Act 5: Makoto -- Sailorjupiter

First publication: Nakayoshi, 6/1992.
Published in tankoubon form by Kodansha; acquired by the webmistress in the summer of 1993. ( :

Fog... clouds...

Usagi peers through obscuring mist. "Where am I? I'm Tsukino Usagi... someone's calling out to me... but I can't see..."

In the distance, a man is visible. "Who are you...?" Usagi asks.

The alarm clock rings, waking her. It's 8 in the morning, Usagi is late again, and Luna is yelling at her. The cat manages to get her out of bed, into her uniform, and onto the street; Usagi is still yawning as she walks to school, an umbrella held over her head against the rain. Luna tries to tell her that she should be more responsible, but Usagi is dreaming of Tuxedo Kamen. She doesn't see the car coming towards her.

"Usagi-chan!" Luna screams. A tall girl lunges from the sidewalk. She runs towards Usagi, picking her up and carrying her out of the way. The car's horn blares as it passes them.

She puts Usagi down on the sidewalk. "That was dangerous," she reproved Usagi. "You should be careful." She is wearing a brown-and-white uniform, and rose-shaped earrings glint in her ears as she turns away.

At school, the girls are cooing over a photograph. It's a picture of Naru, dressed up as a bride and looking very grown-up and demure. It turns out that Naru's cousin was getting married, but her husband was missing, and the cousin herself had fainted... but Naru had tried on a dress anyway. The girls agree that the situation was sad, but they all wanted to be brides nonetheless.

As they chatter, the tall girl in brown and white walks past them. "You should be careful," she repeats, seeing Usagi.

"Who is that?" Naru wonders.

"Oh, from this morning..." Usagi thinks.

"She's so tall, so strong!" Yumiko marvels.

A teacher comes out of a nearby doorway. "Transfer student!" he shouts. "Why don't you have on a proper uniform?"

"They didn't have one in my size," she apologizes.

"And what's that on your head?" he demands.

She comes closer, and it is now obvious that she is much taller than he. "It's a natural perm, sensei!" she says innocently.

Always ready with the latest gossip, Umino appears. Apparently, the new girl had transferred into class six that day. Rumour had it that she had superhuman strength, and that she'd been expelled from her old school for fighting.

"Where do you want to eat lunch?" Naru asks Usagi.

"It's not raining any more, so I'll meet you at the courtyard," Usagi offers. She goes off, and sees the tall girl eating alone. Surprised, Usagi hides behind a tree, and peeks out at the tall girl. "It's that amazingly strong girl!" she thinks. Then she notices the girl's lunchbox, and admires the delicious-looking food inside it.

Suddenly, a boy's voice cries out. "The ball - it's heading to the outfield!" In a flash, the tall girl jumps up and leaps in front of Usagi, catching the ball before it can hit her.

"Look out!" she yells, tossing the ball all the way back to the boys. Then she turns back to Usagi. "Oh, it's you. You shouldn't get distracted like that."

"Uh - right," Usagi agrees. However, her attention is focused on the girl's food. The girl notices her evident fascination and offers her some; Usagi eagerly accepts and starts eating with relish.

As she eats, the other girl says that it's great to have a friend. She reveals that she lives by herself. She wonders why people seem to be avoiding her, and asks Usagi if she knows of any cheap supermarkets in the area, or perhaps a game center...?

Usag looks up happily. "Oh, if you want a game center," she smiles, "I know a good one!"

At the Crown Game Center, the new girl is doing very well at the Sailor V game, while explaining the fighting patterns to Usagi. Ami, Luna, and Motoki walk in; they greet Usagi, and Ami marvels at the new girl's skill at the game.

"Is this another of your friends?" Motoki asks. "Is she from another school?"

Seeing him, the girl blushes. "I'm a transfer student to Juuban Junior High," she says. "My name is Kino Makoto. Nice to meet you."

"I'm Furuhata Motoki," he smiles. "At college, they call me Furu-chan."

"Furu-chan?" repeats Usagi. "That's really cute! So, Makoto-san would be ... Mako-chan, the powerful good cook!"

"That Usagi-chan isn't scared of anything," Ami thinks.

"And she's a friend to everyone," Luna thinks.

"Oh, by the way," Ami said, "I heard a strange rumor today. You know that bridal shop at the entrance to the shopping center?"

Usagi nods. "Naru-chan was talking about it!"

They go to the shopping center, and stare upwards. A mannequin wearing a beautiful wedding dress sits atop the doorway.

"She looks like she might step down here and dance," Makoto smiles wistfully. "Brides are so pretty." She sees Usagi looking at her, and blushes.

Two women walk by, chattering about the bridal shop. Apparently, the shop was cursed. At nightfall, the mannequin was said to prowl the streets at night, and enchant unwary men. Rumor had it that if you bought a dress at the store, you'd be cursed with misfortune.

The girls listen, entranced.

At the temple, Rei feeds her crows. The other girls come up to visit her, and Rei's grandfather jokingly offers them positions as shrine maidens. "Really, Grandpa," Rei sighs. She stares, noticing Makoto, as the other girls fill her in.

"A ghost bride and a cursed bridal shop, huh?" she says finally. "It seems suspicious."

"A missing husband..." Ami muses. "I wonder if he really was enchanted by the ghost bride."

"If he's enchanted, it's his own fault," Rei shrugged.

"Rei-chan!" protests Usagi.

"I don't trust men," Rei says calmly.

"Too complicated," Makoto smiles. "I'm going home."

Luna and Rei watch her leave. "Luna..." Rei says.

"Yes," the cat agrees.

"The day of reckoning is coming," Rei says.

Two boys are chatting nearby. Apparently one of their classmates had seen the ghost bride kidnap a man. Luna and Usagi decide to investigate.

Night falls over the city. Upon her perch above the mall entrance, the mannequin looks up. Her eyes glimmer like stars, and she leaps lightly down to the ground below.

"Later, Furu-chan," calls a young man.

"Goodnight," Motoki says with a grin, slinging his jacket over his shoulder as he leaves. Suddenly, he feels someone behind him and turns to look.

The mannequin bride peeks at him from behind a corner. "A bride?" Motoki whispers.

"Yes," she smiles. "Look into my eyes. You will become my captive. I will have your energy!"

Makoto takes a soda can out of the vending machine slot, saying to herself that it's late. Noticing someone behind her, she turns.

Motoki is leaning against a nearby wall. "Mako-chan," he smiles. "I was waiting for you."

"Me?" she says unbelievingly.

"Look into my eyes," he whispers. "I love you..."

Mamoru is walking down the street, reading a book. He looks up, his face suddenly intent, and leaps into a side street. Peering cautiously out, he sees Motoki cradling Makoto's face in his hands. Makoto looks rather dazed, and the two of them are surrounded by flickering energy. Mamoru takes off his glasses.

Tuxedo Kamen lands lightly on Usagi's windowsill, waking her. She blinks at him. "Is this a dream?" she thinks. "Tuxedo Kamen?"

Luna wakes, and notices that Usagi is not in bed. She looks out the window. Tuxedo Kamen is running out the gates, with Usagi close behind. She picks up Usagi's communicator. "Ami-chan! Rei-chan! Wake up! Usagi-chan's with Tuxedo Kamen ...!!"

Usagi races after Tuxedo Kamen, wondering where he could be taking her. Then she sees her o-nii-san and Makoto with the bright glow of energy around them. As Luna and the other two girls catch up, she turns to them. "That's the ghost bride!" she gasps. She takes out her pen. "It's an enemy!" she cries. "We have to save them!"

The ghost bride cackles. "More energy, give more energy. When we've sacrificed you to our great ruler, your bodies will be mannequins!"

Brief flash of beautiful mannequins - the faces of dazed men can be seen within them. One of these men is Motoki.

Usagi transforms herself into Motoki, resplendent in a black tuxedo. "Beautiful bride," she smiles, "your groom is here. Shall we proceed to our wedding ceremony - in hell?"

"Who are you?" the ghost snarls.

"Moon prism power - make up!" Sailormoon stands before the ghost, the other two senshi flanking her. "You will not take the sacred form of a bride, and twist the whisperings of love! In the name of the moon, I'll punish you!"

"How dare you manipulate these people?" Ami adds. "Wisdom should only be used to help the world! With the power of Mercury, I'll cool your head off!"

"How dare you deceive girls!" Rei says. "With the power of Mars, I'll show you the flames of anger! With my high heels, I'll punish you!"

Makoto recovers from her daze. "I was deceived?" she repeats softly. The sigil of Jupiter glows on her forehead. "Oh..." She lunges at the ghost bride, and lifts her bodily into the air. Makoto's voice rises to a shout. "Are you saying that you ruined the innocence of girls?"

Luna tosses a pen to Makoto, who catches it. As she does, the Jupiter symbol glows brightly, and Makoto is transformed into a Sailor senshi.

"She transformed?" Usagi marvels. "She's an ally!"

The mannequin falls limply to the ground.

Nephrite stands on the roof of a nearby building, his brown hair blowing in the wind as he laughs. "That was just another shadow of mine," he gloats. "The real thing is here!"

Makoto whirls. "Flower Hurricane!"

Petals spin around Nephrite, blinding him. He shouts and tries to shield his eyes.

Makoto raises a hand to the sky. "My guardian planet, Jupiter! Raise a storm! Give me thunder!" Lightning flashes brightly around her, and arcs towards Nephrite. The brown-haired general is torn apart.

A man is watching this through the crystal. He has green eyes and long, wavy blond hair, tied back in a ponytail. "Nephrite!" he cries in horror, staring wide-eyed.

Another man is standing in the shadows behind him. A cape is draped over his shoulders, and his hair is straight and white. "Zoicite," he says quietly. "To escape his fate, you'll have to use your head. Don't hurt the name of the four generals."

Zoicite turns to look at the other man. "Kunzite!"

Queen Beryl makes an annoyed sound. "That Sailormoon... so she has set herself against us. If only I had the ginzuishou! Hurry and bring it to me, quickly!"

Makoto falls to her knees. "Mako-chan!" Usagi cries in quick concern.

Behind Usagi, Tuxedo Kamen's cape blows in the wind. Luna stares at him, and he turns and disappears into the night. "Tuxedo Kamen..." she thinks. "Was it he who brought Usagi to this crisis?"

"...perhaps I'm an enemy..."

Luna wonders who he is.

Motoki comes to his senses, looking dizzy. "What happened?" he asks.

Tears glitter at the corners of Makoto's eyes. "I... An older boy broke my heart, and it was really hard to stay at my old school. This Furuhata o-nii-san... he looks a little like that boy. But... the reason I transferred here was because I felt that I needed to... The wind brought me here. Somehow I knew that something much more important than love was waiting for me here..."

"Yes," Rei agrees, with a kind smile. "We don't need to waste time crying over boys."

"You're our ally, Mako-chan," Luna says, as Ami and Usagi smile at Makoto. "Everyone has their own powers. And now you do too, Sailorjupiter."

"Sailorjupiter..." Makoto repeats. "Yes, that's me. And I have a mission that I must carry through."

Light glows around Luna, and then she drops a wand at Usagi's feet. A crescent moon shape tops the wand. "Sailormoon," she says. "The four soldiers have come together. You will be their leader, to protect the ginzuishou, and the Moon Princess!"

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