AN: While researching for another story, I came up with this idea. Surely its been done before…? First in a four part series. If you like happy, this ain't going to be it.

I do not own the characters.

Four Horsemen: Pestilence

Neo Queen Serenity leaned heavily on her staff in the cold rain. Her once pristine white dress, edged in the finest lace, was in shreds, tattered and torn – now an almost unrecognizable shade of sooty grey. She raised her brilliant blue eyes and looked across the smoky and soaked battlefield – they were still there. Like a nightmare she couldn't wake up from, the four men remained stationary astride the fearsome creatures. In another lifetime, they had been called the Shitennou – the Four Kings. A malevolent spirit had turned them into something unrecognizable.

What a fool I've been…

She would never know what prompted her to trust humans...what had kept her on this planet all this time.


What a ridiculous emotion. Love was not going to save anyone today. The man she had cared so deeply for had turned on her, his people, and the world.

There was only one hope left now.

The Senshi.

Although they had been at war all night and for weeks on end, their strength – the sacred power of four young women – was the last chance before the end of the world, the end of civilization, the end of an era.

The Apocalypse waited in the rising sun, poised to obliterate their way of life forever.

With everything possible opposing them, with all hope lost, the quartet stood stoically at their regent's side…behind them, the destroyed remains of their home, the once proud Crystal Tokyo. If there was a story that would survive this day, legend would tell how the foursome did not back down or hesitate.

A standoff.

And then smoothly, gracefully, like a stream down a mountainside, the first rider strode out, on a horse so white that it gleamed in the pale darkness of the early morning.


The gauntlet was thrown.

The rain stopped and turned into a dense mist around them, surrounding everyone, and obscuring the line between ground and sky.

Serenity summoned her strength and nodded to the aqua haired senshi on her left. Although she could not bear it – would not admit that she was sending a friend out to certain death, the Queen did what was required of her position. The slight girl stepped out of the ranks. Her companions continued staring on straight ahead. No one needed to say what was at stake on this day.

The man who rode the white steed was beautiful. More effeminate than his broad shouldered colleagues who waited on the dark hillside, his silky blonde hair flew wildly behind him, his blue eyes intent on the pale woman in front of him. In his hand, he steadily gripped a standard, with a tattered banner hanging from it.

The warrior called Mercury instantly worked out her disadvantage. He was a rider, mounted on a powerful horse, and she walked. Her knee high boots crunched the debris of war beneath her – bodies, weapons, a destroyed landscape. In stacked blue heels, she walked steadily forward – maintaining the same consistent pace as if she was taking an afternoon stroll in the garden.

She was the solider of Wisdom. Of Rationality.

She was Princess to Mariner Castle, so many miles away.

Deep down, as he bore steadily upon her, she recognized his face, but couldn't understand why. What if things had been different? What if, in another life, they had not been mortal enemies? Could they have been something more? Her mind didn't want to recognize the possibility.

Hearing the thundering hooves, she called forth the lute…the harp on which she could play the chords of a tidal wave if she chose to.

But would it be enough?

As she continued walking, she detached herself completely from the situation. With one last look at the hill, at her Queen, she let go of the very essence of herself, the Mercury Crystal. She felt it float free.

Across the field, the white horse picked up speed until it was galloping towards her. She could practically feel the heat from its flaring nostrils. In a fluid motion, the rider brought down the standard like a lance and pointed it at her.

She couldn't let him cross over to her friends…to everything she loved in the world. She wouldn't allow him to touch the weapon to the ground and start an epidemic. Summoning all the power she had, the girl once called Ami, waited as long as she dared, and then moved to play a special chord on the lyre, one she had never plucked before.

"Mercury Aqua Rhapsody!"

The valley began to shake, and over the crest of a hill, created from nothing, a tidal wave appeared. Like a tsunami, a powerful surge of water poured over the land. Serenity and the other senshi were helpless to do anything but watch as their beloved friend's attack swept through and carried everything in its path away.

When the mighty torrent finally cleared, the man and the white horse were gone. The battlefield was once again clean – barren of any signs of battle, and the girl had disappeared like mist in the sun.

AN: Let me know if I should keep going.