The Third Rising: The unofficial continuation of Destiny's Child
By: Yours Truly
Original Story By: Fire
This is a crossover fiction primarily including Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon, although other series will be featured in varying degrees. I have no rights to any of the characters from these series although I intend to include my own, original characters. I trust you, clever reader, can spot which is which.
This story's far superior predecessor, Destiny's Child, combined the worlds of Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon in a most unusual and interesting way. Instead of present day Tokyo, Ranma is born 400 years before the reincarnation of the Sailor Senshi. When he received his curse it not only turned him into a girl but also kept him from ageing. This meant that he outlived all his relations, including his wife, Akane. It was only after his wife's death that he left Japan and searched for knowledge around the world in order to break his curse. Although he succeeded in becoming wise in the ways of both martial arts and magic, he could not succeed in breaking his curse. Finally, he returned to Japan and met a spirit called Mistress 9 who promised him a cure to his curse. It was at this point that Ranma became embroiled with the Sailor Senshi, while simultaneously falling in love with both Hino Rei and Sailor Mars. Things reached their climax when Mistress 9 took over Ranma's female half and used it to trick Sailor Moon into handing over the Holy Grail. She then used its power to call Master Pharaoh 90 to Earth. Only with Cibi-Usa's help did Ranma regain control of his body and realize that he, in fact, was Sailor Saturn. Using his newfound powers, he destroyed Master Pharaoh 90 and was thereby reduced to an infantile state. It was not until months later that he returned to his proper age, confessed to Hino Rei, and learned that she was also Sailor Mars, who he had courted while disguised as the mysterious Saturn Knight.
The story ends there and, while it is by no means an incomplete ending, ever since I read Destiny's Child I've wanted a sequel to keep the story alive. The author, reasonably enough, does not seem inclined to make such a sequel, especially after so much time has passed since the series' completion. So, I have taken it upon my own unworthy shoulders to complete the tale. Even if I am the only one to read it.
Monday, August 4th, 7059 A.C.E. (After Crystal Era)
She was running through the palace but something was wrong, the pristine, white walls and swooping arches were bathed in a sickly red light. The crystal seemed to absorb the color, and to her, it looked as if the familiar hallways had been stained the color of dried blood. She threw open a set of double doors and stepped into the courtyard. She spun among the flowers, looking around before she tilted her head back and gazed at the night sky. There, hanging in the blackness, was the source of that dreadful light. A planet burned, like the ruby eye of a demon that had come to devour all she held dear…
Usagi woke with a start. Beyond her window, the two suns rose in unusual concert. A sliver of red light had woven its way through all the tall buildings, only to land squarely on her pillow. This must have been the cause her strange dream, though their combined light was more orange than red. But really, now that she thought about it, she couldn't quite remember what the dream had been about. She could remember running, searching for something or someone. And she had been scared, that much she remembered very clearly. Everything else was fading, and fading fast, but the fear remained.
Her alarm went off and even the fear was gone.
Forty-five minutes later the pink haired girl was running out of her house, a piece of toast in her mouth as she tried to yank on her backpack. With an all mighty leap, she managed to enter the pill just before it left the station.
Pills were the main mode of public transport in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Everyone used them, rich and poor alike. True some people preferred hovercrafts, but the Pill system was much safer. Pill wasn't their real name, of course, it was a slang term given to the vehicles because of their oblong, cylindrical design that looked remarkably like a swallow capsule. They traveled in a network of tubes that not only connected each skyscraper but also wove inside all but the most ancient structures. Pilld were also infamous for the incredibly brief period they stopped to allow passengers to get on and off.
With a jolt, the Pill stopped as a brief rush of business men and one student got on, a boy wearing the same school uniform as Usagi's. The boy walked over and slumped into the seat next to her.
Usagi glanced over at the boy and actually thought he looked kind of nice. He had dark brown hair and blue eyes that seemed to twinkle with hidden emotion. She felt oddly drawn to the boy, as if pulled by a rope. She had just decided to introduce herself when he turned and gave her the most mischievous smile she had ever seen.
"You know," he said as his blue eyes sparkled at her, "girls aren't allowed to die their hair at Furinkan High."
Usagi's cheeks puffed out and she frowned, a cute but childish expression. "I don't die my hair, it's naturally this color!"
"Yeah, right," he said, rolling his eyes dramatically, "you were just born with the exact color of bubblegum pink hair die. It seems a few centuries out of date, if you ask me."
Usagi was angry, they had just met and he was already making fun of her hair? Why did people have to be so mean sometimes? And she had actually thought this, this… boy was cute!
"Yes, I was born with this hair color. If you find that so hard to believe, then I have tons of baby pictures you could look at and my hair is the exact same color in all of them!"
His smile faltered for just a moment but then came back even bigger than before, a look of smug comprehension on his face.
"Oh, so you're one of those." She didn't like the way he said that…
"W-what do you mean? One of those what?"
"Hmm? Nothing really, just you know…" He slouched further back in his seat with a dismissive wave. "You're one of those designer babies. The ones for those super rich people. Thos people who aren't confident enough in their own genes to make a baby in the, uh, natural way."
Usagi's eyes widened and she could feel tears threatening. "That's not true!"
"It's OK, really, there are a lot like you at Furinkan High. I'm sure everyone will understand. Your parents just wanted a daughter who looked… special."
Usagi wasn't going to cry, she hated crybabies, but she had to do something. She stood up and raised her hand, ready to smack that cocky look from his face. The boy seemed positively delighted by the reaction he had gotten out of her, making Usagi want to put all the more force into her blow. Then, she was falling forward as the Pill lurched to a stop. Hands flailing wildly, she squealed as her face hit the dirty, sticky floor.
Laughing uproariously, the boy got up and lifted her to feet. With a light shove, she was out of the Pill and standing on the platform. The boy stepped out lightly after her and the Pill shot off around the next bend.
Still laughing the boy walked about ten paces away, while Usagi tried to wipe off whatever might have gotten on her face. A suitable distance away, he spun and shouted back at her. "My name is Katan, Katan Luedeke! And don't worry about your hair, I happen to like bubblegum!"
Usagi stuck her tongue out at his back. She was tempted to run after him to give him that smack she had been cheated out of, but saw arcane clock hung over the entrance of Furinkan High. She was dangerously close to being late; it was her first time at Furinkan and she'd need the extra time to find her classroom. So, contenting herself with making one last face at the boy, she moved off to find her classroom.
Katan remained cheerful all the way to his homeroom, picking on girls wasn't really his style, but for some reason this girl had been different. He just couldn't help himself. He had been compelled. He actually thought the girl was kind of interesting, not exactly his type but interesting. He had been drawn to her almost instantly, teasing her was simple instinct. Something deep inside him had told him to do it, if that was any excuse. Her reactions had been so amusing too, almost nostalgic in a strange way.
He had just settled in his seat and was getting reacquainted with his old classmates when the teacher walked in. Behind the man was a pink haired girl, nervous expression visible on her face.
"Alright class, quiet down." The teacher said in his mild, dry voice. "We have a new student this year. Introduce yourself, Ms. Chiba."
The girl bowed formally saying, "My name is Usagi Chiba, it's a pleasure to meet you all." What followed was a suitably polite murmur of greeting.
"Ms. Chiba," the teacher continued, "has been living on our sister planet, Titan, for the last five years. I expect you all to take this opportunity to learn more about life in the colonies."
Katan's neighbor nudged him and whispered in his ear. "I knew the colonialists were backwards, but what's with that hair!"
Katan punched the kid's arm and hissed back, "Oi! Lay off! She just got here!"
He had no idea why he had just criticized someone for the same thing he had done moments before, but it just felt wrong coming from someone else.
An evil grin spread across Katan's face as the girl ended up being seated directly in front of him. His eyes lost their focus as a pink strand of hair bounced in front of his nose. He couldn't help himself. Looking to the front of the room, he saw the teacher had his back turned as he wrote something on the chalkboard. Quicker than thought, Katan's hand shot out and caught the colorful strand, giving it the smallest of tugs. The girl gave out a satisfying squeak of surprise and spun in her chair, her cheeks puffing out with indignation.
She was about to say something to him, probably tell him off, when the teacher's dry voice cut in. "Ms. Chiba… The lesson is up here. If you don't turn around, I'm afraid you'll have to stand in the hall."
"But he…" Whatever she was going to say withered under the teacher's harsh gaze. She nodded and turned back in her seat, but not before she gave him one last glare.
A satisfied smirk on his face, Katan leaned back in his chair and picked up his exercise ball. Slowly rotating his wrist and shifting the ball in his hand, he let his mind return to the lesson.
Usagi threw herself onto her bed and buried her face in her pillow, trying her hardest not to cry. This had to have been the worst day ever! It all started with that boy… Katan was it? Then everyone wouldn't stop asking her about Titan. They kept insinuating things about the people who lived there. Wherever she went it felt like she had people whispering behind her back.
To make it worse, no less than five teachers stopped to make it clear students were not allowed to die their hair. One was so sure her hair was died that she wouldn't let Usagi go until she had called Usagi's parents. When even that didn't convince her, she went so far as to pull up Usagi's birth certificate! By the time the woman had finally let her go, Usagi was almost thirty minutes late for her next class.
When she had finally gotten to the classroom, she was too embarrassed to explain why she had been late! Her teacher stopped class for a ten whole minutes to lecture her on the importance of getting to class on time. Going so far as to suggest that, 'having lived in such a wild place as Titan, she must have forgotten how things worked in the civilized world.'
It was all so unfair! Titan had declared its independence almost 150 years ago, but people on Earth talked about it like it was still under Terran rule!
People of Earth had done a lot to tame their sister planet, but that was thousands of years ago!
Surely the Titans had earned the right to govern themselves now!
Usagi nearly jumped off her bed at the shrill sound. Removing her face from her pillow, she saw a black cat was sitting on her windowsill, three long claw marks etched into the glass. Hurriedly, she opened the window and gently brought the kitty inside. It was a three hundred foot drop from her window to the ground. She didn't need to add a dead kitty to today's list of already horrible events.
"It's about time! I thought I was going to fall!"
"What? Who said that?" Usagi looked all around the room, but decided she must have imagined it. When Usagi looked back at the cat she saw it had an odd crescent mark on its forehead.
"Usagi-chan, I have a very special request for you."
Again Usagi looked all around. "Mommy? Was that you?" She called, thinking her mother might have spoken from elsewhere in the house.
"Over here Usagi-chan."
This time Usagi saw the cat's mouth move. She sighed in relief, for a moment there she thought she was hearing things. Usagi picked up the cat and flipped it onto its back. Searching through its fur, she tried to find an off switch. It was a robot, that's how it managed to get onto her windowsill.
"Hahaha, stop that Usagi-chan! It tickles!"
Finding a raised bump on the cat's chest, Usagi pinched it.
"Reow!" The cat swiped at her hand, hissing at her. "That hurt!"
Usagi just picked the thing back up and continued to search. Once the fake cat was off, she could take it to her mom and get help.
"Usagi! What are you doing!"
Setting the cat down, Usagi tried a different tactic. "Deactivate," she said, hoping it might operated off of verbal commands. But the cat just blinked in confusion. So she tried a few more words. "Shut down! Sleep! Turn off!"
"Switch off! Stop! Oh fine, let's try… Who do you belong to?"
"Usagi-chan, I don't…"
"What is your owner's name and address?"
"Usagi, wait, just listen…"
"What is your manufacturer and serial number?"
"USAGI! JUST BE QUIET AND LISTEN UP!"
Usagi's mouth snapped shut. Now that she thought about it, how did this robot even know her name?
"I am not some machine or android, like you seem to think I am! I'm a real cat!"
Usagi just laughed, "Don't be silly, real cats can't talk."
The cat looked a bit put out, if a robot cat could look that. "Look, Usagi-chan, my name is Luna and I am a real cat. I have something very important to tell you."
Usagi nodded solemnly, deciding to humor the thing and see what this was all about.
"That's better. I have been looking for you for a long time Usagi-chan."
"There have been some really weird things happening in Tokyo recently. There is an enemy that not even the police can face."
"Usagi-chan, you are going to fight these enemies. You are the chosen senshi! And your mission is to find and to lead the other senshi."
"Usagi-chan! Are you even listening to me?"
"Of course I was, go on." In fact, she had tuned out most of what the cat thing had said. Instead, she had been reflecting on how terrible her day had been.
"You still don't believe me do you? Fine then, how about this!" The cat leapt into the air, doing a summersault then landing back on her feet. Out of the air where she had spun, a gold disk with five different colored jewels on its face appeared and plopped onto her bed.
Usagi blinked and looked at the object, transportation technology was still in the first stage. What had just happened was impossible!
"There!" The cat said, sounding rather satisfied with herself. "Now pick that up and repeat after me: 'Moon Prism Power, Make-Up!'"
Usagi couldn't help herself. She picked up the object, feeling a familiar tingling shoot through her hand as she held it. Raising it above her head in and unconscious motion, she shouted, "Moon Prism Power, Make-Up!"
Usagi's clothes melted away as she was bathed in light. Then, out of the air, new clothing appeared to replace the old. When it was over, she found herself standing in the middle of her room wearing what most closely resembled a sailor school uniform along with a tiara and two large hairpieces that rested in front of the hair buns atop of her head.
"W-what just happened?" Usagi squeaked.
"You transformed into the senshi of love and justice, Sailor Moon!"
"What? That's impossible! What does that even mean!"
"No, it is not impossible," Luna said patiently, "it's magic."
"That's the same thiiing!"
"Magic is real Usagi-chan." The cat had a concerned expression on her face as she looked into the pink haired girl's eyes.
"No, it's… Wait," Usagi clapped her hands to her ears, "I hear something…"
"What is it? What do you hear?" There was a new sound of urgency in Luna's voice.
"I hear… I hear screaming. People, people are calling out for help. And I feel something, it's odd… I, I don't like it… it's… cold, and dark, and, and…" She shivered, she couldn't tell what else she felt but just that it was something, something…
"Can you tell where it's coming from? We must help those people!"
"It's, it's… coming from, from… That way!" Usagi finger pointed down and to the east.
"Hurry, open the window Usagi-chan."
Usagi didn't even question the cat as she opened the window, that cold feeling still foremost in her mind. The cat jumped lightly onto the windowsill. Then, without so much as a backward glance at the girl turned senshi, Luna jumped off into thin air.
Usagi cried out in shock and ran to the window, fully expecting to see a black speck of kitty falling into the distance. Instead, she saw the strange cat had landed easily one of the large tubes used by the Pills.
"Jump," the cat shouted up at her, "Sailor Moon, jump!"
Usagi backed away and shook her head. The kitty was insane! The tube was almost twenty feet down, even if she hit the tube, Usagi would be injured and surely fall off afterwards. She wouldn't do it!
"You must jump Sailor Moon!" A sense of urgency entering the cat's voice.
There was no way she was jumping. No way. What was that cat, creature, thing thinking? Asking her to do something so stupid. Usagi backed further away from the window, shaking her head. Then, the voices returned. Men and women pleading for help. They were even loader then before, screaming, crying out for someone to help them. They needed a savior, they needed Sailor Moon!
"In the name of love and justice! For the innocent people who need you!" Luna yowled into the night. "Jump! SAILOR MOON!"
Then screamed in pure terror. The scream ending with a splat as Usagi managed her second face-plant of the day.
At least this time it was just soot that stuck to her face, instead of the floor slime from the Pill. And, amazingly, she felt OK. Her nose throbbed a bit. But, other than that, she felt perfectly fine.
Standing on that curved surface was another huge act of courage. And it was only complicated by the most inconvenient pair of heels, courtesy of her Senshi uniform. But the cries for help drove her up and on. Soon Sailor Moon was running on top of the tube, Luna keeping pace beside her.
The voices that filled her mind led her to a night district, the kind that was full of high class dance clubs and also where the most expensive prostitutes could be found. Fortunately for Usagi's innocent eyes however, the normal activities of the district had closed down and police were everywhere. Officers wore riot gear and S.W.A.T. armored transports flew in, unloading their black clothed occupants. Above, both police and news hovercrafts filled the sky.
"Lunaaa," Usagi whispered, "I don't think we should be here."
Luna let a stern eye rest on the girl. "Wherever there are innocent people in danger, there Sailor Moon should be also!"
"But the police are everywhere! They can take care of whatever's wrong…"
"The police can not handle this foe!"
"But Lunaaa," Usagi knew she sounded childish but she had to make the kitty see sense, "There are cameras everywhere! What if someone recognizes me? I can't be seen here, not like this!"
"Usagi-chan, no one will recognize you." Luna explained patiently. "A glamour was included in your transformation, no one can tell who you are."
Usagi took no heart from this information and only hunkered down lower, determined to stay out of sight.
A balding man stepped forward in a reflective metal vest, designed to protect the wearer from both lasers and firearms alike. He slowly brought a loudspeaker to his lips. Usagi was pretty sure he was about to make some sort of demand. But, before he could speak, the whole area went dark. Every single light, sign, and glow winked out at the same time. Even the spotlights over head were black.
There was confusion everywhere as the police scrambled to find the source of the sudden outage. It was then that a single lholo-screen came to life. Displayed was the face of a man, or at least, Usagi thought it was a man. She couldn't be sure because what she really saw was the black helmeted head of someone in a dark cloak with gold trim.
"Welcome!" the man's voice boomed out from a thousand speakers. And, with that one word, every holo-projector within a hundred yards switched on. Each image was of the same. Each showed the black helmet and gold cloak. The figure was mirrored a million times over in every street and alleyway, on every phone, gameboy, and laptop. The faceless multitude stared out at their dumbstruck audience and it was as if Usagi could hear their combined laughter at the silence they had caused.
"Welcome," the figure said again, his voice as black as night and terrible as thunder, echoing from every corner, booming out from every alley, "I am your host, Zero. And welcome to the debut of the Black Knights!" One arm swept artfully out as half the holograms changed. Men and women, dressed in black uniforms, stood guard over a group of people who huddled in fear in the center of the room. The camera zoomed in to capture the faces of weeping women and pale faced men, some were bruised while others had long scratches and torn clothes, all looked as though they had suffered. Usagi's felt her heart twinge at the sight, but cowered still further from sight.
A soft chuckle brought everyone's attention back to the Zero's inscrutable, masked face. "Yes, yes sad…" he said, sounding positively cheerful at how he had abused the hostages. "But… if our demands are not met, I will be forced to kill every last one of these poor, poor people." Then man paused, as if he had just thought of something amusing, "If I'm not mistaken, there are some rather prominent individuals in this crowd…" Waggling one finger he continued, "I don't think that's how the people want their money to be spent, Mr. Senator."
There was something scary in the way the man spoke and moved that belayed his light words and chilled Usagi more than she could describe.
The police had recovered quickly from their shock and searchlights roared back to life. The dark cloaked man was stood on the balcony of the surrounded building, as if he had wanted to be seen. The Zero hadn't even flinched under the sudden light. In fact his dark cloak almost seemed to absorb the light, twisting it and pulling it into tendrils darkness that swirled in around him like a second robe. Shadows spread out from beneath his feet in all directions. Larger than they had any right to be, they danced under the shifting spotlights. The myriad of silhouettes seemed to Usagi to be the legs of some monstrous spider, one that had just begun to spin its loathsome web.
"TAKE THE SHOT!" Even Usagi could hear the order as the balding man bellowed into his microphone.
Red lines of power cascaded from every building, beams of pure destructive energy, all aimed at one man. But just before crashing into the black figure, each one was turned aside. It was as if the invisible hand of a giant had blocked their path. Rocketing away, they dissipated harmlessly in the surrounding buildings.
"So be it." Zero's voice reverberated with malice, coming from every direction at once.
Usagi's eyes returned to the hostages and she gasped in horror. The men and women she had almost thought stylish in their matching black uniforms now changed. Hair grew and fangs bulged from over large mouths. Tails and claws ripped perfectly tailored seams and red eyes glowed from deep sockets. Then, everything was plunged into darkness once more as even the holo-screens turned black. There was an explosion, and then Usagi heard the screaming. She would have nightmares about those screams, but they were nothing compared to what she saw. Laser fire lit fangs and claws as S.W.A.T. transports were sent flying. Riot shields were ripped to shreds as the street was flooded in red.
The police tried to hold the line, but their lasers fire went straight through the beastmen. Gaping holes closed instantly and seared fleshed flaked away to reveal new, healthy skin beneath. The police officers were thrown about like ragdolls, until only chaos reigned.
Usagi could see everything from where she cowered. Tears rolled down her face and only the fear kept her from crying out. She watched in wide eyed horror as an arm flew from the melee only to land beside her.
"Sailor Moon!" Luna was shouted in her ear, but Usagi was in a state of shock and could even here the cat. She just kept staring at the blood pooling from beneath the arm, unwilling to accept that this nightmare could be her reality.
"Sailor Moon! You must act!" Luna's paws pounded against Usagi's chest. Her big, cat eyes showing her own fear and desperation.
"Go away…" Usagi said quietly, "just leave me alone…"
"You are the only one who can stop this! The only one who can defeat those monsters is you!" Luna yowled in desperation. "It is up to you, and you alone!"
Usagi looked at the cat in disbelief, dark despair clouding her eyes. "But, but what can I do against… that!" She howled, gesturing forlornly to the arm, to the beastmen, and to the general carnage below.
She didn't even try to stop it as tears poured freely down her cheeks and her nose dripped into her mouth. It was hopeless, hopeless! Even if should could somehow manage to defeat those monsters, what then? That black hearted man would surely kill the hostages.
"Think!" Luna shouted. "You are Sailor Moon! You fight for love and justice! Believe Usagi-chan, you must believe in yourself!"
Usagi shook her head and her body trembled. But Luna took her head in both her paws and forced Usagi to look again at the chaos that had been made of the police. Usagi saw a young woman, lit only briefly by the red light of sniper fire. She was twitching in pain as blood poured from a missing leg. Usagi couldn't stop the sob of pity that escaped her mouth, before the officer was once more cloaked in darkness. But seeing at that woman, bloody and torn as she had been, Usagi knew that she could not sit idly by. She could not cower in her little corner as people suffered and died right before her eyes. And, for the first time since she donned the uniform of Sailor Moon, Usagi began to feel the power that came with that name and title.
Memories, memories only half remembered, stirred inside her. They lifted her to her feet, causing her to stand and face the darkness that surrounded her. She was Sailor Moon! She had fought for love and justice since she was but a child! A million demons she had banished, and a million evil men had she laid to rest. No half breed filth was going to stop her from protecting the innocent! No mutated creatures of darkness could cause her to cower and hide her face from what needed to be done!
Usagi's jaw clenched and Luna could see the light that blazed in her eyes. "Yes… Yes! That's it, Sailor Moon! Now, for your first attack. Grab your tiara and repeat after me: 'Moon Tiara Action!' Then throw it for all you're worth!"
Usagi lifted a delicate hand and took the tiara from her head. She held the ornament in front of her and was somehow unsurprised as it turned into a disk of golden, glowing energy. Taking aim at the nearest monster, she didn't need to see it, but could feel the dark presence. She could sense as it crouched over something on the ground. Pulling her arm back, she spoke the words Luna had just taught her.
"MOON TIARA ACTION!"
The disk flew straight and true, slicing the monster in half, transforming the foul creature into dust. But the disk didn't stop there, Usagi wouldn't let it. Exerting her will over the golden energy, she turned it, directing it at the next monster, and the next, and the one after that. She kept that little disk going until it had destroyed each and every monster she could reach with her senses.
When the tiara finally returned to her, she was exhausted. She slumped against the nearest wall and panted for air. Usagi felt drained down to her very soul.
There was a soft thunk as something landed next to her and her back stiffened. The silhouette was dark against the gloom. But, at that very moment, as if it responded to some cosmic cue, a spotlight flashed to life.
Zero stood there, like a wraith in the night. His black helmet gleamed with menace, the only part of him to reflect any light.
His laugh was deep and twisted by the inner fire of hatred. "Well done, I did not think it was possible. You have humbled me. But please, let me know the name of the one who could best all of my creations in a single instant?"
Usagi suppressed an almighty shiver, the man's voice was dark and persuasive. She could feel it chip away at her will, making her want to obey him unconditionally.
Still, she stood, feet spread, and announced herself for all the world to hear.
"I Am the Warrior Who Fights for Love and Justice! I Am the Beautiful Sailor Suited Senshi! I Am SAILOR MOON!"
Usagi half expected to hear the man's twisted laugh once more. But when the man spoke next, his voice was soft and quiet. "So you are," he said, almost murmuring it to himself, "so you are…" He turned away from her in a swirl of black. "So what now, Sailor Moon? Do you punish me, in the name of justice?" His voice once again strong and heavy with a dark purpose.
"Of course!" was Usagi's immediate reply. Her hand shot up to grab the tiara from her forehead.
"But then," Zero continued, "if you did… What would happen to the hostages?"
Usagi's hand stopped, this man, this evil, clever man wouldn't just leave the hostages unguarded, would he? Had she done something to harm them like she had originally feared! But no, he wouldn't be here, talking like this, if they were already dead. Would he?
"If you've harmed a hair on those people's heads I'll…"
"You'll what?" The man shouted, voice dripping with sarcasm. Usagi felt the breath knocked from her body by the mere force of his words. The man laughed softly at her and continued in a lighter tone. "But look! The hostages are well…"
With an airy wave of his arm, all the holo-screens clicked back to life.
Usagi looked away. She could not bear to look in the eyes of the people she could not save.
Usagi's head snapped up. Zero's shout had been one of anger and surprise.
"That… is… impossible!" Every word forced out from behind the dark visor.
Usagi looked up just in time as the tip of a thorny, green blade exited the last beastman's skull. Before she could take in the man who wielded that green blade, the Black Knight's leader turned on her with a snarled. Lifting his hand, dark fingers came together as they pinched the air. Usagi watched in fascinated horror as the man drew from the ether a crackling bolt of lightning.
Usagi could feel her blood turn cold and sweat beaded her back. She wanted to run, but her feet were rooted to the spot. She wanted to do something… But her body just wouldn't move! Her bones ached, she was so tired. And, as shameful it was to admit even to herself, she was just too afraid.
The dark form lifted the bolt of energy over his head, ready to strike at her heart. And all Usagi could do was stand and watch her death unfold.
Red flashed against the dark of night. A scream rent the air and the lightning died in a crack of thunder. The dark man was crouched before her, one hand cradling the other. From the back of Zero's hand blossomed a single rose, impossibly perfect, vividly red.
"Fear not, Sailor Moon!" Usagi looked, and there, on the balcony, stood the swordsman. "Help will always there when danger threatens!" He wore a black tuxedo, a small white mask over his eyes. In one hand, he held a green sword. It was long and thorny, a miniature rose adorning its pummel. In the other, he held what could only be a common rose, the twin of the one piercing the helmeted man's hand.
The beastmen's leader turned on the newcomer and the very air crackled with his furry. But it was at this moment that some instinct kicked in and Usagi used Zero's distraction to her advantage. Summoning her power once more, she called out her attack.
"MOON TIARA ACTION!"
The golden disk sliced through the man. His dark shape crumpled and Usagi let out a long held breath. A hope she had held, a hope never to repeat this night.
She waited several minutes but the dark lump did not move. She wanted to check the body, but was too afraid of what she might see if she got any closer. A brief squeeze on her shoulder, before she had realized it, swordsman was next to her. Reaching down, he lifted up a black cloak with gold trim, severed cleanly in two.
The evil laugh came out of the night, and seemingly from every direction at once.
"We will meet again!" The dark voice shouted as it faded into the distance. "Until the next time, Sailor Moon!"
Usagi could only feel relief, it was over for now, at least. And one thought did comfort her, she knew one strong ally would be on her side. She looked around for the swordsman, hoping to speak to him, but he had already gone, disappearing into the night.
It was then that Usagi noticed the balding man who had been in charge of the strikeforce, three large rents marred in his no longer shiny vest. He was making a beeline for her with a grim expression on his face. It was time for her to disappear as well. She didn't like the idea of explaining to the police about the talking cat who had persuaded her to interfere, nor why she had chosen to come in such scanty attire.
Exhausted Usagi made it back to her house but nearly fell climbing in her window. Without a second thought, collapsed onto her bed. In the back of her mind, she just wished she could forget the whole night's events. Usagi would be only too happy to go back to the snide remarks and whispers of Furinkan High if only it meant she could forget Zero's twisted laugh.
The last thing she felt before sleep took over was a warm, furry creature cuddling up next to her. At least she had her cat…
In a place covered in grey mist, divorced from both time and space, a man shrugged on a freshly pressed black cloak with gold trim. Next to him stood a woman with long green hair, her mouth set in a grim line.
"What do you think you were doing out there?" The woman admonished him.
"What you told me I should be doing." Replied the dark clothed man, his helmet hiding an amused expression.
"That was not what I had had in mind!" The woman's voice, tight with emotion.
"I thought it went rather well, actually."
"Well? That was a disaster! What if they had…"
"But they didn't. Don't worry so much." The man's tone was cocky, almost arrogant.
"But so many were…"
The man cut her off again. "This was just the opening act. The next time will be different."
"Hmmm," the woman didn't look convinced, "just be careful. I don't want any mistakes."
"Stop worrying! I have everything under control, you'll see…"
Phew! Well that's chapter one done with. Not bad progress, if I say so myself! If anyone out there is confused, GOOD! You're supposed to be confused at this point. Although, if you're too confused, then I'd suggest looking at the date at the beginning of the chapter for reference. It will probably take me a while to get the next chapter done so use this time to read Destiny's Child if you haven't yet. Or if you have already read it, then read it again!
Yeah, so this is revision two. I was working on chapter four and felt I needed to re-read my earlier chapters. But when I did, I realized just how many errors there were! Since I was having a bit of a block at the time, I decided I might as well clean up my other chapters. Well, I ended up changing more than I expected, but that's ok. This version is closer to what I had envisioned in my mind. The most important thing for me, especially with this first chapter, is just getting stuff out. If I worry too much about things being perfect, they never get done. I don't intend on publishing unfinished work, but don't be surprised if I continue to revise things in the future.