Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is the creation of Naoko Takeuchi, Spiderman
and related concepts by Stan Lee. No Money is being made from this
and no such intent should be inferred.
Chapter 14: Grand Plans . . . or at least a reasonable facsimile
Carol Danvers clicked off her comlink and smiled coldly. Finally,
some action. She was a tall, athletic woman, with blond hair and the
fine features of a model and soft curves under the midnight blue of
her uniform. However, she only looked soft. In fact, she was a ten
year veteran of the Air Force, and five years with S.H.I.E.L.D. She
was also a fully trained and blooded combat pilot and served as
Fury's right hand man.
Not bad for a girl from the middle of nowhere America.
But now she stood up and began removing her uniform, revealing a
midnight-blue, sleeveless, legless bodysuit with a yellow lighting
bolt across the chest and a red sash for a belt. She also wore boots
and gloves of midnight blue.
"Your pardon, war-leader," said a youma nearby. "But what is this
Jungleball that your war-master speaks of? And what is the
significance of this garb that you wear under your . . . armor?"
"Keitian, right?" Danvers asked. The youma nodded. "Well, Jungleball
is a simple game. We go find the rest of you clan and then head for
the hanger. Anything in our way gets killed or destroyed." She
reconfigured her S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform into a pack and slipped her
arms through the straps. "As for the costume?" Her smile, if
possible, was even colder. "Warbird wants to come out and play." She
slipped on a domino mask and waved to one of the Lieutenants.
"The Colonel's going to be busy for a while," she said. "He thinks we
might want to head out for a game of Jungleball and take Nerium with
The officer's answering smile was hungry.
With Usagi dealt with, Beryl returned to the birthing chamber and
gazed upon her weapon. Twenty-five feet tall, red and black armor and
next to it, constrained by a force field, a seething, writhing sphere
of raw energy. This was her greatest creation, her child, really,
since it was her DNA that had formed the baseline for it's matrix.
Beryl gazed at the man who had spoken. A tall, broadshouldered man
with a short beard and a red diamond in his forehead. He was clad in
black and his eyes, like his skin, were pure white.
"Sinister," she said shortly, giving him a brief nod. "Update me."
"Of course. The matrix is nearly complete, but the armor, as you can
see, is finished."
"What do you mean, the matrix is nearly complete?"
"There have been problems retrieving the final sample. The host is
too well protected. Any overt attempts will draw the attention of his
parents and their two associates."
"As if I care about that." Beryl snorted. "There are only four of
them. I have an army. It's simple numbers."
"Then you're an idiot," Sinister retorted. "Do not take them lightly."
Beryl frowned at him. "Are you scared of them, Sinister? This
"Hardly. But nor am I a fool. If they are on to us, they will keep
coming, and coming and coming until we are destroyed. Their DNA is
unremarkable, but they have a curious ability to achieve the
seemingly impossible. I may take samples some day for my files."
Beryl considered this. Sinister was no fool and he was as ruthless as
they came. If he advised caution, she would doubtless do well to heed
his advice. But on the other hand, time was running out. Onslaught
had to be ready in time for the Conjunction.
Sinister regarded his employer thoughtfully through his peripheral
vision. He was under no illusions about her. She was attractive,
admirably ruthless and most troubling, dealt in dark magic.
Sinister hated magic. There were no rules, no laws to govern its
operation, just spells and having to watch ones back for entities who
could wipe you out of existance with a thought because you somehow
offended them, or torture you for centuries, just because they could.
No thank you. Science was a much saner and safer realm and Sinister
would take it any day. But when Beryl had approached him with this
project, the idea had intrigued him, despite his misgivings about
mixing in magic.
Sinister suspected his curiousity would be the death of him. Someday.
Neither of them noticed the cartoon rabbit that appeared on a monitor
screen, sniggered silently, and then vanished.
Moubou was the only surviving Wakandan and he was missing his right
arm and left leg. He lay on the ground, thankfully unconscious as
Fury and Jupiter tightened the tourniquets around the remains of his
"Where's Magnetite?" Fury asked Banner as the scientist came back
into the room.
"Opened some kind of portal," Banner replied. "How's Moubu?"
"Out cold and drugged up to keep him that way," Fury replied and
patted Ubiu's pack. "Wakanda outfits its medics right."
"You have medic training, Fury?" Banner asked he took the Wakandan's
pulse. It beat against his fingers, slower than he'd have liked, but
Fury let out a snort. "Banner, I was a soldier since before Gavrilo
Princip got involved in politics. You name it, I've done it." He
stood up and stripped off the latex gloves. "He's stable, but only as
long as Ubiu's little pack of wonders holds out."
Jupiter blinked at him. "Who?"
"Princip was the Serbian assassin who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand
in nineteen fourteen," Banner replied. "The Austrians retaliated
against Serbia, resulting in World War One."
Jupiter stared at Fury, mouth agape. She would have pegged Fury at
fifty-five, maybe sixty. But if he'd been a soldier since before the
war . . . "How old are you?" she asked him.
Fury grunted. "I quit counting years ago."
Jupiter decided not to think about that too much and instead pulled a
blanket over Moubu. "So now what?"
"We should not linger," Troya said. The Youma's battle spear had been
broken and the broad blade was red with blood. "War-Leader Danvers is
doubtless waiting for us and we still must find the Clan-Chief."
"Good idea," Fury said. "Where's Spiderwoman?"
Jupiter jerked a thumb over her shoulder. "Over there by the reactor."
Banner and Fury went over to the computer terminal. Mask off,
Spiderwoman's fingers were dancing over the controls. On the screens,
windows opened and closed as she manipulated data like a pianist
giving a concert.
"We're rolling," Fury told her. "Unless you got something."
"I do," Spiderwoman replied. "Doctor Franklin spent a great deal of
time here. He has a folder filled not only with notes, but plans for
the reactor, both original, and how he modified it for better
"What?" Banner leaned over her shoulder. "Lemme see."
"We don't have time for this," Fury growled.
"We do," Spiderwoman corrected. "Beryl's portal network is hooked
into the reactor as well as Onslaught, but the files on Onslaught are
encrypted, which is troubling."
"No kidding," Fury said. "Last thing we need is this Onslaught thing
turning around and biting us all in the ass. We don't even know what
"Not that," Spiderwoman said. She sat back in the chair, her the
knuckle of her forefinger pressed to her lips. "The encryption
algorithm on the files is by Tsukino Heavy Industries and it's not
the commercial release. I suspect that it's their internal security
version, which implies a connection."
"And a high level one at that," Fury said. "Can you get the hard
drive out? We'll take it with us. It's enough for me to start poking
"What about just copying the files to a flash drive?" Banner asked
and removed one from his pocket.
"I have one of those," Spiderwoman said, taking hers out.
"Nice," Banner said. "Mine is two gigs. Yours?"
"One," Spiderwoman said, looking slightly embarassed.
"You have to be kidding me," Fury complained, crossing his arms. "You
take a flash drive with you on a life or death mission?"
"Yeah?" Banner said. "And what do you take when you go grocery
Fury glared at him. "Fine. Just make it snappy, will ya?" He stormed
off, muttering to himself.
Spiderwoman compressed the files, enabling her to fill both Banner's
flash drive, and her own.
"We're done," Banner called out, slipping both drives into his pocket.
"'Bout time," Fury called back.
However, Spiderwoman was still typing. Banner peered at the screens,
she was . . . oh hell.
"Has to be done," she said. "With any luck, the explosion will take
Onslaught with it and seal the youma in this dimension. Without the
reactor to power the portals, they'll be stuck here. More to the
point, the vibranium and the adamantium can't be allowed to stay in
"You do realize that even if they are the enemy, this amounts to
genocide," Banner said.
"Yes," was the reply. "But it has to be done."
Banner pushed her aside and completed the sequence. "Better this
way," he said, as she stared at him. "I've got plenty of guilt," he
said. "What's genocide on top of that?" He pressed the enter key.
"I . . ."
"You thought about it," Banner said, looking her in the eye.
"Thinking about it is one thing, doing it is another. Remember that.
You didn't do it." He held up a hand. "Don't thank me. It's not
something I want to be thanked for or even remember. Let's just find
Sailor Moon and get out of here. In fifteen minutes, the meltdown
starts. Fifteen minutes after that, we all go boom."
Spiderwoman nodded and pulled on her mask.
Oddly, Beryl was unsurprised to enter her private chambers and find
Sailor Moon seated in one of her chairs, a leg thrown casually over
one of the arms. She was eating strawberries and a glass of wine was
balanced on one knee.
"Usagi," Beryl said crossing her arms. "Somehow I'm not surprised to
see you here. Dare I ask how you escaped?"
"You need to watch more science fiction, Berry," Sailor Moon replied,
drinking from the glass and popping the last strawberry into her mouth.
"Do tell," Beryl replied, raising one eyebrow.
It's simple, really. Don't you know that when you plug someone into
full scale VR, they can seize control of the computer?"
"As I recall, only Neo could control the Matrix," Beryl replied. "And
then only imperfectly."
"Neo?" Sailor Moon chortled, "Neo sucks baby donkey ass. Lawnmower
Man, VR Five, the season four finale of Babylon Five. You know, the
"I can't say that I do, but I believe I understand now. You took
control of the computer and made it release the locks on your capsule
from the inside."
"Not bad for a brainless bimbo, Berry," Sailor Moon said. "Now here's
another one. Pay attention, it's tricky. What am I going to do to
you? A hint; it involves hurting you. Badly."
Beryl summoned her scepter and transformed it into a sword. "I don't
know who you were in the Silver Millennium, Usagi, but as Senator
Beryl, I was a Grand Master with a sword, and as Beryl Masuto, I am a
regional fencing champion. I doubt your skills are any similar."
Sailor Moon downed the last of the wine, tossed the glass aside, and
picked up her own sword and the hammer-axe. "Maybe not, Berry, but
I'm a pretty fast learner. You'd be surprised."
"All right then, Usagi," Beryl, taking her stance, "go on then.
Sailor Moon snickered and then her sword flashed out.
It was Spiderwoman who heard it first. A distant rumbling and the
clash of metal on metal. Then, as they reached a cross section, they
had to pull up short as Sailor Moon and Beryl shot through the
middle, swords clanging and sparking. They stopped and watched,
dumbfounded, as Sailor Moon and Beryl passed by, their blows sending
each other flying, only to land on their feet and charge back in,
leaping off the walls and sliding across the floor.
Sailor Moon had her sword and the hammer-axe, Beryl was using a pair
of sabers. As they watched, Sailor Moon launched a series of thrusts
and then spun, slashing with her sword and then bringing down the
axe in an overhand blow, which Beryl dodged.
"It's like Rurouni Kenshin on crack," Jupiter observed.
"When did Sailor Moon get so good?" Spiderwoman asked.
"That's what I'd like to know!" Beryl exclaimed as they moved out of
sight down the hallway.
"Odd," was all Troya had to say.
"Odd doesn't even begin to describe her," Fury noted.
"No, not that, though it is apt. Khandir was an idiot, but he was
very good with the hammer-axe. In fact, he often used it one handed."
"So?" Banner asked.
"She is using it exactly as he would have had he wielded a sword in
his other hand."
"Cripes," Fury muttered, "Two of 'em." Banner shot him a look, but
Fury's answering look said that he had no intention of explaining.
"Well," Jupiter said with a shrug, at least we found her, right?"
Fury's com crackled to life. "Sir, we've won our game of Jungleball
and are holding at the hanger. Nerium had some outs, but we're
otherwise intact. Your status?"
"We've lost all the Wakandans with the exception of Moubu," Fury
replied, "And he's critical."
"Yes, sir. We've obtained the remainder of Nerium, mostly their
females and children. The rest chose to cover the escape."
"Understood," Fury replied. "Be advised that that there will be a
gamma reactor meltdown commencing in fifteen minutes. If we're not at
your location in ten, take off. Advising S.H.I.E.L.D. Command is top
"Sir, I . . . yes, sir. I copy."
"Fury, out." The com clicked off and Fury looked at the others as
Banner cleared his throat.
"Nick, you and Troya make the roundevouz with Danvers." He unslung
Moubou from where he'd had been slung across his back in a makeshift
sling. "The girls and I will go after Tsukino." He held the
unconscious man out to Troya, who took him carefully.
"Now wait just a cotton pickin minute, Banner," Fury demanded, poking
Banner in the chest with a finger. "What in the Sam Hill makes you
"Mobou needs a hospital and you said it yourself that advising
S.H.I.E.L.D. command is top priority," Banner said, cutting Fury off.
"The rest of us are expendable." He handed Fury the two flash drives.
"Tony and Reed should be able to make sense out of these."
Fury made a noise in his throat and took the drives. "Move it,
Banner. I got enough funerals to go to as it is." He and Troya took
off in one direction and Banner, Jupiter, and Spiderwoman ran after
Beryl and Sailor Moon.
Fourteen minutes and counting.
Beryl was feeling panic. She shouldn't be. After all, there was no
way Sailor Moon could beat her, champion of the Moon Kingdom or no.
But she was. Beryl had found herself unexpectedly on the defensive
and Usagi was improving with every parry, thrust, and stroke.
"You're a mutant, aren't you?" Beryl accused as she tried to get out
of the reach of Sailor Moon's blades.
"I don't know," Sailor Moon replied tilting her head, blue eyes
glittering mockingly. "Am I?" She grinned. "I suppose that means I'm
cheating. But then you know all about that, don't you?"
"Don't you dare make this about that, Usagi!" Beryl shouted. "I did
"I was twelve, Beryl. Twelve years old!"
"You're still mad about that?"
Sailor Moon only cackled and then leapt at Beryl, the impact driving
her back and Sailor Moon riding the momentum as they both tumbled
through a glass window, plunging downwards, swords ringing and
clashing before they both landed in a large room, filled with columns
arranged in around a center space.
Sailor Moon disengaged and then ran for the clearing, Beryl close
Then the lights went out.
A moment later, a single cone of light came down over Beryl and
Sailor Moon's voice came out of the darkness.
"Do you know what the primary problem of Japan is? Besides the shitty
economy and gajin fanboys, I mean."
'Now what?' Beryl wondered as she looked around, waiting for a sneak
attack. What was she up to?
"Don't know? The answer is everything. Everything is wrong with it.
From the government to the air qaulity. It's all wrong, every last
stinking bit of it."
"And you have a solution?"
"Of course I do. I'm going to blow it up. There's no problem that
can't be solved if you got a big enough bomb, you know. But first,
since you've outlived your usefulness, you gotta die. Shall I tell
you my grand scheme? Just so you can finally see that I'm the smarter
one before you die?"
For a moment, Beryl froze and then she laughed. "Sorry, Usagi," she
sneered, "but I know you had a nervous breakdown when Naru betrayed
you. The sociopath routine won't work on me."
The lights came back on and Sailor Moon was standing not five feet
away. "Oh well," the blonde said with a sigh. "It was worth a shot."
She shrugged philosophically. "I am going to kill you though."
"I already told you, Usagi, the sociopath routine doesn't work."
"Who's being a sociopath?" Sailor Moon replied, "I'm crazy,
remember?" She gave Beryl a thoughtful look. "Aliens."
"Hm? Oh, you've been possessed by aliens, so I had to kill you. Good
of the Human Race and all that." She pursed her lips in thought. "The
Melanons, they're called. Oversized cockroaches. Burrow into your
brain and take it over."
She might as well have been choosing wallpaper. Her tone was so
matter of fact that Beryl lowered her swords in astonishment and
Sailor Moon struck, leaping in and knocking both blades out of
Beryl sank to her knees in defeat and stared up at Sailor Moon. "Who
are you?" she asked in a whisper.
Sailor Moon smiled down at her. "There can be only one."
The blade whistled as it came in and struck Beryl's head from her
shoulders, sending it flying.
"I've always wanted to say that," Sailor Moon said and walked out of
the room whistling cheerfully.
Beryl watched her go and waited for the light to fade. She was dead,
"I warned you," Metallia's voice echoed in her mind. "I warned you of
the price of defeat."
As Beryl watched, her body began to extrude tentacles from the hole
where her neck had been as her neck began to do the same.
And then Beryl realized. She realized that Mettalia had been
manipulating her mind, shielding it from the horrors she'd committed.
But now, the shield was gone and Beryl was confronted by the full
scope of her crimes.
She screamed, she screamed as she understood everything, including
what she had given herself too. What she had become.
She screamed until Mettalia obliterated her mind and arose in her body.
She threw back her head and roared a challenge to her foe.
It came back from down the hallway.
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