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Chapter 7

"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you."


Darien found Serena in the Crown's arcade and Darien watched her purple head bob up and down as she fought with the machine. He slid up closer to her and watched her play, wow, she made amazing progress in two days, than the last time he'd seen her play. She was facing a redhead, but in tiny pixels.

When Serena died, she took a different reaction than Darien had ever seen. She started pounding on the machine.

"Hey!" Darien grabbed her and turned her around. Serena froze as she looked up at him. "What was that about?" He demanded as she shook herself out of the anger.

"I'm sorry." She looked back at the machine and then turned her attention to Andrew who was staring at her. "I'm sorry!" She called out to him before she ran out of the arcade.

Darien watched her leave, he wasn't too worried, a little, yes, but she most likely wouldn't do anything rash. Darien had just arrived and made his way over to Andrew for a few minutes to talk.

"How are you man?" Darien greeted.

"What was with Serena?" Andrew looked at his machine. "She's the third person to do that today." He explained.

"Really?" Darien's attention piqued.

"Yeah, but one of them always attacks machines when they loose."

"But Serena doesn't." Darien summarized. "I'll be talking to her later. But for now, do you mind if I play that game?"

"If you start attacking it, I'm not going to be happy." Andrew warned, but it was in a teasing tilt.

"I'll try not to."

Darien moved through the stages easily until he reached the one that Serenity used to die at. He figured out how to beat it when by accident when he stumbled upon the mirror.

He tried everything once so once something work; he discarded it on the next fight as an option. He met up with the one that Serenity just died against, this one was a little hard. Pure strength didn't work, out of the corner of his eye, Darien saw a man standing in the wings. He chain roped the man and was a little confused as it was him in pixel form. Why was Tuxedo Kamen in the enemy's lair in hiding? Maybe he really was supposed to work for the enemy, but there weren't any of the scouts in any of the stages. It was a make believe game in from the senshi Sailor V, action hero and publicly known figure, as well as the supposed princess of the moon.

The red haired woman faltered and Darien attacked as Sailor V. He defeated her, but just as she lay dying, she reached out a hand and a swirl of color surrounded her, and her hair turned green, her skin yellow, her eyes red and her dress brown. Darien felt sick with the color combination. She blasted the man away and Darien cringed in pain as if that could really happen and it would hurt. The new woman turned towards Darien and charged up to attack. Darien held down the defense button as it attacked him. Half his life points disappeared and he powered up for his strongest attack and returned the blast. This time as the final boss powered up and attacked, the Tuxedo Kamen figure jumped in front and took it. Something happened to Sailor V and the skirt flared out and Sailor V became more elegant and weaker looking.

The screen said 'found crystal.' Darien put all of his magic points into the crystal before attacking and the woman disintegrated.

Sailor V collapsed and landed with Tuxedo Kamen. "Did you just die?" A man asked and Darien looked up to find somebody he didn't know. It was Kyle, watching the very last of the game.

"I don't know." Darien admitted, he didn't really play video games, but he couldn't image Mina indorsing a game that was impossible to defeat. It was strange however that this game came out a few months ago when it was three rogue senshi, him, Sailor V and Sailor Moon.

So if he and Sailor V were in it, where was Sailor Moon?

Keeping a low profile. A voice in his head reasoned, or she's not a real senshi, hence the exclusion from the gameā€¦ another voice questioned.

Kyle pointed at the screen. "Look at that." Darien turned his attention towards the screen and watched as Sailor V and Tuxedo Kamen were engulfed in light and they were returned to the first screen. It read 'Congratulations, you won this segment of the game,' and then he was given the option of who he wanted to play as. He saved the game and a code printed out. It was unlike any code he'd seen before but he shoved it into his pocket before the other man could see it.

"Well, I'm off. Do you play this game?" Darien asked the stranger.

"I've played this game a few times in the last few days, but I always die at the redhead. How did you defeat her?"

"I got lucky, I guess." Darien shrugged and the man's pale blue eyes narrowed in suspicion. As Darien left, he felt like the man's cynical eyes bore into him. A completely different attitude than the one Serena had received from him.

Darien left to look for Serena. He hadn't felt any anger at the game, but maybe that was because he won. He called her, and when she answered the phone she sounded normal. "Oh hi Darien!" She greeted.

"Where are you?" He asked.

"Oh me? I'm with Molly, we're going to the ice cream shop and then out to the ball game."

"Ball game?" Darien teased. "Since when are you and Molly fans of baseball?"

"Oh, since she's gotten a crush on the number one batter. I think she actually has a chance with him. He always comes over and talks to us."

"You sure it's Molly he talks to?" Darien knew Serena was oblivious to her own beauty.

"Yes." Serena drawled in a mocking tone. "Even when I'm not there, he and Molly talk."

"Ok, that's good then. I'm glad she's past that whole Nephrite thing."

"I don't know if she'll ever get past that." Serena sighed. "But I do have to go; I'll talk to you more tomorrow." Serena hung up the phone and turned to wait for Molly to cross the street.