"Are you sure you're ok Jupiter?" asked Venus walking next to her friend. They had walked a great distance and were now cutting through the northern forest. It was dusk and the sun was quickly setting behind the horizon. The little light left scattered through the trees and on the long path ahead of them. "Yes, I'll be fine. I just need a little time to think." said Jupiter. Her mind felt numb. Like the pain and memories that came flooding back had just washed away all her thoughts and emotions. She felt nothing. She needed to be alone to think. The group walked further into the forest. With each turn of the road the more the light started to fade. They had come to a clearing in the path which opened up in a large circle. "It's getting dark, maybe we should stop for today. There's no way we can help Serena if we're dead tired. We've hadn't much sleep since all this started. A good night's rest would do us all good." said Amy. She took advantage of the time for they were in a suitable place to set up camp. Tuxedo Mask looked as if to protest but then thinking again he realized she was right. If they were tired they we do more harm than good when it came for them to fight. "Yeah lets setup camp here. Venus, you and Jupiter go get some wood for a fire while Mars and Mercury go to find us something to eat. We want to be rested and fed when we have to do battle. I'll stay here and try to clear away the large stones and make a place for the fire. Stay together and keep alert, they say this woods is inhabited with monsters." They all agreed and went off to accomplish each task. Tuxedo Mask watched as each of them went off while they still had daylight to aid them. ******************************************* "Gila report!" said Mars as she sat in front of a black console. A few seconds later it burst to life and an image appeared on the screen. The "person" on the screen was a tall individual with gray and black skin. He resembled a lizard. His face was covered with scales and the skin around his eyes was tight and exposed two red eyes with thin black slits in each. "Gila is here master!" it said. It voice raspy and jagged. It stuck out it's tongue like a snake. "I have a job for you. There are 5 life forms heading into your forest. Make sure they don't reach the palace. Our scans show they have stopped for the night around midway through the forest. I want you to wait until it's dark and then attack. Do you understand?" said Mars, her voice had a menacing and commanding tone to it. "Gila understand. Gila will prepare for attack right away. Gila is honoured you have chosen him to carry out this mission. Thank you my master." said the beast bowing his head to Mars. "That is all. Just make sure you stop them before they leave that forest! Mars out." Mars sat back in the chair as the screen went black. She closed her eyes, resting them for a moment. It had been a long day and she was tired. Then from the corner of her mind she felt a different presence in the room. She quickly opened her eyes and spun around the chair. She couldn't see who it was but had already known before she had even opened her eyes. "What do you have to report?" came the voice from the shadows. "I have sent Gila to destroy the intruders. It is as good as done my love." Mars stood and walked closer to the person. He walked closer too, leaving behind the veil of darkness. It was Tuxedo Mask. Every thing was the same as with Mars, only for the eyes were as dark as night. They moved closer still until they met. He kissed her, savoring the moment. After a few moments he broke the kiss and put his arm around her. They both walked into the darkness, leaving the empty room behind them. ******************************** "So what did you find to eat?" asked Tuxedo Mask as Mars and Mercury returned. He had taken off his hat and Jacket when he started moving the stones. "We found some fruit, I think they're apples. I scanned them to make sure they weren't poisonous." said Mercury. She was carrying a big load of apples in her arms. "We also found some carrots but they were rotten. It figures we are in Serena's mind after all." said Mars. She too was carrying some fruit in her arms. "Great all we need now is for Venus and Jupiter to return and then we can get the fire going. It's starting to get dark." said Tuxedo Mask as he sat down on one of the boulders he had moved. He had cleared a lot of them away and shaped some of the smaller ones into a circle on the ground. They waited for awhile, neither one talking. It had been the first real moment they had sat down to rest. Each was tired and was reflecting on the events of the day. Then just before it got dark Venus and Jupiter returned with wood for the fire. "Hi everybody, sorry we're so late we kinda got lost." said Venus as her and Jupiter emerged from the woods. "That's ok, we can start the fire now. Bring some of it over here." said Tuxedo Mask as he motioned for Venus to come over. Tuxedo Mask took the wood and fashioned it into a small pile in the center of the ring. He then stepped away and asked Mars to light the fire. "Mars Fire Ignite!" she said letting forth a short blast of flames to start the fire. It was burning brightly now. The glow lighted up the clearing as nightfall began to envelope the forest. They all sat around the fire and began to eat the fruit that Mars and Mercury had brought back. After dinner they all sat around the fire in a dead silence. The tension spoke volumes as they watched the fire dance back and forth. "Maybe we should go to sleep early." said Mercury, breaking the silence, "It's been a long day and no one has gotten much sleep the last few days. We can get up early tomorrow and head for the palace." "Yeah you're right. But should someone stay awake and keep watch?" said Venus. "No I think we should be all right. Fire usually keeps away wild animals." said Tuxedo Mask as he yawned. "You're probably right. Lets get some sleep." said Venus. They all agreed and lay down near to the fire for warmth. Each of them slowly drifted off to sleep, all except for Jupiter. She lay on her back just staring up into the night sky. High above the sky was covered with stars on a black velvet backdrop. She admired the trees as they curved up ward towards the infinite dome high above. She then remember the accident. As she thought of it her body had tensed up slightly as it did before. She thought she had gotten over these feelings, thought they weren't part of her anymore. She could remember as the plane went down. She could barely remember her mother's face as she reached out her hand for her. Then came the screams. She thought she would never forget the sounds of the people screaming. Then everything was a blur, the next thing she could remember was being found by a fireman. She had been the only one to survive the crash. They never could understand why she survived and no one else did. Jupiter was astonished how vivid the memories were. Before she could hardly remember but now she could remember much more. They weren't perfectly clear but at least they were there. She shook her head trying to rid her self of the memories. She turned over on her side and away from the sky. She stared into the darkness where the light of the fire couldn't reach. "Did something just move?!" she thought, "No it's just my imagination." she dismissed the thought and continued looking into the darkness. This time something did move. From the darkness she could see two eyes sparkling red. "Oh god! Something's out there!" she shouted while jumping to her feat, "Wake up Everybody!" "What, what's going on?" said Mars waking from her sleep and turning around to see a shadow starting to move in the dark. It jumped free from the darkness and straight at her. Mars jumped into the air now fully awake and screamed out "Mars Celestial Fire Surround!" but nothing happened, "What happened to my powers?" she said. She then noticed that the monster was still coming towards her. She went into a round house kick to strike the monster but it simply grabbed her leg and threw her through the air. Mars hit the trunk of a tree and fell into a pile on the ground. The beast was now standing before them. It looked half human. The upper torso was shaped as a human with two arms and a head but the lower body curved down and back with four legs coming out of the sides. It was covered with scales. It's eyes glowed bright as it glared at the scouts and Tuxedo Mask. "Gila is ruler of this wood. Infidels must die. Master commands it. Gila will destroy!" it hissed at them raising it's arms and extending two giant spikes from both. The lizard like monster started running forward ready to cut right through them but they jumped away in time. As it barreled past them it turned to continue the assault. As it reasserted it's gaze it focused on Jupiter. "Jupiter Thunder Crash!" she screamed. This time it worked from her hands spun forth a ball of energy. Yet the monster simply put up the two spikes in front of him using them as a shield and sending the force of the attack back to her. The attack hit Jupiter and immobilized her. Leaving her unconscious on the ground. "I won't let you harm another living thing with your hatred!" stated Tuxedo Mask as he appeared from one of the trees. He jumped down to where it stood. Tuxedo Mask thrust his cane forward which clashed with the monster's claws. They both fought back and forth like that for awhile. Each of them swinging their weapons back and forth. They both stood there eyeing each other for the next attack. "Mercury bubbles Blast!" shouted Mercury from behind the monster. A thick mist filled the air, leaving the monster confused. Gila moved his head back and forth looking for the attack. Then from the fog Tuxedo Mask burst forth with his cane. It came down across it's claws slicing them both off. It screamed with pain and then stopped as the claws slowly withered and retracted back into it's forearms. "Now Venus!" shouted Tuxedo Mask as he jumped away from the creature. "Venus Love Chains Encircle!" she screamed sending forth a ribbon of light which encircled the monster and instantly turned it to dust. "Good Job Scouts!" said Tuxedo Mask as the fog cleared. "Where's Mars and Jupiter? Are they Ok?" said Venus running over to where Mars lay on the ground. She felt for a pulse, she was alive. "What, What happened? Did we miss all the fun?" said Mars as she sat up. "It would seem so." said Venus helping her on to her feet. "Just our luck, eh Mars." said Jupiter shaking her head as she too rose from the ground. "So what happened to your powers Mars?" said Tuxedo Mask coming over to where her and Venus were. "I don't know they just wouldn't work." said Mars looking confused and still a little dazed, "They had worked when I had started the fire, why not now?" "Venus I think I might know what is going on. Try destroying that boulder over there with your powers." "Ok." she said turning towards the rock, "Venus Love Chains Encircle!" she shouted but nothing happened. "So what does it all mean Mercury?" said Jupiter looking towards Mercury. Jupiter was tired now. She had been up for a long while and they just had a battle. She wasn't in a good mood. "I'm not exactly sure but I do know one thing. Our powers can only be used once here and then they become void. Maybe something else focuses our powers here. What ever it is all of us has used our powers once already and we won't be able to use them again until our mission is over." "All except me right? I rely on weapons instead of powers." said Tuxedo Mask. "You're probably right." said Mercury walking over with Jupiter. "So who do you think sent that thing after us?" said Mars looking once again to Mercury for an answer. "I don't know. My best guess would be the dark pillar we saw on the mountain." "So what do we do now?" said Jupiter. "Why don't we get some sleep but this time we'll have some one keep watch. We'll all take turns." said Tuxedo Mask as they all walked back over to the fire. "I'll take the first watch." said Mars, "I'm wide awake and won't be able to get to sleep for some time." "Are you sure?" said Tuxedo mask, "I can stay up if you want?" "No that's ok." said Mars as she sat down on one of the rocks while the others lay down once again. This time Jupiter fell right to sleep. She was exhausted from the fight. Mars sat down looking into the fire. It flickered back and forth dancing in the crisp night air. She put on a few more logs and watched as it started to burn bright once again. She looked upward into the night sky. Admiring the milky way that stretched across the sky. She was wide awake and her mind was focused on Serena. "Why did I say those things?" she thought, "How could I have been so cruel to Serena. She can be annoying some times but still I was way out of line." She pictured Serena's face as it was at the zoo. She gazed again into the fire. It glowed orange and red. It reminded her of being at home. She missed the temple. Tomorrow they would reach the palace and their question would be answered; For better or for worst? *************************************** It was early morning and the sun was mid way into the sky. The light of day had cast away all nightmares and harsh memories of the past. The scouts had been walking for hours. They had left the forest and it's shadows behind them. They were coming upon the palace. It was a true representation of the palace on the moon. It must have been composed of pure memories thought Mercury. Each of them remembered different things of the palace. It was like remembering the words to an old song which came back when you hear it once again. "It looks pretty deserted." said Mars as they walked down a long, wide path with lush green hedges on both sides and split down the center with a shimmering pool. "Most of the Guards must be fighting the battle we saw on the mountain." replied Jupiter. They all walked up the steps and in through the giant doors. They entered into the main hall where they could see Queen Serenity and a team of soldiers. Queen Serenity was dressed in a long silk dress which reached to the ground. A quiet, pensive expression crossed her face. As Queen Serenity saw them enter her jaw dropped. After her initial response of shock her face quickly changed to anger. "How did they get past the energy barrier?! Guards seize them!" she shouted. The guards quickly followed her orders and grabbed and bound them. "But Queen Serenity we're here to help!" protested Tuxedo Mask as he struggled to free himself from the guard. "All lies! You will pay for what you've done! I will make sure you suffer. Throw them into the dungeon!" she commanded once again. "You don't know what you're doing!" shouted Mars as she was pulled off out of the Main Hall. Queen Serenity walked back to the throne and sat down. She looked upwards through the large window and into the morning sky. One of the lieutenants returned; Walking up to her he kneeled and took off his helmet. "My Queen what are we to do with the prisoners?" "They will be put on trial for their crimes and if found guilty they will be punished." she said with the air of anger. "As you wish my queen." said the lieutenant. He quickly turned and left. "How dare they! The audacity! How did they get past the barrier. It doesn't matter. Tomorrow they will be judged for their crimes and then punished to the full extent of my powers." she thought. She was angry but that anger and vengeance inside her would be quenched soon. She had "The betrayers" and she wouldn't let them leave here alive for what they had done.