Boy is Melvin dense or what? And what about Zoicite? Do you really think you know what is about to happen at the wrestling show? Let’s see how wrong everyone is.

Sailor Moon is copyright (c) 1992 Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha, TOEI Animation. English Language Adaptation (c) 1995 DiC Entertainment

... And Death Shall Have No Dominion
by Bonnie S

Chapter Eleven - Introducing Jasper and Sailor V Makes the Scene

* * * * * * * *

Luna looked up at Serena in her frustration. "Why are we following Melvin?"

“Last night, Melvin spent the entire night camped outside Molly's front door. I just want to tell him to leave her and Neflyte … um, I meant Maxfield … alone.” Serena sighed as they crept close to the nerd doing a bad impression of Tuxedo Mask. “Plus, that outfit is creeping me out! Melvin is no Tuxedo Mask, and he’s going to hear it from me!”

"But I thought Melvin was only interested in computers and inchworms, that kind of stuff." Luna felt her brows knot in frustration. She wasn’t sure that Serena should be the one telling Melvin to back off - that should be up to Neflyte and Molly.

Serena barely missed being noticed by the nerd in question. “Exactly what I thought. I think that he’s just jealous of Neflyte. Melvin wants to prove that he’s more of a man by stealing Molly from Neflyte - good luck that ever happening.”

"Molly give up Neflyte for Melvin? That's silly. Besides, the two of them have nothing in common. While she and Neflyte have had a serious relationship that they both want to continue in this life." Luna felt exasperated by the situation. “But, it is still not our place to say anything. We should leave it up to Molly and Neflyte.”

“I couldn’t agree more, Luna,” Neflyte whispered, which made Serena and Luna both jump from the shock.

Serena finally calmed her breathing after a few moments. “You could have given me a heart attack!”

“Just like you would have given Melvin?”

Molly hated it, but Luna was right. She and Neflyte had to sit Melvin down for a serious talk … and soon. “Neflyte is right, Serena. Let the two of us handle this.”

“I was just trying to be a good friend. I don’t like the way Melvin tries to put you down one minute and then thinks he can get you to go steady with him the next!” Serena whined.

Neflyte chuckled. “One day all of his harmful talk will come back to pay him a call. Until then, Molly and I will simply face whatever he decides to throw.”

“Alright. So, how’s your guy’s special day coming along?” Serena loved how these two got back together after so long. She couldn’t help but wonder if she had someone special during the Moon Kingdom, and if so … would she ever see that guy again?

Molly smiled as she looked up at her love. “It’s been better than I ever could have dreamed!”

Zoicite was seated on a merry-go-round just waiting for her chance. She had followed the pair through their entire trip. The visit to the ‘baby wanter’s temple’ (as she called it) about made her sick! If she and Malachite couldn’t have children, why should the traitor and his little wench get one? Still it was worth a shot, if she could get with child, then they wouldn’t have to deal with Queen Beryl anymore. And that would make her life much more enjoyable.

Knowing that Beryl wasn’t watching her, she left a prayer and a doll. Only she got a flash of guilt in her heart as she was forced by some unknown force to remember all that she had done. Then she was shown two pictures, seemingly two choices. One where she and Malachite were bowing to Beryl, and that led them both into darkness. That one she didn’t understand.

The second picture was of her and Malachite helping the Scouts, Tuxedo Mask, Neflyte … and Jedite? They were all attacking Beryl. It lead to a scene where Malachite was holding in his arms a little boy of about three years, standing before them both was a slightly older girl, and Zoicite was obviously very pregnant.

‘Choose your future path very carefully General Zoicite.’

She twisted about and saw no one. “Who’s there? What do you want?”

‘You must remember this moment when the time comes. You will be threatened and have only one chance to escape the darkness before you now,’ the voice answered.

“What chance is that?” Zoicite didn’t like the idea of that darkness being her future.

The voice seemingly smiled at that. ‘Remember this meeting whenever you fear for your safety. When the moment comes, the most perilous moment of your life, Malachite will be your only means to escape the fate of your current path. Can you remember this, General Zoicite?’

Zoicite fought off the urge to shudder in fear. “I can. I ask again, who are you?”

‘The one you helped to betray yet will never turn against you. Farewell, General. May your fate be blessed.’

Zoicite just knew that the voice was pulled away, and still with her. Who could it have been? And why would anyone she betrayed help guard her life?

She sat on that horse and watched Neflyte, Molly, and one of her little friends walking and talking. Why should he be free to live in happiness? Could she and Malachite too escape from Beryl and maybe start their family?

For a moment, Zoicite didn’t want to follow through with her plan. She could feel that Beryl was watching her, and that the evil witch was tempted to harm Malachite for Zoicite’s hesitation. Yet, suddenly the plan seemed to be wrong - as if it would lead her on the path to the frightening darkness. ‘Zoicite! Proceed with the plan at once! Do not disobey me, or would you have Malachite pay the price for your defiance?’ Beryl called in Zoicite’s mind with a booming shout that nearly gave the general a mind-shattering migraine.

She. Had. No. Choice.

'You always have a choice, Zoicite. The path may not be as easy as obeying Beryl, but it will give you the reward you so desperately seek.’ It was that other voice again. The one without a name or face, it was soft, kind, gentle, and it took away the ache Beryl’s shout had given the weary general.

Suddenly, Malachite appeared beside her. “Zoicite. Zoicite, do you hear me?”

“Yes. Malachite, I don’t want to do this. Beryl has been leading us on for a thousand years, and has yet to grant us one of our wishes. We both know that nothing grows in the Negaverse. And … and …” Zoicite tried to not break down, but was finding it to be difficult.

Malachite could sense her pain and inner struggle. He wanted to agree with her, but he knew that Beryl was still watching … and listening. He could only alter their conversation so much, and he had led the Queen to believe that Zoicite was complaining about feeling too weak to do the task.

“Beryl is listening, and only thinks that you are weak from too much exertion today. But, that lie will not hold for long. We give the crystal to a youma we know can be ordered to fail believably. Then I’ll take you back to our rooms, feigning that you were so weak that you collapsed. To do it you have to shed a large portion of your energy without being detected. Can you do that, love?”

Zoicite nodded. “But, then what do we do?”

“I’ll come up with a plan … somehow. I love you, Zoicite.” Malachite was terrified because something felt off, as if Zoicite’s fate was somehow becoming sealed. And it didn’t look good for her.

A youma called Ulee was summoned and ordered to fail. Ulee hated her existence, and would do anything to be free of Beryl - even allowing Sailor Moon to dust her with the heroine’s magic tiara. Luna and Neflyte both sensed trouble, and both saw Malachite carrying Zoicite away to the Negaverse. Then they noticed both the youma and the Star Crystal it aimed at Molly.

“Molly! Watch out!” Neflyte cried out as he pulled her out of harm’s way.

Instead of the beam hitting Molly, it hit one of the wrestlers - turning him into a Nega-monster. Most of the audience thought that it was part of the act, but the Scouts knew better.

The monster yelled, “No more phony stuff. This time, we fight for real."

"What?" The other wrestler got up from the mat feeling confused and scared all at once. He knew that this wasn’t supposed to be part of the match. The Nega-monster kicked the last opponent off of the stage.

"On your feet, fuzz-brain!" Then he turned to the audience. "Don't forget to eat your greens, folks!" The Nega-monster created balled weeds and threw them at the audience, each of which expanded as they approached. The Scout group and Melvin barely dodged the attack in time, but others weren’t so lucky.

"Hey, this isn't in my contract! HEY!" the tossed opponent yelled out before getting hit by the weeds. The crowd went into a panic. Those who were hit by the weeds were soon being smothered as the strange plants continued to expand. The rest ran off as fast as they could for safety.

Molly started to rush off to find a place where she could keep anyone from seeing her transformation. But the Nega-monster spotted her first. "Would you look at that?"

He leapt off of the stage, and landed right in front of Molly, who had gotten separated from the others in the chaos created in the audience’s panic. "Don't worry. I've got plenty to go around."

"There's Molly." Serena shouted out as she and Neflyte started forward with Luna right behind them.

“Molly!” Neflyte shouted. He couldn’t face losing her again. Not like this.

Serena was scared by it too. "Molly, get out of there!"

They got to her just in time. Serena looked fast, and found a very convenient alleyway that was only feet from their position. She nudged her head in its general direction and said. "Come on. Let's go."

"You won't escape from me, girl!" the Nega-monster snapped as he tried to grab at both Molly and Serena.

Out of nowhere, Melvin jumped into the fight. One thing could be said of the nerd, he didn’t back down when a friend needed him - even if it would be in his own best interests.

"No way!" Melvin tried to act as debonair as Tuxedo Mask, but it left MUCH to be desired. "Tuxedo Melvin's gonna stop you!"

"NO, MELVIN!" Molly and Serena both yelled.

Melvin didn’t hear them though. "You're gonna be hurtin' when you get a taste full of my wrath!" He stuck his hand in his backpack and pulled out part of his lunch?!? "These shrimps are spicy! They'll feel real good in your eyes!"

He threw them at the Nega-monster, but they had no effect. So, he swung his backpack at the creature. "It's all over, buddy!"

The monster knocked him for a loop, as Melvin’s attacks had yet to faze it. Ignoring the bruises and tenderness, he got right back up to face the creature. "Tuxedo Melvin. You hear me? You don't know who you're dealing with, bully. Pick on my girl? No way. "

Thankfully, by now, Maxfield Stanton had transformed into the Scout General and their High Guardian Neflyte - waiting for the girls so they could transform, and listening. Molly looked over at Serena as they both rushed into the alleyway where a near-irate Neflyte was waiting for them.

"Melvin's meatloaf. Either by that Nega-monster, or by Neflyte."

Hearing his love’s worried tone, Neflyte decided to ignore the nerd’s assumptions towards Molly - at the least, so that his standing in her eyes would not be lessened. “If he gets turned into meatloaf, it will be by the monster … not by me.”

Molly laughed and jumped into Neflyte’s arms, “I love you, Neflyte! And I knew that you wouldn’t let his talk get to you.”

“I told you before, I only want what will make you happy in life. Now, I think we have a battle to fight.” He loved the feel of her body pressed against his own, but there were others in danger, and he had more things planned for their day out.

Serena nodded, “Right. MOON PRISM POWER!

SOLARIS POWER!” Molly followed in suit. Soon in their places stood Sailors Moon and Solaris. Melvin was about to get some much-needed help.

Speaking of Tuxedo Melvin - he went at the Nega-monster, again, and was quickly beaten up. "Takes . . . more . . . than that . . . to stop me . . .”

But that was about all that the poor nerd could handle, as he finally collapsed on the ground. Melvin got hit with weeds.

"Leave him alone," Solaris cried out.

The Nega-monster yelled, "QUIET!" then shot weeds in the Scout’s direction, but Solaris easily jumped the brambles and landed near Sailor Moon and Neflyte.

Sailor Moon shouted. "Back off, you pumped-up muscle-brained mutant!"

Neflyte growled; he didn’t like the fact that they had to fight on his and Molly’s day off. He didn’t like Melvin any better, but that didn’t give Beryl the right to attack the dumb kid. “You’ve picked a bad day to attack this crowd.”

"Nobody but nobody messes with our friends unless they wanna become so much moon dust!" Sailor Moon snapped.

The Nega-Monster hurled more weeds at the trio. "Outta the way!"

All three of them slipped past the weeds, and landed on the stage.

“In the name of the planet Solaris, I will make sure that you will never use Mother Nature against innocent people again!” Sailor Solaris shouted behind the Scout leader. She knew that the others always spoke up when joining in a fight, just as Moon did.

What surprised her was when Neflyte spoke up next. “As the Guardian General of the Scouts, you will not harm either of them. Not while I am breathing.”

“Then let’s fix that!” The Nega-monster challenged, as her threw weeds directly at Neflyte. Neflyte leapt and landed on the ground in front of the stage, poised for a fight.

Sailor Moon took a step forward. She had indeed changed since Neflyte joined them, and it was definitely for the better. "Those weeds are no match for Moon power, Negacrum! I am Sailor Moon, Champion of Justice. I will right wrongs, and triumph over evil, and that means you."

"Don't you mean me, Sailor Moon?" The youma cackled with joy. Soon she would be free of Beryl forever. Sailor Moon never failed in moon dusting youmas. Ulee prayed with all that she had that the Scout leader would hold to her pattern this time; as this was her only way to freedom.

“Ulee! Where is your mistress Zoicite?” Neflyte challenged. He knew that his one time ally had been there, but he wasn’t sure what the insect’s plan was.

“She was weakened, and had to return. But, she’s left me in charge of this mission - getting the crystals that you hold.” Ulee sent Neflyte a mental plea, knowing that Beryl wouldn’t monitor telepathic communications.

‘Lord Neflyte … please hear me out. Mistress Zoicite has been given a vision of what her and Lord Malachite’s futures might become. She is at a point where she may turn on Beryl, but it’s a precarious time for them both. Beryl is not pleased, and her patience is thinning rapidly. I want out of all of this. Please, let Sailor Moon dust me - set me free.’

Neflyte was stunned by the message, but successfully hid it. ‘You may not have to lose your life, Ulee. I’ll make it seem to Beryl that you’ve been dusted by Moon, but in truth you will be healed when she heals this stuntman.’

"I was hoping you'd come, Moon. I have an ultimatum from Queen Beryl for you," Ulee taunted. Thankfully, Zoicite had trained her in acting well.

Neflyte sent Moon all of the details he had mind to mind. He made a plea for her to heal the youma, telling her that it had once been a trusted servant of Zoicite’s. That he knew Zoicite would only have appointed the creature to this mission as a mercy to end Beryl’s control of her. And that he wanted to try rescuing the other Generals from Beryl’s grasp.

Moon barely nodded to him as he looked back at her, showing that she accepted it all. Even if she wondered if the entire plan was possible.

"Yeah? Like what?" Sailor Moon yelled as she tried hard not to let Beryl notice that the movements were now being planned between them all using telepathy.

Ulee hovered above the trio, with a well-faked smirk. "Hand over those Rainbow Crystals you have."

"I'm not giving you anything!" Sailor Moon only hoped that Beryl would buy the act.

"In that case, you'd better say goodbye to all these humans. Unless you give me those crystals, those weeds will just keep on growing." Ulee sneered.

"Set them free!" Solaris yelled, with rage burning in her eyes - at least she hoped that was what Beryl would see. Neflyte had told her too what was happening.

Ulee was becoming scared. If this didn't work, poor Zoicite would pay with her life. She had been too good a mistress, both when she had been a man during Serenity’s reign and during Beryl’s hold over her in the form of the woman all of the Scouts now knew. "First, Moon hands over those Rainbow Crystals! Then, I'll let them go. Come on! I don't have all day, you know? NOW! Come on! Come on! Hand it over!"

Moon sighed in defeat, hoping that it sounded real. She pulled out the crystals they had gathered. "All right."

"Excellent. You've done the right thing." Ulee held her head up high in victory. So far everything was going according to their plan.

Suddenly a new enemy joined the battle and snatched the crystals from Moon’s hands, ruining all of their plans! Neflyte hissed in anger. He had given Ulee his solemn vow that he’d save her and the other Generals.

“Jasper! What are you doing here?”

A feral growl became a laugh in the new enemy’s throat. “Well, traitor, I’m here on Beryl’s request. Seeing as I’m taking your position as one of her Generals. This really wasn’t a mission for stupid youma. Oh, and I told Beryl all about your group conversation about saving Zoicite and Malachite. Now to take care of this stupid youma.”

Jasper began to call up his power. Before he could throw his attack, a telescoping walking stick hit the hand he had the crystals in. Ulee quickly swept up the crystals and turned them over to Solaris. “So you're that pathetic Tuxedo Mask that has a way of foiling Zoicite’s plans.

The real Tuxedo Mask stood there using his walking stick to stop this new enemy. Sailor Moon twisted around with a smile on her face to see that he really was there. "You're just in time."

"You're not going to get away with those crystals, Jasper! And saving a life is a noble cause, showing me that Neflyte truly has returned to his duties to the Prince who still trusts and holds him as a dear friend."

Neflyte wondered if his Prince Endymion really had survived the attack on the Moon Kingdom. Wouldn’t Endymion have come to him by now? And how would Tuxedo Mask have known about the General’s friendship with the Prince? Was Mask alive back then too? Perhaps one of the soldiers Neflyte had trained?

Tuxedo barely jumped out of the way, and landed next to Sailor Moon, when Jasper sent his held attack at him. A thought shimmered in her mind, obviously from her beloved masked man. ‘I’m glad to see that we’re still fighting together, the one and only Sailor Moon.’

‘Thank you for believing in me, Tuxedo Mask. You were right about asking for the help of my friends. But we can talk later … right?’ Sailor Moon hoped beyond hope that he’d stay long enough for her to explain.

‘Only for a few moments. Now let’s show this new enemy how deep in trouble he is.’ What was it about this girl that turned his heart in his chest? Could she be the Princess begging for his help in his dreams? Is that why he always had to be there to protect her? To make her see how strong she really was inside?

The five allies went head first into the battle. Jasper called forward twenty of his youma, when the youma Neflyte had appointed to guard him and the Scouts joined in the fight.

Solaris was nearly hit twice by weeds - once she jumped out of the way herself, and the second time Ulee shoved her out of the way. But Ulee couldn’t get away, and was trapped in the growing weeds. The Nega-monster had to be taken down to stop that factor of the fight. Sailor Moon called out. "MOON TIARA MAGIC! So much for the red menace!" After that she took the Crescent Moon Wand and, "MOON HEALING ACTIVATION!"

Luna was watching the battle from a safe distance. "All right, Sailor Moon. Not bad. Not bad at all."

Once the Nega-monster turned back into the stuntman, all of the weeds disappeared. Problem was that all of the victims were either unconscious from lack of oxygen, or were too drained to wake up. Even Ulee (who too was turned back into a human) was out of it.

Quickly all of the youmas on both sides were either dead or unconscious.

Neflyte and Jasper went head to head for a good bit of the battle.




"DARK ENERGY ELECTRIFY!" That encased Neflyte in a dome of Nega-energy, and he couldn’t get himself out. "That oughta shut you up for a while."

“Neflyte!” Solaris rushed over to the shell of energy. “Solaris Wind Explosion!”

But her attack bounced off of the shield and struck Solaris! Knocking her to the ground, unconscious. Neflyte attacked the shell with his fists in his agony. “No! Solaris!”

The shield grew and enveloped Solaris’ body as well. Neflyte gathered her weakened form into his arms, feeding her a good amount of his own energy - just as she and the Scouts had done for him not too long before. Soon she was awake. “I tried.”

“I know. And I’m proud of you.” Neflyte felt like he’d betrayed his vows to her.

She weakly sent out with her mind, ‘You didn’t betray me. We will beat him, and save the other Generals - you’ll see.’

The other Scouts showed up, but eventually they and Tuxedo Mask all were trapped in the dome. Ulee could feel that her mistress was terrified, not just for the Scouts - but for her own life as well. Everything had gone wrong, and she didn’t know how to help.

She wasn’t strong enough to fight Jasper herself, and she couldn’t get the others out of the dark energy dome that held them imprisoned. During the battle, the crystals had hit the ground. She had gathered them and hid them carefully on her person before finding a place to hide.

That was all she could do.

"I've gotta do something," Sailor Moon cried. She hated how she had let everyone down.

“We’ll get out of this, Sailor Moon.” Mars grabbed a hold of the blonde’s shoulder.

“If there is a way in there has to be a way out.” Tuxedo Mask’s voice gave Sailor Moon an added measure of strength.

Mercury was tapping on her minicomputer in the vain hope of destroying the dome - somehow. “We just have to find the way out.”

“No sense in wasting so much energy. DARK ENERGY, SHRINK TO FIT!" The dome began to shrink around them.

They all gasped. Sailor Moon cried out. "Yo! The dome is getting smaller!"

"We have to fight it," Jupiter yelled as she tried her Jupiter Thunder attack again. "JUPITER THUNDERBOLT CRASH!"

After a moment, Jupiter groaned. "Still nothing. He's gotta be their strongest warrior."

“No, but he’s probably got Beryl feeding him energy!” Neflyte growled. He hated the situation. This was one of Malachite’s favorite tricks, and none of them - not even Zoicite - had ever beaten it.

Mercury looked up from her computer. “Guys, I analyzed all of the attacks we’ve made so far. The wall of the dome seems to be absorbing the energy from our attacks. I’m afraid that we’ll need help from the outside to get out of this one.”

“But how and who is going to get us out of this dome?” Sailor Moon whimpered. She was feeling scared and guilty for not being able to rescue the others. ‘Sailor Moon, stop blaming yourself. We are all in this fight together.’

It had come from Tuxedo Mask, who was looking dead at her. He had somehow read her heart. 'Okay. I just hope that this isn’t our last fight.’

He winked and gave her a soft smile for a moment. She knew why the crystal was so important to him, thanks to Neflyte. Sailor Moon decided then that the first thing the Scouts would do was make Tuxedo Mask whole again. Once more she felt his mind touch hers. ‘Thank you, Sailor Moon. Your greatest strength lies in your heart - your love and trust. Never let Beryl snuff that brilliant light out, or we will all be lost.’

This time it was her turn to smile and nod. ‘And don’t you let her destroy your brave heart. I don’t think I could live if we lost you.’

She grinned at the fact that he blushed slightly because of that. She could feel that he was as confused by his attraction and devotion to her as she was with her feelings for him. That made it more comforting - that someone else knew how she was feeling inside.

But, right then they had bigger problems. The situation was bad for the Scouts. The dome was coming down on them hard … nearly ready to crush them with the increasing pressure building on the inside. And they had no conscious allies outside of the dome to free them.

Mercury moaned as the pressure steadily increased on them all. "We've got to get out of here before he squishes us!"

"But nothing works." Mars cried out.

Jasper glared at the group. “Now I’ll only ask this once. Where are the crystals?”

Solaris gasped out, thankful that she had yet to get with child (for the pressure would have certainly caused her to miscarry the baby). “They were lost during the fighting. None of us know where they are, you doofus!”

“Not a good enough answer, Sailor Slut! Where are they?” Jasper purposely intensified the pressure by half - knowing that the group would soon perish.

Neflyte chuckled. “It’s obvious why you were never an officer before now, Jasper. You can’t even count correctly! And the answer we gave is the truth - we don’t know. And even if we did, you’d never get that information out of any of us.”

"Guys, we can't . . . let the Negaverse win. Try to hang on . . .” Sailor Moon struggled to breath in the constricting pressure of the still shrinking dome.

"Sailor Scouts! NO!" Luna screamed, but she knew that there was nothing she could do but watch and hope for a miracle from Queen Serenity. Looking to the sky, Luna hoped that the spirit of their Queen was still near enough to hear and help. “Queen Serenity, your daughter and the Scouts are in terrible trouble and need help that I cannot provide.”

‘Help is coming. Just be patient and wait.’

Queen Serenity had never been wrong before - Luna did as ordered, and waited.

Jasper clicked his tongue in false pity. “If you just give me the crystals, I’d end all of this suffering you’re enduring.”

"They’re not handing you anything, Negacreep," a female’s voice shouted from above them (instantly seen by the group in the dome, but not Jasper), but her face was hidden to all of the Scouts.

Luna gasped, a renewed sense of hope filling her heart. "That must be the help Queen Serenity was talking about! We might be saved!"

The young female whistled at Jasper. "Up here, slime ball!" There, on a thick tree branch, stood the sixth Sailor Scout!

"Where'd she come from?!" Jasper growled in frustration.

"I'm Sailor Venus, and if you're looking to make any trouble . . .” She jumped down and removed her orange glasses. She was Sailor V … the heroine of the movies, comics, and games all of the Scouts enjoyed (Especially Serena). “ . . . here it comes right back at ya! VENUS CRESCENT BEAM SMASH!"

It burned Jasper’s hand, which broke his connection with the dome - causing it to vanish.

"Hey, what happened?" Sailor Mars opened her eyes as her energy returned.

Sailor Moon sighed with relief. "Oh, she set us free. Sailor Venus . . . She's our sixth Scout, you guys." Another guardian cat, this one is white with a gold crescent moon identical to Luna’s, leapt out of the same tree and landed next to Luna. "That's right, Sailor Scouts. The sixth Scout's here, and I'm her guardian, Artemis. Meet Sailor Venus. We're united at last."

Glancing at Luna, Artemis winked at the black guardian cat. "Looking sharp there, kitty cat."

"You haven't changed." Despite her apparent indifference, Luna was happy to have the silly cat back at her side. He’d always kept her hopes up before they separated to search for the Scouts and Moon Princess in different parts of the world. Now they had only one last protocol left - find the Princess. "Enough. I didn't come here just to put on some Scout jamboree." Jasper sent out a whirlwind that knocked down most of the Scouts and unmasked Tuxedo Mask!

Sailor Moon felt all of the loyalty and caring from her friends. "Too bad. You're moon dust, creeps!"

Back in her Castle, Queen Beryl was watching the battle with a deep interest - so deep she paid no attention to Malachite and Zoicite (who had suddenly gotten better), at least for the moment. When she saw the face that was behind that mask, she gasped. "I know that face! But at last, we know who Tuxedo Mask is."

Neflyte too saw who was beneath the mask. “Is Serena going to hate this. The guy she loves to hate is Tuxedo’s secret identity. But that can wait for after tomorrow’s Scout meeting.”

Jasper was suddenly feeling the pressure of facing all of the Scouts, the now recovered youmas, the re-masked Tuxedo Mask, and Neflyte. The newest in Beryl’s line of Generals started backing off.

JASPER! RETURN AT ONCE!’ Beryl commanded with a booming voice.

Jasper was confused by his new order. "I don't have the crystals, Queen Beryl!"

"I know that, but it's too risky. Let them be! Return now!" Beryl was being mysterious. And Neflyte hated when that witch was mysterious.

"You got lucky, brats, but everybody's luck runs out sometime!” Jasper chuckled as he disappeared in a cloud of black and purple smoke.

Sailor Moon turned around to talk to Tuxedo Mask, when she noticed that he was holding his arm in an unnatural position - he had gotten hurt! ‘I’m fine. Listen be careful. Beryl is up to something. I’m holding onto the real Rainbow Crystals - just in case. Ulee created fake ones when she woke up. She’s smart, so keep an open mind when you listen to her. I’ll see ya around.’

‘At least let us help you with that arm. Please, I can’t stand the sense of you being in pain. It’s as if the pain is mine as well.’ Sailor Moon was worried. Tuxedo Mask was holding back most of the pain to make the injury look less than it really was.

He shook his head and waved goodbye as he left.

The others at that moment were introducing themselves. "Well, Luna, sure been a long time. Pretty sight, huh? I can't tell you how happy we are to finally be joined up with you guys."

Jupiter wasn’t sure how to act around this famous Scout. "Sailor Venus! I can't believe this! Really!"

"It's great to be here." Venus was happy that she was no longer alone in her and Artemis’ fight against the Negaverse.

"Oh . . . are you the Moon Princess we're looking for?" Sailor Moon asked hopefully. She really wanted to know if she was good enough to continue the fight.

Venus answered truthfully. "I don't know."

Sailor Moon still couldn’t quite get over the stardom of it all. "Wow, Sailor Venus in the flesh. This is major cool. Thanks for saving us, Sailor Venus."

"No problem. I'm just really excited I'm finally getting to meet all you guys. We'll be a super team."

"Oh hey, are we glad to have ya." Sailor Moon wasn’t kidding. Without Venus, they’ve all been goners for certain.

Mercury smiled as she looked at the group. "Yes, now, we're finally a full-fledged team."

"The Sailor Scouts!" Jupiter added.

Neflyte added a sigh. “That is once we free the other Scout Generals. Then the team will be whole again.”

Artemis interrupted their serious, but friendly, get together. "Right, Neflyte. Enough with the warm, fuzzy moments. Time to cut to the chase. Those guys from the Negaverse aren't fooling around. I'm sure they're already planning to strike back big. You guys gotta be ready."

"Right. Meeting at the temple tomorrow. Okay?" Luna offered. It was nice to have that hot tomcat at her side again - when he wasn’t acting like a fool to impress her.

Venus smiled. She knew how Artemis felt for Luna. He’d missed her more than the Moon Kingdom, she’d wager - and win. Now if they’d only get together. "Okay. Gotta book it. See ya."

She and Artemis left as dramatically as they arrived. Only Mars didn’t like the way the new Scout left … calling it almost rude.

Serena, on the other hand, said, “I think she’s wicked cool.”

She tried to focus on the conversation, but the leader of the Sailor Scouts found herself looking towards where Tuxedo Mask had left. She could still feel the agony he was in, and she felt so responsible. But she also knew that he’d be there the next time she needed him, and hoped that she would be able to do the same for her masked hero as well.

* * * * * * * *

Well, Serena should really remember one old American saying - ‘be careful what you wish for.’

* * * * * * * *

return to Index / go to Chapter 12

The Nephrite and Naru Treasury