TEENAGE WASTELAND

by Marco De la Cruz



	Don't cry
	don't raise your eye
	it's only
	teenage wasteland

The eight figures cautiously advanced along the huge cave. Although deep underground, the slightly phosphorescent mineral which covered the walls filled the large tunnel with a phantasmagoric, blue-ish glow.

"C'mon guys! Hurry up!"

"Amy, are you sure this is the right way?"

The girl's long blond pony-tails swung sideways as she quickly turned her head, nervously surveying her surroundings.

"Of course I'm sure," the blue hair girl responded, glancing at the screen of her hand-held computer.

"Please Serena! For once try to get a hold of yourself," added the small black cat who walked besides her.

"Yeah, Luna's right. Stop being such a cry-baby!" sneered the long-legged girl in the red skirt, walking just ahead of them.

"Now Rei, don't ..."

Luna, however, was unable to continue, as Serena suddenly exploded.

"And just WHO are you calling a cry-baby?!?"

"Girls, please ..."

"Who do you THINK?!?"

"Stop ..."

"That's it Rei! I've had enough of you! In the name of the moon I will ..."

"Will you two cut it OUT!"

They both stopped their bickering and turned towards the two girls watching them, their expressions a mixture of impatience and exasperation.

"This is no time for fighting guys," said the girl in the orange and white sailor fuku, her hands firmly planted on her waist.

"Well said, sailor Venus," added the little white cat at her feet, "we must be very careful. I can sense the presence of the Negaverse close by."

"Amy, how soon till we get there?"

"I don't know Lita, but I'm getting awfully high readings, they almost go off the ..."

She jerked her head up from the screen when they suddenly heard a noise in front of them, its source hidden by the darkness in the tunnel ahead. At first it was like a moan, a painful groan. Yet soon it grew louder, until it became a deep, menacing snarl. Amy slowly began to walk backwards, closer to her companions.

"Wha... what was that?" Serena was noticeably shaking.

"Calm down, all of you." If Rei was frightened, she certainly didn't let it show.

About twenty metres ahead of them a figure started to form within the shadows.

A large, menacing silhouette.

The monster was at least two metres high, covered with a thick black fur which nonetheless couldn't hide the huge muscles which delineated its body. Its intensely yellow eyes pierced the girls with their stare, the putrid stench of rotten meat emanating from the metallic teeth in its mouth, blood red saliva drooling down its chin, titanium claws glittering from the oily poison which covered them.

Suddenly the beast raised its head, fangs opening wide, and let out a blood-thirsty howl, an inhuman shriek which exploded throughout the cave.

"I'll take care of him!"

"REI! NO!"

Lita's scream came too late, as Rei darted forward, hands clasped together as she spun in the air.

"Mars fire ... IGNITE!"

A brilliant fireball suddenly erupted from her fingers, momentarily illuminating the whole cave in an intensely bright, red light.

The magic flame missed its target. The monster wasn't there.

Startled, she suddenly looked upwards.

The beast had somehow managed evade the fireball, leaping with superhuman force straight towards her. She opened her mouth in an attempt to scream.

It was the last thing she did.

The brutal blow shattered most of the bones in her delicate body, the claws easily ripping through skin and flesh, almost cutting her in half.

For an instant the five remaining girls stood paralyzed, unable to believe their eyes.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Serena screamed, as Amy grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back. Lita and Mina quickly regained their senses, and glanced at each other.

"Mina! NOW!!!" yelled Lita

The girls began chanting in unison, both their faces masks of fury and determination.

"Venus Crescent Beam ... SMASH!"
"Supreme Thunder ... CRASH!"

The beast darted forward, once again jumping in the air. This time, however, the soldiers were prepared, and the combined attack formed a powerful blast of electricity and magical energy which caught the creature in midair. With inhuman speed the monster somehow managed to twist itself, contorting its body so that the discharge grazed its side. Yet the energy was so intense that part of the flesh which covered its ribs was scorched away, the flaming fur still attached to its body painfully burning the skin beneath, the nauseous stench of burning meat soon filling the cave.

The demon savagely snarled, a howl of pain and fury. And yet it somehow managed to control its trajectory, spinning in the air and landing on its feet, directly in front of the two sailor senshi.

In an instant, its right hand shot out towards Mina. The girl, stunned by the creature's inhuman resilience and speed, tried to step back, but it was too late. The enormous hand surrounded her neck, immediately cutting the air flow to her lungs. As she desperately tried to break the steel grip, the hellspawn closed its fist, crushing her windpipe, snapping her neck, and ultimately beheading the girl.

Lita was terrorized, paralyzed by sheer panic.

"Lita! RUN!"

The small white cat leaped towards the monster, extending the claws in its paws, aiming for its cruel, yellow eyes.

Before reaching his intended target, the creature turned its head and opened its enormous jaws. The cat desperately tried to evade the beast's fangs to no avail. As soon as he made contact with the metallic teeth the monster's mouth violently snapped shut, effectively severing the feline's body in two.

"ARTEMIIIIIS!!!" Luna shrieked in despair.

Lita staggered backwards, consumed by a horror which tore through the very core of her soul. She somehow managed control her fear and began to recite her enchantment.

"Supreme Thun ..."

A whooshing sound ripped through the air as the monster's arm lashed towards her. The back of its fist struck her face before she managed to finish the spell. The blow instantly destroyed her head, splattering small pieces of skull and brains in all directions within a fine mist of blood.

The demon was suddenly violently thrust backwards by a blast of bright bubbles. They smashed against his body, painfully bruising it. It turned towards its attacker.

Sailor Mercury's face was a contorted expression of barely controlled panic. Everything was happening so fast that by the time she managed to slap Serena out of her hysterical frenzy her teammates had been slaughtered. Sailor Moon was now crouching on the ground, sobbing in despair. It was up to her to defeat the beast.

But the monster had other plans. Unable to approach the girl through the barrage of bubbles, it grabbed the first thing it could find and furiously flung it towards her.

This turned out to be sailor Venus' corpse.

As the body swiftly flew towards her, Amy screamed, a strange, high-pitched squeal of horror, disgust, and impotence. A split second later Mina's lifeless body smashed into her, and the dull sound of crunching bones shot through the air. Luna, who had been standing just behind the girl, suddenly saw Amy literally blown off her feet by the force of the impact. Before the cat could do anything, both corpses landed heavily on her, crushing her underneath their combined weight.

Slowly the beast advanced towards Serena, who lay on the ground, curled up, whimpering in terror. A small figure stood a few metres behind her, in the shadows. This went unnoticed by the creature as it approached the helpless girl.

Suddenly a crimson streak flashed in front of the monster, stopping it on its tracks.

A beautiful red rose stood between them, its stem firmly embedded in the ground.

"Fear not, meatb ... uh, Sailor Moon! I have come to save you!"

"Tuxedo Mask!" Serena cried, her teary eyes opening wide with newfound hope.

The demon looked up only to be quickly blinded by this new foe's black cape. As the beast tore through it with its claws, the man leaped by Serena's side and swiftly lifted her to her feet.

"Quickly, call your friend," he said grabbing her by the arm, "we must get out of here before ..."

He turned around as he spoke, only to find himself looking directly at two rows of shiny blood-drenched teeth which formed a hideous, utterly evil grin.

"WHOOOOOOSHHH!"

Tuxedo Mask felt a tug on his stomach. Looking down he saw his bowels pouring out of five deep lacerations which the monster had clawed through his belly. He grew intensely pale, his grip on Serena's arm quickly loosening, until he fell, first to his knees, and then face down to the ground.

Serena staggered back a few steps, her glance shifting rapidly between the lifeless body at her feet and the beast in front of her.

Her face deformed into a mask of pure, unadultered hate.

"I WILL KILL YOU!!!"

She furiously spun the golden baton in the air.

"Moon Sceptre ... ELIMINATION!!!"

She pointed the magic staff at the beast, the sceptre shining like a star, its power fueled by her rage and fear.

Before she manage to fire, however, the monster smashed the tip of the baton with one powerful blow. Such was the force of the impact that the sceptre was actually torn from her hands, breaking three fingers of one hand, four in the other, including her right wrist.

Serena howled in pain, trying somehow to cover herself with her destroyed hands while attempting at the same time to protect them and herself.

It was too late.

The beast's arm shot out, grabbing her whole head in one hand. Slowly it began to twist it backwards. She arched her back in a desperate attempt to avoid her neck from fracturing, but it was useless. Her vertebrae began snap like popcorn, one by one, three in total, until the back of her head touched the region between her shoulderblades. The demon let go and her body collapsed like a ragged doll.

The creature grinned, looking around at the carnage. It knew it had done well. Its masters would be pleased, perhaps they would even offer to heal the painful wounds it had suffered during the battle.

Suddenly it froze, its sensitive ears picking up a barely audible rustle, its highly developed sense of smell capturing a tenuous fragrance in the air.

It brusquely turned its head and peered into the shadows. Its night vision soon took maximum advantage of the wall's slight glow as it pierced the darkness.

A few metres away stood a lonely little girl in a sailor fuku, quietly glaring back at it. Her expression was calm, almost featureless. Only her large honey eyes showed any glimpse of emotion.

And fear it was not.

The beast let out a low, guttural growl. It peeled its lips revealing the set of deadly metal fangs.

The girl didn't even blink.

Without hesitating, the monster leaped towards her, a powerful jump that sent it flying through the air, both arms fully extended, claws aiming directly for the girl's little body.

It was then when she leaped towards it.

The girl somehow managed to twist her body in mid-air so as to evade the bulk of the creature's body. Instead she passed right besides it. In one blinding move her fist shot out, directly towards the large wound on the monster's side. She grabbed one of the exposed ribs, and used it as a handle to swing around. She flung herself, making a full circle as her hand tightly held the bone. Before the beast realized what was happening both her feet smashed against the back of its head, and the demon stumbled forward. She violently yanked the rib, tearing it out of the creature's torso. Before touching the ground she performed an impossible somersault from the monster's back.

The beast face violently smashed against the ground. In spite of the truly unbearable pain which almost blinded it, it managed somehow to instantly regain its footing and dash towards where the girl had landed.

Or at least where she should have landed.

The monster thrashed its head sideways, wildly looking for the girl.

By the time it looked upwards it was too late.

The girl's feet smashed into the beast's back, right between it's shoulders. Its spine snapped with an atrocious crack, almost breaking its torso in two. The monster spun around, its useless legs unable to get it up. It swung its claws towards her face but she effortlessly evaded the blow, ramming a fist into its exposed elbow, destroying the articulation.

The beast was being shredded alive. It gnashed its jaws, trying to bite her arm off. A brutal kick to its face somehow managed to break the metallic teeth, which tore into its head like half a dozen pieces of shrapnel.

The monster was now agonizing, black blood gushing from the hole in its side, its splintered arm, nostrils, mouth and ears. And yet it continued to blindly lash out its remaining arm, pitifully squirming on the ground like a giant black worm. The girl decided to put an end to it.

She slowly approached the beast, and in one violently swift move she rammed her elbow through its left eye, directly into its brain.

* * * * *

The girl placed the mangled bodies of the two small cats on top of those of the other four sailor senshi. She muttered a small prayer for the fallen valiant warriors, and quickly filled the grave she had made.

She turned around. Only the bodies of Serena and Tuxedo Mask remained, as the monster had suddenly turned into a small card which had quickly burned away. She carefully positioned Serena's body on top of Tuxedo's, gently placing his arms around her. She silently stood besides them for a minute.

After one last goodbye, her hand ignited, and she slowly proceeded to cremate them both.


Acknowledgments
First of all to heretic@hops.cs.jhu.edu, who suggested to me the idea of writing a lighthearted adventure about "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Gally".

Credit is also due to dfukushi@hawaii.edu, who unwittedly(!) encouraged me to rewrite this thing after I lost the original when my modem connection broke off.


Story Page back to the Short Story Page.

Teenage Wasteland, 9 March 1996