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Chapter 3

Cherry Hill Trouble


Written by Joshua Jones,
Edited by James Pedrick,
Art by Joshua Jones



Chapter 3 Pic"I…I did not mean to kill anyone!," cried the Surfer as he floats there in outer space, on the outer reaches of the Solar System. The two entities there whom he was battling have now ceased their assault. The third being was destroyed unwillingly by the Silver Surfer’s own hand. "Please," the Surfer begged as he stared at his hands, as if they’ve betrayed him somehow. "You must understand! I do not believe in death! His life was precious, as is all life! I…hold…I sense something…"

Then before the Surfer can examine his thoughts, the woman attacks him again, her mouth open as if to shout some battle cry, but no sound emerges. The Surfer erects an energy field to deter her attempts, but upon impact, she wrenches in pain, and fades out of existence. "What? No! Not again!", the Surfer cried. "It couldn’t have happened again! I only meant to stop her, not slay her!"

"It’s too late for that, you Silver murderer!," the final opponent said. His white cape flowed violently with the power forming in his eyes and hands. "Can’t say I care much about what you did to Neflite, but you’ll pay for hurting Zoisite!" "Wait!," pleaded the Surfer, "I am the Silver Surfer. By what name are you called?"

"When you’re in the grave you can remember that it was Malachite that put you there!" Malachite unleashes a large bolt of energy, that cascades the Surfer, who did nothing to prevent it. Partly, because it was too fast to dodge, partly because the Surfer felt great grief for slaying Malachite’s compatriots. Perhaps both. When Malachite observed the Surfer was unharmed, Malachite couldn’t believe his eyes. "W-what are you? N-Nothing can stand up against the Negaforce!"

"I understand now, Malachite," the Surfer spoke with refreshing serenity. "Never in all the cosmos have I been so relieved!"

"What are you talking about?"

"I sense a power around you. A hidden power, a familiar power. I cannot place it, but I now know that those beings I thought I had destroyed were only illusions. Illusions perhaps meant to distract me."

"What do you mean illusions? I know I’m real! I know it!"

"I cannot allow you to deter me any longer Malachite," the Surfer spoke. "I bid you farewell." And he turned his back on the general.

"What? You can’t do this! Come back and fight me or---"

The Surfer turns around to see Malachite fading into unreality. A pity, he thinks, they were placed here to ward off any intruders. Perhaps this Jadeite placed them here. But I know that they are not real, I did not kill anyone, and now that whoever placed them here knows of my presence, they have served their purpose. I wonder what this bodes for Earth. Earth! How much time have I wasted here battling illusions? I must reach the Earth!

And the Surfer streaks to the planet with the speed of thought.

 

Meanwhile, on that very blue orb, sits a small island. Upon that island is a city; and within it, rests the Cherry Hill Temple. It is here that five very unusual young girls hold a very unusual discussion.

"Serena!," yelled a girl with brunette hair, "Will you stop porking out on the cookies and save some for the rest of us?"

"Wool ethcuth me>munch<," responded a blonde girl with two large protruding pony tails. Her speech muffled by the cookies savagely stuffed into her mouth. "Yo gwanpa thed >munch< heed puth thum heya fo’ a weason, Way."

Another girl with short, almost blue hair interjected, "Will you two be quiet so we can continue this meeting?"

"Why don’t you tell Meatball head over here to lay off the snacks, Ami?"

"Ah thold yoo nevuh thoo cual meh thath, yoo—yoo—!"

"Oh Serena, grow up!," demanded a small ebony cat, "we’ve got important Sailor Scout business to discuss."

"Luna’s right you guys," said another white cat, "after the battle with the Wise Man, and Reenie’s safe return to the future, we need to discuss where we stand as Sailor Scouts now."

"What do you mean, Artemis?," asked a tall girl with long brown hair. "Can’t we just relax now that we don’t have anyone left to fight?"

"Lita’s got a point, everyone," said the fifth girl, with long blonde hair. "We’ve spent so much time battling the Negaverse, that no there’s no one left to fight!"

"That may be true, Mina," Luna continued, "but the world is far from being saved. There’s still evil lurking out there, and we have to face it."

">munch< >gulp< Oh, can’t we just take a vacation, Luna?," wearily asked Serena, "Haven’t we proved that we deserve it yet?"

"Actually, Serena," replied the cat, "you’ve got a very good point."

"Yeah, Luna and I are real proud of you guys for facing you enemies and winning lately," said Artemis.

"Well, I gotta say it wasn’t easy," said Rei, "remember Queen Beryl? I remember when we first fought Jadeite."

"I sure do," answered Serena, "he was real bad news. I hope he’s gone for good, along with those other creeps Zoisite and Malachite."

"Exactly," said Luna, "your training is finally paying off, and we want you to know you all can still reach a higher level if you tried hard enough."

"I don’t think you have time for that, Sailor brats!," yelled a voice from outside. "Who was that?," asks Lita, making sure she’s the first one out the door to greet their unwanted visitor. "I don’t know," answered Ami, "but whoever he is, he seems to know we’re the Sailor Scouts!"

Lita is the first out the door, and is stunned along with the others when they show up to see their old nemesis Jadeite standing before them. He’s glowing strangely, and has an evil grin upon his face.

"Jadeite!," cried Ami, "it’s Jadeite! I thought he was gone for good!"

"Looks can be deceiving Ami," taunted Jadeite, "or should I call you Sailor Mercury? That’s right, I remember finding out your true identities, just before Queen Beryl banished me! But now I’m back, and I’m much more powerful than even she was!"

Rei looks behind him, and sees two familiar figures unconscious on the ground.

"Grandpa! Chad!," she cried as she begins running to them, but Jadeite gestures toward her, and she’s helplessly flung backwards into the main building of the temple. Ami runs to her aid, while Lita communicates with Serena.

"Man, this guy’s nuts! I’ll try to hold him off while the rest of you transform and take care of him!"

"Lita," Serena argued, "you can’t expect to hold this guy off by yourself! He looks too tough!"

"Serena’s right, ," said Luna, "you must work as a team to win!"

"But how’re we gonna distract him long enough to transform, Luna?," asks Lita.

"It’s easy Scouts," cried Jadeite, "although we’ve never been formally introduced, Sailor Jupiter, rest assured you can’t beat me!" Just as Jadeite raises his arm, power swelling around it, a bright red line streaks to the ground in front of him.

"Who--? Ah, of course," said Jadeite as he looked upon the object and noticed it was a red rose.

"Leave Jadeite to me, Sailor Scouts!," called out a voice from the roof of the building. All eyes moved to see a tall man garbed in a tuxedo and cape. "Jadeite and I have a little score to settle!"

"Tuxedo Mask!," cried out Serena, observing her boyfriend and future husband as he gallantly leapt from his perch to the ground in between the Scouts and Jadeite.

"I’ll hold him off for you, just go to it!"

"All right!," cheered Lita, "let’s do it! JUPITER STAR POWER!"

A brilliant flash of lightening engulfs Lita, emerging in the form of Sailor Jupiter.

"Right!," yelled the other Scouts in turn.

Ami, "MERCURY STAR POWER!"

A wash of mystic bubbles covers Ami, transforming her into Sailor Mercury.

Rei, "MARS STAR POWER!"

Fire rings surround Rei, heralding the arrival of Sailor Mars.

Mina, "VENUS STAR POWER!"

A golden chain encloses Mina, revealing Sailor Venus.

Finally, Serena raises her arm high and mighty in the air.

"MOON PRISM POWER!"

A bright light engulfs the girl, forming the Imperial Moon Crystal entrusted to her care. The crystal flickers to life and covers Serena’s body, leaving only the figure of Sailor Moon.

 

The Silver Surfer flies high over Earth’s atmosphere, observing this new universe’s counterpart to New York City. Strange, he thought to himself, I sense no super-powered beings in that area. My finely tuned cosmic senses do not even read the Four Freedoms Plaza, or the Avengers Mansion! It is as if they do not even exist!

Hold, what is this? I sense an incredible power source coming from the left side of the planet! The Surfer draws closer. No! Not one power! But several powers, all gathered together! That must be where I am to find this Jadeite! And the board carries him closer to the little island.

 

Jadeite laughs as he easily deflects rose after rose hurled by Tuxedo Mask, who furiously wonders why his once equal foe is now so powerful. "You really haven’t changed that much, Tuxedo Mask!," said Jadeite, almost ignoring the other Scouts as they transform. "Still throwing flowers at me and expect to be taken seriously?"

"We thought you were long gone, Jadeite!," yelled Tuxedo Mask as he narrowly dodged an energy bolt. "What brought you back like this?"

"Let’s just say I’ve got a new lease on life." With that, the evil general threw a barrage of energy bolts at his enemy, who had no way to defend himself. His figure was thrown like a rag doll against a tree trunk in the garden, and slumped over. He didn’t move.

"No!," cried Sailor Moon, rushing to her beloved, "Darien!"

"C’mon Mars!," called Sailor Jupiter, "let’s show him some tricks of our own! JUPITER THUNDER…" A small lightening rod protrudes from Sailor Jupiter’s golden clad tiara, focusing a bolt of lightening.

"Right," Sailor Mars replied, "MARS FIRE…" A small mass of flame began formulating around the Scout’s fingers, as she concentrates heavily.

"…CRASH!"

"…IGNITE!"

A large fireball shoots from Sailor Mars’ fingertips, accompanied by a massive lightening bolt ringing from Sailor Jupiter. The two beams streak toward Jadeite, with fierce accuracy, as he simply stands there, and allows the beams to strike.

The explosion itself masks Jadeite’s entire body, and a deafening sound is heard. "All right!," cheered Sailor Jupiter, "we did it!"

"Not quite," said Jadeite, as the smoke cleared from his unsinged form. "You see, Sailor Scouts? You’re nothing! And now I’ll take my revenge for the Negaverse!"

"But," began Sailor Jupiter, "that’s impossible!"

He fiercely swings his arm, and an energy wave flies forth, knocking all the Sailor Scouts to the ground. "Now you die!"

An incredible concentration builds up in Jadeite’s hands, as he feels his lips peel open, and the sound of his own voice screaming a great battle cry as he unleashes his power like an atomic bomb on the Cherry Hill Temple.

"Brace yourselves, Scouts" cried Sailor Venus, "this could be it!"

Just as the heat from the blast reaches her cheeks, and she knows the end is here, a bright and brilliant flash of blue lightening engulfs all the Scouts, barely in time to shield them from death. The resulting explosion is blinding, and it seems like an eternity before anyone realizes they’re alive.

"Th-that energy," said Sailor Mercury, "it saved us!"

"What?," cried Jadeite, amazed to see the Scouts still moving. "Who--!?"

All eyes look skyward to behold an incredible sight.

A man, shining like the finest silver, standing on a platform high in the air, looking down like on them like a god.

"Thank the stars," said the Silver Surfer, "I am not too late."


Continued in Chapter 4: The Silver Imperial Surfer?

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