“You……you killed my Midori!”
The red-faced man stared down the cloaked warrior as he drew his sword. It glittered in the moonlight as the blade came up to eye level.
“This….” he croaked. “….This is unforgivable. No man ever harmed Midori as you have. And you shall be assured that I will never let you harm another man’s wife ever again.”
In response, the cloaked figure slowly drew its sword. It was a long katana sword, stained red and rusted from much use. It pointed at the man, as if measuring its neck.
“We shall see about that, Hunei-san…..”
A gloved hand slowly went up to the hood of the cloak. It clasped the cloth and threw it off of the head of the swordsman. Its eyes stared back at the man as it leveled its sword down.
“But,” The scarred woman croaked. “I am no man.”
The man gave a shocked cry. He stumbled back several steps, almost falling onto his back.
“No….” He screamed. “It cannot be…. MIDORI!!!!!!”
As se stared at the television set inside the control room, Luna’s eyes widened as the woman gave the man an angry, snarling glare. With a gasp, she shoved more of Usagi’s popcorn into her mouth.
“W-wow!!!” she gasped. “Midori is the Bloody Samurai!?”
“We’ll be right back to ‘Change of Hearts’ after this message from our sponsors. ‘Hi, I’m Kuroki…’"
Luna dug into the bottom of the popcorn bottle, only to find there was no more popcorn. With a slight whimper, she put it down.
“Oh no…!” she squeaked. “Usagi-chan will smack me once she finds I’ve eaten all of her popcorn! Oh…..where are the fried beans?”
Quickly, Luna ran over to the refrigerator and brought out a can of refried beans. As fast as she could, she poured it all into the popcorn bottle.
“…..There….” Luna smiled. “At least that will hold until I can get another batch of popcorn from the store. She won’t notice the difference anyways. Hmm….”
Luna looked at the clock on the wall. It was 2:30.
“I’ve got time.” Luna took out her cell phone. “Maybe I should call Usagi-chan and tell her what’s happening on the show. She likes this one, after all…”
As quick as anyone with a good thumb, Luna quickly pressed the digits to Usagi’s cell phone. She then brought it up to her ear with a grin.
“I’m sorry. The number you’ve reached is disconnected….”
Luna’s face fell at the sound of this. After several moments, however, her expression became one of confusion.
“Huh?” Luna re-dialed the number. “’Disconnection’? What’s going on here?! This isn’t right at all!”
The signal repeated itself. Luna looked down, then back up at the television set. The screen flickered onto the news just as Midori’s sword had plunged into, and slid through, the belly of Hunei, her husband.
“Mi….do….. We interrupt this program to bring you an important
announcement.” The newscaster came on. “There has been reports of
a power outage in the Azabu Juuban district of Tokyo. Reports of sabotage from
an unidentified intruder at the Juuban power plant are being investigated at
“A saboteur?!” Luna said aloud. “Perhaps….the enemy! I’ll have to investigate! Luna Prism Power, Make-Up!”
As quick as it could through the magic of the Silver Crystal, Luna’s pink cat dress transformed into a yellow and purple sailor suit. As soon as she finished, she ran out of the command center, her crescent wand in hand.
Sensation returned to her slowly. It first returned to her as the blades beneath her began to tickle her cheek, stimulating her skin and, in essence, her mind. Slowly, Mercury’s thoughts came to.
Where am I…..
There’s a bird.
A chiming sound echoed into Mercury’s ears. It sounded sweet, like a bird’s, though it seemed only a fleeting thing, for it disappeared. Then, however, it suddenly came back, louder than ever.
It took some time for Mercury to fully remember, to fully comprehend. She was still in the hands of her subconscious, swimming ignorantly through a stream of confusion.
Then the phone rang again.
Mercury’s eyes bolted open. Her hand went straight to her side. As soon as she did that, however, a searing pain came to her head. With all of her willpower, Mercury fought it off and clicked open the phone.
Mercury’s head came up at the sound of the voice. Everything flooded back to her, and she shook her head. Her eyes caught the burn marks from the youma, and the spot where Sailor Mars was. Neither the youma - nor Mars - was there anymore.
“You seemed so charming and sweet lying there.” The voice gave
another chuckle. “So peaceful and quiet. I almost could have sworn you
were dead. Sadly, though, you weren’t. Ah well. That may be rectified
Mercury struggled to get up. Her head was pounding as if a hammer struck it, and her knees were shaky from the hit she had taken. Nevertheless, she managed to straighten herself up.
“….You…..” Mercury gasped. “You took Rei-chan
too, didn’t you?! Admit it!”
“I have nothing to hide.” The voice almost laughed. “Yes, It was all my work. You are quite observant.”
The urge to rage rose inside of Mercury’s heart. In her weakened state, it took everything she had to push it back down, to think clearly.
“I will say that you put up a good show against my youma, Foenicalise
- I took a good amount of time and energy to create it, just for you.”
Mercury clenched her fists. “But your ending here…..disgraceful.
If you had just kept to the dark, your skills would have been much better.”
“I will never return to the dark.” Mercury growled. “Especially not under you.”
“Perhaps not, but its still a shame, nevertheless.” Another chuckle. “If you had to fight Darkury right now, I can assure you that you wouldn’t stand half a chance against her. You’d fall to her sword before you even had a chance to transform.”
“I don’t care. Darkury’s gone.”
There was a long silence at this, followed by a click. At first, Mercury thought that Kunzite had hung up, and pondered turning the phone off. Before she did, however, the voice finally gave a chuckle.
“.....A small loss, to be certain, upon looking back.” The chuckle
died down. “pb]But enough. For Foenicalise is still alive, still on the
prowl, so to speak. It is now heading towards the South Juuban Apartment complex
as we speak. If you understand the danger, then I suggest you get there as soon
Mercury gasped. She looked at the phone, looked down, then, without thinking, turned the phone off. As fast as she could, she broke into a dead run.
The figure slowly turned the phone off with a smile. For a moment, it had almost let its guard down at the mention of Darkury. But the figure managed to persevere through the conversation.
“Excellent work, Foenicalise.” The figure smirked. “We’re getting there.”
The youma gave a grunt in reply. With that, the figure turned back behind her. On the floor was an unconscious Rei, her clothing burnt from the battle.
“This is turning out better than I had planned.” The figure turned to the youma. “Go to the apartment. I will meet you there and give you the signal.”
With a bow in response, the youma disappeared from the cavern. As soon as it left, the figure slowly took out a small, frayed picture. It was of Usagi, Rei, Makoto and Ami, all in their uniforms, all smiling. Of the four, however, two of the faces - Usagi and Rei’s - were both crossed out with a red ink.
“Two down…..” The figure smiled as it tapped the area of the picture where Makoto’s face was. “One to go.”
“Kid!” The man shouted. “Watch where you’re going!”
Ami went head first as she pushed through the throngs of people on the sidewalks in the southern tier of the district. She was unsure of why there were so many people out in the suburb areas, at least for one moment. Then, she remembered.
The blackout. Ami shuddered. As long as there is no power, no one can work properly. So they’ve sent people home.
Ami looked around. It was getting to be very hot on the streets; the time of day when the daily high was to be reached would soon be near, and it left almost a million people without any electric. When she added that to the fact that Makoto’s room was on the 14th floor in her apartment building, and heat rose, she shivered slightly. If she thought it was bad on the street, she knew that Makoto’s place was a potential oven.
The enemy…. Ami’s school clothing was drenched with sweat. …..They know their targets well. Good work, Kunzite.
Finally, after what felt like forever, she finally spotted it. The apartment rose up over the smaller buildings around it like a beckoning obelisk of glittering gold. Ami gave a deep breath of relief; there seemed to be no sign of the youma in the area for if it was there, there would be widespread panic and chaos.
I just hope….. Ami slowly made her way to the apartment building entrance. ….that I’m not too late, and Mako-chan is home.
The heat within the building crashed into Ami like a train wreck. She almost couldn’t breathe as she slowly, painfully, went up each flight of stairs, because the elevators were out of service. The heat choked her, it clung to her body, forcing it to churn out more and more sweat. Her head began to pound violently from the exercise.
Finally, the 14th floor came upon Ami, and she almost collapsed again, then and there, at the top of the stairs. She had to stop, and sit, holding her head as it pounded from the lack of water. It took several minutes of rest before Ami willed herself to finally make it to Makoto’s apartment door. As hard as she could, she threw her fist at Makoto’s door, knocking on it six times.
The door opened, and, to Ami’s surprise, a cold breeze escaped from the room, fanning the sweat on Ami’s brow. She nearly threw up at the sudden change of temperature.
“Oh…….oh!” Ami almost stumbled into Makoto’s
arms. "Ami-chan! What are you doing here?!"
"J-just taking a stroll...."
Ami almost melted in Makoto's arms as Makoto carried her inside her apartment. The air conditioning was on - an impossibility to Ami, especially in a place that had a blackout.
"You're all drenched!" Makoto's tone became slightly scolding, then became gentler. "Come on, Ami-chan. Get changed into some of my clothes. Man, it must be hot out there!"
Ami looked all around her as Makoto threw her some light clothing. The electric was on; the television, the lights, the fans, everything was working as if nothing had ever happened. Bewildered, Ami went into the bathroom, slowly dressed in Makoto's clothing and came out again. She left her school clothing in the bathroom.
"Lemonade?" A glass was suddenly thrust into Ami's face. "Your
face is completely red and you look dehydrated. Sit down! The reporters are
talking all about the blackout. All the schools and businesses in Juuban and
a couple of sub-wards in lower Roppongi've been knocked out by it. They don't
know when power's going to be back on."
"Mako-chan..." Ami slowly took the offered drink. "Mako-chan, something has happened..."
"Good thing I....ahem.....didn't do to school today because my plumbing needed to be fixed!" Makoto sat down on the couch. "This building's got a good back-up generator, but the owner didn't want to take a chance, so he had the elevator service shut down and stuff. So it's like a sauna outside of here!" Makoto turned back towards Ami. "Is something wrong, Ami-chan?"
"The enemy has attacked."
Makoto's smile collapsed at Ami's words. Quickly, she was up, her eyes ablaze.
"They've kidnapped the entire school....and Usagi-chan." Ami looked into Makoto’s eyes. “And then, Rei-chan. There’s a youma that is heading right for here….to kill me and take you back with ir. “t to the Dark Kingdom.”
“That….” Makoto growled. “They took Usagi-chan and Rei-chan?! Those generals….”
“But….Mako-chan.” Ami looked at Makoto pleadingly. “Its Kunzite. The general who turned me to the darkness. He is responsible for this alone; he wants revenge on me.”
Ami looked down in contemplation. Her mistake with Rei had been her reluctance to allow Rei in on the fact that the entire attack on the city was, in many ways, her own fault. She didn’t want to make the same mistake with Makoto; it was bad enough that Kunzite was using innocent lives without compounding guilt by not warning who she could about the danger.
“This is all my fault…”
“And so he’s kidnapping us to make a point to you?” Makoto cracked her knuckles. “Well, I won’t let him take me without a fight, and neither should you.”
“Ami-chan, listen to yourself!” Makoto stared at her. “You’re taking a defeatist attitude about this. Where’s the Ami-chan that saved Usagi-chan from turning into a youma - by Kunzite, no less?”
“But what can I do? Mako-chan, I don’t want to risk your life.”
“You can’t let them win, no matter what! In the end,” Makoto turned away again. “I would risk myself to save you from Kunzite, no matter what you say. You should risk it to save yourself from him as well!”
“It’s different now!”
At this, Ami stood up. Her face filled with sadness and fear. She looked down at the floor, her hands clasped together.
“Because…..I was there.” Her voice squeaked. “I was with the evil that wants to kill me. I…..maybe I can negotiate with Kunzite, and…..but…..no, he wouldn’t.” A small tear came from Ami’s eye. “He will kill me. This time, he knows everything…..he will risk your lives to get me…..and…..I can’t bear that! I don’t know, maybe I can risk myself…..but what about you, what about the students? I can’t stand the thought of being alone again…and……and I….I almost feel like Darkury is…still alive.”
Before Ami could go on, however, and before Makoto could admonish her fears and anger, the phone rang. The two looked at one another, staring at each other with unease, before Ami finally picked it up.
The synthesized mouthpiece always went in before each conversation. It took several bites down to make it work properly. Nevertheless, it was worth it.
“….It’s him, isn’t it?”
The figure gave a chuckle as Makoto’s voice echoed into the phone. With a smile, it opened the blinds in the small, rented room. Across the street was the South Juuban apartment complex, where, through the window, the figure could see Ami’s quaking figure.
“It looks like I beat you here, Kunzite.”
“Yes….I see you’re at the South Juuban Apartment building, though I wouldn’t say you….beat…..me there.” The figure’s smile became wider. “Good. You have some good instincts, Mercury. I didn’t even have to finish telling you what to do.”
“Quit your teasing of her, Kunzite!”
The figure paused as Makoto’s voice came onto the phone again. It looked up at the 14th level windows, then back down onto the street. A dark, flaming shadow began to form at the crosswalk
“Very well, Jupiter.” The figure closed the blinds. “I’ll
stop if you can tackle what I’m sending your way.”
The reply was cut off as the figure closed the phone.
Makoto looked at Ami with a stern face as she slowly closed the phone. Ami turned away from Makoto, her face red.
“Well,” Makoto held her wrist up. “What are we waiting for?”
Ami reluctantly held her wrist up. The bands on each girl’s wrist glittered.
“Don’t give up.” Makoto smiled. “No matter what! Jupiter
Again, Ami was surrounded in the blue power of her mother planet, while the bright green lightning of Jupiter crackled around Makoto’s body. The lights dissipated around the two girls after a moment, revealing Sailor Mercury and Sailor Jupiter.
“Come on!” Bringing up her tambourine, Jupiter threw the apartment
door open. “Let’s go an-“
Suddenly, Jupiter was violently thrown onto her couch with a shout, followed by a groan. Her soldier clothing were slightly burnt.
Mercury suddenly found herself staring once more into the eyes of the fire youma. They flamed red, and hellish fire, as they stared into her, and the heat licked her body. The sweat appeared again upon her brow, and she shut her eyes tightly.
Mercury’s eyes bolted open at the sound of the voice. Her hands slowly went down as she looked at Foeniclise. The youma’s flaming irises suddenly turned icy, blue and cold, like a mirror. Where there once was simply flame was now a reflection of the frightened Mercury, but it was darker than she really was. To add to Mercury’s horror, the reflected Mercury suddenly gave an evil smile.
“Fight all you like,” The reflection winked. “You can’t hide from me…..you can never escape from me…..”
Mercury gave a loud gasp. Her hands were completely down, leaving her defenseless. Taking advantage, the youma leaped on her, throwing her to the ground. Mercury was down with a scream, her clothing scorched by the youma’s hands.
“RAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!” The youma hungrily lowered itself towards Mercury. “Rar………..rrrrrr……….”
Mercury closed her eyes tightly. Her body shuddered, silently cursing herself and her foolishness. She waited for the end, for her hands were pinned down, and she could not attack.
The thunder sparks instantly separated Mercury and the youma. Mercury gave a scream as she covered herself. Though she knew the attack was not intended for her, she was still slightly electrocuted. Nevertheless, she was relieved, and quickly got up.
“COME ON!!” Standing in front of Mercury with a pose, Jupiter motioned to the youma. “Let’s rumble, demon.”
The youma gave another wild roar, and again drew its wings out. In response, Jupiter held up her star tambourine towards her midsection and glared at the youma with a smirk.
“M-mako-chan!!” A glow came from Mercury’s hand, revealing
Mercury’s star tambourine. “Here! I’ll lend you power.”
“No.” Jupiter’s blunt response stunned her. “Hurry. Get out before the youma pins you down again.”
“The enemy’s after you.” Jupiter looked at Mercury tenderly. “You’ll need to be prime and ready to fight, even if I nor the other soldiers cannot fight alongside you, against Kunzite. Who knows - this may be your test to awaken you.”
Mercury took several steps back, looking at Jupiter skeptically. With a smile, Jupiter responded by picking Mercury up by the waist and throwing her out the apartment door.
Mercury landed hard on her side. She was disoriented for a fleeting moment; then she saw the light. The bright green light crackled, smashing into the fiery inferno of the youma. It then mingled, mixed, and then blasted out into the hall with one loud, deafening explosion, engulfing the entire floor in light.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Mercury screamed. “MAKO-CHAAAAAAAAN!!!!”
The light dissipated; with a scream, the youma disintegrated into ash. All that stood was Makoto, untransformed, writhing violently. The star tambourine fell from her hands.
Just as Mercury began to run towards Makoto, a single black rose petal fluttered past her. Mercury’s eyes widened as the area around Makoto darkened. She gave a scream.
Makoto looked at Ami, her eyes darkening as black rose petals began to surround her. Her lips quivered violently as she struggled to speak.
The area became black, inverting upon itself before blowing away harmlessly away. The black mist then fluttered, with several remaining petals, through the window. With a loud, angry scream, Mercury lost it. She threw herself to the ground like a little child, pounding her fists to the ground.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” She jumped up, punching the wall as hard as she could. “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! NonononononononoNO NonononononoNO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
The phone suddenly rang. Its ring incensed Mercury even more, for it meant only one thing. As violently as she ever did anything, she literally threw her phone open.
Hot tears began to stream down the soldier’s face as the laughter began on the other side of the line. Mercury’s free hand went into a tightly clenched fist.
“Hello, Mercury.” The voice kept laughing. “You seem upset
“You…..horrible fiend!” Mercury cried. “I’ll never forgive you for this!”
“I didn’t expect you to.” The voice became slightly somber. “This is war, after all. Casualties, innocent or not, are expected in battle.”
“Unacceptable! Bring my friends back to me!” Mercury angrily shouted. “This is between you and me, Kunzite! Put my friends, and all of the students you kidnapped, back where they belong this instant!”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that.” The voice became angry. “No. I will make you understand how deep the loss was to me. You will see the consequences of what you have done. By leaving the dark, you allowed……”
There was a sudden pause. Mercury looked at the cell phone with a shaky hand. Her mind began to numb at Kunzite’s words, at what they could possibly mean. Another moment passed before the voice resumed.
“But….that is for you to know….later.” The voice returned,
though it seemed nervous about something, as if it has almost slipped about
something. “No, you will learn of it, inevitably. And you will come to
Sakura Square, at six o’clock, as we agreed to earlier. Is that understood?”
“You….” Mercury looked up at the damaged ceiling. “You….were serious about that.”
“You will come, and you will be as Mizuno Ami. You are to come alone; you are not to contact Venus, or any other sailor, or any one else in this. Is that perfectly clear?”
Mercury looked down. With her other hand, she slowly closed the cell phone.