Flash of crimson, claws ripping through the air, pencils launched with sufficient force and velocity to imbed in the walls behind her as the roaring Youma charges again... too fast! Evade, evade... hit. Pain, as the claws rake deep through the uniform, scratching ribs, she can't help but imagine the result without magical protection, No. She had to focus, the here and now. Teeth grit as she muscled through the pain, stepping as lightly as she could as she called up another bank of concealing fog and slowly retreated, knowing that it would follow her anyway, as she was leaving spots of red behind to mark her trail as she went. That was fine. That was the plan. She kept going until she reached the spot, and then she waited in the enshrouding mist. The Youma roared as it barreled down the road after her, hesitating only a moment as it saw a shadowy figure. The right size, the right height... it didn't stop to think, just lunged forward, claws first, and shredded. And then it screamed, as it found its arm buried to the elbow in one of her special decoys, carefully hammered together out of junk metal and rigged with enough electric current that the creature was vibrating now, eyes rolling as it spasmed, tiny bolts of lightning crawling across its skin as it slowly melted into no more than mere dust. She sighed in relief, and tapped a few keys on the computer, sending a signal to shut off the power supply of the Youma-killing dummy that had saved her bacon so many times before...

Nearby, a child screamed, and she swore violently. Pairs. She had forgotten, sometimes they worked in pairs. Her work wasn't done yet, tonight...

Ami Mizuno's eyes snapped open, her scars throbbing with remembered pain that the dream had called up. There was a black cat sitting in her window.

"Sailor Mercury... I have sensed a Youma."

Ami nodded and followed Luna's unspoken instruction, transforming and relishing in the cool sense of water flowing over herself. There was no pain, yet. In this state, unlike when she shed the uniform, injuries collected from previous battles held no bearing upon her. The aches and throbs she had so rapidly and painfully accumulated were gone for a time, now, awaiting the moment they could return... and greet new friends. She suspected that the only injury that may hold between one transformation and the next would have to be... severe. Very severe.

She hoped it would never reach that point. But, she reflected, as she leapt out the window and to the hunt, while the uniform of Mercury displayed only the clearest and most flawless of skin... it was not for the sake of fashin, that Ami Mizuno had taken up the habit of long sleeves and baggy, concealing pants.

Ami had acquired many scars, in her brief time as Mercury. She had learned to hide them well. But it was, she supposed, only a matter of time and fortune before her judgement erred, or a plan failed more spectacularly than normal, and something would happen that could not be disguised.

She did not regret.

"Situation?" She asked, crisply and calmly, awaiting further details.

"There is a nearby shrine. Something has been lurking nearby and abducting visitors..." Luna explained, as the hunt began in earnest.

xxx

A.N.

Jusst a little snippet. So, explanation time. I was thinking one day, 'why aren't there more stories where it's NOT Usagi, but someone else who finds and rescues Luna'? I mean, it's not like I've looked, or anything, but the only thing I can recall along those lines is a sort of groundhogs-day-repeat type thing where she uses the deus ex crystal to rewind time... again.. or something... look, details are unimportant. Anyway, I thought about it, and realized that it was because not much would change. Same story, different names basically, only instead the monsters of the week would be killed off with blasts of fire or lightning or... love... plasma... stuff? Instead of whatever it is that Moon does. Just replace one offensive technique for another, basically.

But then it hit me. What if... someone without any attack magic at all? When Mercury comes into play, all she has to her name is a single support type, that fog thing. That's it. And it is a long time before she gets anything she can hit stuff with. Her primary role is basically to blanket the area with a smokescreen, and/or yell critical tactical advice to someone who can do something about it.

Now, take her out of that role. Assume she is the only Senshi. She has to her name that fog thing, the Mercury Computer scanning device, and nothing else. Further, let's assume that she has some discretion over the fog thing, that she can make it cover a really wide area, but not conceal much, or make it so the baddies can't see much at all, but it only covers a really small area, like a single small room. This is to slightly alleviate the fact that she's still screwed over, because her magic improves at the same rate it did canonically(for the show anyway, I know NOTHING about the manga), meaning it's a long time before she can hit anything with it. No screwy bullshit like magically intuiting a way to create ice daggers and somehow knowing how to use them properly despite previously being a timid and meek braniac beforehand, or suddenly being able to call down bullshit like creating a hailstorm to beat Youma to death with blocks of ice. None of that. Mercury is intended to be support, canonically, and that's the way it stays.

Except that she showed up first. So she's all alone, with nobody to support. And she still has to kill Youma. So what happens then? I'll tell you what. AWESOME. Pure, undiluted Awesome happens. And horribly greivous, mangling wounds that will leave physical and emotional scars that will pretty much completely wreck the poor girl's self-image and social life for forever, I guess. BUT MAINLY AWESOME. I want to read a story like this. I guess, eventually, I'll just have to give up and write one myself so that I can.

It's kind of like playing an RPG with a single healer, instead of a full and balanced party. Holy flaming monkey shit hard, but if you can pull it off? Just wow. Like that, only Sailor Mercury. You get it?

If anyone does write something like this, be sure to send me a link, 'kay? Oh, and read the Dungeon Keeper Ami thread on the Anime Addventure. It is win.