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Chapter 7

One Shot


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



Chapter 6 PicThe people of the city panic at the base of the entrance to the airport. Just moments ago, the Sailor Scouts, along with another strange being, arrived at the order of the evil being known as Jadeite. Shortly after arriving, a large energy dome encompassed the complex, cutting it off from the rest of the world. And shortly after that, a tremendous structure emerged into the night sky, shooting out of the energy dome.

Now even the police, busy keeping the mob calm, are terrified at the site they see next. The very peak of the alien building begins to crackle with lightening, loudly crashing into the sky and into the streets. Now the people leave the area, fearing for their lives, and seek shelter from the electric onslaught. As one officer is nearly struck down, he falls to his knees, as the crowded chaos evacuates around him, thanking God he’s still alive. Another officer is standing in front of a police car, when lightening strikes, igniting the engine. The vehicle explodes, taking the man with it, and wounding several others. "Good Lord," whispered another officer, gazing in awe at the unbridled fury of the lightening attack emanating from the peak of the tower. "What in the world is going on up there?"

At that exact moment, in the center of the maelstrom, there stands Jadeite, gazing down at the chaotic streets, taking sustenance from the people’s fear, with arms raised like a conductor before an orchestra. "That’s right," he muses, "run to your little homes. Go ahead and think you’re safe. You’ll be next, and the whole planet will follow!"

Feeling content, he lowers his arms, and turns to leave. Gently floating himself through a large hole in the center of the floor, he lands inside a chamber, surrounded by his captured prey. Seven large tubes, bristling pink with energy, surround the center where he stands. Six of the prisons are occupied, holding one of the Sailor Scouts in each, and the silver stranger in the sixth. Each one of the Scouts lies slumped over in their chambers, exhausted from their trials, yet the silver one remains wide awake on his knees. His means of transportation, that shiny board of his, rests at the chamber’s side. The seventh tube remains empty, reminding Jadeite that his work is not yet completed. He walks toward his prized possession, and gleefully looks down at him.

"Well," he said with a sneer, "you’re a lot stronger than I thought. Your little friends have already been sapped of all their energy, and have fallen into a comatose state. But you---"

"---my energy runs deeper than you think, Jadeite," spoke the Silver Surfer through gritted teeth. "Though you have attacked me cowardly from behind, this energy module has already siphoned a great deal of my power. But not so much as to drive me to unconsciousness!"

"I suppose not," he responded, bending over halfway to be at eye level with his captive. "And exactly what do you know of Scrier, shiny man?"

"Scrier?… Scrier is from my universe Jadeite. He is the eternal guardian of the Earth. If you wanted to conquer it, you would have had to do so through him!"

"If you’re telling the truth, then why did he bring me back to life and empower me as his disciple to conquer this planet?"

"I know not, Jadeite. It is impossible to know the ways of the ancient one. Yet he sent me here, to deter your attempts against this Earth. It is as if he has, as the Terrans say, ‘pitted us against each other.’"

"I still think you’re lying. But I’m willing to let bygones be bygones, Silver one."

"What do you mean?"

"World conquest is a difficult and time consuming task. You power intrigues me. Perhaps we could—"

"—if you mean to offer me freedom at the cost of this planet, disciple, I am afraid you do not know me very well. I am the Silver Surfer! I am sworn to protect all manners and forms of life from those who would callously disturb it! I would gladly sacrifice my life a thousand fold to ensure your evil reign of tyranny would never fall upon this planet! I would… AAGGGHHHH!!"

The Surfer recoils in pain as the energy tube around his body illuminates the room. Jadeite allows himself to stand back and watch the Surfer in agony.

"I’ll just take that as a ‘no thanks’. Because you won’t be quiet, I’ve set the chamber to increase the amount of energy being drained from your body. I imagine you’ll have at least five more minutes until you wind up like the rest of these little girls who thought they could beat me! You see, Surfer, there was a time I needed the strength of many servants to do my work, and these brats defeated them—they defeated me! Well now, I have the power, and now I don’t need the help of anyone! Now I don’t need you or anyone else, because I’m more powerful than you could imagine! Do you hear me, Surfer? I’M MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU!!"

Turning his back, Jadeite powers up and flies through the whole in the roof, returning to his handiwork with the city’s destruction.

The Silver Surfer is alone to himself, painfully opening his eyes, and looking around the room. No one, not even Sailor Mercury, can help him now. "urrgh…. Jadeite seems correct," he said to himself, "these energy dampeners may very well spell the end for humanity! If I do not act quickly, all will be lost! Jadeite prides himself in his power. There is great arrogance in that, as is great opportunity. But first, I must somehow be freed of this infernal device he has created! But how… of course! Tuxedo Mask!"

One floor up, Jadeite furiously continues his attack on the city streets miles below. Buildings fall, gas pipes explode, people run in fear. Through his newfound power, Jadeite catches what some of the people closer to him are saying.

"…What do you mean evacuate the city?!", "…tried everything! We can’t get in there!", "…call the army!", "…What’s going on?!"

Jadeite allows himself a half-smile, likening his current position over humanity to a giant with his foot over an ant hill. "Heh, look at these pathetic fools! I can’t believe it was so hard to battle them before!"

Meanwhile, the Surfer must concentrate. "I must contact Tuxedo Mask," he thinks, "he is truly the last hope for humanity!" He sits in his cell, ignoring all the pain in his body, and uses his remaining cosmic energy to feel the tower. His every pore seems to sweat with energy, and spreading thinly through his prison, to lightly encompass every square inch of the tower. This is a very difficult task, the Surfer has rarely done this before. He is searching for the form of Tuxedo Mask, where ever he is.

"Great," Mask said interminably, "now I’m all alone. There’s no way to blast through any of these walls. I have to play it Jadeite’s way. No way to go but down this hallway." He treads cautiously through the dark hall, ever aware of an attack. "Best be ready, he could come for me any time now. I wonder how the others are doing. The Surfer was the first to go. The way he went down so hard, maybe he’s not one of them after all."

Suddenly his senses are overwhelmed when his thoughts are interrupted. "Tuxedo Mask," said a voice from nowhere and everywhere, "thank the heavens I’ve found you!"

"Who is this," he said with a slight jump, staff held tightly in his hand, "who’s there?!"

"It is I, the Silver Surfer! I haven’t much time, my energy is nearly depleted, you must listen! Jadeite has all save you captive in the peak of this tower. He is otherwise engaged at the moment, but I do not expect it to last. You must reach this chamber at once! You must free us, so we can have a chance against him! Only you can do it, Tuxedo Mask! You must be quick!"

"Hold on, how do I know that you’re not leading me into a trap?"

"I wish I could prove it to you, but I cannot. You must simply trust me. Will you put your fate in my hands, Tuxedo Mask? Will you help us save humanity?"

After a very brief pause, Mask replies halfheartedly, "lead the way."

"Good, I will use the last of my energy to send you my faithful board, it will lead you to this room."

"How do you know this?"

"My cosmic senses can find a path from you to this chamber. Now quickly!"

 

As the conversation ends, the Surfer now realizes how dangerously close to the end of his power he is. "I…must summon….my board!" The board on the side of his chamber begins to rattle to life, and lift off the ground. "Go, my board. Find him, bring him here…uhhh." As the Surfer finally collapses to the ground, the board hovers out of the room, beginning it’s quest."

As Tuxedo Mask continues to walk down the corridor, he ponders this new development. "What does he mean he’ll send me his board? How can this be?"

Several minutes later, he hears something approaching, and readies a rose in one hand, his staff in the other. Before he knows it, a silver board comes into view, as Mask almost attacks it. Realizing it must be what the Surfer was talking about, he loosened up. The board silently hovers at least one foot off the ground, and comes to a full stop before him.

After awkward moments, Mask realizes what he must do. He carefully mounts the board, and takes a stance on his knees, just in case. The board then lifts up, frightening him, and begins to move with steady speed toward the end of the tunnel, where it carries him into an elevator shaft, and begins a long and tense ascension.

Meanwhile, high at the tower’s peak, Jadeite’s rage has temporarily subsided, and he decides to return to the lower floor again. Upon reaching it, he smiles as he sees the Surfer, slumped over, fallen into oblivion. He then folds his hands behind his back, and silently looks around at his collection. His gaze stops on the comatose form of Sailor Moon. "So this is the moon princess," he said, "and you have the imperial silver crystal, too, don’t you? Well, they’re nothing to me now, I bet I could defeat Queen Beryl if she were still alive!"

His gaze turns to the other side of the room, where he now notices an empty energy tube. "Oh, right," he said, "I guess I forgot one. You folks just stay put, and I’ll be right back with Tuxedo Mask in my grip! HA!"

With a jeer, he phases out, plummeting down into the base of the tower, in search of his next target.

Meanwhile, Tuxedo Mask thinks the elevator shaft will never stop, when it reaches the top, it comes to a jerking halt, and the board carries him out across a new floor, seemingly miles above the Earth’s level. "Are we there yet board?," he said, almost immediately laughing at himself for talking to an inanimate object. He’s almost glad no one can see how scared he really is. Suddenly, the board lifts up again, and he finds a large chamber, surrounded with seven large tubes, six of them occupied. "I…I made it!"

To his shock, no one is awake, as he quickly leaps off the board, and pans his vision across the floor, stopping at the most important tube.

"Serena!"

Running toward her energy prison, he flashes a power charged rose into the device, short circuiting it and causing the tube to vanish. He quickly runs to her side and holds her in his arms. "Serena? Serena, can you hear me?" She doesn’t answer, but Sailor Moon’s fingertips begins to wiggle. "She’ll be all right," he says, "she just needs time to recover." He then gently lays her down, and begins to free the Surfer. As the energy tube disappears before the rose he throws, the Silver Surfer is freed. He runs to his side, seeing his own reflection in the Surfer’s body, and makes sure, he’s all right. To his shock, the Surfer’s blank eyes open almost immediately. "You, you made it. Good work. I must regain my power, it will take some time, now you must free the others."

Before anything else happens, a large burst comes through the floor, shattering fragments everywhere. Tuxedo Mask looks over to Moon, and is relieved to see her unharmed, and what’s more, coming around. Then the maddened form of Jadeite slowly raises through the new hole.

"So here you are!," he said with a snarl, "I’ve been looking for you, Tuxedo Mask, and felt you energy lead right back here! I don’t know how you did it, but it doesn’t matter! I’m killing you here and now!"


Continued in Chapter 8: Denouement

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