the mercy gift

Written: 3-13-2000

respond to: rashaka_eos@hotmail.com

NOTE: I wrote this in one sitting. I do that a lot—writing in spurts and jumps. But this is special to me, even though I wrote it a while ago. Please enjoy it and do me justice by reviewing with your words and thoughts.

::Wu-chan appears with a scowl holding up a sign that says "justice" with several exclamation marks::

::he puts that down and holds up another sign, this one saying "this weak female doesn't own SM cause she's weak and doesn't do justice and can't fight—"::

::Wufei is fiercely erased and replaced with a smiling Duo-chan, whose holding a sign that says "This totally cool writer doesn't own SM cause the big rich people who do are very rude and haven't returned her phone calls."::

The Mercy Gift

by Eos en Rashaka

Serenity paced, her hands clenching and unclenching, her breath coming fast and short.

Sailor Mercury looked at her with sympathy and concern, her face grave. "You have to decide, Serenity. We have to act now while we can. Another moment may be too late." Her mouth creased into a frown as she watched her Lady continue to pace. She considered addressing her by her childhood name of Serena, but decided against bringing such things forward. Tonight they didn't need an immature bunny rabbit; tonight they needed a queen.

Sailor Mercury took a step toward Neo-Queen Serenity, a small bit of pity entering her eyes for her friend. She would not be in Serenity's place tonight for the world, which is literally what it would include. "Serenity… we need you to make the choice now, it…" she faltered. Breathing deeply and slowly to clear her mind, she said, "We need your decision."

Serenity stopped pacing, and looked at the wood floor. Her eyes coming up to meet her oldest friend's, she nodded the smallest bit. Not wasting any time Mercury left the office and raced down the hall, her blue shock of hair flying in her eyes.

Neo-Queen Serenity sat down slowly on her throne. She was still unsure about what she was doing. Yes, these people had had attacked Earth. Yes, she and others knew that they all hated Earthlings, and wanted to kill them all. But still… What she was doing…was it right? She knew that as long as any of them lived they would spend every moment wreaking havoc on her planet, killing her citizens. They were coming, soon. They had killed so many already. Her own love, barely clinging to life in the white hospital room… Huge colonies had been wiped out; thousands were dead. The only way to stop it for sure was to see that they all were eliminated, so not even one could hurt another Earthling. Even the damage of one of them could be staggering. They all had to be destroyed, for Earth's safety. The Scouts knew this. Her advisors knew this. *She* knew this. But it was a cold comfort for a desperate situation.

Closing her eyes, she placed one hand flat on the panel in front of her. With the other she grasped the Imperium Silver Crystal, removing it from her pocket dimension. It glowed in her hand, as if to mock her and her choice. I know what you're doing, it said. What right to you have? Who said you could do this? What makes you think you're even strong enough? The voice she imagined it had darted through her mind, scuttling round and burrowing itself there for a long stay. What gives you the right?

She could feel the panel become slightly warm under her hand. The machines were on. Everything she did with the crystal would be amplified by eleven-fold.

Why are you doing this, it whispered treacherously. You know this won't end well…

It was a brilliant machine, a combination of the greatest efforts of Sailor Mars, Sailor Mercury, and many, many specialists. It would make everything so easy. Wouldn't it?

Hahaah, the pulsing light of the crystal teased. Already you doubt yourself. You know this will be bad. You know you have no right.

Serenity's breath slowed, and she opened up her mind to the power of the Silver Crystal.

She could feel herself revel in it, the magic, the power, the light. In her mind's eye she could see them. All of them, stretched across the solar system. These beings that had hurt her people. She could feel their hate, and her own anger. She could see into them, and see what they wanted—what they planned— to do. No, she thought, I won't let them. I'll destroy them all—!them all!—before I let them hurt us more. Reaching out with the power of her family's crystal, she struck.

The white hot light leaped from the uppermost point of the palace's tower, arcing out everywhere, on every planet, reaching toward the things that threatened her people, her kind. The white light was almost there. She could feel their sudden fear, and almost reveled in it, thinking of all the people who had died by their hands. This was justice, and they all had to be punished for what they had done.

What right do you have?

Serenity faltered for a moment, her mind in conflict. What right *did* she have? She was not a god, she could not decide if a being was worthy enough to live. She could not wipe out en entire race…

She pulled back at the last moment. She understood now. She could not stop the attack totally even if she wanted too, and she was still aware of the threat they presented, of their shocking guilt. Instead, she did the only thing she could think of.

The little girl looked up into the sky. She could see it coming through the mist, a thin beam of pure white light. She looked in shock and surprise as it struck all around her. More beams came, dozens, hundreds of them, spears of deadly light. She dropped to the ground and pulled her knees to her chest, huddling. All around her they fell. Striking her guardians, the people who raised her and the others. A single beam pierced each of them, lighting them up light a candle, until they exploded into a fine, sparkling dust that whispered as it disappeared.

She hid her head in her knees, and pleaded for the light not to touch her.

Serenity felt the energy rush fade, her immense power of the crystal receding. She hung her head in exhaustion, and leaned back on her throne. The words of the Sailor Scouts barely filtered into her tired subconscious. Unwillingly, they pulled her back to the waking world.

"Queen Serenity! Are you all right?!" Serenity smiled, still lost in the half-sleep, at Sailor Jupiter's frantic voice.

"She should wake up soon. That took a lot of energy and left her weak, but nevertheless we have to tell her."

"Yeah, Mars?" the voice was cutting. "What should we say? How can we explain this? We're not even sure what happened!" Serenity listened frowning slightly, her eyes till struggling to open.

"Mina!" Ami chastised. "Everyone, she's waking up now."

Queen Serenity finally looked at each of her closest friends and most trusted companions, her face pale and drawn, but calm and unworried. "I'll be fine. What does your information tell you of the attack?"

Mercury stepped forward. "Serenity, we are--- well-- really perplexed. And worried. All of our attackers seemed to have perished… except… there's still seems to be something out there. Several weak energy signals of the same kind as those of the beings that were our enemies. And you-- your reaction to using the Silver Crystal was different than anything we'd seen happen before. We don't know what happened, and we don't know what to do."

Serenity met her sapphire eyes, her own cornflower blue prisms full of compassion— but compassion that wasn't for Sailor Mercury, but for some other. "All of those who threaten us are dead. They are gone, all of them everywhere. But their history and their blood still live. Those are the energy signals you picked up."

The Scouts looked at each other in confusion. Venus brushed pale blond air behind her ear in a nervous habit. "What do you mean, Serenity?"

Neo-Queen Serenity smiled a very sad smile, with no joy behind it. Her voice was soft, and seemed very old, yet oddly young as well. "I saved them. I saved their children. I could not wipe an entire race out of existence— I could not. So I saved their children."

"Do you know what this means?" Mercury gasped, her brain envisioning all the possible nightmare scenarios this could cause.

"What if they grew up like their parents, what they could do to us? Especially now— after we killed the rest of their kind?" Mars, like the other women, gazed at her old friend in shock. "Think of what you're putting at risk by doing this."

Jupiter and Venus only stared at her, Venus with dawning understanding; Jupiter with calm acceptance, born from old experience, that Serenity knew what she was doing and would not have chosen this course of action unwisely.

The Queen slowly stood, and her long gold hair drifted behind her. She went down the steps, the soles of her shoes hitting the marble softly. "We must make preparations. Mina, I need you to supervise the building of a panel to find the absolute *best* homes for these children. They *cannot* be risked by putting them into any home that could have a bad influence of any kind. You will stay here, with Ami." Queen Serenity turned her head to the other two, her long hair brushing the floor. "Lita, you must start outfitting one of the flagships for rooms for young people and children. Raye, you'll need to make all other arrangements for leaving, including a public statement, which I will approve before we leave. You will both come with me."

Neo-Queen Serenity again approached her friend Ami, Sailor Mercury. Tears glistened at the edges of her eyes, and her voice cracked slightly. "Ami-chan, you will have to make sure everything goes smoothly in our absence." The tear gradually made its way down her cheek as she thought of the white room in the east wing of the palace, and the white sheets and the IVs strapped to his pale skin; the tubes in his chest and slow, halting way that he breathed. The sound of the respirator filling the room. "And please," She grasped her hands and look into her friend's face, her own emotions echoed there, "Please take care of my husband." She choked slightly, and pulled away, her hands sliding from Ami's.

She turned away quickly, her hands wiping quietly at her eyes. The other women looked away, giving their friend time to compose herself.

When she looked up again, the tear was gone and she was calm once more, only her great weariness showing through. "We have to start now." She started walking to the double doors.

Mars stepped forward, voicing the question they all needed to hear. "Serenity, why---why are you doing this? What exactly *are* you doing?"

Serenity looked back at each of them sadly, her eyes old and very young at the same time. "I am going with you and Sailor Jupiter into space to visit all the old colonies and then to their moon. I am going to bring them all back here. All the children. I stole their parents from them, and so it's my responsibility. They will live with us, on Earth, as part of our society. All that has happened was our fault as much as our enemies'. We owe them this much at least. Even after what their parents did to us, all the suffering, I don't know it we will ever be able to completely make it up to them."

Neo-Queen Serenity left the throne-room. She walked down the open marble hall, her eyes resting on the brilliant sunset. She understood now, she truly understood. It was not the voice of the crystal that spoke to her through herself. It was Serena, the girl she once had been and still was in some small part. It was Serena, the young woman who treasured life and everyone around her, coming to remind herself about love, and that one cannot judge without mercy.

The young boy, fourteen years old, stepped onto the ramp of the craft and into the light of Earth's sun. He opened his wide, tilted cerulean eyes and looked at the new place that would be their home. The tattoos on his face felt pleasantly warm in the light, and the colors of this place reflected on his mirror-like arm blades as they released and retracted in the new environment. Turning, he looked at the few hundred children behind him, all younger than he. They clamored out of their seats and rushed to the ship's large exit, eager to be on ground again, but came to a skidding halt when they reached him, the oldest of them. They looked up at him with fear and eagerness, suddenly unwilling to cross the invisible line. Some were almost his equal and others were just infants in another's arms. Gently he smiled at a fidgeting little girl with teal eyes and sea-green hair and tattoos on the backs of her hands. She glanced up at him nervously. He took her small fingers in his, and stepped onto the soft earth of their new home.

The children behind him giggled and ran past them-- now that they had been given permission-- excited at the thought of exploring such a new and amazing place, so different from their old homes. Most of them had never known their parents, or any real caretakers at all besides their guardians, and did not feel the loss, only the new gain. He knew this would be a good place, a better place than he had grown up in. It would not be perfect, as such things never were— and it would have its own demons to regret, but it was a new beginning.

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This deals with what I consider to be a very serious issue not usually talked about in SM fanfics—the fact that when Sailor Moon fights she *does* take lives; and the question if it is wrong to eliminate a group entirely, even when they are threatening your world and your people. Who has the right to choose life or death?