Sailor Moon: Just Us

Pretty much the last genuine Sailor Moon story I ever did. Enjoy. Or not.

Just Us
He ran. Through the alleys of the gleaming city, he ran, not with any hope of escaping her, but with a desperation born of knowing that he had to do so. And so he ran.

And at last, he could run no more, and he stumbled to a stop, breathing heavily.

"You should not have hurt those girls," her voice said, coming from only a small distance away.

He spun, twisting his foot, and fell against the wall behind him. Terror banished any trace of exhaustion.

"There are laws which govern what you can and cannot do," she continued as though nothing had changed. "You have violated those laws. What do you have to say for yourself?" She paused momentarily, then noted, "And please don't say that you thought that they wanted it. No one wants that."

His doom had reached him, and no hope remained. He could not plead with her, he could not fight her, and he could no longer even run. And in what he knew to be the last moments of his life, he asked a single question. "Why?" he choked out.

She blinked, and pulled up her weapon from its ready position. "Why what?" she demanded.

Grateful for any reprieve, however momentary, he searched his mind for the rest of the question ... and it fell into place easily. In an odd moment of clarity, he realized that he had wondered about this before, but had never dreamed of his question being answered.

"Why do you serve her?" he asked. "You are so dark ... and she is light. Why do you serve her, instead of fighting her?"

She stared at him for a long moment, and though his fear grew with each second, so too did his relief at his continuing life. And at last, she answered him with a question of her own. "What do you think is waiting for us after we die?"

He gulped air as he quietly prayed that she'd keep to theology. "I dunno ... if you're good you go to heaven, I guess, and if you're bad you go to --"

"Wrong. And do you know why you're wrong?"

He shook his head, vocal cords suddenly paralyzed.

"Because you're speculating without evidence. You can't know what it's like after you die, because you've never died."

He managed a terrified grin. "Well, yeah, that's the only way that you can --"

"I've been dead."

A snappy reply to that he didn't have.

"The circumstances don't concern you. But I was dead for over five minutes before ... something ... pulled me back to life. So I know what's waiting for us after we die."

And she lowered her eyes to meet his, and he began to tumble into the abyss.

"Nothing," she whispered. "There's nothing. There is no hell where the guilty are punished. There is no heaven where the righteous are rewarded. There is no eternal wheel of karma where we are given another chance. There is no devil. There is no god. There is nothing ... but nothing.

"And so here -- this world, this life -- is all that we have. But most people don't know this. Most people can't know this. And so they live their lives, without knowing that there is no hope of anything better."

Her voice lowered now. "And some, like you, prey on the innocent. You become plagues on this world, making it less than it can be. Less than it should be. And so you have to be punished, because this life is all that we have."

She lowered her scythe. "You should not have hurt those girls. Even if my Queen forgives you, I will not. I am the lovely soldier of life and death, and in the name of Saturn, I will punish you."

The blade of the scythe began to gleam with a terrible glowing darkness, and even as his mind strained at that paradox, his mouth fell open to scream as the bolt struck home --

And then it did not, and after a long moment he realized that he still lived ... and that his hands had been bound in the same darkly glowing substance that had covered the blade. He lifted his eyes to meet hers.

"I have laws which govern what I can and cannot do as well, you know," she said without a trace of mirth. "Stand up."

He found that he could, and indeed had no choice but to do so. Directing him with sharp gestures from her scythe, she marched him down the alley.

"And that's why you serve her," he muttered at last. "Because she believes that, too?"

"No," she replied calmly. "She does not. She believes something entirely different. She believes that there is one waiting for us, who loves us not despite but because of all our mistakes, and who will forgive us anything. That is what she believes."

"But --"

"I serve her as I do because I believe what I believe." And for the first time, her voice became soft. "But more than that, I serve her ... because she makes me hope I'm wrong."

Author's Note
A look into the mind and heart of the darkest of the Sailor Senshi, in hopes of understanding what her psychic landscape might be like. Thanks to Warren Ellis for suggesting some of these themes in the third issue of Planetary.

Sailor Moon was created by Naoko Takeuchi and brought to North America by ... well, currently, no one. This story, incorporating characters held under copyright by others, is copyright 1999 of Chris Davies.

Nobody Sue Me Okay?

1 comment:

Erica Friedman said...

Chris - I love your intro. You always know how to set the mood just so. :-)