Tom began to make his way through the crowd, skating where he could, popping off curbs and railings when the opportunity presented itself. Luna had all she could do to keep up with him. Finally, at a light, he stopped to wait for the chance to cross. Once he had the “walk” signal to his favor, he put his board down and started. Luna was nimble enough to hop on the back of his board and sit carefully between his legs. When he got to the other side, she hopped off and meowed real loud. That finally caught Tom’s attention, and he then spotted the purple cat with the funny mark on her forehead rubbing up against his right calf. He then knelt down and said, in English, “Yo! What’s up, little cat dude?”
Luna was indeed fluent in many languages, English being one of them. It took her a second to catch onto the dialect, but she acknowledged it with a meow and purring as he began to stroke her head and scratch in spots to which she led. She may have had a human intelligence, and could talk, but she was still a cat! “Well, where are you going?” Tom asked, and she rubbed up against the board. “Oh, so you dig this, huh?” he then said, picked her up, and laid her around his neck as he hopped on the board and continued on. However, this was not what she either wanted or expected! “Hang on!” he hollered, “Just don’t dig your claws into my skin—‘kay?”
Luna now definitely sure that this was not what she wanted!
He began to fly down the sidewalk, doing kick spins, popping up onto a ledge and rolling off the back wheels, then popping from there onto a handrail and riding it to the sidewalk. All the way, Luna had her claws locked into his school uniform jacked, hair on end, screeching all the way! However, when he came to the next curb, he had not noticed that someone had left a crate and some plywood out on the edge in such a fashion that it formed a ramp. There was no time to compensate, so he kicked up the front of the board and rode it up. There was no going back now, and he had to try to adjust as it came to him. “REEEYOOOOWWW!” exclaimed Luna, here eyes going wide in terror as they went up at about the time a convertible was coming down the street. As it approached him, he cleared it, much to the surprise of the car’s occupants. He landed, coasted for a few feet to gain his balance, snapped the board around, and came back to the sidewalk. In the meantime, the car he had cleared had pulled over to the curb to see if he was okay. Before he could get out, he shouted, “Gnarly! I don’t think I could do that again if I wanted!”
The driver then said, “And if you ask me, that was a dumb stunt!”
“Hey, it wasn’t on purpose!” said Tom, now defending himself, “Someone left that out there and I didn’t see it in time.”
At that point he noticed that that cat around his shoulders was now trembling like a leaf, her teeth were clenched, and she was terrified. He started to pick her up, but she was now intertwined with his jacket. “Um, you can let go now, we’ve stopped.”
She just let out a quick “mew,” and let go, but she was still trembling, having had all nine lives flash before her. It was then he noticed who was in the back seat, and he suddenly felt sheepish.
“Konichiwa, Sensei,” said Tom, “I hope this doesn’t make you think badly of me.”
“Of course not,” she said, “It was an accident. Just pay more attention.”
He also noticed Hotaru sitting next to her, and said, “Hi, kiddo!”
It was then he also noticed the car, and said, in English, “Dude—nice Beamer!”
Haruka looked at him oddly, and Michiru said, “I think he said he liked the car.”
Tom continued in Japanese this time, and said, “I don’t know how to say this in Japanese, but… (He then just said in English,) how many horsies do you have under that hood? What’s its 0-60 time?”
Michiru understood this, translated, and then Haruka said in Japanese, “She’s got plenty of horses. Her 0-100 k.p.h. is about 5.2 seconds.”
“Where I am from, this car could tear it up on the drag strip,” Tom said, “You could take this to Drag City in Los Angeles and race for titles. We call it ‘racing for pinks,’ or pink slips—the color many titles are.”
“Ah so!’ said Haruka, “We call that Tokyo Drift.”
“Oh, that’s right,” Tom responded, “You have that here too! COOL!”
Setsuna added, “…and it is quite illegal.”
“Bummer!” responded Tom.
After having talked to Hotaru, Setsuna then asked, “Say, where do you live? We can give you a ride home!”
A smirk appeared on Haruka’s face, and she said, “Yeah, you can see how fast she can go!”
“Awesome!” he exclaimed as Hotaru moved over and he hopped over the top to get in and buckle up. Yet, all Luna could do was groan, thinking, “Here we go again!”
Once the car was clear of the main city traffic, Haruka opened up the engine and let her fly. Luna was balled up between Tom and Hotaru, with her face buried into the seat. Setsuna hollered over the din and said, “Where do you live?”
“I live in a housing area not too far from the naval base,” Tom shouted.
They tore along, Tom enjoying every minute of it. As they hit the water, the sunset reminded him of the beaches back in California, and he just let his hair whip in the wind. As the pulled up to the gate outside, Setsuna asked him, “What are your hopes for the future?”
“I’m going into Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps, and then get stationed here again. I kind of like this area!”
Michiru, having a feeling where the conversation was going, said, “Much of our futures can be based in the past. Tell me: what are your oldest memories?”
“Hmm,” thought Tom, “I really don’t remember much beyond three years of age, and maybe hints of being two here and there, but that’s about it.”
Not being able to go that route, Hotaru then said, “Have you ever had dreams that keep coming back?”
Now that got his attention, as well as Luna’s who had calmed down enough to pay attention. “Well, that I can say “yes” to, and they are odd dreams.”
“Please tell me,” pleaded Hotaru.
“I cannot refuse a pretty face like that!” Tom exclaimed, and he said, “I keep dreaming I am in some great palace somewhere, with a beautiful queen and her court, and on the moon, of all places!”
The car sat silent for a few good seconds, which made Tom nervous a bit. At that point, Luna looked up and saw something forming on his forehead. Above was the symbol for the planet Jupiter, but below it formed a crescent moon, with a canted anchor through it, and a rabbit sitting in the middle of the crescent moon. It was there for about two seconds, and then faded. Tom, to break the tension, said, “Well that goes to show you that you cannot trust dreams. I mean, that’s ridiculous—a kingdom on the moon. Everyone knows it’s a desolate rock anyway. We’ve sent twelve men to the moon, and all they found was a gray wasteland.”
To the others, however, this was not so ridiculous. The desolation was exactly what should have been there after the queen did what she did. At this, Tom hopped out and said, “You coming, kitty?”
“Actually,” said Setsuna, “We know to whom this cat belongs, so we’ll take her home.”
“Cool!” said Tom, “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow, then! Thanks for the ride!”
Once he was out of earshot, Haruka said, “I noticed that you were looking at him real well, Luna. What were you looking at?”
“I don’t think you would believe me if I told you!” said Luna.
“We’ll talk along the way,” said Michiru, “You can sit up here!”
Luna hopped up front, but she let out a groan. Haruka laughed, and said, “Don’t worry; I won’t try to set a land speed record this time!”
As they went, Luna said, “I would not have believed it if I had not seen it. My link with Usagi can cause the emblem of a Sailor Scout to become visible briefly, and I though that all of you had already emerged and awakened.”
“Just what did you see,” asked Setsuna, now keenly interested. Her memory was not as bad as the others, but she figured that, if Luna could describe the emblem, something might be jogged in her mind. Luna then described what she had seen, and Setsuna’s face went white. Suddenly, a flood of memories came to her, and she said, “Oh my goodness! How could I have forgotten about them?”
“Forgotten about who, Setsuna-mama?” asked Hotaru.
“They were some of the best we had!” answered Setsuna, “They were the Marine Scouts.”
“There were marines in the kingdom?” asked Haruka, quite surprised.
“They stayed along the Asteroid belt, close to the orbit of Jupiter, guarding the outer rim of the inner planets. There were three divisions that made up the corps: the Troy, Greek and Belt divisions. Even if she does not remember, Sailor Jupiter was their commander. They answered to her, but normally acted autonomously. If there was a need, she would step forward and take charge of the entire corps. Other than that, the divisions had their own commanders that could handle things. They received their orders from the queen through Jupiter, but then left it to the division that was assigned to the task. However, if it was great enough a need, she would command all of them to work in concert with all of us. Because of the nature of the final attack, the Marine Scouts were a hair too late to turn the tide of battle, and they were all annihilated—except for one. He was a gunnery sergeant, although his name escapes me at the time. I cannot put a face on him after all these centuries, but, come to think of it; he did not look too dissimilar to what we saw tonight.”
“Okay, so we know this,” said Haruka, “But does it matter now? I mean, after Sailor Galaxia, what is there left to threaten Earth?”
“That’s not the point,” said Luna, “If ever a threat did come, would you not think that having everyone we could would help?”
“Then there is the vision,” said Hotaru, in a distant way.
“That does not mean that it will happen,” said Michiru.
Hotaru was about to protest, but Setsuna said, “Precognition is not an exact science, dear child. The future shifts all the time. It may have just changed now. Think about it, if your vision was one that did not involve him fighting, then his arrival may change that.”
“Or, he could be the man I saw that brings the solution,” said Hotaru.
Setsuna sighed, and said, “Okay, you have me there. However, because of that vision, I think it would be best to awaken him. Who knows—it could be what makes the difference without a single conflict occurring.”
“Then, how do we bring him out?” asked Haruka.
“Leave that to me!” said Luna, “I am going to see if there is something I can bring out of the ether for him, just like I did the others. If so, then it’s only a matter of an explanation.”
They pulled up to Usagi’s house, and Setsuna came to the door with Luna. When they rang the bell, Usagi and her mother were there, and Setsuna said, “I do believe this cat is yours?”
“Thank you so much!” said Usagi, trying to make it look like Luna was merely lost, and not out fact finding as Minako had told her. Her mother then said, “You naughty kitty—why did you have us so worried.”
Luna just meowed a touch, and they thanked Setsuna once again. Usagi then announced that she was her new teacher, and they invited her in. With that, she mentioned the others, and they were all called in. It was not too long after sunset, and there was plenty of food to give everyone. Thus, they were all called in to dine.
As they sat, Usagi’s mother mentioned, “Usagi has had her troubles in the past, but I think she is maturing to where she can be a good student.”
“Don’t worry,” said Setsuna, “I have ways of getting the best out of even the poorest students.”
“Wow, you teach and work miracles?” said Shogi, “I only hope my teachers are as good when I get to high school.”
“You take that back!” snapped Usagi as she put Shogi into a headlock and started giving him noogies.
“OW!” he screamed, and screamed for his mother to intervene. Usagi’s father then snapped, “Enough, you two—my goodness, we have guests; can’t you two leave each other alone for five minutes.”
“He started it!” shouted Usagi.
“She started it!” shouted Shogi at the same moment.
“I did not!” they both said at the same time. Setsuna then said, “Well, I hope this isn’t the way you act in class—amongst your close friends.”
Setsuna was trying to give the hint that Usagi was not acting in the manner of a good Sailor Scout, or a princess. Usagi caught the hint, and sat silent. Her parents were amazed. They had never seen such a quick response from her. “Well, you have to share your technique with us,” said her mother while eyeing Usagi, “It would sure come in handy!”
The dinner ended, and everyone retired to the living room for some coffee. While her parents and her brother were in the other room, Setsuna said, “Honestly, Princess, you have to learn to be more ladylike in times like that.”
“He is so aggravating,” Usagi said frowning.
“He is also the duke of New Okinawa in the future,” said Setsuna, “So there is hope for him.”
“Him, a duke?” Usagi said, and then began to laugh.
Setsuna just sighed, knowing that there would be future events that she could not at that time recall that would reshape her, and turn her into the graceful woman and queen that would one day rule the Earth in peace. It was then that Luna spoke up and said, “Oh, and I almost forgot. We may have a new member to the team, and I think the last person you would have expected!”
“Oh, really?” queried Usagi, going over in her head some of the girls that she would have least expected to be a Sailor Scout, “Who is she?”
“It’s not ‘she,’ Usagi,” answered Luna, “It’s ‘he’!”
Usagi thought for a moment, and then she said, “Oh please don’t tell me it’s Umino!”
Luna groaned, and said, “Of course it’s not him! If he was, I would have found out a long time ago!”
It was then that Usagi began to think a touch more, and somehow it clicked in her mind. If it were someone they all knew, then it would have been resolved a long time ago. That would leave…
“Are you saying that it’s the new boy?” Usagi said in astonishment.
“Bingo!” said Haruka.
“Wow—won’t he be surprised!” Usagi said with some glee, but then she stopped to think, and said, “So, why are we even caring about it now?”
Michiru finally spoke, and she said, “We put some thought to it, and we realized some things. We could just let things be, but from what Artemis and Luna saw today, there will be things awakening on their own that, if we do not tell him, it may drive him insane.”
“We have to think that his memory was jogged a bit when he saw you girls in action today,” added Haruka.
“You were probably too busy to see what happened when the last bandit approached him,” interjected Setsuna.
“Actually, I saw it all,” Usagi corrected, “and I could not believe it! He did not even…”
Her voice trailed off, and then she said, “…know…how…himself. Ouch! I can see why we should tell him!”
“The sooner we tell him, the better,” responded Setsuna, “The more he is around you, and the more he is around Makoto, the more memories come back.”
“Why would it be Makoto?” Usagi inquired.
“She was the corps commander over all the Marine Scouts,” answered Haruka, “There were three whole divisions of them. If the whole corps was needed, she would take direct command. He was the only survivor from the old Moon Kingdom war, when it all fell.”
“My memory has become clearer now on this, and she felt some responsibility to his safety at that time,” said Setsuna, “Her feelings at that time were more professional than anything else, and compassion, that the entire corps fell, save for him. She tried to take responsibility for what happened like a good commander might, but he told her not to take it on herself. He also told her that it was good that she called, or else they would not have even lived that long. He even tried to joke by saying that the marines always have to bail the sailors out. It made her laugh, but it was bittersweet, because of what had to happen next—all of what you already know.”
“That explains the way she was reacting at the café with him,” realized Usagi, “She must have been having flashbacks.”
“Oh my!” said Hotaru, “Then we must tell him soon!”
“We’re getting together at Rei-chan’s place on Friday night,” said Usagi, “That could be good. At least the inner planet Scouts will all be there to help him receive the news, so it isn’t a shock to him.”
“Then we’ll all be there,” said Setsuna, “This is a matter of aiding a comrade in arms, and I think that, if he realizes that he has friends around that faced what he shall when you all awakened, it will be that much better.”
With that, Usagi’s parents came in with the coffee, and general conversation ensued. However, Usagi kept turning the thought over and over again in her head of there being another Scout. Because of the fact that he was American, and isolated from them for a few years, it explained the reason why they never met him. It was too bad, though; having someone like him would have been handy in helping them all grow and fight. She just hoped that he would take it well. Not everyone reacted the news in the same way, and she hoped that he would be strong enough to handle things. It’s not something that you just drop in casual conversation: so, how’s class? What do you think the Giants’ chances are this year? Did you know we met in a past life? What do you think of this dress? You’re a superhero? How’s your family been? She was determined to handle it delicately, because also did not want him thinking that they were insane. Then again, when the two cats start talking to him that might be enough to push him over the edge! She leaned over to Luna, and whispered, “How do we tell him without him going insane?”
“How do you know you didn’t go insane when I told you?” joked Luna, “Oh, wait, you already were!”
“Keep it up, and you sleep outside,” hissed Usagi through her teeth.
“What was that you said, darling?” asked her mother.
“Uh, I was just telling Luna she should be happy she’s not sleeping outside,” answered Usagi, and Luna just sat their chuckling. All Usagi thought was, “You’re gonna get it when we get upstairs.”