I don't own any of the rights, but you probably guessed that by this being fanfiction.

With a Little Forethought

It was one of those quiet periods between youma attacks from the Dark Kingdom, and the five girls of the Sailor Senshi were arranged in Usagi's room. Presumably they were there to study, and books were indeed arranged with each girl, but the main topic of the night was idle conversation about events that had happened before. Minako was idly petting Artemis in her lap while trying to read the textbook with the other hand, Rei and Usagi were in a mild argument about one thing or another, Makoto was trying to ignore the pair as she read, Luna was sprawled out on the bed dozing, and Ami was lost to the world of advanced biology according to her own textbook.

Ami did perk up however as the argument became louder and more heated. "And it's a miracle you haven't exposed your secret identity to the whole world Usagi!" Sailor Moon herself opened her mouth to either cry a retort or merely cry, at which point Ami decided to step in before tempers flared.

"Usagi, I was wondering." Everyone else with the exception of the dozing cats turned to face her, and Ami paused, momentarily embarrassed to be the center of attention. She pressed on, however. "How have you gotten into some locations when you weren't transformed? I remember that time where you managed to get in to the prep school I was studying at disguised as a doctor... it was a sufficient disguise to fool me, and my mother is a doctor so I should presumably be able to tell."

Usagi closed her mouth, argument immediately forgotten. "I just used the disguise pen, Ami, remember?"

"Yes, but you don't know anything about how to be a doctor. It's a career that involves years of schooling and hard study, and, um..." She trailed off, unsure how to finish without being insulting. Rei stepped in however. "And we know you'd never manage those sort of grades in a hundred lifetimes."

The argument flared up, and Ami sighed to herself. Minako in turn was the one to answer the full question. "The disguise pen gives you the knowledge you need for the job. Wouldn't be much good without that would it?"

Ami tuned the bickering out as her brain came alive, running through options and possibilites. It couldn't be that- surely they would- but, she did say-

"Uhm, Usagi," she interrupted. "Can I... see your disguise pen for a minute?"

Usagi nodded and fished a pink pen with a small red gem and crown on the tip. She slowly passed it over to the reaching girl.

Luna suddenly awoke with the feeling of dread that had settled over her, and immediately narrowed it down to the sight of the disguise pen being passed over. She shouted a "NO! STOP!" and leapt to intercept, but knew mid-flight it was far too late...

"Mercury Power! Turn me into-"

Setsuna Meiou, better known as Sailor Pluto, sighed. While the entire timeline had shifted and Crystal Tokyo had been removed from all versions of the future, ruining every carefully laid plan and manipulation she had laid out over centuries, she couldn't deny that in many ways the result was far better. It didn't have the same beautiful grandeur as the Moon Kingdom, but it had a power she couldn't deny.

It also meant she had a job to do, so stepping through the doors of the palace she exited to the balcony overlooking the cheering crowd. She gave a quick glance to the senshi flanking her as an honour guard, then lifting the Garnet Rod, symbol of her power and key to the Time Gate, she tapped it twice against the stone. "Citizens of the Infinite Empire! I introduce Her Majesty, the Destroyer of the Dark Kingdom, Warden of Peace, Bringer of the Truth, Keeper of the Secrets and Deepest Knowledge, Giver of Eternal Life... the immortal goddess Empress Mercury!"

Empress Amy Mizuno emerged from inside the castle in a suitably regal fashion, giving a benevolent gesture to the assembled crowd below, the assembled senshi as one dropping to a knee in a sign of fealty. The crowd shouted the traditional reply of "Peace Through Knowledge! Power Through Dedication!" before breaking into further cheers. Overhead, the parade squadron of intergalactic spaceships blazed past through the atmosphere, leaving blue smoke trails in the traditional symbol of Mercury before flying off.

From the crowd there was a different sort of shout however. "THE DARK KINGDOM CANNOT BE DEFEATED! DIE, FALSE-" and got no further, as before anyone could react Empress Mercury pointed a finger and the twisted figure... simply vanished. There were gasps, then further cheering. "LONG LIVE THE EMPRESS! MAY SHE REIGN ETERNAL! MAY HER TRUTH ILLUMINATE THE COSMOS!"

Empress Mizuno gave another beatific nod to the crowd, and took a moment to once more wonder why no one before her had ever tried something so simple as to use the disguise pen to its full potential. She now had an empire of peace and scientific prosperity spanning the cosmos to preside over, and guide with her near-infinite knowledge into a true golden age. To think, if it had been left up to the others, they would still be fighting the youma and the Dark Kingdom hand-to-hand. They could have died!

It truly was a better thing that someone intelligent and sensible such as herself was now in charge. So, raising her hands once more after a glance back at her loyal retainers and friends, she let the cheering of her loyal subjects wash over her.