This story came about from several conversations with the 'Cookeville Chibis' (ChibiKris, ChibiSetsuna and myself) about why there was no Sailor Earth. Eventually I came up with a story to explain it (I hope). And so here it is! Thanks guys, for giving me story material! And thanks to DrMM and Charles__ for encouraging me to keep writing. I couldn't have done this without all of you! ^_^
The sun was just beginning to set over the ocean, setting the sky aflame with different shades of oranges and purples. On the sand, six girls were playing a game of tag, laughing and screaming loudly enough for the three figures sitting further up the beach to wince.
"Not acting very princess-like today, are they Luna-chan?" the young man wearing dark sunglasses and beach trunks asked the black cat beside him.
Luna snorted, not even bothering to open her eyes. "When do they ever act princess-like, Mamoru-san?"
"Good point," muttered Mamoru as he watched yet another argument break out between his golden haired odango atama and her pink headed companion.
"Though come to think about it..." said the white cat, who was lying curled up on the other side of Mamoru, "none of the girls were very princess- like in the Silver Millennium either."
Luna lazily opened her eyes to observe the girls. "Oh, Serenity had her moments but she could be just as lazy and clumsy then as she is now."
"I can believe that," said Mamoru as he saw Usagi start to chase after ChibiUsa only to trip and fall flat on her face.
Mamoru watched as the other four girls quickly helped Usagi up and led her into another game of tag. The longer he watched them play, the more he began to wonder.
"Where's Earth?" he said to himself.
"Hmmmm?" voiced Artemis, barely awake.
"Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Venus.... why is there no Sailor Earth?"
Luna sat up, her eyes wide open, fully awake.
"Why, because you're the Guardian of Earth."
Mamoru looked down at the cat with an eyebrow raised. "Somehow, Luna, I believe there is more to it than that."
"Why would you think so?" asked Artemis, who was now also fully alert.
"Well... from what you've told us, every planet's throne was passed down from mother to daughter. There was at least one princess in each house every generation up until the Dark Kingdom attacked. THOSE girls in turn were reincarnated as the Sailor Senshi in this time... so why is there no Sailor Earth?"
"Um," began Luna, only to be cut off by Mamoru.
"Luna-chan, don't dance around the subject. You remember something, don't you?"
Luna looked away, remaining silent.
"Luna, please," begged Mamoru softly. "If there's anything you remember, I have to know. I don't remember my past or my family in this life, but with your help, maybe I can remember my past in my former one."
"Family is very important to you, ne?"
"I didn't think so until Usako and ChibiUsa came into my life. But when I see how close Usako and her family is, I wish I could remember my own."
Luna and Artemis looked at each other for several moments before Artemis nodded slightly. Luna lay down on Usagi's brightly coloured beach blanket. A sad expression crossed her feline face as she settled herself to begin the tale.
"You are correct Mamoru-san. Earth did have a Royal Princess; your mother's heir. However, when Queen Serenity used the ginzuishou to send the souls of the children on the moon to the future, you sister's was not among them."
Mamoru's mind was reeling, unprepared for the shock of hearing the word "sister" for the first time. "W...what happened to her?"
Luna sighed sadly. "When the Dark Kingdom invaded the Silver Millennium, their plan was to attack on two fronts: the Moon and Earth. Beryl was to take the Moon while her consort, Agate, was to strike the Earth..."
As she continued the story, her voice became more distant as long buried memories of his past life returned to Mamoru. Only the sound of the ocean remained as he watched the tableau of images unfold in his mind's eye....
The war had not been going as expected. His father's finest armies -- forces which had defended the Royal city as well as the entire planet for generations -- were inexplicably being pushed back to the Royal City of Edo itself at an alarming rate. Endymion poured over maps of the surrounding region, trying to find any sort of strategy which would turn the tide in their favour. So far, he wasn't having any luck.
Endymion glanced up from the maps to observe his four guardians -- generals in their own right -- arguing yet again over troop placement. Zoisite and Jadeite looked as if they were going to suffer a coronary, their faces were so red from shouting at each other. Nephrite and Kunzite were acting more civilized, but Endymion could see the lines of worry etched in each of their faces. Indeed, even he was starting to worry. As the verbal tirade between the two golden haired guardians gained decibels, Endymion knew he had to stop them before it came to blows.
"Jadeite-kun! Zoisite-kun! This isn't helping matters!"
The two guardians stopped shouting, each looking at their prince sheepishly.
"I apologize, Endymion-sama," began Jadeite, "but Zoisite seems to think if we move the 101st division to the East Ridge..."
"It will work!" interjected Zoisite loudly. "I tell you - moving the 101st to Calamarain is a mistake!"
"Well, so is moving them to the East Ridge!" shouted Jadeite as he glared at his companion.
Nephrite sighed and rolled his eyes as the two began arguing at the tops of their lungs again. Kunzite looked at his fellow guardians in disgust before slamming his fist down on the map-strewn table.
"Cease this useless bickering!"
Jadeite and Zoisite stopped dead in their tracks.
"That's better," continued Kunzite. "Fighting amongst ourselves will only aid our enemies' cause. We must work together to figure out the best of all possible scenarios if we are to have any chance at defeating Agate's armies."
Endymion nodded in approval. "Kunzite speaks the truth. Now, if Jadeite and Zoisite can keep from going for each other's throats, we need to decide where to place the 101st. It's our largest and strongest force. If we can place it in a strategic location, we might be able to trap Agate's troops between us and the Coulakritous Mountains."
"I agree," said Nephrite, looking over the maps. "But it has to be at a precise spot -- a wrong decision and we could lose the 101st."
"Kami-sama help us if that should happen," said Endymion softly.
They resumed their debate over troop placement and had narrowed the locations to two possibilities when a commotion was heard in the courtyard below. Endymion dispatched Kunzite to see what was going on. He returned a few minutes later with a wounded soldier in tow.
"What is it?" Endymion asked Kunzite, noticing how pale his oldest guardian had become.
"E... Endymion-sama, this is Captain Cheng -- he's just returned from the battlefield."
Cheng, paying no heed to either his wounds or General Kunzite, elbowed his way forward and fell on his knees in front of Endymion.
"My lord, Agate's forces have broken our line of defense and are heading towards Edo. Our armies have scattered and we believe a small force may have already infiltrated the city. Your lives could be in danger."
Endymion felt the blood rush from his face. "We need to get the 101st here now!" He barked towards Kunzite, who nodded.
"My lord," interrupted Cheng, "the 101st... it has been totally destroyed and the rest of our forces aren't in much better shape. I... I fear the Earth is lost -- and from the reconnaissance reports we received earlier, the Moon Kingdom is next..." The captain slumped to the floor, pain from his injuries finally catching up with him. Endymion remained silent as the fallen soldier was carried out of the War Room.
He could hardly believe what was happening. Their forces defeated...
enemy invaders in the city... the Earth lost -- and the Moon Kingdom was next.
The Moon Kingdom. Serenity.
He had to warn her. He slowly turned to his four guardians.
"Kunzite," he said softly, "I'm afraid there is no hope. I want you and the others to take a shuttle to the moon and warn the Queen..."
Immediately each of his guardians began to protest, arguing that they could not, nor would not abandon him. Endymion cut them off with a wave of his hand.
"There is another reason I want you to go," he explained. "I want you to protect the Princess for me."
"Endymion-sama, I mean no disrespect but... why don't you come with us?" asked Nephrite.
"I wish I could, but I cannot abandon my planet. No, I'll stay behind to organize the evacuation of the city. But most importantly, I have to get my family to safety."
Zoisite looked as if he might argue with his prince's reasoning, but Kunzite lay a restraining hand on his arm. "We understand, my prince, and will do as you command. We will warn the Moon Kingdom and protect your betrothed with our very lives."
"Thank you my friend." Noticing Jadeite's anxious manner to be on their way, Endymion urged them to go. "You'd better depart now before Agate's troops find some way to sabotage the shuttle bay... and before Jadeite has a stroke trying to get to his Princess Mars."
Jadeite blushed, ashamed that his feelings were so obvious to the rest of his companions.
Kunzite clasped Endymion's hand. "Farewell, my prince. And good luck."
"Don't worry about me. As soon as the city is evacuated, my family and I will join you on the Moon to help Queen Serenity defend her Kingdom."
"Hai. We'll see you soon, Endymion-sama," said Nephrite as the four guardians headed out the door to the shuttle area.
"Protect yourselves... and my princess," he said softly as he watched them go before turning back to his retainers.
The next hour found Endymion giving orders to the City Guard, directing them on the evacuation of the city. The Earth may be lost, but Endymion knew that anyone caught within the walls of the Royal City would be slaughtered.
By moving the populace to the countryside, they at least stood a chance of surviving to fight another day. His mother and father, the Queen and King of Earth, were elsewhere in the castle, organizing the evacuation of food, clothing and other necessities that everyone would need. Agate's forces may take the city, but the Queen would be damned if she were going to leave anything of value for them to plunder.
Endymion had just finished giving instructions for the evacuation of the Kiore district when he heard a soft voice behind him.
He turned to see a young woman, about five years younger than himself, standing just inside the doorway. She wore a long flowing silvery-white dress that shimmered when she moved. Her waist length raven hair was held back off her heart-shaped face with a silver tiara which held a pale green jewel in the centre. Her equally pale green eyes were filled with a mixture of emotions -- sadness, fear and worry among them.
"'Tia, what are you doing here?" he asked, rushing to the girl's side.
"You should be with Mother in the throne room, imouto-chan."
Tears filled her eyes as she gently took his arm.
"The news came in a few minutes ago... I wanted to be the one to tell you before you found out from someone else..." she broke off sobbing.
"'Tia? What is it?" A feeling of dread washed over him.
"Oh, Endymion... the shuttle carrying your guardians was attacked by Beryl's forces. They've all been taken... gomen nasai, onii-chan," she sobbed, as she flung herself into his arms.
Endymion felt tears sting his own eyes. His guardians... his friends since early childhood... gone? He knew what would happen to them now that they were in Beryl's clutches. Her reputation for brainwashing prisoners of war to serve her side was infamous. His four closest companions would now become four of his deadliest enemies. There was nothing he could do but pray for them and bid them farewell.
"Endy..." she said hesitantly, "there are also reports that Beryl's forces are preparing to attack the Moon within a matter of hours. Queen Serenity and the people of the Moon Kingdom will have no idea what hit them if they aren't warned!" She clutched him tighter and said very softly, "The Dark Kingdom has won, hasn't it?"
"Not yet, imouto-chan," he tried to comfort her by holding her close.
"Queen Serenity's forces are better than our own. They'll be able to repel Beryl, and when they do, they'll return with us to help liberate the Earth from Agate."
Endymion wished he could believe his own advice -- he had begun to lose all hope as soon as his sister had delivered her terrible news. But he wouldn't let his younger sibling know that... she had too much to worry about already.
The dark haired girl continued to hold her older brother close. After a few moments, Endymion gently pried himself loose and escorted her to the door. Suddenly one of the palace guards rushed into the room.
"Endymion-sama! Endymion-sama! Enemy forces have entered the city and are marching towards the Palace!"
"Endymion!" cried his sister.
The prince of Earth hesitated for only a moment before turning to the guard. "Ready the Palace Guard. We'll hold them off until the evacuation of the palace is complete. The city has been taken care of. All we need is to buy time for the palace personnel to get away. I'll meet you in the armory in three minutes."
"Hai," said the guard before bowing to Endymion and rushing out of the room.
"Endymion, no! You can't face them! You'll be killed!"
"Imouto-chan, I'll just be buying enough time for you, Mother and Father to escape. I'll be right behind you."
"Yes, I promise." -And I hope with all my heart I can keep that promise, love.- "Now go find Mother and Father. I'll see you on the Moon." He kissed the top of her head and half-shoved her into the hallway.
"I love you, onii-chan."
"And I love you, imouto-chan."
As his sister made her way to the throne room, Endymion rushed to the armory to ready himself for the coming battle. He had just put on his last piece of armour when a tremendous explosion rocked the palace, knocking nearly all fifty or so soldiers in the room to the ground.
"Kami-sama, what was that?" asked one soldier as he picked himself off the floor.
The captain of the Palace Guards stood up, all colour drained from his face. "By the gods... that blast came from the direction of the throne room!"
Endymion bit back a curse and took off out the door.
Mass confusion permeated the hallways as people ran screaming to and fro through the dust and debris floating in the air. He shoved his way past some hysterical ladies-in-waiting to find the hall leading to the Palace's grand Throne Room filled with rubble. The elaborate golden doors that served as the entrance to the Throne Room were gone, as was the doorframe... and the much of the wall. A charred hole filled with piles of stone, wood and other debris was all the remained of the once breathtaking entryway.
Endymion climbed over a pile of broken stone, blinking at the red-gold late afternoon sunlight that was filtering through the dust which hung in the air like a thick fog.
As his eyes adjusted to the light, he saw that where his mother's lovely stained glass doors that had led to the balcony had been, there was an even larger hole. The entire east wall had been completely blown away.
In shock, he scanned the room for signs of life. A low moan came from an area near what was left of his parents' thrones. In his haste to reach the sound, Endymion half-slid, half-fell down another pile of rubble before catching his foot on something. Looking down, he saw a body. The obviously dead man was wearing the livery of the Queen. Yuri, his mother's Seneschal, a man Endymion looked upon as a favourite uncle lay at his feet, another victim of Agate's merciless war. Staring at Yuri, Endymion realized in horror that if the Queen's Seneschal were still in the throne room, that meant that the Royal Family had also been inside when the blast occurred.
"Mmmmm..." The moan was closer. Endymion frantically pushed rocks and other debris out the way to get to the voice. Through the dust, he saw a hand poking out from under one of the huge stone blocks which had formerly been part of the outside wall. Quickly, the prince began removing the rocks, tossing them aside in his haste to see who was lying underneath, hoping whoever it was was still alive. His hopes evaporated like rain as he removed the last stone.
King Priam. His father.
Endymion choked back tears as he shut his father's eyelids. He would mourn later. He had to find his mother and sister first.
The moaning was very close now. He looked around and spotted the crumpled form of his mother lying about twenty feet from the body of her husband. Endymion rushed over, kneeling beside her to discover she was the source of the moaning.
The queen opened her eyes, the dark orbs filled with pain. "Endymion," she breathed, her voice barely above a whisper.
"Don't move Mother. I'll get help."
"No, son. It's too late," she said softly. Gathering her strength, she reached up to take his hand.
"Endymion, I'm dying. Your father's dead... you're King now until your sister comes of age. You must protect her."
"She survived the explosion, but she took the Heart from me. I'm afraid she's going to attempt to use it. You must stop her before she does.
She hasn't come into her full powers yet... if she tries to wield the Heart, she'll only succeed in destroying herself..." Queen Hecuba broke off into a fit of raspy coughing, winded from her long speech. Her breathing grew more laboured as she squeezed his hand one last time. "I love you..."
Endymion allowed tears to stream down his face as he gently kissed his mother on her forehead. "I love you too, Mama."
He knelt by his beautiful mother's side as she drew her last breath.
He kissed her hand and whispered goodbye before standing to look out at the countryside through the blasted out wall.
Buildings all over the Royal City had suffered similar blasts. As he did not see any signs of cannons, Endymion reasoned that Agate must be throwing levin bolts of magical energy from somewhere outside the city. Near the outskirts of the city, a skirmish was taking place between the City Guard and what looked to be reconnaissance troop from Agate's army. From the looks of things, the City Guard appeared to be winning, driving the enemy further from Edo. But he knew victory wouldn't last long. The main body of Agate's army, as well as the evil King himself, lay just on the other side of the steep hills surrounding the city, waiting for the perfect moment in which to strike. And with King Priam and Queen Hecuba dead, that moment would be soon.
Endymion turned his attention from the mini-battle to scan the area for any sign of his sister. A flash of white caught his attention. In the distance, climbing one of the steepest hills, was a slim, lithe figure wearing a tattered dress. How she had gotten that far out of the city in such a short time, Endymion would never know. He screamed his sister's name and took off after her, climbing and sliding down the crumbled wall to reach the ground.
He knew what she was going to attempt. That hill overlooked not only the city, but also the valley in which Agate and his forces were laying in wait. His sister was going to attempt to use the Heart, a focus for all living energy on Earth and second only to the fabled ginzuishou of the Moon in power, to destroy Agate and his followers. As her mother's heir, she had the ability to wield the crystal. However, she had not come into her full powers yet. Even then, that was no guarantee she could wield that kind of power. Queen Hecuba had been the last person to wield the Heart, and even she had not had full control over it. Endymion had to get to his sister before she tried anything foolish... otherwise both she and the Heart would be in great danger.
He ran through the near-deserted streets, thankful that the Palace had been built so close to the foothills. Quickly, he began to climb the steep path that led to the top of the hill. He had lost sight of his sister a few minutes back, and he prayed desperately to whichever gods were listening that he could reach her before she attempted to use the Heart.
Endymion was nearly to the crest of the hill when he was suddenly knocked to his feet by a soundless explosion. A pure, white light engulfed his world, effectively blinding him. He lay on the ground, riding the wave of power for what seemed like an eternity, yet really only lasted for the space of a few heartbeats. There was a sense of absolute calm within the light; a peace he'd never known before. He knew instinctively that the light was his sister's spirit... and that there was an air of finality within it, as if she were somehow saying goodbye...
The light gradually died away, and Endymion found himself lying on his back several feet from where he had been standing. He lay still, not daring to move, when another wave of energy passed over him. The air was filled with the screams of thousands, not all of them human, as he felt their souls being released from their bodies. Amidst this turbulent dark energy, Endymion could feel one bright spot -- his sister's soul. She had managed to harness the power of the Heart after all.
The power kept coming as Endymion struggled to his feet to resume his climb to the top. The energy increased in volumes, and the prince found himself actually fighting the currents of power to get to the top. Suddenly, he heard something which caused him to freeze in his tracks. A tremendous sound, like the Earth itself breaking in half filled the air. Then all was silent.
Endymion hurried the rest of the way up the hill. What he saw when he reached the peak was unbelievable. Agate's army had indeed been in the valley preparing to take the city. However, there was no movement among their ranks whatsoever. The valley was completely still. Where a formidable army had once stood, ranks upon ranks of bodies now lay on the valley floor. In one single act, Endymion's sister had wiped out Agate and his entire army. He knew that not even one foot soldier would have been left alive. But at what cost?
He saw her lying several yards down the other side of the hill, as still as the dead soldiers in the valley. Endymion slid down to her side.
Her skin was as pale as the driven snow, her silvery gown was in tatters and her raven was in tangled disarray.
As he cradled her limp form in his arms, he knew there was nothing he could do. The princess had saved her people and her planet, but she had sacrificed her own life to do so. Endymion held his sister tightly as he threw his head back to scream to the skies.
His beloved sister, the girl he gave piggy back rides to through the Great Hall, taught how to wield a quarter staff much to their parents' dismay, and who had looked upon him with complete adoration and love in her dark eyes, was gone. He stroked her limp hair and rocked her body back and forth, allowing tears to flow freely.
He wasn't sure how long he knelt there. Eventually he became aware of the light fading away as twilight approached. He gently lay Atalantia's body down and crossed her hands on her chest. In the light of the setting sun, he noticed something glittering on the ground next to where Atalantia had fallen.
Brushing away lose dirt, Endymion uncovered pieces of smooth, polished crystal.
It was the Heart.
Or rather, what was left of it. Before, the Heart of the Earth had been in the shape of a perfect circle, quartered by a cross -- the sigil of the Royal Family. Now all that remained was the cross, jagged at the ends from where the circle had broken away. The circle itself now lay in shards on the ground. Endymion had not been aware that shattering the Heart was even possible. But the fragments in his hand proved otherwise. He shuddered to think what kind of power it must have taken to shatter one of the most powerful artifacts in the galaxy.
And his sister had not only wielded that power, she had *used* it.
Endymion had always known that underneath her shy demeanor, lay the heart of a warrior. But she had paid the ultimate price -- her life for her world.
Endymion bent over to kiss his sister farewell before taking up the jagged cross section of the Heart. He turned and hurried back to the palace. He would mourn for his family later. Now, there were more pressing matters.
There was nothing left for him here. His people would survive, the Royal Council would oversee the reconstruction of the city, and life would go on. But for Endymion, there was nothing holding him to Earth. His guardians were gone, and his parents and beloved sister were dead. There was only one other person he cared for with his heart and soul, and she was in terrible danger.
Endymion ran to the shuttle bay, thanking the gods that it was mostly undamaged and the shuttles intact. He had to get to Serenity and quickly. If Beryl and the rest of the Dark Kingdom's minions hadn't attacked the Moon yet, they soon would.
As the shuttle cleared the Earth's atmosphere, Endymion clutched what was left of the Heart to his breast. He vowed Atalantia's death would not have been in vain. He would help bring the Dark Kingdom down or die trying.
Outside the shuttle, the stars twinkled serenely across the black velvet sky, and for a moment, Endymion thought he could see Atalantia's smiling face amongst them.
"... and when you arrived on the Moon to warn Queen Serenity, we were there with her when you told the story of Atalantia's sacrifice," concluded Luna.
"The princess of Earth did not die on the Moon, so therefore her soul was not sent to the future to be reborn," added Artemis.
"Even if she had been, the Heart of the Earth was destroyed. Its power is lost to us," said Luna, stretching.
Mamoru remained silent, going over his newfound memories in his mind.
He had a past now... and a family... something he'd never had before. And they were gone before he ever truly knew them. Tears came to his eyes. He quickly reached up to brush them away. Endymion had never had a chance to mourn the loss of his family. Mamoru would do so for him.
"Mamoru-san, are you all right?" asked Luna.
Artemis stood up. "I need to stretch my legs. How about joining the girls in a game of tag, Luna?"
"Sounds good to me, Artemis. Care to join us Mamoru-san?"
"Arigato, but no. Maybe later."
Luna nodded and started to follow Artemis, who was already bounding over the sand towards Minako, when Mamoru stopped her.
"Luna... are you sure there's no way she could have been reborn?"
"Hai. Both she and the Heart have been gone for a thousand years.
Gomen nasai, Mamoru-san," answered Luna as she turned and ran after Artemis.
Mamoru said nothing. Slowly, he reached to his neck and undid the gold chain he always wore under his shirt. Dropping it into his hand, he allowed the setting sun to play across the facets of the crystal pendant. He had worn the necklace nearly every day of his life, as it was the only thing aside from the clothes on his back that had been found with him when he was rescued from that terrible accident which had claimed his parents' lives. He had always considered the jagged stone to be a good luck charm. Now he knew luck had very little to do with it.
Lying in his hand was a cross... the centre of the Heart of the Earth.
Mamoru looked up as ChibiUsa called his name and waved at him. He smiled back at her as she ran off to join Usagi. Luna was wrong. Atalantia wasn't gone. He saw her every time ChibiUsa smiled, heard her voice whenever his future daughter laughed. Mamoru clutched the Heart tightly as he watched ChibiUsa play. When she was older, he would tell her about Atalantia's sacrifice... and about the aunt she would never know. But for now, Mamoru would hold Atalantia's memory in his heart, celebrating her life, treasuring her gift, and remembering her love.Author's Note: My second fic done... wow I must be getting ambitious! ^_- Any comments are welcome! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reading!