Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ All's Fair in Love and War ❯ Aftermath and Consequences ( Chapter 38 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter 38
Aftermath and Consequences

The echo of her footsteps, as she walked down the empty hall, only helped amplify her feelings of loneliness. She felt empty, cold, and depressed, but she could not afford the luxury of dwelling on these feelings, not yet. There were other things she had to attend to first.

"Your Majesty," a distant voice from behind her called, bouncing off the walls in the same eerie echo as the sound of her footsteps. She stopped ad turned around.

"What is it, Luna," Selenity asked, detesting how her voice bounced down the hall.

Luna took a hesitant step forward. "The meeting room is that way, my Lady," she said softly, pointing in the opposite direction of where Selenity had been heading. Selenity blinked in surprise, then realized her mistake.

"Yes, of course," she replied, "I'll be there shortly." Both women knew that Selenity hadn't realized she was going in the wrong direction, but neither one said anything about it.

"Yes, your Majesty. Shall I sever tea to the guests while they wait?"

"Yes, thank you Luna."

Luna gazed sadly at her queen for a brief moment before turning and walking towards the meeting room.

Selenity waited until Luna had turned the corner before leaning against the wall and letting out a deep sigh. She had no clue where her feet had been taking her. She wrapped her arms around her stomach and closed her eyes, allowing her head to droop for a few moments. Her mind was screaming at her to get a grip on herself, but her emotions and heart were not following that command. Why? She would not allow herself to thing about the reason why. She needed to maintain her composure. It was expected of her as Queen of the Moon. She could cry at night, but not now.

Pushing herself from the wall, she took a shaky breath, smoothed out the skirt on her dress, and followed the path Luna had taken. They were waiting for her.


"So, you are staying here for a few days?" Artemis asked Paris, who was sitting with him in the spacious meeting room, waiting for Selenity.

"Yes, for a few. Helen will be here for nearly two weeks, but I need to return to Earth shortly, probably in two days or so." Paris wrapped his arm around Helen's shoulders as he spoke.

"Is not Queen Venus supposed to be arriving as well?" Malachite asked from where he stood beside one of the tall windows, right behind Paris and Helen.

"Yes," Artemis replied. "I sent word to her of what had happened the day you came back to the Moon."

Helen sighed as she leaned gently against her husbands. It had been three days now since they had brought Selenity back from Mars, but the hollow, broken shell that looked like the Queen of the Moon was not the woman who had been kidnapped from the Earth only weeks before.

"It's good that you were able to put a stop to the dark Queen and capture Princess Beryl," Artemis commented. Paris nodded. Even tough they were all relieved that the Dark Queen had been defeated, and that Selenity had finally unlocked the powers of the Silver Crystal, none of them had been rejoicing when they came back to the Moon; the price had been very high.

"Will Mars be coming here soon?" Helen asked, lifting her head from Paris' shoulder.

"He should be arriving in the next few days, perhaps even before you leave, my Lord," Artemis answered.

"That would be nice. I would like to speak with him again. We didn't talk long before our return trip home form Mars, since we wanted to get Selenity home as fast as possible. He did express apologies though, and a desire to re-establish old alliances and friendships," Paris added in.

"Will you be willing to re-establish those alliances and friendships, my Lord?" Malachite asked as he walked to a chair so that he could sit and face everyone.

Paris nodded. "Yes I would. I don't believe that Mars has any bad intentions now that the Dark Queen is gone. After all, he did let Kino go, so that he could save Selenity and Serenity."

"I think that his actions were influenced a great deal by the Dark Queen," Artemis said.

"I think so too. Mars may have a bad temper, but not to the point of killing innocent people over a personal squabble," Paris replied.

"He obviously didn't see it as a mere squabble, otherwise he would not have allowed Aminiha to influence him in the way she did. He would have dismissed her cunning words and sly suggestions as nonsense," Malachite pointed out.

"True, I suppose you're right. Now we need to think of what we will do with Princess Beryl."

"We can only keep her here for so long before she starts stirring up trouble," Artemis said thoughtfully, placing his fingers on his chin. "If she is as powerful as you say she is, that is."

"She is very powerful," Malachite confirmed. "She may not know the extent of her powers yet, but if she trained she would unlock great destruction and pain. I fear that her mind is corrupted beyond the point of repair. I don't know why her mother allowed her to dabble in the Dark Powers, or if she herself encouraged her to begin using them. Either way, Aminiha has done a great deal of damage to that young girl, and she will now have to pay for her mother's decisions."

"Is it really necessary to kill her? She is so young after all," Helen asked, the worry of a mother clearly heard in her voice.

"I'm afraid yes. She is too far gone. Even if her mind was purified, it is too tainted to ever be pure again, and the darkness that resides there now would return eventually," Malachite answered solemnly.

The door opened and a worried looking Luna entered. "Is everything all right?" Artemis asked, straitening in his chair.

Luna sighed. "Queen Selenity should be here shortly. She was just taking a few moments to herself."

Artemis sighed and relaxed in his chair again. "Wandering aimlessly?" he asked and received a nod from Luan. Luna walked over to the table where she placed a tray with tea and teacups earlier. "Would everyone like some tea?" she asked.

"Please, that would be lovely," Helen said.

"Thank you Luna, that would be nice," Paris added in.

"No thank you," Malachite answered, his face portraying the deep thoughts he was in. Artemis simply nodded and Luna began pouring the tea. She handed cups to Paris and Helen, and then brought Artemis his.

"Thank you," he murmured as he allowed his finger tips to brush over her hand, causing her to blush. She quickly went back to retrieve her own tea. The door opened, and everyone looked up to see Selenity entering the room. Malachite, Artemis, and Paris stood.

"My Lady, some tea?" Luna asked, picking up the tea pot again.

"No thank you, Luna," Serenity murmured as she went to take a seat. Malachite stepped away from his chair an offered it to the Queen. She nodded as a thank you and took the chair so that she could see everyone. Artemis and Paris sat down again while Malachite took his former stand behind Paris and Helen. Luna sat in a chair next to Artemis'. The room was suddenly quiet, and no one knew what to say. They did have things to discuss, but no one wanted to upset Selenity.

"You are leaving to go home in a few days Paris, correct?" Selenity finally inquired to break the sickening silence.

Paris nodded. "Yes, I have things there that I need to take care of. Artemis just informed me that Mars should be arriving soon, so maybe I will be able to see him before I leave."

"Yes, that would be nice, we could all have a meeting together. Venus will be coming here shortly as well. We will have to arrange a general conference for all our planets, to discuss the recent war and what we will do now. There are many things we need to clarify, and preparations we need to make for the future."

"I'm sure that all the Kings and Queens will be eager to form a conference," Malachite replied.

"We need to discuss the issue of Princess Beryl right away though," Paris stated, "that is why I asked if we could meet today."

"Yes, of course, the Dark Princess…your messenger mentioned that. What is it that you wish to discuss about her?" Selenity asked.

"The Dark Princess is very dangerous, Selenity. She is filled with dark powers, and wanted to request that you hand her over to Earth's custody, so that we may deal with her appropriately."

Selenity looked at Paris pensively for a few moments. "And what, pray tell, is 'appropriately'? I know that she is filled with Dark Powers, I can sense that now with the aid of the Crystal."

Paris looked a little uncomfortable under Selenity's scrutiny. "Beryl cannot be helped, and she needs to be…eliminated, so that she does not raise up against us in the future."

"So you mean to kill her?" Selenity's voice was cool, emotionless.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. It is the only thing we can do."

"I'm afraid that I cannot hand her over to you then."

An uncomfortable silence filled the room as everyone watched the Queen of the Moon. "Selenity, please, you must consider the danger she poses," Paris reasoned.

"I will not make her pay for the mistakes of her mother," Selenity replied, not showing any signs of backing down. "So I will not allow you to kill her. Not as long as she is under my protection."

"She threatened you," Paris pointed out, "she threatened you and your daughter."

"Yes, in a moment of grief where she had just witnessed her mother's death. That does not give us the right to kill her though. I'll say it again, Paris, I will not make her pay for the actions of her mother."

"It is not a matter of making her pay for what Queen Aminiha did. The fact is that Beryl is very, very dangerous, to you and to the rest of this solar system, and I for one do not wish to see a repeat of the war we have just ended. She has more power, and any war she waged would be catastrophic to us."

"Is that not what we thought about Aminiha? Yet, we defeated her."

"Yes, but that was somewhat by a fluke."

"I know that, but now I have the powers of the Imperium Silver Crystal, and I can protect us if the need arises. Besides, I wish to put Princess Beryl through a purifying program, where I will use the Silver Crystal to remove the taint of evil from her."

"I'm afraid that won't be possible, you're majesty," Malachite said from his position behind Paris as Selenity gestured Luna to pour her some tea. "The powers have such a strong hold on the Princess that even if she was purified, the evil would return to her, no matter what. We were just discussing this before your grace entered the room."

"You cannot know that for sure, General, until we have tried it," Selenity replied, her voice as cool and emotionless as it had been the whole conversation.

"Selenity, you know that Paris and Malachite have researched the dark powers extensively throughout their lives and they know more about them than we could hope to know. Please listen to them. I fear the Dark Princess greatly," Helen pleaded as Luna handed Selenity a cup of tea.

Selenity took a sip of the scalding liquid, then placed the cup on the table beside her. "I am listening to them, Helen, but that does not change my stand on the issue. Beryl will not be killed, and she will remain in my custody if that ensures her safety."

"My Queen, you are under much stress at the moment, perhaps it would be wise to reconsider-"

"No, Artemis," Selenity said, cutting off the said advisor. "I will not reconsider this. Paris, I am very sorry, please don't think I am meaning to offend you or be difficult, but I simply will not allow the girl to be harmed."

"Selenity, please understand! If we don't put an end to her, she will hurt us in the future. She is forever in the grasp of the powers of the Negaverse, she has her heart set on revenge, and she cannot be helped. That is not a good mixture, and I wish to keep my family and people safe. I saw the planet torn apart once already, and I don't wish to see that again."

"Do you think I don't know what it's like to worry about those you love Paris? You have lost nothing yet. The first time Earth was devastated, you lost nothing and I lost my mother. The second time Earth was attacked you lost nothing, and I lost Kino. Don't you dare thing I don't know what it's like to worry, to want to protect, because I do. I still have Serenity, and heaven help anyone who tried to hurt her." The passion that the Queen of the Moon had in her words penetrated deep into the hearts of those listening, but Paris was still stubborn.

"In order to protect her, you need to take away the one thing that will threaten her."

"You do not present a good argument, Paris. Any outlaying nation could suddenly wish to wage war against us. Should I go now and kill everyone that is not my ally?"

"No, but Beryl is an immediate threat, one that will come up against you if given the chance!"

"You can't know that for sure!"

"Yes I can!"

"No! You can't! If it were not for her mother's influence, Beryl would be an innocent bystander right now. I wish to give her a chance to fix her life free of that influence. Think about it Paris! I knew that Aminiha wanted to destroy me, that was part of war. However, she also wanted to destroy my daughter for no reason, other than the fact that she was my daughter. That was wrong. Aminiha's war was against me. My war was against Aminiha. I will not kill Beryl just because she is her mother's daughter, because that is what Aminiha wished to do with Serenity. I would be a great hypocrite if I allowed you to kill Beryl now. I. Will. Not. Hand. Her. Over. Is that clear?"

"Crystal," Paris hissed. "I do not agree with you though. My job first and foremost is to protect my family and my people. Beryl is a danger and threat to the peace I wish for them to have, and I will not rest until she is gone. Is THATclear?"

The air in the room was getting thicker and thicker. No one liked the way the two monarchs were bickering but no one knew how to stop them.

"My Lord, my Lady," Artemis began, "Perhaps we should let the issue rest until the conference of the planets. We could then get the views of all the other Kings and Queens, and then decide what to do."

"I would agree to that, but every moment that Beryl is allowed to live increases the chances that the Negaverse will help her escape, and then we would be in deep trouble," Malachite added in. Artemis shot him an exasperated look but said nothing more.

"Selenity, please don't force me to take action in a way I really don't want to," Paris warned.

"What do you wish to do, my Lord?" Selenity asked, issuing an unspoken challenge.

Paris glowered at her. " Clause twelve of the treaty between the Earth and Moon states that if you or I feel that the other is not fit to rule, the other will take over both planets until that one is deemed as stable again and fit to take over his or her planet, as judged by a group of our peers. You have been put through hell, Selenity, and you are not thinking strait. You are putting our solar system into jeopardy, and that is something that I cannot ignore."

"Are you threatening me, Paris?" Selenity asked, her icy tone sending chills down everyone's backs. "Are you threatening to take the Moon away from me?"

"It's no threat," Paris hissed, "it's a promise and a fact."

The stony silence that filled the room was deafening, and it seemed as though everyone was holding their breath. Selenity clasped her hands on her lap and gazed directly at Paris, her gaze unwavering and unblinking. "I will not tolerate you calling me foolish and crazed. I am thinking quite clearly, I can't afford not to. I am in a very sane state of mind, and thus I do not thing you are justified in demanding that I hand over the Moon to you at this time. I ask that you reconsider your request, for I will not step down, and I don't think that anyone would support your accusation of my insanity." Her words were clipped and clear, which only acted to anger the Earth King even more. He clenched his fists and stood abruptly from his seat, startling Helen.

"My Lady, if you will not allow me to protect you, your planet, and my planet on peaceful terms, then I will be forced to use other means to ensure that safety."

"My Lord," Selenity hissed as she stood from her seat, "I will not be bullied into submission. If you choose to do this, it will be you who is to blame for a war between our nations, a war which I would very much so like to avoid."

"Hand over the girl then."

"You know my answer to that."

"Then let it be war."

"Fine, so be it."

No one could be believe what they had just heard. Not only had they just finished a war, they were about to begin a new one, this time in their own midst. Without warning, Paris grabbed Helens hand and began to storm to the doors. "Malachite," he barked, "prepare the ships, we are leaving immediately." The door slammed behind him and the struggling Helen, leaving an enraged Queen, two confused servants, and an uncomfortable General.

"My apologies," Malachite said with a bow. "I will see what I can do to sooth his anger, my Lady, and I ask you allow your advisors to do the same." With those words said, Malachite exited the room.

"I'll not be soothed," Selenity snapped before Luna or Artemis could make a move to do anything. "I will not be soothed until there is peace between our nations again, and that will not happen until there is an apology from that man."

Luna and Artemis could only stare as Selenity stormed out the doors on the other side of the library, slamming them behind her.

"What are we going to do?" Luna whispered as Artemis stood and walked over to her.

"We'll think of something," he murmured. "For now, though, you should go and see if you can soothe her at least a little, as General Malachite suggested. I will go and see what I can do about King Paris and Queen Helen."

Luna nodded her head. "I'll see what I can do."