Chapter 1: "Alien Invasion"
A Sailor Moon fanfic
By Bill K.
Sailor Moon and all related characters are (c)2007 by Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha and Toei Animation and are used without permission, but with respect. Story is (c)2007 by Bill K.
19 April, 2007, Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, Wisconsin:
Daryl Atkinson went through the checklist of routine procedures for that period of the day. The afternoon had been quiet. Nothing unusual had occurred and long-range scanning of the heavens was being monitored by computer. It was just another day at the observatory. Pausing from his checklist to check his watch, Atkinson found it was five forty-seven pm.
"Thirteen more minutes to quitting time," he mused.
Thirteen more minutes until he could leave and be back in the arms of his beloved Sharon. The thought of Sharon brought back memories of their last encounter and the heights of passion that ensued. Obviously it was possible to reach such heights of passion. Now the question was could they reach it again - - or surpass it?
And would his wife buy the "working late" story again?
"Daryl," said his co-worker, Raymond Marais. Atkinson turned to him, wrenched from his memories of Sharon. "That meteor we've been tracking? It's entering the atmosphere. It's as big as we thought, too."
Atkinson walked over and peered over his co-worker's shoulder.
"Doesn't look like it's going to burn up, either," Marais continued.
"Must have some rock or metal composition to it instead of ice," Atkinson judged. "Do you have a potential impact area?"
"Course is plotted for," Marais began, inputting commands onto his console, "approximately one forty degrees east, thirty-eight degrees north." He looked up at Atkinson. "Central Japan, between Tokyo and Sendai."
"If we're lucky, it'll drift south and impact in the Pacific," Atkinson commented, frowning. "Still, we better warn the Japanese to be ready for it."
Marais nodded and went back to his console. Japan would know in moments of the meteor headed for them, if Australia, Russia or China hadn't already informed them, through internet communication. Then all the astronomy services of the world would watch realtime transmissions of the progress of the meteor until impact. Because of the potential threat to populated areas in Japan, Atkinson would have to remain at his post. He watched the computer display of the meteor's telemetry. A meteor of rock or metal large enough not to burn up in the atmosphere could do some damage if it landed in a populated area, particularly a densely populated area like Tokyo. This was potentially very bad news and Atkinson's grim expression reflected this.
Plus it meant his date with Sharon was off.
20 April, 2007, Tokyo, Japan:
As Daryl Atkinson watched the meteor in Wisconsin, it was seven forty-seven am in Tokyo. Haruka Tenoh was entering the home she shared with the love of her life. She wore blue track warmups and running shoes. Her brow was covered with a sweat band and perspiration coated her skin with a fine sheen. Closing the door behind her, she doffed her shoes and grabbed the towel she'd placed by the door before she'd gone for her morning run.
The towel draped across the back of her neck while she dabbed her face with the ends. The woman ambled leisurely down the hall toward the kitchen. Her body felt the familiar exhilarating fatigue of heavy exertion. The last vestiges of the adrenaline rush was wearing off. She was coming down from the runner's high she'd been on. Haruka paused in the doorway, hoping what she needed now would be there waiting for her.
Michiru looked up from her morning tea and smiled warmly. She sat at the table, a sensible yet appealing breakfast for two before her and the morning paper turned to the world events section. Haruka loved seeing her this way. She loved seeing Michiru a lot of ways, but this picture of domestic bliss gave the lanky blonde a sense of security. It was one of the things that helped her live what she liked to term her "island life". Her happiest times always seemed to be just her and Michiru, as if they were alone on an island with just each other.
For her part, Michiru loved seeing Haruka this way. Haruka always came back from running with her short hair tousled, her skin glowing with perspiration and the blood pumping underneath, and a light dancing in her eyes from the thrill that speed gave her. Michiru always seemed to be happiest when Haruka was happy. Michiru had reflected upon this when they first coupled and came to the amusing conclusion that they must be in love.
Haruka crossed over to the table, leaned in and kissed Michiru. The artist took it as just a friendly greeting at first, but as was often the case Haruka prolonged it unexpectedly. Michiru began to feel giddy and leaned up into the kiss. Finally they parted and Haruka flashed her that "bad boy" smile of hers.
"Strawberry jam this morning?" Haruka commented, licking the remnants of the jam off her lips that had transferred from Michiru's lips.
"You could have just looked at the toast," Michiru smirked.
"Where's the fun in that?" Haruka asked. She swiped a rice ball from Michiru's plate and gave her the naughty boy look again. Michiru felt her heart flutter for the thousandth time.
Then she felt it. Her mind focused on it for a second, disregarding everything else. The impression was unmistakable.
Looking up, she found Haruka already on the back porch. Rising, Michiru came out onto the porch with her mate. Haruka was staring up into the morning sky, looking northeast. Her mouth was thin and her eyes were intent upon the blue skies of morning in Japan.
"You felt it, too," Michiru said. It wasn't a question.
"Aliens," Haruka confirmed. "They're coming." She stared for a few more seconds, then turned to her mate. "You up for a drive?"
"Let me pack something first. You haven't had anything to eat yet," Michiru said, then added with a wry smile, "except my rice ball."
"And it was a good rice ball, too," Haruka smirked back.
The doorbell sounded. Leaving Michiru, Haruka headed for the door. Unless it was Setsuna, whoever it was and whatever they wanted would have to come back another time. They had a mission as senshi, a mission only they were chosen to do. It was something that took priority over everything else.
When she opened the door, Haruka didn't find Setsuna. She found a teenage girl. The girl had long sandy blonde hair running down her back and a pleasant face to Haruka's judgement. She was dressed in what Haruka assumed was casual to this generation: faded denim jeans and a patterned red flannel shirt with rolled up sleeves over a beige tube top. She wore gold hoop earrings in both ears. Haruka had never met the girl before, that she was sure of. But she couldn't help thinking the teen was related to someone she did know.
"Help you?" Haruka asked, masking her uncertainty with an air of indifference.
"Are you Haruka Tenoh?" the girl asked.
"Yeah," Haruka replied. "Look, if you're some fan, I don't give out autographs at home. My next appearance will be at Kentai Auto Parts . . ."
"I don't want an autograph," the girl snapped. Clearly Haruka's remark had insulted the teen. The lanky blonde put up her mask of indifference again.
"So what did you want?" Haruka asked. By now she could sense Michiru hovering a few feet behind her.
"Dad's in the hospital," the girl said with an aura of contempt. "I thought you might want to know." She turned to leave.
"Hey!" Haruka exclaimed. Her hand shot out and caught the girl's arm. "What are you talking about? Who are you?"
The girl pulled her arm away and glared at Haruka for a moment.
"I'm your sister," she said finally.
The morning had been an exciting one for Kentaro Hotohori. The eight year old boy had been in the midst of breakfast when the civil defense sirens went off. Since the weather was clear and calm, there could be no tornadoes in the area. Intrigued, he ran to the front door and looked out into the countryside that surrounded his rural home. He hardly noticed when his two sisters and his mother joined him. He was too busy scanning the skies for some sign of what the emergency was.
Maybe Gamera and Gaos were fighting again, and here instead of Tokyo.
Warnings blared from a loudspeaker, but Kentaro couldn't understand what they were saying. It wasn't important at that moment anyway. What held his attention was how bright the morning sky was. It was like midday, and yet he could see peripherally the sun coming up over the horizon in the east. This light seemed to be coming from the northeast. It was just like in his prized DVDs of Gamera and Rodan, of fire coming out of the sky from space. Maybe it WAS Gamera. Dimly he noticed his mother leave them and go into the other room. She turned on the television and pulled up a news broadcast.
"What is it?" Kentaro's little sister whispered. Naturally she was afraid, because she was only four, and a girl besides.
"Mom?" inquired his older sister. She was eleven and thought she knew everything. She didn't know everything now.
"Get away from the door!" their mother called out. Kentaro looked back at her impatiently. "The government says it's a meteor. We have to go to the northwest corner of the house and wait for impact."
"What'll happen?" the younger sister whimpered.
The mother gathered her two daughters up while Kentaro hung back. "They say when it hits, it'll sound like a bomb going off," she told them calmly, trying to convey that they would be safe with her. "There could be an after shock, like when there's an earthquake. The safest place will be the northwest corner."
"But," whimpered the young girl, "isn't Sailor V going to stop it?" The Sailor V anime DVD was her favorite, along with The Little Mermaid.
"We need to be in a safe spot, Honey," prodded her mother, "in case Sailor V doesn't get there in time." And she let the two girls into the other room.
"Sailor V versus Rodan?" Kentaro exclaimed with wide-eyed enthusiasm. "Too cool!"
And out the door he raced. Kentaro was half-way down the path to the road when he heard his mother frantically call after him. He hated disobeying his mother, but he couldn't miss a chance to see Sailor V take on Rodan, after all. Kentaro got to the road and stared up into the sky again.
For a moment, it seemed that a huge ball of fire was in the sky above him and that it was hurling straight for him. Then he realized that the angle was wrong and it was headed down the road toward the rice fields by the undeveloped woodland next to the spring. He noticed an eerie silence surrounding him, then realized that every bird and insect around him had gone silent. Suddenly there was a high-pitched whoosh above him, much like the jets that occasionally flew over their rural section of Japan. Kentaro focused on the fireball above him. It whizzed over his head like a flying express train and shot southwest, thrusting hot air down onto him.
A mere second later, it hit. The earth shook with the impact and it reminded Kentaro of the earthquake he'd experienced three years ago. A huge plume of dirt and smoke rose up out of the far woodlands, much like the pictures of mushroom clouds he'd seen in history class. The sound of the impact rumbled through the fields and paddies like an August thunderstorm. For a moment, Kentaro stood and wondered if he should join his mother and sisters in the house.
Then he took off down the road at top speed. After all, he'd seen every Gamera, Gaos and Rodan movie ever made and nobody ever died in them. Giant monsters destroyed buildings, not people.
"Kentaro-kun!" he heard as he ran down the road. Glancing over, the boy saw his friend from school Ryounesko.
"Hey, Ryo-kun!" he said back as his friend trailed eight paces behind him. "Are you going to see the meteor, too!"
"Is it a meteor?" Ryo asked.
"That's what the television said!" Kentaro called. They were nearing the fields by the woods. "Hey, there's smoke! I bet you it is him!"
"Rodan's not real!" Ryo called back. "I bet it's Darth Vader!"
"Darth Vader doesn't travel in a fireball, stupid!" Kentaro retorted.
"He does when Han Solo hits him with a laser and breaches his core!" Ryo argued.
The two boys reached the edge of the woods and stopped to reconnoiter and catch their breath. A smoke plume was clearly visible from inside the woods and the path of felled trees was unmistakable. The air was thick with ozone and the acrid smell of scorched wood. Again, the only thing Kentaro could hear was the panting of himself and Ryo. No creatures were present.
"Come on," Kentaro waved, venturing into the woods. "Let's go look."
"Suppose we should?" Ryo asked.
"Sure! Maybe we'll actually see Rodan!"
"Rodan's not real!"
"Then maybe it's Gamera. He flies."
"You are so retarded," muttered Ryo. But he followed.
As they ventured further into the woods, the smoke grew thicker. Kentaro picked up the faint wail of emergency vehicle sirens in the distance. He quickened his pace. He wanted to see the meteor and who or what traveled in it before the adults came along and ruined it. Adults had no spirit of adventure.
The two boys reached the clearing made by the impact. They peered out from the underbrush with wonder. An impact crater sixty yards across yawned before them. Eagerly they scrambled up the dirt mound surrounding the crater and looked down into it. In the center of the crater was a huge, roughly ball-shaped rock. The fragment seemed hollowed out and the remnants were smoldering. The heat from the crater struck both boys full in the face.
"What do you suppose it is?" Kentaro wondered aloud.
"It's Darth Vader's ship," Ryo replied. "I told you it was Darth Vader."
"That's rock, retard. Darth Vader's ship is made of metal."
"It could have been changed into rock. Maybe that's what made it crash!"
"It looks like an egg," mused Kentaro. "Hey, Gamera's a turtle! Maybe he hatched from it and flew away!"
"Gamera's not real, retard!"
Kentaro was about to reply, but stopped and turned around. He'd heard something in the brush behind them. Ryo turned when he did and the two boys stared into the still brush. Nothing moved and no noise came.
"Did you hear something, too?" Ryo asked.
Kentaro shrugged. "It's probably just a fox or something."
Satisfied, the two boys turned back to the crater. To their surprise, the meteor was crumbling to pieces.
"Hey, what happened to it?" Kentaro exclaimed.
"I don't know," Ryo replied. "Maybe the crash broke it up into little bits."
The on-coming sirens grew louder. The boys turned to the sound.
"Come on, we better get out of here," Ryo said, nodding toward the road.
"Yeah," grumbled Kentaro.
As they headed for the road, Kentaro felt something wet on his arm. Brushing it off, he looked at his hand. The liquid was clear with a yellowish tint to it. Scowling, he wiped it on his pants.
"What's that?" Ryo asked.
"I don't know. I think I brushed against some bush and got some sap on me."
"Better hope it's not poison ivy," Ryo grinned.
"Yeah? Well let's find out if you're allergic, too!" Kentaro exclaimed. He lunged at Ryo and his friend burst into a run for the road, Kentaro trailing him and waving his hand.
And from concealment, two eyes watched them leave.
Continued in Chapter 2