A/N: I can finally update this poor fan fiction. I feel bad for leaving it for so long…Bad me…very, very bad on my part. But I'm back. Anyways, since the TSK series is my baby so to speak, it was one of the first I started and all, I'm coming back to work with it, albeit slowly.
Since I need to get back into the swing of typing This'll be a short chapter. No more ungodly monster sized chapters for a while.
Anyway, before I murder this chapter by making the A/N too long I'll get on with the fiction. Please leave a review.
I DO NOT own Sailor Moon! (I really think I need to plaster that onto my face. perhaps then I won't have to type that every single time.)
Chapter 8: Words of Wisdom.
Rei stood in the morning light confused with all she had ever known about herself and others. When she stood still like this she felt the weight of her real power loom over her, and, yet it felt as if she was a broken soul. She had won her battle, and yet, Katan's spirit remained in a state unease. Rei just knew that much to be true. Her powers were strong but she could have lost, and now Rei knew first hand. She was indeed mortal. She always had been.
The battle on Mars had awakened a new sense of being within Rei. It wasn't something overtly new, but, it was something that changed her outlook entirely. If it was something Katan had said, or, what she had done during the battle, Rei wasn't sure. She did know however, that preceding the fight the rest of the combat roster had been decided. Everything was taking on a new air, and being a Leader of the Flame had beckoned a meaning Rei never knew existed.
Her mind wandered to what she used to know. The truth of her life flashed before her eyes, seeking answers from a now unreachable past. Her grandfather, living at the shrine, everything…it was all gone. She wasn't alone on this morning, somehow she knew the souls of the ones out there would be reborn too; however, they wouldn't be who she remembered them to be. They wouldn't even know her to be the person she used to be. Fate had changed, and continued to do so.
Everyone could agree to that. Fate had them ensnared and now there wasn't any escape.
That was why Hotaru took pity on them. All of them, and, now she would do what she never should. She left early that morning, riding out on a horse that no doubt would take her far away, telling no one why. Only Rei saw her figure leave, and she followed. Why, Rei couldn't be clear, but her heart indicated that she needed too, thus, she did. Following Hotaru with quick paces to keep up, she called out quietly.
"Can I help you, Flame's Rei?" Hotaru addressed softly. She stopped the horse, but did not face the Leader of Flame head on.
"Just tell me something…" Rei huffed out slightly tired from running. "Why does it feel like I don't belong here anymore?"
"Senshi weren't meant to reside on Earth alone." Hotaru said simply. "They are immortal to some degree. You are the power of Mars, the new Queen. Thus, your people need you, and, your planet is now free from its shackles. Whoever the leader of the Neo Moon is, it matters not, and you are the Queen of Flame regardless of the final outcome."
"I don't understand. I thought I would only attain the throne if Usagi became the Queen." Rei said in utter shock.
Hotaru shook her head in remorse. The Senshi failed to really pay attention. "Doing well by your coin doesn't actually mean winning the fight, all winning guarantees is that you will lead your people. The final leader of all the deities would be pending on the coin in and of itself."
"How do I do well by my coin?" Rei asked somewhat upset. "What do I do? How do I do it? I have nothing to forgive!"
"If that is what you think, you will fail. Go to your people, go to Mars, you'll find your answers there. Tell the others you are going to those of Flame. That is your calling now." Hotaru explained as she walked away.
"Wait!" Rei shouted, not caring if she woke everyone else up or not. "Tell me why! Why didn't you say those things before?"
Hotaru paused again, looking back as if she was pondering her own question. "Would it matter now? Setsuna-mama gave you all a choice to change fate, and you've done so, but, fate always has a price, that price ever changing. You must adapt and change along with your choices. We spoke of many things, I, back when I was Saturn…no, even now I also have a burden of fate to bear."
"Damn it!" Rei said as Hotaru resumed her trail. There were few things Rei tolerated when it came to Senshi matters. She was dragged along in so many ways and now she thought it sick and twisted. "Answer me!" She said as she kicked sand in the direction of the departing girl. "Give me something to hold onto."
"Rei!" The calls came from some of the awoken Senshi. Minako's ringing out among the rest. "What's wrong…?" The blond asked once she got closer to Rei, her voice a bare whisper. "What happened?" Yumi was only a few paces behind as she slowed to a walk.
"Her place is with her deity." Yumi explained stopping a few feet short. "I feel it too; Mars is calling for us. A ruler must go to her people."
"No!" Rei shot back. "I'm not going. I'm staying here! This is where I belong."
"Will you repeat your past?" Yumi asked all too angrily. "Will you go back on your word?"
"I've never done that…" Rei's voice held sorrow and vengeance. "But if I go to Mars…"
"You'll leave us behind." Yumi said seriously. "Show me a future to believe in, and I'll show you what should have been. Keep your word."
"You can't mean that." Minako turned to look at Yumi clearly upset. "If she goes to Mars you may not see her again! How can you want that?"
"If she's really the mother I used to know, she won't fail…she will be back...but then again, the mother I used to know is in a future I'll never have again…pardon me while I take a stab in the dark." Yumi deadpanned, emotion leaving her, a cold stare engulfing her. "We almost did lose her…do you want to tempt fate again? Do you want to fight it? Will you do it?"
"I don't understand…" Minako answered quietly as more Senshi appeared on the horizon. "How could we have lost her?"
"My mother is still who she used to be, but, that person was vengeful. Has she forgiven fate? Has she accepted it for the real truth that it is? Will she carry out her job knowing that is what she should do? Or will she do again what happened during the battle? Will she always fight to such an end?"
"I…I don't know…" Rei answered quietly, somewhat confused.
"A younger version of me hadn't known either." Yumi answered honestly. "When I was ten and shoved on earth…I felt lost, as if I didn't know you anymore. However, me, as I am now, sixteen years old, I am the age you were when you were forced to once again live your life in constant battle. You told me the story back when I was a child on the Moon…back when I wasn't a child of direct paradox. What you told me about your life growing up, now I see why you became the adult you were." Yumi's eyes went soft and on pure impulse she hugged Rei.
Then Yumi pulled away, her eyes held nothing but severity. "My mother, that other adult is gone. If this future does pan out the way Setsuna wanted, you won't be that person to leave us behind. However, in order for that future to happen you need to trust fate and forgive it, just like I have to. I want to be a kid again. I want to trust fate and forgive what I couldn't control, but, I need faith. I need my mom…a ten year old shouldn't have to go on without a family…that's why…we are what we are."
Rei softened at that. Although she couldn't say she willingly understood. "Alright…" She didn't even know what she was agreeing to do. Only that she had to do it. Forgive what fate did wasn't an easy task, nor could she even know where to begin. "Then, I'll be off to Mars…as a Queen should do."
"Before you do…" Yumi hesitated for a moment. "Merger your power with each other." she answered looking at both Rei and Minako.
"How do we even do that?" Minako asked, knowing full well Yumi had the information needed.
"I can't answer that one. You two need to figure it out on your own. Be the parents I know you can be." Yumi said before turning to leave. "…don't let me become what you see now. I don't want to be this person, the memories I've grown up with are things that I don't want to have to grow into."
Rei nodded and Yumi left, running away with her head down, as if staying around any longer would be too painful. Yumi went back to the other Senshi, holding her little brother back as they explained the situation about Rei going to Mars. Yumi also asked everyone to stay behind. Final goodbyes weren't for them to make. If they said goodbye now it would be as if everyone had given up. Yumi didn't want that.
Minako and Rei walked along the grassy area for what seemed like hours when in reality it was only a few minutes. Finally Rei stopped causing Minako to look at her. All of the uncertainty in the world seemed to pool in their eyes. "Minako…promise me…whatever happens that you'll be alright."
"I can't promise that. You know I can't. We battle for Usagi above all else. That hasn't changed, we just have more to fight for now." At that Minako sobered a bit knowing Rei hadn't wanted to hear that all too true response. "Yumi…she's a lot like you in her older form. So standoffish and confused, so inward, just like you used to be when I first met you…before D point…now looking back, D point was nothing like this."
"Yes it is. I died in the fight with Katan. I acted in the same angry manner I did when we were fighting before. This is exactly like D point…it's just we're older now. We have more answers than we had before, but…that's the only real difference." Rei sighed, bringing Minako into an embrace. "If I could give you my powers I would in a heartbeat, you know that."
"That's also why I assume Yumi didn't want to tell us." Minako answered back softly. "However, I have noted something." Minako smiled as she pulled the whip from Rei's side. "You could battle like me, and I, like you. Senshi powers really are fluent…"
"I'm going to miss you, ya know." Rei sniffed, fighting back unshed tears.
"None of that." Minako cried into Rei's shoulder. "None of that from you…not now…not after all of this...we'll be together again soon."
"How can you be so sure?" The voice was that of Rei's passion, her voice thick with emotion and power.
"Because…I can't give up just yet…" Minako answered back, capturing Rei's lips with her own.
"You're positive?" Ami asked softly as her and Yasu spoke softly in the distance.
"As much as I can be." Yasu responded back quietly. "This battle isn't the first, nor will it be the last. To merger your powers should be something you already know how to do. I remember you speaking of old stories where several of you would attack something at the same time. Attacks, rather Senshi powers only have limits within elemental boundaries. Besides that, you shouldn't have any real issues helping to power each other up."
"Rei was alright, what makes you think I won't be?" Ami wondered aloud. "I've fought in my fare share of battles too, you can't be biased."
"I'm not." The teen growled in annoyance. "Look, Rei could have been lost; Flame would have been no more. That's because your attacks can and will cancel each other out. You'll be fighting an opponent who's just as powerful and as smart as you. I'm only thinking of the best logical strategy. This is indeed a war. It's just condensed, that's the only real difference."
"I'm…" Ami sighed running a hand through her hair in exasperation. "I'm just not sure about this. I don't know how to control Makoto's element. In all reality I would deem this dangerous. You can't want me to start shocking things again randomly do you?"
"No, I don't. I'm not so hateful that I want you to know what that's like. Trust me; it's not what one could call fun." Yasu laughed lightly. She knew all too well what would happen if one mixed powers, she herself did suffer similar situations. "Still, we only have three rings on our side. Our ring can't be used lightly; I can't just use it on a whim like we thought… That's why we need you guys to do this."
Ami seemed to quietly contemplate everything she was being told. She knew from before, when she had been carrying the twins, that powers were easy to transfer. However, with that knowledge at her disposal it left her with other questions. She couldn't really voice any of them, none could be worded properly.
Yasu continued, knowing well of the way Ami's mind tried to analyze Senshi situations. "There will be a reaction, I won't lie about that. You'll most likely shock yourself this time around. The causes for the power merger from before just happen to be running around in that grassy field." Yasu explained looking at Nao and Hitomi. "If you call forth any type of electricity, you'll most likely get a good jolt in return. Water and electricity obviously don't mix well."
"Yet you think it's possible?" The incredulous reply left much to be desired. "Say I do call forth Makoto's powers, and, let's say I do end up shocking myself…how is that any better than being attacked from the enemy?"
"I'm alive aren't I?" Yasu wasn't sure how other to explain things than what she had before. "I'm not altogether sure you will make it during the next combative fight. This is the only thing we can think of. We can't allow any more accidents happen like what happened to Rei and this is the only way we've figured out to deal with it. You'll be fighting someone who manipulates water; as a result, I would tend to think using an electric attack would be your best bet."
"I hope you're right Yasu…I really hope you're right..."
Minako had walked back to camp after tearfully seeing Rei off. She knew they would meet again, but Senshi matters came before anything else. It was painful to think about, and, yet Minako had to let Rei go. It was for a better future after all. She walked along slowly, her mind fully on the events of the day when she was taken away from her thoughts. Zori sitting on the side of the stream they had been using to catch fish.
"You didn't go with her." The boy said, looking at his blade, sharpening it lightly.
"I couldn't. My place is here." Minako answered back, trying to conceal her emotions. It was one thing to know that fact; it was another to state it aloud. "Why didn't you go back with Rei?"
"Yumi is here, thus, I am here." The soft clank of metal and rock gave a soothing sound in the place of what would be silence. "Besides, this is our home, the Queen will be back. She is a human after all, in her heart at the very least."
"A human…" The tone was hopeful underneath the saddened voice. "You can still call her that after all of this?"
"Dad told me humans were made because Senshi sinned and died, that Hotaru girl…she says she's human and that was what she wanted…but…I don't know if what dad says is true anymore. Not after the things Yumi says a lot. You were raised by humans, but you're a Senshi. What's the real difference? I guess that's what I want to know."
"There isn't an actual difference." That voice was the wisdom of an adult, a voice that had been quiet for far too long. "I used to think the same thing. That being human and being a Senshi were two completely different things. In some ways it can be. However, I raised Ami and she turned out alright despite all of the odds. She was raised by a human mother to be a human woman, however, as you can plainly see, she holds the title of a Senshi."
"What about you? That's armor a woman of Ice would wear only if they were protecting royalty. You must have powers to equal that as well."
"I don't." Saeko said aloud. "I was told every Sailor Senshi had powers, even you do, don't you Zori?" the boy nodded, but said nothing else as she went on to explain. "I don't have powers like you do. I think it's also because I don't want them, I think you all have unlocked your mind into a state that you could use powers. I haven't because I think deep inside, while I want to be by Ami's side, I don't think I could ever kill, I don't want to use them, and thus, I can't unlock them."
"Senshi powers aren't magic." Minako sighed, knowing what Saeko had thought the powers to be. "You can't turn them on or off, they just are. Plus, I don't remember any of our guards to be able to use powers."
"From some logic I can see the way you think, but, I also think you see things like that because you haven't been forced to view things from a place where power can't spark from your finger tips." Saeko started, pulling out her computer. "Humans, if we are going to generalize such a term, only really utilize their full potential for learning at particular ages. The younger one is, the easier it is for them to learn things, and, the older you get the harder it is to learn new information."
Minako shook her head. "We don't always need to think about them. Emotions have caused particular things to happen; Usagi's powers especially seem to have a lot more emotional standing. If she's highly upset she can total enemies just by crying, or so I've been told by Luna." Minako cringed, thinking on the aspects involving Usagi and the other Senshi. "Anyway, what does all of that talk of learning have to do with powers exactly? For me, it just comes as a second nature."
"I mean, the way we comprehend things." Saeko clarified. "For example, your identities are hidden unless you somehow break the forth wall so to speak. If one person is found out, all of you are found out. At least, that was for the humans of Earth that I knew. In the past, the idea of the Senshi seemed like a rather normal thing, the humans of the future also knew of them."
"Ok…" Minako and Zori gave Saeko an odd look. One of confusion among all else.
"I think Senshi and their elements are more accurately tied to the same basic principal. Like a gigantic brain. Some things are utilized by some parts of Senshi anatomy, others aren't. As a result, you learn some things and others you don't. The things you do learn becomes second nature, while by the same token, the things you don't are things you cannot comprehend later." The woman stopped when she realized she was just talking in circles. This was a recent thought process for her as well, and that as why she couldn't fully explain herself. It was a fascinating thing to think about.
Saeko looked over to Xen, who was on the other side of the river; Hana was also glued to her side. "If you need a second subject of interest, think of Ami. Ice wasn't abundant where she was raised, and yet she grew up happy and healthy. You don't experience the illnesses that the Senshi of your elements complain about. I think that's because you adapted to being human, that's also why I can't grasp the life of a Senshi fully. I wasn't raised to understand it, and all of you had been awakened at an age that made comprehending the powers easier."
"If that's really true, then what Hotaru had told Rei isn't true, at least not fully." The powers of Venus swirled around as she thought carefully, obviously trying to harness her thoughts into something more concrete. "You make it sound like we just fling magic around, and that's not exactly right. Also, humans don't live for years on end like we will."
"How do you know you really will?" Saeko asked in all reality. "Setsuna was the only one besides the cats to really say that outwardly. Cryptic messages are all well and good if one wants to be coy, but I tend to think there is more that Senshi powers, planet powers, or anything at play. I'm not saying there isn't something godlike about you, or that you are merely a human with powers anyone could wield, I'm just asking if you know the true nature of being a Senshi."
"No, but that's because we never posed those questions in the manner you have. All of us, including Ami never really thought to ask about that type of thing." Minako affirmed before sighing at the sky. "This is just too much, I never thought I had to question it before, but, it seems like I have too after all."
"We have other things to worry about." Zori stated seriously as she stood, shaking off the ground cover from his form. "Tonight there will be another battle. Ami will be fighting next, and, since sundown will fast approach, I assume we will be needed at camp."
"I was hoping we would get a reprieve tonight." Saeko sighed on edge about the entire combat prospect.
"Unfortunately, being a Senshi, like we are, waits for no one." Minako chuckled a bit at the thought. "Come on, less worrying more walking, we've been through worse than this."
"I really wish I could believe that…but I have nothing compare this too. All I hope is that we won't go back to the void…"
"You'll be fine, so will Ami. Now let's go," Minako said hurrying Saeko along. "The more you stand around worrying, the more you'll think of bad outcomes. I know from personal experience that in a fight, that's the last thing someone should be doing. Now lets go..."
Yes, like I said, short chapter. I need to get back into the swing of writing again, but it shouldn't take me too long to do. Please Read and Review.