Shattered Ice: Super Sailor Mercury

Chapter 44

Searching for information on this being 'Galaxia' was proving very frustrating to Luna and Artemis. The black and white colored guardian cats had their memories to guide them, as well as access to Moon Kingdom data banks, but neither were coming up with much.

Or more accurately they were coming up with TOO much. The two had plugged in the distorted image they had caught of her earlier appearance along with descriptions and a name, and ran a search. Sadly the information they had was too vague and they got thousands of potential hits. So the cats were doing the boring job of trying to sort it all.

"This is endless," Artemis sighed as he looked over another page, this on one the 'Galaxia' liners that had sailed the solar system.

"Still, there might be something worthwhile if we keep looking," Luna sighed as she went past a 'Miss Galaxia' page about a woman proud of her 'galactic' sized enhancements. Even thousands of years ago, there had been internet porn...

Artemis snickered, having caught a image from that page. "At least we found the information on the Starlights," he offered, "that should help Haruka relax a bit."

"I rather doubt she'll calm down about that," Luna said wryly, "her reasons for distrusting the Starlights have more to do with her worrying about Ami..."

"Star Fighter does seem to like Ami," Artemis conceded.

"And Ami's so besotted with Setsuna she doesn't notice," Luna noted, amused as she went past a page on Galaxia pastries.

Artemis nodded absently as he hit a page on the 'Miss Galaxia' beauty contest. He descretely saved it as he added, "I can't find any exact matches to the pattern this Galaxia uses. None of our earlier enemies have recruited soldiers from planets, empowered them and sent them against us."

"They usually have their own minions," Luna agreed. "Do you think she's some kind of... nomadic space creature, possibly?"

"I don't know," Artemis mused after a moment, "it just doesn't feel right, somehow." Frustrated he added, "We just don't know enough, even with what Iron Mouse has told us."

"Well, we'll keep digging for a bit," Luna said with a sigh. "At least there's a chance we might stumble over something..."

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

"Raawr!" the ogre like creature with green, scaly skin growled as it swung at Sailor Pluto. The tall, elegant woman blocked the blow with her staff, then with a graceful spin disengaged and got some distance from it.

Pluto pointed her staff at it as she calmly intoned, "Dead scream." A ball of purple energies materialized at the end of her staff, then lashed out, blasting the beast into nothingness.

"Nice," Sailor Mercury grunted as she blocked a massive club with her sword. She braced a hand against the flat of the blade and heaved, sending the monster using it stumbling away. Not using her powers she darted forward and struck with her sword, nearly gutting the thing, then slicing it across the neck.

"Thanks," Pluto twirled her staff, "you too."

"I wish I could do that," Sailor Mini-Moon pouted, the pink clad and haired girl using her want to blind and disorient her enemies.

Pluto thought about pointing out how much more effective she had become in using her attacks, but decided to hold off. She wasn't sure if Mini-Moon would be happy with just a supporting role. Besides, her powers were developing daily...

"Give it time," Mercury advised her with a smile.

Sailor Saturn was staying by Mini-Moon's side, the slightly taller girl smiling at her friend fondly. The two girls had a good, solid fighting style, with Mini-moon using her 'heart' attacks to distract and disorient enemies, while Saturn then chopped them down. They were efficient and deadly... almost worryingly so.

Sailor Uranus was mostly attacking with her saber, cutting more of the creatures down with every swing. Beside her Neptune used water bursts to keep the attackers off her back, while also cutting down her fair share of the beasts.

"Do we know where these came from?" Neptune asked curiously. "IT could be another Galaxia plot..." she mused.

"Don't think so," Mercury answered promptly, "most of their attacks had no unifying theme. Well, other than monsters in Sailor Fuku, anyway."

"Pluto?" Uranus asked as she used her saber to blast a channel in the advancing creatures. There were... maybe fifty or so left, after the group had already put down nearly the same number.

Pluto casually clobbered a orge down with her staff. "It appears to be some kind of monster factory," she noted, "left in a sub-space pocket connected to Japan. It looks like it produced these creatures before reaching a maximum capacity, then 'popped' and released them here."

"Can you tell if the gate is still open?" Mercury asked even as she cut down another.

The six of them weren't getting TOO tired yet, but fatigue was starting to slow them down a bit. Each monster on it's own wasn't that bad, with some degree of super strength, durability and crude weapons. But the sure weight of numbers was enough to wear them down. They needed to end this battle, and very soon.

"Yes," Pluto pointed with her staff, past the mass of creatures, "it's over there."

"Of course it is," Uranus sighed wryly.

"We can handle it," Mercury told them firmly. "Neptune, can you hit them with a small scale flash flood?" she asked.

"Of course." Neptune nodded graciously. She raised her hands, concentrating as she pulled water in from all around them, then called out, "DEEP SUBMURGE!"

Uranus was always impressed by Neputne's power. Her own power was a focused ball of destruction, powerful but limited. Neptune, however, could do both focused destruction and wide spread chaos, like she was doing now. The tidal wave like attack had knocked down or badly staddered the entire mod. Leaving them confused and disoriented.

"Mercury Ice STORM," Mercury yelled, then unleashed her own attack.

Mercury, on the other hand, just scared her. Uranus watched as Mercury took the water that Neptune had splashed over everyone and plunged it far, far below zero. Despite the raw power of the monsters, they were frozen stiff as the temperature around them plummeted.

"Wow," Mini-Moon blinked. She walked over and pushed one of the ogres over, which fell and broke with a loud crash.

"Not the time," Mercury said tiredly, "they'll thaw out fairly quickly because of the local temperatures. Let's check out that gate."

The group of six women hurried by the frozen creatures, while being careful of their footing. Mercury's attack had frozen the ground too, covering it in a thin film of slippery ice. Still, they quickly got by the frozen monsters, then had to wait a moment while Pluto narrowed things down more.

Ultimately the access point was a odd ripple in the air, which would not even have been noticable if not pointed out. "Can we just seal it up?" Mini-Moon asked warilly.

Pluto shook her head gravely, "Not without risking that whatever is in there will burst back out again. We need to investigate whatever is in there."

"Then I go in first," Uranus said firmly. Before Mercury could protest she added, "I'm not the toughest, but I'm nearly so. And if there's something really bad on the other side, I have the best shot of reporting back."

Mercury wanted to argue, but she knew Uranus was right. She was both tough and very fast, which might be enough to save her if things went bad. "All right," she conceded, "but be careful."

"Always," she agreed. Uranus smiled at Neptune, "Keep an eye on them, I'll be right back."

"You'd better keep that promise," Naptune murmured back, stealing a quick kiss.

With a cocky smile she wasn't entirely sure was sincere Uranus hurried through the rift, emerging in what almost felt like zero gravity. She staggered a moment then came down on what looked almost like a stone island, floating in space. In the middle, about twenty feet away, was a pulsating, organic... thing. It was big as a house, pretty much, in a very putrid green, and bulged and shifted as processes went on inside of it.

"Whoa," Uranus muttered, then blinked as her watch communicator went off. She flipped it open, "Hello?"

"Uranus, are you all right?" Mercury asked briskly.

"How did you...?" Uranus had to ask.

"Pluto helped me figure out the dimensional variance and we hacked my computer," Mercury said calmly, "now, are you all right? Because Neptune is kinda worried."

"I'm fine," Uranus said quickly, "it's just strange over here."

"Is it safe to come over?" Mercury asked curiously.

"Nothing's jumped me yet," Uranus said honestly, "but watch that first step."

A few moments later and Mercury, Neptune and Saturn appeared, 'dropping' out of the eerie hole in space that presumably Uranus had. They recovered fairly quickly, and headed over to where she was standing. "Pluto and Moon?" Uranus asked.

"Pluto will hold the portal open if needed," Neptune said, "Moon is there in case..."

"Say no more," Uranus nodded. Mini-Moon was out there as a doomsday precaution. If everything went to hell, the last survivor of Moon Kingdom royalty would be safe and could, potentially, carry on. Not that Mercury would have put it like that, but it was good strategy.

"Okay, so we blast this then...," Neptune started only to trail off as Mercury got out her mini-computer and started studying the thing, circling it as she read the readings intently.

Uranus gave her a few minutes then asked, "What are you doing?"

Mercury looked startled, her expression oddly childlike. "Do you know how old this is?" she demanded excitedly.

"How old?" Neptune asked obediently.

"Well over three thousand years old!" Mercury said excitedly. "This wasn't even targeted at us! It might even have been a enemy of the Moon Kingdom itself!"

Both Uranus and Neptune exchanged glances.

"This is a incredible archeological find! It could mean...," Mercury continued excitedly.

"Can you turn it off so it doesn't spit more monsters out?" Haruka asked, cutting her off.

Mercury paused then deflated. "No, not without a lot of study," she conceded.

"Then I'm sorry, but...," Neptune said, gesturing at the organic construct.

Mercury looked deeply pained, but nodded. "All right," she agreed, "but I'm getting all the scans off it I can." Both Uranus and Neptune waited impatiently, then they destroyed the monster machine before escaping back out the portal to Earth.

To be continued...