Meaning of Life Terry Dale Terry Dale 11 432 2001-09-21T19:13:00Z 2001-10-21T23:32:00Z 17 6192 35299 none 294 70 43349 9.3821 0 0

Meaning of Life

Part 7

New Armor

Look what I can do!" Rochelle cried.  She ran past the group, squatted and launched into a high leap up a tree and started leaping from branch to branch.

"Well, I think I know where she got that from," Yuli grinned.

"How are we supposed to find this place?" Robyn demanded.

"If I could change back to Sailor Torrent Mercury," Joy said, "I could probably find it with my visor and my mini computer."

"I'm working on that, Joy," Rowena said, closing her eyes.  "If I concentrate hard enough, I might be able to find it."

"Hurry, Rowena," Yuli coached, "we need to find Rini as soon as we can."

"Joy, come on up here!" Rochelle hollered, "The view is great!  You can see everything from up here!"

"Everything?" Joy mumbled, "Okay, I'll be right up!  You don't happen to see a portal up there, do you?" she jumped and climbed up the tree, "whoa!" she nearly slid off and Rochelle grabbed her hand.

"See, I told you could see everything from up here," Rochelle said.

"Well, I don't see a door or portal or anything, but it is pretty," Joy said.

"Are you having any luck, Rowena?" Vincent asked.

"Shh, let her concentrate!" Yuli muttered.

"Oh," he whispered, "sorry!"

Rowena's eyes popped open and she stepped back.

"Rowena?" Vincent mumbled, "What's wrong?"

She didn't answer him; instead, she called upon her armor.  "Armor of Strata Moon, Tao Inochi!"

Everyone gasped in surprise.  Rowena held her bow up as she reached for an arrow.

"Please, let my arrow show us the way," she pulled her arrow back, "ARROW SHOCK WAAAAAAAVE!" she let it fly and it began zig zagging all over the place.  "Follow my arrow!" her full armor went away so she could run quickly enough. Everyone ran behind her as fast they could and a few even begged her to slow down.  Rowena stopped where her arrow hit, in the middle of the air as a portal opened up.  Rowena threw her arms up, "Yes!  Whoo-hooo, I did it," she felt that everyone was watching her, "I mean, let's go before the portal closes!"

"Right behind ya!" Rochelle shouted.  They jumped through the portal and landed in a barren desert where a castle lay ahead of them.

"I think that's where Jade is keeping Zircon and Rini," Joy said.  "I hope we're not too late!"

"Time to call the ronins to arms, Rowena," Yuli suggested, "ooh, I'm getting excited! Hurry! Hurry!  I just love it when Ryo calls the ronins to arms!"

"Ronins, to arms!" Rowena shouted, "Armor of Strata Moon, Tao Inochi!"

"Armor of Ice Torrent, Tao Shin!"

"Armor of War Fire, Tao Jin!"

"Armor of Forest Halo, Tao Chi!"

"Armor of Diamond, Tao Gi!"

They held out their fists as the color of their power sparkled in lasers and strips of multi colors streams surrounded them.  {What are those strips supposed to be anyway?}

Blue cherry blossoms floated around Rowena as she stood in the air.  Her boots were bigger and the blue long armor ornaments appeared.  Her arm shields were a little smaller than her father's and the helmet didn't have the cone in the middle or the yellow horns. They were on the front, shaped like a moon and her pigtails were loose and came into a braid under her helmet. She turned to the side as she held her bow and placed a fist on her hip.

Light icy blue blossoms floated around Joy as she stood on a frozen lake.  Her full armor, where Sai's armor was light blue, hers were an icy, white blue.  The lighter blue chest piece was black and the yellow triangles were white and shaped like ice shards. The darker par of Sai's armor was an aqua colored blue and the horn looked like an ice sickle. Behind on her gauntlet, like her father, she also had a dagger, but the blade was jagged like an ice sickle and the blades of her trident also resembled ice sickles.  She held her trident over her shoulders with the blades pointing down. (Like Sai's pose.)

Red cherry blossoms floated around Robyn's body as she stood in the middle of a wildfire.  Flames covered her body, revealing her new armor of war fire. It resembled her father's armor of wildfire except that it was smaller.  The stripes on her arm guards and the hilts of her katanas were purple instead of blue.  Her helmet looked the same, except the horns were serrated on the topside.  She reached for her swords and pulled them out as she held them the side, as the flames grew hotter.

Green cherry blossoms and fresh green leaves floated around Phyllis in a ring of golden light.  The light shined down on her, showing her brilliant forest green armor.  It looked like her father's, only smaller and the black chest section on his was light green on hers.  The blue color was gold. The helmet looked the same too, however, the gold horns came straight down beside her face except up on her helmet and they looked somewhat like leaves.  Her sword looked a lot the same but slightly different with a spike spiraling around the blade near the hilt and the small blade on hers was jagged like a thunderbolt instead of straight like his.  She held her sword over her right shoulder like a bag.

Orange cherry blossoms and sparks of fire flew around Rochelle as she stood deep down in the earth, which looked like she was inside a mining ground.  Her armor looked black as coal and fire singed her armor and when it went away, it reviled her sparkling armor. It was orange in color like Kento's but the dark brown section was deep blue and the whole armor was covered in diamonds.  The helmet looked about the same, though the horns were diamonds, one bigger than the other. Her three section staff was heavy and the blades were diamonds instead of steel.  (Well, Kento's armor of Hardrock was also called diamond and the blades COULD be diamonds too, but let's just say his were steel, okay?) She held her staff in front of her diagonally.

"Hey, my armor feels hard as diamonds," Rochelle commented as she knocked on it, "wait a minute, it is diamonds!  Well, I guess it really is the armor of diamond, huh? 

My dad's going to be so jealous that my armor is harder than his.  It's even more expensive!"

Dynasty soldiers came out of the castle.  "Dynasty Soldiers!" Yuli gasped. 

"Steady," Rowena said, "wait until they come to us.  All we have to do is just go through the middle."

"Can't we finish them all off?" Rochelle begged, "please?"

"Yeah, please, Rowena?" Yuli added, "I loved it when the ronin warriors recycled the dynasty soldiers!"

"Okay, we can finish them all," Rowena sighed, "just hurry it up!  Now!  Moon Arrow Shock Wave!"

A dynasty soldier brought its weapon down on Rochelle and broke on her armor.  She sighed and shook her head, "pitiful, well, it's my turn!" she punched right though the helmet of the soldier and it fell into ashes.  "Yeah!  COAL DIAMOND CRUSHER!"  She dropped her staff (isn't it a ninjinta or something?) down on the ground, pulling up rocks and diamonds. The diamonds went though a lot of the soldiers like butter.

"FROZEN WAVE SMASHERRRR!" A blast of frozen ice swerved to the soldiers and turned them into ice sculptors.

"That's one way to put them on ice, Joy!" Rochelle cried.

"Thanks, Rochelle!" Joy replied.

"FLAMES OF WAR!" Robyn put her swords together and set an enormous amount of heat into the soldiers.

"LIGHTNING OAK SLIT!" An oak tree zapped lightning into the soldiers that surrounded Phyllis.

"Yuli, behind you!" Vincent yelled.

"Oh, thanks," Yuli swiped a fallen weapon and ran the dynasty soldier that was standing behind him through. 

"Wow, where'd you learn that?"

"Well, Vincent, I spent most of my life with the five best warriors," he answered casually and killed another by standing soldier.  He grinned as he set the spear down, "some of it's bound to rub off!"

In a matter of moments, all the dynasty soldiers were destroyed.

"No more?" Rochelle mumbled, "dang!"

"I hear shouts coming from inside the castle," Rowena said.  "Let's go!" 

**************************************

"You cannot resist me!" Jade shouted.  "You will all die!  All you own will belong to me!"

"No, Jade," Pricilla hissed, "We will stop you!  WE will fight to the death if we have too!"

The new ronins entered the fortress.

"It's the ronins!" Gwen cried, "Glad you could join us!"

"Joy of the Ice Torrent!"

"Robyn of the War Fire!"

"Phyllis of the Forrest Halo!"

"Rochelle of the Diamond!"

"Rowena of the Strata Moon!"

"Sorry if we're late," Rowena said, "we were having just too much fun with your friends!"  (That sounds kind of like Rowen's line: 'Sorry we're late, we missed the exit on the freeway!')

"Where's Rini?" Yuli demanded.

"Don't worry about her." Jade said, "She likes it here better."

"Liar!" Rowena hissed, "MOON ARROW SHOCK WAVE!" 

Masked Pheonix tossed a golden rose toward Jade.  It flew along side with Rowena's arrow.  Before the two items harmed Jade--Rini as Wicked Lady stepped in front of her and caught them--her sister's arrow in her left hand and her brother's rose in her right.

"Ah, thank you," Jade whispered, "see that?  She saved my life.  She doesn't know who you are!"

"It's Wicked Lady," Yuli muttered.

"Rini, listen to me," Vincent said, walking closer to her, "it's me, Vincent.  Remember?  I'm your brother!"

"And I'm your sister, Rowena, don't you remember?"  Rowena asked.  "Come on, Rini, remember how we used to brush each other's hair?"

"Now she brushes mine," Jade muttered, "and I brush hers."  She smiled as she reached her hand to stroke Rini's hair, "don't you think I do a good job?"

Rini stood like a life-sized porcelain doll.  Her eyes were unfocused and blank, her face expressionless.

"She remembers us," Yuli said. 

"I tried to get them to remember," Gwen told the others, "but it's impossible to do with Jade's hold over them!"

"They know us in their hearts," Yuli said.

"Let me search her heart, shall I?" Jade said, "Do you remember them?  Your half brother and half sister?  Your parents don't love you, Rini because if they did they wouldn't have left you and had children with two different people!  Look at your sister, how she became the new sailor moon leader!  Can you see how your mother loves her more? And your brother looks a lot like your father doesn't he?  Your father did not want you; he wanted a boy so there would be a new Tuxedo Mask!  They don't love you either, Rini!  Take avenge on them for taking away your parents!"

"Don't listen to her, Rini!" Rowena shouted, "I'm your sister!  You know I love you!  Vincent loves you too!"

"Yes, Rini, you know I do!" Vincent cried, "I'm your brother!"

"And no matter what your parents will always love you, Rini," Yuli joined, "you'll always have your parents, your brother and sister and you'll have me too!

"

"I've forgotten about you," Jade snickered, "you were the reason why her parents left her.  You and your friends, the ronins!  Wicked Lady here was much better off before you ever came along!"

"That's not true!" Yuli sneered, "She was the best thing that ever happened to me."

"Show them what they get for trying to kill your new friend, Wicked Lady," Jade hissed into Rini's ear.  "Your one and only friend."

Rini nodded, dropping Rowena's arrow and Vincent's rose.  She lifted up her hands and her Luna P ball appeared in her hand and still with a vacant look on her face, she hurled the ball in between Rowena and Vincent.  It exploded like a grenade when it hit the ground and they fell back, grimacing.

Rowena! Vincent! Screamed Rini's sweet voice in Wicked Lady's mind.  Don't hurt them!  My sister, my brother! 

Rini, as Wicked Lady, grunted and grabbed her sides.  "I'm injured," she whispered, now having a look of surprise in her eyes.

"How can you be injured?" Zircon asked her, "Did you hurt yourself?"  He looked confused also.  Then they looked at Jade.  "You don't care if we kill them, do you?"

"Of course not and neither should you!" Jade snapped, "They are your enemies!"

Zircon and Rini looked at each other as if the other knew what to do.

"I know what I can do now," Priscilla said, "I can lead them back to us."

"But you can get a head ache!" Gwen gasped, grabbing Pricilla's arm, "I've tried that already!"

"They'll need more than just a vision, Gwen," Priscilla said.  "He's the last of the ancient clan.  Wouldn't you do anything for him?"

"Of course I would," she said, "but I can't get to him with my illusions.  He's confused enough as it is."

"We have to break Jade's hold on him somehow," Chloe said.

"Attack them again, Wicked Lady," Jade commanded, "or I shall punish you!"

Wicked Lady sighed and held her hand up.  But before could attack, Rini screamed in her head.  "I won't let you harm them!"

"I heard Rini!" Yuli cried.

"I know what to do," Priscilla said.  She froze time and changed the scenery to a dark and foggy surrounding.  "Princess Purity, Zircon, can you two hear me?" she walked to them. She placed her hand on Princess Purity's arm, "your sister and brother have come to save you.  Everything Jade told you was a lie.  You mustn't believe what she says.  She's using you to kill them so you'll die."

"I don't understand," Wicked Lady said.

"Remember how you felt your sister's pain?"

"Yes, and knew what she was thinking."

"You will die if they die," she said.  "You won't want to die by killing your own brother and sister, would you?"

"No, but I--I just don't understand," she sighed.  She blinked at Priscilla, "wait, aren't you Sailor P's girl?"

"Yes, I'm Priscilla, Sailor Winter."

"Really?  Can I call you Sailor W?"

"Well, uh," Priscilla mumbled.

Wicked Lady laughed with Princess Purity's voice and shook her head and became Princess Purity again.  "I can't let anything happen to my friends!  We must stop Jade!"

"How?" Zircon asked.

"They need us to stop her, Zircon," Princess Purity said.  "That's why she imprisoned us here and turned us against our friends.  We can do it if we work together!"

Zircon rubbed his head; "she forced me to lead you here."

"Yes."

"Zircon," Priscilla said, "the others and I are worried about you."

"Priscilla?" he asked, "How can you be here?  Jade stole your sailor power."

"I have an armor now," she explained, taking off her helmet.  "I felt so helpless after she took you, Zircon.  I didn't know what to do.  I felt as if I have failed.  But then I realized that I could not give up.  I was going to find you again, Zircon and help you in your darkest hour in the coldest place.  I've forgotten I had the ability to bring people back from the darkness.  I was withering in my pit of despair until my father dug me out."

"I'm just so, confused," he mumbled.

"Listen to me, Zircon," she said, "I have served you since we were children.  That's all I ever wanted to do.  The others and I came here because we believed that you wanted us to save you.  But I need to hear you say it or I can't do anything.  If you want to come with us, just say the word and we'll stop Jade and come back home."  She frowned, "however, if you wish to stay here, then I'll go.  Do you want to stay here and be Jade's slave or come with us and be our friend?  You, you do want to come back home, don't you?"

He looked down in his moment of contemplating. 

"Do you remember the times at winter when you asked me to dance with you as the snow was falling and I jumped at the opportunity?"

Suddenly, he looked up at her and smiled faintly.  He closed his eyes, trying to remember.

Flashback

Twelve-year-old Zircon looked out the window and saw snow falling to the ground.  "It's snowing," he exclaimed.  He pulled on his coat and wrapped his scarf around him as he picked up his gloves and stepped outside.  He wanted to dance in the snow. 

Priscilla had beaten him to it.  She was already outside, twirling around and humming to herself.

"Priscilla, I knew you'd be out here," he said.

"Zircon!" she cried, "it's snowing!  Isn't it beautiful?"  Because the cold never bothered her, she wore just a jacket over her sweater and pants. 

"Will you dance with me in the snow?" he asked.

"Oh, Zircon, of course I will!" she exclaimed, running up to him.  "I'd love to dance with you in the snow!  And later, we can build a snowman if you'd like!"

Zircon smiled, taking her hand and putting his other hand on the small of her back.  "That would mean a lot to me, Priscilla."  They danced and he watched how the snowflakes fell on her skin.  "I'd never be able to go through the cold of winter without you, Priscilla."

"That must be why I'm Sailor Winter!" she laughed.

End Flashback

Zircon opened his eyes and they were not as hazy as before.  Slowly, he could remember that but he couldn't quite remember what home was or what to do. The winter, he thought, wasn't so bitterly cold with Priscilla.

"Or when I told you what was in the dark when you got scared at night?"

He shivered, the memory coming back to him when he was so afraid of the dark.

Flashback

Zircon sat in his room, shivering too afraid to grab for his candle.  He was just a five year-old-boy and tonight seemed to be the spookiest of winter nights.  The bare branches were scratching on the windows and the items in his room looked like monsters. 

"I am so scared," he whispered.  "Is someone there?"  He cleared his throat, holding his blanket around him.  "Please someone?  Don't leave me in the dark.  Mommy, Daddy?"

The door creaked open and he tried to scream but couldn't.

"Who's there?" he questioned croakily.

"It is just me, Zircon," whispered the sweet young voice of Priscilla.  She came to his bedside and placed her hand over his.  "I just had a feeling that I should come to your room.  Do you need anything?"

"I think there are monsters after me," he mumbled.

"Monsters?"

"I hear scary things and I am too afraid to look outside."  He said.  "Everything in my room looks different."

"I'll look outside and tell you what I see, okay?" she said.  "Remember, I can see anything in the dark!"

"Oh, would you?" he asked.

"Of course I would, Zircon," she said.  She walked to his window.  "Hmm.  Let's see, you heard a scratching noise on your window, huh?"

He nodded.

"That's only a tree.  There's an owl on it.  There are no monsters out there!"

There was a howl outside.

"What was that?" Zircon asked uneasily.

She looked out the window, "oh, it's just a fox."

"Can you check underneath the bed?" he asked, "and my closet?"

"Sure thing," she checked his closet and underneath his bed.  She took a good look around the room.  "Nope, Zircon.  It's just the way it is when it's daytime only it is darker.  I guess the darkness can play tricks on you and scare you."

"I'm not so scared of the dark when you're around, Priscilla," Zircon said.

She blushed, "ah, hey, I'm the only one who can see in the dark besides my daddy," she said, "I guess I should at least tell the others what I see."

"I feel much better now," he said, laying his head upon his pillow, "Thank you, Priscilla." 

"You're welcome," she walked to his bedside and tucked him in. 

"I don't know how I could ever get through the night without you," he said.  "Good night."

"Sweet dreams, Zircon," she kissed his forehead, "now, if you ever get scared of the dark again, I'll be here before you know it."

"I won't even have to call you?"

She shook her head.  "I'll save you from the darkness again one day, Zircon.  You don't have to tell me you need help.  I'll know when you need help and then I'll come right away."  She closed the door behind her and Zircon fell asleep and had a very good dream.

End Flashback

His heart felt as if it was burning.  He was in the dark again--scared as a lamb--but she came to save him from darkness again.  She knew he was in danger.  He didn't have to be scared anymore. 

You came to save me, he thought.  Like you said to me when we were children.

"Zircon, do you remember Chloe?" Priscilla asked.

Chloe, Zircon thought, do I know Chloe?  I think I remember you now but who is Chloe?  I can't just remember you to be saved, I need to remember the rest, but who were they?

"Do you remember in spring Chloe gave you flowers when you didn't even ask for them or she healed you when you hurt yourself?" 

Spring…yes…and Chloe…there was something about Chloe that made the spring more than just the time when the flowers grew.  I remember when we were little children…

Flashback

As Zircon sat underneath a tree and breathing in the spring warm air, he saw a young girl running to him.  It was Chloe. 

"Chloe?" he asked.

Chloe had a handful of flowers and warm smile on her face, "Here, Zircon, I picked these just for you!  The first flowers of spring!"

"The first flowers?" he asked.

"Yes, I helped them grow," she said.

"That's right, you can make things grow."  He reached for the bunch of flowers and pricked his finger on a spike.  "Ouch!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, Zircon!" she cried.  "These are thistles!"

"That's all right," he said.  "Thistles are beautiful too.  The color is the same as your dress."

"Here, let me heal you," she reached for his finger and held her finger right over his fingertip.  There was a light purplish haze that escaped from his finger to his, healing the cut.  "Next time I bring you flowers, I'll just bring dandelions!"

Zircon laughed, "Chloe, spring time just wouldn't be spring without you."

She tilted her head and blushed, "Oh, Zircon, thank you!"

End Flashback

Chloe, he thought, remembering, Chloe!  Yes, I remember you!  Did you come for me too?  Where are you?

"How about in summer when you got too hot or you were troubled and Gwen let you see a vision of a waterfall or a peaceful meadow?"

Gwen? He wondered, Gwen.  Gwen.  Who is Gwen?  It sounds so familiar.  And summer.  She did things for me in the summertime.  I remember…

Flashback

Seven-year-old Zircon felt so hot he just wanted to jump into a lake full of ice.  The heat made him very irritable but it wasn't just that.  Cobalt, his pet bluebird, had been very sick and died just two days before today.

Why did you have to go, Cobalt? He wondered.  He sat in a shady corner of the castle wall, his back against it.  He pulled his legs up and rested his forearms on them and his head on his arms.  He wept.

Gwen was playing in a nearby apple tree, having fun in the sun.  She was hanging with her legs hooked on a branch.  She saw Zircon huddled in the corner and looking very troubled.

Poor Zircon, she thought, he still misses Cobalt.  She pulled herself up and climbed down to meet him.  "Hey, Zircon, what's wrong?" she knelt down in front of him.  "Why are you crying?"

He pulled his hands from his face, "Gwen, you can you stand this blistering heat?" he demanded.  "It's so hot out here!"

She shrugged, "I don't know.  Maybe because I get such a good tan in the summer?"

He frowned, folding his arms and turning his head away from her.

"Oh Zircon," she sighed, crawling to meet his gaze.  She cupped her hands around his face, "what is really bothering you?  Tell me the truth."

"The truth is that I'm roasting out here!" he grumbled.

She groaned, "why does everyone get so irritable in the summer around here?" she shook her head, "okay, Zircon, besides the heat, what has you so troubled?"

He didn't answer her.

"Still miss Cobalt, don't you?" she asked.

He sighed. 

"I guessed right, didn't I?"

"So?" he muttered.

"I miss him too," she said kindly.  "I think he was so cute."

"Why did he have to die?" he asked.

"He was sick, Zircon," she reminded.  "We couldn't do anything for him."

"Maybe Ivy poisoned him," he muttered.

"Oh, Ivy wouldn't do a thing like that," Gwen said.

An eyebrow raised, he gawked at her.  "Come on, Gwen."

"Okay, I'll give her the worst vision of her life to teach her a lesson," Gwen said, "just in case."

It may have helped him a little but he didn't give Gwen even the crack of a smile.

"I wish he didn't die," Zircon mumbled.

"He's in a better place now," Gwen said softly.  "A place where there is no pain, no death, no fear.  He's happy where he is."

"I wish I could see it," he said.

"So do I," Gwen said.  "Why don't we have a look?  Now, close your eyes and let me take you to a magical place." 

Zircon closed his eyes and he felt Gwen wrap her arms around his upper body and lay her head on his. 

"Just imagine you're by a waterfall.  There are trees and butterflies all around you."  She spoke with a touch of tranquility in her voice.  "Do you see it, Zircon?"

"I see it.  The waterfall is huge and there is a bunch of rocks.  I can feel the water when I touch it and I can smell the clean forest air."

"What else do you see?"

"Bluebirds, dozens of them.  Cobalt is flying with them.  He looks so free."

"Now, how do you feel?"

He paused, "better.  Much better."  He opened his eyes to thank her but couldn't' see her.  "Gwen?"

Gwen splashed him with water from a bucket.  "Do you feel cooler too?"

Zircon sat there, soaking wet and gawking up at her in surprise.  "Gwen?"

"Surprise!" she cried.  "I'm sorry, Zircon.  But you feel much cooler now, don't you?"  She dropped the pail and chuckled.  "You should've seen the look on your face."

Zircon, though he should have been angered from being soaked, he wasn't.  She was right, he felt a lot cooler now.  He smiled.  "Yeah, I feel cooler now.  Thanks."

"I'm glad you're not angry," she said.  "I just couldn't happy.  You said you were too hot!"

He lay down and placed his hands behind his head.  "You have an amazing gift, Gwen.  You should keep using it."

"Really?" she asked, kneeling next to him.

"Yeah, because if you don't exercise it," he told her, "you'd probably lose it."

"I will," she said.  "I'd be no daughter of the warlord of Illusion if I didn't practice making illusions of my own, would I?"

He chuckled.  "Oh, Gwen, I'd never get through the heat of the summer without you.  It would be very hard to find comfort without you either."

"I'm glad I could comfort you, Zircon," she said.  "That I could at least do something."

"You did plenty for me," he said, "you may not think that you didn't do much but you did."

She sniffed, "Oh cut it out."

"Hey, are those tears?"

"Um….they're fake!" she said, hiding her eyes.  "It's another illusion."

"I don't know, they look pretty real to me!"

She laughed and pushed him playfully.  "It makes me happy to see you happy, Zircon."

End flashback

'Oh, Gwen.' He thought.  'I found solace in your visions of peace.  Are you here so I can thank you?  I could use some comfort now.  This place is both too hot and too cold.  Gwen, can you show me something peaceful?'

"Can you tell me you remember when autumn came and Ivy," Priscilla stopped suddenly.  What did Ivy do for Zircon when autumn came?

'Ivy,' he thought, 'What did you do for me in autumn?'

Flashback

"All right, Zircon, let's see what you've got!" Thirteen-year-old Ivy snapped.  She became Sailor Autumn.  "I'll go easy on you because you're my friend but remember, there will be a time when you make an enemy and they won't go easy on you!"

They were training deep in the forest.  The leaves were falling and changing colors.

"Bring it on, Ivy!" he yelled.

She brought out the autumn mirror and pointed it at his feet, "WILTING REFLECTION!"  The grass began to turn brown, leaving a yucky scent.  She sent the wilting reflection at a branch.  It cracked and almost fell down on him had he not jumped out of the way.  

"AUTUMN VENOM LEATH SMOTHER!" she sent many leaves that could burn a person's flesh off at him.  However, there weren't many leaves in this attack so she wouldn't hurt Zircon too bad.

He grunted and held his hand forward, sending a bright blast of energy.  It disintegrated Autumn's leaves.  She crossed her arms in front of her in an X and the blast pushed her back a few feet.

"Oh no, Sailor Autumn, I'm sorry!" Zircon cried, running to her.  "Maybe I should've gone easy on you too!  I didn't mean to hurt you!"

"It's all right, Zircon," she said, "you know I heal fast.  See?" she held up her arms and the burns and cuts healed up.  She smiled proudly.  "Well done, Zircon!  That was amazing!"  She held the mirror in front of him, "now, what do you see?"

"Me."

"Oh come on, that's the last descendant of the ancient clan.   And he knows how to defend himself!"

"Couldn't have done it without you, Sailor Autumn, "he told her.  "Thank you for training me."  He stood close to a tree; however, he didn't know what kind of tree it was.  There was a twig dripping sap and his shoulder touched it.  The twig scratches his arm and the sap burned through it.  "Gnaa!"

"Zircon!" Autumn shouted.

"My arm!  It burns!"

"That tree has poisonous sap," she told him.  "Here, Zircon," she said, ripping his sleeve, "I'll heal you." She placed her lips right over the cut, as if she were sucking the venom from snakebite.

"Sailor Autumn--" he mumbled in surprise.

She spat out the poisonous sap and held the mirror right over his wound.  A white light went into his wound and healed it up.  "There," she said, turning to Ivy.  "Do you feel better now?"

He nodded, "next time we'd better train somewhere else."

"Yeah," she said.  "Let's go home now.  I bet you're hungry, huh?"

"Thanks, Ivy."

They went backed home and Ivy picked off an ear of corn.  "Here," she handed it to him.

He smiled, "Ivy, harvesting time wouldn't be the same without you."

"Zircon," she mumbled, blushing.  "You're my friend and it's not right for you to go hungry."

"My parents won't let me go hungry and I know I can get whatever I want from the garden," he said, "autumn is just…complete with you.  I don't know how I can get through this season with out you."

"Oh, Zircon," she whispered, her eyes shimmering.  "That means so much to me."

End Flashback

'You were right, Ivy.  You went easy on me but Jade hasn't.  She's too strong,' he thought.  'I'm stronger because of you.'

"Ivy would train with me, heal me when I got hurt and bring me something that she picked fresh from the garden at harvest," Zircon stated.

"You, you remember!" she cried.

He nodded then groaned as he rubbed his head.  The hold Jade had on him was fading away.  "I think…so…"

He closed his eyes and part of him took him somewhere else.  He was in a field somewhere and everything looked different on each side of him.  He was facing east and he felt rain falling down on him.  To his right, south, the sun and behind him things were dying.  To his left, north, snow.

"Where am I?" he wondered out loud.

Coming from the east side was a figure holding a scythe.  It was raining behind her but right above her was sunshine.  Somehow, she could separate the rainfall.  As she came closer to Zircon, flowers grew up behind her.  She separated the rain over his head so he wasn't in the rain.  She looked down at the ground and a flower grew.  She plucked it without having to bend down and made it move into his hand by her mind.  He recognized her.

"Sailor Spring," he said. 

"Yes, Zircon," she said.  "I've come to bring you flowers and healing."

Then he faced south.  Another sailor soldier was stepping through the grass.  She held a long sword and as she walked by young trees, their fruit ripened and the leaves turned greener.  She approached him and handed him a canteen of water.

"Sailor Summer."

"Yes, Zircon.  I'm here to bring you water and solace."

He turned again, facing west.  He saw a sailor soldier came upon the clearing holding a mirror.  With each step she took, the grass changed from green to brown and the flowers wilted and the leaves of the trees turned color, falling to the ground.  She plucked an apple before it too fell to the ground and handed it to Zircon.

"Sailor Autumn."

"Yes Zircon.  I'm here to give you nourishment and healing."

Zircon finally faced North to the mountains.  There was snow and wind in the air but through that, he was barely able to see a person.  As the person came closer, the snow got higher.  She was also a sailor scout and she held a rod.  The scout stopped in front of him.

"Sailor Winter."

"Yes, Zircon.  I have come to protect you from the dark and cold."

He looked at the sailor scouts.  "You've come for me."

The sailors changed to war ladies but he still knew them.

"Zircon," Priscilla said, "let me serve you."

"Zircon," Ivy said, "let me feed you."

"Zircon," Gwen said, "let me comfort you."

"Zircon," Chloe said, "let me heal you."

"Priscilla, Ivy, Gwen, Chloe!" he exclaimed, "You're here!  You're really are!  I knew you'd come for me.  I'd never been able to go through any season of the year without you girls.  They just wouldn't be the same without you girls."

"We love you, Zircon," they chanted in unison as the embraced him.

Zircon closed his eyes and opened them, facing Priscilla again.  "Yes, Priscilla, I remember you!  I remember Chloe, Gwen and Ivy!  I knew you would come for me!"

"Just let us serve you as we've always had!" Priscilla cried, her armor disappearing and she fell at his feet in her sub armor.  She grabbed for his shirt and began to sob.  "Please, please, Zircon, oh, please, let us serve you!  Let me serve you!  That is why I am here!  Tell me what it is you want and it is yours!"

"Well, first, I'd like you to stop crying," he said, patting her head. 

She chuckled. 

"Tell her what you want, Zircon," Princess Purity said.  "We need you, as the last descendant of the ancient clan, to help us stop Jade."

"I want to get your powers back," Zircon began, bringing Priscilla up," my necklace with your tear on it back, destroy Jade and this creepy place and hurry back home so we can have some fun!"

"As you wish!"  Priscilla wrapped her arms around his neck and laughed immensely.  "It is yours then, master!" she shouted, now great white and red wings expounding from her back.  "Come now, let's return home!"

She let go of him and he nodded.  "Yes."

Princess Purity came to her side and Priscilla took their hands.  "Let's do this!" they faded black foggy place disappeared and they came back to reality at Jade's castle.

"I order you two destroy them!" Jade shouted.

"We can't betray them!" Zircon and Rini screamed.

"She did it!"  Chloe yelled. 

"Zircon, are you all right?" Gwen asked, rushing to his side, "would you like a vision to comfort you?"

"Did she hurt you?" Chloe questioned in concern, placing her hand on his shoulder. "Do you need some healing?"

"It's my turn to heal him!" Ivy growled. 

"I asked first!"  Chloe snapped.

"I do a better job healing others than you anyway!"  Ivy hissed.

"No you don't!" Chloe said.  "You hurt them more than you heal them!"

Priscilla couldn't help but laugh.

"Oh I missed you girls," Zircon said, wrapping his arms around him.  "But let's worry about that when we get home, all right?  We still need to stop Jade!"

"Wicked Lady," Jade said, "I will let one of your siblings leave if you just tell me which one you'd rather let die."

"The name is Princess Purity to you, witch!" Princess Purity screamed.  She picked up Rowena's arrow and Vincent's rose and looked at them lovingly.  'If I chose to let Jade destroy Rowena then my new powers would be gone.  Mother would we very disappointed in me and Vincent would too.  If I chose to let her kill Vincent then father would be disappointed in me, Rowena will be heartbroken and might push more people away from her and even Yuli would be angry with me, since Vincent and Yuli are best friends.  I can't let her destroy Yuli either, I would just die!'

"And I can't choose between my half sister and brother!" she ran in front of them and held her hands out to the side  "They may be just my half brother and sister but they are still a part of me!"

"Then I shall just destroy you!" she growled, holding her hands in front of her, sending a major blast of energy toward Rini. 

"Rini!" Yuli shouted.

Rini began glowing and held her hands a few inches apart.  The silver crystal appeared and stopped the blast before harming her.  She grimaced and tried to send it back but she was too strong.

"You can do it, Rini!" Rowena said, planting her hands on hers.

"I have to do something," Zircon said and the golden staff of ancients appeared in his hands.  He put the top of it in front of Rini and reflecting it back at Jade.  She screamed and stumbled back.

"Are you all right, Princess Purity?" Zircon questioned.

"Yes, thank you."  She replied.

Masked Phoenix threw another golden rose at Jade, slicing her cheek.  She growled and sent an energy blast at him. 

"Vincent, duck!" Yuli warned but it was too fast for him to maneuver and he fell back and passed out. 

Rini groaned and grabbed her side, "Vincent," she mumbled.

Yuli went to him and tried to rouse him awake, "come on man, this is not the time for a nap!"

"Surrender now, Jade!" Robyn shouted.  "You are outnumbered!"

"Outnumbered," Jade said, "I don't think so." A small smile spread across her face and it turned into a grin, a small giggle and then a chuckle.  Soon, her laughing was accompanied with another voice, Beryl's.  She was guffawing with her head held back.  Tulpa's laughter began to merge with Jade's and Beryl's. 

"Okay, what's so funny?" Rochelle demanded, "do I have something in my teeth?"

Jade seemed to be getting bigger and a part of her was sliding to the right.  This other form was changing.  It was still Jade but she looked so grotesque.  A black and red armor appeared on her and a face place, covering her face. Her eyes and face vanished.

"This is bad," Yuli mumbled.

Her other self that looked human still remained. "Now, you think I'm still alone?" she demanded.  "Have you forgotten my father?  I could never be able do this before but you changed that for me, Rowena of the Strata Moon!"

"What?" Rowena snarled.

"Look familiar?" she pulled out the arrow Rowena shot her with. "Amazing what one arrow of life force can do. Thank you, Rowena, for bringing my other form to life!  For your reward, I'm going to kill you!"

"My arrow," Rowena mumbled, "I should have shot you in the head when I had the chance!"

The Tulpa form of Jade slammed her fist on the floor, creating a rumble.  The girls cried and tried to keep their balance.

"We'll have to destroy them both!" Rochelle shouted, "but how?"

"I--I, I don't know," Rowena mumbled. 

"You don't know? What do you mean, you don't know!" Robyn demanded with a sneer, "Rowena, you idiot, think of something!"

"How can I when you insult me?" Rowena snapped.

"You cannot defeat me!" Tulpa Jade boomed.  "I am invincible!"

"Give Rowena the power of your armor!" Yuli shouted.

"Isn't that dangerous?" Joy asked.  "For all of us?"

"Let's just do it," Phyllis said.  "It's the only way!"

"Yeah, kick her iron-clad ass, Rowena!" Rochelle shouted.

"We're counting on you!" Robyn yelled.

"I hope you know you're making a big risk," Rowena said. 

The new ronins sent Rowena all of their ancient armor power.  "We are with you, Rowena of the Strata Moon!"

Four different colors waves circled around Rowena, shedding off her armor of Strata Moon, leaving her in her sub armor.  She was standing in the middle of the universe, distant galaxies and stars burning.  Comets flew around space.  As she placed her hands together, a giant comet engulfed her.  The under gear was a shiny black.  Over part of it was silvery-white and blue with decorations of stars and comets.  The under-lining armor was black, like on the Inferno.  But unlike the Inferno armor, it wasn't mostly white.  The tops of the gauntlets were black and as it came down to her arms, they changed to indigo and then to white.  Where the four-diamond symbol appeared on the inferno armor appeared the strata symbol.  Rowena threw her head back and her braid came undone, her long sky blue hair fell down past her knees.  She picked up her helmet and placed it upon her head.  It was indigo like the armor with star like armor ornaments that came down on the side of the helmet.  Her new bow and arrows was platinum instead of gold and much bigger. The arrows were twice as long and sharper and the power of platinum arrow will be like twenty of her gold ones.  She raised her head with a proud smile and chuckled, feeling like a million bucks in her new armor: The Armor of the Cosmos.

'If only my father could see me now,' she thought.

The four others lay down unconscious in their sub armor.

"Guys!" she yelled, "are you all right?"

"They'll be all right, Rowena, just do your thing!"  Yuli cried.  "Rini, she'll need you to back her up!"

"I'm on it," Princess Purity said, her scepter appearing in her hand. 

"We're also with you, Princess Purity," Zircon said, "to the death!  War Ladies, perform what your father's taught you!"

"You heard Zircon," Priscilla said, "now!  BLACK LIGHTNING SLASH!"

"ELMENT OF SURPRISE!"

"SERPENT COILS CONSTRICT!" 

"TREMBLE WITH TERROR!"

The war ladies' attacks made the Tulpa form of Jade stop moving for a few moments.

"Moon Neo Cosmic Power!" The scepter in Rini's hand shot a brilliant beam of pink light in Jade's dark energy blast.  "It's…too…powerful…I'm not strong enough…" she muttered.

"Don't give up, Rini," Yuli said putting his hands over hers, "you're the daughter of Sailor Moon.  You can do it."

"Ughnnn, what in the?" Vincent groaned.  "Rini!"

"I wish my mother were here," Rini said, "and my father…"

"I'm sure Dad would want to be here too," Vincent said, putting his hands on hers, "but I'm here and Rowena's here."

"Hey, did you have a nice nap, Vincent?" Yuli asked.

Vincent grinned, "sorry, I tried to duck in time." 

"I can feel your energy," Rini said, "it's working!" it started to go through Jade's blast.  "It's working, we're going to win!"

"It's over, for you, Jade, or Tulpa, or whoever you are!" Rowena shouted.

"Am I?" both identities asked.  "I'm going to have your blood!"

"You want our blood, Jade, okay, here you go," she took out a platinum arrow from her quiver and slid the arrowhead down across her face.  A few drops of blood started falling down her face.  She placed it behind her bow, the dripping upon the floor. "ARROW COSMIC DESTROYER!" she let the arrow fly and her blood started streaming away.

"Now, we did it!" Zircon held up the ancient's staff over his head and threw it in between the two identities of Jade.

A wave larger and stronger than any of Rowena's or her father's shock waves, slammed into the Tulpa identity of Jade.  Beams from her went through the staff of the ancients and into Jade's other identity and back.  The two identities went back to the same with Rowena's arrow straight through Jade's heart.  She started breaking up into pieces and screamed. 

"You will not forget thisssss!" she hissed with her last breath.  All was left when she disappeared was Tulpa's mask, Beryl's headdress and Rowena's arrow between the two items.  Four different colored waves--one lavender, one bright blue, one dark green and the other dark red--flew to the war ladies.

"Our sailor powers," Chloe said, "we got them back!"

Zircon's necklace was lying beside Rowena's arrow and he picked his necklace up.

"I think this is mine," he said, placing it around his neck.

Rowena sighed and fell down as the armor of cosmos disappeared, leaving her in her sub armor and the powers returned back to the others.   They groaned as they stirred.

"Did we win?" Joy asked.

"Well, of course we did!" Rochelle hollered, "Who-hoooo!"

Rini fainted and fell back, Yuli catching her.

"Some battle, huh dude?" Yuli asked Vincent.

Vincent nodded, "I think we'll sleep well tonight."  He went to pick up Rowena in his arms.  He brushed her hair back with his fingers.  "Well done, Rowena," he whispered. "I knew you could do it!"

Without her, Jade's castle and world started falling apart.

"We'd better get out of here!" Yuli shouted, "quickly!" they ran of the room.  A long horizontal door began closing.

"The door's closing!" Vincent shouted.  "Hurry!"

The War Ladies ducked under with Zircon.  Rochelle jumped under the door before it closed.

"You'd better get out from there before it crushes you, Rochelle!" Joy shouted. 

"Don't worry," Rochelle said, "my armor's made out of diamonds for crying out loud." She grunted and started to push up.  She felt it go up higher, "hey, I feel strong."

"Rochelle," Phyllis mumbled.

"Thanks, Phyllis," Rochelle said, she crawled back.  She placed her hands under the door and held it up as everyone was crawling through.

"Okay," Phyllis said, "let's go!" they dropped and rolled under the door.

"There's the portal!" Yuli cried.  They jumped through the portal and landed back to their homeland.

"Wow, that was fun," Rochelle said, "Can we do it again?"

"Oh, Rochelle," Joy sighed and dropped her head on the ground.

"Party pooper," Rochelle muttered.