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 Luna and Artemis Story

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Phantom53
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PostSubject: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 9:27 am

Hello everyone. I've been working on a Luna and Artemis story (just Luna for now, but Artemis will be making appearances later). It focuses on what life was like for them when they first woke up on Earth, before they met the Senshi. It's a subject that no one seems to have covered, and I mean it, I checked all over FF.net. So I thought I'd give it a try.

Now what I have here isn't the whole thing. I had originally intended to finish the thing before I shared it, but considering how long that is taking, I thought that it might be best to share what I have now. I don't really consider it much, but I hope you enjoy it.

Story

The first thing she knew was dizziness. Dizziness and sleepiness, as she crawled out of the strange pod she’d been stuck in. Her legs wobbled as she took those first few steps. Where was she? Who was she? What happened?

Grass brushed her ankles. She was in some sort of clearing, near the edge of a thick forest. No buildings or artificial structures could be seen anywhere in the immediate vicinity. Before she could observe any further, her rubbery legs gave out, forcing her to lie on the grass. Her stomach was doing summersaults, and she lay there for several moments. She opened her mouth to dry and speak, but found it bone dry. Water, she needed water.

A cursory sniff told her there was water nearby. She willed herself to her feet, though her legs still shook erratically. Slowly but steady, she made her way into the forest. After a torturous walk, she finally came to a lake hidden amongst the trees.

It was perhaps the most beautiful thing she’d seen since her awakening. She moved her way to the edge and drew her head down, lapping at the water greedily to sooth her throat.

Her head pulled back out once she’d had her fill, her mouth dripping all over. A sigh escaped her lips. Her eyes were then drawn to an image in the water. She saw her reflection. She was a cat, a black cat to be precise. And there on her forehead was a yellow crescent moon. Though the crescent was wrong, for the inner edge was facing up rather than sideways. And yet, it didn’t seem wrong at all to her.

A crescent moon…

*********

A woman was standing over her, holding a scepter of some kind that ended in a large crescent. They were all in a large room of some sort. There was no sound now, save for the heartbeat of the woman before her, and the heartbeat of another beside her. But in this place, in this strange vision, she could not turn her head.

The woman raised her scepter, and Luna observed her. She was garbed in a dress of flowing white, complimented by equally flowing silver hair which almost reached the floor, and held up in a strange style, with two balls atop her head, with the rest of it loose. Even stranger was her face, or rather her lack of face. It was as if fog had formed a mask over the woman’s features.

“By the power granted to me as queen of the Moon by the Silver Crystal,” spoke the woman, “I, Serenity the Twelfth, grant you two, Luna and Artemis of Mau, the status of advisors to the Lunar throne, and as such bestow upon you the mark of the royal house, passed down through my family.”

The scepter is held up high, and there is a flash of light. Luna feels something on her forehead, a building of heat and a crackle of electricity through her skin. But strangely it is not painful. When the light fades, Luna can feel something new on her forehead, and though she cannot see it, she knows the crescent moon is there.

Her neck turns automatically, caught in this long lost memory, so that she sees the being next to her, whose heartbeat had been ringing in her ears. It is another cat, like her, one she instinctively knows is male, and who is named Artemis. But unlike her, his fur is snow white, with eyes of blue. He smiles at her, and she can feel him smiling back.

The woman is bending down to them, and the attention of both cats is drawn to her.

“Congratulations you two.”

“The honor is all ours,” replies Artemis with a bow.

“Actually, replies the queen with a restrained laugh, “the honor should be mine, for allowing me to place my royal symbol on so sacred a place as the focal point of your power.”

“We were happy to let you do it,” replied Luna, heat rushing to her face. “We could think of no one more deserving Your Majesty. And we shall serve you always.”


*********

Luna was pulled back to reality with a jolt. She remembered now, the Queen, the palace, the invasion, and her escape in the pods Queen Serenity put them in.

Luna turned her head to the blue sky, and spots a silvery orb hovering in it, though it was quite faint. Even without the aid of a telescope, she knew that it was the face of the Moon. She was on Earth.

The Moon Kingdom had fallen. Queen Serenity was dead. The very idea made Luna want to retch, if she’d had anything in her stomach. But if she was here, where was Artemis? She hadn’t seen his pod nearby, and she didn’t smell him. Luna attempted to reach out to him telepathically, but that just resulted in a headache that sent her to the ground.

“Clearly I haven’t recovered,” she whispered through the throbbing in her skull. Her body was still weak from being brought out from stasis. For the time being, she would simply have to rest. Finding Artemis would have to wait until she was strong enough to mentally or physically search for him.

So after the pain in her skull faded, Luna went back to the pod. It was too small to serve as a permanent home, resting out in the open as it was, but it would work for now as a shelter. Her belly gave a small grumble, but Luna ignored it as she lay down in the grass beside the vehicle. She wasn’t that hungry yet, so she could let her body rest. Rest would do well if she would need to acquire her own food, which was all but certain at this point.

She let out a yawn. It was strange that she was sleepy after spending who knew how long in the sleep of stasis, but Luna supposed that wasn’t a normal form of sleep. Her eyelids drooped, and she felt herself slipping off into that strange land of dreams. Yes, rest would do her good. And the grass and earth below felt so soft and warm…

*********

Luna had slept much of the day, for the Sun was beginning to set when she woke up. By that point, her hunger had grown to the point that it couldn’t be ignored. So Luna went back into the forest to look for food. It felt strange for her to be hunting food on her own, both difficult and nostalgic all at once. While the planet of Mau was advanced enough for food to be grown and regularly available in markets, hunting was still practiced by quite a few cats. And Luna had spent several years of her youth hunting with her parents and friends.

After becoming advisor to the Queen Serenity, she’d never needed to search for her own food, having access to all of the royal chefs. Still, those old skills didn’t seem totally lost, because after a few misses, she managed to catch quite a few forest mice as a solid dinner. She had to psychically examine the specimens before taking them with her, making sure there weren’t any bacterium that might prove averse to her. That was a skill she also rarely employed, but she needed to try in absence of the tools to cook her prey.

As the Sun continued to slip down into the horizon, Luna lay on the grass by the pod, finishing off her meal, which wasn’t too bad if she had to admit. It certainly didn’t compare to the grand cuisine from the royal kitchens, but it wasn’t too bad.

The whole thing required so much adjusting. Never in all her years would she have thought she’d be living outside of civilization like some sort of castaway. And yet here she was, hunting for her food again and eating raw meat rather than dining off the dishes of the royal family, and sleeping in a small pod or on ground. For all the softness and warmth of the ground, she missed sleeping in the large bed Serenity had put in her private quarters. “I suppose I was rather spoiled wasn’t I?” she mused. “But there are no such luxuries here, and no use in crying over old comforts.”

Looking at the sky, she smiled. The sunsets on Earth were magnificent, a rich explosion of colors that eventually gave way to glittering stars and the silver glow of the Moon. It made up for the lack of a proper bed as she curled up inside the pod for the night.

*********

The next day, after catching herself some breakfast, Luna decided to take inventory of what she had and her options.

She still found herself unable to psychically connect with Artemis. Whenever she tried she got a headache, though not as severe as the first time. She might need to physically search for him soon. Luna remembered Queen Serenity placing items inside the stasis pods before she sent her and Artemis off. She needed to see exactly what she had.

She found something under the bottom cushion, the miniaturizing storage device that had been left in the great Vault in the lower levels of the palace. Pressing the button, she saw it expand, revealing multiple drawers, further dividing the cargo.

The first drawer she opened up revealed a cylindrical object she recognized as the camouflage device the Moon had been working on. Its ability to change the appearance of the user could be useful if Luna needed to hide.

The second drawer made her heart catch in her throat. Sitting on the cushioned lining was the transformation wand of Sailor Mercury. Its neighbor held the wand of Sailor Venus. Following that was the wand of Sailor Mars, and following that was Sailor Jupiter. The wands of power for those four individuals who served as a personal guard for the Lunar princess. She felt ill as she noted the dried blood on each of them, probably the last physical remnants of their owners. Serenity must have pulled them from the battlefield.

The next compartment was a more curious item. It was not a wand, but rather a circular object, decorated with a crescent moon with four jewels around it at the cardinal points. It almost looked like a piece of jewelry, but Luna could sense the magical energy coming off of it, energy similar to the Silver Crystal, but not the Crystal itself. It was a transformation device.

“But whose…” she started, only to have her words silenced as a memory came flooding back to her.

*********

Beneath the palace, there was the Vault, the storehouse of all sorts of devices, both benevolent and weapons of war, items too dangerous to store anywhere else. And today, it is a cold place, and Luna shivers. She is once again with Artemis and Queen Serenity. The Vault’s heating system had broken down two days ago, and the repair process has been compounded by ever growing issues.

Queen Serenity had come down to oversee the repairs, and naturally, Luna and Artemis had followed. There were too many valuable things here, too many things that could be damaged by the ever colder winter this year. Truly it was one to rival the long winters of Mercury. Luna wishes for a moment she kept her fur longer. Perhaps Her Majesty could help her acquire a sweater?

But this Luna of memory brings herself to focus on the task at hand, which is assisting the queen in her oversight. She could not let herself appear weak.

Out of the corner of her eye, Luna can see Artemis conversing with one of the other workers. Luna turns her attention to the various storage compartments around her. Despite the name suggesting one large space, the Vault was actually made up of multiple floors, each with sets of separate storage rooms, all of them indexed. Currently they are on the floor second to the bottom. At the far end of this floor, Luna sees a storage space whose number she doesn’t recognize.

As one of the royal advisors, Luna and Artemis are kept up to date on all the items that are developed or stored here. She thinks hard, but the number is still unfamiliar. And Luna remembers all of the others, and their contents. She cannot allow such an oversight to go uncorrected.

Luna turns to look at the queen, who has just finished speaking with another of the workers, having sent him back to his task. Serenity looks down at Luna. Or at least, her head tilts down in that direction. Once again, her face is encased in fog, making its contours impossible to see.

“Is something the matter Luna? You seem confused.” She sounds tired. She has been overseeing the repair work floor by floor for quite some time today, and that was after other duties of state.

“Your Majesty” asks Luna, “what is in that storage space over there?” She points at it with her paw. “I do not recall seeing that particular number before.”

The queen’s head turns in the direction Luna is pointing. “Oh, that,” she replies distractedly. “That is where the Sailor Moon transformation device is kept, along with the prototype.”

“Sailor Moon?” Luna’s jaw hung open for a few seconds in a most undignified manner before she managed to snap it closed. “The Moon created a guardian as well?” The very idea of a warrior powered by the might the Silver Crystal…

“Yes. When the transformation devices were being created, the Moon too worked on creating one powered by the Silver Crystal. First came the functional prototype, and then came the true device. Once it was finished, a member of the royal family was meant to be chosen to use it, but before that could be done, peace was established under the Treaty of the Silver Millennium.”

Luna nodded in understanding. “And with the Moon as leader, there would not have been a real need to arm such a soldier.”

“Correct,” replied the queen. “But the devices are still kept here in case anything dire should happen.”


*********

Luna is brought back into the present. “Sailor Moon…” she whispers. The Queen placed this device into the pod with her. But there hadn’t been a Sailor Moon. Or had there? Luna’s memories were so broken, for every bit of information she could remember, it was accompanied by countless holes. Little details were missing everywhere. But surely Serenity would not have included it if she hadn’t meant for Luna to have it?

No, Serenity must have meant for Luna to have this. It must have had an owner. The invasion certainly counted as dire, and Serenity must have passed off the device to a member of the royal house during the conflict.

“Yes, that must be it,” muttered Luna, nodding her head. It had to be. Sailor Moon must have escaped her attention in all the chaos.

After all, what other reason could there be for this item to be there?

Continued examination brought a few other odds and ends to her attention. Soon, it was time to find lunch. With her belly once again full, Luna started to consider her options. Even though she had all these devices at her disposal, what was she supposed to do with herself?

Serenity’s last words were that she wanted her daughter and the others to live normal lives. But these devices had been sent with her and Artemis, wherever he was, in the event that the Dark Kingdom broke free from its prison.

But as far as Luna could tell, the Dark Kingdom didn’t seem to be present here. The planet seemed quite beautiful, which surprised Luna. Without the Dark Kingdom, the reincarnation of Princess Serenity was as safe as she could be, at least to Luna’s knowledge. So what was Luna supposed to do?

“Am I just supposed to live here and let the days pass?” she wondered aloud. Luna wasn’t sure.

*********

And that's it for now. Again, I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, and if you have any critiques/suggestions, please leave feedback. I'd really love to get feedback on this from you.


Last edited by Phantom53 on 20th December 2013, 9:07 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Font size issues)
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 10:32 am

Like like like! I love fanfiction about Luna and Artemis, especially prequel type stuff! Can't wait to read more. Smile I like the idea of the transformation devices being a technological thing. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 12:37 pm

Thank you Small Lady. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I hope anyone else that read it enjoyed it. And as I said before, any critiques are welcome.

On another note, would you be able to offer me any insight on font size? I copied the story from Word, and when I did, the site automatically added size tags to every single line of the story text, making all of them size 3. I've had a little trouble with size formatting when copying Word text before, but not that. I had to manually adjust every tag to a more manageable number. Do you have any advice as far as that goes?

I'll try to write up more of it as soon as I can.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 12:51 pm

a couple of things i would suggest. One, copy from word to notepad so it clears any kind of formatting. Two, there is an icon that lets you switch editor modes on theforum if you arent aware of that already. check it so the bbcode shows so you can make sure nothing weird happens. hope that helps.

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 1:01 pm

^^^ Pretty much what Small Lady said there.


I like it, though.  I always wished Naoko did a prequel like that.  This is a good bridge to the series. x3

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 4:14 pm

Thank you both for your feedback. It's definitely an interesting subject, and I was simply surprised that it's never really been tackled. I mean filling in blanks is one of the basic things fanfic can do.

Before I made the first post, I'd already had another scene partially worked on. So now I've managed to finish that and another scene. Or maybe they should be chapters. I never really considered putting them in a chapter format. Then again I didn't really know how long this was going to be. And thank you Small Lady for the advice. I hadn't actually been aware that you could switch editors, or that this site had more than one editor in the first place.

Anyway, here are the two next scenes. I hope you enjoy these too.

Story

A few days went by, and Luna still hadn’t found the answer to her question. She pushed it out of her mind with the business of survival, of hunting and resting, and strengthening herself, and searching for Artemis. He too eluded her. Neither psychic messages nor a search of the immediate environment around her produced her fellow advisor, or perhaps the term was ex-advisor now. Luna didn’t like to think of it like that, didn’t like to think about the fact that her past world was gone.

She was starting to miss him, not that she would admit it of course. But loneliness was starting to gnaw at her. As fortune would have it however, she went a bit farther on one of her searches for Artemis, and in so doing saw the outline of civilization in the distance, along with a dirt road to accompany it.

Here lay new options. She could go to this place of inhabitance and continue her search for Artemis. It was possible he was already there. Her searches of the forest and clearing made it increasingly unlikely that he was here in the forest anyway. It was all very logical, and worth a shot.

But Luna found herself hesitating, because while the rational of finding Artemis was clear, other parts of her were at war. On one hand, she was curious to see the people of the Earth as they were now. On the other, she was scared to get near them.

When it came to the Earth and the people that lived on it, feelings were mixed in the Solar System, especially among the denizens of the Moon. Opinions, gossip, and stories of the blue green orb that the Moon circled varied, but all groups participated in their creation, from the commoners, to the soldiers and the courtiers.

Most of it was negative. Luna supposed the attack on the Moon at the end didn’t help. But even before then, many held it in a place of distain. Luna recalled one particular member of court, a woman in the science division if she recalled right, remarking with a startling amount of venom how the Earth was nothing more than an ugly ball of mud in the sky whose only value to the Solar System came in its orbit being useful as a universal scale of time measurement. And, as the speaker went on, were it not for the fact that it would knock the Moon out of a stable orbit, they would have had advocated that the eyesore be obliterated from the sky long ago.

Then there were other tales, that Earth was a place ridden with plagues, and inhabited by sadistic savages, not unlike the violent Lyocans who still prowled the dark countryside even in Serenity the Twelfth’s time and whose howls inspired dread in many a Lunarian.

Before the invasion, Luna had never had much official interest in the people of Earth. The gossip and rumors had simply been unavoidable in the palace, especially with her hearing. The Earth wasn’t involved in System politics, and there seemed little point in concerning herself with such a little isolated place when there were copious other matters to attend to.

And how did that attitude work out for us Luna? rang a voice in her head that sounded like Artemis. It certainly seemed like something he’d say, and Luna grudgingly admitted that it had a point.

Luna began to pace in the grass as she worked through her debate. Truth be told, prior to the invasion, Luna had never even seen an Earthling before, as had much of the Solar System. There had been good reason for that of course, and for the endless rumors that surrounded it. Yes, the memories were coming back to Luna now, like looking through an old but familiar book, page by page. The Moon Kingdom had banned all contact with Earth, and after the Treaty of the Silver Millennium, with the Moon as leader, the other planets generally stayed away from it, even if they weren’t technically bound by the law. So the Earth was excluded from all System politics. The ban had been set in place after… after…

Luna stopped cold in her pacing. If the set of memories had been a book, then she would have found herself looking at a torn out page. “Why had the Earth been banned?” she wondered.

Try as she might, she could not remember. She clenched her teeth. Another hole in her memory, like Queen Serenity’s face. It had to have been for something. Laws were not passed for absolutely no reason or provocation. The laws forbidding contact were quite harsh, bringing execution to anyone who was caught. It had to have been something of importance to warrant it. And whatever it was, it must have been some time ago, for it was around in Queen Serenity’s time. Whatever it was, Luna certainly wasn’t going to remember what it was any time soon. Just trying to do it was giving her a headache.

The stories about the Earth might have been true, what with the hellish demons that accompanied the soldiers of the Dark Kingdom, the Youma. But the Dark Kingdom was gone now? Would the people of Earth still be the same? As much as Luna feared getting near them, she was also curious. Here was a planet that had been lost to rumor and myth for a long time, a planet with a new start. What would they be like, these Earthlings?

No, she couldn’t hesitate. She needed to go there. If Artemis was there, she needed to find him.

*********

Before she set out, she hid the pod in the ground in case anyone or anything came poking around. And she made sure to establish a psychic link with the storage device so she could access anything inside of it, even from a distance. It was a draining trick to be honest, but Luna wanted to be prepared. And despite the machine attempts to save on space and weight, it was still too big for her to carry with her.

And so after securing her belongings, and filly her belly with a large breakfast, she found herself going down the long dirt road to that point of civilization, and eventually found herself in a town of some sort. Again she was assaulted by a number of differences from what she was used to. The roads beneath her feet continued to be pure dirt instead of the paved stone they were used to feeling, and the simplicity of the walkways were in stark contrast to the familiar column-lined paths of the palace. Here she was in a small settlement far from the ocean, when on the Moon she lived amongst the massive urban sprawl of the capital, whose air lingered with the scent of the deep waters of the Sea of Serenity which lay adjacent to it.

She supposed this place had one positive over the Moon’s capital, and that was the lack of noise. It was nice for her sharp sense of hearing not be assaulted by the tremendous and varied noise such a dense settlement came with.

As she wandered the streets, she laid her red eyes on the Earthlings. They certainly looked nonthreatening. And they seemed to physically the same as the other people’s the Solar System. That was a good sign. One of them was even carrying a cat like her. That was a very good sign that she wouldn’t be met with open hostility, especially since the cat seemed content to be in the woman’s arms.

Perhaps she could ask for help? Luna created a mental link with the woman, as she had done on the Moon, and acquired the native language. Luna was about to stop and speak to the pair, when intuition told her to examine the cat closer. There was something about the expression that made her pause. She linked her mind with the creature and found it to be incapable of speech or any form of psychic ability, unlike her own species. Clearly speaking the native language was out of the question. It would probably cause a sensation, since the cats here weren’t capable of it.

So Luna kept wandering. As the crowds thickened a bit, she found herself annoyed by how much energy she had to put in avoiding being trampled or kicked by people that didn’t pay her any attention. Again she was reminded of her home. On the Moon, Lunarians went out of their way to avoid her, parting for her as she walked the palace or on those rare, less busy days where she walked the markets. The crescent moon on her forehead demanded respect. Here, for those that paid attention, it seemed to inspire little more than curiosity, if the few glances in her direction were any indication.

But where was Artemis? Luna kept wandering around the streets, trying her best to systematically check the entire place, though that was harder to do without a proper map. But she had to keep looking. Her mind told her that she had to run into him eventually. Their pods had been launched at the same time and from the same place, so unless something had gotten in the way, their pods should have landed in the same general area.

Where are you Artemis? Don’t let me be alone here.

*********

And that's all I have for now. And for anyone reading this, you should know I am tying this into my sets of headcanon regarding the planetary civilizations that I put in the headcanon thread in the Theories and Debate section. So if you are wondering why the Earth was banned, that would be in my Golden Kingdom headcanon. I can't exactly remember what page it was on though.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 6:04 pm

This is some good stuff! I'm enjoying reading it. You're a great writer!

I do have one question. In your story Luna has all four transformation wands, but wouldn't Artemis have Venus's with him? Being as she was awoken a couple years before Moon was? I'm just wondering because I'm curious like that.

It's still fabulous work and I can't wait to read the rest!

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 6:41 pm

Oh I wouldn't say that. I don't think I'm that good. But thank you all the same.  Embarassed 

As to your question, that is a good one. Recall that Mina started as SAILOR V and not Sailor Venus. It was a different costume and different identity, with differences in the details. For example, Sailor V required a mask where Sailor Venus did not. I look at it like this: If Artemis had the Sailor Venus device to start with, Mina would have started as Sailor Venus. But she didn't, because Artemis didn't have it. All he had was the Sailor V device. I mean he already knew she was Sailor Venus, what with the Venus references in Sailor V. It was after Luna and Artemis got together that she gave Artemis the Sailor Venus device.

As a matter of fact, it was probably for the best that the Sailor V device landed in Mina's hands, with how I tie it to all the others. In fact, I already made a tiny reference to Sailor V's device.

Anyway, thank you so much for the encouragement. Goodness knows I need it.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 6:50 pm

You know what, I really like that response. Perfectly thought out with the grand plan behind it, just like a true writer. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   18th December 2013, 7:30 pm

Thank you very much. I'll be sure to work on this more tomorrow. It's a bit too late for me now to type up anything more definitive. On another note, did you manage to spot the reference to Sailor V's device? It's really rather tiny, but you might be able to spot it if you pay attention to details. Or would you rather wait? If you do, it will be a while, depending on how fast I put this out (right now this is very fast for me) and how the story flows. And again, if you're interested in why the Earth was banned, it's in my section of Golden Kingdom headcanon in the headcanon thread.

All the sudden I feel sort of like an advertisement... scratch that last one.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   20th December 2013, 8:59 am

Okay everybody, I'm back with a couple more scenes. So here they are:

Story

In the end, she spent several hours searching the town, double checking and even triple checking. She’d gotten so caught up in her search of Artemis that she’d barely taken notice of how much time had passed. By the time she’d stopped, the Sun was merely a sliver of light. And now Luna was feeling too tired to make the trip back to the pod.

And just to make matters even worse and hammer in how bad the situation had gotten, it started to rain. No, that wasn’t true. It wasn’t simply raining, it was pouring.

BOOM!

… And now there was thunder and lightning too.

“What did I do to deserve this?” asked Luna as she scrambled for shelter in the alley she’d stopped in. She tried diving into the upturned cardboard box, but before long the material gave way under the rain and a now soaked Luna was forced to run for another source of protection from further soaking. How she hated being wet. It was fine if she wanted to be wet in the first place, like if she was bathing, but she absolutely hated being splashed or soaked otherwise. And considering the rainfall right now, she’d probably end up with rainwater saturating her coat, skin, and her bones if she didn’t get under cover.

Her paws created splashes as she ran through the puddles, looking for another place to get out of the torrential downpour. Standing in the road, she saw another alley across the way. And it looked like there was some sort of plastic container in there Luna could use. It would certainly hold better than the beaten cardboard box. But before she could take another step, a new sound reached her ears, like spinning gears.

She turned her head. A bicycle was headed straight for her, and fast! She needed to move out of the way. Panic set in as she tried to dash out of the way. The soil under her paws had already turned to mud. She propelled herself into a jump, but the mud puddle she was in was slippery, causing her to lose her balance as she pushed herself from the ground. Instead of jumping into the open space of the alley, she was sent head first into a collision with the alley’s trashcans. She fell to the ground, and the force of the impact sent some of the cans toppling, sending garbage all over her.

The world was spinning, and full of stars. Her psychic focal point was burning with pain. Everything is unfocused. She could see the outline of the bicycle. Someone was getting off, approaching her. They were bending down, and Luna can hear a voice faintly through the ringing in her ears and skull.

“Oh no! Hey kitty, are you alright? Are you hurt? Oh please don’t be hurt…”

Luna blacked out after that.

*********

When Luna woke up, she found herself on a large cushion, wrapped in heated blankets. Where am I? What happened?

It came flooding back, the rain, the bicycle, and the way she jumped and slipped before smashing into those cans. In corroboration with the memory, her forehead began to ache, but just a little. She must have been knocked unconscious from the impact. But where was she now? She certainly wasn’t outside anymore.

She examined her surroundings. She saw a bed, a closet filled with clothes, a desk, a set of drawers, and walls decorated with posters, photographs, and drawings. It was definitely a bedroom, but whose bedroom?

Just then, the door opened, revealing a petite young woman with teal colored hair that touched her shoulders and light green eyes. She came in bearing a tray of some sort. When she looked down at Luna, her face brightened. “Oh thank goodness you’re awake. You really had me worried there for a while kitty.”

She set the tray down on the nearby desk and bent down to Luna’s level. “I’m so sorry about before. I was just trying to get out of the rain, like you were I guess. I just didn’t see you through the storm. I didn’t mean to almost run you over, or make you crash like that. You were shivering so badly, you must have really gotten soaked out there.”

The girl, whoever she was, seemed nice enough. Now that Luna was more cognizant, she picked up a new smell in the room. What was it? Sniffing around, she found it coming off her fur and skin.

The girl noticed her sniffing. “I hope you don’t mind, but I had to give you a bath. You were covered in mud and garbage, and I couldn’t really set you down on anything like that. My clothes already got pretty dirty carrying you.”

Ah, so the smell was soap. Luna’s face turned pink under her fur. As kind as it had been, it was still embarrassing to think that that had happened while she was out.

The girl started to let Luna’s head, which felt very good. “You know, when you didn’t even move in the water, I was afraid you’d never wake up.” Her voice seemed to clench. “But I’m so glad you’re okay. And hey, you aren’t cold anymore, right?”

Realization crossed her face. “Oh yeah, I almost forgot.” She picked up the tray and set it down on the floor. On it were three different bowls. “I brought this stuff for you in case you were hungry or thirsty. I’ve got water, milk, and some cat food.” She took each of the dishes off and set them in front of Luna.

Luna was indeed hungry. But still she hesitated. As much as this strange Earthling had taken her out of the rain, she was still a total stranger. Luna gave a curious glance at the girl. She just smiled back. “Go on. It’s perfectly fine.”

Slowly, Luna dug into the so called “cat food”. Despite the appearance, it actually tasted very good. Better perhaps than the forest mice she’d been eating since she’d woken up. She quickly started devouring it, but then slowed down to a more moderate pace when she realized the Earthling was still watching, alternating between the food and the saucer of milk.

“Wow, you must have really been hungry then,” said the girl as Luna finished off the meal. She picked up the dishes and the tray and set it back down on the desk. “I’ve got plenty, so I’ll leave these here for now, and if you want more, you can just get my attention.” Suddenly there was a knocking from somewhere beyond the room.

“Oh, that’s the door. I better see who it is. I’ll be right back kitty. Please just wait right there.”

She hurried off out of the room, which left Luna alone once again. She could have defied the order and gotten up, slipping out to take the long trip back to the pod. But she was feeling worn out from her search, and it seemed rude to just up and leave in the face of such kindness.

So Luna opted instead to curl herself deeper into the pillow she was resting on, and wrapping the blankets tighter around her. She missed this, being able to sleep on something approaching a real bed, and being fed a decent meal. The pod may have had cushions, but it was a hard, and not the most comfortable thing to sleep on. This young woman certainly knew how to treat her well.

Another story of Earth surfaced in her mind. This one was perhaps a bit more credible than some of the others, since it had been from the one of the royal historians. The man had said something about the people of the Earth having a great fondness for cats, stemming from their worship of a cat god of some sort. If it had been true, it certainly would have helped endear her to the planet. Well, if the invasion hadn’t happened. Luna idly wondered if this young woman’s behavior was related to that. Perhaps the practice was still around? Or maybe her actions were some sort of subconscious remnant? It was an amusing idea anyway.

It took fifteen minutes for the young woman to return. “As much as I appreciate them protecting the contents, do they really need to use that much tape and glue to reinforce the box?” she was muttering. Her face once again brightened when she saw Luna, who was still tightly coiled in the blankets.

“I see someone’s comfy” she chuckled. Her eyes glanced back at the doorway, to the space beyond the room. “Hey kitty, would you like to sit down and watch TV with me while I eat my dinner? I wouldn’t mind the company, and I could move your little bed over to my sofa.”

Luna was surprised to hear the Earthlings had something like television. Slowly she uncoiled the blankets and walked up to the young woman and gave a small mew as a sign of acceptance. Talking was certainly out of the question anyway.

And apparently it worked. “I’ll take that as a yes. Okay then, the sofa’s right this way, so just follow me.”

The girl walked ahead, with Luna right behind. This could be an interesting experience.

*********

Not much, but I think I'm happy with them. Though if there are any errors, please tell me. And since I've got the hang of the editor now, I'll be correcting the text in my first post so it's a better size.

EDIT: Okay, so I came up with the next scene, but it didn't seem right to create another stand alone post, so I am just going to add it in here as an edit. Tell me if you like it and what you think.

Story

Luna had been correct in thinking it would be an interesting experience. Oh, it hadn’t started out as such. She’d gotten on the sofa in front of what she could tell was the television in question, and moved back into her bed of pillows and blankets once those had been moved. The girl, who over the course of the exercise Luna had learned was named Ayako, sat next to her, eating a dinner she said she’d cooked in a microwave. Every now and then, Ayako would glance back at Luna and smile, but her expression was something curious. There was something in that expression that Luna wasn’t privy to, but whatever it was, it wasn’t malevolent.

After moving through several channels, Ayako had settled on what she said was a marathon of one of her favorite shows, an Earthling romance of some sort. Clearly it was entertainment, a work of fiction, but for Luna, it was also something of a learning experience. Intuition told her the show was of a more realistic nature, therefore the setting reflected something of this modern world. It was quite fascinating to see something of what the Earth was like now after the fall of the great kingdoms of the ancient Solar System.

So Luna watched on intently, following every detail. Thankfully this marathon seemed to be playing the episodes in order. The show itself was quite entertaining, even if Luna knew she was missing several key pieces of information from being from another planet and time period. The commercials in between were also quite strange. If they were meant to be advertising something, Luna wasn’t always sure what it was, or how some of those arguments would even work.

Time slipped on by, and when the marathon finally ended, Ayako got up from the couch and stretched. “Oh that was great,” she said. “Things like that always make waiting for the new season easier.”

She turned her attention back to the feline on her sofa. “So kitty, what did you think? Did you like it?”

Luna really had, and gave a small mew of approval.

“I’m glad. And thank you for the company.” She sat back down on the sofa, closer to Luna, and began to pet her. “You know kitty, that’s a really pretty crescent mark you’ve got on your head. It really makes you stand out. I mean I’ve seen cats with different colored patches of fur, but none of them have patches in such a nice shape like you do.”

Luna felt her face turn pink again. The remark shouldn’t actually have amounted to much. She wasn’t a normal cat after all. And while the crescent moon mark was composed of both markings in her skin and a discoloration of her naturally black coat, it’s not like Luna could take credit for it. It was magically induced by Serenity, a mark of rank, not an aesthetic improvement.

Ayako kept petting Luna in slow strokes, going down her back now. “You know what? I just realized that I don’t really know what to call you. I mean calling you ‘kitty’ is sort of weird isn’t it? But you don’t have a collar or a name tag, so I guess you don’t have a name. Hmm… so what should I name you? Maybe…” Ayako was cut off when she let out a very large yawn.

“Wow, I’m getting sleepy. What time is it?” She turned to see the clock. It showed it to be nearly midnight. “Is it really that late already? I guess I hadn’t been paying attention. Naming will have to wait then, I need to get to sleep. And you do too I guess. Let’s move you back to my room then.”

Ayako didn’t even allow Luna to walk as she had before; instead she just scooped her up with the pillow and blankets, and carried her back to the bedroom, setting her back down in the same spot across from the bed. “There you go. Now you stay here, okay?”

Luna did as she was asked and stayed on the pillow while Ayako got ready for bed. Thirty minutes later, Ayako pulled her own blankets over her nightgown clad body, and switched off the lamp on the bedside table. “Goodnight kitty, pleasant dreams.”

Ayako fell asleep quickly. Luna could tell when the girl was finally in the grip of slumber by the way her breathing and heartbeat steadily dropped before leveling off. Now was her chance. Silently and carefully, Luna telekinetically lifted the blankets off and rose from the pillow. The room was dark, but it posed no problem to her honed night vision.

She jumped up to the window sill. She’d stayed out of politeness before, and because she’d still felt a little weak from her crash. And truth be told, the time spent here was enlightening. But it didn’t change the fact that she was supposed to be searching for Artemis.

With the Earthling asleep, it would be easy to telekinetically open the window latch, and from there she could get back on the road back to the pod and plan her next move. If all her searching had proved anything, it was that Artemis wasn’t here. And if Artemis wasn’t here, there was no point in staying.

No point except for the comfort and shelter this woman provided, whispered a stray thought as she began to work on the window.

That was true. Ayako had shown Luna quite a bit of kindness, and offered her a better meal than she’d been getting in the woods. But she’d stayed the day, and she needed to get back to searching for Artemis.

She seemed to enjoy you being there, came the reply. She might not like it if you’re suddenly gone. What if she breaks into a panic?

That wasn’t her concern really. Ayako seemed like a nice girl, but Luna had a job to do. She continued to force open the latch.

But just as she was about to get the latch open, a whisper broke her concentration. “Don’t go… kitty… please… don’t… go.”

Luna’s head snapped in the direction of the bed. Was Ayako awake? Focusing on the bed’s occupant, Luna realized her heart rate and breathing had changed, had elevated. How had Luna not noticed before? But Ayako was not looking in Luna direction, or even looking. Her eyes were closed, and she faced the ceiling. Her legs moved, kicking back her blankets as her hand reached out slowly.

Luna gave a sigh of relief. She was just talking in her sleep, something a quick telepathic connection confirmed.

Ayako’s hand continued to reach out, grasping at something imaginary. “Please stay,” she whispered again. The words were filled with desperation diluted by the drowsiness of sleep. “Don’t…leave…me…alone.”

The window latch lowered itself back into place, and Luna just stood there for several seconds, just watching the young woman. Quietly, she hopped down from the window sill and walked over to the bed. Luna sent out a mental signal to ease Ayako’s distress, a sensation of calm which Ayako seemed to respond to. She then lifted the blankets with telekinesis and pulled them back over Ayako before getting back into her own bed. Before Luna closed her eyes, she sent another message to Ayako’s dreaming mind, the psychic equivalent of a whisper in her ear.

You can call me Luna.

*********


Last edited by Phantom53 on 21st December 2013, 8:10 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Making additions)
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   21st December 2013, 3:40 pm

Aah this is cute. ^_^ I can't wait to see where it goes. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   22nd December 2013, 2:58 pm

Thank you. And I am sort of wondering that myself. I mean I have lots of ideas on where to take this, and they are good ideas, but I haven't worked out the details 100%.

And now I have a curious question for anyone who may be able to help. How long does cat food last exactly, as in the expiration date. I've only ever owned dogs. Not that I hate cats mind you. It's just that my dad was allergic to cats, so I'm not used to them, and I don't know a great deal about the care of a cat. I mean Luna would be different in aspects of behavior since she's sentient, but you see my point. And looking at the cans of my dog's food, I can see an expiration date into next year or so, and I wasn't sure if it's the same with cat food. Does it keep a really long time or what?
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   25th December 2013, 4:41 pm

I'm pretty sure cat food is the same as dog food as far as that goes (i've never kept canned cat food longer than like a day in my house lol). Though I was under the impression (in the anime at least), that Luna often ate regular food as well. I know in the Super movie, the scientist (its Kakeru right? mind is hazy right now xD) that saves Luna gives her milk, what looks like some cat food, and those star candies. So i think, being that Luna is not a normal cat, you could get away with her also sneaking in places and getting food.

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   25th December 2013, 6:00 pm

Well, she might not EAT human food on her own. I don't think she'd eat anything unless she knew it was safe for her to eat. I already brought up the idea of germs, but there's also the possibility of chemicals or unknown allergies.

And technically, that scientist giving her candies was a bad idea. I don't think it's a good idea to give a cat human food (milk being an exception). And Ayako certainly isn't going to give her any.

But thank you all the same. I'll keep working on the story. It's slowed down at the moment because I'm working on some details. But if I may ask another question, can anyone suggest a good name for a small Japanese town? I've gotten lucky with finding a Wikipedia reference of Japanese first names, but towns names, not so much.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   26th December 2013, 1:42 pm

I would suggest just going to google maps and zooming in on Japan and choosing a random town name.

As far as the whole human food thing, I still say since she's not a normal cat its ok for her to eat human food. If she was a normal cat, then yes. But a lot of time people will give cats scraps of cooked meat, like chicken, steak, turkey, fish as long as there are no bones. I often give my cats pieces of deli meat as treats. I don't think in Japan people think of giving stray cats actual cat food unless they own a pet themselves. I'm pretty sure a lot of Asians are more uneducated in proper pet care than you would think. I can't speak for all Asians, but I've noticed that they just aren't widely educated on it, even when they own pets (i guess unless they are crazy cat/dog people, so like me they learn on their own xD).

Milk is actually NOT an exception, cats are actually a bit lactose intolerant so even though they like to drink milk it can make their tummies upset (but seeing as its common place in media to give cats milk, then i think as far as story purposes go its fine). Also same goes with canned tuna (at least in the US), you don't want to feed a cat too much canned tuna (a little every once in a while as a treat is ok) cause they can develop mercury poisoning. I would imagine in Japan with the over abundance of fresh seafood (as that is their main diet) giving a cat a piece of fish is a very commonplace thing.

If you need more detailed cat facts, feel free to ask me. xD I'm a bit of a cat nerd (i have five cats...) and I read up a lot on them as far as behavior and nutrition stuff goes.

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   30th December 2013, 4:59 pm

^Thank you so much for the help Small Lady. I'll keep your offer in mind. And now, I'd like to present the next part of the story. I've been going over it and I think it's done. I'm sorry for how long it took me. I was going over some continuity details and I got busy with the holidays and other related things.

Also, I took your advice Small Lady and picked the name of a town off Google Maps. That would be Tako. I picked it simply because it is a town and is inland. I didn't go into much more detailed research than that because those were the only factors that mattered at the moment. With that said, this is not supposed to be like the town of Tako in the real world. Any similarities are probably coincidental.

Story

The next morning started off with Ayako’s alarm clock, which roused both of them from sleep. Luna was fully alert within minutes. Ayako on the other hand was still groggy, and gave Luna a quick glance and a small smile before trudging out of the room, no doubt for a morning routine.

Instead of waiting for Ayako, Luna chose to wander the house a bit. The structure was quite large, a two story place, as indicated by the staircase. But Luna managed to find what she knew was the kitchen and the adjacent dining area. She took note of the appliances in the kitchen, and could take strong guesses at what most of them were. A refrigerator, a microwave, a stove and oven, all of these were things the Moon had already developed, and their designs were basically the same as the ones here. Luna supposed that shouldn’t have been surprising. If they were what she thought they were, then the same basic principles of science applied, and form followed function.

It wasn’t long before Ayako joined her, seeming far more alert by now. “So here’s where you went,” she said. “Am I supposed to take that to mean you’re hungry? Well I am too, so that’s okay. Just give me a few minutes.”

Luna sat patiently as Ayako served out the same cat food and water, set them down for Luna, and then prepared her own meal. Things continued in silence for a while after that as the two ate.

“Oh yeah,” said Ayako as she took a sip from a cup of some steaming brown liquid. “I was in the middle of giving you a name last night wasn’t I?” She glanced down at Luna. “So what should I call you?”

Ayako took a bite of her food and sat there chewing, head resting in one hand that was propped up on the table, lost thought. “Hmm…Luna?” Her brows furrowed. “Wait, Luna?” Her voice became a whisper now. “Where did that come from?”

Luna tried not to smile as Ayako sat there thinking. Eventually the girl just shrugged her shoulders in defeat. “Well, it’s not a name I would have used right off for a cat, but I guess it fits you with that crescent moon on your head. What do you say? Do you like Luna?”

Luna just nodded her head and made several happy mewing noises.

“Luna it is then. Well,” said Ayako as she got up from the table and collected her dishes. “It looks like both of us are done eating.” She pointed at Luna’s equally empty dishes. “And pretty soon I’ve got to head to work. But personally I don’t really want to leave you alone here. No offense.” Ayako smiled shyly. “So you’ll have to go with me.”

The suggestion didn’t bother Luna at all. Going with Ayako might make the day more interesting, perhaps more interesting than if she was left alone here. A part of her recalled again however that she’d been searching for Artemis, and that being left alone in the house offered the chance to leave without trouble. But Luna ignored that thought. Even if being left alone gave her that opportunity, Ayako seemed set on taking Luna with her, so there was no point in wasting energy on the idea.

Ayako may have been slow to fully wake up, but once she was up, she proved to be quite energetic, and was ready to leave faster than Luna would have thought for one who was so drowsy to start. She picked Luna up and deposited her in the basket of the bicycle before heading off down the road.

The wind blew in Luna’s face, and Luna wondered what form of employment the girl had. She didn’t seem the type for heavy manual labor. Her hands were soft, and without calluses. Whatever form of employment it was, it must have one that would tolerate an employee bringing in a pet, even if Luna didn’t like thinking of herself that way. So what was it? Luna supposed she would find out soon. But until then, she enjoyed the ride.

*********

When they stopped, it was in front of a bookstore, one titled “Ayako’s Books”. So the Earthling owned this place then. That explained how she could so easily take a cat with her to work. Ayako parked her bike, and scooped Luna up in her arms. “Here we are Luna, this is where I work” proclaimed Ayako proudly. She held Luna close to her chest as she walked to the door and took a key out of her pocket.

A click of the lock and they were inside, and Ayako set Luna down before turning on the lights. “I’ve got to set up for the day, so just make yourself at home. But don’t damage anything okay? I expect you to be on your best behavior.” The last sentence was firm, and Luna just nodded before wandering around. Books were arranged in multiple shelves, row after row, and from the hand-made signs, sorted by genre. It was all very organized, which had her impressed.

Curiously, there were books that had titles written in characters that didn’t belong to the native language Luna had picked up from the minds of the people here. The nearby sign declared them to be “Foreign”. There were different languages on this planet? That was surprising. Luna recalled hearing something about the Earth being united under one kingdom. Didn’t the Dark Kingdom encompass the whole Earth?

That would lend to the idea that there was a uniform language. And yet these books were written in different ones than was used by the people here. And it did not seem like a simple difference in dialect, for the sets of characters and letters were far too different for a language variant. Were these in old, unused languages of the past? It did not seem so. The books were new, and Luna didn’t see any special chemicals or sense any magic that could have acted as a preservative.

“You seem to be quite interested in those.” Luna jumped and turned to see Ayako looking down at her. “Most of those are in English, but there are a few in other languages. This one is in French.” She lifted up the book in question and Luna saw that along with the title, there was a picture of a man in a dark suit and a tall hat.

“Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Burglar” said Ayako. “Most people prefer the other books around here written in Japanese, but occasionally someone will buy these, so I keep them around. I wish I could read some of them though,” she said with a sigh. “These were given to me and I just know the title and enough information to catalogue them, but beyond that, zip.”

The bell attached to the door rang, and both Ayako and Luna turned to see a petite young woman walk into the store. Her eyes were brown and her hair was jet black and ended at her chin. Her steps were light, almost like she was dancing.

“Hey Ayako, how are things go-“ she stopped when she saw Luna. “How did a cat get in here?”

“I brought her in Mai,” replied Ayako as she walked up to the young woman and gave her a hug. “How have you been?”

“Good. But what do you mean you brought her in?”

“I think she’s a stray. I sort of almost ran over her yesterday, so I took her home. And I didn’t want to leave her alone today, so I brought her with me. Her name is Luna.”

Mai gave Ayako a look that Luna couldn’t quite figure out. There was definitely surprise in there, and what seemed like an attempt to slowly process the situation. But what were those other things she saw in her eyes? It seemed like some sort of internal struggle. But what of?

Luna huh?” said Mai slowly at last. “That’s a nice name, and I can see why you picked it.” Mai walked up to Luna and lifted her into her arms, tickling her chin. “She’s a beautiful cat. But are you sure it’s safe to have her wandering around in here?”

“It’s fine,” assured Ayako with a wave of her hand. “She’s very well behaved. Now let me guess, you wanted to know if the new book in that series came in, right?”

“Yeah. Did it?” said Mai eagerly.

Ayako shook her head. “Sorry, but I got a message saying the delivery got delayed for another week. But have you checked out these manga here…”

Mai and Ayako started talking business, interspersed with personal matters, so Luna simply hopped down from Mai’s arms and wandered around the bookstore again, glancing over the titles, this time the ones in the native language. Ayako said the people here preferred “the other books in Japanese”. So “Japanese” was the name of the native language then? And if the language was called Japanese, linguistically that would imply the country originating the language was called Japan. At least that was her guess. Then again, there were other languages here, so she could be wrong. How curious it all was. Perhaps she could learn more by being here.

How exactly though? She couldn’t move the books and read them herself, at least not with the Earthlings here. She was supposed to be an Earth-cat, a non-sentient. Then again, Ayako talked to her and treated her as reasonably intelligent, so perhaps she could somehow use that to her advantage in a way? She frowned at that thought. Phrasing it like that seemed so wrong. But it was no less a valid possibility.

She walked to the section marked as “Travel”. That seemed like a good place to start. Her most immediate questions were related to language and, she supposed, geography by extension. She browsed through the books, looking over the titles. One quickly caught her eye, “Nations of the World.”

This certainly seemed applicable to her questions. Turning back toward the front, she found that Mai had left, and Ayako was fiddling with the machine on the counter, pulling out a drawer. No one walking outside the store seemed to be interested in entering now, so Luna gave a few loud “mews” to get Ayako’s attention. Ayako looked up. “What is it Luna?” She walked over to Moon cat and bent down.

Luna touched her paw on the side of the book. Hopefully this will work.

“What? Are you interested in this?” Ayako picked the book off the shelf and carried it over an armchair in the back. Luna followed close behind, and hopped up into the chair next to Ayako when the girl gave a gesture to sit.

“So,” said Ayako as she opened the book, “why’re you so interested in this one Luna? Are you thinking of seeing the world?” She chuckled. “I wanted to do that once too, when I was a kid. But I’m happier here. And besides, I don’t have to worry about language barriers or vaccinations or anything like that. But if you want to look at it, I’d be glad to let you.”

Luna peered over the book as Ayako went through it. The first page was a large map showing multiple landmasses separated by vast oceans. “This,” said Ayako pointing down at the page, “is a world map. This is the whole Earth. Well, a flat version of it anyway. You may not have realized this as a cat, but the Earth is round. But don’t feel too bad, we humans thought it was flat too at first. And all those different colored shapes you see? Those are all the countries in the world.”

Luna’s eyes widened at the number of divided spaces on the map. They were all different and separate nations?! The raw number was astounding, and all on a single planet. Luna was again reminded of her past. When it came to the planets, they were all basically united as a single kingdom. Yes, there were deviations, like the great kingdom of Jupiter, whose people colonized the moons since their planet was made of gas, a tactic employed by all the gas planet kingdoms. And each moon was considered a separate state, owing to a time when travel between them wasn’t well developed. But even the many states of the Jovian moons still came together under the rule of a single government and royal family, seated at the capital of Io. Were all these countries their own sovereign governments? Incredible, though I suppose that explains the presence of different current languages.

Ayako turned to another page. This one too had a map, but was a close up of a long, thin island. “This is Japan. This is the country we live in. And right around here,” she pointed her finger to down into a part of the island, “is Tako. That’s the town we’re in now.”

She turned the page, to one that zoomed out of their last position, and her finger went across the ocean to another large section of land. “Over here is China. They’re a pretty big country. And this continent they are on is Asia. We’re considered part of that. And this big thing up here is Russia. They’re the largest country as far as size, but I guess you can tell.”

Ayako went on, pointing out many of the different countries. Occasionally the maps would be broken by little tidbits about certain countries, and Luna listened on. So many countries and different cultures, it was all so fascinating. But soon customers started to come in, so much to Luna’s disappointment, Ayako had to return to her post, and return the book to its proper place.

Luna chose to stay in the chair. As much as she wanted to wander and look around more, she knew that as the store’s business picked up, more people would come in and get in her way. Or rather, she reflected, she would get in their way. It was something of an embarrassment for an advisor to the great Lunar throne such as herself to have to stay out of the way of others, but she knew it was unavoidable.

At least Ayako uses good cushions, she thought as she curled up into the seat, content to watch and listen as people went in and out, and her Earthling companion did her business.

Time went on, and Luna found herself the focus of attention on several occasions. It was something of a routine. People would come in, they would give a greeting to Ayako (or she would greet them. If this was a small town, it didn’t surprise Luna that Ayako was on friendly terms with so many of them), they would notice her, and Ayako would introduce her. And the person would then begin complementing Luna and gushing over her, petting her, saying what an “absolutely beautiful” cat she was, and how quiet and well behaved she seemed, etc.

“What a lovely coat she has, so soft. And that crescent patch she has is just wonderful” said one middle aged woman. “Do you know if she’s a purebred? I bet she’d be fit for show.”

It was all quite flattering, and Luna was reminded of the time a number of nobles set about constantly complementing her and offering her gifts. It wasn’t long after she and Artemis had been appointed as advisors, and it was clear to Luna that the compliments she was receiving were only to win her over so that she, as someone close to Serenity, would help them with their own causes with Her Majesty.

It hadn’t taken her long to see through the scheming, though she recalled Artemis had had greater difficulty seeing through the complements of the noblewomen that came his way. But to be fair, the lot that had pestered Luna had been terrible liars, so perhaps Artemis had merely gotten the more effective social climbers. Really, the ones that came at Luna were so transparent it was embarrassing. Or maybe they thought she was just that stupid.

As if Queen Serenity the Twelfth would have chosen a pair of naïve idiots for her closest advisors.

Eventually she alerted Artemis to what was going on, and she’d stated point blank to all of the little parasites that she wasn’t going to be used as a tool for their own political gains. That little speech was made after convincing some of them to do some embarrassing but harmless stunts, the result of playing up the “foreign customs” angle. That part had been Artemis’s idea. And Luna had to admit, it was a nice touch, a way to get back at them for thinking the two of them were stupid. Even Queen Serenity got a laugh out of it.

But these people were different. There was a sincerity to their words that Luna appreciated. They weren’t trying to win anything from her; they just wanted to compliment her. It was…nice.

Time passed to lunchtime, which Luna spend eating some food Ayako had brought along for her, and sitting in the girl’s lap while she looked over the same book as before. Luna’s curiosity hadn’t dimmed a bit.

Before Luna knew it, it was 6 PM, and Ayako was closing up for the day. Another bike ride and they were back at Ayako’s house.

“Here you go Luna,” said Ayako as she set the cat down on the floor. “You were very well behaved today. Just for that, I’ll give you some extra food to eat. Just let me start getting my dinner first.”

Ayako went into the kitchen while Luna stayed put in the dining room. Following Ayako in there could lead to Luna getting in the girl’s way.

“You know Luna,” called out Ayako as she worked, “With the way people were paying so much attention to you, I was a little worried they’d be too preoccupied to buy anything.” Ayako gave a short laugh. “But today was still a good day as far as business went.” She looked away from her preparations to give Luna a smile and a wink. “Maybe you’re a good luck charm?”

Luna felt herself blushing. She doubted she was a good luck charm. Good luck charms didn’t have their homes collapse on them because of demonic invasion from their neighbors.

Ayako was soon done with her own cooking, and quickly dished out Luna’s dinner, complete with the extra helping of food she had promised.

“Don’t expect this too often though,” said Ayako as she set down the food. “I don’t want you getting fat.”

Her, fat? The idea was preposterous. Luna always kept herself in good shape. But she appreciated the sentiment anyway, and gave a mew of thanks to Ayako before taking part in her dinner.

After both of them had eaten and Ayako had set aside the dishes, she picked Luna up. At first Luna thought they were going back to the living room to watch TV again, but then Ayako surprised her.

“You know, if you liked the books in my store, then there’s something here you might like too. It’s right this way.”

Ayako came to a single, plain set of wooden doors. And when they went beyond the doors, Luna found herself in a sizable library. Every shelf was filled with books, and some of them were double stacked, with one row of books in front of another, to maximize space use in the deep compartments.

“You like it?” asked Ayako as she set Luna down on the hardwood floor. “It was one of the perks of this house when I inherited it from my grandparents. A library this size just worked perfectly for me. Since you’re such a curious little cat, I thought you would like it too.”

Luna did. Glancing around, she was wondering if this library was equal in size to Ayako’s bookstore. It certainly seemed close.

“From the way you’re looking around, I think I’ll take that as a yes,” said Ayako with a chuckle. “A cat that likes books is one after my own heart. So why don’t we read something together? Let’s see…”

Ayako scanned the shelves. She had a system of organization to deal with the double stacked shelves, something Luna found impressive.

“Since you liked the travel book, how about we look at more of those?” She went over to a far shelf and pulled out a hardback volume. “Japan: Then and Now. This one has photos too, so that’s even better.”

Book in hand, the bookkeeper sat down in the reclining chair positioned in the center of the room. She patted the space beside her. “Come on Luna.”

Luna obeyed, and hopped up next to her, curling into the space as Ayako opened the book. The Earthling went on opening the book, and reading through it page by page, Luna following along.

They spent the entire evening there, just reading.

*********

That's it for now. As always feedback is welcome. And if there are any errors, typos or otherwise, let me know. Looking back at the story afterwards, I know I've found typos, and I know that as I post this there could be ones that I've missed.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   11th January 2014, 10:52 am

Hello again everyone. Sorry for the double post. And sorry for taking so long with this. Class started back up for me on the 6th, so between that and other things, I've been kind of busy. Anyway, I have another part of the story done. So here it is.

Story

The same pattern continued for a few days. The pair would wake up, eat, and Ayako would then take her with her to work, finding Luna such pleasant company as to prefer it. Luna would wait around in the store, the two would go home, and then spend their evenings either reading or watching TV.

It was all in all a peaceful experience, and Luna felt herself content here. Besides, with Ayako always taking her to work, Luna had little opportunity to sneak away, even if she wanted to. But one night, before they could settle into dinner, Ayako got a call which disrupted the pattern.

“Hello, this is Ayako. Oh, hello Izumi. What’s going…oh, really? You want me to take a look at it? But why don’t you ask Koji? Oh, I see. Well I admit I’m decent with them, but I haven’t even gotten dinner and…alright Izumi, alright. I’ll be right over.”

Ayako gave a frustrated sigh and set the phone back down into the cradle before addressing Luna. “That was my friend Izumi. Her computer is acting up and she wants me to take a look at it. She says I’m the only person she can trust with it since the usual computer expert around here is out of town visiting his aunt.”

She bent down to pet Luna in the head. “Her house is a fair distance, and I don’t know how long this will take, so I guess I’ll be busy tonight. I’d take you with me, but Izumi has terrible cat allergies. Sorry to spoil our night.”

Straightening up, she went back to her room to collect a few things, before moving to the kitchen. When she came out, she was carrying the food dishes she reserved for Luna. “Here’s your dinner so you won’t get hungry. I might have to get mine elsewhere tonight. Now you be a good cat while I’m gone, okay Luna? Try to keep the house in one piece.” Ayako waved at Luna before she went out the door to her bike, locking the door behind her.

Now Luna was alone, and without something to do. Before figuring out what to do with herself, she ate her dinner. No need to leave her stomach empty. But once she’d had her fill, the question remained of what to do.

Here of course was an opportunity to sneak out of here and return to the search for Artemis. It would not have been hard to force the locks on the door or windows. She’d almost done it that one time prior.

She moved a paw toward the door, but stopped herself. Maybe I should stay. After all, being here has been so enlightening.

Indeed it had. She’d been learning so much about this new Earth and its people. She glanced back at the library. With Ayako gone, she could look at some books in private, another rare opportunity.

Thinking it over, she turned and walked to the library. It’s probably for the best that I learn as much as I can about this planet, since I seem to be stuck on it. And this place provides a wonderful opportunity to learn.

Yes, learning was good. Learning about this world would only serve to benefit her. That was good enough reason to stay. That was a good enough reason not to take the chance to sneak out and continue with her mission of finding Artemis. That’s what she kept telling herself.

Walking into the library, she began scanning the shelves, looking at the different subjects she could investigate. Over the last few nights, with Ayako reading either nonfiction or some of her favorite fiction books, Luna had gotten a sense for the system the bibliophile used to organize her library.

Luna picked one of the reference books and floated it over to her, making a note of where it had been originally. For the sake of caution, she could only take a few books out at a time, or else risk forgetting where precisely they went. It would not do for them to be out of place when Ayako returned. Giving the girl her name in a dream had been easy to pass off, but upsetting her meticulous sorting system would no doubt raise suspicions and confusions Luna did not want.

With her book selected, Luna hopped up into the armchair. She might as well read in comfort. She then levitated the book over to her, and began to read through it.

*********

Earthlings had been to the Moon.

Of course Luna knew that the ancient Earthlings had been to the Moon once before. It was the reason she was here after all. And Luna knew Earthlings had been to the Moon at some point prior to even that, even if she couldn’t remember why contact with them had been so sharply broken.

But the people of Earth had traveled to the Moon within the last few decades. Luna had done a double take when she’d first read the sentence. Apparently the people here had developed the technology of space travel, and had refined it enough that members of their species actually walked on Lunar soil again after who knew how long.

It was all very remarkable, especially for a planet like Earth. Luna was impressed, though she wasn’t so very happy to hear the Americans had planted their flag on the Moon when they visited, as if they were staking a claim on it. It was disgusting really, thinking the Moon was a piece of property they could just take.

But to be fair, from what she saw of the history books, the people here didn’t seem to know about the ancient past, so it wasn’t like they knew how insulting the idea was. In fact, Earthlings claimed that there was no life on the other planets. That made Luna wonder just how far forward in time Queen Serenity had sent everyone.

Not wanting to linger on that particular thought, Luna moved on to other subjects, namely the hard sciences. As she read on, she became more and more impressed. The Earthlings here had developed so much as far in science and technology was concerned. Computers, robotics, satellites, television, the internet, all of these were marvelous inventions that Luna was familiar with, and had never dreamed the Earth would create based on the things that were said about it. In fact, technology seemed to be the driving force here, and the idea of magic seemed designated by the majority of people to be the stuff of fiction.

It was ironic in a sense. From what Luna remembered of the armies of the Dark Kingdom, they used simpler weapons and relied more on magic, without a trace of high technology among their forces. Even the ships they had used to get to the Moon had been based in magic rather than science.

And yet the planet now was so much the opposite. It wasn’t in the league of the magnificent techno-society of the Uranian Kingdom, but considering the Earth had been so isolated and often thought of as primitive and backwards at the time of the Silver Millennium, the progress now was nothing short of amazing.

Browsing through the texts however, did bring to her attention uglier subjects however. This new Earth had been host to many wars, and two world wars. And considering how many nations there were on this planet, the fact that enough of them had participated in a war to properly classify it as a “world war” not once, but twice, it wasn’t very comforting. Flashes of the Dark Kingdom’s army played back in her brain.

No, the comparison wasn’t exactly valid. The Dark Kingdom had been something supernatural as well as natural. No group of people was perfect after all. And besides, if Ayako and the people that came by her store were any indication, there was kindness and goodness here. For that, Luna was thankful. If Princess Serenity were to live out her days here again, it was better that it was a place like that.

Luna was busy exploring a well-used book on chemistry, and had just started reading about the way the Earthlings had created the Periodic Table when she heard a noise in the distance. Ayako was parking her bike outside. Luna quickly closed the book and put it and the others back in their original positions, making sure everything was in order, and curled herself up deeper into the armchair and closed her eyes.

The door opened. “Luna? I’m back.”

Ayako wandered into the open door of the library to see Luna curled up asleep, or at least pretending to be. “There you are Luna. Well, did you enjoy your time by yourself?”

Luna slowly opened her eyes, then yawned before giving a happy meow.

“Hey, don’t sound too enthusiastic” laughed Ayako as she pet Luna. “Some of us might think you prefer not having our company.” She sat down next to Luna. “I’m sorry our night got messed up, but I’m glad to see you’re happy…” she paused before adding “and that the house is still standing. Not the party animal type then?”

Luna blushed. No, she most certainly wasn’t. As if she’d do anything to destabilize the roof she was under.

“Well, that’s okay. I’m not either.” Ayako got up, and held Luna in her arms. “It’s still not late enough to sleep yet, so what do you say to a little bit of TV before we call it a night?”

Luna nodded happily, and Ayako lead them out of the library and into the living room. All in all, Luna considered it another night well spent.

*********

And that's about it. I hope you all like it, and please feel free to tell me if you did. Personally I wonder if I'm handling Luna's character well in this.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   12th January 2014, 11:25 am

I love reading this, because it is super adorable.

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   12th January 2014, 2:37 pm

Oh ditto! Though I am starting to wonder when something is going to happen at this point. Though I figure you must have something planned. xD

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   12th January 2014, 4:27 pm

Thank you both. Do you think my portrayal of Luna is good? I've been a little anxious on that, but then again I tend to be anxious on a lot of things, so...

As to your question Small Lady: like I said, I only have partial plans, so part of this is improvised. And it would be a lie for me to say that what I do have planned is action oriented. I just wanted to fill in the gap, and play around with SM canon and my own headcanon.

I will say that I do plan to have one more lone scene and then Artemis will be making an appearance...sort of...it makes sense in context. After that, it's a bit less defined right now. Anyway, the next scene is sort of long, and I don't know how long the one after that will take with school and all, but I'll try and get it done as soon as I can. I'm sorry if the story has something of a slow pace. It made sense at the time. Or maybe it's just the way I post it in chunks like this. But still, thank you both.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   12th January 2014, 7:59 pm

I think so far you're Luna is fine, it would be expected that she would be a bit unsure of herself at first on Earth and sounds like her wanting to read a lot. It reminds me of in the manga when she's reading the news paper and Ikuko-mama is like "aw luna is trying to read the newspaper, silly kitty". It would make sense that she would develop more into the personality that we see in the manga/anime once she realizes her mission and that she has to train a bunch of kids to fight the Dark Kingdom.

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   13th January 2014, 3:18 pm

I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!! I am now watching the topic so I will see immediately if new story parts have been added!

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   14th January 2014, 7:22 pm

Thank you all. I did some more work today, so I have more to add. I think it's done to satisfaction anyway. I'd already been working on it, and I figured I should try and see if I could get something done today, since I probably won't get it done tomorrow, since I have some studying to do, and I don't really know how long that will take.

That said, what I am about to post is rather long. Just a head's up.

Story

The next night ended up just like the first, with Izumi once again calling for Ayako’s assistance, and Luna being left to her own devices. And like the night before, Luna took to the library.

As Luna scanned the shelves for something to read, her eyes caught on the section for mythology and religion. Luna first thought was to dismiss that section completely. On a world like this, the subject didn’t seem all that applicable. But logic told her that learning about a world meant learning all aspects, and further logic told her that if it really didn’t seem all that interesting, she could always move onto something else.

Why not? It won’t hurt. So she levitated a book titled “Myths from around the Globe” and started to read. She read on through it, and to her surprise, started looking at another from the same section. The material might not have been as practical for an understanding of this modern world, but buried within these myths and names of gods and goddesses, Luna found a treasure of memories she hadn’t realized she’d lost. She found some of the richer gems among the Pantheon of the Greeks. Names of people and places from her past had somehow weaved their way back into the minds of ancient Earthlings.

In an instant, she wasn’t just in a library. She was lost in her own memories of a time and place that no longer was. Moonlight flooded in through the window, and worked its strange magic on the room. In Luna’s mind, the room was suddenly filled with people, with phantoms that she knew only too well. The figures danced around her, and she took her time staring, and remembering, each one.

The figures mostly danced before her in pairs. The first couple that stopped before her was of King Hermes and Queen Athena, the last rulers of Mercury. Hermes was short and wiry, like many people of the planet, with blue hair. She remembered him as a man with a quick wit and who was equally quick on his feet, with a soft laugh and a love of pranks. His practical jokes always made visits to Mercury entertaining, and helped to make up for whenever those visits coincided with the cold winters.

Luna often wondered what color his eyes were. She’d never gotten a good look at them. Hermes always wore special tinted glasses. He suffered from vision problems, one of which was light sensitivity, and without his glasses, it would not have been an overstatement to say he was legally blind. In her mind, he was still wearing them, and he was still laughing.

Beside him was Queen Athena, who had been much taller than her husband, with dark blue hair and sharp gray eyes. It was most appropriate for her name to be used as a goddess of wisdom and war strategy. Athena’s skills at analysis and tactics were superb, and she had dominated every strategy game she ever participated in. Luna had played against her in several such games, and she’d lost every single time. Luna missed those games, even if she was guaranteed to lose. Losses never seemed so bad when playing with Athena.

The next figure before her was solitary one of Queen Aphrodite, cousin of Serenity the Twelfth, born around the same time from Serenity’s uncle and Queen Hathor the Fourth. She was a sight to take men’s breath away, with eyes the color of Earth’s sky and long hair the color of gold. Aphrodite was one of the most frequent visitors to the Moon Palace among all the royals. Whenever Queen Serenity found herself in a fit of depression, Aphrodite’s presence always pulled her out. The warm weather on Venus always made trips there enjoyable, and Artemis had a particular love of the tropical planet.

Aphrodite was a woman dedicated to peace and justice, and always opened her palace to nobles and commoners alike, welcoming them with open arms to all her celebrations. She’d had swarms of individuals willing to be granted her love. But Aphrodite never gave her heart away to any man, save for the mysterious nobleman who sired her daughter.

Like Hermes’s eyes, Luna had always wondered who the man was. Aphrodite had never revealed the name. Serenity had even privately confessed to her advisors that despite their closeness, Aphrodite hadn’t even told her. The Venusian queen just didn’t like talking about the subject, and evaded direct answers. It was a secret Aphrodite had now taken to her grave.

In a way, Aphrodite’s reluctance to talk of this mysterious man reminded her of Serenity. Serenity too never liked to speak about her own late husband, though he was at least identified. The subject must have still hurt. Neither Luna nor Artemis had ever met the man. King Orion had been gone before they were brought to the Moon. Though Luna was sure she’d seen Serenity looking at a picture of the man on the rare occasions Luna had entered Her Majesty’s private bedchamber. Serenity had always put the picture away before Luna could ever get a good look at it.  

Luna had to wonder sometimes if that had been the reason they’d been made advisors. Perhaps Serenity had selected them as advisors because she’d been lonely, and she’d needed individuals to trust and help her to raise her still very young daughter.

Her eyes moved to another interesting pair. One was a man, tall, with dark hair and a bearded face, and beside him was a woman with violet eyes and long hair the color of an open flame. These were the last rulers of Mars, King Ares and Queen Bellona. Luna found it ironic that this Greek Ares was so violent and impulsive. The Ares she remembered was quite level headed, always took time to think and evaluate before doing anything of importance. In fact, he’d been the one to keep in check the more violent and vocal members of his court. He was certainly unlike the stereotypes some people had about Martians, right down to his uncommon black hair.

Queen Bellona was equally as odd in her society. She’d been more aggressive than her husband, impatient and easier to agitate, with a fierce temper. But she’d been far from reckless or stupid. She was a champion for any cause that was brought to her attention. But the one closest to her heart, and the one with which she tackled with all of her incredible tenacity, was the misogyny that was so rampant in her society. Luna had experienced it herself, seen the hate and derision in the eyes of some of the Martians she’d worked with, though Bellona told her that the difference in species had actually spared her some of it.

Luna smiled at her name being used for a goddess of war. One other thing the Martian queen had been was the greatest hand-to-hand combatant in the Solar System, and not bad with weapons either. It was a title she very much deserved. Luna had seen her in action, and Bellona was terrifying in combat. Bellona would have loved to hear that she’d been deified. Ares too no doubt, since Luna knew he’d already considered his wife his own goddess.

More memories floated back to her consciousness, stories that Serenity had told the Mauian pair of the things that happened prior to their arrival and appointment.

Bellona had caused quite a bit of social stir when she’d met Ares in that arena, and continued to be a subject of scandal when the young Ares continued to socialize with her. The tension only got worse when he declared that she was to be his wife. And tensions reached a pinnacle when Ares announced that not only would she be his queen, but she would be equal in power, status, and authority.

In a society so plagued by gender inequality, the announcement was a massive shock. So volatile was the reaction that on the day of the wedding, a band of protestors stormed the temple, weapons drawn, and interrupted the ceremony. All of them were prepared to kill the woman in order to prevent the marriage.

Bellona had been absolutely furious, and fed up of listening to people like them. So to get them to shut up once and for all, she decided to fight them off herself, Ares hot on her heels. The two managed to subdue all of them, and to rub it in their faces, they continued on with the ceremony, bruises and all. Serenity had showed them the photographs to prove it. Luna almost wished she’d been there to witness it.

The next pair was very tall, and both of them had brown curly hair and green eyes. Luna recognized the man immediately. The broad shoulders, bearded face that couldn’t hide the enormous grin, the joy and life that sparked in those eyes, this was King Zeus. And the gentle woman with her arm around him was Queen Hera. These were the last rulers of Jupiter.

Zeus and Hermes always got along well, and were always the life of large parties. While Hermes laughed softly, Zeus’s laughter was a bellow that frequently reminded Luna of the rumble of the thunder clouds Jupiter’s magic was linked to, but without the menace. That sound always made him stand out in a crowd of Jovians. Queen Hera was not so loud, but Luna recalled that she had a passion for gardens, and had sculpted a wonderful one for herself in their palace. Frequently when visiting the Jovian palace, Hera would be found working in her garden alongside her daughter. Luna could still remember the time the princess had been short.  

She grimaced at the description of the Greek Zeus. This man was a terrible adulterer and a womanizer. It seemed all the more disgusting since his consort was declared the goddess of marriage. Clearly there had been some wires crossed in whatever process brought this information back to the people of Earth.

The real King Zeus would have never cheated on his wife, and not simply for fear of revenge. Luna had spent enough time around the man to know that he dearly loved Hera, and never would have been able to live with himself if he had been unfaithful. And Hera herself had never been the vengeful and highly insecure being in these myths. She’d been quiet and calm and gentle, though a threat to her family usually brought out an icy venom in her voice that made one think twice before continuing to speak.

If anything, the description of this Greek Zeus reminded Luna of the king’s brother, Duke Dionysus. Dionysus had been a drunk, sexist pig of a man, and Luna never had any hesitation in calling him that. It was practically common knowledge. The man drank heavily, and at greater frequency than the typical Jovian. He’d also preferred to consume stronger, imported brands of alcohol from the other kingdoms, completely ignoring the sensitivity of the typical Jovian liver.

Being around him had always been unpleasant, even before he started talking, simply because the smell of alcohol emanated from him like it had soaked every cell in his body. Even considering that he shared Zeus’s height and strong constitution; it seemed to be a miracle that the man hadn’t already died of acute alcoholic poisoning. Luna wished many times that she’d had nose plugs.

But then he started talking, and one realized he was completely sexist, looking at every eligible woman like she was a thing. Luna recalled the occasions she got to talk to the staff members of the other royal families. It was a good way to exchange notes. One of the aids to the Jovian throne had been a jittery young man, whose nervousness was only made worse by his recently acquiring a fiancé. He related to Luna that Dionysus’s many escapades with women had created a large number of illegitimate children, and an immense line of people waiting to file child support lawsuits. Zeus, it appeared to him, was too soft-hearted on his brother to let him suffer the consequences of his actions.

Stories like that made Luna appreciate her job in the Lunar court. If she’d been working under the Jovians and dealing with something like that, she had little doubt her coat would have turned gray early and she’d have had a coronary, not necessarily in that order. But even still, she had to deal with the man. Any time he ended up being present at international functions, she and the other royal aids had a terrible time making sure he was always in a different room than Bellona. There was a rightful concern that should he talk to her for any length of time, the Martian queen would try and neuter him.

In Luna’s opinion, it wasn’t a concern, it was a certainty, just as she knew it was a certainty that Bellona would not only try but succeed. And as much as most women would be happy to see the drunkard reap the consequences of his behavior, it wasn’t worth the international incident, since he would no doubt complain and press his brother to do something. Dionysus had a lot of friends on Jupiter and in other kingdoms to back him up. Not that many of them were of a higher caliber. One “friend” was an upper class Lunarian who was arrested and convicted of robbing his fellow neighbors in their district of waterfront mansions after he’d lost all his money gambling on Callisto.

So many memories, so many people she’d known and now lost. Luna sighed and looked away from the books. She missed them all so very much. Even with the tedium that came with her job at times, she wished she could go back to it all. But she couldn’t. These people in her mind’s eye were nothing but specters, wisps of memory.

But Artemis isn’t, hissed a voice in the back of her head. You’ve been neglecting him.

“I haven’t been neglecting him,” she replied, unsure why she was arguing with herself. Her answer seemed hollow. Or maybe the room had an echo. Wasn’t the ceiling high enough to make one?

Yes you have. Weren’t you supposed to be looking for him?

“I’ve been keeping myself busy. I’ve been learning about this new world. That’s just as practical.”

You’ve still been neglecting looking for him. You just wanted to stay here, that’s all.

Luna couldn’t find an answer for that. As much as learning about the new Earth had been useful, and her chances had been limited, Luna couldn’t deny there was a ring of truth there. And with it came a pang of guilt. Part of her had wanted to stay here. Ayako was so very friendly, and it was so nice here.

But it didn’t excuse the fact that she should have been searching for him as she had been before. But even if she did leave here and start searching, where would she begin? She knew now how massive this place was, and a search on foot or even psychically could be daunting.

Luna gave another sigh and lay her head down on the cushion. “I suppose it would be too much to ask that he ran into me, wouldn’t it?”

Luna? Luna? Are you there?

Luna’s head bolted up in shock. “A-Artemis?!”

*********

Okay, so some of those plans I mentioned before changed just a little bit. While I was working on this, I was debating whether or not to keep this part going, but I'm stuck at a decision or two, so I figured this was a good place to stop for now, especially with how late it is. Anyway, enjoy everyone. I'll get back to this as soon as I can.


Last edited by Phantom53 on 14th January 2014, 7:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot to italicize something)
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   17th January 2014, 7:05 am

Amazing!

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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   17th January 2014, 11:14 am

Awesome story! I love all the details you put in the different planets and their cultures. I hope Ayako won't be too sad when Luna eventually leaves.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   17th January 2014, 11:37 am

@JupiterThunderCrash wrote:
Awesome story! I love all the details you put in the different planets and their cultures. I hope Ayako won't be too sad when Luna eventually leaves.

Thank you very much. The details all come from the sets of headcanon I've developed (though I added a few more details about the Senshi's parents when I wrote this part). They are in the Headcanons thread in Theories and Debates if you want to look at those. They are long though. The last one I finished was Uranus, and I've done some work on Neptune, but it's a time intensive process going through my references and putting it together, and I don't have a ton of time with school in and other projects, so I haven't gotten really far.

As for Ayako... I can't really say (and not just because my plans are only partially developed). I guess we'll just have to see, won't we? XD
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   14th February 2014, 6:48 pm

Hello everyone. So...it's been a while hasn't it? I'm sorry it took me so long. I just got so very busy. I admit that I've still got some decisions to make as to where exactly to take things, but I did get some work done and I feel so bad for having taken this long, I thought I would give you this segment to help make up for it, rather than posting it with the other segment that I am still working on. At least I think this one is good enough to considered finished.

Story

Artemis had so far not enjoyed this planet. Not one bit. He could see why so many people had disliked it, though his feelings were for different reasons. Namely, he didn't like it here because the whole planet seemed to dislike to him.

He'd woken up in the middle of what was clearly a massive urban environment, a maze of steel and concrete. The barrage of noise and smells (mostly bad) had made it difficult to clear the cobwebs from his brain. And after he'd managed to collect his thoughts, he found himself facing a large number of angry cats, none of which he could communicate with. There was no language in their minds that he could connect to.

But even without higher language skills, Artemis could still read body language. And theirs said get out, this is our territory. So it was that Artemis spent some of his first moments on this planet mixed up in a brawl with mean, nasty alley cats. He'd managed to fend them off for the most part with telekinesis. But he was still recovering, so some of the braver and faster ones managed to get up close and personal. Artemis had scars under his coat to testify.

Artemis found himself struggling to find proper food and water in this place, having to root through what he could only assume were garbage cans to find something remotely suitable to eat. He didn't find much. And he was sure some of things he'd had to consume weren't totally healthy. What net gain of energy he’d gotten out of it was reduced by his need to fight even more cats. When he'd retired to the pod to sleep, he'd heard more hostiles roaming near him. As a result, he slept poorly for the first few nights before he finally had enough and lifted the pod, moved it out of the alley to a spot deep within a nearby park using the cover of night, and promptly collapsed.

He'd slept a little better after that, and the park had a few small animals he'd managed to turn into dinner. While the space offered some respite from the noise, it didn't keep him away from the smell. There was still the distant scent of combustion in the air, car exhaust. Artemis had done some wandering and had seen all the cars here. He was shocked that Earth had such things. He had to wonder, did the remaining people plunder some of the technology of the other planets after their invasion?

If they did, they didn't do a very good job of it, he thought as he glanced at the designs. Uranus had been one of the kingdoms that used cars the most, along with Mercury. But Mercury had focused on developing means of public transit. The things Artemis saw here didn’t even measure up to the ones he’d seen on Uranus. For one, the Uranian cars were much quieter. For two, they’d been electric, and didn’t create the exhaust these Earth models did. The Uranians had been quiet particular about avoiding air pollution, and had scrapped combustion engines like that very fast. Understandable really, considering their worship of a sky god.

Artemis managed to acquire the native language of the Earthlings, but it didn't really do him too much good. He'd tried talking to a woman in the park once, and said woman had merely screamed and ran in fright. She could have been a little more polite. He was ashamed to admit that he'd forgotten about his failed attempts to communicate with the other cats. Clearly the cats here weren't sentient, and the idea of one that could talk was too strange.

Over the next few days, he examined the contents of his pod and tried to find Luna. She didn't seem to be responding. Of course, forms of ESP weren't his specialty. Luna had always been more proficient at that than he was, while he'd excelled at telekinesis. So he wandered the park, hoping that perhaps a change of position might help him reach Luna. She had to be nearby, right? After a few hours of searching, he'd gotten lost and had to spend the night in another part of what had turned out to be a very large park.

To make matters worse, it rained that night, reducing his ability to sleep properly out in the open. The area also seemed to have less available food for him, so he'd had to miss a few meals the next day as he tried to navigate back to his pod.

It was during this trip back that he found himself in his current predicament. He'd been walking along, wandering through the park, when he was happened upon by a group of Earthlings. The minute after he saw them, and they saw him, he found himself lifted into the air and caught in a death grip.

“Kitty!” cried a high-pitched voice as he felt the arms around his stomach tighten, crushing all the air out of his lungs and not allowing him to take in any more. Air...

“Be careful honey, you don't know whose cat that is,” spoke the tall woman of the group.

Artemis felt the arms loosen, and he gulped in the air, savoring it, smells and all. He was held out in the air, and saw the thing that had grabbed him was a small girl with shoulder length blue-black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a simple white dress and a wide sunhat on her head. She regarded him for a moment, before speaking back at the woman. “But Mommy, the kitty isn't wearing a collar. It must not have an owner.”

A second later, the girl started to smile and bounced on her heels. “Ooh! Mommy, Daddy, can I have the kitty? Please!?”

The two parents looked to each other with concern. “But sweetheart,” said the man, “you just found it in the park. It could be sick.”

“But then it would need a home even more! Why can't I have this one? I want this one. PLEASE!”

Artemis looked between this strange hyperactive child and her parents. She was giving them an expression that Artemis knew was a puppy dog eyed pout, and from the looks of it, a very effective one. Princess Mina had used that look on her mother lots of times when she was young, usually to get something she wanted or to let her give Ferdinand, her pet Venusian Taurus, have extra desert. That was before she'd been old enough to get her sizable allowance, a perk of being the heir to one of the most affluent kingdoms in the System next to Jupiter. Once that happened, she hadn’t really needed to beg.

This girl, it seemed, had mastered it as much as Mina, because the parents caved in within seconds. “Alright sweetheart, you can have the kitty,” said the woman. “But you have to take care of it.”

“YAY!” screamed the girl as she hugged Artemis again, driving out all the air he'd just gotten used to having in his lungs. “You're my new kitty. My name is Emi and we're going to have so much fun together. Let's go home right now!” She held him tight as she and her parents headed out of the park and into a waiting car, which was long and sophisticated-looking, and which had a driver.

Artemis couldn’t free himself from Emi’s grip, which didn’t loosen when they sat down inside. So he was forced to take the car ride with these humans, all the way to a multi-level structure.

“This is where we live kitty!” said the girl excitedly as she bolted out of the car and went straight for the door. “Mommy and Daddy call this a town house. Isn’t it great? I know you’ll love it here too.”

Once inside, Emi stopped to show off the interior. “This is the hallway. Don’t you like it kitty?” Emi took a deep breath and frowned. “Ooh kitty, you really stink.

Artemis huffed. Well excuse me. I didn't exactly have good places to clean myself. I was too busy finding food, shelter, and fighting off crazy cats.

“It's bath time for you.” Emi took him up the stairs, and held him tightly, despite his struggles to free himself from her grip. She took him into a bathroom before she shut the door and set him down. “You wait right here kitty, and I'll get your bath ready.”

Over my dead body. Emi was busy with other things, and her back was turned to him. He had to try and sneak out of here. He certainly wasn't going to be a pet around here. Carefully he snuck over to the door. Step by step, he got closer. He was just at the door, ready to move it with telekinesis, when something pulled quite sharply on his tail.

He screamed in agony as he was dragged back across the floor. Oh come on, can’t something go right?!

“Naughty, naughty kitty” said Emi as she yanked on his tail more. “You were supposed to wait. You shouldn't sneak away from bath time.” She then lifted him into the air and held him over the large marble tub, which was now full of steaming water. “Kitty needs a bath” she said with finality as she dropped him into the water.

Artemis's head surfaced and he gasped for air. The water was warmer than he would have liked. When he turned back to Emi, he saw her holding a brush that was coated in soap. Oh no...

He couldn't even scream before she came at him and started scrubbing down the top of his head. She wasn't being very gentle about it either. Were the bristles on that thing hard, or was it just the way she was working? Artemis wasn’t sure. All he knew is that he wished she would stop.

“Scrub the kitty...” she was singing, off key he might add, as she started scouring his back. He tried to move away from her, but she just held him still with her other hand. He'd have tried to bite her, if he wasn't sure that opening his mouth would end with him tasting soap. As it was, he barely managed to keep his eyes open without the risk of soap falling in them.

Emi didn't even give him any warning before she dunked him under the water. She grabbed him roughly by the scruff of the neck and pulled him to the surface, where he was once again coughing and gasping for air. What's with this kid and suffocating me?

“Paws next,” Emi announced before pulling one of his legs out from under him and going at it with the same fervor. At least the water kept him from losing his balance. This is absolutely humiliating. A washcloth was then pressed right into his face.

Emi rubbed against his forehead and frowned. “Hey, that little mark isn't coming off...Ooh, is it a birthmark?! I've got one of those on my leg. It looks like a bird. Too bad yours isn't a bird too, then we'd match.”

Artemis was in the water for several more minutes before Emi declared him to be clean and hauled him out of the tub. His skin hurt all over, and he knew it was bright pink from the heat and friction. I think I lost a few layers of skin...

Whatever relief the open air gave him was short lived before he found himself once again smothered, this time by a bunch of towels. “Time to dry the kitty, don't want to catch a cold.”

When she was finally done with him, he felt like he’s been run over. He wondered briefly if this was how people who had volunteered to spar with Queen Bellona felt. He’d been certain that these humans thought he was just an ordinary cat, but after this experience, he was having some doubts. If all this had been some demented form interrogation or torture, he had to admit it was very effective. He was certainly ready to crack.

“Now you’re all nice and clean,” said Emi. “I think I’ll call you Miruku. That means milk and you’re the color of milk. Doesn’t that sound like a nice name?”

Personally I prefer my own name thank you. But he got the feeling that even if he could speak to her without any problem, she might not have listened. Not that he would have had the energy to protest. He was too tired to even run when Emi grabbed him again and took him off to her bedroom, where who knew what was waiting for him.

*********

And that's it. Tell me what you all think and if there were any typos in there. I'm posting this really late for me, and I didn't do a final check for typos before putting it here, so I'd like to know if there are any, or any other issues. I'll try to work out more of it as soon as I can.
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   4th June 2014, 4:13 pm

Hi everyone. *Glances at thread* Um...CLEAR!

Sooooo.....it's been a long time. I am so very sorry. I got consumed with work and other stuff and it just took a while to get motivation back to continue this. But here I am with another segment that I'm satisfied with. Also, I'd really like to apologize for triple posting here. I don't like double posting and will avoid it wherever possible, and normally I'd avoid triple posting. But I'd finished another segment and I felt I owed all those that read this to put it here now. If this is against some forum rules or something that I missed, I am sorry. If that's the case, I can take this past and just edit it into the previous one.

So without further ado, here's the next part. Please enjoy and comment.

Story

This place was a prison, a shockingly effective prison, one that had held him for quite some time now. After the initial torture session in the bathroom, Emi had deposited him in her bedroom on top of a bed that was frankly enormous for an eight year old, a horribly saccharine creation of pink and white frills with a canopy.

After she’d dropped him there, she’d gone out of the room, claiming she needed to go with her mother to get cat food for him. Escaping out the window wasn’t an option. It went out to a several story drop that would surely have shattered his legs were he to have simply jumped. And he couldn’t risk using telekinesis to safely lower himself, not in a heavily populated place like this. The last thing he needed was to draw attention to his unearthly origins.

So the only way to escape this place was the door. The lock mechanism on the door was simple, so he had no problem using his telekinesis to unlock it. Silently he had crept down, and had been within feet of the front door, only to be caught by the family housekeeper, who he learned was named Margaret. From the bits of conversation he picked up, she was from America apparently, wherever that was.

“Now where do you think you’re going sweetie,” said the woman as she pulled him into her arms.

Out of here! Let me go!

But Margaret wouldn’t let him go, and kept him captive until Emi returned. In light of his near escape, Margaret gave Emi the suggestion for a way to prevent him sneaking out, a bell. The woman took a golden bell, something she said “fell off one of the Christmas decorations”, and said it would “keep him from being all sneaky”. He had no idea what Christmas was, but he knew he hated this thing, this bell and the magenta ribbon it had been looped through before being tied around his neck. It jangled every time he moved, which he supposed was the point.

Now here he was, days and days later, sitting on Emi’s bed, with that same accursed bell around his throat, preventing any silent escape. He couldn’t even unknot the thing. The knot itself was on the back of his neck. For him to telekinetically undo it, it would have been best for him to be able to see it. Finding a proper angle was impossible, so it was like working blind.

On top of that, Emi’s knot tying skills apparently included tying a knot that, while not restricting his air supply, was so bizarre and chaotic that it was impossible to even try to undo, even if he could get a good view of it. He doubted it was a standard design. From what he could feel when Emi tied the thing, it was more likely that, like many children who had never learned to tie real knots, she just did whatever she wanted. But his captor had apparently mastered this particular monstrosity so that she could undo it in seconds, but only her.

Right now Emi was out getting more food and “other things” for him. He shuddered at what she had in mind. The girl was a terror to rival some of the worst interrogators. The food she offered him probably tasted good. Probably because he hadn’t really had a good chance to taste the stuff. Emi seemed to insist that, rather than allowing him to eat himself, she spoon feed him. Of course the spoon she used was large and she just shoved the stuff into his mouth, like she was trying to choke him. On the plus side, she let him drink water normally. Thank goodness for small miracles.

He couldn’t even sneak off at night when everyone was asleep either, when the bell was removed. Emi took to holding him as she slept, and even unconscious she had a formidable grip. He’d almost have wondered if she was descended from a family of Jovians rather than Earthlings.

With Emi gone for now, his only company was the menagerie of dolls and stuffed toys that filled the room, the ones he was told not to touch. Not that he wanted to. His only hope of escape from this place was being able to contact Luna. With the machine in front of him now, he intended to do just that. He fiddled with the controls before pressing his forehead into the panel.

Luna? Luna? Are you there?

Artemis?! The startled reply tempted him to holler in victory, but he couldn’t risk attracting attention, or breaking the connection.

Luna, you’re alive! Where are you? Are you okay?

I’m fine Artemis. I’m in a small town called Tako. Where are you? I’ve been trying to contact you for some time. Are you nearby?

Artemis blinked at the name. Tako? Where is that? His mind started to race. How did you get there? Did the Earthlings take you there?

Settle down Artemis, no one took me here. Now where are you?

I landed in the middle of a city.

A city? There was a pause in the communication. I landed in a clearing not too far from here, and there are no metropolitan areas nearby. Our pods must have drifted off into different trajectories. Do you know the name of the city? Perhaps I can determine how far away you are.

Artemis frowned. No.

You may have heard the name and not realized it. Come on Artemis, try to think.

Artemis pulled back his thoughts and searched his memory for anything that stood out, any repeated names, words, or phrases that would indicate where he was. One came to mind. I think I heard someone mention something called the Tokyo Subway.

Tokyo! Yes, that’s probably it declared Luna. Tokyo is the capital city of this country. There was a pause. But that’s quite a ways away from where I am. If you’re so far off, how are you able to reach me?

I’m using the telepathic amplifier. You remember it, from the Vault?


Oh yes, replied Luna in remembrance. That was that joint project between the Neptunians and the Uranians correct? And the lead Neptunian researcher had family on the Moon, so she’d been requesting to use the Vault as a workspace for months before we granted it?

That’s the one. Artemis had found the thing tucked away in the storage unit that came with his pod. It took him a while to remember what it was. He’d hardly ever laid eyes on it before. He’d been hesitant to try and use it since he remembered reading a report stating it still had some bugs to work out. But he’d been desperate, so he’d pulled it here with the old psychic link trick. Thankfully he’d only needed to tinker with it a little bit, and it hadn’t been buggy enough to create a feedback loop and fry his brain.

Look Luna, he continued, I need you to come get me.

The pause he got after that was longer than the others, and he didn’t like it. I’m not sure I’m able to do that Artemis. It’s a very long way.

What do you mean you can’t?! He pressed his forehead harder against the machine. Look, I’m stuck with one of these Earthlings and I can’t get out of here. I need you to rescue me! I’m sure you could find a route here and… he paused. A car was driving up to the house. Emi was back!

I have to go Luna. She’s back! I’ll contact you again as soon as I can. Hurriedly, he shut down the machine and transported it away. It wouldn’t take long for Emi to get back up here. He lay down on the bedding, savoring the softness of it while he tried to rest.

Sure enough, Emi was soon up the stairs and opening the door. “Oh Miruku, I’m back!” Emi plopped down on the bed next to him, shaking him from his position. She grabbed him and turned him so he looked her right in the face.

“We got a whole lot of yummy food for you Miruku, all sorts of food! I didn’t even think they made that many. And you can try them all.”

Oh goodie. Now if only you’d let me taste the stuff instead of shoving it past my tongue…

Emi was still smiling, and in a way that he didn’t like. That meant more trouble.

“But you know what I think we should do now? We should have a tea party! I saw this in a store and I got it just for you.” She then started rummaging through paper bag Artemis hadn’t even notice her carry in.

What she pulled out made Artemis recoil. Emi’s ear to ear grin didn’t help either. “Isn’t this little dress pretty? I knew I had to get it for you, and you just had to wear it to a tea party! You need look pretty for the party, right?”

Artemis eyed the bright yellow, ruffled abomination with equal parts horror and disgust. She wasn’t seriously going to put him in that was she? He still had some dignity left as a royal advisor.

“Come here Miruku.”

Artemis tried to run, but he didn’t get far before a pair of hands grabbed his sides.

Luna, get me out of here!

You could hear him scream all the way down to the first floor.

*********

Luna shook her head at the sudden and sharp break in communication. She was so glad Artemis was alive. For a moment, she thought she’d detected a hint of terror coming from her fellow advisor before he left. Surely it must have been her imagination.

She calculated again the distance between herself and Tokyo. It was formidable, even if she hopped onto forms of mass transit to cover more ground. But Tako was so small and out of the way. She would have to have made some of the trip on foot. Surely Artemis was being melodramatic about his situation. Or perhaps he was just being lazy.

Luna heard a bike pull up. Ayako was back. Quickly, Luna returned the books to their proper places. When Ayako entered the library, she found Luna curled up in the chair like before, as if waiting for her return.

“Hi Luna. Did you miss me again?” She scratched Luna behind the ears, which really felt good. “Don’t worry, I think that’s the last time I need to fix Izumi’s computer. Koji is supposed to be back tomorrow so it will be his problem from now on.” She looked around the library. “So, what shall we look at tonight?”

Luna watched Ayako peruse her library. She’d think more on the Artemis situation tomorrow. If Artemis had been in any real mortal peril, he would have said so. Right now Luna could content herself with the fact that he was alive, and the anticipation of another evening reading session with Ayako.

*********
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PostSubject: Re: Luna and Artemis Story   12th June 2014, 7:25 pm

Awww poor Artemis. xD I hope that his plight leads to something good? Can't wait to read the next segment.

And its ok if you double or triple post when your posting new parts of your story. So no need to stress about it. ^_^

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