Sailor Moon: Return of the Sith
Survival of the Fittest
Location: Temple of Cherry Hill, a few moments later
The two Jedi gazed at the figure that stood before them, letting what she had just claimed sink in.
"What are you talking about?" Anakin said. The look to the woman's face became one of both ice and confusion.
"You really don't recognize me," the woman replied. Yet before Anakin or Obi-Wan had a chance to continue the woman Force Jumped into a nearby tree, vanishing into the forested area around the temple.
"What was that all about?" Obi-Wan replied, Anakin remained silent for a few moments.
"I don't know," Anakin said, "But until we find out it's best we keep this between us."
Location: NMS Toodsengal, above Tokyo, later
"Jedi Knights," Darth Chaos said, as he turned to face Catsey, "you're sure?"
"I know what I saw," Catsey replied, as she tended to her wounds, "three Jedi Knights." Darth Chaos remained silent for a few brief seconds before speaking.
"So the Order wasn't wiped out completely," Darth Chaos replied, "Even so this doesn't change our plans."
"You can do whatever you want," Catsey replied, as she finished bandaging the gash on her arm,
"No one devastates my flawless beauty and gets away with it." Darth Chaos remained silent, typical Weird Sister behavior.
"There will be no counterattack," Darth Chaos finally said, drawing stairs from the other Weird Sisters, "Like I said this minor setback doesn't change our plans but I don't intend to make the same mistakes as Beryl's Generals."
"What exactly do you mean?" Prisma inquired
"If we don't change our battle plans," Chaos continued, "We'll meet the same fate as the Negaverse."
"How exactly?" Birdie inquired.
"We know we've got the enemy outnumbered," Darth Chaos continued, pretending not to hear Birdie's comments, "and yet the presence of Jedi render our superior numbers all but worthless, as the assault on Cherry Hill during the Negavere's assault on Earth clearly showed," he began playing a holovid of the assault on the Cherry Hill Temple, "The Terran Police Force was being held back, and the Earth Militaries weren't being mobilized, the total garrison at Cherry Hill when the Empire attacked was one Jedi Knight and one Sailor Scout, though we were able to capture two more. Had it not been for the fact we were dealing with Force Sensitives we could've carried the day. In order to win against the Sailor Scouts and the Jedi physically we need to separate them form the Force. To win against them mentally we need to turn the population against them."
"But the Force is as vast as the Universe," Avery added, "How do you plan to separate them from it?"
"With the aid of our ally Anubis," Darth Chaos replied, "The Wiseman informed me earlier that he has succeeded in convincing him to allow us access to a modified an Ancient Force Disrupter, which can strip an entire planet and all on it of any connection to the Force."
"So how do we go about using this Force Disrupter," Avery inquired.
"Using it here on Earth is too risky," Darth Chaos continued, "and runs the risk of attracting attention from the Asguard and Earth's police and military. Therefore the device has been placed on a Star Destroyer in orbit around Korroban; to use it we simply transport the enemy off world."
"But how do you intend to," Darth Chaos once again cut Avery off, before she had a chance to finish her comment.
"The plan is to lure our quarry to a pre-determined location," Darth Chaos replied, pointing to a holographic layout of the city, "and transport them off world."
"And how exactly do we do that," Catsey inquired.
"Simple," Darth Chaos replied, "Play to the Sailor Scouts greatest weakness, their vanity. we leak false information to the public, and draw them to the drop zone, where they will be lured onto a waiting shuttle for transportation off world, once on Korroban our agent, along with support from a Black Guard regiment will deal with the Scouts and Jedi. Upon completion of phase one we'll hand control of all operations over to Lady Lumiya who will initiate phase two."
"And what exactly is this Phase Two," Catsey asked.
"You're on a need to know basis," Darth Chaos replied, "and right now you don't need to know," the Sith Lord turned his attention towards Birdy, "your mission is to secure the Teleporter's location, Lady Lumiya's is deploying a detachment of Enforcers to the location as we speak, so securing it shouldn't be much of a problem." Birdy simply nodded
"The mission's code name is Operation: Death's Head," Darth Chaos continued, "and it will commence at 0300."
Location: Landing Craft Iron Hammer, approaching Tokyo International Studios, that night
The Sentinel class Landing Craft flew over the city, cloaked so as to avoid detection by any radar or television sites, onboard the Enforcer Strike Force prepared their weapons for the coming assault. E-11 Blaster rifles, were the Enforcers primary weapon for the raid they were about to launch, each Enforcer was also equipped with a jet pack, since their orders were to assault from the air, with the Landing Craft providing cover should the Sailor Scouts, or their Jedi allies appear. However their greatest aspect was the silent figure who stood in front of them, Lady Lumiya the so called Dark Lady had been ordered to lead the raid personally, for whatever reason a Sith was needed was unknown, all the Enforcers really knew was that Lumiya's presence on this mission had been requested from the highest levels. The plan was simple, take out the studio's security personnel and secure the compound in preparation for the Weird Sisters arrival the next day.
"ETA to target 20 minutes my Lady," the pilot said.
"Have we been spotted?" Lumiya inquired.
"Negative," the pilot replied. "Cloaking Devices functioning normally."
"Excellent," Lumiya said, as she made her way back towards the troop compartment. As she made her way in, the Enforcers quickly snapped to attention, a gesture Lumiya ignored as grabbed a nearby Jet Pack and made her way to the controls panel on the far wall, with the press of a single button the hatch flew open.
"Commence the attack," Lumiya shouted, as she leapt out of the landing craft, followed by the remainder of the strike force.
Location: Temple of Cherry Hill, the next day
Raye grunted, as Anakin Force pushed her out of the ring. Slowly she regained her footing, her eyes becoming alight with fury, as her red lightsaber roared to life, with blind fury she charged towards Anakin. Anakin simply stood where he was for what seemed like an eternity, slowly the golden blade of his own lightsaber roared to life, blocking Raye's attack. Before Raye had any chance to react the Imperium Silver Crystal, embedded in Anakin's hand began to surge with the power of the Force, encasing the blade of his lightsaber in pure energy for a few brief moments before discharging it, once again knocking Raye to the ground.
"Enough Anakin," Mina shouted, "that wasn't fair." Anakin simply sighed, as Raye struggled to regain her footing.
"In battle there is no such thing as a fair fight Mina," Anakin replied, deactivating his blade. His gaze turned from Raye towards Amy and Mina. "It's imperative that each of you learn how to deal with a potentially no win situation." Mina couldn't help but laugh, to her it was just more evidence that outside of Lita Anakin trusted none of them.
"You really think this is a laughing matter," Anakin said, coldly eyeing Mina.
"In fact I do," Mina replied, "and while we're on the topic I still believe you and Obi-wan should leave Earth and give Serena her crystal." Anakin simply sighed; he'd heard Mina give the same lecture all too often before.
"Mina," Anakin grumbled, harshly, "Obi-wan and me were leading armies into some of the worst battles of the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War while you and Serena were busy chasing Kaitou Ace, we spent almost all of our days neck deep in muck, and grime, we witnessed," he sighed for a few seconds, "and committed acts neither of us want to speak of ever again, while you were crying about how Sailor V's popularity was ended all because of that scar on your face. So don't go lecturing me about how to fight a battle or acting like you know everything, these skirmishes we've fought they're nothing more than the tip of the iceberg. The Sith are capable of and are willing to unleash things you girls couldn't dream up in your worst nightmares." Mina's face went red with rage, but before she had a chance to respond, Serena came racing in through the doors, out of breath.
"Hey guys," Serena shouted, as she slammed a rolled up poster down onto the floor, "You won't believe what Molly told me," she unrolled the poster revealing an advertisement for an upcoming movie, "They're holding open auditions for the new Pretty Soldier Galaxy Sailor Movie." It was at that moment that Raye couldn't help but laugh.
"Let me guess," Raye replied, "You're intending to try out for the role of the court jester?" Serena counted to ten to try and keep from putting her fist through Raye's face.
"Yes I will be trying out," Serena replied, sighing, "But I'll be trying out for the role of Moon Princess Lunar, after all what film company wouldn't kill to have not only this pretty face but the genuine Moon Princess in their movie."
"Enough," Anakin said, cutting Serena off, "Serena if you put as much effort into your swordsmanship as you do into running that motor mouth you'd rival me and Obi-wan, which is why all of you will report to the temple tomorrow after school." Serena tried to protest, but Anakin wouldn't hear it.
Location: Tokyo International Studios, the next day
The five girls made their way around the block, within sight of the gate security guard. Serena cheerfully, made her way to the small booth located between two parking gates.
"Excuse me," Serena said, with a hint of confidence to her voice, "But do you know where the Pretty Soldier Galaxy Sailor Auditions are being held?" The guard simply smiled, and pointed towards a large building in the distance.
"Sound Stage THX1138," the guard replied, "just head down the main path and it's the last building on the left." Serena smiled as she thanked the man, and led her friends towards the sound stage, once he was sure they were out of sight, the guard, reached into his pocket, pulling out a small C1 Personal Comlink.
"Gate Unit," the guard said, "five girls, matching the descriptions of the targets are heading towards the sound stage. Negative sightings of any Jedi."
"Excellent," came the reply, "remain at your post until further notice, report any sightings of the Jedi."
"Affirmative," the guard replied, as he slid the comlink back into his pocket.
Location: Outside sound stage THX1138, a few moments later
"I don't like this," Lita said, with a hint of concern to her voice, "you'd think something like an open audition for a movie would've attracted more people?"
"Oh relax Lita," Serena replied, "we probably just got here early."
"Still," Lita said, "I would've felt better if we told Anakin or Obi-Wan were we were going."
"What and have them spoil our moment of triumph," Mina replied
"Besides," Serena added, "Lita we deserve a break." Lita couldn't help but sigh, she still couldn't shake the feeling she got when she walked passed that guard, the Dark Side was unusually strong with him, she quickly glanced over to Raye, and she could tell by the look on Raye's face that she'd sensed the same thing. However the closer they came to the sound stage the stronger the Dark Side seemed to become, reaching a point where even Amy and Mina were beginning to become concerned, yet as always Serena tried to reassure them it wasn't anything serious.
"Greetings ladies," a young woman said, emerging from the sound stage, she wore a typical business suit, blue skirt with a white blouse, her fiery red hair was done up in a bun, her green eyes were covered with thick horned rimmed glasses, "I am Mayakashi Chiba, Casting director for Pretty Soldier Galaxy Sailor the Movie, now if you'll just follow me, I'll show you to the waiting area." Mayakashi led the girls towards a large room located at the far end of the hall, even though the others were busy talking amongst themselves, mostly about their potential for being cast as the lead, Raye remained silent, there was something about Mrs. Chiba, that felt very familiar, it was as though the Dark Side poured from her like a fountain. Before Raye had a chance to speak up, Mayakashi opened the door to the waiting area, the room inside was pitch black, with the exception of a large blue curtain, which for some reason seemed to sway as though a breeze was blowing through the room.
"If you ladies will be so kind," Mayakashi said, holding her hand out, "as to wait inside, I've been informed more audition applicants have just arrived."
Location: Gate, outside Tokyo International Studios
"Gentlemen," the guard said, calmly "You need to understand that your friends are currently at the audition." Anakin sighed, he'd come to expect this type of behavior from Serena and Mina, but the fact that they'd been able to convince the others to join them in this little escapade didn't sit well with Anakin.
"Once again," Anakin grumbled, "we're here to see Serena Tsukino and her friends."
"I'm sorry gentlemen," the guard replied, "but unless you're here for the audition I can't let you in." Anakin sighed.
"You will let us in," Obi-Wan said, waving his hand in front of the guard.
"I will let you in," the guard replied, as he raised the gate.
"I thank you sir," Obi-Wan said, smiling as he and Anakin made their way through the gate.
"Again with the mind-trick," Anakin said, sighing.
"Remember Anakin," Obi-Wan replied, "the Force can have a strong influence on the weak minded."
"Very funny," Anakin sighed, "right now let's find the girls." The two Jedi made their way towards the soundstage where the auditions were being held. From her vantage point in an office overlooking the complex, Mayakashi smiled coldly as she watched the two Jedi enter.
"All goes according to plan," Mayakashi said, as she turned to face the blue hologram that manifested behind her.
"Indeed," Darth Chaos replied, "just remember we can't afford any mistakes at this juncture," he slowly removed his glove, revealing his charred and decayed hand, "I need time to gather the Force Energy necessary to restore my body to its full power, and I can't replenish my power as long as the Sailor Scouts and their Jedi Allies remain on Earth."
"You don't have to worry General Chaos," Mayakashi replied, "Once phase two is implemented, even if the Sailor Scouts and the Jedi make it back to Earth, they'll be in for quite a surprise."
"Just make sure all goes smoothly," Chaos said, coldly, "Prince Diamond and the Wiseman won't tolerate any more failures, be they from the Imperials or the Nega Moon Family."
"As you command," Mayakashi replied, as the hologram faded away. The silence that had fallen over the room was soon broken by the sound of a cold voice echoing through the room.
"The Dark Scouts have come under my full command mistress," the voice said
"Excellent," Mayakashi added.
Location: Audition Room, Soundstage THX1138
Serena paced the room like a hawk, dreams of glamor and stardom reflected in her eyes, as she watched the clock. Every second seemed like an eternity.
"Serena," Amy said, looking up from her book, "you need to settle down, you're wearing a hole in the floor."
"Sorry," Serena replied, "I can't help it, I'm just so..." she was cut off by the sound of the door opening. There standing in the doorway, were Obi-Wan and Anakin, the looks to their faces clearly reflected a combination of anger and disappointment.
"Uh Anakin," Serena said, trying to come up with some excuse, "Obi-Wan what a pleasant surprise." The two Jedi simply exchanged glances, they didn't need the Force to tell them that Serena was trying to worm her way out of the situation. However before either of them had a chance to say anything, a well-dressed man suddenly appeared near the stage.
"Welcome," the man said, "I'm pleased that you all could make it to the auditions."
"I apologize," Obi-wan replied, "but we're not here for any auditions." However before any of the others had a chance to reply, Obi-wan suddenly felt the barrel of a blaster pistol poking him in the back. Just as Anakin raced for his lightsaber, he too felt the barrel of a blaster pistol against his back.
"I'm afraid," a familiar voice said, "we'll have to insist," it was at that point Mayakashi appeared behind the man.
"Mrs. Chiba," Serena said, "what's going on." Mayakashi remained silent, as she became enveloped by Force Energy, slowly her disguise began to melt away revealing an all too familiar face.
"LUMIYA," Raye shouted, as she reached for her transformation stick. However before any of the Scouts had a chance, the sounds of the doors swinging open, and the sounds of weapons being drawn filled the air.
"Don't even try it Sailor Brats," a security guard said, it didn't take them long to realize that they weren't the studio's security guards.
"Imperials," Mina grumbled, turning to face Lumiya, "so this whole audition thing was a trap."
"You're smarter then I gave you credit for Mina," Lumiya replied, "Now if you'll all be so kind as to hand over your transformation pendants and your lightsabers."
"What's the call Anakin," Serena replied, Anakin remained silent.
"We've got no choice," Anakin replied.
"But," Mina protested, yet Anakin shot her a cold glare.
"You may be willing to risk the lives of others," Anakin replied, "I'm not willing to take that chance." One by one the group sat their lightsabers and transformation pendants on the ground, they couldn't afford to risk a confrontation since they didn't know if Lumiya's men had taken hostages or had booby-trapped the area.
"Excellent," Lumiya continued, as she motioned for one of her Enforcers to retrieve the items. Once the lightsabers transformation pendants had been retrieved, the group began to feel drowsy, it didn't take the Force for them to realize what it was, knock out gas. One by one they were soon overcome by the gas, falling to the ground.
"Load them onto the lander," Lumiya said, motioning for her Enforcers to recover the unconscious group, "and make it fast, they won't be out for long.
Location: Korriban, Horuset System, later
Korriban, the spiritual capital of the Sith Empire was a planet that only a few dared to venture too. To set foot on its barren surface was to set foot into the blackest depths of the Dark Side of the Force. From the safety of a spacecraft the planet appeared to be of little significance, a barren rock in an insignificant corner of the Outer Rim. Yet upon its surface were the scares of centuries of Dark Side influence, the battered remnants of a Killik colony, the ruins of outposts of the Infinite Empire and long forgotten Dark Asguard, Romulan, and Klingon training centers. Yet what dominated Korriban's skyline were the massive tombs of the Sith Lords who were entombed in its dark depths, an eternal scar on the face of the Galaxy, reminding all of the Sith Empire's presence and the countless wars of conquest it had launched in its various incarnations.
The Landing Craft slowly descended towards the desolate surface, it's bay doors slowly sliding open, a small group of Stormtroopers and Imperial Naval Troopers stood at the entrance to the bay.
"Let's get this over with," one of the troopers said, "I don't want to stay on this planet longer than necessary." One by one the troopers, gathered up the prisoners, and one by one threw them from the landing craft.
"Why not just kill them now," another trooper inquired, "and why did we have to return their weapons?"
"We have our orders from the Lord Chaos himself," one of the Stormtroopers replied, "apparently the big wigs have something special planned for them, our orders were to simply get them to Korriban before they came too."
Location: The Valley of the Dark Lords, Korriban, an hour later
"Oh man," Serena said, as she began to regain consciousness, "is everyone alright?"
"More or less," Mina replied, "where are what happened?" There was no response, as she turned her attention to the two Jedi, they're faces were as white as sheets, as though they had seen ghosts, however it was then she saw what they were staring at, a crumbling statue of a Sith Lord.
"Anakin," Mina inquired, "Obi-wan, what's going on, where are we?"
"Trust me," Anakin replied, "you don't want to know." Before Anakin had a chance to finish his statement, he was interrupted by the sound of Mina screaming. as a large stinger tore into her arm, knocking her back. Standing before them was a creature that appeared to have been born out of a nightmare, it was dog like in appearance, with three rows of razor sharp teeth, and three large horns upon its head its eyes burned blood red, and were anything but friendly. On each of its four paws was a set of six inch razor sharp claws, at the end of its massive tail was a razor sharp stinger, dripping with blood.
"MINA," Amy shouted, as she raced to her friend's side.
"No wait," Anakin shouted, but before he could finish his statement the creature leapt in front of Amy, blocking her path. By now Mina was beginning to feel faint, as the creature's venom began coursing through her body, with that Amy reached into her pocket and pulled out her transformation stick.
"MERCURY POWER!" Amy shouted, yet to the shock of all present, nothing happened, it was then Amy gazed towards the stick, it had turned solid grey, as though all of its Force Energy had been drained from it. Suddenly the creature turned its attention towards her, and slowly began inching it's way forward. Thinking fast Obi-Wan turned his attention towards a crumbling statue high on the cliff, if he could just. Yet when Obi-Wan tried to use the Force, to his shock nothing seemed to happen, it was then Anakin attempted to try and bring the statue down, but once again nothing happened, it was then Anakin eyed the Imperium Silver Crystal, it too had turned solid grey, as though the Force Energy inside it had been drained as well.
"Something's wrong," Anakin said.
"Now's not the time to discuss it," Obi-Wan replied, "we have to help Mina." The two Jedi looked about for anything that could potentially be used as a weapon, or even something that could distract the creature, even for a few seconds. From the corner of his eye, Obi-Wan spotted a large pile of stones, it may not have been the best weapons available, but it would be enough to distract the creature. Obi-wan and Anakin raced to the stones, and with all their strength began hurling them at the creature, in the hopes of gaining it's attention. The creature suddenly turned to face them, it's red eyes alight with fury.
"Okay," Anakin said, with a concern look to his face, "we've got its attention what now?"
"I would suggest taking cover," Obi-Wan replied. For once Anakin couldn't help but agree, as the two Jedi took cover in a nearby crevice. Slowly the creature turned its attention towards the crevice, and began making its way towards them, sniffing at the air, trying to pick up the Jedi's scent. However the distraction worked, allowing Serena and Lita the chance to recover their injured friend, and slowly drag her to the safety of another nearby crevice. Once they were sure the Scouts had managed to reach the safety of the crevice, they still had to face the problem of getting past the creature themselves. It was then Anakin noticed something odd about the creature, it seemed to be hunting for them, yet was having a difficult time picking up their senses, it was at that moment Anakin remembered something, Palpatine had taught him much about Tuk'atas during his days as Darth Vader, if their connection to the Force had indeed been severed, that meant?
"Obi-wan," Anakin said, "listen Tuk'atas hunt through the Force, if our connections to the Force have been severed," Obi-Wan suddenly cut him off, as the Tuk'ata's razor sharp claws tore into the rocks just above them.
"Get to the point," Obi-Wan replied, annoyed.
"Whatever it was that is blocking out our Force sensitivity," Anakin replied, "may also be affecting the Tuk'ata's hunting ability, in other words it's hunting us blindly." He motioned for Obi-Wan to once again chuck a rock in the opposite direction, sighing Obi-Wan hurled a small stone towards the other side of the canyon, the sound attached the Tuk'ata's attention long enough for the two Jedi to link up with the Sailor Scouts.
In the crevice, Amy was doing all she could to try and stabilize Mina's condition, yet all that she could do was ease her friend's pain and attempt to control the bleeding. When Anakin and Obi-Wan finally reached them Mina was still in an extreme amount of pain.
"What happened?" Obi-Wan inquired.
"She's been stabbed by the Sith Hound's stinger," Anakin said, inspecting Mina's wounds, "and from the looks of that wound she's absorbed a large amount of venom."
"Is there anything we can do?" Raye inquired
"Not in the open," Anakin replied, taking notice of the Tuk'ata attempting to pick up their scent, "right now our best bet is to move." Anakin tore off a small portion of his jacket, in order to bandage Mina's wound. Once Anakin was sure the wound was properly taken care of, Obi-Wan motioned for Lita and Raye to grab Mina's arms, and help her to her feet. Anakin gazed over his shoulder, to ensure the Tuk'ata wasn't following them. Sure enough the Tuk'ata was sniffing at the air blindly. The group managed to make their way to a cavern further down the valley, where they were able to find some form of shelter, as the sun had begun to set.
"We should be safe for a while," Anakin said, as he turned away from the cavern's entrance.
"What's going on?" Serena asked, "one minute we're auditioning for a TV show the next we're being attacked by a monster on another planet?"
"Isn't obvious," Anakin added, harshly, "the entire audition was a trap." Raye couldn't help but laugh a little.
"Hey this is Serena we're talking about," Raye added. Serena's face turned bright red as she did all she could to keep herself from punching Raye.
"Oh yeah," Serena snapped, "Like you didn't want that role too."
"It doesn't matter now," Obi-wan replied, turning to Anakin, "Anakin do you recall any antidote for Tuk'ata Venom?" Anakin paused for a moment to think.
"Nothing," Anakin replied, "save for Force Healing," he turned to the others, "if we don't get Mina back to Earth she'll die within 48 hours," he paused for a moment, "and I fear this is only part of a much larger Lumiya laid."
stay tuned for chapter III: Dark Scouts