The Brooch
By Jason C. Ulloa


The following is an excerpt from the journal of Gotou Ken'ichi, a resident of the city of Matsue, Japan:

August 3, 1945:

I finally heard news from my cousin, Kotoshige. The air raids have been getting worse as the months go by. The family "over-achiever" is getting despondent, contrary to his namesake. Too many of his fellow soldiers have been getting injured or killed in these raids and the defense of the city's getting weaker each time. Don't give up, Kotoshige! I believe in you!

The news on the radio is getting bleaker by the day. I, like many others in my neighborhood, are confident that our fellow countrymen can turn back the tide of this war in our favor again, but lately, I've been getting a very bad feeling deep in my gut. Like something big... something truly horrific is going to happen.

But, this is war. Something truly horrific always happens. Still, it feels like it's something even worse and it's got me scared. Not just for my family, but for Japan itself. Mitsu says I'm worrying over nothing, but it sounds like she's trying to convince herself and not me. I think she believes that sense of foreboding is really my sixth sense trying to warn me.

I still think she's just imagining things. I don't have a sixth sense. It's just intuition. Even if I've never been wrong about anything I've predicted, anyone could do the same if they just listen to their intuition.

Anyway, tomorrow, Mitsuki wants us to go and visit her family over in Hiroshima. She says that her mother's been feeling out of sorts lately and she just wants to reassure herself. I don't blame her, but I don't like going down there. Her father hates me; I'm sure of it. I keep on getting this feeling of doom whenever I dwell upon it, but I can't deny my "precious light" anything. If this will make Mitsu feel better, then I'll do it. But, I still think her father hates me. REALLY hates me, as in he wants me dead. I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up dead that very day.

Okay, I'm exaggerating, but it certainly feels that way to me. If I was anything like my namesake, this "wise one" wouldn't take one step into that city. Too bad that I only have Monday off. The boss won't let me have more than that, even if it is for family.

Well, until next time.

Unfortunately, this is the last entry of this journal. Gotou Ken'ichi and his wife, Mitsuki, died when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

The following is an excerpt from the journal of Hayabusa Tenko, a resident of the city of Nagasaki, Japan:

August 7, 1945:

I'm so afraid.

I saw the flash of light coming from the northeast, toward Hiroshima, but I didn't know what it was until I heard the news from my next-door neighbor, Chihiro. I never dreamed that those Americans had such a horrible weapon! So much of that city... destroyed in an instant.

So many... dead. All dead in one moment.

After the events from yesterday, I can't help but feel afraid. If the Americans can lay waste to a city like Hiroshima, then what could a weapon like that do to my home? I can only pray that the Americans don't turn their horrible weapon on us. We are just an industrial city. Fishing and steelworks. We're not a military city, like Hiroshima.

Chihiro has been trying to console me, saying that there are cities that are much better targets out there for the Americans to use their weapon on, but I still feel terrified. Oh, how I wish that my Renzou was here and not at work. I always feel so safe in his arms. The Americans could hurl their terrible weapon on us and I would still feel safe with my dear Renzou. Oh, please hurry and come home.

This journal also abruptly ended on August 9, 1945, when the second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Both Hayabusa Tenko and her husband, Renzou, a steelworker, died in the blast.

The following are excerpts from the journal of Commander Managi Tateaki of the Japanese Navy:

September 2, 1945:

It is done. Japan has formally signed its unconditional surrender today.

It is a bleak day for our country, but this is what had to be done. This atomic bomb that the Americans possess is a truly great weapon that could potentially decimate Japan. I can only imagine what has happened to my Uncle Doukei's family in Nagasaki. My parent's home in Hiroshima has probably been totaled. I'm just glad that they had been visiting my grandparents in Asahikawa when it fell. Still, I worry about where they will live now. Father says that he'll just have to look for a new place to live. Mother says that she wants to move to somewhere close to Tokyo so that she can visit Chitose and the children whenever I'm underway. Maybe she'd like to live in either Yokohama, Urawa, or Chiba. Those cities are relatively close. Then again, perhaps she'd prefer the hot springs at Kofu. I think I'll mention them to her next time I write to her.

In eight days, it's going to be Umi's fourteenth birthday. During that time, the American occupation of Tokyo should be starting. I wish things didn't have to be this way. I'm glad that the war is finally over, but I just wish things could've turned out different. Did we have to get the Americans involved? If we had left them alone, would things have turned out differently?

I can't write anymore. I'm going to bed. Perhaps things will look better tomorrow.

September 3, 1945:

I've recently received some strange reports concerning the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It seems that more and more people are disappearing from those two cities. Granted that people, or rather, bodies are still being found, but it's the people that have already been accounted for and are still alive that are disappearing.

Tomorrow, I'm transferring off of the Musashi to shore duty. I'm going to be stationed in Tokyo, which is good, since we're already living there. Chitose, Umi, and Satoshi will be very happy to hear that I won't have to go out to sea anymore. Especially Umi. She's been worried about losing her "Papa" to the war and crying a lot, but now she won't have to worry about that. Satoshi's been holding up honorably, which shows that he has indeed inherited my noble samurai blood. He hasn't shed one tear or even complained. He makes his father so proud.

I've been noticing indications in Chitose's letters that she wants another child. I thought that she was content with just two children after Satoshi was born nine years ago, but it sounds like she's changed her mind. At least, that's what I think it sounds like. I guess I'll find out once I see them tomorrow.

Until then.

September 6, 1945:

The first wave of the American troops have arrived today, much sooner than expected. However, this pales in comparison to what I've read in the news this morning.

Everyone in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have disappeared. The only people who remain are the dead bodies that have yet to be discovered and given proper burials.

This is very ominous. The police departments of neighboring cities are completely baffled. Homes have been abandoned as well as cars, bicycles, pets, everything. I'm just glad that Mother and Father are no longer living there. Apparently, Mother has taken my suggestion to move to Kofu to heart and is in the process of convincing Father to go.

My fellow officers and a few of my subordinates have taken to joking about Chitose's enthusiasm in attempting to become with child. Today's the second day I've come into the office almost exhausted, greeted by my associates' knowing smirks. It doesn't matter, though. Chitose's determined to succeed, so I really don't have much say in that, now do I?

It's going to be another long night...

September 9, 1945:

It's spread over here to Tokyo, now. People are disappearing without a word or a trace. And it's not just restricted to the Japanese people. Some of the American soldiers are disappearing, too. That has them in quite an uproar. The only thing that keeps them from taking it out on us is the fact that more Japanese disappear than Americans. So, now the American soldiers are helping us try to figure out what happened to the missing people. They are certain that their soldiers are being taken captive, since they would not just arbitrarily leave without authorization. A handful maybe, but half a division at once? Not likely.

So, I've been ordered to head an investigation into the matter. Unfortunately, that means I might have to miss Umi's birthday tomorrow. Damn the luck. I can only hope that Umi and Chitose can understand why I might not be there for such an important event.

I need to cut this short. I'm beginning the investigation early tomorrow, so hopefully I can get enough done to justify my getting off early enough to see Umi on her birthday. I'd better get some sleep.

This is the last journal entry. Commander Managi, along with his wife, Chitose and son, Satoshi, disappeared that night. Only their daughter, Umi, managed to escape the same fate.

The following is the statement of Managi Umi, made on September 10, 1945, at 1:42am to Officer Watarigawa Arasuke of the Tokyo Police Department:

"This weird man broke into our house and attacked Papa while we were sleeping! I don't know how he got in, since none of the windows or doors were broken or unlocked, but somehow he got in and attacked Papa with this weird crystal thing!

"I remember hearing Mama scream, so I jumped out of bed and I ran to see if Mama or Papa were all right. Sato-chan was right behind me when we opened the door to Mama and Papa's room. Eh? Oh, Sato-chan is my little brother.

"Anyway, this weird, scary man was holding this black crystal thing at Papa and smoke started to come from Papa's body, even though he wasn't on fire! The smoke all went into the crystal that scary man was holding and Papa fell over like he went back to sleep, only Mama couldn't wake him up by shaking him!

"Mama started to cry, and the man turned that crystal thing at her. Sato-chan then ran at the man and kicked him underneath his knees, making the man stumble. Mama told me and Sato-chan to run away, but Sato-chan wasn't going to run away. He was going to fight the man that hurt Papa. I tried to get him and run away like Mama wanted, but the man had already grabbed him and threw him into the wall! Mama yelled at me to run, and this time I ran. I ran as hard as I could until I reached here.

"What does he look like? I couldn't really tell. It was very dark. The man was tall and he had long hair. I think he was wearing some sort of strange gray uniform, but I could tell that it wasn't Japanese or even American. Wait! I think it was brown! Yeah, the man had brown hair! That's all I can remember..."

After contacting her next of kin, Managi Umi was sent to live with her grandparents in Asahikawa, in the Hokkaido Prefecture.

The following is an excerpt from the journal of Yamakoe Gyouko, a resident of the city of Tokyo, Japan:

September 10, 1945:

There is a saying that misfortune always comes in threes.

First, there was last month's bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Second, Japan was soundly defeated in World War II by the United States. Now their soldiers occupy our capital city.

The third and final misfortune topped them both.

I was one of the fortunate few who survived what some of us are calling the "Imperial Palace Attack." It happened so suddenly that I can only remember bits and pieces of what really happened, but here is what I remember:

I was coming home from visiting a friend that morning, passing by the Imperial Palace as I always do. I think it was around 9:30am or so. A huge explosion threw a shower of brick, wood, and other building materials into the air, however, what scared me the most was the fact that there was no sound of a bomb. Instead, it was something of an otherworldly howl. It was also accompanied by a darkness so great that the sunlight seemed to dim in its presence. A second explosion took down a portion of the wall ahead of me, killing everyone in the blast path. If I hadn't stopped as I did, I would've been killed, too.

I quickly ran and hid behind the wall of a nearby building. As the dust settled, I could see four men in strange gray uniforms I've never seen before. They weren't American and they certainly weren't Japanese. Whoever these foreigners were, they had just destroyed the Imperial Palace. I assumed that the emperor was dead. I still haven't heard any word.

What happened next scared me almost to the point of fainting dead away, but I clung to consciousness, knowing that if I did faint, I would end up dead. Behind the four men, strange and horrifying creatures began to pour out from a steadily increasing black portal behind them. Some looked vaguely human, some were anything but human. But all of them were certainly demons of one sort or another.

Demons. I had thought that they were merely stories, like the rabbit on the Moon that pounds mochi, but they were very much real. The man that I saw beaten into unconsciousness is all the proof that I needed of their existence.

I ran. I ran as hard as I could, away from the shrieks and screaming and pain and death. If I stopped, I know I would be joining them.

By all the kami, my heart is still racing, even now. Please, somebody save me...

The following is an excerpt from a message sent on September 10, 1945, 11:45am from Tokyo to Washington, D.C. and all U.S. Pacific commands via flash message:







The Imperial Palace Attack seemed to have been held off by the United States military forces, but in reality, the 'attack' was nothing but a simple resource-gathering raid. The resources being gathered was the life-energy of humanity. And in addition to gathering resources, the raid was a test of the humans' ability to fight back against their forces.

Judging from the number of human forces lost compared to the number of Youma lost, the humans really couldn't fight back that well. Most of their attacks consisted of rapidly throwing small metal capsules at them from miniature portable cannons. Not very effective if Youma are highly impervious to blunt attacks. The piercing capsules were another matter, which they learned soon enough, but the human forces had been dealt a hard blow before they could figure that out. It was simply a matter of learning which humans carried the piercing projectile weapons and deal with them first.

Jadeite grinned. This was looking to be a most promising war.

December 7, 1945. A date that seemed determined to live in infamy.

It was soon to be learned that the horror of the Imperial Palace Attack was just a precursor to the real invasion. Once again, the events from September 10 played themselves out. The framework of the new Imperial Palace was once again blown into shrapnel and hordes of Youma began to pour out of a black portal that appeared just a few feet in the air. But this wasn't the army of hundreds that came before.

This time, there were thousands of Youma. Tens of thousands. Hundreds of thousands.

Once again, the combined might of the Japanese and American army stood against the Youma horde, but were eventually overrun.

The city of Tokyo was conquered within two hours.

Once the military was dealt with, it was time to gather the remaining humans. After all, it was thanks to the humans they had captured from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that they were able to power a portal large enough to allow them to invade.

Or rather, it was thanks to the negative energy produced from the destructive radioactive blast from those two explosions that allowed Jadeite to cross over into Japan and abduct the first slaves of the new Dark Kingdom.

For the next six months, the invasion army spread to the north and west as they began their conquest of all Japan. Cities, wards, prefectures, the entire country fell before their rapidly advancing army. By June 13, 1946, all of Japan belonged to the Dark Kingdom.

The following is an excerpt from the journal of Managi Umi, now a resident of the occupied city of Asahikawa:

July 2, 1946:

Grandmother is crying again. I don't blame her. Out of my entire family, all I have left are my grandparents. Mama, Papa, Sato-chan... They're probably dead now.

It's strange. A few months ago, I couldn't stop crying whenever I thought about my family, but now, it's just a dull pain. It still hurts, but I hardly notice it anymore.

I want to go back to Tokyo to see if I can find out anything about this Dark Kingdom, or whatever they're calling themselves. Not only that, but Grandmother is trying to arrange a marriage for me. I thought things like that were over and done with, like the feudal era, but apparently Grandmother doesn't want to take any chances of our family line ending with me.

I don't want an arranged marriage. Not that I don't like the guy, but I don't know him. I'd rather fall in love and get married on my own. I don't need Grandmother making me get married to some guy I barely know!

A couple of friends of mine are planning on running away and joining the resistance movement that seems to be building up in Tokyo. They tell me that the forces of the Dark Kingdom can't enter holy places like Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, and Christian churches. Because of that, the resistance forces are taking refuge in such places, no matter what their religion or nationality is.

The leader of the resistance forces is, surprisingly enough, an American of Japanese descent named Kino Tenmei. He's named the resistance group "Shishu," meaning 'defending to the last' or 'defending desperately,' after the fact that even though they are seriously outnumbered, he will defend the lives of his fellow humans to the end.

Oh, how I wish I could meet him. Maybe I'll be able to, if I decide to run away with my friends. But, I can't abandon my Grandparents...

After the conquest of Japan, other countries began to mobilize what was left of their armies, just in case the Dark Kingdom wished to try and expand their borders. However, with the huge collection of life-energy amassed from the Japanese and Americans they had captured, it was simple enough to create more Youma from their masses of human slaves by imbuing them with their own life-energy, corrupted by the evil powers of the Dark Kingdom.

With their numbers easily reaching into the millions, the Dark Kingdom began to spread in all directions, conquering all cities, towns, states, provinces, countries, islands, and continents that laid in their path.

By September 1946, the eastern part of the continent of Asia, all of the Indonesian islands, Australia, and all of the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands were all captured by the rapidly expanding Dark Kingdom.

The following are more excerpts from the journal of Managi Umi, now a resident of the Meiji Jinja, in Tokyo:

October 9, 1946:

I can't believe I finally made it here! I haven't found any of my friends yet, but I'm certain they're somewhere around here.

Tokyo has changed so much from when I was here over a year ago. None of my family are here. Mama, Papa, Sato-chan, Grandmother, Grandfather... I'm the only one left. I miss them all so much.

From the moment that I stepped onto the grounds of the Meiji Jinja, I felt safe for the first time in a long time. I can't explain it, but it feels as though there's this invisible line just outside the shrine that I'm sure that Youma cannot cross. I'll have to ask one of the priests about that. There's certainly a lot of them around nowadays. Seems like lots of people are training to become priests and such. I figure that's because they're the ones who maintain that invisible line.

It's all so amazing. Things like this never happened two years ago.

Then again, the Dark Kingdom didn't exist two years ago.

...I feel so depressed now.

Hey! Maybe that guy Kino Tenmei is here! He's the leader of Shishu, right? And the Meiji Jinja's supposed to be the headquarters of Shishu, right?

...I wonder if he's handsome?

October 11, 1946:

I can't believe it! He's only eighteen! The leader of all Shishu forces is only eighteen years old!!!

And he's cute, too.

Still, it was quite a shock meeting him for the first time. Actually, it was more like he ran over me. And I've got the bumps on my forehead and the back of my head to prove it. It wasn't really his fault. He was responding to a Youma alert when he ran into me and knocked me face-first into the wall. If that wasn't enough, I also fell backward onto the floor because I was too dazed from the first hit to stay upright.

Or, so I was told. I was kind of blacked out at the time.

Anyway, Kino-sama was kind enough to visit me in the infirmary and apologize for injuring me. I think he was amused to see my reaction when I learned he was so young. He told me that the only reason that he became the leader of Shishu was because he had learned the secret to defeating the Youma and had personally dispatched several of them single-handed.

Apparently, the Youma are impervious to blunt attacks, so most bullets weren't going to do much damage to them. You can only really damage them by using armor piercing bullets. Kino-sama's idea was that if Youma were vulnerable to piercing attacks, then perhaps a sword could work just as well. So, he got himself a katana and tried out his theory. It worked magnificently. So now, all members of Shishu were armed with swords as well as guns with armor-piercing bullets.

I was awestruck, but he said it was nothing. There were other members of Shishu that could do the same or even better than he could. The only reason that he remained in command was because people said he was a natural leader. They respected his decisions because they were made with both the heart and the mind. Or, so they said. He didn't really believe all that. All he wanted was to protect his fellow humans and eventually free them from slavery to the evil Dark Kingdom.

He said everything with such honesty and conviction that I couldn't help but believe him. He seems so humble and modest for such an important man. I was disappointed when he said he had to go, but he's a busy man. Then, he surprised me by promising to see me again tomorrow.

Ah! I'm STILL blushing! He's probably just concerned over my injuries. That's probably it.

By June 1947, all of Asia and the western half of Northern and Southern America had fallen into Dark Kingdom hands. More humans were being conscripted into what was being labeled as the 'battery pods' according to the few slaves that Shishu were able to rescue. Thus, the Dark Kingdom war machine rolled forward steamrolling over whatever resistance the humans could throw against it. Some countries took the advice of the members of Shishu and began using swords along with their armor-piercing weaponry, which slowed down the Dark Kingdom's advance somewhat, but in the end, sheer numbers prevailed over the valiant efforts of the human race.

The following is another excerpt from the journal of Managi Umi, a Shishu volunteer working at the Meiji Jinja:

February 29, 1948:

Ten-chan is such an idiot! He completely forgot it was his birthday today. He's five years old today! Or, twenty for non-leap year babies like myself.

Anyway, like I said, he's such a big idiot! How could he forget his own twentieth birthday and go out on patrol. I know he's concerned for the welfare of the people of Meiji Jinja, but can't he ever just let someone else handle the job and stay home every now and then? It's a big shrine and I get lonely sometimes. Even if the shrine's slightly crowded at the moment.

I just made a new friend today! Her name's Tamagawa Hikari. She's only three years older than I am - two years after I turn seventeen - and she's already married! Her husband's name is Samatsu and he's twenty years old, just like Tenmei. Oh, and he's in Shishu as well. A newly accepted 6th class Blade. Hikari thinks that he's good enough with a sword to rise in the ranks quickly and make 1st class Blade by his 25th birthday, and Master Blade by his 30th. Well, if he's as good as my Ten-chan, then maybe he might make it. But I doubt it. No one's as good with a sword as my Ten-chan.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Hikari already has a baby girl. Her name's Ikuko and she's only five months old. She's so beautiful! I just know she's going to be such a beautiful woman when she grows up!

Anyway, Hikari's on the nursing staff, just like me. She's pretty good with herbs and medical stuff, since her mother was a nurse before the Dark Kingdom took her as a slave. Maybe I can get her to teach me some of what she knows.

I heard from Ten-chan's second-in-command, Okizaki Toshimaru, that all of Europe, Africa, South America, and Canada and Mexico have been swallowed up by the Dark Kingdom. Only the Eastern United States remains free, and the Americans are fighting back with everything they have and then some. They were desperate enough to try using that atomic bomb of theirs one last time, but it had no effect on the Youma horde. The Americans are even borrowing some of our military tactics and using suicide attacks on the Youma. So far, it's been effective, but only for so long. The Dark Kingdom has all the advantage of numbers, while the human race is slowly becoming enslaved and extinct.

No, not extinct. Not as long as Ten-chan has his dream of freeing the human race from the Dark Kingdom. I believe in his dream. Maybe that's why I love the man as much as I do. I want to help him achieve his dream in any way I can, even if it's to work as a nurse.

Now, if only he'd concentrate a little less on his dream and a little more on me...

September 10, 1949:

Oh, I'm so happy! I just can't stop staring at the ring on my finger!

Yes, Ten-chan finally proposed to me on my eighteenth birthday. Now THAT'S a birthday present! I'm going to be Kino Umi! It's like a dream come true! Mama, Papa, Sato-chan, you would approve of Tenmei. I know you would. He's just like you were, Papa. So brave and dignified and handsome. Everyone looks up to him, even if he's only twenty-one years old.

Hikari's so happy for me and so is little two year old Ikuko. Samatsu is giving Tenmei some 'advice' of some sort. Judging by the way his cheeks flushed slightly whenever he looked back at me, I think I can guess what kind of advice it was. Sama-kun can be such a hentai sometimes. It makes me wonder how Hikari puts up with it. If it were me, I would've smacked him in the head by now.

Anyway, I've already decided that I want children. Ten-chan is always risking his life out there against the Dark Kingdom. I want to have his children, so that just in case he loses his life out there, I can raise my son or daughter to continue their father's legacy and fulfill his dream in his place.

I can't wait until the wedding day. It'll have to be a big wedding, since everyone's been feeling terrible since the fall of the United States. The Dark Kingdom took over the world on August 31, 1949 and the world became a darker place. We need things like this to remind ourselves that even though things may look bleak, there's still hope. Every time Hikari and Samatsu look at Ikuko, they see that hope, and everytime I look at Tenmei, I see that hope and I think he sees that hope in me, as well.

As long as there is breath in the lungs of Kino Tenmei and Managi Umi - soon to be Kino Umi - our hopes and dreams will never be extinguished!

By the end of November 1950, several new Shishu commands began to spring up all over the world as more and more people began to dedicate their lives to religion in order to drive back the Dark Kingdom. But not all Shishu commands could stand up for prolonged periods of time against the continual onslaught of the Dark Kingdom.

In January 1951, the scattered forces of Shishu soon learned the names and faces of the Four Generals of the Dark Kingdom, as the world was divided between them by their Queen, a woman named Beryl. The Northeastern Hemisphere was given to Jadeite, the Southeastern Hemisphere to Zoisite, the Southwestern Hemisphere to Kunzite, and the Northwestern Hemisphere to Nephrite.

Queen Beryl, not quite satisfied with her conquest of Earth, left the planet by the end of 1951 in order to conquer more of the universe and took most of her Youma with her. What she did leave, though, was still enough to keep the humans at bay, as the Four Generals continued to actively hunt and wipe out pockets of Shishu resistance.

The battle between the Generals and Shishu became a stalemate around mid-1955 and continued to remain that way for years.

The following is another excerpt from the journal of Kino Umi, a Shishu nurse working at the Meiji Jinja:

April 28, 1969:

I'm so proud of my Ken-chan! He finally proposed to his girlfriend, Yasura Misaki. He's just like his father, proposing to his girlfriend on her eighteenth birthday. Ah, Kino Ken and Kino Misaki. I like the sound of that.

I just wish I could've given my Ten-chan more children than just Ken, but since I almost died during childbirth I've never been able to carry another child to term. Not for want of trying, though. I'm so envious of Hikari. She has Ikuko and Nodoka and Tenma. Three, and I only have one. Not fair!

Oh, that reminds me, I've been noticing that that young priest-in-training has been staring at Ikuko a lot. What was his name again? Ken-something. Ah! Kenji. Tsukino Kenji. No talent with the sword, so he chose to become a Shinto priest, instead. Hmm... maybe I should have Toshimaru say something to Kenji. You'd never know the man loved to play matchmaker with his gruff demeanor. Go figure.

Well, I'll give Kenji three months. Then I'll sic Toshimaru on him.

February 28, 1977:

At last! After years of waiting, Ken and Misaki finally gave me a grandson! Kino Ryoku was born just one day before his grandfather's birthday. I'm so happy! Ryoku has his grandfather's gray eyes, too! I'm glad, even though I wanted him to have Ken's and my green eyes. He's so handsome, like his father and grandfather.

Ikuko and her husband, Kenji, are expecting their first child as well, due sometime in June. I'm happy for them as well, but this time, I'm the one who gets to gloat. See, Hikari? I got grandchildren before you! Haha!

Ten-chan's becoming worried lately. He thinks that Jadeite's planning something big. I know that Jadeite's been turning his gaze toward the Meiji Jinja, so a lot of the people here have been setting out for other Shishu installations, in case Jadeite actually tries to go all out against the Meiji Jinja. Ken and Misaki are planning on moving out, but for a different reason. Ken wants to become the commanding officer of his own Shishu command, just like his father. Ten-chan has already approved the new command and he's assigned Hino-sama, a Shinto priest, to Ken's command. Ken's taking over the old Hikawa Jinja, which had fallen to Jadeite years ago. Ken believes he can revive it with Hino-sama's help. I know he'll do well. He's his father's son, after all.

The following is an excerpt from the journal of Kino Misaki, a Shishu nurse working at the Hikawa Jinja:

December 5, 1978:

Today, my Ryo-chan gets a sister. She's so beautiful! She has Ken-chan's eyes. He's named her Makoto, which I think is a perfect name for her. She looks a lot like Ryo-chan did when he was born.

When Ryo-chan saw her for the first time, he held out his hand and took hers, then kissed her on the cheek. I thought I would melt! That was so adorable! I can tell Ryo-chan loves his new sister already.

I'm so tired. I've been getting tired a lot lately. I hope that's just because of giving birth to Mako-chan. I'd hate to think that there was something wrong with me. I'll have Ken-chan call Mama and let her know that she has another grandchild. We know she loves to brag about her grandchildren to her friend, Hikari.

I can imagine it now. She'll say that she's winning 2-1 and stick out her tongue at her. Mama can be so childish at times. But that's why I love her, even if she's really Ken-chan's mother and not mine.

February 28, 1983:

Today's my son, Ryoku's sixth birthday. Already, it's apparent that he wants to follow in his father's and grandfather's footsteps and become a member of Shishu. Ken gave Ryo-chan a bokuto for his last birthday and I'm amazed at the skill he wields it with. He's almost as graceful with the sword as his father, and that's saying a lot. I'd say that his current skill is the same as Ken's was when he was a 5th class Blade, or even his grandfather Tenmei when he first picked up his sword.

Makoto seems to like watching her brother practice his swordplay a lot. She's always there, watching. I wonder if she's thinking about becoming a nurse like me or her Grandmama. She and Ryo-chan seem quite inseparable at times. They're always together. I'm so lucky to have two children who get along so well.

I've heard word from the Meiji Jinja that Jadeite has personally lead yet another attack on the shrine. Papa managed to repel the attack with the help of all the priests of the shrine, but many of them have been seriously injured in the attempt. An eighth of all the priests have died. Papa got hurt, but Mama said that he'll be fine in a few days.

A couple of new faces have come to the Hikawa Jinja. Mizuno Atsuko is our newest doctor. Her husband was killed by Youma while they were traveling here. He sacrificed himself to save her and their five year old daughter, Ami. The girl seems to be in shock still. She hasn't said anything for days. Not since her father, Ryouji, died. Despite her being mute, she's made quick friends with Hino-sama's granddaughter, Rei, as well as my own two children. The four of them often play together in the shrine foregrounds and around the koi pond.

When I see those four play together, it's so hard to remember that outside these shrine grounds it's a warzone. It's so desolate out there. Buildings have rusted and rotted, plants have withered and decayed, streets have warped and become pitted, and darkness covers every corner. There isn't a window out there that hasn't been smashed. Dirt and debris cover everything. It's so horrible.

I really must stop dwelling on these things. With everything that's happened over the years, I know it's hard not to fall into a depression, but I can't let myself get depressed every time I look outside. A lot of suicides have stemmed from thoughts like that. Rei-chan lost her mother to suicide after her father was killed by the last Youma raid.

Oh, there I go again. Maybe I should go spend some more time with the children. That always cheers me up.

May 7, 1989:

Papa has asked me and Ken to bring Ryo-chan to the Meiji Jinja tomorrow. I wonder if this means what I think it means. Maybe Papa wants to officially make Ryo-chan a member of Shishu? If so, Ryo-chan'll be the youngest member of Shishu in history!

Normally, Shishu won't let anyone join until their fifteenth birthday, but special occasions have been made for boys gifted with the sword to join at fourteen at the youngest. If Papa lets Ryo-chan join tomorrow, then he will have joined Shishu at twelve years old.

Mako-chan wants to go as well, of course. She's made up her mind to become the first female Blade and fight alongside her brother. I must say that at first, I was appalled at the thought of my little Mako-chan risking her life fighting Youma, but now, I know she's resolute. She's been practicing relentlessly, even after I took her sword away and threatened to punish her if she continued to practice swordplay. I even directly forbid her to practice, but she continued to do so; even getting her brother to train her when I forbid Ryo-chan's trainer from teaching her. So, I gave in and let her continue to practice. I don't know if Papa would ever let a female become a Shishu Blade, but if any girl could become one, it would be my Mako-chan.

Those two have been growing closer to Rei-chan and Ami-chan lately. I think it's mostly because the two girls might be developing crushes on Ryo-chan. I'm almost certain with Rei-chan, but it's harder to tell with Ami-chan, since she's still mute. Perhaps I should start encouraging those two, in case my suspicions are correct. One of them might make a good potential wife for Ryo-chan. As a concerned mother, it's my duty to ensure my son's happiness, after all.

Sadly, this is the final journal entry. Kino Misaki was killed during the Fall of the Meiji Jinja, which occurred on May 8, 1989, due to a grand scale attack led by Jadeite. The entire Kino family line was wiped out with the exception of Kino Ryoku and his sister, Makoto. However, during their flight from the Meiji Jinja, a surprise ambush caught the two siblings off-guard. Ryoku suffered severe injuries, while Makoto was struck by several poison-laced claws. Despite his severe injuries, he managed to drag his unconscious sister within the boundaries of the Hikawa Jinja and collapsed alongside her.

The two surviving Kino siblings were quickly attended to by Mizuno Atsuko. Ryoku's condition was stabilized and would recover within two weeks. However, the poison within Makoto's body had already run its course by the time Atsuko had administered the antidote. The toxins were neutralized and she would live, however, her body would remain in a coma that would last anywhere between 2-5 years.

Due to the loss of Colonel Kino Ken, command of the Shishu forces at Hiwaka Jinja were placed in the hands of his second-in-command, Major Watanabe Masao, who wasn't quite ready to take command. Hikawa Jinja suffered heavy losses due to Youma raids and slave rescue missions gone bad. Even with the additions of Shishu members that had survived the Fall of the Meiji Jinja, they continued to experience defeat after defeat.

With the loss of Shishu headquarters, several additional Shishu commands began to fall under Jadeite's relentless attacks. Eventually, only the Shishu command at Hikawa Jinja remained operational. However, command changed from person to person, as Youma raids and attacks continued to take out the leaders of the Hikawa Jinja. Eventually, the last officer to remain alive, Lieutenant Ueda Yasunori, was killed on March 23, 1991, during a slave rescue that managed to rescue four entire families: the Akematsu family, the Tamiya family, the Iketani family, and the Aino family.

As there were no more officers, and the last High Blade, Elite Blade, and Master Blade had all died in that last mission with Lieutenant Ueda, command of the Hikawa Jinja fell into the hands of 1st class Blade Chiba Mamoru, who was the most experienced swordsman assigned to the command. After 1st class Blade Chiba assumed command, the remaining Shishu forces were able to hold off against the Youma attacks due to brilliant strategies devised between himself and his best soldier, 4th class Blade Kino Ryoku. Between the two of them, their tactics managed to keep the Youma horde at bay and continued to do so to this day.

Author's Note: A little darker than my usual stuff, yes, but this was an idea that once it popped into my head, I had to give it form. You may wonder why I followed Makoto and Ryoku's family line, rather than Usagi's, who's supposed to be the main character. It's because the Kino family was closer to the main events that shaped this alternate reality than the Tsukino family was. Also, the "message" in the Sept. 10, 1945 excerpt is completely fabricated, but for those who are curious, the shortname acronym for COMJAPOCFOR is supposed to stand for Commander, Japanese Occupational Forces, which was a fictional - at least, to my knowledge - military command. It ain't real.

Disclaimer: All original materials belong to their respective owners. Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi and a bunch of big companies. No copyright infringement is intended.

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