A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.
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Chapter 2: Magnificent Senshi of a New Age! Uranus and Neptune!
"Rin, pyou, tou, sha, kai, kin, retsu, sai, zen…" The dark-haired miko held up a small scroll of paper as she concentrated on her mantra. Suddenly her eyes shot open. "Akuryo Taisan!" She slapped the scroll on the forehead of the sleeping woman before her.
Chibi Usa stepped out of the shadows. She clung onto Luna-P as if it was a life preserver and she was lost at sea. "Did it work, Rei-chan?"
Rei turned round. Her expression was strained and her eyes were sunken. She hadn't slept at all last night. "I don't think so," she announced sullenly. "My ofuda scrolls aren't affecting her one way or another."
Chibi Usa turned away. "I see…" she whispered sadly.
Rei attempted to smile. "Don't worry, Chibi Usa!" she said with false cheer. "I just know Usagi will be back to normal before long, trying to steal my manga and fighting with you over food!" Rei tried not to shudder at the memory of just how cold Dark Serenity had been last night, mercilessly killing Saffiru and striking Tuxedo Kamen. She could only hope that whatever had happened to Usagi could be somehow reversed. But it was a faint hope.
"Hai…" Chibi Usa spoke in a barely discernable whisper.
Rei struggled for something she could say to cheer the little girl up. She was drawing a blank. Luckily a suitable distraction chose to present itself at that moment.
"May I come in?" Mamoru slid the door partway open.
"Of course, Mamoru-san. Did grandfather let you in?" Rei invited him in, expecting a pink-haired bundle of joy to go barreling into him.
It didn't happen.
"Konnichiwa, Mamo-chan," Chibi Usa greeted him in a distant fashion. Her attention was still dominated by Dark Serenity.
Mamoru ignored Rei's question as he went over to kneel beside Dark Serenity's futon. "Has there been any change?" he asked Rei.
Rei shook her head. "Artemis says she's lucky she didn't die from using so much of the Ginzuishou's power. She could wake up today, or next week. We just don't know."
Mamoru clasped Dark Serenity's hand. "What has happened to you, Usako?" he asked sadly.
Chibi Usa looked at Mamoru curiously. "Mamo-chan, what happened to you?" She pointed to the purple swelling on his jaw.
He grimaced a little before giving Chibi Usa a reassuring smile. "Just a little bruise I got in the battle last night." He fudged around the exact circumstances of his injury. It wouldn't do to tell the little girl that the delicate hand he now held had been the one to deliver the blow.
"Oh…" Chibi Usa accepted his answer. Then another thought struck her. "Rei-chan, can I stay here again tonight? I don't want to go back to Ikkuko-mama without Usagi."
"Of course, Chibi Usa-chan." Rei had anticipated the request. "Luna has already been round to the Tsukino's, and has hypnotised them to think you and Usagi are visiting relatives in Nerima."
"Thank you, Rei-chan," Chibi Usa said before she focused her attention back on the sleeping woman before them.
On the futon, Dark Serenity continued to sleep peacefully.
Michiru looked out over the balcony of the apartment she shared with Haruka. She liked this place because it gave her a good view over the ocean past the harbour. She heard her partner approach. "The sea is getting restless," she said cryptically.
"I've arranged our transfer to Mugen Gakuen," Haruka informed her. "It should be our best chance at getting information on this threat."
Michiru sighed. "In the past it was our job to protect the solar system from invaders. But now that we have awakened in this age, the enemy is already here, already established. I wonder if we are already too late."
Haruka moved closer and put a comforting hand on Michiru's shoulder. "We will find the talismans before they do. The Silence will not occur."
"And the holders of the talismans will die." Michiru turned to face Haruka. "Can you live with that?"
Haruka shifted on her feet uncomfortably before looking Michiru straight in the eyes. "Their sacrifice will save the world. Even if they didn't die from giving up their pure hearts, they would die when the Silence comes." That justification was all that let Haruka sleep at night, and she clung to it desperately.
Michiru hugged Haruka. "We'll face what comes together," she said as she stroked her partner's back soothingly.
A man stood hunched over a desk in a large underground lab. The lighting was poor, so his face wasn't visible, but what light there was caught on his glasses in such a way to give him a freakish appearance. He was mixing what appeared to be organic compounds in a large beaker. He took a test tube from above a Bunsen burner and emptied its contents into the beaker.
A few seconds later, the beaker shattered and a small egg-like thing hovered in the air above where the beaker had been.
"Kaolinite-kun?" he spoke as he worked.
"Hai, professor?" A tall red-haired woman in a lab coat stepped out of the shadows behind him.
"At last I have finished completing the eggs of Daimon!" he announced proudly. "They can detect those human beings with pure hearts and steal them!"
The egg began to float higher in the air.
"Pure hearts?" Kaolinite questioned.
"That's right! The Sacred Cup, with which the Deathbusters will gain unlimited power, appears only when the three talismans are brought together!" He faced Kaolinite and spoke in a conspiratorial whisper, "The three talismans are the pure crystal hearts of selected human beings."
Kaolinite saw where this was going. "So, when we find those selected human beings and obtain the talismans…"
"We can get the Sacred Cup and the world!" Professor Tomoe burst into paroxysms of maniacal laughter as the Daimon egg flew up towards the ceiling and shot out of the lab through an open pipe.
Kaolinite teleported to follow it, leaving just an empty lab coat behind.
Makoto and Ami stood by a bus stop halfway between their school and Hikawa shrine. "What's taking Minako?" Makoto grumbled impatiently. "She said she'd be here at ten past four!"
"Now, now, Mako-chan." Ami tried to placate her friend. "You can't blame Minako if the bus is late."
"I know, but it's annoying!" She kicked the bus stop signpost, making a loud gonging noise as the metal pole reverberated. "I need to see Usagi!"
"We're all worried about her," Ami agreed. "But Rei took the day off school to look after her. She's in good hands."
Makoto grinned. "Yeah, she hates to show it, but she really does care for Usagi…"
Ami smiled as well. "She'd probably die of embarrassment if Usagi woke up and discovered that she'd stayed at home all day to look after her."
"To tell you the truth, I'm a little worried about what's going to happen when she does wake up," Makoto admitted.
Ami shuddered. "I know what you mean… She was so different last night. What could have caused such a change in her?"
"I don't know… and even though she defeated the Black Moon, I'm really not sure if she's still on our side."
Both girls started looking downcast at their conversation. Just then Minako's school bus started to pull up at the bus stop, and the blonde girl was the first to disembark.
"Hi, girls! Ready to go to Rei's shrine?" she greeted them cheerfully.
"Yep! Let's go!" Makoto said, trying to match her mood.
The three girls set off down the road to Hikawa shrine.
Kaolinite hovered over the Juuban district as she considered who would make a good target for the Daimon. 'Perhaps someone devout and pure?' she looked around and saw Hikawa shrine and the nearby catholic church. The church was closer, so she would investigate it first.
Sister Angela was happily sweeping leaves on the lawn in front of the church. It truly was a lovely day, which she duly thanked the Lord for.
Unfortunately the day was about to get a whole lot worse for this unlucky nun.
Her first cue that something was wrong was when a nearby tree turned into a vaguely plantlike feminine monster, which promptly knocked her to the ground.
"I'll leave you to it while I go look for more targets," Kaolinite told the daimon before she teleported away.
The daimon nodded at its mistress before exposing its cleavage to the distraught nun. The black star above its breasts began to emit dark energy which would soon extract her heart crystal.
Luckily, Sister Angela's screaming hadn't been in vain. She attracted the attention of three junior high school girls who were passing by.
The three ran in to the scene. "A new enemy?" Makoto wondered.
"Who cares? Minna, henshin-yo!" Minako ordered the others.
The girls had barely gotten their henshin wands out when the daimon decided to deal with the interlopers. It fired leaves, which expanded to trap the three, knocking their henshin wands from their hands.
"I can't get out!" Ami struggled vainly against her green prison. Minako was likewise trapped.
Makoto had managed to stand up, and still had some freedom of movement around her legs, unlike the other two. "Monster!" she bellowed as she charged towards the Daimon and shoulderbarged it off the comatose nun.
The daimon looked at Makoto, in surprise that a mere human would dare to attack it. But it quickly got over it and fired several leaves at Makoto, completely covering her from head to toe.
"Mako-chan!" Minako screamed in fury and disbelief. They didn't stand a chance if they couldn't transform, and Makoto might not be able to breathe since the leaves totally covered her.
The daimon ignored the girls as it finished removing the nun's heart crystal.
As she watched with a weird sense of detachment, Ami became aware of a low rumbling sound. Suddenly a yellow ball of energy struck the daimon, knocking the heart crystal from its hands. The daimon looked around for the source of the attack. "Who did that?!" it demanded.
Ami noticed a flurry of cherry blossoms float past her field of vision before two figures leapt from one of the trees to face the daimon. What really surprised her was that they both wore Sailor Senshi fuku. "Invited by a new age, I am the magnificent Sailor Uranus!" the taller of the two announced.
"Also invited by a new age, I am the elegant Sailor Neptune!" the other one announced.
The daimon grinned, then launched several leaves at them to try and trap them. The two new Sailor Senshi leapt out of the way easily. Upon landing, the aqua-haired Sailor Neptune began charging up with power. "Deep Submerge!" she yelled as a torrent of water formed around her, which focused itself into a blue sphere.
The sphere flew into the daimon, causing it to scream loudly. After a second, it disappeared and only the tree remained. A small white object fell out of the tree and cracked open, releasing a plume of noxious smoke.
Sailor Uranus walked over and picked up the heart crystal. "It's not a talisman," she said before tossing it to Makoto. "Give this back to her so she can live."
Makoto tore through the leaves, which now had the strength of wet paper, before picking up the heart crystal.
"Who are you?" Ami asked, but the pair just ignored her and disappeared as quickly as they had appeared.
"Will she be okay?" Minako asked as Makoto held the crystal of Sister Angela's chest. Within seconds it was absorbed into her body and colour returned to her skin.
"I think she's going to make it," Makoto said happily.
Ami, meanwhile, had picked up the remains of the daimon egg. This was definitely something she should study.
Rei was sweeping leaves at the front of the shrine as she waited for her friends to arrive from school. Plus, she felt it best to give Mamoru and Chibi Usa some time alone with Usagi. When the three girls did arrive, she wasn't especially surprised at their urgency; they were just as worried about Usagi as she was. "Good afternoon, minna," she greeted them. She decided to head off their questions before they could come. "Her condition still hasn't changed."
But the other three Inner Senshi had other matters on their minds. "We've got trouble," Minako said, her eyes hard.
"A new enemy," Makoto put in.
"And possibly new allies," Ami finished.
Rei put up her hands and gestured for them to slow down. "Slow down, guys! What do you mean?"
The three related the story of the daimon attack to Rei. Minako gave the basics, Makoto extolled on how she had fearlessly attacked it despite being at a huge disadvantage, and Ami told her about the two new Sailor Senshi who had killed the monster.
Rei swore under her breath. "I don't believe this!" she cried out. "Not even one day since we beat the Black Moon, and already a new enemy shows up! Not to mention the problems we have with Usagi! What the hell is wrong with the universe?"
The other girls could certainly understand Rei's frustrations. This really couldn't come at a worse time.
"So what are we going to do?" Ami asked.
Everyone looked at each other and then at the floor. They really didn't know. After a minute, Makoto hesitantly offered a suggestion. "I think we should have a proper meeting to discuss this, with Luna, Artemis and Mamoru. Chibi Usa too, actually."
Everyone readily agreed. It wasn't really a plan, but it did defer coming up with a plan till later, and that was something they could happily live with.
"Kaolinite-kun! The target doesn't seem to have the talisman, right?" Professor Tomoe was hunched over his desk with his back to Kaolinite as he spoke.
"Yes. And there was unexpected interference… I'll be careful next time." She was already considering what to do about the two who had destroyed her daimon.
"Nothing must stand in the way of the Deathbusters obtaining the Sacred Cup!" Tomoe burst into maniacal laughter.
"What do you mean you don't know anything about Uranus and Neptune?!" Minako had picked up Artemis and was shaking him violently. Her requests for information at their meeting had not met with the desired response.
"Minako-chan…" Luna tried to intercede on his behalf.
"Well, how can he not remember if they were around during the Silver Millennium?!" she demanded. "You can't expect us to know! We died! But you two were just stuffed in suspended animation. How can you just forget stuff like that?!"
"Gomen, Minako-chan." Artemis did his best to regain some dignity. "I don't really understand how suspended animation works, but our brains were pretty scrambled after we came out."
"Bah!" Minako snorted. "Some advisor you are. You're just as clueless as us!"
Artemis sniffed indignantly. "In that case, I like to think I'm as clueless as Ami."
Everyone got a good giggle out of that. Especially Luna. "Baka…" she muttered.
Artemis looked at everyone with an expression of betrayal. "I never get any respect!" he wailed.
"Sorry, Artemis," Luna apologised.
"Anyway, how come no one's picking on Luna? She's forgotten just as much as I have!" Artemis pointed out.
Luna looked downcast. "Normally it would be Usagi demanding information from me…"
Ami decided to try and get the meeting back on track. "Chibi Usa, do you know anything about any of this?"
The little girl seemed not to have heard Ami's question. She was just staring out the window with a vacant expression, clutching onto Luna-P.
"Chibi Usa?" Makoto prodded her.
"Oh… what?" She looked around at everyone as if she had only just realised where she was.
"Ami was asking if you knew anything about the new enemy or the new sailor Senshi," Mamoru supplied.
Chibi Usa shook her head slowly. "No… I don't know anything…." She stood up. "Since I have nothing to contribute, can I go back to Usagi?"
"You may as well." Rei let her off.
"Arigatou." She bowed and left the room.
An awkward silence descended over the room. Makoto chose to break it. "We really are lost without her," she said sadly.
"Who? Chibi Usa?" Artemis queried. He couldn't see how her leaving the room would affect them that much.
"Baka…" Luna hit the back of his head with her paw. "She means Usagi!"
Ami once again tried to get the meeting back on track. "While Usagi is incapacitated, and since we have to deal with a new threat, would it not make sense to elect a new leader?"
"No!!" Rei banged her fists on the table as everyone looked at her in shock. "If we have a new leader, it's like we're giving up on her!" she said angrily.
"You've changed your tune," Makoto said. "Time was when we couldn't shut you up about how you should be leader."
"I never meant it," Rei explained, then at everyone's dubious looks, "Well, maybe a little, but I only did it to keep Usagi on her toes."
"It would only be until Usagi gets better." Ami tried to placate Rei.
Rei continued to look doubtful. "I suppose I'll go along with it…" she acquiesced.
"Well, in that case I think Minako should be leader," Artemis announced. "She was the leader in the Silver Millennium, and she's been a Sailor Senshi longer than anyone else."
"Me?!" Minako pointed to herself, a shocked expression on her face.
"You'll do a great job!" Makoto slapped her on the back.
Everyone else agreed that Minako should be their temporary leader.
"Does this mean I have to start acting mature again?" Minako asked unhappily.
Dark Serenity slowly regained her senses. She became aware of a sound. It sounded like sobbing. 'Who could be crying?' she wondered in her sleepy haze. She noticed other things, like the pain in her head, the feel of a blanket over her, and a ticklish sensation by her face. She didn't know what was causing that.
The sobbing slowly died down. A moment afterwards, the ticklish sensation stopped as well. "Oh, I've gotten your pillow all wet…" a small childlike voice sniffed. Dark Serenity felt her head being lifted and then set back down. She surmised that her pillow had been turned over by the owner of the voice. "I'm just nothing but trouble to you… You must hate me."
For some reason Dark Serenity felt very sorry for her unknown companion. She just sounded so sad and pathetic. 'A few tears on a pillow aren't something to get so upset about, child…' she thought.
She was rather surprised when she felt a rustling of her blanket and the feeling of a small body pressed against her. 'Getting just a little too familiar there!' she thought, slightly panicked. But at the same time, it was rather nice, and she wasn't awake enough to offer much resistance anyway.
"Please wake up…" The voice pleaded.
'I'm trying my best!' she thought. She was also filled with curiosity as to the identity of her companion.
After a few minutes, she finally felt she had enough control of her body to wake up fully. She stretched her legs out slowly and opened her eyes.
"Mama! You're awake!" Chibi Usa exclaimed happily, looking up into her eyes.
Dark Serenity was immediately seized with panic. So far, Tsukino Usagi's personality had been locked in a cage of her own making, trapped by all her fears and worst memories. Now she could feel a tugging from that part of her mind!
Usagi was scared. She had always been scared, she could remember nothing else. Nothing else but the pain and fear.
"Mamo-chan! Please, I love you!" she cried out, trying to dissuade him from his actions. It was futile; she had relived this memory enough to know that.
"I don't love you anymore!" he said angrily, before changing into Endymion.
"Mamo-chan!" she pleaded with him desperately.
"I am Endymion!" he roared, before striking her.
Usagi fell to the floor, tears streaming down her face. Endymion stood over her; a black rose appeared in his hand. Usagi braced herself for what she knew was to come.
But it didn't come.
A white light enveloped the entire scene, before fading out. All Usagi could see was Chibi Usa's smiling yet tear-streaked face.
"Chibi Usa-chan…" Usagi reached towards her future daughter.
"Chibi Usa-chan…" Dark Serenity gently touched the little girl's cheek.
"Mama…" Chibi Usa took her hand and started crying again; only these were tears of joy.
"No!!" Dark Serenity leapt backwards from the bed and covered her mouth. This was very bad. 'I have to get away from her!' she thought feverishly. She quickly decided on the best place to go, and despite still being weak from her ordeal yesterday, she teleported to the moon.
Chibi Usa's eyes got wide "Why…?" She looked at the empty space where Usagi had been.
Chibi Usa abruptly disappeared. Within seconds all Usagi could see was utter darkness. When illumination returned, she wished that it hadn't.
Endymion stood above her. Black rose in hand. He dropped it on her, and its thorns grew into vines which surrounded her. Electricity surged into her body.
Usagi screamed, while her tormentor laughed.
To be continued.
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