Continuing Tales

Dark Kingdom Renegades 2: Bad Moon Rising

A Sailor Moon Story
by Mark Latus

Part 7 of 8

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Bad Moon Rising

The howling had peaked a few minutes earlier becoming a loud purring. Now that had faded until it was almost inaudiable. Azurite unblocked her ears and snarled, "Hasn't she ever heard of self control?"

"Probably heard of it", Pyrite muttered as he tried to doze off again. But Azurite wasn't finished yet.

"Explaining that godawful noise to the neighbours ..."

"The exterior sound baffles will have kept things quiet." Pyrite closed his eyes and sleepily added, "I'll upgrade the interior sound dampners tomorrow. Now why not get some rest?"

"In a minute." Azurite got up, pulled on a robe and headed out of their bedroom. Pyrite shrugged and dozed off.

Out in the hall Azurite sighed. Forced to live under the same roof as that ... that nymphomaniac cat woman! Maybe they weren't in competition anymore but she still didn't like Margrave. With good reason, Margrave was pure youma. You can never trust a youma. On an impulse she looked in Titanite's room. No saying what she thought of all this.

Ti's room was similar to Pyrite's lab. Every surface buried under a pile of clutter so it looked complete disorganized. And yet both of them could somehow find the things they needed instantly. It was impossible to tell what color the walls were because every square centimetre was covered with anime posters. Pictures of something called Ranma 1/2 seemed to dominate. Titanite was sprawled on her bed snoring slightly. Azurite watched until she was sure Ti wasn't faking. She wasn't, Ti was truely fast asleep despite the recent bedlam. "Kid could probably sleep through an earthquake", Azurite muttered.

Azurite sighed again. Ti really liked Margrave, she had no idea what that furry bitch was capable of. She found herself remembering the scene earlier in the day. Margrave had woken up following their return to this world. She seemed a lot calmer than she'd been last time she was awake.

She'd sat quietly while Cal (with interjections from Ti) had explained things. After he'd finished she'd said, "So you're all Renegades. That explains a few things that used to puzzle me." After a pause she'd continued "Then I am the only true Youma in this room. In fact based on what you've told me I am the last true Youma anywhere. Why didn't you abandon me in MegaTokyo?"

Calcite had answered her. "If we'd left you there before long you'd have either been shot by either the Knight Sabres or the ADPolice as a menace. Or wound up getting dissected in a GENOM lab to determine what you were. I realize that wouldn't bother a real Youma but as a Renegade I couldn't ignore the affection I felt towards you from our past together."

She'd nodded. "I think I understand how you feel. Though, of course, I don't feel the same way. Which is the basic difference between us and our kinds." She fell silent for a few moments and thought before speaking again.

"So I have the choice of either staying here and living under your rules or trying to survive on my own. However you have a peace treaty with the Senshi which a single rogue Youma won't have. Should I chose to stay I am free to leave later at the time of my choosing?"

"Yes, but if you change your mind afterwards we don't guarantee taking you back."

"Fair enough. And I cease all vigilante activity effective immediately?"

"That's right. Not that you'd have much luck anyway. 1990's Tokyo is a lot quieter than MegaTokyo."

Margrave nodded then said, "I accept your offer of sanctuary for three reasons."

"What are they?", Titanite asked.

"First, personal survival. I couldn't have survived MegaTokyo with Jadeite, I doubt I can survive here without your assistance. At least until I know the limits."


Margrave rose from her chair and joined Calcite on his. He didn't seem inclined to object. Cuddling up to him she'd said, "Secondly we've always had fun. No reason we can't have some more." Cal hadn't seemed unhappy to hear that. Some guys forget way to quick. She was trying to kill him not long ago! That splint on her right arm was there because he broke it to stop her. What the hell had he seen while mindsurfing that made him so forgiving?

Ti had looked both embarrassed and fascinated by the two of them so she'd gone quiet. So it was left to Pyrite to ask, "What's the third reason?"

Margrave had broken off from Cal and said, "Oh that's the big reason. It'll annoy the hell out of Azurite."

She was right.

Azurite surpressed another sigh. Well for the forseeable future they were stuck with her. She could think of another reason Margrave had stuck with Cal. Power. Youma worship it and Cal had it. While he hadn't struck the fatal blow he'd been the leader of the group that beat Jadeite. The last of the four generals had fallen to him. That proved his strength and as his ... mistress was the polite term, she hoped to make herself part of the group. That was why she'd sought him out back in the Kingdom. She knew he was Magnesite's right hand man and expected him to take over from his boss someday. Hell she'd probably had assignations with the highest rankers she could get on the staff of every youma boss.

But when Cal declined to use his power to carve out his own little empire (which a real youma would) she'd change her mind and look for someone else. Which would probably hurt Cal because he'd likely have been dumb enough to fall in love with her by that point. Hopefully he'd stay smart enough to realize Margrave based their whole relationship on sex and personal survival. If she was a renegade she'd stick with them out of loyalty, friendship or even love. But she couldn't possibly feel those emotions ... or could she? Was it possible Margrave had Renegade tendencies?

Azurite felt a presence in the hall and turned to see Margrave heading from Cal's bedroom to the bathroom. As she did she stopped and grinned at Azurite. She whispered, "You never had a chance with him anyway. Even if you hadn't chosen Pyrite you couldn't have beaten me." Arrogant, stuck up little ... That bitch one of us? Not a chance!

Then Azurite smiled. Why should Margrave be the only one to shake the rafters? She headed back to their room. If Pyrite was asleep she knew a great way of waking him up.

The following morning a rather tired Pyrite was in the kitchen having a cup of coffee with Calcite. Calcite's bathrobe had flapped open and he could see his cousin's regeneration factor steadily healing the claw and bite marks. Pyrite surpressed a yawn and asked, "How long do you figure this little contest of theirs is going to last?"

Calcite shrugged, winced slighly at the stiffness of his muscles, and said, "No idea. But we'd better forget the interdimensional studies until we've improved the soundproofing. And you might want to get as much sleep as you can during the day."

"I can't decide whether to be very happy or very worried."

Calcite sipped his coffee then said, "Look on the bright side, we have superhuman stamina."

Pyrite nodded, "That's true." He paused to drink then added, "The problem is, so do they."

"Good point." Calcite smiled, "Still there are worse fates."

"Can't argue with that. Speaking of fate our little attempt to forsee the future seems to be a washout."

Calcite sighed, "I know. It certainly seemed promising in theory." Yesterday following their return they'd begun examining the second series onward of Sailor Moon. It had been a real disappointment. While the first season, at least the parts they'd had time to watch in MegaTokyo, had been accurate the R series onward were complete fabrications. To be fair the early part of R might have been accurate. They knew that there had been aliens in Juban draining energy and it had concluded with a bizarre battle in an apartment block. But the rest of the series had Jadeite having escaped from the Dark Kingdom before the end with dozens of Youma. After which he spent the rest of the series trying to steal the Silver Crystal and set up the new Dark Kingdom. Not surprisingly Jadeite and his followers were obliterated in the no holds barred battle that concluded the series. The S series was the same premise except that now the villains were based on Egyptian mythology. The SS used villains based on the Norse Gods and the Ragnarock legend. Cal planned to check some of the battlesites from the R series (which theoretically was happening now) but he didn't expect to find anything. It seemed the future remained unknowable. Which raised the question, would any of the events depicted in "Bubblegum Crash" happen in MegaTokyo? He'd never know. He'd promised Sylia they wouldn't return to her world and he always kept his word once he gave it. She'd felt it was hard enough keep technology under control. The last thing MegaTokyo needed was magic on top of that.

Ah well at least Ti would have gained something unique for her anime collection. Though it would have to stay hidden as it exposed the secret identities of all five Sailor Senshi.

"So what do we do now?", Pyrite asked.

Calcite returned to the present and said, "Enjoy life. In addition we'll continue studying the reality fracture. If we can open other gates to alternate universes and not be changed as a result perhaps we can find a better world. One where we can live anywhere we choose."

"Or at least a peaceful world without Senshi? Just in case they change their minds about leaving us alone?"

Calcite got serious. "Yes." He paused to find the right words. "While intellectually I realize they had no choice in the matter they practically wiped out our entire species. That's nearly impossible to accept emotionally."

"Azure and I feel the same way. Ti's probably the only one doesn't."

"She didn't live in the Dark Kingdom in the same way. She grew up in virtual isolation except for our late mother, the three of us and Margrave. About the only other Youma she met were Magnesite and that would be rapist I dealt with. We're still around, now Margrave's joined us. From her point of view all the youma who count are still around." Calcite heard the voices from upstairs, it was impossible not too. "On a more practical level we'd better get to work on the soundproofing."

Pyrite had to agree, "You're right, I suspect it's going to get loud around here."

They could hear Azurite, who wasn't quite shouting, saying, "Where do you think you're going? Not only were you in the bathroom for hours the place is a disaster area. The shower drains clogged with cat hair, there's towels everywhere and ... hey you've used all my shampoo!"

"My fur needs a lot of attention to stay silky soft. Can't disappoint the guy whose going to stroke it. However did I survive without blowdriers? Besides shampoo wouldn't help, your hair always looks like a rat's nest. And I know rats' nests when I see them."


"Is that shade of blue natural? If so you're truly unfortunate.. Who'd want a head like a neon sign?"

Calcite looked at Pyrite and asked, "Did you feel a breeze?"

"Maybe." This could be really bad if Azure was getting angry enough to manipulate aircurrents subconsciously. If it came to a fight the winner wasn't certain. Azure had the greater raw power but was a Renegade, far less inclined to violence than Margrave. Margrave couldn't equal Azure's power but had a viciousness Azurite couldn't match.

Calcite was getting up to intervene when he heard his sister. "Morning Azure, auntie Margrave."

"Oh, morning Ti."

"Morning kid. Uh could you drop the auntie, makes me feel old. Just plain Margrave's fine."

"Sure." Ti must have been listening because she continued, "How about a compromise. I'll clean up the bathroom but I get the next shower. I promise I'll leave it fine for you to use Azure."

"Ti you shouldn't put yourself out cleaning up for her."

"It's ok really. Margrave's new here and she's learning to fit in. I'm sure things will go smoother tomorrow. After all it's a big adjustment from living on her own in MegaTokyo."

"Uh yeah, sure. Like you said Ti." Margrave sounded confused that she was agreeing.

"Ok that's settle then. I'll start cleaning up." They heard the bathroom door close. There was silence from upstairs then two sets of footsteps returning to their respective rooms.

Cal relaxed again and commented, "Blessed are the peacemakers."

Pyrite nodded, "Absolutely. Ti's really matured."

Calcite looked amused, "Really?"

"You don't think so?"

"I think she's still got a long way to go. It's far to soon to say that."

"Come on Cal! If it hadn't been for her quickthinking we'd never have survived. Even if she doesn't remember it we know what she did."

"I don't deny her intelligence or her courage. I never have. But if you think she's miraculously matured overnight and will stop being so impulsive ... then I am afraid cousin that you are doomed to disappointment."

Pyrite shook his head, "I think you're wrong Cal."

"You could be right cousin. And yet somehow I doubt it."

In the bathroom Titanite unplugged the drain. Her mind wasn't on the job her body was doing it was on far more important things. They'd travelled to the world of Bubblegum Crisis, what other otaku could truthfully say that? The adults were planning to study the gateway and so was she. Perhaps every anime series had its own world. She could visit the worlds of all her favorite series. Really meet her favorite characters, get authentic souvenirs and autographs from them. None of her fellow fans would believe her but she'd know it was real and that was what really counted. This was going to be great.

That's one view. "This was going to be trouble" is another.

Dark Kingdom Renegades 2: Bad Moon Rising

A Sailor Moon Story
by Mark Latus

Part 7 of 8

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