Sailor Moon: The Metal Age
PART THREE: IT'S ALL ELEMENTAL
The house was crowded. But that couldn't be helped. Five women in the same house is bound to create congestion. When each of those women is an Elemental Solider for Earth; crowded was only one problem.
Raiden King was the house cook. No one else would do it. Anila Monroe thought her self too good to cook. She'd always had servants who did that kind of thing. She was the stereotypical perfect blonde-beauty with blue eyes and a killer figure. At times it baffled Raiden that such a woman was a Soldier. Anila spent more times on her appearance and wardrobe then she did on being a Soldier. Let alone being the Solider of Wind. It seemed too ironic that she would be the master of the air; considering she was at times an air-head.
When the announcement to move to Tokyo had come; Anila's first reaction…. "Think of all the shopping I'll be able to do."
With breakfast almost complete; Raiden called for the house to wake up. The first to bounce out of bed was Crystal Rivers. The woman was energetic to a fault; she was all happiness, sunshine, rainbows, and hugs. The world was a happy place for Crystal.
Crystal Rivers had been a Solider the second longest. She was tiny; dainty like an elf or fairy princess. Her earth colored curls fell around in her like a heavy ringlet cloud. Her eyes were deep green; the color of shadowy jade. Her smile was bright and infectious.
Crystal was the kind of girl that was photographed with baby kittens, baby ducks and the like. She was the ultimate Love-The-World spokesperson. She was the front line when it came to protecting the planet; preserving the oceans, reducing air-toxins. She was infuriating at times in her positive and happy-go-lucky attitude.
But as the Solider for Earth; Crystal was formidable. She had natural protectiveness and enough of a fighting spirit to be a good warrior.
"Good morning," She greeted brightly.
Raiden grunted a response; she was not a morning person.
"Hmm, smells great in here." Crystal took down her teapot and started water for tea. She studied the woman reading the newspaper, "Did you sleep last night?"
"What do you think?" Raiden snapped, she turned the page and stopped. "Oh my freaking…" She stopped herself and glared, "It was a woman!"
Crystal was curious, "What was?" She took the paper from Raiden and peered at the page. "International star, Tenno Haruka to appear on Daily Talk this afternoon. This is the superstar's first public appearance since her return to the sport a year ago. Tenno is quoted as saying: "I want to do everyone proud; my team is the reason I am here. My presence here is merely a way to bring to the light what my team is about. They are the real champions. We work together."
Crystal handed the paper back with a big grin, "I like the sound of her. She very team-spirit focused. We could use that around here."
"You're enough of a team-spirit focus." Raiden snatched the paper bag, "But that's the chick I saw with Mason the other day. And I thought it was a guy." She glared at the picture with the article, "I knew they weren't just friends."
"Raiden, talk like that makes people think you're lovers." Crystal reminded the other woman.
Raiden watched as Crystal made tea. "Why does everyone think that?"
"Because you're so jealous of Mason." Crystal had to wait a few minutes; she looked to Raiden. "You're not lovers, are you?"
"That's gross." Raiden jabbed her finger at Haruka's picture, "She thought that too."
"Can you blame her? You're all huffy because Mason hangs out with a celebrity. If you're not lovers; then stop getting so damn jealous."
"It's not jealousy!" Raiden snapped, "Mason is emotionally unstable. I am trying to protect her from ending up hurt."
Crystal stared at Raiden, "Right…Sure."
Picking up her teapot; Crystal moved to the kitchen table. She started serving herself breakfast as Raiden glowered from her perch by the sink.
"What's this about Mason?" Dylan asked as she walked. She was dressed in a sea-green robe with a white towel around her shoulders. "I heard we were talking about her."
"No, we were talking about Raiden's jealousy."
"Oh, that…" Dylan sat down at the table and nibbled at a piece of toast. "That's boring; we all know she's jealous as Aiden."
"I am not!" Raiden snapped and crossed her arms.
"What about Aiden?" Anila asked as she walked in. She looked the picture of perfection, as always. "I vote we go shopping today." She stood beside Raiden; looking at each of them. "I need new clothes."
Crystal and Dylan shared a look before they ate breakfast.
Raiden glared at Haruka's picture, "I've got plans."
"Fine, I'll go alone." Anila filled a glass with water and sipped at it slowly. She studied Raiden carefully, "You didn't sleep last night."
"So?" Raiden was grumpy and didn't like being so critiqued.
"The fact that you were on par with the Planetary Solider has you pissed." Anila remarked idly, "Personally, it's a complement to me."
Where did she get these things from? Raiden gave her a spiteful look.
"Well it is." Anila continued unfettered, "The fact that you are equally matched to my Planetary twin speaks to how powerful I am."
"As if we needed to be reminded." Dylan countered dryly.
"I can't help it being so powerful." Anila said quickly, "I mean, I AM after all the Wind. It can't help but be so powerful."
Raiden rolled her eyes and stood up, "I think I'm going to puke." She grabbed the paper from the counter and left the kitchen.
Aiden walked in a moment later, "Why did Raiden leave? We haven't had our meeting yet."
"She's not feeling well," Dylan muttered.
"I swear that girl has a chip on her shoulder." Aiden shook her head. Her fire-red hair spilled around her shoulders as she took Raiden's chair. "We need to talk about the Planetary Soliders and how to deal with them."
Breakfast was forgotten as the meeting began.
"I think we can all agree this group is the Planetary Soldiers." AIden looked at her group, "Yes?"
There was murmur of yes.
"We can also agree that the only reason Styx would send Orion here is because one of those children has the Silver Crystal."
Again they agreed.
"So how do we handle them?" Aiden asked, "None of these children is prepared for what's coming. I don't care if they do have the Silver Crystal. They aren't ready."
"But we are," Crystal muttered, "We can face off against Styx."
"Not without Titanium and Lightening." Dylan added, "We need both of them."
Aiden sighed, "Lightening is loyal to her mission. She's not going anywhere until Styx is gone."
"And what about Mason?" Dylan asked, "She walked out on us."
Aiden was quiet, Anila didn't know what to say. It was Crystal who spoke. "Titanium is not a Cardinal Element. It cannot be influenced by us. The Element is only influenced by external things."
"Translation if you please." Aidan muttered.
Anila spoke, "Crystal is saying that none of us can make Titanium fight. It will take someone outside of our group to rekindle her will."
"And what happens if that outside force doesn't come along."
"It already has." Anila stated, "The question is, will Titanium yield?"
"What?" AIden looked to the woman beside her, "What did you say?"
"Mason is angry and afraid and she's bitter." Crystal muttered, "The problem isn't whether she'll join us; the problem is, what do we do in the mean time?"
Aidan considered that, "We get to know the children; since Styx wants the Crystal we have to stop him from having it. One of those girls has it; my bet is on the raven haired one."
"You mean Mars," Crystal shook her head, "She's too much like you to have it."
"That's why I think she does." Aidan countered, "Crystal cozy up Venus, Dylan you get to know Jupiter. I'll handle Mars."
"What about Sailor Moon and the outer planets?"
Anila spoke, "Raiden will handle the outer planets. As for Sailor Moon," She smiled brightly, "I'll handle her."
"You mean you'll handle her boyfriend." Crystal shook her head, "You're nuts, Anila."
"No, I'm determined," Anila told her, "There's a difference."
Crystal shook her head again; she left the kitchen. Dylan followed her.
Aidan leaned on the counter with her arms; she looked at the blonde beside her. "Do you really see Mason coming back to us?"
Anila was quiet for a moment. "No."
"Then how can you say she'll help?"
"Mason will never be one of us again. But we need her powers to win. Without her Solider powers over technology and metal, we can't hope to succeed."
"Why?" Aiden didn't understand, "We don't need her."
Anila sighed, "Sailor Mercury; the Solider of Intelligence and Thought; is in need of an upgrade for her computer and visor. Without them she cannot hope to figure out the enemy. The inner planets will not align fully if she is lacking. Mercury is their weak link in battle. They need her."
Aiden made a face, "They rely on each other."
"Yes; they are friends, Aidan. True friends."
The red-head made a sound of disgust, "That's weak."
"Not for them." Anila regarded the woman beside her, "We would be stronger if we came together."
"We do." Aiden waved her hand to the kitchen, "We just had a meeting together."
"No; that's not it."
"So anyway, back to this whole Mercury upgrade thing. How is that going to help us?"
"We need the Neo Crystal to activate the final evolution. We can't attain the crystal without Mercury's support. She will have the technology and the intelligence to figure out where the Neo Crystal is."
Aiden thought it over, "You're saying we need to be friends on the battlefield with the Planetary Soldiers?"
"The thought makes me queasy."
"You're not the only one." Anila recalled Raiden's reaction, "Raiden is not thrilled at having to work with them."
"She just doesn't like them."
"For once she and I agree on something." Aiden stood up, "So we have to make friends with the Planetary Soldiers, find the Neo Crystal and hope that Titanium will join us." She forced a smile, "Should be easy."
Anila didn't return Aiden's smile, "It won't be."
Aiden frowned, "It never is."
The two women stood in silence in the kitchen. The others left eventually and Aiden looked to Anila.
"Do you ever regret being a Solider?"
Anila shrugged. She set her empty glass aside and crossed to the entrance. She paused and looked back. "I don't regret what I am, Aidan. I like being the Wind. I regret that some Elements are harsher then others."
Aiden frowned, "Meaning?"
"Once this is over and the Neo Crystal is discovered and used. What will you do?"
Aiden hadn't been expecting that.
"Exactly," Anila said softly, "This is your whole life. Beyond this, you don't exist. And for that, for you, I am sad. For all that we want to hate Mason for leaving. She is the only one who is strong enough to do it. Even if we wanted to; like I know Crystal does, she won't leave. None of us will ever do it." Anila sighed and looked away for a moment. "We will all die being Soldiers. The only one who will be left standing is Mason. And for that I am sad."
"Why?" Aiden asked.
"The world is lonely for her, Aiden." Anila said gently, "Dylan has her boyfriend back home; you have your son, Crystal has her work. I have my family. But Mason…there's no one waiting for her to come back."
Aiden hadn't thought of that, "If she wasn't such a cold-hearted, stubborn-"
"Stop it, Aiden." Anila cut her off harshly. "Mason isn't like that. It's what she ahd to be in order to do her duty. Metal does not react like we do; like Crystal said. Metal is steadfast; solid, it will hold up under pressure. Fire, Wind, Ocean, Earth…they can all change, move, bend, flow as they need to. But Metal, especially Titanium can't. Pressure is what makes Titanium stronger. It's indestructible because of its foundational structure."
Aiden arched a brow, "What?"
"Never mind; my point is: Mason was losing her self to her Element." Anila looked away and drew in a breath, "We all have. Crystal is the living Mother Earth; Dylan is like the Ocean and you are definitely all Fire. Even I have become like the Wind I am. But to become Titanium is to be alone." Anila paused, "It's frightening."
"So if Titanium is indestructible. You're saying Mason is immortal?"
Anila shrugged, "She has survived more then any of us. No one else could have walked away from that explosion you caused in Las Vegas. Or the earthquake that Crystal caused in California. That building literally collapsed on top of Mason. Had she been one of us; she would have been crushed to death."
"I forgot about those times." Aidan shook her head, "She really has been through a lot."
"Yes, she has."
"I suppose I could try to be less harsh on her." Aidan muttered, "But she just pisses me off."
"And that is the way it will always be." Anila countered, "You are Fire, Aiden and she is Metal. The two of you will always create sparks."
"So if she and I can't mesh; who is going to convince her to help us?"
Anila smiled; her eyes softened as they filled with secrets. "We should start looking for our new friends."
Aiden stared at the Wind Solider as the woman left the kitchen. A moment later she left the house and Aiden was truly alone. The silence around her was bothersome; she needed activity, she needed people.
She left the house and began her search for the Planetary Solider of Mars. Something told her this wasn't going to be a short day.