Subject: [PMFFML] [FFML2] [Fanfic][X-over][R.5/SM]All the Small Things--Chapter 5a
From: Slacker
Date: 3/8/2001, 6:55 PM
To: FFML2

FFML2 - http://ffml2.rcbooks.org

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(I've split this chapter into two parts, since it ended up being just 
barely under 100k. Chapter 5b will be along Saturday.)

    I don't own `em. I ain't making money off of 
`em. Please don't waste your money suing me, as 
I am poor.

    Another author DOES make a brief cameo in 
here. He knows about it and doesn't care, as 
he's already gotten his revenge. That means 
neither should you. (Of course, if you can't 
spot it, don't worry about it.)

	If you feel this overpowering urge to slam 
your head into a wall after reading this, it 
MIGHT be because you didn't read the earlier 
chapters. (Or it might just be my writing.) Anyways, 
you can find the earlier chapters @

My homepage:
http://www.angelfire.com/anime/Slacker

Tannim's (absolutely wonderful!!) page:
http://tannim.anifics.com/index.html

**********
All the Small Things-Chapter 5a

A Sailor Moon/Ranma 1/2 fanfic

By: Slacker (rheins@pmt.org) 
**********
Hikawa shrine

    "Can we get on with this? I want to go take 
a nap." a voice announced. Surprisingly, it 
wasn't Usagi. It was Minako.

    A chorus of agreement echoed from around the 
room. It had been four days since their last 
meeting, and the attacks had intensified. The 
current record was four times in one night. It 
had been set last night, as a matter of fact.

    "Sounds like a plan to me." Ami agreed. She 
was feeling the late nights just as much as the 
rest of them, and had actually fallen asleep in 
class yesterday. She still blushed whenever she 
thought about the teacher's expression.

    "So what do we need to cover?" Haruka asked 
from where she was sitting with Michiru and 
Hotaru. She shifted slightly in order to let 
Hotaru make herself more comfortable. It had 
taken less than five minutes for Hotaru to fall 
asleep on her shoulder.

    "This is just a progress report. So far, I 
haven't found any pattern in the attacks. I 
think I've come close a few times, but then 
something happens to throw off my calculations. 
Our enemies change tactics, powers, and 
appearances almost every time they attack. Quite 
frankly, I'm stumped. The only thing that 
confuses me more than the enemy is Nemesis."

    Everyone groaned at the name. Nemesis had 
shown up at most of the fights, but had stayed 
to the sidelines for the majority of them. He 
usually introduced himself by insulting their 
fighting skills at the top of his voice. It was 
when he didn't immediately start with the 
insults that they worried. It meant that he was 
taking the enemy seriously.

    Mamoru rubbed his shoulder and winced at the 
name. Usagi noticed and hugged him with a 
concerned expression.

    "Still bothering you?" Ami asked.

    "No. Just remembering." Mamoru replied. 
Everyone nodded as they remembered just HOW he 
had hurt his shoulder.

*************
Two nights before

    Tuxedo Kamen crouched on the rooftop, a rose 
in his hand. Below him, the Senshi were fighting 
some sort of crab-like youma. They were slowly 
losing. 

    Actually, this fight was going better than 
usual. They had managed to hold their own in the 
first part of the fight. It was only as the 
fight dragged on that they began to lose. They 
still didn't have the stamina to fight for much 
more than ten minutes at a time.

    Tuxedo Kamen tensed in preparation. He was 
just waiting for a good opportunity to provide a 
distraction in the form of one of his roses.

    "Hey. Pretty-boy." The voice came from 
behind him.

    Kamen froze. He slowly turned. <Oh, crap. It 
IS him.> "Nemesis."

    Nemesis smiled a tight little smile. It 
wasn't a happy smile by any means. "What the 
hell are you doing up here?"

    "I'm-"

    "Helping the Senshi?"

    "Yes."

    "By sitting up on a roof, waiting to throw a 
piece of foliage, while the Senshi do all the 
REAL fighting?"

    When it was put that way, Kamen had to admit 
that it sounded really pathetic. His voice was a 
bit subdued when he answered.

    "Yes."

    "You really want to help them in their 
fights?" Nemesis asked in a pleasant voice.

    "Of course!" Kamen's voice was indignant.

    "Well then, get your ass IN THE FIGHT!"

    Tuxedo Kamen had just enough time to flinch 
back before he felt Nemesis grab the front of 
his jacket.

    The Senshi stared in shock as Tuxedo Kamen 
flew over the edge of the roof and slammed into 
the back of the youma.

    "Hit it now, Sailor Moon!" Nemesis called in 
a sarcastic tone of voice from the edge of the 
roof. He turned and started to walk off. As he 
walked away, he looked at the rose in his hand 
and snorted. "Goddess, that boy was trained 
better than that. Guess that's the result of 
slacking off in training."

    He dropped the rose on the roof. His next 
step crushed the fragile blossom. He walked on, 
uncaring.

*********

    Mamoru had come out of that little incident 
with a dislocated shoulder and large amounts of 
bruising, but little else. Ami remarked that 
Nemesis HAD to have been aiming him when he 
threw him, or else he would have probably died 
on impact.

    Haruka growled. Every time they met, Nemesis 
had made jokes about either "Sailor Asshole" or 
something similar. 

    Hotaru shifted a bit in her sleep. Haruka 
instantly froze so she wouldn't wake her up. 
Hotaru had been at every one of the Senshi's 
fights. It was strange. Nemesis almost seemed 
fond of her, taking time out of each fight to 
ask how she was, what her day had been like, and 
so forth. If Haruka didn't know better, she'd 
almost suspect he cared about her. But after 
watching Nemesis refuse to fight until Usagi was 
endangered, she'd come to the conclusion that he 
didn't care about anyone but the Princess.

    "Well, if that's all we need to talk about, 
then I'm going to go take a nap." Usagi 
announced as she stood up and started to walk to 
the door.

    "What? Don't you want to hear what I have to 
say?" A voice asked from the shadowed corner 
directly behind Usagi.

    "AAH!" Usagi screamed as she whipped around 
and unloaded a right jab into the shadow with a 
sharp *CRACK*, then stumbled over her own feet 
and fell on her butt.

    Setsuna walked out of the shadows, rubbing 
around her left eye, which was already swelling 
slightly. "Nice punch, but you need to work on 
the follow-up. And you shouldn't punch someone 
who's come to give you information. It...lacks 
class."

    "Information?" Ami perked up. "About what?"

    "Not what. Who." Setsuna answered as she sat 
down at the table, rubbing the area around her 
eye. When she dropped her hand, there was no 
trace of a bruise or swelling.

    Everyone instantly figured out who. Haruka 
was the one who voiced the conclusion.

    "Nemesis."

    Setsuna smiled as she accepted a cup of tea 
from Rei. "Precisely."

    "So what about him." Haruka drawled.

    "Let's start with the planet first." Setsuna 
began. "Out of ten living creatures, animal, 
plant, or otherwise, on Nemesis, nine of them 
would try to kill and eat you."

    "Lovely place." Michiru chimed.

    "You haven't heard the best part. The tenth 
just wants to kill you. You survive only by 
being a better killer than the rest of the 
planet. Nemesis survived almost a decade."

    "I begin to understand why he's so nasty." 
Makoto remarked.

    "Good. He didn't have it much better off in 
this life, either."

    "What do you mean?" Haruka inquired.

    "Do you really expect me to answer that? And 
ruin what's left of my reputation?" 

    "No, not really." Rei dryly stated.

    "Good. That means you're learning." Setsuna 
smiled behind her cup. "Now, let's talk about 
Nemesis the person. Ami, give me your computer."

    "What? Why?" Ami asked as she clutched her 
computer to her chest.

    "I need it to illustrate my next point. Now, 
may I have it?"

    Ami hesitantly gave Setsuna the Mercury 
Computer. Setsuna immediately began to type 
slowly on the keyboard. She appeared to be 
having a hard time. Finally, she growled and 
slammed the Computer onto the table.

    "Forget it. I never could type on that 
thing. Stupid keyboard." Setsuna grumbled.

    Ami started to reach out to reclaim her 
computer. Setsuna stopped her with a single 
look, then reached over and pressed a few 
buttons.

    "Computer. Voice address. Voice 
authentication: Pluto." Setsuna commanded.

    "Voice authenticated. Hello, Pluto." The 
Computer responded in a rich tenor voice.

    "It has a voice address system?" Ami 
whispered. A twitch started by her left eye. "It 
has a voice address system. IT HAS A VOICE 
ADDRESS SYSTEM!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME 
THAT?!?!" 

    "You didn't ask." Setsuna calmly answered.

    Makoto had to hold Ami back from trying to 
choke Setsuna, who looked at Ami and blinked.

    "How...quaint. You should probably calm 
down, Ami. I don't think your face is supposed 
to be that color of purple." Setsuna noted. 

    When Ami showed no indication of halting her 
quest to massage Setsuna's throat, the Senshi of 
Time reached over and tapped the back of her 
outstretched hand. Ami promptly collapsed into 
Makoto's arms.

    "What'd you do!" Makoto demanded.

    "Pressure point. It'll wear off soon." 
Setsuna informed her, then turned back to the 
Computer.

	"I've never heard of a pressure point on 
the hand that would do that." Ami mumbled from 
Makoto's lap.

	"There isn't one. There is one on the 
neck, though. The hand was to distract you." 
Setsuna informed her.

	Makoto quickly glanced at Ami's neck. Sure 
enough, there was a small red mark just above 
her collarbone. <Wow. I didn't even see her 
move!>

    "Computer, open the Nemesis files. Play 
files 335 and 629." Setsuna commanded.

    "Unable to comply. Unauthorized personnel 
present." The Computer replied.

    "What?" Setsuna blinked. Then she shook her 
head. "Computer, full identifying scan of all 
present personnel."

    "Complying." The Computer sat quietly for a 
few seconds.

    "Setsuna, what's it doing?" Usagi asked.

    "It's running a full scan on all of us. DNA, 
spiritual aura, magical aura, synapse map, about 
fifty other scans that can't be explained unless 
you've got advanced degrees in physics, biology,  
and magical theory. You've changed a bit from 
the Silver Millenium, both physically and 
mentally. It has to re-catalogue you." She 
replied.

    "Scan complete. Present: Sailors Mercury, 
Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, 
Pluto, Princess Serenity, and Prince Endymion. 
Errors detected. Queen Serenity: Deceased. King 
Endymion: Deceased. Updating databanks. The 
Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. Query: 
Sailor Saturn is active. Do you wish to activate 
the Silence Protocols?" The Computer finished.

    "No. Delete the Silence Protocols. They are 
unnecessary." Setsuna's voice was firm.

    "Setsuna, what are the Silence Protocols?" 
Michiru asked, not noticing that Hotaru was 
waking up.

    Setsuna turned to look at her. "What do you 
think they are with a name like that? They're a 
set of protocols designed to kill Sailor Saturn. 
They were deemed necessary. Most of them 
involved the destruction of one or more of the 
planets."

    "What would make something like that 
necessary?" Ami asked in a horrified voice.

    "The end of all that is. The Silence. 
Several prophecies spoke of it, and the fact 
that Saturn is the only one who could bring it. 
So, steps were taken, just in case." Setsuna's 
voice was matter-of-fact. "We weren't going to 
allow the Silence to happen. To that end, a 
series of scenarios were worked out. Thankfully, 
they were never necessary."

    "They hated me that much?" Hotaru whispered.

    Setsuna turned to look at her. Her voice 
softened as she answered. "No, Hotaru. They were 
scared of what they thought you represented." 
She seemed to consider something for a few 
seconds, then nodded.

    "Computer, open Council log #334519. 
Immediately." Setsuna commanded.

    "Yes, Pluto. Council log #334519 opening." 
The Computer responded as the air above it began 
to glow. A scene quickly appeared hovering over 
the table.

    A group of people were sitting around a 
large marble table. Setsuna started to name 
them.

    "Aria, Queen of Mercury." She was a small 
woman with brown hair and eyes wearing a light 
blue robe. She had the look of a scholar.

    "Taris, Queen of Venus." She was a blonde 
woman, with a figure that was...lush. (And 
wearing a dress that looked to be painted on.)

    "Endymion, King of Earth." He was dressed in 
the same armor that Mamoru occasionally used. 
His resemblance to his son was unmistakable.

    "I don't really need to introduce Queen 
Serenity, do I?" Serenity was wearing her usual 
white gown, and had a slightly troubled cast to 
her expression.

    "Keira, Queen of Mars." She had long black 
hair and violet eyes, and was wearing a form-
fitting red gown.

    "Zeus, King of Jupiter. It's a hereditary 
name, by the way." He was a huge man with a head 
of fiery red hair and a beard to match. He was 
dressed in a battered set of forest green plate 
armor.

    "Vessa, Queen of Saturn." She looked the 
same as the last time they had seen her.

    "Haran, King of Uranus." He was a slim 
blonde man with light green eyes, and was 
wearing a formal tunic.

    "Lera, Queen of Neptune." She was a medium-
sized woman with almost electric-blue eyes and 
hair, wearing an elegant green gown.

    "What? No ruler for Pluto?" Haruka 
interjected.

    Setsuna looked at her. "Of course not. The 
only one allowed on Pluto was myself. If anyone 
else tried to land, they were killed. No chances 
were taken in regards to the Time Gate."

    "Computer, begin play." Setsuna commanded.

    "Complying." As the Computer started to 
play, everyone turned to watch the recording.

    "So this is all we've got? By the Gods, some 
of these are ridiculous!" Jupiter demanded, 
waving a sheaf of papers in the air.

    "You requested that I develop a series of 
scenarios, Zeus. You never specified what type." 
Mercury responded in a calm voice.

    "Aria, you should have used SOME common 
sense! I mean, look at them! Most of those plans 
involve the willful destruction of at least one 
planet!" Uranus interjected. 

   "Haran, those ARE the ones where I used 
common sense. The best estimates we have on 
Saturn's power put her at well ABOVE Nemesis!" 
Mercury's voice was insistent.

   "She's that powerful?" Neptune asked in a 
soft voice.

   "Lera, Nemesis has stated that Saturn has a 
greater power potential than he does. I believe 
him. These are the only plans that might stand a 
chance at stopping her should she go rogue." 
Mercury informed her.

    "Well, I'll just have to make sure she 
doesn't go rogue, then. Won't I?" A voice 
commented from the shadows behind Serenity. 
Everyone at the table stiffened, except for 
Serenity.

    "I was wondering how long you'd just stand 
there." Serenity's voice was calm.

    Nemesis smiled as he moved out of the 
shadows. He walked over to the table and 
snatched the papers that Jupiter was holding out 
of his hands and started to read them.

    "Setsuna, just how old is Nemesis? He's a 
lot bigger than the last time we saw him!" Usagi 
asked. 

    "He's between twenty-two and twenty-five in 
this recording. And when did you see him 
before?" Setsuna replied.

    "He's got to be over seven feet tall!" 
Minako exclaimed.

    "Actually, he's six feet, five inches tall, 
weighs a little over four hundred and fifty 
pounds, can bench-press over three tons, and can 
run at just a little bit under Mach 1. Any other 
relevant information you want to know?" Setsuna 
responded.

    "He looks taller. And he shouldn't weigh 
that much, not at that height." Ami seemed 
puzzled.

    "His bones and muscles are a lot denser than 
most people's. Side-effect of growing up on 
Nemesis. At least, that was the theory." Setsuna 
explained impatiently.

    Haruka opened her mouth to ask another 
question, but was interrupted by the recording. 
Nemesis was laughing his head off.

    "BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" *snort* 
*snicker* "What the hell were you smoking when 
you came up with some of these?" Nemesis asked 
the Queen of Mercury. "And why aren't you 
sharing?"

    "What is that supposed to mean?" she 
responded calmly.

    "That means that these plans are a joke. 
Mostly." Nemesis began to go through the stack.

    "Pathetic." Tossed to the floor. "Moronic." 
Toss. "Yeah, right." Toss. "Don't make me 
laugh." Toss. "This doesn't even deserve a 
comment." Crumpled and bounced off of Jupiter's 
head. "This one might do. If she was asleep, 
crippled, and deaf."

    As Nemesis continued, the stack of discards 
grew larger. A few were placed on the table, and 
dubbed "Barely adequate. *IF* you got lucky."

    As he neared the bottom of the stack, more 
were placed on the table. As he read the last 
paper, he stopped and stared at it.

    "By the gods." His whispered comment was 
horrified. "She's a six year-old girl! And you 
suggest...THIS?! I think I'm gonna throw up."

    Nemesis clenched his fist, and the paper 
burst into flame. He glared around the table. 

    "I'm only going to say this once. Saturn is 
under my protection. You try to hurt her and I 
WILL take any steps necessary. The moment any of 
these plans are set into motion, I WILL know. 
And I...will...KILL...*YOU*! She has the same 
protection as the Princess and the Younger 
Senshi. And you all know how I deal with threats 
to them, don't you?" His voice was deadly calm.

    "Are you threatening us?" Neptune's voice 
was outraged.

    "I don't make threats. Ever. I make 
promises." Nemesis turned to leave. As he opened 
the door, he called over his shoulder "Oh, by 
the way, Vessa? How's Mimas these days?"

    The Queen of Saturn stiffened. Nemesis' 
laughter could be heard as the recording 
stopped.

    "Nemesis took, and takes, his 
responsibilities VERY seriously. Once he took up 
a job, he never quit it. Hurting, or trying to 
hurt someone under his protection was a quick 
way to commit suicide." Setsuna's voice was 
firm. "Computer, play recording 629."

    "Complying."

    They saw a well-lit corridor, with rich 
tapestries and tasteful statues lining the 
walls.

    A shadow detached itself and crept along the 
hallway. It regularly paused and checked for 
threats. Finding none, it slowly made its way 
to a door. 

    Easing open the door, the shadow crept 
towards its target: the seven-year-old Princess 
Serenity. Slowly drawing out a thin knife, the 
assassin prepared to strike. 

    "Easiest money I've ever made." He 
whispered.

    "I doubt that."

    The shadow froze as the voice spoke from 
directly above it. It looked up just as a ball 
of light flared into existence. The assassin was 
around six feet, two inches tall, with short 
brown hair and blue eyes. The hand holding the 
ball of light belonged to Sailor Nemesis. The 
assassin summed up his feelings with a simple 
and heartfelt "Oh, SHIT!"

    "Templar, right?" Nemesis said with a nasty 
smile. A whimper was his response. "Good. 
Let's...talk."

    Templar took off running. Nemesis jumped 
down from his mid-air perch and followed. A 
short while later, a scream sounded, only to be 
cut off by a wet gurgle. 

    Nemesis walked into Princess Serenity's 
room, wiping off his hands and talking to 
himself as he came. "Well, that was messy. Guy 
was surprisingly good. I think he broke some 
ribs."

    He walked over to the princess and stroked 
her cheek after adjusting her blankets. He 
smiled and floated back up by the ceiling.

    The recording ended just as he turned off 
the light spell.

    "Nemesis would give people just enough rope 
to hang themselves with. Then he'd... take 
steps. We never did find that man." Setsuna's 
voice was quiet. "He had a sense of justice that 
was very...focused. There were only two things 
he held as important: the safety of his wards 
and doing his duty. He'd ignore any law, 
statute, or decree that prevented him from doing 
that. It's that simple."

    The Senshi all stopped to think about that 
for a second.

    "Playing record #335." The Computer 
announced.

    The recording appeared to be of the throne 
room of Queen Serenity. (Born out by the fact 
that she was sitting in the throne at one end.) 
A man dressed in a red robe was addressing her. 
He was extremely angry, as evidenced by his 
bright red face and the fact that he was 
screaming at the Queen. The Senshi's eyes popped 
at his language.

    "One of the Ambassadors from Mars. He's 
upset over a decision Serenity made involving 
the Younger Mars." Setsuna informed them.

    "What decision would cause that kind of an 
outburst?" Rei asked.

    "She decided to let Nemesis train the 
Younger Senshi. The Queen of Mars refused to let 
you 'suffer under that psycho'. So Nemesis 
kidnapped you. Serenity decreed that the 
Martians were not to attempt to find you."

    "Nemesis trained us?" Ami asked.

    "Yes. He trained all of you. And he taught 
me a few new tricks, too. Mostly by using them 
on me." Setsuna replied, just as the man wound 
down his diatribe.

    "Thank you, Ambassador, for that...colorful 
speech. Nevertheless, my decision remains 
unchanged. I will not entertain any more 
petitions to change it. Do you understand?" 
Serenity's voice was sharp. Her eyes promised 
pain if he answered 'No'.

    The man gulped and nodded. He turned and 
started to walk out of the room. As he walked he 
whistled a little tune. Rei paled as she heard 
it.

    "Something wrong, Rei?" Usagi asked. 

    "That was NOT a nice thing he said." She 
replied.

    "What do you mean? He just whistled." Haruka 
protested.

    "Their language basically WAS whistling. It 
was really beautiful to listen to in large 
groups. The choirs were incredible." Setsuna 
explained.

    A chorus of understanding went around the 
room at her explanation.

    The Ambassador stomped out of the room, 
whistling the entire time. The view followed him 
as he turned right and stomped down the hallway 
outside the room. He was just about to turn a 
corner when an arm shot out of the shadows 
behind a column and grabbed the front of his 
robe. Nemesis emerged from the shadow and smiled 
a tight smile at him.

    "Can I talk to you for a second?" The 
Ambassador started to stammer something that 
sounded like a refusal. Nemesis nodded. "That's 
nice. Let's go in there." 

    Nemesis dragged him into a room and shut the 
door behind him. He continued to smile as he 
blocked the door with a rather large divan. 
Nemesis turned around. 

    "Let's make this quick. There's just a few 
things we need to cover. First, you've got a 
fairly large dagger under your robe. You know 
the rules against that. Second, it's an 
ENCHANTED dagger! That just makes it worse. 
Third, to take care of your main complaint, your 
princess is MUCH safer under my protection than 
anywhere else in this system. Fourth, Serenity 
doesn't know the nastier parts of Martian. I do. 
If you even think about calling her that again, 
they will NEVER find your body. Understand?" 
Nemesis could have been discussing the weather 
for the emotion he showed in his voice.

   The man gulped and nodded.

    "Good. Now listen closely: I swear to you, 
on my oath to Serenity, that no lasting harm 
shall be done to your Princess. In fact, by the 
time I'm done with her, she'll be in better 
health than you can imagine." Nemesis paused for 
a few seconds, and seemed to consider something.

    "Hmmm, I've got an idea. You go to Keira and 
tell her what I just told you. If she wants to 
argue, have HER come and complain about it to me 
personally. All right?"

    The Ambassador just stared at him.

    "I'll take your silence to mean yes." 
Nemesis commented. He turned and started to walk 
into a shadow.

    "Wait!" But the Ambassador's cry came too 
late. Nemesis had already vanished.

    "Great. Now how am I supposed to get out of 
here?" The man muttered, as he kicked the divan 
still blocking the door.

    Rei was snickering as the recording ended.

    "I remember that guy. He was such a...." She 
searched for a polite way to say it.

    "Pompous ass?" Setsuna suggested.

    "Precisely." Rei said crisply.

    "I remember him. I keep seeing him in this 
hat. You know what I mean?" Haruka asked.

    "Yeah! And the squid!" Rei excitedly 
responded.

    "And that thing! What was with that thing? 
What was it?" Haruka interjected.

    "I don't know! Hey, remember the SHOES?" Rei 
asked. All three broke down laughing. After a 
few seconds, Setsuna stopped snickering, and 
looked at the puzzled expressions of the rest of 
the group.

    "Don't ask. One of those 'You had to have 
been there' things." She explained.

    "Riiiight." Michiru drawled.

    "Anyways, onto the next recording." Setsuna 
said, sobering up nearly instantly. "This one 
was taken a few months after the one we just 
watched."

    The recording started with a familiar face 
screaming.

    "Damn it! Give me a status report!" It was 
the Queen of Saturn. She was sitting in a large, 
functional-looking chair in what appeared to be 
a command center of some kind.

    "Same as the last, my Queen. We STILL can't 
get anyone within range to monitor them, and our 
ships with ground-pounder capabilities are still 
two days out. King Zeus has informed us that his 
forces are busy dealing with a few unpleasant 
surprises the rebels left on Jupiter when they 
escaped custody." An aide informed her.

    "So we're just going to sit here and wait?! 
After those bastards invaded Mimas, killed every 
single person at the terra-forming station, and 
blatantly dared us to try to stop them? You 
expect me to just sit here and wait for TWO 
FUCKING DAYS?!" The Queen screamed.

    "No. I expect you to sit down, shut up, and 
not do a damn thing." A voice announced from 
behind her. Everyone whirled around. Nemesis was 
standing there, with a large group of young 
children. They were easily recognizable.

    "That's us when we were kids." Ami stated 
the obvious.

    "Of course. Who else would look exactly like 
you when you were that age?" Setsuna replied 
matter-of-factly.

    "How old are we here? And where's Makoto?" 
Ami asked.

    "You range from eight to twelve years old 
here. And, if you'd be quiet for a few seconds, 
you'd find out where Makoto is." Setsuna replied 
with a bit of a bite in her tone.

    Meanwhile, the recording continued with the 
Queen of Saturn standing and addressing Nemesis.

    "Why are you here? This is not in your 
jurisdiction. This is a matter between me, Zeus, 
and those rebels. Your assistance is neither 
needed or desired." Her voice was just a little 
warmer than liquid nitrogen.

    Nemesis glanced over at her as he answered. 
"Serenity granted me permission to train the 
Younger Senshi."

    "So? How does that relate to this matter?" 
She demanded.

    Nemesis pointed at the image of Mimas 
displayed on the viewscreen. "Jupiter is down 
there. She's the second to last of the Youngers. 
I WILL get her. I don't care who or what I have 
to go through."

    "Oh, really." the Queen of Saturn arched an 
eyebrow. She pointed at the children with him. 
"And do you intend to take them with you?"

    Nemesis snorted. "Of course not. They'll 
stay here. Mercury will be in charge. You can 
call her Ice. It's her street name." He patted 
the blue-haired girl's head fondly.

    "And what can she do? She's what? Twelve, at 
the most?" An aide scoffed as he reached over to 
poke her.

    "Ice is just a bit over twelve, as near as 
we can figure. As for what she can do? Ice, drop 
him. Softly." Nemesis calmly commanded.

    She responded with the speed of a striking 
cobra. Two fingers slammed into the man's leg, 
which collapsed underneath him. He pitched 
forward, and his throat received the same two 
fingers. She grabbed his collar with her left 
hand and put the knife that had appeared in her 
right hand to his now-abused throat. Her calm, 
reserved expression hadn't changed in the least 
bit.

    "That's what she can do. Ice is quite 
possibly the most intelligent person I've ever 
met. And one of the most resilient. She's been 
on her own in the Mercurian slums since she was 
five. You'll notice she's still in good 
condition, despite living in that hellish place 
for seven years. Trust me, she'll be able to 
handle anything." His voice was full of calm 
confidence.

    The Queen of Saturn nodded her head in 
acceptance. "All right. Will you grant me a 
small favor?"

    "Depends on what it is."

    "Carry a battle recorder. I've always wanted 
to see you fight with the kid gloves off." 

    "Can't. The Chaos won't allow them to work, 
remember?" Nemesis' voice was faintly mocking.

    "It's Mercurian." She quickly replied.

    "Man, you're ready for anything, aren't 
you?" Nemesis shook his head. "Fine. I'll grab 
it before I go down."

    Ice broke down laughing. Nemesis shook his 
head and chuckled softly.

    "Knew she'd do that. Kid's got a dirty 
mind." He commented as he left the command 
center.

    A few minutes later, a voice spoke up over 
the intercom. It sounded a bit shocked.

    "My Queen? Nemesis just left. He...um, 
well...walkedouttheairlock?" the voice finished  
in a rush.

    "Walked out the airlock?" the Queen arched 
an eyebrow. "Well, I suppose that's ONE way to 
avoid them detecting him teleporting down to the 
planet's surface."

    "HOLY GODS! Multiple jump signatures to 
port!" A man screamed from his station.

    "What?! Show them!" The command was snapped 
out harshly. "Who the hell is crazy enough to 
warp in this close to Saturn?"

    The viewscreen shifted sharply just in time 
to see a silver aura fade from around three 
large, graceful ships. The one in the middle was 
huge, easily twice the size of the other two 
combined.

    "That's the 'Serenity Ascendant.' Why would 
the Queen's flagship be here?"  Saturn muttered 
under her breath. Unnoticed by all, the Younger 
Senshi subtly shifted to hide one of their 
members in the center of the group.

    Queen Serenity's image flashed onto the 
viewscreen. She had a look of barely-controlled 
rage on her face, and pure ice in her eyes.

    "Where is he?" she hissed.

    "Where is WHO?" Saturn inquired.

    "Nemesis. Where is that bastard." Came the 
snarled reply.

    "He just went down to Mimas' surface. We 
could try to get in contact with him-" Serenity 
cut her off.

    "Where are the children he had with him?" 
Her voice was a bit frenzied.

    "They're right over there." Saturn pointed 
towards the children. "Why are you so...upset?"

    "Hello, Mother!" piped a voice from the 
middle of the children. The rest of them 
groaned.

    <'Mother'? Wait, that means...Please let me 
be wrong. Please.> "Princess Serenity?" 

    "Hiiiiiii!" The voice was insanely cheerful, 
despite the attempts to quiet it.

    "Oh, damn. What is SHE doing here?" Saturn 
muttered under her breath.

    "Arin said we were going on a trip! I'm 
having lots of fun! First we went to Mercury, 
then to Venus, and then to-MMMPH!" Her voice was 
cut off as a hand covered her mouth. The hand 
belonged to a younger version of Rei, who glared 
at the Princess and muttered something about 
'giving her SUCH a pinch.'

    Saturn turned back to Serenity. "My Queen, I 
will ferry the Princess over to your flagship."

    "No, you won't. Nemesis told me to watch 
over the rest of the Youngers, protect the 
Princess, and wait here. The Princess leaving 
invalidates those instructions. You will not be 
moving her until he returns and instructs me in 
a different course of action." Ice's voice was 
flat. She spoke with the calm assurance of one 
who knew that what she stated was a fact.

    "And how will you prevent me, child?" Saturn 
waved one of her personal guards forward. "Get 
the Princess and take her back to Serenity."

    The man started towards the group of 
children, cracking his knuckles as he went. Ice 
moved to meet him. She punched out incredibly 
fast, only to have her hand caught by one of his 
hands, as his other hand grabbed the back of her 
shirt and lifted her off her feet.

    "What will you do now, little girl?" the man 
rumbled in a deep voice.

    "This." she reached up and grabbed his 
wrist. She squeezed a pressure point and his 
hand spasmed open. She dropped to the ground and 
slapped her open hand against his chest. 

    "Cold snap!" 

    He was instantly encased in a thin, super-
hard, super-cold layer of ice.

    Ice turned and started to walk back to the 
group. She looked over her shoulder as she 
announced "As I already said, you will not move 
her. You have two minutes to defrost him before 
permanent damage is done."

    Saturn gestured to an aide. "Get him to the 
infirmary."

    She started to walk towards Ice, who dropped 
into a loose fighting stance, with a knife that 
looked to be made of ice appearing in her right 
hand. Saturn opened her mouth to speak and was 
prevented when a beeping started.

    "My Queen?" an aide hesitantly spoke up. 
"That's the tactical channel. It's from the 
planet. It's Nemesis. Audio only."

    "Put him on." The Queen commanded.

    There was a brief crackle, then Nemesis' 
voice came through.

    "I've got her. Little minx bit me! I like 
her already." They could hear the amusement in 
his voice.

    "Serenity is here, Nemesis. Seems a bit 
angry. Something concerning her daughter?" 
Saturn's voice was cheerful.

    "She is? Well...damn. I don't suppose you 
could lie to her and tell her I'm not here?" His 
voice was hopeful.

    "She's listening to this conversation." 
Saturn replied, a smirk on her face. Nemesis was 
silent for a few seconds.

    "Oh. Damn, again. Hi, Serenity. Lovely 
weather, isn't it?" His voice was carefree.

    "Oh, yes. Very lovely. I'm going to have you 
drawn and quartered, you know." Serenity's voice 
was pleasant.

    "Why would you want to do that?" Nemesis 
asked in a puzzled tone of voice.

    "You really need to ask?" 

    "No, not really." Nemesis chuckled. "But 
before you do that, you might want to back a bit 
farther away from Mimas."

    "What? Back away from Mimas? Why?" Saturn 
inquired.

    "Well, I'm out-numbered, and I've got a kid 
in my arms. I can't fight at my usual level, or 
the kid will get hurt. So, I'm going to Absolve 
these bastards." Nemesis' voice was grim.

    Serenity turned white. "Absolve? You're 
going to cast Absolution?" she whispered in a 
trembling voice. She glanced off-screen and 
commanded "Get us back, now!"

    "Absolution? What kind of a spell name is 
'Absolution'?" Saturn asked in a moderately 
amused tone.

    "You have my daughter on your vessel. You 
also have the Younger Senshi, several of whom 
are the only heirs of their planets. Move back. 
NOW." Serenity's voice was flat.

    "All right, all right. Pull back. What's the 
worst that can happen?" Saturn rhetorically 
asked.

    Over the speakers, they could hear Nemesis 
begin to talk. 

    "You psychotic little morons have 
slaughtered 800 innocent men, women, and 
children. You've destroyed nearly priceless 
equipment, ruined 200 years of terraforming 
efforts, and, if I remember the broadcast 
correctly, called Queen Serenity a 'frigid, 
over-controlling bitch.' I resent that last bit. 
She's not frigid. I'm afraid you all have to die 
now." He paused, then continued. "In the next 
life, I hope you can find...ABSOLUTION!!"

    It started small. Just a tiny point of light 
on the surface. Nothing major, certainly nothing 
to worry about. Then it grew rapidly in an orgy 
of destruction. Tendrils of actinic fury lanced 
out and ripped huge chunks of the moon's surface 
out before they were re-absorbed into the main 
part of the quickly-formed dome. They could see 
atmosphere start to boil off as the dome flared 
and pulsed with power. The huge dome of light 
rippled out to cover a third of the moon's 
surface, peeling back the solid rock like a 
tomato hit by a sandblaster. Then, it just 
vanished, leaving a huge crater, a desolate 
surface, and a now-dead world. The crater wasn't 
even smoking.

    "Holy...." the Queen of Saturn trailed off 
as words failed her. Behind her, there were a 
few thuds as legs gave out.

    Ice was more succinct in her response. 
"Fuuuuuuck meeeeeee."

    "Hmmm, maybe I overdid it a bit. Still, it's 
kind of pleasing in a purely aesthetic sort of 
way, don't you think?" 

    Everyone whirled at Nemesis' voice. He was 
standing in a shadow in a far corner of the 
bridge, holding a small form in his arms. A 
small amount of brown hair could be seen flowing 
over one of his arms, offset by a pair of feet 
hanging over the other.

    "That's her?" Ice asked, motioning towards 
his burden.

    "Yup. Ice, meet Lana. She's the daughter of 
Jovian Supreme Commander Knight. She's your 
responsibility now." Nemesis walked over and 
placed the still form in her arms. She stirred 
as she was moved. Green eyes blinked open and 
met blue ones. Ice smiled.

    "Hi. I'm Ice. I'm gonna take real GOOD care 
of you." Her voice sounded very pleased in some 
obscure way. She was smiling widely as the 
recording ended.

    "Well, THAT was interesting." Haruka 
remarked dryly. "I just feel incredibly re-
assured about him, now."

	Ami frowned slightly. There had been 
something about the way that her past self had 
grinned that disturbed her. It reminded her of 
Haruka, for some weird reason.

    "You didn't see Nemesis when he was in a bad 
mood. I once watched him back down the leader of 
the Royal Guard with one look." Setsuna informed 
them. "Of course, him in a good mood had...other 
potential problems."

    "Such as what? What could be worse than what 
we just saw?" Rei demanded incredulously.

    Setsuna pondered for a second, then nodded 
to herself. "He played practical jokes."

    "How could that be worse?" Hotaru asked.

    "You're about to find out." Setsuna replied, 
snapping her fingers as she spoke. "The baths."

    Everything went black.

********************
The Silver Millenium

    Sailor Pluto sighed as she shed her uniform 
with a thought and stepped into the hot waters 
of the bath. She leaned back against the rim and 
smiled as she felt her muscles start to loosen 
up.

    She had been running especially hard lately. 
Nemesis appeared to be deliberately trying to 
annoy her. If it wasn't sneaking the Princess 
down to Earth to meet with Prince Endymion, it 
was encouraging the Younger Senshi to raise 
havoc among the Royal court. 

    She KNEW it was a mistake to let him train 
them. She couldn't fault his efficiency, they 
were EXTREMELY good at using their powers. 
However, they also showed some of his...less 
pleasant attitudes, as well. His rather harsh 
sense of honor, his absolute refusal to accept 
authority, his contempt for anyone who failed to 
live up to his standards, and, of course, his 
EXTREMELY odd sense of humor.

    But, she had to admit, it was rather amusing 
to watch the Younger Senshi go out to town. They 
partied with a flair that was almost unbeatable. 

    They also applied the same flair to their 
fighting. "Don't just win, win with STYLE." 
seemed to be their motto in a fight. Even the 
Princess was able to hold her own (against the 
Army's hand to hand instructors no less), at 
least temporarily.

    Pluto chuckled as she remembered the 
expression on the instructor's face as the 
Princess ended her first session by throwing him 
against the far wall, then tripped and fell on 
her face as she walked out of the sparring ring.

    As she grabbed some soap for her hair, she 
considered the Younger Senshi as a whole. All of 
the Inners were very good at their job of 
bodyguards, and even worked well with the 
Outers, something that hadn't happened in quite 
a long time. She was certain that Uranus and 
Neptune were lovers, and it was possible they 
had a soul-bond. If they did, it was time for a 
party. Soul-bonding was extremely rare and 
whenever one was discovered, the Queen always 
threw a massive party.

    She paused in lathering her hair as a 
thought occurred to her. <Why am I growing my 
hair out? It's a pain to take care of.> An image 
of a serious-looking boy suggesting she grow out 
her hair briefly flashed briefly across her 
mind, but she banished it quickly.

    <He has nothing to do with it.> She told 
herself, as she dunked her head under the water 
to rinse the soap out. 

    She stood, slicking her hair back and 
waiting for the water to get out of her eyes. 
She felt a little tingle. She froze. Something 
felt...different. There was a subtle change in 
the air. She felt a draft waft over her body, as 
her ears registered the muted hush of a large 
crowd. She wiped the rest of the water out of 
her eyes and opened them.

    She was standing completely naked in the 
middle of the Throne Room. She blinked calmly, 
then rapidly used her powers to examine the last 
few hours around her bathing room. She could 
detect nothing, yet SOMEONE had obviously placed 
a teleportation matrix in her bathtub. The fact 
that she couldn't find anything meant that it 
was....

    Her eyes narrowed, and she slowly searched 
the room for her target. There. Talking to a 
slim, white-haired man, facing away from her. 
She stalked towards the soon-to-be-dead victim.

    She pulled the Time Staff out of Un-space as 
she walked. She silently moved behind the person 
responsible and...

    *WHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAM 
WHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAM
WHAMWHAMWHAM*

    "BAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKA
BAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKABAKA 
BAKABAKA!!!"

    Beat Nemesis over the head with the Time 
Staff, screaming the entire time. 

    Once Nemesis was a bloody mess on the floor, 
she took a deep breath (doing interesting things 
to her chest in the process), turned, and 
started to calmly walk out of the Throne Room.

    "What are YOU staring at?" she snapped 
harshly at a young noble who looked to be in a 
state of shock. He fainted. Pluto sniffed and 
continued on her way.

    Nemesis' companion looked down at him. 

    "All right, you win. Her hair color IS 
natural." His voice was faintly surprised.

    "Shut up, Artemis." Nemesis groaned as he 
stood up. "That woman can HIT!"

    "What insanity made you decide to DO that? 
Pissing off Pluto is not a good way to lengthen 
your life span." Artemis asked, shaking his 
head.

    Nemesis paused in wiping the blood of his 
face. He shrugged as he pointed to the center of 
the room. "The same kind of insanity that made 
me do THAT."

    "Huh?" Artemis turned his head just in time 
to see the Senshi, both Elder and Younger, get 
teleported into the center of the Throne Room. 
Naked, of course.

    "I left white hair by the teleport matrixes 
for them." Nemesis informed him. Artemis looked 
at him, his eyes going wide and his face pale.

    "Might I suggest running? And changing into 
a cat? You're harder to hit that way." Nemesis 
grinned as Artemis took his advice and ran like 
the hounds of Hell were after him. Which wasn't 
far off, actually.

**************

    "What the hell was that?!" Rei demanded, 
halfway in a panic.

    "That was a little trick I learned to do 
sometime around 3 AD. It allows you to share 
your memories with other people. It's useful in 
situations like this." Setsuna calmly replied.

    "He teleported us into the Throne Room butt-
naked. Please tell me we got him back." Haruka 
stated in a too-calm voice.

    "You got him back. Or at least gave it a 
good shot. You waited until the next time he was 
in the public baths, then stole his clothes, and 
asked Queen Serenity to summon him."

    "Excellent." Haruka grinned.

    Setsuna continued. "He then walked to the 
Throne Room from the far side of the Palace, 
where the baths were located. Without his 
clothes."

    "He walked through the entire Palace buck-
naked?" Makoto asked, incredulously.

    "No. He was nude, not naked. In order to be 
'naked', you have to care. He didn't. Being 
raised by Arik, he had NO nudity taboo. He wore 
clothes because they let him hide weapons better 
and provided some protective properties." 
Setsuna sighed, then asked rhetorically, "Have 
you ever tried to embarrass someone with no 
sense of modesty, and no shame? It isn't easy."

    "I can imagine." Ami stated dryly. She 
opened her mouth to continue, but was 
interrupted by a beeping from the Mercury 
Computer. 

    "Ah, man! Why now?" Minako whined as Ami 
grabbed the Computer and began typing like 
crazy.

    Ami went pale. "There are at least 20 
individual disturbances." She whispered in a 
horrified voice.

    "Let's go." Setsuna's voice was flat.

To be continued in Part B
****************
 

-- *********************************************** Ever wonder if there are others of Yoda's race, and if they speak the same way? Imagine the Yoda-men in the office, around the water cooler: Yoda 1: Hello, Bill. Yoda 2: Morning, Hank. Yoda 1: Finish that proposal you did? Yoda 2: Yes, finally. Quite a chore it was. Yoda 1: That Henderson, a slave driver he is, eh? Yoda 2: Yes. To kick his ass I'd like. "There is no try, only do." Asshole he is. (From a conversation with PatchMonkey.) After finishing a story: If you liked the story, drink a bottle to celebrate. If you disliked the story, drink two bottles to cheer you up. If you're apathetic, then drink till you care, dammit! (From a Slayers drinking game.) ______________________________________________________________________ To unsubscribe, write to FFML2-unsubscribe@listbot.com - .--- Patch Monkey's TEMP FFML ---. | Administrators - Majordomo-Owner@patchmonkey.net | | Unsubscribing - majordomo@patchmonkey.net | | Put 'unsubscribe ffml' in the body of your e-mail. | --------http://www.patchmonkey.net------------