Divide and Conquer
"Man, I don't like the look of this," said Lita, watching the image of Jadeite fade out of the sky.
"Nor is it to my liking," said the Silver Surfer, gazing now at the panicking crowd below. "But we have other immediate concerns. Look."
The others do as the Surfer says and see the people's reaction to the ultimatum. Using his cosmic powers, the Surfer can hear fragments of what they're saying.
"...Did you see that?!...,""...Some kinda illusion!...,""...another monster here to destroy us all...""...Silver who?...","...Scouts, where are you?...","...go to the airport and get to the bottom of this!.."
"This is unfortunate," the Surfer said, "with the image so blatantly cast across the sky, no doubt the local populace will be tempted into Jadeite's chosen battle field."
"I see what your saying," replied Artemis, "we're at a disadvantage because we don't want the people in harm's way."
"But what are we going to do," asks a panicking Serena, "just march in and blast him?"
"Well, whatever we do, we better do it quick," answered Darien, "because I think we're about to have a full scale riot on our hands!"
"Agreed, and I think I have come across something... We may need the forms of your respective superpowered counterparts."
"Huh?," asks Serena.
"It means shut up and transform, lame brain!," responded Rei harshly.
"MARS STAR POWER!"
"JUPITER STAR POWER!"
"MERCURY STAR POWER!"
"VENUS STAR POWER!"
"MOON PRISM POWER!"
The Silver Surfer turns his eyes as the young ladies bristle with energy, emerging in their true forms. The he sees Darien hesitating. "Is something the matter?"
"No, no," he answered, hooded eyes peering sharply at the Surfer.
"It seems you still do not trust me," he said, "fear not, I will not speak of your identity to anyone on this planet."
By now the Sailor Scouts are primed and ready for the confrontation at hand. "C'mon, Darien," yelled Lita, "we don't have all day!"
After a moment of silence, Darien pulls out of his jacket a single red rose. Upon raising it to the sky, it begins to glow, then shimmer down and conceal his whole body. After a few seconds, the glow fades, revealing the Tuxedo Mask.
"Alright, let's do it."
"A moment, Tuxedo Mask," the Surfer said, halting everyone from leaving. "I'd like to try to keep the people out of harm's way."
"How can you do that?", asks Mina.
"I believe I can encompass the airport with an energy field. I hope it would keep the people from entering, and contain the danger."
"You can do that?," asks Luna.
"Yes, and now we must be away from here. With your permission?"
The Surfer gestures to the sky, and a blue-hued energy cocoon surrounds the group, all save the two cats, Luna and Artemis.
"Hey! What gives," cried Artemis.
"I knew we couldn't trust him!," shouted Tuxedo Mask, preparing to strike the Surfer. Unfortunately, he finds that he cannot move.
"I am deeply sorry, Artemis, Luna," he said with genuine regret. "But I'm think it to be in everyone's best interest that we spare as many lives as possible. I cannot condone your presence beside us during battle."
"He's right Luna," said Mina, "no offense, but you two wouldn't be that much help."
"We understand," said Luna, as she and her compatriot watch the energy sphere lift off the roof and move slowly toward the bay. "Good luck."
The Surfer remains quiet, focusing his power on the task at hand, while the others converse.
"So what was it like in space, Mercury," asks Sailor Moon.
"Incredible," she answered, "I never knew the stars could be so beautiful."
"Really?," asks Rei, "I almost wish I could've gone, too!"
"I'm surprised he didn't just leave you there," added Tuxedo Mask.
"You still don't trust him, do you?"
"You saw the way he left Luna and Artemis there. For all we know, he's taking us right into Jadeite's hands!"
"We've arrived," said the Surfer coldly.
As the yellow sun sets gently into the oceanic horizon, the airport comes into view, and the energy sphere lowers the seven to the ground. Upon impact, it dissipates. All the entrances and exits are blocked off by the local authorities, and several dozen guards are busy evacuating the airport and keeping the mob of people at bay.
"Stay away, people," shouted one officer through a megaphone, "it's very dangerous here. Please return to your homes!"
The response was not a kind one. " Let us in!", " so exiting! ", " not afraid ", " just like last time ", " what was that blue ball? ," " Sailor Scouts ", " Go get 'em! ", " who's that shiny naked guy?! "
"The authorities have done well to keep the area clear," the Surfer said. "And now it is time."
The Surfer raises his two silvery arms in the air, as the begin to crackle with energy. Before the Scouts realized what's going on, an enormous blue energy dome appears in the sky, and covers the entire complex. It lands immediately behind the barricades, frightening the people.
" see that? ", " it's that silver freak! ", " a trap! ", " we gotta help 'em! "
The Sailor scouts are in awe at the Silver Surfer's creation. "Good work," said Lita, "now no one can come in?"
"Or get out," the Surfer answered, "which means if Jadeite is here somewhere, he's trapped as well."
"Trapped?," asks Tuxedo Mask, "what do you mean?!"
"---WELCOME SAILOR SCOUTS!!"
"Uh-oh," said Venus, "sounds like we've got company!"
Suddenly, the ground begins to quake loudly, as the entire airport complex shakes violently. "What's going on?," cried Moon, "are we under attack?!"
"I do not believe so," answered the Surfer, helping Mercury retain her balance, "but we must be prepared for anything!"
Then the buildings slowly begin to move together, merging together in a tornado-like fusion. When the construct is complete, there stands a large structure, dwarfing all towers and skyscrapers in the city. The peak of it actually pierces the Surfer's energy field, and stretches on into the fast approaching evening sky, and it's area easily matches five square miles.
"Whoa, look at the size of it," whispers Mars in wonder.
"CAN'T SAY I CARE ABOUT YOUR LITTLE SHIELD, BUT FEEL FREE AND TRY TO GET ME!!"
"Obviously Jadeite means to ensnare us in this structure," says the Surfer, "we must tread carefully."
"Right," responded Tuxedo Mask, "This is it, people. There's no going back."
"Let's do it!," shouted Jupiter, leading the battle charge into the strange fortress.
"I do not agree with this course of action," said the Surfer, "we could be doing exactly what he wants."
"Will you just be quiet and join the charge?", yells Moon, grabbing him by the arm.
The group steadily makes it's way to the entrance, upon reaching which, a large door appears to be open.
"Well, there's no easy way around this," said Mars, "I'll lead the way, Venus, Jupiter, you keep on the sides, the rest of you, bring up the rear. Let's make it quick!"
"Bossy, isn't she," asks Tuxedo Mask.
"Tell me about it," answered Moon.
As the group enters, the entrance immediately vanishes, leaving only a blank wall.
"By the cosmos!," yelled the Surfer, "I knew it!---Agh!"
Without another word, a large energy beam attacks the Surfer from behind, knocking him well ahead of Mars.
"Surfer!," cries Mercury, scrambling to reach is body. But before she can, a strange glow surrounds him, and he's gone.
"Jadeite got him, Mercury," said Venus, laying a hand on her friend's shoulder, "I'm sorry."
"Well, we'd better do something quick before---"
Suddenly the walls loudly begin to move around the remaining six, and three walls slide between the center of the group.
"No!," shouted Tuxedo Mask, "he's trying to separate us!"
But before the Scouts can react, it's too late. Now Mercury is alone with Venus. Mars is trapped with Jupiter, and Moon is cornered with Tuxedo Mask.
"What was that?," asks Venus, pressing against the stone-like wall between her and the rest of her friends.
"I don't know," replied Mercury, "but when I find Jadeite, I'll get to the bottom of this!"
"Well," the Sailor Scout responded, "there's a tunnel leading that way, it looks like we've got no choice."
The two girls begin walking down the dark corridor. After what seemed like intense hours, they reach a dead end.
"What's going on here?"
"I don't know, let me see what my computer says."
Mercury turns her visor on, and taps on the small ear piece. After hearing a few beeps and clicks, her eyes widen in shock.
"Look out! He's below u---"
The ground quakes and opens up into a broad black hole, consuming the two Sailor Scouts.
Now there are only four remaining.
"I can't believe how stupid I was," said Mars, punching the concrete wall as she and Jupiter walk down a dark hallway. "I go and bark orders, and I nearly got us killed!"
"Well, the Surfer did warn us."
"I doesn't matter now, though. We've gotta find our way to the others."
"I know look at that!"
The two stop, and gaze at the hallway as it forks into two small black tunnels.
"What do we do?," asks Jupiter.
"Well, we don't split up. That's for sure. I'm getting some weird vibes from the left side. C'mon."
The two enter the tunnel cautiously, when a sudden burst of light blinds them, then knocks the pair unconscious.
Now there are only two remaining.
"This is so creepy, Darien," said Moon walking with her hands clasped around Tuxedo Mask's arm.
"I don't like it either, but we'd better stay alert. Anything can happen."
"What do you mean? We must have been walking around for hours now! If Jadeite were going to make his move, shouldn't he have made it by now?"
"Well, I did you feel that?"
"There was a cold wind just now, but it's gone."
"I didn't feel anything."
"I could've there it is again!"
"I think I feel it, too. It's getting stronger."
"Yeah, really strong."
As the two continue walking down the hallway, the wind slowly intensifies, making it hard for them to walk. After walking dozens of meters, they find themselves having to hold on to the sides of the hallway.
"Darien, I I don't think I can go any farther!"
"Yes you can You Have to!"
"I can't Gaahhhh!"
The Sailor Scout loses her grip, and the wind jolts just enough to blow her off balance. Upon harshly landing, another wall emerges between her and Tuxedo Mask. Then the wind dies down, leaving Tuxedo Mask alone.
Now there is only one remaining.
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