"What, no welcome wagon?" Lita said, smirking.
"Ask a stupid question…" Raye returned, not taking her eyes off the enemies moving towards them.
"Here they come!" Rini called.
The five of them leapt forward, their attacks streaming out to meet their foes.
The Wiseman fired again and again; single, but massive balls of fire streaming out at Sailor Moon. She dodged each in turn, barely, by scampering around the edge of the room. But she was rapidly running out of breath, and unless she did something, she knew it was only a matter of time before she ran out of luck as well.
"I can hold out forever, brat. Can you?" the Wiseman mocked. "Even so far away, the conjunction gives me nearly unlimited power. You can’t win."
"We’ll see about that!" She paused and took aim. Spinning in a circle, Warrior Moon ended with her sword pointed directly at the Wiseman. "Moonbeam Strike!" she yelled. Ten needle-thin beams of pure white light shot from the sword’s blade, whipping towards the Wiseman with incredible speed…
Only to deflect harmlessly off his robes.
Serena could only stand stunned.
Leaping up over five stairs at a time, Raye and Celeste lead the group up the spiraling interior of the tower. Lita followed, supporting an injured Rini. Mina was backup, leaping and twisting to keep approaching monsters from ambushing them.
"Look out!" Celeste cried, stopping dead in her tracks. A series of energy blasts shot down at them, blasting the stairs they were on to pieces. In the nick of time, the five leapt away to more secure footholds.
A figure stood near the blasted stairs, regarding them all. It was impressively tall and well muscled, with silvery skin that seemed to be half flesh and half armor. A large wing-like structure protruded from each shoulder, and its small head consisted mainly of a narrow visor. In a heavy, leaden voice it spoke. "I am Neue Ziel, greatest of the Wiseman’s creations. You shall go no further."
"I don't know about that! Time’s Arrow!" Rini yelled out, loosing a magic arrow at the creature. It swatted it aside with a single oversized hand, and spread its shoulders. Five large rubies appeared on each and launched a volley of red energy beams.
"We've gotta get past it!" Celeste called to the others as they frantically dodged its shots.
"I noticed!" Mina yelled back. "Venus Light Ray Envelop!" She sent streams of light at the monster while leaping from one perch to another. Neue Ziel easily avoided the attacks and launched itself off the stairs, still firing at them.
"This isn't working," Rini commented apprehensively, as she fired another arrow to no avail.
"We can't give up! They’re up there… somewhere." Raye said. "I feel them."
"Less talking, more fighting," Jupiter grunted, pushing Mars out of the path of a stray blast. "You get upstairs and find Serena. I'll cover you." Mars nodded, moving away. "Jupiter Spark Shower!" Crackling balls of electricity formed around her and whisked towards Neue Ziel. Buffeted on all sides by the spheres it dropped to one knee, for the first time pausing in its attack.
The scouts took this opportunity to rush up the stairs, still wary of their adversary, but aware of the task that lay ahead. "Did we get 'im?" Celeste asked, looking back.
Neue Ziel approached them, not quickly, rather with the deliberate pace of one who is assured of victory. "No…" Mina moaned.
"This guy doesn't get hurt! What'll we do?" Rini asked.
"Run," Raye replied.
Warrior Moon gave a short cry as her sword clattered to the ground. She leapt aside as the Wiseman sent a massive lightning bolt at her, but stumbled and fell, rather than landing as she had planned. A wicked grin spread across his face as he gestured towards his prone adversary. Wailing helplessly, arms and legs flailing, Serena was lifted into the air by the Wiseman. "And now… you die."
His whole body crackled with dark energy, which shot out in a massive discharge that entirely enveloped Warrior Moon. Her cry of pain cut out by the roar of the blast, she was flung against the wall like a rag doll. It was a full second before Wiseman let her body drop to the floor.
Smugly grinning once more, he turned his back on the girl and moved to leave. "Pathetic," he derided.
"No," a voice creaked. Wiseman whirled around to see Moon slowly struggling to her feet. "If there’s one thing--" she was cut off as he blasted her into a wall. Picking herself up again, she continued. "...That Luna taught me--" Another wave of energy hit her, but she stood her ground, gritting her teeth as it slammed into her... through her. "...It’s to believe in myself!" She sprang forwards, straight into another of the Wiseman’s blasts, which simply washed over her.
"I'm not afraid! I can do this! I AM SAILOR MOON!" she cried, leaping towards him. Without slowing she held out her arm, and her sword flew to it. In one fluid motion she swung at Wiseman, all previous doubts gone. He dissolved, leaving his robe behind to be sliced in half. Serena turned to see the Wiseman-- no, Rubeus; older, paler, scarred and clutching his chest in agony.
"You’re… the Wiseman?" Serena asked, unable to believe her eyes.
"Yes, puny one," he panted grimly.
Serena couldn't decide whether she should drop her jaw in amazement or break into laughter. "But… You’re such a failure! I can't believe I was afraid of you! I mean, you mess up everything!"
Turning red with shame and embarrassment, he screeched back. "Shut up! I can still beat you!"
She grinned and got a better grip on her sword. "Try it," she said determinedly.
The Warriors raced up the tower, followed by the titanic Neue Ziel. Raining blasts down on him, and dodging his own shots, they came to a landing at the top of the tower. Cornered, they stopped and turned to face the monster as it landed.
Immediately it fired at them again. They leapt aside, but Rini was too slow. She caught a blast directly in the chest and was slammed against the tower wall. Enraged, Jupiter flung her javelin at the creature. It embedded itself in the creature’s right shoulder, causing it to howl with pain. Mars followed her initiative, and leapt at the creature, bringing the Fire Glaive down on its left shoulder. Neue Ziel bellowed once again as the glaive lodged itself in his shoulder, and swatted Mars away with a simple backhand. Venus charged at it, the Light Staff glowing with power as she brought it down on the creature’s head. Neue Ziel caught the staff and, ignoring the burns to its hand, used it as leverage to pick up and toss away Venus. The staff slipped from her hand and she collapsed to the ground. The creature plucked up the three weapons and sent them clattering down the tower.
"What can we do to it?" Rini asked, as they all saw its wounds, the only damage they’d managed to inflict on the creature, heal themselves.
"We’ve only done it once before…" Mina said, as she, Raye and Lita glanced at each other. They nodded in sync and wordlessly stood and held hands.
"What are they doing?" Time asked.
"Come on," Earth said, grabbing her hand and leading her to the Warriors. The joined hands with the others, forming a complete circle.
The monster bellowed at them as Venus was surrounded in golden light.
It hunched down and spread its shoulders once more as Mars glowed red.
Once again the rubies emerged on Neue Ziel’s shoulders as Jupiter was surrounded with green energy.
A strange brown glow appeared around Earth. The monster roared once more and fired its energy blasts, slamming into Jupiter, Mars and Venus’ backs. Their lights flickered briefly, but didn't fade as the pain washed over them.
A purple glow surrounded Rini as she completed the circle of power. The monster kept firing, but the three Warriors absorbed the brunt of its attacks. Fighting the pain from their injuries, they joined the two junior scouts in completing the attack.
"Sailor Planet Power!" they all called out together. A ball of energy formed above them, and immediately shot towards Neue Ziel. Giving a last shriek of pain, it disintegrated in the wave of energy.
Releasing their handholds, Lita, Mina and Raye collapsed to the ground. Their backs were bloodied, and each was still.
"What… they can’t be…" Rini murmured.
"They did it to protect us," Celeste said, looking down on the bodies. A single tear rolled down her cheek. "Come on. It’s time we finished this."
Chapter 39 was submitted by Jinas and Tina.