Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
About Deviant Jeremy35/Male/United States Group :iconfantasiesunlimited: FantasiesUnlimited
Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
Needs Core Membership
Statistics 156 Deviations 4,375 Comments 20,142 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 20
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 20: Total Eclipse of the Heart
Haruka shuffled through the papers Minako just handed her as they all stood in her garage, Michiru looking over her shoulder. After taking a moment to skim over them, she looked up to Minako. “So these are all the assets Nephrite had during his stint as Masato Sanjoin. Shell companies, investments, bought-up real estate, everything,” said Haruka. “I don’t get it. Surely all this stuff was liquidated after his death, and aside from his stake in Kizachi Technologies, none of it had any real significance for the Dark Kingdom’s machinations. Why is it relevant now?”
Minako sighed. She was sure Haruka would see the reasoning. It was easy to forget the Senshi of Wind was more about motion, about freedom, then stopping to ponder a mystery. Ami chimed in for her. “The possibility occurred to me when Naru erupted in rage, blaming us for Nephrite’s dea
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 0
Evil Test Tube Face by Greyman101 Evil Test Tube Face :icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 0 Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats as original X-Men by Greyman101 Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats as original X-Men :icongreyman101:Greyman101 4 0 Complete Displayed Figure Collection by Greyman101 Complete Displayed Figure Collection :icongreyman101:Greyman101 14 8
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 19
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 19: Day of Decision
Sailor Moon rubbed the bridge of her nose, shutting her eyes tightly as she shook her head in frustration. Upon opening them again, she looked back down at Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus. Just dropped off in their own backyard, wrapped up in yellow-and-black striped metal bars. Luckily for them, their little encounter with Magneto didn’t short out their communicators. Really powerful magnetic fields could do that, right? It didn’t matter. As it was, Sailor Moon was even less willing to dwell on sciencey details than usual. “Tell me, Dr. McCoy… Is wrapping people in metal bars a mutant thing, or is this just some new kink Haruka and Michiru keep trying out?”
“Very funny, Sailor Moon,” grumbled Uranus. Even with the only light afforded coming from the stars and a half-moon, Sailor Moon could see her exasperated face. Neptune’s wasn’t much differen
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 2 0
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 18
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 18: Fatal Attractions
With a little more telepathic trickery from Cable, Mamoru got Ami and Mayumi into his car without anyone noticing, then drove them to Meiwa University Hospital. Thanks to the growing darkness afforded by the setting sun, Ami was able to sneak Naru’s mother inside once they arrived. It was also fortunate that, for once, Ami could actually get hold of her mother. Normally, Saeko Mizuno was extremely busy. It was a minor miracle her mother answered the phone at all. Once Ami explained why they needed her, Saeko put all her other plans for the evening on hold to treat Mayumi. She barely knew Mayumi, but her being the mother of a good friend of Ami’s was all she needed to hear.
Ami and Mamoru stuck around, providing assistance as needed while Saeko secretly treated Mayumi in an examination room she set aside, with explicit instructions not to be disturbed. Saeko knew she couldn’t risk
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 0
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 17
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 17: A Touch of Evil
When Kitty saw what remained of the track crumble and the monorail car plunge, she felt so helpless standing there in midair, and feared the worst. Even with the three of them, they couldn’t act fast enough to get everyone out, and now Logan was trapped on that thing! Hadn’t they been trained to be better than this!? But then, she noticed tendrils of black ooze had wrapped around it, and more were shooting down to further secure the monorail car. Its plunge had stopped, and slowly but surely, it was creeping back up.
“Oh Naru, please… Oh no,” Kitty muttered as she turned back to the crowd. Naru had dug in her heels, quite literally, and anchored herself with even more tendrils. Understandably, everyone had stopped gaping at the girl standing on thin air, and the blue furry guy latching onto the other side of the safety fence with bare feet. While Kitty felt relief that t
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 0
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 16
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 16: Off the Rails
Rei’s eyes slowly fluttered open as the early rays of dawn crept into her bedroom. This previous night and the last had, mercifully, given the Shinto priestess restful, dreamless sleep. Which was surprising, given all that had happened to the Senshi, and the tough times that doubtlessly lay ahead, despite having new allies. Never mind how said allies proved their worth by locking horns with the Sailor Senshi, battling them all to a standstill. That is, until Usagi and the X-Men’s founder showed up and told them to knock it off.
She still had mixed feelings about Usagi’s arrangement with the X-Men. Their Blackbird was still hidden behind the shrine. One of the most dangerous superhero teams from the other side of the world, practically camping in her backyard. Rei hated to admit it, but she still found that a little disconcerting. Still, in hindsight, getting help from those who fought
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 0 0
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 15
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 15: Bridge Building
“So I couldn’t let up, even though I knew you Senshi were hot on my tail,” said Naru, finishing her tale of the night she threw on the disguise that would later get her dubbed Eclipse. “I figured the police in the area might’ve been bribed, so I couldn’t go to them. Even if they weren’t… Why bother? The yakuza are so entrenched everywhere, probably nothing would’ve been done. And I figured if the Sailor Senshi had any interest in stamping out yakuza operations, they would’ve done it already. Besides, I still wasn’t entirely sure Usagi was really Sailor Moon, and even if I was, well… I just wasn’t willing to trust anyone else.” There was the clear, unspoken implication of still feeling Usagi let her down, made her feel left behind. Usagi couldn’t help but feel ashamed. “So since I had these powers, I decide
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 0
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 14 (2/2)
Sailor Moon looked around at them again. Jupiter was sitting where Storm and Wolverine had been, willing her anxiety down, but Sailor Moon could tell the heartbreak from finding out who she lobbed lightning at was still fresh. Chibi-Moon, Mars and Venus were speaking with Storm and Wolverine, looking quite crestfallen. It was the same story with them. Lastly, she saw Tuxedo Kamen stood beside Xavier and Cable, who still watched over Naru, as if they could somehow sense something despite her resistance to their power. “Professor, the genes Naru received from Nephrite… The power’s quite unlike anything you would have encountered before, and even the Sailor Senshi still don’t fully understand it,” said Tuxedo Kamen. “And the powers she has naturally… Sailor Moon’s put a lot of faith in you, and I’ve always marveled at your work, but can you honestly say you can help her friend?”
“I will do what I can, Mr. Chiba,” said
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 0
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 14 (1/2)
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 14: The Secret of the Ooze
“The… X-Men?” Naru said softly, almost in a whisper. “Y-Y-Y-You’ve met their leader, you know who he is?”
“Yeah, I sought him out because, well… Like I said, Naru, I have no idea how I’m supposed to help mutants,” said Sailor Moon. The two of them still stood on a skyscraper rooftop, barely a block away from the hotel where Xavier had reserved rooms. So close now, to getting Naru the help she needed and then joining the Senshi at the shipyard. “But he’ll know what to do for you. My dad… He was there when the X-Men first fought Magneto, saw what they could do. They were just teenagers back then too, but they drove him off. Xavier’s trained a mutant who controls the weather, Naru! Think what he can do for you…”
Naru looked uncertain, conflicted. At least her ire from moments before was melting away
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 0
TMNT Arcade - And It Works! by Greyman101 TMNT Arcade - And It Works! :icongreyman101:Greyman101 2 6
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 13 (2/2)
Chibi-Moon ran from one container stack to another, hoping her small size and constant use of cover would let her slip by. Luna, Artemis and Luna-P tagged along right behind her. Looking up, Chibi-Moon still saw the storm clouds rushing overhead. The seas still churned, and powerful winds carried mist that sprayed everywhere. But for the moment, it looked like Storm herself wasn’t patrolling the skies around the barricade. That was a relief. She was arguably the most powerful of all the X-Men, and perhaps the most dangerous. Still, despite studying the X-Men during history lessons, it was beyond belief how their collective power was more than enough to turn back all of the Sailor Senshi. Hadn’t the Sailor Senshi faced teams of bad guys much tougher than these mutants? What was going on?
Luna echoed her sentiments. “How can this be happening!?” the cat grumbled. “There’s eight Senshi, eight of them watching over the barricade… Even odds, and non
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 2
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 13 (1/2)
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 13: Clash of Superheroes (1/2)
Gritting her teeth, Sailor Uranus shoved Tuxedo Kamen aside. Fire still flared in her belly from Rogue’s hit. Uranus didn’t immediately realize she had one arm slung across her midsection as she tried to stand without her legs wobbling. Spitting out another wad of blood, she glared over at the mutant team standing between the Sailor Senshi and Eclipse. She wanted nothing more than for the Senshi to charge and unleash everything, smash through that line, but even Uranus knew they had to be wary. As the Senshi of Wind, Uranus could sense the raw power this Storm could unleash through the very air around them. Plus, one couldn’t ignore the lightning crackling around her. Electrical output that equaled what Sailor Jupiter could normally do, at least. It also didn’t help that the X-Men outnumbered them, if only by one.
For the moment, Cable was more focused on keeping Ec
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 1 0
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 12
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 12: Collision Course
After having to wait almost half a day for the Inner Senshi to report back from D-Point, Sailor Chibi-Moon thought nothing could try her patience like that again. However, only an hour had passed after the stakeout of the shipyard began, and Chibi-Moon already felt like she was losing her mind. She was only dimly aware that the sun had disappeared in the west, beyond the buildings, as she kept looking through the scope of her rifle. It was handy for looking about the shipyard, scanning for anything fishy, especially from her vantage point. Chibi-Moon lay flat on her belly on a crate suspended by a crane. From here, she could see pretty much the whole shipyard. Ami, Rei and Michiru all had ways that could warn them that Eclipse had arrived, so they all took position down on the ground somewhere. Up here, Chibi-Moon could not only see just about everything, but would have the perfect shot once the oth
:icongreyman101:Greyman101 2 0
Ninja Turtles Arcade Cabinet by Greyman101 Ninja Turtles Arcade Cabinet :icongreyman101:Greyman101 2 4


Fairy Tail 517 - Wendy Belserion [Commission] by TofiqHuseynov Fairy Tail 517 - Wendy Belserion [Commission] :icontofiqhuseynov:TofiqHuseynov 186 23 Sassa Narimasa by hotpppink Sassa Narimasa :iconhotpppink:hotpppink 237 3 :Giftart: Rapunzel by shibamura-prime :Giftart: Rapunzel :iconshibamura-prime:shibamura-prime 92 8 Pokemon Love o' War by THEDAIBIJIN Pokemon Love o' War :iconthedaibijin:THEDAIBIJIN 623 305 Doop Baby by natelyon Doop Baby :iconnatelyon:natelyon 4 5 Kenzishoes by AlloyRabbit Kenzishoes :iconalloyrabbit:AlloyRabbit 46 6 Dawn 'Power Up Lv 3' by MATL Dawn 'Power Up Lv 3' :iconmatl:MATL 376 80 Creationism X - Teach the Controversy C by uncledon Creationism X - Teach the Controversy C :iconuncledon:uncledon 6 4 Natural History Tour by ModeratelyDeviant Natural History Tour :iconmoderatelydeviant:ModeratelyDeviant 7,769 868 Vulpix used Flamethrower... again by weaselpa Vulpix used Flamethrower... again :iconweaselpa:weaselpa 87 9 11-10-14 C58 Coziest Room by goattrain 11-10-14 C58 Coziest Room :icongoattrain:goattrain 743 38 Violet Evergarden by Raphire Violet Evergarden :iconraphire:Raphire 97 4 Lesona's secret by Karbo Lesona's secret :iconkarbo:Karbo 472 57 Sexy school girl Lum by AmuChiiBunny Sexy school girl Lum :iconamuchiibunny:AmuChiiBunny 54 19 Felicia and Me by shibamura-prime Felicia and Me :iconshibamura-prime:shibamura-prime 428 202 Aya Pumping Irony Colored By UrusaiWrangler/AW08 by Chwen-Hoou Aya Pumping Irony Colored By UrusaiWrangler/AW08 :iconchwen-hoou:Chwen-Hoou 82 5


Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 20: Total Eclipse of the Heart

Haruka shuffled through the papers Minako just handed her as they all stood in her garage, Michiru looking over her shoulder. After taking a moment to skim over them, she looked up to Minako. “So these are all the assets Nephrite had during his stint as Masato Sanjoin. Shell companies, investments, bought-up real estate, everything,” said Haruka. “I don’t get it. Surely all this stuff was liquidated after his death, and aside from his stake in Kizachi Technologies, none of it had any real significance for the Dark Kingdom’s machinations. Why is it relevant now?”

Minako sighed. She was sure Haruka would see the reasoning. It was easy to forget the Senshi of Wind was more about motion, about freedom, then stopping to ponder a mystery. Ami chimed in for her. “The possibility occurred to me when Naru erupted in rage, blaming us for Nephrite’s death after all this time…”

“As the old saying goes, the best place to hide something is in plain sight,” said Artemis, who was in Minako’s arms.

“The Dark Kingdom’s long gone, so we hardly gave anything they left behind a second thought. Well, of course, except for Naru now…” Minako shut her eyes, nearly tearing up. The horrible revelation that Eclipse was really Naru, that she harbored all that remained of their ancient enemy. And now, just like with the man who gave her that extra power, their friend suffered another terrible loss. One that almost goaded her into turning to the darkness. Thankfully, the X-Men stepped in and stopped that.

“But this whole mess started when Nephrite came to Kizachi,” said Ami. “So perhaps the assembly site for the Sentinels he wanted is something that was connected to him. Kitty and I are still working on breaking into computer records at Kizachi Technologies, looking for any connection. We use that information when we get it, cross-reference it with Logan’s monitoring of yakuza activity, Minako’s inside information with Interpol and any odd deliveries coming out of Kizachi Technologies, and we find the Sentinels.”

Michiru’s expression brightened, and Haruka actually looked a bit hopeful. Still, pessimism tempered Haruka’s hopes. “It’s a good idea, but Kizachi’s clever. She might figure we’d use Nephrite’s assets to track her, and she’s had time to find an alternate site by now.”

“Still, it remains our best hope to find those monstrosities before they’re unleashed,” Michiru chided. “And speaking of yakuza activity and Logan, how is he doing on that front?”

“On the warpath ever since Naru’s mother died,” Artemis grumbled darkly.

“Makoto, Mamoru and I offered to help, but he said this was something best left to him,” said Minako with an acid bite. “So much for the Sailor Senshi and the X-Men working together.”

“Most likely, this is part of the X-Men’s wish for the Senshi to emerge from this without tarnished reputations,” said Michiru.

“Worrying about keeping our reputations squeaky-clean hasn’t done Naru any favors, or brought us closer to smashing Kizachi’s toys,” spat Haruka. “I’m close to saying the Senshi just bring Kizachi Technologies crumbling down, consequences be damned.”

“Actually, I’m with Xavier on this,” said Michiru. “It would barely slow Kizachi down.”

“Besides, this mess with Sentinels started with Nephrite, but a building getting brought down is probably what truly made Kizachi our enemy,” added Ami.

Haruka glanced back over to Ami, befuddled. “I don’t get it. What building? What are you talking about?”

“She told you two to go digging into her past, didn’t she?” Minako handed Haruka another batch of papers. “Another gift from my Interpol buddies.”

Haruka and Michiru skimmed through the new papers. “Police reports on the Juban Odyssey building. Taken over by… some tree that grew from within and mysteriously vanished?”

“When you two began nipping at the heels of the Death Busters, the Inner Senshi had their own extraterrestrial threat to take down,” said Artemis.

“The Makai Tree,” said Ami. “We neutralized the threat, but not before the entire condominium was hollowed out and decimated. Keep reading…”

The two Outer Senshi read on in silence for a moment, but then their expressions darkened. “This was where the Kizachi family used to live,” said Haruka.

“And their daughter, Erika Kizachi, was killed in the incident,” said Michiru.

“This is it. Here’s the reason Kizachi loathes Sailor Moon,” said Minako. “She must blame Usagi for her daughter’s death.”

“And now her quest for vengeance led to the death of another innocent,” spat Haruka, the papers crumpling in her fist.

“Speaking of which, just… how is Naru?” Minako asked delicately.

“Still completely clammed up,” said Michiru. “She’s barely said a sentence to us since we shepherded her here.”

“She had good reason to detest us, given our utter failure to keep everything from collapsing all around her,” grumbled Haruka. “Hence my impatience. If we don’t get Naru results soon, I fear keeping her from joining Magneto will have made little difference.”

Minako didn’t know what to say. Right then, or to Naru. She hadn’t been there when Nephrite or her mother died. How could she tell Naru it would be alright when the hits just kept coming? Perhaps it was best to stick to this investigation, work to get results for Naru, like Haruka said. There was little else the Senshi could do, after she lost so much.

“She’s hurting, but I still sense strength from her, and I’m not talking about being bench pressing a bus,” said Michiru. “I’d like to think Naru will come out of this in better shape than, oh I don’t know, your dirtbike.” Michiru glanced over to the corner of the garage, where the mangled remains of Haruka’s dirtbike lay.

It had been an awkward start, for sure, having to bring that wreck back. “Oh yeah, funny story about that,” Minako said innocently, rubbing the back of her head as she shut her eyes. “You see, Artemis kind of came out of nowhere, chasing Lockheed, and…”

“Oh DON’T blame this on me!” hissed Artemis in annoyance.

“Yes, Minako, don’t,” muttered Haruka, looking defeated. “Please, when it comes to the dirtbike, just don’t ANYTHING.”

Naru kept the guest room dark on purpose, the lights off and the curtains closed, daylight barely seeping in. Right now, darkness suited her. After all, darkness was a permanent part of her arsenal. Every cell of her body able to harness its power, thanks to Nephrite. Naru thought she was over losing him, but realizing he transferred his power revealed just how raw that stab to her heart was. And now, losing her mother was like someone ripped her beating heart out.

And still, Wolverine has no idea who did this to her, Naru thought acidly as she sat back down on the bed. Some gaijin he is. The X-Men are proving to be as disappointing as the Sailor Senshi! Losing faith in the Sailor Senshi had been a long, painful road. How could they keep saving the world over and over, but let the people she cared about slip through their fingers? Even worse, they came after her when she took up the persona later dubbed Eclipse. The ones who failed Nephrite and her mother, they turned their power on her when she took matters into her own hands! Did the dirty jobs that seemed beneath them!

Completely ignoring those thugs that harassed my mother and then killed her, and so many others... Fighting for love and justice, HAH! Where were the Senshi when the people I loved really needed them!? When so many others needed them!? Naru thought to herself bitterly. And not just that… What about all the other mutants here in Japan!? No doubt they’re just as terrified as I was. And now Sentinels are being built, and the Senshi don’t even know WHERE! Maybe I</b> should give it a shot! I was smart enough to track yakuza activity all these months, and I’ve got power of my own! Power none of them can match!

Naru looked down at her arm. This morning, she changed into her fireproof, short-sleeved middle school uniform, which helped hide ooze seeping out of her torso. She let dark energy crackle down her arm. With the room dark already, bringing that power to the surface was oddly… illuminating.

Then she willed some oily ooze to flow down her arm. It coalesced into her open palm. Obeying her thoughts, she made her oil slick assume a variety of shapes. One of the tricks Umino urged her to practice in private, to improve precise control. First Naru made it take the shape of Tokyo Tower, then a grizzly bear, then the dirtbike that she heard Minako wrecked. Finally, on a whim, she had her ooze assume the shape of a rabbit.

A rabbit… The animal tied to her old friend Usagi, what her name more or less meant. The Rabbit of the Moon. Even without considering that, Naru suspected for some time who Usagi really was. Still, having the whole story behind Sailor Moon laid bare had been overwhelming. The conflict she and Nephrite were locked in actually started many millennia ago? Her friend was a reincarnated princess from a fallen kingdom, and was destined to lead the whole world to a prosperous future as its queen!?

At first, it was simply astonishment. The girl who could barely get her homework done on time was going to reign as queen? Now, though, the thought threatened to make Naru’s blood boil.

Naru closed her fist, squelching the ooze-rabbit within it. For a moment, Naru watched the oily goo dribble through her fingers. Even now, after working so long to master this power, Naru had to admit it still looked disgusting. Her, turning out to be a mutant with noxious-looking powers, a brute, now distrusted and feared just for doing what she felt was right. Her old life, gone forever. All while Sailor Moon, the one who let her down twice in the worst way, still basked in the adoration of the Japanese, a paragon of beauty and grace. Well, sort of graceful…

It wasn’t fair! Mystique had the right of it! Sailor Moon was still seen as a hero, while everyone in Japan was screaming for Naru’s head, just for being born different! Usagi and her boyfriend would go on to become queen and king, their love to blossom forever? What about her? What about her future? What was so special about those two!? She found love again, too! What made the love between them any more special than what she and Umino had? Why was theirs destined to bloom into a beacon for the entire world, when there was no guarantee she and Umino would even make it out of this mess together?

Umino… Professor Xavier and Rei were right about one thing, at least. Joining the Acolytes wasn’t the way to ensure Umino’s safety. But if they were going to survive, if there was a chance for their love last the way Usagi and Mamoru’s was destined to… If they were to become something more, to ECLIPSE them…

Naru realized she had to do it herself. No X-Men. No Sailor Senshi. If all these tragedies proved anything, there was no one to rely on but herself.

Thanks to Nephrite, her body had command over the darkness.

Now, Naru welcomed that same darkness into her heart and soul.

Haruka sat in front of the new television she had to buy, her anger still simmering, not sure what to make of their current situation. She and Michiru spent over a year investigating Death Buster activity, yet whenever they tried to replicate that same success alone, the two kept hitting a wall. How could the woman they had to SAVE from two Death Busters be better at covering her tracks than them!? At least Minako and Ami made it sound like it was no longer a question of if they found the heart of Erina Kizachi’ operation, but when.

But Erina Kizachi and her Sentinels were only part of the problem. Now Magneto and his hordes were in Japan. Haruka resented the idea of the Senshi needing any help with that, but after getting a taste of what Magneto’s power could do, any doubt Usagi made a bad call was erased. The Sailor Senshi were getting clobbered from all sides, by threats they didn’t fully understand. No wonder Usagi figured she should bring in people who did.

It still tore at Usagi, though, that the X-Men had no easy answers for what tormented her the most: the rising tide of anti-mutant hysteria. For so long, Haruka had been so laser-focused on stopping the Silence, what might happen after she and Michiru achieved that wasn’t given much thought. Usagi was different, though. She could spare a thought for what came after, had such a big heart there was ample room for empathy for those in the world she fought to save, over and over again. And now that it looked as if Sailor Moon finally vanquished all her enemies, her country was coming apart, and she was powerless to stop it.

A fact made terribly clear by what was on the television. Kizachi’s wretched husband was on again in some mid-morning news show. This time, Haruka kept any heavy objects out of arm’s reach. Watching him closely might give extra insight into his wife’s plans, but it was the other guest speaker that intrigued Haruka more. He was out of the country, but could still be shown on another screen.

“So the mighty Sunfire steps into it at last,” said Michiru, walking into the living room. “If anything, he makes me glad that the Senshi don’t need masks. He looks like a big, red and white bug.”

“Who might put Seto Kizachi in his place, or at least make him slip up,” said Haruka. “The X-Men speak highly of this guy. Perhaps Xavier put him up to this, told him how to bait him into telling more than he should…”

Seto Kizachi certainly didn’t need any urging to run his mouth. “And don’t forget the girl calling herself Eclipse is no isolated incident!” he bellowed at Sunfire’s screen. “Reports of assaults by mutants have jumped exponentially in the last month alone. This is a growing problem, and by making excuses you are complicit. Perhaps it is expected that you’re reluctant to rein in fellow mutants. Too bad the Sailor Senshi have no such excuse. They’ve gone from actively fighting mutant perpetrators to actually showing sympathy for criminal scum like Eclipse!”

Shiro Yoshida didn’t hesitate to fire back. “So simply stating fact is ‘making excuses’?” he demanded hotly. “Much of what you call ‘reports of assaults’ are simply children with little or no control over their emerging powers. And let’s not forget the rising number of assaults perpetrated against mutant citizens who have committed no crime. At the end of the day, rhetoric like this only makes things worse. Go on, Councillor, keep telling other mutants in our nation that they’re all essentially guilty until proven innocent. Show them it doesn’t matter, that they’ll be looked down upon no matter what they do.”

“Such as assaulting citizens simply for being suspected of yakuza ties!? Taking the law into their own hands!?” Seto demanded. “Acting like a vigilante that hides in the night… I thought you detested that sort of thing, Yoshida.”

“I do. But do forgive me for thinking that rescuing complete strangers on a monorail car, at the expense of her secret identity, shows there’s more to Naru Osaka,” spat Sunfire.

“Again, it seems you are going to great lengths to defend this girl,” said Seto.

“Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps she reminds me of myself. Now she’s lost her mother, most likely because of poison meant for her, or someone wanting to punish her mother for the terrible crime of having a mutant child,” Sunfire shot back testily. “And the way so many, including you, just brush that aside, is very dangerous. Again, go on. Tell all the mutants of our country that their families mean nothing as well, guilt by association. Create fertile soil for madmen like Magneto to plant seeds of chaos and destruction. And you best hope that Eclipse herself isn’t listening. I eventually saw the error of my ways. Saw that I brought shame to my homeland in a mad quest to avenge my dead mother. Osaka may see things differently…”

The back and forth continued, with Seto Kizachi’s comebacks becoming more and more provocative. Not really trying to win an argument, just bullying and prodding. “I wonder how brave he’d be if Shiro Yoshida was there in person?” Michiru grumbled.

“Still, Sunfire has him pinned,” said Haruka. “Yoshida commands flame, but Seto’s the one trying to throw embers on dry brush. Yet somehow, I don’t think he’s got an agenda of his own. He may not even be aware of what his wife is up to. Merely a puppet, and he can’t even see his strings. If only we could figure out…”

Haruka was interrupted by the phone ringing. After muting the television, Haruka put the phone on speaker. “Is that you, Minako? Please tell me you’ve got something good already…”

The voice that replied was… quite unwelcome. “Ooooh, almost forgot about the other lovely lady I met in that arcade. How’s she doin’?” came Gambit’s quippy reply.

Haruka fought to keep her ire down. It wasn’t exactly heartbreaking when Gambit returned to the United States. Thankfully, Michiru answered for her. “Do what do we owe this pleasure, Remy?”

“Thought I’d check in after windin’ down from that tussle wit’ Mojo in the Rockies. Dancing wit’ Spiral… Six arms, all those swords, you’d have a ball tanglin’ wit’ her, Haruka dear.” Haruka rolled her eyes, wishing the Cajun would get on with it. “Anyway, the Professor’s brought me up to speed about what’s been goin’ down since I left. I hear Naru’s stayin’ at your place. How is she?”

“Completely shut herself off,” said Haruka. “She said she won’t join Magneto, but that’s small comfort when seeing her like this.”

“We just gotta give her time, then,” said Remy. “If there’s nothin’ to report there, well, let’s talk about you.”

“Oh, don’t start that again!” snapped Haruka.

“C’mon Haruka, you think I’m gonna start talkin’ dirty when Rogue’s probably in earshot?” Remy asked delicately. “I was thinkin’ more about how I hear you ran into a few of our ‘friends’ the other night. Namely, the big, smelly sucker…”

“You mean Sabretooth?” asked Michiru.

“That be him,” said Remy. There was a subtle, yet undeniable, edge to Remy’s voice now. “Bad enough the buckethead is there to lead ‘em all personally, but that big ugly kitty… There’s things you gotta know about him, things Logan may not wanna talk about…”

“Oh, I held my own against him just fine,” spat Haruka dismissively. “What, were you going to insist that I let Wolverine handle him?”

“He’s had the most experience with him, sure, but that’s not what I be gettin’ at,” said Remy. “You held your own, for a while. But against a monster like Victor Creed, you gotta be prepared to go in for the kill, end it as soon as you can. Permanently. Because you best believe Creed always will be.”

“I thought the X-Men were against killing,” Michiru pointed out.

There was a long pause. “Sabretooth’s… different. We X-Men only kill when absolutely necessary. When Creed’s on the prowl, more often than not it’ll be necessary. A throat shot wit’ that sword, Haruka, will do a number. If you fight him again and you see an opening, I’m tellin’ ya now to TAKE IT.”

“Sounds like you’ve got a history with Creed along with Logan,” said Haruka.

“That, unfortunately, I do,” said Remy. Now there were subtle hints of… shame? “He’s a constant reminder of… Well, just promise me that before he can do anythin’ like that again in the Land of the Rising Sun, you’ll be puttin’ a stop to it.”

This was a nice change of pace. An X-Man who didn’t exactly disapprove of her and Michiru’s tactics. Haruka was more interested in just what it was about Sabretooth that could get Gambit so worked up. Maybe the answer was in other files the X-Men shared with the Senshi. But before Haruka could press the issue, she noticed Naru had finally emerged from the guest room. “I’ll get back to you on that, Remy,” Haruka said hastily before pressing the button to hang up.

“Putting down dangerous mutants… Not as if the Sailor Senshi needed any encouragement for that before,” said Naru coolly. She stood there in her old school uniform. On the outside, she still looked very much like the girl Usagi introduced them to over a year ago. But something was different now, something Haruka couldn’t put her finger on. There was still sorrow over her mother’s death, but it seemed somewhat masked by a subtle coolness in her stance, in her words…

“Oh Naru, it’s good you’ve finally come out,” said Michiru. Haruka could sense the care Michiru put in choosing her words. She also sensed something was terribly off. “Is there… anything we can do for you?”

“What I need… I don’t need the Senshi for anything. Not anymore,” said Naru dryly.

“Naru, what…” Michiru began.

“You’re angry still, I get it. You have every right to be,” said Haruka. “We’re going to make it right.”

“Yeah, everything’s been looking up since the Sailor Senshi got on the case,” spat Naru, glancing at the television. Seto Kizachi was still going on, despite Sunfire leaving the program. Even with it muted, the sheer vehemence of his vitriol bled through.

“Logan’s been tearing through Japan’s underworld ever since… you lost your mother, Naru,” Michiru pleaded. “If anyone can get a whiff of her killer, quite literally, it’s him. Once he does, we’ll all pounce. We’ll do whatever it takes to help you.”

“The way you two ‘helped’ Hotaru Tomoe?” Naru demanded. Haruka could see Naru clench her fists. Likewise, Naru could sense how they were taken aback by the subtle accusation.  “Yeah, don’t forget, Usagi told me EVERYTHING.”

Nice going, Odango, Haruka thought bitterly. “Naru, you have to understand, that was entirely different…”

“Was it?” Naru challenged. “You rushed in, convinced you had to kill a fellow Senshi for the greater good, before bothering to learn the whole story. No surprise you jumped as soon as you got a whiff of the Senshi’s old enemy. Figuring out Eclipse was also a mutant didn’t give the Senshi any pause, either.”

“We learned from our mistake, Naru!” Michiru protested. “That was why we, well…”

“Made a chemical weapon, just for me?” Naru finished, fixing Michiru with an icy glare. “And if that failed, what was the next step!?”

Naru had Michiru pinned, so Haruka stepped back in. “Naru, please, we realize how badly we misjudged! We’re trying to make it right!”

“Not hard enough!” roared Naru. “While you two were getting your asses handed to you by Magneto, my mother lay dying of poison probably meant for me! What good are either of you!?”

“Naru, what’s gotten into you!?” demanded Michiru. “We thought the X-Men got through to you!”

“The X-Men just showed me Magneto can’t be trusted,” said Naru coldly. “But now I see I can’t trust them either. Or any of you!” With that, Naru raised an outstretched hand and unleashed a blast of dark power. It was forceful enough to slam Michiru against the wall. This time, without the benefit of Sailor Neptune’s endurance, she was out cold instantly.

“Michiru!” cried Haruka, fury swiftly overpowering her sorrow and shame. On instinct, Haruka grabbed a nearby chair and charged, smashing it over Naru’s head. Predictably, it shattered to splinters, and Naru didn’t even flinch. After shooting Haruka an amused look, her ooze flowed. The next thing Haruka knew, Naru had her ensnared in oily tendrils. She slammed Haruka up against the ceiling, then flung her at the entertainment center, almost knocking over the television. “Oh come on, we just replaced that!” Haruka protested, right before Naru flung her across the house. She sailed through the kitchen and crashed through the door to the garage, stopping only when she collided against her Ferrari.

“Ugh, note to self… Don’t ever do that again without transforming first,” Haruka muttered weakly. She tried to pick herself up, every muscle screaming in protest. Barely able to get on her knees and one hand, her transformation stick slid down her sleeve. Haruka was about to raise it, but suddenly, she felt it yanked away.

“Oh no you don’t,” she heard Naru sneer icily. Glancing over her shoulder, Haruka saw a tendril with her stick retracting toward Naru’s hand. Naru stared at it for a moment, and Haruka could only guess what was going through the girl’s head. No doubt it had to do with how she once wanted to be a Sailor Senshi. Seeing the cold contempt in Naru’s eyes, Haruka knew those days were truly over. A horrible possibility came to Haruka… Was she strong enough to crush it? Thankfully, Naru didn’t bother trying. She simply threw it toward the back of the garage. It embedded itself in the wall with a spray of paint chips.

Haruka stared at that spot in the wall, crawling toward it. She didn’t get very far before Naru’s foot sank into her gut, flipping her over. Haruka screamed, and screamed again when Naru reached down and grabbed her wrist so hard, she almost broke it, but settled for hearing Haruka’s communicator watch get ground into powder. “Now that that’s taken care of… Don’t be getting all excited, Haruka.” That was when Haruka felt Naru’s hand reach into her pant pocket. She heard Naru pull out her car keys. “I still need to borrow some wheels. I’d use the dirtbike instead but, well, Minako…”

“Just add insult to injury, why don’t you?” Haruka spat weakly, right before coughing up blood.

“Well, that and… this,” said Naru. With an outstretched hand, Naru shot out globs of her ooze, pinning Haruka’s hands and feet to the garage floor.

“Again with this, Naru?” demanded Haruka. “Why? We were willing to overlook all the other times you came after the Senshi, but this? People like Seto Kizachi want the world to think mutants like you are beyond redemption. You want to prove them right?”

“We’re seen as pariahs no matter what we do,” Naru said coldly as she stepped into the car. “Humans are determined to see us as monsters. Well, they’ll get a monster now.”

With that, Naru shut the door, just as the garage door slid up. The tires screeched as the Ferrari barreled out of the garage. “Oh c’mon, don’t leave me with another wreck!” Haruka shrieked as she craned her head up, watching her Ferrari careen down the road and out of sight.

Naru knew that with her array of powers, stealing a car wasn’t necessary. Still, there were plenty of reasons for jacking Haruka’s wheels. One last way to antagonize her and Michiru, for instance. After this was all done, she wouldn’t have a chance to do that, with any of the Senshi. It would finally be time to leave them all behind.

Another was just for the thrill. It wasn’t every day one got to drive a muscle car like a Ferrari, especially when you didn’t even have a license. Plus, there was knowing what she was doing was a flagrant violation of the law. Granted, her antics with the yakuza broke a whole litany of laws, but she had no choice there. It was out of necessity. If she was doomed to be an outlaw now, might as well enjoy the freedom that offered, take whatever she wanted. Besides, it’s not like laws protected her family, so what good were they to her?

Still, there was a practical reason. By using Haruka’s car, no one would see her closing in on her first target. There were still a few hours of sunlight. If she had chosen to travel across Tokyo via the rooftops, Naru ran the risk of being spotted.

Of course, someone on the road could also recognize her. Naru figured that the jacket and baseball cap she found in the car would keep her disguised. So far, her trek into Tokyo had been uneventful. Naru let herself be lost in the music blasting from the car as she came to a stop at a red light. But when another car pulled up at her right, Naru heard someone cry out.

“Hey, since when does someone who can use oil spills like slung webs need such a sweet ride!?” Naru slowly turned to see a man a few years older than her, grinning broadly like an idiot, driving a fancy red sports car. That car… It reminded her of what Masato Sanjoin used to drive, though this guy was nowhere near as charming. “So where’s the love and justice freak and the big, blue baboon!?” he went on. Naru did her best to ignore him. Idiot humans like this were small potatoes, not worth getting worked up over when she had plenty to do before sundown. Still, he wouldn’t stop pestering her. “Hey, let’s see what ya got when it turns green, baby,” he said before revving his engine. Actually, that could be fun. Naru allowed herself a small smile as she let her arm hang out of the car…

When the light finally turned green, the guy tried to take off. The operative word being ‘tried’. He soon found that his fancy ride would get him nowhere. Leaning out the passenger side window, he saw the tires on the left side were melted onto the asphalt thanks to dark energy. Oily goo was clogging up a good deal as well. He saw Naru giving him the finger before she drove off, still smiling. “Well, that was an amusing distraction,” Naru told herself as she sped off. “But the real fun’s about to begin. The park where Usagi’s father has that company party shouldn’t be too far now…”

Even Usagi had to admit something was seriously wrong with her. Normally, this company picnic being thrown by the magazine her father worked for would be a perfect way to forget her troubles. Just stuff her face. It worked while undercover at Erina Kizachi’s seminar. But now that she knew what ate away at Naru, and the stabs at her heart that she suffered since, Usagi found she had almost no appetite.

Usagi sat alone at a park tables, hardly noticing all the people around her. They all seemed to be having a good time, chatting among themselves, able to forget the troubles plaguing Tokyo for the time being. That sort of thing was to be expected, Usagi figured.

At least, it used to be. Japan’s populace couldn’t be expected to understand the full implications of what the Dark Kingdom was after, or what any of the Sailor Senshi’s later enemies wanted. Things were a little different now. Mutants were something a little closer to home. Professor Xavier said that normal humans feared what they didn’t understand. Well, the people of Japan seemed to be able to get on with their lives when Sailor Moon’s old enemies were at large. Mutants were something people were more familiar with, yet fear over them was gripping Japan. Why? Why was it only mutants that seemed to spark this sort of fear?

Usagi caught snippets of gossip from the people around her, who paid the little blond girl no mind. Occasionally, it was something about Naru. Mostly astonishment at how such a sweet-looking girl could have gone on a yakuza-busting rampage, or they knew someone who owed Naru their life after that monorail disaster. Something that would spark a little hope for these people. But then there’d be some snide remark that it went to show that mutants were too dangerous. Usagi had to fight back tears. Too many people still couldn’t see past their fear. Even her own father, the biggest X-Men fanboy in Japan, had been wary of Naru.

At least he was showing regret over that. “Usagi ,dear, are you sure you don’t want anything?” Usagi heard him say. She looked up to see him standing beside the table, offering her a drink.

Usagi shook her head. “I just still can’t stop thinking about… her,” she said meekly. “I know why she couldn’t stay, Papa, but I still feel I need to do something for her. I just don’t know what.”

Kenji frowned, at a loss for an answer himself. He clearly empathized with Naru, but there was only so much he could do. “I understand, Usagi. When I heard about what… happened with her mother, I finally realized you had the right of it,” said Kenji. “I… still think I can do something positive, at least. Provided my editors don’t butcher the pieces I’m whipping up on how shameful it is, what happened with Mayumi. And if you can get me that interview with Dr. McCoy before the next deadline…”

“There’s something else, Papa,” said Usagi. “You’re an investigative reporter. Can you do some digging into… Kizachi Technologies and their founders?” Usagi didn’t consider asking this of him before. Not when Erina Kizachi might expect something like this, and not when he couldn’t possibly understand the risk. But the X-Men and Sailor Senshi were running out of time, Usagi could feel it.

Kenji shot her a quizzical look. “You mean Erina and Seto Kizachi? Well, given how that Councillor is… stirring up passions quite a bit, it could be worth a look. But his wife? Her tech company? I don’t get it. Is this some tidbit Dr. McCoy and his friends shared with you?” Kenji asked hopefully. He had pumped Usagi hard these last few days, trying to squeeze every drop of information regarding their mutant visitors. It was hard to keep so much from him. Then again, she had kept the truth about Sailor Moon from her whole family all this time.

“Can we please try to forget about McCoy and his friends for a little while?” came Ikuko’s protest suddenly. Usagi turned to see her mother approaching, holding her brother and Chibiusa’s hands. “I just want to have one day where we don’t have to worry about this… weirdness.”

“I think Naru would like that too, Ikuko-mama,” snapped Chibiusa. “But, you know, she’s going through some things…”

Yeah, way to keep the peace, you pink-haired demon, Usagi fumed inwardly, seeing how Ikuko winced. Of course, Usagi knew she couldn’t be too hard on her future daughter. She herself had unloaded on her mother days before. Why did there have to be so much tension in the family now? Normally, Sailor Senshi business didn’t cause strife at home, just the bad test scores she had to show them.

“You’re… right, Chibiusa. I… still can’t believe Mayumi is gone,” said Ikuko. There was no mistaking the sadness in her voice, the regret. “By the time I found out, Naru was gone. I wish I knew where she was, if only to apologize.”

Usagi brightened a little. At least her mother was coming around. Now if only more people in Japan would. Just as hope was nearly rekindled within Usagi, circumstances threatened to squelch it once more. Usagi was still lost in her concern for Naru, so it took a moment for her to notice the commotion. At first, it was startled gasps and worried ramblings, but eventually Usagi turned to its source. Many of the people attending the company picnic were staring at something, the anxiety radiating off them palpable.

Then there was an angry outburst from some man. “Hey you little freakshow, what are you…” He was cut off when some force flung him across the park, screaming, only to splash down in the lake. Usagi gulped. She had a nasty feeling she knew who was crashing this party.

The crowd soon parted. That was when Usagi saw Naru approaching, wearing her customized short-sleeved uniform, oily ooze cascading down her bare arms. Not only that, occasionally there was a crackle of dark energy about Naru. Ooze partially covered her face, as it had when she ventured out as Eclipse. Naru made no effort to hide her powers anymore. Rather, she seemed to be flaunting them.

Naru’s gaze soon locked with Usagi’s. She turned to walk toward Usagi’s family, never breaking stride. There was something else about Naru. All her self-doubt, all her anxiety over being a mutant, gone. It was as if Naru finally embraced who and what she was. But that icy gaze made Usagi feel a stab of dread, rather than relief for her friend.

Chibiusa pulled her hand free of Ikuko’s as Naru stopped beside the park table, clearly getting the same bad vibes. Her grip tightened on Luna-P, wanting to be ready in case something happened. Naru paid the little girl no mind, and ignored the bemused stares of everyone else, her gaze focused solely on Usagi. “Hello Usagi,” Naru said coolly. “Normally, I’d be a bit insulted that I wasn’t invited to a party along with you. But given certain circumstances, I think I can at least forgive that…”

“Naru, what are you doing here?” Usagi hissed, standing up. “You need to keep a low profile, remember? What about Haruka and Michiru? Where are they?”

“Back at their house. They’re in a… better condition than my mother was,” Naru said, softly but icily. Usagi’s blood ran cold. No, that couldn’t mean what she feared it did. Naru had been genuinely horrified by that footage the X-Men showed her, what it meant to be a mutant turned evil! Wouldn’t that keep her from going bad!? Or was her anger and heartbreak just too great?

“Naru, I’m… so sorry about what happened to Mayumi,” said Ikuko, daring to take a step closer. “I still can’t believe she’s been taken from you.”

“I can,” said Naru. “After everything I’ve seen humans do these last few months, nothing about what your kind does can surprise me anymore.”

“Naru, don’t talk like that!” Usagi pleaded. “She’s not like that! She doesn’t hate you!”

“But she was certainly afraid of me, Usagi. Afraid of my kind. You told me what she said after seeing the X-Men and Sailor Senshi go at it on TV,” said Naru. “She still doesn’t trust me. No one in Japan does.”

“Naru, what’s gotten into you!?” demanded Chibiusa.

“Nothing. I’ve just had my eyes opened. Magneto showed me one thing, at least. There’s just no way humanity will ever accept me,” said Naru calmly and coolly, shrugging her shoulders. “I clean up the streets of yakuza thugs, I save a falling monorail car, and what do I get? A dead mother to bury, the authorities out for my head, everyone in Japan screaming for it to be put on a pike. Why wait for that lawyer from America, Usagi? Any trial I get would be a sham. I’m done pretending otherwise.”

This was a living nightmare. Usagi thought she would be spared this anguish, seeing Naru lose all hope. But here was her old friend, embracing being a mutant in the absolute worst way. Giving up on humanity, her friends, on any desire to use her power to help people. And doing it in such a cool, collected fashion, without a hint of regret. “Naru, you can’t mean that,” Usagi pleaded softly. “And M-M-M-Magneto… You said you wouldn’t join him!”

“And I won’t,” said Naru darkly. “I don’t need him or his cronies, just like I don’t need the X-Men. Protecting the people that fear and hate me? I’ve already tried that, and it’s cost me plenty!”

“So it’s true. The X-Men really did make you an offer,” said Kenji.

“And Usagi will tell them for me that they can go pound sand,” spat Naru. “After all, she knows your heroes personally, Mr. Tsukino. For a very good reason.” Naru turned back to Usagi. “You kept it from me for far too long, Usagi. I think it’s time you let your family know, too. Let everyone in Japan know…”

Naru took a step closer, prompting Ikuko to grab Shingo and hold him close. Naru let out an amused snort. “Oh, your mother wounds me, Usagi. Does she think I’m THAT far gone, that I’d hurt an innocent child?” Usagi was about to breathe a sigh of relief, but then Naru said, “Grown men and women, however…”

Her ooze bubbled forth, forming tendrils that ensnared Kenji and Ikuko, pulling them toward her. Usagi was about to dart after them, but Naru forced her parents down onto their knees, a hand over both their heads.

“Dr. McCoy measured the crushing force of my bare hands, remember Usagi?” Naru taunted as her parents cried out in pain. “It’s well above the maximum amount of pressure needed to crush a human skull. But controlling the amount of pressure… That’s a tricky bit. Haven’t quite mastered that aspect of my powers…” Someone in the crowd worked up the nerve to try to tackle Naru from behind. She swatted him away with an oily tendril, without even looking. “Well, today’s not his day to be a hero, Usagi. What about you? You want to save your family? You know how do to it.”

“Naru, you can’t do this! W-W-W-What did we do to deserve this!? I-I-I-I was trying to make it up to you!” Ikuko cried out in between yelps of pain.

“Can you undo what your kind did, killing one of your own just because she gave birth to me?” spat Naru. “Don’t kid yourself, you were as scared as all the other Homo sapiens. And even your husband, ever the X-Men fanboy, needed to be bribed to help me! You’ll both thank me, though, once Usagi finally spills her secret.”

“What secret!?” demanded Kenji. “Usagi, are you a mutant too!?”

“No way, Papa!” cried Shingo. “If she’s a mutant, I would be too!”

“Sharp kid, your brother,” said Naru, never taking her eyes off Usagi. “I still find it hard to believe he’s related to you…”

“Enough, Naru,” said Chibiusa stonily. “You’re bluffing. We saw you lose your lunch after seeing what the Acolytes did in that hospital. There’s no way you’re so full of hate, you’d stoop to slaughter like that yourself.”

Naru chuckled, shutting her eyes. “Again, what a smart kid. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that she’s actually your future daughter, Usagi. She must get it from her father.”

“Chibiusa… Future daughter!?” demanded Ikuko. “What’s going on!? W-W-What are you blathering about!?”

“Well, your granddaughter has me pinned about not stooping to murder…” But just as Usagi hoped that Chibiusa truly called a bluff, Naru let go of their heads and grabbed their arms instead. “I’ll just settle for crushing a couple humerus bones so severely, the doctors in the emergency room will be forced to amputate!” she shrieked, hoisting her parents onto their feet. Usagi shuddered upon hearing them scream again. Her previous threat was a bluff, but Usagi wasn’t so sure about this one. “Unless Usagi finally comes clean about what she’s been hiding! Let’s see how everyone in Japan reacts when they find she’s far from normal herself!”

Usagi could feel the confused, expectant stares of everyone in the park upon her and Naru, but the cold, hurt look in Naru’s eyes was still the most crushing of all. It was then Usagi was certain Naru wasn’t bluffing. Everyone in Japan knew her secret now, and Naru was determined to see the scales balanced. Her life as she knew it was over, and she wanted Usagi to feel that same pain.

Kenji and Ikuko cried out in pain again as Naru squeezed their arms just a little tighter. There was no telling how much more pressure it would take to cause permanent damage. Naru smirked at her, knowing she had no choice. To delay now would risk her parents losing an arm. Usagi tried to tune out their screams, tears streaming out of eyes shut tightly. Unable to take it anymore, surrendering to the inevitable, Usagi raised a hand high and cried, “Moon Crisis Makeup!”

Ikuko futilely tried to wrench free of Naru’s grip, but it was like her arm was caught in a vise. She still couldn’t quite believe Naru was doing this, that she had this much anger in her. Usagi tried to assure her that Naru nearly skewering her was an accident, that her fear of mutants was unfounded. It broke Ikuko’s heart for Usagi to find out how wrong she was this way. At the moment, though, Ikuko would settle for coming out of this without a severed arm. But Naru seemed determined to coax her daughter to cough up her ‘secret’ by any means short of murder.

What could this secret be? If Usagi wasn’t a mutant too, what could have Naru so obsessed with forcing her to show the whole world? As Ikuko kept struggling, trying to block out the crushing pain, tears streaming through eyes tightly shut, she heard a cry of “Moon Crisis Makeup!”

Ikuko’s eyes snapped open. No, she couldn’t have heard that right. That wasn’t the secret. It COULDN’T be that! Not her daughter, not HER!

But light that would’ve easily burned through her eyelids greeted Ikuko, enveloping the spot where her daughter stood. Then she heard the same words, only coming from Chibiusa’s mouth, and there was another explosion of light. Ikuko stood there in Naru’s grip, mesmerized. Could this really mean… She turned to Naru, who was completely ignoring her now, focused solely on the spectacle with an expectant look.

At last, the light faded, and there stood Sailor Moon in all her splendor, alongside the younger, pink-haired Senshi. It was impossible, but her eyes told a different story. Her own daughter, the girl who couldn’t even get to school fast enough half the time, was Japan’s protector!?

Everyone else at the outdoor party was dumbstruck as well, to find this ordinary girl had been a superhero all this time. But none more than Kenji and Shingo. “Oh man, how… My sister is SAILOR MOON!?” cried Shingo.

“Usagi, all this time… And you never told us!?” cried Kenji. Ikuko had no words. All this time, just wishing Usagi would grow up and show some responsibility. And now here she stood, her superhero identity laid bare. But at the moment, she didn’t look all that heroic. Tears still streamed down her daughter’s cheeks, her eyes still pleading with Naru.

“There, it’s done!” cried Sailor Moon. The voice, the face, it was clear to Ikuko now. It was as if now that she knew who Sailor Moon really was, whatever magical gimmicks that disguised them no longer worked. “Now let them go, Naru!”

Naru shrugged her shoulders again, then shoved Ikuko and Kenji aside, no longer caring about them. Tumbling to the ground, Ikuko looked back up at the mutant girl. That look in her eyes… She wasn’t done. There was more Naru wanted from Usagi. “What’s this, Sailor Moon? No speech? No announcing you’re the guardian of love and justice, that you’re going to punish me?” Naru asked slyly. “I just threatened to rip your parents’ arms off. Come on, after that, I think I at least deserve a little speech or something. Besides, give your adoring fans a show…”

“Naru, please, this is enough!” pleaded Sailor Moon. “You got what you wanted! Everyone knows! Just stop!”

“I… don’t think so,” said Naru. “Everyone needs to see this is for real, especially dear ol’ Mom and Dad.” Naru raised a hand, and to Ikuko’s horror, a blast of what could only be called black lightning shot out. Usagi and Chibiusa ducked aside, and it struck the park table, sending splinters flying everywhere. Usagi landed on a park path, but Naru made a huge leap toward her. Usagi leaped aside, and when Naru landed, the concrete underneath was smashed apart. That black ooze seeped out again, forming tendrils that snatched up the chunks of concrete, hurling them at Usagi.

Usagi shrieked in panicky terror as she ran and ducked and jumped to avoid the barrage. It looked quite silly, but Sailor Moon’s speed and deftness… No normal person would be able to move like that. “Oh no, it’s true… She really IS Sailor Moon,” Ikuko muttered softly.

“Naru, stop! Someone in the park will get hurt!” Usagi pleaded as she ducked under the last concrete chunk.

Thankfully, it looked like most of the partygoers had retreated to a safe distance, but they all hung around to watch. As Ikuko took in all their astonished faces, wondering if they were as flabbergasted as her, she spotted Chibiusa. That weird toy she called Luna-P… She threw it onto the ground, let it bounce up, and in midair it exploded with a puff of pink smoke. No, not exploded, just changed form. Ikuko’s eyes widened when a rocket-propelled grenade launcher dropped into Chibiusa’s waiting arms!

Before Ikuko could yell for her to stop, Chibiusa fired. Unfortunately, Naru saw it coming, and snatched it up with a tendril. “Nice try, Chibi-Moon!” Naru roared before flinging the rocket back at Chibiusa. Chibiusa ducked aside, but was still caught in the blast. She was thrown back toward Ikuko, slamming into the tree behind her hard.

“Oh no, Chibiusa!” cried Ikuko as she darted to her side. Kenji and Shingo rushed over as well, astonishment still etched on their faces. As for Chibiusa, she was barely conscious. Ikuko felt for a pulse, and it felt surprisingly strong. Not to mention, it seemed no bones were broken. Taking that sort of abuse should’ve put the girl in the hospital for weeks! These two really WERE Sailor Senshi! “W-W-W-Why… Why did you never tell us?” Ikuko asked softly, tears falling again.

A wail from her daughter made Ikuko look back. Naru had closed in, black lightning crackling around her, trying to lay haymakers on Usagi. Luckily, her daughter was still staying one step ahead. “Naru, come on, enough is enough!” Usagi cried out, ducking under another punch.

“It’s enough when I say it’s enough!” snarled Naru, twisting her hips to launch a kick into Sailor Moon’s gut. Her daughter got the wind knocked out of her while getting knocked back several meters.

Ikuko wanted to rush over to her, but with Naru slowly advancing, a murderous look in her eyes, terror stopped her cold. Thankfully, Usagi was picking herself up, though she clutched her stomach. She gazed tearfully at Naru as she advanced, cracking her knuckles. But then, Ikuko saw Usagi’s gaze drift to something just beyond Naru. Ikuko followed it, and saw that the moon was low in the sky, barely visible.

She looked back to Sailor Moon when she screamed, “Moon Twilight Flash!” A huge beam of reflected light shot out of her tiara, swallowing up Naru. It forced her back over a dozen meters, eliciting a scream from her. While she was dazed and distracted, Usagi got back up, rushing toward Naru. She jumped and yelled, “Sailor Moon Kick!” She planted her foot square between Naru’s eyes while she was still off-balance, knocking her back against a tree. She slid down against the trunk, stuck in a sitting position. “Ow ow ow ow ow ow,” grumbled Sailor Moon, hopping on her other foot for a moment. “Naru, I’m so sorry it has to be like this, but…” Usagi’s hand went back to her tiara, taking it off. “Moon Tiara Action!” she shrieked as she threw it at Naru.

“Oh no, Usagi… Doesn’t that…” Ikuko muttered in a whisper, fearing the worst. To her relief, instead of cleaving Naru in half, the tiara expanded into a ring that trapped her against the base of the tree.

“Enough, Naru. It’s over. Even you can’t break free of that,” said Usagi as she walked toward the tree. She was doing her best to ignore all the stares, but Ikuko could tell they were getting to her. The disbelief as to who Sailor Moon really was. But how did she never see it before, her own mother? How could she see Sailor Moon on television all this time, and never suspect?

“Urgh,” grumbled Naru. “Yeah, it’s over. For you.” Naru sat up, and to everyone’s astonishment, uprooted the entire tree she was pinned against! Sailor Moon gasped in shock, right before Naru got on her knees and bent over to bring the tree crashing down onto her.

“USAGI!” shrieked Ikuko, just as Naru lifted the tree off of Sailor Moon. Amazingly, her daughter got right back on her feet, though dazed and in a haze of pain. But that gave Naru the opening she needed. She got back on her feet, then bent over again This time, Naru twisted her body so that the tree was swung at Usagi like a giant baseball bat! Naru swung the tree so hard, it snapped in half when it collided with Sailor Moon, sending her careening back Ikuko’s way.

There were no words for the horror Ikuko felt as she, Kenji and Shingo knelt beside her daughter. Like Chibiusa, she barely clung to consciousness, and by some miracle, no bones appeared to be broken. Getting hit with a tree and surviving without a scratch… There was no getting around it now. Her, daughter, Usagi Tsukino, really was Sailor Moon.

She may have taken all that abuse and survived, but that could easily change. A loud snap make Ikuko look back up. The part of the tree Naru was still trapped against had broken apart. Now she was slowly approaching them, a triumphant look on her face as that black lightning crackled. Usagi’s tiara had reverted to its original shape, and Naru was twirling it around her finger. With a self-satisfied grin, Naru flung it so it landed right in front of Ikuko. Terror gave way to anger. Ikuko scooped up her daughter, holding her close as she shot Naru a defiant look. Shingo and Kenji stood behind her, refusing to flee. “H-H-How could you!?” Ikuko spat. “After all the time you’ve known each other, after everything she did as Sailor Moon… HOW!?”

“Balance,” said Naru simply. “Usagi wanted to help me, know how I felt? Well, like Chibiusa said, I won’t kill in cold blood. I won’t make her feel the pain of losing family. But now, let’s see how she deals with everyone knowing the truth.” Ikuko glared up at Naru, holding Usagi tighter. “Oh, relax,” said Naru dismissively, catching the gesture. “I’m done here. Now that everyone’s seen how useless Sailor Moon really is, there’s nothing left to prove. Worry about yourself, Tsukino.”

Now Ikuko’s glare was more dubious than enraged. “W-W-Worry about… W-W-What are…”

“My mother didn’t care that I’m a mutant. That I’m… different,” said Naru coolly. “Can you say the same? Let’s see, now that you know the truth, if you’re the same way. Considering your attitude toward mutants, I doubt it.” Ikuko looked down to the girl in her arms, who seemed to be recovering already. But just as Naru said, things would never be the same, and that tore at Ikuko’s heart, not knowing what this really meant for her family.
Evil Test Tube Face
Working with organisms than can kill you can be scarier than you think...
Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats as original X-Men
A commission completed some time ago by the funny and talented :iconniban-destikim:.

I picked up the complete Heathcliff series on DVD on a whim, and while sucking in the sweet sweet 80s nostalgia, this crazy idea occurred to me. Destikim has yet to post it on his own gallery, but gave me permission to submit it to my own in the meantime.
Complete Displayed Figure Collection
I moved sometime in 2017, to a place with built-in shelves that provided ample room for my figure collection. So of course I wind up getting even more and space is cramped again. ^^

Marvel heroes: Professor X, Wolverine, Storm, Cable, Shadowcat, Beast, Gambit, Rogue, Colossus, Deadpool, Warpath, Sunfire, Bishop, White Queen, Nightcrawler, Spider-Man, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Thing, Human Torch, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Doctor Strange
DC heroes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Robin (Damian Wayne), Supergirl, Big Barda

Marvel villains: Magneto, Mr. Sinister, Apocalypse, Sabretooth, Juggernaut, Toad, Mystique, Blob, Selene, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Venom, Black Cat, Doctor Doom, Leader, Mandarin
DC villains: Lex Luthor, Doomsday, Joker, Poison Ivy, Bane, Cheetah, Giganta, Sinestro, Captain Cold, Darkseid

Video games:
Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach Toadstool (Popco)
Shyguy (World of Nintendo)
Link (Majora's Mask from Epoch)
Princess Zelda (Twilight Princess from Max Factory)
Samus Aran (Joyride)
Fox McCloud (World of Nintendo)
Celica and Alm (Fire Emblem Gaiden, Amiibo)
Bulbasaur (Tomy)
Palutena (Amiibo)
Solid Snake (MGS2 from McFarlane Toys)
Simon Belmont and Alucard (NECA)
Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Dr. Ivo Eggman Robotnik
Master Chief and Arbiter (Joyride)
Cortana (McFarlane Toys)
Squall Leonhart, Rinoa Heartilly, Irvine Kinneas, Selphie Tilmitt, Zell Dincht, Quistis Trepe, Siren (Final Fantasy VIII from Bandai)
Mega Man (4-Inch Nel) plus Beat
Chun-Li (S.H. Figuarts)

Television, Film & Animation:
Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael (Ninja Turtles 2012 from Playmates)
Optimus Prime (Leader class RotF)
Spock, Montgomery Scott and Dr. Bones McCoy (Diamond Select)
Beavis and Butt-Head
Green Ranger/Tommy Oliver (or Dragonranger/Burai if you prefer)
Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki and Fuu Hououji (Magic Knigh Rayearth from Break)
Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune (Sailor Moon from S.H. Figuarts)
Naru Osaka (plushie from Japan) ^^
Darkwing Duck (Funko)
Gadget Hackwrench (Kellogg's mail-away)
Smurfette (Smurfs 2)
Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick (South Park from Mezco)
Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie
Bucky O'Hare
Homer Simpson (Playmates)
Erina Nakiri (Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma)

UPDATE!: Tomoyo Daidouji (Card Captor Sakura, Max Factory), Lum Invader (Urusei Yatsura, Max Factory), Soundwave (Transformers Fall of Cybertron), Mary-Jane Watson (Spider-Man movie), Twilight Sparkle & Applejack (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Guardians of Harmony line), Bart, Lisa, Maggie & Marge Simpson (Playmates), Jubilee (Marvel Legends BAF)
Sailor Moon X: Lunar Eclipse
a Sailor Moon/X-Men crossover
Chapter 19: Day of Decision

Sailor Moon rubbed the bridge of her nose, shutting her eyes tightly as she shook her head in frustration. Upon opening them again, she looked back down at Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus. Just dropped off in their own backyard, wrapped up in yellow-and-black striped metal bars. Luckily for them, their little encounter with Magneto didn’t short out their communicators. Really powerful magnetic fields could do that, right? It didn’t matter. As it was, Sailor Moon was even less willing to dwell on sciencey details than usual. “Tell me, Dr. McCoy… Is wrapping people in metal bars a mutant thing, or is this just some new kink Haruka and Michiru keep trying out?”

“Very funny, Sailor Moon,” grumbled Uranus. Even with the only light afforded coming from the stars and a half-moon, Sailor Moon could see her exasperated face. Neptune’s wasn’t much different.

“Seriously, this is ruining the image I had of you two,” said Sailor Moon, putting her hands on her hips. “That’s three times some of the Inner Senshi needed to come bail you out. Keep it up, though. Soon, we’ll finally be even.”

“Fine, fine,” hissed Neptune. “Can someone just get these bars off of us?”

Sailor Moon looked to her left and her right. Standing on either side were Naru and McCoy. Naru decided to come with her and Chibi-Moon, bounding clear across the city via rooftops, when Uranus sent out her call for help. She just wanted out of her house, saying her family’s obvious unease was too much. Professor Xavier was evidently keeping an eye on her family, since they soon came across McCoy, heading toward their house in a similar fashion.

Sailor Moon shrugged her shoulders while shoving her open hands forward, staring at them with an impatient look. Getting the hint, McCoy and Naru stepped forward. Naru knelt down, making short work of Neptune’s bindings. It took a little more effort on McCoy’s part to free Uranus. The Outer Senshi slowly stood, flexing their muscles after being bound up for well over an hour.

“There. Now that you’re free, care to explain just what possessed  you to try breaking into Kizachi’s building alone, when you knew damn well she’d have countermeasures ready?” demanded Chibi-Moon, folding her arms.

“Because sitting around on our butts while Kizachi’s plans go forward was an even worse idea,” said Uranus.

“Besides, we had reason to suspect Magneto was behind that monorail accident,” added Neptune.

“Magneto? He made that train nearly topple? Why?” demanded Naru, incredulous.

“To coax you into revealing your powers in public, why else?” said Uranus. “What better way to make recruitment more appealing than arranging events so plenty of people turn on you?”

“And did Magneto readily admit to this deed?” asked McCoy.

“He didn’t take credit, but he didn’t exactly deny it either,” said Neptune. “Magneto being here in Tokyo is bad enough, but he’s brought backup. The big bruiser Sabretooth and that shapeshifter Mystique were with him and Kizachi. Who knows how many more of the Brotherhood tagged along?”

“We were handling those two,” Uranus said quickly. “But then Magneto blindsided us and changed everything.”

Sailor Moon could see that yet another defeat at the hands of mutants weighed on Uranus and Neptune. And unlike before, these mutants truly were enemies of the Sailor Senshi. Magneto’s arrival in Japan seemed like a small, yet horrifying, possibility when this mess first started. This changed everything. He was here in Tokyo, right now. He could strike again anytime, and he already made short work of two of the toughest Senshi.

Little wonder people can get so worked up over mutants, Sailor Moon admitted to herself. Her gaze drifted to Naru, who had an odd, anxious look on her face. What was on her mind right now? Something told Sailor Moon this was hitting home far harder than it should have.

“You two are right about one thing,” said Sailor Moon. “There’s no taking Magneto lightly. So I hope this means you two don’t do something this stupid again!”

“Hey, don’t yell at us,” barked Neptune. “Storm tried to break in by herself, don’t forget.”

“While in constant telepathic contact with Nathan, with both Logan and Kitty acting as lookouts,” McCoy pointed out. “And Ororo pulled back when it looked like there would be too little potential gain when faced with such uncertainty and risk. It was a coordinated effort, and they were willing to call it off, and opposed to charging in blindly without a clue as to what Erina Kizachi had up her sleeve.”

“Now we have an idea, at least,” said Uranus.

“That’s for sure. Now we know Magneto’s right here in the city,” said Chibi-Moon. “AND he knows who we all are, something we couldn’t say about the Death Busters or the Dead Moon Circus. Which makes it even more important the two of you don’t go riding off like a couple of goddamn cowboys yet again, especially when we’ve got friends who know how to fight him!”

The others were a bit stunned by the little girl’s vehemence, even Sailor Moon. “Yeah, what she said,” was all she could say, pointing at her future daughter.

“Yeah, they’ve done a bang-up job so far,” growled Uranus. “I mean, if Cable’s such a powerful telepath, how come he doesn’t just rip the information we need right from Kizachi’s swelled head!?”

“Nathan has already tried, naturally,” said McCoy. “However, she seems to have some countermeasure against mutant telepathy. It was one reason the X-Men also suspected Kizachi was Eclipse for a time. Now we believe she’s come up with some technological defense yet unknown to us.”’

The mention of her Eclipse identity made Naru look uneasy once more, and she finally spoke up again. “Anyway, if you want, I’ll gladly go pound some answers out of them. This Sabretooth guy doesn’t sound too tough…”

“Magneto is another matter altogether, Ms. Osaka,” said McCoy quickly. “As the professor said, you haven’t been trained. The techniques the X-Men and Sailor Senshi have both perfected to utilize teamwork would be essential to bringing down Magneto.”

“Besides, if Uranus and Neptune are right about Magneto wanting you, it’s best you say far, far away from him,” said Sailor Moon. “You should just…”

A sudden crackling noise, accompanied by the stench of ozone, silenced Sailor Moon. There was a bright flash of light, and when she looked to it, she saw Cable standing there, in full uniform.

“Where’d HE come from!?” demanded Chibi-Moon.

“I call it a ‘bodyslide’, Chibiusa. Basically the same as teleportation,” said Cable quickly.

“I thought we agreed with the feedback your techno-organic components suffered after Sailor Moon’s attack, using that functionality would be less than prudent,” said McCoy delicately. Sailor Moon looked anxiously at the ground. She didn’t need reminders of how viciously their two teams fought before, not when the Sailor Senshi might need them against Magneto.

“A risk that has to be taken, Hank,” said Cable, shoving a box in McCoy’s arms. Sailor Moon could see that it was a medical kit. “Trouble at the jewelry store. It’s Naru’s mother. She needs help, now.”

“What!? What’s going on!?” demanded Naru. “No, wait… Just ‘bodyslide’ me back there with you, NOW!” Cable simply nodded, slinging his arms around Naru and McCoy’s shoulders.

“I’m coming too!” cried Chibi-Moon. “Maybe I can turn Luna-P into something Dr. McCoy can use.”

“Then come on, fellow partner in time,” Cable quipped. Chibi-Moon just growled at him as she grabbed hold of his leg along with Luna-P. “I’ll come back for the rest of you, especially since Haruka and Michiru’s options for transportation are now more limited.” With that, energy crackled around Cable, and the four of them vanished in a flash of light.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” demanded Uranus.

Sailor Moon grimaced. “Well, after you sent out that S.O.S., Minako kind of… volunteered to go ‘retrieve’ the dirtbike you rode over to Kizachi Technologies.” That’s when Sailor Moon heard a sound she’d never expect to come from Sailor Uranus: a pitiful whimper.

Thankfully, Cab le returned a moment later to ‘bodyslide’ the three of them into the OSA-P. It felt like she was getting sunburned, though the whole process wasn’t quite as intense as using the Sailor Teleport. When the blinding light faded, Sailor Moon realized they were in the back rooms of the jewelry store, no doubt so the light didn’t alert any cops outside. Cable motioned for the Senshi to follow him, but not upstairs or onto the showroom floor, but toward the kitchen.

When they walked in, that was when Sailor Moon saw Mayumi Osaka lying on the floor. Dr. McCoy already had equipment out, tending to her, while Sailor Mercury knelt beside them, furiously typing at her computer while scanning Mayumi. All the while, Naru was sobbing. Storm held her close, trying to comfort her, though of course she couldn’t hold Naru in place if she wished to break free.

“What happened here!?” demanded Neptune. “I thought you X-Men were keeping an eye on this place!”

“It musta been while the place was empty, after she took a brick to the head,” came Logan’s voice. Neptune and Uranus turned to see that Logan was hanging back in the shadows. “Someone slipped some sort of toxin into their food.” He pointed at the floor. That was when Sailor Moon saw a carton lying on it, its contents spilled. “I heard something funny going on soon after I relieved Kitty, so I busted in and saw this, then sounded the alarm.”

Mercury ceased her scans, though her visor was still on, and was now actively assisting McCoy. First she has to help her mother patch up Naru’s, and now this!? Sailor Moon thought angrily. Whoever poisoned their food must’ve been trying to get to Naru, but hurt her mother instead! Humans hurting their own kind, because of their hatred for mutants!? When would this end!? “B-B-But you found out just in time, Logan! That means Ms. Osaka’s gonna be just fine, right!?”

“I hope so, Sailor Moon,” said Mercury. “My scans don’t paint a pretty picture. Whatever was slipped into the juice carton is interacting with the medicines my mother gave her, exacerbating the effects.”

“Then we’ve got to get her back to a hospital!” roared Naru, finally shoving Storm off of her. Storm grunted as she got slammed into a wall. “What you’ve got here isn’t cutting it! We’ve got to…”

“I’m sorry, Naru, but… It’s too late,” said Mercury suddenly, sobbing. “She’s gone into cardiac arrest, and… there’s no hope of reviving her. She’s… gone.” McCoy grabbed Mayumi’s limp wrist to feel for a pulse, and shook his head, confirming what Mercury said.

Sailor Moon couldn’t believe what she was hearing. How could the hits keep coming for Naru like this!? And now the Sailor Senshi and the X-Men were working together! Between their two teams, they had to be able to do SOMETHING! ANYTHING!

“No, you’re LYING! NO!” Naru shrieked, effortlessly shoving aside Mercury and McCoy. She cradled her mother’s lifeless body in her arms, sobbing uncontrollably. Sailor Moon couldn’t even begin to imagine what Naru was going through. Being stomped on like this so cruelly, continuously, all culminating into this!? What was there Sailor Moon could do now? What was there to say?

“Naru, please understand, if there was something we could do…” Uranus began.

“I did everything I could, Naru,” said McCoy. “Y-Y-You were fortunate to have such a loving mother. I wish I could’ve…”

“Oh, SAVE IT!” Naru roared, shoving McCoy aside again, storming out toward the showroom, sobbing still. Despite having no clue what to do for her friend now, Sailor Moon didn’t hesitate to follow.

“Naru, we’ll find whoever did this, I promise you!” Sailor Moon called out after her. Naru had stopped in the middle of the showroom, shaking as she continued to sob. “Logan and Cable will be able to sniff them out.”

“A fat lot of good that’ll do my mom now,” hissed Naru, her back turned to Sailor Moon. “They were all too late to act, just like you were!”

“Just like… What’re you talking about Naru?” asked Sailor Moon anxiously.

“NEPHRITE!” roared Naru, rounding on her. “You Senshi were too late to do anything for him! And now both you AND the X-Men were too late to do anything for my mother!”

“Naru, you make it sound like Sailor Moon intentionally held back, purposely didn’t act fast enough,” said Storm calmly, stopping beside Sailor Moon. “You two have known each other for a long time. Can you honestly believe that?”

“What am I supposed to think, then!?” demanded Naru angrily. “She’s saved so many people, but the only ones she’s failed so miserably were two people I was closest to!”

“Naru, I’m not trying to minimize your loss, but please…” Storm began.

Naru still wasn’t having it. “She didn’t care I was a mutant! How many mutant kids can say that about their mothers!? She was one of the few I could rely on, and now she’s been taken away! And you people have no idea who did it!” As she ranted, Sailor Moon could see and hear dark power crackling all over Naru. Clearly, her oil slick wasn’t the only power closely linked with her turbulent emotions.

More people walked out into the showroom, hoping to calm Naru down. Logan was actually bold enough to step toward her, without hesitation. “Well, it ain’t Magneto, and it ain’t Erina Kizachi,” he said, sniffing. “But I don’t care if it’s some random asshole or some yakuza jackass or some Brotherhood dope we haven’t seen yet. I’ll be…”

“Oh just SHUT UP!” shrieked Naru, backhanding Logan hard. Hard enough to send him flying into a display case clear across the store. That was hardly the end of it. Tendrils of her oily sludge and bolts of black lightning shot out all across the store, smashing apart more cases and taking out chunks of the walls. All the while, Naru wailed in anger and sorrow as her powers raged out of control.

Uranus tackled Storm to the floor, just as a blast of dark energy sailed over them. Others weren’t so lucky. One blast knocked Cable down before he could get a telekinetic barrier up, while tendrils splattered onto Neptune and Chibi-Moon, pinning them against a mangled display case. Sailor Moon peeked out from behind another, having no idea what to do. What COULD she do? Use the power of Sailor Moon on her friend again? Naru already bore an ugly scar from the first time she unknowingly did so. The thought of resorting to that again…

Luckily, Sailor Mercury had a better option. McCoy covered her, shielding her from a writhing tendril as she shouted “Shabon Spray!” Blinding, icy fog engulfed the showroom, making Naru gag and sputter. More importantly, it weakened her oil slick, letting Neptune and Chibi-Moon slip free.

It also bought time for Cable to recover. As Naru whipped tendrils around to dispel the fog, Cable snuck up behind her and raised a hand. Suddenly, Naru stopped in her tracks, gagging and coughing as she clawed at her face. But no, her fingers weren’t even touching her face! It took a moment for Sailor Moon to realize what Cable was doing. A telekinetic barrier right around Naru’s head, cutting off her air. In her shock, she couldn’t muster quite enough strength to punch her fingers through it. Eventually, after long, torturous moments, Naru sagged to her knees, then hit the floor. The dark energy abated, and her oil slick slowly receded into her body.

“Well, things just took a swell turn this evening,” grumbled Cable as he telekinetically levitated Naru’s unconscious form off the floor. “Osaka will be harder than ever to reach and reason with, and we’ve got another mystery on our hands that needs solving yesterday.”

“Spoken like a true tactician,” sputtered Chibi-Moon as she wiped what gunk remained off of her. “She’s just lost her mother! Doesn’t that matter to you!? To any of you!?”

“More than you’ll ever know, darlin’,” said Logan as he picked himself up. Thanks to that metal skeleton and healing power of his, no doubt he’d weather Naru’s blow just fine. “We’ve taken hard hits before, lost some people. But we also gotta make sure this is the end of it. That no one else suffers because of whatever Magneto and Kizachi are stirrin’ up.”

“In any case, this will DEFINITELY alert any police outside. And soon they’ll realize Naru was here, thanks to the ooze,” Uranus pointed out. “We’ll have to discuss what comes next later, after we’ve cleared out.”

“Since Cable apparently can’t bodyslide everyone out at once, I’d suggest anyone who can fly or jump across rooftops do so. Now,” added Neptune.

“I’ll provide cover this time,” said Storm, her eyes turning white. Sailor Moon looked outside, and saw that a thick fog had suddenly enveloped the street. Getting the hint, she walked over to Naru and let Cable drop her in her arms. She followed the other Senshi to the roof, while Storm and McCoy followed her. Cable and Logan stayed behind, possibly to find as many clues as they could before they had to flee. Hopefully they would find Mayumi Osaka’s murderer soon. Sailor Moon glanced down at the unconscious girl in her arms as the Senshi and McCoy hopped from rooftop to rooftop. Why was all this happening to Naru? She wanted to reach her friend so badly, but one tragedy after another threatened to tear them apart, possibly forever.

“Gai, you UNMITIGATED FOOL! This could ruin EVERYTHING!” Erina screeched. She darted across her hidden office in an eyeblink to grab her nephew’s collar, slamming him against a shelf. He looked astonished that such a little woman had the strength to shove him around. Even more galling was how he just looked astonished period. All those years trying to look out for him as he got deeper and deeper into yakuza business, knowing he was pushing the limits of her patience. Tonight, Gai may have finally pushed her past that limit. “Mayumi Osaka wasn’t supposed to die! You were supposed to slip a toxin in their food that would debilitate her. Make her daughter think random humans were behind it, but not KILL her outright!”

“Hey, I can read labels and look at books to see what drugs do!” Gai protested, still too astonished to pry his aunt off. “What I slipped in that carton shouldn’t have been enough to kill her!”

“On its own, no!” roared Erina. “But your choice of poison interacted with the medicine Sailor Mercury’s mother gave Osaka! Any physician worth her salt would’ve prescribed something after a patient took a blow like that! Goddamnit, even the head injury itself could’ve caused your poison’s affects to be amplified! You should’ve come to me once we learned Osaka required a hospital visit! We’ve been planning each step of this operation meticulously for over a year, Gai, and you chose THE WORST POSSIBLE TIME to get sloppy! No wonder you got a finger chopped off, if this was the quality of your work with your old crowd!”

“How does this set us back, Aunt Erina?” asked Gai delicately. “Wolverine’s never had a whiff of me, so he can’t match my scent from their kitchen. And it’s not like his buddy in the wheelchair can read your mind and figure out it was us.”

Erina pulled away a little, eyeing the shelf she shoved Gai against. There, still writhing around in glass containers, where what remained of Telulu and Viluy, her one-time assailants. Better than eye-for-an-eye revenge. Just as they had been about to leave her for dead, so had the Sailor Senshi done with them, giving Erina a chance to collect what housed the last bits of their essence.

The monstrous plant that fused with Telulu right before detonation, the nanomachines that went rogue and devoured Viluy alive… Erina had put their work to good use. Now, in death, those two Death Busters served her. By reverse-engineering Viluy’s nanomachines and combining them with Telulu’s bio-engineered plant cells, she had a means of surreptitiously screening out telepathic intrusion. Not just for her and her nephew, but just about all of her staff, with them none the wiser.

“So yeah, in my old line of work, sometimes folks who don’t need killing wind up dead anyway. Sad fact of life,” Gai went on. “Anyway, I don’t see what the big deal is. There’s a difference between your flip-outs that involve your work, and the ones that involve something personal. This is more like the latter. Why? You hardly ever saw Mayumi Osaka. Besides, we’ve been spending nearly over a year conspiring to make her daughter’s life a living hell. Looking like poison nearly killed her, poison actually killing her, what’s the difference?”

“You DAMN WELL know what the difference is!” Erina shrieked, spinning around and throwing Gai to the ground. “A mother who wouldn’t forsake her mutant child… That’s as much a rarity in Japan as it is in the rest of the world! This was sloppy work, Gai, and I DO NOT TOLERATE sloppy work!”

“Nor do I, but in this case, for slightly different reasons,” came a cold voice from the ladder. Erina had heard that voice many times without feeling a shiver of fear, unlike so many other Homo sapiens. This time, however, there was cause for concern. Gai was right in that Mayumi Osaka’s death wouldn’t disrupt HER plans too much, but Lehnsherr’s plans were another matter. “Making it look like some random Homo sapien, acting on blind hatred, targeted her family was supposed to nudge young Osaka ever so closer into my fold. But now, there’s no telling what direction the death of her mother may push her in.”

Erina slowly turned to face Lehnsherr. He still had on the coat from either, and he wasn’t alone. Erina bristled when she saw Mystique was with him, but otherwise succeeded in keeping her emotions – fear mixed with annoyance – in check. A minor miracle, given how her nephew had taxed her patience yet again.

“It’s too soon to know how this will affect Naru Osaka’s decisions,” said Erina evenly. “If anything, this will drive a bigger rift between her and the Sailor Senshi than ever before…”

“Revenge against the Sailor Senshi is your aim, Kizachi,” Mystique cut in. “I could certainly care less about your vendetta, and I suspect Magneto feels the same,” she added dangerously with an evil smirk.

No, not the Senshi as a whole. Just Usagi Tsukino. Hurting the rest is simply an efficient means to further hurt her as well, Erina thought to herself. Out loud, she said, “But this also drives a wedge between Naru Osaka and the X-Men. In her eyes, they failed her mother as much as the Senshi did.”

“Still, this is an extreme emotional shock to Osaka, which will make her decisions unpredictable,” said Mystique.

“It is true that she’s now far less likely to accept my old friend’s offer,” said Lehnsherr. “That’s a small comfort, however, if she spurns our offer as well. So much relies on the people of Japan seeing Naru Osaka join us. A girl who had everything a human could want. A loving family, wealth, prestige, being admired by all around her. Only for that ideal life to fall apart upon discovering she’s part of the next phase of evolution, and showing the rest of Japan’s mutants there’s only one path to choose.”

“Which you know is the same thing I want, Lehnsherr,” said Erina testily. Mystique shot her a dubious look, but Erina ignored her completely.

“And now, thanks to your nephew’s incompetence, all that is in jeopardy,” said Lehnsherr. “As you said, Mayumi Osaka had more sense about her than most other human women. I would have gladly made a place for her on Asteroid M. But now, her daughter has one less reason to join us.”

“But still, a very good reason remains,” said Erina, raising a finger to Lehnsherr’s face. “Her mother wasn’t the only human close to her, remember? There’s still her boyfriend, Gerio Umino. With any luck, this unforeseen turn of events will goad her into taking action to safeguard the only human left in her life that matters.”

“You didn’t build your company and get this far by relying on luck,” spat Mystique. “Naturally, we don’t either.”

“I’m simply saying all is not lost, Darkholme,” Erina shot back. “Can either of you honestly see Naru going with the X-Men after seeing her mother die on Wolverine and McCoy’s watch? And now, who else is there for her to turn to? You’ve already made the pitch to her, Darkholme. We’ll all just have to be patient, wait and see if Naru bites.”

“All good points, Kizachi,” Lehnsherr relented. “It’s true that you’ve manipulated events quite adroitly on your end. So we shall wait and see. And perhaps, like you’ve suggested, events have been steered down a certain path for so long, there may be no chance of a radical course change. Still, I’d be lying if I said this turn of events hasn’t eroded my faith a little.” With that, Lehnsherr cast a withering glance Gai’s way. Erina could feel the chill going down her nephew’s spine.

“Let me worry about making sure my nephew doesn’t screw up anything else,” said Erina dryly. “Trust me, I’ve had half a lifetime to practice that delicate art.”

“But not perfect it, obviously,” Mystique snarled. “Honestly, I don’t see why we need to keep up this dog and pony show, Kizachi.”

“Because the Sentinels that Masato Sanjoin wanted me to build without Beryl knowing may yet serve your boss’s interests instead,” said Erina.

“Delightful woman, from what I’ve heard of her,” said Lehnsherr sarcastically. “And you’ve always said her hasty decisions when a minion failed her contributed to her ultimate downfall. So let’s avoid doing anything hasty… Raven,” Lehnsherr finished, glancing over at the shapeshifter. Mystique merely folded her arms, glaring at them.

Erina fought to not let out a sigh of relief. Lehnsherr still saw reason. That had never been a certainty, especially when she first sought out the Master of Magnetism. Erina had studied all the reports about the dreaded Magneto closely, but of course, being written by fellow humans terrified of what they didn’t understand, their veracity was in doubt. Was the real Erik Lehnsherr even more unhinged and bloodthirsty than the newspapers made him out to be? Or could he be bargained with if you made an inviting enough offer, even if you were just another Homo sapien?

Fortunately for Erina, the truth was closer to the latter. Lehnsherr was far more complex than she could have ever imagined, but like anyone else, he would respond to a big enough incentive. Upon realizing they were on the same page in so many ways, Lehnsherr agreed to her offer, albeit with a good deal of skepticism.

But as time went on, Erina proved herself deserving of his trust, her nephew’s screwup notwithstanding. Thus, Erina had the powerful ally she needed to counter the Sailor Senshi. Her Sentinels alone, masterpieces as they were, were no foolproof guarantee, as proven by that field test.

That would probably be crucial. No doubt the collective wrath of the X-Men and the Sailor Senshi would come down on her, and soon. But in a way, she welcomed it. Erina had no real plans for what came after their scheme finally reaching fruition. Her life already ended some time ago, not just the sham her marriage had become. So let those horribly naïve superheroes try to take her out, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that she would go out knowing she had done the impossible, something so many failed at: crushing Sailor Moon’s heart beyond all repair.

Silence. Welcoming, comforting silence. It was what Naru let herself wallow in for over a day, after returning home to see her mother lying dead on the floor, the Sailor Senshi and X-Men too late to do anything. Not even a chance to say goodbye after that incident with the monorail. Having to lay low, move from one spot to the next, unable to risk going back to the OSA-P. These last few months, it was as if the world was determined to break her down until there was nothing left. And now, at last, Naru thought that moment had come.

She risked everything, exposing herself as a mutant, to save total strangers on that monorail. And put the fear of God into countless yakuza operatives before that. And what was her reward? Being turned into a pariah, left to bury her mother.

Why did this keep happening? So many times, after having her heart stomped on, things seemed to get better, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, only to have it ripped out again. Nephrite died in her arms after protecting her, but then she found love again with Umino, only to have everything threatened again by rising anti-mutant hysteria. Both the X-Men and the Sailor Senshi backed off when they learned the truth, the former even making a generous offer to her and Umino, only for calamity to strike again and have the life she knew completely stolen away.

According to the X-Men and the Sailor Senshi, though, Magneto was responsible for the monorail accident. Ami even claimed she had proof. But it didn’t matter. Something would have happened even without Magneto, outing her as a mutant. Naru knew she was delaying the inevitable this whole time. But to lose her mother, probably because of hateful humans trying to get at her!?

It was just too much. And now, at least for the time being, it caused Naru to completely shut down. The X-Men and the Sailor Senshi mostly kept their distance. Not angry with how she lashed out, but also unwilling to pry her out of her shell, which suited her fine. So she hardly said a word to any of them, and hardly ate a thing, despite the black hole for protein that was her stomach growling in protest.

So she sat in silence in Rei’s room at her family’s temple, clad once again in shorts, leggings and a black leotard. Her grandfather and Yuuichirou were about to go off on a days-long training retreat, essentially giving the Sailor Senshi and X-Men free reign of the shrine. They were blissfully unaware of the X-Men camping in their backyard, but did know about Naru. Rei’s grandfather didn’t care one bit, though. At least there was one other human who wasn’t terrified of her. Even if it was just because he was always a sucker for any pretty face, regardless of what her DNA looked like.

Yuuichirou was a different story. “Rei, you sure it’s a good idea to stay here alone with, well…” Naru could hear him say right outside the door. She clenched her fists in her lap. Even after all his time here, was he unaware how thin these walls were!?

“We’re NOT going through this again,” said Rei defiantly. “Grandpa says she can stay, so that better be good enough for you. Now get going!” she finished, eager to be rid of him.

Naru heard Yuuichirou shuffle out of the shrine, only for someone else to walk in. A woman, evidently, judging by the clicking of heels. “Reluctant acceptance… I guess that’ll have to suffice from him,” Naru heard Michiru say.

“A pity Naru can’t stay the whole time they’re gone,” said Rei. “We have to keep moving her, throw off the authorities. After finding her mother’s dead body as the OSA-P, the police are stepping things up. They searched Usagi’s place this morning, and it’s a safe bet they’ll move on to the homes of her friends.”

“Haruka and I will take her next, then,” said Michiru. “No one suspects our connection to Naru.”

“In the meantime, we have to step things up ourselves,” said Rei. “You and Haruka had the right idea. No more piddling around with Kizachi and her allies.”

“Tell me about it. This whole mess is having repercussions on a global scale,” said Michiru. Naru heard the ruffling of a newspaper. “Japan is being excoriated in the foreign press. The Daily Bugle had its entire editorial column stuffed with pieces chewing us for villainizing someone who saved total strangers, and letting her mother die in the aftermath. And when you’ve lost the editor with a vendetta against Spider-Man…”

“I guess Americans can’t stand having a mirror thrown in their faces. The same thing happens over there,” Rei pointed out. “We can’t be too judgmental ourselves, though. Logan did say something about a lawyer over there trying to get clearance to practice internationally, so she can get Naru off. Jennifer Walker, or something like that…”

“Assuming Naru simply doesn’t choose to go to Xavier’s school with Umino,” said Michiru. “Which reminds me, I need to know where he lives. He’ll likely be the next target, of either Kizachi or vengeful yakuza members…”

Naru’s eyes widened. She had been so consumed with grief over losing her mother, she hadn’t considered anyone going after Umino. It was just… unthinkable. She had lost so much, but to lose the boy who loved her unconditionally, who would follow her anywhere!?

Naru waited patiently for the sound of Rei and Michiru’s footsteps to die away. Once she was certain they were out of earshot, she fished out the communicator Mystique gave her.

For many long moments, she stared at it again. So what if Magneto purposely outed her? It just showed how she couldn’t trust any normal humans besides Umino. Almost all of them saw her as their enemy. They turned on her despite saving some of their number, vandalized her mother’s store and then KILLED her! Now Umino was all she had left! And Rei was right about how this sort of thing happened in every country. She and Umino wouldn’t be safe anywhere on Earth!

But on Asteroid M? That was a different story.

With tears in her eyes, Naru stood up and pressed the button.

“Naru, dear? Is that you?” came Mystique’s voice, sounding scratchy thanks to the communicator. She asked that so sweetly. “I heard about your mother. My condolences. I assume this means you’re considering our offer?”

“Does this offer still include getting Umino on Asteroid M, where no other Homo sapiens can touch him?” Naru demanded.

“I’ll let you lay down your conditions with Magneto himself, as promised,” said Mystique.

“So Magneto’s here in Tokyo, just like everyone’s been saying?” asked Naru dubiously.

“And he’s ready to meet you, Naru. Whatever conditions you want met before joining his cause, he’s willing to listen,” said Mystique.

Naru took a deep breath. If she did this, there was no going back. But what was there to go back to? She was already a wanted fugitive. More importantly, Umino was all she had left. The Sailor Senshi failed Nephrite, and now they and the X-Men failed her mother. She had no choice but to ensure Umino’s safety herself. “Then name the time and place,” Naru said coldly, her mind made up. “I’ll slip out sometime tonight, and… YAAAHHHH!”

Naru screamed upon seeing a hand shoot RIGHT THROUGH HER CHEST, grabbing the communicator. It was still in her fingers when the hand pulled back, though, but now it was sparking and sputtering.

It took a moment for Naru’s mind to register what just happened. She nervously turned around, seeing Kitty standing there, with a fierce look that made Naru’s blood run cold. “I can’t believe you were about to do that, Naru,” Kitty spat icily. “The whole day I spent with you, trying to be your friend, getting to know you… I truly thought you’d be incapable of a decision like this! We all thought so! That’s why we didn’t do anything until just now, when the Blackbird picked up a weak comm signal!”

“Y-Y-You knew Mystique talked to me!?” Naru spluttered incredulously. “H-H-How!? No one can read my mind!”

“No one had to. Cable could peer into Mystique’s, plus we have Logan’s nose,” Kitty said frostily. “We knew almost as soon as Raven approached you, but no one said anything. With everything Usagi said, with the time the X-Men spent with you… We just couldn’t believe you’d ever consider joining a maniac like Magneto!”

“That was before my mother died on your watch!” Naru snarled. She threw a punch, but it sailed right through Kitty. Kitty folded her arms as more punches passed harmlessly through her. Naru tried one more time, only for Kitty to go solid again, duck under her swing, and hurl her over her shoulder. Naru collided with the far wall, but sprang back up, eyeing Kitty angrily as dark power crackled in her fists.

“Do I have to phase you into some solid walls like I did Makoto to get through your thick skull!?” Kitty spat, unimpressed. “Joining Magneto’s a road to nowhere, Naru. I can’t let you…”

“No, Kitty,” came a commanding voice. The door to Rei’s room slid open, revealing Ororo. Nathan, Logan, Rei, Michiru and Dr. McCoy were right behind her. The faces of the other mutants were unreadable, but Rei’s betrayed heartbreak while Michiru simply looked disappointed. “This is not how we do things, and you know it. We have no right to demand anything of Naru, to make decisions for her. If Naru ultimately chooses to follow Magneto’s path, we cannot stand in her way.”

“You can’t?” asked Naru, flummoxed. From what time she spent with the X-Men’s leader, Naru would have expected Kitty’s current antics from her. Fortunately that wasn’t the case, because Storm was the one X-Man in Japan who could stop her cold, quite literally.

Kitty was still mutinous. “Come on, Ororo! This is EXACTLY what Magneto’s been working toward, working Naru up so she makes a horrible mistake!”

“Kitty, do not talk about Naru as if she’s not even here,” Ororo scolded. “She has been through a great deal. We cannot be so dismissive of her loss, not when we’ve suffered terrible losses of our own.” Then she turned to Naru, her face softening a little. “But Naru, before you make your final choice, I ask only one thing of you…”

After so many years, it invariably came back to this. A never-ending game of chess with his old friend Erik. Unable to reconcile their differences, always struggling to thwart the other, scrabbling for whatever pawns they could. That harsh reality was a bitter pill Charles Xavier was forced to swallow time and again. Both of them were always scouring the globe for new recruits, both of them thinking they had the most to offer young mutants with emerging powers. Xavier was determined to provide a nurturing environment with his school where his students would feel accepted, not feared, while Erik sought to gear them up for a battle for survival. And at the end of the day, with training his most capable recruits in the Danger Room, Xavier’s aims weren’t too different from Magneto’s.

Still, there were profound differences between himself and his old friend. Things he had to make Naru Osaka aware of before she chose what path to follow. Xavier desperately wished it wouldn’t come to this. Yet like Ororo, he knew he had no right to force his will on the young mutant. Furthermore, Xavier couldn’t, even if he wished to. For reasons that still eluded him, mutant telepathy had no effect on the girl. That made it doubly necessary to resort to this, as stomach-churning as it would be.

And not just for Naru. Shortly after Kitty stepped in to keep Naru from meeting up with Magneto, Usagi and Chibiusa, along with their cat Luna, arrived at the shrine to check up on their old friend. They were crushed to discover Naru was willing to side with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and the Acolytes. Now their heartache would be even more profound. But most importantly, Naru would see what such a choice truly meant. Again, harsh reality. As a headmaster and a mentor to so many, it was Xavier’s natural instinct to want to shield his young charges from its full weight. Right now, there was no escaping it, though it tore at his soul.

And now, Naru Osaka’s.

“Hello nurse, we are the Acolytes. And we’re here to slaughter flatscans,” beamed a bizarre-looking mutant on surveillance footage taken from a hospital. A creature called the Kleinstocks, essentially the upper bodies of two huge men sharing the same pair of legs, fiery energy crackling in their fists. They were flanked by more mutants in matching uniforms, murder in their eyes.

And then, the preserved footage showed the carnage beginning. All throughout the hospital, patients and staff were mercilessly slaughtered in the most heinous ways imaginable. The hallways of the hospital sprayed with blood, the bodies of helpless patients flung about without remorse. The most vulnerable people, and those who dedicated their careers to their care, cut down without mercy. This was one reason why the X-Men existed, to counter such mutants who harbored such hate, who would abuse their powers. Hopefully, Ororo’s idea to show Naru the Acolytes’ raw savagery would dissuade her from becoming one of them.

Right from the start, it was working. It wasn’t long before tears were streaming down Naru’s cheeks as she sat there in front of the Blackbird’s terminal near the back. She looked on in shocked silence, not believing what she was seeing. The archived footage showed the Kleinstocks superheating the IV fluids of a frail old man in intensive care, heralding a slow, torturous death. A pitiful gasp escaped Naru’s lips. Even now, years after this Acolyte attack, Xavier still found it hard to believe even they were capable of such butchery. Xavier silently prayed the day would never come when he’d be unaffected by such horror.

Fortunately, it appears our new friends will never have that problem, Xavier mused, turning to Usagi. Little surprise she was just as horrified as Naru, and crying as well, while this ‘future daughter’ of hers was ready to be sick. Rei’s disgust was palpable, being someone who harbored deep, spiritual beliefs. Michiru also couldn’t quite keep the horror out of her expression. She and her partner were supposedly the most hardened of the Sailor Senshi. Yet with the evil nature of the X-Men’s enemies laid bare, not even she was unaffected. Even Luna, who lived through the destruction of the Moon Kingdom according to Ami’s files, was taken aback.

The rest of his X-Men stood by to watch as well. For them, the signs were subtle, since they had all fought the Acolytes before. Yet their enmity toward Magneto’s self-professed worshippers had not abated in the least.

As the footage neared its end, Naru’s faced turned a sickly color. Her hand flew to her mouth. Getting the hint, Nathan used his telekinesis to levitate a plastic bucket over from the other side of the Blackbird.

“Thank you,” Naru said weakly, taking the bucket and throwing up in it. After a moment, Naru picked her head back up to glance at the screen. The carnage continued. Now Senyaka was using his energized whips to burn and choke a nurse. “Ugh, glad I haven’t eaten much, I think I’m good… Never mind, there’s more!” After another bout of sicking up, Naru glanced up again, only to turn away in tears, unable to watch any more.

“Oh no, you don’t get to just look away!” snapped Nathan, and suddenly Naru’s gaze was locked with the screen again. Xavier could sense he was using telekinesis on her. “Did any of their victims get to just look away as the Acolytes slaughtered them all? I understand how much it hurts to lose your mother, but think of all the kids who lost loved ones that day. The animals you were about to join up with, they caused the same heartache you’re going through!”

“That’s quite enough, Nathan,” said Xavier, softly but firmly. Making Naru watch this was traumatic enough, no point in berating her further. Better to simply let her see what consequences her decision would bring.

“He raises a valid point, Professor,” said Ororo. “Naru, I was told you were considering a nursing career. Can you still say you’d want to join Magneto to protect Umino, if you’d be asked to take part in slaughter like this? I refuse to believe the girl Usagi told us so much about is capable of that.”

“Besides darlin’, you just saw what the lives of normal humans mean to these monsters,” added Logan. “You really want them lookin’ out for your boyfriend whenever you ain’t on Asteroid M?”

At last, they went through the last of the footage, and the screen blanked out. Naru could only stare blankly ahead, still in disbelief over what she just saw. “I-I-I-I… H-H-How could… I d-d-didn’t know…”

“Naru, I’ve LITERALLY had nightmares of you doing something like this,” said Usagi. “Please, please, PLEASE tell me this convinced you otherwise.”

“Before you answer her, Naru, you need to see something else,” Kitty cut in. She walked over and punched in a few commands, bringing up another round of archived footage. Lockheed was perched on her shoulder, shooting Naru a withering glare at point-blank range. “In case you’re thinking Mystique’s outfit is sufficiently less bloodthirsty, get a load of this.”

Xavier caught some bristling irritation from Michiru upon hearing that name, which wasn’t surprising. Michiru was surprised, however, by what appeared on the screen. “I recognize that… It’s the United States Senate. And that man speaking… Robert Kelly, your country’s own version of Kizachi’s husband. Why…” Michiru fell silent when the footage showed Mystique and her Brotherhood making their move, proudly declaring they were there to assassinate the senator. The X-Men, however, were there to stop them.

“Who’s the fuzzy goblin guy, and the man with wings?” asked Rei.

“Nightcrawler and Angel,” said Usagi. “Come on, Angel’s one of the original X-Men! Seriously, how come I still know more about this than you do?”

“And that guy with Mystique…” Rei went on, ignoring Usagi’s jab. “Ugh, I swear I’ll never call you a fat-ass again, Usagi.”

“Makoto was right to refrain from making any more bets,” grumbled Luna.

Naru watched as the fight spilled out onto the streets of Washington, D.C., with Pyro using his blaze to box in troops and Avalanche nearly burying others alive. Eventually, the X-Men subdued most of them and saved Senator Kelly. “I don’t get it,” muttered Naru. “Sure, the flame guy and the earthquake guy almost killed a whole bunch, but… Ororo, you and Kitty and Logan stopped them. Why show me this?”

“You don’t know the whole story,” said Nathan. “The reason the X-Men showed was because they got a tipoff. From the future, and not from me.”

“WHAT!? Then from who!?” Chibiusa demanded vehemently.

“From her,” said Usagi, pointing at Kitty.

Kitty nodded. “More specifically, my future self’s consciousness travelling back to take over her younger body. My fourteen-year-old self, seen in that footage.”

“Travelling back… taking over your younger…” Chibiusa facepalmed hard. “Oh, if I ever see Plu again, she’s got some explaining to do.”

“The point is, Kitty’s future self warned the X-Men that if the senator was assassinated, it would start a chain of events making anti-mutant paranoia rage out of control,” said Hank.

“Which would lead to a revitalized Sentinel program, which would go off the rails and eventually lead to not only the near-extinction of mutantkind, but the decimation of all the other super-beings on Earth,” said Kitty. She looked over at the Sailor Senshi. “And I do mean ALL of them.” Even Michiru looked a bit shaken by this revelation.

“But you averted that fate, didn’t you?” asked Luna anxiously. “You saved Kelly, and that program hasn’t come about.”

“Not yet. But every time we get a whiff of a new batch o’ Sentinels, we take it seriously,” said Logan.

“Hence why you’re all here,” said Michiru.

“So, you’re saying… Magneto and his teams… They’ll send the whole world down that sort of path?” Naru asked, horrified.

“Which is why, painful as it is, we X-Men always stand ready to thwart my old friend. Even if the rest of humanity doesn’t understand what it is we fight to prevent, we do it because we must,” said Xavier, wheeling himself closer to Naru. “Naru, whether or not you enroll at my school… I cannot ask such a decision of you just yet, not with the loss you’ve suffered. But I hope I’ve impressed upon you what a mistake it would be to join Magneto.”

“If this hasn’t worked, Professor, I’ll be glad to volunteer!” came an icy voice. Everyone turned to see a hologram flicker to life, not too far away from the terminal. Xavier sighed a little as he saw Emma Frost’s hologram stare coldly at the still shaking Naru. “Just let it be known, Ms. Osaka, that were you currently enrolled and had me as your instructor, I wouldn’t hesitate to drill some sense into you! And don’t think this immunity to mutant telepathy matters one jot!” The Senshi watched in confusion as her hologram suddenly changed, Frost assuming her form of living diamond. “I have OTHER means!” Xavier couldn’t help but notice Kitty flapping her hand as she mockingly mouthed Frost’s words, much to Lockheed and Usagi’s amusement. Would those two EVER get along?

Thankfully, Naru wouldn’t have to put up with Frost’s disparagement much longer. Rogue and Peter stepped into the projector back at the mansion. “Thank you, Emma, for checkin’ to see if the projector’s still workin’,” Rogue said sharply as she shoved Frost out of the way. “But I do believe Naru’ll be a tad more receptive to what Peter and I gotta tell her.”

Frost tried to butt in again. “Just hope you don’t wind up in my class, Ms. Osaka! Because…” Frost was cut off when Rogue pushed her so hard, she crashed into the wall of the communications room, making the projection shake.

“Wow, and you thought Ms. Haruna was a hardcase, Usagi,” muttered Luna.

“Rogue, Colossus… What’s this all about?” asked Naru.

“You saw the archived footage, Naru. But you need to hear it from people who were actually IN the Brotherhood and the Acolytes,” said Peter.

“What!? You two!?” Michiru cried incredulously.

“Yes, Michiru. In my grief, I turned to the Acolytes for a time,” said Peter, the sting of shame in his voice.

“What would’ve possessed you to do that!?” demanded Michiru. “The attack on that hospital… Why would you ever join THEM, Peter!?”

“The same reason Naru is tempted,” said Peter. “The loss of someone dear.”

This seemed to grab Naru’s attention. “Who was it?”

“My sister Illyana. She fell victim to the Legacy Virus, something Professor Xavier seemed powerless to stop,” said Peter. “In my grief, I ran off with Magneto’s group, feeling there was no place left for me on Earth. No doubt you wondered just why I could no longer paint for so long, Michiru. Now you know.”

“Peter’s long since learned what a big mistake that was,” said Rogue. “Me? I’ve had to live with some dumb decisions a lot longer.”

“So you were in the Brotherhood,” said Michiru dryly.

“It was more than that, Michiru,” said Rogue. “I hear you and Haruka had a run-in with my foster mother.”

Michiru’s eyes widened. “That shapeshifting psychopath… She RAISED you!?”

“More or less,” Rogue admitted. “I was part of her outfit for a good long while, up until that run-in with Carol Danvers. She’s the one I permanently got a lot o’ these powers from, plus a chunk of her psyche.”

“Soon after that, Rogue came to me for help. And I made her an X-Man over the objections of most of the team,” said Xavier. “Mentally, the ordeal left her a wreck, and I refused to go back on my vow to help a young mutant in need.”

“It also scarred Danvers for life, and I’ve had to live with the guilt ever since,” said Rogue, turning to Naru. “So I’m beggin’ ya, Naru, don’t go joinin’ my mom. Gettin’ mixed up in those outfits’ll lead to things you’ll regret forever, take it for me an’ Pete.”

As Naru fumbled for words, Michiru continued to stare at them in disbelief. “The kind of pain your powers led to, Rogue, and why you couldn’t paint any more Peter… I never imagined.”

“You had good reason to be suspicious of us, Michiru,” said Peter. “We have read the files regarding Mistress 9, but now you know the two of us are hardly blameless as well.”

“What’s done is done,” said Michiru firmly. “After our encounter with Magneto and his flunkies… Don’t worry, Haruka and I now know full well which mutants are truly our enemies.”

“What about you, Ms. Osaka?” Xavier asked, turning his attention back to Naru. “You’ve heard pleas from two people who know firsthand what it means to work with these groups, and you’ve seen what they’ve done in the past. Can you still say joining them to protect Umino is worth the price?”

“Especially if the price may very well be your soul?” Rei added.

Naru looked to them, eyes still full of tears. At length, she buried her face in her arms to blot them away. “N-N-N-No… I-I-I-I can’t do it. I could… n-n-n-never do all that…”

Xavier heard Usagi let out a huge sigh of relief, her hand over her heart. As elated as she was to hear Naru would never join Magneto’s army, Xavier could sense her lingering hesitation to approach Naru. These events still caused a rift between them, one Usagi still desperately wanted to bridge, but didn’t quite know how. Pain like this would take much time to heal, but he promised Usagi he would do what he could for Naru. It was his life’s work, and he was as determined as ever to see it through to the end.

In Usagi’s place, Ororo approached Naru to give her a shoulder to cry on. But soon, Ororo would have to return her attention to the task at hand. Logan was quite right about the need to squelch any new Sentinel program, and Magneto playing some unknown role in this mess made things even more pressing. On top of that, they owed Naru answers as to who killed her mother. They dissuaded Naru from making a terrible mistake, but Xavier knew his duty to aid this young, troubled mutant was far from over.

No, it’s not just Naru I have an obligation too, but the Sailor Senshi as well, Xavier reminded himself. He turned his wheelchair around, sensing the eagerness of some of the Senshi to speak with him. Usagi cradled Luna in her arms, her tearful eyes pleading. Rei and Michiru, however, looked impatient.

“Well, your people certainly diffused that time bomb in a hurry, Xavier,” said Michiru. “Now what about Kizachi, Magneto and those Sentinels?”

“Unfortunately, Ms. Kaioh, there may not be much we can do at the moment,” said Xavier. “You and Haruka did succeed in penetrating deeper into Kizachi’s facility. But from what you’ve told us, it confirms our earlier suspicions. The Sentinels, in all likelihood, are not being assembled there. Kizachi has a second site for their final assembly and deployment. I fear that even though the X-Men and Sailor Senshi could easily raze her corporate headquarters to the ground tonight, it would amount to nothing. Save increasing anti-mutant hysteria and turning your country against the Senshi.”

“We’ve heard that before, but we still have to do something,” said Rei. “Can’t you just read Kizachi’s mind, or the minds of her staff?”

“He’s tried, but Kizachi’s got some sort of defense against telepathy,” Michiru grumbled.

At least Rei’s gotten over her fear of my power, after our mishap, Xavier thought hopefully. And Michiru’s long since forgiven Rogue and Colossus. Our teams may yet mesh well together, but it’s clearly imperative I find a means to focus our collective energies. And frustrations. “Very true, Ms. Kaioh. Kizachi’s taken great pains to keep her Sentinel program hidden until she feels the time is right. Her company is still the key, however. Perhaps Kitty can work with Mizuno again to break into her company’s computer records. Additionally, Aino can redouble her efforts to track Kizachi’s financial transactions while Logan continues investigating yakuza activity. Her Interpol connections could be crucial to untangling this complicated web she’s woven.”

Xavier didn’t need his telepathy to sense Rei and Michiru’s festering impatience, but they nodded anyway. Luna, however, wasn’t so easily placated. “And what about Magneto and his outfit?”

“You must be patient, Luna,” Xavier pleaded. “I know Erik. How he thinks, how he works. Much like some of the enemies you’ve fought, his schemes can’t be foiled so quickly. I simply ask for your trust and continued assistance as the X-Men and I work to close in on him. When we’re getting close, I promise you the Sailor Senshi will be there to fight him with us.”

Usagi didn’t look all too eager to fight the Master of Magnetism. Tears still streamed down her cheeks. “A-A-At least we won’t have to fight Naru too,” she spluttered. “I can’t thank you enough, Professor. You kept her from turning bad…”

“We kept her from making the worst possible choice, for now. That is all,” said Xavier, turning back to see Naru still crying, though Lockheed was lapping up her tears. “I fear, Ms. Tsukino, that Ms. Osaka’s road to recovery will be long and hard. For all of us.”


United States
  • Listening to: Reeltime - Siuil a Run
  • Reading: Wheel of Time 13
  • Watching: Fairy Tail
  • Playing: Fire Emblem Gaiden
Seriously, fuck you. If you're whining about Zack Snyder's vision being butchered by Joss Whedon and the suits at Warner Bros., fuck you. If you're still whining that Zack Snyder is a turd blossom of a director, fuck you. If you're calling this movie too dark, fuck you. If you're saying it's trying to be too lighthearted to be more in line with Marvel movies, fuck you. If you say it's too uneven in tone, fuck you. If you're saying it's perfect and craps on the entire MCU and only fanboy dipshits can't see it, fuck you. If you're saying it's proof that the fork should finally be stuck in the DC film universe, fuck you.

Basically, to millions and millions of people, I give a double middle finger salute and yell to the heavens... "FUCK YOU!"

Seriously, what the hell is it about these movies that spawns such vitriol and flamewars? Even I, who was ready to swear off these movies last year, after the mixed bag that was Dawn of Justice and the turd souffle that was Suicide Squad, am mystified. Wonder Woman proved me oh so wrong, and Justice League just delivered a pretty fun team-based film in this universe.

Again, that's the key word: FUN. Isn't that what so many said was lacking after Dawn of Justice? This movie really tried to deliver the goods after so many made that criticism heard loud and clear, but no it's STILL not enough!

It was enough for me. It really felt like this film, along with Wonder Woman, learned from all the missteps from past entries and tried to deliver what so many felt was important. Not too serious and dark, more or less focused, decent pacing... As for character development for characters lacking their own solo movies at this point, I felt it was there. Granted, while Aquaman could use a bit more, Cyborg getting the lion's share, and Flash somewhere in between the two. I was never bored like at some points in Dawn of Justice, nor was I feeling the whole thing got derailed in post-production like in Suicide Squad. The whole thing felt like a neat little package, fine as is, with no need to wait for a special edition on Blu-ray to provide the big picture, though I do hear some pertinent stuff was cut and will make its way into one.

I'll be first in line to buy it on home video, though. Hell, I'll probably go see it again in the theatre. If that makes you want to insist I have no taste in movies and I'm a microcosm of the reasons cinema is in decline or whatever, fuck you. And if you're insisting the film would've been better if Zack Snyder's original vision remained intact, fuck you. So many warring factions over this one, when the whole point of this film's existence was to make up for past missteps and let moviegoers HAVE FUN. So shut the fuck up, and at least TRY to have a little fun with it. I did. Sure, I had complaints. A paper-thin villain when Loki provided such an interesting foil in Avengers, for one thing, but it wasn't enough to kill the film outright. Plenty of MCU movies have had one-dimensional villains, too. I'm sure there's other things I could nitpick about, but I'd really have to sit and ponder about that, and I'll pass when the whole point was TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN.

So try to have some fun, and fuck you.

Justice League
gets an official Greyman101 rating of 8.5 out of 10, so fuck you.


Add a Comment:
Thanks for the Added to my devWatch!
anasazidarkmoon Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Marvel Villains by PatrickBrown

I happened upon this when I hit the homepage, and immediately thought of you. :D
Greyman101 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2017
Why? The only Marvel stuff I've used is X-Men, and this is only on the front page again because the Disney-Fox merger is on everyone's lips.

And I'm not happy about that. On top of inching closer to a media monopoly, I shudder to think what the MCU X-Men will be like when MCU Spider-Man turned out to be a clueless little shit.
anasazidarkmoon Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It made me think of you because Sailor Moon X is the most reliably updated Marvel-related fic I've come across in a while, so there's a bit of a connection again.  I don't usually go on the front page, but it pops up on occasion when I start typing "deviantart" into my address bar, so I never really know what's gonna show up, or why.

I'm not particularly happy about the idea of a media monopoly either, though I am a bit curious about how MCU X-Men would turn out.

Of course MCU Spider-Man was a clueless little shit.  This is Peter Parker as a teenage boy, and teenagers in general tend to be clueless little shits, regardless of superpowers or intelligence. =P
Greyman101 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2017
Yeah, I try to get a new chapter out every two weeks. This'll be done by the end of 2018 if it kills me.

So were the other two movie Spider-Mans, but they still had their heads screwed on right. Oh yeah, and were, what's the word... COMPETENT.
(1 Reply)
blcksheep Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the fave. :)
GiantessStudios101 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for watching
TheLordTaxus Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2017
Happy late birthday!
LordDarkDiablo Featured By Owner May 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for watching. 😊
LordDarkDiablo Featured By Owner May 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for watching. 😊
Add a Comment: