The darkness was settling in quickly on Juuban.
It was a wonderful sensation to see what was happening, and know who was involved in it. Soon, it would be night, just as the deep caverns of abode always were. The caverns, as the city would be, were as dark and mysterious as they were cold and foreboding, and yet the figure liked it that way.
It will be… The figure smiled. Absolutely perfect….
The figure looked down at its hand and smiled. In it was a small, purple jewel, which glowed dimly in the darkness of the caves. The sounds of faint screams began to fill the figure’s mind.
There is so much fright in here… The hand clenched around the gem. But it is little compared to what I am preparing for….too little.
The figure turned and smiled. Lying on the ground in front of her was Usagi, unconscious and dirty. Silently, she moaned.
Don’t worry. The figure’s smile became venomous as Usagi spasmed in front of her. Take your time. It will all be over soon….
Ami wiped her hair from her face as she stumbled along the sidewalk. The faint marks of tears still laced her face, even after her attempts to wipe them away.
Gone….. Ami took in a breath. Usagi-chan….
“Ami-chan!” Usagi pulled Ami along. “Don’t worry. I’ll be your friend! Let’s help each other from now on.”
I come from the dark…….I came back to them….</I> Ami looked down. <I>And yet…..it came back.
“You…..what have you done to Ami-chan?!”
“Ami-chan…..this is a joke, right?”
“Which one am I going to fight?” Darkury - Dark Mercury, the soldier of evil - stood before the three soldiers, her hands on her hips. “Or shall it be all three at once?”
He’s back….. Ami’s mind flashed. He’s come back. He wanted to kill me before, and now he’s going to do something terrible to Usagi-chan. I fear what else he will do to the others, but I have no choi-
The screeching sound was followed by the sound of crunching metal and shattering glass. Ami’s head turned over and saw a tire come rolling over to her.
Ami ran over to the middle of the street, where two cars - a Ferrari and a minivan - lay in ruins at the intersection. Quickly, she flung open the driver’s door.
“Aaaa-aaah!” An older woman tumbled out. “Oh dear, what a
crash! Hoo, thank goodness for airbags-ooooh, Ami!”
Ami blinked confusedly at the red-haired woman who promptly giggled at her. Then, like a light bulb, realization sunk in.
“Ooooh….Ikuko!” Ami pulled her up. “Tsukino-san, are
“Oh, perfect! Just fine.” Ikuko stretched. “I’m doing pretty well. Just wrecked the car, that’s all!”
Ikuko and Ami looked over at the Ferrari. A young woman jumped out of it, her face red.
“Good God!” she shouted. “Can’t you look where you’re
“Ooh, I’m sorry!” Ikuko giggled. “I was just being silly. The light was out and I didn’t even bother to look both ways.”
“Being silly?!” The woman growled. “I just paid a good fortune for this car! I hope you’re a rich woman, because you’ll be paying me for the damage on this!”
Ami tuned out of Ikuko’s conversation and looked up at the traffic light. To her shock, it was, indeed, out.
“The light is out?” Ami looked at Ikuko. “Tsukino-san, the
school lights are out as well! There must be a blackout….”
“Well, don’t worry!” Ami trailed off once she realized that Usagi’s mother was not even listening to her. “My husband is a newspaper editor. Tsukino, he works downtown. And this is the first time I’ve ever been in an accident like this. Truly, the lights are out!”
“Well, you should have been looking where you were going regardless!” The woman, irritated rolled her eyes. “Some people…!”
“Well, it looks like I’ll be late for making dinner tonight.” Ikuko turned to Ami. “Ami, could you tell Usagi I’ll be late in….Oh.”
Ikuko gave a giggle. Ami was already halfway down the street.
“Well, I’d go chase her, but….well, look at my car!” Turning back to the other driver. “Now, what’s your name again?”
The sweat poured off of Ami’s brow as she jogged up the hill as fast as she could. At the top, however, she stopped, almost falling to her knees from exhaustion.
Oh god…. Ami’s head was pounding. Oh god…..what have I done…?
“Let us begin the tasks which you will have to perform in order to insure the sparing of lives. You will leave the school as soon as this phone call is finished, and you will head to Hikawa Shrine by foot. There, you will be met by your friend, Sailor Mars, and you will tell her what has happened to the school. You will then make plans to go to Sakura Square, and you will go there tonight, at six o’clock.”
I can’t…give in to Kunzite. Ami covered her face. He seeks me. He is doing this to me. Playing with the lives of innocent people to get revenge upon me…!
Ami looked up towards the distance. The peak of Hikawa Shrine’s hill was visible, and Ami could almost pick out the leaves swaying in the breeze. From there, too, she could see the district, and its lack of lights. For in the farthest distance, Ami could see the next ward, seemingly unaffected by the power outage.
It’s a trap…. Slowly, Ami picked herself up. She started running once more down the street. It’s a trap, it’s a trap, I know it’s a trap, it’s……all just……a trap for me……but what….will he do next……..Oh, help me, someone………
Minako’s head came up. Her eyes slowly slit. It was almost like a knot in her head, almost like the onslaught of a tension headache, only with no pain, and with colors dancing in front of her. She could see the red, and the blue, and another, darker color in her eyes, and a figure in front of her….
“So, are we in agreement on the song deal?” One of the producers leaned in. “Minako?”
Minako looked at the producer, her face confused. The producers all looked back at her, their nonchalant glances bringing her back to the situation at hand.
“’Romance’ is the song we agreed to.” Minako’s manager looked at her worriedly. “Are you all right?”
“Y-yes, I’m….fine….” Minako gave a nervous smile. Her vision became hazy and out of focus. “I’m sorry. I’m not feeling very well at well at this moment. Actually, I…..where is the nearest bathroom from here?”
The men all began to laugh at her question. Minako, on the other hand, turned a shade of an embarrassed red at her situation as she stood to leave. She did not realize how much she had been concentrating on her vision until then.
“Down the hall, to your right, Minako.” Her manager gave a nod
to the other men. “We’ll finish this up.”
Excusing herself as quickly as she could, Minako almost ran into the bathroom with her purse in hand. She quickly ran into the first available stall and threw herself at the toilet just as her body tensed up for the inevitable.
Artemis popped his head out of the purse. He looked up at Minako, his face filled with worry.
Minako’s lip had the slightest trace of ketchup on it as she swallowed down her desire to bring more up from her stomach. Her face was caked with sweat as she slid down the side of the stall, trying her best to catch her breath.
“This….isn’t going to work.”
Minako wiped her hair out of face. Things began to flash through her mind - her album, her tour, her duties, and the sailor soldiers. She rubbed her head.
“I have no choice, Artemis.”
“You don’t?” Artemis shook his head. “Minako, you put this on yourself. You need some rest too, you know.”
Minako gave Artemis a wary look at this. She didn’t wish to admit she was really wrong at all in pressing herself on, and it was apparent in her expression.
“….I saw an enemy.” Minako wiped her lips. “We should
be going. Venus will be needed today, unfortunately.”
“But the meeting? It’s important for your career….”
“My manager will understand. It’s almost over anyways.” Minako slowly got up. “I’ll just have him cancel my other engagements. I need my rest, you know.”
At this, Minako gave Artemis a slight smirk and put him back in the purse. Several mumbles came from within as Minako returned to the room.
“Gaah,” came the whispers. “You are priceless, Aino Minako.”
The stairs up to the Hikawa Shrine from the street numbered approximately fifty-two. Slowly, Ami crawled up the stairs, the sweat pouring down her entire body now as she finally neared her destination.
Must……..keep….. She gasped. This heat……must keep…..going……
She tried her best to make it; two hours with no water on such a hot day, however, was too much for Ami. She finally collapsed on the last six steps.
“What do you want, Kunzite?”
“Nothing much……just you.”
“I’m afraid I cannot give you that, Kunzite, if you mean it in a non-professional way.”
“I am your master, Mercury. You shall do whatever I say, or else.”
Ami screamed. Her scream echoed and shattered into a million pieces, bouncing off of the corners of a void of nothing.
“Leave me alone!”
“But you’re mine, Mercury.” Giant, gnarled hands appeared around Ami, clasping her within them. A purple aura engulfed Ami. “And you are Mercury of the Dark. Dark Mercury. Sailor Darkury.”
Ami’s eyes widened as her clothing changed. Her school clothing shifted, lightening as the shirt became shorter and the Mercury sign appeared on her head. Her shortened hair became a shade of periwinkle.
The sensation of cold water splashing into her face was her first foray into consciousness as she was jerked out of the blackness of the illusion. With a gasp, her head jerked up and her eyes opened.
Strands of dark brown hair came into view as Ami’s vision came into focus. Set against the plain wooden ceiling of the shrine, Rei’s hovering figure materialized quickly. As soon as it did, Ami realized that she was on a bed in one of the rooms, which was entirely lit with candlelight.
“Ami-chan.” Rei’s face was set with some worry. “Are you all right? You didn’t even hear me calling you when you were coming up the stairs, and I was only several steps behind the whole while. Then you collapsed right in front of me!”
“Oh, I….” Ami slowly sat up. “I was just…..I was just exhausted. I’d had a long day, that’s all.”
Rei’s face set into a suspicious grimace. Ami, in return, gave the dark-haired girl a meek, nervous smile.
“…..Something has happened.” Rei frowned. “I can sense it in your eyes. We weren’t sent home from the school for no reason than just a local blackout, were we?”
Ami looked away from Rei, unsure of what to say. As soon as she did, however, she shut her eyes, as a wave of fear came over her once more.
“You are to go to Hikawa Shrine….”
“Rei-chan.” Ami shut her eyes. “What time is it?”
“….It’s one-thirty seven.” Rei’s tone became condescending. “You’re hiding something from me. What’s going on?”
Ami paused before going on. Something within her stopped her from going all the way with an explanation. Perhaps it was a secret fear of being thought as collaborating with the enemy once more; after all, he had only contacted her and no one else.
“….We’ve been given a challenge.” She carefully tried
not to speak of Kunzite. “We must go to Sakura Square at six o’clock
“Yes. We have to go….there…..Rei-chan?”
Rei-chan’s expression of suspicion had only deepened as Ami-chan had spoken. She took Ami by the shoulder and shook her slightly.
“Ow! L-let go of me!”
“I didn’t hurt you. Why Sakura Square?” Rei came in close. “How did you get this challenge? Did the enemy contact you?”
“I….” Ami turned red. “Yes. They did.”
“How?” Rei looked flabbergasted. “Unless…..what did you tell them as Darkury? And…” she came in closer. “Where’s Usagi?”
“ I….I don’t know!”
Ami began to cower slightly at Rei‘s questions, despite the fact that Rei’s prodding was not at all violent or demanding. She was afraid now, though, afraid of what Rei would think of her if she thought that, perhaps, Kunzite had somehow gotten a hold of her cell phone codes or some other vital information. Though she did not recall telling Kunzite anything about how to contact the cell phones, she figured him to be smart enough to learn when she wasn’t looking, or perhaps when she was being converted, he could have looked through her possessions….
“I don’t know, Rei-chan,” she repeated pleadingly. “A-all
I know is that I’m supposed to go to you and plan out a trip to Sakura
Square, and the city is all blacked-out and people’s lives are at risk.
And somehow, I’m in the middle of this…..I was of the dark once…..and
“Ami-chan!” Rei stood up. “Just tell me. If the enemy has captured Usagi, and they’ve challenged you and I, then why are you reluctant to say so? Of course I’d go with you to fight, but you’re still holding something back from me. Who sent this challenge?”
Suddenly, with no warning, and no expectation, the phone rang. Both girls’ hands instantly went to their side, only to have Ami come up with hers ringing. Hesitantly, she clicked the phone open and turned it on.
Ami’s blood froze at the sound of the voice coming through the earpiece. She gave a shudder before replying.
“You…” She gathered up her courage and steadied her voice.
“I did what you asked of me.”
“Perhaps you did.”
“Rei-chan knows what to do.” Ami looked at Rei, who stood silent. “I’m awaiting my next instructions.”
“Very well.” There came a chuckle. “You can be feisty when you want to be. Just like back in the old days before you went back to them..”
“I….” Ami’s voice quivered. “I wish for you not to refer to that.”
“I only refer to the truth of things, Mercury. I know I don’t lie, for I haven’t lied yet.”
“-I-I wish for my instructions.”
“Very well.” Another chuckle. “Instructions, then. Simply go over to the window and draw the blind up.”
Ami put the phone away from her ear. She looked at Rei worriedly.
“Open the curtain, Rei-chan.”
Rei’s eyes slit as she gave a nod. She walked over to the window and threw the curtain open.
Rei gave a screech as the hideous, deformed face of a monster stared back at her. She threw the curtain back down and glared at Ami.
“A good taskmaster you have, whoever it is…” she murmured.
Ami looked at Rei, then back at the phone. She tried to speak, to protest what was out there. Yet she found her mouth was dry, and she was unable to speak.
“You and Sailor Mars will fight the demon. When you are finished, I will call you once more with further instructions.” Ami’s eyes began to water as another chuckle came from the speaker. “Defeat him…if you can.”
The phone clicked off as soon as the voice had finished. With that, Ami covered her face with her free hand.
“Oh no…….and Usagi-chan is…..”
Ami looked up at Rei. Rei was up, her transformation band on her wrist.
“This is no time for weakness.” Rei looked down on Ami. “Let’s
beat this enemy first, with or without Usagi. Then, you can tell me what is
Ami managed a smile. Something about Rei’s attitude for her reassured her that, perhaps, she was being premature in her assumption that it was all over for her. She stood up, facing Rei.
“Usagi-chan was kidnapped by the enemy.” Ami held her wrist up.
On it was the glittering transformation band. “The blackout may also be
the enemy’s doing too.”
“First the youma, then we’ll deal with everything else.”
Rei looked over at the window. She spread her legs out, did a fighting pose, and did several hand movements. After a moment, Ami followed suit.
The wristbands transformed into large glowing jewels, which flashed brightly in response to the incantations. Both became consumed with the bright light of her respective planet - Rei with the powerful, flaming red aura of Mars, and Ami with the soothing, waving blue aura of Mercury. Their hair and their clothing changed to reflect their powers and elements as sailor soldiers.
“Sailor soldiers,” Finally, the two each stood, their sailor forms
revealed. “For love and justice!”
Mars looked sheepishly as Mercury as she pointed outside. Slowly, it dawned on Mercury what it was that was wrong, and couldn’t help chuckling.
“Hmm….” Mercury grinned. “Perhaps it would be more befitting if we actually introduce ourselves with the youma present.”
Mars nodded, and with both hands, she pulled open the window. First Mercury tumbled out, followed by Mars, who closed the window behind her.
The youma’s head instantly turned towards the two girls. Its red eyes slit as it slowly analyzed who was in front of it. In return, the two girls slowly went into position.
“Let’s be prepared, Ami-chan.” Mars looked at the youma while
she spoke. “We may or may not have a challenge with this one. But I won’t
let this win over me easily.”
The youma acted quickly. It lifted its robe off, revealing its underside as being comprised of armor of flaming feathers. Its hands were flaming bird talons, as was its feet. The two soldiers barely had time to dodge as its talon slashed through the space between them.
Mercury did a back-flip and landed on her feet. Mars did a half-circle turn on her tiptoes, taking out an ofuda scroll as she did.
As soon as the scroll came out of her hand, however, it was apparent to Mercury how effective the attack would be, and she quickly scrambled to her feet to assist Mars. For as soon as the scroll left Mars’ hands, the youma’s talon caught a hold of it. The paper merely turned to ash in contact with the flame.
Mars’ shocked mutterings were met with the youma’s fiery breath. With a scream, Mars fell to the ground, her clothing torn, rubbed and burnt.
Mercury glared at the youma as it stood triumphantly over her friend’s injured form. From where she lay, Mars looked at Mercury with wide eyes.
“This won’t be forgiven!”
The hallways. The day the princess woke up within Sailor Moon.
“She’s my game.”
Sailor Darkury stared at the downed Sailor Moon, her eyes filled with hatred and incomprehension at her former friend’s compassion and emotional outburst. They had battled, and in the middle of it, Kunzite had pushed her out of the way just as Darkury was getting the second wind she needed to gain the upper hand. She walked forward, brandishing her ice sword, intent on slaughtering the quivering, shaking girl where she sat.
“Today’s different.” Kunzite’s sword suddenly barred her way at her neck. “She’s mine.”
The sword went up. Darkury cared nothing that Kunzite would win the battle for her, and that he was about to kill her friend. Nor did she really care for the male groan of agony that suddenly came into her ears as Kunzite’s sword hit its mark with a horribly clean precision.
Darkury looked at Kunzite in annoyance as he stood over the two figures, his sword hovering over them. One of them was Sailor Moon, screaming with tears in her eyes. The other was a limp Tuxedo Mask, whom Sailor Moon was holding in her arms.
“Master.” Kunzite looked down, smirking. “Good work.”
“Kunzite!” Finally losing her patience, Darkury spoke up. “Don’t interfere with me.”
Darkury was suddenly pushed violently to the side as Kunzite spoke. His tone was calm as usual, though there was a hint of amusement in it as well.
“ Be patient.”
Darkury gave a slight growl at this. She could feel the hair on her body bristle up at the sight of her prey being taken away from her, and her instincts told her to fight Kunzite with tooth and nail. Still, she managed to keep herself in check.
“You know,” she managed with a good amount of restraint, “that
I hate being bossed around.”
At this, Kunzite turned to Darkury. His smirk was unsettling, and it induced more anger within Darkury, as it was even more amused than before.
“…..A thing like you?”
Mercury gave a snarl at this. Again, Kunzite, it appeared, was again mocking her. She hated it. It was especially angering because, now, another friend was at the mercy of the youma, of the enemy.
This time, however, Mercury knew she was a good guy this time. And she was determined to stop it this time.
“Leave her ALONE!”
The youma turned towards Mercury. It gave a snarl, letting out a pair of long, fiery wings. In response, Mercury took out the Mercury Tambourine and pointed it at the youma.
With an earth-shaking screech, the phoenix bird-like creature lunged at Mercury. Mercury brought the tambourine up to her face, staring as the bird came closer to her. Soon, she could count how many rows of teeth the youma had in its raging, snarling mouth. Still, she waited.
Rei’s scream, though not intended, was the signal. Mercury’s hands spread apart. The tambourine glowed brightly.
The water attack deluged the youma straight on. It gave another piercing scream; this time, one of pain. In response, it, too, spread its hands out.
“Ami-chan!!!!” Mars struggled to get up. “Watch out-!”
Mercury took a step back to avoid the attack. By this time, however, it was too late.
The giant ball of fire came right towards Mercury. With a scream, Mercury was thrown back by the force of the attack. Above her, the blue sky wavered and blurred as she flew, instantly being overshadowed by green.
Mars’ screams suddenly became distant as everything suddenly turned black. There was no sensation in Mercury’s body, simply a darkness she could not quite overcome. Her thoughts seemed to slip from her, leaving an empty space for unconscious escapades to come and creep into the forefront from the edges of her mind.