Mooney didn't have to read their minds to know they were uneasy about him and Outai - Outai especially. Well, he didn't like doing so anyway, so he didn't. Instead, he had long since learned to pick up on small cues, and he could see the suspicion in their eyes. They did not trust either of them, and frankly he couldn't blame them. Still, at least they were hospitable about it. He gave them credit for that.
"Hm, so that's what smells so different about you three. You smell like the other senshi, though a little different. More like Princess Kakyuu, really. She's a nice lady." he muttered when they mentioned their senshi forms.
Then they spoke of the location of the taint. Well, that was decidedly convenient. They hadn't gone too close, at least by their account, but he began to wonder if it was close enough to pick up on the taint. With all this going on, he might have to wake Outai up before she had a chance to fully recuperate.
"Well," he said, when asked what they should do, "The way I figure it, it's going to have an advanced guard. At the rate I've seen lately, it will likely be composed completely of vessels - those so badly tainted that their souls were completely consumed, and the void left from that filled with the taint; a living vessel for the taint to use for eyes, ears, and a mouth, among other things. They are stronger and faster than the others, and can spread the taint without having to touch you - their very presence does that.
Anyway, Outai's going to need all the energy she can get. On her own, she lacks the strength to purify the world. She will need every senshi she can get her paws on to donate energy to her. The problem is that their energy signatures are so different from hers that she cannot use it. However, Sailor Moon's and Sailor Chibi Moon's energies ARE similar to her own, so she can use that. Everyone else will have to give their energy to them, and they can redirect it to Outai. We can only hope that will be enough.
However, this will have to be done at the very heart of the taint. The rest of the senshi are protected by Holy, so long as they are in senshi form - which they won't be able to do if they are tainted. It's part of the seal that Holy put on them. Once Outai wakes up, we'll see if we can get Holy to do the same for you three, and Kakyuu.
As for getting there, we'll need all the guards we can get. I'm volunteering myself, because one way or another this thing has to be destroyed, and because - as her guardian - I'd give my life for her. I'm hoping Tuxedo Mask will help as well. If you three and Kakyuu are willing to help, then the best way to do so is with an energy donation, if you are able to. If not, I could sure use help as part of their guard force."
As Mooney mentioned that the Starlights smelled like Princess Kakyuu, all three of them became big-eyed. The Princess! After being bombarded by welcomes and questions, they basically forgot to check on her! Though, they did feel her presence strongly in the condo; perhaps subconsciously, that's why they were not so anxious to see her. Glancing at each other, it almost seemed like they had a small conversation telepathically to determine who should actually go to her. Yaten was glad to leave, so he set off to personally talk with Princess Kakyuu.
He nearly trotted away from the living room, so eager to see her beautiful face. He found her around the corner in the hall and immediately sank to one knee. A huge smile formed on his face as he greeted her warmly in a low voice to keep from disturbing Mooney's conversation, "It's great to see you, Princess Kakyuu. Pardon us for not coming to you sooner. So much has happened, if you've been listening. And there's more to tell later when we're in private." Bowing his head, he took one of her petite hands in both of his and kissed hers delicately.
Meanwhile, Seiya and Yaten continued to listen to Mooney explain their strategy. Seiya leaned forward, elbows resting on his thighs, while Taiki crossed his arms and closed his eyes. They both were very invested in the conversation, considering their options and how they could best help the others. Seiya was the first to speak. His face was serious, but he was calm and collected. "Yaten, Taiki, and I can be wherever you need us. We're indebted to Sailor Moon, anyway. We only have one stipulation: Princess Kakyuu will not be a part of the guard. We would rather her stay away from as much fighting as possible, though she is capable." Taiki opened his eyes and nodded in agreement. "Yes, I feel the same. Instead, she can easily harvest our energy and transfer it to Sailor Moon when the time comes. If necessary, we can aid you and Mamoru, who you know as Tuxedo Mask." Though Yaten was no longer fully paying attention to the conversation, the other two knew that he would be okay with this. The Starlights were not callous people when it came to helping strangers, as long as it didn't put their Princess in unnecessarily grave danger. "And as for this Holy you speak of, it must be pretty powerful to grant such failsafes for the Senshi. How does Outai have anything to do with Holy?" Taiki asked. Was Outai special like Sailor Moon with her insanely pure power, or was this something completely different?
Ami had sat back down in her chair at the dining table as Mooney and the Starlights exchanged information. At the mention of Outai in the conversation, she got up again and decided to check on her patient. It'd be great if Outai had awakened, especially now that they needed Holy. But then again, the girl was exhausted and hurt. She also stepped out of the living room to walk to the guest bedroom.
Setsuna perked up upon seeing the Starlights. Oh, this was definitely a good sign for them. Perhaps things weren't so bleak, afterall. She remembered that Mamoru and Chibiusa had separated from the group to search for them, so it would probably be wise to send them here. She noted Usagi crossing to the kitchen and called her out quietly. "Usagi, you should call Mamoru to let him and Chibiusa know that their search is over. Tell them to come here," she smiled and told her princess. Thinking about Chibiusa almost always put a smile on her face, and she was also very fond of the prince. But she refocused on the men by the couches, absorbing as much of the details about their next plan of action as possible. She was glad that they were formulating a fan. It wasn't the most certain-sounding, but it was far better than nothing.
╜Kakyuu had remained in where she had stopped, the hallway. Granted, she had her back against the wall as she had picked a spot to have her gaze be at while she sorts out her thoughts. When she had sensed the Starlights nearing, a relieved smile comes out and seeing them only further causes her to be glad that they are well. She could only hear what she can that is within ear shot, she would've joined in the conversion but she's been sorting her thoughts. There is so much that she is concerned with, and there are the worries that she pushes aside for a better time.
When Yaten had came into her line of sight again, her relieved smile became a welcoming gentle one. As well as her gaze being focused onto him. From what she could hear right now, it sounds to be further battle plans, but the mentioning of Holy does have her curious. She hasn't heard of Holy before, and if anything she can find out more later if she is missing information. She gave a small nod before she answers only in a lower volume to not disrupt the conversion that is within ear shot for most of it, “I have been listening, Yaten. I am very glad and relieved that you three are well, and I understand.” She closed her eyes for a moment as she paused. She does truly understand the reasons as to why there is more to tell when it would be private. She doesn't mind not being among the ones guarding. As long as she is able to assist, she is happy. When her eyes do reopen she held an apologetic look before adding a little more quieter than she was a moment ago, “I apologize if I did cause you three to worry.”
Mooney listened quietly as two of the young men made their demands known, while a third one went off to where he suspected Kakyuu was waiting. That one had silver hair and green eyes, and it was obvious to him that Kakyuu was important to them. Well, he could understand that.
"That's fine with me." he said, "I'd rather her not be in the fight, either. I think she would be better off helping the others with energy. You three could do the same, but I won't argue against more help with the Guard. We'll need all we can get.
For the rest...It would be easier to show you three what I've shown the others, but since Outai is sleeping, we have some time to kill.
Holy...is the deity from our home world that we worshiped. A very long time ago, we used to be a planet full of war and hatred, but when Holy came along, it cleansed us. It taught us to get along with each other, to work with each other instead of against each other. It turned our world full of war and death into a utopia.
As for Outai...She is the vessel for Holy. Holy had a premonition a very long time ago that a great evil would come and destroy our world. About this time, a child would be born to save the world, a vessel for holy, the only one capable of utilizing it's full power. Aurora - Outai - was that child. Her parents were the high priest and high priestess of our planet, the two most capable people in the world when it came to communicating with Holy and using it's power. In her first Earth year of life, Aurora had far surpassed them in sheer strength. Unfortunately, that evil came too soon. She was too young to train. She was only a year old - by Earth standards - when it came.
The Earth nation was effected first. Anyone who was near the site where the meteor struck the ground was tainted first. They began to kill everyone around them, and those that survived were tainted as well, and spread the taint to yet others. In less than a day, our whole planet was tainted. In the last vestiges of her sanity, Aurora's mother sent her away from our planet, with me following. I had the crystal with me, and it healed my taint.
We landed here on Earth, and Aurora was taken in by a couple who could not bear a child, but wanted one. They raised her as their own. By the time I found her to give her the crystal, though, her soul was gone, consumed by the taint. Holy was able to seal it away so she could not taint others, so that it could not take control over her, but it is her surrogate soul now. It is what is keeping her as herself right now, and even then she has changed. She used to be such a happy person.
A few months ago, I happened upon a murder. On this planet, it's frightfully common without the taint, and I cannot sense the taint myself, like she can. However, I can see the signs. I learned to read them the hard way. These two were tainted, and one had killed the other rather brutally. I knew then that I had to wake her up to what she really is, to what she is destined to do. I didn't want to do it, but it was that or watch the horror from our planet happen all over again.
Unfortunately, it's grown stronger since our planet. I think it stopped by a few other planets on the way and consumed them as well. It's grown too fast, too strong, for Aurora to take care of it on her own, so we've had to ask for help. Now it is so strong that we will need every ounce of energy we can get into it, and even that may not be enough."
As Kakyuu apologized to Yaten, the young man shook his head furiously. "No, no, no. Please, you have done nothing wrong! We haven't been around to protect you! If anything, I should be apologizing!" he said fervently as his smile wavered, though he still spoke in a hushed voice. "Let's just be grateful that we are together now and rejoin the others, Princess," he said and began smiling again. His princess was a gentle spirit, always willing to take responsibility and make sure that her subjects were happy. He loved that about her, though he never wanted her to feel obligated to the Starlights' needs. In fact, the roles were reversed, and he wanted it to stay that way. Slowly, he stood back up and motioned for her to follow him back to the living room. He overheard most of what Mooney was saying, and he, too, wanted to make sure that he fully understood the situation.
As Mooney explained the origins of his home planet and deity Holy, both Yaten and Seiya became visibly troubled. The story sounded far too similar to what happened to their planet, Kinmoku. With a downcast face, Seiya answered, "Yes, this Taint overtook our home planet as well... And things were finally becoming normal again..." he trailed off at the end and looked away as memories of his friends dying returned fresh. Taiki placed a comforting hand on his back and solemnly said to Mooney, "We know all too well how the Taint turns people against one another, how it gradually consumes souls. I'm glad at least you two survived. Hopefully one day, we all will find peace when this is over. You keep saying that Outai is asleep. Is she hurt? Is that why you are here at Ami's?"
So, that's why these young men smelled so distraught. They hid it well - he could only faintly see it in their eyes that they had lost something important to them - but they could not hide their smell. This explained it all now. He knew their pain and understood it better than he would have liked, but at least it gave him the power to sympathize, as they were sympathizing with him right now. Funny, he hadn't pegged them as being trusting enough to do that. Well, at least this surprise was pleasant. It was more pleasant when they expressed concern for Outai. He could tell they did not trust her.
"Thanks, guys." he said with geniune sincerity. "I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't even express how sorry I am. Please, don't tell Outai about what happened to your home world. She still blames herself for what happened to ours, even though she knows she wasn't old enough to train when it happened. Right now she is sleeping because she spent about twenty-four hours fighting, and is completely drained. I don't know all of what happened - I'll ask her when she wakes up - but from what I can gather, she was ambushed on her way home last night. I don't know why she didn't call us to help her, but when she didn't come home, and didn't show up after school today, I went looking for help from the others. We found her surrounded, and unable to fight or heal the tainted souls that were beating her, but we managed to pull her out. She has a lot of energy and strength, so don't think her weak, but she was out numbered, or so I'm guessing. That's the only thing I can think of that happened. She's not one to dally in healing others that she can heal, and she's not one to do it in small batches with a large crowd. The taint inside her draws them to her, and I'm thinking that they just kept coming. She'll get an earful from me when she wakes up, but for now I'd like to let her sleep. She was pretty badly beaten up."
Luna had listened to Mooney's recollection of Outai with a heavy heart. The tainted were drawn to her? She had lost her soul? As much as Luna want to assure him that no such thing happened, that everyone--even the Tainted--had a soul, Luna couldn't find the words. What did she know? There was nothing she knew, so she dropped the subject and attacked her tuna sandwich, to spare Mooney and herself. But it weighed on Luna's mind even as delicious tuna overwhelmed her tastebuds. Honestly....what did Luna know about Mooney and Outai's situation? She could tell that it pained him to tell her that fact, pained him to remense about it, and hopelessness seemed to shrug off his shoulders. Luna only had to see the Millenium kingdom fall, only had to be bothered by Usgai's silly antics and trained the Senshi. But to watch your protectee, your best friend, lose themseleves, watch them as they feel to helpless into dispair, and to know that the only thing that the only thing that kept her more or less alive was an artificial soul. Was Outai trully Outai? A shiver went up Luna's spine as she looked back to the room where Outai rested. Of course she was. Holy only served as a surroagte. Outai was still Outai. But could that mean...? Luna swallowed and loooked up at Mooney, who was enjoying his sandwich as well. Could that mean that...part, even the smallest atom portion of Outai was still there? Hidden beneath that which was Holy? Luna wondered, because another part of what Mooney said came back to her; that Outai would try to purify herself. Mooney alluded to the fact that if Outai did this...she might die. He didn't say it, but from the sad way he stroked her hair, Luna figured it to be an option. Should she instill hope in Mooney? That maybe there was still a bit of Outai's soul left? But what if she was wrong? What if...?
Luna bet her head and began eating her tuna. She wouldn't tell him. As much as she believed, as much as she wanted to comfort her old friend, there was no way that Luna would instill any of her thought in Mooney only to have it be false. Luna purred qietly when Setsuna patted her head and merely listened to the debate of what to do about the Taint. Luna nodded, but otherwise didn't speak. Mooney's thoughts on the subject were the best anyone had and Luna supposed they'd have to work with that. But hearing Tuxedo Mask made Luna worry about Mamoru and Chibiusa. She hoped they weren't hurt or worse Tainted. But she supposed they were fine considering they hadn't called yet. Luna couldn't help but wonder if Mina, who'd been missing for quite some time, was okay. On top of that, they hadn't heard from Rei or Makoto all day. Luna wondered if they had any luck either. It was depressing to know that none of the girls knew about the new powers Holy bestowed on them, but Luna made a mental note to train the girls vigirously if they had time. These new powers might come in handy against the Taint.
Luna's ears perked when the Three Lights appeared. Well, now we're just missing three others, Luna thought with a sigh. Mina, Makoto, and Rei. Of course Mamoru and Chibiusa, but they more or less knew where those two were. The Three Lights probably didn't see Luna as she was a small black cat while Mooney was obviously new and in humaniod form, but Luna didn't take offense to that. Instead, like Yaten, was starved. Luna was distraught to find out more news about the Taint, that they gathered in such a popular spot, because it was more likely that innocent people were falling victim to their spell. However, the cat thought that attacking their base was a super idea. She said as much, but all anyone would've heard, if they heard anything, was, "Matts ma mate ifear!" Luna continued to eat until she heard Setsuna's suggestion to Usgai. Luna pranced over to Setsuna. "Yes, we'll need Mamoru and Chibiusa here, but what about Mina, Rei, and Makoto? We need all the Sailor Sen--" Luna's eyes bugged out then and suddenly she looked around. But the aqua blue head and orange-blonde were not around. Luna's eyes looked troubled. "Setsuna," Luna said slowly, "Where are your friends...Haruka and Michiru? Do they know about the Taint?" Luna had just remembered the other Senshi and remembered that she hadn't heard of or from them in quite some thing. Luna leaned her head down to the ground and covered her shaking head with her paws. Although she was technically Usgai's guardian, Luna felt extremely protective over all the sailor senshi, even the outer senshi, who didn't like to take orders, for the lack of a better word, from Luna. "We're missing too many people," Luna whispered, "we're missing too many people and we're outnumbered." The cat looked up, her tiny cat face frowning, but bright with resolve, and addressed everyone. "Before we go off infiltrating anything," Luna annouced, almost angrily, "We need to make sure out army is together. We're missing several people, and with Outai resting, we can't afford to lose anyone. We need to find them. Usgai, contact Mamoru and Chibiusa; be sure that they're alright, and see if they've made any progress with finding Mina." He brown-red eyes flashed to Ami. "Ami, called Rei and Makoto, see if they are alright and if they've had any luck finding Mina either." She jumped up and faced Setsuna and Hotaru. "You two need to do all you can to contact your fellow outer senshi. We'll need everyone's help, everyone's strength to combine so we can help Outai, Usgai, and Chibiusa. If they are the only ones who can heal the Tainted, then they need all the power they can get." Luna quieted down, and looked off. Artemis and Diana might be needed to. But she hadn't seen Artemis and Diana in days. Artemis was Mina's guardian and she might know and Diana was Chibiusa's guardidan so she might know. Either way, everyone had to be found. before they went off for what might be their final battle.
Usagi's head snapped up from her sandwich when Setsuna called her name. She turned and swallowed the bite she had been chewing on and nodded. "Of course I can do that much right Luna?" She said trying to make light of a dangerous and perilous situation. Luna always said that she wasn't good for anything, unless pressed into a wall by a rock. She pulled out her phone and dialed the numbers, she had memorized. She listened to the familiar ringing on his phone and waited for him to pick up. She started pacing slightly and when he picked up she couldn't help it. "Mamo-chan! The Starlights found us, so we now just need Mina, Rei, Makoto, Michiru and Hotaru. You and Chibiusa should come to Ami's now." She said happily. Of course that was a lot of people needed to do anything... Would Ami's parents be okay with so many people?
☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽☽ I ᴀᴍ Sᴀɪʟᴏʀ Mᴏᴏɴ, Gᴜᴀʀᴅɪᴀɴ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ Mᴏᴏɴ.
I ᴀᴍ Usᴀɢɪ Tsᴜᴋɪɴᴏ, Sᴇɴɪᴏʀ ᴏғ Hɪɢʜ Sᴄʜᴏᴏʟ.
Chibiusa had gotten out of the vehicle to check in on Mamoru. He was taking forever and the pink haired girl didn't like waiting. As she arrived at the door she grabbed mamoru's hand."Is she not home? Where could she be?"She asked. She looked around to see if any one was in the house, but from the front step she couldn't exactly tell. She raised her red eyes to the door bell and rang once more before looking up at her future father. Deep inside, she still couldn't believe that the Odongo brained female was her future mother. Her mommy was graceful and elegant and beautiful, and Usagi was none of those things. But, there were times when Usagi proved herself. She shooed the thought away, she may have to believe it but it didn't mean she had to like it.
Rei gave an irritated huff. She had been at Minako's front door, ringing the bell and all but pounding it down, and there was no response. No one was home, and this worried her. She had not seen her blond friend for three days, and she hoped that nothing untoward had happened to her. She knew Usagi was going to need all of them for this, even if Outai wasn't very willing to accept their help.
She'd been at it for a while when Mamoru and Chibiusa showed up, apparently on the same errand. Frankly, she was glad to see some friendly faces - she was getting a very bad feeling out in the open like this. It was like all of the putridness and evil she had sensed from earlier battles with the tainted had suddenly blown up, spreading everywhere. It was good to see some that were not tainted, and were - in fact - protected from it, after a fashion.
"Hey guys!" she said, greeting them at Minako's door. "I don't think Minako is here. I've been knocking for a while and there's no response. Do you think they've found Outai yet?"