soton@aol.com

"The Third Principle of Sentient Life is it's capacity for self

sacrifice. For a cause... A loved one... For a friend." - Ambassador

Delenn from the first season "Babylon 5" episode "A Voice in the

Wilderness, pt. 2"

(Authors Note: I know it's not a Star Trek quote, but it seems to fit

the events of the previous chapter perfectly.)

Epilogue:

There was a brief shimmering in the air just before Pluto reappeared

at the Gateway of Time. "I see that good old Ben and his merry band

managed to pull it off," Q commented without turning.

"Yes, they did," Pluto responded, adding solemnly, "All is as it

was before."

Q turned and regarded her with uncertainly, then sighed. "I should

never have introduced you to the cosmic doughnut all those centuries ago.

Now you're beginning to talk like that so called 'Guardian of Forever'."

"Really, Q, you must work on your sense of humor," Pluto commented

wryly.

"Moi?" Q replied, seemingly shocked. "Work on *my* sense of humor?

That's rich, coming from you. I've known you since well before the fall

of the Silver Millennium and counting this you've cracked maybe a half

dozen jokes."

"I see you're working on your use of hyperbole," Pluto commented,

arching an eyebrow.

"Well... maybe a little," he admitted. He snapped his fingers,

bringing up a view of the Defiant before him. "So, I see a Sailor Scout

is coming over to my side of the fence. This could be interesting."

Q sensed Pluto come up behind him, then felt her tap him on the

shoulder. When he turned to face her, he instinctively drew back in

surprise at seeing not only the anger in her expression, but the Garnet

Orb looming menacingly in his face.

"Leave her alone, Q. She's been through enough, due in no small part

to you."

"And what if I don't?" he retorted automatically.

"Then I will be very... *very*... unhappy."

The staring contest seemed to last an eternity (which is saying

something in this case), but eventually Q sighed. "Oh, very well."

"Thank you," Pluto said, relaxing somewhat.

"But I think you're being somewhat unfair in saddling me with the

blame for her plight. After all, I did warn Picard and Riker not to fire

that torpedo."

"If you hadn't brought the Sailor Scouts to the Enterprise, it never

would have happened," Pluto countered.

"And if you would keep your petty villains on your side of the cosmos,

it never would have been necessary!" Q retorted.

"That is not an area in which I am responsible for, Q. And you well

know it."

"You may be correct," Q admitted. "But you know as well as I that I

had no choice in acting as I did. Otherwise, your precious Crystal Tokyo

would be a Borg colony." Pluto didn't reply directly, but gave a slight

nod in acknowledgement. "Now as much as I would like to continue this

little debate, I must be going." Q smiled, attempting to lighten the

mood somewhat. "Did you know that Jean-Luc has a brand new starship at

his disposal? I'll have to give it a good look over... after I give him

a good dose of 'I told you so!'."

"Would you mind postponing that for a bit?" Pluto asked.

"Why? Can't bear the thought of not having me around?"

Pluto rolled her eyes. "Hardly. But I have some unfinished business

to attend to... on the Defiant."

Q sighed, acting as if this were a major inconvenience. In truth, he

had expected Pluto to make this request. "Oh, very well."

"Thank you," Pluto said and vanished.

Odo entered the almost bare room, the forcefield at the entrance

automatically engaging as soon as he stepped through the doorway. He

regarded the one piece of furniture with some interest. "Are you

comfortable?" he asked it.

The chair flowed, becoming a gelatinous substance and finally

settled into a humanoid form with roughly the same characteristics as

Odo. "For the most part," the changeling said. "Though I find it

uncomfortable being confined like this."

"A necessary precaution, I think you would agree," Odo said.

"Especially given their previous encounters with changelings."

It didn't bother to comment, but moved it's limbs about as if

stretching them. "It feels good to be able control my shape once more

and not to have to shift at the behest of that... whatever it was." It

sighed. "I will need some time to recover from this experience, time I

need within the Great Link." It looked at Odo, "Captain Sisko *is* going

to return me to the Dominion?"

"He said he would, after we return to the station," Odo replied,

regarding the changeling with some disbelief. "You'll be ferried to the

Gamma Quadrant, where we'll arrange to meet with a Dominion vessel."

"Good," it said. It seemed to notice that Odo was still looking at

it in disbelief. "Is something wrong?"

"Yes, there is," Odo said. "You seem to have no regard for Sailor

Mars' death."

It shrugged. "They live and they die, Odo. Such is their lot."

Odo snorted, and paced about the room. "I don't believe this," he

muttered. He stopped and glared at the changeling. "You really don't

care, do you? You don't care that two young girls were willing to

sacrifice themselves to set things right for us. That the one who did

so, who may have suffered the most because of you, was willing to put

her hatred aside long enough to save your life?"

"Should it?" The changeling seemed mystified. "After all Odo,

they're only solids."

Odo stared at the changeling for several moments. Then, disgusted,

he spun and headed for the door. He hesitated momentarily there, then

turned back. "No," he said emphatically. "They're not *just* solids.

And at times like these, I think they're more than we will ever be."

Worf stood silently in the torpedo bay, maintaining his silent vigil

over the casings containing the fallen Sailor Scouts. Behind him, he

heard the door his open then felt someone approach and stand beside him.

"Somehow I expected to find you here," Kira said. "It's called Ak'voh,

right?"

"Yes." Worf was mildly surprised that she knew this. It was an old

tradition, where the companions to a fallen warrior kept watch over the

body of a fallen comrade and kept away the predators until the spirit

could make the journey to Sto'vo'kor. The custom was not that well known

outside the Empire and one that was not widely observed these days. "You

are well versed in Klingon traditions, Major."

"I wasn't... at least not before the Klingon invasion of Cardassia.

Since then, Jadzia has been helping me get up to speed on Klingon

culture."

"I see." Worf took the opportunity to glance in her direction,

then faced forward once more. "How is the arm?"

Kira looked down to her left arm, which was secured in a sling, and

flexed her hand experimentally. "It's stiff and hurts like hell. But

Dr. Bashir says it should be fine in a few days." Worf nodded

noncommittally, but made no other comment. After a few silent minutes,

Kira sighed. "You were right."

"About what?"

"When we first entered this universe, you told me that I wouldn't

call them just a 'kids group' if I had seen them in action. Well, you

were right."

Worf didn't reply immediately. He had made a similar mistake

himself upon his first meeting with the Scouts. Indeed, one could say

his first encounter with Serena was less than pleasant.

Kira spoke before he could say anything though. "If you don't mind,

I'd like to stay here a bit." A small smile came to her face. "Help

keep the predators at bay."

"I don't mind, but... If I may ask... Why?"

"Raye," she replied. "As I got to know her, I saw a lot of things

in her that reminded me of myself."

"How so?"

Kira paused, trying to put her feelings into words. "We had some

things in common, for one. We both lost our mothers at an early age,

both of us had to take up a fight against an alien invader on our

worlds. Plus we both had our spiritual beliefs."

"And you are both short tempered," Worf said.

"Look who's talking," Kira stated. After Worf chose not to reply,

she continued, "But I think most of all, I saw in her qualities that

could have been in my life, had it not been for the Cardassians... If

I hadn't been forced to join the Resistance."

Worf nodded, "I think I understand."

They heard the door hiss open behind them. "Uh... Commander,

Major?" a voice said hesitantly. They turned to face O'Brien. "It's

time."

Raye sat down heavily on the temple steps, "This has been one

helluva day, right from the get go." She heaved a sigh of frustration.

"I'm glad all that's over. Ever since Dax and my counterpart came over,

I've been looking all around for that changeling."

"Oh, so that's why you've been acting so oddly today," Amy observed.

"'Fraid so." Raye noticed Serena glaring at her. "What?"

"You knew this was going to happen?" she said accusingly.

"Well, not this exactly, but --"

"AND YOU DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING?!?"

Raye's mouth moved several times, but she said nothing, so shocked

she was by Serena's outburst. It was up to Luna to say, "Give her a

chance to explain her side, Serena. I'm sure Raye had a very good reason

for not saying anything."

Serena switch her glare to the black cat. "And what's your story,

Luna? You were acting odd the whole day as well."

"I knew something odd was going on," Luna admitted. "After all, I

did meet my double in the tree the night before. But with her disguise,

I didn't it was anything more than another cat. All I had to go on was

an odd feeling that something was amiss."

"And in my case, I didn't meet my counterpart until a few minutes

before things started happening," Amy said. "By that time, Luna and I

had already separated from you two. The only thing I could do was try

and get back to where you were."

"All right," Serena said, returning her gaze to Raye, "But --"

"But nothing!" Raye shot back. She stood up and looked Serena

right in the eye. "I didn't say anything to anyone because they told me

not to! Because they said if I did, if things didn't proceed almost

exactly as they should, that changeling wouldn't be there. Then they

wouldn't have any idea where or when it would strike next." Raye paused

and took a deep breath. "Considering how well it imitated Tuxedo Mask,

it could have tried posing as anyone next time. Maybe as me, or Amy, or

even your mother! And then it'd kill you, just like it did in the other

Raye's past."

"I... I hadn't thought of that," Serena stammered.

"Just what were you thinking?" Raye demanded. "Did you think I didn't

say anything because I didn't care if you get hurt? Or killed? Is that

it? Just what kind of person do you think I am?"

"Sorry..." Serena mumbled contritely.

"You'd better be!" Raye continued angrily. "Despite the fact that

you're a ditzy, clumsy brat, I don't want to see you hurt!"

"Well, I... HEY!" Serena shifted emotional gears rapidly, going

instantly to a fuming state. "You take that back!"

"You can't take the truth back," Raye retorted.

Luna sighed as the argument escalated. 'I suppose I'm going to have

to break them up... Again.' Then she noticed that Amy seemed oblivious to

the fight, for she had opened up her computer moments before and was

staring intently at the screen. "What is it, Amy?"

The blue haired girl jumped slightly, startled. "Oh, I got a message."

"A message?" Luna frowned. Who could know to send a message to Amy

over her computer? "Who from?"

"My counterpart," she replied softly.

Despite how low her voice was, it seemed to penetrate through the

verbal barrage between Raye and Serena. They both turned, and gaped at

her. "From your future self?" Serena asked.

"What's it say, Amy," Raye added.

Amy began to read aloud:

Amy,

(It's really strange to be writing a message to myself!)

I've programmed this to be downloaded into your computer if our

mission was successful. Serena is safe, and you three can go on with

your mission: seeking out the Moon Princess and battling the forces of

the Negaverse.

I calculated a high degree of probability that either Raye or myself,

or both, may not survive this mission. If this is so, don't grieve for

us. Success for us meant the utter destruction of the world we came

from... And very probably we would cease to exist soon afterwards.

That doesn't matter, for failure would carry too great a price for us:

seeing Serena die again, and the world fall to the Negaverse without all

the Sailor Scouts to battle them.

There are many thing I could tell you that would make your battle

easier. Knowledge about other foes from the Negaverse, where you can

find others to help you, among others. But I've been asked not to provide

too much information to you. So I'm afraid you'll have to learn it the

hard way. But I know you three will win out in the end.

Best of Luck,

Amy

Sailor Mercury

"Now, remember," Bashir was saying as he entered the bridge carrying

Sailor Mercury, "You've just undergone surgery, so don't do anything to

overexhert yourself -- like standing. After all, your insides are still

being held together with microsutures."

"Yes, Doctor," she answered. Satisfied, Bashir moved over to the

Tactical One station and sat her down in the chair. Meanwhile Luna, her

fur now back to it's normal black color, bounded over from her perch on

one of Sisko's consoles and leapt into Mercury's arms. In an almost

automatic response, she began scratching the cat behind her ears.

Dax looked up from the helm. "We're in position, Benjamin. One AU

from the Sun, directly opposite from Earth."

"Very well, Dax," Sisko said. "Hold station here." Instead of

sitting in the command chair, he was standing behind it. Lined up in

flanking positions on both sides of him, the other members of the senior

staff were likewise standing, with Bashir hovering near Mercury's chair

like a worried mother hen. Only Dax was at her station and, after setting

the helm to hold their current position, she got up as well and moved to

one side of the bridge.

"Shipwide speakers online, Captain," Kira said.

Sisko nodded and prepared to speak, but felt and heard a slight

ripple effect behind him. Looking backwards, he wasn't surprised to see

Pluto standing in the bridge rear. She greeted him silently, but

otherwise didn't say or do anything else.

Facing the viewscreen once more, Sisko took a deep breath, ordering

his thoughts. Though necessary, this was one of the duties of command he

hated the most. "We are gathered here today to pay our final respects to

our honored dead," he began. "To those who have fallen in battle and have

given that last full measure of devotion.

"Lita Kino,better known to us as Sailor Jupiter; Mina Aino, Sailor

Venus, and Artemis. Most of us didn't get a chance to know them. Indeed,

some of us barely met them before they died. But the fact that they fought

to save their world, despite knowing the odds of success were slim, speaks

well of them.

"But it is a different case for Raye Hino, known also as Sailor Mars.

We did get to know her over the last few days. Hot tempered, but with a

passionate love for life... but more so for her friends. She willingly

sacrificed herself to save Sailor Moon... and she wasn't the only one

willing to make such a sacrifice." He took a surreptitious glance at

Mercury out of the corner of his eye. Her face was expressionless, but

the tears and the look in her eyes told her true feelings. Feeling that

were mirrored in the expressions of Luna, and of the rest of the crew.

"In doing so, she secured not only the future of her world, but the

existence of our own. We can never truly repay the debt we owe her."

Finished, Sisko nodded to Worf. The Klingon touched a control on

the weapons panel, triggering the torpedo launch sequence and the three

caskets bearing the bodies were launched from the torpedo tubes.

Artemis and Venus were in the same casket, at Luna's insistence.

As the caskets faded from view into the Sun's glare, Kira spoke, "We

commit their bodies to the vastness of space and to the fires of their

home star, in the hopes their spirits may find peace. May they walk with

the Prophets." As she finished, the computer ran another preprogrammed

sequence, firing several low power bursts from the pulse phasers.

Twenty one in all.

"As you where," Sisko said after several moments. As the crew went

back to their stations while behind them, Pluto bade Mercury and Luna a

silent farewell before vanishing herself.

Sisko sat himself in his command chair then said, "Set course for

the wormhole. One half impulse."

"Course and speed set," Dax replied after making the necessary

adjustments to the helm.

Sisko paused before giving the order to engage and glanced over

at Mercury. She and Luna hadn't moved yet, still watching the viewscreen.

He hoped this would help them start the healing process, and they would

be able to move on with their new lives on Deep Space Nine. But he knew

from personal experience that it wouldn't be easy. It had taken him years

to put Jennifer's death at Wolf 359 fully behind him.

And was he doing them any favors by bringing them to DS9? After all,

it was hardly a peaceful haven; with the problems he was having with the

breakdown of the Klingon alliance, the Maquis, the constant and ever

increasing threat of war with the Dominion and a host of others.

Only the Prophets knew for certain what the future held. All he

really knew was the he and his crew would do everything they could to

help them make the adjustment.

He turned back to the helm, where Dax was patiently awaiting his

orders. "Take us home, old man," he said, his voice tired and somber.

"Take us home."

End.

Notes:

Comments, critiques and questions are welcome. Just email me at

Soton@aol.com.

As before, thanks to Gene Roddenberry and Naoko Takeuchi, for

creating their respective genres. Additional thanks to Rick Berman

and Micheal Piller for creating "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

I would also like to add a special thank you to Will Wolfshohl,

who has provided a lot of critical commentary along the way (thus sparking

an additional idea or two for me) and for patiently answering my

questions regarding Sailor Pluto.

If you're wondering, the Scouts meetings with the Enterprise and

the Enterprise D are depicted in previously written stories -- "Sailor

Trek" and "Sailor Trek TNG". Both are available at the following

fanfic archive sites:

A Sailor Moon Romance

http://www.ctd.nwu.edu/~aerdnahu/

"Tuxedo" Will's Fanfiction Archive

http://log.on.ca/users/helm/anime/index.htm

The Best Sailor Moon Fanfiction on the Net

http://www3.sympatico.ca/john.hitchens/MAINPAGE.HTM

Next up - the last story of the Sailor Trek Saga: Sailor Trek Voyager -

"Where No Sailor Scout Has Gone Before" -- Something evil lurks in the

Delta Quadrant. And it threatens to overwhelm the crew of the Starship

Voyager. But there is one thing that can save them.

The Sailor Scouts!

Preview snippet:

None of them needed to be told that it was a space craft of some

kind. That much was obvious. But it was a large ship, being over one

hundred meters in length. The upper section was an elongated oval shape,

attached to a lower section. And toward the rear were two large nacelles,

set at the same height as the lower section. The landing strut extending

outward from the bottom and the lack of ice debris around it told them

that it had landed on it's own volition and had not crashed.

"There's some lettering on it, but I can't make any of it out,"

Venus observed.

"Neither can I," Tuxedo Mask added.

"Hold on," Mercury said, deploying her visor. After a moment she

read, "NCC-74656. USS Voyager. United Federation of Planets."

The others goggled. "Federation?" Mars said in a strangled voice.

"It's a Starfleet ship," Tuxedo Mask said, his voice awed.

"Well," Venus said, a slight smile on her face, "Here we go again."



planned:

Highlander Moon - The Scouts meet up with Duncan MacLeod of the clan

MacLeod. (coming soon!)