Slow Process to Redemption
by Keren Olivero

Chapter 1

* * * * * * * *

Jadeite stood in Queen Beryl's throne room, sweating nervously. He didn't know what punishment the evil queen had for him, but he was horrified. He knew what she was capable of. He was holding onto the hope that Beryl would give him a chance to explain and forgive him. She had been so enraged about losing her best youma that she wasn't willing to hear him out. It had not been his fault at all, and if he had his way about it he would not have agreed to work with Thetis in the first place. He only agreed to because of her scheme. Now it looked like the love energy he gathered would not be enough to make up for his failure. He also hoped that he would get one last chance to get rid of the meddling senshi once and for all. He wondered how was it that three little teenage girls managed to outwit him all the time when their powers were wimpy compared to his youma's abilities.

'No matter. Their luck will run out sooner or later,' thought the young blonde man. Soon, he heard footsteps. His heart proceeded to pound wildly as he knew that it was Beryl coming back to tell him about his punishment. Not an occasion to look forward to. But maybe she had calmed down. Maybe she would spare his life. He wouldn't know until he actually heard what she had to say.

Sure enough, the nefarious red-head came and sat on her throne. She had a nonchalant expression on her face. Jadeite was not sure what to make of it.

"Jadeite," the witch queen said in a rather calm tone, "you have done well with the amount of love energy you've just collected. However, you've made a grave mistake when you used Thetis in your plans without my permission, and you have constantly failed to defeat the three senshi, and that is unacceptable!"

Jadeite gulped. The queen was only slightly less angry than before, meaning that there was not much time for him to try and talk his way out of this problem. "Please…give me a chance to explain, Queen Beryl."

"I am not interested in your feeble explanation!"

'Darn it!' So much for thinking that Beryl would spare him.

"I'm giving you one more chance, Jadeite. Sailor Moon and her two little friends must be eliminated. If you fail, the punishment is Eternal Sleep."

Jadeite shuddered at the thought of that. He did not want it to happen. He didn't know how he would do it, but he had to come up with a fool proof scheme that would put the annoying girly girls away for good. He could hear the lower ranked servants laughing and murmuring different things, but he wasn't paying any attention to them. Instead, he remained attentive to Beryl. If he won, he would be the one having the last laugh.

"I wish you success Jadeite…for the punishment of Eternal Sleep condemns you for the most profound darkness...forever!" She said the last word in such a dramatically sinister tone that it gave Jadeite a chill down his spine. He bowed respectfully, and disappeared.

Nephrite's henchmen were amongst the throng of servants in Beryl's throne room, and so they heard about Beryl's displeasure and about the punishment that she had sentenced Jadeite if he failed. This made them very happy. It was the beginning of the end for Jadeite.

"Just as I thought. It won't be very long now," Ruby whispered to Yukari.

"Yeah. It's about time. For awhile, I was worried that we would have to wait forever. I mean, how many times has Beryl warned this joker not to fail her?" Yukari whispered back.

Ruby snorted, making sure to keep it muffled. "You don't have to remind me." There were often times she thought the wicked queen made empty threats. Yet another reason why she had no respect for her.

It slightly bothered Miki that Beryl was giving the blonde another chance instead of disposing of him for good right then and there. That meant more waiting. She was not thrilled about that. 'No matter. It was just dumb luck that saved him and it's bound to run out sooner or later.'

The three young women felt uncomfortable with the majority of the other youma, and they hated to listen to the witch queen's voice, but if it meant watching the younger general squirm and giving their master this update, it was well worth the boredom. They disappeared from the dark and dreary throne room; they've had about enough of that place. They appeared before their master and curtsied respectfully. He seemed to be deep in thought about something.

"Excuse me, sir," said Miki politely. Nephrite turned to face her, and the other youma.

"What is it that you have to report?" he asked.

"Beryl is giving that hack Jadeite one more chance, and if he fails, he will face Eternal Sleep," said Yukari.

"I see…so he was able to buy himself some time with the love energy he gathered." The star shitennou didn't think that Jadeite would survive another chance, but at least he could use that amount of time to go over his strategy one more time so that when Jadeite failed, he would be fully prepared. He found the thought of the younger general being punished with Eternal Sleep rather amusing, but at the same time he knew he would have to be sure to please Beryl so that he would not face it himself. Such a sentence was horrifying, even worse than death itself.

Yukari was itching to see how Jadeite would screw up his final chance. She conjured her crystal ball that enabled her to view what was happening on earth.

It took some methodical planning, but late that night Jadeite finally had the perfect scheme to defeat the senshi. This time he would be defeating the senshi himself—no youma involved. He felt the need to prove that he was perfectly capable of facing the senshi on his own. Sure, they might have defeated his youma, but they would not stand a chance against him, for he was more powerful than his minions were. He revised the plan so that he would win whether the teen girls accepted his challenge or not. He projected an image of himself in the night sky.

"I issue a challenge to you Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, and Sailor Mars! Meet me at the runway airport tomorrow night at one o'clock! Be prepared to lose! And if you are thinking about declining this challenge, think again!" The blonde created an illusion of the city, and shot a fireball down at it, demonstrating what would be done if the senshi didn't accept his challenge. He snapped his fingers.

"Not to worry, that was only an illusion. But if you don't show up, I will burn this city to ashes, destroying everyone along with it! And trust me, it will be no illusion!" With that, he disappeared from the sky just as quickly as he had appeared. He thought to himself that this had better work. He was confident, but at the same time a bit scared too…scared of his queen's wrath.

Nephrite's trio of youma was amazed by this scheme. It seemed pretty elaborate…and a bit ambitious for someone on Jadeite's level.

Ruby, however, was amazed and unimpressed at the same time. She didn't think he had the brains to come up with it. "So he came up with a back-up plan, big deal. Did he come up with it on his own like a grown man should or did someone have to hold his hand and help him?"

Miki muffled a giggle. "Probably had someone help him."

"Or maybe he is just desperate?" suggested her twin. "I mean, that would motivate him to come up with something so destructive. Not that it matters, since Master Nephrite will have his job in the end. It's a shame that Jadeite won't be around to see how gathering energy is really done."

Nephrite listened to his youma make disparaging remarks about his underdog adversary. He thought it was the only scheme that sounded remotely promising. However, he felt it remained to be seen if Jadeite actually had what it took to effectively execute the plan, and that was something he highly doubted. 'I cannot wait to see this.'

* * * * * * * *

Usagi had been scared out of her wits by the stunt of an illusion that her archenemy did. She and her two fellow sailor friends were meeting at the Hikawa Shrine to discuss this matter. Usagi really didn't want to be there. It was time for her to be getting ready for bed. She just knew that the meeting would be boring. 'Oh boy…I have a feeling that I'll have a hard time getting up in the morning.'

"Jadeite will hold true to his promise to burn the city if you girls do not show up. You cannot allow that to happen," said Luna.

Rei was not going to let this happen without a fight. He had wreaked enough havoc when working at the shrine and she was not going to let him cause any more trouble. "That's right. We have to answer to Jadeite's evil challenge."

Ami agreed that they couldn't let the evil man destroy the city, but she had her doubts. There was no telling how powerful he really was since she never faced him one on one in battle before. "I don't think we should take such a risk. We need to be careful."

"Yes we do. But we don't have much time to prepare. We're just going to have to wing it and hope for the best."

Luna understood both girls' points. Then she looked at Usagi, who seemed to be lost in her own little world. "What do you think, Usagi?"

"You agree that we must fight him, don't you?" Rei pressed.

The goofy blonde hesitated. She couldn't let Jadeite destroy the city, but as badly as she wanted to get her hands on him for this she felt very scared. How would she tell her friends this without them getting on her case for being a coward?

"Not without preparing first," Ami cut in. "If we foolishly rush in this battle without a good plan our defeat will be inevitable."

Usagi rested her hand on the back of her head and started giggling nervously. "Us fight Jadeite? Are you crazy? He'd blast us to the next millennium before we could throw the first blow."

Luna and Rei groaned at the leader's cowardice. She really ought to take her role more seriously and live up to her potential.

The incident of Jadeite's image appearing in the sky made headlines on the news. It was being reported from late at night and was still the topic of discussion that morning while Usagi was getting ready for school. Neither of the reporters knew what to make of it, but knew that the threat was not to be taken lightly. "There will be police stationed near the airport tonight, as a precaution," reported a male voice.

Mr. and Mrs. Tsukino were at the table, drinking coffee. Shingo was finishing off a jelly-filled bun. The image in the sky had given them a bit of a fright, too. They heard of the senshi numerous times before, but usually didn't pay much attention to it. As scary as the image was to them, they wrote it off as just a hoax. Shingo had to roll his eyes at the threat. Ever since hearing of Sailor Moon and the other senshi, he looked up to them as idols, and so he thought this man was totally crazy if he thought he could beat the senshi.

All of a sudden, Shingo and his parents heard a loud wail…one that sounded all too familiar. It was one Usagi usually made when something happened that she considered a mega crisis, or if she was running late. Kenji and Ikuko sighed, wondering what the problem was this time.

Usagi came running down the stairs. She quickly grabbed a jelly-bun and her lunch satchel. "See you later!" she called over her shoulder. She ran out the door. Shingo could only shake his head in embarrassment. 'That girl sure is hopeless,' he thought.

Usagi sprinted to school as fast as she could. She already had detention twice that month for being late and she didn't want another one. Even though it would be a picnic compared to the ordeal she would have to face later on after midnight. She didn't know how she was going to fight Jadeite, but she would just have to hope that either luck or fate was on her side.

By the time Usagi got to school, she was out of breath. She made it before the bell rang, but just barely. Just as she entered the classroom, she heard the sound of the bell. She said good morning to her friends.


At that moment Miss Haruna entered the classroom, looking cheerful as usual. She didn't appear fazed by the latest news at all. She was surprised to see that Usagi got there before her. "Good morning, my students."

"Good morning Miss H."

"So Usagi, what do you make of the news of the image of the man in the sky who threatened the senshi?" Naru asked her best friend. He looked real familiar to her but this was the first time she witnessed his sadism.

"The man sure was creepy...Sailor Moon is going to have to be ready for anything," she answered a bit sheepishly. She didn't want her classmates to know that she was actually one of the senshi who was being threatened, so she felt a bit embarrassed to be put on the spot.

"It must have been one of those holograms you see in a haunted house," a girl with very short red hair said.

"No way, guys. It's aliens from outer space. I know it! They're gonna wipe out the human race for polluting our beautiful planet earth," said Umino. He was just as scared.

Naru couldn't help but groan. Umino was too obsessed with science fiction for his own good. "Umino…do you honestly think someone as cruel sounding as him would care if the planet has been polluted or not? Get a life, would ya!"

"Why don't we go to the airport together, to see if this guy is for real?" suggested another girl.

Usagi didn't like the sound of that suggestion. Her friends would get caught up in the fight if they did that. She didn't want any more lives to be in danger. But to prevent blowing her cover, she simply said, "Not a good idea."

Miss Haruna was horrified by what she was hearing as well. How could they even think of going to the airport under the circumstances? "Are you kids insane? You can get hurt out there. You should stay at home where you'll be safe and sound!"

"That's right," said Usagi, agreeing with her teacher. "Listen to Miss Haruna, she's telling the truth."

Naru was shocked by the sudden change of tone. She never thought she would live to see the day her goofy friend agreed with the teacher. "Usagi…?"

"It's very dangerous," Usagi continued.

Umino was stunned, too. This was a side of the blonde he almost never saw. "What's up, Usagi? Is there something you know about this that you're keeping from us?"

"No, don't be silly. You know a dumpling head like me would know nothing about an alien threatening the senshi. It's just that this situation is not meant to be taken as a joke. And anyway, if you guys have so much free time on your hands, then you should stay home and study!"

For a moment, Miss Haruna did not know what to say. She was so used to seeing Usagi be a slacker that she wasn't expecting the young girl to concur with her. It was refreshing to see, but she wondered what could have made Usagi change. Something was not right here. "Usagi, are you feeling all right? Have you come down with the flu?" She walked up to Usagi and felt her forehead. It was still cool…no fever.

So they thought something was wrong because Usagi was serious. This made her feel insulted, especially since she was always scolded whenever she goofed off. "Are you trying to say that I am not supposed to be concerned about this situation? I have just as much right as anyone else to show my serious side! I am a human just like you!" She burst into tears. She had a feeling that this would be a terrible day at school. True, school was always a drag for her, but this was by far the worst day ever.

* * * * * * * *

Queen Beryl summoned Nephrite before her. He promptly appeared, and bowed respectfully. His loyal minions appeared as well, and gave a respectful curtsey. He wondered what Beryl could possibly want with him, and he was surprised that his youma followed him, knowing how much they despised the queen.

Ruby and her fellow friends waited to hear what Beryl had to say. As much as they detested the very sight of the evil woman, they were almost able to tolerate her presence a bit more, since they were accompanying their master.

The nefarious queen smiled one of her wicked smiles. "Well, Nephrite, I am sure that you are aware of the fact that I have given Jadeite one more chance to prove himself."

Of course the star general knew that, since his most trusted minions had told him all about it. But he wasn't going to tell her that he had them spying.

"And I trust that you're ready to take over. Based on your many trips to earth, you and your youma must be well prepared."

"Yes your majesty." A part of Nephrite was afraid that somehow Queen Beryl would have picked up on the fact that he had been trying earth dishes, and that she would accuse him of treason. Although he knew it when he came to that decision, what could he have done? If he hadn't switched to the human food when he did, he would have had to deal with digestive disorders for the rest of his life.

Beryl's facial expression grew serious. "Just in case Jadeite fails to defeat those meddlesome brats, you and your youma are to remain here. Am I clear?"

Nephrite realized that Beryl must want him there so that he would hear when she announced him as the new commander. Since he was absolutely sure that Jadeite would fail, he was glad to oblige. He had no qualms witnessing Jadeite's punishment firsthand, even though he would have to use it as a warning to not make the same mistakes, lest he would suffer the same fate. His youma, too, were happy to see Jadeite cower in fear as well as share with their master the glory of being new commander.

Nephrite bowed again. "Yes, Majesty."

* * * * * * * *

At about thirty minutes till one that night, Jadeite was at the airport, making preparations for his battle with the senshi. He felt so prepared for the duel to the death he put together. He observed that there were a bunch of policemen on guard. 'They must be here to try and protect those stupid girls from me…well sadly that is not going to happen.' He emitted a spell from his torso area and in an instant all of the on duty cops collapsed and fell into a very deep sleep. Jadeite gave an evil chuckle. "These foolish humans called cops will help my plan," he said to himself. He waited for the senshi to show up. He was looking forward to destroying them once and for all.

Meanwhile, Rei, Ami and Usagi had finally made it to the train station. They had decided to come early to show how serious they were about the battle. Usagi, however, was still reluctant to go through with it. She started to lag behind.

"Don't be a slowpoke, Usagi! Keep up with us!" Rei told the blonde.

"Okay okay!" Usagi sped up a bit. She wished that she was at home sleeping so that she could wake up in time for school in the morning.

The three girls were looking around for a train to catch so that they could get to the airport. It appeared that they had missed them all. Not good. They had to be to the airport on time so that they could stop Jadeite.

"What do we do?" fretted Usagi. "We were too late to catch even the last train!"

Rei gave the blonde a warning look. She was already not in the best of moods that night, mainly because she had to be out so late at night when she had work to do at home. Usagi's pessimism wasn't helping matters. But she kept her temper. "Hmm...can we afford a taxi?" she pondered.

All of a sudden, a train appeared in front of the girls and the doors opened. Mentally, Usagi gave a yell for joy, oblivious to the fact that it was part of Jadeite's lure.

Her friends, however, caught onto the scheme. "Looks like Jadeite was kind enough to send us a private train. Let's accept his generosity," said Rei a bit sarcastically. She entered the train, and her tone was so no-nonsense that left very little room for questioning. They followed her on, and the doors closed.

"I believe that Jadeite is leading us into a trap," observed Luna.

The three senshi were nervous throughout the entire train ride. They were unsure of what exactly their greatest enemy had in store for them, but they knew that it would be a tough battle.

The train arrived at the airport and the senshi got off. 'Okay Jadeite, let's get this over with,' thought Rei. She and the other girls noticed all of the cops there who appeared to be on duty. They were all asleep.

"Something doesn't seem right here," commented Ami. It boggled her mind that the policemen were asleep if they were on patrol.

"I know right?" agreed Usagi, noticing the sleeping cops as well.

Suddenly, the comatose policemen awoke. Only they were not their protective selves…they had been possessed by the sleep spell. They growled deep within their throats. The senshi heard the noise and were terrified, especially when one of them took out a rifle. Rei kicked the possessed cop and started running. Ami and Usagi proceeded to run as well.

"What's going on?" whined Usagi. She didn't think it was right that the one set of people who were supposed to be trusted were now enemies.

Rei was getting a bit tired of Usagi's whimpering. "Quit your sniveling and keep up, would ya!"

Usagi ignored her and kept up with the venting. "Evil policemen? What's up with that? They're the ones who are supposed to be protecting us!"

Ami realized that Jadeite must be behind this scheme. When she and the other girls were at a safe enough distance, she decided to transform. "Mercury Power, Make Up!"

Rei and Usagi followed her lead. "Mars Power, Make Up!"

"Moon Prism Power, Make Up!"

Once the girls transformed, Mercury did a reading on the faux policemen using her VR Visor. She was analyzing the weak points they had so that she would know how to stop them. She was amazed by what she saw. They were not like the other enemies that were defeated.

"It appears that these policemen are clay monsters!" she stated.

'Clay monsters,' thought Mars. She knew that clay was one of the few elements that were susceptible to her fire attack. "Leave this to me! Fire Soul!" A fireball traveled in a swirl towards the policemen, reducing them to ashes.

"Good work, Mars!" Mercury congratulated the senshi of fire. "You figured out the youma's weakness."

"They were just imposters," said Luna.

Even Moon was impressed…perhaps a little too impressed! "Way to go Mars! You rock!"

Mars was very flattered, but she wouldn't let Moon know that. "I do, don't I?" She chuckled a bit, but before the blonde senshi could cheerfully retort something, they were interrupted by familiar evil laughter. The senshi looked up sharply. There stood Jadeite, sneering at them. He couldn't believe such weak looking girls thwarted his plans. Well, never again.

"Hello Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, and Sailor Mars! I have led you silly girls deep within my trap," he gloated.

"I guess we have no choice but to go through with this," whimpered Sailor Moon. To this day, she still found him as scary as ever, and she was afraid to know what he had in store for her.

"You girls are so young. It's a shame that you will be sent to an early grave," said Jadeite, feigning pity.

Sailor Moon didn't like the sound of that at all—dying before having her dreams come true? It was too much. "No way…someone as young and beautiful as me has to live a long life. I have a lot to accomplish!"

Mars thought that was the most ridiculous thing Moon had ever said. "You're not talking about yourself, are you?"

"Why of course I am. I am easily the prettiest of the three," said the goofy blonde.

"Ah, and what's your best feature?" asked the raven haired senshi.

"My face, just check out this beautiful nose," said Sailor Moon.

Sailor Mars laughed at her. "You're such a comedian, dumpling head! My beauty surpasses yours by a long shot!"

"Does not!"

Mercury was growing weary of the petty bickering. "Get a grip you two! Now is not the time to argue!"

The two girls stopped arguing instantly. Mercury was really the voice of reason. They didn't know what they would do without her.

"If we're going to defeat Jadeite, we must stick together," continued Mercury.

Jadeite was becoming impatient. He wanted to destroy the girls once and for all. "Enough chit chat! It's time for battle."

"Yes, that was the most sensible thing you've said all night!" Mars retorted.

Jadeite didn't answer. Instead, he possessed one of the planes in the airport runway with his telekinesis powers. He did the same with two more planes. The planes lifted off the ground and headed for the senshi. Knowing what Jadeite intended to do, the girls were terrified. They proceeded to run. Luna followed them, too. They ran as fast as they could, but the planes continued to follow them.

"We've got to find a way to stop these planes or we'll be squashed as flat as pancakes," said Mercury.

"Maybe I'll use my fire power!" suggested Mars.

Luna didn't think it was a very good idea. "That won't be necessary. It is Jadeite who must be defeated, not the jet."

"Yes, but we don't know what that way is yet," Mercury pointed out. "So for now we can only run for our lives!"

The three senshi ran and ran. Soon they were towards the end of the runway and were close to the ocean. Sailor Moon began to think that it was hopeless. The fact that her legs were sore did not help matters. "Oh no…we're done for!" she wailed.

Jadeite laughed. "Parting is such sweet sorrow, little girls." At that moment, a red rose appeared and the airplanes stopped.

The three senshi were relieved. They saw the rose, and knew that it could only mean one thing. Tuxedo Kamen had come to the rescue. "Tuxedo Kamen, it's so nice to see you!" they said in unison.

"Still picking on young girls?" asked the masked man. He despised bullies very much.

Jadeite was annoyed that this man dared to meddle with his plans, but decided that he could use it to his advantage. If he could defeat the senshi and their little male friend, Beryl would be more than pleased. "How nice to see you, Tuxedo Kamen. How appropriate of you to show up to watch your sailor friends suffer. If you don't leave this battle at once, you, too, will die!"

"Not likely!" The masked man turned to the three warriors of justice. "Sailor Senshi, I want you three to listen to what I have to say."

This was interesting."What is it, my masked man?" Sailor Moon asked curiously.

"You must not lose faith! You can defeat Jadeite if you work together! When you combine your forces there is no foe you cannot defeat! Jadeite's evil magic is no match for your combined strength! Remember that!" With that, he disappeared.

Moon, Mercury and Mars felt their determination becoming stronger. Tuxedo Kamen's words were just what they needed to hear. But they had to do this right…no mistakes.

* * * * * * * *

return to Index / go to Chapter 2

The Nephrite and Naru Treasury