Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ The Radiant Sailor Moon ❯ SILVER MILLENNIUM - [?] Years Ago ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

DISCLAIMER: Sailor Moon is property of Naoko Takeuchi, Viz Media, Toei Animation. I’m just a fan.

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Slowly, strenuously, she opened her eyes. Her strained vision was blurry and double. As she struggled to lift her lithe form off of the ground, things came slowly back into focus. Her heart broke anew as she once again took in the horrifying spectacle…

Her daughter, the bright-eyed light of her life, heir to her throne, lay dead. The young woman, face wet with tears, sword lodged in her chest, now rested on top of her slain Earthly lover. Their blood, united in death, pooled on the dusty gray surface.

She made her way to her feet, surveying the battlefield before her with sorrow. Her daughter and would-be son-in-law were not the only dear souls cut down this day. Amid the carnage, she easily recognized the shimmering garments of the four guardians; her beloved senshi. The young ladies whom she hand-picked for duty herself. Those who grew with, laughed with, trained with, and swore to protect her daughter until their last breath. Sadly, they had fulfilled their promise.

Tears pulled at her eyes, but time was of the essence. A strange, violet light shone in the distance, telling her that the devastation was far from complete. As she gathered her bearings, a burgundy jewel caught her eye. She knew immediately where it came from and picked it up. The shaken yet regal woman took one last mournful look at her child’s body, turned, and ran towards the temple, her two long, silver ponytails flowing behind her.

The final cost of war spread out before her during this final trip. Her palace, the crown jewel of Silver Millennium, reduced to ruins. Scores, hundreds of Earth’s finest warriors littered the ground, spears, armor and all, thanks to the hands of her guardians. They had been taught to avoid killing whenever possible, but Earth’s soldiers came with such a singular focus on destruction, and so brazenly slaughtered the peaceful citizens of the moon, that the guardians were left with no choice. The four of them had fought so beautifully, so gracefully, and so tirelessly that the situation was in a manageable state even before reinforcements from beyond the asteroids arrived. Victory was almost assured.

Breathing hard and leaning against the miraculously unscathed temple door, the queen took a glance into the distance. Earth high above the lunar horizon looked so clear, so tranquil today. How ironic. If only they knew. A faint gleam to the right of the globe caught her attention. Her grey-silver eyes darted to the location, where she could faintly make out the crystalline structure moving past the planet. The energy that she had placed within the seal would keep the evil entity trapped and moving away from Earth and its future inhabitants forever…hopefully. By that time in the struggle, she was already weakened. And this…this…malignance, was unlike anything she had ever encountered.

It was clear to the queen, the princess, the guardians, and the prince that this entity had corrupted and influenced the people of Earth into this war. Especially strong was its hold on those leading the invading forces through the swirling portal: the four remarkable young men who had served her daughter’s royal suitor (and had become quite involved with her senshi), and the unknown woman, wielding sword and sorcery, calling herself the new Queen of Earth.

True distress had gripped the Moon Queen, to have watched those young men, possessed by something otherworldly, slay and be slain by the wonderful young women who doubled as their friends and lovers. She recalled the inconsolable fear, shock, and bewilderment on the face of the young prince as he watched his generals, his most trusted friends, destroy love and light in a mad frenzy.

The queen opened the door and walked softly into the temple. At the altar, her two most trusted advisors, high priest and priestess, were praying. She allowed herself a small smile. Through all of this trouble, her two sentinels kept watch. As she approached the pair, the female looked up from her prayer. Their eyes met. Years of companionship allowed them to communicate without saying a word. With just that one look, the raven-haired woman knew the entire situation. She rose from the altar and embraced her ruler and best friend. Tears began to flow into the priestess’ hair. That gentle, loving hug was all that it took for the final nightmarish frames to replay in the queen’s mind.

She saw her daughter clutching the handsome young man as he brandished the sparkling sword. The skills of the self-proclaimed Queen had finally put the moon’s reinforcements on their backs despite their special weapons. As the sorceress approached the lovers, a dark red aura flew off of her like the flares of a star. Massive and intense, to look upon it was to almost see a laughing face peering back. The woman laid her claim to Earth…and to its prince. She accused him of betraying his home planet for a little bun-headed whore and an alliance with a dangerous enemy. The only absolution: conquering the Moon Kingdom, marrying the new Queen of Earth, and spilling the blood of the Moon Princess. The prince refused and moved aggressively to protect his love from his prosecutor. With swordplay that exhibited her expertise in war, the sorceress dislodged the sword from his hand, sheathed her own bejeweled saber, and caught the prince’s weapon out of the air by the hilt, with the blade firmly under his chin. A self-satisfied smirk momentarily tugged at her lips. The entire exchange took less than five seconds.

The Moon Queen had seen enough. She began an incantation of sealing, but the devilish apparition sensed the spell. With an explosion of maroon light, the monarch was lashed down. Her daughter saw the violent action and instinctively ran towards her mother…the opportunity that the sorceress was waiting for. The young princess was grabbed by the back of her dress and unceremoniously thrown at the feet of her soon-to-be assailant. As the Moon Queen looked up and screamed, the sorceress drove the sword down…

…into the heart of the prince. He had thrown himself between the blade and his true love.

The wound was fatal and fast acting. Unable to speak, trembling from shock and blood loss, the young prince took the hand of his beloved and kissed it before expiring.

The princess’ eyes and voice quivered, “En…Endymion?”

Sweating and staggering backwards with a look of horror on her face, the sorceress let the sword go. The portal from Earth collapsed as the sword stood erect in its victim’s wound. She began to softly shake her head. The Moon Queen, while in sorrowful astonishment herself, noticed that the flame aura dissipated quite a bit as her new enemy shivered in grief. She re-centered herself and resumed the incantation. Tapping the powerful energy reserves in her body, she directed a pure, white beam at the entity, causing a crystal substance to begin to envelop it. The entity shrieked and exerted blasts of more energy in order to resist. The battle of power caused so much physical stress to the sorceress that her body was literally ripped apart. The Moon Queen had to focus all of her concentration on sealing the demon within the magical enclosure. In her desperation to banish the evil, she didn’t notice her daughter’s switch from uncontrollable screaming and bawling to stunned silence with a sudden fascination with the shining sword in her lover’s breast. It wasn’t until the sealing was almost complete that the queen, on the verge of unconsciousness due the expenditure of energy, looked over and saw that the princess, on the ground, with the dead prince’s head in her lap, held the blade over her heart…

…and thrust it in.

The ladies gently broke the embrace and the priestess cradled the Moon Queen’s face in her hands. She gave her queen a moment to calm down before pursuing for answers. While devoted and supporting, the priestess was also uncompromisingly practical.

“The sealing?” she asked.

The queen shook her head. “I’m not certain. Once she…she…”

The priestess wiped away the fresh tears. “You did everything you could. Let us pray for the best.” She looked up to the sky through the open-air roof. She frowned. “What of the artifacts?”

“They have resonated,” the Queen said dejectedly. “Before I completely passed out, I saw them come together.”

The priestess’ heart skipped a beat. As if on cue, the ground beneath them began to shake ever so slightly.

“My queen!” The priest had just finished his prayers and was now walking towards the women. He was rubbing his white hair in a nervous fashion. “Is it time for us to…” He paused to choose his words carefully. “…to take the…final option?”

Her warm, sad stare directly into his green eyes answered the question for him. He exhaled deeply, swallowed hard, and nodded his head once. He was completely loyal to his duty. He held his hand out to his long-time comrade.

“Alright, Luna. Let’s go.”

Taking his hand, she looked from him to the altar. The two of them had already been through so much together. Their job serving the Moon Kingdom had proven to be the most fulfilling in the entire cosmos. But they always knew that their lofty positions came with sacrifice. Accepting the arduous call, the two of them made their final bipedal walk.

The queen followed them to the altar, where they all knelt. The priest and priestess turned to face the queen. She took the face of the priest into her hands. Their eyes met for the last time. He continued to project an air of confidence, though it poorly masked his uneasiness.

“Queen Serenity, it’s always an honor to serve you.”

Queen Serenity gave him a warm smile. “Thank you, Artemis.” She kissed him on his forehead. A crescent moon symbol began to glow on the very spot of the kiss.

She moved over to Luna. The queen gently rubbed the priestess’ shoulders in order to alleviate some of her nerves. Luna kept her head down. “What’s the matter?”

Luna spoke quietly. “I still think about the day of the princess’ birth. The peculiar wind that come through the door of space-time. And today, when that…strange energy appeared, my hair stood on end just the same. I know they’re connected.”

“As do I,” the queen confirmed. “If you’re fortunate, you may yet get to solve the mystery!”

Luna looked up and chuckled as they shared a smile through the tears. “That might prove difficult with the shape I’ll be in!” she quipped.

The queen took her friend’s face into her hands and kissed her in the same manner. An identical mark appeared and glowed as Artemis’ did. As the demolition outside began to ramp up, the group took each other’s hands. Queen Serenity led the prayer.

“My dear daughter, protected by the moon, please be surrounded by a stable, loving family. Grow up happy. Grow up healthy. Bring joy to everyone that you encounter, exactly as you have here at my side. Love your Earthly family, but always remember who you are. And when you awaken, harness all of your abilities, and fulfill the beautiful destiny waiting only for you.

“Prince Endymion, protected by the Earth, let your love for my daughter live through the ages. Be drawn to her, find her, protect her, and love her. Your bravery and honor will endure and be an inspiration to your world.

“Darling senshi, protected by Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, in the future, you will once again stand by my daughter’s side. When that time comes, be compassionate, be bold, be confident, be strong. Come together and form the senshi once more. Until then, live lives of love and fun. Your guardian planet will guide you.

“Fallen warriors from beyond, protected by Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, take your rest. You will awaken one day and resume your duties. Your jobs are solitary and lonely, but of deep importance. Have the strength and courage to do what others are unable to. Stand watch and defend all we hold dear at all costs.

“Tainted souls of Earth, especially the four generals loyal to the prince, may you be free from this evil alien influence and rebuild your beautiful planet. Embrace love, reject war. Never lose your sense of wonder as you look to the heavens.”

Queen Serenity placed her palms on the foreheads of Luna and Artemis. Though exhausted and nearly drained, the love that she had for the princess and her companions infused her with the power to summon the needed energy. Bright light radiated throughout the temple.

 “Luna, find my daughter. Be firm with her, coach and develop her. Even when she frustrates you, treat her with patience and love…much like you’ve done already.

“Artemis, you will find the first senshi to awake, and prepare her to lead the others. Her training will be integral to their growth. The revival of the senshi rests on your success.

“Luna, Artemis, thank you for accepting this charge. As a team, you will guide my daughter and the senshi. Be their teachers, be their mentors, return them to being the ladies and warriors that we know them as now.”

The bodies of Luna and Artemis began to glow as the white light became blinding. Their robes dissolved as the very shape of their bodies commenced a change. They began to shrink…and grow fur…and whiskers…and tails. “Take your forms, and revive when the time comes.” The light dissipated, and on the floor of the temple were now two cats, one black, one white, both with a golden crescent moon symbol on their head. The cats were both asleep.

Queen Serenity picked the napping felines up and cradled them as she walked behind the altar. She leaned against the wall for support and craned her neck to the sky. Her weary heart was lightened as she marveled at the beautiful sight. Like a nebula of sparkling dust and crystal, the essence of the souls of the fallen, their star seeds, flowed across the vast expanse. The river of light was winding its way towards Earth. Despite her dimming vision and the increased debris being forced into the atmosphere, she could easily make out the radiance of her daughter’s seed. A fabulous silver shine that clearly illuminated the other familiar seeds in its vicinity. The queen smiled. Her daughter was safe. She placed her hand on the stone wall, causing several indicator lights on its surface to flicker. Soft mechanical whirring emanated from the edifice, and an automatic door slid open.

As she took a step inside, a sudden, chilly gale knocked her off-balance, down to her knees. She caught herself with one hand, careful not to drop the cats. A sense of dread overtook her. This wind, cold and foreboding, felt an awful lot like the one Luna obsessed over: the ominous specter that stemmed from somewhere beyond the great door of space-time. Could this be the same? Luna even seemed to twitch in her arm. The queen feebly looked back to the sky, but it was completely covered as the annihilation neared its apex. She couldn’t worry about what a space-time disturbance would do to the path of the star seeds. But how could she not? Would that wicked wind disperse the seeds? Causing them to bloom in different places? At different times? Would the senshi come together? Would her daughter and the prince find each other?

The queen drew herself to her full height and took one deep, cleansing breath. At this point, doubt could be acknowledged, but not indulged. As her priestess said, she had done all that she could do. Her prayers had been sent. She had to trust that the best would happen. Right now, with seconds left in the history of Silver Millennium, was the time to complete her work.

She quickly made her way down the stairs into the sublunarian lair. The room was expansive and impressive. The technology of the Moon Kingdom far surpassed that of Earth, helping to make travel and the study of science much more robust. Looking to the right, she found the familiar room. The one that was at the root of all of the current problems: the teleportation room. Walking in, she reacquainted herself with her surroundings: the circular pad used to send people and things down to various places on Earth, the control room where the engineers kept the transporter and other machines running, and the emergency wall which held necessary items for any imaginable contingency. It was from this wall that the Queen took two cat-sized pods. The queen placed Artemis and Luna in their own pods, and attached a collar around their necks. From her gown, she produced the burgundy jewel that she took from the battle. She placed it within a capsule on Artemis’ collar. She then sealed them with a typed in code, and positioned the two on the pad. A strong quake caused her to stumble on her way to the control room. Fighting the moving ground, she made her way to the room and pressed the emergency transport button. The pad began to glow with concentric white lights and in a flash, the pods were gone.

Queen Serenity collapsed on the floor of the control room. The shaking was beginning to subside, only to be replaced by something much more chilling: the sound of silence. Oxygen was quickly thinning, and even in the fortified underground bunker, the violet light was shining through. The queen truly hoped that the technology, much of it designed and crafted by one of her genius senshi, would somehow survive the cataclysm and keep the memories of Silver Millennium alive.

As she took her last breaths, her thoughts strayed to their normal destination…her daughter. The queen wouldn’t be there to see the princess grow into the dynamic woman that she was ordained to be, but Queen Serenity believed that their connection could allow her guidance to traverse the years. A small tear came to her eye as her mind raced. There were so many specific memories that she wanted to wrap herself in at this moment, but they all seemingly ran together in her head. The queen could only get the broad strokes: the carefree smile, the inability to be on time for anything, the trusting nature, the clumsiness, the kindness to strangers and friends alike, the voracious appetite, the loving hugs, the ability to cry about anything, the curiosity, the daydreams, the pure and caring heart unwilling to let anyone suffer on her watch.

Queen Serenity closed her eyes forever. But one last blessing passed her lips:

“I love you, my Princess Serenity.”