"A military man can scarcely pride himself on having 'smitten a sleeping enemy'; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack." Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto: what he actually said after Pearl Harbor, which history remembers as, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
By use of the time streams, the counter intelligence team was on the Gnarl home world, right into their capitol, and they went right to work. Thanks to the work of Olympia, they knew what was safe to eat and not to eat, their security, how tight it was, and so forth. They stayed out of sight because they had not taken the time to change their outer looks due to the need to act swiftly. The faster they could get their work done, the faster that they could return, and the quicker the new alliance could strike and put an end to things before it became a long and protracted war. They took the time to assess some of the other races that were on this world, and it appeared that the only free ones were the Gnarl. If you were not a Gnarl, you were a slave. After some time of moving around, they noticed one race of beings that wore robes and covered themselves well. When they saw that, they emulated it and then were able to move about publicly. They also kept covered the universal translators so that they could speak to people. Because their mouths were covered, there was no way anyone could see the dissonance between the words that were spoken, and the movement of the mouth. With all of that, they went about their task of gathering information.
Between the scuttlebutt between the soldiers and inhabitants, and also amongst the slaves, they learned that popular opinion about all that had happened was mixed. Many of the younger Gnarl was caught up in the propaganda of the fighting, and they felt themselves the noble race, fit and marked to conquer the galaxy as the superior beings. However, there were some old timers who remembered the queen's grandmother and how she had been before she had gone mad with revenge. Some of the wiser officers felt that they had stirred up a nest of stinging insects, and it would not be long before that sting was felt. They knew that it would not be one, but three star systems that would be coming after them, and by the reaction of the Terrans that had been detected in a transmission that was aimed in the direction of the Gnarl home world, they were willing to be ruthless. The younger soldiers and many of the youth scolded their elders for having any fear, or any inkling that they could possibly ever lose. Yet, some of the veterans told them that they would soon have an education that they would rather had come through other means than what was coming. They were gathering news articles and pictures about the things that the previous data had given, and had been sending it back with Pluto in the time streams. They also managed to find an old abandoned mine with primitive but adequate facilities in which to set up shop for the mission there. Once this was done, it was time to assess the true sentiment and war footing of the Gnarl. If they could cause something to happen from within, then it would be so much the better.
They spent about a week working on the slaves, and talking to some of the Gnarl that was just common citizens. What they began to learn was interesting. The people, for the most part, were not all that fond of fighting, and for two generations, they were wondering when all the fighting would end. They would rather things had been the way that it was, but there was also the instinct to follow their queen. Because their instinct was to follow their matriarch, though they did not want things the way they were, the also kept having this attitude that it would all come out okay in the end, and just let things go. However, to the three spies, it seemed to be more of awilling ignorance of how things were in order to follow "instinct" and not mess with the status quo, lest the wrath that they observed from the throne of the Gnarl would come down on them. Yet, when they were finally able to gain the trust of some of the slaves, they soon learned that indeed it was willful ignorance, and moreover, they also spoke of a resistance movement that was marked by membership of some of the slaves, though they dare not say who they were openly, and some of the Gnarl that did not want things the way they were, instinct or no instinct. Pluto then acknowledged to the other two, "Indeed, this proves that they are indeed beings that have a free will. It is indeed instinct, but any sentient creature can overcome those kinds of instincts in time."
"Then the next obvious step is to find this resistance,"announced Uranus.
They would not have to search long.
On their fifth night in the caves, they were sitting down to their Spartan meal, discussing all that they had learned so far, when Neptune got the look on her face that they, by this point, had come to learn was her premonition abilities acting up. They watched her look around, and then look down towards an area that led down to a shaft that went deep into the ground. She then said, "We are not alone."
The other two quickly set down their food and started to take on a defensive mentality. They sat quiet, thinking that there may be someone approaching, but they heard nothing. Neptune had come to, and then she said, "They are still a distance off, but they are indeed approaching."
"Did they detect us in any way?" asked Pluto.
"By the feel of things," she responded, "They have been watching us for a day and a half, not sure what to make of us."
"That rules out them being Gnarl regulars," said Uranus,"Could that mean that there IS a resistance?"
They could faintly hear some footsteps approaching by this point, and they took the opportunity to hide at that point. They used the robes to help conceal themselves in the dark corners, as they pulled away any evidence that anyone had been there. They had set up camp like this as they always had, that they could make a quick retreat if the needed to and leave no trace behind that they had been there. This was why Spartan conditions were not all that bad, because that was the best way to operate when it came to being a spy. As they watched, they began to see about eight approaching. It was a mix of various races from off-world, and Gnarl. They bantered back and forth, and they seemed to effect what could best be described as confused looks on their faces. Finally, one of the Gnarl said, "I thought you said that there were three living here."
"I could have sworn I saw them," said one of the off-world people, "I saw them twice, so I know it was not coincidence."
Another Gnarl said, "I have heard muttered amongst the slaves that there have been three, well, what we have to assume are females, moving together in the bazars and asking questions. They had assumed them to be a part of us, so no one has said anything about it to anyone of importance."
"Then they have to be here," the first Gnarl spoke, "The princess would love to know of them. They may make good recruits, if they are trustworthy."
At that moment, a cramp hit Neptune, and she shifted in such a fashion that it caused a golf ball-sized rock to dislodge and bounce to the cave floor. The three stiffened as the eight suddenly took a fighting posture and began to look towards from where the sound came. The three tensed up, hoping that they were not going to have to fight. It was then that one of the Gnarl started to sniff around, and he said, "There are three in here!"
He then postured and said, "Whether or not you mean us good or harm, show yourselves, for you indeed do not have the scent of any creature we know!"
The gig was up, and now they had to hope that this was the resistance movement. If not, they would have to disrupt things and jump through the time streams to get out of there as fast as they could. At this, they all came out wearing their fukus, completely catching the eight off guard. One of them said, "They wear the uniform of the ones that hit his place not a week and a half ago!"
The first Gnarl then said, "We don't know their intent! You three: surrender now or face the price!"
"Sorry, we can't do that," said Pluto, "And this is most regrettable. We were hoping you could be friends."
"Arrest them!" said one of the off-world crew, but that was met by Uranus' attack of World Shaking. However, considering that they may not indeed be enemies, it skipped over their heads and exploded on the wall above them. It only dislodged sand and some small rocks, but the effect was frightening. Before they could react, Neptune followed with Deep Submerge, and slammed them to the wall. Pluto then said, "We are not going to be your prisoners, but before this goes any further, know that you are far outmatched, but we also want to know if you are a part of the resistance of which we have heard."
The eight, knowing they could not win, looked at each other, and they said, "If you want to see peace for all worlds, then come with us."
Back on Earth, there was much in planning to be done. What they needed to know what the Gnarl's next move was. On the other hand, they had to make some kind of a statement. To Endymion, it seemed that the Gnarl thought themselves untouchable. The fact that a CT cruiser had gotten passed their defensive perimeter should have been enough, but they seemed just as arrogant as ever. The inner scouts were together with the kind, and with Usagi and the quartet, pondering the whole situation. At this point, Ceres leaned back in his chair and then started to stare at the five pilots and tap his chin. He suddenly got a smirk on his face and said, "Doolittle."
Everyone looked at him, and both Mercury and Endymion began to get a smirk as well. Serenity was lost on this, and she said, "Okay, what are you three on about?"
"Doolittle's Raid," said Mercury, "Surely you paid attention in world history?"
Serenity just started to rub the back of her neck, and she said, "You remember my grades."
"You still did well enough at the end of things to get a B-average in high school, and a C average for the two years of college you got before the Cataclysm," reminded Endymion.
"Baby, that was 500 years ago!" she said, "You know how long the moon people live, and how we are also immortal because of all that happened back then. Besides..."
She started to have a lot of the old Usagi come out of her and she said, ashamed, "I really haven't put much thought to those kinds of things for years. I didn't think them important anymore."
"He who forgets his history is doomed to retake and study it again," said Venus.
Mars just groaned and rolled her eyes, saying, "Um...that's'doomed to repeat...'" but Venus cut her off aggravated herself and said, "You know what I meant!"
"After all these centuries, and you still can't get your sayings right!" stated Jupiter, to which Venus said, "And for centuries you have ridden me about that! Can't we knock that off?"
"We don't have time for this!" snapped Endymion, acknowledging that, the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. He then said, "Look, the point is that we have to do the same thing."
"Enlighten us," said Vesta.
Ceres then said, "In World War II, not too long after Pearl Harbor, one Lieutenant James Doolittle led a raid on Tokyo to bomb the city there. Indeed, they did not have enough to do any real damage, nor was the raid intended to do so. However, the effects were a huge blow to Japan."
Endymion then said, "I know that this period is a painful memory for most of us in here, but there is much to be gained from this. Anyway, Japan had been told that it never would be touched by the war, and that there was no way the foe could bomb them. However, this was but four months after Pearl Harbor, and the Japanese had thought it had struck a blow so fierce to the American Pacific fleet that the Americans would have no ability to lash back for a long time. The fact that it happened so quickly, relatively speaking, rattled Japan that they could be touched, and if that America could touch Japan so quickly with a weakened force, what would happen when America did recover?"
Ceres continued, "What we would do is send in afighter/bomber attack on their home city, on their ports, and cause just enough damage to send them a wakeup call: sue for peace, or prepare to see many of your people die."
Usagi was catching on, and she said, "And you want the Moon Rabbit squadron to lead the raid?"
Serenity said, "Absolutely not! I almost lost you once, and this sounds uber dangerous!"
"Honey, we've been over this before," said Endymion, "She's a teenager now, and actually, much older than that mentally. She can handle herself!"
"Besides, mother," said Usagi, "This is no time to become as you were. You need to be what we all know you to be now. The Sailor Moon of now would not back down from that kind of a challenge."
She just sat back in her seat exasperated, and she said, "It's none of that. It's the mother in me speaking. No mother ever wants to put their child in harm's way."
"Is that why you tried to keep me out of the action at first so many centuries ago?" asked Usagi.
"Because of our connection, that instinct came to be before you were even born," answered Serenity.
Usagi smiled and said, "You really did care about me all those years."
"Of course," she said, "Except that I was worried you never loved me."
Usagi was hit hard with that, and ran up to her mother, embracing her saying, "Oh, please, I loved you the first moment I saw you even then. I just didn't understand it all then. I was so young. All I wanted to do was to was rescue you, and I was so foolish to want to fight the very one Iwanted to rescue. The two you were and are were so different that my young mind just wasn't making the connection. I assumed that you had just stolen the crystal and was too incompetent to use it. I had no idea..."
"That I sent you back to bring back myself to set things right?" Serenity finished.
Endymion had to ask: "Then, after that time, why did you do all that you did to make her mad?"
"Well, to be honest," answered Usagi all coquettishly, "I so much saw my mother's face, but only some of what she is now. I just wanted to see if I could bring it out, but again, I think I was too young then to know how to bring that out right. Really, I never wanted to take papa. I just wanted you to get so mad that you would start to take things more seriously and become closer to papa."
She looked down, and the two laughed lovingly as they embraced their daughter, and Endymion said, "All you really did was make me want to be with her that much more, because I knew that meant that such a sweet child could wind up in my life."
They all hugged again, and then Usagi said, "Mother, you really must let me go."
Serenity sighed and said, "Okay, but you will be put on the UES Luna with the wing there. I want to be sure that the jewel of the carriers takes good care of you."
"Will the UES Chronos be repaired in time?" asked Ceres.
"They're working on it round the clock right now," said Venus, "Give it two days, and she'll be battle ready. Why do you ask?"
"It would be great if that battleship were ready to escort the /Luna/, considering..." said Ceres, trailing off.
They all sat silent, and then Mercury was on the horn to her engineers. She called the man in charge of the repairs and she asked, "How soon until it will be ready?"
He gave the timetable, and she explained the reason why she asked. After some thought, he said, "Well, we can make her space worthy and battle ready, though there would be much left to do internally."
"That would be good enough," said Mercury, "How soon?"
"Give us about 12 hours," said the engineer, "She'll be ready."
"Good enough," said Mercury, "Make it so."
She hung up and said to them, "It will be twelve hours."
"Then in 18 hours, they shall go and raise a ruckus," said Endymion,"Then we'll see just how they react!"
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