Sailor Moon: Snippets - Six


Minako put down her knitting. "Okay, Captain, what’s up?"

"Humm?" Artemis blinked and turned his head to her.

"You’ve been staring at my teddy bear for the last half-hour. Even for you, that’s a long time without blinking."

Artemis sighed. "I’m getting worried."

"Ah." Minako resumed her knitting, "The other Senshi."

"That’s right. I should have heard from the other Moon Cats by now. But there’s been no contact. None at all."

A shudder went through Minako’s body and she bit her lip, "Artemis -- what happens if we’re the only ones?"

"Can’t be."


The white cat scratched his ear. "Well, the other Senshi have to be around somewhere -- the reincarnation process was pretty through. The question is whether they’ve been awakened yet. That was left up to the cats."

"Because you were sent directly here in your sleep capsules."

"Right. They were programmed to open when the build-up of dark energy suggested an imminent move by the Negaverse. There have been precisely three false-alarms in the last 1000 years, in different areas, that awakened one or the other of us, but not the rest." He shook his head, "This doesn’t feel like a false alarm, though. We’ve destroyed five yoma gathering energy. That spells ‘purpose’ to me. Where are the other cats?"

Minako finished up the edging and started on a sleeve. "Then we have to investigate."

"Right, Captain." Artemis stretched and wandered over. "How?"

"Don’t you dare mess up my knitting." Minako was silent for a bit. "It seems to be fairly quiet in the U.K. The last yoma was a month ago, and I’ve only done the standard robberies and human badness since then."

"I haven’t caught anymore supernatural scent here," Artemis agreed, "I think they moved on to a area without a Senshi."

"The news reports were talking about vampires rising in Ukraine."

"There are always vampires in Ukraine."

"If the Negaverse was to make its move, where would it be centered?"


Home. Minako thoughtfully switched colors for the border on the sleeve. She hadn’t been back to Japan for a few years. "Why there?"

"There’s a strong series of energy points there. They tend to concentrate focuses. The Negaverse will be unconsciously drawn to them, and so will the Senshi."

"Who is the cat assigned to that area?"

"Luna di’Nath. Though young, she’s the most powerful of us Moon Cats."

"And she hasn’t contacted you yet?"

"No." Artemis absently unrolled one of the yarn balls. Minako was concentrating on the pattern and didn’t notice. The pink yarn unraveled around the chair. "I’m not as worried about that, though. Luna has always had a tendency to go her own way. But the guardian for North America, Crescent, is our leader. She would have made contact if she could."

Minako stretched, then continued the knit. "I thought you were Captain."

"Was. Of the guards of the Moon Kingdom. I’m a soldier -- Crescent is the diplomatic and very real head of all Moon Cats based in your Kingdom. She was Queen Serenity’s good friend, and knows the most about Serenity had planned for this final battle."

"Planned?" Minako reached down for another color, then froze. "Oh, Artemis!"

"Huh?" The white cat pushed some pink yarn off his nose and looked around, "What?"

"My yarn, Artemis!"

"Oh..." Artemis did his best to get out of the tangle around him, "I’m sorry, Minako."

Minako sighed. Even a talking Moon cat didn’t seem to be immune to normal cat antics. "Never mind. I’ll call my parents, and ask for a vacation in America. They’ll be happy that I’m asking them for something and will be happy to help. We’ll track down the capsule and see what’s happened with Crescent. We can do the same with the others. Maybe I’ll invent an interest in archeology."

"That’s anthropology. Or social science." Artemis jumped up on the bed. "I like the plan, Captain. It’s simple, but very effective. Only thing is, I’d like to check out Japan first. We’ll have to all gather there later anyhow, and I want to make sure things are on schedule."

"Right then." Minako started to gather up her knitting and put it away. "First stop, Japan for a week or so, then to America, say a month, then... Egypt?"

"No. Egypt was the site of one of those false alarms. Bast couldn’t return to her capsule and ended up spending the rest of her natural life there. Have some quiet extensive diaries about it recorded. How about Australia? We’re spread rather thin, but there was an energy force down there that Opal was suppose to be keeping an eye on. He’s rather good at the natural powers."

"Okay. Australia, then we’ll have a good enough idea of how things stand to do a re-evaluation." Minako stood up and stretched. "I’ll call my parents tonight -- the ambassadorial group is having a big shin-dig tonight and they wouldn’t appreciate me calling before then." She paced around the room, then brought out her Moon Stick. "In the mean-time, I’m bored." Minako grinned at Artemis, "What do you say we scare up some action, Moon Cat?"


"Moon Power Transform!" Sailor V finished her metamorphosis and jumped out to confront the yoma. "Crescent Beam!" The life energy flooded her and she spun it out again in a focused beam. The yoma shrieked and faded into dust. Sailor V stared at it for a moment, then leaped for a high window, silhouetting herself against the light before jumping out and disappearing from the sight of the people in the bank. Outside, she transformed back to Minako and slipped back inside while everyone was still talking about the strange creature, and the appearance of the English hero, Sailor V. She picked up Artemis, chatted a bit, and got out of there.

"Boy, Artemis. You were right about Japan. That’s the second yoma, and we’ve only been here an hour." Minako checked her wallet. "I guess we’ll have to hit a different bank for the exchange."

"Must be some serious wasted energy at airports to steal. We also had a yoma at the airport in London when we switched planes."

"If this keeps up, I’m going to be easy to track."

"Or there’re going to be some very confused Nega-monsters. I notice that there’re still stories of you in England."

"I guess it’s bad publicity for your public hero to get killed in an explosion."

Artemis didn’t comment. Minako sighed, and headed out to the next bank to pick up some Japanese currency. They were going to take the train out to the hills and try and find the site where Artemis remembered Luna’s capsule being.


"Good Lord!" Minako bushed away some ash off a stone. "It looks like a battle took place in here!"

"I think it did." Artemis’ voice was grim. "It’s around this way, but could you change first?"

Minako pulled out the Moon Stick and did as he asked. The destruction and mess looked very, very old. But whatever evil had broken in here might have left traps. Sailor V would be better able to deal with them than Minako. When she had transformed, they both moved through the narrow cave system. Sailor V found that she didn’t need the lantern that she’d been carrying as Minako. But Artemis told her to keep it for now -- he found it useful.

"There." Artemis hurried forward. Sailor V swooped on him and grabbed him up to keep him from getting any closer. Artemis twisted his head to look at her, "What?"

Sailor V studied the small capsule carefully. She adjusted her mask around her face. "There’s something around the capsule."

Artemis took a closer look and wiggled out of Sailor V’s hold. He prowled around the sides of the small room. Most of the machinery in the cave had been destroyed. There were scorch marks on the walls of the cave. Part of the floor had buckled up. Artemis glanced up to the ceiling and a small squeak came out of his throat.

Sailor V looked up, "Oh my."

The ceiling was falling. Or rather, it was suspended from falling. There were rocks and boulders above them, not attached to the rest of the cave, but not collapsing down on them yet. Sailor V adjusted her mask again. "The same energy signature is surrounding the rock. Can you see it, Artemis?"

"Give me a moment." Artemis grimaced and closed his eyes. When he opened them again, they glowed with their own light. "Oh, yes. Humm. It’s very old."

"From just the look of the other stuff around her, I’d say at least 200 years." Sailor V walked closer to the capsule, "Say..."

"Recognize something?"

"I think... Artemis, did you ever meet King Terra?"

"Of Earth? Not really. Saw him in passing a few times." Artemis grinned, "Saw more of Endymion."

Sailor V laughed. They had all seen a lot more of Endymion. The wonder was that it had taken the Princess so long to admit she loved him. Sailor V’s laugh stopped abruptly, reminded of that final battle. She rubbed her chest where the spear had pierced her heart. Oh, that hurt. But what had hurt more was the feeling of hopelessness as their energy was stripped away from them in waves, until they were defenseless against the mortals attacking them. Defenseless, when they were the ones who were suppose to defend the Earth. And those who killed them were not evil of themselves. They could have been healed. If the Senshi had won the battle.


Sailor V came back to herself. Her eyes met Artemis’ and no words needed to be said.

"What about King Terra?"

Shaking her head, Sailor V circled the capsule, unmindful of the tons of rock above her head, studying the damage and the energy that encircled it. "This power signature. I’d swear it was of the Earth Senshi. But I don’t see any part of Terra in it. Just the Earth."

Artemis glanced nervously up to the ceiling, then joined her. He also studied the energy. "It does look like a Senshi, but I’m not familiar with it."

"Earth has the power of displacement. I think he must have intervened here."

"It must have been a tough battle."

Sailor V agreed. Luna’s capsule had been badly damaged. There were still life-signs in it, a hopeful sign, but the situation didn’t look good. "How are we going to get her out?"

"Umm..." Artemis studied the ceiling. "I think... if we move the capsule quickly, it looks like this is set up on a staggered temporal displacement. We should have enough time after negating the energy on the capsule to get out of the cave before the ceiling comes down."

"And Luna?"

Artemis shrugged, "We’ll have to see once we get her outside. With the capsule displaced, I can’t tell how bad the internal damage is."

"Right." Sailor V gathered herself, then concentrated her energy. She grabbed the capsule, and felt a shock pass through her body. It accepted her, and passed on. In a moment, she felt the dispercement of the energies and could lift the capsule. She ran.

They got to the outside of the tunnel and looked back. Rumbles and dust swirling in the sunlight told of the completion of the destruction in the cave.

"Well." Sailor V and Artemis looked at each other.

Sailor V put the capsule down, and Artemis started examining it. After several minutes had gone by, Sailor V changed back to Minako and sat down on a nearby rock. The breaking of the spell that encased the cave had taken a lot out of her. And I was a friend. I think it would have blasted an enemy.

A long time passed before Artemis joined her on the rock.


Artemis cleaned an ash-streaked paw. "Good news and bad news."

Minako raised an eyebrow.

"Luna’s still alive. And we’ll be able to wake her. But she’s been hurt, and the computer is fried. I don’t think she’ll have much of her memory. The Princess could heal her..."

"But we don’t know where the Princess is." Minako sighed.

"And we don’t want to know right now."


"When the Princess is awakened, the Negaverse will know. They remember the Moon Goddess that banished them and sealed them. They’ve spent a thousand years breaking out again. They are looking for the Silver Crystal that provided the energy to seal them, and they know the Princess survived, in some form or another. They are looking for her."

"So how do we awaken her?"

Artemis grimaced, "That’s why I want to talk with Crescent. I haven’t the faintest idea. The computer instructions were pretty scanty. Most of the files were updates of the last thousand years. I was going mostly on instinct when I found you."

"And you told me to hide."

"Yes. You initially became Sailor Venus..."

"And we were immediately the focus of every evil in the area."

"I didn’t know you could change forms."

"Necessity." Minako stretched, "I’m more of Earth in this form then I was as Trinity. Venus is both further and closer to me. And I can feel the blood of Earth running through my veins every time I use my powers. Earth people accept Sailor V in a way they never did in the past. The war was evil and horrible, and I sorrow for all the people who died. But I think we needed this reincarnation. We had grown away from Earth and are now part of it again. It was the Earth part of me that showed me how to hide within myself." She paused, "And I really don’t normally have sensing powers. It’s something more that Terra used to do. I think Earth has loaned us part of his powers, as he does to his Senshi."

"Where do you think Senshi Earth is?"

Minako shook her head. "That battle in the cave was two hundred years ago. I don’t know how he could have been reincarnated with the rest of us and still be able to fight. I don’t know."

"He wasn’t actually with us during that final battle."

"No... Maybe he wasn’t reincarnated. Maybe he survived."

"A thousand years?"

"Even for us, that’s a long time," Minako agreed. "And if King Terra was alive, he would not have let the Earthlings attack us. Or at least he would have warned us."

They sat for several more minutes, watching the birds fly in the trees.

"What are we going to do about Luna?"

Artemis sighed and sat up from his curled sprawl. "I want to talk to Crescent. But we’re pressed for time. I think I should reprogram as much of the computer as I can, and let the capsule activate normally. She should have enough of her memory to know what she must do -- it was pretty well branded into my head when I woke up. And I’ll leave her a link to contact me for more instructions and support if she needs them."

Minako laughed.


"Princess Luna taking orders from the Captain of her Guards?"

"Oh yeah." Artemis sighed again and settled back down.

Minako stretched and stood up, "How about a Central Control?"

"Central Control?"

"You can program that into the computer and just not let her know who you are."

"We need a link that wouldn’t reveal who I was."

"Well," Minako got a wicked glint in her eyes. Artemis watched her warily. She laughed at him, "There’s my new video games."


"My video games -- the new Sailor V Arcade game. When we left England, distribution was booming on the continent and plans were being made for release overseas and in Japan."

Artemis sat up and scratched his ear. "How did you find that out?"

Minako blushed, "I was amused -- I paid attention. But seriously -- it has all the necessary screen functions and enough interactive tools. I’m sure you can adapt it."

Artemis regarded her suspiciously. The Minako he knew avoided computers and homework as much as possible. For this idea to come from her... But there was also a lot of Trinity in Minako. He thought about it. If he could get in the software... And production for Japan would have to be significantly different that they would have to make the bulk of the machine separately... If they could get to it before it started, he could easily insert into the plans the changes he needed. "I think that works." He stood up, "Let me get started on Luna’s capsule. We need a new hiding place for it as well."

Minako grinned, "That one’s for me."


Their week went by in which the two friends filled up every minute of the day with their work, which they couldn’t tell anybody. Minako’s conversations with her parents were brief and she told them she was having a lot of fun. They, knowing what their daughter was like before Artemis had awakened her, accepted this and didn’t press for details. It made it much easier on Minako, but sometimes she wished she could tell them. They wouldn’t have understood – they couldn’t. But with only her and Artemis to know the secret… And Artemis was a cat. She couldn’t even tell anybody about him. To her Aunt whose house she was staying at, Artemis was simply a pet. A well-behaved one, to be sure, but only a pet. Minako had to be very careful about when she talked with Artemis.

One thing that happened that they hadn’t expected when they made their plans was that Minako’s parents rearranged some of them: School season was starting in another two months, and since Minako had expressed her interest in this vacation back home, and not in England, her parents had taken it one step further and enrolled her in a school in Tokyo for the season. Minako would get her vacation to America, but would have to come back for school. And her mother would come home with her. Her father would try and get assigned to a home post, but he couldn’t guarantee anything. When she heard this, Minako rolled her eyes at Artemis, who grimaced, but said nothing until they were up in her room again. After they talked about it, they decided it would work out – the Senshi were suppose to gather at some point in the future, and this might make it easier. But they would have to skip the trip to Australia, unless they could find Crescent quickly.

Finally, they were ready to leave again. Minako kissed her Aunt goodbye, and she and Artemis headed out to the airport.

"What do you bet we run into another yoma?"

"Not funny, Captain."

Artemis laughed.

They weren’t at the airport for a half-hour before they sensed a yoma nearby, gathering energy.

"Oh, good Lord! I was joking!!"

"Damn." Minako stowed her luggage under the seats in the waiting room and snuck around to the control tower. She watched for several moments, figuring out this yoma’s plan. Apparently this one was taking advantage of the worry and concentration needed to coordinate the numbers of planes taking off and landing. "Artemis, this is bad. If the energy drain on those controllers hits them as they’re relaying coordinates…"

"First rate disaster. Hundreds of people’s lives are at stake here."

"But if I attack it now, I’ll distract them just as badly."

Artemis’ tail thumped gently on the floor. "I think the only way to do it is to halt air traffic for a bit."

Minako stared at him.

"I’ll go down and shut off the main power grid. Backups will come on immediately, so their won’t be any break in power here and the planes will get out okay. But they’re going to stop any new actions until they find out what happened with the grid."

Minako nodded, it sounded good. "Can you do it?"

"Of course." Artemis grinned at her. "Be careful, Sailor V."

"Same to you, Captain."

He left, and she changed to Sailor V, then hid again.

The minutes ticked by, and Sailor V grew more anxious as she could see the energy being slowly sucked out of the people’s bodies. Then there was a flurry of commotion, and people started scurrying around. The sounds of traffic control slowed, and then stopped as the immediate planes were taken care of.

"He’s done it." Sailor V stayed where she was for a moment longer – she knew which one was the yoma, but it would be easier if it revealed itself… "Yes." The yoma, apparently worried about the differences in the energy it was gathering, shed the human form it held, and started pulling in all the energy directly. Sailor V stepped out and confronted it.

"I am Sailor V! Champion of justice, and airport zoning! I cannot forgive you endangering lives and delaying air traffic. I might even miss my plane! In the name of the Moon, I’ll punish you!"

The yoma turned its head. "Sailor V…" Its talons became darts and they released at her. Sailor V jumped away, raising her arms in mid-air as she gathered her energy, "Crescent Beam!" The Beam was straight on target, but the monster simply shook itself and launched another set of darts. Sailor V twisted aside to evade them and landed heavily. "Damn. A tough one." There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to which monsters were stronger than others, but the fact was, there were some that were a lot harder to destroy than others. Sailor V rolled while she tried to gather her energy in for another blast.

A dart hit her leg. Sailor V screamed in pain as her energy started to leave her. She salvaged what she could and raised her arms, "Crescent Beam!" The life energy that left her was feeble in comparison to her first attack, and Sailor V ducked around a chair, knowing that it would not be the deciding factor in the battle. She swiped at the dart in her leg, but it had already dissolved, taking much of her energy with it. Suddenly, the yoma was in the air in front and above her, claws turning to darts again. Trapped, Sailor V moved in the only direction left to her – forward. The yoma hesitated, not prepared for such boldness. At the last possible second, Sailor V dropped to the ground and slid underneath the monster. When she was in the open again, she looked around, checking for a delaying tactic that would work where she could stop retreating and attack again. She leaped to the top of a console and threw a model airplane at the yoma. The yoma batted it away easily, but Sailor V had disappeared by the time the monster looked around again. The yoma floated up in the air, searching for her. When Sailor V was ready for another attack, she jumped up to the window frame and made sure the sun was at her back. The monster turned to look, and squinted against the light. "Crescent—"

A dart hit her squarely in the chest and Sailor V fell down to the floor, choking out her words, but the energy had left her. The yoma stood before her, gloating. It raised its other hand, and darts sparkled. Sailor V glared up at her, fighting to move. Suddenly, a white blur smashed into the yoma’s face and long scratches appeared over its eyes. Sailor V rolled away and managed to get under a console, where she put a hand to her chest and pulled out the dart. She tossed it away from her and breathed deeply. She looked up to see Artemis being thrown through the air. He smashed against the wall and fell heavily to the floor. The yoma turned and didn’t have any problems finding her. It grinned. Sailor V saw its eyes and knew despair. She couldn’t gather the energy in. There was no more left in her. "I’m sorry, Artemis," she spoke softly, and bowed her head.

A slash of red energy penetrated her weakened state and she stared at the rose by her feet.

"What?" The yoma twisted its head without turning its body.

A silhouetted figure stood in the windowsill that Sailor V had occupied just a few moments before. A cape swirled in non-existent wind. "Sailor V. No matter how bad the situation is, never give up hope." The light resolved itself, and Sailor V found herself looking at a tall man in a tuxedo and hat, the black cape swirling around him accenting the white mask on his face. He jumped off the windowsill, a cane extending out from his hands and knocking the yoma flat. He stood next to Sailor V and offered her a hand up. When she touched his hand, Sailor V felt new energy flooding through her and she breathed more easily. He nodded as he saw her accept the energy, then he leaped in the air and the darts that had been aimed for him passed by harmlessly. His cane extended again, but this time the monster batted it aside.

Sailor V knew that much of the energy now within her was his, and ruthlessly gathered it up.

As he leaped to the other side, the yoma followed him, presenting her with a clear shot at its back.

"Crescent Beam!" The energy blasted through the darkness of the yoma and it screamed, turning to dust. Then the dust faded away.

The man in the cape grinned at her, "Well done! Sailor V," then he jumped out an upper window. Sailor V spared a single moment to grab the rose still at her feet, before she followed. Artemis was right behind her. They all ended up on the roof of the building, the man flying quickly away from them.

"Endymion, wait!" Sailor V made one last bound and landed on the edge of the roof.

The man settled down from the air and balanced on the rail. He turned to look at her.

"Endymion!" Sailor V felt her heart lifting with gladness. She was not alone! But the expression on his face damped some of her happiness.

"I’m not… Endymion." The man pronounced the name hesitantly, sounding it out. As if he’d once heard it, but was not sure of it.

Sailor V blinked, "Of course you are."

Artemis walked up behind her, "Then who are you?"

They could almost feel the puzzlement within the man, then he suddenly grinned, "You might as well call me, Tuxedo Mask." He gestured at his outfit.

"That’s not a name." Sailor V snorted.

"It’s mine now," The mask cleared for an instant, and she was looking into clear, piercing blue eyes, "Sailor Venus." He turned away again, obviously preparing to jump.

"Wait, Endymion!" There was no response. "Fine – Tuxedo Mask!"

He turned back to them, reluctantly.

"How did you get here? Why are you here?" Sailor V was happy to see him, but puzzled as well. Endymion was an Earth prince, but no Senshi. There was no possible way he could have been incarnated with the rest of them.

"Same answer to both questions – I’m here to protect Sailor Moon."

"Sailor Moon???" Both Artemis and Sailor V felt themselves numb with surprise. That was no Senshi they knew!

"Sailor Moon…" Tuxedo Mask took off his hat and turned it upside down. A picture swirled out from it, of a pretty young girl in a junior high school uniform, her blonde hair done up in two round balls at the top of her head, tails falling down near to her feet. "Look for the rabbit in the moon – Usagi Tsuko. Have Luna di’Nath look for her. The rabbit in the moon…"

The picture faded and he put his hat back on. The hesitancy they’d seen in him as they were questioning his name seemed to be gone, and he spoke with an authority that they both instinctively listened to. "Captain Artemis. I regret to tell you: You and Luna di’Nath are the last of the Moon Cats on Earth. You must complete your mission without the direct aid of the others. But before she died, Crescent di’Nath left a message for you. You must continue your trip to the Americas to hear it. It contains information you will need against the Negaverse. Look where those have gone before." He paused for a moment.

"The last…" Artemis’ voice was a bare whisper.

Tuxedo Mask looked down at them, sympathetically, "I tell you, the building we are standing on, the land beneath it, the whole of the island… None of these would be here now if the magnificent Crescent had not given of her self and her soul. The Earth is more grateful than you will ever know, and the Earth will not ever forget her. Remember your leader – remember your mission, and live to her pride." He turned and stepped off the railing. They saw him for a moment, flying away, then he faded and disappeared.

Sailor V walked to the edge of the building and looked out, "Endymion…"

"The last?"

Sailor V turned back to her companion. "Oh, Artemis." She gathered the white cat up in her arms and held him close. She shimmered and became Minako again. Artemis turned his head to her chest and started to cry.

They stood there for a long while together. Until a plane flew over their heads for a landing, and another one took off from the ground.

"Ack! My plane!" Minako ran across the roof, looking for a ladder or something, "Artemis, I’m going to miss my plane!"


The plane ride was long and tedious with so much to think about and no one to tell it too. Minako had gotten another plane ticket for Artemis, so he didn’t have to go in the cargo section, but he was in his carrier, and was suppose to be only a cat. Minako flirted with the passengers around her, but her heart wasn’t in it. Eventually, when most other passengers had gone to sleep and the interior lights were dimmed, Minako found herself staring out the plane window into the darkness over the ocean, thinking.

After ten long hours, the plane finally landed in Hawaii for the layover. Minako and the rest of the passengers got off gladly, stretching in the lobby of the airport, bending their heads to accept the leis being put around their necks. Minako took Artemis’ carrier and headed outside the airport, recoiling briefly at the blast of hot humid air. The sun was barely peeking over the horizon, yet the air was moist and warm. She breathed it in, "In a place as wonderful as this, there can be no evil." A snort came from Artemis’ carrier, but he made no other comment in public.

Minako’s parents had arranged for her to have a day lay-over, to have time to see the sights of Honolulu instead of rushing by and not seeing the beauty. So she took her luggage to the hotel she’d be staying at, and then took herself and Artemis out to the ocean edge.

"Artemis! Feel the water – it’s warm!" Minako swam out, flipping on her back and ducking under the waves. Japan’s waters were warm too, but she’d been the last few years in England, where one did not go swimming unless they wanted to come back blue. Eventually, she came back in and settled down on her towel, wringing out her hair and laying on her stomach so her hair could dry in the sun. Artemis laid down near her, but was careful to stay a good distance from the wetness.

By all appearances, she would just seem another sunbather. Minako made sure nobody was close to her, then she looked seriously at Artemis, "Captain, I think I’ve figured it out."

"Crescent’s message?"

Minako blinked, "No… We won’t know that until we find it. No, I mean what happened to Endymion."

"Is it important?" Artemis’ question was as listless as he’d been all morning. Minako studied her friend for a long moment.

"Artemis. My friend. I know what you’re feeling – we all lost companions in that battle, and I wish beyond anything that the Queen was here to guide us now, but she’s not. Apparently Crescent is not. We are. And the Evil is out there. We have to fight it, and we will have to fight it by ourselves. It will be hard, but we can not give up hope," and she remembered Tuxedo Mask’s words to her, and thought of the rose packed in her luggage. "We have to stay strong so that we will win."

Artemis sighed, "Do you believe what he told us?"

"Yes – that was Earth talking."

The white moon cat sat up, "What? But you said that…"

"I know. But I’ve been thinking. Listen Artemis – how is a Senshi’s duty passed?"

"Well, with the guidance of the Sponsors, a replacement is found and trained, and when the time is right, the old Senshi will retire and become human again, and the spirit of the Senshi will pass to the new person."

"But what if a Senshi is killed in battle?"

"Then the spirit of the Senshi will find the best replacement and merge with them – very like has happened with you, Minako, and Sailor Venus, except that your memories as Trinity are also being awakened, because the Queen used her last wish to reincarnate the current Senshi, instead of just relying on the passage of the spirits."

"Exactly." Minako paused for a long moment, reawakening those very memories, "Now, Artemis, during that last battle, when the Earth people were attacking us… I saw Prince Tantalus among those opposing us."

"Prince Tantalus? Trinity, are you sure?"

"I’ve been over it a hundred times in my mind, Artemis. I’m sure. The Prince was not only among them, but one of those leading them."

The white cat let out an anguished meow. Though the happenings were over a thousand years past, the pain was fresh. "The Earth Kingdom was betrayed."

Minako turned on her side, flipping her hair behind her. "Artemis, we knew that. It could have been no other way."

"But from within…"

"It could have been no other way," Minako repeated. "Tantalus was not the youngest of the children of Terra, but he was not a Power in the family. The Darkness could have been working on him for years – must have been, for no one in the family to notice. Prince Lachesis was training to take over his father’s Senshi, and even without full sponsorship, his was a Power to reckon with. Four of the Princesses were also Powers, and Clotho might have become Pluto in her time. No… The Earth Kingdom could not have fallen if it were not betrayed from within."

"But for the Prince to betray his family…"

"Artemis – shut up and listen." Minako gazed at her companion with some exasperation, "You know, Artemis, in a lot of ways, you’re awfully naive. The cats of Nath must be one happy family."

"We were, until the Darkness came upon us. We would have been nothing but dust if Queen Serenity the Traveler had not come to save us. Which is why we still send our children to you, but nothing can ever repay the debt we owe."

Minako rolled over on her back and placed a towel over her eyes, "Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it, and the family must all have been killed at the same time. Terra, Rhea, and all their children. We would have had warning otherwise. All the Earth children could teleport and communicate. The surprise must have been total."

"But we did have some warning."

"A few hours worth – and from Endymion. He alone of Earth’s children was not on the planet, having been spending time with the Princess. He must have felt his family’s deaths."

Artemis drew lines in the sand with his paws, "I hadn’t thought about that. Was it truly he who gave the warning? I was patrolling the borders."

"It was." Minako forced herself to remain still, though the thoughts of that final battle were painful to relive. "He was dancing with the Princess, and felt something wrong. Between them, they figured out enough about the Earth people’s plans to come to the Queen with their suspicions. Endymion wanted to return to Earth and find out for certain what had happened to his family, but the Queen forbid it." Minako couldn’t stand it anymore and rolled over, her hair flying out behind her as she sat up. "She told him to guard the Princess. I wonder now if she’d been consulting with Raylia."

"Crescent would know."

"Yes," Minako regarded the moon cat, "Crescent would have known. But we don’t." Her thoughts returned to that final battle. She and the other Sailor Senshi had backed their Queen during the battle, but they had been beaten back, and the collapse occurred when the Queen had sensed the death of her daughter and her concentration was destroyed.

Artemis frowned, his whiskers twitching. "If King Terra was killed, the Senshi would have passed to Lachesis, but he was killed too. The Earth Senshi had to find a new host."

"And there was still one left of Earth’s blood living."


"So the Senshi would have sought him out."

"But he died too."

"Exactly." Minako stood up, stretched, then sat back down again.

Artemis’ gaze was exasperated, "Minako, I missed that. Exactly, what?"

"That explains Tuxedo Mask."

"Huh." Artemis thought about it a moment, "You’re right. The merge could not have been complete – must have just barely started, when he was killed with the Princess. The Queen’s wish was primarily for her daughter… but her love was so strong for Endymion, the wish might have expanded to Endymion, as himself. But he was also becoming a Senshi, who were also included in the wish."

"But they hadn’t finished merging yet, and the very same wish that reincarnated the rest of us, would have split his soul in two."

"One part the Senshi, one part Endymion."

"Yet still the same." Minako chuckled, sadly, "Poor Earth. He’s always had trouble keeping his spirit in one place."

"So Tuxedo Mask is… must be the Senshi, yet without his memories of Endymion."

"And not fully Senshi Earth, either. The merge cannot be complete, until Endymion has awakened with his current host incarnation. And the rose – that’s not something of Senshi Earth, it was something I think Endymion used to do to focus his Power."

"He said he’d come to protect Sailor Moon." Artemis chewed a toenail. "Sailor Senshi Moon? Maybe she’s the Princess unawakened."

"Endymion’s love for the Princess was every bit as strong as the love she held for him. I bet Tuxedo Mask is the manifestation of that love. With Earth’s Power, and Endymion’s love, but full knowledge of neither. And a purpose as mixed as his poor soul. His host must be one confused person."

"Minako, when you said that it was Earth that told us about Crescent…"

"Remember his looks, and his actions? When we first talked with him, he was unsure of himself. That was Tuxedo Mask. When he spoke to you, there was something very different about him."

Artemis nodded, "Right. And he felt more like a Senshi at that moment. So that was Senshi Earth merging fully with his host and speaking through him. But he couldn’t stay like that,"

"Because to overwhelm the memories of a host before a merge would destroy them both." Minako twisted a strand of her hair in her hands. "You know, Artemis, if the other Senshi haven’t been awakened yet, we can’t wait for their full merge either. I’ve had two years as Sailor V. I don’t think they will."

"We’ll ‘cross that bridge when we come to it’."

"Isn’t it, ‘cross the bridge and fight the troll under it’?"

"Minako, I don’t think you’ve fully merged with Trinity yet."

Minako laughed, stood up, and ran back to the ocean, diving into the warm waves when she got deep enough. She emerged, and playfully splashed some water back towards the shore where Artemis was watching her. Artemis didn’t move – the distance was too far for the water to reach him – but he watched her, and wondered. There was a lot of Trinity in Minako now, but still, she was physically only fourteen years old. Minako had lost out on a lot of her childhood, by becoming a warrior for love and justice. He wondered for a moment about what Endymion’s host must be like. The ideas they’d been going over seemed accurate, and if they were, in fact, correct in their assumptions… Artemis shook his head. Poor soul…


Not Finished.