Iriko is the sailor sensei from the planet Minerva. Minerva, previously between Mars and Jupiter, is now the asteroid belt. She is a small woman, five feet tall. She has lavender hair in a long braid, from the top of her head hanging to just brush the floor. When a sailor sensei, she is dressed in the normal sailor suit with a lavender bow and skirt. She wears amethyst-point dangle earrings. Back before the fall of the Moon Kingdom, the planet Minerva was a place of quiet beauty and nature. Unlike the other kingdoms, Minerva had been undeveloped. The people were quiet and shy, rarely seen outside their home world. Like the other kingdoms, Minerva sent a daughter to be part of the Moon Princess' court. She tended the garden, instead of the princess. Because of that, she was not well known to the others of the court.
She carried a secret. Her people were the best spies of the Silver Millennium. When word of the Dark Kingdom came to Queen Serenity, she asked the people of Minerva to help infiltrate Beryl's court. They brought word just before Beryl's attack. For what Beryl viewed as their betrayal, she had the planet Minerva destroyed. Unlike the Moon, she didn't stop at the people and buildings. She had the planet blown into many pieces. It became the asteroid belt. Of all the people of Minerva, only Iriko and a handful of others, buried deep under cover in the dark kingdom, had survived. Queen Serenity had saved the people of the inner planets by spreading them throughout earth's history, but could not save Minerva's people.
After the battle for the Moon, Iriko begged to be allowed to follow in her brother's footsteps. She wanted to go under deep cover in the Dark Kingdom -- to undermine Beryl's power and her generals -- to weaken the Dark Kingdom from within. Serenity gave in reluctantly. She cast a spell about Iriko's mind to insure that no one would be able to tell that the young woman was from outside the Dark Kingdom.
Iriko became Amethyst, warrior of the Dark Kingdom. She moved her way up the ranks to a point where she was just below the generals. She became an aide de camp. When she was assigned to help Jedite, she threw little wrenches into his plans. When he was punished, she was reassigned to Nephlyte. She found in Nephlyte a "flaw". His growing attachment to the human girl, Molly. She was saddened when he died just at the point of redemption. He had been the best of her superior officers. The years since the destruction of the Moon Kingdom had changed him subtly. When the Dark Kingdom had first made it's move for domination he had been one of the cruelest of the general. He had seen something during the final battle that changed the way he looked at the universe.
Soyasite was easy to manipulate. When he was away from his lover he was petty, jealous and vain. A single word would throw off his plans. Being chosen to help find the shard holders, Amethyst found ways to delay or slow down those encounters. That way, the Princess and her court could arrive in time to defeat and heal the human carriers.
The rift between Prince Darien and Princess Serena puzzled her. She had her full memories of the Silver Millennium, but the others didn't. When Darien was captured by Queen Beryl and had his memories erased, she volunteered to be on guard duty. During her time on duty, she would sneak into the room and quietly whisper to Darien. She added a little of her power to helping him hold onto his memories. It wasn't much, but when he was sent out to attack people, he would defend those of earth and the princess. His only goal was to get the silver imperial crystal. He didn't know why. When the climax came, it happened sooner than she expected. She knew from listening to Malachite that the inner sensei were back together. Now was the last chance she had to align the Prince back with the side of good.
Prince Darien slept in a special chamber that Queen Beryl had specially prepared for him. The room resonated with power, a subtle type of power. It was directed at Darien's mind. It was subtle enough that he never noticed the brainwashing being done. After the intensity of her original work on his mind, Beryl was confidant that the lowline reinforcement would keep him under her control. She had plans to have Darien at her side as the King of Earth and the solar system. She didn't know of the work that Iriko had been doing over the time he had been in her care.
In the Shadow Kingdom
"Good evening, Amethyst." Darien nodded to the purple haired young woman standing guard outside his door. Over the past few weeks he had gotten used to her presence and expected her to be there every evening.
"Good evening, sir." Amethyst came to attention, saluting her superior officer. When the prince waved her to relax, she smiled and asked, "How was your day, today, sir."
"Difficult," he looked down and clenched his fist. The emotions he was feeling chased across his face. Amethyst could see an internal struggle going on. "Malakite tried another of his plans to retrieve the crystal. He nearly killed some innocent humans standing nearby." Darian looked up at Amethyst. He knew that she worked for Malakite but her trusted her. They both felt that the humans of Earth should be left out of the quest for the crystal.
"He doesn't have any care for those he conciders lower than himself." She remarked wryly. Darien smiled. "Having trouble with his high and mightyness again?"
Amethyst looked away and spoke quietly. "You know how he's been since Soyasite died. Anyone in his way is to be walked over. Those he has under his command have found it best to jump when he calls and avoid him as much as possible."
Darien looked at the girl for a long moment. "Amethyst, why are you here?"
Amethyst turned back toward Darien quickly. "What? I'm on guard duty. You know I have been assigned by Malakite to watch you and report your movements."
"Yes, I know." He paused and then continued. "Why are you working in the Dark Kingdom's armed force. You don't seem to be like the other young officers I've met."
Amethyst looked striken for a moment. Darien had caught on to the discreptency between her role and her personality. When around Darien she had taken to acting more like Iriko and less like the cold Amethyst, aide to generals. She thought quickly. She couldn't tell him why she was here. He was still under Beryl's control. After a moment she thought of something. "Darien, I haven't had to tell anyone this in a long time." She looked down and scuffed a foot along the carpet. "My father had me comissioned in Beryl's service when I was a young child. I have no other place to go so I stayed in and moved up the ranks.
Darien thought about that for a moment. He understood doing what the family wanted. But there was something else about the woman before him. He recognised her from somewhere else. Every time he saw her he felt his mind trying to tug him in some direction. Away from being the servant of the Queen toward some misty memory of his earlier life. He nodded to Amethyst and turned away toward his room. "Well, goodnight."
With a sigh of relief Amethyst wished him a good night's rest and took up her guard post. That was too close. She wanted him to remember who he was but not in bits and pieces. If he remember who she was before the battle was done he could blow her cover. She didn't need to be turned over to Beryl and her queen after all her long years here.
As the evening drew on Amethyst slipped into the Prince's room. She knew from experience that he would be asleep by this time. She closed the door quite and turned to look at Endymion. He was stretched out on the bed. A small smile moved across her face. He was quite handsome and she knew that the Princess was a lucky girl. Even in his ensorcelled state his love for Serena still lived. he had many chances to harm the Princess but he refused. Amethyst knew that was in part due to her subtle influence.
Though not the warrior type of the other sensei, she had powers that were just as effective in their own way. she moved to his side and whispered, "Minerva power!? Between one step and the next the cold dark kingdom warrior was replaced by Sailor Minerva. Each time she did this she took the chance of the power being detected and being caught. She stood still and listened with all her ability. After a long moment she decided that she had not been detected once more and set to work. She kneeled at Endymion's side and stretched out her hands. Placing them on either side of his face she whispered, "Minerva mind slip." A purple glow started in her hands and moved out to bath the sleeping man's face.
Iriko found herself once more inside the mind of the Prince of Earth. Over the past few weeks she had become familiar with the internal landscape of his mind. He had his dark bits but mostly he had a fine healthy mind, even under the dark queen's influence. She had been amazed at the depth of feeling she found focused toward the princess. Beryl's magic had to nearly wipe out his personality to overcome those feelings.
She quickly brushed over the memories of the day. Once again he had been sent to deal with the princess. This time it was at a mountain hot spring. He had gone to raise up a spirit that dwelled, locked inside the lake. That had been a mistake. The spirit had not been of the dark kingdom and it did not take well to any attempt to control it. When the creature attacked he had as always moved to protect the innocent humans in its path. The Princess's current family.
The other sensei showed and the family retreated in Mercury's fog to safety. Interestingly the Prince once again helped the sensei. He even admitted to them his mistake. It was becoming harder for him to resist the prompting of his cloudy memories.
She gently moved those memories to the front of his mind again. Memories of the last dance he and the Princess had shared. Memories of his earthly friends and of being tuxedo mask. When she finished the reinforcement she brought forward one of her favorite of his memories.
It was back in the princess's private garden. He had been walking down the path between the delicate moon roses. He had stopped to smell one and she had come around the bush with her basket and shears. She had not seen him enter the garden and had bumped into him.
"Excuse me," Iriko of the time said. She bowed instinctively. The only people other than herself to come here were the princess and Queen Serenity.
"No, excuse me," came a response in a deep male voice.
Iriko jumped back in surprise. Her eyes quickly took in the man in front of her. By the sword and armor she knew the man to be from the Earth Kingdom. As she brought her violet eyes to his face they widened. The man before her had to be no other than Prince Endymion. "Hello."
Iriko swallowed and bowed again. "Good afternoon, your highness."
Endymion smiled and returned the bow. "Good afternoon, to you also, miss?" The curiosity was plain in his eyes. He had not known that anyone else was allowed in this garden.
Iriko blushed and mumbled. "My name is Iriko, your highness. I am the gardener here."
Endymion smiled and took her green tinged fingers, raising them to his lips. "I am pleased to me you, Lady Iriko."
She stood frozen for an endless moment that was broken by Princess Serenity's voice. The Prince let go of Iriko's hand and turned to stride to his love. Iriko watched them for a moment and then made an attempt to slip away. But the Princess spotted her as she slid down the path and called to her. "Iriko! Don't leave." Serenity smiled her sweet smile.
Iriko stopped and bowed to the Moon Princess. Serenity's laugh drifted out and she walked to Iriko's side. "How many times do I have to tell you not to do that?"
Iriko blushed once again. Serenity smiled and took her hand turning to face the Prince. Endymion, I would like to introduce you to one of the shyer members of my court." She turned back to Iriko. "Her name is Iriko and she is the Princess of the planet Minerva."
Endymion walked over and bowed to her again, causing Iriko to blush even more. "I am pleased to know your true identity, Lady Iriko." he turned to look at his princess. "She told me she was your gardener."
"She is and more. Iriko is much like her people. Shy and quiet. Never one to put herself in the limelight. I have to make her attend court. If left to her own devises she would spend all her time here." Serenity said all this with a smile and a squeeze on her friend's hand. "I must say she has a wonderful touch with the growing things." She reached into Iriko's basket and took out a moon pale rose and sniffed it's fragrance.
She pulled back from that memory and was just finishing reinforcing his positive feelings toward humans when she felt a call from Kunzite. She quickly stood and powered down. As her sensei powers left she slid back into the persona of Amethyst. By the time she was back outside the room all the traces of Iriko was removed from the surface of Amethyst's mind. She stepped forward and with a swirl of amethyst colored smoke she disappeared.
She reappeared in front of Kunzite and went to one knee. "You called me, my Lord?"
Kunzite looked down at the woman he felt was his most trusted underling. "How goes the watch?"
Amethyst looked up. "He is still fighting the Queens' will. He protected a group of humans when he should have gained control of the monster." Though her voice was cool, inside her mind was writhing from what she said.
Kunzite turned and paced. "Why has Beryl put so much interest in the prince?"
Amethyst kept silent. Kunzite asked her this question every night. After the first time she answered she knew better than interrupt the general in his musing. Her bones remembered well the lessening he gave her.
He turned back, a decision clear in his face. "I want you to stick with him every moment. Gather all the information you can." She nodded, this she knew was coming. "I also want you to insure he fails. No matter what Beryl thinks, Prince Endymion is not part of the dark kingdom and he shall pay for his part Zoicite's death!"
Amethyst nodded and kept her eyes down. She would follow his orders of course. They perfectly matched her own. Spending more time around Endymion could only help him recover his memories and return to Serenity's side. Together the senshi and Tuxedo Kamen could defeat the dark kingdom and Iriko could finally be herself again. Though a small voice asked her if she really knew who Iriko was anymore.
"Well, go woman. I expect you to report back each night after he goes to sleep." Amethyst nodded again and disappeared in a swirl of lavender smoke.
The following morning was to prove to be a real test of Iriko's abilities. Beryl decided that the best way to get the Imperium crystal was to collect the old crystal bearers and combine them into one massive Youma to fight the senshi. She sent Endymion to gather the crystal bearers, which enraged Kunzite. He called her to his side and gave her express orders in how to deal with the Prince of Earth.
Amethyst was careful to stay back from Endymion's sight. Though she was ordered to foul him up, she wasn't exactly sure how. As Amethyst her powers were much like those she used as Sailor Minerva. Here on the earth she had never used the powers. She knew that two of the guardian cats were near the scouts and she didn't need Artemis or Luna remembering her. Endymion was more like a dark kingdom warrior this morning than usual. She cursed under her breath. Being called away last night had probably messed with her work. She always before tried to stay near the whole night to be sure that Beryl didn't visit him and feel the work she had done.
It looked like it wasn't to be helped. She was going to have to transform to Sailor Minerva to use her mind slip power. Endymion had collected most of the crystal bearers. As he disappeared to collect the last one, a boy by the name of Greg, she hid behind a booth at the park and powered up. "Minerva power!" With a flash she was out of the dark kingdom persona and back to Sailor Minerva. She hid and looked about. The inner scouts would be showing soon. Of this she was sure. They always showed when the dark Kingdom energies were on the rise. If she was lucky the prince would show and she could jog his mind just enough that the princess could get him back. Then she would be able to leave. With Tuxedo Kamen back on their side the inner senshi would be able to defeat Beryl. She could give them the information she had gathered over the long years and finally be done with her service. She truly longed to go back to tending the growing things.
After a short while she saw Lady Mercury and a young man walk into the park. She recognised the boy. He was one of the past crystal bearers. She slid from booth to booth, looking around. Anytime now Endymion would be showing up to collect this boy. She knew from experience that Sailor Mercury's attacks where not that strong. The girl was more the brains of the scouts. She would need to back her up if they were to keep the boy out of Endymion's hands.
She could hear them talking quietly. It seemed that the two had some feelings for each other. Minerva smiled. It was good to see that the other scouts were finding people to care for. She always thought that the lives of the inner scouts was lonely, never thinking on how lonely her own life had been over the years.
So intent on watching the young couple was she that she too was startled when Endymoin appeared standing on the top of the ferris wheel. The entire wheel lit up, throwing Sailor Minerva into the shadows. She smiled. No one could see her now. She eased closer to Prince Endymoin. She heard Sailor Mercury cry out that she would fight him and his responce about waiting for all the sailor scouts. Iriko smiled. He wasn't expecting one extra scout to show up.
Mercury called on her bubbles and Endymoin just ignored them and used the crystal to imprison the sixth of the crystal bearers. Sailor Minerva could see the tears come to Sailor Mercury's eyes as the boy was obsorbed by the crystal and she started to call on her powers but before she could get close enough Sailor Mercury and Prince Endymoin started to fight.
Endymoin easily blocked Mercury's shabon spray but she had somehow gotten her hands on the crystal and throwing it to the ground, she shattered it. The six people trapped inside reformed as their old selves. Iriko was glad but they were blocking her path to the prince.
Next, to her surprise Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Moon showed up. This would be interesting. Each time in the past when the princess had shown up the prince had pulled back from the battle. Iriko hoped it would happen but was disappointed. He started to fight the princess and the others. He commented that he would defeat them. It was time for Minerva to use her powers before something happened to him or the princess.
She ran along the booths until she was behind the prince and then as he was struck by Jupiter and Mercury's attacks she added her own. She whispered, "Minerva mind slip." Though this was really meant to be done in the touching range she could extend her power to reach a mind she had been in before. She could see Sailor Moon powering up her wand to heal himand then sent a blast of her power to bring all his memories to the front of his mind. The flare of her power was quiet compared to the power coming from the princess's wand but it had been noticed.
She could feel Endymoin's memories returning and could see him return to his earthly form of Chiba Mamaru but then felt a massive surge of dark energy as he was engulfed in blackness and teleported away. With her mind still inside his she let out a cry and fell to her knees. The pain of having a mind she was in contact with ripped away stunned her for a moment. Long enough for Kunzite to find her and grab her. He teleported back to the dark kingdom, carrying her with him.
He threw her to the ground and glared at her. "Who are you?" Kunzite took a long look at the woman on the ground before him. She looked familiar but he had not seen this particular sailor scout before.
Salior Minerva shook her head for a moment. Part of her mind was still trapped inside the prince of the Earth's mind. She could feel her Sailor transformation starting to slip. She lost control of it and she faded back into the form of Amethyst.
Kunzite's eyes widened as he watched this strange Sailor scout transform into his most trusted aide. "YOU!" he roared and blasted her with a beam of nega-energy. She flew back a few feet and moaned. Once more she tranformed. The cold dark kingdom warrior faded from view and left a small woman dressed in a simple gown. Kunzite was enraged. He had trusted this being with all his plans. The thought that she had been the aide to all the failed generals passed his mind. In the blink of an eye he realized that she had to have been responcible for the failures that had cost the life of Ziocite. "I will kill you!" He prepared to attack her again when a amused voice stopped him. "No, Kunzite. I don't think so. I have other plans for this one."
He spun about and then bowed. "What ever you wish, my queen."
Iriko looked up, in pain, at the being responsible for the destruction of her home and people. Beryl was a beautiful as ever and smiled cruely at her. "I believe I recognise you. Sailor Minerva, am I correct?"
Iriko slowly nodded.
Beryl looked impressed. "You are amazing girl. I destroyed your planet a very long time ago. I thought I had killed off all of you." She reached down and grabbed Iriko's chin. "How long have you been hiding in my service?"
"I see," Beryl answered. She turned about. "Kunzite, take this and put her in a cell. I think I have a use for her. She holds lots of energy inside her that can be useful." She let out a cruel laugh. "It has been a long time since I had a Minervan to drain. It will be a great day for us. She will hold enough energy to release Queen Metilla." Iriko struggled in Kunzite's grip. He reached back and slapped her hard. Normally Iriko could deal with any attack but she was weak from the earlier blast and he knocked her senseless.
Iriko awoke with a groan. "Oh, my head." She sat up and looked around. She hadn't seen one of these cells in a long time. These were rarely used. Mostly Beryl would either drain those who broke her laws or encase them in crystal like she had with Jadeite. That Beryl planned on draining her didn't enter her mind. She knew the fate of the other Minervans who had been captured over the long years that she had been under cover. Tears came to her eyes as she remembered the fate of one of her cousins. "That won't happen to me."
She got up off the floor where she had been dropped and looked about the cell. It was a small room with just one way in or out. There were no windows and the door was a set of bars. She walked to the bars and looked out. Just at the edge of her vision she could see another cell. There was a shadow of movement. "So, she does still use these," she thought. "Interesting." She closed her eyes and reaches with her powers. It wasn't easy but she could feel that there were three other minds with in this hall. The surface thoughts she could reach showed that they were all mad. They must have been in those cells for a long time.
She turned, walked to the cot and sat. There were times, like now that she wished she had powers more like the other scouts. All of her attacks were mind based and there was no way she could blast her way out of the cell. If she had a power like Mars she could melt the bars. As she pondered her situation she heard a commotion outside the cells. Once again she concentrated. There was something big going on. She could mind hear the surprise and the anger at what was going on. Suddenly her eyes widened and she rushed to the back of the cell. She ducked down and covered her head just as a massive explosion rocked the hallway. She looked up to see the bars to her cell hanging open. With a cry of Minerva power she transformed back into Sailor Minerva, then stepped out of the powerblocking cell and then she disappeared in a swirl of smoke.
She reappeared outside of the room that the Prince had been using. Carefully she peeked into the room. He wasn't there! "Come on, Iriko, think. Where would she have taken him?"
Iriko could tell that things were coming to a head quickly. She could feel the tension in the air like a slap in the face. Beryl knew now that someone had been blocking her work on the prince's mind. A smal part of her mind was still in contact with Endymoin and there was little that she recognised in his mind. Beryl had wiped much of his memory. And if she didn't reach his side quickly the prince of Earth would soon be no more, replaced by a dark kingdom warrior.
Once more smoke swirled about her as she headed toward the prince. She came into view inside the large main hall. She quickly ducked behind a drape, hoping that she hadn't been spotted. All she needed right now was one of the youma to attack her. From her vantage spot she could clearly se the confrontation going on between Beryl and the Princess. She closed her eyes when she saw Endymion kneeling at Beryl's feet and kissing her hand. It was worse than she had feared. At Beryl's command he rose and attacked the Princess.
Minerva leapt into action. Just what she thought she was doing she had no idea. But she ran toward the entraced Beryl. The Queen's attention was focused on the fight between the prince and Serena. Maybe, just maygbe she could break the Queen's control over the Prince.
She came up behind the Queen and slapped her hands to Beryl's head, calling out, "Minerva Mind Blast!"
Beryl's laughter stopped short as she felt the blast rip into her mind. She staggered forward and then spun about. Her eyes widened in surprise whe she saw who had the gaul to attack her. "You! How did you get loose!"
Minerva just smiled. "Got lucky."
"Well, we shall see, Minerva!" Beryl's eyes narrowed as she pulled her power about her. She had to swat the Minervan fly before the Princess got through her spell on Endymion's mind.
The cloud of Nega-Energy Beryl gathered was chokingly intense. It surrounded Minerva and solidified, elongated, and turned into a shimmering jet black snake. "Let's see if your luck holds out, girl," Beryl called from outside the cloud. The Nega-Python swung side-to-side, waiting for the right moment to strike. Although not as immediate as a direct Nega-Blast, nor as strong in the short run, it would keep Minerva occupied.
Minerva knew that. As she skipped aside, jumped, ducked and otherwise avoided the Nega-Python, she tripped over its body. "Smart snake," she mused, noticing how it had led her to do that exact thing. The Nega-Python reared back, its eyes gleaming with Beryl's gloating gaze.
"THAT'S IT!!" Minerva thought. Everything went into slow motion. "If I just..."
The snake sprang forward like an arrow, and Minerva stayed right where she was. As it latched onto her, she slapped her hands onto its "head." "MINERVA MIND BLAST!!" She shouted, sending lavender energy coiling through the Nega-Python, into the cloud, and- hopefully -into Beryl's mind. It took all of her concentration to stay conscious and continue the barrage against Beryl's mind, and she wished that person behind her would stop screaming, not aware the screaming came from her own throat. As she collapsed, she saw the cloud dissipate and Beryl clutching her head. She saw Princess Serenity and Prince Endimyon embrace. With the last of her energy, she whispered, "Long live the Queen."
Somewhere else, outside of time.
Her soul slipped out of the husk of her body and flew outward, toward her people, her family but she was held back. Looking about in the haze of the other world she spotted a glowing form and her eyes widened. Somehow, without a body to bow, she did. "Your Magesty."
Before Iriko stood the one person who knew her for what she had always been. Queen Serenity, the princess's mother. The queen reached out and put a hand on Iriko's head. "Thank you, my child. You fufilled your task. More than filled it."
Iriko looked up slowly and smiled. It lit up her pale and tired face. She was glad. All she had wanted to do was serve. And now she all she wanted was to rest.
The etheral queen pondered this quiet senshi before her. Though this one senshi deserved rest more than all the others she knew that her work wasn't over. "Iriko, child, I don't have much time. Serena has defeated Beryl." With that Iriko's face lit up. Finally the Dark Kingdom had fallen. Seeing that elation Serenity almost didn't speak again but she had to let the girl decide. "Iriko, Serenity is calling on the power of the crystal to bring back her court. To be ordinary humans until they are needed again." She watched the Minervan's face. The girl looked surprised.
"You mean that we will be brought back?" The tired look on her face was slowly erased.
Serenity debated for a moment and then spotting a shadowy figure behind Iriko she nodded. "Yes, but you will come back with no memories. You will be just a normal teenager."
Iriko smiled. "That will be a pleasant change, your magesty."
Serenity smiled back and watched as her daughter's spell took effect and the young woman before her was pulled away and deposited into a young gardener that tended the grounds of Serena's school. That was the perfect place of the young Minervan. She was too old to be a student really but still very young inside when it came to dealing with people. She had always been shy. Maybe now she would blossum like one of her flowers.
She looked up as the shadowy figure became clear. "Will she, will they all get a rest, Pluto?"
The tall and mysterious Sailor Senshi looked out into the future and she nodded shortly. "For a bit."
"Good." The two figures then faded back into a sparkle of light.