© 1997 Sharen Chin
Here's something on my mind for ages since I started with exam preps. Yeah, I know, I was supposed to be studying. So Wizkid ain't exactly Mommy's Little Girl, eh?
A hand reached out, fumbling blindly for the snooze button. After a few moments of knocking things over, a stick streaming with ofuda strips emerged from the heavy quilt, beating the alarm clock into a mechanical pulp.
The brunette scowled and burrowed deeper into the bedding. She was sure it wasn't morning yet. It couldn't be. Hell, she had only got in bed minutes ago! She knew she'd set the alarm at a reasonable hour at Yuuichirou's request; she can still remember their little "debate" regarding the amount of sleep she was getting between waking before dawn and meditating deep into the night. "Even High Priestesses are only human!" She remember him saying. "Kami forgive, but I don't think the Gods would appreciate Hino Shrine's only talent killing herself by doing silly things like not getting enough sleep!" Perhaps "ordering" was a better word. Usually she wasn't such a pushover, but weariness had weakened her will enough to allow him to reset her alarm clock... ...
The clock! Rei shot up in bed. The clock by her bedroll was ruined beyond repair. The phone's persistant protests stopped in mid-ring. A grim look crossed her elegant features.
"Hai, Jyuban High, you say? I'll be right over, hang in there, Luna." Rei set down the reciever and with the same grim set of her jaw, raised a glowing red crystal to the night sky. "Mars! Crystal Power, Make-up!"
"Venus! Behind you!" Sailor Jupiter cannoned into the hideus creature they were fighting. "Burning Mandala!" A spiral of flame charged into it, causing the monster to turn its attention to the offender. Sailor Mars dived out of its path, but the creature was smarter and nimbler than they first thought. Before the Scout could recover from her rough tumble, it pinned her down rather cleverly, stopping her from dealing out any further attacks.
"Mars!" "Supreme Thunder!" The lightning bolt passed harmlessly through the fiend, electrocuting Mars somewhat effectively. "Jupiter!" A blonde girl with a pair of buns on her head wailed. "You're gonna kill her that way!"
"Shabon Spray!" A flurry of mist and bubbles descended upon them. "Mercury! Now we can't see either!"
"It wasn't me!" "Mars! Venus! Jupiter! Mercury! Where are you! Waaaahhh!!!!" The fog lifted, revealing a foreign landscape of silver-blue trees and meadow littered with light gold leaves clouded over by mist and dusted with a light blue light. Where ever that was, it certainly wasn't Jyuban Street!
The demaen's dripping jaws closed in on empty grey mist. "Mars!" The groan came from beneath one of the strange trees marking the edge of the clearing. Venus and Jupiter ran to their companion's side, followed by the less athletic Sailor Mercury and Sailor Moon.
A howl of pain issued from behind the Sailor Team. They turned to find the fiend that had appeared behind the Hino Shrine less than an arm's length away from them, facing someone at the other end of the ghostly meadow.
"You!" It snarled, lips curled back in hatred. "I shhould hhave knnownn!" The Scouts' eyes widened in surprise. This was not the first of this strange new enemy henchmen they were fighting now, but certainly the first time they heard one of these vile creatures speak.
"Well met, Yikak. Glad you remembered." The figure stepped out of the dappled shadows. Light brown hair reaching to the small of her back framed a delicate oval face of finely chiselled features. The bright grey gaze was defient, proud as the high cheekbones and stubborn as her sharp chin. She wore something close to the senshis' own Sailor fuku and the second shadow appeared to be a shifting silver something.
"Please, pardon my hospitality," Yikak pulled out the gold shaft embeded in its left shoulder, examining it and the place.
"Still a good shhot as ever. I see you've done some renovations, Sirius."
"Oh, just a few new touches here and there." The mysterious senshi smiled dryly. "You certainly took your time showing up."
"Still as impudent as ever, I see." It pointed a gnarled claw at the girl. "Now I make sure you die this time!"
Calmly, the senshi notched the silver-blue bow in her hand. "Not this time, Yikak. Dewpoint." The air gathered around Yikak, condensing rapidly. Sailor Mercury watched in fascination as waterdroplets formed and solidified as pale icicles in a blink of an eye. The next moment saw a silver-blue arrow making for the frozen demaen, shattering it and its evil.
"So mote it be." She breathed. The alien scene mistified and faded away. They were mid-air, somewhere above Tokyo Tower. Under the bright full moon the new Scout looked leaner, sterner than before. And perhaps just a tinge lonely. The shadow revealed itself to be a medium sized wolf, grey eyes bright against its silver fur.
"Who are you?" Sailor Moon gasped.
"Called forth by that which binds all life, I am Sailor Sirius, Senshi of Illusion, Keeper of the Hunt. Beware, Soldiers of the Terra Galaxy, a new crisis awaits you. Yikak was but a lowly minion." With that, she was gone. Just like that.
"Sailor Sirius! Wait!" Moon cried out. There was no answer, save an unfamiliar masculine voice in her mind.
Watch and learn, kid. Watch and learn.
"Well, there are a lot of galaxies in the Universe, so suppose she comes from one of them, then she would have stronger powers than us if the gravity from her place is greater than ours, and vice-versa if it's less... ..."
"Isn't he just the cutest guy you've seen, Minako?" Ami Mizuno sighed and shut her notebook. Minako Aino glared at her mooning friend. "Keep off, Usagi, you've already got Mamaru."
"Well, but you've got your Lance-kun, too!" Minako pointedly ignored her Princess's protest. Makoto sighed and kept whatever she was going to share to herself. Somehow, she couldn't see what was so attractive about Koji. True, he was funny and cute, if you take the blonde pair's word for it, but definitely not as charming as her senpai from so long ago... ... Those deep, sparkling eyes and elegant nose, and that laugh, so wonderful, so charismatic, so... ...
"Somehow this doesn't look like Furikan High... ..." That's it! That's the one! Makoto Kino looked wildly around for the source of that oh-so-familiar voice and spotted a strange boy out of the Jyuban uniform carrying a backpack and umbrella. The cool bandanna he wore made him all the more noticeable and charming, bringing out the wonderful color of his eyes, the same shade as her senior's. Suddenly lost in a world of her own, she tailed him.
"Minako, Koji isn't in your class, is he?"
"'Cause he'd just popped in." There was no reply. Usagi peeped into the classroom. "Minako-chan, who's that girl by the window?"
"Mmwwhich mmwne?" "Huh?" Minako took a swallow. "I said, which one?"
"The one with the brown ponytail and dark gray dog."
"Tsukitela? She's two weeks new, not very sociable, why?"
"'Cause while you were eating, Koji's chatting merrily away with her."
"WHAT???!!!" Minako stuck her head in above Usagi's. True enough, there was Koji grinning from ear to ear beside the new girl's table. "I'm starting to not like her." She mumbled darkly. "I already don't." Usagi chimed in equally low tones.
"What? Who? Where?" The two look up to see Ami Mizuno looking wildly around. Aino rolled her eyes and pulled the innocent genius down beside them and led the brainstorming against Hiyuki Tsukitela, while finishing a packed lunch.
"Hey, what happened to my bento!" Usagi suddenly realized as her growling stomach demanded attention. She searched the entire hallway, beside the lockers, behind the doors, even under other girls' skirts, before finally spotting it in Minako's hands.
Down the hallway, quite a few students slowed to watch two blonde girls fighting over a three-quarter eaten bento and one with blue hair smiling sheepishly by the side, wishing hard that the corridor would open up and engulf her then and there.
"Aizawa-san!" Rei Hino sighed and nudged the nodding girl on her left. "Aizawa-san!" The teacher rapped her desk sharply. "Naomi Aizawa! How can you hope to achieve better grades if you keep sleeping in class!"
The girl bowed her head sullenly, mumbling so softly that Rei could barely catch the phrase. "But Iím so tired... ..."
"What was that, Aizawa-san! Do I hear opposition! Be thankful that your only duty now is to study!" "Hai, sensei." She whispered meekly. Rei could see the welling tears in her classmate's dull, baggy eyes despite her bowed head. "The hallway! Now!"
Rei frowned. There was negative energy gathering about that girl, but she couldn't tell where it was going. Maybe Aizawa is dealing with it herself, she thought. But the priestess in her doubted very much so. Ah, the price we pay for a piece of rolled paper... ...
"Hino-san! Read the next paragraph!" She filed the thought away for a later date. Right now, it was her turn to face the fire.
Nightfall. Silence. An alley cat mewed at a figure around the corner, announcing his arrival. The lovecall turned into a yowl of fear and was silent.
"Are you sure you want the power?"
"If it can help me, yes."
"There is a price."
"Anything for better grades!" The shorter figure whispered on the verge of urgent tears. "Anything!"
"So be it, child." The other snapped long, gnarled fingers, conjuring a scroll and quill pen in a brief flash of red light. The girl shivered in her flimsy nightgown and grabbed the feather. Rust coloured words ate into the paper, the colour of dried blood, burning away the yellowed parchment, "Naomi Aizawa".
Done? To discover what startled the poor cat so much, read on!
Vortex of Dreams