Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ The Radiant Sailor Moon ❯ Act I: Child of the Moon - Part 2 ( Chapter 3 )
DISCLAIMER: Sailor Moon is property of Naoko Takeuchi, Viz Media, Toei Animation. I’m just a fan.
Act I: Child of the Moon
Part 2: Sailor Moon
“Whoa! What’s going on?” Usagi wondered to herself. Her eyes blinked open. She saw herself surrounded by a deeply chromatic, flowing aurora. She felt like she was floating in ether, not quite in control of her body. She wanted to struggle, to regain her own locomotion, but she also felt strangely at ease. Oddly enough, she knew that she knew what was happening, even if she wasn’t ready to accept it.
Her eyes closed again as she felt a surge of power envelop her chest and torso. It was warm and colorful. It seemed to materialize on her skin as…fabric. Her hands crossed in front of her face and she felt the same sensation. And now her legs…and a swirl around her waist. As she slowly spiraled through the luminous atmosphere, Usagi also noticed subtle changes in her body. She felt…stronger. She was no longer fighting sleep. There was stamina that her body hadn’t ever had before. It was like she could run to Yokohama and back if she wanted. The warm energy now manifested from her forehead. She felt her head being thrown back as the power slowly crowned her. She could even feel that something changed with her odangos!
Once again, she opened her eyes. The mysterious place that she had just been in began to fade away, dissolving back into her room. Usagi now found herself staring at her reflection. Her work clothes had been replaced by a sailor fuku, very similar to the one she used to wear to school, except this one boasted a white leotard, a very short, blue miniskirt and a huge red bow in the back. The brooch was nestled in the middle of the red bow in the front. Long, white gloves and high, red boots decorated her extremities, while crescent moon earrings and a cute, crescent moon choker adorned her ears and neck. A golden tiara ornamented her head, the band displaying a red jewel that matched the orbs now perched in her odangos. Her left fist was on her hip, her right hand in a (sideways) “peace” sign on her forehead.
“What…just…happened?” Usagi marveled at the brand-new person looking back at her in the mirror.
Luna hopped to her side. “You have transformed,” she said with a bit of pride.
“Transformed?” Usagi asked. She looked at Luna. “Wait. How long was I unconscious? I felt like I was in a dream world for, like, five minutes!”
“You were never unconscious,” Luna replied. “And once you get used to transforming, it won’t seem as long. The process is virtually instantaneous.” Luna giggled. “If it took 45 seconds for you to transform, your opponents would have ample time to attack!”
“Opponents?! Attack?!” Usagi’s face became indignant. “Ok, you little furball! You’d better start making some sense!”
Luna ignored the quip and sat up, straight and tall. “You are Sailor Moon! Champion of justice, defender of love, guided by the light of the moon! You are a sacred senshi with a mission to defend this planet!”
Usagi didn’t know what to say to that revelation. “Are you telling me that I’m supposed to be a…superhero?”
Luna shrugged. “Call it what you want, but that is your duty.”
Usagi went back to examining herself in the mirror. She grinned. “At least I look good!”
Before Luna could roll her eyes, a sound and a flash caught her attention. In her reflection, Usagi could see her odango jewels flicker. She also noticed a dull roar beginning to rise.
“Trouble!” Luna yelped as she bounded to the window. “Sailor Moon, where is it coming from?”
The racket was growing louder and louder. “What? What are you talking about?”
“Your orbs are reacting to danger in the area!” Luna explained over the rising level. “They will guide you to the source, but you have to concentrate! Focus on the…”
By that time, the cacophony was too much for Luna’s voice. All Usagi could hear was a bevy of random noise. Her head began to hurt, her eyes began to water. She didn’t understand anything that Luna was saying, and frankly she didn’t want to. That intruder had just come into her home and turned her life upside down in a few minutes! Just this morning, it was simple: working hard and finding her way in the world. Her and Naru together, growing and learning…
A faint sound began to cut through the din of metro trains, crickets, crying babies, and tv stations showing the baseball game. Usagi searched for that voice, her mind fixating only on that shred of familiarity. Slowly, all extraneous noise faded away, and she could now clearly hear:
“Help! Get away from me! Mom! Mom! Please, wake up! Help!”
Usagi’s eyes widened. What she was experiencing was both exhilarating and frightening. She could not only hear Naru calling for help, she could also sense a strange presence, subtle and sinister, trying to subdue her friend. Usagi snapped back to the moment. “Luna! We have to help Naru! I know where she is!” Usagi took a step, but felt a little dizzy. Her ears were still ringing from the blast of sound.
“Careful, Sailor Moon,” Luna warned. “Your orbs have sonic properties. You’re going to have to learn how to use your powers effectively, so pay attention to everything.”
Usagi nodded. She then headed for the front door.
“Usagi!” Luna yelled.
Usagi turned back to her. “What? We have to go!”
“And you’re going to go out of your front door looking like that?” Luna asked wryly. “You have a secret identity to protect now. You have to find a sneakier way out.” She motioned her head towards the window.
Usagi looked nervous. “Jump out of the window?”
“Sure,” Luna replied. “Rooftop travel is usually best. C’mon. It’s only about a 15-meter jump from here to the roof across the street.”
Usagi moved to the window and looked out. She did feel stronger now, but could she really do this? The only athletic activity that she seemed any good at was dodgeball, and a lot of that seemed to be clumsiness combined with luck. And what about after she arrived? She was to face off against some evil presence armed with a skirt and a smile? There could only be one reason that she would agree to go: to save her friend.
Gingerly, she moved out onto the ledge. Luna jumped onto her back. With a touch of dread in her voice, Usagi asked, “What am I getting into?”
* - - - -
Usagi landed on the sidewalk, right in front of Osa-P’s open front door. Luna was tucked in her arms. Both of them were sporting fresh bruises.
Luna shook herself. “You are REALLY going to have to practice!”
“Hey! I made the 15 meters!” Usagi countered. “Don’t get mad just because I didn’t stick the landing!”
Usagi huffed and ignored Luna’s look. She then gazed into the store. Over one hundred people were inside, kneeling in the dim light. Usagi cautiously stepped in. Luna shuddered violently and leapt out of Usagi’s arms. “There is a very evil presence in here!” she said. “Try to find Naru quickly, then we must find the source of this evil!”
“Find the source?” Usagi asked, trembling as she walked deeper into the store. She was pretty sure that this was going to be a rescue mission: get Naru and get out. But, as she looked closer at the people kneeling, she could see the dire straits that they were in: dehydrated, emaciated, wheezing with each breath. It was obvious that they needed rescuing too.
Usagi continued her search until she reached the center of the store. A sinister light beckoned her eyes to a familiar glass case. Chills ran over her body as she saw the rock, the one that made her so uncomfortable that afternoon, emit a pulsing, red glow. She let her eyes trail over the bodies. She could make out the red jewelry. She could also see showers of sparks timed perfectly with the Yamana Ruby’s pulse.
The sound was faint, but not to Usagi. Using her newfound leaping ability, she triple-jumped towards the back of the store. Upon landing, she could see Naru, propped up on the wall, a necklace and two bracelets placed on her body. Her eyes were cloudy, her pulse was low. Usagi moved towards her.
Just before she reached her friend, a figure whooshed in between them. The swiftness so startled Usagi that she tripped backwards, landing awkwardly on her bow. Usagi looked up in disbelief at Mrs. Osaka. She was wearing even more of the ruby jewelry now. Her face appeared as worn out and sickly as the rest of the crowd, but she seemed to have incredible speed and…and…red eyes?
Usagi scrambled to her feet. Naru’s mom or not (she was leaning towards “not”), everyone in the store needed to be rescued. “What are you doing here?” she demanded.
“She needs your energy too.” Mrs. Osaka grabbed both of Usagi’s wrists. The young senshi couldn’t believe the level of strength that Mrs. Osaka had either. Struggling against her captor, Usagi noticed three women walking towards her, holding various articles of jewelry.
“She needs our energy. She needs our energy.”
Usagi was torn. She had to fight in order to save Naru and get out of here. But could she hurt innocent people in the process? Could she fight the three, zombie-like women approaching her? Could she leave the mass surrounding the Yamana Ruby, sentencing them to apparent death? As frightened as she was, she looked deep into the eyes of Mrs. Osaka. Behind the red glow, she sensed nothing. If this was truly the lovely woman that she knew, she was in need of rescue as well!
Luna popped her head around the nearest display case. “You need to fight!” she hissed.
“How?” Usagi asked. “I don’t want to hurt them!” As strong as Mrs. Osaka’s grip was, Usagi felt that she could break it fairly easily…but that it might break the woman’s hand too.
“They are going to hurt you!” Luna exclaimed. “You must attack! Use your power!”
“But, I don’t have any power!” Usagi exclaimed while continuing to wiggle around. “The only powerful thing that I have is a headache from these stupid orbs!”
As soon as the words came out of her mouth, Usagi’s memory flashed ten minutes backwards. After the painful crescendo, after hearing Naru’s cries, the sound just stopped. How? Usagi didn’t recall doing anything special. She just…stopped it. Her memory continued to play: Luna said that the orbs had “sonic properties.” While she wasn’t great with physics, Usagi was pretty sure that “sonic” meant “sound”. Could she control sound with the orbs? Just by…doing it?
“FIGHT!” Luna ordered.
Usagi looked at Naru’s mom. Her expression hadn’t changed. The jewelry draped over her body continued to sparkle. She looked to the other side. The three women were seconds away from placing the jewelry on her body. She didn’t have time to think or doubt. She had one shot, and could only do one thing:
The reverberation from Usagi’s orb-enhanced scream shook the very foundation of the building and shattered pane after pane of glass. The force threw Mrs. Osaka and the other women to the ground. The stress of the shockwave (and the sheer ear-splitting volume) was too much for the bodies of the weakened people inside Osa-P to handle. Usagi opened her eyes and looked around. Every person had fallen unconscious.
Luna was in shock for a different reason (besides almost being deafened). She shook the glass out of her fur and walked over to Usagi’s side. “You did it,” she whispered. She looked up at the young senshi and smiled. “You did it! I’m so proud of you!” Usagi, in shock herself, looked down and returned a shy smile. “But! You’re not done yet!” Luna turned and bounded towards the center of the store. Usagi initially turned to follow her, but she hesitated. She looked over at Naru, now laying on the floor due to the blast. The effects of the jewelry still rested on her face. Now knowing what the next step was, Usagi leapt to Luna’s side. They stared at the Yamana Ruby.
“You have to destroy this thing,” Luna said plainly.
“Yeah, I figured,” Usagi replied. “But I’m pretty sure that I would break my hand if I tried.” Usagi looked thoughtful. “I guess that I could try to scream louder…”
“Please, don’t!” Luna exclaimed. Usagi looked startled. Luna pointed to her ears. “Cats have more sensitive hearing than humans.”
“Oh, yeah.” Usagi blushed. “Sorry,” she said with a sheepish grin. She frowned. “How are we gonna do it?”
“WE are not going to do anything,” Luna stated. “YOU are going to grab your tiara, say ‘Moon Tiara Boomerang’, and throw it at that hideous rock!”
“Huh? My tiara is a weapon too?” Usagi grabbed the tiara by the jewel and pulled it off of her head. Examining it, she asked Luna, “so…I just…throw it?”
“Yes,” Luna replied. “But, you might want to back up. I don’t know how much damage the impact will create.”
The pair carefully moved around the unconscious bodies to a spot about 10 meters from the ruby. Usagi took the tiara in her hand. As she began to concentrate on her incantation, the tiara began to glow.
“Moon Tiara Boomerang!” Usagi flung the tiara as a frisbee, and watched the spiral of light as it zeroed in on the stone. There was a huge crack as the tiara completely penetrated the Yamana ruby, breaking it into several pieces. Usagi and Luna watched in amazement as the pieces of the jewel began to disintegrate into what looked like sand. As they surveyed the room, they noticed that the same thing was happening with all of the Yamana jewelry. Moments later, the sand began to evaporate into the air as steam. Less than thirty seconds after its destruction, all traces of the Yamana Ruby were gone.
“Unbelievable!” Usagi marveled at what she just saw, what she had just accomplished. Evil had just been vanquished at her hands. The people strewn at her feet were already beginning to look healthier. She was, really, a hero!
Luna couldn’t contain her happiness. “Congratulations, Sailor Moon! This was an excellent mission! You accomplished victory using your poise and intelligence. Awesome job!”
Usagi laughed and showed the peace sign. “I did it!” she exclaimed.
While still in awe of her stunning victory, Usagi absently wondered where her tiara had gone. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a golden gleam.
“Look out!” Luna yelled.
Usagi turned just in time to see the spiral of light closing in on her head at full speed. She screamed and shielded her face.
After a good five seconds passed, Usagi wondered why she hadn’t been hit by her own attack yet. Uncovering her face, she noticed that there was now an object in her balled-up fist: a single red rose. Stunned, she stared at the beautiful flower.
“Exquisite,” a rich, baritone voice called out, “but…not the treasure that I’m looking for.”
Usagi wheeled around to where the voice was coming from. Luna was already staring. What they saw standing by the door dumbfounded them both.
The figure was dressed for a night on the town. Patent leather shoes gave way to double-braid, sharply pleated dress pants. A black topcoat (with tails!) enveloped a white waistcoat and white shirt with pearl studs and cufflinks. A white bow tie complimented the white gloves, and a red rose rested upon the lapel. A black cape was fastened to the shoulders, and a black top hat completed the formal ensemble. The subject leaned on a cane while twirling Usagi’s tiara on an index finger. Usagi and Luna both strained to make out a face, but were unable to do so.
“Wh-who are you?” Usagi asked, shaking just a bit. “Where did you come from? How long have you been here?”
The figure picked up his cane and stepped towards them, still playing with the tiara. Unease made Usagi want to step back, but…for some reason…she just stood there flat-footed. As he came into the dim light, Usagi and Luna could see why they couldn’t make out his face: it was covered by a black and white mask. The style of mask, with some sort of tribal design and a small, red jewel under the left eyehole, was one that neither of them could identify offhand. He responded, “Where? Not important. How long? Long enough to see you in action. Quite impressive.”
Usagi repeated her first question, a bit more forcefully, “Who are you?”
The subject effortlessly flipped the tiara back to Usagi, who bobbled it twice before securing it in her hand opposite of the rose. “I have no need for a name. I am simply a collector,” he said. “I’m on the lookout for only the finest of jewels. And…” he paused for effect, “I’m someone who knows that a boomerang will return to its source if thrown properly.” He cocked his head slightly. “I’m sure that even your talking cat knows that.” Luna’s hair stood on end.
Usagi, while concerned that he knew about Luna, was more worried about a “jewel collector” coming to Osa-P way past closing time. “Oh, you’re looking for the finest jewels, huh? I don’t know too many shoppers that go around wearing fancy clothes and a…weird mask late at night! If you want anything in this store, first you’ll have to get past me!”
“And, you are?” the man inquired.
“Who am I? I’m…I’m…” Usagi stopped. She couldn’t quite remember the title that Luna gave to her. She looked down. Luna was pointing to the symbol on her head.
“Umm…Crescent…Goldie…Baldie?” Usagi asked. Luna buried her face in her paw.
Usagi looked back at the mysterious character, knowing that he was probably quite amused at her expense. Over his shoulder, she caught a glimpse of a rising celestial body. Its luminosity providing a sharp contrast against the dark sky. The mere sight of it invigorated her. The light filled her eyes and stirred her soul. Usagi felt courage and creativity well up inside. Inspired, she struck a pose.
“Protected by the Moon! The pretty guardian, who fights for love and justice! I am Sailor Moon! And in the name of the moon, I’ll punish you!”
The man stood silent throughout the whole speech, admiring her animated motions. The little woman was now pointing directly at him. He chuckled.
“Punish me, hmm?” he asked smoothly, “Be careful! I may take you up on the offer.”
Sailor Moon winced. And blushed. She didn’t have a comeback for that.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “I’m only looking for one special treasure.” He headed for the door. “I’ll let you know when I find it.”
“Wait!” Sailor Moon exclaimed, running for the door. “Come back here you…you, tuxedo…mask guy!”
The masked man walked out into the street. "I do apologize my dear, but I have more errands to run tonight.” He looked back at her. “Until next time.”
The man leapt away before Usagi could reach him. By the time she got outside, he had disappeared into the night. Sailor Moon stood there, rose in hand, bathed in the moonlight. She was frustrated. She wanted to talk to this guy. But, why? What was it about him that disarmed her just now? Just today, she had faced a talking cat, zombie moms, and an evil rock, yet it was this random guy who threw her off of her game? What was going on?
Luna ran outside. “Sailor Moon, the people are starting to come to. It looks like they’ll all be alright, even Naru’s mom. Plus, I think that the police are on their way. We’d better get going.”
The distant sirens along with Luna’s warning brought the senshi’s attention back. “Right. Let’s go.” Luna jumped into Sailor Moon’s arms and they bolted back the way they came.
Looking out from the back of the store, a dazed and groggy Naru wondered if what she had just seen was real.
* - - - -
“So, she was possessed?”
Luna stretched out beside Usagi on her bed and answered. “Yes. The jewelry made her body as weak as the others, but the amount that she was wearing must have had a purpose. I’m certain that it was to channel some evil entity. Her eyes and enhanced abilities were proof of something unnatural.”
Usagi ran her fingers through her hair. She had taken her odangos down. “The Yamana Ruby worked people into a frenzy to get their heart rates and adrenaline up, then called them back to drain their energy for...whoever ‘She’ is.” Usagi sat solemn for a moment. Then she whipped around to Luna and smiled. “But, we beat the bad guys! Well…girls, I guess.”
Luna returned the smile. “You beat her, Sailor Moon. That was outstanding work. Now, learn your lessons from the battle and be prepared for next time.”
Usagi sat up. She was disturbed by what Luna said, but also by how nonchalantly she had said it. “Uhh…next time?”
“Yes,” Luna answered, “there will be a next time. Dangerous forces are gathering and you must be ready. Keep your awareness. Always be prepared to fight, and be on the lookout for enemies and allies.”
Usagi lowered herself back onto her bed. Bad guys (or girls), dangerous forces, allies and enemies: a far cry from the life of an ordinary girl working her way through the world. She let the different feelings from the day flow over her: the compassion for Luna, the unease at the Yamana Ruby, the exhilaration of the transformation, the fear during the battle, the joy of triumph, the relief for Naru and the victims, the mystery of…
Usagi’s face became red.
…the masked man in the tuxedo. Why did her thoughts want to linger on him? Why did her heart skip a beat when she thought about him? What “treasure” was he looking for? Why was she keeping that rose on her windowsill? What does he look like under there? Was he an ally or an enemy? Why does he wear the mask? How did he get that sexy voice…?
Usagi turned over and tried to clear her mind. She looked out of the window at the clear sky over the city. So many people under the stars…in Tokyo…in Japan…all across the world. Such a beautiful world, but so fragile. So many hearts in need of healing, so much love in need of protection. Who was looking to the sky for guidance tonight? To the stars for answers? To the moon for a wide-awake smile?
A loud snore perked Luna’s ears. She giggled.
“Sleep well, little princess.”
* - - - -
He walked into his apartment with a suit bag draped over his shoulder. It was a good thing that his block of Shibaura was always quiet at this time of night. He proceeded down the hallway of his spacious abode, passing the lineup of masks from around the globe (mostly from his native continent) that adorned both sides. Hanging the bag on the bedroom door, he made his way to the shower. As the water washed the stress of the day away he contemplated over his situation: the opposing voices in his dreams continually implored him to search, but after a full year he was still unable to find the jewel. Plus, tomorrow, he needed to finish up the paperwork for the meeting with the Australian ambassador to Japan. The ambassador was quite excited about their “Med Students Abroad” program and wanted to share their successes.
He stepped out of the shower, wrapped himself in a towel, and wiped the excess water out of his close cropped black hair. He opened the suit bag to reveal a crisp, freshly pressed 3-piece suit, ready to wear for the next day. As he finished his preparations for bed, he walked to the large window overlooking the Rainbow Bridge and the bay. The sky was very clear. The vivid white disk of the moon contrasted against his hand on the window. He looked to the corner of his room. On his desk sat his four “lucky” stones…the last gift that his parents ever gave him. Laid out on the chair was a recently worn white tie dinner suit, complete with cane and top hat. His favorite wall decoration hung right above it.
He looked back to the moon. “Sailor Moon,” he said to himself.
A devilish smile parted his lips. He then spoke, in his native Yoruba: “I look forward to our next meeting.”