Part 10: Solar Eclipsed
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
"They went to the dark side, my Queen," Hecate murmured, tears brimming in her eyes. "They left me... us. Why would they do that?"
"Hecate," Metallia answered, "they are being manipulated. They have been corrupted. The only way to uncorrupt them is to..." She paused.
Hecate glanced up, shocked. "But Metallia!"
Metallia glared. "You are starting to bore me, Hecate. Do as I say!" She waved her hand in front of Hecate.
A black mist enveloped the girl. The other's eyes glowed as she laughed maniacally. "Hai. We must kill them."
Metallia nodded approvingly, and Hecate left. Laughing, Metallia glanced at the viewer, her link to the outside world. After all this time of waiting, she could now complete her task. Beryl had been a fool; she knew that, and that is why before giving her her power, Metallia had copied herself. She had cloned herself into the shape of a girl, who, if needed, would carry on her mission. She was this girl, and she knew what had to be done. Soon, the universe would be hers, and she could get rid of the Senshi Kurai and the Sailor Senshi!
"What a lovely day for a picnic," Hotaru said, scanning across the park. There were people everywhere, eating and talking and laughing. Fortunately, there was enough room so that they would have privacy anyway.
Airashii nodded. "It's nice and warm out." She flipped her dark blue hair over her shoulder. The others watched and privately compared her hair with Michiru's.
Both girls had lovely, wavy hair that fell past their shoulders. Michiru liked wearing a headband, and Airashii preferred a small bow in back. The odd side effect of being twins was, well, odd. Whenever Michiru's hair was dark green, Airashii's was dark blue. And when Michiru's was dark blue, Airashii's was dark green. On occasion, their hair were the same colors, but it was one of the strangest things any of the others had seen in their lives. They both liked gorgeous, elegant clothes. To be honest, they could have worn paper bags and still would have looked beautiful. (Yes, there is a bias here...)
Seikyu and Haruka looked almost exactly alike. They too liked the same style of clothing- fashionable, male clothes generally, or comfortable, stylish, feminine ones. The only way to tell them apart was the fact that Seikyu wore her gold hoops in public, while Haruka did not, and that Seikyu's hair was more white than blond. Both were arrogant, take charge, irrational girls.
Usagi was silent. She felt better, now that she knew that there was a chance that they could rescue their friends, but she was still uneasy.
Airashii smiled reassuringly. Pushing her hair out of her eyes, she smiled gently. "Princess, we will get them back."
"All of them," Shizuka added. Seikyu and Nintai regarded her, knowing who else she meant.
Airashii and Michiru were playing a duet; it was so lovely that people walking by stopped to listen. Soon a crowd had gathered by, enjoying the sound of the music flowing over them.
"They're wonderful!" one woman exclaimed to another.
"Hai," the second girl answered shortly. The first one, put off by her unenthusiastic mood, went to talk to another person.
Pushing her shades higher up on her nose, the girl frowned. She brushed her golden hair off her shoulder. It was too bad that they were Sailor Senshi. She would have liked to have listened to them some more. Well, that was life. Her job was to kill them, as soon as possible. Then she could be free again, free from her wretched imprisonment that bound her to the princess Hecate...
Seikyu looked up suddenly, her glance moving from the two girls to the crowd. Someone was there... Haruka too was watching the crowd with a controlled expression on her face. They were discreet, as not to alarm the Prince and Princess, who were peacefully listening to the music.
The other two Sailor Senshi and two Magic Senshi knew something was wrong as well. Setsuna narrowed her eyes, her gaze falling onto a girl with shades, obscuring her eyes, and her golden hair streaming down back, held back with a yellow bow. That was the presence felt... Who was she?
The girl frowned, as if knowing that she was spotted. She slowly turned away, disappearing into the crowd.
Hotaru shook her head. "Whoever she is, we will find out soon enough," she said softly. The others nodded.
"Name?" the woman didn't look up.
The girl frowned, her golden eyes flicking , annoyed. "Apol-" She paused.
"Taiyo Asa (morning sun)," she amended quickly.
"Take a seat." The woman flicked her hand disinterestedly to the full room of people waiting to get tickets to the concert.
"No," Asa said, her voice oddly fierce.
"Nani?" the woman finally looked up. The girl smiled, leaning forward.
"Why don't we just skip all of this?" Asa murmured soothingly. The woman's eyes grew hazy.
"Hai." The woman printed out a ticket for Asa, giving it to her.
"Arigato." Asa nodded, walking away, while others started to argue with the confused woman on why the other girl had gotten a ticket for free.
"A quartet?" Nintai said dubiously. "You, Seikyu, Airashii and Michiru?"
Haruka shrugged, grinning. "The tickets are all sold out, and they haven't even been on sale for five hours. Michiru and I are well known."
Seikyu reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out six tickets for the rest of them. "It's tonight at 6."
Usagi smiled excitedly. "This is going to be so much fun! Right, Mamo-chan?"
Mamoru smiled. Usagi was finally cheering up. "Hai."
Hotaru gazed thoughtfully at Usagi, but said nothing. It was better this way; it was better that Usagi not discover what the rest of them knew. She was in enough pain already.
"Suiren Airashii (captivating water lily)," Poseidon said, pointing to herself after things had settled out. "That's my Terran name."
"And I am Kaze Seikyu (impetuous wind)," Sunaru added.
The two girls detransformed into their now normal Earth forms. They made a striking pair, Seikyu tall and handsome, Airashii elegant and beautiful.
Usagi looked at them cautiously. "Do you know how to get our friends back?" she asked quietly.
Seikyu and Airashii exchanged glances.
"They are being held captive in a cell in the castle. I put the spell on it myself," Airashii explained. She turned red from embarrassment at her role in what had happened.
Shizuka gave her a comforting hug. "It's all right, Airashii," she murmured. "We understand."
Nintai nodded. "Hai."
Seikyu continued. "They are going to expect us, and until we find another way to get there, our help is useless."
Usagi looked deflated. Mamoru put his arm around her. "We'll find a way, Usako," he said.
"Why don't you take Usagi-chan home, Mamoru-san?" Hotaru said suddenly. She knew that there was much more to be said; Usagi was not prepared emotionally for this though.
Mamoru led Usagi away, and the others watched until they disappeared.
They then went to the Crown Fruit Parlor to have some tea.
Michiru, Airashii, Setsuna, and Nintai had red tea; Hotaru and Shizuka had herbal tea; Haruka and Seikyu were trying the hibiscus tea.
Sipping daintily, Airashii paused. "We didn't want Usagi-chan to know that this is much more dangerous than it seems."
"How so?" Michiru asked thoughtfully. She ate a cookie that she had bought.
"It's not so simple to get in," Seikyu said. "Since Shizuka-chan and Nintai-chan left, the castle defenses have been upped twenty times. In order to break in, it would take a massive amount of force; a force which we do not currently possess."
Nintai and Shizuka were shocked. They knew that this would have happened, but 20 times stronger??
"We are also most likely being watched by the Senshi Kurai," the girl continued. "So we must be prepared for any attack. Now they won't spare us; they attack to kill."
They allowed the others to take in the impact of what they had said. The girls sipped their tea, thinking.
"We also don't want her to know about Gaia..." Airashii murmured. She exchanged a glance with the Magic Senshi.
"Gaia?" Hotaru asked.
"She's one of the commanders," Nintai said, looking uncomfortable. "I think that Shizuka-chan and I forgot about her."
"Who is she?" Haruka demanded. "Why is this important?"
Shizuka looked down into her swirling tea. "Gaia isn't exactly a regular commander... She's a normal human. We brainwashed her."
"Brainwashed?" Michiru repeated, startled. "That means that her evil is superficial..."
"Hai." Her twin nodded. "But what you don't know is that she was one of your friends."
"She's Terra," Seikyu said flatly. She set her tea cup down. "Yukiru Terra. She has no memory of her past, and she only knows that she hates all of you."
The Outer Senshi sat in stunned silence.
"Terra-chan is..." Hotaru whispered. "I don't believe it..."
"Yet it all fits together..." Michiru said thoughtfully. "That is why she acted so strangely around us. She must have been brainwashed at that time."
"And it would explain why we never see her around school any more," Haruka added.
"Usagi is at a point where she can't receive any new bad news." Nintai's voice was firm.
"Hai." The girls acknowledged that they would not tell Usagi anything that she did not need to know.
"I've been wondering..." Shizuka said. She stirred her tea around. "Who was that girl who helped Airashii and Seikyu?"
"Yes, this she a mystery." Michiru propped her chin upon her hands. "Who was she? Why was she helping us? Where did she come from?"
Nintai shook her head, her green hair falling into her eyes. Pushing them away, she stared out the window. "Another enigma..."
They, by tacit agreement, began to talk of other trivial things, and the twins started to rediscover each other.
"Well, well." Ares's voice was mocking. "The perfect Outer Senshi Kurai have all left us. Says a lot, ne?"
"Shut up," Hermes snapped angrily. She slapped the girl across the face.
Zeus and Aphrodite stared in shock. Hermes rarely lost her temper, and she never hit anyone in her life.
Ares started to cry. "How could you hit me?" she whined. "Hermes, you were always nice to me!"
Hermes looked in bewilderment at what she had done. "I don't know... Gomen nasai, Ares!" She ran out of the room.
Hecate ignored the scene. "Minna-chan," she said, her voice tilting oddly, to the rest of the girls and the two cats. "I have sent Apollo to deal with our enemies right away."
"You want her to capture them?" Zeus asked, assuming that this was the case.
"No," Hecate laughed strangely. "She won't be so kind."
Aphrodite looked up, aghast. Even Ares was shocked.
"You don't mean...?"
Hecate giggled. "Of course. She'll kill them."
"Hecate..." Aphrodite said. "Are you all right? You're not acting like yourself..."
"Then what am I acting like?" the girl titled her head, smiling as if Aphrodite had said something amusing.
Cynthia frowned, speaking for the first time since she had entered the room. "Hecate, you should get some sleep."
Phoebe nodded. "Hai, Cynthia is right, for once." He twitched his tail, agitated.
"I feel wonderful," Hecate murmured, laughing. "And soon we _all_ will be happy."
"Haruka, get a grip on yourself," Michiru said. She literally dragged her partner away from the boy who she was hitting. The boy had simply started talking to Michiru, and Haruka took that he was flirting with her.
Airashii giggled. "Haruka, you're too possessive." Then she spied a girl talking to Seikyu. Angrily she marched over there and pulled Seikyu away, giving the girl a stay-away-from-my-girlfriend look.
Seikyu was bewildered. "What did I do?" she asked.
"She was flirting with you!" Airashii snapped.
Haruka and Michiru laughed. Anyone else would have seen that Seikyu hadn't been interested in the girl, except for the jealous Airashii.
Hotaru smiled, and she watched as a butterfly went by. Turning to see where it would go, she noticed out of the corner of her eye the same girl whom she had seen the day before. Her lovely golden hair swirled around her face, and her smile was contemptuously amused. Her eyes were shaded by her glasses, and she wore a gold dress.
"She's there." The voice was calm. Hotaru glanced at her sister.
"Hai, I know."
The girl smiled maliciously and walked away.
"What does she want?"
She stood still, her eyes perfectly calm, watching the girls. Amusing, that was the word. They were amusing. So naive, so innocent. One of the girls, Saturn, turned. She knew that she saw her.
They both knew. She smirked. Well, well, well. They _were_ bright, after all. Saturn's eyes flashed dangerously. Her smirk didn't fade. I do believe I have met my match in these Outer Senshi. Turning on her heel, she disappeared.
Nintai, Setsuna, Shizuka, Hotaru, Usagi, and Mamoru stepped off the bus in front of the music hall. Nintai wore a black strapless dress, while Setsuna went for one with the spaghetti straps (whatever they are). Shizuka had on a cute purple dress, and Hotaru's was more violet. Usagi wore a pink strapless dress, and Mamoru had on (no, not a dress, baka) a black tuxedo.
"This is the place." Shizuka's voice held a great deal of interest. This was her first time to such an elegant event in over 1000 years.
"Let's go inside," Hotaru said excitedly, dragging her sister by the hand towards the front entrance.
Shizuka and the others laughed, following Hotaru inside.
"This color really isn't me," Airashii said doubtfully. She twirled around, the blue silk swirling around her ankles.
Michiru walked into the room, laughing softly. She wore the same style dress as her sister, except it was made of green silk. "You look beautiful, Airashii," she assured her sister.
"Hai," Seikyu said, moving to her partner's side and giving her a kiss on the forehead.
"Let's get going," Haruka said after straightening her jacket.
"Hai," the others agreed.
Asa grinned, watching the building wearing a long, strapless white dress. "Show time..." (Yes, this is copying Eudial's line. So what?)
The audience was full of elegantly dressed, rich music lovers from all across the world. Haruka and especially Michiru's talents had been talked about by the elite in Japan and other places.
"Sugoi!" Usagi exclaimed when she saw how full the theater was.
"There are so many people!" Hotaru said.
"Our seats are over there, near the front," Setsuna said, pointing to the second row.
They went to their seats and sat down. The lights dimmed, and the four girls walked onto the stage. Haruka and Seikyu sat down at separate pianos, and Michiru and Airashii already had their violin and viola ready. They started to play.
The audience was silent, enthralled by the beautiful music. Lovely sounds floated throughout the entire theater, and the four girls wove a spell over the audience. Haruka and Seikyu stopped, and Michiru and Airashii continued to play alone, a stringed duet, a soft, warming melodic piece. Then Seikyu and Haruka rejoined them. Michiru and Airashii stopped, and Haruka and Seikyu played their duet in an incredibly moving, fast piece. It was a wonderful contrast of gentle elegance to rash, daring impetuousness, characterizing Michiru with Haruka and Airashii with Seikyu.
When they had finished, they received a standing ovation. Roses and other flowers were thrown onto the stage, and the four girls bowed. The audience sat back down as the musicians left the stage, except for one person. Everyone around her started whispering.
"What's going on?" Nintai said, turning around.
"It's that girl!" Hotaru gasped, immediately recognizing Asa.
Asa smiled, laughing mockingly. She stared directly at the Sailor Senshi. With a wave of her hand, all the people around her started fainting and falling asleep in their chairs.
"Minna, henshin yo!" Usagi said. "Moon Crisis, Make-Up!"
"Saturn Crystal Power, Make-Up!" Hotaru yelled, holding up her henshin stick.
"Cronus Crystal Power, Make-Up!" Shizuka yelled, her henshin stick in the air.
"Pluto Crystal Power, Make-Up!" Setsuna yelled, grasping her henshin stick.
"Hades Crystal Power, Make-Up!" Nintai yelled as she held up her henshin stick.
"Tuxedo Kamen Power, Make-... Errr..." Mamoru blushed and ran off to wherever the heck he usually goes.
(Usagi did her usual SuperS sequence, so no need for description.)
Hotaru's Silence Glaive appeared in her hands, and she was nude and a faint purple. Thousands of purple ribbons emerged from her Silence Glaive, wrapping themselves around her as she spun around, her eyes closed. The ribbons formed her Sailor fuku, and with a flash of purple light, she was fully clothed. She smiled gently and opened her eyes, flipping her short hair over her shoulder. The light purple lipstick glimmered and vanished off her lips, and she landed saying, holding her Silence Glaive in her left hand, "Sailor Saturn!"
Shizuka's transformation was similar, beginning with her Tranquillity Spear in both hands in the air. Darker purple ribbons flew out of the tip as she spun the Spear around her nude body. They covered her, and disappeared with a burst of dark light. She smiled softly, the purple lipstick glittering, then floating off her lips. She landed with the Tranquillity Spear held at an angle (about 60 degrees) with both hands. She said, "Sailor Cronus!"
Setsuna whirled her henshin stick around her body as she whirled, causing a funnel of liquid to rise up. As the funnel surrounded her, she crossed her arms over her chest, and the funnel closed at the top. When she reappeared, her Time Staff was in her left hand, and her eyes were closed. Her green hair floated around her and the lipstick glowed on her quietly calm smile. She landed on the ground saying, "Sailor Pluto!"
Nintai twirled her henshin stick around her body, and a black mist floated around her, covering her until she was unable to be seen. The next second, she was back, her sweet smile being done with red lipstick, and her Chronos Staff was held up above her head with her right hand. "Sailor Hades!"
"I am the pretty sailor suited soldier, Sailor Moon. Tsuki ni kawatte, oshiokiyo!" Sailor Moon said, doing her pose thing.
"Sailor Senshi," Asa said, smiling. "I'm glad you are so compliant."
"Who are you?" Cronus snapped. She held her Tranquillity Spear pointed at Asa.
"I am the last of the Sun Quintet," Asa answered, "Apollo!" Holding her hand in the air, she was encased in a golden beam of light, and was soon wearing a gold fuku like the ones that the Senshi Kurai wore. In each hand was a long, agile sword.
"Now, I'm afraid that I have to kill you. A pity, really, since you are rather kawaii... But no matter. Solar Burning Sun Flare!" Apollo crossed her swords, and a hot burst of golden flame shot out from them towards the senshi.
"Aaaah!" Sailor Moon screamed, narrowly being hit. She fell into one aisle of chairs. The tips of her ponytails were burnt.
Apollo laughed, for she seriously found it incredibly humorous. The Sailor Senshi stared at her oddly.
"Why are you laughing?" Hades demanded. It irked her that this enemy was laughing at them.
"I have no idea," Apollo said truthfully. Then realizing what she had said, her manner changed instantly. "No! I must defeat you! Proministic Flaming Solar Kiss!" This time several balls of burning energy sped towards the senshi...
And were disintegrated by two energy balls. Cherry blossoms floated by as violin music played from nowhere, and the outlines of four girls filled, giving the others views of Uranus, Neptune, Poseidon, and Sunaru on the stage. Leaping down, they all stanced arrogantly.
"In the name of the planet where the skies rule, I am the magnificent Sailor Uranus!"
"In the name of the planet where the seas reign supreme, I am the maternal Senshi, Sailor Neptune!"
"In the name of the magic of the planet of the crashing waves and tides, I am the graceful Sailor Poseidon!"
"And in the name of the magic of the planet where the heavens rumble and shake, I am the majestic Sailor Sunaru!"
"Kaiousei/Tenousei ni kawatte, oshiokiyo!" they said together.
Apollo blinked. "Twice in one day... Never mind! I will defeat all nine of you, nevertheless!"
"That's suicide," Sunaru said flatly, her sword in her left hand, ready to be used. "You have no chance of defeating all nine of us."
"Ten!" Tuxedo Kamen said, landing next to Sailor Moon.
"Where were you?" Pluto asked, wondering why he was unusually late.
Tuxedo Kamen sweat dropped. "There was a long line in the men's room..."
"We know," Uranus said, indicating herself and her sister. Everyone else sweat dropped around them.
"AHEM," Poseidon said, coughing. "Where were we? Oh, yes. Why are you willing to go against uneven odds?"
Apollo glared. "That's none of your business, is it? Proministic-"
A yellow rose sliced through the air, causing Apollo to drop one of her katanas. Everyone looked up to see Sailor Earth sitting nonchalantly on the stage. She flipped her hair over her shoulder.
"Earth!" Moon said.
"It's a pity to see one of the best Sailor Senshi reduced to this. In the name of the planet where memories and the past intertwine, I am the senshi of remembrance, Sailor Earth!"
"Nani?!" the Sailor Senshi said. (They've been saying this waaay too much;P)
"Apollo is a Sailor Senshi?" Neptune said.
"Liar!" Apollo shrieked vehemently, her voice suddenly hysterical. Her self control simply shattered away. "I am part of the Sun Quintet! I always have been! You're wrong!"
She grabbed her katana from the ground, flipped forwards, and landed in front of Earth. Earth had the good sense to move out of the way, and Apollo's slashes cut air.
"Earth Rock Crash!" Earth yelled, and rocks barely hit Apollo, who lept partially out of the way.
"Enough of this!" Apollo snapped. "Arashi (rising sun) Rings Flame!" The magical attack flew from her hands, which she held out stretched on both sides, taking out the Sailor Senshi it encountered, which was all of them except for Earth.
"Apollo," Earth pleaded softly, "please stop this mad destruction! You are a Sailor Senshi!"
"YOU ARE LYING TO ME!" Apollo screamed. "YOU'RE JUST LIKE HECATE!" Like a crazy fiend, she leapt at Earth once again, her katanas in kill position.
Tuxedo Kamen, who was still up, threw a red rose that struck Apollo in her fuku, which protected her from serious damage, but knocked her down anyway. Apollo fell off the stage, landing on the ground, her katanas spinning away from her grasp.
"Why are you doing this?" Earth asked gently, moving towards the girl, who was watching her with wary anger. Her Crystal Rose floated out across the auditorium until it stopped in front of Apollo. It glowed, and Apollo's eyes shut slowly, defiantly.
"All I remember is that I want to be free from Hecate," she whispered slowly, the words tumbling from her mouth. "Hecate enslaved me, and I must kill all of you to be free... But I want to remember so much more... Who am I? Why am I here?"
Tuxedo Kamen gasped. The others, looking up from their places on the ground, saw the girl in the white cloak standing next to Earth. She had appeared from nowhere... She lifted up her staff, and Apollo's body floated in the air. Her fuku was transformed into a Sailor Senshi fuku, but the body suit was a bright gold while everything else was a darker shade. A bright gold, sun shaped mark was feverishly lit on her forehead, but soon faded away.
When Apollo landed, her eyes were shut, and she was limply on her side. Saturn, Neptune, Poseidon, and Hades went to her side. The mystery girl had disappeared yet again, and only Earth stood on the stage. The Crystal Rose floated back into her hand. Turning to leave, she stopped when called.
"Earth," Uranus said, her voice harsh, "why do you hide yourself from us? You are our ally, ne?"
Earth turned her head slightly, her eyes hidden by her mask. Her answer was soft, only loud enough for Pluto, Sunaru, Uranus, and Cronus to hear. "Why are you hiding what you know from the Princess? The truth hurts more when covered by deception." With that, she vanished.
The Outer Senshi looked at each other significantly.
"Heal," Cronus said, waving her hand over Apollo's head. The purple magic flew from her hand, like a wave of dust. Neptune and Saturn watched with interest, while Poseidon and Sunaru looked on with something akin to pride.
The magic mist covered Apollo's face. Her eyes fluttered open. The others moved a little away from her. Her face was not malicious; instead, it was oddly confused with hope... yes, hope in her eyes.
"I am Sailor Sun," she whispered wonderingly.
The others stared at her, equally surprised.
"When time stops..." Hades answered cryptically, glancing at Sun, who was watching all of them with a look akin to awe.
"Hecate," Metallia said, her black eyes focused on the dark haired princess.
Hecate's voice was devoid of all emotion. Excellent. The little innocent had been so easy to manipulate, so easy to brainwash it was laughable. Too bad the Senshi Kurai weren't so easy... They suspected something... Stupid Beryl, to concentrate all her energies on the twin of her rival, rather than where the power _really_ lay, in the Senshi Kurai. That's why they Outer Senshi Kurai had been so easily turned back to the light. Foolish, foolish woman. Ah well. She was dead now. Metallia smirked, her lips turning up into an evil grin. Hecate was going to receive quite a shock...
Hecate stood impassively, waiting for Metallia.
"There's someone I'd like you to meet... Chikyuu?" A man with white hair walked in, his eyes a vicious blue, piercing, like knives. He wore white armor, and a long black cape. On the shoulder was a white rose sigma.
"Chikyuu..." Hecate's mind reeled, and she fell to her knees, groaning.
"Hecate?" Metallia's voice was mocking. "Don't you remember him?"
Hecate grabbed her chest, her eyes wide, breathing harshly. "Chikyuu," she repeated.
"Don't you remember your lover? Endymion's brother..."