BLINDED BY SCIENCE Chapter 1: "A Dream Come True"
A Sailor Moon fanfic

By Bill K.

Sailor Moon and all related characters are (c)2004 by Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha and Toei Animation and are used without permission, but with respect. Story is (c)2004 by Bill K.

As always, for those only familiar with the English dub:

UsagiSerena

AmiAmy

ReiRaye

MakotoLita

MinakoMina

HarukaAmara

MichiruMichelle

SetsunaTrista

MamoruDarien

Chibi-UsaRini

Naru-Molly

Finally, Haruka and Michiru are NOT cousins.
--------------------------------------------------

2996 - - Hotaru Tomoe sat in the virtual library of the palace of Crystal Tokyo. She was doing a presentation for her physics class on the transmission of sound waves through air, water,
solid rock and vacuum. As she sat and watched a virtual reality presentation of the transmission of sound waves through a tank of water, her mind began to wander back to the previous demonstration. It occurred in the vacuum of outer space.

"Space," she thought to herself. "I wonder what it's like. Mama and Papa won't talk about their days in space. It must be a bad place."

The still-slight young fifteen-year-old shifted in her seat as the virtual demonstration continued around her.

"Cold and barren - - and so vast. I don't see how humans could live out there. I wouldn't. Send someone else. Send a robot or something."

The thought sparked a series of connections in her brain.

"Robots," she thought. "That's right. This is the thirtieth century. There's all sorts of automated and computerized marvels in this time. Yet there are only the most basic of robots. And there's no automated human replicas - - what were they called, androids?"

Her curiosity piqued, Hotaru halted the virtual display.

"Computer? Encyclopedia entry for android - - display."

"Cannot comply," said the computer's synthesized voice. "That subject is locked."

"By who?"

"By order of King Endymion and Queen Serenity."

Hotaru looked very puzzled. "Why?"

"No reason is currently logged."

Walking down the corridor to her quarters, Hotaru puzzled over the locked entry. Why did the king and queen do it? Why was such a simple concept as an android locked away and forbidden to the minds of the thirtieth century? How long had it been like that? Passing the quarters of her fellow senshi, Hotaru stopped. Galvanized by a need to know, she buzzed on the door.

"Hi, Hotaru," Cere-Cere smiled. She was sitting in a chair watching three-dimensional pictures of the latest fashions. Her homework computer was next to the chair, unused.

"Hello, Miss Hotaru-ma'am!" squealed Palla-Palla, off in a corner watching her favorite program, Yumi-chan's Toyshop. "Come look! Mouse-kun is about to play a trick on Miss Yumi-chan!" "Mouse-kun" was an anthropomorphic mouse on the show.

"Uh, maybe later," Hotaru deferred. "Cere-Cere, can I ask you something?" The redhead nodded. "Would you know why the entry on androids is locked in the virtual encyclopedia?"

Cere-Cere looked at her blankly. "What's an android?" Just then Jun-Jun wandered in.

"You don't know what an android is?" Hotaru asked. Cere-Cere just looked at her blankly, as did Jun-Jun. "It's an artificial human, made of computer circuits and a metal or plastic skeleton, but it looks and acts human."

Suddenly Jun-Jun got a very anxious look on her face. "Um, Hotaru, maybe you shouldn't talk about things like that."

"Why not?"

"Well, I was always taught that things like that - - aren't right."

Hotaru wanted to press the issue, but the look Jun-Jun and Cere-Cere gave her told her not to do it. Exiting, the girl changed course and headed for the Royal Quarters, specifically the bedroom of the Princess.

"I don't know," Usa said. The teen was sprawled on her bed while Hotaru sat on the chair at her desk. "They're sort of mechanical men, right? It's a real touchy subject with my parents,
Mom especially."

"Do you know why?"

"No. And whenever I'd ask, Mom would try to give me a lot of double talk and get nervous and give me that embarrassed laugh she has. Then Dad would always butt in and tell me it was something I didn't need to know. Then I'd object and he'd get all authoritarian and we'd get into an argument and Mom would get upset." Usa blew her bangs out of her eyes. "After awhile,
it just isn't worth it."

"You suppose something happened in their past?" Hotaru asked.

"Maybe. I've looked. There are missing entries in their biographies, from the twentieth,
twenty-first and twenty-second centuries. It could be just lost records. Not everything survived from those eras." Usa grew serious. "But it could be 'edited' history, too. I hate to say it, but Dad is capable of making any record he wanted to disappear with that computer system of his. And Ami-san could, too."

Hotaru entered the quarters she shared with Haruka and Michiru. She was still thinking about the mystery she'd uncovered. Haruka was stretched out on the sofa, reading a science fiction novel on computer crystal. She looked up and caught the absorbed countenance her adoptive daughter had.

"Hey, Firefly," Haruka said, a smile in her voice but concern in her eyes. "You seem really focused on something. Trying to figure out a way to sneak pictures of naked girls into your bedroom?"

"Papa!" huffed Hotaru, the way she always did when Haruka teased her.

"Well if it's not that, what is it?"

"I found out the king and queen locked access to the computer entries on androids,"
Hotaru told her.

"Ohhhhh," Haruka said.

"Do you know why she did it?"

"Yeah. Serenity's not too keen on androids. She was kind of traumatized by something that happened a long time ago."

"What? Tell me, Papa, please!"

"Well, I guess it won't hurt. I always thought Serenity overreacted anyway. Sit down - -
it's kind of involved."

Hotaru curled her legs up underneath her on the sofa and looked at her adoptive "father"
with rapt interest.

"It all started back in the twentieth century," Haruka began, "about a year or two after you left to come to the thirtieth century."
- - - -
1998; amid an audience of well-wishers and a sea of students, one young blonde with ribbons of hair trailing from "odango" shaped gathers sat and reflected on the course of her life. As she listened to the speech being given by the class Valedictorian, Ami Mizuno, she thought back on a scene scant days before. It was to her one of the greatest of miracles ever witnessed on Earth, namely that she saw her name listed with the other students who had passed their tests and were set to graduate high school.

It was the very last name ranked before the cut-off, but she made it.

Bobbing amid the sea of graduating classmates in the auditorium, Usagi turned and looked back. Searching through the crowd, she finally spotted her parents, back in the family section. Shingo was with them, looking bored, as was Rei. Usagi waved. Kenji waved back,
beaming so much he threatened to burst. Ikuko waved, too, though with more dignity. Rei scowled and pointed back to Ami vehemently.

"I wonder if Mamo-chan made it?" Usagi thought. She searched the audience as best she could, but saw no sign of the tall, dark love of her life.

Her search ended when the rest of her class stood up. Standing up too, conspicuously late, Usagi faced the stage where the Principal stood at the podium. Ami was to his left, walking down the stairs to retake her seat. Usagi flashed her a 'thumbs up'. Ami blushed in acknowledgment. The Principal thanked the students and congratulated them on their achievement. After a few words in closing, he dismissed them to their homerooms.

"What were you looking for during Ami's speech?" Makoto asked. She, Ami and Minako congregated around Usagi on the way to their homeroom.

"Looking for 'Mamo-chan'?" taunted Minako.

"No!" howled Usagi. "Well - - not at first. I wanted to see if Mom and Dad were enjoying the ceremony." Usagi chuckled. "Daddy looked like he was going to have kittens!"

"Well, it's probably a pretty proud moment for them both," Makoto smiled. Then she grew wistful. "I wish my parents could have been here."

"My father actually made the trip up from his cabin on Lake Biwa to see me," Ami said proudly.

"That's nothing!" Minako announced. "My Dad actually pulled himself away from a Giant's game to be here - - and they're in a pennant run!" The other three looked at Minako skeptically. "Hey, you try it!"

The four girls entered their homeroom. Komatsu-sensei was waiting for them. He gave the girls a proud smile and Ami felt her heart flutter - - just a little.

Then Usagi bolted from the group. She ran up to the teacher, flung herself into his arms and gave him a crushing bear hug, much to everybody's amazement.

"Oh, Sensei!" Usagi squealed. "Thank you! You're the absolute only reason I passed! You saved me from a life of despair and humiliation! Thank you!"

"You're welcomed, Tsukino," Komatsu chuckled, easing her to the floor. "But the ability was in you all the time. I just got you interested enough to use it."

"Well, you had a lot to do with it, Sensei," Minako grinned, easing up to him.

"In your case, Aino, that's true," Komatsu smirked. "Don't ever forget, you owe me big time."

Minako chuckled. "I'll send you a cassette of my first movie."

"Say what you want, Sensei," Makoto offered humbly, "but you're the reason I finally broke into the 90th percentile."

"It was simple, really," he said. "You just stopped thinking of yourself as a dumb,
hulking tomboy and began thinking of yourself as the intelligent young woman you are." Makoto's cheeks broke out in crimson.

"Sensei," Ami said quietly, with a trace of the old crush still in her eyes, "I've always had tremendous respect for every teacher I've had. But I can very easily say that you were the best."

"Thank you," Komatsu said seriously, "Ami. I can't predict what my future students will be like, but I can safely say of the ones I've had so far, you were easily the best student I've ever taught."

Noticing a group of anxious students gathering in the room, Komatsu broke the mood and turned to his desk.

"Now I believe there are some pieces of paper I owe you all," he said, scooping up the diplomas. One by one he handed them out to all the students in his homeroom. When they were all dispersed, Ami came up holding a gift bag in her hands. He eyed it curiously.

"What's this, Mizuno-san?" He took the bag and pulled out a jeweler's box. Inside the box was a rather expensive watch. Recalling previous incidents, he looked at Ami curiously.

"This time it's from all of us," Ami smiled. "Please remember us, Sensei."

"I will," he smiled back. "Please continue to make me proud, all of you."

Outside, the four graduates walked through the crowd of happy families, looking for their own groups.

"Any word from the art school you wanted to attend?" Ami asked.

"Yeah!" Usagi gasped. "I got in! I start in August!"

"Usagi, that's wonderful!"

"And you're going to be all the way in England!" Usagi wailed.

"I'm sorry," Ami whimpered. "Oxford just seemed to give me the best opportunity."

"It's OK, Ames," Makoto told her with a reassuring pat on the shoulder. "You go wherever you need to go and do whatever you need to do. We'll still be your friends, no matter what."

"That's right," Minako added.

"And I swear I'll write you everyday," Usagi nodded, "if I can ever figure out how to use that new e-mail thingy. And if I can't, I'll write you the old fashioned way!"

"I'll look forward to it," Ami beamed.

Just then they spotted Ami's mother and, to them, a strange, blocky man with light hair and thick round glasses. Ami waved and they came over.

"Oh, honey," Ami's mother gushed, enveloping her daughter with her arms, "I'm so proud of you. All your hard work has paid off."

"I'm glad you're proud of me, Mother," Ami hugged back. She slid out of the grasp and gave the man a hug, too.

"The sky's the limit, Ami," he whispered. "Never forget that."

"Oh, you've never met my father," Ami said, turning to her friends. "Dad, these are my friends Minako, Usagi and Makoto. This is my father, Yoji Mizuno."

"We're honored to meet you, Sir," they said, bowing in unison.

Waving to her friends, Ami went off with her parents.

"So have you heard anything, Minako-chan?" Usagi asked.

"I prefer not to dwell on such things," Minako replied jauntily. "It can give you stress lines."

"Didn't get in, huh?" Makoto asked.

"Big deal," Minako shrugged. "College would just interfere with my auditioning. How about you?"

"Didn't take the test," Makoto shrugged. "I know enough about cooking to get a job right now. I might take a few culinary classes when I can afford them."

Minako's parents walked up. Minako's mother, still prim and attractive, stood at a neutral distance from her daughter while Minako's father, squat and eternally looking on the verge of exhaustion, gathered his daughter in and hugged her.

"So you finally stopped wasting your life and accomplished something," he said jokingly to her.

"Yeah," Minako replied. "Nothing's out of my reach if I decide to go for it." She broke the embrace and faced her mother.

"I'm," the woman began, "very proud of you, dear."

"Thanks," Minako replied. "Guess hitting the books wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, huh?"

"And if you just buckle down and take the test again, I'm sure you can pass it this time."

"Mom!" Minako sighed. "Don't start!"

"I don't want to see you become a 'Ronin', dear," her mother protested.

"Come on, you two," her father sighed and led his favorite females off. Usagi and Makoto exchanged bemused glances.

"OK, let's see it!" they heard Rei demand. The pair whirled and found her standing behind them, her hand outstretched. The Tsukinos were behind her. Shingo was enjoying every minute.

"See what?" Usagi demanded.

"The diploma," Rei responded. "I want to make sure it's legit."

The blonde's face scrunched up. "There!" Usagi bellowed, shoving the diploma in Rei's face. "Read it yourself - - assuming you can!"

Rei read every word while Usagi kept her arms tightly folded over her chest and her back to the girl.

"I'll expect your apology," Usagi sniffed disdainfully.

"You actually did it," Rei said softly, in awe. Usagi turned to her. "Congratulations. I'm very proud of you and I'm very happy for you."

"Oh, Rei!" Usagi sobbed and the girls fell into each other's arms. They hugged, then pulled back to look at each other. Suddenly Usagi grew a devilish look on her face. "So where's yours?"

"You know my school term doesn't end for a couple of weeks yet," Rei answered crossly.

"Uh huh," Usagi smirked. "And are you sure you're going to be in the graduating class?"

"AS IF!" roared the young miko. "I scored consistent ninety percents, bubble-brain! Graduating is a formality!"

"I'm sure it is, Rei," Usagi nodded with mock sincerity.

"Yeah, well I've forgotten more things than you'll ever know!" Rei roared back. "If you can graduate from high school, anybody can!"

"I'm not doubting you, Rei," Usagi teased.

"Oh," Rei fumed, "PTTTTTTTTTTTT!"

"Ah! Special occasion - - no tongue wars," Makoto announced, stepping in between them. "Heard anything from priest school?"

"Not until I graduate," Rei said, "but it looks good. How about the two of you?"

"College isn't for me," Makoto shrugged. "The only thing I'd be interested in is the guys,
anyway. But we've now officially got an artist-in-training in our midst."

Rei's eyes bulged. "You got in?" Usagi nodded enthusiastically and the pair hugged again. Then Rei noticed Usagi's mood shift. "What's wrong?"

"I," she whispered, embarrassed, "I guess Mamo-chan couldn't make it."

"Maybe he couldn't get away from his classes," Rei offered. "Tokyo U. is pretty strict."

"I guess," Usagi nodded.

Suddenly it was there. To the amazement of all, as they'd seen and heard no one approach, a man's arm reached around Usagi from behind. Connected to the arm was a hand. In the hand was a single red rose. Usagi gasped in amazement.

"Mamo-chan!" she whirled, gazing on the man she loved. She leaped up in his arms and hugged him as he supported her against his body. Kenji Tsukino's teeth clenched, but he kept silent. "Did you just get here?"

"No, I was in the audience," he smiled, looking down on her. To Usagi it seemed like the love that always radiated from his gaze seemed just a little more intense than before. "I couldn't miss my best girl on the day she graduated. I have a gift for you, Usako." He looked up at the others, slightly embarrassed. "I'd like to give it to her in private - - if that's all right?"

"I," Kenji began, but Ikuko quickly stepped in.

"That will be fine. Come on, dear," and she emphatically led her husband off. Shingo, Rei and Makoto followed.

"What is it, Mamo-chan?" Usagi squealed. "What did you get me?"

"This," he replied hoarsely.

Mamoru pulled out a ring box. Usagi gasped and stared at it in shock. For moments she couldn't move. Then quivering hands took the box from him and opened it. Inside was a simple gold band. It wasn't much to look at, but the implication it carried had more significance than the design. Usagi looked back up at Mamoru, numb.

"Usako," he began, clutching her hands, "will you marry me?"

With a start, Rei turned and stared at the distant couple. Makoto looked at her curiously.

"What is it?" Makoto asked.

Suddenly they heard Usagi squeal in delight. She flung herself into Mamoru's arms and began kissing him wildly. Everyone on the school grounds turned and looked. Makoto felt her mouth open in surprise.

"Oh my," Makoto whispered in shock. Her mouth curled into a smile. "Rei, did he just do what I think he just did?"

"Uh huh," Rei nodded. Tears streamed down her cheeks and her mouth was pulled into an ear to ear grin. "Couldn't you just die?"

continued in Chapter 2