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Sailor Mars Fanatic

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Sailor Mars Fanatic last won the day on October 17 2014

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About Sailor Mars Fanatic

  • Rank
    Crystal Moonie Power
  • Birthday 03/03/1971

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Queensland, Australia
  • Interests
    History, mythology, folklore, theology.

    I am also a writer seeking to be published.
  • Favourite Scout
    Sailor Mars
  1. Ever since Catzi had been healed from the brainwashing she had grown up with she had been hiding out of sight at the Cherry Hill Temple. The Sailor Scouts had revealed their secret identities to her and she had realized that her life would now be in danger. "None of the others will listen to me. I can't go back to them. I will probably be branded as a traitor to our cause and even my own sisters will call for my execution. I must hide myself. But where?" Seeing how immensely distressed she was Raye had made the same offer to her that she had given to Jedite, Titus and Dream Dolly when they had defected from Queen Beryl's army. "I'll keep you safe in a spare room here at the temple. You won't need to worry. My magic charms will keep you hidden from everybody else around here. Only we shall know you're living here and I'll make sure you get all your needs met." "Oh thank you so much. Please try to liberate my sisters and all the others including Rubeus." Catzi realized now that Rubeus had not been in his right mind when he treated that gift of the bottle of aftershave with such mean contempt. She remembered better days when their relationship had been happy and joyful. It had only started to become tainted when they had come to the past on their twisted mission. "I do so solemnly swear that I shall save all the rest of your clan," promised Sailor Moon. "We all will and also destroy the real source of evil that was controlling you," vowed all the Sailor Scouts and Catzi was so grateful to them and so relieved to be free and protected. Thus she stayed hidden for more than a week and the rest of the Black Moon Clan had come to the assumption that she must have perished in her personal solo mission. Birdy had been the most upset about this and cried bitterly. Avery and Prizma were also feeling sad and blue, though they didn't shed any tears and Rubeus did cry a little. He wasn't sorry at all for the way he had upset her over the present she had given to him the last time he had ever seen or spoken to her however. The power exerted over him by the Wiseman had completely clouded his rationality and blinded his perceptions in full by this time. Hypnotica and Thunderclap offered him condolences, but they did not hug him. Birdy's friends, Frosty and Droido knew what would happen if they put their arms around Birdy while she was crying and so did she. So the three of them went off to private quarters. All the same the rest of the team watched them as Birdy walked off sobbing and her friends followed a small distance behind her. They all sensed the others' eyes drilling into their backs and they were hurt and confused. With the door shut Frosty and Droido were fawning all over Birdy offering her tissues, which she eagerly accepted, blowing her nose and dryiong her eyes. Then as she was hugged tight by both her friends Droido spoke, "We deeply sympathize with the loss you have sustained Birdy dear." "Yes, you can come to us anytime for comfort," added Frosty. Birdy hugged them round their shoulders and said gratefully, "Thank you both so much. If, if only my remaining sisters were like you. I can't understand why they won't show proper grief and offer appropriate comfort. None of the others will either. But at least Rubeus did cry a little." Droido said, "That's right. I remember how much he and Catzi were in love." Frosty added, "Even when our relationships began to mysteriously turn less harmonious, they still stayed devoted to each other. Still he was kind of mean and cold to her." "Yeah. I think she was actually rather angry with him when she left because of the way he smashed that small bottle of aftershave she'd given him. I have a feeling it was the last straw." Droido said this and Birdy remembered many a time he said or did things that deeply upset Catzi. She was surprised she had tolerated him for so long. But there was no point in dwelling upon it now. "Catzi's gone now girls and Rubeus must learn to live without her, just like the rest of us. Let's not keep dredging up the past. It's over now." She began to sob once more as she said this and her two friends directed her to sit down on the edge of the bed with them so they could continue to quietly cuddle with her and show their heart-felt care and concern. Suddenly there was a pounding on the door and Thunderclap's loud, booming voice made them all jump to startled attention where they all sat together. "BIRDY! DROIDO! FROSTY! MY FRIENDS AND I WANT YOU ALL TO JOIN US ALONG WITH AVERY AND PRIZMA IN THE MEETING ROOM! AT ONCE!" Thunderclap always startled them when she raised her voice like that. It shocked even Birdy out of her grief and she stood with knocking knees gritting her teeth. "L-l-let's go girls." Frosty and Droido were already on their feet trembling. They knew better than to keep their commander's waiting. Especially Thunderclap. Gathered together Rubeus said, "We have a visitor coming for an important briefing." As soon as he'd spoken the holographic image of the Grim Man appeared holding his customary scythe. The Wiseman was not with him for once. "First of all let me pass on our deepest sympathies from all of us in the future, including the prince. We are sorry to hear that so many have now lost their lives in our cause for justice to be served." "Thank you Grim Man." Rubeus was almost tearful again thinking of Catzi and the Grim Man went on to deliver his message. "The Wiseman has discovered another Crystal Point." They all gasped as Hypnotica said, "Er. But we thought there were only five?" "So did we all in the future. However the Wiseman has realized that there is one more that had escaped our attention. It is in this building where next week a Grand Chess Competition is to take place." A holographic picture of a building designed in the shape of the chess piece known as a rook or a castle appeared over the Grim Man's hooded head. "We want Birdy to capture it and Droido and Frosty to offer her assistance. and if the kid shows up, capture her. If the Sailor Scouts show up, destroy them." Birdy and her friends were rather taken aback at being specifically chosen to undertake this sudden assignment. But they were loyally obedient and said they would make plans to infiltrate the event. "If I disguise myself as a human and enter the competition," said Birdy, "my friends can be hidden as audience members ready to help me when I need them." The Grim Man said, "Sounds like an excellent plan. I will leave you now to ready yourselves. Good luck." Rubeus and the others all thanked the Grim Man as he departed taking the picture of the building with him. Birdy said to the gathering, "I'd like to discuss plans with my friends in privacy please." "Very well. But when you all decide on your full course of action then let us know immediately," said Rubeus. Even Avery and Prizma were respectful as the trio departed. Though they still half-frowned since they always guessed that they cuddled each other when they were alone. But Birdy wasn't worried about that. As they were walking to their room she was remembering scenes from long ago. She was only a little girl of six years old and her two friends were also the same age as her. Back then they were not known as Droido and Frosty. Their names had been Rebecca and Julie and they had been ordinary little human girls. Except that they had sported the mark of the upside-down dark crescent moon on their foreheads, like all the other clan members including their best friend Birdy. One day they had been playing together on a distant asteroid. The three of them were holding hands and running in a circle, singing together. "Ring, a-ring, a-rosies. A pocket full of posies. A-choo! A-choo! We all fall down." Thus they had all fallen down on their backs, laughing joyfully. But next thing they'd known, Birdy's big sister Catzi had been standing over them looking down. As they curiously looked up at her, she had said, "Pardon me Birdy. The Wiseman and the Grim Man have selected your playmates to be given special, unique powers." Birdy remembered very well what had taken place. She and her friends had gone with Catzi trustingly to see their mentors and guardians who were looking after them all. A boy of about eleven years old stood next to the Wiseman and the Grim Man. The Wiseman had spoken. "We have enlisted Sapphire here with the privelege of helping us equip most of the girls to become what we will call the Droid Warrior Forces. Rebecca, please step forward to Sapphire." Rebecca obediently approached and the boy called Sapphire took a large, red gem that the Wiseman handed to him. He pressed it firmly against the Dark Moon symbol on Rebecca's forehead. It seemed to sink into her forehead, the mark appeared in the middle of the jewel, her skin turned pale-blue and her hair grew long and blue-green. The Grim Man said, "You are the first of our Droids. In recognition from now on your name will be Droido." Next Sapphire placed a round, metallic hat on her head with a long tube end a hollow ball dangling down to her waist. He said to her, "This resembles a perfume dispenser. Your powers will be centered around a make-up theme. This is your most powerful weapon." He directed her attention to a tall tree. "Open your eyes and mouth as wide as you possibly can and squeeze the ball pump. Just do it and see what happens." Droido tried her best, though she faltered a little. Her fingers struggled to grip the pump, but she did manage to squirt some acidic liquid out of her mouth. The small jet hit a branch of the tree and ate it away, making it snap off and fall to the ground. Droido was astonished and Sapphire urged her to keep practicing. Next Julie was called forward and the Wiseman gave Sapphire a silver headress with a blue gem set in the center. As he placed it on Julie's head, her mark disappeared and reappeared inside the gem. Her skin turned the purest bright white and her hair blue. She immediately felt her temperature drop below freezing, but somehow she didn't mind. Sapphire said to her, "Now you take a deep breath and exhale towards that same tree." She blew as hard as she could and feeble it was. But all the same she saw that her breath had frozen the leaves at the end of two branches solid. She was awestruck and the Wiseman said, "You see what your power is? You shall be appropriately known as Frosty. We expect you and Droido to both practice hard each day to master your attacks. One day you will use them to fight against the people who brutally murdered your families." Birdy remembered how proud and excited she had felt about her friends then and as she entered the room she began to cry again remembering Catzi and also thinking about what could happen to her friends as well. "Birdy." "Are you all right?" Turning to her friends with tears she hugged them both. "Frosty. Droido. Please promise me to stay hidden disguised in the audience until I take care of Sailor Moon when she inevitably turns up. I love you both so very much and if you are killed I will surely die of grief. Losing Catzi has been bad enough." They hugged her back and answered in turn. "Of course. We understand." "But how will you defeat her? We don't want to lose you either." "I'm thinking of an idea that I'm sure will work. It will hopelessly trap her and the other Sailor Scouts too. They won't be able to attack us and they'll be at our mercy instead. Listen and I'll explain." Then she whispered close to their ears as her tears dried with the eager excitement of her plan. But what none of the members of the clan knew was that they were being progressively set up. There really was no extra Crystal Point and the prince and their allies in Crystal Tokyo did not know that the Grim Man had been to deliver this message to them in the past. He and the Wiseman had their own secret agenda and the Black Moon Clan were all their pawns to suit their purpose and be discarded one by one when they were no longer needed. They fully trusted them and believed they had rescued them from dying at the hands of the forces of the queen of Crystal Tokyo. But, as Catzi now knew, they were the real enemy. She had been able to escape the deadly spider web with her life. Three of the Droids had already died. Could the Sailor Scouts succeed in saving those who were left? Meanwhile Serena and her friends were very excited because Amy had decided to enter the Chess Competition. But even though her friends all told her they were confident she would surely win she was very modest and told them with a blushing smile, "Well I can't promise anything. But I'll do my very best." She did know she was exceptionally good at the game among her other brainy talents, but she still liked to keep an open mind that somewhere, somebody may be a match even for her. However she did have something to be very excited about herself, because her long-distance boyfriend Greg was making a special trip to watch her compete. They hadn't seen each other in person since the final climactic battle against the alien invasion force who had been keeping that unusual tree hidden in an apartment complex, although they were still chatting regularly through Skype. They were both looking forward to spending time together and Amy's parents had prepared the guest bedroom so he could stay with them. The other girls were looking forward to seeing Greg also. Serena was secretly hoping that Greg would let her know whether Amy would become the champion or not. Amy was also old friends with the elderly gentleman who had spent a fortune on building the unique structure where the Competition would be held. He dearly loved chess and he was very rich, so he could easily afford to pay for the construction. Not only was the main building in the shape of a rook. The outer area's gardens were dotted with figures of knights, bishops, pawns and other chess pieces. He built it all for the city's official Chess Club of which he was a long-time member. Before that they had never had a meeting place of their own and had hired venues or gone to members' houses for their meetings. To show their gratitude they had elected him Club President for twenty consecutive years. Now he had voluntarily stepped down but he was still an actively involved member and had assisted in financing and advertising the competition that was open to the general public as well as the members who wanted to participate. As it so happened when he realized that she had put her name down as a contestant, he had called her up on the telephone and invited her to come to the building that afternoon for a warm-up game and a bit of a chat. Amy was delighted to accept and so they sat at a chessboard table and talked about old times while they thought about and executed their strategical moves. "I used to play chess all the time with your grandfather when you were a very little girl Amy." "Yes I remember how much Grandfather spoke of you to the family. He held you in the highest regard." The man laughed and went on to add, "I had great respect for him too. And admiration for his playing skills. He was my toughest challenger ever. I only ever beat him on average once in every five games. He was so very good." Amy smiled with pride to be reminded of this but her friend next said something that took her by surprise. "Amy. I've noticed something different about you." "Oh really?" She looked at his face with some trepidation but relaxed as he explained what he meant. "There was a time when all you seemed to care or think about was playing chess. I sometimes thought it was because you longed for the company of the people you played with." Amy smiled and said, "Oh well. You see I've made real friends now. They're going to come and watch me in the Competition next week." "That's good. I'm very pleased for you. Chess is very enjoyable, but everybody needs true friends." "Yes. They mean a lot to me." Amy made her final move. "I think it looks like checkmate." "I believe you're right Amy. It is clear to me that you have inherited your grandfather's talents. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a very high score in the competition at least. You'll make me very proud of you if you do in fact succeed in winning overall." Amy blushed. "Thank you sir. You're very kind." Just then Amy looked up and behind the old man she saw three familiar figures creeping along past a doorless entry to a long corridor. The building was actually closed, but Amy's friend had invited her to join him after opening hours for a private game with nobody else around. So Birdy, Droido and Frosty hadn't even bothered to look before they went past, because they thought the place was deserted. They weren't even dressed or ready to do battle. Birdy's friends were in their human forms and she was wearing civilian clothes. Amy had skillfully refrained from showing any facial reaction to seeing them and said, "Would you mind if I take a good look around this building by myself please sir? Before I go?" "Of course Amy. I know I can trust you. When you're ready to leave just come back to me right here and I'll take you home. I'll have a little practice by myself while I wait." "Thank you sir." Amy went walking slowly down the corridor keeping an eye and ear out for the three women. What were they doing here? And now that she and the others knew they were really innocent victims how could they stop them without harming them? As she was making her way she thought, "This corridor is leading me towards a huge pair of double doors and they're open. They must have gone inside there. There's no other place this direction leads to." Amy pulled out her communicator and speaking as quietly as possible she called Serena. "Amy. What's up?" asked Serena. Amy shushed her. "Not so loud Serena. I'm at the Chess Club building and I've noticed some of those Black Moon Clan people sneaking around. I want you to get Lita and come here straight away as Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter. My friend Mr. Drakeson is sitting nearby the front door. Knock and call out to get his attention and when he lets you in, tell him you need to investigate an intruder report." "Right Amy. Be very careful." "I will." Putting her communicator away Amy tiptoed very slowly towards the opening and peering in she saw that this was the entrance to the main hall where the competition was to be held. It was set up like a theater with rows of seating for the audience to sit in front of a huge stage in the center. And Amy saw Birdy and the others standing in a big circular formation back to back with their hands raised gesturing magically. They were trying to prepare what they had been led to believe was a new Crystal Point by the Wiseman and Grim Man. She tried to desperately bluff and stall for time before her friends arrived. "Hey! Excuse me. What are the three of you doing here?" At the sound of her voice Birdy, Droido and Frosty all turned in surprise. Amy casually approached them slowly still speaking. "This place is closed. You shouldn't be trespassing here." Droido said, "What'll we do? This is very awkward." But Birdy stepped forward with one hand raised and said, "No need for panic girls. I'll just do a quick memory erase on her and then we can finish our preparations and leave. She'll never remember a thing." Amy realized she could not allow her memory to be tampered with. She didn't like it. But she had no choice. "MERCURY POWER!" To the amazement of the three women she transformed right before their eyes. "It's Sailor Mercury!" gasped Frosty. "Well this changes everything," said Birdy. "Quickly transform yourselves my friends and together we'll destroy her before any of the other Sailor Scouts show up." Sailor Mercury was in an awkward situation herself now. "No wait! You're mistaken about me and my friends!" But even as she spoke she knew they wouldn't listen to her. If only Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter would get there in a hurry. Frosty and Droido both transformed and stepped forward on Birdy's left and right sides and as they both unleashed their projectile attacks from their mouths. Sailor Mercury desperately shouted her counter-attack. "MERCURY ICE STORM BLAST!" As she gestured with her arms spinning round once, her ice storm flew straight at her opponents. However because she had no desire to hurt them, she was only aiming at their attacks. Droido's acidic jet spray was frozen in mid-air and disintegrated into fine powder on the floor. As for Frosty's icy breath it was hit square-on by the ice storm blast which disspelled it and broke it apart as Mercury's winds spun round and round like a mini-cyclone. Frosty and Droido stepped backwards in fright not realizing that they had never been targeted by Sailor Mercury and Birdy, furiously assuming that her friends had come close to being injured, raised her hand and screamed, "I'll kill you myself before you get another crack at my friends!" Sailor Mercury gasped in terror as she saw the power emanating from Birdy's outstretched hand. She had no time to make another attack. All she could hope for was to jump out of the way. But then she realized that the other two would then attack her again. It looked very bleak indeed. "JUPITER THUNDERCLAP ZAP!" Salvation came in the proverbial nick of time as Sailor Jupiter sent one of her small lightning bolts flying to strike Birdy's hand before she could shoot Sailor Mercury. "Aaaaarrggghh!" she screamed and Droido and Frosty were shocked and upset. But then Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Moon leaped inside the room to stand alongside their comrade and the trio of Black Moon ladies were terrified. Especially of Sailor Moon. "We're not ready for battle!" Droido shouted. "She will kill us!" Frosty yelled. Birdy was nursing her injured hand but her eyes were also bulging with fear. "Hurry girls. Let's get out of here!" Of course Sailor Moon had no intention of killing them now that she knew the truth, but as far as they were concerned she was their enemy, a highly dangerous, merciless killer. As they all de-materialized Sailor Moon and her friends watched with sympathetic expressions on their faces. "This could make things difficult for me," said Sailor Mercury. "What do you mean?" asked Sailor Moon. She and Sailor Jupiter gasped as she turned to them and explained. "They saw me transform into Sailor Mercury. I had no choice really. But now they know my civilian appearance even if they don't know the name of my identity." "We'll have to be very careful then," said Sailor Jupiter, "but now turn back into Amy so we can return with you to Mr. Drakeson and tell him that we found you safe and sound and that the intruder alert proved to be unfounded." Amy quickly complied and her friend was very thankful to hear from her and the two Sailor Scouts that there had been nothing to worry about at all. Then he let them out and locking up drove Amy home while Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Moon went back to their own homes and silently sneaked into their bedrooms before changing identities and going to bed thinking about what their next move as a team should be and how to protect Amy. Meanwhile back at the spaceship Birdy's hand was being seen to by her friends. Frosty gingerly and painstakingly removed her glove as gently as possible while Birdy moaned in pain. "OW! It really hurts!" "Easy Birdy," said Frosty. "Here now." She finally slipped it off her fingertips and the three of them could see the reddish mark where Sailor Jupiter's thunderclap zap had burned her. Droido handed the soothing cream from the first-aid kit and remarked, "Thank goodness she only hit your hand Birdy. It may be very painful but if she'd hit your main body it would have thrown you to the ground and hurt you much worse." As her friends tended to her injury, Avery and Prizma entered the room without even knocking. They immediately began teasing her. "Aw. Birdy had her wing clipped?" "Baby feeling ow-ee?" The fact that they were laughing as they said this made it clear that they were mock sympathetic and Birdy's eyes began to fill with tears at their unbelievable callousness. Droido and Frosty were really angry. "You've both been rather mean to poor Birdy before, but this is over the top. She's been hurt and she may have lost her life to the Sailor Scouts just like our allies including your other sister Catzi!" "Yeah and furthermore you were hurt even more badly than Birdy by that Sailor Jupiter once. Why don't you show some genuine care and concern for her, after what you suffered?" Avery and Prizma did well remember that. Their stomachs had been burned plus landing hard on their backs had put them in excruciating agony for almost two days. Hypnotica had obligingly given them massages to aid their healing and Birdy had deeply sympathized with them. Also the mention of Catzi's name made them begin to feel sorrow mixed with shame. But almost immediately the usual wave passed over the brains and their faces changed back to their heartless, laughing expressions. "Now now Frosty and Droido. We are entitled to our own personal opinions. And we really are showing care for our baby sister. Aren't we Prizma?" Frosty snapped. "How so?" Prizma laughed out loud. "Why, HA-HA-HA! We're giving her incentive to be more careful when she's on her mission at the Chess Competition next week. If she doesn't like us teasing her, then she'd better not come back injured some more. That's fair enough, isn't it Avery?" Avery guffawed and said, "Exactly Prizma. We love little Birdy very much." Birdy began to cry very bitterly and Droido said coldly, "I think you two have done enough for now. Please leave." Avery and Prizma grinned and said, "Okay. We have said our piece. Let's go Ave." "I'm with you Priz." As they exited still laughing, Frosty and Droido cast them a reproaching look and they cuddled with Birdy and wiped her eyes with some handy tissues and she blew her nose on one. She was deeply hurt by her sisters unkind remarks, but her friends were a source of genuine consoling. So time went by and the day of the big competition came. A big crowd came to watch Amy and everybody else compete. Serena, Raye, Lita and Mina were all present in support of their friend, but Rini had no interest whatsoever in chess and had stayed at home with Mum, Dad and Sammy. She had told Serena, "I'll find something to do today with the rest of the family to keep myself amused. Don't you worry about me." Serena had been half concerned about leaving her at home, though she knew she couldn't force her to come. But she appeared to be quite in earnest about spending the day with her parents and little brother and they all smiled and said to go and enjoy the competition. "We'll be spending good quality time with your little cousin Serena," assured Mum. You needn't worry about a thing," said Dad. Even Sammy asserted the same thing and Rini's eyes had such a sincere look in them that Serena felt she just simply had to believe. So she said goodbye and waved to Rini and her family and they waved and called out goodbye back as she went off to meet up with her friends. Well it is the honest truth that Rini spent the day with the family. They never left the house at all because she used her hypnotic powers to control them even further so that Mum, Dad and even Sammy blindly obeyed her commands to thoroughly search the entire house for any trace of the crystal. Even Serena's room to make absolutely sure though she had no luck. Disappointed at the end of the search Rini had them put everything back in order, even Serena's room, then they all decided to take a rest thinking they had tired themselves out in the garden playing catch with Rini and her ball. Rini lay on her own bed silently contemplating what her next move should rightfully be. But getting back to the gathering, as I've said Serena and Amy's other friends were there. And so was Catzi. They had invited her to go with them for some entertainment and to ensure her safety they had cut her hair back really short and given her a pair of very dark sunglasses as a personal disguise in case any of the other Clan members should recognize her and begin asking awkward questions. Catzi was eager to do this and so she was sitting with them in the audience and by coincidence they found themselves all seated next to their friends, Jed, Tweetus and Dorothy. They explained that little Jordan was being looked after by the volunteer staff members of the Chess Club in a baby-sitting room out in the foyer along the side corridor. "This way dear Dorothy is able to have a break from her regular nanny duties and come out with us for some enjoyment for a change," smiled Jedite. "I've really needed to unwind. I'm looking forward to watching this indoor sport championships," said Dorothy. Greg was also present though he wasn't sitting with all of them. Serena was slightly disappointed that he had refused to divulge whether Amy would be the Grand Winner. "That would spoil the surprise Serena. I just know you would blab to Amy and she would not like to know the outcome of her performance." Even though Serena had begged and pleaded, promising that she would keep the secret Greg stood his ground and said no. Amy was deeply grateful to him because knowing Serena it would have accidentally slipped out of her mouth, and none of the others really wanted to know the result in advance, let alone Amy herself. But Greg had talked to Amy confidentially between the two of them while he was staying at her house. "My visions are telling me something is going to happen during the competition Amy." "I have an idea what it may entail Greg," said Amy and when he had told her she gravely nodded her head and the two of them agreed to let the other girls know what to expect. But when they all heard even Serena agreed to say nothing to Catzi. They wanted her to enjoy herself freely while things went on normally. When they all needed to make their counter-move they made their own plans to be ready. And Greg was right as usual because just then Birdy was approaching the lady at the ticket counter with her friends. They were all dressed as ordinary ladies and Birdy approached the lady first smiling merrily. "Excuse me. Is this where I sign up for the Chess Competition?" The lady looked up and replied firmly but politely. "Oh I'm sorry but it's too late to sign up now. It's about to start and registrations are closed." "But I'm sure that I've registered." The lady said, "Well what's your name then and I'll look it up in my records." "No need to do that." Hearing Birdy say such a strange thing she glanced up in surprise and her eyes caught not only Birdy's, but Droido and Frosty's as well next to her right and left. As the three of them spoke hypnotically, the lady became all blank and dazed in her expression. "You know very well that Birdy is registered," said Droido. "Of course she is. Understand?" said Frosty. "Oh yes. Yes she is." "Good," said Birdy. "And by the way, my friends have both paid for their tickets. That's right isn't it?" "Yes they've paid." They were all so very pleased and when the lady snapped out of it she was completely fooled. "You go straight through that small door off to the side to join the other contestants on stage. Your friends can go inside the nain auditorium doors and choose themselves seats. Good luck and have fun." The trio thanked her and winked at each other as they went their own ways. As the competition went underway everybody sat at different tables on the stage playing together. Amy's friend Mr. Drakeson had the honour of being the host and he kept things entertaining for the audience by walking around on the stage from table to table and offering a few comments on how each game was progressing. Whenever a game was finished the winner was instructed to raise his or her hand and declare loudly "Checkmate!" Nr. Drakeson would then rush over to the players in question, announce who the winner was, shake hands with the loser, thanking them and wishing them a sincere heartfelt goodbye and calling out the name of the next player on his list who hadn't competed yet. That person would then step forward to challenge the victor. As soon as he announced that Amy was to play her first game, Serena began to get over-excited and jumped up out of her seat cheering loudly. "HOORAY HOORAY FOR AMAY! SHE'S THE WINNER ALL THE WAY!" Raye quickly slapped her hand over Serena's mouth from behind and pulled her back down into her chair struggling. "MMMMM-MMMMMM-MMMMMM!" Even Catzi, Greg, Jed, Tweetus and Dorothy were blushing and groaning in embarassment as people nearby turned around with disapproving, annoyed looks on their faces. Mr. Drakeson declared in his microphone. "If there is any further disturbance to the peace of the atmosphere, such offending people will be thrown out by security. Do I make myself clear?" Raye whispered in Serena's ear. "Hear that Serena? Unless you want to be kicked out and land on the top of that Meatball-Head of yours you'd better keep your mouth shut when I take my hand off it." Mortified Serena nodded. But she sat droopy and dejectedly thinking to herself, "What is the world coming to when you are not even allowed to cheer for your friend and offer encouragement?" But on the other side of the audience far away Droido and Frosty whispered to each other. "What is the world coming to with such people who make disruptions and think nothing of it?" "You're so right Droido. Disgraceful hooligans." As soon as Amy began to play she started eliminating the other contestants whittling down the numbers. Shortly after Amy was called though Mr. Drakeson made another announcement. "Peter Fisher has just won his fourth game at this table. Peter is doing very well considering he has only been studying chess for three weeks. As some of you should know Peter's original forte' is a wonderful talent in photography. But he decided to explore other interests to discover what other talents he may have hidden deep within himself. And he has found himself to be a very good natural at chess." Everybody applauded in response to this and then Mr. Drakeson called forward Peter's next opponent. "Now a lady by the lovely name of Birdy may get her chance in the competition." Catzi and the others were all sitting up at the highest level in the audience. They were just about at the top and the stage was far away that Catzi couldn't clearly see the people on it. Even without her dark sunglasses she would never have recognized Birdy in the distance. But when she heard the name she said nothing though her mind was turning. "Birdy? That name? It couldn't be my sister! Could it?" Birdy meanwhile was plying her mind control powers to ensure she won. "Oh dear," said Mr. Drakeson. "Peter's lucky streak has run out now that I'm finished speaking. But you did very well Peter. Keep practicing and you'll get better and better." "Thank you Mr. Drakeson," said Peter as he shook hands and walked off backstage. Birdy then proceeded to defeat all her opponents and so did Amy. Except that in Amy's case she wasn't using psychic mind control. Amy would never openly admit it, but she did come very close to losing a couple of times to some very good challengers. Even she wasn't invincible when it came to chess. She had been very lucky to figure out the correct counter-moves in time. But she would never tell this to her friends. She knew they'd never believe her. Especially Serena. Serena'd burst out laughing and say she was only being modest. She could never lose. As the number of contestants dwindled, less and less tables were being used, until finally only Amy and Birdy were left. Mr. Drakeson announced. "Now we come to the final game. One of these two people will become our champion. Good luck to you both." As Birdy and Amy faced each other at the table, Amy held out her hand. "May the best player win." She hadn't actually realized who Birdy was, but Birdy recognized her. As they clasped hands, Amy thought, "It feels as cold as ice." Birdy sneered. "You're playing on my turf now. Sailor Mercury." Amy gasped as the realization sank in and everybody gasped as Birdy suddenly rose into the air and yelled really loud. "The show's over for you folks! Time to have a rest!" Raising her hands and spinning around she sent a magical wave over the entire audience that put them all in a sleep-like state of suspended animation. It also permeated the rest of the building so that anybody who was present anywhere was also knocked out. Mr. Drakeson had been speechless but now he too collapsed where he stood on stage holding his micrphone in his motionless hand. Frosty and Droido were still in the audience pretending to be affected too, because they had promised Birdy they would not involve themselves until if or when Sailor Moon appeared and was taken care of for their own safety. Even Jed, Tweetus, Dorothy and Catzi were still and peaceful. But not Greg, Serena, Lita, Mina and Raye. Raye had placed her strongest magical peotection upon them and they all ducked down and crawled quietly along the seats gently squeezing past people's legs. It was fortunate they were so very nearly at the top of the rows so they could easily slip out unnoticed while Birdy said to Amy, "I've seen to it that none of those people will get hurt by interfering with our conflict Sailor Mercury. Yes I know who you are." "So do you want me to transform and fight?" asked Amy steeling her nerve. But Birdy smiled and said, "Actually I really do want to play a game of chess with you. I don't wish to fight today. I came here to play chess and that's what we're going to do." At this moment Serena and the others were asking Greg what they should do. Greg hesitated and said, "Just transform and charge back in there beside Amy. I've seen the future. It will be okay." "Right Greg," said Serena trustingly. "MOON CRYSTAL POWER!" "MARS POWER!" "JUPITER POWER!" "VENUS POWER!" They all transformed and with a united cry of "SCOUT POWER!" they left Greg behind who sighed and bowed his head. Bursting through the open doorway they all jumped into the air and landed on the stage where Amy was sitting. Sailor Moon said to Birdy, "Listen to us. We have something very important to tell you." Sailor Mars had one of her charms ready on hand with the same special magic that she had used to help Sailor Moon undo Catzi's brainwashing. But Birdy was ready with her own magic and at a gesture Sailor Moon found herself trapped and suspended in an enormous crystal bubble along with Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus." Amy was horrified but Frosty and Droido immediately appeared on the stage by Birdy's left and right in their Droid forms. "Hooray! Your trap worked Birdy!" cheered Droido. "Yes. That bubble will hold them all. They cannot attack us. Especially not Sailor Moon thank goodness," said Birdy. Then she turned to Amy. "Now about our chess game Sailor Mercury?" Amy said with resignation, "Very well. I'll play with you." The other Scouts were indeed trapped. Sailor Moon was furious and she cried, "That Greg and his visions. He said things would be all right." Out in the foyer Greg said to himself, "I'm sorry girls. But the final outcome really will be all right." As Amy and Birdy began to play while Frosty and Droido watched excitedly another strange thing began to happen. As soon Birdy captured one of Amy's pawns, her friends inside the crystal bubble shouted, "Hey! It's getting cold in here!" Amy looked up and gasped. "What's happening?" Birdy smiled and her friends laughed as she said, "Oh sorry. I forgot to mention one of my own rules that we're playing by is that every time you lose a piece the temperature inside that bubble drops by ten degrees. Carry on playing Sailor Mercury." Amy gritted her teeth and made her move capturing one of Birdy's pawns. But her friends had another thing to worry about. Sailor Moon yelled, "I swear the bubble has just become slightly smaller!" Amy gasped again and before she could say a word Birdy explained. "Oh yes. Another thing. Every time I lose a piece the size of the bubble decreases by ten inches." Sailor Mars was angry. "You can't do this to us. MARS CELESTIAL FIRE SURROUND!" Her attack failed to break the prison that held them however and she and the others all had to duck down to the bottom to avoid the rings of fire as they bounced back and forth above their heads before disipating in the magical frigid atmosphere. "YEOW! You want to roast us like pot roast in an oven?" exclaimed Sailor Moon in exasperation. Amy was thinking about this. "So while we play one way or the other things get worse for my friends." "Exactly Sailor Mercury." "What will happen if you checkmate me?" "Well if that happens then the temperature will immediately drop to over a hundred thousand below freezing and turn them into fossilized icicles." Amy gritted her teeth as she realized the implications of what the opposite outcome would be. "But if I checkmate you then I suppose the bubble will instantaneously shrink down to a teeny weeny microscopic dot with them compacted to pulp inside." Frosty and Droido laughed again as Birdy said, "Precisely." "It's a heads I win, tails you lose outcome," Amy wailed but the three women facing her only grinned maliciously. Birdy said, "We think it fitting justice for the murder of our beloved families." Amy took the trio aback by suddenly bursting into tears. "But we didn't murder your families! It's all been a big mistake!" Birdy was so astounded that she jumped out of her chair. "I beg your pardon? You are guilty. Don't put on crocodile tears to try and deny it." Droido pointed her finger at her and said, "Yeah. You murdered Jellax and Avocado." Frosty also vehemently pointed her finger. "And you've attempted to murder us." Birdy's eyes blazed like balls of fire. "And what about Rhonda? And my sister Catzi?" The Sailor Scouts shouted down from their bubble prison. "Please listen to us. We can explain." Sailor Moon herself said, "I admit I killed three of you wrongly believing that you were evil. But Catzi is still alive. She knows that we've all been wrong about each other now." Birdy stamped her foot. "Enough of these lies! Sailor Mercury. You can either continue our game to one of its possible two inevitable conclusions. Or you can refuse. I don't care because in any case you'll never get them out of that bubble and they'll eventually run out of air and suffocate." Amy knew what she needed to do. Greg had privately told her that she only had to keep playing and things would fall into place. "Let's play on," she said. "All right then." Birdy sat down and they continued to play while Amy's friends struggled with the cold and the cramped space. After a while Birdy and her friends had a surprise when Avery and Prizma suddenly materialized behind them and spoke. "Nice job you're doing Birdy." "We admit that we're impressed." Frosty and Droido jumped in fright and Birdy drew a sharp intake of breath. "What are you two doing here?" demanded Droido. "Now now. No need for resentment. We only want Rubeus, Thunderclap and Hypnotica to know we had some part to play in the victory," said Avery. "We're here to help and support you in any way we can," added Prizma. Droido and Frosty gave the two sisters stern looks that clearly said, "Sure you are," but Birdy said it was okay if that's what they really wanted and directed her focus back on the chessboard. "It looks like I have you in check," she said to Amy, when suddenly a rose stuck into the board just next to her hand startling her. She and the others all looked up to see Tuxedo Mask slowly descending lightly to the stagefloor. He declared, "Game's been cancelled. I have you in check now." Birdy rose from her chair scowling at him. "You think you've won, but not even you can break the crystal bubble." But all of a sudden the bubble completely siddolved into thin air and the four trapped Sailor Scouts fell to the floor. Three of them landed agilely upright on their feet, but Sailor Moon landed on her backside. "YEOW! That hurts!" "NOOOOO!" Birdy screamed and jumping up stood in front of Frosty and Droido, who cowered in terror behind her. Birdy appealed to her sisters. "Avery. Prizma. Can you please help me protect my friends from Sailor Moon? Please, please. Don't let them die." Frosty and Droido peered behind her back and also begged. "Yes please save me. I want to live." "So do I." Avery and Prizma were at first looking sympathetic for a second. But then something changed in their eyes and they spoke thusly. "Oh we'll protect them all right." "Frosty. Droido. Come back to headquarters with us right now." The two Droids ran over to the two sisters thanking them profusely. Birdy smiling gratefully made move to join them, but suddenly Avery spoke coldly. "Wait a minute Birdy. The Droids are coming back with us. You're staying here to fend for yourself." "What?" Birdy gasped and Frosty and Droido's eyes bulged. "That's right," said Prizma. "But why?" wailed Birdy. Avery answered, "Because you are a disgraceful failure that's why. Your trap for the Sailor Scouts didn't work. You are obligated to fight them by yourself now. It's the only way you can redeem yourself." "B-but I might be k-k-killed just like Catzi was." Avery and Prizma were really cold as they snapped at her. "If you must die, then die. We're not responsible for your failure. None of us are." "Your mistake. Your responsibility." "The rest of us are out of here. Come on. Let's go." But Droido and Frosty were running back to Birdy's side and hugged her together as she began to cry. "What are you two doing? We gave you a command to return with us. We are superior to you Droids." "Leave our sister and return with us at once." "No!" Droido declared. "We will stay with our best friend," Frosty adamantly asserted. Avery and Prizma became very incensed. "Fine then. We're leaving you too." "Hope Sailor Moon destroys you insubordinate Droid Warriors." With that they were gone leaving Birdy and her Droid friends in the midst of Amy, the Sailor Scouts and a somewhat confused Tuxedo Mask who was unsure about what was going on. He had never been told about Catzi's healing and couldn't understand why the girls were not making any move. Birdy was weeping very bitterly. "Th-thank you both so very much. Y-you chose stay with m-me. Even though it will probably mean your," she sobbed deeply as she struggled over the last word, "d-d-d-death!" "We had to stay Birdy," said Droido as they all embraced. "We love you," said Frosty. Then Droido began to cry as well. "And I love you too Frosty!" "I love you Droido!" Frosty literally wailed as she said this and then the three women all hugged each other as close as close could be and shed immense tears with caterwauling sobs and moans while the Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask all watched waiting to see what would happen next. Finally the crying subsided and Birdy softly said, "We all love each other very much." "We're best friends," said Droido. "And we'll stick together until the very end," said Frosty. Sailor Moon had been hoping they were going to turn docile so they could easily heal them, however just then they all broke apart and took up fighting stances. Droido prepared to squeeze her dispenser. "We will fight together to the very end!" Frosty was also ready to attack. "We will either all survive or die!" Birdy declared boldly, "And if even one of us is killed, the others will commit suicide rather than live without her!" "AGREED!" Droido and Frosty shouted together. "Sailor Scouts! You must fight them!" shouted Tuxedo Mask. But how could they fight knowing they were brainwashed victims? Yet they were certainly about to attack with intent to kill. They were only seconds away from a horrible and tragic conflict. Suddenly a voice yelled out, "Wait Birdy! It's me Catzi! I'm alive!" Birdy was taken aback and cried, "Huh? Catzi alive?" Droido and Frosty were also frozen in stunned amazement and as Birdy looked up towards the top rows of seatings in the audience where the voice had come from she saw a woman with hair cut really short standing up with a pair of sunglasses in her hand and a teenage boy standing next to her. "Catzi! Is that really you?" As Birdy called out in wonder, her friends had their attention drawn in the same direction. "Sailor Mars! This is your chance!" said Sailor Jupiter and Mars concentrated hard with three of her charms. "I CALL UPON THE POWER OF MARS! FIREBALLS CHARGE!" She sent them flying with perfect precision and Birdy, Frosty and Droido were all hit on the sides of their faces. "DO IT SAILOR MOON!" she shouted and Sailor Moon made her move at once. "MOON CRYSTAL HEALING ACTIVATION!" Birdy, Frosty and Droido were overwhelmed by the things that were revealed to them. "Oh my goodness!" "Is that what really happened?" "It's really horrible!" Then the jewel suddenly fell out of Droido's forehead, the perfume dispenser fell off her head and her skin and hair regained their normal colour. Likewise the jewel came loose from Frosty's headpiece and as she removed it from her hair she regained a normal appearance. Next thing their strange clothes all vanished including the perfume dispenser. Even the jewels faded away completely. They were no longer Droids. They were human once again and they stood next to Birdy in normal clothing. She too was dressed normally. Catzi was running down the aisle to the stage, arms outstretched. The boy, who was Greg of course, was slowly walking behind. "Oh Birdy! I'm so very sorry for the way I mistreated you and your two friends. Even though I was out of my mind I'm sorry!" Birdy and her friends were speechless with what they now knew, but they all hugged Catzi when she ran onto the stage. They were so joyful that she was alive with them, though shocked deeply at the same time. Tuxedo Mask finally had it all explained to him. He said, "This is unbelievable. It changes everything. I shall do all I can to punish the genuine guilty party and liberate all the other victims. Greg also said, "I knew things would turn out just like in my vision. While they were progressing I crawled quietly up to Catzi on my hands and knees, and using a new psychic gift I've been working to develop, woke her out of her enchanted trance with just a touch on her foot. I also told her it was her sister Birdy about to attack her friends on the stage and she needed to get her attention so she could be set free, just as she had been." "So we were going to be all right in the end," said Sailor Venus. "We all owe you a debt of thanks Greg," said Sailor Mars. "Yeah. Sorry I misjudged you," said Sailor Moon. "That's all right," smiled Greg. Birdy, Frosty and Droido were all very shook up however. What was to be done? Then Sailor Mars had an idea. "Greg. Can you please awaken Jed, Tweetus and Dorothy?" "Okay," said Greg and in no time they were awake and the sailor Scouts explained what the problem was. Sailor Mars said, "If it would be no trouble can you take these poor people to your home for now, until we can transfer them to the Cherry Hill Temple after night falls?" "We can do that. No problem," said Jed. So while Dorothy quickly retrieved Jordan safely with Greg's assistance, Jed and Tweetus explained to the three distressed women that they were the extra-terresrial couple they had once held prisoner at the ice-cream parlour. "But no need to feel upset. We realize you meant us no harm and true, you never really harmed us. You can trust us. We will help you." "Oh thank you. Thank you," said Birdy and her friends and as they allowed Jed and Tweetus to embrace them, Catzi promised she would be waiting for them back at the temple. Then Jed and Tweetus teleported away with them and Dorothy teleported holding Jordan. Tuxedo Mask said farewell, after giving his darling Sailor Moon a huge hug and kiss, to her immense joy. Finally the Sailor Scouts, except for Amy, who had never had a chance to transform, all combined their mental concentration to awaken Mr. Drakeson and everybody else and making them forget about the presence of Birdy at all. As they all awoke, in the twinkiling of an eye they all leapt back up to their seats next to Greg and Catzi in their civilian identities. Mr. Drakeson handed Amy the trophy announcing, "Congratulations Amy. You are our Grand Chess Champion and the audience all cheered unaware of what had taken place while they were knocked out.
  2. The Wiseman and the Grim Man were in the process of briefing Rubeus, Thunderclap and Hypnotica. Their holographic forms were in their usual place in the middle of the room. The Grim Man said, "We do heartily commend you on the job you've all done in capturing the five Crystal Points. The Droid Warriors in Crystal Tokyo still have complete mastery over the equivalent areas in the future." Then the Wiseman spoke next. "However we need that child in our custody. The palace is still off limits to us even though the Queen is still trapped in sleep. The Sailor Scouts of the future are unbelievable. Even the Prince cannot fathom their stamina." "You mean they are still protecting the palace from assault Wiseman? But they must be getting hungry and fatigued?" exclaimed Hypnotica. The Grim Man answered, "Yes, but their determination to keep fighting is superhuman. I know it's incredible, but it's true." Rubeus asked, "Can you help us with any information?" The Wiseman waved his hands over his ever-present crystal ball and said, "I can tell you that the child will be at the Cherry Hill Temple sometime this afternoon and the crystal's energy will emanate from there around the same time." Rubeus and his friends both gasped. The crystal that could either spell their defeat if used against them or ensure their victory if it fell into their own control. "We want the child and the crystal captured once and for all," said the Grim Man. Hypnotica said, "Catzi's familiar with that Temple Rubeus. Let's send her." Rubeus and Hypnotica agreed it was a smart move. The Wiseman and the Grim Man stressed how serious success was. The Wiseman's eyes glowed brightly in the darkness of his shadowed face inside his sinister hood as he said, "Rubeus. You do whatever it takes to help her understand this. Even if you need to give her a shaking-up in some unexpected way. Get it?" As his eyes glowed Rubeus' own eyes seemed to dull and go glassy for just a fraction of a second and he said, "I get it Wiseman. You can depend on me to make the message clear to her." So the two creepy hooded figures faded away and Rubeus said to Thunderclap and Hypnotica, "Stay here and let me brief Catzi." "Okay Rubeus." "You brief her well. HA-HA!" And as Rubeus left their quarters and entered the main ship he saw everybody gathered around except Catzi. "Where is Catzi?" he demanded and Birdy answered. "She's in her own quarters Rubeus. She's not long arrived back and went to her room." "Where has she been?" Avery gave answer this time. "She decided she wanted to go on a short shopping spree." "What? How long was she absent?" "Only three quarters of an hour. Rather a very brief time considering," explained Droido but Rubeus made an angry face and stormed past without another word. Birdy, Droido and Frosty all gulped nervously while Avery and Prizma just ignored the situation without a care. To them Catzi's worries with Rubeus were her own affair. What was it to them? Rubeus strode down the long corridor until he came to Catzi's door and practically pounded on it. "Catzi! Let me in!" He yelled and the door opened and Catzi's terrified face appeared as he barged into her room immediately pushing her aside. "R-rubeus! You startled me." "There's no time to beat about the bush Catzi! The Wiseman and the Grim Man have been speaking to me, Thunderclap and Hypnotica! The child will be at the Cherry Hill Temple this afternoon! And get this. So will the Silver Crystal!" When she heard what he told her Catzi was rapt to attention. "I see. So you want me to spy out the temple and grab both of our targets. I'll accomplish this important task and then we'll be able to return to the future." "Exactly Catzi. The Prince wants them both today. It's of critical importance. I will leave you to get ready." As he turned Catzi urgently said, "Wait a minute Rubeus. I have a little gift for you." Her eyes shone with adoration and affection as she turned and ran to a desk and pulled open the drawer. Taking out a small crystal bottle she walked back to Rubeus holding it out to him. "I wanted to buy you something special while I was out "shopping" earlier today. It's very expensive but of course I could afford it. Naturally I received 100% discount on everything with my special magic mind control." Rubeus reached out and blankly took it from her. "Why thank you. It's just what I need to illustrate the point I must emphasize," said Rubeus and with that he crushed the bottle in his big, strong hand shattering it. "WHAT?" cried Catzi in horror and Rubeus showed her his palm with the broken pieces and the dripping contents. "If you fail all of our lives will be broken just like this little bottle. So success is essentially vital. Now prepare yourself please." As he left closing the door behind him Catzi began to weep bitterly. Rubeus paused a second, held his palm up to his nose and sniffed. His eyes bulged as he thought to himself, "This was my favourite brand of aftershave." He turned his upper torso around to face the door where Catzi's wailings could be heard from behind, but immediately his eyes grew stern and glazed and he yelled loudly. "Remember that little object lesson! Do not fail Catzi!" Later at mid-afternoon Mina and Lita sat rather boredly at an outside table at the cafe consoling themselves with iced coffees. Mina sighed. "I am like super bored. I have no money to go shopping or even see a movie. Between us we could just barely afford our drinks here." "Yeah. I second what you just said," Lita moaned. Luna and Artemis sat on their laps and Lita bent down and whispered to Luna. "So why are you hanging out with us? Where's Serena?" When Luna whispered her reply Lita said out loud to Mina. "Amy's studying, Raye's working at the temple and Serena went over there to borrow some more comic books off her. It's just you and I Mina." Mina groaned. "And neither of us has a boyfriend. So we're stuck with each other and these two cats." "Hey! That's not our fault is it?" Artemis hissed indignantly to Mina and the two girls both pacified him quietly to avoid attracting undue attention. At that moment Raye walked into her personal bedroom at the temple to find Serena laughing like a hyena with a stack of comics beside her. She was rather annoyed. "You still here? I thought you were going to borrow those and take yourself home out of my way?" Serena had a huge grin on her face as she said, "I was going to. But then I thought if I just read them all here I wouldn't need to lug them home and get all puffed out in the process." "You're so lazy Serena. By the way. Have you done all your alotted homework for Miss Haruna before you decided to come to see me about some comic books to read?" Serena hesitated somewhat nervously after Raye asked her challenging question. "Huh? Oh yeah sure. Well most of it. I'll easily finish the rest later tonight." Raye was rolling her eyes but before she could make any reply a woman's voice called out from the open doorway. "Hello! Is anybody home?" Raye forgot all about her question to Serena as she turned her attention to the figure in the main entrance. "Who's there?" It was Catzi dressed in a red mini skirt with matching top and large ladies hat. She carried a small suitcase and her upside-down crescent mark had mysteriously vanished from her forehead. "Good day," she cheerily exclaimed. "I'm a make-up saleswoman. But I probably won't sell too much make-up here. You two both look like you're models." Serena gasped in amazement where she had quickly jumped up and followed Raye to meet this visitor and Raye was also smiling and feeling somewhat flattered. "Oh! You really think we look like models?" Catzi replied, "What? You mean you're not?" Her subtle technique had worked. She had made them feel joyful and all buttered up and they agreed to at least sit down and look at and discuss her products. Earlier Droido had helped Catzi acquire her products at the very beauty shop she and her two friends had first targeted. She had gone "shopping" there with Catzi and using their hypnotic mind control, the workers had been very helpful in picking out a fine selection of various creams, lipsticks and eye-shadows for Catzi to use as part of her disguise. Neither the workers themselves or any of the customers present even remembered seeing Droido and Catzi at all and Droido returned to their spaceship, while Catzi went to the temple to await Rini's arrival and scout out the place to try to locate the crystal. She was secretly perusing Raye's room to consider whether the crystal may be hidden someplace there as she talked about the make-up items. Raye and Serena were very impressed. "These are all very good. How much is the revitalizing facial cream?" asked Raye. "For you I'll do a special deal. Normally it's fifteen dollars. But you can have it for seven dollars and fifty cents." Raye liked the sound of Catzi's offer. So she bought a bottle. Serena said, "Would you loan me seven fifty please Raye?" Raye said, "Certainly not Serena. You still owe me ten dollars that I loaned you last week." Serena said, "Aw. But I really want some of that cream for myself." "Well Serena. If you didn't splurge all your money at the Videogame Arcade all the time you'd have spare cash to buy yourself special treats like this once in a while." "Aw Raye. You loaned Amy and Lita some spare change so they could buy that big book and those new shoes they wanted respectively recently." "Yeah. But I don't mind that because I know I can depend on them Serena. They paid me back in full as soon as they had their pocket money the following week. You should learn from their example." Before Serena could whine some more, Catzi said with a smile, "Well then, since I've completed my sale I guess I'll be going now. See you girls." Raye thanked her and said good-bye while Serena moped. As Catzi left she thought, "What nice girls they are. While I'm waiting for the crystal and the kid to show up I'll try to sell some more make-up to people. I'll keep the money and buy something special for myself though. I won't waste my generosity on that creep Rubeus. I thought he loved me, but I won't forgive him after what he did to me earlier." She was deeply insulted and thought she would spend the money for real on herself, but if she saw something that cost more than she had then she would use her mind control so the store employee would take just the amount she had on her. As it so happened after Catzi left, Raye went outside and came back ten minutes later to say, "Hey Serena! Guess what?" Serena looked up from the comic book she was reading and said, "I don't know. Tell me Raye." "Well, that make-up saleswoman is around the entrance talking to somebody who has come to visit the temple showing her her products. And it happens to be none other than Miss Haruna." On hearing this Serena felt like a cold wave had washed over her leaving icy chills all throughout her body. Putting down the comic she stood up trembling. "Oh. Th-that's interesting. By the way th-thank you Raye for letting me c-c-come round. I must be g-g-going home now." Raye rolled her eyes and said, "Right. Sure, it's time to finish the last of your homework Serena." "Y-y-yes. See you l-l-later." As Serena slipped away Raye noticed she was heading for the back entrance and thought to herself, "I just bet she hasn't done a single line of her homework yet." But Catzi actually made a sale of some products to Miss Haruna who was very pleased with her purchase. Then she went to look at the temple and never knew that Serena had been present at all. Catzi kept innocently watching the front steps assuming that Rini would come the way most people did. Though she was wrong. As Serena was making her way down the lesser used back stairs she met Rini. "What are you doing Rini," she asked. "I've come to visit Raye and look at some of her comic books Serena." "Oh. That's what I've just been doing. Well I'm in a rush to get home now Rini." Rini picked up on the nervousness in Serena's tone and she said, "But unlike you Serena, I've finished all my homework before coming here. Furthermore you probably didn't call Raye to ask if you could even come first. It's bad manners to show up uninvited you know." Serena was not pleased with this stinging rebuke and started to retort. "How dare you speak so impertinently," Then she screamed as the bus drove round the corner. If no crowd of people was at the nearby bus stop she would have to walk home and it was getting very late. "Aaaahh! No no! Wait for me!" As she raced down the rest of the stairs and disappeared Rini silently scoffed. "Silly Serena." Then she turned and ran up to the top of the stairs eager to find Raye. As Rini skipped merrily along the way all kids do and holding her ball, she called out, "Raye! Where are you? It's me, Rini!" Catzi heard her and turned to face the direction where her voice came from. "The kid is over there!" she thought. While nobody else was in sight, she magically changed her outfit to her regular clothing discarding her disguise. Her upside-down crescent mark re-appeared in its place on her forehead and she gave a tremendous leap soaring through the air until she was directly over her unsuspecting quarry. "Hello Munchkin!" As Rini looked up in fright Catzi swooped down with a big sack and slipped it over her head and all the way down to her feet. "You've no chance to escape this time. This sack is magically resistant to your personal powers," exclaimed Catzi as she was tying the sack up while Rini struggled and grunted. But then a rose came flying downwards and as it stuck into the ground at Catzi's feet it startled her before she could firmly secure the sack. "What the?" Even as she looked up and gasped, Tuxedo Mask was already jumping nimbly down from where he had been standing atop the structure of a huge arched gateway. Snatching the sack out of Catzi's hands he said, "I could feel in my inner being that this little girl was going to be in danger and so I speedily made my way here just in time to save her from you. I'll take her now." With that he turned and jumped to the rooftop of a pagoda and Catzi screamed. "NO! I won't let you defeat me Cape-boy. You'll feel the burning of my flame attack." But little did Catzi know that Raye had also been responsive to the sound of Rini's voice and she had observed her attack on her and Tuxedo Mask's heroic rescue a few feet behind Catzi's back. So she had quickly ducked into the shadows and transformed into Sailor Mars and just as Catzi was about to send an attack at Tuxedo Mask and Rini, she herself sent a surprise attack at her. "MARS CELESTIAL FIRE SURROUND!" Even as Catzi turned in shock at the sound of the attack, the rings of fire relentlessly surrounded her and she was burned. However Sailor Mars was determined to capture her alive and therefore the fire rings she summoned were only rather mild and Catzi did not go up in intense flame. She painfully collapsed to her knees and hands like a baby and groaned with her eyes squeezed tightly shut. Sailor Mars bounded over to grab her and called up to Tuxedo Mask, "Hurry and help me secure her!" By now he had assisted Rini out of the sack, into his arms and she held firmly onto his back as he jumped back down to throw the sack over Catzi's own head. He aided Sailor Mars in pulling the little sack as far as it would go down Catzi's body, tying her armsby her sides with her hands sticking out. Catzi was helpless and was dragged to her feet, her muffled screaming buried in the covering of her upper torso. While Rini picked up her ball that had fallen to the ground when she was attacked, Grandfather, Chad, Miss Haruna and a small crowd of other visitors to the temple were attracted by the commotion. But Sailor Mars took charge at once. "Everybody do not panic. I am meeting in privacy with the priestess Raye in the room of the Sacred Fire. She will help me interrogate this intruder when the other Sailor Scouts join me. I would strongly appreciate your full co-operation in staying well away from the room in question." Addressing her grandfather she said, "Old man I trust you and your assistant will make sure everybody complies." Grandfather and Chad solemnly promised. "We will Sailor Mars." "Okay folks. Stay back." "And you stay with me Rini," said Tuxedo Mask leading her away. She didn't mind since she was thankful to be safe and she loved being in his presence very much. The two of them quietly left the temple grounds and Sailor Mars dragged the captive Catzi towards the Sacred Fire's shrine where she would call the others and summon them to join her. Now they had a prisoner they had a perfect opportunity to dredge out as much information about the Black Moon Clan as they possibly could. In no time at all Artemis, Luna and the other four Scouts were gathered with Sailor Mars around Catzi who was tied to a chair, much like Avocado had previously been when she had been taken prisoner. The strange faded gems that had been left behind when she, Jellax and Rhonda had all died were resting in a glass cupboard nearby and Catzi was frowning angrily at them. "You murdered my personal ally Rhonda and two of our other comrades!" Sailor Moon was in a rather grouchy mood at having been forced to be there. She had been upset because she had so much homework to do, but Luna had nagged and nagged her about her Sailor Scout duties until she had said in a huff that she would go. She fairly snapped at Catzi. "I only kill people who are up to no good! You and your clan are evil!" "You are evil Sailor Scouts! I don't care if you murder me! I'll try to kill as many of you as I can before I die!" To everybody's dismay Catzi stood up, while her arms were tied behind the chair and attempted to charge them with a cry of malicious rage. Sailor Jupiter swung her leg up in a martial arts movement and hit Catzi in the chest with her knee. She toppled over and fell to the floor on her left side and she couldn't get up bound as she was. She screamed venomously. "Murderers of my mother and father! All my family wiped out except my three sisters! One day you will all be brought to justice for your vile crimes!" Sailor Mercury said, "The clan has been universally saying that we are evil from the beginning and recently this accusation about killing their families has come out. What does it mean exactly Sailor Mars? Will the Sacred Fire explain it all to you?" Sailor Moon glared down at Catzi. "It's all a big put-on job to cover up their wicked intentions." "Well now let me see what I can find out from the fire." It wasn't very often that Raye consulted the oracle while in her Sailor Mars identity, but she knelt down and implored earnestly. "Please Sacred Flame. Show me the truth about what this clan member's violent words." As she knelt in prayer for about ten seconds she jerked with a sudden gasp, her eyes bulging wide. "This is incredible," she said, "but the oracle tells me it is not a cover at all. SHE REALLY BELIEVES EVERY WORD OF IT!" "WHAT?" Everybody else gasped in shock but Sailor Mars was already kneeling in prayer again. "Please show me exactly what the truth is Flame. Why does she believe these things and what really happened?" As the Sacred Fire revealed things to her mind Sailor Mars was overwhelmed with what she saw. "Sailor Moon," she said solemnly. "We need to prove to her that what she's been told is a lie. I have an idea. If I prepare my fireballs charge in a special way so that it will allow her to see the things that I have seen in her mind and you combine it with the healing power of your crystal it may overcome the brainwashing hold exerted upon her." "I don't know. I've never used my crystal in such a way before." But Artemis spoke up. "I say go for it. There's nothing to lose and we are obligated to try our very best to liberate her if what Mars says is true. Which I have faith to believe so." "Okay then. Let's try it Mars." So while Catzi fumed and gnashed her teeth, Sailor Mars prepared her charm. "I call upon the power of Mars. FIREBALLS CHARGE!" As she threw it onto Catzi's face she yelled out in protest, but Sailor Mars had her locket in her hand with the crystal inside. "MOON CRYSTAL HEALING ACTIVATION!" As the combined magic washed over Catzi's she gasped and began to give exclamations. "What's this? It cannot be! Oh no! How awful! Horrible! Mother! Father! Nooooo!" She began to cry. "It wasn't the Queen of Crystal Tokyo! We've been misled! Duped!" "Untie her girls," ordered Luna and they quickly did so. Catzi sat up and looked into Sailor Moon's eyes with a tear-stained face. "Sailor Moon. I see now how very wrong I've been. All of us have been sincerely wrong. We grew up believing you were the ones who killed all of our families. I know the truth of the matter now." Then she began to cry with unconsolable sobs that shook her shoulders. "If only poor Rhonda was here with me. I wish she could have learnt what I've learned before- before," The words died away in violent choking sobs and Sailor Moon, realizing the implications of this began to sob uncontrollably too. "I'm so sorry. If I'd understood. I would never have killed any of you." And she knelt down beside Catzi and they threw themselves into each others' arms to weep on their shoulders. The other Sailor Scouts and Luna and Artemis cried too. "The three gems sat in their glass case like remains of people who needlessly and tragically perished, laid to rest in a private mausoleum.
  3. I don't fully understand what you mean in your post. two men came out in the 90s? Anyway I certainly will keep writing and sharing it here.
  4. I'll have to make certain changes when I come to it. But for all practical purposes the break-up story is over in my version. I just felt like there was no conceivable way I could sensibly stretch it out beyond this part.
  5. The next day after the Black Moon Clan had made their big showdown attack Serena was trying to entertain Rini by showing her an animated movie on the DVD player. It was Sleeping Beauty by Walt Disney Productions but Rini was rather bored by it. She wasn't really interested in a fantasy cartoon film. She'd much rather be trying to find the Silver Crystal. She sat still and suffered it for the first forty-five minutes. Then she jumped off her chair and said, "This is rubbish. I'm out of here." Serena said, "What are you saying? This is a wonderful movie. The hero is going to awaken the beautiful princess from enchanted sleep with a kiss in the big finale." Rini ran away crying, "Yuck! I already know this story and I've always hated it Serena. It's sickening mush. I'm going to go to my room and find some better way to spend my weekend break time after school." With that she disappeared leaving Serena staring wide-eyed and alone with Luna. Dad was outside painting the garage, Mum was in the laundry doing the washing and Sammy had gone out to play football in the park with some of his friends from school. He certainly would never have wanted to watch Sleeping Beauty either. He hated childish fairy tales too. "Oooooohhh. That ungrateful Rini. I try to be friendly and look how she acts Luna." But Luna said, "You should try to be more understanding Serena." "What do you mean Luna?" "Well consider her situation. She has been sent to the past to try to help her own parents who are in big trouble in the future. And she's been told to get the Silver Crystal off you. She seems to be familiar with Sailor Moon, but she doesn't know you are really her. And I've talked to her since the events yesterday afternoon. She overheard me cry out to you to run when those people attacked you and her." Serena was astonished to hear this. "Y-you have spoken to her Luna?" "She apparently suspected that I could talk from the beginning Serena. She asked me to talk to her privately. However I have not revealed the identities of you, the other girls or even Darien. She asked me if I knew where I could get the crystal. But I told her she would have to keep searching and I would try to find out for her in the meantime. I left it at that." "Th-thank you Luna," Serena stammered. "I wish I could help her. If only we could find out more information from her." "This is something we definitely need to all discuss together between ourselves. And we'll have to make sure we're safe from Rini overhearing us. Until we are ready to make our move we can't let Rini know who we are. She can't just take the crystal. Not even if it is going to help her cause. You should all go with her when she returns to the future. The crystal is too important to us as well to risk losing it." Serena knew that everything Luna said was the sensible truth. What a dilemma they were facing. And in the meantime they needed to keep protecting Rini from those creepy people. So Serena called her friends on their communicators and suggested that they all meet at the ice cream parlour in twenty-five minutes with Luna and Artemis. "We can buy ourselves ice cream treats and sit together outside away from everybody else and quietly talk about what we should do about Rini and her problem," she said and they all thought it a good suggestion. In no time at all they were gathered together with their cones or sundaes around a public park bench out of earshot of the crowd of people. Even Luna and Artemis were lapping at some ice cream in dishes specially for them. Little did they realize of course, that when they, like all the other people bought their ice creams, they were inadvertently helping to maintain the Black Moon Clan's power over their Crystal Point in the future. But for now they were seriously discussing what they could do to defeat their current enemies. Raye said, "So this is what we know for sure so far. Rini is from this city in the future called Crystal Tokyo. And it's under some kind of attack by these invaders known as the Black Moon Clan." Amy added, "And Rini's mother has been put into some kind of prison by the invaders. Which is wwhy she's here now." "Yeah," said Serena in a melancholy-sounding voice as she stared straight ahead at nothing while Lita continued the discourse. "And that man with red hair resembling fire named Rubeus followed Rini here with all those strange women to help him capture Rini to prevent her fom altering their hold on the future. And they also want to get the Silver Imperium Crystal just like Rini. Rini wants it to defeat them so they want to get it first to ensure their victory. What do you think we should do regarding Rini and the crystal Serena?" But to Lita's astonishment Serena didn't say anything but kept staring blankly ahead. "Did you hear me Serena? Serena. Will you answer me please? We're having an important discussion here." Serena did turn to look at Lita and speak. But her words were, "Do you think Darien will finally decide to re-ignite our passion for each other very soon after what Mum said to him recently?" Everybody was exasperated. "WHAT?" they all exclaimed in unison. Artemis and Luna were annoyed. Luna said, "Serena. The subject on hand is what to do about Rini and her problems. Can't you stay on topic?" Artemis agreed, "Yes. We need to help that poor girl." "That's right," declared Amy, Raye, Lita and Mina and Serena sighed in despair. But then she spotted Darien riding past on his motorcycle. She clearly recognized his bike and his helmet and he had a female passenger seated beside him with her arms around his waist. There was no time to call out to him. He already had a clear green light at the traffic signals. Darien may not have even seen Serena or any of the girls nearby since he was concentrating on the road. But Serena had seen him and she had seen the girl he was with. "Th-that was D-d-darien!" She leaped to her feet trembling. "Oh no. My worst fears have come true. He has made up his mind about me. He's not coming back. He's found somebody new." Then she began to weep and cry uncontrollably and Luna, Artemis and the girls all looked at each other in silent understanding. There was no way in the world anybody could calm Serena down. The discussion was over before it had barely begun. Later that night when Mum, Dad and Sammy were all tucked up snugly asleep in their beds, Luna was woken up by the sound of Serena's bedroom door quietly opening. She opened her eyes where she was lying on the floor next to Serena's bed and saw Serena creeping very quietly outside. "Hmm. Where's she going?" she thought to herself. She silently followed Serena from a distance and saw her tip-toe downstairs so as not to wake any of her family. Next at the bottom of the stairs Serena crept into the kitchen. Luna was getting extremely curious by this time and slowly walked into the kitchen. When she did she found to her amazement that Serena was raiding the refrigerator. She was sitting down in the open door helping herself to chocolate cake, biscuits, cheese, apple pie and chicken. "Serena! What are you doing?" exclaimed Luna. "You'll have a difficult time getting to sleep if you eat all of that!" Somebody else was secretly awake however. It was Rini. She had been unable to settle down thinking about the Silver Crystal and she had crept out of her own room a few minutes after Serena and Luna had gone downstairs in her pajamas and slippers holding her ball. She silently entered the kitchen doorway just as Serena replied to Luna in a sobbing, whiny voice. "I don't care. I just don't care if I'm unable to sleep. Or if I put on weight or even get a tummy-ache. Darien has found himself a new girl. My heart is broken and I intend to console myself with food." Upon hearing this Rini gasped in shock. Turning away with tears in her own eyes while Serena cried and ate she made her way to the chimney fireplace and standing inside she furtively bounced her ball and whispered. "Mini Magic Tricks. Levitate me up through the chimney and lower me gently down to the ground outside." Grabbing her ball after casting the spell she gently rose upwards and out the top. Fortunately they always kept the chimney professionally wiped clean and slowly descending outside she ran off in consternation and distress. "Darien can't have a new girl." She thought to herself as she ran down the street. "Something deep down inside my heart seems to tell me that he must get back together with Serena. I can't explain why but I just know that for my own good they need to be romantically linked." Even Luna hadn't noticed Rini just earlier but in the next minute or two she and Serena both had their attention drawn to her. She became so upset with the thought that Darien may have irreconciably broken up with Serena that she began to cry and set off her golden illumination effect once more. Mum, Dad and Sammy were all sound sleepers but Luna noticed the glow permeating the kitchen through the windows. "Serena! That's Rini's signal! She must be in trouble!" Even Serena paused with a big bite of apple pie in her mouth and said a muffled "Oh no." She was genuinely concerned about Rini and forgot her sorrows at once. And Rini certainly needed help. Rubeus had been using his holographic monitor to diligently search the city for signs of her and he saw the tell-tale flash of light. He called everybody to an urgent meeting. "The little brat's revealed herself again. We've pinpointed where her energy is coming from." "Who are you going to send this time Rubeus?" asked Avery. Everybody else was on the edge of their seat wondering what the plan would be. Rubeus answered. "I think I'm going to have this try myself. But I'll take you with me Avery. And Prizma too. The three of us will be able to catch her easily." Avery and Prizma raised their fists and said, "We are ready to serve our cause Rubeus." But Rubeus wasn't finished. "But if or when those dastardly Sailor Scouts show up this is what I propose. My good buddy Hypnotica shall accompany us but stay in hiding until the enemy appear. Then she shall use her hypnotic abilities to put them into an unwakeable sleep. Then we can take them as easy prisoners back to the future with us and break the spell long enough for our prince to declare judgement upon them and then the Wiseman and the Grim Man shall destroy them. And with their deaths, the Sailor Scouts of the future and the Queen of Crystal Tokyo shall be wiped out of existence. Our families will be so fittingly avenged." Everybody cheered this proposal and Hypnotica said, "You can count on me dear Rubeus." Thunderclap said, "While you are both gone it shall be my turn to act as chief in command. Hypnotica did it when I went on a mission with you awhile ago Rubeus. I pledge to do just as well a job." "Thank you my friend. I wouldn't expect any less," smiled Rubeus. "Let's all get going now, shall we?" Everybody cheered even more as Rubeus, Avery, Prizma and Hypnotica all left to seek out Rini once and for all. So while Rini was running along and crying Rubeus, Avery and Prizma suddenly materialized in her way. "We have you cornered you little weasel," said Rubeus and Avery made her move as Rini gasped. Remembering how she had struck them all down the last time, Avery lashed out with her whip sending it coiling around Rini's entire body from her neck down to her ankles. Then Prizma put her finger to the whip and sent a mild electric current running through it stunning Rini to prevent her from using her defensive power. Avery then picked up Rini's limp body. "We've done it Rubeus," she crowed. But then Luna came running from out of nowhere and jumping up onto Avery began scratching her arm. "YEEEAAAARRGHHH!" Avery dropped Rini and clutched her bleeding arm while Luna leaped aside and Prizma and Rubeus turned to see Luna running to stand alongside Sailor Moon, who was frowning and glaring at them. "I've had just about enough of you creeps bullying poor Rini. In the Name of the Moon I shall put a stop to it." Rubeus said, "We've had too much of you Sailor Moon. But we have you right where we want you once and for all. Hypnotica! Do your stuff!" As Hypnotica materialized in a puff of smoke Sailor Moon automatically looked up at her. But that was a fatal mistake. Hypnotica began to chant. "Look into my eyes. You are getting sleepy. Go to sleep. You need to lie down and rest." Luna cried, "Sailor Moon. Don't look at her." But it was too late. Sailor Moon lay down and spoke dreamily. "You were wrong about all that food keeping me awake Luna. Good night." Rubeus, Prizma and Avery all laughed as they picked up Rini again between them. Luna was horrified. But their laughter was cut off by the arrival of Artemis and the other Scouts surrounding them on all sides. Sailor Jupiter said, "We all came as fast as we could when Sailor Moon called us." Sailor Mercury said, "Yes. We will put a stop to your little game as usual." "Release Rini," demanded Sailor Mars. But Rubeus answered, "I'm afraid things are not going to work out in your favour this time Sailor Scouts." Then he, Prizma and Avery gave a mighty combined leap into the air, still clutching Rini. Before the Sailor Scouts could say or do anything Avery called out, "Our comrade Hypnotica will fix you all good." Rubeus cried, "Yes Hypnotica! We're counting on you!" Even as Rubeus was shouting Hypnotica was already emanating her powers from the horn in her head towards the Scouts. "Go to sleep! Go to sleep! You are feeling drowsy! You need to rest!" As the girls began to yawn Luna shouted, "Don't let her hypnotize you! You must fight!" Even while Mars was feeling the effects and yawning she summoned up a counter-attack. "I call upon the power of Mars. FIREBALLS CHARGE!" She sent one of her charms flying up to stick to Hypnotica's face over her eyes. She screamed and turned into the smoke like form she had briefly before she had appeared earlier. Prizma and Avery, who were still holding the bound Rini, both gasped and Rubeus was furious. "You can't do that to my friend." "But I did," answered Sailor Mars rising to her feet. Avery and Prizma were so side-tracked they failed to realize that Rini had regained consciousness and summoning up her reserves she gave them both the same sort of shock they had received with Catzi, Birdy, Droido and Frosty the other day. With loud cries that made Rubeus turn around with a start the two sisters fell stunned to the ground and Rini dropped lightly shaking the coil of whip off her. Sailor Mercury ran over to hold her protectively and Sailor Venus went over to rouse Sailor Moon, who was still asleep. Taking her in her arms she said, "Hey Sailor Moon. Wake up." But Rubeus turned back to them snarling, "She won't wake up. Hypnotica has another trick up her sleeve. My friend. Invade her prone body." Then before any of them knew what happened the smoke formed a long, thin strand that flew downwards and right up Sailor Moon's nose. "Hey! What was that?" gasped Sailor Venus still cradling Sailor Moon's upper torso. Rubeus exclaimed triumphantly, "My buddy has entered her body in her ethereal state. She will slowly kill her while keeping her trapped in her hypnotic sleep. And there is nothing you can do about it." Everybody, including Rini was horrified and Sailors Mars and Jupiter clenched their fists. "Why you!" "Now now. It's no use threatening me. I can give you a fight if you want but all the time Hypnotica will be draining Sailor Moon's life energy. You can only save her by overcoming the hypnosis and waking her up. If you can. Which you can't. HA HA HA HA!" Realizing what he said was true, Mars and Jupiter started working hard with Mercury and Venus to shake Sailor Moon and yell at her to wake up while Artemis, Luna and Rini watched helplessly. But they couldn't rouse her even for a second and Rubeus watched with satisfaction as he rubbed his hands and chuckled. Suddenly everybody's attention, including Rubeus, was attracted by the arrival of a motorcycle. Sailor Mercury gasped. "Look. It's Tuxedo Mask." They all gaped and Rubeus sneered to behold Darien dressed in his Tuxedo Mask persona while seated upon his motorcycle. He jumped off and ran towards Sailor Moon's inert form while Luna, Artemis, Rini and the other girls all stepped aside to give him room. "Do you think he can help her?" asked Sailor Jupiter. "Naturally he can't," scoffed Rubeus while Avery and Prizma were groggily climbing to their feet. Tuxedo Mask was highly concerned. He shook Sailor Moon and spoke urgently to her. "Sailor Moon! Wake up! Can't you hear me?" Sailor Moon actually muttered in her sleep. "Darien. How could you break my heart so? I saw you with your new girlfriend on your motorbike just recently." Tuxedo Mask gasped. Realizing the truth of the way he felt he hugged her tightly and cried, "Sailor Moon! You misinterpreted what you saw, but I realize now that deep down I love you too and cannot live without you. Please come back to me." And with that he kissed her. To the horror of Rubeus, Avery and Prizma and to the joy of all the others, Sailor Moon immediately opened her eyes and hugging Darien cried, "Oh is it true? You really do still love me?" Smiling behind his mask he replied, "Yes I do my precious Meatball-head." Sailor Mercury had happy tears in her eyes. "The power of love has brought Sailor Moon back to us." Rini said in amazement, "I never liked the story of Sleeping Beauty. But I'm so delighted to have seen its ending re-enacted by Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask." She knew what they meant to her though she still didn't know they were Serena and Darien. Hypnotica appeared in a swirl of smoke that formed into her body next to her buddy Rubeus up in the air. She was furious. "How could that confounded Cape-boy have expelled me from her body? I'll fix him good." Then she reached up and took hold of the horn in her forehead. She was about to do something extraordinary and seriously deadly. She actually proceeded to pull the horn out of her head. It came out easily and smoothly with no blood or any other gore. It turned out to be the handle of a sinister, curved, elaborate dagger and it left a clean, gaping hole in her forehead resembling a standard sheath of all things. She lunged at Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon and they jumped aside in a hurry. But Tuxedo Mask cried out in pain as his shoulder was scratched, tearing his clothing and staining it with blood. Sailor Moon shouted vehemently. "How dare you wound my boyfriend. It's me you really want so come on. Let's fight." Hypnotica brandished the dagger and snarled. "Lights out. It's past your eternal bedtime." As she prepared to lunge at her Sailor Moon grabbed her tiara and as usual it changed to her scepter. "I'll decide when it's my bedtime creep." Rubeus cried out, "Be careful dear Hypnotica. That's a very dangerous weapon." Hypnotica tried to run Sailor Moon through the heart. But Sailor Moon side-stepped and swung her scepter like a baseball bat and caught Hypnotica under her arm. She still managed to retain her grip on the dagger, but she was thrown off balance backwards by the force of the blow pushing her arm. Grunting she struggled to maintain her balance but Sailor Moon was now preparing her attack. "MOON SCEPTER ELIMIN-" Rubeus came to Hypnotica's rescue and avery and Prizma also jumped forward ready to attack. Rubeus grabbed Sailor Moon from behind and struggled to pull her scepter out of her hand. Sailor Mars drew his attention away however by attacking Hypnotica herself. "MARS CELESTIAL FIRE SURROUND!" At the same time Sailor Mercury shouted out her attack against Avery and Prizma. "MERCURY ICE STORM BLAST!" The two sisters screamed in agony as they were trapped similarly to the way Birdy's friend Frosty had been the very first time she ever used it and Hypnotica also screamed as Mars' rings of fire struck her burning her badly. Unlike Catzi's deceased partner Rhonda though, she was able to save herself from hopelessly going up in flames by converting herself to smoke. Rubeus meanwhile still had his hold on Sailor Moon, one arm round her neck and the other hand clutching her wrist with the scepter in. He had stopped struggling with her though she couldn't break his strong grip all the same but he was relieved when he saw his friend escape. As this was happening Sailor Jupiter attacked Avery and Prizma while they were helplessly immobile. "JUPITER THUNDERBOLT ZAP!" Her bolt struck them hard shattering the icy wall that held them though in the process giving them a very nasty shock and throwing them several feet backwards where they landed in dazed and groaning heaps. Meanwhile Hypnotica manifested herself next to Rubeus and was going to slit Sailor Moon's throat. But Tuxedo Mask threw two roses with skilled precision that stuck in the hole in Hypnotica's forehead. It was designed only for one thing. The dagger and so it was rather painful to have the stems of those flowers suddenly jab inside her head. "Ouch! Owwww! It hurts!" She still didn't lose her grip on the dagger but she put her other hand to her forehead and Rubeus aghast, finally released Sailor Moon to take hold of her. He saw Sailor Venus glaring at them ready to use her own attack at any moment and Sailor Moon turned to look at them. She was too close to use her scepter elimination attack but she brandished it menacingly like a club. Rubeus knew they had been defeated again and he quickly transported himself and Hypnotica away from where they were. They briefly appeared up in the sky where he urgently yelled down to Prizma and Avery, "Retreat with us back to headquarters!" The two sisters were only too eager to get out of there, so supporting each other with linked arms they de-materialized where they were still sitting on the ground and so did Rubeus taking his injured friend back with him. When they arrived Prizma, Avery and Hypnotica all received a medical look over by Frosty, who was skilled in such matters. The two sisters had been shook up and were badly bruised where they fell. But there were no broken bones or other serious damage. They were given appropriate first-aid treatments with soothing cream and instructed to lay down and rest. As for Hypnotica fortunately the rose stems had not caused any piercings inside her head. Frosty said there was no scratches or bleeding spots at all. "I'll just wrap some small ice cubes inside this sterilized, clean handkerchief and gently place it inside to soothe the pain. When it has all melted I'll have another look and gently dry it with soft handtowel. I think you're going to be fine Hypnotica." So with that she went to rest and recover too. Rubeus was not happy though. He said to Thunderclap, "We must come up with a perfect plan to eliminate the Sailor Scouts and the masked man in the tuxedo. Sooner or later more of us are going to die while fighting them. And if it happens to you or Hypnotica, dear Thunderclap, I'll be devastated." "I don't want anything to happen to you or her either, dear Rubeus. And I know Hypnotica would say the very same thing herself," said Thunderclap. "We must be very careful." They weren't the only ones feeling this way. Birdy, Droido and Frosty were all very worried. Of course Birdy didn't wish death upon her own biological sisters, but they just weren't as close to her as her two personal Droids were. She wanted them to survive and they wanted her to survive. They all wanted to survive and live long lives together. The thought of what could potentially happen filled them with dread forebodings. Getting back to Sailor Moon and all the others, first of all she and Tuxedo Mask had a lovely moment cuddling with Rini. Then they looked into each others eyes and then at the other Scouts' smiling faces. Finally they spoke to Rini. "Rini. Sailor Moon and I need to go off somewhere for a personal private talk now. But you'll be in the company of our friends here and they'll make sure you get back home safely and to your bed without disturbing the rest of your family." Sailor Moon herself added, "And don't worry. We'll see you again sometime soon." "But what about Serena?" Rini asked concernedly. "When I left her at home she was wide awake in the kitchen, feeding her face and crying because Darien dumped her for someone else." Tuxedo Mask was taken aback but Sailor Moon quickly thought of a reply. "Oh it's all right. I know that Serena is at home sound asleep in her room. Sailor Mars had one of her visions and she told me that she had gone to sleep in the end instead of eating herself sick. And also tomorrow she will discover she was wrong about Darien. He still loves her and he will tell her so." Rini perked up upon hearing this. "R-r-really?" Sailor Mars played her part well. "Yes that's true Rini. You have nothing at all to worry about." The other Scouts all cheerfully agreed and Sailor Moon hugged her one last time before getting on Tuxedo Mask's motorbike behind him. "Well Rini. Tuxedo Mask and I need to deeply talk among ourselves. Bye now." "Goodbye," called Rini happily and she waved as the pair rode off into the night. Artemis and Luna felt as cheerful as the rest. They found a secluded look-out point facing the waterfront where they changed into their civilian identities and held each other as they talked. Serena was blown away by Darien's explanation of what she'd thought she'd seen. "So that girl on your bike was the little sister of Andrew, the manager of the Videogame Arcade?" "Yes that's right Serena. Lizzie's her name. Andrew asked me as a special favour to give her a ride to her hairdresser's appointment because she couldn't afford a taxi and she'd missed her bus. That's when you saw us." "And that was all it was? Giving her a ride?" "Yeah. She's nothing but a friend, just like her brother Andrew's my friend. But tell me. You were actually going to eat yourself sick because of the way you misconstrued things when you saw us?" Serena felt rather embarrassed about it now and blushed like a red light traffic signal. "Uh yeah. Stupid huh?" But Darien took her chin in his fingertips and gently tilted her head so she could see his broad smiling grin. "Stupid yes. But I was stupid too. I should have been willing to listen to you when you tried to tell me what your mother had said to your father in the first place. Ever since we went curry shopping with her I've been mulling over what she told me herself and when my sixth sense told me that you were in trouble tonight I came as fast as I could on my bike here. I didn't know what sort of trouble it was of course but when I saw the state you were in and heard those words you muttered in your sleep, that was the final piece of the puzzle that woke me up to how silly I was to put any barrier between us. Oh Serena. I love you dearly. We are destined for each other." They hugged tightly and wept joyful tears of joy. "Dear Darien. I really knew in my heart that you still loved me." "Forever my Meatball-head." She laughed hearing him say this. "So um. Will you come to dinner one day and meet Dad socially? Mum has been wanting me to invite you for a long time." Darien thought for a moment, then said, "Of course I will. As long as you make me one promise Serena." "What's that Darien?" "Don't ever eat yourself sick please." Serena said, "That I do solemnly promise." And they hugged and laughed all the more merrily.
  6. Congratulations. You lucky lady.
  7. Inside the quarters they hung out together often on their spaceship Rubeus, Thunderclap and Hypnotica were relaxing around a table drinking their favourite brand of champagne, when suddenly they were alerted to two familiar figures materializing in their midst. The Wiseman in his hooded robes concealing his face and his companion, the similarly appearing Grim Man clutching his scythe. The trio quickly sprang out of their chairs to greet their mentors respectively. Rubeus spoke humbly. "Welcome great masters. What do you have to deliver to us?" The Wiseman waved his weird, transparent hands over his crystal ball. "The Grim Man and I have received a new vision Rubeus. The little girl will appear today near the tenth street bridge after her school finishes in the middle of the afternoon. And get this. The crystal will also be present." The Grim Man said, "We want that child and the crystal both captured. No slip-ups." Hypnotica and Thunderclap were ecstatic to hear this. "Rubeus! As soon as we accomplish this double task, we will then be able to return to the future we call our true home." Hypnotica squealed with glee as she said this and Thunderclap, who had taken off her drum to sit comfortably at the time actually danced a happy jig. Rubeus said, "We'll put the sisters on it right away. They are eager for a chance to avenge the deaths of Rhonda, Jellax and Avocado." Then Hypnotica asked, "By the way masters. How are things faring in the future?" The Grim Man said, "In some ways things are good Hypnotica. In other ways, they're not." Before any of them could say anything the Wiseman went on to explain. "The mighty Prince is very pleased with the way you are still holding invisible control over the five major Crystal Points here in the past. When people frequent the Beauty and Cosmetics Store, the Ice-cream Parlour, the Martial Arts School, The Charms Shop and the Grocery Supermarket they have no idea that they are maintaining our control over the corresponding points in the future. The other Droid Warriors there are free to transport themselves to and from those five points and the guardians of the royal palace are blocked whenever they try to follow." "So Wiseman," asked Hypnotica. "What is the thing that is going wrong?" But the Grim Man had his turn to speak. "We decided to launch an all out attack against the palace to destroy the Queen and the King who are both trapped inside there. But those four female guardians realized that they could still enter the palace. So they are concentrating hard upon combining their psychic energy and magnifying it with a giant electro rod they all periodically keep charged up every 48 hours. We have not lost any of our members in the future, but we are all as blocked from the palace as the four female warriors are blocked from the five major Crystal Point areas." Thunderclap suddenly gasped. "I see what is happening" she said. "These Sailor Scouts who we've been battling. They are the past selves of those female warriors in Crystal Tokyo." Before Rubeus or Hypnotica could say a word, the Wiseman answered. "Precisely Thunderclap. We therefore command the three of you to eliminate them here in the past so that they won't exist in the future." The Grim Man concluded, "Then all our plans will be finally fulfilled." Rubeus, Thunderclap and Hypnotica all bowed to the floor as the Wiseman and the Grim Man de-materialized. This was going to be a big showdown. The vision that the Wiseman and the Grim Man had reported turned out to be pretty accurate enough. As Rini was walking home after leaving her school, she met Serena on the way. "Hello Rini." "Serena! What do you want?" asked Rini suspiciously. Serena answered somewhat nervously. "Well um. I thought I'd meet with you after our schools both closed today. You're such a dear little girl and we should spend more quality time together as cousins." In truth Luna had told Serena that Rini needed to be watched closely all the time in case those weird people found her and tried to snatch her. Artemis had accompanied Luna to Rini's school and the two of them had hung around the grounds all day, staying close to the classroom building during her lessons and hiding out of sight nearby during her lunch and play break times. If there had been any such attack one of them would have run off to alert the Scouts and get them away from their schools somehow to help, while the other kept an eye on the situation and fought to delay their escape as much as possible. The day was uneventful however and the two cats had instructed Serena to meet up with Rini and they would be following her secretly from behind. And it was the tenth street bridge at which point they met up. Serena kept the crystal around her neck in its locket of course. So everything Rubeus and his friends had heard was truly correctly fulfilled. Rini looked up at Serena and sighed. "I'm going to go and sit down halfway descending the stairs here leading down from this bridge. If you want to talk to me you can." Serena said "Okay," and she walked down to the halfway point and sat on the step side by side. Rini was holding her blue ball that she took everywhere with her in her hands on her lap and to Serena's bewilderment, she began to cry. "I miss my mummy Serena. I want to leave this place and go back to her. But it would be pointless if I did. I need the Silver Imperium Crystal to free her from her trap and save our world. Serena, it's no use denying it. I was told you have the crystal. I beg you please give it to me. I want to go home and be with my mummy safe and sound." Serena was getting very uneasy. Should she give her the Silver Crystal? No of course not. But she could help her if she was really telling the truth. If she would be willing to give her and her friends more information? "Rini. Will you explain more about who you are and why you're here?" Suddenly Rini became defensive. "No! I've already said too much! I wasn't supposed to say anything. Just please give me the crystal if you understand the anguish of my heart Serena!" "Rini I can't do that. I," Rini flew into a crying rage and Serena gasped as she saw the same golden crescent moon symbol appear on her forehead. It was just like what happened when Serena had furiously accused Rini of poisoning her friends at the Cherry Hill Temple. "Hey! Wait! Stop!" Serena was panicking remembering what had happened and how the enemy had been lured to Rini by the glow from her forehead lighting up the sky above her. But Rini would not be calmed and the bright glow made Serena see stars in her eyes. It rose up very high showing her position in the middle of the staircase. Serena desperately hugged her pleading with her to settle down and as Rini stopped crying the beams of light abated. But it was too late. "So you're feeling unhappy Small Lady?" said a voice from the direction down the staircase. Rini and Serena both looked down and gasped to see Birdy slowly ascending from the bottom with Frosty and Droido by her right and left sides. The Droids were in their human appearances and they were chortling with glee as they appraoached their target. "Rini! We'd better run back up the stairs," said Serena, however another voice called down from above. "It's no use. We have you surrounded." Looking up they were shocked to see Catzi descending from the opposite direction with Avery and Prizma on each side of her. As the pair of trios slowly began to close the gap they began taunting Rini. "Thank you for letting us know where you were exactly," said Prizma. "Though we already knew you'd be by this bridge," said Frosty. "But you showed us precisely where you were seated and we have you hemmed in," said Avery. "You can't slip past us either way. We have you covered," said Droido. "And we will take the Silver Crystal off you too," said Catzi. "The Silver Crystal?" said Serena. "We know you have it Rini," began Birdy, then she started to speak gently to Serena. "We have nothing at all against you. This little girl is our arch-enemy. So I beg you please to not interfere wi-" Just then Frosty desperately shouted. "Birdy! Watch your step!" But it was too late. Rini had placed her ball down next to her, but it had mysteriously rolled slowly down and not behaving the way a ball would normally bounce down stairs, had directed its course sideways in the path of Birdy and even as Frosty tried to warn her, she had already placed her foot upon it. To the horror of Frosty and Droido, she fell backwards and rolled down a couple of stairs, finally lying on her tummy moaning in pain. "My back! I think I've thrown it out of place! It's so painful!" While her friends turned around to help her, Serena whispered to Rini, "Now's our chance. Come with me." So while Frosty and Droido were crouched by their injured friend they did not notice Serena running past them to the left railing with Rini clutched tightly to her chest in a strong embrace. But Catzi screamed out loud. "She's trying to help the brat escape!" Prizma cried, "We must stop them!" With that the other three sisters are made tremendous leaps sending them soaring through the air over the heads of Serena and Rini landing gently on their feet to turn and block their escape just as they reached the bottom of the stairs. "You're not going anywhere!" growled Catzi as she and her sister held out their hands like savage dats ready to scratch with their nails. But then two real savage cats sprang from out of nowhere from behind and over the top of Serena's head taking the sisters by surprise. Artemis flew into Prizma's face and Luna flew into Avery's, hissing and snarling. Avery and Prizma screamed as the cats sank their front claws into their shoulders and they bit them on their cheeks and chins. Flailing around they fell on their backs and Catzi, momentarily in a state of shock, turned to seize Rini only to be unexpectedly biffed in the face by her blue ball. She fell on her knees in a daze and Luna shouted, "Come on! Run for it!" Rini was not really surprised to hear a talking cat and she told Serena, "Let me down please. I can run myself." So the four of them ran away with the ball floating alongside as if it had a mind of its own while Catzi and her sisters crawled to their feet. Avery and Prizma were angrily using their compact mirrors to apply antiseptic and sticking plaster to the bites on their cheeks and Catzi groaned as she shook her head to clear it. Meanwhile Droido had been working carefully on Birdy's back where she lay and with Frosty's assistance, she carefully lifted her up on her feet and down the stairs safely. Birdy gasped. "Thank goodness for your chiropractic talents Droido. My back is feeling much better now. I'm only sore with bumps and bruises now." Prizma shouted, "Quit the chit-chat! We must get that weasel once and for all." As for Rini, she ran with Serena and the two cats as fast as they all could until they came to a construction site. she thought to herself, "That looks like a good place to hide." So while the others kept on running ahead, she stopped and turned to the side. None of them realized that Rini was no longer racing by their side until they had turned the corner and run half-way along the wall surrounding the construction. "Hey! Where did Rini go?" cried Serena as she first sensed her absence. Luna and Artemis pulled up to a sudden stop along with Serena and they glanced around worriedly. "Oh no! We can't let her wander off wherever she is," cried Luna. "Serena! Call the other girls at once! We must find her before those weird women do." Serena pulled out her communicator and her friends all promised to arrive as soon as possible. Where exactly had Rini gone? she had crawled through a small hole in the bottom of part of the fence and ducked behind a stack of steel girders. Fortunately the place was deserted. The construction crew had finished work for the day and gone home, so there was nobody to catch Rini and rebuke her for trespassing. Also nobody who might get accidentally caught in some crossfire if or when the Four Sisters and Birdy's friends tracked her down. Her ball floated along behind her and she turned around and took it in her hands. Walking to the other end of the girders she sat down and spoke to her friend through the ball. "Thank you for what you did to help me escape. But I'm getting scared. What if those weird ladies find me again? Even if I can't go back to you without the crystal, couldn't you at least come to stay by my side and protect me for a little while?" The mysteriously tall woman spoke to her. "Dearest Small Lady. You know I can never leave the gate to the Door of Time. I promised your mother I would guard it forever and if I ever break my word it will mean disaster to the fabric of space-time continuem." Rini began to whimper. "But who will help me here in the past?" "Now now Small Lady. You do have protectors in the past. Remember the Sailor Scouts?" Rini snapped to attention when she heard this as her friend went on to elucidate. "Remember in the future they are the female warriors who are you faithful friends and have sworn to protect you and your mother for all time? Those Sailor Scouts you've met here in the past are the very same people from Crystal Tokyo and even though they don't know who you are, they are protecting you in the past because they are good and kind-hearted. And you already know who Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are in relation to you. Correct?" This was definitely true. "Yes. I know where I stand in relation to them." Rini's tears were turning into tears of happiness as she thought about what her friend had pointed out to her. "Small Lady. Even as we speak the Sailor Scouts are doing their very best to hold off further attacks against Crystal Tokyo. But unless you can find the crystal eventually they will be defeated. This is why you must keep trying to get hold of it and depend upon Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask and the others while you are in the past. For the sake of Crystal Tokyo you must keep your spirit up." "I understand. And thank you my friend. Goodbye." "Goodbye Small Lady. And good luck." With that the reception in the ball was cut off and Rini leant up against the girders lowering the ball in her hands and thinking deeply. All of a sudden her thoughts were brought to a shocking disruption by a loud, triumphant voice. "We've tracked you down little piglet!" To Rini's horror she looked up and saw the Four Twisted Sisters standing before her eyes in a row. Catzi was the one who had spoken. "No! No!" she clutched her ball and wailed. "Go away and leave me alone!" As she cried she jumped to her feet and tried to run off to the side, only to find herself cut off by Droido and Frosty in their non-human appearances. Droido clutched the pump in her hands and said, "Stop right there! Or I'll shoot my corosive acid out of my mouth." Frosty added, "And I'll blow my ice-cold breath at the same time. You'll be turned into a puddle of frozen sludge by our combined attack." Birdy laughed. "I suggest you surrender and hand over the crystal to us if you know what's good for you. Rini began to cry. "But I don't have the crystal." Prizma snarled. "Don't lie to us. We were told we would find the crystal along with you." Avery agreed. "It's no use stalling for time." Droido said with a sigh, "Though strictly speaking Frosty, we couldn't use our attacks upon her as such because we would also destroy the crystal along with her. We need that crystal in one piece." "Yeah, you're right Droido. But we can capture her and force her to give us the crystal." Frosty agreed. Rini was starting to sob again. "But I honestly don't have it!" To this Catzi answered, "Even if you are telling the truth we know you must have hidden it somewhere. The six of us will surround you and make you tell us where to find it. Come on girls." United as one the sisters and the two Droid Warriors began to walk towards Rini forming a ring so that she couldn't run anywhere. "Leave me alone!" Rini began to wail and the six women all laughed wickedly as they closed in. However they had underestimated her special defensive powers and as they were almost touching her, she screamed as loud as she could and psychic energy glowed from the Crescent that appeared on her forehead. Before they knew it they were all overwhelmed by a golden blast of light that made them all quickly shield their eyes from the intense light and next thing they were all picked up like leaves on a windy day and thrown backwards far away from Rini landing on their backs or sides groaning and moaning. Serena was still waiting for her friends to turn up when she was drawn to attention at the golden blast of light that shot up in the air from the construction site. "Serena! That must be from Rini!" shouted Luna. "Let's go and catch up with her!" cried Artemis. "Okay. I'm on my way." With that Serena and the two cats raced off in the illuminated direction. Meanwhile as the Black Moon Clan members were all staggering to their feet Rini declared defiantly, "My Mummy taught me never to go with or even speak to strangers." Catzi was furious. "Is that so? Well your Mummy isn't here now and we'll fix you good this time before you can fight back again. We won't kill you but we'll weaken you helpless with our," "LEAVE HER ALONE YOU FREAKY SLIME!" At the sound of that loud voice cutting her off Catzi and the others all turned their heads to see Sailor Moon standing on top of the building's structure just a few feet above them. As she made a mighty leap to soar over their heads and land next to Rini, Avery shouted, "Sailor Moon!" Rini was very happy to see her and threw herself into Sailor Moon's arms while she spoke authoritatively. "In the Name of the Moon I will punish all of you. If you dare to attack this little girl I will execute every last one of you. So you'd better back off." Bending down to fully lift up Rini she said, "Come with me Rini and you'll be safe." But Catzi said defiantly, "You won't kill us Sailor Moon. We will combine our powers and destroy you instead." Catzi, Birdy, Avery and Prizma all stood side by side, while Frosty and Droido stood behind Birdy. Birdy's sisters were still rather snobby and wouldn't allow the Droids to stand on Birdy's right and left sides like they wanted. This slightly annoyed both them and Birdy herself as how could they help in the attack unless they stood on the ends of the full row? Besides they didn't want to do that because Birdy wanted them staying close to her. She was determined to protect them from the fate of the other Droids so far. They appreciated this and Birdy was consoled knowing Sailor Moon needed to get through her to get them at least. As for Sailor Moon she was nervous. She knew that a combined attack from the Four Sisters would indeed be very dangerous, even for her. Unless the others turned up soon, she and Rini were definitely outnumbered. Just as Avery was beginning to threaten and taunt them too, a familiar voice shouted out, "What cowardly bullies you are ganging up on our friends like that!" Everybody turned and Sailor Moon exclaimed happily, "The Sailor Scouts have arrived!" It was Sailor Mars who had spoken. Luna and Artemis had gone quietly back outside to meet them as they arrived and show them where to go. They were walking ahead and the girls were right behind them. The cats moved aside and the Scouts advanced introducing themselves. "I'm Sailor Mars!" "I'm Sailor Jupiter!" "I'm Sailor Mercury!" "I'm Sailor Venus!" Catzi sneered. "We have been wanting to have a showdown with you evil Sailor Scouts for a long time." Sailor Moon was getting confused. "Again they call us evil," she thought. "What does it all mean? Are they crazy or just trying to confuse us?" But as she and Rini watched Catzi and the other squared off against the other Scouts. Catzi literally fought fire with fire choosing Sailor Mars for her target. "This is for my partner Rhonda and all our other loved ones." They were pretty evenly matched as their fire attacks burned against each other and fizzled out, but they both relentlessly kept on trying to get through the others' barrier. Avery chose Sailor Venus for her target using her frightening whips. Sailor Venus well remembered how she had been almost choked to death by a whip around her neck and ducked and weaved counterattacking with her own whip made up of Venus love hearts. Avery fought tooth and nail and they were evenly matched. The same with Prizma and Sailor Jupiter who both had similar electrical shock powers and the area was soon filled with loud thunder crashes and lightning flashes along with the glow of bright orange and blue flames and the sharp noises of whipcracking. But Sailor Mercury had the toughest battle of all, since she not only had to cope with the icy powers of Birdy, but also the occasional blast of Frosty's own icy breath and the dangerous acid shooting out of Droido's mouth. Birdy laughed. "Good odds Sailor Mercury. Three against one. We will finish you as quickly as possible and then help my sisters overcome the other three. Then we'll destroy Sailor Moon, capture the kid and finally our families and friends will be avenged." Sailor Mercury desperately dodged, weaved and used her powers to freeze Droido's attacks. But it was only a matter of time before she was overpowered and Sailor Moon knew this. "My friends need my help," she thought. "Yet I can't leave Rini's side for fear one of them will attack her while she's alone." She hugged the terrified little girl close to her while she pondered her dilemma. If only Tuxedo Mask would show up. Suddenly a blast of electrical power that was neither from Sailor Jupiter nor Prizma zapped Sailor Moon and Rini. "AAAAIIIEEEE!!!!" They screamed together and the Sailor Scouts all momentarily flinched during their battles. Including Sailor Mercury who almost dearly paid the price as she hit the ground and rolled out of the way as Droido's acid shot over her missing her face by a fraction of a second. It struck the wooden wall burning a hole through it. While her friends continued struggling valiently Sailor Moon desperately shook Rini crying, "Rini! Are you all right Rini?" Rini was badly dazed but she opened her eyes and pointed exclaiming, "Sailor Moon! Above!" Sailor Moon looked up to see Thunderclap laughing with a new drum tied to her body. The lightning conductors were still crackling from the surge of power she'd just generated and Rubeus and Hypnotica were by her side. The three of them laughed uproariously floating up above their targets. "This is the end of the line for you and your friends Sailor Moon," declared Rubeus. "Why are you doing this?" Sailor Moon shouted as she kept holding Rini tightly to her chest. Hypnotica spoke next. "Because you are wicked and need to be brought to justice." "If I'm wicked then what do you reckon are my crimes?" Thunderclap replied, "Don't play dumb Sailor Moon. We know what you did." Rubeus pointed his finger at her and shouted, "We are all orphans because of you and your friends." Hypnotica added with a growlish voice, "You murdered all of our respective families in cold blood and we've sworn to get revenge." Sailor Moon couldn't believe her ears. "What the ding dong? We've never even met any of you before, let alone your families! This is utterly preposterous!" Rubeus prepared to make some powerful attack of his own. "You can deny it all you want but the blood is sticking to your stained hands Sailor Moon. I shall now strike you down and capture Rini for our glorious cause." Raising his arms he conjured up some little red mini-bombs and was going to send them flying at Sailor Moon and Rini. As he threw them down Sailor Moon gave a tremendous jump taking Rini with her. Inexplicably the ball jumped with them. No doubt Rini's friend was controlling it. The bombs exploded leaving a smoking crater where they had been moments before. While they flew through the air Rini pleaded. "Sailor Moon! Don't let them take me!" "I won't!" she promised her. But Hypnotica gestured hypnotically with her power emanating from the big curved horn in her forehead. "You will slow down. You cannot move so quickly. You can't outrun Thunderclap and Rubeus when they attack you." Sailor Moon felt the strong suggestive influence impeding her efforts to be ready to dodge. She grunted vainly and Rini whimpered. Rubeus and Thunderclap were getting ready to combine their powers in force. But before they could launch their attack a barrage of roses suddenly came flying at Rubeus, petals first, disorientating him and causes his small bombs to explode. He, Thunderclap and Hypnotica were all dazzled by the blast and furthermore the shock caused thunderclap's electrical charge to rebound upon all of them. They screamed in pain as they twisted and convulsed in mid-air and Sailor Moon, released from Hypnotica's hold looked up and cried, "Look Rini! It's Tuxedo Mask!" Rini was as happy as Sailor Moon herself to see Tuxedo Mask jump down from the top of a stationary crane to land by their side. He said, "Hey Sailor Moon! I think those three stooges could use a little scepter treatment. Don't you agree?" "You bet Tuxedo Mask!" She produced her scepter and made her attack. "MOON SCEPTER ELIMINATION!" Rubeus was just beginning to recover when he saw the deadly beams approaching him and his friends. "NO! NOT US!" He reached out and grabbed Hypnotica and Thunderclap by their arms on his right and left just as they were hit. The others who had been fighting the Sailor Scouts were all horrified thinking they had been destroyed. Birdy screamed, "My friends!" and hugged Frosty and Droido tightly by instinct. However Rubeus materialized just above their heads still holding his friends by their arms. He had only just managed to save himself and them in the nick of time transporting them out of the way with all his concentrated might. "Let's get out of here! Retreat!" he shouted as Hypnotica and Thunderclap realized their close call and de-materialized by their own power. Catzi, Avery and Prizma all de-materialized. So too did Birdy and her friends, although when they were all safely back at their spaceship headquarters, the others all gave them a stern, disapproving, malevolent glare upon seeing them bunched together in a big cuddle and they felt like crying once more. Again they departed to their privacy and strangely enough everybody felt a brief urge to call them back and tell them they hadn't meant to upset them. But as usual almost instantly it was suppressed and they all gritted their teeth and thought how disgusting those three were. Hugging! The very nerve of them. In the meantime Rini was crying in Sailor Moon's arms while Tuxedo Mask, the Sailor Scouts and even Luna and Artemis watched wide-eyed. "Sailor Moon!" she cried. "Please always protect me from those people. I don't want them coming after me anymore. I need to find the Silver Crystal and take it back to the future to save my world from their conquest." Sailor Moon was intrigued and she said, "We will all keep an extra close watch on you from now on Rini. Especially me. We don't know what their little game is but we will find out and defeat them once and for all." Rini smiled through her tear-stained face. "Thank you Sailor Moon. I promise all of you I will keep trying to get the Silver Crystal off Serena somehow. It is essential to our victory. I won't let you or my people in Crystal Tokyo down." Everybody was secretly wondering what the truth about Rini was. Should they share their own secrets with her? They all quietly knew this was a very important topic for personal discussion. They couldn't tell Rini anything in a hurry since they hardly knew anything about her themselves. Sailor Moon just said to her, "Well Rini. That's the spirit. Keep trying hard. All of us have faith in you." But how very weird it felt to be wishing her good luck against her secret identity. At that very moment in Crystal Tokyo, the Wiseman and the Grim Man were holding council with the sinister prince seated upon his throne hidden in shadows still. The Wiseman was waving his transparent hands over his crystal ball and the Grim Man standing by his side spoke. "Your Highness. The Wiseman and I are beginning to think that this Sailor Moon plays a key role in all of this. She could even be the key to our whole mission." The Prince replied, "If this is true then we will have to destroy her to ensure our ultimate success." The Wiseman suddenly cried out, "Wait a minute. I've just realized a very vital clue here in my crystal." "What is it Wiseman?" asked the Prince. "I see that Sailor Moon is a dead ringer for the Queen of Crystal Tokyo who we have trapped in enchanted sleep at that moment. This could be the connection. They may be one and the same person." The Prince said, "Hmm. She may very well be the Queen's past self, just like the Sailor Scouts are the past selves of the four warriors who are hindering us as much as they possibly can." "Prince. You realize what this means about the child our allies in the past have been trying to capture?" asked the Grim Man. "I do Grim Man. If Sailor Moon is indeed the past self of the Queen then that means Rini would be her very own daughter." The Wiseman concluded. "Then the elimination of Sailor Moon has now become a top priority." "Exactly," the Prince agreed. "She is the killer of our loved ones. You our two mentors and guardians saved us all from being slaughtered as well and have nurtured us for the purpose of avenging our families. And now we must also avenge Rhonda, Jellax and Avocado. Sailor Moon must die!" "Yes your Highness." "We will help you achieve your revenge." The two sinister beings laughed wickedly and the shadowed prince joined in the laughter.
  8. Things had been very stressed out and upsetting at the spaceship headquarters of Rubeus and his crew since Avery and Prizma had returned to report that Jellax was now dead and to their further dismay, Avocado had vanished. Everybody came to the assumption that the Sailor Scouts must have killed her too. Rubeus had responded thus. "We've suffered a devastating double loss. We will go into mourning until after tonight and tomorrow we shall make plans to avenge our comrades." Birdy, Frosty and Droido were cuddling each other and sobbing hysterically. This time not just Rubeus and his two best friends, Hypnotica and Thunderclap frowned heavily upon their actions, but Birdy's three sisters, Catzi, Avery and Prizma sent them looks that made them want to cry even harder. It was as if they were resentful of the fact that both of Birdy's friends had survived so far, while each of their single partners were lost. Birdy stammered and gulped through her tears as she said, "C-c-come on g-girls. L-let's go into p-p-private quarters by ourselves." Droido and Frosty needed no second bidding. The trio rose and walked off arms around each other's shoulders fully aware of the sour looks all the others were giving their backs. When they shut the door they hugged each other and wept for a couple of hours. Then they all threw themselves on top of a huge bed with giant fluffy eiderdown pillows. Lying fully clothed except for their shoes which they all kicked off they cried even more. "Why are they so mean to us Birdy?" Droido sniffled. "We used to all get along so happily together," Frosty added. "Why are things changed so badly?" "I wish I knew why girls," sobbed Birdy. "You two are more like true sisters to me then my biological siblings. If I didn't have you I'd be all alone." Frosty took Birdy's left hand in hers and Droido took her right. "You're our sister Birdy," said Frosty. "Since our own families were all brutally murdered, you're the only family we have," said Droido. Birdy felt secure in the middle of these two adopted sisters of hers. "I'll always be here for you both, just like you are for me," she said. "It's you and us forever Birdy," said Frosty. "United as one," said Droido. And then the three women smiled and they laughed as they squeezed each others' hands forgetting about everything else in their joyful company. That very evening at Serena's house Rini was feeling rather cross with her "aunt" and "uncle". She glared at them as they sheepishly sat together on the living room couch. "You promised me!" She accused them with her eyes blazing and they humbly apologized. "We know honey," said Mum. "And we're very sorry we have to break our word now," said Dad. "I sure can sympathize with her," said Sammy, who was sitting in a chair by himself opposite behind Rini. "I know exactly how a broken promise feels." Mum and Dad both sighed just as Serena entered saying, "Hey Mum. What's for dinner tonight?" She pulled up short when she saw the expressions on everybody's faces and asked what the matter was. Mum said, "We have a little problem Serena. But maybe you can help us?" Dad went on to explain. "You see. We were going to go to a curry-cooking party at Rini's school tomorrow. All the kids and their parents will be cooking different kinds of curry dishes together. But now my boss has told me we're having an important business dinner tomorrow night, so Mum and I have to go to that instead." "I get it," said Serena smilingly. "You want me to take your place tomorrow night at the party and help Rini with the cooking. It will be my pleasure." Strictly speaking "Cousin" Rini had only been supposed to be staying for the holiday period's visit. But due to the mysterious influence exerted over Serena's family by Rini's strange friend who'd sent her to search for the Silver Crystal, they had all accepted the extension of her visit without question and she had enrolled in the Primary School as a new student. Serena, though she had been suspicious of her at first, was beginning to take a liking to Rini and she was very eager to do her this big favour. But Rini said, "If it's all the same to all of you, I'd rather go to the party alone." Everybody was surprised and Serena was gob-smacked. "W-w-what do you mean Rini?" Rini was kind of getting to like Serena but she said firmly, but gently, "No offence Serena. But even though I realize you mean well, I fear you will probably make a few little bungles and ruin things. I know you're kind of clumsy and I want my curry to be perfect." Serena was deeply offended. "What makes you think I'm clumsy you ungrateful child?" With that retort she strode out of the room with her nose in the air, but in the doorway while she wasn't watching her feet she stumbled over the rug and with a cry fell flat on her face. "Serena!" Mum cried as she and Dad jumped out of the couch and rushed over to where she lay sprawled and groaning. "Are you okay Sweetie?" asked Dad. Rini just looked at Sammy and he nodded grimly. Rini didn't need to say anything. Her case was already rested. The following day Rini's school had a free day so that they could all stay at home and make what preparations they required for the big curry party with their families. However all the other schools including Serena's were running as normal. Raye was at her own school too but she had Avocado tied firmly in a wooden chair with her hands behind her back deep down in the basement of the Cherry Hill Temple. avocado had no idea where she was or how she got there as she had been unconscious when Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter had slipped her secretly inside and secured her. She wasn't gagged but even though she had called out several times for somebody to release her Sailor Mars' magic charm sound-proofed her yells from echoing up above. Raye was intending, along with Serena and the other three girls, to confront Avocado as the Sailor Scouts after school and find out all about her clan and what exactly they were up to. Avocado had long given up crying out and straining at the ropes in despair. She dreaded what sort of things might happen to her. But then to her joyful relief, the unexpected occurred. Catzi, Birdy, Frosty and Droido materialized in her presence surrounding her chair at each corner of a make-shift square. "How did you find me?" she gasped. As Catzi and Birdy proceeded to work together striving to undo her bonds Frosty spoke. "Rubeus called us all together for a meeting with the Wiseman and the Grim Man. When they materialized in our spaceship they told us that you were still alive and that they had been able to pinpoint where we could find you." Droido continued. "We were sent to rescue you while Avery and Prizma were sent back to the charm shop to secretly arrange things so that the people who work there will continue to fuel our Crystal Point just like the people at the ice cream parlour, the cosmetics shop and the martial arts classes that meet here at the temple." As they slowly managed to pull the knots apart Catzi added. "Then Rubeus, Hypnotica and Thunderclap want you to help our two sisters infiltrate the fifth and final major Crystal Point. You'll be very pleased Avocado. It's suited to your unique talents. A grocery supermarket." Just then the basement door opened and Raye's grandfather came walking down the stairs. Raye had set up a protective charm so that ne or Chad wouldn't see or hear Avocado if they entered the basement for any reason. However Raye had not expected any of the other clan members would also be present. He saw Birdy's friends and shouted at the top of his voice. "INTRUDERS! I will fix you!" As he took a martial arts stance and prepared to attack Birdy cried, "Oh no! Stop him with your icy breath Frosty. Just long enough for us to escape." Avocado was almost completely untied and Frosty blew with all her might taking Grandfather by surprise. He pulled up short shivering with the cold and in that moment Avocado was set free. "Okay. Let's all go," shouted Catzi and the five of them de-materialized leaving Grandfather confused and rubbing himself to warm up again. "Hey. What just happened? Where did they go?" In the meantime while Serena and Sammy were at school and Dad was at work, Rini was trying to prove to herself that she could handle the curry-making by herself. Mum came into the kitchen to find her attempting to scrub out a big pot in the sink, while she was standing on a chair. Mum could hear her grunting and panting. "Rini dear. Are you sure you are up to this?" Rini defiantly said, "I don't care if you cannot come. I can make the best curry by myself." But Mum noticed how Rini struggled with the weight of the pot to tip out the water and she almost collapsed into the sink on top of the implement. "Awk!" Mum reacted tenderly and lunged forward putting her arms around the little girl and gently lifting her upright. "Rini. Sweet Rini. Are you all right?" "Rini started to cry as she realized the truth and admitted, "I'm just too small. I do need help. Oh why, oh why did you have to get called out to a stupid business dinner tonight?" She turned around and sobbed bitterly in Mum's embrace. Mum thought and spoke, "Rini. Why don't you ask Serena to take you round to see Darien after school?" "Darien?" said Rini. "But he doesn't want anything to do with Serena because of what Dad said to him." Mum thought again and said, "I know Rini. Serena has explained the unfortunate situation to me. But tell you what. How about I go with the two of you on the excuse of helping you and Serena at least buy ingredients for your curry tonight? I'll make sure I shower and preen myself for the business dinner before Serena or Dad come home and so Dad can be getting himself ready to go out while I take you both out. He doesn't need to know who we'll be going to see, even though he has been feeling very bad about what he said so harshly to him that day. He doesn't need any distractions tonight." "But why exactly should we go see Darien?" asked Rini. "Because I remember he was such a clever talented chef in his own right when I knew him. I will tell him that I remember him well and ask him as a special favour and I can also try to see if I can loosen him up toward Serena by assuring him that Dad is sorry and would like to meet him at our house for dinner one day." Rini kind of liked Darien, though she didn't fully know exactly why, so she cheered up and smiling at Mum said, "Okay then. Let's do it!" Mum and Rini hugged affectionately and laughed joyfully together. So it was that Serena went straight home from school as soon as she received a call on her communicator from Raye. "Bad news Serena," Raye had said. "The rest of the enemy somehow found out we were holding that hostage from their number. While we were at school they snatched her back. My Grandfather caught them in the act but they subdued him with a blast of freezing cold air and escaped." "Oh no! What a dreadful disappointment!" groaned Serena. "I agree. I thought we had a strong potential lead on them," remarked Raye. "But after I call to let the others know, I shall try my very best to get some insight from the Sacred Fire." "Okay. Good luck." Serena had felt so dejected as she walked home, but when Mum met her at the door and whispered her intentions to her regarding Darian she cheered up somewhat. Hugging her mother she whispered back her thankful gratitude. She hoped with all her heart that Darien would listen to her. Darien answered the knock on his apartment door that afternoon to be faced with Serena and her mother. He was taken aback and said with a stammer, "Uh. S-serena! W-w-why have you brought y-your family to t-t-torment me?" Mum took charge at once. "My husband isn't here Darien. He doesn't even know about this meeting. It's just me, Serena and Rini." "Rini!?" Darien gasped and as he looked down Rini looked up into his perplexed face and pleaded desperately. "Please Darien. I really need your help." She was in such earmest that Darien looked at Serena and Mum and seeing that Dad was indeed nowhere to be seen said, "Okay. Come in and I'll make some tea." And so while they shared some tea and biscuits together, Mum explained everything to Darien. How he and she had once known each other a long time ago while working at the supermarket, how very sorry Dad had been when he had found out about this and also the problem regarding Rini's curry-cooking party and the need for a substitute partner to assist Rini. Darien was amazed. "I haven't cooked curry for a long time, but I certainly recall the basic process," he said. Looking at Serena he added, "Tell you what. I'll help you buy the ingredients and go with Rini and Serena tonight as long as you promise me that Dad will not know. I'm still feeling somewhat uncomfortable even after what I've heard from you because I have also been thinking and wondering whether it really would be better if Serena and I split up because of our age differences." "Oh Darien!" Serena was almost ready to cry. "Please don't say that! It doesn't matter to me. I love you so very much." Darien gulped and said, "Please don't cry Serena. Please just at least give me a little time to think about this. That's all I ask. Is it unreasonable?" Mum placed her hand on Serena's shoulder. "Serena dear. I think it is a quite reasonable request for Darien to make. He had quite a shock earlier and it's made him question things. Just let him think for a little while honey." Serena composed herself and said, "Very well Mum." Rini then spoke up, "So can we all go to the supermarket now?" Darien smiled at her. "Yeah sure. Hey! Come to think of it we'll be going to the very environment where we first met though I have no personal recollection," he added to Serena's mother who smiled at the thought as well. "That is nostalgic indeed Darien." Serena grinned as the four of them set off together. At least Darien had not said no outrightly and just maybe, the curry party would be a positive influence on his decision. In the meantime Avery, Prizma and their newly-restored partner Avocado had acquired special "permission" with the owners of the supermarket to set up a small stall of their very own. Due to their mesmerizing abilities of course. They were promoting a new and unique sort of fruit which they called Darkfruits. In reality they were blackberries that had been magically grown to the proportionate size of a melon and once somebody ate a free sample, he or she would unknowingly walk around and touch as many of the other fruit, vegetable and other products as possible. Thusly when those who didn't eat the Darkfruit bought and took their groceries home to eat, they would give strength to their allies' hold upon the last vital Crystal Point in Crystal Tokyo. "Step right up folks and try our delicious Darkfruits," said Avocado disguised as an ordinary-looking woman. Many people did in fact stop to look at the Darkfruits and almost everybody did try a free sample. "This is interesting. A new kind of fruit," said one man to his wife. Another woman remarked to her children. "It looks good. Do you kids want to try some?" "Ooh yes please Mummy." The children eagerly reached out their hands, took it and in seconds flat it disappeared into their mouths. "Delicious!" they exclaimed. But as each grown-up and kid alike ate it, the magic took effect and they began to stroll innocently around touching everything they saw. Eventually they would buy some groceries to take home, but they were spreading the seeds around the store for the capture of the Crystal Point. Avery, Prizma and Avocado were delighted. By the time Darien, Serena, Rini and Mum arrived, this had been going on for half an hour. Mum took charge of things. "Darien. To make you feel more comfortable I suggest we split up. Rini, you go to the meat section with Darien, while Serena and I go to the vegetable section." Serena was a little unhappy about leaving Darien's side, but she realized that it was what he wanted to. So she went off with her mother and Rini helped Darien select what meat they wanted. "There's some ham Darien." Rini handed him the tin of meat from the refrigerated shelves. "That's good Rini. Now we also want some chicken," said he as he took it from her. "Search carefully to make sure we find it." "Roger Darien." Rini was feeling very cheerful. Serena and her mother collected carrots, onions and lettuce from the vegetable section. "These are the best looking veggies I've ever seen Mum," said Serena joyfully. "Rini's curry is going to be delicious at the party tonight." "I'm so excited for her Serena." Mum smiled and then added, "Now you keep looking here for other vegetables on her recommended list while I go search for the curry itself and the necessary sauces and seasonings. I need to walk past the fruit section to get there." "You can count on me Mum." But when Mum returned Serena was astonished. "Hey! Where's the spice and stuff you said you were getting Mum?" She didn't answer. She just walked past Serena and began touching the rows of vegetables. "Mum? What are you doing? Talk to me!" Serena was dumbfounded, but suddenly Luna appeared by her feet. "Serena!" "Luna! What does this mean?" "It means get ready for another fight Serena. Raye had a premonition during her own private fire reading. There's suspicious activity happening here. She and the other Sailor Scouts are not far behind me." Upon hearing this Serena realized that her mother was brainwashed, so she transformed. "MOON CRYSTAL POWER!" Then she said to Luna, "I must go and take Rini to safety first. She's at the meat section with Darien." "Rini here?" gasped Luna. "You're right. You must get her out of the building but be quick about it." Sailor Moon sprinted towards the meats and found Rini and Darien. "It's Sailor Moon!" cried Rini. Sailor Moon spoke to her. "Rini listen to me. I have reason to believe some of the people who are trying to kidnap you are here in the supermarket. Please come with me and hide outside while my friends and I fight them." Rini responded positively. "I trust you absolutely Sailor Moon. But what about Darien?" Darien was ready with a good reply. "While Sailor Moon takes you to safety, I'll try to find Serena and her mother. I'm responsible for them." "But Darien." "Don't worry Rini. I'll be careful and besides, the other Sailor Scouts will be protecting all of us. Isn't that right Sailor Moon?" He grinned at her and she grinned back. "Yes that's right. Well come on Rini. You're the one they want the most you know." Rini reluctantly complied and Darien ran off to find a private place where he could get ready to fight himself. As for Sailor Moon she carefully ran with Rini in her arms outside and ducked into a nearby alleyway. "Promise me you'll stay hiding here out of sight until you hear the coast is clear," she said. Rini clutched her ball and said, "I promise. I know I'll be safe." Therefore Sailor Moon turned and ran straight back into the supermarket and where she was concealed Rini could see the other four Scouts dash past only three minutes later. She felt very happy knowing they were going to fight for her. Sailor Moon arrived at the Darkfruits stand first and she immediately recognized Avery and Prizma. "So you're up to your tricks again! Well I'm putting a stop to them!" Upon hearing her threatening voice, the two sisters and their Droid, Avocado, turned to see her standing a few feet away. "Sailor Moon again!" cried Avery. "Destroy her for good Avocado!" ordered Prizma and Avocado didn't waste a second before changing into the form Sailor Moon remembered well from their last encounter. "We meet again Sailor Moon!" she yelled and brandished her banana saber weapon. Avery said to Prizma, "We'd better put all the innocent people into a deep sleep so they don't get hurt." "Loud and clear Avery." With this the two of them changed into their regular appearances also and begun concentrating and gesturing. As their power spread out all the people fell to the floor where they stood. Even the odd individual who hadn't eaten any Darkfruit collapsed as they were on the verge of panicking and running away as they realized Sailor Moon was preparing to fight an extraordinary enemy. "Look out Sailor Moon!" shouted Luna as Avocado sprang at her to slash with her saber. Sailor Moon shrieked and ducked only just in time to avoid decapitation. Avocado's weapon whistled through the air merely lopping off some strands of short, yellow hair from the top of her head. As she stumbled backwards desperately trying to find a chance to fight back, Avocado prepared to spring proclaiming, "I'm going to avenge poor Jellax and also poor Rhonda." "Stop right there!" Another voice shouted and Avocado paused to see who it was. It was Sailor Mars. She had arrived with the other Scouts and with the help of Sailor Jupiter's great strength, they all shoved a shopping trolley sending it speeding towards Avocado's direction. "It's time for you to check out with your trolley," said Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon, not to mention Luna, who had been secretly observing the enemy's stand before any of them arrived, were very happy and relieved by this back-up. However before the trolley was exactly half-way to hitting her, Avocado whipped out a pineapple and threw it at the trolley. When it struck it exploded on impact destroying it just like a grenade would do. Avery and Prizma both cheered. "Good defensive move Avocado! Now finish them off!" Avocado produced an egg and said, "I'll incapacitate them first with the stench of my rotten egg bombs." But before she could throw it, a rose stuck in the ground just missing her foot by mere inches. As she looked down automatically in confusion, Tuxedo Mask jumped down elegantly from where he had concealed himself in hiding next to the row of perspex windows along the top of the roof. He saw that the Scouts needed his help and swinging his cane he struck Avocado a painful blow on the wrist of her arm that was still stretched above ready to throw the egg. It flew backwards out of her hand and before Avery and Prizma realized, it had landed at their feet and exploded releasing its pungent, nauseating aroma. They both coughed and gasped falling to their knees as the stench entered their noses. Though since it was only one egg bomb they were not fully succumbed and they slowly rose up onto their feet, albeit slightly groggy. As for Avocado, she had whipped out her banana saber in order to fight back against Tuxedo Mask and she began to duel with him against his cane. The Sailor Scouts and Luna watched with baited breath as Tuxedo Mask fought like a valient musketeer. As the two sisters recovered Avery said, "I'll attack the Sailor Scouts while Avocado is fighting the masked man." But Prizma said to her, "Hold it. I'm the older sister and so I think I should have first right at attacking." "But I am more skillful than you, so I should go first." "WHAT? You dare to say such a thing to me Avery? I'm going first!" "No I am!" And while Prizma argued with Avery, Sailor Moon's friends took the opportunity to surround them on all sides. Leaping through the air they all four landed nimbly on the floor one at each corner boxing the sisters in so to speak. As they realized what had happened the Sailor Scouts began taunting them. "Nothing like good old sibling co-operation, and I'm right. This is nothing like it," scoffed Sailor Jupiter. "You can say that again as many times as you like Jupiter," said Sailor Mars. "What a dream team you two are," added Sailor Mercury and Sailor Venus agreed. Avery and Prizma nervously looked around them unable to make any sounds except "Er" and "Ah." Meanwhile Tuxedo Mask and Avocado were still thrusting and parrying with each other, in much the same way as when Avocado had fought against Sailor Moon not too long ago. She was grunting with the exertion and determined to defeat him and Sailor Moon and Luna were watching with baited breath. Finally Tuxedo Mask successfully managed to knock the banana saber out of Avocado's hand and even as she instinctively jumped back away from him, he pointed his cane at her. It grew to immense proportions in length and hit her in the chest, making her cry out in pain as she wobbled on her feet and clutched the area that had been struck. Tuxedo Mask called out, "Finish her off Sailor Moon!" "Oh yes Tuxedo Mask." As usual turning her tiara into the scepter she wasted no time in pointing it in the dazed Avocado's direction. "MOON SCEPTER ELIMINATION!" As Avocado was hit her final words were screamed out venomously. "I still won't beg for mercy heartless killer!" Then she went kaboom leaving only a neckband she had been wearing with one of those dark moon gems that all the Droids wore somewhere upon their person. Everybody turned their heads at the sound including Avery and Prizma. In that split second the two sisters realized the jig was up and before any of the Scouts realized, they de-materialized in retreat. But as they disappeared their voices echoed out very briefly catching everybody's attention again. "It's all your fault that Avocado was finally killed!" "Me? You were the one who stopped me from attacking the Sailor Scouts! Your responsibility!" It was too late to stop the bickering pair from getting away and their argument must have continued for a little while after they faded out. But now all the people at the supermarket began to wake up, wondering what was going on. Tuxedo Mask had quickly ducked away while Sailor Moon made her move against Avocado, but all the customers, including Serena's mother and also the staff members were gathering around the Sailor Scouts asking them questions. The Scouts looked at each other and shared a mutual understanding. This time it had grown too big. Sailor Mars was the spokesperson by mutual agreement of the others and she addressed the crowd. "Everybody. It's all right. You were all brainwashed by a mysterious enemy, but they don't appear to have actually caused you personal harm. We are investigating these strange people and trying to find out their agenda. But they really haven't been hurting anybody in the process. That's what's so weird about the situation. But there is no need for panic at the moment until we discover what they're overall purpose entails. For now rest assured that we are watching out for them and if they begin to turn really bad we will fight every last one of them to the death." The people were a little alarmed of course, but Sailor Mars' words were a comfort that filled them all with hope. They all thanked their guardians profusely, although the manager chased Luna out of the store. Well in truth, animals were not allowed inside the supermarket for health and hygiene reasons after all. Luna understood although she couldn't say so to the manager naturally. As for Mum she asked, "Where are Darien, Serena and Rini?" This time it was Sailor Moon who replied. "We managed to find them and escort them outside before they too were brainwashed. When we leave we will tell them to come back and join you here." "Oh thank you Sailor Moon. Thank you." Mum was so emotional that she gave Sailor Moon a big hug. "Tell Serena I'm going to hug her just like I'm hugging you Sailor Moon." As the embrace ended, Sailor Moon looked at her and said, "Serena will definitely know to expect this. You can be sure." The Sailor Scouts retrieved the neck band with the gem before they left with loud cheers and applause behind them. Sailor Mars would add it to the other two she already had stored away in her sleeping quarters at the temple. While her friends and Luna all went their separate ways, Serena looked around to make sure nobody was watching and ducked inside a phone booth. As she emerged from it as Serena she thought to herself, "Those Superman comics are right. Those things are a perfect quick change cabinet for super heroes." Then she ran to the alley way and found Rini with Darien hiding. Darien had instinctively been drawn to Rini though he had not known where she was. He couldn't have explained it for he didn't understand himself. He had just told Rini that Sailor Moon had sent him to keep her company and Serena herself said that Sailor Moon had told her to find Rini with the good news that the enemy had been driven off once more. Rini was very happy to hear this. "Sailor Moon is awesome! Now can we find my aunt please Serena?" Serena smiled back and said, "Yes Rini. She's back in the supermarket waiting for all of us. Come on Darien." So they met Mum inside and she hugged everybody. Even Darien. He blushed slightly but he didn't mind. They were only friends after all. Then they all finished buying the ingredients needed and Darien agreed to accompany Serena and Rini to help cook her curry at the party that night while Mum went with Dad to the business dinner and Sammy spent the evening amusing himself. At the school gathering Rini and Darien were a little embarrassed as Serena bawled like a great, big baby while helping to chop up the onions and then she made a few clumsy mistakes including dropping the heavy pot on her foot. Everybody was staring incredulously at her, but she persevered and so did Darien until the curry was ready. Everybody shared a little taste of it and said it was delicious. Rini said, "Well I must admit Serena, you may be an unbelievable clutz but you sure can make a yummy curry." "Yeah," said Darien. "You must have hidden talent inside her meatball shaped hair." As he and Rini both laughed Serena didn't know whether to take it as a compliment or not, but she held her piece and ate some of her curry. "It is true," she joyfully thought. "I can cook curry." So she too joined in the laughter and everybody enjoyed the rest of the party.
  9. I didn't really mean confusing by context of making you curious. I just thought you'd be inquisitively curious as to how the next chapter will play out since Avocado is supposed to be the assistant at the grocery supermarket. Seeing as she's been taken prisoner.
  10. The Four Sisters were standing around in a circle, their backs to each other looking inside big mirrors, vainly examining their faces. Birdy's good friends, Frosty and Droido were loyally stationed at each of her shoulders, Catzi of course was on her own and the other two sisters had their personal Droid Warrior with themselves respectively. One of them, the one with greenish hair, said grumpily to her Droid Avocado, "I hate being stuck here in the past. It's so primitive. Why can't Rubeus take us home to the future?" The other sister, who had the strange and mysterious Droid Jellax by her side said scaldingly, "Knock it off Prizma. You know we have very important work to do. Besides, why do you want to go back to the future in such a hurry. You no longer have anybody's warm arms to go back to do you?" Upon her saying this the woman who looked like she was made of red jelly began to laugh tauntingly, along with her mistress, and Prizma and Avocado both turned with livid expressions. Prizma pointed her finger at them and said, "Don't you rub me up the wrong way Avery and Jellax. My Droid Avocado will stick up for me." Avocado produced what looked like a pineapple and said, "You want me to blast you into blobs of red goop with my pineapple grenades Jellax?" Jellax raised her fists. "You just try it Avocado. I'll trap you like a fly in a spider's web with my sticky jell body." Birdy and her friends turned around and gestured frantically waving their arms. "For goodness sake, don't start fighting! You'll destroy the spacecraft and kill us all!" "Yeah, that's right!" Jellax and Avocado realized this was correct but they still frowned heavily at each other as they sat down next to their mistresses. Then Rubeus entered with Hypnotica and Thunderclap behind him. Thunderclap had one of her spare drums regally placed upon her instead of the one that Tuxedo Mask had destroyed. Rubeus addressed the crowd unaware of what had just transpired. "Okay you lot. My friends and I have been communicating privately with the Wiseman." "What did he have to say?" asked Prizma. "He says that things are going very well since we firmly established our control over the first three major Crystal Points. But he has shown us a fourth one. It's a store that sells charms and crystal jewelery and other things that are said to bring you good luck. It seems to be very popular with the school students in particular." "Good luck charms? What superstitious nonsense!" scoffed Avery. "Maybe it is," said Rubeus. "But all the same it's important that we capture this Crystal Point to increase our control over Crystal Tokyo in the future." As Rubeus' seconds in command his two friends continued where he left off giving out their mutual orders. "We three have discussed our move and it seems to us that the last two sisters, who haven't gone on any mission yet, should take this job together," said Hypnotica. "Therefore Avery and Prizma shall take over that charm store by our joint command," finished Thunderclap. Avery and Prizma both almost had a fit. For sisters, they really didn't get along very well, although there was a time Birdy, Droido and Frosty could remember when they used to. In fact they all did, including Rubeus and his two friends. For a moment they were on the verge of protesting this dreadful appointing, but something seemed to stop them, though neither of them was sure what it was. "Very well." "We'll work together." They both spoke with a sigh and Rubeus spoke again, "Your two Droids will accompany you of course. Avocado, you are to disguise yourself as a human and work with the two sisters as part of the shop staff." "Yes Rubeus," said Avocado. "What about me?" said Jellax and it was Thunderclap who answered. "Well, since you cannot actually change your gelatinous form to form a perfect human disguise you shall hide yourself in the background and be on hand to surprise and trap Rini and/or the Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask if any of them appear. Your sticky body will hold them immobile and helpless so they can be easily destroyed." Rubeus concluded. "So are you all ready to set out?" The four of them really did forget about their petty rivalries in the thrill of the thought of achieving the desired goals of their clan. At least for the moment at hand and they all vowed to make their utmost best efforts to succeed. In the city Serena was having an afternoon shopping spree after school with two of her friends, Mina and Lita. Luna had also decided to join them and having met at the designated rendezvous point on a public park bench, she had been draped over Serena's shoulder so she could ride while the three of them walked around together. Suddenly something caught Serena's eye and she pointed exclaiming, "What's that? I've never seen it before!" The sign on the shop said "Fancy Omazinai House" and it had a picture of a smiling witch on her broomstick next to the title. Lita answered. "That's a new store that opened up three days ago. They sells charms that are said to bring you good luck with boyfriends." Mina said, "Hoo boy. Raye and her Grandfather are going to have some very stiff competition now." Serena's thoughts turned towards Darien. Maybe she could buy something that would help her successfully convince Darien to come back to her. It was worth a try. With Luna still perched in place she called out from the doorway. "Come on you two! Let's check it out!" Mina and Lita looked at each other smiling. "I love charms," said Mina. "So do I!" Lita laughed and so did Mina as they followed Serena. Meanwhile Rini was hiding in the bushes of the park speaking to her mysterious friend through her blue ball. Speaking softly into it, she held it up to her mouth. "Can you tell me please if the girl Serena you sent me to stay with is doing anything I should keep an eye on?" The woman's voice replied, "I can see in a vision that she is visiting the Charms Shop, "Fancy Omazinai House" in Nightingale Streeet." "A Charms Shop?" said Rini. "I think I'd better go and check this out for certain. Perhaps she may be going to hide the Silver Crystal somewhere among the merchandise and then ask if they will hold it for her to slowly pay off. I don't know if Serena would be prepared to give up money to "buy" the crystal in order to keep it out of my clutches. But I'm going to try out any angle to keep one step ahead of her." "That's the spirit Small Lady," said her friend. "Good luck." Just then a fine spray of water began to hit Rini and with a loud cry she sprang out of the bushes clutching her ball and running away. This startled Mr. Baxter, the park gardener, who had just set up the portable sprinkler system to give the grass, trees and shrubbery a drink of water. "Oh dear. I'm terribly sorry. I didn't know you were playing hidey little girl." He called out to her, but she didn't stop. She didn't care. She was on her way to catch Serena at the Charms Shop. At that moment inside the Charms Shop, Prizma, Avery and Avocado were dressed in similar outfits. Short purple skirts, long-legged stockings and greyish-white shawls were the standard pieces of the staff uniforms and they had "borrowed" three of them that were a perfect fit from the actual employees, who were all sitting around the staff room table mesmerized. The trio were in position around the counter and they had been selling charms all day to girls, and occasionally some boys, who placed their charms around their necks, wishing out loud for their dream lovers to ask them out on various kinds of dates. Two girls were just doing so when Serena and her friends entered the shop and they passed them on their way out laughing with dreamy looks in their eyes. The three women smiled as they did at all their customers. None of them really believed in the power of these trinkets. It all seemed rather superstitious to them, but if their customers wanted to believe they would bring them the joys of love? Well there was no harm in their hoping and at the same time with every charm they did sell, the next Crystal Point in the future was being brought inevitably under their control. So they had every reason to be happy. Then they turned their attention to Serena, Lita and Mina. "Can we help you girls?" asked Avery. "We want to just browse around," said Lita, "but perhaps at least one of us will want to buy something." She and Mina both winked at Serena. "Then let us know if we can be of any assistance," said Avocado. "Thank you," said Mina. Just then Serena did see something that caught her eye. With Luna still draped over her shoulder she went over to the shelf and carefully picked up a three litre glass bottle full of a liquid that was advertised as a good luck potion. Luna whispered in her ear. "Serena. You don't surely believe in that potion. I think it's a big hoax." "Can it Luna," Serena whispered back and she carried the bottle to the counter where she gave Avocado the money and Avocado gave her her change. "There you are," she smiled, but then Serena did something that made Avocado, Avery and Prizma all gasp. Lita and Mina didn't see it as they were browsing other areas of the shop, but Luna silently groaned to herself. Serena opened the bottle and started to drink it all guzzling it down. Avery said, "Hey! Don't make yourself sick!" Avocado said, "That potion is meant to be taken in small doses." Prizma's mouth hung open with no sound coming out. She was speechless with disbelief. Lita and Mina came up and were aghast as Serena was downing the last drop. "Serena! What is that stuff?" Serena lowered the empty bottle and burped. "A good luck potion." Mina said uneasily, "Ah well. If that stuff works you should be in for a surge of super good luck." The looks on Avocado, Avery and Prizma's faces spoke of what their thoughts were. None of them could believe what they'd witnessed. Meanwhile outside Rini had arrived running as fast as she could with her ball tucked under her arm. She peeked in through the window and couldn't see anybody. "There's nobody here," she thought. "Perhaps they're around the back behind those big curtains?" Just then Darien came walking around the corner towards her. "Why hello there little Rini." He greeted her warmly. "Darien!" She exclaimed happily. "What are you up to?" He asked with a cheerful smile. "I was just going to have a browse here in this store. Would you like to give me some company?" Darien chuckled. "Sure. I have nothing else to do today." So saying Darien entered the store with Rini and followed her behind the curtain. But he did not expect nor was he prepared to come face to face with Serena. He gasped out her name as soon as he saw her at the counter. Serena turned and her eyes lit up and her mouth expanded with joy. Could the good luck potion have really worked? "Darien. Do you still love me? I know you do!" Darien hesitated for a split-second. But then he turned to Rini and said, "I'm sorry Rini. It's very urgent that I leave immediately. We'll spend time together on a better occasion." And with that he vacated back out through the curtains even as Serena begged him to wait. But outside the shop he sighed regretfully. "Sorry Serena. I do still love you. But we can no longer be together." Then he walked away as fast as he could. He seemed to be so intent on severing connection with Serena that his usual sixth sense appeared to have been dulled, so that he could not tell that in just a short moment Serena and her friends could use the services of Tuxedo Mask. Serena was so upset and disappointed that she hadn't even so much as registered Rini's presence. But Avery, Avocado and Prizma had. Their number one target was in their sight. Prizma knew what to do. "Say there little girl," she said. "I have the perfect charm for you." Rini was all ears upon hearing this. "A charm for me? What is it?" Could it be connected in any way to the Silver Imperium Crystal she sought? She began to walk towards the counter with her free hand outstretched with eager curiosity. Serena stood behind her and Lita and Mina off towards the side. Prizma held out a pink jewel in the palm of her hand and said, "Here it is." With that she threw it up into the air above Rini's head, where it exploded creating a thick heavy smoke screen. "Come on girls. Let's grab the brat but try not to hurt the innocent customers." "Aye-aye Prizma." "We've caught her this time for sure." But Mina and Lita had reacted instinctively and as soon as Prizma had thrown the jewel, they had already begun to race towards Rini and as the smoke screen obscured all vision they reached her and grabbing her cried out, "Don't worry Rini. It's we who have you not them." "Serena! Take Rini out of here where she'll be safe." Acting on their intuition as Sailor Scouts, the pair of them quickly made the way blindly towards where Serena stood close by the curtain. It was fortunate for Rini that Lita and Mina were nothing like Serena, whose first natural reaction had been to freeze up in panicked fear, shaking with her knees knocking. "Serena! Snap out of it now and get Rini out of here while we take care of these creeps!" shouted Lita. "Hey! What's going on?" shouted Avery perplexed. "I don't know girls," said Prizma. "But we must do something. Jellax! Come and help us!" Serena came to her senses and took Rini under her arm as she heard the enemy yelling out thus. Under Luna's directions quietly given inside her ear, she reached out for the curtain, found it and ducked through with Rini. Rini didn't argue. She was scared of the possibility of being captured and was eager to get away. Back inside the smoke-filled room, Lita and Mina prepared themselves for battle before the cover dissipated. "JUPITER POWER!" "VENUS POWER!" "What? Who's shouting that? Prizma! Get rid of the smoke screen!" yelled Avery and gesturing mystically Prizma did dispell the cloud but the two Sailor Scouts stood before them fully transformed. They in turn could see that the three women had shed off their disguises and now stood before them in their regular outfits. Avery wore a red miniskirt with a yellow top while her sister Prizma was dressed in long blackish-green leggings and an olive-green top. Avocado was weird with her yellow bikini top and skirt made from palm tree leaves. Her spiky, green hair with a pink hibiscus flower placed inside made her look like she belonged on the beach at Hawaii. But the weirdest sight of all was Jellax. She had apparently oozed her red, gelatinous body through the roof and was hanging upside down as far as her waist. She was entirely red except for her green eyes and a yellow bow tie, in the middle of which was set one of those gems with the Dark Moon symbol. The Scouts had no opportunity to introduce themselves as Prizma growled out, "Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus." "What? So you know who we are?" cried Sailor Jupiter. Avery produced a whip seemingly from nowhere. "Of course we know you wicked murderers. We shall kill you. But only after we force you to tell us where you have hidden Rini." She cracked the whip at them making them jump in different directions. As Sailor Jupiter landed on her feet, before she could turn around to fight, some of Jellax's sticky red gel came oozing up from the floor catching her feet and then sliding up her body and attaching to the ceiling, pinning her arms straight up above her head. As for Sailor Venus, she valiently attempted to fight against Avery and kicked out at her. But she dodged and flicking her whip caught her around the neck. Pulling tautly she tightened the whip into a stranglehold and Sailor Venus began to choke. "Well done Jellax," said Prizma as she and Avocado walked around to stare Sailor Jupiter in the face. "Hey guess what? Avery is strangling your comrade. Will you tell us where Rini is for her sake?" "You only plan to kill us anyway," retorted Sailor Jupiter defiantly as she struggled to free herself. "Yes, but we don't have to do so immediately," answered Prizma. "Avery is an expert whip-cracker and handler who knows how to use her whip to kill as slowly as possible while maintaining incapacitation. So will you spare her a slow, agonizing death? And after we're through with her we can torment you in ways that won't harm Jellax while she's using part of her body to trap you." Avocado leered in concurrence. "So what will it be?" Then all four of them, even Jellax, began to laugh together in sadistic expressions while Venus and Jupiter both vainly attempted to break out from the hold their enemies had placed upon them. In the meantime Rini's feelings had suddenly changed to anger and indignation directed toward Serena because Serena, badly wanting to be able to transform into Sailor Moon and help her friends, had suddenly spotted a storage cabinet which conveniently had the key hanging on a nail in the nearby wall. She had immediately decided that would be the best place to "store" Rini and before Rini knew it she had been shoved inside and the door slammed. "Hey! What's the big idea?" Rini tried to twist the doorknob and push the door open, but Serena pushing against it, was able to just reach over and grab the key where it hung. As Rini struggled, Serena threw her bigger body against the door holding it closed and succeeded in inserting it into the lock and turning it in between Rini's efforts at twisting the knob. Finding it securely locked she proceeded to pound the door and yelled with muffled cries of protest. "Let me out of here! Let me out of here you meatball-headed bimbo!" Luna, who by this time had jumped off Serena's shoulder to the floor, cried, "What are you doing Serena?" Serena hung the key back in place and said, "I need to help my friends Luna. It's the best solution to keep her out of the way." "Are you sure there's enough air in there?" "Yes there is Luna. Hey, I am sorry to admit that I once lost control and threatened to strangle her in unbridled fury. But I'm not trying to do anything to kill her now. I'll let her out as soon as the fight's over." Luna said, "Very well. But let's hurry." Leaving her pounding, kicking and cursing vainly, Luna and Serena ran back as Serena contacted Raye and Amy on her communicator. Then before she returned to the conflict behind the curtain, she transformed. "MOON CRYSTAL POWER!" As Sailor Moon, she burst through the curtains, pointed her finger at the scene and shouted. "Hold it right there. It is I, Sailor Moon, and on behalf of the moon, I will right wrongs and triumph over evil. And that means you." Avery tightened her grip on the whip making Sailor Venus gasp and snapped. "Quit talking like a hypocrite you wicked person!" Sailor Moon indignantly snapped back. "Again you accuse me of being the evil one. This routine is so lame." Prizma yelled. "Jellax! Destroy her!" Jellax moulded one of her arms into the blade of a sword. It did in fact look like it could actually cut and clearly she believed that it would. For she lunged her red gelatinous body towards Sailor Moon aiming to thrust at her. But Sailor Moon was faster and grabbed her tiara, turned it into her scepter and raised it before her shouting, "MOON SCEPTER ELIMINATION!" Before the Droid could even reach her, she was struck by the beams from the scepter. Groaning and vainly struggling, Jellax melted to sludge that evaporated into nothing leaving only her yellow bow tie with the jewel inside that faded dull in colour. Sailor Jupiter was free from her sticky trap by Jellax's death, but of course, Sailor Venus was still caught by Avery's whip. Mutually horrified about what had happened, Prizma and Avocado screamed in rage while Avery's response was to yank on the whip and try to break Sailor Venus' neck. However Sailor Jupiter spun around to face them and acted to save Sailor Venus. "JUPITER THUNDERBOLT ZAP!" Sending her attack flying with perfect aim, she severed the whip freeing Sailor Venus and as Avery was exerting all her strength she fell over backwards and collapsed. Sailor Venus responded to her freedom by launching an attack on Prizma and Avocado. "VENUS LOVE CHAIN ENCIRCLE!" Summoning up her own whip made up of small, orange hearts she sent it snapping out at her enemies. Prizma jumped to one side and Avocado to the other and it just missed them striking where they had been standing moments ago. Meanwhile avery had sprung to her feet and lashed out with her whip again. "Sailor Venus! Behind you!" cried Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus quickly turned to face Avery. The two of them struck out at each other and the tips of their whips crackled statically as they touched. It was a strong even match. But the two of them attacked again and unfortunately Avery landed a lucky blow catching Sailor Venus around one leg. She twisted her whip and threw Sailor Venus off her feet. "Ah-ha! You're mine again," she cackled as she produced a second whip, seemingly from nowhere like the first and caught her round the neck once more. Her friends were unable to do anything to help her because Prizma was occupying Sailor Jupiter in a heavy fight. She had some similar electrical powers of her own and as they gruelingly fought they both grunted and sweated as each tried to force the other's charge backwards to zap her opponent. As for Sailor Moon she was dueling with Avocado. Avocado had said defiantly, "Do your worst. I will not give a cold-blooded killer like you the satisfaction of hearing me beg for my life." When Sailor Moon had responded, "I am not intending to kill you. I want to try to capture you alive and question you to find out who you are and what your evil game is. And why do you people all insist on putting up the pretence that I'm the evil one? My friends and I all know you must have some secret wicked agenda." To this Avocado replied, "You're the one who's putting up pretence. But if it's a fight you want, I'll give it to you." Then she seemed to get of all things, a banana out of thin air, and she opened the peel revealing a short sabre blade. She attacked Sailor Moon who used her scepter like a sword to parry. She desperately wanted Avocado for questioning if she could, but then she saw her friends plight and thought she should end this encounter to help them and question their opponents instead. However Avocado relentlessly kept thrusting too fast for her to use the scepter to kill her. She had to keep parrying and trying to find an opening. It was looking very bad and Luna was on the verge of attacking Avery herself before she could seriously hurt Sailor Venus. Suddenly help arrived just in time. "MARS CELESTIAL FIRE SURROUND!" Sailor Mars used her updated fire attack to sever Avery's whips in half each freeing Sailor Venus. Avery fell over backwards just like before. Prizma's attention was diverted by this occurrence and as she turned her head and gasped for a split second her battle with Sailor Jupiter was all over. The electrical energies struck her throwing her backwards to the floor herself. She was still conscious, but dazed and groggily struggled to stand. As for Avocado, when she turned and gasped likewise Sailor Moon took advantage to strike her on the back of the head with her scepter knocking her out. "Perfect timing Sailor Mars," she complimented. Sailor Mars was standing next to the curtain along with Sailor Mercury, both smiling. "You're most welcome," smiled Sailor Mars. Prizma moaned, "We're hopelessly outnumbered." Avery cried in agreement. "Everybody retreat." And before the Sailor Scouts or Luna could do anything, the two sisters de-materialized where they lay half-risen to their feet on the floor. They teleported themselves back to their spaceship headquarters, but what they failed to realize was that Avocado was unconscious and had not retreated along with them. Sailor Moon was quick to take charge. "Sailor Mars! Sailor Jupiter! Will the two of you please take this unusual person to the Cherry Hill Temple and secure her before she comes to? I want her kept prisoner so we can question her later." "Okay," said Sailor Mars. "There's plenty of strong rope and cords in our storage basement. Grandfather and Chad hardly ever go there and I'll put a protection charm against their noticing her if perchance they should do before we can grill her. Give me a hand Jupiter." Sailor Jupiter was a big help with her strength and the two of them raced away through the curtains, out of the shop and away, carrying Avocado between them. No sooner had they gone than the manageress of the charm shop and all her staff began to appear, striding out of the staff room feeling confused. "Sailor Scouts!" they cried in wonderment. "What has been going on?" Sailor Moon and her friends looked at each other silently agreeing upon what to say. Sailor Moon turned to the women and said to them, "We're not altogether sure. Though for some reason neither you nor anybody else as we can tell have been harmed. You were put into a trance by some people who wanted to take over your shop. We've driven them away but strange thing is they didn't seem to do anything except sell your charms themselves." While they widened their eyes and marvelled, Sailor Mercury added, "We would appreciate it if you'd all keep quiet about this. We are in the midst of investigating and we'd rather not have gossip unduly spreading among the community." Sailor Venus concluded. "It may impede our efforts to get to the bottom of it all if these weird people decide to go quiet with all the fuss." The boss lady said, "We hold you girls in the highest honours and we understand. We promise we will carry on like normal and say nothing." The other women concurred and made solemn vows and the Sailor Scouts thanked them profusely. As the three of them made their departure Sailor Moon bent down and picked up the only trace that remained of Jellax. The yellow bow tie with the jewel inside it. Raye still had Rhonda's jewel. She would give this one to her too. Perhaps the sacred fire might pick up some psychic connection. As they exited the curtained area Luna nudged Sailor Moon's legs to get her attention. "What is it Luna?" Sailor Moon asked looking down. "Don't forget to let Rini out of the storage cabinet." "Oh yeah. Right." "You locked her in a cabinet?" cried Sailor Venus. "She must be very angry," said Sailor Mercury. Sailor Moon thought about this and realizing that Sailor Mercury was right she turned to her friends and said, "I don't fancy hearing her pout and nag me over it. Can you girls help me please?" After explaining what she had in mind she gave the bow tie to her friends to pass on to Raye and making sure nobody else was around, transformed back into Serena. Rini had long given up making a racket and was brooding inside the cabinet. As soon as Serena turned the key in the lock and opened the door, she blinked in the sunlight. Then picking up her ball she stormed out and began to make a fuss. "Serena you idiot. How dare you shove me inside there?" "But she did it under our orders Rini." Rini gasped when she saw who had spoken. "SAILOR MERCURY AND SAILOR VENUS!" The pair of them smiled and Sailor Venus said, "That's right. We told Serena to put you in there so you'd be safely out of harm's way while we dealt with the people who were trying to kidnap you." "She was acting for your own good, in harmony with us," said Sailor Mercury. As Rini took this in she gazed with adoration at the two Sailor Scouts. She loved them almost as deeply as Sailor Moon herself and Tuxedo Mask and to their surprise she hugged them both in turn to thank them and then hugged Serena. Looking up at Serena with a huge smile she said, "In this case I understand why you did it Serena. I can no longer be resentful because I realize how much you care. Just like the Sailor Scouts." Serena was very happy and picking up Luna said, "Thank you Rini. We'd both better be heading home. It's getting late." They said goodbye to Sailor Venus and Sailor Mercury and the two groups went their separate ways. But Serena was still feeling troubled. Why hadn't Darien come back as Tuxedo Mask to help her and her friends? Did he simply no longer care even for that? As for Rini she thought happily to herself. "I suppose you really are okay Serena. But this doesn't make it any the less imperative that I get the Silver Imperium Crystal off of you. For the sake of my mother I need to succeed."
  11. I'm thinking that Wiseman is deliberately choosing not to affect Birdy and her friends so that he and Grim Man can enjoy seeing the three of them getting upset and exasperated with all the others. As you can see the others can tell that their behaviour is wrong and they do sometimes feel sorry. But the influence keeps them from apologizing even let alone stop it. They seem like irrational fools to Birdy and friends. It must give Wiseman and Grim Man laughs to secretly observe.
  12. Birdy, Frosty and Droido all entered the main area where everybody else was all tensely gathered awaiting Rubeus. Birdy's friends were in their human-like appearances, wearing their very best dresses and high heels. Unlike the other Droids they liked to look like this most of the time preferring to save their alter-appearance for when they needed to fight. As the trio walked through the doors Birdy said, "Hello girls." Droido and Frosty waved and smiled. "Greetings everybody." "Hi." Strangely nobody acknowledged them let alone say hello back. Well in Catzi's case it was understandable. She and Rhonda had never been as close as Birdy and her two Droids were, but still they had been friendly allies and she was sitting alone by herself in a rather dejected state. But the rest were kind of rude. Birdy's other two sisters were sitting in front of mirrors with their Droids Jellax and Avocado. While the most Thunderclap and Hypnotica did was to gruffly stare at them without speaking or smiling. Frosty said, "Hey now. Is this any way to greet us as comrades?" But Thunderclap and Hypnotica turned their faces away and the others just talked to themselves about make-up. One of Birdy's sisters asked the other one, "Do you think this black lipstick suits my corpse-like pallor?" Avocado, a dark-skinned Droid with pointed ears and green, spiky hair, said, "I think it's splendid Prizma." The other sister added, "Yes. It does set your face off perfectly." Jellax sitting next to her concurred in full agreement. She was the most unusual of all the women in that her body seemed to be made 100% of a deep-red substance resembling jelly. Prizma was all chuffed and puffed up by their compliments but she sneered as she said, "Why thank you. But Catzi's outfit by contrast is so cheap and tacky it ought to be used to scrub the floor with." Catzi did not appreciate this insult one little bit. Jumping to her feet and shaking her fist she cried, "Watch it Prizma. You won't just be corpse-like. I'll make you into a corpse myself." Prizma and the others began to jeer at her defiantly and all Hypnotica and Thunderclap did was to watch with amused expressions. But Birdy, Droido and Frosty were appalled and began to raise their voices combined literally begging them to cut this out. When everybody turned their attention toward the trio they spoke one after the other. "Why must there be constant fights and bickering?" "Our clan is supposed to be basically just like a family. In the past that's the way we've always been." Birdy's friends had spoken first and she finished. "That's right. Why is it that only Frosty, Droido and myself are trying to maintain our old unity? The rest of you are constantly either being negative in behaviour towards us or among yourselves." Nobody answered because they knew this was true. But they couldn't seem to help themselves and they wished they knew why. Whatever it was that was stirring them up against each other for some reason Birdy, Droido and Frosty seemed immune. At that moment however any further quarreling that might have ensued was cut short by Rubeus' arrival. He called them all to order and he spoke with his commanding authority. "This is no time for fighting. I have a new plan to force Rini out of her hiding place." Everybody was all ears and eager to hear what it was. Rubeus elaborated proudly. "I remember back in Crystal Tokyo the Wiseman and the Grim Man once told me that the queen and her young daughter both shared one weakness in common. Their greatest fear was thunder." As soon as he said this Thunderclap, with her customary drum always attached in front of her spoke up admiringly. "So in other words, drum up enough thunder and lightning and we may well just scare the little brat out of her hidey hole." She placed special emphasis on the way she spoke the word drum. She could tell this was going to be her mission. Rubeus grinned at her. "Precisely Thunderclap. This is your forte. I'm going on this mission with you myself because you're one of my best friends. When your thunderstorm makes our target run, I'll be there to grab her and we'll return together it triumph. Hypnotica. I'm placing you in charge of headquarters while Thunderclap and I are hunting." Hypnotica was more than happy to do this. She loved being in positions of authority. "You can depend on me Rubeus. I wish you and Thunderclap success." Everybody expressed the same desires and Thunderclap walked through their midst to loud cheers and applause. Side by side with Rubeus she turned to face them all raising her drumsticks high ih the air. The "drumsticks" were in actuality electrical conductors, which were connected to her back by thin wires. She also had a blue jewel of the kind all the other Droids were sealed with imbedded in one shoulder just above her jet-black tank top. "We will succeed for our prince," She declared. "For our prince." The others all raised their right fists in the air in salute. Then Thunderclap and Rubeus dematerialized. The pair of them reappeared side by side high above the center of the city. They were floating up above as high as the highest plane could fly. Then Rubeus moved off to the left saying, "Okay Thunderclap. Roaring thunder, flashing lightning and heavy rain that will potentially pour down non-stop for days and nights. Strut your stuff." Thunderclap pulled a pair of ear plugs out of her pocket and carefully inserted them to protect her eardrums. Then she began to pound her drum with her special unique drumsticks. "Here it comes Rubeus." The electric conductors charged up as she struck her drum and dark clouds began to form above her. Lightning was building up inside them and they spread out over the entire span of the city. She also used a portable, hand-held hair dryer to create a huge gust of wind to go with the thunderstorm. Rubeus laughed and complimented her. "Good work my friend. Now let's keep watching out for signs of Rini running around in terrified panic." At that moment school had just finished and Serena and her friends were on their way home. Serena and Amy were walking with Molly and Melvin when the storm hit. "Oh no! Where'd the sun go? I hate storms and I hate getting caught in them!" Serena wailed. "Oh dear! I hate getting soaked," groaned Molly. "The weather report said nothing about this," added Amy. Melvin pulled off his coat and tried to shield Molly. "Here Molly." "Melvin. You'll be wet," Molly gasped. "It's okay Molly. I'll walk you to your home as quickly as possible," he replied. Molly was always touched by his loving chivalry. "When we get there you must come inside and get dry," she told him. "I'll call your parents and explain everything." This touched Melvin's heart in turn and he blushed and said, "Th-thank you Molly." But the next thing that suddenly happened was a huge burst of thunder boomed out overhead. It was so loud they all received a scare but Serena literally screamed and went running off like a gazelle leaving the other three behind. Molly and Melvin stared open-mouthed and Amy sighed. "I swear she doesn't just hate storms," commented Melvin. "She seems to be absolutely terrified of them." "Yes, I must agree," said Molly and Amy concurred. "I'm afraid it is true. Serena is scared half to death of thunder and lightning. It gives her the heebie-jeebies." As soon as Serena arrived home, she took off her wet shoes in disgust and called out, "Hey Mother! Can you come here please?" But Luna appeared and walked up to her saying, "She's not home." "What? Where is she?" "Don't you remember what she told you this morning Serena?" "I can't remember much of what she said to be honest." Serena's face turned bright-red. "I was more concerned about trying to grab some breakfast and run to school trying to beat the bell." "As usual," Luna sighed exasperatedly. "Well, she was trying to let you know that she was going to the big sale on at the mall and she'll probably be a little late home for dinner." As Serena was taking this revelation in Luna suddenly changed her tone. "Now you need to hurry!" "What for Luna?" "Rini hasn't come back yet from Primary School. You must go and look for her." Just then a crash of thunder sounded and lightning lit up the sky and Serena cringed. "You expect me to go out in that!" Then the door opened and Sammy came tumbling in coughing and sneezing. "Out of my way Serena!" he cried. "Sammy! Will you please go out and look for Rini?" pleaded Serena. Sammy stared at her with red eyes and blew his nose. "Serena. There's no way I'm going back out in that rain. It's aggravated my cold enough already. I need to quickly take a hot shower and dress dry and warm. Mum's out and Dad's still at work. If Rini is lost in the storm it's your responsibility to go and find her. Excuse me." With that he pushed past her as she gibbered and tried to speak. When he was out of hearing Luna said firmly, "He's right you know. Now get out there now." Serena grabbed her raincoat reluctantly and ran off into the rain muttering, "I hate thunderstorms. I really do." When Serena arrived at the Primary School, cringing every time thunder crashed, she found that Rini was nowhere to be seen. She made a quick cursory search of the school grounds, but the place was well and truly deserted. She called out Rini's name everywhere and received no reply. So she thought, "Maybe Rini has gone home on her own." So she went to a payphone and dialled her home number. It rang several times, but finally Serena heard her brother's voice speak into the receiver with a sneeze. "Ah-choo! Hello." "Sammy. It's Serena." Sammy was beset by an attack of sneezing. After four sneezes he managed to control himself enough to blow his nose and say, "Serena. Have you found Rini?" "No Sammy. I couldn't find her at her school, so I was wondering if she had perchance arrived home." "Oh dear. No, she's not here. I hope she's all right." "Well I'll keep searching Sammy. You let Dad or Mum know what's going on. Whichever one gets home first." Sammy coughed again. "Sure I will. Good luck Serena." "Thanks Sammy. And please look after yourself." "I will. Bye Serena." "Bye Sammy." With that he hung up and Serena stared at the receiver in her hand for a few moments thinking about Rini. Where could she be? As she hung up the receiver and ran out of the booth down the street worried about Rini and also scared of the thunder she wasn't watching where she was going, she ran into somebody on the corner, holding an umbrella. "Oof. Hey watch it!" he cried. "Oh, I'm sorry," Serena started to apologize when she looked up into his face and saw who it was. "Oh! Darien." "Serena," Darien said looking at her face. "What are you doing out here in the rain?" "Oh Darien. I'm trying to find Rini. She's missing!" "What?" Darien was horrified. But just then there was another clap of thunder and Serena automatically threw her arms around Darien in fright. She buried her face inside his chest and wailed. "Ooooh! I'm so scared of thunder." Darien gently pulled himself away from her. "Serena. We just can't do this. I can't be with you anymore. What if your father catches us together again?" "Darien. I-I," Serena was struggling to find words to say but Darien spoke abruptly. "Anyway Serena. The important thing right now is to find Rini." "You, you mean you'll help me search for her Darien?" "Of course you Meatball-Head." Darien was almost exasperated. "She's just a little kid and she's lost in this storm. She must be absolutely terrified out of her wits! What kind of a monster would I be if I didn't try to find her and comfort her? Come on!" So saying Darien turned and ran off calling out Rini's name, his umbrella jerking spasmodically above his head as he ran. Serena gulped and ran after him, her galoshes splashing in the puddles. She thought, "Darien is so wonderfully caring and he used to be mine. If only I could persuade him that things are all right with my Dad now." Then she also started calling out for Rini. As Darien and Serena ran across the road crossing, they were being observed by Lita and Amy from the window of a high rise restaurant. Sitting at their table, sipping their milkshakes through their straws, Lita had pointed the pair out to Amy, who had been studying her school textbooks at the time. "Look at those two down there Amy. Do you suppose they may have reconciled with each other?" "I don't know Lita," said Amy. "It could be so. But still they're crazy to be running around in the storm." Before Lita could make any sort of comment, their attention was diverted to a familiar voice from the doorway. "Oh look Mina. Amy and Lita are here." It was Raye. She had just entered with Mina behind her. As they joined the others at the table and began to talk, they realized all four of them had had the same idea of sheltering from the storm at this very place on their way home from their various schools. Furthermore they had all called their families to explain where they were going to be using the very same public pay-phone downstairs. They all shared a good chuckle at such an uncanny coincidence. Meanwhile as Serena and Darien were desperately searching, Rini herself came creeping silently along in the direction from which they had come. She was very frightened and had been sheltering from the storm in a number of different places for a variety of time lengths and right now she had slipped inside the building underneath the restaurant floor the other girls were in. Carefully using her magic powers to appear invisible to all the people present, she sat down with her back up against a wall and holding her ball up to her mouth she used it like a radio communicator to speak to her dear friend, the woman guarding the Gate of Time. "Please," she whimpered and pleaded. "Please. I'm terrified of this awful storm." She took hold of the key on the chain she wore round her neck. "Couldn't I just use this key to return to your side until all this thunder and lightning is past?" The woman's voice spoke with firmness but also gentle sorrow. "Rini I'm sorry. But that key has been designed by me to only work for your return as soon as you have obtained the Silver Imperium Crystal." "But I'd go straight back and resume searching afterwards. Please! I'm terrified of loud thunder!" "Dear Small Lady." There was heartfelt sympathy in her voice. "Rini. You need to be brave and overcome your fears for the sake of your parents and your world. I wish I could comfort you, but you must be strong." "NO! NO! I'm coming to you whether you like it or not!" "Small Lady. If you try to use the key without the crystal, I warn you. Anything could happen." As more vehemently massive crashes sounded with scary lightning Rini could stand it no longer. "I DON'T CARE!" She threw the ball aside and grabbed the key crying in abject horror. "RETURN ME TO THE FUTURE RIGHT NOW!" As her friend had warned her, it didn't work and something else did happen. She and all the people suddenly rose up into the air to their mutual shock. They all gasped and gave confused, shocked exclamations to find themselves floating. In fact the same thing was happening throughout the whole building. On the above floors Lita, Amy, Raye, Mina and the people who were seated at the other tables all found themselves acting like helium balloons. Amy said, "Don't panic everyone. We're only hovering in mid-air as if we've lost our connection to our planet's gravitational pull. I don't know what's happened but nothing outside is being affected." She saw through the windows that cars were driving as normal along the roads. The people were all in a state of shock, but what Amy said was true. They were all unharmed, though floating head over heels helpless to get back on the floor. Meanwhile amidst all the panicked folk downstairs, Rini herself yelled, "What's going on?" The woman's voice sighed from the ball Rini had reached out and grasped hold of. "I tried to tell you Small Lady. I had no idea what might happen if you tried to come back at this moment. It could have been anything." Rini herself cut off the connection through her ball without even replying back and began to wail just like she did back when Serena had furiously threatened her thinking she'd poisoned the other four girls. The same golden crescent moon symbol glowed like golden-yellow and the same bright light that had illuminated the Cherry Hill Temple area now lit up the restaurant building. Rubeus and Thunderclap had been searching the city for signs of Rini. They had split up, mostly in order so that Rubeus would not get his eardrums burst by all the booming noise of the storm his friend was creating. Thunderclap herself, of course, still had her earplugs inserted to protect her own ears and she was constantly beating her big drum while she searched to maintain the storm. Rubeus saw the golden light shooting up into the sky and he pointed to it laughing triumphantly. "Excellent. I was hoping she'd make it easy for us in her panic." He caught sight of something shooting across the sky towards the designated location and knew it was his buddy. "Go get her Thunderclap. I won't be far behind you." With that he zoomed off himself to meet up with her and their target. But they weren't the only ones. Serena turned around and called out to Darien. "I recognize that energy. It's Rini's! She's back over there from where we came!" As she ran off Darien turned and gasped. However the first one to reach her was Thunderclap. Rini first noticed her a split second before she smashed through the glass door making everybody cry out in fright. But ignoring them all Thunderclap rapped her drum sending electrical energy shooting at Rini. With her ball in hand she screamed and kicking her legs and swinging her free arm she "swam" away as fast as she could and up the stairs to the main dining floor before she was hit. Thunderclap pursued her relentlessly keeping up her attack. Serena arrived next and noticing the strange thing that was happening to the people she transformed before entering. "MOON CRYSTAL POWER!" Upon entry Sailor Moon discovered that she too succumbed to the anti-gravity effects. "Whoops! Everybody, what's going on?" "Sailor Moon!" cried one man. "A hideous creature banging a big drum chased some poor little girl through the air and up to the next level." Sailor Moon followed his pointing finger and with a shudder guessed who the poor little girl was. "You must go and save her!" shouted somebody else. "Yes I will!" Sailor Moon threw herself in the direction she needed to take amidst cheers of encouragement. Upstairs Raye had recognized Rini as she appeared crying for help and there were many gasps as Thunderclap appeared in pursuit. Pulling her hairdryer out she shouted. "Don't worry folks. I don't want to hurt any of you. I'm only trying to catch that kid." She was preparing to shoot a blast of wind at Rini, but Raye and the others, since they couldn't transform in public view, all bravely lunged through the air to intercept the blast. The four of them were blown into the wall and floated slowly up again moaning and groaning with pain. "Now that was such a ridiculously stupid thing to do," said Thunderclap in bewilderment. But just as she turned her attention to Rini once again Sailor Moon came inside flailing her arms and legs awkwardly. "Hey!" She cried out over Thunderclap's drum beats to get her attention. "So you're the creep who's behind this latest attack. Well, I'm Sailor Moon and on behalf of the Moon I'll punish you!" Thunderclap shot at her with her hairdryer. As the blast threw Sailor Moon against the opposite wall Thunderclap shouted, "I'll punish you for the death of our comrade Rhonda!" Sailor Moon's friends and all the other people were very concerned for her and called out things like, "Sailor Moon! Are you all right?" Rini shouted, "Sailor Moon! Please fight back!" But Thunderclap was already pounding her drum and before Sailor Moon could recover, she had blasted her with electricity. "Yeeoooow! This hurts! I can't stand it!" At this moment Rubeus came floating up the stairs as fast as he could propel himself and cried out with joy when he saw what was happening. "Why Thunderclap. You've got Sailor Moon at your mercy. Show her you don't have any and finish her off with your biggest charge of all." Thunderclap touched the tips of her conductors together and they buzzed with power. "I'm on it Rubeus." She began to pound the drum building up her reserves to kill Sailor Moon, who was now rather terrified and trembling. Her friends knew she needed help but what could they do? The Sailor Scouts may have stood a chance fighting together but they couldn't expose their secret identities to so many members of the public. Sailor Moon was beginning to gibber unintelligibly in her fear, Rubeus was eager to see her destroyed and Thunderclap was almost ready to strike. Just one more pounding on her drum. Suddenly the drum was pierced by a flying rose that went stright through the center. Thunderclap's electrical energy was directed straight at her, though she was able to survive because of the rubber insulation that was built into the lining of her clothes just in case of accidents. "Aaaarggh! Rubeus! What's happening?" She screamed. Rubeus gasped in shock. "Thunderclap!" All eyes then noticed a masked, caped figure carefully standing in an open window. "Tuxedo Mask! You're here!" Sailor Moon cried. Rubeus' mouth was wide open while Tuxedo Mask addressed Thunderclap, who was recovering from the blast and down on one knee slowly rising. "You have used your drum to terrorize people and that will not be tolerated!" He held four more roses in his hand. "I'm going to make you dance to my beat lady instead of you beating that drum to stir up trouble!" With that he threw the roses, one after the other and Thunderclap had to desperately jump backwards struggling to keep her balance against the lack of gravitational pull and avoid getting her feet potentially skewered as the stems all stuck firmly into the floor. "Argh! Ack! Uh! Ooh!" Rubeus was getting upset. "Stop it!" He shouted at Tuxedo Mask. "Leave my buddy alone!" But he and his buddy had far more serious things to worry about next as Tuxedo Mask urged Sailor Moon to take over and she produced her scepter. Thunderclap was terrified knowing what Sailor Moon had done to Rhonda with that weapon and Rubeus knew he needed to act fast. Thunderclap had been backed up by the roses next to one of the windows and while Sailor Moon was preparing her attack, Rubeus summoned up all his strength and torpedoed himself straight towards Thunderclap. Before Sailor Moon could complete her move he had plowed into Thunderclap and the momentum pushed her through the window smashing the glass. Then she and Rubeus flew away from the building and before they could crash into another one nearby Rubeus twisted his body upwards steering himself up, up and away, his arms fully around Thunderclap. They soared up way past the top of the neighbouring building far above leaving Sailor Moon and the others long behind. Coming to a stop, they hovered in mid-air. Thunderclap was shaking and moaning and Rubeus pulled out one of her ear plugs and spoke comfortingly. "It's all right. I've saved you." One of his arms was sticking through the hole in her drum and she instinctively stuck her arm through the opposite hole so she could embrace and cuddle with Rubeus. For about fifteen seconds they held each other and laughed a little affectionately. But then something clicked inside them and they pulled away from each other, blushing embarrassedly. "Well. Um. Thank you dear Rubeus. I'd have done the same for you. But let's not get carried away and behave stupidly like that Birdy, Droido and Frosty." "You're right Thunderclap. Thank goodness none of the others saw us just now. Especially not Hypnotica. Let's return to base." "We could have captured the brat and destroyed Sailor Moon though if that Tuxedo Mask hadn't showed up," snarled Thunderclap. "Yes. We need to come up with a better plan. And we must be more careful. I almost lost you Thunderclap. Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon are dangerous ruthless murderers who need to be brought to justice." After Rubeus said this the two of them de-materialized. Meanwhile Tuxedo Mask had leaped inside to try to help only to find he was caught up in the levitation himself. Rini realized that this was her fault, so she silently held the key chain around her neck, concentrated as best as she could and managed to gently lower herself back to the ground, returning the gravitational pull to normal. Unfortunately Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon, Amy, Lita, Raye, Mina and everybody else quickly collapsed to the ground in a heap. Fortunately although there were a few injuries sustained, no bones were actually broken as they really hadn't been up too very high and while they all climbed to their feet Rini, ashamed of the trouble she'd caused, picked up her ball and ran outside. People made a big fuss about Sailor Moon thanking her and asking her what had happened. To this she could only answer, "I honestly have no idea why this happened everyone. But rest assured. I and the other Sailor Scouts will be investigating and doing our best to discover what the answer is and if it should occur again we'll be on hand to help." Her four friends silently agreed. The population for the most part had no knowledge of the weird things that were happening and until they had a better understanding they wanted to keep things as secret as they could to avoid panic and undue anxiety. As for Tuxedo Mask, he had picked himself up as fast as possible, ignoring his aches, and leaped through the window and outside. As usual he preferred to keep a low profile among the community and he was intending to go to his apartment and change to Darien. But as soon as his feet alighted on the pavement, he heard a familiar voice. "Tuxedo Mask! Don't go Tuxedo Mask!" Recognizing Rini's voice he turned to behold her running to him with her ball in hand and he instinctively dropped to one knee and opened his arms wide. He didn't fully know why but he wanted to take this child into his warm embrace within his tuxedo's folds and he smiled behind his mask as Rini threw herself inside of him. She looked up into his face and cried, "Oh Tuxedo Mask! I love you! Can I stay with you for just a little while please?" He rose to his feet lifting her, gazed into her eyes and said, "Yeah sure. Let's go walk by ourselves. Okay?" So they walked hand in hand down the street and Rini laughed. "Oh Tuxedo Mask. Look at the beautiful rainbow." It was true. Even after Thunderclap's artificially created storm, a rainbow still naturally appeared when it was over. Tuxedo Mask and Rini looked at it with joy. The colours were stunning as rainbows usually are. Later Tuxedo Mask dropped Rini outside her front door and with a reluctant goodbye disappeared with an almighty leaping and bounding. Rini hated to leave him but she knew her "family" must be worried about her. And so they were. Even Serena. She had no idea where Rini could have disappeared to after the incident at the restaurant and as soon as she could leave had removed her Sailor Moon identity, searched for a little bit more and dejectedly gone home ten minutes before Tuxedo Mask returned her. When Rini knocked on the door she was crying because she missed Tuxedo Mask, but she used the tears to her advantage for when Mum saw her crying she was distressed and picked her up consolingly. "Oh Rini. Dear Rini. Where have you been? Are you all right?" When she carried Rini in to Dad, Sammy and Serena, she had her story ready while she sobbed. "I was so terrified of that dreadful storm that I raced to find shelter and became lost. I just managed to find my way back home now. I was so scared and missed you all so much." Dad said, "Thank goodness. You must have been terrified out of your wits." Sammy sneezed, blew his nose and said, "I'm delighted you're back safe and sound Rini." "So am I," admitted Serena. It was true. She didn't like to admit it much to herself, but she was starting to become fond of Rini. There was something about her she couldn't explain. So Mum prepared something nice and hot for Rini to eat while she had a bath and then tucked her snugly into her bed. Rini closed her eyes and promised herself and her mother that she would increase her efforts to find that important crystal.
  13. It was getting very close to the end of the school holidays and Serena and her friends were all very excited that Amy was now going to be staying to attend her regular school in the new term instead of going to Germany. Well especially Serena and Lita, because Amy was enrolled in the exact same school as themselves. She always enjoyed hanging out with both of them. When she wasn't hanging out with Miss Haruna. In detention that is. But at the moment Serena was sitting slumped forward in her chair, her arms sprawled out and her head resting on top of her dresser table fast asleep. She had set her alarm clock for half past six that morning so she'd have time to get dressed and then go to the Cherry Hill Temple for the day to assist Raye in managing things such as selling the Good Luck Charms. The other girls were also going to be helping. When the alarm went off Luna yawned. "Good morning Serena. Remember you have one hour to get dressed and ready. You must leave at half past seven if you are to get to Raye's temple on time." "Yes Luna. I'll be ready in no time," said she as Luna curled up on her bedcovers to get more of a morning catnap. Luna did force herself to stay awake while Serena grabbed her clothes, ducked outside to the bathroom and came back dressed. While sitting down in front of the dresser table mirror brushing her long hair tied in her usual long plaits, Luna assumed things could be depended upon and said with another yawn, "See you later Serena." "Have a nice rest Luna. Bye," Serena replied. But as soon as Luna dozed off, Serena thought to herself, "You know. Half past six is such a beastly time of the morning to wake up. I think I'll just rest for five minutes before I go. Right here." As she leaned over onto the surface of the dresser table she thought, "I won't sleep. I'll just rest my eyes for five minutes at most to get my strength up." However barely had the first minute passed when she was fast asleep again too, like Luna. Rini woke up in her spare bedroom at eight o'clock spot on and having quickly dressed herself, decided to take a peek at what Serena was up to. Seeing that her bedroom door was even half open already she glanced inside. Seeing her asleep where she lay, she tiptoed in through the space. Her small body easily slipped in between the gap and she crept up to Serena. "I'll take this opportunity to search Serena's clothing for the Silver Crystal," she thought. She didn't know it, but she was very close to having the crystal in her hands as it hung around Serena's neck inside her transformation locket. Perhaps she may have succeeded but for two things. First Rini wasn't exactly a masterfully skilled pickpocket. Second Serena was extremely ticklish. With a laugh she awoke and turning seized hold of Rini's wrists and lifted her feet off the ground as she sprang out of her chair. "Let me go! Put me down!" cried Rini. "You little rascal," said Serena. "You tell me exactly who you are, where you come from and what you want with my crystal?" Rini would probably have begun to scream and that would have brought Mum, Dad and Sammy running to Serena's bedroom. They would have been very furious to see Serena apparently bullying her little cousin but fortunately she was spared the consequences of such a scenario by Luna, who having been woken up by the commotion just next to where she had curled up on the bed immediately sprang up on Serena's shoulder making her drop Rini in sudden surprise. "Serena," she hissed in her ear. "Why are you still here? It's after eight o'clock." "Oh no! I'm going to be late! Raye will be so annoyed!" Luna nimbly sprang to the floor as Serena ran off to rush as fast as possible to the Cherry Hill Temple, ignoring Rini where she lay on the floor rubbing her backside and muttering, "Surely there must be an easier way to locate that crystal. Ouch." At the temple Amy, Mina and Lita had been working hard with Raye for some time. There were plenty of students present that day wanting to buy the charms in the hope that they would help them acheive successful results when school started up again soon. But when Serena appeared all out of breath from running all the way from her home, Raye rolled her eyes and frowned while the others all sighed. They politely said nothing but Raye sighed and said, "Okay Serena. Get this temple uniform on and join us." Serena held out her arms and took the red and white robes and the sandals Raye handed to her. Serena blushed. "I'm very sorry Raye," she began to say but Raye cut her off. "Save it Serena. It's done now. You can change in the girls' bathroom over there." "O-okay. Serena entered the bathroom and undressing started to try to put the robes on. But after fumbling with them for at least ten minutes Raye walked over and called through the doorway. "Why are you taking so long?" Sheepishly Serena called back. "Uh. I keep getting tangled up. Could you help me please Raye?" Desperately trying not to lose her patience Raye called over to Amy. "Will you kindly go in and assist Serena please? I can't do it." Amy and the other two for that matter, could tell by Raye's expression what she was inwardly going through. So Amy stood up, said, "Of course. My pleasure Raye," and entered the bathroom, where she helped Serena to dress, technically meaning that she dressed her entirely herself, because Serena still couldn't dress herself despite Amy's initial efforts to explain her directions. But finally she and Serena exited both wearing the temple's standard uniform perfectly. Then as they all sat at the counter serving customers, Raye mentioned, "By the way. Chad and Grandfather are attempting to open a Martial Arts Class here Monday through to Friday beginning next week. They've advertised in a magazine and posted fliers around town." The girls were very interested. Particularly Lita. "I'd love to come. I love Martial Arts. I could even help out as a teacher." Serena grinned and said, "Whatever will be happening here next Raye. I wish you good luck." So did the others and Raye thanked them for their encouragement. In three days on Wednesday they were due to commence business. She echoed their hopes that the project would be successful and make some more money for them. It turned out that Grandfather and Chad had every good reason to be delighted and excited because they received plenty of positive response from the community about their Martial Arts Classes. Fifteen women wanted to sign up and also five men, making twenty in all. They paid their initial yearly joining fees and after the first half week beginning Wednesday, they would only pay a small weekly fee covering the five nights Monday through to Friday irrespective of how often they were able to attend. They were really looking forward to their first night's coaching and Raye was very happy. She wished them good luck, but on Tuesday night while they slept soundly they had an intruder. It was Birdy's older sister Catzi. She materialized in the middle of the dojo set-up. With a triumphant smile she gestured in a circular motion turning herself all the way round. The room briefly was bathed in blue-green light in the darkness. Then she disappeared and appeared back inside their spaceship in front of Rubeus, her sisters and all the Droids. "I've accomplished my task Rubeus," she announced with pride. "Very good Catzi," said Rubeus. "This will be an easy Crystal Point to take over. We won't need to take over the counterpart place here at all. Every time there is a Martial Training Class as scheduled, none of the people will be aware that as they train hard and devotedly, they will be strengthening our prince's power in Crystal Tokyo. We all need to congratulate you." "Good job Catzi!" Birdy and her other sisters cheered as they and the rest of their team applauded. Even Rubeus. The Sailor Scouts would never know what was going on under their noses. Now they were all free to invest their resources in tracking down Rini while the Crystal Point took care of itself. So the class sessions were established from half-past seven to half-past nine five evenings a week. After getting off to a good beginning Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the students all talked about the classes to their families and friends over the weekend and a few others decided to join too. Among them were, of all people, Miss Haruna. She attended all nights the following week and she loved it. School started up again the very next week, but she still found time to squeeze in at least three nights a week. She quickly learned to prepare most of her lessons in advance on the weekend so she was free for her beloved Martial Arts. She told Mrs. Humphreys, "I am having so much fun Helen. Why don't you come with me next week?" Mrs. Humphreys agreed. "I might come at least to watch and see if I'd like to take it up myself Patricia. I'll prepare a few sewing lessons ahead of schedule this weekend, so I can go check it out when you go." "You'll be blown away. I guarantee Helen," answered Miss Haruna. Meanwhile in Crystal Tokyo, the forces of the mysterious prince were granted free rein control over the corresponding Crystal Point. The warriors who were trying their best to oppose the invasion of their glorious empire had already been so bitterly frustrated when they were completely blocked off from the area where the ice cream parlour stood in the past and now they found they were hopelessly held back from entering this second area also. Some of the prince's own Droid forces were now permanently residing in each of these two Crystal Point's. They held positions of government over the people who lived there. They were all very scared although the Droids told them that they need not fear anything as long as they submitted themselves to the rule of the prince. "Our prince bears you no ill will. None of us do. Our only desire is for revenge against those who rule here. We know you are not responsible for the pain and sorrow your rulers have inflicted on us." Nobody could understand it. But they realized it was obvious these invaders really believed their actions were justified. They couldn't believe that their king and queen would have done any wrong to these strange people. But whenever anybody tried to reason with any of them, they would firmly but gently cut them off making it clear that they believed they were innocent, but ignorant of the truth. Needless to say there was deep worry and tension about what this would mean for Crystal Tokyo in the near future. Getting back to the Martial Arts Class, the Wiseman kept watching it very closely with his crystal ball to be certain things were running smoothly. But one evening he saw something that was of critical importance to their cause. He told the Grim Man and they sent special word to Rubeus. He in turn called everybody to a meeting in the main center of their spaceship. "I've been informed by the Wiseman that he and the Grim Man are going to be making a special visitation to us right here in person within the next twenty minutes." "They're actually coming from the future to see us?" cried Catzi in awe and all the others echoed the amazement they all shared. Rubeus continued. "Yes that's right. They have a vitally important message for us." They all waited with baited breath and finally in the center of the floor the pair appeared. Rubeus led them all in humble bowing. "Welcome Masters. Tell us what you wish us to know please." "Rubeus. We have discovered that the child Rini has just now enrolled with that Martial Arts Class at the Crystal Point," the Wiseman declared and the all eagerly gasped. The Grim Man said, "We want you to show up at the next class session tomorrow and capture her. You can use your magic reserves to paralyze everybody before you strike, so they won't register your presence while you take her captive." "If you bring her back tomorrow night, our hold over the royal Crystal Tokyo family will be well nigh protected," said the Wiseman. "You can depend upon us Masters. I'll select some of us tomorrow and we'll prepare for our mission," said Rubeus. The Wiseman said, "We and the prince himself are counting upon you all Rubeus. Let's go now Grim Man." With that the creepy duo faded away even as everybody vowed to apprehend Rini. Rini was very keen on learning Martial Arts and she had used the same magical hypnosis with which she was keeping Serena's family convinced of her identity on Grandfather. At first when he'd seen her he'd been startled remembering how he had pursued her while she'd been crying only to have seen her suddenly vanish before his eyes. But Rini had foreseen this possibility and clutching the ball she always carried with her tightly to her chest and concentrating hard, she'd stared him in the eyes and he had forgotten all about the strange past incident. "Well well. So your name is Rini and you'd like to learn Martial Arts." He had laughed heartily in a jovial manner. "You're never to young to begin I suppose. So welcome to our school Rini." "Thank you sir." Rini was so thrilled. Serena had agreed to walk with Rini to and from the temple. Her parents had said, "We want you to start being even nicer and showing more care for your little cousin." Serena had mixed feelings about Rini. On the one hand she thought her a colossal pain in the neck. But on the other hand she was convinced that for all her faults, Rini was indeed an innocent kid. And though she refused to open up and tell Serena or any of the others why she was so desperate to get her hands on the Silver Crystal, she had given Serena and Darien some inkling of the back story one time when they were in the form of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. So she was begrudgingly happy to safely escort Rini. Not to mention she didn't want to aggravate her parents and risk being grounded. Rini was nice and friendly enough as they walked together the following evening. "Why don't you consider signing up for the classes yourself Serena? They're so exciting you know." Serena replied. "Um. Perhaps I will at some future point Rini. But for now Raye and I are spending some quality social time together while you do your training." The real truth is that Raye and Serena were having conferences with the other girls via their communicators whenever possible. Rini unknowingly winked and said, "You should try and get Raye to train with us also. At least offer it to her as a suggestion." "Okay Rini. I will do that," said Serena to humour her. As soon as they arrived Serena left Rini with Grandfather, Chad and all the others and she went to sit with Raye in the Shrine of the Sacred Fire. That night only Lita was free to talk to them on her communicator. Mina and her family were visiting friends for dinner and Amy's parents had taken her evening shopping for textbooks she required for the beginning of the New Term. Lita sat quietly in her bedroom as she discussed their strategies with Serena and Raye. "Things have been very quiet from our opponents these past few weeks. I'm worried. They must be planning a super big attack." "Fully agreed Lita," said Raye. "We must be wide-eyed and alert." No sooner had she said this than Raye snapped to attention. "Hey! The fire's trying to tell me something. Hold on." Handing the communicator to Serena, Raye crawled over to the flames on her hands and knees and began to pray. "Great fire. Please tell me what is going on. I beseech you." What was going on was that shortly after the evenings' class had started Catzi and her partner Rhonda had materialized in the midst of everybody. But they barely had any chance to cry out or react in any way before Catzi had gestured with outstretched arms and all the people including Chad, were standing still like statues. "You're ours now Rini," sneered Catzi. "Get her Rhonda." "Oh no!" Rini wailed as the huge, muscular form of Rhonda came lumbering up to grab her. But suddenly Grandfather planted an unexpected karate kick to Rhonda's shin making her collapse on to one knee in pain and surprise. Catzi was astounded. "You're not paralyzed?" Grandfather stood steely-eyed and ready to spring. "As a priest of this temple I have trained my mind to resist magical attacks lady. Very rarely am I ever placed under a spell. I won't let you harm this little girl." Rhonda rose to her feet saying, "We don't want to have to hurt you old man. But we must capture this child for the sake of our triumph against our enemies." "Don't give me any of that. Run Rini!" Grandfather shouted as he stood in front of her and Rhonda. Rini didn't need to be told twice. She ran for it while Catzi cried out to Rhonda. "Take care of the old man as gently as possible Rhonda. I'll try to grab the kid." Catzi sprang up into the air and zoomed across to the other side of the room, her arms reaching downwards about to grasp Rini while she desperately tried to flee. Grandfather was putting up a valient battle. But Rhonda was really enormously strong. His first attack had only been lucky since Rhonda had not been expecting it. She blocked his punches and punched him instead knocking him down. He kept jumping up and trying to connect with punches or kicks. Rhonda deflected them all and struck him down again and again. "I'm trying to go easy on you," she said. "Why must you be so stubborn?" Meanwhile as Catzi lunged for Rini something else unanticipated happened. Something struck her in the face stunning her before she could reach Rini. As Rini kept on running Catzi fell to the floor in a heap unconscious. Sailor Moon reached out her hand and caught her Moon Scepter. She had thrown it at Catzi in a remarkable spinning motion. It had knocked Catzi out and then amazingly had been deflected still spinning back to Sailor Moon, like a boomerang. Rini pulled up short and gasped to see Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars standing next to her. She knew she had nothing to fear now. She jumped for joy and cheered. Rhonda wasn't even aware of what had happened. She had just delivered an extra-hard blow to Grandfather reluctantly in order to lay him down and he groaned in pain. The sight of seeing that happen to her beloved Grandfather made Sailor Mars rage like an exploding volcano. In her unquenchable rage she summoned up a brand new power from deep within her. "MARS CELESTIAL FIRE SURROUND!" As Grandfather was lying dazed and moaning upon the floor, Rhonda snapped to attention at the sound of Sailor Mars' booming voice. As Mars summoned up rings of fire in mid-air and sent them flying straight at Rhonda, she made attempt to counterattack. Boldly she summoned up whirlwinds of energy from her arms when she flexed her muscles. As they shot out they fought against the rings of fire. They held them back and Rhonda cried out, "I'll send your own weapon flying straight back at you." Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon both gasped in terror. Sailor Moon couldn't attack fast enough to save Sailor Mars. In seconds her own fire would be blown back at her point-blank. But just then another sort of object came flying in a rotational effect. Of all things, it was a rose and as it spun up to Rhonda's psychic energy it was followed by a second one. Their whirly motion halted Rhonda's attack dispersing it and also freeing the rings of fire. Incredibly the two roses were not even singed by the fire, but as they finished spinning and fell to stick their stems into the floor side by side, they redirected Sailor Mars' attack back towards Rhonda really fast. As they struck they set Rhonda's clothes on fire and as she began to scream and vainly attempt to beat out the flames, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars and Rini all turned to see Tuxedo Mask standing in the open doorway behind them. "Tuxedo Mask! You've come again!" cried Sailor Moon but he cried back at her. "Don't waste time Sailor Moon! Use your scepter!" "Oh, right. MOON SCEPTER ELIMINATION!" Sailor Moon aimed her attack straight at Rhonda, just as she was about ready to run away in despair, her whole upper torso practically being consumed by a raging celestial inferno. The effect of the scepter's power combined with the flames set Rhonda exploding with a sound like a firecracker. Sailor Moon's tiara was indeed far immensely more powerful now that it could be transformed into this scepter. Rhonda was reduced to the same minuscule atomic particles as the wicked aliens Peter and Jenny had been. It seemed highly unlikely that anybody could have the slightest chance of surviving her new improved attack such as the Youma had done in the past. And even then that had only been an extremely rare outcome. As it was the only thing that was left of Rhonda was the jewel with the trademark symbol of the dark upside-down crescent engraved in it that she had been sporting inside the belt of her outfit. Sailor Moon turned around but to her dismay Tuxedo Mask had already vanished and in his place was Sailor Jupiter running in breathlessly. "Did I miss anything?" Rini was very excited to see her. She knew all about the Sailor Scouts. But before she or anybody else could say anything more, with a groan Catzi began to slowly climb shakily to her feet. "What happened? Where's my partner?" Sailor Moon pointed her scepter at her and said in a stern monotone, "Your partner's dead. And so are you if you don't surrender and tell us why you are harassing poor Rini." Catzi practically screamed in rage. "YOU KILLED RHONDA?" Everybody's ears rang with the loud volume pitch of this stinging accusation. Including Grandfather's, who was shaking his head trying to get his full bearings after being half knocked out. For a moment the Sailor Scouts thought Catzi would be so daring as to make an attack, even though Sailor Moon had her scepter trained upon her. But Catzi knew when to fight and when to run away. So she de-materialized before any of them could blink an eye. But though Catzi was physically no longer present, they heard her angry voice call out scathingly, "You are a ruthless killer Sailor Moon. We shall avenge Rhonda and all your other victims next time." "This has to be some kind of elaborate trick to confuse us," declared Sailor Moon. "Guess you're probably right," said Sailor Mars as she bent down and pocketed the jewel that lay on the floor. "Sailor Scouts," cried Grandfather getting to his feet. "What's going on here? My students and Chad?" But even as he was speaking they began to become unparalyzed. Sailor Moon and her friends were beginning to get a little nervous. What would they say to them all? And what if Grandfather suddenly wanted to know how Raye and Serena were? What if he insisted on going to check on them at once? How could they offer explanation for their absence and their subsequent reappearance when the Sailor Scouts were gone? But fortunately they were spared having to worry about anything. Young Rini thought to herself, "I want to keep as low a profile as possible. I don't want a great deal of undue attention or unease within anything I'm involved in. I know just what to do." She held her ball tight against her chest and drawing on its hypnotic charges she walked out in front of the Scouts and even as people attempted to ask questions she cried out as loud as she could, "Everybody! Listen to me!" Having obtained the attention she sought the people, including Chad and Grandfather are locked eyes on her and as she squeezed her ball tightly releasing its mystical waves she began to speak just like a hypnotist. "Nothing out of the ordinary has been happening tonight. We've all been enjoying our Martial Arts Training together. Do you understand? Nothing has been happening except our training." She was encircling the entire ring of people while Sailor Moon and her two friends watched astonished in the center. Everybody's eyes were glassy and they chanted in a unified monotone. "We understand. Nothing except our training." "Good," Rini went on. "As soon as Sailor Moon and the other two leave, I'll snap my fingers and you won't even remember their being here at all. Is that clear?" "Yes. Very clear." Rini turned and smiled at the astounded Sailors. "I haven't hurt anybody Sailor Moon. I was told to try to fit in like an ordinary kid during my search for the Silver Crystal and at all costs to avoid bringing any indication of my connection to the enemy who are trying to stop me. My good friend who sent me here to the past gave me this magic ball to help me perform miracles to help me including the power to hypnotize. That's how I was able to establish myself as a member of a family here in this city. I was also told you and your friends would be here to give me assistance when I need it." Sailor Moon silently gasped. So that was what had happened to her parents and younger brother Sammy. Rini had used her power to make them believe she was their niece and cousin. But why then she wondered hadn't Rini attempted to hypnotize her too? She could have told her to hand over the crystal under hypnosis. What a big mystery there was around such a small girl. Rini ran over to the two roses stuck in the floor, pulled them out and quickly handed them to Sailor Moon breaking her thoughts to herself. "Here! You'd better take these. I don't want to have them wondering where they came from. Next time you see dear Tuxedo Mask please give one back to him and keep the other for yourself." "Uh sure. Okay." Sailor Moon was taken aback by the look in Rini's eyes as she gave her the roses. They seemed so full of love. As if she was expressing intimate feelings of some kind. She wished she knew just who this little girl really was. "Well then. I guess we had better be off Mars and Jupiter." She turned to the others who consented. After all what else could they do? The three of them said goodbye to Rini and Sailor Jupiter headed back to her home while Serena and Raye resumed their secret identities back in the Shrine of the Sacred Flame. Serena stared at the roses before slipping them into her bag and Raye took out the jewel that was left behind when Rhonda was destroyed. They stared at it then at each other. They didn't know what to make of it all but Raye said she would keep trying to find information through fire readings. So they filled in their time thusly until it was time to take Rini home after the rest of the training class had normally finished. None of them, not even Grandfather, had the slightest inkling of what had taken place. Rini was very relieved. Her friend was extremely powerful and knew how to control people when necessary for good purposes. It was to her credit that the power she had shared with Rini was able to successfully charm a strong old man like Grandfather. As for Catzi, as soon as she arrived back at their spacecraft she delivered the bad news. "Catzi what happened? And where is Rhonda?" asked Rubeus. Catzi bowed her head, clenched her fists and said slowly, "The Sailor Scouts prevented us from capturing our target once again. I was knocked out by a surprise attack and while I was unconscious Sailor Moon murdered Rhonda." There was a huge gasp from all the occupants of the spacecraft. Even Rubeus was aghast. To have lost part of their team was a deeply felt blow for them all. He made a huge announcement. "As leader of our team on this mission I hereby decree we observe not one, but two minutes silence. Rhonda was wholeheartedly devoted to helping us all acheive our mutual revenge. Her loss is very tragic. She is worth two minutes easy in her honour." They all stood or sat around in various places. Birdy sat on a big couch with Droido on her left and Frosty on her right. Birdy draped her arms around each of their waists and drew them close to her. She bowed her head and began to weep remembering how very easily they could have met the same fate as Rhonda had moments ago. The thought of losing her best friends was too much for her to bear and she cried as quietly as possible during the two minutes. Frosty and Droido placed their arms around her shoulders offering silent comfort to her. Rubeus, Hypnotica and Thunderclap quietly frowned and glared at them. They each had a brief recanting moment because they knew how much Birdy and her friends meant to each other, since they were all friends like they were. But very quickly something inside them seemed to push their sympathy away and they deeply resented the way those three cuddled and Birdy sobbing like that made them sick. They knew that was a terribly wrong attitude to have. But even though sometimes they didn't fully understand they couldn't help being so critical. As for the others the Droids known as Jellax and Avocado were standing with bowed heads along with Birdy and Catzi's other two sisters in a group and Catzi herself sat down in front of a mirror and stared at her reflection dejectedly. She couldn't quite believe it was really true that Rhonda was gone forever. As soon as the two minutes were over Rubeus made another announcement. "Rhonda must not have died in vain. We must do all we can to help our cause succeed for her memory's sake. I have an idea for our Crystal Points." All the ladies moved in close to hear him explain. "That Point at the Martial Arts School was looking after itself okay. I suggest we place spells upon the Cosmetic Store and the ice cream parlour businesses of the exact same kind so that the humans running them unknowingly help provide strength to the Crystal Point locations in Crystal Tokyo. With three of the major key Crystal Points under control in the future it will advantage our allies while we come up with a new plan to capture Rini." They all thought this was an excellent proposal. That evening Birdy and her friends re-visited Beauty 4 You Cosmetics, Catzi took the company of Rubeus' friends Thunderclap and Hypnotica to call on the ice cream parlour and the other two sisters, Jellax and Avocado reset the magic spell over Grandfather's dojo room at the temple after making sure the coast was clear. With these three businesses running with their enchantments upon them, things were vastly improved for the forces of the prince in Crystal Tokyo. He sent word via his two creepy advisors that he was very pleased and Rubeus promised on behalf of them all that soon Rini would be their prisoner to send back to them in chains. Then he sat down himself musing over a new bright idea that was coming to him.
  14. There was a brand new ice cream parlour that had just opened up three days ago in town. Rini was walking past it and she felt very tempted to buy some. "Mmmm. So many yummy flavours. Mint, strawberry, chocolate-chip. I want some." But then she thought to herself, "Wait a minute. I can't afford to waste my time pursuing sweets or other pleasures like any ordinary kid. My mission is to find the Silver Imperium Crystal that this Serena is hiding somewhere. My mother is depending on it." And so she started to walk away when she heard somebody call out to her. "Hey there Rini." Turning round Rini saw it was Amy. "Oh hello." She waved and smiled. Amy and the others, even Raye, had all fully accepted that Rini was a mystery, but basically an innocent mystery. They had all forgiven her for her little prank involving the drug in their tea. Amy walked up to her and smiled. "Were you going to the ice cream parlour?" "Actually no. I was going straight past it." "My, but you have a lot of will-power," said Amy. "But I've heard that their ice cream is really good. Would you be persuaded to join me if I treated you out of my own pocket?" Rini thought for a minute. Hanging out with one of Serena's friends might be an excellent opportunity to ask innocent questions that could give her vitally helpful information. Besides she did adore ice cream. "Okay Amy. My favourite flavour cookies and cream." "Cookies and cream eh? I think I'll try that one myself." Rini ran towards the parlour. "Last one there's a rotten egg." She taunted laughingly over her shoulder. Amy laughed too and walking slowly cried out, "This rotten egg is taking her time." In no time at all, the two of them were seated at a table with enormous cookies and cream cones and they chatted while they ate. "I'm felling rather excited but also a little sad right now Rini," said Amy. "Why's that?" Rini asked curiously. "Well you see. I've been accepted to undertake studies over in Germany." "Germany? Wow!" "Yes wow indeed. It is my dream to study medicine to follow in my mother's footsteps as a doctor. I'm leaving in three weeks, but it will be very hard to leave my friends and they will miss me very much as well." "What's going to happen when it's time for you to go?" "They will come to the airport with me and say their goodbyes. It will probably be very tearful. Especially Serena. But they will all get over the grief in time. Just as I will." This was incredibly big news to Rini and it made her think to herself. "Maybe, just maybe, Serena intends to give Amy the Silver Crystal when she leaves the country to stop me from acquiring it. But I'll put a stop to her little game. I'll find a way to search Amy's luggage when she's about to get on her plane and if she does have the crystal I'll take it back to the future with me." So Rini began trying to formulate plans and strategies in her mind. But other people already had made a plan and strategy of their own for a highly different purpose. Later that night when the parlour had closed business and the staff were tidying up ready to go home they had three unexpected visitors. Birdy materialized in their midst along with Frosty and Droido. Droido's face was perfectly restored thanks to Frosty's kind assistance and she, along with her two friends stared at all the terrified ladies. Just as they were beginning to cry out in fright, they were silenced and put into a hypnotized state. Droido, Frosty and Birdy's eyes had all glowed with sinister influence and they were quiet as if the intruders were invisible to them. "Well done girls," said Bertie. "Now tomorrow when they all come to work they will carry on as normal, unaware that as they sell their ice cream and people eat it, the Crystal Point in the future city will be handed over to our allies on a silver platter." Frosty said, "I shall undertake my position as one of their number to oversee operations. They will work with me as if I really were one of them." Droido said, "I hope nothing goes wrong. Rubeus was very unhappy about our failure with the first Crystal Point." She hung her head. "And I was rather to blame." Birdy and Frosty cuddled her. Birdy spoke consolingly, "Hey! Don't keep dwelling upon it. We all make mistakes." Frosty added, "Live and learn Droido dear." Droido threw her arms around them both and they shared one of their intimate group hugs. "Thank you both. I'm blessed to have a pair of friends like you." Frosty said, "It's our pleasure Droido. And I'll be sure to do an excellent job. This Crystal Point will be ours." So the very next day Frosty joined the ice cream parlour staff dressed in a uniform just like they wore. They sold heaps and heaps of ice cream as the store was so popular and although none of the customers realized it, as they enjoyed their yummy treats in the 30th century the area corresponding to where the parlour building was standing became magically protected from those who were trying to fight against the shadowy prince and his forces. The Wiseman and the Grim Man sent a telepathic message to Rubeus saying how very pleased they were that their opponents could no longer set foot in that particular Crystal Point. Though their allies were free to enter and leave whenever they wanted. Rubeus complimented Birdy and her friends. "Keep up the good work and keep an eye out for Rini if she should show up wanting an ice cream." "You can depend on us Rubeus." The trio all mutually vowed to succeed. But the second day something unforeseen happened. Two extraordinary people decided to go out together for a date as a married couple. Just the two of them while their best friend who served as Nanny for their baby boy stayed at home to look after the child. As they prepared to go out the front door Dorothy said, "I hope you and Jed have an awesome day Tweetus. I know that Jordan and I will certainly will." Jed and Tweetus were both dressed in their very best clothes and they smiled as they cuddled their friend and their son in her arms. "We sure will, thank you Dorothy." "See you later Jordan." They heard their baby son speaking clear inside their minds. "Have fun Mummy and Daddy." He was also learning to speak vocally and added, "Bye bye." Jed and Tweetus kissed him, then stepped out through the door hand in hand. "Where shall we go first Jed?" asked Tweetus. Jed thought of a good suggestion. "Why don't we pay a visit to the new ice cream parlour we've heard so much about Tweetus? We can start with something sweet, then decide where to go next." "Sounds fantastic Jed." So the Youma couple went for some ice cream. At the parlour Frosty was serving out the ice cream with all the other girls, who indeed did not question her presence or where she came from. Jed and Tweetus bought themselves a pair of caramel sundaes with pistacchio nuts and sat down at a table together. "Let's dig in Tweetus." Jed raised his spoon and she grinned raising hers as well. But as soon as they took their first bite each, they were instantly full of a sense of foreboding. They were very prone to picking up magical or psychic auras after their experiences serving the Negaforce with Queen Beryl and they could tell there was magic of a sort going on here. "Jed." Tweetus leaned in close to him and whispered, "I can't tell what is happening, but there's something very suspicious. I could feel it when I tasted my sundae." "So could I Tweetus," Jed whispered back. "Wait a minute." Birdy had just entered the parlour wearing a bright blue sequinned dress and a purple parasol. As she folded it up and went over to quietly talk to Frosty at the counter, Jed's intuition told him that those two people were connected to the feeling he had. Tweetus felt it also. Though Birdy and Frosty were speaking casually in words that would sound innocent even if anybody did overhear them, Jed and Tweetus were highly suspicious. "So how's business today Frosty?" "No pun intended but Birdy, but I'd say it was cool." The two ladies chuckled for a few seconds, then Birdy said, "I have some things I really need to discuss with you privately. I've been given some suggestions for your parlour that you may find interesting." "Okay Birdy. Come with me." Turning to the nearest of the staff members Frosty told her, "I'm taking my friend down to the basement for a very important talk. I want you and the others to all carry on working until I come back." "Yes." The woman answered and as Frosty and Birdy walked past the counter through the preparation room and beyond Jed and Tweetus rose from their table leaving their sundaes behind. "There's no time to waste Tweetus," said Jed as the two of them exited and ducked into a nearby alleyway. Out of sight Tweetus transformed into her alternate form and she and Jed transported themselves hand in hand materializing in the basement. Barely half a second after they arrived the door opened and Frosty and Birdy appeared in the entrance. They were both startled to see a blond man accompanied by a strange woman with long black hair, red eyes, but no nose or mouth, dressed in a blue body outfit. "Who are you?" gasped Frosty. Tweetus said, "We are members of an extra-terrestrial race who have come here to live in peace incognito on earth. We psychically sensed magical energy when we started to eat our ice cream and we know that you're behind it." Jed added, "Whatever evil you're perpetrating we won't allow you to hurt any of the people here in this city." Frosty and Birdy were very nervous and they tried to explain to the alien couple. "We assure you that we are not perpetrating anything evil. We have no intention of hurting anybody," said Frosty. Birdy seconded her plea. "We are only trying to seek revenge against others who have caused us hurt and grief elsewhere in time." Jed indicated that he was not convinced by their claims and neither was Tweetus. She said, "A likely story." Raising her arms, Frosty and Droido saw two huge columns of water rise up before each of her open palms from the floor. "You attempt to attack me and my husband and I'll summon up enough water to mash you to pulp. So heed my warning and surrender." Birdy sighed and said, "Water eh? Frosty this is all yours." Before Jed and Tweetus' startled eyes Frosty suddenly changed appearance. Her ice cream uniform became long, icy-blue and white robes and a silver headdress with a large blue jewel in the center with the upside-down crescent moon. Her long blue hair was styled in elaborate long ponytails in loops and an icy blizzard-like wind emitted from her mouth. Tweetus found her water frozen completely solid and she and Jed were overcome by the biting cold. As they collapsed chattering Birdy waved her folded parasol at them conjuring up a transparent crystal cube trapping them both inside. Relieved from the cold attack they jumped to their feet and found they were unable to break free. They shook their fists and yelled at Frosty and Birdy but not even the sound could escape. Birdy sighed. "This was a close call Frosty. It's awkward but we'll have to keep these two prisoner while we carry out our mission. Make sure they get food to keep them alive before the parlour closes." "I will but I hate to have to do this to naive innocent beings Birdy." "I agree but we'll have to try to show them by kindness that we mean nobody any harm. If we are to have our righteous vengeance against the King and Queen of Crystal Tokyo we must not allow any hindrances but try not to cause hurt while we do so." Jed and Tweetus couldn't make out what they were saying and they continued to curse them in rage. Dorothy and Jordan were very upset when Jed and Tweetus failed to return. By seven o'clock Dorothy had filed a missing persons report with the police and when they had left promising to let them know immediately if they had any news, she next phoned Serena. "Jordan and I are both extremely worried Serena. Something really serious must have befallen them if they were unable to defend themselves. Tweetus especially is so powerful." "This is dreadful news Dorothy. Tell Jordan I'll call Raye and the others and we'll hold a meeting at the Cherry Hill Temple. I vow we will locate them." "Thank you Serena. I shall try to comfort poor Jordan." As she hung up the phone Dorothy ran to gather up Jordan in her arms. She told him everything and as he began to wail she heard him clearly in her mind. "Oh my Daddy. My Mummy. I want them back safe and sound." She began to sob also and stammered, "S-s-so do I J-jordan." The following morning Serena, Amy, Lita, Mina, Luna, Artemis and even Rini all joined Raye to observe her try to consult the Sacred Fire. "Great fire. Please tell me where to find Jed and Tweetus. They are in terrible trouble. Please tell me now." She earnestly and fervently prayed but she raised her head in despair. "This is serious. The fire cannot get even the remotest reading on Jed and Tweetus." Amy tried her data computer. "They must be in a heavily protected magical environment. Even my computer isn't picking up a trace." "Poor Dorothy and Jordan," said Lita. "They'll be overcome with grievous worry." Artemis said, "You girls must all search the city. Including you Amy while you're still with us." They all swore to find their missing friends and Rini just observed quietly. She was mostly thinking about how she might get a chance to spend time with Amy before she left and search for the Silver Crystal. But in the meantime the five girls searched high and low for Jed and Tweetus. But no success. And then on top of that Amy learned that her appointed time to be at the German university had been moved ahead by two weeks. She had to re-schedule her flight's departure and the week went by super fast while she tried her best to help her friends with the search. Amy felt dreadful but she had no choice but to prepare for her departure leaving the others to carry on without her. Now there would be no time for her friends to see her off at the airport after all. They had far more important matters on their hands. And furthermore all this time Frosty was keeping Jed and Tweetus secure in the ice cream parlour basement and as the public kept going back for ice cream again and again, the more they ate, the more strong was the hold their allies had over the Crystal Point in the future. It was at this time that the Sailor Scouts were preparing to consider checking out the area of town where the ice cream parlour was located. Mina was observing the crowd out the front from where she sat on a nearby public bench with Artemis by her side. "It's really weird Mina. Luna tells me she usually senses evil vibes anyplace where people are planning no good. But nowhere in town is giving off any such alerts to her. So we must keep searching all places blindly for our missing friends. I suggest that when the crowd thins down towards closing time we call the others and investigate this place together next." "Roger Artemis," said Mina. She was determined like the rest of the Scouts to track down and rescue Jed and Tweetus. She called all the others, except Amy, who was trying to get ready to pack for her flight when it was three quarters of an hour to closing time. They came as fast as they could and Luna and Artemis directed them to sneak around to the back of the building, where they all transformed and joining hands in a circle just like when they transported themselves to Queen Beryl's domain they shimmered and vanished. Only this time they merely transported to the nearby basement and they also took Luna and Artemis with them. They had stood in the middle of this circle so they'd be included in the magic along with the Scouts. There they discovered Jed and Tweetus still held prisoner inside the transparent cube prison. Their faces lit up with hope when they saw their friends. Tweetus had changed back into her human form since she had no mouth with which to eat the food Frosty always gave them. Birdy had even been thoughtful enough to magically supply a small bathroom in the corner big enough to house them one at a time. They were still very resentful about being held prisoner, but all their needs were being met by their captors. However they eagerly pressed their hands and faces up against the crystallized walls and Sailor Moon threw herself up against the other side sobbing with joyful hysterics. "Jed! Tweetus! We've been so worried!" Then turning to her friends she asked if there was any way to free them. Sailor Mars stepped forward. "Let me have a try." She took her charms out of her pockets. "I call upon the power of Mars. FIREBALLS CHARGE!" And so she placed a couple of her charms on the cube near both edges and they all held their breath to see what the effect would be. The charms burst into flames and burned away to ashes. But to the mutual disappointment of all present, Jed and Tweetus' prison was not so much as even blemished. Just then the door opened and Frosty appeared accompanied by Birdy, who was dressed in a blue outfit resembling some sort of swimwear, tall, blue boots that went up to her knees and white bandage-like gloves. Droido was also with them and she was in the same appearance in which Sailor Moon had fought her complete with the perfume dispenser perched on her head with the pump hanging down. The three of them had the usual trays of food and drink for Jed and Tweetus, but they pulled up short when they saw the new intruders. "It's the Sailor Scouts!" cried Frosty. "Our enemies! Those evil monsters!" snarled Droido. Sailor Moon and her friends couldn't believe what they had just heard. "What do you mean by that? I am Sailor Moon, the sworn enemy of all that's evil. On behalf of the Moon and our respective planets we will punish you three monsters." Birdy screamed. "You're a liar! You and your friends are murderers! Frosty! Punish them!" Even as Sailors Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Venus began to run forward to take up battle positions, Frosty transformed into her icy-blue robes and headdress and then bombarded them with her icy breath. The Sailor Scouts keeled over shivering with the cold and so did Artemis and Luna, who had been going to help them fight. They could feel themselves slowly freezing to death and they couldn't fight back. It was as if they were caught in an arctic blizzard. Not even Sailor Mars had the strength to try her fire attack. She was struck down and couldn't so much as sit up and stop hugging herself with chattering teeth. They didn't know what they could do. Jed and Tweetus watched horrified but helpless to make any attempt to intervene. Droido and Frosty walked into the cellar and moved off to the side to watch in satisfaction and admiration for their mutual friend. "Frosty will execute them slowly and painfully Droido. We will be doing our prince a great service. If we can kill them here in the past, logically they will disappear out of existence in the future." "Yeah. And then the lives of all our loved ones they murdered heartlessly will be avenged. I'm so excited Birdy." Birdy and Droido were rubbing their hands together gleefully, as Frosty relentlessly blew her tormenting icy breath like a blizzard. Ice was even forming on the floor where the Sailor Scouts were crouched huddling close together, vainly trying to share bodily warmth. It did not look hopeful for them at all. Meanwhile at Amy's house, she was just finishing packing the last of her luggage. She snapped the locks shut on both of her two suitcases while Rini was watching. Amy had agreed to allow Rini to visit her during the afternoon before her flight was due to depart at half-past seven that night. It was now half-past six and Darien had promised to show up around now to drive Amy to the airport. "There. I'm all ready now for when Darien arrives Rini." "That's good," said Rini. She had formed a plan and was about to bounce her ball and use some of her magic to hypnotize Amy, allowing her to carefully search her suitcases for the Silver Imperium Crystal. But before she could proceed with her intention Amy's mother walked in saying, "Amy. Your friend Greg's on the phone. You'd better have a quick word with him." "Okay yes Mum." Amy jumped up and followed her mother out the room to the phone. "Pardon me Rini." Rini couldn't believe the way things had turned out. "Well, this is my chance." Bouncing her ball she said quietly, "Mini Magic Tricks. Give me an X-ray scanner and detector device to check Amy's luggage for the Silver Crystal." Her ball changed into a rectangular device with a monitor screen, which she placed on the lid of each suitcase. Looking at the images projected onto the monitor she searched for anything that even remotely resembled the Silver Crystal and she pressed buttons that would enable the machine to actually identify if it should be hidden inside anything. If it had been detected Rini intended to magically pick the lock and use the key around her neck to return to Crystal Tokyo. But she couldn't get any positive reading. "I guess Amy mustn't be taking it away after all," she thought to herself. So she changed the device back into her magic ball and innocently sat down to wait for Amy to wish her goodbye. But she never saw Amy come back. Instead Amy's mother came in and said, "Rini. Amy's gone." Rini jumped up in surprise. "What? Why didn't she take her luggage?" Amy's mother wasn't in the least bit looking upset as she opened a suitcase and began to unpack. "Because after her friend Greg called her up and chatted for a few minutes, she told me she realized that she wasn't really ready for this move yet. She's not ready at fifteen years of age to leave all her family and friends and quit her regular schooling to go and study to be a doctor. She really wants to wait until she's more grown up in another three or four years. To be honest I'm rather glad she changed her decision at the last minute and so's her father. We were prepared to support her choice if she did take the opportunity now, though we rather wanted her to wait until age eighteen." Rini's mouth hung open as she struggled to find words. "Uh. Um. So where has she gone if she's not going overseas?" "As soon as that nice man Darien arrived and we explained the change of plans he agreed to drive her instead to meet up with her friends and tell them the exciting news. I know they'll be very happy when they find out." But Rini's thoughts were racing. "Could this have all been an elaborate trick to distract my attention? What if while I was trying to spy on Amy the others all helped Serena hide the Silver Crystal someplace else? Oh, it's so unfair. But they won't beat me. I will discover where they have put the crystal for my mother and our world of Crystal Tokyo." While Darien was driving Amy to where she directed him she said to him personally, "I'm so very glad Greg called me in time to tell me about the vision he had of my friends in trouble before I boarded the plane Darien. They need me more urgently than I need to go and study. They need Sailor Mercury to help them fight these strange new enemies." "I understand Amy. Do you want any back-up from Tuxedo Mask?" Amy paused a moment, then replied, "If you please Darien. This is one time according to Greg's vision that I must save the others on my own. If Jed and Tweetus are to be freed in particular, you must rather wait outside in the car." "Sure. Okay. I trust Greg and what he says he foresaw," said Darien and Amy thanked him. As soon as they pulled up outside the closed ice cream parlour, Amy jumped out and transformed into Sailor Mercury. Then she said, "I hate to break the door down like a burglar would do, but this is an emergency." Darien climbed out of the car and said, "Wait a minute Sailor Mercury. You never said that Greg's vision would forbid me helping you get inside the building at least. Let me put my shoulder to that front door." "Okay Darien. But I insist we do it together." "Very well." Darien and Sailor Mercury steadied themselves ready to charge at the same time. "On the count of three Mercury. One. Two. Three." They both threw their shoulders at the door and it splintered upon their combined impact. "There you go. Good luck," said Darien as he runned his shoulder and walked back to the car. Sailor Mercury thanked him. Then she was running towards the basement as fast and as silently as she could. When she reached the open door to the basement she could see the scene just as Greg had described it to her. While Frosty continued to threaten to freeze her friends into snow-corpses she summoned up her most powerful new attack ever since she had frozen the Cardian Skulker during the alien attack upon the little babies in the Day Care Center. "MERCURY ICE STORM BLAST!" Without even alerting anybody to her presence she shouted out her attack and just as Frosty turned around in shock at the sound, she screamed as she was hit and encased, not in ice per se, but an icy mist that surrounded her and appeared to be causing her pain as well as having trapped her. "Hey! Sailor Mercury's here!" cried Sailor Moon. "Sailor Moon! Attack her now!" Sailor Mercury pointed at Frosty and Sailor Moon took her tiara saying, "Yeah. Yeah." But just as the tiara turned into the scepter, a different sort of icy blast blew Sailor Moon off her feet. It came from Birdy's outstretched hands. "No! No!" She cried. "Not dear Frosty!" At this very moment Droido was squeezing her perfume pump and spewing forth her acid to carefully cross above Frosty's head melting the icy prison that held her. Birdy ran towards Frosty shooting her attacks at the other Sailor Scouts taking them by surprise. Droido had tentatively turned to attack Sailor Mercury, but she had inexplicably disappeared from the doorway. So she ran after Birdy and together they caught Frosty just as she was about to collapse face down on the floor. Somewhat scared Birdy cried, "Let's get out of here girls." But before they de-materialized she gestured magically to the prison cube and Jed and Tweetus disappeared from inside it. Sailor Mercury entered the door from where she had deliberately ducked backwards out of sight and helped her friends to their feet. She did have some slightly awkward explaining to do. "Mercury. What just happened?" asked Sailor Venus. "Didn't you realize those other two enemies were also present?" asked Sailor Mars. "Why didn't you zap them also?" groaned Sailor Moon. "I'm sorry everybody, but Greg phoned me to tell me I couldn't leave because of a vision he'd had of you in trouble. He told me specifically that I actually needed to let them all escape after initially saving you for the sake of Jed and Tweetus. You would never be able to get them out of that magical prison trap. It was too strong. The only way was for them to free them as they fled." "But where are Jed and Tweetus?" cried Sailor Jupiter and even as they watched the cube itself faded to nothing. Sailor Mercury didn't know. Greg's vision hadn't been clear about that. But then their friends materialized in their midst themselves. "Jed! Tweetus! Are you all right? What happened?" Sailor Moon blurted out. "We're not sure Sailor Moon," said Jed. "We were harmlessly transported to the other end of the city far away. We transported ourselves back here to make sure you were all right," said Tweetus. So as they all discussed things together the story began to become apparent. But it was even weirder than ever. Sailor Moon was almost at her wits' end. "So there was definitely some kind of magic in the ice cream. And yet there has been no evidence that they ever caused anybody harm. People kept coming back again and again to eat more ice cream with no adverse reactions." Sailor Mars continued Sailor Moon's confused train of thought. "And they didn't harm Jed and Tweetus, though they imprisoned them. It's very much like the Cosmetics store. They were trying to run a respectable business. Yet still as soon as they saw us they tried to kill us." Sailor Venus chimed in. "And they spoke as if we were the enemy. They accused us of murder in fact." Sailor Moon was almost ready to have a fit. "Ah! This situation is so nonsensical I'm about ready to lose my mind." Anyway in conclusion Jed and Tweetus helped out by using their own magic to repair the front door of the parlour as they all left. In the morning the staff would come to work finding nothing out of the ordinary and they wouldn't remember Frosty or her friends at all. Jed and Tweetus thanked the Sailor Scouts for coming to their rescue, wished them good luck and transported themselves back to their home where Dorothy and Baby Jordan were both so overjoyed to see them back safe and sound. The five girls changed back to their civilian identities and there was just enough room for them all to fit inside Darien's car, so he could drive them all to their homes. Artemis and Luna decided to patrol the city together for awhile that night on the offchance they could locate any clues to these unusual ladies. Darien delivered Raye, Mina and Lita first and picked up Rini at Amy's house. Then he dropped her and Serena off together. But Serena could tell by the look on his face that there was nothing to be discussed and he would not come in to talk to her family at all. She wasn't truthfully too worried about Darien currently anyway. She and her friends were all mulling over the mystery they were facing. So was Darien since they had explained it all to him in the car. "Goodnight girls," said he as he pulled up at Serena's house. "Goodnight Darien," said Rini and Serena also said goodnight though they momentarily shared a pained glance at each other. Darien sighed and drove away leaving her forlornly standing there. Then Rini said, "Come on inside Serena," and with a groan she did turn to follow Rini inside and get ready for dinner followed by bed. As for Birdy and her friends they reported to Rubeus. He was forced to smile and compliment them. "Even though the Sailor Scouts put a stop to your work at the ice cream parlour and you failed to destroy them, I have received word from the Wiseman and the Grim Man that our prince is very pleased with the successful establishment of our power over the corresponding Crystal Point in Crystal Tokyo." "Thank you Rubeus. We worked as hard as we could. Especially Frosty." Birdy placed her hand on Frosty's shoulder, who grinned and said, "It was my pleasure to serve our mutual cause." Rubeus said, "Thank you. You three may take a rest from active duty now. I will appoint other members of our team to the next Point when I'm told where it will be. But in the meantime keep thinking of ways to trap that Rini." "Yes Rubeus." The trio bowed and left his presence. Together in private quarters they sat around in a circle discussing what had just happened that night. Birdy said she sincerely hoped that those two aliens were alive and well. "I sent them as far away from the Sailor Scouts as possible. Hopefully they were not tracked down by them. I hate to think what may have happened to them." Droido said, "What you fear Birdy could have happened to Frosty tonight. And it almost happened to me on that earlier occasion." Frosty was very upset but so relieved to have escaped with the help of her friends. "I'm indebted to you both forever." "Don't sweat it," said Birdy. "We're friends you know. But we've had a couple of very close calls. Let us solemnly vow to watch out for each other in our future participation in this war against those wretched Sailor Scouts and the rulers of Crystal Tokyo." Droido and Frosty agreed and they clasped hands. "To protect each other for our friendship," said Birdy. "We will stick together," said Droido. "Fight together always," said Frosty. "Best friends side by side," added Birdy. "Come whatever may we will be inseparable," added Droido. "To the very end," added Frosty on a solemn note as they sat together looking at their joined hands for the next three minutes or so at least.
  15. Inside their time-travel spaceship, hovering over a secluded area in the nearby countryside surrounding the old city of tokyo, Rubeus was staring at the city on his large computer monitor. Ever since Catzi and Rhonda had returned after Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask had injured them, he had been trying hard to relocate young Rini. But she was very elusive. It was a big city. She could be anywhere and she had been very discreetly careful not to send up any more of those flares inside of her since the time one accidentally burst forth when she was under extreme duress with Serena at the Cherry Hill Temple. Yes the search for Rini was very important, but earlier that day he had received new side-orders from the Wiseman and the Grim Man. He intended to put one of the sisters onto it. Catzi's arm was still healing with band-aids and disinfection, from where Tuxedo Mask had stuck three roses into her like a pin-cushion, so he decided to put Birdy to work. "Birdy. Report to me at once," he spoke into the intercom and in less than two minutes Birdy approached through the passage doorway. "You called Rubeus?" He almost had a fit when he looked down at the floor where she was standing. "Birdy. Why are you barefoot?" Birdy smiled and explained, "Me and Frosty and Droido were in the midst of manicuring and pedicuring each other." As if on cue Frosty and Droido came padding through the door behind Birdy to stand on each side of her. They proudly raised up one of their legs each and stretched them straight out. "See our beautiful painted toenails Rubeus?" "Bright orange. Isn't it adorable?" Rubeus snapped angrily. "I don't want to look at your stupid feet!" Droido sniffed with offence. "You don't have to be so rude you know." Frosty added, "Yeah. What's your problem Rubeus?" Birdy put in her two cents. "You used to always speak very nicely to us." Rubeus was momentarily on the verge of apologizing. But something inside him suddenly seemed to make him stubborn and he said, "Never mind. I have important orders from our prince delivered to me by our mentors." Birdy, Frosty and Droido were insulted, but still they were always loyally attentive to orders. "Tell us Rubeus," said Birdy. Rubeus explained, "While we are searching for that child we can be doing something to help tighten our allies hold on Crystal Tokyo in the future. We can take over shops and businesses in strategic points. We place the real staff into a hypnotic trance and make them stay inside the staff rooms so we can sell the products which we infuse with magical properties. They won't harm the innocent people who use it here in the past. But the more we can sell and get them to use the spell will have a potent effect upon the same area of Crystal Tokyo. It will result in a strong magical aura surrounding what we call the equivalent Crystal Point of Crystal Tokyo. Those who oppose us in the future will never be able to enter that part of the city, though our allies will be free to enter it and establish our take-over of each major Crystal Point without any opposition." Birdy and her friends forgot all their resentment with Rubeus upon hearing this. "This will be lots of fun," said Frosty. "What's our target Rubeus?" asked Droido eagerly. "Here it is." Rubeus pushed a button and indicated a make-up and beauty store. "I know how much you love cosmetics Droido. I want you to manage the shop while Birdy and Frosty do all they can to help you." Droido was very happy and eager to get going. Birdy said, "You can count on us Rubeus. Let's get our shoes on girls." In the meantime Serena was wandering the streets when she saw Darien up ahead. He had his back to her and she ran up to him joyously calling out his name. "Hey there Darien!" Upon hearing he turned around as she threw her arms around him. "I'm so very glad to see you. I've been so worried about that really bad scene with my Dad yesterday." What had happened was that Serena's family had chanced to be walking along the street together when they came across Serena sitting at an outside table at a cafe with Rini and also Darien. The three of them had been sharing milkshakes and sundaes but they were rather nervous when Dad, Mum and Sammy came up to them. Especially Dad. He was not very comfortable in seeing his daughter and his little neice (as he believed) in the company of a man who was unfamiliar to him. "Serena. Who is this stranger you're with?" He had demanded to know. Darien was getting extremely nervous, breaking out in a cold sweat and Rini was just staring, saying nothing at all. Serena tried to explain innocently. "Ah well. You see this is my friend Darien. He treated Rini and I to these sweets today." Dad was still frowning heavily, though Mum seemed to be more relaxed about it smiling. But then Sammy had to go and make a remark that really pushed Dad over the edge. "Serena. Don't you think he's way too old for you?" That really did it. Dad looked like he was going to blow a gasket and Darien jumped up from his chair saying, "Heh-heh. Think I'd better be leaving. Bye Serena and Rini." "Come back here you creep!" Dad almost looked like he was going to give chase, but he refrained upon noticing the people at the other tables staring at the scenario. Serena was very upset but Mum said to her cheerfully, "Serena if he's a decent fellow you have my approval." Dad and Sammy couldn't believe it. Dad protested, "But dear. He's too old. Just like Sammy said. And Serena shouldn't have been seeing him without our knowledge." Mum said firmly, "Well I admit that it would have been better if Serena had told us about him. But Darien is not a stranger to me." Serena, Sammy and Dad all gasped while Rini stared wide-eyed. "Where do you know him from Mum?" asked Serena. "I met him years ago before your brother Sammy was born Serena. I was working as a check-out lady in a supermarket and Darien was one of my co-workers. He had just come out of an orphanage as an adult. Nobody had ever adopted him and so he was seeking to make a life for himself. The rest of the staff as well as myself helped to settle him into the apartment he probably still rents today. We all felt especially sorry for him because he had amnesia from a car accident in which he lost his parents. He may not remember me but to this day I remember him." Serena recalled how Darien had told her about his past as much as he could remember in the elevator back when they had been attacked by Queen Beryl's sadistic Youma General Zoicite. She never dreamed that her mother had crossed his path during part of that time. Dad and Sammy were completely taken aback and looked away from the people watching what was publicly unfolding. Dad stammered an embarrassed apology to Serena and Mum suggested inviting him to come for dinner next week. Serena had been going to mention this to Darien just now presently but he pulled himself out of her embrace and backed away saying, "That issue with your Dad has worried me too Serena. It's made me think we should break up." Serena couldn't believe what she was hearing. "No Darien. You can't mean it. We have been destined for each other at least one thousand years." Darien did not want to hear any excuses or rationalizations. "That was in the peaceful time of the Moon Kingdom Serena. Your father the King in our past existences gave full consent to our proposed union. But your father in the new time and place we live in thinks I'm too old for you. We can't stay together anymore under these circumstances." Serena began to beg and plead. "But Darien. When you left my mother said," He cut her off turning away with his arm held out straight. "It's over Serena. Your father has decreed it. We're through." He said this very loudly, though he did add more quietly, "I'm sorry but it's all for the best." With that he turned and walked away leaving her struck speechless and building up tears as she reflected upon this. Finally she burst into full-scale crying. Her tears were strong and constantly gushing out of her eyes as she staggered off in the opposite direction. How could Darien be so cold and heartless, just because of one incident yesterday? Why wouldn't he even listen to her explanation? While she was walking along sobbing she almost collided with a white-haired woman in a yellow dress. "Whoops. Take care there," said the woman. It was Birdy. Serena wiped her eyes and sniffed. "I-I'm sorry. Pardon me ma'am." Frosty was at Birdy's side. She was black-haired and dressed in a pink dress. "Hey. You're crying." There was genuine concern in Frosty's voice and Birdy was also sad to see her tears. "Care to tell us what the matter is?" Birdy asked. Serena wiped her eyes, blew her nose and said, "I just had a terrible shock. My boyfriend broke up with me." Birdy and Frosty were deeply sorry to hear this. "That is terrible indeed," sympathized Frosty. Birdy held out a flier and said, "If it will cheer you up, would you like to have a browse in the Beauty 4 You Cosmetics Store. I'm the manageress there and we're having specials this whole week. My employee here and myself are walking around town trying to distribute these to the public." Serena held out her hand and took the flier having a glance at it. She did need something to desperately try to cheer her up. "Thank you. I believe I will walk over to your shop and have a browse." Birdy and Frosty wished her good day and hoped she felt more cheerful. When she left they looked at each other and Frosty said, "The poor thing seems so very nice. It's a shame her boyfriend broke her heart." "I'll say Frosty. I hope she cheers up when she visits the store we took over. Droido will look after her and all the other customers. Now come. Let us finish passing out all our fliers." Serena was among the very first customers to visit Beauty 4 You. Droido had already sold a couple of cosmetic products to young women who were leaving as Serena arrived. Though Serena wasn't aware Luna had happened to be walking by and seeing her enter the shop, decided to quietly follow her and see what she was up to. While a few other ladies were browsing through the products considering what they wanted to buy, Serena stepped up to the counter. Droido was standing in position dressed in a smart sales-girl uniform and neat, short, brown hair. "May I help you young lady? she asked, but then she noticed Serena's expression. "Oh dear. Why do you look so sad?" "N-nothing." Serena didn't particularly want to talk more about it, but Droido bagan placing products on the counter recommending them to cheer her up. "Why don't you wash those blues away with our special moisturizing cream? Then I suggest making yourself look pretty with these other products." Looking at the bottles Serena thought a minute, then asked considering, "Do you think if I use your make-up to look pretty then my boyfriend will come back to me?" Ah. So this was why she was unhappy. Droido cheerily replied, "Yeah. I'm sure he will. If you look gorgeous enough he will realize he can't live without you dearie." But then Serena thought about how scared Darien had been of her father's furious accusation and she began to re-consider things. "But even with make-up, I don't think Darien will easily change his mind." Droido tried to encourage her. "How do you know he won't? Go on dearie. Why don't you just try our products? You have nothing to lose and you just may gain him back." Then Serena lost her cool reserves and began to shout at just a slight volume level. "Hey! You don't even know the full story of my break-up with my boyfriend! I know he won't come back to me just because I spruce myself up! You're just trying to persuade me to buy your stupid make-up! Well I won't buy anything you selfish, unfeeling woman!" This was kind of mean and rude of Serena. It was partially true that Droido was interested in trying to sell as much make-up as possible so that their hold over Crystal Tokyo would be strengthened. But at the same time she had felt genuinely sorry to see sad Serena and had been trying to help cheer her up and give her encouragement. If Serena had kept control over her feelings and politely declined things would have next gone very differently. But Droido was deeply hurt and also having this come after the way Rubeus had been so uncivil when she and Frosty had tried to show him their orange-painted toenails from their pedicure made her lose her own cool. She reached out and grabbed Serena's wrist as she tried to walk away and snarled menacingly. "How dare you speak to me like that when I was trying to be nice?" As Serena struggled and cried out, "Let me go!" Droido continued to be angry. "I want an apology you little tramp." The other ladies began to place their products back on the shelves. "I'm not buying anything from here," said one. "Yeah. I won't recommend the shop to my friends. Not after this incident," agreed another. And with that they all filed outside and realizing what had just happened Droido squeezed Serena's wrist even harder. "You just made me lose all my customers!" "It's your own fault you know. It wouldn't have happened if you hadn't started abusing me." Just then Birdy entered. She had decided to give Frosty the task of finishing off the flier distribution so she could see how Droido was doing. She was surprised. "What's going on?" Droido felt rather ashamed and bowed her head still holding Serena. "I'm sorry Birdy. This young girl was rude to me and I lost my cool. The other customers all stormed out." "Oh dear. You should have controlled your temper," sighed Birdy. Serena was also feeling regretful. "I suppose I was at fault too. I guess you did mean well. I humbly apologize. Can you let go of my wrist now please?" But Birdy said, "I don't particularly like this. But since we're not likely to get any more custom when word spreads we have no choice but to force this girl to put on heaps and heaps of our make-up to meet a good quota." Serena couldn't believe her ears. "What did you just say? Release me right now!" She desperately pulled but Droido's grip was firm. "I'll keep her here Birdy while you get some bottles. I'm deeply sorry it has come to this." Droido's face was heavy with regret and Birdy brought as much make-up as she could carry over next to Serena on her side. She was sad too. "We won't hurt you dear. You can wash it all off when we're done if you like. We just need you to initially use as much of our make-up as possible." "ARE YOU BOTH CRAZY LUNATICS????" Serena shouted at the top of her voice. Luna decided she'd observed enough. It was time for action. Racing as fast as she could Luna sprang up onto the counter and then straight up at Droido's face taking her and Birdy by surprise. She sent Droido stumbling backwards into the shelves behind her making them collapse spilling ointment and powder containers down upon her as Luna quickly zoomed away to the side. The powder jars burst open sending a big cloud rising up where Droido lay coughing and gasping for breath. Birdy was very upset to see her buddy have such an awful accident. "Oh no! Droido!" She ran round the counter, plunging into the powder cloud to help her. Serena had also fallen over when Droido had suddenly let go of her wrist and she exclaimed, "Luna!" upon seeing the resourceful feline come running up to her. "Serena. I think these people may be enemies. Transform before they get free of the debris and dust." "Right. MOON CRYSTAL POWER!" When Birdy hauled Droido to her feet, the pair of them were coughing and sneezing and trying to wipe the powder from their eyes with handkerchiefs. "Is that girl still here Birdy or is she run off?" "I am not sure Droido. Wait there's somebody here. What the?" As their vision cleared they beheld Sailor Moon before them. "I am Sailor Moon and if you two are up to no good I shall punish you." Birdy said, "We know who you are Sailor Moon. Catzi and Rhonda told us all about you. And we will now destroy you to prevent you interfering with our plans for Crystal Tokyo. Droido. Do your stuff." Before Sailor Moon and Luna's startled eyes Droido spun herself around once and her appearance changed. Her skin became pale-blue and her hair green and long at the front of her head hanging down in long strands. She appeared to have a round, metallic hat on her head with a long tube and big ball on the end of it. It was actually a perfume dispenser and the rest of her clothes comprised a short skin-tight blue and purple dress with green leggings. Most freaky of all was the large, red jewel stuck in her forehead with the upside-down dark crescent moon symbol in it. Birdy was now inexplicably sporting one of those symbols, on its own minus a jewel on her own forehead. That had certainly not been there before. Sailor Moon was horrified but even more so when Droido seized the perfume pump in her hands, opened her eyes and her mouth really wide and squeezed the said pump. Incredibly some substance proceeded to shoot forth from Driodo's mouth. Sailor Moon ducked behind a shelf but as the mysterious spray hit the shelf and all its contents began to melt away. It was like Droido was projectile vomitting acid. Then next thing Sailor Moon and Luna knew she was suddenly zooming towards them on two cosmetic bottles. They were spinning like wheels and Droido was standing balanced on top. They didn't know how she had managed to do it but they had no time to care to wonder. "Look out Sailor Moon!" Luna yelled as she spewed forth another blast. It struck the wall making a gaping hole as Sailor Moon and Luna desperately ran down the corner corridor. But then disaster struck as Sailor Moon began to stumble and slip over other bottles and containers that were strewn along the floor. As she fell over with a shreik she landed on top of Luna knocking the breath out of her. Droido had now jumped off the bottles she'd been using just like skates and was walking towards them, perfume pump still in hand. Birdy had run up to the turn behind her and was grinning jovially calling out to Droido. "You're so awesome. I'm very proud of you Droido. Now kill her." "Yes I will Birdy." Droido opened her eyes and mouth once more and prepared to squeeze the pump before Sailor Moon's terrified eyes. Luna was stunned and barely even conscious. Sailor Moon knew before she had a hope of even getting to her feet it would be over for her and poor Luna alike. Just then a familiar red rose came flying through the air and stuck in the floor in front of Droido's path. Gasping she looked up to see a masked man in a top hat and tuxedo standing on the ledge of an open upper window. Birdy directed her own gaze up where her friend was looking and saw him too. So did Serena, who cried out, "Tuxedo Mask! It's you!" Tuxedo Mask declared, "Beauty is not merely skin-deep. You can be very gorgeously dolled-up in your face, but it's what's inside your heart that counts for absolute beauty." Droido sneered and answered scornfully, "Who are you to talk about the inner beauty Cape-boy? After what you and the rest of your people did to us in Crystal Tokyo?" With that she fired off a blast of her acidic spray and Tuxedo Mask had to jump and somersault into the air to avoid it as it struck the right side of the window and part of the ledge eating it away. Landing remarkably on one bended knee without hurting himself in front of where Sailor Moon and Luna lay, ne sprang to his feet just as Droido was aiming at him once again. He held out his cane and performed an incredible counter-attack. He twirled it rapidly round in his hand like a propellor blade. His neat little "parlour trick" deflected the jet of acid that spewed forth from Droido's mouth sending it straight back at her and into her face. As her hands flew up to her face and she coughed and choked, Birdy came running as fast as she could. "Droido! Droido! Oh my wonderful friend! Are you all right?" With her back to her Droido raised her face up and began to moan. "Birdy! I can't see! I've gone blind!" Her voice also sounded odd. Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon could see what the problem was and as soon as Birdy grabbed Droido's shoulders and spun her round she also saw to her horror. "Oh no! Your eyebrows, eyes and nose have all been melted away leaving only your mouth!" Tuxedo Mask yelled, "Attack now Sailor Moon." "Yes." She took off her tiara and it became her scepter, which she began to wave while the two women were pre-occupied with other concerns. Droido had pulled out a compact mirror and an eye-pencil and was trying to use it to draw her face back on. "Let me help you," Birdy implored taking the pencil off her and beginning to try to draw an eye. "MOON SCEPTER ELIMINATION!" Upon hearing Sailor Moon shout her attack Birdy turned and gasped upon observing the dangerous rays of coloured beams burst forth and begin to surround her and Droido. "LOOK OUT!" She yelled throwing her arms around Droido's middle as if she wanted to lift her and they vanished as the beams and rays all combined and exploded. "Ha! I got them," Sailor Moon crowed triumphantly. But then she heard Birdy's voice above. "No you missed us." "What?" Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask looked up at the half-destroyed window to see Birdy balancing precariously, her arms still around Droido. They looked like they might fall but Birdy angrily said, "You've won for now Sailor Moon. But this isn't over." Then she de-materialized with her friend. They re-materialized before Rubeus in their space ship and when Birdy explained quickly what had happened, Rubeus sent a telepathic message for Frosty to abandon distributing fliers and she also returned. She was very upset for Droido and sat with her carefully and painstakingly taking the time to draw her face as good as new. While she did this Rubeus held a meeting with the four sisters and the other Droids. "We must do something about Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. They are a big threat to any progress we try to make here in the old Tokyo. Also we must capture Rini. We need to spend some good quality time discussing our strategies. I'll be holding meetings regularly every day and I want all of you to think hard and try to come up with ideas for us to debate." They all nodded their heads around the table. Catzi looked at her arm which was still bandaged though almost healed fully. She also remembered how Sailor Moon had struck her in the face. She wanted vengeance against her and that rose throwing Cape-boy vehemently. So did Birdy. Her friend Droido could have been killed. The thought made her rage inwardly as if her blood were going to bubble and boil. All of them vowed to destroy them. Their future selves were part of their enemies at Crystal Tokyo. Revenge was what was motivating them. As for Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, he asked her if she was all right. When she affirmed that she was he said, "Farewell then." "Wait a minute Tuxedo Mask," Sailor Moon begged close to tears. "Surely you do still care about me because he came to save me." Tuxedo Mask sighed and held up his hand. "Look we're united in the fight against evil. I have a sixth sense bonding to you that tells me you're in danger and I fulfill my obligations. But I can no longer be romantically linked to you because your father will never accept me." Serena began to cry and beg. "But please Darien I," He flinched at being called Darien in his Tuxedo Mask identity but he raised his voice to silence her. "Enough! The matter is closed. Okay?" Sailor Moon said nothing but quietly cried and Tuxedo Mask turned and walked away, though he silently moaned regretfully to himself as he disappeared. Luna spoke suddenly at her feet. "Sailor Moon. Call the other Scouts to come and check these products out for anything sinister. There are also people emerging from the staff room. They seem confused." Sailor Moon obediently composed herself and called her friends on her communicator. Then she turned to address the real manageress of Beauty 4 You and her two employees. When Birdy and Droido had abandoned the store, their hypnotic trance had been broken and they wanted to find out what had been going on. When they saw Sailor Moon they asked her what had happened. She explained to the best of her knowledge and as soon as the other Scouts arrived the three ladies watched with suspenseful awe as Sailor Mars took one bottle after another and shut her eyes praying for any evil effects to be revealed to her. After the sixth and seventh bottles of make-up she stopped and said, "Well this is most peculiar indeed." "What have you found out Sailor Mars?" asked Sailor Mercury. Sailor Mars looked at her then at everybody as she answered, "Believe it or not. Absolutely nothing. There is no evil magic I can perceive that would cause harm to anybody if they were to use the creams, powders and other cosmetics in these products. For all practical purposes they're all just harmless make-up." Everybody, including Luna, was flabbergasted. What nobody knew was that the only sort of magic in the products would have been to generate power for the enemy to use against Crystal Tokyo in the future. Since they were forced to abandon the mission the magic had now been instantly dispelled. Just like the trance the real staff had been in. "What kind of enemies are we up against?" said Sailor Jupiter. "They put these women in a trance and took over their store," said Sailor Venus scratching her head, "only to essentially try to run it legitimately and honestly themselves?" The staff members were just as confused as the Sailor Scouts but they agreed to keep quiet about the weird incident while the Scouts tried to find out the truth. "Until we know for sure what their ultimate game is we'd rather you didn't let the general public know anything, thank you," Sailor Mercury told them. "You can count on us Sailor Scouts," said the manageress and they hung up a sign in their window the next morning announcing that the store lady who had lost her temper and acted abusively to a customer had been dismissed from the job and so it was all covered-up. But Serena was feeling very miserable because Darien had broken up with her. Her friends tried to comfort her and said surely he would recant his decision in due time. She hoped they were right but she still felt way down in the dumps.