The Old Court: Chapter 1 – Abduction
Author's Notes: 1) Don't own Sailor Moon. 2)This is my first long fic and I'm writing it to help improve my character shifts, so they don't bleed into each other. Good or bad I really want some comments so I can get better at writing longer stories. 3) Thanks for reading
Time: A few weeks after Special Act
Hino Rei looked on calmly as the nurse unwrapped the bandage from her arm. The nurse gasped a little when she finished and proceeded to carefully inspect the skin on the priestess' arm. She looked at Rei with a smile and words of approval on her lips, "Its very rare that I get to say this Ms. Hino,but there is no scarring. Most people who get burned that badly almost always have a permanent reminder of their experience. You are very lucky to not be one of them." The nurse gave Rei back her arm, bowed politely and told the young woman, "The doctor will come in to take a look in a few minutes. After that you should be free to go," as she slid open the examination room's door to leave.
"Thank you," Rei said to the retreating woman. She was relieved the nurse hadn't commented on the speed of her recovery and breathed a sigh of relief at the indication she could leave soon. She really hated hospitals. The young priestess had far to many unpleasant memories associated with them in her mind to be comfortable, but that wasn't something she could change. She was just here for a check up and then she could go back to avoiding the miserable place like she usually did. The thought had become a sort of mantra while she waited for the doctor and focused her thoughts inward.
A second before the door slid open her attention focused on the person standing just beyond it, and she found herself relaxing at the familiar presence. "Good afternoon, Dr. Mizuno," she greeted the middle aged woman as she entered.
"Rei," she responded with a smile and a slight nod. She held out her hand for the priestess' arm and spoke while she examined the previously bandaged appendage. "Ami indicated you probably wouldn't have any scars from this," she returned the arm with a pleased smile. "I'm glad she was right, but," she began with a look of concern, "I hope you try to avoid situations like this in the future. Not all doctors will turn a blind eye to how quickly you girls heal, and I worry about what that might mean if something happens where I can't take your case. You girls are special, so you need to try to be more careful."
Rei was glad of the former Senshi of Wisdom's choice to reveal some of the truth to her mother after everything was over. At first the doctor hadn't believed Ami, but the two talking stuffed cats, cell phones that allowed them to instantaneously change their appearances, and the unlikelihood of these five girls ever meeting let alone becoming friends, helped convince her of the truth behind Ami's words.
A friendly doctor knowing their secret made the side effects of having been a Senshi easier to hide, so keeping the woman pleased was a priority when any of them were injured. When they weren't, her comments on the health of their lifestyles held something close to the power of an imperial decree, and so it wasn't surprising when the former Senshi of Mars nodded her head meekly and said, "Yes Dr. Mizuno. I will try." However a few seconds later she adopted a hopeful look and asked, "So am I free to go then?"
Doctor Mizuno sighed in exasperation at her patient, "Yes Rei. I remember your aversion to hospitals, and since I have no further concerns about your health, you may go."
Rei waited for the older woman to leave before hurrying out of the room herself and entered an elevator to take to the lobby where, unfortunately, Minako and Jadeite were waiting for her.
Down in the lobby, Minako found herself once again glaring out of the corner of her eye at the young man standing to the side of her seat. He was short with a nice enough face and build, but the way he was standing like a guard dog ready to attack at the slightest provocation was drawing attention to the incognito idol.
"Sit down Jadeite," she commanded, "You're making people stare."
The young man glanced at her dismissively before resuming his previous posture saying, "I was told to guard you, not to blend in."
She raised an eyebrow as she looked directly up at him. "Unless you want to protect me from a mob, you should sit. Or is it that you're afraid of the former avatar of Venus?"
He didn't look at her this time, and instead just scowled at the people who were beginning to stare.
Minako felt her lips curl upward into a smirk and decided to further harass the man. "I won't molest you if you sit down," she said with an mocking smile. "The rumors that made it to Earth in the Silver Millennium were just that, rumors," the idol claimed, "and even if they weren't, I'm human now and you're not good looking enough for it to be worth it."
The shitennou glared at the former Senshi of Venus with narrowed eyes before he gave a, "Cheh," and sat down in a chair two over from her. He had assumed another guard posture with his arms crossed, but with him sitting like this it made him look like he was pouting and she had to suppress a laugh. "That's not the issue. Human or not, you and the other senshi are still planetary royalty and without your powers you're just targets."
"Tell that to the yoma I kicked through a wall," Minako objected. "We may not be able to handle everything alone, but we aren't as vulnerable as normal people. Jupiter, Mercury, and I were able to handle mobs of those clown youma Mio sent after us even though we are essentially human. Only Mars was injured before we temporarily regained our powers, and that wouldn't have happened if her opponent was anyone else."
"So nice of you to finally admit that," a female voice said causing the pop star to jump and the shitennou to grin spitefully at her obvious surprise.
Minako glared at the priestess who was casually standing with her arms crossed a few steps away from their seats. "Don't do that," she scolded, "Its rude to walk up and listen in on people's conversations."
Rei rolled her eye's at the idol's words, "This from the person who invited themselves along to my doctor's appointment."
The idol continued to glare and replied, "You don't ask for help when you should, so its my duty as your former leader to make sure you're actually alright."
The priestess scowled slightly saying, "I'm not having this argument again," and then turned her attention to the shitennou. "Take me back to Kyoto. I'm fine, so I don't want any babysitters following me." The last she directed at the idol with a glare of her own.
The young shitennou quickly stood at attention bringing his fist to his chest and bowed to Rei. "I'm sorry Ma'am, but the prince and princess ordered me to not return you to your shrine until later this evening. They said something about a going away party for you and Mercury."
Rei listened to Jadeite with growing irritation while Minako developed a half amused grin at the situation. Switching tactics, she turned her attention to her former second in command to wheedle her for the odd situation. "How did you manage that? I asked him to sit down and he just scowled at me like you always do, but you ask him for a ride and he starts groveling because he can't give it to you? You must be closer than I thought to get that kind of response from such a gloomy guy Reiko."
Rei shot Minako a concerned look, "Don't assume things about me from the way they act. Kunzite threatened them to make sure I told them about my visions, and stop calling me that."
Minako rolled her eyes playfully at the defensive response and stepped forward dragging the shitennou along while ignoring the crowd of people staring at them. "So its Kunzite then? Who would have guessed. I thought you didn't like men."
Rei gave an exasperated sigh and followed behind the two, "Why does everyone always assume I meant it that way? I'm just not looking for that kind of thing right now, and I never said I was interested in Kunzite. He'd be even more overbearing than you if I were dating him."
The idol gave the priestess a look as she hailed a cab for them finally saying, "Whatever you say. Now lets get out of here before these people realize Mars Reiko just implied she was dating Aino Minako."
Rei gave a strangled growl, "Stop twisting my words!"
Minako just gave her a serious look as Jadeite checked out the taxi. "Be more careful of what you say then. I'm hardly the only high profile person in your life. Someone like you should be more aware of the consequences of careless words."
"I am. You're just frustrating and trying to get me to slip up," Rei retorted.
"Perhaps," Minako conceded, "or I could be trying to get you ready for the spotlight."
Rei huffed throwing up her arms in frustration at the idol, "Geeze Minako! How many times do I have to tell you and your manager? I don't want to be famous, and I'm not interested in a modeling career! Stop asking already!"
Miako was a bit taken aback by the outburst and frowned at her friend as Jadite declared the car clear. "I still say you'd do well, but no, that's not what I was talking about. The name Hino Rei is gaining a lot of notoriety without you even trying. If you hadn't retreated to your shrine in Kyoto you'd be lucky to count just reporters among your stalkers."
Rei calmed a bit at this and asked as she entered the car, "Is that so?"
Minako giggled a bit at her friends naivety. "Of course! Reiko, not only are you the daughter of a prominent senator but you're also friends with Japan's top idol. The press would keep an eye on you just for that, but you are also very beautiful and mysterious. For now you're like some kind of spotlight maverick, but if you keep going like you have been, the media will pay attention to you. According to Artemis, your father is already losing the battle to hush up your accomplishments in Kyoto. Not only are your visions accurate, but you act on them and your charms actually work. I mean, really? How many other people do you know that can stun someone with a piece of paper? Face it Reiko, as a priestess your gifts are almost more flamboyant than mine."
Minako found herself laughing at the look of shock and terror Rei was giving her as she closed the door while Jadeite shook his head at the madness of royalty and gave the driver an address.
As the taxi pulled away from the hospital two figures watched until it turned a corner and was lost from sight. One of the watchers pulled a phone from his pocket and brought it to his ear. "Targets confirmed," he said into the plastic mouthpiece. "Love and War are headed North in a white vehicle with green stripes accompanied by one guard. I repeat, one guard. Intercept with plan Gama at point Theta. I repeat, Gama at Theta. Scout Alpha out."
"Are you sure Gama is the right choice?" the other scout asked giving her partner a look of concern as they walked away. "It has the least controllable variables."
Scout Alpha gave an affirmative nod while they to turned a corner and replied, "Yes. It also has the least chance of giving away our presence. Right now that's more important than bringing any of our princesses home."
The female scouts expression became slightly accusatory as she objected, "I doubt your king or queen would be pleased to hear you say that Martian. A single error in this plan's execution could seriously injure both targets in that car."
The Martian scout shrugged in response before responding, "Martians and Venusians are more durable than they look Jovian. If those two are indeed our princesses they should only suffer minor injuries no matter what happens. If not, it saves us the trouble of covering up the disappearance of two Earthlings."
The Jovian scout looked at the Martian appalled at his callousness. "How can you say that like their lives mean nothing? Don't you care that innocents would suffer because of you?"
They turned into an alley way before the Martian stoically replied, "Whether I care or not is irrelevant. Not enough Lunarians survived the attack on the Moon to risk any of them in an expeditionary unit and I doubt even you would risk our secrecy to heal a few Earthlings."
The Jovian looked away not able to meet the Martian's eyes for the truth of the statement. "That doesn't make it right," she said stubbornly.
"No. It doesn't," he stiffly agreed before disappearing in a flash of red light.
The Jovian stared at the spot surprised at the Martian's admission. After a few moments she chuckled to herself, "I guess the planet of war isn't as blood thirsty as it seems," before she too disappeared in a flash of green light.
"Come on Reiko, its not that bad," Minako said attempting to comfort the panicking priestess at her side. "I'm sure Usagi and Mamoru will order these guys to keep an eye on you if there is any real concern. Right Jadeite?" she assured jabbing the shitennou with her elbow.
"Ow! What the he...," he started until he noticed the look the Venusian was giving him. "I mean, of course, and even if they didn't, Kunzite would insist. Those crows of yours would probably have something to say as well if anyone tried anything while they were around."
Venus glanced at him surprised as Rei finally raised her head from between her knees to give the shitennou a questioning look. "What do Phobos and Demos have to do with..," the priestess, trailed off and sat upright to look behind them. A moment later snapped her head around to look through the right side of the windshield and shouted at the driver, "Stop!"
The shout startled the driver and he slammed on the brakes causing the tires to screech and the car to quickly halt. He began to turn around to tell the girl off, but his attention was caught by a delivery truck running the light at the intersection they had been about to cross and watching it slam into the car that had been next to them with the sound of crunching metal. Shaken by the sight, the man finished his turn, but this time to make a request. "Please call an ambulance. I'm going to see if everyone is alright, and don't worry, I'll wave your fair for this."
Minako and Jadeite nodded dumbly at the driver as she pulled out her phone to make the call. Both were woken from their stupor by the sound Rei's door opening seconds after the driver had left. "What are you...," Minako began.
"We need to get away from here fast. Jadeite, can you transport two extra people?" Rei interrupted the idol.
Not understanding the former senshi of war's anxiety, but trusting her instincts Minako and Jadeite quickly followed Rei out of the car. "No, only Kunzite and Zoisite can," Jadeite answered. He scowled a little bit before cursing and turning to his companions. "Also, something is blocking me. I can't contact the other shitennou."
"Damn," the priestess cursed. "That must be what I felt before I told the driver to stop. Someone boxed us in with a psychic barrier."
Seeing Rei's frustration, Minako called upon her skills as the former leader of the senshi and started to make an escape plan. "Can you feel a weak spot in their barrier?" she asked the former senshi of Mars.
Rei frowned for a second, concentrating, and nodded. "Yes. Its about three blocks from here"
"Good," Minako praised while nodding her understanding. She then ordered, "Mars, take the lead. We need your senses to guide us to that weak point. Jadeite, keep trying to reach the others, but I also need you to guard our backs while I try to reach the other's phones."
The two agreed and Rei led them, running away from the accident.
They had made it half a block before Minako made a noise of disgust and shoved her phone back into her pocket. "They're jamming our phones too. I don't know who these people are, but they're definitely not locals if they can stop Lunarian technology like this. Any luck Jadeite?"
"No. I can't even feel the master," Jadeite huffed continuing to run. "I doubt I will be able to contact anyone until we reach the barrier."
"I understand," Minako confirmed. "Mars, how much further to the barrier's limits?"
"Another block," the priestess grunted, more focused on her psychic senses than the other's conversation. "We're going to have to fight our way out. I can sense at least six powerful auras by the weak point."
Minako's expression became cloudy as she considered the information. "Do you think it's a trap?"
Rei shrugged as she ran, "Probably, but there's no other way out. The barrier is designed to keep people with strong auras like our's from crossing, so we have to go through the weak point or shut the whole thing down before we can leave."
"This is bad," the idol commented, "We might not be able to handle that many if they can do something this precise. Whatever happens, try to avoid confrontation and just keep running. Once one of us get beyond the barrier we should be able to call for backup and hold the enemy off until help arrives."
"Got it," Rei acknowledged.
"No," Jadeite objected, "We can try your way first, but if there are too many I will hold them off. Call Kunzite as soon as you're beyond the barrier and keep running."
Rei glanced back at Minako who nodded in confirmation to the silent question.
"Fine," Minako agreed, "Try to stay alive." The idol prepared herself to run even faster and queried the priestess, "Rei?"
"Half a block. There are ten of them. Six on the rooftops and four in an alley ahead of us," she reported. "I can't do anything about the ones on the roof, but I have an idea to slow down the ones in the alley."
"Do it," Minako commanded.
Rei slowed slightly and brought her hand to her chest with the index and middle fingers pointing upwards and the other fingers closed. Minako heard her mumble something and saw the priestess thrust her arm forward, the action seeming to cause a tree about three meters in front of them to burst into flame. Seconds later they were running past it and could hear several people shouting and scrambling from between the buildings as they passed.
"Nice work," praised the idol, "Now run faster."
The three sped up as much as they could sparing only a glance at the figures falling from above, but were forced to stop when three men holding staffs landed right in their path. The girls hesitated a moment as Jadeite summoned his daggers and shouted at them, "Don't stop! Keep running until you can get help!"
Remembering the earlier agreement both former senshi charged the enemies without a word, ready to doge at the last second. Jadeite continued to buy them precious seconds by throwing both of his blades at two of their opponents. Both hit their intended targets, hitting one man in the shoulder and another in his upper thigh, but neither went down. Must be soldiers, the shitennou thought to himself, at least that should slow them down. The shitennou summoned his daggers back to his hands as he spun to face the rest of their pursuers.
Taking advantage of the injuries Jadeite had dealt the two in front, Rei and Minako rolled to the outsides of the triangle the three men formed, and were up and running past the final enemy. He made a lunge at the priestess as she passed, but the slender man missed and hit the ground. It seemed like they were going to make it when something small struck their backs. They had barely a second to register the sharp impacts before it seemed as though every nerve in their bodies were on fire and both blacked out from the pain.
Jadeite didn't fair much better. In the end, the attackers left him unconscious in the alley and put out the fire. Two of them picked up each of the former senshi bridal style as though they had not just essentially tasered the women, and gathered with the rest in the alley's cover awaiting clearance to leave. Their leader pulled out a cellphone and spoke into it, "Yes, we've acquired the targets. Requesting permission to return base." He nodded once, closed his phone, and turned to the rest to relay their orders. "We're going to go to return from point two in the North American Kingdom. Control says they should have moonlight for the next five Earth hours, so if you miss your mark just wait for the moon to rise. Take the moonbeams all the way to base. Hopefully I will see you all in about fifteen minutes. Now go."
There were eight flashes of light leaving behind a short woman and the commander of the group.
"Yes Mercurian?" he questioned the woman.
"What about the guard sir?" she asked, "He might spread word of our presence."
"It doesn't matter," he answered shaking his head. "This incident won't go unnoticed. The princesses are too well known here for that. Leave him. I doubt he even realizes who he was fighting. Is that all?"
"Yes sir," she replied sounding unconvinced.
"Then go," he commanded. He waited a few minutes after she disappeared in a flash of blue to stare at the unconscious shitennou. "Damn Mercurians," he cursed and reached into a pouch on his belt. The commander withdrew a metal flask which he quickly unscrewed and dumped over Jadeites still form. He knelt next to him and extended both his hands over Jadeite's chest mumbling some words. His hands began to emit a reddish light and the shitennou's injuries faded. The commander finished his self assigned task by tossing Jadeite into a nearby dumpster before he too disappeared in a flash of red light.