Sweet Dreams

Chapter 6: The Nightmare is Real

© 2006 by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour

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My sound slumber was disrupted by a soft voice, commanding and unignorable...a voice I was coming to know all too well. Groaning in protest softly, I reluctantly opened my eyes. Wha? I blinked up at the top of the ceiling about two feet from my face. ?! With a startled squeak, I fell onto the bed a few yards under me, bouncing on the soft mattress, my heart beating like a jackhammer. I laid on the soft bed in silent shock, staring with wide eyes at the ceiling, shaking in stunned fright. What the HELL happened?! I simply laid still, my pulse thundering in my ears, panting from my unpleasant surprise. I could hear the voice in my mind laughing hysterically. Hearing a soft chuckle from the darkness, I sat up and looked, willing light instantly.

"I am pleased to see that you have discovered levitation, but you should really learn to control it better." Kunzite smirked at me, apparently amused. I was still stunned from my rude awakening. I nodded weakly and replied in a shaky voice.


His disapproving glare spoke volumes. Realizing my error, I hastily corrected myself.

"I...I mean...Yes, Lord Kunzite."

"Good." His glare softened slightly and he nodded. He turned to the door. "Her Majesty has ordered to meet with us in an hour. I suggest you hurry quickly, and look presentable." I nodded silently. Without another word he departed, closing the door behind him, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

"Well, that was a surprise...don't......you....think.....?" I blinked and looked around for the wolf, but there was no sign of the wintry white creature. Oh well, Lord Kunzite must have let him out. I hope I get to see him again! He's the only one I think I can talk to around here.

*Hey, you have me.*

I grinned wryly. "Yeah, it seems I do!"

*What are you doing sitting on your bum? The Queen does not tolerate many things...and tardiness has never been one of them.* My eyes widened. One hour?!

"Oh man!!!"

I hopped out of bed and made it with a thought...if I tried it manually, I would have been there all day. Pausing...I fought the wave of dizziness that filled me for a moment. Darned magic...I need to figure out how to work this stuff. Making a mad dash to the bathroom, I took a quick sluice in the stream of cold water, the surprising chill in the water waking me instantly. Finally rushing into the room, tightening my belt over the uniform jacket, I straightened out the wrinkles and set about brushing my hair. I was surprised by how the glass bottles of shampoos and conditioners I found on a tray really made my hair manageable! It tamed my hair a little better and gave it a shine I always wished for...and the silky soft feel! For the first time in my life, I could run my fingers through my hair without them getting caught in the curls. I smiled and pulled my hair into a ponytail. I'm going to probably be doing some training today, might as well keep it out of the way. Flipping my long ponytail over my shoulder I walked to the door.

It wasn't until AFTER I locked the door and slipped the key in my pocket that I realized something...I hadn't have a CLUE where I was going. Glancing up and down the hallway I didn't see anything familiar. Great. Glancing at the door next to mine I considered knocking, seeing if he was there...or at the throne room already. I walked up to the door and was about to knock softly when the door suddenly opened, startling me somewhat. I wasn't expecting that!!!

"Come in."

Nodding and bolstering my confidence, I stepped inside softly, briefly taking in everything I saw. I blinked and stared. If I thought my room was the lap of luxury...then this is the whole darned body...and family! Exquisite art pieces adorn the wall; marble statues carved with painstaking detail decorated this ...MANSION! There was a grand stairway leading to a second floor, and I stood in a huge foyer, the floor smooth as glass, the strange stone glossed to a high shine. Who would have ever thought it would have looked like this from outside the door?

Tearing my eyes from studying a masterfully crafted painting... It's the long lost Leonardo Da Vinci piece! This has been missing for centuries, scholars claimed it was lost in a fire!!! I glanced up at Kunzite as he descended down the stairway with a flowing, deadly catlike grace, his every movement boneless and silent. I was surprised when he looked at me then did a double take, his silvery blue eyes widening. Blinking in confusion, I smile politely and bowed respectfully to him as he approached me.

"Lord Kunzite."

I watched in baffled curiosity as he rubbed his eyes and scrutinized me; his face paled slightly under his tan. An intense thoughtful frown touched his lips. I fought the urge to fidget nervously under his intense chill silvery blue gaze.

"Unbelievable..." His voice was soft, filled with wonder. I was stumped as to what he was talking about. Confused, I blinked up at him through my bangs.

"Umm, Lord Kunzite?" At my words he shook his head to himself, recovering from his shock. The tall man straightened, replacing his chill, stern demeanor.

"It is nothing. You merely resemble someone I once knew." He waved his hand, dismissing the subject. I reluctantly complied, curious as a cat, but not wanting to push my luck. Cats have nine lives, I only have one.

"I see." I nodded.

"It would be wise to change your hairstyle...the person you so distinctly resemble had departed on fairly bad terms with our Queen. Your chances of success would be greater if you did." His eyes gleamed slightly as he spoke, glinting to some hidden thought.

Deciding against digging into worse trouble, I meekly reached up and undid the ponytail, and shook out my hair, letting the long locks flow over my shoulders. He nodded in approval, the tension in the room easing a little. Without further ado, he stepped close and a wash of power and crackling energy surrounded us both. I closed my eyes as I felt a strange sense of vertigo...reeling from the strange feeling of the magic.

Feeling a slight nudge in my ribs, I opened my eyes, quickly taking in what I saw. I was back in the gigantic audience chamber. We were standing before the fiery tempered Queen sitting stately, silently, in the hideous throne. The chamber was empty save for she, Kunzite, I, and a young man I had never before seen. I bowed to her as my mentor did, remembering hastily that I was treading on thin ice.

"Good. You are early." Her voice echoed throughout the cavernous hall, sending creeping shivers down my spine. As I straightened, I glanced at Kunzite and the man, the two sharing an intensely burning glare of hatred and resentment. I looked back to the Queen, who seemed to ignore the two men, instead staring thoughtfully at me.

"Pyrite. You have met Prince Endymion, have you not?" She gestured to the black clad man kneeling by her side. He turned his cold blue eyes to me, careless locks of his short cropped night black hair falling recklessly over his contemptuous gaze. He stood, his armor gleaming in the light, his black cape billowing slightly with his movement.

"I am afraid that I have not, My Queen." I shook my head softly and bowed to him politely, smiling sincerely. "Prince Endymion, it is a pleasure to meet you." He narrowed his eyes, smirking haughtily.

"I wish I could say the same." Well look who's a Jerk! I shrugged off the insulting tone and turned back to the Queen, ignoring his enraged glare at my refusal to take his bait. I could see Kunzite smirking self satisfied, his arms crossed over his chest. The queen frowned slightly and both of the men erased their smirks and glares, their faces becoming unreadable, chastened. Great, ANOTHER problem I've managed to get myself in the middle of. I was torn between relief and unease as she eyed me with approval, and beckoned me closer. I glanced briefly around and tentatively stepped forward.

"I need another General. One to replace the ones that had failed me so miserably." She glared at Kunzite and he looked at the ground silently. She turned the burning eyes to Endymion when he snickered and he also cast his eyes down, chastened. I thanked my lucky stars that I had decided against retorting at Endymion previously. "I will expect your performance record to far exceed the previous. Hmmmm.... I can see from here that you need a great deal of training. But, the potential I sense in you makes it well worth the price. Both Metallia and I agree to this point." Her glowing yellow and red eyes slowly raked me over silently, a soft secret smile on her lips. I repressed a shudder and nodded gratefully, replying in a dry voice, nervous as a cat.

"Thank you, My Queen." She chuckled softly to herself, apparently immensely amused.

"Kunzite shall teach you...and, when he thinks you ready, I will give you a small group of Youma to train and command...to gauge your leadership skills. And, when you are ready, we will then test your band of Youma. If you perform satisfactory you will receive status as General."

I shivered slightly, feeling chilled to the soul. And if I don't do so well...

*You DON'T want to know what she would do to you.*

Why do I have a feeling you're right?

*Because you are learning fast.*

You know...you do little for confidence. You'd make a lousy therapist.

*You're welcome.*

I bowed to the Queen and she smiled. I was relieved that she wasn't as upset with me as she was with the two men. Gaining her good graces had been relatively easy so far...I just hoped I could stay there. She beckoned me to her. Endymion stood abruptly, outrage gleaming in his dark blue eyes.

"Come Pyrite, kneel before me." I caught an angry glare from Endymion as I slowly walked closer and kneeled in front of her feet, nervous and wary, feeling an unnatural chill seeping from the eerie stone. This is humiliating.

*Better humiliated than dead*

Why can't you ever be right in an optimistic sort of way?! The voice in my mind chuckled softly.

*This is the way things ARE here.*

"I am entrusting a great deal of power to you. Do not fail me." I shivered as she placed her hand on the top of my head. Gulping, I nodded uneasily.

"I won't. I promise." She chuckled softly, well pleased and gently stroked my hair...as if I was a pet dog. I fought desperately not to shy away from her, utterly repulsed by her bony, leathery hand: cold, her nails sharp. *Don't move. It's a sign of weakness if you do.*


*Trust me...don't move.*

I fought desperately not to jump back, push her hand away from me, or shake uncontrollably. I could feel Endymion's hate and jealousy filled glare burn, Kunzite's wary cold eyes watching silently. I don't know how long I knelt there, but it felt like eternity.

"Such unassuming innocence, I find it so very refreshing compared to the bickering among my subjects." Innocence? Me? Now there's a laugh. Her seething gaze seared over the two men, whom promptly cast their gazes down. "And as for you two...you are dismissed. You may wait outside the doors." I watched, confused and uneasily as the two men bowed to her and walked to the door... my mentor leaving without another word... Endymion casting a last venomous glare at me as he turned on his heel and stalked away, his black cape flaring, the lining of the fabric an angry red. I started to rise and follow after Kunzite when her hand held me down. I blinked up at the reptilian cold Queen in confusion.

"Pyrite, you stay." I started slightly as the doors closed with an echoing bang that resonated through the cavernous hall, my heart beating rapidly in my throat. Ohhh, what have I gotten myself into? I'm soo dead, I just know it!!! I felt so lost, alone, away from the tall powerful man, my teacher: like a kitten left out in wintry streets. I shivered slightly as I felt her cold fingers toy with one of my curls. I wanted to tear away, to run and never stop. My instincts told me to flee this place... but I couldn't. I was in too deep and I knew it.

"I am surprised that I have not recalled seeing you in my Kingdom. Yet, you seem familiar. Could it be that you had been dormant after the Last Battle... and had awakened later than the other Kings?"

I was totally lost. Last Battle? Kings? Awakened? I don't have a clue about any of this!

"It would explain how you seem to remember so very little. I can easily see that you know nothing of the Dark Kingdom." My eyes widened and I gulped, and looked up at her sheepishly. Her face held the usual cold grim amusement, giving no hint to her thoughts, as neutral as a snake.

"To be honest, Um...Your Highness, I don't know anything about these wars you speak of...or...or this place, but I am learning...very fast...." She chuckled and tilted my face up to look at hers, my words trailing off, her reptilian glowing eyes boring into my own, her red lips pulled into a darkly amused grin.

"Apparently, you have aroused Metallia's interest. If she sees you as an asset, so too do I." She smiled a slow, secret, dark smile...chuckling. My eyes darted to her fangs, small and sharp, gleaming in the light. Laughing she petted my head like a favorite dog, and I looked away, humiliated and embarrassed. I don't know how much more of this I can take! Endymion is some kind of twisted individual to be jealous. He can have her!!!

"You are by far, MUCH more entertaining than the other two. I am more than pleased to bestow unto you the first Gift." I blinked in confusion, lost in her terminology again. She gestured, a huge gleaming dark crystal ball appearing behind me, suspended on a twisted looking thin pedestal, hovering in the air. I turned and looked at the crystal, the Queen behind me. She pointed with a long, clawlike hand at the eerie orb, a slight flare in its crystalline depths.

"Look into the Orb of Metallia...look into the essence of the being we serve." I glanced suspiciously at the Orb, then stared...my attention caught by the hypnotically swirling colors. It was like the rock of this strange nightmarish place...and more...drawing my gaze into it's swirling depths...images flickering in the sphere's center, holding my attention rapt with a grip of steel. I began to lose sense of my surroundings, to lose all sense of myself as I stared unblinking into the orb, not aware of the Hall I knelt in...or the hideous Queen leaning close to me, fondling my curls, caressing my jaw and cheeks. All sense of reality and everything I knew began to slip out of my mind...chased away by creeping shadows of power. Her voice was like a distant dream...like a secret in my heart, compelling and commanding, slithering around my soul like a serpent.

"That is a Good Boy, Pyrite, look into Metallia...give yourself up to us...body, mind and soul..." ...no... I blinked as I suddenly came to, alarm bells going off in my head, driving away the whispers, pushing the hypnotic vertigo of the orb, the soft lull of her voice away. No... I blinked again, acutely aware of leathery cold hands on my neck. No! I wrenched my gaze from the orb as I felt a sudden piercing, burning pain. I jerked and gasped as I felt a searing sting spear from my neck reaching for my heart. I suddenly felt as if a plug was pulled in me and my life was being drained away... slowly... agonizingly.... I shivered as adrenaline speared through... oddly, a disturbing exhilaration and pleasure filling me. I shuddered as power rolled through me with soft secrets and whispered commands, filling the emptiness caused by the drain. I stubbornly pushed back the controlling force trying to invade my mind, anger lending steel to my mental walls, my dogged spirit refusing surrender. I fought against the twisted pleasure, unexplainable, my soul shrinking away from it... my stubbornness refusing to admit defeat. NO! With my last ounce of spirited strength, I shoved the clutching darkness from my soul. I will be free!

I smiled softly as I was certain that my mind had survived unaffected. Alas, I was sinking fast into the physical darkness of unconsciousness as the searing pain grabbed at my heart, constricted, then let go. I didn't recall hitting the ground...I fell into darkness: a dream without light or memory.

The End of Chapter 6 - Goto Chapter 7

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Disclaimer: Sailormoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is an amateur fiction, and I definitely won't make any money of it.

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© by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour - Email: duffour@gmail.com

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