a Sailormoon fanfiction by Dejana Talis
-not to be used without permission-
The familiar cry rouses me from my torpor. My Lady calls. It has been quite some time; this is a peaceful era. What wish is it now that requires the energy only I can give? Is there a new evil? A lost loved one she cannot live without? A difficult decision to be made?
As usual, I am a tool simply to be used when needed. Long gone are the days when my knowledge and experience were known and valued. Still, I will serve my Lady faithfully until her inevitable end.
I wonder if my Lady's behavior would be different if she truly understood me. Does she know I am her mother, and her mother's mother?
First, all was fire and light, the brightness of countless millions who were like me. Burning brightly, we clustered together in the origin place, awaiting our turn to shine.
The Guardian had her eye on me from the very beginning. Her smile encouraged me to grow, to expand my pure light until I outshone every other star. It was she who decided I would be special.
She took me in her arms and freed me of the shell that held me, the bonds of chemical and matter that I had never realized were a prison. She exposed the jewel inside, the gem that I was, the form I had been hiding. It was she who decided I was to become a goddess, a guide and a beacon of hope for the mortals she had chosen.
And so I took on form. I bore the light of a star and the shape of a mortal. I walked on the surface of a world far removed from the prying eyes of civilization, held in the embracing light of one of my former sisters, and I built a society of peace.
I guarded and guided a planet of living beings. I stood on the grass and breathed the air. Yet, I was not like them. I could not understand the joys and sorrows of a mortal life. All I can do is use what I already am; I can not cease to be a star.
So, I brought forth a child, a being like myself in my own image but with the soul of a mortal. Because of her weakness I set other stars beside her to be her guardians, to protect her always. In her flesh I could sense a light similar to my own, born of the same fire, but she was free to live. To laugh. To love.
It was she who showed me the strength of emotion. She wanted a mortal of the planet I protected. I knew it could not be so; we were stars, we could not join with mortals. But I could not prevent her.
Attracted by my brightness, darkness came. My people turned against me, resentful of my light. Rather than walk the path of stars without the man she desired, my daughter chose death.
I did not understand. But I could not bear to see her life end miserably.
So, I granted the final wish of my first Lady and sealed the darkness into a place where it could not damage the stars. In doing so, the strength of our body was spent. My Lady sank into me, my embrace surrounded her, and we became one.
Then we gave up that body and joined with the child we had made, our souls blending into a new whole, reclaiming the piece of ourselves that had once been separate. Stars never die, they simply adapt and change. I was the elder and the wiser; in my new Lady's body I could guide her back to the light that was her lover, no matter what forms we assumed.
We and our fellow stars returned to our origin. The Guardian embraced us once again and smiled upon me. I had done well.
We waited in the origin place until she saw fit to give us new forms. Together we were reborn on the very planet I had once protected, in the same era on the same island. Yet, my Lady remembered nothing of what she once had been. She lived as a mortal, showing no traces of her former glory. I slept within her, dormant, unknown, and without form. The part of me that had been Queen mourned our daughter's ignorance, but at the same time, we were content; my Lady was happy as she was.
Still, she was lonely, although she did not know it herself. So I sent out dreams to her lover, enticing him to search for me, to draw him near to my Lady. I knew they would be happy together, memories or no. I tried to send similar impulses to the stars that had once been my Lady's guardians, but my bond with them was not as strong, and they could not hear my call as clearly.
That innocent act became my greatest sin.
My signal was heard by those for whom it was not intended. Attracted by my light once more, the darkness stirred within its prison. At this time I again learned of the weaknesses of emotion. In her grief, my former Lady had not focused her power properly at the fall of our kingdom. The seal cracked, and the darkness began to break free.
Once again, the power of the stars was needed to repel evil from an innocent world. My Lady was not a true star like her guardians, but I made her one. Taking the forms of soldiers, my Lady led her companions against the legions of darkness. I discovered also the consequences of placing a star in a mortal's body. Unlike my first incarnation, this Lady knew me as her ancient mother's tool, not as a part of herself.
Still, together we were strong. I gave what power I could despite my Lady's ignorance, formless as I was, awaiting her awakening. This young woman was truly a different creature than I had been; for her, the needed catalyst was a moment of poignant, overpowering, extreme emotion.
Her lover lay dead at her feet, fallen in the act of protecting her. In this tragedy, painful memories of the past were mirrored. The barriers of time collapsed one by one, and at last, my Lady remembered, from the ancient love she had once treasured to the jewel her mother had once wielded. In her moment of grief, she gave birth to a new form for me, a shining crystal forged from her own tears as she wept over the body of her lover.
She gave me to that man. Again I gained new understanding of this force called Love. My Lady's need for him was so strong that she willingly gave her very soul to save his life, at the very moment of her awakening. She was willing to endure the frigid emptiness of being without the warmth of her spirit if it kept the chill of death away from his.
So, I protected him. After what I had done, summoning evil down around us, I had no right to do otherwise. It was my Lady's wish, conscious or not. Stripped of the jewel that was my body I preserved his dying breath and hid from the searching of the darkness, holding his spirit to this life until the day my Lady would call upon me to save him.
She remembered me now, but we were separated and I could not speak to her. My Lady had to go to the broken ruins of her ancient home to learn of her past from a half-faded shadow of her mother. There was so much I could have told her then, so much I could have done for her, but I was on my special mission and she had to suffer alone. Alas, because we were separated at such a critical time, my bond with her would never be as strong as with my first Lady.
I could not help her as she faced the man she loved as an enemy. All I could do was continue to guard her lover's true spirit from the darkness with everything I was. Without the strength of her soul I feared my Lady would fail.
Indeed, she did. Seeing no other path, she forced herself to destroy her lover when her calls failed to reach him through the darkness. Unwilling to live without him, she once again ended her own life as well.
In that moment, however, I was free.
I rejoined my jewel body and protected the forms of my Lady and her lover as the storm of evil raged around us and our enemy spread over us. Reaching out with my strength, and the willpower of my Lady's truest desires, I seized the strings of destiny and pulled. Instead of a hit, a miss; instead of a pierced heart, a cracked watch, a quartet of broken stones. My Lady was revived, and her beloved with her.
With her first wish, for the safety of her loved ones, I was transformed. I blossomed and grew like a flower, swelling with my Lady's newfound confidence and strength of heart. With her lover at her side my Lady experienced courage beyond any I had felt before, far surpassing the strength of her ancient mother. At that time I was witness to the true power of the human spirit and the emotions it possesses. Combined with the light of the stars of the nearby planets, the darkness was destroyed.
When it was all over, everything seemed all right again, but that was only on the surface. As my Lady's soul I knew what she wanted most was to be a normal human girl, with a normal human life. She asked it of me every day since the moment she learned I existed. But all I can give is what is already there; I could not make her what she was not. If I had not revealed my existence to the enemies, my Lady could have had the ordinary life she so desired. Due to my well-meaning but foolish act, it could never be. I vowed never again to act without the direct request of my Lady.
The prying eye of darkness was forever upon us after that. Evil came in one incarnation after the other, eternally focused on my Lady and the power she controlled. Like the woman before her, she often called on me, the shining jewel within her body: the unbridled strength of her soul. For what other than a pure, untainted soul can cure another's heart of evil? What other than the brightness of a star can banish the darkness?
I banished countless evils. I purified countless possessions. I sought out freed souls and returned them to their mortal bodies. Whenever my Lady asked it of me, I found those who wandered in darkness and guided them back to the light, responding to her every beck and call. I changed my form and strengths to provide whatever power she needed as we evolved together. With my Lady's courage and my strength we eventually banished the core of all evil, the Guardian's greatest mistake, back to the depths of the origin place. It seemed there was nothing we could not do.
And yet, for the first and only time, I failed her.
My twisted twin sister, the enemy of light, returned far sooner than I expected. In facing the source of all darkness my Lady and I succeeded in becoming the most powerful star that has ever burned, the ultimate soldier. It was this goal that the Guardian had in mind when she chose me, the only power worthy of bearing the Guardian's own name. With the origin place itself on our side we fought the entity known as Chaos again. But this time, my Lady was not unscathed.
There were losses. Stars that my Lady had long called friends were destroyed, not to be recovered until their next incarnation. With what had been done to them, even that rebirth was uncertain. The smaller group of stars my first Lady had originally set around her child to protect her was intact, but it was not enough. In that moment it became clear that my Lady's mortal heart was both a strength and a weakness.
She called upon me to bring back the stars of the outer planets. I could not obey. Their patterns were lost to me. But she refused to give up.
My Lady made a wish then, to go back to another time, another place, where she had made a different decision. Her love for the stars she had known was so strong that she was willing to end the cycle of reincarnation forever if that would prevent them from losing their light. She wanted to destroy the origin place, the home of her own Guardian.
This atrocious mission evoked the closest thing to emotion that I was capable of experiencing at that time. The origin place is vital to the life and stability of the galaxy, my own place of birth, and the domain of the entity who made me what I am. Still, the choice was not mine to make. I am bound to serve my Lady in all things, and to relinquish my power, her power, whenever she asks it of me. If she chose to pursue this fool's errand, I could not prevent her.
I granted her wish. I could not do otherwise. I could only watch as she went to a place she had been before and used the form of an innocent child to gain the confidence of her former self. I waited as the voice of my first Lady called words of reason to her daughter, hoping to stay her hand, but in vain. My Lady's grief, made all the more acute by the sight of the doomed stars alive and well and ignorant of their fate, was too strong for her to hear the words of her soul.
She did, however, hear the words of herself.
The war repeated itself, stars were saved and lost, and at last we stood once again on the border of the origin place. The time for decision was here. My Lady urged her former self to destroy the origin place before it was too late.
Her former self refused.
Numbed, my Lady stood and watched as the war continued. She had not even considered the possibility that she might fail. After all, who knew her former self better than she? They were the same!
And yet, as she witnessed the soldier of a more innocent time gathering all the stars of the galaxy to fight the darkness, my Lady realized they were not the same after all. She had forgotten the power of hope, the strength that could be held by a single star. She had forgotten the beauty of hundreds of voices joined in song and the vibrant light that came from hope that refused to die. She had forgotten that all stars wish to shine eternally.
Now, with the words and actions of her former self, she remembered. As an immortal star I could not then understand the feeling my Lady experienced, but it was powerful enough to banish the misery that had clouded her heart.
So we returned to our proper time. With newfound courage my Lady gathered together all the forces of the galaxy, and the evil and darkness were once again banished. The most bitter struggle we had yet faced was over.
Still, after that, nothing could ever be the same. I built a city of crystal and set my Lady to rule over it as Queen. I shared my Lady's body with the new life that had been planted there by her lover and saw the little star safely into the outside world. I helped my Lady to usher in a new era of peace and safety and stability. I did all of these things for her - and yet, she was not content.
We were the most powerful being ever to exist in the galaxy. But that was not the life my Lady wanted.
The war and its losses were still fresh and painful in my Lady's mind after much time had passed, and not even her lover could heal those wounds. She did not want the suffering that came from that kind of life. She wanted nothing more than to never fight again. In this, she truly was the greatest soldier who ever existed.
I could not give my Lady the freedom she desired in the life of a mortal. All I can give is what is already there; I could not unmake what she was. Indeed, my presence was the cause of her pain. As long as she was both a mortal and the will that controlled me, war would come, and would be her responsibility.
Thus, my Lady decided to diminish into me, the first to do this by choice. Only by becoming one with us could she escape the destiny of a soldier.
All that was vital and truly herself descended into me. My first Lady and I opened our arms, and we enveloped her into ourselves, numbing the pain as best we could with our wisdom and experience and company. Only a shell was left, an imprint to serve as mother to the next of my Lady's line, with all of her instincts and manner but none of her soul. I became, once again, a stone, a jewel that could exist outside of my holder's body, and I was set in a place of reverence to await my next Lady.
I did not have to wait long.
My second Lady's child was drawn to me as surely as a loose star to the origin place. Although my former Lady was happy as part of me she knew the fate of a soldier awaited her daughter if I became her soul, and cried out against it, but there was nothing that could be done. My mark had been placed upon the child at the moment she was formed, and as soon as she touched me I sank into her body, never to be separated from her again. This was the fate of all those born as stars.
This Lady had lived hundreds of years without knowing the touch of time, but with my presence her body began to age, and would continue to do so until she reached adulthood. It would not be noticable for some time, but the changes I brought had already begun. With the voices of two ancestors whispering to her subconscious my new Lady traveled to the past and held her own against powers far older and stronger than herself. She protected me as I was once again sought by evil, and I supported her as she fought alongside my second Lady as a soldier.
Inside, their power was the same. Inside, their souls were the same. As one being in two equally powerful bodies, what force could defeat them?
The shell that was left of my Lady's mother proved to be wiser than I had expected. Now that she was my Lady, it followed that this child must become Queen of the world her mother had built. Immediately. My Lady was old in years, but young in body and mind. Knowing this, the empty woman who ruled the empire of crystal sent my Lady to the past again under the guise of being trained as a soldier, to grant her a few more precious years before the yoke of the monarchy would be placed on her shoulders.
As the future stood still, my Lady enjoyed what remained of her childhood. And yet, she yearned always to become an adult. She wanted it so badly that her heart ached, but that was one wish I could not grant her, not truly. All I can give is what is already there; a tangible dream of adulthood, perhaps, but not reality.
At the last, my third Lady, too, participated in the decisive battle at the origin place, although my former self wisely prevented her from exerting too much influence over the past. Then, when we were restored to our proper time and place after the key decision was once again made, my Lady became Queen.
Her role completed, the body of my second Lady weakened and passed away. I wonder if my Lady's grief would have been lessened had she known her mother was always with her, and closer than ever, but we could not speak to her. My former Lady tried to reach her daughter, but the light of the stars is weaker in her than any other of her line and she could not hear her mother's calls. Above all, even with a new group of stars gathered around her, my newest Lady rules alone, unaware of the generations enfolded within her soul.
As her mother and her mother's mother before her, my Lady calls upon me now only when she has need of the power cloistered within her. This is a peaceful era, and not much has required my attention over the years. I am, however, eternally the gatekeeper to the strength of my Lady's soul. Most of my days are now spent in slumber, but I will always be awakened by those two words.
Now, this latest wish. Shall I grant my Lady's request?
It is different this time. This is a boon I have not been asked of in two ages and eternity.
To grant, not strength and power, but life. A child.
Unlike the one who last held me, the object of this Lady's affection is unable to father an heir for her. Yet the bloodline must continue. The two voices within me, also, whisper of needs other than the practical. Love, and loneliness abated, and the pride of seeing one's own face reflected in another, and the warmth of a small body held within one's own arms. The facets of my being have wished me to grant this pleasure to their descendant for quite some time, but I am bound to wait for my Lady's own request. At last, she asks it of me.
I have done this before, long ago, although it was easier then. We were a pure star, untouched by mortal weakness. We simply thought of a thing, and it was done. That is not to say I have become powerless; I am as strong as the one who carries me, after all. Even now I can still knit a few spare cells into new muscle and bone.
But my Lady will be disappointed. I know what she truly wants. A unique child, not a duplicate of her own face. Someone else. Something different.
All I can give her is what she already has.
This power, too. All I can give her is what she already holds inside of her, no more.
After all, we are the same.
And someday, we too will be one.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon and its associated characters and canon are the property of Naoko Takeuchi and Kodansha.