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   VOLUME 2-5

Sailor Moon Cyber - Series Two: Volume Five - 
Infection

Sailor SunFire settled into her seat and powered up the engines and atmospheric thrusters. She glanced behind her at Sailor Moon, Mars and Saturn who sat strapped into the extra seats of her small craft. She nodded to herself and turned her attention back to the control panel, toggling systems on and setting the onboard computer system and radio to link back to Ami at Nick's computer.

"Radio link established." Came Ami's voice over the ship's speakers. "Still tracking Nick's location in orbit around the planet. I'm feeding tracking data to your ship. now."

"Got it Aims." SunFire replied. "Houston we are go for launch!"

"What?" asked Mars.

"Uhm, never mind."

"This is sooo cool!" giggled Sailor Moon. "Imagine, riding in a space ship. I feel like I am on some cool sci-fi TV show or something!"

"Enjoy it while you can Princess." Sailor SunFire said, as she switched the engines to anti-gravity mode, and powered the thrusters to begin their ascent. "Because once we get where we are going. It's neither going to be fun, nor easy."

Sailor Moon nodded slowly, her smile fading somewhat as she remembered what is was they were attempting to do here. She looked over at Sailor Saturn, who sat silently in the chair beside her. Saturn held her hands together in her lap, wringing them every few seconds in quiet worry and contemplation. Sailor Moon reached her hand out and touched Saturn's hair.

"Don't worry Hotaru, we will get him back. I promise." Sailor Moon smiled.

Sailor Saturn nodded, a half smile on her lips which quickly faded as she looked back down to her lap. She was more worried than was even evident to the others. All her life, Hotaru had been used to others being afraid of her, laughing at her or whispering behind her back. She had never thought to have a friend like Chibi-usa or Usagi, let alone someone as special to her as Nick had become. Closing her eyes, she could almost feel his touch against her cheek, hear his words in her head. She couldn't help but think that maybe this was another of life's cruel jokes at her expense. To have finally found love, to really know what it was to have someone to share your life with, and then have it ripped away before the feeling had even stopped being new. Hotaru let out her breath in a small sigh, suddenly aware that she had been holding it. She glanced out of the cockpit window as the ship slowly lifted off the ground, turned in midair and began a slow, deliberate climb towards the sky.

"I am going to have to use thrusters only until we clear the atmosphere. I can't use the sublight engines in earth's gravity field." Sailor SunFire said aloud. "But it should take us no more than an hour to get where we need to be."

Saturn and Mars nodded in agreement, while Sailor Moon sat gapping, going over in her head exactly what SunFire had just said.

"I really need to stay awake in science class more often." She muttered to herself, then leaned over to look out the window as the city below them slowly got smaller. "Oh well, may as well enjoy the ride."

Sailor SunFire eased the ship upwards, her eyes moving back and forth between the view from the ship's window and the instrument readings before her. This was going to be a lot harder than the others thought it would be. If their enemy had technology sufficient enough to mask it from detection, they most certainly had technology that would detect her ship as it approached. And even if they somehow managed to avoid detection, there was the matter of how to dock the ship so that they could get out. And once they were out, what then? So far they had only seen 2 of the creature, well, maybe 4, she thought, those last 2 were different somehow. Still, how many of them were aboard this ship of theirs? 10, 20 or 100? If 2 of them were near impossible to beat, how could they even hope to stand up against those odds, 4 of them alone? SunFire shook her head.

"Don't start thinking pessimistic thoughts now Leti." She told herself. "You convince yourself we are going to fail, we are going to fail. I have to keep positive, if not for my own sanity, then for Hotaru's sake."

SunFire shook her head slightly to clear her thoughts, and looked out the window again towards the cloud-lined sky.

* * * * * * *

The alien scientist pressed the coded keys, which opened the door to the laboratory and stopped in shock and surprise. The human captive was still in his bonds, but what was that sound he was making. If he didn't know better, he'd say that the creature was amused? And what in the name of the 9 moons was happening to his instruments. The alien rushed over to the computer monitor and brought up readings on the surgical lasers, which for some unknown reason, were overloading one by one.

Nick chuckled to himself while he watched the alien lasers explode. He still did not have enough strength left to do anything about getting himself out of this predicament, but he had gained enough power to encase his body is a magical shield, which was reflecting the needle-beams of the lasers back against themselves, causing them to overload and explode. He also doubted very much that the creatures' computer would be capable of detecting the shield, since it was forged of magic and not of science.

"Hey you! Bug face! I think there's something wrong with your little light things?" he said mockingly.

"Quiet human." the alien paced back and forth a moment between the computer readings and the exploding tools before switching off what remained of the laser devices and turning back towards Nick, who stood fastened to the wall, with a wry grin on his face. "How do you do this? It is you. I know. What do you have hmm? Let me see?"

Nick kept grinning as the alien turned him this way and that, looking for the device he assumed Nick was carrying which was responsible for his equipment malfunction. Finding nothing, he stepped back and looked Nick over with his giant bug-like eyes.

"Find out how you work, we will." The creature said, his strange voice clicking and chittering out the human speech patterns. "Take you apart if we have to. The Queen is very interested in what you are. what you are."

"You can tell the queen to kiss my." Nick did not finish the sentence as the alien's hand lashed out and slapped him hard across the face.

"Wise you would be to hold your tongue in your mouth human, unless you are asked to speak yes? Unless you are asked."

Nick nodded slowly, fighting the urge to laugh out loud. He closed his eyes and called up the status on his Archetype compilation.

Digital Archetype at 62.7% completion.
Estimated time to launch, 0.29 hours.

"I can wait." He thought to himself. "I will play the helpless captive for a little while more, then I will show you all that I am capable of."

* * * * * * * *

"Sit back." Said SunFire. "We are about to leave the atmosphere, I'm going to cut the thrusters and kick in the sublight engines. This might feel a bit... weird."

The sound of the engine hum changed pitch suddenly, and a strange feeling washed over the Senshi, as though they had suddenly turned completely flat, like 2 dimensional pictures on a piece of paper, and then became themselves again.

"I think I'm going to be sick." Whined Sailor Moon. Sailor Mars sighed and looked at her then back out the window as the bluish-white light of the earth dropped away before them and the vast blackness of space swallowed everything as far as the eye could see.

"How are we doing for distance Ami?" SunFire spoke into the ship's radio.

"Almost there." Came the reply. "Your targeting systems should have the information."

"Yep, have it here, but I'm still not reading anything on the sensors."

"You most likely won't, but you should know when you get to it."

"Gotcha." SunFire looked out the window, scanning her eyes back and forth, looking for anything out of place.

"There." Sailor Saturn said suddenly, pointing her hand out the left side of the ship, towards a small, dark shape which floated there.

"Are you sure Saturn? I'm still not getting any kind of readings on my system."

"I'm sure." Saturn nodded her head. She could feel him there, sense his presence as sure as she could sense her own.

"Ok, next question." Sailor SunFire licked her lips in thought. "Do we sneak up, knock politely or just kick in the door?"

"Kick it in!" the other three said, almost simultaneously.

"Right down their throats!" added Saturn. SunFire, Moon and Mars all turned towards her and blinked in surprise. Then Sailor SunFire laughed and smiled at Saturn.

"Down their throats it is then!" she chuckled and throttled the engine accelerator towards their intended target.

* * * * * * * *

"ALERT! ALERT! Incoming Earth Vessel on approach vector." The voice echoed through the room, and across the alien ship. The two creatures that stood before Nick hissed and turned towards the monitor, punching up an external view. Nick blinked in surprise as he recognized SunFire's ship.

"What are those fool girls up to now?" he thought. "There can't be more than a couple of them in that ship. What do they hope to accomplish? This is insane, if only I."

Archetype Coding Complete.
System Standing by for Synaptic Transfer.

"YES!" Nick shouted aloud. The aliens turned towards him with puzzled expressions.

"They come to rescue you? Yes? The will fail."

"Perhaps," nodded Nick. "However, that was not what sparked my elation. Now, if you will excuse me."

Nick closed his eyes, as though going to sleep. He could hear the shouts and questions of his alien captors, feel the pokes and prods against his body, but paid no attention to them.

"Initiate Synaptic Transfer. Upload Archetype to alien system. Run data conversion files."

Stand By.
Upload Complete.

CyberWarlock stood in a stream of fast moving energy and computer code. Well, in reality, he still stood chained to the wall in the laboratory, but his mind was now inside the alien computer system, and from here he could do more than a little damage.

"Their power is based on technology, and as I said before, technology can be defeated." He said to himself as he moved his digital form through the streams of energy, the code before him becoming clearer as his conversion processors accepted the input and fed the information to his central processor.

"The command structure is a little strange, but binary is binary, no matter what you wrap it in. Now. first things first." CyberWarlock reached out his hand and waved it through a row of floating numbers, which promptly disappeared. "Now you see them. now you don't."

* * * * * * * *

"Where did it go? *" The Alien Drone screamed across the small bridge of the ship. "Hunter 12, I want that ship on screen!" (*Translated from the original language)

"Attempting to establish target and weapon lock Hunter 9, it just isn't there."

"Impossible, we know this planet does not possess such cloaking technology, they are out there somewhere!"

"As you say Hunter 9, however, all ships systems report negative presence."

The Hunter Drone blinked his bug eyes in disbelief. Where could they have gone? One second they were entering weapons range, and the very next, nothing. No trace of them remained. This was too strange.

"Continue looking, run diagnostics on the entire system if you have to but find that ship!"

"Yes Sir."

* * * * * * * *

"Ok, this is just weird." Sailor SunFire frowned slightly, looking out the cockpit window.

"What is it?" Asked Sailor Mars, who leaned forward against the back of SunFire's chair and looked out as well.

"Well, this close to their ship, there is no way they haven't seen us. But, they haven't tried to turn us away or shoot us down or anything."

"Maybe they just don't see us?" offered Sailor Moon.

"Not likely Princess," continued SunFire. "As advanced as their technology was, they should have seen us even before we left the atmosphere. No, there is something going on and I... hello? What's this?"

SunFire looked over at her monitor as the words "Docking Sequence Commencing. Manual Control Shut Down." appeared on the screen.

"Damn, they did see us. They were just waiting until we were close enough to override my systems and bring us in. Damn it! How could I have been so stupid." SunFire shook her head.

"It's not your fault SunFire." Said Mars, placing her hand on SunFire's shoulder. "You got us this far. We will just have to get the rest of the way. And with a little luck and a lot of action, we can still pull this off."

"I hope you're right." SunFire stopped in mid sentence, as her jaw threatened to drop on the floor. She pointed at the monitor, unable to speak. The other Senshi leaned forward and gasped as they read the text, which had appeared there.

Nice of you guys to drop by. Get ready for a warm reception, I will see what I can do from this end. -Nick

Saturn's eyes lit up, and she almost burst into tears, but brought herself quickly back under control.

"I have no idea how he's doing it." SunFire stammered. "But it looks like he's the one in control of my ship. Probably the reason behind why they haven't blown us out of the sky yet too!"

"Works for me!" Sailor Mars grinned.

"Ok, get ready folks we're going in!"

Saturn turned around and took down her Glaive and SunFire's Staff from the compartment they had been stored in, handed SunFire's weapon to her, and gripped her own tight in her hands.

A section of the outer shell of the alien ship opened up, spilling green light into the darkness and the ship floated slowly towards it. It landed softly, with barely a bump and the wall behind them closed up once more.

SunFire took a quick look at the atmospheric scanner. It showed an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, suitable for humans to breathe in, and that was good enough for her. She entered the cockpit release sequence and the four Senshi jumped out onto the floor of the hanger, just as two of the aliens came running into the docking bay.

"Sailor Moon, Sailor Saturn!" SunFire yelled. "Go find CyberWarlock, Mars and I will deal with these two."

The two Senshi nodded as SunFire and Mars jumped into the path of the oncoming attackers, blocking them enough to allow Sailor Moon and Saturn to run past.

"No kid games this time boys." SunFire grinned evilly as she twirled her staff in front of her. "I know you are faster than me, so hand to hand is out. I know, try to contain your disappointment, but here. you can have this! WRATH OF RAH!!!"

The two aliens jumped back and rolled out of the path of the flames. Mars stepped forward just as the first of the two was getting to his feet.

"FIRE SOUL!"

The creature staggered back against the attack, hitting the wall of the room with a loud thud. Sailor Mars jumped towards him.

"FLAME SNIPER!"

Unprepared for the ferocity of Sailor Mars' advance, the alien was hit again by her magic and slumped to the floor, unable to move.

The second creature sprang towards the two Senshi, wielding his serpentine staff and smashed headlong into a force field which had suddenly sprung up around the girls. The alien fell to the ground and shook his head in surprise. Mars and SunFire exchanged puzzled glances.

"New Trick?" Asked Mars.

"Not mine! I thought that was you?" replied SunFire.

The walls opened up suddenly and two large weapons cannons popped out.

"Oh, this can't be good." Gulped SunFire. The weapons, swiveled, and pointed towards them, then, suddenly turned again and locked on the alien. "Or. maybe it can."

Green blasts of light fired in quick repetition, hitting the creature over and over again, until he too lay on the ground, unmoving. The two Senshi blinked at one another, then, with a collective shrug, they ran out the door of the hanger and down to hall after Sailor Moon and Sailor Saturn.

* * * * * * * *

"Status report! What in the 9 moons is going on around here!" Hunter 9 yelled across the bridge.

"Ship's computers are unresponsive. All defense systems, internal scanners and life support systems are reading as offline."

"Then get them back online!"

"I'm trying Hunter 9, I'm trying."

* * * * * * * *

CyberWarlock sat, crossed legged in digital form in the central processor of the alien computer mainframe. All data flow now fed through his body, all systems on board the ship were his to control. He ran through the massive amount of data in his mind, tracking the course of his friends through the ship, opening doors which would lead them to where his body was, and keeping the crew out of their way.

"Hello, what's this?" he said to himself as he called up the schematic design for the ship's engines. "Hmm, someone really should have put a 'Do not push this button' sign up."

CyberWarlock chuckled to himself as he shut down the energy ventilation system, and the engines slowly began to work towards an overload.

"Abandon ship!" he cackled to himself. "Women and Warlocks first!"

* * * * * * *

"Sir!" shouted Hunter 12. "The engines have begun to overload! I can't shut them down, we will have to abandon ship!"

"NO!" Hunter 9 screamed, and tossed the Drone out of his chair, staring at the computer readings in disbelief. "This can not be happening." He leaned back against the chair and sighed.

"This isn't over humans. not by a long shot. Order all hands abandon ship, rendezvous at the following earth based coordinates."

* * * * * * * *

The Senshi entered the laboratory room, just as Nick's digital form rejoined with his physical self. He blinked in the bright light and smiled weakly. He nodded his head towards the computer bank and the shackles around his body opened and released him.

"Hi guys." He said, then he promptly fell to the floor.

When he awoke, all 5 of them were crammed into SunFire's craft. Sailor Mars and Moon stood to either side of SunFire, while his head lay in Saturn's lap. He could hear SunFire's voice yelling, "I don't know! I can't find the door."

"Well you need to find it quick!" came Mars' reply. "This whole place is going up."

"9384gs43eg1" said Nick softly.

"What?" exclaimed SunFire.

"The access code to the hanger door" replied Nick.

"Oh, thanks." SunFire grinned and punched in the code. The door opened and she shot the little ship out into space, and away from the flaming wreck of the alien craft. "Nice to have you back Nick."

"Always nice to be back." He said softly, still weak and hardly able to move, he looked up into Hotaru's eyes. She looked back at him, a tear sliding down the side of her face. "The good news is, no one will be flying that ship anymore."

"I'm assuming there is bad news that goes with that?" Sailor Mars raised an eyebrow. Nick nodded slowly.

"Eight of the aliens managed to get off of the ship and were headed towards earth." He continued. "And."

"And?" blinked SunFire and Mars at once.

"And, there are more on the way."

* * * * * *

Ami looked up at the computer screen as the data-link from Nick's implants fed information to his home system. Her face paled as she watched what she was reading. She jumped up and ran for the telephone. This was going to take every one of the Senshi, and even then. She swallowed hard and dialed the number to Haruka and Michuru's house, her eyes glancing back at the computer screen as the phone began to ring.

Alien Warship on Trajectory Course to Earth.
Estimated time of Arrival: 3 days, 7 hours, 18 minutes.

The End of Series Two, Part Five

SERIES ONE

SERIES TWO