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 The Tale of Karkinos

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Phantom53
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   26th January 2015, 10:33 am

Hi everyone. I have a new entry for the story, and I'd like you all to look it over.

Journal of Princess Ami Geminorum-Virginis
Volume #: 7
Entry # 10
Date:  Thursday, June 25th, Interplanetary Solar Year 11, 998

My scheduled trip to the Moon coincided with all five of us planning to meet together. Serenity managed to combine work with pleasure today though, as once we were all at the palace, Serenity suggested we see the Moon Crab habitat.

I think I’ve been there once, or possibly twice before. I think I was very young so it’s difficult to be exact. With Serenity’s inclination to outdoor activities or just visiting our planets, I suppose it makes sense.

It’s still a large structure, with a complete simulated habitat containing more Moon crabs than I dared to count. I tried to count them, but with how they were moving around and blending into the sand, I quickly gave up. I know there were at least twelve, or was it thirteen? I don’t remember now.

I’m not all that familiar with the behavior of the animals, but their reaction toward Serenity seemed quite positive. They showed genuine happiness at her arrival. Or am I projecting emotions onto them?

Overall they were very friendly to us, and seemed more intelligent than Pagoni gave them credit. At least none of them snapped at us. Their claws looked quite sharp, not to mention large. I don’t want to think about how much they would probably hurt.

One of them, a rather large one with a discolored brown spot on its back, actually climbed up Serenity’s hair and settled on her head. I would swear that it was….I want to say nestling itself into place between her odangos, and seemed genuinely happy, waving its claws in the air. We all laughed at that. Apparently that particular crab makes a habit of wanting to sit on her head.

We spent time through lunch, and when Serenity had gotten up momentarily, the four of us agreed on a time to call each other so we could make plans for her birthday, and make sure that we all got different presents, unlike two years ago.

After lunch, I once again separated myself from everyone to continue work, heading back to the crab habitat. I talked with one of the staff, an older-looking woman with graying hair that had been pulled back. She had been replacing some of the water when I found her, and seemed happy enough to answer my questions. So I asked her about the habitat and how old it was.

Professor Pagoni stated in his paper that the habitat itself, while existing and open to public tours, had only been open since a century ago. He cited this as an indicator that of it being a more recent invention. The woman I spoke to, whose name I believe was Beatrice, informed me that the habitat had indeed been open a century.

She asked me why I was asking, and I told her about my investigation. She bristled at the words of Professor Pagoni, and I didn’t blame her.

“Well it is true that it’s been open to the public for a century,” she told me. “But it’s been here far longer than that. I’ve been working here since I was 113. I’m 355 now” [4].

She further told me that if I was interested in how old the habitat was, she could show me to the record room. I had no idea there was such a room. It was off to the side. Somehow I never noticed it. Beatrice informed me only staff was allowed in there. Inside of it, I found various pieces of equipment for the maintenance of the habitat. Everything seemed so organized.

Beatrice told me a great deal about the habitat as she walked with me. I think in part she wanted to show off to me since I was so interested. Still, it was informative. The selection and training process for employment there is quite strict, and according to Beatrice, had been that way even when she arrived. The maintenance guidelines are also quite strict it seems, which strikes me as curious, as well as the number Beatrice quoted for what the workers there get paid. I have done a quick bit of research since I got home and it appears that the workers there get paid significantly more than is average on the Moon.

What caught my attention most while I was there were the shelves filled with books and binders. These were in fact, genealogical records for all the Moon Crabs in the habitat, organized by decade.

Someone had actually catalogued every single Moon Crab that had ever been there. The detail in these records was incredibly meticulous. It was the same level of care I’d seen in Serenity’s own family records. Some of the entries had names, but the majority of them were listed by ID numbers. There were dates of birth and death, and remarks of physiology and temperament. There were also very detailed sketches to accompany the entries, pointing out unique features.

The earliest of the records went all the way back to the time of Serenity the First. I was absolutely stunned that the records were that old. I don’t think I really expected to find something quite like it. The text itself seemed genuine. I spotted a few words and phrases that a quick check with online resources confirmed were antiquated. Not only that, they were from the time periods matching the records where the phrases were used.

I did notice however that all the pages appeared quite new. Beatrice told me that these were only copies, and that there were originals in the archives. I took down the codes for the archives before I left. I’ve been thinking that perhaps somewhere along the line a trip to the archives would be in order, so I can see the originals and verify them.

I don’t like being so…perhaps the word is paranoid. But I remind myself that I have to be fair and I have to answer the counterarguments of people like Professor Pagoni. But then, how do you truly determine if a document is genuinely old? I’ll have to look that up.

It was still early when I left the habitat, and the others had gone off somewhere. So I decided to hunt down the beach from the story. I kept a low profile, so I wasn’t disturbed too much thankfully.

I found a beach matching the description easily enough. It was relatively small and rather isolated, but not that far from the palace. On one of the firmer, rockier parts, someone had placed a statue of a young woman sitting beside a Moon Crab, knees tucked against her chest, both of them looking out at the ocean.

It was then that I heard a voice. “So here you are.” I looked up to see Makoto walking towards me. I asked her what she was doing there.

“Serenity was starting to worry that you’d overwork yourself again, so I volunteered to keep you company.”

I admit I felt a bit of heat on my face. But I chose to ignore that and instead offer a thanks to her, and ask if she was going to tell Serenity any of my findings before I was finished.

“Nope. I figured you wouldn’t want me to. So…this is the beach huh? Nice spot.”

I told her that, technically speaking, there wasn’t a way to confirm that this was the setting for the story. But she just pointed over to where she, in hindsight, had probably come from.

“That sign over there says it is, so someone sure believes it.”

I looked at the sign, and sure enough, it did. It also said that this little beach was a national park under ownership of the crown, for a given definition of “park” I suppose. Makoto had already begun looking at the statue.

“This isn’t a bad piece of work. Sort of looks like Serenity too, doesn’t it?”

I went back over to the statue and examined it. According to the plaque, it was seventy years old. “It does look like her a bit,” I told Makoto, “but there are a few differences. The jaw is a different shape.”

“And the hair,” Makoto added. And she was right. This figure lacked the odangos Serenity wore, understandable since they hadn’t been invented yet, and had only became very popular among upper class Lunarians in the past generation or two. Added onto that was the fact that the statue’s hair was short relatively speaking, only reaching the line of the shoulders.

A rather pleasant cool breeze blew across the beach, and Makoto suggested doing something more relaxing, like a visit to the museum. I knew she was going there more for my benefit than hers, but accepted it anyway. I figured a little break was good at the moment. Along the way, I caught up Makoto on what I’d found.

I had intended to not mention what I’d learned about Pagoni, but Makoto noticed I was holding back. The anger on her face so intense that I was afraid she was going to break something, but thankfully I got her to calm down by the time we got to our destination.

The national museum of Asimifaros is still just as wonderful to look at as I remember. I think I was here….perhaps two months ago? I’ll check my older journals later. Out of habit, we went right into the exhibits. I really have to keep making the effort to get Serenity to look at the historical exhibits as well as the artistic ones.

While we were walking around, I noticed a new wing that I don’t recall being open before, at least not in the last few occasions I’d been there. Before we could enter, we were met by the museum curator. She greeted the two of us and told us that the new exhibit was an arrangement of royal statues.

According to her, there is a tradition among the Lunar royal family that every queen has a statue commissioned in her likeness. This area had been closed down for renovations to fit the exhibit, which explained why I never noticed it.

I was feeling rather relaxed, so Makoto and I decided to walk through it, and the curator followed along as well. The museum was rather empty that day, most likely due to the holiday, so I suppose she had less to do at the moment.

The statues were remarkably life-like, and if the one of Queen Serenity was anything to go by, very accurate in their representation. They were arranged from newest to oldest. Makoto and I walked the length of the corridor, chatting all the while, and stopped when we got to the one of Diane.

If this statue was anything to go by, the one at the beach was indeed very accurate as far as the likeness. Or perhaps this statue had been used as standard? That’s quite likely in hindsight. This one showed Diane standing, and she seemed older than the one on the beach, dressed in different clothing. It made sense, since this would have been a depiction of her as queen, not princess. I couldn’t help but notice the Moon Crab at her ankle, claws raised.

“She must have really liked those Moon Crabs,” said Makoto. That just made me remember a comment Professor Pagoni had made in his article. He said that all major artistic depictions of Diane featured a Moon Crab, and that it was merely the attempts by artists to use the story for effect.

Thinking back, I realized that in the art gallery, all depictions of her did indeed feature a Moon Crab somewhere, or some form of crustacean. And I could see the validity of the argument. However, looking a bit further to the end of the corridor, I noticed something odd.

All the statues were catalogued, obviously for museum records. Their identification numbers were printed there. It was made up of a sequence of letters followed by a number. I saw 01 for the statue of Selanaia, the founder of the family, a 02 for Serenity the First, her daughter. And for the Diane statue, I saw 04. It should have been 03.

I asked the curator about the numbering and she said it wasn’t a mistake, and that statue 03 was in storage. I was curious and I could tell Makoto was too, so I asked if we could see it.

The curator was more than happy to let us see, and showed us to the storage room. It wasn’t long before she found the correct item. Statue 03 was of Diane. In fact, it looked basically identical to statue 04. The only thing missing was the crab at her feet.

“It is indeed identical” she said. “This was the original statue commissioned for Diane. But after it was presented, at least according to our accounts, Diane commissioned a second statue from the same artist, which is the one that’s out in the exhibit. She seemed to prefer that one, though she didn’t have the heart to get rid of the original.”

It was indeed quite strange. It indicated to me the possibility that perhaps the inclusion of Moon Crabs wasn’t an artistic thing, but perhaps a preference by Diane herself. Following that train of thought, I inquired as to Diane’s character. I noticed Makoto’s unhappy expression. This wasn’t exactly taking a break. But at the moment I chose to ignore it in favor of following an interesting bit of data.

The curator seemed a bit confused by my sudden question, but acquiesced. “Well, Diane was known for her social work mostly. Not long into her reign she established the first shelters for the homeless and for orphaned children. According to what we know, she used to make yearly visits to the orphanages. What she created was the precursor to the adoption and childcare system we have today. And besides that, she rebuilt a lot of crumbling city structures and fortified defenses against invaders.”

I thanked her for the conversation and it wasn’t long before Makoto and I left the museum. Looking at the time, I knew I had to leave for Mercury soon, so I bid goodbye to Makoto and told her to inform the others.

It’s quiet now at home. And on another note, I found a package waiting for me. Mina returned by ceremonial boots. Unfortunately, the leather seems to have been stretched out. I don’t understand how, because I don’t think Mina’s feet and legs are all that different than mine. Or maybe they are? Either way, I’ll have to have them refitted.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have loaned them. I suddenly recall something I haven’t thought about in years. I think it was before I kept theses journals. Mina and I were about...I want to say nine, or maybe eight. Yes, it was eight. I remember Mina was visiting Mercury, and our parents went out on business, so we were left at the palace.

Mina had found great grandfather Nabu’s gold helmet and tried to put it on. I told her it wasn’t a good idea, but she didn’t listen to me. It was stuck halfway on her head and despite even our combined efforts, it wouldn’t budge.

I remember I told Grandmother Mnemosyne about it, and she had to use a very generous amount of butter to get it off. I remember Mina wailed at the idea, but grandmother wouldn’t hear of protest. I think she was annoyed that we’d been playing with her father-in-law’s helmet, but that seemed to settle into amusement. I also remember Mina putting up a fight while grandmother was getting the butter out of her hair afterwards. Grandmother didn’t let her live it down for a few months after that.

I really should go see her sometime soon. I know she’d still remember that story, the gift of having a perfect memory. Note to self though: If Mina ever asks to borrow something like that again, refuse.

It is getting late and I feel quite tired. I shall be heading to bed now.

End of Entry

Author’s Note
[4] For the first number, physically 18, and for the second, physically about 53 or so.

I was also thinking that, given the length of this thing, that I might turn this "second chapter" into multiple chapters to break it down a bit. Does that seem like a good idea to you?


Last edited by Phantom53 on 26th January 2015, 10:34 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I forgot something.)
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   29th January 2015, 11:21 am

I liked this entry! Not a whole lot happened (besides Ami getting more info and all that) but I liked the different relationship developments you are laying out here (like Mako and Ami spending time together).  I don't think you should split it up into multiple chapters, this was a very good length. To me, it'd be odd to break it up. I think it all flowed together pretty nicely.

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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   30th January 2015, 1:52 pm

Thank you.  Smile

Okay, couple of questions:

1. What do you think Makoto would be likely to give Serenity for her birthday? I could come up with things for the others but for her I was drawing something of a blank.

2. This one is a little odd. Would Mina be more likely to willingly watch a monster movie, or would be be more likely to watch the same movie, only falsely believing it to be another genre?
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   30th January 2015, 6:58 pm

If past Makoto is as good as baking as present Makoto, then I can imagine she would end up being the baker. However, I'm not sure if past Makoto would end up being good at those things because that was due to her circumstances of growing up alone as a child in present Japan... Maybe she would manage to get a flower from Earth to give to Serenity? A Rose perhaps (my guess is her soldier form of hte past prolly has the rose earrings too so she may like Earth flowers as much as Serenity admires the Earth in general)

For #2, I kinda have no idea. xD

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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   30th January 2015, 7:16 pm

Huh. That's a good point about Makoto. I mean I already included a point about her interest in food, but I never really thought about that. As for the Earth rose, that's a no. Earth is banned in this universe, though you DID give me an idea. Thanks. Very Happy

XD I guess I'll go with the second option for Mina.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   30th January 2015, 9:16 pm

I think i may have been getting your universe and another fan comic I'm reading. xD It just got to a part where they are talking about why people are banned from Earth and it mentions some people have sneaked down and Serenity talked about how she loved all the colorful flowers. Hence the idea. xD

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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   17th February 2015, 12:22 pm

Okay, here's the next entry. Sorry for the delay. Things have been....hectic...personally as of late, and I had trouble getting back into writing this. But I just managed to put an ending on this bit now, so here it is.

Journal of Princess Ami Geminorum-Virginis
Volume #: 7
Entry # 11
Date:  Friday, June 26th, Interplanetary Solar Year 11, 998


An idea struck me during breakfast this morning. I was thinking about what I’d gathered as to Diane’s character, and about how useful it would have been if there had been accounts of her daily life like my own journals. Evidence like that tends to be lacking in archaeology.

It was then that I remembered something from my history textbook, a case study highlighted in one of the chapters. I excused myself from breakfast rather quickly and went to check. For reference, it was chapter 13 page 528.

The article was about Jovian archeologists working at the remains of a small town on the moon-state of Thebe, a town which had been totally destroyed by a massive flood in the seventh century, and whose location had been completely lost for quite some time. One of the more shocking finds they made among those ruins were written accounts dating back to the early fifth century.

All of the documents belonged to a single author. Some of them were drawings, observations, and notes on the local sea-life and habitat, an attempt at surveying the area. The other documents were personal journals. The condition of both had been quite remarkable, especially considering the flooded conditions of the habitat.

In the journals, the author spoke of how he’d learned of Lunar techniques for preserving documents from a friend who served as an ambassador of Jupiter. Said techniques were a mix of low level magic and chemicals, and had been told to the friend at an gathering of the planetary kingdoms.

Knowing the importance of his survey work, he employed these techniques on them, but used them on his journal first as a test. It certainly explained their survival and condition despite time and flooding.

This knowledge gave me an idea. If such techniques were discussed and shared at an international meeting, then perhaps others at that meeting had used them as well. If any of the ambassadors from the other planets had kept journals of their own, and if they had used those techniques to preserve them, then those documents could provide key insight into Diane.

It is now later in the day. I had a talk with the others to coordinate birthday presents this morning. Everyone is getting something different. Rei is planning on giving Serenity a new coat made of Martian wool. Mina’s gift is a book. Her great, great, great grandfather King Bragi had been quite the poet, and the many love poems he’d written for his wife Queen Idun had been collected and published in that book. I know Serenity will love that. Makoto is going to give her special hybrid roses her mother developed in her garden, ones with multicolored pedals, silver and light pink, along with some seeds for the palace gardens.

Afterwards, I discussed my idea with them. A search of multiple planets is most certainly in order. They all agreed to ask their respective diplomats and have an answer for me by the afternoon.

Upon further reflection, I realize that this idea is something of a long shot, depending on such techniques having been used by the diplomats at the time, and the documents being kept. To be fair though, diplomatic duties do have a tendency to be inherited by families. And looking among diplomats is the easiest way to pursue this line of inquiry. Still, despite the variables involved, the potential data that could be found as a result seems more than worth the effort.

I also discussed my idea with father and mother. The family of the current Mercurian diplomats had not always served the crown in that capacity. It took a little bit of work to find someone related to the ones that served before them. I found him working in one of the scientific research labs in the capital, a rather disheveled sort, but still quite young.

He in turn put me in contact with his sister, who was more than happy to assist me. However she said that their family was in the middle of selling their old estate, and as such the contents were in a storage warehouse, far across town, so the search would take some time. I told her I wasn’t in an especially great hurry, and that I didn’t want to interfere with the stress of selling their old estate, so she could take her time.

It is now later afternoon. The girls have gotten back to me. Makoto reported negative, with many old possessions perishing in a fire many years back. But Mina and Rei reported positives. Both of their respective diplomats had pulled what appeared to be journals from old storage.

I know more than one planetary trip in a day is probably not a good idea, so I think I will arrange a trip to Venus first. I will now inform Mina and arrange transport, and continue the entry once I am there.

I am now in Toposirini. [5] The weather is quite humid, more than I’m used to, but that’s normal for this time of year. Mina was there to greet me, and it didn’t take us long to get to our destination. Mina had us ride on Ferdinand to get through the crowd. He such a sweet animal and I still find that disposition so incongruous to what one would often associate with his robust physique.

The owner of the house greeted us rather warmly, and invited us to her parlor while she fished out the items we were interested in. It was a much longer wait than I had anticipated.

“What’s taking her so long?” asked Mina at one point, lying across the rather expensive looking sofa. “At the rate this is going, by the time she finds it I’ll be on the embalming table.” She gave a shudder, and I gave her a questioning look at her curious choice of words.

“I was watching a movie last night,” she told me, “Spirits of the Tomb.”

I vaguely recalled an old film by that name, but as I recall, it was a horror movie involving a living mummy. It was definitely not something Mina would watch willingly, and I asked her about it.

“I thought it was a romantic movie at first!” she cried in defense. “The high priestess falling in love with the prince and trying to raise him from the dead, and then she got caught and…” she gave another shudder. “I never want to see a mummy again. I really don’t.”

I told her that it wasn’t especially likely that she would, at least not for a long time. That seemed to settle her, and we got to chatting. We were interrupted a few times by the servants who offered us tea and cookies to snack on. Both were quite exquisite.

Our hostess eventually returned with several very old volumes, and we began looking through them. Mina provided an online translator for older dialects of Venusian that she found with the computer she brought with her.

Between finding relevant entries and translating them, it took up an hour and fifteen minutes before we found something. But find something we most certainly did. In one entry, the author spoke of her experience visiting the Moon. She expressed strong distaste at the fact that Diane frequently greeted her and other guests with a Moon Crab sitting on her shoulder. She went on to remark how Diane seemed to have no problem with the creature being there, or with it moving around occasionally. It was a valuable insight into my investigation.

On another note, as we were searching, Mina made a rather unpleasant sound at one of the entries. I turned to look at her and asked her what was wrong. She resisted at first, but I saw the grimace on her face, and my curiosity was peaked, and I eventually got her to tell me.

As it turns out, the diplomat who wrote the journals seems to have kept them and preserved them as she did because she used them in part to collect blackmail material. The entry Mina had been looking at detailed how she blackmailed some of her peers into giving her their son as a husband. I could understand Mina’s distaste, and I felt it myself.

Our hostess, having come back into the room, and noticing our expressions, told us that her family was well aware of their ancestor’s behavior. They’d done quite a lot to atone for it over the generations. She also asked us not to mention this particular detail, and I gave her my word that I wouldn’t.

Mina had also been reading several entries ahead of me at one point, and again there was an entry that made her pause. This time though she absolutely refused to let me see them. She told me “You really don’t want to know, trust me.” I recall now that her face had turned a rather odd shade of pink. Somehow, I think perhaps I am better off not knowing.

In any event, we finished our research and departed. Mina invited me to watch a movie with her back at the palace, and I accepted. The Sun had climbed higher in the time we’d been inside, and by the time we got back to Magellan Castle, I felt quite tired. Perhaps I should have brought sun block. I know I should have taken my sunglasses. I must have been so excited by the possibilities that I forgot them.

As we were going to the home theater, there was a loud cry of “Mina!” and suddenly we were set upon by four young girls. I estimated the oldest of them to be about nine years old, and the youngest of them looked around four. They talked to Mina briefly before turning their attention to me.

They started asking questions, or rather, bombarding me with them. They were so fast and so loud I had trouble following them. I introduced myself in the middle of it and I think they did as well. I confess I can’t remember their names. I think three of them started with E. The knowledge that I was from Mercury set off another string of questions.

Normally I would have been happy to answer but I was tired from the heat, and I could feel the sweat on my skin. And on top of that, they were all talking at once. It was rather…overwhelming at the time. I think Mina must have noticed my distress.

“Hey, knock it off your four!” she snapped at them. When she said that, all of them turned back to her, completely silenced.

“Ami’s tired, okay? She’s not used to the heat around here and she needs rest. She doesn’t need you four yelling in her ears.” The four girls frowned, and the oldest of them wanted tried to say something, but Mina cut her off, her tone shifting into something much softer. “You can talk to some other time, alright? Now where’s your sitter?”

Said babysitter appeared shortly afterwards, a young woman with long, curly blonde hair and green eyes. She was, as Mina told me later, Hedone, the daughter of one of her mother’s old friends, and seven years our senior.

We continued on and I thanked her for the intervention. “No problem,” she told me. “Those four can be a bit much at first.” I nodded, and asked how she knew them. “They’re the kids of one of my mom’s advisors,” she replied. “They were annoying at first, but I have to admit….they grew on me. Not sure why, but they did. They’re really sweet after you get used to them.”

I puzzled for a moment at Mina’s tone. Mina does not interact well with children, usually turning to irritation or frustration. So I found it surprising at how she’d ended treating those four so gently. She must really have grown to like them.

We arrived at the home theater, and I noted that it had been redecorated since I was there last. The walls are light blue now. I had wanted to watch one of the newer films that had come out in the last two weeks, but Mina vetoed the idea.

“No way Ami, that’s way too serious. What we need now is a good, fun movie to relax.”

I started to protest, but Mina wouldn’t let me finish. “You need to relax Ami. We all remember the last time you hit burnout. Come on, let’s just watch something fun.”

I ended up losing the argument. The film Mina picked out was old, but not too old. It was one of the first movies to star Kleta and Phaenna, the Venusian singer and actress sisters. Quite talented actresses, as even this movie demonstrated. The singing however was….slightly off key. Mina apologized for that. She swore to me that after this the two got better vocal coaches.

It was a very enjoyable movie. I’m glad I let Mina talk me into watching it. But by the time it was over, it was very close to when I had to leave, so I couldn’t stay any longer.

I’m back in my room now. The information we discovered was quite interesting. The fact that Diane frequently greeted guests with a crab on her shoulder and seemed completely comfortable with it there, and even with it moving around on her person, speaks of a love of the creatures. She must have been very fond of them to be that complacent.

All of this is so very fascinating. The fact that I found personal accounts as old as the ones I looked at still astounds me. Tomorrow I will be visiting Mars, and a part of me is ecstatic to see what I will find. Sleeping may be a bit more difficult tonight.

End of Entry

Author’s Notes
[5] The capital city of Venus. Like the others, this is a compound of Greek words. Specifically, topos (place of) and eirini (peace). So it means “Place of peace”.

What did you all think? Is there anything I need to fix? I mean with the plot? Or is there anything you think I need to expand on? Something about this one bugs me, but then again it could just be my imagination.

EDIT 03/07/15: Added some more parts to this segment that just came to mind. I hope it's good.


Last edited by Phantom53 on 7th March 2015, 1:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Modifications)
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   27th April 2015, 9:44 am

Hello everyone. Sorry it took me so to finish this next segment. But it is finished. I completed it just a few minutes ago. So without further ado:

Journal of Princess Ami Geminorum-Virginis
Volume #: 7
Entry # 12
Date: Saturday, June 27th, Interplanetary Solar Year 11, 998

My visit to Mars was early in the morning, so that when I arrived, there were few people moving about. I was greeted by Rei and someone else I’d never met. She was tall and slender in build, with dark blue eyes and bright blonde hair she’d tied back in a braid. She wore a white coat whose style and decoration I took to be a ceremonial military uniform. That was confirmed when she saluted me.

She was, as Rei told me, Brunhilde, commander of the Valkyrie Squad, a special all-female fighting force established by her mother, a mix of infantry and cavalry. She was Rei’s escort today, and would also drive us to and from our destination.

The drive through Kriovoski [6] was a bit long, what with our destination being on the other side of town and the great deal of vehicle and foot traffic. As we set out, I learned that Brunhilde was joining us for a second reason. The daughter of the diplomat we were visiting was a member of the Valkyrie Squad. She’d broken her leg during training last week and Brunhilde had wanted to check on her. I certainly didn’t mind.

As we drove on, I noticed Rei yawning quite a bit. After the sixth yawn in a row, I asked if anything was wrong.

“It’s nothing,” she told me. “Enyalios just woke me up last night.”

I confess that I’d almost forgotten about her little brother. I think the last time I saw him was when he was a year old. The five of us don’t tend to visit Mars as often as we do the other planets. I think the last time I was on Mars was….was it three months ago? Possibly. I’ll need to check my old journal entries.

“He had a nightmare last night, so he decided to come to me,” said Rei with another yawn. “It took a while for him to get back to sleep.” She gave a frustrated sigh, and I reminded her that he was only three years old.

“I know, I know. And it’s not like I hate him or anything. I just wish he hadn’t needed to wake me. I had a late night as it was. If Mom and Dad weren’t away on business, he’d be going to them. But they wanted him to stay here because there’s a nasty flu going around where they are. And they wanted me to help watch him. Phobos and Deimos have enough to do managing things while Mom and Dad are gone.”

I suppose in a way most of us are lucky to be only children. Though to be fair our parents are all quite young, so I suppose there may come a day where Mina, Makoto, Serenity, or I may have siblings of our own to contend with.

Along the way, we passed a sports arena that was already buzzing with activity, despite the early hour. Rei told me that they were getting ready for a title fight there later tonight.

“And making sure there’s room for the ambulances…” she muttered. I was confused by that statement, so I asked her about it.

“Every time there’s a big match like that, someone in the audience always gets hurt, every single time.”

As a side note, I’d like to say that after I got home, I did a little research of my own, just out of curiosity. Rei was indeed correct. From what I gathered via new reports, every significant match is always accompanied by brawls among the audience. From the data I looked at, the average number of individual fights per match was about five. Some of the participants in these fights ended up in worse shape than the actual fighters they were there to see. I saw three reports of someone with multiple broken ribs occurring in the last eight months.

I understand being enthusiastic, but that just seems…excessive to say the least. I wonder if there are incidents like that at the boxing matches we have on Mercury. I should look that up later. Maybe it’s just something about competitive fighting.

After we passed the stadium, Rei yawned again and told me that she was going to try and take a brief nap. “And you don’t have to worry about making noise,” she told me. “I brought ear plugs.”

Rei lay across the seat of the car, and I returned to looking out the window. Our ride was slowed once again, this time due to a large construction project. When I asked Brunhilde about it, she said it was a new apartment complex, and they’d only started five months ago.

That is one of the things that I still find fascinating about Mars, the incredible industriousness. The building was sizable and yet in only five months it was mostly complete, with only work being done on the interior. It never ceases to impress me how fast things can be constructed here. And even with such speed, only in the minority are the results of poor quality. I expressed as much to Brunhilde.

She chuckled. “That’s Mars for you princess. We work fast and build fast. Something is always under construction around here.” Her smile faltered at the sight of more vehicles. “Of course it makes it hard to get around at times.”

Brunhilde and I talked for a while longer, still keeping our voices lowered, despite Rei’s use of earplugs. In a way, the traffic was for the best, at least for Rei’s sake. At least she got to catch up on sleep for the rest of the trip.

We finally reached the diplomat’s house. It was an impressive concrete structure. The white paint used on it was bright enough that sunlight reflected off it produced an irritating glare. As we approached, I wondered vaguely if it was meant to intimidate people.

The three of us were greeted at the door by a young woman. She was about four inches shorter than Brunhilde, with dark blue eyes and platinum blonde hair, and a rather fair complexion. She had a large cast on her left leg, and stood on a crutch.

“Commander Brunhilde!” she yelled as she opened the door. She tried saluting, but only managed to lose her balance. Brunhilde caught her before she fell over.

“Be careful Rota. I’d prefer you skip decorum than hurt yourself anymore. And I’m sure Gunnar and Skuld wouldn’t be happy about it either.”

Introductions were short, and Rota called for her father. The man that met us was gruff, middle aged, and bearded, and didn’t look very happy to see us.

“Understand me when I say, Your Highnesses, that I am a very busy man, and the only reason I agreed to this is because King Ares insisted.” He pointed us in the direction of the drawing room, where the journals had been gathered, before heading off on his own. As he left, I noticed the rather harsh glance he threw in the direction of Brunhilde and his daughter.

Rei and I took to the drawing room, while Brunhilde and Rota went off to another room. It was best for them to talk in private anyway. My search with Rei was in relative silence, and things went a bit faster than they had with Mina. Rei is more adept at languages than Mina is, so she required the translator less frequently.

It was Rei that finally found something of interest. In the entry she found, our host’s ancestor expressed great agitation at the fact that Moon Crabs walked around the palace halls. He also remarked on how the palace staff seemed to completely accept the presence of the creatures, and did nothing to stop them even in light of his complaints. He says that, if anything, they stopped him from doing anything to the crabs. The entry also corroborated the others I had found by mentioning how Diane had greeted the author with a Moon Crab on her shoulder.

After that it, well, the entry went into a rant, which is appropriate enough for a journal I suppose. It included several rather….crude expletives that I would rather not repeat, and some that I’d never heard of, though my knowledge is of course limited in that area. The subject of said rant was basically on gender politics, Lunarian and Martian. I won’t go into further detail, but needless to say it wasn’t pleasant.

If I had to guess, I would say the author wrote and kept the journal mostly due to a belief in the importance of his words and thoughts, and their value for future generations. He also made several observations of a military nature, the state of city walls, palace structure, and so on. It seems he was filing away data for a military strike that never came to be.

Rei let out a chuckle as we were reading the entries. “It seems like our host isn’t all that different from his ancestor, at least as far as attitude.”

Remembering his demeanor when we entered, I had to agree. It seemed like the apple didn’t fall far from the proverbial tree.

Our musing was interrupted by sudden yelling in the next room. Normally I do not engage in eavesdropping, but in my defense, I don’t think it qualifies as eavesdropping when the subjects in question are too loud to ignore.

From what we could hear, it was a heated argument between Brunhilde, Rota, and Rota’s father. It seems Rota’s father was not happy that his daughter had joined the squad, and he was screaming about pulling her out of it.

The arguing became increasingly heated, and when we heard threats of violence, Rei chose to throw open the door.

“This doesn’t concern you Your Highness,” said our host when he saw us enter. I observed that Rota looked quite nervous, and Brunhilde looked something close to livid.

“Since you were so loud, I’m making it my business. What’s going on here?”

“Nothing, I’m simply telling the young lady here,” he gestured to Brunhilde, “to remove my daughter from this squad of hers immediately. It was a mistake letting her join and she’s unfit for something as ridiculous as this Valkyrie Squad your mother created.”

“It’s not ridiculous. If you want me to prove it, I’d be more than happy,” growled Brunhilde in response. I began to grow nervous. The entire atmosphere was getting very tense, and I could easily envision a fight breaking out.

“It is ridiculous, and you’ll mind your tongue when speaking to me. I am an emissary of the Martian throne. Women do not belong as soldiers and the idea that they can be anything like the Martian army is laughable. My daughter has already broken her leg thanks to your training, and I demand that you, as the commanding officer, discharge her immediately.”

Brunhilde’s response was simply “Over my dead body.” Our host threatened to force her, and I turned to look at Rei. She looked angry enough to hurt someone, which was what I was very much afraid of. She would have already been more irritable from getting inadequate sleep on top of her already short temper.

I tried telling Rei to calm down, and that we were here for work and not to cause a fight. But Rei just seemed to ignore me and walked up to our host. She asked to speak to him privately, and the two of them went off to some other part of the house.

Rota still looked quite anxious, as well as showing signs of fatigue, so I suggested that she go rest somewhere, and Brunhilde agreed. That only left Brunhilde and I back in the drawing room. She sighed.

“I’m sorry for dragging you into this Your Highness. You don’t need to be witness to our personal problems.”

I told her it was alright. And in truth, it wasn’t totally alright. I hated that such a fight had occurred at all. But it was out of her control so there was no need for her to feel guilty. With my work with Rei pretty much complete, there wasn’t much else to do. But the silence was rather uncomfortable, so I started conversation with Brunhilde.

I asked her why she’d joined the Valkyrie Squad in the first place. I hadn’t really gotten to know her all that well, even with the car ride, so I was curious.

She laughed before she answered. “I was overweight. And not just a little overweight, I was all the way into being obese and unhealthy.”

Looking at her now, and seeing her thin and athletic build, I found that very hard to believe, and I told her so. She just nodded her head.

“Oh I was. I ate really badly, I was always lethargic, and I was so weak. I knew it was a problem, but I could never bring myself to do anything about it. Then one day, I heard that they were recruiting for the Valkyrie Squad, an all-woman fighting force, and Queen Bellona was doing the recruiting herself. When I found out, I…I decided I wanted to join. I knew it was crazy but I wanted to change. I wanted to be better.”

She took a deep breath before continuing. “So I took the train all the way over, and got to speak to Bellona herself. The way she looked at me, I knew she wasn’t impressed. I mean I knew I was a physical wreck. But I begged her to help me. And you know what? She did. She got me help, she worked with me. And before I knew it, I was healthy, and I liked myself that way. The squad changed my life for the better.”

Given the circumstances, I could understand her reaction when her squad got insulted. Brunhilde and I passed the time quietly for a few minutes, and after that time I began to worry what Rei was doing with our host. I prayed she was hurting him. That wouldn’t end well for anyone.

After a few more minutes, Rei returned to the drawing room, our host following behind. He appeared completely unhurt, which was a massive relief for me. His demeanor however seemed strangely subdued. Rei told Brunhilde that he had something to say to her.

He cleared his throat before speaking. “After discussing things with the princess, I have come decided that there is no longer any….issue….with Rota being in the Valkyrie Squad, and I no longer want you to dismiss her.”

I saw him glance back at Rei. She merely responded with a pointed stare. “And,” he continued, “I would like to offer you a personal apology for insulting your squadron, commander. Your squad was personally created by the crown, and as a part of the army, represents the strength and honor of Mars. My words were out of line. Please….forgive me.”

The words had the undercurrent of being forced, but Brunhilde didn’t seem to mind. She simply smiled and accepted the apology. Rei then told him that our business here had concluded and that we would take our leave. I could not help but notice the air of absolute smugness about Rei as we left, and the smile she was trying very hard to force down.

We took off back toward the space port, and I asked Rei what she’d said to make him change his mind, and if she’d physically threatened him.

Rei just smiled wider. “No. I simply managed to make him see the error of his ways.”

“Well whatever you said, thank you Your Highness” said Brunhilde. “But if you don’t mind me saying, you don’t need to fight my battles for me.”

Rei just shrugged. “It’s not that I didn’t think you could handle yourself. I just didn’t want to see him twist your arm with some political ploy. He can’t pull that sort of thing on me like he can to you. Besides, you’re overlooking the fact that I practice archery with you and the rest of the squad. So it was my fight too.”

After that, Rei gave another yawn, and elected to take another nap in the car. She must not have caught up on all her sleep. The rest of the drive was quiet, and Rei woke up briefly to wish me goodbye as I left to the transport back home.

I’m back home now. Maia has just delivered dinner to my room. She’d returned from visiting her sister Merope while I was on Mars. It’s good to have her back. I don’t know what we’d do without her acting as caretaker of the palace. And to think she used to take care of father and Aunt Iris when they were children.

The investigation has progressed well, and I am very pleased that the material I looked at today corroborated the earlier sources from Venus. Tomorrow I will check with the woman I spoke to before to see if she found any similar documents from her family. Since I already looked at the two confirmed pieces of evidence, I might as well see if there is a third before I move on to another point of investigation.

End of Entry

Author’s Notes

[6] The capital city of Mars. The city’s name is supposed to mean “city of the ram’s pasture”. It is derived from the Greek “krios” meaning ram (referring to the Greek god Crius, though there is another word for ram) and the Greek “voski” meaning pasture.

That's it. Please leave feedback. Is it good? Does anything need tweaking or anything? Please let me know.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   29th April 2015, 5:17 pm

Yay! I finally had a chance to catch up. With the portion with Venus, I felt like the part with the children seemed a little out of place unless there are plans to have them show up again? They just didn't really add to what is going on in the story.

I enjoyed reading the segment with Mars though. It was interesting getting a feel for the Martian civilization from Ami's perspective and the drama with characters that were only just introduced was interesting. Keep on going. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   30th April 2015, 7:47 am

Congrats on catching up! XD

As for you first question, they're....special. I won't say what though, I'd like it to be a surprise. They'll be in another fanfic that I had in mind to write a while down the road. And don't worry, I'm still going. If my planning is correct, I think I've only for four more entries on this. Then after that I'm planning to work on again/finish The First Days on Earth because that's been neglected for quite some time, and I had a few other story ideas I was playing with. And hopefully the next entry won't take me so long to finish.

*goes back to writing*
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   5th May 2015, 10:11 am

And I'm back, believe it or not. Though admittedly this segment is shorter and simpler, that's probably why I got it done already. So without further ado....

Journal of Princess Ami Geminorum-Virginis
Volume #: 7
Entry # 13
Date: Sunday, June 28th, Interplanetary Solar Year 11, 998


I was in a great deal of luck today. As it turned out, the woman I spoke to before did manage to search through her family’s heirlooms and found journals of the appropriate age.

The address she provided me when I called her was for a penthouse apartment in a richer section of the city. Several of the adjacent buildings reminded me of home, architecturally speaking. Perhaps they are from some sort of Mariner Revival style, or whatever it would be called? They certainly look too new to have been built by Jacob Mariner. [7]

On that note, I am suddenly reminded that our library has a rather large volume on Mercury’s architectural history. Perhaps I should read it sometime soon. It could make for entertaining reading in between work.

I was shown the journals, and she left me to my own devices. She must’ve still had a great deal of work to do. I don’t envy her the task of moving and selling one’s former home. Although it does make me wonder vaguely how that would work if one lived in a castle. You would think it would be the same, with the work involved magnified several fold.

The owner of the journals seems to have written them in part to help him remember important details. He seems to have been quite forgetful, and from his writing, he also shows signs of having what would later be classified as obsessive compulsive disorder.

There were several entries related to Queen Diane. The author spoke once about how she’d left him waiting for close to an hour because she’d “once again gone to care for the family of Moon Crabs she kept in the palace” and forgotten their meeting entirely. The servants, who he says he talked to in order to avert absolute boredom, told him that she spent a great deal of time there when not ruling. The author also mentioned that when Diane finally did meet him, she had a Moon Crab on her left shoulder.

And while, in hindsight, it is less relevant to my research, the latter half of the entry did manage to catch my attention. Mostly, this section of the text was about business, the usual workings of diplomacy. But during the conversation, Diane shared with the author her plans for establishing orphanages and shelters through the capital and beyond.

She explained to him how she’d bought the land required and had already assembled an initial staff for every orphanage in the capital she planned to establish. Not only that, but that same staff was already receiving pay, even though their new workplaces were still under construction.

Diane also told the author how she was going to place the homeless shelters in the capital in such a way that there was at least one in every poorer district, and that they would be spread out to cover the entire city area. Diane said it was to ensure that someone who needed help could always find it nearby, no matter where they were. A very strategic choice if I may say so.

Again, that part of the entry doesn’t seem all that relevant to my particular line of research. But I couldn’t help but take note of it. It’s one thing to hear about someone’s exploits in a history book, but it’s another to see it in action, sort of anyway. It made me smile as I read it. Perhaps Serenity would like to hear about it?

That was all I managed to get from the material, and it only took me an hour and forty five minutes to get through it. I stayed to have lunch with my host before I returned home.

It is evening now. The Sun is gone, and Caduceus [8] is starting its ascent into the sky. The data I acquired from the journals today didn’t add much that I didn’t already know. But it did, however, corroborate what was said by the other two accounts about Diane greeting visitors with a Moon Crab on her person. It also further reinforced to me the tremendous affection she had for the creatures.

After all, she, the Queen of an entire planet-kingdom, had forgotten a diplomatic meeting and left her guest waiting almost an hour. That would have been, and would still be, a large breach in etiquette. I think even I would be upset if I were left in the same situation.

I’ve been doing school work since I got home. Professor Santorini’s exam is still set for Friday. On a side note, while I was reading through my history textbook, I found several references to Professor Pagoni and his contribution to the field. There was even a photograph of him there as well. I’d seen it before, but I’d still never have recognized him in person. The photo is of when he was a young man. It’s amazing how different he looked in his youth.

He’s actually made several important contributions to the study of history, in theory and in his dig work. All of these were many, many years ago however. From the few quotes in the book, he also appears to have been quite modest. It’s a shame really. He did so much good work towards his field, and yet that honest brilliance seems to have…rotted, for lack of a better word.

And on one of break periods, I decided to see if anyone besides Professor Pagoni had ever investigated the Tale of Karkinos. I really should have searched before this. But that’s the nature of hindsight I suppose. In any case, it wouldn’t have mattered. I didn’t find a single study in any of the university journals, and Sophia subscribes to many of them.

I did find one interesting bit of data, if irrelevant to my own investigation. There seems to be a subsection of the Lunar population that hold the character of Karkinos as the spirit of the Silver Crystal sent to protect Princess Diane. This religious group holds the title character as a guardian spirit, particularly of children and mothers. I don’t think they would take well to Professor Pagoni’s theories on the story, and in that case it is perhaps best for him that he lives on a different planet.

In other news, the ice skates I bought for Princess Serenity arrived today. They’re in perfect condition. I’ve already taken the liberty of wrapping them up for her birthday.

The Karkinos investigation appears basically complete, research wise. The only thing there seems left for me to do is to visit the Lunar royal archives tomorrow and take a look at the original records that I saw references to. I did some research into determining if an ancient document is genuine, but as I read on, I became convinced that I do not have the skills necessary to perform the task myself, and that it would be best to consult an expert. I need to call Luna Artemis.

I have now just finished speaking to Luna and Artemis. They agreed to have a historian with training as a forensic document examiner come in to help me tomorrow. Her name is Dr. Cynthia Sands.

I must head to bed now. It is getting late, and I will need my rest for tomorrow.

End of entry

Author’s Notes

[7] Jacob Mariner was a famous Mercurian-born architect that built, among other things, the royal palace. For this reason, the palace was often called “Mariner Castle”.

[8] The moon of ancient Mercury. Yes, real-life Mercury has no moon, and neither does modern Mercury in this universe. But in this time period, it had one. The idea and name came from NASA. In 2012, as an April Fool’s Day prank, NASA claimed to have found a moon of Mercury and proposed calling it Caduceus, even citing a picture from the MESSENGER spacecraft. “Caduceus” of course is what the Romans called the herald staff carried by the god Mercury.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   24th May 2015, 12:31 pm

Here's another entry finally completed just now.

Journal of Princess Ami Geminorum-Virginis
Volume #: 7
Entry # 14
Date: Monday, June 29th, Interplanetary Solar Year 11, 998


Today I….I found something quite extraordinary. I’m finding it hard to contain my excitement and amazement as I write this. If I had been lucky before, then I was truly lucky today.

My trip to the Moon started early. I was lead to the archives, where I found Dr. Sands waiting for me. She was about my height with dark brown hair cropped into chin-length bob that was curled at the ends, and hazel eyes. She was also quite young, about 69 [9] as she admitted to me later.

She’d cleared a space in the archives and filled it with a variety of equipment, creating a makeshift lab to facilitate our task. She’d actually been finishing setting it up when I met her. We headed off toward the correct section of the archives to begin.

There were…issues, however, with our search. When the archivist had let me in, she’d mentioned that there had been work done on the shelving in the past month, so parts of the archives were something of a mess.

She seems to have vastly understated the problem. In one section, the one we’d intended to go to, the boxes that should have been on the shelves were instead piled on top of each other against a wall. It vaguely reminded me of the pillow forts the others and I used to make as children when we stayed over. But of course this was a far sturdier and formidable barricade than anything we ever made, not to mention taller than even Makoto.

To add to the problem, the labels on the boxes were facing the wall. They were heavy and large, so Dr. Sands had to call in some of the young male archive assistants to help pull a few of them down. We’d hoped that they’d been placed in some sort of chronological order. But it didn’t take long to realize that was not the case. They were all completely jumbled.

Dr. Sands gave me a dust mask and gloves when we began searching, right before she put on her own. It was very much warranted. Despite being in the archives, or perhaps because of it, there was a thick coating of dust on everything. If I were an asthmatic, I do believe I would have suffered an attack. Some of the items were so old and dusty that I could even imagine having an attack without asthma.

All of the documents we looked at, old as they were, had been preserved with a mix of chemical and magical techniques, similar to those I’d seen on the journals. Additionally, they were placed in thick glass cases.

We stumbled across the habitat records first. They looked exactly like the copies I’d seen in the record room. Dr. Sands used her equipment to do an examination on them. She did a scan of the paper type and composition, as well as the chemical composition of the ink and any particular stains. The chemical tests did indeed indicate they were as old as they said they were. An examination of language and phrasing also proved positive.

Dr. Sands had the foresight to set up two of her machines, so I could take to examining some of the documents myself, after she gave me a quick lecture on how to operate everything. Of course I was simply gathering data, and I left the formal analysis to her.

On a side note, I am reminded of an article I read on my way to the Moon. It was talking about advancements made in miniaturization of various forms of technology. After working with the machinery Dr. Sands brought along, I am wondering if technology like that could be miniaturized as well. Perhaps it could be combined with a heads up display of some sort? Something like that could be useful as Sailor Mercury, even if we don’t really have many opportunities to fight. I will have to bring it up with mother and father.

And while I am digressing a bit, I will mention that there were some documents we did not end up verifying. It occurred to me that some might argue the second statue at the museum was a fake. I checked with them after I was done at the archives. The provenance documents for the piece were in their possession, and they’d already gone through the trouble of verifying its authenticity.

As for the diplomatic journals, it is only in hindsight that I considered verifying them. In my defense, I suppose it was easier at the time to simply look at them myself than arrange for the sort of setup I had with Dr. Sands in the archives for every single visit. And logically speaking, it is highly improbable that they were all part of a single hoax. My own examinations will do for now.

After that, we moved on to looking at the documents I’d noted when I was researching Diane and Serenity the First. Finding those particular items among the mess was more challenging. At least the habitat records were all still kept together between one or two boxes. Dr. Sands and I each took some of the boxes to look through.

It was during one of my own searches that I found it. I was skimming through the contents, which consisted mostly of what seemed to be land-related items. Then I found a document that was slipped between a couple of thin ledgers. It had also been deposited upside down. Naturally I pulled it out to see what it was and turn it right side up.

It turned out to be a land deed, a very old land deed. The writing indicated that it was for a beach, and in the middle of the text there was written in very careful Lunarian script the name “Karkinos”. I held it there in my hands for quite some time, just staring at it.

I couldn’t believe it. It was the sort of thing you usually consider impossible, as if something you’d drawn suddenly burst forth from the canvas into full life.

I heard Dr. Sands approach me as I was staring. She said she’d found and checked out the last document on my list of sources. As she stood next to me, I heard her gasp.

“Oh my Goddess, is that what I think it is?”

I nodded, and handed it to her. After looking it over for a minute, she set it down and went to the library to ask for maps of the city. When she returned, she set the maps and the document on a reading table and began looking between them.

“From this point here, down to here, yes, that’s it” I heard her mutter. I asked her what she was doing, and she told me she was seeing where the boundaries for the grant of land were.

“It says it’s for a beach, and according to the text here, the area it’s talking about is the same exact area that Cancri Beach covers, the one that’s said to be the beach from the story. This is incredible! We have to do a full examination right away!”

She raced ahead of me to her machinery, but still held the document with the utmost care. Dr. Sands seemed to be even slower looking at this one document, and even triple checked her findings.

According to her analysis, the paper was definitely the sort used during the fourth century. The ink too, was of a chemical mixture that was used during that time period. The script itself was certainly antiquated, an old form of Lunarian, just like in the earliest of the habitat records.

Dr. Sands had me find other land grants from the relative time period. The hand writing proved to be a match. The official seal was also genuine. Therefore the same official that had written other documents of that sort had also written this one. The date on the document was June 25th, 380 ISY, the very same date it would have been created according to the story.

The deed listed Diane as the actual purchaser of the property, and there, near the bottom, was Diane’s signature. Another handwriting sample yielded us a match for that as well.

We also managed to find a ledger belonging to the keeper of deeds of all the documents she’d received copies of and all special land grants given. It was in the same box as the deed, but even more buried. Parts of it were missing, and pages were damaged, so it must have been preserved after some sort of accident. But of what remained, there was an entry for the very deed we’d found, listed as being bought and paid for by Princess Diane.

It’s just…remarkable. We’d found actual documented proof of the story’s validity. It must have been buried with all the other records rather hastily and just forgotten all these millennia. Dr. Sands was just as stunned as I was. After we were done examining, she told me she was going to take the document to the archivist and have it placed somewhere where it wouldn’t be lost again.

I am home now. I’m still in awe of my discoveries today. To think such a thing existed and that I found it. Dr. Sands was telling me that this sort of…well, I suppose it’s best to call it a rediscovery, might end up in a publication. Mother and father, who couldn’t help but notice my demeanor when I returned, told me something similar.

I agree about the publication. People deserve to know of this document’s existence. But whether or not I have any direct input in said publication, it’s a matter for later.

As of right now, my investigation work is now basically done. I just need to write up my final, formal conclusions on what I’ve found. I have a few hours before bed, so I should be able to get that done. I can’t stay up too late though. I need to be on time for Serenity’s birthday party tomorrow. It will be a nice break from the work I’ve been doing. And I’m sure Serenity will be overjoyed at my findings.

End of entry

Author’s Notes

[9] Physically 18



Also, for those that may notice, I know the keeper of deeds character in the story was male, and that I wrote them as female. While I was writing this, I realized that it would have made far more sense for them to be female. It’s something I’ll have to edit later.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   21st June 2015, 11:26 am

And the second to last segment is here. I just finished it. I hope it's good.


Journal of Princess Ami Geminorum-Virginis
Volume #: 7
Entry # 15
Date:  Tuesday, June 30th, Interplanetary Solar Year 11, 998


Last night I had a dream about being buried under a mountain of paperwork and hundreds of rampaging dust bunnies. I think I should have had a proper dinner instead of picking up snacks from the kitchen.

I arrived on the Moon early, and I met the others at the station. None of our parents had chosen to visit, with the exception of Mina’s mother. Mina went ahead and took Serenity out into the city to distract her while the rest of us helped arrange everything.

Serenity and Mina had left Sirius [10] behind, so he wandered around the palace and greeted each of us. I couldn’t help but notice that he’s developing a bit of pudge. Three reasons come to mind.

A) His age. At 21 he’s just about middle aged for his species and breed.

B) A lack of robust exercise. Serenity does play with him and take him on walks but perhaps that isn’t enough.

C) It could be from Serenity constantly spoiling him.

Although, when I think about it, it could be a combination of all three.

He was licked Makoto as we were trying to get the tables arranged. Makoto laughed before sending him off. “You know Ami, you should really consider getting a pet,” she told me as we got back to work.

Of course I know all the others have pets of their own. And I’m not opposed to the idea entirely. I simply don’t know what sort of animal I would want. I don’t want something that would be too much of a distraction from my work. I told Makoto this as we were working.

“I’m sure you could figure out something,” she told me. “You just need to find time to work it out.” Preparations kept the conversation from going any further.

Between Rei, Makoto, Luna, Artemis and myself, and a number of the castle servants, we managed to set everything up with time to spare before Serenity and Mina returned. The great hall was filled balloons and many other forms of decorations.

We managed to surprise Serenity as she returned with Mina. She was absolutely ecstatic. Her face lit up like a dozen bulbs.

The food was brought out first, and it was then that I saw Hotaru, the princess of Saturn. I hadn’t known that she was coming, or even saw her arrive. As I was informed later, she’d arrived before the rest of us because of her particular present.

She’d brought along a large selection of food and ingredients from her kingdom’s farms. Not only had she brought supplies for the party itself, but she’d brought enough raw materials to stock the royal kitchens for the next two weeks. I saw trays filled with caramel apples, several pastries, some of them topped with large strawberries, and a quite delectable looking pumpkin pie.

Hotaru herself had sequestered herself in the kitchen with her aides to help oversee the preparations. Though from her tired expression and body language, I suspect her isolation might have also been due to fatigue from her trip. It really is unfortunate that the stigma of Sailor Saturn’s powers makes the Saturnian nobility less popular to invite to gatherings like these. Hotaru seems so very nice.

I should also note that Hotaru seems to be doing much better health-wise, at least from the last time I saw her. She appeared much stronger than before. I even heard Queen Serenity remark on it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say she’s athletic, but she was definitely healthier, which is good because most times I’ve seen her she always seemed so fragile. She’s also starting to get a bit gangly in frame, though she’d 14 so that’s not unusual I suppose.

The cake was a gigantic, multi-layered creation of chocolate and vanilla, with flowers made of frosting. But Queen Serenity wouldn’t let any of us eat until the rest of the guests arrived, which was curious to me because I didn’t think anyone else was coming.

To my surprise, about five minutes later, the rest of the outer princesses arrived. Haruka and Michiru came in first, side by side, followed up by Setsuna. They apologized for their lateness, blaming it on mechanical issues with their transport.

The cake and the rest of the food was as good as it all looked. I worry I may have gained a few pounds with all that I had to eat. Serenity insisted we all try everything with her. But she also seemed to be quite efficient at tasting everything, because she was soon opening presents.

As I thought, she loved the ice skates I got her, and the book Mina had brought. The second she saw Makoto’s roses, she’d had them taken to her room and handed all the seeds to the palace gardeners. And she spent several minutes admiring herself in front of the mirror wearing the red coat Rei had given her.

“You can thank Marvin for donating the raw material” she said, which earned a gasp from Serenity. But Rei just cut her off. “Don’t be like that. You know his fleece will grow back soon enough.”

Michiru offered her present after that, which was a breathtaking portrait of a coral reef. The detail and colors were quite exquisite. I got the distinct impression she’d based it on a real specimen on Neptune.

Haruka’s gift was something quite different….a live animal. She brought out a bird cage containing what she said was a female Qiangniao bird. I’d heard of the species, but I’d never seen one. It was medium sized, with predominantly white feathers. The feathers on the edges of the wings and on the tail were a bright blue, and the tail feathers were long and ribbon-like. It immediately started moving around energetically, singing happily. Serenity hugged Haruka so hard I think Haruka nearly turned blue.

Setsuna’s gift was somewhat simple. It was a new dog collar for Sirius. This one however, was inlaid with several gemstones. Serenity wasted no time in slipping it on Sirius and switching the tag. It looked quite good on him.

Queen Aphrodite’s gift was a diamond hairpin in the shape of a lily. Serenity didn’t want to undo her odangos, but I know it will look lovely in her hair. Luna and Artemis had gotten a joint gift, a book which made Serenity gasp with astonishment.

“Dream Isle?! But this isn’t out yet.”

“We talked the publisher into giving us an advance copy for you, after we explained how much you loved the author’s work” said Artemis.

“And if you look inside, there’s something else there too,” added Luna.

Indeed, apparently the author of one of Serenity’s favorite romance series had autographed the book, and wrote a message of thanks. Serenity gave Luna and Artemis such a powerful hug I almost thought they would choke.

Queen Serenity gave the final present of the day, which turned out to be a pair of gold bracelets with lotus flower designs on them.

“These belonged to your grandparents dear, a matched set. Lotus flowers were very special to them and they wore them as much as they wore their wedding rings. I know your grandmother would have wanted you to have them.” Queen Serenity took one of them and put it in Serenity’s right wrist. “And I know that one, day, when you find someone, you can give him the other. They would have loved you so much. I’m sorry they never got to see you.”

That made Serenity start crying, and we gave her and her mother a bit of space for a while. My own heart melted at the gesture.

The party wound down, and all the outer princesses left early due to the travel time back. The five of us took to Serenity’s suite for the remainder of our time. Sirius followed behind, and nestled into his own bed upon arrival. Once we settled in ourselves, I shared with Serenity and the others what I had found regarding the Karkinos tale.

When I’d finished, I found myself in a very tight hug courtesy of Serenity. I vaguely recall hearing Rei tell Serenity to let go of me “before her face ends up the same color as her hair”, or something to that effect. I do wish she wouldn’t hug that hard. Though I suppose I should be thankful she doesn’t possess Makoto’s strength. If she did, I think she might bruise ribs.

We chatted on into the afternoon for a long while after that, until Queen Aphrodite informed us that she and Mina had to leave for home. At that point, Makoto, Rei, and I decided it was time to head home as well. Serenity thanked me again for my efforts, and all of us for our gifts.

Now that I’m home, there is one question remaining on my mind. What should I do about Professor Pagoni and his treatment of others? I brought the matter up with father and mother.

“If he’s really as bad as you say, then he’s a detriment to the education process,” said father.

“But his actions, though reprehensible, are not necessarily punishable,” added mother.

I had to reluctantly agree. It was the crux of the entire problem. But then mother suggested something.

“Even if he’s prone to keeping his explicit opinions to himself, there is the chance he might have done something he could be cited for.”

That was true. Father agreed, and said he would have a talk with the head of the college about Pagoni.

“At the very least, perhaps we could find his assistant someone better to work for,” he said.

Father went on to suggest that, since I did such an exemplary job, as he put it, that I should share my findings with Professor Pagoni.

“I’m sure he’d be delighted to let you present what you found to his class.”

I wasn’t entirely sure about it. It seemed…confrontational and I hadn’t planned on that. But mother thought it was an excellent idea. She said Professor Pagoni needed to have his ego deflated. So that’s what I’m going to do tomorrow. Father and mother already contacted the head of Sophia and got his approval, though they chose not to inform Professor Pagoni. He’ll be in for a surprise then.

I’ll need my rest for tomorrow, so I shall be retiring earlier than usual.

End of Entry

Author’s Notes
[10] Princess Serenity’s dog. Or to be more specific, her father’s hunting dog. Basically he looked like a Japanese Akita. 

Well, what do you guys think?
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   21st October 2015, 12:32 pm

Hey guys! So I finally did it! I finally got the last segment done! I am sooooo sorry it took me this long. Between school and trouble finding motivation, this got to be a pain. But here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

Journal of Princess Ami Geminorum-Virginis
Volume #: 7
Entry # 16
Date:  Wednesday, July 1st, Interplanetary Solar Year 11, 998

After thinking further on the idea, I find myself more comfortable with confronting Professor Pagoni. Thinking back on his attitude, how he’s treated people like Adonia, and how he treated the history department, confronting him and deflating his ego seemed less unappealing.

I arrived at the university in time for one of Professor Pagoni’s afternoon classes. It was a very large room, over a hundred students. Both Professor Pagoni and Adonia turned to look as I entered. Adonia didn’t look much better than the last time I saw her, still possessing the same dark bags under her eyes.

“Princess Ami! What a pleasant surprise! To what do I owe the honor of your visit?” said Pagoni.

I quickly informed him that I’d done some research into the Karkinos tale since our last visit, and due to the insistence of my parents, and under the approval of the president of the university, I was here to share my findings with him and his students. I gave him a letter from the president to provide further proof. I had picked it up before heading to Pagoni’s classroom.

Although surprised, he quickly became eager to let me share. It took a few minutes, but I managed to set everything up on his projector system and get a microphone working so everyone could hear me.

On the way over, I’d gone over the order to do things in, the same way I had presented it to Serenity and the others. I shall provide a rough transcription of the events here.

Pagoni spoke first. “Class, do you know what story our esteemed princess is referring to? You will recall that part of your assigned reading was an article in which I tackled the subject.” The class nodded, and I had to hold back a grimace. He seemed so pleased with himself for what was subpar research.

I cleared my throat before speaking. “I’ve been researching the truth behind the story. First of all, I looked into the existence of the various historical characters mentioned. Queen Serenity the First and her daughter are easily verified.” I nodded to Adonia, who brought up the images of the various documents I’d cited. “Artemis too, was clearly real, considering the multiple accounts of her military exploits. You would agree Professor Pagoni?”

“Oh most certainly Your Highness.”

“The Lyocans are also quite real. This footage here was taken of them in recent years.” The class seemed mesmerized by the footage, and I didn’t really blame them.

“All well and good Your Highness, but that doesn’t exactly tell us the story has any merit” said Pagoni.

“Agreed, which is why my next step was investigating locations. I stared with the Moon crab habitat in the palace.”

“Ah,” said Pagoni as he turned to his students. “Class, if you’d been reading the article I gave you, then you’d know about this particular detail. Supposedly this habitat has been in existence since the date of the tale, the late fourth century. But as I stated in my article, the habitat has only existed for the last century.”

“Actually Professor, that’s not true at all.”

Professor Pagoni turned away from the class to stare at me. “I beg your pardon?”

“I spoke with a senior member of the staff, and she informed me that the moon crab habitat has only been open to the public for the last century. It has been in existence far longer.”

“Really?” Pagoni seemed to stumble over the words. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a faint smile on Adonia’s face.

“Yes. I was actually shown to the record room, an area restricted to the staff. There I found copies of records identifying every single moon crab that ever existed. They were as meticulously catalogued as the family tree of Princess Serenity herself.”

I had Adonia put up the scanned images of some of the records so everyone could see them. “The records go all the way back to the time of Queen Serenity the First. While the ones in the record room are more recent copies, the originals are stored in the palace archives.”

The projector moved on to an image of the original records. “An examination of these documents shows them to be genuine.”

“Well,” said Professor Pagoni, stumbling over his words. “It’s not surprising you were allowed to access such materials, as opposed to myself. Being a princess has advantages I suppose.”

“Actually, privilege had nothing to do with it. All I had to do was ask. The staff member I spoke to, and in fact the rest of the staff seemed more than happy to respond to my inquiries.”

I heard a faint giggle from somewhere in the back of the classroom. Pagoni turned to glare in the general direction of the laughter. His face seemed a few shades redder.

“You have to admit Professor Pagoni, it is rather peculiar that such attention was paid to Moon Crabs, isn’t it?”

“I…suppose it is” he replied.

“I thought so as well. While visiting the museum, I happened upon something enlightening about Diane’s character. It is tradition for each queen of the Moon to have a statue made in their likeness. All of them are in the national museum of Asimifaros. However, with respect to Queen Diane, there are two statues in storage.”

“Oh?” replied Professor Pagoni.

“Yes. Both are basically identical except for one thing. The second statue features a Moon Crab. According to the curator, Diane commissioned the artist to create the second statue. She apparently preferred the addition, though could not bring herself to get rid of the original. This indicates that she had a particular love of Moon Crabs, if having one in the statue was so important to her.”

“Is that one incident enough to make that sort of conclusion?” said Pagoni. I could tell I had his full attention now.

“Perhaps,” I told him. “But Diane’s love of Moon Crabs can be considered quite true in light of other evidence I managed to uncover. Are you familiar with the excavation of a flooded town in the Jovian state of Thebe?”

His eyebrows furrowed. “I…believe I heard mention of it. Please go on Your Highness.”

I went on to explain to him the nature of the site, its age, and the discovery of the intact journals.

“That’s quite an astounding find Princess Ami, but I don’t see the relevance of it to your line of inquiry.”

“The relevancy lies in the fact that it gave me the idea to see if anyone from Diane’s time period might have employed the same preservation techniques. And, as I discovered, three diplomats of her time period used those same preservation techniques on their own personal journals, journals I found intact among their families.”

“The ambassador to Venus at the time made specific mention of how Queen Diane often greeted her guests with a Moon Crab on her shoulder. Furthermore, Diane seemed to have no problem it being there, or with it moving about on her person. Do you think it very likely that someone who wasn’t extremely comfortable with such creatures would have one on their shoulder so often, or freely allow it to crawl across their body?”

“Well, no.”

“I inferred the same. From the Martian diplomat’s journal, there were reports of that same sort of behavior. Furthermore, the author attested that Moon Crabs freely roamed the halls of the palace, and that the staff allowed them to do so without a second thought.”

“As for the diplomat from our own planet, not only did he also agree upon Diane greeting him with a Moon Crab on her person, he also reported that she left him waiting for nearly an hour because she’d forgotten, and how’d she had been caring for a family of Moon Crabs she kept in the palace. The palace servants he spoke too also reported that she spent a great deal of time there when not ruling. Based on this information, it is quite clear that Queen Diane did in fact had a strong affection for these creatures, which matches her character in the story.”

Professor Pagoni seemed lost for words, but finally asked if any of the items that I’d mentioned could possibly be fake. I responded by informing him of the providence of the museum’s statue, and that while I had not performed a full series of examinations on the journals, the chance that they were forgeries was low.

“So, in summary, thus far it can be established that many of the principal characters of the story were real, historical figures, and that various things that resulted from the story’s conclusion were also quite true, such as the Moon Crab habitat and Diane’s apparently love for the creatures.”

“A most interesting discussion Princess Ami,” said Professor Pagoni. “You’ve done quite well with your research. I see a bright future for you. I hope you can navigate your way out of the university well enough?”

His tone was rushed. “I wasn’t finished Professor,” I told him flatly.

“What?”

“I said that I wasn’t done with reporting my findings.”

Pagoni gave me a disbelieving expression. “I don’t see what else you could possibly have found. I admit you found some….inaccuracies in my own findings.”

By that point I’d started to lose my patience with him. “You’re conclusions were wrong, Professor. Your research was sorely lacking. And your ultimate conclusions were also incorrect.”

“Are you actually suggesting this inane piece of fiction is true?”

I chose not to respond to his question, and merely continued with my presentation. “While I was looking through the Lunar royal archives to verify the authenticity of the various documents I’d cited, I found something quite fascinating.”

I had Adonia bring up the next picture. Professor Pagoni’s face lost some of its color. I heard Adonia shout “No way!”

“This, as you can see, is a land deed written on June 25th, 380 ISY. This would have been the exact same date from the story. It was paid for by Princess Diane. You will also note the name of the person the deed is made out to.”

“That’s impossible,” said Professor Pagoni.

“It’s quite possible and quite real.” I told him. I noticed Adonia still looking at the image with absolute fascination.

“I was assisted by a historian with training as a forensic document examiner. She confirmed that the paper and ink were genuine, as was the language, the signature of the official of the time, and Diane’s signature. On top of that, the boundaries listed on it match exactly those of Cancri Beach, a park that is supposed to be the beach from the story.”

Professor Pagoni was still standing there, silent, failing to form words. Adonai then spoke up. “So this is the deed from the story.”

“Exactly.”

“So do you think it’s possible that Moon Crabs might have been sentient at some point?”

“Ultimately I can’t say yes or no, because there’s nothing to go that other than they aren’t sentient now. However, there is one possible solution to that particular question. It could be possible that Karkinos was simply a homeless woman.”

It was an idea which had occurred to me on the ride over. It can stand as nothing more than theory and speculation, since I don’t have much by way of concrete evidence to back it up. But myths are often based on elements of truth. And the truth of the matter is that Diane as a person was interested in assisting no only orphans, as is often repeated in the story, but the homeless as well. As the research documents showed, she was quite passionate and organized.

I expressed as much to Adonia. Professor Pagoni still seemed to be stunned into silence, having sat down behind his desk, so she took over in leading the discussion in front of the class. She displayed an air of confidence that I think she’d been holding back. If it’s any indication, she will make a fine educator.

“So you think it’s possible that through some sequence of events, a woman with a connection to Moon Crabs became one herself?” asked Adonia.

“It’s certainly possible. After all, myths are often based in elements of truth. You merely have to find what’s true and what was exaggerated.”

“Well Your Highness, you certainly seem to have done that. There are so many elements to this story that are real that I’d say it can be concluded to be a true story and not a fabrication by a third party for political purposes.” She turned to the students. “Class, this is something you should keep in mind when dealing with history. Don’t be so quick to dismiss everything presented in front of you.”

The students nodded, and I saw a few smiles on their faces. I wonder if perhaps they shared a dislike for Professor Pagoni. I’d believe it.

“Thank you Princess Ami for that most enlightening presentation. I think the class learned a great deal here.”

I told Adonia it wasn’t a problem, and she helped me pack my things before I left. The class was almost over at any rate, and I wanted to avoid the crowd. When I left, Professor Pagoni was still sitting at his desk, having moved into a full slump. I hope he didn’t give Adonia any trouble after that.

I am at home now. Father and mother spoke to the head of the university, and are starting an investigation into his behavior. They told me they have every confidence it will bear fruit.

I also found a surprise waiting for me when I arrived home. Makoto had left me a gift. The large box she left had a card that read “I asked your parents and they thought you might like this.”

Inside was a little dark brown Mercurian Hare. A female hare at that, and fairly young, with light green eyes. Along with her came a cage and several basic care items, including several fat carrots.

So I suppose my quest for a pet is over. I have to admit, she is rather adorable. I have decided to name her Ostara. She seems to have a healthy appetite. I must make sure to get a proper collar for her tomorrow.

For now though, I’m quite tired from the events of today. I shall eat a quick dinner and then retire early. The past week has been quite tiring. But it’s been good. All this was well worth the effort.

Still, the week isn’t over yet. I mustn’t forget that Professor Santorini’s exam is still this Friday. So tomorrow will be filled with studying.

End of entry

Please tell me what you think. Do you guys think it's good? Are there any plot issues, characterization issues, or anything? I want to make sure this is good before I pack it up with everything else for proper posting.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   28th October 2015, 9:03 pm

Yay! I've finally caught up. Here are my thoughts: I rather enjoyed everything leading up to Ami basically throwing it all in the face of Professor Pagoni however I feel that the end wasn't really the "end" mostly because it seems there is a lot more that could come from this.

Overall for the entire story, I enjoy the great detail into naming people, places and even animals and the fine detail added of items and small tidbits that go with the general lore behind Sailor Moon. It made it for a very interesting read and I rather liked the set up for the civilizations of the Silver Millennium. I sure hope there is more (maybe not necessarily this specific story) because basically it left me wanting to know more and see other aspects of the world you created. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Tale of Karkinos   29th October 2015, 6:36 am

Small Lady wrote:
Yay! I've finally caught up.  Here are my thoughts: I rather enjoyed everything leading up to Ami basically throwing it all in the face of Professor Pagoni however I feel that the end wasn't really the "end" mostly because it seems there is a lot more that could come from this.

Overall for the entire story, I enjoy the great detail into naming people, places and even animals and the fine detail added of items and small tidbits that go with the general lore behind Sailor Moon. It made it for a very interesting read and I rather liked the set up for the civilizations of the Silver Millennium.  I sure hope there is more (maybe not necessarily this specific story) because basically it left me wanting to know more and see other aspects of the world you created. Smile

Thank you for the compliments, and congrats on catching up. XD Don't worry about details. I do have more stories in mind. And hopefully I can get to them faster then I took me to finish this. XD

As far as what you said about the ending though, do you think I should change it? It was just supposed to be a journal entry and it was the best place I could think to end it without extending it another day, which I wasn't sure would work. Although if you have any ideas, I'm all ears.

I mean, I loved writing this, but at the same time I wanted to finally wrap it up, but I also want it to be the best it can be before I submit it in full, so what were you thinking exactly?
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