Sailor Moon Cyber - Volume Eight - In The Nick of Time
Nhicodima stood with his sword in his hand, feet apart in a battle stance. His eyes focused on his opponent, waiting for the attack. Across the small dark room, standing in an identical position was another CyberWarlock. The clone leapt up into the air and swung his sword down at Nhicodima's head. Nhicodima blocked the attack with his own blade, twisted around and connected his foot against the Cyber-clone's chest armor, pushing him back.
The clone grinned evilly and extended his arm, shooting a stream of flame towards him. Nhicodima dove forward, under the flames and tucked into a roll. He rolled back to his feet, bringing the hilt of the blade up into his attacker's chin. The clone fell backwards and looked up at him.
CyberWarlock chuckled and held out his hand to pull the Darkstalker up from the floor.
"Excellent match as always." he said as the demon reverted to its normal, animal-like form. "It is good that we have each other to keep from getting stale."
"Sailorsss." the Darkstalker said, with a quizzical look on his face.
"Well, yes. They have given us a good workout lately too haven't they."
The demon nodded and rubbed its head, remembering its last encounter with the Senshi.
CyberWarlock sighed and sat down in his silver throne. How long had it been since the Darkstalker had appeared before him. Weeks, months? Time had no meaning between worlds. But he remembered the day vividly. The creature had appeared through a portal and dropped to the ground in front of him. It was badly wounded and in need of help. Nhicodima, sensing a kindred spirit in it, had used his powers to heal the demon. Both came from worlds where they were alone and feared. And both wanted revenge on those that had hurt them. So the Darkstalker had pledged its loyalty to CyberWarlock.
"Funny." thought Nhicodima. "In all this time, I still haven't figured out what it is? Most times I think of it as a he, but then there are moments when I could swear it was female. Oh well, I guess it makes little difference in the long run."
CyberWarlock put those thoughts aside for the time being as he passed a hand in front of him, calling up images in time of his previous encounters with the Sailor Soldiers. He watched, as he was defeated each time.
"What is it about them that I can not win over? I have power and I am more willing to use it. Yet I still find myself losing." he focused the image in closer and Sailor SunFire's profile filled his view. "And you! I can't decide whether I want to destroy you, or kiss you."
CyberWarlock waived his hand in frustration and the image dissolved into fragments of color.
"Well, there will be time to debate this later. For now, I shall continue to live my other life and see what knowledge it brings me this day." He opened a portal that appeared behind the school and morphing his form as he stepped through, Nick appeared, ready for another day of class.
Nick walked around the corner of the school and straight into Leti.
"Oof. Oh, I am sorry, I did not see you there." he said, looking for the quickest way out of this situation.
"Uhm, no. My fault, no big deal heh heh!" Leti smiled nervously. If it was true and Nick really did like her as Hotaru had said, this was not the way she wanted the initial conversation to go.
"Well, see you later!" said Nick as he hurried up the steps to the door.
"Yes, see you later!" replied Leti. She sat on the steps and waited for her friends to arrive.
Nick spent the rest of the morning pre-occupied with his thoughts. Seeing Leti had started him thinking yet again as to what he should do. He barely heard his teachers speaking and remembered nothing of what the lessons had been. His mind was a thousand miles away. It wasn't until his physics class later that morning that something managed to grab his attention.
Ami stood at the black board writing out mathematical equations. Her latest project was on the theory of time travel and she had come up with some very interesting ideas on the subject. As she explained the idea behind one of her more complex equations, Nick suddenly shook his head and stood up.
"No, no no!" he said aloud. The entire class turned and looked at him in surprise. Nick suddenly realised he was still in class and was about to sit down again when the teacher called for him to stand again.
"You have a different opinion then Nick-san?" the teacher asked. Nick could see the amusement in the teacher's eyes. Ami was at the head of the class in everything she did, including physics and for someone to try and dispute her was relatively unheard of. "Perhaps you would like to come up to the front of the class and explain where Ami has gone wrong?"
Nick, stood and walked slowly to the front, not willing to give the teacher the benefit of further amusement. He took a piece of chalk from the board and erased several calculations. He changed the figures and added several equations of his own, then silently, set the chalk back down, raised an eyebrow at the teacher and returned to his seat.
Almost in unison, both Ami and the teacher pulled their glasses down their nose and stared at the board, their mouths hanging open. Ami quickly went over the new figures in her head.
"He... he's right!?" she exclaimed in surprise. "I have never seen equations like this. Look at where he pinpoints the break in the dimensional barriers. This is unheard of. But... I swear, looking at this, that it would actually work!"
Nick smiled smugly from his chair. Of course it would work, you just had to provide the correct energies to open the portal.
"Providing of course," continued Ami, regaining her composure. "That you could get a large enough energy source to sustain the portal."
Whispers began all through the classroom, and the students stared at Nick in wonder. In all the time since Ami had come to the school, no one had ever managed to stump her. Let alone correct something she had done. Nick blushed slightly at all the attention. He had not intended to make a big deal out of it. He had just been daydreaming through class and had picked a bad time to wake himself from his thoughts.
"Nick?" Ami turned from the board and looked at him. "If you have some time later do you think we could get together and discuss this? I am very interested in hearing your theories?"
"Uhm... I guess." replied Nick. "I will let you know when I have a spare moment ok?"
"Ok!" Ami nodded and smiled.
Nick pasted a smile on his face, but inside he was still somewhat shaken up. He should not have opened his mouth. Ami was too smart. It would not take her very long to figure out who he was if he spent any kind of time with her, he was sure of it. Nick slumped down in his chair and closed his eyes. This day was certainly not looking any better.
Leti sat on the other side of the room and tried to pretend not to stare.
"Cute and smart!" she thought to herself. "Maybe there is something to be seen in the guy after all? Still, he doesn't look very happy for someone who just out thought the class brain. Might be worth it to talk to him more, even if just to get his opinion on things. I can't stand this physics stuff. I don't know how my parents ever wanted to make a living out of being scientists!"
The lunch bell rang and students began filing out the door. For once, Nick was one of the first ones out the door and disappeared down the hall. Leti and Ami stood in the hallway looking left and right but could find no sign of him. Leti shrugged and put her arm around Ami's shoulder.
"Well, he'll turn up eventually. What say we do some lunch?"
Ami nodded and the two walked down the hall towards the cafeteria. As they approached the end of the hall, they jumped back in alarm as the bug eyes of Melvin suddenly popped into view right in front of them.
"It's all over the school!" said Melvin excitedly. Not only was Melvin one of the smarter students at the school, he was also one of the largest gossips as well. "Tell me Ami, is it true? Is this new guy smarter than you?"
"Well, I..." Ami began, but Leti interrupted.
"No one said he is smarter than Ami, he just happened to have some knowledge on a subject that Ami hadn't discovered yet. Happens to the best scientific minds!" she said, and winked at a very grateful Ami.
"Do you think he wants to join the chess club?" inquired Melvin.
Leti pushed her hand against Melvin's head and he fell over backwards as the two continued on into the cafeteria, stepping over him and grinning.
Nick sat in his normal spot on the roof of the school. It was quiet and peaceful up there and gave him a chance to think things over some more. He sat with his elbows on his knees, and his head propped in his hands, looking over the schoolyard below. Darkstalker appeared beside him and assuming Nick's form, copied his position. Nick shook his head and chuckled. The demon grinned and leaned back on the roof.
"Is it really that simple?" Nick asked. "Should we keep searching for vengeance? Or should we just keep living this lie and try to exist as normal people?"
The Darkstalker shrugged and looked at Nick.
"I know, you don't know. You just do as you are told right?"
The demon smiled and nodded his head.
"I wish my life were that simple." Nick sighed. "But I have too many things to consider. Too many problems."
The screeching of tires snapped Nick's attention and he looked across the street to see a large tanker truck slide out of control and smash into the side of the elementary school that was on the other side of the road from the High School. Screams and yelling filled the air as the truck caught on fire. Children and teachers started filing out of the door to the school, coughing in the thick black smoke. Out of the corner of his eye, Nick saw Leti and Lita quickly hop the fence and run across the street. The two girls began herding children away from the tanker and picking up the smaller, frightened ones and placing them safely on the other side of the road. He watched in amazement. Even in their normal, less powerful forms, they still risked their lives to help others.
Nick teleported down unseen to the road and continued to watch the scene unfold.
"That's the last of them I think." said Lita, out of breath and coughing from the smoke.
"Good!" said Leti. "Let's get out of here before this thing blows up!"
The two began to run across the street when suddenly a small voice called from a second floor window.
"Help me! Somebody help me!" A young girl, probably no more than 6 years old, stood in the window, tears streaming down her face.
"Damn!" shouted Leti and spun around on her heals, racing back inside the school.
"Leti NO!" screamed Lita. "You can't, the truck is about to explode!"
Leti paid no attention to her and covered her nose with her arm, feeling her way up the stairs to the second floor. She called out to the little girl and followed the sound of her voice to where she was. Leti picked up the frightened child and looked out the window. Lita stood below.
"Catch her!" Leti shouted. Lita nodded and stood ready as Leti tossed the little girl into her waiting arms.
"Now get out of there!" Lita pleaded and ran back across the street. She turned to watch for Leti's escape and breathed a sigh of relief as the redhead appeared in the doorway. Just as Leti began sprinting for the road, the tanker exploded. Shards of metal flew from the truck and struck Leti, the force of the explosion sending her flying. She landed in the middle of the street and did not move.
"LETI?" Lita shouted frantically.
"LETI?" Ami and Usagi, who had been trying to calm the children screamed and ran towards the fallen form of the Senshi of the Sun. Ami leaned over Leti and touched her hand to her throat. She bit back the tears as she turned to the others and pronounced her findings.
"She... she's dead."
"No..." whispered Lita and Usagi. "She can't be. This isn't right."
Nick slowly walked over to the assembled Senshi and looked down at Leti's body.
"No. This was not what I wanted." he said quietly and turned to face the others, a tear in his eye. "Ami. You wanted to see my theories on time travel. Well, you are about to have your chance. I'm sorry to say though, that you will not remember it."
Nick passed his hands in the air in front of him and concentrated on forming a portal, just several minutes back in time.
"Amazing!" exclaimed Ami.
"Isn't it though!" said Nick as he stepped through. "See you in a few!"
"Catch her!" Leti shouted. Lita nodded and stood ready as Leti tossed the little girl into her waiting arms.
"Now get out of there!" Lita pleaded and ran back across the street. She turned to watch for Leti's escape and breathed a sigh of relief as the redhead appeared in the doorway. Just as Leti began sprinting for the road, the tanker exploded. Nick tackled Leti and knocked her flat to the pavement as shards of metal flew at blinding speed over their heads. He felt small fragments pierce his skin but he covered Leti's body with his own. He knew he could heal the wounds later.
As the explosion subsided to roaring flames, Nick picked up Leti in his arms and ran across the street. He set her back on her feet on the opposite side as the screams of the coming fire trucks filled the air. Nick nodded at the shocked expressions on the girls' faces and turned to walk back to the school.
"Nick? Wait!" Leti yelled after him and ran to catch up. "I don't know where you came from, but thank you!" She leaned into him and kissed him on the cheek.
"You're uhm, you're welcome." said Nick, unable to come up with anything more witty at that particular moment. He smiled weakly and walked away across the schoolyard. Looking up, he saw Darkstalker laughing on the roof and clapping his hands.
"Oh shut up!" Nick mumbled to himself. The demon just laughed harder.
Nick wandered into the washroom to clean himself up.
The End of Part Eight