Chapter 26

Part I. In the Wiseman's Dark Dimension.

Rubeus knelt before the dark, decrepit figure ('Not that he's ever NOT been decrepit,' Rubeus thought to himself).  He could feel the hot glare on the back of his neck.

"FOOL!  IDIOT!  INCOMPETENT!" screeched the Wiseman.  "Garnetia WAS NOT to return!  You were to be SURE of this!"

"I'm sorry, Wiseman," whimpered Rubeus.

"Your 'sorries' will do you no good when she tries to assassinate you next!" growled Wiseman (who had become all the crabbier at his attempted murder).  "Although you'd certainly deserve it."

"I won't allow her to find out about you, Wiseman," Rubeus muttered as a peace offering.

"She surely must know she couldn't have killed me!  But I will humor you."

"Yes, Wiseman," Rubeus said before standing and leaving.  Wiseman cackled after he was gone.

"Oh, I have plans for you...  You will make up for all your mistakes, as well as your sister's..."  He cackled again before sputtering and coughing, then settling in for a rest.

Part II. Outside the Ruins.

Sailor Moon sighed and sat down on a rock.  The energy sword in her hand faded and dissipated.  Mistan sat next to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.

"There, there..." the creature said.  "I know you're confused, but I can help you.  With Garnetia's return, Master Rubeus is in grave danger."  The mohawked girl looked up at her, surprised.  "Yes, I work for Rubeus too.  I was on special assignment to find the remaining Neo-Scouts.

"It is only through their remaining powers that we can free master Rubeus.  The Resistance already have Jupiter and Mars, but just today I discovered Mercury.  Between us, we can find Venus and Neo-Moon, and then free Rubeus."

Sailor Moon looked up at her.  "But why do we need them?  Can't we battle Garnetia on our own?"

"Not now, I'm afraid.  You see, in a week's time, a planetary conjunction will happen.  Garnetia's powers grow by the minute as that approaches, but the Neo-Scouts can also draw from the conjunction.  We have to find them before that, or she will be unstoppable."

They both stood, and Sailor Moon looked Mistan square in the eye.  She saw nothing but sincerity and trust.  "How do I find them?" she asked the creature.

"Like Luna did in the past," the mohawked girl winced at the mention of her long-lost friend.  "You will sense them when you meet them.  Call for me, and I'll come for you."

Sailor Moon nodded grimly and set off on her mission.  Mistan smiled.  "And when I have all the Scouts," she said quietly to herself, "I won't need a fool like you... or Rubeus!"

Part III. Meanwhile, a Little Ways Away.

Garnetia paced back and forth in the ruins of the Dark Tower.  She liked complete submission in her lackeys, but that mohawked girl just didn't act right.  Something about her-- it was almost as if she was hiding something.

Stupid girl, better keep an eye on her, Garnetia thought.

As Sailor Moon left on the track of the fugitives, Garnetia decided to follow, always at a safe distance of course.

Suddenly, there was a rustle in the bushes ahead.  Looking carefully through the tall grass, she saw a misty figure form.

Mistan, traitorous creation, Garnetia thought- trying to turn that mohawked girl against me and my plans.  Sailor Moon may be stupid, but she still can be of some use to me.

Garnetia concentrated.  The dark moon on her forehead glimmered slightly, and a long thin dagger appeared in her hand.  The hilt was bright blue, with a large black opal in the center of it.  Dark power swirled around her hand.

Her green eyes glinted maliciously.  The time for subtlety had passed-- the time for action had arrived.

Chapter 26 I. was submitted by Sailor Dragon.
Chapter 26 II. was submitted by Jinas.
Chapter 26 III. was submitted by Silver.

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