Pre-note: "In the Beginning" is a series of short stories that lay the background mythology that I use for view of the Sailor Moon Universe. These stories will be written in no particular order, other than when I decide to flush out a particular aspect that I am writing about. I hope you enjoy reading these and Babylon 5 fans out there will notice many thematic similarities. The Sailor Soldiers in some ways can be considered akin to the Vorlons.
Disclaimer: A reminder I own none of the characters of this story, all rights are owned by others. However, the unique circumstances of the story are mine. If you distribute the story, do only so freely and inform me of where you post it.
Within the center of the Milky Way Galaxy lies a densely packed region of worlds known simply as the Core Worlds. Life developed here first and would be extinguished here first as well. At one time powerful mage warriors protected the planets and guided their peoples; they were called Sailor Soldiers and were led by Sailor Galaxia. But as the people of the Core Worlds grew wiser, they finally reached their third age, when they no longer needed the ever-present guidance of the Sailor Soldiers.
Recognizing the coming of age of their people, the Sailor Soldiers turned over the reins of power to the people and vanished. For the first hundred years, speculation was rampant on where the guardian warriors had gone. They could not have gone far, for they had said should they be needed they would return. But as generations grew old and passed away, the speculation dwindled and the stories of the Sailor Soldiers became more myth than history. While magic was still present in the core worlds, the powers that the Sailor Soldiers had were far beyond those of even the most powerful mages. And so those myths became legends, fit for nothing more than mere children fairy tales.
The Core Worlds consisted of a federation of hundreds of star systems, calling itself simply the Republic. Rule in the republic belonged to the Senate. Epsilon was one of member worlds. Like all of its fellow members, they had advanced space technology, with orbiting space stations and superluminal space flight. However, the interest of the Core Worlds did not extend to the galaxy at large.
Their history told of probes being sent to the outer worlds in the distant past. Even some legends told of colonists setting off to find infant life on the distant worlds and to guide them. However, they had never heard back from those supposed colonists. If they had been set out, they must have perished. A ring of a hundred light years surrounded the core worlds, devoid of any inhabitable systems. Ships would require months to cross this void, and so interest in the rest of the galaxy had never been high since the days of old.
One of Epsilon's citizens was a young lady named Alexia. Like a good portion of its population, she lived in one of the massive orbiting space stations. Long before even the fabled Sailor Soldiers existed, Epsilon's population centers had moved into space, allowing the planet to regain its greenery. Except for the capital city, no cities remained on the planet. When she had first arrived, she had only been able to afford the most minimum of quarters with her meager savings. But, now with the success of her business, she had been able to move into modest sized quarters just a few months earlier. Unfortunately, like all her successes, it was insufficient to please her parents; they would be only happy once she returned planet side and began following what they considered a normal career and gave up her side interests.
Like everyone in the Core Worlds, Alexia had grown up with stories of the Sailor Soldiers. However, unlike others she never tired of the stories, always wishing them to be true. Eventually her interest had to become secretive to avoid being ridiculed by her peers.
Both her parents were minor functionaries in the planetary government, a very well respected career on Epsilon. They of course expected Alexia to follow them into government service as well. Because of the status their positions brought, they had attempted to wean Alexia early on from the legends, since only the uneducated low classes believed those stories. Like many people on Epsilon, status to them was of the utmost importance.
However, Alexia hated the snobbishness of her parent's associates. Desiring to follow her heart, she left home immediately after coming of age with her life savings. The money was just sufficient for a shuttle to a relatively new space colony, a month's rent on some quarters and a storefront, plus some supplies.
From an early age, she had shown an exceptional gift with the thread, capable of weaving and sewing the most elegant of articles. This had been her childhood hobby, her opportunity to escape from the world for a time and relax. Like many of her peers, she had decided to follow her heart when she came of age. Her parents were of course extremely cross at her, but also recognized the need for their child to attempt to fly on her own before crashing to the earth and then being shown the correct career path.
Of course, they had not counted on her being successful. They had expected to hear from her before the end of the first month, asking for some money for the shuttle ride home. But by the middle of the month, Alexia had already made the deposit for an extended lease on her quarters and store.
Alexia remembered how ecstatic her parents were when they found out about her success. They might have preferred that she follow in their footsteps, but they were willing to let her follow her heart if she was successful. But that lasted for all of two months, the result of her decision to weave tapestries. One evening about a month after arriving on the station, she had gotten the urge to do some weaving in the evening and begun work on her first tapestry. When she began her work, she had no plan to her weave. Guided just by the instinct of her heart she weaved a tapestry depicting a Sailor Soldier protecting Epsilon.
After a few nights' worth, she had finished the tapestry. Deciding that someone might like to buy it for a child's room, she had brought it into the store to display. A few days later, she finally had a buyer for it. She had not thought too much about it when she sold it. However almost immediately she was besieged by various inquires from patrons wondering if she was going to make another one. Very quickly thereafter, the tapestries became her top selling item. Customers would purchase them saying that they would be perfect for their child's room, however, she was sure that at least some of those patrons did not have any children.
Since each tapestry that she created was unique, it was not long before she found herself needing additional material for her scenes. As a result, she began spending her weekends researching and studying the legends. She guessed it was about a month after the tapestry sales had really taken off when an art critic for the news organization had interviewed her. Looking back on it, she should not have been surprised by the phone call from her parents following the airing of that story. They very clearly wanted to know why she was spending time studying that "rubbish".
From that time forward, relations with her parents had been rough. She still loved them and would go home for the holidays, but now she was always counting the days till she would leave and return to the station. With a sigh Alexia closed her suitcase, the Summer Solstice festival would begin shortly, so once again she was heading home. She hoped the good news she had would finally appease them, but did not give it much hope.
* * *
Arlene stood is the lobby awaiting the arrival of the shuttle. She hoped that maybe this time she and her husband would finally be able to talk some sense into that child. At first, she had been happy for her child in her success as a seamstress, but those tapestries were just too much. She had brought shame to the family, their social peers now looked down upon them, because of her daughter's fascination with the Sailor Soldiers.
Seeing the people begin filing out of the gate, she called to her daughter. The two embraced before heading to collect Alexia's luggage and then head to the car. Silence persisted for most of the journey, only punctuated when absolutely necessary, neither one yet ready to begin the arguments.
Arriving home, Alexia hugged her father and brothers. Then putting down her bag, she decided to make her announcement. Hopefully this will finally convince them to accept my fascination. "Mom, Dad, I have some great news."
"What is it Alexia?" asked her father.
"I just got a commission from the Republic Senate to provide tapestries for their new chambers. They are really interested in scenes depicting the Sailor Soldiers of each of the member worlds."
"WHAT!?!" yelled both her parents, preventing her from saying anything more.
"Alexia it is time for you to give up this foolish hobby. You are of high social ranking, you are just humiliating yourself by this fascination over these fairy tales." her father roughly scolded her.
Alexia prepared to retort, but saw the cold anger in her parents' eyes and knew that she could never change their thoughts. Instead, the pride she had felt from the moment she had received the communique notifying her of her selection collapsed, to be replaced by sorrow. With tears now streaming down her face she grabbed her bag and ran into her room, slamming the door behind herself and threw herself onto the bed.
Alexia lay there crying; while her parents stood outside her room telling her it was no use crying and that they were only telling her the truth. Finally, for Alexia's sake, exhaustion from the trip home set in and she fell into a deep restless slumber.
* * *
The warm morning sun greeted Alexia who had thankfully fallen into a more restful sleep in the early hours of the morning. Waking to its bright light caressing her body in the bed, she stretched, but did not move to get out. 'A few more minutes,' she thought to herself, hoping to gather some strength before facing her parents. She knew that as soon as she joined the rest of the family for the morning meal, both her parents would start right back in on her. It would be like this for the rest of the week, her only moments of solitude coming when she retired for sleep. At times, she wondered why she still went home for the holidays; certainly, she would be better off just staying away.
Finally deciding that she could put off the inevitable no longer, Alexia stood and shuffled into the washroom to clean up. That was when the ground shook throwing Alexia to the ground. What happened?, she wondered. Rushing, she left the bathroom and headed towards a window to look out. What greeted her was smoke and fire rising from rubble that used to be a fair portion of the city.
She did not get a chance for any more thoughts, when another explosion threw her back to the ground. Realizing that staying inside was a death trap, she left her parents' flat. Finding her way down to the street, she managed to escape from the building before it too collapsed. Looking around she could see rubble to the horizon, with only a few remaining buildings. Scared as never before she wanted to run.
Seeing a bolt of energy slam into the ground, she followed back from where it came up and behind her and saw a warrior floating in the sky, a warrior that she identified as a Sailor Soldier. What's going on? I thought the Sailor Soldiers were all gone, and aren't they supposed to be good? she thought as she became even more afraid. Now no longer carrying that she had no idea of where to run, she ran, she just wanted to get away from that being. Something was terribly wrong.
Clambering over the rubble and dashing around collapsed buildings, she ran. But before she could get too far, a bunch of exposed fiber cables snagged her foot and she was thrown to the ground. Landing roughly she attempted to disentangle herself. A sudden wave of pain when she moved her foot told her that she had another problem he ankle was shattered. Even if she was able to free herself, she could go nowhere. Lying on the ground, she decided that at least she would watch the destroyer of her world before the end. I only hope the military is able to stop her in time. she thought.
Only minutes after shattering her ankle, the fleet arrived. From orbit, the destroyer rained death down upon this evil Sailor Soldier, while the fighters did so from within the atmosphere. Unfortunately, she was too quick for them, and too resilient to their attacks. But they were neither quick nor resilient to hers, and in short work, she had decimated the fleet. They would have been better off just running for the stars, at least that way some of their people might have survived. As it was, it was a slaughter. The final bit of hope went down when the Sailor Soldier turned the last of the orbiting destroyers into nothing more than an expanding cloud of metal vapor.
However, all hope was not lost. With it looking like the world's fate had been sealed, a new hope arrived. A crackling of energy in the sky shimmered into a new warrior. Addressing the other warrior, this new one spoke. "How dare you attack these peaceful people. I am Sailor Epsilon and I will punish you,"
Now with hope that she might actually live, Alexia watched the two Sailor Soldiers fight. As the battle waged on her hope continued to increase, as it was quite apparent that Sailor Brakeri, that was what she had identified herself as at some point, was slowly being defeated. With a final blast of energy, Sailor Epsilon defeated Brakeri. With the shattering of the two bands that Brakeri wore, her falling body dissolved into motes of light.
This however, appeared to surprise the Guardian Soldier. Later after the transformation, Alexia would realize that Sailor Epsilon's surprise was over there not being a Sailor Crystal in the dead body. Death for a Sailor Soldier occurs when their Sailor Crystal is cracked open, releasing its energies. Any Sailor Soldier can feel that released energy. But this Soldier had no crystal, which was impossible.
That was when the laughing began. Alexia had read of evil laughs in stories, but thought it to be nothing more than an author's elaboration. But, this was clearly an evil laugh. Turning her head, Alexia saw another Sailor Soldier appear, this one adorned in golden armor. From the legends, she knew this to be none other than the most powerful of the Sailor Soldiers, Galaxia.
"Galaxia what is the meaning of this?" questioned Sailor Epsilon
"Why nothing more than ending the Sailor Wars forever. I am simply collecting all the Star Seeds." She replied. With the end of her explanation, she shot two spheres of energy that slammed through the guardian.
Alexia watched as a Sailor Crystal painfully emerged from the guardian's body and was then snatched by Galaxia while Sailor Epsilon's body fell fading to the ground. With a laugh Galaxia vanished, but not before unleashing a blast of energy, which would destroy the planet.
Bracing herself for death, Alexia was surprised when she felt no pain, but suddenly a warm tingling sensation in her body. Daring to open her eyes, she saw that the ruins of her home planet were gone, replaced by mists. Her legs shaking, she stood up and regarded her surroundings. How she was able to stand on her broken ankle, did not cross her mind, overwhelmed as she was by other questions. Looking around she noticed that the mists extended all around her, even below her, causing her to question if she was even standing on solid ground. Am I dead? she wondered.
"No you are not dead Setsuna-san." replied a voice answering her thoughts.
As Alexia turned, confusion on her face, she an ethereal being appeared before her. The winged being glowed with a bright, though comforting silver light, and she spoke answering the second question that was forming in Alexia's mind.
"I probably should not call you Setsuna yet, you really only go by that name for a small portion of your existence. But the names of my friends are important to me, they hold far more meaning than the names that they held in their past or their future. I know this all sounds confusing to you Alexia, but soon you will understand why I think of you as Setsuna."
Though not yet understanding, Alexia did feel more at peace. Something told her this being in front of her cared for her, and would protect her. "I would be lying if I told you I fully understand, but I trust you." Replied Alexia as she bowed to the being in front of her.
"Ah! Don't bow to me! I hate it when my friends bow, I could barely tolerate having my people bow when I was queen." yelled the exasperated holy being.
Alexia immediately backed off her bow, though this time a faint smile crossing her lips. The smile served to finally to break the tension and fright that had been plaguing the young woman. Thinking clearly again, she decided to ask some questions.
"If you don't mind me asking, if I am not dead where am I?" she asked and then stuttering she realized she did not even know the name of her savoir. "And what is your name?" she decided to ask in addition.
"This is a realm outside of time, yet it controls time." The being began, and with a wave of her hand, some of the mists parted to reveal an elaborate gate. "That is the gate of Spacetime, which allows worthy travels to journey through time. As for myself, I am the soul of the cosmos itself.
"I know you know of the legends of the Sailor Soldiers, it is partially why you have been chosen. In your time, I do not yet exist, but here at the gate those distinctions have no meaning. I have had many names; those of my time would call me Sailor Cosmos, however the name, which is most dear to me, is that of Tsukino Usagi. But you Setsuna-san should just call me Usagi-chan."
As the Sailor Soldier of the Cosmos finished her description of her name, she used her powers to grab hold of the lines of time for one final manipulation. Being the Cosmos itself, she had control over all its powers, including time. The strands of time warped and flowed around her body till only a young school girl of about fourteen Earth years was left; Tsukino Usagi.
Alexia stood in awe as the being in front of her shimmered and changed from the omnipotent being to nothing more than a simple schoolgirl. The girl walked towards Alexia, who now had no fear what so ever. As the child stopped in front of her she held out her hand, and in it she held a green glowing crystal, one that looked exactly like the one stolen from Sailor Epsilon. Well not exactly, somehow its shine did not seem right.
"What is it?" asked Alexia with slight trepidation in her voice, having recognized the crystal.
"It is a Sailor Crystal, it is the physical representation of our souls. Its glow comes from the second half of our souls, our source of power. Mine is the Cosmos itself. However this is only half a Sailor Crystal, it is only the soul of a planet. But now it can be complete, Sailor Pluto."
"Me?" replied a shocked Alexia.
"Yes, you are, will always be Sailor Pluto. Of all the Sailor Soldiers, you are the one who can never die permanently. You are the first of eight new Sailor Soldiers whose power is that of elemental magic itself. Your domain is that of the four dimensions of spacetime.
"Take the crystal from my hand and you will become Sailor Pluto, for now and forever. Or you can return to moment of time I plucked you from. But if you take the crystal, there are a couple of rules. You will receive other rules and swear other allegiances of oath, but these two always take precedence. You are charged with protecting the time-stream to ensure that Sailor Cosmos awakes. Second, any damages to the time-stream must be fixed in kind.
"Alexia do you accept the requirements of your job. Do you swear an oath to the Cosmos itself?" challenged Usagi.
Hesitating only a moment, Alexia reached out and grabbed the crystal while saying "I swear an oath of allegiance to the Cosmos and will abide by your rules." As her hand closed around the crystal, she knew why she had felt always felt somewhat empty.
As she brought her hand back to her chest the crystal flared, its shine penetrating through her clenched hand. Even as it did that, the crystal began to dissolve into pure energy and flow in Alexia's body. When the glow had died down, the sigil of Pluto was clearly visible on her forehead and she was now adorned in the uniform of the Silver Millennium Sailor Soldiers. Reaching out her hand, she felt the Staff of Time solidify in it. And then from her chest a burst of light emerged, forming into the Garnet Orb.
Taking a hold of the orb, it began to glow brightly with its all-knowing pink light. Opening her mind to the streams of time, she gained knowledge of events past and events to come. When the orb's glow died back down and she reopened her eyes, Alexia was dead. That woman had died with the others when Galaxia destroyed Epsilon. She was now simply Pluto, a phoenix born from the ashes of Alexia's soul and body.
Knowing all that she needed to know, Pluto affixed the orb to her staff and looked once more at Usagi. "My queen," spoke Pluto as she dropped to her knee in a low bow. Though a smirk crossed her mouth, knowing of how much it annoyed Usagi to be addressed as such.
Standing back up, she barely had time to smile before Usagi ran up and embraced her friend while tears streamed down the golden haired girl's face. Unlike the Guardian of Time, Usagi did not have the benefit of knowing how events would turn out. She only knew that this had to happen for what she knew to happen, but she had had enough experience with time to know that the timeline is never the same twice.
Since stepping one final time into the realm of the Gate of Spacetime, doubt had enshrouded her. What if Alexia did not like her? What if Alexia blamed her for the death of her planet, for not stopping Galaxia, after all she was supposed to be the most powerful Sailor Soldier.
Stepping back, Usagi looked at her good friend. Getting a hold of herself she spoke, "The circle is complete and now I can finally join the others in sleep. I have missed them, Rei-chan, Ami-chan, Mako-chan, Minako-chan, Hotaru-chan, Michiru-chan, and Haruka-chan. Mamo-chan and ChibiUsa have been here in my heart all these years, but now I can be with them again." said Usagi as her form began to fade.
Pluto, only beginning her life as a Sailor Soldier watched as her queen, the person dearest to her reached the end of hers. This was not a sad parting, just one that needed to be. Usagi, herself, was ready to embrace the eternal rest that now beckoned her. Pluto on the other hand was just beginning her journey with her queen.
As the last bit of Usagi vanished, Pluto said a prayer first from her home planet. This would be the last time that her life as Alexia surfaced. Then she said a prayer from Usagi's native culture, a prayer from Japan. Usagi may have begun her life as Serenity, but she was Usagi. Usagi was the one name that would forever best describe that most pure being, the soul of the Cosmos.
Her prayers finished, Pluto stood and grabbed her staff. Walking over to the gate, she raised her staff, sending its energy to unlock the gate. Stepping into the gate she disappeared to her new home, the planet Pluto.
-Well I have gone back and finally spruced this story up for release. Took care of the slight problems with Sailor Epsilon and Sailor Brakeri.
-You will notice that I use Sailor Soldier here instead of Sailor Senshi. I use Sailor Senshi strictly for Japanese speaking characters. Yeah I know that with FOT I screwed up a bit and the Dark Kingdom and Rubeus refer to them that way as well.
-Epsilon 3 is the planet in which Babylon 5 is in orbit of and Brakeri is one of the alien races in Babylon 5
-Don't worry I am still working on the next Fragility of Time chapter. Chapter 24 has just gotten a wee bit on the long side (near 40 pages right now). It may be get broken into two, but that won't accelerate it release much.