Sailor Moon: Snippets - Thirteen

(Sailor Moon during/end ep. 41)


Rei and Minako watched as Usagi ran out the door. Minako clenched her fists -- she hated just waiting. She wanted to go with them. But if Endymion escaped them, he would be coming here to the Shrine to get Reiís Grandfather. They needed to stay to protect him. The two girls sat in silence.


"Trinity..." A ghostly whisper floated through the air. Both girls spun around, looking for the source. A faint image appeared before them. It shimmered and wavered, as if a soap bubble threatened by the wind. The man that spoke had black hair, blue eyes...

"Mam... oru?" Rei started out with an exclamation of wonder and joy, but ended with a question, for the face before them was, and yet definitely was not, that of Mamoru.

Artemisí mouth hung open.

"Earth!" Minakoís eyes shone bright, "Youíre free!"

"Not, quite." The image flickered. "We have pushed the darkness out, but cannot break it -- tell Sailor Jupiter to attack with all her might. Her Thunder will weaken the barrier for Usako." The image wavered once more, then disappeared with the abruptness of a soap bubble popping.

"Usako?" Rei muttered, raising an eyebrow.

Minako pulled out her power stick and sank to her knees, "Rei! Join me!"

"What?" Rei looked over. Minakoís eyes were shut, and her every being spoke of concentration. A golden light appeared over her body and focused around the power stick. Rei walked to Minako and put her hands on her shoulders, not totally sure of what was going on, but fully prepared to lend her strength.

*Jupiter!* Minako spun out a call through the night. She reached for the essence that was Jupiter and found it. She felt Jupiterís startlement at feeling them with her, but she listened. *Jupiter -- attack Endymion with as much power as you can!*

*I might kill him.*

*You will free him -- Usagi must use the Healing, now!*

They could see briefly through Jupiterís eyes. The seven carriers were materializing around them. Endymion, as Tuxedo Mask, was turning to the Senshi with darkness in his eyes.

All three girls joined in communication were startled to hear a voice, not directed to them, but at the Prince: *Endymion -- return to me.* The Princeís mouth curled in a snarl and he ignored the voice. It grew stronger, *Endymion! Return!* The girls winced at the power behind the mental voice, but the Prince continued to ignore it.

Minako kept their communication on a tight band, and spoke urgently to Jupiter, *We will give you strength -- attack now!*

Jupiter looked to Mercury and gathered her in, and they attacked together. Jupiter could feel her friends still joined with her, and her Thunder had twice the strength it normally had. This time, the Prince jerked back in pain, but could not move for the Bubbles surrounding him. Jupiter kept the Thunder on him, though wincing to see his pain. Minako, watching through her eyes, reassured her, *See the Darkness.* And they could see it splintering.

"Sailor Moon!" Lunaís call prompted Usagi to action, and she raised up with the Moon Wand, "Moon Healing Escalation!" The white light bathed the figure, and Minako and Rei were catapulted out of Jupiter with a jolt that they could feel, returning to their own bodies.


Mercury, Jupiter, and Luna watched, holding their breath, as the light kept Tuxedo Mask in its hold. He cried out loud, and Luna whispered, "Itís working -- Sailor Moon, put more power in it!" Jupiter, having just been boosted herself by her friends, and being a quick learner, spun out her power to Sailor Moon and felt it received. The figure wavered, then changed to Mamoru and fell heavily to the ground.

Sailor Moonís mouth turned up in happiness, then the drain hit her and she sank to her knees. The three Senshi and the Moon Cat watched the still figure of their friend for a moment, almost unable to believe that they had freed him.

Then a blackness swirled down from the sky and gathered around the body of Mamoru. Jupiter lunged forward to him, but felt herself pushed back. The feel of the blackness made her cringe inside from its presence of Evil. The blackness surrounded Mamoru, then both it and he disappeared.

"No... Not, again." Sailor Moonís head fell to her chest. In her mind, another of the futures that Raylia had shown her popped, gone from the possible timelines. Her thoughts clung to the picture of Endymion at her side in the final battle, and then she let it go. That future is gone. So very, very few left. She raised her head and looked where Mamoru had been. So be it. I must fight, alone. Suddenly, another time-bubble popped. Usagi blinked, trying to figure out which it had been. She couldnít normally sense the futures that had been shown her, but sometimes, like now, she could track them down. Her eyes widened as she realized which of the futures had disappeared. But... A voice whispered through her head, *You have become stronger, Sailor Moon. You will not sit still to be chopped into pieces anymore.* For it was the image of her laying dead on the ground, Endymionís sword dripping her blood, that was gone. The only ones left now, were of her killing him, and Beryl killing her. And the locket. I have one last chance to free him. Only one, among all the futures. Usagi looked to the moon in the sky. I will not fail him again.


Jupiterís face appeared on the communicator. Rei and Minako crowded around it, trying both to see.

"Itís over." Jupiterís voice was hallow, and her eyes were dead.

Rei and Minako looked at each other. "What happened?"

"Is he, dead?" Minakoís heart tightened. For that had been a possibility -- that when the darkness was vanquished, the light would be torn.


And to Reiís memory, the conversation sounded very like one that she and Usagi had had in the Starlight Tower. She finished it with the same words, "The Enemy took him."

"Yes." A tear appeared at the edge of Jupiterís eye, "He changed back -- Sailor Moon healed him. But the Darkness came and took him away again."

Minako sat down with a wail, collapsing against the side of the bed, "Artemis! We have failed! ĎWhen the Prince is freed,"

"ĎGuard him well.í" Artemis finished grimly. It was one of the last of the instructions that Crescent had left him. The vague, prophet-like statements had almost been more of a problem than a help, often not being recognizable until after the situation. Like now. What went wrong? Why could we not follow this one?

Minako was sobbing into her arms. Rei knelt down to comfort her. Artemis started for her, then stopped. "Oh." We were following too many futures. If we hadnít had the warning that the Enemy was after the Crystal Carriers, we would all have been there at the battle, and Venus and Mars would have been able to fight, and defend. But we knew one future too many, and followed the wrong one. He looked at the two girls, and decided not to share that observation with them.