot of fights, too."
That caught the adopted princess' attention. "You got into fights?"
The Queen nodded. "It is true."
"You're just making that—" Terra paused, trying to decode a portion of Queen Serenity's memories that she had absorbed a year and a half ago. What she found was actually rather shocking.
Yikes, she and Hermione's mom were at each others' throats!
Rightly so! She kept calling Serenity a hentai!
Why that little—
She didn't get along with any of the six Asteroid Senshi, either.
Ooooh, those rocks were out of bounds for commoners, and those Senshi ALWAYS wanted to show off and gloat over their castles. Oooh, look, PallaPalla's got a big, fluffy pony. Big whoop.
…She gave the Saturnian Queen a black eye!
Beat the tar out of Kull with her bare hands?! The boy was already six feet tall and was wielding an axe at the time!
Grr! Stupid twit always insisted on fighting her, claiming he'd get married that way. Then he'd always mumbled that he'd take her flower—
And Serenity wouldn't stand for that sort of thing. At least he quit when she knocked that puce rose off of his shirt.
Princess Terrifying blinked a few times. She wasn't kidding about getting into a lot of fights. Such feats were not, to her knowledge, common among crown princesses, especially not in her day.
"So," continued the white-blonde woman, "perhaps I can understand your dilemma. Some of us just go through these stages, sometimes. I grew out of it, though. Maybe you, well, will not be that different."
Terra looked up at her adoptive mother in half-awed shock. Obviously she hadn't given the monarch enough credit. She would have to decode a bit more of the woman's memory so she wouldn't go through any more surprises in the future.
"Do you still intend to go through with the duel?"
The redhead nodded slowly in reply.
"Then I suppose I cannot stop you," Queen Serenity nodded. "All I can do is try to give you a little edge."
A second later, Princess Serenity trotted up the stairs in a hurry. She held in her hands a pink-handled wand with a large, heart-shaped crystal imbedded in a disc on top, and she also brought along a brooch. "Mother! I found them!"
"I'm glad to hear that," Queen Serenity smiled, turning to face the blonde. "You found the prism and the wand I gave you three years ago?"
Princess Serenity nodded brightly.
Queen Serenity grasped the two magical items and experimentally weighed them in her hands. "You never used them, did you?"
The ten-year-old shook her head. "No."
"Um, I don't know, Mother," Princess Serenity said uneasily. What she really meant to say was, ‘Because, oh dear Mommy, they look utterly RIDICULOUS! Sheesh, I do have SOME integrity, you know! It's not like YOU ever went around in a demented cheerleader uniform, now, did you?!’
"She never did want to become a Sailor Senshi," the Queen whispered to Terra. "Neither did I, nor my mother, nor hers. In fact, we have not had a Senshi of the Moon in over seven generations."
Terra pointed questioningly at the prism and the wand. "Then those are—?"
The white-blonde demonstrated the prism. It was pink, multifaceted, and mounted in a gold-rimmed pink disc. Three tiny gemstones adorned the device above the prism. "The Lunar Senshi transformation brooch and," she showed-off the wand. Its handle was a very, very faint shade of pink, which connected with a red junction with a pair of wings carved into them. It ended with a pink prism mounted in a golden frame and topped with a red star. "This is her wand."
Queen Serenity offered the two items to Terra. "I believe you will find these useful in your coming feud. They have been passed on for ten generations, and I wish for you to have them."
Terra quickly accepted the gifts, her memory still a bit fuzzy on what they were for, or how they were to be used. "Uh, thanks, Mother."
"But they're mine!" Princess Serenity complained.
"You never used them in all the years you had them," the Queen explained. "It is a lesson you must learn. If you do not use it, you lose it."
"But, but—" Princess Serenity's eyes half-watered.
"No 'buts'. You must learn this."
Terra looked over the objects. They did have a small amount of power inside them, but it was such an infinitesimal amount that it was inconceivable that either would ever be of any use to her. Even in her weakened state, she was still several hundred times as powerful as any other girl using the wand or the prism.
Technically, it wasn't made for someone with my chosen genetic structure, but a few simple aura adaptations could enable me to use it.
Yyyyyyyeah, we knew that. But do we use it?
Right. We're not THAT destitute… yet.
Awwww, but I wanted to—
To dress up like a bunny in a miniskirt? Let me think about that one… NO!
"Actually, Mother," Terra said, looking up at Queen Serenity, "I think I would prefer to do it by myself, without these." She held up the wand and the prism as if to return them.
"You challenged their honor as Senshi," Serenity noted, "they will fight you as Senshi. They could hurt you."
Uhhhhhh… No, they couldn't.
She… thinks… that they could—
BWAHA HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!!!
The Elder Senshi, sure, but the CHIBISCOUTS?!
Hooo-boy. If only she knew…
She'd be trying to kill me if she knew that.
Too true, too true.
Well, using what we know of her, we simply must calculate a response that would please her.
I got just the thing.
"I'll beat 'em up with my bare hands," Terra announced, tossing a few punches into the air. "Just like you did when you were my age, Mother." She did a mock-uppercut. "I'll give 'em the old Dragon Punch."
The Queen cocked an eyebrow at her. "I haven't told you about that. How did you know?"
Terra froze. "Uhhhhhhhhhhhh…"
That's right. I'm not supposed to know about that.
She hasn't told anyone about that…
Except for the ones that got hit by it! They know.
Terra's expression shifted to an innocent, sugary, bright-eyed smile. "Why, Second Lieutenant Ferrite told me!"
"Really?" the white-blonde asked with an interested expression, putting a finger to her chin. "When did you meet the good Captain?"
"Captain Ferrite, I mean," Terra corrected herself, trying to come up with a plausible excuse for her knowledge.
That's right, he got a few promotions during my arrival. Starlight read his profile.
"I met himmm," Terra said, slowly humming the last syllable, "At that one party! Yeah, that's it!"
"The one with the rain and where Guardian Zoicite started going ballistic, shouting stuff like he didn't 'wanna be a guuurl' and 'I'm gonna break through this gawl-dern magic if it kills me.'"
"I remember being there!" Princess Serenity exclaimed. She looked off to the side as she wistfully remembered the experience. "I met this nice girl… She was about fourteen, had short blue hair, and was wearing this funny black armor that didn't fit her right." She paused. "You know, I thought only Earth's princes wore that." She shrugged. "Anyway, it was fun. I wanna meet that girl again. She would be a nice friend to have."
"Oh," Serenity whispered in realization. "So you met Ferrite there. I shall have to ask him why he was mentioning such things…"
"Mother, where did all the boys go when it started raining?" the yellow-blonde princess asked.
"I… I will tell you when you are older," the Royal Mother replied, patting her daughter on the head and desperately trying to avoid the subject. She continued by whispering to herself, "We still have not found the culprit…"
Terra whistled innocently, rocking back and forth while holding her hands behind her back.
The tall woman turned her attention back toward her adopted daughter. "However, Terra, about dueling the Younger Inner Senshi with no transformation to protect you," she trailed off.
"I can do it," the redhead affirmed. "Don't worry." She examined the Queen's expression. The woman's lips were pursed and her head was tilted at a worried angle.
Uh oh, she's suspicious.
Better just agree with whatever she says next.
"I would much rather if you were to also fight as a Senshi," Queen Serenity
"Sure, you bet!" Terra agreed, nodding vigorously. She froze.
Oh, yes, smart idea. Agree to it, why don'tcha?!
"I am very, very glad to hear you say that," Terra's adoptive mother beamed.
"Errr, eh heh," Terra laughed nervously. "I'm glad you think so."
"I am so proud of you!" Serenity added, touching the redhead's cheek. "I cannot wait to see it. You will look so adorable in your—"
A man in a Lunar Military uniform entered the room from the stairway. Without a word, he approached the Queen, knelt down and handed her a sealed, rolled paper. He stood, turned, and exited the same way he came in.
"What is this?" the Queen asked, breaking the seal and unrolling the document. Her brow tensed as she read the words. When she finished, she looked back at her two daughters. "I apologize. I will not be able to watch you win. I must attend to some official business."
"Awwww," Princess Serenity pouted. "But why?"
"It is something very important. Serenity, please show Terra how to use the prism and the wand. Can you do that for me, please?"
"Yes, I'll do that, but where are you going?"
"To negotiate a mutual defense alliance with Earth."
"I will tell you later. Time is of the essence. For now," she leaned down to give her daughter a quick kiss on the cheek, "goodbye." She turned and gave another kiss to Terra on the forehead. "Give 'em hell, sweetie."
With that, Queen Serenity turned around and walked off, passing the guards on her way down the stairs.
Terra gazed blankly at the withdrawing queen and reached up with one hand to touch the spot where she had been kissed. "Somehow, I didn't expect her to say that."
"What's that all about?" Princess Serenity asked her sister.
"She must be going through some pretty heavy nostalgia," Terra replied, still staring after her adoptive mother. "That's all I can think of."
Maybe she just wants the Moon to have a Sailor Senshi.
That'd be weird. She's never expressed an interest in having one before…
But why do I have to use that weak, undrainable, unprocessable power?! I can't absorb Lunar energy. Maybe if I got an offer to be the Senshi of Jupiter, I might be able to do something with the power… but the MOON?!
Oh, quit'cher whinin' and slip into your fuku.
Why such a short skirt?! Why can't we have silver armor, a corset, hot pants or something like that?
Or maybe even teeth, claws, and a black aura of evil…
And a big, puffy hairdo tied up with a HUGE white bow!!!
Yeah! Err… No!
It's so depressing…
Why don't you write a book about it, if it bothers us so much?
Yeah?! I just might!
What would we call it? The Sailor Senshi: Phenomenal Cosmic Powers, Itty Bitty Miniskirts?!
I'll get back to you on that.
In any case, we gotta resign ourself to it…
Too bad, really.
Here goes nothing.
After a moment, Terra shook her head to clear it and faced Serenity. "All right, show me how I'm supposed to use these."
The Moon Princess blinked a couple of times and said, "Okay." She put her hand on the prism and held it up. "Well, first, you clip this to your dress, in the front— no, not there, there— and…"
The preparations continued.
The Younger Inner Senshi had been training for little under two hours. Their dedication was astounding for girls their age, as was their stamina. Though they had only received their powers as Sailor Senshi a scant few months before, and all four knew what a great honor and privilege it was. Not just any girl got to be a Senshi. One had to be of royal birth, sound mind, and pure heart.
Also, a Senshi had to desire to be one. None could ever have the responsibility forced upon them. In fact, Princess Serenity and generations of the Royal Lunar Line had declined such a great opportunity. There had been others on other worlds that had been unworthy of these powers, and had therefore never received them.
Pride swelled within their hearts, cherishing every moment. This joy made it easy for them to focus their energies, drawing the necessary power from their homeworlds so that they could attack and defend.
Sailor Chibivenus raised a finger high into the air, a tiny glint of light forming at the tip. "Mmmmm," she breathed. Gathering so much power was difficult. After a moment of this, she relaxed, letting the energy depart. It was not necessary to discharge the attack; she knew she could do it just fine when time for the battle came.
The other Chibi Senshi were practicing in a similar manner.
"Great! That's enough for now," Althea said, announcing the end of the training session.
The other three Younger Senshi took a breather. Two of them, Hermione and Pyra, collapsed to the ground.
"Two. Full. Hours," Pyra panted, "I can't believe we were training for," she took another deep breath, "two full hours!"
"Well, except for when you kept stopping for ice cream every ten minutes," Iolanthe said.
Pyra blushed. "But still, it was tough!" she protested.
"Are you certain this was a good idea just before a major battle?" Hermione asked, questioning the soundness of their actions. She sat up, red-flushed from the exercise. "We shouldn't wear ourselves out, should we?"
"Well it's kind of too late to complain about it right now," Iolanthe shrugged, barely even winded.
"So," Sailor Chibivenus turned to face her comrades-in-arms, "are we all ready to go kick some righteous donkey?"
"What?" Pyra stared at her Sailor leader, not recognizing the metaphor. "Whose donkey?"
"Maybe she's talking about old Eighth Advisor Yates," Iolanthe suggested. "He was a pretty righteous donkey."
"But why would we want to kick him? He's been retired for years," Pyra added.
"We are prepared to humble 'Princess' Terra, if that's what you mean," Hermione supplied the correct answer.
"Oh, right," Sailor Chibijupiter finally caught the expression. "Should be a piece of cake. Terra isn't even a Senshi." She cracked her knuckles, and winced, suddenly wishing she hadn't. "Ouch, owww. And Mom makes this look so easy…" She shook her hands to help ease the pain.
"You have a point there," Sailor Chibimars said. "Terra isn't a Senshi. She doesn't have any powers."
"Is this going to be a fair fight?" Hermione looked worried.
"Sure," Iolanthe said.
"No," Althea replied quickly. The other girls looked at her. "What? We're already going four on one against her." Her friends continued to stare at her. "Well, the point is that we want to get her back for calling us 'fungus' and 'monkeys'."
"But you did call her a 'commoner'," Hermione reminded them.
"But she called us 'Sailor Chibiscouts'," Sailor Chibijupiter protested. She folded her arms. "I'm sorry, but that's just plain low."
Sailor Chibimercury nodded, looking down. She admitted to herself that she really did want some payback, just like the others. "You're all right. We will put her in her place."
"Yeah, we'll let her know who's boss," Iolanthe added.
"Heh. She's not even a Senshi," Althea nodded to herself.
"And to be a Senshi," Pyra recited from their first lessons together before being given Sailor powers, "one must be part of a Royal Planetary Bloodline."
"Everyone else is a commoner," Iolanthe remembered her tutor's snide remark.
"Oh yeah???" all four heard a voice above them. The four Younger Inner Senshi looked up.
"That voice," Althea trailed off, trying to remember whose it was.
Standing on the stone railing of a second-level balcony was a ten-year-old girl with red hair done up in a pair of 'rabbit-eared' cone-shaped buns with two short, puffy ponytails. She was wearing a Sailor Senshi outfit with a pink-jeweled tiara, white-rimmed pink boots, a pink skirt, a pink collar, a pink choker necklace with a pink heart on it, pink-rimmed white arm-length gloves, and a red bow on her chest with another on the small of her back. A gold-rimmed disc with a pink, heart-shaped jewel adorned the front red bow.
*Ching* The gem glowed with a power not entirely its own.
"Agent of Pain, Kicks, and Hard Knocks," the girl began to make a speech, "the New Pretty Sailor-Suited Soldier on the Block—"
"TERRA?!" the four visiting Senshi shouted, gaping in shock.
"Sailor Chibimoon!!!" Terra corrected them, pointedly thrusting a finger into the air. She struck a pose. "In the name of the Future Moon, I'll kick yer righteous donkey right here and now!!!"
"That's Terra," Sailor Chibimercury noted.
"And she's become a Senshi!" Iolanthe couldn't quite get her mind around the idea.
"How is that possible?" Hermione asked rhetorically.
"That must mean—" Pyra began to say.
"She really is a princess?" Althea scratched her head.
"How was that?" Sailor Chibimoon cupped her hands and called down.
"I think that will do, Terra!" Princess Serenity called back. The Younger Inner Senshi turned to see that the blonde was coming in from across the courtyard, dragging a man in by the arm. They approached the group. "Althea, Pyra, look!" She pointed at the man. "I found an official-man for the duel!"
Terra frowned. "Do we need one?"
Serenity nodded in reply.
"A Terran guardian?" Hermione looked puzzled.
Nephrite shrugged. "Don't look at me. I'm only here to help with the negotiations."
Princess Serenity looked up at him with her big, lovable eyes and her best hopeful smile. "You wouldn't mind helping us, would you?"
"I really need to get back…"
The Moon Princess rubbed her cheek against his arm. "Pleeease?"
The guardian gritted his teeth and tried to shake his head, but his resistance crumbled in a matter of seconds. "Oh, fine. I'll do it."
"Yaaay!" cheered Serenity.
"Hi, Nephrite!" Terra waved. "Did your jaw mend yet from that space pirate attack?"
"Terra!" Nephrite looked up at the redhead. "Wonderful to see you again. It's been—"
"Six months!" Terra replied. "Haven't seen you since that party on Earth when everyone started changing gender all over the place."
Nephrite winced at the memory.
"How's Zoicite doing?"
"He is," Nephrite began, but stopped. "He's all right. He," he cringed, somehow not being able to say the word. Finally, he straightened. "I'll tell you when you're older."
"There was a party on Earth six months ago and I wasn't invited?!" Sailor Chibivenus looked jealous.
"Neither was I," Iolanthe said.
"Nor I," Hermione added.
"I was, but I didn't want to go," Pyra muttered. The other three looked at her curiously. "I had a fire-reading class!" the black-haired girl protested.
Terra turned her attention back to the girls below her. "Hey! Chibiscouts! Are we going to have a fight, or what?!"
"Watch it, commoner!" Althea snapped.
"Commoner?" Terra asked. "Commoners wear this?" She pointed at her outfit, tugging at the sailor-collar to emphasize her point.
"Uhhhhh," Sailor Chibivenus didn't have a proper retort.
"In your face, alien from Venus," Terra taunted, putting her hands on her hips, "whose body was shaped like a—"
"Terra?" Nephrite looked at the girl with a raised eyebrow. "How did you become a Sailor Senshi? Or did you just put on a costume?"
"Hey!" Iolanthe thought about that explanation as she looked at Terra. "Are you just faking us out?"
"Hmmm," Sailor Chibimercury put a hand on her chin, then touched her right earring. A blue visor appeared over her eyes. She flipped out a small, blue palm-top computer and started typing things into it, occasionally glancing at Terra.
"Yes, are you lying about being a Sailor Senshi?" Pyra asked with narrowed eyes.
Terra said nothing, but it was obvious that she was annoyed. She held out a finger toward Sailor Chibimars, then stopped, apparently deciding something inside herself.
*Bling-drr-drr!*Bling-drr-drr!* Instead, the pink-suited Senshi whipped out a wand with a pink heart motif. She pointed it at Pyra and glared daggers at her.
After a moment, nothing happened.
Terra looked at her wand and frowned.
"You forgot the Magical Attack Phrase," Princess Serenity called out.
"I think this thing's broken," Terra replied, holding up the wand.
Serenity shook her head. "That can't be right. It's ancient. Things get better the older they are!"
Sailor Chibimoon shrugged, and without so much as a 'thank you', turned and threw her wand at Sailor Chibimars. It beaned her right between the eyes.
"OW!" Pyra staggered backward, clutching at her face.
*Whrrrr-rrr!* The wand rebounded and, like a boomerang, returned to Terra's grasp. She looked down at it, then over at her sister. "Thanks! It works great."
Serenity blinked. "That's not how you're supposed to use it!"
"No fair!" Pyra protested, rubbing the big red mark on her forehead.
"Terra, are you really a Sailor Senshi, or aren't you?" Nephrite still wanted to know.
"Yes, she is," Sailor Chibimercury finished her analysis. She held up her computer so everyone could see. "Terra has the power of the Moon sustaining her at the present time. Though, her power is currently at a reduced level, but that is consistent with Younger Senshi norms."
"Huh?" the other three Chibiscouts wanted a translation.
Terra puffed out her chest proudly, pointing at the little heart-shaped gem. "Read it and weep!"
"That is the Moon Heart Prism," Nephrite said, recognizing the crystal. "I've never seen it used, but that's it."
"Don't worry," Sailor Chibimoon continued, "I'm legit."
Hermione nodded. "Yes, you are."
"She IS?!" Althea, Pyra, and Iolanthe didn't want to believe it.
Nephrite shrugged. "Well, if you are all Sailor Senshi, then let the dispute between you be settled in the rite of," he made a dramatic pause, "Sailor Kombat."
*Dan-dan-dan-din!*Dah-deen*Daan-dan-dan-din*Dud-din* The Royal Lunar Orchestra began their morning practice session. From their ceremonial balcony, the violin, cello, and bass players stuck sudden, sharp cords, then they went into one of their most popular rhythms.
Terra pointed at the others below. "You're toast. DEATH FROM ABOVE!!!"
*BLAM!* A beam of pink light shot down from her finger, and exploded in the middle of the four sailor-suited girls, forcing them to scatter.
"BUTT-BUTT ATTACK!" Terra dove down from above, propelled by an unseen force much greater than acceleration due to gravity. Her bottom slammed into Iolanthe's face.
The brunette was staggered from the blow. She stumbled backwards toward the fountain, falling down into it with a splash. "Ow! HEY!" Sailor Chibijupiter held up her hands, trying to keep the downpour of water out of her face.
Sailor Chibimoon grabbed one of the decorations in her hair, pulled it out, pushed the gem, and threw it at Sailor Chibimars. "Barrette Surprise!!!"
The gem fell down at Pyra's feet, blinked twice, and emitted a bright flash of light, temporarily blinding the girl. "WAAAH!" she covered her eyes.
Terra flew forward and kneed Pyra in the stomach. Sailor Chibimars went down to her knees, groaning in pain.
"Excellent," Nephrite complimented the move.
"Terra?" Princess Serenity asked quietly.
"Can't talk. Fighting." Sailor Chibimoon grabbed her tiara and slipped it off. It became a disc of light in her hand. "Tiara Action!" She threw it at Hermione. "Trapping!"
The disc rose up above Sailor Chibimercury's head, then slammed down, dazing her and trapping her arms at her waist.
Finally catching on, Sailor Chibivenus grabbed Terra from behind in an arm and headlock. "Hah! Got you!"
"On the contrary," Sailor Chibimoon retorted, "I've got you!" She took a breath. "Ribbon Magic!"
The bow tied at Terra's back glowed, then unraveled and wrapped backwards around Althea. The transparent ribbons forced the blonde's hands off her captive, and began to bind the Venusian Chibiscout.
Terra took a step away and turned to watch the process. When it was done, Sailor Chibivenus fell down, covered neck to toe in what looked like a red cloth cocoon.
"Good surprise attack," Nephrite complimented. The smile on his face showed that he found this rather amusing. "Now, finish them."
"FINISH US?!" Pyra, Althea, Iolanthe, and Hermione asked from their disabled positions with wide eyes and gaping mouths.
Sailor Chibimoon held up her wand. She spun around twice with a flourish to rub in her superiority to her peers. When the victory dance was nearing its end, she twirled her wand and called out menacingly, "DEATH REBORN REVOLUTION!!!"
"Death Reborn Revolution?!" the Younger Inner Senshi echoed in disbelief.
"Mwaha-ha-ha-haaaaa," Terra giggled maniacally.
The crystal on the wand blinked a couple of times, sputtered, and lost power. The whine of a slowly de-charging capacitor came from the wand's handle.
The orchestra took a break.
Sailor Chibimoon frowned and looked at her wand. "Hey!" She shook it around. Something inside jingled.
"Umm, Terra?" Princess Serenity spoke up.
"What is it this time?" Terra asked impatiently.
"You're supposed to say, 'Pink Sugar Heart Attack'."
Sailor Chibimoon paused to gawk at her adopted sister. "What kind of attack phrase is THAT?!"
Serenity shrugged. "It's just what you're supposed to say. Everybody knows that Sailor Chibimoon always used that same move, for three generations."
Sudden realization hit Terra square on the noggin. She staggered from the blow and examined her wand. "So THAT's why they never used this thing for so long…"
"It you wanna win, you have to do it," Princess Serenity insisted.
The confusion allowed all the Chibi Senshi to get up, dust themselves off, and escape from their traps.
"All right, you asked for it," Sailor Chibijupiter grumbled, slipping off her gloves and tossing them aside. She crossed her fingers in front of her and a small golden lightning rod shot up from her tiara. "Lightspark Shock!" A tiny sphere of lightning spun in the air at the redhead.
The orchestra started up again. *Dahn-deen-dah-dah-dah-daaa!* *Dahn-deen-dah-dah-dah-dah-daaahn!*
Terra swung around just in time to cross her arms in front of herself, taking the attack head-on. "Ow!" It stung a little bit.
Sailor Chibimercury slid out of the tiara's hold. She held her hands in front, a small blue glow building up in a ball. "Soap Bubbles," she spun around, "Spray!"
A glob of mist engulfed Terra. Her balance nearly failed in the new slippery environment.
It was Pyra's turn. She raised her hands, which glowed red. "Firestorm," she whispered, twirling her hands at her intended target.
Little specks of fiery dust shot out at Sailor Chibimoon. She winced, but continued to block.
Chibivenus held a finger into the air. A little yellow glow gathered at her fingertip. "Beamwhip Snap!"
*Breow!* A bright beam shot out and exploded at Terra. She stood firm.
"Again!" Althea ordered.
"Soap Bubbles Spray!"
One by one, Sailor Chibimoon absorbed every blow. Each attack pushed her backward a little more.
"Again! Beamwhip Snap!"
"Soap Bubbles Spray!"
The Younger Inner Senshi repeated their moves.
Terra clenched her teeth and bore it all.
A small crack appeared in Sailor Chibimoon's brooch.
Princess Serenity gasped. "Terra! You're taking too many hits!"
Nephrite winced. "Maybe I should call a technical win on this one…"
"AGAIN! BEAMWHIP SNAP!!!"
"SOAP BUBBLES, SPRAAAY!!!"
All of the energy attacks combined to form one large ball of liquefied pain, coalescing and pulsing with planetary magic.
Sailor Chibimoon looked up to see the blast coming, but did not dodge. The hint of a smile crossed her expression momentarily, then she hunkered back down, bracing for impact.
*CRAAASH!* The attack broke through all Terra's defenses, driving her back two meters and knocking her over. In the instant following the impact, Sailor Chibimoon's Moon Heart Prism shattered.
In a billowing of ribbons and sparkling dust, Chibimoon's sailor suit winked out, replaced in the next instant by Terra's green dress. Her hair returned to its normal style, and she rolled along in the dirt until she scooted to a halt.
The music stopped once again.
Nephrite made a cutting motion with his hand, signifying that the duel was over.
Sailor Chibivenus and the other Younger Inner Senshi had won.
Everyone was silent for a few moments.
"Oh," Althea whispered, actually feeling a little surprised, "we won."
Terra shifted, trying to arise, but lacking the strength to do so.
Iolanthe let her arms droop as she looked on. "Yeah, we did."
"Did we not expect to win?" Hermione asked.
Pyra scratched her head. "Well, we did, but it was a lot less," she thought over how to put it, "satisfying than I thought it would be."
Sailor Chibivenus frowned, not being able to think of anything else to say.
Serenity rushed over to see how Terra was doing. She knelt down by the redhead and helped her sit up. "Terra, are you all right?"
Princess Terra looked at her adopted sister, sniffled a little, then looked over at the Younger Inner Senshi, and after a moment's thought, she burst into tears. "Waaaaaaah!"
Sailor Chibivenus frowned. "Waaah?" She did not expect such a reaction from their opponent. She thought Terra might say another snide remark, maybe swear revenge or make death threats, but break down and cry?
"WAAAAAAH!" Her face nearly as red as her hair, Terra continued to bawl her eyes out. The weeping waterworks was easily a match for the fountain behind her.
Itty bitty beads of sweat glistened off the back of the Chibiscouts' heads. All four were speechless for a minute.
Nothing seemed to be stopping Terra's tears.
"It's okay, it's okay," Princess Serenity whispered, "don't cry. You will be all right."
Terra paused to gulp in a few breaths and she managed to look at the blonde.
"Did it hurt, Terra?" Serenity asked. "It looked like it might have."
The defeated girl nodded slowly. She looked down at her broken prism, took it off her dress, and examined it a little closer. She took another couple of breaths before she began her wailing again. "Waaaaaaah!"
"Oh dear," Hermione covered her mouth in shock.
Althea's posture drooped slightly. "I wanted us to win, but—"
"—We didn't mean to make her cry," Iolanthe finished her friend's statement.
Pyra nodded grimly in agreement.
"Maybe you should apologize to her?" Serenity suggested, trying to comfort her sister by letting her lean over her shoulder.
"We simply cannot do that," Althea argued. "She started the fight."
The other three Younger Inner Senshi glared at her.
"We're going to apologize," Pyra insisted.
"That would be the best idea," Hermione agreed.
"Yeah," Iolanthe admitted.
"Oh, eh heh," Althea rubbed her neck nervously, "then I guess we could try that…"
All four Younger Inner Senshi reverted to their normal outfits and spent the next ten minutes trying to make up with Princess Terra. They tried everything from saying that they were sorry to making jokes to acting silly, but nothing had as much effect as one special gesture: One by one, each girl drew Terra close, gave her a hug, and asked if they could be friends.
"Mmmm." Terra quietly dried her tears with a handkerchief. The smallest of hesitant smiles began to cross her lips. "Okay."
The group started holding hands and singing "Kumbaiyah" while swaying back and forth in a tremendous burst of good karma.
A minute after that, First Advisor Luna arrived and announced that it was time to depart for the short trip to the circus.
The girls were elated. Arm in arm, they made their way to the Royal Coach, named Herc, who was going to be their driver on the way to the circus grounds.
The six princesses boarded the spacious buggy and the voyage began. Wooden wheels creaked on the paved marble causeway and six friends shared a conversation, wondering about what was to follow.
"Are all of you excited?" asked Herc.
"Yes!" all replied in unison, grinning widely.
"We'll be there in just a few more minutes," announced the hulky coach, titanic muscles flexing as he shook the leather straps, urging the horses onward. "Yah!"
The white horses whinnied, happy to follow the commands of their favorite trainer and rider. Their gold-rimmed, feathered head-ornamentation jingled while they trotted.
"Althea," Terra whispered, "tell me more about Venus."
The blonde shrugged. "Well, it's fairly boring, for the most part, but there are some places, like the hottest spot and the coolest spot where it's sooo beautiful," her eyes glittered with stars in them as she explained, "where the Shriners and the leopards play their ukuleles all day, and where everyone on the street would gladly shave your back for a nickel!" She shivered with excitement. "Waka-waka-doo-doo-yeah!"
Althea put an arm around Terra's shoulders, waving in the air with a finger as if showing off a grand landmark. "Then there's this place where they've got these big trees and mushrooms all over, and we invite the elves, pegasusses, dwarves, stardragons, and pixies over for a really big, month-long kegger. Sometimes, people who find the special Magical Mumbling Mushrooms get teleported there after a transmogrifying trip all over the universe, but Mommy says she hasn't seen that happen for, like, six hundred years, and…"
The Venusian Princess trailed off, looking more proud of herself as she drawled onward. "Oooh, home is such a fun place!"
"You really like Venus, don't you?" Terra observed, smiling back and trying to look like she actually enjoyed making friends with the blonde.
Althea nodded emphatically. "I love Venus, and Venus loves ME! There's no place like it in the universe!" She paused, trying to remember something. "Except for maybe Asteroid Akis. Sometimes they get lucky."
Princess Terrifying nodded and smiled to herself.
This is the BEST plan ever!
Well, not THE best plan, but—
At the cost of abasing myself and borrowing from a highly inferior power—
And having taken a few slight hits—
Bah! I barely felt those pinpricks!
Chibi is right. Runty little spits! Barely worth the effort!
—Not only did I get to beat the crud out of these, these THINGS, I also repaired my outward relationship with them and, in just a few more years and a little more tinkering, they'll all be at my beck and command.
Just before we torture and kill them, that is.
Well, yes, but that's kind of a given, isn't it?
Can't we destroy them now?
Well, we CAN. They're not all that—
Noooo, you twit! Haven't you looked at our power level lately?
What about it? We could still take out a soldier-class Sayajin and have a good, old-fashioned barbeque.
I don't think we could even do that right now.
Well, who asked you? I know I didn't.
You did. I did. We all did.
NO WE DIDN'T! an inner chorus boomed out.
YES WE DID!
Who wants to barbeque Sayajin anyway? Their meat's all stringy and stuff.
Not if you flash-fry 'em with a pseudo-stellar burst!
I don't think they like being killed, either.
Sure they do! Like those… whateveryawannacallems—
Juraians? Klingons? Invid? Borg? Daleks? Cha'Teau Bry'Onnes?
Ah, Daleks, the Spam of the universe!
Yeah! Them! Honorable death in battle and all that rot.
Aren't they going to have a circus?
Who cares about the circus?
Are they going to have clowns? I like clowns!
I… HATE… CLOWNS!!!
*Wham!* Terra slammed her right temple against Hermione's forehead, her smile starting to get a bit strained. SHUT UP!
"Ow!" the blue-haired girl cried out.
Piiink… Shugaaaaah… Braynuuuuu… Hemorah-juuuu!!!
*Bling-bling-bling-bling* An inner force slapped Terra's head against Princess Jupiter's shoulder at a frequency of thirty hertz.
"Hey!" Iolanthe whined, suddenly sliding away. "What did you go and do that for?!"
Terra blinked in response. Ooops.
HEY now, make up and be friends!
That's not too hard…
This is TOO easy.
Heh. Yeah, bunch of suckers!
"Sorry," Terra put on her best innocent look. "It's kind of a bumpy ride, isn't it?"
Iolanthe and Hermione sighed, shook their heads, grumbled to themselves, then moved back to their previous positions.
"Have any of you ever been to an Asteroid Circus?" the Royal Coach turned his head around and asked.
"Meeeee!" Princess Serenity raised her hand.
Must gather data, Terra thought to herself. Neither the queens of the Moon, Saturn, or any of the Elder Senshi had information about this 'circus' at the time of the adaptation.
It must be something new…
How come Sis got to go that one time and I didn't?!
"Ummm," Terra began, "what's it like?"
"It's GREAT," Serenity replied. "They have," she counted off on her fingers, "five full rings, lions, elephants, a flying trapeze, and they had CereCere and PallaPalla," she giggled. "They're funny!"
"This is going to be great!" Althea rubbed her hands together in anticipation.
"PallaPalla," considered Hermione quietly. "She is known for her comic capability."
"I've never heard of them," Pyra said. "Are they any good?"
"Yeah, but they're not going to be hosting it this time," Iolanthe commented. "Are they?"
"I do not believe so," Hermione replied.
"CereCere," Terra whispered to herself. "PallaPalla?"
The Asteroid Senshi? They're in a circus?
Well, they are kinda circusy, come to think about it.
Maybe Starlight has some info.
Yeah. Hey! Knight-guy! Know anything about the Asteroid Senshi?
There was a short silence while the other end picked up the line.
MMMPH! Uhhh, not right now!
Hey! He can't do that! … Can he?
Hmmm… AHEM! NUKE-KNIGHT! REPORT!
I'm kind of busy right now. Please leave your name and a brief message at the tone of the beep….. In case you haven't noticed, there's no beep. Have a nice day. Bye!
No! You're MY Knight in Shining Armor, and YOU obey ME, got it?!
Heh heh. Whatever. I'm sort of, well, VERY with my wife right now. We're catching up, and— aaaah. She sure knows how to kiss, almost as good as—
Answer the question, construct!
Oh, fine. The Asteroid Senshi. Hmm. Nope, nothing. Well, with a surprise attack, I could kill all of them in under six seconds. Sometimes they work with a male auxiliary group, also from the asteroid belt, but they're not that tough.
That's all I need to know. Bye-bye, kid.
Terra froze. She hated being treated like that by herself. One of these days, she would have to remind the energy being just who he was and whose will he was to carry out.
One of these days, Starlight, POW! Right in the kisser.
No one on the other end responded.
"Awww." Princess Serenity, completely unaware of Terra's inner conversation, looked disappointed. "No PallaPalla?"
Herc turned around. "Don't sweat it. I'm sure the ones they've got hosting it this time'll do just fine!"
"No PallaPalla?" Serenity repeated to herself.
Terra sighed. What's so great about this PallaPalla person, anyway? The redhead shrugged in reply. Beats me. Aloud, she asked, "Are we there yet?"
"Just a little further," Herc replied.
"Who's going to be hosting, then?" Pyra asked.
"Some performers from a pair of the smaller asteroids," Herc said. "Their names are," he broke off, paused, then continued, "I don't remember."
Althea pointedly frowned at the driver. "You don't remember?"
"I don't remember," the sports coach replied.
"He doesn't remember," the Venusian princess whispered aside to Terra.
"He doesn't remember," Terra whispered back calmly.
"He doesn't remember?!" Hermione asked Iolanthe, looking a little confused.
"He doesn't remember," Iolanthe sighed.
Pyra shook her head in disappointment. "He doesn't remember?"
"I doesn't remember!" Herc called back, then paused, thinking of his grammar.
"Gotcha speakin' roight propa' now, they doez!" an odd accent from a bulge in the neck of Herc's tunic commented.
"Shh!" Herc whispered into his tunic. "Keep quiet until I can get you back to the lab!"
"I think one of them was Akey-something," Iolanthe whispered while trying to remember a poster she had seen in the Moon Palace's hallway.
"Are we there yet?" Princess Terrifying repeated.
"Just a little further."
"Are we there yet?" Pyra prodded.
"ARE WE THERE YET???" all the girls asked at once.
Herc, the Royal Lacrosse Coach, suddenly got the impression that this was going to be a very long ten minute drive. He looked longingly ahead toward the giant multicolored circus tent hanging in the air a couple of miles away.
Ah, 'twas a fine day for a circus! There was a full Earth out, and the black sky was emblazoned with stars. The sun shone brightly, thoroughly illuminating the Lunar capital.
It was obvious that the atmosphere had been magically enhanced. Truly, if the Moon had its own natural or terraformed ecosystem like the Earth, Mercury, or Mars, everyone would have been seeing blue skies and cirrus clouds on a day like this. In this case, it was very wise to use magic, especially since the day with respect to the sun lasted a little under a month, and that would most definitely have made things uncomfortable.
"That just goes to show what human beings will do to get a few more acres of taxable property," Princess Terrifying whispered to herself as Herc lifter her off the buggy by her waist.
"Why are you always talking to yourself?" Iolanthe asked while Herc took her under the arms and placed her on the ground.
"I don't talk to myself," Terra denied. "You must be imagining things."
"Uhhh, yes you do."
"No I don't."
Terra folded her arms and turned her head. "Don't infinity."
Iolanthe frowned. "But!" She took off her right earring and threw it to the ground. "Darn your debate skills!"
*Pop!* The earring exploded in a puff of orange smoke.
"Hey!" the Jovian princess griped, looking at the small hole in the ground. "That was a birthday gift!"
"Now it's an UN-birthday gift," Terra quipped.
Pyra and Althea ignored the Jovian and Lunar princesses and looked around like a pair of starving, crazed weasels, obviously very anxious to get inside the giant, balloon-ringed tent. "Ooooh," they awed.
"'Oooh' is right," Hermione agreed. "Look at everyone!"
Dozens and dozens of children crowded the entrance to the Asteroid Circus. Judging from their appearance, they were from many walks of life, boys and girls of the peasantry, of the middle class, and of a few well-to-do kids whose parents had paid the shuttle fees to let them come from other worlds.
It was a big event. While the children filed in, a few jolly, fat-and-jiggly clowns walked, skipped, and rode unicycles around in order to entertain the children.
"Oh. My. Heck." Terra frowned and began to tremble.
One might ask what could truly frighten an omnipotent, immortal being that had the power to obliterate multiple galaxies within a matter of seconds. The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Or, riding unicycles, rather.
The galactic destroyer's left eye twitched. "Clowns…"
Princess Serenity clapped her hands together in joy. "Waaaaai! Clowns!"
One clown rolled in close to Serenity. He smiled down at her, honked his nose, and juggled a set of five big, red rubber balls for her enjoyment.
Serenity smiled very broadly in response to this, hopping up and down some to express her excitement.
Terra made a mental note to the effect that most children seemed to be enjoying themselves a great deal, and therefore if she wanted to act her part, she would have to make like she was as well.
But… the… CLOWNS!
Princess Terrifying folded her arms and shivered, feeling her skin crawl a little. She looked around to see all five princesses being entertained by clowns, and seeming to enjoy it.
Terra suddenly felt someone draw close. Her eyes widened slightly. Please don't be a clown. Please don't be a clown! She turned around.
"HELL-OOOOOOH!" a very strangely dressed twenty-three-year-old man enthusiastically greeted the redhead. He had black hair that was combed straight up and was held with a yellow headband, making his pointed ears all the more evident. His attire was suited to the occasion: He wore brightly colored striped tights and soft brown leather boots. His shirt was thin, white, and sleeveless. A red sash went across his chest from his left shoulder. His left ear had an earring with a black and gold jewel that looked like a cat's eye. His cheery expression and extra-large smile was probably his most frightening feature.
Princess Terrifying carefully resisted the urge to scream. Straining, she somehow managed to say nothing when the man picked her up, swung her around twice, and planted a quick kiss on her lips before setting her back down.
"You must be little Princess Terra!" the strange man deduced. "Delighted to meet you, little miss!"
He picked her up and repeated the previous gesture, allowing the kiss to last twice as long.
The girl's expression went blank.
No, no, noooooooooo!
That's just plain WRONG!
After the man released her, Terra breathed an agonized sigh of relief, but continued to tremble, finding herself left with the unbidden desire to go chew a LOT of gum, chug eighteen gallons of mouthwash, burn all her clothes and jump into a cold shower, screaming.
"Yes. Who might you be?" the redhead asked, barely able to keep her voice from cracking.
"I'm Catseye!" the man replied, and struck a pose. "I'll be your ringleader for this morning!" He put his hands on his knees and looked down at the girl. "Would you like a front-row seat?! We're going to need a volunteer for a VERY oh-so-special act!"
Terra stared at him like a squirrel looks at an oncoming thermonuclear shockwave, her eyes wide and her lips trembling.
No, no, no, NO, NOOOOOOO!
For the love of all we find good and holy, no!
That's funny, I can't think of anything I'd hate more.
"Sure, I'd love to!" Terra replied brightly, the human heart in her chest pounding from the anxiety of it all. A high-pitched voice. WHY does he have to have such a high-pitched voice?!
He. Scares. Me.
We. Must. Destroy.
Calm. We. Must. Have. Yes?
Can. Not. Talk. Faster.
Must… Control… Fist of Death…
We are destined to kill him. Right now.
"Can we come too?" Princess Serenity asked, tugging on Catseye's sash. The other four princesses behind her were smiling and nodding at the ringleader.
"Of course!" Catseye said, gleefully tapping a small, black stick against his shoulder. "Everyone, come along!"
Princess Terrifying shuddered, already getting traumatized flashbacks of being touched by the circus performer. Nevertheless, she knew that she had to at least act like she enjoyed it, and she repeated that fact over and over in her mind like a mantra.
I like this place. I enjoy it. I do not feel the urge to snap and kill everyone. I do not feel like destroying this place. I do not feel the urge to tear the life-force out of this buffoon. I do not—
The group pushed past the crowded children. They left Herc at the ticket booth with the rest of the sane adults and took their seats in the front row.
Continued in Part 10-2G
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