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Episode 17: "Fear of Approaching Darkness! The Struggle of the Eight Soldiers"


Silently, the senshi crept along the dark passageway, guided only by Vanessa and her superior cat-vision. As they felt their way along the slimy walls, they were secretly grateful that they couldn't see what they were touching. Because whatever it was, it was bound to be disgusting.

"Get off my foot, whore," Valerie whispered as someone stepped on her toes.

"Excuse me?" An angry voice replied.

"Oh, sorry Julie, I thought you were Mallory."

"Hey!" Mallory said as quietly as she could. "How much further do we have to walk in the dark? I'm getting a really strong evil-vibe, and I'd like to actually see whatever it is that's waiting for us."

"Don't complain. You're starting to sound like Bob." Valerie sighed. "It's sad, really. I actually miss the b*tch."

"We're almost there," Vanessa said. "Be quiet, though. We're about to come to a huge cavern. That's where I saw some people standing watch. We need to take them by surprise."

A few moments later, the senshi paused as the passageway came to a sudden end and opened up into a large, dimly lit cave. They peered out, but couldn't see anything or anyone. Far on the other side of the cavern was yet another large door.

"We need to get across," Special K said. "That door most likely leads to the Messiah's private chambers."

"Something's wrong," Eva said, surveying the guard-free area. "The Messiah is too important to Pharaoh 130's plans. The B*tches know that we are coming, so why wouldn't they post guards to protect the Messiah? I'm sure that this must be a trap."

"There's only one way to know for sure." Julie stepped out into the open.

"Wait, Mom!" Alexia cried out, but it was too late.

Without warning, a dozen spotlights suddenly lit up, focused on Julie and blinding the other senshi. An alarm sounded as the passageway behind the senshi began to crumble. One by one, they ran to join Julie in the open in order to avoid being crushed by falling rocks.

Eva nodded grimly. "Just as I suspected. A trap."

A door hidden in the wall slid open and two figures appeared. They smiled at the senshi.

"Caroline St. Ramen!" Julie yelled in disgust. "So we meet again!"

"Mrs. Baysh!" Mallory addressed the other person. "If we destroy you, it won't affect my grade, right?"

Caroline laughed evilly. "Like squirrels caught in the glare of headlights from an on-coming eighteen wheeler, we have you trapped!" The senshi stared dumbly (which they do a lot). She rolled her eyes. "As you can see, the entrance behind you is blocked off. The only way to get out of here is through the B*tches 5," she explained.

"Um . . . that's B*tches 2," B*tch #4 corrected her.

"Hey!" Valerie said to the evil ex-president. "Why aren't you talking in all caps?"

"SORRY. MY MISTAKE." Caroline looked the senshi over. "THERE'S ONLY SEVEN OF YOU? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OBNOXIOUS BLONDE?"

"She died," Valerie replied. "And there was much rejoicing."

Caroline shrugged. "IT DOESN'T MATTER. WE HAD NO USE FOR HER." Her eyes fell on Alexia and a wicked grin crossed her face. "YOU, HOWEVER, WE WANT. FLOTSAM! JETSAM!" she cried. "TAKE HER TO THE MESSIAH!"

Another hidden door slid open and two, large, ugly guards appeared. They grabbed Alexia by both arms and began dragging her away.

"Mom! Mom! Save me!"

Julie scratched her head sheepishly. "Well, you know, normally I would, but these guys are a lot bigger than me, and they have sharp sticks that look rather painful. But I'll rescue you later, I swear."

Alexia glared as the guards pulled her through the hidden door. "Oh, fine then! Forget about your one and only daughter! You're a lousy mom!" They heard her yell and then the door slammed shut and vanished.

Caroline turned towards the door she had first come through, leaving Mrs. Baysh behind. "B*TCH #4, DEAL WITH THIS NUISANCE. WE CAN'T HAVE THEM DISRUPTING THE HEART-EATING CEREMONY." She walked through the door and disappeared from view.


"What do you think she meant by heart-eating ceremony?" Vanessa, back in human form, asked a moment later.

"I believe she was referring to a ceremony in which people eat hearts," Special K replied. "Who is eating what heart can not be determined due to inadequate information."

"I'll tell you what it is," B*tch #4 said. "Mistress 13 must eat the heart of a legendary Sailor Senshi in order to obtain Pharaoh 130's great power."

"Well, I would have recommended Bob's heart except she doesn't have one and now she's dead," Valerie said.

"You fool! The sacrifice has already been chosen. The Mistress will eat the heart of the one the great Caroline has taken away."

"You mean Alexia?" Julie cried out. "Well, that's just mean!" she said aloud. Well, better her than me, she thought to herself.

"Excuse me," Mallory said, raising her hand out of habit. "Who is Mistress 13?"

"You really are incompetent, aren't you?" B*tch #4 sighed impatiently. "The Messiah goes by many names. Mistress 13 is only one of them."

"You mean Niki's going to eat Alexia's heart?" Eva made a face. "That's really gross."

"No one's eating anyone's heart!" Julie stepped forward, suddenly invigorated and ready to deliver a ridiculously long and pointless speech. "You may have gotten away with kidnaping Niki, which was an unfortunate setback. You may have led to Bob's untimely death, which, by the way, we were totally okay with. You may have trapped us in your secret underground lair, and taken Alexia to be sacrificed, but you will NEVER get away with killing us and destroying the world!"

"And why is that?"

"Because I have journeyed far and wide through the treacherous woods of Loserville, had a conversation with God, survived an encounter with rude Frenchmen and successfully crossed the Bridge of Death. And I now have in my possession, the Holy Milk Pail!"

The jewels on Julie's arm band glowed and the Holy Milk Pail appeared in her arms. "Ta da!" she cried out. "Now, prepare to meet your doom!"

Without warning, B*tch #4's arms grew suddenly longer and she lashed out and grabbed the pail from the unsuspecting Julie. "Mwhahahaha," she laughed evilly. "Now the legendary Milk Pail is mine. Mistress 13 will be most pleased."

"Hey, b*tch!" Julie cried. "Give that back!"

"You'll have to come and get it!" B*tch #4 clapped her hands and threw the pail into the air where it remained suspended. She spun around and unleashed a wave of very sharp pencils, headed right for the Sailor Senshi.


The senshi tried to avoid the flying pencils but to no avail. A moment later they found themselves pinned to the cave wall by the pencils, which was bad. However, none of them had been skewered or impaled, which was good. Sort of.

Mrs. Baysh gave a contented sigh and faced the senshi. "I have you within my power," she said. "Now comes the hardest part. Deciding how I'm going to kill you." She began pacing back and forth as she debated which death would provide the highest level of fun and interest. For her, of course.

"Let's see, I suppose I could torture you a bit and then put you locked in a room with no food or water until you die. Hm, too boring. I could tie you up and leave you on a sinking ship and see who drowns last. No, not painful enough. Perhaps feed you to my pet mutant piranhas? Eww, too messy. I suppose if I just wanted to get it over and done with, I could use my super powers to destroy you here and now. But that's no fun."

Mallory attempted to raise her hand but found that the pencils wouldn't budge. "Um, could you repeat possible death options numbers two through four. My foot keeps falling asleep and I lost concentration."

B*tch #4 spun around and glared at her. "How dare you expect me to repeat myself! I would never! I said it once, and that should be enough! If you missed it, well that's just too bad for you! You should have been listening!"

"Whoa, woman, chill," Mallory said, regretting that she had said anything before. "I'm sorry."

"You should be! But I won't have to worry about you pestering me to repeat myself! I have decided how you will all die. Prepare yourselves, Sailor Senshi! Because now I will--"

Unfortunately for B*tch #4, at that moment an overhead projector, which had been perilously swinging over her for some time (without her knowledge), crashed to the floor. By way of her head.

The senshi, having found themselves suddenly released when the pencils vanished into thin air, crowded around the ex-B*tch.

"Well, it's a good thing that projector was hanging from the ceiling and chose that minute to fall to the ground. Otherwise, we'd be in the same condition as B*tch #4," Special K said.

"Did it fall?" Valerie wondered. "Or was it let down?"

"What do you mean?"

Valerie examined the projector and then looked up. Something caught her eye. "There! Do you see it? There's some sort of rigging which the projector was hooked up to. This wasn't an accident. This was a setup."

"But who?" A light dawned in Mallory's eyes. "Of course! It was the last b*tch! They've been sabotaging each other this whole time! In fact, we haven't managed to kill even one of them. They've been killing each other off this whole time!"

"So the last one is somewhere in this room." Valerie spun around and glimpsed a shadowy figure. "Ah ha! Come out, come out, whoever you are!" The figure stepped from the shadows. And Valerie screamed.


Leaping back, Valerie cowered behind the others. "Ah! Make it stop!" she yelled. "Make him go away! Do not let that horrible man come near!"

"Who? That funny-looking, tall man in the tight pants and Doc Martens?" they asked, completely bewildered by Valerie's un-Valerieish behavior.

"It's not just any funny-looking, tall man in tight pants and Doc Martens!" she protested. "It's Mr. Schmith!" (dum dum dum)

Now it was everyone else's turn to scream and cower.

"Not THE Mr. Schmith?" Mallory asked as she hid behind Julie. Julie and Special K, as juniors, were the only ones who didn't understand the ex-freshmen's fear of the French teacher (who was actually French).

"The one and only."

"What is wrong with you guys?" Julie rolled her eyes. "What could this man have possibly done to you that was so horrible it made such a traumatic difference in your life?"

"In seventh grade," Valerie said slowly, finding it hard to voice what had haunted her dreams so many nights. "He made me watch . . ." she shuddered. "I can't say it."

"It's alright," Mallory reassured her. "We've heard it before, now it's Julie's turn. Just let it out. You'll feel better once you do."

Valerie took a deep breath and began again. "In seventh grade, he made me watch . . . the pineapple man videos." (dum dum dum)

Special K gasped. "No! Not THE dreaded L'anana tapes, feared by all who have ever taken French!"

"Yes. THOSE tapes." (dum dum dum) "Not to be confused with the dreaded banana tapes, though the names are awfully similar."

"The tales of horror about them from ex-French students is what made me take Spanish," Julie confessed. She hugged Valerie. "I'm sorry I questioned your fear. It's well justified."

Vanessa shook her head slowly, an impressed look on her face. "The torment that man put you through . . . how did you ever survive?"

"With many hours of therapy." Valerie paused. "And Niki. She was there too, being my moral support."

Eva's eyes widened. "You mean, Niki was forced to see them too?"

"She was in my class."

"No wonder she's so weird!" Mallory cried out. "Niki's odd and somewhat distant behavior must be due to the fact that back in seventh grade, she was forced to watch a singing pineapple man get chased around by a chef with a large knife!"

"Don't forget the skeleton rock band," Valerie added weakly.

Julie stood up. "Don't worry, Valerie, I'll destroy him for you."

"I'd really appreciate that."

Sailor Moo faced the B*tch who had been leaning against the wall, waiting patiently for the battle to begin. "In the name of the Moo Kingdom," Julie yelled out, pointing at him. "And for Valerie and Niki's sake, who have both been royally screwed up by that horrible singing pineapple man you forced them to watch, I will punish you! So what do you have to say to that, huh?"

"Bonjour," B*tch #5 said slowly, an evil smirk on his face. "Hallo. Salut."

"Ah!" Valerie screamed again. "He's mocking you with lyrics! Kill him!"

But just before the battle began, something happened (as usual). The blocked passageway suddenly blew open, flinging rocks across the room. Several people, all wearing long capes, jumped out from the no longer blocked passageway and ran at B*tch #5.

"BOWLEGGED FLAME SNIPER!"

"TWENTY DOLLAR AQUA RHAPSODY!"

"NERVOUS TWITCH OAK EVOLUTION!"

"LACTIC ACID LOVE AND BEAUTY SHOCK!"

The Sailor Senshi watched in surprise (and confusion) as the four superheroes from the 80s blasted the B*tch with attack after attack, but somehow the French teacher managed to block them all.

"Wow, they don't waste any time, do they?" Special K said. "They just get right to it. It doesn't appear to be working, though."

"Of course not!" Julie said. "You're supposed to weaken the enemy first by frightening them with threatening speeches. Duh."

"Oh yeah, and that works real well," Mallory muttered to Valerie.

In the midst of the battle, the man (who was later identified as Twenty Dollar Bill Man) with a huge, cardboard cutout of a twenty dollar bill on his head (his face where Andrew Jackson's should have been), stopped attacking the enemy. "We need to combine our powers!" he yelled to his companions.

In unison, the four superheroes from the 80s raised their senior ring adorned fists into the air and yelled out their superheroish names. And then she appeared.


A low rumbling filled the cavern. "By your powers combined," a voice shouted out. "I am Captain Stewie!" Mrs. Stuard, clad in a blue leotard with a giant 'S' on the front and wearing a long red cape and tall red boots, appeared suddenly in the air.

"Ah!" Valerie screamed yet again. "Spandex!"

Ignoring Valerie (as everyone is advised to do in most instances), Mrs. Stuard faced B*tch #5. "At last! We meet again, oh evil French one!"

"Oui," Mr. Schmith replied. "Only, thiz time you vill not be so lucky!"

"It's been fifteen years since you and your band of bad teachers last united under the never-aging Caroline St. Ramen in an attempt to call forth Pharaoh 130!" Mrs. Stuard said. "I was unable to defeat you then, but my powers have grown."

"I am zee strongest of zee B*tches 5, who have now sadly been reduced to, vell, just me. But never zee less, I vill not let you escape from my French powers of evil and mayhem!"

Mr. Schmith pulled a dozen video tapes from midair and threw them to the ground. "Arise, my little l'anana men! And destroy zhem!"

From the pile of French tapes, a herd of pineapples with very sharp teeth and red, glowing eyes emerged. They leapt into the air and began attacking Captain Stewie. Groaning in pain, Captain Stewie fell to the ground.

The bowlegged man ran to her side. "Captain Stewie, what's wrong?"

"It's the pineapple men," she explained. "They're like kryptonite. The evil that they radiate completely counteracts my super powers, rendering me weak and powerless."

"Sailor Senshi," Lactic Acid Lady cried out. "Though we do not know who you are, we do know that you are also enemies of Pharaoh 130. Our leader has fallen. Will you not help us?"

Julie shrugged. "Well, you know, normally we would, except it's singing l'ananas, and so we are all very afraid."

"No, Julie," Valerie said softly. "The evil must end now."

Mallory frowned. "Are you sure you're ready to do this?"

"Yes. But I am afraid. I can not do it alone."

Mallory put a reassuring hand on Valerie's shoulder. "Valerie, even the smallest person can change the course of the future."

"Hey!" Julie cut in. "Are you insulting my height?"


The Sailor Senshi, minus Julie who was still fuming about the short people comment that had not in any way been directed at her, huddled together, trying to plot out a strategy in the few minutes they had before B*tch #5 came after them. The superheroes from the 80s, currently battling the B*tch, were no match without their leader.

"Okay, Mal, I need you to use your psychic powers to discover the B*tch's weakness, that is, assuming he has one," Valerie instructed. "Special K and Vanessa, keep by her side as backup incase she draws his attention. Vanessa, if you must transform, make it something large with teeth. Eva?"

"Yes?"

"I know that you're powerful. You can control the portals of time. Is there any way you can aid us in this battle?"

Eva sighed and shook her head. "I don't think that is possible. You see, by leaving the doorway unguarded and by bringing you and the other senshi through a time portal, I have already broken two of the four sacred taboos. I can not risk another."

"Alright, then. You can help me. Let's do this."

"Wait!" Special K said before the huddle separated. "Valerie, what will you be doing?"

"I'm going to see if I can revive Captain Stewie's powers."


A moment later, Mallory, accompanied by Vanessa and Special K, stood a few yards from where the battle was still raging, staring hard at B*tch #5, attempting to unlock his mind with her thoughts. Meanwhile, Julie, having seen the Holy Milk Pail still suspended in the air and free for the taking, was trying to leap into the air to grab hold of it, but she was too short to reach that high.

Valerie and Eva rushed over to where Captain Stewie lay, breathing heavily as though all of the air had been sucked out of the room.

"Captain Stewie! We've come to help you!" Valerie yelled.

Mrs. Stuard looked at them. "I am beyond help. My powers are nearly completely drained. There is only one thing that could save me now."

"What is it?" Eva asked.

"A well-written, four page, five paragraph essay, typed and double spaced with no grammatical or spelling errors, with one inch margins, and with the author's last name and page number on each page in the upper right hand corner, save for the first page."

Valerie rolled her eyes. "Oh yeah, let me just pull one of those out my a$$."

Mrs. Stuard choked back a sob as she closed her eyes. "I only wish that before my untimely end, I would have had a chance to teach my unruly students to loathe the five paragraph essay while tormenting them with insanely difficult tests and an obnoxiously large amount of homework. If only I could see their tortured, miserable faces one last time."

"But Captain Stewie," Valerie said, feeling pity for the dying woman. "You can see one of your students one last time. It is I, Valerie, from third hour."

Captain Stewie's eyes fluttered open and she smiled weakly. "I appreciate your efforts, Sailor Senshi, but it is no use. You are not really who you say you are." Then she was silent.

Valerie backed away from the still figure and turned to Eva. "I don't get it. Everyone else had no problem figuring out who we are. Why is that?"

"I don't know why," she replied. "It's a mystery."


"I did it!" Mallory yelled excitedly as the senshi once again regrouped after the failed attempt to save Captain Stewie. The purple star on her forehead was still glowing from her psychic connection. "I know his weakness!"

"And?" Julie asked in anticipation.

"It's Boudreaux's Butt Paste!"

"WHAT?" Everyone else yelled.

"Boudreaux's Butt Paste!" Mallory repeated. "That's his weakness! That's what will destroy him!"

"Well, does anyone happen have any?" Eva asked hopefully. "Perhaps it is also in Valerie's a$$?"

Valerie sighed in frustration. "Damn it! You know, I usually have some, but you know, since today's Thursday, I don't have any." Everyone stared. "Okay, I was being sarcastic. Please get that next time."

"What are we going to do?" Vanessa said frantically. "Without the butt paste, we're doomed."

"Not necessarily!" Julie said, a determined gleam in her eyes. "If we all power up, we'll gain new powers and with new powers--"

"We'll be able to defeat the enemy!" Special K finished.

"And look what I just happen to have." Julie held up a can of Pepsi One. "I found this half-empty can over there in the corner. Drink up. We'll all need the extra strength."


B*tch #5 chuckled quietly as he looked down at the four superheroes who were all trying unsuccessfully to stand up from where the force of the B*tch's blow had thrown them to the ground. But they found they had no strength.

"What have you done to us?" the bowlegged man cried.

"Ah, vell, you see, I used zee last attack to paralyze you. So now you are helpless. I vill now proceed to destroy you."

"Hold it right there!"

B*tch #5 rolled his eyes as he turned to face the Sailor Senshi. "Oh, please, not you again. Vhat is it now? Are you zhat eager to die?"

"Take this, B*tch!" Julie yelled as she leapt into the air. She put her hand to her mouth and blew a kiss that transformed into a huge, sticky, elastic bubble. "MOO SPASTIC ELASTIC PLASTIC KISS!" The bubble flew across the cavern, straight for B*tch #5 who was trapped inside before he could even react to the sudden attack. "You're much bigger than the usual Mexican jumping beans, but my attack should hold you in place while the others finish you off."

Almost simultaneously, Valerie and Mallory unleashed their own new powers.

"TWILIGHT HALLUCINATION!" A wave of thick, impenetrable darkness passed suddenly over the cave, making it completely impossible for the B*tch to see anything, thereby preventing his ensuing attacks from hitting their targets. Luckily, the other senshi, being immune to each other's new attacks (which was a good thing since the powers were bound to go askew and accidently hit someone they weren't supposed to), could see perfectly fine through the pitch blackness.

"STARLIGHT EINHORN MIRAGE!" A light flashed suddenly from the star on Mallory's forehead. The light morphed into the transparent, glowing image of a silvery unicorn that galloped towards the B*tch, it's horn aimed for his chest. Unfortunately, Mr. Schmidts managed to throw up a protective wall just in the nick of time.

"Damn it!" Julie cried out in frustration. "It's useless! He's still too powerful. Without the butt paste, we can't hope to defeat him."

"Well then," an unexpected voice chimed in. "It's a good thing I just happen to have some, isn't it?"


Valerie's eyes widened in horror as she turned to face the newcomers. In her moment of distraction, she lost concentration and her power faded away, revealing to all the two figures who now stood before them. "Bob?" she cried in disbelief.

"Jeff, Evil, Evil, Jeff?" Julie cried at the same time with an equal amount of disbelief. "What's going on?"

"We've come to save you," Bob replied. "Duh."

"But you --"

"Were cast off the Bridge of Death and into the Gorge of Eternal Peril? Yeah, I was. But, please. Like some bridge and endless gorge is gonna stop me! Give me some credit here."

"And how did --"

"Jeff and I meet up? Well, just as I was climbing out of the gorge, only to realize that I had been abandoned and left for dead, he appeared suddenly. He was worried about Alexia. We would have been here sooner but there was some sort of cave-in and we had to dig through the rubble to get here."

Mallory whistled. "That's unbelievable! (Yeah, it really is). And how did you happen to come across the butt paste?"

"Oh, I always carry some around," Jeff replied. "You can never be too prepared. Now where is my darling Alexia? I had the feeling that something terrible was about to happen to her."

"There's no time for any long and detailed explanation as to why Alexia was kidnaped and taken away to be sacrificed to Mistress 9." Julie rushed to Jeff's side and grabbed the butt paste from him. "Now, how do you use this?"

Jeff's eyes widened in horror. "My Alexia? Kidnaped? Sacrificed? When?"

Julie was losing patience. "Hey, fat man, just tell me how to use the damn paste!" she yelled threateningly as she ripped the top off the tube.

"Just aim and squirt!" Jeff yelled back.

"Wait, Julie!" Valerie said, stopping the leader before she could take aim. "It's far too dangerous!"

Julie sighed. "Sailor Psychy, as your leader, I command you not to get in my way," she said in a authoritative tone. "Besides, how hard can it be? I may not have disease of the a$$, but I have used toothpaste before."

Valerie wiped a tear from her eye and sniffed loudly. "So be it. May the force be with you, Julie-san."

Rolling her eyes, Julie turned away. "Stop being over-dramatic." She ran over to where her giant plastic balloon still held the B*tch captive. "Eat paste, B*tch!" She pointed the open end of the tube at Mr. Schmith and squeezed as hard as she could.


Several minutes later, an exhausted Julie slumped to the floor near the gooey remains of B*tch #5. "That took way too long," she said out loud. "Who would have thought that the tiny little tube could hold so much butt paste? Knowing my luck, it just figures that it took the entire damn tube to kill the bastard."

"At least it's over now," Vanessa said as she and the others attempted to help the fallen superheroes of the 80s up.

"Hardly," Valerie huffed, struggling to pull the really old man to his feet. "Have you forgotten about St. Ramen and Niki? I mean, I like Niki and all, but damn her for getting us in this whole mess in the first place. If she didn't have a super evil alter ego, we could be elsewhere right now."

Julie hugged the Holy Milk Pail to her chest. "Well, now that I have this back, everything will be fine," she said definitely. At least Jeff's good for something. He was the only one tall enough to pull it down for me.

"What exactly are we going to do? Blow Niki up?" Mallory asked sarcastically.

"Sounds like a plan to me," Bob said, very un-sarcastically.

"It's the only thing you can do!" The senshi looked in surprise at Captain Stewie who was straining to stand up again.

"You! You're supposed to be dead!" Valerie cried. Well gee, now I'm kind of disappointed.

"I think I'm going to pull through," Captain Stewie admitted. "The singing l'ananas' power over me faded the instant B*tch #5 died. It's thanks to you, Sailor Senshi, that I am still alive. We will do anything in our power to repay you."

"Does that mean I get an 'A' in English?" Valerie asked hopefully.

Special K, who had remained silent since the B*tch's destruction, spoke up. "Superheroes from the 80s, if you join us in the final battle against Caroline St. Ramen, what will you do with Niki?"

"We must kill her," the bowlegged man replied. "It is the only way for the darkness to end."

"He's right," the other really old man (who was not quite as old as the really old man, but still old) agreed. "To destroy Pharaoh 130, we must destroy the host, Mistress 13."

"Then I am afraid we are going to ask you to leave the battle up to us," Julie said gravely. "Niki is our friend and if there is any way to save her, we are going to find it. Leave now and we will go on alone."

"We cannot do that!" the woman protested. "You don't know what you are going up against. Pharaoh 130's power is greater than even that of the Holy Milk Pail. If you face him alone, you will die."

"And what other choice do we have?" Eva said hotly. "We're not sacrificing our friend and that is final."

"But--"

"Silence, Lactic Acid Lady," Captain Stewie commanded. "We owe them our lives and because of that, we will do as they wish. It is their war now, not ours." She turned to the Sailor Senshi. "Farewell, brave, unknown warriors. If the world doesn't end tomorrow, then we will assume the best." And with that, the 80s superheroes were gone.


Julie smiled sadly as she watched them go. "You know, until Mr. McDoormat showed up tonight dressed in a ridiculous outfit with a picture of a pair of legs and an arrow between them on his shirt, I had never realized how very bowlegged he is."

"It is quite impressive," Special K agreed. "His legs are so spastically abnormal that he's like a freak of nature."

"Yeah, like Mallory's hyper extended knees."

Mallory frowned. "Are you calling me a freak?"

"Of course not," Valerie replied. At least not to your face.

"Wait a minute!" Vanessa said. "Wasn't he supposed to be on sabbatical?"

"That's it then," Bob said angrily, crossing her arms. "Without them, we're doomed."

"Can it, blondie," Valerie said. And to think for almost two seconds I actually missed the annoying whore. She shuddered involuntarily. I'm glad that's out of my system.

"We can't give up yet," Special K said. "There's still a chance that we'll beat them. Granted, it's a very itty bitty, teeny weeny--"

"Yellow polka dot bikini?"

"--outrageously, microscopically, small chance, but a chance non the less."

"That's the spirit!" Mallory cried, slapping Special K on the back. "I mean, if you think about it, for a while we thought we'd lose to B*tch #5, but we didn't. That's got to mean something, right?"

"We would have lost if it hadn't been for Jeff and Bob," Eva pointed out. "It was lucky for us that they showed up at that moment."

"Speaking of Jeff . . ." Vanessa's voice trailed off. "Where is he anyway?"

Julie's eyes widened. "Oh no! I completely forgot about Alexia!" Again. That doesn't make me look too good, Julie admitted to herself. Then again, she's only my daughter from the future. It's not like she's someone important. "Where could they have taken her?"

"I don't know," Eva said anxiously, "but we better find her fast. The heart-eating ceremony could begin any moment!"


Niki looked at the elaborate arrangement of silverware surrounding her plate and frowned. There are too many forks of varying sizes! I always get confused as to which is which, she sighed silently. "Um, just out of curiosity, is the heart I'm going to be eating considered an appetizer or the main course?" she asked Caroline St. Ramen's henchmen who was busy preparing the rest of the table settings.

"Generally, the first heart one eats is considered to be like a pre-appetizer delicacy. After the first one, it's up to the person to decide," he replied. "But that's not really the important part. What's important is the energy that the heart supplies. With each heart you eat, Pharaoh 130's power will increase until the moment he is ready to ascend to this reality. After that moment, it's hell on earth!" He laughed evilly.

"Uh huh, that's nice," Niki said, not really paying attention. She was still trying to resolve the fork issue. "Okay, so you're saying the heart comes before the appetizer? Like bread? Does that mean I don't need a fork?"

Before he could answer, the huge doors at the end of the dining room area swung open and Caroline entered, followed by two large henchmen who were carrying an unconscious girl in a short pink skirt. They tossed the girl on the table in front of Niki's dinner settings.

"Oh!" Niki cried when she recognized the unconscious senshi. "That's Sailor Mini Moo! I have to eat her heart?"

"WHY?" Caroline asked, frowning. "DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"

"Well, we did sort of fight evil together, and I'm sure that she helped me out in battle more than once. I mean, I feel kind of bad for being like, 'thanks for saving me, and to show my appreciation, I'm going to eat your heart now'."

"BUT YOU WEREN'T FRIENDS?"

Niki made a face. "Of course not! I mean, she's blonde! Besides, her color of preference is pink and she has a really annoying name. She deserves to die."

"WELL THEN, THAT SOLVES THAT PROBLEM." Caroline St. Ramen smiled. "NOW, WHENEVER YOU'RE READY, FEEL FREE TO DIG IN."

"How will I know when I'm ready?"

"OH, BELIEVE ME, YOU'LL KNOW."


An hour passed. Niki drummed her fingers on the table impatiently. She was waiting for something to happen, but she wasn't sure what. I'll know when I'm ready, she repeated again to herself for what seemed like the hundredth time. I really hope Alexia doesn't start to regain consciousness. That could make things a little awkward.

Niki yawned loudly as boredom overcame her. She struggled to stay awake, but it was a losing battle. Moments later she felt herself beginning to drift off to sleep.

It had been a while since her last dream, and she hadn't seen Mr. Walrus since before going into the woods. She missed Mr. Walrus. She hoped to see him again, but this time instead of the bright, magical world she usually dreamed about, Niki found herself in an endless grey landscape, surrounded completely by thick mist.

"Hello!" Niki yelled out in her sleep. "Is anyone there?"

Niki, a mystical disembodied voice called through the mist. Can you hear me? Do you know where you are?

"Yes, I can hear you, and I have no clue."

You are in the realm between dreams and reality. Time passes differently here. An hour may seem to be a day, and a day, no more than a few seconds. It is because of this time anomaly that I, the Senshi of Time, am able to control this realm without breaking a taboo.

Niki yawned as she scratched her head. "Yeah, well, that's good to know. By any chance, have you seen a walrus waddling around lately?"

You must listen to me! My time here is short and it is urgent that you learn how to fight the evil that is growing in you. It is happening much too fast. Already, the power has begun to consume you. You have a chance to save yourself, but it must be done before long. Once you perform the heart-eating ceremony, all is lost.

"You're no fun," Niki pouted. "I want Mr. Walrus back."

I have seen the future, and if Pharaoh 130 is not stopped, everything that you love, everything you know, will be destroyed. There is no hope if he lives.

"Everything's destroyed, you say? So, does that include Loserville? To be honest, if Loserville doesn't exist in the future, I can't see how the world can be any worse than it is now. It's probably a much nicer place to live in."

See your true self! The impatient, but still mystical and disembodied, voice commanded. See what you are destined to become and fight to save it!

A thick wall of mist surrounding Niki parted to reveal a huge, floating mirror made of gold. She looked into it and saw an altered version of herself. The mirror Niki was several inches shorter than the real Niki and had chin-length hair that wasn't red at all. In her hand she gripped a long pole with a pointed scythe at the end.

Niki chuckled silently to herself. Valerie would be so jealous. Look at my super stick. The mirror Niki put her hand against the face of the mirror and mouthed several words. The real Niki was confused for a moment. "'Elephant's shoe?'" Mirror Niki shook her head and repeated the silent phrase. "Oh! 'I am you!'"

Mirror Niki nodded and mouthed again. "'Look inside yourself,'" Niki said out loud. "'Look inside yourself and you will see your innards.'" Mirror Niki rolled her eyes. "Oh, sorry. 'Look inside yourself and you will find your way.'"


Meanwhile, back in the super, secret, underground laboratory, the senshi crept along the dark passageways silently, trying in vain to follow the path of footprints that had been imprinted lightly on the dusty floor in order to find their way to where Alexia was being held captive.

Julie, leading the way, stopped suddenly and looked back at the others. She noticed that Eva was several yards behind the rest of the senshi and was breathing heavily, a glazed look in her eyes. "Are you alright?" she asked the dazed senshi.

Eva shook her head violently. The glazed look was replaced by one that held a glimmer of hope. "I think I just bought us some time. I hope. I can't tell for sure."


When Niki awoke to find Caroline and the other evil people looking expectantly up at her, the dreams that had been solid images only moments before faded away into bare wisps of memories that were quickly forgotten.

"I'm sorry," she apologized. I think I dozed off for a second there."

"YOU'VE BEEN SLEEPING THE LAST TWENTY-SEVEN MINUTES, BUT HEY, WHO'S COUNTING?"

"Apparently you are," Niki replied. "Okay, okay, I get the hint." She closed her eyes and sighed heavily. "Okay, Mistress 13, do your thing," she commanded. "Pharaoh 130, I'm ready whenever you are."


"I've found her!" Vanessa said, running back to where the others were hiding in what appeared to be an unused janitor's closet. Her anthropomorphic abilities had once again been proven useful. "Two doors over to the right! Alexia's unconscious and both Caroline and Niki are there. It doesn't look good. We have to hurry."

"You don't have to tell us twice!" Julie said. She and the others tore down the corridor and rushed through the door Vanessa had specified. But it was too late.


"NO!" the senshi yelled in horror the moment they entered the room. "Niki! Niki, please stop!"

But it was not the friend they knew that looked back at them, red eyes glowing. Something that reeked of evil with excessive and unnaturally long hair had taken over Niki's body. The creature that looked like Niki (but wasn't really) was leaning over Alexia's still body, her claws inches away from the senshi's chest.

"Snap out of it, Niki!" Mallory begged. "You don't know what you're doing!"

"I KNOW PERFECTLY WELL WHAT I'M DOING," the creature replied. "JUST AS YOU KNOW PERFECTLY WELL THAT I AM NOT NIKI."

"Where is she?" Julie demanded. "What have you done with her?"

"SHE IS LOST INSIDE OF THIS SHELL," the creature explained, gesturing to her body. "SHE WILLINGLY SACRIFICED HERSELF TO ME, MISTRESS 13, JUST AS THIS GIRL WILL SACRIFICE HERSELF TO PHARAOH 130."

"Yeah, well I doubt that Alexia's sacrifice is willing," Bob said. "Why don't you let her regain consciousness and find out for sure."

"I HAVE A BETTER IDEA." Before the senshi could do anything to stop her, Mistress 13 shoved her hand into Alexia's chest and a moment later she pulled out a heart. It beat twice. "IF I WERE A MAN, I WOULD EAT THIS HEART IN THE MARKETPLACE!" She grinned. "IT'S A GOOD THING I'M NOT A MAN." Without a moments hesitation, she shoved the heart into her mouth and swallowed it whole.

Valerie covered her mouth with her hands, horrified by what Niki had just done. "Okay, that was just plain wrong and on more than one levels." She groaned. "I think I'm going to be sick."

"How could she do that?" Vanessa asked. "How could Niki have possibly done that?"

"She's not Niki," Eva replied. "Not anymore. She's pure evil now. We have no choice but to destroy her."

"DESTROY ME? HAH!" Mistress 13 laughed gaily. "I'D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY. IF YOU SERIOUSLY THINK YOUR MILK PAIL IS ANY MATCH FOR PHARAOH 130, YOU'RE IN FOR THE SHOCK OF YOUR LIFE."

Julie glared. "For your information, the Holy Milk Pail isn't just any milk pail. It's solid gold."

Mistress 13 looked at the foolhardy senshi with disbelief. When she saw Special K a smile lit up her face. "YOU!" she said. "I HAVE A SURPRISE FOR YOU. COME FORTH, ROOTBEER AND ALMONDS, AND SHOW THEM WHAT REAL POWER IS."

Special K gasped in shock when RA, her old partner in crime, appeared suddenly from behind Mistress 13. "RA! I thought you were dead!"

"And I thought you were evil," she replied. "Apparently we were both deceived."

"You're still being deceived!" Special K protested. "Can't you see it? What you're doing is wrong!"

"I see what my mistress wishes for me to see just as I do what she asks of me. And she has asked me to dispose of you nuisances, at least until Pharaoh 130's ascension. I plan on doing just that."

"The time portal requires two powers," Special K reminded her. "You cannot condemn us alone."

"I can. There's a slight variation of our old power that I've conceived. I'm sure you'll find it quite ingenious." She raised her arms into the air and behind her, a swirling whirlwind of colors appeared, hovering several feet off the ground. "DIMENSION OF UNSPECIFIED LOCATION -- ATTACK!"

The senshi tried to leap out of the way of the whirlwind that rushed forward to meet them, but they were too slow. A loud roaring filled their ears as blinding light flashed before their eyes. And then everything went black.


CONTINUE

SMoo Randomness:
Julie: So, Tuxedo Dego . . . What'd you say if we go ahead and ditch these kids, hop in the backseat of Lauren’s car and … you know …