Beautiful Destroyer Sailor Moon

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
Flying at streetlight height and ignoring the commotion they were creating below, Nanoha and Fate looked to one another and then ahead as they approached their destination, nearby Chiyoda City. In their hands, their staves Raising Heart Excelion and Bardiche Assault were tightly held and ready for what awaited them... and any diversion along the way.

“Protection,” Raising Heart suddenly spoke.

“Defenser!” Bardiche shouted simultaneously.

Both girls stopped as Nanoha’s pink and Fate’s yellow barrier stopped Tuxedo Kamen and Moonlight Knight’s respective roses from striking the girls directly. Fate looked up to the her right, and spotted Moonlight Knight standing on the edge of a tall building’s roof, while Tuxedo Kamen stood on the cellphone tower of another building to Nanoha’s left.

“I wish this was some kind of joke.” Tuxedo Kamen was not happy about this. Under any other circumstances, his favorite fictional magical girls running around in real life would normally have him acting like a the biggest fanboy. But after this morning...

“Why did you attack us?” Nanoha asked.

Fate glowered cooly at Moonlight Knight as she moved a bit closer to Nanoha.

Hearing Nanoha’s voice, Tuxedo Kamen hesitated slightly.

“Don’t get suckered, they’re golems!” Moonlight Knight warned.

Tuxedo Kamen nodded. “I know that... it just pisses me off more that someone would create golems out of these two!”

Nanoha looked confused. “Golems?”

Tuxedo Kamen took advantage of Nanoha’s hesitation, quickly closing the distance between himself and the girl and quickly drawing his cane sword to slash her. At the last moment, Fate rounded Nanoha and blocked the slash with Bardiche before swinging back against the sword and shoviing Tuxedo Kamen back.

“Nanoha-chan, I’ll hold them off, we can’t waste time here!” Fate advised.

Nanoha looked to her friend and nodded. “Right, be careful Fate-chan!”

“Accel Shooter,” Raising Heart spoke.

“Plasma Lancer,” Bardiche toned.

Orbs of light appeared around Nanoha as several arrow-shaped bolts materialized in front of Fate, aimed at Moonlight Knight. Both girls then called out their commands.

“Shoot!”

“Fire!”

Tuxedo Kamen took off, shooting upward like a rocket to avoid the homing energy beams. Moonlight Knight shot left, avoiding the Plasma Lancers at first.

Hefting Bardiche in her tightened grip, Fate shot off after him. “Turn!”

The Lancers stopped and reacquired Moonlight Knight, before accelerating towards him. At the last second, he dove beneath them and looped upward towards the sky as the bolts changed direction again at her command to turn.

“I don’t believe this...!” Moonlight Knight growled as he suddenly produced his white cane, spun it, and pointed its end down at the approaching projectiles. Gunfire erupted from the end of the cane, sending rounds into the bolts and causing them to explode. Spinning the cane again, he blocked Bardiche as Fate swung it like an axe for his chest.

Tuxedo Kamen was equally unnerved by these two, as he threw several roses to counter the Accel Shooter bolts. “These things even have their powers!”

As the bolts dispersed, he spotted that Nanoha rushing away as fast as she could. “Oh no you don’t!”

Breaking Fate’s block, Moonlight Knight fired his cane twice more at the girl, her Defenser barrier blocking both shots. As he withdrew from her, a cylinder in the cane swung out and ejected six spent cartridges, before Moonlight Knight produced a speed-loader with six more rounds ready and loaded them in.

“Who would've thought of this? The first monster I fight and it's a copy of the same thing that inspired my cane.”

As he snapped the cylinder back inside the cane, Fate swung at him and forced him to block again. The force of the blow caused him to grit his teeth, but he endured it. “Who sent you, what are you after?!”

Fate frowned. “If you don't know that, why are you attacking us?!”

Breaking away from one another, Moonlight Knight and Fate spiraled around one another higher into the sky, passing close enough for one another to cross cane and staff before breaking off to attack at range.

Defenser blocked Moonlight Knight's cane gunfire as Fate repressed her frustration. “Load cartridge!”

“Load cartridge,” Bardiche repeated before a piston on the staff fired twice and the yellow gem at the end of it began to glow. “Halberd.”

Raising the weapon above her head Fate charged Moonlight Knight as Bardiche changed configuration and ignited a bright yellow energy blade, evoking the image of a pole axe.

Letting out a “Tch” Moonlight Knight narrowly avoided a slash and put distance between himself and Fate. He had to end this fast, he wasn't too keen to find out how accurate these recreations were.

Of course, with a fight this crazy it's only a matter of time...

Only just barely crossing from Minato into Chiyoda, Nanoha stopped and used Raising Heart’s Protector spell to block a powerful blow from Tuxedo Kamen’s cane, the force of the strike knocking her into a billboard atop one of the buildings that flanked the thoroughfare below. Dazed by the force of the blow momentarily, Nanoha looked up at Tuxedo Kamen.

“Why are you attacking us? I don’t understand!” she pleaded with Tuxedo Kamen.

Tuxedo Kamen scowled at her, suppressing everything that even remotely hinted at trying to convince or hear her out. He only wanted answers. “Who sent you and what is your reason for being here?”

Luckily he was dealing with Nanoha, who was never above talking out a conflict. “We were sent by the Time-Space Administration Bureau, to apprehend a powerful rogue Mage, Kenji Tsukino. Please try to understand we’re not your enemy, and we’re not trying to hurt anyone!”

Tuxedo Kamen glanced back towards the flashes of light where Moonlight Knight was dueling Fate, and then returned his gaze to Nanoha. Well, that dismissed any remote possibility that these weren’t golems. Gripping his cane in both hands, he shot straight for Nanoha, who grew wide-eyed with surprise at the speed of his closure.

On the street below, pedestrians and police who quickly joined the chase stared up at the explosion that erupted from the building’s rooftop, and the beams of light that shot from the smoke. Ascending from the top of the smoke cloud, Tuxedo Kamen resheathed his cane sword as Nanoha ascended with him.

She again tried to reason with him. “I don’t want to fight you if we don’t have a reason to!”

“You really ought to shut up.” Tuxedo Kamen drew from inside his suit jacket five roses and then tossed them out into the air. The five roses oriented themselves in the air and aimed stem first at Nanoha, before becoming red rays of light that shot at her at high speed.

“Protection,” Raising Heart spoke before the roses impacted with its barrier, each hit knocking Nanoha further back across the sky.

“I don’t understand.” Nanoha wished she could decipher this man’s hostility.

“Behind you, my Master!” Raising Heart warned.

Quickly Nanoha raised her fist behind her, and sparks flew as Tuxedo Kamen’s sword struck against it. “Please...!”

“Load Cartridge.”

A burst of magic buffeted and threw Tuxedo Kamen backward and into the sky. As he recovered, he saw Nanoha standing atop a platform of magical symbols and aiming Raising Heart at him.

“Oh fuck.”

“At least just tell me...!” Nanoha called out.

“Divine.”

“... Why we have to fight!”

“Buster.”

Landing on a broad rooftop, Moonlight Knight looked at the cuts and scorch marks on the sleeves and shoulders of his white suit and sighed in annoyance. He looked up at Fate, who landed and extinguished Bardiche's energy blade.

“For people who ask a lot of questions, you don't seem to care about any answers you get,” Fate said as she kept her distance and stayed on her guard.

Moonlight Knight opened his cane's cylinder, ejected the cartridges, and produced another speed-loader to reload it. “Because you won't tell us the truth. That all is irrelevant though, you're here to hurt someone, maybe even kill them, and I'm going to stop you.”

He gave the cane a quick twist, snapping the cylinder back into position, and spun it quickly to aim at Fate. “So dispense with the talking, unless you're going to tell us who really sent you.”

Fate narrowed her eyes and similarly reloaded Bardiche, complete with twisting the staff to replace the cylinder.

“Load cartridge.”

She broke into a run for Moonlight Knight, the cartridge system firing three times as she closed in.

Moonlight Knight aimed and fired several times at Fate's face, the rounds blocked by blur-like swings of Bardiche.

“Zanber.”

Swinging the transforming Bardiche to block another round, Fate swung once more as the fully transformed staff ignited a blade taller than two of her.

Moonlight Knight did not hesitate, and jumped over her horizontal slash. As she raised and swung down a vertical blow, he got in close and blocked the energy blade by stopping the hilt of Bardiche.

She was much stronger with more magic flowing through her, but Moonlight Knight held his ground as their weapons scraped and sparked against one another.

“You're strong,” Fate admitted as she tried to push the masked boy in white to his knee, and met only immovable resistance. When he tried to push back, she dug in and felt her footing slip slightly.

“If there is one thing I can do right...” Moonlight Knight growled back as he felt Fate slide back further. “It's be strong!”

Before he could force Fate to her knee, the flash of Nanoha's Divine Buster distracted him just long enough for Fate to lift up her foot and kick him as hard as she could, launching him off the edge of the roof and towards another building.

As he went backward, he smirked. “But what I do best is be sneaky.”

Fate went wide eyed before she noticed white roses blooming in the sides of Bardiche, where all the bullets she deflected had hit the weapon. When the last rose opened, all of them gave off a bright glow and exploded, the concussive force throwing Fate off the opposite edge.

Turning over, Moonlight Knight let the wind catch in his cape and soared off straight for the beam that flickered into the evening sky. “You had better be alive. Getting killed by Chinese Bootleg Magical Girls is not the way I want to remember you!”

Tuxedo Kamen was in fact very much alive, intact, and angry as he knelt on a roof clutching his cane. His cape and top hat had not survived the Divine Buster blast he had narrowly avoided, however.

“So, this is Vita's anger,” he muttered. He liked his hat and cape, and regenerating both would take a while.

Seeing him hatless and capeless, Nanoha immediately recalled the very same anger. “I'm sorry about your hat!”

Tuxedo Kamen was not made of stone, try as he might. From the very first episode he was a big fan of the girl the golem was based, and it being completely identical to her in even her gentle and compassionate personality was breaking his heart and making him want to especially kill her creator.

I cannot let this distract me, I have to end it now before I start trying to convince myself that she can be made real.

He stood up, as a smoky golden light began to appear around his right hand. I guess I’ll have to win by brute force.

Nanoha blinked when Tuxedo Kamen gripped his right forearm as the glow began to intensify. “What?”

“Master, there is a powerful magic!” Raising Heart warned.

Before she could respond to that threat, another fell upon her from above, and she narrowly blocked Moonlight Knight’s cane as he swung it down upon her head. Two more strikes shoved her downward before she broke away from him.

Tuxedo Kamen swore as his partner suddenly fell into his shot, and banished the glow around his hand. As he jumped to join into the fight, a yellow-trailing blur shot past him and straight for Moonlight Knight. “Moonlight Knight, look out!”

Spotting Fate approach, Moonlight Knight aimed and fired his cane at her, only to miss as she rolled out out the path of the bullets.

“Load cartridge. Sonic Form.” With Bardiche’s words, Fate’s outfit transformed, the skirt and stockings vanishing as her top transformed into an athletic track suit and shorts combination. When Moonlight Knight swung at her, his cane went through a trail of afterimages as Fate swiftly circled around to his back.

“Crap!” Moonlight Knight said as he looked back at Fate, who raised and swung down Bardiche to club him atop his head.

A great torrent of flames that shot down between Fate and Moonlight Knight put an end right to that. Pushed forward by their heat and intensity, Moonlight Knight looked up and towards the source of the flames with a smile on his face.

“A wise man once taught,” Sailor Mars said from where she stood, in front of a flashing billboard surrounded by her cawing and flapping crows, “That the only way to defeat a Golem... is to burn it!”

“Sailor Mars!” Moonlight Knight and Tuxedo Kamen both exclaimed.

“S-Sir...”

Moonlight Knight looked back, and recoiled in fright when he saw what the flames had done to Fate. Bardiche was badly melted and bubbling, as were Fate’s arms from the elbows down as she stared in horror at the damage done to her body.

Her eyes wide, she shook her head as she watched Bardiche fall apart into a rapidly cooling, warped pieces of modeler’s plastic. “W-what is this...?”

Moonlight Knight stared at Fate, and the look of fright and disbelief across her face, before he realized just how exact these golems were.

Sailor Mars jumped from the rooftop, spun through the air, and brought her hands together. “Mars Fire Soul!”

Paralyzed as she was, Fate stood no chance as the flames engulfed and rapidly consumed her, melting her down before evaporating the liquefied plastic away.

Sailor Mars fell to the rooftop Tuxedo Kamen stood upon, landing neatly in a crouch. She looked over to him. “I made it in time! Are you guys okay?”

Tuxedo Kamen was staring at the sky. “Not for long.”

Sailor Mars blinked. “Not for long, why?”

The sky lit up into a very bright shade of pink. Jumping at the sudden change in the sky, Sailor Mars looked over towards the light and blinked. “... What’s happening now?”

The glow was coming from Nanoha and the large orb of energy hovering in front of her. The golem’s eyes were blank and pouring tears as she looked at the bits of ash and dust that were all that’s left of Fate. “Fate-chan...”

Even as she was grieving, she was loading cartridge after cartridge into Raising Heart, changing magazines to continue raising her magical output.

Sailor Mars gulped. “I... I never watched this show... what’s she about to do and how do I stop it?!”

Tuxedo Kamen looked to her. “Attack her, full power!

Sailor Mars complied, and put her hands together. “Mars Fire Soul!”

The torrent of fire surged out at Nanoha much like it did Fate, but before it could reach her it dissipated against the barrier around her, and the ball of light grew brighter. Around them and in the streets below, streetlights and even the headlights of cars began to shut off.

Tuxedo Kamen grimaced. “It’s that attack... it’s just going to absorb energy in the surrounding area before she fires it!”

He, Sailor Mars, and Moonlight Knight attempted to move back, but found themselves held in place by rings of light around their wrists and ankles. Tuxedo Kamen swore. “A bind spell... she’s going to make sure we don’t get away!”

Raising Heart announced her successful mode change. “Starlight Breaker.”

Nanoha lowered the weapon, aiming it at Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Mars. “I won’t let you... I won’t let you get away for killing Fate-chan! STARLIGHT... BREA-!”

Her voice caught in her throat, and the bright glow became unstable before it suddenly dispersed harmlessly. Stock still, Nanoha tried to move, but her body felt like it was stiff, frozen. “... K... kkeh...”

The bonds seizing the three suddenly faded. Directly behind her, Sailor Mercury had both her hands jammed into Nanoha’s back, as her ice cold mist began to swirl around the golem, freezing her solid from head to toe. Her eyes closed behind the Mercury computer’s visor, Sailor Mercury took no joy in what she was about to do.

“I’m so sorry, Nanoha-chan,” she said softly to the frozen golem, before she wrenched her in half down the middle. Holding the two halves of frozen plastic shaped like Nanoha apart at arm’s length, Sailor Mercury quickly brought them back together with tremendous force, shattering Nanoha and Raising Heart into hundreds of pieces.

Seeing Nanoha break and Sailor Mercury fall away, Sailor Mars wasted no time and unleashed another Fire Soul, incinerating the chunks of plastic into harmless ash that blew away with the wind.

Moonlight Knight, still shaken by what happened up there landed along with Sailor Mercury. “Sailor Mars, Sailor Mercury... thanks...”

Tuxedo Kamen nodded. “Your timing is always fantastic.”

“I’m just glad we got here in time,” Sailor Mars said before she looked to Sailor Mercury, who was analyzing a piece of plastic she had recovered from Nanoha.

Tuxedo Kamen looked to Moonlight Knight. “You were amazing up there as well, Moonlight Knight.”

“Y-yeah thanks,” he replied rigidly.

Tuxedo Kamen frowned a bit, before he looked over to Sailor Mercury. “Any clues?”

“Well it’s weird,” Sailor Mercury said. “This is plastic, like Jadeite said.”

Sailor Mars was surprised. “Really?”

“A specific type, too. It’s the stuff used to make Gunpla and action figures.”

“It’s like that then, golem maker is making action figures and model kits come to life, and gives them their abilities, too,” Tuxedo Kamen said.

At the very idea, Sailor Mars grew horrified. “This could get bad very fast! What if they make a Goku golem, or a Sagittarius Seiya golem, or a Kamina golem?!”

Sailor Mercury huffed. “Kamina sucks, we’d kill him in a second.”

“Did you find out why they were here? I got nothing from Fate,” Moonlight Knight asked Tuxedo Kamen.

Tuxedo Kamen nodded. “She said the TSAB assigned them to apprehend someone named Kenji Tsukino, a rogue wizard.”

It took everything Moonlight Knight had to not react to that name. Sailor Mercury was as cool as Tuxedo Kamen, while Sailor Mars bit her lower lip as she quietly looked back and forth nervously.

Already, Sailor Mercury was gathering information on the man. “He’s a journalist at the Daily News, which isn’t far from here. He’s got no criminal record or has been involved in any unlawful activities... aside from some citations from over ten years ago...” Sailor Mercury scrolled through the list of citations. “... A lot of citations...” Her eyes grew wide and a blush covered her face as the list kept going. “... Oh w-wow.”

“Is there any connection to the first victim?” Moonlight Knight snapped at her.

She quickly compared the names of the two would-be victims and found a connection. “He’s the father of one of Tenzo Ito’s classmates, and that’s about the only tenuous connection between them.”

She clapped her hands together. “Well! We have a lead at least, right?”

“That’s right,” Tuxedo Kamen replied.

Why does this feel so awkward? both wondered.

A spotlight illuminated the roof and the four looked up at the police helicopter now circling overhead. Tuxedo Kamen shook his head. “You know, the longer we stay here…”

“Yes, we should be going,” Sailor Mercury said, “Contact Luna if you can find anything new, I’ll be working on our end!”

“It pains me that we have to constantly part ways under these circumstances,” Tuxedo Kamen said before the two teams of heroes quickly vacated the roof and escaped the oncoming police presence.


It didn’t take long for Tuxedo Kamen and Moonlight Knight to evade their pursuers and return to the car. Dismissing their fashionable attire, Mamoru leaned against his car and shook his head. “Before anything else I want to say that I don’t think you’re responsible for this.”

Shingo nodded. “That’s good, because I’d have to kick your ass if you did.”

“Someone has a very warped idea of helping you with your issues,” Mamoru said as they climbed back into the car. “Is there anyone you know who could possibly be doing this?”

Shingo mulled it over, and shook his head. “There would be no one who would know. I mean, yeah they’d know about the bullying thing... but I love my Dad and I never told anyone aside from you about all of that.”

“If they’re after you then they’re going to go after people close to you. We’ll help keep an eye on them but for now, I think you should start looking for the leads at your school.”

Shingo nodded and leaned back in his seat. “You think Motoki and Reika can handle the patrol for the rest of the night? Fighting those golems...”

Mamoru nodded. “Yeah, they won’t mind.”

“It’s okay? You’re sure?” Shingo stopped when Mamoru focused on the road and resumed driving. His mentor and boss looked pretty bummed out too.

“They had no idea they were golems, did they?” Mamoru asked Shingo.

Shingo looked down at his lap, and shook his head. “They didn’t realize it until the end. In that sense... they were victims too.”

Mamoru nodded. “When we run into whoever’s behind this, I’m hitting them extra hard... for them.”

Shingo wholeheartedly agreed with that.

Walking from the alleyway where they had transformed back, Ami and Rei headed for the nearest bus stop that would take them to the Hikawa Shrine. Rei slid her hands into the heavy coat she wore, while Ami looked at her supercomputer’s screen.

“How are we going to break this to Usagi-chan?” Rei asked as Phobos landed on her shoulder and Deimos perched herself atop her head.

“We’ll call her when we get back to the Shrine, but for now we have to figure out the connection.”

Reaching a crosswalk, they began to cross when the car at the very front of the queue honked its horn. Looking over, both girls saw Mamoru and Shingo, the former brightening up and waving to them as the latter rolled his eyes.

“Huh, what a helpful coincidence,” Ami said as Rei let out a happy squeal and ran over to Mamoru’s side of the car.

Later that evening, in the Kayama household, Yoshiko was on the phone as she headed up the stairs to her bedroom. “I saw it on the news yes, it’s a good thing the Sailor Senshi were there this time before anyone could get hurt, Mika-chan is still shaken by what happened at school.”

Reaching the top of the stairs, she turned out the lights downstairs and made her way to her daughter’s bedroom as she listened to her friend on the phone. “Really right by there?”

Yoshiko stopped at Mika’s door. “I’m glad no one was hurt, bad enough after what happened at school.” Yoshiko reached the door. “Just a moment.”

She opened the door and peered inside. “Mika-chan, it’s time for…”

Stopping, she stared at Mika as she set down a completed Kamen Raider model on dresser next to her desk. The little girl looked back at her mother. “I will go to bed soon, Mom.”

“Ah right…” Yoshiko looked to the model. “You’ve been building a lot of gunpla, what about the doll you made for the competition? I want that to be part of my exhibition, you know.”

“I gave it away.”

Yoshiko raised her eyebrows in surprise. “What?”

Mika did not look back at her. “It’s okay, I made a lot of dolls over the last few days. That old doll was trash compared to them.”

When did Mika start thinking like that? “Trash? Mika-chan what are you talking about? That doll was a work of art!”

“It was trash, Shingo-kun didn’t like it.”

Yoshiko lifted her phone to her ear. “I’m sorry, I’ll call you back.” Ending the call, she walked over and took her by the shoulders. “Mika-chan, we talked about this, you promised you’d stay away from that boy so I wouldn’t change you out of that class, and now you gave him that doll you poured your heart into?”

Mika lowered her head. “I made it for him.”

She reached up and removed her mother’s hands from her shoulders. “But that doll was trash, so I made even better dolls, dolls that he will love when he sees them, and they will give him the love he deserves.”

Yoshiko took a step back from her daughter. “Give him love? Mika...?”

Mika turned away from her mother and walked over to the desk. “I just need to make a few more dolls, I should be done by the exhibition. I’m about to finish one right now.”

As Yoshiko paused and began to retreat towards the door, Mika turned her head to look back at her, revealing a bright red glow in her eyes. A pair of wooden doll’s hands hands materialized out of thin air emerging from Mika’s back before they shot forward and grabbed Yoshiko around her neck, causing her phone to fall to the floor with a clatter and dial the number she had just been speaking with.

“Yoshi-chan? Hello?” Ikuko’s voice called from the phone. “Yoshi? Are you there?”

As Yoshiko was lifted off her feet, Mika reached down and picked up the phone. “I’m sorry, but Mom can’t talk, she’s helping me make a doll.”

“Oh, okay then. Good bye, Mika-chan.”

“Bye.”

Mika ended the call by crushing the phone in her grip. The Sailor Senshi foiled the second part or her plan, she would just have to add Shingo's parents to her collection later than sooner.

Looking back at her desk, she smiled at the parts laid out for another figure.

It would be worth the wait.

Shingo-kun was worth it all.


Ignoring the emotional trauma of a human-sized mecha marching into class to try to kill people, most kids in Shingo’s class were actually pretty happy to have a few days off from school as the damages were repaired. However, those scant few days flew by quickly, and soon Shingo was again at his locker, putting away his jacket and getting ready for another long day of social ostracization.

Oh well, at least he had a mystery to take his mind off it; a few mysteries, in fact. In addition to people going after his bullies and his family, there was the sudden silence from his phone. The messages and calls of harassment had stopped.

Shingo seriously wasn’t complaining. He looked forward to a day of sitting down without being harrassed. It would let him think at least, even if he had already been doing a lot of it.

This is beginning to drive me bored. No Dark Kingdom, no golems, even the crime rate’s gone down.

To be fair, it was hard to be a petty crook in Minato these days, seemed like one couldn’t even litter without being kicked in the face and left for the cops to arrest with irrefutable evidence indicating them of their crime.

Bored is bad though because if there’s nothing going on then there’s something going on and you don’t know what it is.

As he reached his classroom and placed his hand on the handle, he sighed. No wonder Usagi insists on living such an exciting life.

She’d probably wouldn’t have joined that Kamen Raider fan club if she was a little less spastic, which meant that she wouldn’t have found out about-

“Mika?” Shingo asked after he opened the door and found her standing on the other side dressed elegantly in a white 19th century style dress not unlike those of her dolls.

“Hello, Shingo-kun!” Mika said happily as she took his hand. “Come in, come in, we’ve been waiting for you!”

Shingo blinked. “We?”

He looked over and found the entire class lined up by the chalkboard with their backs to the wall and their heads bowed. Everyone was elegantly dressed, the girls in dresses like Mika’s except all black and the boy’s in handsome black tailed suits. On seeing Shingo, all of them properly bowed reverently to him.

Mika eagerly led him over to the students. “After what happened, Tenzo-kun gathered us all together and we talked about how you saved everyone by standing up to that monster. We all owe you our thanks for being so brave... and they all owe you an apology for being so mean to you.”

Honestly, Shingo could not believe this was happening. After putting up with their crap, they had finally seen the kind of person he really was, and they were owning up to their bullying?

Mika looked over to Tenzo, who rose from his bow and nodded before he smiled and reached up to scratch the back of his head bashfully. “Well, yeah... I mean even after we all... er... I treated you like shit... you could’ve run away or let that monster kill me, but you didn’t. I don’t even understand why.”

A bad side of Shingo wanted to rub it in his face, but he simply shrugged his shoulders. He was better than that. “Well, bad as you were, you don’t deserve to die so I couldn’t let that happen.”

Tenzo looked aside, his face flushing in embarrassment. “Jeez, even after all I said and did... you’d think that?”

Shingo folded his arms. “Sure, it’s what any good person would do!”

Tenzo nodded and returned his gaze to him. “Well, as class representative I speak for the class, when I say that we all want to be good people too... and we’re sorry for everything.”

The other kids looked up, all adding their own apologies anyway.

Shingo hesitantly took this, before he smiled back to Tenzo. “I forgive you guys!”

Tenzo laughed before he put an arm around Shingo’s shoulders. “Come on, have you had breakfast yet? I had my Dad cater some for everyone, but Mika helped me pick out stuff you might like...”

As Shingo was led away from her, Mika smiled pleasantly after him and looked to the other students. Her eyes flashed red and they all turned their own wide, fearful eyes to her. Her smile broadened and grew wicked, as the red glow faded and the fearful gazes of the students vanished.

Today was going to be a wonderful day. No one was going to pick on or be mean to her Shingo.

And by the end of it, no one was going to ever hate Shingo again.


Raider Rabbit: Has there been any break in the case?

Mifune0538: This is the eighth time you asked and the answer is still no. Are you that bored? Also. Raider Rabbit? You keep changing your screen name. lol

Raider Rabbit: I haven’t even gotten there yet and I am that bored.

Usagi stared at the screen of her supercomputer as she rode in the backseat of the family’s car. It had been almost a week, and out of the goodness of her mother’s heart Usagi could be taken out of the dog house... if she could be perfectly behaved while taking part in a family function. Given that Usagi could be good if she applied herself, it was no Sisyphean task. However, the family function was going to Yoshiko Kayama’s Bisque Doll Exhibition and Auction, which promised to be as entertaining as watching paint dry in Shibuya.

Mifune0538: Besides, nothing happening is a good thing. It means that no one’s attacking you or your family.

Raider Rabbit: It also means that they haven’t attacked yet.


Mifune0538: Well don’t worry if they do, I’m here.

Raider Rabbit: You’re the best.

Mifune0538: I know. ~_^


Sailor Jupiter was waiting on the roof of the Art Deco-styled Teien Art Museum. Between her chat messages, she was watching out for anything unusual. Aside from the wealthy guests waiting in the museum’s garden for the exhibition, there wasn’t anything going on.

Mifune0538: So how was Shingo-kun’s first day back to school?

Usagi looked up from her phone and over to Shingo, who was trying not to fidget too much in his excitement. She smiled some, seeing him in high spirits, and went right to typing.

Raider Rabbit: He’s been on cloud nine since Mika and he made up. Turns out selflessly saving the biggest bully in class made him everybody’s hero, and she and all the kids got together to throw a big thank you party for him.

Sailor Jupiter smiled herself, when she got Usagi’s message.

Mifune0538: Good! More than anything he needs people who can see him for who he is as a person, and not who his family is.

Raider Rabbit: It’s so cute that you’re holding this torch for him, but if you keep it up, you’ll give people the wrong idea, especially him~

Sailor Jupiter chuckled.

Mifune0538: Usagi-chan, that’s too much!

Raider Rabbit: Keep an eye out for trouble, we’ve arrived.

“Usagi-chan, could you put away your phone? We’re here,” Ikuko asked as Kenji parked the car.

Nodding, Usagi did as commanded as Shingo quickly got out of the car. She climbed out the other side, and watched him wait impatiently for their parents to get out. “I’ve never seen anyone so excited to attend a boring bourgeois bash like this.”

Shingo turned his nose up a bit. “Well Mika said she had made some dolls for me, and she was going to show them off at the exhibition.”

Usagi raised her eyebrows. “Eh? Mika’s here too?”

“Yeah, she makes dolls too.”

“I... did not know that.” Why did Usagi not know that?

“Aren’t you two part of the same club?”

“I know that Mika is a big fan and scratch-builds sweet-ass Kamen Raider figures, but I didn’t know she did the doll thing.”

Ikuko looked over to Usagi as they walked along towards the entrance of the museum. “Yoshi-chan taught her everything she knows about doll making. She’s already better than Yoshi-chan though, and has won a lot of awards.”

“Yoshi-chan?” Usagi asked.

“Her mother,” Shingo replied.

“Ah, the bitch who threw you out when you went to visit Mika.”

Ikuko gave Usagi a more pointed look. “Bitchy as she is, Yoshi-chan is an old friend of mine so be nice, Usagi-chan.”

“I’m going to.” Usagi frowned. Suddenly she felt as if she had missed something big, like a soldier looking for a sniper who had somehow missed the tank sneaking up on him.

Let’s review, shall we? Usagi thought to herself as they walked through the doors of the museum and down the main hall. Mika Kayama is Shingo’s classmate, tries to give him a gift but he breaks it when other kids pick on him. Mika is the daughter of one of Mom’s friends from her older, wilder days...

Usagi eyes grew, as it all began to fall into place. The Tsukino family were met by the curator of the museum, who bowed politely to Kenji and Ikuko before leading them to the auction hall, where Yoshiko was expecting them.

Mika is the only person in Shingo’s class who tries to reach out to him and be friendly. Thanks to being Mom’s friend, Mika would probably know a lot about us... maybe too much.

“Is this right?” Ikuko said when they saw that the doors to the auction hall were locked with no signage denoting it as the auction site, and with all the other guests waiting outside in the garden, it was eerily empty in the museum.

“The Curator said that this was the right room...” Kenji quietly said.

Mika makes dolls and scratch-builds models and action figures.

Usagi stopped as Kenji grabbed the door handles.

And she’s famous... oh son of a bitch.

The doors opened, revealing every student in Shingo’s class, two lines of children facing each other flanked either side of the aisle between the rows of chairs set up for the auction. When the doors opened fully, the elegantly dressed, dolled up students all turned their heads in unison to stare at the Tsukino family with glazed, empty eyes.

Son of a bitch! Usagi thought again when she saw Mika and her mother standing on the stage, behind them was another Gundam Golem, this one the successor to the Exia, a fully equipped 00 Raiser Gundam. Like the students and Mika, Yoshiko was dressed like a doll, and had the same doll-like gaze as the former.

Shingo was white as a sheet. Oh no...

“Welcome Shingo-kun,” Mika said as she left her mother and the golem on the stage and stepped off it. She walked down the aisle and stopped midway to them before holding her arms out in a gesture to the other students. “Do you like them?”

Ikuko and Kenji looked from Mika and the surreal scene before them to their son, who was trying to maintain his composure even as his thought process was “Oh Shit” being repeated over and over. “Mika-chan,” he asked, “what did you do?”

“I made you these dolls, do you like them? They took a lot of work, but I’m very proud of them.” She walked over to Tenzo, and patted him on his shoulder. “They took a lot of time and effort, but they are almost perfect... if only they weren’t made from trash.”

She tightly gripped the rotund boy’s shoulder until Shingo could see wet, dark red stains spread in the fabric around her dug-in fingers. Tenzo didn’t even flinch, but Shingo could see his eyes twitch as if he wanted to scream in pain.

It dawned upon Shingo. He’s still conscious, he’s trapped inside his own body!

“This is twisted as fuck,” Usagi whispered before she looked back and noticed that all the guests for the exhibition, and the museum's elderly curator were standing by the doorway, blocking the exit. Much to her chagrin, they all had the same glassy-eyed expression.

“It’s not quite done yet though,” Mika admitted. “I still have more dolls to make before everything is ready, but it shouldn’t take too long.”

“Mika-chan what are you talking about?” Shingo demanded.

“These are only the start. The collection isn’t done yet.” Mika let go of Tenzo and bowed politely to Shingo. “Please bear with me, when it’s done it will be the most magnificent doll collection ever made. You’ll love it, and it will love you.”

Usagi moved partly behind her parents, and pulled out her Supercomputer as Shingo shook his head. “But I’m already loved-”

Like a switch had been flipped, Mika’s expression flipped from unnerving serenity to bestial anger. “You are not loved! These people do not love you, Shingo-kun! Not this trash and certainly not them!” She pointed at Kenji and Ikuko.

Ikuko immediately took offense to that. “Shingo is our son, of course we love him!”

Mika responded to that with a piercing, hysterical laugh that echoed in the room. “What do disgusting perverts like you know about love?!” She pointed at Usagi. “And you! You’re a monster and everyone hates Shingo-kun like he is a monster! What kind of love is that?!”

Usagi finished her message, and then pocketed her phone. “Oh hell no.”

She rounded her parents and pushed past Shingo to march towards Mika. “This is your only warning, you yandere little shit. Let my family and these people go or I will hurt you in creative ways.”

Usagi folded her arms and glowered down at Mika, while Shingo became reasonably alarmed. “Usagi, don’t provoke her!”

Mika smirked. “Your parents are disgusting, but they can be fixed. I’m fixing them right now.”

Usagi raised an eyebrow. “What?”

“I’ve been making them my newest dolls since they walked into the room.”

Shingo looked back at his parents, wide eyed. “What?!”

“Do you remember the first golem?” Mika asked, reclaiming his attention. “Exia... thanks to it I was able to make that trash into proper dolls... and now this golem will do the same to the entire city.”

Shingo grew wide-eyed as he remembered the realistic GN Particles that poured out of Exia, and how 00 Raiser was putting out so much more just standing there. “The particles!”

Mika nodded. “Thanks to Exia and I was able to transform that trash into perfect dolls, and with Raiser, I’ll change everyone. They will be able to understand how wonderful you are, and you'll never get picked on again!”

Usagi grabbed Mika by her collar and lifted her off her feet. “Creativity’s wasted on you, I’m just going to punch you in your sick little head until it starts working again.”

“You’re worse than trash, though. I don’t want to make you into a doll. I just want you to die.” She looked back at 00 Raiser.

At her unspoken command, 00 Raiser unfolded its GN Sword III and leaped for Usagi. “Eliminating the target!”

Wide-eyed, she let go of Mika and ducked under the slash that would’ve decapitated her, and then scrambled away from the Gundam. Turning to follow her, it raised its sword again and lunged this time to stab her as she tried to crawl back. It came to a complete stop when Shingo imposed himself between the golem and his sister, however.

“Shingo-kun, get out of the way,” Mika advised.

Shingo shook his head. “No, I’m not going to just let you kill my sister!”

Mika shook her head. “Just like with all of the other trash, you’re defending them like they’ll appreciate you for it, but they won’t!”

“You’re wrong!” Usagi shouted as she got back up on her feet, but a pair of arms grabbed Usagi’s from behind and quickly held her back. Looking to her new assailants, she found they were her parents. “Eh?”

Ikuko was straining as she tightly held onto Usagi. “Mika-chan... stop this...!”

“I’m not doing this, Usagi... my body is moving on its own...” Kenji whispered to her through clenched teeth.

Mika laughed. “You know what, Shingo-kun? I’ll give you a much better family, a perfect one! This trash can all die!”

Grabbing Shingo and throwing him into the arms of two other students, 00 Raiser raised its sword and walked towards Usagi, Ikuko and Kenji as it raised its sword to cut through all three. Held back by the other kids, Shingo tried to break free but their grips were like iron. He couldn’t even break free enough reach into the nice jacket he wore to get to the white rose hidden inside.

No-no-no-no-no-!

Electricity whipped through the students, who all went stiff and then collapsed unconscious, before Sailor Jupiter kicked 00 Raiser back to the stage and through the curtains draped over it.

“Ah, Sailor Jupiter! Hello!” Usagi said cheerfully.

Sailor Jupiter nodded and then fired another bolt of electricity from the antenna extending from her tiara, this time for Mika. The girl however raised her hand and a ghostly doll’s hand materialized in front of it, blocking the bolt.

Mika looked to see 00 Raiser getting back up and then back to Sailor Jupiter. “I won’t let you stop me!”

She reached pulled from a pocket of her dress the Kamen Raider figure, a man in a black and green bodysuit with, and wearing a grasshopper-like motorcycle helmet. Holding the doll out in her hand, Mika’s eyes begin to glow as the wooden hands appeared once more and circled around the figure, which soon was enveloped in the same glow.

The hands then clapped together, smashing the doll between them, and in a flash of light, Kamen Raider 1 stood in front of Mika, his helmet’s normally red eyes glowing yellow.

Usagi was livid. “You’re just going to keep crossing lines with me, aren’t you?!”

“Someone like you, who terrorizes people for fun and causes Shingo-kun to suffer... and you call yourself a fan of Kamen Raider? An ‘Ally of Justice’?! You disgust me most of all!” Mika shot back.

Mika pointed at Sailor Jupiter and Usagi. “Kamen Raider-san, please help me! These enemies of justice are tormenting someone precious to me!”

Kamen Raider nodded and leaped into action, rushing straight to attack Sailor Jupiter. Behind Kamen Raider, Mika smirked as her eyes flashed red again.

“Oh no you don’t!” Sailor Jupiter replied as she parried his punches and then knocked him back with a quick backhand to the face. As she prepared to unleash the thunder of her counterattack, however, Yoshiko jumped between the two, forcing the Senshi to pull back. “Ah!”

Yoshiko dove to the side, allowing Kamen Raider to kick Sailor Jupiter in the chest and send her flying through the wall to her side and to the gardens outside. In the chaos, Mika turned and ran out another door, her Gundam Golem quickly following her.

“Mom, Dad, I’m sorry,” Usagi lamented before she broke free of her parents and knocked them both out with elbows to their faces. “It’s better than being trapped in your own bodies as puppets, I guess.”

She looked for Shingo, but he was already out the door after Mika. She was about to go after him, when she stopped and realized that she finally had some alone time. “Oh, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this.”

Usagi then lifted her hand to the ceiling. “Moon Prism Power, Make Up!”


Sailor Jupiter rolled along the ground after smashing through several statues, hedges and only stopped before she could go through the wall surrounding the garden. Getting up on her feet quickly, she slapped away several quick punches from Kamen Raider and slammed a palm thrust into his face, knocking him back.

Electricity flaring from her tiara and across her body, Sailor Jupiter went on the offensive, lashing out with several kicks that the golem barely avoided with quick ducking and weaving before he finally caught the third and flipped her into the air. As Sailor Jupiter went up, Kamen Raider jumped as well.

“Raider Jump!” he shouted before he flipped and dove towards the Senshi with his kick. “Raider Ki-!”

Sailor Jupiter caught the golem’s foot, and used the momentum of his kick to swing him into the ground with tremendous force. Holding onto his leg, Sailor Jupiter glowered down at the golem before she unleashed her Supreme Thunder on it at point blank range. As the electricity crackled around both, however, Kamen Raider swiftly kicked her in the chin with his other foot.

Thrown onto her back, Sailor Jupiter curled up and sprang back up to her feet in time to stop a diving punch from Kamen Raider. Deflecting a cross from his other fist, she took his arms and swung him around to toss him up against the wall.

My Supreme Thunder didn’t work like before! she thought as Kamen Raider leaped off the wall and fell towards her with a flying kick. When she raised her hands to block, the golem suddenly twisted himself in midair and kicked her in the side, sending her into a roll across the garden.

As she got up, Kamen Raider fell on her to club her on the back with a hammer blow. When Sailor Jupiter went into the grass, he raised his foot to bring down onto her back, but Sailor Moon connected a kick with the golem that launched him like a missile into another statue, smashing it into pieces.

“You okay?” Sailor Moon asked as she took Jupiter’s hand and pulled her to her feet.

Sailor Jupiter nodded. “Yeah, the golem wasn’t affected by my Lightning, and it’s very strong.”

“Ah, this one must have some rubber in it.”

Sailor Jupiter groaned as the golem got up. “Of course.”

She then looked around. “Where’s Shingo?!”

“He went after Mika, I was on my way but you looked like you needed a hand.” Sailor Moon pointed in the direction she saw Mika leave when she ran out the emergency exit. “Be careful, this is definitely Nephrite’s work.”

Sailor Jupiter gasped. “What? A youma possession can do all of this?!”

Sailor Moon nodded. “It’s just like with Kijin and his camera, and Jun going crazy with her racquet. Get going, I need some words with ‘Kamen Raider’ here.” Sailor Moon glared at the golem. “Go save your man, Jupiter-chan.”

Sailor Jupiter rolled her eyes and broke into a run, only to have her path blocked by Kamen Raider. Before he could attack, there was Sailor Moon, tackling him to the ground and both rolling clear of Sailor Jupiter, who charged ahead.

Tumbling along the ground, Sailor Moon and Kamen Raider broke off and both jumped onto their feet to face one another. Staring at the golem, Sailor Moon assumed a fighting stance as he did the same. “Okay, Kamen Raider... let’s talk.”


Further into the garden, Mika stopped and looked back at her Gundam Golem. “Go, before they can stop you!”

The golem nodded. “Setsuna F. Seiei, 00 Raiser, commencing final mission.”

Particles pouring from its large shoulder equipment, 00 Raiser lifted off into the sky and accelerated upwards at incredible speed. As it ascended, it turned and narrowly dodged a lightning bolt before a green field appeared around it and blocked another bolt. Gasping, Mika whirled around to see Sailor Jupiter turning her attention from the Golem to her. “Y-you!”

Without a witty retort, Sailor Jupiter unleashed another bolt of lightning, weak enough to again stun her. But like before it was immediately stopped by one of Mika’s wooden hands. Clicking her teeth, Sailor Jupiter unleashed even more, that converged and struck the girl. This time nothing emerged to protect her, but the lightning did no harm whatsoever to her.

As the attack stopped, Mika let out a laugh as the red glow in her eyes intensified. The senshi, she realized, was still trying to stun her, and it wasn’t working! “What’s wrong, Sailor Senshi? Are you afraid to hurt me?!”

Sailor Jupiter gave Mika a deadly serious look that froze the girl like a deer in the headlights. “Nope.”

“Huh?” Was all she managed to get out before Sailor Jupiter’s fist was inches from her face and closing in. There was a loud crack and the sound of splintering wood, and Mika was thrown backward from Sailor Jupiter, still wide eyed as the wooden hand disintegrated between them. As she watched the splinters fade away, Mika blinked and Sailor Jupiter was gone.

Her eyes darted around, and finally she spotted Sailor Jupiter as she swung down the heel of her boot straight for the top of her head. Another wooden hand appeared to catch the axe kick, but it quickly shattered and Mika was again propelled backward from her attacker. Stumbling to a stop, Mika stared in disbelief at Sailor Jupiter.

“You... you’re just bluffing!” she gasped.

Standing to full height Sailor Jupiter charged up and began generating a tremendous amount of electricity. “Nope.”

The next blast of her Supreme Thunder went straight for Mika as the forearms the wooden hands were connected to emerged to defend. As they began to splinter, the upper arms appeared behind them and Mika placed her hands against them to brace herself. When the forearms disintegrated and the upper arms took the hit, Mika was pushed backward, her feet stripping the grass and leaving two trails of mud all the way until she hit a statue.

As the remains of the upper arms vanished, Mika looked at the steam rising from her hands and then at Sailor Jupiter. “Y-y-you...!”

Sailor Jupiter glared darkly at the girl. “Do you really think that because you’re a little kid that I’m going to excuse what you’ve done, what you’re trying to do?!”

“You... you wouldn’t...!”

Sailor Jupiter held out her arm, and electricity traveled down it until her entire forearm was covered in a shimmering, crackling sheath of electricity. “I will.”

She charged forward, a trail of light coming off her arm as she closed in on Mika. When she swung her arm to impale the girl on her hand, her attack was stopped again by another pair of wooden hands. Even as the electricity coating her hand began to burn away the wooden limbs, they pushed back, repelling Sailor Jupiter further and further as the forearms materialized behind the hands and then the upper arms. Then, like a spirit rising from her body, the head and shoulders of a doll-like woman with short dark hair emerged from Mika.

Sailor Jupiter smirked. “There... you... are!”

The Senshi of Thunder kicked the youma Jumeau in the face, knocking her head off her shoulders and straight up into the sky. As the youma’s head went hurtling up like a football, Sailor Jupiter aimed and snapped off a burst of electricity, vaporizing it.

As the youma’s head burned away to stray ions, Sailor Jupiter looked back at Mika, who was gasping for breath as she stared at her. “Mika...”

Mika fell to her knees and lowered her head as she struggled to catch her breath. Sailor Jupiter took a step forward to check on her, but instinct took over immediately and the Senshi of Thunder jumped straight back, avoiding a projectile that had been aiming for her neck from her left. She hadn’t even stopped when she ducked her head to avoid another of the bullet fast projectiles.

Spinning around, Sailor Jupiter’s eyes rapidly searched the area for the attackers or their projectiles. Another came at her from head on, and she narrowly twisted herself away from it before dodging another by ducking. From her bow, she jumped into a backflip that became an axle to avoid three more of the projectiles.

“So fast...!” she hissed before she fired a bolt of lightning at one of the near-missing projectiles. When it exploded, she went wide eyed as she caught a glimpse of one of Jumeau’s wooden hands disintegrating in the blast.

A beam of red energy struck Sailor Jupiter in her back, knocking her down to her hands and knees with a yelp. As she quickly got up to look back, she was forced to roll out of the way out of a cascade of beams that rained down her from different directions and angles, tearing up the ground where she had laid until a burning, jagged crater was left.

Getting up, Sailor Jupiter blinked when she felt an odd draft on her back. “W-what the...?” She reached back to where the beams had struck her, and grew-wide eyed when she realized the beam had burned a hole right into her Senshi Uniform. Not even that Lightning Youma’s attacks did this...!

She heard Mika laughing hysterically, and looked to the young girl as the arms, hands, and upper torso of Jumeau gathered to her, hovering just above her head. To Sailor Jupiter’s dismay, the youma’s head finally materialized and floated into place, before her eyes opened and her lips turned up into a small, dainty smile.

Sailor Jupiter clenched her fists as electricity once more arced across her. “So this is your game, youma.”

Hidden behind a nearby statue, Shingo pocketed his phone before he peered back around at Mika and the youma that possessed her. He was barely able to contain his anger. “Mika-chan...!”


While lightning flashed and thunder rolled, Sailor Moon and Kamen Raider ran towards one another at full sprint, before leaping at one another with flying kicks. As another bolt of Jupiter’s lightning flashed from behind the building, the two landed and turned quickly to face one another. Kamen Raider, eyes glowing red, assumed a fighting stance once again, until his left shoulder’s armor cracked. He quickly reached up to grip it.

“Impossible!” Kamen Raider spoke in disbelief, before looking at Sailor Moon. “Even though you’re just a young girl, you have a dangerous strength!”

Sailor Moon huffed. “I never wanted to be acknowledged by you like this...”

Kamen Raider attacked again, running close and opening with a kick Sailor Moon quickly ducked under. As she came back up, she parried his punches before catching one of his fists and throwing him to the ground. Kamen Raider landed on his feet, and quickly swept Sailor Moon off hers before kicking her into the air. Crouching he jumped up after her and performed a front flip, landing on the roof of the Art Deco museum as Sailor Moon hit it in a tumble.

Getting up, she quickly rushed him low to the ground and dove past him into a tumble, before jumping and launching several kicks to his face and neck. With a cyborg’s precision, the golem avoided every kick before he lunged to strike her in the throat with a chop. Sailor Moon avoided it at the last second and the two began circling one another, parrying or dodging one another’s fists even as their fists became so fast that to normal eyes they were merely white and green blurs.

Sailor Moon broke the stalemate first, catching Kamen Raider’s fist in her crossed hands, before somersault kicking him onto his back. When she followed up with an axe kick, Kamen Raider rolled out of the way and onto his feet.

She didn’t let up, reengaging him with a spinning backhand he blocked. He brought his leg up, kicking her in the lower back and then across the shoulders, sending her stumbling forward. As she regained her footing she used a roundhouse kick to hit him in the chest as he came after her, launching him off the roof and to the ground in front of the museum just as the first police unit arrived on the scene.

As Kamen Raider got up and saw the police officers emerge from their vehicle, he held his open hand to them. “Get back, it’s dangerous!”

Up above, Sailor Moon stopped just as she was about to jump off the roof and continue the engagement. “Huh?”

The two officers looked to one another, the driver of the car in disbelief. “Rider 1?”

His partner shook his head. “No, it’s from the TV show, see? The outfit’s all wrong...”

Sailor Moon dropped down from the roof and Kamen Raider immediately turned his attention back to her. Seeing her, the two officers didn’t think twice and quickly got back into their car, the driver flooring it in reverse to put some good distance between them as his partner radioed it in. “All units, this is Car 16, we have confirmed that there is a Sailor Senshi engaged in a battle at the Teien Art Museum and we are pulling back to a safe distance.”

As the patrol car retreated, Kamen Raider prepared to attack again, but his his opponent was acting strangely. She stood before him, with her arms spread out wide. “What are you doing?”

If what Ami and Rei said is right, I can talk to this guy, Sailor Moon thought. “Kamen Raider, my name is Sailor Moon and you are not my enemy.”

Kamen Raider didn’t buy it and attacked, leaping for Sailor Moon and swinging a punch straight for her face. To the golem’s surprise, not only did his blow connect, but his target made no effort to defend herself and went tumbling backward into lefthand base of the arch of the museum’s entrance. As Sailor Moon got back up, Kamen Raider hesitated.

“... You didn’t defend yourself.”

Sailor Moon nodded as she stood upright. “Because I saw when you told those police to flee, when you could’ve attacked them. You are not my enemy.”

“You are mine. Even if you claim to battle on the side of the innocent, you protect those who cause suffering to them. That girl you protected is making a young boy suffer-”

Sailor Moon shook her head. “That girl I protected is my comrade and she would die for that young boy, as would I!”

Kamen Raider stopped at her sharp retort, and allowed her to continue with a curt nod.

“Even now, she is trying to save him and the little girl who called on you to attack us. She is possessed by an agent of the Great Enemy, and the Enemy plans to bring suffering to this entire city!” Sailor Moon pointed up at the green, sparkling light in the sky. “Up there, that monster intends to turn the entire city’s population into dolls, trapped inside their bodies as playthings for the Enemy!”

Kamen Raider looked up quickly at 00 Raiser, and then back at Sailor Moon, who once again held her arms out. “Kamen Raider, I am pleading with you to beli-”

Kamen Raider immediately attacked once more, closing in faster than before. This time however his punch came to a perfect stop against her nose, the displaced air of his punch blowing her hair back. Still, she did not budge from where she stood.

“-eve me,” she finished.

For several moments Kamen Raider stood there, his fist against her face, before he nodded again. “If what you say is true, how do we stop it?”

Sailor Moon sighed in relief. “First thing’s first, we kill the monster possessing that girl.”


= = =


I'm definitely going to look into increasing the post limits.
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
Now that the cat was partially out of the bag, Sailor Jupiter was learning several important things about it. Jumeau’s methods of attack involved either launching her individual body parts at high speed, the edges of each wooden part sharp enough to slice clean through stone without stopping, or fire beams of energy from the body parts–effectively giving her the ability to attack at all ranges. The most important thing Sailor Jupiter realized, however, was that this youma was refusing to completely leave its mentally unstable host from the waist down.

So... if it has a weak-point, then it is somewhere on its lower body, because I’ve already destroyed each of these other parts! Sailor Jupiter thought to herself as she moved quickly from side to side, back and forth to avoid the pieces or the beams they fired.

Jumping to prevent several beams from converging on her, she landed atop one of the remaining intact statues in the garden and called down the thunder, her lightning bolts incinerating the attacking pieces and leaving only Jumeau’s head as it hovered above Mika’s.

Eyeing the Sailor Senshi’s frustration, the little girl laughed haughtily at her. “You’re still hesitating, Sailor Trash! Come on, you really had me going before! Where’s that killing intent now?!”

Sailor Jupiter set her jaw and fired off another massive bolt of electricity into the sky overhead. Looking up, Mika grew wide-eyed as the clouds overhead began to crackle with lightning themselves, before a massive bolt of electricity came down on her, striking Jumeau’s parts as they all rapidly converged on her before she was thrown onto her back by the blast.

Lying on her back and coughing as smoke rose from her body, Mika slowly tried to get up before Sailor Jupiter grabbed her by the front of her singed dress and hauled her to her feet. As Mika stared up at her, Sailor Jupiter swiftly punched her in the face–only for one of Jumeau’s hands to immediately block the punch. A forearm arm piece appeared directly above Mika’s head, and fired a beam straight for the Senshi’s chest. Forced to let go, Sailor Jupiter jumped aside, the beam burning away part of the green ribbon on the front of her uniform.

Mika, as Jumeau rematerialized above her, saw the damage to Sailor Jupiter’s uniform and the most malicious smile spread across her face. Sailor Jupiter conversely frowned when Jumeau’s parts began to glow in preparation to fire.

“Oh she had better not be thinking to...!” Sailor Jupiter said before all the pieces fired at once. She managed to dodge the beam, which went on to completely vaporize the statue that she had stood on before, and everything for fifty meters behind it.

As that beam faded, more narrower beams suddenly fired around her from above, each beam barely missing initially before they swung across her body. Sailor Jupiter managed to avoid direct hits, but the beams still grazed her, leaving the unmistakable smell of fabric burning as parts of her gloves, the shoulders of her uniform, and the hem of her skirt were incinerated.

“Damn it, damn it, damn it...!” Sailor Jupiter growled to herself as Mika laughed.

“I hope you don’t mind fighting me naked Sailor Trash, because that’s what’ll happen if you can’t beat me or run away!” Mika taunted.

From his cover, Shingo shook his head. This is completely different from the other youma, it knows Sailor Jupiter can’t use her full strength, but why isn’t Sailor Jupiter switching it up and trying to force the youma out? Is... is she waiting for something?

It then clicked, when he remembered watching the last battle on television, and how it had begun. Wait a second, that’s what she’s doing!

Though at this rate, Sailor Jupiter was going to have a serious wardrobe malfunction if she had to wait any longer. Steeling himself, Shingo reached inside his coat, but stopped.

“Think about what is more important for the situation at hand, whether The Moonlight Knight is needed, or Shingo Tsukino.”

Shingo nodded, as an idea formed in his head. “Yeah, this is a job for Shingo...”

Taking a deep breath, he stepped from behind the bushes and began walking towards Mika. “Mika!”

Mika immediately ceased her attacks, and looked over towards Shingo. “Sh-Shingo-kun?”

Sailor Jupiter tensed up. “No, stay away from her she’s dangerous!”

Shingo held up his hand. “Shut up, Sailor Trash!”

That took Sailor Jupiter aback. “Huh?”

“Mika, you can stop this now, you don’t need to fight this trash or anyone else. Not for my sake at least,” he said to her.

Jumeau’s expression soured as Mika did the same. “I can’t stop, not now... I’m so close to making everything perfect for you!” She looked up. “It’s only a matter of time, 00 Raiser will reach the proper altitude to broadcast. It will spread its particles over the entire city, and then everyone will become a doll... perfectly obedient and enslaved to my will. Not a single person in the city will dare say or do anything cruel to you, you will be worshipped like a King! Like you deserve to be!”

“I don’t want any of that!” Shingo shouted, silencing her. “Mika, please listen to what I have to say...”

Hesitantly, Mika slowly nodded and Sailor Jupiter narrowed her eyes as she quickly realized what was going on. Goodness, is it something in their blood that makes them crazy like this?

“Since I can remember, people have always looked at me funny and treated me like I was something that shouldn’t exist and for the stupidest reason.” Shingo reached up and ran his fingers through his hair. “For a long time, everyone looked down on my family. Not just me, but Usagi and my Mother and Father too...”

He lowered his hand. “We all were treated like crap. By our relatives, our neighbors, everyone. But Mom and Dad had each other and us... and they got over it. Usagi met Naru, and stopped caring about anything else. And me... I...” He sighed. “... I’m stupid.”

“Stupid?” Mika asked.

Shingo resumed walking towards her. “I’m embarrassed by my family and what people think about them even when they don’t care. I try to get people to see that I’m better than my family, but everyone still treats me like crap.”

He stopped right in front of her. “Everyone but you, Mika-chan.”

Mika-chan immediately blushed, and suddenly Jumeau’s expression shifted from smug to decidedly uncomfortable.

“You’re the only one who ever cared about me, and I was so stupid trying to get everyone to see that I was a good person when I should’ve just listened to my sister and accepted that I only need one friend that matters.”

“Your sister told you...?”

Shingo lowered his head and nodded. “Yeah, Usagi got mad at me when she heard I had broken your doll... she beat me up and told me to apologize to you... and I haven’t done that yet, have I?”

Mika shook her head. “No, no, no! You don’t have to apologize, I understand if you hated the doll-!”

“I didn’t hate it, it was beautiful! I thought it was your best work yet!” Shingo shot back. “I was a complete idiot to break it like that, and I’m sorry I did!”

The girl recoiled, as if struck right in the heart by Shingo’s words. The blush on her face grew brighter, as she began to stammer. “Y-you really mean that? It was beautiful?”

Shingo nodded. “Yeah... and I was so wrong to break it. I should be the one making it up to you, not you doing all this for me.” He then let out a snort. “Besides, you made Tenzo into a doll. I don’t want that guy as my friend even if he had to be at gunpoint!”

Jumeau went from uncomfortable to glowering, directly down at Shingo. Noticing this, Shingo took a step back from Mika, who glared up at Jumeau in turn. “Jumeau, stop!”

The youma tensed up, and sneered at Mika before a tag suddenly struck the bag of the girl’s head. Growing wide-eyed as the charm began to crackle, Jumeau looked back to see Sailor Mars standing there, her hands progessing through the necessary signs.

“Rin! Pyo! To! Sha! Kai! Jin! Retsu! Zai! Zen!” Sailor Mars called out as the energy crackling from the charm grew brighter. “Evil Spirits, begone!”

The resulting burst of energy blew both Shingo and Mika off their feet, then there was a loud clattering as the entire body of Jumeau went clattering to the ground a short distance away. Sailor Jupiter wasted no time to attack, unleashing a tremendous bolt of lightning down upon the youma’s parts, which immediately scattered in every direction to escape.

Getting up, Shingo shook his head and immediately spotted Mika lying on the ground unconscious. “Mika-chan!”

As he scrambled to her, Jumeau’s parts converged and whirled around like a tornado of body parts, before reconnecting into the youma’s complete body. Tilting her head from side to side, the doll youma looked over at Mika and let out a grumble. “That stupid girl, and I was so close to peak energy...”

She turned her attention to the Sailor Senshi and grinned. “Oh well, looks like I’ll have to supplement that.”

Sailor Jupiter looked back at Sailor Mars. “Be careful, this one attacks by launching her body parts, and they can fire beams that can-”

“Burn our clothing?!” Sailor Mars finished I horror as she stared at Sailor Jupiter’s mostly exposed back.

Rolling her eyes, Sailor Jupiter focused on Jumeau. “Focus on her lower body, her weak point is somewhere there!”

“Just like any other girl’s, right?” Jumeau teased.

Electricity crackling across her again, Sailor Jupiter leaped and swung with a lightning assisted kick. Only to miss as Jumeau’s torso separated diagonally. Undeterred, Sailor Jupiter attacked with more kicks and chops, her attacks barely missing as Jumeau’s parts separated and shifted out of the path of her blows while otherwise standing in place.

Jumping back, Sailor Jupiter unleashed a point blank lightning blast that the youma’s parts all scattered from. As they reassembled, Sailor Mars attacked from above. “Mars Fire Soul!”

The flames engulfed Jumeau’s top half, incinerating it as her legs jogged away before scattering in different directions like a barrage of wildly fired missiles. The thigh sections immediately oriented themselves like gunbarrels and opened fire, the beams blasting the ground at Sailor Mars’s feet and sending her flying back. “Eek!”

Sailor Jupiter’s lightning destroyed one of the pieces, before she dodged beams fired from the fingers of Jumeau’s hands as they and her head reappeared. “Run, run little Sailors~.”

Side-flipping to avoid another barrage, while Sailor Mars ran past her with arms flailing as she chased by the parts attacking her, Sailor Jupiter fired a sweeping blast of lightning at the three pieces, which evaded in turn before reuniting with the other revived parts in a whirling tornado.

“What are you, stupid?!” Jumeau taunted before the tornado shot towards Sailor Jupiter like a drill. Crossing her arms, Sailor Jupiter blocked the attack and was pushed backward until the the hands suddenly gripped her arms, and the parts of her arms and torso attached themselves to her as Jumeau’s head withdrew from her.

Jumeau let out a hysterical laugh. “Guess what else my parts can do?!”

More lightning shot from Sailor Jupiter to Jumeau, but it wasn’t the Senshi’s attack... purely her energy. Feeling the drain, Sailor Jupiter groaned and tried to summon more lightning to burn away the parts clamped to her–only to feel that energy siphoned off. She’s trying to suck me dry...!

As Jumeau greedily absorbed the Senshi’s energy, Sailor Mars was already taking aim. “Mars Fire...!”

Jumeau looked back and smirked, before the parts clamped to Sailor Jupiter all exploded violently and sent her flying in a smoking arc through the air, just before the Fire Soul engulfed and incinerated Jumeau’s head.

Sailor Mars put her hands over her mouth in horror. “Ah! Sailor Jupiter, are you okay?!”

Sailor Jupiter sat up. “That... is exactly why... I do not... call out... my attacks!”

As the Senshi of Thunder stood, she noticed the Senshi of Fire was now staring at her with eyes wide as pie-tins. “... What?”

“Y-your outfit...”

Sailor Jupiter looked down and saw that her uniform was now a two piece. Her miniskirt was burned even shorter, and her midriff was exposed right up to the undersides of her breasts. She quickly covered herself up and looked towards Shingo, who was respectfully looking away even as he dragged Mika away by her feet. She quickly turned towards Jumeau, who was laughing herself to tears.

“Now I’m mad,” Sailor Jupiter growled as she sheathed her entire body in electricity.

“You might want to be careful powering up, you might burn away what clothes you’ve got le-” The vast majority of Jumeau’s body was vaporized by the massive lightning bolt that dropped down on her from above.

When Jumeau attempted to materialize again, she was immediately vaporized. When a single hand appeared, another massive bolt vaped it, when even a pinkie finger materialized within thirty meters of Sailor Jupiter, it was consumed by millions of volts. Stepping back, Sailor Mars winced at the roar of bolt after bolt of lightning crashing down on the garden. On the bright side, none of the remaining intact works of art were getting struck by the accurate bolts, at least.

“And now I’m not as mad,” Sailor Jupiter said as she looked around. “Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

“No fair, you’re supposed to think I’m dead until I dramatically reveal myself,” Jumeau cooed from behind Sailor Jupiter. A lightning bolt subsequently destroyed her head. The rest of the doll youma wrapped itself around Sailor Mars, who let out a squeak of surprise.

“H-hey!” The parts then began to glow brightly. “Oh no.”

While the explosion buffeted Sailor Jupiter, it failed to dislodge her from her feet. Sailor Mars hurtling into her like a cannonball certainly did, though.

Regenerating and drawing her parts close to together, Jumeau laughed at the two Senshi as they got back onto their feet. “This has been fun, but I think it’s over.” She looked skyward. “00 Raiser has reached the optimal altitude. My spores will be released into the atmosphere, ensuring complete... city... saturation. And once they’re all my little dolls... I guess I’ll just have them all kill themselves or something.”

Sailor Jupiter bristled. “You wouldn’t dare.”

“I would. In fact I’ll have the first batch do it right now.” Jumeau held out her hand. “But I’m reasonable, I can be convinced otherwise.”

Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mars looked to one another, and then back to Jumeau. Before they could say anything, it was Sailor Moon who called the doll youma out. “If you think that threat is going to get us to stop from killing you in ways you can’t comprehend, then you must be dumber than I thought.”

Jumeau turned her head around to stare at Sailor Moon as she walked towards her. “Do you think I’m bluffing?”

“Do you think I care?” She shot back.

Jumeau huffed. “I guess you don’t at all.” She looked up to the sky. “Do it, Trans-Am Burst!”

High above, 00 Raiser began to give off a red glow, as it called out. “TRANS-A-”

It was promptly blasted at point blank range by Jadeite, the explosion of smoke and fire engulfing it. As the Gundam golem fell back from the smoke, it was quickly engulfed in a sphere of water that quickly grew in size and density.

Adjusting his scarf, Jadeite shook his head as Thetis materialized beside him. “Yeah, it wasn’t cool the first time. It’s even lamer this time.” He looked to the clouds above.

Tuxedo Kamen flew down from the clouds next and shot past the water sphere and came to a halt below it, sheathing his cane sword. “I enjoyed that way too much, for some reason.”

Inside the sphere, 00 Raiser’s over-sized shoulder binders detached, before the rest of the golem split into smaller pieces. In an instant, it all was crushed into a hunk of plastic no bigger than Thetis’s dainty hand as she clenched it into a fist.

Jumeau stared as the green glow of the destroyed golem diminished to nothing, before she slowly looked over to Sailor Moon, who was wearing an inquiring look. Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mars had joined her, the former scowling as electricity crackled across her body, while the latter covered her chest with her arms while glaring at her.

For her merit, Jumeau just put on a sickening grin. “I guess this is where you try to kill me once and for all, huh?”

“We’re not going to try-”

“Oh good, that’ll make this easy for me,” Jumeau quickly cut Sailor Moon off before she threw her head back and screamed. As she screamed, Yoshiko, Kenji, and Ikuko were teleported in front of her, the three standing at attention and staring at the three Senshi. As she stopped, her eyes and theirs began to glow a bright red. “Let’s finish this silly fight, Sailor Trash!”

She immediately broke into pieces and scattered, the parts swarming around the Senshi, changing directions and rapidly maneuvering in random directions before they opened fire on the Senshi.

As Sailor Mars quickly jumped out of the way of several beams, she was attacked by Kenji, who made no sound as he lashed out at her more like an animal than a man. Sidestepping the attack, Sailor Mars was immediately hit in the back by a barrage of beams from several of Jumeau’s parts. “ACK!”

Yoshiko went straight for Sailor Jupiter, attempting to tackle her off her feet. With ease, she dodged the attack, but stopped when she saw several of Jumeau’s parts targeting her human puppet. “Damn it...!”

She stopped mid step, and grimaced as she took the beams for Yoshiko as the woman stumbled from her missed lunge. As the beams faded, one of Jumeau’s hands struck her across the face, and the youma let out a cackle.

Sailor Moon dodged several of Ikuko’s strikes, and caught her hand before spinning with her, dodging several beams before sweeping her off her feet and onto her back. A trio of parts, two forearms and the torso, collided with before driving her back and smashing her through a statue. As Sailor Moon broke them apart, her wrists were grabbed by Jumeau’s hands before her right foot pressed against her face.

“Kiss it, bitch,” Jumeau taunted as the limbs began to draw energy from her target.

Sailor Moon opened her mouth and bit through it and she smashed the hands into kindling before Jumeau’s torso portion smashed into her and exploded, sending her tumbling back. Jumeau let out a laugh and summoned several more parts fire to a full barrage of beams that tore up the ground as the powered towards Ikuko, who stood up and held her arms open to take the full brunt of the blast.

“What will you do now, Sailor Moon?!” She demanded, before a blur grabbed Ikuko and leaped away from the path of the beams. Jumeau blinked in surprise, as Kamen Raider set Ikuko down onto the ground, and turned to face her. “What? The golem?!”

“Using these innocent people as your puppets and shields... threatening to turn the entire city into your playthings...” Kamen Raider assumed a fighting stance. “I will not forgive that!”

Jumeau laughed and gathered her parts. “Do your worse, you scratch-built hunk of plas...” In the next instant Kamen Raider was in front of her, hand raised above his head. “... tic?”

“RAIDER CHOP!” With a single swing of his hand, the golem cut Jumeau’s head and torso in half, the displaced air shattering her remaining pieces and scattering them.

Behind him, Jumeau’s hands and arm pieces materialized and rapid-fired on the golem. To the dismay of her rematerializing head, the beams passed through Kamen Raider’s afterimage as he turned to face them, while other afterimages flicked in and out of existence between the beams before the hands and then the arm pieces were shattered by powerful strikes. Before Jumeau’s head could move, Kamen Raider grabbed the back of it.

“Eh?” Jumeau managed to blurt out before Kamen Raider crushed her head.

Kamen Raider then dodged another beam and landed besides Sailor Moon, watching her parts once more regenerate. “The head isn’t the weak point, then what is?”

As Jumeau’s parts began to reform, Sailor Jupiter zapped Yoshiko back into unconsciousness and slowly turned back to face her as she quietly counted off the parts she’d destroyed so far. “Head... left hand... right hand... right arm... left arm... torso... left leg... right leg... right foot.”

She scanned the body of the doll youma, and narrowed her eyes. “Two right feet.” She looked over to Sailor Mars, who was tagging Kenji in the face with an ofuda while apologizing profusely. “Sailor Mars!”

“I’m so sorry, I really am so-!” Sailor Mars stopped and looked at Sailor Jupiter. “Ah, yes?”

“Throw as many of your charms as you can, all over the place but target the youma!”

Sailor Mars looked over. “You want me to do what?”

Jumeau blinked. “You want her to do what?”

Sailor Moon grinned as she immediately caught on, and gave Kamen Raider a quick nod.

“Just do it! Everywhere, but target the youma!”

With a hesitant nod, Sailor Mars drew one charm and fanned it out to just over a hundred, before she jumped into the air. “Evil Spirits... begone!”

She spun around, throwing her ofuda in every direction, the majority of the charms struck the ground and burst into flames, while all that were thrown at Jumeau immediately homed in on and stuck her disembodied parts, surprising the youma. “What’s the-?!”

They all began to burn away, sapping her of her strength, but with her tremendous energy, it was nothing. “I don’t know what’s funnier, the fact that you think this will do anything, or that you’re so confident it did!”

The smile she wore then fell right off her face, when Sailor Moon removed her tiara and held it out. “Moon Tiara, ACTION!”

She turned and threw the discus of light straight for her target, the left foot of a bronze statue of the former resident of the Museum in another day and time, Prince Yasuhiko Asaka. In the place of the left foot of the statue, was a wooden foot covered in a large cluster of Sailor Mars’s ofuda.

The glow in Jumeau’s eyes grew, as she waved her arm. “Oh no you don’t!”

At the last second, the foot hopped off into the air and shot towards Jumeau, leaving the tiara to slice through the base of the statue and send it toppling forward. The rest of Jumeau’s body quickly materialized with the foot, joints appearing and connecting the disembodied youma’s limbs, torso, and head into a complete mannequin-like figure.

“You trash...” Jumeau growled as energy crackled across her body. “That’s it! No more fucking around!”

Sailor Jupiter suddenly shot straight for Jumeau, sheathed in lightning. “It’s about time!”

Reaching the youma, Sailor Jupiter went into a baseball slide straight for Jumeau’s left foot, forcing the youma to flip to the side to avoid it. As she landed, a torrent of flame tore up the ground as Sailor Mars attacked, Jumeau teleporting out of the way of the attack before her hands rematerialized and bombarded the Senshi of Fire with beams from the fingertips.

Both hands were destroyed by a jump kick from Kamen Raider, before Jumeau reappeared in her entirety, her hands regenerating to good as new. The second after they finished, Sailor Moon’s own spinning kick cut the youma in half at the waist, the lower half vanishing to avoid Sailor Jupiter’s followup lightning bolt.

Sailor Moon swore before she looked to Sailor Mars. “You okay?”

Sailor Mars got up, much of her uniform torn up by the beams. “I’m fine... but my poor uniform!”

Jumeau reappeared, laughing. “You don’t get it, do you? Now that I am complete, I am unstoppable. My left foot was storing half of my full power!”

Kamen Raider pointed at the indicated foot. “The half of power that keeps you alive, right?”

Jumeau laughed. “Even if it were, there’s not a single way any of you can kill me, especially you, you hunk of plastic!”

To demonstrate, she fired a beam that struck directly into his chest and burned clean through.

“Kamen Raider!” Sailor Moon gasped.

Staggering back from the hit, Kamen Raider reached for his chest, before he saw a gaping hole full of melted plastic and nothing else. He looked back up at Jumeau as he clutched at the wound.

“See? You’re nothing but plastic given life by a precocious little shit with way too much free time!” Jumeau once again began crackling with energy, ready to melt the golem into a puddle of goop with her next attack. “Trash made by trash from trash!”

“What I am made from is irrelevant, as long as I am alive all that matters is my purpose...” Kamen Raider declared. “And that is destroying you!”

“Oh shut up with that TV Show Speech already!” Jumeau screamed before she fired a powerful blast from her mouth straight for the Raider.

The golem, however, was ready and leaped up above the beam. “RAIDER JUMP!”

As energy began to surge around him, Jumeau swung the beam up to catch him with it right as he dove towards her with a flying kick.

“RAIDER... KICK!” Like a ship’s bow through a wave, Kamen Raider’s foot parted the beam all the way down to drive his heel straight into Jumeau’s mouth, surprising the youma before the backed up beam blew out most of the back of her head and neck.

Heel still firmly planted in her mouth Kamen Raider let out a snort before performing a quick spin to completely decapitate the youma. Landing, Kamen Raider grabbed Jumeau and stamped down on her left foot as he held the rest of her in place.

Jumeau’s head reformed and she quickly struggled. “You...!”

“You said that I was trash created by trash from trash... then that means I am disposable!” Kamen Raider looked to Sailor Moon. “With all your might, destroy this monster!”

“You didn’t have to tell me twice!” Sailor Moon called back as she drew her tiara and grabbed it by one end. “For everything that she’s done, for what she was going to do... this bitch has it coming EXTRA HARD!”

Sailor Jupiter charged up and let out a yell as she unleashed a blast of lightning so powerful the recoil pushed her back, while beside her Sailor Mars threw her hands together.

“MARS FIRE SOUL!” The torrent of flame merged with the blast of lightning to create a tremendous beam of light that washed over both Kamen Raider and Jumeau to push them up and into the air as Jumeau’s body began to blacken and Kamen Raider began to melt.

“Moon...” In Sailor Moon’s hand, the tiara began to glow. “... Tiara...!” It then transformed, growing from a simple tiara to a golden boomerang as large as she was tall with a red jewel set in its center. With all her might, Sailor Moon swung the weapon and let it fly like a gigantic sawblade. “ACTION!”

The tiara circled around the beam of fire and lightning in its high speed ascent, before cutting into and riding it up straight up into its target–carving through Jumeau at her left foot, through her body, and then completely through Kamen Raider’s.

“... I really lost...? But Nephrite... you said...” Jumeau whispered just before the flames and electricity overcame her.

Coming back around the tiara shot straight to Sailor Moon, who caught it and was promptly pushed back and spun around several times before she came to a stop behind and with her back to the other two Sailor Senshi.

“Thank you, Kamen Raider,” she said quietly before a tremendous explosion of energy lit up the sky above.

Buffeted by the blast, Tuxedo Kamen, Jadeite, and Thetis endured it with ease. As the shockwave passed, leaving an unearthly glow in the sky, Tuxedo Kamen looked back and forth between his associates and smiled. “It must be nice to not be on the receiving end of this sort of thing anymore, huh?”

Thetis smiled. “I’ll say!”

Jadeite just let out an amused snort, and adjusted his fedora.

On the ground below, as the victims of Mika’s control regained theirs, Mika herself stirred and awoke to see the sky painted in different colors by the powerful blast. Blinking in confusion, she looked over to see Shingo sitting beside her, also looking skyward. “Shingo-kun... where are we?”

Shingo looked down at her and smiled in relief. “The Teien Art Museum, are you okay?”

“I’m... tired... and um...” She stopped when she saw her clothes. “Why am I dressed like a doll?”

Shingo stood up, and took her hands to pull her up into the sitting position. “That’s not important right now. What is, is that you’re safe and I’m glad you are.”

Looking at Shingo’s hands as they held hers, Mika broke into a warm blush and looked away in embarrassment, before she looked back up at the glowing sky. Letting go of one and tightening his hold on the other, Shingo too looked skyward and smiled as it continued to shift through colors like an aurora.


“Hey Strangers, it’s Marik sitting in for Hakushi on this podcast. He’s still busy cleaning the walls of the studio off after yesterday’s throwdown at the Teien Art Museum, and he’ll be gone for a while still.”

Atop a building nearby the Art Museum, Sailor Mercury’s hand was over her mouth as she looked in disbelief at the disheveled appearances of the other Sailor Senshi after their bout. Sailor Mars and Jupiter were entirely aghast at their appearance while Sailor Moon had to admit... she liked the all revealing look.

For her taste, Sailor Jupiter punted her off the roof.

“Last night, as the extent of the battle started coming out there was some debate on our BBS regarding a simple question: Is it worth this?”

Stepping out into the garden where the battle took place, Natsuna looked down at the curator of the museum who was on his hands and knees, sobbing loudly. She then looked out at the complete devastation to the garden. Statues destroyed, sculptures shattered, and the trees and bushes that made it a garden in the first place either on fire or smoldering from the fire that burned them black.

“There are no such things as dumb questions, but there are plenty of stupid answers out there and the stupid answer for this question would be ‘No, it’s not worth it’.”

With a shrug of her shoulders, Natsuna patted the curator on his, before she went back to help with the witness statements.

“When this all began and it was little more than a curiosity, very little was said about the material costs of these battles. But since the Battle of Haneda Airport, stupid people who feel that they should be heard have been raising their voices about the scale of the destruction and what can be done to prevent it. Saying silly things such as ‘How can they be protecting Japan if they destroy a piece of it every time they fight’ and the like.”

Ikuko and Kenji, dazed, sore, and recovering from their ordeal, graciously accepted blankets and cups of water from some paramedics as they waited in the lobby of the museum.

“These people are full of shit, and have no place in any conversation regarding the Sailor Senshi.”

Entering the room, Usagi and Shingo immediately spotted their parents and all but tackled them where they sat in their rush to embrace them.

“We’re spoiled by these girls. In all the battles we’ve had, the only casualty has been a tennis pro’s arm. They’ve been too good to us, too good for us. A hundred billion, two hundred billion, who cares how much it costs?”

Riding away to the hospital aboard an ambulance, Yoshiko sat on a bench holding her exhausted daughter’s hand as she lay on a stretcher. She wore a look of relief, as Mika slept soundly despite the rocking and turning of the ambulance.

“What’s important is the number of people who have died because of these girls: Zero.”

Walking into his bedroom after returning from his adventure, Mamoru looked over to his nightstand and smiled sadly at his figures of Nanoha and Fate, posed smiling to one another as they held hands.

“We should all be grateful, because as long as we’re still alive we can repave roads, rebuild towers and create even greater art... there’s nothing the dead can do but lay in the ground and rot.”

Masato looked out the driver’s side window of his Bugatti and across the street at the OSA-P jewelry store. His hands tightened their hold on the wheel, while watched Mayumi speak animatedly with a customer, before he shook his head and started up the car.

“This is Marik signing off, stay strange, Strangers.”

Looking from the customer, Mayumi blinked in curiosity as she just caught the tail end of the million dollar sports car pull away.


“It’s so nice to finally have you visit, you know. I was worried that you would be shy after what happened,” Ikuko said to Yoshiko as they sat at the latter’s kitchen table with mugs of coffee in hand.

“Iku-chan, I’d never turn down a chance to see you again. It’s just the last few days have been so busy, fretting over Mika-chan and getting her into her new school,” Yoshiko said before she let out a sigh. “She really didn’t want to leave.”

“Yes, to think that she and Shingo-kun had been in the same class all this time...” Ikuko shook her head and smiled. “So how is Mika-chan getting used to her new school? You sent her to Tokyo’s best, right?”

Yoshiko nodded. “I had already been eyeing transferring her there, but with everything that happened it was only natural to move her on. But they were so accommodating, despite the waiting list they allowed her right into the entrance examination, considering her circumstances.”

“Because she was a victim of the Dark Kingdom?” Ikuko asked.

Again, Yoshiko nodded. “They have a charity going on for child victims of the attacks. It’s really so kind of them...” She then gave Ikuko a pointed look. “Speaking of, what about Shingo-kun? He was being bullied pretty harshly, Mika really hated what they were doing to him...”

Ikuko stirred the coffee in her mug and smiled. “Shingo’s actually been doing very well since then. No one messes with him anymore.”

That brought a smile to Yoshiko’s face. “Really? I guess they were all pretty grateful for him helping them.”

The Tsukino matriarch’s eyes immediately rolled to the right. “Well...”

Standing beside his desk, the first day of school since the fiasco at the museum, Shingo stared at the insults, bad words, and threats written all over his desk in permanent marker. Closing his eyes, he let out a sigh and turned around to face Tenzo and the other students, who all glared sharply at him.

“Kayama at least had the sense to leave, but you’re so stupid you can’t even realize where you’re not welcome!” Tenzo snapped at him, before he smirked. “Well, now that she’s gone there’s no one else here that can help you, so we’re all going to give you a real taste of hell, Tsukino.”

The other children similarly began smiling as they pulled out their cellphones. Letting out a sigh, Shingo walked up to Tenzo. “Ito.”

Tenzo got up in his face. “Yes, freak?”

Shingo leaned back, and then smashed the top of his forehead into Tenzo’s nose breaking it in a spray of blood. As the tubby young man recoiled, Shingo grabbed him by the front of his shirt and held him still.

“During the last few days something finally sank in,” Shingo said as the other kids backed away in fright. “I’m never going to get any of you people to see that I’m not a bad person, but you know what? I don’t need you to acknowledge me. I already have amazing friends, my Mom and Dad love me, and my sister, the scariest person in Minato, respects me. So here’s what’s going to happen from now on.”

He pulled Tenzo’s blood-splattered face close to his, and put on a smile Usagi would be proud of. “You and all your friends are going to leave me the hell alone, or this will keep happening:”

Shingo proceeded to punch Tenzo repeatedly in his fat face, with just enough force that it hurt, and that the extra layers of fat cushioned the impacts to keep him from losing consciousness. After eight good hits and a half dozen passable ones, Shingo let Tenzo collapse to the ground, clutching his face and bawling his eyes out. Looking down at his blood-covered hand, Shingo grabbed Hikari by her braids and yanked her over to wipe Tenzo’s blood off on her face and, finding it insufficient, then he grabbed Shigeru and smeared some on his, dislodging his glasses.

Looking at his hand and finding it satisfactory, he stepped on Shigeru’s glasses and looked around the room. “You all keep asking me if I’m going to call my Big Sister to get you for picking on me. Well I won’t. Do you want to know why?”

He then ran his fingers through his hair, turning it into an unruly blonde mop with red highlight-like streaks all over it. He smiled even broader. “Because I can be just as bad as her.”

The rest of Shingo’s classmates immediately screamed in terror. Outside the school, watching from the street, Usagi beamed with pride and walked away, while Makoto shook her head and followed close behind.

Yoshiko took a sip from her coffee and gave Ikuko a flat look. “He beat them up, didn’t he?”

“Oh no, not at all. But somehow, the boy that was giving him trouble the most fell down the stairs mouth first... about a dozen times. At least that’s what everyone else who saw it says...”

Ikuko and Yoshiko shared a laugh at that, before Ikuko gave Yoshiko a meaningful look. “You know... it’s funny. All these years we hadn’t spoken to each other, and our children were in the same class and friends no less!”

Yoshiko’s laughter ebbed slowly, and she looked down at her coffee cup. “Yes, isn’t that an interesting coincidence...”

“You know, if we’re going to be hanging out more, you should bring Mika-chan! It would brighten up her day, and Shingo-kun’s.” When Yoshiko grew hesitant at Ikuko’s suggestion, the Tsukino matriarch raised her brows. “Is there a problem with that. Yoshi-chan?”

Yoshiko tightened her grip on her coffee mug. “Actually... there is.”

Ikuko tilted her head slightly, bemused. “What is it?”

“I think it’d be best if they stayed away from each other...”

Ikuko was a little offended by that. “Why is that? my son is a good boy and a perfect gentlemen, and he really cares for Mika-chan.”

Yoshiko shrank underneath her old friend’s stern tone and shook her head. “It’s not Mika-chan I’m worried for.”

Puzzled, Ikuko shook her head. “Goodness Yoshi-chan! What happened wasn’t Mika’s fault, she was under the control of that monster, it was making her act crazy like that towards Shingo-kun.”

Silent, Yoshiko stared right down into her coffee. After a few moments, Ikuko grew a little nervous. “... Right?”

Sitting on a bench in a luscious green space, Mika sighed dejectedly as she looked upon her latest creation, a scratch-made doll modeled precisely after Shingo dressed in green plaid pants and red blazer that matched her plaid and red school uniform. It had been days since she had first transferred to her new school, and she had hardly spoken to anyone. She didn’t really want to... there was really only one thing she did want.

“Shingo-kun,” she breathed out before she hugged the doll to herself. “I was so close... even after what I did you were still kind to me.”

She bowed her head and began to rock back and forth slowly. “... No one... no one will ever be able to understand or appreciate how amazing you are... there is no one else good enough for you.”

Turning the doll around to look at its face, Mika smiled and whispered, “Only me.”


Beryl could not be paid to be happier, as she beheld the energy Jumeau’s sacrifice had gained. “This is twice the energy the little Drummer Youma gave us! You’ve outdone yourself, and to think you were worried.”

Standing before the throne, Nephrite nodded to Beryl, while avoiding all eye contact with Zoisite, who was giving him the smelliest stink-eye ever. “Thank you, my Queen.”

“We are nearing the end of this phase. What happens in the next phase is entirely reliant on the endgame here. Make doubly sure you meet the quotas, and if like what I see I will assign you to lead the Rainbow Crystal hunt.”

Zoisite’s stink-eye became a full-blown hateful glare. “What?! I had that position on lock!”

“Yes, but then Nephrite showed he was actually competent. Meanwhile, you got your ass beaten by a Catholic Priest, and not the way you’re used to.”

“He was a magic priest! He stabbed me with like a million knives! I almost died!”

Beryl huffed and the collar-like band around his neck darkened. As Zoisite suddenly gasped in horror, she continued. “If it’s that hard for you, remember that things aren’t just handed out, they are earned. And if you can’t earn it...”

The collar faded back to its original state and Zoisite visibly calmed... to an extent. Slowly nodding to Beryl, Zoisite surrounded himself in petals and left.

“‘My Queen...”

“Yes, my Nephrite?”

Nephrite narrowed his eyes as he watched the last petals vanish. “I don’t think Zoisite contributes to our goals in any meaningful way, especially now that I can collect energy from the Senshi.”

Beryl slowly nodded. “It’s easy to think that, isn’t it? All I’ve done lately is send him to be abused by Sailor Venus and the biggest badasses Western Europe has to offer. However, he still has a part to play in our plot, just like you... just like Kunzite, so I expect you to stick to that part and to not get distracted.”

Grimacing, Nephrite bowed his head. “Rest assured, nothing will make me stray from what we have all sacrificed so much for.”

Beryl smiled. “Good, dismissed!”

With a much more formal bow, Nephrite vanished and Beryl sat back in her chair before she let out a chuckle. “Sailor Trash... I gotta remember that one.”

Appearing in the study of his abandoned mansion beneath a large round stained glass window, Nephrite found Zoisite sitting at a table, running a thin crystal back and forth against the palm of his gloved hand and clearly looking like he didn’t give a fuck. Upon noticing him, Zoisite began tapping the flat of the blade against his wrist and let out a laugh.

Of course, Nephrite was not happy about this at all. “Is this what you’ve really reduced yourself to? Coming to kill me after you embarrassed yourself?”

“Oh, I’m not going to kill you. Beryl would kill me if I did, and not in a sexy way. No, I’m annoyed Nephrite.”

Perhaps Nephrite underestimated Zoisite’s grasp of empathy. “About what?”

“It just drives me crazy that as big and public as your fights are, you’re not even making the most of them.”

Or not. Nephrite scowled. “I do not need a body count to achieve my objectives.”

“No, you don’t... but it looks awfully a lot like to me you’re keeping your options open, rather than keeping to the point.”

“How it looks to you doesn’t matter to me.”

Zoisite stopped and smirked at Nephrite. “You’re right, it doesn’t.”

He threw the blade for Nephrite’s left eye, but the other Dark General caught it between two fingers without even flinching. He stared down at Zoisite, ignoring the three other crystals that hovered around him aimed for his throat, his heart and his lower spine.

Zoisite let out a chuckle before he stood up and walked towards Nephrite. “But if it looks suspicious to someone like me, Nephrite... you really ought to wonder what Beryl’s thinks about it.”

Nephrite followed Zoisite with his eyes until he walked past, but remained still even as Zoisite reached up and gripped the crystal pointed at his back. “Because they sure didn’t have a problem welcoming Jadeite to their side with open arms, did they?”

The two men stood frozen there, Nephrite still not turning his head to look at Zoisite but more than well aware of the danger he was in. Even if he could not kill Nephrite, Zoisite was never a fan of just letting someone off that easy to begin with.

Zoisite pulled the blade back and began to grin, but before he could sink the it into somewhere exceedingly painful, a torrent of fire blasted him into the wall. When the flames passed, the scorched and smoldering blonde looked up in disbelief. “That attack!”

“Mars Fire Soul!”

Another stream of flame this time hit a barrier Zoisite raised. As he stared wide-eyed into the shadows, he shook his head. “No way, how did...?!”

“Mercury Sabão Spray!”

A torrent of freezing bubbles then struck, hammering into Zoisite with such density that thick, strong ice began to form around his torso before it spread to his limbs and up to his neck. When it finally stopped he was completely encased in ice up to his chin. “... Impossible...”

Nephrite relaxed as the remaining crystals vanished and two attractive young women stepped from the shadows. One red as Goro but with gray colored hair, a long prehensile tail and a dark red two piece outfit, and the other identical to the first, but blue in color with a dark blue outfit. The twin youma Castor and Pollux entwined their long tails around one another, and sneered down at Zoisite.

“You have some nerve attacking Nephrite-sama!” the twins said together.

Nephrite looked to the two girls. “So, you two have finished your training.”

Both nodded as they looked to Nephrite. “The Girls are harsh, but it was well worth it.”

Pulling a smirk Nephrite looked back to Zoisite, who went right back to scowling as he began to teleport away. The moment he was gone, he looked to the beautiful twin youma. “It’s time to get a reading done, care to join me?”

The two youma smiled. “Of course, Nephrite-sama.”

As the two followed Nephrite towards the stained glass window, the Dark General placed a hand over his face to hide his grimace.

Yes Beryl’s a lot smarter than you, Zoisite, but as long as I keep giving her what she wants I can still have my insurance.


Nephrite: When it comes to bullies and bullying, fighting is never the answer. Your first recourse should always be to find an adult who is willing to listen and intervene on the situation. No shame could ever hope the match of endless torment at the hands of others.

Beryl: Ah, but Nephrite in the real world there will not be always be an adult to come rescue you from your torments. Even if it’s a losing prospect, stand up and stand your ground. The cruel invariably prey upon the weak, but show them that you’re strong and they will show how cowardly they really are.

Zoisite: And then it’s time for a little payback! *Blasted* AHH!

Beryl: You’re not allowed to do this anymore. Queen Beryl says! MWAHAHAHAHA!


“Excuse me.”

Mika jumped and then turned to her head towards the girl who spoke to her. The dark-haired girl, dressed in the same plaid skirt and red shirt that Mika was, took a step back. “Ah... I’m sorry... I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just... you started coming here, you’ve always sat alone, with that doll.”

Blinking several times, Mika looked down at the doll, and then back up at the girl. “Oh, well I just started school here and I don’t really know anyone.” She rocked a bit. “So I was just making this doll...”

“You made it? By yourself?”

Mika nodded to the astonished girl. “Yes.”

The girl took a seat next to Mika on the bench. “That’s incredible, does he have a name?”

Mika blushed a bit. “Ah... his name is Shingo-kun... after a boy I know.”

A smile appeared on the girl’s face, and she giggled. “Your boyfriend?”

“N-no!” Mika sharply gasped, before she looked away and hugged the doll closer. Boyfriend? No, he was something deeper, greater than that in her eyes. To call him something so... uncouth...

The girl laughed at Mika’s dramatic reaction and sat down next to her. “I’m sorry I was just teasing. But you made that doll, that’s just amazing. Do you think you could show me how?”

Wary, Mika eyed the seemingly friendly girl before she eased down and looked at her doll. “I guess I could...”

“Great!” the girl said brightly. “Ah... what’s your name?”

“Mika Kayama...” A smile finally found its way onto Mika’s face as she gave it to the strange girl. “And yours?”

“Tomoe, Hotaru Tomoe...” The dark-haired girl smiled to her newfound friend as a red light flickered in the center of her violet eyes.

“... I hope we can be good friends.”
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
Disclaimer: It’s been almost two years, oh my God


Beautiful Destroyer Sailor Moon
Holiday Part 1: Phony War

Is Mahvel, baybee!

[16.]

Holding a champagne glass filled with sparkling grape juice and wearing an expensive blue dress, Ami looked down on the asphalt of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace as two dozen Formula 1 cars blew by at hundreds of kilometers per hour from the race track’s VIP box. She was besides her mother, Saeko Mizuno, a beautiful bespectacled woman who was a picture perfect image of Ami in twenty years.

It wasn’t often that Ami had a chance to spend time with her mother. In fact it was the first time since she became Sailor Mercury that she’d seen her mother in person–her job in America being more pertinent than ever in the last few months. Even if the opportunities were boring social gatherings like these–whisked away by private jet for short weekend trips.

Saeko looked to her daughter and gave a pained smile. She knew Ami would give anything in the world to be anywhere else, but was here because she desperately wanted to be with her. It was a sentiment Saeko wholeheartedly returned.

“Enjoying yourself?” she asked.

Ami took a sip from her juice and looked down at the race track, the cars were off and battling around the distant turns of the winding course. “This is nice,” she replied.

Saeko leaned close. “I’m so sorry.”

Ami took her mother’s hand and squeezed it. “It’s all right. We’re here together. So how’s work been?”

Saeko sighed. “It is amazing, the myriad of ways people can injure themselves despite their assurances that ‘they’ve got this’ or ‘they know what they’re doing’ or ‘this is a proven interrogation method.’ How have you been doing. You said before that you’ve made some interesting friends.”

Ami flushed deeply. “Interesting is a good word for them…”

“I’m actually disappointed I haven’t gotten to meet any of them yet.”

“When’s the next time you’ll be free? We can invite them all to dinner, or go over to Rei-chan’s house…” Saeko grimaced, and that told Ami everything. “It’s going to be a while, isn’t it?”

“I’ll be home again for Christmas,” Saeko replied guiltily.

Setting her glass down, Ami took her mother’s hand in both of hers and squeezed it. “I know how important this job is, Mom. You’re saving lives, and I won’t hold that against you.”

Surprised, Saeko smiled at the earnest sincerity of her daughter and leaned over to hug her tightly. Until recently, there had been tension between the two of them because of her work, but since Ami began going to her new school it had melted away. She became so understanding of the difficult work that she had to do and instead cherished the time they could have together rather than passive-aggressively voicing her displeasure of their long-distance relationship.

“Hello, ladies.” Saeko and Ami pulled away from one another as they were hailed by a wealthily dressed, goateed man who had broke free of the milling Celebrities, Socialites, and Captains of Industry, accompanied by a tall, violet-haired young woman dressed in a very short white and blue dress sporting the Stark Industries logo.

Ami gave the man, genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark, a reverent smile. He was the reason Saeko, an already world renown doctor of many talents, was working a job that literally helped save millions of lives every day. He was also why she was here, having whisked her away to be with her daughter for the weekend under the pretense of acting as his personal physician while he watched his racing team win the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“Hello, Tony,” Saeko said with a smile before noticing the lovely woman on his arm. “And this is…?”

“Stark Industries’ newest acquisition. I’d like you to meet Kyoko Takamura, the ‘Goddess of the Race Queens.’ I’ve just hired her on to represent the team. Kyoko, this is my personal physician Saeko Mizuno, and her brilliant daughter, Ami.”

Kyoko smiled and bowed politely to mother and daughter.

Saeko chuckled. “Is she as dangerous as any of your other recent hires?”

Tony looked at Kyoko, who just shrugged her shoulders, and then back to Saeko. “… Maybe.”

Ami sat up, much more animated than she had before. “It’s nice to meet you, Takamura-san! I’m a big fan of you.”

Kyoko blinked in surprise. “You are?”

“Yes, I must’ve used you as a reference for a hundred drawings,” she eagerly replied, as happy to meet one of her subjects as she was to have something to distract her from this boring race.

The Race Queen was immediately impressed. “You’re an artist?”

Tony cut in. “One of the best I’ve seen, I’ve even had her do some promotional art for the business. Including some pieces for the suit.”

Ami beamed under the praise, as Kyoko gave an impressed hum. “You wouldn’t happen to have your portfolio on hand, would you Ami-chan?”

“Yes, it’s on my phone.” Ami reached into her bag and pulled out her supercomputer.

As Kyoko went to sit next to her, Tony took a seat with Saeko. “Enjoying yourselves?” he asked.

Saeko nodded to the man. “Yes, we’re having a great time, Tony.”

“You don’t have to pretend, you both looked like you’d have more fun in a morgue,” he said as he sat down next to Saeko.

Saeko glanced towards her daughter, who actually would have more fun in a morgue, before conceding with a nod. “Formula 1 isn’t exactly the most thrilling sport.”

“Not if you’re watching, no. Driving, much different,” Tony said.

“Like in Monaco?” Saeko asked with a smirk.

“Exactly,” Tony replied, his hand reaching up to touch his cheek. It was an unconscious action, Ami recognized, but at her stare he immediately put it back down.

“That said, can you at least be happy for me? Since my car is about to win?” he asked.

In fact, victory was a hair’s breadth away Stark Industries car number 11, driven by Hazama Ikuchi, was currently in second position behind the lead car driven by the favorite to win, the number 15 car of rival Xanatos Corporation.

“Why? Did you bet on it?” Saeko asked.

Tony snorted. “Gambling. Pfft. I have much better vices than that. Besides, knowing the math makes it so boring.”

At Saeko’s smarmy look of “Is that so?” he continued. “Also reading faces. My best friend? Worst poker face ever, even though he’s actually really good at keeping things inside. Kind of has to be. All sorts of things bubble up though, he’s like a crock pot. Good eating, not so good for experimenting with ball bearings in repulsor fields-”

Saeko went from smarmy to livid when realization dawned on her. “That was your fault? It blew a hole through the sickbay!”

Tony looked at her, surprised that she hadn’t known, and then remembered that she wasn’t supposed to know. “Oh.”

“These are wonderful!” Kyoko said as she flipped through the images, mainly of well-dressed men and women in highly-detailed drawings. Her favorites being of the tall, slender and leggy women that were modeled after her.

“How long have you been drawing?” she asked.

“Only a few years, actually…” Since her father left, but Ami wasn’t one to bring her issues into pleasant conversation.

“Your outfit ideas are simply wonderful-” Kyoko stopped when she found a picture of Sailor Moon with one leg raised above her head, and Natalie Adams as Sailor Gunstar standing on her raised foot.

“Oh!” She continued flipping through the images after, each of the Sailor Senshi in various poses and actions.

“Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter… There aren’t any of Mercury, though.”

“She’s my least favorite to draw, actually,” she lied before she noticed car 11 race into the pit area. “Is that all right? He’s so close to winning.”

Kyoko looked up from the supercomputer and down at car number 11, and tensed slightly. “Yes, this is a scheduled stop for Hazama-kun.”

Tony nodded. “Right on schedule, too. We might come out of this just fine.”

In the pit lane, in front of the Stark Industries garage, the well-oiled machine that was the Stark Industries Pit Crew went right to work, quickly swapping out the tires of the car as its tank was quickly refilled. Even as they worked, however, Hazama was extremely impatient. “Come on, hurry it up!”

The Xanatos car had been leading him throughout the race, taunting him by keeping the air behind his car dirty with the slightest of adjustments on the straight. He was getting no clean shot to slipstream and get past him, and the number of laps remaining were dwindling.

“I want half the fuel, damn it!” he yelled to the man refueling his car as the rest of the crew swapped out the tires.

“Half?! You won’t be able to finish the race!” the refueler yelled back.

“I’ve got the bastard, let me go!” he revved his engine, ready to peel out on the spot as the car refueler acquiesced and backed off.

“Go! Go! Get out of my God damn way!” The engine of the high-performance car roared like a lion, actually startling the right front wheel tire changer into stumbling back from the car as the others cleared. Shifting gears and opening the throttle, Hazama flew out of the pit lane and back onto the course.

Tony stood up. “Wait, that’s not supposed to happen.”

Saeko looked from the retreating car to Tony. “What isn’t?”

Tony rested his hand against his forehead and shook his head. “He left two seconds early.”

“That’s good, isn’t it?” Saeko asked.

“Cutting corners to win is never a good idea,” Tony replied grimly.

Ami noticed something off as well, and took back her supercomputer before she rose from her seat. “Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom.”

Before Saeko could say anything else, even offer to join her, she turned and rushed for the VIP Box’s exit.


Faster than before, Hazama’s car flew through the pack, weaving through the slipstream of the other cars and slingshotting past the other racers. In the cockpit, his teeth clenched, Hazama ignored his pit crew’s repeated warnings as he closed on his lost position. He couldn’t hear them if he chose to, the only sound he cared for was the roar of his engine.

As he reclaimed second place and accelerated to make his attack on first place, Queen Beryl took a sip from a Big Gulp and bit into a hot dog as she watched from her throne. “I didn’t think I would but damn I love F1.”

Zoisite watched from beside the throne, looking particularly bored and annoyed. “Meh, NASCAR is more entertaining.”

“That’s because Americans can’t drive,” Nephrite sneered as he too smugly observed the race.

“Exactly, F1 drivers are too good, they hardly crash as much,” Zoisite replied as he watched Hazama attempt to break past the lead car. “Especially our guy. Who’s he again?”

“Hazama Ikuchi, a driven and intense racer who single-handedly took Formula 1 by storm with his skill and daring as a driver. The spirit of Ayrton Senna is strong in him, some say,” Nephrite said.

“Who?” Zoisite asked, prompting a disgusted eyeroll from Nephrite.

Beryl smiled. “Well! I certainly hope he gives it all he has!”

Zoisite huffed. “If only he’d gain the lead. That German is playing games with him.”

He pointed his hand at the screen. “One little nudge is all it’d take.”

Nephrite turned and glowered at him. “Don’t you dare.”

Beryl was in full agreement. “Honestly, you’re going to ruin the fun.”

She was right to chastise him, because things began changing on the track right away. The number 15 car began to behave strangely. “Oh? What’s this?”


Hazama grinned as the car in front of him stopped defending its position, jerking from side to side before straightening out, allowing him to trail directly behind it and into its slipstream. With the slightest turns of his wheel, he kept directly behind the car, drawing closer and closer. “I’ve got you now, bastard. In this next turn… I will have you!”

Having made it into the bathroom and given herself a semblance of privacy, Ami took a deep breath and pulled out her Transformation Pen. “Mercury Power, make up!”

In the VIP box, Tony quietly excused himself as well, as Hazama came up around his opponent and lashed out ahead, while Kyoko tightly clasped her hands together.

“Hazama-kun, win! Win!” she breathed, willing all of her encouragement to him.

The right front tire of Stark Industries’ number 11 car then promptly flew off the car and bounced off towards the inside of the track.

Tony, Saeko, and Kyoko all paused in shock at the alarming turn of events.

“Well,” Tony said, “Looks like I owe Bruce a beer.”

The rest of the car immediately spun out and flipped, the nose of the car shearing off as the body of the car went flipping into the air end over end. Skipping down the road behind it, the broken off the front wing went into the left front tire of the number 15 car and then on to shear through the left rear. As the tires shredded, the number 15 car spun out of control, right into the path of the rest of the rest of the cars. rushing for it at over three hundred kilometers per hour.

Inside his car Hazama felt weightless as the world spun around him, weightless and enraged. Even as the track wall rushed to meet him he could do nothing but scream in anger that his chance–his moment–had been ripped from him. It was only in the last few microseconds before impact that he was suddenly face to face with his mortality.

“… Koko…”

Sailor Mercury grasped him by his shoulders and both vanished into particles of light. The car smashed into the wall and exploded brilliantly, before Sailor Mercury reappeared on the road, time slowed to a crawl around her as the other F1 cars began to swerve around the disabled number 15 car.

One car, its driver not fast enough to avoid the collision, was already bracing himself for the impact. Instead of another car, it was Sailor Mercury’s fist hitting the nose of the car, snapping it and flipping the vehicle over her and the disabled vehicle. Grabbing both the driver of number five and the now airborne car, she disappeared with both of them… Only to reappear an instant later and kick the still flipping vehicle into the wall alongside Hazama’s car, causing it to explode as well.

When Sailor Mercury reappeared on the infield of the track, standing over the three shaken but unhurt drivers, only five seconds had elapsed since the initial tire failure of Hazama’s car.

Unclasping his helmet, Hazama looked up at Sailor Mercury, who was using her Sabão Spray to put out the burning wrecks.

She looked to Hazama, who had gotten up as paramedics and race officials arrived. “Are you okay, Ikuchi-san?”

“I’m not even sure what just happened,” the young driver replied.

Sailor Mercury smiled to him, and was just about to gracefully make her exit, when suddenly Kyoko ran up to the group. “Hazama-kun!”

Hazama looked to the woman in surprise. “Koko?”

The Race Queen collided with him, hugging him tightly.

“You idiot, you almost died!” she cried.

As the two fell over in an embrace, Sailor Mercury shook her head and smiled, before she did a double-take and stared at Kyoko. How did she get out here to the infield track so fast?

“Excuse me,” familiar voice through a speaker called to her, and she turned around to meet the visage of the red and gold armored man who had come to a landing behind her.

“So you’re the blue Sailor, right?” Iron Man asked.

Sailor Mercury stared at his armored visage, but then quickly nodded. “You… is… Iron Man?” she asked with as clumsy English as she could force.

“I just wanted to say thanks, and that I’m a little disappointed. With all the stories I’ve heard, I really expected a lot more in damage from one of you showing up unexpectedly,” he admitted.

Sailor Mercury flushed. “Itto wasu… nothing…”

Iron Man nodded and then got close. “You don’t need to play dumb. I’ve figured it out.”

Sailor Mercury tensed before Iron Man reassured her. “Relax, I’ve seen and done the whole ‘Dart off to save the world’ enough times to know when someone else has to do it. I won’t say a word about it to anyone, get on back to your mother.”

Sailor Mercury was flabbergasted. This man is something else.

Still, she wasn’t going to turn down a shot at making moments less awkward, and bowed politely to Iron Man before she disintegrated and vanished into thin air. As she left, Iron Man turned and took off to help clear the track so the race could resume.

“WHAT THE FUCK?!” Zoisite yelled when the cameras covering the race suddenly focused on the three drivers and their savior.

Beryl slumped back in her chair, after laughing hysterically. “Well, ain’t that a bitch?”

Nephrite bristled as Beryl laughed, but retained his composure as the announcers covering the race likewise went ballistic over Sailor Mercury’s sudden, miraculous appearance on the race track.

Nephrite nodded. “It seems we can expect them to appear anywhere now.”

Beryl’s smile darkened. “So it seems…”


“Strangers, we have entered Strange Days,” Hakushi declared on the radio on Tokyo’s now most listened-to radio show, The Depths of Strange. Sitting beside him, Marik adjusted his hat and nodded assent.

“It’s been close to a month since the last confirmed attack of the Dark Kingdom at the Teien Art Museum. All is too well, and all is too quiet.”

His cape waving in the wind, Tuxedo Kamen hovered in front of Tokyo Sky Tree with The Moonlight Knight and Jadeite. Standing on the edge of the tower, looking up at them, was Luna–who shook her head slowly to the three of the Masquerade.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m the last person who’s going to complain about a change of pace, but this pace isn’t peace. No, it’s just calm.”

Jadeite clenched his fists, as Tuxedo Kamen sighed in resignation.

“The Dark Kingdom’s still out there.”

Standing on the roof of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s headquarters, Natsuna folded her arms and turned her gaze from a pleasantly smiling Governor Ishihara to the young woman kneeling before them in the center of the roof’s helipad.

The woman, dressed in a tightly-fitting pink and black ninja gi and a completely featureless white mask except for a blue mobius strip on its right side, looked up at the two and nodded.

“Now’s not the time to get complacent and start thinking that because the war’s not happening in front of our eyes that it’s over.”

Performing a handspring off a telephone pole, a disguise-pen concealed Makoto landed on a rooftop and looked down on a dark street below. In front of a convenience store, several young men were attempting to assault an old man who had just walked out with some groceries. Her narrowing eyes the only thing visible on her masked face, Mifune leaped into the air and fell upon the crime in progress.

“Yes, I’m talking about all you naysayers who’ve already gotten too comfy with the peace and quiet. You really need to stop calling in with that.”

After adjusting her hair and her black evening gown a final time, a giddy Mayumi Osaka took a deep breath and left her bathroom before hurrying down the hall to the stairs. In her bedroom, Naru looked out the window and frowned as she watched her mother walk outside to Masato, who was leaning against his Bugatti, waiting with a smile.

“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.”

In class, Usagi was actually sitting still long enough to write down the answers of a particularly difficult exam. Over her shoulder, a surprised Haruna was eyeing her most notorious student suspiciously.

“Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for anything that may be wrong.”

On the other side of the world, Tony folded his arms as he watched a tape of the Brazil Grand Prix–the final seconds before the incredible wreck that Sailor Mercury stopped from becoming a tragedy. With a wave of his hand, he stopped it and rewound it to the point where the lead car stopped defending to allow Hazama to make the pass.

“Allies of the Sailor Senshi, calling themselves The Masquerade, have set up an anonymous tip line to any activity involving the Dark Kingdom. Call, text, email, or come down to the station itself if you’ve seen or noticed anything out of order even by Japan’s terms. The contact info can be found on our website.”

Sitting on the couch in his lavish home, cradling his helmet in his hand, a bitter and brooding Hazama watched the replay of his wreck. Behind him, Kyoko chewed her lower lip in worry, before she turned and walked down the darkened hallway leading to their bedroom.

“For the sake of clarification, please don’t try to sic the Sailor Senshi on Nerima,” Marik added tiredly.

At her desk in class, waiting for the final bell to ring, Ami finished her latest drawing and held it up: A picture of Iron Man hovering in the air, facing down Sailor Mercury, a reflection of her inner turmoil.

“We’re out, Strangers,” Hakushi finished.

The bell rang, making Ami jump, and she got up and began packing her things as per Haruna’s instruction. She was about to slip her latest drawing into her bag, when Usagi strolled over.

“Hey, nice!” she complimented.

Ami looked to Usagi and tried her darnedest not to show anxiety. “Oh, um… thanks.”

“Commemorating your visit to Brazil, eh?” Usagi teased in a low voice.

Ami’s cheeks became a flushed pink as she shrugged her shoulders. “I suppose.”

She put away the drawing, before smiling to Usagi. “So! Ready for an exciting day of tutoring?”

“As ready as I’d be for a bullet to the head!” Usagi cheerfully replied. At Ami’s look, she doubled down. “What? I hate studying.”

Ami hooked her arm around Usagi’s. “But when you do it, Sakurada-sensei is nicer to you.”

“I can think of a hundred things I could do to make Haruna nicer to me.”

“And ninety-nine of them are illegal,” Ami replied as they left class together.

Usagi rolled her eyes. “Seventy-eight, tops. And that number drops to like twenty-two in a couple of years.”


Usagi had taken up being tutored for a number of reasons. First and foremost, without the Dark Kingdom around, she found herself in need of something to focus her attention on. Ami’s thoughtful argument that improving her studies would give her alibis better weight in the future if she needed to run off again to save the world won Usagi over… that and the promise of having Ami all to herself on a daily basis.

Ami guiltlessly liked that part of the bargain, it was nice to get something out of teaching the wild girl a thing or three. Though, today she was struggling a bit with having to tell Usagi the bad news about her identity and Tony Stark knowing it.

“So, what was it like rubbing elbows with motherfucking Iron Man? Also, I hate you for not confirming that he was in fact your mother’s boss,” Usagi said as they rode the elevator to Ami’s apartment.

Ami wondered if Usagi was psychic, asking that out of the blue. “I never denied it.”

Ami liked to think she kept her emotions well secured, that she didn’t have any tells to reveal whatever particular feel she was feeling. Usagi, however, was a maniac who knew when people tried flip their emotional switches because she had ripped her own out the wall and threw it away years ago.

“So, what are you not trying to tell me?” Usagi asked in as nonconfrontational a manner as she could manage. Again, lack of emotional switch.

“What do you mean?” Her defenses pierced, Ami panicked a bit and threw out that lie.

Seizing on it, Usagi stepped up and pushed Ami up against the wall opposite of the door, trapping her between her hands. “I can tell when something’s bothering you. You didn’t answer any questions in class today, didn’t elect to do any reading in Classical Japanese, barely laughed when Naru made that joke about her being my raw dog daddy pimp, and you only had two trays at lunch–normally you have seven.”

On second thought, maybe Ami being emotionally secure was total bullshit.

Ami blushed deeply, and looked away. “I don’t know how to put this lightly so…” She sighed. “I gave away my identity to Iron Man.”

Honestly, Ami didn’t know what to expect in a response, but it still bewildered her when Usagi just laughed.

“What?”

“For a second there, I imagined you saying you gave away your virginity to Iron Man and my first thought was ‘suit on or not?’”

“Usagi! This is serious! Someone knows who I am! Someone powerful, with resources! And connections! And he knows my Mom!”

Usagi merely waved it off. “It is so much cuter when Rei spazzes out, you know.”

Ami pouted.

“That’s more you,” Usagi said before Ami could speak.

Stopping herself, Ami looked up to the elevator’s ceiling and shook her head. “The fact that I gave away my secret identity to someone doesn’t bother you?”

“Dude, there are a lot of terrible people you can give your secret identity to. Tony Stark? Not even in the top five hundred.” Usagi smiled. “He’s an ally of justice, a friend to the little guy, and he does it all in the spotlight where he knows he’ll never have anything resembling a peaceful life. That is, without doubt, the closest any mortal man will get to being Kamen Raider.”

Relief washed over Ami with that, and she looked aside.

Usagi smirked. “Is that really all that was bothering you?”

“I don’t think we have a protocol in place for if our identities are compromised, I wasn’t sure how you’d react…”

“I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone if they really know me. I mean, that’s how Naru figured me out.” Usagi hummed. “How about you, how’d he figure yours?”

“He bluffed it out of me. He confronted me assuming that it was me and I fell for it.” Ami shook her head. “It’s easy to forget a guy like him is a genius.”

“Well you’re not in trouble, but if you want me to spank you or something I’m totally down for that,” Usagi suggested.

Ami finally managed to laugh a little. “No, I’m fine now.”

Usagi sagged in disappointment. “Can we at least make out?”

“If you impress me with some actual studying,” Ami promised as she held up her bookbag. “We’ve got work to do and-” The elevator’s doors opened and she stopped when she noticed there were two sets of shoes where there were supposed to be none. She then looked into the apartment. “EH?!”

“Eh? What?” Usagi asked before looking into the expensive apartment. “Holy shit!”

Sitting–well, more reclining–on the couch with Ami’s mother was Mr Stark himself.

“Hey kids,” Tony greeted.

“Mother. Fucking. IRON MAN!” Usagi shouted in bold and excited English as she pointed at Tony.

Tony looked to Saeko, who was taken aback by Usagi’s shout. “I like the quality of her friends already.”

He looked back to her. “Hello Ami, and this would be Usagi, right?”

Usagi’s eyes sparkled. Iron Man knew her fucking name, how could she not be hyped? She cleared her throat before replying in a more reserved tone. “Hell the fuck yeah.”

“Ah, well yes but…” Ami sputtered. “Um… what are you doing here?”

Tony put an arm around Saeko’s shoulders. “I came to get a checkup from my personal physician.”

Saeko adjusted her glasses, the light reflecting off them hiding her sinister glare from Usagi and Ami. “A full scale colonoscopy; I’m going to be looking for his head.”

She was still mad about the slow cooker thing, evidently.

“The actual reason I’m here is because I’m going to the Dubai Grand Prix in two weeks, and I had such a great time with the two of you in Brazil that I want you along for the ride,” Tony admitted.

“Really?!” Ami gasped.

“I feel like I owe you,” Tony replied.

“That’s not all. I’m on paid leave for the month, they just decided it this morning,” Saeko revealed.

This prompted an overjoyed gasp from Ami. “You’re serious?!”

Saeko smiled, and nodded. “Yes, I’m home.”

Ami all but teleported across the room, dashing to her mother and embracing her ecstatically. “This is great! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Tony smiled, as if loving when a plan comes together. Usagi noticed this in a split second, but said nothing.

“You can even bring a friend along,” he offered.

“My schedule is free then, I’ll be happy to go,” Usagi nonchalantly invited herself.

Ami’s mouth fell agape, but she quickly schooled her expression. “Usagi-chan, what about your… volunteering at the Hikawa Shrine…?”

Ami mentally kicked herself in the head. Volunteering?! That is the most obvious innuendo in the world! He’ll figure out she’s Sailor Moon in a second! Why can’t I think of-

“Eh, Rei doesn’t want me around for that anymore. She says I’m a bad influence on Grandpa,” Usagi casually replied.

“You, a bad influence?” Tony asked.

“You’d be surprised,” Usagi replied.

All the anxiety left Ami then, and she smiled. I really need to remind myself who I’m dealing with.

She then folded her arms and cleared her throat commandingly. “I would love nothing more than to have you come along, Usagi-chan, but if you’re going to then you’re definitely going to have to really impress me academically.”

“Done deal.” Usagi walked over and hoisted Ami up and over her shoulder. “We got some studying to do, don’t we, Ami-chan?”

With a squeak of pleasant surprise, Ami allowed herself to be hauled off to the spiral-staircase that led to her floor of the penthouse.

She waved to her mother. “I’m so glad you’re home. After this, I’ll make us dinner!”

Saeko agreed. “We’ll make it together. Until then, Ami-chan.”

Ami barely repressed another giddy squeal as she was carried off. The moment they were gone, Saeko gave Tony a scrutinizing look.

“Pepper gives me that same look, it’s the ‘What are you up to, Tony’ look and she is no better at getting answers out of me than you.” When he smiled in that mischievous and irritating way of his, Saeko wondered how the man still had all of his teeth.


Inside his study Nephrite stood beneath the glittering stars that were his power of divination, a ray of light beaming directly into his forehead. The light radiating from the beam and the waves that spread from his forehead illuminated the dark, decrepit room, casting a glow upon the pale, porcelain-like skin of a tall, curvaceous woman with upward styled black hair and dressed in a black gown with spider-leg like spines that extended from its back.

“Nephrite, I wish to speak with you,” she said, her voice completely calm and soft.

A grimace appeared on Nephrite’s face, briefly, before the light from the stars faded. He opened his eyes, which still glowed red from the power coursing through him, and looked to the woman as the stars vanished. “Yes, Widow?”

“Do you intend to desert the Dark Kingdom?”

Nephrite’s eyes opened a little at this, silently challenging her to go on with her dangerous line of thought.

Widow glowered darkly at him, bordering upon a nasty sneer. “You’ve been playing with the Sailor Senshi, refusing to do them any actual harm. It’s just as Zoisite said: You want your options open. You’re going to betray the Dark Kingdom.”

Nephrite sniffed. “If you’re going to subscribe to the raving of a maniac-”

She cut him off. “I don’t blame you for taking such measures. Fighting the Sailor Senshi is terrifying, but long as you don’t threaten Queen Beryl’s plans she won’t waste effort punishing you for leaving. That is how it worked with Jadeite, isn’t it?”

She began walking towards him. “I’ve seen that you even have a reason to leave now. You’re smitten with that Osa-P woman, what do you see in her, atonement? A chance to forget the Dark Kingdom? The mass-?”

His fist breached her head. However, instead of a satisfying spray of gore and the end of the impertinent youma, he found he had scattered the thousands of spiders that had made up her image. Growling, he looked around for her in visible irritation as the spiders quickly began to flee.

“Did I strike a nerve, Nephrite? Good.” Widow's voice danced from all around Nephrite like a flame.

He caught a glimpse of her standing in the shadows, looking over her shoulder at him.

She looked away from him. “Jadeite won his happy ending by placing something ahead of himself. You’re going to lose what you hold precious and die a wretch, Nephrite. What you’ve done is unforgivable.”

Widow vanished into the shadows just as a buzzing sounded from Nephrite’s pocket. Raising his hand, he summoned his phone to it and examined the message. It was from Mayumi.

Ma-kun, my daughters are away for the night and I’m lonely. Come over so I can sing for you.

He smiled upon seeing the message, before he called to the darkness. “Castor, Pollux.”

The two youma suddenly materialized in the room, bowing appreciatively to him. “Yes, Nephrite?”

“Widow seeks to betray the Dark Kingdom, capture her and bring her to me.”

The faces of the youma twins lit up at the order.

“Finally! I’ve been looking forward to sticking it to that uppity goth bitch since before we got shipped off to the DDs,” Castor admitted.

“Then make haste, she’ll likely attempt to contact Jadeite and Tuxedo Kamen. Intercept her before she has the chance.”

“At once!” both twins returned before they vanished.

Once any trace of them was gone, Nephrite looked down at his phone, and put on a small smile as he answered the text.

I’ll see you soon, I just had some business to finish up here.

Sending the message, Nephrite departed his study and went to the front door–stepping out of it as Masato Sanjouin and walking to his parked Bugatti. Climbing into the driver’s seat and starting the car up, he quietly scoffed at Widow’s warning.

“I’m paying the price for my freedom, but I will collect,” he muttered as he drove off.


= = =


Definitely increasing character count.
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
“How’s the flight so far, Usagi-chan?” Makoto asked Usagi via supercomputer. She was sitting in First Class aboard a wide-body airliner, more than halfway through the long flight from Tokyo to Abu Dhabi. To her right, Saeko was fast asleep with earbuds in and a sleep mask over her eyes. Ami, who had been sitting to her left, had gotten up to get something from the plane’s restaurant on the upper deck.

“Fantastic, did you know these planes have a full restaurant? A swimming pool, too. These planes are like freakin’ flying ocean liners,” Usagi replied. “Best part? It’s an Emirati flight so there’s no drunk passengers ruining the experience. You’d love it.”

Makoto laughed a little nervously. “Oh no, I couldn’t. I’m no good on planes, like at all.”

“So that’s why you were so relieved when I picked up, then?” Usagi pouted. “Here I thought you just missed me.”

“I do miss you! Both of you!” Makoto said quickly. “I’m also kind of bewildered… how did you get permission to go to Abu Dhabi?”

“Thanks to you my grades are awesome, and then there was the whole art gallery thing where I was pretty badass,” Usagi replied.

She looked aside at Saeko, and after confirming that she was still asleep, she lowered her voice. “Though, I’m pretty sure I would’ve found my way out here even if my grades were shit.”

Makoto cocked her head slightly. “Eh?”

“Call it a hunch, but I don’t think I was the one invited to come along.”

Makoto gasped. “Wait, Tony Stark thinks you’re Sailor Moon?”

“He figured Ami out,” Usagi revealed.

Makoto grew horrified at the idea. “U-Usagi! Why didn’t you mention this, like at all?!”

“Because it’s all right if he knows, he’s one of the good guys. I mean, he did save the world from an Alien Invasion. We’re still kind of dealing with ours.”

Makoto still had misgivings about it. “Usagi, I get that you admire this guy–I do too–but we all need to be careful about who we tell about our identities. If not for our own sakes, then for the people we care about.”

“I understand and it’s fine, Mako-chan. You know when I say everything will be okay? I always mean it,” Usagi reassured her. “Besides, if anyone tried to blackmail us by hurting our loved ones, you know how badly it’d end for them.”

Makoto hummed, before she relented. “You’re right. Still, I worry…”

“It’s because you love me so much,” Usagi teased.

Makoto giggled. “You and Ami, and Rei, and Naru. We’re all in this together, and I’m going to worry… especially when you get to go on crazy plane trips to faraway countries. Usagi, don’t make a scene out there, okay?”

“What? You act like I’m going to go out there and violently impose western ideals and mannerisms to an entirely different culture, or something.”

“Well, what about transforming? What if you have to?”

“I’m pretty sure if I have to transform in the Emirates, they’ll forgive my incredibly short skirt while I’m kicking a horrible monster into the sun.” Usagi chuckled. “Wow, you’re really hung up over this, Mako-chan.”

“I can’t help it, you’re you,” Makoto pointed out.

“Oh man, if you think you’re worried? My parents are probably at the Hikawa Shrine right now-”

Praying that their oldest child–despite her many promises not to–wouldn’t cause an international incident of some kind. They’d gone straight there after dropping Usagi at the airport many hours ago, and hadn’t left since.

“Er… excuse me,” a worried Rei said, “the Shrine is closing soon for the evening. I understand that you’re praying as hard as you can but we can’t allow people to stay past-” Kenji threw a bundle of bills into the shrine’s donation box. “… Yeahokayyoucankeeppraying.”

On the upper deck of the jumbo jet, Ami slid her knife through over two kilograms of steak, strategically dividing it up for optimized consumption. Next to that plate, three cleaned stacked plates of her seven course meal lay vanquished, while on the other side the remaining dishes hummed Spirituals as they waited for their own date with oblivion.

Across from her, Tony watched in a kind of mix of awe and horror. “I wish I had more words,” he said.

Ami looked up. “For?”

“Your ravenous appetite.”

“Oh, it’s a calorie thing,” Ami explained. “My mother told you that I’m a swimmer, right?”

Tony hummed. “She did, I just thought that this was-”

“No, no… this is how I’ve always eaten. None of the others eat like this.”

Though Usagi could give her a run for her money if she was particularly peckish.

With Usagi’s reassurances, Ami was handling Tony knowing her identity much better than before. Actually, it was rather nice to have someone else to talk about superhero business, she knew he was a superhero, he knew she was a superhero. There was no need to iron dogs or cook hair or anything awkward.

Still, that left the question of why Tony had invited her along. She had stolen away to the restaurant with every intention of confronting him about this.

As if anticipating her, Tony sat back and pulled out his phone. “I want you to look at this.”

Ami popped a piece of steak into her mouth and took the phone to look at the screen. It was footage of the race leading up to the wreck, but with a graphic representing airflow overlaying it. Curious as to the meaning of it, she pressed play.

She quickly saw what it meant. The Xanatos Enterprises Number 15 car, which had been keeping Hazama’s car off, was moving easily through the air with little resistance. Then, as Hazama’s car closed in, the air flow suddenly changed… it began to resist the car, pressing firmly against the Xanatos car’s aerodynamic surfaces. It was forcing it into place, preventing the car from moving while providing the optimal slipstream for Hazama’s car.

Ami stopped chewing her food and looked up at Tony. She swallowed. “Who do you think did this?”

“I want to say this is more your area of expertise,” he replied. “Hazama hasn’t been himself lately, not since that race.”

Ami frowned. “Has he been acting more…?”

“Obsessed? Single-minded? Prone to violently lashing out?” Tony asked. “Oh yes, he’s been real charming lately. Nothing like the wide-eyed kid who got into racing because of too much Initial D at the arcade.”

Ami didn’t like this. She was certain he was possessed, but after all this time… the Dark Kingdom was still doing this same plan?

“If you want me to help you contain him, I will,” Ami said.

“You can extract the youma though, right?” he asked.

Ami grimaced a bit. “I certainly will try, but Sailor Mars usually makes short work of releasing the youma from the target.”

Tony hummed. “You know, this is why secret identities are so problematic.”

“Well, not everyone can afford to just tell the world they’re a superhero at a press conference.”

“… You know, you’re just like you mother. Take that as a compliment.”

“I will.”

Tony clapped his hands together. “How about this, then? I keep Hazama off the track, and we try to pester this thing out of him. Then, you can do what you do best to get rid of it.”

“And since it will be Sailor Senshi doing it, and not Iron Man, the bill won’t go to Stark, clever,” Ami said before taking another bite of her food.

Tony stared at her. “You know-”

“Pass,” Ami replied after swallowing her food.

Tony looked to the table to his left. "She's not interested."

A bald, intimidating African American man sporting an eye-patch seated at the next table turned the page of his newspaper. "All the same, those skirts are too short for PR…"



Like a fighter jet off an aircraft carrier, the train for the newly opened Formula Rossa roller coaster shot down the track, quickly accelerating to nearly 240km/hr. Watching the roller coaster train race down the long course, Kyoko sighed and looked away from the exciting ride in lieu of the iced coffee she had been nursing for the last few minutes. For months she'd been hoping to ride the incredible attraction, sharing her anticipation with Hazama, but since the Brazil Grand Prix things hadn't been going so well. He'd been distancing himself further and further, brooding over his loss and snapping angrily at her over the smallest things. Then…

“Hazama-kun… are you still in here?” Kyoko asked as she entered the Stark Industries garage, finding him personally tinkering with the engine. “Hazama! What are you doing?!”

Standing over the engine, the dark-brown haired man looked back at his girlfriend. He looked disturbed, dark bags under his wild eyes. Seeing her, he smiled. “Oh, hey Koko… I’m just doing some modifications.”

Kyoko brought a hand to her mouth, shocked. “You… you took the entire thing apart!”

“I was thinking about it,” he said shakily, “The only reason that bastard kept ahead of me, was because those idiots had the engine tuned all wrong. If it weren’t for that idiot Sailor Mercury… I’d be able to determine what they did wrong, but this engine… I’ll be able to tune it completely from the ground up!”

“That ‘idiot’ saved your life!” Kyoko argued.

“But she destroyed my car! Well… she put it out of its misery, those idiots… they were the ones who destroyed it!” Hazama said furiously.

“You left the pit early, the wheel came off because you-”

Hazama turned away from her and back to the disassembled engine. “Look! If you’re not going to help me, you can leave!”

“If the crew sees what you’ve done, they’re going to be out of their minds!” Kyoko walked over to him, and grabbed his arm. “You need to stop this-!”

Whirling around, Hazama smacked her arm away and grabbed her by her collar. “Do not! Tell me! To stop!”

Lowering her iced coffee, Kyoko closed her eyes and took a deep, shaking breath. She brought a hand to cover her eyes to hide the tears threatening to fall.

“Hazama…” Kyoko whispered as he shook her. “Stop it… you’re hurting…!”

“Shut up! Shut up and get out of here!” Hazama growled, shoving her roughly towards the door.

“Hazama… let me… GO!”

There was suddenly a rush of air, and Hazama was thrown backward, crashing into and knocking over the tool chest he’d been using to take apart the engine. Tools and engine parts scattered everywhere, and Hazama sat on the floor, stunned.

“W-wait…” Kyoko gasped as she watched her stunned lover return her horrified look. “… Hazama, I’m sorry I didn’t mean… you were scaring me and-”

“Get out of here…” he seethed, “Get out of here you freak!” He picked up a wrench and threw it at her. “I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!”

Kyoko wiped away her tears, before looking at the makeup stains on her palm. Sighing, she reached for the napkins at the middle of the table, when a hand offered her a handkerchief. She looked up to the person offering it to her, and found a young woman with long black hair and an inappropriately brief bright blue dress standing over her.

“The weather is far too nice, and the park is way too awesome for Koko-chan to be crying,” the young woman said.

“Kira-chan,” Kyoko said as she took the handkerchief. “What are you doing here?”

The young woman, Kira Takemikazuchi, beamed. “Why, I came to watch the race and see my best friend in the industry, of course. Why are you crying?”

Wiping her eyes, Kyoko stood up and picked up her drink. “It… it’s not going so well with Hazama and I.”

Kira brought both hands up to her cheeks, shocked. “What happened?! Is he still shaken up by the crash?”

Kyoko looked down at her drink and began walking towards the hotel she stayed, which was overlooking the racetrack where the F1 race would take place in just a few short days.

“He’s still in shock, I think,” Kyoko replied, “The other night I caught him taking apart his car’s engine. He... he flipped out on me and-”

Kira gasped. “Did… did he hit you?”

“No, he didn’t lay a finger on me…” Kyoko looked down. “Actually, I did more damage.” She wiped her eyes with her handkerchief. “I practically threw him across the room, and he… he…”

“You freak! I never want to see you again!”

She sighed. “He’s been pushing me further and further away for the last two weeks. I think it’s over between us.”

Kira rested a hand on Kyoko’s shoulder. “Come on Koko-chan, racers are all alike. Their first love is speed.” She winked, a star bouncing from the side of her head. “Like the ours is the stage!”

Kyoko smiled weakly. “I thought your first love was yourself.”

“There you go! I want the happy, chatty Koko back!” Kira nuzzled her. “Cheer up, okay? We’ll sit down at talk to Hazama-kun.” She leaned close and smiled suggestively, stars shining in her eyes. “Maybe we can work together to cheer him up?”

“L-lewd…” Kyoko muttered, a red flush coloring her cheeks.

When they reached the hotel, however, they found a scene of chaos, guests were crowded around the front doors. Watching and murmuring just below the shouting going on inside. Reaching the back of the crowd Kyoko’s heart fell when she heard the voice doing all the shouting.

“Oh no…”

“YOU CAN’T DO THIS! THIS IS MY RACE!” Hazama roared at the unflinching red-haired woman who had just informed him that he was no longer participating in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“This comes straight from the owner himself,” the woman, named Natalie Rushman, replied. “If you want to take it up with Mr. Stark, he’ll be landing in ten minutes.”

“How does he expect for us to win in the Grand Prix if I can’t race?!” Hazama yelled at her.

“We do have other drivers in reserve and Mr. Stark can do it himself,” she replied as if he wasn’t screaming in her face.

Hazama snarled. “And each and every one of them wouldn’t finish above twentieth! Fuck him and you, go kill yourselves and rot in hell for all I care, you smug bitch!”

He turned and stormed towards the exit, just as Kyoko and Kira made their way through the crowd.

“Hazama-!” the former called out, only to be shoved past. “Ah!”

“Get out of my way, you freak!” he snapped at her before muscling through the rest of the crowd. “Move it!”

As the crowd parted for Hazama and he stormed off, Kyoko looked positively stricken. He was even worse than before, he didn’t look like he’d gotten any sleep, or eaten anything.

“I wonder if he’s on the cocaine,” Kira said before looking to the other woman. “Hey, Nat-chan, what’s up with him?”

The bearer of Hazama’s bad news adjusted her glasses. “Mr. Stark’s pulled him from the race, if you didn’t already hear it from him.”

“Mou… I’ve never heard him so mad. Meth is a hell of a drug!” Kira said crassly.

Kyoko and Natalie grimaced as the murmurs of the crowd began on the topic of drugs. Kyoko then turned to follow him, only to be stopped by Natalie. “Don’t go after him.”

“But…!”

“He’s in bad shape, I’ll have security follow him and make sure he doesn’t do anything too reckless. For now, I think you should just head up to your room.”

“I need to talk to him!” Kyoko argued.

Natalie grabbed her arm tightly. “Kyoko… if you go after him like he is now, he’ll only hurt you again.”

Kyoko stopped, and her shoulders sagged.

Outside, Hazama climbed aboard a motorcycle, pulled on his F1 helmet, and roared off away from the hotel. His bike cut down the road like a speeding knife, barely heeding people at crosswalks or others on the road.

As he tore away, Beryl watched him on her tablet in a overwhelmingly lavish hotel room many miles away in neighboring Dubai.

“Beryl,” Kunzite spoke as he materialized in the room.

Beryl looked up from the bed she lay on, and frowned. “Is there something the matter, Kunzite?”

“Several things, I wanted to bring them to your attention,” he answered.

Beryl huffed. “Make it quick, I’m watching my soaps.”

“The first is Nephrite-”

“Don’t care,” Beryl immediately cut him off. “Next?”

“The DD Girls are done with the Plant Sisters, they’ve been ready for some time now. Why haven’t you-”

“Don’t care, next?”

Kunzite furrowed his handsome brow as he scowled at Beryl. “Is there a reason we’re not moving forward with the next stage? We have more than enough energy.”

“I have plenty of good reasons,” Beryl replied without looking up from her tablet.

“And those are?” the white-haired general asked.

“None of your fucking business, Sephiroth.”

Kunzite scowled at Beryl. “Beryl, we are at a critical juncture. While the Senshi are out chasing Nephrite around, we should be well on our way to pursuing the Rainbow Crystals.”

Beryl looked towards Kunzite. “Beg your pardon?”

“We need to take advantage of our advantage, it’s only a matter of time before the enemy figures out our plans. We are in an excellent position to move even more steps ahead.”

Beryl sat up, and cradled her jaw in her palm. “Is that what you would do, Kunzite?” she asked.

“Without hesitation,” he said.

Beryl smiled, and then laughed. “You see? This is why I sent you to England to entertain Sailor Venus. Because if I let you make any important decisions, we’d have been defeated a long time ago.”

Kunzite recoiled, and his scowl deepened. “Beg your pardon?”

“If you can’t see the situation from my perspective, then it means two things. Either, you’re too simple-minded to grasp the complexity of it… or you think you’re that much smarter than me. In my personal opinion, it’s both.”

Kunzite took a full step back, deeply offended by Beryl’s insult. Smirking, she turned her back to him.

“Any advantage you see is an illusion that will disappear the moment you think it’s real. We are steps ahead, but time and again they’ve proven to not care about how smart we are.” She glanced back at him. “You have your hands full with just one… Nephrite’s been barely handling four, and it’s obvious that he’s weary of it.” Her eyes glowed red. “Been for some time now.”

Kunzite bristled. “Well then, Beryl, if you have such a handle on the situation… what’s your next step in this?”

Beryl sighed. “I have no time to waste on simple, selfish men, Kunzite. I’m in the middle of my holiday.” She smirked. “Call me Queen, however, and I’ll fill you in entirely. You won’t have to wait to find out.”

“My only Queen is Metalia. I serve her foremost, and you only because she entrusts you with her revival.”

Beryl turned to face Kunzite fully, her expression placid. She was still smirking. “Then you don’t get to learn a thing I’m afraid. Now, if you’re done wasting my time I need to keep tabs on this young man. Nephrite’s precarious position in this organization, the youma I’ve had modified, and the surplus of energy I’m building up can be discussed at a later time. If you’re not going to trust my judgement, offer to rub my feet, or bring me up some hot ass to pass my time… you can fuck off back to England and keep tabs on Sailor Venus for me.”

Kunzite glowered at Beryl for a moment more, before he quietly vanished. Chuckling, she laid down on her back and picked up her tablet to look at it. “Such a simple man… but in all your faults lie my biggest advantage.”

Hazama was racing down the highway, on her tablet, blowing past cars doing well above the speed limit. Seeing this, Beryl hummed. “Oh, are you coming to visit Dubai?”

She grinned.

“You can visit for a bit, but you won’t be missing your race.”


As Sailor Moon, Usagi’s feats exceeded the imagination. She could run and jump faster than nearly any known living human being, and withstand tremendous physical forces that would liquify any lesser human being. However, that was not enough for her to be bored by accelerating from zero to two-hundred forty-nine kilometers per hour in just under five seconds.

“I LOVE THE U-A-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” she screamed as the train for the newly opened Formula Rossa roller coaster shot from its launcher and down the track.

From outside the ride, an exasperated Saeko and Ami watched the high-performance roller coaster and looked to each other. After seeing the ride from the window of their landing plane, Usagi had resolutely declared that before anything else, she would ride that roller coaster and no force in creation would stop her. Rather than tempt fate, she, and the Mizuno duo made a beeline to the newly opened Ferrari World amusement park and managed to get in with the help of their gracious host.

“This place is like a dream,” Saeko, who wouldn’t get on the ride even if she were paid to, said of the high tech and incredibly expensive amusement park.

Ami, who herself found such trivial speeds dull and was thus not interested in riding the roller coaster, nodded in agreement. “This entire country is extravagant; we’ve only landed here and there’s enough to see and do here on this alone to last us the entire trip.” She smiled. “I know! I’m really looking forward to traveling to Dubai at least for a little bit. I really want to see the Burj Khalifa with my own eyes.”

And draw it, if there was one thing Ami found herself enamored with, it was the breathtaking engineering feats that the country had invested so much in. Man-made islands, the tallest building ever constructed, and some of the most out of this world architecture ever envisioned. The artist in Ami was as excited to be here as the adrenaline junkie in Usagi was.

Though, the fact that the Dark Kingdom was up to something here kind of put a damper on her enjoyment.

“I think I’ve died, am I dead?” Usagi asked Ami as she stumbled from the ride and leaned against her after getting off the roller coaster.

Ami giggled. “No, you’re not dead.”

Usagi turned and looked over to Tony, who had accompanied her on the ride. “Am I dead?”

“I’ll let you know when my heart climbs down from the back of my throat,” Tony said. He looked to Saeko and Ami. ‘You both really missed out.”

“Meh,” Ami murmured.

Saeko quickly shook her head. “You couldn’t pay me enough.” She looked to the two girls, and smiled. “Did you girls want to check out the park for the rest of the day?”

Ami nodded. “If that’s fine with you, Mother.”

Usagi perked up. “Oh! How about the car simulators next, then?”

Ami smiled. “That sounds like fun!”

She looked back to Saeko. “You’ll drive with us too, right?”

“As long as it’s a simulation, I’m perfectly fine with that,” Saeko replied.

Tony was about to make a particularly mean jibe about Saeko’s disinterest in anything involving traveling at sufficient velocity, when he noticed his assistant striding towards him. She looked annoyed, which meant that she was going to ruin all of his fun.

“If you’ll excuse me, girls?” Tony asked as he excused himself to meet Natalie out of earshot of them. “I hope you’re going to tell me that Hazama quietly went to his room to make up with his girlfriend.”

“You and him are a lot alike, you do not like being told no,” Natalie replied.

Tony folded his arms. “We also take disappointment about the same way; where did he go?”

“He’s on his bike, on his way to Dubai. We’re working on the local authorities to keep an eye on him, but once he gets into town he’ll be harder to track. What’s your plan?”

“I’m going to sit down and have a civil discussion about how cutting corners to win is a bad idea,” Tony replied.

Natalie snorted at him. “Civil discussion about cutting corners?”

“Those may all be involved, yes,” Tony said, shaking his head. “Especially the corners. Maybe the cutting…”

Natalie stared pointedly at him.

Tony fessed up. “Okay, I’m pretty sure that Hazama’s possessed by a demon, that’s why I’ve been making these completely bizarre moves.”

“A demon,” Natalie said slowly, carefully enunciating every syllable. “Like the things in Japan?”

A quick glance over at Usagi and Ami, and her frown deepened. She looked back at Tony, and he was rather impressed with the speed at which she put it together.

“Those girls are two of them, aren’t they? The exorcists in the fetish outfits?” she asked.

Tony glanced back. “Two?” He looked back at her. The thought then actually crossed his mind. “Huh.”

“Jesus Christ they’re teenagers,” Natalie whispered to herself.

“I only called for the one to come along. I didn’t think for a second that her friend could be one… until you brought it up.” Tony found that strange. Interesting, but very strange.

“They didn’t mess with your head, did they?” Natalie asked, her tone casual but her hands slowly sliding towards her waist.

“No, no,” he replied, “I figured Ami was one on a bluff, and when she fessed up it became obvious. I felt stupid that I didn’t realize it before, really.”

Natalie relaxed, but only slightly. “Still messing with your mind, Tony. With a lot of people’s minds.”

“You could hit me to make sure I’m still me,” Tony suggested, “but we’re on the clock.”

“So they’re coming along for this, too?” she asked.

“I wouldn’t have brought them here if they weren’t.”

Natalie stared for a long moment. “This isn’t the Super Friends, Tony. They’re just girls-”

“You know about what’s going on in Japan, you should know full well what a determined Japanese girl is capable of-” Tony began, but Natalie glared hard enough his mouth stopped on its own.

“Yes, I know… All too well what young women can do,” she said softly. “But they aren’t trained, and they have a lot of power they use to cover rather than fully control. They’re amateurs and we’re bringing them into this. It is a dangerous, stupid decision.”

“We’re as much going along for the ride with them as they are with us, they’ve fought these things and they know how they work,” Tony replied with his dry, sly tone, “We don’t know if we can even kill them for good. They can.”

Natasha hid the full extent of her grimace, but conceded to this.

Usagi leaned past Ami and looked at Natasha. “Say what you will of Tony Stark, his taste in the women he surrounds himself with is awesome.”

“Usagi, no,” Ami said as Usagi began walking over.

“Usagi, yes,” Usagi replied.

Seeing Usagi approach, Natasha schooled her expression, signalling Tony that secret talking time was over.

“Oi, Iron Man! What are we gonna do next? Drive Ferraris? Go falconing?”

“All good ideas, but how about we head up to Dubai while we still have some daylight?” Tony asked.

He gave a quick look to Ami, who surreptitiously caught it. Hazama is there, he wants to deal with him now.

Saeko sighed. “All the way over there? But we just arrived and I’m a little weary from the flight.”

Ami quickly turned to her. “Ah, but Mother, I really would like to see the Burj Khalifa.”

Saeko shook her head. “I’m sorry, but we could go tomorrow if you like.”

Well, that just made things a lot more difficult, Tony thought.

Saeko didn’t know about her own daughter’s secret identity. That didn’t surprise him in the least, but it was still disconcerting.

“I see… I understand,” Ami said, in a disappointed but conceding tone.

She would just have to sneak out if they needed her. Sailor Mercury was more than fast enough to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai if there was trouble, that much she was confident in. But still…

“Oh, can I go then?” Usagi suddenly asked.

Ami looked at her in surprise. “Ah?”

“I’ll head down there, scout it out, it’ll be fun!” Usagi said before she looked to Saeko. “Can I, Saeko-mama?”

Saeko recoiled a bit at the nickname. “Ah? I don’t think you should go off all the way on your own.”

“I won’t be alone, I’ll be with Iron Man. It’ll be fun!” Usagi said, “I’d be a third wheel for you and Ami-chan’s Mother-Daughter time anyway.” She looked to Ami and winked. “Ne, Ami-chan?”

Saeko hummed, and then looked to Tony, and then to Natasha. “You’re going too, right Nat-chan?”

“Of course I am, you know what kind of influence an unsupervised Tony Stark is on impressionable young minds.”

Tony did what he did best in situations where his ego wasn’t stroked. He took it badly. “I’ll have you know that after my speech, those technical students all passed with flying marks.”

“They all tried to build Arc Reactors,” Saeko argued.

“And most of them didn’t explode,” Tony defended, “One’s even powering the school!”

Saeko, assured that a responsible woman who could check Tony would be there to chaperone, relented. “All right, are you okay with that, Ami-chan?”

“Yes,” Ami replied before she smiled, “She’s right after all. I really want to just spend time with you.”

Saeko smiled and then nodded to Usagi. “Don’t cause Mr. Stark and Nat-chan any trouble, Usagi-chan.”

“I’ll be on my best behavior!” Usagi swore before she looked upward with fire in her eyes. “It is the duty of all Japanese to demonstrate the best of their country when overseas! Kamen Raider Episode 22!”

Tony and Natasha stared at her.

Usagi drooped. “Right, you guys probably wouldn’t have seen-”

“Episode 23,” Tony corrected.

Usagi immediately squealed, because by Mako-chan he was right. “Hee! Iron Man watches Kamen Raider!”

Ami looked to Saeko as the three left and smiled. “So what did you want to do, Mom?”

“Go to our hotel room, sit by the pool, and listen to Bach together?” Saeko asked.

Ami nodded. “Yes, I would like that.”


As they departed the amusement park into the hot desert sun and climbed into a luxury sedan, Usagi looked back and forth between Tony and Natasha, who sat across from her. Natasha took off the glasses her Natalie Rushman Persona wore, while Tony pulled out a transparent tablet PC and brought up its hologram interface.

“So, Ami hasn’t filled me in yet, but,” Usagi said as the driverless car pulled from its parking spot, “What exactly is going on and why have you gone and flown me and Sailor Mercury halfway round the world for?”

Both looked at Usagi, and then at each other.

“Did I mention that she is really sharp?” Tony asked Natasha.

He turned his attention back to Usagi. “I’m mostly, pretty certain that a driver of mine is possessed by one of the monsters you’ve been fighting.”

Usagi frowned. “A youma, huh? Has your driver been acting-”

“More aggressive than his usual self?” Tony finished.

“Prone to-” Usagi began.

“Violent outbursts? Of course.”

“Extremely-”

“Preoccupied with his driving to the point of unhealthy obsession? He took apart his car’s engine last night, trying to tune it in record time.”

Usagi nodded. “Huh, impressive.”

“But he attacked his girlfriend when she tried to stop him.”

“Suddenly less so,” Usagi amended.

Tony nodded in agreement. “Whatever’s going on in there, it looks like it’s going to pop out on the track if I have him out there, and while I’m certain I could handle it-”

“You want someone who knows how to deal with them around just in case,” Usagi finished for once.

“See? Sharp,” Tony said to Natasha.

“Although if it is a youma, this is… weird,” Usagi admitted.

“How?” Tony asked.

“Because it’s like the fifth time they’ve done it like this.”

At their imploring looks, Usagi continued. “The Dark Kingdom has four generals, we’re currently on the second of them. The first one was a pretty smart guy but really in over his head. After we screwed up his first few plans, he actually started getting really clever in mixing to up to try to kill us. Eventually, he got wise that he was licked and switched sides.”

“It happens,” Tony admitted.

“But this guy, Nephrite, his M.O. doesn’t change. Usagi frowned. “Matter of fact, the fact that other people are spotting it means that it’s going even worse for him.”

“Why are these youma possessing people?” Natasha asked.

“To steal their energy at the moment it’s at its highest. It drains them to nearly a husk, and then they run off with it,” Usagi said, “And that’s the thing. We’ve beaten them every time before they could get away with the energy they try to steal, but they keep doing the same attack.”

“Maybe it’s a trap this time,” Tony said.

“Then they’d have to know we would figure out that an internationally traveling race car driver is possessed by a youma. Then they’d have to predict that Tony Stark would figure out who Sailor Mercury is in order to bring her and I to Dubai to fight this youma. No way, these guys are not that prescient.”

“Yet here we are,” Natasha said quietly.

“That’s just how these stories go,” Usagi said with a shrug of her shoulders. “But anyway, what’s our plan here with your driver?”

“The plan was that we were going to corral him somewhere and you could force the youma out of him, but then he ran off,” Tony said.

“To Dubai?”

“On a bike going over 150,” Natasha said.

Usagi nodded. “Huh, gotcha.”

“So we corral him and force the youma out of him,” Tony said, “If that’s okay with you.”

Natasha gave Tony a wry look. “A fight like sounds like it could get expensive.”

“That’s why we’ve got an entire desert to play in if things go bad,” Tony replied.

“Eh, when lives are on the line, money is meaningless. Kamen Raider The New,” Usagi said.

“See? This is why children’s shows need to be more violent, to teach how to use it judiciously,” Tony said to Natasha.

Natasha rolled her eyes. “JARVIS, any update on Hazama?”

A calm, monotone male voice answered. “He is on the outskirts of Dubai and approaching the city fast. The authorities are awaiting orders on whether to move in to detain him.”

“Report that the Avengers will be confronting him. Just keep people away from him,” Natasha ordered.

“Yes, Ms. Romanoff,” the computer answered, “The Quinjet is waiting to rendezvous with you

Usagi was at the moment trying to not ruin her underwear after the realization hit that she was rolling with heroes almost as cool as Kamen Raider.


His engine loud in his head, Hazama raced his motorcycle down the long, mostly straight highway that cut along the desert coast of the Persian Gulf. He was headed North, towards the city of Dubai, and the distant spire that rose from the horizon–the immense and glorious Burj Khalifa tower, the tallest building in the world.

“It can’t end like this,” he snarled as he switched lanes at over 160 kilometers per hour, narrowly passing around a large military truck, “Not now, not when I know I’m ready!”

He narrowly avoided another truck. “I’ve given everything for this! I’ve fought and driven and bled!”

As he cleared the desert camouflage-painted truck, he opened the throttle wider. “I’ve sacrificed everything, so I could be here. So I could be your winner! And when I can’t do it, you toss me aside?!”

“I’m not one of your suits, you bastard!” he yelled.

The image of Kyoko, wrestling with him, flashed through his mind and anger seared his thoughts hotter.

“And I’m not your trophy boyfriend!”

The whine of his motorcycle’s engine briefly stopped, and then it let out a strange sound, like an idling churring.

Hazama frowned. “I’m sorry, partner… but they don’t understand. They won’t.”

On the inside of the visor of his helmet, the image of Tony’s own digital display illuminated face appeared. “I do understand, that’s why I pulled you from the race.”

Hazama and his motorcycle snarled. “Fuck you, Stark!”

“Why don’t you slow down and we can hug this one out, what do you say?” Tony asked.

Hazama looked back, and saw Tony’s luxury ride approaching at high speed, escorted by Natasha riding atop a much faster looking motorcycle than his–dressed in a black body suit and armed to the teeth with pistols, explosives, and what looked like a missile launcher.

Hazama’s eyes widened, before his anger spiked. What were they planning to do with all of those weapons?

Wait… did they know?!

He looked down at his bike. “Partner!”

Slamming on the brakes, Hazama performed a stoppie that nearly flung him over his handlebars. Skidding on only his front wheel for an agonizingly long distance, Hazama swung the bike around to face the onrushing vehicles as he opened up the throttle. The moment his rear tire hit the pavement, he was off through the cloud of smoke he created in his braking, accelerating faster than his bike was designed for.

Natasha caught that right away. “He did something to his bike.”

“You might want to look out!” Tony called before the car and Natasha swerved to get out of his way.

Smoke squealing from her tires, Natasha slowed and swung her bike around as Tony’s car spun out. She was already racing back after Hazama, who was opening the distance with every second.

“Slow him down, Tony!” she called out.

As Hazama headed down the wrong way, he noticed a contrail crossing the desert towards him. He hadn’t even a second before it crossed in front of him at hundreds of kilometers per hour, nearly throwing him off the road. It quickly came around, and Hazama identified it.

“Stark!” he gasped before Iron Man Mark VII slowed down enough to open his hands and unleash several blasts of energy from the palm-mounted repulsors. The blasts hit the road in front of Hazama, forcing him to swerve and slow down.

Diving in, Iron Man grabbed Hazama off his bike and let it go tumbling off the road before he came to a landing on the shoulder.

In her Dubai Hotel room, Beryl sat up on her bed, surprised at this sudden turn of events. “Excuse me?”

Why were Iron Man and that redheaded cutie chasing after an emotionally compromised young man guilty for little more than taking apart a car and assaulting his girlfriend?

“So,” she said softly, before a smile graced her lips, “Nephrite’s pattern has gotten this easy to figure out, then?”

Thrown to the ground, Hazama laid there for a moment before he pushed up the visor of his helmet and stood up. “What the hell is wrong with you?!” he yelled.

Iron Man set down, before the faceplate of his helmet slid up and opened, revealing Tony’s face. “Hazama, you’re not well.”

“This from someone who comes chasing after me with weapons?!” Hazama snapped back. “It wasn’t enough that you don’t want me to race?!”

Tony corrected him. “I don’t want you to race because you’re not well. Do you even realize what you’ve done?”

“I’ve done everything I could!” Hazama yelled back. “I’ve done everything and more, but it’s not enough for you…” He stopped. “No… it’s too much! You don’t want to see me win because you’re afraid, you coward!”

Tony was staying fantastically calm through this. “I’m afraid for you, your team is, Kyoko is.”

“Don’t bring up that freak, she has nothing to do with this!” Hazama yelled.

Approaching the confrontation, Natasha looked from the screaming young man to her fellow Avenger, and then at the latter’s bike. It was moving, straight for Tony at increasing speed.

It hadn’t escaped Tony’s notice, however, as he quickly raised a repulsor and fired at it, even as Natasha had opened fire with the rocket launcher.

The repulsor shot glanced off the bike, which quickly tumbled across the road towards the shoulder Tony and Hazama stood. As it began to come apart from the damage, the pieces quickly began to morph. The front tire and forks shifted into jagged, clawed limbs, as the body bent and twisted into a feline shape. The twin exhaust pipes, rear forks, and rear tire also formed crude cat-like limbs, while the leather seat stretched out like a rope, becoming a long whip-like tail.

Landing on its newly formed legs, the transformed bike leaped over the missile homing in on it, and hurtled straight for Tony, who slid his faceplate back into place and braced himself for the charge.

“Partner!” Hazama yelled as his bike crashed into Iron Man and the two went tumbling across the sand.

Landing on his back, Iron Man looked up at the monster as it raised a clawed hand to crush his head. The claw came down, but his head certainly didn’t crush as the helmet withstood the blow. Taking advantage, Iron Man fired a repulsor blast into its chest, throwing it of him.

“JARVIS, what am I looking at?” Tony asked as the monster tumbled and then got back up.

“It appears to be imbued with an unidentified energy, granting it life,” Tony’s computer assistant reported.

“Where’s it coming from?” Tony asked as the monster got up and roared with its now lion-like head, the two oval shaped headlights framing its face lighting up with a red energy.

“I cannot determine that at the moment, sir.”

Iron Man moved quickly, avoiding the energy blasts that fired from its head before returning fire with both repulsors. The two beams met, and an explosion followed that blew both back from each other.

Hazama, shielding his face from the blast, lowered his arms when he saw the monster getting back up. “Hang on, I’m coming-!”

Natasha grabbing his shoulder and jamming her palm into his back, sending a powerful burst of electricity through him, immediately followed. With a short scream, Hazama fell to the ground stunned.

“I’m going to need you to sit this one out, too,” she said as she removed his helmet and began handcuffing him.

Getting back up, Iron Man fired another intense repulsor ray burst at the monster, which absorbed the hit and went flying across the flat, sandy terrain.

The monster landed on its feet, its tail lashing around to balance it as it slid to a stop. It roared, and fired another powerful blast at Iron Man, as he closed the distance. Dodging its assault, Iron Man tackled the machine and punched it, sending it tumbling back further.

Recovering mid roll, the monster quickly reared up on its hind legs and swatted Iron Man with a forepaw. The impact knocked him aside, leaving him open to the monster’s lasers.

“Oh, rough!” Tony said before firing his repulsors downward and blasting himself straight up.

Above the explosion, Iron Man turned and fired down at the monster, and it moved much faster, easily avoiding the blasts and leaving a train of afterimages behind it.

It managed to dodge a good number of Iron Man’s blasts, before it stopped behind the smoke of one and fired its lasers through it. Luckily, Iron Man spun clear of their shots. Before it could fire another blast, however, Tony Stark’s luxury car crashed into its side at over 150 km/hr.

Pushed along the ground by the car, the monster clawed at its bonnet before charging up its laser and firing into it. A split second later, the car exploded into a fireball that rolled upwards into the clear blue sky.

A few moments later, the monster landed and stared at the explosion, growling loudly. Something moved in the fire and smoke, something that should not have survived its attack.

Natasha, kneeling on Hazama’s back, stared at the fire intently, and her focus sharpened as a figure emerged, walking through the flames.

Sailor Moon walked out of the inferno–untouched by its heat.

Struggling weakly against his bonds, Hazama looked up and froze in shock when he saw Sailor Moon standing there. “W-what the…?”

Beryl dropped the tablet on the bed, her eyes wide in disbelief. “Are… are you fucking kidding me?!”

“Oi, youma,” Sailor Moon said as Iron Man descended to the ground and landed beside her, “Don’t think for a second that you can start something and not expect me to show up.”

The monster roared angrily, and charged as both she and Iron Man got ready to resume the fight.


Kunzite: A person suffering from mental illness may lash out at, withdraw from, or even physically hurt those close to them and others beyond their control. It’s at these times, that they need support from their loved ones the most.

Beryl: If the mental health of a close friend or family member is suffering, you can help them by making sure they’re seeking professional assistance, direct them to it if they’re not, showing concern, and treating them with respect, compassion, and empathy.

Kunzite: Remember that resources are available for not just the afflicted, but for those who wish to educate themselves on Mental Illness and help in ultimately treating it. Do not think you are incapable of doing anything, there are many ways to help.

Beryl: Queen Beryl says! MWAHAHAHAHA!
 
The Ero-Sennin said:
Praying that their oldest child–despite her many promises she wouldn’t–did not cause an international incident of some kind. They’d gone straight there after dropping Usagi at the airport many hours ago, and hadn’t left since.
Pretty sure one of these is excess.

Are you going to be adding the MCU to this pile up now?
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
gemmaethanwhitaker said:
The Ero-Sennin said:
Praying that their oldest child–despite her many promises she wouldn’t–did not cause an international incident of some kind. They’d gone straight there after dropping Usagi at the airport many hours ago, and hadn’t left since.
Pretty sure one of these is excess.

Are you going to be adding the MCU to this pile up now?
No, it's correct. Also, MCU has been in this universe forever. It's only actually appearing now.
 
OK, I get what you're saying, but it's a very awkward wording, and I'm not even sure if the exterior sentence makes sense. Once I remove the words between the dashes I'm left with: "Praying that their oldest child did not cause an international incident of some kind." Not quite sure that it works.

I was actually inquiring if there would be MCU stories, by you.

EDIT: I think you got the wouldn't on the wrong side of the dash, "Praying that their oldest child–despite her many promises not to-wouldn’t cause an international incident of some kind. They’d gone straight there after dropping Usagi at the airport many hours ago, and hadn’t left since." works a lot better.
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
Yeah I see where you're coming from.

Addendum: There might be a proper MCU fic from me at some point, probably some kind of shipper trash or a short crossover-y thing involving vampire nazi werewolf wizards.
 

Japan8

Well-Known Member
Late to the party, but what a hell of a party it is!

This Usagi is freaking a-w-e-s-o-m-e! Can't wait to see more of this.
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
Here we are.


= = =


Disclaimer: I’m going to come out and say that Sailor Moon Crystal sucks.


Beautiful Destroyer Sailor Moon
Holiday 2: Civil War

You can’t have it all…

[17.]


Ami could’ve been anywhere in the world, and it wouldn’t have mattered. For the first time in months, she was somewhere her mother was, right next to her in peace and solitude. They were both sitting on extremely comfortable folding chairs on the edge of their hotel’s indoor pool, a stereo sitting between them and softly playing their beloved classical music. To be able to look to her left and see her mother in person, enjoying her company and no one else’s, made Ami happier than even when she found she was a Sailor Senshi.

It would be awful then, she convinced herself, if she ruined it by revealing to her mother that she was a Sailor Senshi.

At the same time, she felt that she had to tell her mother that she’d been fighting the forces of evil for months now.

She hated this anxiety, the pros and cons were evenly matched. Every time she thought she had a reason not to tell her, another reason to tell her would creep up, or vice-versa. Sometimes they were the same pros and cons, but from different perspectives. It was such a cruel loop that kept reeling her back to zero: she had to tell her, but she couldn’t.

“I noticed that you and Usagi-chan are very close,” Saeko said just over the music, grabbing Ami’s attention away from her anxious thoughts.

Ami put on an innocent smile. “She’s my best friend. Ever since I met her, I’ve hardly felt as lonely as I used to… she doesn’t think that I’m stuck-up or that I act like I’m better than her or anything like that. She just… likes me.”

“She doesn’t hesitate to make that apparent,” Saeko said with a gentle laugh.

“You think so?”

“It’s too obvious!” Saeko said. “I think she’s outright in love with you.”

Ami’s entire face turned red, and she gasped in horror. “M-Mother!”

Saeko laughed gently again. “It’s all right if she is, I approve of her.”

Ami quickly went from aghast to bemused. “Wait… you do?”

“The way she’s made you happy, how could I not? She’s a good friend, just like you said. A better friend than me.”

“Ah? What are you talking about…” Ami stopped. “You mean your job?”

Looking contrite, Saeko nodded slowly. “We spend more time apart than together. Sometimes I wonder if you resent me for being away for so long all the time.”

“No, no Mother don’t feel bad about that! What you’re doing is important and it helps a lot of people! You’re practically a superhero yourself!” Ami argued. “I mean, yes… I used to hold it against you when I was at my worst, but now it’s okay…”

Ami turned in her seat to face her mother, her expression warm and comforting, but hiding the anxiety that surged forward. Just like that… she had given herself exactly the opening to tell her.

“I understand now more than ever why you need to work so hard,” she began.

Saeko returned Ami’s smile, but realized that there was more to what she was saying. Sure enough…

“… Mother…” Ami took a deep breath. “I’m-”

“So hot!” Kira Takemikazuchi suddenly called out, as she and Kyoko entered the pool, “They weren’t kidding about this place being super hot ne, Koko-chan?”

Ami immediately clammed up, thanking and cursing the two idols at the same time for their woeful timing. She looked over, then immediately averted her gaze when she saw the two of them. Kyoko was wearing a modest one piece dark swimsuit and sarong, but Kira would’ve been less indecent if she wore nothing at all instead of the bikini that appeared to be made of various gems strung together with floss set strategically to cover as little modesty as possible.

Saeko visibly soured at the lewdly dressed Kira, and looked to Ami before whispering, “Goodness, dressing like that could get you arrested here, doesn’t she know that?”

“Dressing like that could get you arrested back home,” Ami whispered back.

Kyoko sighed. “It’s hot, but not that hot.”

“Well not all of us are walking air conditioners,” Kira replied, “And this is my cutest swimsuit.”

Cute wasn’t the word that Kyoko had for it, but before she could say as much she spotted the ladies Mizuno and brightened. “Saeko-san! Ami-san!”

Ami returned the smile and got up. “Kyoko-san, how nice to see you again!”

Kyoko walked over, Kira trailing a few paces behind her. “Yes, same here.”

She gestured to Kira. “This is my friend, Kira Takemikazuchi.”

“Best friend!” Kira corrected.

Kyoko laughed and hugged her close. “Yes, my best friend.”

“The World’s Strongest Idol,” Ami said in a surprise. No wonder she was walking around dressed like that.

Saeko adjusted her glasses as she stared at Kira. “Hm. As a neuroscientist, I’ve always been curious about the nature of people like you.”

Kira shrugged her shoulders. “Well you’re welcome to pick my brain at any time.”

It took a half second, but Saeko and Ami both clapped their hands over their mouths to muffle their laughter.

Kyoko, not quite finding the joke particularly funny, just smiled politely.

Kira then gently nudged her. “Ne, ne, Koko-chan! Laugh a little! You’re among friends! Everything is fine now!”

Kyoko laughed gently, and then giggled when Kira tickled her. “Kira!”

Saeko hummed. “Has something gotten you down, Kyoko-san?”

Kira pouted as she spoke for her. “It’s terrible! Koko and Hazama had a fight, and she’s been down in the dumps since.”

Saeko brought a hand to her mouth. “Oh! I’m sorry to hear that!”

“Yes, me too,” Ami said quickly, while discreetly slipping a glance over to her supercomputer.

“But, I’m going to turn her frown upside down, and I’m going to need help for that,” Kira said before she assumed a hot-blooded pose, “Ne, what do you say? Join me in lifting up Koko-chan’s spirit so she can laugh and smile carefree again!”

As much as Saeko really wanted this to be her and Ami’s alone time, she–like her daughter–was too big-hearted a person to say no to cheering someone up. She looked to Ami, hoping to find that she was just as eager to help, and thankfully she was not disappointed.

“Of course, why not sit down with us and we can talk about it,” Ami said before Saeko noticed something.

“Ah?” Saeko then pointed. “Ami-chan, look…”

Ami, Kira, and Kyoko followed Saeko’s gaze to one of the large big-screen televisions that had been showing various relaxing images. Now it was showing an emergency notice in multiple languages. On the television next to it a news report came on. Ami could barely keep up with what the Emirati newscaster was saying, but the live footage of multiple explosions and energy blasts in the desert off the side of the freeway really said it all.


An explosion sent up a huge pillar of smoke and sand. Hurtling down from above it, Sailor Moon spun at high speed before slamming an axe kick down on the mechanical lion, the Youjuu, Regulus. Her attack missed wide as the monster avoided it. As it slid away from her, it turned its head and fired its lasers, piercing the plume of sand Sailor Moon kicked up and hitting nothing.

A barrage of missiles then converged on Regulus, and hit it from multiple directions. As the youjuu went flying backward through the air, Iron-Man came diving from above, slamming a punch into it that drove it into the ground. Falling downward, it recovered from the hit and swung one of its claws down on Sailor Moon as she appeared to kick it.

Claw to boot, impact created shockwaves across the sand before Sailor Moon jumped and performed a follow up spin kick that launched Regulus up for a second pass from Iron-Man.

“I… what?” Beryl asked as she watched the fight, her red eyes wide, “I… don’t… even…”

“Time to take another fall, Mufasa,” Iron-Man said as he took aim with his left arm and let fly a rocket for Regulus’ chest.

At the last second, Regulus snapped to attention and caught the rocket between its teeth, biting through and severing the warhead before tossing it away.

“Huh, unexpected,” Iron-Man then said before he avoided another laser blast from the beast.

Beryl raised her hand to her temple, and shook her head. “Almost on the other side of the world, and she’s actually here? She actually came all the way out here?!”

Recovering from his Widow Bite, Hazama ground his face into the sand before looking over at the pitched battle. “Gah… p-partner… no…!”

He yelled when Natasha dug her knee into his back.

“Partner?” she asked.

Hazama didn’t answer, only thrashed and yelled out in frustration.

Kicked hard by Sailor Moon, the youjuu landed on its feet and fired its lasers first at her, before sweeping them up at Iron-Man, who quickly countered with his own laser weapons.

“Seeing as you’re the expert, are these guys normally this tough?” Tony asked Sailor Moon as he wrestled beam to beam against the youjuu.

“Oh, this one’s definitely got gump, but at the end of the day…” Sailor Moon drew her tiara from her forehead. “They all go down pretty easy!”

She threw her tiara at Regulus. “Moon Tiara, Action!”

Seeing the attack close in, Iron-Man cut his lasers and dodged Regulus’s as he switched to repulsors, firing a quick concussive blast that held Regulus in place.

Hazama’s eyes widened, as he watched the attack approach. “No… No…!”

At the last second, Regulus lowered its head and then swung it up, deflecting the Tiara away. The glancing blow tore off a piece of its head, but the youjuu was none the worse for it.

“Huh!” Sailor Moon exclaimed, before she just sent the Tiara right back at Regulus from behind.

Seeing Regulus’ efforts cut woefully short, a tearful Hazama shook his head. “Stop it…!”

“Impressive, but not enough!” she yelled.

Hazama’s tear-filled eyes went from helplessness to fury. “I SAID STOP!”

Natasha feeling something immediately wrong at the right moment, threw herself off Hazama, right before a plume of sand exploded upward right where he’d been standing before.

Several more pillars of sand shot up almost instantly between Hazama and Regulus, before the youjuu was shoulder-barged out of the path of the Tiara and into the mangled wreckage of Tony’s car.

Sailor Moon caught her tiara and put it back on, as Iron-Man came to a hover nearby. The flames cleared away quickly, and when it did, Sailor Moon wasn’t exactly sure what she was looking at.

“Wait… what?” she asked.

Standing where there should’ve been Hazama and a wrecked lion youjuu, was just Hazama now dressed in a white and cyan armored suit within a lion-themed exoskeleton that was twice as large as he was and resembled a lion. His arms ended in large, three bladed claws, as did his feet, and another pair of claws latched onto his shoulders. Over his head, was a lion’s head shaped helmet, with a long mane made of blades hanging from the back of it.

Even Beryl, already stumped by Sailor Moon’s inexplicable appearance, was surprised by this interesting and unexpected turn. “Excuse me? What is… this?”

Panting heavily, Hazama’s wild-eyed stare focused on Sailor Moon and Iron-Man. “No more… I won’t let you take the things I care for away from me, not anymore!”

A white mask with brilliant red eyes closed over his face, before he threw his head back and let out a lion’s roar.

“Oh man, it’s just like with Mika,” Sailor Moon said before she jumped out of the path of three claws shot from Hazama’s right hand on the end of segmented metal tentacles, avoiding them.

Soon as she avoided the launched claws Hazama was on top of her, slashing with the other claws. Raising her arms to block, she was batted like a cat toy across the burning sands, skipping head over heels until she reached the highway behind her and carved a trench through both lanes.

Iron-Man didn’t waste a second, hitting Hazama with several repulsor blasts and another barrage of missiles that battered the possessed man. “Well, at least there’s precedent.”

Crashing to the ground, Hazama got up and bathed himself in a red light before the claws over his shoulders and over both hands launched at Iron-Man. Quickly tracking them all as they closed in, Iron-Man broke into into a wide, fast barrel roll, keeping inside the claws and firing off repulsor and laser blasts to deflect those that followed closer to him.

Diving to the ground, he flipped and landed as the claws came down around him, forming a brief cage that Hazama pulled himself towards. Before he could fall upon Iron-Man and begin clawing into him, the armored superhero threw open his arms and blasted him point-blank with the chest repulsor, pushing him back and right into a kick in the side from Sailor Moon that drove him like a nail into the ground.

When Sailor Moon touched down, Hazama shot out at her, screaming like a crazed beast. He slashed at her, and she blocked his strike. Ducking under a second swing, she turned around and slammed her elbow into his chest, several condensation rings forming before Hazama went rocketing back and crashing into the side of an overpass a distance away.

Buffeted by the shockwaves and the sand, Natasha quickly shook the sand from her hair and stared at Sailor Moon as she dropped her hands to her side and stared at her handiwork.

“… She’s a freaking Hulk in a miniskirt,” she said in exasperation.

“Wears it a lot better than he would, at least,” Iron-Man quipped, “You okay?”

“I’m fine,” Natasha said as she drew a pistol, ejected the magazine with copper-colored rounds, and loaded a new one with silver-colored rounds.

Seated against the damaged overpass, Hazama panted and stared at Sailor Moon and Iron-Man. “Partner… can you hear me…?”

Hazama heard only a faint growl in reply.

“Keep it together, we’re going to get them! We’re going to get them all!” he yelled before he vanished.

Inside his Iron-Man shell, Tony’s face fell, as his suits sensors could capture Hazama’s movements faster than his eyes could. “This is gonna su-”

Hazama kicked Iron-Man in the chest, then swept Sailor Moon off her feet and punched her into the ground the second her feet left it.

Repulsors firing, Iron-Man ignored the damage warnings as he was put under attack by Hazama once again. With the narrowest of margins he avoided his punch and fired a Repulsor blast. Hazama was already behind Iron-Man, claws vibrating to carve through him armor and all. Missile launches popping open across Iron-Man’s back intervened, and Hazama was battered with several missiles before he boosted back.

The remaining missiles quickly homed in on him, as Iron-Man turned to face him. “Thank you, JARVIS.”

“At the rate the target’s speed is increasing, remaining airborne is the most recommended option,” the computer replied.

Hazama’s blinding speed allowed him to evade them with ease before he resumed his attack on Iron-Man. The moment he vanished, however, Iron-Man was barely out of his reach, ascending skyward and taking advantage of his whiffed attack to batter him with repulsor blasts from both hands.

Once again he disappeared, the repulsor rays slicing through his afterimages before Iron-Man was alerted to the numerous claws closing in on him from all sides. Quickly positioning his body, he allowed the claws to glance off his body in a brilliant shower of sparks.

“Hazama, I know you’ve got a lot of anger in there, kid,” Tony said calmly even as the serrated tentacles cut against his armor, “But this isn’t how it’s going to get resolved.”

The claws then wrapped tightly around Iron-Man, and began to squeeze.

“Shows what you know, I’m starting to feel better already!” Hazama yelled, before several gunshots changed that.

One round managed to glance off his armor, while another struck his forearm, and the most terrible burning spread across the arm as he slackened his attack.

“AHHHHHH! WHAT THE HELL?!” he roared before he looked and saw Natasha aiming her pistol at him.

“Well, at least I proved that Silver works against these things,” Natasha said of what she was pretty sure going to be the last few seconds of her life when Hazama turned to look at her.

Hazama disappeared, and in nearly the same instant collided with Sailor Moon’s raised upper arm in a devastating, perfectly executed clothesline.

Natasha stared, stunned, at Sailor Moon, who held up her supercomputer in her free hand. “Quick, turn around.”

Natasha turned around, and found herself looking up at the supercomputer as Sailor Moon snapped a picture of herself, Natasha, and the momentarily stunned Hazama. “Selfie, bitch~!”

Beryl, folded her arms and laughed. “Okay, I’ll give you that one. That was pretty great.”

Sailor Moon then threw her head back, headbutting Hazama and sending him crashing back to the ground and into a tangled heap of his own tentacles. As soon as Hazama hit the ground, Ami’s supercomputer buzzed.

Looking at her supercomputer, Ami stood up and stepped away from Saeko, Kyoko, and Kira, who were raptly watching the news describing “suspected terrorist activity” and the rumored involvement of The Avengers. Opening the screen, she immediately saw Sailor Moon’s selfie and a message.

“Sorry to interrupt your quality time, but dash down here real quick and fuck this asshole up?”

Ami closed the phone, and looked back to her mother. “Mother, I’ve got to run to the bathroom really quick. I’ll be back.”

Saeko looked to her, and without question nodded her consent. Giving a final look to her, and then to Kyoko and Kira, she sighed and left the pool for the women’s changing room. Once inside and certain she was alone, she summoned her pen to her hand and thrust it up.

“Mercury Power, Make Up!” she called out, and as swiftly as she transformed she disintegrated into vanishing particles of light.

Sailor Mercury landed down on the hot asphalt of the drive outside the hotel. As tourists outside the hotel turned and began to stare and go for their camera phones, she raised her hand over her eyes, summoning the Mercury Computer’s visor, and got ready.

A moment later she was gone, leaving only a blue streak of light that faded quickly behind her.


His claws ratcheting back into place, Hazama grabbed his injured arm, and then glared past Sailor Moon at Natasha. “Why… why won’t you just die and let me do what I want?!”

He looked up at Iron-Man, who had flown into a protective position in above Sailor Moon and Natasha.

“This a trick question? You’re trying to hurt people who have nothing to do with your screw ups,” Tony stated.

“You have everything to do with it!” Hazama screamed, “Just die! Just die! Just die! Just die! Just die! Just die!”

He enveloped himself in a reddish-black aura. “JUST DIE SO I CAN RACE!”

Iron-Man raised his arm and armored slats on the side opened. Numerous stars of light erupted from his forearms, and flew at Hazama with an electronic buzzing like bees. The sound got louder and louder as the “bees” circled around him, making the racer-turned youma scream and cover his ears.

“STOP!” Hazama screamed from the disorienting assault on his ears. “STOP IT AND DIE!”

He vanished from the center of the swarm, the shrieking completely unable to catch up to his ears. As he curved away from them, he lowered his hands from his ears and looked at the three. He was moving so fast that all he could hear was his own labored breathing, not even the thunderous impacts of his feet against ground could reach his ears.

He was moving faster than sound… far faster…

“Partner…” he said in awe. “… Look how fast we are…”

He grinned, and then shot towards Sailor Moon, Natasha, and Iron-Man. He looked up at Iron-Man. “Faster… than you!”

He watched as Iron-Man moved in slow motion and fired his repulsors. He was already out of the path of the rays, grinning wildly. He saw Sailor Moon position herself in front of Natasha, her arms raised to block his attack. With ease, he rounded her and laughed. “Faster than you!”

He pointed his left-hand claws at Natasha, to launch them into and through the relatively extremely vulnerable super-spy. “And definitely faster than you!”

He fired the claws, and they rammed clean through Natasha.

Hazama’s triumphant grin lasted all of a half-second, before Natasha crumbled into swirling lights that faded away.

“What…?” he asked before Sailor Mercury materialized in before him, in an almost casual stride towards him. “Y-you!”

Then Hazama took a vicious blow across the face. He was uppercut off his feet, kicked in the side, and then elbowed in the stomach before his feet touched the ground. Grabbing him by his chest, Sailor Mercury threw him hard and he went flying into a roundhouse kick she drove into the side of his head, shattering his helmet.

He hadn’t even hit the ground before a swift boot to the side lifted him up again and sent him spinning through the air like a car axle.

Hazama nearly hit the ground, when Sailor Mercury’s heel came down on his back, launching him down faster and sending him rebounding off it into an upright position. A crater barely began to form from the impact before she drove both fists into his chest and stomach, the sheer force of the blows crumpling then shattering his armor before he was launched again.

The world for Hazama became a formless blur of colors before all he saw was the briefest glimpse of blue and then felt another devastating blow to his back, shattering his armor and his magnificent mane of blades.

“GAAHH!” Blood spraying from his mouth, Hazama landed on his knees and slumped forward, only for Sailor Mercury to grab the hair on the back of his head and hold him upright.

Sailor Moon, Iron-Man, and Natasha jumped. They had seen Hazama vanish, and hardly a second later there was an explosion and then Sailor Mercury was there, holding the brutalized Hazama by the back of his head.

Seeing Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon grinned. “That’s my girl!”

Tony held his hands up. “Woah! Hang on… All right. Hazama? Are you less crazy, or do you need the schoolgirl in the fetish outfit to beat you around some more until you want to talk?”

Hazama, his entire body in pain he never could’ve imagined before, looked up at Iron-Man. “I won’t… haa… I won’t…”

He then screamed. “I WON’T!”

The sound of metal wrenching drowned him out, as his armored suit leaped off him and rocketed upward, becoming a mass of metal that began to coalesce and reform into another mechanical lion as it shot for Iron-Man.

“Moon Tiara, Action!” Sailor Moon yelled, and her Tiara struck home, slashing off Regulus’s head like a knife through butter.

Hazama’s eyes grew wide, and with the last of his strength, he screamed in horror and despair as Regulus began to disintegrate. “PARTNER!”

Regulus’ remains crashed to the ground, and they became enveloped in ghostly flames that slowly disintegrated into dust. Shaking his head, Hazama tried to call out for the destroyed lion, before the last of his strength left him and he fell unconscious.

Seeing Hazama fall over, Natasha quickly contacted the authorities. “Tango down, move in to secure.”

Sailor Mercury knelt down next to Hazama and examined him as Sailor Moon hopped over. He was badly injured, but the injuries would be survivable with rapid enough medical attention. She shook her head in disbelief when she saw the extent of them.

“He’s not gonna die, is he?” Sailor Moon asked.

“Not if he’s seen to quickly enough,” Mercury replied, “But it’s like that armor did nothing to protect him at all!”

She looked especially at his legs, the Mercury computer detecting so many things wrong. “Every muscle in his legs are torn, and his legs have numerous fractures…”

Sailor Moon hummed. “Wait, I didn’t hit him in the legs though…”

She understood it. “Wait, you mean the armor was hurting him too?!”

Mercury nodded.

Sailor Moon clenched her fists. “… That son of a bitch….”

Mercury looked at her leader’s clenched fists, and then up at her face. Sailor Moon’s expression was suddenly extremely dark. “Sailor Moon…”

Sailor Moon shook her head. “Nephrite’s in for it next time I see him.”

Her darkness passed before she hugged Sailor Mercury. “Great job, Mercury!”

Sailor Mercury smiled weakly and returned the hug. “No problem, I’m glad I could do something.”

She looked down at Hazama. “I wish I could’ve done more.”

Iron-Man came in for a landing then, with Natasha bringing up the rear. A small transport jet, the Avengers’ quintessential Quinjet came to a landing as Emirati authorities raced onto the scene.

“You did would you could, so don’t sweat it, kid,” he said.

Sailor Mercury looked to Iron-Man and nodded.

“So, how’d you like riding along with the Sailor Senshi?” she asked him.

“I was expecting a little more collateral,” he said.

“In the middle of the desert?” Sailor Moon replied.

“I had high expectations.”

Sailor Moon laughed. “Sorry, not sorry.”

Sailor Mercury checked her clock on the Mercury Computer, and looked to Sailor Moon. “I have to get back to my mother. She’ll start to wonder if I’m in trouble.”

Sailor Moon nodded to her. “I guess we’ll be continuing on to Dubai.”

She looked to Iron-Man. “Right?”

“A little actual sightseeing wouldn’t hurt anyone,” Iron-Man replied.

As Sailor Mercury dematerialized and the two Avengers and Sailor Moon headed for the Quinjet, Beryl’s scry weakened and disappeared. She sat back on her bed, in one hand she held her tablet, in the other, Hazama’s helmet, which she teleported to her hand shortly after Regulus’ body was destroyed by Sailor Moon for the last time.

Silence reigned for several long moments, before Beryl slid off her bed and walked over to the windows of her room, which commanded a breathtaking view of the city of Dubai.

“Bravo, Sailor Senshi,” she said, “I didn’t think you’d go this far as to foil Nephrite’s plans, but I underestimated you.”

Beryl looked down at Hazama’s helmet, and Nephrite’s sigil glowing directly in its crown, just above the visor.

“Since you’re here, tomorrow’s going to be extra special,” she decided.

She kissed Hazama’s helmet, and heard right away Regulus’ bellowing roar in her head.


Rematerializing in a bathroom stall of the hotel’s changing room, Sailor Mercury became Ami once more and stepped out of the stall when she was certain there was no one around. She looked at her phone, and found only six minutes had passed since she had departed.

“Ah, this might be embarrassing,” she murmured before she quickly ran through the changing room’s showers and then headed back out to the pool.

“Sorry about that, Mother,” Ami said to Saeko as she walked over to her mother.

Kira looked back and spoke before Saeko could. “Don’t worry, Ami-chan. Being vegan I have a super high fiber diet so I know that toilet trips end up being an ordeal sometimes.”

Kyoko whirled on Kira. “Don’t talk about things like that in public!”

“What? It’s only the truth,” Kira defended.

Kyoko palmed her face. “Oh my God.”

Ami just managed to smile and nod. “R-right.”

Kira sidled over to Ami. “Oh! We came up with a plan to cheer up Hazama and get him and Koko-chan back together.”

Ami’s expression flickered for barely a quarter of a second. “Really?”

“Yes, and it will require a lot of fancy clothes, alcohol, and whipped cream.”

Ami stared blankly at Kira. “I hope you’re just talking about throwing a fancy party.”

Kira stared back. “I was, we’re gonna make rum cake and throw a party for him. It’s his favorite.”

She then turned around. “But the double entendre does give me an idea-”

“No,” Kyoko said.

“What? I wasn’t going to suggest Ami-chan join us for that.”

“Oh-”

“I was going to suggest Saeko-san join us!”

“NO!”

It then dawned on Ami. “Oh God, this is what Usagi is going to be like as an adult.”

Ami for one welcomed her odango-wearing overlady, but that wasn’t important at the moment.

Saeko smiled. “I’m flattered by your consideration.”

Kyoko buried her face in her hands, embarrassed but definitely not depressed anymore. “You’re both terrible.”

“IIIIIII AAAAAAAAM IROOOOON MAAAAAAAAAN.”

The electrically distorted voice from Saeko’s phone interrupted the conversation and dumped ice on Ami, who turned to her as she answered it.

“Tony, is everything all right? You’re calling me from the suit…” Saeko began, before she stopped.

That ice became a lot colder, and filled the pit in Ami’s stomach, as she knew why the call was being made.

“Oh… Oh no,” the elder Mizuno said in a quiet voice.

Saeko slowly got up. “I understand… I’ll be there in half an hour.”

She ended the call, and stared at the phone quietly, before she looked to Ami, Kyoko, and Kira, her expression stricken.

Kyoko didn’t like that look. “… What is it?”


Thetis, in her human form, smiled and reclined in her seat at the nice restaurant that Jadeite had chosen to take her to on a date. With the Dark Kingdom’s activities at a minimum in country, it was taking Jadeite a great deal of effort to not go crazy from paranoia and try to investigate what was going on himself at the source.

In order to curb that urge–he would almost certainly be killed if he so much as set foot at D Point again–Thetis and the other girls in his little harem of youma had banded together to keep him preoccupied.

Tonight was Thetis’ turn, and she was already excited about how well the night was going. They had gone for a slow walk through the brisk autumn at a nearby park, seen a great movie about a journey to Egypt to fight and kill an evil vampire, and were now at a posh little restaurant that barely sat 30 and played only the smoothest, relaxing music. Jadeite was in his element in this setting, and he appeared to be having a genuinely good time.

“Not to knock Kyurene’s tastes, but this is a much needed relief after that electronica club she took me to the other day,” he said to her.

He could still faintly feel the headache from all the bass drops, and the dancing, and the shots.

Thetis grinned. “Oh, she finally took you to her favorite place? I bet you got a lot of free drinks, didn’t you?”

Jadeite rolled his eyes. “Yes, and I know what kind of club it was; I knew the second I walked in.”

Denied teasing material, Thetis pouted. “No fair, you’re supposed to flail and be all freaked out about it.”

He smirked. “Sorry, but it was actually very nice and everyone was buying me drinks.”

Thetis laughed, covering her mouth to muffle it. “I’m glad that you’re enjoying yourself. You’ve been tense these past few weeks.”

“Can you blame me?” Jadeite asked.

“No.”

Thetis took a sip from her glass of wine. “Everyone’s been tense. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. It feels like any minute now the sky’s going to open up and boom, the final battle will be here and we won’t be ready for it.”

Jadeite nodded. “It does. Knowing Nephrite is behind it makes it all the worse.”

“Do you think he’s planning something big?” she asked.

“I have no doubt in my mind.”

Jadeite really wished he could talk to Nephrite, and try to convince him to leave before he or any more of his youma were killed. However, he understood why Nephrite would have difficulty leaving. Beryl’s influence was too strong, she had him taken in entirely with her talk of a new world that she would create–despite the reality of the situation.

He was being used by Beryl, just as she was being used by Metallia.

“It will be all right, though,” Jadeite decided, “Between all of us in the Masquerade and the Sailor Senshi, we’ve got a chance to actually win.”

Thetis was a bit surprised. “You? Being optimistic?”

“Mamoru’s a terrible influence, the same with all of you,” Jadeite replied wryly.

Thetis giggled in reply, before she noticed something outside.

“Ah, it’s snowing,” Thetis said as she looked out the window.

Jadeite looked up and out the window. Outside, on the still busy streets of downtown Minato, a light snow was falling onto the cold sidewalk and pavement as pedestrians and cars passed back and forth.

Thetis smiled. “Sounds like we’ll need some warm tea and extra blankets when we get back.”

“I doubt we’ll need the extra blankets,” Jadeite replied suggestively.

Thetis blushed, and giggled low in her throat. “Ah~”

In the booth directly behind where Thetis sat, a pale, black-haired woman who enjoyed only a cup of black tea looked down at it. She lifted a finger over the cup and began stirring her finger just above it, the tea inside moving with it. In her dark colored eyes, a pattern of spiderwebs appeared.

A few moments later, Jadeite noticed something out of place in the restaurant. A single black spider was crawling up one of the wooden supports, right next to where Thetis sat trailing and a bit of thread behind it. Something was off about the spider, unnatural.

Thetis noticed Jadeite’s attention, and turned to follow his gaze. When she saw the spider, she stared blankly at it, before calmly reaching up and taking it in her hand. Rather than try to flee or bite, it practically walked into her palm before she discretely pulled her hand back.

“Widow?” she asked the spider.

“Ah, one of Beryl’s remembers my name, I’m so happy.”

Thetis and Jadeite both froze, when they heard the reply.

“What are you doing here? How did you see past our…?”

“You’re not too hard to see through, Thetis. Your glamour is always the same, because it’s what Jadeite likes.”


Thetis pouted. “What about my first question?”

“Well, while we’re on the subject of glamours, I wanted to break one,”
Widow replied, “Because we’re at the point of no return and if I have to die I am not going it alone.”

Thetis almost reflexively crushed the spider, before…

“I know Nephrite’s true identity,”

Jadeite and Thetis were still once again.

“You… what?” Jadeite asked.

The Sailor Senshi weren’t the only ones who benefitted from disguise magic. The Dark Kingdom employed it to great effect as well, although Jadeite himself admitted that his wasn’t as good. Nephrite’s on the other hand was ironclad. No one within the Dark Kingdom, except for Beryl herself, knew the man that Nephrite had been reborn as, he kept that card played closely to his chest.

Until now, apparently.

“It wasn’t hard, all I had to do was trail him long enough and finding out his identity was a breeze after that,” Widow replied, “I also found that he plans to defect.”

“You’re lying,”
Jadeite retorted.

“You’re not obligated to believe me, I am only telling you what I know.”

Thetis didn’t crush the spider, she only stared concernedly at it. “What about you?”

“My concern is Nephrite, and it should be yours too. Because his defection is a play of Beryl’s to get the Rainbow Crystals when her plan moves to the next phase.”

Jadeite narrowed his eyes. “A play how?”

“Beryl wants a man inside your group, to collect the Rainbow Crystals when the Dark Crystal starts looking for them. She knows how it’s going to go, and she wants to make sure that her bases are covered. So when Nephrite comes a running, remember that he’s not really on his way out.”


Jadeite looked to Thetis, who shook her head. The water youma couldn’t detect any sign that Widow was lying to them, which was unusual in of itself.

“Check please,” Widow said to her waitress, who returned with a box of cookies she had ordered to go.

“Yes, here you are, you can pay at the front,” the waitress said as she handed her a receipt.

Standing up, Widow glanced back at Jadeite, his gaze meeting hers.

“Why?” he whispered

“Because he is killing us,” she answered, and Jadeite could feel the grief and anger radiating with her words.

With that she took her cookies and left for the cashier, to leave Jadeite and Thetis to do with Nephrite as they would. As she reached the counter, however, another couple entered the restaurant. Two young women wearing long jackets walked in and over to her.

“The itsy-bitsy spider came up the water spout,” the girl on the left recited quietly to her partner.

“Down came the rain and washed the spider out,” quietly replied the girl on the right.

Widow froze, and slowly turned back towards the two women just as the waitress behind the register was swiping her card.

“Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,” the girl on the left said as she reached up and rested a hand on Widow’s shoulder.

The girl on the right then brought her hands together and winked. “And then itsy bitsy spider went up in all the flames.”

Widow looked at one of them, and then the other, before glancing towards Jadeite and Thetis, who didn’t appear to notice her as he kept on his date.

Jadeite had met her gaze, and then noticed the women with her. He looked over to Thetis, who nodded slightly.

The waitress, getting a bad vibe about the two young women, looking back and forth between them. “Ano… can I help you two ladies?”

“I don’t know, can she help us Cas?” Pollux asked her twin sister.

“I am feeling a bit peckish, how about a table while I cook up this dish right here?” Castor replied. “How do you like your dead bitch done, Pol?”

“Call me weird, but I like it burnt,” Pollux replied as the waitress backed away from the counter, shaking in fright.

Before Castor could unleash hellfire into Widow’s back, however. Thetis’ hand closed around her extended fingers as she teleported in next to her.

“You know, this is one of the few small European style restaurants in town that doesn’t need Yelp reviews to make its money, I’d be right mad if you were to blow it up,” she said.

Castor stared at her in surprise. “… You!”

Jadeite grabbed Pollux by her arm. “Let’s take this outside.”

In an instant, all five teleported outside, and into the middle of the street under the falling snow. The group of youma and the human general then scattered in different directions. Widow crashing onto the slick street and tumbling to the curb.

She looked up, and found Castor and Pollux had discarded their coats. Up the street from them, Jadeite landed in his mafioso-esque Masquerade attire. Beside him, Thetis appeared in her youma form–her sleeveless blue bodysuit replaced with a slender blue cheongsam.

“These two, of course,” Thetis lamented behind her faceless mask.

“A couple of hotheads Nephrite sent to train with the DD Girls, let’s not take chances with them,” Jadeite said.

He then looked to her. “Get out of here, I’ll take care of them.”

Thetis chuckled. “No you won’t, but I’ll let you try.”

“How many traitors are we going to kill today?!” Castor and Pollux asked as one.

Jadeite aimed his hand at them both. “None.”

He unleashed an energy blast at both of them, and the twin youma quickly evaded, leaping to the air above the attack.

“Ready?” Castor asked.

“Let’s do this!” Pollux called out, before they intertwined their tails and knotted them up.

As soon as their tails joined, a flash of power emanated from them, buffeting Jadeite.

“GEMINI POWER!” the sisters called out, now infused with one-another’s energy.

Jadeite sneered. “Now that you’re all ready, can we get this done?”

He unleashed another blast, and both youma went back to back. Spinning to avoid the attack, Castor came around to face Jadeite.

“Mars Fire Soul!” she yelled, unleashing a perfect recreation of Sailor Mars’ fire straight into the energy blast. The two attacks met and went up in a flash of heat that buffeted both sides.

Jadeite lowered his hand in surprise, before a second Fire Soul surged towards him. He quickly vanished from the path of the attack, and appeared above the twin youma.

“They learned Sailor Mars’ attack?” he thought before he looked over to Widow. “Either join the fight or run away! We’ll deal with them in return for the intel!”

Pollux sneered. “Oh no you don’t! Sis!”

Castor nodded. “Right!”

They turned around, as Pollux crossed her hands over her chest. “Mercury Sabão Spray!”

The barrage of bubbles surged towards Widow, hitting her and causing her to freeze into place as it exploded outward to create a large cloud of mist that quickly engulfed the entire street.

As Jadeite was engulfed in the mist, he immediately felt the extreme cold gnaw at him through even his own magical power.

Then he was narrowly avoiding a stream of fire from Castor’s Fire Soul.

Landing on the street, he used a barrier to block another blast of flame before Pollux came out of the mist and tried to slash him across the chest with her razor sharp nails. “I got you!”

He narrowly avoided the strike and thrust his hand through Pollux’s chest, dispelling merely an illusion of bubbles, before another blast of flame forced him to evade.

He turned and spotted the figure of one of the sisters aiming Fire Soul at him, he quickly fired a mist clearing concussion blast at her, revealing Pollux instead of Castor.

“I am not the sister you are looking for,” Pollux taunted.

Jadeite didn’t bother with firing another blast at her, he raised a barrier and blocked another Fire Soul, which pushed him deeply into the mist.

Pollux looked to Castor. “Nice shooting, sis.”

Castor squeezed her sister’s tail with her own. “The two of us by ourselves are more than a match for the weakest General.”

Pollux giggled and waved her hand, parting a portion of the mist to reveal Jadeite standing in front of her. “Not looking so great, eh Jadeite?”

Jadeite sniffed. “I don’t think you realize what I’m wearing.”

He flicked his scarf with his leather gloved hands. “Bitch, I’m fabulous.”

He then pointed at the twins. “You skanks dressing like you’re going stripping instead of to a fight. I can’t tolerate that for a second.”

He made a thumbs’ down sign. “For a crime against fashion, I’ll punish you.”

“Who are you calling a skank?!” Pollux and Castor yelled as one, as the latter unleashed her most powerful Fire Soul yet.

Jadeite quickly tried to raise his shield, and the blast hit, easily blasting through it and enveloping him. On the other end of the flames, Castor grinned as she watched him evaporate into nothing in the intense heat.

“Yeah. you’re not getting out of it this time!” she taunted before Jadeite suddenly appeared next to her, his hand to her head.

Her eyes grew wide, as she turned and looked at his palm. “W-what?!”

“Is that a fact?” he asked before he blasted her in the face, sending her and Pollux flying.

Rubbing her face after hitting a wall, Castor glared at him. “I had you dead to rights!”

“I’ll tell you what you’ve got,” Jadeite said before making a horizontal chopping motion with his hand, “Nothin’.”

Pollux quickly got up. “Fuck you! Mercury Sabão Spray!”

The stream of bubbles fired at Jadeite and–like with Widow–began to freeze him as soon as he was struck. The ice built up around him, before he simply shattered, startling her.

“What?!” Pollux gasped before the figure of Thetis materialized from the mist amidst the shards of ice.

“Like I said,” she said in Jadeite’s voice before the ice shards pointed at them, “Nothing.”

Castor unleashed a Fire Soul, intercepting the ice shards and turning them into jets of water that collided with both youma, sending them both flying and separating them both.

“Pollux!” Castor cried out as she landed on the end of the street.

“Castor!” Pollux snapped back, “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she looked back at Thetis, her eyes narrowing, “I forgot how strong she was…”

Thetis folded her arms. “It’s been a long time, yeah, but remember… before I gave myself to Jadeite… I belonged to Beryl.”

Behind Thetis, Jadeite had managed to lay Widow onto the ground, and began using his own energy to thaw her. He had gone straight to her after Thetis intervened, and taking advantage of her interference.

“This ice is thick,” he lamented, “How did they do this?”

Whatever those two were doing with the Sailor Senshi’s techniques, they had managed to improve on them a little… though it wasn’t quite close to them in power.

“Still… this isn’t good, if they’re able to copy these attacks… then what the hell is going on up in D-Point?” he wondered to himself.

The twin youma assumed fighting stances. Pollux immediately, and boldly shouted back. “Yeah, but so did so many better youma than you, Thetis!”

“Including the five who helped us get to where we are now,” Castor added, “And compared to the DD Girls, you’re one of Jadeite’s failures.”

“Like Morga, or maybe Flau,” Pollux taunted.

Thetis paused for only a second. “Okay. I am now two hundred percent done.”

She quickly sent a massive torrent of water at the two sisters, to keep them from coming together and intertwining their tails. Instead of scattering, however, Pollux placed herself in front of the torrent, and used Sabão Spray once more, her bubbles crashing into the water and flash-freezing it all the way back to Thetis.

Thetis didn’t bother acting shocked, she quickly took the fight upward, avoiding another blast of the bubbles, and then a quick searing shot of flame from Castor, who came at her from above. Summoning up a blast of water, after dodging to Fire Souls, Thetis blocked a third one before she scattered a bit more water into a pair of discs she shot after Castor.

“They’re still strong, even when they’re not connected at the tails, this might be problematic,” she said to herself before another Sabão Spray nearly turned her into an icicle. Giving Pollux a foul look, she willed the water on the damp street to pool at her feet before coming up as numerous spikes of water.

“Ack!” Pollux yelled as she narrowly avoided the deadly needles of ultra-pressurized water. “Eek!”

As she took to the air, more needles of water converged on her from all sides, only to be evaporated by two streams of fire that swirled around her.

Down on the street, Widow let out a gasp as the effects of the Sabão Spray faded. She looked up to see Jadeite kneeling over her, and coughed.

“What did you mean, that he is killing you?” Jadeite asked.

Widow stared at him, before she looked to the side. “He has been using us as sacrifices. Throwing us away for Beryl’s plans. Tesuni, Cameran, Goro, Jumeau… he let them all die so they’d sponge energy from the Sailor Senshi.”

Jadeite’s eyes widened. “What?!”

“He tricked them all, one by one, Jadeite… he used them knowing they’d die… and sent out the next one to avenge the other. He used us and let us die when he was done!” Widow angrily spoke.

“No, Nephrite would never…” Jadeite stopped. “No… not to his own…!”

“When they’d died, all the energy they took from taking your attacks would go straight to him. The flames you saw whenever they died, that was it, that was the energy!”

Jadeite felt the bile rise in his throat. Nephrite’s youma trusted him like Thetis, Murid and the others trusted him. They weren’t just things!

He heard thunderous crash above his head, and looked up to see Thetis’ water clash against Castor’s and Pollux’s copied attacks. He stared at Thetis, who quickly looked back and forth at her circling opposition.

“Can you get up?” Jadeite asked.

Widow nodded, rising up to her feet and standing shakily. “Nephrite’s civilian identity is Masato Sanjouin, he’s been using a mansion in the hills, the old Hitomi Estate, as his base here in Tokyo.”

Jadeite frowned. “I know where that is.”

He also knew who Masato Sanjouin was, and how he connected to several of the victims of Nephrite’s attacks. “That bastard… he’s been in plain sight all along.”

He turned around and looked up at the fight again. “Widow, find some place to lay low for a while. We’ll meet up again tomorrow night at Tokyo Sky Tree. You can do that, right?”

Widow nodded. “I can, it’s not too hard for me to escape.”

Jadeite. “Then get out of here.”

He tightened his gloves. “I’m ending this.”
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
Thetis’s water smashed against Castor’s Fire, the cloud of steam caused by the attack quickly condensing into needle-sharp tendrils of water that closed in on Castor from multiple directions.

Flickering in and out of sight, Castor dodged the water needles before Pollux appeared among them rapidly closing in on Thetis before launching a punch for her face.

Pollux’s fist was caught in Jadeite’s hand, however, startling her. “D-damn!”

“Pollux!” Castor called out, as Jadeite punched her in the stomach. When the youma doubled over, he placed his palm on her face and blasted her at full force towards the side of a building.

“Thetis?” Jadeite asked.

Thetis nodded and pointed her hand at the building that Pollux flew towards. Her water immediately appeared on the side of it, and extended into several long spikes that impaled the youma’s upper and lower back when she hit them.

“POL!” Castor screamed before she pointed her hands at Jadeite and Thetis. “YOU’LL PAY FOR THAT! MARS FIRE-!”

Castor then felt a terrible presence, and canceled her attack to narrowly avoid something that plunged out of the sky towards her.

Thetis and Jadeite sensed it too, and followed the source of the strange presence..

“What is that?” the former asked, as she looked down towards the intruder.

Jadeite looked down as well, and found what appeared to be a short-haired young woman dressed in what looked like police tactical gear, wearing a red, long-nosed tengu mask. She held a weapon in her hands, a sword sheathed in a white scabbard.

Pollux stared down at her, specifically at her sword. “Who the hell are-”

The woman drew the sword, and spoke.

“Shinmei-Ryu Ougi…” she said, before she leaped straight up and past Castor in what seemed like an instant.

Above her head, she hung in the air at the top of her jump, sheathing her sword which now sported a red glow.

“Zanmaken.”

Castor opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out as she suddenly plummeted to Earth and crashed onto the rooftop the black-wearing intruder had landed on. Coming back down, the intruder landed on her feet with a heavy thud, as the wounded youma slowly got back up.

“You…” Castor growled hoarsely. “… What did you do?”

“Just showed a little force,” the intruder replied, “You’re welcomed to hit me back if you want.”

Castor gladly did. “MARS, FIRE…!”

She stopped, and looked down at her hands. “… My energy… what happened to it? Where’s my energy?!”

The intruder whistled for her attention, and held up her sword, which still possessed its red glow. “Right here.”

Jadeite and Thetis landed behind Castor, their attention focused on her and the intruder. Both could see it as clear as the other youma… that sword had taken away not just her energy, but her entire presence as a youma.

“Who are you?” Jadeite demanded.

“A representative of humanity,” the intruder replied, “… A proper one.”

She then held forth a police badge. “I am a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Special Task Force: Lost Dogs.”

“The police?” Jadeite said, before he sensed Pollux on the move.

He quickly turned and used his shield to block another Sabão Spray from the wounded youma, who landed to the policewoman’s side.

“Cas, are you all right?!” Pollux called out.

“S-stay away from her! She can take away your energy!” Castor warned.

“An ironic twist, I know,” the policewoman said as she faced Pollux.

Pollux peered through her own mist and easily saw the policewoman rushing towards her, to perform a sword draw attack. Quickly, Pollux leaped over the flashing steel, and spun around to slap the policewoman aside with her tail. The policewoman was faster than she expected, narrowly avoiding the tail and counter-attacking from a poor position.

Pollux flicked and appeared a safe distance from her, her arms crossed as if to fire the Sabão Spray again.

The policewoman moved the sword in a wide circle, as Pollux looked between her, and Jadeite and Thetis, who had turned their attention to her and also got ready to fight.

A worst case scenario would be better than this, she realized. She needed to get herself and Castor out of here! “Mercury Sabão Spray!”

The policewoman raised her sword forward, and then flicked it almost casually. The blade sliced through one bubble, and it and every bubble near it all the way back to Pollux was sliced in half. Then a criss-cross of cuts suddenly appeared across Pollux’s body, the youma’s blood spraying from them.

“Pol!” Castor cried out as Pollux staggered from the wounds.

“Ugh… I… w-wha…?” Pollux sputtered, before the policewoman got in close and slashed across her, the sword’s glow turning from red to blue as it devoured her demonic presence and power.

Thetis visibly winced at the sight.

Pollux was then struck hard across the face with the sheath of the sword and knocked to the ground.

Sword in one hand and sheath in the other, the policewoman brought the two together and slid the sword into its resting place before affixing it to a clip on her waist. Leaving them be, she looked to Jadeite and Thetis.

“The Tokyo Metro Police have firepower like this?” Jadeite thought as he and Thetis watched her carefully. “Why haven’t we seen it until now?”

“You two are the more reasonable sort,” the policewoman said, “I’m not going to have to fight you too, am I?”

“Who are you?” Jadeite immediately asked.

“I told you who I was,” she replied.

Jadeite looked to Thetis, and then back to their opponent. “Where have you been up until now?”

“This kind of thing takes time to organize, good thing we’ve had a month of you guys sitting on your thumbs for us to build up,” she replied, “Japan is your battlefield, so we’re permitted to fight on it too.”

“Who are you fighting, is the question,” Jadeite said.

“It’s a good one, too. We’re only doing our job to protect and serve the public, and we can’t do that if we don’t know what the hell is going on around here until after trains start flying and rock concerts become death battles.”

Jadeite nodded in understanding. “You want intel from us, then?”

“If you would be so kind to share,” the policewoman answered.

Jadeite and Thetis shared a look, before looking back to the policewoman. “We’ll share, but on our terms with Tuxedo Kamen present on neutral ground, with our palms open.”

“That’s fair,” she replied, “When and where?”

“The day after tomorrow,” Thetis suggested.

Jadeite found that agreeable. “That works; we’ll meet at where Tokyo Tower once stood, at 22:00.”

The policewoman agreed to it as well. “Fine by us.”

He looked at the two injured youma. “What’s going to happen to them?”

“We’re taking them into custody. Without youki they’re harmless, so we’ll have no trouble detaining them.”

That sent a chill down Thetis’ spine, and she moved closer to Jadeite, who instinctively put his arm around her.

“All right,” he said as he pulled Thetis closer, “We’ll see you then…?”

“Jin, that’s my name and that’s all you need to refer to me as,” the policewoman replied.

Jadeite snorted softly, amused. “An apt name, thank you.”

He looked to Thetis. “We’re done here.”

The two left, and Jin reached up to an earpiece and keyed it. “Dispatch this is Jin, I’ve got two detained, both injured. Have containment come in and clean this mess up.”

“Witnesses reported three other individuals, where are they?” Dispatch responded.

“One is unaccounted for, but the other two were Masquerade. No Sailor Senshi to be seen amongst them,” Jin replied, “The Masquerade have agreed to meet with us in two days, pass that on to the Superintendent-General.”

“Understood, what about the unaccounted for individual?” Dispatch asked.

“I’m going after her,” Jin said as the first police cars arrived on the scene, “I’ll keep you updated, Jin out.”

As the mysterious policewoman departed, Jadeite and Thetis watched from the shadows of an alleyway, in their civilian disguises.

Thetis hugged him, burying her face against his chest as he hugged her back. “Do you think it’s true? What Nephrite’s been doing? What he plans to do?”

“If it’s true…” Jadeite lowered his head, tears beginning to form in his eyes. “… Then there’s no helping it. He has to die.”


Hours later, Usagi sat on a park bench, looking out over the beautiful towers of water that rose from the Dubai Fountains. Behind her the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, cast a shadow miles long in the setting sun, which painted the sky over the city of Dubai in a awe-inspiring reddish orange glow.

In her hands was her supercomputer, which showed an image of Luna, who was sitting on her bed. As she was a Mau, she could not exactly share Usagi’s stormy expression, though her slightly folded back ears helped a little.

“Will he be all right?” Luna asked.

“He was still in surgery last I checked, they said because of his injuries it’d take a lot of work. Saeko-mama has been in there for a few hours. Another team of doctors is going to relieve her soon.”

She gripped the phone tighter. “That thing he cried for was using him in the worst way.”

“Yes, this is troubling as well. Nephrite’s youma are dangerous, but they’ve never exhibited behavior like this. Mika’s was partially bonded to her, and behaving like a Stand,” Luna said.

Usagi nodded. “Hazama’s ‘partner’ was like a parasite, feeding off him and using him as a powerup.”

Luna folded her ears back. “Youma, youjuu… they don’t normally bond to like people to this level.”

“Nothing about this makes sense, why be cruel like this when we keep foiling the plan?” Usagi demanded, her frustration growing.

“I’ve had a few theories, and none of them are good,” Luna said.

“Hit me with them, from bad to worst,” Usagi replied.

“The first is the one that I’m hoping for. The Dark Kingdom is settling in for the long war. We’ve hurt their energy gathering so now they’re going to take any bit of energy they can even if it takes months, years, or even decades.”

Usagi nodded. “It’ll get ugly, but it’ll give us a better chance to hunt down Beryl and go straight for the throat.”

“The second theory is that we’re having an effect on them, a real one, but now the Dark Kingdom is experimenting with dispersing their operations to get away from us,” Luna said.

“Well we’ve proven that that won’t work,” Usagi replied, “And if we have to we now have the connections to go global for real. What’s next?”

“It’s the one I dread the most, because it means that the Dark Kingdom will have a considerable lead on us towards their goal,” Luna said, “Nephrite isn’t getting energy from his victims. He’s getting it from all of you.”

Usagi sat on that last theory, and then let out a long sigh as she slumped back against the bench. The implications of that last one hitting her like a slug to the stomach. “Oh… wow…”

She knew exactly why Luna didn’t want to be right on that one, because it explained everything. The strange fire that engulfed the youma instead of merely turning to dust, the youma that possessed Kim, why it suddenly lost its power towards the end to allow them to win.

The fact that Nephrite has been doing the same fucking plan over and over.

“Usagi?” Luna asked.

Usagi slapped her palm against her face and dragged it down slowly. “I don’t believe it.”

It's too obvious, but after Jadeite, she had expected Nephrite to adapt to them kicking his shit in. But it turned out that by foiling the plots, they’d been helping them all along.

“This entire time,” she said, “He’s been playing us like a damn fiddle.”

Luna sagged. “You don’t think…”

“It’s the only theory that makes sense. Jadeite changed his plan whenever it looked like he was being pushed into a corner, but Nephrite’s simply stayed the course, and it’s not like he has any other options. He was the one who helped Jadeite plan his trap with the buses, and if it wasn’t for Rei-chan and Mako-chan that probably would’ve hurt us in the long run.”

She sighed. “He worked out that by treating his youma as sponges for our attacks, he’d get way more energy from us than he ever could. Them being hell-bent on killing us, wanting to fight us, makes it even harder for us to avoid a fight.”

“And tapping into people who are… especially vulnerable to their influences,” Luna said grimly.

“Jun, Kijin, Kim, Mika, and Hazama…” Usagi murmured.

She slammed her fist back against the bench. “That bastard…”

“We need a new approach, Usagi,” Luna said.

“We’ll work on it when we’re back in Tokyo,” Usagi replied, “As it stands, my vacation is ruined.”

“Even though you knew it was a working vacation from the start?”

“Yeah.”

She held up the phone. “At least I got a great selfie out of it, wanna see it?”

“Send it to my phone,” Luna said.

Usagi smiled. “Sent!”

Luna got a look at the selfie. “Is that the Black Widow?”

“Heh, yep!”

“Nice!” Luna congratulated.

She then suddenly leaned closer to her supercomputer. “It’s late here, and I imagine it’s getting late there, too. We will talk tomorrow, all right?”

“Yeah, expect a lot of boring tweets about the race,” Usagi said, “Thanks Luna.”

“Good luck, Usagi-chan, and give Ami-chan my best,” Luna said before the call ended.

Usagi remained smiling at the supercomputer, until the call-ended symbol appeared. Her smile then fell off her face and she slowly stood up. The sun was a little lower, and the fountains were putting on a display to the sound of last decade Spanish pop.

She walked down the footpath towards the fountain, bleeding off her frustration but feeling drained by what she learned. Halfway to the fountain’s edge, she stopped and looked around.

There were other people, mainly tourists from far away countries milling about the park, most of them watching the fountain. Usagi was all by herself, she realized.

“I don’t like being by myself,” she muttered.

Ami was at the Dubai Hospital, to be there for her mother and to console the inconsolable. Tony and Natasha were around somewhere. Last she saw of them, they were debating politely with a tall black guy with an eye-patch about what happened with Hazama, and she’d caught Natasha’s discreet warning to get as far away from them as possible over the course of it.

So here she was, alone. She hated being alone.

“Ugh…” she grumbled as she got ready to call Makoto, to alleviate it, but she was likely out on the town this late at night in Tokyo.

She considered calling Rei, but Rei was probably fast asleep.

“Maybe Naru-chan? Yeah, I’ll call Naru…” she said before she heard a voice.

“Hey, are you lost? Do you need some help?”

Usagi turned towards the woman who called her out. “Huh? No, I was just…”

She stopped and stared at the stunningly beautiful red-haired, red-eyed woman in a loosely fitting plain white shirt and a long black skirt.

Beryl stared back.

After a moment, Usagi’s thought processes rebooted to the last restore point. “Whoa! Jesus Christ she’s so fucking hot!”

“Well, still. It’s not exactly safe for a girl to be out here by themselves, even if it’s a heavy tourist area,” Beryl said, “Actually I think it’s not safe because it’s a heavy tourist area.”

She looked around. “Who knows what kind of creeps are out around here.”

Usagi quickly shored up her composure before it could shatter her façade, and smiled. “Oh don’t worry about little ol’ me, I’m probably the most dangerous person here.”

Beryl was taken aback by her boast, but amused. “Aren’t you confident?”

“I may not look it, but I can take care of myself. Thanks for the concern though,” Usagi replied.

Beryl laughed. “You’re welcome. I’d keep on your toes, though, the whole city’s on edge after what happened earlier.”

“Ah, you mean that nonsense out in the desert, right?” Usagi asked, “What was that all about?”

“No one’s saying, but I heard that it might have been the Ten Rings trying to get back at Tony Stark. He’s supposed to be here in country, you know.”

“Huh, I forgot about those guys. I really hope they’re not around, I don’t think I can hold back like Mako-chan can,” Usagi thought.

“Well, even if they’re here, I’m pretty sure mother fuckin’ Iron-Man took care of them, it’s what The Avengers do, you know?” she then assured the friendly woman who was helpfully alleviating her loneliness.

Beryl laughed again. “You’d think that with all the good he’s done for the world, that people wouldn’t want to kill him.”

“I know! He helped stop an alien invasion. That’s like… the hugest thing.”

She folded her arms, immediately thinking of the recent public protests to the Sailor Senshi. “Gratitude, right?”

“Right,” Beryl replied, thinking of Kunzite and his bullshit.

They both looked towards the fountain, and the Burj Khalifa beyond it. The setting sun was beside it, giving the tower the appearance of an ominous spire rising into the twilight. Soon its lights would alleviate that, but it was still a haunting thing to look at.

“It’s a shame that this world even needs heroes,” Beryl said, “And there aren’t even enough of them to go around.”

Usagi turned her attention from the sunset to Beryl. “There will always be enough heroes.”

“Not enough to change how things are now,” Beryl replied, “There will always be someone starting fires and someone rushing to put them out. Things need to be fireproof, you dig that, right?”

Usagi nodded. “Yeah, I get that. You really care about this sort of thing, huh?”

“A little, I’m from New York, so… I saw a lot of that nonsense up close.”

Usagi was surprised. “Really?!”

“Not the alien invasion, but a lot goes down in New York. Way too much… like that disaster in ‘98, ugh. And don’t get me started on good ol’ 9/11.”

She folded her hands behind her back. “The worst people run amok and the heroes chase them down. It shouldn’t be like that, humanity should be better than this… not after what we’ve already been through. It needs to change.”

Usagi stared at Beryl. It was just like that with the Dark Kingdom, chasing them down as they ran amok. She was wrong about one thing, though.

“Don’t despair, the world is always changing, tomorrow will be a new day,” she said, “Kamen Raider, episode 49.”

Beryl snorted. “Huh?”

“It’s getting better,” Usagi reiterated, “It seems bad now, but we never stop moving forward or progressing! We’ll make mistakes, and there will be people who want to ruin it all, but in the end… the people who are fighting to make the world better for everyone will win in the end!”

Beryl dropped her hands to her side and turned to face Usagi with a cocked eyebrow. Usagi stared back, daring her to prove that she was wrong.

Beryl smiled, and then tossed back her head to laugh uproariously. “You’re something else, kid! Like something out of an anime.”

“If I only had a dollar…” Usagi slyly replied.

“You’re right, though,” the redhead added.

“If I only had a quarter…” Usagi said.

“The world is always changing,” she looked up at the Burj Khalifa, “People are always reaching higher, and going further than they were they day before. Tomorrow, we’ll be even higher than they were today.”

She then directed her gaze back to Usagi. “Thanks, that actually cheered me up a little.”

“Then I’ve won another victory for beauty over the forces of despair,” Usagi proudly declared.

“Beauty? You fancy yourself a charmer on top of a motivational speaker?” Beryl teased.

Usagi winked. “You can’t beat my charisma.”

Beryl giggled. “I think I’ve already lost to it handily.”

The two looked back out at the sunset, and Usagi found she felt better herself. The world was going to keep spinning, and as long as it did then she was going to keep fighting. Even if the Dark Kingdom had them hoodwinked, even if they held all of the cards… getting mopey about it was pointless because they could still fight!

“Thanks, yourself, stranger,” Usagi said after a moment, “I needed to hear it as much as you did I think.”

“No problem,” Beryl replied, “Little Samaritain.”

“Usagi Tsukino,” she said, holding out her hand.

Beryl smiled and took it in hers to firmly shake it. “Belle.”

She noticed someone walking towards them, It was Ami, carrying art supplies with her. When she saw Usagi, her dour expression warmed considerably and she hurried up her pace.

Usagi saw her at about the same time. “Oh, my friend’s here! Hey Ami, how is everything?”

“My mother’s done, but the surgery is ongoing, she suggested I come out here and do some drawing while there’s still some light left.”

Usagi nodded, and then looked to Beryl. “Well you’re in luck, I found a great subject for you to practice on in addition to Khalifa over there.”

Ami looked up at Beryl, and blushed. How pretty! “Oh, I couldn’t… not a total stranger…”

Beryl chuckled. “She’s pretty good, is she?”

“Amazing,” Usagi boasted.

Beryl smiled and reached into her pocket, pulling out a gold brick. “I picked this up in a vending machine, and I’d really like a souvenir from my trip that mattered. How about sketching out something with me and ‘Khalifa’ over there? I’ll pay you handsomely.”

Ami looked at the gold bar, and then up at Beryl. “Deal.”

“Hey, I want in on this,” Usagi said.

Ami smiled and immediately began setting up her equipment. “Thanks, go and stand over by the fountains then… ”

As Usagi and Beryl agreed to this and walked over towards the railing s that surrounded the fountain, Beryl directed a glance up at the Burj Khalifa.

“The world is changing, but it needs to move faster than this.”


*Crickets Chirp*

Zoisite: ... Hello? Hello...? Where is everyone?

*More crickets chirping*

Zoisite: Oh that's right, everyone's out on vacation.

*The crickets keep chirping*

Zoisite: Well, I guess while no one's around I will do the Queen Beryl says segments... though the Zoisite says, hahaha...

*The crickets stop*

Zoisite: When your friends are going crazy or being overworked or whatever, you should totally push them closer to the edge. When people snap it is hilarious and sometimes they do things that are completely unexpected. So you got a friend on the edge? Push them over it! It's always a laugh-!

*A MASSIVE EXPLOSION*

Beryl: ... Freaky little shit. Sorry kids, I don't have anything to say. Don't do anything he says and come back next time, okay?


= = =


It's just our lives on Holiday.
 

Japan8

Well-Known Member
Interesting. Usagi and Beryl unknowingly meet, and have seemingly have similar goals, just different ways of looking at things and different methods. Makes one wonder what Beryl's real endgame is...

Glad to see another chapter... keep 'em comin'
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
And that's the Story Arc. Come back later for a lil' Dark Justice. ;)


= = =


Disclaimer: Two chapters for the price of one.


Beautiful Destroyer Sailor Moon
Holiday 3: World War

Why do villains hide in the shadows? Because they’re afraid of the heroes.

[18.]


It was well into the night at Dubai’s Rashid Hospital, one of the best trauma centers in the entire UAE, and Natasha was playing babysitter to Usagi and Ami, who were fast asleep in the waiting room of the hospital. Saeko had, after a short nap, had gone back into the operating room to oversee the work being done on Hazama, and wouldn’t be out for a few more hours. The girls had been no problem, despite the traumatic events, and were actually in higher spirits than when they’d wandered off to check out the Burj Khalifa.

Natasha wished she could say the same of Kyoko, who since she’d arrived had been beside herself with grief over what happened to Hazama. Kira was there, to keep her from completely losing her mind, but the girl was a total wreck and probably would be for a long time.

Natasha felt for the woman, Hazama hadn’t been himself because of the monster that possessed him, and despite everyone’s efforts it had come to this.

As used as she was to things like this happening, she didn’t like that the ending had to be a sad one. Hazama would be lucky if he came out of this a quadriplegic, the chances of him ever racing again were somewhere in the ballpark between zero and nothing.

“Hey Nat, can I borrow you for a second?” Tony asked.

Natasha looked over, Tony was there holding a large black and silver suitcase, and looking disturbingly thoughtful. Just what she needed, Iron-Man getting ideas.

She pushed away from the doorway leading to the waiting room and walked over to him, and he turned to walk towards the exit with a quick gesture to follow.

“What’s on your mind?” she asked as she caught up with him.

“The some forty-two suits I’ve built since the invasion, this Mandarin guy blowing up people all over the world, the fact that Pepper keeps surrounding me with dangerous, reasonable, and extremely competent women to keep me from having any real fun-”

“How about right this instant?” Natasha said, pretending not to be flattered by the compliment.

“I don’t think this is over,” Tony said.

Natasha’s expression hardened. “What makes you say?”

“What we killed was the remnants of a Kawasaki Sport Bike and a Rolls-Royce Phantom,” Tony said, “I don’t think we destroyed the monster itself. We never saw the monster.”

Natasha nodded. “I’m following you so far.”

“These monsters usually are stuck in something that mean a lot to the victim, something the victim always has on them so they can transfer their energy into it,” Tony went on, “Right?”

Natasha nodded, before she quickly realized where he was going with it. “His racing helmet.”

“Did you see it after the authorities secured the scene?” Tony asked, “Because I didn’t.”

Natasha distinctly remembered taking off Hazama’s helmet and throwing it aside. She had barely thought about it until now, she couldn’t even remember if it had been destroyed during the melee.

Tony then held the suitcase in front of her. She looked down at it, then back at him as she took it. She already knew what it was, judging by its weight and the biometric reader that turned green soon as it recognized her.

“Just in case I’m right, and if I’m wrong well then you get to wear something nice every once in a while,” he said.

They were standing just outside the doors, a distance ahead of them Kyoko sat on a bench, her head bowed and her hands over the back of her head. Kira was sitting next to her, drinking a juice and keeping silent vigil.

“I always wanted to try one of these,” Natasha said as she lowered the case to her side, “What else is on your mind?”

“The fact that I’m discussing with a government superspy the demonic possession of an F1 driver by an evil kingdom being fought against by teenage girls who do battle in inappropriate clothes,” Tony said, “While his psychic ex-girlfriend commiserates with her psychic best frenemy.”

“Just like in my fanfiction,” Natasha said, “Okay, you’d be at least twenty years younger so not exactly like it.”

“Just don’t ship me with the boy scoutsicle, okay?”

“Too late.”

“Damn.”


The next day, a crowd of tens of thousands packed the stands of the Yas Island Marina Circuit, looking down at the rows of Formula 1 race cars that sat in formation on the starting grid, their engines idling as their drivers waited in anticipation for the race to begin.

Up in the VIP section, Ami was nursing another glass of juice, but this time she was sitting next to Usagi, who was humming “The Distance” as she watched the cars rest on the starting line. Tony wasn’t present, and neither was Saeko, but Natasha was there, sitting with the both of them and acting as their chaperone. At her side, the suitcase Tony gave her sat ready for use.

Kyoko wasn’t there either, still up at the hospital in Dubai, to be beside Hazama.

Ami held her supercomputer in her free hand, looking through the photos she took in the last two days. Most of them were of her and Usagi, with her mother featuring in only a few of them. She couldn’t blame her for that, though, for once Ami contributed to the work her mother had to do while they were out here.

“Usagi-chan,” she said to her.

Usagi glanced over to her friend and fellow Senshi. “Yes?”

“I want to tell my mother that I’m Sailor Mercury.”

Usagi nodded. “Okay.”

Ami frowned. “That’s it?”

“Yeah, that’s it. We’ve been over this before,” Usagi replied, “There are worse people you could give your identity out to. Like the superspy of the foreign government intelligence agency sitting right next to us.”

She glanced over at Natasha, “No offense.”

“None taken,” Natasha said.

“I’m your leader, but I’m not going to tell you who to trust with your identity. If you want your mother to know, then you let her know. Everyone else’s identities are still safe provided you don’t tell her those, so it’s convenient.”

Usagi then pointed out something important: “Besides, Tony knows, and I think she’d be upset if she found her boss knew more about her daughter than she thought she did.”

“She’s got a point,” Natasha said.

“So chillax, and just tell her next chance you get,” Usagi said, “Who knows, having your mother in your corner could bring you even closer together.”

“It’s not like she doesn’t want to be,” Natasha added.

Ami nodded in agreement.

“I mean it, she does nothing but talk about you,” Natasha continued, “She’s always shoving your picture in people’s faces when she’s not on duty and boasting about you. Reminds me of something…”

Ami blanched a little. “Wait, she does what?!”

Natasha nodded. “It was funny when she showed you off to Thor. He mistook it as her offering your hand in marriage, and politely declined… he avoided her for a while after that.”

Ami’s mouth fell open. “Oh God.”

Usagi was snickering, trying to keep from bursting into laughter.

“Your mother loves you, so being up front with her would be good for both of you I think,” Natasha said, “Not that I’m an expert on the subject.”

Ami, her cheeks red from embarrassment, let out a sigh. “It’s nice to know that you agree that I should, at least.”

Usagi hugged her. “Well, you do love your mama, don’t you? I know I do.”

“That’s not a double entendre, is it?”

Usagi gave Ami a flat look. “Why would I want that when I have you?”

Ami blushed brighter and looked away from her shyly before Usagi kissed her on the cheek. “Ah, Usagi~!”


Kyoko was still on the bench outside of the hospital, slumped back against it with a listless gaze directed towards the jumbo jet slowly descending in an unusually strong breeze towards the nearby Dubai International Airport.

As it began to struggle against the crosswinds, she directed her gaze downward, then up. The plane’s fight for lift lessened and it straightened out to land.

She looked up, as the wind swirled around her, blowing her hair left and right, like the palm trees that surrounded the hospital, providing shade from the harsh desert sun.

“Ne, Koko-chan?” Kira asked as she watched from beneath one of the swaying trees. “Are you okay?”

“No. No I am not,” Kyoko replied, her voice rough and low.

She lowered her face into her hands. “I don’t think I’ll ever be.”

The wind picked up, and Kira winced as some sand got into her face. “Mou… I think you need to go see him.”

“Leave me alone, Kira,” Kyoko replied, “I can’t right now.”

Kira sighed and walked over. “Koko-chan, I know it’s bad… but you need to go see him. Saeko-san said that he may be in intensive care, but his condition’s going to improve long as he’s gets rest. Hazama’s going to live.”

She rested a hand on her shoulder. “Go see him.”

Kyoko just kept her head down and didn’t move.

“I’m not leaving your side until you get that strength to get up, I’ll even lend you my own,” Kira offered.

Kyoko just sniffled in reply.

With a sigh, Kira leaned down and hugged Kyoko from behind.

At the nearby door, a sleep-deprived Saeko watched the two alongside Tony, was actually rather cheerful about the outcome.

“You really went above and beyond for this one, I’ll be sure to give you a little extra in addition to your usual paycheck,” Tony promised her.

“Thank you, Tony,” she said, “I’m just glad that other team was able to keep up with my work. It got very scary there in the end…”

She shook her head. “He was torn up so badly. I don’t even know how he could’ve survived.”

“Luck, mostly,” Tony said, “I know a thing or two about it.”

“So do I, but some odds are just too high,” Saeko replied.

She shook her head and turned away from Kira consoling Kyoko, to look back in on the hospital. “Human beings are so strange. What we can endure varies so widely from person to person. How many people do you think could survive what has happened to Hazama, or to you?”

Tony followed her gaze, looking into the busy hospital. “A lot more people couldn’t survive less.”

Saeko weighed upon that. “We’ll never know our own strength, will we?”

“I know mine,” Tony noted.

Saeko smirked. “No, you don’t.”

Tony became silent for a long moment, before he conceded to that. “You’re right.”

He put on that annoying smile of his. “But that just means I can do anything.”

Saeko agreed wholeheartedly. “We all can, even the impossible.”

“I can do it a little better than others.”

“You just had to ruin it, didn’t you?”

Upstairs, in the hospital’s intensive care unit, an orderly looked up from the ICU’s administration desk at the tall, redheaded woman who had approached it with a box in hand. He looked her over, and gave her a suspicious look.

“Are you lost?” he asked.

“No,” Beryl said, “I’ve come to see a patient here.”

“There are no visitors here,” he said with slight difficulty to his English, “Please go back.”

Beryl’s eyes immediately began to glow yellow to him. “I’m sorry, repeat that?”

The orderly grew frightened for only an instant, before his expression relaxed. “Who is it you wanted to see?”

Beryl smiled. “That’s better. I want to see Hazama Ikuchi.”

The orderly nodded. “He is this way.”

The orderly got up and turned for the ICU’s doors, Beryl directly behind him. The walk down the hallway was a short one, past the beeping and whirring of machines working to keep people alive. Rounding a corner, they reached his room, where a single security guard stood by.

The security guard looked at them both. “Who is this?”

Beryl held up a finger to her lips. “Shh, I’m just dropping off something he left behind.”

The security guard prepared to protest, before he too complied and returned to where he stood without another word.

With a nod of thanks to the orderly, Beryl walked into the room and found Hazama, his body swathed in bandages, and numerous tubes sticking from his body. He was still heavily medicated, kept unconscious so that his body could heal the damage wearing Regulus and fighting two Sailor Senshi and Iron-Man inflicted. She smiled down at him.

“Hello, is there anybody in there?” she sang as she walked slowly around the bed, “Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?”

She walked to his side. “Come on, now… I hear you’re feeling… down.”

She opened the box, and pulled out Hazama’s racing helmet. “Well I can ease your pain…”

She set the helmet down on his chest. “… Get you on your feet again.”

The EKG monitor began to show more activity, the second the helmet was rested upon him. Smiling, Beryl pressed her palm against his chest, and the smallest jolt of energy went through him. At the same time, the powered down television on the wall of his room blinked on, showing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix about to commence.

A moment later, Hazama’s eyes twitched and then fluttered open. The badly injured racer’s gaze focused, before it fell upon the image of dozens of race cars ready to leap off the starting grid. Almost immediately, his eyes widened.

“Relax,” she sang as she leaned into his field of view, “I need some information first. Just the basic facts.”

She glanced back towards the TV, and then to him before gesturing to the number 11 Car of Stark Industries sitting on the grid, the camera zooming directly on it. “Can you show me where it hurts?”

Hazama began panting through the tubes in his mouth and nose, as he stared at his car on the track. His car, without him in it.

His car… his race… and he wasn’t there…!

He looked at the woman, and then the helmet sitting on his chest. Who was she? Why was she here?! Why was she showing him this?!

Then he heard a familiar roar, booming over even his own thoughts.

“P-P…” Hazama barely, happily sputtered, as tears formed in his dry eyes.

Beryl stepped back, as Nephrite’s sigil appeared upon Hazama’s helmet, Suddenly, the heaviness that left Hazama feeling weak faded, and he could feel his body again. He couldn’t feel any pain, either, as he sat up in his bed.

He looked up at Beryl, who nodded to him. “Go ahead, put it on. You can’t miss your race now, can you?”

Hazama looked down at the Helmet, and reached up to rip the tubes that were in his mouth and throat. After a moment of coughing, he grinned before speaking hoarsely “Partner… let’s go win that race… no…”

His eyes turned to the exact same red glow as Regulus’.

“Let’s end that race!”

Beryl smiled as Hazama placed the helmet over his head, and wisely vanished from the room as a tremendous light shone and deafening lion’s roar sounded from it.

Downstairs, Tony became alert when he heard that familiar roar–which preceded a violent and powerful explosion that knocked him and Saeko off their feet and sent the hospital into chaos. He fell upon Saeko, to shield her from any debris and shards of of broken glass from the hospital’s windows.

Kyoko and Kira looked up, startled as the shattered glass and bits of stone from the explosion hit the ground around them without even so much as a pebble touching them.

Tony quickly sat up, as people screamed and fled around them, and then helped Saeko to her feet. “Are you okay?”

Saeko, her ears ringing from the sudden explosion, nodded. “Yes, yes, what happened?”

She saw the debris, and placed a hand over her mouth as she realized that the explosion had indeed come from the hospital.

“Ha… Hazama?” Kyoko whispered in horror as she stared at the now gaping hole that occupied five floors of the hospital.

From the smoke that billowed from where Hazama’s room used to be, there was another powerful roar, and both she and Kira could see two pairs of red eyes shining in it.

Tony quickly ran out towards Kira and Kyoko when he heard it. “Damn, damn. damn, damn, damn…”

He turned around and looked up at the hole in the hospital. On the edge of a crumbling floor, amidst twisted wreckage and supports, was Hazama in an armored suit that evoked the image of Tony’s own Iron Man armor, except for the large spoiler-like wing on the backpack and an enhanced version of his racing helmet that sported a v-shaped antenna at the front.

Next to him, a large, sleek mechanical lion with a similar racing motif lashed around its spoiler-tipped tail and then looked over to Hazama.

Hazama looked down at Tony, Kyoko, and Kira, and then pointed at them the weapon he carried in his right hand, a long spear bearing a ring of thrusters behind its head.

Tony tensed up. “Hazama… I know you’re thinking a lot of things right now, but none of them are something you want to do.”

Kyoko looked back and forth between Tony and Hazama. “That’s Hazama?”

Hazama stared at them for a moment longer, before he decided that he was only wasting time with them. “Partner.”

Regulus roared back.

“Let’s go.”

With that, both leaped from the floor and over them. There was another flash of light directly above Tony, Kyoko, and Kira, before both Hazama and Regulus vanished.

“Wh-where’d he go?” Kyoko demanded.

Tony knew where he was going, as he pulled out his phone. “He’s going to the race.”

“That thing is going to the race?” Kira asked, “Oh boy…”

Kyoko shook her head. “Oh no, no, no…”

She looked to Kira, and then grabbed her. “Kira! We have to stop him!”

Kira nodded. “Sure, let’s go!”

She put her arm around Kyoko’s waist and looked to Tony. “We’re gonna go stop him, I guess! You should warn people what’s coming.”

Both were enveloped in a yellow light that took the shape of a star, before it shot off into the sky and then straight in the direction of Abu Dhabi.


It was well after dark at the Tokyo Skytree, Sailor Mars was looking down at her supercomputer, watching the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for any sign of Usagi and Ami. Beside her, Sailor Jupiter leaned against a beam, with Luna sitting on her shoulder. Both the Senshi had met with Luna prior to their arrival here, and on the way, Luna had told them of her Usagi-accepted theory.

To say Sailor Jupiter was unhappy was an understatement, she was forcibly acting calm to keep random lightning bolts from striking the broadcast tower.

Sailor Mars desperately buried her nose in her computer screen to forget she ever heard it and not risk upsetting the volatile lightning bug further.

Sailor Jupiter looked out the corner of her eye at Luna. “If this is true, then all of our effort before was for nothing.”

“Yes,” Luna said grimly, “But for now it’s just a theory so-”

“It’s the only one that makes sense, like Sailor Moon said.”

Luna looked up. “But hey, maybe I’m wrong… maybe we’re both wrong!”

Tuxedo Kamen then appeared, descending to hover in front of the Senshi. “So, it turns out that Nephrite has been using his youma as sponges for our energy and every time we’ve beaten a youma the Dark Kingdom has been gaining more power. Have fun with that.”

Sailor Jupiter looked at Luna, whose ears folded back as she twitched in annoyance and disappointment.

“Oh God damn it,” the Mau said.

“You’re taking this well,” Sailor Mars said.

“Well, that’s because after I got the news, I trashed my whole apartment. I’m staying at a friend’s place until the repairs are done,” he replied, “Word of advice, transform back to your civilian forms before you decide to vent.”

“Sound advice,” Sailor Jupiter said, “What else do you have for us?”

“Good news, actually,” Tuxedo Kamen replied, “We know Nephrite’s civilian identity and where he’s staying.”

Both Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter immediately grew alert at this news.

“Who?! Where?!” Sailor Jupiter demanded.

Tuxedo Kamen lifted his hands up. “Easy, Jupiter. His name is Masato Sanjouin, an American multimillionaire who is here under the guise of doing business.”

“Where is he so I can crush him into paste?” Sailor Jupiter asked.

“You know where the old Hitomi Mansion is?”

Sailor Mars nodded. “Y-yes, I’ve been there a few times, it’s really spooky.”

“Well then, let’s go,” Sailor Jupiter offered.

Tuxedo Kamen held up his hands again. “Hold on, there’s still a lot to discuss. My sources claim that Nephrite’s already planning to stage a defection like Jadeite, to try to get into our ranks. Also, there’s something else.”

“He’s going to try to become a spy?” Sailor Jupiter asked.

“Yes, Beryl wants to move to the next stage of her plan, but she wants to make sure everything goes smoothly. So she’s moving Nephrite out so he can help us beat her to the rainbow crystals when she starts looking.”

“Then betray us and hand them to her on a silver platter,” Sailor Jupiter said.

“Right,” Tuxedo Kamen said, “Obviously, we can’t let this happen.”

“So next time he appears I’m killing him, simple as that,” Sailor Jupiter growled.

“Sailor Jupiter!” Sailor Mars gasped, surprised at her bloodthirstiness.

“I’ve been screwed over enough by schemers like him to have no patience for it. If he thinks he’s going to pull this on us, then he’s got another thing coming!” Sailor Jupiter snapped back at her.

“Sailor Jupiter, calm down before you cause a thunderstorm!” Luna pleaded.

Sailor Jupiter stopped, and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry… I’m sorry…”

“We can handle Nephrite trying to defect, it won’t be too hard,” Tuxedo Kamen reassured her, “He’ll come to the Masquerade before he goes to any of you and we’ll handle him. What you need to worry about is finding the Rainbow Crystals.”

“Which the Dark Kingdom will be able to find easily with that Black Crystal they probably already have,” Sailor Jupiter said.

“Not precisely,” Luna said, “We might have a chance.”

Everyone looked to Luna, as she hopped off Sailor Jupiter’s shoulder and onto Rei’s lap.

“With the help of Artemis, we have been in search of a weapon that can tip the balance in our favor… a weapon so powerful it survived the fall of the Silver Imperium,” she explained before she looked to Sailor Mars’ supercomputer.

With the twitch of her ears and whiskers, Luna drew up an image of a small pink rod with a silver cap at one end and a sharp-looking silver crescent moon at the other.

“This is the Moon Stick,” Luna said.

Sailor Mars stared at it. “W-wait, Moon Stick?”

“Moon Stick.”

Even Sailor Jupiter had to come off her edge when she heard that. “That’s… it?”

“Well, yes,” Luna replied, “You’re sounding like there’s something wrong with the name.”

Tuxedo Kamen coughed into his closed fist, to mask his laugh.

“That name’s kind of… um… lame?” Sailor Mars said shyly.

“The Moon Stick has the power to seek out and destroy evil without fail. It can also heal any injury and purge the darkness from people’s souls without harming them,” Luna said flatly, “With it, Queen Serenity was able to single handedly reduce the previous Queen Beryl to stray ions and seal away Metalia.”

Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter stared in amazement.

Luna looked smug. “Is that lame?”

“Not at all,” Sailor Jupiter said, “But the name is.”

“OH COME ON!” Luna yelled.

“Well with what it can do, you think it’d have an appropriate name,” Sailor Jupiter argued.

“I think the Silver Imperium was pretty minimalist,” Tuxedo Kamen suggested.

Sailor Mars began petting Luna to calm her down. “Have you been able to find the Moon Stick, Luna?”

“We’re zeroing in on it, according to Artemis the Moon Stick has popped up throughout history whenever an evil needed to be put away, like two thousand years ago in Rome, and the 15th century in Romania,. It’s got a lot of myth attached to it, and it’s allegedly in the collection of a European Royal family. He has told me that he has people in the UK helping him find it and will keep me updated.”

“Are you sure? There’s bound to be dozens of stories of sticks associated with the Moon,” Sailor Jupiter said.

Luna slowly turned and stared at Sailor Jupiter. “Fuck you.”

Sailor Jupiter looked away innocently.

“Once we know where it is, it’ll be a simple matter of retrieving it,” Luna said, “So let’s not get too depressed! We’re still in the game and Sailor Moon wouldn’t have it if we all started doubting ourselves or our abilities.”

“You’re right!” Sailor Mars agreed.

Sailor Jupiter smiled a bit. “Yeah, Sailor Moon’s probably thinking right now about how badly she’s going to punch Beryl out and how awesome it’s going to be when she does.”

Tuxedo Kamen nodded in agreement.

“You girls are amazing,” he said, “And there’s one more bit of good news.”

“What?” Sailor Jupiter asked.

“The Police have activated a Special Task Force to protect the city from the Dark Kingdom,” Tuxedo Kamen said, “We’ll be meeting them here tomorrow night. They want to talk strategy and get more information on how they can protect the city better.”

Sailor Jupiter nodded. “That’s good. Maybe it’ll improve our image with the people baying for our blood because we keep breaking their windows.”

“One can only hope, right?” Tuxedo Kamen replied, “These guys can handle themselves pretty well against youma at least. They managed to defeat and capture two with little difficulty.”

“Really?” Sailor Mars said, “Huh, that’s a far cry from when they could only really point guns at us ineffectually…”

Luna had no problem with this either. “They aren’t Sailor Senshi, but if they’re not fighting against us, then I’m glad for their assistance.”

“Same here,” Tuxedo Kamen said, “I abandoned the notion of this being just our battle a long time ago.”

“I hope they’ll be all right,” Sailor Mars said before she gasped and smiled, “Oh! The race is about to start!”

Tuxedo Kamen hummed. “Race?”

“Ah, yes…” Sailor Mars said as she realized. “You don’t know their identities… Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury are at a race track. We’re watching them.”

Tuxedo Kamen immediately nodded in understanding. “Don’t worry, I won’t pry.”

Though he wondered what Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury would be doing at a race. There weren’t any races going on in Japan right now far as he knew, it was too late in the season.

Sailor Jupiter leaned down to look, as the camera panned across the crowd of over 40,000 present at the race track, and smiled when she saw it stopped on the VIP booth, showing Usagi leaning against the glass, watching as the cars took off from their standing start and down the racetrack, quickly gathering speed.

“Oh! I saw her! Did you?” she asked Sailor Mars.

“Yeah, me too,” Sailor Mars said, before she noticed that the race caller was suddenly waving a red flag, “Wait, what does a Red Flag mean?”

Tuxedo Kamen looked up. “Red Flag?”


At the race track, the cars leaped off the starting line and began picking up speed down the track. As they went towards the first bend, the leader of the pack quickly emerged in the form of the #15 Xanatos Enterprises car, its young prodigy handling the first turn easily and making short work of the competition with the exception of the ever dogged Stark Industries #11 car right on his tail.

“Tony Stark builds his cars like he builds his suits!” the young driver complimented as he headed for the second turn, “Kinda wish I was racing the man himself!”

“No you don’t,” his female pit boss warned him, “Last time the man was on the track it got Red Flagged.”

“Wasn’t his fault!” the Xanatos driver replied over the whine of his engine and the shifting gears.

“Yes, yes it was.”

Up in the VIP box, Usagi was watching the race on a screen projected onto the glass of the windows, and looking annoyed that the Stark Industries car was being given such grief. “Aw man, who is this guy in the Xanatos Car? It’s like the guy driving it is some kind of psychic.”

“He’s been giving Hazama grief this entire year, I saved him too when he and Hazama wrecked in Brazil.”

“Oh, a mortal rival! What’s his name?”

“Oh, Fox or something, I don’t pay too much attention.”

Usagi nodded. “Mysterious! I like this sport.”

“You’re free to like it all you want.” Ami would be forever bored with F1.

“SHOOT TO THRILL! PLAY TO KILL! TOO MANY WOMEN TOO MANY-”

Natasha looked down at her smartphone, which was sitting atop a black and silver suitcase she had with her, given to her by Tony the evening before. Picking it up, she answered. “What is it Tony?”

“Tell the girls they need to suit up, now.”

Natasha not at all liked Tony’s tone nor the fact that he was calling on the Sailor Senshi to get moving. “What’s going on.”

“Hazama woke up, that lion thing is back, and they are heading straight for you.”

“Oh, and here’s me thinking it was something catastrophic.” Natasha quickly stood up and quickly hit a privacy button on the VIP box’s console, turning the windows dark and causing complaint from Usagi.

“Hey, what’s going on?” Usagi asked as she watched Natasha begin stripping down out of her business casual attire. “Oh, hello.”

“How long do we have?” Natasha asked Tony.

“Not very long, he was booking it. I’m suiting up, going to try something new and possibly stupid, might take a minute. Kira and Kyoko are coming to help you. Tell Ami that Saeko’s safe here tending to casualties. I really can’t talk anymore, bye.”

“Casualties?” Natasha stopped when she heard the beep of the call ending. Tossing the phone aside, she pulled on her Black Widow suit.

Usagi tactfully stopped quietly expressing appreciation for the finer things in life the moment she heard “Casualties.”

“Okay, what’s the situation?” she asked as she and Ami stood up.

“Hey, girls?” she asked as she pulled her combat gear up onto her shoulders and zipped it up, “You should get changed too, trouble’s coming this way.”

Ami and Usagi stood up, and nodded to Natasha before they raised their hands up to the ceiling.

“Mercury Power, Make Up!” Ami called out.

“Moon Prism Power, Make Up!” Usagi called out right after her.

On the race track, the driver of the Xanatos Enterprises #15 Car was one of the first to hear the call of a red flag on the track, as race officials were quickly made aware of the oncoming danger. He quickly slowed down and entered into formation with the other cars.

“Hey, what’s going on?” the Xanatos driver asked as he held steady.

“Get back into the pit,” his pit boss answered, “There’s been a terrorist attack on the track.”

“A terrorist attack?!” he asked, “Where?”

He had just rounded the sharp sixth turn of the track, and was coming upon the sharp hairpin that was the seventh turn, when his eyes widened behind his visor. “Oh.”

Standing right in the middle of the track, just short of the turn, were Hazama and Regulus, and Hazama was staring right at him.

Hazama then pointed the rocket-equipped spear at him, and he saw the blade at the end begin to glow brightly.

“Shit!” he yelled as slammed his foot on the brakes, his eyes growing wider when he realized that Hazama was training the glowing spear point specifically on his car.

Behind his mask, Hazama grinned as the rockets on fired to counter the recoil from the intense ray of energy fired at the Xanatos car. The beam crossed the distance between him and his target in an instant–and smashed into Sailor Mercury’s crossed arms and bowed head, the beam scattering around her in a shower of light up and away from her.

Soon as the beam washed over her, Sailor Mercury accelerated, disappearing and reappearing to attack Hazama with a powerful spin kick he blocked with his spear.

Recoiling from the hit, Hazama took the spear in both hands and thrust it for Sailor Mercury’s chest. She twirled around the spear and attacked with lighting fast punches that he quickly parried with one hand before he flickered backward two paces and thrust upward with the spear, aiming for her throat.

The spear narrowly missed Sailor Mercury’s neck as she swung herself around it and kicked Hazama in the head sending him sliding backward on the asphalt on his heels.

He barely stopped and began moving backward again, leaving afterimages behind him as he raised his hands up to block repeated strikes from Sailor Mercury. Stopping, he slammed his foot into the asphalt, cracking it, before bringing up a knee to block a roundhouse kick from Sailor Mercury, the force of the blow shattering the road beneath them.

“He’s faster,” Sailor Mercury said as her Mercury Computer analyzed her opponent.

Her computer’s visor then alerted her of an incoming threat, and she rapidly ducked under the brightly glowing claws of Regulus as he tried to slice her to ribbons. Grabbing his forearm as it passed over her, she threw the mechanical youjuu towards the infield of the track.

Soon as she finished throwing the youjuu, she spun out of the way of a stab from Hazama, losing her footing and falling on her back. When he tried to stab her again, and she spun around with the flair of a break dancer to avoid his stabs and pushed off her hands to bicycle kick him repeatedly in the face and off his feet. With the last kick, she backflipped off Hazama and landed in front of him.

Hazama staggered back, and growled loudly at Sailor Mercury. “You…”


In the stands behind her, on the other side of the track, a crowd confused by the sudden red flag and then the calls for orderly departure from the racetrack stopped walking towards the exits when they saw Sailor Mercury standing on the inside of the narrow turn seven facing the armored man and his mechanical lion companion. Television cameras covering the race also quickly zoomed in on the scene, and the race presenters suddenly had much higher drama to report.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” a British accented announcer said, “There appears to be a confrontation on the track near turn seven. An armored man and a robotic lion?”

“Two youma?” Sailor Mars asked in surprise when she saw the confrontation, “And… Sailor Mercury is fighting it!”

She held the supercomputer out to for Tuxedo Kamen to watch as well.

Tuxedo Kamen looked and he recoiled. “They’re in Abu Dhabi?!”

Elsewhere in Tokyo, a young woman with a deeply tanned complexion, straw blonde hair and bright blue eyes hidden behind a solid visor sporting an image of a turtle on its face suddenly threw up her hands in the apartment she was sharing with several other young woman. “Hey! Hey! A Sailor Senshi sighting in a strange place!”

She was sitting on the couch of a well-lit, lavish apartment with an incredible amount of open space, across from a big screen television airing the Dukes of Hazzard. Behind the couch, the renter of the apartment, a beautiful young woman with wavy green hair, leaned over the couch and looked over her shoulder.

“Ah? Is it another fan pretending to be a Sailor Senshi?” she asked gently.

“Nope!” the young woman, Kaolla Su, said as she pushed the visor up off her eyes and looked towards the television, “It’s the real deal, and she’s in Abu Dhabi!”

Sure enough the television suddenly switched from the hijinks of the Duke boys to a live image of Sailor Mercury facing off against Hazama.

Seeing it, Michiru Kaioh’s eyes widened some. “Oh! What is she doing there?”

“Beats me!” Su replied.

To their left, a door opened, and a tall young woman with short blonde hair, dressed in a red blazer and plaid green trousers walked in, carrying a black bag on her shoulder.

“… Good grief, now I can sit down, watch the race,” Haruka Tenoh said before she removed her feet from her shoes and then yanked off the belt holding up her pants, allowing them to drop to the floor, revealing the boxers she wore underneath, “And let it all hang out.”

Michiru looked over at Haruka. “Oh, the race was red-flagged.”

Haruka looked up. “Red-flagged? Why?”

She then looked at the television, and reacted with the same understated surprise. “Oh. That’s why.”

Then Sailor Mercury and both Hazama and Regulus disappeared.
[hr]
Regulus had moved first, his mane emitting a ring of energy to boost his speed as he approached Sailor Mercury. His claws illuminated in the near instant it took him to reach Sailor Mercury and attack, and slashed through her disintegrating afterimage.

Even before Regulus hit the ground from his lunge and her afterimage finished vanishing, Sailor Mercury and Hazama were trading blows at such speed that Regulus could only see rapidly moving flashes of light.

One such flash was created by Sailor Mercury glancing Hazama’s spear off her tiara, allowing her to grab the weapon and throw both it and him over her shoulder and further towards the center of the track, away from people.

“He’s dying.”

He landed smartly on the grassy infield, his clawed feet tearing apart the ground and rupturing several sprinkler lines. As he tightened his grip on his spear and pointed it at her, seemingly unharmed despite their clashes, Sailor Mercury could see the extent of his injuries. There wasn’t a bone in his body that wasn’t fractured, and his muscles, ligaments, and tendons were tearing and snapping with every high speed movement he made.

The “armor” he was wearing wasn’t so much protecting him as it was holding him together, squeezing fractures and dislocations back into place while keeping his blood from escaping, and even piercing his body wherever it could to take over what just could not work anymore.

The reality horrified Sailor Mercury. “He’s going to die the second that armor is gone.”

The water spraying into the air from the damaged sprinkler system abruptly slowed to near suspension then, as Hazama launched himself at her again. He thrust his spear at her over and over, Sailor Mercury moving rapidly to avoid each strike.

“He can’t even feel it.”

The water droplets scattered away from their bodies as they moved through them. When he switched from thrusts to spinning the spear and trying to slash through her, she avoided them with side to side steps before kneeing him in the stomach and then palm-thrusting him back.

Hazama flickered out of sight, and rounded Sailor Mercury, slashing diagonally across her back fast enough to cut through the back of her sailor fuku. Turning around, she stepped back from a vertical slash that cut across the front of her uniform. When the spear touched the ground at her feet, she stomped the blade into the ground before kicking Hazama in the chin with her other foot, disarming him of the weapon and sending him flying, flailing through the hanging droplets.

As Hazama was launched backward, the Mercury Computer beeped as it finished its analysis on Hazama and Regulus.

“Because this thing won’t let him!”

She stepped off the spear and kicked it up into her hands. Just when Hazama hit the ground, she spun the spear over her head and swung it in a broad circle, the blade slicing through individual water droplets on its way to an attacking Regulus, who caught the shaft in his teeth and wrenched the weapon from Sailor Mercury’s hands.

When he turned to strike her with the spear’s blade, she was already above his head, inverted in a spin to drive her leg down into the mechanical lion.

She completed the spin, and the world around them sped up to normal as a plume of dirt, grass, and rocks erupted from Regulus’ impact with the ground at high velocity.

Sailor Mercury appeared on the edge of the race track, near the now parked and abandoned F1 race cars, steam rising from her body as she felt, for the first time, tired as a Sailor Senshi from her exertion. It had only been seconds, no more than three, but she’d pushed herself harder than she ever had previously.

Still, it looked like her hypothesis was the correct one.

A static-filled roar leaving its mouth, Regulus slowly rose up, a portion of his head damaged by Sailor Mercury’s kick. He staggered a bit, but then regained his footing with a menacing growl.

Behind him, Hazama also got up, his movements a little shakier than they were before. Holding out his hand, he summoned his spear to him and caught it, before pointing it at her.

Sailor Mercury caught her breath, and then crossed her arms over her chest. “Congratulations Nephrite, you’ve given us a scenario we can’t win without losing something.”

Hazama’s spear finished charging up and fired again.

“Mercury Sabão Spray!”

Her bubbles crashed into Hazama’s beam, blocking it before creating a massive cloud of mist that caught up the spraying water from the sprinkler systems.

As all three were caught up in the expanding cloud of mist, Sailor Mercury faded into it. “There’ll be no more running around for either of you.”

Hazama quickly scanned the area.

“Not that you could to begin with,” Sailor Mercury said before Regulus was clipped by her and thrown onto his back.

Hazama immediate snarled as pain flashed through his body. For a brief instant, the pain was worse than he could ever imagine.

“Your ‘partner’ suppresses all of your pain, allowing you to fight. So while your body breaks down you happily lean on him for support.”

Hazama growled. “Don’t you dare insult him!”

Panting, Sailor Mercury appeared in front of him and Regulus. “That thing is no friend of yours; it is a parasite, feeding off your energy and using your body.”

Hazama shrugged off the damage, and glared back at her. “Shut up!”

“It’s made you push away everyone who cares for you!” Sailor Mercury called back, as she stepped back into the mist slowly.

“MY PARTNER IS THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL HELP ME WIN!”

The rocket thrusters in the spear fired as Hazama charged her, accelerating faster and aiming the spear’s point for the flicker of gold he saw from Mercury’s tiara. With a final yell, he crashed the spear into the tiara.

The force of the impact cleared the mist, revealing Sailor Moon standing unmoved by Hazama’s attack, the very tip of the spear slightly bent against her tiara.

Sailor Moon then reached up and grabbed the spear, bending it in her hand and then snapping it in half.

“Not even God can help you now,” she said.

Hazama snarled and fired a punch straight for her face. Sailor Moon caught his arm to guide it away from her head while driving her knee into his side. She kneed him again, before turning around and punching him in the chest, sending him tumbling end over end away from her.

Hazama managed to get back and arrest his momentum, and looked up in time to see one of the empty F1 cars hurtling at him at much faster than an F1 car could realistically go.

The car hit, engulfing him in the tremendous explosion that was mostly the car disintegrating. As he staggered backward, Sailor Moon kicked another car into the air, lifted it over her head and slammed it down on Regulus as the mechanical lion attacked her. The car exploded, and Regulus leaped through the fires and into Sailor Moon’s arms.

As his claws dug into her back, she bent backwards and slammed Regulus face first into the asphalt with enough force to keep him crashing through several more cars. The cars exploded, andd many of the thousands in attendance stopped fleeing altogether and just stared in amazement at the millions of dollars in damage in mere seconds.

When the youjuu got back up, he found both Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury glaring down at him, Sailor Mercury’s computer visor scanning him.

Walking towards the battle, the suitcase Tony gave her in hand, Natasha brushed some hair from her face. “Well Tony, I hope this meets your expectations.”

“Widow-senpai,” Sailor Moon said, “Can you keep Hazama preoccupied? We’re going to smash this youma.”

Natasha looked over at Hazama, who was pushing wreckage off himself. Seeing Natasha, he snarled and focused his attention on her.

Natasha threw the suitcase to the ground at her feet, and it opened like a metallic black flower she stepped into. “I’ll be good.”

As Hazama sped towards her, she grabbed the handles and yanked onto herself the black and silver Iron-Man armor onto her body, and when he reached her she opened up her left hand and fired directly into his face with a full-powered repulsor blast.

“A bit snug, but this is already really fun,” she said before the helmet closed around her head and the eyes and hourglass-shaped arc reactor on her chest lit up.


The battle at Yas Marina was becoming a big deal, spilling over from television straight onto social media. Tweets and Facebook posts giving live updates of the battle were drawing people to the nearest TV and computer, trending as fast as the alien invasion of New York months before. On the other side of the world in Japan, Naru and Naruru watched the battle with baited breath. Umino had called her up, excitedly alerting her and nearly everyone in her class that Sailor Moon was in Dubai fighting it out.

Obviously Naru already knew that Sailor Moon was there, and Makoto had informed her of Usagi’s suspicions about being there–but it was of little consolation as she watched the two Senshi trade blows with Regulus.

“Go Sailor Moon! Go!” Naruru called out, as Regulus fired an energy blast from his mouth, Sailor Moon taking the hit to avoid it going into the spectators. When she emerged from the smoke and shoulder-barged Regulus, the younger Osaka cheered.

“I hope no one gets hurt,” Naru thought to herself, before the front door of their home opened and Mayumi walked in, followed by Masato.

Naruru looked back. “Mom! Masato-san! Look, Sailor Moon’s in another country!”

Mayumi stopped and looked over. “In another country? Oh dear…”

Masato was far more surprised, but hid it perfectly as he looked over at the television. He caught sight of Sailor Mercury narrowly avoiding Regulus’ claws, before Sailor Moon threw another race car at the youjuu, creating another explosion.

His interest in the battle solidified, however, when he saw the armored Hazama in close combat with the Iron Widow. Regulus, he quickly surmised, and his victim had gotten very close.

Back in Dubai, people were crowding televisions and around tablets in the lobby of the Burj Khalifa to watch the battle, as Beryl walked in out of the sun.

She passed a glance towards the crowd of guests and employees of the building looking at one of the wall-mounted televisions, and smirked a bit before she turned for the elevator.

The battle looked like it was going to be ending soon, which meant that she was running short on time to make her own arrangements.

Pressing the button, turned around and looked back at the people watching the battle, some cheering with the hits the Sailor Senshi were getting in on Regulus.

“They’re doing quite well,” she said before the door opened with a chime.

She closed her eyes and stepped into the empty elevator. When the doors closed behind her, she opened her eyes and she was almost 830 meters off the ground, balancing easily atop the world’s tallest building’s very pinnacle.

The wind buffeted her, but she paid it no mind as she looked down on the city below. Her red eyes turning a glowing yellow, her body began emitting a dark energy that spread down the tower slowly at first… but gathering tremendous speed.

As the dark energy raced down the building, strange things began happening inside. To begin, the power immediately cut out, and then every door slammed shut and sealed tight. The building’s powerful plumbing and ventilation systems similarly closed off next, floor by floor, all the way down to the the ground floor where the doors suddenly stopped working to the chagrin of the people inside and out.

Within view of the Burj Khalifa, Saeko wiped the sweat from her forehead as she stepped out of the hospital again for fresh air. There was no danger of collapse from the hospital despite the hole blown in it, but there were so many casualties that almost everyone would have to be moved to the Dubai Hospital. In spite of her near exhaustion, she had volunteered to help and her body was trying to make her regret that.

“Ami-chan,” she said in her moment of exhaustion, “It’s all right if you’re a little resentful towards me. Wherever I go, my work follows me.”

She closed her eyes. “I hope you’re safe, after you got dragged into this…”

A low hum filled her ears, and she opened her eyes to search out for the source of it.

She found it in an instant, and her mouth fell open when she saw that the entire Burj Khalifa was engulfed in a dark light.

“Oh my God.”
 

The Ero-Sennin

The Eyes of Heaven
Staff member
The Yas Marina Circuit came into view for Kira, who wasn’t exactly the fastest when it came to carrying someone with just psychic power alone. Holding Kyoko close to her side, she looked down at her.

“Koko-chan, are you good for this?” she asked.

Kyoko didn’t answer, she just stared at the city below.

“You need to snap out of this funk! You and I need to help or else Hazama could hurt more people, or worse! Hazama could get hurt!”

“Kira-chan,” Kyoko replied, “I don’t think I’ll be able to fight him.”

“Ah? That’s not the kind of talk you can have right now, you have to fight him! It’s only the right thing to do! It’s our responsibility, even!”

Kyoko looked almost sick at Kira’s retort, leading the other girl to grow concerned. “Koko-chan… what is wrong? You should be super excited to be saving him…”

An explosion sounded below, and Kira turned her attention to the race track below. “Ah! We’re here!”

Performing a powerful spin kick, Sailor Moon kicked Regulus across the side of the head and crashed onto the grass. The youjuu bounced off the ground and landed on his shaky legs. He was badly damaged, weakened by the powerful blows from the two Sailor Senshi.

“He’s unbelievably tough,” Sailor Moon said.

“A lot tougher than the other youma, why haven’t they been using these beasts before?” Sailor Mercury asked.

Regulus opened his mouth and roared, firing another energy blast at both of them. Sailor Mercury quickly countered with Sabão Spray, blocking the beam and allowing Sailor Moon to get in close and baseball slide under Regulus before kicking him with both feet into the air.

Hazama’s fist crashed into Iron-Widow’s and repelled from one another. His next punch was easily parried, and then another, before Natasha blasted him in the chest with both repulsors–sending him stagger back in a shower of sparks.

Stopping, Hazama clutched at his chest as Regulus crashed to the ground and tumbled past him. He called back to him, aghast. “Partner!”

“Eyes front!” Natasha said before she flew up and caught her legs around his neck before dropping back and slamming him face-first into the ground.

Hazama rolled over, and thrust his hand towards Natasha, firing an energy blast at her. Just as quickly she fired a blast and negated it to create a large explosion.

The blast allowed him to get up and scramble over to Regulus, who lay injured on the ground. “No, nonononono!”

Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury joined Natasha as Hazama knelt down beside him.

“Hang on! I need you to hang on!” Hazama pleaded as Regulus let out a weak growl.

Behind the Sailor Senshi and Natasha, Kira fell from the sky and came to a soft landing on the edge of the race track, positioning her between Hazama and the stands filled with spectators.

Yelling in frustration, Hazama rose and turned to face them. “Look what you’ve done!”

“He’s lost his mind…” Natasha said grimly.

“Sailor Moon,” Sailor Mercury said.

Sailor Moon looked over to her. “What?”

“You all keep getting in my way!” Hazama shouted, “I want to race, to win! I give it my all, but I can’t earn my victories… and when I start to you take them away! Like everything must be about you! You! You! ALL OF YOU!”

Kyoko gasped when she heard his accusation, and Kira glanced over to her.

“He’s not going to survive this,” Sailor Mercury said, “His body… it’s too broken now.”

Sailor Moon felt her heart sink into her stomach.

“You selfish bastards… you only care about me if it benefits you!” he sobbed, “What about what I want?!”

“There’s nothing we can do?” Sailor Moon asked.

Sailor Mercury shook her head. “Nothing I can think of.”

Sailor Moon nodded. “Well I’m not giving up on him.”

She stepped forward. “Hazama! Shut the hell up!”

Hazama stopped.

“All I’ve heard from you since we met was how you’ve been robbed, how everyone either gave you what you wanted or took it away! Your problem isn’t that people are selfish! It’s that you don’t believe in your own damn self and you blame that on everyone else!”

“W-what?!”

“But even now, you’re not doing jack on your own, all of your power isn’t even yours! You couldn’t even use it without that leech sucking on your soul!” Sailor Moon said vehemently, “So what’s that say about you? That you’re pathetic? That you’re utterly useless?!”

Hazama gawked at her his anger building. But then…

“No! Because there’s nothing wrong with needing help.”

Natasha and Sailor Mercury both gave Sailor Moon a perplexed look.

“No one can do it by themselves. Whether directly or not, there is always someone who is pushing you forward and lifting you higher. These people are the reason that we are where we all are today, and the people who make succeeding worth it!”

She pointed at Regulus. “But that thing is not one of those people! Say otherwise but me, Sailor Mercury, and all the people who truly care about you are going to prove you wrong!”

She lowered her hand. “So get up, you and your ‘partner,’ and let’s settle who is truly there for you.”

“Wow!” Kira gasped, “Sailor Moon is so cool!”

His shock at Sailor Moon’s words fading slowly, Hazama steeled himself and looked down to Regulus.

Regulus looked up at him, growling in his throat.

“Partner… one more time,” he said, “Let’s show them that the only thing I need in this world to win… is you.”

Regulus slowly got up, and then began to glow. Hazama himself began glowing as well, the white light turning red as Regulus became turned completely into light. Then, with a mighty roar Regulus leaped into the sky and came down on Hazama, the light taking the shape of a lion’s head that closed its jaws around his entire body.

Sailor Moon folded her arms and waited as the light washed over her and her comrades, and when it faded only one creature stood there.

Regulus, looking more like the cross between an F1 car and a lion now, stood strong on his legs now. Sticking from his back from the waist up, holding a new spear in his hand was Hazama in bulky blue and white armor that bore several repulsor-like emitters on its shoulders, and chest and the palms of his hands. Curiously a pair of long metal tendrils not unlike Sailor Moon’s long bunches hung from the side of his helmet, and a pair of broad wings like a falcon’s spread from his back.

Sailor Mercury analyzed the fusion of youma and man, and quickly began picking out the strange new parts. “It’s like… he’s a manifestation of everything in his subconscious now. Sailor Moon, what’s your plan?”

Sailor Moon got ready. “If he can’t take it off, we’ll make him wear the youma rather than the other way around.”

“Ah! I see!” Sailor Mercury said as she got ready.

Hazama agreed, as Regulus opened his mouth and the repulsor emitters on his chest and shoulders began to glow. “Let’s go!”

He fired at the three and at the crowd, the beams going in different directions. Natasha and the Senshi managed to evade the blasts fired at them.

Seeing the beams surge, Kira smiled and held out one hand. In the center of hers, the yellow stars ever present there began spinning rapidly, and instead of hitting the stands, they smashed into a wall of brilliant, star shaped barriers and exploded.

The explosion cleared, lights shimmering around Kira as she struck a cute pose. “Kira Takemikazuchi is here! Don’t worry Sailor Moon, I’ll protect the crowd!”

Kyoko stared at Hazama and the monster that he had now become. “Hazama…”

Kira dropped her pose and got a little more serious. “Hazama has let the monster take him over! We have to free him from it!”

She looked to her friend. “Show your resolve, Koko-chan!”

Hazama stared at Kyoko, and Hazama roared as one with Regulus before he shot towards her and Kira–afterimages trailing behind him. Hazama stabbed his spear forward, straight for Kyoko.

Kira grinned as stars spun in the center of her brown eyes. “No touchy!”

The spear crashed into another star barrier, as a yellow aura rose from her body like a flame. The spear warred against the barrier, and began to pierce through it, before Sailor Mercury slammed into him, knocking him away from her with a punch.

Sliding backward up the race track, Hazama fired a powerful beam at Sailor Mercury, who charged straight for it. Before it reached her, Iron-Widow flew out in front and fired her repulsors, countering the blast and scattering it away from them both all the way back to him. Cutting the beam, Hazama swung the spear down on both of them, missing them as they split into different directions.

As his spear hit the ground, he raised his free arm and blocked Sailor Moon’s flying kick. As she rebounded off him, he thrust the spear up at her, and went through her afterimage as Sailor Mercury tackled her out of the way.

Sailor Moon landed, and looked back at him. “You’re not a bad person, Hazama! There’s no way I’ll ever believe that!”

Coming down from over the stands, Natasha landed at his side and opened fire with the Unibeam in the Iron-Widow’s chest, the blast pushing him away from the crowds and back into the infield of the track.

Sailor Mercury appeared in the path of Hazama’s flight. “Mercury Sabão Spray!”

She unleashed the barrage of bubbles that pummeled Hazama as he went through them, forming a thick ice across his body before Sailor Mercury punched her fists together and then uppercut Hazama straight up.

As he ascended, the ice was shattered numerous missile tubes opening or lifting up across his lion half to unleash a barrage of micro-missiles down upon Sailor Mercury.

The missiles impacted, creating a swarm of explosions where Sailor Mercury stood. Turning, he fired a full repulsor blast at Sailor Moon, who quickly drew her Tiara and held the spinning trinket in front of her, using it to scatter the attack away from her.

“But you’ve gotten so wrapped up in your own self-loathing, that that parasite was able to latch on and convince you it’s your only friend!”

The Iron-Widow dove in, battering Hazama with repulsor blasts before tackling him and slamming him into the ground. As she got back up, she took a damaging punch and was thrown onto her back.

“Get off me!” Hazama yelled as he got back onto his feet. claws glowing, he raised the right to crush Natasha, before the Moon Tiara came at him and forced him to leap away.

Missing him, the tiara came back around and crashed into Hazama’s glowing spear. Holding strong against it, Hazama yelled and deflected the projectile away from him right before Sailor Moon kicked him in the side.

“That youma has got you thinking you’re worthless, and it’s the only strength you need! But your strength is right here!” she points at herself, and then at the Iron-Widow, “And Natasha, and Kyoko, and your entire team!”

She pursued him, jumping and swinging a kick into him that sent him into the ground with cratering force.

Panting, Hazama roughly got back up. “Gah! Shut up, you…!”

The two metal tendrils thrust at Sailor Moon, who let one sliced through the shoulder of her uniform before she grabbed the other and pushed it away.

“That’s not you talking! That’s the youma, speak up for yourself Hazama! Tell us how you feel!”

“I’ll kill you!” Hazama shot back before he was struck by another F1 car, which exploded against him and sent him staggering.

By the parked race cars and held her arms out. “Sorry, Hazama-kun!”

As Natasha landed close by, she watched in surprise as the remaining F1 cars on the track suddenly lifted into the air, wreathed in the yellow glow that covered Kira.

“Whoa!” Sailor Moon yelped.

Raising her hand, Kira pointed at Hazama as a slightly manic look flashed across her face.

“This one’s on me!” she yelled before the cars launched themselves one after another straight for Hazama.

Hazama moved quickly, dodging as many of the cars turned missiles as they exploded on impact with the ground. Undeterred Kira smirked and held out her hand before closing it slightly.

Dodging one more car, Hazama felt a force grab him, momentarily slowing him down… long enough for the remaining F1 cars to close in on him from different directions.

The ensuing explosion buffeted Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury, and caused numerous F1 sponsors to begin screaming in horror.

Sailor Moon looked back at Kira, and then at the pillar of smoke and flame. “Strongest Idol indeed.”

Kira lowered her hand. “Kira believes in you too, Hazama! That thing nomming on you doesn’t really care about you! It’s making you do terrible things because it’s evil! Hazama would never do these things, he’d take all of his feelings and race with them!”

Hazama slowly rose from the wreckage, panting heavily as the fire bathed his body, his eyes glowing red. “Kyoko…!”

As Hazama rose back up, Kira noticed Kyoko still standing there, staring at the scene. “Ah, Koko-chan? What are you still doing just standing there?! Now’s not the time for that! You have to talk to him!”

Sailor Mercury appeared with them. “Ah, what’s the matter?”

“Koko-chan is depressed, she has no will to fight still!” Kira said, “Didn’t I tell you to show your resolve?!”

Kyoko answered, “This is my fault.”

“Your fault?” Kira asked.

Sailor Mercury stopped. “Your fault…?”

“I didn’t understand it until now,” Kyoko said, “All this time, he didn’t think he was winning his races on his own because of me.”

Kira and Sailor Mercury saw a glow in the smoke and wreckage.

Kyoko stared at the light, visualizing Hazama beyond the smoke, targeting her. “He’s always thought I cheated to help him win. That’s where his inadequacy came from.”

Kira created a large star barrier to block the massive beam of energy that cleared away the smoke as it surged towards her. Holding forth her hands, Kira’s eyes actually widened from the sheer power of the blast hitting her barrier and the effort she had to put up to block it.

“WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! WHOAAAAAAAAAA!” Kira yelled out before a rapid barrage of Repulsor blasts battered Hazama, forcing him to cut off his own surge of power and retreat before he took further damage.

“Ah! Saved!” she yelped in relief.

Leaping back from the shots, he quickly searched for the Iron-Widow, but only saw a very fast-moving blur circle him followed by even more repulsor shots.

“Gah! Argh! Stop!” Hazama grunted out before suddenly a silver-armored Iron-Man was directly in his face and punching him with greater force than the Iron-Widow or Iron-Man himself delivered before.

“Is that my car?” Tony asked from within the Mark XL “Shotgun” Iron-Man armor when he saw the burning F1 wrecks. “Damn, that’s my car.”

He turned and quickly fired a repulsor blast at Hazama, who narrowly avoided it. Moving his arm quickly, and wincing from the motion as he nailed him with two more hits. “And then there’s this guy.”

“We almost got him, though!” Sailor Moon said as she ran straight towards Hazama.

Sparks flew from Hazama’s armor, before he returned fire with his own palm mounted repulsor at Sailor Moon. Sidestepping them, Sailor Moon got up in his face and then jumped away from a spear thrust.

Iron-Man flew around her, firing back at the youjuu-possessed human. “What’s the plan?”

“We’re gonna talk him down!” Sailor Moon said.

Tony nodded. “I love battlefield therapy. Still, I can think of worse people to talk down from an incoherent rage.”

Both he and Natasha opened fire on Hazama, battering Hazama before Iron-Man accelerated and punched him again. As Hazama went back he was after him, uppercutting him in the chin and sending him flipping back end over end.

Hazama landed on his four feet, and fired up at Iron-Man, who pulled Hazama’s own high speed movement trick to dash like a blur out of the way of the attack. Hazama was hit with another powerful repulsor shot, and then he unleashed a Unibeam to press him into the ground.

“You should’ve died on that operating table, Hazama,” he said after he cut off the beam.

Kira looked back again at Kyoko. “Kyoko, that’s enough!”

Kyoko looked up at her, as Hazama looked up at him.

“You didn’t, though, and not because the best team of doctors I could get in there patched it up,”

Hazama pointed the spear up at him and fired again. “DIE!”

Weaving dangerously around the waved around beam, Tony dropped down and landed directly in front of Hazama. “You’re alive because you didn’t want to die and lose to this.”

Hazama glowered down at Iron-Man.

“You know you wouldn’t dare do that to him,” Kira said, “If you did anything for Hazama, it was all the love and affection you gave him to keep going, even when times got tough!”

Kyoko’s expression became one of uncertainty.

“That’s the kid I wanted in my car, the one who didn’t need all of this to feel better about himself. We all want that kid back, Hazama and even though we’re doing our damnedest to bring him back–you’re the only one who can actually do it. So meet us halfway, here, just like you did on that operating table all on your own.”

With a growl of rage, Hazama lifted the spear and charged straight for Tony, who didn’t move from his place. He got closer, and Tony didn’t move. He was all but on top of him, and Tony still didn’t move.

“We want you to win, kid,” Tony said, “but it’s time for you to wake up and see that the race isn’t against us.”

And then with a loud roar from claws digging into the ground, Hazama stopped short of running Iron-Man clean through.

“You love him, girl! Even after what he’s done, you’ve been here loving the stuffing out of him! Well he needs you now more than ever, so stop beating yourself up and go be there!”

Sailor Mercury rested a hand on Kyoko’s shoulder and nodded assent. “Blaming yourself for what he is now… will not save the person he was. You have to be strong now.”

Their words resonated with hers, as much as Tony’s did to Hazama.

She looked towards Hazama, and the wind began to pick up around her, Kyoko, and Sailor Mercury.

“You’re right,” she said before adopting a stronger, dramatic pose, “I have to be strong… for him!”

As Hazama hesitated, the Regulus portion of his body, still glaring at Tony, let out a roar and opened his mouth to attack with an energy blast.

Tony was already in the process of moving before a powerful wind buffeted both of them and separated them. The wind seemed to grab and push Tony back, guiding him away from Hazama while Hazama was simply thrown into the air and then dropped a safe distance away from him.

“That wind…” Sailor Mercury said as she brought up the Mercury Computer and scanned Kyoko. Her eyes widened, when for just the briefest moment she saw the fading figure of a winged apparition, a ghostly ripple standing beside Kyoko.

Kyoko then crouched slightly, and leaped forward, the wind catching her and propelling her straight towards Hazama.

When he saw her approach, Hazama immediately targeted her, but once again hesitated from attacking.

He looked over to his left, and saw Iron-Man hovering at his eye level, with Natasha landing next to him and retracting her helmet. He then looked right, and saw Sailor Mercury, and Sailor Moon.

Kira landed next to Kyoko. “Hup!”

“It’s time to stop this, Hazama,” Sailor Moon said, “And there’s only one way to do it.”

Hazama turned towards her, Regulus growling as his movement became stiff, like there was discord in the combination’s integrity.

Sailor Moon continued, “That youma doesn’t want you to listen to us, because it knows what we know.”

“It can’t beat you,” Tony said.

“You’re stronger than it is!” Sailor Mercury said.

Tony nodded, “You can make all the calls and it will have to go with it.”

Hazama looked around at them, before Regulus roared again in his ear. It wasn’t the soothing sound he’d come to recognize in the past few weeks, it was furious, and painful, like sharp blades being run down a chalkboard. And with it, a powerful pulse of body encompassing pain overcame him.

“GAHHHH!” Hazama screamed.

He staggered back, as the pain suddenly vanished again. “Partner…!”

Regulus roared at him again, and he looked ahead at Kyoko, who had stepped closer towards him. “Stay away!”

Regulus roared louder and with the roar the pain flared again.

“Stay away, you freak!” he screamed at her.

“It’s trying to tell you that I’m the reason you’re in pain,” Kyoko said.

She stepped closer, a hand extended. “I would never hurt you, Hazama.”

Regulus roared again, and lashed out with the two tendrils hanging from Hazama’s helmet. They were smartly deflected away from Kyoko, the air sparkling around her where they met her resistance. The glittering lights raced right back up the metal, bolts of energy dancing across it with it before reaching and spreading through Hazama.

“I could never hurt you!” she declared.

The pain Hazama felt receded as the light touched it, but it was different. It wasn’t the numbness that he felt to this point–it was a warm, soothing, and gradual release from the pain that caught him by surprise. It reminded him of relaxing after a long race, leaning back into a couch while familiar hands massaged the vigors of racing out of his sore muscles.

Upon feeling the same sensation, Regulus attacked, lunging wildly to eliminate Kyoko. But his lunge missed, blown off course and sending him crashing to the ground next to Kira, who hopped away.

Getting up, Regulus looked around and spotted Tony, before opening his mouth and roaring a blast at him. When Tony evaded it, Regulus fired wildly at Natasha, who rolled clear of it.

Regulus swept the beam across, to bring it towards Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury, as it tore up the ground, Kyoko took a deep breath and exhaled it in a shout as her energy erupted from her in a sparkling aura. “But I will give you all of my strength!”

She then lunged forward and kicked Regulus in its head, shattering the armor around it and extinguishing the beam as the energy transferred from her to him.

“My Love!” she called out, before she delivered another kick to the other side of his head, breaking the armored façade and revealing the grotesque mockery of a lion’s face beneath it.

“And my resolve!” Kyoko yelled as Regulus reeled from the attack. Setting down her feet, she held her hand out behind her, and then swept it upward in a powerful uppercut, and Hazama and Regulus were swept up in a powerful tornado, and imbued with the overwhelming energy in the wind.

“BLUE SKY OVERDRIVE!”

Regulus roared in agony, while Hazama himself was very quiet. Spinning upward in the storm, the
human/youjuu combination eventually fell downward and crashed to the ground, Hazama’s half of the monster slumped atop the lion half laid out on the grass.

After a moment, Hazama stirred, pushing himself upright so he could look over at his opponents.

Regulus growled, weakly, he could tell that after being subjected to what he had… that the youjuu had very little fight left in him.

“No,” Hazama said, “I don’t believe it.”

Regulus tried to move, but it could not. It tried to growl again, hoping to rouse the feelings that Hazama had drowned himself in. The self-loathing and anger, and fear… he tried to sink his teeth into it and drag it out… but there was only that warmth he feared now… strengthening something that weakened his influence even more.

“I don’t want to,” Hazama protested, and Regulus felt his influence shrink more, “I don’t want to do this anymore… this isn’t right!”

Regulus roared again, but this time he silenced it. “No! Stop telling me these lies! You’re not my friend, you never were…! All the things you kept putting in my head, they hurt everyone around me! They hurt me! No more!”

Regulus awoke, and sat up, bellowing loudly, but once again, Hazama overrode him.

“YOU CAN’T BEAT ME!” he yelled, and both became engulfed in a flash of light.

When the light faded, Hazama stood there, looking human again, though now in a simple blue and white armored racing suit, and wearing his racing helmet. Reaching up, he pushed up the visor, and looked around at the others.

“I… I overpowered him,” he said before bringing a hand to his chest, “He’s trapped in here now.”

The Iron-Man mask came open, and Tony nodded. “Good job, kid.”

“Hazama!” like in Brazil, Kyoko threw herself at him, hugging him tightly.

Sailor Moon grinned and hugged Sailor Mercury. “Yes!”

“HOORAY!” Kira called out as she jumped and tossed up her hands, “Kyoko-chan saved him!”

Pulling away from Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury was carefully examining Hazama. His sheer multitude of injuries existed and the suit was holding him together, but the condition of the injuries had improved slightly. They were being mended gradually by that energy that Kyoko had imbued him with.

“What is this power?” Sailor Mercury asked Kyoko.

“Ah, it’s something I learned from an old man when I was a little girl back in my hometown of Morioh,” Kyoko replied, “He calls it Hamon.”

“It’s amazing, a lot of his worst injuries have already started to heal!”

Kyoko was surprised. “Really? He told me that it was pretty much for killing vampires. I didn’t know it could heal people.”

“How does it work?” Sailor Mercury asked.

“It’s all in the breathing,” Kyoko replied.

Sailor Mercury gave her a perplexed look. “That doesn’t explain anything.”

“Yeah, good luck, I got something about punching with the power of the sun when I asked,” Kira said.

Sailor Mercury stared at Kyoko, who just gave her a small smile in reply. Behind her, Sailor Moon turned to Tony and Natasha, who were waiting for the arrival of emergency personnel.

“Well, did that meet all of your wildest expectations?” she asked Tony.

“Safely exceeded them,” Tony replied, “I can picture about half my PhDs quitting to go into community theater after seeing that.”

Sailor Moon beamed briefly. “So what do you American heroes do after big wins? Paperwork? Drinking parties?”

“After New York, we went out for some shawarma,” Natasha said.

Sailor Moon blinked. “What’s shawarma?”

“Pretty much great,” Natasha said.

Tony looked to the others. “All right, kids, we had a very productive session but I think it’s time we head back in and decompress... Then we can hawk the paperwork and police reports onto someone else.”

Everyone present agreed, especially Kyoko, who put her arms around Hazama and began radiating her hamon into him.

“I’d like to try some of this shawarma stuff! They sell that here, right?” Kira asked.

“Before you do that, I have something to say.”

With that voice, Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury felt a jolt, as a tremendously dark presence made itself known to them. Kira also reacted to it, turning around with an utterly terrified and sick look on her face. With their reactions, Tony and Natasha turned to follow where their attention had been pulled…

… And found Beryl standing in front of them, just inside twenty feet away.


Sailor Moon and Sailor immediately recognized her. She was wearing the same outfit she’d worn when she met her at the Burj Khalifa Park, but in her hand she held a tablet PC. Well, held was relative, it hovered just above her palm, on a cushion of dark energy.

“Sailor Moon,” Sailor Mercury said in a shaky voice, after she tried going for her Mercury Computer to analyze who this was, only to find the image whited out completely.

“You do not need to tell me,” Sailor Moon said, “I can feel it.”

Tony could feel it, and he was pretty fairly certain he wasn’t particularly superhuman beyond his amazing intellect and charisma.

Lowering her hand from underneath her tablet to allow it to levitate, Beryl gave a glance to it, before she looked at the group. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person, Sailor Moon. For the past few months I’ve been looking forward to this day, but I didn’t think it would be today.”

The tablet then chimed, and its screen flickered before it showed Beryl’s face on it.

In the stands of the racetrack, every television on the track capturing the drama unfolding switched suddenly to the image of Beryl’s face, from the big screen TVs throughout the arena, to the large scale monitors for the spectators to look upon, and it didn’t stop there.

Within the same instant, every television, computer, and smartphone in the country was showing Beryl’s face.

Seconds after that, every television and network-connected computer monitor in the world switched from whatever program that happened to be on, to the image of Queen Beryl smiling.

Back in Tokyo, Sailor Mars nearly dropped her supercomputer when it beeped loudly after fighting off a massive intrusion attempt. “W-what was that?! Who’s that woman!?”

Luna’s fur stood on end. “That cannot be…”

Tuxedo Kamen got that answer in an instant, when an earpiece communicator came to life.

“Tuxedo Kamen!” it was a very alarmed Murid, “Find a television! It’s-!”

Tuxedo Kamen looked to the two Senshi and Luna. “… It’s Queen Beryl!”

“What?!” Sailor Jupiter shouted.

Luna gasped. “No! Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury are in incredible danger!”

After a few more seconds, Beryl smiled as her tablet chimed again, telling her that the whole world was her audience regardless of where they were or who they were. As long as they were in front of a television or computer or any monitor… she had their undivided attention.

It was time for her debut, and she did it with simple flourish.

“I am the Supreme Commander of the Dark Kingdom, Queen Beryl,” she introduced herself.

In a coffee shop within view of the Tokyo Skytree, Arachne looked up with the other patrons, her normally dour expression frozen in tight-lipped terror at the image of Beryl staring down at her. What was she doing, revealing herself like this?!

Haruka and Michiru both froze in their chairs, while Su was more concerned with what had managed to overwhelm her computer’s defenses and leave her visor stuck on the image of Beryl.

“Queen Beryl…” Haruka whispered.

Michiru furrowed her brow.

The women of the Osaka residence were very quiet now, as the television showed the face of the woman who had turned their lives upside down. Masato was also quiet, intrigued with what she intended to gain from confronting Sailor Moon now.

On the track, Sailor Moon stepped forward. “I hope that’s not all you have to say because my fist is itching for discourse with your face.”

“I actually have plenty,” Beryl said, “And it’s thanks to you being here, really. I was going to make a very general statement about who we are and what we do… but now I can get in detail.”

She gestured to Sailor Moon. “If I may?”

“Go ahead,” Sailor Moon replied, “It’ll make punching you in the face more satisfying.”

“Thank you.”

Beryl turned and began to pace slowly. “For the last sixty, seventy years… maybe a little longer… humanity has been a critically endangered species. It is amazing, how many times we’ve all come to within a hair’s breadth of oblivion.”

Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Tony and Natasha followed her as she turned the other direction, walking back the distance she paced.

“Immortals, extradimensional horrors, twisted so-called Gods, the literal undead, and beings who can barely comprehend our existence but simply want it out of the way for convenience,” she went on, “Then you throw on the fact that we ourselves point weapons of mass destruction at each other simply because it’s the better option and you realize that we’re…”

She stopped and looked to the side, as if searching for the word. “… Fragile.”

Tony let out a snort. “You don’t say?”

“That isn’t to say those of us who aren’t don’t exist,” Beryl went on, “It’s just that the number of us who can prevent our extinction are rare.”

She stopped and looked at the group. “Less than a ten-thousandth of a percent of all of humanity that is stronger than the rest. People like you.”

She turned to face them directly, looking specifically to Tony, Natasha, Kyoko, and Kira. “You are the rarest of all people, whom fate has aligned with to make you more than what humans could ever be. Whether by your own determination, luck, accident, or birth.”

She then gave Sailor Moon and Mercury a caustic look. “Of course, there are exceptions.”

“Go on,” Sailor Moon said as she got ready.

“You rare people carry the burden of being strong enough to protect the Earth. It is your duty to race against the forces that would snuff out this world, and beat them to a pulp, because in the end you are the only ones strong enough to do it.”

Beryl turned again and held up a finger. “That is why I have chosen to end this world.”

Sailor Moon stepped forward, and Beryl turned to face her specifically.

“Oi, Beryl,” Sailor Moon said slowly, “May I offer my rebuttal?”

Sailor Mercury did not think that was a good idea. “Sailor Moon, wait-”

“Anytime,” Beryl chimed back.

Sailor Moon shot like a rocket, jumping straight into a flying kick for Beryl’s chest.

Beryl’s eyes flashed from red to yellow, and reached out with one hand to catch Sailor Moon’s foot.

A crack and a rumble sounded from the impact, and the very ground trembled beneath Beryl’s feet. Suspended in the air for the briefest moment, Sailor Moon was genuinely surprised by how easily her blow was defeated–but not deterred.

Yanking her foot back, she fell on Beryl spinning to land a kick on the side of her head–before Beryl’s clenched fist collided with her jaw in a solid punch.

Then Sailor Moon was flying, turning through the air like a drill bit and crashing into the ground to gouge a long deep trench from the middle of the race track all the way to the edge of the marina from where it took its name.

“What?!” Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mars cried out together.

Luna couldn’t believe what she was seeing either. “She… punched her?!”

“Sailor Moon!’ Sailor Mercury called out, before she leaped to action. “Mercury Sabão Spray!”

The bubble attack struck Beryl, and quickly turned into rapidly expanding mist, and in an instant Sailor Mercury was at Sailor Moon’s side.

After watching Sailor Mercury vanish, Beryl found herself targeted by the repulsors of Iron-Man and the Iron-Widow. Kyoko and Kira had also surrounded her, ready to fight.

“I just punched out Cthuluhu in a Miniskirt but you’re ready to go,” Beryl said, “I like that.”

With a wave of her hand, the Sabão Spray Mist was banished by a powerful pulse of dark energy. With it, Tony, Natasha, Kira, and Kyoko were sent flying from her–leaving only Hazama standing there in place.

Kira struck the ground hard, and tumbled to a stop unconscious. Kyoko’s landing was much lighter, but she still crumpled like a crushed tin can, rendered unconscious by the blast itself.

“Sir, energy levels are now at ten percent,” J.A.R.V.I.S reported to Tony as he recovered from the uncontrolled ascent, “The Iron-Widow is at seven percent.”

“She drained our energy,” he realized, “How long before we build it back?”

“One hundred thirty-seven seconds, sir,” J.A.R.V.I.S replied.

The cold cloud passed over Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury, revealing the latter helping the former onto her feet. Sailor Moon was rubbing her jaw, and looking mighty ornery, but otherwise unhurt.

“Are you all right?” Sailor Mercury asked.

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” Sailor Moon replied as she wiped her mouth, “I don’t think anyone’s ever hit me that hard though-”

Sailor Moon stopped, and looked down at her gloved hand.

A bright red smear stained the glove. Bringing her hand back to her mouth, she wiped it again. More red all over her glove.

She then spat on the ground in front of her.

Yeah, that was blood, and the chipped remains of a tooth.

Beside her, Sailor Mercury was wide-eyed at the sight of it. “… Oh no.”

“Humanity, and the blue dot it fights over, is far too weak to survive, so I’m going to destroy it and make a new one. It will be just like this one, but the ten-thousandth will be the one hundred,” Beryl declared as she held an upraised palm in front of her, “And thanks to you I am one more piece closer to my goal.”

Without warning, Hazama felt a tremendous pulse seize his body, and then another. Sailor Mercury heard him scream next, as he doubled over, clutching at his sides.

“GYAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Kyoko was awoken from unconsciousness by the scream, and sat up just in time to see Regulus suddenly rip his way out of Hazama’s body, taking with it the armor that held his body together, and shattering his racing helmet.

“HAZAMA!” she shrieked.

Lifted above Hazama as he collapsed lifelessly to the ground, Regulus roared and clawed at the air–struggling for his very life–before he burst into an ethereal flame that spiraled to Beryl’s hand.

Looking at the energy in her hand, Beryl nodded, and closed her hand around it. “Well done, Nephrite… with this you have completed your objective.”

The energy swirled in her palm, spinning faster and growing darker as it was joined with the energy collected by Nephrite and Jadeite. The air around Beryl gradually darkened as her hand closed around the point of energy. Red bolts of lightning jumped from her palm, hitting the ground around her, before there was a flash of momentarily blinding light.

When the light faded, Beryl held forth a simple black crystal, a little bigger than her hand. She looked to Sailor Moon, her eyes still glowing yellow.

“Here it is, girls, the fruit of all our hard work.”

Sailor Mercury felt a hand gently rest on her chest, and push her back. She looked over at Sailor Moon, and then stepped back when she saw the completely murderous look in Sailor Moon’s eyes as she stared at Beryl, the blood running down from the corner of her mouth freely. Her vision, turning red, darted to Hazama’s body, before it fell back on her.

Beryl closed her hand around the crystal, and both it and her tablet vanished. “Oh?”

Shaking with rage, Sailor Moon reached up and slowly removed her tiara, and then spoke.

“You... BITCH!”

She charged straight for Beryl, the Tiara taking the massive blade form she used against Jumeau, but rather than throw it she swung it down on Beryl like a massive hatchet, screaming the entire way.

Beryl raised her hand and fired a pulse of dark energy at the tiara as it was swung down on her, completely shattering it.

Sailor Moon didn’t stop, taking the very last piece of her tiara, she thrust it straight for Beryl’s throat–the razor sharp edge stopping just against it when Beryl caught her by the wrist.

“It’s useless,” Beryl said plainly before she tossed Sailor Moon away from her, “You can’t do anything to me.”

Sailor Moon landed, and was immediately hit with another blast of Dark Energy, creating an explosion that blew her back. As Beryl prepared to fire another blast, Sailor Mercury grabbed Sailor Moon and escaped the beam.

“Sailor Moon, are you okay-?” she asked before Sailor Moon shoved her back.

“Why aren’t you fighting her?!” Sailor Moon demanded.

“She’s too strong!” Sailor Mercury replied, “We need to-!”

“Shut up! That’s not an excuse!” Sailor Moon yelled before she turned to attack Beryl again.

Beryl wasn’t there. She was standing between both girls, just behind them.

“It’s a perfectly valid one,” she said before blasting them both in the back.

Both Senshi flew a short distance and crashed to the ground, battered and scorched by the attack. Lowering her hands, Beryl took a deep breath and began walking.

“I still have a lot of work to do,” she said as she walked past between them, “And I would rather not have to deal with you again. So what do you say we end this now and start clearing away this worthless world?”

She held her hand upward, and the sky turned dark from a great surge of Dark Energy appearing in the sky high above the race track. The very air itself vibrated from the surge of energy, pressing people into the ground and even forcing Tony and Natasha down.

“Now what?” Natasha asked as she looked from Beryl to the sky.

“Whatever it is, it isn’t…” Tony trailed off when he looked up into the sky and saw what it was. “… Okay.”

Natasha saw it herself, and slowly stood up.

Sailor Moon managed to push herself up, while Sailor Mercury rolled onto her back and stared right up at it.

“Oh my God,” she whispered.

It was the entire Burj Khalifa, hanging suspended thousands of feet in the air above the city, wrapped in Dark Energy. The building was entirely intact, the energy reinforcing it and keeping the tremendous forces at work with it from tearing it apart, but it was upside down, the very tip of its spire aimed right for Sailor Moon.

“This is the other benefit of your hard work,” Beryl said as Sailor Moon got up to look up at the floating skyscraper, “I had so much surplus energy left over from you girls that I thought… why not? I’ll give some of it back.”

Beryl gestured to the race track’s monitors, and on it appeared the interior CCTV of the building–showing the people trapped inside of the building still pounding on the doors and trying to escape. Because of the darkness they couldn’t see outside, and despite being inverted they were still behaving as though they weren’t.

Sailor Moon looked from the screens and up at the skyscraper, her mouth falling open.

“Nothing to say?” Beryl said. “No superhero to quote and make you feel like a real hero?”

She looked to Tony. “You’ve got something to say, don’t you Iron-Man? Give her something she can work with.”

“Oh no, no,” Tony spoke through his suit’s speakers, “by all means, keep on talking. Less oxygen for your brain.”

Beryl looked him in the eye. “Even in the face of total defeat you’ve got a mouth. I like that.”

She looked up, and snapped her fingers, and the building began to fall towards the ground, gathering speed, falling straight for the racetrack as people at the track and in the city began fleeing for their lives.

Sailor Mercury got up as well, her mind racing. If Beryl dropped that onto Sailor Moon, onto the city… there’d be no avoiding it. People would die, many people. The people in the building, whom she had no doubt that there were, the people in the race track, many people in the city… even moving faster than she had against Hazama, she wouldn’t be able to save everyone.

If she had more power, figuring out a solution would be no problem, but she was already tired from the fight against Hazama!

“Defeat? No, hasn’t happened yet,” Tony said, tilting his head slightly. “Don’t get me wrong, that’s a lot of energy you’ve taken from these girls to convert it into… that. Even for us ten-thousandth of a percenters that’s outside our ability. It’d get you, like, all the Nobel Prizes ever. Except the ones I’d still win.”

Sailor Mercury blinked, and looked towards Tony, and then back up at the building.

“See, here’s the thing,” Tony began, holding his hands apart like he was lecturing a room full of tech geeks and reporters, “to pull this trick means you’ve suffered enormous heat loss–thermodynamics are still in play, no matter how much you try to avoid it, even when you can bend the laws of physics. Thermal energy can’t just vanish, you need to put it somewhere. And we’re not roasting alive, and the people inside aren’t roasting, so it’s… suspended. But it’s all there, still available and accessible…”

Beryl sniffed in amusement as the building gathered its momentum for the big finish, the energy crackling around it. “And out of your reach.”

“That’s right. Give me a few grants, couple years, hot and cold running interns to tease Bruce with and yeah. I could save this whole city from that thing. Not now,” Tony admitted, “I don’t have the means or the time…”

It was then that Sailor Mercury brought a hand up to her face and activated her visor. “… But we do.”

Sailor Moon looked to her. “Sailor Mercury?”

She looked up at the falling building, and the blue crystal at the center of her uniform’s ribbon began to glow.

Beryl looked over at Sailor Mercury, and her eyes widened slightly. “What…?”

She could see it, a tremendous amount of energy, neither dark nor the senshi’s own, flowing right back into Sailor Mercury. The air around her was beginning to ripple and the ground around Sailor Mercury began to burn… but beyond her it was getting colder.

The water spraying from the track’s infield sprinklers flash-froze, as the heating air around Sailor Mercury suddenly reversed and dropped to well below zero.

Beryl heard a rumbling and cracking, and looked out towards the marina to see that the normally warm and inviting waters of the Persian Gulf had also frozen in the Marina and well out to sea.

She looked towards Sailor Mercury, and found that she had changed. The blue of her uniform was now the faintest of blue, almost entirely white. Her skin had become as white as freshly fallen snow, and her hair was an even brighter shade. The only remaining color of blue that remained was her visor, which disappeared and reappeared as several windows that floated around her showing numerous numerical values and processes moving faster than human eyes could track.

Sailor Mars gasped, certainly recognizing it. “She transformed… just like I did!”

Sailor Moon, paying no mind to the cold, immediately remembered the brief glimpse she had of Sailor Mars after she defeated Cameran.

Sailor Mercury looked up at the falling Burj Khalifa, then through it and into it, spotting every single person inside of the building and quickly marking them. Over 2,400 people in all.

“Execute,” she commanded.

Inside the building, the thousands of people holding on for dear life, onto anything they could, or pressed against the floors by their descent to the ground, immediately turned to light and disintegrated. An instant later, they all reformed, appearing unharmed on the race track.

She then targeted the building itself, snowflakes swirling up from around her feet before melting into a torrent of water that gathered above her head.

“Shine Aqua Illusion.”

The water shot up like a geyser, hitting the Burj Khalifa and quickly flowing up it, encasing the entire building in ice as it washer over it, freezing it completely through.

She then looked down at Beryl, her eyes lacking any emotion at all. “Delete.”

The entire building shattered, becoming a cloud of harmless snowflakes that began to fall towards the ground. As the snow fell onto the track, Beryl tensed and backed away from Sailor Mercury.

“What the fuck?” she asked.

“Shine-”

And then Beryl was gone, vanished back to D-Point to get as far away from that thing as her power made possible. The moment she vanished, her connection to her worldwide audience instantly vanished, and with the damage done to the racetrack and the people fleeing far from it, there were only a few witnesses left to what had just occurred.


With Beryl retreated, Sailor Mercury froze and banished the water she summoned to attack her with. She immediately scanned the immediate, snow-covered vicinity, and found herself under the scrutiny of thousands. She paid it no mind, as she turned and headed towards Hazama.

“Wow, S-Sailor Mercury…” Sailor Moon said, barely able to contain herself, “That… that was amazing!”

Sailor Mercury reached Hazama, seemingly ignoring Sailor Moon. His body was covered in a light dusting of the still falling snow, and Kyoko was sitting beside him, her face buried in her hands.

Seeing this, Sailor Moon fell silent, and looked aside.

Holding up her hand, Sailor Mercury summoned her windows in front of her, and began reading through the data they gathered from his body. She read every minute detail of his body, down to the last atom, in under a septillionth of a second, before she moved her windows behind her and to her sides.

“Execute,” she ordered.

On her command, Hazama turned to light and disintegrated… before he reintegrated right where he lay, the grievous injuries he’d sustained entirely absent from his body. As soon as he was together in one piece, the temperature began to warm up.

Sailor Moon looked down at him, and her eyes widened when she saw that he had begun breathing. She slowly turned to Sailor Mercury. “… What the…?”

“It took everything I could give,” Sailor Mercury replied, “Maybe more. There are some lines we should not cross…”

Sailor Mercury’s color began to return, the blue in her uniform and the warmth of her skin returning. But with it, blood began to run from her nose.

“Your nose…” Sailor Moon’s eyes widened when blood began to leak from Sailor Mercury’s ears too, and then her mouth. “… Sailor Mercury!”

“B-but… it was worth it,” Sailor Mercury said, “We didn’t l…”

She suddenly felt weightless, and didn’t even register the impact of her body hitting the ground. With a satisfied smile on her face, the last thing Sailor Mercury saw before darkness overcame her was a distraught Sailor Moon leaning over her, calling her name.


Reappearing in her throne room, Beryl collapsed to her knees in front of her throne, panting heavily, her face pale and her eyes wide.

“Nope. No, NO. Fuck. That.”

She didn’t even know what that was. “What the fuck?!”

She rolled onto her back, her entire body feeling like she’d just walked ten miles through a blizzard in her underwear after a swim in an ice-clogged river. The Sailor Senshi weren’t supposed to be that powerful, Beryl had given herself enough power to be as strong as she was when the Moon Kingdom fell. How could one of Sailor Moon’s damn betas dwarf that?!

Catching her breath, Beryl pushed herself up to her knees, and realized… she needed to investigate this further.

“This… this might change a few things,” she said to herself, before looking into her palm and summoning the Black Crystal to it.

She held the crystal tightly in her grip. “I underestimated you and almost got fucked up. I’ll give you this one.”

Her composure returned, Beryl turned and looked to her court of youma. “All right everyone, what have I missed while I was gone?”

From the shadow-wreathed group, stepped forth a shapely woman with light-blue skin, voluminous and long blonde hair, and wearing a scanty blue one piece. Beryl smiled when she saw her.

“Hey, there’s a face I don’t mind seeing,” she said, “What’s the haps?”

“Well, while you were gone Kunzite and Zoisite left to enact a plan to kill Sailor Venus off that is the very epitome of loud and stupid,” the leader of the DD Girls replied, “And then we received a request from Castor and Pollux to help capture one of Nephrite’s youma before she defected to Jadeite.”

“Oh, that would be Arachne, right?” Beryl asked before growing thoughtful, “Where is she now?”

“At a Coffee Shop in Minato. She’s supposed to meet up with them soon.”

Beryl hummed. “Collect her, I want to have a few words with her.”

The blue youma smiled and winked. “Consider it done, my Queen.”

She turned and sauntered off into the darkness, Beryl nodding appreciatively as she left, and as soon as she was out of sight the Queen of the Dark Kingdom laid back and looked up at the ceiling of her domain and held up the Dark Crystal.

The image of Nephrite appeared in the crystal, then Zoisite, and then Kunzite.

“It’s finally time to start clearing away the old remnants,” she said quietly as she held the crystal to her forehead and began to channel through it.

“I have nothing more to say.”


Sailor Mercury woke up to the unfamiliar ceiling of a soundproofed room. Sitting up, she looked down at her blood-stained sailor fuku, and then at the bed she sat on. She looked around, her bed was surrounded by a blue privacy curtain, and there were people on the other side of it.

“Hello?” she asked, “Sailor Moon? Where am I?”

She was about to access the Mercury computer to find out, when the curtain pulled open and there was Usagi standing there.

Sailor Mercury blinked several times, and looked Usagi over. “Ah? U-Usagi?”

Usagi smiled, and promptly caught Sailor Mercury in a very tight hug. “You’re all right!”

Sailor Mercury was confused. Why wasn’t Usagi Sailor Moon right now? Where were they? What was with the soundproof walls?

Before she could answer those questions, Usagi pulled back and answered one of them. “You’ve been unconscious for three days!”

Sailor Mercury twitched. “What.”

“Yes, after you went HAM you just conked out and didn’t wake up. You were barely alive the whole time.”

Sailor Mercury pulled back from the hug. “Then where are we? What is this place?”

“The best medical facility we could get to in such short time,” Usagi said, “Your Mom’s.”

Sailor Mercury went rigid, and looked past Usagi as the door opened and Saeko walked in, followed by Tony. The relief she saw on her mother’s face told her everything, being unconscious for three days would make hiding her identity difficult.

“Ami,” Saeko said before she hurried over to her bedside and joined Usagi in hugging her, “Oh thank goodness! How are you feeling?”

“A little light-headed, and hungry,” Sailor Mercury replied, “Really hungry.”

Usagi chuckled. “Well, she’s going to clean the whole place out.”

“Good. Was worried there for a second… Not as worried as Saeko though. She was worried to the point I had to use the suit to make her rest,” Tony announced.

Saeko flushed and shot a glare at Tony.

“It was kind of adorable how she weakly struggled to get back to monitoring your vitals, calling me a… What did you call me again? Kind of forgot in the mass of insults,” the Iron-Man said, looking over at her mother with a raised eyebrow, “Very colorful though, need to remember those.”

“As always sir, your attention to detail is impeccable,” a British accented voice spoke over the speakers.

Sailor Mercury then remembered. “Ah, what about Hazama, is he all right?!”

“He’s fine; he and Kyoko have a lot to work out after all the stuff that happened, though,” Usagi replied.

“What about the other people, was anyone hurt?”

“There were some casualties over at the hospital, from Hazama breaking out,” Usagi replied with a small frown, “That fucking bitch Beryl hand delivered his helmet to him herself to use him as a distraction to set up her skyscraper drop.”

Sailor Mercury’s expression darkened with anger at that evil woman.

“Don’t worry, though, we’ll get her next time and it’ll be amazing,” Usagi reassured her.

Sailor Mercury brightened again and she nodded in agreement. “Yes!”

Saeko pulled back from both girls. “Well, transform back so we can get you fed.”

“I’ll inform the galley to pull out all the stops,” Tony said.

Sailor Mercury, becoming Ami once again, slipped out of the bed and stood up. “Galley? Aren’t we at your office, Mother?”

Saeko nodded. “Yes, we are.”

Ami looked around, and then remembered the strange nature of the room she was in. “We’re not in New York, are we?”

Saeko shook her head, and gestured for Ami to follow her as she headed out the door into a narrow, gray corridor. “It’s high time that I came clean myself, Ami-chan. I’m not exactly working for Tony, so much as I’ve been assigned to him.”

Taking Usagi’s hand, Ami was led into the hall and down it, following Saeko down the hall as Tony wore a small smile on his face and pulled out his phone.

“The work I do isn’t just for Iron-Man, or any of the Avengers,” she said as she undid her labcoat. They walked for a short period, before they reached a pair of double doors marked “Bridge” guarded by two soldiers.

Ami looked to Usagi in confusion, and only got a smile and wink in return, before the doors opened and they stepped out onto the bridge in question. She gasped, and looked around in awe at the technologically advanced of an Aircraft Carrier that was now soaring tens of thousands of feet above the Earth–S.H.I.E.L.D’s Helicarrier.

Saeko turned around, revealing the navy blue S.H.I.E.L.D uniform underneath her labcoat. “It’s for something even bigger.”

Ami’s mouth fell open, offering a perfect opportunity for Tony to snap a quick shot of the look on her face. “You… you’re a… secret agent?!”

“Well, technically I make sure the secret agents don’t die. I’m the chief doctor aboard this ship.”

Ami looked around. “This ship, this ship is flying!”

“That’s why I’m always away. Deployments are long,” Saeko said apologetically.

“I… I see…” Ami said softly, before she embraced her mother tightly “It’s all right, being Sailor Mercury helped me realize what you do is important, and now that I know it’s not just keeping Mr. Stark alive I hardly feel bad about it at all.”

Tony pouted. “Hey, now.”

Usagi smiled. “Oh come on, it just warms you up inside, doesn’t it?”

Tony glanced to Sailor Moon and nodded. “It’s no Kamen Raider Z-III regaining his humanity, but it’s close.”

“You cried for that too? Good man,” Usagi said.

The Commander of the Helicarrier then spoke. “Good to see that you’re awake, Miss Mizuno. Now that everyone can attend we can have a long overdue discussion.”

Ami looked over, and immediately recognized the eyepatch wearing man from the gag two chapters back. “You’re…”

“I am Director Nick Fury, your mother’s real boss, and we’ve been waiting for you to wake up,” the trenchcoat wearing, eyepatch sporting director of S.H.I.E.L.D replied as he walked over from the platform overseeing the Helicarrier’s bridge crew.

Usagi nodded and walked over to Director Fury. “Yes, I am sorry about that again.”

Director Fury nodded. “Don’t apologize, no one died this time, but now that we’ve all seen what’s happened and how powerful this Dark Kingdom is it’s time we knew what was going on so that next time will be just as successful. So I’ll start with the question on the whole world’s mind, Miss Tsukino: What the hell is going on?”

Usagi nodded to Director Fury, and folded her hands behind her back. She gave him a smile, as though someone had set down a plate full of cupcakes right in front of her.

“Well… here’s the story so far.”


= = =


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