Sailor Moon Expanded

Cute and Continua
"Who was that lady I saw you with last night?"

A tale of the Dark Kingdom Renegades
by Mark Latus

    When people look at the recorded 20th century adventures of the Dark
Kingdom Renegades they sometimes puzzle over the large gap between the trip
to MegaTokyo and Titanite's own cross dimensional adventure.  What were they
doing during all the months in between and why weren't they exploring other
dimensions for a new home if they thought Tokyo was so dangerous?  
    The answer to the first is that they were living as quietly as possible 
trying not to attract attention.  Unfortunately for the older Renegades this 
was harder than you might think.  In a synchronous zone coincidence tends to 
add up and people with powers tend to run into one another.  This was fine by
Titanite but the adult youma didn't like this phenomena, it bringing them into
contact with people and things they'd rather avoid.  Which was how they met 
Esmeraude and that leads us to the answer to the second question.  Let's turn
back the clock back to the adventures of yesteryear.
    It was March of 1994 and while winter had faded Tokyo was still firmly 
in the grip of Sailor Moon R.  Having wracked up an impressive string of 
failures and growing anxious over not disappointing Demand, Esmeraude decided
to think carefully about her next plan.  Every time she'd placed a Dark Hinge
the senshi had encountered it and destroyed the droid linked to it before the
dark power could flood through.  So she needed a way to keep the senshi from
finding it until it was too late.  She wracked her brains attempting to find
an answer.  At last she came up with what many would consider a fairly obvious 
plan.  Whoever they were and regardless of how important they'd become right 
now the senshi were all teenage schoolgirls.  So she would switch her attacks 
from her current timing of weekends, holidays and evenings to late at night 
and during school hours!  Convinced once again she was a genius Esmeraude 
laughed at the brilliance of her plan.  Had she known something about the zone 
she'd have realized that avoiding the senshi would bring her into contact with 
Tokyo's other beings of power.  But Esmeraude had little tolerance for 
research and theory and no concerns about synchronicity.  Which was why she 
picked the nightclub she did in Shinjuku.
     On the night in question the President and executive staff of the 
Kabukicho Bank were celebrating the successful end to the fiscal year.  The
president was lavish in his praise.  Profits were up and, thanks to their 
director of foreign investments they'd avoided getting caught in that  
Singapore fiasco.  Calvin Hobbes accepted the praise modestly, saying he'd
merely being doing his job.  Last thing he needed was resentment at getting
singled out.  But the President was insistent that he'd lived up to his  
hotshot reputation.  Privately the president couldn't remember exactly why 
he'd hired the young British consultant but it had obviously been one of his
wisest decisions.  At any rate it was time to get things going and drink until
they collapsed.
     The sake started to flow and Calcite decided once again that his job was, 
in truth, simplicity itself.  To be successful you merely had to look for the
patterns while keeping your eyes peeled for deception and hidden agendas.  It
was remarkable how well his Dark Kingdom acquired skills fit into the arena
of high finance.  However, right now, he had something else concerning him.
     "Trouble with the girlfriend?"
     Calcite turned to see one of the VP's, who'd got an early start on the
drinking leaning over him.  "Why do you ask Moriboshi-san?"
     "Call me Ataru.  Reason I ask is you can't seem to take your eyes off 
that hostess."  He gestured towards one of the bunny girls, the only one
present who didn't seem to be professionally playing up to the customers.
"Must be new, haven't seen her before.  Looks kinda severe ... think she's
into anything kinky?"  He didn't wait for an answer, "Now I'd go for her in a
second but you've got a great piece waiting for you so ...?"
     "Sorry, Cat's not up for grabs."  
     "I just thought I recognised her, she reminds me of a girl I knew in 
school.  But I was wrong, it's someone else.  As for Cat ... be glad she's  
not looking for a new berth.  She's a real handful."
     Ataru chuckled, "I'll bet!"  His good humour vanished, replaced by 
maudlin self pity.  "It's not fair!  You've got a babe like her plus you've
got that model living with you.  Why can't I ever get lucky?"
     "Aren't you married?"
     "Yeah right, like I got a choice.  She decided we were getting married 
and wouldn't take no for an answer.  It's not fair!"  He wept momentarily
causing the others to laugh over his tale of woe before downing another drink.
"Hey honey, come over here and pour me a drink."  She ignored him and walked
away leaving Ataru to mutter.  Calcite excused himself and headed for the
bathroom.  He needed to make a call in private before all hell broke loose.
     Calcite had noticed her by accident.  This celebration being an all male 
group of coworkers he was resigned to an evening of acting drunk and being 
sure not to outdrink the president.  He'd been glancing around the room   
wondering, as he had on previous occasions, why bunny girls had such resonance 
with the Japanese psyche when he saw her.  At first glance just another 
foreign hostess but there was something troubling about her.  When he realised
what it was it took a great deal of self control to give no sign.  
     She had no aura.  All living things produce an aura simply by virtue of
being alive.  It varies from species to species, sentient beings auras are far 
more noticeable and distinctive.  Calcite's own aura was altered by his 
glamour to pass for human.  But the woman had none and closer examination 
showed a contemptuous expression when she thought she was unobserved.  So she
was some sort of construct, probably one of the senshi's new playmates.  And 
that meant trouble was coming!
     He had several options available.  Teleporting away was probably the
smartest but leaving the bank's senior staff and everyone else in here to face
who knew what fate wasn't palatable.  When trouble started he could change to
Gray and take out the construct but appearing as an English superhero type 
when so many of his coworkers knew he was present could raise some awkward 
questions.  Hopefully the third option was available.  
     Luckily for Calcite, and everyone else present, she was free.  He gave 
all the information he had and directions from her nearest teleport point.  
She'd get moving and make her entrance when he hit the communicator's
emergency signal.  Calcite sighed off and returned to the company table.
     In his absence things had deteriorated.  The mood of everyone in the club
was surly and rapidly worsening.  Calcite didn't feel any changes in his own 
behaviour but acted as though whatever was happening was also affecting him.
Around the club insults were flying, the hostesses and customers shouting at
each other, friendships were shattering and his colleagues civility was giving 
way to envy and prejudice.  Ataru went for his throat shouting something about
gaijin bastards stealing all the best girls and started a small riot.  In the
middle of the melee, unhurt thanks to his shield and trying not to hurt anyone 
while fighting back against the mob Calcite heard a laugh.  
     It wasn't a particularly evil and menacing laugh, more grating and 
annoying like fingernails on a blackboard.  Through the struggle Calcite saw 
a green haired woman in a black miniskirted dress with rather tasteless silver 
highlights to accentuate her talents.  Everyone else was ignoring her except 
for the construct beside her which was bowing to her.  Figuring enough was 
enough Calcite hit the emergency signal.
     Esmeraude's enjoyment of the dark power created chaos was interrupted by
the main doors slamming open.  The droid defaulted into battlemode shifting
to it's true form.  Much like it's old one except that it was now a real
bunny girl with white fur, yellow eyes and (most unrabbitlike) razor edged
claws and teeth.  Esmeraude cursed, expecting to see the senshi entering then
her jaw dropped,  Whoever that woman was she clearly wasn't a teenage girl.
The outfit was senshi-like in design but the red and black leather accessorised
by spikes was a sharp contrast to the good girl norm.
     Before she could demand the newcomer's name or give droid Fluffi the
attack command the mystery senshi struck.  In blatant disregard for the 
normal introductory speech requirement her first move was to generate a 
windstorm which slammed the droid against the bar.  Momentarily dazed the
savage bunny girl needed a moment to recover.  It didn't get it.  It was still 
slumped against the bar assessing damage caused by the implosion of it's 
excessive chest when it registered someone towering over it.  Fluffi caught a 
brief glimpse of the hand raised over it's head before a second airvortex  
blasted downwards at pointblank range.  The droid's matrix overloaded and  
feedback fried it's control system.  The protomatter dispersed and it exploded 
into a cloud of dust.  Behind the bar the concealed dark hinge shattered as 
it's linked unit burned out.  The struggling humans began to pause as they 
suddenly became unable to remember why they were fighting.  Several sneezed 
from the dust that marked the droid's passing.  Calcite noted the faint smile 
on Azurite's face and realized that she must have found a certain measure of
satisfaction in destroying the construct.  Sending something white furred and
fanged against her was a little like waving a red flag before a bull's eyes.
     Calcite didn't get much of a look because Azurite was already moving
instead of savouring the moment.  Esmeraude was still gaping at the droid's 
demise and Azurite wasn't one to let an opportunity pass.
     Esmeraude was struggling to regain her wits when she realized the senshi
was behind her.  "What ...hrrkkk!"  Esmeraude's declaration that the newcomer 
identify herself and prepare to pay for her interference was cut off abruptly 
as she felt an arm like an iron bar across her throat.  From the corner of 
her eye she saw a hand glowing with power and heard a voice by her ear speak.
"First hint I get you're trying anything I take your head off.  Oh and for
the record the name's Sailor Arcturus."  Esmeraude couldn't answer because 
couldn't get any air in her lungs.  She started to reach for the arm that
was suffocating her but stopped dead as she felt the air around her stir.
     Meanwhile the confused customers were picking themselves up and trying
to make sense of the odd tableau before them.  Someone identified one of the
figures as Sailor Arcturus while another insisted this must be some sort of 
floor show.  Calcite kept an unobtrusive watch on the pair while he helped his 
fellows up and brushed off their apologies for not knowing why they'd attacked
him.  If things went very wrong he was going to help Azure regardless of the
consequences but his friend seemed to have matters well in hand.
     A disinterested observer would have called it an excellent demonstration
of the "David and Goliath" principle.  Showing that a lesser powered but 
skilled opponent could swiftly and effectively beat a far more powerful but 
inefficient adversary.  Esmeraude was far from disinterested.  She couldn't 
breathe!  Sailor Arcturus was strangling her to death!
     Though she didn't know it Esmeraude was wrong.  If Azurite had wanted her
dead Esmeraude's head would already be decorating the far wall.  But whoever
this woman was she was alive rather than another construct.  In the old days
that wouldn't have stopped her.  But back then her enemies had been other
youma and showing mercy was suicidal in more ways than one.  Even if the enemy 
you spared didn't try to kill you you'd have marked yourself as a Renegade.
A capital crime.  
     But that was then and this was now.  The new rules were different.  In 
fact they weren't even sure what they were.  All they knew for certain was 
there was peace between them and the senshi as long as they kept their noses 
clean.  Which meant follow the human rules and make killing a last resort.  
So Azurite was planning to throttle this idiot into unconsciousness then make 
a few anonymous calls to the authorities and the senshi and leave them to 
worry about what to do with her.  It'd keep her hands clean and avoid any 
unnecessary strain on the peace treaty. 
     Unaware of this, Esmeraude tried desperately to breathe without success.
Her lungs were burning and she was terrified!  She tried to pull on the 
senshi's arm and found it immovable.  She had barely enough control left to 
remember that if she tried to use her powers Arcturus would take her head off.
Everything was going black as Esmeraude's befuddled mind suddenly came up with
the solution.  A more competent person would have figured it out sooner but 
that's a separate issue.  Concentrating as best she could Esmeraude
     Azurite was very startled to suddenly find herself holding nothing.  She
spun around trying to locate her adversary (unconcerned with the effect on her
skirt which showed a higher cut on her costume's legline) but she wasn't in 
sight.  Where the hell had she gone?  It hadn't felt like teleportation.  
There was no warp signature and this close to a teleport she should have 
sensed that and been able to follow.  Not that jumping blindly after an enemy 
was a good idea but ...  Well however she'd worked it whoever she was she'd  
vanished without a trace.  Ignoring the onlookers she returned to where she'd 
destroyed the rabbit construct.  Nothing left but scattered dust ... and a 
small black jewel she hadn't noticed at the time.  Pyrite would be very 
interested in this.  She reached down and it shattered at her touch into 
fragments indistinguishable from the dust.  Not a total surprise, last time 
she'd run into one of these things the same thing happened.  New controller 
this time around which might or might not be significant.  Well the fight was 
over better get into character and be Sailor Arcturus.  Time to act seductive 
and enigmatic.
     She straightened up running a hand through her hair and mentally noted
she'd need to wash the dust out.  Everyone in the restaurant was staring at
her but she acted as if she didn't notice them.  As she headed for the door,
everyone staying rooted in place one of the human bunny girls called, "Who are
you and what the hell is going on?!"
     She stopped long enough to purr, "The name is Sailor Arcturus and I'm 
just doing my job.  I seek out evil and punish the wicked!"  As she'd learned
to expect quite a few of the male spectators (and one of the female) began 
shouting that they were wicked.  Calcite was a little disappointed (but not
really surprised) how many of the confessions were coming from his table.
     "I always pad my expenses 150 %!"
     "I went to Hawaii while I supposed to be on sick leave!"
     "I doubled our productivity figures!"
     Beside Calcite, Ataru yelled, "I've been embezzling money for five years 
now!"  Calcite shook his head, this was kind of pathetic really.
     Sailor Arcturus seemed to feel the same way.  "Little boys with little
imagination.  Give me a call if you do something really evil."  With that she 
sauntered out well aware that every eye was fixed on her exit.  The front
doors slammed themselves open and snapped shut as soon as she was outside.  
The crash broke the spell and several patrons rushed to follow her.  Calcite
knew they'd find nothing as Azurite would have teleported as soon as the doors
closed.  She knew how to make a good exit.  As he thought this he grabbed 
Ataru's arm as the other started to rise.
     "Let go, I've got to see where she went!"
     "I think you've got other things to worry about."  The dry tone broke 
through Ataru's lust induced haze.  "Huh?"  Then he noticed the president 
struggling to contain his anger.  "Uh oh!"
     "MORIBOSHI!!!"  Every executive who'd confessed something turned pale as
the president tore into the hapless Ataru.  Calcite shrugged and picked up his
drink suspecting that the party would end sooner than anticipated.
     He was right but, not being a big fan of drunken vice presidents 
struggling to remember the words to songs, he wasn't too upset.  He owed
Azurite for this.  What he didn't know was how soon he'd have to return the  
     Meanwhile in a spaceship whose presence over Tokyo was concealed by being
slightly displaced in time Esmeraude materialized.  She immediately crashed to
the deck and lay there gasping for air.  After a somewhat overdramatised
recovery (wasted as there was no audience) she crossed over to the monitors. 
Their view screens displaying a montage of city scenes and she tried to 
concentrate on picking her next target.  This was difficult as her thoughts
kept turning back to Sailor Arcturus.  She massaged her throat and shivered
as she remembered the viselike grip.  The other senshi were bad news but 
despite their power were soft and weak.  They'd spared Coaan and the others 
instead of destroying them.  Sailor Arcturus wasn't like that.  The new 
senshi had been utterly merciless!  If she hadn't timeslipped ...  
     Esmeraude tried to turn her thoughts from her brush with death and
considered the problem of phasing back into normal time.  Dammit that would 
put her days beyond her last appearance!  Why couldn't they get the bugs out 
of time travel so she could return minutes after her defeat armed and ready?  
Or back before the battle so she could change the outcome?  She'd asked that 
every time she lost and just got Safir giving her some lecture about paradox.  
How did he know it was impossible if no one had ever actually done it?  Every 
time she'd said this he'd got that funny look on his face as if he thought 
she was an idiot.  What did he know?  The spineless little worm was always  
questioning Demand's orders and trying to complicate things.  If he wasn't
Demand's brother ...   She lost her train of thought as she thought about 
Demand and drifted off into fantasy.  Eventually she came out of it and got
back to work.  Once she was fully back in the twentieth century she'd strike
on a afternoon while the schools were in session.  Her brilliance would win 
the day yet.  She took a few minutes to laugh then prepared to depart.  As an
afterthought she sent a message back up the line describing the new senshi.
Perhaps Safir could finally earn his keep and tell her something useful.
     A little over a week after the previous incident Azure DeWitt and Yohko 
Amano were sitting down in a coffee shop having finished their latest shoot.
It had been a long morning and the ad's director had been either a true 
perfectionist or real anal control freak.  Regardless they were through for 
the day and after hours of posing while looking turned on by a car they both
felt they could use a break.  The waitress arrived with their orders and
served their coffee and cake.  It was a pretty slipshod job and she slopped 
the top of Azure's coffee over the rim.  She offered no apology and stalked  
away grumbling.  In fact on a closer examination Azure noticed all the staff
looked surly as did several of the customers.  She felt a sudden sense of 
foreboding.  Now it could just be a bad day for whatever reason but her 
instincts told her trouble was coming.  She'd learned her instincts were a
good judge of when things were going to go very wrong.
     "How can you eat that?"  Yohko's voice snapped her back to the mundane
as she realized her friend was staring at the thick slice of cream laden cake.
     "With a fork though I could use a spoon."
     "Ha ha.  But seriously how do you do it?  I've seen you tear into sweet
stuff but you never gain a bit.  Just looking at that's put a kilo on me!"
Yohko stopped herself adding sugar to her coffee and gloomily contemplated
her latest diet.  Keeping her figure was a constant battle but Azure never
seemed to worry.  It wasn't fair!  Seeds of envy spouted and began to grow 
     Oblivious to this (and masking her growing disquiet) Azure answered,
"Like I've always said I've been blessed with a metabolism which burns up the 
excess calories plus I work out regularly.  There's no secret involved.  
Besides I don't eat like this all the time.  I know some chocoholics but I've
never been tempted to join them."  Metabolically Ti's the same as me and if 
Margrave bloats up or loses her silky fur I'm not going to shed any tears. 
      Her enjoyment of the mental image of an obese catwoman was interrupted 
by Yohko slamming her hand down on the table sloshing coffee everywhere.  "IT'S
     "Because it doesn't exist anymore."  Azurite kept a rein on her temper
and kept herself from blurting that out.  She recognised the symptoms from
Calcite's description and a few incidents she'd heard about.  People suddenly
displaying hostile behaviour without apparent cause and in extreme cases 
mobbing the unafflicted.  Acting like she was cringing before Yohko's anger
she stuttered, "I ... I have to use the toilet", and made a retreat for the
washroom.  On her way there she caught a glimpse of the auraless cashier
laughing and nodded to herself.  Target located, time to call for backup.
     In his office Calvin Hobbes informed his secretary not to disturb him
and to hold his calls.  He swiftly locked the doors and activated a monitor 
which would inform him if anyone entered during his absence.  He was already  
visualizing the nearest teleport point to Azure's location as he open his
watch's face and touched the concealed button.  There was a faint crackle as 
his dark blue suit shifted to gray body armour but no sound as his glamour 
altered.  With a thought he vanished silently.
     Back at the coffeeshop Azurite had been forced to retreat from the 
washroom by a small mob Yohko had whipped into a gaijin bashing mood.  Her  
current problem was disabling them without inflicting permanent damage or
revealing her own paranormal capabilities.  From the corner of her eye she'd
seen the cashier's form shift so she now seemed to have a register in her
abdomen.  Based on recent trends Azure expected her to be able to throw coins 
with lethal force or something equally inane.  There was an annoying laugh and
Azure caught a glimpse of the bitch from last week.  Then she felt a familiar 
aura and smiled.  The cavalry had just arrived.
     The first hint Esmeraude got that something was wrong was the grey blur 
that resolved into a man with a sword.  Followed abruptly by the bisected 
droid wailing briefly as it hit the ground in halves then evaporated.  The 
dark hinge shattered but Esmeraude wasn't thinking about that.  This was 
because her attention was otherwise engaged.  
     The reason she now had such a good view of the man with the sword was 
because he was in front of her and the sword's tip was pricking her throat.  
She had frozen in shock and was holding her breath not daring to move.  "I'd
suggest you resume breathing or you're going to faint.  It'll get messy if you
fall towards me."  He said this with no particular emotion but didn't give the
impression he'd move the sword if that happened.  "I'm not really interested 
in who you are or your plans for revenge so I'd recommend staying quiet."
     Esmeraude breathed softly, with the point against her throat she didn't  
dare do anything else.  Trying to grasp the situation she speculated that he
might share that absurd chivalry of that Tuxedo Mask character.  She looked 
into the grey eyes before her and saw no hint of mercy or hesitancy.  She
swallowed hard and immediately regretted it as she felt a trickle of blood
run down her neck.  Something was forming in his free hand, a cane or staff.  
Whatever it was she wasn't sticking around to find out.  Exercising the better 
part of valour Esmeraude disappeared.
     Calcite blinked but gave no other sign of surprise.  Azure was right, it 
wasn't like a teleport.  She was just ... gone.  No teleport signature, gone
without a trace.  Or rather there was nothing there he could trace.  He 
lowered his arm fading the sword from existence and dismissed the shock baton
he'd just created.  He could have pulsed a stun burst through the sword but 
that ran too much risk of impaling her.  Killing defeated enemies was the 
sort of thing the senshi would object too.  Not that she'd been actually
defeated, just checkmated temporarily.  Until she was out cold he hadn't been
about to relax.  Well she was gone and if things ran true to form there would
be a few quiet days before she reappeared.  Hopefully next time the senshi 
could  handle her.  
     Calcite crossed to the construct's remains and scooped it into a paper
cup he'd grabbed from the counter.  He could have shaped a container but this
stuff might react badly to psychoplasm.  Snapping the lid on he glanced around 
the cafe and nodded as he saw everyone recovering nicely.  Azure was being 
helped up and brushed off by another woman who was apologising profusely.
Looked like everything was under control.  Time to go.
     Azure managed to cut off the frantic flow of Yohko's regrets.  "Don't 
worry about it, everyone in here was acting ... negatively.  I think we just
got caught in one of those weird happenings you read rumours about."
     Yohko nodded, having caught a glimpse of both the droid and Esmeraude's
disappearance.  "You hear about them but it's always somebody's cousin had a
friend who ran into ... something.  You don't think it was an evil spirit of
some sort?"
     Azure shrugged and pointed to the man in grey.  "Whatever it was he seems
to have got rid of it.  If you're really worried drop by your shrine and say
a few prayers."  Yohko had to envy her western disregard for the supernatural.
Even after an experience like this she didn't seem to take magic seriously.    

     "You shouldn't take things like this so lightly!"  Then noticing their
rescuer strolling for the door without a hint of noticing the amazed and 
confused crowd she called, "Hey wait.  You saved us from a demon or 
     "Or something."  He didn't stop as he answered and reached for the door.
     "WAIT!  Who are you."
     He paused long enough to look at Yohko (who coloured at his gaze) and 
simply "Gray."  Then he stepped outside and out of view.  Azurite felt the 
teleport signature and once again decided Calcite had seen too many of Clint 
Eastwood's "man with no name" flicks when he created Gray.  But the stone faced
and monosyllabic type appealed to some.  Yohko's eye's were still fixed on the
door.  Without turning around she asked softly, "Do you think he's single?"
     "Unfortunately, no.  And she's a real pain in ..." Azure managed not to
say this out loud.  Instead she answered, "Anyone involved with cops has a 
lot of stress to face and they don't go out deliberately looking for trouble.  
Getting mixed up with a guy who fights monsters on a regular basis is a real 
bad idea."  Yohko made a noncommittal noise and kept watching the door.  Danger
had a certain attraction ... especially to those who hadn't faced true peril.
Azure's opinion of risking death as an aphrodisiac was somewhat more cynical.  
But she couldn't say why without raising a few awkward questions.  One look at
Yohko's face banished the emerging memories and she suppressed a chuckle. 
Looked like Calcite, or rather Gray, had become a fantasy figure again.  She'd
mention it to him this evening before things got serious.  There were some 
things they needed to consider.
     "It's getting ridiculous."  Azurite gestured at the window trying to
encompass the city.  Calcite and Pyrite both knew what she meant and nodded.
Apparently oblivious Margrave tapped a claw in time to the music blasting 
through her headphones.  Titanite was absent as she was over at her friend
Kaori's for a study and gossip session.  Azurite continued, "It's getting so
we can't turn around in this city without bumping into the senshi's new 
     "That's a little excessive ..."  Calcite's calm was infectious and Azure
decided to ditch the hyperbole.  "... but I agree with you that twice in a 
week is two times too often."
     Pyrite spoke before Azure could, "It's fortunate that the forces of 
darkness seem to be always lead by the powerful yet inept."  They both looked
at him.  "Well that's how the Kingdom was and that's how you've described 
these new guys."
     Calcite had to agree, "He's got a point there.  Could be some sort of
universal principle."
     Azurite shook her head, "Are we really going to gamble our future on 
that?  Look, the generals and Beryl were all rusty after 2000 years of doing 
little more than maintaining the Kingdom's hierarchy.  If they'd always been
that pathetic they'd never have brought down Silver Millennium even with 
Metallia's backing!"  Examples of senshi victory by the narrowest margin came
to mind.  "Even with all their faults they nearly pulled it off.  The senshi 
are sloppy and untrained, hell if it weren't for an incredible run of luck ...
Well, never mind.  Cal you said it yourself!  If you'd been a real dark lord
you had at least a dozen chances to take out Sailor V easily!"
     "She was young ... I should say younger and extremely inexperienced.  
They've improved and have become an actual team.  It wouldn't be as easy now."
     "Not as easy but we could still do it.  And we weren't the Kingdom's 
heaviest hitters."  Azurite was getting worked up, "Hell, if we'd been running
things Earthside the senshi would have been wiped out early on and the Kingdom
would have won!"  Pyrite was giving her an odd look.  She thought about what 
she'd just said and felt like an overzealous idiot.  It was just so difficult
to think the fate of the world had hung (and perhaps still did) on amateurs
like the senshi.  The concept of such unskilled warriors on the front lines
offended her on a personal level.  "Umm ... if we'd have done that sort of 
thing which we obviously wouldn't since we didn't want the Kingdom to win.
I know everything worked out for the best ... or almost the best as we're
stuck here but at least Beryl's gone along with the rest of the Kingdom.  With
one annoying exception."  No one needed to ask who that was, unseen by Azurite
Margrave grinned.  "Anyway the point is ... "   What the hell was her point?
Damn!  She'd sidetracked herself again.
     Calcite to the rescue.  "The point being that we can't count on either 
the senshi always being lucky or their adversaries always being incompetent.
If either condition changes whoever they're fighting could triumph.  And if 
these newcomers represent the vanguard of something like the Dark Kingdom we 
don't want to be around when that happens."
     Pyrite nodded.  "That makes sense.  Whoever they are I can't tell you 
anything about them, that construct's remains sublimed very quickly.  I'd
guess they were responsible for that flying chandelier that grabbed the senshi 
a few months back."  They nodded remembering the latest so called mass 
hallucination and the official denials of all pictures as fakes or 
misinterpretations.  Someday the senshi or their foes would leave evidence
which couldn't be ignored.  What would the authorities do then?  Meanwhile
Pyrite continued.
     "From past indications they're trying to contaminate Tokyo's background 
mana radiation.  As you've noticed this has a negative influence on the human 
mind.  Beyond that all I can say is that while why and how they're doing this
remains unknown it'd be healthier to be somewhere else should they succeed in
flooding the city with dark power."
     Had Titanite been present she'd have enthusiastically suggested joining 
the senshi to fight this menace.  At least until the spectre of genocide was
raised.  They hadn't liked the other youma or life in the Dark Kingdom but to 
know that everything was gone except them ...  That's not the sort of thing 
you can forget.  The elder renegades didn't even consider the possibility.  
Or rather they thought of it but dismissed it silently.  
     Both Calcite and Azurite were a little ill at ease as they wondered why 
they'd even thought of it?  The code they'd lived by, that had enabled them 
to endure all those years in the Dark Kingdom, was simple.  Survive and 
protect the group.  Going out and playing hero was non-survival behaviour.  
You didn't look for trouble, you avoided it!  
     Had a hypothetical observer asked why they had fought at all instead of 
fleeing they'd have indignantly pointed out the difference between taking out 
an active threat verses running and maybe leaving a trail to follow.  That was 
all there was to it.  Pure survival, nothing more!  They just wore those 
costumes so they could use their powers in public and get dismissed as urban 
myths like the senshi.  Or concealed behind a wave of merchandising so what 
really happened was forgotten.  They had no interest in being heroes.  Not 
the slightest!  Their vehement denials would have rather startled the 
hypothetical observer.  Though suggesting that they protested too much might 
have cost him several virtual teeth.
     There being no one present to ask these annoying questions the renegades
buried the matter deep within their minds and listened to Pyrite.  "As you
both know we're still stuck with the mana requirement.  Tokyo's still the only 
place with enough background energy to keep us going.  And even if there was 
anywhere else we couldn't get to it.  However our trip to MegaTokyo proved 
that there are other Tokyos without senshi but with a mana fountain under 
them.  For a variety of reasons relocating to that world is out of the 
question."  Swapping frying pan for fire is not a good idea.  "Still 
theoretically there's no reason we can't use the nexus point to open a gateway 
to another world.  Now the tools I used during our last trip won't be any use 
for this purpose.  Then I was opening an existing gateway not creating a new 
     Calcite guessed what this was leading to, "But you've improved the 
technology so that's not a problem?"
     "How'd you guess?"
     "Because you'd never leave a problem like that alone.  You'd have to 
build something that could open new gates.  It's your nature, you're a 
     Pyrite nodded and Azurite added, "I can confirm you're good with your
hands."  Pyrite flushed being somewhat shy and muttered that his creation was
called a warpkey.  Before the planning could go any further a new voice 
     "I hate to interrupt clumsy seductive dialogue but you're forgetting 
something vital."  Margrave hadn't removed the earphones but either had turned 
off the sound or her prenatural hearing let her listen over the noise.  Why 
she'd decided she liked parody rock music Calcite still didn't know.  Just one 
of her many quirks.  One of the less annoying ones really.
     "Which is?"
     "Which is Pyrite's own dimensional assimilation theory."  Margrave pulled
off the headphones making it obvious she'd heard them despite the music.  "In 
case you've forgotten I spent months in MegaTokyo and started acting pretty
damn weird.  I made friends with a human, that qualifies as really abnormal."
     "And carved up quite a few people when she got killed."  Margrave glared 
at Azurite.  
     "All of them had it coming.  And you wiped out members of our own kind
for a lot less back home."
     Calcite cut them off before it could escalate.  "Stick to the facts."
     "Well lover, the facts are I was acting very unyoumalike ... at least
in some ways.  Maybe I bonded to Janet because I was messed up after seeing 
the end of the world and figuring out Jadeite was nuts.  There was no one else
left so I ... deluded myself I liked her."  Deluded, hell!  You liked her!
Margrave silently told her underdeveloped conscience to shut up and it 
immediately obliged.  That was better, she couldn't risk saying something like
that.  As the last true youma she had standards to uphold.  "Or maybe I was
changing to fit in, filling the "avenging angel" archetype that seemed common
on that world among the ... abnormal."
     Azurite had to wince at the picture of Margrave as any kind of angel.  
"We didn't change ... at least as far as we could tell."
     Apologetically Pyrite contributed, "But we were there about three days.
Margrave was there for months.  We don't know how quickly the effect strike,
assuming it even exists.  We also don't know if it's a constant world to
world.  It might depend on how similar or different the ... essence (for lack 
of a better term) of the world is to this one."
     "And the only way to find out is to cross to another world and hang 
     "That's more or less right."
     Margrave snorted, "Just great.  Well I'll tell you this.  If this effect
exists we might as well stick around this world.  What's the point in escaping
if you lose yourself in the process?"  With that she slapped the headphones 
back on and seemed to tune them out.  Calcite and Azurite mulled this over 
until Pyrite cleared his throat.
     "Before we do any actual crossings I'd like to run a few more tests on
the equipment then try some small gates for probes only."  They nodded.  
"After all we don't actually know that we're in a frantic rush yet.  There's
no need to hurry unnecessarily."  It's a mistake to feed the universe straight 
lines like that.
     In her ship Esmeraude checked her neck yet again.  Thankfully the scratch
didn't seem to have done any permanent damage to her perfect skin.  She 
considered seeking vengeance on the newcomer but found herself sidetracked to
considering Sailor Arcturus, which lead her to considering the senshi.  There
was no shortage of people to revenge herself against.  And no shortage of
animals as she remembered an oath to wipe out every dog in Tokyo.  Alas such
pleasantries would have to wait.  Prince Demand was getting impatient with
her.  She'd better get a new hinge into place ASAP!  But before she could do 
that the arrival monitor chimed.  Only someone important could arrive 
unannounced.  Could it be ...? 
     The portal door irised open and Esmeraude curtsied, "Welcome Prince 
Demand.  I am honoured that you ..." The visitor's identity registered, "Oh,
it's you again."
     "Nice to see you too."  Safir sounded about as happy about this as she
     "Sorry I'm not in the bath this time."
     "Not to worry, what I did see didn't really impress me."
     Esmeraude bristled and hissed, "What is it this time?"  through clenched
     "It's about your recent report about a mystery senshi ..."  Safir fanned
the printout and sighed, "Why didn't you just check your computer before 
sending this up the line?"
     "She's in there?  I glanced at the twentieth century data but I didn't
see anything."  Safir shook his head again.
     "Why didn't you check the intelligence data files?"
     Safir looked resigned rather than surprised.  "I don't know why I 
bothered collating all this data on the twentieth century senshi.  You haven't
used it, Rubeus didn't bother, I though Cooan might have had some sense but 
..."  He looked resigned, "But nobody bothers do they?  You just charge in
counting on your power to take care of any obstacles.  And when it doesn't 
work you still don't check the background you just head off on the next 
half baked idea.  Why?"
     Esmeraude sniffed.  "Hmph!  Intelligence data indeed!  Thousands of pages
of trivia that doesn't have any relevance to getting the job done.  Why should
I waste my time shifting through reams of useless facts that some bureaucrat
thinks important?  I want nothing to do with intelligence!"
     Safir nodded, "That's always been my appraisal."  She didn't pick up the
barb and Safir wondered again why his brother had put this halfwit in charge
of such a vital operation.  Silently he thought, "Demand, if you return her
affection I'm going to lose all respect for you."  Then his thoughts turned
back to the issue at hand.  At his touch the screen lit up and accessed the
files.  An image of two women in fukus and two silhouettes marked with 
question marks appeared.
     "In addition to the inner senshi you've encountered there are at least
three other groups of senshi we know of active in this time ..."
     Safir ignored the outburst.  "The first is the so called Outer Senshi.
This is Uranus and Neptune, we've confirmed their existence."  He nodded at
the blanks, "Historical records from the fall imply the existence of a Pluto 
and a Saturn but we haven't confirmed their presence.  Uranus and Neptune were
active during this period though somewhat sporadically.  Your lack of contact
indicates they either haven't made their debut yet or this is one of their 
inactive periods.  Supposedly they're more dangerous and powerful than the 
inners so watch out for them.  In our own era they disappeared a few centuries
ago.  Now this next group never had a name, was more sporadic than the outers
and often worked individually ..."
     "IT'S HER!  AND HIM!"  
     Safir nodded, "From your description I've identified her as Sailor 
Arcturus.  Popular in both this century and the next, frequently operated 
outside Japan.  Then vanished abruptly.  Reappeared ... or the identity was 
revived, following the invasion.  The man beside her is known as Gray.  Little 
hard data, has appeared various places around the earth for varying periods of 
time over the past millennium doing the usual hero bit.  Seems to have been 
more active in combat than Tuxedo Mask."  Esmeraude rubbed her neck and 
nodded.  Safir's eyes flicked to the third and he said softly, "The girl is   
Sailor Polaris!"
     Safir acquired a sweatdrop as Esmeraude showed no signs of recognition.
Silently he raged, "Just how stupid are you?  The biggest scandal for the 
clan in centuries and you've never heard of her?  The senshi who corrupted one
of our junior members and turned him against us?  How can you not know who
she is?"  His opinion of Esmeraude's brain dropping several more points he
brought up the last picture.
     "The Sailor Starlights.  Very little known about them.  Actually nothing
beyond the names.  Around only briefly but given the confusion about the 
senshi's early careers exactly when this was hasn't been determined."
     "Certainly a variation in dressing style.  I'd say Arcturus is somewhere 
between then and the inners." 
     "I suppose.  I hadn't noticed."
     "Of course not", Esmeraude thought.  "You're such a dull little man it's
hard to imagine you're really Demand's brother.  He knows how to rule!  Knows
that you have take risks and play the game out!  You, Safir?  You're scared
to do anything, always worrying over nothing!"
     It was true Safir was worrying but what concerned him were larger issues.
He knew little about temporal physics but what he did know had him worried.
Mucking around with history seemed incredibly risky.  If they changed Terran
history it was bound to affect the Nemesians who'd visited Earth.  Oh there
would still be a Safir back in his own era but wouldn't it be another version 
of himself?  Someone who'd never been to Crystal Tokyo and never would because
it was never founded.
     The first attempt had made sense.  Rubeus and the girls were to introduce 
hidden corruption into the crystal points.  Then, once it was established 
they'd return to their own era and send the signal.  The flaw in the crystal
points would activate and the city's defences would collapse.  The war would 
be over.  After that failed Demand had come up with this plan to destroy the 
twentieth century Tokyo by contaminating it with the Dark Crystal's power.
     But if they were going to risk time paradox why do it this way?  Rubeus's
ship had been more than capable of turning this city into a crater or they 
could have just planted a few hellburners.  Why use such a delicate, easily 
disrupted method as the Dark Hinges?
     Because his brother had decreed it.  And the reason he'd decreed it was
Wiseman had told him it was the best possible method.  All of which meant this
was somehow to Wiseman's benefit.  But how?  What would he gain by submerging 
this city in a pool of dark mana?  What's your real game, Wiseman?  Safir 
rubbed his eyes in frustration and once again thought of the old line about 
the foolishness of calling up something you couldn't control.  Demand was sure 
he was Wiseman's master and dismissed all speculation to the contrary.  Yet 
Safir wondered ...
     Enough of this!  He had plenty to do in their own era, Esmeraude was
responsible for handling things in this time.  And she might well be the best
person for the job.  Her incompetence should serve to keep history running 
the way it always had.  Which was fine by Safir.
     "I have duties to attend.  Have you picked your next target?"
     "Uhh ...yes.  Of course!"  In short, no.  Good.
     "Well I'll leave you to it then.  Don't disappoint us."  With that he 
stepped into the timegate and returned to the siege of Crystal Tokyo. 
Esmeraude frantically called up the Tokyo mana assessment map and planned her
next strike point.  Ah, that looked promising.  
     Several weeks later Esmeraude was worked on her latest fiasco ... that is
her latest plan.  She looked around the hall and muttered, "A more wretched 
hive of scum and villainy I have never seen."  That assessment was a bit harsh,
particularly from someone born on Nemesis.  Still it was her first con so 
she'd never seen a dealers' room before.  She was pleased to see the crowds 
around two particular tables.  The undeniable attractiveness of the women 
behind them was at least as big a draw as their merchandise.  One was selling 
anime cels that she'd acquired without the studio's knowledge.  The other's 
table was covered with badges.  As Esmeraude had little sense of subtlety many 
displayed the inverted black crescent moon logo or phrases like "Nemesis 
Rules".  Fortunately for her there was no one present who'd recognised either. 
Esmeraude laughed, which turned a few heads as always, and wondered why she 
hadn't used two droids at once before.  The more the merrier.  Still glancing 
around at the crowd she wondered how she would know when the dark power was  
affecting these freaks.
     Meanwhile Titania Hobbes had left one of the screening rooms and had 
decided to take a quick look in the dealer's room before rejoining her friends 
for the shojou panel.  They were bigger manga than anime fans so they'd wound  
up splitting up when events for the two conflicted.  No big deal.
     The dealer's room seemed more chaotic than usual.  It almost seemed like
... then Titanite caught a glimpse of the woman in the distinctive dress.  
She recognised her from Margrave's descriptions of Calcite and Azurite's
recent adversary.  An actual villainess and she was trying to ruin the con!
Someone up there must like her.  With that thought Titanite scuttled off to 
find somewhere to change.
     Esmeraude was enjoying the chaos (while taking care not to be touched by 
it) when a spotlight dramatically lit up the stage against the far wall.  For 
a moment nothing happened.  Then a figure in senshi uniform emerged through 
the curtains thinking she needed a sidekick to handle the fine details of her
entrances.  Striking a pose she announced, "Fans should be free to pursue 
their obsessions without interference ... long as they aren't into anything
really etchi anyway.  Anyway how dare you disrupt one of the few places they
can be a majority and think they're not alone! (mental note, more work on spur
of the minute speeches)  I stand foursquare for fandom and freedom.  On behalf 
of the pole star and otaku everywhere Sailor Polaris will punish you!"
     Despite the dark power flooding the area everyone was staring at her in
confusion.  Probably because the woman she was pointing at hadn't actually 
been seen to do anything yet.  Esmeraude was also confused, something had been 
nagging at her mind since she saw this senshi's picture.  It was getting a lot
more insistent.  Sailor Polaris, she had hear that name somewhere before Safir
mentioned it.  There was something familiar about ... Suddenly it came to her!
     "AHA!  You're the little hussy who seduced whatshisname!"
     "WHAT?!"  That was about the last thing she'd expected her unknown 
adversary to say.  Esmeraude rolled on, forgetting that none of this would 
happen for a very long time.  "You dishonoured our clan even if he wasn't much
of a loss!"  Who was that dimwit anyway?  Topay? Tofu?  Something like that?  
Doesn't matter, taking her out should please Demand.  "Prepare to suffer!
Mylar!  Emblem!  Attack!"  Good, this one used the old rules and let her
strike first.
     The woman selling cels knocked the table over as she stood.  A flicker of
light and she'd become transparent with no features remaining except her
eyes.  The second vaulted her table changing in midair.  She looked much the
same apart from her blue skin and the sleeveless jacket covered in buttons
with hostile slogans.  "Bleed for me", "Kill them all", "It's a good day for
someone else to die" and so on.  The crowd instinctively drew away from them 
but not so far that they couldn't see the fight.
     Having learned a few things, thanks to Calcite and Azurite's training, 
Titanite didn't just stand there and wait to get blasted.  She'd already leapt 
from the stage when razor edged buttons spraying from Emblem's jacket shredded
the curtains.  The second one turned and hurled a lump of liquid like plastic.
It missed Ti but struck a table and spread.  Sealing the manga beneath under
a thick transparent shell.  Esmeraude laughed, "Have to seal those comics up
or they get wrinkled, right."
     "Actually that's more of a western thing.  Manga you just pile up until
you get told to get rid of as it's taking up too much space."
     Esmeraude didn't like being corrected.  "How dare you accuse me of 
inadequate research!  Kill her!"
     "Er ... we're already try to ... OOOF!"  Mylar was slammed backwards by  
one of Titanite's Polaris missiles wiping out a collection of rare GUNDAM
models.  She shook herself and got up, ignoring the anguished dealer, with a
smile.  No serious damage.  Excellent. 
     Titanite dodged Emblem's attack, feeling a couple of badges ping off her 
force shield.  Ti glanced around at the badges embedded in the floor and walls 
and realized she had a problem.  This place was full of civilians and these 
things were throwing some nasty stuff around.  Better shift the scene.    
     "You want to fight?  Fine, follow me!"  She dashed for one of the large
windows and was about to fling it open when she realized no one was following
her.  Mylar was looking at the crowd and juggling a couple of her plastic 
balls.  Esmeraude looked at her and said, "We'll stick around here and have   
some fun with these fools.  Mylar ..."  Titanite cursed and dove towards the
droid as Emblem's badges shattered the window.  As Esmeraude had rather 
expected she threw herself between the droid and the crowd.  There was the
sound of wet impacts as Emblem turned to see a plastic coated senshi statue.
"Aw!  I wanted to chop her up!"
     Esmeraude gave one of her laughs then told the pouting droid, "Well, why 
don't you?  After all her air hasn't run out yet so you can still kill her
before she suffocates."  Now Mylar began to sulk.  Emblem giggled and stalked 
over, stopping before the immobilized Polaris.  "Now which badge should I ..." 
There was a sudden cracking noise and Emblem was blinded by a spray of 
plastic.  She cleared her eyes to see her prey had vanished then something 
hit her very hard.
     Titanite hadn't vanished.  After breaking free through a combination of
expanding her force shield and superhuman strength she'd landed in a crouch
in front of Emblem.  She rose up fast catching the droid under the chin with a
combination punch and Polaris Missile.  Had Emblem's feet been rooted to the 
floor her head would have come off.  Instead she soared upwards and her skull 
crunched into the ceiling  On impact all her remaining badges launched, 
tearing deep gouges in the concrete above.  For a few moments the droid hung 
there.  Then it crashed down and wiped out a table loaded with original Osamu 
Tezuka artwork.  Emblem lay in the wreckage making gurgling noises until the 
dealer and several customers tore into it in a dark power enhanced frenzy.  
The droid didn't last long under the enraged otaku onslaught.
     Esmeraude, Mylar and Polaris were rather startled by this.  Ti hadn't
expected to take out the droid that way.   She'd been planing to get Mylar and
Emblem to shoot at her and blast each other in the best combat cliche 
traditions.  However she changed her plans and threw a TK sphere at Mylar.  
     "Polaris Missile!"
     The droid ducked and the sphere soared through empty space.  Mylar stood 
up already holding another glob of plastic.  "Missed!"  Behind her the sphere 
reversed course. 
     The droid toppled over dropping the glob and landing in it's own goop.
Now glued to the floor all Mylar could do was glare at Sailor Polaris.
     "Sorry, I meant to say 'Polaris Homing Missile'"  Okay, two down.  That 
just left ...  Suddenly Titanite found she had a new problem.  She seemed to
be surrounded by otaku all with an obsessive look in their eyes.  
     Unfortunately during the fight the Dark Hinge had continued pouring out 
dark power.  It cracked when Emblem was destroyed but kept working as the 
second droid remained intact.  The effect was accelerating which was why 
Sailor Polaris now found herself in the center of a male crowd chanting in 
unison, "Autograph!  Fan Service!  Measurements!  Panty Shot!"
     "What the ...?  Hey get off! <slap>  Stop that!  <whack>  Let go <boot>
Yeow! <biff>  I'm warning you <whap> ..."
     Esmeraude shook her head as the senshi fought off her over enamoured fans.
Looked like she'd have to take care of matters herself.  At least one droid 
was still functioning even if immobilized so the hinge continued flooding the
area.  There was a cracking noise as Mylar drew power from the hinge and 
struggled to free herself.  Still that could take a while so it looked like 
she'd have to take care of the senshi herself.  She sighed theatrically.  She 
hated exerting herself, it was so ... common.  Ah well, at least Demand would 
appreciate this.  She languidly raised a hand.  With Polaris trapped in the 
middle of that crowd, busy trying to subdue them without really hurting 
anyone, she was an easy target.  There was a crash and a roar as Mylar tore 
to her feet, pieces of floor still glued to her.  Esmeraude smiled.  
Excellent, she wouldn't have to get her hands dirty after all.  
     There was no question that Titanite was in a tight spot.  Fortunately
for her she wasn't the only Renegade at this convention.  In addition to the 
manga and anime section there was also an American Media SF section on one 
of the higher floors.  As this included Star Trek Pyrite was attending.  He'd
been discussing the virtues of Star Trek verses Star Wars with a fellow
gaijin (who was more like him than either of them realized) when he sensed  
the hinge at work.  He excused himself abruptly and headed down to 
investigate.  The somewhat startled woman was still wondering why he'd  
rushed off when she heard a security guard's walkie talkie reporting senshi
in the dealers room.  Everyone else in earshot immediately headed off to go 
have a look.  She turned pale then vanished on the spot.  No one who witnessed
this thought anything odd had happened and dismissed it as irrelevant.
Forgotten and unseen she hurried home before the senshi could find her and
destroy the last surviving youma.
     En route to the dealers room Pyrite had felt the dark power growing 
followed by his cousin's powers flaring and known things had escalated.  He'd 
called in the cavalry immediately and was giving them a running commentary as 
they moved from their nearest teleport site to the convention hall.  
     Meanwhile Mylar levitated so the crowd was no longer blocking her shot 
at Sailor Polaris.  This time the plastic in her hand looked molten.  If the 
sealing didn't do the job the heat shock should finish her.  She raised her
arm ... and saw a force sphere enclosing it and her weapon.  Despite this
being a climate controlled building she heard a gale howling towards her.
     The impossible wind slammed the droid away from the spectators and into 
the empty stage with bonebreaking force.  Before it had a chance to recover 
from that there was a blur of motion and a knifehilt protruded from it's 
forehead.  The blade glowed and the droid jittered as energy pulsed through 
it's body.  A flare of light and that was left was dust.  
     The Dark Hinge shattered but that was the least of Esmeraude's worries.  
Forgetting Sailor Polaris she spun to see the two figures who'd just forced 
their way through the crowd at the door.  Neither looked happy to see her.  
They were about to charge her from opposite sides (a clear shot being 
difficult through the milling crowd without risking hitting bystanders) when 
a Polaris Missile caught her in the back of the head.  Turning your back on an 
enemy is never a good idea though perhaps a real senshi wouldn't have struck 
from behind.  Still after being manhandled by a crowd like that no one would 
be in the best of moods.  Actually compared to what Mars would have done 
Esmeraude got off lightly.
     The end result was Esmeraude was knocked clear of the crowd and came to 
rest at the foot of the stage.  Though she was dazed she managed to remember
that the psycho "take no prisoners" senshi and her homicidal partner were 
there looking to finish what they'd started.  She timeslipped instants before 
a combination of concentrated hurricane and charged blades shredded the floor 
she'd occupied.  Arcturus and Grey landed next to the spot but once again 
neither could sense any trace.  They looked up from the shattering flooring 
and nodded at each other.  Enough was enough!  It was time to see about a new 
     The solemn moment was broken by applause and they turned to see the now 
unpossessed crowd watching them.  Polaris was still surrounded but the crowd
had gone from demanding to worshipful.  Not having made as many public 
appearances as she'd have liked Titanite was both flustered and flattered by
the attention.  Arcturus looked at Gray who shrugged minutely.  Let her enjoy  
a few minutes of fame.  This might well be her last appearance in this
dimension.  The crowd watching them seemed standoffish.  As though waiting for 
some member to approach them and break the ice.
      At which point one of the dealers shouted, "I have Sailor Arcturus 
pictures!" and was immediately stampeded.  Moments later Azurite found 
herself ringed by a mostly male crowd clutching promotional pictures of the 
still unreleased Arcturus live action movie.  The actress in the Arcturus 
costume didn't look much like her but no one seemed to care.  Calcite found
himself besieged by a crowd of schoolgirls with autograph books.  They looked 
at each other again then Azurite smiled faintly and started writing a few
suggestive comments on the pictures which raised both the hopes and blood
pressure of some of her more unrealistic fans.  Calcite just sighed "Gray"
and gave monosyllabic answers to questions.  Might as well play the part this
one last time.
      Titanite was enjoying herself as she signed autographs and talked to 
the people.  Though she flushed and avoided answering some of the more etchi
questions.  She noticed that Azurite handled the same questions either by 
innuendo that embarrassed the asker or the veiled threat of violence.  A small
ring of slumped groaning figures marked the few who hadn't taken the hint or
thought the costume invited roving hands.  She noticed Pyrite pass Calcite
but she couldn't make out what he'd said.  However Gray, somewhat curtly
excused himself and moved gently but firmly through the crowd.  Arcturus said
simply, "Later!" and pushed through to join them.  Ti wasn't too surprised 
to hear her brother tell her, "Sailor Polaris, time to go."  She didn't bother
to protest just apologised to those who hadn't got meet her and slid though 
the crowd to join her group.  As soon as the threesome was together they were
surrounded by a cloud of grey smoke.  It cleared almost immediately and 
triggered neither the smoke detectors nor left any trace of it's presence.
The crowd was still studying the vacant space and discussing the merits of the
cute Polaris verses the sexy Arcturus while another faction giggled over Gray
when the real senshi finally arrived.
      Sailor Moon had begun a speech (ignoring Mercury, who was trying to get
her attention) when she realized there was no sign of anything wrong.  Also
a lot of people seemed to be ignoring them.
      "Uh, what's going on here?"
      "Sailor Polaris just took out some sort of monster.  Sailor Arcturus
and whatshisname ..."
       "GRAY!", several girls shouted in unison
       "... and Gray showed up to finish the job.  They were incredible."
Mars scowled and accused Sailor Moon of slowing them up so they'd got here
too late.  Mercury tried to play peacemaker by suggesting it didn't matter
who'd destroyed the droids as long as the bystanders were safe.  From Venus's
snort she didn't agree with that and muttered something uncomplimentary about
Gray.  That earned her hostile looks from the just formed Gray fanclub.
Jupiter was the first one to really realize that no one was paying much 
attention to them.  In fact she could hear a pair of fans right in front of
them who stood with their eyes fixed on a empty space in the middle of the 
       Man, that Polaris was cute."
      "I thought Sailor Mercury was your favourite?"
      "I just changed my mind."  He noticed the senshi behind them and tapped  
his friend on the shoulder.  "Hey aren't those the old senshi?"  The word
"old" echoed through the mind of all the senshi.  The other fan turned to
study them briefly then said, "That's them but they're not old ..."  The 
senshi silently thanked him.  Until he added, "... just overexposed and 
over merchandised.  They've got boring.  Old hat.  Last year's flavour."  The
senshi weren't exactly used to being talked about as they weren't even in the
      "I thought you said you were a big Mars fan cause she's so sexy?"  Rei
      "Yeah, but that was before I saw Sailor Arcturus in person.  Now I see
you've gotta have a full figured woman to really fill out a fuku.  Not some
underdeveloped kid."  Rei twitched and her eyes narrowed.  
     "I don't know about that.  I preferred Polaris.  She was more ... real.
Modest, demure ... like a girl should be."
     "Yeah, right.  You've just got a thing for schoolgirls, admit it.  You're
a real hentai."
     "Hey you're the one falling for the s&m senshi."
     "Heh, guess we're both weird.  But I still say Arcturus beats Mars by a
long ways.  She's built a lot better and not so out of fashion."
     "Well I guess the senshi are trying to update themselves.  I hear they've
got new attacks."
     "Old hat.  Sticking a few new accessories on so no one notices it's the
same old thing."  Mars didn't like that and had the others not dragged her
away the loudmouthed otaku might have got to personally experience her latest
attacks.  Secure behind his glamour and masked aura Pyrite watched the 
squabbling senshi depart with a certain amusement.  He sensed a teleport
signature and winced slightly but the senshi gave no indication of detecting
it.  Still he wished Ti had been a little more discrete about returning.  He
wandered back to the stairs his thoughts drifting to what he'd been able to
sense.  The purpose of these unknown adversaries was to flood apparently
unconnected sights with some form of magical energy.  Energy which had a 
negative effect on the human psyche but had shown no signs of affecting them.
So either it was targeted specifically to humans and couldn't affect youma,
or else ...   One of the incidents he'd read about had concerned animals
running berserk at a sanctuary which would seem to indicate a more general
effect.  Still perhaps the affect was limited to terrestrial life forms ... or
maybe, just maybe ...  An old speculation about Renegades came to mind and he 
wondered idly how Margrave would have reacted to the dark power.  Though did
it really matter anymore?  The Dark Kingdom was gone, why they'd been 
different from the normal youma had become irrelevant.  Except that it might
explain Margrave's change from malicious to mischievous.  Though that was 
just as easy to explain in terms of Margrave knowing any serious trouble 
would bring Azurite down on her like a ton of bricks.  None of which had 
anything to do with Star Trek and he was missing the DS9 vs Next Generation
panel.  His thoughts returned to Trek and the speculation was forgotten.
     Titania Hobbes emerged from the washroom and was just starting down the
corridor when she heard a familiar voice call, "Ti-chan!"
     "Kaori-chan, Meiko-chan.  I was just coming to look for you."
     "Where have you been?  The CLAMP panel's about to start?"
     "Sorry Kaori.  Guess you didn't hear yet.  The senshi were spotted in 
the dealers room so I went to have a look."
     "Really?  You saw them."
     "Afraid not, the crowd was too thick."
     Meiko smiled.  "Which means most everybody's down there so if we move we
should be able to get front row seats."
     "Good thinking.  Let's move."  This was shaping up to be a very good day
     Back in her ship Esmeraude groaned and picked herself up.  On due 
consideration she'd decided that avenging the clan's honour was secondary to 
her prime mission of flooding Tokyo with dark power.  So she'd have to forgo
killing Sailor Polaris for now.  Besides which if she hung around with those
two ultra violent types she was best avoided.  
     Having settled that she was left with the problem of what would she do
now?  Another failure was not going to impress Demand and she'd run out 
droids.  Maybe she could link three droids to the next hinge ... if she could
scrounge up three droids somewhere.  She sighed and shook her head.  Better
try something else.  She'd been sure two droids at once would ...
     Wait a minute!  Suppose instead of using two droids she set up two Dark
Hinges?  Even if the senshi found and destroyed one the other would do the job
because they'd think they'd won and go home.  Instead of droids she'd make a 
clandestine trip up the line and recruit a couple of glory hungry clansmen to
help her.   Yes!  This had definite possibilities.  She'd have to finetune the
details but this should work.  Funny how a disaster could inspire you.  She'd
thank those troublemakers if she hadn't been about to wipe them out along with
their city.  This time there was no one else in earshot to complain about her
laugh and it went on for a long time.  Oblivious to having engineered 
Esmeraude's next clash with the senshi the Renegades were hard at work on 
their own project.

     The Puma sisters finished their striptease and started machine gunning the
SWAT team.  Margrave chuckled, "I never get tired of this."  Titanite made a
noncommittal sound and Margrave looked away from the TV and Dominion.  "What's 
     "That's what I'm wondering.  Where are they and what are they up to 
tonight?  I'm sure something big's going on but Cal wouldn't tell me 
     Margrave shrugged.  "They wouldn't tell me either."
     "But you know?"
     "I've ... got an idea but I don't want to say without knowing for sure."
Ti looked about to sulk so she added, "However if Pyrite arrives back here 
alone, which I rather suspect he will, then I can get a definite answer out of
     Ti started, "You're not planning to ...?"
     Margrave chuckled, "No, nothing like that.  It'd be fun but if Azurite
found out ..."  She shuddered briefly, there were lines you didn't step over.
Unless you wanted to risk becoming a rug.  "No, I'll just loosen him up with a
bit of trekkie babble then get him talking about his work.  He likes an 
appreciative audience and once he gets rolling he'll be impossible to stop."
     "Neat.  Sounds good to me."     
     "If Pyrite confirms what I suspect then it'll sound really lousy to you 
Ti", she thought.  "But if we can find a world without senshi and not lose our
identities in the process then we'd be fools to stay here."  Out loud she 
said, "You just have to learn to push the right buttons.  Stick with me and 
I'll turn you into a lethal weapon in the war between the sexes."  As she'd   
rather expected Titanite blushed.  The kid had a long way to go yet.
     Pyrite finished his final adjustments on the warpkey and handed it to 
Calcite.  "Well everything checks, the probes say there's no environmental
hazards and you're ready to go."  He paused then added, "But I still think 
I should come with you.  If something goes wrong with the key ..."
     "If we're not back in six hours then you can come looking for us.  But 
I'm sure you've built these things to endure any hardship."  Calcite was 
sincere but Pyrite knew he was also saying, "If we arrive in a tight spot we
don't need to worry about protecting you on top of facing an unknown threat."
An assessment he could hardly argue with.
     Azurite leaned over and whispered, "Don't worry, I'll be back.  I'm not
going to leave you sitting back here to wind another notch on Margrave's bed.  
With that thought the Abyss itself won't stop me returning."  Calcite looked
away, giving them as much privacy as he could and tried, in vain, to spot any
hint of the interdimensional gateway.  Fiction would lead you to expect a
glowing portal.  A hole in reality itself, impossible to ignore.  But instead?
Not a hint that it was different from any other patch of ground.
     Behind him the embrace broke and he turned to exchange goodbyes with his
cousin.  Then followed by Azurite he stepped forward and vanished.  Pyrite
stood there for a few minutes then changed the gate to arrival only so no one
would stumble through it then teleported home.
     Several hours later Calcite and Azurite were strolling through another
Tokyo.  It was about noon and a month later on this world but temporal
anomalies seemed to go hand in hand with dimensional travel.  On their first
trip they been displaced almost forty years.  
     Initial indications were promising.  Sailor Moon didn't even seem to 
exist as a manga on this world so no senshi to worry about.  Neither felt
any different though a subjective judgement wasn't to be trusted.  The 
recorders they were wearing would be analysed upon return for evidence of 
behavioural change.  If none was found they'd begin spending longer and longer
stretches in this world.  When they were sure the (still purely theoretical) 
dimension assimilation effect wasn't a problem they'd relocate here 
permanently.  Ti wouldn't like leaving her friends and giving up her senshi
identity but it was in her best interests.  Both youma were feeling pretty
upbeat.  At least until they rounded the corner and saw the couple running
towards them as they fled from a monster.
     Both automatically summoned their powers when they saw a flash of light
and a girl in a white full length wedding dress step in front of the creature.
She shouted, "Wedding Change!  Angel Armour Peach" and the dress was replaced
with a much briefer outfit.  The redhead made a brief speech about protecting
young lovers then launched herself at the creature.  Calcite turned to his
partner and tried to sound unsurprised.
     "This looks very familiar."
     Azurite nodded as the battle was concluded with a cry of, "Saint Mirror
Bridal Flash!"
     "Paranormal girl in miniskirt with silly but effective attack cry and no 
concerns about her clothing dissolving in public.  Yes, I'd have to agree with
you there."  She was trying to outcool him.  Well two could play that game.
     "Could be why we've felt no changes.  This place is exactly like home."
     "Certainly a possibility.  Anyway there doesn't seem to be any advantage
in moving to this world."
     "Better the devil you know.  So let's head back to the nexus and check
out the next world."  Ignoring the aftermath of the battle and the growing
crowd of onlookers they wandered away.
     It was summer on the next world and while the senshi were known they
were purely fictional.  While everything looked promising Calcite was feeling
a little less optomistic.  So was Azure as she looked at the paper she'd just
picked up.  "According to this there was some of major disaster in Toshima a
few months back.  Casualties in the thousands and still no one knows what 
happened.  About half the stories in here concern rebuilding, economic damage,
psychological damage in the aftermath of the tragedy ... frankly this world's
looking less inviting.
     "I'd have to agree ... "  The ground shook and a cry of earthquake went
up from the crowds as the sunlight vanished behind thousands of shadows.
Calcite looked up to see the sky filled with menacing shapes, the rumble of
their drives making the ground shake in sympathy.  "An alien invasion?!"
     "We've really go to work on our timing!"
     Calcite was about to suggest a retreat to the nexus when he sensed 
something nearby.  He turned to see a small squat robot standing before a girl
in an abbreviated blue and white school uniform.  A beam of sunlight caught  
the greenish hint in the girl's hair as she nodded then cried, "Charging Up!"
Her clothing disappeared and the robot broke apart, its components wrapping
around the girl.  Azurite barely had time to say, "An armoured bikini?" before
it extruded a red and white fluid that coated her bare skin.  Now wearing 
what appeared to be a combination of red and orange armour with white piping
and red spandex the girl launched herself into the air and soared upwards 
without a speech.  She opened fire and spun about, dozens of alien craft 
exploding before her beams.  There must have been others like her because the 
vast armada suddenly had huge patches appearing within it filling the sky 
with fire.  
     Calcite and Azurite looked at each other.  She was the first to speak.
"I don't know about you but I'm feeling very outclassed."
     "Agreed.  Let's find somewhere quieter."
     Azurite nodded but looked back at the carnage overhead.  "Sort of like 
the Senshi crossed with the Knight Sabers."
     Calcite thought about.  "There does seem to be a pattern developing.  In
fact on every earth it's as if ..."  He shook off the speculation.  "Maybe
things will be different on the next world."
     But they weren't.
     Four worlds later both Calcite and Azurite were displaying an edginess
that would have surprised anyone who knew about their steadiness under fire.
     Calcite mumbled, "So far, so good."
     "Uh huh, yeah."  Neither sounded like they believed what they were 
saying.  After a pause Azurite asked, "What was that last one yelling? 
Something about generations of devil hunters?"
     "I think she was telling them her real name.  Must be confident if she 
could do that."  Calcite fell silent then asked, "Do you think we've discovered
some sort of multiversal principle?  The defenders of all worlds will be 
female, range in age from teenage to mid twenties and generally be 
     "It's looking that way."  Azurite shuddered as a thought struck her and
she grabbed Calcite's arm.  "CAL!"
     "OW!  What?"
     "The Knight Sabers ... they did put on their armour, right?  They didn't
just yell, 'Knight Sabers, Go!' and they were wearing the stuff?"
     "No, they put it on the old fashioned way ... well actually they put it 
on with high tech assistance but it didn't just appear out of nowhere."
     "Good.  I'm glad to know there's at least one semi-sane world out there 
... even if it's far too screwed up to live in."
     Calcite looked at her.  "Let's not lose hope yet, we may still ... did 
you hear that?"  Azurite was about to ask what he meant when she heard the
sounds of battle.  Ahead they could see a large patch of black mist.  They
looked at each other but, feeling a sense of resignation moved forward to 
investigate.  As they rounded the corner they heard a cry of, "Angel Shine
Scroll" and saw a young girl in a pink and white dress resembling a nurse's
uniform confronting a creature composed out of black smoke.  For a change
her allies weren't female.  Instead she had a somewhat effeminate young man 
with white hair and a glowing sword along with a boy her own age generating
some sort of forcesphere.  There was a shout of "Angel Aid Bomb Beam" and the
creature began disrupting during which the two youma departed as unobtrusively
as possible.
     Calcite fiddled with the warpkey as Azurite sighed before telling him,
"Gonna have to amend that principle to, 'range in age from preteen to mid 
     Calcite tried to smile, "Looks like it.  At least that outfit was more
modest than some."  He shuddered, "They're getting younger and cuter but no  
less dangerous."
     Azurite nodded then with complete sincerity announced, "I don't know how 
much more of this I can take!"
     Calcite knew how she felt, "This key will let us visit one more world.
Pyrite says the upgraded version will be more versatile but ..."
     "Cal, if they're all like this then what's the point?"
     "I can't argue with that.  Still last try?"
     Azurite hesitated but nodded and followed him into the gateway.
     Things looked normal enough but that didn't reassure either of them.  
Things always looked normal just before the weirdness struck.  A nearby school 
must have just dismissed it's students because a steady stream of them passed
the two.  Before long the flow had dried to a trickle and there were just a 
few stragglers.  Calcite was considering their first move when he felt Azurite
tense.  Quietly he asked, "What is it."  Wordlessly she indicated a student
with hair that tinted a pale blue.  
     He couldn't see or sense anything particularly abnormal and was about to
ask her what was wrong when she added, "Doesn't that hairstyle look familiar?"
     He looked again just before she rounded a corner.  Twin ponytails that 
almost dragged on the ground ... oh no!  "You think ...?"  Before she could 
answer there was a burst of not particularly evil laughter answered by a cry 
of "Pretty Sami Change!" and a burst of light.  Calcite felt very tired.  
     "You want to go have a look?"
     "Not in the slightest but I guess we should."  They took a quick peak at 
the two girls embroiled in a fight then headed back to the nexus point almost 
     Calcite punched in their home coordinates.  "It looks like the multiverse
is governed by laws stranger than we can imagine.  Or we're just real unlucky
when it comes to picking worlds."
     "Let's just go home.  I'm very tired."
     Sometime later Calcite and Azurite were back home slumped at a table 
loaded with empty liquor bottles.  Calcite was glad he'd restocked the bar 
after Margrave's binge on the anniversary of the Kingdom's fall.  It took a
lot of effort to get drunk with a healing factor but with speed and 
determination it was possible.  Pyrite stood by and watched but decided now
would not be a good time to talk about the improved model he was working on.
Perhaps there was some sort of factor that meant they could only access earths
with a certain similarity.  He'd have to study the recordings and see what he 
could deduce.  He'd have plenty of time, at a guess it would be months before
either would be willing to risk dimensional travelling again.  Still if 
Calcite's theory was right they might as well stay here.  At least they knew
who and what the senshi were and more or less what the rules were.  Dangerous 
as it was that did give them a certain security.
     Titanite was telling Margrave, "I've identified three of the worlds 
they've mentioned but I don't have a clue about the others.  But I'm bigger
on anime than manga so it could be the other haven't been animated yet.  I'll 
have to have a look at Kaori's collection, see if she identify them from what
they've said.  Maybe if I had a few more details ..."  Margrave grabbed her
     "You can ask them later.  Now is not the time to bother them."  Margrave
chuckled, "Must have been quite a shock to them.  Wonder if it's written 
anywhere, 'And it came to pass that the miniskirted shall inherit the earth!'
Looks like we're sticking around."
     "Fine by me, I like it here!"  Ti thought a moment then added, "But it'd
be really neat to see a few other anime worlds."
     "Neat but dangerous.  So don't do anything foolish."
     "Would I do that?"
     After Ti turned in for the night Margrave sidled up to Pyrite and 
murmured, "Make sure you keep that thing under lock and key.  No sense giving
Ti any unnecessary temptations."
     He nodded and resumed watching the pair drowning their sorrows.  "So
which of our stressed out partners is going to collapse first?"
     "Hard to say.  Cal's got more mass but he's drinking faster.  I'd say
we're in for a quiet night followed by an unpleasant morning.  Pity I was
in the mood for ..."  She looked at Pyrite.
     "Forget it."
     "I'm never going to understand this pair bonding nonsense."
     "I know.  Pity Calcite doesn't."
     Margrave tried to work that out in vain.  Calcite got great sex and no 
commitments.  What male wouldn't be content with that?
     As Pyrite had predicted after they sobered up neither wanted to even hear
about his advancements in interdimensional transit.  Some months later they
tried again but, following encounters with the worlds of Blue Seed and Wicked
City decided dimensional travel was too dangerous and a dead end technology.
Pyrite put the warpkeys away and resumed trying to find a way for the 
Renegades to survive outside Tokyo in this world.  Pyrite was a little unhappy
not to have solved the question of dimensional assimilation but accepted 
Calcite's assessments of the risks involved.  So the matter remained 
unresolved.  At least until Titanite borrowed a warpkey for her own 
interdimensional excursion.  But that's another story.
     Which is more or less the end.  You can stop reading now but for anyone
who really wants it here's a epilogue.

     Crystal Tokyo - 2981 AD

     Sailor Polaris, Crystal Tokyo's director of Media Relations, stopped 
before the corridor leading to the suites reserved for foreign dignitaries.
The Nemesian nobility were clustered in the foyer as they waited for their
baggage to be installed.  She quietly told her assistant, "Okay this is as
close as we want any video shots to get.  We don't want to be obtrusive.   
And absolutely no on the spot interviews!  All contact with the Nemesians
needs to be approved by both me and Rei."
     Megumi looked puzzled, "Why all the fuss?  Serenity never minds ...?"
     "Not all monarchs are as approachable as Serenity.  These people are here
to negotiate zones of influence in space so we don't have any more um ... 
misunderstandings.  Last thing we need is for them to think their dignity's
been compromised.  It's important these negotiations go smoothly!"  Titanite
was a firm believer in Crystal Tokyo's position as a global moderator.  She
was sure they'd be able to come up with something both the spacefaring nations 
and megacorps along with the Nemesians would find acceptable.  She reminded
herself to ask Rei if there were any threats to the Nemesians she didn't 
know about.  Rei had been on edge since the Nemesians announced themselves and
Serenity extended an invitation to them to visit earth.  Well Rei wouldn't be
Rei if she wasn't worrying about something.  Though this was more serious than
anything she'd handled in centuries.  Must be a security nightmare, she was
having a hard enough time coordinating media coverage.  She'd better see about 
coordinating with Rei to keep the tabloid vids away from Demand's party.  Last
thing they needed was some idiot asking them what they'd done with Elvis 
triggering an interplanetary incident.  Ti remembered her brother commenting
he couldn't understand why Serenity gave the tabloid video journalists such a
free rein, unless every Eden needed a few serpents.  Of course Cal was biased
having been their target on many occasions.  Ti noticed Megumi staring down 
the corridor at Serenity's guests with more than professional interest.  She
looked fascinated.
     "Something wrong?"
     "Oh, sorry.  It's just ... well those people were born on another world!
Don't you find that amazing?"
     Titanite shrugged, "So was I."
     "Well yeah but ... I mean you've always been here.  You were living in
Crystal Tokyo before my great grandmother was born."  She heard her boss
chuckle.  "What's so amusing."
     "Just thinking.  When we first came to Tokyo we were so worried how 
people would react if they knew what we were.  Now?  It's public knowledge, 
everybody in CT knows and nobody cares.  At best it's a minor piece of 
trivia.  Enough time makes anything mundane."
     "I'll take your word for it."  One of the Nemesians, a striking woman
with green hair gave an odd laugh which echoed down the corridor.  For a
moment Ti felt a murky memory rising ... then dismissed it immediately.  The
only problem with a life as long as hers was the odd attack of FAS.  And 
despite her apparent youth she was close to 1000 years old.  Well actually 
she was the youngest of Crystal Tokyo's immortals thanks to the time anomaly
the DKR had run into.  Thanks to that Calcite and Minako wound up almost the 
same age but she would always be eight years younger than the other senshi.  
Though after the first century who really cared?
     Her thoughts turned back to False Association Syndrome.  The condition
was unique to immortals and, quite simply, resulted from living so long.  
You'd hear a new song that sounded familiar then realize you were thinking of
something you'd heard centuries before.  Or see a familiar face and find out
you knew their great grandmother.  Or, in this case, hear an odd laugh that
sounded familiar.  Except none of the Nemesians had set foot on Earth before
so obviously the laughter reminded her of someone else.  For a moment she  
wondered who she was thinking of then put it out of her mind.  She had enough
to worry about as it was.
     If coordinating tasteful media coverage of the Nemesians wasn't enough
she had family problems to worry about.  She'd heard last night that Cal and
Mina had been spotted strolling through the palace gardens arm in arm.  While
that didn't sound particularly worrying she knew better.  By her estimates
it was way too soon for her brother and sister-in-law to be thinking about
getting back together.  Things were bound to blow up and when they did ...
Hopefully they'd settle for just yelling at each other rather than getting
violent.  Probably Ruby's fault though she hadn't intended it.  That biography
business got them thinking about each other so they decided to get together.
If only the timing was a little better.
     Titanite sighed.  Yes, she had more than enough to worry about.  Whoever
she'd been comparing the Nemesian delegate to was inconsequential.  The past
was dead and gone, what mattered was the here and now.  It couldn't possibly
matter who she'd known who'd laughed like that.  Well, apart from the fact 
that it was a really grating laugh.
     "Make a note to edit if she ever laughs on camera."
     "Okay, edit laugh and no abduction questions.  Anything else?"
     "Probably but that'll do for now.  Let's get back to the office."
     What happened next is another story.  But for this one it is definitely 
The End


I've been busy working on a long and somewhat dark DKR story which is why I
haven't posted much lately.  But I needed to take a break and write something
lighter which is where this story came from.  It was originally just going to
consist of the dimension travelling segment (hence the title) but it needed
a little more.  Then after watching some of Esmeraude's SMR appearances I 
knew who it needed as a catalyst for Cal & Azure to go dimension hopping.

Esmeraude, Sailor Moon and related characters created by Naoka Takeuchi
Wedding Peach created by Tomita Sukehiro
Iczelion created by Toshihiro Hirano
Nurse Angel Ririka SOS created by Ikeno Koi
Devil Hunter Yohko created by Juzo Mutsuki
Pretty Sami created by someone with a very twisted sense of humour
The DKR are my creations while the Star Wars aficionado Pyrite was talking 
to was Berk' Watkins, Chrysolite.  Both newcomers to SME who you'll be 
seeing more of later.

The DKR visited MegaTokyo in "Bad Moon Rising" and Titanite's own 
interdimensional odyssey is chronicled in "Titanite's Bogus Journey"
To find out what happened next after Demand arrived in Crystal Tokyo check 
out "Crystal Renegades" by Andy Combs
All three are available from the Sailor Moon Expanded Homepage

Back to work on "Thy Kingdom Come"

Mark Latus
April 17 1997

TEXT to HTML conversion by Douglas Helm.