Part 6: A-Mazing Ordeal or Green With Envy
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 storyline, ideas, and any other characters are created by me. 1997 - Jackie Chiang
"Ok, now I'm totally lost," Minako said to herself as she walked around. She could hear her friends laughing and giggling as they tried to find their way through the maze. She had walked straight into this one.
How big is this maze anyway? she wondered as she walked around. It was probably very big, like the rest of Terra's home, she thought dryly. The maze itself was made of carefully tended hedge that grew straight up (over 7 feet high) and was too thick to see through.
Minako stopped short and sighed as she realized that she was going around in circles. I wonder how everyone else is doing.
Luna waggled her tail as she watched the squirrel. Suddenly Artemis sneezed and the squirrel scampered away.
"Baka," Luna said, reprovingly, "you scared it away."
"Sorry, Luna," Artemis said, sneezing, "but I think I'm allergic to them."
"Haruka, really," Michiru reprimanded as she watched Haruka moved her hand on the side of the maze as they walked. It was a rather simple method of getting out of a maze. One kept their hand on the side of the maze, following the wall until he reached the end of it. "Using that technique takes all the fun out of solving the maze by yourself."
Haruka grinned. "Sorry, Michiru. So I guess asking the mirror the way out is out of the question."
Michiru laughed. "Do you think anyone else found their was out yet?"
"It's this way, Rei-chan!" Usagi said, pointing down one path.
"But the scroll said it was that way!" Rei protested, pointing to the other.
Usagi made a face. "Ha! You cheated. This is supposed to be fun, you know."
"I don't want to be stuck in here for three days!" Rei retorted. "You heard Terra-chan talk about her great aunt being lost in the house for that long!"
The blonde giggled. "Ok, fine. You go your way, I'll go mine. We'll see who was right. If you win, I'll do your temple chores for a week."
"And if you win?" Rei asked, smiling.
"If I win, you do my homework for a week," Usagi said triumphantly. "And you can't use those scrolls of yours, Rei-chan."
"Deal," Rei said, unable to resist the challenge. "See you when I win, Usagi."
"That was a short maze," Hotaru said, disappointed as she and Setsuna found the exit. A wooden sign with 'Exit' printed in red letters greeted them as they left the maze. No one else was there; they had found the way out first.
"Want to do it again?" Setsuna asked mischievously, her eyes bright.
"Hai!" Hotaru said, and they headed back to the entrance.
Makoto smiled tenderly at the plants. They were so pretty, she thought as she looked at them. There were so many exotic plants from all over the world. They were very well kept. Makoto wondered how Terra kept everything so nice, but dismissed the thought as she realized that Terra probably had a staff to do everything.
Makoto came up to the rose portion of the flowers. Her green eyes danced as she saw all the colors. Usagi and Mamoru would love them, she thought. Vibrant red roses, soft pink ones, white ones, and yellow ones. Makoto eyed the yellow ones carefully. They looked startlingly like the ones Sailor Earth threw...
"Enjoying the greenhouse, Mako-chan?" a voice said from behind her.
Makoto whirled around to see Terra studying the flowers from behind her. She sighed with relief.
"You startled me!" Makoto said. Terra smiled and shrugged.
"You like roses?" Terra asked, turning away from the brunette. Her eyes started to glow. She picked up some nearby clippers and neatly trimmed the roses.
Makoto nodded. "Usagi-chan likes them a lot too. Do you take care of them by yourself?"
"Yes," Terra said, her voice peculiar. "Roses are my favorite. Especially the yellow ones. Red ones are too loud and common; pink ones are nice but too soft. White ones are too plain. Yellow ones have the right balance."
"I see," Makoto said, when she really didn't. Terra was acting funny again.
Suddenly the black haired girl dropped the clippers and turned around. Her bright blue eyes stared into Makoto's. "Do you really, Mako-chan?" she said. "Or should I say, Sailor Jupiter?"
Makoto gasped, stepping away. "How do you know who I am?"
Terra's artificial smile made Makoto's skin crawl. "The same way I know that Ami-chan is Sailor Mercury. Zeus!"
All of a sudden, a girl appeared beside Terra. She looks like me, Makoto thought dizzily, stepping back until she ran into a table. Her fuku is like Ares's and Hermes's...
Terra looked at Makoto, her eyes filled with horror at what she had done, and then replaced by blankness. "I'm sorry, Mako-chan," she whispered, and disappeared.
"Well, well," the girl said, twisting her long brown braid around her finger. "So we meet each other again, Jupiter."
"What are you talking about?" Makoto exclaimed. "I've never met you before in my life!"
"No, not in this life, we haven't," Zeus said, a javelin appearing in her hand. "But in our previous one... And you're going to pay for what you have done! Zeus Lightning Strike!"
A blast of pure electricity struck Makoto, and she screamed as she collapsed onto the ground. But being a Sailor Senshi had hardened her, and she weakly stood up, grasping her henshin stick. "Jupiter Crystal Power, Make-Up!" she shouted.
In a matter of seconds, she had transformed into Super Sailor Jupiter. "In place of the thunder planet, Jupiter, I will punish you! I am Sailor Jupiter!"
Zeus laughed. "Really, Jupiter, dear, you needn't go into dramatics with me!"
"Jupiter Oak Evolution!" Jupiter spun around as her tiara electrified eaves and flowers around her, then striking Zeus.
But Zeus had jumped out of the way. "We're going to end this now, Jupiter!" she said maliciously. She started to chant and suddenly yelled out, "Sleep!"
A green mist floated towards Jupiter. Jupiter resisted and yelled, "Jupiter Oak Evolution" once again, this time hitting the unprepared Zeus.
"You always had to be the best, didn't you?" Zeus shrieked, her anger overtaking her. "Always had to have the last word! This time, I'm going to have it! I call upon the magic of darkness to give me strength!" She chanted under her breath again. "Lightening of the second power! Strike!"
A heavy bolt of lightening struck Jupiter, and the girl collapsed from pain, exhaustion, and her wounds. Zeus breathed heavily, drained of power. She laughed weakly. Hermes appeared by her side, and the two of them took Jupiter's body away, Zeus tightly grasping Jupiter's henshin stick.
Earth watched them disappear, and her hand tightened around her crystal rose in her hand. It did not shatter, however. Two down, she thought, nine to go. I will not fail you, she thought as she stared at the rose. Too much depended on her succeeding.
"Aphrodite Hatred Arrow!" Aphrodite shouted as she let an arrow from her bow loose at Venus as she was landing from her jump.
The arrow hit Venus in the chest and disappeared as it struck her body. Venus fell into the maze wall.
"Minako-chan! Minako-chan!" shouts came from all over the maze. "Where are you?"
Venus slowly stood up to face her laughing opponent, ignoring her friends' cries. "Venus Love and Beauty... Shock!"
The attack missed Aphrodite by several inches. Aphrodite sneered. "Pathetic! Do you really think you can defeat me?"
Venus grimaced as the pain intensified. "I must defeat you! To save Earth from people like you from taking over!"
Aphrodite stared at her. Venus watched her warily. Aphrodite suddenly laughed out loud. "Take over the Earth? Why would we want to do that? That's the problem with you, Venus! So narrow minded and ditzy! To think, everyone on Venus was proud of you!"
"What are you talking about?" Venus shouted.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about, you fool!" Aphrodite said. She caressed her bow in her hands. "They chose you over me! And that's why I must do this! Aphrodite Hatred Arrow!" The arrow hit Venus in the chest again.
She fell to her knees. I have to... defeat... her... It hurts... so much... Venus fell to the ground, unconscious.
Laughing, Aphrodite watched as her victim's body floated up into the air and disappeared. I wonder if Ares is doing all right? she thought wryly. Wonder, nothing. She'll need help with that Mars girl. Aphrodite teleported to herself to Ares's side, where a disappointing battle was raging.
At first, Rei was so intent on winning the bet that she didn't even hear the screams coming from the other side of the maze.
"Aphrodite Hatred Arrow!"
That was Minako! What was going on?
"Minako-chan! Minako-chan! Where are you?" She could hear her friends screaming for Minako.
I have to help her! Rei thought. "Mars Crystal Power, Make-Up!"
As soon as Mars touched the ground, she ran through the maze, using the screams as her guide. Suddenly something materialized in front of her in the air. Mars stopped short.
"Bienvenido, Sailor Mars," the figure said as her features became recognizable.
"You, you," Mars stuttered, completely off guard, "look like me!"
Ares laughed. "Of course I do, except I'm prettier! I'm sorry we didn't get to meet before, Mars. I am Princess Ares."
Mars got with it. "If you're Ares, then I must do this! Mars Flame Sniper!" she shouted, an arrow flying from her bow at Ares. It hit the childish girl in the chest.
"Ouch!" Ares shrieked. "That hurt! You vicious brat! You're going to pay!"
Mars watched passively as Ares started crying and whining. "You're worse than Usagi!" she said aloud.
That stopped Ares from crying. "USAGI? SAILOR MOON? I AM NOT WORSE THAN THAT BRAT!"
Mars sighed. She needed to defeat this foe, but she really didn't have the heart to hurt a girl who just cried. Ares continued to screech as Mars whispered, "Mars Flame-"
"Aphrodite Hatred Arrow!" An arrow hit her back, and she was knocked down. Looking up, she saw a second girl looking at Ares.
She looks like Venus! Mars thought. Her blond hair pulled back by a clip, her blue eyes, and her face! The girl glanced at Mars.
"Hello, Sailor Mars," she said, her voice composed and controlled. "I'm Aphrodite."
She glared at Ares. "Do get up, Ares," she said contemptuously. "You wanted her, now you have her! Stop crying!"
"But it hurts!" Ares protested.
"Poseidon was right about you!" Aphrodite said, sniffing. "Mars is better than you are!"
"WHAT?!" Ares stood up in record time. "I'll show Poseidon who's better! Ares Destruction Flare!"
Mars screamed as the whip wrapped itself around her neck, making her get on her knees.
"Better," Aphrodite said. "Now knock her out so we can take her away!"
"Not so fast!" a voice said from behind. "Let Mars go!"
Aphrodite turned around. Standing there were five girls, Super Sailor Moon, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn. The two cats scampered to their sides.
"I'm the pretty sailor suited soldier, Sailor Moon! In the name of the moon, I will punish you!" the short blonde said, striking a pose.
"Oh, this is a joke," Aphrodite murmured. "Very well." She muttered under her breath, and shouted out, "Stop of the first power! Now!"
Suddenly, Saturn and Moon were frozen, but Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto were not.
"World Shaking!" Uranus shouted, the ball of energy slicing the whip. Mars fell to the ground again, breathing harshly before passing out.
"Deep Submerge!" Neptune yelled, as her energy ball hit Ares.
"Dead... Scream," Pluto whispered as a blast of energy hit Aphrodite down on her posterior.
"That's it!" Ares shouted angrily. "I've been humiliated enough!" She whispered softly, then screamed, "Flare!" A huge wave of flame hit the three Outer Senshi to the ground, their bodies motionless.
Aphrodite was impressed. "That was good, Ares. I think you may have advanced up to level 3 or 4 at least."
Ares grinned. "Really?"
Aphrodite shrugged and dismissed the topic from her mind, picking up Mars's body. "Maybe. Let's get out of here."
Ares picked up her whip, snickered, and disappeared, Aphrodite following suit. The cats and frozen girls watched helplessly as they saw Mars vanish with them. Ares mocking laughter remained.
Earth watched, puzzled. Surely the Sailor Senshi weren't that ineffective against such weak adversaries. After all, they were the chosen ones while the Senshi Kurai were not. If this kept up, then Hecate would have all twelve of them in her grasp. Earth frowned. Now only the Outer Senshi, Moon, Tuxedo Kamen, and herself were left.
The crystal rose in her hand glowed, and Earth smiled fondly at it. It was time she told them the truth, she decided.
Suddenly, her body shook. Not again, she said, kneeling down. It's too soon... Not yet. The crystal rose shattered, and Earth's pain intensified as she passed out.