Cyber Moon: Millenium
Episode 2: Arisa in Senshiland.
By Razor Knight
Last update: March 4, 2013.
As they walked through the corridors, Arisa's mind was trying to make sense of it all. She still felt like she would suddenly wake up and be in her bedroom, back in Gaia. "Why are we walking?"
"To give you time to think things through," Ami noted. "Being a Senshi is not fun and games, and-"
"I know that," Arisa said, then noticed Ami's stare. "... No, you're right, I couldn't possibly know how it feels to go through what you all-"
"Precisely why you must think this trough. The galaxy's a much safer place now, but Senshi can still die out there. Being brought back doesn't make it any easier. Being able to bring someone you care about back doesn't..."
Arisa flinched as Ami looked down. She knew what she was thinking about. "Sorry for making you remember."
"That kind of thing never really leaves your mind. Usagi may be cheerful and optimistic, but she still has quite a heavy burden on her shoulder, and I know she still thinks about the past at times."
Arisa saw a large metal door. The only door in quite a long while. "We're here, right?"
"How did you-"
"I suppose you only have as many doors, and rooms, as you really need in this place. Since you can teleport, I suppose your personal rooms and other areas a visitor would not need to visit are disconnected from the main base."
"You're smart," Ami admitted. "Anyhow, yes, we're here."
As they entered the room, Arisa could see two women there. One had purple hair and red eyes, and the other looked a lot like Ami, but her hair was a darker shade of blue. "No way!"
"I take it you know who they are," Ami said, not hiding her amusement.
"Aiko Mizuno and Yukiko Hokuge," Arisa said. "But if they are around, then what about the other sidekicks?"
"We don't quite like that designation," Aiko commented. "Specially not when it comes from someone who's not even a Senshi yet."
"I suppose Ami didn't quite tell you all you needed to know."
"That I didn't. Arisa, allow me to introduce you to Guardians Beta and Gamma."
Arisa's eyes widened. "No way!" The Guardians, the three living deities, the ones who ruled all the Guard? How could they be these women? Was Alpha also one of them?
"To make a very long story short," Aiko said, "I took over the space exploration program shortly after mom started it, along with two other non-Senshi immortals. Understand I use 'shortly' in a relative sense."
Yukiko nodded. "We were the guardians of that project while Ami took care of a much larger one, and eventually Guardian became a title. We've made sure to keep the fact we're immortals hidden, by the least likely method."
Aiko smiled at that. "The rumors that the Guardians are eternal beings aren't just rumors, but everyone takes them as non-literal, they suppose it means the title of 'Guardian' will never cease to exist."
"Who's the other Guardian, then?"
"The one who was known as Nova in her old days."
"Wow, that's... I thought the Senshi would live forever, but you three..."
"Not only us. Khyma is still around, although she was immortal before meeting us. Ail and Ann left the Solar System along with some of the few colonists back in Crystal Tokyo, and although Serenity knows where they are, she kept her promise to let them live their eternity as not-so-normal citizens of the Guard."
Arisa nodded. She hadn't only met the Senshi today, Serenity herself, even, but she had also met two of the Guardians, beings a normal citizen of the Guard never met in their lifetimes. But then again, she supposedly wasn't a normal citizen of the Guard. "I was told I was coming here to know whether or not I'm a Senshi."
"That's been already dealt with," Aiko noted. "You are a Senshi, of that I'm a hundred percent sure." As Arisa stared at her in confusion, Aiko laughed. "People who's known me for a while tend to forget I started my life as a computer program, and I still have many traits I share with those."
"But if I am a Senshi, how do I use my power?" Arisa asked, noticing Ami had left the room while she spoke to the others.
"If you read the book, you'll know about the wands some of them used for a while."
"I did. Where's mine?"
"The thing is, we don't use those anymore. We realized a long time ago, that Senshi take too long to unveil their full potential if they're using training wheels," Aiko explained.
Arisa screeched and dove to the side as Yukiko shot a small fire bolt at her. "Hey, why did you do that for?"
"Don't talk, just dodge, kid," Aiko warned.
The girl didn't have time to reply as she focused on dodging blast after blast. What was the point of this? No, she knew what they were doing. She had read about Kyouko herself going through something similar to this. And a Senshi didn't just dodge and screech, they fought back.
Yukiko was mildly surprised when Arisa, after dodging one of her fire bolts, decided to stop running, and jumped at her, hitting her right in the stomach. It didn't hurt her at all, but she still felt the electricity in Arisa's knuckles. "Good, you didn't need to get burnt before you got it."
Arisa stared at the arcs of electricity running through her left hand. "I'm Sailor Jupiter?"
"It's Sailor Zeus now," Aiko corrected, "but yes, you have control over electricity."
"Mon was born in Zeus..." Arisa realized.
"What about your father?"
"He was from Gaia."
Was, Aiko noticed, but knew better than asking. "I don't want to give you false hopes, but you may also have control over nature, then."
"Isn't a dual Senshi's power hard to control, dangerous, even?"
"If you're untrained or reckless, like dad used to be, then yes. And if you let power get to your head, like my brother did, then it would be bad for you."
"Why, because I could hurt those I care about, or die?"
"No, because last time a dual Senshi turned evil, she destroyed a whole world, killed millions of innocents. Serenity took away her powers, but..."
"The powerless Senshi said that if she still deserved any mercy for us... She told Serenity to kill her, that she didn't want to live after what she had done, even if the damage could be repaired, even if she was powerless to hurt anyone else."
Arisa's face lost color. "Did Serenity..."
Aiko shook her head. "Serenity would not do that. She wouldn't allow other Senshi to do it, even. She gave the woman her powers back, and told her that death would not correct her mistake, and that she had to live on and use her powers for good from then on."
"By the way, ever heard about triple Senshi?"
Arisa rose an eyebrow at Yukiko's question. "Is that even possible? Wait, don't answer that."
Yukiko chuckled. "Kyouko brought you here."
"Yes, what does it- No way."
"See, sometimes Senshi powers can skip a generation, or even countless generations. With Kyouko, her grandfather's control over nature seemed to have skipped a generation, but she was able to, eventually, become the first triple Senshi we ever knew about."
The word 'seemed' appeared out of place to Arisa. "Wait, what about her mother?"
"She's always been eager to improve, even after reaching Aeon level. You must know she was able to use Saturn's power too, although her control over life and death couldn't compare to her wife's, or her own control over lunar magic. But when her daughter unleashed death, lunar and earth magic against a self-claimed god, ChibiUsa decided she had to try as well. And she was right in trying."
"There must be a catch."
"Besides the fact they can kill themselves using their powers much easier than a normal Senshi could?" Aiko mused. "After seeing many dual Senshi, and a few triple ones, we now know they excel at only one element. Dad's first awakened element was ice, but death magic was much stronger. It wasn't that his Saturn powers were stronger, but that his Mercury ones were weaker."
"I think I get it. So even if I do have control over earth and electricity, I'll only be able to use one to its fullest."
Yukiko nodded. "In both ChibiUsa and Kyouko's cases, it's lunar magic. Kyouko still stubbornly calls herself Younger Saturn, but that's a misnomer in more than one way."
Aiko stared at Arisa. "By the way, don't think we Guardians have been slacking around. Here, put this on."
Arisa looked at the artifact Aiko had given her. A visor?
Aiko smiled. "It will let you get energy readings from anyone around you."
Arisa stared at Aiko and Yukiko. "Huh? If I remember correctly, and the base for a first level Senshi is around one hundred points, then your power is... Ridiculously low."
"If you read Serenity's books, you should know about power cloaking," Aiko said, as both she and Yukiko unleashed their full power."
Arisa unconscioulsy took a step back. "Wow..." The numbers were flying up, and kept on rising. "No way!"
"You like to say that a lot," Yukiko mused. "Yes, we're above a Holy Senshi's level, in fact we're relatively close to an Aeon Senshi's level, although our energy reserves and gathering skills will never be as good as an actual Senshi."
"You must be stronger than Galaxia."
"If you mean the evil Galaxia the Senshi fought in their early years, then she was only at Holy level. The real Galaxia was probably beyond Aeon, but we've never been able to find her."
"She must be elsewhere, in another galaxy. Or dead."
Arisa had been paying attention to what they told her, but she had also been trying to figure out something. "I guess I should change for the party. Zeus Planet Power!"
Aiko nodded as Arisa transformed. "We won't be training you, though. We are rather busy leading mankind."
Yukiko shrugged. "Why tell you when you're going to find out in a minute? Phase."
"I noticed something else about her," Aiko noted after Arisa vanished.
"Me too. Should we tell the Queen?"
"If I sensed it, so did she."
Arisa, or rather Zeus, blinked as she looked around. The landscape wasn't that strange, a rocky plain, but as she looked up, she could see at least ten small 'suns' up in the sky, along with two large ones. "What the..."
"They should have warned me they were sending such a pretty girl here."
She turned to the voice and saw a blonde guy staring at her. "If I were to guess, I would say you're Terry Zephyr."
"And you would be right," the man said, not at all surprised she knew who he was. "If you're wondering about the sky, that's how the sky of a planet so close to the core looks like. Stars are so close together you would think the old 'the sun rotates around the Earth' theory is true here. But those two big guys up there are Sylph I and Sylph II, the two stars this planet's circling."
"I agree, it never gets old."
"A lot like you, then," Zeus joked.
Terry laughed at that. "Good point. So, Aiko told me you were a shocking beauty."
Zeus frowned at that. "I would think I'm way too young for you, no offense intended. Also, won't Ami be upset-"
Terry smiled. "See, she's known me for far too long. I accept her tendency to go into lecture mode when she's talking about something she knows a lot about, and she accepts my tendency to flirt with anything female and humanoid."
"She knows she's the only one for me," Terry added, "and I hope you do know, too."
Zeus nodded. "I was told you were going to help me control my powers better."
Terry summoned two swords, and Zeus saw they both had ghastly, cyan figures swirling around them. He noticed her surprise and smiled. "These are fully powered Aeon Dragon Swords."
"No way I'm fighting against that."
Terry laughed. "Of course not, girl, I was just showing off."
"'Showing off is the best way of showing how.'"
The man nodded. "A wise man once said that."
Zeus shot a bolt of electricity at the man, but he just stood there, unphased by it. "Worth a try."
"The trick with our power cloaking is that, while we can limit our own attack power, our defense and our real attack power are still there. I could easily turn this whole world into a giant ice cube."
"I guessed as much."
"Get your sword and we'll start."
Zeus blinked at that. "Get my sword? But how?"
"Newbies," Terry muttered. "Focus, search inside your own mind."
Zeus closed her eyes for a few seconds, and a curved blade appeared in her left hand. "Now if I knew how to use one..."
Terry smiled. "That's why I'm here."
While Arisa was starting her training, someone else had returned to Sylph briefly, to tell the Queen about something she had discovered. "... And if I can feel that about her, then I know you can as well."
"You're both right and wrong, Kyouko."
Kyouko stared at her grandmother. "Please, do tell."
"What I'm seeing in her is not a dual Senshi, or a triple one."
"I'm pretty sure I could sense more than two different elements in her."
"And you're right in saying that."
"Stop the riddles, please."
"Sorry, I just wanted to let you figure it out on your own."
Kyouko blinked a few times as she tried to guess some things. "And I think I just did. Are you saying that kid could be the next Sailor Galaxia?"
"It's a possibility," Serenity said, "and it may be both a blessing and a curse for her and for the galaxy. She will be lacking a Ginzuishou, however, so if it must come to that, I will take care of her."
Zeus was kneeling on the ground, recovering from the training, and decided to ask something which had been bothering her for the last few minutes. "If I'm supposed to stay here and train, then what will happen back home?"
"You mean, your parents will worry about you? It's not the first time we train someone. We could send you back to Gaia a second before you left, but that could have some complications, even with either of the three Plutos watching over the time jump."
"Crap. Well, to quote either of them, 'if I told you, I would have to kill you.'"
"... Gotcha. So, how will I train if I have to keep my identity a secret from-"
"You will go to Gaia, and you will tell your parents the truth."
"Isn't that dangerous?"
"In the worst case scenario, we could also alter their minds to make it so your unexplained absences, injuries and the like seem perfectly normal for them."
"Uh, I don't want mom brainwashed like that."
"I understand, although the term 'brainwashed' is not quite the right one to use. Most of the time, parents do understand the risks involved, though."
"So, I have to go back home alone?"
"No, it's a sort of unspoken rule that the one who brought you here is the one who will help you explain things to your parents."
"Unspoken, my ass."
Terry looked past Zeus and chuckled. "You're just upset because you can't just slack around in here."
Kyouko walked to Zeus, still glaring at Terry. "I'll go because I have things to do in Gaia."
"Don't blow up the planet."
"Will try not to." Kyouko turned to Zeus. "Are you ready?"
"Turn back to normal," Kyouko said.
"The old disguise spell is still the same, no, it's been improved greatly. Your mother will be better off seeing Arisa first, not Sailor Zeus."
Arisa turned back to normal and nodded. "Let's go. At least this time I get a warning before the teleport."
Arisa's mother was rather surprised to see her daughter back. First off, because she was with a woman a few years older than her, and second, because she had appeared out of thin air. "Arisa? Where have you been?"
"You know how it goes, going to another world, meeting the Senshi, talking to them..."
The woman shook her head. "Arisa, you should stop daydreaming-"
Kyouko decided that was as good a time as any to test the waters. "What if I told you your daughter's books are much more than fantasy novels?"
"Unless you have a way to back up such claims, then I would think you are trying to pull some sort of practical joke on me. Who are you, anyhow?"
Kyouko looked at Arisa. "Ever told your mother anything about those books?"
Arisa chuckled. "To use a phrase one of my friends uses, I talked her ears off about them."
"Good," Kyouko said, "my name is Kyouko Tsukino, I also used to be known as Princess Serenity for a long time, but I'm mostly known as Younger Saturn."
The woman stared at the woman in shock. "This is some kind of joke, isn't it?"
Kyouko smiled as her civilian clothes changed into her Senshi outfit. "I'm quite serious."
Arisa flinched as her mother fainted. "Uh..."
"I see that runs in the family," Saturn mused, then snapped her fingers, and the woman woke up. "I'm here to explain a few things to you, miss..." Saturn blinked. "I just realized I don't know your name."
"Kaoru," the woman said. "Kaoru Sakano."
"I don't know what she's doing here, Arisa, but I think I should apologize for never believing in those books."
"We're not a religion," Saturn said, barely hiding her amusement, "and skepticism when proofs are nowhere to be found is understandable."
"What she said," Arisa mused. "And about what she's doing here..." She rose her left arm, electricity running up and down through it. "I was told today that I'm a Senshi."
"You..." Kaoru sank into a couch and shook her head. "This is too much to take, to know those fairy tales are real, and that my daughter is-"
"Still as human as you are," Kyouko said.
"But she's just a girl-"
"You're using that argument against the wrong person," Kyouko noted, "my own mother was a Senshi at the age of six. I became a Senshi before I hit puberty."
"You're telling me I must just accept the fact my daughter may be risking her life on a daily basis?"
"I'm not telling you that, because she won't be risking her life, at least not until she reaches the level I'm at right now. And because we are on the same boat."
"What do you mean?"
"We the 'Arcane Senshi' as some of the newbies call us, have all gone through a lot, and we're all risking our lives relatively often. I nearly died for the third time last century."
"Hmph, what do you know about what I feel?"
And Kyouko knew it was time to drop another bomb, and this one would shock even Arisa. "More than you think, more than you assume. My daughter's a Senshi too."
"Wha- You have a daughter?" Arisa almost shouted.
"What, do you think I just trained and fought evil for the last fifty thousand years, girl?"
"Who's the-" Arisa started, then saw Kyouko's face. "Nevermind."
"Good call," Kyouko said. "So, Kaoru, your daughter here will be training with us. Don't worry about school, if her grades go down I'll personally see that she studies as hard as she will be training."
"Arisa, can I see your suit?"
Arisa nodded. "Zeus Planet Power!" As her transformation finished, she smiled at her mother. "Dreams do come true, huh?"
"This isn't a game," Kyouko said sternly.
"I know, I'm taking it seriously, but I've dreamed of being a Senshi for my whole life. Do you know how- No wait, you do."
Kyouko smiled. "That's right. In any case, I'll come pick you up tomorrow, after school."
Arisa blinked as Kyouko vanished, then looked at her mother. "Mom, you can't tell this to anyone."
"Arisa, much despite myself, I know a lot about Senshi already. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone."
"Good, now if you excuse me, I'm going to take a nap. Too many shocks for one day." She didn't notice the pun she was making on her own powers, but even if she did she would have been too tired to scold herself for it.
Kaoru watched her daughter walk up the stairs and sighed. For the second time in her life, she felt like life had changed drastically, and that she couldn't do a thing about it. But at least this time, the change was relatively good. And she had to admit that, after all she'd heard about the Senshi, to know her daughter was one of them did make her proud.
A/N: The plot thickens. Or I could say the plot appears, but there's still some surprises left to unveil.