"Carbonated"

a Sailor Moon fanfic by Pyrex Shards

pre-read by Lord Malachite

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"I don't believe it" Usagi said. She planted her elbows firmly on the café table in front of her and stared forward menacingly.

"Me neither." Minako, sitting to Usagi's right, did the same.

"Where did you find it again, Minako-chan?" Said Ami, sitting on the side of the table closest to Usagi, looking curiously at Minako.

"At a vending machine by the arcade" Minako said.

Rei, sitting at Ami's right, remained silent. Though her thoughts remained firmly fixed on one amusement. A soda bottle with a yellowish bubbling liquid in it, bearing the name "Sailor Moon" in big letters with an absolutely unrealistic picture of Sailor Moon on the clear plastic label.

"I think it's kinda neat." Makoto sat on the side of the table directly facing Ami. She leaned back with her hands behind her head.

"Kinda neat?" Usagi looked up at Makoto. "Makoto-chan, it's not neat. It's terrible."

"Why?"

"Because-Because-" Usagi gestured at the bottle with her hands. "Because it's--"

"Terrible." Rei said. She reached out and picked up the bottle.

"Yeah." Usagi crossed her arms. "It's terrible."

"Senshi Soda?" Rei looked up from her inspection of the bottle cap and looked towards Minako, who blushed. "Minako-chan. Is there more?"

"Umm. Yes." Minako sunk back in her seat.

Usagi turned towards Minako, her eyes narrowed. "Minako-chan?"

"There's other flavors, aren't there?" Ami said. She took the bottle from Rei, who had tilted it towards Ami, offering it to her.

"Yes." Minako said.

"Well?" Usagi leaned closer to Minako, who leaned away, cornered.

"There's the Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus!" Minako said. When she blinked and looked around, she noted that all the senshi, sans Ami, had blank expressions, staring straight at her. "Well… I know where the vending machine is! Heh heh heh."

"Well then..." Usagi crossed her arms. "We'll just have to go and shut this vending machine down."

"Why?" Makoto said.

"Bad… taste…" Ami answered with the opened bottle in her hand, nearly puckering her lips to where she looked like a fish. "This stuff tastes like, carbonated lemon juice! I think it just stripped the enamel off my teeth."

Rei couldn't resist the temptation. "It fits." Usagi raised an index finger to launch a return volley of verbal arguments against Rei.

"Come on guys." Makoto stood up. "Let's go see what this vending machine is all about."

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"Here it is." Minako pointed at the vending machine sitting on the side of the arcade entrace all alone. It towered over the girls like an ominous sign, or an equivalent joke. The front of the machine possessed yet another poorly drawn picture of Sailor Moon. The buttons on the right front of the machine each had small labels with equally poor pictures of each inner senshi.

"How could this happen?" Usagi said. Everyone stood still, looking with awe at the vending machine. "Hello?" Usagi looked at Makoto. The brunette crossed her arms. Usagi walked forward and stepped between her friends and the machine. "Hey guys! What are we going to do about this?"

Rei walked forward, past Usagi, and started manipulating the controls on the machine. After a few seconds she stopped and stood there, silent. Usagi placed a hand on Rei's shoulder. "What is it Rei?"

"This machine is evil." Rei's revelation ellicited a gasp from the crowd around her. The raven haired senshi of the planet Mars had rested a hand over the buttons of the vending machine, almost like she could sense something otherworldly.

"Why is it evil?" Ami asked.

"It stole my money."

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Obviously, the lesson here is that vending machines are evil.

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Swead Entertainment

Finished 12/10/2006