Quick Copyright notes: This is a fanfic based on Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon,
an anime/manga created by Takeuchi Naoko. Characters belong to her and
all others associated with rights [Toei, Bandai, Kodansha, etc], but the story line,
ideas, and any other characters are created by me. 1997 - Jackie Chiang.
Revised May 1998.
Part 4: Unmasked
Quick Copyright notes: This is a fanfic based on Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon, an anime/manga created by Takeuchi Naoko. Characters belong to her and all others associated with rights [Toei, Bandai, Kodansha, etc], but the story line, ideas, and any other characters are created by me. 1997 - Jackie Chiang. Revised May 1998.
"You know," Hotaru commented to the younger girls, "it's really nice that Haruka, Michiru, Tanrei, and Araki are doing this concert..."
"How's that?" Minako inquired, not knowing anything about it other than her friends were in it.
The Inner Senshi and Hotaru were eating together in a cafe. The older three girls were practicing for the concert. Though Setsuna wasn't going to do anything on stage, she was designing some clothes for some of the people who actually were performing.
"Minako-chan," Usagi said, "don't you know? It's for charity... Everyone famous is going to be there. We'll all be able to dress up."
"Is Mamoru-san-" Minako paused, instantly remembering that Mamoru was away for several weeks, deciding that he wanted to visit his sister and brother in America.
Rei scanned the magazine talking about the concert. "Hmm, Kaioh Michiru, Tenoh Haruka, Araki Kei, Kinzoku Tanrei, the Three Lights..."
"Who are the Three Lights?" Makoto asked curiously, leaning over Rei's shoulder. "I've never heard of them."
"Who knows?" Minako said breezily. "They can't be anybody special if I haven't heard of them."
"That's true," Rei acknowledged. Minako was the #1 fan of every star, and she knew about groups even before they gave their first concert. If she didn't know about the Lights, chances were they really weren't that great.
"Anyway, Michiru-san and Haruka-san are going to do a violin and piano duet?" Usagi asked Hotaru.
"Hai," Hotaru said, sipping her tea. "They've been practicing for weeks."
"And Tanrei-san is playing her flute with Araki-san on the piano."
Hotaru and Rei both looked down at their food, feeling the same odd sensation that the names invoked.
"Yes, they will," Hotaru answered, her voice thoughtful.
"I wonder what they sound like?" Usagi said, slurping her tea in a noisy manner.
"I wonder who the Elemental Senshi are..." Rei thought to herself.
"Orion-san, this is your last chance," Andromeda said, with a good amount of threat in her voice. "Screw this one up, and you will be gone in an instant..."
Quasar smirked from behind Orion, noticing that he looked extremely pale, paler than usual.
"As you know, there are many others in back of you who wish to serve our master..." Andromeda continued, leaning against the counter. "And if you do not find the Celestial Crystal and the Destructor soon, she will be displeased... And you know what happens to failures..."
Orion gulped visibly, his golden eyes panicking... Quasar found herself thinking that he was far from what he had started as... Cold, cool, rational, arrogant at first... reduced to a sniveling whiny coward... Andromeda-san had such power!
"I will not fail you or our Master, Andromeda-san," Orion said, putting up a brave front.
"Hmm..." Andromeda said.
Orion bit back his terror. Her noncommittal tone meant that she didn't give a damn one way or the other whether he succeeded or failed... How had so many things gone wrong...?
Turning, he went to his counter on the other side of the room. Sighing, he wondered where he could find his next victim... Then he noticed a flyer on his desk. Peering at it, he looked suspiciously around the room, where the others were working vigorously, paying him no attention. On the front had pictures of various people... Kaioh Michiru, Tenoh Haruka, Araki Kei, Kinzoku Tanrei... Maybe one of these people had the Celestial Crystal! He scanned it some more, looking through the list of names. His eyes rested on the first four girls. Something about them...
"Kaioh Michiru, renowned, world famous violinist, artist, and swimmer, will be performing a duet with the famous race driver, Tenoh Haruka, who is also known for her talents as a pianist.
"Kinzoku Tanrei and Araki Kei are well known from their concerts in America and Europe. Kinzoku-san and Araki-san shall perform a flute and piano duet..."
Orion stopped reading, narrowing his eyes. A brilliant thought hit him. Why couldn't he do multiple searches? Kill two birds with one stone? That would be much more efficient... And since one was sure to have the crystal, to be safe, it would be better for himself to try all four at once...
"Orion, you're a genius..." he whispered to himself, bent on designing a new Demon.
From another part of the room, Quasar's red eyes flashed, smirking to herself.
Usagi, Rei, Minako, Ami, Makoto, Setsuna, and Hotaru all got off a bus that dropped them in front of the Crystal Theater.
"I still say we should have taken the helicopter," Hotaru murmured a bit sulkily, having two people almost fall on top of her in the bus, which was jam packed with people.
"I agree," Setsuna said, sighing. Several people had stepped on her foot.
Usagi was almost in tears. A few men and women had shoved her on their way to get off the bus.
Rei was muttering about her hair being messed up, Minako about a stain on her dress that was tiny, Ami about how she couldn't read in the bus, and Makoto about how those cute boys not noticing her...
"Minna, it's not the end of the world... Let's just enjoy ourselves tonight," Hotaru suggested brightly.
The others agreed. Taking out their tickets, they handed them to a grim looking man, who studied them, and finally nodded. The girls hurried by him, whispering and giggling.
Finding their seats in the crowded theater, they looked around, feeling an odd sense of deja vu. The last time they were there, Apollo had attacked... With more restraint than previously, they sat down amid the noisy chatter of excited people. Most of them were young girls, though plenty were older and/or male.
After about twenty minutes, the lights dimmed and everyone fell silent, watching the stage in anticipation.
A man in a tuxedo walked out from behind the red velvet curtains, looking very important and official. Coughing, he went to the microphone that had been set up some hours before.
"Ladies and gentleman," he said, "we regret to inform you that the Three Lights will not be performing today. Apparently, Seiya Kou-san has caught the flu."
The crowd murmured, though no one seemed particularly disappointed. It was only a band, after all. Minako elbowed the other girls, grinning and whispering, "I told you," while they sighed, embarrassed.
"However, we still have an excellent performance for you tonight," he continued. "We appreciate your donations and your continued patronage for the needy. We hope you enjoy it. First, we have a magic act performed by the world renowned Tejina-san!"
The audience clapped politely as a man walked out, the announcer discreetly leaving the stage.
"Aww, when are they going to get to Tanrei-san and Michiru-san?" Minako whispered to Usagi.
"Shh!" Rei hissed, shooting a glare at Minako. "Be patient!"
"There are a lot of people before them, Minako-chan," Ami said softly as Rei turned to watch the magic show, which had the audience oohing and ahing like crazy.
"Great," Minako muttered, slouching in her chair. "I can hardly wait..."
From the back of the theater, Orion stood contemplating his plan. It seemed sure-fire enough... Nothing could go wrong. He contemptuously watched the juggling act. Pheh. They had better hurry, for he was becoming impatient...
"Minna!" Usagi whispered excitedly, two hours later. "Michiru-san and Haruka-san are next!"
Minako woke up, as did Makoto, Ami, and Rei. Hotaru yawned, and Setsuna was sitting calmly watching the mime act. Creepy.
"Nani?" Minako said, a bit stupidly, trying to regain consciousness.
Usagi patiently repeated what she had said, and the others grew pepped as well.
"Thanks for that... er... quiet act," the announcer said, stifling his own boredom. "Well, next we have Tenoh Haruka-san and Kaioh Michiru-san in a violin and piano duet..." He left the stage, muttering to himself that this better be well worth the wait.
Haruka and Michiru came out to the applause of the crowd. Bowing and smiling, Haruka sat down at the piano; Michiru remained standing at a microphone on the stage with her violin. They began to play together in a slow duet with a soothing tone and beautiful notes that had those in the audience enthralled. When they had finished, everyone was awake, none of them half asleep or drifting there. Everyone cheered, particularly the young fans of them.
Tanrei and Araki both entered the stage afterwards, and the audience grew silent, realizing that this was the duo that was well known in America, and they were supposed to be as good as Haruka and Michiru.
Araki went to the piano and Tanrei held her flute positioned beneath her mouth. Nodding, Araki began to play, and Tanrei followed. The high clarity of the flute blended well with the notes of the piano, and together, they made an impressive duet.
"Sugoi!" Usagi murmured. "They're really good!"
"They're so cool!" Minako added, her eyes starry.
When they had finished, the crowd clapped as loudly for them as they had for Haruka and Michiru. Tanrei and Araki waved, smiling, as they left.
"Thanks, everyone, for coming," the announcer said, appearing out of nowhere. "We hope you liked the concert. Have a good evening!"
Everyone started pouring out of the theater in large quantities, chattering with enthusiasm and energy. The Inner Senshi, Hotaru, and Setsuna remained, hanging around for Haruka and Michiru.
"I think that Tanrei-san and Araki-san are sooo cool!" Minako breathed to Usagi, who nodded in agreement.
"Yet there was something in their music..." Hotaru agreed thoughtfully. "There was some sort of pull..."
Several screams came from backstage.
The senshi looked at each other.
"Everyone, henshin yo!" Usagi said.
"Moon Wakusei Crystal Power, Make-Up!"
"Mercury Wakusei Power, Make-Up!"
"Mars Wakusei Power, Make-Up!"
"Jupiter Wakusei Power, Make-Up!"
"Venus Wakusei Power, Make-Up!"
"Pluto Wakusei Power, Make-Up!"
"Saturn Wakusei Power, Make-Up!"
Transforming, they ran down the aisles towards the stage, where they were greeted by a blast of shooting arrows. A Demon appeared, giggling insanely, while the Sailor Senshi prepared to do battle.
"That was really moving, Haruka, Michiru," Tanrei said to the pair as they walked off towards their dressing rooms.
"Thank you, Tanrei," Michiru smiled. "Yours was too."
"Though not quite in the same way," Araki commented perceptively. "It was almost a love piece..."
Haruka shrugged uncomfortably, while Tanrei and Michiru laughed softly.
"Excuse us, Haruka, Michiru," Tanrei said. "You were wonderful tonight. Good night."
That effectively ended the conversation. Tanrei and Araki entered their room, closing the door behind them.
"Do you think that she was there?" Tanrei murmured wistfully, leaning against the door.
"Maybe..." Araki replied. "I hope so... But we have more important things to worry about."
"Hai... The Celestial Crystal," Tanrei said. "The Destructor could be anybody though..."
"Don't worry, Tanrei," Araki said reassuringly, smiling at her best friend. "We'll destroy it, before it can do any harm."
That's when the door opened.
"Hey!" Araki snapped. "This is pri-"
She stopped, finding herself glaring at Orion.
"Araki, Tanrei," he said, sneering. "I'm your biggest fan... And as your fan, I'll be taking something from you."
Araki and Tanrei drew back, eyes heated. They carefully controlled their expressions though, Tanrei holding Araki from doing anything crazy.
"What?" Tanrei said. "What are you talking about?"
"I'm going to be taking your Wakusei Crystals, since I'm certain one of you has the Celestial Crystal... And if not, I'll just be visiting your friends, Tenoh Haruka and Kaioh Michiru." He laughed, pleased with himself.
"You're not going to do that, Orion," Araki whispered angrily, pulling her arm away from Tanrei.
This time the black haired man grew startled. "How did you know my name?" he demanded.
Tanrei said sharply, "Araki!"
"Tanrei, we have to... We can't let anything stand in our way!" Araki retorted.
Orion gave them a confused glare. "I don't know what you're talking about!" he snapped. "Demon! Come take care of these babbling idiots!"
Screams in the hallway indicated that the Demon was heading in a different direction, towards the stage.
"Shimatta!" Orion yelled, stamping his foot, glaring at Tanrei and Araki. "I'll just have to do this myself!"
Tanrei threw something at him, a vase, which he blasted with a bolt of black energy.
"Stupid humans! Give me your Wakusei Crystals!"
"No!" Araki took out something from her jacket pocket, an object shaped like a green stick with symbols over it, with the kanji for wood near the top.
Orion's eyes grew wide as he realized what it was, stepping back.
"Araki..." Tanrei muttered, but she took out a gold stick with the kanji for metal near the top too.
"You're, you're-" Orion stuttered, nearly hysterical with a flood of confusion.
"Wood Gogyu Power, Make-Up!" Araki shouted, throwing her henshin stick into the air.
"Metal Gogyu Power, Make-Up!" Tanrei yelled, her henshin stick raised over her head.
After an interesting henshin sequence, the Elemental Senshi, Wood and Metal, stood in front of an extremely shocked Orion.
"In the name of the gogyu of the trees, I am the Elemental Senshi, Wood!" Wood announced, smirking.
"And in the name of the gogyu of the minerals, I am the Elemental Senshi, Metal!" Metal added, with no less arrogance.
"Elemental Senshi!" Orion finally finished his thoughts into a coherent exclamation. Then what he said hit him after a moment. "ARGH! You're always in my way!"
"We try to," Wood said. "Wood Leaf Fall!"
She blasted Orion out the door, where he hit the wall. Nearly passing out, he managed to stand up and ran towards the stage, where his Demon was busy with its own problems.
"Mars Flame Sniper!" Mars shouted, a fire arrow flying towards the Demon.
As it leapt over it, Mercury yelled, "Mercury Aqua Rhapsody!" which missed too.
"Shimatta!" Jupiter said as her Jupiter Oak Evolution was avoided.
"Silence Glaive Surprise!" Saturn said. The Demon fell as everything around it shook, almost dropping the Wakusei Crystals in its hand. Off on the side lay several people part of the talent show, who the Demon had stolen the crystals from.
Unfortunately, Saturn's attack knocked everyone else down too. The Demon stood back up, though, and it moved towards the senshi.
"World Shaking!" Uranus's orange ball hit the Demon in the back and it flew sprawling across the stage.
"Uranus! Neptune!" Moon cried out in relief, seeing the two other Outer Senshi standing behind the fallen Demon.
Orion came running out, crying, "Demon! Help! Help!"
The Sailor Senshi sweat dropped at his obvious cowardliness. Seeing his Demon down and not getting up, he ran off the stage frantically, making shrieking sounds. Wood and Metal casually entered.
"Ah, hai! Moon Rainbow Wakusei Blade!" She shouted, finishing the Demon, who disappeared upon impact.
Meanwhile, Metal shook her head, sending the crystals back towards the people. The crystals reentered their bodies, and they were going to be all right.
Wood muttered 'Shimatta' under her breath. They moved to leave, but found that the Sailor Senshi had blocked their exits.
"What do you want?" Wood snapped, glaring at them. They had surrounded the two Elemental Senshi in a loose circle.
"We'd like to know what the hell you're doing," Uranus said pointedly. Her Space Sword was in her right hand, but Wood wasn't impressed.
"We were about to leave," Metal retorted. "Care to move out of our way?"
"Not until you tell us what you want with those Wakusei Crystals," Saturn said.
Wood smiled, not nicely. "We'd rather not, thanks all the same."
"You'd rather not?" Jupiter said, outraged. "These crystals are important to the people! You're no better than the enemies!"
"Enemies? The Black Silencers?" Metal laughed.
"Is that who they are?" Mercury said, writing that down, much to the embarrassment of her friends.
"We aren't with them, if that's what you mean," Metal continued, flipping her hair over her shoulder arrogantly. "But we are your enemies, have no doubt of that."
"And now that you know that, we'll be leaving. See you. Wood Leaf-"
The Inner Senshi made some yelps as they moved out of Wood's way.
"Fall!" The leaves slammed by the Inner Senshi, narrowly missing them. Wood and Metal took their chance and ran out of the auditorium.
"Argh!" Uranus slammed her fist on the wall.
"Calm down, Uranus," Pluto murmured. "At least we know who our enemies are now."
"Yes, but we don't know what they want," Moon whispered.
"Whatever they're after, we have to get it first," Neptune said, "even if we don't know what it is..."
"First of all, you RAN OFF," Andromeda gritted through her teeth. "Secondly, this was your final chance... And you still failed."
"I can justify myself, Andromeda-san!" Orion said hurriedly. "I know who the El-"
"Silence!" Andromeda bit out. "None of your flimsy excuses! You're finished. It's a shame, you were one of the best. But you're not worthy of serving our master any longer! Cerebus!"
Orion quivered in fear. "No, Andromeda-san! Not Cerebus!"
Andromeda smiled coldly. "Have fun, Orion... Spend your last few minutes playing with the little doggie..."
Snapping her fingers, Orion immediately disappeared, taken to the midst of hell, where he would be greeted by a hungry, angry host...
Quasar spoke up, after swallowing repeatedly. "I, uh..."
Andromeda didn't look at her, her expression painfully bored. "You won't turn out to be a big disappointment, I trust. Cerebus doesn't get very many visitors, and I prefer to keep it that way. You understand?"
"Hai! Andromeda-sama!" Quasar murmured, bowing. "I won't fail you."
"Very good." The red haired woman looked faintly pleased.
Like her sister, Kaolinite, Quasar thought, shuddering. Beautiful, but more deadly, colder, more dangerous...
And Andromeda nodded, as if having read Quasar's mind, smiling ferociously.