The Darkening of the Light

(Tears of Crystal - Prologue)

© 1997/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta

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The woman stumbled over the broken plains of a desolate landscape that once had been a blooming meadow. Now only the broken bones of the Inner Earth pierced the burned soil and wilted remainders of trees. The air was thick with death and decay, and all over the place she could see the rotting corpses of the animals that had inhabited this territory.

Her palace lay in ruins just as the towns and villages of the Crystal Kingdom.

The sky was filled with black clouds, and the Inner Sun had lost most of its brilliance. Every glance at the darkened sky gave her hate more power and drove her on her way to seek revenge.

She cursed the power hungry wretch who had caused the downfall of her realm and the death of hundreds of thousands of her loyal subjects. Not all of them had been killed when the Inner Sun had flared once before darkening, many had committed suicide when they saw their homeland in ruins with no hope of ever being resurrected again.

Only a couple of miles more, she told herself, when she fell again, bruising her knees and hands on the sharp edges of the raw stones. Her once beautiful robe was dirty and torn, hardly fit to be worn by the Crystal Princess - no, Queen, now, she thought bitterly, as her parents King Heliodor and Queen Morgana were among the dead.

When the rage and hate had tried to consume her, she had dared to step down into the deepest dungeons of her ruined palace where she hadn't been allowed to go in the times of light and peace.

The secret magickal library of her uncle wasn't touched by the destruction as it had been cut into the massive rock of the world. He had told her of the books he had collected, and he had warned her never to open certain volumes, lest it might cost her heart and soul. But now her uncle was dead, and what was left of her heart anyway?

So she had dared to open the first of the books, an ancient tome that felt strangely alive to the touch, and the letters that were etched in the parchment were of a black that seemed to suck in her soul. The deeper she submerged herself in the writing, the more she felt a power within her grow, a power that fed on her hatred and despair.

Once she had known what she had to do, she had set out on the way to the smoking crater in the middle of the volcanic Earthblood Range where she would invoke the new found powers to conjure up an entity that might be a match for the destroyer of the Crystal Kingdom.

After she had completed the steep climb, she looked down into the crater where a strange black lava glowed. In the night it would be dark red, she knew, and that was the time of her Sacrifice.

Not even a fleeting moment she hesitated when the time was right. She was dead already, heart and soul, so why should it matter if her body followed suit? She spoke the powerful words in the ancient tongue and jumped head first into the sea of molten rock.

The horrible agony that set in seemed to last for eternities. She felt not only burned and dying, but torn apart, every molecule and even the fabric of her mind. Then another presence engulfed her, saved her from the pain, remade her in another form, made her whole again. Relieved, the former Crystal Princess swore that she would serve her saviour for all eternity.

A horrible laughter filled her mind, but she felt no fear or revulsion, it just complemented her own new twisted self that was formed after the needs of the conjured entity.

"Free again!" Metallia's bodiless voice thundered through the realm of the Inner Earth. "I will grant you your dearest wish for giving me back the access to the realm of the living. Speak, little Beryl!"

"I only want revenge. Help me to bring down the Moon Kingdom and retrieve the silver crystal which is mine by rights!"

* * *

Unfortunately the first assault of Beryl's and Metallia's forces wasn't crowned with success, and it only led to the defeat of the freshly christened Dark Kingdom which had replaced the Crystal Kingdom of the Inner Earth, and Metallia was imprisoned again.

The Moon Kingdom was even worse off, though. The place was in ruins, Queen Serenity dead, and while the souls of the Moon Princess and her Senshi slept and waited for reincarnation, life in the Dark Kingdom went on.

Queen Beryl had managed to rebuild her body from the black energy that permeated her realm, but she had lost much of her memory. She only knew that she had to try to retrieve Metallia who had been sealed into a soul cocoon that had disappeared after the shattering of the Moon Kingdom.

For long years she had sent her troops on the search until they found Metallia's prison and installed it in the depths of Beryl's palace. Now she only had to find a way to revive her ruler. Beryl was sure that she would regain her lost memories with her help, and so she sent her minions on the search for human energy that could be used to weaken the soul cocoon that kept Metallia in stasis.

Some time later another memory fragment resurfaced. Beryl knew that she had to find the so-called silver crystal which could aid her in reawakening Metallia, and she commanded her underlings to find this object as well.

The search for the energy went better than the retrieval of the silver crystal. Unfortunately some enemies had appeared on the scene who seemed vaguely familiar to Beryl, even though she couldn't place them exactly. These 'Senshi' had thwarted lots of the plans of her most powerful minions, and with Jadeite and Nephrite she had even lost two of the commanders of her forces.

Things didn't go as well as she would have liked, especially as she had now been dealt another blow. The silver crystal had reappeared, but unfortunately it had fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Beryl had the uncanny feeling that it had all happened once before, and slowly but surely even more pieces of memory seeped into her mind...

The End of the Prologue - Goto Pt.1

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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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