A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Benjamin A. Oliver
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is owned by Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.
Serena peeked into the room nervously, looking around to see what was in the room. The only one in was a person who was in a chair, which was turned away from the door. She came in slowly and sat down.
"I'd like to have an argument," Serena said. The person in the chair turned around.
"Don't give me that, you empty-minded spaghetti-brained meatball-head!" Raye said angrily.
Serena's jaw dropped. "W-wait, I came to—"
"So here comes Serena, Ms. Leader of the Sailor Scouts who can't even get up on time," Raye said, standing and leaning against the table, glaring down spitefully at the other girl.
"WAIT! I just want to have an argument, Raye! Why do you have to be so mean to me?" Serena whined. Raye blinked and visibly calmed, sitting back down.
"Oh, I'm sorry. This is abuse," the raven-haired girl said, indicating the sign on the door. A look of realization crossed Serena's face.
"Okay, then can you tell me where I can get an argument?" Serena asked.
"Down the hall, to the… left I think. You can't miss it."
Serena brightened and walked out.
She followed the hall but forgot to ask whether it was Raye's left or her left. After thinking about it for a moment, she finally decided on the right door.
As soon as she opened it…
Serena was hit on the head with a mallet. A girl in a blue dress stepped out.
"OW!" Serena said, rubbing her head.
The girl shook her head disapprovingly. "No, no. It's more of a 'WAAH!'" she said, once more lifting her heavy-looking mallet.
"AAH!" Serena said, clutching her head in pain.
"No, that's not it. It's 'WAAH!'" the other girl corrected.
"WAAH!" Serena said, defensively covering her head.
"There! You've got it!" the mallet-wielding individual said approvingly.
"Look, I just want to have an argument!" Serena exclaimed, holding her hands in front of her defensively as she backed off.
"Oh, sorry. It's 'hitting on the head' lessons in here," the girl said, indicating a multitude of girls inside malleting various boys. Many names were shouted out before a chorus of 'NO BAKAAAA!' was yelled as they swung their Heavy Blunt Objects.
"So… where can I get an argument?"
"Arguments are across the hall," the girl replied and went back in, closing the door. Serena shrugged and went to the other door.
Opening it, she looked in, seeing a chair turned away from the door. She warily stepped inside, closed the door, then sat down.
The chair turned around to reveal a man with black hair, blue eyes, wearing a green tuxedo.
"I'd like to have an argument," Serena said.
"No, you wouldn't," the man replied nonchalantly.
"Yes, I would."
"No, I honestly don't think you would."
"Yes, I want to have an argument!" Serena argued forcefully.
"No, you wouldn't."
This went on for quite a while…
"Look, I may not be the best student in the world, but I know that an argument is more than me saying, 'Yes, I would,' and you saying, 'No, you wouldn't,'" Serena said exasperatedly.
"No, it isn't."
The man rang a bell on his desk.
"Wait… No, it isn't!" Serena said, glancing at her watch.
"Yes, it is."
Serena let out a sigh of frustration. "Let's go ask someone else, then!" she said, dragging the man out of the room.
Picking a random door, Serena knocked. The door opened and…
*WHACK!* The man was hit on the head with a mallet.
"AAH!" he said, rubbing his head.
"Needs work," the girl commented to Serena.
"WAAH!" Serena said, defensively covering her head.
"Ooh! You could learn a few things from her!" The girl told the man.
"JADEITE!!!!!" Beryl screamed. The general in question appeared.
"Wh-wha-what is it, my queen?" Jadeite asked in terror. Queen Beryl had finally learned to pronounce his name correctly. This could not be a good thing. "I said that everything was going according to plan… I will succeed this time."
Beryl glared at him. "You have consistently failed after promising victory each time! What makes you think that you will be able to defeat the Sailor Scouts now? Give me one reason that I shouldn't put you into the eternal sleep right now!"
Jadeite took a deep breath. "Allow me one more opportunity to redeem myself. Please, Queen Beryl, I will not fail again."
The evil queen rolled her eyes. "Very well… You may do whatever it is you have planned… but this is your last chance, Jedite," she said, her voice seething with frustration and annoyance.
The blonde general relaxed. If she mispronounced his name the second time, then the situation couldn't be all that bad. As a matter of fact, Jadeite appeared to be on the verge of singing… "I know, Queen Beryl. That's why…" he began, music turning on in the background.
"STOP THAT! THERE WILL BE NO SINGING!!" Beryl screamed. The music died down. The members of the royal youma court breathed a sigh of relief.
"Spoilsport," Jadeite muttered.
"What was that, JEDITE?!"
The general winced. Why? Why?! WHY?!?! He sighed, straightening his uniform, and continued speaking. "For your viewing pleasure, I have set up a crystal ball for you to see my victory. I have a direct confrontation planned," he said confidently. "Also, should you wish to contact me directly, I have a communicator for you."
Jadeite handed Beryl a rectangular device and vanished.
There was an uncomfortable silence, all present wondering if Jadeite would actually succeed or not.
"Bets, anyone?" Beryl asked rhetorically.
"Fifty on Starlight Knight!" Zoicite said annoyingly, appearing in a shower of flower petals.
"Ten on Sailor Moon!" Kunzite said enthusiastically, appearing next to Zoicite.
"Seven hundred on Sailor Mercury!" Nephrite said with a smirk.
Atomic Starlight Knight rubbed his head. He REALLY needed to find a better way to let out his frustrations. Setting up an elaborate scenario just to get into an argument with one of Terra's friends was a little extreme, even for him. But if Jadeite could set up something strange to do a menial task, so could he!
Although, you have to admit, that the green tuxedo was kinda funny, A.S.K. thought.
Yeah, she didn't even recognize you!
'Disguise Power, change me into something else.' What kind of line is that?!
Sometime before that incident with that doll-with-multiple-heads-and-vomited-fire youma and that wacky palace with all those electronic pandas, (deep mental breath) he had been able to analyze the energy pattern of the Luna Pen.
Yeah, quiet. I know I can't quite get that 'disguise power' thing to look right.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you were half a block away when you tried to analyze it.
You always end up turning into something even stranger than you are now!
Hey, don't knock it. I'm getting better at it. Really, I am.
Yeah, I suppose you're right. I mean, it's not like you end up accidentally disguising yourself as a supermodel… anymore.
Now THAT was scary.
A slight slip-up.
Okay… What about the 'Wedding Dress' incident?
Also frightening. 'Change me into something appropriate for the situation.' You… I… really need to be more specific.
It was inconspicuous enough.
Really? You almost won the competition!
Well… I HATE losing.
But it was wholly inappropriate for someone that should really be out blowing things up!
It was an honest mistake! I had to do a LOT of modifications to the energy to get it to work regularly. Then after that, I still had to do quite a bit of tinkering. The Luna Pen, as I recall, was not designed for use by anything like me.
Right. It wasn't supposed to do that!
Face it! You just don't want to admit that you copied an energy source that was made for fashion-obsessed teenage girls!
How was I supposed to remember that?! It's been several thousand years since I last saw that energy type!
You've got a memory that can recall that sort of thing!
No, I'VE got a memory that can do that.
Who am I, then?
Then you're me?
No. You're you, I'm you… You're ME!
*WHAM*WHAM*WHAAAAM!* "Shut up, Shut up! Everyone just SHUT UP!" A.S.K. yelled, pounding on his head as hard as he could.
~~~ Begin Flashback ~~~
Ah, yes. The Luna Pen…
"Disguise Power, change me into.. A Cup of Tea!" Princess Terra said. The energy flickered, attempted something, then promptly faded, leaving Terra exactly as she was before.
A teakettle appeared out of nowhere and dropped to the floor. Its lid opened and Arby poked his head out.
"I'll not stand for this!" Arby said defiantly, dripping hot water.
"Oh! Sorry, Arby!" Terra said in an embarrassed tone.
"I am not a cup of tea!" Arby said indignantly.
Terra thought about it. "You could be…"
Arby ducked back inside. "All roight, but I won't loike it," he murmured from inside the kettle.
"So, is that how it's supposed to work?" Terra asked Princess Serenity, turning away from the teapot on the floor.
"No, that is not quite how you use it," Princess Serenity replied. "You need to say a proper phrase."
"Well then, Serena, what should I say?" Princess Terra asked. All these nicknames. Princess Serenity absolutely refused to call her 'Princess Terrifying', so Terra merely took to calling her 'Serena'. And… well… it stuck.
Serena took back the Luna Pen.
"Like this: Disguise Power, change me into a Beautiful Ballroom Dancer!" Serena said, and the Luna Pen did its work, modifying her outfit to a formal ball gown.
Terra inwardly cringed, but managed to stay in character. "Interesting… I just can't think of anything to say when I activate it," she said nicely.
In reality, she just couldn't bring herself to say any key words that might trigger the Luna Pen. She couldn't handle 'totally cool', 'glamorous', 'beautiful', or any other adjectives that reminded her of exactly what kind of society she was presently in.
As a princess, now approaching the later teen years, she was expected to attend all royal social functions, such as dances, balls, public addresses, and so on. She had expressed a 'dissatisfaction' with going to these things, at least as much as her chosen outward personality could allow, but she still ended up having to go.
It was, in actuality, a monumental feat of thought and action control. Here she was, nine BILLION years old, having to act in certain ways, actually obey someone else, and conform to the population.
It had all been a very novel experience, especially being talked down to, as if she were some sort of inferior. Extremely fascinating. There were so many new experiences that she had gone through since her career as a Big, Scary Monster had come to an abrupt halt.
"Princess Terra, your presence is required in the throne room at once," a messenger said, entering.
It had gotten old very fast.
"Very well, I will arrive soon," Terra said aloud, then under her breath as she began to leave, "If I don't blow this place up first."
"Princess?" the messenger asked. Terra stopped and assumed an innocent expression.
'What? Me? I don't know anything. I'm just a little mindless girl that's going to BLAST EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!!!!' Terra desperately wanted to scream, but merely said, "Nothing. I didn't say anything."
Life has its little disappointments.
It also has its challenges.
One of the more challenging challenges awaited her when she arrived in the throne room. Queen Serenity was present, as was an unfamiliar woman dressed as a Sailor Senshi. This particular one had green hair and her uniform had a black skirt, black boots, and a dark red bow on the front.
"What did you call me for, Mother?" Terra asked sweetly.
Serenity turned to face her, a grave expression on her face. "It is a matter of the utmost importance," she said. The Queen indicated the woman standing near her. "This is Sailor Pluto, the guardian of the Gate of Time."
Terra gasped, glancing nervously at the Senshi. She had heard about her… Never really met her, but there had been some… unpleasantness between her and the mentally projected Atomic Starlight Knight. Some pretty volatile situations had happened.
Unfortunately, Terra hadn't ever bothered to download a majority of the details from him…
"Hello, Sailor Pluto!" the adopted princess said, trying to sound friendly. "What's this about?"
"It concerns you," Sailor Pluto said in a manner befitting one who had seen time from the outside.
"What about me?" Terra asked, feeling nervous at the type of power Sailor Pluto radiated. It was something that could best be described as… attempting to see through her, trying to tell who she was, what she had done in the past… what she would do in the future…
"She needs to find out more about you. As long as you've been with us, we still do not know very much about you," Queen Serenity said.
Terra involuntarily took a step back. "I… told you all I remember," she replied uneasily.
"Still, we do not know if any of your memories have been altered," Sailor Pluto said. "We must find out for certain. Also, we need to discover any possible connections to a being named 'Metallia'." The energy Sailor Pluto radiated seemed to be beginning a search of some kind.
Terra was inwardly screaming at herself to get out of here. If all that was being said and done were any sign, they would be doing a temporal scan; a sort of personal record of all that someone had done. It was supposedly an infallible way of determining truth, by looking at a person's entire existence. If she stole a cookie from a cookie jar when she was two, it could tell.
By local standards, she had done a great deal more than steal from a cookie jar. Terra started to analyze the energy, simultaneously looking into the information she kept stored in Starlight in some hopes of finding an energy pattern capable of blocking Sailor Pluto's temporal scan…
"It is completely painless, I can assure you," Queen Serenity said reassuringly.
The redhead backed off a little more as she tried to recall exactly how many civilizations she had destroyed.
"We really need to do this. There is a great evil coming, and we must know if there is anything you may have experienced that could help us," Sailor Pluto added.
Oh, of course there were things somewhere in Terra's past that could be of use. Many things. She hadn't had anything to do with any being known as 'Metallia', as far as she knew, but she had many experiences destroying evil.
Unfortunately, the methods she used destroyed the good just as readily, and that would be… somewhat less than acceptable in this society. As a matter of fact, if they saw even a glimmer of her real past, they'd probably call in the guards, the Senshi, ANYONE who could destroy something of her caliber.
They'd probably succeed, too, the former galactic destroyer thought grimly. As much as she murmured about blowing the place up, the past few battles had terminally sapped her resources, severing her connection to her main energy source and leaving her with only a very small fraction of her original power.
She was in absolutely no condition to go head-to-head with anything on the scale of a Senshi right now.
Sailor Pluto stared at her intently. Terra felt the energy going in for a detailed search. She desperately did what she could to block or divert the scan, based upon what she could discover about it.
Sailor Pluto had, for a moment, a shocked expression. She quickly recovered.
"So when do we begin?" Terra asked nicely.
The green-haired Senshi smiled. "We are already finished."
Terra breathed a sigh of relief. If Pluto wasn't leaping at her, screaming, "DIE, EVIL SPAWN OF DARKNESS!!!" or some similar statement, that meant that her past was, for now, safely hidden.
Since that point, Terra had to periodically block scans such as those. It became a reflex after a while.
Sailor Pluto had apparently only gotten a fragment of a particle of her real existence. The rest she got was a fabricated history telling how Terra had been kidnapped from her home world. What made the story interesting were the real parts that got through. After her kidnapping, the story said, her world was destroyed by a monster very similar to what she had been turned into. Now, her only remaining friend from home was someone who called himself 'Tim, whose only way of coping with the tragedy was to vent through fighting.
It was all very heart wrenching, very tragic… and very, very convincing. She also hoped that it didn't also sound very, very contrived…
"Such a poor little girl," the guardian of the Gate of Time whispered pityingly.
By some phenomenal miracle, somehow, for some unfathomable reason, Pluto had swallowed it.
"She has a tragic past, Queen Serenity. She knows nothing of Metallia, or Queen Beryl's part in this situation."
Hook, line, and sinker.
"Farewell," Pluto said. She bowed to her Queen, then turned to Princess Terrifying and smiled mysteriously before vanishing.
Then again, you never know…
~~~ End Flashback ~~~
All right! Who ordered that flashback?! Atomic Starlight Knight asked himself.
Oh… Well, isn't that just lovely…
Oh, quiet. And while you're at it, jus— the green-armored knight began to think to himself before being cut off by Jadeite's head and shoulders suddenly appearing over the city.
"Sailor Scouts, I challenge you to a final battle," Jadeite began, his voice booming across the city.
Well, looks like Jadeite's at it again, A.S.K. thought with a sigh.
"Meet me at the airport after dark, or this will happen," Jadeite continued dramatically.
The city suddenly burst into flames.
Umm… Can he do that? A.S.K. asked himself nervously.
"This was just an illusion, but it will become reality if you do not come," Jadeite finished as he vanished, along with the flames.
I suppose we'll have to blast him again, the black-haired semi-energy being rationalized with an evil grin.
Yeah, and maybe we can blow something up on the way!
A.S.K.'s thought pattern followed this line until he had to tell his alternate personalities to, once again, be quiet.
*WHAM* *WHAM* *WHAM*
Then, to Atomic Starlight Knight's dismay, all of his other personalities burst out into a chorus of 'Disco Inferno'.
"All right, let's call this emergency meeting to order!" Luna said, attempting to stop another violent argument between Raye and Serena.
"You've been practicing, meatball head! Have you been arguing with Darien again?" Raye asked tauntingly.
"Um, Scouts?" Luna asked hopefully.
"No, Raye! I signed up for a course. I had my first lesson this morning," Serena said seriously.
Raye blinked. "An… argument course… Oooookay…" she said, one eyebrow raised. "I thought that thing on earlier was just one huge joke!"
Amy and Luna looked at each other nervously. The arguments had never quite been this bad before…
Terra just smiled, holding up a tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.
"Well, what were you doing in the 'abuse' section, hmmm…?" the blonde asked, absently picking up a cookie.
"Charity work," the raven-haired priestess replied, also taking a cookie. "My sponsor donated forty dollars for every session I did." [Yes. Dollars. DIC continuity subdivision! ^_^]
Everyone turned toward Luna. "Can we begin now?" she asked.
Raye glanced at Serena. "Think we're done for now?"
Serena thought about it for a moment, then nodded, munching on her cookie.
Luna breathed a sigh of relief. "Good. Let's review. Jadeite will be expecting you tonight at the airport. If you don't show up, he may destroy the city!"
"We beat him at least a dozen times already," Serena mumbled with her mouth full. She swallowed. "Why should this be any different?"
"He has obviously prepared something. If he is that confident, even after all his defeats… we may have to consider the possibility that he was playing with us all along."
"For three months?!" Raye asked incredulously.
"Well, I said that it was a possibility."
"It's highly unlikely, given the nature of his defeats," Amy said after having carefully calculated a few factors on her computer.
"But it could be, ya see," the ArbyFish said, popping up behind Luna.
"Gah!" Luna shouted. Startled by Arby's sudden appearance, she jumped up and clung to the ceiling. She looked down at her student. "W-we'll find out tonight, Arby."
Raye looked at Arby. "You still haven't answered me on one little subject… What ARE you?"
The green, seal-like creature fluttered up to her and looked into her eyes seriously. "Neva' ask that quest'n."
Those last few attacks of his had to be some kind of joke! Atomic Starlight Knight thought, looking through a newspaper, having nothing else to do for the few remaining minutes until Jadeite showed up.
A.S.K. finally ran into an article detailing an epidemic of a strange disease that left its victims in a coma for a day, then recovering without any other effects.
This caught his eye. He finally came to a realization… The last few attacks HAD been jokes!
He must have drained thousands, from the look of this!
Remember how strengthened the Negaforce could become after draining ONE being, let alone several thousand?
Hmm… Let me think about it… YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's been preparing this for weeks!
And we only have THREE minutes to get there in time!
Jadeite stood over the unconscious forms of fourteen people.
"Can't be too careful…" he said, absorbing the energy into himself. Jadeite was again on the verge of singing.
The music began and…
"Jedite, there will be NO SINGING!" Queen Beryl said through the communicator. The music died down.
"Oh, all right," Jadeite said. He started to feel something coming. "Assume omniscient stuck-up megalomaniac position, and…"
"I am Sailor Moon, Champion of Justice. I—"
"Yadda, yadda, yadda. Prepare to die," the blonde general said, summoning a particularly nasty youma he had enhanced for this battle.
Slashing its claws wildly, the youma jumped into the midst of the Sailor Scouts, who judiciously dodged.
Well, stepped aside, actually.
Having missed the Scouts, the youma rammed face-first into a five-foot thick concrete wall.
"Destroy them, my servant!" Jadeite said, waving his right hand dramatically.
The youma pulled itself out of the wall and growled in agreement. It once again lunged at the Sailor Senshi. [Scouts… Senshi… Eh, po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe…]
"Mars Fire, IGNITE!" Sailor Mars said, burning the youma.
"AUGH! You have destroyed me!" The youma said lamely, disintegrating in a puff of magical dust.
"Got your monster, Jedite! Err… Jadeite!" Sailor Mars said.
"Bah. Can't anyone say it right?! Overworked, underpaid… No respect," Jadeite grumbled.
"What?" Sailor Moon asked.
The shorthaired general snapped his fingers. "Round Two," he said. The youma reformed into something twice as evil looking. It cackled at the expressions on their faces.
"Moon Tiara Magic!"
The tiara flew at the youma, smashing into a shield that blocked it completely. The youma smiled and stalked toward them.
There was a bright red flash and a rose imbedded itself into the concrete.
"Remember, Sailor Earth, you can do anything as long as you— URK!" Tuxedo Mask said until the youma flung out black ribbons and snagged his throat.
"OHO HO HO HO HO!!!" the youma laughed evilly, flinging Tuxedo Mask into the ocean…
"Tuxedo Mask!" Sailor Earth gasped out worriedly.
"OHO HO HO HO HO HO *WHAM*!!" The youma laughed until Sailor Earth gave it a sharp uppercut, sending it back into the wall.
The youma recovered after three seconds, attacking again.
"Mercury Bubbles, BLAST!" Sailor Mercury said, blanketing the area in a thick fog.
"OHO HO ho ho… wait… I CAN'T SEE!" The youma said, lunging blindly.
"Moon Tiara Magic!"
"Mars Fire, IGNITE!"
This time, the attacks penetrated the shield, vaporizing the youma completely. Again.
The fog dissipated.
"Very nice," Jadeite said calmly. "But how about this?"
The airplanes came to life and started to move toward the Sailor Senshi. Sailor Moon reached for her tiara.
"If you do, they'll be taking that out of your allowance!" Luna warned. Sailor Moon's hand dropped quickly.
Atomic Starlight Knight surfaced, dragging an unconscious Tuxedo Mask out of the ocean. A.S.K. shook his head. He was about to make his grand entrance when Tux-boy here nearly bit the dust.
"You blast 'em, THEN you make the speech!" A.S.K. said exasperatedly, setting Tuxedo Mask on the ground before going to help.
One of the planes exploded in a brilliant shower of sparks.
"What the…?" Jadeite said.
The distraction gave Sailor Mars an opening. "Begone, evil spirit!" she intoned, tagging a ward directly on the center of Jadeite's back.
The planes began following Jadeite.
"How did you do that?" Jadeite asked, then realizing that he had something on his back.
"Your thoughts are evil, Je… Jadeite, and now your evil is working against you!" Sailor Mars shouted triumphantly. Sailors Moon, Earth, and Mars were now moving to get in range for a finishing blow. Well, Earth was sort of… cheerfully following.
Off to the sidelines, Luna was staring incredulously at the burning wreckage of the plane. Starlight Knight appeared from out of nowhere right by her.
"Do you know how much those cost?!" Luna asked in shock.
"I'll send 'em a check," Starlight Knight said calmly. Luna stared at him in disbelief.
The Sailor Scouts had their attention firmly locked on Jadeite. Jadeite, on the other hand, had just taken notice of Starlight Knight.
"GRRRRR!" Jadeite growled, anger finally showing since he had something stuck on his back, and because he was seeing the one who had done exactly the same thing so many millennia ago. The ward on his back burned off in a wisp of smoke.
So, by the way, what was he gathering all that energy for, anyway? I mean, it can't take THAT much energy to do what he did, Starlight Knight thought to himself.
Jadeite began to glow with a bright red aura.
What's he doing?
The aura brightened.
Something tells me we're about to find out.
The aura flared around Jadeite, leaving him with an angry, puffed-up hairstyle.
"W… what's he doing?" Sailor Moon asked nervously.
"Kame…" Jadeite began, gathering energy.
Somehow, I doubt that this is a good thing.
"HAME…" Jadeite continued.
AAAAAAAHHHH! DO YOU FEEL THE POWER READINGS ON THAT?!!? Starlight Knight thought, deciding that he had better work on stopping whatever it was from happening. He started tapping his own resources.
"GET OUT OF THERE!!" S.K. yelled to the Sailor Scouts. They turned to look at him. "GET OUT!" He pushed Sailor Mercury behind him.
"PSEUDO STELLAR QUANTUM PHASE NANO-MOLECULAR DISINTEGRATION—" S.K. said quickly, but even as he did, he knew it wasn't going to be quite enough, but he was going to try anyway.
"HAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" Jadeite finished, unleashing a MASSIVE HUMONGOUSLY HUGE blast of energy. It swept through the ranks of the Sailor Senshi, causing them to vanish in its wake. Sailor Mercury froze at the sight of this from her position behind Starlight Knight, who was suffering his own shock as he felt the link between him and his real mind shatter.
"—WITH A DOUBLE PIKE AND A HALF-TWIST!!!" S.K. finished, tapping EXTREMELY large amounts of energy from his reserves, throwing his own blast, nearly as large, in hopes of canceling it out.
The blasts met in the air.
They each canceled the other out. The entire airport area was gouged out, digging a crater nearly four miles across. The explosion could be seen from orbit…
~~~ Intermission ~~~
[Elevator music plays in the background.]
~~~ End Intermission ~~~
A few minutes later, the smoke cleared. Two energy shields flickered with its passing.
Jadeite's enhanced aura was gone, but he still looked ready for anything that may still come.
Starlight Knight stood, heavily damaged, face scratched, armor broken in several places, and looked generally… unhealthy. There were many reasons for that, the primary being that since the link was broken, he had to maintain his existence by tapping the resources he had left. Compared to earlier today, he was down to less than… two percent.
Sailor Mercury stood virtually unscathed, but looked severely traumatized by the experience. Well, wouldn't you be?
"At (ragged breath) what point (ragged breath) did I (ragged breath) lose control here?" Starlight Knight asked rhetorically, wondering what could have gone wrong.
"Impressive show, 'TIM!" Jadeite yelled maniacally. "But now is the time for you to DIE!"
Jadeite prepared another blast. S.K. stood firm.
Mercury stepped in front of him. "NO!" she cried out. "MERCURY ICE STORM!!!"
An intense blizzard ripped around Jadeite, leaving him frozen solid, encased in a huge ice prison. The fierce wind from the storm shattered it. He disintegrated.
"Moon dusted," Sailor Mercury said weakly, then collapsed, sobbing.
"We lost…" S.K. realized to his horror. Even if they had destroyed Jadeite, the loss of everyone else made it impossible to count it as a victory.
"It *sniff* sure seems that way," Sailor Mercury noted.
"We're not supposed to lose! Let me see that timeline!" S.K. said, using what limited things he remembered from his many encounters with Sailor Pluto. "We did… and it was, apparently, the only way things could have happened…"
"And, Neflyte, I guess that means you are the winner," Beryl said. Nephrite's followers cheered as he was handed seven hundred [Units of Negaverse currency] from each of the other generals, who grumbled.
"Finally!" Nephrite exclaimed. "Time to buy that Pioneer LD/DVD combo player!"
"It's horrible," Sailor Mercury said, looking at the tremendous destruction that had been caused.
"Yes, it is…" S.K. said, smiling slightly, then frowned. "It's going to take more than that to cheer me up."
Mercury looked at him and raised an eyebrow. She frowned and looked down. "If only there was something we could have done…"
The battered knight smiled wryly, putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. "It's no use worrying about the past… what could have been done, if MAYBE we could have…" He trailed off, a thoughtful expression forming on his face.
The blue-haired Scout sniffled. "I suppose you're right—"
S.K. snapped his fingers. "Wait a sec… Who'm I kidding? Like I'm going to let it end like this! Who cares if I screw up the timestream! MAN, is Sailor Pluto gonna get a headache from this one!"
"Sailor who?" Mercury asked.
"Eh? Oh, old archenemy of mine. Heheh…" He grinned as he stood up straight.
"What are you planning to do?" the distraught girl asked, hopes rising.
"I have to go find some humpbacks…" S.K. mused.
"Humpbacked… people?" Sailor Mercury asked, hopes fading. S.K. looked at her strangely.
"Whales, Mercury. Whales! About forty tons each, I don't remember exactly how long they are… But the point is… Oh, just wait here."
"Where are you going? For how long?" Mercury asked, unsure about being left alone after all this.
"If I'm right, then I'll be back in… negative ten minutes," S.K. said, then vanished.
The Atomic Starlight Knight fiddled with the controls, activating and energizing the systems in his starship, still docked on his base in Jupiter.
[All Systems are functioning within normal parameters,] the computer said cheerfully in a Majel-Barret-Roddenberry voice.
You know, my computer sounds a lot like Deanna Troi's mom…
As well as Nurse Christine Chapel, that Centauri prophetess from Babylon 5, several other characters from the animated series—
"Prepare to open bay doors," A.S.K. said. He winced as a shockwave rippled through his existence. Being someone who now only existed as a temporary floating entity that only remained alive through stored energy reserves had its disadvantages. The chief one being that he could not last for very long, even with the added energy bonus. He couldn't even recharge, that being the function of the real body.
He walked toward the gantry to enter the starship. He was nearly there when he felt a familiar presence and automatically shielded against it.
[Intruder Alert,] the computer noted.
"I cannot allow you to do this," a green-haired woman dressed as a Sailor Senshi said as she appeared.
"Why, hello, Sailor Pluto. Why, pray tell, not?" A.S.K. asked, clenching his fist at his side. He had expected her to show up for this, given the fact of what he was about to do… but he was in no mood to be stopped at this particular moment.
"You said it yourself," Pluto replied, "This was the only way it could have happened. Mercury, the only survivor of this, becomes hardened by the loss of her friends. She fights against the Negaverse with impossibly great strength and valor, eventually finding Sailors Venus and Jupiter. She became an excellent tactician, eventually sneaking in and destroying the Negaverse and the Negaforce once and for all.
A.S.K. raised an eyebrow. "You… just told me that?! All right, who are you, and what have you done with Sailor Pluto? She'd never blab out the future like that."
Pluto sighed. "I told you in order to reassure you that things will turn out for the—"
"OUT OF MY WAY, HUMAN," the former galactic destroyer growled in a voice much deeper and more menacing than normal, his eyes momentarily glowing a deep shade of crimson, "OR DIE."
Sailor Pluto was mildly taken aback, but she didn't show it. "I know we have never exactly been on the best of terms, but it is of the utmost importance that you do NOT interfere in this."
The battered knight began to walk around Pluto, but she moved to block him. He snarled at her. "WHAT constitutes 'interference', human?" he asked. "Time traveling? Causing a major change in the timeline? Having control of one's destiny…? Going against your precious 'What Must Be'? How about EXISTING, Sailor Pluto? Can I do THAT?!"
Pluto sighed and shook her head. "You do not understand."
"Really?" A.S.K. asked, roughly shoving her aside. "Ever consider the possibility that it's YOU that doesn't understand?"
"Now you're just being silly."
Silly? Silly?! SILLY?!?!
"I'll show YOU silly!" the former galactic destroyer shouted, dropping the first couple layers of his temporal shielding.
"What are you…" Sailor Pluto began, noticing the odd temporal disturbance. She gasped as she finally got a good look at A.S.K.'s history.
"How's that for silly?!"
Pluto's lower lip trembled slightly. "MONSTER!" she screamed at A.S.K.
"Yeah, yeah. Blasts and bombs may weaken my shields, but words will never—"
"DEAD SCREAM!" the Time Guardian shouted, summoning her attack. She normally whispered it, but she was a little too shocked to be quiet about it.
"Of course, I could be wrong on that account," A.S.K. muttered, slamming his hand down on a big red button marked, 'Emergency.'
Several bolts of lightning-like charges intercepted the energy before it reached him, throwing Sailor Pluto against the wall, and breaking her grip on the Time Key, which landed on the other side of the room.
Thick bands of energy latched themselves onto Pluto's arms and legs, dragging her against the wall.
"Young fool… Only now, in the end, do you understand…" the former galactic destroyer said darkly.
The trapped Senshi narrowed her eyes, staring at A.S.K. in pure, unmitigated hatred. "You monster… All this time…"
A.S.K. stalked toward her. "Nice to know that you aren't infallible, isn't it?"
Pluto closed her eyes in concentration. Her bonds dissipated and she kicked out, knocking her enemy back. She held out her hand, and her time staff flew into it. She swung, hitting the already battered knight in the shoulder. He slumped hard against the wall. "Let it not be said that I am unwilling to correct my errors."
A.S.K. winced, yet another shockwave rippling through him. The section of his armor that was hit began to glow, small blue particles boiling off. "I don't have time for this, Pluto!"
"Creature of darkness… YOU MUST BE STOPPED!"
The damaged semi-energy being struggled to his feet, ducking another swing and leveling a punch at his opponent.
She effortlessly caught his fist. She squeezed, driving him down. "Your time has come."
"You know," A.S.K. said, trying to struggle his way out of Pluto's painful grip, "there is something I have to tell you about myself…"
"I know quite enough about you, spawn of evil!"
A.S.K. looked up at Pluto, and smiled evilly. "Spawn? That is all you think I am? Oh no, my friend. I'm much worse than that…"
With that, he dropped all of his remaining temporal shielding.
Summoning the proper energy pattern, he forced a temporal scan, sending Sailor Pluto all of his history…
In full, wide IMAX visual and rich, loud, digital THX sound…
The guardian of the Gate of Time stood, transfixed by the horror of what she now knew.
"How'dya like THEM apples?" A.S.K. asked, pulling free of Pluto's grip. She looked at him, her mouth agape, trembling.
Sailor Pluto fainted to the floor with a dull thud.
"'Bout time," A.S.K. groaned, standing up. He surveyed his handiwork, then started to walk toward the hatch leading to the docking bay. "Computer, prepare to open bay doors."
[Unable to comply.]
A.S.K. groaned, suppressing another shockwave that threatened to tear him apart. "Why not?!"
[Tachyonic interference is jamming all secondary systems in the docking bay area. The docking bay is offline.]
"Fix it. Now!"
[Unable to comply. Tachyonic interference—]
A.S.K. stopped. "Tachyonic…?" He paled. "Temporal effects… Sailor Pluto!"
He gritted his teeth, debating the wisdom of having just left the Time Guardian lying there unsupervised…. and comprehending the absolute stupidity of even turning his back on her… A.S.K. frantically whirled to look at where he left her and saw…
Sailor Pluto was sprawled on the floor, breathing slowly, eyes closed. She was apparently sleeping more or less peacefully. The time staff had fallen out of her grasp.
FINISSSH HER!!!!!!!!! A portion of A.S.K.'s mind cried out. Her powerssss are sssstoping you… Desssstroy her, and they will ccceasssse.
His features hardening, A.S.K. held out his hand toward Sailor Pluto, and a handgun appeared in it with a puff of blue flame.
Yesssss…. Kill her… Ssssheee will never trouble ussss againnn!
"Now," he said, a snarl creeping to his lips, "since you are still stopping me, and since I can't have you following me and messing everything up…"
He pulled the trigger.
A.S.K. looked at his handgun, and frowned. "Oh, bugger. We're plum out of ammunition…"
Sailor Pluto is our enemy.
She. Must. Die.
"SHUT UP, SHUT UP, EVERYONE JUST SHUT UP!!!!" A.S.K. shouted, pounding on his head as hard as he could with the back of his handgun.
He stopped, remembering something, and looked down at the time staff (or was that Garnet Rod? He could never remember…). "Hey, that could work… Her powers kinda derive from…"
He picked up the time staff, and tried to break it over his armored knee…
And ended up fracturing his rapidly-weakening armor. "Ow… Stupid indestructible ancient magical artifacts…" He paused, thinking about that. "Indestructible, eh? We'll see about that…"
He looked over the staff, and found the focus of its power: the orb on the tip.
A.S.K. clenched his left fist… and brought it down HARD on the orb…
"Ow," A.S.K. muttered, looking at the badly crushed bone structure. "So much for that idea…"
Concentrating, he snapped his hand back into working order, then gripped the time staff with both hands, and brought the tip smashing into the deck… badly denting the floor.
A.S.K. narrowed his eyes at the unblemished orb, which shined back at him in such a way that one might think it was mocking him.
The dying mental projection growled, and held up his index finger. "Bakusai…" he said, charging up, and pointing his finger at the orb, "Tenketsu!!!"
"Owie…" A.S.K. commented, readjusting his broken finger. He threw the staff to the floor in annoyance. He pointed his hand at the orb. "OKKUU SHUTSUDOHIN!!!"
*Zrreow* A thin beam went out from his hand, and impacted on the center of the orb, disappearing into it.
A.S.K. sighed. "No, wait, don't tell me… THAT didn't work, either, did it?"
*Chink…* There was a soft cracking sound as a small fracture appeared in the orb. Light shone out of the crack.
"Finally!" A.S.K. shouted exasperatedly. "Something."
*Chink*Chink*Chink*Chink* More cracks appeared in the orb.
A.S.K. began to feel the level of sheer power that was pouring out. "Hmm… Some artifacts contain a lot of energy. So, destroying it would, of course… Uh oh. Computer! Activate a level six hundred force field around the Garnet Orb! NOW!"
A spherical force field flickered into existence around the small orb.
*BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!!!!!!* The force field barely managed to contain the blast, which lasted a full twenty-five seconds.
"Computer… report on the tachyonic interference."
[Tachyonic interference has subsided. Minor multi-spatial disturbances have begun—]
"Do you mean I still can't get my starship out?!"
[All docking bay systems are functioning within normal parameters.]
A.S.K. took in a ragged sigh. "All right, then! Activate the docking bay doors."
[Unable to comply. Override authorization code MEIOU has been implemented. All command functions for authorization ASK have been suspended.]
"OPEN THE BAY DOORS!!!" A.S.K. growled, his eyes glowing red.
The computer processed that for a moment. [Confirmed.]
Through the observation window, A.S.K. could see the bay doors opening. He calmed down. "That's better."
Breathing raggedly, he walked over to the hatch leading to the docking bay and placed his hand on the right access panel. The door slid open. He glanced back at Sailor Pluto. "I don't envy you the headache you'll have when I'm done. But… it's the price we must pay… for SCIENCE!"
What does science have to do with this?
A.S.K. shrugged mentally. "And in the meantime, sleep well… Dream of small, annoying, winged horses, and of mindless little girls that steal mirrors and incessantly speak in the third person."
PallaPalla LIKE speaking in third person…
What does THAT have to do with ANYTHING?!
Oh, I don't know!
The former galactic destroyer shook off his inner confusion and entered his ship, setting about his task.
[Warp Speed achieved.]
"Good. Continue plotted course," A.S.K. commanded.
A slingshot around the sun, pick up enough speed, you're in time warp, if you don't, you're fried.
Too bad the computer core was wiped. I had to program most of the factors from memory.
Do that very often?
[Warp six achieved… Warp seven… Warp eight… Warp nine…]
The starship flew in close proximity to the sun, throwing it into time warp…
The aura flared around Jadeite, leaving him with an angry, puffed-up hairstyle.
"W…what's he doing?" Sailor Moon asked nervously.
"Kame…" Jadeite began, gathering energy.
Somehow, I doubt that this is a good thing.
"HAME…" the Negaverse general continued.
A bucket materialized above him, upside-down.
Jadeite-chan dropped out of her attack, spluttering, tearing the bucket off her face angrily.
"…BWAHAHAHAHA!!!" Starlight Knight didn't know how it happened, but laughed at it anyway. He remembered that prank he played so many years back and laughed some more.
"Aiyah!" S.K. began, still laughing. "You get dumped on by Spring of Drowned CUTE Girl! Very tragic story of very kawaii girl who drown in spring twenty thousand years ago."
Something else materialized.
"GRRRRRRR!" Jadeite-chan growled cutely, attempting to get rid of the little thing, prying with her hands, then with a crowbar, then a jackhammer…
Finally, she gathered her energy and—
*KABLAAAAAM!* —blasted it into geosynchronous orbit.
"You know, Jadeite, you're really CUTE when you're angry!" S.K. taunted, almost rolling on the ground with laughter.
"Youuuuuuuuu," Jadeite-chan said cutely, preparing another blast, throwing it at the Sailor Scouts and S.K.
The energy blast impacted on a BIG energy shield.
A seven-hundred-meter long starship decloaked, locking a tractor beam onto Jadeite-chan, and then moved out of the atmosphere at speeds technobabble can only dream about.
"Well, that was anticlimactic. Bye!" S.K. said, leaving, hoping to see more explosions elsewhere.
This left four Sailor Scouts, one ArbyFish, and one moon cat staring at the scene.
"Um, what just happened?" Sailor Moon asked.
"I don't know…" Luna said.
"Eh? Wot?" Arby asked, looking up from his examination of a rather nice patch of mushrooms in the grass.
"Well, Hank, we finally got the Hubble Telescope working," a man said, drinking his coffee.
"Right, Jim, now let's see what's out there, in the vast, unknown cosmos," Hank replied, sipping his own coffee.
(Happosai flew by, knocking the telescope off axis.)
The scene now depicted a huge starship locked in deadly combat with someone in a general's uniform.
"Well, who wants lunch?" Hank asked, looking around to see everyone intently staring at the screen.
The starship fired relentlessly with its phasers, shooting off quantum torpedoes in groups of three, bashing into the shield Jadeite had surrounded himself with.
Jadeite, having changed back to male somewhere along the way, retaliated with his own blasts, eventually knocking through the starship's shields and doing heavy damage to the hull.
A severely beat up Atomic Starlight Knight pounded on his control panel, which wasn't responding. His energy was nearly depleted.
[Shields are offline,] the computer said cheerfully.
[Weapons are offline.]
"Perhaps today IS a good day to die! PREPARE FOR RAMMING SPEED!!!"
[Hull breach in sections three through fifty.]
"What does that have to do with anything?!" A.S.K. yelled.
Jadeite burst through the floor, landing in front of A.S.K.
"PSIONIC BLAST!" A.S.K. yelled, grabbing Jadeite's head, sending a massive shockwave through Jadeite's mind, burning out his translator.
Jadeite blasted A.S.K. off of him, back into his chair. He groaned as his last seconds passed.
"Any last words before I complete my revenge?" Jadeite asked. A.S.K. sat straight on his chair.
"Yes," the battered individual said in the youma language, slowly fading from existence. He switched back to English and muttered something incomprehensible to Jadeite. The ship's computer responded in an equally difficult to understand language.
"Now… die," the blonde general whispered in a deathly quiet voice, clenching his fists as he charged up.
The semi-transparent knight forced himself to stand, and shouted out one last thing. He cracked a smile at Jadeite and whispered two words that the general managed to make out: "Saved 'em…"
Without further hesitation, Jadeite sent his energies blasting forward in several pulsing streams… obliterating everything that stood in front of him.
He stopped as he noticed something odd.
-Queen Beryl?- Jadeite asked through the communicator.
Very impressed at the work that had just been accomplished, Queen Beryl smiled. "Excellent work, Jedite! You finally managed to get rid of—"
-Er…. Thank you, but… My translator seems to have been damaged… And the ship's computer is speaking— -
"Speaking? Let me hear."
-[Six… Five… Four…]-
Beryl's eyes widened. "JEDITE! GET OUT! GET OUT OF THERE!!"
-GET OUT!- Beryl yelled.
Jadeite looked around for some reason why.
The Sailor Scouts, now in civilian form, looked up at the pretty fireworks demonstration in the sky.
"Hmm. That's it for Jadeite, it seems," Queen Beryl said.
"YES! I win!" Zoicite said. Everyone, grumbling, handed Zoicite her money. [HaHa! Yes. DIC continuity. Zoicite's a she!]
"Neflyte?" Beryl called. Nephrite came forward.
"Yes, Queen Beryl?" Nephrite said confidently.
The brown-haired general gulped.
Jadeite appeared in front of Queen Beryl, clothes smoking, and looking on with a dazed expression.
"Jedite? I thought that last one would have killed you!" the youma queen said in astonishment.
"I know, but I was saved at the last minute," Jadeite replied.
"How…?" Zoicite asked quizzically.
"Well," Jadeite said dazedly, music beginning, "I'll tell you."
Some of the youma in the background began to sing softly.
o/He's going to tell, he's going to tell…\o
"Silence!!!" Beryl warned.
Jadeite began swaying back and forth in sync with the singing.
o/He's going to tell, he's going to tell… He's going to tell, he's going to tell… He's going to tell, he's going to tell… He's going to tell, he's going to tell…\o
"NO SINGING!!!" Beryl screamed.
Jadeite opened his mouth to tell; to tell about how he survived, about the identities of the Sailor Scouts, which he had discovered earlier and didn't say anything about. He was going to tell about all this and more…
*BZZR*Ching* Well, he was until Queen Beryl shot out her energy and encased the unfortunate general— who was in the middle of an extremely prissy singing pose— in crystal, to Sleep Forever…
"Now let that be a lesson to everyone!" the evil queen snapped, sending her newest, most embarrassing lawn gnome into storage. "Now, Neflyte… Tell me. What is your plan? And it had better not involve singing!"
Nephrite coughed. "Er… actually…"
"NO!" the brown-haired general shouted, stuffing some sheet music he had been writing on into his pocket. "Er… no. There will not be any singing involved in my plans. My work is… based upon the stars, and most certainly not on singing. Really."
That was weird. The water, the temporal signature, everything, Atomic Starlight Knight thought, trying to figure out why something that looked exactly like his starship would be flying around and blowing itself up.
It made a terrific explosion, though!
Yeah, it did! Anyway, the ship seemed to have been from some errant timeline.
How'd that happen?
Something happened, and now it didn't, yet it did or it would have.
I don't know. I hate temporal mechanics. Do one thing wrong, and the whole thing blows up in your face.
I don't envy the job of anyone who has to deal with THAT…
Some distance away, Sailor Pluto had a BAD headache.
"Tem… por… al… Pa… ra… dox…"
The three goddesses, working with fire crews, fought desperately to save the universe.
"Someone's been creating paradoxes!" The youngest said, smashing bugs left and right and dodging the flames. "The computer can't take it! It's gonna blow!"
"'Niichan!!" Another called in desperation.
Their brother appeared at a terminal, quickly punching a few keys.
The computer burst into another round of bugs and flames.
He put in a disk.
"Come on, load, LOAD!" He commanded the drive.
The flames subsided and the bugs winked out of existence.
"That was close! Good thing I finished working on that patch," he said, relaxing against his chair.
The goddesses couldn't help but agree with him.
[End Chapter 5.]
"Today, we learned a very important lesson about Destiny…"
<Scene of A.S.K. and Sailor Pluto duking it out>
"It's fer WUSSIES!!"
<Scene of a starship sling-shotting around the Sun>
"Wussies who can't time travel."
<Scene of Sailors Neptune and Uranus talking to Sailor Pluto>
"Wussies who don't have the guts to do anything about it."
<Scene of a reborn Tomoe Hotaru>
<Scene of the Universe exploding>
"So what if there's a risk? There's risks in everything. Only wussies wouldn't dare take a chance to make a better future. Sailor Nuke sez…"
"BWAHA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!!!!"
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