A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
Chronicled by Dro'gan NiteFlier
Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC, and I would be a supreme idiot for claiming it or any of its affiliated characters.
Foreword: On Timelines: This story is set directly after the Doomtree story arc, but takes place in the alternate universe of "Assassin's Loyalty", and as a sequel to it. As you might have guessed, this leads to certain… differences in this universe, as you get to see right off the bat.
On Names and Postfixes: In this story I use the Japanese names in the Japanese manner. Thus George Bush would be Bush George, and Usagi Tsukino would be Tsukino Usagi. Also, the postfixes -chan, -san, -dono and others appear attached to names. Don't worry if you don't know what they mean. I use them simply for flavor, and like any flavor can be left out without altering the reading (or edibility) too much.
A very special "thank you" to Griever, my proofreader, who has given me several valuable insights and corrections for this story.
Chapter Two: An American Assassin in Tokyo
I open my eyes to the strident sound of the alarm clock. The caustic red numbers on its face read 7:45. I have half an hour to get dressed and be on my way to school.
School. Even after three weeks, I'm still getting used to the fact that I go to school.
Getting up in the mornings is a pain, especially now that I don't have a nice, luxurious bath to entice me out of bed. Gods, having one good bath a day would make up for all the other shit I have to put up with here in Nippon. Like school.
I swear, if it wouldn't have blown my cover, I would have moved into one of those nice, cushy houses with its own full-fledged bath. A "furo", they call it here.
But no. I've got to play the penniless schoolgirl.
I finally roll out of my futon and land on the not-so-distant floor. Another thing to hate: not having a decent bed. If I see Black in the near future, I'll have to really give him a piece of my mind. So I supposedly have to be dependent on some "Great Aunt". Does that really mean that I get so little from my own account that I can't even afford an apartment with a real bed?
Then again, maybe he wanted me to have a lesson in humility. That would fit him.
Damn the man anyway.
Looking at the clock again, maybe I have enough time for a visit to the local bathhouse on my way to school. It's better than not taking one at all today.
It won't do to smell when I met my new contact. That would be hypocritical.
Ten'ou Tenmura knew that something was wrong when his boss, Commissioner Onawa Hakiru, called him into his office. Tenmura was writing up a report of his activities as a runaround for the Iron Fox Gang. Working as a police agent in the Mob drastically reduced his life expectancy, if the Iron Fox ever learned of his true loyalties…
To his daughter, and only to her.
When he promptly arrived in the Onawa's lair, he was greeted by not only the Commissioner himself, but the Chief of Police as well.
This did not bode well.
"Ten'ou-san, we have a small problem. Have a seat." Onawa wasted no time when he arrived. Upon seating himself, Onawa continued. "We've been approached by a well-known member of the Iron Fox. Don't look worried; it's not about you yet. You remember that you reported increased activity and communication between the major gangs? As it turns out, they've been desperately talking to one another due to a death in Stone Dragon Gang."
Tenmura frowned. "What's a death in Stone Dragon mean to the rest of the gangs?"
The Chief, Mantaro Takaya, spoke up. "Before now, we didn't know what caused his death, and to be frank, we didn't really care. Unfortunately, we can't afford not to care now."
"Who killed him?"
Onawa answered, "You know about the Assassin's Guild that plagues the western world? One of their members has decided to make Tokyo their home."
Tenmura looked at them in disbelief. "Why would an Assassin choose to live here? They've never done anything like that before. Moreover, why here in Juuban? There are a dozen or more places that would be likelier to house an Assassin in peace."
Mantaro looked glum. "We don't know why he decided to live here, but that's beside the point. The reason for all the communication between the gangs was because they were trying to work together to give this Assassin a contact."
"And they botched it." Tenmura's statement flatly refused any other outcome.
"And they botched it." Onawa confirmed. "The Assassin has an intermediary, and the contact the gangs sent attacked her. At least, that's what the gangs suppose. They never found any evidence of him afterwards besides a note demanding a contact that was intelligent." As an afterthought, he added, "And didn't stink."
"That still doesn't tell me why I'm here."
Mantaro grimaced. "To give the Assassin a contact in the first place, the gangs had to make a sort of confederation. After their first failure, that confederation decided to shift the burden onto us. They then suggested you, specifically."
Tenmura felt himself go pale. Iron Fox had know that he was a plant by the police, and that meant that his life was forfeit to them now. At least, before they referred him as a contact.
The officers both chuckled at his reaction. "Not to worry Ten'ou, they've been saving you for a reason; I just don't think that they expected this to be it!"
"So I'm supposed to be their contact to the Assassin's contact?"
"Basically. As I understand it, however, there will be another level between you and the gang confederacy."
"What's this confederacy going to do to the relations between gangs?"
Onawa sighed. "We don't know exactly. Frankly, I don't think I want to know. You're to go straight to meet the confederacy contact. Dismissed."
Ten'ou Tenmura was, for perhaps the first time in his life, truly scared. Not even the ever-present apprehension of being found out by Iron Fox came close to the realization of what they would do to him if he turned out worthless to the gang confederacy.
That had been made quite clear to him.
He now waited below the Tokyo Tower for his other contact, the one on the side of the Assassin. An Assassin that had yet, to him at least, to be named.
Thinking on what he knew of Assassins, he came up almost empty-handed. What little he did know had been exhausted in the meeting with the Commissioner and the Chief. He'd have to get into the files at the station, now that he would be dealing almost directly with one.
He watched the people around him for a time, but eventually his head drooped in rest. The bench he was sitting on wasn't soft, but his worries were wearing him down. Feet began to pass before his eyes as he planned of things to do with his daughter the next time they both had a free day. Unfortunately, he would probably have less and less free time if he managed not to offend the Assassin in some way. And if he did…
There was still another thing to consider. Why did the gangs come to the police anyway? Surely they wouldn't want the officials to know what the Assassin's target was ahead of time so it could be blocked? But then again, perhaps that would get rid of the Assassin.
Something else tickled his brain. Something about the targets of the Assassin's Guild. Something about… corruption?
That was it! The Guild only took targets that were considered corrupt. If someone was killed by the Assassin's Guild, it usually came out sometime, years later occasionally, that there was some kind of deceit in their work. The Assassin's Guild killed only those who were bettering themselves at the cost of others.
But would one lone Assassin keep the traditions of a Guild based half a world away?
His thoughts paused as a pair of boots stopped in front of him. Small and well-worn, they had curious rings near the ankles that defied explanation. Maybe a new fad?
He tilted his head back and looked the boot-owner over. Surprisingly, it was a girl about thirteen or fourteen, dressed in a Juuban Junior High uniform. Her hair and eyes caught his attention, however. He'd never seen blue hair before, and instantly dismissed the idea that it was dyed. Juuban Junior just wouldn't allow such if it weren't natural. He remembered the work he'd had to go through to convince them that Haruka had not dyed her hair when he'd entered her there a few years ago.
"Mind if I sit down?" the girl asked.
Tenmura waved at her to sit and noted that she seemed slightly out of breath.
Something itched at the back of his mind. Something he was supposed to remember.
The girl sighed, then was quiet for a moment. Tenmura felt a strange tingling sensation come over him, like someone was watching him just out of sight.
The girl looked at him queerly. "Aren't you supposed to say something right about now?"
Tenmura blinked, and looked at the girl again. "The Tower can be impressive on a busy day."
The girl nodded and replied, "But there's someone out there who can lessen the traffic."
He looked at her in shock. "You're the contact?"
She nodded. "In a way. The one before you refused to believe it, and didn't have time for a different opinion."
Tenmura shifted uncomfortably. "So he's out there right now?"
The girl arched an eyebrow. "The Assassin is here. I doubt any action will take place however. There are simply too many people here."
He nodded. That would put a bit of a damper on killing him, even if it were only to spare his contact the pain of having a death right next to her. "So what else is there?"
"Not much. Do you know of a more private place to meet from now on? Switching information in the open is not something that it altogether wise."
"All right. I suppose you wouldn't happen to own a nice quiet restaurant, would you?" The glare he received convinced him that his attempt at levity was not appreciated. "Right. There's a park a few blocks west from your school. Do you mind if we meet there in a few days after you get out?"
The girl nodded. "Thursday, then." She stood and started walking away.
She stopped and looked at him.
"My name's Ten'ou Tenmura. This may not be my favorite thing in the world, but could we at least make it a bit less impersonal?"
She nodded slowly, as if surprised at something. "I'm Mizuno Ami. In two days." And with that, she disappeared into the crowds.
Ten'ou Tenmura sat stunned for a moment as he remembered something that his daughter had told him. "Mizuno Ami?"
What is it with these Japanese and courtesy? For that matter, what is it with these Japanese and — how did he put it? — Not wanting to be impersonal. If they cannot be impersonal even to strangers, then how can they live their lives while trying to get to know one another?
Maybe they're just crazy. I don't know.
I just hope that I can live here without going crazy myself.
Haruka slowly walked home, thinking of the vision Rei had told them of at the meeting. It had occurred at a strange time for her; instead of when she was resting her mind at the sacred fire, it had been when she had been coming in from a cold night.
Rei had been about to open the door to her house, and had been taken by the trance-like state that she usually kept when listening for foresight. This time it had taken her completely by surprise, and she only had a second of the vision before she crashed to the ground.
In that second she had not seen anything but a faint metallic symbol, and more surprisingly, smelled something. Rei hadn't been too forthcoming on the "smell", but the symbol was familiar to her as the other Senshi's.
It had been the symbol for Mercury, the innermost planet. The single most argued about subject of any of the Senshi meetings since Beryl.
Before Beryl, they didn't have the members they did now. They had picked up Venus barely before the final battle at D-Point. After Beryl, everyone had assumed that they had collected all their members, even if Saturn and Pluto remained obscure in their roles. They had all been there for Beryl, at least.
All except Mercury, that is.
Makoto and Rei had been of the opinion that there was no Mercury. She would have awakened with the rest of those reincarnated, right? Michiru and herself had stated that there was no proof for or against, and anyway, she could be in another country like Minako had been. Usagi had vacillated between one option and the other, and Chibi-Usa had not said a word on the matter, even when questioned point blank.
Minako had been silent. Later, they had found out why.
Instead of being initiated by Sailor Moon, she had come to awareness by a dream the night Artemis found her. When pressed, all she would reveal about this dream was that is was about the Last Battle.
It took them a few days before they realized that she meant the Last Battle of the Silver Millennium.
After being asked directly by Usagi, Minako had given them a very brief rundown. Afterwards they could not blame her.
It started as they would have expected it to end: with her death. Somehow after she had been killed, Sailor Saturn had come to her and drawn something out of her body, and it was from that seed that she witnessed the death of the Queen, the Princess, and all but two of the Senshi, not to mention dozens of guardsmen and other protectors.
Of two things she quelled their doubts on. The first was Mercury, for there had been, in the Silver Millennium at least, a Sailor Mercury. She had been one of the last to die, in the arms of a man in black. The second was trivial, comparatively; some of them had carried weapons. More specifically, Uranus and Neptune had, along with the already known Saturn and Pluto.
Haruka groused to herself. She still hadn't been able to call up any weapon, much less the sword that Minako had said she'd had. Michiru had had the same luck with her spell-reflective mirror.
The question of Mercury, however, was up in the air. Minako's dream told them that there had been a Sailor Mercury before, but where she was now? Rei having a vision of the symbol of Mercury could mean that she was about to make an appearance, or it could mean nothing at all. If Haruka remembered her astronomical studies correctly, Mercury was about to come into perihelion with the Earth any day now.
Haruka had finally reached her house when she remembered that she had to go to the track tomorrow to try out her new bike. The first one being trashed by a Youma had not made her day all those fateful weeks ago. Destroying the Youma with the power she received that day had been awfully satisfying.
Haruka woke suddenly, jarred out of sleep by an unexpected noise. She waited in bed for a moment, then slowly rose and stepped out of her room. Sure enough, the light in her father's study was on. He must have just come in.
She softly padded down the hall, and gently rocked open the door to the study. Tenmura was sitting at his desk, sorting out papers into several folders.
"Hey, Dad," she called.
He turned and smiled. "What brings you up so late, dear?"
Haruka crookedly smiled. "Heard you come in. What's so important that it can't wait 'til tomorrow?"
Tenmura laughed halfheartedly. "Actually, I was trying to decide if I really wanted to wake you up or not."
This surprised her. "Huh? What do you need my help for?"
His faced closed in. "You wanted me to find out anything about that girl you were suspicious of? Mizuno Ami?"
Haruka walked in and sat down on the enveloping chair next to his desk. Her father's grim attitude was starting to worry her. "What's wrong with her?"
Tenmura brought out one of the folders and handed it to her. "What can you tell me about her off the top of your head?"
Haruka related everything she knew about the girl, as well as the observations Minako had put in. She still didn't understand the big deal about the boots, though. She occasionally wore boots herself.
Her father nodded when she told him about the footwear, however. "That cinches it. It's the same girl."
"Cinches what? Who is she?"
He shook his head and pointed to the folder, which she had not yet read. "That shows the record of one Mizuno Ami, from primary school to her enrollment in Juuban Junior. A record I am now convinced is completely made up."
Tenmura shook his head. "In that you will find that Mizuno has had a near perfect attendance record, almost straight-A grades, and no signs of being a forgery. It had me fooled up until you told me what said about—"
Haruka interrupted. "Wait a minute, Dad. How is it that you are certain that this is made up if it doesn't look like it's fake? And how can you tell that it's fake? It looks like any other record I've seen." Taking a look inside, she continued, "Look, like you said, nearly all straight A's, except in Home Ec. That fits with what the others have said, even the…" Haruka took a closer look at the sheet of paper, her face going ashen as she did so. "History."
Tenmura smiled. "Your friend said that the girl was terrible at history for the first few days. Yet that says that she has always had perfect grades."
"And you can't just go from perfect to horrible. Even if you move districts, the classes should be somewhat similar." Haruka looked up at her father. "Who is she?"
"Haruka, what do you know about Assassins?"
The question threw her off. "Assassins? I guess I might have fought one or two in a previous life, but other than that I don't really know anything about assassins or ninjas or the like." Her smile convinced her father she was joking.
"Not assassins, dear. Assassins, capital A."
"What's the difference?"
Tenmura sighed. "The difference, Haruka, is that an assassin is universal, and will kill by how much someone pays them. But an Assassin, capital A, is a member of a trained elite, almost always found in the western world, and will kill by how much someone pays them, and by—" He stopped, and looked at the strange expression on his daughter's face.
"By how evil the target is," Haruka whispered.
Tenmura nodded slowly. "Yes. And maybe they're a bit older than I initially thought."
Haruka shook her head. "Where did that come from…" she looked up. "On second thought, I think I already know."
He nodded again. "You all right?"
She nodded. "What does the Assassin's Guild have to do with anything?"
Tenmura looked at his daughter carefully. "Because I think that this girl, Mizuno Ami, is an Assassin."
To be continued.
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