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Chapter 8

Denouement


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



Chapter 8 Pic"W-Where are we?," asks a weakened Sailor Moon, as she opens her eyes to the sight of Jadeite facing the Silver Surfer and Tuxedo Mask, her one true love. "Darien!"

"Serena!," he called back, slightly relieved to see she’s unharmed.

"Tuxedo Mask—MOVE!," shouted the Silver Surfer as he forcefully pushed Mask out of harm’s way, taking the brunt of an energy blast hurled by Jadeite. "AAGgh!"

"You stay there," Jadeite pointed at the Surfer, then turning to Mask.

"And you DIE!"

He began hurling bolt after bolt of concussive energy balls at the masked man, who acrobatically managed to keep just one step ahead. As one blast hit the energy tube containing Sailor Mars, the tube seemed only to absorb the energy, rather than take damage from it. Mask observes this, "so obviously his own energy only makes it stronger, unlike mine. Whoa!" He narrowly avoids another blast to the head, and almost loses his footing.

While all of this is transpiring, the Surfer manages to crawl over to Sailor Moon. "I’ve gotta help him!," she cried, reaching out to the unfolding battle. The Surfer then grabs her by the waist, and forces her down. "No, child! You mustn’t! He does what he must, to buy us the time we need…"

"What are you talking about?"

"It may be some time before you regain your strength, but my body is a cosmic battery! Even as we speak I’m absorbing the energy emanating from all around us, especially that of Jadeite! Soon, Tuxedo Mask will have completed his mission, and I will be able to support him!"

"How soon can you heal, Surfer?!"

"Soon, Sailor Moon, soon."

They both turn their attention back to Jadeite, who ignores them. His full concentration is on destroying Tuxedo Mask. "Gee, Jadeite," Mask said sarcastically, "I never thought you were such a bad shot—AAGGhhh!"

Almost the exact moment he says these words, an energy bolt manages to strike him in the ribs, blowing him clean across the floor.

"Darien!," Serena yelled.

"I have you now, Mask!," gloated Jadeite as he raises a fully charged fist over the man. Just as he slams it over his opponent, the Surfer acts.

"NOW!"

Another energy beam fires across the air, catching the back of Jadeite’s fist. Upon impact, the energies cancel out, and the small shockwave knocks Jadeite back.

"ARGH! You surprise me, Surfer! I had no idea you could regain your energy so quickly!"

"Then let us see just how quickly I have healed, foul villain!," he boldly stated, rising to his feet.

"Follow me if you dare!," said Jadeite, sky rocketing through the hole in the roof, and out into the night sky.

"Take care of him, Sailor Moon," ordered the Surfer, "free the others."

"What are you going to do?," she asked.

"Whatever I can… TO ME, MY BOARD!!"

The surfboard flickers to life, as its master leaps onto its back. The Surfer then streaks into the air, without looking back, in hot pursuit of his enemy.

"Wow," Moon said, watching his figure until it fades into a small, flickering dot. She then turns to see her love, struggling to his knees.

"Darien! Are you all right?!"

"Gaahh, I took a pretty good hit in the side. I don’t think I can fight anymore. But---"

He slumps over into her embrace, as she kneels beside him.

"—but I can free the other scouts. Here." He opens his cape, and pulls out four bright red roses. Then he leans away, mustering all his strength, and raises the roses in the air.

"Heyah!"

With one mighty swing, all four roses scatter across the chamber, one detonating upon impact with each energy tube. The figures of the rest of the Sailor Scouts comes into his vision, and he knows his work is done. He then falls unconscious in Sailor Moon’s lap.

"Dareien? Darien!"

High in the stratosphere, the Surfer finally catches up with Jadeite. The two seem to stop, hovering several yards from one another.

Good, the Surfer thinks, no one should get hurt up here.

"Well," said Jadeite, "I’m not running from you this time!"

"Nor will I," the Surfer responded. "I would’ve hoped it hadn’t come to this, Jadeite, but the time for speech is obviously passed. Let the battle be joined!"

Surprisingly, the Silver Surfer is the first to attack, shooting at Jadeite, who narrowly dodges the blast by sinking down a dozen feet. He then counter-attacks, blasting up at the Surfer, who dodges the energy beam as if it were nonexistent.

"I grow stronger every moment, Jadeite," he says, closing in fast, "I take energy from all sources! You cannot hope to defeat me!"

"Liar!," he shouted, blasting several times as the Surfer approaches. "I’m the most powerful one there is—I’M OMNIPOTENT!!"

One of the many blasts finally strikes the Surfer, who uses his board to shield himself. He is truly beginning to master his power, he thought, I do not know how much longer I can contain him!

On the tower’s roof, the Sailor Scouts have begun to recover. Sailor Mars stumbles to her feet, "Man, what happened?"

"Jadeite got us, you guys," said Sailor Moon with tears in her eyes, holding Tuxedo Masks body. "Surfer’s fighting him in the air, but he got Darien!"

"Let me see," said Sailor Mercury, running over to her. She kneels down, and checks his pulse. After turning on her computer, and running a few test, the girls await an answer. "It’s okay," she smiled with relief. "He’ll be alright."

"Good," said Sailor Jupiter, "now let’s help out the Surfer!"

"How can we do that," asks Sailor Venus, "when we haven’t completely healed yet?"

Mars raised her voice with determination. "I say we use the Celestial Attack!"

"Are you crazy?," asks Mercury, "we don’t have the strength to pull it off!"

"Well what do you suggest?"

All eyes turn to Sailor Moon, as she gently lays Tuxedo Masks, head to the floor. She then rises to her feet, and turns to the others with bloodlust in her eyes. She only said one thing.

"The Celestial Attack."

High above the city, a single helicopter dares come close to the battlefield. There are three people inside, a pilot, a cameraman, and a reporter. "Are you getting that?!" the reporter woman said to the man with the camera. "Yeah, yeah I’m getting’ it. We’re on in five, four, three, two…"

"This is Mikki Odaka reporting live, over the battlefield at the city airport. As you can see, the silver being and the man who cast the illusion earlier this afternoon have locked in combat high above the sky, like titans battling for what, we don’t know."

"We’re breaking up, Mikki," said the cameraman, looking through his lens at the two figures far away exchange titanic blows. "I don’t think I can—whooaa!" Before he can finish his sentence, a stray energy blast skins the nose of the chopper, knocking it into freefall.

A half-mile away, the Surfer sees what happens. The humans!, He thinks, I must save them!

As the Surfer breaks off his attack and begins closing in on the chopper, Jadeite becomes aware of his plight.

"Ha! I think I’ve discovered your weakness, Surfer! You really CARE about these humans!"

He begins to forcefully pursue the Surfer, determined to undermine him. The Surfer ponders his options with the speed of thought. Cushion the fall? No, Jadeite would press his attack. An energy sphere? No, they might still be hurt. I know…

Suddenly, the Surfer stops, and raises his chin with strain, as he covers his body in energy. "What is he doing?," asks Jadeite as he stops. The energy surrounding the Surfer shoots straight into the air. "He won’t escape me that easily!" He shoots into the air, pursuing the Surfer.

But as he leaves, the residue energy dissipates, revealing that the Surfer hasn’t gone anywhere.

"It worked," he said, "now, while he chases the energy ball, foolishly thinking it’s me, I can save the humans!" His surfboard carries him down to the helicopter with increasing speed.

"Oh God," cried the cameraman, throwing away the camera to grab hold of his seat. "We’re gonna die!! And here comes that Silver freak to kill us!!"

"How foolish you humans are, in every reality," said the Surfer as he raised his hand. An energy disk seemed to form, and encompass the helicopter, slowing its decent, then halting it. "You do not notice an act of kindness, even when it saves your lives. This energy will lower you safely to the ground. I suggest you vacate the area immediately afterwards." He then flies off into the sky to continue the battle, without waiting for a response.

"Gee," said the pilot, "I know who I’m rooting for."

At the peak of the tower, the Sailor Scouts hold hands, forming a circle, leaving Sailor Moon in the center. "Are they in range?," asks Mars.

"Yeah," replied Sailor Jupiter, "I see ‘em straight above us."

"Let’s just try not to hit the Surfer," cautioned Sailor Mercury.

"Okay, let’s do it! JUPITER STAR POWER!!"

"MERCURY STAR POWER!!"

"VENUS STAR POWER!!"

"MARS STAR POWER!!"

The Sailor Scouts begin to glow with energy, as a drift kicks up, and leaving Sailor Moon at its center to concentrate. She closes her eyes, and holds up a small, shiny bauble. It flickers to life with her next words.

"MOON PRISM POWER!!"

While this is transpiring, directly above, the two titans continue their battle. "I’ve gotta say, Surfer," yelled Jadeite through energy blasts, "You’re A LOT stronger than I thought! But I can win! My power is absolute!"

"Your power is affecting your mind, Jadeite! It will be your downfall!"

Without another word, Jadeite calls all of his energy, every last iota of strength, into his fists. As he’s gathering the energy, several yards away, the Surfer realizes what he’s doing. He’s channeling all his power into one blast! This will not be easy, but I have no choice! The Surfer closes his eyes, and clenches his fists before him. He now also focuses all of his energy into one spot.

As the frightened people on the city streets look to the sky, they see a large mass of red and blue energy begin to fill the sky. "What does this mean?," asks an old man, with a hint of fear. "The end," a man next him said.

"Grrrrr…there," said Jadeite, "that should be enough energy!"

"YAHHH!!"

An energy beam twice the size of his body leaps forth from Jadeite’s hands, aiming with fierce accuracy in the Surfer’s direction.

"NO! I am not prepared yet!," cries the Surfer, "But I have no other choice!"

He releases what energy was stored in his body just in time for his blast to meet the other dead on. The resulting shockwave of the collision was heard and seen miles away, illuminating the night sky, and with greater ferocity than all thunder clouds combined.

Jadeite is shocked to find the Surfer come up with the energy to counter such an attack, but remains resolute in keeping his beam focused. The Surfer himself is surprised to see his ploy in holding Jadeite’s power against his own seems to be working, but is concerned. "I may not be able to hold my energy like this much longer! I sincerely hope the Sailor Scouts have recovered enough to face Jadeite should I fall this day!"

The two beams remain locked together, in an awesome struggle to push one another back, until finally, one seems to be gaining an advantage.

"No! My energy is diminishing, just as I feared it would!," cried the Surfer as he witnesses Jadeites beam overwhelming his own. "That’s it," cried Jadeite gleefully, "I’m beating him! I’m winning!"

At that exact moment, directly below the cosmic standoff, the Sailor Scouts have collectively primed their energies together, when each of them simultaneously realize this, they say only one mighty battle cry in unison:

"SAILOR SCOUT POWER!!!"

The booming of energy can be deafeningly heard throughout the city, and beyond. The beam itself rockets into the sky, as thick as the diameter of the tower’s peak on which they stood. Those left in the city streets are blinded by the sight of the energy blast piercing the blackness of night, and make its way to the intended target.

Scant seconds before the Celestial Attack reaches them, the Surfer chances to look down, eyes widening with pure shock. "By the gods of Zenn-La! Could this be an attack on the part of the Sailor Scouts?! The energy—it’s power is incredible---AAGGGhhh!!"

The temporary distraction proves to be enough for Jadeite to press his attack, and blast the Surfer with the mightiest blow he’s ever dared use thus far. Watching the Surfer careen helplessly away, Jadeite allows himself a boastful smile. "At last! I’ve proven it! I’m the most powerful being in the universe! No one can stand in my way! No one!" By mere happenstance, Jadeite obliviously gazes down, not realizes what the energy is before it’s too late.

The Celestial Attack finds its target, and the resulting blast makes the city look as though it were the brightest of day. The Surfer is so entranced by the sight of the energy blasting Jadeite, that he hardly regains his composure by summoning his faithful board to halt his decent. "Incredible! That such ordinary children can muster enough strength to fell an opponent so great!"

The blast seems to bury Jadeite at its fiery core. If he’s inside screaming out in pain, the sound is drowned out by the sheer magnitude of the blast. After an eternity, the energy seems to be dissipating, leaving the planet, and into the great void. The Surfer’s finely tuned vision finds Jadeite’s body, blackened and charred by the attack, falling helplessly to the earth miles below.

Still taken back at what he has seen, the Surfer barely has the time to command his board to drop with the speed of thought, and gently capture Jadeite’s body in his cosmically cushioned grasp.

"God of all beings and things! He still breathes!"

He descends with the listless creature until he reaches the peak of the tower, where the Sailor Scouts make way in awe of their own handiwork. The Surfer lays Jadeite on the ground, and stands to greet his compatriots.

"You have performed excellently, Sailor Scouts! You have defeated Jadeite with one fell swoop."

"Alright! We nailed ‘im!," said Sailor Jupiter, smiling with satisfaction at Jadeite’s form.

Sailor Venus looks upon the villain with genuine concern, "Is he….?"

"No," answered the Surfer, knowing what she’s asking. "He somehow survived the attack, but barely. Hold!"

The group shudders as the Surfer points to Jadeite, who now struggles to his feet, and looks at his many enemies. "Cuh…Can’t… give up… strongest there is…ohh…"

"He’s still alive!," shouted Sailor Mars.

"Not for long!," retorted Sailor Jupiter, stepping back, "JUPITER THUNDER CLAP…."

A small wad of electricity forms in the Sailor Scout’s hands, as she reels back with determination.

"….ZAP!"

She hurls the energy ball at Jadeite, who finds himself unable to avoid or defend the attack. Merely holding out his arms, he prepares to embrace oblivion. Seconds before impact is made, everyone present watches in fear, one chooses to speak.

"NO!"

As the Surfer calls out, an energy shield erects around Jadeite’s weakened form, and effectively neutralizes the thunder clap with a blinding flash. When it’s done, the energy dome still shines around Jadeite, who is speechless to find himself still on earth.

"Hey!," cried Sailor Jupiter, "why’d you do that?!"

"As I have said, Sailor Jupiter, I am a protector of life. Even the life of evil!"

There’s a temporary moment of silence, and the Surfer continues.

"Slay Jadeite and you will become no better than he! You will lose all the goodness in your soul and trouble will always dog you! It is important that we respect life, no matter how twisted it may come, because you see, Sailor Scouts, that is what makes good people great!"

"Well," muttered Jupiter, "when you put it like that…"

"But what do we do with him, Surfer?," asks Sailor Mercury with a slight hint of wonder in her eyes.

"Yeah," agreed Sailor Mars, "we can’t just let him go!"

"Indeed," the Surfer nods, thinking to himself, "I propose you allow me to take Jadeite into the proper custody."

"What?"

"If his power is like my own, he will eventually regain his strength and return, no matter where you place him on this entire world, you would not be safe! That is why I ask you to allow me to take him where he will be a threat to no one. I ask this of you, Sailor Scouts, for the sake of the world you’ve only now rescued."

The Scouts look to one another, and then to Sailor Moon, for the answer. "Of course, Surfer," she said, "if you can keep him from hurting anyone else, you can do what you want."

"Excellent," he said, "now please stand back."

The Scouts do so as they watch the Surfer drop his force field around Jadeite, and then catch him in a cosmic gaze, optic beams freezes him in place. Then the Surfer’s board rises, and approaches Jadeite’s body. Just before the board touches him, there’s a blinding flash. When everything comes back into focus, all that can be seen is the Surfer.

"Whe—where’d he go?," asks Jupiter.

"Here," the Surfer responds as he gestures to the surfboard. The scouts are shocked when they find Jadeites reflection frozen in the board, as if trapped on the other side of a looking glass. "He is powerless in this board," the Surfer continued, "and the board obeys my commands. I will take Jadeite far away from here, and… where is Tuxedo Mask?"

"Oh," Moon began to cry, "Jadeite got to him."

"Lead me to him."

Several seconds later, the Silver Surfer stands over the unconscious form of Tuxedo Mask, one floor down. The Sailor Scouts stand behind him, watching in wonder of what he’ll do next. All save Serena, who holds her lover in her lap. The Surfer kneels before them, and places a shiny hand on Mask’s shoulder. After a while, his hand, then the shoulder, seem to glow a bright yellow. Tuxedo Mask opens his eyes, and breathes deeply, as if awaking from a long sleep.

"Oh Darien," smiled Serena, "you’re alright!"

"Wh…what happened?"

"It’s a long story," answered the Surfer, "suffice it to say that we have defeated the enemy only through your courage and strength. You are a true hero, Tuxedo Mask."

"I…I guess you’re not so bad yourself, Surfer. Sorry I doubted you back there."

"There is no need for apology. But my time here is finished, I must take my leave of this place now."

"No!," said Mercury, almost immediately catching herself with embarrassment. "I mean, can’t you stay a little while longer?"

"I’m sorry, Sailor Mercury—"

"—Ami. Call me Ami."

"…Ami. I’m sorry, but Jadeite—"

"—I know, I know…"

The Surfer raises his voice, to speak to all present.

"Remember well what transpired here today, Sailor Scouts. Remember that you are far more powerful than you think, but do not let your power drive you to madness, as it did Jadeite. His lust of power eventually drove him to defeat. That is obvious when his conceit clouded his senses, and ended his reign of terror. As a certain Terran from my universe proclaims: ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’"

The Surfer then mounts his board, the form of Jadeite uncomfortable within, and rises into the air. When he looks down, he recalls the energy barrier erected around the airport, and with a gesture, calls the energy back.

The police, who have forged a temporary base at the foot of the shield, are aghast when it disappears. They quickly scramble their forces, and enter the complex, only to find that the airport is back to normal. The planes are on the runway, the buildings are whole, and the pavement is undamaged.

The Sailor Scouts are now on the roof or the look out tower, still watching the Silver Surfer rise slowly into the night air.

"We will remember, Surfer," said Ami under her breath, "we will."

"So," begins Serena, breaking the silence, "how about those triple fudge sundaes now?"


Concluded in the Epilogue

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