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Shadows from Within

The newborn Princess Long, long ago, a gracious Queen named Serenity ruled on the Moon, and the people lived in peace and happiness. Eventually, the Queen gave birth to a lovely little girl. The girl was an exact copy of her mother, and her mother even gave her the same name. She also introduced four young warriors to her newborn daughter to help protect her as she grew: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. Princess Serenity's birth was an occasion of great joy, and the Queen gathered everyone on the Moon to come and celebrate. Everyone brought gifts and congratulations for the new mother and her baby daughter.

Suddenly the brightness seemed to dim, and a dark woman trailing shadows appeared at the end of the hall. Her name was Nephelenia, and she looked like a shadow-copy of the bright Queen. "I have a gift also," she announced. "For the biggest celebration on the Moon, I was the only one uninvited."

Knowing instinctively that this creature of darkness had evil intentions, Princess Serenity's four guardians ran to protect their baby charge. "Polluter of the holy palace! Who are you!?" young Venus demanded of the intruder.

"I come from the depths of the moon," she answered.

"Liar!" Jupiter accused. "You don't live on the Moon!"

Young fighters "That's right!" Mars agreed. "You crept into the Moon in secret, to spread darkness as an incarnation of evil!"

The Queen stepped forward. "Uninvited guest, if you come in peace, and want to stay on the Moon, we shall welcome you. But I will not allow you to bring the darkness of evil here!"

"That's funny," Nephelenia replied. "You were also brought here from far across the galaxy. Are not our origins the same? Queen, the darkness is necessary. If you will simply take my hand... if you will accept the darkness..."

"Stranger!" Mars interrupted, energies blasting from her hands. "Begone this instant!"

Nephelenia, close up Dark powers began to swirl ominously around Nephelenia. "Where there is light," she gloated, "there is darkness. The darkness calls to the light, and the light shall call to the darkness again!!"

Queen Serenity pointed the crescent moon wand at her, and Nephelenia was swallowed into the crystal atop it. "I seal you!" the Queen cried. "Forever inside the world of darkness!"

She pointed the wand at an ornate mirror, and Nephelenia was forced into it, locked into the darkness behind the mirror. Malevolent eyes peered from the surface of the mirror, focusing on Princess Serenity. "A present in celebration," Nephelenia whispered from inside the mirror. "That you should receive my beautiful curse! Before long, this kingdom shall fall. The beautiful Princess shall die without inheriting the throne. That is my present! And when my curse is fulfilled, the Silver Millenium shall be destroyed."

The baby girl wailed in terror.

...

But that was a long time ago. After all, it was in the Silver Millenium. Now, the baby is older... and quite ready to defend herself.

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