[SM] Nuke'em'TillTheyGlow!!

&&&[Begin Chapter 2]

        Terra was sleeping soundly when she heard a doorbell. She
awoke with a start, then looked at the clock.

        According to it, she had just under two minutes to make it
to school.

        She was a blur getting ready; it took her approximately four
seconds. She then rushed downstairs, grabbed her lunch, said goodbye
to her parents, and rushed out the door.

        "She seems quite full of energy this morning," Terra's father
noted, impressed at his daughter's speed. "Has something... happened
to her recently?"

        "She's been off fighting evil," Kasumi said happily.

        Terra's father thought about it for a moment, then nodded.
"Yes... That would explain it."


        When Serena woke up that morning, her clock said that she
was going to be late. She attributed it to setting clock ahead.
She would have stayed in bed had Luna not gotten her up. She also
remembered that she had to meet Terra this morning, so she went to
her house.

        Ten seconds after she rang the doorbell, Terra ran out at an
incredible speed, grabbed her by the arm and rushed off towards

        This would not be a very abnormal experience for Serena had
she not been flying behind a running Terra.

        Terra was, however, running at just under mach one, was
leaping over buildings to find shortcuts, and Serena WAS hanging in
the air behind her as she ran.

        Therefore, as one might guess, Serena's mind was whirling as
this happened. Anyone else who saw this dismissed it as a figment of
their imagination.

        Terra, on the other hand, was so concentrated on getting to
school on time that she didn't notice that she was, for all
intents and purposes, breaking the laws of physics. Not to mention
the speed limit. And, after studious avoidance of potential property
damage, they had arrived at school... with a minute to spare.

        "How... how did you do that?" Serena asked, recovering from
the shock of the acceleration and deceleration. She suddenly
wondered if Terra would mind doing it again. It was better than a
roller coaster ride.

        "I don't know... All of the sudden, I... could," Terra replied
thoughtfully, in a very nice, sweet tone. "You know, I couldn't do
that until this morning... Maybe it has something to do with the
'Sailor Senshi' thing..."

        "Oh, could be, could be," Arby said, climbing out of Terra's

        "WHAT'S THAT?!" Serena shouted, backing off in horror.

        "What? Oh, him. He's an ArbyFish," Terra said cheerfully.
"He's the one who showed up and asked me to help last night."

        "In-deed!" the green and white ArbyFish confirmed.

        Serena facefaulted.

        "Oh my," Terra said, surprised at the blonde girl's reaction.
"Well, he's the one that gave me a pendant and told me to say a

        Serena pulled herself off the ground. "Oh... so, he's kinda
like Luna, then?" she asked, calming down.

        "Luna?" Terra asked.

        "My cat," Serena responded.

        "Luna's awake?" Arby asked hopefully. Serena nodded. "'Scuse
me, gotta go make a mushroom deliv'ry."

        The ArbyFish flew off.

        Serena and Terra looked at each other and shrugged, continuing
their walk to school.

        "By the way, what was he doing in your lunch?" Serena asked.

        "Sleeping... I think. You'll have to ask him to be certain.
To be honest, I haven't the foggiest idea," the cheerful redhead
replied, still smiling. Then the bell rang. "Oh my!"

        "Oh no, we're still late!"

        "But if we're late, then why are there so many people walking

        Serena thought about it. "Oh! That was the FIRST bell. We
still have five minutes."

        Terra smiled... even more deeply than before. "Good. Being
late would be delinquency. My mother would _kill_ me if I was late
for school."

        Serena raised an eyebrow, completely unable to visualize the
concept. "YOUR mother?"

        Terra nodded, smiling. "Figuratively speaking, of course."


        That particular morning, Luna had been following Serena and
discussing possible past-life identities of the Starlight Knight
and Tuxedo Mask, and later how to search for the Moon Princess.

        Luna's memory was a tad fuzzy on the subject because of light
brain damage incurred by the long wait in cryo-freeze, but she
didn't know that. She did, however, remember the personality of the
Moon Princess.

        When Luna elaborated on this, Serena said that it sounded a
lot like Terra, whom she had become familiar with while showing
her around.

        The mooncat had then followed Serena to Terra's house, where
Serena had rung the doorbell and been snatched by what was, from
Luna's perspective, a red, white, and blue blur.

        Luna had then tried to follow the remaining dust trail, but
a minute later, she had become buried in a pile of mushrooms that
had been dropped on her.

        "'Ello. 'Ow are you?" Luna heard a voice with an odd accent
say. Dread instantly began to creep into her mind.

        <Oh no, it couldn't be,> Luna thought in terror as she emerged
from the pile, finally seeing the fluttering green seal. "ARBY?!"
she shouted in complete and utter shock and disbelief.

        "I'm back!" Arby said happily.

        "No! I refuse to believe that this is happening!" Luna said,
closing her eyes and covering her ears as best she could, humming
loudly. All at once, memories of Arby came cascading back:
memories of a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong...


        "I'm glad you could all be here to witness this momentous
occasion," the Mercurian scientist said. "I would also like to
thank and acknowledge the presence of Queen Serenity, who had
assisted us in funding this project, First Advisor Luna, for the
donation of her DNA for this experiment, and the many scientists
who worked on this project." Each nodded at their acknowledgment.

        The observers were behind a thick pane of plexiglass, and
the scientists were communicating via microphone.

        There was an interesting thing about the Silver Millennium:
Nearly everybody used magic. It was the most powerful, most useful,
and most available source of power in the solar system... for those
that could use it.

        Those that couldn't had to stick to banging rocks together to
light their fires, and could forget about doing anything really
impressive like teleporting or spontaneously turning into a giant,
fifty meter tall destructive cloud with a snap of their fingers.

        At the dawn of the Silver Millennium, many of the native
Mercurians were not very adept at magic, and eventually tired of
having to bash rocks together and having to trade mined mineral
deposits for vital materials that the planet could not produce on
its own. Capitalism? Maybe, but having to constantly purchase and
replace magical airstones to keep from suffocating on the
atmosphere-devoid planet was a bit much.

        When the prices for food and life-support escalated, it was
finally decided that this would no longer be tolerated. The
Mercurian government sent a message to the worlds it traded
with, saying that it wouldn't take this anymore, and would find a
non-magical way to do things... or die trying.

        The other worlds that Mercury traded with (mainly Venus and
the Moon) were somewhat shocked at the declaration, and replied
that it was a futile effort; technology simply wasn't that advanced.
They added that they would have ships standing by to resupply them,
should they suddenly decide to change their mind at the last minute.

        At that time, the of people Mercury were renowned for their
lack of power and ingenuity. And so, it came as a great surprise
when they, after only two months' work, developed hydroponics and
terraforming, along with several other unexpected technologies.

        A couple economic collapses later, Mercury was the most
advanced world in the solar system (with the possible exception
of Pluto... no telling with that planet, though). But in order
to fully explore-


        Sorry, sorry! Where was I? Oh yeah... The science project...

        "As you know, this is our first step in being able to repair
errors in the genetic structure and even repair an entire being
from something as small as a single cell," another scientist
continued. "Using this technology, terminally ill patients could
be restored from nothing more than their genetic samples," she
clasped her hands together before finishing, "Well, this is it,
the moment of truth."

        She and other workers on the project began the final parts
of the experiment.

        The genetic sample was placed into the main unit. The main
unit was essentially a large cylindrical tank filled with the
proper chemicals. People began working at their various stations.
They stopped, and a sense of completion was near.

        One scientist off to the left noticed something odd about a
steel plate cover of the main unit. He called over his supervisor.
They removed the plate and looked in.

        The two gasped and turned around, shocked at what they had
just seen. One slammed his fist down on a button.

        *WOOOP!*WOOOP!* Alarms sounded.

EVACUATE NOW!] a slightly digitized voice said in an urgent tone.

        Everyone hurried out of the affected area. They could see the
beginnings of a dark green smoke forming in the lab as something
began forcing its way out of the tank. It jarred repeatedly, huge
dents appearing in the surface.


        As the last person left, the tank ripped open.

        Smoke poured from the container, obscuring the shape that left
it. The fifteen-inch-thick steel blast doors slammed closed.

        The former observers went quickly to find whatever cover
they could when the lab guards and the Queen's Sailor Senshi came
forward to combat what horrors could have been created in the lab.

        "I'm truly sorry," the head scientist said to Queen Serenity,
preparing for imminent destruction at the hands (Or, more likely:
CLAWS) of the failed experiment.

        The steel doors began to glow a bright red.

        The Sailor Senshi took ready defensive positions.

        The door shattered inward in a flash of fire, sparks, and

        When the smoke cleared, the doorway was empty... or so everyone
thought until Luna picked up the terrifying, oh so terrifying words:

        "'Ello! 'Ow are you?"

        Luna screamed.

###[End Flashback]

        <It was a frightening experience,> Luna thought grimly. It
had been the result of sabotage by an unknown party. The project was
scrapped soon afterwards, since nobody wanted to risk a repeat

        Later, she had apologized to what had called itself the
'ArbyFish' for overreacting and taken it upon herself to try to
train him to become a royal advisor as she had. She thought it
wouldn't be THAT much trouble to teach him.

        She was wrong.

        "Mushroom for the teacher?" Arby asked, overjoyed at finding
his mentor.

        "Um, no, thanks. Perhaps later," Luna said, lightly frightened,
scrambling out of the pile and continuing to try to get to Serena.

        "'Ey, wait! I'm not through with you yet," Arby said,
fluttering after the dark-furred cat.


        Atomic Starlight Knight had just finished the final touches
on what he euphemistically called "The First Harbringer of Total
Destruction." Forty tons of Slice-em Dice-em Nuke-Em-Till-They-
Glow power.

        <Yes, an excellent level-one sparring partner for my
reincarnation,> he thought.

        <Isn't this a little.. excessive?> he responded in an uneasy
mental tone.

        <Nah, I watched Dragon Ball Z yesterday. This kind of thing
is routine.>

        <Ah, so when will the 50g training begin?> he considered

        <As soon as I get the room set up,> he thought seriously.

        <Oooookay. If you say so...>

        <Well, get cracking!>

        <Yeah, maybe we can blow something up!>

        <Later, later. In just a few minutes...>

        <But I want to blow something up now!>


        <Not yet!>

        <But I want to blow something up now!> the personality in
question insisted annoyingly.

        *WHAM!* "Shut up, shut up! Everyone just SHUT UP!!" He yelled,
pounding on his head.

        Yes, there would be explosions today. He had called ahead and
contracted for the removal of an old warehouse district. Nobody lived
there. He had checked twice. The entire area was condemned and slated
for demolition. Hey, public service AND random destruction of property
for no apparent reason. Can't beat that.

        He really wouldn't ask anyone but himself to fight this thing.
And so he would. With that in mind, he and his creation teleported to
the area and began to set things up.


        Back at school, Terra had just finished an exam, with half
an hour to spare. She turned in her work and took out her SciFi
novel and began to read. Then the intercom sparked to life.

        [Terra Incognito, please report to the parking lot,] the
intercom crackled.

        Terra looked to the teacher, who shrugged, then to Serena,
who was agonizing over one of the test questions.

        <1)Hat is to foot as ____ is to ____.

        Serena couldn't find a relation.

        So, Terra packed up her book and went to the parking lot.

        When she got there, she didn't see anyone. After about half
a minute, she turned around to go back in.

        Then she was grabbed from behind...


        Terra found herself in a completely different area. There
were abandoned, boarded up buildings all over the place. She
turned to look at who had taken her.

        He looked like a shadow. And by a shadow, I mean that he was
mostly invisible, and she wasn't entirely sure it was a he. It
could have easily been, but she wasn't *sure*.

        "Why am I here?" Terra asked, as nicely as she could given
the shock factor. But she was good at asking nicely, regardless of
the situation.

        "Many have asked that question... Nobody really knows,
although many believe that-" The shadow said in a dry voice until
being cut off by Terra.

        "No, why am I here NOW?" Terra clarified.

        "Oh. I thought you wanted a philosophical discussion... Ah,
well... You're here until you beat THAT," the shadow replied,
pointing behind Terra. She turned around to see a hulking blue piece
of evil-looking machinery flexing its three-foot razor-sharp claws
and rotating its gatling-gun style weaponry. It had an evil gleam in
its red, roving eye-light. She turned back to the shadow.

        "That?" Terra asked, wide-eyed.

        "That," the shadow confirmed.

        "Okay..." Terra began uneasily, turning towards the robot.

        "Begin," the shadow said before waving goodbye and disappearing
entirely. Terra turned back to the robot, feeling more than a little
worried. She kept smiling, of course, albeit nervously.

        It lept at her, gatling-energy canons blazing, claws fully
extended. Massive property damage ensued.

        Terra, using her recently advanced capabilities, acted on
impulse and jumped out of the way.

        The 'mech landed and turned toward her, guns still blazing.
It launched a missile.

        Terra jumped on top of the missile, then used it as a
springboard to hop behind the robot. The missile exploded,
destroying about half a block. The robot turned around, decimating
another few buildings as Terra dodged once again.

        Things proceeded in much the same manner for about three
minutes. Terra would dodge, and the robot would blow things up.
Occasionally, the robot would get a shot in, knocking Terra
through a building or two, yet she remained relatively unscathed.

        Looking around at the destruction, Terra decided that this
had to end, one way or another. She jumped at the robot, kicking
its arm hard enough to dislodge it. The arm clattered loudly to
the ground.

        "Oh my... Are you okay?" Terra asked, a little worried about
the damage. The robot looked at the arm on the ground, then turned
to Terra, nodded, then gave a sort of a "thumbs up" sign with its
claws and continued fighting.

        It scored a hit and knocked her down. Terra got up and
brushed herself off.

        "I've had quite enough of you!" She said sternly.

        Terra, now in her equivalent of a killing rage, which would
be slight annoyance for nearly any other being, lept upwards,
grabbed its other arm, and executed a total body flip on the robot,
which crashed to the ground on its back. The other arm broke loose.

        The robot got up.

        "Are you beaten yet?" Terra asked nicely.

        ['TIS BUT A SCRATCH,] the robot said in its digitized voice.

        "A scratch?! Your arms are off!" Terra said incredulously,
yet apologetically.

        [I'VE HAD WORSE. COME ON, YA PANSY,] it said, kicking Terra
into another building, collapsing it entirely.

        Terra climbed out of the rubble, looking slightly disheveled.

        The robot kicked her again, sending her back a few yards,
her feet digging into the pavement.

        "Stop that, please," Terra said calmly.

        [CHICKEN!] it taunted.

        "I'll have your leg," Terra said.

        [YEAH, RIGHT!]

        Terra dove straight at the leg, shearing it off with a swift
kick. The robot now hopped up and down on its remaining leg.

        [I'M INVINCIBLE!]

        "You're a looney," Terra said, coming to that conclusion
through extrapolation.

        It kept hopping toward her.

        She tapped lightly on the knee-joint.

        Its leg collapsed out from under it. The robot fell face
down into the asphalt.

        [Alright, we'll call it a draw,] it said grudgingly.

        Terra began to walk off to look for the shadow. The shadow
appeared behind her, grabbing her and disappearing.

        [Oh, I see. Runnin' away eh? COME BACK AND GET WHAT'S COMIN'
TO YA!] the robot boomed from its prone position on the road.
[I'll bite your legs off!]


        Walking back into the classroom, looking as beat up as she
did, yet still having a completely happy expression, Terra couldn't
help but notice the questioning stares of the students that were
looking up from their tests at her.

        "What happened, Terra?" Serena asked, "It looks like you got
into a wrestling match with a lawnmower and lost."

        "No, actually," Terra said, calmly shaking her head,
brushing back a stray lock of red hair.

        "What happened?" Ms. Haruna asked with concern.

        Terra shrugged.

        "What?" Melvin pressed. The rest of the class was obviously
waiting in suspense for the answer.

        "I won," she replied in a nonchalant manner, returning to her
desk, calmly taking out her book and resuming.

        A mass facefault ensued.


        <Now, THAT was fun,> Atomic Starlight Knight thought as he
picked up the battered remains of the robot. The area slated for
demolition had been almost completely cleared by the fighting.

        <I haven't been able to knock down that much since... well,
since the first time I entered this system.>

        <Ah, yes, those were the days...>


        A solar system was the location of the main events. Its star
was nothing out of the ordinary. However, all of its planets were
inhabited to one degree or another. An amazing array of civilizations
were apparent, the most prominent centered around the third innermost
planet and its satellite.

        Many powerful beings existed within this solar system, some
backed by the power of entire worlds, the Senshi. Not only this, but
also the ruler of the Moon, the third planet's satellite, held an
artifact that tapped into the fabric of reality itself: the Silver
Imperium Crystal.

        It was the Silver Millennium at its highest, and the
inhabitants, when united, could ward off any threat that thought to
destroy it.

        That is, provided they had advance warning and time to prepare.

        But sometimes, they're just caught off guard...

        Such was the case in this particular scenario, as a large
spherical object unobtrusively wound its way through the solar
system, going almost unnoticed until it intercepted the orbit of
Jupiter and plunged deep into the planet's thick atmosphere,
blackening a small portion of the gas giant as it did so.

        This event was completely forgotten as the blemish disappeared,
and no one thought anything more of it.

        Ten years after the sphere arrived, a large spacecraft emerged
from deep within Jupiter. Witnesses of its rising described it as
something from a nightmare. It was pure black, with a slightly
pointed ellipse at the front, connected to a sloped semi-cylindrical
body, which encased a yellow 'eye'. On the back, it had two struts
which connected to two cylinders, parts of which were glowing an
ominous blue.

        The spacecraft reached escape velocity and headed straight
for Pluto. There, it destroyed several key buildings, throwing the
inhabitants into disarray, and its dark controller left its craft
and personally fought and incapacitated Sailors Uranus and Neptune.
Sailor Pluto managed to escape unharmed.

        When the creature felt it had accomplished its goal there,
it chose Saturn as its next target, destroying the spaceports and
wreaking havoc on the population centers.

        The local Senshi was home, however, and dealt a great deal
of damage to the spacecraft's shields, requiring the pilot to once
again exit its craft and personally deal with the Senshi. After a
long and drawn-out battle, Sailor Saturn was defeated.

        After incapacitating all of the other powerful fighters it
could find, the horrible menace went for the Moon.

        On its way, it encountered a fleet of ships sent to stop it.

        Destroying or disabling every vessel it considered a threat,
the beast continued onward.

        As it arrived, the ship proceeded to blast the capital city
to pieces, its dark controller intent on the obliteration of the
Lunar civilization.

        However, the four inner Senshi were present to ward off this
threat, as was the Moon's queen. They were in no mood to just stand
by and let this happen.


        "Moon Cosmic Power!" Queen Serenity intoned, holding aloft
the Imperium Silver Crystal, attached to the Crescent Moon Wand.
[Imperium Silver or Silver Imperium? Oh well, same thing. Or was
it the Ginzoushou? I can never remember...]

        The Crystal's energy swept forward, shearing away the remnants
of the craft's shields, finally leaving it open to other attacks.
Queen Serenity nearly collapsed from the effort, but held onto the
Wand to shield the area from the energy discharges the craft kept
emitting. [Torpedoes and Phasers!]

        "Looks like it's up to us now," Venus observed, as all the
Senshi began a combined attack whose call was drowned out as a
torpedo exploded nearby. Serenity could not hold the defense for
much longer and survive, but then she could not drop it and
survive much longer, either, come to think of it...

        The combined powers forced their way to the craft, impacting
at an angle, tearing across the hull, ripping apart the front
section and throwing deep gashes along the rest. Using what was
left of its power, the craft turned and fired its engines, moving
into an orbit that would hopefully take it back to Jupiter, where
the home base rested.

        All began to breathe a sigh of relief when they saw something
else coming.

        From the shattered front of the vessel flew a dark shape. It
swooped toward the Senshi with a loud, enraged screech.

        They ducked a snatch of its talons. It flew down and landed
in front of them, lashing out with its huge jaws, roaring

        "Mercury Ice Storm!" Mercury said, creating a ferocious gust
of ice, encasing the monster in a glacier.

        It broke free, shattering the ice as it began to glow with a
blue energy, growling as it created its own version of the ice
storm. High velocity blocks of ice hit Mercury repeatedly, knocking
her cold.

        The remaining Senshi threw their attacks at once.

        "Mars Celestial Fire, SURROUND!"
        "Supreme Thunder DRAGON!"
        "Venus Love Chain Entangle!"

        The beast cried out in agony as the attacks struck home. It
instantly retaliated, unleashing enhanced versions of the original
attacks upon the senders. I'll skip the detail, but by the end, they
were effectively disabled for the time being.

        It turned toward the only one remaining that was worth
fighting: The Queen.

        Serenity was rapidly running out of options. She felt that
she needed to find some way of communicating with it; she had to
convince it to stop!

        Enhancing any latent telepathy she may have possessed with the
Crystal, she attempted to contact the creature.

        Acting on reflex, the creature copied the telepathic
connection, downloading information from the Queen and the Senshi's
minds. Soon, it was able to understand what was being said to it on
a mental level.

        <Why are you doing this?> Serenity asked, keeping her mental
tone even.

        The creature stopped. It was genuinely dumbfounded at the
question. It had, apparently, never felt the need to consider this.

        The internal chaos and turmoil churned out a multitude of
answers on a low level. It smiled its fanged grin as it finally
came up with a definite answer.

        <BECAUSE I ENJOY IT!!!> the beast returned triumphantly,
screeching and continuing to advance toward the Queen.

        Serenity's expression darkened as she processed what it had
just communicated to her. Could this be true? A creature delighting
only in destruction? No other reason? She had to cut off this inner
philosophical debate, as the monster had seemed to have resolved
its confusion and was preparing another assault.

        The Queen's available courses of action were once again
reduced. Grasping at an idea, she began to call upon another feature
of the Silver Imperium Crystal.

        "Moon Crystal Healing!" Serenity shouted, holding the crystal
forward, attempting to cleanse the evil in the beast before her.
It stopped, writhing in agony as the magic did its work.

        After a second of this, the chaotic nature of the creature's
thoughts calmed down significantly and it started to think
semi-coherently. In the next second, its thoughts went on an almost
overlapping analysis.

        <Wait, why AM I doing this?!>
        <You just said it. You enjoy it.>
        <I checked the minds of the others. Why don't they enjoy it?>

        A quick, yet absurdly extensive inner discussion followed.

        <Oh... OOPS! Eh, heh, heh... Is my face red, or what?>
        <Who'da thunk it...>
        <You mean... they DON'T like being destroyed?>
        <Not as much as I like destroyin' 'em...>
        <What kind of life is that?!>
        <Small, puny lifeforms...>
        <Heh. I'm the most resilient thing they've ever fought!>
        <Here's something interesting: Fashion Design!>
        <Where's the fun in that?>
        <Hmm... that's interesting.>
        <They flog their young? Sheesh, and they think I'm barbaric...>
        <Hey, I'm losing power here...>
        <It has something to do with the crystal that... woman has.>
        <Queen Serenity, ruler of the Moon Kingdom...
         The most influencial force in the solar system...
         Holder of the most powerful artifacts in the known galaxy...
         Lots of trusted friends...
         An all-in-all terrific person...>
        <What's that?>
        <That's who she and those girls... the Senshi think she is.>
        <Oh. Nice record. She has a daughter, you know.>
        <That's nice... Oh, she's a *CUTE* one, isn't she?>
        <Queen Serenity likes to think so...>
        <The princess is about nine right now, huh?>
        <Isn't that sweet? Family groups, peace, love... and war!>
        <Can't forget war! Destruction! YEAH!!>

        For at least two more seconds, several encyclopedias' worth
of data, feelings, and beliefs were catalogued in the creature's
still-turbulent mind. It didn't know quite what to make of most
of it.

        <Glass guitars?!>
        <What is the deal with the low-cut royal gowns!?!?!?!?!>
        <How much wood COULD a wood-chuck chuck...>
        <TOP HATS?!>
        <o/When you're caught in a storm,
           Hold your head up high!
           And don't be afraid of the dark!\o>
        <HIGH HEELS?!!?>
        <o/Oh, I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts!\o>
        <PORK is the other white meat!?>
        <RED miniskirts?>
        <A planet where APES evolved from MEN?!>
        <Sailor suits...?>
        <Bleu cheese?>
        <Red-collared sailor suits WITH red miniskirts?!>
        <o/I'm Serenity the Eighth, I am!\o>
        <A red, tuxedo-style sailor-Senshi uniform with high heels!?>
        <There was a Senshi from Venus, whose body->
        <I do NOT care for these peoples' fashion sense...>
        <A PRINCE who was born to be Queen!? What the...!?>
        <Maybe if they forego the tiara and add bracelets...>
        <But what does DANK really mean!?>
        <The earrings HAVE to go...>
        <Her mind was covered in CHOCOLATE!?>
        <GREEN hair?! She has GREEN hair?! What's wrong with blue?>

        Then, the destructive beast noted something...

        <Look! The Senshi are up again.>
        <And they look mad.>
        <Wow, remember that last volley they sent?>
        <Yeah, that was painful!>
        <Must've been weakened by that bout with Saturn...>
        <Saturn was nothing->
        <-Right! It was the crystal that I...her...them...&#$%>
        <It was the Ginzuishou's power...>
        <...Which seems to have cut off most of mine.>
        <My defenses are shot... It'll be at least an hour before->
        <And the Senshi are charging up for another round!!!!>

        Behind Queen Serenity, Sailors Mars, Venus, and Jupiter had
managed to stand. Mercury wasn't able to do much else than groan.

        <Uh oh. I'm dead.>
        <Got that right. I can't block a _gnat_, much less->
        <Unless you find some way to convince them not to.>
        <Is it too late for an apology?>
        <Let's see... You caused destruction on a planetary scale,
inflicted huge casualties, wiped out their fleet, nearly killed
this particular group, and to top it off, you're a "big, scary
monster," to quote one of their thoughts. I don't think a simple
'sorry' would suffice.>
        <Right. I checked. They want this threat GONE.>
        <So, your point being? Oh, perhaps you're thinking that they
MIGHT not destroy me if they thought I didn't do it, at least not
of my own free will, and if I am no longer a threat?>
        <That's the idea, but you're still a "big, scary monster.">
        <Hey, if that's a problem, shapeshift.>
        <Can I do that?>
        <Yeah, but if you want them to not detect that you're really
a "big, scary monster," you'll have to lock yourself in for a
while, modify your aura, and act like a nice whatever-it-is you
shifted into.>
        <Not to mention finding a plausible story to come up with.>
        <Okay, I could probably deal with that, just check what I
know of them, and... Yeah. Could work.>
        <Whatever you're going to do, do it now. They're closing in.>

        Serenity hadn't noticed the Senshi moving, since she was
still concentrating on her attempt to purge the evil from the

        The weakened Senshi desperately began to call upon their
powers, gathering together whatever energies they could for their
attacks against their foe.

        "Jupiter Thunder, CRASH!"
        "Venus Crescent Beam, SMASH!"
        "Mars Fire, IGNITE!"

        <Alright, shift and submerge!>

        All attacks impacted on the creature, driving it down. Unable
to stop itself, it reflexively retaliated, creating duplicate
attacks, all slamming into the Senshi, taking them out before it
also went down.

        The unexpected response caused a psychic shockwave that tore
through the beast's mind as it struggled to complete what it started.

        As Serenity finished her act, the creature blurred and shifted
into a much smaller form.

        Slumped on the ground before them was a young girl, perhaps
nine years old. She was wearing a green dress, had red hair, and
was very unconscious.

        Serenity fell to her knees, breathing raggedly.

        All of the inner Senshi survived, as did the Queen.

        And so did the girl.


        <That was fun,> Atomic Starlight Knight thought. It was the
first time he had ever been defeated. It was about time, too. The
'destroy everything' angle was getting REALLY old. It took him a
long time to get his mind back in order, but he did it, and now he
had something evil to fight. That was much more satisfying than
just 'everything.' Left a nice landscape behind, too.

        He wasn't as powerful as he was before, but a challenge was
fun. He kinda missed his shapeshifting capabilities, though. The
"Moon Crystal Healing" had sapped his resources, completely
severing his link to his more powerful energy resources, and so he
couldn't exactly destroy a planet anymore. Another result of either
the Healing, or the informational discussion was that he really
didn't want to, either. Not an inhabited one, in any case.

        Inanimate objects were fun to watch explode, but for some
reason, the wanton mass destruction of civilization just didn't
have the same satisfying effect it once did. He knew; he'd tried.

        <Oh, well,> A.S.K. thought. He had learned to work limited and
on an energy budget a long time ago, and had since only stored
reserves for emergencies. About twenty thousand years worth of
emergency energy, actually, but oddly enough, he didn't feel like
bragging at this time. He didn't have much use for it, though, since
his knowledge of things to do with that energy had been severely
reduced somewhere during the end of the Silver Millennium.

        He couldn't destroy civilizations... Well, he _could_, but
it just wouldn't be proper.

        However, for now, blowing up evil was fine. Maybe he'd find
some use for that reserve sometime.


        Luna had caught up to Serena and Terra, who looked a lot
better than when she had just fought the robot, not that Luna knew
about that.

        It had taken Luna most of the day with Arby chasing her around,
but she made it. She fully intended to discuss the question as to
whether Terra was the Moon Princess or not.

        Arby was still following, off on a rant about why you need to
stay away from mold.

        "Oh, ya see, ya gotta 'void mold. Bad for ya mushrooms.
Mushrooms'd attempt ta foight it off, but it wouldn't work all that
well. But if ya've got mold, what ya need to do is fill up somethin'
loike eighty-BILLION gallons a' anti-mildew spray and throw it all
on the fire. The fire'll take out that mould roight noicely if ya
inject an anti-inflammatory inta' the mushroom's... ecosystem, and
then if ya poile on soma'ya green beans... Senzu beanz'll work out,
but the REAL powa' is in the GREEN beans... Truly magnificent
power, along with the mushrooms and devastatin' the' mold," Arby
rambled on intelligently.

        "Serena, Terra!" Luna called to the girls.

        "Oh, there you are, Luna. What is it?" Serena asked.

        "We still need to find out about the Moon Princess," Luna
replied, happy to talk about something other than fungus.

        "Oh, right! And you thought Terra might be it?" Serena
replied, remembering the earlier conversation.

        "Actually, you did," Luna said.

        "Oh yeah. Anyway," Serena said, turning to Terra, "do you
think you could be the reincarnation of a Princess that lived on the
Moon thousands of years ago?"

        Terra blinked. She thought about it. "Hmm. Interesting. Moon
Princess," she contemplated, then frowned. "Doesn't ring a bell."

        "Do you remember anything from the Silver Millennium? Dreams,
flashbacks, anything like that?" Luna asked.

        "No, I'm sorry. I don't remember a thing about it," Terra
said supportively.

        "Please try. It's very important," Luna said.

        "No, it's just that, I *do* remember something about *A*
princess, but whenever I try to remember more, I hit a block, and
get a dull headache for a few minutes. Is there anything you could
do to help me remember if I was?" Terra asked.

        The black mooncat thought for a second. "I do have telepathic
abilities... I could try to revive memories about that, if they

        "Well, then, do it," Serena said.

        "Are you ready?" Luna asked Terra.

        The cheerful redhead nodded enthusiastically.

        "Alright... Luna Mindmeld!" Luna said as she began the
telepathic connection.


        The telepathic cat dove into Terra's mind, surprised to find
it neatly swept, dusted, looking as if nobody lived there until
recently, everything all wrapped in neat, pink little bows. She
did a quick mental scan, becoming extremely fascinated at finding
that the blur that took Serena earlier was Terra, and was also
quite surprised at finding out about the battle with the robot.

        She shrugged those off, looking for Silver Millennium
memories, but the only thing she found was an unusual psychic
connection. Following that, she wandered into an extremely odd

        The best description for the mind Terra was linked to was...
a bachelor pad. Random articles of "clothing" strewn all over the
place, a stacked and numbered "can" collection, and about a thousand

        Things got stranger when the destruction of many planets
were shown on a mental equivalent of a television set, put to the
music of the 1812 Overture. Encyclopedias were strewn across a
table, along with plausible plans for world domination that were
completely covered in coffee stains.

        Philosophical discussions, political debates, sparring matches,
and wall-street stock markets were breaking out all over the place.

        Luna was extremely confused. She searched for anything
recognizable. She found a dark, ominous presence, but it was
constantly being beaten up by several "people" at once.

        Past that, there was a "photo album." Checking into that,
Luna found many recognizable snapshots of semi-familiar locations
from the Silver Millennium. There were also depictions of battles,
the final one of which involved Queen Serenity fighting Metallia.

        Flipping through it mentally, Luna found groups of pictures
with two girls next to Queen Serenity. One she recognized as the Moon
Princess that she was looking for, but she wasn't able to make out
any other features for some reason. The other she instantly
recognized as Terra. The caption under the picture read from left
to right: Moon Princess, Queen Serenity, Moon Princess(adopted).
The name on the right was circled with black marker, with a
glowing "ME!" inscribed next to it.

        Luna suddenly felt a jar to her consciousness. She turned
around to see huge knights attacking her with very large fish.
She pulled out as fast as she could. Each jar seemed to knock out
a memory of this particular experience.


        "Luna, Luna? LUUUNAAA! Are you okay?" Serena was saying,
waving a hand in front of Luna's eyes. Luna shook herself awake
and looked at Terra, who was smiling pleasantly at being able to
help ^_^.

        "What? Yes, Serena, I'm fine," Luna said, then turned to
Terra, "I lost part of what I found out along the way, but I'm
sure that you are a Moon Princess!"

        "Cool! So she's the one I have to protect?" Serena asked.

        "I said *A* Moon Princess. I'm almost certain that there is
another one," Luna replied, attempting to recall whatever she

        "Another princess?" Serena asked.

        "Yes," Luna said. "One of them was adopted, I think."

        "An *adopted* princess?" Serena asked, unsure of the concept.

        "Yes, it was unusual... as were the circumstances concerning
her arrival to the Moon Kingdom," Luna said, attempting to recover
her own memory.

        "What happened?" Serena asked.

        Luna couldn't remember exactly right now. "I'll... tell you
later," she said, backing out of the conversation.


        Later that night, Luna made a report to Central Control.
After the ridiculous password, she told what she had found.

        "The adopted Moon Princess... This was unexpected. As was the
reappearance of Arby," Central Control said.

        "Do you know who awakened him?" Luna asked.

        "No. Report back when you have found more," Central Control
replied before shutting off communication.

        "So what am I supposed to do now?" Luna asked rhetorically.
There was a click and a hum as a machine activated behind her.

        "'Ello, sir, I am C-3PO, 'uman cyborg relations," an odd
voice said. Oh, come on! We all know that it's Arby by now, right?
Right. Luna turned to see Arby talking to a different machine.

        "Password: I would very much like a piece of cheese," Arby
finished. "With gravy."

        [My information: a mental scan was attempted. A defensive
retaliation incurred. The training is going well. What do you have
to report?] the machine intoned casually.

        "Secn'd Control, got any more 'a those 'eavy, blunt objects?"
Arby asked anxiously.

        [Arby! I told you to only contact me if you knew something I
didn't,] Second Control replied disapprovingly.

        "Oh. Roight. But do ya 'ave any?" Arby asked.

        Second Control sighed. [Sure, I'll send one right over. A
reminder: they are NOT used for crushing insects.]

        "Oh, but I likes to! Gives 'em flava'!" Arby said pleadingly.

        [What the... Oh, just forget it. Pick it up at the usual spot.
And before you ask, YES, I'll include the toothpicks,] Second Control
said before signing off.

        "Thank you very much," Arby said, saluting.

        "Arby?! Who was that, and what was that all about?" Luna

        The ArbyFish turned around. "'Ello, Luna. That was Second
Control. 'E woke me up, and I just asked for a 'eavy, blunt object.
Gotta have blunt objects n' toothpicks, ya know. Heavy... blunt...
seals... toothpicks... sort a' a package deal when ya come to think
'bout it."

        "W...why?!" Luna asked in complete confusion.

        "Well, sum a' th' mushrooms are stagin' a revolt. Ya see, if
I club the mushrooms and feed 'em toothpicks, I don't 'ave to club
the seals," Arby said confidently.

        Luna raised an eyebrow. "I see..." she said, constantly losing
confidence in her student's sanity... As if he had any in the first

        "Well, gotta go get back to work. Got mushrooms ta farm 'n
toothpicks ta manufact'r, ya know," Arby said before flying off.

        Luna sighed in relief. "Perhaps one of these days I'll find out
what he's talking about," she said to herself, then reconsidered.
"Then again, maybe, just maybe, if I'm _very_ lucky, I'll never have

&&&[End Chapter 2.]

[Sailor Sez]

"Today, we learned that if a large, spherical object unobtrusively enters
your kingdom..."

<Scene of a large, spherical object diving into Jupiter's atmosphere>


<Scene of a dark creature blasting the Moon Kingdom>

"And never hold back! Sailor Nuke sez. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!"