Sailor Moon Aeons.
Book 1: The Senshi of dawn.
Act 1: First era.
Episode 1: Origin.
By Razor Knight
Last update: April 23, 2017
Serenity could see the signs of her enemy's presence in the distance. An unnatural darkness seemed to creep slowly towards her, and was turning even the afternoon sky black in its wake. That creature's power, it had always seemed so impossibly high to her, so unreachable, so unsettling... So terrifying.
But not anymore. She now had a power to match that creature in a battle, and she had trained for years on how to use it. Still, for the people in this world, it was only a few minutes ago that she got her powers.
It had been quite a strange event. Those warriors from a distant future had been around for only a few minutes, but without them, she wouldn't have ever become what she was now. On the other hand, they had their powers only because she had obtained them from them in this era.
Some would call it irony, but she was quite aware that wasn't the right word for this. In any case, he was coming, the Dark One, as the Val'harrha called him, the Ender, the Walking Night. Too many names for something that only needed one: Cygale.
It was good her new powers let her see things others, even the Val (as she had nicknamed her mentor's race,) couldn't. She had found that strange sub-dimension, and her powers let her know in seconds what the purpose of that place was. From there, and with her powers, she could transport to any era she wanted, she could see the future, she could see all that would happen to mankind, at least the events linked to her home planet.
And the most important thing: Since she could return to Earth one second after the moment she entered that dimension (or one year before, if she so wished,) then it was as if time had stopped while she was there. She had used that knowledge in her favor, honing and training all of her skills, until she was able to hold her strongest form indefinitely. A form so powerful, she knew she would probably be able to destroy this or any other world in one shot if she wanted to.
The darkness was close, and she could now see the creature generating it. It was his bluff, his way to scare those he was about to destroy, it was almost a physical representation of his ego. He knew not the word 'stealth,' because he had never needed to hide, no, he wanted those he targeted to know he was coming for them.
Zen'ji, her mentor, had told her all his race knew about the Dark One. Someone whose goal was to bring chaos and destruction, a being who existed only to cause pain to others. A pitiful being, from her point of view. The Val had known about the creature, but had never seen a way to stop him. Then they came to this world, finding a race of primitive beings, beings they called 'humans.' She had asked Zen'ji about the meaning of that word once, but he had only said its meaning was unimportant.
Humans had something even the Val'harrha had never seen. An ability to manipulate a form of energy (known as Zhi'lesh to them) which was known to defy the laws of the Universe itself. Only a few planets could generate that energy on their own, but the Val had found worlds with strange, indestructible (in the most literal sense of the word) artifacts which used the planet's energy and turned it into that strange power. Only a few humans could use that energy. Most of those who had that skill, lived without knowing what they could do.
The Val had artifacts which let them see what was to come. She hadn't quite believed it at first, in fact she had never believed it, until that other Serenity appeared. Now she knew it was true, the Val could see the future, and they were fascinated by it. That was the one reason why they had chosen her, Serenity, a normal human woman, living a normal life in a primitive village, to be their warrior.
That was another difference between the Val and the humans. The Val were physically weak, but their minds were incredibly advanced. They weren't a race of warriors, they were a race of creatures who observed the Universe without daring to interfere. But even though it went against their beliefs, they knew Cygale had to be stopped, or he would continue to destroy planet after planet, until there was nothing left.
And that's why they had chosen a human, a member of a race who were rather violent at first sight. However, there was a balance in them, between warrior and creator. That's what made them the best race to choose, of all the races the Val had seen through the centuries they had been travelling around the universe.
Zen'ji looked at the girl in front of him. A part of his mind was cursing destiny, for what he was about to do was crucial for the existence of the line of warriors called Senshi, of which Serenity was the first, a race that would not only play a major role in this one system, but in many others throughout the whole galaxy. But at the same time, what he was about to do would seal the fate of the only human he considered a friend. And ultimately, it would leave a scar in this girl's mind, one he knew wasn't easy to heal.
But unless this girl was there, the Dark One could win. It was the curse of the Zen'ji, a curse he knew one line of Senshi would share in the future, to see not only one future, but all possible futures. The further forwards in time they looked, the least likely a dark future was, given all the 'right' choices had been made along the way.
And that was his only regret, that the 'right' choice in this battle would require a sacrifice. He knew Serenity had affected him more than he would like to admit, since he had never before seen the logic behind considering one life to be worth more than millions of lives. None of his kin ever saw the reasoning behind that idea. But now, he knew it wasn't about logic, but about what humans called friendship. Still, Serenity herself knew about the future, she knew what the result of this battle would be. He was sure of that. It wasn't Serenity he was worried about, but the girl in front of him now.
"You say I can have the same kind of power my mother has?"
"Yes, but you will need to train for a long time before you get to the level your mother has, Mana."
"Will I be able to help her?"
"To fight the Dark One? I don't know what help a kid like you could be," Zen'ji admitted. Truth was, he knew she would be of help, not so much for her mother, but for the future. Mana had inherited the one power her mother had since birth, and another one she still didn't know about, and wouldn't know about for the time being.
"Hmph. I can at least watch, right?"
"But don't get close to the fight. You could distract your mother."
"I understand. I'm ready to get that power now."
Zen'ji nodded and materialized a small crystal in front of him. It was an ability the Zen'ji always had, that of turning solid objects into pure magic energy. It couldn't be done with living beings, as far as he knew, at least not by their race.
Mana looked at the small crystal. "You mean this little thing..."
"It's a replica of the crystal used by your mother to gain her new powers. It will work mostly the same way for you, and you will gain that level almost instantly though you will not be able to control it at first, and the process is a painful one."
"So I'm going to be strong enough to help."
"I'm afraid it won't be simple. Your mother's already fighting that creature now, and to get used to the power you will have, you could spend months, maybe even years."
Mana reached forwards and touched the crystal. The change was both slow and painful, she felt like her body was being burnt from the inside, and she was unable to form any coherent thoughts for a few seconds. When she was able to think straight again, however, she wished she wasn't, since the pain was still there. But as the seconds ticked away, she felt the change, she could feel her own body rapidly adapting to the surge of power. She was no longer wearing her usual robe as she pulled her hand away from the crystal. The suit was similar to what the Val wore, an elastic fabric which covered most of her body, leaving only her head unprotected.
But then, another crystal, identical to the first, appeared right in front of her. She grabbed it, and again felt a surge of power, though it wasn't as painful this time. That, however, wasn't important when she still felt like she was being burnt, shocked and frozen at the same time.
Zen'ji winced as the girl screamed. This wasn't the way things should be. The crystal Serenity had, the Ginzuishou, wasn't supposed to be able to replicate itself like that, so what... He closed his eyes, trying his best to ignore the girl's screams. Reaching out with his skill, he saw the immediate future shifting and changing. The distant future was still showing, relatively, the same paths as before, but it was the 'present' that worried him. Things could go very wrong if...
And there she was. This girl was wearing the same suit as her mother, if not for the slightly darker shade of yellow of her hair, one could hardly tell this was not Serenity. There was no mistake, this girl had reached her ultimate level, just like her mother, but unlike the visions he had, she had a crystal of her own. "Incredible..."
"I thought you had predicted all this," Mana noted.
"No skill is flawless, and our 'timesight' is no exception. There are things about this change I didn't foresee, things you will have to realize on your own."
Mana had fallen to one knee, her breathing ragged and forceful. "I feel like a stampede of Gn'arlok run over me."
"With your new powers, you should see a way to recover easily before aiding your mother. And you could also train there just like she did."
"Won't you come with me?"
"I'm sorry, but my species is not able to go there. Even if you took me there with you, I wouldn't be able to survive in that place for long."
"I... I understand." Mana stood up, looking around, and then smiled. "I guess I will leave now. I'll see you after this battle ends."
"If everything goes as I'm seeing it, then so it shall be," Zen'ji said, after the girl vanished.
The creature stood, apparently ununfazed by the sudden obstacle in his path. It was an obstacle he had not yet detected, possibly due to the barrier put around the planet's capital city. He could not fathom why a race as advanced (and dangerous) as the Val'harrha would ally with a race as primitive and hopeless as these pseudo-intelligent 'humans.' He did not know what 'human' meant in their own primitive language, but he couldn't care less about the word's meaning.
And yet, the power Cygale could feel in this woman, it was simply inconceivable . If his enemies had this kind of power, why not use it themselves? He knew the answer even before the question had formed. These 'humans' were potentially able to hold as much power inside as he was. Or maybe even more than he could ever dream of gathering. He could admit the woman in front of him was stronger than him. But no matter how much power she had, she couldn't have the centuries of experience he had using said powers.
"Cygale, I know of your intentions, and I will stop you, here and now."
Cygale looked at the woman for one more instant before he did something nobody thought him capable of. He laughed. Sure, he had been amused by things in the past, but the sheer stupidity of this woman was too much for him, he couldn't help but laugh, if only for this one time.
Serenity looked at her foe. The large, insect-like monster was easily thrice her size, and each of his arms ended in thin, sharp blades. His green eyes were big, taking up most of his head, with a small, fang-filled mouth being the only other feature in it.
The aura around him, the dark fog she had seen from a distance, was now gone, and she realized why. Her foe's 'aura' was a part of his power, a part he was letting out to intimidate his victims, but he couldn't afford to keep it up now. She was sure it was the first time this monster had been seen without his aura. It was the first time he faced someone who could defeat him.
"Little girl, aren't you afraid?"
"I would be frightened if I was still a normal human, but I'm not."
"Oh, so you aren't? And what might you be?"
"I am Serenity, the first Senshi."
Senshi? What a stupid name. Still, this woman was amusing him. "That is a word I've never heard before, not that I ever cared about the language of all races I've destroyed."
"It's a title given to some hunters of my race, those trained to defend our cities from the outsiders."
Cygale let out a chuckle. "Then, since you are insane enough to stand in my way, you are the Senshi of your race. The first and last."
"The first, yes, but not the last. There will be others after me. Many others."
"How can you be so sure of that?"
"Because," Serenity said, reaching out her hand, in which a strange, key-shaped staff appeared, "I can look at the many threads of time, and act upon that knowledge to bring about the one I consider the best outcome for those I protect."
"So you learnt that from the..."
"No, my mentors had nothing to do with this. This is a power I've always held inside. A power that will defeat you."
"I think not, little human, you should not have come here to face a god!" Cygale snapped, the last few words came out as a snarl, as a massive wave of energy shot forth. The woman was gone, and, had he been overconfident and foolish, he would have assumed the attack simply tore her to atoms. But he was neither overconfident, nor foolish. He spun around in time to block the downwards swipe of his enemy's staff, then disappeared.
Serenity turned around, summoning a sword as she did, and stopping the enemy's scythes with it. As the two leapt away from each other, she looked around uneasily. "So he was right, she's already coming."
"My, my, are you implying that you've called for reinforcements?"
Serenity shot a glare at her foe. "I did not, but even if I had told her not to come here, I know she would still do it."
Cygale sensed something and looked up. For a second, he thought Serenity was trying to fool him, somehow. The human floating meters above (and behind) Serenity looked just like her, if younger, and was wearing an almost identical suit. "What is this? Who are you?"
"I am Mana, daughter of Serenity."
"I saw this, and yet..." Serenity started.
"Your friend said seeing the future isn't a flawless power," Mana explained.
"I am somewhat glad that's the case, then."
Cygale didn't just stand there waiting for them to finish their talk, and instead moved to attack. He went for what was, perhaps, the obvious target, but also the more vulnerable one. Or, at least, that was what Cygale thought, but Mana floated swiftly to the side as he appeared behind her, delivering a sideways kick to his midsection.
"I take it you found that place," Serenity noted with a smile. She didn't need to ask, there was no way her daughter would have learnt to fight so fast unless she had all the time she wanted to do it.
"Of course," Mana said as she floated down to where her mother was. "So, this is the Dark One? He doesn't look so invincible."
Serenity looked at Cygale, who was crawling out of the small crater his body had formed after being kicked down to the ground. "That's because he's playing with us."
"That may be correct, but I am done playing now," Cygale snarled, his body suddenly shining with energy. Before the two Senshi could react, the ground underneath them cracked, as a wave of energy shot from it, washing over them both. He saw no traces of the two humans as the light died out, and for a moment thought he had eliminated them. But then he sensed something, and turned around just in time to see the two women dashing straight at him, but saw no weapons in their hands.
The two women saw their target swing his arms, crossing them as he swung, and leaving a trail of energy behind which formed an 'x' in front of him. He then smiled as the energy shot forth, but the women simply corrected their course, coming from his sides. As he saw that, he pointed his arms to the side charging as much energy as he could, as fast as he could.
But that wasn't enough. He managed to shoot twin beams of energy, one aimed at each woman, but they once again seemed to be one step ahead, diving forwards as the beams hissed by, barely missing their mark. Cygale realized finally what the two were up to, but the realization came too late, as they had both already fired their own energy beams at melee range.
Serenity fell to one knee after the attack. "Even with all this training, we can't keep this up for much longer."
Mana was still standing, but her breath was heavy. "It's good that we are almost done, then."
Cygale was, meanwhile, trying to stand up, and failing to do so. "This is impossible... Simply impossible! To think such primitive creatures would be able to stop me, when I've toppled entire civilizations!"
"Then it's a pity you didn't find us much earlier," Serenity mused. "I cannot destroy you, and I'll admit that much. However, I can still..."
"We can still seal your powers away," Mana noted.
"Mana, you're almost out of energy, if you help me, you could die."
"Mother," Mana said, her voice sounding far more annoyed than she meant fir it to sound, "I've been to that place, and I share the same powers you have. I know what will happen if you alone seal this bastard."
"But your help wouldn't change a thing. In fact, you could die too."
"Is that what you still see?" Mana asked, noticing Cygale was still trying to stand up. She had to admit he was a lot stronger than she expected, since he had survived their combined power.
Serenity's eyes lost focus as she called upon the power that let her see what was to come. There were three different 'paths' now spawning from what they were about to do. Either of them could die in the next few minutes, or they could both be alive in the end. If one of them had to die, she only hoped it was her."Right, then. Do you know how to do this?"
Mana smiled and summoned her crystal. "Of course, mother."
Cygale was now kneeling on the ground. He was out of energy, but these two girls were also tired. And while the damage he had sustained was almost enough to end him, he had always known his healing speed was incredibly fast. In the past it had been a moot point, for the 'champions' of other civilizations had been powerless against him, but right now, it was a good thing his healing powers were that strong. These two humans had only to keep on talking for one more minute, and he would be up and ready to destroy them.
Unfortunately for the Dark One, the two women were not going to wait any longer. They both stood in front of him, pointing their hands at him, as their crystals shone with energy. "It's time..."
"What are you doing, human? You cannot destroy me!"
"I already told you, I know that," Serenity admitted, "our energy is too low for that. However, we can still seal you away so you can never come back to haunt this universe."
Cygale struggled to stand up, but his body was still not healed enough for that. He managed to glare at the two women as their crystals shone brighter and brighter. "Heed my words, humans. I will come back, I won't be sealed away forever. And once I come back, any 'Senshi' I find will die!"
"It's sad that you chose empty threats as the last words you'll ever say, Dark One," Mana noted. The energy from the crystals washed over her arms and she grimaced. "It's time for you to go. Cosmic Seal!"
"Galactic Seal!" Serenity shouted in unison with her daughter.
The planet's night was briefly illuminated by a false daylight, and when the light died out, the two women were still there, looking at a small, black crystal. They fell to their knees, energy depleted. "we've done it," Mana said.
"Not yet, Mana." Serenity looked at the crystal and then picked it up, taking a moment to stare at the Dark One's eternal prison before crushing it, causing the crystal to split into several pieces. She then closed her eyes and the pieces floated away, vanishing into the distance. "That's the end of the Dark One... For now."
"And we are both still here."
Serenity smiled. "Even though I was ready to give up my life if that meant the defeat of Cygale, I can't say I'm upset that I still live."
Mana looked at the horizon, where the planet's only satellite was rising. "I wonder what will happen from now on..."
"You have only to look forwards to know," Serenity said.
"Somehow, I'd rather not."
"I can't say I don't feel the same way. Now come, daughter, let's go back to our city."
As they walked back home, Mana remembered something. "Cygale called us Senshi. Is that his way of calling us?"
"No, I called myself that during the fight, and the name fits us well. We are now the protectors of this world."
A/N: This story ties up with the events mentioned in Cyber Moon Crystal's final arc, but things happen in a different way in this story. How much are things going to be changed from now on? That's a question I can't answer yet, but the fic itself will eventually answer it.
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is a creation of Naoko Takeuchi, and I claim no ownership over any of the characters or the universe created by her.