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A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Benjamin A. Oliver

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is owned by Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.

Chapter 10: Then it Jibbers a Bit

"And the stench spread for miles," Sailor Chibimoon explained. "The Prince of Wales was not amused in the slightest. But my mom spoke to the judge and got it worked out. I was only nine at the time, so they didn't think it was appropriate to apply full adult sentencing to my case."

"I see," replied Tuxedo Kamen as he leapt from building to building. He still carried her on the way to the Hikawa Shrine. "Are you trying to tell me that your whole life's been nothing but a series of huge screw-ups?"

"Well, I wouldn't say huge screw-ups," Terra said slowly. "I mean, everybody has trouble growing up and learning about blending into society, right?"

"Eh, I guess so." The man's tone indicated that while he thought the logic was generally valid when applied to most people, the girl's experiences had been somewhat more distressing than average.

"But," Terra added when her mind seemed to be urging her to stop talking, "maybe I shouldn't have told you about that one just yet. I hadn't thought about that little mishap for years. Come to think of it, it really wasn't such a little mishap. I think the cleanup cost millions and millions of pounds." Her eyes widened as the full implications of her clumsy childhood settled in. "Oh my. Maybe there were more reasons for leaving the country than I supposed…."

"Looks like we're here," Tuxedo Kamen rapidly changed the subject. He placed Terra on her feet.

The girl nodded. "Right, let's go in." She took a deep breath. "I really have messed things up most of my life, but I think that's about to change."

Since Terra was taking so long to get there, Luna had elected to start giving the full background of the situation and planned on letting the others fill in the details for their missing member when she arrived. The cat began by giving Usagi a wand named the Crescent Moon Stick, an ancient artifact used during the final battle of the Silver Millennium Kingdom. She followed up by explaining that the realm's ruler died while sealing away the great evil that came from the dark kingdom. In addition to the wand, the ruler and someone else — whose identity escaped Luna at the moment — used a special crystal against the most powerful youma that remained.

"And then it shattered, fusing the fragments of the Magical Ginzuishou Crystal into the Seven Great Youma, destroying them forever," Luna explained. "Or so we thought."

"The crystals or the youma?" Makoto asked.

"Yes," Luna replied instantly, then rubbed her forehead. "Well, it was one or both of them. But now that I've seen them for myself in this era, it's obvious that the Dark Kingdom wants them all."

"What will happen when they've gathered them all?" Ami inquired.

"The entire logistics of the situation escape me," the cat replied. "However, it will not be good."

Rei pursed her lips as the gravity of the situation set in. "Are we talking about the end of the world?"

"That would be a fair guess, yes." Luna sighed. "The generals really are dangerous and they're acting quickly. I'm just glad that we've managed to keep your identities a secret so far. We would be in real trouble if that information got out."

Right about that time, Sailor Chibimoon walked in. "Hi, everyone," she greeted enthusiastically. "Did I miss anything? Look who I brought!"

Tuxedo Kamen followed the redhead into the meeting room, to everyone's collective gasps. Rei, Usagi, Makoto, and Ami all looked like they wanted to hide. It wasn't too different from the effect a boy might have gotten by striding into the girls' locker room while they were changing, except without the screaming.

Terra frowned. "What? Is something wrong?"

Rei slapped her forehead. "Sailor Chibimoon, don't the words 'secret identities' mean anything to you?!"

"Oh, darn it!" Terra snapped her fingers, looking rather distressed. "I knew I was forgetting something!"

The other girls groaned loudly.

Crouching atop a tree branch a short distance away, the Star Light Knight watched the group through a pair of binoculars. He tapped his ear when someone in that room stepped on the listening device he had planted deftly under the table.

"They broke the transmitter!" he whispered harshly to himself.

"Yeah?! Well, whose idea was it to mount it on the back of a cockroach?"

"I think it was yours," he shot back.

S.L.K. smacked his head while the tree branch creaked under his substantial weight. "Quiet you!"

"Anyway, it looks like they've got crystal problems now." He put away his binoculars. "And youma problems, for that matter."

"We know what that means, don't we?"

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

S.L.K. shrugged. "Considering we're the same person, I would imagine so."

"Don't get smart with me!"

"How about if I got stupid with you? How about that? Uh-huh! Uh-huh!"

"Oh, don't start that again!"

The tree branch he stood on finally snapped, sending him cartwheeling face-first into the ground. The impact knocked his head clean off, while his body flopped around on the ground like a knight in shining armor with his cranial unit disconnected. Lights blinked on the connector sections on his neck while he flailed around in search of the missing body part.

Finally, S.L.K. recovered his head and clicked it back on.

"Yeesh," he whispered, "this body's getting fragile. How long's it been since I last did maintenance on it?"

"About three centuries."

"Yikes. No wonder I'm practically falling apart!"

"Hopefully, we won't need it much longer."

"Yeah, hopefully." He looked up at the sky. "Hey, how about we make like Tux-boy and go help out those gals directly? Nothing like a little teamwork to get people back in synch, y'know?"

"OH, GIVE ME A BREAK! That has to be the stupidest idea I've ever heard!"

"Stupider than using a positronic brain to store a type one KISA energy matrix?"

"Hey, that was a good idea! It's better than dying."

"Besides, we got a great deal; the body came fully functional, programmed in multiple techniques—"

S.L.K. took out a grenade and started beating his head with it, shouting, "SHUT UP, SHUT UP, EVERYONE JUST SHUT UP!!!"

The individuals meeting in the shrine looked around when they heard the shout, but then shrugged when nothing else happened. Terra, still in Chibimoon garb, sat down and began to advocate having Tuxedo Kamen present during Sailor Soldier meetings.

"He's been a big help to us," Sailor Chibimoon explained, and put a hand to her chest, "and to me in particular. If it wasn't for him, I'd never have gotten past the first battle. And after that, he's helped us bunches of times, helping us to believe in ourselves, and helping us whack the Negamafoozles."

"But the Star Light Knight actually whacks 'em with us!" Usagi added, hearts in her eyes as her mind was obviously not on the subject at hand.

"Don't bring him up again," Rei sighed. "It's great the knight guy helps and all, but think of all the damage he does in the process!"

"Hey," Makoto protested, "I can respect a guy who's not afraid to get his hands dirty and go right at it. He blows 'em up so fast, too."

"I would prefer," Ami said, "if we could accomplish our tasks without doing something that might bring the authorities down on us. Vandalism and destruction of property are not looked upon favorably here."

"What, and draining energy is?" Usagi retorted.

Terra chewed her lip and wondered how to bring the subject back to Tuxedo Kamen, who stood at the edge of the room with his arms folded, cautiously silent as he awaited the resolution of their discussion. Her mind currently drawing a blank, she turned to the talking cat for answers. "Luna, do you have any objections to Tuxedo Kamen officially joining our group, at least on a temporary basis?"

Luna looked between the man and the girls, appeared to think it over, then shook her head. "I don't see any reason why not."

Terra clapped her hands together once, loudly, and smiled. "Good, then it's settled." Turning on her sweetest voice, she waved at the man to come closer. "Tuxedo Kamen? Come on over and we'll pool the information we've got and maybe we'll be able to stop the Negamafoozles together."

"That's all right," Tuxedo Kamen replied guardedly. "I can hear you from here, and I'll speak up if I feel the need to add anything."

Chibimoon frowned a little. She actually kind of wanted him to sit by her so she could hold his hand, lay her head on his shoulder, snuggle, or anything else socially appropriate for this context. "All right."

Rei glanced between Terra, Luna, and Tuxedo Kamen. "Just like that he's officially with us, huh?"

"Well," Terra said, "it's not like this is a miniskirts-only club or anything like that, is it?"

"That's a colorful way of putting it," muttered Luna.

"Okay, fine, whatever," said Makoto. "Untransform and let's get talking."

"I'd rather not deactivate the sailor suit right now, if it's all the same to you," replied Chibimoon quickly.

"Why not?" wondered Ami.

"There was a mishap on my way home and my street clothes have temporarily been misplaced. Again." To Terra's dismay, she thought she could hear Tuxedo Kamen stifle a laugh. She turned around to him, pouting, and said, "Hey!"

"I'm sorry," the man replied, "but the way you said it; the way you talk… I can't decide whether you sound like a genius girl, a robot, or an absent-minded professor. Don't worry, it's cute. I just couldn't help myself."

Chibimoon decided to accept the answer, and looked back at her friends. "It was the ArbyFish again, is all."

Luna shuddered at the species name. "Oh, him. Well, whatever you do, keep him very far away from here."

"G'day!" Arby said, hopping up next to the cat. He looked over, smiled broadly, and gave her an endearing pat on the head.

"GYAAAH!" Her fur standing on end, Luna bolted away and hid under some pillows in the corner.

Oh lovely, thought Terra. She had hoped the creature's visits would be limited to one per day or less, but he had the nasty habit of appearing when she least desired it.

"An Official Function, is it? Roight!" Arby fluttered around the room before landing on the table and nodding at each person in turn while saying, "'Ello says Oye to you to him to Moon to Mars to Mercury to Jupiter to Chibimoon, to Chibimoon to Jupiter to Mercury to Mars to Moon to him to you to Oye." He looked around at everyone. "Is we havin' a party?" He blew a mushroom shaped like a kazoo. "Happy Forty-Thousandth Anniversary!" He hopped up on Usagi's shoulder. "Is that a Neutronium Jubilee you's holding roight there or is you just unhappy to see me?"

"Um, no," the blonde replied uneasily, pulling the artifact closer. "It's the Crescent Moon Stick."

"Didja get it on sale?" inquired Arby. "Looks loike it's made of plastic, it is! Here, lookit this—" He stopped when Terra grabbed him.

"Arby, I've let you torment me," Chibimoon said sternly, "but I won't let you bother my friends!"

Arby grinned at her. "Well, ya's half roight."

"Arby!" Terra attempted to chastise him for the smart remark.

"Here, let's put some mould on it," the ArbyFish rubbed a flipper on Terra's wrist, burning a hole through her glove and stinging her pretty badly. "It's Acidic!"

"OWW!" cried Terra, the sudden jolt of pain forcing her to release the creature.

Arby fluttered over to the table and sat down. "Roight! Now let's call this meetin' to disorder. We shall trounce the noice nickel Negamafoozles whoile the green grass grows all around all around whoile they face the frazzled fuzzle, tracing the troied troial of… indubitableness—"

Chibimoon took off her right boot and threw it at him.

Arby caught it. "Thank yew!"

"Arby…?!" Terra shook her head. "Wait, give me back my boot!"

"Nope!" replied Arby. "It's moine now." He took out a sack and stuffed it in. Terra saw the collar of one of her uniforms stuffed into it. He fluttered out the window, hauling the sack behind him.

"AAAARRRBYYYYY!" Terra shouted after him, leaping through the window.

"No, the sewer line's still broken!" shouted Rei.

Makoto and Rei grabbed the Irish girl by the legs and dragged her back in.

"But… he took all my clothes!!"

"You can buy more later," advised Tuxedo Kamen, who had managed to keep his cool despite the creature's presence. "Count yourself lucky if that's all he did. ArbyFish are the scourge of the known—" He broke off when his train of thought seemed to hit a gaping canyon and crashed. "They're… difficult buggers. I think."

"That fishy thing really knows how to push your buttons," commented Makoto as she sat the relatively smaller Chibimoon down at the table. "Didn't you see it? It was getting all kinds of kicks and giggles at your expense. Don't let him provoke you. Calm down!"

"Lita's right," Ami said. "We have more important things to worry about. You brought Tuxedo Kamen here, it's true, but that's all right. We'll need all the help we can get."

Terra took several deep breaths to reduce her agitation. "You're right, you're right. I'm sorry. Arby just makes me lose my concentration so bad! If it weren't for him, I'd be so much more together than I am."

"This isn't about you," Ami replied brusquely. "The Dark Kingdom has begun kidnapping people and turning them into youma. I don't know about you, but this disturbs me greatly. Suppose one of your friends or a parent is the next one taken? I'd appreciate it if you took this a little more seriously."

Chibimoon looked down. "I'm… sorry, Ami."

"You yourself said this is a war."

"I know."

Tuxedo Kamen cleared his throat. "I know who you all are now," he said. "But since it seems I'm going to be working with you, it's only fair you know who I am." He took off his mask.

By their expressions, it was clear that most of the girls still didn't recognize him.

"Chiba Mamoru?!" Usagi cried. "You're Tuxedo Kamen?" She blanched. "EEWW, YUCK! And to think, I actually kind of thought you were cute."

Tuxedo Kamen held his head. "Mamoru? Is that my name…?" He seemed to be dealing with some sort of internal memory block. "It… hurts."

Terra watched the man struggle with his own mind. In a way, it reminded her of herself and the battle she'd had to make sense of her life. It was the same, yet not. She thought back to the technique that had been used on her to help unlock her mind's strange potential. "Mamoru? Tuxedo Kamen? I'd really like to help you. But—"

At that moment, the Star Light Knight somersaulted through the window, his boots smoking as he screeched to a halt and struck a harsh discord by slamming a gas-powered guitar into Tuxedo Kamen's forehead.

"KABONG!" obnoxiously proclaimed the knight.

While Mamoru feel to the floor, bleeding profusely from a gash in his head, the Star Light Knight paced around the room, sizing the girls up. He wasn't leering or examining them like cuts of meat; it was more like how a drill sergeant paces back and forth and shakes his head when confronted by the latest motley batch of new recruits.

"Star Light Knight!" exclaimed Usagi, jumping with glee.

"All right Sailor Soldiers, listen up," the knight said, then stopped when he saw Makoto. "What's this, huh?" He poked her in the sternum. "Out of uniform when we've got Negamafoozles to whack? And you call yourself a warrior. DROP AND GIVE ME FIFTY, SOLDIER!"

The suddenness of the comment must have totally bypassed Makoto's normally violent and powerful instincts, because she immediately snapped to attention. As far as Terra knew, the tall girl had never been in the military, but Makoto seemed to take to the paradigm rather easily. "SIR YES SIR!!!" She dropped down to the floor and started doing pushups.

Terra crawled over to Tuxedo Kamen. "Oh my goodness!" she cried, cradling Mamoru's head in her lap. "You killed Tuxedo Kamen!" She checked his pulse and couldn't feel anything. He wasn't breathing, either. On the other hand, her heart had started pounding like crazy.

"Did I?" inquired S.L.K., looking quite perplexed. He nudged the man in the ribs. "Eh? So I did. Oh well, no big loss."

"No. Big. Loss?!" Terra asked incredulously. She looked frantically at her friends. "Somebody, help!"

But no one could hear her because S.L.K. had started wailing a deep bass solo on his guitar and singing — or screaming, rather — a loopy j-pop rendition of "We Will Rock You" while the other girls cried out and covered their ears. Luna in particular seemed quite pained.

With no one able to hear her, Chibimoon only had herself to turn to. However, she could barely even hear herself think. "Mind, please help me save Tuxedo Kamen!"

Like a jolt of lightning, the instructions for CPR refreshed themselves in her memory. Long ago, she'd heard of the technique, but never had the opportunity to use it. Actually, before she'd come to Japan, she probably had thought that CPR was some kind of new hairstyling craze, so Terra really didn't know where the knowledge was coming from.

She placed Tuxedo Kamen flat on his back, crouched over him, and tilted his head and chin back. Terra took a deep breath, glanced at his lips, and considered the implications of what she was about to do. Her mind kicked her to get on with it, so she did.

Chibimoon gave the man two full breaths, placed her hands over his sternum, squirmed around until she got into a position that felt right, and did fifteen quick compressions. Then went two more breaths, and just as she was about to pump his chest again, he coughed loudly, spat out a mouthful of blood, and sat up.

"Tuxedo Kamen!" Terra exclaimed over the guitar solo. "You're not dead!"

"No matter how much I might wish otherwise," the man replied with a pained expression. "AAARRGGHH!!" He writhed around, clutching his temples. He looked, Terra noted to herself, a lot like she felt when she'd gotten her own mind unlocked, only he wasn't dealing with it so well.

S.L.K. finished his jam session by smashing the guitar through the table and floor in the center of the room, shouting, "WOOOOOOO!!!!"

Luna twitched when the so-called music ended. "That… was random."

Her hair all tousled from the sonic disruption, Rei didn't know quite what to say. "Hummina hummina hummina…?" She fell over.

Makoto flashed a peace sign, seeming quite pleased with the performance. "Rock on!"

"All right, Star Light Knight!" squealed Usagi. "I'm sooo glad you're here!"

Ami looked up from her laptop and took small headphones out of her ears. "Oh, I'm sorry. I was thinking about a math problem. What was going on again?"

Terra sighed. Clearly, this meeting was going nowhere unless someone really did take command. She glared at S.L.K. That jerk! He nearly killed the man she wanted to be her boyfriend!

"So, where were we?" S.L.K. inquired.

Before Luna could reply, Makoto said, "Uh, the Dark Kingdom's been kidnapping people, turning them into youma, and gathering the pieces of the Magical Ginzuishou Crystal?"

S.L.K. clapped his hands. "Ah, yes, that's right." He looked around at the gathered individuals. "But first, how about everybody gets their miniskirts on?"

"You mean, transform into the regalia of the Sailor Soldiers so they can have their powers quickly available?" corrected Luna.

"Uh, yeah, what the cat said," S.L.K. muttered. "Ya know, make it… official-like or something. Just like old times. And hey, somebody get Tux-boy here a tissue! He's, like, bleeding all over the place!"

Terra gasped and instantly sprang up to help.

One horizontal rule, three paper towels, three bottles of antiseptic, and three minutes later, Terra had managed to get the hemorrhage to stop. She had to find the medicine cabinet to get the proper materials. The nasty gash in Tuxedo Kamen's head was just above his hairline, so it probably wouldn't leave a noticeable scar, but it was the sort of thing that could easily require stitches.

"Can I come back in yet?" S.L.K. asked. He was leaning against the wall just outside the meeting room with the door closed.

"Not yet!" replied Sailor Mars sharply.

"C'mon! There's no way your transformation sequences can last that long. Even if you're using the old stuff, it can't take any longer than thirty seconds!"

Chibimoon gave Tuxedo Kamen an icepack and led him back to the meeting room, and let S.L.K. enter as well.

"Can we call this… extended meeting to order now?" inquired Luna sheepishly. "The Dark Kingdom must be so far ahead of us by now!"

"Sure," S.L.K. replied with a shrug.

Luna explained once again what was going on, including the two individuals that she knew had been taken.

"Plus one more," S.L.K. said.

Luna blinked. "Excuse me?"

"Zoi picked up one more youma just before I got here. It was some guy that came out of an arcade."

"Why didn't you stop Zoicite?" Mars demanded. "Aren't you on our side? Are you working with them?"

"Why didn't you stop 'em from taking your gramps, 'sweetheart'?" S.L.K. countered brusquely. "Didn't you care about him? Or are you glad you get all his stuff now that he's gone?"

"Th-they came too fast!" Rei stuttered.

"Now that he's one of them," the armored man continued, "we're probably going to have to kill the poor guy too."

Mars looked horrified. "Stop it!"

"As the 'bereaved', how about we give you the honors? Get the old priest conveniently turned into a monster, and you as a fighter against 'evil' conveniently get to blow him away. It's TOO perfect. You set him up, didn't you?! Not a jury in the world would fail to convict you, murderer!"

"What?! I did no such thing!"

Laughing nervously, Sailor Moon stepped between them. "Ah-heh… Sailor Mars, Star Light? Maybe we should call a time out?"

The Star Light Knight bowed slightly and took a step back. "Of course." Under his breath, he whispered to his verbal combatant, "Never mess with a pro."

Trembling with rage and confusion at the accusations, Sailor Mars looked like she didn't know whether to cry or fight. At Usagi's pleading expression, she backed off and sat down.

"Oh dear," Luna breathed. She still appeared to be considering the implications of the situation. "That means the Dark Kingdom has at least three crystal fragments already."

"We've got some catching up to do," said Tuxedo Kamen.

The cat nodded. "Quite right." She cleared her throat and spoke loudly enough for everyone to hear her clearly. "Everyone, there are seven fragments total, and provided the Dark Kingdom haven't taken them all already, we've got four left. So, we shall divide up into four groups to begin searching for them immediately."

Sailor Mercury, who had kept her silence and observed for the majority of the meeting, blended seamlessly into the conversation. "We only have five Sailor Soldiers, three of which have enough power to effectively take on a youma. Four, if Chibimoon can figure out more of those lucky tricks of hers. Those are not the best of odds, and we would still need tracking devices to locate the crystal fragments."

"I'm getting to that," replied Luna. "Tuxedo Kamen and Star Light Knight, I'm asking you to join one of the groups. Will you?"

S.L.K. shrugged. "Sure, as long as I'm paired up with Sailor Moon. She's the one I really care about here."

Sailor Moon blushed. "That's nice of you to say."

Chibimoon raised a hand. "Dibs on Tuxedo Kamen!"

"Fine with me," said the masked man.

"I'll go with Mercury," Jupiter said. "She's really smart, but definitely needs some backup in a fight."

"Luna, could you come with me?" Mars asked.

The talking cat shook her head. "No, it won't work like that. Like Mercury mentioned, you're forgetting tracking devices." She grabbed a pen in her mouth and started to map things out on a sheet of paper."

In another minute, she had finished the assignments. "Sailor Mercury, with the proper calibration you can use your computer to look for the crystals. Go with Mars. She can use her special skills to extract the crystal while suppressing the youma inside the person."

Mars nodded. "Yeah, that's better than the other idea."

"Sailor Moon, I believe I explained how the Crescent Moon Stick can find the fragments when I gave it to you. Since our friend 'Star Light' here looks like he'll run off if I put him with anyone else, he might as well go with you."

"Darn right," muttered S.L.K.

Sailor Moon swooned. "Whee!"

"Sailor Chibimoon, I'm going to take a gamble and ask you to use that strange luck of yours to find one of the crystals. Just look for it, and I'm sure you'll find it."

"That's a strange request," Terra said. "What makes you think I can do that?"

"You've kept your sanity after hanging around… HIM for a long time." Luna shuddered. "If you can do THAT, you can do anything."

Chibimoon wasn't convinced, but it was all she had to go with. "Can I at least go with Tuxedo Kamen?"

"No, I'm going to ask Sailor Jupiter to go with you. If something goes terribly wrong, I trust that she's powerful enough to get you out of it."

"I don't get to go with Tuxedo Kamen?!"

"Please, it's for the best."

Terra felt pretty downtrodden. Her best chance to spend a lot of time with the man of her dreams had just been crushed. Whining about it probably wouldn't be the best idea. "Oh, all right."

"And I'll go with Tuxedo Kamen," Luna said. "I believe I can find one of the crystals with my magic, and it will give me a good chance to assess this man's trustworthiness."

"That makes sense," Chibimoon muttered, "I guess."

"For now, we've wasted enough time planning," the cat added. "Everyone, move out!"

"Okay, kid," S.L.K. whispered to Sailor Moon as he dragged her out of the room. "I'll show you some new tricks along the way."

Mars and Mercury left without further comment. Luna hopped up on Tuxedo Kamen's shoulder and they flew out the window.

Her arms folded, Sailor Jupiter looked at the grumbling Chibimoon. "Okay, Red. You're the good luck charm. Where to?"

"I wanna crawl under a rock and die," wept the Irish redhead.

Jupiter chuckled and lightly bonked her on the head. "Wrong channel! Let's try this again, bootless."

Terra looked down and confirmed that she was still missing one article of footwear. Her mind quickly supplied her with a solution. "I'll get rid of this other boot and borrow a pair of Rei's shoes. She's got the same size as I do. Think she'll mind?"

The brunette grinned. "Even if she does, you shouldn't be running around Tokyo barefoot. Anyways, we'll go a lot faster if you get a pair of sneakers on."

Chibimoon nodded. "Right, I'll get those on, and then we can go looking for that crystal. Who says the Negamafoozles are going to attack again tonight, anyway?"

Queen Beryl paced about her throne room impatiently. "Where are they?! We have to strike again tonight if we're going to be ready before that caped white freak comes back!"

Zoicite appeared in a shower of flower pedals, along with a red and white robotic monstrosity. "I have returned," the general said, "with the red Rainbow Crystal, as well as Geeseen, the Great Youma who carried it!"

Next came Nephrite and Kunzite, each of whom was flanked by a youma.

"You are successful?" Beryl asked, and was answered in the affirmative. The generals also handed her the three crystals they had acquired. "Ah, good. Excellent." She pointed at her generals. "You three, return to Earth and gather the rest."

"Yes, my queen," the three replied, and teleported away.

"You," Beryl continued, pointing at the three Great Youma, "must recover your strength. You will spend the next several days basking in the presence of your creator, Metallia! When you are all together and at full strength, then we will arise and conquer the Earth! What say you?"

The three Great Youma responded with a cacophony of evil shrieks and laughter.

The Queen of the Dark Kingdom smiled. After so many setbacks, success had indeed begun to taste very sweet.

Tuxedo Kamen leapt from rooftop to rooftop, looking for any sign of people that might have crystal fragments imbedded in them. Luna dug her claws tightly into his jacket's shoulder. She guided him with her psychic abilities.

"Make a left here. No, the other left! Ah, yes. Straight ahead about five more blocks."

"Back shoulder driver," grumbled Tuxedo Kamen.

"You obviously want the crystals just as badly as we do," Luna said.

"Yes, but… you could at least speak less sharply."

"Oh, I'm sorry. Am I getting on your nerves?"

"Just a little bit. Plus, I don't know you and you're already trying to order me around."

Luna nodded, and considered a way to lighten the heaviness of the situation a bit. "Ah, I see. Then to break the ice, and since we'll be working together, let's have some proper introductions," the cat said to Tuxedo Kamen. "I'm Luna, the First Advisor to the Queen of the Silver Millennium. Delightful to meet you."

"Uh, yeah. Not to be rude or anything," Tuxedo Kamen said, "but it really looks like I've gotten stuck with the leftovers for this trip."

"We cats have an under-the-table saying after human meals." Luna smiled. "Leftovers are good." She looked down at the street. "There, in that building! I'm sure of it. Get me to the person and I can extract the crystal."

The masked man nodded, and leapt down to street level. From the shadows, dozens of pairs of glowing eyes glared at him. A loud chittering rumbled all about him, and then all the creatures struck at once.


To be continued.

And now it's time for… MIND YOUR MANNERS!!! with Sailor Nuke.

(Scene of Arby gleefully hopping around the Hikawa Shrine)

Sailor Nuke: Today, we learned that explosives solve all your problems!

Sailor Kawaii: Er, no we didn't. Nothing even blew up this time!

Sailor Nuke (scratches her head): Eh, what did we learn, then?

(The Star Light Knight bashes Tuxedo Kamen in the face with a guitar)

Sailor Kawaii: We learned that if you look good, you can get away with anything!

Sailor Nuke (looks back at the screen): The knight-guy?! Yuck!

Sailor Kawaii (glares): What?! I think he's cute!

(Star Light Knight's head falls off)

Sailor Nuke: Cute?! He's a freakin' robot! He hasn't even blown up much of anything in this series yet.

Sailor Kawaii: Anyway, the lesson is, the Star Light Knight is cute! Sailor Kawaii says. Tee-hee!

Sailor Nuke: Meh. If anything, today, we learned that a good story needs more explosions than this. Sailor Nuke sez. BWA-HA-HAH-HA-HAAA!

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Last revision: June 28, 2006

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