The Light of the Moon
Chapter 1: The Light of the Moon
I opened my eyes and found myself in a hotel room. I had fallen asleep on my couch: at least I could blame the Japanese cartoons I had been watching for my vivid dream. I tried to remember the throne room, the Queen, and the Princess, but the details had slipped away by the time I opened the curtain window. I saw the Tokyo skyscrapers in front of me, covering the setting sun. I'd never been to Japan before: it was such a beautiful sight. I still daydreamed of getting a job and visiting here once in a while, but I was just a visitor for the week. I hoped to find somewhere quiet to eat and enjoy the sights without the usual hustle and bustle. Unfortunately, the closest place that I could find in a Texas-style Western BBQ...not exactly the sort of place I came a long way to visit...
"Howdy, partner! My name's Serena! Can I rustle ya sumthin' from the ole waterin' hole?" The waitress who greeted me was a perky blonde with buns, long hair and blue eyes. I guessed she was in her late teens or early twenties - definitely younger than I was, but at least she didn't call me 'sir'. Her 'Southern' accent definitely needed some work: it sounded like a mix of German and Japanese.
I didn't want to admit I was having some trouble reading the menu. "Could I have another minute?"
She gasped and bobbled her head up and down as if she had overdosed on caffeine. "Sure! Say, are you American? I went to university in America for a year! I didn't finish though, the teachers there are so strict! One of them failed me just for sleeping in class! I didn't want to go home and make my parents cry and listen to my friend Raye be like 'I can't believe you failed again, meatball head!' So I got a job here, and the owner said I could sleep in the basement, and I have all the benefits of being in America without going to an American school! It's so great, right? Oh - and don't call me meatball head! Please!"
I returned her grin with an awkward smile. Most people probably would have run out of the restaurant at that point, but it had been a while since I had a full conversation with someone. I hadn't expected to make any friends while I was here.
A cat pressed itself against the window and meowed. "LUNA! Get off the window! I've cleaned it enough times today!" Serena yelled at the black cat. I noticed a strange crescent moon-shaped bald patch on the cat's forehead. "I'm gonna have a talk with that cat! Not that she talks back to me, because that would be crazy! I'll be right back!"
Just as Serena rushed outside, I noticed a man hovering ominously over my table, wearing all black and tilting his head so that his hat covered his face. Things got weirder when the music came to a grinding halt and everyone else dropped face-first into the tables.
"Come with me. It's time for our first mission," said the sinister man. Given that no one else was conscious, he had to be talking to me.
"You didn't spike the ol' waterin' hole now, did ya?" I asked sarcastically. I glanced out of the window trying to find see Serena, but she had already removed Luna from my window. I hoped that she had gone to get help and hadn't just run away.
"That wasn't a request," the man leaned in. I tried to look him square in the eye to convince him I wasn't afraid (which I was), but I saw something strange swirling around in there: like dark energy. I must be having another dream, I thought.
"My waitress hasn't taken my order yet. I wouldn't want to run out on her. She seems nice," I told him. Serena rushed through the front door just as the man tried to grab me.
"Hey! Don't mess with Texas! And don't mess with my customers!" Serena screamed and pointed.
"Moon...Cosmic...POWER!" she shouted. I just stood there wide-eyed as she...transformed in front of me. I was fixed on all the pretty colors as a tiara, white gloves, red boots, and a white uniform with blue laces and a red bowtie took form upon her. At least the scene proved I was dreaming - I should NOT have spent my first day watching TV.
"Sailor Moon!" the man smirked. "It's been a while! But I thought your uniform changed. What happened to the wings?"
Sailor Moon...I heard of Sailor V and the Sailor Scouts many years ago - magical schoolgirls fighting criminals, monsters and aliens... though I hadn't been sure how much of it was real news. Until now.
"It's a long story," Sailor Moon shrugged before she remembered where she was and posed. "I am Sailor Moon, champion of justice! On behalf of the moon, I will right wrongs and triumph over evil, and that means you!"
She corrected herself when she realized she was pointing at me. "Not you, him! YOU seem nice! Not that I'm trying to influence any tip you were thinking of giving me -"
Sailor Moon was interrupted by a blast of dark energy that threw her into the back of the restaurant. Not thinking, I tried to tackle my attacker, but he pushed me off and grabbed my by the shoulder. "Moon...Tiara...MAGIC!" Sailor Moon cried and threw what looked like frisbee of white light at him.
He barely flinched when her halo struck him, and he refused to let me go. "Back to such weak attacks, Sailor Moon? You're little more than a nuisance!"
She charged into us and screamed "get your hand OFF OF HIM!" The next thing I saw was a massive burst of energy that sent us flying out of the restaurant. I barely felt myself hit the floor before I blacked out...
When I woke up, I noticed Sailor Moon lying unconscious nearby. I crawled over to her but ducked my head just as a projectile flew at me. It was a rose: a figure wearing a white mask and black clothing leaped down off the restaurant roof.
I presumed he was another "recruiter" for whoever was responsible for all this. "Tell whoever you work for that I'm not interested," I snarled.
The masked figure snorted. "I am Tuxedo Mask! I 'work' for the forces of truth and justice. I'm here to protect the lovely Sailor Moon from the likes of you!"
Before I had the chance to explain anything, Tuxedo Mask threw a punch at me. I got out of the way and Tuxedo Mask charged for another strike, so I pushed his arm to the side and punched him square in the jaw as hard as I could.
"STOP!" a female voice screamed out. It had come in the direction of Serena's cat Luna, who was perched on the sidewalk near the restaurant, but I saw no one else in her direction. "He did not attack Sailor Moon! She was protecting him!"
Great, now animals are talking to me! I must have hit my head!
"My name is Luna. No, you are not hallucinating or dreaming, I really am a talking cat!" It was an awkward way of introducing herself, so I likely wasn't the first. "I sensed something the moment I met you, and what I saw confirms that we are on the same side.
"On the same side?" asked Tuxedo Mask. "Do you mean he's a..."
"No, not exactly," answered Luna. "I will explain but right now, we have to get Serena to safety."
"To her house?" asked Tuxedo Mask.
"No, there is another place we can go."
"Fine, help me carry her," ordered Tuxedo Mask. I still didn't trust him, so I stepped back.
"Look, I'm sorry I attacked you. My real name is Darien. I'm her boyfriend."
"Boyfriend?" I muttered without really thinking.
"It comes as a surprise to most people but yes: she has a boyfriend," he answered. Based on the look on his face, I could picture him asking himself: is he just surprised that she has a boyfriend, or is he disappointed? I saw him rubbing the side of his face where I had hit him.
"Hurry, we have to get her to safety," urged Luna. We took Sailor Moon under the arms and ran after her...
To Be Continued