[FFML] [fanfic][Sailormoon] Moonshadow, chapter 13 (first draft)

The Eternal Lost Lurker lurkerdrome at sbcglobal.net
Thu Nov 27 19:52:26 PST 2008


And now for dessert.

C&C welcome.

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Two girls, vastly different from one another, stood regarding each other in 
the fading light of day.

"So you're the Princess," the blond gaijin said, hands clasped on the handle 
of her bookbag.

"And you're Sailor V," the Japanese girl replied, inclining her head.

"Actually, that Sailor V thing is getting kind of old," the blond said with 
a quirk of her lips. "Tim--" she coughed. "*Artemis* says you're the one who 
can do something about that."

Usagi giggled. "Right." She set her own bag down, and touched her fingers to 
the brooch on her uniform bow. A wind picked up around her feet, and she 
rose slightly into the air. She began to glow with a silvery light...

Mina stared, eyes wide, as the ponytailed Japanese girl was simply replaced 
by a fair-skinned, golden-haired fairy tale princess. The princess opened 
sparkling crystal-blue eyes, which locked with Mina's own--now so very 
similar.

"Awaken, Senshi."

=-------------=



Studio ELL Presents

MOONSHADOW

Adapted from "Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon" by Takeuchi Naoko.

13: Ich will kein Engel sein

=-------------=

"Rei-chan, I need to attend to duties away from the shrine this evening. 
Will you be alright alone? You seem...unsettled."

"Hai, Jijiue. Please do not concern yourself." Rei emerged from her room, 
freshly clad in her miko raiments. "For the sake of my own peace of mind, I 
intend to spend the evening replacing and reinforcing the ofuda. ALL of 
them." Something hard flashed in her eyes.

The diminuitive priest raised a bushy eyebrow, but nodded. "I am certain the 
kami will favour your attention." Shouldering a rucksack, he waved and 
departed.

Mouth set in a grim line, Rei set to work.

=-------------=

"That's it?" Mina asked, blinking.

The golden-haired princess shimmered, fading back to the Japanese 
schoolgirl. "Um...I guess so," she said.

"I was kind of expecting more...fireworks or something." She frowned, 
looking down at her wrist. "I...hey! It changed!"

"Eh?"

Mina fingered the golden bracelet she wore. "Artemis gave me this a couple 
weeks ago, and that's how I've been turning into Sailor V..." She frowned. 
"Yeah, it's changed...a little." What had once been a broad, golden bracelet 
was now a narrow, golden bangle with a small, nearly invisible astrological 
glyph engraved upon it.

"Huh. It must've turned into your normal henshin thing. That'll save me 
having to find Luna to get her to give it to you." Usagi smiled. 
"Anyway...it's nice to finally meet you," she said, bowing.

Mina returned her smile and bow. "Same here," she said. "To tell the truth, 
I'm a little nervous. Meeting a Princess and all..."

The ponytailed girl grimaced. "I don't really think of myself as a 
princess," she replied. "I mean, they say I am, and..." She shrugged. "I'm 
just a normal girl, just like you. Well, normal except for..." She trailed 
off sheepishly.

"Yeah," Mina replied. "By the way, good job with that nutter in the tuxedo."

"Thanks."


"He obviously didn't learn from *me* kicking his butt the first time," Mina 
added with a grin.

Usagi blinked. "Eh?"

"I've run into that guy before," the blond replied in an offhand tone. 
"First time I turned into a Senshi. He was robbing a museum. Funny, he 
actually waited for THAT one to close before he robbed it..."

"You really fought that tuxedo-kamen guy before?" Usagi asked, tilting her 
head. "What was he trying to steal?"

"I dunno," Mina replied, shrugging. "He'd already been in and out by the 
time I got there. I never saw what he took. I don't know if he got away with 
it or not. We kinda..." She paused, shuddering. "We got interrupted."

"Interrupted?"

"Big nasty zombie monsters."

"Oh. Yeah, we've had a few of those too."

"Pretty gross, aren't they?"

"You can say that again!" Both girls laughed.

"So when do I get to meet the team?" Mina asked. "I'm surprised they didn't 
come with you."

Usagi rubbed the back of her head. "I kinda wasn't sure I should bring the 
others," she replied. "Well, I did ask Ami-san--Mercury--to come, but she 
had other plans. And she's...not very sociable, anyway. And 
Kino-san--Jupiter--" The ponytailed girl frowned. "Actually, I don't think I 
saw her today..." She rubbed her chin, brow furrowed. "Then again, it's 
pretty easy to miss someone with the way things are right now..."

"Eh? The way things are...?"

"We're all in the same class," Usagi replied. "And we go to Juuban Junior 
High."

"Oh. ...OH." Mina winced. "Ouch."

"Yeah." She tilted her head curiously. "What school do you go to? I don't 
know that uniform."

The blond picked at her plaid skirt. "I go to Mugen Gakuen. It's a private 
school." She chuckled. "It's the only school Mum and I could agree on--it's 
just Japanese enough for her, and just *not* Japanese enough for me." At 
Usagi's puzzled expression, she elaborated, "I grew up in England, and 
haven't been in Japan long. I'm really...not very comfortable here yet."

"Oh. I'm sorry to hear that."

The blond shrugged. "I'm managing. I've made a really good mate at school, 
and that helps." She smiled, somewhat hopefully, and added, "and maybe I 
just made another new friend."

Usagi beamed, bobbing her head enthusiastically. "Un!"

=-------------=

Hair tied back and sleeves pinned, Rei knelt in the main room of the temple, 
materials spread before her. The unease she felt over the disturbance of her 
barrier gnawed at her, disturbed her harmony and focus.

Stronger measures would need to be taken to restore the balance and purity 
of the temple.

As she began grinding the ink to inscribe new, more powerful wards, the 
ravens began screeching loudly in the courtyard. At the same time, a sharp, 
dagger-like spike of evil ripped through her senses, causing her to gasp and 
clutch her head. She staggered to her feet and ran outside.

A wave of pure, unrestrained malice assaulted her senses, driving her to a 
halt. "Demon," she hissed, "show yourself!"

Something dark loomed in the centre of the courtyard, and the cries of the 
ravens grew in volume and intensity. planting her feet firmly, Rei began 
moving through a series of hand seals. "Rin. Pyou. Tou. Sha. Kai. Jin. 
Retsu. Zai. Zen--"

"Oh, *shut up*, you ridiculous creature!" a voice hissed. Something heavy 
and black slammed into the priestess, sending her sprawling.

"Really. That spiritual garbage is the best you can come up with? How 
utterly foolish!"

Rei rose to her knees, wincing in pain. "What...foul manner of..."

"Demon? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up." The shadows around Rei coalesced 
into the form of a great black panther, its crimson eyes blazing with unholy 
fire. It bared glistening fangs at her in a feral grin. "I haven't had a 
nice juicy human in a *looooong* time," the creature purred. "I hope you 
don't mind...I like to play with my food."

Rei's heart pounded like a jackhammer. She struggled to move away from the 
impossible horror before her. "No...evil creature...begone..."

The panther snorted. "Feeble." Jaws opening wide, it closed in...

=-------------=

"So you think the tuxedo guy is after this Ginzuishou thing?"

It was well into dusk now, and the two girls sat on swings, kicking idly at 
the dirt and talking.

"That's what Ami-san thinks, and she's really smart, so I'm checking into 
it." Usagi looked over at the blond. "Did Artemis tell you about the 
Ginzuishou and all that?"

"Mm-mm," Mina replied, shaking her head. "I think he's only been telling me 
what he thinks I need to know. I'm pretty sure of it, in fact."

"Probably. He honestly doesn't strike me as..."

"As what?" Mina asked, a somewhat dangerous tone in her voice.

"Ah, don't get me wrong!" Usagi exclaimed, waving her hands frantically. 
"I'm not saying he's a bad person or anything! I just...I'm not comfortable 
with some things he's done."

"Like?"

"Like..." Usagi trailed off, then shook her head. "It's not important. If 
he's finally getting us all together, maybe he's trying to show me I can 
trust him."

"Mm." Mina paused. "He does keep a lot of secrets, though. It's pretty 
frustrating."

"Yeah. I--" Usagi broke off, and her eyes widened. "Masaka..."

"What? What's wrong?"

Usagi stood, seemingly transfixed by something. "I feel..."

"SERENITY!" a voice roared from the shadows. "WE'VE GOT A SERIOUS PROBLEM!"

Mina shrieked and jumped several feet from the swingset as a massive black 
panther descended in their midst, crimson eyes trailing flames. "The hell!?"

"Luna, what's going on? I can feel..."

"LUNA?! *THAT'S* LUNA?!"

"Yes, Venus, nice to meet you, save it for later, we've got to help Mars! 
Fast!"

"Mars?" Usagi blinked. "Wait...how did you--"

"NO TIME! HURRY!" The youma sprang into the shadows.

"Looks like time for a test drive," Mina commented, adjusting her new 
henshin bracelet. "Venus Power, Make-Up!"

"Moon Prism Power, Make-Up!"

Two golden-blond blurs vanished from the playground.

=-------------=

The panther spread its claws, trapping the priestess. Its fangs dripped 
saliva as it drew close, hot, foul breath heavy and suffocating. Rei turned 
her face away, eyes closed, unwilling to watch her own death...

The demon suddenly roared in pain; the roar was mixed with loud, angry caws 
and croaks. The pressure of the panther's breath left her; Rei chanced to 
look up, and saw the beast clawing at the air, head swinging to and fro 
blindly. The two ravens she cared for were fluttering around the demon's 
head, scratching and pecking and screeching.

"ENOUGH!" the monster roared, and its eyes opened. Jets of angry red and 
black flame lashed forth, entrapping the birds; they began screeching in 
pain and anger, wings beating madly as they struggled. The demon leapt high 
into the air and batted at them with a savage claw; the crows pitched 
through the air like a volleyball, landing with a sickening thud in Rei's 
lap.

She stared, horrified, at the battered, broken bodies of the two ravens. 
*No...you...to protect me...no...*

"I never did like poultry," the demon snarled, shaking its head angrily. 
"Now, where were we..."

"They died...for me..."

"And you'll join them very shortly."

"They...for me..."

The demon advanced, slow and menacing, eyes blazing.

A very different sort of blaze began to stir within the core of the young 
miko. A warm, invigorating heat, a fire more pure than any water. She lifted 
her head slowly, eyes smouldering as she beheld the evil, unclean *thing* 
before her...

A second panther appeared in a shadowy blur, slamming into the first one and 
sending it flying across the courtyard.

Rei blinked.

"Are you injured?" the new panther rumbled.

"I...what..."

"WHO DARES..." The first panther had risen to its feet, back arched angrily. 
"I WILL KILL--" The demon's enraged snarl cut off abruptly, replaced with 
confusion. "--broodsister?"

The second panther crouched low, eyes flashing crimson. "So. My broodsisters 
survived the Fall."

The first panther padded slowly closer, Rei all but forgotten. "No...it 
cannot be..."

"BEGONE, WRETCH!" Yet another demon panther appeared from the shadows, 
tackling the second panther around the neck with massive forepaws. The two 
beasts rolled away and down the temple steps, yowling and hissing.

Rei could only stare in uncomprehending shock.

The original panther shook its head. "My my, what a crowded place this 
becomes. Perhaps I should finish my meal before we are interrupted again..."

"STOP RIGHT THERE!" two female voices chorused.

"Oh, what NOW?!" the panther snarled, glancing around...

=-------------=

Rei was no longer certain she was awake, or even alive.

Certainly, what she was seeing could not possibly be real.

Her two cherished ravens lay dead at her feet.

Not one, not two, but THREE enormous black panthers had come out of nowhere. 
One had tried to eat her, one had tried to save her life, and another had 
attacked the second.

And now, standing atop the torii, silhouetted by the dim neon haze of 
Tokyo...

...were two Sailor Senshi.

"This is a Shinto temple, not a zoo! There's no place for you here!" one of 
the Senshi called out.

"Yeah, and didn't you see the 'no feeding the animals' sign?" the other 
added.

"You've got about two seconds to go back to whatever circus you escaped 
from--"

"--or we're gonna skin us a couple of cats!"

*This...has to be a nightmare. Or one of the hells I have not read about...*

The panther in front of Rei made a retching sound. "I think I got a hairball 
from that speech," it rumbled. Then, in a louder growl, it went on, "Senshi! 
I've been expecting you! Why don't you ladies come on down? We're about to 
have a lovely feast!"

"The only thing you're eating tonight is CRESCENT MOON!" Golden ponytails 
fluttering like gymnasts' ribbons, Serenity descended from the torii like a 
wrathful angel, a shining sliver of silver energy spinning away from her 
outstretched hands. The panther leapt nimbly away, and the attack gouged a 
deep crack in the pavement.

"A little light for my tastes," the panther said with a purring chuckle.

"Then here, try the next course! LOVE MACHINE!" The second Senshi mirrored 
her partner's leap, one hand extended; a steady stream of glowing 
heart-shaped projectiles erupted from her finger at high velocity, tracking 
the moving demon and leaving a trail of chips and gouges in the ground.

The two Senshi landed side-by-side, dropping into combat stances. The 
ponytailed one turned to the other and asked, "'Love Machine'?"

"It just came out that way, okay?" the orange-skirted Senshi replied, 
blushing furiously. "I think you buggered up my attacks when you Awakened 
me."

"Will you two PLEASE GET SERIOUS?!" a voice snarled from the shrine steps. 
One of the panthers had reappeared, covered in bleeding gashes and limping 
badly on one leg. "Or did you forget why you came--BEHIND YOU!"

The warning was only a half second too late, as yet ANOTHER demon panther 
appeared, slamming into the two Senshi and sending them skidding face-first 
across the courtyard.

"NO!" The injured panther tensed, flinching in agony. The other panthers, 
all uninjured, converged on the two fallen Senshi, circling, prowling, 
tensing for the kill.

The Senshi with the long golden ponytails glanced up, and locked gazes with 
Rei. Spitting blood from between her lips, she rasped out, 
"Awaken...Senshi..."

Hino Rei's world became an inferno.

=-------------=

Luna's gaze shifted nervously from the two fallen, surrounded Senshi, to the 
priestess, who had just risen to her feet as though in a trance. Whose body 
was slowly being engulfed in a pillar of white-hot fire.

Whose forehead shone with a burning red sigil.

Wasting no time, Luna produced a gleaming ruby-red bangle, seized it in her 
teeth, and used all her remaining strength to leap to the newly awakened 
Senshi's side. She tossed the bracelet high into the air. It flew in a 
graceful arc, straight into the blazing inferno.

A hand shot out of the flames, catching the bracelet neatly and rapidly 
snapping it in place.

A voice rose over the roaring of the flames...

"MARS POWER, MAKE-UP!"

=-------------=

The three demon panthers paused in their slow prowl, tensing, hackles 
raised. As one, they turned, hissing, to the new source of danger they felt.

Serenity and Venus gingerly rose to their feet, watching the youma warily, 
yet not taking their eyes off the blazing fire which had erupted just metres 
away.

The dead bodies of two ravens, broken and forgotten on the cold, hard 
ground, burst into flames, and were consumed within seconds.

The flaming pillar contracted, whirling brighter and hotter, rings of 
orange-red pulsing upwards along the blinding yellow-white heat.

And as quickly as it had been summoned forth, the fire was snuffed as though 
it were a candle.

A female figure, curled in a foetal position, slowly stretched to full 
height. Her feet, clad in glossy red high-heels, did not touch the ground. 
Her red miniskirt flared about her hips in a nonexistent wind, which 
likewise stirred the violet bows attached to her Senshi uniform. Long raven 
hair fanned behind her, cascading neatly over the centre of her back.

As she looked up, her violet eyes locking gazes with the Senshi and the 
youma, two great, black-feathered wings burst forth from her back, spreading 
wide.

With two powerful beats of her wings, she moved closer to the rapt, 
wide-eyed audience.

"Upon my right, I bear Fear. Thou who strivest to cause Fear in others, I 
now control thine own. Upon my left, I bear Dread. Thou who bearest with 
thee the Dread of death and suffering, I now control thine own. Look upon me 
now, and Fear me. Look upon me now, and Dread me. I am Mars..."

A bolt of swirling flames emerged from her right hand, coiling into the 
shape of a blazing fiery sword.

"...and I am come to destroy thee."

=-------------=

"Now see, THAT was a good entrance," one of the panthers rumbled softly. 
"You girls should take notes from your friend."

"Wh...what in the...?" Venus asked, staring in wide-eyed shock. "...Rei...?"

"You know her?" Serenity asked.

"Yeah, she's my best mate from school...and she's *MARS*?!"

Luna coughed pointedly. "Girls? Not out of danger yet."

The two Senshi remembered their situation, and leapt clear of the circle of 
demon panthers, coming to rest alongside their newest ally.

"Nice wings," Venus commented. "Hey, how come she gets wings? I didn't get 
wings."

"I don't know," Serenity replied.

Mars' head snapped around, her violet eyes crackling with barely-restrained 
fury. "I bear upon my back the weight of guilt, the guilt of my sin of life. 
I bear as my cross the souls of the angels, the angels who gave of their 
life that I might live."

Serenity blinked. "Um...okay?" Aside to Venus, she whispered, "Does she come 
with subtitles?"

Venus was just staring at Mars in utter disbelief.

"I believe the power of Mars absorbed the souls of the two crows that died 
protecting her," a calm voice spoke from above. "Which became those lovely 
wings."

Serenity looked up at the figure standing on the temple roof. "Artemis-san!"

"Your Highness," the mage replied politely, inclining his head. He frowned. 
"Well, this is quite a party."

Mars had risen high above the youma, which were crouched low, watching her 
warily. Her sword of fire spat sparks into the air, and her wings beat 
slowly, ponderously.

"Enough," a new voice intruded.

A blonde man in a grey uniform appeared behind the panthers. "Beruche, 
Karaberas, Petz...withdraw. This night shall not be ours."

"As you command, Lord Jadeite," the lead panther rumbled. Its unholy crimson 
gaze bore into the fourth youma, who now stood beside the Senshi. "Traitor," 
the demon hissed.

"The choice was never mine, but I now do what I must," Luna replied.

"As do we," the youma snarled. "But know this: side against your 
broodsisters again, and you WILL die, Cooan."

The panthers vanished into the shadows. Their master remained for but a 
moment, eyeing the Senshi, the lone remaining demon panther, and the mage 
calmly. He then bowed. "Well met. I anticipate future engagements...which 
will not end in withdrawal. Fare well until then, Senshi."

Then he, too, was gone.

Mars lowered herself to the ground, folding her wings behind her. Her sword 
extinguished itself, and she turned to face the others.

"An explanation would be welcome," she said primly.

"A whole LOT of explanations," Venus corrected, arms folded. She glanced at 
Serenity, Luna, and Artemis in turn.

"I warned you it might get messy," Artemis offered lightly.

=-------------=

to be continued

=-------------=



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