Sailor Rifts
Chapter 1: Prologue. Or, Phate Strikes At The Heart'
By Simon Woodington

"Mercury, no!" Sailor Moon cried as her friend jumped at the flame lion that had appeared out of the strange portal only minutes before.

"I won't let you hurt my friends!" the blue haired scout said, calm in her anger. "Mercury Ice StormŠ Splash!" A cold wind blew across the park, where they had happened into the shimmering blue gateway. As the icy uttering swept nearby trees, their leaves froze, losing their earlier animation. The flame lion stood, the intensity of it's fiery coat waning under the frigid attack of Mercury's summoning.

The lion had yet to speak; and the first of it's vocal castings left a chill down Mercury's spine. It's deep voice let out in a animal war cry. Mercury could not miss the implications has the creature leapt at her, claws tearing, and jaw snapping. She fell limp to the ground, the lion's teeth firmly caught in her shoulder.

"Jupiter ThunderŠ Crash!" Came a voice. A bright flash snapped through the air and seized the already fazed flame beast, who dropped Mercury's motionless frame.

"Jupiter!" exclaimed the blond haired leader of the Senshi.

"I couldn't let that Nega-creep get the best of you, IŠ" her voice faltered as she took stock of why her friend had not moved to help Mercury.

Sailor Moon looked up at Jupiter, tears trailing down her face. In her arms she held a badly wounded Mars.

"Th-thatŠ" Jupiter stammered as she knelt down next to Sailor Moon. Mar's eyes trembled as they opened again, and came to regard Jupiter.

"Mako-chanŠ" she said, her voice faint.

"What happenedŠ?"

"TheŠ lion came through that - ," Usagi supplied in hushed tones as she pointed to the portal, " - and attacked usŠ we barely had time for our henshinŠ!"

Sailor Jupiter merely bowed her head for a moment, before raising it again and standing. Her eyes glowered angrily under the brown locks and pony-tail of her hair.

"Jupiter you can't! It'llŠ"

"Jupiter! Wait! I'll help you," Minako ran up to stand next to her, her long straight blond hair flowing out behind her.

Jupiter simply nodded, looking deeply wronged and darkly intense.