Sailor Moon Expanded

Dark Kingdom Renegades/Sailor Moon : Thy Kingdom Come
by Mark Latus

Part 1 : Gatecrashers

January 1995

    There were three homemade banners strung above the table, each in a 
different language.  The first was in kanji, the second in English (supposedly
the native language of those present) while the third was a pictographic 
script almost unknown on Earth.  The only five people in the world who could
read it were gathered in this room.  All three said the same thing, 
"Celebrating two years free from the Dark Kingdom", and were written in the
same neat hand.
     The table was almost a literal groaning board under the weight of the 
packed buffet.  To say it was excessive for a party consisting of five people  
was to radically understate the case.  Azurite tried to work out how long it 
had taken Titanite to prepare this bounty.
     "You're going to be eating leftovers for a month."
     Calcite seemed resigned to it.  "At least.  Just how much room do you 
have in your fridge?"
     "Why do I suddenly have the funny feeling I'm leaving here with a garbage 
bag full of food?  Seriously what the hell's got into her.  Last year she 
didn't do anything this excessive?"  She nodded towards Pyrite.  "Maybe we 
don't live here anymore but it's not like you never see us!"  Pyrite didn't
notice her nod being deep in conversation with Margrave.  This might have 
worried her had she not overheard the names Picard and Kirk and caught enough
to know they were debating which had been the best captain.  Probably just 
learned treklore so she'd have some way to catch his attention and get me 
worked up.  Nice try.  Something alarming suddenly occurred to her.
     "Ti didn't do anything crazy like invite the Senshi?"  Shit, that was 
just the sort of thing she might do.  She glanced over to the entertainment 
centre where Titanite was fiddling with the karioke machine.  She looked 
frustrated for a moment then was suddenly holding a medium sized mallet.  
Calcite winced as his sister pounded it three times against the casing with a 
determined expression then beamed as the indicators blinked on.  She dropped 
the mallet and it faded as it fell, vanishing entirely on the first bounce.
     "My sister, the technical expert."  Ti headed over to the table and began
fiddling with the burner under a fondue pot.
     "So Cal, was that machine a rental?"
     "It was, but I think I just bought it.  Anyway getting back to your 
other question, no it's just the five of us.  Not that she wouldn't have 
invited them if I'd let her, but she knows when I'm really adamant."
     "Good thing you gave her back all her junk or you couldn't threaten to
confiscate it again."  Calcite sighed and nodded.
     "I didn't have any choice after she managed to create psychoplasm 
artifacts.  Make anything stable and you get your cartoon stuff back, I told
her.  Now if she could just learn to make something besides hammers ... Anyway 
the reason we've got so much food is Ti decided to throw herself into this 
get-together as a way of working off some steam."
     "Something wrong?"
     "Boyfriend trouble at school."
     "She told you that?  Cause if you heard it from Margrave I'd take it with
a grain of salt."
     "She hasn't said anything about the matter to either of us."
     "So how do you know that's what bothering her?"
     "My keen sense of observation coupled with an intimate knowledge of my
sister.  Also two days back when she got home she nearly tore the door off 
its hinges, slammed it loudly enough to wake the dead, announced that all 
boys were scum and then barricaded herself in her room."
     "Ah.  Try to talking to her?" 
     "The wall opposite her bedroom is covered in mallet dents.  Should have
bounced them off my shield instead of ducking.  She calmed down but she was
refusing to talk to either of us about whatever happened.  Margrave's not even 
trying, says this isn't her field of expertise."
     "That's a relief.  Her advice for boy trouble is probably, 'rip his
throat out!'"
     "She's not quite that extreme.  Break his legs maybe but ... Anyway I've 
made it clear to Ti if she wants to talk I'm ready to listen.  But I think 
she's uncomfortable with the idea."
     "Besides being her brother you're the closest thing she's got to a father
figure.  Ti thinks a lot like a human teenage girl and I've observed there 
are things they won't tell their parents." 
     Calcite's reply was dry.  "I've noticed.  You're something of a sister 
figure to her..."
     "And to you or you'd have noticed me a few years back."  Calcite flushed.
"Just teasing.  Try not to take everything so seriously.  It all worked out 
okay ... "  She glanced over at Margrave, "... more or less."  She didn't add
the rest out loud.  "You're a smart guy Cal, but your judgement tends to shut 
down when it involves women.  Is it your karma to keep screwing yourself up 
romantically?  Well at least it can't get worse."  As she thought this Calcite  
     "Getting back to Ti, you might have better luck.  Want to have a word 
with her?  See if she needs a shoulder to cry on?"  
     Azurite considered.  "I'm not sure that's a good idea.  If she just wants
a sympathetic listener I'm willing but if she's looking for advice ... I doubt 
any of my teenage experiences parallel hers or are at all relevant.  We 
matured a lot faster, we had no choice.  I mean before I was her age ..."  She 
nodded at Pyrite.  "Ti's growing up under radically different standards from 
us.  It's not just the four of us vs the world anymore thankfully.  Frankly 
I can't really advise her ... she still has those two friends?"
     "Ikeda and Hayashi?  Sure.  She's got others but she's closest to them."
     "They might be the better choice to help her get over whatever happened. 
At least you can be sure it wasn't physical abuse.  Any boy who tries anything     
she doesn't like would regret it very quickly."
     "And as there haven't been any reports of boys turning up with massive 
mallet induced trauma we can rule that out."
     Across the room Margrave's ears twitched.  "Lucky girl.  I would have 
enjoyed being able to hammer a lot of scum during my youth.  Except I'd have 
used a spiked steel one instead of those wooden things."
     "Sorry I didn't catch that."  Pyrite looked politely baffled.  Partly 
because he had no idea what she'd just muttered but mainly because they were
actually having a conversation without her attempting to seduce him.  With
Azurite just on the opposite side of the room where she could watch them both
easily that was a real surprise.
     "Hmmm ... Sorry just woolgathering.  Anyway my point was Kirk had the
cojones you need to build a galaxy spanning empire.  Anyone threatened his
people and the prime directive went out the window.  Picard's a sensitive new 
age wimp.  If the old generation hadn't pacified the galaxy so thoroughly
Picard wouldn't be able to get away with being such a wuss."  Margrave 
actually did watch a bit of Star Trek though she preferred to cheer on the
Klingons.  The original versions from before they'd needed reasons to cause 
trouble.  Pity they always lost.
     "I have to disagree.  Kirk's tactics would have worked in the short term
but in the longer view you'd get buried anger and hate which would inevitably
     Margrave snorted.  "Perhaps, but does the long term really matter to
us?  We've got ... I don't know ... another forty years maximum left.  Ironic, 
the humans are so much weaker and disease prone than us.  But it's been 
centuries since any youma lived much past sixty.  Even considering the 
competition element we aren't a long lived race.  Azurite's made it clear she
won't burden children with being the last of the youma, I have no maternal
instincts and Ti'll never find a male youma so it's just the five of us.
Assuming the Senshi don't decide to finish what they started another fifty 
years and we're extinct as a species.  Who cares what happens on this world 
after that?"  Pyrite twitched slightly as he stopped himself answering.  
     Margrave picked up the jump in Pyrite's apprehension.  Like Humans 
Renegades had no idea what they gave away on the olfactory level.  Or perhaps 
Pyrite did know but what could he do about it?  You can't control your scent.
Still what did it mean?  Sudden contemplation of his own mortality?  Inability 
to counter her argument?  Fear Azurite was jumping to the wrong conclusions
about their conversation?  Sometimes her heightened senses generated more 
questions than they answered.
     Pyrite kept his face blank while he wondered if he'd given his findings
away somehow.  No, she'd never been in his new lab or his old one in this
house while it was still operating.  He hadn't even told Azurite yet.  Unless
Margrave had turned mind reader she couldn't know.  She was just stating her
worldview, that's all.  One depressingly widespread among humanity which was
why they were wrecking their, and our, biosphere.  If they knew they'd be
living in their own filth for centuries they might take a longer view.  As 
everyone here except Margrave will have to learn, he thought.  But not now, 
the bombshell would wait until it was just Azure, Cal and him.
     "So what's up?"  His younger cousin's voice jolted Pyrite out of his 
brief introspection.  
     "Just talking Star Trek and youma philosophy."
     Ti rolled her eyes.  "Figures.  Why does everyone think I'm the obsessed 
one in this group?"
     "Can you create anything except mallets yet?"  She stuck her tongue out
at him.  "I'll take that as a no.  Incidentally, get the karioke machine
working again?"
     "Matter of fact yes.  Got a song picked?" Quickly, "Humming that theme 
doesn't count."
     "I can't sing.  So I'll do 'Lucy in the Sky with diamonds'.  I can't
possibly do worse than Shatner."
     "'Bad to the Bone'.  Ah our illustrious leader rejoins us.  By the way if 
you're going to set up an affair with Azurite don't do it when I can 
     Pyrite just smiled and Azurite didn't even twitch.  "Not even close."
     "I've been convinced to take it easy today so you can enjoy your 
celebration of our homeland's sorry end."
     "You're not celebrating?"
     "Not its destruction.  In case you've forgotten I was right at home in 
the Dark Kingdom.  I positively thrived."
     "Hadn't realized you were such a patriot.  Sorry we spoiled your plans to 
die with the place."
     "Don't get me wrong I have no regrets about surviving.  My point is I
didn't have to worry about exposure and it was an ideal environment for 
     "Absolutely!"  After a moment Margrave conceded, "Except for the
hidebehinds, them I can do without.  Okay I don't miss the dire butterflies 
either ... or the deadwalkers ... not to mention the mimic fungus ... I can
live without the burrower eels ... Then there were the ..."  She kept on in
this vein for a few minutes.  "Okay apart from 90% of the wildlife and most
of the youma the place was perfect.  What's so funny?"
     "Perfect except for everything and everyone in it?"
     The catwoman scowled.  "It's the principle of the thing!  You know what
I mean!"
     Azurite nodded.  "Yeah, you feel some perverse need to stick up for the
place despite hating it as much as the rest of us."
     Margrave hissed and Ti decided she'd better break this up before it
escalated.  "Cal, how about a toast?"
     "Well it's a little early but why not?"  Hopefully Margrave wouldn't
drink as much as she had the previous year.  During that first anniversary 
celebration she'd sulked all evening while emptying his liquor cabinet.  
Which had lead to her becoming extremely maudlin over losing the Kingdom
before challenging Azurite to a fight.  Azurite had ignored her as Margrave
could barely stand by this point.  This seemed to infuriate her and she 
charged Azurite.  At least she tried to.  Staggered forward with purpose was a 
better description.  At which point she'd caught a toeclaw on the carpet, 
tripped and gone down hard then started snoring like a rusty saw.  They'd left 
her to sleep it off, stepped around her the rest of the night.  Azurite said 
it was purely by chance she spilled the chocolate fondue while clearing up the 
dessert dishes.  Not that she was going to lose any sleep over it.  At any 
rate it didn't wake Margrave up though her mood the next day was fairly foul 
faced with both a hangover and having to cut off the matted fur.  The 
following few days had been more chaotic than usual.
     Things had been much quieter since Azurite and Pyrite moved out a few 
months ago and the feuding became mainly long distance.  Though never dull.  
Things never seemed to quiet down in Tokyo these days.  Though most of the 
more bizarre events were dismissed as urban myths throughout the rest of 
Japan and would be totally unknown in the rest of the world if not for the 
internet.  Cynics might say the large number of webpages devoted to the Senshi 
had less to do with a belief in their existence than in the brevity of their 
attire.  Regardless of how many people truly believed in them there was a 
large market for anything bearing their image.  This was particularly 
attractive to toy companies due to the lack of copyright on their images.  
Resulting in the mass merchandising of all the Sailor Senshi, including the 
pseudo Senshi Polaris & Arcturus.  Which was how the laser discs which 
comprised tonight's entertainment had come to be made.  
     Titanite had managed to make Calcite agree to sit through the animated
Sailor V movie.  It had been a bit harder to get Azurite to agree to watch the 
Sailor Arcturus movie again as she was heartily sick of it.  But she'd agreed 
to it just this once.  Margrave was looking forward to the chance to heckle 
Azurite's performance yet again.
     There was a pop and a cork sailed across the room.  Margrave idly slashed 
out as it passed and bisected it.  Half of it angled off and just missed 
Azurite's face.  She didn't flinch and Margrave shrugged mentally.  As the 
Dom Perigon bubbled out Calcite filled the glasses.  Titanite was under the
age to drink but it would take a lot more than this to get past her renegade
metabolism so where was the harm?
     Calcite paused for a moment to make a toast.  He'd meant to scribble down 
a few thoughts but he'd never got around to it.  Have to ad-lib.  "Well here   
we are again.  Two years ago we ... most of us, bid a farewell to the Dark
Kingdom and we've never looked back.  While things didn't work quite as 
planned and we still find ourselves unable to leave Tokyo we don't regret our
new lives.  While we've been doing our best to live quietly we have had a few
adventures.  Some of which could have been avoided."  Titanite blushed.  
"Still what's done is done so let's not dwell on that.  Quite a few remarkable
things happened in the past year.  Margrave and Azurite actually spent an
evening being nice to one another."  Azurite scowled and Calcite dodged a cuff
from Margrave.  He continued without pausing.  "Titanite unlocked her 
psychoplasm shaping abilities and has proven girls with mallets are indeed
very dangerous to cross."  Titanite blushed again.  "Pyrite ... well thanks 
to Ti we've confirmed that your dimensional absorption theory is right.  As 
for me ... I've learned that migrating to another version of Tokyo is not an 
option.  Unless I ever decide I want to become a demented martial artist or a 
girl crazed gun for hire.  And I think I'm screwed already up enough."  
Everyone laughed.  "So a toast to the start of our third year on Earth.  And
the hope that life will begin to make sense."
     They were draining their glasses when the beeping started.  Everyone 
looked at the coatrack.  Pyrite strode over and withdrew a pager from his 
jacket.  He studied it for a moment then swore quietly.
     "I'm afraid we aren't off to a very good start."
     "What's wrong?"  Azurite was looking edgy.  She knew when he was really
     "Remember the gatepoint?  Sorry, stupid question.  According to this the
gate's been activated.  Something's coming through from outside."
     Calcite tensed.  "And we're the only ones who know it?"
     "Probably.  The sensors have never picked Senshi activity around that 
area so I don't think they know it exists.  Right now all I can tell you is 
there's two entities.  Their gate seems unstable so it's screwing up the 
     "Which means go have a look for ourselves."  Azurite caught his look and
nodded.  There was a flicker to his side and he saw Ti wearing her Sailor
Polaris costume.  Before she could speak he said, "If I forbid you to come 
you'll just teleport there yourself.  So you'll be safer if you come with us."  
She stood there with her mouth open.  Azurite frowned but couldn't disagree 
with his logic.  Calcite vanished, reappearing in his bedroom.  He opened a 
dresser drawer and slid on the wristband.  Downstairs Azurite retrieved her 
purse, withdrawing her transmuter bracelet and activated it.  Her clothing 
shifted into the Sailor Arcturus pattern.  A moment's thought and she 
activated the bracelet's second pattern.  Her boots morphed to a flat heel 
design, otherwise the costume was unchanged.  It was too icy outside for 
messing around on stilettos no matter how good her balance.  Calcite 
reappeared wearing his grey body armour.  His face flickered as he activated 
his glamour and became the taciturn English superhero Gray.  Azurite was about 
to link to Calcite's jump initialization when she saw Pyrite's clothing morph.  
It shifted to become an ST : Next Generation Captain's uniform, minus the 
insignia and with the black and red reversed.  His face shifted as he 
activated a glamour of his own design.  
     "What the hell are you playing at?"
     "On site inspection.  Whatever's going on might need me on the scene."
     Azurite choked off the protest she was about to make.  "Just hit the 
ground and shield if any shooting starts."  He nodded.  "What's with the face?
It look sort of familiar."
     "You and Ti are masked Senshi but I decided it wasn't my style so I 
designed this glamour to conceal my identity.  Picard's face with Kirk's eyes 
and hairline."  She sighed, she'd had to ask.  At which point Margrave 
ducked back into the room wearing a transmuter bracelet.  Pyrite recognised
it as Ti's original.  Months ago he'd replaced them with a design keyed to 
the wearer alone.  He'd done that to prevent accidental activation in case the
transmuter was lost or stolen.    
     "Not leaving me behind are you."  She tapped the bracelet and the minimal
clothing she'd been wearing melted and reshaped itself.  Her new outfit was 
reminiscent of the playboy bunny attire except cat ears and a two foot long
furry tail substituted for the bunny ears and powderpuff on the backside.
     "There we go, one secret identity.  In case this is trouble I'd like to
know what we're up against.  Then I can decide whether to run or fight."  
Margrave wasn't actually that keen to find a fight.  But in case the renegades 
never came back she'd want to know what did it and why.  Instead of cowering 
here waiting for it to find her.  Besides this might not be a threat and could
be interesting.
     Azurite smiled faintly.  "Curiosity killed the cat."
     "You wish!"
     Calcite just looked at her.  "You don't leave here looking nonhuman.  And 
you're not going to blow the Catharine identity by using that!"
     Margrave just grinned.  "Not a problem."  Her features shifted and she  
became a familiar looking blond as the glamour overlaid her body.  Calcite
sighed.  Pyrite studied her in puzzlement.  Why did he recognise her?  He'd 
never seen Margrave use this glamour before.
     Azurite muttered, "Michelle Pfeiffer."  
     That was why she looked familiar.  "But why ....?"
     "Catwoman."  Of course.  That explained it.
     Margrave wrapped herself around Calcite as the Renegades linked their
teleport.  A flare of light and the house was empty.
     Like many January days in Tokyo it was bitterly cold outside.  So it
wasn't surprising that the park was deserted.  Not that there was any reason  
to be here, the flowerbeds and trees were bare, the walkways were slippery
and the ground covered with a thin dusting of snow.  So there was no one to
hear the howl as the black whirlpool opened in midair.  It expanded to a 
diameter of seven feet, the last six inches cutting into the ground.  It 
suddenly contracted to a six feet circle then pulsed and resumed the larger 
size.  Its size slipped again and an observer would have noted the pulsations 
were irregular in occupance.  This same hypothetical observer staring into the 
vortex would have seen two bright figures within.  Two figures either growing
in size or getting closer.
     The detached feeling filling Makoto Kino's mind vanished abruptly as she  
slammed headfirst into cold concrete.  Reality returned in a hurry and she
reached for her stinging cheek.  Then froze.  For a moment her glove appeared
to waver as if the transformation was deactivating.  Then it was as solid it
had always been, though still far from its once pristine white.  What the
hell was she doing staring at her glove?  She had to take the lay of the land
immediately!  Get up and ... why was it so bright?  It couldn't be!  She 
looked up into the sky.  It was darkening as dusk approached but it was almost
cloudless.  There was no denying that the sky was blue!  She felt her eyes
running.  She was surprised, she hadn't thought she had any tears left.
     "It's so beautiful."  She forgot all her hard learned combat experience
and just gazed upwards.  No thought of ambush or studying the terrain for
cover.  Then the sound of Ami swearing penetrated.  
     Ami was frantically punching commands into her terminal with her free 
hand.  The other arm cradled the assemblage of crystal rods it was linked 
into.  Even to Makoto's untrained eye something looked very wrong.  The 
gateway was fluctuating wildly, faster and faster.  There was a sound like 
sheet metal tearing and it collapsed inward.  Within a second it was gone.  
Ami slammed the crystalline machine to the ground and screamed, "Lousy piece 
of youma junk!"  The crystals had lost their yellow glow and were now either 
merely transparent or a dull white.  She kicked the hapless device, it slammed 
across the park and impacted a tree resulting in a small shower of snow as the 
branches shook.  Makoto reached a hand towards her friend.  "Easy Ami.  We 
made it!"  She hesitated then looked around.  "At least we're somewhere else.  
That much went perfect."  Ami looked as if she was about to slap her but she 
regained enough self control to stop herself.  Her voice was low and angry.
     "You don't understand.  The gateway has completely collapsed!  That alone
wouldn't be a disaster but the warpgenerator has burned out!"   
     "Well if you repair it ...."
     "How!  It's magic not technology based!  It's not even human magic.  I 
was barely able to integrate my computer into it and gain control its 
functions.  Twisting it to our specifications was nearly impossible.  An 80% 
chance of success was the best I could manage!"
     "80%?!"  Makoto was staring at her.  "You mean there was a 20% chance it
wouldn't work."  She was hoping Ami would nod but she shook her head.  
     "No.  I mean once I got it working there was a 20% chance we wouldn't 
make it through the gateway."
     "Well great.  Thanks for sharing that with me!"  Makoto was looking angry
herself.  "Why the hell didn't you tell me."
     Ami met her gaze.  "I couldn't take the chance you'd refuse."
     Makoto managed to choke down her angry denial.  Quietly she said, "I am
not a coward.  I would not have hesitated."  She ignored the voice inside
which jeered she'd run at the North Pole.  That had been different.  She'd
sworn never to fail like that again.  And what if I hadn't?  We'd both have 
died there Ami.  I saved your life but I don't think you thank me for it.  All 
it meant to you was you've had to watch the world crumble around you.  Well
I've had to suffer that too.  You think you're the only one smart enough to be
torn apart?  I know what's happened, how everyone suffered.  I've known its
hopeless for months but I've kept going.  Why can't you trust me?
     "Sorry."  The curt voice broke through her self pity.
     "I said I'm sorry.  You're right, I should have told you the risks.  I
... I was afraid you'd say no.  A failure of will on my part."
     Just when she'd decide Ami had become a heartless bitch she'd do 
something like this.  Hesitantly, "Well, I guess you've had reasons to doubt 
me ..."
     "Don't be stupid we'd all have been slaughtered back then even if you 
hadn't been hurt.  Now, question is where are we?"
     Back to business.  Makoto collected her thought.  "Well I've been looking
around and the skyline looks like Tokyo before ..."
     Ami nodded.  "We've travelled dimensions but there's no way to be certain
this is the right one.  Now that I stop to think about it if this is the world 
we were aiming for then we should be okay."  Makoto looked puzzled.   "Our 
mystery senshi must have had her own method of travelling dimensions.  If 
she's on this world we can have her open the gate back home."
     "So all we have to do is find her."
     Ami smiled mirthlessly.  "I wouldn't worry.  Senshi seem to be drawn
together either by fate or chance.  If there's Senshi on this world it's
inevitable that we'll meet them."  She sighed.  "The only real question is
if there's a Sailor Moon or equivalent on this world.  If there is and she's 
got the ginzuishou we've got a chance."  She didn't speak her next thoughts 
     "If there isn't and it's hopeless do we look for a way back or stay here?  
Whatever problems this world has it can't compare to the nightmare ours has
become.  Dammit I didn't choose this life, it was chosen for me before I was 
born.  Why do we have to keep fighting?  Haven't we sacrificed enough?  If I 
stay here then I don't have to kill Ryo.  What did we do that was so terrible 
in first lives that we were damned like this.  I want my life back!"
     "Ami!"  She felt Makoto's hand on her shoulder.  "You were zoning out
     Ami brushed her hand off.  "I'll have to watch that."  Makoto took no
insult.  Ami seemed to have decided that showing any chink in her icy shell
meant weakness.  Being cold and logical was how Ami kept going.  As for me,
I guess I keep going because I'm too stupid to accept we're beaten.  She shook 
her head at the thought.  A lousy reason, but it's all I've got left apart 
from Ami.  Without each other to keep us going we'd fold up and die.    
     Ami had crossed over to where she'd kicked the device.  She punched in a
command and the computer retracted the probes it had linked into the device.
She had no real idea of this machine's capabilities.  It came with no manual 
and she'd have to puzzle it out.  A lot of times she'd just say "do this" and
it would.  Then she'd have to figure out how and try to deduce principles
from that action so she'd learn other functions.  It was obviously part of a
larger whole but it refused to provide any information about the main system.
Some sort of security lockout.  But who'd established it and why?  Luna hadn't
known, Artemis she'd never asked.  If he'd known the knowledge died with him.
      The air shimmered and five figures materialized behind them.  Makoto
stared at them in wonder.  The men she didn't know, she'd got an indistinct
look at two of the three figures who'd passed through.  Perhaps the local
equivalents of Tuxedo Kamen.  The third she recognised, the unknown Senshi.  
Standard senshi uniform with a yellow skirt and bow.  Wearing a yellow mask 
similar to the one Minako had worn in her days as Sailor A.  The woman in the 
playboy-kitty getup looked oddly familiar but it was the final figure who 
caught her attention.  She looked to be in her early twenties.  Instead of 
white her bodysuit and gloves were a bright red.  The rest of her outfit 
seemed a bit heavy on the black leather and spikes.  What kind of Senshi did 
they have around here anyway?  
     Titanite was very surprised that the Senshi had got here before them. 
She was even more surprised by the appearance of Sailors Mercury and Jupiter.
Both looked like they'd been through rough times.  The most minor change was 
their hair.  Jupiter's was cropped back into a bowl cut shorter than 
Mercury's had been.  Mercury's was cut even further back into a severe 
crewcut.  A little shorter and she'd look like Sinead O'Conner.  The costumes
of both had obviously seen better days.  The skirts and ribbons were frayed,
patched and stitched.  Instead of white the bodysuits and gloves of both were
grey with miscellaneous stains.  Their boots were travelworn and tattered.
     On top of that were the physical marks on both.  Jupiter had a large
white scar running the length of her left thigh.  Mercury's bodysuit was
obviously still skintight but no longer smooth.  Instead it showed bulges and
lines all over her torso and breasts.  Which hinted at injury underneath.
Both looked thinner than she remembered, almost gaunt.  What in the name of 
whatever gods there were had happened to them?
     Makoto watched the Senshi in yellow carefully.  There seemed to be 
recognition in her eyes.  Yet she didn't call her name or act like a close
friend.  What did that mean?  Rival Senshi like those other two, Poseidon and
Heaven?  Arrogant pair of ...  They'd brushed her and Ami off as useless then
tackled the Overlord themselves.  She shook the distain off, no one should 
suffer a fate like theirs.
     Pyrite hadn't been idle during this period.  How the Senshi had got here 
first he didn't know but he was ignoring them to concentrate on scanning the
area.  The readings were clearing with the disappearance of the unstable gate
but he was unable to pick up any alien presence in the vicinity.  As there
were no teleport signatures he had to assume the entities had left on foot.
In which case they must have been extremely fast as he wasn't picking anything
     Then it struck him.  Two entities, two Senshi!  What if they were the
interdimensional intruders!  He had to tell the others!  He was about to speak
when he realized how Azurite, Calcite and Margrave were watching the Senshi.
Being more practical they'd drawn the inference almost immediately.  Well they 
were all standing here staring at each other.  Someone should say something.
He was about to speak when he heard a shocked exclamation from the Sailor
Mercury variant.
     She was looking down at the computer in her hand in horror.  At her feet 
was what appeared to be a warpfield generator.  Groups of those them had been 
used to punch the gateways between Earth and the Kingdom.  Like most of the
devices created by Beryl's pet scientists they were inefficient, bulky and
used magics that should have been obsolete centuries earlier.  Good grief,
he'd produced hand held units with much greater range that could open an  
existing gatepoint.  Admittedly it was easier to travel from Earth than the
Kingdom and vast banks of the generators had been needed to create the initial
gate to Tokyo.  But give him the same resources and he'd have it done in half
the time, with a tenth as many generators and created a much more versatile
gateway.   You'd have to be crazy or desperate to try crossing to another
universe with one of those.  The Kingdom had been part of Earth's overall
continuum and it was still nigh impossible to get anywhere with one of those.  
That's when reality penetrated his technical assessment.  The Mercury 
lookalike screamed "Youma!" and the Jupiter replica looked to her in 
     "They're youma!  The Dark Circle itself!"  While her comrade was trying
to digest this she dropped her computer which promptly vanished and raised
her hands.  Then everything went crazy.
     Azurite shoved him hard sending him flying backwards.  Calcite was about
to toss Titanite aside when Margrave grabbed her and dashed away.  Calcite and
Azurite leapt away in opposite directions as the bolt of focused cold tore 
through the space the group had occupied.  The battlecry that accompanied
this didn't contain the words "Shabon" or "Mercury".  It sounded a lot more 
like, "DIE YOU [unintelligible, possibly obscene] BASTARDS!"
     Makoto was still trying to make sense of what Ami had just said when 
she opened fire on the group.  Makoto's combat instincts kicked in and she 
summoned power, turning to help her friend.  Ami spun to fire on the Senshi
in red then danced aside as something tore down and shattered the concrete in
front of her.  Makoto aimed a lightning strike at the landing red Senshi which
went wild as the man in grey hit her with a shockwave.  She hit the ground 
rolling and fired off a swarm of small ball lightning in his direction.  While
he was dodging she snapped to her feet and got moving.  Ami and the red
Senshi were still duelling.  Ami had shut up and was fighting in her 
methodical and lethal pattern.  Except it wasn't working and Ami was having to 
dodge windbursts which snapped limbs off the trees.  They didn't look strong 
enough to kill, just disable.  Looked like the youma wanted them alive for 
     Watching from ground level Pyrite was getting worried.  The Senshi were
fighting to kill while Cal and Azure were still trying for a capture.  A
ball charged with a stunning burst of energy tore towards the Jupiter clone.
She dodged aside and answered it with a lethal bolt of electricity.  Calcite 
had already shifted positions.  Pyrite cursed.  They must think killing these 
Senshi would bring the others hunting for them.  In fact they still didn't 
know for sure these weren't the Senshi who belonged here.  They could have 
left this dimension by a different gate (if there were now any other 
gatepoints in the world) and returned through this one.  Neither of the  
Senshi were giving their attack cries.  They were fighting silently with a
ferocity that could match a youma's.
     Margrave was huddled low, keeping Titanite under her.  She must be trying
to keep herself within Titanite's shield.  Titanite broke Margrave's grip and 
dashed towards the fighting.  Pyrite started to rise then thought better of
it.  Last thing Azurite needed was another distraction.  A Polaris Missile
screamed towards the Mercury duplicate as she threw a mallet at the Jupiter
lookalike.  Her cry of "Polaris Hammer!" warned the latter so she dodged that
but got caught by the fringe of Calcite's shockwave.  This wasn't good.  Ti
was distracting the Senshi for now but that also gave them another target.  If
Cal and Azure couldn't take the Senshi down immediately they'd switch to 
fighting to kill to protect Ti.
     Margrave scuttled over to join him.  "Pyrite, how about you teleport us
out of here?"
     "I have this habit of dying when I'm struck by lightning or my body 
temperature drops to minus 100 degrees."
     "Run out on everyone?!"
     "Be sensible damnit!  We're out of our league with those power levels.  
Your shield won't last a second against their attacks.  We're just a 
distraction to them."
     "I'm not abandoning them."
     "I'm not asking you to, this will help them.  I grab Ti, race back here, 
then you teleport the three of us home.  Without any of us to worry about Cal
and Azzie will mop the floor with these lunatics."
     "It won't work!"
     "Sure it will!"
     "That's not what I mean.  We drag Ti out of here and she'll teleport
herself back immediately.  Which means she'll jump blind into a warzone."
     Margrave swore.  He was right.  Have to get to Ti, knock her out or daze 
her at least then get back to Pyrite.  He could come with me ... No, that'll
distract Azurite and this is the wrong time to do that.  Right now we can't
afford to lose her.  How the hell do I get to Ti without being flash frozen
or electrocuted?
     She was wondering this and Calcite was distracted lightning lady from
Titanite when she heard footsteps approaching rapidly.  Shit, were those 
reinforcements for the Senshi?
     The answer to that could be found a few minutes earlier not far away.
Despite the cold a group of five girls was wandering the streets.  Usagi 
Tsukino was shivering the most and looking for someplace warm and with food
to duck into.  If only Mamoru-chan had been around, they should be together
on this day of all days.  But he'd had to leave town suddenly.  A distant aunt
in Kyoto, one of his few remaining relatives had taken sick.  She was unlikely
to recover.  They weren't particularly close but he'd felt a family obligation
to see her before the end.  It would have been difficult to explain Usagi's
presence to his cousins (not to mention to her parents) so she'd had to stay
behind.  Despite what today meant.
     Last year, same as this year they'd all met at the shrine.  They hadn't
talked about the events of exactly a year ago but they'd all felt they had to 
be together.  The same thing had happened this year.  At least she'd managed  
to ditch Chibi-Usa.  Her daughter to be had taken a look outside and said only
an idiot would go out on a day this cold.  So Usagi had better hurry up and
kept going.  
     After the inevitable tussle she'd got going.  Luna had chosen to stay 
behind in the warm house and relax as there were no crisis currently.  When
she'd got to the shrine Makoto, Ami and Minako (sans Artemis, same reason as
Luna) were already there.  They'd talked, eaten the snacks Makoto brought
along (which lead to the inevitable scuffle between Usagi and Rei), and 
avoided all mention of what this date meant.
     Two years ago they'd won their first major victory.  In many ways it was  
also their greatest defeat.  Today they were more powerful, things would be
different if it happened again.  But back then ...
     The attack on the Dark Kingdom was in many ways a debacle.  Only Sailor
Moon survived to enter the Kingdom.  She freed Mamoru from Beryl's control
but almost immediately had to watch him die to protect her.  What she'd done
next was not done for vengeance but to protect the Earth.  She'd unleashed
the full power of the Ginzuishou and destroyed both Queen Metallia (who'd
merged with Beryl) and the world of the youma before dying having burned out
her life force to power the attack.  That should have been the end of it.
Instead it was a new beginning.
     Somehow the six of them had been reborn without any memory of what they'd 
become in the preceding year.  The Ginzuisho had acted on Usagi's final wish 
for a normal life for herself and her friends.  But normality was no longer 
possible for them and a few months later they'd regained their memories.  They 
never spoke about their final moments at the North Pole.  But they never 
forgot them.
     Today they'd all felt restless and had gone out walking despite the 
cold.  Usagi had gone along with this at first but was now approaching her
whining threshold.  She felt her teeth chatter and was about to suggest a 
retreat when Minako spoke.
     "Y'know I ran into that youma girl about a week back."  That broke the
silence.  Minako had been trying to think of something to say.  They'd been
walking quietly for a few minutes which turned her thoughts places she didn't
want them to go.  She'd been reminded of the matter by seeing the discarded
box of a Sailor Arcturus doll stuffed in a trashbin.  According to the wrapper
this doll was equipped with "Power arm for special whip cracking action.
Authentic Arcturus design whip included".  A slight addition on the part of 
the toy manufacturers as Azurite's costume lacked that accessory.
     At any rate this reminder of Sailor Arcturus had lead to remembering 
Sailor Polaris which triggered the recollection of the recent meeting."
     "What youma girl?"  Makoto looked puzzled.
     "Sailor Polaris!  The one who was in my school?  Sister of my old enemy
Lord Calcite."
     Rei nodded, "I remember her.  That was about a year ... year and a half 
ago.  Lotta stuff's happened since then."
     Ami chimed in, "Chibi-Usa, the Black Moon, the Deathbusters, Neptune, 
Uranus, Pluto and Saturn ..."
     Makoto picked it up, "Also Fiore and all the other stuff.  No shortage of 
things.  Haven't really thought about the youma Senshi in ages.  I knew they 
were out there but ..."
     That reminded Usagi of something.  "I remember now, Haruka-san asked me
a few months ago if we were friends with Sailor Arcturus.  I said yes and I'd
thought Polaris seemed nice.  Shame they decided to avoid us."
     Rei frowned.  "First I've heard about that."
     "I forgot to mention it."
     "Figures.  You'd forget your head if it was nailed on."
     "Take that back."
     "Why should I?"
     A brief razzing duel began but stopped almost immediately as it was too
cold to expose your tongue for long.
     Minako was feeling rather ignored.  "Hey!  I was the one with the 
     "Sorry, go ahead Mina-chan."
     "That's more like it.  This was a little over a week ago and I was out
on my own for a change."  She decided not to mention that was because her
date had stood her up.  What she didn't know was the boy in question had a
morbid fear of cats and had seen Artemis riding on her shoulder as he 
approached from behind.  He'd turned around and left sure he could never get
on with a girl who liked cats.  "Now I was walking down the street when I
saw these three girls approaching ..."
     Fuming over having been stood up Minako stalked along the street.  Just
let the some supernatural idiot cause trouble tonight.  She wasn't looking 
where she was going so it took Artemis's frantic hiss to make her look up
and see she was about to walk into a trio of girls.  She immediately turned
,as though she'd sighted her destination and had never been going to hit them,
and walked straight into the street's retaining wall. 
     Artemis had jumped away just before impact and shook his head as Minako
went down.  The middle girl asked Minako, "Are you all right?" and reached
down to help her to her feet.  The dazed Minako reached out automatically then
saw her rescuer grin with recognition.  "Aino-san.  It's been a while."
     Minako let the brunette help her to her feet as she tried to work out 
who she was.  Suddenly she knew.  She was about to address her as Sailor
Polaris when she realized they had company.  The two girls on either side of 
the pseudo Senshi.  She got lucky and remembered the names.  "Hobbes-san"
     "Titania.  Though I prefer Ti."
     "Ti-chan, you know her?"  The girl on the right sounded a little 
unfriendly.  As though she suspected Minako was here to steal her friend.
She was a little on the chubby side but still pounds away from being fat. 
Being bundled up against the cold made her look heavier than she really was.
Short black hair, about three inches smaller than Minako.  The girl on the
left was just a little shorter than Makoto but a lot slenderer.  She wore
round frame glasses and seemed to be sheltering behind Polaris.  Definitely
the shy type.
     "Indeed I do Meiko-chan.  This is Minako Aino.  We were in the same 
school for about six months.  But then we moved and I had to transfer.  As I
met you guys when I did that everything worked out.  Aino-san these are my
friends Meiko and Kaori ... Sorry I should say Ikeda and Hayashi.  I still 
keep getting that 'give your family name except to close friends' bit wrong."
     "Guess it comes from not being born around here."
     "I guess."  She seemed naturally bubbly.  Not as much as Usagi but more
like Minako herself under normal circumstances.  Minako felt herself cheering
up a bit until something occurred to her.  Somewhat coldly she asked, "How's
your brother."
     She didn't seem to notice the tone.  "Oh he's fine.  Still takes things
way to serious but there's times that's a very good thing.  I can get a
little ... what a cute kitty."  She kneeled down to pet Artemis.  He purred
as she rubbed his ears.  There was an odd faint scent clinging to her.  Like
cat and yet ...
     "May I ... may I pet him?"  It was the shy girl, Kaori.  She looked 
embarrassed at asking.  Minako nodded and Titanite (that was her real name,
Minako recalled) relinquished her place.  Kaori mumbled something about her
parents not letting her have any pets.  Titanite asked Minako a few questions 
about school and seemed glad to hear Saito-sensei was doing well.  Minako
repeated the gossip that she'd be getting married soon.
     "So your brother got over her.  Get anyone else?"  That got a snort from
Meiko and a headshaking.
     "Yes.  She's living with us actually.  Meiko thinks Margrave ... full
name's Catharine Margrave, is a character."
     "Is she?"
     "Well she's a free spirit.  But she's never dull and a lot of fun."
     Kaori straightened up and handed Artemis back to Minako.  "Thank you."
     "No problem, he likes attention.  Just don't preen so much or Luna will
kick you out again."  The last was directed to Artemis.
     Meiko decided to try a friendly overture.  If Ti-chan liked this girl she
must be okay.  But then Ti got on with everybody in school.  Except the bad
girl types and they went out of their way to avoid Ti.  She'd originally 
hung around with Ti for protection.  Then found she really liked the English 
girl and they had a lot of common interests.  Ti had been the one to bring
Kaori into their little circle and she'd gained a friend she wouldn't have
had otherwise due to the other girl's shyness.  
     "So was Ti-chan the softball ace at your school?" 
     Minako looked surprised and Kaori chimed in.  "Ti-chan's great.  She can
hit a ball farther than anyone.  She's got more home runs than the rest of 
the team combined.  She's a great catcher too.  If she could just pitch better
she'd be a perfect all round player.  But she's getting much better!"  Kaori
suddenly went red, embarrassed at gushing on at a total stranger.  Titanite
looked a little embarrassed herself.  She tried not to overdo it but even
holding herself back she was a better athlete than anyone else in the school.
If they ever saw what she could really do they'd totally freak.
     Minako shook her head.  "No.  At least not as far as I remember.  I 
don't really follow softball.  It's not a proper sport."  Before Meiko could
take offense Ti asked, "So what is a proper sport?"
     "Volleyball!  And I'm number one at that!"  Minako spent the next few
minutes going over her accomplishments.  Ti noticed her friends eyes' glazing
over and as politely as possible suggested they had to be going.  With an
exchange of goodbyes the trio continued on their way.  Minako looked after 
them.  Everything seemed okay and yet ...   Artemis suddenly jumped to the 
top of the wall and raced after the girls.  Minako ducked into a bus shelter 
and waited for his return.  Ten minutes later he was back.
     Artemis shrugged.  At least to the extent a cat could.  "Well nobody
suddenly turned into a demon queen and said, 'Hah, we fooled Sailor Venus!'
Far as I can tell the others are just ordinary girls."
     "Far as you can tell?"
     "According to everything my senses tell me Titania, or Titanite which I
believe is her real name, is also a normal girl." 
     "Ah.  So what were they talking about?"
     "Well about if she liked her current school better than the old.  Which
she does.  Then your name came up."
     "What'd they say?"
     "Well I don't want to gossip ..."  He caught the look Minako gave him,
"... But I'll make an exception.  The heavy one asked why you kept asking
about her brother.  She looked around for passersby.  There were none and she
didn't spot me.  Then she said, 'Well keep it to yourselves but when we were
in the same school she had a major crush on him.'  Then the shy one said she
could understand that because he's very handsome.  Then she blushed, guess
she's got a crush on him.  With that the talk turned to boys and I left."  
     Minako scowled.  "She told them I had a crush on him!"
     Artemis eased his left rear leg up to scratch behind his ear.  "Well I
guess she could have told them the truth.  Something like, 'Well back when 
Minako was Sailor V my brother was her Arch Nemesis, Lord Calcite.'  Course
that wouldn't exactly help matters."
     "Okay, I get the point.  Let's go home."

     Usagi looked at Minako in surprise.  "You had a crush on your arch enemy?
Like Romeo and Juliet.  How romantic."
     Minako felt one of those giant sweat drops forming and it was far too 
cold for that.  "I didn't have a crush on him!  She just made that up to 
satisfy their curiosity!"
     Usagi didn't seem to notice.  "And I thought you said you were fighting 
him over in England.  How about that!"
     Makoto grinned and poked her, "You slacker."
     Rei glared.  "Never date the enemy!"
     Ami gave her a look of mock sorrow.  "I'm really disappointed in you 
     Minako begin to heat up which would have kept the teasing going a lot 
longer.  Except suddenly the stillness of the day was shattered by the howl
of powerful wind and the crackle of electricity.
     It was coming from the nearby park.  Coincidentally enough the place
they'd first met Sailor Arcturus and the fake Zoisite.  Usagi took everyone
by surprise by saying,  "Let's transform and check it out!"
     Rei stared at her in disbelief.  "Are you feverish?"
     "No.  I've just realized I'll be a lot warmer as Sailor Moon.  If I could
survive the North Pole then a Tokyo winter will be a cinch."  Everyone else
face faulted.  While they were doing that Usagi invoked the change.
     "Moon Cosmic Power Make Up!"
     She felt the familiar transformation.  The cold receded to a minor 
annoyance despite now wearing a lot less in the way of clothing.  Everyone
else decided to follow suit.
     "Mars Star Power, Make Up!"
     "Mercury Star Power, Make Up!"
     "Jupiter Star Power, Make Up!"
     "Venus Star Power, Make Up!"
     As soon as the change was complete Mercury took out her computer and 
scanned the park.  She frowned.  "There are four ... correction five entities 
throwing a lot of power around in there.  It's identifying three of them as
Gray, Sailor Arcturus and Sailor Polaris.  The other two are unidentified."
In fact the computer was signalling scanning error regarding the other two.
She'd never seen it do that before.
     "Let's go!"  With that they followed Venus into the park.  Easily leaping 
the fence bearing the sign.  "Park closed.  No Winter Maintenance."
     Inside the park the fighting continued unabated.  Ami countered her
opponent's fireball with an ice burst.  It blinked out immediately and she 
realized it was a decoy.  She was slammed backwards towards a tree by a very
localized gale.  Ami spun in the air and managed to hit it feet first.  She 
bounced away throwing another cold burst towards her enemy.  This wasn't good. 
These youma seemed tougher than the others they'd faced.  Only natural if they
were this universe's version of the Dark Circle.  Thankfully none were 
displaying Overlord level power.  She'd tried to blind them with her fog
attack but it hadn't worked.  These youma didn't have to depend on visual
contact, they must have aura sensing powers.  Maybe those were more widespread
than she'd thought.
     Makoto was feeling tired.  Minimal food and rough living were bound to
take their toll.  She had the terrible feeling the grey man could have killed
her by now had that been his intention.  The Senshi she'd first seen three 
months back had seemed to be more distraction than danger.  At least before 
she'd run into one of those spheres.  She was at bay and preparing to go down 
fighting.  At least until someone she'd never expected to see again arrived
     Minako dropped out of the sky and surveyed the situation.  At which 
point her jaw dropped and she glanced behind her.  Rei landed beside her and 
did the same.  Another Ami landed on Minako's right and gasped at the sight
of her counterpart.  Makoto saw her Ami smile.  The odds had just shifted
their way.  Makoto saw an unscarred version of herself land by Ami's side and
stare at her.  At which point Sailor Moon made her entrance landing 
dramatically by Rei's side.  Her feet immediately went out from under her and
she did a pratfall.  As she went down she knocked Rei's feet from under her.
Rei fell onto Minako, Minako onto Ami and Ami onto Makoto.  The entire group 
went down like a row of dominoes.  
     This provided a momentary distraction which Ami seized advantage of.  She
had an unobstructed shot at the youma senshi in yellow.  The man in gray spun  
to blast Ami as the Senshi in red took aim for a kill shot.  A blur slammed 
into the girl and knocked her out of the blast's path.
     Margrave barrelled into Titanite sending the two of them flying.  The 
landing wasn't one of her best.  Her skull rang as her head hit the pavement.  
She swore loudly.  That bitch in blue was going to pay for this headache.  
"You all right Ti?"
     Ti seemed a little dazed.  "Fine but why ...? MARGRAVE!"  Ti sounded
shocked, something was very wrong!  Was she bleeding?  Margrave raised a hand
toward her head and probed.  Suddenly she realized the arm was covered with
white fur.  She'd lost her glamour when her head hit.  OH shit!  Right in 
front of the Senshi!  They were on their feet and looking this way (except
for Mars who was glaring at Sailor Moon).  She felt herself panicking.  She'd
been revealed before the worst possible people.  Ti squeezed her hand and 
whispered, "Use the cute scenario."  She regained enough presence of mind to 
nod.  Think like an anime catgirl.
     Sailor Moon goggled at the catwoman then remembered the other Senshi.
Pointing at the fake Mercury she intoned.  "How dare you impersonate Ami-chan.
Oops I mean Sailor Mercury and how dare you impersonate Sailor Jupiter.  We
may not have copyrighted these identities but no one else is allowed to use
them!  I am the one and only Sailor Moon and on behalf of our trademarks I 
will punish you!"
     "What!?"  The fake Mercury looked astonished.  "Usagi have you lost your
mind.  I'll explain who we are later.  Right now we have to kill these youma."
     "That reminds me.  How dare you try to kill the only youma to adapt
peacefully to life on Earth.  Even if Sailor Arcturus's dosinji are outselling
mine.  Besides I liked Sailor Polaris when I met her and Minako's got a truce
with Calcite so ... hey how did you know who I am?  I mean why did you call me
Usagi, I'm Sailor Moon!"
     Makoto felt the world slipping out from under her.  "What ... what are 
you talking about?"  Then she heard her own voice.
     "I'm the one and only Sailor Jupiter.  If you were going to copy me you
could have at least got it right.  You make me look like some sort of slob.
And you got the hair wrong!"  She was going to add the I will punish you part
but stopped at the look of total confusion on her ... on the fake's face.
    Ami had pulled her computer from its dimensional pocket and was looking 
from it to her battered doupleganger.   The other Ami just stared at her for
a moment, then she began to laugh.  It wasn't amused laughter it was the 
laugh of a woman who's been the victim of the ultimate practical joke. 
     "Hahahah ...  they're siding with the youma ... hahaha ... they're 
probably allies ... Hahaha it was all for nothing ... I ..."  The hysterical
laughter became a sobbing fit and the tattered Ami folded over and wept.  No
one seemed to know how to respond to this and they just stared at her.  The
Senshi with confusion and the Renegades with hostility as they suspected a 
     Makoto dashed over to her friend's side.  Ami was curling up against a
tree.  There was a semicircle of people around them.  Too many to watch.
"Come on Ami don't do this too me."  She pleaded with Ami while trying to 
keep her eye on everyone.  "You can't fall apart now.  Not after all we've
been through.  I need you.  We can still fight our way out ..."  There was a
light touch at her throat.  She reached up and touched a metal collar.
     The man in grey glided from behind her.  He was holding an identical 
collar which he flung into the air.  It detonated about twenty feet up. 
     "You can either surrender immediately or I can blow your head off.  After
your friend tried to kill my sister I have to say I'm not too fussy."
     Makoto took her hand from the collar and looked him in the eye.  Then 
you'd better kill me because I'll die before I let you take me alive!"
     "In case you've forgotten you two started all this."
     "Excuse me."  Sailor Moon looked confused.  Not a particularly unusual
occurance but she had reason.  "What is going on?"
     "We don't really know."  Calcite indicated the two senshi, one standing
defiant, one weeping uncontrollably.  "These two warped in, took one look at
us, screamed "Dark Circle" then tried to kill us all.
     "But where'd these imposters come from?"
     "They aren't exactly imposters."  When the shooting stopped Pyrite had
got to his feet.  He'd remained largely unnoticed during recent events.
"They arrived here from an alternate universe."  He pointed to Mercury and
Jupiter.  "I believe these are your counterparts from another dimension.  Why 
they came here and why they want us dead we don't know yet."
     Now Jupiter looked confused but Ami nodded as though everything suddenly
made sense.  "That explains why she has my DNA and the computer was indicating
anomalies.  It couldn't explain there being two of us."
     Jupiter looked at her scarred counterpart.  "You're Sailor Jupiter too?"
     "Then who are you?"
     "Makoto Kino, Sailor Zeus."  She looked down at her friend who'd fallen
silent.  "This is ..."
     "Ami Mizuno, Sailor Hermes."  The other Ami uncurled herself.  She wiped
her eyes and studied the group then looked back to Makoto.  "Sorry I let you 
down Makoto."
     "I understand.  We can't be strong forever."  She reached down and took 
Ami's hand.  "End of the line."
     "Inevitable I guess but we did our best."  She looked out at the circle
of watchers.  "Thanks for letting me collect myself.  Now let's get it over
     "Get what over with?"
     "Kill us because we're not going to surrender to you!"
     The two stood and waited for the end.  All was silent for a minute.  Then
Calcite broke the puzzled silence.  "I think there's been some sort of 
     "Don't play with me I saw the readings.  You're Calcite!"
     He looked around.  "I guess everyone here knows that."  His glamour 
dissolved and the two shuddered.  Hermes glanced over to the Senshi in yellow.
     "I know who you are!"
     Titanite looked confused.  "Everyone knows that as well.  I'm Sailor
Polaris, that's Sailor Arcturus."
     "BULLSHIT!"  Sailor Zeus glared at them.  "I just figured out who you'd
look like without those masks!  You're Princess Titanite and she's Lady
     Sailor Moon frowned at Titanite.  "You're a princess too?  You never
     "First I've heard of it."
     Azurite looked at her accuser.  "Yes, I'm Azurite.  But I'm no lady!"
     "Margrave already know that."
     "Stay out of this!"
     Zeus was about to bellow again when Hermes cut her off.  "Wait Makoto.
Perhaps I acted prematurely."  She looked to the other man.  "You're Pyrite?"
He nodded and dissolved his glamour.  This was the first time the Senshi had
seen him.  
     After a moment Jupiter began, "You look like ..." before Azurite took his
     "He's already taken."
     Throughout this Calcite had kept watch on Zeus and Hermes.  If either 
made a move to attack he was going to detonate the collar.  Neither seemed
about to, the hostile looks of both were dissolving into confusion.
     "You're friends with the youma?!"  Hermes looked at the in disbelief.
     Minako glanced at Calcite.  "Friends, no.  But we're no longer enemies."
     "You're at peace with the Dark Kingdom?"
     Usagi looked confused.  "The Dark Kingdom?  That's long gone." 
     Grudgingly Rei added, "The turtle destroyed it two years ago."
     Zeus just gaped while Ami struggled to understand.  "But these youma ...?
How ... ?"
     Calcite answered.  "We fled just before the end.  We're all that's left."
     "But that's not possible!" 
     "That's what happened."
     Zeus found her voice.   "But in our world you ruled the Kingdom.  And you
went on from there to conquer the Earth!"
     "That's ridiculous.  Beryl was the Queen.  Anyone who challenged her
died.  Usually not as soon as they'd have preferred."
     Hermes looked him in the eye.  "The Calcite we know merged with Metallia,
killed Beryl, then took over the world.  But not before he'd killed Usagi 
Tsukino, Sailor Moon."
     Calcite returned her stare.  "You are out of your mind, I'm a renegade.
I wouldn't do anything like that.  None of us would!"
     There was another moment's silence broken by Pyrite.  "I would say we've
just found the divergence point between the two worlds.  Here the Kingdom 
was destroyed two years ago today and the youma race reduced to five ...
well six individuals.
     Hermes studied him coldly.  "In our world one year ago the Senshi tried
to attack the Dark Kingdom before Metallia resurrected.  Only Makoto and I
escaped the North Pole alive.  After that the youma took over.  We came to
this world looking for assistance in fighting them."
     "I'd like to suggest we hold a truce until we've gotten to the bottom of
     Hermes considered the overwhelming opposition, the condition of this
world and the fact that she'd started the fight.  "Very well until I know
more I will refrain from hostilities as will my partner."
     Zeus nodded.  "Okay, I want some answers."  A pause.  "Uhh ... about this
ring ..."  
     Calcite smiled faintly.  "I have a paranoid streak so I'm leaving it in
place until I'm sure you won't shoot us in the back."
     Usagi seemed about to say something then remembered the Renegades hadn't
started the fight.  "Well I guess that's it for now.  I didn't get to punish
     Azurite jerked a thumb at Margrave (who'd been overlooked in the recent
confusion).  "Well you could punish her,  she'll probably enjoy it."
     "Margrave resent that.  She no like being punished!"  She glanced at
Calcite.  "Well ... maybe sometimes but ..."  She realized Sailor Moon was
staring at her.  
     "What's that?"
     Polaris quickly strode over to Margrave.  "That's Margrave, she's our ...
pet.   We found her in another dimension."  Which was true if not the whole 
truth.  Margrave quickly dropped to her haunches and leaned against Titanite's
leg.  She began to purr and Ti scratched her head.
     Sailor Moon beamed.  "She's so cute!"  She rushed over and began petting
the cat.  Margrave kept purring even when Usagi stroked her the wrong way.
Mars, Jupiter and Mercury shook their heads at the sight.  Azurite muttered,
"I don't believe this" and kept watching Hermes and Zeus.  Calcite did the
same while Venus kept an eye on him.
     Pyrite cleared his throat.  "I'd like to suggest we go somewhere warm
to figure out what's going.  Or does everyone plan to stand around this
freezing cold park indefinitely?"
     Sailor Moon stopped petting the catwoman.  "Yeah.  It's cold and I'm
getting hungry."
     Inspiration struck Titanite.  "We could go to my place.  It's warm and
there's a ton of food that needs eating!"
     "Really!"  It sounded like she'd just become Sailor Moon's lifelong
     Calcite winced and raised a hand to his brow.  Then groaned aloud.

End of part 1

Next : The story of what happened on the other world and the Senshi join
       the party in part 2 : Apocalypse Then.

On to part 2
Back to the prologue

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