Hey Guys! I know I haven't written in forever, but I've figured out that writing really isn't my forte. So, this is most likely my last story, and it's only here because of a special occasion anyway :)

Mars is in retrograde! And today is the day that Earth passes Mars in its orbit! (for an explanation read the story hahaha) I'm taking astronomy this semester in college and this is just one of the things I've learned about. It's super interesting, so Google for more info.

Thanks to everyone for all your support!

So, In honor of March 3, 2012, I give you...

MARS IN RETROGRADE

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"Supreme Thunder!"

The attack hit its mark with flawless accuracy, sending the youma head over heels. She shrieked in rage and pain as she jumped to her feet. Her blue and purple hands shot an unknown liquid at the Senshi.

"Get down guys! Shabon Spray!" As Sailor Mercury blasted her fog all around, she searched for her scattered friends. Sailor Jupiter was ahead to her left, chest to the ground to dodge the liquid that spattered the surrounding trees an array of colors before disintegrating anything it touched into a steaming melted mess. Unfortunately, the goo had grazed her calves, burning the flesh. Mercury glanced to her side, where Sailor Moon had been standing only moments before. Of course, the girl had panicked, and in her hurry to avoid the attack, had tripped over a raised tree root. Both girls were clutching their legs in pain. Mercury hesitated, torn between her two friends who were both in need of help.

'This is not looking good. Where is Rei already?' Ami thought, before leaping towards Jupiter, who was more vulnerable and closer to the youma as the fog began to clear.

"How bad is it?" Sailor Mercury asked her friend, as she alternated looking at the damage on Jupiter's legs and keeping an eye out for any vengeful enemies.

"Well..." Sailor Jupiter clenched her teeth. "I'm not gonna die, but I can't stand up and I don't think I can fight from the ground. Where is Mars?"

"Hello! Wounded leader over here! I'm not even kidding this time guys!" Sailor Moon's wails could be heard behind them. "I think I broke somethi— oh crap."

The painted youma held a giant crayon, sharpened into a spear point, and was hurtling towards Sailor Moon, who was totally exposed and helpless. Before the Senshi could move, a dark shadow swept up Sailor Moon at the exact time a column of flame shot out of the dense undergrowth.

Mercury leapt to her feet. "Oh thank heaven. Mars and I will take of this—Stay here!" She shot Jupiter a serious look to let her know she meant business, then ran towards Sailor Mars as she emerged from the trees.

"Sailor Mars!" Sailor Mercury called. "We're down two fighters and I doubt I can 'fog' this thing to death! Let's see what you've got!" It was times like this that Sailor Mercury wished she had a more aggressive power, one that could actually take down a youma and not just slow one down. But she had to rely on the one strength she had.

The youma struggled on the ground, trying to keep the rapidly melting crayon in one piece. Mars looked towards Jupiter on the ground and Sailor Moon with Tuxedo Kamen in the tree branches, and promptly swore.

Mercury didn't have to time to reprimand her friend's language, especially when a curse like that was most likely warranted. She had pulled out her computer and was scanning the youma for weak points while it was still on the ground.

"Sailor Mars! The youma seems to be composed of mixture of clay, paint, and wax. One more flame burst should do the job!" Sailor Mercury turned towards her friend as the youma growled and pulled itself to its feet. "The hotter the better!"

Sailor Mars placed her hands together and closed her eyes in concentration. "You got it Mercury," she said calmly. "One crispy youma," her hands began to glow as her energy increased, "coming right up! Fire Soul!"

Mercury choked back a chuckle at the thought of the youma burned to a crisp.'Or melty youma, more likely. Guess we'll see!'

The fire burned brightly in Sailor Mars' hands for a moment, before shooting outward… and falling straight to the ground.

A mere second of silent shock filled the atmosphere before…

"WHAT?" The shriek that came from Mars rivaled cries of Sailor Moon and brought the youma to its knees. "WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT? FIRE SOUL!"

The flame flickered in hand before burning out.

"This isn't happening to me," Sailor Mars murmured as she studied her hands. "This is simply a . . . a horrible nightmare!"

"Oh my…. We're screwed." Sailor Moon's words were followed by an "Eep!" as Tuxedo Kamen jumped to the ground.

"So screwed," Sailor Jupiter agreed. "What is wrong with you Mars?" she yelled towards the distressed Senshi."

"You know. . ." Sailor Mercury said as she tapped furiously on her computer. "I did wonder if something like this would happen."

Sailor Mars had fallen to her knees and was staring unseeingly at the scorched grass in front of her- the only evidence of her botched attack.

Jupiter rolled her eyes and pulled herself to her knees. "Sheesh. Hey youma!" she called out to the youma who was trying the sneak up on the oblivious Mars. "Yeah, you! Did you pick your colors yourself or did your art room blow up on you? I mean, your face is the nastiest green…"

"WHAT is she DOING?" Sailor Moon turned towards Mercury, who was still immersed with her computer. "Mercury! DO SOMETHING!"

Sailor Mercury didn't even look up. "Oh Sailor Moon this is simply amazing…"

Tuxedo Kamen sighed.

The youma turned to the green-clad Senshi at the taunting. "Ooh, you little…"

"Ha!" Jupiter winced as she carefully settled her weight on her feet and crouched, arms at the ready. "You can't even think of a good comeback! I was wondering for a while there if you could even talk." Electricity began to spark around her tiara as she focused her remaining energy. "Maybe your little youma brain just doesn't get it-"

The youma launched itself over the group of shocked Senshi- plus one Tuxedo Kamen- and pulled back her crayon-spear to strike. Luckily, this was exactly Jupiter was hoping for.

"Supreme…" Jupiter swallowed back her pain. "Thunder!" The bright strike of lightning coursed to the rod on Jupiter's tiara, pulsed once, then shot towards the youma in an impressive display of light. The youma was consumed in the lightning, let out a painful scream, and then began to dissolve and collapse on itself.

Jupiter followed shortly thereafter.

"Sailor Jupiter!" Sailor Jupiter's collapse brought Mars out her misery and pulled Mercury away from her computer screen, and joined Sailor Moon cry.

Even carrying Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Kamen reached the fallen Senshi first. He knelt beside her prone form and carefully set Sailor Moon to the ground before he felt for a pulse. "She's just unconscious."

Sailor Moon carefully hugged her friend. "Oh, Sailor Jupiter! I was so scared!" Her muffled words were accompanied, not by wails, but by sniffs and sobs into the puffy pink ribbon adorning Jupiter's chest. "I'm so glad you're alright."

"Oh my goodness. How did I let this happen?" Sailor Mercury moaned as she pulled at her hair. "I was just… And with Mars… I mean, who knew?"

Sailor Mars placed Jupiters' limp head in her lamp and looked towards Sailor Mercury. "Do you know what happened to me, Mercury? Why my powers won't work?" she asked, her fear leaking into her voice. "I've been feeling a little off when transformed the last couple of weeks, but I never thought…"

"Ouch," Sailor Jupiter croaked.

"Oh my gosh she's okay!" Sailor Moon shifted her head to look at her friend's face, then squeezed her tighter.

Jupiter winced again. "Sailor Moon?"

"Yes? Do you need something? How are you feeling?"

"Sailor Moon, I can't breathe."

Sailor Moon quickly removed herself from her friend's body. "Whoops."

A soft laugh came from Jupiter's lips as she cracked her eyes open. "So," she began, "Do we know what happened to Mars' 'Fire Soul?'"

"Well," Sailor Mercury and Tuxedo Mask began at the same time. The man motioned for the Senshi to continue. Mercury eyed him curiously as she continued. "Well, ever since we've become Sailor Senshi of the planets, I've increased my study of our solar system and the planets for which we are called. On January 24th of this year, the planet Mars began its retrograde motion."

"Retrograde?" Sailor Moon repeated. "What is that?"

Tuxedo Mask spoke up. "A planet appears to be in retrograde when the Earth is passing that planet as they orbit around the Sun. During this time, the planet will appear to move backwards if studied from night to night, just like a car you are passing on the road seems to move backwards for a moment as you overtake it. Today is the third of March, the day the Earth catches up and overtakes Mars."

"Mars and the Earth are actually closest together at this time," Mercury continued. "Mars take 687 Earth days to orbit the Sun, compared to the Earth's 365, so Mars is only in retrograde once every two years and two months. It has quite a bit of mythological significance-"

"Hold the phone," Jupiter interrupted. She looked at her three friends and Tuxedo Kamen, all sitting neatly in a circle. "So, you're trying to say that Sailor Mars' powers wouldn't work because the planet Mars is backwards right now?"

"Not backwards, exactly, but…" Sailor Mercury amended her statement at her friends' confused faces. "Yes, something different is occurring in the sky which may be affecting Sailor Mars' powers."

Mars huffed and crossed her arms in annoyance. "So, how long is this going to last exactly? I am SO not dealing with this for another two years!"

"Mars will begin its normal motion again in mid-April—"

"April 14," Sailor Mercury added to Tuxedo Kamen's explanation.

Tuxedo Kamen glanced at her, bemused. "Yes, April 14 is the official date. I would estimate that, after today, you will find that you begin feeling better and that your powers begin working better and better, until that day. Hopefully you will be back to normal by then."

Sailor Moon gently raised her hand to speak. "So, to summarize, it's all going to be okay, right?"

There was a moment of silence. Then, Tuxedo Kamen began to laugh, and one by one the Senshi followed suit. Of course it would be Sailor Moon to jump to the simple ending and cut out the complicated explanations.

"What?" Sailor Moon asked in confusion. "What did I say?"