A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon fan fiction story
Chronicled by Dro'gan NiteFlier
Disclaimer: Some characters copyrighted by Naoko Takeuchi, Toei Animation, and Kodansha. I'm still not idiot enough to claim them. Some elements were taken from the game Lords of Magic, copyright © Sierra Games and Impressions Studios.
Part Two of Three
I recline on my chaise and look out over the capital from my balcony. It has changed greatly during my life; where once before the buildings were made with stones and wood, concrete and steel now dominated the landscape. Even the Palace and the Citadel have converted to new materials. The latter was, of course, my doing. Every five tannom now, the Citadel is completely torn down and then rebuilt. The Palace has not been so drastic, but it has been modified slowly. My own Spire has had its changes, for though it has stood firm amid the wreckage of the Citadel, improvements have been added in much the same way as the Palace.
More changes have taken place to the social system of D'kay. There are fewer slaves about, for one thing. That, however, is a direct result of no one left on the planet to make into slaves. We have no adversaries left here, and the kings started to call themselves emperors some time ago, but it diminished not the hooks I have on that line. I have seen new technologies sprout from scratch, and put into employ in less than a tannom. I chuckle slightly as I think that such a period of time is nothing.
It isn't, really. I no longer count my age in yenda, or even tannom, but years. Not even many of the Surnuro before me have lasted an entire year. A few tannom ago, someone in the hierarchy of priests decided to leave out the teachings of how a Surnuro was chosen from the teachings for the novices. I never found out who it was, but my servants made sure that he was not able to make another fool decision. In the old journals of my predecessors, they always felt on top of things until a few yenda before they chose a successor. I will not leave my people unknowing of what was to come. That is one of my reasons to keep my own set of journals.
I see a spark rise to the sky from beneath the horizon in the southeast. Yes, technology has improved. And slaves might become a larger part of the market soon. When I had found that there were other planets that had humans on them, I pushed the emperor of the time to start a space program. It has since bloomed, especially now that someone intimated that war was the primary source for new slaves.
I snort and take a sip of my wine. While most of the materials for the space program came from our moon, Phre'ja, those willing to go into space were few. As well, it was not a job that slaves could handle, so more and more of the children that come for their first Tannom must be sent up. I rarely handle that now, leaving it up to my priests. I save my effort for those that are truly special.
That spark that has now reached up to the stars is one of our last rockets. The jumpjets and shuttles that are in use now make those single-use boosters unnecessary. The shipyards above are making huge vessels of war, and their smaller counterparts. We have not sent any emissaries to the other worlds, but I know that spies have been employed by both sides.
And on the subject of spies….
There is a skittering up the stairway, and I needn't look behind to see that Phaard has arrived. I place the goblet on the table beside me.
"What is it?" I ask.
A shadowy voice answers me. "I have a recording from one of their councils, My Lady."
"You were able to infiltrate?!" I sit up and turn around to glare at the eunuch. He stands completely covered in cloth, with his face shadowed by his hood. "No one has ever been able to get even a snippet of such. How did you?"
The shadowy figure shrugs. "It is not for me to say. But I have… friends."
My eyes narrow, but he stands firm. He knows that he is my best spy, for he has worked his way into places no one has been able to before. The fact that he can withstand the free fall of space is the reason I sent him to spy on our future enemies.
I stand and gesture for us to go inside. I move to the screen set up beside my bed, and wave at the player. I know that he will not surrender the recording to anyone, even me. Phaard inserts the disk, and I watch the screen come to life.
A table, at which sit ten figures. Some have their back facing the viewpoint, but the woman at center has an air of power about her, and I would not doubt that she is in charge of the proceedings. Her hair is done up in a ponytail high on her head, and she is dressed in white. She has turned to someone facing her.
"And what is your position on this?" Her voice rings clearly, and I can hear the power of it, even in the recording.
I cannot see the face of the woman who answers, but there is anger in her voice. "You know damn well what my position is! They are obviously preparing a force to attack us! I say we go in and crush them now!"
A man in red beside the leader frowns. "You cannot be serious. Prepare for attack, most certainly, but they have not made a threatening move yet."
The angry woman snaps at him, "And this is what our resident god of war says? Bah! If I knew you were such a pansy, I would have conquered your planet ages ago!"
The man's face contorts with rage, "You will take back that statement, or I will challenge you to a duel."
The woman stands to yell at him again, but she is cut off by the leader. "ENOUGH!" She glares at the arguing parties, and they both back down. "Fighting amongst ourselves will get us nowhere." She turns to a man on her right. "What do we know for sure about them?"
The man adjusts his glasses and looks at a data pad on the table in front of him. "Sketchy. We have infiltrated their capital, but their system of government is… confusing, to say the least."
A red-haired woman who sat to the left of the still steaming man asked, "How so? Didn't you say before that they had a monarchy?"
"Well, that is what it appeared to be at first…" The man trailed off. "But then we found that their Emperor is being controlled by someone in the noble houses, whose strings were being pulled by the labor industry, who were in turn dancing to someone in their order of religion."
"So it goes back to their priests?" the inquirer asked, brushing her short hair back.
The informer pushed his glasses up his nose. "Er… Here's where it gets confusing. We found that every one of those groups led back to the priesthood, even the ones that supposedly led away. Everything eventually leads back to their religion."
Someone called out, "So who is in charge of the religion?"
The man bowed his head for a second. "Well. That's an easy question. The hierarchy of the Order of Death is quite simple, if hypocritical."
The woman in charge looked at him oddly. "What little I've gotten about their religion shows that they take to the name quite well. What do you mean it's hypocritical?"
The dark haired man sighed. "It is quite literally a priesthood. No priestesses at all. In fact, one of the basic tenets is that women could not be trusted to kill someone properly. But in defiance of all that, their leader is a woman. A quite ruthless one to boot."
There was a stunned silence. "You mean to tell me that a whole planet of child-killers is run by a woman?" The woman in white was incredulous.
The man winced and adjusted his glasses again. "Yes… But they are not all child-killers. Just the priesthood. And it’s only in the capital." The ponytailed woman waved at him to continue. "We don't know that much about their leader, since the only way into the priesthood is as a child. What we do have is even sketchier than the rest of it. She is apparently a hereditary leader, whose title is passed down to the next with some sort of blade. Rumors state that her age is anywhere from twelve to seventeen years—"
"HA! A child herself!" The man in red stands up again. "You mean to tell me we are afraid of a nation run by a teenager? Pah!" He looks down at their leader, who has laid a hand on his arm.
She herself turns to the black-haired man. "Those aren't Terran years, are they?"
The man slowly shakes his head. "No, they aren't. Those are the years of her planet."
The man in red slowly sinks down into his chair. "She could be over four thousand years old…."
"Or just under three thousand. There is no way to tell."
"We're going to be fighting someone who has been running a planet for four thousand years," the red man whispers.
"Don't go that far." The woman in white turned to the dark man again. "Has she ever participated in a battle, or does she stay behind?"
"I don't know."
"Why not?" the short haired woman asked.
"We… The records don't go back that far." He shrugged and looked at his hands. "The last time their nation fought anyone, they took over the planet. And that was over two years ago for them."
Silence reigned over the table for a time. "We are in deep…."
I blink as the picture jerks to a stop.
Looking at Phaard, he shrugs again. "That is as much as I have." I nod, and he retrieves his disk. I sit and ponder the meeting as Phaard leaves. "Surnuro."
I look over to him. He is standing at the stairwell, waiting. "Yes?"
He shuffles his feet. I have never seen him nervous before. "Will you?" he blurts out.
I raise an eyebrow, "Will I what?"
"Will you… take the battlefield?"
I think for a moment, then smile. "It has been far too long since I used my combative magics. I should start practicing again, don't you think?"
We took their ninth planet, the one they called Neptune, completely by surprise.
I fought at the head of one of the strike groups, and personally took the palace. The guards there were merely ceremonial, the true fighting force being present outside the capital and elsewhere on the planet. But even they fell easily once their fallen comrades rose again as skeletons under my command. My only real obstacle on my path to the throne room was the doors to the great room itself. Skeletons beat upon it, and soldiers gathered up a battering ram. The black robe that I had brought with me decided to bring his own magic to play, but his simple curse dissipated against the closed entrance. He tried again and again, using more and more powerful spells, but to no avail.
"Away!" I called out. "Your simple spells and words cannot break down such a barrier."
"Surnuro, no magic can break down this gate! You know that I am the best of our order; that is why I was sent with you," the priest replied. I look at him carefully. He is indeed one of the better black robes, but all of them believe they are the best once they reach a certain level. This one is not the best; else he would not have been assigned to fight.
"No magic, you say? Absolutely none?" I query.
He turns red at the thought. "I assure you, Lady, that there is none in all my knowledge that can break down this door."
I smiled quietly at him. Even he was not stupid enough to mistake me now. "Then allow me to enlighten you." I walked over to the door and stood before it. I could tell that my objective was on the other side, and an impression must be made on both her and my own troops.
I raised my hand to the door and whispered, "Scream of the Dead…."
The bolt erupted out of my hand and flew to the gateway, slamming into it with a hollow, resounding call. The doors jumped and then fell slowly in. I did not have time to gloat to the priest, instead concentrating on directing my skeletons and soldiers into the throne room.
The room was a vast hall, with a double row of columns down a center aisle, leading to the dais and the throne itself, and the woman sitting on it, looking into a hand mirror.
My skeletons raced ahead, only to be turned into dust when the woman showed them their reflection in her mirror. The soldiers advanced more carefully, but the woman did not use the mirror again. I came in behind them, with that pitiful priest trailing guiltily.
The woman rises from her throne and looks over the heads of my soldiers at me. "So, you are she."
I look at her carefully. She is dressed strangely, with her torso covered in white cloth with a deep blue bow on her chest and a blue gem resting in the center. She has a blue skirt, and has to two slippers of the same color. Her arms are bare, but her hands are covered in white gloves. Her mirror is hanging loosely in her hand, and something tells me that it holds a power like my blade.
"Why would you care who I am, save only to know who shall kill you?" I reply haughtily. I know who is the better here.
She narrows her eyes. "Surely you do not think that you can defeat me? I have survived more battles than you could dream of."
"So, that? If you wish to compare battles, then perhaps you should know that when I attained my position my world was divided into eight different Faiths. But as you should know, now there is only one. I have lived fifteen years, and you have not even a quarter of one. Surrender yourself to me now, and I can make your passing… less painful." I held out my hand in offering.
My opponent's face twisted into a snarl of rage. "I'll kill you first!" She made a broad sweep with her free hand and called out, "Tsunami Rush!" My eyes widened as a veritable wall of water formed in the air, and sped towards me and my soldiers.
"Jaii!" I quickly said, the Word forming a barrier between me and the flood.
My troops were not so lucky. The flowing water had swept them out of the room and far down the hall. I felt crackles of magic in the damp air, and realized that the water had other powers besides those visible. I saw the woman on the dais recoiled as she saw me still standing in the hall, completely dry. "I shall not be taken down so quickly, sorceress."
"You are powerful, but you cannot be powerful enough! I am Sailor Neptune, and I shall banish you from Sol's light!" She shouted out something else, and a bolt of water shot at me.
Dodging around the cascade of water, I saw that she had her mirror facing me and she shouted out, "Aqua Reflection!"
I caught the sight of myself in the mirror, and for just a second was paralyzed. Truths that had been long dormant in me rose to the surface but before I could even acknowledge them, I felt a presence familiar to me, even if I had only felt it so few times before.
::COME, MY SERVANT. DO NOT BE BLINDED BY HER PETTY SPELLS. BE EMBOLDENED BY YOUR OWN DARKNESS, AND MY DARK TOUCH.::
I come back to myself, and look straight on to another blast sent by Neptune. I merely raise my hand again, and form my blade. When the stream of water hits the tip of the dagger, it disappears, leaving Neptune staring in shock at her intended target.
I can feel the black light upon my form and drink deep of the bloodthirsty madness it brings. I see Neptune backing away, her face showing fear no mortal could live with.
The next thing I remember is the sweet taste of blood, and I find myself drinking from Neptune's neck, as a vampire would, taking it straight from the source. I recall feeling something as I drove my dagger through her heart, pinning her to the wall, some feeling of great power slipping through my grasp. I pay it no mind, still feeling the dark madness that Golgotha’s Touch brought to me; I bend my head down and drink once more.
After we took the capital, several groups tried to resist, but each of them died to my bloodlust. The Great One's Touch still flowed through me, and I hunted them alone, leaving escorts and priests behind to prepare and ship our stolen goods. Everything there was to take from Neptune, we took. From slaves to grain to machines and science. As I hunted out the last bits of resistance of a planet we were abandoning, preparations for recovery back to our homeworld, and deployment onto the next world to fall, were taking place in orbit.
I knew that there was a very thin time constraint, for the other worlds in this system were preparing to attack, to reclaim their ally planet. My forces needed to be gone by the time they reached this world, but there was a new problem that I had not been forced to deal with before. We could not be caught on this world, but neither could we be caught in-between worlds. My strike force that would come with me on the next conquest would not be able to survive an attack by more than two joint fleets from my enemies. The majority of my force would be going back with the freighters, full of prizes. But my blood still wanted more shed, and I would strike hard and fast on their least defended world, razing it for pure pleasure before withdrawing home to luxury.
The council of priests did not like my plan, but who are they to contradict me? They are perhaps some of the few who can feel the Touch driving me to more death. Perhaps they fear that I will fell them if I do not go and defeat my enemies. No matter what the reason, they were glad that they did not have to go with me.
I shall remember them, though. I shall come for them and remind them who rules, and who serves.
We ran stealthily, the ships keeping as quiet as possible in the vastness of space.
I had three troop carriers and six cruisers at my command, and we were making good time to our destination. We had left shortly before the freighters and their escorts pulled out of Neptune's orbit, keeping an elliptical that would take us back home, but quickly changing it and going stealthy after the first of the enemy ships reached Neptune.
That world is nothing but char now, torched by my men, and defiled by my Shades. Magic in that place shall be warped for long to come.
I wasn't sure why, but I didn't feel completely at ease when I gave that order. Something in me, some part deep down, buried under years of harsh ruling and Golgotha’s Touch, murmured in sadness.
But then, I was probably imagining it, for with the Great One backing me, how could I do wrong?
Somehow. I couldn't believe it, but somehow they knew.
I look through the viewport and see one of the carriers gently floating down into the atmosphere, gas and flames erupting from the destroyed ship. I know that two more of the cruisers are dead as well, and one, amazingly, has been taken over.
Somehow they knew, and they ambushed us just as we arrived. It was not a great force, a mere token defense, but they had gotten the drop on us, and in that initial moment of surprise, might have crippled us. The carrier I was on was dropping troops down to the planet as fast as it could, and I knew that the other surviving ship was doing the same. The three remaining cruisers were turning the tide against a single destroyer and a small group of fighters. Their other destroyer was too busy cementing their hold over my fourth cruiser to do damage to us.
"Lady!" I heard.
Swiftly turning I found one of the ship officers beckoning me to enter one of the dropships. I went with him and entered the ship, preparing as we launched and fell to the planet below. I shuddered through the turbulence of the drop, having experienced it before on the attack of Neptune.
The ship touched down and I followed the soldiers out, immediately seeking for enemies. Seeing none, I turned to one of the men and started to ask him where we were, when the dropship behind us exploded. I rolled on the ground, coming up and scanning the horizon, seeing nothing but the bodies of my men.
"Rhiht! Mrvy Tzol!" Five black forms fade into existence above five of my men. The Shades float for a moment, then scream in rage at being pulled from the shadowrealm to serve me. "Jik Phol! Nimit!" Each of the Shades growl and speed off in a different direction. Within moments, two have returned. I sense that they are less angry after feeding on the souls of those who destroyed the dropship and killed my men. I growl to myself, echoing the Shades. "Nimit. Mou vyc." The two Shades leave again.
I am not pleased. My men are dead, I don’t know where I am, and I don’t know what the situation upstairs is. I am forced to wait on my servants.
Five minutes later, my five have returned, and given their information to me. I immediately set out west, where the main body of my troops are. It only takes me thirty minutes to cross the rugged terrain, and reach them.
They are glad to have a leader, and we set off to the capital.
There are nearly no ground forces left, and what little is there is being handily destroyed by a mere two hundred men and five Shades. I do not join in, even though I can still feel the last bit of His Touch urging me to commit.
But I do not, for I know that somewhere near here is someone like Sailor Neptune. She will be mine.
I am keeping watch over the battle, when I hear a scrape on the stone behind me. Turning swiftly, and calling my dagger to me, I smile and think, This is her.
And indeed, it is. She stands there in a uniform differing only in color and symbol from Neptune's. Instead of blue her color is deep silver, and instead of tridents, her symbol is merely two columns. Her weapon is not a mirror, but a strange, almost key shaped staff the same color as her skirt. At the tip of the staff is a heart, and within a strange multicolored gem, like the one that adorns her bow.
Her red hair drops down to her shoulders, and I can see clearly into her green eyes. "So," she speaks. "You are She."
I smirk, "That is what the blue one said."
She nods. "I know. I saw."
I am taken aback. How could she have seen? My mind races, could it have been she that knew we were coming and taken steps?
The woman taps her staff on the ground. "Yes. I have been able to see much, but not lately. Recently you have been hidden by something, something that has empowered you, yet takes something away."
I don't know how she knows of the Great One's Touch, but she knows so much else. "Enough. If you can see other places and times, then you must have already seen your death!" I rush her, but am surprised when she sidesteps… and disappears. I grind to a halt, franticly looking around for her.
A sharp rap to the back of my head, and I fall to the ground. "I'm sorry, Sailor Surnuro, but I cannot let your rampage continue. Already you must know that you cannot go home unless you destroy the ships above, and there are still those en route from Luna. Please, do not make this harder than it needs to be." I hear her step closer to me, nearly standing over me.
In a single movement, I attain my feet and slash upwards. The staff goes flying off, and she is on the ground, clutching her arm. I retrieve her staff as she awkwardly rises, one of her hands nearly severed. "I think that you will fail. I can, and I will conquer all for the Great One."
Her face is twisted in pain, but she still speaks. "And after? What will happen after? When you have taken all? What will you do when there are no more near to kill? Do you not understand that your god is using you?!"
"Fool," I say. "I am his most trusted servant. Why would he betray me so?"
"Because… because he already has…!" She is nearly faint from the pain, but she presses on. "Do you remember… Do you remember Growth? Pyre? WindHome? Can you remember? Each of the eight capitols?"
I stop suddenly. What was she…?
WindHome, where I laughingly slaughtered the children of the Ice Giants, even though I had promised myself that I would never harm a child before their first tannom.
Pyre, where I butchered the great dragon Farin while he was sleeping, even though I had promised myself I would always give a fair fight.
Growth. Where after I had passed, nothing lived, even my own soldiers.
The other capitols, where I had broken other promises. Every time I had been Touched by Golgotha, I had broken one of my promises. And I had forgotten it as soon as the Touch had left me.
"Listen to me. Listen…" I turned to face her again.
"NO! I trust Him; He would not lie to me! I…I…" I hold my hands to my head, bringing the two Talismans close.
"Trust no one but a Senshi."
I jerk and stare at her. I see her not as she is now, but as she was….
::YOU ARE MINE.::
Conscious will fades, and I charge the wounded woman, words coming from me that I do not know. I am able to look into her eyes one last time before the dagger pierces her breast. All I see there is forgiveness.
"GLOTH LUWN TVAK!"
The power of her death siphons off from her, and more. Somehow, I feed not only on her own energy but on something else, something more powerful.
Something as great as a planet.
And something, no, someOne is feeding off me, taking the power I receive and funneling it away to Himself.
The silver woman rests in my arms. I feel her last few shudders as she goes still.
And the power flows through me to the Betrayer.
The flow continues.
The flow goes on.
Power. Flowing to me. I use that power to snap a connection to me, and to my heritage.
The power is now mine. And it is overflowing this small vessel. How can even I hold the power of a planet? How, and stay sane?
A Word crosses my mind, and I say it.
The body in my arms grows cold too fast, its warmth being drained by a creature called as a last act from the Dark One. The silver woman's body dissolves into that of a Shade, as the very rock I knelt on dissolved.
When I wake, I cannot move.
My mind is in pieces, and I cannot make sense of anything. Where is the Silver Woman? Where is Galadri? Larchnon? Harra? The red-haired girl?
Where am I?
Trust no one but a Senshi.
I had failed in this, and lost whatever trust I could have gained from them, by killing two of them.
Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter are my guards. They are two of the most powerful of the Senshi, but I cannot find the will to care. My mind does not focus on the outside, but on the inside, where I find each of my faults and wonder why I did not find them before. All of them lead back to one simple thing: trust.
They have kept me here for some time, but today will be my last here. Today I will be presented to Queen Serenity.
My guards escort me down the rows of knights, and though I look straight ahead at her, I can feel the hatred coming from the people beyond the knights. I do not pay attention to them. I have felt their hatred every moment since I awoke in a containment circle, here in the Serene Palace. As I reach the dais where she sits, bracketed by her husband and the three last Senshi, I see two objects on the first step. One is my dagger. The other is her staff, but it is cracked now, and is no longer silver but a dull gray, the heart and gem that topped it is gone.
I come to a stop before the throne. The Queen rises and steps to the edge of the top stair. "You are the murderer of Sailor Neptune and Sailor Valhailia. You destroyed the fifth planet, Valhailia, and somehow managed to survive until found by my ships. You have killed many, for merely the sake of killing all this, and yet we know so little about you. Your motives, your past, even your name is a mystery to us. Tell me, who are you? Where do you come from? Why… Why did you do all this?"
I raise my eyes to her golden orbs. "I did it, for that is what I was trained to do. My first kill was my predecessor, in the Rite of Tannom, where both she and my siblings willingly gave their own blood to bless mine. I served the Great One all of my life, even through the madness of His Touch, where… where I broke my promises." I lower my eyes again. "In the end, Golgotha betrayed me, had been betraying me all along, while I ignored what my heart said."
On the dais, the Senshi in light blue cried out, "And you think that you can get away with it all because of that?!" Before any could stop her, she launched herself at me, preparing a magical blow.
My escorts, Venus and Jupiter, block her from reaching me, and hold her back through her struggles. I pay no attention to them, still focused on the staff of Valhailia. The light blue Senshi grudgingly goes back to the dais, as my guards warily look at me. I bear no chains or containment, for they could not think of any strong enough. But I stand here, and answer her, "No, I do not, for they were still my actions, no matter how misled."
The Queen pauses when she heard this. "So, you will take any punishment I deem?" I nod silently. "You still have not answered my first question. What is your name?"
I sigh softly. "I have no name. Merely a title, as the representative to the priesthood from the Great One. I am Sailor Surnuro."
The audience gasps in shock, and I see that the Senshi are taken aback. Only the Queen shows no reaction. "So you are…" she begins. "You are a Senshi." She pauses. "Sailor Surnuro, for your crimes against the peoples of Our kingdom, I sentence you to exile in a place where none may come or go. You shall take with you your Talisman, and the broken Talisman of Sailor Valhailia. If you ever attain your freedom, you shall be welcomed back to this court, save only that you commit no other crime. This is Our will."
The crowd in the room was in an uproar as I was brought forward, and given the two Talismans. The other Senshi and the Queen circled around me, and I feel them building a teleport spell.
"Now you shall go to your place of exile, the Gates of Time!"
To be continued.
|Layout, design, & site revisions © 2005||
Webmaster: Larry F