"ALIAS"

A.N.: This story is about a thousand years old, and I really didn't know what I was doing. The chapters are almost painfully short, and, well, the fic just plain needs help. I wrote this when I was pretty young and then recently found it on my computer, and I figured I'd better get it posted before I lost it. Don't use this as a measure of anything else I write, okay?

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CHAPTER ONE

The nervous spy, code-named Azurite, approached Lady Beryl cautiously. He had news that he knew would make her unhappy, and Lady Beryl's unhappiness always meant great pain for the nearest people. Unfortunately, the nearest person just happened to be a spy named Azurite.

He waited, practically shaking in his fear, at the foot of the dais until Lady Beryl indicated with a lazy nod that he should speak. He gulped, but quickly complied. Lady Beryl did not like to be kept waiting.

"They got away."

Three little words. Such simple words, really. And yet, in the instant after he uttered them, Azurite realized that they had sealed his fate. Already, Beryl's face was turning livid with rage. Azurite hastily tried to save himself. "It wasn't my fault, Lady! Lord Malachite saw right through me, but I swear that I did nothing wrong! My disguise was perfect! I swear by my life, it wasn't my fault!"

Even as he spoke, Azurite knew that his words had condemned him once again. Lady Beryl was calm now, but he knew from experience the ill her serenity boded for him. "Yes, I believe you, Azurite. You do swear on your life." She smiled maliciously. "Paororite! Have this incompetent removed from my sight." She ran her tongue along her pointed teeth. "Forever." Just before Paorarite's guards dragged his screaming form from the room, he heard Beryl tell his successor two words in a tone that chilled him even more than his imminent execution.

"Find Endyimon."

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"I feel like a fool," muttered the slender blonde seated in front of the mirror.

"Stop whining," retorted the black-haired girl standing behind her.

"Yeah, Mina," added the brunette sitting at the chess table. "It's not like you haven't disguised yourself as Serenity a thousand times before."

Mina made a face in the mirror at her chestnut-haired friend, who just shrugged and returned to her game. "This is different, though," Mina replied. "Most of the times that I took her place, she just over-slept and couldn't make a meeting or something. I've never had to pretend to be her while on a planet infested with agents of the dark moon, and I've certainly never tried to be her while she's sitting right next to me."

The brunette piped in again. "It'll be alright, Meens. If anyone tries to hurt her, we'll just kick them into the next plane." She moved one of her pieces, then said, "Your turn, Amy." The girl with the short blue hair sitting opposite looked thoughtfully at the board. She moved one small, seemingly inconsequential piece, and then went back to the book she was reading on the side.

Mina sighed, and then turned to survey Raye's work as the raven- haired girl added the final touches to Mina's costume. "All done," Raye finally pronounced. The other two girls abandoned their game, although of course everyone knew Amy would win anyway, to see the finished product.

"Wow, Raye, you've really outdone yourself this time." The brunette emphasized her compliment with a hearty slap on Raye's back.

Raye, doubled over with pain, gasped, "Thank you, Lita."

"She's right, Raye. Thanks to you, I now look like the perfect example of a petty lord's daughter." Suddenly, she smiled. "The real challenge, of course, is to see if you can make Lita, Amy, and yourself into boys."

Lita groaned. "Why can't we just use Serena's disguise pen?"

Raye, wincing herself, only pointed to the "Chair of Make-up Torture", as Mina had dubbed it. "Some humans can sense magic. We have to go undetected if we're to successfully transport Serena to the marriage negotiations with Prince Diamond on Earth." Raye started to cut off Lita's long brown hair. "Relax," she told her edgy friend. "It'll grow back as soon as we change to our senshi forms. Just be glad that you don't have to wear those awful human dresses like Serena and Mina. Did you guys see the layers on those things?" she scoffed. "No wonder human girls are so flighty. All of that binding must cut off the oxygen supply to their brains."

As Raye finished speaking, a short blonde girl with two long streams of hair on either side of her head burst into the room. She promptly tripped over her own two feet, crashed into the dressing table, and sent several bottles containing various liquids flying through the air. Most of the bottles landed at Raye's feet, forming unpleasant-smelling goo where they mixed together. "Speaking of flighty. . ." she muttered, a twitch forming under her left eye. "What's got you so excited this time, Serena?" she asked with barely contained anger.

Mina helped Serena to her feet, and the blonde gasped frantically for air before replying, "The High King's been murdered!"

Mina stepped between Raye and Serena before Raye could shake clear answers from the girl using physical force. "The High King of Earth is dead? Are you sure?" she questioned sharply.

Serena nodded, still gulping for air, and said, "The entire family, including the son with the funny name, was killed. Luna thinks they must have been betrayed from the inside," she added on reflection.

Mina nodded, mind whirling with the implications. "We proceed as planned. The ensuing chaos should mask our arrival from any enemies of the white moon. When we get to earth, we'll maintain almost total silence. No thought Sending," she warned, looking around the room. Let's get to it!"

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Half an hour later, Mina had finally completed the preparations for their journey. She'd secured a typical human carriage, along with four ordinary-looking Terran horses. The animals fidgeted, unused to so much activity.

"Ugly beasts, aren't they?" a smooth voice behind her chuckled. "Personally, I've always preferred the horned lightening-mares of Jupiter."

She turned to smile at the stately, platinum-haired man behind her. "Artemis," she greeted warmly. "I didn't expect to see you before we left, what with all the spying Selenity has you doing."

He wrapped an elegant arm around her shoulders. "Such a course word. I'll have you know that I never spy." She laughed dismissively. "I'm glad to see you, old friend."

He grinned at her, but his expression turned worried. "Are you really still going?"

She looked away, and stared instead at the rickety human carriage. "I have to get Serena married off. As little as I relish the idea, I can't return to Venus until I know that she'll be cared for."

He sighed, knowing how badly she needed to return to her own planet. "We've had to evacuate the entire northern continent, Mina. Your coronation can't wait much longer."

"I know."

Artemis' arm tightened for a moment in sympathy. "It will get easier, little one," he murmured, very aware of just how much weighed on his young charge's shoulders.

"Will it?" she asked. "Sometimes I wonder."

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"Have you found him, yet, Paorarite?" hissed Queen Beryl.

"Not yet, my queen," Paorarite answered. The greasy little man bowed profusely. "My operative in the prince's ranks has not yet reported in. Still, I have other news that might please your majesty."

The queen glared at him, the spark of insanity clear in her eyes. "What is it, Paorarite?"

He bowed again, saying, "I have just received news that the princess of the white moon and four of her guards are on earth. Apparently, Diamond managed to arrange a marriage negotiation with Selenity. If we can't delay the princess' journey, we might be able to use her to control the white queen. The queen certainly wouldn't want any harm to come to her precious daughter," he sneered.

The queen laughed cruelly. "Do what you can to capture the chit," she commanded. "In the meantime, you are running out of time, Paorarite. I want Endyimon."