"She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes," Hotaru sang, looking up into the blue Plumerian sky, "she'll be coming round the mountain when she comes. She'll be coming round the mountain, she'll be coming round the mountain, she'll be coming round the mountain when she comes."
Jed grinned and joined in with the younger girl's song as she began the second verse. "She'll be riding six white brumbies when she comes."
Hotaru turned and returned his grin when she saw Jed standing directly behind her. He bowed slightly, offering her his hand. "May I have this dance miss?"
Laughing Hotaru jumped up and grabbed his hand. The two began a sort of country jig as they continued singing at the top of their lungs. Lita chuckled as she stepped out of the ship and moved around the side to help Luna with the laundry. "Where's Reika?" she asked.
"She walked into town with Chad to pick up a few things," Luna replied, pegging a shirt onto the makeshift clothesline.
"They've been gone for a while now actually," Artemis commented from where he was sitting at the table fiddling with a circuit board. "Perhaps they're getting up to something naughty?" He wiggled his eyebrows at his wife.
Luna huffed. "Get your mind out of the gutter dear. I don't know what it is that is taking them so long, but it is certainly not whatever you were thinking. Reika has a fiancée who she is utterly in love with remember?"
"Don't worry, love, I remember." Artemis chuckled and winked at Lita. It was still fun after all these years to get Luna riled up. He looked at Greg across the table, who had a viewscreen and his persocomp set up. "What's taking so long Greg?"
"Aye, that is a valid question." Luna stopped speaking for a moment and allowed Lita to remove the pegs from her mouth so that she would be able to be understood properly. "Today is the one day that all of Mau stops to watch the Melbourne Pod Race and now Artemis and I are probably going to miss it if you don't hurry up."
"Patience is a virtue," Greg replied, not wanting to be rushed in his task. He continued to type in combinations on his persocomp while watching the viewscreen, hoping that he would finally pick up on the broadcast signal. As the picture on the screen began to turn fuzzy Greg smiled. "Almost got it." A few moments and a few keys later and Greg let out a whoop of triumph. Artemis and Luna moved behind him and grinned when they saw the clear picture of the race day fashions on the viewscreen.
As Artemis reached forward to pick up the screen and move it to a better viewing position, Greg let out a scream and pitched forward onto the table clutching his head. He gritted his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut in an attempt to control the agonising pain caused by the vision that washed over him.
Two men in black suits. Dark sunglasses hiding their eyes. Reika dropping her bags and running. Chad turning to try to fight the men off. One of them chasing Reika. A dark crystal. Pain. Screaming.
Greg collapsed against the table, panting for breath as the vision faded away, leaving nothing but an acidic taste in his mouth and fear gripping his heart. Plus the pounding headache. "Greg are you okay?" Lita exclaimed as she gently lifted his torso off the table and pushed his sweat-drenched hair away from his eyes. "What just happened?"
"Reika," gasped Greg. "She's in danger. You have to find her."
"But how do you know that she's in trouble?" Luna asked. "What was that that just happened to you?"
"I'll explain later. But you need to find Reika right now. Before they take her away or even more likely, simply kill her."
"Who are 'they'?" Artemis was extremely confused. One minute Greg was fixing the viewscreen, the next he was screaming and then the next after that he was saying that Reika might be killed. What in the 'verse was going on?
"The men in suits," replied Greg, still holding his head as he waited for the pain to completely subside. "Reika and Chad are currently on their way back from town out in the open with no one around. They're completely defenceless. Now go! Hurry!"
"False face must hide what the false heart doth know." Darien stood completely still. Her hand was still on his chest and she was pressing ever closer but he still couldn't manage to rip his eyes away from where they were staring into hers.
"Serena," Shingo said sharply trying to gain the strange girl's attention. Instead of listening to her brother Serena took another step closer and began to lean up onto her toes bringing her face closer to his. "Serena!" Shingo stepped forward frowning and pulled her away to a safer distance. "Serena you're scaring him," he said softening his tone.
A confused expression crossed her face. "No I'm not," Serena replied. "He's Tuxedo Mask. It's not possible to scare him."
Shingo shook his head slightly, giving up. There was no point trying to reason with her. He gave a small tug on the arm he was still holding. "Come on sis. Mina wanted to talk to you."
Darien pushed the memory of the morning from his mind as he looked away from the brother and sister team, only to find Mina and Kunzite standing side by side watching him with narrowed eyes. He was down in the cargo hold with the crew of the Ice Chamber (minus Neph) waiting for the ship to finish its descent to the docks of Station 5. Darien felt a small jolt shoot through his legs as the ship settled into the readied docking space. "That's it guys," Neph's voice came through the speaker system, "we're down. Let's get off this heap of scrap metal."
Kunzite snorted lightly at the insult to his ship. With his hand hovering over the pad ready to open the door and lower the ramp, he turned to Serena, Ami and Shingo. "Right then. You three stick together and don't wander too far," Kunzite instructed. "At best you should stay on this level and don't even think about going upwards or down. Mina, Neph and I will go see what jobs we can pick up. We'll all meet back here in exactly two hours."
"What about me?" Darien piped up, keeping his expression innocently blank.
Kunzite made no attempts to disguise the sneer that stretched across his face. "I don't give a damn what you do with yourself as long as you're back here by the appointed time. And if you're not," his mouth tilted into a smirk, "we won't wait." He pressed the panel and him and Mina made their way down the ramp to wait for Neph on the docks. Serena, Ami and Shingo quickly followed them then immediately continued walking forward and away from the docks.
Darien chuckled to himself as he stepped onto the ground. He winked at Mina as he passed her and smirked when he noticed Kunzite place a hand on her arm to restrain her from attacking and drawing attention to themselves. Darien caught up with Ami and the siblings just as they passed into the partially-lit and smoky world of Station 5.
"Come on Artie can't this bloody thing go any faster?" Lita yelled over the wind. They were speeding across the land in the hover trying to find Reika and Chad below them.
"I'm going as fast as I can Lita!" Artemis shouted back. "Just stay calm would you?"
"How am I meant to stay calm when Chad and Reika are in danger?"
Luna placed a hand on Lita's shoulder and was about to say something to her when something she saw in her peripheral vision distracted her. She turned her head and looked across the barren ground. Her eyes moved quickly, scanning, skimming the horizon… and then there they were. And there were two men in black suits behind them. "There they are! Artemis, turn to the right. Quickly! There's people following them."
"Would you two stop telling me to speed it up?" Artemis grumbled under his breath as he manoeuvred the hover towards Chad and Reika.
Lita picked up a couple of guns and passed one to Luna before taking aim, ready to shoot at the slightest movement. As they watched Reika turned and noticed the men behind her. One pulled out some sort of dark crystal while the other held a small metal device. The man with the device moved his hand in a quick swiping motion and suddenly Chad was down on the ground with blood pooling around his legs. Lita flicked a switch and pulled the trigger, sending a volley of bullets towards the man. She was sure at least one bullet definitely hit him but it didn't seem to have any effect. He was still standing upright and with another swish of his hand had made another cut on Chad, this time across his back, using the light from his device.
Everyone's attention was drawn to Reika as an agonising scream rent through the air. The black crystal was hovering in the air between Reika and the man. Unbearable pain had brought her to her knees. A red patch was slowly spreading across the back of her shirt, right above where her heart was. Reika's screams became louder and louder as the crystal began to pulse faster and faster.
Bullets from Luna and Lita rained down on the suited men but still there was no reaction from either. They simply continued to torture Reika and Chad. The hover landed and all three jumped to the ground. Having passed her gun to Artemis, Luna unsheathed her sword from her back and charged towards Chad. As she drew near, the man swung his light-slicer-thingy (Luna wasn't quite sure what she should call it as she had never seen anything like it before) towards her. Out of instinct Luna raised her sword to block the attack and was surprised when it worked. It was as if the thin beam of light was an actual sword. With a few swift movements she was able to distract him and draw him further away from Chad.
Artemis dashed in while the man was busy defending himself. Kneeling down he carefully rolled Chad onto his side. With a groan Chad opened his eyes and tried to push himself off the blood-soaked dirt. Artemis could see how badly his arms were shaking and quickly slipped an arm around Chad's waist and pulled one of his arms over his own shoulders. He glanced around as Chad slumped against him. Luna was doing fine; she could easily hold her own in a swordfight.
Lita wasn't doing quite so well though. The bullets had no affect and now she was also trying to dodge the light-sword that the man with the black crystal had suddenly pulled out. The crystal was still pulsing. Artemis' eyes immediately jumped to Reika as her screams stopped. He watched as she fell face forward to the dirt, completely unconscious. He could just see the very tip of something protruding from her back. Whatever it was was very slowly but steadily rising up further in time with the pulses of the crystal. Artemis stared in realisation before yelling to Lita. "Leets aim for the crystal! Try to knock it off balance!"
Lita's next two shots as she came out of her roll were directed at the crystal and hit it dead on. As a tiny, unnoticeable crack appeared in the centre of the crystal, Reika's body stopped jerking and lay limp on the ground. Artemis pulled a knife from his boot. "Lita!" he shouted. "Catch!" Lita caught the knife just in time to raise it in a block above her kneeled position. "Keep him distracted," Artemis continued with a grim smile as he helped Chad struggle to his feet. The sooner he could get Chad to the hover, the sooner he'd be able to get Reika out of harm's way.
Luna had managed to manipulate her attacker into a defensive position. He was an excellent fighter and a worthy adversary but there were very few who could rival a swordsman trained by a Mau warrior. And unfortunately this man, in his black suit and his black glasses and his fancy shoes, simply did not have the necessary speed or skill required to beat her. As he bent to sweep the light across her ankles, Luna jumped up, flipped in the air and landed on the other side of the suit. One second later and he was on the ground with a large, gaping wound straight through his chest. She took a moment to flick her hair back and then she was on the move again.
Lita was down on her knees again and the only thing keeping her alive at this point was the knife that she was only barely managing to hold against the light. When she noticed Luna approaching from the corner of her eye, she breathed a sigh of relief. Though Lita was an excellent shot with a gun, the sword was certainly not her strong point. With a sudden burst of strength she thrust up, shoving the light away from her, and threw the knife to Luna before dashing towards Reika. Her eyes widened when she saw something pointy sticking out of Reika's back. It looked as though it was the end of a blue crystal. Lita cautiously reached forward, unsure as to whether she should be doing anything about the protruding crystal. "Don't touch it!" Artemis called out to her. She glanced up at him as he dropped to his knees on the other side of Reika. "Help me get her back to the hover." Carefully they lifted her up and began to slowly make their way towards the hover.
Luna could feel the sweat trickling down the back of her neck. Her hair was falling into her eyes, impeding her vision, and sticking to her forehead. It had been a long time since anyone had been able to match her in a fight the way this man was able to. Her breath was beginning to come in short gasps and yet this guy seemed to be having no problems at all. He was still fighting as effortlessly as he had been when they had first arrived. Luna noticed the slight frown on his face as he realised that Lita and Artemis were carrying Reika away. It was the first flicker of emotion he had shown and Luna was hoping to take advantage of it when he slowly pulled out a gun while still blocking all her attacks single-handedly. Luna pushed herself into overdrive as he raised the gun to shoot the other three in the distance. "Oh no you don't," she muttered.
Luna began to move faster as she twisted and turned, made sharper jabbing motions with her knife and long sweeping movements with her sword. She smiled grimly. She had his attention again. Hopefully Artemis and Lita had managed to get Reika to the hover. Luna gritted her teeth and planted her feet as she held her weapons in a double block above her. She swallowed, trying to get her breath back. Now that the adrenaline had worn off from that last attack she could feel her strength waning as her breathing got heavier. She didn't know how much longer she'd be able to keep this going.
Artemis turned around once Reika was secure in the back to see how Luna was faring. He frowned when he saw that her arms were shaking and her knees were beginning to buckle. The man was overpowering her. He grabbed a spare knife from under his seat and whispered a quick prayer to every deity he could think of. It had been years since the last time Artemis had practised throwing knives. He just hoped that it would make the distance and that Luna would duck in time. He drew back his arm and threw.
Luna was struggling to keep her arms up. She knew this man was physically stronger than her but there was little she could do about it. She couldn't break her current defence to try something else because she knew it would immediately mean her death. Suddenly she sensed something coming closer to her very quickly. Whatever it was was about to hit her. Luna dropped into a crouch still holding the protective block above her head. Something whizzed straight over her head and she glanced up when she heard the man grunt. A knife was embedded in the centre of his chest. Luna kicked his feet out from under him and began running to the hover. On the way she spotted the black crystal the man had been using so she scooped it up as she passed. Luna jumped into the hover and collapsed into the seat beside Artemis. Reaching over, he brushed some of the hair away from her eyes. She nodded, attempting to smile her thanks at him. "Let's get out of here," she panted.
Station 5. The only satellite left in the whole of the Triple Alliance that wasn't under government control. Darien smirked as he, Shingo and the girls walked through the main level. Everyone knew that you didn't come to Station 5 if you were looking for legitimate, above-table jobs. Mina and Kunzite had given themselves away by announcing they were looking for jobs to pick up here. He laughed to himself. The crew of the Ice Chamber were either criminals or they were on the run from someone. Looking around, one could see scantily clad women and bookies roaming everywhere. The brothels, of course, were on another level but that didn't stop the prostitutes from circulating where they might find more customers. It wasn't hard to tell why there was no government control: Station 5 was the Underworld of the Triple Alliance.
Glancing around Darien could see a few policemen lurking around. He knew he would have to take care not to look suspicious here. The coppers of Station 5 were bounty hunters above all else, and he knew there was currently a nice little sum on his head. As they continued walking, a green and blue poster caught his eye. Darien halted for a moment to read what was written on it. Support the system that supports you. Authorised by the Triple Allied Government, Canberranoire. With a slight narrowing of the eyes, he ripped it down and threw it into the nearest rubbish bin.
Taking swift strides Darien caught up to Ami, Serena and Shingo, who had all stopped in front of a series of large screens. "So what's today's big event?" he asked, joining the others in watching the screens.
"Melbourne Pod Race," Ami replied.
Serena suddenly grinned and sidled up next to Darien. "You should put a hundred on Makybe Diva," she said.
"Serena," Shingo interjected sharply, "that's cheating!"
Darien creased his brow in bemusement. "How could it be cheating?" he inquired. "I mean it's not like Serena already knows the outcome of the race." He looked down at the girl next to him. "Right?" Serena just smiled brightly in answer. Darien spotted a bookie from the corner of his eye just a few metres away. "Hey Serena how about I just put on fifty?"
Serena shook her head indicating no, giggling every now and then as she watched him. "It has to be one hundred exactly."
Darien chuckled, shaking his head. "Fine, fine, you win." He then walked off to go place his bet.
Once she was sure he was out of hearing range Ami turned back to Serena and was about to say something but Shingo beat her to it. "How could you do that Serena? That was wrong. You're using your abilities to cheat."
She tilted her head staring at her younger brother. "I'm not cheating. I'm just giving him a bit of help. He's going to need it pretty soon."
Shingo scoffed and looked away in disgust. "Why do I even bother?" he muttered.
The race was only a minute away from starting when Darien rejoined the group. He looked sceptically at his ticket then directed his gaze to Serena. "Do you know what the odds are on this racer?" he asked her. "It's never going to win." She merely smiled. Darien shook his head in disbelief and turned to watch the viewscreens.
People crowded around the small group from the Ice Chamber as the race started. The noise caused by everyone yelling and cheering, trying to get their racer home, drowned out the voices of the commentators. On the screen one racer was beginning to pull ahead of the pack. A quick glance down at his ticket told Darien that it was indeed Makybe Diva. A small tug on his shirt sleeve drew his attention to Serena, who was bouncing on her toes in excitement. He grinned and began a chant of "Come on Makybe" as Makybe Diva rounded the corner and entered the final straight.
Darien grabbed Serena and spun her around as Makybe Diva crossed the line in first place. "You are brilliant!" he shouted over the roaring of the crowd. "How did you know?" Serena just grinned at him as they stopped spinning and he dropped her back down onto her feet. Completely forgetting about Ami and Shingo for a moment, Darien pulled Serena along behind him to go collect his money.
"Hey!" Ami screeched as she and Shingo began to shove through the mass of people. "Wait for us!" She tried to see past all the tall people around her so that she could find Darien and Serena. Mina would kill her if she left Serena alone with Darien. She smiled in relief as she caught sight of them. "Shingo, go that way," she said, pointing in the direction she had seen Darien and Serena.
Darien smiled at them as Ami and Shingo finally caught up. "I swear this girl is some kind of lucky charm or something," he commented, thinking of the two thousand parlos now tucked away in his pocket. He ruffled Serena's hair only to have her stick her tongue out at him in return.
Ami nibbled on her lip in concern. Serena was obviously getting closer to the stranger and she certainly didn't seem to consider him a threat. This was not good. She started slightly when Shingo leaned in closer and whispered sternly, "What Mina doesn't know won't hurt her." A glance at the younger boy told her not to argue with him.
Ami's attention returned to Darien when he said, "So do you guys want to go to the Upper Levels?"
Her eyes widened subtly and she was about to protest when Shingo cut her off. He nodded, "Let's go."
Ami began stuttering. "Bu-but, Kunzite, he said-"
"Kunzite is your Captain not your keeper Ami," Darien interrupted calmly. "You can make your own choices you know." He paused but then continued after taking a quick, nervous glance at the cop walking towards them. "Besides I think you guys would like it. They're not like the Lower Levels where all the mobs and gangs are. The Upper Levels are where all the freethinkers and the freespeakers and the poets and artists and novelists go."
Ami had also noticed the approaching policeman and knew they needed to move. She nodded in silent agreement. If they had to go to the Upper Levels, and it certainly looked like they did have to, then they would. Serena's safety was more important than Kunzite's instructions. Darien began to lead them through the middle of Station 5 to where he knew the lifts were. As they were getting closer to the central lifts he spotted a cop looking at a holographic on his wrist. A holographic of a girl. A holographic of a girl that looked just like Serena. Darien frowned at this. He didn't know what was going on but it couldn't be good.
The cop moved his gaze away from the holographic and looked straight at Serena. The cop withdrew a pistol from its holster and began to walk towards them, a serious expression on his face. "Siahan!" Darien hissed. He grabbed Ami's wrist and yelled, "Run!"
Hotaru sat on the ramp of the Makoto nibbling her lip. Her parents and Lita had been gone for a long time. She was so worried that something had happened. What if they hadn't found Reika and Chad yet? What if they had been hurt? What if… Hotaru shook her head to clear away her fears. She couldn't think like that. She had to remain positive. They would all be back soon and everything would be okay. She glanced up when she heard the puttering of an engine coming closer. Spotting the hover, Hotaru jumped up and grinned from relief. She turned and ran into the ship, calling out for Jed and Greg the whole time. "They're back!" she yelled. "Guys, where are you? The others are back!"
Jed and Greg appeared at opposite ends of the walkway above the cargo hold. "Hotaru?" Greg said. "What are you yelling about?" Hotaru wasn't given a chance to as Artemis drove the hover into the cargo hold. Greg and Jed both swore under their breath. From their high positions they could see straight down into the hover and no one in there was looking too good. They both clattered down the stairs and ran to join Hotaru at the hover.
Artemis placed a hand on his daughter's head and smiled at her as he got out of the hover. He dropped a light kiss on the top of her head and said, "Could you start setting things up in the Medi-Unit for me? Just basic things to begin with – the bandages, padding and anaesthetics. And could you also lower the end of the bed so that it's lying flat?"
She nodded and turned to leave then hesitated. "Everyone's going to be alright aren't they Dad?"
Artemis smiled to reassure her. "Yes sweetie they are." He gestured for her to go ahead.
Lita and Luna were trying to help Chad walk towards the Medi-Unit without falling over themselves from their injuries and exhaustion. Jed and Greg had managed to get Reika out of the back of the hover. Greg frowned when he saw the crystal sticking out of her back. "This isn't good," he murmured to himself.
"No it's not," Artemis agreed as he came to help them carry Reika. He continued sternly, "I believe you owe us an explanation Greg."
Greg nodded. "You'll get one as well. I promise. But first we have to get this crystal back inside her. How long ago did she pass out?"
Artemis shook his head. "I'm really not sure how long ago it was. She came round while we were on our way back here but then she passed out for the second time about five or ten minutes ago."
For the next few minutes the men were silent as they carried Reika into the Medi-Unit and lay her down. As soon as they had her down on the bed, Greg began to move around the room and call out instructions. "Could someone get Reika's back bare? Either take her top off or just cut it open. Hotaru could you put the gauze and padding on that table?" He grabbed a needle and hesitated when he looked at the anaesthetics that Hotaru had arranged on the counter. "Um, okay which is it that's used to knock someone out? Local or general?"
The others all glanced at him beginning to worry a little more. "It's general," Lita replied slowly. "Greg, have you ever operated on someone before?"
"No. Which is okay since we're not going to operate on Reika."
"But we have to take that thing out of her back," Luna objected.
"We're not taking it out." Greg was busy filling the needle with the general anaesthetic as he spoke. "I'm going to push the crystal back in. If we took it out it would kill her." He gave Reika the drug and then touched her back lightly, preparing himself for what he was about to do. It was going to be incredibly painful. He just prayed that the anaesthetic worked and that Reika wouldn't be able to feel any of it.
Greg nodded to Jed who grabbed the gauze, ready to try and hold back the blood flow. Greg touched the tip of the blue crystal. Thankfully it hadn't been drawn out too far. "Stop right now!" Lita pushed away from the wall where she had been propping herself up. She might be dead tired but she was still Captain and if she had any say Greg was going to explain himself before possibly endangering anyone in her crew. She paused next to Jed and looked Greg in the eye. "Explain," she commanded coldly. "Now."
Greg glared at Lita. "You see this crystal? This is Reika's lifeforce. This is what keeps her alive. If we don't get it back in then Reika is going to die."
"What are you talking about?" Artemis asked.
Greg sighed. "Lita please let me push this crystal in. I'm happy to explain while I'm doing it but right now Reika is losing blood and we have to help her."
Lita hesitated and then nodded. As Greg gently began to push the crystal into her back, Lita said, "Okay Greg, start talking."
Greg bit his lip as he ignored Lita. There was a lot of blood pouring out as he tried to get the crystal back in. There was no point going slowly now, she was losing too much blood. Adding more pressure, he pushed the tip of the crystal back down into the wound. Greg glanced at the others as Jed covered the wound with gauze and tried to slow down the bleeding. "Does anyone know how to stitch someone up?" he asked hurriedly and with worry evident in his voice.
Artemis grabbed a needle and some thread from a drawer and stepped forward. "I'll do it."
Greg breathed a sigh of relief and leaned against a cupboard. He looked at Lita and began to explain what was going on. "There are seven crystals known as the Rainbow Crystals. When they are somehow fused together the Rainbow Crystals form the Ginzuishou – a crystal capable of magnifying magical power. The problem though? The Rainbow Crystals reside in seven different people across the universe." Greg paused and grinned as he thought of something. "Sorry make that six people and one cat. But if the crystals are removed from a person's body then that person dies. Like I said before about Reika's, the crystals are these people's lifeforces. The crystals sustain their lives."
Everyone was giving Greg their undivided attention now, including Artemis who had quickly finished stitching Reika's back together. He looked around at them all before concentrating on Lita. "Before I keep going do you think we should maybe move to the cockpit?" Greg was getting nervous and his palm was getting itchy. He knew from experience that wasn't a good sign. "I think it would be best if we got into the air and get away from this town as soon as possible."
Lita understood immediately. He was referring to the men who had attacked Chad and Reika. And Greg was right to be worried. Who knew how many more of them there might be. Probably even looking for them right now if they had found the bodies. With a decisive nod Lita agreed and everyone except Chad began to leave the Medi-Unit. "I'll stay here," Chad said. "Someone should probably stay with Reika and I don't think I'm in much of a condition at the moment to be moving around a lot."
"I'll catch you up with everything later then," replied Greg.
"Thanks mate." Chad smiled and then shooed him out of the Medi-Unit after the rest of the group.
When they had all assembled in the cockpit, the discussion resumed. Jed sat forward as he tried to sort out what Greg had already told them. "Okay, so there are seven crystals which can be brought together to form some kind of super-crystal. But if these crystals are taken from a carrier's body then the person would die. How am I doing so far?"
"That's pretty much it," Greg replied.
Artemis glanced over his shoulder from where he sat at the consol. "Who were those people in suits with the light-thingies?"
Greg sighed. "Would you believe me if I said they were government agents?"
There was silence as everyone just looked at each other. Artemis put the ship on auto-pilot and turned around with a frown on his face. He exchanged a glance with Luna before looking back at Greg. Luna broke the tense quiet that had fallen by asking, "Is that true? The government actually sent agents after Reika just to get her crystal?" Greg nodded sadly.
"But why?" Jed inquired.
"To get themselves a nice little super-crystal of course. I'm thinking they want it so they can start a new war with the Crystal and Silver Alliances and have complete control of the entire 'verse. They no doubt believe that the lives of seven beings is insignificant compared to the amount of power the Ginzuishou will provide them. Of course it will be seven lives that they waste for absolutely no reason if they don't find the right person to use the crystal."
Lita frowned at Greg. She had been silent until this point, simply listening as Greg explained what he knew about the situation. But now she had one important question to ask before she was willing to believe him about what he claimed was going on. Lita leaned forward and asked, "How do you know all of this Greg?"
Greg took a deep breath. He knew it would come to this from the moment he had received the vision. It was probably better this way anyway. At least he wouldn't have to worry about it or try to hide it anymore. "I'm a Seer," he said. At the blank looks everyone gave him, he rolled his eyes and continued, "I get visions. Sometimes they're of the past, sometimes of the future, and sometimes they're of what's happening right at that moment. Like today. It's because of the visions that I found out about my own crystal."
"You have a crystal too?" Hotaru piped up looking curious. Her eyes widened as the rest of what he said sank in. "You can see the future? Cool!"
Greg smiled slightly. "Not really, unfortunately. But yes, I do have a crystal. I found out about it when I was thirteen. I've never told anyone about it though. If I had, people would have thought I was crazy and they would've locked me up in an institution. The government would have had no trouble finding me if that had happened. Also, there's something else you should know." He looked at Luna. "Your cat Rhett. He has a crystal as well."
Luna blinked, feeling bewildered as she tried to let the information settle in. Her cat had a crystal inside him. Greg could foresee the future. The government was evil. She shoved her hands in her pockets as she took a breath, trying to regain control of herself. She frowned and drew out something hard and sharp. It was the black crystal that the man in the suit ('the government agent,' she corrected herself) had been using against Reika. Luna passed it to Greg. "I picked this up at the fight," she said. "The government agent was using it to draw the crystal out of Reika."
Greg frowned as he examined it. "Can I keep this to analyse it?"
Luna shrugged. "Go ahead." Clapping her hands together, she sat forward as she went into business-mode. "Right then. We have three Rainbow Crystals on board and the government wants them. What's our next step?"
Everyone looked at Lita, who dropped her head and sighed. Glancing back up she answered, "I honestly have no idea."
Darien glanced over his shoulder as he ran through the throngs of people crowding Station 5, still pulling Ami with him. The cop was still chasing them. He could hear Ami panting beside him and he could see that Shingo was beginning to slow down. Serena was running as quickly as she had been to start with and was out in front of everyone. Darien's eyes widened as he realised she was heading straight for a pair of cops, who had apparently noticed her and were running to meet her. When they were only about ten metres away, Serena swerved to the left and ducked into a darkened corridor.
"Follow her!" Darien called to Shingo.
The three of them turned into the corridor. Darien groaned to himself when he heard the cops follow them in. He should have known they wouldn't give up that easily. "Halt or we'll shoot!" yelled one of the cops.
Darien rolled his eyes. "You've got to be kidding me," he muttered to himself. Now he was going to have to fight them. He couldn't very well let them just kill him. Or Ami and Shingo either for that matter.
Ami was breathing heavily beside him, clutching his hand painfully. Who would have ever thought she had such a powerful grip? He pulled her to a stop and grabbed Shingo as he glanced backwards. All three cops had their guns out and pointed at them. The one in the centre was ordering them to do something but Darien was only half paying attention. With a grimace, he rescued his hand from Ami's clutches and pushed her onto Shingo. "Take Ami and find Serena," Darien said in a murmur. "I'll catch up to you soon."
Shingo took one look into Darien's eyes and decided not to argue. As Darien slowly turned to face the policemen, Shingo and Ami began to slip away to find Serena. All three cops glared at him and raised their guns slightly higher. Darien fingered the gun tucked into the back of his waistband before dropping his hand back to his side. He wasn't going to shoot them unless he had to. Their bodies would only cause unnecessary complications.
The cop in the middle spoke again. "Hand over the girl and we'll allow you to leave freely."
"You don't know who I am, do you?" He raised an eyebrow.
"Give us the girl."
Darien smiled innocently, feigning ignorance. "What girl do you mean officer?"
Again the centre policeman, who seemed to be the trigger-happy type, replied, "The blonde girl. Serena Tsukino, daughter of Kenji and Ikuko Tsukino, both charged and tried for Sedition. Wanted fugitive." He jerked his gun to the side and shot a bullet over Darien's shoulder. "Now start talking!"
'Yep, definitely trigger-happy,' Darien thought. He sighed and whipped his gun out. Before they had a chance to react he squeezed the trigger and shot off three bullets. As the bodies fell to the ground Darien wiped the gun well with his shirt trying to remove all fingerprints from it. He knew he couldn't keep it now, when the bullets could be traced to the gun. He was just happy that when someone came to investigate, the only person the small firearm would lead back to was the non-existent Chiba Mamoru.
He tossed the gun to the ground and stepped towards the cop that had first spotted Serena. Crouching down next to him, Darien covered his hand with his shirt and pressed the button on each side of the communicator. The holographic of Serena popped up and an info sheet appeared on the screen. He frowned when he read the first line of the info sheet. Serena Tsukino, Classification: Cumhachd. Darien stood and turned to leave the scene. Thoughts were churning through his head. He now had even more questions than he had started with.
Darien stopped abruptly when he suddenly ran into Ami and Shingo. They were standing still, staring at the whir of motion in front of them. Serena was surrounded by three coppers. But the amazing thing was that Serena was ducking and weaving and punching and kicking as if she'd been doing it her whole life. A quick glance at Shingo informed Darien that she hadn't. The younger boy was just as stunned as he was.
Darien's eyes widened slightly when he realised she had allowed herself to be distracted by two of the cops and wasn't paying attention to the third. As the cop was lifting his baton, Darien sped forward and grabbed it from his hand. The cop twisted to see who had stopped him but was quickly knocked out by the swing of the baton to the back of his head. Darien hooked the baton into the cop's collar and dragged him backwards, providing Serena with a little more room to move.
Serena side-stepped away from an attack from the copper on her right and then followed the movement with a roundhouse kick to the man on the left. The one on the right came at her again with his baton ready to strike. She grabbed the baton while it was still in the air and used it to elevate herself as she kicked the second cop twice across the jaw. Serena held onto the baton and jerked it from the copper's hand as her feet touched the ground again. Pivoting around, she flung the baton behind her, hitting the cop on the forehead and knocking him unconscious.
Now weapon-less, the cop withdrew his gun from its holster and fingered the trigger, ready to shoot at the first moment. He knew he couldn't kill her as the bounty specifically stated that she had to be brought in alive. That didn't mean he couldn't wound her a little though. But Serena wasn't deterred. She had been in perpetual motion since they had jumped her and she wasn't about to stop now, regardless of the fact that there was a gun pointed at her head.
Serena was moving so fast that Darien could barely see her. All he knew was that one moment the last cop had a gun trained on Serena and then a few seconds of blurred figures later, he was out cold on the concrete. Serena was crouched down in the centre of the ring of unconscious men. He glanced at Shingo and Ami, who were still looking shocked but were also whispering hurriedly as they began to move closer. Darien looked back at Serena and took a few steps closer. He kneeled down in front of her and noticed that she was swaying from side to side and that her eyes were unfocused. "Cosmos… cosmos…" she murmured reverently, with a dreamy smile on her face.
Darien frowned, trying to figure her out. "Who are you?" he muttered to himself.
Serena's eyes snapped to him, immediately in focus and looking completely serious. She leaned closer to him. "I'm Sailor Moon," she whispered into Darien's ear. "I'm the most powerful being in the universe."