[FFML] [fanfic][Sailormoon] Moonshadow, chapter 15 (Random Commentary/observations)

H. Torrance Griffin htgriffin at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 2 04:39:02 PDT 2009




--- On Sun, 8/2/09, The Eternal Lost Lurker <lurkerdrome at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> From: The Eternal Lost Lurker <lurkerdrome at sbcglobal.net>
> Subject: [FFML] [fanfic][Sailormoon] Moonshadow, chapter 15
> To: "FFML" <ffml at chez-vrolet.net>
> Date: Sunday, August 2, 2009, 8:08 AM
> 
> 
> Here is the draft of Moonshadow 15. C&C is welcome.
> 
> Posting of chapters 14 and 15 to my website will be some
> time in coming, as 
> I am in the middle of preparing to reinstall Windows in the
> wake of a 
> malware attack which crippled my PC. I'll still be able to
> read and reply to 
> C&C, but right now I'm a little preoccupied. Don't let
> that stop you from 
> replying, though! :)

Good luck....

> As Makoto was marked absent for the third day straight,
> Usagi found herself 
> mulling over the things Naru had learned from Umino.
> 
> "Kino Makoto appears to have no family. She has moved twice
> in the last two 
> years, and has attended several different private schools,
> including T*A, 
> St. Hebereke, and Mugen Gakuen. Each school has invited her
> to withdraw 
> enrollment, with no official reasons given. She has a
> history of minor 
> delinquency, and a lot of strange rumours are floating
> around about what she 
> does when she isn't in school..."

Okay, this is not the best afterschool job....

> 
> Usagi sighed. *I don't want to think Kino-san is a bad
> girl. She doesn't 
> seem bad. But...I'm worried...*
> 
> Toying with her pencil, she made up her mind to pay Makoto
> a visit at home 
> after school...

When this is over, I would be suprised if she or the other senshi do not think long and hard on the whole "Don't cut loose against mortals" bit.

> 
> =-------------=
> 
> Studio ELL Presents
> 
> MOONSHADOW
> 
> Adapted from "Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon" by Takeuchi
> Naoko.
> 
> 15: Shinjitsu wa itsumo hitotsu
> 
> =-------------=
> 
> "Rough day yesterday?" she asked as she approached the
> raven-haired girl's 
> desk.
> 
> Rei looked up, and sighed. "Hai. Jijiue was...less than
> pleased at the state 
> of the grounds. I explained the situation...well, I
> explained it with rather 
> less truthfulness than I would have liked." Glancing warily
> around, she 
> whispered, "I'm not certain his reaction to my becoming a
> Senshi would be 
> favourable."

Not the cheerful old letch from the series at all, I take it?

> "Do you think your wards can keep those youma from coming
> back?" Mina asked.
> 
> Rei shrugged. "The one that attacked me seemed amused by my
> wards and 
> rituals." She frowned. "That...offends me. But the new
> wards I created have 
> stronger properties." She paused, then leaned close and
> whispered, "I 
> inscribed them using ink I made with the power of Mars."
> 
> The blond blinked. "Ink you made with--um, isn't your power
> basically just 
> fire, though?"
> 
> "Which I used to make charcoal, which I ground into the
> ink."
> 
> "Ah. That's pretty clever. Think it'll help?"
> 
> "It certainly can't hurt."
> 
> =-------------=
> 
> Luna prowled the perimeter of Mars' shrine home, sniffing
> curiously at the 
> fresh wards which were now plastered liberally all over the
> outer walls. She 
> nodded to herself in satisfaction. "Now THAT'S a barrier."

Looks like you are not invited to any meetings there Luna.

> At lunchtime, Mina and Rei sat together as usual. As they
> opened their 
> lunches, Mina noticed the bandages on Rei's hand. "Whoa,
> when did THAT 
> happen?"
> 
> The miko glanced down at her hand, two fingers of which
> were tightly wrapped 
> in gauze. "Oh...yesterday evening," she said dismissively.
> 
> "Did you hurt yourself cleaning up the shrine or
> something?"
> 
> Rei paused, cheeks tinged faintly. "Something like that."
> She shrugged. 
> "It's not bad, really, just a little tender."

Uh oh... yet more household drama (industrial strength)?

> "It isn't necessary, but if you insist, I'd be grateful for
> the assistance." 
> She paused, then wrinkled her nose as she surveyed the
> contents of her 
> friend's bento. "Mina-san...exactly what..."
> 
> Mina blinked, looking from Rei to the bento in front of her
> and back. "Oh! 
> Fish and chips. Not QUITE London-style, but it's the best I
> could manage 
> with what we had at home. I've been missing it for a
> while." She picked up a 
> thick wedge of fried potato, and offered it to the miko.
> "Want to try?"
> 
> Rei shook her head, looking faintly queasy. "I...believe
> now is not the time 
> for experimentation with unfamiliar cuisine, but I thank
> you for the offer."

Fussy Digestion, or is Mina's best Not That Good?

> "Kino-san?" Usagi asked, knocking on the door. There was a
> note taped over 
> the intercom indicating it was out of service. When there
> was no response, 
> she called out more loudly, knocking forcefully enough that
> her knuckles 
> ached.
> 
> A head poked out of a door further down the hall. "QUIET
> DOWN OUT THERE!" a 
> middle-aged woman snarled.
> 
> Usagi yelped, and bowed. "Gomen nasai! I'm just worried
> about my fr--" She 
> squeaked in alarm as a half-empty beer can bounced off the
> wall beside her 
> head. "HEY!"
> 
> "Fuckin' go away or I'm callin' the fuckin' cops!" the
> woman slurred 
> drunkenly, before slamming her door.

Questionable nieghbors, at least.

> 
> Usagi simply stared at the offensive woman's door for a
> long moment, then 
> turned on her heel and stalked away, casting one worried
> glance back at 
> Makoto's apartment before stepping onto the waiting lift.

I do hope you are not giving up that easily.

> "--pick up some snacks before we head over? I admit I'm
> getting hooked on 
> those seaweed rice crackers."
> 
> "We may make a Japanese girl of you yet, Mina-san."
> 
> "HEY!"
> 
> "I am only teasing you."

So she does have a sense of humor....

> "Wow, you actually have a sense of humour! That's good to
> know. Eep! Sorry, 
> I didn't see--"

Quit stealing my lines.

> "In Japan, we look in front of us when we walk," Ami
> replied coolly, 
> adjusting the plastic sack she had nearly dropped.

Now she does not.

> The miko followed a moment later. "Her school uniform was
> the same as 
> Tsukino-hime," she said quietly. "And I believe I saw a
> bracelet on her 
> wrist..." She looked down at her own gleaming red bangle.
> 
> "You think THAT was one of the other Senshi?" Mina asked.
> "Nah, couldn't 
> be..."

Oh the meeting of Venus and Mercury is going to be a hoot....

> The ponytailed girl sighed. "Kino-san's been absent from
> class every day 
> this week. I went by her apartment, and she wasn't home. I
> don't think she 
> was, anyway."
> 
> Artemis rubbed his chin. "Hmm. That does seem suspicious."
> 
> "You wouldn't happen to have any idea where--"
> 
> "Sorry, I don't," the mage cut across her. "I can't
> magically find one 
> regular Japanese girl among tens of thousands. I can only
> find *you* 
> whenever I like because you're Princess Serenity. The
> Senshi..." He 
> shrugged. "They have to be transformed for me to know where
> they are at any 
> given time. I'm really sorry I can't help."

So there is _no_ tracking function on those bracelets that an archmage of his power can use (he murmured with an air of utter suspicion)?

> Usagi nodded. "Ami-san seems to think he may be looking for
> the Maboroshi no 
> Ginzuishou."
> 
> The mage raised an eyebrow. "An interesting conclusion," he
> said softly.
> 
> Usagi fished around in her bag, and withdrew the printout
> Ami had given her. 
> "Ami-san printed this out and gave it to me," she
> explained. "Every gemstone 
> on this list--"

Mamo-chan is going to be in trouble at this rate.

> Usagi gasped. "Then I should warn Kamekona-san..."
> 
> "More to the point, you need to inspect the Oasis Lament
> yourself, and 
> verify whether it is or is not the Ginzuishou."
> 
> "Veri--how the heck would I know if it is or not?"
> 
> "You'll know," the mage insisted. "You are the rightful
> heir to the 
> Maboroshi no Ginzuishou. If you come into direct contact
> with it, it will 
> *immediately* respond to your aura."

"How you get it into your custody without getting run in for theft is your problem"

> Kamekona Sato and his wife were sitting quietly in their
> living room, having 
> a drink before bed, when there was a gentle rapping sound
> from the glass 
> balcony door.
> 
> Kamekona's wife screamed. The executive scowled, standing,
> and turned, 
> already reaching for his phone...
> 
> He stared at the silhouette framed by the silk draperies,
> shadowed against 
> the dim starlight. "Dear," he said breathlessly, "look..."
> 
> His wife looked up, face pale, and her screams abated.
> "...it's...*her*..." 
> she breathed.
> 
> Kamekona frowned, then walked over and slid open the
> balcony door.
> 
> "I apologise for visiting at this hour, and without prior
> warning," the 
> golden-haired Senshi on the veranda said gently, bowing.
> "But I must speak 
> with you."

Well, that is one idea.

> The director and his wife stared, bemused, at their
> unexpected guest. 
> "S--Sailor Moon?" Mrs. Kamekona breathed shakily.
> 
> The Senshi grimaced. "I've *got* to get a press agent," she
> muttered.

Not high on the list, but it could not hurt.

> "What brings you here?" Kamekona asked, arms folded.
> 
> "I wish to examine the Oasis Lament," the golden-haired
> Senshi said with no 
> preamble.
> 
> "Examine--"
> 
> "Out of the question!" Kamekona snapped. "Have we not been
> terrorised 
> enough?"

Now the question is if it will work.

> "How can you guarantee he won't try to steal it anyway, if
> it isn't whatever 
> you claim he's after?" Kamekona asked.
> 
> "Oh, he'll probably show up looking for it again. But if
> it's not the right 
> one, he won't take it. He didn't keep the Platina Selen
> when he stole THAT, 
> and he didn't go after it again--he hasn't been seen
> anywhere near it 
> since."

Now the problem is if that rock is what he is after.

> "Pardon my intrusion, and have a pleasant
> evening." With 
> that, she was back out on the veranda, and had disappeared
> before the couple 
> could react.

Keep on that route with the exits....

> Mamoru's cape billowed in the night breeze as he observed
> the penthouse 
> balcony through brass opera glasses. He frowned at the
> disappearing golden 
> blur that was Sailor Moon. "Chikushou."
> 
> With a flourish of his cape, the thief faded into the
> still, silent shadows.

Good ears and/or mind.

> Yet another unnoticed observer, grey uniform blending into
> the dingy 
> concrete of the roof he stood upon, nodded thoughtfully
> before disappearing 
> without fanfare.

Bad news.

> Thursday, Makoto was once again absent. Five minutes before
> the end of the 
> school day, Usagi approached the bench where her fellow
> Senshi spent each 
> day studying. "Ami-san?"
> 
> "Hai, Tsukino-san?" Ami asked without looking up from her
> book.
> 
> "Ano...Kino-san's been absent all week, and...I'm worried
> about her."
> 
> "Then you should call her. Surely you have her--"
> 
> "She's *missing*, Ami-san," Usagi interrupted forcefully.
> "She doesn't 
> answer her phone, she isn't at home, and nobody's seen her
> for days."
> 
> Ami paused to adjust her glasses. "That is unfortunate."

Gee, understatement much?

> Ami blew on her bangs in irritation. "Tsukino-san," she
> said, "perhaps I was 
> not clear when I informed you that our alliance only
> extends as far as 
> immediate, life-threatening situations."

Missing for a week, where I come from, comes rather close.

> "I know, Ami-san, but..."
> 
> "The prolonged absence of Kino-san could be due to a number
> of factors, 
> including mere delinquency."
> 
> Usagi shook her head. "I don't believe that, no matter what
> Umino and 
> Naru-chan think about her!"
> 
> "Kino-san is a Senshi," Ami pointed out. "She can protect
> herself."
> 
> "We're not invulnerable," the long-haired girl pointed
> out.
> 
> "True." Ami frowned. "However, if she *is* in danger in
> some way, and has 
> not been seen for some time, certainly her family has--"
> 
> "She doesn't have any family, Ami-san," Usagi interrupted
> gently. "She's all 
> alone."
> 
> Ami paused, adjusting her glasses, brow furrowed. "That
> seems improbable."

Now the clue drops.

> "Ami-san, you're the smartest person I know," Usagi
> rallied. "I mean, 
> Artemis-san is really smart too, but...I trust you more."
> 
> Ami stared at her. "You...trust me."
> 
> "With my life."
> 
> "When have I ever given you cause to hold such faith in
> me?"
> 
> Usagi smiled gently. "You never had to," she said. "I just
> know, in my 
> heart, I can trust you."

Why does this strike me as rather alien to Ami's experience?

> The short-haired girl stared at her ally for a long moment,
> expression 
> unreadable. At length, she sighed. "I suppose...it would be
> prudent to 
> determine what has happened to Kino-san. Her prowess as
> Jupiter may be 
> necessary to our survival in future battles." Pushing her
> glasses up, she 
> stood. "But let us make haste. I have little time to
> spare."

Riiiiight.  Just self perservation.  Got it.  Sure.

> "Proceeding smoothly, although I spent today correcting an
> irregularity in 
> the Mobius Driver. Hence my delay."

This is going to come up again, isn't it.

> 
> "I see." Nephrite paused. "Last eve was most informative,
> if the information 
> was less than appealing."
> 
> "The gem you've been staking out?"
> 
> "The wealthy humans were visited by none other than
> Princess Serenity 
> herself," Nephrite replied. "The bauble they so cherish is
> as worthless as 
> they themselves." He smirked. "The dapper brigand who
> sought its possession 
> also observed this event, and was...most displeased."

Aww, poor baby.

> Jadeite snorted. "So you've hit a dead end on the
> Ginzuishou search."
> 
> "On this aspect alone, yes," Nephrite nodded. "However,
> other avenues lay 
> open before me."

So we have three people chasing this down, and from the looks of it only Tux-boy has much clue on what he is doing.

> =-------------=
> 
> Two schoolgirls stood before a locked apartment door. "A
> logical starting 
> point," Ami said, "but futile if we cannot gain entrance."

And transforming to kick it down could cause a few problems in the long term.

> Ami levelled a cool stare at her. "That, Tsukino-san," she
> said frostily, 
> "is called 'removing evidence from a crime scene'."
> 
> "Um...oops?"
> 
> The short-haired girl sighed, and crouched in front of the
> lock. She 
> extended a hand to Usagi. "We may as well avail ourselves
> of the 
> circumstances. I will attempt to pick the lock. You stand
> watch."
> 
> After several minutes of quiet work and nervous pacing,
> there was a 
> rewarding click. "I have succeeded," Ami announced. "We may
> now enter 
> Kino-san's apartment." She opened the door, and the two
> girls walked inside.

Now where did Ami learn to _use_ those things?

> "Indeed. For an orphan living alone--again, highly
> improbable--Kino-san 
> seems to have..." She trailed off, frowning. "Something is
> amiss."
> 
> Usagi sniffed the air, and wrinkled her nose. "Yeah, no
> kidding." She walked 
> into the small kitchen, and made a disgusted sound. "Ew,
> something's rotten 
> in here."
> 
> Her companion entered behind her, frowning, and espied an
> open milk carton 
> on the counter, along with a sliced cantaloupe which had
> clearly spoiled. 
> "Kino-san has not been here in some time," Ami announced.

More to the point, one would suspect she either did not leave voluntarily or was delayed on what she thought was a very short foray.

> "--and you don't tamper with a crime scene, yeah, yeah, I
> watch _Detective 
> Conan_." At the odd look she received, she replied
> defensively, "I know, 
> it's a kiddie show--"
> 
> "It is among the more intelligent fare on Japanese
> television," Ami replied 
> with a wry smirk. "You could waste your time in far worse
> ways."

Harsh.

> "What's in there?" Usagi asked.
> 
> "Names," Ami replied. "Nothing else...some of them are
> highlighted or marked 
> through."

No cameras on either of them, darn.

> The shorter girl knelt across from her, adjusting her
> glasses and frowning. 
> "Prophylactics," she began, eyes roaming over the neatly
> arranged contents 
> of the box. "Water-based lubricating gels." She paused,
> then withdrew a 
> packet of paper tissues and took one out, using it to pick
> up a jar. 
> "Nonoxynol-9," she said clinically, placing the jar back in
> the box. She 
> then picked up a small pill bottle with no label, save for
> a small strip of 
> masking tape upon which "AFTER" had been written by hand.
> She scowled, 
> placing the bottle back in the box and standing. She walked
> to the 
> wastepaper basket next to the desk, disposed of her tissue,
> then withdrew 
> another and began scrubbing furiously at her hands.

Busted.  And Ami is not happy.

> "ECPs," Ami said, tone cold. "Kino-san keeps a supply of
> emergency birth 
> control pills. And two standard forms of contraception."
> 
> Usagi's eyes widened, and she stared down at the black box
> with horror. 
> "Eeeeh?! But--" She stood up quickly, backing away as
> though the birth 
> control kit were a dangerous animal. "But...why would
> Kino-san..."
> 
> "To maintain a supply kit such as this," Ami said coldly,
> "suggests that 
> Kino-san frequently engages in sexual intercourse."
> 
> "Freq--Ami-san, are you saying Kino-san is some kind of
> slut?" Usagi asked, 
> somewhat defensively.
> 
> Ami turned and levelled a cool, hard stare at the
> long-haired girl. 
> "Tsukino-san, based on what we have discovered here, I
> believe Kino Makoto 
> is a prostitute."

And she's been snatched.  This is not a good thing.

> Makoto grimaced as she woke; her head ached horribly, her
> throat was raw, 
> and her eyes felt as though they had been pierced with
> white-hot needles. A 
> variety of pains--some dull, some intense, ranging from
> bruises to 
> abrasions--covered her nude body; her bare skin prickled
> with the sensation 
> of cold, damp air.
> 
> She attempted to focus on her surroundings; after a
> confused, painful 
> moment, her gaze fixed blearily on a figure suspended on
> the wall opposite. 
> A young Japanese man, stripped to his boxers, covered with
> dried blood and 
> grime, stringy, greasy shoulder-length hair matted and
> tangled. He was 
> unconscious; this was perhaps a blessing, as from what she
> could see of his 
> injuries, being awake would not be fun for him.
> 
> The man hung by his wrists, through which sharp hooks
> attached to heavy 
> chains had been driven. Numerous small, round burns dotted
> his limbs and 
> torso, and a heavy, swollen bruise surrounded his right
> eye. Deep, puckered 
> lacerations crossed his chest and abdomen; at least half of
> them looked 
> badly infected. Part of his right leg was missing, the
> stump crusted with 
> dried blood and ragged, burned flesh.

These are not nice people

> 
> "Damn, Motoki," Makoto whispered hoarsely. "They really
> fucked you up, 
> didn't they?"

Sounds like she might be sobering up.  If so these people may have a problem.

HTG


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