Sailor Moon and associated characters/background were created by Naoko Takeuchi. No disrespect is intended in their use.
To make life easier for the readers, "journal entries" (you should understand pretty quickly) are marked with -#- at the start and end.
Crystalline structures, delicate spires of magic reaching to the heavens like angel's wings.
People laughed, people smiled, people almost never cried. Why would they? They lived in Utopia.
I hate it. I hate them. I hate her.
Serenity. 'Neo-Queen' Serenity.
They call her a goddess. The gods know she is worshipped as one in that pristine, soulless hell.
I call her the devil. She is the culmination of everything I have ever fought against: she is a tyrant. Oh, to be sure, she is a benevolent one. Certainly, within the walls of her antiseptic little community, you'd never hear a word of protest about their 'noble queen'.
I bet the trains run on time there too. Or whatever form of transport they use these days. It has been a while since I've gone near that sterile pit, after all.
I fought Mars a decade ago. That day cost me more in energy drain than the previous three centuries. But it had been almost worth it, almost worth it to be able to fight a Senshi for as long as I did and not die... but then she called me evil.
Evil? Evil was to live in a world of black and white, and to think you are the white. Evil was to say 'You are evil, I am good.' Evil was to view the world in absolutes. Evil was a lie.
And so was this city.
But what could I do? Power? I have power. Some of it's even mine. I've even almost matched the Senshi in my rare encounters with one or another of them. But there is power, and then there is Serenity. Many a fool hasn't lived long enough to learn that mistake.
But... but, but, but there is a way. I don't know if I can do it, I don't know if I have the power, and I certainly don't know if I can get past the legendary guardian, but it's worth a try.
Time is the key. With time, I can set things right. I can find peace.
I will do it. Perhaps I will die. Perhaps I will have never existed at all, perhaps I shall be wiped from the time stream. Perhaps nothing at all will happen. Somehow, I don't care. After over nine hundred years, I just don't care.
Grant me an end to this. Grant me the death of the one who started it all. Grant me Serenity.
And grant that my soul is long since gone, lest it be sent to hell for what I have become.
And above all... allow me to dream those power dreams. Allow me to dream in peace. Allow me the dream of my youth.
Because sometimes, dreams are all we have.
- Last entry in a small diary that was found by scavengers near Crystal Tokyo, in the year 2911 AD. When this entry was written, and by whom remains unknown.
Nightime in Tokyo. Crowds thronged the city streets, most putting aside the concerns of work for a small time to enjoy life. Groups of teenagers congregated in malls and arcades, having fun and being together, eating and going to movies and playing the games, like the new one based on that supergirl over in England, Sailor V.
He staggered through the crowds, ignoring the looks and the way people were crossing the street to avoid him. Must be the clothes.
Petty, discriminated humanity. One moment full of happiness and love, the next full of anger and hate.
He smiled. He'd missed this Tokyo. Dirty, crowded, full of people who could insult you while remaining unfailing polite to you... oh yes, he'd missed this Tokyo. It was HUMAN, so unlike the brainwashed cattle that occupied this city in the future.
He stumbled against a wall, before he edged into an nearby alleyway. He needed rest, he needed food, he needed energy. He needed energy desperately.
Time was the key. But energy was the lock. It had taken all the power he had to make it here. Back, back so long ago. Back to when the Senshi were merely girls with interesting powers in silly suits. As opposed, of course, to women with horrifically intense powers... in silly suits.
He edged back into the shadows. The last thing he needed was to be seen by some police officer or another. He didn't drain himself of centuries of gathered energy to get here, only to be arrested for vagrancy.
Not that it would matter. Time, apparently, was on his side. He had made it. He was as weak as a babe, certainly, but he had made it. He had walked the halls of time, he had done the unthinkable, he had travelled almost a thousand years without Pluto's aid.
He winced, gently grasping a thong necklace and pulling it out of his clothes.
"We did it, my friend. We can try for a better world."
He smiled. Only one thing worried him about his journey.
Where had been the Guardian of Time?
She looked down at him from the roof of the building he leaned against.
To see the lines of time, to see the strings of fate, of destiny, to have to observe... was it any wonder that her office had not changed hands every century or so, like the other Senshi had in the Silver Millenium? The chances of finding a girl every century willing to do what she had to do was slim. Finding one every millenium was a small chance, for that matter.
He was as much an enemy to her queen as the worst of others. He hated her ruler more than any other she had ever seen, even Beryl. He would, she had no doubt, destroy all of time to see Serenity die, if given the chance.
She almost pitied him. He was more trapped by time's whim than she.
Pluto blinked. And then she was gone.
I was human once. Grew up all over the place. Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, some time in Hong Kong... all sorts of places. Hard to remember them all, I have covered the world a thousand times since, and nine hundred years of memories tend to run together after a while.
I was born... how embarassing, I cannot remember the name I was given when I was born. After so many centuries, I somehow don't think a name really matters. I am me. And that is all that matters.
One day I acquired power. How and when, I need not write. I only put down that which I may forget, and I will never forget my 'rebirth'. Still, even with the power I had gained, I managed to live a normal life for a while.
It couldn't last. 'Monster' attacks just got worse and worse as the years progressed. Eventually, what little family I had left was threatened. I chose to fight. I did okay for myself, I only got almost killed three or four times.
I didn't have my... problems with the Senshi back then. We even fought in a couple of battles together. They were always distant, I noticed. Mars never liked me, and Jupiter wasn't much better. I remember wondering why at the time, but they never gave me a reason for their attitude. I remember being quite cocky, perhaps I rubbed them the wrong way. Still, there was no true animosity between us.
That came later. After Sailor Moon's death. After Serenity emerged from whatever hiding hole she had been in. After the ice.
Dear gods, why did it have to be ice?
- Discovered written in the margins of a tattered physics book in an abandoned lean-to, in what was Los Angeles, 2873.
Finally, the crowds thinned. He had taken the time to compose himself. He grunted, pushing himself up into a standing position against the wall. After a three second count, he stepped out of the alley.
One step, one step at a time. He drew the ambient energy in. The breeze whistling past, pulling at his light brown, tattered, knee-length wraparound cloak. A pause at a fountain, to breath in the water-vapoured air, and to wash out his goggles, which were covered in dirt and sand. The electricity from overhead lines, the heat from nearby shop heaters, each and every element that he could, he drew from. It wasn't much, but until he found something a lot better, it would do.
He looked around, noting again how people avoided him. He looked down at himself. Maybe it was the long pants, or the soft boots. Maybe wearing the hood of the cloak in public was a bit much. Maybe he shouldn't have put the goggles back on. He had a profound thought. Maybe he looked like an idiot.
He lifted the goggles and rubbed at his eyes. He needed clothes. He needed money for clothes. And he'd kill for a beer.
Well, moderately maim anyway.
He shook his head. Money could wait. Energy could not. He needed something better than the ambient energy he was drawing. He turned his head, looking one way, then another. Finally, he smiled, turned, and walked down a street.
One step at a time.
The youma shut the door to her small apartment. She was one of the few entrusted by General Jadeite for long term deployment on the Earth. While other youma got the short, flashy, quick energy drain jobs, it was hers and others jobs to stay amongst the humans, keeping a small and slight energy drain on the poor sheep, so slight a drain that they probably never even noticed. It was the job of her and her kind to be a backup for the General, giving him a small but almost constant flow of energy.
It was her particular job to act as one of Japan Rail's train operators. The overcrowded trains, full of gropers, pickpockets, the tired and irritable, the overworked, the overstressed, the claustrophobic... with the average resentment, anger and fear generated energy from a typical rush hour ride, you could light a youma city for a month.
By youma standards, things were looking good for her. She was in a safe but important position, visible to her General, but on another planet from her fellow back-stabbing youma. Important enough to gain status, not important enough to require going through a draining teleport back to the Kingdom after every day, she was enjoying a pseudo-independance that she found was actually... pleasureable.
"Greetings." The cloaked and hooded man stepped out of the shadows of the small closet that stood near the door. "Help me in my cause."
The youma blinked. "Huh? What are you doing in here? You've really made a stupid mistake if you think you can rob me."
"Give me your energy, unnatural one. I promise to make the ending quick."
Her eyes widened. "What? How did..." Her eyes narrowed. Some human had found out about the Dark Kingdom. The instructions on what to do about information leaks were explicit. The youma dropped her glamour, rising to her full seven foot height. "Now you die, foolish..." Something was wrong. Something was seriously wrong, and had been since she stepped into her small apartment. Why did she feel so lethargic?
"Too late for a fight, little one." His brown cloth-gloved hands, glowing slightly with green energy, struck forward, once, twice, pulverizing the bones in her arms. She didn't even have time to start a scream of pain before his hands shot out again, clutching at her throat.
She struggled. She tried to bring her arms up, to fire off one of her energy attacks, but her arms were broken, useless. And she felt so lethargic... surely she wasn't running out of breath this quickly?
"I promised I would make it quick. You will not suffer overlong."
"You... will die. The Dark Kingdom gasp shall reclaim the Earth." The youma opened her mouth, trying to say more. The light in her eyes dimmed, flickered, died. She glowed, turning to dust as death ravaged her system.
"I am sorry," he whispered, glowing all over in a slight emerald hue.
The dusted remains of the youma slid between his fingers.
"I am so sorry."
I killed it. A creature, youma, demon, call it what you will.
Did it have dreams, aspirations, hopes? Did it wish for its life, to be hunted and killed? Did it want to be left alone?
I make no claims to killing the poor thing for moralistic rights, or from some need to protect those who lived nearby. This beast had done nothing more than kill a couple of farm animals, and drain non-fatal amounts of energy from some people. I am ashamed to admit, I killed it for its energy.
I am constantly drawing on the elemental powers of the world to energise
myself. But it is a slow, very slow process. If I am to one day take on
Serenity, I must increase my energy reserves at a far quicker pace. One of
the few ways I can do that is to drain the mana and life force of... the
unnatural creatures. The youma, the daemons, the cardians, the Senshi.
the creatures with unnaturally high life force and magical reserves. From them, I can gain power.
I am not proud of what I do. I am, to all intents, a vampire. A leech. I have sent many a monster to hell, all for a few precious jolts of energy.
Sooner or later, I shall join them on their journey.
I remember reading a poem once. It went on and on, a typical bunch of flowery tripe. I have long since forgotten most of it. But this little bit I do recall:
We live, we die,
We wonder why.
That is what it is To be human.
I wonder. Can I die?
- Words scrawled into the dirt of a cave where some form of beast had been lairing, 300 kilometres from the former Germany/Poland border, 2632.
The Dark Kingdom.
He used the small apartment's sink to wash the remaining youma dust off his gloves. The youma had mentioned the Dark Kingdom. This was interesting. He'd thought the Kingdom to be a myth, told to him as a legend of the early days of the Senshi. Apparently, he was wrong.
Oh yes, this was very interesting.
He searched around the small apartment. It didn't amount to much, a thin and dirty futon, the small closet, a small sink. What need a youma of anything more? He shook his head at the sparsity as he opened the closet.
Nothing. Well, it made sense. The youma's work clothes were part of a glamour spell, what would the creature need with real clothes? He looked down to the floor of the closet. His eyes widened slightly.
Tossed on the closet floor, like it was garbage or something, was a fairly decent amount of yen.
"Of course. What need a youma of money either? Some small amount spent on food, and still she would have plenty left over from the pay cheque of whatever job she was at. What was she doing working, anyway?" He shrugged, knelt, and started picking up the yen bills. The previous owner had no use for them now, after all.
He sat cross-legged on the youma's futon, his eyes half-closed, his hands cupped on his lap. In his hands was a leather thong necklace, which had a small green crystal tied to it with several leather strips.
His hood was drawn back, his goggles lay by his side. The man looked young, around seventeen or so, his shoulder length, emerald coloured hair serving to soften the grim set of his face.
He fully opened his eyes, relaxing his posture. There was no white to his eyes, instead they started out light green, working to darker shades closer to the pupils. They were slightly unnerving to look at.
"Well, well, my friend," he addressed the crystal in his hands. "This city is a stinkhole of youma activity. Much more fun than the future version. I could really grow to like it here."
He cocked his head, acting as if he was listening, before he nodded. "I agree. Energy is the priority. Serenity is out there somewhere, and I need power to destroy her."
There was another long pause.
"You're right, I can't see any alternative either, to get energy. Tomorrow, we go youma hunting."
"I need a room for the night." He stared at the hotel manager. He had left his hood drawn back, but he was still wearing the goggles. He had thought about just sleeping at the youma's apartment, but he was a survivor. And survivors didn't sleep in the room of someone they had just killed, when they didn't know whether or not the dead person entertained late night guests. So, he had found the nearest hotel (actually, more of an inn) instead.
"I'm sorry, I don't think we have any rooms avail--"
"Check again." He smiled, took his goggles off, and stared at the man.
The manager looked into the green haired man's eyes, and started to sweat. "Aheh. Of course, silly me. I forgot that the uh... Watanabes, yes, the Watanabes cancelled their reservation. Here, here." The manager handed the man a set of keys.
"You're too kind." The man smiled again, placing some money on the reception desk. "You forgot to ask for a deposit."
"Oh, I must say you look a lot better in these clothes than the ones you walked in with."
He smiled a fake smile, ignored the implied insult to his old clothes, payed the store clerk, and left. He'd bought what he could; a loose white shirt, black trousers, and a decent but cheap pair of shoes. He had a cloth bag slung over his shoulder, in which he had put his old clothes. He wore the leather necklace around his neck, the crystal was under the shirt.
After the night in the hotel, some food for breakfast, a trip to the public baths, and now the clothes, he couldn't afford much more. He'd have to get more money soon.
He was puzzled. He'd gone to the trouble and expense of dressing like a normal person, and still people were looking at him as if he had a second head or something. For pity's sake, they were crossing the street when they made eye contact with him!
Wait. Eye contact.
He cursed, turned, and walked back to the stores. A few minutes later, he was out of the shops again, wearing a pair of cheap but effective dark glasses.
Down to 500 yen. He really needed to get more money soon.
He looked at the salon, one hand looped through his bag's handles, the other resting on his hip.
"A salon? Why a salon?" He shook his head. He felt energy in there. Pretty powerful energy. Someone with a decent amount of Dark Kingdom power and...
"My, my." And a Senshi.
He looked around. "Ah ha." He walked around into a sidestreet until he reached an employee's entrance. He tested the door. Locked. After looking around, he shrugged and drove his fist through the door, shearing the lock off the door. He stepped inside, into an empty hallway, closing the half-destroyed door behind him.
"Death and destruction calls." And so it would be best to make sure he couldn't be indentified by witnesses. Being chased by the police would make his mission a lot harder. Well, a lot more annoying anyway.
He pulled his bag in front of him, opened it, and pulled out his cloak.
Luckily a long life had put him in the habit of wearing clothes that hid his face. "I always was most comfortable in these."
Sailor Moon shut the door, breathing hard. She'd just freed some of the salon's instructors from Jadeite's control, ruining one of his energy collection plans in the process. She'd won another battle. Luna had scooted off outside while she found this quiet place to change out of her Sailor Moon form.
All she needed to do now was change back to Usagi, go find Naru-chan, and then they could go get some ice creams. After all, she'd just sweated off the pounds fighting the bad guys, she deserved to give herself some sort of treat...
She looked around. Satisfied that she was alone, she started to concentrate on detransforming.
"Sailor Moon?" A cloaked and hooded man stepped out of the shadows. The hood shadowed most of his face, and a set of goggles did well to mask the man's distinguishing features. "Well, this is a surprise. How nice to see you hale and hearty."
"Who... who are you?" Sailor Moon stuttered, stepping back, her hand straying towards her tiara, trying to seek comfort from having her weapon close at hand. Her heart felt like it was in her throat. Where had this guy come from?
"Just an interested party. I'm no friend of the Dark Kingdom, if that's your worry."
"What do you want?"
"Me? I'm here to help. Remember me, I'll be around." He nodded, stepped back into the shadows, and faded from sight.
Sailor Moon. She was the third Senshi I met. I think she was about seventeen or eighteen at the time. I had become whatever it is that I am a year before; we met in one of the increasingly frequent youma attacks. Or was it a daemon? Oni? Well, whatever. Death is not biased, it will gladly embrace you no matter what you are, and after we were through with the beast, it was certainly dead.
I wonder what Death thinks of people like me and the Senshi, the ones who have quite possibly gained immortality. I don't know. Did Death dance when Sailor Moon died, denied the long life her teammates gained?
And I wonder, do the Senshi ever think of their fallen comrade? I find that I do. She was the most paradoxical of all the Senshi. One moment, a slightly flighty and clumsy girl. The next, a calm, powerful warrior with a presence that few could match. I found myself wondering how she could be the Senshi's leader, and wondering how anyone else could think to replace her, all in the same thought. She was like that.
In a way, it is good that she died before Serenity appeared. Otherwise, we might eventually have faced each other as enemies. That would have felt wrong. Like beating a puppy dog, perhaps. She had that affect on people too.
She was too innocent for this world. Whatever the afterlife has to offer you, Moon warrior, innocent child, I hope it finds you well. Find peace in death, Sailor Moon.
I am glad that I was not the one to kill you.
- One of a series of notes attached to a threat analysis of the various Senshi and their allies, dated from the time of the rebellion that led to the founding of the Dark Moon clan. This particular analysis was labelled under THREATS - DECEASED.
"A strange man?" Luna looked up at her young charge.
"Yeah, in that room where I went to change back." Usagi looked around as she and the cat walked down a sidewalk.
"What did he look like?"
"I don't know. He was dressed real weird. Kinda creepy, he almost looked like some sort of vagabond. And he disappeared after saying he was here to help me."
"Sounds like another one like Tuxedo Kamen." Luna sighed. "I don't like this, where are these men coming from? What do they want?"
"Oh well. What does it matter, Luna? If this guy's not on the Dark Kingdom's side, that's all we have to worry about, right? Now come on, I'm going to go invite Naru-chan to get some ice cream and go to the arcade."
"Don't you have some homework to do?"
"Homework? After that workout? Are you kidding? I need food first. I'm a growing girl after all."
"Growing into a fat slob, you mean," the cat muttered, her ears drooped in disappointment at Usagi's cavalier attitude.
Jadeite wrinkled his nose at the musty air of the small apartment. One of his youma had not sent her daily allotment of energy to him, and even after the relative success of his salon scheme, he couldn't afford to ignore something like this.
So he had teleported to the youma's dingy little apartment. It hadn't taken more than a few moments to realise that the pile of dust on the floor was the youma's remains. It puzzled him.
Who had killed the thing? Sailor Moon? If that was so, how did that silly little girl manage to kill his servant without causing any damage to the apartment?
He didn't know if he liked this turn of events at all.
"Just a coffee, thank you."
He smiled at the waitress as she nodded. The smile dropped as soon as she walked off. He was back in his new clothes, sitting in a small cafe.
What a waste of time that trip to the salon had been. He had sensed the person with Dark Kingdom energy teleporting out before he'd even managed to get his second boot on. Still, seeing Sailor Moon again after so many centuries had been interesting.
He glanced down at the table, noticing a box full of paper napkins. Another smile, genuine this time, touched his lips as he reached into a pocket, drawing out a pen.
He reached for the dispenser, drawing out a few of the folded paper wipes. He tapped the pen against his lips a few times before he began to write on the napkins.
I'm here to help. I just told that to Sailor Moon.
And it's true, I am here to help.
I'm just not here to help the Senshi.
I am here to help the world. In the future, our choices came down to this: accept Serenity, or leave Earth. I cannot let that happen again. I will not let that happen again. Humanity deserves better than to be treated like a herd of mindless sheep, we all deserve to make our own choices, not limited by 'good' or 'evil'. We ALL have the right to decide what is right and wrong.
Serenity took away that choice. She whitewashed society. Was it any wonder that so many of the others chose to flee the Earth rather than submit?
Oh yes, I am here to help. I am here to help make sure that Crystal Tokyo is never, ever created.
And nothing: not the youma, or their leaders, or the Senshi themselves are going to stop me.
I will stop Serenity. Even... ESPECIALLY if it means her death.
I could have killed Sailor Moon, I am sure of it. She is not yet the warrior she will be. But I am not here for the Senshi, I am here for Serenity. They do not know me here, they do not know my intent. I will not kill the Senshi, for one simple reason. They will lead me to their Queen. And then... and then finally, it will end.
It will end for the better. I swear it.
Author Notes: As mentioned at the start, this fic was released (up to chapter 6) in 1998. It was one of the first to paint Crystal Tokyo in a bad light, and garnered some spirited debate from readers on both sides of the argument on Crystal Tokyo. I noticed that it's getting harder to find on the net, so I thought I would re-archive it here.