Preface - September 17, 2003

Well, it's been over four years since the birth of this fic - The Earth Scout Chronicles - and I have to say that both this fic, and myself as a fanfiction writer, have come a long way. I mean, if you look at my writing style back then, and look at it now, you can see the difference.
To be honest, as I looked through this series - eight chapters, a prologue and an epilogue - there were times when I thought to myself 'I can't believe I used to write like that. Ugh.' Well, that was four years ago and a lot can change in four years. I often thought of revising this series, updating it with my current style of writing. I'm divided on this for two reasons: On one hand, I've grown as a writer and since this fic this supposed to be my personal magnum opus, it should reflect as such. On the other hand, this is like a reminder of where I started from; a chronicle of my growth as a writer.
I'm sure that some of you who are fanfiction writers as well have stories you've written that, when you look back at them, you realize that you can write so much better than that now. You probably were thinking the same thing I think when I look back on this series, written so long ago. Some of you may have updated your stories, some not. Although this fic is, in fact, in it's third revision - the first was written on paper and too horrible to even release to the public at large, and the second revision was just a name change from English dub names to original Japanese(i.e. Serena - Usagi) - it still remains the same as when I first started writing.
I often wonder if all fanfic writers wonder the same thing I do as they continue to write: How much different will my writing style change in the future? Hopefully, the answer for all of us is that it can only get better as we continue.

- Jason C. Ulloa

Prologue: Decisions

Decisions - they are what drive history. Our lives are the result of decisions that were made in the past and our future will be determined by the decisions we make now. They can be as simple as where we want to go or as important and final as whether someone lives or dies.
Such is the burden we all carry. Though many are oblivious to it, I am not one such person. I know well how the choices we make affect our future. It is my job to know. I am the guardian of the timegate, Sailor Pluto.
From my post, guarding the timegate, I can see how events unfold and shape the future. Since the future is fluid and uncertain, I can never be fully confident that the course events take is always the right one. I am only human and can make mistakes; however, sometimes it is hard to tell when I have made one. Sometimes, I can never be certain.
One such decision stands out in my mind, during the Silver Millennium, sixteen years before the war with the Dark Kingdom....

February 28 -

The Queen of Jupiter was in the infirmary, finally giving birth to her first child. She had been in labor for a long time and her husband, the King, was

getting a little worried. He hoped that there wouldn't be any problems. He stood by her, holding her hand and giving her his support.
After many hours of painful labor, the child was born. The doctor informed them that it was a boy.
But, something was wrong. The baby was quiet. No sound of a baby's crying. The King and Queen looked at each other, both with worried looks on

their faces. One look at the doctor's disheartened expression told them that the worst had happened.
Their son was born dead.
The doctor told them that during birth, the umbilical cord had somehow wrapped around the baby's neck and strangled him while he was being born. She also said that she hadn't realized that anything was wrong during the birth. The birth seemed perfectly normal and gave her no cause for alarm. If she had known about the problem beforehand, then she could have saved his life.
The tragic news spread though the Moon Kingdom very quickly. There were many that sent their condolences and sympathies, but there was only one thing that the King and Queen wanted - their son alive.
When the doctor said that if she had known about the problem beforehand she could have prevented it, it gave the King an idea. He, like all of the other members of the royal families of the planets, knew of the timegate at the Moon Palace. If he could somehow warn his past self of what would happen to his first born, then he could prevent it from happening and he would have his son back.

As soon as the King of Jupiter arrived at the Moon Palace, he was received immediately by Queen Serenity herself. He immediately noticed her gravid state. A polite inquiry on his part told him that she would be expecting her child to be born in about four months. The news reminded him of why he was there and he presented his request to her.
She had heard of his tragedy and listened with sympathy. After he explained to her his plans and intent, the King awaited her decision.
Queen Serenity informed him that although she would willingly grant his request, the decision was ultimately not hers to make. The final decision would be up to the guardian of the timegate. She granted him permission to take his request to me.
After meeting the King of Jupiter at the entrance to the timegate, he gave me the details of his request. I listened to every word of his heartfelt plea. From the look on his face, he was very close to resorting to begging on his knees. When he finished, he merely stood quietly to one side and waited for me to give my answer.
It wasn't an easy decision to make. Deciding whether or not to change the timeline is always a hard decision. There are so many things to consider. The results of changing the past aren't always good even if the intentions are benevolent.
After a long time considering the possible outcome altering past events would have on the future, I came to my decision.
I denied permission to use the timegate.
When the King asked me why, I told him that sometimes things happen the way they do for a reason. There is a possibility that, if allowed to live, his son could have an adverse effect on the future. I could not risk that possibility.
It was one of the hardest decisions that I ever had to make. I told him so and fortunately he understood and thanked me for listening to his request. There was a look of hopelessness on his bereaved face as he turned and left.
I learned later that about a year and ten months afterwards, the King and Queen of Jupiter had a baby girl. They were both overjoyed over the birth of their second child and relieved that she wasn't born dead like her older brother.
All the time that I watched the King leave and for many, many years after that day, I wondered if I had made the right decision. With all of the possibilities to consider, both good and bad, I'm still not sure, even to this day. Whether I was right or wrong in my decision makes little difference now. I have made my decision and I can't change it, even if I wanted to....
Or can I?

As the King of Jupiter arrived at the entrance to the Palace's timegate, he felt a shiver run down his spine. It wasn't that this was a dangerous place or was frightening, but for some reason the mist-covered location of the timegate had a certain eerie feeling to it. A shadowy figure appeared in the mist and was slowly approaching him.
"Sailor Pluto?" he called, trying to see through the mist. He knew it had to be her, but with the way this place was making him feel, he felt as though he had to make sure.
"Yes, it's me," Sailor Pluto replied, emerging from the blanket of mist, carrying her key-shaped staff.
The King nodded solemnly. "Thank you for seeing me. I have an important request to make," he said. "Queen Serenity told me that I should take this request to you, since you guard the timegate."
"I see," Sailor Pluto said, thoughtfully. "And what is your request?"
"I assume you have already heard about what happened a few days ago?"
"You mean, about your son? Yes, I have. It must have been a great tragedy for you and your wife."
"Indeed, it was," the King said, sadly. "She still grieves. This is the reason I came to see you.
"After discovering that my son was dead, I asked that doctor if there was anyway that I could have prevented his death. She told me that if she had known beforehand, then she could have saved my son.
"My request is this: I want to warn my past self about what will happen to my son. I want to try to save my son's life and this is to only way that I can think of to do it. Please, Sailor Pluto, this is my only hope. Can you grant my request?" When he finished, the King stood quietly, waiting for Sailor Pluto to give him her answer. He knew that his request to alter the past to save his son would be an important decision for her.
Sailor Pluto watched him without expression throughout his entire plea. She remained quiet for a long time, thinking. After what seem like an eternity to the King, she had reached a decision.
"I have decided to grant your request," she said, at last, "but I think it would be best if I do it myself. I will see to it."
All hopelessness and despair immediately lifted from the King's face at Sailor Pluto's words. "Thank you! Thank you so much!" he said overjoyed. "I am in your debt." Spirits lifted, he turned and left.
Watching him leave, she felt a sudden feeling of uncertainty come over her. "I hope I made the right decision," she said to herself.

The sound of a baby's cry immediately brought the King of Jupiter into the room. He came to his wife's side just as the doctor was handing her their child. "It's a boy," the doctor said, giving the new parents a small grin and leaving the room.
"There, there, shh...," the Queen of Jupiter said to her son, trying to calm him. Slowly, the crying subsided as he blinked and went to sleep in her arms. "That's a good boy." She looked up to her husband, her face radiant with joy. "Look at him. Isn't he beautiful? He has such lovely gray eyes."
"What are we going to name him?" the King asked, his gaze transfixed on the tiny sleeping figure's face.
"Well, dear, why don't you name him?" she said.
The King considered the question for a moment. "What do you think of the name Ryoku?" he said, smiling.
"Ryoku? Yes, I think that's a splendid name for our young prince." She looked down at her sleeping son. "Don't you agree, Prince Ryoku?"
Afterwards, the King and Queen of Jupiter, when asked by Sailor Pluto, both swore never to tell anyone, especially their son, of how their son was saved by altering the natural course of events. They never minded, since they were grateful for her help in saving their son's life.
About four months later, on June 30th, Queen Serenity had finally given birth to a baby girl she named Serenity. Despite the grief of losing her husband three months ago, she welcomed her new daughter warmly. Many said that the Princess Serenity resembled her mother very closely and would grow up to be as beautiful as her mother.
Throughout that year and the next, each of the royal families of the Inner Planets celebrated the births of their children. Near the end of the first year, Princess Minako of Venus was born on October 22nd. During the next year, on

the planet Mars, Princess Rei was born on April 17th. On September 10th, Princess Ami of Mercury was born, and on December 5th, a second child was born to the royal family of Jupiter, this time a girl - Princess Makoto. The royal family of Earth was the only one not expecting a child. They were perfectly happy with the one son that they had - Prince Endymion. Unknown to each of them, these seven would have a very important role to play in their collective future.
And so, our story begins....
But this time, a little differently....

Disclaimer: All original materials belong to their respective owners. Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi and is also Copyright © Kodansha, Toei Animation, TV Asahi, Bandai, DIC, Cloverway, Pioneer, etc. No copyright infringement is intended. This story belongs me, so I would appreciate it very much if you would ask for permission before posting it anywhere else.

Thank you.

Earth Scout Chronicles, Kino Ryoku: Copyright © 1999-2003 Jason C. Ulloa. All Rights Reserved.