By Dr. Xadium
PART 5: "MOTHER VS. DAUGHTER! HOTARU'S DESPERATE CHOICE!"
NOVEMBER 24TH, 2011
Hotaru's body exploded with power as she transformed into Sailor Saturn. A very short Sailor Saturn.
Kaolinite VII sensed the upswell of power behind her, and she turned around, still holding up Professor Tomoe by one hand. Her eyes, however, had gone from
blood-red back to the black-purple that more resembled Hotaru's.
Saturn blinked. That was unexpected.
"Hotaru-chan," Kaolinite(?) began slowly. "I won't hurt your father." She lowered him down and released his throat. "I was just... so angry."
Tomoe was out, not from the lifting, but some kind of mental trauma.
Saturn frowned. She didn't know what to make of this. Was it a feint? Internally, Hotaru let her own conciousness subside further, giving the part of her that was the immortal soldier Sailor Saturn to take fuller control. She wanted to be free of the emotional distraction this situation was causing, to allow the cold, calculating Soldier of Ruin deal with this situation for her.
I'm sorry, Saturn apologized to her mentally. It doesn't work like that, and you know it. I may bring down the Glaive and end her, but it would still be your conscience that suffers for the rest of your life.
Externally, Saturn-- but really, the Hotaru part of her--sighed. This wasn't going to be a simple thing, after all.
"Who are you?" Saturn asked as flatly as she could, not wanting the sadness and grief in her hear to crack through her voice.
"I'm... your mother!" Kaolinite protested, her hair becoming black again. "I was reborn!"
"What you did just now..." Saturn said slowly, pointing the tip of her Glaive towards the unconcious Mimete, "was not something Mama would ever do."
"And what about you?" Keiko(?) demanded. "I know about you too, Hotaru-chan. Or should I say, 'Mistress Nine'?"
Saturn's heart froze. Of course, the part of her that was the Kaolinite clone would know such things. There seemed to be some kind of collective conciousness with those damned things. Or was it the same soul, coming back again and again? This was no time to ponder metaphysics. "That was--" she started slowly. "That was diff--"
"LIAR!" Keiko interrupted, protesting, tears in her eyes. "Your hands killed that goldfish! Your hands hurt your classmate! Your hands pulled the life out of Chibiusa-chan! YOUR HANDS!" She sat down, crossing her arms over her knees, trembling. "Your friends gave you a chance, helped you get better!"
Saturn could not deny any of this. It was her shameful past, but it was true. The part of her that was Mistress Nine had done many bad things. Was she so different from this simalcrum of her mother, who possessed the darker side that was Kaolinite?
"You died!" Keiko continued. "I died! We died TOGETHER!"
Saturn blinked, eyes filling with tears now, remembering that fateful lab explosion that had changed the trajectory of their lives forever.
"I just took longer to come back!" Keiko finished, bursting into tears. "We are the same!"
Saturn just stood there, stunned. It was true. There, in front of her, was a mirror image of herself. A woman cursed by fate to carry the seed of darkness
within her. But where Tomoe Hotaru had had Chibiusa and Tsukino Usagi to help free her from the darkness, who did Tomoe Keiko have?
Saturn looked over at Mimete on the floor. She had taken quite a hit. She looked back at her "mother". Not letting her gaze leave her mother's eyes, she slowly said "I'm going to heal her now."
The question was a pleading, sad one, which Saturn only heard as she knelt down to hold Mimete's arm, removing one of her gloves to allow her hand to touch Mimete's.
"What do you mean, 'Why?'" Saturn intoned as she focused, sending healing energy into Mimete.
"Why do you heal her... that woman... Mimete?" Keiko's voice sounded impossibly distant and sad.
"She's Papa's friend," Saturn replied, focusing on the healing.
"'Friend'," Keiko replied with obvious distaste. "Is that the word for what she is?"
Saturn's heart skipped a beat, sensing that unmistakable tinge of jealousy in her mother's voice. "Mama, he tried to revive you for years and years, and failed every time. At some point, he had to..." her voice trailed off.
"Move on? Is that what you want to say?" Keiko stood up and stalked up behind Saturn. "Give up? Forget about me?"
"Mama..." Saturn pleaded, hearing the anger creeping into her mother's voice-- an anger that was more Kaolinite than Keiko-- but they were one and the same now, she had to force herself to remember. "It was tearing him apart each time he failed..."
"I remember each time," Keiko continued, her voice getting faster, more desperate. "Each time I'd wake up again, each time I'd die... as Kaolinite. I REMEMBERED each time!" Her fists shook. "And... and I remember the last time."
Saturn froze. This was not good. Hotaru remembered that "last time" as well. That was the time she had confronted her father and forced him to stop his desperate quest and re-cloning of the Kaolinites. That was time Hotaru had found out that the Kaolinite project was actually a perverted attempted at reviving her mother. That time she had said--
"'I know one thing, Papa... I know that we-- you and I-- cannot live in the past any longer.'" Keiko spat slowly as she loomed behind Sailor Saturn. "Isn't that what you said, just before you convinced him to pull that switch-- that switch that ENDED MY LIFE?!"
"Ended a Kaolinite's life!" Saturn replied, turning fully to look up at her mother's face, tears blurring her vision, softening the twisted mask of rage that looked down at her.
"I *AM* A KAOLINITE!" Keiko roared, spinning around, and in a flowing movement, grasping a chair from behind the dinner table and swinging back around, bringing it down on Saturn's head with a deafening crack.
Even in her transformed form, Saturn was stunned by the hit due to Kaolinite's preternatural strength, and she staggered, dropping to the ground, even as her "mama" swung the chair around for another blow.
"I... I loved you!" Keiko sobbed, the chair wavering in her hands. "I just wanted to be with Souichi again, and with you! But you just hated me... called me a bitch, and a whore! I would have done ANYTHING for you!" She cried out in soulful anguish and with a mixture of rage and despair, brought the chair down again, so hard that it smashed to pieces, and broke the linoleum tile on the floor.
But Saturn wasn't there.
Mimete had groggily gotten back to her feet and shoved the senshi off to the side, rolling with her, barely avoiding the blow. As Saturn staggered to her feet, still woozy from her own injuries, Mimete produced a box from her pocket-- a revised version of the hated device that had nearly killed her so long ago. Tossing it in the air, it transformed with a KZZH kzzh KKZZH KZZTH KHZZ ZZZZ sound into a larger box, with a black star on the front.
Keiko stared at it for a moment, uncomprehending.
"Electric Warp 2.0, for which I'm applying for an Improvement Patent," Mimete said darkly, trying her best to be imposing even though she couldn't see straight yet.
Growling, Keiko raised a hand imperiously and pointed at Mimete. "YOU. You're the temptress who stole his heart!"
Mimete tried to smirk, but her injuries were still too great. She leaned on the Electric Warp. "I-- I won't let you hurt Tomoe-sama."
"Heh, you can't even use his first name," Keiko smirked. "Maybe you're not as close to him as you think," she said coldly. She prepared to send an energy blast through Mimete's head. "Once you're gone..." her expression softened. "Everything will be okay... *Souichi* and I will be together again..."
"Nggh..." Saturn leapt forward and grabbed Keiko from behind, deflecting the energy bolt up into the ceiling, where Haruka could be heard yelling "OH GOD YES I JUST FELT THE EARTH MOVE, MICHI!"
Keiko struggled to squrim from Saturn's grip... the senshi was still disoriented, and in another few seconds she would be free--
"Mimete-san!" Saturn barked. "Do it!"
Mimete blinked a few times to try and clear her head. "But you... you're in the way!"
"Forget that!" Saturn yelled louder. "I can't hold her any longer! SHOOT US BOTH!"
"This is a prototype!" Mimete exclaimed in a panic. "I can't guarantee there's any way to get you back out intact! Especially if it takes two at once--"
"DO IT!!" Saturn roared as her mother broke free from her grip, lunging at Mimete for the death blow--
With a deafening roar, the Electric Warp sprang to life, grasping both Keiko and Saturn in a blinding blue coruscating electric field, breaking their bodies down into digital bits, and sucking them into the machine. There was a deafening moment of silence, and then a dark quiet as everything went back to "normal."
The electric warp beeped a few times to signify successful capture. Mimete passed out on top of it, rolling back onto the ground next to the still catatonic form of Professor Tomoe.
A few minutes later, Haruka, dressed in nothing but a splayed open Hugh Hefner robe, made his way down into the kitchen, eager for a snack. Looking around, he saw the smashed chair, the beeping electric warp, Mimete passed out next to Tomoe and Sailor Mercury lying on the ground in a pool of her own drool.
"Man, why do they throw all the badass parties when I'm away?!" he lamented. Sven the beard commiserated with him.
TO BE CONTINUED
Next time on Suburban Senshi: Endgame! Episode 6- Two men reveal their true feelings for Hotaru after all these years!
"I love you, Hotaru! Romance Dawns in the light of the Electric Warp! "