The Dark Side of the Moon
On a quiet early Friday afternoon, the mighty sun sent his loving light rays to the planet Earth. Observers scrutinized the sky in search of clouds, but they could find none. The air was fresh and clean and the birds expressed their gratitude by chirping sweetly.
Many people would describe a day like this a beautiful day, but Lisa Wood found no joy in it. Her seat was next to the window, so the hot sun shined directly on her, and the noisy birds distracted her from her learning process. Any peaceful qualities that the day displayed had an adverse reaction on Lisa. Today she found out her score on the English exam, a 95. Though it was an excellent grade, to her it meant nothing at all; some one else has received a perfect score. It was her rival, the only person other than Melvin who came close to her level of achievement, the one whom she envied and admired at the same time.
The bell rang, signaling the end of class, but Lisa didn’t move. Her next class was in the same room and she already had her materials out. Instead, she looked at her reflection in the window. Her shoulder length hair was neither fine nor thick, but in of itself seemed uninteresting. Her brown eyes were alluring, and if she had smiled she would have seen two rows of perfect teeth. None of these attractive features were important to her, though, because they were all dwarfed by her imperfection. Covering the upper right of her face surrounding was a large blotch of darkened skin. The birthmark had been there ever since she was born and was a permanent part of her. No amount of makeup could cover it, nor was there any surgery available to make it go away. Her thoughts were broken by the sound of light, graceful footsteps approaching her. Few of the students walked in such a manner unless they were trying to sneak up on her. She tore herself away from her reflection to see who it was.
Amy Anderson, her rival, was coming toward her.
“Hello, Lisa,” she greeted warmly.
Lisa reciprocated the salutation. “Hi, Amy.” Her thoughts were of a different nature. She’s probably coming over here to gloat about her test score.
“I have something for you.” Amy handed Lisa a folded slip of colored paper and started to walk away. There was an elaborate design on the front, piquing Lisa’s curiosity. She opened the piece of paper and began to read the fancy lettering.
You have been invited to Amy Anderson’s birthday party. Why not come and join in on the fun? Date: Monday, September 10. Time: 8:00 p.m.--11:00 p.m. Place: Mariner Drive. R.S.V.P...
Lisa stopped reading in disbelief. The girl who she had seen as her academic adversary invited her to a party. She had been invited to a party only once before, when she was a young child, which had ended in a fight between her and another child. Ever since, Lisa had viewed parties as a waste of time, one of the many useless chores of being a social butterfly. Now, though, she was re-evaluating that conception, and started to wonder what her homework would be for Monday night so she could do it in advance. She happened to look up from the invitation and Amy was at the doorway, about to leave the room.
“Amy!” Amy stopped and turned around. “I’ll see you on Monday.”
The cool twilight air sent a breeze that brought relief to Lisa. She was hot with anxiety and her only relief came from the passing of the air on the wet skin exposed by her red dress. With her neatly wrapped gift in hand, she rang the doorbell. A few seconds later, the door was opened by Amy.
“Welcome, Lisa,” Amy greeted. “I’m so glad to see you. Come in.” Lisa stepped inside, and was assaulted by loud, popular music. A sea of moving bodies occupied the space that Lisa assumed was Amy’s living room, none of them dressed as formally as she was. “Is there anything I can get you? Snacks? Juice? Water?”
“No, thank you,” she answered. Amy led her through the human forest to four girls who were standing against a wall to her right. Lisa remembered two of them as classmates. One was Serena White, a person as notorious for being late as Amy was for her good grades. The other girl was Lita Hightower, a tall, strong Amazon with a reputation for getting into fights. But Lisa had never seen the other two before, though one was a dead ringer for the fictional Sailor V.
Amy stated, “You already know Serena, and Lita.”
“Hi,” Lisa said as she extended her hand, but neither of the two put forth their hands so she quickly put hers back at her side.
“I like the dress,” Serena complimented. “It’s so...formal.”
“Thank you,” Lisa replied with uncertainty.
Amy continued her introduction. “And this is Mina and Raye.” She gestured to the blonde and a raven-haired teenager.
“Nice to meet you.” Both of them were dressed casually, but they were cosmetically correct, the colors in their outfits perfectly coordinated. Lisa had forgotten their names as soon as she heard them, though their faces were embedded in her memory.
“Amy, this is for you.” Lisa handed Amy her present.
“Thank you,” Amy said. She walked to a nearby pile and put the box with the others.
“I think I’d better go mingle,” Lisa announced, using any excuse she could to remove herself from this group.
“You do that,” the blonde said with a smile, seeming just as eager to put distance between the two of them. Lisa walked away, hoping that she could indeed meet some new people. With the exceptions of Amy, Serena, and Lita, she didn’t know anyone there. But most of the people she approached were either heavily engaged in conversation, or pretended to be occupied with other affairs. She ended up standing against the far wall. She tried to listen in on the other conversations, but there were too many of them for her to focus on one. She then noticed Amy and her group moving toward the back room. Lisa followed them and stood outside the door which had remained open. She decided to listen to what they were saying, having nothing else better to do. Serena was the one who spoke first.
“So, Amy, are you going with us tomorrow night?”
Amy replied, “I don’t know. I’m only three chapters ahead in algebra.”
Serena’s eyes widened in disbelief and Lisa’s ears perked. The latter had no idea Amy was so far ahead. Lisa normally read a chapter ahead of the teacher’s lesson plans, or two at the most. But three chapters was further than Lisa had expected even Melvin to go.
Serena spoke what was on the minds of the others. “Only? You’re going to shrivel up if you don’t get out. Besides, this is the premiere of ‘Mentally Impaired.’”
“Okay, I guess.” Amy started to talk some more, but Lisa didn’t hear a word she said. She looked to the floor, letting herself drown in her thoughts. I can’t beat her in the academic circle, and I sure can’t beat her in the social circle. I knew coming to this party was a waste of time.
“Hey!” a voice from above shouted. Lisa looked up to see a well-dressed male standing over her. “Are you okay?”
“I’m all right,” she responded.
“Then why don’t you get out there and dance.”
“I...” She searched her mind for an excuse. “I don’t have a partner.”
“I’ll be your partner.” Those words gave her delight until she recalled one tiny detail. She didn’t know how to dance.
“Thank you, but I really...” She started to retreat from the young man. Out of the corner of her eye she observed a blond streak coming toward her. Before she knew it, Serena was behind her, offering some words of encouragement.
“Come on,” she urged. “Go out there! You can’t sit around all night.” With Serena at her back, ensuring that she wouldn’t escape, Lisa found herself slowly being forced onto the dance floor. Suddenly, she was in the midst of a human swarm. She froze in awe of its power, until the words of her partner reached her ear.
“Aren’t you going to dance?”
Lisa knew she had to do something, so she carefully watched the others move their body in time with the music, their actions fluid and effortless. She tried to mimic them, but instead of producing the fluent language of dance her movements were jerky and off-beat, resulting in numerous stares directed at her. Fortunately, the next song had a slower beat, so she wouldn’t have to try as hard to stay in rhythm. But the young man she danced with held her tightly and close to his body, and she started to feel uncomfortable. She squirmed until he released her all too quickly, making her lose her balance. She hit the ground in a thud, prompting an eruption of laughter from everyone. Serena. Her partner. Even Amy chuckled a little at the sight, before she straightened herself up. As Lisa stood up, the back of her dress was covered with dirt, which she promptly wiped off with her hand.
And the laughter was all she heard the rest of the time she was there.
“So you had a good time?”
“Yeah, I had a good time.” Lisa had said that sentence for the second time tonight, first to her father who had picked her up and now to her mother at home. It was too difficult to keep up the falsehood for much longer, and she could hear her voice quiver when she spoke. “I’m feeling a little tired. May I go to bed?”
“Why, of course! You don’t have to ask. Good night, Lisa.”
“Good night, Mom” She slowly climbed the stairs to her room, removing the happy expression she had attached to her face for the sake of her parents. Once she got inside her room she shut the door behind her quietly, not wanting to raise her parents suspicions. It was rare for her to lie to her parents; in fact she couldn’t remember having doing so before. Still, they wouldn’t be able to understand what had happened tonight. No one knew how despondent she felt at the moment. Her eyes felt watery, as though they were poorly constructed dams ready to burst open. She managed to take off her dress and makeup before the mist in her eyes clouded her vision. After performing her nightly ritual of brushing her teeth, washing her face, and setting her hair in rollers, she put on her pajamas and laid on her bed face up, giving a futile effort to hold back the tears.
Then the first tear rolled out of her eye and down her face. She didn’t even try to wipe it off as another one streamed down the other side of her face. Soon, two rivulets of tears flowed from her eyes to the sides of her face, ending near the edge of her jaw. She turned over and buried her face into the pillow, trapping the drops of sadness and loneliness in the cloth. Why? she asked herself. Why can’t I be like everybody else? Why am I always laughed at? Why me? No one cares. No one.
I do, a silky alto voice replied.
“Huh,” Lisa said in surprise. She thought she was alone. She lifted her head, looking around for any signs of another person in the room. Upon finding nothing, she put her head back on the pillow and let the darkness overwhelm her. It was comforting, cool, not like the harsh light that exposed everything. Darkness was welcome, for it made her feel less alone and more at home.
You don’t need them, the familiar voice said.
“Who are you?” Lisa was now standing on thin air, surrounded by total darkness.
A friend, Lisa. A true friend. The voice seemed to come from all directions at once. I won’t desert you, unlike them.
“How can I trust you? Are you my conscience?”
All you need is yourself, Lisa.
“I don’t understand.”
All you need is yourself...and me. With those words a low buzz filled the air, growing louder and louder, causing Lisa to disappear from this area. She tried to fight the noise, but it was too strong for her to resist and ripped her from the precious darkness. The next thing she knew, she was back in bed and her alarm clock sounded off. Shutting the alarm off, she looked at the time-- 6:31 a.m. The clock must have been broken; she had only closed her eyes for a moment. How had eight hours passed so quickly, so easily slipping by without notice? She decided to get up and check the other clocks in the house, and they all read nearly the same time. It took the pre-dawn light to convince her that she had fallen asleep and that it was time to get ready for school.
That was a weird dream, Lisa thought as she entered the bathroom to prepare herself for school.
When Lisa arrived home at fifteen minutes past three, she felt even worse than she had the night before. Her appearance at the party was the talk of the day at school, and much of what her fellow students had to say about her was cruel at best. All she could hear were snickers whenever she walked by a group of students, followed by riotous laughter after people thought she was out of earshot. Worst of all, she had received a 96 on her algebra test, only to see that Amy had gotten another perfect paper.
Amy. The cause of all her problems. If Lisa had never heard the name Amy Anderson, she would be so happy right now. But Amy’s name seemed to follow her like an unwelcome shadow. Amy was always the perfect one, the pretty one, the popular one. And what was Lisa? Number two. The first loser. She was the quiet one, the strange one, the ugly one. No matter how much she studied, how hard she tried, she always ended being number two. Why couldn’t she be number one? She poured her entire life into school, but what did it get her? It earned her the honor of being the first person Amy could laugh at when she received the CJHS Award for Academic Excellence, the middle school equivalent of the title of valedictorian.
But the party had been the last straw. At first, Lisa had accepted Amy’s invitation, thinking her motives were genuinely cordial. When she arrived at the party, she realized she would never fit in with Amy and her friends. They were too superficial, concerned with their own appearances and evaluating everyone else’s. The incident on the dance floor was the wake-up call Lisa needed. Amy and her friends has set this entire plan up to make her look like a fool. She couldn’t believe her classmate would stoop so low.
Lisa looked around for her parents, expecting them to ask her how her day went at school. Of course, she would say everything was fine, whether the cafeteria blew up or if the richest man in the world visited the school. She found a note on the refrigerator held up by a heart-shaped magnet. Her mother wrote that she and her husband had to get his car repaired and the two wouldn’t be back for a while. Upon reading this, Lisa tried to complete her algebra homework, but the problems were more complicated that they had seemed at first glance and her parents returned home. After a short conversation with them she went up to her room, closing the door so she wouldn’t be distracted by the television downstairs.
She was working on an algebra problem that required the use of the quadratic formula. It was more time consuming than difficult, since she kept making so many mistakes. Finally, in frustration, she slammed the textbook shut and placed her paper beside it on her desk. She decided to stare at the blue wall in front of her to clear her mind.
I’m here Lisa. That seductive voice had returned.
At first, Lisa thought she was dreaming and got up to get a drink of water. She stopped in her tracks, thinking that if she were dreaming, she wouldn’t be thirsty. She then remembered she was once hungry in a dream because she hadn’t eaten dinner before retiring to bed. So she began to move again and in the first step she took she bumped her toe against the edge of the desk.
“Ow!” she yelled uncontrollably, prompting her father to come to the bottom of the staircase.
“Are you okay up there?” he asked, his voice filled with concern.
“I’m all right,” she replied after hobbling to the door. She watched him go back to the family room, then returned to her seat, shutting the door behind her. At least she wasn’t dreaming, and she hoped she wasn’t...
Could this voice in her head just be a figment of her imagination? Was it some secret part of her that was trying to come out? If she found out she was mentally ill, she would actually feel better. After all she didn’t think she could handle it if the voice were real.
But what if it were?
Don’t ignore me, Lisa. We have a lot to talk about.
Talk about what? She had meant to say those words aloud, but somehow she knew that whoever this voice was could read her mind, if it were not inside it.
Your abilities. The ones you were born with.
This mental conversation began to scare her. I don’t have any powers.
You don’t? Let me see if I can help you tap into those resources. Imagine, Lisa, a terrible monster. Focus on every detail, every fang, every claw. Hold that image in your mind.
Lisa obeyed the voice, closing her eyes and imagining a monster. First an outline of the creature appeared, looking a lot like a wire frame picture. Then came the details. The being had a humanoid stance and physiology, but the resemblance between this beast and man ended there. White fur covered the entire body, from head to tail. The tail, as long as one of the monster’s legs, swung freely, ready to whip anything at a moment’s notice. It’s hands were not hands at all, but claws with black talons at the end of each digit. Paws took the place of feet, giving the creature a feline appearance. Strangely, the face was strikingly human, a marked contrast to the creature’s body. Lastly with all the features in place, Lisa clung to the image as though her life depended on it.
Good, the voice said with pride. It began to sound like a mentor and not just a familiar stranger.
What do I do next? she asked.
Now think on how your fellow classmates picked on you. Think about Amy and how she made you look like a fool. Pour all those emotions into that image.
Lisa recalled the events of the past few days-- the party, the stares, the mocking laughter, and Amy’s face. Yes, the blue-haired girl seemed to be a ghostly presence in every image. When she thought of Amy, a great wave of anger and jealousy overcame her. Why her? The image of the monster began to pulsate. Why is she always number one? Unbeknownst to Lisa, a spot on her forehead glowed. It was yellow, shaped like a crescent moon, and illuminated the entire room with golden rays of light. I hate her. I hate her. I hate her...
Now open your eyes, Lisa.
Lisa opened her eyes and the creature she had envisioned in her mind stood directly behind her. She turned around and nearly let out a scream before realizing the truth. She, Lisa Wood, had produced this monster. She didn’t know how she accomplished it or if she could even control this creature but one thing was certain. The voice was right. She did have powers.
And now she was going to use them for revenge. Revenge for the treatment she got from the other students. Revenge for what had happened at the party. Revenge for all of the outcasts in the world.
She didn’t need the voice to tell her what to do next. It came automatically, as though she had done this before.
Creature, she commanded telepathically. I have a job for you. Find Amy Anderson and throw her around a little. She’s at Oakdale Theater watching “Mentally Impaired.” But don’t kill her. Just rough her up a tad, okay?
The monster silently acknowledged the mandate and disappeared, teleporting out of the room. Then Lisa turned back around to face the algebra problem.
Suddenly, it appeared to be a whole lot easier.
Serena burst out in fits of laughter for the fifth time in a row, prompting Amy to scold her. “This is a movie theater.” Her voice was a loud whisper, respectful yet admonishing. “If you can’t keep quiet they’ll throw you out.”
“I...can’t...help it.!” she shouted, giggles filling the pauses between her words. The entire congregation of patrons that came to view this cinematic presentation guffawed with her as the main character performed another foolish act.
“Come on, Amy,” Mina reasoned. “It’s a comedy, you’re supposed to laugh.”
“Well, I don’t find it so funny,” Amy replied. “It makes those of us who happen to put more emphasis on study than others look like clowns. This is obviously biased against people who happen to be ‘bookworms’.”
“No, it isn’t!”
“Then why is the central character a stereotypical nerd? Why can’t there be a comedy with a character that is both smart and handsome in the lead role?”
“Look at it this way. We know you aren’t a nerd. You know you aren’t a nerd. Think of this as a commentary on how people view geniuses like yourself and laugh at their misconceptions.” Amy absorbed the thoughtful statement and her expression changed from one of disapproval to a smile. Soon, she let a slight giggle pass, for her the equivalent of a hearty laugh, and enjoyed herself for the first time that night.
One of the doors underneath the giant movie screen opened and the influx of light wreaked havoc on the audience’s sight. After the door closed, most turned their attention to the movie once more, but Mina and Amy watched what was going on. They could see a tall figure enter the theater, but couldn’t identify it for their eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the darkness. They could hear it walk up the aisle quickly. It slowed its pace before nearly passing their row, then stopped itself directly beside Amy.
“Do I know you?” she asked.
“No, but we’re about to become acquainted.” A claw grabbed Amy by the neck and raised her high in the air. The laughing crowd changed into a panicked mob instantly and exited the area by any means possible. Mina and Serena also ran with the crowd, making sure the monster didn’t attack anyone else and to give them an alibi. The beast threw Amy on the sticky, filthy, popcorn-littered floor. Each time she made a move to get up, it kicked her before she could get on her hands and knees. The last of the crowd left the dark chamber, and the movie stopped belatedly as the ceiling lights turned on. Amy stopped holding back and swiftly pulled out her transformation stick. Before she could change into Sailor Mercury, the creature whipped her hand with its tail, causing her to drop it. As she reached for it, the monster kicked the stick out of her reach. It grabbed her by the collar and raised her into the air again. Just as the beast was about to beat on Amy some more, it heard someone address him.
“Okay, Negatrash. I don’t know who or what you are, but I order you to let her go.”
“Who are you?” it asked, turning around to see who had spoken to him. He saw two yellow-haired, teenage girls dressed in strange attire. One was wearing a white leotard with an orange collar and very short skirt of the same color. Two bows accentuated the outfit, a navy blue one on her chest and another golden bow on the small of her back. The other wore a similar outfit, except the color blue replaced the orange and both her front and back bows were red.
“I am Sailor Moon,” the one in the red bows began, “the champion of justice. I will right wrong and triumph over evil, and that means you. On behalf of the moon, I will punish you.”
“And I’m Sailor Venus,” her companion added. “If you don’t drop her right now, you’ll be sorry, buster.”
The creature replied, “I’ll drop her, if that’s what you want,” and let Amy fall to the ground. Immediately, it charged in the direction of the two Sailor Scouts.
Without flinching, Venus shouted, “Venus Love Chain Encircle!” She shot a chain at the creature, which wrapped itself around the monster’s body. Not only was the being stopped in its tracks, the chain itself burned past the fur and into the skin of the monster. Venus was surprised that her attack was so effective. Usually she tied up the enemy and immobilized it, but her chain didn’t have the damaging abilities of the other Scouts’ attacks.
Moon pulled out her scepter, swinging it around at her weakened enemy as a taunt and shouted, “Moon Scepter Elimination!” Energy traveled from the tip of the scepter in a spiral to the creature, destroying it in a flash of light. No dust, card, or crystal remained, however; it disappeared as though it had never existed.
The two girls ran toward Amy, who had just recovered both her bearings and her transformation stick. “Are you okay?” Venus asked.
“Yes, I’m fine.” She moved her head to look past the Scouts and saw that people started to come back into the theater.
“Thank you, Sailor Moon!” She raised her voice loud enough so that others in the theater could hear. “Without you I would have been a goner.” Venus turned around and saw what Amy was driving at. After giving a nudge to Moon, the two Scouts shielded Amy from prying eyes as she placed her stick back in her pocket.
“Now remember,” Venus warned mockingly, “don’t try to take on the Negaverse by yourself.”
Sailor Moon joined in. “If you see any danger, you won’t find us--we’ll find you, got it?”
“Understood,” Amy agreed. The Scouts ran out of the door under the movie screen. Amy returned to the row she was sitting in before the incident took place. A few minutes later, Serena and Mina came back with a large tub of popcorn.
“So Amy, what did I miss?” asked Mina.
Lisa absolutely hated Sailor V novels. They were pointless, shallow, inconsistent, and poorly written. Yet she was reading one at this moment, for her aunt had bought the book for her and she didn’t want to insult her family by not using a gift. Despite all of the things wrong with the paperback there was one interesting aspect that caught her attention: the monsters. Though each had an inherent defect that allowed the heroine to defeat it, with a little editing Lisa believed she could create the ultimate monster.
Out of the blue, a pain hit her in the back of the head. It wasn’t intense, but the suddenness of it made her drop the book on the floor.
What was that? she asked, searching for the voice.
You know what it is, she thought.
But you know too, the voice responded. You know what has happened.
Lisa was puzzled at first. I don’t underst--. Before she could finish that thought, it became crystal clear to her what had just occurred. The creature that she had made was destroyed. This confused her all the more because she herself didn’t know how to destroy the monsters she summoned from the depths of her imagination, let alone a regular girl like Amy. Then again, Amy was no regular girl; she must have seen a weakness in the creature unanticipated by its creator. Lisa was angered at the mere possibility that Amy could have destroyed her creation and attempted to form another one in the same manner as before. No matter how hard she tried, though, she couldn’t bring the creature to life. Why isn’t it working? she asked herself in frustration. She hadn’t expected a response and gave up on trying to make another monster.
You need to recharge, the voice told her.
Long enough for a good night’s sleep. Lisa determined that could be anywhere between seven and ten hours. You can always try again tomorrow.
Yes, tomorrow, she repeated. A new chance.
“Where are they?” Raye asked, pacing back and forth on the temple floor.
“Take it easy, Raye,” Lita advised. She was sitting next to Amy and Luna, the former had pulled out a textbook to study.
“They should have been here by now!” At that moment, Serena burst in the room. Her hand was on her chest as she leaned against the wall trying to catch her breath. She needed five minutes to recuperate from the sprint she had just taken, but Raye wouldn’t even give her five seconds. “Why can’t you get here on time for once?!”
Serena gasped for air before replying. “Jeez, trying to give someone a heart attack!”
Raye was about to respond, but Lita stopped her, saying, “Don’t be so hard on her. She told you yesterday that she had detention and she wouldn’t be able to make it here by three-thirty.”
Raye retorted, “And I also said that the meeting starts at three thirty, regardless of prior engagements.” She emphasized the last two word while giving Serena a glare of faked contempt.
“Then why were you waiting for Serena to show up?”
“I wasn’t waiting for Serena,” she lied. “I was waiting for Mina and Artemis to show up. They’re as bad as she is when it comes to being anywhere on time.” Those words had hardly left her mouth when Mina entered, carrying Artemis.
“Well, I’m sorry, Miss Punctuality,” Mina replied, “but some of us have other things to do than yell at people all day.”
“Like what? Finding more excuses to be late?”
Before a full scale war of the words could be launched, Artemis stepped in as the role of the peacemaker. “Ladies, fight later. We have a meeting right now.”
Luna stepped forward from her spot by Amy and cleared her throat. “Artemis is right,” she said in a hoarse voice. Everyone had known that Luna had caught a cold, but the sound of her voice still shocked all present in the room. It sounded like a mixture of gravel, sandpaper, and broken glass all rolled up unto one, and Luna’s throat felt that way as well, but she had to make sure this meeting didn’t degenerate into a session of whining, arguing, and fist fighting. “There is a new problem to address. The Negaverse is at it again.”
Lita stood up and balled her fist up and said, “If they want a fight, I’m ready.”
Amy closed her textbook, a signal that she was about to speak. “Before we can even think about fighting, let’s make sure we know what’s going on, first.”
“What do we need to know?” Serena asked Amy. “A monster attacked you and we destroyed it. End of story.”
Luna turned toward Serena and asked, “But don’t you think there’s more to it than that? Someone sent that monster specifically after Amy, not anyone else. This wasn’t your standard plan to collect energy. This...was...” A coughing spell came over her and she couldn’t finish the sentence.
“Personal?” Mina offered tentatively. Luna nodded her head in gratitude.
Serena walked over to where Amy was sitting and whispered, “I knew being smart would make people hate you, but not to this level. What did you do? Put a virus in Melvin’s computer?” She laughed at her own words, even though Amy didn’t find them so funny.
“Serena!” Raye shouted in admonishment. “This is no laughing matter! How would you like it if they were after you?”
“They might be,” Artemis commented all too seriously.
“What!” exclaimed Lita.
“What if someone knew Amy was Sailor Mercury? What if they knew who all of you were?”
“I doubt that,” Mina said. “In that case that monster would have tried to attack all of us instead of focusing on Amy.”
“Maybe they just know Amy’s identity,” Lita speculated. “I wonder how they found out.”
Amy decided to speak up once more. “Perhaps we’re jumping to conclusions. There might be another explanation.” This set off a chorus of opinions running rampant, destroying any semblance of order in the meeting. Luna, seeing that what she had tried to prevent came to pass anyway, whispered in Amy’s ear. Amy stood up, picked up the massive textbook, and purposefully dropped it on the floor. The sound of the book impacting with the floor caused everyone to be quiet.
“Now that I’ve got your attention,” Luna said, “let me say this. Regardless if Amy was attacked because her identity is no longer as secret as we tried to keep it, we have to get to the bottom of this. Someone sent that monster and they aren’t going to let one failure stop them.” For a full minute no one said a word. Finally, it was Raye who found the courage to speak up.
“I’ll consult the fire. It might be able to reveal something that we can use against our mysterious opponent.”
“Just don’t take too long,” Serena warned jokingly. “We might just have to go to the mall without you.” Raye glared at Serena, before walking away silently. She didn’t even have to turn around to know that Serena was sticking her tongue out at her.
Each step Lisa made sent a shooting pain through her foot. She had worn her old shoes today, not wanting to wear her new ones out so quickly. At first they fit fine, but as the day wore on, they gradually became tighter, nearly to the point that they would burst. To make it worse, Serena in one of her many moments of clumsiness, stepped on her foot while trying to make it to her next class on time. It didn’t help that she had to stay after school for the science club she was in. It was the only extracurricular activity she participated in and the sponsor for the club, Mrs. Parker, was so busy that the club only met once every two months and nothing ever got done. Most of the members of the club never showed up to the meeting and were in it in name only. Strangely, Amy, one of the few exceptions, wasn’t there and Lisa couldn’t have been happier. She wouldn’t have to see the blue-haired girl until tomorrow. Now, unfortunately, the relief of Amy’s absence had worn off, and her feet were hurting from the walk home.
She faintly heard someone call her name and looked around, hoping it wasn’t the voice again. Instead, she saw Amy and the group of girls that were at her party. Amy waved to her and Lisa waved back despite the urge to ignore her. For a split-second, a feeling of deja-vu overwhelmed her, and she knew these five as more than acquaintances. She asked herself where she had seen them before, other than the party, but by the time she tried to remember, the sensation had passed. Lisa continued on her way home, while her aching feet gave her the incentive to walk home faster.
When she finally reached her doorstep, she sighed in relief that her painful journey was over. She stepped in the door and greeted her parents after which she immediately went upstairs to her room to start on her homework. Her invisible ally, though, had another purpose in mind.
How was your day? inquired the voice.
Lisa was not surprised to hear its question. Not very well.
My shoes were too small for my feet.
Is that all?
Lisa wanted to say yes, but the memory of Serena stomping on her foot was too fresh. No.
It was that blonde, wasn’t it? The same one from the party.
The party. She hadn’t forgotten the event, but when she remembered it this time, it seemed different. Before she thought Amy was the cause of all her troubles, but she realized as bad as Amy had been, it was Serena who was the true ringleader of it all. Serena was the one who approached her. Serena was the one who pushed he out on the dance floor. Serena was the first person who laughed at her.
Serena was the reason why her feet were hurting now. Serena’s clumsiness was worse than her own, for at least Lisa didn’t hurt anyone with her lack of co-ordination. Serena was responsible for all her pain, past, present, and future. It was Serena, the true source of all her problems.
And Lisa was going to make her pay severely.
So that bubbleheaded bimbo thinks she can mess with me and get away with it. I’ll show her.
The voice egged her on. Think of Serena and how she always has her clique of friends surrounding her. Remember what she did to you, how she humiliated you.
Yes. She obeyed the voice and concentrated solely on her hatred of Serena. Already she was forming a monster in her mind, one designed especially for her classmate. She closed her eyes and once again the crescent shaped mark returned to her forehead, inundating the room with glow. She opened her eyes and a stubby creature about four feet tall stood before her. It had no eyes or nose, only two ears and a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. Two wings jutted out of its back, more like a pterodactyl’s than anything else. The rest of the body was shaped like a human’s and was covered by scaly green skin, which sparked Lisa to create a name for this monster.
Reptide. She outwardly smiled at the name, then thought of a destination for this creature. Now where would I be right now if I were a lazy, klutzy, crybaby who is always late for class? Knowing Serena she’s probably in the mall with her friends, having a good time. Reptide, she ordered, go to Central Mall and make sure that idiot never bothers me again. Is that understood?
It answered in a raspy voice. “Yes, master.” A wicked smile crept on Lisa’s face as Reptide climbed out of the window and took to the air.
“So, did the fire tell you anything?” Serena asked Raye as they made their way to the food court of the mall.
“No. It was almost as if that monster last night didn’t exist.”
“That’s impossible!” Mina shouted before she remembered she was in a public setting. None of the other shoppers noticed her outburst and she lowered her voice. “I saw it with my own eyes.”
“Anything is possible when the Negaverse is involved,” Raye countered.
But it wasn’t you who was getting pummeled last night, Amy thought. She remained silent, though, since it wasn’t in her nature to start an argument.
Without warning, a winged reptile-like being crashed through the domed glass ceiling above the center of the mall. In a panic, shoppers dropped their bags and ran to the nearest exits. Reptide wasn’t interested in them, though, and quickly spotted her target, Serena. It flew directly toward her, but she and the others saw it coming and ducked. They beat a hasty retreat to one of the deserted stores for cover, but Reptide saw them and crashed through the display window. It made an attempt to grab Serena, but the girls quickly dashed around it and out of the store. Seeing there was no one in the vicinity, the five of them pulled out their transformation items and lifted them into the air, shouting the words that would change them into the Sailor Scouts.
“Venus Star Power!”
“Mars Star Power!”
“Mercury Star Power!”
“Jupiter Star Power!”
“Moon Crystal Power!”
No longer were five normal young women standing there. In their places were the Sailors Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Moon. Reptide stood on the balcony above them, then took to the air.
My chain severely weakened the last creature, Venus thought. It might work on this one too. “Venus Love Chain Encircle!” She flung the chain at the creature, expecting it to have the same results as in the previous battle.
Reptide responded by clasping its hands together, and forming a curved energy shield in front of its hands. It then aimed the shield in the direction of the chain, which bounced harmlessly off the energy shield and returned to Venus. She froze for a second upon seeing what happened, only to jump out of the way at the last moment.
Jupiter couldn’t believe it either, but chose to attack anyway. “Jupiter Thunder Crash Zap!” Once again, Reptide countered with the energy shield, but directed the electricity at Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon jumped out of the way, but had landed hard on her arm. Reptide dispelled the shield and swooped down at her, but Mars knocked Moon down and covered her in the nick of time. The other Scouts rushed over to Sailor Moon and surrounded her as Reptide reached the peak of her swing.
“When she comes down again,” Mars commanded, “let’s nail her.” They readied themselves for Reptide’s descent. But this time, Reptide dove with its arms clasped in front of it.
“She’s forming another shield!” Venus shouted. They kneeled on the ground to protect Sailor Moon, ducking each time the creature came back down.
“Mercury,” Mars suggested. “Why don’t you see if this thing has a weakness?”
Mercury followed the advice and let the visor appear over her eyes. Almost immediately after doing so, she expressed her shock in a hushed voice. “I don’t believe it.”
“What?” Mars asked.
“The creature isn’t showing up on my visor.”
“Your visor sure picked a good time to mess up on us.”
“The visor is working fine. It’s reading all of you.”
“So in other words, that creature has some sort of stealth power which makes it undetectable to your visor.”
“Either that...or it’s just an illusion.”
“Shades of Emerald...” Venus muttered, remembering the all too clearly the battle with the dragon in Crystal Tokyo.
Mercury turned to Venus. “What was that?”
“Never mind. The only way we could attack this thing is to get it on the ground.”
Jupiter asked, “But how are we going to do that?”
An answer to her question arrived in the form of a rose that struck Reptide in its left wing. Instantly, Reptide screamed in pain before hitting the floor with a thud. It recovered quickly, though, and was on its feet before any of the Scouts could move. However, the wing was clearly broken and the creature was earthbound.
“My wing!” it cried. None of the Scouts were paying attention to Reptide. Instead their eyes were focused on Tuxedo Mask, who had leaped down from above.
“That troll shouldn’t be much of a threat now,” he declared. “Why don’t you ladies take it from here?”
“Right,” everyone agreed simultaneously as they got to their feet. They wasted no time in splitting up, surrounding Reptide. Sailor Moon gave a slight nod of the head, a gesture that launched an onslaught on the creature.
“Jupiter Thunder Crash Zap!”
“Mars Celestial Fire Surround!”
“Mercury Ice Storm Blast!”
Reptide couldn’t deflect all the different energies at once and though it repelled the rings of fire, both electricity and arctic cold struck its sides causing it to fall to one knee.
“Venus Love Chain Encircle!” Reptide clearly saw the chain coming toward it, but couldn’t erect a shield in time to stop it. Though it did not burn into the creature’s skin, it tightly wound itself around Reptide to immobilize the monster.
Sailor Moon produced her scepter and pointed it at the being. “Moon Scepter Elimination!” With both anger and fear she emphasized her words, staring directly into the mouth of Reptide. A few seconds later, the bright light of destruction signaled its end. Sailor Moon gave her fellow Scouts an uncertain look, knowing that though they won the battle, the nightmare was not yet over.
Upon the soft bed Lisa slept soundly, peaceful and sweet images dancing in her head. She had completely forgotten about the monster she created and why she had made it in the first place.
Then the pain hit her again, waking her up and refreshing her memory. She looked at the clock, which read quarter past eleven. Reptide had lasted quite a while, yet in the end it had been destroyed like her previous creation. I don’t understand. Who is destroying my creations? Why would someone protect the very people I despise? How did those responsible for this know when and where to be? And how did they get a hold on this information? Somebody knows too much. She stopped her rapidly pacing thoughts and called out to the voice. You! What do you know? Tell me.
There was no response.
No reply came and Lisa knew she wouldn’t get one. The voice had deserted her, leaving her to figure out a way to learn the answers to these questions. There had to be something she could do to find out what she wanted to know. All of a sudden, a plan began to form in her mind, one that was certain to provide all the answers to her questions. She let the call of sleep tempt her once more, all the while thinking of what monster to create next.
Serena couldn’t concentrate on Miss Haruna’s lesson today. This time it wasn’t lack of sleep or initiative, though; fear seized both her body and her mind. Somebody knew her secret identity and that person could attack her at any time he or she wished. Nowhere was safe, not even the very school she attended. All she was able to do was hope that a monster wouldn’t come running through the classroom to attack her again.
People stood up from their seats and exited the class before Serena realized the bell had rung. Molly tapped her on the shoulder, trying to break her out of her daze. Serena stood up and collected her belongings, exiting alongside her friend. While they were walking down the hall, Molly asked her, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” she answered. “I’m fine.”
“I know what you’re going through.”
Serena looked at Molly with disbelief. “You do?”
Molly shook her head in confirmation. “Uh-huh. You’re scared another monster’s going to come and attack you.”
“How do you know that?” Serena narrowed her eyes in suspicion.
“I get attacked by monsters all the time, Serena. If anyone knows what fear feels like, it’s me.”
Serena silently scolded herself for being so paranoid as to suspect her best friend as the culprit. “How do you deal with it?”
“At first I used to be afraid all of the time, but after a while, I realized there was nothing I could do about it. That’s not to say I don’t get sacred sometimes, but I have to push fear away and continue on with my life.” Molly paused and saw that even though Serena was listening, her words of comfort were doing little good. “I’ll help you get through every day you need me to. Whenever you get scared, just glance over in my direction and I’ll look at you to make sure if you’re okay. Try to push past the fear. It’ll always be there, but it’s easier to focus on your schoolwork if it’s at the back of your mind.”
The advice calmed Serena’s nerves slightly. “Thanks. I’ll try it.”
Molly looked at her watch and saw that there was less than a minute left for the two of them to get to class. “We’re going to be late!” They ran down to the other end of the hall. They were slowed by a mass of screaming people running in the opposite direction.
“We must not be the only ones late,” Serena remarked just before a short girl ran into her, knocking both of them over.
“Get out of the way!” she yelled as she stood back up and continued along with the crowd. Molly helped Serena up and the two wondered what was going on. They hadn’t heard any fire alarm and the teachers were still in their classrooms. That changed quickly as Miss Haruna ran past them in terror. Before they could move, the reason for the mass hysteria manifested itself. An eight foot tall creature with four arms, a two pairs of dragonfly wings, and a scorpion tail ran in the direction of the crowd. Lisa was in its clutches, her screams slicing the air like a knife.
Molly ran down the nearest stairwell, but Serena remained still, stunned by what she had just seen. She shook off her disbelief and grabbed her brooch. “Moon Crystal--” she began, but before she could finish the phrase, she felt someone pull her arm. She turned around and saw Molly, trying to move her.
“Come on, Serena,” Molly said. “Let’s get out of here.” The two of them left the building, but Serena promised herself she would return in a minute.
Five minutes had passed since Lisa summoned this monster, and it was five minutes too long for her. She didn’t like being grabbed by the waist and carried like a toy and she was getting impatient. Besides, her voice was getting hoarse from all of that yelling and she doubted she could keep it up much longer. The school had been emptied out fairly quickly, except for the stragglers who needed a little persuasion to run. She worried what she would if no one would come to save her. She still hadn’t figured out to cause her creation to vanish and she certainly didn’t know how to destroy it.
Both beast and master were on the second floor of the building, next to the window that was directly above the courtyard where most of the people had gathered. Perhaps she hadn’t gotten her savior’s attention and considered telling the monster to break through the window and fly above the courtyard. Fortunately for her, she didn’t have to do that yet as someone yelled, “Hold it right there, Negatrash!” Lisa and her monster looked around but saw nothing.
“Help!” she yelled, simultaneously commanding the creature. Tell me to shut up.
“Shut up!” it shouted.
“Let that girl go!” a second voice yelled. It was lower than the previous unknown one.
Tell them to show themselves, Lisa commanded.
“Show yourselves,” the creature said.
Three girls dressed in sailor suits entered the hallway, each from a different direction. The first, a blue-haired girl with a skirt of the same of the same color came out of a door to the monster’s left. The second, a tall brunette with a green skirt, entered from the stairwell to its right. Finally, the third appeared in the intersection of the hallways directly in front of the creature, but some distance away from it. Lisa recognized the last girl; she was Sailor Moon, a mysterious heroine who had saved the world from evildoers several times before. There was something else about her and the other two that was familiar, but she couldn’t put her finger on what it was.
“Release that poor schoolgirl!” Sailor Moon ordered.
Lisa wanted to tell the creature to let her go and get this part of the plan over with, but it would make little sense for it to free her from its clutches simply because the three girls told it to. Also, she didn’t want to make it too easy for the three to defeat this creature.
Fly out of the window, she commanded. And make sure you have a tight grip on me. She closed her eyes as the creature tightened its hold on her, impairing her breathing. In one huge backward leap it jumped out of the window, breaking the glass into a thousand pieces. This time, Lisa screams were of true fear. She was afraid of heights and wondered what possessed her to do such a thing. All she could think of was falling, and opening her eyes didn’t help matters either, for she saw how far above the ground she was. But she forced herself to remain calm, remembering that a stray thought could be taken as a command and send both her and creature plummeting to the ground.
Land in that parking lot over there-- gently! Once again, the being obeyed its master and landed smoothly in the parking lot in front of a supermarket. She tried to exhale in relief, but the creature continued to crush her. Loosen your grip on me a little. I need to breathe. The being loosened its grip on her, allowing her to breathe freely. She noticed that most of the shoppers hadn’t instantly turned in terror upon their appearance. In fact, no one seemed to notice the two were there. Lisa was about to change that with a command.
Scare the people, but don’t hurt them unless they attack you first. In response, the creature let out a loud, inhuman shout that echoed throughout the area, sending a crowd of shoppers to their cars in fear. People cleared out of the area more slowly than they had done at the school, but within ten minutes, nearly all the shoppers were out of the area. Still, she wasn't going to sot in one spot forever. If Sailor Moon and her sidekicks didn’t come soon, she’d have to find another area in which to cause trouble.
“Stop right there!” came a cry from behind. The creature turned around so both it and Lisa could see Sailor Moon with her fellow heroines behind her.
Laugh at them derisively. Then tell them you want an exchange.
The creature laughed maniacally and said, “I want an exchange.”
No! Not like that! I meant-- Before she gave the order, though, she reminded herself that it did exactly what she commanded it to do and that she had to be more explicit in her orders.
“No negotiations here!” the girl in the green skirt shouted angrily.
Repeat this word for word. Lisa gave the being the message and it repeated her thoughts. “Oh really? And what if I were to break this girl’s neck?” Bring your lower left hand toward my neck, but do it slowly.
The creature did as she ordered, causing Sailor Moon to shout, “No!”
Stop and say this. Instantly it stopped and repeated the following words. “We have a deal, then?” For several tense seconds, the three girls glared at the monster. Lisa studied each on them, knowing she had seen these people before, but something prevented her from figuring it out. Finally she rested her eyes on Sailor Moon’s brooch, and suddenly her vision began to blur, as if she had set off a security system by looking at it. She focused her eyes past the blur, past the false image being projected. After a few seconds she recognized the brooch and was in such shock that she didn’t hear the words of the wearer.
The brooch. It’s Serena’s!
“The brooch,” the creature began.
No! Stop! Don’t say anything else. Instantly the creature became silent.
“You want my brooch?” Sailor Moon asked. Lisa was only half-listening though. Her mind raced with a panicked understanding. Of course, it all makes sense now. That’s why my creatures were defeated. They didn’t stand a chance, not with Serena around. I bet that clumsiness is just an act to throw people off. She looked at Sailor Moon’s face and now it was obvious she was Serena. The hair, the eyes, and the voice were all sickeningly familiar and it amazed her that she couldn’t see the resemblance before.
She decided to try the same trick with the other heroines in the area. First she laid her eyes on the girl with the green skirt and the pink bows. She wasn’t wearing a brooch, so she stared at her face. At first, she encountered the same the same haze, but it was easier to push through. At the discovery of the girl’s identity, she was surprised, but not as surprised as when she saw through Sailor Moon’s disguise.
Lita Hightower is that person? With someone like her on the team, no wonder they always come out on top. Now for the blue one. She pushed past the barrier even easier this time and had to scream to keep from gasping.
Amy? Amy Anderson is this heroine? Lisa’s blood began to boil. How dare she! Can’t I just for once have something unique? Why does she get to have powers too? Why does she have to one-up me at everything I do?
Sailor Moon broke Lisa’s train of thought when she yelled, “Stop hurting her!”
Ask her if we have a deal.
The creature asked, “Do we have a deal?”
“I’m sorry. I can’t.” She looked down at the brooch she wore. It wasn’t a matter whether Lisa’s life was more important than being Sailor Moon, but she couldn’t part with the brooch even if she wanted to. It was a part of her now, like an arm or a leg and she couldn’t give it up.
“Then the girl goes.” Perfect. Now life me in the air by the throat with your upper right arm. It followed her directions to the letter. A little looser. You don’t want to choke me for real. She looked at the three girls once more, hoping one of them would aim an attack at the creature now that she was away from its center.
“Mars Fire Ignite!” a high voice shouted. A fireball came out of nowhere and struck the monster in the arm it held Lisa with, severing it from the body. She cried out, partially because the monster had been damaged so easily, partially because the fireball nearly hit her, and partially because none of the three she was facing had said anything.
Both Lisa and the creature turned around to see who had “saved” her. It was another sailor-suited heroine, except she was wearing a red skirt with matching high heels. She looked at her face for two seconds and pushed past the blur and saw that she was one of the girls she had seen with her classmates yesterday. She had no time to react when a different attack came from another direction.
“Venus Love Chain Encircle!” In a fraction of a second, the creature was tied up in a golden chain. Lisa ran away from the being, knowing she had to get out of the way for these fighters to destroy it. She glanced behind her and noticed there was another heroine on the scene. She deduced that it was the fifth girl of the group from the day before but she looked at her face for confirmation and was correct once more.
Attack them, Lisa commanded when she was a safe distance away from the monster. She continued to run, though, until she reached the store and waited behind the corner, peeking at the fight every few seconds. Being nearsighted, she was glad she had cleaned her glasses before she brought this creature forth and watched the battle with great interest. She didn’t know which side to support. The creature had served its purpose, so it wouldn’t matter if the Scouts destroyed it. But if it won, Amy, Serena, and their friends would be out of her life forever. If it lost, then this perfect opportunity to get rid of her enemies would be gone. But is it what I really want? I know I wanted Serena dead last night but was I thinking straight? I don’t want to kill anybody. She wondered if she should at least try to make the creature disappear or end it right here, right now. Then she remembered her other reason for creating this being -- to see how the beasts from her imagination were eliminated. She at last made her decision and let the fight take place, with the better creature or heroines winning.
“Jupiter Thunder Crash Zap!” The creature launched itself into the air to avoid the attack and hovered there, beating its wings so quickly that they couldn’t be seen. It opened its palm and fired a beam of energy from its hand directly at Sailor Moon. The target leaped out of the way, narrowly missing a certain demise. The being then set its sights on Sailor Mars, but instead of swooping toward her or firing an energy beam at her, it hovered in the air for a few seconds.
“Mars Celestial Fire Surround!” Rings of fire were shot at the creature, but it deflected by creating three balls of energy from each remaining hand, which pushed past the rings and orbited around Mars. The spheres created a translucent dome around the Scout. Mars shot a fireball, but it dissipated upon hitting the edge of the barrier. Next she tried to ram the forcefield, but it was to no avail. The monster then opened its palm again, firing another beam at Mars. With no room to move, Mars curled into a ball, and the energy grazed her back, making a tear on her uniform and exposing the skin there.
“Hang on, Mars!” Jupiter was about to summon more thunder until Venus and Mercury grabbed her arms.
“No!” Venus shouted. “You’ll hit Mars.”
“Then how are we going to free her?”
Mercury replied, “That forcefield lets energy in, but not out. If we were somehow able to trap the creature in its own barrier...”
“And how are we going to be able to do that?” Moon asked.
Venus answered, “Simple. Leave it up to me.” Before anyone could stop her, she cried out to the creature. “Hey ugly! Why not pick on somebody your own size?!”
The creature turned to face the one that addressed it. Another beam of energy came from its palm, but it was directed at the entire group. Once again, the Scouts evaded the attack in their own individual ways. Venus separated herself from the rest of the group and continued her verbal assault before it had a chance to fire a blast at one of her teammates.
“Over here, dummy!” she shouted. The creature manifested then threw three orbs if energy at the Scout, but she performed a barrel roll to the side and barely avoided it. The energy balls formed a barrier similar to the one that encased Mars.
“Missed me!” she taunted, sticking her tongue out for effect. In predictable fashion, the creature fired more energy blasts. Venus dodged them all but stayed near the barrier, making sure it was at her back. “Can’t you do better than that? You’ll never get me at this rate.” The creature ceased its energy blasts and hovered once again. Venus stood still, hoping that the creature would chose to descend instead of firing more energy at her. Her guess was correct, for the being had started to swoop down on her. She jumped just as the creature was about to hit her, and it collided with the barrier behind her. While in mid-air, she turned around and initiated her attack.
“Venus Meteor Shower!” The thin beams went through the barrier and assaulted the creature, which cried out in pain. It was only the beginning of the end for the monster.
“Mercury Ice Storm Blast!” An arctic wind emitted from Mercury’s hands and headed toward the being, freezing it solid. Moon pulled out her Crescent Moon Wand to finish it off.
“Moon Scepter Elimination!” The rod emitted white, crescent shaped energy, pelting the enemy with blow after painful blow before it finally faded away in a bright flash. Instantly, the barrier around Mars vanished, as well as the damage from the energy beam.
Behind the store, Lisa was brought to her knees by the pain and struggled to keep herself from falling over completely. Once the pain lessened, she ran toward the five that defeated the monster and said, “Thank you.”
Now ask them who they are, she told herself. “Do you guys have names?” she asked, instantly regretting the words that came out of her mouth and smacked her forehead with the heel of her hand.
The leader of the Scouts decided to answer the ill-phrased question. “I’m Sailor Moon. To my left are Sailor Mercury...” Amy smiled and nodded her head. “...and Sailor Venus.” The blonde also smiled, but did not nod her head. Sailor Moon then turned to her right. “These two are Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter. But you can call us the Sailor Scouts.” Lita smiled as well, but the one with the violet eyes burned a hole through her with her gaze. Lisa stared at the five one more, and another wave of deja-vu crashed into her. Something else about these girls was familiar, but try as she might, she couldn’t understand why this feeling was so strong.
“I thank you again, Sailor Scouts. I guess I’d better get back to school now.” Before she could move, Sailor Moon grabbed her by the arm, and Lisa feared the worst.
“Are you sure you’re feeling okay?” She released her grip on Lisa’s arm once she saw the girl wasn’t going to run away.
“They probably closed the school down for the day because of the incident,” Mercury added. “I suggest you go home and try to recover from this attack. Your house isn’t far from here, is it?”
You know full well my house is only a couple blocks away, she thought. But those words never made it to her mouth and instead she replied, “Okay. Maybe you’re right. I think I’ll head home.” She turned and walked away, musing about the deja-vu flash once more.
Crossroads Junior High hadn’t closed for the day, as Sailor Mercury had predicted, but continued on its regular schedule. Lisa found out several hours after she awoke from her long nap. For a minute, she wondered why she fell asleep so easily, then remembered the excuse she gave her parents for being home so early. She said she felt ill, and in an effort to help her recover they administered several medications, most of which would make her drowsy individually. The combined effect of the drugs was similar to a powereful blow to the back of the head, and for the past four hours, darkness was her only company.
When she woke up, she went downstairs to get something to eat. Waiting for her was her mother, who asked, “And I thought you were going to enjoy your nap?”
“I think I’ve slept enough. Anything happen while I was out?”
“One of your classmates dropped by. She said you had homework and left a note describing the assignments.”
Homework, she thought, then that means-- “Oh no!”
“I left my backpack at school.”
“No, she brought it over here for you.”
Lisa saw that it was beside the couch and walked over to it. Who would do this for me? I don’t have any friends.
“Who stopped by?” she asked aloud.
“She said her name, but I forgot. It’s on the note.”
Lisa picked up the paper and read the handwriting, the anger inside her ready to explode once she saw it. It was Amy, the one told her to go home, that now informed her of the work that she missed. She crumpled the paper in her anger filled fist and was about to throw it away when she realized she would need it to do her work.
“What’s wrong?” her mother asked.
“I’m fine,” she replied, but her voice belied the anger inside. Seething she picked up her backpack and went back to her room to catch up on her work. Her mind could only focus on the treachery of the person who had tried to save her life.
How could she? How could she do this to me? Maybe she didn’t want me at school because she didn’t want me to see her and her friends come in late. No! That’s not it. Amy did this on purpose, trying to get me to fall behind on my schoolwork, then rubbing it in my face by trying to sound so innocent when she stopped at my house. My house!
Your anger is just, the voice said. But you can’t let it cloud your thoughts.
Lisa didn’t appreciate this entity disturbing her in the middle of her mental rant. What now? I don’t have time for this.
You have nothing but time. We need to talk.
About what? I’m not about to create another monster.
The Sailor Scouts. Their names and appearances are so familiar.
I see Amy, Lita, and Serena every day at school...
No, it’s something else. Focus on them again, but don’t put any emotion into it. Focus on their names.
Moon. Mercury. Venus. Mars. Jupiter. Four of the five are planets in the solar system, but a moon isn’t a planet. Maybe it has something to do with Roman mythology. Merc--
Of course! the voice interrupted. Why didn’t I think of it before?
Think of what?
Lisa, I believe it’s time to remember your past. Your true past.
Close your eyes and let me guide you. Lisa shut her eyes, clearing her mind of any thoughts. Good. Now let me show you your true past. Slowly an image began to form in her mind. It was an image of a newborn baby. She had a crescent moon shaped birthmark on her head, and a discolored, circular birthmark on her face.
It can’t be! Lisa exclaimed.
Yes, that’s you. Back then your name was Mona. You were born on the Moon, a Lunarian, and you had special abilities. The baby’s parents picked her up. They were dressed in white garments trimmed with gold. See, your parents loved you dearly. Suddenly, the crescent moon on the baby’s forehead began to glow, and in front of her, a large red ball appeared. She grabbed the ball and laughed. You had the gift of psychokinetic projection, meaning you could make a psychic image of any object you wished and could make it appear and disappear at will. The crescent moon glowed once more and the ball vanished. The baby formed a moon-shaped baby bottle full of milk. She tried to suck on the nipple of the bottle, but none of the liquid would enter her mouth. The image disappeared and the baby started to cry. Unfortunately, they were just images of limited substance and weren’t real.
I did that?
You did. And for the first two years of your life you were happy, but that soon changed when you started to play with other children. Lisa’s surroundings darkened again, then brightened to reveal a different environment. Here, the toddler Mona was surrounded by more Lunarians her age. They were pushing her around, hitting her and kicking her. You became an outcast, a pariah. Mona created a shield to protect herself with, but after a large number of hits, it vanished. She wailed loudly, and some more Lunarians came to rescue her from the mob of children. They began to play with her, and she was happy once again, but soon the parents of her newfound friends arrived. The adults snatched the children away, and Mona cried again, this time out of loneliness. You were separated from the others by force. They didn’t want their normal children to play with a freak. They considered the mark on your face a bad omen, but it turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
What do you mean? Lisa asked.
The memory faded to black once more, only to let a different one form. Mona was now Lisa’s age and was looking at the Moon Palace from a balcony. Even though your parents were of nobility, because of your differences the family was excluded from many of the activities on the Moon. Feasts and balls held in honor of Queen Serenity were forbidden for you. A tear streamed down Mona’s cheek as she watched the fireworks in the sky. All you wanted was to be included, but what did they do? They shut you out.
Sounds like my past on the Moon wasn’t very different from my life here on Earth.
But we haven’t got to the best part. You see, this is where I come in. In that instant, Lisa was no longer an onlooker in the series of events; she started to experience them as if she were there. She wiped the tear off her face and threw herself on the bed, hoping to bury her sorrows.
Mona, a tantalizing voice called.
Lisa looked around, not recognizing the voice.
Mona. Don’t cry. You don’t need to be part of their society. They are shallow and stupid.
“Shallow and stupid,” she repeated.
You don’t have to be an outcast, Mona. You can form your own society, a society where you, your family, and all those shunned in the Moon Kingdom can be on top.
If you destroy the existing order, then you can replace it with your own. All you have to do is let me join with you. I can unlock the hidden power in you. Just let me into your heart.
Lisa accepted and felt the power flow through her as she merged with the voice. However, she was once again returned to the darkness, and made an observer once again.
What happened? she asked. Why did you let me experience the memory only to pull me out?
Soon you’ll be able to remember without my help. But what I have to show you unfolds in a span of months, and I want to get to the point. The next image was of Mona leading and army against Serenity. With my help, you were able to convince a group of men to aid us in a rebellion against the Moon Kingdom Even though all of us fought bravely... Serenity held up her Crescent Moon Wand and lifted it up, poisoning the air with its harsh lunar luminescence. Serenity easily and quickly defeated us. She banished our followers to Earth, but we weren’t in for such a kind fate.
Lisa soon found herself in a dimly lit room made of stone with a deceptively wide opening leading to a corridor. She stood a few feet away from Mona, who sat cross-legged on the stone floor staring at he opening. Footsteps echoed through the air, and not long after a group of six-- five teenagers and a woman-- approached. She recognized, the tall, slender woman as Queen Serenity, and the identities of the five did not escape her. Those are the same five.
Yes, the voice replied. But in this time, they were the princesses of their respective realms-- Sailor Mercury was the princess of Mercury, and so on.
“I didn’t know there was anyone down here,” Mercury said, her eyes wide with astonishment.
“Yes, there are a few people here, those who had committed great crimes and would be too powerful to send to Earth. Behind these forcefields they are powerless; any special abilities that they may have are suppressed.”
“Mother,” Princess Serena asked, “is this not the one who tried to revolt a few months ago?”
“Yes, this is Mona, the leader of the insurrection.”
Jupiter could not help but comment. “Her? She couldn’t have been the leader of that rebellion.” Mona simply stared straight ahead, blocking out all of the comments that had been made and those that were to come.
Serena exclaimed, “Why, she is the one I heard about three of the nobles talking about yesterday!”
“The mutant?” Mercury asked.
“She’s not a mutant,” Venus quickly added. “She’s a monster!”
“Either way she’s still evil,” Mars said. “She was a cruel, manipulative menace that had to be dealt with. But then again it’s that way with you Lunarians, right Serena?”
The moon princess chose not to return the teasing remark and answered snobbishly, “She cannot be a true moon child, not with that face anyway.”
“Serena,” Serenity warned harshly. She refused to launch into a full harangue of rebuke, though, to spare her daughter embarrassment in front of her friends.
Serena turned to her mother. “But she is a prisoner, a captured enemy.”
“She has more in common with you than you think. She is only slightly younger than you, and she too shares the crescent moon insignia on her forehead. She is a real Lunarian, someone who feels and thinks as you do. Under the wrong circumstances, any of you young ladies could be in her position.”
All of the girls were stunned and speechless until Venus spoke up. “This place gives me the chills. Let’s get out of here.”
Lisa could read the disappointment on Serenity’s face. The queen had hoped that they would learn that even their enemies were people as well, but the five didn’t seem to learn their lesson. Wordlessly, the five girls walked out of the passageway, followed by the queen. After they were gone Serenity she stopped and looked back at the captive as one of her many regrets, then left the corridor. Slowly, the little light in this area faded away, placing Lisa in the darkness of her heart.
The voice continued its narration of her story. Finally, the Negaverse attacked the Moon Kingdom, killing everyone, including crushing us under the rubble of the palace. Yet Serenity restored the souls of all those who were on the Moon at that time, giving everyone a clean slate by erasing their memories. I still clung to your mind, so she trapped me in your subconscious, and I was unable to do anything but watch you live your life until now.
Lisa was overwhelmed. All the images the voice had showed her started to jog her memory. The teasing, the loneliness, the love of her parents, her abilities, and everything else became crystal clear. She remembered it all as if it were yesterday. For the first time in her life, she grasped who she really was. She wasn’t Lisa Wood, a mere outcast; she was Mona, the girl no one wanted to play with because she was too ugly. She was Mona, the only person under Serenity’s rule with enough fortitude to defy the queen’s authority. She was Mona, and she wasn’t going to let the Sailor Scouts forget it.
The Sailor Scouts and the five princesses were one in the same. She understood why she hated them so. They were the ones who mocked her on the Moon Kingdom. And ever since, they had never stopped making her life miserable. Now that she knew the truth, they were no longer safe. The only thing that could satisfy her now was their destruction.
But how can I destroy them? she asked herself. Every monster I’ve created, they’ve eliminated.
You can’t destroy them, not by yourself at least.
What do you mean?
Join with me, the way you did before when you were on the Moon Kingdom. Remember the power we shared together.
Together we can devise a plan to annihilate those brats once and for all.
We can do it? Lisa asked with hope.
Yes. All you have to do is join with me.
Join with you. Their thoughts were beginning to merge.
Let me into your heart. Let our hatred of the five consume each other, as the suns in a binary star system feed off of each other.
Yes. She opened up her mind completely to the voice. A wave of dark energy passed over her as she felt her thought mingle with the voice. She let the voice take control and sweep over her, all the while feeling the burning sensation of power filling her fingertip to toe. We will destroy the Scouts. We will destroy the princesses, for they are many and we are one. The good of the one outweighs the good of the many.
Lisa opened her eyes, yet it was two beings that stared out of them. Two beings that had merged perfectly, completely inseparable by any force known to mankind. Her eyes showed this by glowing white intensely for a second, but she quickly put curtains up to the windows to her soul, returning them to their normal color. When the time is right, she thought, I will strike, and I never miss my targets.
A few clouds marred the starry evening, but it was still good weather for the grand closing of Magicland. Despite being the last day that the amusement park was open for the year, people showed up in full force for the event. Roller coasters, packed with riders, quickly traversed the escalating and dipping tracks, a perfect parallel to the curved, lengthy lines of people who waited to be on the ride. The tempting scents of popcorn and cotton candy tickled the nostrils of those who walked by the concession stands.
Serena, Amy, and Raye stood to the side as Lita and Mina competed at one of the a contest booths. The contest was to throw baseballs into a set of targets, and the prizes ranged from trinkets to giant stuffed animals. Lita had missed her last target, giving Mina an opportunity to beat her. She wound up to throw the ball, but in her preparation she leaned back too far and fell. Mina was the first to laugh at her own foolishness and the others joined in. Raye was the only one neither smiling nor laughing, which brought her the attention of the others.
“Raye,” Amy remarked. “You seem preoccupied.”
“Yeah,” Serena agreed. “You’re not your normal mean self. What’s the matter?”
Raye gave her response quietly. “Yesterday, right after we defeated that monster, I got these weird vibes from Lisa. Didn’t she seem a little different than when we were at the party?”
Lita replied, “I didn’t notice anything. Why do you ask?”
“Something about Lisa bothers me. I could sense she was hiding something. She felt evil, different than when we met her a few days ago.”
Serena put her own two cents in. “Relax. She was probably mad that she didn’t get to go to science class. I can’t believe you’re still thinking about it.”
A horned being with purple leathery skin crashed into the booth in front of them, scattering the crowd in a thousand different directions. The five girls ran away as well, but instead of madly heading for the exit, they ducked behind a wall.
“Shouldn’t we transform?” Lita asked. At that moment, three children ran past them.
“Too many people,” Mina answered. “Even if they don’t see us transform they could end up in the way. Besides, it doesn’t look as if the monster is attacking anyone. It's just scaring them away and destroying stuff.” For a minute, they remained where they were, watching for the last few stragglers to clear out of the area. Eventually, the sound of collapsing metal and concrete drove them to action.
“That’s it!” Serena declared. “No one trashes my amusement park and gets away with it. Let’s go.” They looked around to make sure that the corridor was clear, then initiated their transformations.
“Mercury Star Power!”
“Venus Star Power!”
“Mars Star Power!”
“Jupiter Star Power!”
“Moon Crystal Power!”
Once transformed they stepped from between the booths. The park had been completely vacated of patrons.
“I am Sailor Moon, the champion of justice. I don’t know who or what you are, but in the name of Magicland, I’ll punish you. Prepare to be dusted!”
The creature responded by charging at the group, but all of the five ran out of the way to avoid it. Instead of goring the group, the creature now found itself surrounded by the Scouts.
Mars decided she would lead off the attack. “Mars Celestial Fire Surround!” The rings of fire incinerated the creature, which like the previous three disappeared in a flash of light.
Moon yelled, “Hey! I’m the one who’s supposed to defeat the monster!”
“Something’s not right,” Venus suspected. “That creature went down too quickly.” No sooner than had those words escaped her lips strange laughter filled the air. The sound echoed supernaturally all through out the area, sending chills up Sailor Moon’s spine. From behind one of the few remaining booths that were standing came the source of the laughter. Lisa, in her school uniform, stepped out of hiding and stood akimbo several yards away, cackling proudly.
“Lisa!” Sailor Moon shouted. She was about to walk toward the girl before Mars stopped her by placing her arm in front of Moon.
“Wait!” she cautioned. “This isn’t the same Lisa you know. She’s radiating a lot of evil energy, way more than yesterday. Something’s controlling her.”
Lisa smiled wickedly and taunted in a loud voice, “Come on, come on. What are you waiting for? Oh! I know what it is.” She took off her glasses and threw them to the side. The quintet could see the bright, evil glow of her eyes clearly now, even from the distance. “You didn’t want to hit me with my glasses on. How civilized! Unfortunately, it won’t help you now.”
“Lisa,” Mercury pleaded. “Stop this! There’s no reason why we have to be enemies.”
“Oh isn’t there, Amy?” Mercury gasped in realization of the truth-- Lisa had known their identities. “Or should I call you Princess Mercury?”
Jupiter yelled, “How do you know that?” Even the enemies who learned their identities never found out that they were princesses of the Moon Kingdom and ordinary junior high school girls.
“It’s quite simple, actually. Let me show you.” She raised her right arm, then encased herself in an energy dome. Mere seconds later, the hemisphere disappeared, but Lisa was no longer standing there. She was replaced by a young woman with a yellow crescent moon shaped mark upon her forehead. Other than that, her face was that of Lisa, but her attire had changed drastically. She now wore a silver leotard with a skirtlike attachment in the back. She stood in Lisa’s place and the Scouts knew who she was.
“Mona!” The five shouted simultaneously.
“You thought you could treat me like an outcast, mock me, then just hope I wouldn’t remember? Think again.”
Sailor Moon stepped out in front of the group and pleaded, “Mona, Lisa, please listen to me. I know we wronged you in the past and we haven’t been kind to you in the present. We’re sorry for all we’ve done to you. Give us a second chance the same way my mother gave you a second chance. Just let all that resentment go. Tomorrow we can start clean and fresh as if this never happened.”
Mona stared coldly at Sailor Moon. “If I had simply been Lisa, or even Mona, I might have fallen for your trick and accepted your pathetic apology. But I’m not simply Lisa or Mona anymore. I’m...” Dark clouds formed around her body, swirling up into the heavens. When the dissipated, before the Scouts stood a new creature. She wore black, high boots with three inch heels over a pair of gray tights. A black, sleeveless, bodysuit covered her abdomen and torso, cutting off at her neck. Her face was still that of Mona’s, except the crescent-shaped mark was gone from her forehead and her eyes glowed even more intensely. This was someone the Scouts had never encountered before, a new threat they never could have imagined. This being was...
“Evelyn,” she finished after the transformation.
“I’ve never felt such strong vibes from any enemy I’ve encountered before,” Mars whispered. “I don’t think we’re going to last long in a long drawn out fight. We have to get her now.” Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Mercury Ice Storm Blast!” The power and the fury of a powerful blizzard was unleashed upon Evelyn, but the being stood firm, not choosing to run or attack. She didn’t even blink as the wind and ice reached her and fizzled into nothing. Mercury gasped, put her finger to her earring to activate her visor, and pulled out her mini computer to analyze the situation.
Jupiter wasn’t going to wait for Mercury to study her opponent before attacking. “Jupiter Thunder Crash Zap!” Electricity was shot at the lady clad in black, but as it reached where she stood it simply vanished.
Maybe a combination of attacks will have an effect, Mars thought as she looked at Venus, both having the same idea.
“Mars Celestial Fire...”
“Venus Love Chain...”
Mars and Venus aimed their attacks at the same spot, and the chain became red hot with the power of fire. It circled around Evelyn, trapping her in a ring of fire. However, she wasn’t trapped for long as she grabbed the chain in her hands, causing it to fade away.
“No way!” Jupiter exclaimed.
Sailor Moon thought about pulling out her scepter, but wasn’t sure if that was going to make the situation even worse. She glanced at Mercury, who had just turned her visor off. “Did you find anything?” the leader asked the genius.
“Bad news, I’m afraid.”
“Our powers are totally worthless in this fight, even combined, right?” Venus said in a tone of voice that was in between inquisitive and declarative. “We’ve figured that much already.”
“It’s even worse--” But before she could finish, Sailor Moon cried out in surprise.
“It’s Tuxedo Mask!” She announced as the black-caped man appeared on the scene. He stood on top of the Ferris wheel, diverting Evelyn’s attention away from the Scouts. She stared at him with a perplexed look, for he was an element she hadn’t anticipated. Yet she wasn’t disturbed by his presence but was only curious as to what he would do.
This gave Mars an idea. “Mars Fire Ignite!” She shot a fireball to the right of Evelyn, causing her to break her attention away from Tuxedo Mask. He took advantage of the distraction by throwing a rose directly at Evelyn’s chest. She was ready for it, though, and caught the rose without even looking. It wilted in her fingertips and vanished into thin air. All except Mercury were frozen in disbelief, who had started to speak again.
“I was trying to tell you that she doesn’t just nullify our powers; she absorbs them and turns it into energy she can use. Now that she’s absorbed the energy from that rose, she has enough power to utterly destroy us.”
“She’s right,” Evelyn confirmed. “And thanks to you I can commence my attack.” She extended her arms in front of her and waved them in a horizontal arc. Just underneath her arms a black bow appeared, floating in mid-air. Three arrows--two red, one blue-- appeared along with it, parallel to each other and floating underneath the bow. She grabbed the bow with one hand and one of the red arrows in the other. When she looked for the Scouts they had remained still, hoping to draw her fire only to dodge at the last second. She knew from their previous battles how the Scouts tended to dodge projectiles. Sailor Moon would be the easiest to hit, because of all the Scouts she was the most constant in the pattern of avoidance. She aimed the arrow where she knew Moon was going to be at and fired it.
As soon as the arrow was launched into the air, each Scout went her own separate way, for they were too far away to know which one she had set her sights on. Sailor Moon reacted exactly as Evelyn had predicted, leaping to the right a couple of yards. The arrow and Moon’s head were on a collision course, a sight that would not be pretty. Sailor Moon would never know what hit her.
Only because nothing did. In an instant darkness fell over her eyes and she thought she had been hit with the arrow. Then she looked up and saw the brim of a top hat. Instantly she got to her feet and saw that she stood over Tuxedo Mask, who was doubled over in pain. The cause of the injury was apparent-- a red arrow had embedded itself into his stomach and the surrounding area on his white shirt was stained with blood.
Evelyn didn’t give the Scouts any recovery time, for immediately she fired the blue arrow into the air. After reaching a certain height it exploded and blue dust fell onto the ground of the vicinity. Mercury and Venus were covered in the powder and fainted under its influence. Mars and Jupiter found momentary cover, but a faint wind carried the powder to both of them, and they fell unconscious as well. Tuxedo Mask fell to the ground once the dust hit him, and Moon was left unprotected from the falling powder. It took all of her strength to keep herself awake. Evelyn’s expression didn’t change at this apparent success, but she gloated with her words instead of her face.
“That dust will sap your energy until there isn’t any left. Of course when that happens, you’ll be nothing more than dust yourselves.” She set her sights on Sailor Moon, who had dropped to all fours fighting the effects of the powder. “You! Why can’t you be a good little moon princess and die like your friends? Or do I have to finish you off myself?” She picked up the arrow and put it in the bow. Drawing the bow taut, she aimed at Moon’s chest, above the brooch. She released the arrow, and a grin of satisfaction appeared on her face.
Sailor Moon’s response was out of pure survival instinct. She knew she couldn’t use her weapons on Evelyn and she couldn’t move in time to dodge the arrow. “Moon Tiara Magic!” she shouted as quickly as possible and threw her tiara at the arrow. Less than a second later, a flash of light between Moon and Evelyn lit up the area. When it cleared, Sailor Moon’s tiara laid on the ground and the arrow was nowhere to be found. Evelyn seemed surprised, but only for a few seconds before laughing maniacally. “You have merely delayed your fate, for the dust is still sapping your energy. What can you do? Attack me?”
Sailor Moon looked down at her brooch, the glint of the Imperium Silver Crystal catching her eye. An idea hit her, and she silently asked herself why she didn’t think of it before. “Absorb this,” she said as she took off her brooch and lifted it into the air. “Moon Crystal Healing Activation!” The pink light engulfed the area, completely surrounding Evelyn.
“I can absorb any attack!” she proudly gloated as she took in the energy from the crystal. At first, she welcomed the warm light into her body, hoping to make another arrow or two out of it. But something was amiss, for the energy, instead of strengthening her, weakened her. Worse yet it was splitting her in two internally-- Lisa and Evelyn-- and undoing the fusion process of before. She looked at Sailor Moon with confusion, knowing the heroine had the answer. “What...is going on? What is happening to me...us...you...”
Sailor Moon refused to answer the question. Evelyn tried to walk toward Sailor Moon, but the power of the Crystal prevented her from getting very far. She dropped to the ground in a useless attempt at stopping the healing process. In agony, Evelyn screamed as the body she had worked so hard for reverted to Lisa’s original form, uniform and all. Evelyn could feel herself slipping away from Lisa’s mind and clung to the girl with all her might. Despite this, the Crystal’s energy was too much for Evelyn to bear, and in a flash the healing energy pushed Evelyn out of Lisa’s body. Lisa collapsed onto the pavement with a thud, moaning softly.
At the same time, Tuxedo Mask got to his feet completely recovered. The arrow stuck in Tuxedo Mask’s abdomen disappeared along with the wound. The other Scouts regained consciousness while Sailor Moon regained the strength she had lost. Finally they made their way over to Moon came together in one huddle.
“You beat her!” Jupiter exclaimed with joy and wrapped her arms tightly around Sailor Moon.
“Jupiter...you’re....cutting off...my air.”
“Oops.” She released her hold on the blue faced girl.
“What should we do about her?” Mercury asked, pointing to the fallen form of Lisa.
“She’ll come to,” Mars answered. “We’ll just leave her here like we do when we restore someone.”
“But shouldn’t we be here when she wakes up? It’s going to be very disorienting for her is she opens her eyes and finds herself alone in the middle of a deserted amusement park. Besides, someone should help her home.”
“In that case, why don’t you do it?” Venus asked.
“Yeah,” Moon agreed. “Of course you’re going to have to make up a lie, but with your brains that should be a piece of cake.”
Mercury’s stomach turned at the thought of lying, but when compared Lisa’s well being, her pride didn’t seem to matter as much.
“Do you think she’ll remember any of this?” she asked to cover her uneasiness.
Sailor Moon waved her hand. “Nah! I’d bet she is going to wake up thinking this entire situation was nothing but a bad dream.” Lisa started to stir, startling the Scouts.
“Let’s get out of here before she wakes up,” Mars advised.
“Are you coming with us, Tuxedo--?” Before Moon could even finish the question he was long gone. I guess he found his own way home, she mused. Without missing a beat Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus walked away and disappeared in the night air.
When Lisa first opened her eyes, her first instinct was to close them again. Before she could do that, she saw a familiar figure over her. It didn’t take her long to recognize the girl. It was Amy, dressed in a light blue blouse and dark red pants. The urge to go back to sleep was fading while the urge to speak grew stronger. “Amy?” she asked.
Amy nodded in affirmation. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” Lisa stood up on her own power. “I was in the amusement park...” Amy handed her the pair of glasses she had previously cast off. “Thank you.” Lisa put on her glasses and took a look at her surroundings. “I’m not sure how I got here myself. How did you find me?”
Amy paused and squirmed before answering. “I was here with my friends when a monster attacked and scared everyone away. Outside the park I looked through the crowd, but I couldn’t find you, so after Sailor Moon and her friends took care of the monster, I went back inside to find you.” On response to the story Lisa burst out laughing-- not a cackle, but a good natured laugh-- and puzzled Amy. “What’s so funny?”
Lisa stopped laughing long enough to respond. “That whopper of a tale you just told me! If you thought I was going to believe that...” She started laughing once more, though she didn’t take long to stop. “I remember everything, Amy, so you don’t have to make up any stories about what happened.” Amy gasped in shock. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to attack you or reveal your identities to the world. In fact, I want to apologize to you and the others. I put all of you through a great deal of trouble and I’m sorry for doing that.”
“If anything, I’m the one who should apologize. I’m sorry for excluding you from my activities. And I’m sorry for laughing at you when you fell on the dance floor. I shouldn’t have been so inconsiderate and I promise never to do it again.”
“The same here. So do we accept each other’s apologies?”
For a minute both paused, waiting for the other to speak first. Finally they both said, “Apology accepted,” simultaneously.
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that would last for years to come.