Lita and Mina were sitting on Lita's living room floor. They were having a sleep-over, but neither one of them could sleep because of the storm outside. They were cold, despite the fact the heater was on.
"Lita," Mina said drearily.
"Tell the thunder to stop. I'm tired."
"C'mon, Mina. Just try to drown it out and get some sleep." Lita laid down, but was unable to sleep. She tossed and turned, but could not find a comfortable position.
"This sucks," Mina said. "Why can't the thunder and the lightning just go away?"
"I know it's getting on your nerves."
"And what about you?"
"Frankly, it's annoying the hell outta me," Lita said sleepily. At that time, they heard someone knocking at the door. "I'll get it," Lita said. She stumbled to her front door. "Who is it?"
"It's Raye," said the voice on the other side of the door. "Hurry up and open this door already!" Lita did just that. Raye burst into the room.
"What's going on?" Mina asked.
"I don't know," Raye replied. "But whatever it is, it's big. I have a real bad feeling about it."
"Should we call Serena?" asked Lita.
"Wait until morning," Raye said. "I don't feel like listening to her whine all night." The other two agreed. "What about Darien?"
"What about him?" Lita asked.
"Well, it seems to me we could call him. I have a few questions to ask."
"Raye, you know how he feels about Serena."
"I don't mean that. He seems...different, or something. He's been acting strange lately."
"So let's call him!" Mina exclaimed.
"You sure your parents won't mind, Lita?"
"I'm sure. Besides, they're out of town for a couple of days." Mina picked up the phone, and dialed Darien's number. His answering machine answered. Mina left a message, explaining that they needed to see him as soon as possible.
"Answering machine, huh?" Raye said.
"Yep." Another bright flash of light, followed by a loud crack of thunder. The three girls jumped. They looked at each other. The look of fear was evident on each of their faces.
"Call Serena," Raye said.
* * * * * * * * *
Serena made her way downstairs to the kitchen, her eyes still filled with tears. She opened the refrigerator door. The cold air brushed against her. It seemed to calm her. She sighed, and her communicator sounded. She answered it.
"Hi, Serena," said Lita. "We have a situation over here."
"Where are you guys?"
"At my house."
"I'll be right over! Hang on." Serena put away her communicator, and rushed out the door. Her family never heard her.
* * * * * * * * *
Serena ran for all she was worth. She was still thinking about Darien, and Armageddon. Her boyfriend could be the one to start it, and there was nothing she could do about that. At least, that is what she thought. She thought right. She was powerless to stop Natas in physical battle. Since he was spawned from hell, no weapon forged could stop him.
Serena ran all the way to Lita's house, not caring that she was getting soaked by the rain. When she got there, she knocked on the door, and was let in. They other three girls could not tell that Serena had been crying, since the raindrops and the teardrops had run together on her face.
"What's up?" Serena asked.
"We were just discussing the fact that Darien has been acting strange lately, and Raye got some bad vibes," Mina said.
"What about Amy? Does anybody know what we're going to do about her?" Serena asked.
"No," Raye replied calmly. "I think it's best if we try to solve one problem at a time, though." Raye looked around. Then, she noticed something. "Does anybody hear that?"
"I don't hear anything," Lita said.
"Exactly! It's quit raining!" The four girls looked out the window. The rain had stopped, and the clouds were breaking up. "This is a good sign," Raye said.
"A good sign about what?" Mina and Serena asked at the same time.
"I'm not quite sure, but I'll bet it has something to do with Amy or Darien."
"Hello, girls." The four girls turned to the stairs, startled. They saw Darien.
"How did you get here?"
"I walked. I got your message, Mina. What's up." There was a tone in Darien's voice that the girls had not heard before.
"Darien, I'm so glad you're here!" Serena shouted before rushing to him. They embraced each other, but the warmth Serena normally felt was not there. "Darien, what's wrong? You seem...different."
"What?" he asked as if he didn't really care.
"Serena, honey, it's the same old me," Darien said with a smile that was not a smile of comfort. Rather, it was a sort of smile that usually meant he was laughing on the inside.
"Darien..." "Darien," Raye said. "Quit being mean to her."
"What? And risk a touchy feely moment?" Serena's eyes began to water.
"How can you say something like that to me?" Darien turned around. His reply made Serena burst into full-fledged tears.
"Because I can." Darien went up the stairs, and jumped out the window. He landed on his feet. Then, he turned into Cashia, since he was not really Darien at all.
"Massster will be pleasssed. Now, I mussst find thisss Darien."
Back in Lita's house, Serena was crying her eyes out.
"Guys," Raye said. "I don't think that was Darien."
"Me neither," Lita said.
"Who could it be?" Serena asked, her words barely audible.
"Maybe a minion from the Dark Universe?" Just then, Raye had a brilliant idea. "Aha! Now I've got it! Natas feeds off of hatred and destruction, and he also knows that Serena and Darien love each other deeply. He's trying to get them to hate each other, thereby increasing his strength!"
"That would explain what just happened," Mina said.
"So let's go kick his butt!" Lita exclaimed.
"Uh-uh. No can do," Raye said. "If we face him in battle, he'll kill us. We have only one option." The four girls huddled close to each other, and Raye explained her plan. They would get Natas to witness Serena and Darien's love. If all went well, Natas would be weakened from their open displayment of true love. It was the perfect plan, as far as Raye was concerned. The other three girls felt the same way. Now all they had to do was get the real Darien, and let him in on the plan. Easier said than done.
* * * * * * * * *
Cashia was searching for Darien. He leapt from rooftop to rooftop, but could not find his target. Then, when on the rooftop of the Crown Game Center, he spotted a man who looked very much like Darien. This was because he was Darien.
Darien had decided to take a walk right after the rain had stopped. He needed to clear his head. He kept thinking about the event which had occurred so many years ago. Every time he thought about it, he wanted to scream. But, he was out in public, and screaming would make him look insane.
As Darien stood at a corner, waiting for the cars to pass, he saw Cashia out of the corner of his eye. As the last car passed, Darien took off running, and Cashia followed in hot pursuit. Darien ran as fast as he could, but Cashia was faster. Cashia caught up with his target, and grabbed him. Then, they disappeared. The whole thing lasted all of ten seconds. Darien couldn't even yell for help.
* * * * * * * * *
Natas was staring into cold, empty space. He was pondering how to bring forth the demons of hell, and at the same time get revenge for the loss of Queen Beryl. The answer seemed so simple, yet it was very complicated. Destroy the Sailor Scouts. It seemed like an easy thing to do, but it was really one of the hardest things an entity could try to do. They were smart, and knew when to retreat. Also, they were true friends, which was their real main strength. As a matter of fact, it would prove to be their greatest weapon.
Natas was thinking of all this when Cashia appeared, with Darien. Nothing was said. It was the most awkward silence Darien could ever remember. Finally, after three minutes of deafening silence, Natas spoke.
"Bring him here." Cashia did just that, and Natas looked Darien in the eyes. "You just had to expose me, didn't you? You just HAD to make my existence completely miserable!"
"I was a little-"
"Silence! I don't want to hear you speak. You will serve me well in my conquest of the world."
"What if I don't want to be a part of it?"
"Then you will die like the rest of Earth's pitiful humans. Now, I must take my new form."
"What...?" Natas slowly moved toward Darien, still being held by Cashia, and smiled.
"Now have a taste of my hell." Natas grabbed Darien by the throat, and merged into him. The experience was the most painful Darien had ever felt. But, as quickly as the pain came, it went away. Darien's eyes were now black, and his voice was slightly lower.
"Burn, baby burn." He smiled wickedly.
* * * * * * * * *
Serena, Lita, and Raye were sitting by a fire. Raye was trying to get a reading from the fire.
"Oh, great fires of Mars, show me where Amy is." An image of Amy, sitting up in her bed, appeared. "She's escaped!" Then, an image of Darien appeared. It looked right at the three girls, and began to laugh maniacally.
"What the...?" Serena said.
"How......?" said Lita.
"Oh no..." said Raye.