Yes, it's that time again! All-righty, here's -
SAILOR MOON: BANISHED
Sailor Saturn had been right to suspect that some of the yautja had survived the conflagration. From the safety of his cloaked ship, now some twenty thousand kilometers away from the departing sailor senshi, M-di-H'dlak and his surviving hunters were at that very moment watching this most remarkable pair of oomans drifting upwards at an ever-increasing speed through the gap between the planets towards open space. Soon the duo had exited the quickly reforming tunnel of air that would soon once again connect the two miraculously spared worlds – if you didn't count the fierce wildfires now raging amongst the smashed and flattened remnants of the once towering forests in the almost zero-gravity areas that had been closest to the now totally vanished white hole, of course.
With what he had just personally experienced and seen, the troubled yautja leader had a lot to turn over in his mind. And his uneasy thoughts weren't just on their miraculous escape from certain death, either. With regards to that close call, luckily, the emergent white hole had expanded into existence for only a few short seconds. Any longer and the titanic energies it was unleashing back into the universe would have engulfed and utterly destroyed not only their scout ship, but also both of the planets of Yaat, and then probably the large outer moon, as well. That alone was disturbing enough, but as to what had reversed the expansion of the searing plasma itself-? It was almost as if the radiance had been pulled back by and absorbed into the sailor senshi at the epicenter of the blast…!
No, such a feat was utterly impossible. To do that, Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn would have to possess the ability to manipulate primal zero-point energy on a cosmic scale. And while the yautja race knew of one or two nearly omnipotent higher life forms that could indeed do such things, no sailor senshi that his race had yet encountered had the ability to do so – well, the sailor senshi that they knew of, anyway.
And yet, all of that unleashed energy had to have gone somewhere? One thing was certain; the explosion had not been reabsorbed by the singularity at its epicenter somehow reforming. The starship's now active sensors told him without a shadow of a doubt that there was no mini black hole existing now in the space where the inner moon had been.
…Could it really be possible that the sailor senshi had somehow absorbed all of that primal energy into their bodies? Having done so would certainly help to explain why the oomans were now radiating enormous amounts of life-energy, albeit at frequencies beyond the range of unaided human vision. To yautja eyes, however, both sailor senshi were glowing like miniature suns in bipedal form.
A moment or two later, the very troubled eyes of the hunt master jerked back to the gkinmaru screen as the sailor senshi abruptly teleported away into the endless, star-splashed void. However, the huge alien wasn't too worried about the sudden disappearance of his singular targets. He could now track the strangely enhanced pair easily enough – even after their hyperspace jump - by the aforementioned and very distinctive aura of pure energy each was now continuously radiating, which would act as twin homing beacons to the ultra-sensitive long-range scanners on his ship.
Yes, these two exceptional oomans would definitely bear watching.
A second later, Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn rematerialized back into normal space, fifty three million kilometers sunward, and at no great distance away from their new planetary destination.
Upon first impressions, the planet now spread out before them seemed to be midway in size between the planet Mars, and Earth, but one glance was all that it took for both travellers to realize that this world was far different from either of those two familiar worlds inhabiting their own native solar system.
"This isn't a water world, as such, after all," Sailor Pluto remarked with some surprise to Sailor Saturn, as both scanned the hazy reaches of the slowly rotating globe with their keen senses. "Those oceans and seas that we can see under that brown and yellow cloud cover do contain water, Hotaru-chan, but they also contain much more than just a trace of ammonia and various other petrochemical substances as well! It looks to me like this entire planet is just one big liquid hydrocarbon reservoir!"
"Wow! You're right! What a place for oil companies to come to, Setsuna-mama! If this planet was in our own solar system so that they could actually do it, of course?"
Pluto grinned at the remark. "That's true. They'd make a fortune. As to what else I have already deduced about this little world, it seems to be very similar in a number of ways to Titan, the biggest moon of your own planet, Saturn, Hotaru-chan. Only this planet is a fair bit bigger than Titan, and being closer to its star, a lot warmer as well. I sense that its atmosphere is similar to that of Titan, too, but a lot warmer and denser. The air is mostly comprised of nitrogen and methane, with a lot of water vapor mixed in as well, but there is barely even a trace of free oxygen."
"So it's not breathable by ordinary humans, Setsuna-mama?"
"No, it's not. Hmm? I can also feel a strong magnetic field surrounding this planet, which is keeping its dense atmosphere from being depleted by the solar wind from the sun. That means it must still have a molten core and be tectonically active." A trace of puzzlement then entered her voice as she added, "But even so, energy from the central sun should have converted most if not all of that free atmospheric methane into more complex hydrocarbons only a few million years! I wonder why it hasn't-?"
"In a nutshell, what you're saying is that this place is obviously not habitable by humans or animals like those on Earth," Sailor Saturn chimed in, her disappointment clearly evident on her face and in her voice tone. "So there's no-way we'll be going for a swim down there, after all, is there, Mama?"
Sailor Pluto managed a second genuine smile. "In a sea of water-diluted hydrocarbons? I wouldn't recommend doing that, Hotaru-chan! Of course, it wouldn't do us any physical harm to splash around down there while we are in our sailor senshi forms, and nor would the poisonous atmosphere affect us since we don't need to breathe at all now. But the senstation of doing so would be rather – oily and icky – wouldn't you say? Not to mention the smell, which would be somewhat overpowering to say the least!"
"Yeah," Sailor Saturn agreed with feeling, eyebrows raised and a frozen sweat drop on her forehead at the thought. "Sniffing petrol and methane fumes – yuck! Let's just go, Mama. I've changed my mind about going down there now!"
Pluto laughed at the grimace her daughter was giving her.
"All right. And since we won't be having a swim, there's no point in us checking this place out for any other reason now. Certainly not to find food for you, anyway. Now that we've both been granted our full abilities, you no longer need to eat or drink, just like I don't have to, remember?"
"Oh, yeah? That's right," Sailor Saturn thoughtfully replied, a look of relief replacing the one of distaste on her flawless face. She let out a relieved sigh. "Lucky! At least I'm not in constant danger of starving or dying of thirst now."
"Of course, we both can still eat physical food if we so desire," Pluto reminded her companion, her mind still probing the hazy, yellowish-brown world's secrets even as she talked. "But even if we were still looking for a physical meal, I can't sense any life forms down there at all, not even on the bacterial level. And even if there is some form of life existing in that hydrocarbon brew, it wouldn't be edible to us, anyway. So it looks like we'll both just have to remain solar-powered for a while yet, doesn't it?"
The young Sailor Saturn mentally chuckled, and then grasped her mother's free hand with her own.
"Yeah! Well, I suppose we'd best start off for home again, Setsuna-mama. Are you ready to go right now?"
Sailor Pluto gave her daughter's much smaller gloved hand a reassuring squeeze. "Yes, I am. How about you, Hotaru-chan?"
"I'm ready, Mama."
"Good." She gestured with her Garnet rod. "That bright star right there is our new target. Okay, then…sailor teleport!"
As mentioned before, the yautja had got their ship's gkinmaru back on line just in time to track the subspace jump of the sailor senshi to the next planet in towards the central star of this alien solar system. For a tense few minutes, the yautja leader thought that his targets had teleported out of the solar system entirely. But then his long range sensors registered two brightly glowing spots of life energy flaring back into existence above the nearest of the two inner planets orbiting sunward of their own location.
M-di-H'dlak sighed with relief. The teleportation of Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn to the inner planet would have been instantaneous – the delay in reestablishing contact with them had been caused by the length of time it had taken for the energy they were both radiating to travel at the speed of light back across the intervening interplanetary distance to his own now far-distant position. Luckily, in addition to the now functioning sensors, the power to the main engines of their battered starship had by now been successfully restored as well. As there was still no sign of the hish warship, M-di-H'dlak immediately gave the order for the yautja ship to break orbit from above the badly scortched twin worlds of Yaat and set course at flank speed towards the oomans at their new sunward location.
But before the racing yautja ship could arrive on the scene of the sailor senshi's reappearance, the pair had teleported away again. And this time there was absolutely no sign at all near the inner planet of the two godlings that he had been tracking - or anywhere else in near space for that matter. Neither of the sailor senshi was now registering on the ship's gkinmaru, right out to the far limit of the sensitive instruments not-inconsiderable sensor range.
Space was empty. The elusive sailor senshi were well and truly gone this time. And now that the pair had vanished from his instruments, they had this entire galactic spiral arm – over one hundred thousand light years of largely uncharted space - to lose him in.
M-di-H'dlak slammed his fist down with annoyance onto the solid metal bulkhead next to his seat. There was nothing else for it. With his ship's long-range subspace communicator irreparably damaged and therefore permanently out of action because of the electromagnetic pulse caused by the abortive flare-up of the white hole, he no longer possessed the means to communicate over interstellar distances with Yautja Prime. Which meant that they now had no choice but to return to their distant homeworld with all due haste. Once on planet, he would immediately warn the Council of Elders of his discovery of not only the two Earth-based sailor senshi in this sector of space, but also of the Hish presence here, as well. And after that – hopefully – he would receive orders to proceed onwards with a vastly stronger expeditionary force to the distant planet Earth, to cut off the potential threat from the oomans at its source.
Author's Note: Next chapter, prepare for a new (and incredibly cosmic) story arc.
I'll be you aren't expecting what's going to happen in the next few chapters.
See you all in seven!