Setsuna led Rei to the infirmary, where Dr. Kiara Mizuno was waiting. “Ahh, here you are. Is our new student here yet?” The young doctor asked as she took over leading the young miko to a chair.
Setsuna nodded to Kiara as she wheeled over next to Rei. “Yes. If you could, we need to have her undergo a full physical, though I suspect her only real problems are elevated levels of stress.”
Rei did not interrupt the two as she listened to the conversation. Kiara moved to Rei’s side as she replied, “I can set it up for after she gets settled in, if you’d like?” She then turned toward Rei and asked, “Can you take off the wrap, please? Keep your eyes closed, however.” The girl nodded as she began to undo the gauze bandages, setting the cloth aside.
Setsuna sighed gently. “The sooner, the better.” She agreed as she looked back toward Rei. “Have you been experiencing any more headaches, Rei?”
Rei finished undoing the bandages and shook her head. “No, Meioh-sensei.”
Kiara nodded in approval. “Very good.” She then wheeled a panel in before the miko, with some difficulty it seemed. Then she handed the girl a pair of tinted glasses. “Here you go, dear. Go ahead and try them on?”
Rei slid the glasses on hesitantly, then took several deep breaths, before ever so slowly opening her eyes. A broad smile crossed her face as tears began to flow down her face, and with a rush, she threw her arms about Kiara and sobbed into her shoulder.
Change of Phases
The preceding and following characters and some scenarios are the possessions of Naoko Takeuchi and Stan Lee among others in Marvel Entertainment, Co and Toei Animation Group
Ami and Kikyo led Usagi toward a corridor of the facility. “These are the women’s dormitories,” the former explained as Usagi looked about the well furnished hallway. “Despite us outnumbering the boys two to one right now, there are still plenty of empty rooms, though Setsuna has each room customized for our particular… tastes. You’re allowed to redecorate as you wish, within reason, of course.”
Usagi looked toward the quiet young woman and raised an eyebrow. “Particular tastes?” She asked.
“Well, for some of us, it doesn’t matter, but you might appreciate the psycho-restrictive materials in your quarters. Rei-san has her own needs, as do a few other students.”
Usagi blinked. “Psywhat?”
Kikyo shook her head, chuckling. “She means the shielding in the walls. Keeps the noises out.”
Usagi blinked. “You’re a mind reader too?”
Kikyo grinned and shook her head. “No, I’m not a telepath. Close though, I’m actually an empath. I sense emotions. Believe me, the shielding is a godsend. Wonder how long it took Setsuna to figure it out.”
shook her head. “Actually, Setsuna told me that it was developed by a Doctor
Charles Xavier in
Kikyo ahhed and nodded. “Yes, the bald guy I saw on TV the other day at that press conference. Nice looking, though a bit tall.”
Ami shook her head. “Kikyo, I believe he’s almost three times your age.”
Kikyo shrugged. “So I like the mature look. It’s not like he’s fifty or something.” Usagi shook her head, which caught Kikyo’s attention. “So, what about you? What do you look for in a guy?”
“Well, I don’t really know. I kind of like mysterious, but lately, I’ve been put off by someone who was a little too mysterious.” Usagi said a bit distractedly as she examined the rooms, pausing at one with her own name on the plate.
Ami shook her head and then looked at the door. “Yes, Setsuna has already set up your room. It is a little plain right now, but you’re welcome to decorate it as I mentioned.”
Kikyo laughed a bit. “Too mysterious? What, did he wear a mask or something?”
Usagi muttered, “Something like that,” before opening the door and looking around. “Wow… I can feel the difference,” she said in wonder.
“I’m glad you like it.” With that voice, the three girls looked back toward the corridor, seeing Setsuna leading the young priestess again. However, this time, the girl was wearing a pair of tinted glasses. “Rei, I know you’ve met them before, but this is Mizuno Ami, Sakura Kikyo, and Tsukino Usagi,” Setsuna gestured to each girl as she named them.
Rei looked at each one, keeping her gaze on Usagi for quite a long moment before moving on. “It’s nice to see all of you finally.”
Kikyo smiled. “How does it feel?”
Rei sighed happily. “It feels like I can finally relax after a long journey.” She looked about the corridor in a kind of wonder before turning toward Setsuna. “May I go back to my quarters now?” she asked the woman.
Setsuna nodded. “I’ll be back in a while, girls.” She then led Rei toward her quarters. The girl took one last look at Usagi, cocking her head softly, before walking onward.
Usagi looked confused, but shrugged softly. She did not want to drop her shielding to pry, but wondered what the odd looks were for. Perhaps it was her hairstyle. With a shrug, Usagi looked back toward the two. Kikyo looked confused, as Ami smiled. “Well, do you need help bringing your luggage here, Usagi-san?”
Usagi nodded and smiled gently. “That would be wonderful.” She followed Ami back to the lounge. With a shrug, Kikyo followed along.
Two figures stood on a rooftop, staring at each other. One was clad in a gray uniform akin to some military dress uniform yet not. The other was clad in dark red armor, his features concealed beneath a helm. “I told your mistress once; I will not be a pawn in a war that ceased to have any meaning centuries ago.”
The dark general glared at the man in armor, but replied, “She has no intention of reneging on the deal. She has as much to gain with your aid as you do with hers. She merely wishes your assurance that you will keep your hands out of her dealings, and she will keep hers out of your own.”
“I will not impede her work, as long as she does her best to keep my people out of this. If she does involve my people, however, there will be reprisals. You can be assured of that.”
The general nodded. “Very well. There is just one thing she would request of you.”
Nothing could be seen within the shadows of the helm, but one could almost imagine a look of intense skepticism at this. “And what would that be?”
“There is a thorn in our side that we thought we had dealt with long ago. If you could help us, it would ensure a sense of mutual cooperation.”
Through some twist of fate or irony, the exact same two words were on the minds of both people as they departed. (Insufferable bastard…) both thought at the same time.
Shortly after, as the figure in gray bowed to his mistress, he began to explain. “My queen, Lensherr is hesitant to assist us, but he has promised not to hamper us for the time being.”
The figure behind the crystal frowned softly, nodding. “That will make things much easier. I do not trust these mutants, and as long as Lensherr is either pacified, neutral or upon our side, he, and those he recruits, cannot interfere with us.” After a pause, she continued, “Jedite, what of this Sailor Moon who defeated one of your collectors the other night?”
“Unfortunately, we have been unable to gather intelligence on her, as she has only shown up once. It is possible that she is a fluke, one of these mutants. However, with the sailor nominative, it is a possibility that she is actually linked to our ancient foe. If so, she is definitely a threat. Especially if all the Sailor Warriors emerge.”
Beryl nodded. “Very well. Continue your operations, Jedite.” As the General left, a figure emerged from the shadows. “Ahh, I figured you would arrive.”
“Those four are dangerous, Beryl,” the figure spoke in a deep, grinding tone, almost as low as tectonic movement as a gauntleted hand rested upon a rock. “They will fight you every step of the way.”
“That is so, but they are also very useful,” Beryl replied, “for both their powers, and the morale factor.”
The being nodded, his blue gloved hand sliding off of the stone as he strode away.
Usagi began to unpack as Kikyo perched on a chair. “So, Usagi-chan, you’re a telepath, huh? Guess you had the same kind of problems I did.”
Usagi nodded to the girl as she put her clothes in various drawers or on hangers. “What, couldn’t shut out the noise?” Usagi sighed. “Killed my grades and ended up with me on the outside. Only friend I had was Osaka Naru.”
Kikyo nodded sympathetically. “Well, I’m sure you’ll have many more friends now. Ami already likes you, I can tell. She’s the quiet type though.”
Usagi sat back on the bed and nodded. “Can’t wait to meet them all.” She said and stretched out, yawning.
Kikyo chuckled softly. “I’ll let you get some rest. Sleep tight.” She said and hopped out, closing the door.
Usagi was almost about to doze off when a light tap at the window was heard. Usagi struggled to get up and opened the window, revealing the little black cat. “Finally,” Luna said with some asperity.
Usagi blinked a little. “You followed me all the way here? Nice.” She shook her head and sat back. “So what brings you by?”
Luna glared at the girl. “Well, you did rather well for your first attempt.”
Usagi rolled her eyes. “Ahh, the Sailor thing.” An exasperated sigh escaped her as she asked, “Why do those darn skirts have to be so short?”
Luna blinked. “You’re complaining about skirts?” She says, astonished.
Usagi glared at the cat. “You’re not the one prancing around half naked.” After a pause, she groaned. “What am I saying, you’re prancing around all naked. Nevermind.”
Luna shook her head and sighed. “Usagi, this is very important. We don’t have time to deal with something as trivial as skirts. There’s a dangerous threat to all mankind.”
“Let me guess, the creature I fought the other night’s part of it? Pretty obvious if you ask me.” Usagi commented.
Luna nodded. “Centuries ago, a great kingdom existed. One of which you were part of in your previous life. However, despite the tries of the queen of this kingdom, a powerful being named Metallia sided it’s self with a rebel named Beryl, and destroyed the kingdom, but was contained in the process. Before the queen died, she sent her daughter and a group of her best warriors forward. You are one of those warriors, Sailor Moon.”
Usagi frowned a bit as she looked toward the cat. “Something isn’t right.” She replies, staring at the feline with a raised eyebrow. “You can’t remember, can you?”
Luna’s eyes widened. “Wh… whatever do you mean?”
Usagi looked Luna in the eyes. “You can’t remember who these warriors are, or even what they look like.”
Luna flinched. “No, I can’t. It’s… like there are holes in my memory.”
Usagi sighed. “This doesn’t inspire confidence.” She laid back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. “So how will I know these other warriors?”
Luna moved to curl up next to her. “Well, the easiest way will be in times of great danger, their symbol will appear upon their brow.”
Usagi turned toward the feline and asked, “Then what? Tell them to dress up in a frilly skirt and fight evil? Know any good way to do that without sounding like a complete moron? Nevermind, we can handle this later.”
A quiet whirr was heard just outside the door, causing Luna to clam up and conceal herself next to Usagi. The source of said sound happened to be Setsuna’s wheelchair. “Hello, Usagi-san,” the woman greeted as she moved to the side of Usagi’s bed. “I wanted to give you your schedule for classes… I see you have a pet.”
“Thank you, Meioh-sensei,” Usagi replied as she took the slip of paper, then looked to Luna. “Yes, this is my cat, Luna… It is alright that she’s here, right?” She asked, hopefully.
Setsuna smiled softly and nodded. “With such a noble name, how can I refuse?” she said with a gentle laugh.
Usagi smiled and lifted Luna into her lap. “Thank you, Sensei.”
Setsuna nodded and smiled. “Well, I’ll let you get settled in.” The wheelchair carried the instructor away as Usagi turned back to the feline.
Luna looked back toward the door, eye twitching a bit, before turning back toward Usagi, who was staring at the window. “Something’s wrong,” the girl said, staring back toward the city. With that, she grasped the transformation rod and Luna, and then lifted herself telekinetically out the now open window, transforming herself out of view…
Sailor Moon stood over the ashes of the monster, leaving behind a pair of metal rods in its place, still sticking out of the concrete wall behind it. Those metal rods, scrap rebar from the torn up sidewalk, had been telekinetically hurled through the body of the beast, pinning it in place long enough for the sailor-skirted warrior to hurl her tiara, imbued with deadly magic, through the creature’s chest, slaying it.
The whole time, a black cat stood and stared, its fur erect, utterly stunned. It’s hard to say exactly what caused this state, though there were a few possibilities; that her mistress seemed to be able to hear what she was thinking or concealing, that said mistress carried her and flew into combat, that said mistress caused a pair of steel rods to float through mid air, with enough force as to pierce both the strong hide of a youma, but the concrete behind it.
As the warrior lifted the feline and fled through the air back toward the institute, Luna looked up and whispered in a nervous voice, “What are you?”
Sailor Moon looked down. “Good question. I seem to be a lot of things lately. Tsukino Usagi, Telepath and Telekinetic, mutant, Sailor Moon, supposed hero of some past kingdom. Or maybe I’m just nuts, who knows,” She muttered, almost more to herself than to answer the cat. “I mean, here I am, flying, talking to either myself or a cat who seems to be talking to me.”
Luna stared at Usagi and contemplated fainting, but their arrival at Usagi’s window gave her some reprieve, knowing that the window meant she could get free. Of course, the presence of a woman in a wheel chair ruined that. “Uh…. Hi, sensei?” Usagi said nervously.
Setsuna turned toward the window and said, “Usagi-chan… I need to talk to you. It’s quite important.”
Luna stared at Setsuna, then at the still floating Usagi, and then let out a quiet, “meow?”
Setsuna looked toward the cat, and nodded. “You too, Luna.”
Luna’s eyes widened. How did she know about her?
Setsuna led them quietly toward the basement, before revealing a concealed keypad, and entering a sequence of keypresses, before the column next to it slide open. “Come in quickly,” Setsuna asked as she rolled into the chamber revealed. As Usagi carried the cat into the chamber, it sealed as the panels concealed both chamber and keypad. “Usagi, I had not planned to speak of any of this until later. However, I believe that is a mistake now.”
Usagi looked to Setsuna in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
Setsuna turned to face Luna. “She has been searching for the princess of an ancient kingdom, as well as her bodyguards. These body guards were the Sailor Warriors.”
Luna gaped at the woman as Usagi blinked. “Would Sailor Moon be one of them?”
Setsuna shook her head. “Actually, no. Sailor Moon did not exist in the past,” she replied then looked into Usagi’s eyes. “However, you were someone more important.”
Luna blinked, then looked toward Usagi, then back to Setsuna, then back to Usagi, then did the only thing her shocked mind could do. She passed out in Usagi’s arms.
Usagi stared. “I was the princess?”
The door to the elevator opened, as Setsuna led them through a metal-lined corridor. “Yes. However…” Suddenly her voice became tired, exausted, worn. “That may not matter anymore.” Then a door opened, as Usagi was led into a room filled with computer equipment, and was led to a seat. “You see, sixty years ago today, something terrible occurred.”
Usagi looked at Setsuna. “Sixty years? But that… oh no…”
Setsuna nodded as she gestured to a digital clock. “Sixty years from about seven hours from now, a terrible thing happened. Perhaps it was necessary, but it was not supposed to have happened.”
sighed as she sat down. “The American bombing of
Setsuna sat back in her wheelchair. “Yes. The bombing killed over two hundred thousand people. But it was among several events that have brought us to tonight. There were mutants before the bombings. However, they were very few and far between. Now the events of sixty years ago as well as other events have caused an upsurge in the amount of mutations, both harmful and beneficial.”
Usagi began stroking the unconscious Luna’s fur, mostly to calm her growing tension. “But what does this have to do with this old kingdom?”
closed her eyes. “When the princess of the moon, the prince of the earth, and
the princess’s body guards were sent forward, there was the hope that this
kingdom could be re-established. My job was to help facilitate such an
occurrence. However, the bombings prevented that. You see, the re-establishment
Usagi looked down. “So I have become a queen without a kingdom, is that it?” Part of her tone was somewhat skeptical, but most of her was almost mournful, mournful for a kingdom that would never exist.
nodded. “Yes. It does not mean, however, that we are not without hope.” She
turned toward the displays and began to type some items into the keyboard below
it. “Many people fear mutants. It does not help that mutants lash out in fear
or anger for their situation. I, and a colleague in
Usagi watched Setsuna, and then asked, “How do you know about all of this?”
sank a little as she turned back toward Usagi, trying
not to burst into tears. “Because I was one of your
bodyguards, your highness. I was Sailor Pluto. However, sixty years ago,
I failed to stop the bombings. And I lost it. I lost my legs, much of my power,
and as far as I can see, any hope for the return of the
Usagi set Luna in her chair before moving to embrace Setsuna softly. “Setsuna, it couldn’t have been your fault. As long as you tried your best, it’s all anyone could ever ask,” she said as she comforted the woman.
Almost an hour or so passed, while Usagi comforted the ancient guardian. After Setsuna released a good portion of centuries of grief, she looked up to Usagi. “You would have been a wonderful queen, you know that?”
Usagi blushed at the compliment, then sighed. “So what did you have in mind?”
Setsuna wiped her face. “I…” She coughed as she sat up, trying to regain her shattered composure. “Xavier and I had planned to have these teams of mutants show that mutants can do just as much good as anyone. By stopping renegade mutants, and help mankind, we can show that mutants are not just fiends and freaks of nature, but people, just like everyone else. I don’t know if it will ever become the utopia that the reborn Moon Kingdom would have been, but it will be better than what would happen if…” She paused.
“If these youma take over? Or if renegade mutants take over?” Usagi filled in.
Setsuna nodded. “Precisely. And that is why we need to awaken the other warriors. But we must do it carefully. And not until they are ready. But would you be willing to help lead them?” Setsuna asked, frowning gently.
Usagi nodded. “It’s the least I can do, Setsuna,” She replied, then said, “But only if you don’t keep all of this bottled in. If you’re going to help us, you can’t let everything weight you down like you have.”
Setsuna looked to Usagi for a long moment, then nodded. “You would have made a wonderful queen indeed.” She whispered, then turned back to the display, beginning to bring up a page. “Sailor Moon.”
shook her head. “No. I don’t think Sailor Moon would be right anymore. We can’t
Setsuna raised an eyebrow, then looked to Usagi. “Then who will you be?”
A soft chuckle escaped
Usagi as she shrugged. “A being born from the ashes
Author’s Notes: Setsuna may seem a bit out of character this time, but living for millennia for one goal, only to see an airplane blow any chance of that goal occurring straight to hell with atomic fire would probably push Setsuna to the edge of her rock-hard control, and Usagi’s compassion would have pushed her over. As for Setsuna spilling the beans, she had decided that if she was going to have to work on something besides Crystal Tokyo, she’d have to get started soon.
Magneto and Jedite: Face it, they /are/ insufferable bastards. (grin)
The man in the shadows: 500 nuyen for anyone who can guess who he is… (grin) And there’s definitely a story behind him indeed.