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The Future's Hope
by Sailor Chronos
Chapter Fifteen: Miracles
Sailor Chronos fell to her knees, not wanting to look at the fallen form of her friend. Yes, they all had known the consequences, but that didn't make it any easier to bear. What made it worse, for her at least, was the fact that Kuri-chan had been on board the Wraith. Was he all right?
The other Senshi just stood where they were, unable to speak.
"Serenity!" Soldeen ran to the princess, who had transformed back into her normal dress when she hit the ground; her locket lay next to her with a large crack in it. He knelt and gathered her in his arms, but she didn't move. "You can't die, not after all this! Please..." Holding her close, he kissed her.
At that moment, something wondrous happened. Serenity's body was surrounded by light, sparkling golden like the sunshine on a summer morning. After a few seconds it dimmed, and the cracked locket flared and became whole. Soldeen gently released the princess, and she opened her eyes and took a breath before exclaiming in surprise.
The stunned Senshi watched as she was helped to her feet, and stared when they saw what she had noticed. On the commander's forehead was a radiant golden symbol of a rising sun.
Kurisu and Dorani found themselves standing on a bluff overlooking Crystal Tokyo, which sparkled in the waning daylight.
"What is this?" the Captain asked, uncomprehending. "Where is my ship, my crew?"
At once Kurisu knew what must have happened. "I believe your ship has been destroyed," he said solemnly. "We, and I assume your crew, were rescued, but I dread to think of the price." He reached out with his senses, and could feel the presence of the Senshi in the city core. "Follow me, please."
With their capes flowing behind them, the two men ran down the hill.
"What... what's happened?" Serenity's question broke the silence.
"Of course," Chronos murmured as she rose on unsteady feet. "Sol-dean. Sun master. I should have realized. He's a descendant of one of the ancient royal families!"
"What?" the others chorused.
The commander touched his forehead as if to feel whether something was there, an expression of disbelief on his face. "Could someone please explain? I'm just an ordinary soldier; I never thought I could be otherwise!"
Chronos cleared her throat. "I'll tell you what I know, although most of it is according to myth. Long ago, there were several powerful royal families on Earth, various members of which were worshipped as gods by the humans of the time. They frequently quarreled among themselves about interference with the human race and each other, and finally it was decided that they each make their own domain within the solar system and rule it exclusively.
"One of the families went to the Moon, and became the forebears of Queen Serenity. Another went to Elysion, where the current descendant, Helios, still rules. A third, however, vanished. Some of the branches remained on Earth, interbred with humans and lost their powers over time, but the matriarch and a few of her children were never seen or heard from again."
"And you think that I could be related to this family?" asked Soldeen. "All I ever knew of this was that my name had been handed down through generations."
"There can be no question," Chronos said firmly, "given what just happened to you. Evidently a new kingdom was founded across the galaxy on the Syrollan homeworld. Over the centuries, the name changed and the family's power and influence were forgotten."
"However, the powers haven't been lost, they just became dormant as they passed from one generation to the next," Ceres theorized. "You finally reactivated them with the intensity of your feelings for Princess Serenity."
Serenity gazed at him with a joyous smile. "So your ancestors were a lost royal line! You're a Prince and you never knew!" She hugged him enthusiastically.
Vesta lifted an eyebrow and put her hands on her hips. "I guess we don't have to worry about these two any more."
Soldeen was clearly ecstatic. "When I volunteered for this mission, I had a feeling about it, but I didn't think that everything I could have wished for would be granted! Thank the Light."
"The Light?" Diana asked.
"My people have believed in a Goddess of Light since the beginning of our recorded history," he explained. "Nobody knows what her name was, if she had one. Ancient drawings depict her to be very beautiful with long golden hair, reaching up to the sky."
Vesta added, "If she was the head of the lost family, she was worshipped as a Goddess after settling on your planet."
"Heaven help us when you try to learn how to use your powers properly!" Pallas joked. "I heard that Princess here got into all sorts of trouble before she mastered hers."
Serenity glared at her, but couldn't remain angry for long as she and Soldeen stood arm in arm. "So what happens now? There's still the matter of the Syrollan Empire."
"I can help you with that." Captain Dorani walked up with Kurisu, and Sailor Chronos' characteristic aloofness was discarded as she tearfully embraced her mate.
Dorani nonchalantly waved aside the commander's brisk salute before bowing to the Princess. "Your Highness, Sir Kurisu told me of the proposal that you submitted to your Council earlier today. If you would kindly allow me the use of a communications transmitter, I'll inform the Empire of your suggestion of a treaty. They might not accept it right away, but it would be a start. I no longer want to cause any more grief, and since I have witnessed first-hand the power that you and your people are capable of displaying, I believe it would be in the Empire's best interests to have a peaceful solution."
The Princess curtsied, looking lovely as the moon rose behind her. "That would be much appreciated, Captain."
Captain Dorani was as good as his word. Holographic technology enabled him to speak directly with the Captain of the invasion fleet that was waiting just outside the solar system. The man hadn't been in a good mood, since engine troubles had plagued the entire fleet since their arrival. The initial reaction to the peace agreement was pure disbelief, but Dorani eventually managed to convince his colleague that conquering Earth would cost the Empire too much in troops and equipment, and even sent a draft copy of the treaty for his perusal. Juno was skeptical, but then again she always was, and the Senshi had Dorani's personal assurance that they had little to worry about.
The crew members of the Wraith that had been scattered throughout the city by the ginzuishou were located by the police during the night, and were offered the choice to return home when the Empire's envoy arrived, or to remain on Earth and build new lives. Those who were involved in the mutiny would be punished appopriately, but a few of them regretted their actions and Serenity insisted that they be treated with kindness.
Journal, July 3rd 2917
At last it's almost over. The Council will meet today to officially end the hostilities, and I expect that Princess Serenity and Prince Soldeen will announce their engagement. The Prince wants Dorani, Kavir, Shingo, and Conja to be his personal Knights; this will probably cause quite a stir, considering that Conja will be the first female Knight in our history.
"This Council is in session!" the Speaker called. "All rise!" The assembly stood as the Princess and her entourage entered the chamber and seated themselves.
The ratification of the peace treaty didn't take long, and the document was signed by Princess Serenity of Earth with her chief advisor Sailor Chronos, and Captain Dorani with his second-in-command Kavir representing the Syrollan Empire.
"And now, I have a personal announcement to make," Serenity said. "I, Princess Serenity of Crystal Tokyo, hereby inform this Council of my engagement to Prince Soldeen of Syrol." She flushed and patiently waited for the expected nattering to wear down. "It is our belief that this will serve as a gesture of peace for both our peoples and strengthen our association."
The Speaker rose and held up his mallet. "As per tradition, I shall strike the session bell three times. Anyone who has a formal objection must speak now." He rang the bell once. Twice.
"I object to this proposal," called someone from the main doors.
All heads turned.
"MOTHER?" Serenity cried out.
Neo-Queen Serenity laughed. "I object only because I wasn't given the chance to announce it myself!"
Forgetting all else, the Princess almost flew into her mother's arms. "I thought you were dead!" She felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up to see her father smiling down at her. Behind him were four Sailor Senshi. "Father? Mercury! Mars! Venus! Jupiter!" She blinked back happy tears and hugged them all. "How?"
The Queen smiled and gestured for her daughter to walk ahead of her as she moved down the central aisle, accompanied by King Endymion and her guardians. Behind them on either side of the doors, quietly stood five more Senshi. Everyone in the House stood and bowed.
"Please be seated," the Queen said, then brought forth her Moon Tier, extended its handle to the floor and tapped it twice. "The King and I owe everybody, especially the Princess, an explanation."
"Some time ago, we sent the Outer Senshi out on an attempt to restore the defense grid that once protected our solar system," Endymion began. "We didn't wish to be surprised again like we were by the Black Moon. While the Senshi were occupied, the approach of the Syrollans was detected. Knowing that we likely could not defend Earth against such a force, we sent a message offering to negotiate peace. We received no response."
"Therefore, we made preparations for the worst," the Queen continued. "The Outer Senshi were able to partially activate the grid, but one ship got through. We estimated that the Crystal Palace would be their first target, and sent the Princess to a safe location before sealing ourselves in the underground chambers."
"So that's why the fleet was having problems," Dorani realized. "Your defense grid was interfering with their systems."
Now Princess Serenity stood, visibly shaking. "You knew." She glared accusingly at her parents. "YOU KNEW?" Whirling, she faced Chronos. "You and Diana too? And you didn't tell me?"
Chronos nodded. "We were under orders not to. I'm sorry."
"Please hear us out," the Queen said quickly before her daughter could start a tirade. "We had given you a comfortable life since you returned from the twentieth century, and we felt that because of this you had become somewhat indulgent. If a time arose when you needed to take command, we feared you might not be up to the task. This situation was an opportunity for you to grow into your full powers. And I must say, you did admirably well."
"And if I hadn't been able to do it?" The Princess was still angry. "You wouldn't have stood by and let the Syrollans take over?"
"Of course not," her father replied. "We would all have been there to help. Your using the ginzuishou was a large risk, and we could only hope that you would survive the effort if you did. In retrospect, perhaps we should have warned you, but if we had you might not have had sufficient motivation to address the problem yourself."
"Please don't be too hard on them," Soldeen said gently as he put his arm around her shoulders. "They were doing what they thought was best for you. Look at what you've accomplished; you did all that on your own. You should be proud. I am." He smiled lovingly at her.
"He's right," Chronos agreed. "We apologize for the deception and don't expect you to forgive us for some time, but think about how much you have grown in the past few days. Someday, you'll be a good Queen."
"Good? That's high praise, coming from her," Sailor Juno quipped.
Princess Serenity looked up at her Prince, then at her friends, her anger melting away. "Thank you. I've always wanted to live up to the legacy that I have. I hope that I did."
Sailor Chronos clapped her hands, followed by Ceres, then Vesta and the other Senshi. One by one, everyone in the chamber began to applaud until the House was filled with the sound of their appreciation.
Journal, July 3rd 2918
Today will be remembered as one of the greatest days of Crystal Tokyo. Princess Serenity and Prince Soldeen were married in the throne room of the rebuilt Crystal Palace; not since Usagi-chan and Mamoru-san were married has this city seen such a lavish affair. The ceremony was attended by dignitaries from all around the world, and from off-world as well: the Grand Marshal of the Syrollan Empire military arrived to personally give the happy couple his blessing.
The Sailor Quartet were Serenity's bridesmaids, and I was not surprised to see that Ceres and Kavir spent a lot of time dancing together at the reception. I believe that Dorani may fancy Conja but he's very tight-lipped about it. Both men spend most of their time on duty or training with the other Knights, although they visit our home regularly and are good friends.
Early this morning before the wedding, Kurisu and I had our own joyful occasion to celebrate. Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion presided over the official anointing of our baby girl, Tenmei. I've had a premonition that one day she'll be a great Senshi.
My thanks go to the following people:
My partner for his support and encouragement.
My good friends Daniel and Bruce for helping me complete my Sailor Moon video collection.
Fellow anime fan Leo for giving me the idea for the story in the first place.
And of course, Takeuchi Naoko, Sailor Moon's creator.