Continuing Tales

Dark Kingdom Renegades 2: Bad Moon Rising

A Sailor Moon Story
by Mark Latus

Part 4 of 8

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Bad Moon Rising

MegaTokyo - October 2033 AD, 3am the same night

Sylia Stingray swore and rubbed her eyes. Her calm facade was long gone after hours of studying this damned blood sample. This completely impossible bloodsample.

It wasn't boomer circulatory fluid. That much was obvious. Boomer organic tissue was composed of artificially gestated primate flesh. This was something new. In some ways the DNA sequence was identical to human, in others it was completely alien. She'd switched from thinking they were dealing with a Boomer to believing it was some sort of genetic experiment. Except given the limits of biotechnology research who had the capability to create a fully sentient adult lifeform? Let alone one that could not merely survive an attack by a dozen Boomers but triumph. Organic lifeforms just weren't that tough. If it wasn't for the similarities to human DNA she might even at grasped at the possibility she was dealing with extraterrestrials.

Maybe they were aliens. It might explain how they'd gained their knowledge of the Knight Sabers. If she thought about it perhaps she could remember ....

Sylia shook off the paranoia of alien abduction theories. She must be really tired if she was considering that. Time for a break. She rose and stretched then walked out of the lab. In the crash room Linna was sitting with a headset on as she fiddled with a handheld disc reader. She took the set off as Sylia entered.


"Just snoring. I think the girl's out for the night. Speaking of which ..." Priss was slumped back in a padded armchair snoring lightly. Had anyone told her she looked very cute when relaxed she would probably have killed them.

"When does she take over the watch?"

"Another hour and a half." Linna paused a moment. "Sylia, do you have any idea just what we're mixed up in this time?"

Sylia sighed. No longer the cool, collected ice queen with all the answers. Instead she looked tired and as puzzled as the rest of them. "Not a clue. I don't know who or what these people are." Linna knew she was the only one Sylia would let see her like this. Nene would panic and Priss would figure she had to take charge. "One thing I do know."


"They aren't GENOM. If GENOM had half the information they've let slip we'd all be dead." That thought jolted Linna fully awake.

"I'll see if Mackie and Nene have found anything more."

"I think Nene's asleep."

"Then I'm definitely going to look in on them."

Mackie was sitting in front of the screen with his chin resting on his steepled hands. He mumbled a greeting as Sylia entered. Nene was dozing on the couch looking very vulnerable. Sylia made a quick check to ensure her clothing hadn't been tampered with. Everything seemed to still be buttoned and zipped. Mackie must have caught her reflection. He turned around looking more than a little offended. "I do have a few ethics you know."

"Then you've got nothing to hide do you?" He scowled and mumbled something uncomplimentary about sisters.

"So do you have anything more?" Mackie and Nene had come up with quite a bit. First they'd broken into the Imperial Hotel's database and retrieved pictures of the guests. Calvin Hobbes was a dead ringer for the berserker except that his hair was blond rather than green. But it had been blond before he berserked. The couple in the adjoining room had also been a goldmine. When they hacked into the ADP system they'd found the report on Sailor Arcturus. Change the haircolor of Azure DeWitt, add a mask and you had the mystery woman who'd also taken out one Boomer and crippled the other. So two people capable of fighting Boomers barehanded staying next to each other. The girl wasn't in the register but there was a definite resemblence between her and Hobbes. However those were undoubtably fake names. Tracing their records in the hotel computer backwards lead to a dead end. Who they really were remained unknown. The system was still cracking databases worldwide looking for matches but having no luck. They seemed to have exhausted all their avenues.

Mackie looked uncertain. "Well I may have something but it's a bit crazy. No, I take that back. It's completely crazy!"

"Mackie I am willing to grasp at any straws right now."

"OK, here goes. I was trying to trace those names, Sailor Arcturus and Sailor Polaris. I widened the search to every database I could think of then made it Sailor and other astronomical terms. What I got was this." He tapped a key and various cartoon graphics filled the screen. All of them of teenage girls wearing outfits similar to the green haired girl's. "These are from the cartoon 'Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon'. It was aimed at, and very popular with girls pre to early teens back in the 1990's. There was also a manga version. Anyway the characters were always Sailor something. Planets mainly. So there was Sailor Moon, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mercury and so on."

"So we have the inspiration for our two sailors identities?"

"That's not the crazy part. See I was reading a synopsis of the series and this picture caught my eye." He tapped the screen and a graphic expanded. A blond man in a light purple uniform. "This is one of the villains from the series. His name's Jadeite. They used a lot of mineral names for the bad guys. Anyway, look familiar?" Sylia nodded. He looked very familiar. Mackie split the screen and reduced the graphic to a headshot. The face of Jason Deite appeared next to it. "So what do you think? Separated at birth?"

"This is ridiculous!"

"I warned you."

"So you did Mackie, so you did."

Mackie glanced at her. Sis sounded unnaturally cheery. "Are you all right?"

"Never better. See if you can dig up some copies of that show. I'm going to get a little sleep. I want to look good when I meet our Boomer crushers in the morning."

"Are you feeling all right?"

"I've made up my mind. The only hope of learning anything is to talk to them. Since they already know who I am there's no further risk of exposure."

"It could be a trap!"

"Then it's too clever for me. So I might as well walk into it. You've done well, now get some rest." Sylia glanced at the sleeping Nene. "In your own room please."

Sylia headed back to tell Linna she might as well call it a night. Still no answers. What a night. Maybe tomorrow would be better.

In her own apartment Margrave's night was about to take a turn for the worse. Though it would be even more unpleasant for unit MAR6N (MARVIN). Margrave was currently writhing in the embrace of MAR6N. She wasn't using her glamour for the first time in ages. Being equally nonhuman MAR6N wasn't shocked by her appearance. The sexaroid had been a present from Lord Jadeite. A crumb thrown her way to celebrate the inaugaration of his plan. She was doing everything she could to avoid thinking about what he'd told her. Now she knew what he was going to do. Her blood had run cold on hearing him. But she wasn't suicidal enough to either object or get in his way.

When he'd produced MARVIN she'd been surprised. While she'd heard of sexaroids she'd thought they were only in use offworld. She'd also been unaware of the existence of male sexaroids.

Lord Jadeite had pointed out that sexaroids were intrinsically neither male or female. Gender was determined by the final modifications of the skeletal structure and the placement and shaping of the tank grown flesh. The majority built were female because most of the powerful who sought to own sentient slaves were both male and heterosexual. This world had been, and still was, a man's world. Which, after centuries of obeying a psychotic queen, was fine with Jadeite.

So she'd thanked him and brought it ... him home with her. Then she had dropped her glamour and proceeded to test the unit's capabilities. Several hours later she had to admit they seemed adequete. The problem was that Margrave was used to mintaining a certain level of self control. While it had been strained it hadn't broken. Not quite. Until now.

To explain the problem here is a quote from Larry Niven's essay, "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex", a speculative essay on the problems of sex between Superman and a human woman.

"The problem is this. Electroencephalograms taken of men and women during sexual intercourse show that orgasm resembles 'a kind of pleasurable epileptic attack' One loses control over one's muscles.

Superman has been known to leave his fingerprints in steel and in hardened concrete accidentally. What would he do to the woman in his arms during what amounts to an epileptic fit?"

Margrave didn't have that level of strength but was far stronger than a human. She also had claws that could cut steel. MARVIN's night was about to take a definite dive.

Margrave howled and her claws extended involuntarily. Driven by the spasm her hands dug into the sexaroid's back. Literally.

The Boomer's CPU went into overdrive as the spinal column was severed in four places. Nerves reported massive trauma and the loss of large amounts of circulatory fluid. Upper body mobility was lost as the nervous systems pathways were cut. The lungs ceased drawing air as the autonomic nervous system went down. The CPU calculated the time organic components could survive withouot oxygen and tried to use alternate pathways. Error messages multiplied and the CPU found itself unable to work around the damage. Failure cascaded and MARVIN suffered total systems crash. Or died, depending on your point of view.

Margrave became aware of the Boomer's total stillness. Maybe it wasn't recharging after all. She realized her hands were soaking wet and had a sudden nasty suspicion. Rolling the Boomer over the damage became obvious. Great, she'd broken it. Long time since she'd done that. Years ago, besides she hadn't meant to pull out his kidneys. "So much for the afterglow." After a moments' thought she dragged the carcass into the bathroom and dropped it in the tub. That would hold it temporarily. Then she scrubbed the bits and fluid off her hands. What a mess. Combing this crap out of her fur was going to take a while. After she was done she surveyed the bedroom. The sheets were a disaster area, stained with a variety of fluids. They'd never wash clean, best to dispose of them. Maybe the mattress was salvageable though it'd be simpler to replace it. She dropped the sheets on the body for disposal with it. Finally, the bed being a mess, she curled up on the couch and went to sleep.

She woke the following morning unable to remember why she was on the couch. Stumbling into the bathroom she found a reminder. She'd half expected the body to disappear during the night. OK, no shower this morning. She'd have to dispose of it somehow. Lord Jadeite could make it vanish easily enough but he might take offense at her destroying his gift this quickly. She'd never had to do this before. Her vigilante victims got left where they fell and her youma enemies had crumbled to dust after death. She'd have to dismember it and smuggle it out of the building. Margrave made a mental note to pick up a few heavy duty trashbags.

Finishing breakfast, and not in the best of moods, she headed for the office. First she reestablished her normal glamour. She didn't make her shape appear to alter. Instead she just overlaid the image of skin over her fur. Everywhere apart from the areas humans were supposed to have hair. She saw no need to alter its' color. She was fond of white. Let the humans speculate about hairdyes. Just one minor alteration to her eyes and she was set. Her pupils changed from oval to round. Perfect.

She arrived to find the receptionist arguing with two men. "What's all this about?" The taller one took a moment to appraise her. The other produced his ID. "ADPolice Detectives Wong and McNichol. We'd like to ask Mr. Deite a few questions about an incident last night."

How had they known? Easy, they didn't. Well nothing to worry about, neither Lord Deite or herself had been up to anything last night. As far as she knew anyway. She smiled at them. "I'm afraid Mr Deite is an extremely busy man. However I'm his executive assistant Catherine Margrave. Perhaps I can help you. She watched them consider forcing the issue then give up. So, no warrant and no real hope of obtaining one. They followed her into her office. She took a moment to pop a few buttons and turn the full force of her appeal on them. She gave a seductive smile and purred, "Now how can I help you?"

The distraction didn't work as well as she'd hoped. While McNichol was ready to eat out of her hand (or wherever) she seemed to hold only aesthetic appeal to Wong. He kept his cool and said, "We'd like to ask you about you new Boomer development."

"I'm afraid all that information is classified to avoid industrial espionage."

"I understand. I was just wondering if you'd misplaced of your new boomers."

"Misplaced?" What the hell was this about. "Those are very expensive and experimental pieces of hardware. If we'd lost one I'm sure we'd have noticed."

He was watching her closely. "Can you at least ell me if these new Boomers are designed to look human?"

"Why would we want to do that. The human shape isn't the most effective one for either construction or military work?" Where was this leading?

McNichol produced a photograph. "The reason we ask is that last night someone who looked human demolished two Boomers stolen from your competing development section."

"That sounds like a security breach in Webster's division. You should talk to him."

Wong nodded. "We'd like to but he committed suicide last night."

"Oh. I hadn't heard that." Wonder if he finally pushed Lord Jadeite just a little too far.

"Our condolences."

"Why? He was an SOB when he was alive. Why say nice things about him just because he died?"

"Probably true. Anyway Leon ..."

"Gotcha Daley. This is from a surveillance video recording of the woman who destroyed those Boomers." Leon held up the picture. "She called herself Sailor Arcturus." Margrave stared at it in shock.

Leon heard Daley swear and turned to look at him. "What's wrong"

Daley seemed to be staring at Margrave in shock. He shook himself. "I ... uh ... it's nothing forget it."

This gave Margrave time to compose herself and at least appear calm. "This woman destroyed two boomers? I assume she was heavily armed at the time."

"No. She used her hands."

"Her hands ... could I see your ID again?"

Leon slammed a hand on the desk. "Look lady, this woman did things no human could do. That makes her a Boomer. A new type of boomer."

"So you decided we'd made it? Sorry to disappoint you but our Hyper Boomers could never pass for human. Why would we want them too? We're designing military hardware not Ms. GENOM contestants."

"Can we see the factory?"

"Not without a warrant. As I said we have security considerations and no connection to this incident anyway. Mind leaving the picture? It'll give our technical staff something to chuckle over."

"Fine. Let's go Daley." Hopefully they'd rattled her enough to make her run to Deite. Which would hopefully stir up a few things. Leon was sure there was some sort of connection between this place and that ... whatever.

When they were outside the building Leon asked his partner, "So do you think this is some sort of internal feud? Webster lets his new Boomers run wild to test them so Deite deploys his new model to trash them. When they get wiped out so quickly Webster gets drunk and suicidal?"

"Maybe ..."

"Hey what's up man? You're kind of out of it."

"I ... I'm not sure. Look when you showed her the pictures did you see her face?"

"Didn't notice."

Daley smiled. "That's because you were watching her body. I was watching her face." He stopped smiling.

"So what's the story. She looked like she recognised it."

"It was more like she looked scared. But it was her eyes ... look this doesn't make any sense but ..."

"But what?"

"For a second I'd swear her eyes changed."


"The pupils stopped being round, they turned oval. Like ... well like a cat's."

"Uh huh. Maybe you should get some sleep, you've obviously been working too hard."

Daley shrugged. "I said it didn't make any sense."

"Maybe just weird contacts or something." Leon opened the car door. "I've never liked cats. Always preferred dogs. They're loyal, cats don't give a damn about anything but themselves."

"I like cats."

"Then I guess we're incompatable. So you might as well give up on me."

"Nice try Leon."

Margrave controlled her anxiety until security reported the ADP officers were heading out of the parking lot. Then she headed for Jadeite's office as fast as she could without appearing to be an olympic sprinter. She barged past his secretary and strode into his office slamming the doors behind her. So they wouldn't be understood if overheard she switched into their native tongue. "Lord Jadeite we face an emergency!"

Jadeite looked up from the document he was composing. Using this guise meant having to provide reports on the projects fictional progress. The brainwashed technicians provide similar reports. He looked forward to the day this nonsense wasn't necessary.

Before he could demand she explain herself Margrave slammed the picture on his desk. "There is a Sailor Senshi in this city. She destroyed two Boomers last night."


"She calls herself Sailor Arcturus. I ..." She trailed off as Lord Jadeite began laughing loudly. "My Lord ...?"

"Ah yes you don't know do you? This so called Senshi is in fact a Youma."

"A Youma?!"

"Her name is Azurite." Margrave gaped in surprise. "She escaped the Kingdom in the company of another humanic by the name of Calcite." Jadeite found the look on her face priceless. "It seems when I sent my little gift through recently they spotted the gate. They took the chance to escape a city patrolled by Sailor Moon and fled to this world. After you left last night Calcite wandered by. He was searching for the creator of the gate. No doubt intending to force them into servetude if it was someone weaker. When he realized it was me he immediately offered to serve me."

Margrave's sense of smell kicked in. There was a familiar scent in here. One she'd been to preoccupied to notice earlier. "He was here?"

"Indeed. He is not alone, Azurite accompanies him."

"I saw four youma open the gate."

"Two didn't survive." It didn't occur to Jadeite to wonder if a lesser youma would lie to him. Who would dare? "Only two could successfully make the jump. He chose himself and his lover." Jadeite missed the expression on Margrave's face attributing it to the shock of learning they weren't alone."

"How ... how did they react to learning about us?"

"Us? Oh I didn't bother mentioning you."

"Of course my Lord ... Lord Jadeite, how will they fit into your plans?"

"I haven't decided yet. For now I have told them to wait at the Imperial Hotel and await my orders."

"Very good Lord. My apologies for disturbing you over this."

"Yes, yes. You've shown you're dedication." It was a dismissal. She bowed and backed away. Margrave returned to her office. With every step she took her anger built. Calcite and Azurite! That bitch finally got her hooks into him. So he takes her and leaves me to perish along with everyone else. That lousy stinking sonofa ... She slashed the desk in anger leaving a row of four parallel gouges. She sheathed her claws and seethed. The Hotel Imperial.

Margrave stalked out of her office and glared at her secretary. "Kasumi hold all my calls! I have an errand to run."

"But Ms. Margrave you have a meeting at ..."

"I SAID HOLD ALL MY CALLS." The white faced secretary nodded and watched her stalk off. When Margrave snarled at her she'd have sworn she saw fangs.

She'd leave her car in the lot. Head out and catch a taxi. So intent was she on her mission that she missed the couple who saw her leave the building.

The man's eyes followed her down the street and around the corner. The woman beside him elbowed him and said, "If you're going to girl watch would you try to be a little more subtle about it?"

"I'm sorry Azure!" Pyrite removed his sensor equipment from his pocket again and resumed scanning the building. He was the only one of the four able to completely blank his aura. This ability had come in handy on several occasions. He could extend the blocking field to anyone in close proximity. So Azurite was now equally undetectable to aura scanning. Even Jadeite couldn't spot them at this range or sense the modulated sensor waves he was using. At least that was the theory. "It's just that I'm sure I've seen her somewhere before."

"Considering this is only our second day here that's a little unlikely." They'd come here to get some definite readings on Jadeite's capabilities. Maybe they were over-rating him. Unfortunately from the look on Pyr's face that wasn't the case. Ti was still asleep when they planned this. Cal was still weak (relatively speaking) so he couldn't come. Besides Jadeite had ordered him to stay there. They needed information but didn't dare appear to be defying the last General. So they'd evolved this plan. Cal had stopped shielding his aura to make it obvious where he was. Pyrite had used a few tricks to make Ti's aura match Azurite's. At least from a distance. So if Jadeite thought to check he'd sense two youma in the hotel. If they got a signal from Cal that Jaeite wanted them they'd both 'port back and Pyr would block Ti's aura leaving hers exposed. So again only two youma would register. As she turned this over in her mind Pyrite searched his memory. That woman had definitely reminded him of someone.

Outside the hotel a nondescript van was parked. Inside Sylia Stingray waited along with Priss. Sylia was wearing a smart blue skirt with a matching jacket and a ruffled white blouse. Priss was wearing a softsuit and standing next to her hardsuit. "Try and relax Priss. Hopefully there won't be any trouble."

"I still say this is a stupid idea. If all four of us went in ..."

"This place is full of civilians. How many times do I have to say it!"

"You all right Sylia?" She definitely didn't sound as cool as usual.

Sylia supressed the urge to grab Priss by the shoulders and shake her while screaming that of course she wasn't all right, everything about the Knight Sabers seemed to be compromised. Instead she said, "I'm fine. It was just a rough night." She picked up her secured phone. "Anything."

"I think she just got out of the shower." Linna paused. "They're talking again I'll patch it through." Due to space limitations everyone else was back at base. Linna was monitoring the tracer again.

Ti emerged from the bathroom with a large towel wrapped around her. She headed for the backpack she'd brought with her. A thought occurred to Calcite. "You didn't bring any other luggage with you did you? And with those laser discs in there you can't have had room for much in the way of clothes."

"If I'd brought clothes you'd have known I was planning to stay. So I just tossed a change of underwear in here. Mind turning around?"

Calcite complied. Wonder where she picked up this modesty? It wasn't normal for youma females. Or even renegades, Azurite didn't worry about it. At least physically. He sometimes got the idea that when it came to expressing her feelings Azure could be a little shy.

Behind him Ti finished wriggling into her Sailor Polaris costume. She didn't notice the small device stuck to the back of the skirt. "All clear."

"Ti that is going to look a little conspicuous at breakfast."

"No problem big brother. The bracelet's programmed for one other pattern besides this and my school uniform. She tapped it and her clothing shifted. The transmitter fried and Linna swore as she pulled off the headphones to escape the white noise.

"Sylia we just lost the bug!"

Back upstairs Calcite was looking at his sister. She was now wearing blue slacks and a white T-shirt with some anime character on it. "Fine, now do your glamour."

"Why bother? There's no shortage of odd colored hair around here is there?" After a day walking around the city Calcite had to concede that. "Please big brother. How often will I get the chance to walk around completely undisguised?" Calcite sighed. When she did her big eyed innocent look he tended to give in way to easy. Well why not?

"Just this once. Now let's get something to eat."

In the van Sylia saw the pair from last night cross the lobby as they headed for the restaurant. "Here I go."

Priss nodded. "I'm reading you loud and clear. Just whistle and I'll be there. Good luck Sylia." Sylia took a momnet to center herself then got out and headed for the main doors. When she got to the restaurant she slipped a large tip to the waitress. Then asked her if she'd mind if Sylia went to surprise an old friend at his table. As the security system wasn't reading any weaponary the waitress didn't see any reason to refuse. Sylia released the other 1000 yen bills and looked around. She spotted the girl's green hair and headed over.

Calcite had opted for the continental breakfast and was buttering a croissant when he realized the woman was heading their way. Human aura ... a bit austere but still very attractive. "Pardon me, may I join you?"

He realized Titanite was staring at the newcomer openmouthed. "Cal ... do you know who she is?"

"No I don't. Should I?"

"It's her. Sylia Stingray. The Sylia Stingray!"

She smiled faintly. "Well I'm a Sylia Stingray. I don't know that I'm the only one."

Calcite indicated an empty chair. "Please join us Ms. Stingray."

"Just call me Sylia."

"Of course. Well I'm Calvin Hobbes though I normally go by Cal. This is my sister Titania." Ti was still staring at Sylia with awe. He recognised the name from Ti's story. For that matter the face was a match for some of the pictures on the disc jackets. "Perhaps you are the only one with that name. Stingray is a little unusual."

"Feel free to laugh."

Calcite smiled. "The animal kingdom's no stranger than the mineral kingdom when it comes to names. Now what can we do for you Ms. Stingray?" How'd she find us and what does she want?

Titanite recovered her voice. "This is an honour Ms Stingray. You don't sound a thing like your voice actress. If I could just get an autograph ... Cal do you have a pen?" He handed one to Sylia and she scrawled her name on a napkin. She filed Ti's comments for later analysis. Right now it didn't seem to make any sense.

A waiter placed a glass of icewater by Sylia. She took a sip and checked there was no one else in earshot. "Let me start by saying that I am not a Boomer." Titanite gaped again.

"You see to be a very well informed woman." Obviously she heard Ti last night but how ...? Damn! We checked for magickal surveillance, we didn't think about technology based spying. A mistake in a high tech environment like this. "I have no knowledge of the accuracy of my sister's information. If you have any specific questions you'll have to ask her."

"It was remarkably detailed." Sylia wasn't sure what to ask next. "So much so that it threatens my own operations."

"So you've come to take our measure and see if we truly are uninterested in your ... crusade."

"I prefer to think of it as maintaining the balance."

"So the bubble neither explodes or implodes. That's a worthy goal. However we have matters of our own to resolve."

The taxi dropped Margrave outside the Hotel. She stalked in and caught a familiar scent. Two familiar scents! Confused she pushed past the maitre'd and followed her nose.

Back near the Boomer plant Pyrite suddenly snapped his fingers. "Margrave!"

"What?" Why bring her up?

"That's who that woman reminded me of. It was back while Cal was doing the Lord Calcite routine. She showed up this one time and tried to talk him into taking her along for a look around. She said she'd been practising her glamour then demonstrated. She looked pretty near identical to that woman." He didn't notice the sick look that crossed Azurite's face. "Funny coincidence ... you don't suppose there's any chance it's actually her? No of course not. She had no dimensional shift powers. The only way she could have escaped the Kingdom would have been if she stumbled across our warpgate right after it opened. What are the chances of that?"

"A lot higher than you think."

"What?" Azure looked very guilty.

"Pyr ... there's something I should have told you quite a while back ..." She was interrupted by the emergency signal on the communicator. Grateful for the reprieve she flicked it on. A very worried looking Titanite appeared onscreen. She must have been eating very messily as she was smeared with food.

"We've got a real problem here!"

A few minutes earlier Calcite and Sylia were still verbally fencing. Neither trying to get too specific about anything. Titanite watched with fascination. Then Calcite broke off. He sensed a youma aura nearby. Very well shielded indeed. It'd be difficult to be sure of it if it wasn't so familiar. But he knew this one intimately. Except it wasn't possible. She was dead! He froze in place unwilling to turn around.

Then Titanite gazed over his shoulder and her eyes widened. "Auntie Margrave?!"

"Hi kid. Long time, no see."

Calcite turned to look at her. Sylia recognised the woman from the file on Deite. Catherine Margrave, his executive assistant. Why was she here?

"You're alive!?" Unoriginal but it was all that came to mind. "But how?" Even as he asked it he knew the answer must be Jadeite.

She didn't answer, just said, "So how have you been Calcite? It's been a while. Last time I saw you you were warping out in a hurry without waiting for me. If I hadn't been incredibly lucky I'd be as dead as all the other poor bastards in the Kingdom."

"I ... look we have to talk."

She nodded. "I thought you'd say something like that. You always said that the rational thing to do is think before acting. But you know what? I'm not rational. I'm too angry to be rational!" Her arm swept down in a blur. Calcite's shield boosted to maximum.

It didn't absorb the impact. Calcite slammed across the room demolishing three tables before coming to rest among the potted trees along the wall.

"Cal?!" Titanite started up and grabbed Margrave's arm.

"Stay out of this kid!" Margrave tossed Ti into the buffet upsetting the table in the process. Titanite lay among the spilled dishes wondering dazedly why there was egg in her hair. Sylia pulled herself from under the table and watched.

Calcite had a moment to realize two things. First that in his current state his shield couldn't handle much kinetic force. Second that rage was boosting Margrave's strength. Then she grabbed him and threw him across the room. He managed to roll to his feet and fire a shockblast at the onrushing youma. She slowed but didn't stop. Those were weaker too. Both of them crashed through the window. Margrave broke free of the tangle and grabbed a car. Just how strong was she? The blow slammed him across the street into a parked car. From the way it moved they must be using lighter alloys these days. Margrave charged him screaming, "YOULEFTMETODIE!PICKEDAZURITEOVERME!I TRUSTEDYOU!"

"WAIT!" She didn't. Just grabbed him and rammed him into the wall. Calcite slumped at her feet. Margrave unsheathed her claws and raised her right arm for the killing strike. Her arm swept downwards.

ENOUGH! Calcite's left hand surged upwards and grabbed her wrist. Before she could react his right hand speared upwards. Margrave screamed as her forearm broke. Even as she did that Calcite released his grip. His right hand glowed. The shockwave slammed her into the side of the hotel. Lights exploded in her head. Margrave's vision cleared enough to see the blade strike the wall beside her. It exploded and flung her into the street. She lay there unable to move. Calcite was stalking towards her a sword forming in his right hand. Advancing as implacably as death itself. She closed her eyes and waited. The footsteps stopped. There was the rustle of clothing. She opened her eyes to see Calcite kneeling down besides her. The expression of his face had changed from vengeful to concerned. "Margrave ..."

She forced to smile. "You bastard. I never could beat you." She managed to throw an arm around his shoulders and pull her face to his. The kiss was interrupted by him wrapping an arm around her then touching the back of her skull. Energy pulsed and the cat woman faded into unconsciousness. Calcite gently lowered the sleeping youma then probed his chest, trying to decide how many ribs she'd broken.

"Anyone ever tell you, you two don't have a healthy relationship?"

"About average for the Dark Kingdom. And I'm really not in the mood for this now Azure."

Azurite looked down at him. "It's your own fault you know."

"My fault?"

"I cannot believe that even weakened you couldn't take her out easy. But you were hung up on not hurting her and that threw you off." She reached a hand down. "Come on let's get you upright then ... oh shit!" The advancing figure in blue armour looked decidedly hostile. Azurite put herself between Calcite and the Knight Saber. Ok armour ... best thing to do is hammer her against something solid then keep up the pressure until it implodes. Should have asked Ti how tough this stuff is.

"Wait!" Azurite didn't know the woman though the Blue Saber evidently did. She'd emerged from the now deserted restaurant with Ti. When the fight began someone had screamed "BOOMERS!" which was followed by a mass exodus. She stalked past the Saber and stopped just before Azurite. Looking down at Calcite she said, "Mr. Hobbes ..." Her train of thought derailed momentarily as she saw Margrave's appearance change as her glamour collapsed. "Cal ... I would like your group to accompany me. There is no coercion though you might have difficulty explaining this melee to the authorities. My brother is on his way with transport to our headquarters." The Silky Doll truck should be here in a few minutes. Nene's interference was keeping ADP from full deployment. She'd upped the scale of destruction so the SWAT teams were trying to mass enough firepower to handle it.

He didn't look convinced. Time to take a wild stab. "Is the name Sailor Moon familiar to you?" That jolted both figures before her.

After a moment he said, "Perhaps we do have things to discuss." His gaze flicked to Azurite. "Where's Pyr."

"Right here!" He materialized a little to the side with several bags. "I went up to strip the rooms of everything special. Then I looked at the window and saw everyone here so I figured, 'what the hell?'" He handed Ti her backpack.

Calcite studied Sylia Stingray. She'd regained her composure remarkably quickly after Pyrite's appearance. How had she heard of Sailor Moon? Given that they were going up against Jadeite he'd grasp at any straw. "We'd be delighted to accompany you Sylia." Azurite caught his signal to stay on guard as she helped him up. Pyrite looked uncertain. Titanite looked overjoyed.

"We get to meet the other Knight Sabers? This is great." She approached the armoured figure. "You know which song of yours I really like?"

Priss was saved from answering by the honking of a horn as Mackie arrived with the van.

Dark Kingdom Renegades 2: Bad Moon Rising

A Sailor Moon Story
by Mark Latus

Part 4 of 8

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