Zacharie Roy stood in the empty city of Bordeaux. This was once home. This was once what he dedicated his life to; cafes with music, and the ever-present smell and sounds of the sea.
Sacred vows made him the defender of this land. Ancient power made him a king over it. Betrayal made him the destroyer of it. Rebirth gave him the chance to fall in love with it all over again.
Jeffery Ryan stood in the empty city of Bangalore. He allowed himself a few moments to reflect upon his past. There were sad memories of a lifetime spent as an outsider, but many more happy memories of knowing somehow that he truly belonged to this land, even though his face made him a foreigner.
In the end, he knew he would do anything for this land. As defender and King, he owed it no less.
Nathan King stood in the empty city of Edmonton. He grew up not far from here once upon a time, dreaming of the big city, and hoping a roughneck kid like him might have the chance to see his name in lights if he could find a way to make it out of the mining town he grew up in. But a part of him always knew he never truly wanted to leave. He only wanted to make something of himself. He wanted to be worthy of such a home.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, preparing himself to be worthy.
Kemal Baig stood in the empty city of Istanbul. This city was many things to him, and his love affair with it was worthy of song and story. Evil had cut that song tragically short. But life in this city had taught him courage and determination. The story was not over. He still had one chapter to write.
The Earth was dying. The final battle had been won, but at a terrible price. The enemy's full scheme was now coming to light. The Earth's population had been nearly wiped out as billions of people simply vanished, that much was clear. But it was only with the completion of Ami's new Global Network that the true intent had become known.
There was a poison at the heart of the Earth that would slowly kill all life and render the Earth uninhabitable. The enemy, no doubt, intended to use this to conquer and control the world. But with Queen Serenity's victory, there was nothing left for this cancer to do but simply wipe out all life on Earth, unless something could be done.
Once again, Ami's network would be the solution. It was more than internet. It was built upon the nodes of power that channeled the power of Earth itself. And it was built with power from the Silver Millenium. In this way, it allowed the Shitennou to join their powers in ways that they had never been able to do. For once, their powers could be combined to their fullest potential. Together, it would be as though the held the planetary power of a Senshi.
Still, the plan was not without risks. The evil had spread far and wide. The Shitennou were to use their powers to clense the evil from the heart of the Earth. This battle would not be fought on open fields by armies clad in armor. This war would be fought in the hearts and souls of the four men who had already twice fallen to corruption and betrayal.
But they were the only hope left for Earth. If they failed, Queen Serenity and King Endymion would have to call upon the combined powers of the Ginzuishou and Kinzuishou, which would ultimately cost them their lives.
The Shitennou would not let this happen. So, the decision was made. They would defend their hearts, in the hopes that they might return completely.
"To be one of Prince Endymion's Shitennou is not a ceremonial title. You are not competing in some schoolyard game to wear a paper crown."
The Teacher's words echoed in his ear as Zoisite reached out with his powers and connected to his brothers. Now, more than ever, he was connected to the power of Earth. He had never been so closely bonded to his brothers. Once again, the weight of their lineage and inherited powers was made clear to him as he confronted the evil festering in the heart of the Earth.
"You are pledging your very heart and soul to Earth herself."
Jadeite met the darkness at the heart of the Earth head on. It nearly broke his heart, but he knew that the darkness he faced now was only a shadow of the darkness that had once consumed his own soul. Thanks to Queen Serenity, and her mother before her, he had a chance to overcome it once and for all.
"You will die, and be reborn as warriors, leaders of men, and champions of Earth."
Nephrite knew that he must be Earth's greatest Champion now. More than any battle he had ever fought, this battle mattered the most. If he lost now, he would lose his very soul, that of his brothers, and his king. If those were lost, much more would be lost. Things that he was not prepared to lose ever again.
"Why are you here?" the Teacher asked the silver-haired leader.
"We come to pledge our lives to the Earth."
"What will you give as proof of your loyalty?"
"We offer our souls as pledges of our enduring loyalty."
Those vows made them kings. For all their lives, the Shitennou had only known those vows as a source of pride.
Today's battle was a sharp reminder that being a king meant sacrifice above all else.
It was not the first time Kunzite and his men had fought this battle. Each man had fought it twice before. Each time, they had lost. This time would be different though. They were together. And they had many more memories to sustain them.
"We Mercurians are famed for our curiosity"
A Silver-haired soldier shares a wink with a golden-haired princess.
"See the way he touches her hair, as though she is the most precious and beautiful star in the sky."
A ring is offered, and taken a thousand years later.
"Then be happy. It's allowed this time."
"I've got you."
"No more dreams. It's time to wake up."
A flower is exchanged for a kiss.
A woman bares her neck to the man she loves.
There is no room for evil in their hearts this time. That space is taken up with something far more precious, something not easily moved.
Around the globe, four men emerge from their meditation. The battle has been won. Their hearts are free and pure. Their powers are united and strong. In the truest sense of the word, they are kings.