Between a Shadow and a Dark Spot

Written by: Terence Ladan

Terra unlocked the door to her apartment, opened the door and stepped inside, closing the door behind her. She then proceeded to kick her shoes off and drop her bookbag to the floor.

"Jeez Iím tired," Terra sighed as she walked over to her futon which still lay on the floor because she had been to lazy to clean it up that morning. She decided to let gravity take over as she flopped down onto her back with a thud. She lay there for a while staring up at the ceiling until her stomach growled, protesting for food.

"You hungry?" a voice asked sarcastically.

Terra sat up with a start, stunned that there was someone else in her apartment. Looking about, Terra spotted Appollo sitting with her legs crossed on Terraís infrequently used kitchen counter, staring back intently at Terra.

"How did youÖ. I didnít even see you," gasped Terra, still surprised.

"Of course you didnít," Appollo boasted, "I didnít want you to."

They sat staring at each other for a moment, trying to assess what the other was thinking.

"So Sailor Earth," Appollo finally spoke "how is Sailor Venus? Or should I say Mina."

"Sheís fine," Terra replied nonchalantly, deciding there was no point to playing stupid at who she was.

"Really?" Appollo replied somewhat shocked as she hopped off the counter, "Iíll have to try harder next time."

"What is your problem!" Terra exasperated, "we havenít done anything to you."

Appollo sat down on the across from Terra, "So what? Does that really matter? Do I need a reason for wanting to finish the scouts off?"

Terra stared back at Appollo, not knowing what to say. A smirk crossed Appolloís face, "How bout I say that Iím just plain mean and I need to vent my anger. Is that a good enough reason for you Sailor Earth?"

"No it isnít and I have a name" Terra answered.

"Oh Iím so sorry Terra, but it will have to do," Appollo replied sarcastically.

"We know what happened to your planet and you have every reason to feel the way you do but thatís no reason to take it out on us. We werenít there. If we had been we would have helped."

Appollo was caught off guard, she hadnít expected them to know about the fate of her planet. Tears welled up in Appolloís eyes as she failed to control the emotions brought up by the mention of her planet.

"A-AppolloÖ Iím sorry, IÖ" Terra started to apologize.

Appollo wiped the tears from her eyes, "What do you know? You know nothing! Theyíre dead! All of them dead! And with your help we could have wonÖ"

Suddenly, the hatred and rage in Appollo raced out of control. The shadow of the room began to distort and bend to the will of Appolloís anger, "Itís all your fault!"

Terra could see where this was heading and sprang to her feet. She tried to run to the door but a number of shadows quickly blocked her way. Terra turned to see Appollo had already returned to her feet and was walking towards her, tears still rolling down her cheeks.

"I am Sailor Appollo, and as the last surviving member of my planet, revenge will be mineÖ"

Terra began to back up, "Appollo I donít want to fight you."

Appollo gave no response and continued to walk towards Terra, her shadow sword appearing in one of her hands. Terra backed up into a wall and looked around to see she had nowhere to go as both Appollo and her shadows surrounded her. Suddenly, the shadows lunged at Terra. Terra closed her eyes and threw up her arms to protect herself. Her arms hit something on the wall by accident and the room went suddenly dark. It was the light switch.

"What the?" Appollo replied stunned. Terra realized nothing was happening and without thinking, she threw herself at where Appollo had been standing and knocked her over. Appollo stumbled backwards in the dark and tripped, hitting her head on a small table. She was unconscious.

 

Appollo regained consciousness sometime later. She was lying down on her back and she felt something pinning down both her arms. She tried to lift her legs only to have them hit the underside of a table.

"I see youíre awake now."

Appollo opened her eyes and realized the room was still dark although the she could make out a vague silhouette of someone leaning over her. It was Terra and she had her knees resting on both of Appolloís arms, restricting their movement.

"Shadows donít work to well if there isnít a light to cast them do they?" Terra spoke. Terra was feeling quite smug for figuring out Appolloís weakness. However, Appollo did not respond.

"I know youíre awake so you can quit pretending otherwise," Terra spoke again.

"So what are you going to do now Terra. Going to kill me?"

"I told you I donít want to fight you."

"Well you do have a dilemma donít you?"

"Appollo why canít you understand we are not your enemy." Terra pleaded, "The people you are with are. They want to destroy this planet like the negaverse destroyed yours."

"I hope they do." Appollo replied bluntly.

"You, you canít mean that."

"I do. This planet and the others could have saved my planet if they would have only helped. But instead they acted like cowards, protecting their own self-interests and because of that, the beauty of my planet died. For that reason alone this planet should die."

Appollo kicked up at the table pinning her legs, throwing it into the back of Terra, knocking Terra off of her. Appollo swung at Terra with her freed hand, hitting Terra in the side. Appollo then got to her feet and walked towards the wall and groped for the light switch. She found it and flicked it on, but the room remained dark.

"I took the liberty of removing the light bulbs," Terra groaned as she returned to her feet. Her side throbbed with pain.

"Well Sailor Earth, that was good thinking on your part. To bad youíre a wimp."

"I told you I donít want to fight."

Appollo didnít respond.

"Appollo?"

Again, Appollo didnít respond.

"Great, she might not be able to use her powers now but I canít see where she is either," Terra thought to herself. She decided to take a chance and reached over to pick up a flashlight she had left nearby. Terra flicked it on and quickly scanned the apartment. It didnít take Terra long to realize she was alone.

"Shoot, she got away again." Terra started to complain. Suddenly Terraís stomach growled again. Terra sighed wistfully, got the light bulbs from where she hid them and put them back while she tried to decide what to eat.

 

Appollo watched from the shadows outside Terraís apartment as the light from Terraís window turned on.

"Damn Terra. She may be a wimp, but sheís a smart cookie."

"Who?" a voice seemed to call out of nowhere. Just then Rubius appeared in front Appollo, curiosity clearly evident on his face.

Appollo turned away from Rubius, "Nobody important. What do you want?"

"Hmm? Oh nothing." Rubius mused, "I was concerned of how you were doing. We are very impressed that you defeated Sailor Solaris."

"Oh were you?" Appollo asked although she didnít really care.

"Yes. So what are your next plans?"

Appollo turned to face Rubius again, a smirk across her face, "Simple. I find another scout and kill her too."

A evil grin crossed Rubiusís face, "and which scout will that be?"

"Iíll find out when I find one," Appollo waved Rubius off and walked away.

"Do tell us when you do."

Appollo waved Rubius off again and disappeared into the shadows.

"Terra hmm?" Rubius pondered to himself, "I wonder who that is."

Quite suddenly, Rubius felt a presence behind him.

"I thought I told you to let her sleep," a voice spoke.

"Back from the dead I see Jedeite, where have you been?"

"That is unimportant," Jedeite replied. He did not want the elementals to know he had been regrouping the minions of the negaverse under his command. "Why did you ignore my warnings. The princess will bring nothing but trouble."

"You worry to much," Rubius mocked, "She is a useful weapon against the sailor scout."
"Using a weapon you cannot control will eventually turn on you."

"What does it matter? She intends on destroying this planet, thanks to a little intervention on my part."

"What? Did you alter her memory? Do not tell me you were foolish enough to something as flawed as that. A memory change is temporary at best!" Jedeite had been told how Queen Berylís attempt to sway Prince Darien to her side failed. "She will inevitably turn on you."

Rubius laughed at Jedeite, "Of course it would fail. I did not wipe her memory. She still has great hatred of your negaverse. I suggest you do not let yourself be seen by her."

"But then what did you mean by a little intervention?"

"She already distrusted and resented the other planets for letting her planet die. I simply increased her resent to outright rage, a rage she seems to be quite unwilling to let go of." Rubius explained.

"The princess will still turn on you, eventually." Jedeite replied skeptically, and with that, vanished.

"Humph, weíll see," Rubius mocked as he vanished as well.

 

The next day Terra had told Raye about her run in with Appollo and about Appolloís weakness at school. They had decided that it would probably be a good idea for the scouts to meet so Terra had gone after school to gather the rest of the scouts. Instead of helping Terra, Raye decided return home and consult the great fire.

Raye sat fixed in front of the roaring fire in a room of the shrine. Unmoving, she sat locked in concentration as the fire flicked and danced before her. The fire suddenly flashed in a burst of brilliance before subsiding to a flickering. Raye eyes opened as she hunched over in defeat.

"Itís no use, I canít find out anything about her," Raye complained.

"Everything about her seems to be concealed in shadows, a shadow not even the fire can't penetrate."

Raye sat there for a while, stewing over her inability to find anything on Appollo.

"I canít give up," Raye sat up with a sudden determination.

Raye closed her again as the fire roared to life. "Oh great fire, who is Sailor Appollo and what does she want?"

As before, a vision of a great darkness appeared before Raye which the fire couldn't penetrate.

"What is her mastery of shadows?"

The darkness seemed to move for a moment but still revealed nothing. Raye started to feel disheartened again, "This isnít getting me anywhere. How am I supposed to know how to defeat her if there is no way to find out about her."

Suddenly the fire flashed brilliantly catching Raye off guard.

"Wh-what was that?" Rayeís mind raced, "the fire responded to something I said. Is there a way to defeat Appollo."

Again the darkness seemed to shift but otherwise gave no response.

"Okay, umm, is there someone who can help me with Appollo?"

The shadow again started to shift in shape.

"Great, this is getting me nowhere." Raye grumbled, but the darkness continued to change in form. Raye watched as the shadow began to take shape. Raye recognized the shape it took. Suddenly the darkness vanished and the fire died down. She wasnít alone.

"A cat?!" Raye gasped as she tried to understand the image she had just witness.

"What about a cat?" A voice spoke.

Raye shook the image from her mind as she tried to focus back on the room. As her eyes adjusted the dimmed light, a face stared back at her from across the fire.

"Appollo!" Raye yelled in recognition.

"Hello Sailor Mars. What are you doing? Roasting marshmallows?" Appollo smiled whimsically. Appollo sat kneeling on the other side of the fire, staring intently back at Raye.

"Nothing youíd understand."
"Now is that any way to speak to the person who is intent on making your life miserable?"

"I donít know what your problem is Appollo but your not going to beat us."

"Mind if I test that theory?"

"Be my guest, Mars Star Power!"

The shadows cast by the fire see to take a life of there own as Appollo bent them to her will. Mars however, reacted quickly producing a number of wards, "I call upon the power of Mars. Mars Fireball Charge!"

Sailor Mars threw the wards at the shadows that attempted to surround her causing them to melt away. No sooner than Mars had done this than Appollo leapt across the fire, throwing herself at Mars and knocking her over. Mars grabbed Appollo by the collar and with use of her knee, tossed Appollo up over her and through the paper screen door.

"Oh no, gramppa is going to kill me," Mars groaned as she noticed the door, "I had better take this outside."

Mars returned to her feet and jumped past Appollo who was getting to her feet and headed outside.

"You canít runaway from me Sailor Mars, I know where you live!" Appollo called after as she returned to her feet and gave chase.

 

Sailor Mars burst from the front entrance of the shrine followed quickly by Sailor Appollo. A number of girls from various nearby schools already began gather outside the shrine to buy various lucky trinkets and charms from the shrine and were surprised at the site of two sailor scouts.

"Look! Itís Sailor Moon!" one of the girl called out.

Sailor Mars groaned audibly, "This is all I need right now."

"No itís not," another girl replied, "Itís Sailor Mars and Mercury. Sailor Moon is blonde."

This Appollo stopped in her tracks. "Mercury!?! Since when do I look like that wimp!" Appollo yelled at the top of her lungs. Suddenly the shadows of the girls began to distort into hideous shapes and moved off on their own.

"Everyone get out of here, now!" Mars yelled at the girls. This was quite unnecessary as most of the girl had panicked at the site of their own shadows moving and began to run. However their shadows remained and began to surround Sailor Mars.

"Damn," Sailor Mars thought to herself, "thereís no point in attacking the shadows, sheíll just send more. I gotta go for the source."

"Mars Celestial Fire Surround!"

"Appollo Shadow Form!"

A number of shadows leapt in front of Appollo and merged to form a barrier in front of her, protecting her from the fire.

"Nice try Mars but it wonít do you any good." Appollo scoffed just the shadows charged Mars. Sailor Mars jumped to avoid the first onslaught of shadows only to be rushed by another. The shadows quickly got a hold of her and pinned her down.

"Told you it wouldnít do you any good." Appollo laughed.

Just then something struck Appollo in the back. She whirled around to see what it was only to have it happen again. Appollo realized what was attacking a little too late as two ravens swooped and buzzed about her head causing her to forget about Mars and retreat. The shadows that holding Mars faded allowing her to break free of their grasp at the same time that Appollo managed to chase Rayeís ravens off.

Again, the two scouts faced off. "Damn I wish it was dark so she wouldnít be able us her shadows." Mars mumbled to herself.

As if Sailor Mars wish came true, it was suddenly nighttime. Both scouts stared dumbfounded.

"Something not right here. Where are the moon and the stars?" Sailor Mars was right. Not only were there no moon or stars in the sky, but no lights shone from either house or streetlight as well. In fact it was so dark, they could barely see each other.

"Hey! Thatís not fair!" Appollo complained.

"Complain all you want, it wonít do you any good." Sailor Mars mocked.

"I donít know how you did it but your luck wont hold out forever Mars," Appollo stated and then faded away into the darkness.

Sailor Mars stood there staring into the darkness for a while trying to understand what had just happened. It just didnít make sense. "I donít know how I did it either."

Suddenly, the dark vanished just as it had appeared leaving everything as it was. Sailor Mars squinted her eyes in the sunlight, "This is too strange."

Thatís when she spotted a strange girl standing timidly at the gate of the shrine. The girl had short, light blue hair and wore outfit with an orange skirt, bow and shoulder cover.

"Another sailor scout?" Sailor Mars gasped.

The girl realized she had been spotted and disappeared outside of the gate.

"Hey wait!" Mars called out and chased after the girl. When Mars stepped outside of the courtyard of the shrine through the gate, she looked up and down the street but could see no sign of the girl.

"Nuts," Sailor Mars sighed.

"UmmÖ Mars, what are you doing?"

Sailor Mars turned around to see Serena, Ohiko, Lita, Ami, Mina, and Terra walk up with their cats in tow.

"Guys, your not going to believe this."