Appollo's shadow took its rightful place at Appollo's feet as she left the park.
Mina exited the doors of her school to see Artemis waiting for her out on the sidewalk. It had been two days since the scouts' encounter with Appollo. The previous day had gone by without incident leaving the scouts, particularly Mina, feeling a little better. They had gathered that evening to report any unusual sitings of which there were none, while Ami reported that she was still unable to figure out the unusual readings she had gotten from Appollo from their first encounter. Without anything new for them to discuss, the girls had called it a night and went back to their respective homes.
"Hi Artemis," Mina greeted as she raced up to him and picked him up.
"Hiya Mina. How did school go today?" Artemis asked in his usual cheery tone as he made himself comfortable on Mina's shoulder.
"Good I guess," she replied but she was happy it was over for the day and began to walk home.
"So has there been any news about Appollo?" Mina asked her cat sheepishly.
"No. Whatever she is doing, she's keeping quiet about it," Artemis replied and then tried to cheer up Mina, "who knows, maybe you kicked her harder than you thought."
Mina smiled and continued home.
"You shouldn't talk about people behind their backs," a voice, that seemed to come out of nowhere, spoke. Mina whirled around to find out where the voice originated, but there was no one.
"Did you hear that?" Artemis asked as he hopped off of Mina's shoulder.
Mina nodded silently, still looking for the person who spoke. After a few moments without spotting the voice's source, Mina sighed and looked down towards her cat. That's when she noticed the shadow on the ground a few feet away from where she stood. It was the shadow of a girl in a skirt but what made this shadow so peculiar was that no one cast it.
Mina took a few defensive steps backwards, and backed something.
"Oww watch where your going!" a voice behind her yelled.
"I'm sorry!" Mina apologized as she whipped around to see who she had walked into and gasped in shock. Standing right in front of her was Sailor Appollo. Artemis spotted Appollo at this point too and dove defensively behind Mina's legs.
"That's alright, you're forgiven," Appollo mocked, "I'm going ta finish you off anyway, Sailor Venus."
Sudden the shadow Mina had spotted, leapt from behind and put Mina in a headlock.
"I'm not Sailor Venus!" Mina gasped as she tried to breathe.
"Oh really," Appollo mused sarcastically, "and I'm not really on earth either. Well, let's find out for sure."
Sailor Appollo knelt to the ground and looked down at Mina's shadow. "Is she Sailor Venus?" Appollo asked.
Mina stared in shock as she watch her shadow nod in reply.
"There we go," Appollo laughed at Mina reaction, "and shadows never lie"
Artemis took advantage of the distraction and leapt suddenly at Appollo's face, knocking her to the ground. This gave Mina the chance she needed. Mina grabbed at the arms of the shadow that had her and she flipped it over her back, wrestling herself free of its grip. Then, leaping backwards, she threw up her arm and called out, "Venus Star Power!!"
Appollo grabbed Artemis by the scruff of the neck and picked him up as she got back to her feet.
"Let him go!!" Sailor Venus yelled, but was ignored by Appollo as she stared at Artemis for a brief moment.
"It's nice to see guardians still exist," Appollo finally spoke, surprising both Artemis and Venus. She then let Artemis fall to the ground with a thump saying, "I don't have any intention of killing you guardian. I suggest you leave before I change my mind."
Artemis looked over at Venus who nodded solemnly. Artemis understood and dashed off down the street.
Both scouts watched Artemis disappear from view until he could no longer be seen.
"I guess I'll have to finish you off fast now won't I?" Appollo questioned sarcastically. Mina gave Appollo a confused look.
"Oh don't play stupid Venus, your guardian is on his way right now to get the rest of your friends."
"We don't want to fight you."
"Well that will make it easier for me won't it?" and Appollo started walking towards her, both her hands clenched in fists.
Mina took a step back defensively, unsure of what Appollo was up to. She suddenly felt her heart leap into her throat as she realized she hadn't been paying attention to where Appollo's shadow was. She then realized that it was right where it should be, at Appollo's feet.
"Think she'll defeat me without her shadows does she?" Venus thought determinedly to herself, "Boy is she in for a surprise."
Appollo was within arms reach of Venus when she swung at her with her fist. Venus kicked at the arm Appollo swung while back flipping out of harm's way. The kick knocked Appollo off to the side.
"Thought you didn't want to fight," Appollo mocked as she regained her footing and faced Venus again.
"I don't want to die either."
"Too bad," Appollo attacked again and took another swing at Venus. Venus was ready this time. She caught Appollo's fist, misdirecting it, and then kneed Appollo in the side where she had kicked her previously. Appollo stumbled as she felt the blow but quickly returned to her feet, squared off and resumed her assault again, this time sending swing after swing and kick after kick at Venus. It was too much for Venus to handle. She first felt a blow to her shoulder, and then her shins, and then her side. She threw up her arms in defense, trying to protect herself as she stumbled backwards, feeling Appollo strike at her again and again. Finally, without thinking, Venus raised one of her arms.
"Venus Crescent Beam Smash!!"
The beam struck Appollo in the left shoulder causing her to stumble back, gripping the shoulder that was hit. Appollo examined her shoulder and then tested her arm by flexing it. A smile crossed her face, "Heh. It still works." She then began towards Venus once again.
"I don't want to fight you!" Venus yelled again but it was apparent that Appollo had no concern for what Venus wanted. Her body numb with pain, Venus decided it was better not to take anymore chances.
"Venus Love Chain Encircle!!"
The chain struck out in Appollo's direction causing her to stop in her tracks. A smile then crossed her face, "So that the way you want to play is it? Appollo Shadow Form!!"
A number of shadows gathered about Appollo's feet and then leapt into the air forming an exact duplicate of Venus' Love Chain. The shadow chain then lashed out at Venus' Chain canceling each other out. Venus stood rooted as another two shadow chains formed around Appollo.
"Don't you wish Sailor Earth was here?" Appollo laughed and launched the two shadow chains after Venus. Venus made a dash and leapt to avoid the first shadow chain only to be hit out of the air onto the ground by the second chain. The force of the impact knocked the air out of Venus' lungs. Gasping, she struggled to her feet and met Appollo's smug face. Venus swung with one fist and then the other only to have her arms caught in Appollo's grip.
"Venus Kick!" Appollo mocked as she yanked down on Venus' arms and brought her knee up into Venus' ribcage. Venus felt pain rivet through her body as the last of the air escaped from her lungs causing her to pass out.
"Or should I say 'Kick Venus'?", Appollo added as she let Venus body fell limply to the ground. She then knelt down beside Venus and grabbed her by the collar with one hand while other hand she clenched into a fist. Almost instantaneously, a black object began to take form in the fist, created out the shadows that surrounded her.
Suddenly Appollo's shadow knocked her over as a burst of lightning flashed by where she previously stood.
"Jupiter Thunderclap Zap!"
Another flash of lightning struck out at Appollo, forcing Appollo to leap out of the way, away from Venus' unconscious body. Appollo landed and turned to see herself facing Sailor Moon, Mercury and Jupiter.
"Oh my gosh! Venus!" Sailor Moon cried out as both she and Mercury ran to protect their hurt friend. It was apparent to Appollo, however, that Jupiter was not finished with her.
"I don't care if you are a scout! There's no way I'm going to let you get away with this!"
A smile crossed Appollo's face, "Gee, nice bruise you got there, Jupiter," noticing the slight purple color of Jupiter's cheek she had given her earlier.
The comment just made Jupiter angrier, "Let's rumble."
Jupiter raced towards Appollo and swung first, missing, but no sooner was she ready again and blocked Appollo's counter punch. Sailor Jupiter and Appollo continued to exchanged blows but neither of them gave way.
"What should we do? Jupiter's too close to attack." Sailor Moon pleaded as she watched the fight.
"I'm not sure," Mercury replied as she watched as well. Suddenly an idea occurred to Mercury. She pulled out her Mercury computer and began to scan the events.
"What are you doing Mercury?" Sailor Moon asked as she watched Mercury type away on her computer.
"I'm trying to figure out what makes Appollo tick."
"Have you got anything yet?"
"I think... Oh I must be stupid, why didn't notice this before?" Mercury replied sarcastically as she stared at the screen of her computer.
"What is it?" Sailor Moon pleaded, but something in the fight distracted them both from the computer. Just then Jupiter got in a lucky kick in on Appollo where Venus had kicked her before, causing Appollo to stumble back. Jupiter took advantage of this and swung at her again, this time punching her in the cheek. Appollo stumbled back again, gripping her side with one hand.
"Quit kicking me there!" Appollo spat as she began to back step away from Jupiter.
"You're not getting away this time!" Jupiter yelled as she realized Appollo was going to make a run for it and took off after Appollo. Appollo turned and ran towards some nearby buildings but her shadow remained behind and jumped at Jupiter. The shadow managed to knock Jupiter to the ground and then vanished just as quickly. Jupiter, a little confused at the disappearance of the shadow, quickly returned to her feet to see Appollo vanish amongst the shadows of the buildings.
"She got away again!" Jupiter cursed and then turned to see Sailor Moon and Mercury watching her from beside Venus.
"How is she?" Jupiter asked quietly as she walked up to the three scouts.
Mercury was leaning across Venus' body with her visor on, "She has lots of bruises and it looks like she has a few bruised ribs too, but she should be okay."
Sailor Moon and Jupiter gave a sigh of relief although they were still both very concerned.
"Come on, put her on my shoulders." Sailor Jupiter asked as she knelt to give Venus a piggyback, "We had better get her to a hospital just in case."
"Right," both Moon and Mercury replied and helped put Venus up on Jupiter's back.
"Wouldn't it be better to go to Mina's school though? It's closer by and they have a nurse." Mercury suggested.
They other two scouts nodded and they all headed off back towards Mina school. Just then Sailor Moon remembered something, "Hey Ami. Did you find out anything about Appollo?"
A smile crossed Mercury's face and she nodded, "Your not going to believe this..."