When the doll began floating backward Luna knew that they had it. She forced what little energy she could spare into her body, dashing toward it faster then it could escape. As she reached the doll she could feel pain across her back but she ignored it there was something she needed to do and she wouldn’t let something minor like gunshot wounds stop her. She grabbed the head of the doll and could feel it struggling beneath her fingers.
Then she drew on every last bit of reserve power that she had left. She pulled it out, struggling to get the amount of power that she needed. Black and white lines shimmered In the air around her and she watched the light of her aura wax and wain. Then there was a loud thunderous crash and bolts of brilliant light and utter darkness exploded from the doll. There was a moment of silence and then the soft clatter of porcelain on the ground. It was swiftly followed by the thudding of bodies on the ground as the police officers collapsed. Without the support of the doll they couldn’t even be straight.
The last thud was Luna dropping to the ground after the police officers. She could feel the world swimming and couldn’t managed to rise to her feet or even bring her mind out of the fog it seemed to have retreated it. All that she knew was that the cool roof felt very good. That seemed to be enough at the moment. Eventually she could blearily see the outline of a cat against the sky.
“You did good Luna. Joy too.” It was the voice of Blackberry. Luna wanted to say something, probably some sort of sarcastic comeback but her voice didn’t come to her. Instead Blackberry continued, “I’ll deal with it from here. The two of you should rest instead. It has been a long day for both of you.”
Luna didn’t really have anything else that she could thing of so she followed Blackberry’s instructions. She sank into sleep. Yet even in her exhaustion she had dreams, the dreams that she was never able to escape from. The darkness swirled around her, yet there was a little different this time. There was a small glow of light from her, instead of being completely alone in the darkness she had light. Not very much light but still light.
With that small amount of light she could see of the outline of something in the darkness. Something huge, something moving. She huttled in the small light shrinking away from it, somehow the light made it even more scary. It moved out there in the darkness, waiting, always waiting. Luna knew it had always been out there in the darkness, she had felt it moving before. It didn’t speak, it never spoke. It was like Luna’s fears, her desperate thoughts were all the voice that it needed. She could see it reaching for her but before it could reach her she felt something shake her. It wasn’t a very strong shake but it was enough.
She clawed herself out of the dream to find herself laying on a bed, her bed. Blackberry and standing right next to her head and was pushing back and forth with his paw. She reached out and grabbed Blackberry pulling him to her chest. She held him there for a little bit before he eventually said, “Could you please let go. This is starting to get uncomfortable.”
Luna held him for a few more moments before releasing him. She brought her hand up to her head and rested it across her eyes. She lay there is bed for a while longer before asking, “What time is it?”
“A little after sunrise. I had planned on letting you sleep longer but you were tossing and turning in your sleep and looked like you were having a bad dream.”
“Yes.” Luna hung on that word for a while before continuing, “Yes, a bad dream. Nothing but a bad dream.”
More time passed before she spoke again, “How did I get back here?”
“Joy brought you. She was basically passed out standing but Ouroboros was still active so she was able to help bring you home. I walked with her back to her home but as soon as she reached he bed Ouroboros deactivated and she instantly fell asleep. I think Ouroboros is more exhausting for her to use then I had initially expected it to be. I expect her to be sleeping most of today. Frankly I expected you to too and I didn’t think my prodding would be successful in waking you up. However it seemed that among your other abilities you regenerate your magical powers quite quickly. “ Said Blackberry.
“I see. Well I’m glad she is alright. I was worried that something bad would happen to you during that last battle.” Luna continued to lay there thinking for a while, “We beat it then. The Elder Darkness is dead.”
“Basically. They don’t really die in the same way that humans do but it no longer exists. Hopefully you did enough damage to it that it will continue to not exist for a long while.”
“It might come back?”
“Possible. Elder Shadows are strange that way. The world they come from doesn’t follow all of the same rules that this one does and when they die here they return to that world. Yet even then they don’t come away completely unscathed. It will be weakened and will need to rebuild its power. Maybe something else from that world will keep it from ever gaining the power it needs to come back here.”
“But something else might. There will be another Elder Shadow won’t there?”
“There is always another Elder Shadow.”
“Joy won’t be able to defeat it alone.”
“She will need me.”
“Kind of a crummy choice that I am left with. I can’t really leave her to be a magical girl alone.”
Blackberry didn’t respond this time. He just stood there waiting.
“When will there be another one?”
“Soon probably, a couple of days. I week or two at the most.”
“Not very long.” Said Luna.
“It will likely be easier though. The one you fought tonight was stronger then usual.”
“Small favors I suppose. Any news on any other magical girls that you can sense?”
“Unfortunately not. The background magic makes detecting potential magical girls at long range sketchy at best. You were strong enough that I could detect you even through that and Joy was a lucky conincendence. There are almost certainly other girls who also have the potential but I will have to look for them the standard way.”
“Some help you are.”
“You must still be grumpy from lack of sleep of something. Try to go back to sleep. Considering how much power you used you should still be resting regardless of how quickly you recover magical energy.”
Luna shrugged and turned over. It wasn’t too long before she was asleep again. This her new dream might not have exactly been pleasant it was better then standing in the darkness.
The next several days passed fairly uneventfully
Later Joy told me that see was surprised when she woke up
Her mother was tending her, apparently she had been sick most of the night before
Somehow that all seemed too convenient so I asked Blackberry about it
Apparently he has a trick which lets him trick people into expecting the ordinary
It seems rather dangerous and abusable to me but some things are too convenient to question
My absence from school was not explained however
This would have been a problem except missing two days in a row was not usual for me
Returning to school however felt strange
After fighting the Elder Darkness ordinary life seemed too normal
It was relaxing in a way but I found myself excited
I kept waiting for Blackberry to tell me that there was another Elder Darkness
Sometimes my own hypocrisy is not lost on myself
Then there was the rainy day
It always seemed to rain on that day
Or at least that is always what I remember
It was just one of those days, a day you never forget
I knew it was coming just I tried to ignore it until it was here
People try to forget things that are afraid of
Or that make them say
For me this day was both
Chapter 7 - Those Left Behind
It was a rainy weekend. Normally Luna would have spent the time with the gang. They like to hang out at times like this. They had an abandoned building that they used for shelter and when everybody got together things got really interesting. However today was one of the days which Luna wouldn’t be able to be there. She had already made plans for today.
Blackberry was nowhere to be seen. That hadn’t been unusual recently because Blackberry had been off searching the town both for prospective magical girls and in case of an incursion of Elder Darkness. Luna thought that is was probably for the best that Blackberry wasn’t around.
Luna trudged through the rain across town. Eventually she got on a bus and took it to the very edge of town. From there she walked out of the town. There was a small weed covered trail leading up the mountain and she took it. Part way up the mountain she stopped and stepped off the trail. The was a meadow and Luna knelt to pick a few flowers. Then she returned to the path. Several minutes later she stopped in front of a large iron gate. There was a large wall stretching out on either side of it.
Luna pulled a key out of her pocket and unlocked the gate. She pushed it open with a grating sound. Probably nobody had been here since last year. She stepped through the gate and shut and locked it behind her. Probably nobody else would be coming. They never did, usually it was only Luna who was here.
There was a graveyard inside the walls. Stone graves spread out across the area many of them were fancy and included large statues of angels above them, kind of ironic considering who was buried here. There were even a couple mausoleums in the graveyard. Many of the graves were well worn with age and ill care. Usually the only time anybody came here was when somebody was getting buried.
Luna walked through the graveyard, past many of the grander looking graves. The one that she was looking for was a humble stone grave at the very back of the graveyard. Luna knelt before the grave and brushed off the accumulated dirt that had collected on it. She then placed the flowers that had picked right in front of it.
“Hey Terra, how are you doing?”
The inscription on the gravestone read, ‘Our Dearly Departed, Terra Star’.
“It has been, what, six years now since you died.” Said Luna, “It looks like I’m the only one who still visits you however. Mom and dad are still pretending that you don’t exist, not that that is surprising. I’m still living with Uncle and I still don’t plan on returning to that household.”
Luna sighed and looked up. The rain pored down into her face. “I’ve been doing some strange things recently. I think it is the right thing to do however. But it is dangerous, it is possible that I will end up in a grave too. There is another who is helping me however, I hope I at least will be able to protect her. I would rather not have to visit two different graves.”
The graveyard was silent except for the patter of rain on stone. The silence continued for a long time.
“I have a new power, something that isn’t part of the Star legacy. Maybe using that…” Luna paused, “Maybe using that I can find out how you died. Maybe I will find enough strength to be able to confront father. I don’t really know.”