Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Adversaries ( Chapter 5 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Absence - By Kirika


So this is fifth chapter in my Rei/Usagi fic. There won't be any other senshi except Rei for a bit... but don't worry, they will be in it eventually, I want to keep Rei as the only good guy with powers in the area for a while.

I hope I picked the right transformation command word. I couldn't remember if it was crystal or star. And I hope I got the birds' names right.



- Kirika


Chapter 5 - Adversaries

Rei walked back to her apartment after a long hard day on second shift. It was late in the evening and there was a full moon in the sky casting its pale light over the badly lit, and rather decrepit, street she was travelling along. Graffiti adorned many of the buildings' walls the girl passed and rotting garbage was liberally littered about the footpath... which the Fire Senshi was careful to step around. This was a dangerous part of town and Rei knew it; but she didn't care. She was the Senshi of Fire, after all. Any unsavoury types who dared to confront her would be in for the worst night of their pathetic lives. And in her current mood, she wouldn't pull any punches.

If Rei had to pour one more cup of coffee today she was going to go insane. Being a waitress in a busy restaurant was a pretty tough job. She wondered if she would get repetitive stress disorder from excessive pouring. Otaku had been out in force that afternoon, and had ordered so much coffee from the miko, that she thought they would be hyper from all the caffeine for the rest of the week. And all to just get Rei's attention, and then proceed to drool at the sight of her close proximity. The Fire Senshi's short temper had been tested to its very limits.

Rei couldn't wait to get back to the apartment building and take a long, hot, relaxing shower, then call it a night at last. That is, unless Tsubasa pulled his oh-so-funny prank again by using all of the hot water up just before she arrived. Though, after the chewing out Rei had given him the last time, he would have to have a death wish to do so again. She hated sharing a bathroom, but at least Tsubasa knew what it was to be neat and tidy... thank the gods. If she had to share a bathroom with a messy person on top of an annoying one, she didn't think she would be able to stand it.

The fluttering of feathery wings startled Rei out of her reverie. She looked up and saw a couple of crows settling down for the night on a building's ledge. They reminded the miko of her own birds, Phobus and Deimos, back at the Hikawa Jinja. She hoped her Grandpa was taking good care of them. Rei continued to look up at the sky as she walked, gazing at the full moon with forlorn eyes.

"A permanent reminder of her," Rei sighed heavily.

Rei lowered her eyes down to the pavement in front of her and shoved her hands into her jacket pockets. How very bland her life had become. She had no purpose anymore, no reason to go on. The light of her life was gone... though it had been for the best. But was this how it was always going to be from now on? Working in a dead end job by day, and staying in a tiny 'apartment' by night... where the slightest thing reminded her of whom she had left behind and consequently caused her to be miserable for the rest of the day? Was this to be Rei's life now?

Rei thought that maybe she could go back to school in Yokohama to reduce the tedium of her new life. She had simply abandoned high school when she had left Tokyo. She had a false name now and no parents to back her up. However, Makoto had more or less done it... except for the false name part... so why couldn't she? Though, any school she tried to attend would probably want her old school records or something.…

The Fire Senshi was suddenly snapped out of her thoughts by a strange noise ahead of her. "Probably just a rat," she murmured to herself, though she did walk a little more cautiously up the street.

Rei stopped when she came to a dark alley to her right and carefully peered into its dim gloom. All the miko could make out initially, was a dumpster, several trashcans, and piles of garbage that didn't quite make it into the cans. She was positive the sound had come from this direction. Yeah, right. Like she was going to actually go down a dark, spooky alley in the middle of the night... *and* in a rough neighbourhood no less... just to investigate a strange noise. Rei *had* been to the movies.

Rei began to walk off again, but quickly halted when she heard the noise again. It sounded like... it sounded like somebody crying. Somebody could be hurt and in trouble. Or, it could be some junkie needing a fix. It was a bad neighbourhood after all. Rei debated with herself for a couple of seconds, and then sighed resignedly. "Damn it," she swore, before warily entering the alley.

The Fire Senshi hastily covered her mouth and nose with her hand as the odour of the place became apparent. Augh, this alley was filthy! Not to mention that the smells from all kinds of putrid garbage were utterly rank and nearly overpowering! There were probably whole swarms of cockroaches just waiting for the right time to ambush Rei. The miko just hoped that they were currently tied up fighting with the alley's rodent population, instead.

Rei slowly made her way deeper into the alley, carefully picking her steps for maximum stealth--and to prevent getting any refuse on her shoes--her breathing becoming shallow and quick as adrenaline started to pump through her veins. It was all right; there was nothing for her to be scared of. The noise Rei heard was probably just her imagination... nobody horrendously disfigured was going to jump out of the shadows and axe murder her or anything....

Rei's paranoid thoughts were cut short as the sound she had heard earlier reached her ears once again. She strained to listen, trying to pick up what the noise was exactly. It sounded like something was being scraped against a brick wall of the alley. But there was something else... it was almost like someone was humming. That couldn't be right, humming? Rei shook her head slightly at the thought. No, it couldn't be.

Rei moved a little closer to the source of the noise, while attempting to make out the dark shapes in the murky shadows. She saw what looked to be two figures. One appeared to be a homeless woman, who was sitting against the wall of the alley, moving feebly. The other was vastly different. It was humanoid in form but was bulky, like someone who had done very heavy weight training all of his or her life. Rei squinted her eyes, trying to see more details of the larger figure. It was wearing something on its head... some sort of weird hat. It stood over the sitting woman, one of its broad hands covering her face, which caused her moaning to be muffled making her sound like she was humming. The still shadowed figure didn't notice Rei's presence, nor could the raven-haired girl make it out fully, but what she did see was enough. It was obviously not on the side of the good. She had to do something... Rei's mouth curled into a grim half-smile... something like throwing a few Fire Souls at the scumbag.

As the Fire Senshi prepared to transform into her alter ego, she hesitated. Rei couldn't transform into Sailor Mars. Sailor Mars was supposed to be dead. If the bulky thing with the odd hat escaped or the woman recognised her, Rei's secret would be out. Sailor Mars was a well-known figure in Tokyo and she was sure that her fame had spread all over Japan, or at the very least, to Yokohama. Maybe Rei could take down the bruiser without transforming. She wasn't exactly helpless as just her normal self. The miko then mentally chastised herself. Come on, a woman's life was in danger; she couldn't hold back... perhaps… Yes, Minako had had a mask when she had transformed into Sailor V during her younger days; maybe Rei could do something similar. But how had the blonde done that?

Rei swallowed a gasp as the bulky figure pulled the woman's face towards him and then pushed viciously forwards, smashing the back of her head against the brick alley wall with a sickening thud. The woman's body jerked once, then stopped moving altogether, falling totally limp. Rei didn't have time to hold a summit meeting in her head! She had wasted enough time as it was! She would just try to will her Sailor fuku to change into something different. She could add a mask or something similar like Sailor V... or Tuxedo Kamen. With those thoughts held in her mind, the miko transformed, shouting out her command words loudly and breaking the silence of the night.


As Rei felt her senshi fuku take form around her, she willed it to alter. There was a slight pause in the transformation sequence and then it continued. The Senshi of Fire felt her legs and arms being covered and then something slide over her face. It was all over in a split second.

At the sound of the miko's shout, the figure let go of the woman's face, whose body slumped sideways onto the pavement, then stepped towards the now revealed Sailor Mars.

With her eyes now completely adjusted to the darkness and in range of the figure, Sailor Mars could now see that this was no big body-builder bullying a woman. Nor was it wearing a hat. The creature stood a head taller than Mars and possessed distinctly bestial features. Its lower body was covered in a thick silvery fur, while it's upper-half was hairless and the colour of raw skin. Two entwined antlers sprouted from the top of its head. Its characteristics made it look positively demonic and obviously not human. It was a youma.

Sailor Mars moved into a combat stance, positioning her feet firmly on the ground and bringing up her loosely clenched fists. "I am Sai-- um... I'm..." Mars' speech faltered when she realised she didn't actually know how to refer to herself. "I am a fighter of justice!" the Fire Senshi quickly recovered. "You will pay for hurting a defenceless woman!"

The creature, the youma, seemed quite unperturbed by the miko's stern declaration. In fact, it looked rather pleased. A sinister smile almost split its face in half. "A fighter," it hissed, a forked tongue flicking out its mouth, "then fight, fighter!!"

The youma roared out a battle cry as it charged at Sailor Mars, its heavy footfalls shooting a web of cracks out along the concrete pavement with each step. Mars instantly darted to her right, leaping agilely onto the dumpster nearby. The youma swiftly responded with a swipe at Mars' legs with a taloned hand, attempting to take her feet from under her and deposit her flat on her back.

However, the Senshi of Fire had other ideas. She bounded upwards and grabbed the last rung of a fire escape ladder to dodge the attack. Then she swung her body outwards before letting go of the ladder to land behind the youma. Mars whirled around on the youma's now vulnerable back. As she prepared to launch a fireball... she hesitated; her powers would identify her as Sailor Mars. But there was no other choice. Besides, her adversary wouldn't be telling anyone what it had seen once she was through with it! Unfortunately, Sailor Mars' hesitation was enough to give the youma an opening.

The monster lashed out brutally behind it with a furred leg, catching the unsure girl in the sternum. The 'Fighter of Justice' was hurled backwards to land in a spongy trash mound at the end of the alley.

Thankfully, the cushioning helped to soften the impact... but it did nothing to prevent the pain coming from Sailor Mars' chest. She silently gasped as she tried to force air back into her evacuated lungs.

The youma turned around to take advantage of her vulnerable position, bolting for Sailor Mars with a furious bellow, its maw elongating to a length that hardly seemed possible. It was as if the monster was going to attempt to swallow her whole.

When the creature was almost upon her, Mars forced her hurting body into action and rolled to her left, before struggling to her feet. She hurriedly ran forward as best she could, needing to put some distance between herself and her enemy.

The youma rapidly switched directions to pursue her, strings of drool hanging revoltingly from its mouth and trailing after it in the air.

However, before the creature could get its greedy chops on her, the Fire Senshi jumped high into the air and spun around to face her enemy:


The fireball launched from Mars' fingertips careened straight towards the youma's wide-open maw.

The youma, in an astonishing display of reflexes, grabbed a nearby trashcan lid to shield its face from the oncoming inferno. The blazing sphere struck the metal instead, dispelling the flames quickly as they broke apart. As the Senshi of Fire landed, the beast threw the hot lid at her like a Frisbee, catching her by surprise.

Mars desperately moved her body, trying to angle herself in such a way to evade the spinning projectile, but unfortunately, she didn't react quite fast enough. She screamed in pain as the lid scraped against her tender ribs, shooting the spasms of agony straight to her brain. Seething, Mars clutched her throbbing side and glared at the evil monster. This youma was going to burn for that.

Unaware of its impending destruction, the youma laughed heartily at the Justice Fighter's angered scream, the noise coming from its wide open mouth sounding particularly strange. It then resumed its charge; no doubt believing that the girl was weakened and hence susceptible for some sort of decisive attack....

Mars pulled out an ofuda, undeterred by the sight of a fearsome monster swiftly bearing down on her. "Rin, pyou, tou, sha, kai, jin, retsu, sai, zen. Akuryou taisan!"

When the youma was right in front of her, Sailor Mars adroitly dove between its hairy legs, turned fluidly onto her back... despite the afterglow of hurt from her ribs... then deftly slapped the paper ward onto the creature's back. The youma's charge abruptly halted in mid step when all of its muscles were suddenly struck with paralysis.

"What... have you... done?!" it choked out, its distorted and now also immobile mouth affecting its speech to degree that it was barely understandable.

Sailor Mars sprung to her feet and moved in front of the frozen monster, smiling smugly. "I've destroyed you," Mars stated levelly.


A scorching ball of flame streaked at the creature's open mouth. This time the shot did not miss.

After the youma was nothing but ash, Sailor Mars hurriedly moved to the injured woman's side. She had cuts all over her arms, probably from the youma man-handling her roughly. Mars carefully felt behind her head. It felt moist and sticky. The woman suddenly moaned weakly and cracked open her eyes slowly... then shrieked at the sight of Sailor Mars.

"It's okay, it's okay," said the Fire Senshi soothingly, "that thing is gone now and I won't hurt you."

The woman continued to look at Sailor Mars warily. Mars was wondering what exactly her Sailor fuku looked like now. She hoped that her appearance wasn't what was frightening the woman. The miko rationalised that it was just the shock of having some ugly monster waling on her, followed by waking up to a weird looking stranger staring down at you.

"Can you move?" asked Sailor Mars. "Come on, let's try." She put her hands under the woman's armpits and gently lifted her onto her feet.

The woman swayed unsteadily, touched the back of her head and then cringed. When she looked down and saw the blood staining her hand, she promptly passed out.

Mars caught the woman as she fell, exhaling wearily. Now she was going to have to carry her all the way to a hospital. What a day. Well, at least she didn't have to pour any more coffee. Sighing once again, Sailor Mars made for the nearest hospital, lugging a quite heavy woman in her tired arms all of the while.


The hospital staff looked at Sailor Mars rather strangely when she entered, but once they noticed that she had an injured person in her arms, they broke into immediate action by taking the assaulted homeless woman from her care.

With her work done, the Fire Senshi disappeared quickly and quietly into the night. Curious as to what her Sailor fuku looked like, Sailor Mars stopped to look at her reflection in a nearby shop window before detransforming. She got quite a shock. Exactly who the hell was she supposed to be, Tuxedo *Mars*?

Her Sailor fuku had taken on some startling changes. You couldn't even call it a Sailor fuku anymore. Mars had on a long, black, two-tailed coat with its wide collar up and buttoned in the middle over loose clothes. It sort of resembled a style of tuxedo, totally black, with the dark pants of the garb tucked into solid, similarly coloured, boots. Mars' hair had also been bundled under a black, wide-brimmed hat. The crimson veil that hid the lower half of her face completed the ensemble.

"Gods, no wonder everyone looked at me like I was nuts; I look like some formally dressed ninja," moaned Sailor Mars in dismay and embarrassment. "'The ninja of the ball.' Oh, geez."

Mars wondered why this outfit had appeared. Just a mask would have been fine; that's all she had wanted. The Fire Senshi then punched a fist into her palm as it dawned on her. Damn it, this is just what she got when she thought about Tuxedo Kamen! Thinking about how the prince looked like just before she transformed must have influenced what changes were made to her Sailor fuku. Well, it was only this once. She could always change the fuku into something else more to her taste the next time her fiery powers were needed.

Sailor Mars got out of the sight of possible prying eyes and detransformed. Tsubasa had definitely better not have used up all of the hot water... especially after the little escapade Rei had just undergone. His life depended on it.


Khairephon slouched in his straight-backed steel chair. Was he ever bored. He missed his annoying sister terribly. Sure they fought like banshees, but that was just their way of showing affection for each other. Makareus and Thrinakie didn't understand; it was irritating when they kept separating Laodameia and himself. In unexciting little operations like this one, the only form of amusement Khairephon got was from bickering with his older sister.

Khairephon let out a fed up sigh. He was always stuck with the dull jobs. Thrinakie and Makareus only called on him when they needed some tough heads bashed in. Every other time he was brushed off and told to go wait somewhere out of the way or charged with some pathetic responsibility to make it seem like he was actually doing something useful. So he liked fighting, the lust for the kill. Who didn't? That special way blood spurted from a severed artery or the sound bones made when pulverised within your very own hands... that fearful and disbelieving look in your enemy's eyes as they realised that their life was about to come to an end... there was nothing in the multiverse quite like it. Khairephon's brothers didn't understand.

Makareus and Thrinakie always wanted to take over worlds to increase their empires, conquer the cities, enslave the inhabitants, and so on and so forth. Even Laodameia did, though her reasons for enslaving the populace were a little... different. Khairephon would much rather just systematically slaughter all of the weaker beings and put their remains on some gruesome display as a warning to all others who would even think that they could possibly defeat him.

Khairephon was tired of waiting for word from his siblings. Sure, it wasn't long ago that they had left, but he was growing uncomfortable in his human form. It felt as if his insides were trying to scratch their way out of his skin or like some rabid animal was imprisoned in his shell of humanity. Khairephon just wanted to cut loose.

Khairephon studied the youma in the large square room with him. All of the creatures here were loyal to him; the other small handfuls of youma left behind by his siblings preferred to not partake in the… festivities… currently underway. The room he occupied was below a rave nightclub purchased before Khairephon's arrival by Makareus' followers. His older brother's youma had always been good at infiltration... the backstabbing sneaks... none of the conniving creatures could be trusted in Khairephon's opinion. He had to admit, though, that the rhythmic thumping from bass percussions in the dance music above them served well to drown out all of the battle cries his youma made while sparring with one another. They held very little back to increase their skills... and for the sheer pleasure.

The room also echoed with moans of the suffering and screams of the excruciatingly tormented... sounds that were far sweeter to Khairephon's ears than any music in existence. Humans died so very easily... and hardly any of them had the courage to face their pain and death with any dignity. Just look at them, all chained to the wall and begging for mercy. Didn't they know that there would be no mercy? All they lived for now was for the sadistic amusement of Khairephon and his allies; the humans should accept their pain, embrace it! For only in the sweet ecstasy of agony, can one truly feel alive. But instead they whimpered and cowered from each blow to their soft bodies, from each snap of their fragile bones. The puny fools.

Khairephon had ordered his youma to gather human cattle from areas in the city that the feeble beings would not be missed from. His youma needed food and entertainment, after all. Thrinakie's youma had come in handy finding the right areas; they were always the brainy ones. However, Khairephon had never realised humans were so... weak. They were dying by the dozen each day, not including those used as food. He was certain he could clean out the city's entire population single-handedly in less than a week if he were so inclined. But instead he waited, allowing his cronies to abduct humans and return quietly to the nightclub via the sewer system that connected to this very room.

A metal cover on the floor was knocked on twice, once, then three times, signalling that the latest raiders had returned. As the youma clambered through the trapdoor and into the room from below, all carrying their unconscious prizes, Khairephon realised that one of their number was missing.

"What happened to Vethuzial?" he demanded of the closest raider as the creature dumped two human males with disregard onto the hard stone floor, who were both promptly dragged off to join the others of their kind.

The youma raider shrugged and looked to his companions, who all did the same or shook their heads... if they possessed one. Khairephon frowned angrily. The absent youma had better not be a deserter. He really hated having to hunt them down and punish them for being so cowardly.

Khairephon put his hands behind his head and leaned back in his chair, dispelling the thoughts of a deserter out of his mind. He let out a puff of air. Did he ever wish for some strong adversary to occupy his time with.


To be continued.…

Author's ramblings:

There is chapter five. I changed Rei's outfit because I wanted to keep her identity secret when she transformed and fought. It will be more... interesting later on that way. Merely adding a mask to the outfit wouldn't have done the job. As a visual aid for the outfit, think Kaho Mizuki on Tokyo tower in Sakura's dream from Card Captor Sakura. If you haven't seen CCS... well, use your imagination. ^_^

I hope I described the fight scene okay, and wrote the ofuda thing correctly. I know I said I wouldn't mix much Japanese and English but... it just happened.

I didn't have the chance to introduce a good guy support character in this chapter. Don't worry; it's not some hero with powers from another dimension or something. It's just your average civilian, with no powers whatsoever. I just want someone to interact with Rei who doesn't want to kill her.

Won't update for a few days, got anime screenings to go to, neglected girlfriend to see... you know how it is. ^_^

ofuda = a ward in the form of a strip of paper with Japanese characters written on it that Rei, being a miko, uses against evil spirits and demons. They usually just paralyse the paranormal being.