Written by: Terence Ladan
As usual, it was readily apparent to Trulum that Whisper was irritated by the fact that both he and Rubius were nowhere to be found as Trulum entered the room where Grutag stood waiting.
"Have you seen Rubius?" Grutag inquired in his usual monotonous voice.
"No I haven't seen him," Trulum replied blandly, "Where is our lord?"
"Whisper is in a foul mood," Grutag replied, affirming Trulum's belief, "Rubius has been gone longer than his usual which has left Whisper rather annoyed."
"I see," Trulum continued, "however, we have no need of him."
"What is your idea Trulum?" Grutag questioned, understanding that Trulum already had made another plan of attack.
Trulum smirked, feeling quite smug with himself, "I believe I have found something that will keep the scouts occupied for quite some time."
"Do you now,"
"Yes. I'm sure it will take some time for them to even figure out what is happening and when they do, it will still take forever for them to do something about it." Trulum smirked.
"I've heard that before," Rubius goaded as he entered the room where the three elements stood.
"Better than you have done Rubius," Trulum scowled at Rubius's insinuation. However this scowl quickly turned into an amused grin, "By the way, how was your latest jaunt through the asteroid belt?"
"Asteroid belt?" Grutag responded surprised, "I thought you said did not know where Rubius was,"
"I said I had not seen him," Trulum corrected.
Rubius started to ask, "How did...?"
"How did I know?" Trulum repeated Rubius unfinished question. "I scanned for you the moment I noticed you were gone which was quite some time ago. It was really quite simple once I realized you were no longer on this planet."
Rubius snarled in response. He did not like that idea that his place of contemplation had been discovered, particularly now. In his left hand he conceal a rather unusual object, considering the location he had found it. Rubius had spent the last few hours searching the asteroid belt trying to discover the source of the rose colored glass he had found early. He found no answer but instead discovered something more unusual. An ornamental door handle.
Suddenly from behind a mirror that Grutag stood in front of, a voice rang out, "The asteroid belt hmm? Good riddance to that planet if you ask me."
Jedeite stepped out from behind the mirror.
"Oh, look who's come back for help," Trulum jeered, obviously amused by Jedeite's reappearance, "scout's to much for you to handle?"
Grutag, however, was not impressed, "How long have you been there?"
"Oh, not to long," Jediete replied, ignoring Trulum's insult.
The mention of the word planet threw Rubius into shock, "Planet did you say?"
"Leave Rubius," Grutag stated, realizing that Rubius was still there, "This does not concern you."
"Yes Rubius," Trulum mocked, "go play in your asteroid belt."
"There appears to be some dissension amongst them. I may be able to use this," Jedeite thought to himself. He then decided to respond to Rubius's question, "Yes, eons ago that ring of rocks used to be a planet. However it stood in our way so we destroyed it."
"Did you now?" Whisper asked as he entered the chamber where they all were, his mood had apparently improved. Everyone went silent.
"I take it you had trouble defeating the scouts?" Whisper asked Jedeite directly.
The reminder of his defeat, made Jedeite's mood worsen, "They took me by surprise. The number of scouts has apparently swelled from three to seven since I last met them."
"Seven did you say?" Trulum asked, surprised to hear this.
"I told you there was another scout!" Rubius scolded Trulum.
"Is there actually a scout for the sun?" Whisper asked calmly.
"You mean Sailor Solaris? Yes there is," Jedeite responded with an equally calm voice, and then thinking out loud, "In fact I believe I've dealt with her before..." remembering the attack on the Moon Kingdom.
"And you did not believe me!" Rubius yelled at Trulum.
"I believe you were told to leave Rubius," Whisper commanded.
Rubius glared at Trulum once more and then vanished.
"You should leave to Trulum. I believe you have something to do," Grutag suggested.
"But..." Trulum started to protest.
Whisper took a look at Trulum and cut him short, "Do it,"
Trulum gave an audible groan of protest and then vanished as well.
Whispered turned back to face Jedeite. "I assume you've come here to accept our offer of allegiance?"
"I'm considering it," Jedeite responded.
Whisper took this as a yes.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
"Who could that be?" Terra thought as she pulled herself up from her futon on the floor of her dorm room. She had been busy studying her Japanese literature text.
"Coming!" called as she walked to the door, "who is it?"
"It's me and Mina," she heard Lita's voice from the other side of the door.
Terra quickly opened the door and let the two of them in, "How did you two get in the dorm?"
"We went to your Karinin and she let us in," Mina replied.
"Yeah, she still remembered me," Lita added.
"I see," Terra sat back down on her futon with a thump and picked up her text to continue reading.
Lita looked around the apartment. It was the first time she had been back up to Terra's apartment since the attack of the worm monster. "Your place looks as good as new."
"Yeah, luckily I didn't have to pay for the repairs," Terra sighed, "Karinin-san said I didn't have to because of the unusual circumstances."
"That was nice of her," Mina replied.
Lita continued to look around. She chuckled when she saw the coat stand that was still all bent out of shape, "but aside for that small table, you still don't have any furniture."
"I'm not up here often enough to need any," Terra replied as she continued studying her text, "besides, my futon is comfortable enough... even though I still find it a little hard sleeping on the floor."
Lita and Mina laughed.
"What are you reading?" Mina asked curiously.
"Japanese lit. I've got a test tomorrow so I kinda need to study." Terra responded, not thrilled with the idea.
Lita looked at Mina and gave her a poke in the side, "Show her."
Mina jumped, "Oh yeah. Almost forgot."
Terra looked up and noticed both Mina and Lita were hiding something behind their backs, "What is it?"
From behind her back, Mina produced a small plastic bag holding water and a small goldfish, "Here, we got this for you!"
Terra gasped in amazement, "A Goldfish!? For me?"
"Yup!" they both responded. "Actually I won it at the dance festival fare but I'm no good at taking care of pets." Mina added.
"But you'd make a great owner since you know everything there is to know about animals," Lita complimented.
"I don't know everything," Terra responded a little embarrassed, "Anywayz, I not sure I can keep it. We're not allowed pets in the dorm."
"Yes you are." Lita stated.
"Yeah, that's why we went to see your Karinin. She said a goldfish was okay," Mina explained.
"Really? In that case..." Terra got up and started to search around through her cupboards.
"What are you looking for?" Mina asked.
"Hmm? Oh something to put the goldfish in. I can't leave it in that bag," Terra said while her head was in one of the lower cupboards, "Nuts, I don't think I have anything."
"I didn't think you would," Lita said cheerfully, "that's why I got you this."
Terra took her head out from the cupboards to see Lita holding a goldfish bowl with a box inside it.
"I also got you some fish food." Lita added.
"Oh you didn't have to do that," Terra thanked Lita as she got up and closed the cupboard.
"Yes I did. After destroying your room, it's the least I could do."
"Can I see him?" Terra asked Mina.
"Sure," and Mina handed over the goldfish, "You can tell it's a boy?"
"Not really, it's really hard to tell without dissecting." Terra replied bluntly.
"I see..." Mina replied, grossed out about the idea.
Terra sat and watched the goldfish swim around and around in circles, not playing much attention to what was going on outside of it's bag. "I think I'll call him Orbit since all he seems to do is go around in circles."
"That name suits him." Mina agreed.
"I'll go put some water in the bowl so you can take him out of the bag," Lita went over to the sink to fill up the bowl. "uhh, Terra. Is there something wrong with your tap? No water is coming out."
"Not that I know of," Terra got up to see what was wrong. Just as she did the water began to flow.
"Oh never mind, it's working now," Lita replied as she filled up the bowl, "Here, you can put him in now."
Terra emptied the contents of the bag into the bowl. The goldfish quickly fell into the bowl and began to continue doing circles in the bowl. "Yup, Orbit is definitely its name." Terra decided.
Sudden the goldfish flinched and floated to the surface of the water.
"What happened?" Lita asked.
"I don't know," Terra replied confused and then poked the fish with her finger, "I think it's dead."
"Dead? but I just got it," Mina was equally confused.
"Come on Mina," Lita was getting ready to leave, "Let's go give that guy we got the fish from a piece of our minds for giving away cheap fish."
"You don't have to do that. It's the thought that counts right? Thanks anywayz." Terra thanked and then started walking towards the bathroom with the bowl.
"Where are you going?" Lita asked.
"To give Orbit the proper T B burial he deserves." Terra replied
"Toilet Bowl," Mina whispered.
Lita and Mina then saw Terra jump out of her skin and drop the bowl. Luckily the bowl was made out of plastic.
"Terra what happened" They both asked.
Terra pointed down at the fish, which was flopping around on the floor.
"It's still alive? Great catch it!" Mina cheered.
But the fish wasn't just still alive. It was changing and growing in size.
"What's going on?" Lita gasped.
"I don't know and I don't want to find out," Terra yelled and tried to step on the fish but it quickly flipped out of the way.
"Is that how you treat your pet?" the fish began to speak in a garbled voice. It was now the size of a cat and had began to grow arms and legs.
Terra quickly picked up the fish, "Lita the window!"
"Right," Lita quickly opened the window and Terra threw the fish outside.
"What did you do that for?" Mina asked
"The last thing I want to do is fight in here again," Terra replied sarcastically, "now shall we go get it?"
"For sure! Venus Star Power!"
"Earth Life Power!"
"Jupiter Star Power!"
"Let's go!" Venus yelled and followed the fish out the window.
"But this is the third floor!" Earth yelled back but it was too late as Venus disappeared out the window.
"Don't worry," Jupiter replied, "it's not that high."
"Okay, I can't believe I'm doing this," and Earth followed Jupiter reluctantly out the window.
Sailor Earth landed feet first on the ground but then lost her balance and fell backwards.
"That wasn't so bad now was it?" Jupiter asked as she offered Earth a hand.
"I think I sprained my ankle," Earth complained as she got up but was okay.
"Okay, now where's my stupid pet."
"Over here," Venus called out from not too far away. She was staring in disbelief at what she saw. The goldfish was now the size of a large man and now had a full set of arms and legs. What had her staring however was what it was doing.
Jupiter and Earth ran up and stood beside her, staring as well.
"Yes Terra. Orbit was a very good name," Venus pointed out.
All three of them stood dumbfounded as they watched the goldfish monster run around in circles.
"Apparently it got bigger but not smarter," said Jupiter.
Sailor Earth watched for a little longer, "This is stupid, I'll let you two deal with. I've got studying to do." She then turned around and began to walk away. As she did, her uniform flashed a brilliant green, followed by a glowing mist that emanated from her uniform and drifted slowly to the ground. As it did her uniform disappeared and left her standing in the clothes she was wearing earlier while the amulet disappeared under her shirt.
"And just exactly what should we do?" Venus replied, almost feeling sorry for the creature.
Terra turned around to face Venus, "This may sound cruel but putting it out of its misery would probably be the best."
Venus looked back at the fish, which was still running in circles. She then looked at Jupiter, "I'm no good at doing this kind of thing."
"Okay, I'll do it," Jupiter gave in. "Jupiter Thunderclap Zap!"
The lightning bolt struck the fish creature and it quickly faded away to dust. "Well that was easy," Jupiter stated.
Suddenly Venus's communicator went off. "Oh hi Ami, What's up?"
Ami's face appeared of the monitor as Terra and Jupiter gathered around Venus, "Hi guys, you have to get the Raye's place quick! Something strange is going."
"You're telling us," Terra mumbled.
"Okay Ami, we'll get there as soon as possible." Venus replied and the screen went blank.
"Are you coming Terra?" Jupiter asked.
"I guess so," Terra sighed, "Hopefully I can get some studying done with Raye. I'm going to fail, I just know it."
Rubius was once again floating amongst the asteroids that circle the sun between mars and Jupiter, his gaze was fixed on the door handle as it drifted out from view. "So this is all that remains of a planet... it certainly explains my unusual findings," Rubius thought grimly.
Rubius felt a presence behind him, "What do you want."
"I was wondering if we could talk,"
Rubius turned to see Jedeite floating silently behind him, "whatever for,"
"I noticed that you and those three rejects from the petting zoo you call elementals don't exactly get along now do you?"
"Rrrr, What of it!" Rubius growled.
"Nothing, I just don't particularly trust those three," Jedeite remarked, "or what they tell me."
"But you trust me?" Rubius laughed at the idea.
Jedeite began to laugh as well, "No, not entirely, but I believe we may be useful to each other."
Rubius got down to the point, "Maybe... what is it that you want."
"I'd would like to learn about this dark moon or negamoon or whatever you call it," Jedeite stated.
Rubius thought for a moment, staring out into the space beyond. He then turned to face Jedeite, "First tell me about his planet."
Jedeite smirked," All right," thinking that it really didn't matter, "I forget what the planet was called but it once held a thriving civilization. However it stood of the way of the plans of the negaverse so we removed it."
"But why destroy the entire planet?"
"To punish the particularly irritating princess of the planet that was making a nuisance of herself and to show the Universe the true strength of the Negaforce," Jedeite lied.
"A princess? You had trouble with a princess?" Rubius chuckled.
"That princess may have been a sailor scout now that I think of it. She did remarkable well considering that she was all alone as none of the other planets dared help her." Jedeite admitted.
"It sounds as though you were actually fond of her."
"Oh course I like her," Jedeite boasted, "she's dead. If she were still alive it would be an entirely different story."
Rubius pondered for a while, "This may be useful," he mused to himself.
"Now I have told you what you wanted to know, now answer me. What is the negamoon?" Jedeite asked again.
Lita, Mina and Terra made it the temple sometime later that afternoon. The rest of the girls plus the two cats were already there, waiting outside by the main entrance to the shrine.
"Where have you been?" Serena was obviously annoyed by having to wait so long.
"Sorry Serena," Mina apologized.
"Yeah, we had to stop three dogs from chasing the bus we were on," Lita explained.
"Why?" Serena replied confused, "dogs always chase cars."
"Eight feet tall dogs running on two feet? I don't think so," Terra answered sarcastically.
"You been seeing strange things too?" Ami was sincerely concerned, "My neighbors cat grew as big as horse and used their tree as a scratching post."
"I saw some weird looking cats too," Ohiko stated, "They were beating up a stray dog."
"And my neighbors pet canary looked more like a vulture as it broke through their window and started chasing cats around the neighborhood," Serena added, "but I managed to heal it."
"You can heal them?" Mina asked hopefully.
"Yup," Serena boasted, "there's nothing the old moon crystal can't fix,"
"Too bad we didn't know that earlier," Lita sighed. Terra sighed in agreement.
"Well it's obvious that pets all over Tokyo seem to be changing into monsters," Artemis stated.
"But we don't know why," Raye responded glumly.
"Tell me about it," Terra sighed.
"Yeah, poor Orbit," Mina mirrored Terra's resentment.
"Orbit? who's Orbit?" Ohiko asked.
"I guess we forgot to tell you," Lita remembered, "we got Terra a goldfish."
Mina continued, "but it turned into a monster as well."
"When did it happen?" Ami asked.
"Just before you called us," Mina answered.
"Just after we put it in the goldfish bowl," Terra added and then thought for a moment, "when we put it in the new water. Hey, you think that it's because of..."
Ami followed what Terra was thinking, "the water!"
"Water? But I just drank some water." Serena doubted.
"Maybe it doesn't effect people," Mina thought, "and that Truffle guy is the master of Water."
"Trulum," Ami corrected Mina.
"Well there's one way to find out, I'll go get some water" Raye got up and headed into shrine.
"But who's pet are we going to give the water too, to see if it works?" Mina asked. Artemis cringed at the idea.
"Nobodies," Ami replied and pulled out her Mercury computer, "I'll just scan it to see if anything's wrong,"
"Hey, how come those birds aren't effected?" Lita noticed a number of birds splashing about in the nearby birdbath.
"That's rainwater," Terra replied.
Raye soon reappeared with a glass of water and handed quickly over to Ami. Ami held her mini-computer and quickly began to type away on it. Everybody watched Ami intently as she worked away. "I thought so!" Ami replied after a few moments.
"What?! What is it?" Serena pleaded.
Ami looked up over at Raye, "You've got hard water."
All the girls groaned audibly. "That's not what we want to know!" Lita yelled.
"Okay, okay.." Ami continued to type away.
"I found it," Ami cheered, "There appears to be a extremely small unknown microbe."
"Is it what is causing the pet problem?"
"Just one moment," Ami typed a few more keystrokes, "Yes, the microbes have a definite negative energy signature."
"So it is the water!" Raye exclaimed.
"Japan.. great place to visit, just don't drink the water," Terra joked.
"Luckily I only give Luna milk," Serena boasted.
"I'm not exactly your typical pet Serena," Luna mumbled.
"Great! Now how do we get rid of it," Lita asked enthusiastically.
"Well, I could probably filter it out here," Ami answered, "but it would take to long to filter it out of every house in Tokyo."
"Does anybody know where Tokyo's water supply comes from?"
"I do!" Mina exclaimed, "My class went there once. It's a really big reservoir."
Suddenly a large colorful parakeet with a wingspan of a meter flew overhead over the temple.
"Oh great," Serena sighed, "another one."
"Moon Crystal Power!"
"Okay, which way did it go?" Sailor Moon asked as she scanned the sky.
"It's over there," Ohiko responded as she pointed out over the street.
"Okay! Moon healing activation!"
The monster parakeets body shimmered and the suddenly returned back to normal.
"Great, now how is that birds owner supposed to catch it?" Raye complained.
"How should I know?" Sailor Moon yelled back.
"Look! there's another weird bird," Mina pointed in the direction of what appeared to be another parakeet.
"Another one?" Sailor Moon whined.
"Not to sound mean or cruel guys, but I don't think we have the time to go heal every pet in Tokyo. We should deal with the source first," Terra decided.
"I think she's right," Ami agreed, "The more time we waste on saving some pets, other pets will be infected and become monsters."
"Besides, maybe removing the source make fix the problem all together," Terra added, trying to sound optimistic.
"Well then what are we waiting for?" Lita rallied, "Jupiter Star Power!"
"Right! Mars Star Power!"
"Solaris Star Power!"
"Mercury Star Power!"
"Earth Life Power!"
"Saving the best for last! Venus Star Power!"
"Ha ha, very funny," Sailor Moon replied sarcastically to Venus who had a big grin on her face.
"So exactly where is this reservoir?" Sailor Sun asked.
"On the other side of the city," Venus replied, "I guess we'll need to take the bus."
"Then why'd we bother transforming?" Mars complained.
Venus shrugged, "I just got caught up in the excitement of the moment."
With that, all the scouts groaned.
A transit bus came to a stop as it approached one of its usual bus stops. The people who had been waiting patiently for the bus arrival stared in disbelief while they waited for some of the commuters to exit the bus.
The first passenger to bound from the bus was Sailor Venus, "Come on guys, this is our stop," followed closely by Sailor Moon, "Yeah, yeah. I'm coming."
"Thank you for the ride," Mercury replied courteously to the bus driver as she disembarked.
"S-sure," was all the driver could stutter out.
Earth, whose face was red with embarrassment, dashed quickly out followed by Sailor Sun who cracked her head on the top of the door frame and then fell out with an ouch.
"Are you okay?", Jupiter quickly followed and helped Sailor Sun up.
"Ow ow... yeah."
Finally Sailor Mars exited the bus, her temper was obviously getting the better of her, "Whose bright idea was it to take the bus dressed like this!"
"I thought you liked getting attention," Sailor Moon joked.
"Not that kind of attention."
"Well we are in a hurry," Sun replied as she rubbed the bump on her head.
"To much of a hurry in your case I'd say," Sailor Earth stated as she took a look at Sailor Sun bump. "You'll live," Sailor Earth decided and then added as a joke, "but we may have to cut it off later,"
"No... your head."
That managed to produce a few chuckles from the scouts.
"Well, that's good. Then I wouldn't have to worry about hitting it anymore," Sailor Sun sighed.
With that they all burst out laughing.
"So which way is it to the reservoir?" Jupiter asked as she tried to discover it for herself by looking down the street.
"It this way... I think," and Venus dashed down the street followed by the rest of the scouts.
A few minutes later the scouts came upon a vast body of water surrounded by a few sparse trees. Sailor Earth was gasping and heaving for air, "Why do you guys insist on running everywhere?"
"Because we don't all have bicycles," Sailor Moon replied as a matter of factly.