Knowing that Mamoru wouldn't be home for a while yet, Usagi decided to stop at The Crown Fruit Parlor on her way home. There was nothing unusual about her stopping by on occasion as this was a popular hangout for the students from her school, although it would be at least another ten minuets before the other students started to show up. While in school Usagi always made sure to have as little to do with the other students as she could get away with. She had a reputation for being the type of person best left to herself, but used frequent visits to The Crown to study the interaction between normal people her age. The Crown was also where she met with Naru, the one person that she considered her friend.
Really she envied the other students for being able to go out and have friends and that their biggest worries were for whatever test they were having the next day, but mostly she envied them their simple way of looking at the world around them. She couldn't remember a time when her view of the world was so innocent. The few memories that had of the time before Mamoru had found her in the remains of her burnt out home were clouded and vague. She could barely even remember the faces of her mother and father.
As for whoever had destroyed her family and home, all she could recall was a man and a woman coming over and demanding that her parents turn her over to them. Her father had sent her to her room and from there she could here lots of yelling and the sound of a child crying. While she didn't remember him, she had later been told that she had had a younger brother. And then there was a flash of light, just before the world went dark. Most likely, something important had happened between her last memories and the flash, but if so, Usagi just couldn't remember.
She also didn't remember Mamoru finding her, but she didn't doubt his word on that matter one bit. The case, clearly being supernatural, had been given to the TMD and Mamoru had shown her photos of a series of other homes that had been destroyed around the same time. More to the point he had shown her evidence from the case that pointed to the fact that in all the homes attacked, the only factor common to all was that there was always a blonde haired blue eyed girl about her age who had possessed strong magical potentials, although in one case the child had had silver hair. Of those children only she had survived. He had made a point of letting her know that the death of her family was most likely her own fault and that without him to hide and protect her, she would have joined them.
**Mamoru had promised to find out who had killed her family for her if she would agree to do some little jobs for him. Being all of six and having nowhere else to turn Chibi Usagi had seen no problems accepting the offer of protection and justice from the man. After all he was a policeman, and her mother had always told her that if she ever needed help to ask a policeman.
The early years with Mamoru had been brutal as he trained her body and mind, unknowingly to her molding little Usagi into a living weapon. He taught her to use conventional and magic weapons as well as to use her own potent innate powers. Instead of the lessons getting easier over time, it seemed that they just grew harder and Mamoru was never satisfied with her efforts. But as difficult as the lessons were, Usagi soon came to look upon the days of hard physical and mental labor as a welcome respite when compared to...the other duties that Mamoru soon started to demand of her. Being a child and not knowing what else she could do, she had learned that it was less painful to yield to his desires. To keep her sanity she would force herself to remember the faces of her father and mother and to remember the cries of what she now knew to have been her baby brother on that awful day. She told herself that because it was her fault that her family had died, that it was her responsibility to avenge them. And Chiba Mamoru was the only person who would help her on her quest of a settling of scores. If giving him her body and letting him erode her soul was the cost, then it was only fair. No amount of sacrifice would atone her for her family's loss of life.
The taking of her first life had been the hardest part of her training. For a child who was naturally cheerful and loving it had been a near impossibility, but six years of being twisted and molded by Mamoru for just that purpose had prevailed over natural instincts to kindness and love.
Mamoru had taken a great deal of care in selecting the perfect target for his protégée's first kill. He had used his computer at the police station to go through the files of certain types of criminals suspected of being in the area. While searching he had come across the file of a man that the department *knew* was guilty, but because of his wealth had gotten away without penalty. While the crimes he had committed meant little if anything to Mamoru, six years of living with Usagi had assured him that the girl would find the crimes and even more so, the fact that he had gotten away with it appalling. Usagi, now twelve years old and possessing a fair control of her powers, was ready for the final step in her training.
After reading the man's file Usagi had captured him easily enough. She had spent a few days learning the man's schedule and waited until the end of his work day on a Friday to make her move. It was almost too easy. All she'd had to do was make sure to be walking by the door of the building he worked in at the same time he usually came out, wearing one of her school uniforms that she had taken up the hem on slightly. The poor fool had all but begged Usagi to get into his flashy little car. After that it was only a matter of slipping sleep drugs into his drink when he took her to his apartment and calling Mamoru to come pick them up.
Mamoru had taken them to an abandoned part of the city and then into an old aqueduct that he normally used when he needed to extract information from a victim. There had been a set of chains embedded into the brick wall, which he had used to hold the man up. Although she had seen it before, Usagi had never liked being forced to watch one of Mamoru's question sessions and thinking of what she was about to do caused a fluttery feeling in her stomach that was half fear and half excitement. Together they waited for the man to regain consciousness.
After he had gotten the information that he needed Mamoru usually just killed the victim and dumped the body, but not this time. This time it was her job. This time, she would be the one to take a human life. Could she do it?
"Kill him," he ordered nonchalantly as soon as the man was awake and aware, his hardened blue eyes leaving no room for argument.
Usagi continued to meet his cold eyes for a moment then she got up from where she had been sitting and slowly approached the man. At a distance of three feet she froze overwhelmed by the sight and the scent of old blood, her mind flashing back to others who'd been chained here. Raising her arm before her she gathered energy…
"Not like that," Mamoru called interrupting her. He tossed something at her and she instinctively grabbed it from the air before it could hit her. She looked over at him curiously then glanced down at the gun she now held. It was cocked and ready with the safety on and through the clear chamber she could see the faint orange glow of the chambered bullet. It was a modified version of the gun adapted worldwide by people who routinely dealt with people or things that a normal gun and ammo did little good against. The same model used by the TMD, only with the kind of power she could sense in the ammo left little doubt that this was one gun it would be best not to let a cop see. Of course she knew that her study of the gun was her way of delaying what she was supposed to do with it.
Mamoru allowed her to examine the gun for a few minuets before he strode impatiently over to her and grabbed her up by a fist full of hair. He forcefully turned her head back toward the man. "Look!" he demanded harshly, and Usagi used to obeying did so. "You know why I chose this man Usagi," he told her. "This man takes little girls like you from their families. He rapes them and makes them into his little pets until he tires of them. And then Usagi, he cuts out their tongues and sells the to ogres.
" Ogres eat human flesh, Usagi. Live humans, the younger the better. But they like to…play with them before they eat." He then pulled out a packet of pictures he had retrieved when he had found out about this man and held them one by one in front of her. They were police photos of what had been left of the man's victims after he'd sold them. "Every one of these girls was sold to an ogre by this man" he told her once again forcing her to look at the man now unsuccessfully trying to curl into a ball and whimpering in fear. The pictures had been more horrific than anything Usagi could have imagined, but no matter how badly she'd wanted to look away she couldn't force her eyes to move from the horrors they were being presented with. And with each new picture the part of her that didn't want to kill withdrew farther and farther inside her.
Finally sure she was ready, Mamoru released her hair. "If you don't want to kill him Usagi, I'll take the chains off and drop him at his apartment. And when he's better he can go right back to selling more little girls into a fate worse than death. Just like with your family, it'll all be your fault. All because you think that you're too good to…"
He didn't get to finish the sentence as he was shoved aside when Usagi rose to her feet and without hesitation moved to stand before the man who looked up at her with pleading eyes. "You aren't human" she told the man before her, her voice devoid of any emotion. "You're worse then any youma or oni. You're worse than the monsters you sold those children to." And with none of her previous reluctant, the twelve year old had emptied the clip of the gun into the man each bullet doing far more damage than any normal ammo. Even when the clip had emptied she had continued to pull the trigger until the rage in her heart had gone away. She then turned to Mamoru who smiled at her with approval.
"That's my girl!" came his fierce almost whispered praise.
"You promised" she told him, her voice still the dead one she'd used to speak to the now dead man.
A slight frown graced his face and the smile faded as for the first time Mamoru wondered if he would be able to control this thing he'd created and keep it from turning on him, "I'll find whoever killed your parents" he assured her. Then he called up his aura of power and let it wash crushingly over the child, knocking her to her knees, "Until then you just do as you're told."**
Of course it hadn't taken long for Usagi to realize that there was little chance of Mamoru finding her parent's killer, and that the longer it took the less the chances became. When she was honest with herself, she even admitted that the burning desire to find them that she once held had faded anyway. She was almost one-hundred precent sure that Mamoru's search and the occasional pittance of information he saw fit to give her was only to keep her pacified while she had become his own little hired killer and sex toy. But Mamoru had failed to realize that his hold had been slipping over the years. Usagi was only bidding her time because she knew that if she tried to leave him he would come after her or try to kill her and for all her strength and skill she was no match for him just yet. It was like he changed into a whole new person when he used his full power. So for now at least she did as he told her to and on her own time she worked to increase her own power. She swore she would one day be free of him.
She was pulled from her morose thoughts by the sound of someone calling her name. She looked around and realized that she hadn't even noticed the arrival of students from the various local schools. As for who had called her, she knew there was only one person her age that actually thought she was worth the effort of talking to.
Turning to look slightly over her right shoulder she spotted the brown haired girl moving through the crowd to one of the two stools discretely left vacant beside her. "Hello Naru," she answered. She'd never known what made her allow Naru to get close to her when she kept everyone else at a distance, but despite herself she just couldn't push the other girl away like she did with everyone else. Maybe it was because Naru was just so…real. She had feelings for people and things and wasn't afraid to express and share them. While she would worry over things like tests and boys, she always knew that there were other things more important in the world.
"You weren't in class last period, so I took notes for you" Naru told her as she handed over some papers. She was used to Usagi mysteriously disappearing from school during the day and had started taking notes for her shortly after they had become friends.
"Thanks Naru" Usagi grinned playfully, "Can I buy you a sunday?" she asked. The two girls spent over an hour talking before Usagi had to leave. She was always happy around the other girl and it was only after she'd leave that reality would come crashing home.
She had just made it across the street when an explosion from the fruit parlor knocked her to the ground. Her training took over and she rolled with her momentum. As soon as she came to a halt, she was on her feet and taking cover behind a nearby car that had been turned on it's side. Peeking over the side she could see that the entire glass front of the Crown had been blown outward and littered among the glass of the large front window several patrons. She didn't know if she should be relieved that Naru wasn't among them. Some of them managed to get up and move away from danger, but even from across the street Usagi could tell that some of them would never move again.
Suddenly she felt every hair on her body try to stand on end as something pulled her gaze to the building she had just left. Through the broken glass she saw vaguely human shaped…creature. It wasn't until she saw it draining the last of the life force from a dark haired boy that went to her school that she was able to classify the creature as a youma. The boy whom it had held aloft in one hand was dropped lifeless to the floor.
Usagi turned and started to slowly walk away. She knew that Naru was still in there with that creature, but it wasn't like she could do anything to help. 'Maybe if I were as strong as Mamoru' she thought. She abruptly paused, 'I could call Mamoru! This kind of thing is his job after all!
"So, you're just going to leave them to that…creature?" asked a haughty voice filled with disapproval from right behind her.
Usagi started and turned quickly in surprise at having someone get so close to her without her knowing. She found herself looking at a woman only a little older than herself. She had long beautiful blue hair that went to the small of her back, with eyes that while not so bright as Usagi's own, were nonetheless lovely. She had what appeared to be a golden crescent moon turned upward on her forehead and to match it a pair of gold crescent earrings and a pendant on a silver chain around her neck. She was wearing a yellow dress with thin straps over the shoulders and a large green bow at her waist in the back. It was a style right out of the history books.
"It's none of my business," she answered.
"If it isn't your business, then who's is it?" asked the stranger. "You're better equipped to handle this than them," she stated, nodding towards where the youma was finishing up on another victim.
Usagi had been avoiding looking for fear of seeing the youma killing her friend, and as she looked she was surprised at how relieved she felt on seeing it hadn't made it to her yet. "What could I possibly do about that?" she asked rhetorically.
The stranger cocked her head slightly to the side and studied Usagi closely. Finally, "You have a point I suppose. Until you fully grow into your power there is little you can do like this." And before she could even think to protest, the woman had placed her hand on Usagi's forehead and…
…vague memories began to surface in Usagi's mind. They were half remembered, half dreamed. Then time froze around her, but strangely she felt herself moving…changing. Feeling a slight ache in her back she flexed her wings…'Wings?' She thought, I don't have…but the memory of a time when she did have wings surfaced along with a thousand other partial memories and then…
…time restarted and she was looking into the eyes of, "Luna?" she half asked half stated. While she no longer had wings, Usagi found herself dressed in a variation of the sailor outfits worn by a group of vigilantes who had taken to calling themselves the Sailor Senshi. Usagi's outfit consisted of a large red jewel in each of her braids, with pink feather like clamps sitting in front of each. She wore a golden tiara with a crescent shaped hole in the front through which could be seen a crescent moon like the one of the woman before her. A white body suit, blue lapel that had a red bow beneath it, very short pink see through sleeves, a white short white skirt trimmed in yellow and blue with a large see through pink bow in the back, and a pair of red knee high boots trimmed in white at the top with a little yellow crescent moon on front. (AN: Just Think Super Sailormoon)
"Very good," beamed the blue hair woman. "I wasn't sure that would work on you, Princess."
'Princess' she thought... It somehow felt right. "But…" she started to protest.
"I'll explain everything later," Luna interrupted. "For now however, if you wish to save your friend I suggest you go," she finished, pointing at the youma now moving toward an entranced Naru. "Save your friend…Sailormoon."