"At last!" Niki yelled triumphantly. "I have reached the Walrus's icy lair!" As she took a step towards the skull-shaped entrance, time seemed to pause. Before her eyes, the snow covered surroundings rippled and then vanished, leaving only a barren desert in their midst. The Walrus's cave was gone.
"Damn it," Niki said. "I was so close." She looked around and saw only cactuses and pyramids. No walruses.
"Oh well," she shrugged. "I'll just keep looking! It is my destiny to find him! I will be victorious!" She yelled, her voice echoing for miles around. "La la la," Niki sang as she continued her quest.
"Damn!" The witch cursed again. "I thought for sure that the mixed up dimensions would deter that damn senshi from her quest. But no, she continues walking along like she's a bloody mindless idiot!"
Which, ironically, she was. ^.^
The witch's eyes narrowed and an evil grin lit her face. "It seems that a more direct attack is in order. So be it!"
Faster than anyone could see, Valerie's arm shot out towards Bob. She grabbed the falling blonde just before she tumbled over the edge of the earth. With a grunt, Valerie pulled her to safety.
"You . . . you saved my life!" Bob sputtered, her eyes shining.
Valerie made a face. "I know. I didn't mean to." She slapped the hand that still held Bob's arm. "Bad reflexes!"
"That like totally makes up for you trying to kill me at lunch!" Bob cried.
"Hey," Valerie said defensively. "You take the cheese, you pay the price."
"Shh!" Mallory said. "Look!" The three took in their surroundings. Where a forest had been only moments before, a rocky terrain stretched as far as they could see.
"What happened to . . .
"This was what Vanessa meant!" Mallory cried out as pieces of the puzzle began falling into place. "The dimensions are shifting! Something caused them to mix together and so every time we take a step in any direction, there's a chance that we could end up somewhere else!" I feel so smart, Mallory thought to herself.
"Okay." Valerie nodded. "Got that part. Only two questions. First, who or what is screwing around with dimensions. And second, how are we gonna find Niki now?"
"I don't know . . ." Damn. "I guess we'll just have to keep going. Eventually we'll end up somewhere else. Eventually we're gonna find Niki." I hope.
The senshi continued their search. With every couple of steps, the world around them shifted. Everything seemed hazy as they traveled through a maze of hedges. The three had seen every type of landscape in the last few minutes from a burning desert to a cool beach side to a rocky path surrounded by boiling lava. They had left that dimension quickly.
But still no sign of Niki or the Walrus.
"I say we just give up," Bob suggested. "All we're succeeding in is getting more and more lost. At this rate we'll NEVER find--"
"Look! There she is!" Valerie cried. They all turned to see Niki who had appeared suddenly from thin air. "Niki!"
Niki looked up, a bit startled, then she smiled. "Hey! You fell through the TV too?"
"No. We transported here so we could save you," Mallory explained. "Now, come on, let's leave before something bad happens!"
Niki shook her head. "Uh uh. I'm not leaving till I see the Walrus. If you think I leapt into the TV just for the fun of it, well . . . you're half right." She faced the others. "But again, I restate, I'm not leaving till I see the Walrus."
"Well, then isn't this your lucky day."
Niki froze. That voice . . . it sounds like the . . . With her fingers crossed, Niki turned.
"Mr Walrus! It's you!"
The Walrus nodded. "Yes, it is I, the Great and Powerful--"
"Oz?" Valerie suggested.
"No. I am the Walrus (koo koo kachoo). And I have some great important news to tell you. However, as you can see, with the instability of the warping dimensions, our time together is short."
"What is this news?" Mallory asked.
The Walrus raised himself higher into the air so that he towered over the rather short senshi. He cleared his throat and said in a booming voice, "ONE OF YOU SENSHI IS THE MESSIAH OF SLEEP, EVIL BEYOND EVERY MEASURE OF EVIL. IF THIS BETRAYER IS NOT STOPPED BEFORE THE AWAKENING, THEN THE ENTIRE WORLD WILL PARISH!"
Everyone was silent for a moment, stunned.
"Well, if this Messiah is evil, then surely it must be Bob," Valerie reasoned.
"How dare you! You little--" Bob began yelling.
"My time here with you ends," the Walrus proclaimed. The world around him grew fuzzy as he began to fade from view. "Remember the warning I have given you. One of you is the betrayer. If she is not stopped, the forces of darkness will win. And all will be lost. Farewell, Sailor Senshi."
"No! Don't leave me!" Niki yelled. "Wait, Mr. Walrus!"
Niki leapt for the Walrus, her arms reaching out to encircle him. But he had already disappeared and Niki, walrus-less, came crashing to the ground.
"It's not fair!" Niki cried out. "Why did he have to go?"
Mallory patted Niki on the back sympathetically. "I guess it just wasn't meant to be."
Niki pushed Mallory away. "Of course it was meant to be! It's destiny!" Duh. "And I won't stop searching for him until I have found him again!"
Bob watched as Niki happily skipped away. She turned to the others. "Have you guys ever wondered about her . . .um . . . unusual obsession with the walrus?"
Valerie shrugged. "Well, yeah, it's unusual, but it's Niki. And, since Niki is . . . well, Niki, we don't really wonder . . . ever."
"I see your point."
"Hey!" Niki yelled, drawing the others' attention. She was pointing at a large door cut into the side of the mountain that had appeared where a river had been only moments before. "Look! It's the super, secret, hidden, back entrance to the mountain!"
"How do you know that's the super, secret . . . whatever?" Mallory asked.
"Look at the sign!"
Valerie read out loud the words that were etched into the mountain above the door. "Welcome to the super, secret, hidden, back entrance to the mountain." She nodded. "It looks like Niki was right."
"Of course I was!" Niki grabbed Mallory and Bob's arms and started pulling them towards the entrance. "Come on! Let's go inside!"
Mallory shook her head as she followed. An evil sense of foreboding seemed to be hanging in the air before the door. She hated that. "I hope you know what you're getting us into, Niki."
The door led to a narrow, torch-lit stairway carved through the side of the mountain. Valerie, not wanting to charge unknowingly into whatever danger lurked ahead (though she usually did), hung back to let the others through the door first. One by one, they followed Niki up the stairs. When Valerie finally began the long walk up the narrow stairway, the door slammed shut with a loud bang.
"That didn't sound good."
Bob jerked her head around so she could look down at Valerie as she climbed the stairs. "What's wrong with you? You're usually so eager to do stupid things like walking up a narrow, dark stairway towards certain danger with no chance of escape. You're not scared, are you?"
"Of course not! There just seems to be --"
"An evil sense of foreboding hanging in the air?"
Valerie nodded. "Something like that."
"Yeah, I feel it too." "I bet there's some big, bad evil waiting for us at the top of the stairs so they can rip us into tiny pieces and feed us to the bears!," Mallory said hysterically.
"Don't you hate when that happens?"
The senshi fell silent as they continued to climb. The stairs seemed to stretch on forever, up and up. As far as they could see, there was no light at the end of the stairway. In fact, there was hardly any light at all. The higher they climbed, the farther apart the torches became.
"Are we there yet?" Bob asked.
"Are you still climbing?"
Valerie sighed. How much farther? she wanted to know. My calves hurt. I must be out of shape. I'll add exercise to my list of things to do this summer. It'll be right up there with practicing my guitar and doing stomach crunches. She sighed again. Damn. My summer's gonna suck.
Valerie was so preoccupied with her thoughts that she didn't notice the huge gust of air sweep by, blowing all the torches out.
"Hey!" Niki said. "Who turned out the lights?"
The stairway erupted into screams, yells and total mass confusion as the senshi tried to escape the dark passage, running into and over each other in the process.
"Watch out, will you? You're stepping on my toes!"
"Move out of my way, morons! I'm getting out of here!" (The b*tchy one's Bob)
"Ouch! Will you get off me! Go up the stairs!"
"Where's up? I can't figure out which way's up!!" (That would be Niki)
"That is so not my arm!"
"Sorry! I swear I didn't mean to grab that!"
"Hey you guys, we should all calm down and stop moving and rationally think about the circumstance for a moment." (A wise suggestion made by Mallory)
"AH! We're all gonna DIE!" (Valerie was not helping the situation)
And suddenly, they were out of the stairway.
"Oh good! Wide, open space!" Valerie blindly moved forward to where she thought the others were. There was a loud thump. "Ouch. There's a wall there."
"I thought we were gonna die!" Bob exclaimed. "And you guys are just about the last people I want to die with."
"Yeah, well, we could say the same about you," Mallory muttered. "But there's still a problem. There's no light and we can't see a thing."
"I have an idea!" Niki clapped her hands together three times. Nothing happened. "Okay, I have another idea!"
"Is it a good one this time?"
"Lights, ON!" Niki commanded.
The torches flickered and glowed brightly, lighting up the large, cavernous room the senshi had stumbled into.
Niki grinned. "Mwhahahaha. I'm good."
"Well, as long as we're here, we might as well have a look around," Bob suggested. She walked towards the corner of the room. "Ew! Look at all those spider webs!"
"It doesn't look like anyone's been in here for a long time . . . must be abandoned." Valerie made a face. "Why does it smell like cabbages?"
Mallory frowned as she took in her surroundings. Something wasn't right. What are all these mirrors here for? She looked into one, but instead of her reflection she saw a weatherbeaten path surrounded by a forest. A huge mountain could be seen in the distance. That's the mountain we're in now!
She moved to the next mirror. Through the falling snow she could barely make out a skull-shaped entrance on the other side of an icy lake. The Walrus's hut! Mallory ran to mirror after mirror. The desert . . . The beach . . . She gasped.
"What's wrong?" Valerie asked, a worried expression on her face.
"I think you're wrong about this place being abandoned. Someone has been here recently. And they've been spying on us!"
"How right you are."
The senshi froze. Slowly they turned towards the speaker.
"AH!" Niki screamed as she ran behind Valerie. "It's a demon! Save me!"
"It's not a demon, Niki. It's a harmless, little, old woman." Valerie narrowed her eyes. "You are a harmless, little, old woman, aren't you?"
The old woman nodded as she wobbled towards them from her shadowed corner, supported by a thick, wooden cane. "It's been a long time since I've had visitors," she croaked out. She gestured to some rickety-looking chairs. "Please, have a seat."
After dusting off the chairs, Niki, Valerie, and Bob sat down. Mallory, however, remained standing.
"Don't you want to sit down, dear?"
"No. I want to know why you've been spying on us."
The little, old woman turned to the others. "How would you all like some cookies and milk?"
"Oh goody!" Niki and Valerie exclaimed together. "Cookies and milk!"
Mallory sighed. Such simple minds . . .
"Can you make my milk non-fat?" Bob asked. "I'm trying to watch my weight.
The woman looked Bob over. "Oh, it's a bit too late for that, dear." She turned and exited through a door that led to the kitchen.
Bob frowned. "I don't like that woman very much."
"I love that woman!" Valerie said gleefully. "Maybe you should scrape off the chocolate chips too, eh Bob?" She nudged Bob who scowled.
She still didn't answer my question about why she was spying on us. Mallory ran over to the others. "I don't think you should eat anything she gives you," she whispered.
"And why not?"
"Because she's evil!"
"What was that, dear?"
Mallory grimaced as she looked over her shoulder. The old woman was there, smiling sweetly, a tray of milk and cookies in her hands. "Oh, nothing," Mallory said as she took a seat next to Niki.
"Eat up, dears," she said as she offered them each cookies. As Bob reached for a big, chocolate chip one, the woman pulled away. "Oh, no, dear." She handed Bob a cabbage. "This is for you."
Valerie laughed so hard she fell out of her chair and the cookie went flying. She watched as it rolled to the wall. Just as it was coming to rest, in a bright flash of light, the cookie exploded. Her eyes widened. "Don't eat ANYTHING!" She warned the others.
"It's TOO LATE!" The old woman cackled, pointing at Niki.
Horror filled Niki's eyes as she looked down at her chocolate chip cookie and saw that a huge bite had already been taken out of it. "Oops?"
"Niki!" Mallory gasped. "I TOLD you not to eat it!"
"But I . . ." Niki was still staring dumbstruck at the cookie. "I don't remember . . ."
"That's because you didn't eat it!" The old woman pointed to where Bob had been sitting. "She did!"
Mallory ran to Bob's chair. Bob wasn't there. "Where'd she go?"
Valerie shot a questioning look to the old woman. "You made Bob invisible again?"
"No, you fools!" The old woman bent down. When she came up again, she was holding an ugly, squirming little thing. "A newt!"
The senshi were silent.
"Okay . . . you have a newt."
The old woman rolled her eyes. "I've turned your blonde friend into a newt!"
"What blonde friend?" Valerie's eyes widened. "Oh! You mean Bob!"
"Yes, moron," the woman replied.
"Sorry, the whole "friend" thing kind of threw me off."
Mallory glared. "I knew you were evil!"
The old woman smiled in return. "You have no idea." From her apron pocket, she pulled out a wand. Waving it over her head she shouted out some evil-sounding words. Something exploded in front of the senshi and they ducked. After being showered with tiny bits of rubble, they looked up at the old woman. As the dust in the air cleared, they realized that the little old woman had changed. And not for the better.
The little old woman was suddenly very tall. They suspected she was still old, though it was hard to tell through the mounds of warts that covered her face. There was some debate as to whether or not she was still a woman. She/he (we'll call it shim) was clothed in a full-length black cape, a black robe, black shoes, and a little pointed black hat. Shim was ugly. Very ugly.
"I know what you are!" Niki yelled after the period of shocked silence.
"Oh? And what's that?"
The witch rolled her eyes. "Was it the pointed hat or the warts that gave it away?" she asked sarcastically. "I guess I need to work on my disguise."
Niki nodded. "Yeah, us too."
The witch muttered something about moronic walrus groupies as she once again held Bob the Newt up for display. "You have two choices. You can walk away now and your little friend here dies, or you could try and save her."
"I say we walk away," Valerie suggested.
"Valerie!" Mallory exclaimed.
"What? I mean, come on, it's not like we like her anyway."
"You shouldn't say things like that," Mallory admonished. "We can't just leave her! She's one of us!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever." A frown on her face, Valerie turned to face the witch. "What do we have to do to save Bob? Before you answer, just know that I am strongly against this decision."
The witch smiled sweetly. "All you have to do, dears, is play a game."
"Against me. If any of you should win, I'll turn your friend back into a human and you can all be on your way."
"That doesn't sound too bad," Mallory mused.
"However," the witch went on. "If none of you should win, you will all remained trapped in this dimension forever!"
"That would suck," Niki said. "No, wait! That would be great! I'd be even closer to the Walrus!"
The witch smiled again. "But I warn you, I'm very good at games."
A few moments later, the senshi were rummaging through the games at the dusty corner. To aid them in their rescue attempt, they were allowed to choose whatever game they wanted to play against the witch. Mallory chose Yahtzee, Valerie chose Chess, and Niki chose Boggles.
The witch pointed to Mallory. "You, girl. You're first."
Mallory swallowed nervously. "Here it goes."
The game began. The witch rolled first. She got a Full House. Then Mallory went. She ended up with two ones, two twos, and a four. Nothing. The witch got a large straight. Mallory got three ones, a three, and a six. The witch got a small straight. Mallory got nothing. Four sixes. Nothing. Yahtzee. Nothing. Yahtzee again. Nothing again. Mallory groaned. Somehow during the game, her rolls managed to keep getting worse and worse. And they started off bad to begin with. Mallory glanced over at the witch who happily rolled another Yahtzee. I bet she's cheating!
"Yes!" Mallory yelled as she rolled a five. Her first five the entire game. But it was too late. The game was over. The witch ended up with 557 points. Mallory got 43.
"Better luck next time," the witch smiled again.
Mallory returned to her friends, her shoulders hunched.
"Don't feel bad, Mal, it could have been worse." Mallory brightened. "No, never mind. That's probably just as bad as it could possibly get."
Mallory scowled at Valerie. "I'm under the impression that she cheated."
"Why did you play Yahtzee, of all games?" Niki asked.
"Because I wanted to use my intelligence and my sensible mind to help me win."
"But you don't need intelligence to win!" Niki said. "Yahtzee is a game of chance. It says so on the box," she added, pleased with her display of knowledge.
"It doesn't matter," Mallory sighed. "She cheated anyway."
The witch appeared then, still smiling. She pointed to Valerie. "It's your turn."
The game of Chess went surprisingly fast. One by one, Valerie's white pawns were removed from the board. Then went the knights. Within minutes, the witch captured Valerie's queen.
"It looks like the game draws to an end."
Valerie didn't reply. She was trying to decide what to do. If I move this bishop here and then . . . yes! Hah! I've got you! "Check," Valerie said.
The witch only smiled as she moved her own bishop forward. "Check mate."
Valerie's jaw dropped. Damn! I missed that. Sighing, she got up from the table.
The witch's smile broadened as her opponent joined her friends. How pathetic! And I didn't even need to cheat that time! One more quick defeat and the Senshi are mine!
"I don't know why I picked Chess," Valerie was telling the others as the witch approached. "I suck at that game. I mean, I really suck at that game."
"You!" The witch said as she pointed a long, black fingernail at Niki. "You're ne--"
"Hold it right there!" A voice shouted from behind.
"Who are you?" The witch yelled angrily as she turned to face the intruder.
A figure stepped from the shadows. Trumpets blared.
"I am Sailor Moo!"
Mallory slapped her forehead. "Oh no. Here we go again."
Julie ignored Mallory as she began the all-too familiar odd hand movements followed by a rather long introduction. "For love and for those who have been pulled into other dimensions by way of the television, I am Pretty Soldier, Sailor Moo! The champion of justice! In the name of the Moo People, I shall punish you!"
"Oh? Is that so? We'll see about--"
"Be quiet, ugly man . . . er, woman (?)," Julie commanded. "I wasn't through yet. As I was saying." She cleared her throat. "I am Pretty Soldier Sailor Moo (for those of you who didn't get it the first half a dozen times I said it)! And for those of you who--"
"Please, Julie. Do you think you stop now?" Valerie begged.
"Hey, can it, Psychopath! I haven't gotten to do this since last season. Give me my moment. After all, I am Sail--"
"You're gonna be in trouble if you don't shut up and do exactly as I say!"
Julie stared, surprised, at the wand that was pointed at her. "Hah! I'll simply use one of my many--"
"You won't have a chance to use powers on me, my dear. One sign of movement from you, and I'll turn you into a newt before you have a chance to say your blasted name again! So, hah!" The witch stuck out an ugly, green, warted tongue.
Julie winced. "Please put that back in your mouth. It frightens me."
"Hush, girl," the witch replied. "Now, as I was saying to your fellow warriors: if you want to rescue your little blonde friend from a fate worse than death, then you must--"
"Wait, what blonde friend? You mean Bob?" Julie thought it over for a minute and then shrugged. "Ah, we don't need her. She's expendable."
"Sailor Moo!" Mallory shouted, shocked. Valerie, however, quietly agreed with Julie.
The witch, no longer smiling, narrowed her eyes. "Fine then, forget about your friend! I will simply keep you trapped here forever! Unless . . ." she pointed to Niki. "She plays Parcheesi with me!"
Julie, not quiet understanding why the witch wanted to play a game when she could easily turn them all into newts, simply nodded. "Alright. But if Niki wins, we are free to leave this dimension, unharmed." Mallory shot Julie a look. "Oh yeah, and with Bob back in human form." She looked thoughtfully at the newt. "Though I admit I like her better this way. She's unable to speak. That's a good thing."
At last! All of my evil plans are finally coming together! The witch smiled again. "Of course. Your freedom and your friend . . . if she wins."
Niki sighed. "But I wanted to play Boggles . . ."
Niki stared dumbly at the Parcheesi game board. She was confused. I don't get it. What are all the spaces for? This can't be good.
She glanced quickly at the witch who wore a smug expression. I think she knows I have no idea how to play. What to do? She thought for a moment. I know! I'll put on my Poker face!
Niki made odd facial expressions in an attempt to look scary and determined (or however you're supposed to look in Poker) . . . instead she looked constipated.
"The bathroom's down the hall, dear."
Niki rolled her eyes. New plan. She looked to the cavernous ceiling. Help, Mr. Walrus! she begged silently.
Look within yourself, came the reply
Huh? Niki jumped up, startled by the unknown voice she heard in her head that no one else seemed to have heard. Ooh . . . spooky. Mr. Walrus?
No, it is me. Your inner self.
Oh . . . okay, Niki said to herself. I'm schizophrenic? That's kinda cool.
The voice ignored her. You have powers. Look within yourself, and you will win.
Uh . . . do you have any better advice?
The voice was gone.
"Damn." Niki sighed as she sat back down. "Okay, here I go."
The game began. The witch knew that Niki had no idea how to play the game (after all, who actually does?) and she used that to her advantage. Once a Parcheesi champion back in 1892, the witch never lost a game in the hundred plus years she had been playing. There was no way the short, semi-super hero sidekick was gonna win.
But she did.
The witch's jaw dropped. Niki's jaw dropped. Everyone else's jaw dropped. Bob, still a newt, didn't really have a jaw, so she fell off the table instead. There was a very long period of shocked silence. (Isn't there always?)
"I lost," the witch muttered finally, too astounded to say anything else.
"Niki, how on earth did you win?"
"I listened to the voices in my head!" she answered, excitedly.
Valerie patted Niki on the back. "Don't we all? Vanessa will be very proud."
As the senshi congratulated Niki, the witch didn't move an inch from the table where she sat, staring at the finished game of Parcheesi. The game she had lost. This isn't right! I cheated! That damn girl's has the intelligence of . . . someone who's not very intelligent! She couldn't have won! "Wait a minute, I'm not supposed to lose!"
Mallory grinned at her. "Well, you did. So, that means we're free!"
The witch narrowed her eyes as she drew her wand from beneath her cape. "I don't think you're going anywhere," she said, pointing the wand at the senshi who huddled together on the far side of the room in fear.
"But, you promised!"
The witch smiled. "I'm evil. I'm allowed to break my promises."
Julie stepped forward. "Don't worry, fellow superheroish people! I'll save you!"
But she was too late.
The attack came out of nowhere.
"MOO SLURPY SURPRISE!" A huge wave of pink, icy liquid shot out, drenching the witch and knocking the wand from her hand.
"AH!" the witch screamed in agony as she fell to the floor. "I'm melting!" A few moments later she stood up slowly when she realized she was not a puddle of water. "Just kidding."
Their mouths open in surprise, the senshi turned as one in the direction the attack came from, and saw--
Alexia grinned. She was wearing a pink, moo-spotted Sailor Senshi outfit not unlike the very one that Julie wore. Except, you know, it was pink.
"Why are you wearing that?" Julie asked suspiciously, her eyes narrowed into slits.
"I'm a senshi now!" Alexia explained excitedly. "Isn't that great?"
"But, you're a hermaphrodite. I thought that meant you could never be one of us."
"I thought so too," Alexia said. "But look, here I am! Sailor Mini Moo!"
"Wait, I'm confused."
"You're not the only one," Julie muttered to Mallory. "How long are you staying?" she asked Alexia sweetly. Please say not long, please say not long!
"Oh, for a while," she replied. "I was sent from the future to once again aid you in the fight against evil." She beamed. "I'm so excited! This is gonna be great fun!"
"Sorry to interrupt the little mother, daughter bonding experience and all," Valerie said. "But what are we going to do with that?" She pointed to the witch.
The witch smiled. "I'll tell you what you're going to do," she picked up her saturated wand. "You're gonna die!"
Before the witch had a chance to turn them all to newts, Julie pulled off her tiara and threw it at the witch. "MOO FRISBEE!" she yelled.
The wand flew from the witch's hand and shattered against the wall. There was a bright explosion of light and before the senshi's eyes, Bob reappeared in human form.
"Damn," Valerie sighed. "She's back."
Bob ignored her and marched over to where the witch, wandless, was cowering in the corner. Bob pulled off her sneakers. She threw one at the witch. "That's for the cabbage!" She threw the other one. "And that's for turning me into a newt!"
Still not satisfied, Bob grabbed the toe shoe, their only link to the real world, from Mallory.
"NO!" Mallory yelled, but it was too late.
Bob threw the toe shoe at the witch's head and something very strange happened. There was a loud explosion followed by another burst of bright light. The witch vanished and the toe shoe, suddenly (and for no apparent reason) solid gold, fell to the ground.
Valerie picked it up. "Ohh . . . pretty."
"Is that mine?" Niki peered at it closely. "It is mine! I'm gonna have a really hard time dancing in that now."
"Is that all you're worried about?" Mallory gasped out, on the verge of panic. "Do you realize what this means?" She grabbed the gold toe shoe. "Vanessa! Vanessa! Do you read me?" she yelled. There was no reply.
"Uh oh," Julie said. "I have a feeling that's not good."
"It's bad," Mallory replied. Very bad. Now we'll never get home!"
"Why is that bad?" Niki asked.
Valerie slapped the back of Bob's head. "Oh, good going, genius! You just had to throw that shoe, didn't you!" Shaking her head, she gave the blonde a funny look. "What is it with you and throwing other people's shoes anyway?"
Bob shrugged. "Bad habit, I guess."
"Bad . . . habit?" Julie repeated slowly, her eyes flashing. "Valerie, your wish is about to come true. I'm going to murder Bob."
Bob backed away, her face pale and eyes wide. "Um . . . please don't hurt me," she whimpered as Julie crept closer. "It's not my fault I'm blonde!"
Valerie rolled her eyes. "Don't listen to her, Julie! Bite her bloody ears off!"
"Okay." Julie smiled as she moved in for the kill.
"STOP!" Alexia screamed. Everyone turned towards her. "Are you crazy?"
Niki shrugged. "Not really sure. That's still being debated."
Alexia sighed. "You're not behaving the way Sailor Senshi are supposed to behave! Threatening to murder each other, honestly! You're acting like children."
"Um, it wasn't a threat," Julie said, her hands wrapped around Bob's throat.
After prying Julie's hands away from Bob's neck, Alexia continued. "What we need to do is sit down and calmly discuss the situation at hand before we do anything rash."
Mallory nodded in agreement. "You know, she's right."
Julie glared at Mallory. "Fine," she said. "Why don't you explain it then."
"Okay!" Mallory beamed. "Well, the situation is that when the toe shoe became solid gold, the link to our world was severed. Now we have no way of getting back to the other dimension. We're stuck here. Forever."
"Mallory and I both have our transportation devices," Julie added. "The only problem is that together, we can only transport three other people back with us. And there's six of us. That's one too many."
"We can leave Bob behind," Valerie suggested.
"I have a better idea," Alexia said. "You see, in the future, the power of the Sailor Senshi is far greater than that of the Senshi from your time."
"So . . ."
"What that means is that I have the power to transport all of us safely back home without the use of any transportation devices," Alexia finished.
"Well, woo hoo for you," Julie rolled her eyes.
"Now, gather round, everyone!" Alexia grinned. "We're going home!"
The trip home was quite a bit shorter than the long fall through space had been. A few minutes after departing from the game dimension, the senshi reappeared in Niki's bedroom.
"Oh, look. Home," Niki said. "I'm so thrilled to be back." I wonder if there's a way to get back into the other dimension. She leapt towards the television. Ouch. Damn.
Niki's unhappiness faded quickly when she heard a familiar purring at her feet. "Drossel!" Niki cried out. "It's so good to be home!"
"Guys!" Vanessa yelled, rushing towards them, a toe shoe in her hand. "You're okay! I was so worried when we lost connection! What happened to the other shoe?"
Mallory pointed to Bob. "She decided it would be fun to throw the toe shoe at the evil witch who lived in the mountain."
Vanessa stared at Bob. "Why on earth would you do something stupid like that?"
"She turned me into a newt!" Bob said defensively.
Bob shrugged. "I got better."