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 Alternate Millennium

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Chmia
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PostSubject: Alternate Millennium   16th October 2011, 12:28 pm

Alternate Millennium (Title in Progress)
By Chmia


Author’s Notes: This fan-fiction takes place after Sailor Moon Stars, but it will not concern the formation of Crystal Tokyo. There will be a little bit of time-travel, but don’t worry too much about that. I’ll try to keep it minimal and I will always tell you what the setting is, so you know what time period you are in. This fan fiction is at least PG-13.

Chapter One: Uh-oh, what did you do now, Sailor Pluto?
First Setting: The present in Tokyo, Japan shortly after Sailor Moon Stars.


The hot summer sun’s rays were unforgiving and beat down hard upon the citizens of Tokyo. School had closed its doors for a week in order to give its students a well-deserved summer break. For some, if her academic record was of any indication, perhaps the break was less than “well-deserved.” However, academic records are often briefly forgotten about during the summer break, thus it can be of no surprise that Usagi Tsukino had decided to beat the heat with a trip to the beach with her friends.

If the cats had any say in the matter, neither Luna nor Artemis would be sweltering underneath an umbrella on a towel next to Ami, who was never without a book to read. However, when one had Minako and Usagi as your owners, it was very difficult to argue with the blondes’ desires and ambitions.

The two blondes had caught the eye of a young, amateur surfer, who was futilely trying to instruct Minako and Usagi in the art of surfing. Shrieking loudly, Usagi screamed as a wave tumbled her off the surfboard and threw her forward into Minako. Usagi’s surfboard flew forward ahead of the two and collided into the teenage girls before they reached the shore.

Mamoru looked a little worried as the wave carried the tangle of blonde hair to the shore and dumped them in a jumbled heap onto the sand. Standing next to him was Rei, who was giggling under her breath at Usagi’s latest klutz attack. A hand had stifled her laughter, but the twinkle in her eye betrayed her amusement. Scoffing under her breath, Rei placed her hands on her hips as she shook her head in disappointment.

“Hey, everyone!” Makoto yelled, waving her hand in an attempt to catch her group’s attention. “Come join in!” It had not taken the brunette long to find a group of boys to play volleyball against. There was nothing else she enjoyed more than showing a group of boys how strong a group of “defenseless” girls could be. Also, she would never be against a good competitive sport.

The mere mention of Minako’s favorite sport encouraged her to ditch her impromptu surfing lessons, but, of course, she did invite the cute surfer boy to join in the volleyball game. Usagi, hating to be left behind, dashed forward to catch up with the others. “Hey, wait up!” She yelled, waving her arms in the air. Ami, not very interested in participating in a competitive sport, declined the offer, but assured everyone that she would be watching from the sidelines.

Just as Ami was getting up from her lounge chair to go watch the game, she heard loud screams and shrieks coming from the water. Placing her reading glasses and book in her bag, she stood up and peered out toward the ocean. The black feline next to Ami jumped to her feet when the swimmers in the ocean began to pour out of the water in a panicked, frenzied mass. “Ami, what is going on?” Luna asked, quite concerned.

The lifeguard blew his whistle frantically and told everyone to get to the shore. “Shark!” Just as the lifeguard yelled the warning, Ami’s mini-computer began to buzz in her bag. Dread filled in her heart as she reached down to reach for her senshi computer. Awoken from his nap, Artemis lifted his weary head up just in time to see the shocked look on Ami’s face as she looked at the computer-screen.

“Youma,” she whispered, urgently looking toward the water.

The girls and boys had just started their first round of volleyball when Rei cried out and pointed toward the water. Emerging from the water was a large, reptilian youma. It stumbled awkwardly out of the water and fell on its knees onto the sand. Looking up in shock, it glanced around the beach at the commotion it had caused. At first, it appeared confused and disoriented, but the loud sounds of chaos quickly jerked it out of its stupor. A gleam in its eye appeared as the youma stood up and shouted in glee. “Give me your energy for the empire!”

The chaos provided an excellent cover for the girls to flee and transform without being noticed. Moments later, the sailor senshi appeared for the first time in months. The time of peace was over. “I’m the beautiful sailor-suited soldier, Sailor Moon, and in the name of the moon, you will be punished!” Sailor Moon held her wand outstretched toward the youma as the other senshi and Tuxedo Kamen gathered behind her.

The youma took one look at Sailor Moon and her senshi and laughed loudly. Pointing a clawed finger at the senshi and slapping a hand against a thigh, the youma said, “Are you going to try to give me a nosebleed with that ridiculous outfit?” The laughter turned into shrill, reptilian shrieks.

Sailor Moon gasped loudly as she looked down at her outfit in outraged dismay. “There’s nothing wrong with my outfit!” Even as she defended her outfit, she blushed and unconsciously pulled her short skirt down with her hands. Something was tugging at the back of her memory the longer she looked at the reptilian youma. Sailor Moon’s face lit up in surprised recognition and she began to bounce up and down as she pointed a finger at the youma. “Oh my god, I remember you! You’re one of the first youma I fought against.” Confusion glazed over her eyes as a logical conclusion slowly formed in her mind. “But, I already defeated you.”

Sailor Mars reached forward and slapped her leader’s shoulder from behind, “Hey, Sailor Moon. We don’t have time for reunions.” Sailor Mars scolded her leader with a stern look.

The blonde yelped in surprise, and than was overcome by a fit of exaggerated anger. Sailor Moon turned around with her hands on her hips and yelled, “I’m getting to it!” Apparently, she wasn’t moving fast enough, because Sailor Venus had already taken advantage of the youma’s lapse in concentration for her to cast her attack, “Venus Love-Me Chain Encircle!”

The youma was taken by surprise and was unable to move fast enough to dodge the chain. Shrieking in anger, it thrashed wildly, but the wink chain was too strong to be broken or loosened. Bound tightly by Sailor Venus’ attack, the youma was unable to move as Sailor Jupiter barreled forward with a ball of tightly compressed lighting held in her hands. She threw it forward and the attack slammed forcefully into the youma's chest. Another shriek of pain and surprise escaped the youma’s throat just before it was thrown forward through the air. The wink chain was jerked out of Sailor Venus’ hands as the weight and momentum of the flying youma caused her to fall forward on her face in the sand.

Tuxedo Kamen yelled a warning, “Look out, Sailor Moon!” as he dashed forward to save his moon princess.

Sailor Moon’s next attack dissipated as she froze in fear and waited for the painful impact. Tuxedo Kamen was not nearly fast enough to prevent the youma from colliding into his terrified lover. The wink chain disappeared and re-appeared in Sailor Venus’ out-stretched hands just as the youma and Sailor Moon hit the sea wall with a sickening crack. The destroyed concrete crumbled and fell on top of the two before the dust from the impact could disappear.

Neither the mysterious appearance nor the defeat of the youma concerned any of the senshi or Tuxedo Kamen. Sailor Venus, spitting sand, pushed herself up and quickly rushed forward with the rest of the senshi toward their fallen comrade. Tuxedo Kamen gathered Sailor Moon in his arms and shook her gently, “Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon.” Luna perched her front paws on Tuxedo Kamen’s legs and gently licked Sailor Moon’s cheek. There was no response from the unconscious girl. “Wake up, Sailor Moon,” Tuxedo Kamen pleaded. She had taken so many worse attacks throughout her years as a sailor senshi; surely this would not kill her?

Luna’s face fell when her charge showed no immediate signs of recovery. Looking desperately toward Sailor Mercury, the feline asked for a medical analysis. The senshi of water did not need her computer to confirm what she could tell by a quick glance with keen eyes and medical experience.

“It’s alright, she’s just unconscious. We need to get her away from here before the authorities come.”

If the senshi of water or any of the other senshi had not been so concerned about Sailor Moon, perhaps they would have noticed that the youma, already previously acquainted with the unconscious senshi, had disappeared in a crackling of light. Sailor Mercury’s computer screen saved the information and went blank with a beep as the youma, what the computer had locked onto for the readings, vanished.


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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   27th October 2011, 10:55 am

Very Happy This is great! Very mysterious~ ^^ I love their interaction - it reads like the anime looks Smile

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Chmia
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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   27th October 2011, 11:02 am

Thank you, Kyralih! I really appreciate the comment you have just made. ^.^ I don't think I even realized how I have relied on the anime as a basis for their interactions. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if I ever even decided if I would rely more heavily on the anime, manga, or a combination of both. I already have about four chapters finished and the outline created for about five more or so.

That being said, the next few chapters are not quite so happy and amusing. I'm not sure if the shift is too abrupt, so I might ask if ya'll could comment on it, once I decide to put the next chapter up.

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   2nd November 2011, 6:58 pm

Second Setting: Fall of the Silver Millennium on the moon.

Her two eyes slowly opened and a tight-lipped groan escaped her lips as Sailor Moon shakily pushed herself up into a sitting position. Holding her head with a hand, she felt sore, but otherwise she felt surprisingly good after having a youma slam her through a concrete seawall. In fact, looking down at her body, Sailor Moon was surprised not to see any scratches or wounds. More surprising was that the neither the beach nor the senshi were anywhere in sight. She wasn’t even at anyone’s house or the senshi command center, not unless they recently repaved with a really rocky and uneven floor. “Everyone?” She asked, standing up to look around. It sort of smelled funny.

“Oh god,” she held her slender hands up to her delicate, paling face. Strewn across the ground in disorganized heaps were dead human bodies. Lying, forgotten and ignored, were soldiers dressed in light, metal armor, stained with blood and pierced by swords and arrows. The burnt smell of flesh was pungent and violating Sailor Moon’s delicate senses as she took in the horrifying sight. Not knowing what had happened, she just wanted to get away from the corpses. She was growing nauseous as the scene became more imprinted in her mind and the stronger the smell became.

“Oh god,” she whispered again and her voice grew more shrill. Sailor Moon slowly took a few steps backwards, than turned on her heels and ran as fast she could. The terrified teenager was only able to run a few feet before she almost stumbled over one of the corpses. Shrieking, she jumped to the side. She felt really sick.

“Please, senshi, help me.”

Terrified, Sailor Moon whirled around when she heard the strangled, faint voice that gasped for help. She was afraid to speak, to even ask who had just spoken to her. Whoever or whatever had brutally killed all these people could still be around and she could be next! The only people she had seen so far were dead. Briefly, pictures of the latest zombie horror movies flitted through Sailor Moon’s mind. A whimper escaped her lips and she wrapped her arms around herself as she shivered involuntarily.

“Please, senshi.”

There was that voice again! Sailor Moon frantically searched for the source of the voice, if anything only so she could flee from it. Something brushed against her foot, causing her to squeal in terror and leap away. She stood poised with her wand in mid-spin for an attack, but froze when she saw that a dying soldier had reached out to touch her. A weapon had torn through his side and the wound had already begun to bleed heavily. Gasping, she covered her mouth with one hand when she saw the internal organs oozing out of the wound. Smaller wounds littered his body and his chest armor, cut by a mighty blade, was hanging to the side. Most of his chest was covered by the armor, but it looked oddly caved in, as if someone had brutally stomped on his ribcage and punctured a lung.

Wheezing, the soldier’s body futilely tried to clear its punctured lungs by coughing up blood. He did not have enough strength to turn his head, so the blood splattered and bubbled over his mouth, falling back onto his face and neck. The soldier looked up at Sailor Moon with pleading eyes, not to be healed, but to die quickly.

She didn’t know what to do! Collapsing on her knees, she gently touched the soldier’s face with her hand and whispered to him, “Shh, don’t speak.” Tears began to fall from her eyes as she tried to unburden the soldier from his armor, but doing so caused him even more pain. Ripping off a bit of her skirt, she gently dabbed at his mouth until the blood was cleaned away.

At this point, it would be too difficult to use her crystal, so Sailor Moon gently took the soldier’s head in her lap and soothed him with a tender hand and words of a better place until he had passed. She mourned for the unknown soldier and all those lying in the battlefield around her.

After his passing, Sailor Moon tried to put him in a more peaceful position, but she couldn’t bring herself to look at or go near his gorged side. After a few moments, she could not be near the carnage anymore and Sailor Moon fled blindly as far away as she could. It was hard to ignore the bloody scenes around her, but the tears in her eyes helped to blur her vision. After she found a relatively isolated part of the battlefield, she sank onto her knees and buried her face in her hands as she cried quietly. Her eyes were drawn to the sky and a familiar sight haunted her into an even more dreadful realization than the fresh battlefield. “I’m on the moon,” she breathlessly whispered.

Shining above her was the Earth, such a warm, wonderful comfort in contrast to the desolate and bloody rock she was sitting on. Reaching out with a hand, she said, “I don’t understand. What’s happened?”

Something shimmered in the distance. Sailor Moon peered closer, trying to see what was shining and then her eyes widened when more shimmering lights appeared. Coming to stand on her feet, she began to run toward the shimmering lights ahead. The closer she ran toward them, the more that appeared. They were oh so beautiful! If only, she could grab one and float away with it.

Finally, Sailor Moon’s tired legs carried her close enough to see that the shimmering lights were not lights, but bubbles. What had seemed so inviting and comforting, at first, seemed slightly ridiculous, now, but such feelings were about to change. After seeing all that she had seen on the moon, the last thing that Sailor Moon wanted to recognize were people inside of the bubbles.

Eyes widening in shock, she turned around just as a bubble flew past her and into the black, sky of space. There was not a person in there but, “Artemis!” The blonde cried, running after the fleeing bubble. Waving her arms in an attempt to be seen, Sailor Moon called loudly for Artemis. The white feline flew upward inside of the bubble with not a glance toward the blonde, not even an ear twitch. From further away, another bubble flew upward to join Artemis. “Luna! Luna!”

Sailor Moon’s heart fell when she did not get a response from either cat. Could they not hear her or even see her? She felt so lost, frightened, and confused. It was not a comfort to know that she was on the moon when all she could see was bloody carnage everywhere she looked! “Rei!” Where were the senshi and why had Artemis and Luna been stuck inside of a bubble flying toward the Earth. Last she had remember, they had all been on the beach enjoy a beautiful summer day. So much had happened and she didn’t remember anything.

“Minako!” She had been to the moon before and it had been pristine with the ruins of the moon kingdom dotting its surface. “Ami!” It had been restored, but Sailor Moon had never been up here since. Surely, no one had come to live on the moon in the restored moon palace? She would have known if that had happened. “Makoto!” How could so many people get to the moon and why were they all slaughtered mercilessly? Something new must have invaded the solar system and she could find none of her friends. “Mamoru! Mamoru!”

She wanted to shriek and cry in frustration, but something was telling her to move away from this scene. Pulling her eyes away from the black sky of space, Sailor Moon looked toward the horizon behind her. What she saw did not make any sense to her already confused mind. The ruins of the moon palace were not far away. If it had been restored, than it had been destroyed during whatever had already taken place. Gathering up her strength and unsure of what she would find, the senshi of the moon sprinted toward the ruins.

It would have taken less time to simply travel straight ahead, but that path would have taken her through another area of the battlefield. Oh, how she wished she could have helped the wounded soldiers, but so many had suffered a brutal death already. The soldiers were too far gone and to be near them wounded her heart. The first soldier had recognized that she was a senshi, a symbol of hope and love, but she wasn’t able to do anything to help them. By not helping them, it felt as if their blood stained her hands.

Caught up in her heart’s torment, Sailor Moon nearly stumbled into the stone entrance to the ruins. Her breath halted in her throat as she braced herself against the stonewall and memories forced entrance into her mind.

The clean, purified water sprouted forth from the marble fountain and highlighted the beautiful stones at the bottom. A slender hand gently traced the surface of the water and gazed upon herself. A young girl, just entering her womanhood, with long, shimmering, golden tresses, putting the sun to shame, placed a white flower in the strands of her hair. Even one as young as she had already had her love promised to another man, one that she had yet to set her own eyes upon.

Love was not a familiar subject and it was frightening to become so intimate with “love” in only a matter of years. Previous encounters with “love” had been vastly limited to watching the soldiers from afar and gossiping with the ladies of her court about the young nobles. Ever since she had been given a book of romance by the lady of her court from Venus, “love” had filled her dreams. In her dreams, “love” seemed so marvelous and breath taking. This, reality, was not how she had dreamed it!

“Princess Serenity” The soothing voice calling to her untimely interrupted the young girl’s worries. As if she had been caught in the throes of wrongdoing, she hastily plucked the flower from her hair and let it fall into the fountain to float forgotten. Princess Serenity went to greet her mother.

Sailor Moon stood still next to the stone wall with a far-away look as she clung to the brief memory of her mother from the Silver Millennium. Truly, she knew so little of her mother. Memories were far and few between and the meeting, with a hologram, had never satisfied her yearnings for more knowledge. As the years went by, Luna’s memory had improved and the feline had told her charge everything that the blonde wished to know of her life during the Silver Millennium. Nothing was ever enough.

Yes, she had begun to remember so much more, but… It was her life, a past life, which she could not remember clearly and it felt as if she couldn’t remember a part of herself. Than, there was the future that she had glimpsed. It was just as equally frustrating to have her future existence, one she knew little about, paraded in front of her as the glory of the world.

Shoving herself away from the stone wall, Sailor Moon went further into the ruins in search for an answer to her plight. The destruction was not nearly as gruesome inside of the ruins. It seemed that the building collapsing had caused most of the destruction inside of the ruins rather than the brutal fighting that had taken place outside. Flashes of memory assaulted her as she traveled through the ruins. None of the flashes of memory were as substantial as when she first entered. They were more like snapshots from a camera.

Not far away, Sailor Moon could see the destroyed outline of what once had been a large, slender tower made of marble. As soon as her eyes recognized what it was, she knew that was where she needed to go. The distance was not terribly far, perhaps a couple hundred feet, but still she sprinted. The fear in her heart began to settle as she neared the tower, for she knew with confidence that this was where she needed to be. All her questions would be answered at the tower of marble.

When Sailor Moon reached the tower, her heart, burdened with grief, fell and all of her emotions flooded and overwhelmed her. “Queen Selenity!” She cried, dashing forward to kneel at the queen’s side. Lying on the ground in a heap was the queen of the Silver Millennium.

Her heart had been so certain that this tower had held the answers and the hope that she so desperately needed, but now she regretted ever laying eyes on the wretched thing. Gathering the unconscious woman in her arms, Sailor Moon urgently whispered to the mother of her past to wake and speak. “Please, Queen Selenity, wake up.” The pieces of the puzzle were beginning to fall into place in Sailor Moon’s mind, but the conclusion was not something she wanted to think of. The woman lying in her arms was far from a hologram.

Queen Selenity’s breathing escaped in ragged gasps for air from her pale, slender throat. Her hand clutched an ornate wand tightly to her chest, as if protecting an infant from harm. Indeed, it did look like she had been put in harm’s way. The white, formal dress she wore was ragged and no longer clung to her frame and bruises and scrapes marred her pale skin. The distress done to her paled in comparison when one thought of the soldiers surrounding the ruined city, but still, for the queen to have suffered such damage was significant and hinted at many tales.

Sailor Moon marveled at the wand that Queen Selenity was clutching, for it was the same wand that had been given to her when she was younger. Hesitantly, her fingers went to touch it gently in fond remembrance. The gentle touch stirred the wand against the queen’s breast and her eyes fluttered open. “Oh!” She gasped, twisting to get out of Sailor Moon’s arms. The queen was far too weak to struggle. Cloudy, cerulean blue eyes gazed up to look at who was gently restraining her and a gentle, relieved smile crossed her face when she saw who it was.

“Oh my daughter, Princess Serenity. How beautiful you have become on your wedding day.”

Confusion quickly swept across Sailor Moon’s face when she heard Queen Selenity’s statement. It was understandable for Sailor Moon to be mistaken as Princess Serenity. After all, she was the reincarnation of the moon princess. However, this was not what confused her. “My wedding day?” She questioned, quietly, so as not to startle the woman in her arms. Unfortunately, Queen Selenity ignored the younger girl’s question.

“Despite all the hardships it has created, I’ve never regretted choosing Prince Endymion as your husband.” The queen reached out with an unsteady hand to cup Sailor Moon’s cheek. Startled, Sailor Moon placed her hand over the queen’s hand as tears began to spill over the teenager’s cheeks.

“Daughter, never forget what love is to you. Cherish it.” Her words were growing softer and her eyelids were struggling to hold open, finally she closed them as she whispered. “Please, never …”

“Yes, mother?” Sailor Moon whispered, feeling a tightening in her chest as she gripped her mother’s trembling hand tightly. Her eyes widened in horror as the hand in hers ceased trembling and the breathing quietly quelled. Panic struck the blonde quickly as she began to gently shake Queen Selenity. “No, Queen Selenity! Please, mother…”

Overcome with grief, Sailor Moon held her mother tightly in her arms as she sobbed in great heaves. Ever since she had arrived on the moon, her emotions had been thrown around like a rag doll. Finally, when it seemed as if she had found a source of comfort and an answer to everything, Queen Selenity had died in her arms without realizing that Sailor Moon was even with her. Sailor Moon didn’t know why she was here and what had happened to cause all of this death.

“Sailor Moon.”

Surprised, Sailor Moon’s tears were choked back as she whirled her head to look above her. The dim eyes regained a hopeful twinkle as she saw who stood above her. Her face lit up and she exclaimed happily, “Sailor Pluto!” Queen Selenity’s body was gently placed on the ground before Sailor Moon leapt up and wrapped her arms tightly around the senshi of time. If anyone would be able to explain to her what had gone wrong, than it would be Sailor Pluto. At the very least, even if the senshi of time refused to tell Sailor Moon anything, at least she could take comfort in having a dear friend by her side.

Sailor Moon did not notice that it took a few moments for Sailor Pluto to warmly return the hug. The hug was brief, but it provided the younger senshi with much needed comfort and reassurance. Ending the hug and taking a step back, she looked expectantly at Sailor Pluto for answers, “Sailor Pluto, what’s happened!” Kneeling back on the ground, she lovingly pushed back a loose strand of Queen Selenity’s hair and straightened the top of her dress. Looking back toward Pluto, she tried to explain her story.

“The youma are back, but I don’t know where I am or where the other senshi are. I’m on the moon and everyone is dead! No one is even supposed to be living up here, anymore.” Her tone of voice was frantic and upset as she did some exaggerated hand motions, than admitted defeat and placed her hands in her lap while she looked down at Sailor Pluto’s feet. “Queen Selenity is … dead. I don’t know why she’s here.” The switch in her tone, from defeated to angry, was sudden. “I should have known she was alive!”

The senshi of time allowed the distraught Sailor Moon to explain her story, even when she began to grow slightly hysterical, switching her emotions quickly. When the younger senshi appeared to be finished, Sailor Pluto motioned for her to stand. “There is much to tell you, Sailor Moon. Listen to me.”

Sailor Moon’s mouth opened slightly, but she quickly closed it and quietly stood to her feet. Pluto motioned with her hand for the younger senshi to follow her. Sailor Moon was a little hesitant at first, because she knew very well that bloody carnage was around every corner. She didn’t feel as if her heart or stomach could take much more of it. However, she was very eager to hear an explanation. Resolving her will, Sailor Moon took in a deep breath before following the senshi of time. “But, can I at least make sure my mother is buried properly?” She asked, holding a hand to her breast as she looked back toward the body lying on the ground.

Sighing, the senshi of time stopped, but did not turn around to look into the other’s eyes. Her hand tightened on her staff before she firmly shook her head. “You are not to interfere.” Sailor Moon looked at Pluto in shock before she firmly denied that she would go any further until Queen Selenity was buried.

Turning away from Pluto without waiting to hear a word, the blonde knelt on her hands and knees and began to push away the dust. The elder senshi did not turn around or look at Sailor Moon until the other senshi was standing by her side. Brushing the dust away from her uniform, she took in a deep, shaky breath before saying, “thank you.”

She found it very uncomfortable that Sailor Pluto did not speak at first, but she wasn’t about to question the senshi of time. After a minute or so of walking, Sailor Pluto had led her to an area of the moon that had not suffered any visible damage or at least nothing involving blood and corpses. For the first time since she had arrived, Sailor Moon allowed herself to relax a little. “Sailor Moon, I never meant for you to see any of this. This time was not meant for you.”

Regret was abound, but in truth, there was no one else that would be able to make things right, despite what Pluto had said. The time was not supposed to have happened, but Sailor Moon was needed to correct the wrongs. “I don’t understand, Pluto.”

“This,” Sailor Pluto said, indicating the wide expanse around them with her hand, “is the end of the Silver Millennium.”

End Chapter One

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   20th November 2011, 8:28 am

Chapter Two: The Destruction of the Silver Millennium

First Setting: The Silver Millennium

Wide, cerulean eyes followed the motions of Sailor Pluto's hands with a growing uncomfortable realization of when and where she was within time. If Sailor Moon had continued to wander around the ruins, there would have been a possibility of stumbling upon her past self, Princess Serenity, laying dead in the arms of her lover, Prince Endymion, and yet here she, Sailor Moon, was alive to witness the destruction and death of her own kingdom in the far gone past. It would almost be like looking at your own tombstone before you died (or after you died and were reincarnated, in this special case). All of a sudden, she was confused and very grateful the Sailor Pluto had found her before she could have wandered further into the ruins. It was not something she wanted to see, ever.

The Senshi of Time placed a hand upon Sailor Moon's shoulder before the blonde could frighten herself with the intricacies and knowledge of traveling through time and the perception of time. "Sailor Moon, the seal your mother, Queen Serenity, intended for Beryl was not successfully completed and she is currently extending her rule on Earth."

Sailor Moon was startled as her understanding of the Silver Millennium was changed by Sailor Pluto's statement. The blonde looked up at her fellow senshi with the same questioning and fearful eyes as doubts and uncertainties about the future took hold in her mind. Would her daughter and Mamoru… Would she … What about her friends… And Crystal Tokyo? Stifling a breathless gasp with her hand, she felt as if someone had punched her in the stomach.

"The Golden Kingdom on Earth has been severely weakened by the destruction of the moon, which watched over them from afar. Beryl had manipulated the Earth's peoples and governments to destroy the largest threat, the Silver Millennium. Now, the Golden Kingdom has lost its only heir, Prince Endymion, and its King and Queen, who had been pregnant with their second child. Many of the relatives of the royal family and the Golden Kingdom's government officials also lost their lives and, as such, no clear successor could be found. "

As she spoke, Sailor Pluto's hand guided Sailor Moon's fearful and shocked eyes to the once beautiful blue and green orb scarred by destruction. Fires, wars, earthquakes, anarchy, chaos, and devastating magic had marred the beauty of Earth so fiercely that it was possible to see the scorched earth from the moon.

"As we speak, Beryl and her Generals are conquering the rebellious territories and quickly gaining control of the remaining populations on Earth." Tears had been brimming in Sailor Moon's eyes as she listened to the unfolding story of devastation and catastrophe she had strove to prevent ever since she became a senshi. For years, she and her senshi had fought to protect friends, family, and the future. To discover that all of their efforts had been for nothing, because the past had been changed, was devastating. The Earth look so scarred and destroyed, almost pitiful.

A great pain rose in her chest as she imagined the pain, loss of hope, and despair felt by the people on Earth who wanted nothing to do with Beryl's terror. The red-haired witch had slaughtered so many helpless people on the moon and it physically pained Sailor Moon to know the same slaughter was happening on the Earth.

"What can I do?" Sailor Moon begged. Her hands were clasped tightly around the Moon Power Tiare. She was visibly shaken by the destruction and the devastation, but her fear was controlled by her determination to change what was happening and aid the humans on Earth before Beryl destroyed all of their dreams and wishes.

As if she had already known that Sailor Moon would beg for the chance to aid the people of Earth, a small smile flitted across Sailor Pluto's lips. "First, listen further," she said, raising a hand to silence the blonde woman. "There will be no one from the Silver Millennium you are familiar with that will be able to help you during your journey. The senshi, including Princess Serenity, are dead and in the processes of reincarnation. During this time period, you are not Princess Serenity nor are you Sailor Moon. For your own safety and the safety of this timeline, you cannot be recognized as Princess Serenity or as her reincarnation. Due to the circumstances, you cannot be recognized as a Lunarian, neither."

Looking determinedly at the Earth with a sense of longing, Sailor Moon listened intently to Sailor Pluto's words and warnings. However, she was worried about journeying to Earth. Her memories of the Silver Millennium and her knowledge of what happened after the fall of the Silver Millennium was very limited. There would be no one there to help her and it sounded like Earth was very dangerous and unpredictable right now. "Would you be able to help me?" Sailor Moon asked of Sailor Pluto.

"Sometimes I may be allowed to aid you during your journey."

The blonde senshi's shoulders slumped with disappointment. The Time Gate required Sailor Pluto's attention, especially if this timeline was disrupted and distorted. Sailor Moon knew this very well, so the answer and resulting disappointment had been expected.

"For now, Sailor Moon, you will be on your own."

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   20th November 2011, 9:30 am

dun dun dun~

Do I see a crafty disguise in the future? o.o which way will the story take - will she claim to the the heir to the golden kingdom and rally the remaining forces to fight against Beryl, or will she attempt to defeat and seal away the denizens of the Negaverse herself to spare Earth from more horror and bloodshed? Very Happy *waiting for the next installment*

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   27th November 2011, 7:56 pm

Second Setting: The Present

The warm rays and bright sunlight seeped through the light, green curtains bordering the windows in Makoto's apartment. The sunlight did not touch the farthest corners of the room, which were instead lit by a lamp and the dim light from a laptop computer. Sitting next to the laptop was a small, handheld blue computer and on its screen flashed strange, foreign images and text. Dark, blue hair shrouded Ami's face as her fingers quickly scurried across the keys of both computers in a desperate search for an answer or a clue.

The young woman's mind focused so intently on her desperate search that the opening of the door startled her. Ami hit her knees and the chair against the desk and jolted a sandwich, causing the food to tumble onto the ground. "Ami?" Minako peeked her head around the door. "Oh, sorry! I didn't mean to scare you."

Ami sighed deeply, "It is alright. You just startled me." Pushing away from the table she had stationed herself for the past two hours, she bent over to retrieve the half-eaten sandwich Makoto had brought to her an hour ago. From across the room, Rei awoke from a light slumber when Minako entered the room.

"No wonder the mood in here sucks. Let's let in some light!" Minako hurried across the room and flung open the curtains. Artemis dutifully padded across the carpet behind Minako. "Minako," he started in an admonishing tone.

Rei winced and shielded her eyes as the room was bathed in sunlight, "That is not exactly the reason for the mood, Minako."

Minako paused with her hand on the curtains when Rei reminded her. "I'm trying to be positive," she whispered, staring out of the window at nothing in particular. Sighing, she let her eyes linger on the windowsill before she gently sat on the edge of the bed with Artemis in her lap.

Despite the cheery sunlight, the mood in the bedroom continued to be tense and depressing while the three girls did not speak to each other. Mamoru shifted in his chair before grabbing a pool of blonde hair that hung off the bed. The reflection of the sunlight imbued the hair with a sense of liveliness and beauty that were strangely absent in the young woman's face. Mamoru's chest tightened as he held the soft locks in his hand and the feelings of helplessness and guilt overwhelmed him, "Usagi, please," he whispered.

Only a few hours had passed since the large group had returned from the beach. The group had taken turns getting cleaned up and taking a shower while Makoto made food and tea. "Mamoru, I'll watch her while you clean up." Rei whispered from her place on the floor next to the bed and his chair. She knew that the man, at the expense of his own physical and mental health, would stay by his fiancée's side until she awoke. Mamoru shook his head even when Rei placed an urging hand on his leg. "No," he whispered adamantly. "It won't take very long," she urged, "just fifteen minutes."

Mamoru gently ran his fingers through Usagi's hair as she lay prone on the bed. His fingers traveled downward until his hand rested on her hand. Sighing, he gripped her limp hand in his own before gently resting it alongside her body on the bed. "I won't be long," he said, more for his own peace of mind rather than for Rei or even for Usagi.

Usagi had been unconscious ever since Mamoru had rescued her body from the rubble of the broken seawall at the beach. Despite having searched after the authorities left the area, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mars were unable to find the youma or figure out where it had come from. For hours, Ami had been diligently monitoring Usagi and simultaneously running several searches to understand where the youma had come from and if there were more to be found. Minako called all of the parents and had told them that she and the other girls had decided to rent a beach house and were staying for a few more nights outside of the city.

"Have you found anything yet, Ami?" Minako questioned, getting up from the foot of the bed. Artemis leapt from his senshi's arms and landed softly on the computer desk to offer his assistance.

"No, not yet. Thank you, Artemis." Ami muttered, intently staring at the computers. The blonde gripped the back of Ami's chair and peered over her friend's shoulder to look at the two computer screens. She blanched when she tried to read the writing on either of the two screens. "But," Ami said, whirling around in the chair and throwing Minako off-balance. "Someone needs to contact Michiru and Haruka to alert them to the new presence of youma and of Usagi's current condition."

Minako grinned and pulled out her senshi communicator, "I'll do it." She was discouraged from calling either woman when Rei stood up and crossed the room. "Don't bother," the brunette said, "I already tried after we got back from the beach." This caused Minako to pout slightly as she turned her communicator off. "The call was not able to go through," the brunette continued to speak.

"Maybe they will call back later?" Minako asked uncertainly, fiddling with the senshi communicator on her wrist. Rei paused, as if to consider what Minako said, but shook her head after a moment of consideration. "It does not even work. The screen was blank, at first, but after a minute all I could hear was static," Rei said, as she pulled out her communicator to demonstrate. Ami and Minako looked at the communicator in Rei's hands as it tried to connect to Michiru's senshi communicator. Just as she had said, the screen of the communicator remained blank for a long moment before it shrilly squealed with static.

The girls flinched in response to the high-pitched squealing before Rei turned the communicator off and returned it to her wrist. Ami looked contemplative for a moment before she turned to her computer as she pulled out her own senshi communicator. "It is unusual, but Michiru and Haruka must be out of the service area. The extent of the service area has not been previously tested, but based upon previous experiences the service area must be large enough to cover the entire country. I would suggest contacting Hotaru, if possible," Ami said. "Perhaps she is aware of where they are."

Grinning, Minako made eye contact with Rei and quickly offered, "I'll do it." Neither Rei nor Ami argued with Minako as the blonde woman left the room to make a call to the youngest senshi. As the door opened, a small, black cat darted through the opening before her tail was squished by Minako slamming the door. Without saying a word, Luna jumped to Ami's lap and then onto the table in front of the laptop computer next to Artemis.

"Do you have a picture and statistics on the youma we battled at the beach? I may have remembered something very important," Luna said, pointing toward the smaller Mercury Computer with a paw. Ami nodded and pulled the computer closer as she searched for the information. The door opened again and Makoto walked in with a tray with small bowls of rice and soup, and a plate of sandwiches and rice balls.

Rei came forward to take her share of the food while Makoto placed Minako's share aside and handed the remaining bowl of rice and soup to Ami. Leaning over to look at the computer screen, Makoto handed the tray of sandwiches and rice balls to Rei.

Luna said, "I think we've seen that youma before. It looked familiar, for some reason."

All three girls and two cats peered intently at the screen of the Mercury Computer as an image of the youma uploaded. Makoto's eyes squinted as she tried to remember one specific youma out of the hundreds she and the other senshi had fought over the years. After a couple moments of silence, the tall brunette shook her head. "I don't remember this one. Is it one of the earlier youma from before I became Sailor Jupiter?"

Ami shook her head, "I have never fought this youma before, either. There are no previous statistics or images recorded on my Mercury Computer. If the senshi have fought against this youma, than it was either Usagi or Minako." The three girls looked back to the unconscious young woman lying on Makoto's bed. Artemis shook his head in response, "Minako has never fought this youma, either."

Luna quirked her head to the side, placed a paw on the screen, and then yowled in recognition. "This was one of the first youma Sailor Moon ever fought!" Her tail began to twitch as she talked, "But that means..." Luna's voice trailed off as she looked behind her at Ami to confirm a startling and previously unthinkable conclusion.

"Hold it," Rei snapped, holding up a hand to stop Luna or Ami from speaking further. "Are you telling me that we just fought one of Beryl's youma at the beach? That cannot be possible! We defeated her years ago and I seriously doubt that one of her youma survived, even if it was one of the first youma Sailor Moon ever fought."

Ami furiously began to type on her Mercury Computer as Luna tried to calm the other girls down and prevent anyone from making hasty conclusions. "I am not saying it is exactly the same youma, but the resemblance is truly remarkable. It is worth further exploration to see if perhaps some portion of Beryl's army survived or if her influence spread to a different faction. I was not yet awakened as Sailor Mercury when Sailor Moon first began fighting, so my computer does not have any records that would allow for an adequate comparison."

Rei simmered in her own thoughts. Years ago, she and the other senshi had defeated Beryl and, later on, Metallia. There should not be any sort of "influence" left to corrupt people and produce youma. It deeply hurt her pride and she wondered if she had failed all those years ago, which put Usagi in danger today.

Luna continued to talk, "It could be possible that it has taken so many years for "them," whomever that may be, to appear because they have been gathering strength and waiting for us to grow lax."

Makoto crossed her arms over her chest and shrugged at Luna's statement. "That is sort of a long time to stay quiet."

A short, dismissive sound from the back of Ami's throat caused Luna to pause and turn to look at the senshi of Mercury. "No?" The black cat questioned. The small screen of the computer was held in front of the group for everyone to see. The statistical figures and symbols were almost meaningless to Makoto and Rei, but Ami quickly explained what she had found. "I'm not quite certain, especially without previous data to serve as a comparison, but I think the youma signals a disruption in the timeline. We need to contact Sailor Pluto as soon as possible."

"Crap," Makoto muttered. "This could be really bad." Rei immediately turned on her wristwatch communicator and walked toward the window to seclude herself from the murmuring and hushed voices. As Rei attempted to contact Sailor Pluto, the others quietly debated, with interspersed exclamations, the data on the computers, the absence of Michiru and Haruka, and Usagi's condition. Makoto's ideas were all loosely connected, but she was quickly jumping to conclusions. The ideas, which seemed plausible, scared Luna, who tried to calm herself and Makoto down. Artemis had left the room to tell Minako of the latest developments. On the other hand, Ami used the little factual data she did have to illustrate that only tenable conclusions could be drawn until they talked with Sailor Pluto. "I doubt we can even contact her," Makoto sighed in exasperation.

"Is it really a surprise?" Rei said perturbed as she walked back toward the group. "And no, I can't get a hold of her, either. Hopefully, Minako contacted Hotaru, but I would not be surprised if we are unable to contact any of them."

"We could try going over to their house," Makoto suggested half-heartedly. "I'll see if Minako found anything or if she wants to go over there." She took one last look at the image of the youma on the computer before leaving the room to find Minako and, hopefully, Hotaru. Not even a minute had passed before both Makoto and Minako walked back into the room. Minako no longer looked very excited and instead a look of worry had plastered itself to her features.

Minako smiled half-heartedly, "I could not get a hold of Hotaru, either. The communicator was all static, just like when Rei tried to call Michiru." She slumped down onto the foot of the bed, "I'm worried that something is wrong. A new enemy or one of Beryl's leftovers just appeared and we can't get a hold of the other senshi. They did not even tell us there were going... somewhere." Shrugging, she floundered to find the right word, but in the end she had no idea where the other senshi could possibly be. The blonde woman looked behind her at Usagi lying prone and unconscious on the bed. "We are really vulnerable right now."

The women stayed quiet for a few minutes as all of the news and questions sunk in. The silence was broken when Mamoru came back into the room with a towel hung over his shoulders. With one end of the towel, he dried his hair as he asked expectantly, "Did you find anything new?"

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   6th December 2011, 7:54 am

Third Setting: The Silver Millennium

A cloaked woman stood over the destruction and anarchy of a small city nestled in between a once fertile valley. The city was pockmarked by burning houses and ransacked buildings with intermittent throngs of people running rampant through the streets and alleyways. The cloaked woman sadly looked upon the city and tears flowed freely down her cheeks as she stood immobile. "This is horrible," she whispered, tears choking in her throat.

The cloak lifted upon the breeze as she turned around to look at her companion behind her. The soft breeze parted the cloak and the hood fell backwards upon her shoulders to let long, blonde hair mingle freely with the wind. "How could this have happened?" Usagi whispered. However, she was startled to discover that she was now alone. "Sailor Pluto?"

After leading Usagi to the closest settlement upon the Earth, Sailor Pluto left the young woman with a repeat of her warnings and directions, a change of clothes, a cloak, and a small purse of money. She was not to be associated with Princess Serenity or the moon nor was she to be recognized as Princess Serenity's reincarnation nor was she to transform into Sailor Moon, unless in dire circumstances. The cloak and change of clothes would help to hide her appearance and disguise where she had really come from, the distant future.

Never before had she confronted such a large undertaking all on her own. When she first became a senshi, Luna had been there to guide her and all of her friends offered their support soon after. Of course, there had been battles in which she had been on her own, but nothing like this. The blonde woman was terrified and, despite Sailor Pluto's instructions, she had no idea what to do. The task seemed simple enough: find Beryl and seal her, but she could not just find Beryl's lair, barge in and do that on her own without some sort of prior planning. For one, she had no idea where Beryl was, except that she was somewhere on Earth. Hopefully, she was somewhere nearby.

Even though Usagi had defeated Beryl a couple of years ago, she was still nervous now about fighting and sealing Beryl on her own. Her memories of the Silver Millennium were incomplete and she knew almost nothing about what happened afterwards. The senshi were not here with her, so she knew no one; there was no one here to help her, unless she made some new friends. The destruction, anarchy, and chaos below her would truly test her faith and belief in the good of humanity.

Sighing, the moon princess tried to gather all of her courage before going down into the small city. There had to be someone down there who would help her. Perhaps, he or she, her future friend, was hiding? Flipping the hood to cover her long, golden hair, Usagi began to step down into the valley to enter the city.

Poised at the edge of the city, the raucous screams of terror or illusory joy became deafening. The blonde woman stood immobile at the edge of the city with wide, terrified eyes. Her heart began to beat faster and her breath caught in her throat as the shrieks grew louder. From where she stood, she saw rubble surrounding partially burned or still burning houses and buildings. Filth-covered people dashed in between and around the burned debris with stolen objects stuffed in their arms and clothing. Some of their clothing was hanging precariously off their bodies after having been torn during fights and struggles.

Usagi gasped in horror when she saw a man, dazed and in a state of shock, drag himself and a charred bundle out of a still-burning building. "Oh my god!" She gasped, seeing him drop to the ground screaming in horror and pain. His right leg had somehow been horribly mangled during the fire for the remnants of his soot-covered clothing were burned into the wounds while blood and pus ran freely down his leg. The bundle he had been caring, perhaps a small child, tumbled to the ground and rolled away from its owner.

Usagi's hand reached out toward the man and she began to run toward him, but stopped herself short when another man dashed from behind the building. "I have found him!" the other man screamed joyously. For a brief moment, she hoped that the other man would help the poor, burned man with his tossed bundle, but her hopes were quickly and abruptly dashed. The other man raised a broken piece of timber high above his head and brought it down repeatedly upon the burned man's head. Usagi was unable to stop her shrill scream of terror.

Her hand quickly covered her mouth to stilt the screams when the other man stopped his brutal actions to look at the pretty, cloaked blonde woman not far away from him. "Shh, lady of beauty. Soon you shall experience my touch." He chuckled, obviously pleased by her reaction. There was nothing she could do for the poor man now and she did not felt confident she could do any good against a murder if she did not become Sailor Moon. Whirling around quickly, she stumbled forward before quickly regaining her feet and dashing far, far away from the frightening, lecherous man.

"Oh god, oh god," she gasped, unaware of where she was running to; all that mattered was that she was not being followed. More horrifying scenes whizzed past her vision as she ran as quickly as she could. Frantic people, who viciously protected their loot, were stealing from shops and markets while the frightened owners of houses and shops were assaulted while they valiantly attempted to protect his or her livelihood. Children hid or ran screaming for their parents and parents hid or ran screaming for their children. Feral dogs and cats were feasting on edible debris and drunken men and drunken women stumbled through the street carrying alcohol.

Looking behind her to see if her purser was gone, Usagi accidentally stumbled into a small, drunken mob. A tumbler of alcohol drenched the front of her cloak as she gasped in horrified surprise. The drunken woman leaned forward and leered closely at Usagi's cloaked face before reaching out and roughly grabbing Usagi's chest. "It's a woman!" The drunken woman slurred, leaning further forward for a long sniff. "Smells too good, too. You pretty and rich?" Usagi pulled the cloak tighter around her body and quickly looked away in response to the woman's advances. "No," Usagi choked, "Please stop."

Another man wrapped his arm around Usagi's waist and pulled her closely into his embrace. Her chest tightened and she began to feel light-headed as she felt his hands roam across her waist. The man's hand tried to reach into her cloak, but he quickly pulled back with a yowl of pain when he was slapped roughly. "She's got some fire, this bitch!"

The man reached into her cloak again and roughly pushed Usagi to the ground.

Falling to the ground and splattering in the mud, Usagi felt her hope fall when she saw the small pouch of money Sailor Pluto had given her in the man's hands. Chuckling, he waved it back and forth in the air before throwing it to another person in the raucous, drunken mob. Yelling with joy, the drunken mob stumbled away, most likely with the plan of purchasing more alcohol with Usagi's money.

Usagi, alone and terrified, sat in the mud and wept.

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   16th December 2011, 10:21 am

Chapter Three: The Calm in the Eye of the Storm

First Setting: The Silver Millennium

Usagi was uncertain how much time passed while she sat in the mud and wept. The chaos of the town continued around the weeping young woman covered in mud who seemed unwilling to acknowledge the presence of others or to remove herself from the mud. Nothing had gone right, so far, and the anxiety was truly starting to take a toll on Usagi's emotional stability.

Her weeping halted suddenly when hot air warmed the back of her neck.

Sniffling, she wiped her eyes and slowly turned her head to look behind her. An older man had outstretched his hand to touch Usagi while he leaned in closely. His wild eyes leered directly into her frightened, cerulean eyes. Her breath hitched in her throat and she slowly leaned backwards away from his touch, as if moving too suddenly might cause him to tackle her. "Hello, pretty." He breathed slowly. Usagi quickly scrambled to her feet, which startled the man and caused him to fall over onto his backside. Slipping in the mud, she dashed forward away from the lecherous stranger.

Tears slipped from her eyes as she ran and clouded her vision. What was wrong with these people! Men and women had accosted her ever since she dared to approach this city. All she wanted to do was leave the city and she hoped that she could find somewhere else to go. There had to be some other town or city somewhere that would be willing to help her instead of threat her, molest her, and rob her. If she kept running, surely she would find the edge of the town and she would be able to leave without anyone caring to follow her.

Unaware of where she was running, Usagi collided into another cloaked figure hurrying along the remnants of the sidewalk. Gasping in shock, she reached out to steady herself before falling, but instead grabbed a handful of the stranger's cloak. The stranger gasped loudly in shock as the two tumbled to the ground in a heap. The cloaked figure shrieked and smacked Usagi in the chest with the large bag the cloaked figure had been carrying. "Get away!" The cloaked stranger shrieked.

The breath abruptly left Usagi's lungs as she doubled over to protect herself from the assault. "Please, I'm sorry," she gasped. After another hit from the bag, Usagi reached out to grab the bag with her hands and roughly pulled on it in order to rid her attacker of the weapon. A struggle ensued as the two fought over the bag and the cloaked stranger reached forward to claw and hit Usagi. The hood to Usagi's cloak loosened and fell backwards during the struggle and her golden hair tumbled freely.

The fighting stalled as two pairs of bright, blue eyes stared wide-eyed with a feeling of faint recognition. "You!" The cloaked figure whispered loudly, covering her mouth. Paling, Usagi desperately hoped that this stranger had not recognized her as Princess Serenity. She should have thought to take her hair out of its odangos or done something more to prevent someone from recognizing her. The blonde woman hurried to replace the hood over her hair as she scooted backwards away from the cloaked stranger. Usagi hurried to her feet, but was halted by the stranger's hand upon her cloak. "Let go," she demanded, pulling the cloak free from the stranger's hands.

"Please, wait," the cloaked figure, begged. The stranger stood up and crossed the distance between the two of them with three quick steps. Reaching up, the stranger gently pushed her own cloak back a few inches short of fully revealing herself. "Lunarian," she leaned in closely to whisper into Usagi's ear, "Be wary to let no one realize an association."

The stranger motioned for Usagi to follow her as the woman pulled the cloak tightly. Before walking away, the cloaked woman winked at Usagi and then swung the bag at the younger woman's midsection. Despite being horribly confused, she was ready to dodge the bag and easily evaded the attack. The stranger ran away clutching the bag to her chest while screaming obscenities.

The cloaked figure had wanted Usagi to follow her, despite having hit her numerous times with that large, heavy bag. Sore and covered by small scratches and bruises, Usagi was not quite certain she felt very willing to follow someone that seemed eager to beat her. Not one single person that she had met so far seemed helpful. In fact, everyone she had meet so far had been extremely violent, confrontational, or perverted.

There was one important difference about this cloaked woman; she recognized Usagi as a Lunarian. She could not figure out whether or not this stranger had recognized her as a Lunarian princess, but the stranger had recognized Usagi as a Lunarian. The stranger's last statement had been just as peculiar as her actions. The statement had been so unclear and worded strangely. She was unsure whether or not the "association" was referring to herself as a Lunarian or herself as a Lunarian princess or some relationship between herself and the cloaked stranger.

Either way, she was supposed to follow the cloaked stranger and no matter how nervous it made her feel, Usagi had no other viable options. Frowning and feeling very unsure about her decision, she hugged the cloak tighter around her body and slowly began to trail behind the stranger. The longer she followed behind the stranger, the more nervous Usagi began to feel. She constantly doubted her decision and the chaos of the streets did nothing to quell her growing anxiety.

The cloaked stranger gave no further indication that she wanted Usagi to follow. In fact, the cloaked stranger walked so quickly through the streets that Usagi felt that the cloaked stranger was now trying to lose her in the crowd. Also, a couple of minutes had passed and it did not seem like the stranger was going to stop anytime soon. Slowing down to a hesitant stop, Usagi briefly glanced around at the buildings around her. Was she being led in a circle? This was ridiculous!

Just as Usagi had finally made up her mind to leave this crazy stranger alone and leave the town, the cloaked stranger dashed quickly into a largely intact alleyway. The younger woman quickly followed by leaping over a fallen wall. Now that the two women were hidden from prying eyes and no one could form an "association," Usagi quickly covered the distance between her and the cloaked stranger. The cloaked stranger ducked into a doorway after checking to see if Usagi was still following. After waiting less than a minute, she hesitated, but eventually decided to knock on the doorframe.

A slender hand reached out, grabbed Usagi's wrist, and pulled her inside of the house. A strong hand stifled Usagi's screams, but she quickly stopped struggling when she saw that it was the cloaked stranger. With the other hand, the cloaked stranger gently reached up to push Usagi's cloak away. She stiffened, shaking terribly as the cloaked stranger ran a hand through her golden streams. Pulling away from the touch, Usagi shook her head fiercely as if to say 'stop it.'

"Listen, my child," an older voice crooned. "Listen closely, for you and I share more than the rest of the city may realize." The cloak was removed to reveal a pale, slender woman with long, shimmering silver hair intertwined with sparse wisps of light blonde and pale, blue eyes that sparkled with warmth. She was older, perhaps in her early forties, with skin only just beginning to wrinkle and that looked as if it had never before tanned under the sun. Underneath the cloak she wore a pale, sleeveless blue dress with two tiers of fabric of contrasting hues that met in the back to form a bow. A string of fake, silver gems encircled her chest and silver fabric hemmed the top of the dress. In design, it faintly resembled the dress Usagi wore as Princess Serenity, but of far poorer quality.

"Neither of us can deny, we are both children of the moon," the older woman spoke, "My name is Minerva and I wish to hear your story." Usagi felt disbelieving, anxious, and excited, but a feeling of terror was beginning to creep and settle in her heart. Sailor Pluto had warned her of the consequences if anyone were to recognize her as the princess of the moon. Instead of denying the older woman's claim, Usagi took a step backwards as if to flee, but halted when she saw three young, shining faces cautiously spying on the two women. The children's whispers dimmed, than ceased altogether when they realized that they had been caught in the act.

"Quick!" A young boy hissed, pushing his two siblings away from the door and out of sight. "But, William, I wish to look!" Another voice whined.

Usagi could not help but cover her mouth as she giggled slightly when she heard the little girl's complaining whine, clearly heard by her and Minerva. "But, they do not see us," said the youngest, who seemed to have yet mastered the art of whispering or observation.

"Children, do be polite and come to greet our guest," Minerva reprimanded lightly. After a few seconds of hushed arguing, the youngest stumbled into the room as if he had been pushed. "Be nice, children," Minerva scolded again, going to assist her youngest child, who seemed on the verge of tears. Hand in hand, the eldest child and the little girl walked into the room with their eyes lowered to the ground in shame. "Gather, my children." The elder woman said and dutifully the children gathered around their mother, who gently placed the youngest child on the ground.

"This is my eldest child, William." William was a scruffy looking young boy with unruly blonde hair that seemed in dire need of a good washing. His brown pants were patched and dirty, while his shirt seemed to be made of an old, worn burlap sack and his scratched feet were bare.

"This is my daughter, Mary." Mary smiled and curtsied, "I am pleased to meet you." Her tight, blonde curls ended just above her shoulders and she also wore a pale blue dress that mimicked her mother's outfit, but was simple and appropriate in design for a young child.

"This is my youngest child, Jonathan." Jonathan was a toddler, still chubby with baby fat, with bright, blonde hair that was in need of a haircut. His clothing, most likely a hand-me-down from his older brother or sister, was patched and worn-thin from generations of use.

"My name is Usagi," she said, smiling warmly at each of the children in turn. "I am very pleased to meet you and I hope we can become friends."

Minerva quickly ushered her children off, so she and Usagi could resume their discussion. "Mary, do make our guest a light snack. William and Jonathan, prepare a sleeping mat and a clean pair of clothing for our guest." Without a word of protest, the three children left the immediate area to carry out their assigned tasks. "Now, Usagi, do sit with me," Minerva said, gesturing to a plain wooden bench against a wall.

After meeting the children, Usagi felt a little more relaxed and, truthfully, Minerva seemed very nice and caring. The young woman naturally placed her trust in the inherent goodness of each individual, whether that individual was stranger, friend, or foe. Sailor Pluto's warnings still made Usagi feel wary about telling Minerva too much, but she felt that it was obvious the older woman meant her no harm.

"Okay," Usagi said, sitting down next to the older woman. She was not sure how to begin, because there was not really any information she could tell Minerva. Fortunately, Minerva began with her own story, to which Usagi attentively listened.

"Perhaps, I should begin." Minerva said, folding her hands in her lap. "When I was a young woman, I resided on the moon with my husband and my eldest child." Her eyes clouded with pain as she paused and looked down at her hands. Sighing, she said, "As a family, we traveled to Earth for a famous festival, but unfortunate events prevented us from returning to the moon. As you must be well aware, growing troubles have forced my family to hide our heritage and ancestry."

Usagi gently, but firmly clasped the older woman's hands in her own. "I'm sorry. I'll do what I can to help your family." She pushed aside her own growing curiosity in order to give Minerva the comfort she had no doubt been unable to receive for years.

For years Minerva and her family had ostracized themselves from their neighbors, because they were fearful of their true heritage and ancestry being uncovered. She had neglected to tell Usagi the details of the "unfortunate events," but such events had led to the death of her husband. It had been very difficult to live without him, for he had provided Minerva with love and a pillar of support her young children were unable to provide. The Earth was not kind to a single mother with three children that were to young to prove themselves as a valuable resource to society.

After years of carrying a burden that she was unable to share with anyone, Minerva felt relieved by Usagi's presence. A tear slipped from her eye and she quickly reached up to wipe it away, but Usagi's slender hand halted Minerva. "Minerva," Usagi whispered, her voice filled with unexpressed emotion. A low moan built in the older woman's throat until something broke. She collapsed in Usagi's outstretched arms and wept.

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   31st December 2011, 8:01 am

Crooning comforting words, Usagi held the older woman as Minerva wept away her sorrows and burdens. A soft rapping against the walls halted Minerva's tears and she quickly straightened herself. "Mother?" Mary questioned, walking into the room with a plate of bread and cheese.

"Yes, my child. Leave the plate here." Minerva said, clearing her throat and hastily wiping her eyes. "I shall check on William and Jonathan." She gently pulled her hand free from Usagi's gentle grasp, but before she turned to leave the room, she mouthed "thank you." Smiling gently, Usagi shook her head. "No problem," she mouthed.

As her mother left to attend to her sons, Mary proudly presented the plate to Usagi. "Here, Misses Usagi. I made this cheese myself yesterday, so it is really fresh." She chirped proudly, pushing the plate closer to Usagi's fingers. In response, Usagi's stomach grumbled loudly.

"Thanks," she said, blushing a bright pink as she reached for a piece of bread. Mary placed the plate next to Usagi, and then she crawled onto the bench and sat on the other side of the plate. The little girl attentively watched Usagi eat, which made the young woman feel just a little uncomfortable, but perhaps Mary was hungry. She dipped a new piece of bread into the soft, creamy cheese and held it in front of Mary, "Here, you should eat, too."

"Thank you, Misses Usagi," Mary chirped happily while quickly placing the offered food in her mouth.

"Please, call me Usagi. I want to be your friend, not your elder." Usagi lightly reprimanded with a gentle smile. Mary beamed, placed the plate on her own lap, and scooted closer to the young woman. "Do you have any brothers and sisters? I have two brothers," she said, holding up two fingers. "William and Jonathan pester my friends and I, but I suspect that William is fond of my friend Catherine," the little girl said, leaning in to whisper to Usagi. Giggling, she placed a finger against her lips. "Do not tell, please."

Giggling quietly to herself as well, Usagi held out her pinky. "I swear I will not tell William." Mary seemed content with Usagi's answer, but confused as to why a pinky was being extended at her. "Pinky swear," Usagi explained, "If we cross our pinkies and pinky swear, than neither of us can ever break our promise. It is that powerful."

Mary stared with eyes wide in amazement, then she eagerly embraced her pinky with Usagi's pinky. "Wow," she breathed. "Would you come play with me? I shall let you be a princess, if you play with me."

"Will I get a crown?" Usagi asked, "Every princess must have a crown."

"Of course," Mary agreed, "but not as grand as my crown. I am the most important princess while you and the other princesses protect me."

Usagi's eyes twinkled with amusement at Mary's statement of prosperity and importance. The little girl quickly made the young woman forget that her clothing was soiled, the circumstances she had been placed in since her arrival, and the terrible injustices taking place outside of Minerva's humble home.

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   26th November 2012, 6:41 am

Minerva reprimanded her child when she heard Mary’s delighted shrieks and the loud thumps of little feet running in the house. “Mary, such loud activity cannot be tolerated inside of this household,” she scolded with her hands on her hips as she waggled a finger at her daughter. Mary’s face turned bright red as she skidded to a stop in the doorway. Just seconds as she stopped, she squealed loudly, again. Usagi, having not heard Minerva, picked up the child and spun her in a circle in the air.

“Oh no, the princess has been captured by the evil dragon! Will her guardians save her?” Usagi said as she spun the child in the air. Holding Mary gently, the young woman bent over and pretended to nibble on the child’s arm. “I’m so hungry,” Usagi said in the best deep, dark “dragon voice” she could manage. “A princess would taste so tasty!” Mary squealed again, laughing loudly as she feebly tried to swat Usagi away.

Minerva shook her head in slight exasperation, but she could truly not stay agitated with Mary or Usagi for their behavior. William, Minerva’s eldest, had reached the age in which he no longer wanted to play with his youngest sister and, unfortunately, he had influenced Jonathan to feel the same. Partly due to her family’s reputation, the parents in the neighborhood would not allow their children to associate with her sons and daughter. Fortunately, every now and then a friend would be found, but never long kept.

“Usagi, please ready the “princess” for supper,” Minerva requested. “But, mother!” Mary protested loudly with a whine. Usagi threw Mary over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes, causing the girl’s dress to slide down immodestly. Mary shrieked in laughter and gently pounded against Usagi’s back. “Let me down!” The child demanded in a joking manner.

“I’ll take care of her, Minerva,” Usagi said with a broad smile. Minerva smothered a giggle with the back of her hand as the blonde woman carried her daughter off to prepare Mary for dinner.

~~~~~

Usagi was lying on the sitting bench underneath the window watching the moon rise high into the sky and bathe the area with a gentle glow. Minerva had gathered a few spare blankets and had laid them on the ground in order to create a bed for her visitor. However, Usagi did not feel like sleeping at the moment. She clutched her legs to her chest and sighed as she stared longingly at the moon for comfort.

After Usagi had told the two youngest children a story before going to bed, Minerva had sent all of the children to bed with a small snack of bread and cheese. When both women were certain that the children were asleep, Minerva tried to further question Usagi, but the stress had proved too much for the younger woman. She had been forbidden to tell Minerva anything of the past, future, or her true purpose for being on Earth. Also, the events she had experienced that day still weighed heavily on her heart and mind. She could not share her concerns, worries, or deepest emotions with the older woman. Even if she were allowed to tell Minerva everything, it would unfairly place a burden on Minerva’s shoulders.

Usagi shivered when she remembered the touch of the drunken perverts or the horrid scene of that man’s murder. She should have helped those poor people, but she had been so frightened that she had been unable to act. And truly... What could she do if she was unable to turn into Sailor Moon?

After dinner, she had washed herself with plain water and soap made of water, but she still felt violated and her belief in humankind unfairly tarnished by an influence that was corrupting Earth. There was goodness and light in every living creature, including mankind, but it seemed that inherent purity of humanity was being smothered by Beryl’s influence. Usagi’s mouth set in a grim line of determination. She had to change this planet’s fate!
Unfortunately, she had to do it alone.

Sighing, she placed one hand on the window’s surface, as if caressing the moon with her touch, and then rose from the bench to go to sleep. The faint sounds of chaos in the streets prevented Usagi from resting peacefully.

~~~~~
Second Setting: The Silver Millennium

Desolate under the shimmering light of the moon, the mangled ruins of a once magnificent kingdom rested, but not at peace. The servants’ quarters were cleaved in the middle by a defensive turret that had collapsed under the onslaught of battle. The outer walls of the castle had collapsed, causing a small gathering of tall trees to destroy the former grand hall in which the King and Queen had once sat in order to receive visitors, noble and common. A torn, large hanging-tapestry limply flapped in the wind, as if it had lost the will and desire to proclaim its current ruler.

The palace had not been abandoned, despite its current state. Deep within, away from prying eyes, Beryl sat in a magnificent throne and ruled over a cowering, disorderly kingdom with her corrupting influence. The rubble of the palace suited her. It served as a tangible proof of her conquest and slaughter of the royal family and everything they had once held dear. Yes, the ruins on the moon were also tangible proof, but Beryl did not wish to reside there. The moon was now devoid of life and what was the point of ruling if you could not see the peasants cower and beg at your feet for one more chance at life?

However, some still struggled to keep the memory of King Endymion and his once magnificent kingdom alive. Underneath a precariously perched tree that had been uprooted, an old man knelt under the moonlight with his hands cupped against the ground. His darkened, wrinkled skin provided him some protection in the dark of the night, but he had no worry of being caught. The only thing that preoccupied his thoughts was coaxing the little seedling to sprout and live without fear.

The garden he had tended for decades had been severely damaged during the battle and the Generals despised the survival of any of the vegetation. However, the garden had truly been beautiful and the old man could not bear the thought of such beauty no longer surviving in this world. So, he carefully coaxed the few plants remaining to seed, sprout, and share their beauty with the world. It was difficult, because the Generals were wise to his determination and he would soon be forced to tend to the plants in the comfort and relative safety of his own hut.

Smiling, he sighed in relief as the seedling slowly sprouted and weakly danced underneath his outstretched hands. The plant was tentative, but trusting of the old man. “Thank you,” he whispered, gently stroking the seedling. “Rest, for now, little one.” He gathered a few pieces of the stone rubble and created a shelter for the plant with a large enough opening to allow in sunlight. Hopefully, it would protect the plant long enough for it to gather strength and the determination to live, while keeping it from the prying eyes of the Generals or Beryl. The old man was only able to do this for a few plants a week or else the abundance of “stone shelters” might reveal his plans to the Generals. Once the plants were strong enough, he replanted them near his hut.

Further away, two figures watched the old man try to recapture the beauty of a now lost kingdom and time of happiness. “It is so sad,” a woman whispered softly, reaching up to tuck sea-blue strands of hair behind her ear. “His efforts do so little.”

The other figure grunted in response, lifting a sword under the moonlight to see if it properly gleamed. Unsatisfied with the results, she wiped the blade on her white jumpsuit. “So eloquent, Sailor Uranus,” the woman with the sea-blue hair said with a hint of cynicism in the tone of her voice.

“Well, I’m not here to watch some old man water a few plants with his tears. We have other things to do.” Sailor Uranus said, hushing her voice so as not to be heard by the old man. “Not that I appreciate Sailor Pluto sending us to do her dirty work.” Standing, she raised the sword again and it vanished from her outstretched hand.

“She is unable to leave the Time Gate for long periods of time, especially now that it the time stream is being used by unknowing demons.” Sailor Neptune lightly reprimanded, grasping an ornate mirror in her hands. She gazed into the depths of the mirror, bit her lip, and shook her head. “I am given no insight into Beryl’s plans.”

“Than, we’ll just have to find information another way,” Sailor Uranus said with a smirk.

End Chapter Three

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PostSubject: Re: Alternate Millennium   11th August 2013, 12:46 am

OMG so awesome!!!!!!! Can't wait for next chapter!

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