Book, Staff, and Spirit Productions

Welcomes you to:

Sailor Moon L(ovecraft)

A Fusion with concepts from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

Episode 1

Passage and Folly!

New Evils Emerge

Note: Understanding this story requires no prior knowledge of H.P. Lovecraft or any of his writings. It does, however require a fair bit of knowledge of the anime series Sailor Moon. Like you'd be here if you didn't already have that.

This story takes place after Sailor Moon S. It can be considered an alternate universe, since it takes place of Sailor Moon Super S.

1

"I PAAAAASSSSSSEEED!!"

The cry echoed through the Juuban district of Tokyo.

2

A small, withered old woman looked dubiously at the book that she had just purchased, and then glanced at the woman who had sold it to her, who was just leaving the store. Cologne had expanded recently, deciding she could make some extra money selling rare used books, of which she had many. She had memorized them all anyway, and had been having Mousse type them all up as text files and burn them onto CD's for future generations of Amazons. Modern technology certainly was a wonder, for all her distrust of it.

This book now... She didn't like it. It was in Latin, a language (one of the few) that she couldn't read, and what little she did know of it, which included the title, made her feel very nervous. Well, she'd just have to put it where some idiot would be sure to find it soon.

3

While Hino Rei rechecked all the answers on Tsukino Usagi's high school entrance exams in one corner of her temple room, Usagi and the rest of the Inner Senshi sat around and ate some cake. "After all," Kino Makoto said after swallowing, "this is cause for celebration!"

Usagi finished her fifth piece of cake, and grabbed a sixth. Just before she started shoving it into her mouth, she said, "That's for sure! I'm so happy! Now I can goof off again!"

Aino Minako giggled. "Your teacher sure was surprised, Usagi! She looked like she'd seen someone walking over her grave! You should have seen it!"

Both Mizuno Ami and Usagi developed large sweat drops. "Uh, I did see it, Minako," Usagi said.

Minako blinked. "Oh, yeah. I forgot."

Ami shook her head and said, "Minako, do you mean she looked like she'd seen a ghost? Or that she felt like someone was walking over her grave? Either way, I don't think those really describe her reaction. She was just surprised." Ami took a sip of milk and said, "By the way, Mako-chan, how'd you know Usagi would pass the exams?" She indicated the cake, which at one point had been covered with Kanji made of icing that read, "Congratulations, Usagi! You passed!"

Makoto shrugged. "I didn't. I put the icing on five minutes before we got here."

Usagi sweat dropped again. Then she looked over at Rei and called out to her, "Rei, don't you want some cake? It's almost all gone!"

Rei suddenly slammed down the answer sheet and leapt at Usagi, grabbing her by the front of her shirt. "WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH USAGI?!"

"EEEK!" Usagi shrieked. "Rei's gone crazy!"

"REI! CALM DOWN!" Makoto yelled, and leapt to try and pull Rei off of Usagi. As soon as Makoto touched her, though, Rei let go of Usagi and burst out laughing. Minako and Makoto blinked and then started laughing too, and even Ami allowed herself a chuckle.

When Rei's giggling had subsided, Usagi glared at her and said, "Not funny, Rei. I don't always fail my tests! And we studied lots for this one." The last was said with a bit of a whine.

"You always fail the big ones!" Rei retorted, still with a bit of a smile.

"I DO NOT- er, well, actually, I guess I do." Usagi looked sheepish. "But I don't fail all the important big ones."

Makoto grinned and grabbed Usagi's graded answer sheet. "And this proves it!"

"Fine," Rei said mock-grudgingly. "You did good, Usagi."

Usagi flashed her friend her best genuine smile. "Thanks Rei. That means a lot."

"Of course, getting in was the easy part. Now you have to study even harder to get through high school!" Rei said triumphantly.

Usagi developed a really big sweat drop.

"NOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

The cry echoed through the Juuban district of Tokyo.

4

Umino Gurio slowly and carefully removed his treasure from the triple layers of paper that it had been wrapped in by the owner of Nerima Used Books (a store which strangely seemed to be connected to a ramen restaurant). The owner had been a shriveled old lady who hopped around on a walking stick, and he'd been rather surprised (and not a little worried) at the speed she'd wrapped the ancient book, especially considering she hadn't even looked strong enough to lift it.

The book was in Latin; the store keeper hadn't even been able to read it. He had gathered she was Chinese, though she had spoken excellent Japanese, and hadn't been surprised that she didn't know Latin. However, Umino was very well versed in Latin (as well as English, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic), and had been very excited by his find. "De Vermis Mysteriis," he breathed, a little in awe.

The store keeper had seemed pretty happy to get rid of it. This made a certain amount of sense, since this book was reputed to be a curséd tome containing horrific arcane secrets able to drive the steadiest of minds insane. Umino wasn't really surprised that the old Chinese store keeper had been eager to sell it; anything to get it out of her store.

Umino laughed a little. He was excited to see what De Vermis Mysteriis actually had in it. He really wasn't too worried; after all, there was no such thing as magic. Except for the Sailor Senshi and all the monster things they fought, but they didn't count.

With another chuckle, Umino settled down to read.

5

Usagi stared up at her (quite literally) brand new school. Seele-Gehirn-Nerv (SGN) High School had been built over the summer on massive grants from a very rich German expatriate who seemed to care very much for the education of his new homeland's youth. He had also provided for the acquisition of the very best teachers in the nation. Usagi's parents had been ecstatic that their daughter had gotten into such a good high school. Usagi herself wasn't quite sure how it had happened.

"Quite the place, huh?" Rei said to her left.

"Yeah, it's- Rei? What are you doing here?"

"This place is so highly rated my parents were actually okay with me leaving my private school."

"Mine too," Minako said from her right.

Usagi jumped, startled, and glared at her friend. "Mina-chan! Don't do that!"

"Do what?" Minako asked innocently.

"Hey, guys, what are you doing here?" Mako-chan said as she and Ami walked up. Rei and Minako repeated their explanations.

Ami smiled radiantly. She was clearly excited. "That's fantastic. Some of the best teachers in Japan are going to be teaching us!"

"Huh," Minako grunted as her attention was caught by one of the many groups of boys walking by.

"Yeah! There are all sorts of wonderful people." Ami started listing them enthusiastically, ticking them off on her fingers. "There is Professor Habuki Washu, the world famous physics and chemistry Nobel prize winner, Doctor Akagi Ritsuko, an award winning lecturer and writer on biochemistry, medicine, and computer science, Makibi Kiyone, a forensic scientist who has worked with dozens of investigative organizations around the world..."

Makoto and Rei had now joined Minako in drooling over all the hot boys entering the school. Usagi wasn't worrying about the boys, having her relationship with Mamoru, but she was gazing with awe at some of the older girls heading towards the school. "They're so gorgeous..." she whispered enviously.

Ami blinked and looked at her friends, none of whom were paying attention to her. Loudly, she said, "There's always Jurai Tsunami Sasami, the Emperor's personal chief, teaching Home-Ec..."

That got Mako's attention. "Omigod, are you serious. Jurai Tsunami? The Jurai Tsunami? She's the best cook ever! I've got to go sign up for Home-Ec!" she cried, and ran towards the councilor's office.

Ami smiled, and said, "There is also the art teacher, one Takeuchi Naoko, the main artist for the Sailor V manga..."

Minako didn't even stay long enough to say anything. She was quickly gaining on Makoto.

Ami definitely had Rei and Usagi's attention. She was grinning now, and said, "There is even Katsuragi Misato, the best-selling historian of religion and war."

Rei blinked. "YOU KNEW ABOUT THIS AND DIDN'T TELL ME? YOU KNOW I'VE READ ALL HER BOOKS!" With that, she was off after the other two.

Usagi looked hopeful. "Any special teacher for me?"

Ami looked at her a little surprised. "Well, I had rather thought Takeuchi-sama would have gotten you as excited as Mina-chan."

Usagi looked embarrassed. "Well, yeah, I'd love to meet her, but I'm such a horrible artist I couldn't be in her class. Minako's probably good enough, but I don't think I am."

Ami shrugged. "I'm sorry. I'm sure you'll find a teacher here you can look up to. They have the very best in Japan—even the world!—here."

Usagi sighed. "That's good. I'll probably need them." She looked up at the school. "I'm worried, Ami. I don't know if I can handle such a prestigious place."

Ami smiled at her friend. "Usagi, I truly believe going to this school is the first step in your gaining the grace, poise, and experience that Neo-Queen Serenity will end up having. You'll do fine, and I'll help you as much as I can."

Ami kind words made Usagi feel warm and fuzzy inside. "Thanks, Ami. I'm glad you believe in me."

The two friends hugged, and Ami whispered, "Always, Sailor Moon. Always."

6

Umino was startled out of his reading by a scream out in his yard. He was instantly up and heading for the door, because he knew that voice; it was his girlfriend, Osaka Naru.

Just as he reached the door, Naru burst in, her expression half way between being ready to cry and ready to yell at someone.

Yelling won out, even as she threw her arms around him. "Gurio-chan, there are maggots all over your yard! What have you been doing?!"

Umino blinked and looked out at his yard. When he saw the writhing white piles of maggots, he blanched. Sure, he liked bugs, but this was a little much, even for him. "I have no idea, Naru-chan. I haven't been doing anything with maggots. They aren't even very interesting."

"They're gross is what they are. You pick me up at my house tomorrow morning. I don't want to come back here until you get rid of those things!"

Umino smiled at her as she gave him an upset look. "No problem, Naru-chan. Whatever you want."

She gave him her most serious glare. "And don't you dare experiment on them."

Umino looked sheepish, scratched the back of his head, and grinned ingratiatingly. "I wouldn't have dreamed of it."

Naru looked at him through narrowed eyes, then laughed. "Of course you wouldn't have. Come on, Usagi's probably beat us to school by now." He grabbed his briefcase, she took his hand, and they headed off to school. Naru did, however, walk very quickly down Umino's front walk.

Back on Umino's kitchen table, the open pages of De Vermis Mysteriis rustled slightly. Slowly, a twitching white grub writhed out from between the pages.

7

Ami was excited. Her very first class was Physics, with Professor Habuki Washu. The woman was an absolute genius. Word had it she was humorous and witty, too. Ami had her briefcase open and her brand new Pentium 4 laptop on her desk, ready to take notes. The students around her talked and goofed around, as usual, not realizing how lucky they were to be in this class. Except for Umino. He seemed as fully prepared as she was, right down to his new laptop.

Minako, on the other hand, was dreamily watching one of the boys in the class. He was a major cutie, and had his shining brown hair in a long braid down his back. He was chatting with two other guys, one real big, wearing black and purple warm ups, and another, a red head with poofy hair in an unbuttoned white shirt and glasses. The kid with glasses was only half paying attention to the conversation, it seemed, because he was busily recording everything in sight with a video camera.

Ami started to feel nervous when the bell rang and the teacher hadn't arrived. She glanced over at the door in time to see two young girls walk through the door, and blinked in surprise. One had an incredibly massive, spiky pinkish red hairdo, while the other's hair was silver gray and in two pony tails that stuck out from the side of her head, a little like Chibi-Usa's. They look about twelve. I wonder what they're doing here, she thought.

Minako jumped and let out a small scream when a voice directly over her shoulder said, "Cute, aren't they?"

Turning to the speaker, she found a smiling red headed girl standing in front of her desk. Behind the red head, a silver haired girl stood expressionlessly, her hands clasped behind her back and her large yellow eyes carefully watching everything that went on in the class.

"Uh, er, yeah, they are. Especially the one with the braid." She blinked, then said, "Uh, hi. I'm-"

"Aino Minako, yeah, I know."

Minako blinked again, and said, "Oh. Okay. Who're you?"

The girl grinned and said, "You can call me Washu-chan!"

Minako blinked yet a third time. "Okay. Are you Habuki-sensei's daughter?"

The silver haired girl rolled her eyes and muttered, "Baka."

Washu-chan continued smiling. In a purposefully loud voice, she said, "No, I am Habuki-sensei, but I'd really prefer to be called Washu-chan!"

The class was suddenly quiet, as everyone turned and stared at the red headed girl. Ami stared in shock. This was the famous Professor Washu?

"Yes, I am the famous Professor Washu, in case you're wondering. If anyone makes a crack about my incredibly cute, childlike appearance, they'll have an extra three-thousand word report on quantum mechanics."

Just then, the assistant principle, an elderly man called Professor Fuyutsuki Kouzou who had spoken to them during orientation, walked in and said to the redhead, "Ah, Washu-sa—er, chan, how is the class? Everyone behaving, I presume." He gave both the professor and the class a grandfatherly smile.

His question cinched it for the class, and everyone's attention was definitely on the redheaded gi- er, woman—now. She replied to the principal, "Just fine, Professor, we're just getting acquainted. I'm looking forward to teaching this class. I understand I have some very bright pupils in here." As she said this, her eyes flashed from Ami to Umino to the boy with the camera to Minako, and on to others. Ami caught the meaningful look, realized that she'd been the first given that look, and blushed self-consciously.

Fuyutsuki nodded. "Excellent. Well, I have plenty of classes to check on. I'll leave you to your students." With that, he left.

Washu turned back to the class, and said, "Well, as it has been made abundantly clear by now, I will be teaching this class. It will not be an easy course, and I will expect everyone's best effort." There were a couple of stifled groans, one of which would have been Minako's if Washu hadn't been standing right in front of her. "However, you will be glad to know that I am not particularly fond of homework, so I will not give a lot if I believe that everyone understands the concepts and is doing their best." With this, there was a scattering of cheers. "I thought you'd like that. Finally, Ruri Ruri-chan, here," she nodded to the silver haired girl, "will be my teaching assistant for the Physics class."

The silver haired girl looked at Washu out of the corner of her eyes and said, "Please just call me Ruri, Professor."

"Of course, Ruri Ruri-chan. Now, does anyone have any questions?"

Ruri sighed. "Baka."

Umino raised his hand. "Yes, Professor Habuki-sensei, what will we be covering in this course?"

Washu pushed a button on her desk and a large tanuki statue fell on Umino's head and stuck, shaking him up quite a bit. "Again, please call me Washu-chan. To answer your question, we will be covering basic concepts such as velocity, momentum, force, acceleration, conservation of mass, trigonometry as it applies to movement, electromagnetism..."

Ami sat back and listened happily to the Professor go on as the other student's eyes began bugging out of their heads. Yes, she was definitely going to enjoy this class.

8

All around the world, it began. Their sense of timing was most peculiar, though few would ever realize this.

Of the coast of Okinawa, deep under the shining blue waves of the Pacific, croaking voices that hadn't been human for a long, long time began the chant. "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. CTHULHU FHTAGN!" They were soon echoed by voices, human and less so, under the Atlantic near Innsmouth, Massachusetts, on strange and forgotten islands far in the south Pacific, in hidden, frozen caves of Greenland, and a hundred other secluded places around the globe.

Deep in the shrouded Severn Valley of England, a different cry went up from voices that were human, more or less. "Iä Iä! Shub-Niggurath! Ai Ai Ai!" This one also rose from the backwaters of Massachusetts and in the empty plains of Nevada and Arizona.

In the deepest recesses of hidden caverns, so black that the darkness was palpable, slitherings and slatherings could have been heard, along with strange, high pitched sounds that at times resembled the discordant notes of decaying chimes. This all occurred among massive stone monuments that, had there been light, would have resembled nothing any sane person would ever want to see.

In ancient, primeval forest of northern Wisconson, a solitary figure chanted in front of a mysterious rock formation that resembled nothing so much as a mass of gigantic bubbles. "Yog-Sothoth is the gate, Yog-Sothoth is the key..."

And high in one of the shining glass towers of Tokyo, a strange silver whistle began to blow, and another chant rose. "You Who Must Not Be Named, our Master, our Savior, send us your Servants, send us the Children of Aldebaran!"

9

When the girls (including Naru) and Umino met for lunch after third period, they had much to discuss.

"Wow, Jurai-sensei is so great!" Makoto exclaimed as soon as they were assembled. "She was so nice, and she really seems to want to pass on her skills! And she complimented me on my okonomiyaki!"

"And she was so beautiful," Usagi chimed in wistfully. "I wish I could be like her."

"I don't know who was more fantastic," Ami bubbled, "Akagi-sensei or Washu-chan!"

Rei blinked at her in confusion. "Washu-chan?"

Ami blushed, realizing her error. "Habuki-sensei, for my physics class. She insists on being called Washu-chan."

Rei shook her head. "Weird."

Naru asked, "How was biology? You all had it, right?"

Umino nodded. "Akagi-sensei is very intelligent. She has a triple PhD in computer science, biology and genetics, and is a licensed Medical Doctor besides!"

"I understood all the stuff she was talking about!" Usagi said.

Everyone blinked in surprise. "Really, Usagi-chan?" "That's great!" "Congratulations!" "Good for you!"

Usagi clapped her hands over her ears. "Augh! Stop all talking at once!"

They all stopped, then sheepishly scratched the backs of their heads.

Umino was watching some of the people walking by and noticed the boy he had sat next to in Computer Science. The kid was an American exchange student, and Umino had found him really interesting, since he didn't have a problem understanding the boy's English. He called out to him. "Hi, Caduceus-kun! How are you?"

The boy stopped and looked around, apparently looking for who had called his name. By the time he saw Umino, all the girls were looking at him. He blinked and paled. He was clearly nervous as he made his over to where he could talk to Umino without having to yell.

The girls studied him as he made his way over. He was almost, but not quite, as tall as Makoto. He seemed trim and in shape, though his shoulders were narrow, and he the school uniform looked a little silly on him, as if he should have been wearing something else. He had brown hair, and wore glasses, but they were thin ovals, unlike Umino's, and made him look sophisticated, not nerdy.

His conversation was hardly sophisticated, though. "Er, hello, Umino-san," he said to Umino. He directed an unsure, "Uh... Hello..." towards the girls, and several had to hide smiles. He continued with, "I'm doing well, I think..." After trailing off, he stood looking uncertain for a moment.

"You enjoyed your classes so far?" Umino asked.

The boy seemed to think for a moment, then laughed and said, "Yes, what I understand. Everyone speaks much more quickly here than we did in my Japanese courses back home. I hope I don't accidentally say something stupid because I don't know what someone said to me."

Ami smiled and said in English, "You're doing very well."

He looked surprised and happy, then replied in English, "You speak English? I know Umino here does, but every other time I've spoken English today, everyone around seemed clueless!" He noticed that Makoto, Rei, and Usagi (not that he knew their names) all looked pretty clueless after he said that.

Minako did too, and said (also in English), "Well, you've found a couple more who won't be, but we should probably speak Japanese while we're hanging out with these dorks." Then, switching to Japanese, she said, "I'm Aino Minako. You know Umino, this is his girlfriend Osaka Naru, this is Mizuno Ami, that's Hino Rei with the dark hair, odango-atama there is Tsukino Usagi, and the tall girl is Kino Makato," motioning to each as she named them.

The boy stared at Minoko for a moment, then shook his head. "I'm Iain Caduceus," he said, smiling hesitantly at them. Then he paused. "I mean Caduceus Iain." Switching to English, he muttered, "Is that right?" Then, back in Japanese, "Er, my family name is Caduceus and my given name is Iain. Okay?"

They all laughed, and he blushed. "Um, it was nice to meet you all. I need to go find my next class, I think."

They all replied pleasantly and politely, and he made his way back toward the school. As he walked off, he pulled an English-Japanese dictionary out of his pocket and muttered in English, "I thought Usagi was the word for rabbit..."

When Minako, Ami, Umino, and Naru broke up in laughter, Usagi cried, "What? What'd he say about me? Come on, stop laughing!"

10

The five undercover senshi and Naru filed into the English Literature class, and took surprised glances at the teacher's desk. The teacher (who was the only one Ami hadn't known who was) was already sitting there, apparently making some last minute notes. Ami hadn't known who he was because he was quite clearly an American.

Eventually, the bell rang for class to start, and the teacher slowly pushed himself to his feet. He seemed to be a rather frail man, not much taller than Usagi, and very thin and pale. He also seemed to be very nervous, as if he expected something unpleasant to appear at any second. The class quieted as he began speaking in excellent Japanese. "Hello, class. My name, in the English order with given name first, is Randolf Carter. Since this class is English as well as Literature, I will expect everyone to call me Mr. Carter. Not Carter-sensei, not Carter-sama, not Carter-san, but Mr. Carter."

He paused, and they nodded. He then smiled and continued. "However, I hope to make this an interesting class. I know many of you still have problems speaking English, which of course makes reading English literature a chore, not a pleasure. However, I believe I have some strategies that may help. Half of you had significant problems with English in middle school, I know, because I requested all the grades of the students I'd be teaching, and set up the classes so that half of each class would be composed of students who did well in English, and half would be students who didn't. I intend to partner you all up. One will be a student who doesn't do well, and one will be a student who does."

Some of the students who knew they were good students groaned. Carter smiled and said, "I know none of you are particularly eager to either tutor or be tutored by your classmates, but I believe this method will help both parties. It has been proven that the best way to learn something is to teach it, and I hope this will be the case for the tutors. Now, here is the partner list." With that, he clicked on the overhead projector.

Our heroes stared. By some frightening coincidence, Naru had been paired with Usagi, Ami with Makoto, and Minako with Rei. Minako said it for them all when she whispered to Makoto, "Scary."

The class went very pleasantly as Mr. Carter eased them into it slowly, letting them tell a little about themselves in Japanese and then helping them to translate it into English afterwards. However, as Usagi trailed after her friends after the class was let out, she noticed how frightened Mr. Carter's eyes seemed as he gazed out the window of the class.

11

"Our first day in 11th Grade is over, Haruka," Kaiou Michiru said as she stretched her arms high over her head, eliciting a slight flush and a smirk from her lover.

"Yep, and we didn't see any of the Inners even once. Kind of a shame, really; I rather wanted to talk to Odango-atama." Ten'ou Haruku replied.

Michiru laughed. "The only thing you wanted to do was freak her out by hitting on her again. I know you. You really shouldn't tease the kids so much."

Haruka laughed an infectious laugh, which Michiru couldn't help joining. After they calmed themselves a bit, Haruka wiped at the corner of her eye, and said, "I know, but it's just so funny." She laughed again, and said, "Life is just so much better since Sailor Moon kicked Pharaoh 90's ass. Everything just seems so perfect!" To Michiru's shock, Haruka suddenly grabbed her and kissed her right on the lips, before letting her go and waving to a couple of staring passersby.

Michiru shook her head with mock anger and smacked Haruka upside the head. "Come on, Perfect-san. We need to be going. Setsuna's expecting us." With that, she started walking ahead.

Haruka rubbed her head and made a face at her lover, then followed.

12

Umino grinned like a maniac as he made his way home after dropping Naru off at her house, one peck on the cheek closer to getting laid. Not that Umino thought along those lines, being a hopeless computer nerd with no sex drive, but that isn't his fault, now, is it?

At any rate, Umino was pretty happy as he approached his house, when, to his surprise and excitement, he saw a large garter snake slithering down the street towards him. "Wow!" he muttered to himself. "I wonder what a snake is doing in the middle of a Tokyo street. I better hurry home and see if I can get back and catch it!" Umino broke into what was, for him, a fast run, and quickly reached his yard. At which point he came to a screeching halt and stared in shock.

Not only was the grass buried under a squirming carpet of maggots, dozens of snakes were burrowing in and out of the mass. There were several large holes in the layers of grubs, two or three feet in diameter, which seemed to lead down into darkness and had a constant light rain of maggots falling into them. The little worms were spilling onto the raised concrete walkway, and there was a thin layer on the sides of the house up at least a foot.

Umino felt distinctly sick, and decided something had to be done quickly. He gingerly made his way to his front door, and rushed up to his lab to concoct something that would deal with the bizarre infestation of vermin.

A few moments after Umino disappeared into the house, another hole suddenly materialized in the lawn, causing the premature disappearance of hundreds of writing larvae. Almost immediately, something long, thick, grayish, and segmented emerged out of it, slithered wetly through the maggots, and dove again, leaving yet another hole as its tail disappeared from sight.

13

C-kun: [walks out onto an empty stage and faces the audience, smiling] Hello, gentle readers. I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am, as you might surmise, the author of this story. I really don't have that much to say here, since most of what I want to say to you all will be in the author's notes at the end. However, there is a certain reason that I decided to have this little intermission here. As you've probably guessed by now, this story falls partially into the genre of horror, and thirteen is a very special number in the world of superstition and evil. To tell you more, I present to you a very special guest, Chibi-Cultist Ayanami Rei from the incredible Neon Genesis Evangelion fan fiction epic Children of an Elder God, by Rod M. and John Biles!

[Chibi-cultist Ayanami Rei walks out. She is only inches tall, and a larger image of her is projected against the wall behind her. She is a typical Chibi-version of Ayanami Rei, except for bizarre black robes, brightly glowing red eyes, and a tiny book in her hands that looks suspiciously like a miniature version of De Vermis Mysteriis.]

Chibi-cultist Rei: [shouting (very loudly for an inch tall girl)] Iä Iä! CTHULHU FHTAGN! PH'NGLUI MGLW'NAFH CTHULHU R'LYEH WGAH'NNAGL FHTAGN!

[Silence]

Chibi-cultist Rei: CTHULHU FHTAGN, YOU STUPID F---S! DO YOU HEAR ME? CTHULHU F---ING FHTAGN! RUN, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, FOR THE LOVE OF-!

[A very long cane pops out from offstage and hooks Chibi-cultest Rei, dragging her off the stage kicking and screaming, leaving nothing but her tiny book behind.]

C-kun: [sweatdrops] Uh, sorry 'bout that. I think ol' Cthulhu must be a little more Fhtagn than usual today. Or maybe a little less. Something like that. [kneels down and picks up the book, which immediately turns into maggots, causing him to jump like he'd been bit on the- uh, you know.] Gross. Anyway, basically, I just want this story to go well, so I'm not going to risk having a regular scene 13, since 13 is an unlucky number. That's why I invited Chibi-cultest Rei to talk to you all. Unfortunately, [he looks at the maggots with distaste] that didn't go too well. Anyway, I think I'll let you get back to the story, now. Happy reading! [walks off, and the audience hears slightly demented laughter and a lot of screaming about Cthulhu off stage.]

14

Chiba Mamoru whistled a little tune as he approached that infamous corner where he'd collided with Usagi so many times before they had discovered their destiny. He chuckled a little as he thought about it. Those days seemed to last forever, he thought. I still sometimes expect to- "Oof! He slammed square into someone as he rounded the corner, and fell to his butt.

He rubbed his head, and looked up to find the boy he'd hit shaking his. The boy was smaller than he was, though significantly larger than most kids his age, which looked to be around sixteen—Usagi's age. Looking up at Mamoru, the kid suddenly turned incredibly pale. "Chris?" he whispered.

Mamoru blinked in surprise, and said, "No. I'm Chiba Mamoru. Who's Chris?"

The boy started guiltily and shook his head. "Sorry, I'm very sorry. You just reminded me of an old friend of mine." They both got to their feet, and the boy continued, "But you're a lot bigger than him, and your eyes are the wrong color. He had these weird gray-green eyes, and yours are dark blue." He shook his head again, as if trying to get some image he didn't like out of it.

Mamoru laughed, and said, "You didn't look happy to see him when you said his name."

The boy's expression suddenly went blank as he said, "You wouldn't be too happy to see someone that was murdered before you eyes either, especially when you were too scared to help."

"Oh." Mamoru was sorry he'd asked. "Uh, well, what's your name? You aren't from Japan, are you?"

The boy drawled, "It shows, does it?" Then he smiled a sardonic smile. "I'm Caduceus Iain. I came to Japan to find some peace of mind and forget about everything that's wrong with my life, and instead I keep meeting people who look like my dead friends."

Mamoru raised an eyebrow. "Keep? Who else have you met?"

Iain shook his head. "A girl named Aino Minako in my Biology class looks just like Chris's girlfriend, Megan."

Mamoru laughed in spite of himself, and murmured, "Won't Usako be jealous..."

Iain blinked. "What?"

Mamoru laughed again. "Sorry, just thinking out loud. My girlfriend is Minako's friend Usagi. She'll undoubtedly be irritated to hear that Mina-chan looks like your friend's girlfriend, not her."

Iain shrugged. "Oh." He paused for a moment. "You're a senior than?"

Mamoru shook his head. "No, sophomore in college." He wasn't surprised by the look he received, and said, "I only just turned twenty, and she's been sixteen for a while. I'm not that much older than her. Besides, it's a long story."

Iain looked dubious for another moment, then suddenly laughed and said, "Well, if you're anything at all like Chris, it would rather have to be." He bowed formally, and said, "It's been a pleasure to meet you, Mamoru-san."

Mamoru returned the gesture, and said, "No, the pleasure has been all mine, Iain-san. I'd like to hear more about America from you. Where are you staying?"

Iain looked embarrassed. "Actually, I'm at a hotel where until the people in charge of exchange students find me somewhere to live."

"Really? I know a couple of places you might be welcome."

Iain blinked again. "Uh, thank you. You really don't need to trouble yourself-"

"No, no, it's no trouble at all? How does staying at a Shinto temple sound to you?"

"Uh, I had a friend who studied Shinto once."

Mamoru raised an eyebrow. "In America?"

"She lived in Japan for a long time as a child."

"Ah. Whatever happened to her?"

"She's dead."

Mamoru winced. "Oh. Sorry." He paused, and then, even though he knew he shouldn't, "Is everyone you knew dead?"

Iain gave Mamoru a sharp look through narrowed eyes. "The Stars are Right, Mamoru-san. You'd do best to remember that."

Mamoru stared back in confusion, but then Iain smiled, and said, "Sorry. Let's go see this temple of yours, if you're willing."

"Uh, sure." Mamoru lead the way, wondering about the strange answer, but deciding not to be rude by pushing.

15

"The Thane of Fife/ had a wife," Haruka muttered to herself, then smacked herself in the head. "I hate Shakespeare."

Machiru grinned at her. "Ah, what's wrong, Haruka. Too difficult to actually learn something for once?"

"Hmmph."

"Well, you didn't have to take the Shakespeare course, just 'cause I wanted to."

"Hmmph."

Michiru laughed, and then sang out in the eeriest voice she could force through her vocal chords, "Haaaarruuuuuka! Beeewaaare the Ides of Maaarch!"

Haruka punched her gently on the arm. "Cut it out, Michiru."

They had almost reached Setsuna's house, which was a little past Hiwaka Temple, and were walking through the nice residential neighborhood it was in. To their surprise, a block ahead of them, Mamoru and a boy they didn't recognize walked out from a side street. Haruka looked at Michiru and asked, "Should we bug him?"

Michiru shrugged. Haruka smiled. Then she increased her pace, all the while being as quiet as possible. When she was only a few feet behind the unsuspecting pair of men, she crouched down, launched herself forward, and in a frighteningly good impression of Usagi, cried, "Mamo-chan!" as she threw her arms around Mamoru's waisted. It was all Michiru could do to keep from collapsing from laughter.

Mamoru jumped about a foot and snapped, "Usako! Don't do that!" Then he blinked as he reached back and felt the short hair of the girl who was clinging to his waist. He slowly looked around and found Haruka grinning up at him.

"For the love of the kamis, Haruka!" he shouted, jumping out of her grip. "What on earth do you think you're doing?"

Haruka could barely stay on her feet from laughing, and a few feet behind her Michiru was having a hard time not chuckling as Mamoru glared at them both. Iain was standing back watching the display a little nervously.

As she calmed down, Haruka straightened up and said, "Oh, the expression on your face, Mamoru. You should have seen it."

Iain was definitely a little confused. He looked a little closer at Haruka, and said, "How'd you get your voice to go so high, dude? I've not met many guys who could really sound like a girl like that."

Haruka was feeling saucy, and did something she really knew she shouldn't, and wouldn't have in any normal circumstances. But her good mood from the lack of enemies in the past few months, not to mention the endorphins currently filling her brain from laughing so much, seriously affected her judgment. She flashed poor Iain; he immediately passed out.

Mamoru blinked a couple of times, and then sighed in irritation. "Good going, Haruka. Make the exchange student pass out, why don't you."

Haruka shrugged and grinned. "Oops." She looked down at him. "He'll be grateful. It doesn't look like he's seen much of that anyway."

Michiru smacked her on the back of the head. "You're acting weird, Haruka. Snap out of it. And you better not be going around flashing your breasts in the future, or I might have to get jealous."

Haruka winced, because when Michiru was upset with her, life wasn't too pleasant. "Sorry, Michiru-chan."

"You should be."

"Ladies..."

They turned their attention back to Mamoru, only to realize he seemed to be focusing on something behind them with a very worried look on his face. Hesitantly, they turned around. They didn't like what they saw.

Before they even finished turning around, they noticed the unpleasant smell of ozone. The next thing they noticed was the creature's multifaceted, glowing red eyes that seemed to be glaring angrily at them. It hissed and bared its gleaming, steel-colored teeth. Other than the teeth, the head reminded them of both a vulture's and a preying mantis's at the same time. Its black skin seemed to be rotting and peeling away, revealing equally black overlapping ribs, along with other organs that just didn't look quite right. It had two hands, each with five fingers and two thumbs, all tipped with vicious, horny claws. Two long antennae swept back over the head. Its lower body was much like the lower body of a wasp, and was covered with long hairs. Finally, its bat-like wings were tattered and looked like they wouldn't work; clearly, they did somehow, as five more of the creatures seemed to be coming in for a landing behind the first.

Mamoru glanced at Iain to make sure he was asleep, then reached under his jacket, pulled out a rose, and in moments was Tuxedo Kamen. He jumped over the two girls, placing himself between them and the creatures, and launched the rose at the first one. The steel-tipped rose of doom made a sound much like a bullet hitting an armored car as it ricocheted off the creature's chest and buried itself in the ground. It left behind a long stretch of tattered skin, and he realized that the ribs weren't really ribs at all; they were some sort of chitinous exoskeleton that just happened to have a layer of skin-like stuff over it.

"NEPTUNE PLANET POWER, MAKE-UP!"

"URANUS PLANET POWER, MAKE-UP!"

The last of the creatures make a crash landing as the rest of them hid their eyes from the light shows that always accompanied a senshi's transformation. Tuxedo Kamen took the opportunity to launch another ineffectual rose. "What the heck are these things?" he asked himself.

"It really doesn't matter." Uranus said, coming up beside him. "WORLD SHAKING!" The great ball of golden-orange energy ripped up through the ground and slammed into the first creature, which looked very unhappy for the second or so before it exploded into grayish dust.

As Neptune yelled, "NEPTUNE DEEP SUMERGE!" from his other side, Tuxedo Kamen launched two more roses at the second and third from the front. Neptune's liquid energy hit the one in front, and in moments it melted into a blackish sludge. The first rose hit the second in the eye, causing it to cry out in pain (an incredibly disturbing sound, though the reasons for that feeling were hard to place), then to fall to the ground and, in a matter of mere moments, collapse into a small pile of the same blackish gray dust. The third creature snapped at its rose, but the rose flew right through its open mouth and buried itself in the back of the creature's throat, causing it to follow its companions into oblivion.

Despite the rapid destruction of the first four, the final two creatures didn't hesitate. They charged forward with frightening speed, slashing at Tuxedo Kamen and the senshi with their claws. Uranus and Neptune dodged out of the way, and Tuxedo Kamen tried to, but one of the monsters caught his cape, turning a goodly portion of the armored garment into red and black party streamers. Tuxedo Kamen decided it probably wouldn't be a good idea to be caught by those claws.

Within seconds, the last two creatures were destroyed as Uranus and Neptune once again called upon their powers. The two senshi and the top-hatted warrior all paused to catch their breath.

"Any more?" Neptune asked?

Tuxedo Kamen and Uranus immediately started scouting (no pun intended) the immediate area, but were soon back. "It's clear," Uranus said. Neptune nodded and they all changed back to normal.

And not a minute too soon. Behind them, Iain groaned and sat up. "What the heck just-" He saw Haruka, and blushed. "Oh, yeah. Uh, I think I'll just be quiet."

Haruka, who was feeling much more normal (for her) again, smiled ruefully at him and said, "Sorry about that. I was in a weird mood." She walked over and offered him a hand up. He stared at her for a moment, and then took it and she pulled him to his feet.

He looked at her for a moment, and showing that he was still a little out of sorts, said, "You know, now that I know you're a girl, you're pretty hot."

Haruka blinked in surprise, and Michiru took the opportunity to slip her arm around the boyish girl's waist and say, "I rather think so too."

This time Iain blinked, then turned quickly to Mamoru and said, "Riiiight. I think I'm just going to just stop talking to people altogether."

All three of the older students laughed, and after a moment, Iain sheepishly joined in. They soon decided that they all needed to get where they had been going going.

16

Rei sometimes felt like she spent more time sweeping the temple walkways than almost anything else. She was, at the moment, very irritated by that fact, even as she was engaged in the very chore. So she was very relieved to here a voice call, "Rei-chan!"

She looked up eagerly, and was surprised to see Mamoru and the exchange student. Uh-oh, what was his name? Iain? I hope so. She smiled pleasantly as they walked up. "Mamoru-kun, Iain-san, hi! What are you guys doing here?" For that matter, what are they doing together? I didn't know they knew each other.

Mamoru replied, "Well, we sort of bumped into each other and started talking, and during the conversation it came out that he is staying in a hotel until he can find somewhere more permanent to stay. I said Grandpa would probably let him stay here, and he thought it sounded like a good idea."

Rei eyed Iain dubiously. "Grandpa would be happy to have another disciple, but you realize you'll have to do a lot of chores, right?"

Iain shrugged. "That's fine. Anything would be better than staying in that hotel. It's really a dump." He smiled nervously at her.

She shrugged. "Alright. I'll go get Grandpa."

Grandpa was, of course, delighted with the idea, and within an hour, it was all settled. In the meantime Mamoru decided not to worry the Inner Senshi with the attack of the bug critters. He was willing to hope it was an isolated incident.

17

"Byahkee," Setsuna whispered in horror.

Michiru and Haruka blinked at each other. "What?" they replied simultaneously.

The three Outer Scouts were sitting in Setsuna's massive private library, and now the green haired woman rose and moved rapidly to one of the most inaccessible bookshelves, where she quickly pulled down a book. Haruka caught a glimpse of its title before Setsuna put it down on they table they were sitting at: it looked like The Book of Dyzan was written on the cover in English.

Setsuna read for several minutes in silence, then closed the book and returned it to where she got it. She then returned and sat down. "Those creatures you fought are called Byahkee. They aren't incredibly dangerous, as you proved, but their presence is a sign of much greater danger. They are the servants of a creature... that exists on a planet that circles the star Aldebaran, in the city Carcosa, near the dread Lake of Hali-"

"You're quoting, aren't you, Setsuna?" Michiru asked with a raised eyebrow.

Setsuna had the decency to look embarrassed. "Yes. Well. At any rate, the Byahkee can't come to Earth on their own, for reasons I don't entirely understand. They must be summoned, by men who worship this creature."

Haruka blinked. "There are people who worship some weird alien that's on some other planet entirely outside the Solar System?"

Setsuna pursed her lips. "Think of them like the Death Busters. They were evil and alien from outside the Solar System, but they too had human servants, or at least servants who had once been human. The difference here is that the worshippers of... this creature are willing participants in this evil. This cult has existed for many, many years, despite my best efforts to destroy it."

The other two Outer Senshi blinked.

"Usually, though evil, the cells of this cult are harmless, because they don't have the information needed to summon the Byahkee or their master-"

"Whoa! Hold on their! They can summon the master too?" asked Michiru.

Setsuna nodded slowly. "It has only happened once, during the fourth century A.D. in Eastern Europe, but it wasn't pretty. Luckily, it couldn't stay long, and I was able to mop up the remnants of the cult and destroy the information they used to summon it."

"Remnants?"

"This creature cares less for humanity then humanity does for ants. Merely seeing their 'master' drove the cultists over the edge of sanity. It casually wiped out most of them before it was forced to leave by the setting of Aldebaran."

"Does this thing have a name?"

Setsuna paused. "The cult worshipping it refers to it as He Who is Not to Be Named. I've never been willing to say its real name out loud."

Haruka and Michiru exchanged glances. Then Haruka looked back at Setsuna and said, "At any rate, all we have to do is wipe out the cult members? Who are human?"

Setsuna shook her head. "In the past, yes, that's what I would have done. Now we have the Aqua Mirror, which we should be able to use to wipe clean their memories, and then we can destroy all their information and trappings."

Haruka breathed an unconscious sigh of relief. "Okay. Destroying the cult won't be a problem, if that's what it comes down to."

"Of course not," Setsuna said, smiling slightly. "Don't tell the Inners. I don't think we'll need them. The magic these cultists use is different from anything else we've seen, but I've developed effective countermeasures over the years. We won't have a problem. Meet me here tomorrow; I'll use the Time Gate tonight to find out where they are."

Haruka and Michiru nodded, and the meeting was adjorned.

18

Umino stretched, yawned, looked out his bedroom window, and frowned. The chemicals he'd sprayed on the maggots the night before had done the trick; the maggots and snakes were all gone, but now his lawn was covered with a thick, whitish sludge that was the remains of melted maggots, and there were still those holes in the lawn. It's a good thing my parents are gone for the month, he thought. It is going to take some work to fix all that. It's really weird; I wonder what caused it all.

He showered and dressed, then headed downstairs for a quick breakfast before he went to pick up Naru, and then Usagi, who would probably revert to her usual pattern of being extremely late if they didn't pick her up. He entered the kitchen, then gasped and stopped cold.

De Vermis Mysteriis was floating in mid air, giving off an eerie green glow. "Uh-oh," he whispered.

At that point, the book started changing. The leather binding peeled off, leaving behind another binding that looked disturbingly like... human skin. Then, that skin expanded and closed over the three sides of the book not covered by the binding, so that it looked like a box made of flesh. Finally, it started grow and shift, as first five little nubs of flesh popped out of it, then rapidly grew into arms, legs, and a head. The book-turned-simulacrum suddenly gave off a great pulse of green light, causing Umino to have to cover his eyes and blink away the after effects.

When he could see properly again, he was confronted with the grinning stereotype of an evil sorcerer. The man before him was wearing long black robes with silver moons and stars stitched on. He had long black hair and a close cut black goatee. Most disturbing, however, were the glowing green eyes that definitely had the glint of insanity in them.

The man delightedly said something in a language Umino didn't understand, and then laughed an evil laugh.

This is almost corny, Umino thought as he opened his mouth to ask what the heck the man had just said. Then he stopped for a moment, decided he should probably ask in Latin, and said, "What the heck did you just say?"

The man blinked at him, apparently realizing the boy was there for the first time. He replied, also in Latin, "I said that the Stars are Right, and Ludwig Prinn is returned. Is Latin being widely spoken again?"

Umino shook his head and said, "No, I've made a special study of it. Very few people in Japan speak Latin."

Prinn's eyebrows shot up. "So, I am in the Land of the Rising Sun... How interesting. Quickly boy, what year is it?"

Umino blinked, "Uh, 2002, A.D."

Prinn blinked again. "Many years I've been gone. Well, that fool Faust should be long gone by now. I think I will make this place my headquarters. They must have learned much in the time I've been gone. My knowledge will expand indefinately!"

Umino felt relieved. "So, you're not going to try to rule or destroy the world?"

"Why would I destroy the world? I need to live here too. Besides, the only way to do that would be to summon one of the Great Old Ones and give them free reign to wipe this world clean of life."

Umino breathed a sigh of relief. "That's a relief. I thought for a second you were some sort of evil sorcerer that terrorized the countryside and conducted horrible experiments and fiendish rituals on the innocent townsfolk."

Prinn straightened up indignantly. "I am certainly not evil! Who are you to criticize my activities? I am in search of knowledge beyond you're wildest dreams! I am certainly forgiven for a few disfiguring experiments and ritual sacrifices!"

"Oh, shit," was all Umino said before running. He almost thought he'd escape, when the floor underneath him exploded, throwing him back to Prinn's feet.

Dazedly, Umino looked up. Slithering lazily toward him was a massive, segmented worm with a massive mouth containing multiple circles of teeth, like that of a lamprey. It wasn't very pretty. Well, I know where those holes came from, he thought, just before passing out.

Ludwig Prinn smiled down at the poor boy. "I've had some splendid ideas over the centuries. I have a great experiment in mind, and you, my boy, are the perfect subject."

19

"...and he normally calls when he's sick. I'm almost tempted to head over to his house and see if he's okay. I hope he wasn't eaten by maggots or anything..." Naru said to Usagi, who was half falling asleep while she tried to mix the muffin batter. They were partners in Home Economics, and Naru would have been worrying about her grade if she hadn't been worrying about Umino. She and Makoto were just glad that Minako's parents were making her take Physics, because she'd wanted to take this, and that would have been the end of the world.

Usagi absentmindedly patted her hand. "Don't worry, Naru-chan. I'm sure he's fine. We'll go check on him as soon as school is over. We'll even bring along Rei and Ami and see if either of them can deal with the maggots." Eww. Maggots...

Naru impulsively gave Usagi a hug. "Thanks, Usagi. You're the best friend ever!"

Usagi fell asleep on Naru's shoulder, and a moment later the muffin batter was all over their shoes. Jurai-sensei was not please, even if she was nice about it.

20

Ami looked up in surprise as a hand knocked on he computer monitor. She was equally surprised to see Iain. "Er, hi, Ami-san. Sorry to bug you," he said, clearly nervous. "I was just wondering if you knew where Umino was. He was helping me with the instructions yesterday, but I'm lost now."

"Oh, I can help you. I'm all done, anyway."

Iain blinked in surprise. "Gee, that was fast."

Ami smiled and nodded, then walked over to the assistant instructor, a young woman with short brown hair named Ibuki Maya, and asked, "Ibuki-sempai, I'm going to help Caduceus-kun with reading his manual."

Maya smiled at her. "No problem, Ami-san. By the way, I've been meaning to tell you, I love your hair."

Ami beamed at the compliment. "Thank you, Sempai. Yours looks great too!"

Iain sighed and headed back to his station as they started talking about hair care. "Women are the same everywhere, it seems."

21

"He's moving in with you?" Ami asked Rei in surprise.

Rei shrugged. "Yup."

"Oooh, Rei-chan, are you excited? He's kinda cute, after all." This was Usagi, of course.

Rei gave that statement all that it deserved, which was a glare.

"He seems nice enough. I was helping him in Computer Science. He has a very nice computer, apparently," Ami said. "He talked about it a lot. I think he's kind of a computer nerd."

"I know he sings well," Rei responded with a shrug. Everyone stared at her. "What?" she said. "He's in my Choir class." The other girls nodded their understanding, and Rei continued. "So anyway, that's why I can't come. We need to go straight to his hotel and get his stuff."

"Come on, Rei! He's a guy! Surely he can't have so much stuff that he, Yuuichiro, and Grandpa can't handle it themselves," Usagi whined.

Rei sighed. "I don't want Grandpa working too hard. He's getting old, and he hurt his back recently."

"Are you sure it couldn't wait a little while, Rei-chan?" Naru asked. "I was hoping you'd be able to put up a ward at Umino's house to get rid of those nasty maggots."

Rei shook her head. "I doubt it. Maggots aren't really evil. They just happen."

Naru shook her head. "Not like that, they don't. There was definitely something unnatural about it."

"Fine," Rei sighed. "I'll ask Caduceus-kun if he can wait at the temple for a while. Haruka and Michiru said they were going by again, so I'll get them to walk him their. And I'll call Grandpa."

Naru laughed delightedly. "Thank you so much, Rei-chan! I really appreciate it."

Ami picked at her lunch. I could have gotten rid of the maggots too, she thought.

22

"He's a funny kid, alright," Haruka said, laughing, as they walked up the steps to Setsuna's house. They'd just dropped Iain off at the Hiwaka Temple. Uranus had been teasing him, and after some initial embarrassment, he started dishing it out as well as he received it. Michiru had thought the whole conversation had been hilarious.

"Are we ready?" came a voice from the doorway. They looked up to find themselves confronted with Sailor Pluto, Time Staff and all. Michiru and Haruka smiled, entered the house, and transformed.

"So where are we going?" Uranus asked once they were on their way.

"The cultists are the head of a small corporation known as KiY Inc.," Pluto responded. "They own a suite at the top of one of the skyscrapers in downtown Tokyo, where they conduct their services to He Who is Not to Be Named."

"And that's where we'll get them," Uranus grinned.

"Correct."

23

And so it was that six hot girls walked to the house of an acknowledged nerd after the second day of school. Don't all you nerds out their wish it would happen to you? Yeah, me too.

Minako and Makoto had decided they weren't about to be left behind since everyone else was going. Ami was still pouting, though everyone else just thought she was being her usual studious self. Rei was worrying about Grandpa and having two guys around the temple all the time, while Naru was worrying about Umino. The other three were oblivious, talking and laughing as they walked through the streets of Tokyo.

All this changed when they turned the corner onto Umino's street. They all stopped cold, then Usagi asked, "Uh, where's his house?"

"A giant maggot ate it," Ami deadpanned.

Naru fainted. Makoto caught her, and the others looked at Ami. "What?" she asked defensively. "We needed to transform anyway. This is clearly a job for the Sailor Senshi." Take that, is what she privately thought. Then, after making sure no one was around, she pulled out her transformation wand.

"MERCURY STAR POWER, MAKE-UP!"

"MARS STAR POWER, MAKE-UP!"

"VENUS STAR POWER, MAKE-UP!"

"JUPITER STAR POWER, MAKE-UP!"

"MOON CRISIS MAKE-UP!"

After the obligatory light show, they all looked at Super Sailor Moon. She looked back, and said, "What?"

"Why'd you Crisis Make-up?" Venus asked curiously.

Moon looked disbelieving, and pointed at the gap where Umino's house used to be. "His entire house is gone! Whatever did that has to be major trouble!"

Ami did a scan with her computer, and said, "It's a simple magical illusion that we can walk right through. I don't recognize the magical system used to make the illusion, but that's not important..." The second sentence was more to herself then the other senshi.

Super Sailor Moon blinked and said, "Oh." She shifted back into normal Sailor Moon. "Well, isn't that kind of stupid? Unless Umino just learned magic and is goofing around, whoever did this is just calling attention to themselves by making a house disappear, right?"

Mars stared at Moon in shock. "She said something intelligent!" she whispered.

Jupiter waved a hand in front of Mars's face, got no response, and smacked her lightly upside her head. Mars blinked and said, "Sorry."

Moon glared at Mars and pulled out the Spiral Heart Moon Rod. "Come on, guys, lets go save Umino from whatever's made his house disappear."

When they stepped into the invisibility bubble, life got a lot less pleasant. A giant worm with a huge, sucker-like mouth and rows and rows of teeth immediately launched itself at them, and only two years of dodging monster attacks kept Sailor Moon from being eaten.

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAH! IT'S GONNA EAT ME! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Sailor Moon screamed, causing everyone to stop and wince, including the lamprey-worm.

"SHUT-UP, SAILOR MOON!" Rei shouted, and then continued with, "BURNING MANDALA!"

The glowing rings of holy fire slammed into the worm almost at almost equal intervals along its length, blasting it into pieces and setting it aflame at the same time. Within moments, it was a blackened, crumbling husk of ash.

Rei blinked. "That was easy."

The others shrugged, when three more of the worms popped out of the hole-filled lawn. "Uh-oh," Rei said.

The other three senshi leaped into action.

"VENUS LOVE-ME CHAIN!"

"SHINE AQUA ILLUSION!"

"SPARKLING WIDE PRESSURE!"

The lamprey-worms, wherever they might have come from, were no match for the Scouts' attacks, and were quickly frozen, fried, and sliced apart (not respectively). Sailor Moon looked around nervously, and said, "Alright, let's go in before any more come."

Jupiter grinned evilly. "Allow me." She jumped up onto Umino's porch and knocked the door in with one powerful kick.

A tall man with long black robes and hair and a black goatee looked up from doing something very unpleasant looking to... some vaguely humanoid thing wearing Umino's glasses. He said, in excellent Japanese, "It was unlocked, you know."

Jupiter was too horrified by the creature on the table to react in a properly humorous way. "What in the name of Serenity...?" she whispered.

The man looked down at the thing. "What, this?" He smiled proudly. "This is the first scientifically induced ghoul transformation ever accomplished! I solved the final key to the problem during my exile."

Sailor Moon was tearing up. "Umino...?" she whispered, reaching out hesitantly.

The man looked down. "I used the boy I found here when I was revived."

Mercury had been scanning with her computer, and now put it away. "It's Umino. Sailor Moon, if you hurry, you can heal him! Venus, Mars! He's made of tightly packed paper! He needs to be cut open and burnt!"

The man's eyebrows went up. "Sailor Moon...? The Sailor Scouts from the Moon Kingdom? I believed you to be myths of Atlantis!"

Sailor Moon was leaning over the Umino ghoul, looking for some sign of Umino in it. Suddenly, its eyes snapped open, and it reached up, grabbed her, and attempted to bite her neck. She screamed, of course, which made it quickly let go and cover its ears. "NOW, SAILOR MOON!" Mercury yelled.

Three voices cried out at the same time:

"MOON HEALING ACTIVATION!"

"VENUS LOVE-ME CHAIN!"

"BURNING MANDALA!"

The kitchen was filled with light, and after if cleared away, they found Umino, healed and unconscious, and the man, apparently unharmed.

"That," he said grimly, "Was not very nice."

He raised his hands, started chanting, and drew a glowing red symbol in mid-air.

"Uh, Sailor Moon, now would be a good time to Crisis Make-up," Mercury said.

Moon glanced at Mercury, nodded, and cried, "CRISIS MAKE-UP!"

Within moments, Ludwig Prinn was faced with Super Sailor Moon. His chanting died away as he stared in awe. "That was the Holy Grail, wasn't it? She just used the power of the Holy-"

"RAINBOW MOON HEART ACHE!"

"-Grail!"

The wave of rainbow light stripped away the unnaturally stolen skin, and then the heart covered ribbon slammed into the humanoid mass of paper left behind, causing an explosion of shredded paper to cover the room.

Outside, the invisibility bubble disappeared, and the lawn reverted back to normal. The remains of De Vermis Mysteriis were scattered all over the kitchen, and Umino started waking up.

"Wha happened?" he asked groggily.

Sailor Mercury leaned down and looked him in the eyes. "Umino," she said, "stay away from the occult books. They are not safe."

With that, the Sailor Senshi left, leaving Umino to remember what happened himself. It didn't take him long, and he decided he agreed with Mercury.

24

The raid went even better than they had hoped for. When they dropped down into the middle of the worshippers, all the attention of the clearly flabbergasted cultists turned to them. Neptune was able to easily wipe their memory and put them to sleep. Pluto and Uranus then methodically destroyed all the information the cultists had about their god with the Space Sword, Time Staff, and a couple of computer viruses. When the cultists came too, Pluto was there to very ominously warn them away from their previous interests, a warning which they took very seriously.

All in all, the day went well.

25

Iain Caduceus smiled as he looked around his new room in Hiwaka temple. He'd just finished getting his computer all hooked up. It was, as he was pleased to tell anyone he thought might have any interest whatsoever, an AMD Athlon XP 1.21 GHz with 512 Mgs of DDR RAM, 128 KB of L1 cache, 4 Mgs of L2 cache, an 80 Gig Hard drive, a Nvidia GeForce 3 3D accelerator, a 56K modem with a cell phone connector (and complimentary cell phone), and a 24/12/24/48 CD write/rewrite/DVD/read disk drive. (This is opposed to the computer this story has been written on, which is a piece of crap.)

He was pretty happy to be here. Everyone had been nice to him, except for Haruka-san teasing him, of course, but it was just teasing, and his classes all seemed cool. This was the perfect way to distance himself from all the horrible things that had happened to him back home. Who knows, maybe he'd hook up with one of those cute girls that hung out with Mamoru and Umino.

Iain glanced at the mirror on the closet door, shook his head, and thought, Not likely.

26

"So, Miss Pluto, you think you've saved the world again, hmm? I'm afraid you're just a little late." The voice chuckled.

It came from a man standing on the top of the Tokyo Tower. He was dressed entirely in a yellow suit, and was wearing an eerie, pallid mask that seemed disturbingly life-like, and at the same time, not quite right. Only his eyes showed through, and somehow, they too were wrong.

The figure chuckled again, a sound no less eerie than the mask, for it was hollow, and not quite human seeming. Across the world, the disturbed and insane suddenly cried out with one voice, "ALL HAIL THE KING IN YELLOW! The Stranger in the Pallid Mask!"

The END

Author's Notes: [Puts down the duct tape and sticks the package addressed to John Biles and Rod M. into a conveniently situated mail box.] Yeah, that was a bad idea. Anyway, that is Episode 1 of Sailor Moon L. I hope no one was too offended. I originally intended to make it a complete one-shot, since I tend to have trouble finishing series, but I had to throw in a little foreshadowing, just in case people like this.

The scene where Haruka complains about Shakespeare and Michiru tells her to "beware the Ides of March" (a quote from Julius Caesar) are in there because I am, in fact, in a Shakespeare class right now, and I wrote that scene on the Ides of March (March 15). I've always liked the Outer Scouts, so expect to see more of them. Also, I know Haruka may seem a little OOC when she flashed Iain, but I explained why she did that, and once I'd done it, I couldn't figure out another way to knock Iain out. Anyway, I wanted to do it.

I really don't have much else to say. If anyone has any questions, e-mail me at Caduceuskun@yahoo.com, and make sure to put Sailor Moon L in the subject, or I'll just delete it. Or, alternatively, you could just review the story. Anyway, I'm signing off.

Oh yeah, here's the Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is owned and copyrighted by Takeuchi Naoko, Pioneer, and a bunch of other people. Takeuchi Naoko owns herself.

All other anime characters are owned by the owners of their respective shows.

I don't think De Vermis Mysteriis, Ludwig Prinn, Randolf Carter, He Who is Not to Be Named, The King in Yellow, or Byahkee are copyrighted, but they are all from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth.

Chibi-cultist Ayanami Rei comes, somewhat indirectly, from Children of an Elder God, and therefore is owned by John Biles and Rod M., two fan fic writers I greatly admire, and who, to some extent, inspired this story.

Everything mentioned above is used without permission. Rather than be sued, I will immediately take down this story and delete it off of my hard drive if asked to by any of the above entities, besides John and Rod. If John and Rod are upset by my mention of them or my use of something from their story, I will immediately remove scene 13 and any mention of them, if asked.

I think this is the longest disclaimer I've ever seen. Before I forget, Iain Caduceus is MINE, and I'd like to kindly ask that no one use him without my permission. I'm going to go sleep now.

This story is Copyright 2002 by C-kun and Book, Staff, and Spirit Productions.