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.
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.
Warning: This chapter gets into several adult situations. You have been warned.
Chapter Five: In Darkness and Light
I rush through the streets, unmindful of others as I speed my way past them.
Hopefully the cloak Black gave me, along with my SEP spell, will keep anyone from complaining. I take a glance down at the display that had attached itself to my arm. It showed that there was a street coming up, and that my quarry was not too far beyond that.
I run out into the street, and flip over the hood of a car, not even pausing afterwards as my feet find the ground again. I take one more glance at my computer before putting on a last, desperate burst of speed.
Sailor Venus groaned as she was slammed into a wall after being thrown by the daimon. Her body hurt all over, and the battle did not look to be going anywhere. The daimon seemed to have some kind of shield that blocked or reflected all of their spells, but was also some kind of maniac martial artist, for any time that they tried to approach it, it quickly threw them away.
Unfortunately, it could also throw spells, and they were getting closer to their mark with every shot.
Venus looked up just in time to see Jupiter being crushed by an overhand strike, and the daimon turned to the one Senshi that had not been in close combat, but had the majority of the daimon's blasts thrown towards her.
Venus scrambled to get up as the daimon once again targeted Sailor Moon.
Several things happened at once:
Uranus, upon gaining her feet again, slammed into the daimon, knocking it off balance just as it released the spell.
The shot careened towards Moon near the speed of light, like the daimon's other shots.
A black thing slammed into Sailor Moon and carried her away from the blast as it went slightly above its original course.
Then time seemed to speed back up, and Uranus was flipped over the daimon and thrown. The black creature was kneeling off to the side, with Sailor Moon in its lap.
Said creature stood up, revealing a short blue braid, and icy cold eyes.
"Anhara…" Venus whispered.
Sailor Moon is safe now, but that monster over there shall soon not be. A quick thought and its strengths and weaknesses are clear to me.
"You!" I point at it. "You try my oath. That shall not be forgiven."
Mars shouts as I raise my hand. "Get out of here! You're not transformed!"
"Cold Snap," I say calmly, and the surrounding temperature immediately drops. The Senshi shudder as one, from the cold or from my voice I know not. I approach the daimon, which is now covered in a thin layer of ice. Cracks are appearing on the surface, but I pay it no mind.
Its prison shatters as I reach it, but before it can move, a quick jab from my fist and it falls backwards. Mindful of this tactic, I fall with it, and put all my weight behind my hand as I whisper, "Diamonds…."
The daimon is frozen solid an instant before my fist strikes it in the chest, shattering it like Uranus would have done to her father the other day.
The pieces of ice and daimon scatter from the impact point, and I gain my feet again. "Idiots. Hit it with an area spell, then go in for the kill."
The others come up to me now, some with anger, some with incredulity, and one with pleading.
Before they speak, I turn to a gap in their formation, and begin to leave when I feel a grasp on my shoulder. "Mars…" I warn.
"How! You're not transformed! How can you cast spells if you don't have your transformation?" The girl is fuming, wondering how I do what I do. Let her wonder.
I turn and whip her hand off of me. "Listen, girl. I have been 'casting spells', as you put it, since I was ten! I had no need for your toys then, nor do I now! Let me be!"
She draws breath to say something else, when my head explodes in pain! I shudder, and clutch my head. I hear cries of worry, but I run away from them. What is this!?
Moon and the rest stared in shock as Ami suddenly grabbed her head as if hurt, then sped off, disappearing in the night.
That is, most of them did. Venus was off like a shot after the girl.
By the time the rest of the Senshi had reached the corner where both had vanished, there was no sign of either.
Sailor Venus took to the rooftops, keeping Anhara in her sight as they both sped across the city. Something was off about their old teacher, and she intended to find out what.
She didn't realize that she was mixing her memories of the Anhara she knew and trusted with the Mercury that she was now chasing.
A short time later, she saw her quarry enter a small apartment complex, and stealthily followed her in, using all that Anhara had taught her to keep from detection. Cautiously creeping down the hallway, she stepped around a drunkard sleeping by a door. One of the doors further in was slightly open, and she could not see any light coming out.
Sliding up to the door along the wall, she peeked in, then quickly stepped in and shut the door.
She couldn't make out much from the darkened room, but she could see moonlight reflected off blue hair from the futon by the window. She knelt down by the girl, and placed her hand on her shoulder, carefully removing the computer there and setting it down by the alarm clock on the floor. The shorter girl was shivering, and for once, Venus recognized what was going on. It had happened to her, as well, when the reality of another set of memories forced its way into her consciousness.
"G'way…" came a voice in English.
"No, Anhara," she whispered in the same language. "Now is not the time for you to be alone. Here." Venus laid down on the futon behind the other girl and wrapped her arms around her, forcing the girl in black to spoon up.
The shivering slowly stopped, and shallow breaths took its place. "Why?" came the small voice.
Venus sighed. "Sometimes you need to be alone, and sometimes if you are alone, you destroy yourself. And some questions don't need answers."
She heard the blue-haired girl sigh, and then felt her moving around. Loosening her hug, she suddenly found herself looking into a pair of sapphire eyes.
As their heads moved closer, Venus heard a whisper: "And sometimes, you just do what you feel is right…."
Minako slowly opened her eyes as sunlight hit them. She didn't recognize where she was. Hearing a rustling of to the side, she turned her head and met a beautiful face.
"Anhara?" she asked softly, remembering where she was, and… what they had done last night.
The blue-haired girl smiled for the first time Minako could remember, and leaned over her and kissed her forehead. "Time to get up, my dear, or we'll be late for school."
Minako blinked. "How can you think of school? There's still a lot I want to know!"
Ami nodded. "I know. But for now… Well, we don't want to end up standing in the hall, yes?" She began to get up and gather clothes from the floor.
"It would give us time to talk! And… and…" Minako just realized that they had been speaking in English the entire time. "And it's not like anyone is as fluent in the language as we are! Only the teachers could understand us, and not if we spoke low!" She was jesting, but for a second she wondered if Ami realized it. Upon hearing a small snicker from her, she smiled and began helping the other girl.
Minako shook her head at her companion. The way she had them efficiently clean up her room had left her without even a glance at the locked cabinet that Ami had. They had made a short stop at the bathhouse, then another at her home to explain to her parents that she had stayed the night at a friend's and pick up a change of clothes.
The pair had quietly entered the campus early, conversing quietly in English, not for secrecy, but for the fact that they were both more comfortable with it. Minako had been doing a great deal of the talking, explaining about her past in England and how she came to Japan. Ami said a few things about Seattle, and the surrounding towns, but was very reluctant to speak of anything dealing with family or hobbies.
Minako almost giggled when the other girls came into class and did a doubletake at her being there that early. They all looked as if they had questions, but were forced to take their seats as the bell rung.
Usagi sat down with Makoto, wondering with her what exactly had happened last night after both Ami and Venus had fled. She was slightly surprised as Haruka and Michiru joined them, for the two older girls tended to stay distant at school because of the age difference.
She was only slightly more surprised to see that Minako was approaching as well, dragging a slightly protesting Ami.
Her smile lit up when the two reached the group, and both of them were quickly made welcome.
Ami grumbled something in what Usagi thought was English, but the reply from Minako quelled her. Usagi suddenly remembered that Minako had lived overseas for most of her life, so would know the language well. But why would Ami know it?
Usagi saw Haruka draw in breath to start in on questioning the blue-haired girl, but she cut the other blonde off. "Ami-chan? Can I ask you something?"
Haruka nearly gagged on her own breath, and Ami looked at her questioningly. "I will not guarantee an answer. But you may ask."
Minako sighed and shook her head. "You don't have to be defensive, Anhara. They and I want you to trust us, and we trust you!" The blonde looked Ami in the eye. "Or don't you trust me?" The shorter girl blinked, then her mouth opened and closed. "You can't say that you don't, can you? Not after something like that."
The rest of the girls were looking back and forth between the two, wondering what "that" was. To forestall any other interruptions, Usagi pressed on. "Ami-chan? Would you do to me what you did to Mina-chan?"
Both Minako and Ami immediately whipped their heads around and stared at her for a moment. Then Minako suddenly broke out into laughter, rolling around on her back, and Ami twitched twice, then turned and yelled something to Minako in English.
Makoto blinked. "You ever get the feeling that something just happened any you have no idea what it was whatsoever?"
Ami sighed. "You do not wish to know, Kino-san—"
"She's Mako-chan, Ami-chan," Usagi said. "Don't be so formal! We are all friends here. Now then." She took a breath. "Would you do that… Memory spell, or whatever it was, for me?"
Ami stared at her for a second. Then gave a small nod. Reaching into her satchel, she drew out paper and pencil, and swiftly began to outline… something. When the others crowded around to look at it, they only saw a strange, incomprehensive picture. The patterns were both geometric, and somewhat… organic, but as Ami slowed down, there was still a large gap in the center of the picture.
Ami tapped the pencil against her teeth. "There. That should do it." She looked up at the others around her. "Interested?"
Michiru looked at the paper. "What exactly is that?"
"Well, it is a bit difficult to explain, because the primary focus of my magic is Divination, the seeking of knowledge."
"Wait a minute!" interrupted Makoto. "You were playing with ice last night. Why isn't that your magic?"
Ami looked at each of them. "Duality. Each of us, save only Usagi, has both a primary and secondary focus of magic. Mine is Divination and Ice. Each of you has a primary that is non-corporeal, and a secondary that is. Basically, your first is an idea, and your second can be shown physically." She turned to Usagi. "Could you sit still for a moment? I need to draw you into the spell."
Usagi settled herself, and Ami went back to drawing.
Several minutes passed, with the blue-haired girl looking up at the blonde occasionally, while the others continued to eat lunch. Suddenly, Ami sighed, then put down the pencil. "Come here… Usagi."
Usagi quickly moved over to Ami with a smile. "You're getting better! Now what?"
Ami placed her hand on Usagi's chest near her collarbone. "Sit still for a moment. I hope I've recovered enough to cast this again…"
There was a tension in the air for a few moments, then the paper in Ami's had suddenly disintegrated. Both Ami and Usagi sagged down, and the others moved to support them.
"Are you all right?" asked Haruka, who was helping prop up Ami with Minako. At her slight nod, she looked to see that Usagi was being held up by Michiru and Makoto.
Usagi was slumped, and seemed to be asleep. When Makoto shook her a bit, she responded with "Ittiko, re mouls verrda. Miis…."
Minako snickered. At the other's looks, she said, "Just five more minutes, mother. Sleep…."
The others grinned as well, and moved both Usagi and Ami to lean against the tree. Ami caught Haruka's hand as she finished moving her. "Water?"
Haruka nodded, and fetched Ami's thermos. After drinking a bit, the girl sighed, then looked up at the school clock. "Damn. Almost time to go back in. Where is that…?" She patted her sides, but quickly realized that her skirt did not have the pockets she was looking for. Haruka brought over her satchel in hopes that it might contain what she was looking for. Ami smiled her thanks, and rooted around for a bit, coming up with two pen-like devices. "Usagi and me." Haruka took the hint and pinned one of them onto Usagi's scarf. There was a moment where she blurred, but that was it.
Ami nodded slightly at Usagi, then pinned her own on. She, too blurred for a second, then steadied. "Got to get back to class before the rush. Don't want to knock the spells off."
Michiru looked at the pens and asked, "What are those, anyway?"
To her surprise, Minako answered. "Solid state spells. Basically an item that has had a spell imbued into it, and under a specific set of circumstances, will activate. What are those?" she questioned Ami.
The blue-haired girl smiled as she was helped to her feet. "SEP."
Minako nodded, but then grinned. "Not going to help Usagi much, she usually sleeps in class."
Ami shrugged, and the staggered into the building, leaning on the tall blonde.
"Come in, Ten'ou. What is it this time?" called Onawa from inside his office.
Tenmura stepped inside, and was relieved that the Chief wasn't there this time. "Sir, I believe that there is going to be a major fallout between the Assassin and the Gangs…." He trailed off as the Commissioner shook his head sadly.
"Too late, Ten'ou," he said. "He's already knocked off one of them."
"I know that, sir," Tenmura said. "I was asked for several names on that 'Council' of the Gang's, and was also told to tell that council where they could find a bullet casing."
The Commissioner finally looked up at Tenmura. "So, the Assassin's started taking out leaders of the Gangs?"
"Yes, sir," replied Tenmura. "Actually, that's what I wanted to talk to you about. If we could maybe give the Assassin some sort of official blessing…."
"Not possible, Ten'ou. The men upstairs will never go for it. We know where we are with the leaders of the Gangs now, but what happens when new leaders show up, or the Assassin does something unexpected?" Onawa shook his head again. "Can't be done, Ten'ou. Take it out of your mind and forget about it."
Tenmura gave one last try. "Couldn't you at least just propose it?"
The Commissioner glared at him. "Out, Ten'ou. And don't talk about this anymore!"
Tenmura sighed, and exited the office.
"Drat!" cried Minako.
"What is it?" asked Makoto. School was out, and the six girls were leaving the campus. Usagi had recovered enough to attempt to convince Ami to go to the arcade with them, but the blue-haired girl steadfastly refused, saying that she wanted to go back to her apartment and get dressed. Haruka had started to say something to her, when she was interrupted by Minako's outburst.
"I forgot one of my books back in class. Wait up for me, okay?" The blonde sped off.
Ami shook her head, "You all go on. I'll wait."
Haruka beat Usagi to the protest this time. "Nope! All or none, so we all wait."
The shorter girl glared at her and then moved off into the lee of the building, where she could see Minako if she came out, but was not easily observable otherwise. The others followed.
"Man, you have a knack for picking places!" said Makoto.
Ami sighed. "Just one thing of many, Makoto." The other girls were confused at this, except for Haruka, who realized she was referring to her profession.
Minako rushed down the stairs, eager to get back to her friends. The building was deserted, with even the teachers packing up to go home, so she wasn't worried about being caught running inside. Just as she changing shoes to go out, a gaijin man dressed in black clothes came up to her.
"Hello, sir," she greeted him.
"Hello to you." His voice was rough with his accent, and it sounded vaguely like Anhara's.
"Excuse me, sir," she said as she tried to slip past him.
She was stopped just as she reached the doors but something hard and metallic pressing into her spine. She had seen movies. She almost instinctively knew that the man had a gun. But how was that possible?
"Now then, Blondie, you should know the rules right now," said the man. "That little blue-haired girl you were with earlier? Let's go see her."
Minako gulped and opened the doors.
Perhaps it was chance, and perhaps folly on my part, but I did not see Minako until she was almost among us again. Usagi's gasp alerted me, and I turned to see her.
Meskira had a panicky, almost terrified look on her face, and I could see that she was shuddering slightly. My attention went to the man behind her and my eyes widened. Excepting only the eye-patch, it was—
"Crow?!" I blurt out.
"Heh. Nice to see you as well, Mercury," Crow responds. I begin to cast, but the pain it brings reminds me that I am far low on resources at the moment. Crow smirks. "Nice to see that I'll be able to put you out of our misery without too much trouble."
I blink in shock at this. "What? What the hell do you mean, Crow?"
Crow cackles like his namesake. "What I mean, is that you do not fit into the plans that the Guild has, Mercury. We already took care of Black, because we knew that he would be opposed to the changes that we will make. The Guild is changing, Mercury. We can't afford to live by aging standards anymore, so we're quietly changing our ways." His voice suddenly grew harsh. "And getting rid of anyone who feels differently."
I grit my teeth in anger. "You would abandon the codes that we have followed since the Solar System belonged to humanity? You would forsake the very oaths you took when you took up your name?"
Crow laughed again. "Old-fashioned nonsense. There never was a kingdom on the moon, so how could our order be that old? Times change, Mercury. You will conform to the new Code, or you will suffer the same fate as Black did."
"You mean to frighten me into thinking that you've killed him, when I know that he was a hundred times better than you!"
Crow grimaced. "Do you really think someone can survive being bombed? It took six of us just to get that old-fashioned geezer into the right spot. But now that's he's gone, we are weeding out those who shared his pitiful ways of thinking. So what shall it be, Mercury? Obey, and we'll let you have Black's old stomping grounds. That should please you, yes? Or will you die here, along with these others?"
I open my mouth to refute him, but out of the corner of my eye, I see that Makoto has taken the situation into her own hands.
In action so quick I nearly miss it, Makoto has broken Crow's right arm. Minako is freed, but Crow has captured Usagi in her place. He has the pistol to her head, and it is cocked with the safety off. Usagi's eyes are wide with fright and I too feel so scared, I just want to run, run away from this—
Stop! I remember now!
I chuckle darkly. "Fear. That is your power, Crow. Broadcasting fear to subdue your opponents. But what is there to fear? Nothing, when one knows all." I can see Crow gnashing his teeth, and the waves of terror dim and die. Now on to the next. "Now let her go, Crow. You can't get out of this alive with only one arm."
"I think not, seer," he says darkly. "I just need a little twitch of my finger, and I'll be rid of one, with five left."
"I have sworn, Crow!" I shout at him. "By my Name! No harm shall come to that one, even if I must trade my life for hers."
He grins. "Then do so! That is a trade I will willingly let you make!"
My breathing is heavy. The bargain is fair, but I doubt that he would keep his end of it past my death.
Usagi sweated as the two conversed. She couldn't allow Ami to die! There had to be some way out of this!
Suddenly, it seemed like time slowed down. Ami fell, clutching her left hand to her head as if in pain. Her right hand went down to her boot, and Usagi could see that her fingers slipped into the two metal rings by her ankle.
In an instant, Ami's hand had jerked back, and she saw that the rings were connected to a triangular piece of metal, and the blue-haired girls legs bunched and she sprung at Usagi and Crow.
Usagi felt the gun being knocked up and away as Ami ripped her away from Crow with her left hand. Usagi spun twice, falling into Haruka.
When she looked again, she saw that Ami's right hand was in a fist, with the thumb pointing up, and the blade, as Usagi now realized the metal was, buried in Crow's shoulder.
Time sped back up, and the girls stood stunned at what had only taken three seconds to occur.
Crow's face is but inches from mine, and I see disbelief in his eyes. His left hand is struggling to rise, to grapple me, but I grimly smile, and with a jerk, snap my blade upwards, slicing through the rest of his shoulder and skin with ease, severing blood, muscle, and tendon. Crow's arms are useless, and he staggers back against the wall and slides down. I can see him going into shock from the events and blood loss.
I stand straight again, and snort, pointing my bloody weapon at him. "You say that you killed my teacher, Black. I doubt that you could even conceive of his power, the power of the greatest Assassin who ever lived. You, and those who are with you… if they do not return to the old ways, then I will hunt them down myself, and kill every last one of them."
I turn away from him, not caring to hear his reply.
But She, the one who is Innocent, is the first that I see.
Her eyes are brimming with tears, and she softly cries out, "Why?"
I know that there must be cold fury in my eyes, for even Meskira has not met them, but the Innocent one stares back without reservation. "My oath. I swore on my Name that you would come to no harm. If that means that I must kill to be rid of that threat, then I shall. I have before, and I will again. It is the way that I was trained, for I am Assassin." I pause. "I told you, you are Innocence, the Light. I dwell in darkness, for that is where my partner, Death, resides."
"But you have not killed him…" she points out.
I look over my shoulder at Crow, who is struggling to rise. "No, not yet." I pace to him, and sweep my right hand past his throat, the blade on my fingers passing through without resistance. A thin line of red appears, then gushes. "Now he is dead."
I turn, but do not look at the others. Crow's gun, which he tossed away, could be of some use to me. I pick up the weapon, and eject the magazine. All there. I put it away in my satchel, and clean off my blade as well. Kneeling and putting it away in my boot, I can hear that one of them is approaching.
"Is this what being an Assassin is?" I hear Haruka's question, but realize the one underneath it as well.
"Yes." I say to answer both. I turn to go, knowing that the others will probably want nothing to do with me now. I'm stopped by someone roughly grabbing my arm.
I turn, and attempt to stare Haruka down. She sneers at me then drags me back to the others. Usagi is standing in the middle, her breath coming in hiccups. Haruka shoves me in front of her, but before I can do anything, Usagi speaks.
"Oh, Anhara…" I'm quickly enveloped in hug, and the taller girl is stroking my hair, murmuring in my ear.
"I am…" I begin, but am cut off.
"You are my responsibility, Anhara." Usagi says, and I can feel the others coming and joining us.
What is this? I feel… comforted. Where I had been alone before, even with Black and Meskira, now I feel as if I…
To be continued.
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