The Past Returns
An adaptation by Queen Serenity III


        Night was a beautiful time, even in the city.  Quiet replaced the loud noise of the day, enhancing the magnificence of the darkness.  The chill of the daylight hours was long gone, and in its stead was a perfect, freezing cold that attacked anyone who dared to disturb this peaceful moment.  To top it all off, a bright full moon glowed brightly in its rightful place in the sky, watching over the land below.
        Still, the moon was not the only light in the area.  In a store, the lights were on, even though it was well past closing time.  Inside there were seven beings who challenged the night, five young women and two cats.  They all stared at a portal of darkness at the intersection of a wall and the tiled floor, a darkness not natural like that of the night.  This was the work of the Negaverse.
        “So this is the place,” Artemis commented.  “Central Control said we’d find a portal into the Negaverse here.”  Neither he nor Luna told the others the truth about Central Control.  In reality, the two cats had found it themselves by accident.  Still, the cats kept up the pretense, knowing the Sailor Scouts would stay on their toes if they thought there was a higher power helping them.
        “And it leads to Beryl’s palace?” Sailor Venus asked.
        Sailor Mars was skeptical about this.  “No way it’s that easy to get in, you guys.”
        “Guess there’s only one way to find out,” Sailor Jupiter said, eager to enter the portal.
        Luna was also ready to begin.  “Let’s do it,” she signaled, jumping into the portal.  The rest of them followed her into the portal, not knowing if there would be solid ground under their feet when they went through.  Not to their surprise, there was a drop, but it was only a few feet and everyone landed with no problem.
        It was clear they were no longer in the shop, and most likely nowhere in the sector.  Instead, from what they could see their surroundings consisted of walls, floors, and ceilings made of bluish grey rock.  The air was different, slightly damp without being humid.  Although the air was cool, it was far from cold and felt quite comfortable.  For a cave, it was much brighter than any of them expected, yet there was no external source of light.  The Sailor Scouts only took a minimum of this information in as they ran down the tunnel in front of them.  Luna and Artemis ran ahead of the Scouts, allowing the girls a few seconds of advanced warning.  After a few minutes, the cats stopped, and the Scouts did the same.  The tunnel that they had traveled down had ended.
        A dozen more had begun.
        Everyone stared in awe at the big and small tunnels that led in every direction.  With so many possible directions, the entrance to Beryl’s base could be any of the openings before them.  This was not going to easy.
        “There are so many tunnels,” Artemis said.  “We’d better split up.”
        “You sure this is a good idea?” Luna questioned.  She didn’t like leaving the Scouts to fend for themselves in unfamiliar territory.
        “Relax, Luna.  The Scouts will be fine.”
        “Let’s check this one out, okay?” Venus suggested, pointing to one of the numerous tunnels.  The Sailor Scouts entered a tunnel to the right.  At the same time, Luna and Artemis stared at a small crevice big enough for them but not for any larger creatures.  The narrowness of the tunnel made it seem all the more dark and dangerous.
        “What a creepy place!” Luna complained, reluctant to enter the small tunnel.
        Artemis was slightly surprised at Luna’s comment.  Normally he was the one doing the whining.  “You’re telling me?  Let’s go.”  The two of the entered the crevice, putting their fears behind them.
        At the same time the Scouts had barely traveled a few feet in the tunnel they had entered when Venus -- who had taken the lead -- sensed something.  “Hold it Scouts!” she warned.  “Something’s in here.  Something cold.”
        From nowhere a bright, greenish light started to shine, accompanied by a strange wind.  The Scouts stood their ground, covering their eyes from both the wind and the brightness.  Then, as quickly as it had come, the wind stopped and all of the light seemed to collect in one spot, forming the outline of a person.  Within seconds, the green light began to fade and the outline became more and more distinct, until it was no longer an outline at all but a person.  It was a tall man in a gray uniform, his long white hair seeming to melt into the cape attached to his shoulders.  The Sailor Scouts recognized his form all too easily.
        It was Malachite.
        “Welcome Sailor Scouts!” Malachite greeted.  “So you’ve finally decided to surrender the Imperium Crystal?  I’ll gladly take it off your hands.”
        An antenna began to rise from Jupiter’s tiara as she initiated her attack.  “Dream on, surfer boy!  Jupiter Thunder Crash!” She released the electricity and hurled it at Malachite, but he easily teleported to avoid the energy.  Malachite was tired of these encounters, and was going to make certain that this was their last.
        “Hey, Sailor Moon!” he shouted.  “Let’s make a deal.  You hand over that Crystal, and I won’t toast your friends!”
        Sailor Moon didn’t even consider the offer for a second.  “No deals with double-crossing, bad bleach job, Negatrash like you!”  She put the Crescent Moon Wand to her forehead, prepared to use it at a moment’s notice.  “Get ready!  The Negaverse is dust!”
        Malachite ignored the insults and decided to try a different approach in their exchanges of words.  “Empty threats, Sailor Moon.  We wasted Queen Serenity and we’ll do the same to you.”
        The mention of Serenity’s name caught Sailor Moon off guard.  “How do you know about Queen Serenity, huh?”
        His answer surprised her even more.  “Because I was there on that glorious day when we trashed the Moon Kingdom, and let me tell you something, moon brat.  You’ve got a lot to learn.  You’re no Queen Serenity.”
        Sailor Moon couldn’t believe these words.  “Liar!  She would not have sent crumbs like you to the future with us.”  She lowered her wand and made the costly mistake Malachite was looking for.  “You’re lying!  And you’re not getting my Crystal!”
        Before she even finished the sentence, Malachite fired a blast at pink energy at the five warriors.  Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus stepped forward to take the brunt of the blast, but it was more powerful than they expected and knocked all five of them back.  Instead of hitting the ground, they continued to fall as if there was no ground or wall to stop them, and the Scouts screamed in both shock and fear.  The jolt knocked the Crescent Moon Wand out of Sailor Moon’s hand, sending it directly in Malachite’s direction.
        “Oh no!” Sailor Moon cried as she helplessly watched the Wand and the Crystal float into the hands of the enemy.
        Malachite had waited for this moment for a long time, and now it was finally here.  “The Imperium Crystal will be mine!”  Malachite stretched out his hand in anticipation, the Crescent Moon Wand just coming into his reach.  In a way, he was a tad disappointed that it had been this easy to get the object he was trying to get for so long.
        That faint feeling didn’t last long, for suddenly, the Crystal shined with a new intensity and the wand spun in mid air to strike Malachite’s hand.  It then began to float away from him, a slight reminder of who its true master was.  Instead of going directly back to Sailor Moon, though, it rotated several more times in mid air, which concerned Sailor Moon even more than Malachite's actions had.
        “My wand!” she shouted.
        Those words were all that Sailor Moon could make out before she and the other Sailor Scouts suddenly disappeared without a trace.  The wand twirled a few more times in the air before vanishing as well.

*             *             *

        The last thing they knew, the Sailor Scouts were in a cave.  Now they were falling in a pitch black area.  They descended in emptiness, not knowing where they were going or where they would headed.  Their only company was the screams that originated in their throats and the fear of what lay at the bottom of whatever pit or hole they rapidly approached.
        “Tell us what’s happening!” Sailor Moon demanded.  “Where are we going?”
        No response came to her words.
        But the Crystal knew where it was taking them, and in the end that was all that mattered.

*             *             *

        After an agonizing long descent, the Crescent Moon Wand landed, carrying along with it the Imperium Silver Crystal.  Upon impact with the ground, the Crystal glowed, and the five girls appeared, unconscious.  After a minute they started to awaken, feeling the rocky, uneven land underneath them.
        Sailor Moon was the first to get to her feet.  “What’s going on?” she asked no one in particular.  “Where are we?”  She looked around to see the others were with her and uninjured.  After this she noticed her surroundings, and instantly she knew she was no longer in the cave.  They were in an open area in which the night was unfettered by the artificial lights of civilization.  Instead, the dark sky showed its true beauty, letting all of its stars shined upon the ground.  By contrast, the land was scarred, torn, and in disarray.  Broken pillars were scattered all over the place, most fallen but some still standing.  The remains of once enormous buildings made up the scenery, and Sailor Moon was standing on a large piece of rubble.  A large battle had taken place here, and from the looks of it, this was the losing side.
        Sailor Moon studied the area and continued her query. “What is this place?  It feels familiar...somehow.”
        “That’s because it’s your home, Serena,” answered a mysterious voice.  “It’s what’s left of the Moon Kingdom.”
        “Huh?” Although Sailor Moon had wanted an answer, she certainly hadn’t expected one.  “What’s going on here?  How come you know my name?” She turned around to see a bright ball of light slowly descend from above.  Sailor Moon could soon see that it wasn’t a ball of light after all, but a tiny woman with clear wings and a very bright aura.  “Are you for real?”
        The fairy-like spirit smiled at Sailor Moon’s reaction.  “Oh, Serena, you haven’t changed at all.  Still asking a million questions, just as curious as a kitten.  But I’m not surprised you don’t remember me.  That’s the way I arranged things.  I’m your mother, Queen Serenity.”
        “You?” Sailor Moon was taken aback in surprise.  She had thought her mother would be a bit larger.  Then she remembered what Luna had said about the Moon Kingdom, and looked at the surroundings.  “You mean we’re actually back on the moon?  It’s not some wongo dream or something?”
        “No, Serena, it’s not a dream.  This is definitely real.” Serenity then looked to see that the other Sailor Scouts were there as well.  “And since you’ve all found your way here, it must be time you found out the truth.  I’ll take you back to