Before long, the scouts, with Tuxedo Mask found themselves outside the office of the commandant, one Commodore Franco Ravalli. He had arrived as soon as he had heard about the attack, and was surprised that it was subdued just after he had arrived. He was further surprised on who had assisted-and fairly well led-the attack. He had heard about the Sailor Scouts, and he knew that Japan fairly well considered them national treasures. He just never figured that they would appear on an American base, much less help stop something like this. He had to meet them, and he owed them greatly. He sat in his spacious office that was complete with crossed U.S. Colors, the Japanese flag, and the flag of the United States Navy, wearing his kakis, having to hastily dress to get there. It had white walls and curtains with several book cases filled with history and instructional books, ship paintings and models, a few palm plants, a beautiful rosewood desk, some chairs, and a navy blue carpet with the U.S. Navy emblem on it. He heard the knock and beckoned them to enter. He was shocked to find that they were all either preteens or teens, (save for Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Pluto,) all decked out in what could best be described as acombination cracker jack top and Japanese school uniform. The exceptions were the young man, who looked resplendent in his Continental Marines uniform, the one in the navy blue officers jacket that looked in charge, and the one in the tux that looked as out of place as an orange on an apple tree. He could not believe that these kids had been the ones to save the base from an awful disaster. However, only one seemed to know any military etiquette, which was the young man, and he rendered a proper "present arms" with his saber, holding his hat in his left hand, while saying, "Sailor Scouts reporting as ordered, sir."
After returning a stunned salute, Com. Ravalli said, "And who are you, son?"
"Gunnery Sergeant Ceres, sir," responded Ceres.
"And who are the rest," the commodore then asked.
"We are the pretty guardians in the sailor suits," said Sailor Moon, "defenders of love and justice! I am Sailor Moon!"
The rest went down the line and introduced themselves, and the commodore then said, "I cannot believe that kids like you went up against-and defeated-hardened terrorists!"
"There is more to us than meets the eye, dear sir," said Mars, and then Ceres said, "And your Marines and SP were helpful as well."
"Oh they were," said the commodore, who then added, "and they shall all be cited properly and awarded well. However, the reason why I called you up here was to ask a few questions initially, and then see where it goes. First, how were you on post to start with?"
"That would be because my father is a marine officer stationed here," said Ceres, "And they were guests in our home when things hit."
"You're an American?" asked the now further surprised commodore.
"Everyone keeps calling me that, so I guess that it's true, sir," joked Ceres.
"How did you beat them?" the commodore then asked.
"We have great gifts," said Pluto, "We are quite powerful."
"So this report says," concurred the commodore, "But you have to tell me who you are, because I have something I wish to do for you. Believe me; it will not go beyond this office."
They all looked at each other, nodded, and everyone transformed back, as Mask took off the hat and mask, and they all looked like any group of kids in a high school, dressed more like they were getting ready for a dance rather than to fight terror. They all introduced themselves again, and it was then the commodore recognized Tom. "Ah, yes, you're Major Reichmann's boy," he exclaimed, "Already serving, and you haven't even finished high school yet!"
The commodore then stood up and said, "Well, considering that we cannot let it be known that such a thing has happened, lest there be far greater problems than we have already had tonight, then what I would like to do I cannot do. You would have all earned the Congressional Medal of Freedom. However, if the opportunity comes up to present that, you will have that. Until that time, you are all honorary members of the United States Navy-and Marines, in your case-and you have full base privileges, including all mess deck access and BX use. Of course, since you would want to protect your identities, you will have to come here in uniform, and carry the ID cards we are about to make for all of you. Therefore, suit up and prepare to get photographed, sailors, and marine."
They transformed right there, completely amazing the commodore, being overwhelmed by the events of the evening. It was then that he noticed the markings of rank on them, and saw the one in green trim. He had a guess, and he said, "That would be the rank of Admiral, would it not?"
"Indeed it would," said Jupiter.
"That means you would outrank me," he said with a smile, and then he got curious and asked, "Are you a part of some military force right now?"
"Just us," said Venus, "but we shall have higher ranks later on in time."
"Now I am confused," said the commodore.
"Not so far into the future-maybe about in 20 years-galactic exploration shall begin," said Pluto, "It shall be a global force, and the one with the pink trim shall actually be the queen."
"Are you saying that the U.S. shall be no more?" asked the commodore, now worried.
"No, but actually, you shall be elevated by the events of the future,"responded Pluto, "However, the details I cannot yet share, but know that they are good things. You are looking at the future commanders of that force. This is something that cannot pass beyond these walls, lest something happen to change that glorious future that will take place."
"How can I be sure that it won't be something that undermines the U.S.?" asked the commodore.
"Sir, I would not be seeking to be an officer in the marines if I did not care about the U.S." responded Ceres, "I dare not bite the hand that has been, and shall, feed me."
The commodore rubbed his chin, and realized that he was making much ado about nothing. They were kids. Even if they did grow up to be military people, there was just something about them that made him trust them. "Okay, kids,"said the commodore, "Chief Petty Officer Slocomb will take you to get your photos and give you welcome maps of the base to tell you where everything is. Welcome to the family, kids."
Everyone was photographed, and issued the green cards that would be given to regular military personnel, complete with rank marked. They were then told that the guard posts would have their pictures in the guard shack, and as long as they came in uniform, all was theirs as if they were military themselves. The only exception was Tom/Ceres, because he already had his card for being amilitary dependent. Therefore, he did not need one. Once that was done, despite the lockdown, they were given clearance to leave. Tom then went home and showed his father the contract that he had received that day. His dad said that he would have someone from the Judge Advocate General office take a look at it and see if all the "I's" were dotted and all the "T's" were crossed. He would then go over it with him, and show him where there could be snags, and then take him to one of the lawyers that worked there to help show him how to negotiate things. His dad then said, "The tryout went that well, eh?"
"It looks like we have a good trio," said Tom, "We could be the next Essex."
"Boy, if this is the way you attack things, then OCS will be a cinch for you!"
He then hugged his son, so proud of all that he had done, and all of which he would one day succeed.
Once outside, everyone broke up and then changed back. Mamoru, Bunny, and Usagi were all together, Mamoru having each one on his arms, and Usagi leaned her head contentedly on his shoulder. It was a peaceful scene and a beautiful night. Mamoru then said, "Usa-hime, I am so proud of you."
"Why?" she asked in a teasing fashion.
"I heard how you took charge of the situation where you were tonight," said Mamoru, to which Bunny said, "And she almost got herself shot!"
Mamoru wanted to give her more credit, and said, "Now, Chibiusa, we ALL almost got shot, and even blown up tonight. It kind of goes with the territory, doesn't it?"
Bunny sighed and had to concede the point. Mamoru then said, "What I mean is, you thought it out, tried to figure a good plan, and then executed. Even though it was a bit shaky, that was a lot better than the Usagi that I met over two years ago."
"What are you saying?" asked Usagi, still teasingly, hoping to hear something good.
"I don't know what it is," he said, "But I think you will be taking charge sooner than you think in things."
He then stopped and stepped in front of her. "You have no idea how great it is to watch this bud spread into a beautiful cherry blossom. With these latest adventures, you make me love you more and more. No wonder I loved you so much in the old days. I can see what the attraction was. I don't love you because of that past, I love you for who you are, have always been, and are going to be."
With that, he gave her a passionate kiss, but they did not notice that they were right in front of Usagi's house now. Her mother was all smiles, while Shogi was all disgusted with the display, and her father, though accepting of the boy that would be his son-in-law, was still a little leery of such a sight, as many fathers would. However, when he asked, "So, does the young man know how to say 'good-night'?"
Usagi said, "I'll say he does!" and pulled him in close for another kiss. It was not as long, but he got the point, and he said, "I cannot wait until we are wed!"
She smiled, and then headed in with Bunny. Shogi then said, "Yuck! Did you have to do that?"
At that, something snapped in her head, and she was now not going to take anymore of his garbage-she knew she did not have to. She turned to look at him, and her parents thought that there was going to be another spat right there. However, she did not react the way they thought. She looked firmly at Shogi and said, "Listen, you little brat: that is going to be your brother-in-law one day whether you like it or not, so you'd better get used to the sight. I am so sick of you mocking the people I like, and it stops right now...unless you want me to advertise how you drool nightly over the picture of that girl in your class every night!"
Shogi's eyes went wide at that point. For a split second, he thought she was bluffing. Yet, the look in her eyes told him that she just might be serious, and now teasing turned to terror. "You...you wouldn't do that, now would you?"he said, as his parents now began to rib him about the girl, now asking all about whom she was and such. "That's dirty pool, Usagi!" Shogi snapped, "She doesn't even know I like her. I would die of embarrassment if she found out before I could tell her!"
"Then you had better stop teasing me and grow up!" Usagi snapped, "Because Ican play that game too, except that I am older, and know a few more tricks than you, and I play for keeps!"
He hung his head all pouty, and he said, "I'm sorry, big sister, because that wasn't nice. I'll stop teasing you."
She then smiled, and said, "That's what I wanted to hear. You know, squirt, you're not a bad kid! You just need to act your age!"
Shogi smiled and said, "You first!" and gave her a playful knuckle in the rib. She laughed, and got him in a headlock and gave him a couple of noogies. He struggled to let go, but instead of arguing there was laughter. As they went inside, their parents were arm and arm, so happy to see their children growing up right before their eyes. However, Shogi then said, "You really wouldn't tell everyone, would you?"
"She wouldn't have to," said Bunny, "Remember: we're in the same class!"
"Oh, come on!" Shogi retorted, "That's two against one!"
"She's my m...older sister!" said Bunny, "I'm going to stick up for her!"
"Come on," said Usagi, "My homework's done. Let's get Monopoly out and have a little fun."
Her parents said, "Not without us!" and it turned into a great family night. The Tsukinos were becoming an even better family than before.
When Venus returned home, her parents saw the contract. They were so pleased with her, considering that something like that had always been her dream, and now she had a chance to gain it. She then said that they told her to go over it to make sure everything was good, and they all sat down together to look it over. While this was going on, Makoto was going over it herself. Although she was not necessarily the greatest legal mind, she understood enough, and realized that it would not interfere too much with other things. She was surprised at how generous the studio was being, and she knew that any supplemental income she could gain to aid her in things would be welcome. She signed it, hoping that she could truly be a recording artist. She knew the other two were the stronger talent. She also began to reflect on what had happened right before the excrement hit the rotational cooling device that night. She and Tom had kissed, and they now had feelings for one another. She wondered if this was just some passing thing, or if she had finally found the one she had been seeking all her life. She wondered where the relationship was going to go, and if it was a good one to have. She then decided that she would just go with the flow, and hope for the best. After all, what else could she do?
While all that was going on, Rinn was reporting to Princess Lin-Lin. "So, what did you see?" she asked him.
"It seems that your 'friend' Venus and her little friends got in good with the United States Navy tonight," Rinn responded.
"That could be very bad if they got in real good," said Lin-Lin, "These Americans have a tendency to put a stop to the kinds of things we are devising, and with the scouts to help them, they could end up unstoppable. Tell me, what did they do?"
"Despite the short time I had to get here and get to work tonight," answered Rinn, "I was able to see them in action. There seemed to be some on the base that did not belong there, and they seemed to be trying to steal a ship. The scouts moved in with the aid of their militia, and they thwarted the attack."
Lin-Lin thought for a moment or two, knowing that the imperialist Americans had enemies that her government would love to use to destroy them. She had seen them many times, and it was not pretty how they acted. She concluded that they could only be terrorists, and she then began to get ideas. "Rinn, you are already showing yourself resourceful, and much better than your late colleague," said Lin-Lin with a smile, "I need you to find out who attacked the Americans, and then see if we cannot yoke their strength. If so, then we can keep the scouts so busy that there would be no way we could stop them. In the meantime, we can start to brainwash all those we have selected for the record company, starting with Minako and her friends. Oh, what sweet revenge it would be to turn her to our side! It would be the last thing she wants!"
She smiled and leaned back into her throne, letting her evil plots churn. Sark was an amateur as far as she was concerned, but a good useful idiot for the time being. He had no clue what was coming.