Episode 1- “No Escape”
“OK…that tastes about right”, I said as I finished mixing some punch. It was a few days before Thanksgiving and I was busy prepping things to take to my mom’s house.
“Mom, bandaid!”, I heard Harley yell as she ran in the house. I looked up and saw blood streaming down her knee…again.
“Good grief child. What did you do?”, I asked as I ran over and scooped her up. I sat her on the counter and started cleaning her knee up.
“It’s fine Mom! I just tried to jump my bike and I fell off” Harley said.
Melody, Harley’s best friend, walked in the house just then. “You tried to do a backflip on your bike” she said.
“MEL!” Harley cried.
“Harlyn Nicole”, I warned as I started to bandage her knee.
“Just trying to freestyle.” Harley shrugged.
I sighed. “No, ma’am. Why don’t you and Mel go play in your room?”
“Ugh…ok fine.” Harley sighed.
Harley hopped off the counter and headed to her room with Mel right behind her.
I sighed again. That child would be the death of me.
I suddenly felt a little strange. I took a breath and turned to get back to my prep work when I caught my reflection in the mirror. My Saturn symbol was glowing on my forehead. I gasped. “Oh no. No, no, no, no, no.” I said worried. There was trouble and I really, really didn’t want trouble.
I grabbed my phone out of my purse and dialed Mina’s number.
“Hello?” she answered.
“Mina, it’s me. Did you just have a really weird feeling?” I asked.
“Was said feeling followed by a forehead glow?” she asked.
“That would be the one. Do you know what’s happening?”
“I don’t…but I am going to find out.” Mina said.
“Ok, well you do that. Maybe we can leave me out of it.” I said.
“Mich, if you were glowing too that means something is really wrong and chance are it’s with Hotaru…which means…”
“Which means I have to be Sailor Saturn again. I got that. I’m just trying to avoid it.” I sighed.
“You know that isn’t how this works.”
“I know.” I grumbled.
“I’m going to call the others. I’ll let you know what I find.” Mina said.
“Fine. I’m going to get back to prepping Thanksgiving. Talk later.”
I hung up and turned my attention to my green bean casserole. I knew chances that I wasn’t called back to battle was slim but I was also trying not to think about it. I really liked my life and I didn’t want to risk everything anymore. I had only helped Tommy out a few months ago because the whole Multi-verse was on the line. Then Rock and I got kidnapped and we kinda didn’t have a choice after that…which was kinda the point here. If things had gone awry that day then Harley would have been an orphan. The idea was too much to bear. I was a mom now. I did not need to be on the battlefield. But I had a feeling that’s exactly where I was about to end up. Again.
A few hours later Rocky came in. I didn’t hear him as I was lost in my thoughts as I prepared dinner. I’m not sure how long Rocky was trying to get my attention before I looked up and saw him. I was startled and threw my hands up, releasing some small lightning bolts. Rocky ducked.
“Whoa baby…are you ok?” Rocky asked as he stood up.
“Oh my god, Rock, I’m so sorry baby.” I said.
He walked over and pulled me into his arms. “Baby? What’s going on?”
“I’ve been so worried about being called back to be a Ranger…I forgot to worry about being a Sailor Solider.” I explained as I rested my head on his chest.
“Oh no…what happened” he asked.
“I’m not entirely sure yet. Something is up. I felt it…then my forehead symbol glowed. Mina said the same thing happened to her.” I explained.
“Damn. OK, baby, whatever it is, we got it. We’ll handle it.” He said holding me close.
“I just which I knew what it was.” I sighed.
Just then there was a knock on the door. I went to go answer it. Mina and Adam were standing there with their daughters.
“Oh…hi guys…come in.” I said.
“Girls, go play with Harley.” Mina said.
Her oldest, Kimber, nodded. She was a year younger than Harley. “Ok.” Kimber said as she took her little sister with her.
“Must be serious if you came to talk to me in person.” I sighed.
“We should sit.” Adam said.
“I don’t like the sound of that.” Rocky said as we all went to sit in the living room.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“We don’t know exactly. What we do know is Hotaru is missing and there is a serious disturbance happening with the multiverse. Someone has or is trying to crossover and my guess is that someone isn’t on our side.” Mina explained.
“And probably knows where Hotaru is too.” I added.
“That would be my guess.” Mina agreed.
“So we’re reactivating the Sailor Soldiers?” I asked.
Mina nodded, “Afraid so. Luna is working on some upgrades that should help us.”
“Crap. I can never escape.” I sighed.
Rocky put his arm around me. “We got your back.”
Adam nodded. “Of course we do. Always.”
“Thanks guys…I hope that’s enough.” I said.
~~~~Universe D-Titan Castle, Saturn~~~~~
I looked in the mirror and nodded. My battle gear was perfect. I had a black and plum leather vest top, plum leather pants, and matching boots on. My hair was in a perfect high ponytail and my make-up was dark, but perfect. I heard the door behind me. I turned and saw Hunter. He had on his black and crimson armor. As always he was stunning.
“My love, you look positively fit for battle.” Hunter said.
I nodded. “Indeed I am.”
“But to what end? Our armies have taken Jupiter. Queen Lita has fallen. The last of the outer solar system is ours. We dare not venture into the inner solar system. That would break our treaty with Drakkon.” Hunter said.
“As always, you are right my love. I have my eye on something much bigger.” I smiled.
“And that would be?”
“The entire solar system in Universe A.”
“While I admire your ambition, traveling through the multiverse is dangerous at best.”
“Which is why I have the best minds on Saturn working on it. I received notice they have finally made some headway with it. We should be able to travel to Universe A anytime now.”
“Yes. I was hoping you would come with me.” I said.
“As much as I love to go into battle at your side, someone needs to stay here to rule our empire…not to mention we have our daughter to think of.” Hunter said.
“Maybe you’re right. You should stay here with Harlyn. I can conquer Universe A on my own I’m sure.”
“I know you can.” Hunter said as he pulled me into his arms and kissed me passionately.
“Empress!” a voice cried as my guard came running in.
I pulled away from Hunter and sighed. “This better be good Sir Arion.” I snapped.
“Forgive me Empress, but the rebels on Pluto have started an uprising.” Arion said.
“They will regret that. I will take care of them.” Hunter said.
I nodded. “Show them their place.”
“Arion, you will gather your army and come with me. We will quell this uprising before it gets out of hand.” Hunter said.
“Yes Emperor Hunter.” Arion bowed and took his leave.
I kissed Hunter. “Be careful my love. And come back to me.”
“Always.” Hunter said as he left.
Once Hunter was gone I went down to the lower level of the castle. It was there we had our butler’s chambers, one of which I kept as a concubine. I opened the door. “Jon…I have missed you.”
Jon smiled. “And I you. The Emperor is away?”
“For now.” I said pulling Jon into my arms and kissing him.
“I am happy to see you Michi.” Jon said.
I pulled back and slapped him across the face. “Idiot! What have I told you about calling me that?!”
Jon put his hand on his cheek where I slapped him. “Of course. I am sorry. Empress.”
“Much better. Don’t make me hit you again Jon. I don’t like it when you make me hurt you.” I said as I pulled him back into my arms.
“My apologies. I am sorry I made you hit me Empress.” Jon said softly.
I smiled. “Forgiven...this time. I have to go check on Princess Harlyn but I expect you to make this up to me when I return.”
“Of course. I live to serve you Empress.” Jon said.
“Good boy.” I nodded as I left him.
I went back upstairs to check on my daughter. She was 6 but very mature for her years. “Harlyn, your father has gone to Pluto but if you need anything I am here.”
“Pluto? Why did Daddy go there?” Harlyn made a face.
“There is a group of rebels trying to start an uprising.” I explained.
“UGH! I could have gone with him. I could have helped!” Harlyn cried.
“You are a fierce fighter my dear one, but you are still a child and have much to learn.” I said as I brushed her hair out of her face.
“I’m more fierce than half of your army. They aren’t willing to make the choice that is needed.” Harlyn said.
“You mean they aren’t willing to kill...some are...not all...but I don’t want you to kill yet. It is necessary sometimes, yes. That said it is still a gruesome aspect of battle and I’m not sure I want that for you just yet.”
Harlyn sighed, “I can handle it.”
I smiled. “Of that I have no doubt. Still, enjoy your youth and innocence for a little longer. Your time will come and someday you will be the most fierce warrior in the universe...and you will make an even better empress than I when your time comes.”
Harlyn smiled, “That’s all I want Mommy. I want to be worthy of the empire you and Daddy have created for me.”
“You will be...you will be the best and most powerful empress...and certainly the most beautiful. You are the child of thunder and lightning. You power is unparallelled.” I said kissing her head.
“Mommy, can I go out to the gardens and work on my staff technique?” she asked.
“Of course you may! Be back in time for dinner.” I said hugging her.
She hugged me back. “Yes ma’am.” she said as she ran off.
I smiled and was headed back to Jon when my lady in waiting found me.
“Empress.” she said.
I turned. “Yes Celeste?”
“I have just gotten word, they are ready to open the portal to Universe A”
I smiled. “Wonderful! Let the fun begin.”
~~~~~~Universe A, Angel Grove, CA~~~~~~
I was sitting in the park with Dana Grayson and Jen Collins watching our kids play. Dana was Mel’s mom and Jen had a son named Logan that was the same age as the girls.
“Wes told me that Rocky told him that something is coming...something big for the Sailors.” Jen said.
I sighed. “Yeah….and I want no part of it.”
“Can you avoid it?” Dana asked.
“Honestly, I’m not sure. I want to. Harley doesn’t know anything about the power or Saturn or her bloodline. I’d like to keep it that way.” I said.
“I understand. I haven’t told Logan about Time Force or the fact I’m from the year 3000...what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him.” Jen agreed.
“Jen, Logan is technically an anomaly. Don’t you think he should know that eventually?” Dana asked.
“Why? It changes nothing. He’s still my son. I mean, I know it messes up the family tree but what’s done is done. I don’t want Logan to feel like he doesn’t belong.” Jen said.
“Same with Harley. I don’t want her to feel different. But I’m also not sure how long I can effectively hide who I am if i have an active battle.” I sighed.
“Shouldn’t you just be honest with her? She’s old enough to understand.” Dana said.
I looked at her, “When did you tell Mel the truth about how you and Carter met? How much does she know about Lightspeed Rescue?”
Dana turned red. “OK...point taken.”
“Whatever is happening...if I can’t keep myself out of it, I at least have to keep Harley out of it.” I said firmly.
Just then the sky turned a very dark shade of purple. The kids ran over to us.
“Mommy, what’s happening?” Melody asked Dana.
“I’m not sure sweetie...but it is going to be ok.” Dana said looking at me.
I grabbed Harley’s hand. “The dojo isn’t far. We should all take cover.” I said.
Jen nodded, “Come on Logan.”
We all ran to Rocky’s dojo and went inside.
“What’s going on?” Rocky asked.
“The sky turned purple.” Harley said.
“Is it time?” Rocky asked.
I sighed, “I think so.”
“Go then. I’ll take care of Harley.” Rocky said.
“Mommy, where are you going?” Harley asked.
“Stay with Daddy Har. I have something I need to take care of. You’ll be safe here.” I said hugging Harley close.
“OK. Be careful. I love you Mommy.” Har said.
“I love you too baby.” I said kissing her head.
“Good luck Mich.” Dana said.
“Go get ‘em.” Jen echoed.
I nodded and headed out. I had no idea what awaited me, but I was fairly certain I’d know it when I saw it.