Sacrifice to the Silence

From here at the Time Gate and can observe events at any place in the universe, from the
distant past when stars began to form, right up to the far future when those stars return their
energy to the Cosmos.

Right now I am watching a place at the edge of my home solar system, near the Kuiper belt. It
is not the past nor the future that concerns me. Right now I am watching the present.

The black planetoid; Nemesis hangs in the void. It is surrounded by hundreds of sinister
crystaline spaceships.

The Exile's are about to return.

And when they do, millions will pay the price. As always, I could stop this. Right now, I
could depart my post, and warn the woman I have pledged my life to. I know in my heart, that
Neo Queen Serenity could stop them without a death on either side. She would have it no
other way.

And that is why I do nothing. This slaughter must occour.

On some unseen command from their prince, no doubt being spurred on by his 'advisor', the
Black Moon armada begins its journey to Earth at terrifying speed. They will pass the orbit of
the planet I draw my powers from within five minutes.

I wait.

As the Exile's pass the planet of Silence, I feel a strange dizzying sensation. The Ginzuishou
has disappeared from the Crystal Palace. The barrier of protective magic surrounding the
Earth winks out of existence. My sisters will be panicked and my Queen will worry for the
safety of her daughter.

Small Lady... She is a delightful child. I admit to have become quite fond of her over the past
year, when she stumbled onto the portal leading to the Time Gate we formed a bond unlike
what she shares with my sisters.

She will have fled into the Palace grounds by now. Fearful over being blamed for the
Ginzuishou's disappearance, though it has actually been absorbed into her body. The King
and Queen, along with my sisters will have left the safety of the Palace to search for her.

It's not too late, a voice whispers in my head. Even with the Queen powerless, I could warn
my sisters. They have become immensely powerful over the past few decades since emerging
from cold sleep. They could intercept the encroaching fleet and destroy it. I have faith in their
power to do so.

But I remain faithful to my duty. Unmoved by the fate about to befall the Utopia we have
fought so long and hard to create.

The Black Moon fleet has just passed the orbit of the planet of Fire. Not long now.

My subconscious must have tapped into the Gate, for now it is showing a possible future
scant minutes from now:

The fleet is taking up position near Earth, when I appear before them, protected from the
vacum by a sphere of magic even the weakest senshi could create. "You have been banished
from this place for your crimes against Crystal Tokyo!" I hear my possible future self say "I
will not allow you to harm innocents!" Though my voice couldn't travel through vacum, it is
relayed to the command centre of every crystalline ship through magic.

There is confusion aboard all of them. They were told that no resistance would come from
Earth, that it's defences would be nullified. Wiseman's precognitive powers did not expect the
Time Guardian to deviate from the role provided by destiny.

On the largest ship, a man sitting on a throne sneers at the image of one woman alone in the
void of space, against the might of his armada. "She is but one senshi. Kill her." He speaks
dismissively, as if I am of no consequence.

The lead ships begin to fire upon this possible future Sailor Pluto. The shots miss, as their
guns are ill suited to attack so small a target, but each shot gets closer. I hold the garnet rod
up and point it at the enemy of my Queen. If the other senshi have become powerful over
decades, I have had Millenia to grow in my powers. Always have I held it in check, but now,
in this deviation from destiny, I can unleash my true fury in defence of the ones I love.

"CHRONOS TYPHOON!!" The massive cyclone of temporal energy flashes out over an
impossibly huge area. The wrath of the Timestream is unmerciful, and tears apart each and
everyone of these ships of death.

I can feel what this possible future version of myself feels. It feels *good* not having to
worry about dancing on destiny's strings, only giving my all to protect the Queen I love so
much.

The Black Moon threat is ended. Millions of people down on Earth will see another day
thanks to me. The feeling is dangerously euphoric.

It takes great force of will to turn away from this tempting future. But I know my duty. I
know the price for indulging in this fantasy.

I see now that while I have been indulging in a possible future, the present has caught up with
me. The Exiles have arrived. Already they have begun to bombard the entire planet, though
most of their forces are attacking the capital; Crystal Tokyo.

The flagship hovers over the palace. Neo Queen Serenity, though powerless without the
Ginzuishou, still glares her defiance up at the ones who would disturb the peace she has
sacrificed so much to attain.

A blast of dark lightning streaks down at her, surely it will kill her? No, her guardians have set
up a shield to protect her. But something is wrong, the presence of so much dark energy,
coupled with the lack of energy flowing from the Ginzuishou, which they have grown so used
to, results in the spell going wrong.

The Queen is protected, yes. But she is also trapped.

Small Lady has seen it. She is scared, and so she comes to me. She knows of what I guard,
and in her mind the only one who can save her mother is the legendary heroine of the past;
Sailor Moon.

This is good. She *must* go to the past this time. Fleeing in terror, hoping against hope that
she can find Sailor Moon, wielder of the legendary Silver Crystal, and save the ones she
loves.

And by meeting the past self of her mother, she will want to return again when this crisis is
over. And return she must.

In the time I have until she arrives, I will the Time Gate into showing me the past that will
occour if she does not. The past that forfeits the future. I must remind myself why this
slaughter is necessary.

"So, you love this one?" Mistress 9 cackles as her impossibly long hair squeezes the life out
of Tuxedo Kamen, who is being held high in the air.

"Stop it! Stop it!" Sailor Moon screams. She looks utterly defeated, her fuku torn to shreds,
tears streaming down her eyes. She in kneeling on the ground beneath Mugen Gauken, as if
all the strength is sapped from her.

Sailor Neptune feebly attempts to pick herself up, if anything, she is in a worse state than
Sailor Moon, her fuku is similarly shredded, her left arm hangs limply at her side. I know it is
shattered in three places. Her breathing is ragged, she still hasn't recovered from being
strangled by Mistress 9.

But the fire still burns in the eyes of the Soldier of the Ocean. Using but one arm, she
attempts to summon her element above her head. With a cry of "Deep Submerge!" she
releases a feeble ball of water, which splashes against an invisible barrier two feet from
Mistress 9.

The Deathbuster ignores the pathetic attack as Neptune crumples to the ground unconscious.
She retains her attention on Sailor Moon "If you love him, give me the Chalice and I'll let him
go. You two can even become vessels." She makes her offer, giving an extra squeeze on
Tuxedo Kamen for effect.

"Usako... don't..." He tries desperately to convince his love that his life isn't worth the fate of
the planet.

Doubt rages across Sailor Moon's eyes. She knows the danger, but she can't stand seeing her
love being tortured like this.

Before she can make a decision, another voice rings out "You'll never get the Chalice!" Sailor
Uranus, if anything in worse shape than Neptune, has picked herself up. Spitting out a
mouthful of blood, she unsheathes her talisman "Burn in hell!" She says harshly, throwing the
Space Sword with all her might at Mistress 9.

Mistress 9 shrieks in agony as the blade sinks into her chest, puncturing the right lung. She
drops the unconscious Tuxedo Kamen and focuses her rage on Uranus, who has already
collapsed once more. "Die you insect!" She bellows, her hair rushing out and enveloping the
Soldier of the Sky. Her face is a rictus of agony and rage as she tightens the grip.

There could be no other outcome. With a sickening crunch, Uranus' body gives way, and
blood very nearly sprays out from between the hairs as Tenou Haruka dies.

Breathing raggedly, Mistress 9 removes the Space Sword from above her right breast. She
does not notice the hardening of Sailor Moon's expression. "You want the Chalice? I'll give
you the Chalice!" Her usually gentle voice consumed with rage, she summons the ancient
artifiact betwen her outstretched hands "Crisis Make Up!"

Mistress 9 looks on in shock as Sailor Moon is enveloped in it's incredible power. The
heroine glares at Mistress 9 with hate filled eyes "I won't forgive you!" She hisses, before
launching her attack "Rainbow Moon Heartache!!"

Mistress 9 is blown back by the intensity of the attack. Her eyes widen in shock at just how
powerful her opponent is. But even as she suffers from the beating, her host body reaches out
to touch the power of Saturn, reacting to the threat.

A wall of Silence springs up to block Sailor Moon's attack. The daimon grins at it's good
fortune in having a Sailor Soldier for a host. Then she taps into the birthright of Saturn, the
power of death. A black tendril of energy shoots out and touches Sailor Moon. It briefly
battles against her immense power, but all too quickly she succumbs.

Super Sailor Moon widens her eyes in shock, then falls forward, her transformation reverting
to Tsukino Usagi, the grail appearing at the side of her dead body.

Mistress 9 collects the grail with her hair, and places it into the gate leading to Tau Ceti. With
it's power, Pharoah 90 will finally arrive and bring the Silence to this world.

Inside the body of Mistress 9, the spirit of a young girl, who was never shown any love or
kindness in her tragically short life, welcomes the end of existence.

THE END

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