Several awkward weeks followed the series of events that had led up to the most recent episode of season three. So many things had happened in the previous episodes that no one really knew quite how to react to the changes, and so friends and enemies alike were left at a stand-still.
Tensions were high among the members of Earth’s Sailor Senshi Team. Niki wasn’t quite the same after the whole S.I.M.O.N thing. The reserved, unemotional and uncommunicative Niki they all knew and loved had vanished with the robot’s death. In her place was a bubbly, vivacious zealot who looked an awful lot like their friend but acted so strange it was scary. Not knowing what to think of this “new”Niki, whenever she was around, the other senshi simply smiled, nodded, and ran away as fast as they could when they got the chance.
After being one-upped by a lowly, pathetic junior, Julie became a bitter, angry tyrannical b*tch – even more of one than usual. While she used to be merely unpleasant to be around, now she was insufferable. Determined to prove her superiority by coming up with a plan to defeat the new enemy before the new enemy could annihilate them, the leader of the Sailor Senshi ranted, raved, and forced all of the younger girls to do the work for her.
As usual, everyone but Lisa continued to despise Bob by treating the blonde like crap . . . and for the first time, Bob noticed. Or rather, Bob noticed how much Lisa didn’t despise her . . . how much Lisa was infatuated with her. What the blonde thought was mere adoration and respect from the lowly freshman, she quickly (quickly for Bob, anyway) realized was much more than that. It was love.
Bob was terrified of upsetting Lisa (mostly because she was worried the blue-haired girl would beat her up) and so she didn’t have the nerve to openly reject the younger girl’s affections. For several days she tried to avoid Lisa, but the girl kept popping up everywhere Bob went. Some of the other senshi suspected that Lisa had implanted some kind of tracking device on Bob, but Valerie insisted that she just followed the blonde’s highly odorous (and thus trackable) stench.
A week after discovering that Lisa was in love with her, Bob came to a Sailor Team meeting (which was really just the girls sitting around at Mallory’s house eating Taco Bell and not doing anything that could be considered remotely productive) with the news that she was now in a serious relationship – with a guy. His name was also Bob
Most of the senshi broke out into laughter over the outrageous unlikeliness of anyone of the opposite sex ever being attracted to Bob, but Lisa just looked heartbroken.
When it came to the senshi’s other relationships . . . Julie was still spurning Gerg, her soon-to-be betrothed (who had once again neglected to show up and be useful during any of the recent battles), and was instead pining away (again) after Alex, the reincarnation of her future lover from the future whom she has an affair with in the past.
Mallory, Niki, and Valerie’s relationships with the band members of Nutzi Tunz weren’t going anywhere. Me still felt terrible about having been unable to protect Mallory on their date the other night, and so he started avoiding her at school. Mallory took the avoidance to mean that he was no longer interested in her and was thoroughly depressed.
Valerie was still angry with Elfyn for not having bothered to show up for their date (as far as she knew), and when not glaring and snarling, she was secretly plotting to bite his ears off. Elfyn was (smartly) wary of the girl’s intentions and he kept a close watch on her from a distance, still not quite sure if she was friend or foe.
As for Timm . . . he was nowhere to be heard.
Hoovering in an invisible, doughnut-shaped space ship, three miles above the Earth, the Senshi from outer space were beginning to doubt the ability of their mission to succeed. After the night when the incredible power tossed them from the senshi of Earth’s house, they realized that they had underestimated their enemy. But after discovering S.I.M.O.N.’s rubix cube-shaped remains in a junkyard before the robot had been able to report his discoveries, the senshi were more than wary. They were worried.
When Sailor Pink trudged glumly into the super-secret meeting, several hours after it officially began, the other senshi immediately surrounded her, their faces grave – except for PerkyFluffyBunny and Tange who had just downed two six-packs of Mountain Dew and were currently running around like spastic, sugar-induced, animals of choice.
“What took you so long?” Cranberry demanded. “For the past several hours, we – that is, some of us,” (significant glance in the direction of PerkyFluffyBunny and Tange who were now taking turns smashing the used soda cans on each other’s heads), “have been trying to figure out what to do now that your plan has failed!”
“S.I.M.O.N. didn’t fail!” Pink retorted heatedly. “He was just . . . er, less effective than he should have been. But I promise you that he played only a minor part in my elaborate scheme. The true weapon has yet to be initiated, and when it is, I – ”
“S.I.M.O.N was crushed into a pocket-size chunk of metal before he could relay any of our enemies’ secrets to us! He was about as worthless as they are,” Light said angrily, gesturing towards the two idiots of the group (who had managed to knock themselves unconscious, their limp bodies crumpled on the floor with the semi-crunched remains of the soda cans that had been their downfall carelessly strewn around their bodies).
ChibiS glared down at their unconscious forms as she pulled a large butcher knife from her pocket. She looked up at the other senshi. “Can I please kill them now to put us all out of our misery? I promise it will be quick and merciful, although that’s not how I generally like to get things done.”
Cranberry shook her head. “Unfortunately, no. We need all the man-power we can get. Besides, you never know . . . they may prove to be useful.” There was a pause. “Probably not, of course, but there is a slim chance . . .” Longer pause. “Oh what the heck, just go ahead and do away with them.”
However, before ChibiS could take another menacing step towards the unconscious senshi, the two girls suddenly regained consciousness and leapt to their feet. Tough luck.
“You know,” Sailor Tange said, her eyes shining. “I just had an idea . . .”
“Guess what!” Eva cried excitedly, running up to the badly-spelled graffiti-covered picnic table where Mallory and Valerie were busy attempting to digest their lunches. “Nutzi Tunz is holding a live concert! Friday night at midnight! At our school in the cafetorium! I am soooo excited! I just came back from buying front-row tickets!”
“Why did you do that?” Mallory asked. “You do realize there aren’t actually any chairs in the cafetorium, don’t you? Without chairs there can be no rows, and without rows, there can be no front-rows.”
“Oh damn. I forgot.”
“Besides,” Valerie added, “the acoustics totally suck. And the protruding block of rotting wood they – laughingly – call a stage always smells like last week’s mystery meat. But what more could you expect from a cafeteria-by-day, auditorium-by-night?”
“You’re right.” Eva slumped down on the picnic bench. “What a waste of hard-earned Winn Dixie money!” She glared at the other girls. “Well, I’m sure you guys will have a great time at the concert. I bet your boyfriends got you backstage passes and everything!”
Mallory seemed on the verge of tears. “Actually, we . . . er, weren’t invited.”
“Really? Why not?”
“Me and Elfyn haven’t bothered to speak to us all week long,” Valerie said, her eyes narrowed into slits. “Those bastards. And who knows about Timm? Although I suspect that since Niki hasn’t been talking to herself lately, he’s probably not around either.”
“That’s too bad,” Eva said sympathetically, pulling a partially eaten muffin out of her school bag. She sighed and began nibbling extremely slowly, as though trying to savor every bite.
“Eva, is that all you have for lunch today?” Mallory asked.
Eva nodded sadly. “I used up all of my money buying those damn “front-row” tickets. Now all I can afford to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is this muffin.”
“Alas,” Mallory replied while chewing on a carrot stick. Of course, eating and talking simultaneously is never a good thing (especially when carrots are involved), and Mallory quickly realized the error in her judgement when she began to choke (have you noticed how frequently this seems to happen?).
Just in time, Valerie remembered the Hind Lick maneuver (which fortunately involved neither licking nor a hind), and she was able to save Mallory before she once again suffered from a truly pathetic demise.
As Mallory turned to thank Valerie, a figure emerging from the grove of coke can-covered trees caught her eye. “Oh my!” Mallory exclaimed, pointing at the pink-clad girl in the distance. “It’s Niki!”
“You’re kidding me!” Valerie cried, leaping around to get a look for herself. Sure enough, Mallory was right (although anyone who had ever met Niki before, would have been surprised by the eccentric girl’s current appearance).
Niki was beaming happily in their direction as she skipped merrily along, a picnic basket swinging from her arm. She was dressed entirely in pink – from the pink ribbons in her hair to her bright pink mini skit, all the way down to her pink patent leather Mary Janes.
Valerie’s jaw dropped open with shock. “Holy Mary, mother of Niki’s sweatshirt, what the hell is wrong with her?”
“If she were anyone other than Niki, I would say that she looks normal and happy,” Mallory said. “But seeing as how Niki is Niki – I would say that she is possessed.”
“Possessed by what? A demon?”
Mallory stroked her chin thoughtfully. “My guess would be the spirit of a clam.”
“Hello, everyone!” Niki greeted the other senshi, a bright smile on her face. “Isn’t it a beautiful Loserville day? The weather is just miserably hot and humid enough that I am completely drenched in sweat, and the mosquitos have been attacking me in vicious, bloodthirsty swarms every hour. Isn’t life grand?”
The others only grimaced in reply. For extra measure, Valerie made the sign to ward off evil, expecting at any moment for Niki to attempt to rip their hearts out and eat them, in front of their faces. However, Niki’s hair remained the same length.
“Wow!” Niki cried in wonder, eyeing the nibbled muffin in Eva’s hand. “What an exquisite muffin you are nibbling there. Might I have it?”
Although Eva’s stomach growled hungrily in protest, she handed Niki the muffin, afraid of what the – obviously – possessed girl might do if she refused.
Niki’s eyes shone with pleasure as she held the muffin high over her head so that the gleam of the sun would reflect across its raisin-encrusted surface. “I am so in awe of the beauty of this muffin, that I think I will sing it a song which I have entitled, “Ode to My Muffin (to the tune of “Do Re Mi”).” Clearing her throat, Niki began to sing:
“Dough, the stuff, that makes the muffins.
Ray, the guy that bakes the muffins.
Me, the girl, who eats Ray’s muffins.
Fa, a far long way to muffins.
So, I think I’ll have a muffin.
La, la la la la la muffin.
Tea, no thanks, I’ll have a muffin.
That will bring us back to
Dough, muffin, muffin, muffin, dough!”
There was a long moment of silence before Mallory, Valerie, and Eva screamed in fear: “RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!” They took off as fast as they could in a random direction, leaving a slightly confused Niki behind.
“Was it something I said?” Niki asked no one. Since No One didn’t reply, Niki shrugged and gleefully devoured the raisin-licious muffin which she had serenaded but a moment before.
In history class later that day, Valerie kept herself busy (and conscious) by drawing out her highly elaborate, stickfigured scheme to make Elfyn suffer for not showing up for their date (and for having neglected to invite her to Nutzi Tunz’s concert Friday night).
Valerie looked up from her crude drawing and glared at the back of Elfyn’s attractively shaped head and delicately pointed ears that protruded appealingly from his thick, curling, hair. You’ll regret it, she snarled silently, furiously sketching out her victorious stickfigure self, standing over stickfigure Elfyn’s headless body (which was really just four short lines sticking out of a longer line). First I’ll bite off one ear, and then the other . . .
“Valerie?” Elfyn said quietly, trying not to attract the attention of Mr. Weather who was ceaselessly rambling on about some court case or another (or was it a goblin rebellion?). Because the boy had now turned around in his chair, Valerie was forced to glare at Elfyn’s face, focusing her dislike on his front teeth which he really should have had fixed as a child.
“What do you want?”
“I think we need to talk . . . will you meet me in the abandoned sophomore parking lot after school today? It should be secluded enough that we aren’t likely to be disturbed.”
“Why wouldn’t we want to be disturbed? It’s not like we’re dating, or anything.”
“I can’t speak here, it’s too risky . . .” Elfyn lowered his voice even further so that Valerie had to lean towards him to hear what he said next. Their noses almost touched, and Valerie felt the desire to bite that off as well. “I have something important to tell you. Just promise me that you’ll come.”
Valerie shrugged. “It’s not like I have anything better to do.”
After the final bell rang, signifying the end of school (and after the dust from the stampede of students trying to get as far away from Country Club High as fast as possible had settled), Valerie began the long trek to sophomore territory.
Since sophomores weren’t technically allowed to park in the upperclassmen parking lot near the school, years before, the ex-freshmen had set up their own gravel lot on the far edge of the school grounds (where few people were willing to venture). Of course, the sophomore parking lot was always deserted because the damn ex-freshmen parked in the upperclassmen parking lot anyway (those bastards), stealing parking spaces that would have belonged to the senshi, had they had cars and/or been capable of driving them.
As Valerie was halfway across the school grounds (somewhere near the trees where the bloodthirsty, rabid crows nested – the very crows which served as Country Club High’s school mascot), she was suddenly joined by Mallory. “Where are you going?”
“To the abandoned sophomore parking lot,” Mallory replied. “Me asked me to meet him there. He said he had something really important to tell me.”
“Elfyn said the same thing . . . weird, huh?”
Several minutes later, the two girls finally made it to the parking lot at the far end of the football field. Of course, once all of the damn current freshmen got their BMW convertibles and their drivers’ permits later that year, the parking lot would no longer be abandoned, but in the meantime . . . not a soul was to be seen.
Valerie and Mallory approached cautiously. After all, you can never be sure of what heinous deeds the savage underclassmen might do if they catch you off your guard, particularly if you are outnumbered and/or abnormally short (of which they were both).
There was a long moment when everything was completely quiet – until the sound of a lone, mournful wolf howl pierced the silence.
Valerie gazed curiously into the swampy woods that bordered the football field and sophomore territory. “Was that a wolf? Since when are there wolves in Loserville?”
“Maybe it wasn’t a wolf,” Mallory suggested. “Maybe it was really our future selves, having traveled back into the past to save our current selves from the teacher-turned-unattractive-wolf-man who wasn’t even supposed to try and kill us in the first place (because it didn’t happen in the book), but who we insist upon throwing rocks at for no apparent reason other than the fact that we are incredible morons and – OW!!”
From out of nowhere, the bow of a violin came whizzing through the air, smacking Mallory on the forehead, and forcing her to stop ranting – for about two seconds.
“Where did that come from?” Valerie asked.
“I know! It must have been thrown at me by my future self, having traveled back into the past in order to warn my current self that danger is approaching, so that we have time to run for cover behind some pumpkins before –”
“Mallory, shut up!”
When the two girls finally turned in the direction from which the violin bow had flown, they were surprised to see none other than Special K approaching, a violin case swinging at her side.
Special K bent down to retrieve the bow which had fallen to the ground at Mallory’s feet. “This belongs to me,” she said, placing the bow back into the case. “Sorry about the attack, I was just trying to get your attention in the quickest way possible.”
“That’s okay,” Mallory replied, rubbing her bruised forehead. “You play the violin?”
“Of course I do,” Special K replied. “I’m a famous, world-renowned violinist. Didn’t you know that?”
“Wait, I’m confused,” Mallory said.
Special K tossed her long, wavy blonde (but not EVIL blonde) hair over her shoulder. “I am also an incredibly gifted painter.”
“Oh yeah?” Valerie challenged. She pulled her wallet out of her purse and held up the credit card on which Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night had been printed. “Did you paint this?”
“Why, yes I did.”
“Wow. You really ARE talented.”
“Ah, just in time,” Special K said a few minutes later as the other senshi (minus Niki) began showing up, one by one, to the once-deserted, but now quite occupied, parking lot.
“What are you guys doing here?” Mallory asked once the other girls had assembled.
“Special K told us to meet her here,” Julie replied. “She said it was important.”
Special K nodded gravely. “There is much we must discuss, far from prying birds, beasts . . . and ears. The future of Earth resides on the decisions that we will make today. Now that we are all here, let’s get down to business.” She turned towards the grove of trees from which the mournful wolf howl had sounded. “It is time. You can come out now,” Special K said loudly.
To the senshi’s disbelief, it wasn’t just Me and Elfyn who stepped out from their hiding places in the shadows of the trees, it was the entire Nutzi Tunz band (which may or may not have included Timm – it’s just so hard to tell sometimes).
Eva glared at the band members. It’s because of you I was only able to briefly nibble a muffin for lunch today. Okay, well, that was mostly Niki’s fault, but you’re the ones I wasted all my money on for those lousy front-row tickets! I demand retribution! I demand backstage passes!
Julie grinned at the band members. What an ideal time for an autograph session and photo op! Damn it, I have neither a camera nor paper, but I do have Alex’s really cool mechanical pencil . . . maybe I can get them to sign my rather large, ego-inflated head.
Me stepped forward. “I know that we may appear to be nothing more than an overnight sensation, a boy band that –” Key Key shot him a look. “Well, a mostly boy –” Me glanced at You and I who were admiring the vivid tones of each other’s recently highlighted hair and at Elfyn who was delicately picking poison ivy because there were no wild flowers. Me grimaced. “Okay, forget the boy part. What I mean to say is that although we may appear to be nothing more than an overnight musical sensation, we are really much more than that! We have a secret!!”
“Ohh! I know! I know your secret!” Valerie cried, jumping up and down. “You are really women, aren’t you?”
“No!” Me protested at the same time that You and I chimed “Yes!”
Key rolled her eyes. “This is taking far too long (as does everything else involving the incompetent senshi). We have a midnight concert to prepare for. Allow me to explain everything.”
Key took a deep breath, and then she began to speak very rapidly. “The truth is that we are not a boy band, we are not even a band, in fact, we are not even from Earth. We are actually aliens from a far-off planet who came to Earth in search of our princess who disappeared a couple of months ago. We suspect that she has fallen victim to the big bad of season three who has created the ultimate weapon – a Death Star – in order to overthrow the Republic, eventually gaining control of the galaxy by stealing all of our star seeds!”
Key took another deep breath before adding: “Oh yeah, and these guys are my bisexual lovers!” Key exclaimed, gesturing at I and You who shrugged innocently. She pointed at Elfyn, “and he’s a cracker!”
Mallory looked scandalized. “Hey! I find the offensive slang terminology to be very unnecessary in civilized conversations!”
“It’s not slang,” Elfyn said. “I am actually a cracker.”
The senshi of Earth looked very confused.
“So, what you’re saying is . . . that your big secret . . . isn’t that you are women?” Bob said very slowly, obviously trying to piece two and two together without ending up with five (which would be an accomplishment for her).
“Keebler Elf,” Elfyn said. “Which would explain the ears. For some unexplained reason, between the hours of six and midnight, I transform into an edible, bite-sized cracker. While in Loserville, we have had to hold afternoon or midnight concerts to avoid our fans discovering this . . . er, issue that I have.”
“Why did you come to Loserville in search of your princess?” Eva asked the pretend band members. “I mean, this city may not be as bad as Nakodish, or anywhere in Ohio, but it’s still no Tokyo. Since she’s royalty and all, wouldn’t she be able to afford a nicer place? Why would she want to stay in a dump like this?”
“We didn’t come to Loserville because we thought she was here,” Key said. “We came here because Loserville has a high frequency of cosmic quantities, and the city (particularly around Country Club High) emits some sort of otherworldly radio waves which draw abnormal and supernatural things to it.”
“Which would explain Valerie,” Julie said at the same time Valerie said:
“Which would explain Bob,” Valerie said at the same time Bob said:
“Which would explain Mallory,” Bob said at the same time Mallory said:
“Which would explain Niki,” Mallory said. Niki, being unable to say anything due to her absence, was silent.
“Protectors of Earth, we need your help!” Key cried. “You must save our princess, my sister, from the big bad of season three! Before she destroys her!”
Julie was stunned. “Before she destroys her? What do you mean: SHE? Are you saying that the big bad is a woman?!!”
“I knew it! It’s Bob!” Valerie cried triumphantly, thrilled that she finally had another excuse to attempt to kill the evil blonde (not that she ever needed one in the past). “That b*tch!”
Lisa glared at her. “How dare you accuse my snuggle bunny of such a monstrous crime! Just because she is incredibly attractive doesn’t mean she’s an evil tyrant! The big bad is obviously Niki, (that long-haired whore), going for two out of three seasons!”
“I appreciate your efforts to clear my good name,” Bob told the blue-haired freshman. “But please don’t defend me again. It’s kind of creepy.”
I shook his head as he slipped a “comforting” arm around Key who was near tears, obviously very distraught about her sister’s disappearance. “Your friend Niki was one of the first suspects we checked out, but it’s not her.”
You put another arm around Key, pulling her against his chest and shooting a superior look at I who walked away, sulking. “We discovered very early on that although there is a lot of evil energy present here in Loserville, the big bad has eluded our senses . . . we suspect that she has remained in the depths of space all this time, relying on her evil minions to do the dirty work for her.”
“Evil minions who are trying to conquer Earth,” Elfyn elaborated. “Evil minions who used to be Sailor Senshi!”
“Oh my gosh!” Mallory cried. “We’ve met them! They attacked us at Valerie’s house!”
“We thought they were rapists and/or Catholic priests who were going to . . . do bad stuff,” Valerie said. “Fortunately, Julie showed up and kicked their short-skirted a$$es with her temporary new superpowers. It’s just a shame she’s worthless again now.”
Julie glared at her, before turning back to the pretend band members. “What do you mean used to be Sailor Senshi?”
“A Sailor Senshi is a guardian of a planet,” You explained, still “comforting” the quietly sobbing Key. “In order to be a senshi, you must guard planets, not destroy them.”
“We aren’t sure why these enemy senshi have joined up with the big bad,” I confessed, inching closer to Key, knocking You out of the way in the process. Now it was You’s turn to sulk. “We suspect that some of them may have been put under a spell of some sort when the big bad conquered the planets that they protected. While others . . . may have joined the enemy willingly.”
“Although they may retain their Sailor Senshi identities as well as their powers, the enemy senshi are corrupted by evil . . . and are very dangerous!” Me said gravely.
Key wiped her tear-stained face on the sleeve of I’s Hawaiian-print shirt. I stuck his tongue out at Me, who glowered back. “Since they attacked you openly once before, I am sure that you realize your secret identities have been revealed . . . Special K has informed us that she believes the enemy will attack again tonight. Only this time, they will be prepared.”
“How do you know this?” Julie asked Special K. “And how do you know Nutzi Tunz?”
“While you were away in Nakodish (being entirely unproductive), the other Krystina and I had secretly been working undercover to figure out who this season’s villain could be. Because Nutzi Tunz showed up around the time the paranormal activity began, we suspected that they might be in allegiance with the enemy.”
Key nodded with understanding. “Just as we suspected you."
“Because I am a famous, world-renowned violinist, I thought that I could use my musician status to befriend the alleged band members and hopefully uncover their involvement in the current situation. When I discovered that we were fighting on the same side of good versus evil, I realized that we must join forces to defeat the enemy – before we are defeated instead!”
“Wait, I’m confused.”
It was nearly one-o-clock in the morning, and the senshi were crowded together in the cramped “backstage” of Country Club High’s cafetorium, peering out from behind the curtain to catch a glimpse of Nutzi Tunz as the concert was drawing to an end.
Eva craned her neck to see under Vanessa’s elbow and through Lisa’s legs. “We’ve been here all night, and nothing’s happened yet,” Eva sighed. Then she grinned. “At least we made it backstage!”
Bob rolled her eyes. “And what fun that is,” she replied glumly from her position shoved into the corner behind Valerie – who actually had plenty of room to move forward, but who was (as usual), attempting to make Bob’s life as miserable as possible in any way she could. It was the small things that counted. “Maybe Special K was wrong to suspect that the enemy would show up.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Julie snorted with disgust. “I think she bit off a little more than she could chew, you know what I mean? She shouldn’t be trying to act like such a big shot. Working undercover . . . making Sailor Team plans with my talking cat . . . just who does she think she is? ME?!!”
“Well, at least that would explain why she was wrong about tonight,” Vanessa said thoughtfully. Julie glared some more.
Mallory sighed, rubbing her disjointed shoulder that was aching from being pressed up against the rough brick wall for so long. It was the same shoulder that just hadn’t been the same since that fateful tennis match with Niki, a long time ago. Speaking of Niki . . . “Has anyone seen Niki tonight?”
“I haven’t seen her since that disturbing muffin-incident at lunch,” Valerie confessed. “If she does show up, I just hope she’s not wearing . . . that color again.” She shivered. “Ew. Pink.”
As Key tapped her keyboard to the rhythm of the guitar solo and Me’s piccolo playing, she scanned the audience of screaming, adoring fans. Still no sign of them. She glanced at Special K who shrugged before raising the violin to her shoulder and playing a few more notes. It was a very strange song.
We must have been wrong, Key realized, her disappointment causing her to hit a few wrong keys. Not that anyone noticed. Because the audience was screaming so loudly (and because the cafetorium had really lousy acoustics), no one could actually hear what the band was playing. Which was a good thing. It doesn’t matter. We are singing for only one person . . . . and she’s not here yet.
PRINCESS, PLEASE, HEAR OUR CALL! COME TO US!!!
At that moment, the door at the back of cafetorium swung open with a loud bang. A dark, chilling wind swept violently up the aisle, immobilizing the audience which fell quickly silent as everyone was frozen in place. When the wind struck the stage, it blew past Nutzi Tunz, causing the electrical equipment and lights to suddenly die.
Key gasped. Through the darkness, she could hear the other band members mutter with confusion at the sudden electrical outage. Something didn’t feel right, but it could only be one person . . .
“P–Princess?” Key choked out.
“DEAD – SNAKE!” came the reply.
Only a moment after the lights went out, and Sailor 24601's infamous attack rang out through the darkness, the senshi backstage surged into action, as best they could, with neither lights nor room to spin around in the air naked.
“MOO PRINCESS POWER – Move it, morons! – MAKEUP!”
“PSYCHY RHOMBI POWER – Get off my foot, b*tch! – MAKEUP!”
“UNICO RHOMBI POWER – Watch the shoulder! It’s very sensitive! – MAKEUP!”
“ECCO PENCIL POWER – Oh, gross! What is that nappy, stringy stuff entangled in in my fingers? – MAKEUP!”
“UNKNOWN RHOMBI POWER – Stop pulling my hair! – MAKEUP!”
“MEOW PENCIL POWER – Bob, my love! I will save you! – MAKEUP!”
“CHOCOLATE PENCIL POWER - Ow! Where’s the door? Ow! – MAKEUP!”
Several minutes later, the senshi stumbled out onto the stage, “fully” clothed in their super-short Sailor Senshi skirts. Through the dim glow of the emergency lights, they could make out the Nutzi Tunz pretend band members and Special K, sitting back to back on the floor, struggling against their gags and the gigantic dead snake that was holding them captive. At the corner of the stage stood pink-clad Sailor 24601, and next to her, the equally pink-clad enemy senshi from outer space – the aptly named Sailor Pink!
“Mwhahahaha!” Sailor Pink laughed cruelly, her hands on her hips. “They didn’t believe me, but I knew that my plan couldn’t fail!”
“What have you done to our friend?” Mallory demanded. Niki stared blankly ahead, the glazed expression on her face suggesting that either she didn’t care (which was entirely possible), or that she was currently possessed by an evil clam spirit (also entirely possible).
“She isn’t your friend anymore,” Pink replied. “She is working for us now, all thanks to my little robot friend . . .”
“You are the one who sent S.I.M.O.N. after us!” Julie exclaimed.
“Right you are. I suspected from the beginning that he would fail in the task that I initially programmed him for which would have revealed to me all of your secrets and weaknesses. So I installed a secondary protocol, a last resort, if you will. When S.I.M.O.N. was destroyed, an evil clam spirit that had been implanted within his body was released, and it possessed the first person it came in contact with.”
“Man, Niki really has bad luck with this getting possessed by evil thing,” Vanessa said, shaking her head sympathetically.
“I knew it was a clam spirit!” Mallory cried, happy that for once she hadn’t been totally and completely confused.
“But that still doesn’t explain why she is wearing pink,” Julie said.
Sailor Pink shrugged. “What can I say? I like the color.”
Valerie shivered. “You really are evil. Niki, snap out of it!”
“That won’t work, you know,” Pink said. “Only a very strong burst of power could “snap her out of it” so to speak. Of course, any kind of blast that powerful would kill her instantly, and you wouldn’t want to do that, would you? After all, she’s your friend. Mwhahahaha,” Pink laughed again. “Fortunately for me, people possessed by clam spirits don’t have such reservations. Kill them all,” she commanded.
“With pleasure,” Niki replied.
Fortunately for the senshi, at that very moment:
“MOM! CATCH THIS!” a mysteriously strange and disembodied voice yelled from what seemed like very far away.
“Hey, she stole my voice!” Eva cried.
With a pop, a soda can materialized in the air and flew right for Julie who somehow managed to catch it despite her lack of hand-eye coordination (although she shook it up profusely in the process). Julie held it up to read the inscription. “Sierra Mist: The Most Caffeinated Beverage of All Time!”
“It’s from the future!” Mallory exclaimed. “Alexia must have sent it so that you could power up to your ultimate transformation! Quickly, Sailor Moo! Drink it!”
Unfortunately, the surface of the Sierra Mist was slick with condensation, and before Julie could get it open, it slid from her hands and hit floor hard before rolling into the corner and coming to a stop.
“It’s okay, I’ve got it!” Julie cried, running over and picking up the drink. She began to open it again.
“SAILOR MOO, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” The other senshi screamed, but it was too late.
The soda can exploded with such a force that Julie stumbled backwards, barely managing to keep her grasp on it. A ton of highly pressurized liquid can squirting out, hitting Niki squarely, and knocking her off the stage. Everyone else ducked in time, but managed to get severely soaked before the can ran dry.
“Damn it, there went my power up!” Julie cried, throwing the Sierra Mist to the ground in disgust. “What a waste!”
Sailor Pink stood up, wiping the caffeination from her arms. She laughed again. “How outrageously pathetic! You are by far, the worst senshi that I have ever heard of!”
“Ah, but you have heard of me,” Julie replied.
Pink rolled her eyes. “Kill them all,” she commanded again.
This time, there was another reply. “Ew, gross!” came Niki’s voice from the floor near the stage. “Why the hell am I wearing pink? By my sweatshirt, I have never been more mortified in my entire life!”
“Impossible!” Pink cried, her eyes wide with shock.
Niki’s head popped up over the edge of the stage. “Hey guys, what’s going on?” She looked with surprise at the frozen audience members, and the battle scene before her where the band members were sitting on the stage, bound and gagged with her own dead snake. “Did I miss something?”
“It seems we did as well,” came another voice from the back of the cafetorium. “It looks like we got here just in time for things to start getting really interesting.”
The senshi of Earth turned as one to see the rest of the senshi from outer space walk up to the stage and gather around Sailor Pink, patting her back in congratulations.
“I didn’t know you had it in you,” Cranberry confessed. “Next time I won’t dismiss your evil schemes so carelessly.”
Sailor Pink blushed modestly. “Well, you know . . . it was nothing.”
Sailor Cranberry turned to Julie. “I don’t believe we’ve ever officially met. I’m Sailor Cranberry, senshi leader of the S.O.D.A.P.O.P.S. mission. My fellow senshi and I will be destroying you now.”
Julie scoffed. “I’m Sailor Moo, senshi leader of the guardians of Earth, and I would just like to see you try.”
Before either girl could make a move, their attention was drawn by Key Key who had stopped struggling against the dead snake, and was now staring rigidly off into space, her eyes glazed over. She was trying to say something, but the words were muffled by the gag.
“Oh right, I forgot about them,” Niki said. With a flick of her wrist, the gags and dead snake binding the pretend band members vanished into thin air.
“PRINCESS!” Key gasped out loud.
For the third (?) time that night, the door at the back of the cafetorium swung open, and a blonde woman in tattered clothes stumbled in. It was the same woman who had been held captive by the crustaceans on the space ship only days before. She had managed to escape.
“IT’S HER!” Cranberry cried, her eyes blazing with fury. “KILL HER, NOW!!”
“SUPER SAILOR GALAXY – ATTACK!” The seven senshi from outerspace raised their arms and simultaneously shot out seven different colored balls of energy at the blonde woman. The woman screamed as she was briefly engulfed in multicolored flames. The energy subsided, and she fell to the ground. Dead.