Important Note: Please see Author's Note for disclaimers.
Well... Here, I'll give you a summary. All rights regarding to Sailor Moon
series and the characters involved go to Naoko Takeuchi. However this fanfic,
along with the new attack for Sailor Mercury, are of my creation.
Author's Note: This fanfic takes place during the middle of the original Sailor Moon series, where all of the seven Rainbow Crystals has been discovered. Sailor Venus, though, hasn't made her appearance yet.
The skies over the city of Tokyo rolled with thunder as flashes of electricity
temporarily illuminated the city. The rain was falling in torrents, drenching
everything. Except a for few occasional people who loved the rain, everyone
was cuddling under roofs, seeking shelter from the downpour.
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden was completely deserted, and the people were long gone, for it was night. It was silent here, except for the sounds of the rainstorm.
This uncanny silence was interrupted by the shrieking of an intense electrical disturbance taking place in the park. All of the water in the vicinity was instantly converted to steam.
Arcs of electricity appeared in one spot, slowly building in fury and intensity. It expanded until the maelstrom had covered a good chunk of space.
Something shifted once, but reverted back to normal. Then it shifted again. Electric bolts began to swirl around the tiny rip inside the fabric of space and time, feeding it energy so it would widen.
It continued for several minutes before the electrical currents gave out, their energy spent. The rip then collapsed, shrinking into nothingness. But they had completed their task.
In the place where the disturbance had taken place, grass still smoking, stood a lone figure. The female visitor gazed around, indifferent to the cascading stream of rain. A strong gale wind continued to ruffle her blue and white school uniform which closely resembled a sailor uniform. She centered her focus on the Tokyo Tower several miles away, it's lights glowing in the darkness like a beacon.
"This is Tokyo." She smiled as she identified the city. "Good, I have come to the right place."
She shook her head several times to remove excess rainwater out of her short, blue hair. She also attempted to smooth out her skirt, but relinquished a moment later when the wind refused to give up.
Amy Mizuno took a deep breath, releasing it all in one sigh. She turned around and walked away from Tokyo Tower into the darkness, the rain embracing her.
Exactly five minutes later, an enormous lighting bolt, measuring at least twenty-four feet in diameter, streaked out of its birthplace from within the black clouds. The temperature of the current rivaled that on the surface of the sun as it aligned itself nearly vertically against the skies and detonated when it reached its destination.
A seven-story building was blown apart when the bolt struck, igniting dozens of small fires. Windows within a four-hundred foot radius of the impact shattered, littering the ground with glass shards.
The Tokyo Fire Department would respond to the freak bolt strike within minutes, and numerous national bulletins would be issued across the city to warn residents of a possible second freak bolt.
However, the Bolt never paid a second visit; it had completed its mission. Certainly, there may be several reconsiderations about the status of the mission it had undertaken, but Tokyo was no longer of any value to the Bolt.
The building was now a pile of smoldering debris and drawing a considerable amount of people who stood gazing at the extent of damage. The firefighters spent hours trying to contain the 17-alarm blaze, and had it under control less than fourteen hours after the freak bolt struck.
The glass, however, remained a serious problem. The streets would have to remain closed for several days until the mess was cleaned up.
Among the crowd of onlookers were several girls. Mostly, the group was ignored because there was something far more entertaining for people to watch. They did not realize that the group was there for an entirely different purpose.
"Will you look at that!" Serena gushed excitedly, annoying Raye, who was wearing a gray sailor school uniform.
Amy shushed Serena and returned to her work on her compact hand computer. She ran her fingers across the keyboard, inputting data for the computer to digest. Several moments later, she frowned, disappointed as it outlined the results. But she was relieved as well.
"Well, the good news is that Zoycite and Malachite aren't involved." Amy lifted her head, shutting off her computer. "That was just a perfectly naturally occurring phenomena that just went a bit out of control."
"Naturally occurring phenomena...? Are you sure?"
Amy looked down at Luna, a black cat who had developed the ability to speak human language. Luna had a crescent moon symbol on her forehead, which could be easily mistaken as a scar.
"Yes, I'm sure of it. A lighting bolt is merely an electrical discharge which accumulates..."
"I know what it is. I just wanted to make sure that Negaverse isn't involved." Luna replied coolly.
Amy blushed a bit for lecturing Luna, who was once Queen Serenity's assistant. She put her computer into her school case, and observed her friends' reactions to the destruction.
Serena, an unusual fourteen year-old girl with blond hair, was continuously making remarks about the demolished building. She had two balls of hair, one on either side of her head, which shot out two long strands of thick pigtails that reached her waist concealed under her school uniform, similar to Amy's.
On Serena's left was Lita. A good six inches taller than the rest in the group, the girl with a brown ponytail [on the top of her head] was the tallest. She was wearing her usual old brown sailor school uniform, mainly because when she had transferred into Serena's school, there was no school uniform big enough for her. There were rumors flying around her school that Lita had been kicked out of her previous school for fighting. Outside she seemed to be a very tough lady, but somewhere inside she was only a shy young teenage girl who was simply feeling a bit insecure.
Amy understood Lita's feelings. She had felt the same when she had transferred into Serena's school, Crossroads Junior High School. She had no friends and was scorned because of her high intelligence. Until, that is, she met Serena, who became her best friend as well as Lita's.
Opposite Lita's side was Raye Hino. She was just as different as the others in the group. She had long black hair that reached her waist, and had a fiery personality. She was also a priestess who took her practices seriously. She had seen her mediate for hours straight nonstop without even taking a break.
Maybe too seriously, Amy thought as Raye told Serena to quit yapping around.
"You're a bad person." Serena whined, her face awash with tears. This infuriated Raye.
"I'm... That does it! I've had it with your useless chatter!" Raye exploded "You are a complete idiot who can't even walk without tripping up. You can't even study. Look at you! You're also fat! And y-you..."
Raye faltered as Serena burst into tears when she heard the remark about her being fat. She tried to make Serena stop crying, but whatever she said inexplicably made matters worse. Lita sighed and shook her head as she knelt beside the wailing Serena, prodding her gently.
"Come on, Serena." As Lita spoke to her, she gave Raye a brief intense glare, signaling that she had gone too far again. "I'm sure she didn't mean it. Hey, why don't we leave this place and go buy some ice cream?"
Serena brightened a bit "Ice cream? Really?"
Lita nodded, smiling. Serena eased up a bit, reducing her tears to a mere trickle before rubbing her eyes dry. When she reopened her eyes, they were sparkling blue.
"Ice cream, really? Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go!" She leapt into the air with joy.
Amy returned her friend's smile, briefly glancing down to Luna at her feet.. She had her head down, swaying gently and muttering to herself quietly, "This can't be..."
Amazingly, nobody in the crowd had noticed the recent event, they were far too mesmerized by the destruction to spare them a glance. Occasionally, a person would crane his or her head away from the mess a bit, only to snap back to the smoldering cement.
Amy felt someone tugging at the sleeve of her uniform. She turned around to see who it was with a small sound indicating curiosity. Serena was tugging, asking if she would like to have some ice cream with her.
She looked at Serena's bright blue eyes, and found them to be nearly irresistible. No wonder it was so difficult to turn down Serena whenever she got into trouble. She was just so beautiful with those sparkling eyes, and she radiated innocence which frequently caught people by surprise. But somewhere inside her, a tiny but forceful voice echoed.
Amy shook her head. "Oh, I would like to, but I have to go home and start studying for my class tomorrow."
"Again? Doesn't she ever rest?" She heard Lita mutter.
Realizing that convincing Amy was now hopeless, Serena went over to Lita and began pulling her along, asking if she could have a triple-scoop sundae with chocolate syrup, a couple of peanuts, and a cherry on top.
Raye rolled her eyes, "There she goes again..."
Serena heard that. She let go of Lita, who nearly tumbled to the cement, and huffed over to the priestess. Raye prepared herself for some rude remarks. However, she was caught off-guard when Serena displayed a big chunk of red cell tissues. Furious at the fact that Serena had done it first, Raye returned her greeting with a bigger slab of her own tongue that easily dwarfed Serena's. The girls were soon locked in one of their infamous tongue duels, creating a considerable amount of noise.
Luna collapsed even further to the ground, covering her head with her paws, she was terribly embarrassed at the display of childness from Serena and Raye. Unwilling to become involved in any way, Amy slowly edged away from the confrontation, bumping into Lita.
"Oh, sorry about that." Amy apologized.
"No problem. Where are you going?"
"I have to go back home to study, remember?"
"Oh, that's right. You know, you oughta take a break from studying and enjoy life. There's more than just books and studying, you'd be surprised."
Serena and Raye's bickering was beginning to draw several stares, and more people were beginning to realize that there was something far more entertaining to watch than a heap of metal and dust. Lita realized that if this continued, there would be some chatter among the crowd. Sure enough, Lita heard several people making bets on who would win the quibble.
Amy picked up her school briefcase and smiled at Lita, who returned it with one of her own, bidding farewell.
"Good-bye! See you tomorrow!" Amy waved to Lita before turning around, and breaking into a soft jog.
Lita watched her friend slowly recede into the shadows cast by the setting sun. She sighed as she turned to the battle zone. The confrontation was getting out of hand. She was afraid that soon they would start pulling hairs. The brawl also had attracted an uncomfortable number of people, which were increasing by every second.
Lita started moving, passing Luna who remained silent and immobile. She was determined to break it up before things really got out of hand.
"All right you girls, that's enough..."
Exhausted, Amy closed her school books and put them aside. She had been studying ever since she got home, and was starting to see arithmetic equations everywhere. She sighed, rubbing her eyes in hopes that they would vanish when she reopened her eyes. They did.
Relived, she turned off her desk lamp, considering several options, and choose one.
Amy shifted her chair around so she could resume her seemingly endless task of browsing through the so-called internet, searching for vital data on the Negaverse, a special zone which theoretically existed somewhere inside the sixth-dimensional plane, a notion still unheard of by humans.
The beings who dwelt there had physiognomies similar to those of humans, except that there were many basic structural variations. This did not necessairly mean that Negaverse and terrans were of the same race. One of the major differences was that everyone had the ability to harness various forms of energy.
Another major difference was that the beings were unbelievably evil. They were bent on the conquest of planet Earth. Amy and her friends, Serena, Raye, and Lita, fought them often as Sailor Scouts.
Zoycite and Malachite were among the villains from Negaverse. Jadeite and Nephrite were part of Negaverse, but Nephrite was killed by monsters, or youmas, created by Zoisite. Jadeite disappeared after his last encounter with the Scouts and had never been seen again. Also, the Sailors had defeated every youma the Negaverse had sent to Japan.
Zoisite and Malachite had somehow found out about the Rainbow Crystals. It was said that if the seven Rainbow crystals were brought together, they would transform into the Imperium Silver Crystal, a powerful crystal. If the Negaverse ever got their hands on it, it spelled doom for Earth and not even the Scouts be would able to stop them.
To make things worse, Negaverse had gotten the first four crystals, and the mysterious Tuxedo Mask, whom Serena, had fallen in love with, had also acquired two of the crystals. Despite the fact that he had saved the Scouts from numerous predicaments, his intentions remained shrouded in mystery. They were not sure whether or not if Tuxedo Mask was an ally.
That left the Scouts with only one crystal, which left them at a big disadvantage.
This was one of the reasons why Amy was browsing through the data graveyard ridiculously referred to as the Internet. She knew that the information on Negaverse and its leader, Queen Beryl, was hidden somewhere. She just had to find the right path.
Amy sighed as she realized that she had followed yet another false lead. Most of the information she had obtained from the Internet was either inferior, obsolete, or false.
She backtracked to her original search pattern and decided to use a different strategy. As she was about to execute her newly-formed strategy, her computer beeped as it stumbled across an unusual electronic document. With nothing to lose, she decided to take a look.
Hmm... seems to be a report on several odd events taking place somewhere above the Arctic Circle. Abnormal readings of three electromagnetic storms in the upper atmosphere. Sudden fluctuations in temperatures and complete blackouts of several major outposts, and unexpected emergence of the Aurora Borealis. There were several...
Wait a minute. Something was wrong. Amy rechecked the document. Electromagnetic storms and blackouts of the outposts?
Solar flares from the sun often create electromagnetic storms which can damage the fragile electronic circuit boards and cause blackouts. A massive solar flare in 1987 had scrambled the electronic grid across eastern Canada and created chaos when electronic signals were jammed in northern and eastern parts of the United States.
However, there were no reports of solar flares, and the sunspot activity on the sun, which often creates solar flares, had diminished to almost nothing over the last few years.
"Something odd is going on up there, but what?" Amy mused, as she continued reading the document.
She was so focused upon the report that she gave out a tiny yelp when her computer announced an arrival of electronic mail, beeping urgently.
Amy was breathing a bit quickly, and forced herself to relax, reminding herself that it was only a message. But from who?
Nobody, except her friends whom she had bade good-bye several hours ago, knew her e-mail address. Even so, her friends lacked the skills and experience necessary to even operate a computer, let alone to send an electronic message. Who then? It might be Luna. She certainly had considerable experience in working with computers, and knew her address.
Amy's face clouded as a thought crossed her mind. Why would she use e-mail? Why didn't she use one of the communicators that had been issued to every scout? Better check the mail.
If she had ignored the mail and finished reading the document, she might have realized that Queen Beryl had set up her base somewhere within the Arctic Circle, and would have saved the Scouts the countless days of the grueling search for Beryl.
But tonight, carelessness was on Amy's side, as she closed the document and eased her attention from the Internet. Within minutes, she located the mysterious mail which beckoned her to read its contents.
Suspicions arose when she completed her preliminary observation of the electronic message. There was no sender's name or address anywhere.
The subject heading read:
Amy felt a chill in her spine when she read the subject heading.
This was not from one of her friends; of this she was certain. Amy
conducted another observation, which failed to turn up anything unusual,
except that the mail came alone. There were no follow-ups or attached
Amy began to feel uneasiness grow inside her as she decided to take a peek at the mail. Her computer hummed quietly as it processed Amy's request, displaying the contents of the mail on the monitor.
The mysterious reports from the north ceased to exist. Every thought was banished from Amy's mind when she read the first sentence. Her brows furrowed in concretation as she tried to assimilate the mail into her brain.
"What's going on?"
I am very disappointed in you. I had expected better than this. It was so easy for me to locate you, and bypass your so-called defenses on your computer. Surely you could've come up with something better than that.
You're nowhere as smart as you think. You're so naive, assuming that nobody could bypass those ridiculous security codes you had programmed into your computer, and that your records would be kept confidential.
Yes, I know who you are. I know everything about you and your friends.
Don't bother trying to trace this mail. there's nothing you can do about it, because I know how you think.
Good night, Amy.
Oh, by the way, I strongly suggest that you should reconsider your strategy. Searching like that through the Internet is completely useless.///
Amy reeled from the monitor, her head spinning in shock. She just couldn't believe what she just had read. A few moments passed before she could form a single cognitive thought.
"Whoever this intruder is, he knows who I am!"
But she just couldn't figure out how could that have happened. Someone had bypassed the most sophisciated security system she had ever devised, but how? And more importantly, how much did the intruder learn?
Her breathing had become shallow, her eyes blinking in disbelief. A few drops of sweat appeared on her forehead while she remained immobile, still several feet from her computer.
There was a brief, intense humming sound as the monitor blinked off and then on, snapping Amy out of her trance. The mysterious e-mail had vanished.
"Noooo!" Amy quickly sprang forward at the computer. She began typing a frantic attempt to recover the lost mail, but no trace remained. All records of the mail had somehow been destroyed, and wiped hard clean off her hard drive.
"Impossible! It couldn't have just disappeared!"
Immediately, she re-launched her e-mail software, attempting to search the database of her ISP.
Every internet server provider, or ISP, keeps a complete record of everyone who logs into their server. Every Universal Resource Locator, or URL, visited, e-mail sent and received, files retrieved FTP, Archie and Veronica, and etc, is recorded and catalogued into their archives, even without the loggers' knowledge or consent.
Also, those records are kept confidential, and no-one without proper security clearance or authorization can access them. Those archives were vital to her, because it contained Amy's logging records.
She simply bypassed the rather ineffective security system and shut off the intruder detection program. She hated doing things like this, entering the archives without clearance and tampering with the security system. No, she shouldn't have done this. But she saw no other choices.
She desperately needed the records in the archives, and there was no way to retrieve them short of breaking into the system. She had to bypass the security because she didn't want to be caught committing a crime...no, several crimes: illegal entry, tampering, and theft of confidental records.
Amy brushed the thoughts aside as she located her records. Her name flashed across her screen, followed by a warning:
RECORDS OF AMY MIZUNO
UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY PROHIBITED
Amy disregarded the warning, and shattered the electrical locks on her case, opening it. She sat there, still, as her computer downloaded the contents of her file, breathing rapidly in fear.
If she had been frightened by the mysterious mail, then what she had discovered could have given her a heart attack.
Her record was completely empty, save for one file. Every peice of information her ISP had gathered on her over the past year had been erased.
"How is that possible?" Amy exclaimed, "I thought the files of the archives were locked against erasure of any kind."
Without warning the lone file opened itself, catching Amy, who was still recovering from the recent shock, off-guard.
///Amy, I told you not to bother looking for me. I knew you would try to recover my first mail and trace it to me, so I erased your records clean. (Oh, yes... it is possible to do so.)
Even if you find my mail, which I seriously doubt you could, it will still do you no good. I had the mail rerouted through dozens of servers, making it impossible for you to trace the mail.
Also, you're in deep trouble right now. You have just broken into the Archives illegally, and shut off the security systems. That's several laws broken, and if you remain here too long, you will be eventually caught. That's something I don't want to happen.///
Several tears formed in her eyes as fear began to swell up inside her at the realization of what she had done. Her body began shake slightly, unable to contain the despair and fear inside.
Amy moaned. "Oh, no. What have I done? This can't be happening."
Her computer began beeping intensely, demanding her to continue reading.
///So I am going to do you a favor and kick you out of the Archives before you get caught, which I want to avoid. The security will be reactivated as well, so don't return to the Archives.
Before Amy could react, her connection to the archives was cut abruptly by the unknown person, sending her computer into a frenzy as its programming tried to reestablish the connection. Amy quickly put her quivering hands into action, shaking off the shock.
NORTH TOKYO NISHIJO INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER
ENTERING THE MAINFRAME
ACCESSING CENTRAL ARCHIVES
***USER ANONYMOUS ACCESS FORBIDDEN***
The unknown intruder was right; the security had reactivated itself when her connection had been terminated. She didn't want to bypass them again. She was lucky the first time, and she didn't want to risk a second attempt. Who knows if the unknown intruder had also beefed up the security system as well?
She gave up and withdrew from her e-mail software. She was too scared to notice that her computer had kicked in to erase the trail she had left behind into the ISP connection.
By the time Amy had finally shut off her computer, she was shaking uncontrollably. She struggled to control her body and forced herself from the desk over to her bed nearby She stumbled to the floor repeatedly, as she failed to control her body.
Amy managed to reach her bed, covered with aquamarine sheets and pillows, and crawled upon it, still shaking. At this point, she lost complete control and began weeping. She had never felt this vulnerable or alone.
Her shaking steadily got worse as her weeping slowly turned into sobbing.
"Please tell me it isn't true. Please..."
Dozens of images of the unknown intruder, each scarier than the previous flashed across her mind and left her even more afraid.
Amy forced her eyes, still wet from tears, open and stared outside her room window at the white stars, which seemed to return her gaze with sorrowful blinking.
It just was too much for Amy to handle as she burst into open tears. They streaked across her smooth pale cheeks, already moistened by recent weeping. She hugged herself, still shaking uncontrollably.
Her crying did not subside for a long time until she had cried herself to sleep, her body long since exhausted from shaking.
* * * *
A hand flew over the keyboard, pressing the shut-off switch for the computer terminal. The owner of the hand was smiling, pleased with the recent events. The first phase had been completed, and there had been no response from the other end since the entry at the Archives.
The woman wondered about how her victim was handling things after realizing that she was completely helpless. It would be certainly difficult on her. Poor girl, not yet in high school.
She seriously doubted that Amy had matured enough to handle this kind of situation, and wondered how much impact her actions would have upon the girl.
Suddenly, the woman frowned as she reconsidered her strategy. Maybe she shouldn't do this. It would be too much on fragile Amy; she might snap.
Then suddenly, she hardened her resolve.
"No. I have no choice. I'm sorry, I have to do this." She said aloud, mainly to reassure herself that it was true.
She knew her victim well. Amy may lose herself a bit, but she will not snap, no matter what.
She knew the reason why she had to do her mission, however cruel it would be upon both her and Amy.
Unhappy with the decision she'd made, she rose, gazing across her simple room in a cheap apartment. Her room contained only a bed, desk and the computer which she had just recently used. She also had a couple of clean school uniforms from Crossroads Junior High School.
It was rather simple to get the uniform. Nobody at the school even tried to stop her. She just walked right inside, requested several additonal uniforms, and came back with a fresh bundle of them. The sheer simplicity of this task had spooked her a bit, but she didn't mind.
Moments later, she found herself at one of the windows in her room, drawing the curtains apart. She lifted the glass window, and leaned on the window sill, unaware of a slight breeze which ruffled her short blue hair a bit.
"I never wanted to do this in the first place, Amy. I would rather that we become friends instead. Unlike you, I have nobody to turn to for help." A single tear appeared below her eyes, and she procced to wipe it away.
"Unfortunately, the cirumistances had made it impossible for that to happen. I'm sorry about this. Whatever happens, I hope you can forgive me."
She let her gaze linger upon the stars as they twinkled outside. Her eyes closed for a moment as she let out her breath quietly. After what seemed like an eternity, Amy Mizuno lowered the window and pulled the curtains shut.
* * * *
The tranquillity of the morning was shattered by Amy's sudden cry as she woke up abruptly. She sat upright, her eyes wide open, and breathing rapidly. She did not realize that her hands were squeezing so hard that they were turning white.
Amy gave the room she was inside a long, slow examination, still unwilling to believe what she was seeing. She blinked her eyes several times before the truth dawned upon her.
"A dream...?" Amy let out slowly, somewhat hesitant to accept the proof. It was so real, she had felt pain, or did she imagine it?
She lay back on her bed, realizing that her forehead was wet with moisture. She wiped it off with her arm, noticing her pale hands, and winced as pain shot throughout her hands as blood rushed in to revive them when she unclenched her palms.
"Amy? Are you all right?" Amy's mother peeked into her room, "I heard you cry out."
She gave out a strangled cry when she saw her daughter, her hands covering her mouth. She went over to Amy, her hand resting on her forehead. "Oh, you look awful. What happened?"
"I'm okay, mom. Really. It was only a nightmare." Amy protested, but deep inside her, she knew better.
She shuddered as an image from her nightmare flashed across her mind before it vanished into nothingness. Nothing was okay with her, and there was no way in the world she would want to go through *that* nightmare again. It was so horrible...
"I see, it must have been, your brow is all wet. Are you sure you feel okay? I heard you crying last night, and when I went to help you, you were already asleep. Maybe you should stay in bed..." Amy quickly rejected the idea.
"Well, you do look okay now," Her mother admitted, but was a bit persistent. "I really think you should stay in bed. I'm a doctor after all..."
The concerned mother added, "I want you to understand that I really love you very much, and I want to help you."
Amy nodded, "I understand, mom. But it's nothing, really..."
Still unconvinced, Amy's mother left. Amy felt ashamed for hiding the truth from her own mother, but she didn't want her to know. Her alternate identity of Sailor Mercury had to remain a secret for as long as possible.
She was startled when she realized that she was still wearing her school uniform, albeit now completely wrinkled, from last night. She sighed as she proceed to remove it so she could take a shower.
A minute after Amy left to shower, the computer, which had sat with the power off, on her desk, suddenly activated itself and started humming quietly. The monitor began spitting out garbled lines of useless numbers as the computer ran the automatic diagnostics program.
Two minutes later, the program concluded that everything was functioning properly and proceeded to display the recent electronic mail that had come in a few minutes ago.
"Ahh, that shower was just exactly what I needed," Amy returned fully clothed in her clean blue skirt and white blouse with a blue collar and a red bow tied loosely around her neck, which made up her school uniform. She did not realize that her computer was beeping urgently until after she had put on her black patent shoes, and picked up her school case on the desk.
"Wha... funny, I don't recall turning my computer on, What is this? An e-mail..." Amy's voice trailed off as she read it, her eyes widening.
"No, this can't be happening... This can't be real!"
Amy collapsed to the floor as the nightmares from her sleep returned, flooding her with terror and dread.
///Good morning, Amy.
I trust that you had pleasant dreams last night.
I am sorry about this, Sailor Mercury, but I have no choice. Yes, I know that you are one of the Sailor Scouts, Sailor Mercury, or would you rather go by Amy instead?
No matter. I want you to understand that there is nothing you can do about this. But I have to admit, you surprised me with your stunt at the Archives last night. That was a rather foolish thing to do. You could have been caught.
I thought that you, as a Sailor Scout, would not do such a thing. Then again, desperate times calls for desperate measures.
But this no longer matters. I want you to understand that I know who you are. Oh, don't worry, I assure you that your identity will remain secret.
I think you'd better hurry and get to school, or you will be late.
Have a nice day.///
Amy was shaking again, trying to convince herself that the mail wasn't real, but some electrical malfunction or something.
Just as it had happened last night, the computer blinked off then on, removing the evidence of the mysterious mail. But this time, Amy did not move. She knew that all traces of the mail would be gone. She remained silent for a long time.
She was starting to shake more violently, and it took nearly every ounce of her willpower to steady her body. She couldn't afford to go to school like this. She glanced over to her clock and nearly gave out a shout when she saw how late it was. She hadn't realized that she had slept in late. Grabbing her school case, she ran out of her room, hoping that she would make it to school on time.
* * * *
"Amy? Amy Mizuno? AMY!"
Amy snapped her head up from her desk, instantly alert for any trouble. She realized that it was only her teacher calling for her. "Yes, Miss Hanikyo?"
Miss Hanikyo sighed, but was concerned about Amy. It was the fourth time she had to call out for her attention.
It had shaken her up when Amy came in the class late this morning. Amy was usually one of the first students to come in. But she had dismissed it, assuming that some accident had slowed her down. But then she became a bit more concerned when she realized that Amy was being distracted lately.
"Are you sure that you are okay? You don't look good. In fact, I think you should go to the nurse's office." Miss Hanikyo suggested.
Amy shook her head gently. "I'm feeling okay, thanks, Miss Hanikyo."
She wondered how she looked to others. A bit frayed, perhaps. She had come in late to her class for the first time that she could remember in ages, and she could hear several students whispering behind her back:
"Can you believe it? Amy's late!"
"This never happened before!"
"Hey, Amy does *not* look good..."
During class, she was unable to put out of her mind the strange and threatening mail she had received this morning. Someone knew who she really was, that she was one of the Scouts. That meant whoever this person was, it was highly likely that they would know about the other Scouts's identities, which would put her friends in danger.
"I hope Serena's okay," Amy wondered. She hadn't seen her friend when she came in late; Serena was usually late to school. She also hoped that Lita and Raye were doing fine.
Without warning, a nightmare from her sleep quickly resurfaced in her mind's eye and vanished as quickly as it had appeared, catching her by surprise.
Amy heard her teacher calling out her name through the clouds in her mind. "Yes, Miss Hanikyo?" Amy almost slurred it out, but managed to make it clear.
"Amy? Good, you're still with us. Do you think you can answer this question? I mean, are you up to it?" asked Miss Hanikyo.
Amy was having difficulty trying to focus her thoughts upon the inscription on the chalkboard. It was an algebraic formula that found the roots of a cubic equation. Now, using the same formula provided, what is the root of 729?
No matter how hard she tried to concentrate, she just couldn't figure out the answer. This was becoming increasingly frustrating for her, and she realized that virtually every student was watching her.
What's going on? She knew that she already had solved this simple problem several times over, yet here she couldn't even figure out how to begin to solve it. She had to come up with an answer, or Miss Hanikyo would suspect that something was wrong with her. She was forced to give a wild guess, based on her now-vague knowledge of previous Algebra lessons. "The root is...65?"
The oxygen levels in the class dropped slightly as everyone took a deep, shocked breath. Even Miss Hanikyo was shocked. It took her nearly a minute before she could reply, "I'm... afraid to say that you are..." She had to swallow and clear her throat. The voice came out raspy, "Wrong."
Amy, her head still spinning, staggered up, slurring out the words, "Miss Hanikyo, all of sudden, I don't feel good. May I be excused to the nurse's office?"
"Of course, Amy. I think you need some rest--" She was cut off when Amy suddenly collapsed to the floor. She was relieved a moment later when one of the students helped Amy up into a standing position.
"Suzzie, why don't you help Amy to the nurse's office?" She asked the student, who nodded.
"Here, let me help you, Amy." Suzzie helped Amy up as her legs gave out under her.
"Thanks, Suzzie." Amy had to lean on the girl for support since her legs had refused to cooperate.
With Suzzie helping her, Amy left the class, but not before she heard the sudden, slow chatter between the students.
It would eventually spread throughout the school until everyone knew about her. This would hurt her reputation badly, but right now, she just didn't care. A tear formed in her eyes, and streaked down her cheek.
She just couldn't believe how badly her day had turned out.
* * * *
A lighting bolt flashed across the skies, it's thunder was deafening. The rain came in torrents, creating numerous miniature rivers upon the muddy ground.
Her blue and white uniform had been ripped in various places, exposing her flesh, which remained intact. The uniform was also deeply stained with dried blood. But Sailor Mercury didn't care. She only wanted to get out of there.
Completely drenched, she ran through the dense forest, trying to escape from the horror which pursed her. The fear inside her was amplified by every step she took, and by every thunderclap that rang thru her ears to the point of pain.
"No, no... Oh, god, please...don't let him get me. Please...no." Mercury cried as she dodged the obstacles in her path. She had absolutely no idea how she got into such a terrible place. All she could recall was the pure terror she had just experienced.
***** Somehow she had ended up in the middle of a forest, and save for tiny wisps of moonlight, it was nearly pitch dark. She didn't like the way the place looked. It was completely silent, as if a huge vaccuum had sucked out all of the sounds from the place. The trees seemed to be reaching out for her. The rain only helped make the place appear more sinster.
Trying to find a way out of the dreadful place, she had stumbled upon a body. She had disliked the thought of being with a dead body, but she felt compelled to find out who the deceased person was. To her horror, it was none other than Lita.
Her green and white Sailor Jupiter sailor suit had been torn in many places, and she had been stabbed in the stomach several times. Blood was everywhere, and Mercury's hands were covered with it when she tried to raise Lita up. The body was still warm, which indicated that she had been murdered no more than twenty minutes ago.
She realized that when she had moved Lita's body, she had uncovered another body beneath her. It was Raye's, the temple priestess Amy had known for so long.
Raye, as Sailor Mars, also had been stabbed in the stomach. But she also had numerous long slashes across her legs and arms. When Mercury tried to shift Mars's body aside, she saw that Raye had her throat slit wide open, and blood was still gurgling out slowly .
It was too much for Mercury. She immediately retched, and did not recover for a long time. In fact, she never got a chance to recover.
As she retched, she recalled memories of her dead friends, and wept. She was stricken with grief over the loss of two of her dearest friends she ever had.
There was a sudden rustle behind Mercury, and she spun around. She was furious at being caught so woefully unaware. Cursing herself for her carelessness, she could taste the bile that remained in her mouth, which only added to her nausea.
She saw a body falling. Without thinking, Mercury sprang into action, catching the body mid-air, and gave out a long scream when she realized what she was holding. Caught off-guard, she crashed into the ground with the body. She remained there, immobile, staring at the body, wide-eyed.
Her friend, Serena, also known as Sailor Moon, lay dead in her arms. Her beautiful face had been badly bruised and beaten up. She also had numerous cuts all over her body, and the bruises on her neck gave the indication that she had been strangled to death.
Mercury had nearly fainted, gasping for breath. Tears fell from her cheeks and splashed upon Serena's face, which was starting to turn blue. Deep inside her, everything fell apart, unable to cope with the sudden deaths of her closest friends. She moaned, trying to deny the harsh truth which had manifested itself in her eyes.
"Heh, what's wrong, Sailor Mercury?"
Mercury jerked her head towards the source of the voice. A man stood on a small rock ledge no more than three meters away from her. Instinctively, she sprang to a standing position, her arms raised in self-defense.
"You! It was you who killed them, wasn't it?" Mercury shouted, unable to contain a tiny trace of fear inside her.
"Yes, that's right." The shrouded figure raised his arm, and something glinted in the weak moonlight that managed to puncture through the clouds. It was a six-inch long dagger, still dripping with her friends' blood. "They weren't much trouble. I wish they had put up more of a struggle, though; it would have been much more fun for me.
"I hope you can do better than your friends, Mercury."
With that, the man leaped and covered the distance between him and Mercury in less than a quarter of a second, catching her by surprise. He jabbed the dagger at Mercury, tearing the fabric of her uniform skillfully, not piercing her flesh. He then dodged her feeble attempts to fight back.
Mercury realized, to her horror, that he was toying around with her. His speed was beyond human, and she couldn't land a blow upon him. She attempted her Mercury Bubble Blast attack, and was shocked to discover that she could not utilize it at all.
More rips appeared on her uniform as her screams went unheeded. Being one of the least powerful scouts, she was helpless against the madman's relentless attack. She had only one choice left, and took it. She ran.
***** The blue-haired scout ran through the dark forest, screaming in pure terror, branches and bushes raking out at her.
She could hear the heavy laughter as her assailant closed the distance behind her, despite her fear-augmented speed. The rain continued to pelt her unmercifully, and turned the soil into mud, making her escape more difficult.
A branch suddenly appeared out of nowhere and swatted her across the face, temporarily blinding her. Pain burst through her eyes as Mercury squeezed them shut. Unable to see where she was going, she tripped over the tangled roots that covered the soil.
Wiping the mud off her face, she tried to get up. She felt a burning sensation in her left ankle and she crashed into the mud again. She realized that she must have sprained her ankle when she tripped over the roots.
Her blood turned cold when she heard the foreboding steps drawing closer. Unwilling to have the murderer lay another hand upon her, she tried to hop away.
Mercury did not get far when the man caught up with her. He took her down with a tackle, and they both rolled around in the mud as she continued to scream.
Her scream was cut abruptly when he forcefully slammed Mercury back against the ground, knocking the breath out of her, and pinned her to it as well. The assailant then hovered his dagger over her wide blue eyes, and proceeded to draw a tiny stream of blood on her left cheek.
It was just too much for her. She began thrashing around violently in an attempt to escape, screaming at the man to let her go. She tried to claw at his face, even as she contiuned to kick him.
Furious, her adversary slapped Mercury's face hard, drawing tears. He then caught hold of her throat and began squeezing. With the knife in his other hand, the man lowered it until it drew another cut on her face.
Mercury began to gasp for breath, her chest heaving up and down. She tried to yank the thug's hands off her neck, but her strength was fading rapidly. Her vision began to blur, making it difficult to discern the man's movements.
Last thing she saw before she closed her eyes was the man rising his dagger in preparation to strike. Mercury then lost consciousness.
The brief, intense pain quickly followed.
* * * *
Mekena Fuikado heard Amy's sudden cry and ran over into the adjoining room where she slept. She saw that she was sitting upright, breathing rapidly.
"Miss Mizuno, are you okay? What happened?" Mekena asked the obviously frightened girl.
"Amy, please tell me, I'm Mekena, your nurse. You have been having pretty hard times lately. I can't help you if you don't tell me what's bothering you."
"I, I'm not sure..."
"Tell me, have you been studying too hard again? It's probably exhaustion from overworking."
Amy nodded, "Yeah, that must be it..."
"Do you need a glass of water? Okay, I will go and get you one. I'll be right back." Reassuring Amy, Mekena got up and left.
Amy watched her leave, and then let out the long deep breath she had been holding. She was shaking again, and felt several beads of sweat on her forehead.
It was the same dream she had had in the morning. She shook her head sadly, unable to relax. She couldn't help but wonder if there was any connection between the mysterious mail she had received last night and the nightmares which seemed to emerge more frequently.
The pain, it was so real...
Her thoughts were interrupted by a sudden ringing. Still a bit dazed, she scanned the room for the source, and realized that it was the phone. It continued to ring, and Amy wondered whether to answer the phone, or let her nurse come answer it.
Her body took the decision away from her as she stood up. Her body began taking steps towards the phone, despite her protests, and raised an arm picking up the phone. Amy knew she shouldn't do it, but something inside her told her to answer it. "Hello?"
"Is this you, Amy Mizuno?" a feminine voice spoke into her ears.
All Amy could reply was, "Huh?"
"Oh, good. Did you enjoy your nap? Judging from your appearance, I don't think so." A small sound followed, as if the voice was harboring pity.
Amy thought the voice sounded awfully familiar, but just couldn't place it. She asked the caller who she was. There was a long silence at the other end when she asked.
"What? You mean you haven't caught on?" The voice finally went on, and carried disbelief. "Oh, Amy... I can't believe that you still haven't figured it out. You should have known after the last mail..."
"You were the one who sent those e-mail I've received?" Amy interrupted, shocked. Silence followed again. When the female came on the phone, she sounded upset and agiated.
"Of course I was the one who sent them! You don't know who I am." The last remark wasn't a question. "Oh, that's too bad...
"You see, I had hoped that you would know the truth before we met. It would be much easier for you, believe me."
Amy's eyes widened at the mention of a meeting, "You mean you will meet me...?" "Yes, that's right." The female on the other side confirmed, "We will meet at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden tomorrow at ten o'clock in the morning. Since tomorrow is Saturday, you won't have to worry about school. Oh, yes, don't even think about bringing your friends...or should I call them Sailor Scouts?"
Amy stood upright, not believing what she had just heard. The voice continued, "Yes, your friends, Serena, Lita, and Raye. I just met them recently at lunch time. Pretty nice friends, aren't they? I envy you for the friends you have.
"But my demand still stands: Meet me tomorrow at the Garden. At ten o'clock. Alone. Got it?"
Amy nodded, trying to contain her trembling, "Yes, I got it. But how will I find you?"
"You won't. I will find you. Remember, come alone, or you will be sorry. We cannot afford any complexions." The voice then added, "Amy?"
It was barely audible; she had to strain to hear it. "Are you scared? Well, you should be. There will be worse things yet to come."
"Wait!" Too late, the mysterious female hung up on her. Amy replaced the phone on its cradle and staggered over to her cot. She never reached it.
The room seemed to start spinning around her and she began to lose balance. The last thing she recalled were the words, "Are you sacred? Well, you should be..."
She did not retain her consciousness long enough to see Mekena return with a tall glass of fresh water, which shattered on the tiled floor as she rushed forward to help her.
* * * *
"I told you so!"
"Well, I was wrong, so what?"
"Raye, calm down. We don't need you fighting with Serena again, not when Amy needs our help. Right, Luna?."
Pain pulsed around her head as Amy opened her eyes. She was immediately blinded by bright lights, and realized that there were three, no, four shadows surrounding her. A thought crossed her mind, and she quickly tried to climb out of the bed. A pair of strong arms quickly pinned her down, and she began screaming, "No, please let me go! Get away from me, you monster! Let me go!! NO!"
"Amy! It's me, Lita! Get a grip on yourself!"
Upon hearing the words, she quickly ceased her struggle as if she had ceased to function, and blinked stupidly at the face with a brown ponytail above her. "Lita?"
"Are you all right, Amy?" Lita asked, releasing her friend.
Serena then poked her head into Amy's face, causing her head to jerk backwards, "You're awake? Oh, I'm so glad! You had me worried!"
She then quickly hugged her friend. After a minute, Raye had to yank her off Amy so she would have some room. Lita replied, "We heard that you had fainted in the nurse's office, and we came over to help you out."
"You were out cold," Raye added, "And we had to carry you over to your home."
Just then Amy realized why the surroundings had seemed so familiar. She was amazed at how quickly she had forgotten about her own home. She rose from her bed, still in her school uniform, and assumed a sitting position.
"What's going on? The nurse told me that you had some case of over-exhaustion, right?" Lita shook her head sadly, "I told you that you should stop studying so hard! Sooner or later, the stress would catch up to you, and look at you now!"
"No, that's not it. It's something else..." A tear formed in her eyes, and she began to tremble slightly."Oh, God, you have no idea what happened to me."
Raye caught it, and determined that it was serious. However, Serena had failed to catch it. Still being a clumsy and undependable little girl, she kept on inquring Amy about what happened. Raye became furious at her, yanking Serena backwards and yelling, "Serena, shut up! Can't you see that this is serious?"
Ignoring the little quibble, Luna leapt upon Amy's bed from her place on a nearby table and settled herself before the frightened teenager. "Amy, please tell us what happened. You have been acting rather... unsteadily. What happened to cause you this much trouble?
"You see," Amy finally said, "It began last night, when I was doing my work on my computer, searching the internet, when I had received an e-mail..."
Amy continued on for nearly an hour, often interrupted by her violent trembling, crying, and coughs. She told everything, including the nightmares and the mysterious phone call she had received earlier, but she chose not to reveal her arranged meeting with this mysterious intruder to her friends. A phrase reminded her to keep silent, "Come alone..."
She knew that if she told her friends, they would follow her, no matter what. As Lita would say, "Screw whoever this person is."
So she deliberately avoided the subject of the planned meeting, and wrapped her story with a tear.
"I apologize about what happened an hour ago. When I woke up I thought you were some madmen who was going to kill me or rape me, or something like that." Finished, she turned to the group, which remained silent.
"So you have absolutely no idea who this intruder is, correct?" Raye finally said, still a bit queasy after hearing about Amy's nightmare.
Amy nodded, "That's right, but I think my...our intruder is female."
Luna was obviously depressed, shaking her head, "This is not good. Someone already knows about our identities, and yet for some reason, has not chosen to use it to his/her advantage."
Amy couldn't help but point out that the unknown female had already met Raye, Lita, and Serena. But the trio protested, they had not met anyone during lunch that they didn't recognize.
"Uh, maybe it was one of our friends at school?" Serena suggested, only to be verbally attacked by Raye for coming up with such a stupid idea.
"Actually, Serena has a good point." Luna admitted. Raye stopped her accusations and blinked, not believing what Luna had just said. Serena actually had a good point?
"Evidently, this woman must have been cleverly disguised, posing as a normal student." Luna pondered this, and turned to the frightened Amy. "Do you still have a copy of that e-mail you received?"
"No, it's gone. I've already performed a diagnostics program on the computer, and it claimed that no such mail had been received, let alone existed." Amy shook her head, scattering few droplets of tears into the air.
Luna pressed, "Are you certain that the program wasn't infected by a virus? Maybe..."
"IT'S GONE, GONE!" Amy practically shouted and everyone winced as her words shook their eardrums. "I even broke into the Archives of my ISP, only to find that every record on me had been wiped hard clean!"
Amy was becoming very agitated. Her friends tried to reassure her, but she shook them off. Luna, who was not used to handling an agitated Amy (as such had never happened before), tried to explain that she knew how Amy was feeling. It only made things worse.
"Can't you see that I have broken several laws, and if the police finds out, I'll be in big trouble!" Fear suddenly emerged in her voice and she began to thrash out, trying to get out of her room, only to be restrained by the powerful Lita.
Lita stared deeply into her friend's blue eyes, wide with fear. Poor little girl, she has gone over the edge. she thought.
Amy went on, screaming, "What about my mom? If she ever finds out, I'll be in really big trouble- I don't know what will happen then!" Amy continued to scream, thrashing out madly, despite Lita's incredible strength. The others could only stare at Amy as she struggled to escape Lita's grasp. They even saw her punch Lita several times. It went on for several minutes until she finally calmed down, but refused to stop struggling.
"Something's wrong. We're definitely missing something..." Now that Amy had mellowed out a bit, Luna decided to ask her a question.
"Amy, when did you go visit the nurse?"
"When I went to see the nurse? I was excused for the nurse's office shortly before the second class began. Why?" Amy gasped, out of breath.
"Now, that's funny..." Luna began, and Raye asked her what she meant by that. Meanwhile, Serena, who was increasingly becoming concerned about Amy, asked her immobile friend why didn't she tell her about it at lunch time if things were so serious last night.
"Lunch time... What are you talking about? I was in the nurse's office at that time."
"Something's definitely going on." Lita, who held Amy down, replied. "You see; we had lunch with you, and you were feeling good. Yet you claimed that you had been in the nurse's office all day. What's going on?"
"Me?" was all Amy could say.
Serena nodded, "We were having lunch at our usual place, you know, the one with a nice tree over at the West Hall, and you came by. You looked fine to me, and we had fun!"
"So, that's it! That's the problem!" Luna suddenly spoke out. Her words, however, were lost when Amy began screaming as intense pain coursed throughout her. She did not realize that it vanished a moment later. She continued to scream, all memory of the recent pain long gone, and went throwing yet another fit. Her words were incoherent and simply didn't make any sense.
Unlike the last time, she just screamed. Caught off guard by Amy's sudden outburst, Lita's strength nearly faltered, but returned just in time to restrain Amy. Raye rushed in to provide assistance, while Serena stood where she was, dumbfounded. She didn't understand what was going on.
"No. it can't be! No, NO! NO! I don't know what to do!" Amy continued to vent out her frustration for a long time.
Then without warning, Amy ceased her struggles and broke into tears, shocking everyone whom had been used to seeing her as a quiet, shy schoolgirl. Lita wasn't sure how to handle this, so she released her and backed away. Raye did the same.
Amy was crying openly, tears coming out rapidly now, as she began whimpering. Her body also was contoured by violent shaking. Unsure about what to do, her friends stood still, looking at each other.
* * *
Serena still felt uncomfortable about leaving Amy alone, but Luna had reassured her that she would be all right. Since Amy's mother had to leave for an urgent medical assginment sometime after Amy had left for school, she was currently unaware about her daughter's condition. Because of this, Lita, agreed to take care of Amy, while they were gone.
Raye had returned to her temple in hopes that her sacred fire would reveal the unknown intruder that plagues Amy. Meanwhile, Serena had to go back to her home, or her parents would freak out if she didn't come in before dark.
"Luna, I have never seen Amy like this before. It must have been hard on her." Serena spoke to Luna, her concern could be clearly heard in her voice.
Luna nodded, "I know, I haven't, either. I hope she will be okay in the morning."
Serena gazed over at the setting sun which lay shrouded by blood-red clouds, and gasped when she realized how late it was. She broke into a run, Luna trailing behind her. Her parents would be furious.
Unaware of the fact that they were being spied upon, Serena and Luna ran towards the house of Tsukino family.
* * * *
"Yes, off you go to your home, Serena. It wouldn't do any good to have Serena be late to home, would it, eh, Luna?"
The sunlight glinted off the pair of convex lenses inside the binoculars as Amy lowered them. Things had been going well for her, but bad for her friend Amy Mizuno who now lay asleep inside her hose, closely guarded by Lita.
She felt terribly sorry for Mizuno, for what she had gone through. All the e-mails, calls, and the nightmares. She could only imagine the nightmares Amy had gone through because of her.
But she had no choice. She had been given no choice in the first place.
Amy suddenly doubled over in pain. It vanished as quickly as it came. Gasping for air, she braced herself against a metal pipe that strutted out of the cement railing, and kneeled to the roof.
The pain kept on returning, and the time between each interval shrunk rapidly. Eventually it would be too much for her to bear.
This was one of the reasons why she had to do her mission. If she completed her mission, the pain would cease forever. Of course, she would have to leave behind a vital part of her, but the price would be worth it. Wouldn't it be?
She felt that she knew the answer, and didn't like it.
But if she failed...
She forced the negative thoughts aside, for she knew what would happen if she failed. She must complete her mission at all costs, no matter what. She had to.
Tomorrow, at ten o'clock, at the Garden, Amy and she would meet face-to-face, at last. Everything would come to the conclusion then, and there would be only one outcome.
She knew that Amy would come alone. After all, she knew Amy as well as she did herself, and better. She, as well as Amy, could not afford to have her friends intervene in their meeting, and get hurt. She cared about them too much to allow that.
Amy began to cry a little. She hated herself already for what she would do in the morning. "I'm sorry, Amy..."
She silently wished Amy good luck during their confrontation the following day, wiping away her tears. Amy would certainly need it, considering the things she had gone through recently.
Amy recovered her binoculars. The lens had been shattered. She cursed her luck; she had dropped it when the pain struck.
Struggling to a standing position, she watched the sun set peacefully into the ground behind the Tokyo Tower, its red lights flashing on and off for all eternity.
* * * *
Johnny Fiserman was having a hard time trying to figure out how to find an embassy from his country. He flipped his Tokyo map over several times. His back to the rising sun, he looked over his map of Tokyo again and again, trying to make sense of it.
"Whose idea was it not to put up street signs around here, anyway?" he muttered. "Or better yet, why in the world did I choose to come here instead of staying back home in Los Angeles?"
He had no idea what he had gotten himself into when a little girl with two braids appeared outside his door. She had claimed that she was part of some organization which was committed to helping encourage US involvement in international matters. He would later recall that the US was already involved with major foreign countries such as those in Europe, China, and Japan, to one degree or another.
But during that time, he just could not resist the little girl, standing outside his door, alone (Hey, what was she doing out in the middle of Los Angeles alone?). So he gave her a few dollars as a donation, and filled out a form given to him by the girl. It later turned out to be an entry for a drawing contest sponsored by the same organization.
Next thing he knew, he had won a pair of tickets to visit Tokyo. He tried to ask his girlfriend to go along, but she was too busy. In a pretty short time, he ran out of female candidates to come to Tokyo with him, so he went alone.
It had proved to be a mistake for him to go in the first place. He barely knew anything about Japan, let alone Tokyo itself. Several weeks before the flight, he attempted to study the Japanese kanji writing, or was it kana? He also tried to speak the country's language, with varying success.
So, here he was, in the middle of a city with no street names or any way for him to identify the place he was in now. He just couldn't figure out the kanji/kana in the city map he had been given by a passing man. Sooner or later he would have to ask somebody for help, and so he scanned the surrounding area.
"Whoa! A girl with blue hair?" Johnny blinked several times as he spotted a passerby, convinced that it was only an illusion. The theory was later discredited after a careful observation of the girl. "Must be a dye...wait, she's coming closer. No, the color's too natural to be a dye. I must be dreaming! I've never heard of naturally occurring blue hair."
An idea struck him as he folded his map and waved at her, asking for help in his limited Japanese, hoping that his American accent wouldn't show, "Excuse me, miss, do you think you could help me? I think I'm lost."
She must be only thirteen, maybe a year older, Johnny thought as the girl stopped in her tracks, inclining her head at him in confusion. She was wearing a white blouse with a blue collar tied by a red bow in the front, and blue skirt. He decided that she must be a student from some school...but what was she doing out here, away from school? Oh, that's right- today's Saturday. No school.
His attempts to communicate with the girl ended in failure, so he decided to try another method.
"Do you speak English? You know, ingles, anglais..." He continued to repeat the phrase in every foreign language he could recall. The girl seemed to be even more confused, and spoke in Japanese. He couldn't understand a thing she was saying until he recognized a term, "Tokyo Tower."
Johnny was so relieved that he inadvertely replied loudly and slowly, clutching his hands and holding them in the air as if he had won a some kind of prize. "Finally! About time I understood her!"
The girl was so startled that she took a step backwards. He realized his mistake and quickly tried to cover it up. "Uh... I'm sorry, that must be the place where I can find someone who speaks English around here." He was so thrilled that he could barely restrain his excitement. He kept on nodding his head, slapping his hands several times. The female student seemed to be happy, too. She was smiling, talking cheerfully.
He then spoke in jumbled Japanese, nodding, "Miss, could you please tell me if I could find an embassy from my country, America, at this tower building?"
The girl pointed towards a tall, smaller, steel version of Eiffel Tower, a couple of miles north-west. Johnny thanked the girl, and watched her bow, smiling. She turned around and began walking south.
"What kind of gesture was that?" he wondered. He also couldn't help but notice something about her. Her expression of happiness seemed to be masking something. He could tell- he had plenty of experience in reading people's faces back in LA.
She was feeling exhausted, a bit stressed out. She was also hiding the pain of disorder and sadness inside her.
Johnny wondered what could have happened to such a pretty cute girl like her. He watched her pick up pace until she vanished into the morning crowds.
Shrugging, he reopened his map and began walking towards the tall heap of metal called Tokyo Tower, in the fleeting hope of finding an embassy where English was spoken.
Pausing momentarily, she glanced over her shoulders and saw the man reading the map again.
"Such an odd person," Amy thought. Whoever this gentleman was, he certainly wasn't from anywhere in Japan and had a strange accent. Must be a foreign tourist, probably American.
She had heard so much about the United States, about how long their government system had lasted (over two hundred years), and had weathered through countless challenges. It was one of the best systems in the world, and dozens of countries, including Japan (despite the fact that it had been forced to do so) during the aftermath of the World War II, had modeled their government systems after them.
Maybe she could pay the States a visit for a while. Sure, why not?
But she had no time right now, she had to reach the Garden by ten. She hoped that she had done the right thing when the American tourist had asked for the directions to several tourist attractions, such as the Tokyo Tower.
She inspected the reflection of herself on the glass window display. Her uniform was a bit dirty and her bow was out of place. She adjusted it, while trying to smooth out her hair, which was a total mess. She had no time to take a shower and change into approiate clothing. She had to make it to her meeting at the Garden.
Amy wondered what would be going on right now, at her home. Lita would have woken up by now, and called the others when she discovered that she had snuck away out of the bedroom window. She hated doing this, escaping without telling her friends where she was headed, especially Serena. Luna would certainly scold her, but she didn't care.
She heard a beeping sound, and realized that it was her communicator. She should've known that her friends would have realized that she was still carrying it and attempt to contact her with it. She removed her pink communicator from her skirt pocket and deactivated it. That would undoubtedly freak out Luna.
No matter what, they must not know where she was going. Her mysterious intruder that she was supposed to meet today might decide to use them as hostages, thus putting her at a disadvantage. Or she might try and hurt them.
Amy felt a brief chill as she complemented the possibility. She would rather die than allow her friends to come to any harm.
She glanced over to a nearby clock. Fifteen minutes to ten. Got to hurry.
The pedestrians nearby did not spare the blue-haired female student a glance as she picked up her pace and then broke into a run. The citizens of Tokyo went by, minding their business while one lone girl ran, for all her worth, towards her doom.
* * * *
It was already midday, and Amy was getting hungry. To make things worse, things weren't going well for her. She had only recently transferred from another junior high school, Maysabki Junior High? Or was it Omokatyki?
She shook her head. She couldn't even remember the name. She had stayed there only briefly, mainly because of her mother. Her mother was one of the most brilliant doctors in Tokyo, but had to be transferred often. For some reason, her previous work never satsified her, and she wanted to be able to serve her patients better. So she switched hospitals repeatedly, searching for one better suited to assist her in her operations.
This created a major problem for Amy Mizuno. Whenever her mother transferred to another hospital, she had to be relocated to another school. Even so, she spent only a few months at school before being relocated to another.
This made it diffuclt for her to make any friends. She was often shunned by her peers because she had possessed something that they didn't have: her intelligence.
Undoubtedly, she was among the most brilliant students in Japan. She frequently made perfect scores on her tests, though she occassionally made an error or two.
Despite her vaunted intelligence, it was almost impossible for her to make any friends. Sure, she had some back in her first school, but she had been relocated so often that she lost contact with them. To avoid losing friends, she decided not to make any friends at all. Instead, she would devote her efforts to studying. Although, she would occasionally wish she had someone to talk with.
Amy opened her lunch bag, and pulled a delicous-looking sandwich out. Taking a big bite out of it, she mused over how things were going.
At last, her mother had found a right place for her to work in. That meant she would not have to transfer to another school anymore. She hoped this would be the case.
She observed the terrain around her. She could see the sign in Japanese writing, "Crossroads Junior High School," displayed over the entrance to her new school. Since it was lunch time, the students were sitting outside, eating their meals, just like she was. But they kept their distance from her, continuously whispering about her.
She felt terribly alone, and wanted someone to come up to her and say "Hello," but nobody did.
She sighed and devoured the remains of her sandwich, just as the bell rang, signalling the end of lunch break. She got up, and was about to take a step towards her school, when she heard a commotion to her side. She turned aside and was greeted with an unusual sight.
A blonde-hair girl with two ridiclously long pigtails was holding on to anther girl's leg, crying. She kept on asking her friend with auburn-colored hair for a tiny peice of sandwich.
The friend, which Amy overheard the name and identifed her as Molly, replied, "No, you already have eaten two of yours, and half of mine. I'm hungry, too!" With that, she wolfed down the sandwich.
She then pulled up her blonde friend who was still crying, and began dragging back to the school,"Come on! We'll be late to our class!"
The truth of Molly's words dawned on Amy, who had stood rooted to her spot, not beliving what she had just witnessed. She quickly gathered her lunch remants and discarded them in a nearby wastebasket, and quickly entered her school. She failed to notice that the two girls she had been observing earlier, were observing her now.
"Hey, that's Amy..." Molly recongized her.
Her friend, Serena, stopped crying at the mention of the name. She managed to catch a glimse of her before she entered one of the classrooms.
"She's the one who got a hundred on the last test, isn't she?" Serena asked Molly, who nodded. Several thoughts swirled around her clumsy mind, and an idea acutally formed.
The idea vanished quickly when Serena realized that she was late to class, and moaned. She would get another dention unless she picked up her legs...
* * * *
"Huh? Oh, not again."
Amy woke up with a start, rubbing her eyes. She was sitting silently on a bench in seclusion at the Garden. She scolded herself for dozing off, and revisiting her memories.
But she could not deny the truth behind her memories. Artificial, as they may be, but they existed inside her mind, and they had profound influence upon her.
She also realized that was the first time she had seen Serena, which she would meet the following afternoon of that day. When they met, they became best friends. More friends would come in later.
But she never became friends with them. Her prey, Amy Mizuno, became friends with them instead. Not she.
She hoped that in the next few hours, that would change. She was starting to feel anxious. Soon, Amy and she would meet face-to-face. Then, only fate would determine the outcome.
She had been preparing herself all night for the inevitable confrontation, pondering on how to say things to her. Hard things. Things that almost certainly would have deadly impact upon them both. She could only hope that, after everything Amy had endured, she had been softened up enough to accept the truth that would be revealed.
She stretched, arching backwards. She could see the birds flying gracefully, blissfully unaware of the impendening events. Inclining her head to the right, she could see Tokyo Tower sprouting above the treetops. She admired the magnificent view, and hoped that she would have a chance to visit the tower again.
She also checked out the clock display near her bench. According to the time, she could expect Amy Mizuno to appear anytime soon.
Sighing, Amy righted herself, and resumed her search.
True enough, she spotted her target, who was less than a hundred meters away. She could see that the girl was still a bit nervous, looking left then right.
A slight pout appeared on her face, and shook her head gently. "You aren't ready, are you? Well, too bad. It's time now."
With that, she rose from her bench and began trotting towards the student, removing a small semi-automatic colt from her pocket. She reviewed her mission in her mind, and concluded that it was flawless.
She then uttered one final apology, examining her weapon, "Amy, please forgive me for what I am about to do. Nobody will know about this, I swear."
She crept up behind the girl, raised the weapon, and cocked it with an audible click. Her victim froze, and she decided to say something.
"Hello, Amy Mizuno. You're on time, as usual."
* * * *
She had entered the Garden only a few minutes ago, and had no idea where she was supposed to meet her unknown person, so she decided to search the park. As soon as she began her search, she heard a sound behind her.
She felt a chill go down her spine as she recognized the sound. It was a small hand gun, possibly a semi-automatic. She knew precisely what to do. She froze and raised her arms to indicate that she was unarmed and posed no threat. She had no intention to end up on the ground with a bullet wound, or dead.
Silently cursing herself for her carelessness, she prepared herself for a spin kick which would catch her opponent by surprise with a blow to the head.
Before she could act, however, her opponent spoke.
"Hello, Amy Mizuno. You're on time, as usual."
Caught by surprise at the mention of her name, and her timing lost, she blinked, uttering a sound indicating disbelief.
Until this moment, Amy had assumed that she was dealing with a thief, or a rapist. But this person was much worse than that. Much worse.
It was the same voice that had terrorized her all night ever since that phone call she had received yesterday in the nurse's office. She had hoped that this moment wouldn't come, but it had.
Amy began turning slowly, taking care not to make any sudden moves. For all she knew, her opponent could be trigger-happy, and she didn't want the gun to go off by mistake, especially since she was at the unfriendly end.
The gun was suddenly thrust into her back forcefully, creating a sharp pain which caused her to wince. Evidently this person didn't want her to see her.
"Oh, no, you don't." The familiar feminine voice rang out behind her.
Amy begged for the voice to identify itself, "Who are you, and what do you want with me?"
There was a sigh, "You still haven't caught on yet? Well, you will find out soon." There was a brief pause and voice then added, "But not here, though. I know a better place."
"Where?" Amy decided to stall, trying to gather some time for her to recognize the voice. It had sounded hauntingly familiar, but she just couldn't place it. Surely she have heard it before?
She tried not to visualize a hole in her back as she felt the cold barrel press into her further, causing her to arch her back involuntarily. Sweat began to bead on her forehead.
"Quit stalling. You will find out soon enough. I prefer a quiet, secluded spot." The voice went on, "Did you bring your friends? No, I know. You wouldn't want them to get hurt, would you?"
Amy didn't like this. Whoever this lady is, she seems to know a lot about me. Maybe too much, she thought. This was a serious disadvantage for her. After all, aside from the fact that this person was female, she knew virtually nothing about her.
Her assailant forced her to start moving, "Now, it's time we got going. Follow my directions, and do not attempt to escape, or look around. If you do, you will be sorry."
She had no choice but to comply with the demands. She saw a couple a short distance from them. She indicated to the duo, "But what about the people?"
The voice told her not to worry. After all, this typical area was usually deserted until midday to afternoon. It was, of course, true.
Amy received a shove, the gun still pressing into her back. So they went on, Amy following the directions deeper into the park. She tried to keep track of where she was going, but there were so many turns and doubling backs She could have sworn that they were going in circles. The gun jabbed into her back painfully, followed by a sharp command whenever she made a wrong turn or went too slowly.
After a long time, Amy was shoved hard into a couple of bushes, and emerged on the other side, rolling on the grass, with the female behind her.
When she recovered, she could see that she was in an area that was completely surrounded by greenery. A simple wooden bench and night lamp stood in the middle of the small clearing.
She could hear her assailant behind her, "We're here. No one will be able to hear us, and no one knows our whereabouts."
Amy could see that it was true. This area had been prepared, she recalled, for couples who wanted to spend some quiet time alone.
However, this wasn't what her mysterious assailant had in mind. Amy began trembling a bit, fearful about what would happen. Maybe she should have told her friends about this after all.
She poised for what would happen, excepting to hear a gunshot. She deeply wished that she had told her friends how much she had cared for them, that she would see them again.
The gunshot never came. She heard the steps pass her instead.
Puzzled, Amy gathered enough courage to open her eyes, and gasped. She could see that her mysterious woman was not a woman, but rather a young girl, same age as she was. She was also wearing a school uniform similar to hers. But that was nothing compared to what caught her eye. Blue hair. Short blue hair.
She blinked several times in disbelief. She had never seen anyone with hair similar to hers, and had assumed that she was the only person with such a coiffure in the world; the odds against two of them were tremendous!
Yet there, the person in the front of her had blue hair! "How is this possible? Who are you?"
"I think you know." The female turned face-to face with Amy, who uttered a sharp cry of protest. "We meet at last."
Amy couldn't believe her eyes. The girl who stood in front of her had the same blue hair and eyes as she had. The facial features also were similar to hers, and the girls were of same height. It occurred to Amy that she was looking at the mirror reflection of herself, except that there was no mirror anywhere. Amy and the girl were virtually identical to each other.
As if that weren't enough, the girl spoke, lowering her weapon, "I am Amy Mizuno, also known as Sailor Mercury, one of the Sailor Scouts fighting for love and justice."
* * * *
Silence reigned in one desolate place of the National Garden, completely hidden from the tourists who marveled at the beauty and exotic landscape of the garden.
Two girls stood several meters apart from each other, each unwilling to make a move, until Amy finally gathered her wits and asked her mirror image, Mizuno, "How is this possible? You can't be me. You're probably of Negaverse..."
The similar Amy shook her head, and walked over to the bench, sitting down. She had to make Amy understand, but how? Oh yes, there was a way.
"Amy, do you recognize this?" she asked. She pulled out a metallic rod. Amy gasped when she recognized it, and began frisking her body.
"Oh, don't worry, you have it," Mizuno assured Amy as she pulled out a similar rod, breathing a sigh of relief. "This transformation rod happens to be mine. Luna gave it to me on the day when one of the youmas disguised as a teacher at the juku school tried to kill me."
Mizuno shuddered, and then shot a dark glance at Amy, who finally got up and took a standing position, "You do remember, don't you?"
"Yes," Amy replied after a brief hesitation, "But how could you have known? We can't be the same person!"
"Observe," Mizuno said simply, raising her rod up in the air.
"Mercury Power, Transform!" She intoned, and the rod activated itself in the response to the call of its wielder master's call. Mizuno's uniform vanished completely, leaving her naked. Blue ribbons of energy quickly wrapped themselves around her, and solidified into a blue and white Sailor Scout uniform which bore a resemblance to the school uniform she had recently wore, except that the skirt had been considerably shortened to mid-thighs, and the blue bow and brooch had replaced her red one.
Her tiara with blue oval crystal embedded in it appeared on her forehead, while long blue boots that extended to just below her knees formed around her slim legs. Long white gloves also materialized around her arms.
Mizuno terminated her transformation into Sailor Mercury with a pose. She then turned her attention to Amy, who had stumbled to the ground in shock, and tried to stand up again.
"Now, do you believe me?"
Amy realized that she had been holding her breath during her mirror Amy's transformation, and released it. "How is this possible?"
"I thought you would never ask." Mercury replied, forming a smile on her face.
* * * *
There was an unusual phenomena, a rip in the fabric of space and time, which occured only once in a millennium. It made its appearance only briefly and quietly, emitting no radiation of any kind, and is always invisible against the black background of space.
It had an unusual effect on many things. Whenever the rift was open, and any object that passed through, or skimmed by it at close range, the rift created an exact duplicate of that object.
Recently, the rift had reopened itself, and by unbelievable odds, had materialized itself almost directly in Planet Earth's path. When Earth skimmed along the edge of the rift, the energies spilled across the face of the planet, and converged on Amy Mizuno. It then created an exact duplicate of that person, instilling awareness into the duplicate, and displaced it somewhere else near the original.
"You mean both are identical, no alterations of any kind?" Amy asked, having overcome her shock of her encounter with her mirror image at last.
Mercury, who was sitting down on the bench, fidgeted a bit, "Yeah, well except for one thing. If the object happens to be a living being, the duplicate regains some awareness about itself. The duplicated being knows how they came into existence, and with that comes the realization that they are not the original.
Mercury then leaned forward, raising her hand to cut off Amy's question, "If that's so, then how come so few things have been affected? Well, there was something else about the rift I failed to mention."
The alternate Amy raised her head to look directly into the original Amy's eyes as she spoke, "The rift cannot affect objects unless they have special structure or radical alterations in form. Simply put, the rift can only duplicate the objects that have natural forms of magic and or energy, or have been infused with them."
"You mean...?" original Amy began.
"Yes," Mercury nodded gravely. "Since you are one of the Sailor Scouts, you had a unique form of energy which you used as Sailor Mercury. The rift reacted to that, and created me."
"It was a bit hard for me, you being the orginal, not me. But I learned so much. The Rift also answered several questions, especially the one regarding the missing Moon Princess."
"Really? That's amazing! We've got to tell the others about this! Luna--"
Amy was caught by surprise with her twin image's reply. "No? But why..."
Mercury shook her head, and turned to one of sorrow as Amy realized that the sailor still hadn't actually put away her gun. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that I don't want anyone to know. The rift also has a problem.
"The structure of the rift is incredibly unstable. That is one of the reasons why it creates duplicates, but there's something else. When the rift creates the duplicates it also creates a level of instability between the original and the duplicate.
"Amy, you have felt sharp, sudden pain several times already, right?" Mercury inquired.
"Now that you mention it, yes I have," Amy said. Realization dawned as she recalled the times she had experienced pain, sometimes when she was asleep. She had dismissed them as imaginations from the nightmares she had during that time.
Suddenly she realized something that she had forgotten, "Wait a minute, I just remembered. You were the one who sent those messages and calls. Why did you do it?"
Mercury remained silent as Amy continued to speak, "You sent me through all of those horrors and troubles! Why did you do it? Why didn't you simply come up to me and tell me right then? Why all that? WHY?" Amy was screeching, breathing a bit rapidly now that all the memories of the last two days returned to her.
Mercury refused to answer her question. Instead, she continued, "Those pain you have felt --I feel them as well-- they are the result of the instability building up. As it builds up, the pain becomes more frequent and intense. The instability will continue to worsen until it reaches the point where it will destroy both the original and the duplicate."
Amy drew her hands to her mouth when she heard the last words. Did this mean that her duplicate would die? And will she die, too?
"However," Mercury continued, raising her semi-automatic Colt at Amy, "If one of the objects are destroyed, the level of instability will regress until it ceases to exist."
As she completed her sentence, she fired.
Amy screamed when Mercury pulled the trigger, and squeezed her eyes tight. She anticipated the darkness to embrace her as pain flared in her chest, doubling her over.
Then it was gone.
Amy opened her right eye warily and saw that she had received no gunshot wound. She opened her left eye, raising her head, and saw that Mercury had doubled over as well. She called out to Mercury cautiously, and rose from her position.
Mercury rose as well, trying to speak and supress the pain inside her, "Now do you see what I mean? Because of the rift, there is a level of instability between us, and it can inflict pain upon us. If it continues to increase, we both will be killed!" Her voice was hoarse as she tried to recover.
She threw aside her gun. She had purposely left the blanks inside it, and the thing was now useless to her. Even though she was Amy's duplicate and knew everything about her, she wasn't sure about how orginal Amy would react when she was threatened by a gun. She didn't want the thing to go off accidentally and kill her twin before she could explain.
Having recovered sufficiently, she walked back to the bench and withdrew a backpack from underneath it.
Amy demanded to know what Mercury was doing, but she ignored her and removed a bulky object from the bag. Amy's eyes widened when she realized what Mercury was up to.
The duplicate, Amy Mizuno, also known as Sailor Mercury, swiveled her energy gun around at the original Amy and fired it. An energy blast spat forth, and detonated itself against a tree trunk behind her.
Amy shouted at Mercury, "What are you trying to do, kill me?!?"
"Precisely." she replied simply, firing yet another round at Amy, who was in the direct path this time. She dove quickly to the right, avoiding the blast which decapitated another tree.
Mercury continued to fire off shots as she spoke, missing Amy as she dodged them, "If we want the instability to stop, then one of us must die! It's the only way! Otherwise the instability will kill us both!"
Mercury paused for a moment to recalibrate the settings on her energy gun, then began firing. Instead of energy blasts, the gun shot out a steady stream of deadly light.
"Lasers!" Amy had to dive again to avoid having her head cut off. The beam of pure light singed several strands of her hair. She looked behind her back and saw that the laser had already dissapiated. Evidently Mercury had calibrated for a short-range, but powerful and deadly laser.
She realized that at this rate, she would not survive for long against Mercury's gun. She decided to bolt instead of staying like a sheep waiting to be culled.
Mercury cursed the original Amy as she dodged her blasts, and escaped through the clearing made by her previous energy blasts. She was angry that things weren't going according to her plan. She should have vaporized Amy with the first blast, yet for some reason she had yanked her gun sideways at the last second.
The shot had missed, and had given Amy an opportunity to escape, making things more difficult for her and Amy both. This was not what she had in mind when she created her energy gun. One shot would have completed the job, quickly and painlessly. She didn't want her twin to suffer. But now, that might no longer be the case.
Amy might die horribly, and the duplicated Amy didn't want that to happen. Why did she miss?
"Amy! I'm coming! You can't escape me!" With that, Sailor Mercury followed, her heart pumping painfully with the awareness that when she killed Amy, she also would be killing a small part of herself.
* * * *
"This is ridiculous." Amy muttered as she ran through a hedge, numerous small branches raking out at her body. At least she had managed to give her twin duplicate the slip.
Her mind was swirling around with words that she and the duplicated Amy had exchanged.
"...duplicated beings know how they came into existence, and with that comes the realization that they are not the original."
"...the pain becomes more frequent and intense. The instability will continue to build until it reaches the point where it will destroy..."
"...one of the objects are destroyed, the level of instability will regress..."
Amy shook her head. She just couldn't understand why her duplicate was trying to kill her. Why didn't she just come over to Amy and admit the truth, and they could have used their brains to solve the problem?
Amy had to do something. The alternate Mercury posed a threat to the people in the garden as long as she continued to search for her, so she would have to stop her. Removing her transformation rod, she shouted.
"Mercury Power, Transform!"
Just as the duplicate Amy had transformed to Sailor Mercury, Amy's school uniform was replaced with her sailor suit, long gloves, and boots. A golden tiara with a blue crystal embedded in it materialized on her forehead.
Completing her transformation with a pose, she was no longer Amy Mizuno, but now Sailor Mercury.
Sailor Mercury knew what she had to do. She activated her scanner on her head, which materialized as a blue band across her eyes. A moment later, she had pinpointed the double Mercury's location.
She switched her scanner off, and observed her surroundings, saw a fair-sized rock and picked it up. Calculating her plan, the scout ran towards the predetermined location of her double, preparing herself for the inevitable confrontation.
* * * *
The "cloned" Mercury waited patiently. She knew that Amy wouldn't go any further, especially since she had somewhat "intentionally" endangered the bystanders in the garden with her sudden attack on Amy. Amy wouldn't allow that, and would return. As Sailor Mercury, perhaps.
Being Sailor Mercury would give Amy a fair chance against her. Good. She wanted Amy to have a fair chance to win. Since she and Amy were the same person, the fact that Amy was the original and she was her duplicate notwithstanding, she felt that it was only fair that both should have a equal opportunity to win.
Recalibrating her energy gun, she explored the garden in pursuit for her escaped twin. Without warning, Amy's voice appeared out of nowhere, surrounding her.
"Amy, you are my twin duplicate. Why are you doing this? We can find a way to stop our instability."
For a moment there, after hearing Amy's pleas, Mercury almost gave in. She wanted to become friends with her original, go places with her and have fun together. She wanted it badly.
But her inner resolve wrenched Mercury's mind away from the hypnotic spell which almost entranced her. Mercury blinked, then frowned, "No! There's no way!" She screamed, seemingly at nobody.
There was a slight rustle behind her. Taking no chances, Mercury swiveled around, firing. The volley of energy blasts narrowly missed their target as the original sailor leaped out of the way. Mercury was glad to see that her assumption that the original Amy had transformed into Sailor Mercury was correct. But that did not refrain her from trying to draw a bead on the leaping scout.
Original Mercury dodged yet another volley, which tore into the greenery and ignited several small fires. When she landed, she put her idea into action. She hurled the rock she had found earlier directly at the blazing energy gun. The stone barreled right down the barrel just as the holder of the weapon was preparing to fire.
The resulting explosion took out the gun, knocking the Mercury duplicate backwards into a bush. The original Mercury ran over to the downed sailor to ask if she was hurt.
"I'm fine. Thank you for your concern." The alternate scout pulled herself out of the bush even as she said the words.
"Why are you doing this? Why kill me?"
The twin of the original Mercury gritted her teeth and replied, "Because I don't want to die. I want to live!"
"Mercury Ice Storm Splash!" She unleashed a torrent of water at her twin. The original Mercury spotted the attack at the last second, and immediately jumped.
As she jumped, she glanced over her back and saw that the water blast had uprooted several trees, snapping others in half as well. The water finally froze, and the trees covered with ice crumbled into shards. She couldn't believe that her duplicate had such power inside her.
But then, she should have known. If her duplicate can be Sailor Mercury, then why couldn't she herself have powers as well?
"It's something you will learn later. If you live, that is!" The duplicate jumped to follow the retreating scout.
* * * *
Somewhere nearby, a familiar face stopped besides a beautiful yellow rose, and bent over to smell it. She was wearing a simple yellow blouse and blue denim shorts. A moment later, the girl with auburn-colored hair resumed her walk.
"That rose smells wonderful. Too bad Serena couldn't come with me." Molly Baker inhaled the fresh aroma of the flowers around her.
Despite the pleasant thoughts, she was a bit troubled. She had asked Serena, one of her unusual friends, if she would like to take a walk through the beautiful Garden nearby with her an hour and half ago. But she had rejected her offer immediately.
"Sorry, I got to go!" Serena had replied. There was a sense of urgency and concern inside her voice, something Molly wasn't used to hearing from her ditzy friend.
Something terrible must have happened, but what? She had no idea. Her thoughts were interrupted moments later by an explosion to her right.
"Huh? Was that some kind of a bomb? What's going on?" Molly said aloud in bewilderment. She could see smoke rise briefly. Several minutes later, she saw several trees topple over, and a blue blur shoot out into the sky. The blur landed several yards from her, and she immediately recognized it.
"Sailor Mercury!" Molly cried out in astonishment.
Sailor Mercury seemed a bit exhausted, and worn out. Molly watched Mercury leap high into the air to intercept another blue blur that Molly hadn't noticed.
She could see that Mercury was fighting with some unknown opponent, and received a well-placed roundhouse in her stomach. Caught off-guard, Mercury fell and crashed into the ground hard. She went skidding across the garden, ruining the beautiful landscape.
Molly was about to run over to the downed sailor, when she heard the words above her, "Mercury Ice Storm Splash!"
Next thing she knew, an enormous stream of water splashed over the landscape, and froze in an instant. Sailor Mercury had jumped clear of the blast in the nick of time, and a bit of ice froze to her heels.
Molly couldn't believe the extent of damage. Hundreds of flowers and trees had been frozen cold, right in the middle of spring!
She saw Mercury land somewhere further away with her back turned to her, just as her opponent landed in front of Mercury. She could see who Mercury's opponent was, and couldn't believe her eyes.
"Another Sailor Mercury! How is this possible?" Molly gasped in disbelief as the second Mercury launched yet another Mercury Ice Storm Splash attack. She watched the first Mercury dodge the attack and launch her own attack.
"Mercury Bubble Blast!" Sailor Mercury screamed, willing the water droplets to form in the surrounding area. In moments, the entire area was blanketed by a fine fog, and Molly was unable to see her own hands only several inches from her face.
"Sailor Mercury!" Molly shouted, hoping that everything was okay with the blue scout.
* * * * *
The original Mercury had hoped her attack would slow her twin duplicate down a bit, but it was an unsuccessful attempt. If it weren't for her head scanner, she would have been frozen by the Mercury Ice Storm Splash attack that materialized moments after she used her Mercury Bubbles Blast attack.
She jumped straight up, and caught a hold of a branch on a nearby tree. She swung over it, and landed atop it. She was still using her scanner, and knew that her duplicate would be using hers as well.
A dozen avenues of attack flashed across her mind, but none of them were effective. She had to find a way to disable, or knock out her opponent, but how? With the Mercury Ice Storm Splash attack, the twin could easily freeze her if she tried to attack. All she could do was to keep on dodging.
Unfortunately, she was starting to tire out. She had to find a way to end this battle quickly. The battle had taken far longer than she had excepted, and she was tiring out fast.
"Oh, damn!" Mercury gritted her teeth as her scanner beeped intensely, warning her of an incoming attack. Mercury quickly thrust herself into the air even as a block of ice shattered the tree she had been in only a moment ago. Hundreds of spikes pelted her, and she drew herself into a ball to reduce the chances of harm.
The fog was starting to clear away, and the original scout could see where she was landing. However, she failed to notice a three inch-long wooden spike before it punctured her leg.
Sailor Mercury went down, screaming and clutching her leg, as agony swept through her leg. Realizing the danger, she managed to yank the spike out, and attempted to stand. Pain flared and she stumbled to the ground again.
She realized that her injured leg would prove to be a great disadvantage. Observing her leg, her fears were confirmed. There was no way she could defend herself with an injured leg.
To make things worse, she saw her double leaping towards her with an ice shard in her hand, poised for the kill. The double Mercury had seen the entire thing, and decided to use it to her advantage. She grabbed an ice shard for use as a sword. She wanted to deliver a quick, clean kill so the original Mercury wouldn't suffer anymore. She jumped, hoisting her shard up high.
The original Mercury remained immobile on the ground, her wide blue eyes following the shard's motion towards her. At this moment, she realized that she had lost her battle and would be killed.
Time seemed to slow down as the sadness overwhelmed her. After her death, her duplicate would surely replace her, and her friends would never know what happened to her.
She would never get the chance to graduate from her class, or to experience love. Never.
She also would never see her friends again. She would not transform into Sailor Mercury again to help her fellow Scouts save Earth. Never Again.
The time continued to slow down as Amy Mizuno's duplicate advanced, preparing to end the life of the original Amy Mizuno; as a Sailor Scout prepared to kill one of her own.
A single word buzzed around the wounded scout's mind.
A tiny voice emerged inside her mind, echoing the single word.
The voice continued to repeat it, rising in volume and intensity.
Something snapped inside her, and anger filled her body, causing her to tremble. Sailor Mercury tensed her body, her mouth rising in a snarl as she concentrated on the single word.
"NEVER!" Sailor Mercury screamed as she went into reflexive stance, preparing to attack.
"Supreme Mercury Ice Storm Splash!"
There was a sudden sharp sound, almost like thunder as Mercury unleashed her attack. In an instant, she had created an enormous, high pressure blast of water which shot at the attacking scout. There were also innumerable spikes of ice inside the stream traveling at high speeds.
The double Mercury had only a split second to realize that she had made a mistake. A fatal mistake.
She received the full force of the blast. The impact of water was about the equivalent of hitting concrete after falling from the top of a ten-story building. The numerous ice shards also tore through her uniform into her body, spilling out blood which dyed the water red. She went sailing across the sky and out of sight.
The torrent ceased abruptly a moment later, and the original Mercury was reeling. She could not believe what she had done. She had created a high-pressure liquid water blast containing large amounts of ice shards in only a split second.
She suddenly realized how deadly it was, especially since her twin duplicate had been only a meter from her. She was suddenly worried about the dwindling scout in the air.
Determined to follow, she removed her bow on her blouse, and wound it tightly around her wounded leg. Ignoring the pain, she began hopping across the garden, following the trail of blood.
* * * *
Molly could see that the battle had ended. She had seen one of the scouts
hurled across the sky until she vanished, while the other one was trying
She realized that Sailor Mercury had been wounded, and decided to help. No sooner than she had taken a step, did she hear a thunderclap.
It was the loudest she had ever heard in her life. She surprised herself by jumping into the air in fright. She would later recall how alike she was to Serena when she did that, but was more concerned about the wounded blue scout.
After landing on her butt, she tried to find Sailor Mercury. She was nowhere to be found.
"How could she have disappeared so quickly with a wounded leg?" Molly wondered as the rain began falling.
She stood there, without noticing the cascading rain which drenched her, staring at the trail of blood as it mingled with rainwater.
* * * *
Despite her injured limb, it took Sailor Mercury only ten minutes to
follow the trail of her fallen duplicate by leaping across the buildings,
to an abandoned warehouse.
She broke the lock on the doors and entered. She stood silently, hoping for a sound. It came, she quickly pinpointed it, and rapidly hobbled towards the source. She found her twin self, fearing the worst. She was unprepared for what she saw.
After being struck by the water blast, the alternate Mercury had gone sailing across the sky for nearly half a mile and crashed through the thick wooden roof of the warehouse, ending up in a pile of splintered wooden boxes.
The ice shards had long ago melted, but the damage could still be seen. There was a large hole in her stomach, and many smaller ones in the chest region.
Incredibly, she was still alive. She was losing blood rapidly, though. The wounded duplicate turned her head aside and saw her friend kneeling beside her.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do it!" orginal Mercury flustered, trying her best to mend the wounds on the alternate Mercury's body. She was restrained, however, by her patient.
"No, it's not your fault. It was mine, not yours..."
"What do you mean?" The doctoring Mercury struggled to contain the blood gushing out onto her chest.
"The mail, and calls. I had tried to soften you up somewhat..." The duplicate coughed up blood, and tried to continue, "I had pushed you too far..."
There was nothing Mercury could do. She had seen enough medical data to know that her duplicate was dying.
"No! Please don't die!"
"No, it had to happen. It's the only way." Her breathing was becoming quite shallow, and she was no longer looking at the original, but at the ceiling instead. "I only wish I could have won instead."
The dying sailor raised her right hand for Mercury to grasp. She continued to cough as she spoke, "Amy, please take care of your friends. They're valuable, and you cannot replace them. You must protect them, as well as Princess Serenity..."
"Princess Serenity...? Who are you talking about?"
All of the sudden, the blood-stained scout uniform of the doomed sailor vanished, replaced by her school uniform. It looked as tattered, blood-stained, and wet as her previous uniform was.
Amy then pulled out her transformation rod and handed it over to the sailor, urging her to take it. Mercury protested, but she pressed on, "Take it, you know what to do with it. Please..."
Reluctantly, Mercury took the rod out of Amy's hands, gripping it tightly. Amy gave out a sigh of relief as she did so.
"Thanks. Funny... I don't feel any pain..." Amy smiled at her Sailor Mercury who continued to hold her hand. With that, she closed her eyes forever.
Sailor Mercury sat still in shock until she started shaking the body, "Wake up! Please wake up!"
The chest ceased rising and became still. Amy's hand went limp in her hands. When she realized what had happened, she screamed, "NO!" and wept.
Several long minutes passed as rain poured in through the hole from the roof upon them. The crying eventually subsided.
Sailor Mercury stood up, ignoring the pain in her right leg, and stared at the dead body of her duplicate, Amy Mizuno. She released her breath and nodded her head once, paying the respects to her dead friend.
Outside the warehouse, lighting bolts flashed across the skies and the rain continued to pour. People ran everywhere, trying to get out of the downpour, unaware of the events that took place in a small abandoned warehouse.
The blue sailor opened her left hand and stared at the transformation rod inside it. Emotionlessly, she raised her right arm, and her power surged once more again. The rod was instantly encased inside the half an inch-thick layer of ice.
Unconsciously, she snapped the rod, which had been rendered brittle by the intense cold of the ice, into two. She then dropped them near the body. One of pieces that struck the ground shattered, while the top half had somehow remained intact.
Sailor Mercury turned abruptly, holding back tears in her eyes, and began walking towards the exit. She did not spare the dead body one last look as she entered the storm.
The storm raged joyously, welcoming its newest companion.
Author's Note: Now that you have finished reading my fanfic, please
read the After-notes. It will explain several things that had been disputed
Please tell me what you think about my fanfic. Please send comments, questions, suggestions, or flames, to me at Robert Hatch, Jr.
Created on March 9, 1997
Last Modified: August 4, 1997
Hello, everyone. This is my second attempt in Sailor Moon fanfics, but the first posted. Since fanfic writing is still pretty new to me, please take in some consideration about some things below.
Disclaimers: Sailor Moon: Crimson Sailor Mercury fanfic and characters are based on Sailor Moon animation series. Sailor Moon animation is based upon Japanese comic book, or manga, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, created by Takeuchi Naoko. Sailor Moon Anime Japanese Version Acknowledgments: Sailor Moon copyright (C) 1992 by Takeuchi Naoko/Kodansha, produced by TOEI Animation.
Sailor Moon Anime North American Version Acknowledgments: Sailor Moon adaptation (C) 1995 by DIC Entertainment, syndicated by Program Exchange. All rights reserved.
You should be aware that all rights to Sailor Moon in this series belongs to Takeuchi Naoko. However, there are several things that are my creation. This fanfic I have written are my creation as well. (NOTE: The (C) symbol is the copyright symbol. I used this one because the actual symbol is not ASCII compliant.)
Minor Note: The Japanese names listed here in the disclaimer are listed in Japanese style, with family names first.
Crimson Sailor Mercury is an one-time fanfic, dealing with one of the scouts. However, if you like this story, then I might extend it into a saga. I certainly have a quite few more good ideas for later additions. I already have a possible follow-up fanfic on the waiting bench. But please send me e-mail to let me know how you liked my story. I would love to write more stories.
I have to warn you, though, this story will be bit confusing at start. So please be patient and keep on reading. Everything will be explained at the end (well almost everything). But if you still don't understand, please e-mail me and I'll try to help you.
I had included the after-notes which explains the major disputes that my fanfic had created. But please do *not* read it until you finish the fanfic.
As you already have read above, this is my second fanfic. My first fanfic series is known as Sailor Moon: The Dark Crescent Moon, The Return Ascension of the Darkness. It is still far from completion, and will not be able to release it for several months.
Oh, here are the names of the characters in this story, and I'm pretty certain that you already know the North American version names. :) (NOTE: The Japanese names are listed with family names first)
Japanese Names: CSM Names: Scouts: Tsukino Usagi Serena Tsukino (Moon) Mizuno Ami Amy Mizuno (Mercury) Hino Rei Raye Hino (Mars) Kino Makoto Lita Kino (Jupiter)
(Note: The Scouts' names are in NA version, but has Japanese version
for last names.)
I also had created a new type of attack for Mercury: Supreme Mercury Ice Bubbles Freeze: This creates a tightly focused water blast, at very high speeds. The water blast also contains numerous ice shards which are very sharp. This attack can cause serious injury and is lethal at close range.
Please do not copy, borrow, or use my creations for any of your fanfics without my permission. If there was anything similar to what I've had created, then I assure you that I was completely unaware of this, and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Also, please excuse my grammar errors. I haven't been into writting much. If you spot any errors, please let me know. Thanks.
I would like to thank LeVar Bouyer for his help in reading my fanfic and spotting my errors.
If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or flames, please e-mail me at AlphSailor@aol.com.
You may copy and distribute this fanfic for free, as long there are no changes made, and this author's note is included.
Robert Hatch, Jr.
a.k.a. Sailor Alpha
"This is fun no matter *how* many times I do it!"
-Ukyo Kuonji, a.k.a. Ucchan, in Ranma 1/2