A Sailor Moon fan fiction by Thomas Sewell (email@example.com)
This chapter has strong language and some violence. Skip to the synopsis at the end if you feel you can't handle it.
Text between <<double angle brackets>> is the Iturbe-monster speaking directly into the minds of others.
Finally Nancy came up, Looking at her clothes and her makeup, Usagi asked, "Nancy, are you going on a date?"
"Sort of . . . are you really sure you can fight this thing this time?"
After looking around, Usagi transformed. It was hard to tell at first, but she looked . . . different. Then she took on wings--not white, this time, but colored, with rainbow waves . . . eight colors, like the eight feathers Dr. Goodman had worn on each side of her head. The baton she was holding became a wand with a heart-shaped double guard. And a flower-shaped jewel grew and glowed at the base of her throat. Sailor Moon pointed to the jewel and said, "This is the ginzuishou. It was always within me. If nothing else works, I will use its full power. It will take my life, but that power can destroy worlds. That thing may take my life, but it will not escape punishment."
"Take me with you," said Nancy.
"You cannot fight it."
"I helped you try to bring back Chibi-Usa. That almost worked."
"It will kill you."
"Maybe. Maybe while it's getting its jollies doing me, you can get a clean shot . . . I don't want to just wait for it any more. What's the point of living a little longer if you don't get it? I want help you to get this thing. I want payback for Chibi and Kim. For Jimmy, too. I just know this thing killed him."
Sailor Moon fingered the necklace Nancy was wearing. It was made of paper cranes, and did not match the rest of the outfit. She remembered Chibi-Usa making it many of these, but this one had been made with special care. And Chibi-Usa had never told her she had made something for Nancy.
Sailor Moon embraced Nancy in her arms and her great wings.
Nancy felt something flow into her, warm and cool, sweet and bitter, smelling of baby powder and the sting of ozone. Then they rose into the coppery sky.
Eric, upstairs playing yet another video game, caught something, but by the time he reached his window, he thought the distant flying form must be a crane. With nothing to give the figure scale, nearly all the few people below who bothered to look at the sky just thought they saw a pretty bird, while there was light enough to see.
"Why are we flying, anyway? Do you think it will be there before you figured?"
"No. I just didn't want to take the bus."
Their laughter was heard below, but very few drivers looked up from their traffic grumps.
The Victorian Hills Mall was open again, although the half-built parking garage had been demolished--what Sailor Moon hadn't pulverized, demolition workers had after the structure was condemned. Since the collapse was unexplained, there were a lot of lawsuits flying over its remains.
The mall lot and the neighborhood around it wasn't overcrowded when Sailor Moon arrived with Nancy. The sky was indigo, and no one noticed them set down. Sailor Moon folded her wings so they looked like a cape, and simply walked into the parking lot with Nancy. Nancy was dressed daringly, with a very minimal miniskirt and a tight knit top that left her midriff showing. She had painted her face heavily. She had made herself into a sign: Come and get me first, demon-rapist. Don't wait. The paper-crane necklace didn't fit the ensemble--but Nancy hadn't thought of leaving it behind, once she'd found it again unexpectedly before leaving to join Usagi.
But, of course, Nancy also attracted boys--as did Sailor Moon, perhaps even more so with her long legs peeking from her "cape" as she walked. A clot of them lazing in the parking lot started following them, the bolder ones jogging ahead. "Hey, do you cook as good as you look?" one of them said, thinking himself clever.
They backed off once they saw the Goodman sisters, though--there was nothing that leaped out and said "three witches," but the boys decided there was more action in the Mall, and walked on inside.
Dolores said, "Unless you want to wear those wings all night, could you use this?" She handed Sailor Moon an overcoat--obviously her own; she was almost as tall as Dr. Goodman had been."
"No, thank you. I've never been in this form before. I want to grow used to it. Let's go inside. I'm hungry. Do they have good Chinese food here?"
Nancy picked at a plate of eggrolls and fried rice, while Sailor Moon ate enormously. The Cantonese booth at the food court wasn't part of a chain; it was a little family business, and almost all the young people working there were relatives. They spoke no Japanese, but they knew about Sailor Moon, and they were fascinated to have a customer who was wearing such a great costume. Sailor Moon talked about the show and her favorite characters, and they never suspected that her "insights" were about real people. She even went through another burlesque of Sailor Moon as she had at Halloween, with Chibi-Moon, making a little crowd of kids laugh. Nancy was about to swallow her heart when it was finished. Sailor moon put a comforting hand on Nancy's shoulder and said, "Remember, this thing lives by killing joy. Perhaps I have just made it a little weaker." Then Sailor Moon started eating again.
The mall closed at ten that evening, though the last movie wouldn't be finished until just after midnight. The New Moon would be at its nadir a few minutes after eleven. At twenty minutes to eleven,the Goodman sisters got out of their rented van and began preparing, laying out a pentagram. "You stand in the center, dear." said Maude. "We'll stand on the points. You will be protected."
"But there are only three of you."
Maude, who seemed the oldest but was actually the youngest surviving sister, said, "Sailor Moon will take one of the points. It will not be able to harm you while the pentagram protects you."
"Stand in the center. You wanted to help. Try to follow our chant, if you will."
A couple of mall security guards in a car spotted the little coven about ten minutes later, and started to drive over to investigate. Sailor Moon glanced their way, and they suddenly had car trouble: a cracked block. This immobilized them; they couldn't conceive of walking seventy-five yards, and were anyway completely absorbed by the problem of their stricken vehicle. The other mall car was coming up about ten minutes after that, but that was when the New Moon was a few minutes from its nadir . . .
After a bit of argument among themselves, three mall guards (the two fat ones whose car had broken down and their supervisor) walked up to the chanting women. "Ladies," called out the supervisor, "I'm afraid--"
"Don't disturb them, rentacop. They have business with me."
Startled, the supervisor turned and saw a short, pathetic looking man dressed casual clothes that hadn't been in fashion for more than a decade--if then. He was fairly young, but already balding and had one of the worst comb-overs the supervisor had ever seen. Putting her hand on her gun, her usual "this can be serious" move, she said to the man, "The only business that goes on here is inside the mall, and it's closed now. We're going to have to ask you to leave. All of you," she finished, turning back and increasing her volume.
She heard the man's voice again--inside her head.
<<Take this business, you dried-up dyke.>>
The only other perception she had was unbelievable pain, as she was sliced and pulled apart.
"Sailor Moon! Help her!" screamed Nancy, but it was already too late. The dying woman was between Sailor moon and Iturbe.
"She's dead! Kill it!" another voice screamed, and Sailor Moon fired a halation blast which made the thing shimmer, and ended the woman's suffering. Then it winked out.
"Did you get it?" asked Nancy, running toward the fallen woman, not understanding what Sailor Moon had just done, not noticing yet that her body was already beginning to crumble away. But she saw in the next second that the woman was dead. "Can we bring her back?"
Long tentacles came down and snatched Nancy up.
<<No, she did not get it, Nancy! Clever, clever, you completed the pentagram! But I have the girl! Want to play catch, moon slut?>>
Another tentacle snaked down and sliced through a power line. All the lights around them went out. But Nancy could see that she was high up already, she would never survive a fall from where she was. The thing had half-engulfed her, trapping her arms and legs, but she could see--and be seen. It was using her as a shield.
She looked down, and saw the pentagram glowing, violet-white, almost like the blasts that Chibi Moon had fought with. And there was someone on every point--she saw the Grey Lady!
<<Oh, yes, Nancy, the Grey Lady is back. Not for long, I think . . . disappointing, after Kimberly-chan, but I still get to kill her twice . . . Oh, where to begin. Oh, you should't have! You remembered, Nancy! You wore your pretty panties! I'll send a thank-you note to your mother!>>
Sailor Moon concentrated. She had kept this in the back of her mind so long, it was difficult to form the whole of it with so little preparation. "Grey Lady, give me the staff!"
Nancy saw Sailor Moon take something from the Grey Lady. She crossed her arms. Now she had something in each hand--as the light grew brighter from the pentagram, she could see that the heart-staff was in one hand, and a sceptor with a silvery skull in the other. She herself changed form. Her wings became mostly black, though still with narrower bands of color. Her costume turned mostly black. And the jewels in her odongo became silvery, ruby-eyed skulls. Nancy realised that she was seeing far more detail than she should be able to from this distance--as if she suddenly had a zoom lens. She had magic--or was this thing allowing her to see for its own reasons?
<<Oh, another costume change, moon slut. You've wasted your talents. You should have been a stripper. What a pity . . . after I kill the others, maybe I'll let you live. You'll have to become a stripper. And a hooker. Nancy, your brother was so special. He got it from the moon slut for free.>>
Sailor Moon had almost finished her transformation. One more thing remained . . . she pulled down at her collar, deepening her neckline. Between her breasts, over her heart, a second ginzuishou bloomed. "Now, hold it!" she shouted to the others.
The thing screamed. Nancy felt some of it, a flash of pain; so did the women in the pentagram. But everyone else in the mall, and the several blocks around, passed out. People felt spasms more than a mile away.
If anyone else had been awake to look on the scene from close up, they would have seen five violet lines of energy reaching up to wrap around and around a writhing, amorphous form. It tried to grow tentacles and pseudopods, but they were sheared off by the twisting lines as fast as they extended. It shot out green balls of fire, but they looped around and struck where they had emerged.
<<It hurts. You have me now. But even if you could finish me, you'll kill the girl. What is it going to be, moon slut? You finished off the old dyke quickly enough. While you're thinking, I think I'll start on Nancy. Let's see . . . what do I take off first? Your panties or your head?>>
Nancy screamed, "Kill it, Sailor Moon! Kill it! Please!"
Dolores, who was the gentlest of the sisters, said, "We can't hold it forever . . . you have to kill it."
Sailor moon said nothing. She had come here to die this night. She had killed the poor guard. But kill Nancy? Surely she had doomed Jimmy. But Nancy? Too?
"Kill it! Kill it!" cried Nancy again. A tentacle started coming into her mouth, but it crackled with energy and dissolved. "Kill it, Kill it, Kill it!"
Sailor Moon summoned all the power she could. She whispered three last words, "Forgive me, Nancy-chan." Then she loosed the power of both ginzuishou.
The thing glowed in a rainbow aura. Ichor began falling like rain, sliming cars and the ground.
But the thing was still there, as the aura faded, and the ichor became a light drizzle.
<<Almost, moon slut. But no cigar. Catch.>>
Nancy felt herself falling, freed from the slimy grip. <No, no, don't let it win!> She remembered how it had used Chibi's love for Kimberly to destroy them both--and now it would win, because Sailor Moon cared for her.
Sailor Moon had given all she could, and it had not worked. Even with Chibi Moon's ginzuishou and her own, she had not summoned the needed power, though she had no question that she had accepted the price. Except Nancy. She had not been able to kill Nancy along with the thing.
The only thing she could do was save Nancy for a few moments--but she spread her wings to give Nancy-chan those few moments. She was drained; it would take a moment to fly, and to break free from the grip of the sisters who were all shouting for her not to break the pentagram.
Sailor Moon saw her fate: to die, like Chibi-Usa, fighting hopelessly.
She hoped she would die as well.
She flew up to Nancy, and caught her
The thing put on the face of Roberto Iturbe, a thousand times the size of the man in life, and laughed. It was still bound by four lines of fire, but it began to swell. It began to grow long tentacles, most being cut off, but more and growing--they would soon reach them; they were too far from the pentagram.
Nancy looked into the face of Sailor Moon, seeing glowing tears streaming down. Then she twisted out of Sailor moon's grasp, pointed at the thing with both hands, and shouted with all her might, "PUNISH IT FOR CHIBI MOON!"
Then the face showed fear, and distorted wildly. A stream of violet bolts rose up, burning it in halves, quarters, eighths, and then unerringly seeking out and consuming the smaller and smaller pieces. An airline pilot who'd flown a Nighthawk over Baghdad said whatever it was looked ten times as bright. The power grid for half the Southbay went out during the half-minute or so the violet fire blossomed.
Sailor Moon glided down, and landed on her point of the Pentagram.
Then Nancy glided down, and landed in the center of the pentagram. It ceased to glow a moment later.
The Grey Lady said: "Let me be the first to greet the New Moon."
Next:The End of the Dream
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