Sailor Moon Expanded

Sailor Moon Expanded : Picnic at Millennium's End
A prelude to the Golden Millennium
by Mark Latus

Crystal Tokyo - July 2999

     By either chance or Serenity's influence the weather was perfect.  Sunny 
and warm without being too hot.  The privacy field she had created over the
North section of the Palace Gardens kept out excessive ultraviolet rays as
effectively as it blocked the media from observing anything within.  Of course
thanks to Serenity convincing the other nations to follow her environmental 
policies it had been centuries since there was much reason to worry about the 
former.  However intense media exposure remained as a hazard to both the 
monarchy and leading citizens of Crystal Tokyo.  Even those who revelled in 
being in the spotlight had their limits and were gladly taking the day off 
from the media's gaze.  Which was why there was a small army of paparazzi
camped outside the sealed section trying in vain to see through the opaque 
field.  None of whom were satisfied with the press release from Sailor 
Polaris's office.  Which said simply that it was an informal gathering of 
friends of both the royal couple and the princess.  A small get together to 
wish the heir well before she embarked on her world tour.  That was all very 
well and good human interest but what they needed were candid pictures to go 
with it.  Plus if they managed to glimpse a few celebrity pratfalls or 
romantic tensions among the nobility ... well there was always a market for 
     Inside the shield the First Family had just arrived to a series of 
informal greetings.  Princess Usagi was a far cry from her usual prim and 
proper self in cutoffs and a t-shirt.  No public meant she could let her hair
down and be a teenager rather than a princess for a change.  Waving to the 
bratpack she ran over to join them followed by Diana.  Her parents looked 
amused though Luna and Artemis both sighed.  Far from regal behaviour in their
opinion.  Well at least she was more active than her mother had been at her 
age.  In sharp contrast to the casual attire of the other adults Serenity and 
Endymion wore their usual white.  But as those never got dirty or wrinkled
they didn't bother with anything else.
     Calcite watched his youngest son try to hit on the Princess and get 
rebuked yet again.  He shook his head, Alan meant well and had a good heart 
but he seemed unable to grasp the concept that every girl he fell for wouldn't 
automatically share his feelings.  If he didn't come on so strong right away  
he'd get a lot less rejection.  Of course he always bounced back and fell in
love again at the drop of a hat.  Either with the first new girl to catch his
eye or he'd fall for one of his older crushes all over again.  Minako said 
that proved he was her son.  So far Cal had refrained from saying that this
was what worried him.  But seriously he wasn't too concerned about Alan while 
things continued this way.  What worried him was the thought of what would 
happen when Alan got serious about some girl.  For some reason he suspected 
that would mean trouble.  He leaned over to comment on the scene to Minako 
only to feel her rising.  She shot him a look that made it clear he'd be in 
the doghouse unless he jollied her out of it and stalked off to look for 
     After her sister-in-law had asked her about Makoto's whereabouts Titanite
resumed unpacking her basket.  She'd told Mina that Mako was obviously here
as most of the boxes on the blanket were hers.  But where she was now she had 
no idea.  She waved her brother over and continued laying out the dishes she
had made.  Ti considered herself the second best cook among the Senshi.  She
couldn't match Makoto's skill in the kitchen but she came pretty close.  And
when it came to her speciality none could equal her.  Very few would want to
but that was a different matter.  As Calcite arrived she was unpacking several
heavily sealed canisters with red "BIOHAZARD" labels.  She was well aware of 
what most people thought of Shaizaarian cuisine so she had decided to cater 
to their expectations.
     "Mina's looking a bit unhappy."
     "Imagine that.  Now why could that be?"  As he spoke Calcite's eyes 
flicked to a familiar white furred figure basking in the sunshine.
     "Sorry, you can't pin this one on me.  I didn't invite her ... I admit I
would have tried but she's here as Ami's guest."
     "Ami?  I thought she wasn't attending."
     "She isn't, said she's too busy but that's a crock.  The real reason's
..."  Ti trailed off but gestured at the bratpack.  Calcite nodded, it had 
taken them a while to realize Ami's skittishness around children.  
     For reasons neither of them (nor anyone else) had ever understood Ami 
considered herself an unfit mother.  She seemed to feel with her constant 
researching she couldn't give a child the time and attention it needed and 
deserved.  This was a personal opinion, everyone else thought her daughter had 
turned out fine.  But she was adamant that she wanted no more children.  Still
her resolve was trembling.  Cal well remembered Tom talking about a new family
after the Nemesian war had ended.  Assuming he could convince Ami to change
her mind.  So far there were no signs of that happening but, on several
occasions, she had been spotted looking longingly at the self proclaimed 
palace bratpack.  At least until she realised she was being watched.  Then 
she'd make an excuse and hurry away.  Which was the real reason she wasn't 
here.  Too much temptation.  Even so Rei and Makoto were already laying bets 
on how long until Ami had trouble getting her fuku on.    
     "So she sent Margrave as her representative?"  Margrave's rise from
tolerated nuisance to Ami's number one assistant had given Rei a number of
headaches over the years.  But by now she was a familiar sight around the
palace in both her cat and own form and Rei had accepted it.  Besides watching
to see if Margrave did anything suspicious did give her a hobby.  Ti nodded 
in answer to her brother's question and Calcite sighed.  
     "What was she thinking?"
     "The kids all like her and long as they don't call her 'Auntie Margrave' 
in public she'll humour them."
     "Unfortunately Mina doesn't share her feelings.  She's afraid Margrave's
after Alan.  You know she's been overprotective of him ever since Yui ..."
There was a moment's silence before Calcite said, "Of course now I'm in for 
an evening of hearing about the unfairness of my old lovers showing up as
immortals while hers have been dead for centuries."
     "That's only happened twice.  Besides that means she doesn't have to 
worry about them being consulted for a tell all biography."
     "Thanks, that makes me feel a whole lot better."
     "Try not to overdo the sarcasm.  Look on the bright side, you'd feel a 
whole lot worse if they were friends.  Then you'd have to worry about them
comparing notes."
     "Good point."  He noticed the brown bars Ti had laid out, a minor cooling  
spell keeping them from melting and felt very apprehensive.  "Please tell me
you're not planning to feed chocolate to Margrave."
     "It wouldn't be a picnic without chocolate."
     Calcite nodded and prepared to take his leave.  Both his sister and 
Margrave were chocoholics.  Which was a bit more literally true in the case of
youma than of humans.  If there were going to be hyperactive youmas running 
around here there was no time to lose.  "Well I'd better go take Mina's mind 
off Margrave.  Before it's too late." 
     One of the containers bulged and Ti paused to whack it with a mallet 
before saying, "Well try to be discrete.  No dragging her off into the bushes
during lunch."
     "No problem.  I wouldn't want to trip over Chrys and Mako."
     While his sister was temporarily speechless Calcite sauntered over to
join his wife.  Margrave waved lazily to Minako and grinned at the icy glare 
she received.  Now what to do?  Azurite was talking to Rei and Minako was 
looking pissed.  So should she hit on Calcite or Pyrite?  Or should she just
laze here and enjoy the day.  Decisions, decisions.  In the end she kept
watching the kids.  Energetic bunch, it made her feel exercised just watching
     An impromptu ball game was underway, the older kids versus the younger 
kids.  It wasn't quite appropriate to say the big kids versus the little kids.
Threepio (aka Titanite McIntyre) was on base while her twin Artoo (Rhiannon) 
waited for the pitch.  Awaiting their turns Princess Usagi, Alan Aino and his 
cousin Hematite watched the her and the pitcher.
     "Come on Syl-chan!  You can take her!"  Kodachi Aino was serving as 
catcher and leading the cheers for the pitcher.  Artoo's younger sisters and
brother had no hesitation in joining her in calling for their sibling to be 
struck out.  Artoo grit her teeth and got ready to swing.
     The bat swished through the air but didn't strike anything.  The teens
and ten year olds turned to the couple leaning against the tree.  Brendan 
wondered how he'd got stuck as the umpire as however he called it would upset
one set of their kids.  Despite having her arms full of their two toddlers his 
wife recognised the vacillation and whispered, "Get on with it."  In the
older Rhiannon's arms Ben and Anakin made happy noises as she rocked them.
Her husband sighed and made the call.
     "Sorry Artoo, strike three!"
     Artoo dropped the bat and muttered.  Her twin sighed and left the base
sorry she hadn't had a chance to score.  Pity they didn't have more kids as
this first out being the only out kind of sucked.  But with only ten of them
total you had to make some modifications.
     The pack weren't playing by conventional rules.  The five player teams 
meant there were only two bases and one out per inning.  Rhi and Ti Jr. looked 
unhappy about losing to their younger sibs.  By contrast the other team was 
cheering their pitcher.  Who was doing an impromptu victory dance on the 
hypothetical pitcher's mound.  Alan watched her bounce and swallowed hard.
Hematite elbowed him in the ribs and he winced.  She hissed, "Remember cuz, 
she's only ten years old!"
     For a fact Sylvite didn't look like a typical ten year old girl.  The
average ten year old isn't a C cup.  On a purely physical level she could have 
passed for being 16 with ease.  But as any of the locals could tell you 
Crystal Tokyo was the worst city in the world to judge age by appearance.
Though normally it was the reverse with the very old looking young.  
     In fact there was nothing abnormal about Sylvite's rapid development.
Unlike Hematite, Alan and Kodachi she was pure youma and the youma were a 
rapidly maturing race.  As a rule but every rule had its exceptions.  Titanite 
had been one having grown up at a more human rate.  All the other Dark Kingdom
born youma had matured at the normal rate and been considered adults at 
twelve.  So had Adamite.
     Azurite and Pyrite had allowed their first child to grown up naturally.  
They had since come to attribute that as part of the reason he had gone bad.  
An inability to fit into Crystal Tokyo lacking the common experience of
human adolescence or youma society.  After that experience they had vowed 
never to have children again.  
     Vowing "Never again!" is easy to say but can be hard to keep.  Never is
a very long time for regular folk.  It's even longer when you live for 
centuries so it should be no surprise that they had eventually changed their 
minds.  Which had lead to Sylvite's birth a little over a decade earlier.  But 
that left them with the problem of what to do about their second child's 
upbringing which they had discussed extensively in the months before her 
birth.  Both were of the opinion that she would be happier and fit in better 
if she had a human length childhood followed by adolescence and adulthood.  
Rather than the rapid transition from child to adult that they'd undergone.  
But how to ensure that?  Ti's slowed growth resulted from long-term side 
effects of a Dark Kingdom stasis spell used on her almost immediately after 
her birth.  Neither wanted to drop their infant daughter in stasis for years.  
There had to be a better way.  After several dead ends Pyrite had come up 
with a solution.
     They couldn't stop her body from early maturity but they could see her 
mind didn't follow suit.  Part of the cause of rapid youma maturity was
social.  Or, to be a little more accurate, necessity.  Crystal Tokyo lacked 
the "grow up fast or die young" attitude of the Dark Kingdom.  But simply 
bringing her up at a human rate wouldn't work as there would also be her rapid 
biological maturity to deal with.  Her changing body would bring with it adult 
hormones and the accompanying emotions.  They couldn't simply ignore that.
     The solution was the armbands that covered most of her forearms.  These 
scanned and moderated her internal biochemistry while convincing her healing 
factor that all was well.  As she grew older the moderating effect would 
lessen.  Currently they were programmed to shut down entirely once she hit 16.  
Perhaps a little young but Pyrite estimated that as being well within the 
safety margin for biochemical alteration.  Longer probably wouldn't cause any 
problems but probably wasn't good enough for their daughter.  So the teachers 
and the girls in her class had to get used to a student who acted like the 
girls around her but towered over them and wore a uniform four sizes larger 
that her fellow pupils'.
     The result of the armbands influence was a favourite of those ancient 
anime shows of Ti's.  An innocent mind in a killer body.  Ti and Rhi were 
split on which character to compare her too.  Ti favoured Nuku-Nuku while 
Rhiannon voted for Shampoo.  While Ti would concede there was a physical
resemblance she felt Shampoo wasn't a good choice.  Unlike her fictional
(in this universe anyway) counterpart Sylvite currently she had no interest 
in boys beyond friendship.  However that was changing but not for the better.
     Among her classmates Sylvite found herself regarded as weird for her 
appearance.  The main exception to this was Kodachi, her best friend.  Her 
own father not being human she didn't see anything particularly weird about
Sylvite.  There were also Mara, Leia and Luke who took her development in 
stride but as their parents didn't live in the palace she didn't see them as
often.  Officially Sailor Charon and her family were listed as guests of
Sailor Polaris.  They weren't citizens of Crystal Tokyo (at least not this
Crystal Tokyo) as Rhiannon just kept prolonging her indefinite visit rather 
than talking about emigrating.  Since she still had commitments in her own
dimension there had been no attempt to integrate her into the hierarchy.
Polaris was trying to get her auxiliary defender status but both Rhiannon and
Rei were hemming and hawing over that.  The former over if she'd accept if
offered as she had duties in her home dimension and the latter over if they
should offer it to an extradimensional Senshi with outside commitments.
     Returning to Sylvite while the boys in her own class either thought her  
odd or deferred to her as if she was older the boys in the higher grades had
other opinions.  A schoolyard legend had sprung up that if you removed the
bracelets all her suppressed emotions would be unleashed and you'd have an
insatiable nymphomaniac throwing herself at you.  Shortly after that story 
made the rounds a second one followed telling that you'd better use guile to 
get the arm bands as just trying to pull them off wouldn't work.  Sylvite had 
been told by her parents not to let anyone remove them until they unlocked 
themselves.  She was an obedient daughter and while not violent by nature  
was more than capable of defending herself.  A third story was currently 
making the rounds concerning what her mother would do to any boy who took 
advantage of her daughter accompanied by lurid tales of Azurite's exploits in 
the war with Nemesis.  Almost no one knew that the third story had been  
started by Luke after he'd run into Margrave.  He had gladly told her the 
latest gossip he'd overheard among his parents in exchange for a solution to
getting his friend some privacy.  Why Margrave would choose to help him aid 
the daughter of her old adversary he didn't know but he'd been grateful  
whatever her reasons.  Unfortunately she'd told him it was a short term  
solution.  Sooner or later they'd wise up and realize a Guardian had rules
to follow that restricted her from seeking retribution.  When that happened
it would be back to square one.
     Regardless at the moment the older boys had stopped approaching Sylvite 
as directly as they had.  But that didn't stop them looking and she was 
growing increasingly aware of their attention.  It was making her more and
more uncomfortable.  She was also realizing some of the older girls seemed 
jealous of her because of that attention.  It wasn't fair, she wasn't asking 
the boys to follow her.  They were doing it by themselves.  She couldn't help 
her body growing years before theirs had, that was just natural.  The boys 
were the ones chasing her!  She had no interest in them.  It was their fault 
not hers!  While she'd been trying to ignore them it was getting harder and 
she resented it.  Despite her desire to get on with everyone she was beginning 
to think boys were a lot more trouble than they were worth!     
     Unaware her daughter had started on the path to constantly proclaiming
"I hate boys" Azurite was talking to Rei.  Despite having minimal contact for
centuries and neither seeming interested in changing that the two had 
surprised everyone by become close friends in the years following Azurite's 
joining the Royal Court.  But when the others thought about it they did have  
quite a bit in common.  Rei found a kindred spirit who didn't feel she went
overboard when it came to security.  That was rare in Crystal Tokyo.  There
was Calcite but they'd had enough clashes over CT policy to produce a certain 
distance between them.    
     Right now Rei was trying to unwind.  Despite being such a tempting target
there was no need to worry about security at the picnic.  Serenity's shield 
was keeping out intruders and there was no one lurking in the bushes.  Well, 
apart from Makoto and Chrysolite anyway.  She winced slightly at the thought. 
Open minded as she considered herself that relationship disturbed her a bit.  
Maybe because she'd had no prior hints Makoto was interested in women.  Or 
perhaps it was just a holdover from her own twentieth century upbringing.  She 
sometimes wondered if Crystal Tokyo's leaders were too mired in the past to 
provide direction for the future.  But that was ridiculous, who else was there 
to do the job?
     Shaking off the thought she commented, "I'm going to miss our handball
     Azurite nodded, "Me too but it's only temporary.  I'll be back to whip
your butt soon enough."
     "Big talk considering you're two games down."
     "Hmph.  Pure luck, if I hadn't slipped ..."
     "Yeah, yeah.  Should have stuck to the heels, you're losing your touch."
     "We'll see when I get back won't we?  So don't let your game slip."  
Azurite glanced around but couldn't see Jupiter.  "How about challenging 
Makoto?  She's the athletic type."
     "I used to but she doesn't play a really aggressive game.  I racked up
too many wins before we called it quits.  Not like our duels."  Both smiled,
duel was an appropriate choice of words as both hated to lose making for very
intense games.
     After a pause Rei glanced over at the ballplayers then said, "So Serenity
is sending Usagi on an incognito world tour to see the world outside of 
Crystal Tokyo as it truly is rather than the cosmetic look you get on a state 
visit.  She needs a bodyguard and as Hematite is travelling with her you're 
the perfect choice.  Not only are you an accomplished warrior and a teleporter 
capable of getting her back here in an instant but you've got wind based
powers like Hematite's.  So you can teach her to use her abilities properly  
during the trip thus ensuring she won't pose a hazard to herself or others.
You do realize I don't buy that story in the slightest?"
     Blandly Azurite answered, "You wouldn't have your job if you weren't
suspicious."  There were a few moments silence before Rei smiled ruefully.
     "Not even a hint, huh?"
     Azurite took a moment before saying, "Nothing is going on that Serenity
isn't fully aware of."
     Rei shook her head, "That is less comfort than you might think.  I swear
she goes out of her way to make my job more difficult."
     "Very possibly.  On the other hand you wouldn't want things too easy
would you?"
     "Heh, you're right."  Rei sighed, "To tell the truth it's not that I'm
desperate to know what's going on.  What really bothers me is that after all
this time she has to keep secrets from us.  She's our Queen and we'll follow
her wherever she leads.  So now that we're past all the potential time 
paradoxes why does she still have to conceal things from us?  It's a bit
     Azurite paused to consider what she was free to say before answering. 
"Serenity might well like to tell you exactly what is going on but she is
bound by her own oath of secrecy."
     "Like you?"
     "'Perhaps', indeed!  You've obviously involved in whatever it is and not 
about to let anything slip.  Good grief, you won't even confirm Sirius and  
Mira were Michiru and Haruka despite it being so incredibly obvious.  Never
mind who those other lesser Senshi were."  Rei remembered an incident during
the war while she had been hooked to the defence grid that had nagged at her 
for years.  While mainlining the power for Crystal Tokyo's defensive shield
she and the others had existed in something like a trance state.  Not really
thinking of anything but drawing power, neither sleeping nor feeding sustained
by the mana they drew from their worlds.  Not that they were totally insulated 
from the world around them.  Both Ami and Makoto remembered Tom's presence
even if they couldn't hear his words.  Minako awoke knowing Calcite spent as 
much time as he could with her.  Sometimes alone, sometimes with Alan.  While 
Rei hadn't had a husband to visit her she hadn't been forgotten.  Tom, Calcite
and Titanite had been among those to keep her company.  Of course linked 
together in the grid none of them had been alone but it was sweet of the 
others not to forget her.
     What troubled her about that time was a feeling she recalled.  She had 
felt something touch her, a kindred spirit in distress.  That had faded but
none of the others had felt anything like it.  After the war she had used
meditation to discern approximately when that had occurred.  When she checked 
the records she had learned that during that time Azurite had returned to 
Crystal Tokyo accompanied by an injured lesser senshi.  A young woman with  
fire based powers.  All she could get out of Azurite was that she wasn't at 
liberty to tell her anything now.  But when she could she'd happy to tell her
the whole story and introduce them.
     Rei respected Azurite too much to press her to break any confidences and 
had contented herself with studying Azurite's war record.  During the war
with Nemesis while based in Crystal Tokyo she had operated mainly in Europe.  
Having revived her old Sailor Arcturus identity she had apparently recruited 
a group of powerful Lesser Senshi and set about making life miserable for the 
occupying Nemesians.  Sometimes the group had acted together, sometimes as 
independent teams.  The interesting thing was then when they split up each 
each squad was headed by a pseudo Star Senshi.  Sailors Sirius and Mira were 
the other team leaders.  As they wore similar attire to Arcturus they had 
quickly become known as "S & M".  This had lead to some conspiracy theories 
that rather amused Rei.  Allegedly Sailor Arcturus had disappeared back in 
the 22nd century to found a hidden order of dominatrix senshi that had endured 
in secret for centuries.  Some people would believe anything.  However there 
was one thing that she believed she knew about the S&M senshi that many 
didn't.  Their true identities.
     From their attacks it was pretty obvious that Sirius was Michiru and 
Mira was Haruka.  Therein lay the puzzle.  It didn't surprise her that the
missing Outer Senshi had emerged from the shadows to fight the Nemesians.
While the Nemesians were not extrasolar adversaries they were clearly 
extraterrestrial invaders.  What she didn't understand was why they hadn't 
done so under their true identities.  Why this bizarre game?  Also based on 
their assumed identities and costumes was Michiru really the dominant partner 
of the pair while Haruka took the submissive role?
     Azurite wouldn't even confirm that it was them but had asked her not to
spread the word.  Rei had complied only on condition of getting the true story
someday.  As for the costumes worn by Sirius and Mira all Azurite would say
(while fighting off laughter) was that it was a bad idea to gamble with RH
and his partner.  Who RH was Azurite wouldn't say but she had told Rei that he 
wanted to meet her as soon as it was possible.  He was evidently something
of a fan.
     Somewhat hopefully Rei asked, "So do I finally get the true story when
you get back from wherever you're really going?"
     "I hope so, Rei.  You deserve to know what's going on but right now I
haven't even told my husband."
     Rei nodded sympathetically.  "Must be driving him crazy after all these
     Azurite grimaced.  "Actually, no.  He says he's content to wait until
I'm ready to tell him.  He's so patient and understanding that it's starting
to get on my nerves.  You'd expect a bit of small minded possessiveness but
he trusts me absolutely.  I swear he's just doing it to get me worked up ... 
what's so funny?"
     "Oh nothing, just thinking that's not a two way street."
     "What's that supposed to mean?"
     "Just that every time a certain someone looks in his direction you get 
very possessive."
     "Don't be ridiculous!"
     "Whatever you say."  After a moment Rei said, "I did a fire reading to
try and divine where you're going with our two young friends."
      "Ah ... and?"
      Rei shrugged, "Nothing conclusive.  The three of you are tied together
in a web of intertwined destinies.  You're all connected to a group of others 
by ties not of blood but of ... I don't exactly know but I'd say a shared
dream, ideals or philosophy.  Maybe all three.  You face hazards from without
and within but I can't see anything specific.  More the nature of whatever
you're doing than adversaries.  That's the common dangers but there's 
something else that threatens you alone.  A great trial of body or spirit of 
some sort but again it's cloudy so I can't give you any useful advice.  All I 
can say is take care of yourself as well as you'll take care of our princess."  
Azurite saw the concern on Rei's face and felt touched.  She had a sudden 
sense of how hard Rei had pushed herself pursuing this vision.
     "I promise I'll take care.  And I swear I'll be back to give you the
whole story.  It should keep you in indignation for months."
     Rei laughed.  "Thanks, I guess.  To tell the truth I could use something
to get worked up about.  Now that Magnesite's gone and freed from supervision
I've lost one of my few remaining subversives."  She hid a smile as she 
continued, "At least I've still got your old buddy Margrave to watch."
     Azurite twitched, "We are not old buddies.  Never were, never will be!"
     "Really?  According to Ti when you returned to Earth-Beta ..."
     "Look you have to remember Ti's a hopeless romantic!  Maybe we did save
each other's lives but that was just coincidence.  Reflex on my part and her
way of getting out being indebted to me."
     "So you're still not friends?"  Rei sounded puzzled.
     "Not in the slightest!"  She sounded emphatic.
     "That's odd.  I wonder what she wants with Pyrite then?"  Azurite's face
froze as she turned to see what Rei was looking at.  Sure enough Margrave was
very close to Pyrite.  Worse she was holding a half eaten chocolate bar and 
flipping through glamours of the female cast members of classic Trek.  Azurite
excused herself curtly and stalked over to intervene.  Rei chuckled as she
left.  Those two were worse than her and Usagi had ever been when competing 
over Mamoru all those centuries ago.  A better comparison than many would 
think as once again one of those competing didn't have a chance.  Not that
Margrave didn't know that but she found it amusing to annoy Azurite and 
Minako by flirting with their husbands.  Rei glanced around the gardens and 
sighed.  Three single adults here and she was the only one really alone.  
Margrave wasn't interested in anything beyond one night stands and while she 
might deny it Ti was still waiting for Topass to return.  Which left her.
     After a moment she shook off the descending gloom.  She had loved 
Yuuchiro more than she had realized at the time but you couldn't mourn 
forever.  Tragic as it had been it would be pathetic to still pine for a lost
love after nearly a millennium.  Nor would he have wanted her to waste her
life and love on the dead.  As for being alone?  All right so she didn't have 
someone now but what was the hurry?  Thanks to Serenity she had all the time 
she needed to find the right man.  Look at Ti, it took her over 900 years to 
find her soulmate.  So don't worry Rei you'll meet him someday.  More than
that don't ever forget that you are never alone.  With that in mind she 
sauntered over to join her friends.  As she did Chrysolite and Makoto emerged 
and she shook her head.  Their idea of discrete needed a lot of work.  Must
be getting away from their own kids for a while that got them going. 
     Looking like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth Makoto began laying out
the lunch she'd brought.  After plucking a leaf from Makoto's hair Chrysolite
leant a hand.  The game broke up as the kids drifted over heeding the siren
call of food.  Hand in hand Calcite and Minako joined the crowd though they  
gave the squabble between Azurite and Margrave a wide berth.  Despite Pyrite
shooting them a "Get me out of this!" look.  Rei threw up her hands and 
stepped forward to play peacemaker.  A role reversal that would have amazed 
everyone in her younger days.
     Artemis and Luna took in the scene and sighed yet again but Serenity just
smiled.  It was a good sendoff for their daughter who had been growing less   
tolerant of court formalities since her second time journey.  In her younger 
days Usagi had enjoyed being fawned over and deferred too.  With hindsight
Serenity had to admit her daughter had become a bit of a spoiled brat.  Which
had made Small Lady such a trial to Sailor Moon.  Still what would be would
be, or had been ... or something.  Anyway according to Pluto now the timeline
was straightened out and there were no more kinks to worry about.
     Still looking on the scene before her Serenity's mind reached out to
touch Crystal Tokyo.  The city she had built in the aftermath of the Great
Darkness.  The foundation and heart of the Crystal Millennium.  The era she
had forged that was nearing its twilight.  
     The name had been apt.  Nearly 1000 years ago she had assumed the mantle
of Serenity and restored magic to the Earth.  The rise of technological 
development far in advance of moral development had been broken.  As had the  
environmental consequences of unbridled growth.  Some had charged her with
trying to freeze the world into stasis.  She hadn't, she had merely slowed
things down in the hopes that people would think more about actions and 
consequences.  In that she had failed for a mere thousand years was 
insufficient to change the nature of humanity.  People today were no different 
than they had in her youth.  Or indeed as they had been during her first life
in the Silver Millennium.
     She thought about that name sometimes and the Queen Serenity who had
named the era.  Had she chosen the name knowing that it could not endure
forever?  That though it seemed the best of all possible worlds it must give
way someday to a different future.  
     Serenity considered the world she had brought about and smiled.  She
did not regret what she had done.  Oh there had been blunders along the way,
a myriad of things she could have done better or that people could have 
accepted with better grace.  Not to mention her foreknowledge that had put
limits on her actions that she dared not reveal.  But despite those she had
done the best she could and was proud of the world she had built.
     Still she was neither a goddess nor infallible and that was why she had
not denied Haruka and Michiru's quest to build worlds of her own.  Why she 
gifted their younger Senshi with immortality and allowed her daughter the 
choice of joining them.  It was also why Usagi would be taking something 
Serenity had long thought of as hers forever with her on the voyage.  The
Silver Crystal.
     Besides her daughter only Endymion, Azurite and Hematite knew the 
Ginzuishou was accompanying Usagi.  The illusion in the Crystal's chamber was
perfect.  There had been no real choice, Usagi had to take it.  It was both 
the source of her powers and her birthright.  Without it Usagi could not draw
upon the lunar mana she needed to become Sailor Moon.  Or Younger Moon as the
Golden Millennialists insisted on her calling her.  
     While it would be odd not to have the Ginzuishou in Crystal Tokyo after
all these centuries Serenity didn't need it.  She derived her powers from the 
mana wells beneath Crystal Tokyo not the Ginzuishou.  She rarely used it, only 
on those rare occasions when she needed its reality altering powers did it 
leave its display case.  In fact she hadn't actually used it since she granted 
Naru's heart's desire several years earlier.  That had been at Ferrite's 
suggestion which had surprised her for she thought he had no use for Naru's 
husband or any of his kind.  But then she had never been able to predict 
Ferrite's behaviour.  Despite her best intentions her last effort to end the 
ill will between them had been a dismal failure.  
     It had seemed so obvious to her.  Azurite and Ferrite deserved a reward 
for their efforts on behalf of Crystal Tokyo.  Beside it would have been a 
shame and a waste not to have their talents available.  The simple answer was 
to make Sailor Arcturus an official Senshi and name Pyrite a Lord bringing
both into the court.  But unlike Ti, Azurite had never been interested in 
being a Sailor Senshi.  The Arcturus identity had merely been a convenience 
in the days she had to hide her identity and she had revived it purely for the 
duration of the war.  Otherwise she saw no reason to assume a false name.
     Then Serenity had a brainstorm.  She would recreate the Four Guardians of 
antiquity.  In name if not fact for the rituals to bind Earth power to the 
chosen were long gone.  But as all her choices for the new Guardians already 
had powers that was unnecessary.  The ceremony to bestow the rank would be 
merely symbolic.  In more ways than one for three of her four candidates were 
the children of the last Guardians of Silver Millennium.  They could restore 
honour to the posts their fathers had tarnished.
     The plan was simple, change Calcite's title from Lord to Guardian and 
offer the rank to Azurite and Pyrite.  Both had thanked her and accepted it.
The fourth place was reserved for Ferrite.  The last of the original Guardians
he would provide a symbolic continuation of the revived rank.  Hopefully it 
would also heal the growing rift between him and Crystal Tokyo.  This last 
hope had been unfulfilled
     Ferrite had been incensed.  He had proclaimed that Guardians were for the
Earth and of the Earth.  To name youma Guardians was to make a mockery of all
the true Guardians who had ever held the office.  He had then blasted Endymion
for allowing Serenity to bestow a rank that he alone had the right to grant.
He was the reborn Earth King, Serenity's true realm was the Moon!  He had been
less than mollified by Endymion's declaration that he was not King of the
Earth, never would be and Serenity the true heart of the world.  Ferrite had 
stormed off leaving them scrambling for a fourth candidate.  Which had been
Christine Phobos, supposedly the sole human member of the Guardians of Crystal
Tokyo.  Why Chrysolite wished to conceal her true nature Serenity had never
been sure but as that was the only way she'd join Serenity had acquiesced. 
     "Hey, Odango-head!"
     The voice was a lot softer that when he'd first called her that but 
Serenity snapped back to Earth.
     "You haven't called me that in ages."
     Endymion looked unapologetic, "But it always gets your attention and 
you were daydreaming."  He shook his head in mock amazement.  "In the old days
if anyone had told me the day would come that you would rather think than eat 
I would have called them mad.  Amazing!  And in only a thousand years ... 
     Rubbing the spot she had poked him Endymion got to his feet then helped 
his wife to rise.  As he drew her up he whispered, "You cannot go around 
poking Kings.  Queens are supposed to know their place."
     Serenity raised an eyebrow and just as quietly she answered, "Oh?  And  
just what are you planning to do about it, Sire?"
     "Well since the kid's going to be out of the house on behalf of my royal
dignity I will punish you.  But that will have to wait until later."
     "I shall endeavour to enjoy my brief reprieve and earn you favour again.
Or get you even more worked up.  I haven't decided yet."  With that they put
aside their anticipation things to come and joined their waiting friends. 
     Margrave had heard all that and wondered if she should prowl the palace
later in feline form.  She could get into the damndest places in as a cat and   
there could be sights a tabloid would pay top dollar for.  At least until 
Serenity shot her a brief glance that made it clear she remembered Margrave's 
exceptional hearing but advised her not to take advantage of the fact.  
Margrave shrugged and turned her attention back to the food.  For the benefit 
of those who didn't care for Shaizaarian food Pyrite had covered it with 
innocuous glamours so everyone could eat together without any outbreaks of 
nausea.  Munching on a spicy wormball Margrave found herself feeling very 
content.  Good food, pleasant conversation and (though she would never admit 
enjoying it) the pleasant glow of friendship all around.  All in all it was 
truly a beautiful day.


     For a change of pace I felt like a story about a day when there's no         
crisis and nobody is going through an emotional roller coaster.  It's also
a good way to introduce the Crystal Tokyo Bratpack as you'll be seeing
more of them in the future.  Sylvite and the two youngest Ainos will be
taking center stage in "Version 2.0" as three abandoned identities are
revived in the early days of the Golden Millennium.  As for Rhiannon/Sailor 
Charon's offspring you'll be seeing more of them.  Becky Malsin has a host of 
stories planned starring the Bratpack.
     The adventures of Azurite, Princess Usagi, Hematite and the rest of the 
Golden Millennium crew will covered in several future stories.  In addition 
to the collaborative "Space 2999" by Frank and Andy there's my side story to 
it "Cat-pain's Log : Apollo's diary".  Not to mention a whole slew of stories 
set after they return and the Golden Milennium gets rolling. 
     That's about it apart from the credits:
     Rhiannon, Brendan and their kids - Becky Malsin
     Chrysolite - Berk Watkins
     Hematite - Andy Combs and Becky Malsin
     DKR, Alan & Kodachi Aino and Sylvite - Mark Latus
     Crystal Tokyo, Serenity, Endymion and the Senshi created by Naoko
Takeuchi.  Whose work inspired all the other characters who populate
our stories and is the foundation of the SME universe.

Mark Latus
Aug. 14 '97

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