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Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Neptune

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime6th September 2015, 6:33 am

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Venus had jumped into the offensive and attacked Kunzite first with her Crescent Beam. He dodged it, though it grazed his shoulder and he didn’t look all too pleased about it. She followed up with her chain, attempting to bring him down, and it took a couple of tries before she managed to trip him up. She used the opportunity to send more light beams to weaken him, but he was a general of the Earth Kingdom for a reason. He was a tough opponent, and not easily taken down. The two exchanged more blows and Venus took a couple hits herself.

She took a quick glance to see how the others were faring. For the most part it seemed like they were all evenly matched, but she still had a card she had yet to play. With Mamoru being there among them, she hoped his presence would trigger the Shitennou’s memories about their true past.

“Please remember, this isn’t really you,” she told Kunzite during a break in their battle. “You used to stand for goodness, you were manipulated by Beryl! Your true master is him, the reincarnation of Prince Endymion, the rightful heir to the throne of the Earth Kingdom.”

At first Kunzite just sneered, dismissing her words, but he couldn’t help but glance at Tuxedo Mask. When he did, something seemed to shift in his eyes. Doubt—Venus was certain of it. For just a moment, he seemed to consider her words, torn between what he knew and this new information.

“You’re all not meant to fight us!” Venus said louder, calling the attention of the rest of the Shitennou as well.

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JupiterThunderCrash
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime2nd October 2015, 6:28 am

[Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 Jupite10

So focused on fighting, Jupiter didn't quite register what Venus was yelling to them until Nephrite started to falter. The dark energy in his hands faded, and he looked...confused? Maybe it was really possible to break them free of Beryl's control and convince them to change sides. She still didn't remember the past, but if the Shitennou could recall it, that would help immensely.

Jupiter took advantage of the opening in Nephrite's defenses, and slammed a bolt of lightning into his chest. Nephrite was thrown back a few feet and rolled to a stop on the ground, and Jupiter closed in on him again. Even if they were brainwashed, as long as the Shitennou were still dangerous, they needed to be subdued. 

"Wake up already!" she said as he stood up again, though he was slower to recover now.
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Lyssarie
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Lyssarie

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime4th October 2015, 3:26 pm

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Mars was so ready to fight by the time the shittenou decided to show themselves that the fire was practically radiating off of her body. She looked back at Tuxedo Mask and said, "Stay back. Don't get in our way."

The senshi of fire launched into battle, finding her counterpart and wasting no time in trying to take him down. "We meet again, Sailor Mars," Jadeite said, sneering. She glared, flames licking her irises, her jaw clenched too tightly to hiss a retort. "Today is your day of destiny, haven't you heard? You'll be returning to the fires of hell where you belong."

Mars released a battle cry of fury before she began throwing fireballs at Jadeite. He evaded her attacks, throwing some back in return. It was a constant back-and-forth of throwing and dodging, hitting and being hit. By the time Venus's cry broke through the tensity of the battle, Mars was almost breathless. Jadeite, the most vulnerable to words out of the shittenou, paused in his assault against her.

"Listen to her, Jadeite. Do you honestly think that the four of us were born to fight against each other?"

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Lyssarie
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Lyssarie

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime6th October 2015, 1:58 pm

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Despite not liking her tone, Tuxedo Mask did as Mars said and stood back during the battle. His eyes watched with trepidation as each senshi engaged into battle with each shittenou. He began to think of all Sailor Venus had told them, and how these shittenou supposedly used to be on their side. What had happened that caused them all to fall for Beryl's tricks? Was her magic truly so strong as to pull his men away from their master?

The battle suddenly seemed to cease for the briefest of seconds as the senshi tried to convince the shittenou that this was not who they really were. Feeling the urge to speak, Tuxedo Mask stepped forward.

"They speak the truth. We men were not meant to fight against each other, but rather to fight alongside each other against people like Beryl!" Tuxedo Mask said. He was surprised by his words and the deeper tone of his voice, but pushed those thoughts aside. He had to help try and convince the shittenou that they were fighting for the wrong team.

It was the only chance they had left to win this war.

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Light
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime6th October 2015, 2:33 pm

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It was hard to see Luna cry. And really, he was at a loss for words. What could he say to comfort her? What would he want to hear in her place?

"I know how you feel, you know," Artemis finally responded. "I wish I were stronger too. I wish I could fight in their place. I wish I could tell them, you can go home now, we'll take care of the rest. You can go back to leading the normal lives that you deserve."

He sighed. "Sometimes destiny is just cruel like that. But I still believe. Those girls were not reborn simply to die again. To repeat the same fate. I'm sure there's a reason for all of this."

"Sailor Moon... As long as she is in everyone's hearts, she will never be truly gone. I'm sure she's watching over the girls right now, lending them her strength. I'm sure she's fighting alongside them, even in spirit, to protect this world she sacrificed herself for. The world she loved enough to do so."

Artemis turned to face the battle again. Venus made an attempt to reason with the Shitennou and bring them back to their senses... And it seemed to have an effect? Maybe they could actually do this. "Remember the past!", he shouted. "Remember the time when you served as honorable knights of the Golden Kingdom!"

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Sailor Neptune
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime13th October 2015, 4:43 am

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The shitennou’s confusion mounted, making them pause in their tracks. The confusion seemed to be hurting them physically—or perhaps mentally—as well. When Tuxedo Mask spoke, they all looked at him, and suddenly something bright shone on their foreheads. What looked like stones materialized there, shining brightly. Their expressions gradually changed from hatred and determination into surprise and horror.

An invisible wave washed past everyone, like a spell being broken. The force of it was enough to knock everyone off their feet momentarily, but upon recovering all four of the generals seemed to be completely different.

“You were… our Prince?” Kunzite said in confusion.

“How did we ever believe otherwise?” Jadeite questioned.

“Someone manipulated us,” Nephrite put in, and as if on cue, the laughter of a woman echoed in the vast chamber.

“Very clever, Princess. You managed to break my spell on them. I am impressed,” she announced as her figure slithered out from the darkness. Venus stared at her grimly. Queen Beryl, the one responsible for all this pain. The one who destroyed the Moon Kingdom in the first place. The one who was the reason Usagi was dead.

Was her memory imperfect, too? If she, too, thought Venus was Serenity, then… Then that was the façade Venus needed to keep up at all costs. Queen Beryl must never know that she had already succeeded. If the enemy found out they had triumphed, all would be lost.

“It doesn’t matter. I don’t need them anymore anyway,” Queen Beryl continued, moving closer toward Venus. “Because I’ve got you.”

Quicker than Venus could ever expect, the queen of darkness grabbed her by the neck and started to squeeze. “Now hand over the Silver Crystal, or die.”

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JupiterThunderCrash
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime21st October 2015, 10:58 am

[Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 Jupite10

Jupiter watched as the shitennou seemed to realize what was going on, and then a strange force knocked them all to the ground, including the senshi. Had their efforts worked? As she recovered and stood up again, the shitennou were acting entirely different. Tuxedo Mask's words had been the tipping point, and they'd been freed them from whatever had been using them in the first place.

As soon as Queen Beryl showed herself, Jupiter's relief disappeared again, replaced by her earlier rage. It was this woman that had forced them all to fight like this. Beryl was responsible for Usagi's death. 

When Beryl grabbed Venus by the neck and demanded the crystal, Jupiter was already running towards her. She refused to let their princess die too!

"Get away from her!" She released a stream of lightning at Queen Beryl, wordlessly suing Supreme Thunder.
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Princess Luna
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime26th October 2015, 2:31 pm

[Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 Luna_zps35a8ccf5

Luna listened to Artemis talking and knew he was right. He felt the same way as she did and she knew he hoped for everything she'd hoped for. She watched as he turned his attention back to the fight and yelled for Venus to remember the past. Losing Usagi had been such a hard thing and she was so scared that they'd lose more of these girls, these girls who were counting on them so much for their guidance. She was afraid that they'd lose without Usagi. She tried to shake those feelings from her head and believe that the girls could win this, that they could save the world. She had to at least try to believe that, otherwise she'd be lost forever in her sadness.

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Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Neptune

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime24th November 2015, 12:14 pm

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She couldn’t hand over the crystal even if she wanted to, which was something that gave Venus comfort. At least if she had to die, Queen Beryl still wouldn’t get the most powerful item in the universe. She struggled as the life was squeezed out of her, but the witch was strong, and she couldn’t even summon her own power.

Then Jupiter’s lightning struck, and Beryl’s grip lessened for just a bit as she shrieked in pain. It was all the chance Venus could ask for. “Holy Sword, come to me!” she called out, her voice hoarse. Yet the sword materialized in her hand as hoped—the one from Silver Millennium, the sword that belonged to the leader of the senshi.

When Beryl was distracted by Jupiter’s attack, Venus swung as quickly and as hard as she could, pushing the blade into the witch’s chest.

Beryl let out a loud scream as the Holy Sword ripped her body apart, and Venus held on until every shred of her disappeared.

When the witch was no more, she felt a momentary peace.

At least Usagi was avenged. Now… to save the world.

The hall they were in rumbled and shook, and as she carefully stepped back, a powerful energy shot out from the floor, destroying part of the room. It appeared before them; its form was nothing more than a writhing mass of energy, exuding the aura of darkness, despair, and evil. It let out what sounded like a laugh, one that sent chills down Venus’ spine.

“I may have underestimated you, Princess. You’ve gotten this far… but can you truly defeat me the way your mother never could before?” the voice asked tauntingly.

Metalia.

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Professor Tomoe
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime25th November 2015, 6:55 am

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Sailor Mercury gasped in horror at the massive dark energy looming above them. So this was their most powerful enemy, Metalia.

There was no time for her to stand and gawk. One hand touched the side of her Mercury Googles, adjusting settings as she scanned the area. Then her fingers flew across the keyboard of the Mini Supercomputer, collecting and calculating the data therein. It flashed past her eyes, a flowing river of information. This was what the Princess had asked her to do—to find a weak spot. That was her most important role in this final mission.

She didn't have time to think about Usagi. She didn't have time to think about how much she missed her dearest friend, the only person to reach out to her in her loneliness. She didn't have time to think about how awful and too soon such a brilliant life had been snuffed out. She didn't have time to remember that smiling face, the way it shined on her with cheerfulness and confidence. She didn't have time to reflect on how she felt her best by Usagi's side. She didn't have time to think about the gaping and terrible hole in her life now that that person was gone.

Yet the blonde girl was a ghost in her mind, a memory she could not escape.

Her duty was to the Princess. Her heart, that belonged to Usagi.

Sailor Mercury's computer beeped twice, urgently. She glanced at the screen and called out to Sailor Venus, hoping that their Princess would hear and understand her message. This is the weak spot. This is where our attacks must be concentrated.

"The mark on her forehead!"
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Lyssarie
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Lyssarie

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime11th December 2015, 5:55 pm

[Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 SailorMars_zps9021fab6

Mars felt her muscles relax when the shittenou suddenly seemed to remember who they really were. With the four men on their side, now they would have an even greater chance of defeating Beryl once and for all. 

And avenging Usagi.

Mars's blood boiled as she remember it was the shittenou's fault Usagi was dead, but she pushed that anger behind her and turned her attention back to Venus for their next move. Before Mars could blink, Beryl was there, holding Venus's neck in her hand. That fury that Mars had pushed back was rising back to the surface, and flames began to lick the air from her hands. But Jupiter beat her to it, and suddenly Beryl was screaming as a blade was thrust through her body.

Where did Venus get that sword? 

It would be a question for later, Mars decided. She ran to Venus, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Are you alright?" she asked, looking at the girl's neck for any marks. If Beryl weren't already dead, Mars would be burning her to a crisp. 

Mars's body stiffened as she sensed a dark presence stronger than any she had ever felt before. She immediately positioned herself in front of Venus, ready to fight whatever this malevolent presence was. 

And then it was there, and everything made sense. This was what brainwashed the shittenou. This was what gave Beryl her tremendous power. This was the true reason behind Usagi's death. 

At Mercury's call, Mars shot into action, her hands exploding into flame. "Fire Soul!" The ball of fire was aimed straight for the mark on Metalia's forehead, just like Mercury said, but Mars could only hope that it made its mark.

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JupiterThunderCrash
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime12th December 2015, 1:45 pm

There was nothing more satisfying than watching their princess run Queen Beryl through with a sword, finally avenging the events that had passed years ago. But before there was even time to celebrate the victory, the room exploded with a dark power. Jupiter didn't need a sensor to tell that this was far worse than Beryl. This must be Metalia...

Jupiter struggled to stay standing under the oppressive aura of the otherworldly being as it spoke to Venus. This was what the Queen had sealed away long ago? But no matter how powerful Metalia looked, it had to have a weakness, right? As soon as Mercury pointed out the strange diamond mark on Metalia's forehead, Jupiter started to charge another attack, throwing her all into it. 

"Supreme Thunder!" Her bolt of green lightning joined Mars' fireball as they collided with their foe.
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Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Neptune

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime23rd December 2015, 11:25 pm

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Mars was suddenly beside her, and as she had so many times in the past few days, Venus felt grateful for her. If things had been different… Mars would have been her second-in-command. Together they would have protected the real princess and Mars’ unquestionable devotion would have been invaluable. She cried inside for the way her fellow senshi had been denied that. All of them had been denied the chance to serve the rightful princess.

She just nodded reassuringly, squeezing Mars’ hand in gratitude and support as they both stood facing the greatest evil the earth had ever seen. This was it; she was standing on the precipice of the world. The moment of truth. They would either win or die along with the rest of the world.

She had thought it impossible to win, but Mercury’s sudden cry gave her hope. Venus’ gaze moved toward the mark in question. Could it be…? Did Metalia had a weak spot, too? Maybe if they just gave it their all… they would have a chance.

The others understood Mercury as well. Mars and Jupiter attacked in succession, and Venus didn’t hesitate to add her own. “Crescent Beam!!” she cried, putting as much power behind the attack as possible and aiming it straight for the mark.

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Light
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime31st December 2015, 7:52 am

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It all seemed to happen too fast. Not that there was anything he could do, either way.

As soon as Beryl's magic on the Shittenou wore off, the dark queen appeared herself and grabbed Venus from the neck before anyone could react. Thankfully, Jupiter went on the offensive immediately, and Beryl was distracted long enough for Venus to summon the Holy Sword and deliver the final blow.

It was quiet for a moment. It even felt rather easy.

But in the end, Beryl was not the real enemy, was she?

The dark aura that permeated the atmosphere at that moment was sickening. That sun demon that was responsible for everything - past and present - was finally before them.

It was time for the true final battle to begin.

Always the strategic fighter, Mercury immediately used her computer and managed to find a weak spot on the monster. "The mark on her forehead!" The rest of the girls picked up on her cry immediately and combined their attacks on their target.

Momentarily, he felt a glimmer of hope, until the grim reality began to creep in his mind. This was the demon that Queen Serenity herself, with the power of the Silver Crystal, could not seal away for good. Was there any chance that basic elemental magic would do what the Queen could not?

The Crystal Tower...

Maybe... Just maybe... Perhaps the Queen could help them even now.

"Luna," he silently called out for his fellow advisor and guardian as the battle raged on.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime31st December 2015, 8:15 am

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Sailor Mercury's eyes tracked the readouts on the screen of her Mini Supercomputer, watching as her comrades attacked the horrible thing before them. So far she remained confident in her analysis. The mark on Metalia's forehead changed colour on her display as each sailor soldier sent offensive maneuvers forward.

And her thoughts remained on Usagi. Usagi, who should have been here with them. Usagi, who would have found the strength to believe in this battle even when things looked as terrifying as they were now. For Usagi, she had to believe. She had to fight. She had to protect their world, alongside their princess.

Sailor Mercury conjured her attack, aiming at the same spot as the other sailor soldiers. Her blue eyes were closed, her concentration trained on using the power bestowed upon her by her namesake planet.

Please, she begged. For Usagi.
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime8th January 2016, 5:43 am

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Four different colored lights hit the mark. Red, blue, green, and yellow. Venus looked around, automatically searching for another person, someone else who could help them.

But there was no one.

To the side, the Shitennou’s bodies were slowly evaporating, with only four gems remaining in their place. She stared in confusion and panic. She had been hoping they could help, too… but it seemed their fates were tied to Beryl. The queen of darkness must have made sure that if she were to fall, none of them would survive either, ensuring that they would always live only to serve her.

And soon, the senshi would fall, too.

Despite the seemingly powerful energy they had gathered, Metalia just laughed. In the next second, an energy twice as strong as the one the senshi had pooled hit them with a destructive force and threw them backwards, sending their battered bodies careening across the vast empty space. Venus cried out in pain as she hit the wall, realizing that her fear was coming true.

Their powers weren’t enough.

“You can’t stop me,” the menacing voice that seemed to be nowhere and everywhere taunted them. “You couldn’t before, and you can’t now.”

Metalia’s darkness was spreading, growing. If they couldn’t stop her, she was going to devour the world.

There was only one thing left to do.

“Everyone! We have to use our planetary power. Our power to transform… our very essence… all of it.” Venus raised her transformation pen in the air, her hand shaking yet her voice steady. “It’s the only way to stop her.”

She hoped the other girls understood what it meant—that they would be giving up their lives in the process.

And for the sake of the world, Venus hoped they were willing.

Forgive me, everyone.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime8th January 2016, 5:19 pm

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They couldn't do it.

They didn't have enough strength.

Mercury breathed jaggedly from her crumpled position where the blast had thrown her, lungs screaming and ribs aching. She could barely move. She couldn't stand. She could only lay there, sprawled out across the desolate wasteland, feeling and hearing that awful darkness looming above them. Every part of her body throbbed with pain. And so did her heart.

Usagi... She could feel the tears leaking from her blue eyes, freezing on her face.

She was going to help save this world for Usagi. It's what the blonde had fought so hard trying to do. It was the best way to honor her memory; the best way to make sure that her death had not been in vain. But this was what it came to. In the end, they couldn't do it.

All Mercury could do now... was give up. Usagi never would have given up.

At first she didn't hear the Princess, so wrapped up in her own concerns, but then she realized what the young woman was suggesting. In that distant kingdom on the Moon, Sailor Mercury had devoted her life to the Princess—to serving and protecting her. Mercury had followed this sailor soldier through so much. She was not about to slack in her duties now.

She knew it was what Usagi would have wanted. Maybe they would be reunited, somewhere, in the world beyond this one. That was what she hoped as she reached out her hand and closed her fingers around the cool barrel of her transformation pen.

Whatever it would take to defeat Metalia, Sailor Mercury would gladly give every last atom of her planetary power to do so.

"Mercury Power!"
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JupiterThunderCrash
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime10th January 2016, 2:44 pm

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The backlash of energy Metallia threw at them in response tossed Jupiter across the room like a rag doll. She rolled to a painful stop, unable to overcome how much it hurt to even shift position. Was this how it was going to end? None of their attacks had even been effective, so what else could they possibly do? She didn't want to give up, but Jupiter was struggling with what to do next beyond lay here in a haze of pain and wait to be finished off.

Usagi... She had wanted to do this for her so badly, for everyone on Earth, but it was impossible now. Incredibly, Venus had not given in yet. And if their princess thought they could still win, then Jupiter would just have to dig deeper and give everything she had left. Slowly, she forced herself to stand up again, even when the room was still spinning a little, and held up her transformation pan. Her eyes fell closed in concentration, pulling on her very last reserves to give for the cause.

"Jupiter Power!"
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Princess Luna
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime11th January 2016, 8:44 am

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Luna watched as the magic wore off of the Shittennou. And Beryl finally appeared. The girls fought off Beryl so Venus could use the holy sword. She saw Venus use the sword for the final blow with Beryl. It was calm for a moment, almost too calm. It seemed maybe they could win this, but soon Metallia appeared.

She watched as the girls tried their hardest to attack her with combined power. Mercury figured out where they should attack, she had always been the smart one, figuring out the enemies weaknesses was important, but could they really win with just that? 

Soon she heard Artemis call to her. She looked at him and it seemed he had an idea. "Artemis, what is going through your mind?"

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime12th January 2016, 2:30 am

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As expected... It didn't work. It wasn't good enough. The girls, on Venus' request, turned to the last resort - their very planetary powers. But that...

"No... It can't end this way. Not again!" he cried out, as Luna came to his side.

"Luna! There is nothing we can do here. But maybe, there is one last way we can help. We have to go to the Moon. The prayer room of the Moon Castle..." He trailed off for a bit, taking a glance at Venus. There wasn't much time.

"Isn't that what the Queen had told us once? The Tower of Prayer... If anything should ever threaten the planet, or those we love, pray to the tower and the Moon will give us its protection."

"We have no time to lose. We need to go, now! It's our last hope!"

Artemis rushed to the castle gate, hoping Luna would follow him as well. There was no time to discuss this any further. It was still shut tightly, and teleporting to the Moon might not work without a clear opening to the sky... But on closer inspection, there seemed to be small cracks at the side, possibly caused by haywire attacks from the chaos before. They weren't large, but they were enough for a feline his size to crawl through.

As he managed to make his way out, he glanced at the night sky. There were no clouds, but the Moon seemed a bit darker than usual. Nervously, he turned his gaze back to the castle gate, waiting for Luna to come through as well.

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Princess Luna
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime26th January 2016, 10:47 am

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Luna listened to Artemis. His thought was smart, the prayer room in the moon castle. It could be their best bet. They were told once, a long time ago, by the Queen to go there to pray for people they cared about if they were ever in danger. They were told the tower would give them protection. Artemis yelled that they needed to go now, they were running out of time. 

Luna followed Artemis to the castle gate. She followed him through a small crack so they could look at the night sky. It would help them get to the moon. She finally caught up with Artemis and saw that the moon seemed darker, less vibrant, maybe it was because of Queen Metallia or maybe it was because the real princess was dead. Luna was unsure of the cause but it was unsettling. "Artemis let's go. There's no time to lose!"

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime1st February 2016, 11:19 pm

As Artemis and Luna prayed at the moon, the prayer tower that used to be in ruins began to grow back to its former glory, tall and shining bright.

Down in the battlefield, Mars and Venus prepared to call forth the last of their powers as well, when suddenly a pillar of light appeared, cutting through the darkness, and landed in their midst.

Usagi—no, Sailor Moon’s—form appeared, translucent but shining, incorporeal yet beautiful. Her smile was serene and gentle, as if knowing all their troubles and ready to give them reprieve.

In her hands she carried a crescent moon wand, upon which sat a lotus-shaped silver crystal.

“It’s okay, everyone. No one has to die today,” she spoke, her voice hauntingly beautiful, echoing in the vast space. “Except for our enemy, whom we will defeat.”

She raised her wand to the sky. “Everyone! Send your powers to me, and we will defeat this evil once and for all!”

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime2nd February 2016, 5:25 am

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She would have screamed Usagi's name if she had the energy remaining. She could only lay there, feeling the tears streaming down her face. Ragged breathing raised her chest in shallow motions. Sailor Mercury no longer reflected on the difficulties of this battle. The only thing she cared about right now was that Usagi was here. Mercury knew that somehow she was going to save this world.

If there was anyone she could believe in, it was Usagi.

Please, she prayed. Send all of my power to her. Protect her. I tried to protect her before, and I failed, but this time I will not hesitate. Every atom of my power and my life is devoted to her.

She stared up at the light that held the form of her first and dearest friend, feeling the tears drip down the curves of her cheeks. Right now, Sailor Mercury would believe that girl could do anything. She was ready to witness a miracle.
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JupiterThunderCrash
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime2nd March 2016, 2:44 pm

Jupiter almost collapsed again when the light pillar appeared. Was it another attack, meant to finish them off before they could even struggle? No, this felt different. The white light revealed a figure that she thought she'd never see again. 

"U-usagi..." Her eyes locked onto the ghostly mirage of Sailor Moon, as if she had never fallen from the tower. She had come back, right when they needed her most, and the wand she held in her hands radiating a warm energy. Without hesitation, Jupiter instead gave her power to Sailor Moon, already trusting in her words. She knew how close they all still were to death themselves, but Jupiter somehow found peace in the sight before her. 

They had failed Sailor Moon, but she had not failed them.
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Princess Luna
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime5th March 2016, 9:23 am

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Luna's eyes widened as she saw the ghostly form of Sailor Moon, promising to defeat their enemy. She promised that no one else had to die tonight. Luna had been unsure as to how their prayers would be answered, but this was the power of the silver crystal. It's power was amazing, strong enough to even semi raise the dead. Luna smiled at the ghost of a girl and prayed that even her powers could be sent to the ghostly form of Sailor Moon. "Thank you, Sailor Moon." Luna whispered, almost to herself as tears filled her eyes once more. She wished things could be different, but at least Sailor Moon could be here to help save the others.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime6th March 2016, 1:08 pm

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Venus was about ready to give everything she had left and accept failing the world for a second time when the miracle happened.

The pillar of light… that familiar form… she gasped in disbelief and choked on a sob when Sailor Moon’s figure suddenly stood in front of them. Was she really here? Was this a dream?

But it wasn’t the unsure, crybaby, yet extremely loyal Usagi anymore that stood among them. It was the princess. The true one. Usagi’s eyes landed on her and in them Venus saw understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, and even support. She almost broke down right then and there—would have been an entirely useless crying heap if the world didn’t hang in the balance.

Her heart lifted when she recognized what Sailor Moon was wielding. The Crescent Moon Wand… and the Silver Crystal.

Venus had no idea how or why this was happening, but she knew there was only one thing to do. In that moment, she discarded her role as princess and stepped back into that of a senshi, a guardian, a protector and warrior. She simply followed her princess’ order, and with a new lightness in her heart, she channeled all of her power toward Sailor Moon.

As Mars’ joined in as well, a powerful blast rocked the room, Metalia cried in anguish, and everything exploded into whiteness.

A couple seconds of silence passed as Venus attempted to regain her bearings.

The Dark Kingdom palace was gone, and they were now all lying on the white snow of D-Point, with nothing else within sight to see.

At first, she was afraid Sailor Moon was gone, too, but she stood there still, the only one who had not fallen in the aftermath of the blast.

Only now she was no longer Sailor Moon. A crescent moon symbol marked her forehead, and a flowing white dress wrapped around her figure. The Silver Crystal still shone upon her Crescent Moon Wand.

Princess Serenity.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime6th March 2016, 3:46 pm

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When Mercury opened her eyes, the mere act of doing so disoriented her. What... how? She should be dead. Did this mean it hadn't been enough? As her vision slowly adjusted, she saw that the sky looked light and clear, no longer besmirched with the evil darkness. The snowflakes that drifted down fell lightly on her body, soft and chill. Had Usagi...no, Sailor Moon—managed to do it somehow? Had she defeated Metallia and saved the world?

Her thoughts focused so much on her fallen blonde friend that she almost thought she could see the girl. She could imagine the long pigtails wafting in the gentle breeze of this wintry place, no longer a blizzard but simply a picturesque snow scene. Ami felt the tears in her eyes; she could imagine that figure so vividly—she almost thought that she really and truly saw the kindhearted girl, snatched from their lives too soon...

No. She was wrong; she did see her!

Sailor Mercury sat up hastily, numb to any pain from the abrupt action, her mouth open in shock.

Usagi...!

Her brow furrowed, thoughts confused at what she saw. This time the Crescent Moon Wand looked different. A shimmering gem that positively glowed with white light sat within the curve of the golden crescent moon. Could that be...? She gasped, understanding now the white dress, the pearl and gold jewelry, and the mark that shined on the young woman's forehead—the mark they had seen on Sailor Venus. But Venus was visible to Mercury beyond that form, looking as shocked as she herself felt, and now her forehead lacked that golden moon.

"Princess... Serenity?" Mercury gasped, confused and awed at what she saw.

How could that be possible? Usagi was... the Princess? But wasn't...? She glanced again at the other blonde with the red hair-ribbon, emotions roiling inside of her. Mercury, normally the logical one of the group, felt thoroughly unable to solve this equation. Or maybe she was simply afraid of the answer.
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime14th March 2016, 2:19 am

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Even though he knew Queen Serenity's words would not prove to be false, he still did not know what exactly to expect. To see the Crystal Tower fully restored through the power of prayer... He paused in awe momentarily. But this was not over yet. He continued to pray with all of his heart.

A bright light emerged from the tower and engulfed the two cats. Taking a glance at Luna, he could make out a transparent figure. There was a holy aura surrounding her. It was as if she had resonated and become one with her charge, the true Moon Princess.

Within the crystals of the tower, they could witness the scene unfolding on the Earth. Sailor Moon's promise that no one has to die tonight, that their enemy would be defeated...

Before he could do anything else, the light teleported the two cats straight back to the battlefield. Only, this time there was only snow. The Dark Kingdom castle was gone. Metalia was gone. And Princess Serenity - the real one - was standing in the middle of it all.

The battle was truly over, once and for all.

He glanced around for a bit, taking in the confused gazes of the girls, before he proceeded to take his place next to Venus, noticing that her crescent mark had now been replaced by her regular tiara. The façade was over. He offered her a small nod, as if reassuring her that everything is going to be okay now, and looked at the princess, bowing his head in respect.

"Thank you for answering our prayers, Princess," he addressed her, at the same time confirming what the girls had probably already realized.

___________________________

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Sailor Neptune
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime18th March 2016, 9:42 am

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For a moment, Venus thought she was dead.

It was so cold… it had to be death, right? And at this point, it would be welcome… if only she knew whether they had failed or succeeded.

There was warmth amidst the cold. Usagi’s.

She hadn’t dreamed that, had she? Usagi had really appeared, right?

Venus forced herself to open her eyes, to see for herself.

No, not Usagi. Princess Serenity.

The princess appeared in all her glory, in her true form. Venus’ hand instinctively reached up to her own forehead and found a solid metal tiara there where previously there was not.

So the ruse was over, then.

“Usagi!” she cried, jumping up and running into Serenity’s arms. The princess welcomed her, solid and warm and forgiving, a smile on her face. Tears ran down Venus’ cheeks as she embraced her princess’ body tightly, afraid that if she let go, it would disappear. She sobbed openly as Serenity patted her back and murmured comforting words in her ears.

“You’ve done well, Venus. It’s all over now…”

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” Venus sobbed. “I was supposed to protect you… but I got you killed instead.”

“Ssh… it’s okay. It’s over now.”

Venus wiped her tears and managed to pull away just enough to see the others, no doubt wanting explanations. Her judgment day had finally come. But at least she had saved the world. If this was the price she was supposed to pay, then she would gladly pay it. It was the least she could do after all the sins she had committed.

Venus knelt on one knee and bowed her head solemnly. “I present to you the true princess of the Moon Kingdom, Princess Serenity.”

Her eyes found Artemis, and she smiled sadly. At least if in the end everyone hated her, she would always have a friend in him.

___________________________

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Professor Tomoe

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Title : Formerly Aurae; The Galaxy Cauldron Forums' Official Professor Tomoe
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dead Ringer   [Advanced] Dead Ringer - Page 3 I_icon_minitime18th March 2016, 10:26 am

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Mercury felt the tears in her eyes, cold as the water she could control, as she watched the one who claimed to be the princess embrace the true Princess Serenity, the one she had known instead as her cheerful classmate Usagi. But... they...

Only now did Sailor Mercury realize that on the day they thought they had protected their princess, keeping her safe from Kunzite's attack, did she understand how deeply they had failed her. Usagi... Sailor Moon... she was always the most important one of their team. That light in her heart that you could see in her smile. The wand that she used, her ability to heal... how had Mercury not noticed any of that before? How did she miss—she, the incredibly intelligent "girl genius"—fail to connect the numerous and simple clues indicating that the Princess Serenity they were sworn to protect was among them the entire time?

"Why... why did you...?" her broken words were directed to Venus, the pretender.

Mercury, ever the reasonable one, could understand the way the lie began. It was a tactic to keep the true princess safe. But why, WHY had it continued after that horrible accident? The fake Princess had kept her crown and her identity all the way to the final battle, while knowing that she would be unable to find or use the Silver Crystal and unable to defeat the creature. Sailor Mercury trusted her, relied on her, believed in her. She pushed back thoughts of Usagi's tragic death always thinking that this was all for their princess and their mission, but their princess was already dead.

She witnessed that Sailor Venus repented the way the guardians had failed their charge, and Mercury didn't hold the blonde responsible for what had happened in that awful fight, but everything else—everything that followed—confused and horrified her.
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