Crystals of Love: Blood of the Rose
Title: Crystals of Love: Blood of the Rose
Show: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Series: Crystals of Love: Tales of the Heart from Crystal Tokyo
Time: Crystal Tokyo, a thousand years or so after the Black Moon Family
Timeline: "A Child of Darkness and Light", "Crystals of Love: Masks", "The Last Sacrifice: The End of the Silver Millennium", "CAS 1: The Trouble with Love is the Lovers", "CAS 2: To Defy Destiny", "Every Cloud", "Crystal Shards", "CAS 3: Unwilling Accomplice", "Our Past 1: The Reason We Fight", "CAS 4: Princess of Light", "Our Past 2: The Reason We Still Fight", "Our Past 3: The Reason We Fought", "CAS 5: One Last Shining Star", "In the Darkest Forest", "Destiny or Duty", "Desperately Searching", "Kazeko", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 1: The Gathering", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 2: Castle in the Sky", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 3: Queen of the Moon", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 4: Separation Anxiety", "Crystals of Love: Betrayal", "Crystals of Love: Forsaken", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 5: Black Moon Family", "Crystals of Love: Destined Couple", "Crystals of Love: Horoscope", "Crystals of Love: Haiku", "Crystals of Love: Thunder Goddess", "Crystals of Love: Blood of the Rose"
Summary: The people of Uranus have taken a dislike to the other planets of Crystal Tokyo, but their queen, the one woman who can control them, is nowhere to be found.
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Chapter 1: The Lonely Queen
"I'm bored. And you're no fun anymore."
"Be reasonable, love. Being a planetary administrator is no easy job. Princess, Queen, whatever you want to call it. That and spending so much time recently in the Court with the Queen has made my free time virtually non-existent."
"But I'm still bored. You have so many meetings that I never see you anymore. I can't think of the last time we even spent the night together."
"Don't tell me that is what's upsetting you. Certainly you have your own duties to attend to among your people."
The blonde shrugged. "They handle themselves. I only deal with them when there is some major conflict or something. I rarely even visit my palace that much. I'd much rather be here, with you."
Her aqua-haired wife snorted. "Certainly Uranus needs more than an indifferent hand once in a while. Neptune requires constant supervision."
"It doesn't require—you give," Uranus clarified, her tone a little sharper than usual. "Did you even hear me?"
"That you'd rather waste time in my palace than taking care of yours? Yes, I did. And I think that it's perfectly natural that we don't need to sleep in the same bed every night now that we're older and wiser. Certainly Mars and Venus are apart for a great deal of time."
"Yet for Pluto the visit to her world is the exception to the rule and she spends most of her days and nights on the Moon with her Star Senshi wife. Endymion rarely strays from Serenity's side and their marriage has sustained Earth for centuries. Certainly you don't think that could have worked if she was too busy on the Moon to give him the time of day."
Michiru sighed and placed her holo-pad down. Her sapphire eyes were older and wiser, and Haruka thought perhaps a little duller, than they had been in her youth as she spent her days ruling her planet. Serenity had helped her Senshi revitalize their planets millennia ago, soon after the Black Moon Family was defeated, and Michiru took her people's needs as an extension of her heart, giving everything to them and saving nothing for the woman who stole her heart when they were still mortal so long ago. Haruka felt despair well up deep inside, knowing that her Michiru was dying, giving way to this cold queen, and there was nothing she could do about it. "Haruka, you are being so silly. Of course I would like to spend more time with you, but Neptune cannot run itself without my guidance. Truly, your planet must be in dire straights as often as you are here to visit me. I still love you dearly, but our queen has given us each a mission to restore our old planets to their former glory, and I will recreate it as I remember. My mother certainly never shirked her duties to play around on Uranus and your mother was also very loyal to her throne. Our love will stay strong even if we stay apart most of the year, and we still get together every time the Queen has a feast or one of our daughters or granddaughters invites us somewhere. Little Juri will have her daughter soon and I know we will both spend at least a month in the Antares system to visit her and Mars and Venus's granddaughter when another child joins our two families. Can't you wait?"
Haruka stood, straightening her formal green jacket and the necklace that marked her as the Queen of Uranus. "At least when we were chasing our princess, we worked together in our obsession. This urge you have to prove that you are twice the queen your mother was is destroying me, and I can't take it anymore. Come find me when you are ready to be my wife and not my partner as an Outer Senshi." With that, the Space Turbulence Crystal in the blonde's locket glowed to life and she vanished, leaving a lonely queen in her empty palace. Glancing out at the aqua waves crashing against sapphire shores under her palace, the queen sighed and returned to her duties. Haruka would return in a few days. She always did.
"The nature preserve in the Antilles System is a noble idea, Mercury, but who will run it? Certainly that person would have a hard time, creating a habitat from nothing and building homes for the staff and visitors."
"I have found a group of people from four different worlds willing to work together to make this habitat work. All we need is some of the materials . . ."
Michiru tuned out her fellow Senshi, wondering why she could no longer concentrate. Lately she had been so distracted, unable to properly manage her own planet as word that Uranus's queen had vanished filled Crystal Tokyo and the Alliance. Uranus had some of the least hospitable moons in the Solar System, and the people there were tough, requiring a strong a diligent hand to rule them wisely. The current Chancellor, a woman only vaguely related to the Royal Line, cared little for the other planets as she built her small kingdom into a great military power. She claimed that it was to protect the Inner Planets, but the Chancellors of the other planets were beginning to worry about her motives. When Neptune had tried to visit the Palace on Miranda, she had been forcefully ejected from the planetary system, rudely informed that "Traitors to the Queen" were not tolerated on Uranus.
"Hmm? Ah, gomen, Sertenity-sama. I was lost in thought."
"About what, my friend?"
"Usagi-san, there are rumors that Uranus is readying for war with the other planets, its citizens desperate for power and recognition."
"That can't be true. Your wife does a fine job keeping the militant faction of her harsh worlds calm and quiet. There is nothing to worry about."
"Usagi, Haruka's gone."
"What?" Venus stood slightly from her seat, leaning over so she could see down the Council Table to her Outer colleague. "Certainly that is not possible. We would have noticed. One of us cannot go missing so callously."
"And yet that is the truth. The Chancellor of Uranus has been ruling on her own for almost fifty years now. Haruka always watched over her people far more frequently than that. She would never let a faction of militants come to power so firmly on her planet."
"Certainly you would have noticed is Haruka left," Setsuna murmured, her dark red eyes holding secret knowledge. "Unless you chose not to know."
Michiru froze as all eyes turned to her, a rare loss of words for the eloquent queen. "Truly, I think I did know, but I chose to ignore it. I hoped that she had returned to her planet to take firmer control as I always advocated she should, but it seems that she left us altogether. Even Haruka would never disobey a Summons to Council."
Serenity looked around, finally noticing that one of her Planet Senshi was missing. Among the Star Senshi ambassadors, her mothers, and the other Planet Senshi, she had never noticed that the tall blonde was nowhere to be found. "When did she leave?"
"Fifty years ago," Michiru whispered, hanging her head. "It seems like such a small drop of life in our eternity, but I should have noticed when more than a year passed. I lost my wife and I never noticed. I cannot believe what a fool I have been these past few hundred years. I let my determination to be a greater queen than my mother was cloud my heart. I spent all of my time running a kingdom that needed little help and none of my time with the wife I promised my heart and soul to so long ago. How could I have been so blind?"
Mercury reached over and patted her water-loving friend on the shoulder. "Michiru, we all lose our way sometimes. You say that Uranus is arming? I think I have felt some small ripple of fear of that planet from my people and my Chancellor."
"I have heard tidings of war from my father's planet," Hotaru admitted, "but I discounted them readily as the same fear that Uranus has always evoked."
"The people of Jupiter have stopped visiting that world, though it used to be a popular vacation site and they have friends and family there. My Chancellor voiced some small concern that I should visit that lost world, but I discounted her words."
"Mars, a planet given life by the God of War, trembles every dawn as the planet Uranus winks in the sky. My own military is arming itself, without my orders, because we have a link to Ares that tells us something is coming. This world we have so casually ignored, thinking its people harsh, cruel, barbaric, and not as much citizens of the Alliance as the other worlds, know that they have the power to destroy us without much effort."
"Why have none of you brought this to my attention before?"
"We thought, Serenity, that Haruka could control any uprising," Venus whispered. "Why assume an attack fueled by hatred when the Queen loves you so dearly?"
Serenity stood, every Senshi looking up, fire in their eyes. Michiru's fire turned to tears at her queen's words. "We cannot allow civil war to decimate this kingdom. I want all Star Senshi available to return to the Moon Palace. The rest of you, arm your planets and your people. Michiru, if you cannot find your wife in time to stop this, we will be forced to destroy any Uranian that stands in our way."
To be continued...