As Sark cackled and the three hidden watched and wondered, an eerie voice echoed through the chamber, saying, "DEAD SCREAM!"
Immediately, 25 youma were pegged to the wall and vanished. This was followed by about eight grenades that exploded in there midst, and some more hit the ground either dead or wounded. The commandos then started to open up as the Outer Scouts all began to send in attacks from around the rim of the area. Apparently these youma were not as strong, as they were created from animals, and it seemed to Sark at this juncture, (and a little too late to compensate,)that humans were the best subjects to use. No matter; it seemed that his little force was about to fall. However, there were plenty of test subjects above, and he figured that, while they were busy with the pests, he could get to work. He still had the football, and he could act.
While Sark was contemplating this, there were enough dropped for close quarter fighting, and Ceres was up over the edge onto one of the creatures, screaming,"YEEHAW!" all the way. Pluto was worried about Ceres going to such extremes, but now they had to get in there, not just to stop them, but also to keep Ceres from getting killed. Yet, the commandos took the cue and were also doing as Ceres had done, and now it came time for the melee. Ceres was thrown, but he more or less landed on his feet, and spun around to confront the creature when a bunch of colored balls began to explode all around it. Ceres followed up with Tsunami Attack, and it vanished. He looked up to see Chibi Moon there, and he tipped his hat to her, saying, "Lovely for you to join us!"
As the last of the creatures were being mopped up, it was then that they noticed Sark vanish, and Saturn hollered, "He's gone to the surface!"
"Those people," screamed Lee, "He's going to do them the same way!"
As if an answer, they all vanished and then found themselves on the surface, in the tunnel of the stadium the led out to the field. Sark was already out there just as the game was about to start, and aimed the football at the Adele Crows that had come to town to face the Sidney Swans, and they all turned into the most frightening football team that had ever been seen. Uranus said, "How can we help them? Sailor Moon is not here!"
"We can if we can get that machine!" said Ceres, still pumped up, and he charged forward and punched the device out of Sark's hands. He then began to run onto the pitch and to try to get to one end to see if he could activate the thing and change them all back. The Swans had already charged off the field as Ceres, the scouts, Hino, Shingo, and the commandos all followed out with them.
Sark was starting to chase him, and the odd thing was, when the crowd saw that, they began to cheer. Sark had almost caught up with Ceres, who saw one of the commandos come astride about six meters away, and he said, "I'm open, mate; give it here!"
Ceres then punched the device, and now the commando had it, and started to try to charge to a safe place. Pluto said, "Get it to me! I think I know how it works."
However, a footy youma was in pursuit of the commando, and he gave the device agood boot, and Neptune caught it and began to run. All this time, the crowd was cheering frantically, loving the sight. One man wearing a red and white stripped scarf nudged his neighbor wearing Crows colors and said, "Hey, mate, we get an extra game of footy. Twenty dollars say that they still beat your boys!"
"You're on!" said the other, as the settled in to watch. Of course, this would not be ordinary play, as there was going to be much that the referees would not have allowed otherwise.
Ceres shook off Sark, and gave him a swift boot to the chin, and put him out. He then charged in as the other scouts and soldiers were combating, while at the same time, playing "keep away" with the youma on the field. The device went towards Chibi Moon, but a youma leapt over her head and snatched the device, only to have his legs wrapped up by Captain Lee. The creature hit the ground hard and the device came loose. Yet, before another creature tried to get to it, Uranus kicked it out of reach and into the middle. A great brawl was now starting for the device as it went back and forth between the Scout team and the youma. Ceres could only comment to himself that that device had to be one of the sturdiest things he'd ever seen to not have broken by that point. Back and forth down the field it went, Pluto waiting inside one of the goalmouths, hoping to get the device and switch the players back to normal. Before long, Ceres had the device, and he was looking to boot it long to Pluto. As he did, however, he had not noticed that Sark had regained consciousness and was heading in that direction. Just moments before Pluto could catch it; Sark stepped up to catch it, saying, "You fools! You are all mine, and now you shall join them!"
However, just as he got his hands on it, Captain Lee had charged up and cleaned him out with a hard side tackle, and Hino was right behind, who kicked it to Pluto who was standing behind the line. The crowd let up a loud cheer, and the Sidney Swans fight song began to be heard as Pluto began to change back the affected players. While this was happening, Lee was trying to secure Sark, but they did not know what kind of power they had on hand. He vanished, and then reappeared behind Pluto and tried to ambush her when out of nowhere came Tuxedo Mask, who tackled him hard and impaled him on the spikes that lined the fence around the playing surface. People recoiled at the grizzly sight as Sark, and the last of the Dark Moon Kingdom, was no more. As Tuxedo mask came up to Lee, he said, "That's an interesting way you play football around here!"
"It sure ain't Cricket, mate!" said Lee with a big smile on his face. The Crows players had no memory of what had happened, and they were also amazed why they felt like they had just played one quarter of football. At the same time, the owner of the Swans was trying to recruit them for the team, but they politely turned down the offer. At that point, Pluto was calling the Inner Scouts, letting them know that everyone was safe. As that was going on, Neptune hurled the device into the sky and Ceres played target practice with it. He then said, "Let's get back. If they have help, we may be able to settle this quicker."
Pluto saw the look in his eye, and she already knew that the relationship was starting to cloud his thinking: if Makoto was going into harm's way, and he suspected even in the slightest that she might be walking into danger, he might be making matters worse.
In Tokyo, Mars and Moon were overjoyed to know that their loved ones were safe, but Venus snapped her fingers before their eyes, and said, "Hey, guys, we can celebrate later. We have a mission. As Tom would say, 'Ears open, eyes clap!'"
One of the Marines that could speak Japanese heard that, rolled his eyes, and said, "That's 'ears open, eyes click!'"
"Oh, you know what I mean!" she said, and they headed out. Since Mars was the psychic barometer, she could use that to detect where the foe just might be. As they passed by Tokyo Tower, her senses went crazy. "They're all around us!"
"Right you are, my dear Sailor Mars!" said a female voice that Venus immediately recognized. At that, and when no one was looking, Venus took off and decided that different measures were in order. All she knew was that, if she stayed here, they would be captured, and there would be no one left to carry on the fight until the others came back. However, she remained in hiding to see what Lin-Lin had in mind. It was then that Lin-Lin stepped out with many youma, and she said, "Well, well, well, if it isn't the thorn in my flesh and her little friends...um...where is the thorn in my flesh?"
She looked around as the others did, and they noticed that Sailor Venus was nowhere to be seen. "No matter," said Lin-Lin, "She is acting like the coward that I had always known. Regardless, if she is out there somewhere, she is going to be in for a rude awakening."
"That's what you think," said Moon, and she pulled out her scepter, and she started to say, "DEEP UMBRA..." but she was cut off when a youma snuck up and snatched away the scepter from her. "Naughty, naughty young lady!" and before any of them could act, they were bound and gagged, and the Marines were then killed in short order. "You idiot," said Moon, "Don't you know you just caused an act of war?"
Lin-Lin put her hand on her forehead and shook it, saying, "How did you ever get to be what you are!"
The youma then tied them to the tower, and then cameras were brought out with lights, and the scouts were confused. Was she getting ready to film this?
Once everything was in place, the cameras were switched on, and Lin-Lin was broadcasting across Japan. "All my loyal subjects give heed to your empress!"
"Empress!" exclaimed Jupiter, "Does she now have delusions of grandeur?"
"Soon, everyone in this entire city shall be empowered and enlightened!"continued Lin-Lin, "Once this is done, we shall go forth and bring this world into a new vision! Prepare for your change!"
With that, she walked over to a nearby switch, and atop the tower, several beams emitted all over the city. Those beams then hit things that were disguised as traffic monitoring cameras, and they started to fire spreading beams in every direction. While that was going on, everyone that was watching was hit by the same beams out of the screen. At that instant, every man, woman, and child were being transformed into youma. Once this was done, she then declared, "Come all my minions, and we can prepared to go forth and conquer!"
This was followed by an evil cackle, and then she turned her attention to the scouts at hand. "Now, all we have to do is await your friends," said Lin-Lin,"and I happen to know, dear Makoto, that that sweet little Tom of yours is going to kill himself to get to us, no matter what his friends try to do. That is what I count on, because that will lead them right here, and into their destruction! Who can save you now! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
In the air, the transport was coming back, bearing the Outer Scouts, Ceres, Chibi Moon, and the former hostages. As they approached the air base, they began to call in, "Sierra Mike Foxtrot one, calling in asking for weather report and landing details, over."
There was no response. "This is Sierra Mike Foxtrot one, do you read, over?"
There was still no response. He hit the mic for the cabin and said, "Folks, we have a problem here, we are getting no response from the tower."
At that moment, Saturn looked deadpan serious and she said, "The prophecy: this is it, but it has shifted. A woman now stands where the man once stood, but the vision takes place now."
Pluto then went to the cockpit, and she said, "There is trouble there, and it is not safe to land. Can we put down elsewhere?"
"Already on it," said the pilot as he began to change their course, "We are going to put down in Okinawa, but we have no clue on how to get you back."
"Leave that to me," said Pluto, "I have my ways."
Venus was already on the move, heading back to her own house, hoping her own family had not been affected. She had to stay hidden as the youma passed, and she was sweating bullets. As she headed to the housing area of the Juban district, there were less and less youma, and it was then that she ran into Artemis and Luna. She was never happier to see Artemis than she was at that instant. She scooped him up and hugged him tight. "I love you too," said Artemis between gasps, "Um, Artemis can't breathe!"
"Oh, sorry!" she said, releasing the death grip. She then said, "Did they get my family too?"
"I'm afraid so," said Luna.
"We have to change them back," said Venus, "But they took Moon's scepter, so how are we going to do this?"
"That's not the only scepter;" said Luna, "Remember: there is another one on the way."
Artemis interjected at this point, and said, "Even then, that is not going to be enough power for the whole city. If we only had the Silver Crystal, we could do something."
Venus went back to her house and started to look around her room, completely at a loss for what to do next. She then went into her closet and pulled out an old album that contained all her past exploits before she had become one of the team. She looked over all the crooks that she had faced and defeated, not knowing at that time that her power was meant for a greater purpose than just fighting crime. She came across the picture of her with Artemis and Kaitou-Ace before it was revealed who he really was. She saw the case that involved her fight with Lin-Lin, and she wondered just how it was that she managed to survive. She then began to wonder if maybe-just maybe-it would be time to let the world see Sailor V one more time, even if only for the psychological effect that it might have on Lin-Lin. True, she did know who Minako was in either that form or her present form, but it was just the principle of the thing-Sailor V left behind this piece of trash that caused the mess now standing, so it should be Sailor V that helps make it go away. She then set down the album and went into her closet. She picked up a box that had been tucked away in a corner of the closet, and she wiped the dust off it. She set it on the bed and opened it to reveal the costume that she had worn before. It still fit her, as she was still acting as Sailor V when she first met the team then forming. She put it on over the other and walked to the mirror. Artemis and Luna looked amazed, and Artemis watched the years pull back as she put on the mask, and Sailor Vwas reborn.
Once in Okinawa, they had the chance to catch the first news reports. AFN was broadcasting the events, and they all looked in horror as they saw the entire city of Tokyo covered in youma. Lin-Lin had finally gotten the army that she had wanted, but there was a talk of having to invade the island and crush the threat before it became worse. "Great," said Ceres, looking rather anxious,"What do we do now?"
Neptune flipped open her communicator, and she began to get a readout that showed everyone at Tokyo Tower, but one nowhere near. She showed this to Pluto, and she said, "Then we go there. Let us go!"
Everyone gathered together, and in a moment, they were at Minako's home. They were looking all around when they heard above them, "Evil has struck, but it has not won! The pretty soldier in the sailor suit shall prevail."
They knew it wasn't Usagi, because that was not her voice. They then looked up to see an amazing sight, and Ceres looked in wonder, never having seen this before. There, on the pinnacle of the roof, stood Sailor V in all her glory. She then bounded her way down to them, and she said, "They're at the tower. What is the plan to get through? They took Moon's scepter."
Chibi Moon then produced hers, and said, "We still have mine."
Artemis then said, "It's going to take more than that! We need the Silver Crystal."
"But that does not emerge until the Silver Millennium," said Saturn.
Pluto then said, "Then it actually is not far!"
When they all looked at her, Pluto said, "Usagi kept it when it ran out, and her changing compact was replaced. It's at her house-it has to be!"
They all arrived at Usagi's house, and they went up to her room. "Okay," said Uranus, "We're here, but where do we start?"
Chibi Moon then smiled and said, "I think I know!"
She then got on her belly and went under the bed. As she was down there, she said, "Boy, Mom was right-she never did clean under here!"
As she battled the dust gorillas, out came old dolls, shoes, a baseball, aglove, a couple of Barbie dolls, and then she said, "I think I found it."
They pulled up the box and opened it as Chibi Moon dusted herself off. When they opened it, it showed that it was a keepsake box. In it was pictures with the other girls, class pictures, pictures of her and Mamoru, (which made Mask smile,) and then they heard a clunk against the side of the box as they sifted through it. When they pull some things aside, there was the old compact, and they flipped it open. In there was the Silver Crystal, but quite black and dead. Pluto then said, "Then there is only one way we can charge it. We have to go to the future, and go to the top of Mount Fuji at sunrise and charge it in a special mirror array up there. Once done, we can come back and fix this problem."
"We'd better hurry," said Ceres, "I don't think we have that much time."
Pluto laughed and said, "When I'm here, time does not matter. Gather close everyone!"
They all bunched together as Pluto opened the portal once again, and they were off to the future.
When they arrived, they were now standing on a spot marked by a stone foundation where a house once stood. It was unfamiliar, but after a moment or two of looking around, they realized that this had once been the housing area of the Juban district after the glaciers had scraped it flat. They also noticed something else, and it was something that caused them to quickly head for the bushes. Everywhere around there were youma, no houses, and a mighty fortress that stood on a prominent spot in what used to be Tokyo. "What's going on?"asked V, "I thought things were going to be...well...the way you described?"
"This is just one future," said Pluto, "This is what happens if we fail, but it's just one possibility."
"Then why am I still here?" asked Chibi Moon.
"That's because the crystal here, and Mask being here are an abnormality, leaving the chance that things can still go as they should if we are successful here."
"The next question is: how do we get to Fuji. It's still a good distance off,"asked Neptune.
"We'll have to steal some transport-as soon as we find out what that is!" said Ceres, and the hunkered down, waiting for their chance to turn the situation around.
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