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I Became War For You

Chapter Text

Prologue



A dark bedroom in the middle of the night, a young blonde Woman and a dark-haired Man are sleeping in a king-sized bed.

Both seem to be in unrest in their sleep and appear to nightmares. Finally the woman awakes in shock and gasps for air, which also awakes the man.

"I had a horrible nightmare", the woman says while she cuddles up on the chest of the man. Both are drenched in sweat.

"I had a nightmare too, like something is coming to cast this whole galaxy into War and Suffering".

"This is exactly what i dreamt, you think this is a vision my Love?"

"I really do hope not but we should definitly be aware."



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Somewhere in Deep Space a gigantic fleet of several hundred capital ships of every size and from every corner of the Galaxy, accompanied by thousands of starfighters, making it's preparations for their Hyperspace Jump to Combat.



We see the familiar Star Wars Text Scroll talking about the Year 40 ABY, and the Events that had happened since the Swarm Wars scrolling down, with the world famous score kicking in.



A heavily modified TIE-Aggressor passes from above and destroys the scrolling text by flying through it and the music changes.

"Bollocks! We waited long enough, i'm getting to the front formation now. Where the bloody hell is this guy again?!" The pilot bursts out in anger to her gunner.

 

Inside one of these many ships the door to a living quarter opens and a man in his early thirties bursts out running while fighting to get his flight suit on.

He almost runs over a few people as he makes his way through the ship. Passing the entrance to the bridge he stops quickly to take a look inside. Seeing some officers he hastily gets back to running through the ship, taking stairs on flight and almost running into other people. He enters a big hangar and makes his way to a single black A-Wing with dark grey stripes where a female Devaronian mechanic is already waiting.

"About time that you come, everyone else is already out and in formation."

"Sorry, i had something to finish first", he says as he puts on a sheepish grin. "Is she ready?" He asks the mechanic as he starts to climb up the steps into the cockpit.

"Armed and ready to roll, she's just waiting for you. You guys get some for me too out there", the Mechanic says while they fistbump as he's about to enter the pilot seat.

"Affirmative. Hey Karlena, take care in here too. This battle will be heavier than everything we ever experienced before." The Pilot says as he puts on his flight helmet.

"Dito and now get going boy. I heard the Admiral is already letting MP search for you."

Just in this moment a pair of military policemen shows up in the hangar, searching for someone specific.

"You're right, everybody is waiting for me to show up to the Party." As the cockpit canopy closes he gives a sloppy salute to the Mechanic.

"Glad you found time to make it here", a female computer voice sounds through the cockpit.

"I'm sorry AICA, i was busy. Sorry, sorry."

"Yeah, yeah. Busy. As always. I can imagine with what. Is this the way now, to let a Lady wait?"

"Hey, i said sorry. Plus, we're the fastest ship in the fleet anyway, we'll catch up without a problem. Systems Green and on Go?"

"Of course, i was so bored waiting for you, i checked them three times. Clearance has been given since fifteen Minutes. We're ready to take-off."

"Let's not let them wait anymore so."

"Men. First they let you wait and then they want the best out of you", the Ship answers, showing quite the attitude. He pulls some switches and the ship rises. Pulling the Joystick a bit into his direction, the ship takes off and makes it's way to the hangar exit leading into Space.

"SunTzu! Great you could finally made it to your fighter. Rest of the fleet is waiting for you to take point, and if you don't mind asap that is. Get going!" the Voice of the capital ship's captain booms through the speakers of the pilot's headset.

The pilot shrugs as his fighter passes into Space, redirecting more energy into the starfighter's engine, the snub now accelerating like a rocket.

"Alright then AICA, Showtime!"

 

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MAIN STORY



A regular guy. That’s what sums him up pretty much. He’s in his early thirties, albeit he looks a bit younger, nothing too unusal about his appearance, regular 9-5 Office Job. Oh, he was a bit of a dreamer sometimes.

But really nothing too fancy about him.

Although it was a nice day for Upper Bavaria in February it still was pretty chill and the sun was already down this evening. He just finished working and was on his way to the subway to take him further on his way home. Another day of working way too long, as it was becoming the usual lately. It’s so late that even the rush hour is over now and people already enjoy the warmth and comfort of their homes.

As he was walking down the street, which was kinda empty, understandable due the coldness of winter, he noticed two grim looking guys on street over of the next crossing, eyeing him closely. Usually he wouldn’t have mind but something inside told him, that he really should avoid those guys.

Trying to look unbothered he didn't cross the street as he would have have to but rather he changed his route. The two guys started walking over to him. Taking a glimpse back he saw the guys picking up pace so he started to do the same.

Suddenly he saw a third guy on the end of the street standing in the open door of a dark colored van.

He held in and tried to decide what to do and where to go, while the other two guys were slowly closing up to him.

Looking right and left and seeing there was no easy way to escape he began to cross the street as he heared a sports car motor incoming and with a full stop a yellow Lamborghini Huracan stopped in front of him, a mere few centimeters before it would have hit him. The guys were just a few metres away from him.

An attractive asian woman in her thirties was sitting inside the car. She teared open the passenger door with a compact pistol in hand and aimed it at the inclosing thugs.

"Come with me if you want to live!“ she shouted with a quick glance to him.

He needed a second to react before he rushed into the car, and slamed the door shut, all while the woman stopped aiming the gun and hit the gas Pedal. The Car erupted forwards.

The third Attacker tried to get back in the van while the other two pulled out guns on their own, but the super sports car already passed them and was too far gone for a clean shot.

"That was closer than i thought it would be. Are you SunTzu?“

"That’s not my actual name but yes. What the hell is happening?! Who are these guys? What the fuck did they want from me?! Who are you?“

"Names Ada, Ada Wong. Rest is a long story but you’ll get answers, as soon as we are safe.“ She checked the mirror to see if they got followed while the car speeded through the streets of the city, outwards of it.

"Ada Wong?! Like in that Video Game?“

"Yes… just like in that video game.“ she answered ironically as if it wasn't the first time she heared that.

"You do look that part too. And that phrase when you opened the door too. Is this a hidden camera prank with lots of pop culture references or what?“

"Sorry, to disappoint you, but this is not a Prank. Those guys were actually out to snatch you off the street. You get answers later, okay. I gotta try to drive as fast as possible in this icy cold without alarming the cops or those other guys catching up.“

"Okay, but didn’t you just kidnap me too kinda? I mean you’re armed and shit“

"Yes, but I didn’t draw it on you. YET. Would you mind to shut up now so I can concentrate?“

"Geez. Alright.“

The car hit the Autobahn leading away from the city center and accelerated as soon as it was allowed too. After a few minutes of nobody saying a word, Ada broke the silence.

"They won’t catch up now. God, I love German Autobahns. Listen I’m sorry, but you’re to valuable to let them catch you.“

"Me? Valuable? For whom? Who was this guys? And what about my family? Are they safe? Im just a very regular guy. I don’t have money or something!“

"Listen you get your answers, really. And your family should be safe, this is apparently just about you. But it’s not time for bullshitting around right now.

Give me your phone please, I have to check something.“

Reluctantly he handed her his mobile phone. Rolling the window down she threw it out of the car.

"What the fuck? My phone!“

"Calm down, DON‘T make me regret not pulling that gun on you. This was for our safety so they can’t trace us, okay. I’m sorry. And now shut up and let me drive please.“

Taking a closer look at her he actually saw that she was more nervous than he thought and her before shown ice cold demeanor was gone.

„Fine, but can I at least turn on the Radio?“

"Help yourself“

He turned on the Radio and searched for something soothing. Happy with what he found he recognized they’re on the way to the airport.

Beginning to get a slight headache plus the uneasy sensation of an upcoming panic attack he struggled to focus his mind and process the last few minutes while he tried to calm himself down. In between Breathing exercises he let Ada know:

"I always wanted to drive in a Lamborghini but I didn’t think it would ever be happening. Especially like this.“

She gave him a quick glimpse and threw a crooked grin before turning her view back onto the Highway. He checked the velocity and saw they were running around a 200km/ h, of course keeping the right lane reserved exclusively for them.

Although the car was going crazy fast for the season he felt slightly more relaxed than a few minutes before. Ada seemed to be an experienced driver.

"We’re heading for the airport, aren’t we? And then what?“

"If I tell you, you wouldn’t believe. But, and I know this is hard right now, trust me. We don’t mean any harm and it is very important to bring you where you are needed. I mean it.“

"If you say so Ada. If this is your real name by the way.“

He catched an amused glimpse from her and another slight smile.

After a few minutes more, the airport came in sight but they were actually driving past it, blending in with the traffic.

"Phew, I thought you bring me out of the country with a plane. Good, can we go to my home now? Just making sure, everything is alright there?“

Another glance from her.

"Fine, stay mysterious then!“

After another few minutes, Ada turned the car into a dark field way near one of the villages surrounding the airport.

"Ah, I know what will happen now. Neckshot in a lost field in the middle of nowhere. And I thought I’d die either from lung cancer or a heart attack.“

This earned him a small chuckle.

"Trust me, you gonna survive this night. I'll make sure of it“

"Hopefully better than this car, it’s a shame to take a car like this on a road like that“

"Never short of an answer, eh?“

"It’s called gallows humor, look it up.“

She chuckled another time.

"Okay we‘re here. Let’s get out.“

"Here? There‘s nothing. We’re in the middle of nowhere looking into the dark.“

"Think so?“

As they both disembarked, a strange looking plane suddenly materialized in the air and opened a ramp in it's back to walk into.

He visibly flinched.

"What the fuck! Where did that come from?!“

He never saw something like that. It actually looked more than a space ship than a plane.

"I told you. Now let’s get inside, answers are waiting.“ She said and pointed to the ramp. She gave the car a last sad glance and sighed. It was a great car and a pleasure to drive to her.

Giving her a skeptical look while she seemed to make her goodbyes with the car, he started to internally fight with himself if he should really enter. His curiosity won in the end and he boarded with Ada following close by. Inside were seats and two guys in futuristic black body armor with unknown weapons were standing post near the ramp.

Near the cockpit a single guy in a brown robe with the hood over his face, concealing his face completely, sat in one of the seats and already was strapped in. The cloaked figure seemed to be unbothered by both of them entering.

"Sit down and buckle up, we need to take off ASAP.“ Ada commanded with a hint of harshness.

As soon as he sat and fiddled with his safety harness, one of the Soldiers gave a radio signal and the hatch closed. Ada leaned over from next to him and closed the harness without trying to be tender.

"Okay, uhm. You might want to tell me where we are going?!“ he uttered while hectically looking around and than focusing on her face.

She put her left hand on his shoulder and looked him deep in the eyes.

"Listen, you seem like a pretty reasonable guy so I’m sorry to do this. Again, I promise you, that you’ll get your answers. But this is not only about you.This is about the whole galaxy.“

Speaking this sentence a syringe in the woman‘s right hand came up, and she stabbed it in the side of his neck. The world around him immediately blurred out.

"Why….“ is the last thing he could say before he passed out.

"Tell the Pilot to make the Jump as soon as we can. They’re already waiting for us on Kamino."

 




Chapter Text

Kamino

A week later:

A Lambda-Class Shuttle landed on one of the floating, storm ridden cities of Kamino, it was night. At the Landing Spot a Man concealed in Brown Jedi Robes was waiting.

A formation of Soldiers in Blue Combat Armor and two Noghri-Guards exited with a Female in white Clothes, also sporting a brown Jedi Robe.

The woman walked over to the man and hugged him, while her Escort took Point. Both pulled down their hoods and revealed the most famous twin couple in the galaxy both hugged each other now.

"Luke, it's so good to see you. How are things going?" Leia Organa, the re-voted Chief of State of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances asked her Brother.

"Leia, it's been a while. Let's go inside and speak. The weather on Kamino is not welcoming outside at all." The Grand Master of the New Jedi Order answered and lead her inside.

Leia's Security Detail followed her closely as they entered one of the Kaminoan Houses.

After some talk detailing their own being and their relatives, Leia came to the point, while they were making their way through the building.

"Will he be ready according to time? And are you sure, he is the right one?"

"He will be. We, at least partly erased parts of his memory regarding his former life. We also gave him some memory transfer like they did with the Clone Troopers in the war here. First tests showed that he's either a natural talent or already had the mechanics of combat inherited. Body Development is done via Electro Shocks, Nutritional liquids and Nano Machines. We want to live-test him three weeks under severe conditions but then he will be ready, we're starting training tomorrow, including flight training. His force potential seems to be higher than anticipated too, although he needs more training to access the force wholly. We're sure he is the one we were looking for." Luke informed Leia.

"Did you really had to erase his memory? Don't get me wrong but isn't that gonna make him unstable or dangerous? Especially since he's force-sensitive. You know i'm very worried about the Influence of the Dark Side after Jacen almost fell to the Dark Side. And the last thing we want is the Solution becoming another problem," Leia let her Brother know.

"I'm very aware of that and we thought of security details for that. The whole process is fully monitored by Cilghal as our best Healer and Kyp Durron will be his main mentor while he undergoes live training. I also think that his assignment on Terra will be the right choice as it's basically his home. Don't forget how powerful the Queen of Terra is if he should really become unstable. What about the Starfighter? Is it ready yet?" Luke ended his explanations with a question.

"I brought it with the Cruiser that took me here. The Fighter will be transfered soon. An incredible piece of technology although some of the mechanics and researchers working on it said, it's quite querulent." Leia said with a smile while looking over to Luke.

"Sounds like it would be a good friend to R2", Luke said, also smiling. "We are here".

They stopped in front of a door, waited till the automatic door opened and then stepped inside. Leia gave the soldiers and Noghri a hand sign to wait outside.

Inside the room was a big Tank with SunTzu floating inside, a bigger tube in his mouth and others around his body. He was monitored by various machines. A female Mon Cal Jedi was writting down values on a Holopad, while she observed the machines.

"So, this is the supposed Savior against Chaos?" Leia asked while she watched the tank.

"Yes, dear sister. That's our answer to the danger of Chaos."

A few hours later, Leia and Luke were back at the landing place.

"I really hope this will work out. I really worry with this situation. We get news of crimes, piracy and raids rising everywhere in the Galaxy now. I fear this is just the beginning of more dire things to come." Leia stated with a worried face.

"The Jedi are occupied with missions in the whole Galaxy too, last time we were this busy was in the Vong War. But we have to trust in the Force dear Sister. And this is what the Order and other Force-Users have foreseen, but the rest of the future lies dark and unreachable and something clouds our perception. Not ours alone, the one of our new... Allies... too. We have to be careful but I sense it is the right way."

"You know i trust you Luke. May the Force be with you." Leia said as she hugged her Brother goodbye.

"May the Force be with you too Leia. And give my regards to Father." Luke bid farewell.

"I'll give them to him. But i rarely see our old Man either these days. He's busy seeking answers, or rather followers of Chaos, up and down the Trade Routes."

"Busy working on his redemption, I see." Luke said with a slight smile.

"It seems. Bye Luke, take care."

With these words, Leia entered the shuttle with her security detail following.


Two weeks later:

A Training room on Kamino. These were prominently used for the Millions of Clone Soldiers of the GAR in the Clone Wars.

A single Storm Trooper in Armor was engaging various targets while assaulting forward. He performed mostly flawless and very fast. Oddly he wasn't not using a Blaster but rather a Machine Pistole, using Bullets.

A Man in Jedi Robes, a Kaminoan Cloner and a Storm Commando observed the scene. The Jedi was watching his chrono.

Making his way through various CQB-Objectives, he cleared the parcours and then locked his weapon. A siren sounded and the Jedi yelled over to the Trooper.

"1 Minute 27 Seconds. This is your new personal Record here. Not bad!"

The Trooper takes off his helmet and we can see the sweat drenched Face of SunTzu.

"Thank you Master Durron. But i want to try again. I think i can take the corners in Excersises 3 and 5 faster."

Above the Training Arena a group of five young women watched the scene in an observation room.

One, a blonde haired with long pigtails and prominent buns, wearing a beautiful white dress with gold ornaments and a big bow on the back and also a silver crown decorated with Crystals, as well as matching crystals as earrings, stood in front of the observation window while the other four women stood afar some distance behind her.

"Your opinions girls. You think he's the right choice?"

"Uh, i like me some European Man. He's definitly a good choice," one of the four others, also a blonde, was uttering.

"Hm, first and for all he's a Man, so i doubt he could keep up so easy", a raven haired woman stated her doubts.

"Well, that was not what i asked for", the woman in the white and gold dress sighed.

"Reading these data here, he is ready for ground combat, including basic sword fighting, was training almost nonstop the last two weeks. And he really excedes in Space and Aerial Combat, especially with his special Starfighter. Needs more Force Training tho, but that'snothing too bad to worry about for us. Mostly stable mind, just some signs of light anxiety which seems normal giving the situation. Body Modification worked as supposed. Remind me, the next time i need a diet or want to get more buff to come here. What else we have? Ah yes, he is able to lead small units on ground and in Space, a bit more experience wouldn't be bad tho, the data says. He's approved as Combat Ready and recommended as Junior Officer because of his Flying Skills. Oh, interesting, one more thing. Oddly he prefers projectile weapons over Blasters and Lasers, especially from Earth," a short blue hair woman stated, reading data from a small computer in her hands.

The woman in front looked back at the blue haired woman. "Good work. You two takes notes, this is how you actually give your queen valuable info."

This earned her an annoyed look from her dark haired woman and her blonde companion.

"If he's able to work with our standard weapons, that's definitly a plus. I talked with the Ground Branch of the Task Force and right now we just have enough Blasters and Energy Cells to arm a single Platoon in Combat." A tall, brunette woman, the fourth of the companions stated.

"Thank you, but please don't remind of the supply problems we have. I'm happy the Alliance gives us the Fighter on top for free", the leader frowned.

She took a communicator from a table inside the observation room and began to speak into it.

"We have seen enough Grand Master Skywalker. He is more than fitting for our purposes and we cannot wait for him to join our forces. Just do me a favor and make sure, that he speaks our language too, when he arrives at Crystal Tokio."

"I still think he's hot", the blonde companion remarked, gaining another irritated look from the Leader.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3: Fighting an Ace


Another week later:

Training. Training. And some more training. Alone or in small teams. Flying or on the ground.

That's basically all he was doing, since ever he woke up in that tank with tubes in his mouth, nose and all over him. He felt more fit and more sportive than ever but he was training almost nonstop with just a few breaks for sleep or hitting that Tank again. Also he didn't have much memory from before he woke up in said tank.

The only things he sure knew off were that he was from Germany on the planet earth and his nickname. Most of his other memories felt strange and like they weren't natural.

He knew things about this galaxy and warfighting, being a soldier and a starfighter pilot and all that, but all that felt like it weren't his own memories. But somehow training to fight and to fly felt right. And he especially enjoyed the flying. He felt so free and fulfilled when he was up in the sky or even space.

But Kyp Durron and the other trainers were harsh with him. From Emergency Eject Maneuvers in Space, to 40 km long forced marches with 40kg of payload, Stealth Exercises over to endless CQB and Range Drills and Sword Drills with Jedi, he done it all in the last fourteen days. Sometimes he really wondered if he ever slept or had a real break in these three weeks. Sleep depriviation was really horrible but sometimes the Jedi Trainers would use the force to revitalize him and that at least helped. Why was everybody so busy shaping him to be combat ready?

They also teached him some breathing techniques for better concentration and focus. He couldn't use the force much, although both Masters Cilghal and Durron insisted that he was force-sensitive. He could sometimes feel a strange tingeling sensation when he was really concentrated, an invisible power, a binding that controls and flows through the universe but he couldnt really really grasp it. The Jedi insisted on him doing exercises in the force nonetheless though and kept telling him to keep them up after his training as well.

They also made him the pilot of a one of a kind, modified A-Wing Snubfighter, which was painted black on the outside with anthrazit stripes used in the middle, in the usual two-tone pattern for A-Wings. Better in any ways than a regular A-Wing, it was great to fly, rather planetside or in space. Even faster than a regular RZ-1, although that seemed careless given how fast A-Wings already were, more powerful in all aspects including better shields, sensors and weapons plus lots of other modification like a self defence blaster or a small bomb bay. It even had the ability to house a second seat for a passenger in the cockpit, ready to transform into a Twoseater and back with just the click of a button.

The Fighter was a slight bit bigger than the usual A-Wings, which made for better comfort. Even with two people in the cockpit it was still narrow or uncomfortable. With one seat activated only, the pilot could even comfortably lay down and sleep in the cockpit. That sure would come in handy for long travels through the galaxy. On top the Fighter had some storage space and cargo compartments for Gear and luggage, or for weapons and Armor, if needed. The ship would make a great shuttle for one additional passenger and was very versatile in his use all in all.

One day Master Durron pushed him from Kamino to Sullust as fast as the small Ship could do. Although the record breaking time it took would have made even Han Solo proud, SunTzu was not too keen on being used as a Space Taxi. But he loved flying in Space. He really enjoyed the vastness and beauty of it, with thousands of stars and suns filling the dark void of the galaxy. It calmed him down immensly. His first time flying in outer space left him breathlessly staring as one would expect from someone who never traveled through space, although his memory told him he has been to space countless times already.

The most interesting and outstanding Feature of the A-Wing was something else although. The ship was outfitted with an Onboard-AI, way more capable than any Astromechdroid, including the capability of flying, landing and even fighting on his own, it was also capable of communication like a Droid. Called AICA, meaning Artifical Intelligence Controlled A-Wing, the Artifical Intelligence took a lot of weight from the pilot and the flight crew and also helped immense in combat. It even learned and adapted on his own.

AICA was pretty unique in her social behavior also. Somehow she acted quite sarcastically and even a bit human tempered. Because of his loneliness and the fact that he was not doing anything other than fighting and training and barely having conversations about something else with his trainers and superiors he was happy to have someone to talk to and he spent the last few weeks talking personal stuff and feelings just with his Starfighter. He sometimes felt a bit lost in between exercises and sometimes even felt panic regarding his unknown future quell inside him. Unusally the ship seemed to latch onto the social Interaction and just after a few days they were taking like friends and even shit-talking to each other than rather acting as Ship-Computer and Pilot.

The ship just wanted to fly or be flown all the time and SunTzu was more than happy with that. Sometimes he even let the ship do the basic flying from and to training while taking some rest or conversing with it.


Right now he was getting ready for a last round of combat exercise. He was told he was competing against a real Starfighter Ace, since they even granted him six hours of sleep it seemed like a real big deal but he almost felt regenerated. This time the exercise was actually taking place on a starfighter base on Tatooine, somewhat outside of Mos Eisley.

The base was pretty new and housed an XJ5-X-Wing-Squadron from the GA's RASP Force, defending and pacifying Tatooine and it's system, trying to bring some stability to the outlaw desert planet. Near the runway a tribune had been built for various spectators, including his Trainers and Master Durron.

He was told that he would meet with the leader of the planet he was supposed to be deployed after the battle too, so he imagined that him or her was watching the spectacle too, giving him a kind of insecurity because he didn't want to fail in front of his new superior.

Thinking about his new superior, it was actually everything he know about what was lying in front of him and a new superior was the only and first information he heard about plans regarding his future. And AICA's Future, his superiors and trainers insisted, was that he would stay with the wayward Fighter from now on. Regarding how he started to take liking in the unsual machine he was very glad about that. After all it felt like it was the only one to talk too.

His Callsign was SunTzu, he couldn't remember his real name anymore but that name stuck in his head, so he used it as his new name.

As he was inspecting the outside frame of the Fighter, with the Fighter itself protesting why this was actually not necessary, because she, she insisted to be a female Entity, was completely able to do all pre-flight checks on her own.

"You know, that i could just take off with out you right now, take three rounds around the planet and land in the same exact place within the same exact orientation without any of your doing. You don't trust your own ship?", the Starfighter's Computer was complaining.

"Will you shut it please? It's my last Flight Excersise and i don't want to fuck that up", he answered with a sigh.

As he was inspecting the right Laser Bank a guy in white and blue Pilot Suit with the helmet looking like a Cowboy Head came around the Fighter.

"Howdy Cowboy, so you're the Greenhorn that has to fly against me today?", the Cowboy Pilot said.

He looked up and gave the Cowboy an estimating look.

"Name's SunTzu. So you're the Ace that's kicking my butt today then?" he said with a hint of sarcasm. Honestly the sarcasm was rather played as he really was not sure how he would perform against someone with real combat experience although he spared against Master Durron in the Simulator a few times and didn't do as bad as expected. One time he even scored against his Mentor.

"Aye Partner, Name's Colt. I'm with the Star Sheriffs over at 7th Fleet and i'm the fastest Gun in the whole New Frontier".

SunTzu extended his Hand and the other guy shook it. "Nice to meet you Colt."

"Ah a Guy with Manners, same. That's a beautiful fighter. I heard she has all the right features too".

"Bet I have Cow Herder. Can't wait to make your day", the Ship answered on her own.

Colt took a moment in surprise and looked at the ship. He let out a whistle.

"Didn't expect that, the Lady can even talk. I guess this really will be an interesting match. May the best one win so."

"May the best one win, see you in the Sky." SunTzu said and the other Pilot went off again.

"Listen AICA, you have to start to be more nice to people. Next person you talk too might be high ranking officer or our new Employer."

"Yeah, yeah. I just wanted to put that Cowboy in his place already. Are you still not ready yet?"

„I guess we're good to go" he answered.

Although it was just morning the twin suns already were up high and burning down, with the planet heating up swiftly.

He closed down his Flight Suit that was Black-Anthrazit like AICA too and climbed up in the cockpit, sealing it after taking seat.

"Damn, this planet is too hot for my liking. I hate the desert." Saying that he took a sip from a bottle of water that was lying in the cockpit. After that he put the bottle in a small storage department to secure it, strapped himself in and checked the preflight status.

All systems were good to and he was waiting for the beginning of the exercise. While waiting he took a glimpse of the tribunes and he saw some people sitting there but couldn't make out much details. But he was pretty sure that Master Durron was already sitting there with some of his squad mates from Kyp's Dozen, Durron's Jedi Starfighter Squadron. All of them very capable Pilots, he spared against some in the simulations.

A few dozen meters away from his landing spot he could see the ship of Colt. A slick and rather compact Snub in silver Color with some blue and red lines and a prominent and rather big red cockpit hood.

"Any Intel we got on that ship or that guy AICA?" SunTzu asked the AI.

"Checking. Callsign Colt, Star Sheriff. Real big deal in the New Frontier up in the Western Wild Space. Pistol Marksman and seasoned Fighter Ace. The Ship is called Bronco Buster and known for Speed and agility. Not as fast and agile as me of course. Sports a nasty Blaster-Shock-Cannon and was retrofitted lately with formidable Shields and Hyperdrive. I'm not worried but this will be something else than blowing up Tie Droids or fighting against Z-95s."

SunTzu listened closely as the ship gave out the data.

"Well, we better look out for that Cannon. Lasers might be toned down for training but I don't want to find out how strong they still are."

"Awww, you are afraid something will happen to me. Thank you." the A-Wing squeaked playfully.

"It would be pretty boring without your sarcasm around when they would bring you to general overhaul after this. Who would complain about my German correctness when doing Pre-Flight" he said ironically.

"That was not what I wanted to hear. But what did I expect. And trust me, I know you would die of Loneliness without me." AICA answered him.

"Maybe you're right. Probably."

After a short pause he asked:

"Any news from Flight OPs? About getting going?"

"Negative. We're playing another round of the much-loved waiting game."

"Great. Can you cool it down a bit more in here? This planet wants me to be become a baked potato."

From his place he could see that another group of spectators arrived at the tribune and sat down, but he couldn't see who it was.

"Of course. You want a Frozen Mango Daiquiri and a foot massage too, Master?"

"If you ask me like this…"

Suddenly the Outside Communication System awoke to Life.

"Flight OP to Contestants, prepare for Take Off. Parameters for each Assembly Points are getting send over to Navicomputers. Check Weapon strength again."

SunTzu checked the Weapons again, as the new data came over.

"SunTzu copy. Laser's on T One-Zero. Ready for take off."

Both pilots took off and after passing by the tribune and the spectators flew in different directions of each other, parallel to the small landing strip the airbase had.

Out of his back mirror SunTzu could see that the Bronco Buster was quite fast. After arriving at the gathering waypoint, both Spacecraft hovered around a few dozen meters above the ground and turned around to face each other.

Flight Control came over the radio again.

"Standby. Exercises begins in 3… 2… 1… Go, go, go!

Both Fighters immediately speeded forwards and closed the distance between them fast.

"Coming to get you Greenhorn!" Colt announced over the Radio

"He's probably trying to hit us up front in the first encounter to end it quick. I got a plan! Let's see how maneuverable he is" SunTzu told AICA

Just after a few seconds both fighters came into weapon distance over the Base. Colt immediately fired at SunTzu but the Rookie pushed into steep climb and gave full thrust.

"Nice try but not enough Rook", Colt let SunTzu know as he too gave full thrust and followed him.

SunTzu and AICA climbed high with Colt in hot pursuit. Later was already shooting his Canon at the A-Wing and the shots got closer and closer because he was getting more near. SunTzu started jinking around to get less likely hit while climbing straight up in the cloudless Sky of Tatooine.

"I hope you know what you doing, his shots are getting closer!" the A-Wing let it Pilot know.

"Trust me, I have a plan. Just give full shields on the back. And shoot back for fucks sake" SunTzu replied.

"Is it too late to get trust issues?", the A-Wing answered.

The Laser Cannons of the A-Wing were 360 Degress rotatable on their pylons and AICA turned them around and returned fire.

Colt reacted to this with spinning to make hitting him harder

As the Bronco Buster's Shots got dangerously close and one already hit the shield and none of the A-Wings Shot really came close to hit the pursuer, SunTzu completely stopped the A-Wing and turned it on it's back, falling down and completing a 90 degree turn, now facing the ground front forward, he waited a few Moments, pushed the machine that was falling like a stone on a straight base and accelerated to max again.

Colt, whose ship was not as maneuverable as the modified A-Wing needed some seconds to get back to parallel course which SunTzu exploited for a sharp turn to catch the other Fighter.

"Not Bad Partner, not bad. But you're playing with the big boys here!" Colt called challengingly into the comms systems.

The Cowboy punched into a reverse looping trying to intercept the faster A-Wing that was rushing towards him.

Down on the tribune the spectators were following the fight.

A group of four woman, one of them being the blonde-haired woman with Crown, again sporting a beautiful white dress, discusses the fight.

"That looked pretty good, what do you two as professionals think?" the Crown-wearing woman was asking two of her companions that were sitting on row behind her, both young woman although a tad bit older than her former escorts, one with tomboyish short blonde hair and the other with shoulder long teal colored hair.

"I can imagine, letting the fighter fall off like that is pretty excruciating, so the pilot either is already at his last or ready to give everything. Last one would be a big plus if he could keep it up In combat." the green-blue haired woman said.

"He's not at his last, that whole action was planned. He knows that his rival has the bigger guns and more experience so he's looking for an advantage on his own. Explains the fast change into attack too. He's not running away. I'd say he's quite capable. Not as good as me of course." the short haired woman let the others know, sitting cross armed.

Both fighters dodged each other and span into a dogfight with neither of both gaining the upper hand although both were very much trying to get the other. What SunTzu lacked in Experience AICA made up.

After another lengthy spinning around each other, Colt's voice came in over Intercom.

"You're way better than I thought Partner. What about if we finish this as sportsmen in a good old face to face duel. No Shields. Just who's the better shot."

"Yippie-Kay-yee on that Cowboy, let's finish this." Said SunTzu to accept the challenge.

"Okay here's the deal, back to the start and then we get at each other frontal."

Both fighters aborted their actions and made their way back to their respective starting points.

"What are they doing now? They just stopped and parted?" the crowned Woman asked.

"They saw that they're at pretty equal strength and decided to finish this the old fashioned way I guess. This will be fun to watch." the short haired Blonde replied.

SunTzu made his way back to the gathering waypoint and swung around, hovering there, waiting for the signal to start.

When both were in position, they turned off their shields. Colt announced another challenge on top over the comm system.

"What do you say we make this even more entertaining with a little suicide pass before shooting each other. Loser pays drinks."

"Gotcha!" SunTzu replied to the other Space Jockey.

He tilted the A-Wing's Cannons on 90 Degrees upward to show he was not going to shot. On the other point, Colt let his retractable Cannons go back into his Fighter.

"Okay, now I really have trust issues! Do you have any idea what you're doing?", AICA asked SunTzu.

SunTzu just agreed to a game where two pilots fly frontal towards each other, the faster the better and the one that turned away last won. It was a very risky game, which already costed countless of adventurous pilots life, especially giving that both pilots were flying such fast space crafts.

SunTzu felt panic quell in the reasonable part of his mind, while his guts and pride told him, he did the right thing in accepting the challenge. For a split second he was unsure to not cower back but his instinct won. It was crazy tho and even if he and AICA already flew some harder simulated dogfights they never risked so much.

Both Pilots counted down from three and on the count of zero put their machines into

Full throttle forward. Both passed the sound barrier in a mere seconds, racing towards the respective other.

"This is insane. Do you want to know the possibility that we will die?" his Starfighter asked SunTzu.

"Not now AICA, I'm a bit busy right here." He said through clenched teeth while he shoot towards the base.

The Spectators were onlooking with binoculars, which wasn't easy giving the speed both Spacecraft were rushing towards each other, when the short haired blonde commented that both Fighters were rushing at each other with deactivated weapons and that they probably were having a quite suicidal dare.

"Those two sure know how to entertain a crowd. This is more than risky!"

The leading woman seemed to be a bit shocked about this, it seemed insane at this high speed to even try it.

She interlaced her fingers and sent a small arrow prayer to Heaven that both pilots wouldn't be harmed in their risky dare. All the onlookers held their breath as the fighters boosted into the Base's Airspace.

It felt like Time stopped. As he was speeding towards his contrahent it felt like he could see and feel everyone's energy on the base a few dozen meters before him. He could feel Masters Cilghal's and Durron's and even the other on the tribune assembled Jedi's Power as a Light. He could feel an immense Light, stronger than the others in Base's Tower, next to also strong, fiery glowing light power, and a mixture of both nearby, although not as powerful as the original ones. There was also another Power, not light but rather dark and consuming and almost as powerful as the lightest one in the Tower.

He knew it was the force he was feeling, the bindings of the universe. And that he just completely became a part of it.

But above all shone one light, stronger than all the others, on the tribune at the place the last group that arrived went. It was different, not the force but something different but feeling even more powerful than the force. Around that Amplitude of Light three other shining lights, although less radiating were feelable. He also could feel Colt, hard minded and not ready to loose this challenge, risky as it would be, pressing towards him in the Bronco Buster and he Instantly knew how he had to maneuver to not go down in blaze of explosive glory. Feeling AICA is she was an extension to himself he more precisely maneuvered the A-Wing than ever before.

Time came back but it felt like Slow Motion, the following few seconds both fighters first steeply descended down on the landing strip , just a few metres above ground, heading towards each other at insane speed. None of either wanted to lose. Both ships turned a bit too the side to pass each other side ways just a few eye blinks before crashing into each other, their wings a mere few decimeters above ground and they passed each other so near that their shields would have actually collided if they were activated, both looked at the other's face, they were so near that they could see each other's faces through their cockpit hoods.

They passed each other and both threw their fighters into a steep climb.

The people on the tribune let out their air again as the fighters parted. Some of the Jedi Pilots, the short haired blonde and Kyp Durron cheered as the Pilots exited the base. The whole thing lasted just a few seconds.

"Yeehaw! That was something else! Even closer than the one I did with Fireball back then! You got Cojones, Rookie!" bursted Colt out of the comms.

"Phew… That was… exciting. I never thought anyone would fly me like that you maniac, you!", even AICA let out an surprised comment.

SunTzu just grinned. He still could feel the force flowing through him, although he was not so focused anymore and his sensations were pretty much back to normal after his concentration slipped slightly after actually pulling this stunt.

"What about we count this as draw and make up the winner with our guns?," Colt supposed over the Radio.

"Affirmative, try, come and get me!" SunTzu told him.

"Dear AICA, would you please be so kind and activate the guns again? It's time for the grande Final" SunTzu told AICA. The Ace Pilots respect boosted his confidence that he was able to bring this one home.

"Alright, Guns activated and rotating back to front. After him!" AICA let him know.

Colt also activated his Cannons again also and both Pilots threw their machines into Immelmann Maneuvers to get back at each other.

"Wow, that was crazy, I never seen this pulled so close," the short haired blonde stated. "And now those two maniacs will finally finish this!"

Both fighters were racing towards each other again in a similar manner but not as fast as before, trying to get a good shooting position, to finish finish the duel.

A few moments later both were over the Base's Airspace again, aiming but not shooting at each other yet. Both pilots wanted to end it with one clean shot. The spectators held their breath again and just a few heartbeats later, not even fifty meters apart from each other both fighters opened fire.

Both pilots were sure that they shot beforehand the other but actually opened fire in the same mere moment.

The victory confident grin of both vanished instantly when both heard the hit alarm in their cockpits. Flight Control declared a draw while the two parted once again.

After the first few curse words being yelled inside their ships about the absurdity of the result, they opened comms again.

"I underestimated you rookie, that was some great flying. Congratulations to almost beating me."

"Thanks Cowboy, congratulations to a fair draw too. Almost got you there!"

Flight Control ordered both of the Fighters back to land and on ground the spectators discussed what they just saw. All of them were pretty impressed.

"I'll take him, if only to have someone to keep her grounded!" the teal hair colored woman said, pointing her finger on the tomboyish blonde next to her.

The short haired woman sourly expressed her opinion that she doesn't need someone to keep her in line but also let the other women know, that she definitely would take the pilot as Comrad.

The fourth woman, a tall, exotic looking dark green haired woman, a few years older than the others gave her opinion on things

"He seems to be a solid warrior and pilot but don't you think he could also mean trouble for us? Just pulling this actions like this one right now?"

Oh, trust me, i'm sure he will be Trouble. But it's up to us to make sure he'll be trouble for the enemy and not for us." The Leader paused and nodded.

"Good, thank you all for your input, I made up my mind. We'll take him, let me talk to the Jedi. I want him on Earth by me talk to Grandmaster Skywalker about this." the Queen of the Sol System announced.

The pilots landed their fighters on their assigned spots near the runway.

After shutting down the engines and taking off his helmet, SunTzu took a big sip of the Water he stored earlier.

AICA was still jabbering about the fight and how much fan she had.

He was just smiling and nodding while listening to her.

He let out big sigh, and said:

"Thank you AICA, we either would be Debris on the runway or the laughingstock of the whole Base without you."

"Wouldn't be still here without your great flying today my dear", the ship answered flirtatious.

He smiled and knocked fondly on the console.

"You already know you're the best."

"Stop, you'll make me blush," the Artificial Intelligence answered.

"Flight Control to SunTzu, precede to Landing Spot 16 after Dismount." the Tower came in over the Voice Comms

That was probably his new superior waiting for him to introduce himself. It was about time and he was excited to see his new CO.

"About time we find out, where and to whom we move next. Do the after-flight-checks, I'll be back", he ordered AICA.

The Ship opened the canopy, he strapped out and climbed out of the fighter.

As he was about to walk off to the other end of the runway where Landing Spot 16, Colt came up to him, donning his real Cowboy-Hat instead of the helmet again

"That was one wild ride Partner! Are you sure you don't have any combat experience? I definitely wouldn't think you're a Rook if I wouldn't know," the Star Sheriff said and walked over.

He extended his Hand and SunTzu and him traded a firm handshake between two even opponents.

"As far as I know, never. But I had some help from the force I guess. Great flying from your side. You almost had me in the beginning." SunTzu told him.

"Ah, You're a Jedi so? Explains a lot." Colt answered.

"No, not a Jedi. Just been told I'm force sensitive. Whatever that means." SunTzu told with a shrug.

"I see. Anyways, since we both lost I think we both have to pay each other's tap. Unfortunately I just got told that I need to go back to the New Frontier immediately. Something is brewing up there. But if you ever come around let me know. We could use some guys like you up there." Colt told him.

"Trust me, I'll holla should I get there. Right now I don't even know where I'll be going next." SunTzu let him know.

"Till next Time SunTzu, take care!"

"You too, see you around Colt."

Colt tipped his hat then walked off. SunTzu turned and walked off the short distance to where he was ordered to go.


On his way he could identify a beautiful Royal Nubian Yacht, shining in bright silver, parked at Landing Spot 16. There was a group of four people waiting in front of it.

He could spot that there was a young, elegant dressed woman with long blonde hair standing in most front.

A few steps behind her three other woman in short Sailor themed Dresses of different colors were standing. The tallest was holding a long staff.

He closed the distance and could make out that the woman in front was also wearing a crown together with her white and golden dress and he figured she was not only the leader but probably his new superior as well. He started wondering from which system they came from.

The other three woman looked sort of a security detail and he figured that they were exactly that. All four of them were very attractive in their own way, even the short haired blonde Tomboy in the Middle.

He stopped a few steps in front of the leading woman and saluted in a formal manner.

"2nd Lieutenant SunTzu, reporting in. I was ordered to this Landing Spot Ma'am. How can I be of Service?"

"SunTzu so. Let us introduce ourself. We are Neo Queen Serenity, Leading Ruler of the Sol System. It applies, we are your new Superior, Lieutenant." The Queen introduced herself.

Regarding that his new superior was Royality, SunTzu was thinking hard how to make a good start and so he curtsied and replied.

"I'm sorry your Highness, I didn't know you were a queen. I am honored that you chose me for duty in your Stellar System."

"Oh, a Man with Manners. We are delighted."

She held out her hand and he gave her a kiss on the hand. She blushed slightly and when he saw that he immediately pulled back. He was really hoping that he didn't overdo the formal stuff but he never stood in the face of royality and was navigating pretty blind through the etiquette.

The three other woman exchanged amused looks but remained quiet.

"Allow us to introduce my accompanying Guardians.

"Sailor Neptune", the teal haired woman nodded with a slight bow

"Sailor Uranus", to where the short haired in the Middle just nodded slightly.

"And Sailor Pluto." The tall woman wielding the staff, which held a Garnet Orb at the top nodded also.

"You'll be given the coordinates to your new post subsequent to this meeting. Be there latest by tomorrow noon Coruscant Standard Time and we will discuss the rest including your role in our kingdom." the Queen let him know.

"Yes Ma'am, I will be there on time your Majesty", SunTzu replied, standing in Attention.

"We will part now and await your and your ships arrival. May he have a pleasant flight." She said.

"Thank you your Royal Highness. May your return be pleasant too." He saluted again.

The Queen turned around and left for the ramp of her Yacht with her Guardians falling into step after nodding one last time to SunTzu, which he replied with a slight bow.

As they were out of Earsight, Sailor Uranus approached Serenity and quiet but asked amused.

"What the fuck was that Usagi. Why were you talking in third person about you?"

"This is how a real Queen behaves my dear Uranus. With Grace." Usagi answered in a formal tone.

"We'll you blushed with grace at that hand kiss." Uranus stated smiling.

Usagi held up a hand in a silencing manner but walking up the ramp into the Yacht she suddenly slipped and would have fallen if Sailor Uranus wouldn't have catched her.

"As you said my Queen. With Grace." Uranus told her Queen, suppressing a laugh. The other two Senshi also had to cover their mouths not to laugh.

"As I said. Trouble." Pluto stated.

Fortunately for Usagi, SunTzu didn't see her almost fell because he already was on the way back to AICA to tell her, who their new superior was and that they'll be leaving soon.


He was around half way when Master Durron closed in to him.

"Good Job out there SunTzu. You held your own pretty good. And I felt your awakening in the force, can you still feel It?" The Jedi Master asked his Protege.

"It was there Master and I felt every being and the bindings of the universe but I almost lost it completely shortly after again. Guess I'm not made to be a constant in the force." SunTzu explained.

Durron put both his shoulders on his neck.

"I know the last three weeks were hard and you got so may questions. But trust me, that these will be answered in time. The force works in mysterious ways so don't give up believing in it and do your exercises. Every step is a step. Don't overpressure yourself with this. Rushing the ways of the force leads into Darkness, I speak out of experience. Everything will fall into place when it is it's time.

"Thanks a lot Master, trust me i'll take it to heart. I promise I'll try my best."

"This I know SunTzu. I'll see you later over at mess, the Dozen wants to lunch with the crazy rookiee pilot that almost beat the best pilot in the new frontier."

"It will be my pleasure Master. See you later."

Master Durron left again and SunTzu continued his way back to AICA.

"Yo, rocket-powered Chess Computer, I found out where we going next. Their Queen just told us to be in Sol System by tomorrow." He let the Starfighter now, joking around a bit because he felt great about how things were going.

"I pretend I didn't hear the Chess Computer Part my dear Meatbag Boss but for real. Queen? Do you still you need a Starfighter or rather a Mace?" the Fighter Craft replied.

"Yes Queen, Neo-Queen Serenity of the Sol System. And damn, if all the woman in the Sol System are as beautiful as she and her Guardians I'm gonna do my job just for bord and lodging." SunTzu was swarming.

"Bord and Lodging won't get you far with woman. Or Tibanna Gas. And don't forget who was the only female that was there for you the last few weeks." AICA complained playfully.

"Awww AICA, you know you will always be the Numero Uno."

"Really hope so. When are we leaving?"

"We have to be there before tomorrow noon Coruscant Standard. I'm going to get the ground crew to fill you up and grab a bit with Master Durron and the Dozen. I was thinking to leave after dinner." He told his starfigher.

"Flight Plan will be ready but make sure the ground crew shows up before. This girl needs her tank full." AICA answered.

"I'll get over there right now. Be back soon."

He walked off and made his way to the ground crews quarters to get someone to fill up the A-Wing.

And he had to get out of those Twin Suns, the heat they emitted began to really get exhausting.

SunTzu had a extensive lunch with Kyp, the 13 other Pilots of the Jedi Master's squadron and his other Trainers that also joined the group. His draw against Colt was the talk of the day and a lot of the pilots asked him to spare against them too. SunTzu had to politely decline the offers because of his new orders tho.

After Lunch SunTzu said his goodbyes and left back for AICA. Master Durron accompanied him and told him some small tricks for meditation and Force Training which he could do on his own.

"I'm sure you will make your way in the Universe but never forget that the force is boundary less and leads us where we need to be. And don't forget the easy way is not always the way of the Light. Sometimes we need to suffer to grow stronger in the force. Oh and regularly do these breathing exercises I showed you. You need to focus more." Master Durron let him know.

They arrived at the Starfighter and watched the ground crew finish their work with filling the A-Wing up.

As soon as they finished, AICA opened the cockpit and declared that she was getting ready for Take Off.

A small group of people approached them.

He turned and saw that it was Master Cilghal, a Woman in the Uniform of the Galactic Alliance Intelligence Service and the first Grandmaster of the New Jedi Order himself.

Even with his force sensitiveness toned down again, SunTzu could feel the sheer energy in the force Master Skywalker was emitting. He bowed down slightly and greeted the group.

"Grand Master Skywalker, Master Cilghal, Ma'am. It's an Honor, Master Skywalker."

"That was some pretty good flying Lieutant. And I felt you tapped into the force. How did it feel." Luke asked him.

"It felt… it felt right. And expletive, like something that comes natural and always should have been. I could feel the bindings of the universe." SunTzu answered.

"The Force is flowing through all things. That's why it feels so natural." Luke paused.

"You're heading off to the Sol System now? The Neo Queen is a very visionary Woman and I feel she will be very important for the Galaxy's Future although Terra seems rather unimportant on the Galactic Scale now. Take good care of her and her Guardians."

SunTzu bowed and replied "I will do my best Master Skywalker."

"Special Agent Wong has a Gift for you," Luke said and made a gesture to the exotic Woman in the Intelligence Service Uniform

The GAIS Member stepped forward, she seemed very familiar to him, so he asked.

"Have we met before? You seem familiar." SunTzu asked her.

"Sorry to disappoint you, but I think we never had, Name is Ada Wong." She replied with a smug grin and shook his hand.

"Take this chrono, it has an built-in communicator, including the ability to communicate with your ship. A gift from the Galactic Alliance for passing your training. Furthermore, I'll be your and Terra's contact person with the Galactic Alliance Intelligence Service Headquarters, so let's keep in contact."

He took the watch, examined it shortly and put it on his wrist.

"Thanks a lot, I'll do." He said with a sincere smile.

"I'll be your contact within the Order, so don't mind to contact me whenever you feel to or need help regarding your Force Training," Master Cilghal told him.

"Thank you Master, I'm sure I'll contact you soon." SunTzu said with a nod.

"You should get going now." Luke told.

He shook everyone's hand and told:

"May the force be with you."

Luke answered while the rest nodded respectfully, "May the Force be with you Lieutenant, always."

SunTzu boarded his A-Wing and closed the Canopy.

"Are we ready AICA?"

"We are ready, clearance for Take Off has been granted" the AI answered

"Thank you. Let's start our new journey the ". He turned on the Repulsorlifts and took a last look at the small group that bid him farewell. After giving a last salute he took off.

The A-Wing took off into the searing air of Tatooine and speed into the sky.

Soon they made the jump to Hyperspace and SunTzu pulled his seat a bit back and got laid back a bit. He took a look out into the stars and closed his eyes to relax them a bit. Tatooine's Climate was demanding. And using the force drained a lot of energy out of him too.

Chapter Text

 

If everything went according to plan they would arrive in the morning CST (Coruscant Standard Time) and the trip would take several jumps. The Ship and pilot decided to avoid the newly established Coruscant Trade Exchange going from Coruscant straight north to the Shwuy Exchange, with Terra being one of the passing planets, to avoid possible Pirate Contacts and rather travel from Brentaal up the Hydian and then the regular Shwuy Exchange.

Pirate Fleets, Marauders, Slavers and any kind of other scum were popping up everywhere these days, with some of those groups rivaling planetary defense fleets in terms of firepower. Most of the commercial ships tried to stay clear of the minor non fully protected hyperspace routes and rather took the major routes that were protected the GA Fleets and the Jedi.

„What a day. First we battle the best pilot in the New Frontier, then the Queen of Terra shows and now we met Grandmaster Luke fucking Skywalker. Who‘s next? Darth Vader?“ SunTzu let out and opened his eyes again, smiling slightly.

„I can inform you that the Supreme Commander is far away from this part ofthe Outer Rim, currently chasing Pirates and Marauders on the Perlemanian.“ AICA let him know.

„You‘ve been hacking yourself into the Holonet again, haven‘t you?“ SunTzu asked the AI.

„I was bored at the Landing spot and you know how important it is to be up-to-date. Knowledge wins Wars my dear Space Jockey.“

„Probably the most sophisticated Fighter Craft in Existence and she‘s curios about gossip“. SunTzu said with a long sigh.

„Hey, it’s not that I was checking out the latest Holodrama.“ AICA stated angrily, at least for a starship.

„Geez, that was just a joke. But talking about Information. What do you have about Terra and the Sol System. I wanna know about the place we‘re heading now.“

„Coming over, Check the DataPad.“ AICA said.

SunTzu grabbed a datapad from an integrated compartment and started reading.

„Hey SunTzu, you‘re from Earth, Right?“ AICA asked.

„Yeah, well at least I think I do. Why you asking?“ he asked?

„You do know that Terra is the Galaxy Standard Name for a Planet whose inhabitants call Earth?“ AICA explained.

„You’re kidding me, right?“ SunTzu asked surprised.

„Now, you can read it in the data. Sol System is a Solar System of 9 Planets and various moons. The only inhabited world is Terra, usually called Earth by his inhabitants.“ the Fighter recited.

SunTzu was completely perplex.

„So basically we’re going home. Feels strange and unknown. I never heard that Earth and Terra are the same. This is strange. But you know, everything before the time in the tank is feeling unreal and distant. Maybe some kind of Amnesia or so. Guess we have to find out, like everybody proposes. Inform me when something comes up, im gonna do some research here.“

He began reading the Datapad, starting with information of the planets of the Sol System.



A few hours later:

„Wake up sunshine, we just arrived at Brentaal.“ AICA announced over the speakers inside the cockpit.

SunTzu jumped up in his seat. Outside the briskly space traffic of the Core World‘s Trade Planet was busy going in and out of System. He also saw various Military Capital Ships patrolling the System.

„Damn, how long have I been gone? Sorry, I fell asleep reading.“

„Exactly 73 Minutes. You napped away reading.“

„Shit, i didn’t wanted to, but I guess I read enough about the Sol System and it’s inhabitants for a bit. The Neo Queen, the King and her Guardians seem to be an very extraordinary group of people. Not Force-Sensitive but with remarkable powers nonetheless. Excited to find more about that.“

„We’re ready for the jump to the Shwuy Sector, you good to go too?“ AICA asked

„Hit it!“ SunTzu replied.

The A-Wing made the jump and the stars became the well-known long lined lines as they did in Hyperspace. They had roughly two-thirds regarding distance of their journey done. Before he fell asleep he spent hours learning about his new, old home in this Galaxy.



He just took a break when they arrived at the Corellia System and he got mesmerized by the crazy amount of traffic all over the System. He could watch this spectacle the whole day, Or was it night, but he had orders and a rather firm schedule, so they left for Brentaal after a few minutes.

He grabbed a nutrition bar in one of the Cockpits compartments and began eating it.

„My favorite flavor. Nothing.“ he remarked sarcastically. He gulped it down with some water and checked the systems. Everything was going fine so he decided to take some more sleep.

„Im gonna catch some more sleep AICA. Wake me up when something comes up or we arrive at Uviuy Exen please.“

„Will do Boss. Sleep tight.“ the ship replied and downed the lights inside the cockpit so SunTzu could sleep better. She sure was one of her kind SunTzu thought before he fell asleep again.

AICA woke him up when they fell out of Hyperspace in the Shwuy Sector near the planet of Uviuy Exen.

He yawned and stretched.

„Damn, I can’t imagine how annoying this trips would be in a regular A-Wing where you can’t lay back. By the way, you know what this ship is missing?”

“A proper motivated pilot?” the A-Wing asked mockingly.

“Probably. But even more, some music.”

“Music, I can play music. Just give me a sec till I tap into the nearest Holonet-Receiver and load some down.”

A few moments some local music from the system began playing from the speakers.

 

After listening for a while we AICA was rearranging for the next jump he opened up.

“Nah, I’m not feeling this. Is this all we have?”

“Right now yes. You don’t like the local music you philistine?” She asked.

“It’s really not mine. Guess that means no music then. Whatever tho, we gotta get going anyway. But I’ll see this at earth, I need more entertainment on this long flights.”

This time he controlled the jump to hyperspace on its own. Just this and another jump and they’ll be there. It was about time.



As soon as they were back in Hyperspace he got back to reading informations about Sol. This time he stayed awake.



Pretty soon they arrived at the crossing from the Shwuy Exchange to the Coruscantian Trade Exchange, which consisted of a XQ-Customs Space Station and a Navbouy/ Holonet-Transmitter, SunTzu checked in with the station and asked about any important informations regarding the route of his final spurt.

The Customs Station didn’t have any impeding warnings so he and AICA soon made her last jump before arriving at their new post.



Around thirty minutes later they were coming out of Hyperspace on the programmed course somewhere between Terra and it’s Moon.

He had a wonderful view of the blue and green Disk hanging in space and his heart skipped a beat because he was so excited to be home again.

 

Soon a controller of Terra’s Space Control Agency came on over Radio and asked for Identification.

“Callsign SunTzu, consisting of Galactic Alliance A-Wing AICA 001, piloted by 2nd Lieutenant SunTzu, Service Number 11022019, reporting in as ordered by Neo Queen Serenity. How copy?” The pilot answered.

“Copy loud and clear Lieutant. Wait one.” the dispatcher told. A few moments later the controller came in again.

“SunTzu, head to course 079 over to Earth Space Defence Force Ship Selene for further identification and orders. Over.” the Dispatcher ordered

“Wilco, SunTzu heading course 079 over to Space Ship Serenity for further ID and Orders. SunTzu Out”

 

With that he took a break left and took a course to a small fleet of three starships hanging near the Southern Hemisphere of Terra. The overall space traffic around Terra was rather low, with just a few ships going in and out. SunTzu read, that Terra had a dozen spaceports in major Cities or Airports for in and outgoing traffic but no Space Trade Station yet.

He closed the distance to the small Defense Fleet fast and could make out the ships soon. The fleet consisted of two rather new Ranger Class Gunships and a Majestic-Class Cruiser. AICA’s Database identified the big Ship as the Selene, the Flagship of the Earth Space Defence Force Fleet and the two escorting Gunships as Arctica and Antarctica. Not the worst package of Firepower to defend a planet system he thought to himself.

“ESDF Cruiser Selene to SunTzu, how copy, over?” came over the comms.

“Copy loud and clear Selene, standing by for orders.”

“Roger, close in for visual identification and escort for descent to planet. Over.”

“Affirmative, SunTzu closing in.”

 

He flew the rest of the way to the fleet and stopped in front of it.

“Visual ID verified. Wait one for Escort. Welcome to the Sol System Lieutenant.” the Cruiser transmitted.

From the Cruiser’s Hangar a single A-Wing of regular configuration and the usual red and grey color scheme took off and flew over to SunTzu and AICA.

“Captain Lewis to SunTzu, come in Lieutenant.” the other A-Wing came in for SunTzu

“SunTzu listening, have my regards Captain.” SunTzu answered

“You’re good in time Lt. I’ll be your escort to Crystal Tokyo, Terra’s Capital. Fall in five o’clock and follow.” the Flight Captain ordered.

“Affirmative, falling in on your five.” SunTzu said as he moved his Snub in Position.

 

Following close behind the right side of the superior Officer both A-Wings began the descend to Terra.

 

Captain Lewis was flying pretty fast but It was not really problem for SunTzu to keep in formation. Soon they were entering into the atmosphere over the Pacific and descended deeper.

Above the clouds they leveled and slowed down and the Captain came over Radio again.

“Ever been to Crystal Tokyo, Son?”

“Negative Sir, not that I can remember.”

“Oh you’ll love it, it’s such a beautiful place.”

They broke through the clouds and SunTzu found himself heading to the Tokyo Bay Area.

 

Captain Lewis took a loop over the bay and lower districts of the city, probably to give SunTzu a first view of the city.

As he read before, Crystal Tokyo was build on a offshore part in the Bay, and connected with three Bridges to the rest of the regular Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

 

The island was bigger than he expected with some parts urban including high skyscrapers and some looking like parks and nature. He also saw an small airfield and

what looked like Barracks in the southern part of the isle. The most prominent feature was a beautiful palace building lying in the southern most part, with the backside reaching to the coast.

In the middle of the buildings was a tower looking like a single piece of Crystal overlooking the bay and island.



“Wow…” SunTzu pressed out and Marvin responded with a “Told you Boy”.

“Okay, let’s land. We’re landing at the Royal Air Base near the palace. I’ll guide you in. Clearances are given.”

That being said, they both swung around and town and headed to the Airfield.

“Just land on the spot next to mine.” The other Pilot told SunTzu.

 

Both A-Wings touched down in an interval of a few seconds and turned off their engines.

“Congratulations to your first touchdown in Crystal Tokyo. Here’s to many more Lieutenant.” Cpt. Lewis said.

Both pilots got out of their cockpits and walked over to each other. Captain Lewis took off his helmet. He was a black man at the beginning of his forties and came over with a welcoming smile.

SunTzu took down his helmet and saluted.

“Lieutenant SunTzu, reporting for Duty, Sir!”

Marvin returned the salute and hold his hand out.

SunTzu took it and both shared a firm handshake.

“Welcome to Earth, SunTzu. Name’s Marvin Lewis, I’ll be your Squadron Leader.“

„Nice to meet you Captain, happy to finally get here.“ SunTzu told.

„I can imagine. Quite a way from Tatooine to here, especially in a fighter craft. Listen, I’m really terrible sorry but i got some urgent things to take care off with flight control. Since you’re ahead of schedule I suppose you head over to pilot center over there and take some time to refresh and grab some chow. A vehicle will take you from here to the palace, ETA 30-35 minutes. Okay?“ Marvin said and pointed to a building near the landing sites.

“I could really use a shower and some food, so that sounds great. I’ll be back in time.”

“Great, now please excuse me. I’ll see you later SunTzu.” Marvin said nodded and head off to another building.

SunTzu got back to AICA and opened one of the cargo compartments.

“You gonna be okay here AICA? I’m just getting myself fresh and will be heading to the palace soon.”

“Don’t worry I’ll be good, I’ll go to Standby for now. Might try to get some music and the latest news for you later on. Have fun at the palace and try to not start trouble with Royality.” the AI said.

“Will do. See you later. If something comes up, contact me on the Chrono.” Saying that he grabbed a bag with sanitary items, fresh underwear and one of his formal GA Uniforms from the Cargo Compartment.

Afterwards he closed the compartment while AICA closed the canopy and went to standby. He then walked over to the pilot center.






After introducing himself at the Guard Post, one of the soldiers stationed there brought him to the pilots lounge were nobody were but at least it had coffee, beverages and some Sandwiches. After a quick breakfast he headed for the sanitary rooms and took a quick shower.

 

He then shaved the bit of stubble he gained since yesterday and changed into his Uniform including the Hat. After making sure he looked presentable he walked back out and to AICA, twenty some minutes had passed and after putting his used Flight Suit back into the A-Wing he waited for the shuttle to the Palace, which buildings where clearly visible from the airbase. Especially the Crystal Tower draw his interest. It looked beautiful and in no way artificial. He really wanted to know what was up with the unusual building. The rest of the palace was beautiful too tho. Looking a bit like Versaille or Sansouci the Palace was rather spacious.

The Pilot waited another few minutes will soaking up the looks of his surroundings when a open Humvee with a driver approached AICA and stopped in front of SunTzu and the ship.

The driver, a young corporal from the Palace Guard, greeted him formally and SunTzu got in. They left for the Palace and after a few minutes arrived at the main entrance.



The Main Entrance consisted of a big paved walkway with four large water pools, two on each side leading to the entrance of the main palace building that in his middle had a

big dome like tower with a Cresecent Moon on top and with wings going out from both sides. A Wall was securing the complex. Behind the dome towered the Crystal tower with a height of at least 100 meters. For vehicles there were two parallel streets side of the pools and leading to parking lots outside the wall.

The Humvee stopped at one of those and SunTzu got out, thanking the Corporal for the ride. The Corporal informed him that someone would get him soon there to get to the Throne Room.

 

As he was waiting there he spotted three cats sitting on a low leveled projection of the Palace Wall. A black and a white cat and a grey kitten, what he believed was the cub of the two older cats.

He made some noises to draw their attention and while the white cat just looked at him sceptical, he draw the black and grey cat’s attention. They got up and jumped down the projection. The white one got up and looked alarmed.

SunTzu was expecting him to be the father, alarmed about his family. Closer to him now he could see, that the cats had golden crescent moons on their forehead. He thought that to be strange but explained it to himself that it’s probably some special Pet cats belonging to the Queen, maybe something religious like the Temple Cats of the Pharaohs. The white cat finally jumped down too. He kneeled down and made some more Pshh Pshh sounds and extended his hand. While the adult cats hesitated the small grey kitten joyfully run up to him and rubbed her head on his hand. Giving the parents a checking look if they looked I unpleasant he started to pet the kitten. The kitten answered with loud purring and soon the black cat came over too. She started sniffing his hand and then rubbed her head on it too. Now he started petting both cats while the white one was just sitting a few metres away, monitoring the scene. The Kitten and the black cat both purred loudly.

 

“Hey you two Beauties. Such nice Kitties.” He said.

After a while of getting petted the mother nudged the kitten which made the kitten go back to her father. Father and Cub then left back to the projection and after the father gave him another long stare climbed up further and disappeared on the wall.

The Mother left last and before she jumped up looked a last time back. SunTzu could have sworn she gave him a wink.

 

Soon after the cats left another soldier of the Royal Guard got to him, this one in a white and gold Guard Uniform including a white coat and a sheathed Scimitar hanging on his side.

“Lieutenant, if you would follow me please. I’ll take you to the Royal Chambers.” the Guardsman said.

SunTzu fell in line behind him and while walking up to the Palace Entrance took the time to study the beauty of the Palace and it’s surroundings again.

 

Walking up the stairs and entering through tall gigantic doors into the palace SunTzu saw a lot of Guards on Duty. Some armed with Scimitars and Lances, other armored with decked out Assault Rifles and armored with Plate Carriers and Helmets, these were positioned less visible from the outside tho. He also saw some Sniper Teams the Wall and hidden inside some windows of the building.

The guard seemed ready but not alerted although for a palace guard the number of combat ready guards seemed odd. He wondered what was going on here.

They passed all the way through the Palace Building and even crossed the domed part of the building, revealing a big ballroom. On the backside they left for a lush and beautiful garden inside the palace middle with another beautifully paved way leading Into the Crystal Tower. He could see that the tower had also wings protruding at the floor level. Some Crystal tips were extending from them, looking like they grew out of the top of the wings and giving the building the look of a real Crystal.

Two Guardsman were standing on Guard at the door of the Tower. The leading Soldier told SunTzu to enter and wait in front of the door till he was called up to enter.

The soldier then left and the two other guardsman opened the doors for SunTzu to enter. Inside the tower looked more like traditional architecture although everything was sparkling with prisms reflecting the sun from the Crystal walls. He entered into a waiting Area where a few white and gold decorated chairs where at the wall next to a big door in the middle with hallways leading down left and right. The Crystal was so clear it mirrored one’s reflection. SunTzu used this to check his appearance a last time. He was sure to meet the Queen again behind that door and he got excited what assignments she would give him.



He waited In front of the door and decided against sitting down, not only because he wanted to be at attention if he got called in but more because he was too nervous to sit down right now. SunTzu had no idea what would happen now. Which orders and deployments would come now? And how would the Queen really treat him, now that he was here. The queen‘s guardians weren’t acting too fond towards him either he remembered.

SunTzu could use a cigarette right now came into his mind. Strange, he didn’t ever thought about smoking and didn’t even remember if he was a smoker. Probably it was the insecurity but it was another point in a growing amount of points where he began to question his past and his memories.

He waited In front of the door and decided against sitting down, not only because he wanted to be at attention if he got called in but more because he was too nervous to sit down right now. He had no idea what would happen now. Which orders and deployments would come now? And how would the Queen really treat him, now that he was here. The queen‘s guardians weren’t acting too fond towards him either he remembered.



After a few minutes the door opened and an officer of the Guard, assuming from all the glitter he was wearing, a high positioned one, opened the door.

„Lieutenant, please come inside.“ he pointed into the room.

SunTzu entered the room with firm, stiff steps, following the officer with tunnel vision.

The Officer in front of a small podium containing the thrones of the Queen and the king.

 

The officer took a knee so did SunTzu.

„Thank you Captain, you may leave now.“

„As you wish your highness.“ the Officer turned to attention and left with a dashing spin.

SunTzu kept his gaze on the ground. As soon as the Captain closed the door, the Queen Rose to speak.

„Lieutenant, I’m glad you could make it on time and safe to here. As I said we were expecting you. Please rise.“

SunTzu rose and stood at attention.

The King chimed in, „Please be at ease Lieutenant, we‘re not here to intimidate you."

The king had a warm and intelligent voice.

 

SunTzu relaxed a back and for the first Time since entering looked around the throne room.

There were nine guardians scattered around in groups inside the beautifully decorated chamber, that was illuminated from sun breaking into the Crystal windows. Since they all were wearing their short skirted Senshi Uniforms he didn’t want to pass as creepy and just took a small glance around. Also there were three other persons standing next to the throne in the room, and it seemed they were a family. A black haired woman, a white haired man and a grey haired girl. The man and woman were around the beginning of their thirties, with the man wearing a decorated white uniform including headcover and the woman was wearing a yellow and black colored dress. The girl, which was between eight or teen SunTzu estimated, was also wearing a dress, in the same color as her hair. They all had a crescent on their foreheads as had the queen. And as the cats he saw before. Actually they all had the haircolors in colors of the cats, what he found a strange coincidence.

Around he could hear some low voiced chatter from the Senshi.

 

The Queen, whom was wearing a white dress with gold ornaments and big bows on the back and also a gold crown with a big beautiful red and silver heart shaped piece in the middle.

The king, who seemed a few years older than the queen was wearing an all white suite with a long white coat. He had a big golden and gemmed medal hanging from his collar. He had black hair and blue eyes, just a hint darker than the beautiful blue eyes of the queen. In his rested a scepter which looked like it could double as dagger with a pointy blade protruding from the top.

The King and the Queen made for a beautiful couple, radiating elegance and grace from themselves.

 

„Please don’t be shy Lieutenant. I know it’s probably kind of a big deal for you to be here but you will become accustomed to this very soon“, the queen said with a reassuring voice.

„Let me introduce my Husband, King Endymion I, Regent of the Earth and the Sol System, Prince Consort of the Moon Kingdom and Crystal Tokyo. Also he‘s the Supreme Commander of our armed Forces.“ She looked the king in the eye took his hand and squeezed it.

„Also the best husband and father one could wish for“ The Queen said while smiling at the king who was still gazing in her eyes.

 

The King took a moment and then said

„It’s my pleasure to have you join us SunTzu. I hope you can settle in fast.“

He nodded friendly and then asked,

„I heard you are from Earth Lieutenant. Where exactly?“

„I am your Majesty. At least I think so. I am sorry but my memories before waking up three weeks ago on Kamino are not the best. I do believe I’m from Germany and more specific the state of Bavaria tho. I don’t know why I have this thinking tho.“ SunTzu answered.

The King and the Queen exchanged a look and the Queen cleared her throat and said

„Don’t worry Lieutenant, I’m sure your memory will get better. If you don’t mind I’d like you to introduce you to my guardians and closest associates now.“

She pointed to the family at the foot of thrones. „These are my closest advisors and her daughter.“

„Lady Luna, Chief Administrator of the Royal Court.“ The Black haired woman smiled and nodded friendly.

„Admiral Artemis, Commanding Officer of our Expeditionary Forces.“ The white haired man saluted, which SunTzu answered with a proper salute from himself.

And the little girl is their Daughter Diana. The sweet girl waved at him grinning and he waved back with a smile.

He could hear an „Awww“ coming from behind him.

„Now to my guardians“, she mad a gesture into the room and SunTzu turned around. He found Neptune and Uranus sitting a bit aside near a pillow, observing the scene.

„You already know Uranus and Neptune of course.“ Neptune waved her hand, Uranus just nodded and threw a “S’up”. „Those two will be your Wingmen in the Squadron also. I expect all of you to come along well.“ she emphasized the last sentence and looked specifically at Uranus. The shorthaired blonde just jerked her shoulders. Seems that it could get interesting making his place in the squadron, he briefly thought.

Next the queen pointed to a group of four of the Senshi in a corner in the back.

“These are the inner Senshi, my closest guardians and my personal team.”

SunTzu looked over to them, from left to right there were a blue haired woman in a blue highlighted Senshi Uniform, friendly smiling at him, a tall brunette whose uniform’s prominent Color was green, standing there with crossed arms, a black haired Woman whose color was red, looking rather annoyed and a Blonde whose color was orange.

The Queen pointed to every girl beginning from the right and introduced them.

“Sailor Venus, the team's leader.” The woman gave him a flirtatious wink and smiled brightly, which made him blush briefly again.

“Sailor Mars, the assistant team leader.” Mars just gave a sarcastic wink.

“Sailor Jupiter. She is also the commander of our expeditionary Special Forces.” Jupiter saluted which SunTzu answered with a Salute too.

“And Sailor Mercury. She is the one responsible for Intelligence.” The woman smiled and nodded welcomingly.

 

In another corner of the room another three females were standing. One of them was Sailor Pluto, the tall exotic guardian with the Staff, the other two were teenagers, maybe sixteen years old. One with black hair and armed with a Scythe, the other was pink haired and looked like a younger version of the queen herself.

“You do know Sailor Pluto from Tatooine.” The dark haired Senshi just looked at him stoically at him, emitting an feel of inaccessibility.

“Sailor Saturn, the Warrior of Silence and the fourth of the Outer Senshi with Pluto, Neptune and Uranus.” The Girl gave a small nod but kept her stoic gaze. People probably thought her to be a bit creepy he thought to himself.

“And last but not least”, the queen was pointing to her pink haired Mini-Me, “Sailor Chibi Moon alias Princess Lady Serenity. The Princess of the Royal Kingdom and my daughter.”

SunTzu frowned, while the queen was an absolute maximum of thirty the girl was at least in her middle teenage years. So if his new Superior hasn’t been a possible candidate for 16 and pregnant something was very off.

“Please don’t be surprised. She really is my daughter and not sister and actually I had her at a reasonable age. There were just… complications… regarding her age in the past."

“This is what happens when you mess with time lines too much.” Pluto chimed in.

“Yes, THANK you Sailor Pluto. Pluto is the Guardian of time so preventing these… parodoxes… is an important task for her.” The queen explained further on and Pluto nodded approvingly.

“So now, that you know my inner circle including my daughter, Husband and all the active Senshi of the Kingdom I have to ask you this very important thing.”

She paused and looked briefly down and then straight into his eyes, her blue eyes piercing right into his soul.

 

“SunTzu, I need you’re honest and most sincere answer on this. Are you willing to fight for the sake of this Galaxy, dispelling evil, stand for what Is good and right and defend the innocent? Are you completely ready to fulfill this duty?”

He delved into himself and he found this warmth the force was emitting when you tapped in it. The following words came like automatic from his mouth while he bowed down before the Thrones. He didn’t know what path was chosen for him by the god, the Galaxy and the Force but he innerly knew it was the right.

“Your majesty, I might not be sure about my past and where my future will take me but I’m willing and ready to serve my duty in your service as god and the force will lead me.”

“SunTzu, i’m sure you’ll be a fine example of the moon light serving the greater good of this galaxy. Please rise.”

She smiled and got up from her throne, walking down onto him.

He got back up, in full attention, almost giving a full salute.

She placed her hands on his shoulders and leaned forward to whisper into his ears.

“You will get answers to your questions as you’ve been promised. Please have a bit more patience. In the meantime I need you to promise me to not only protect me with everything but my Senshi too. Are you willing to do this?” He looked at her and answered, again it felt like a bigger something was leading him, like it was just the only answer that was right.

“Your will will be mine Neo Queen Serenity. I promise to defend you and the Senshi with my life.”

Maybe that was a bit much but the words just spilled out of his mouth.

The queen pulled back again, smiling satisfied.

“Lieutenant, hereby I declare you a Defender of the Kingdom of the Moon, Protector of Crystal Tokio and Planet Earth. Welcome back home. May the Moon Light always follow your path in the dark and the Force be with you on all your ways.”

He looked around and saw that everybody in the room was standing up straight by now, even little Diana.

 

The king and the queen sat down on their thrones again.

“Luna, please take him to the state secretary to make sure the paper work is done and our dear Lieutenant is getting paid for his work.”

 

The black haired woman nodded and got to SunTzu’s side, she curtsied and then extended her hand. Although he was contemplating about a hand kiss, ameliorating with the administrator of the Royal court couldn’t hurt, he decided against it. Not that her or any other of the woman in the room wasn’t far from being perfectly looking beautiful. But he still wasn’t comfortable enough to open up like this. He grabbed her delicate hand and shook it.

“Nice to finally meet you Lieutenant. If you’d follow me.” Luna said, gave him a wink and turned around to the door.

He could have sworn her eyes and wink looked the same as the black cat’s one but that thinking was insane. How could he compare a woman to a cat. He shook that thought off and followed. The door was opened from the outside but before stepping out he turned around and bowed slightly down to the Royal couple and the Senshi.

“Thank you for your hospitality your majesties. It’s been my pleasure."

The Royal couple answered that with a friendly nod and turning around again he saw that Venus blow him a kiss goodbye. He blushed again and head out after Luna. Venus sure knew which buttons to press.

Guards closed the door behind them.

 

“Did y’all see that? I made him blush!” Sailor Venus announced proudly. The rest of the people in the room just stared at her.

 


 

Chapter Text



Luna lead him out the door and out of the Crystal Tower back into the inner Garden. Instead of going back to the main building she crossed right into one of the wings. It was also a big building and she informed him, that this was the administrative office of the kingdom.

Seems that even Utopia needs it’s fair share of bureaucracy too, SunTzu thought. Which might not be the worst because some regulations are always necessary to keep order.

Yup, he definitely was German he realized and smiled for himself.

 

“I’m sorry about this, but we have to manage the paper work part now. I do think you don’t mind getting paid for your labor though. Oh and I’m sorry to tell you this, we’re getting an apartment for you over in old Tokyo but we couldn’t finish it yet. You know security checks and all. Looks like you’re having to stay in the barracks at least tonight.” the queens associate told him.

“No problem Ma’am. I’m already glad I don’t have to sleep another night in a space fighter again.” he responded.

She looked back at him and smiled.

“Please call me Luna, we’ll be working closely together as of now. You’ll become a close part of the court.”

“People call me SunTzu, i don't know my real name.” he responded.



The Head Admin lead him into the building which was decorated way less than the other two buildings he already visited. A lot of people in office clothes were doing their business managing the kingdom inside.

After a few turns and a quick elevator ride into the buildings top floor, they got into a small meeting room.

 

Inside a brown haired woman in a spotless business outfit and a black haired man sporting thick glasses and a suit we’re already sitting on the meeting table, with the man sitting on Top.

“SunTzu, this is Naru Umino, the Kingdom’s Ambassador at the United Nations and therefore our representative at the world’s governments.” Luna introduced the woman.

The woman got up and shook SunTzu’s hand.

“Nice to meet you. I heard a lot about you from the Royal couple. Hello Luna.” Naru said. “As Luna said I’m the link between the Kingdom and the other governments of the world. This is my Husband Gurio Umino, the chief official of the kingdom and therefore head of day to day governmental activities outside of Defence.” She spoke on, while her Husband got up. He looked a bit hounded but that probably came with the job.

The men shook hands and Umino pointed to a chair.

“Please, take a seat so we can begin. I’m a bit busy these days.” the official said.

“Umino, be nice to the Lieutenant. He’s a new vital part of our Expeditionary Forces.” Nary exhorted her husband.

“Which also means another cost factor for the expeditionary forces.” he insisted. Well lets see here.” He arranged some documents and slide them over to SunTzu.

“You’ll get the standard pay and amenities of a pilot in the rank of Second Lieutenant of the kingdom and even if I’m opposing it, you’ll get your paid apartment over in Juban. No rented car tho, we’ll need to save money wherever we can. Expeditionary warfare is not cheap.” He started and they processed through various topics regarding his new deployment.

After around 45 minutes they were all done. Umino was the archetype of a state clerk but getting paid was never wrong and they also paid his rent, so it was all good for him.

 

Luna pulled out a mobile phone and called someone up, stating they were done and SunTzu was ready for his next appointment. Umino and Naru said their goodbyes and went out, getting back to their regular work. Naru stated that she had an appointment coming up in the UN-Office in South Crystal Tokyo. SunTzu sensed that both had pretty full schedules.

 

“Ami, Sailor Mercury, is taking you over to the military wing now and will give a small intelligence update. She’ll be here any second.” Luna reported.

“You’ll like Juban. Nice part of Tokyo, feels a bit provincial although it’s near the bay. The girls and I used to live there too.” She sighed “For transportation we’ll find a way. You got any luggage or so?

“Not much, basically just a few Flight suits, 200 Galactic Credits, two GA Uniforms and a bit of underwear and sanitary stuff inside my fighter”

“Light traveling i see. I’ll see that you get a bank account and a small starting bonus till tomorrow so you can at least buy some things. Don’t worry, it’s not a car, so I’m sure that I can pull this out of Umino.”

“Sounds great. Thanks for getting me settled.”

“You’re more than welcome. Sorry we had to order you with out any heads-up from the outer rim to here. But our time schedule for mobilzing the Taskforce is pretty tight.” Luna explained.

“SunTzu, please take good care of the princess and the Senshi. These will be most valuable for this Galaxy in due time, you will experience. Also i do care personally for them.”

As she finished the sentence, someone knocked on the door and opened it a moment later.

 

“Guten Tag Leutnant, ich hoffe es geht Ihnen immer noch gut”, Sailor Mercury said in German without any accent. SunTzu was quite surprised to find someone talking German here. He was also surprised to see that she changed from her Senshi Outfit to an olive green military uniform for female/ with the Royal Symbol on the right and the GA’s Crest on the left sleeve. Her rank indicated her as Captain of the Galactic Alliance Military Intelligence. Also she was wearing glasses and carried a bunch of documents and folders.

“Das war ausgezeichnetes Deutsch, Hauptmann,” SunTzu answered also in German while standing up.

He was about to salute, when Ami said, now in Basic, “Please Lieutenant, no need to be that formal. I’m Ami Mizuno and as you have already seen, I’m also Sailor Mercury, the Patron of Water. Call me Ami please, we’re comrads now.”

They shook hands.

“Please follow me, we’ll head over to the military administration building.”

“Bye Luna.”

“Bye Ami, Bye SunTzu” the elder woman said.

“Goodbye Luna, and thanks again.”

She smiled and told “No problem. Oh and please do me a favor and stay as nice with the palace cats as you’ve been.” Then she winked and he couldn’t help seeing similarities to the black cat from before again. Also how did she know that.

With a puzzled look he followed a grinning Ami.



“How much do you know about Crystal Tokio and this stellar System already?” Ami asked him.

“I got hold of the official availabile information from the Holonet. Nothing too fancy but I know the basic information as political situation, geography and so on.”

“Very good, I got some more intel plus the stuff you need to know like Radio Codes, Strength of our forces and so on.” she handed him the documents and folders. “Everything is also available on Datacards inside. I don’t have to stress that this Data is sensitive and secret to you I guess. On a sidenote if you like Disney Princesses you'll love the radio codes regarding the Queen's Status”. she said with a wink and a smile.

“I'll take good care of it, Ma'am”

“Call me Ami please. This whole Military formalities is new and unaccustomed for me.”

“Sorry… Ami.”

“Please try to sight through this documents soon. I think you already heard that the time before we head out is running out.”

“No problem, I’ll start today.”

“Oh, by the way, I checked in with the detail responsible for security proofing your apartment. They’ll be done by tomorrow and you can move in. Also, I’ll try to organize a safe SmartPhone for you as soon as possible.”

“Awesome, that’s great.”



They crossed the courtyard again and head over in the opposite building. The building was a bit more secured than the other one.

On the way the met the Captain of the Guard again.

He saluted and both returned the gesture.

“Nice to meet you Lieutenant. Major Motoki Furuhata, Commanding Officer of the Royal Guard. To a good cooperation.”

“Thank you Major, the pleasure is all mine. I try my best.”

“Im sorry but I have to move on. See you later. Ami.” Motoki said and left for the main building.

“He’s pretty busy these days getting the guard ready. It’s serious for him to guard the palace and the Royal majesties. The King is an old friend of his from school. As are Naru and Umino from the queen. And no, it’s not about nepotism but about people we can trust. One day i’ll tell you the story how we got we’re we are now and how important that loyality is.”

“Uhm, okay. I understand that. Keep your circle small and loyal.”

“Exactly.”



The guards at the am entrance of the military complex greeted formally and opened the door for the both of them.

“I’m delivering you over to Makoto, Sailor Jupiter. She’ll take care of getting you geared up. Most of the administrative as well as a large part of the logistically important stuff of the Expeditionary force are housed in here still. There’s plans to at least place some of It over at the outlying base but you know how fast bureaucracy works.” She finished with a shoulder shrug.

 

They walked down a flight of stairs into the second underground floor of the building and moved on, finally ended in what looked like an Armory. Makoto,was waiting in front of a locker room full of guns and gear and a table in the middle. The tall Brunette also was sporting the olive green Uniform of the ESDF now.

“Here we are. I’ll see you around SunTzu.” She turned and moved around to exit.

“Oh and don’t forget to learn.” She said with an parental tone in her voice.

“Ami, he’s not Usagi, I’m he sure he will do as told. Give the Man a break.” Makoto yelled back after Ami.

“14 years later and it’s still all about learning.” Makoto said to herself and grinned.

She turned around and extended her Hand to SunTzu.

“Captain Makoto Kino, Commanding Officer of our Expeditionary Special Forces and Sailor Jupiter. Nice to finally meet you face to face Lieutenant. SunTzu, right?”

“The pleasure is all mine Captain. Yes, SunTzu.”

She nodded affirmatively.

“Call me Makoto. Bluntly spoken, we don’t have enough manpower so I have to inform you that you not only will fly with the Squadron but also will be joining us on foot occasionally and of course in training. So we probably share a foxhole soon anyway and can ditch the formalities. You have any problem with also being deployed on ground?”

“None,” SunTzu said. You know what they say, any other arm is just there to support the infantry anyway. I’m GA Special Forces Commando qualified also, what you probably already know.”

“I actually expected way less of cooperation from a Space Jockey, so yeah, awesome. Don’t worry, your main stay will be with the Squadron of course tho. But we will need a Jack of All Trades kinda Guy.” She paused for a moment. “And yeah, I’ve read your service record. Not bad, we’re definitely lucky to have you on our Team.” The Brunette said. “Join us in training whenever you can or felt too. We’ll need every gun available soon.”

He still didn’t know what was upcoming but damn, these people sure seemed pessimistic about the future. He needed to find out what they knew, that he didn’t as soon as possible.

 

“Let’s head into the Armory to get you kitted out. You got any gear or weapons yet?”

“Just the GA’s Standard Blaster for Pilots at the ship. No PPE, no Infantry weapons.” He answered as they walked into the room.

In there a 35-40 year old Soldier in olive colored service uniform was standing and awaited them.

“This the new guy Cap?”

“Hey Bob, yeah. SunTzu.”

Both man shook hands.

“Name’s Bob, I’m the Chief Armorer,” the man said with a thick texan American accent. “Take a good look around and let me know what you want to work with.”

SunTzu started looking through the various available stuff, starting with Protective Gear. He didn’t know why but he pretty much knew what he wanted.

“What about armor and stowage?” He asked as he browsed.

“GA Standard Armor could be scarce but if you’re good with our Plate Carriers and Helmets, then we’re good. The Special Forces Teams use USSOCOM-issued stuff mainly.

“Got an compact Plate Carrier for me, maybe some inserts or a Chest Rig for it too? Something I can Sport inside a fighter cockpit too?”

“What about this LV-MBAV” he said and pointed to a place on the wall where a certain khaki colored Plate Carrier was hanging.

“Perfect. Which armor you use?”

“Standard E-SAPI Cut but I got some beska-reinforced ones that protect against Lasers and Blasters too. It’s been a hell to get those. Administration still hates me for this.”

He grabbed a lightweight Helmet and also put it on the table.

“Sounds awesome. Now let me see for Guns.”

“Hey SunTzu,” Makoto opened up nervously with hands behind her head. “Is it True, that you prefer projectile weapons over Blasters? We have this small problem getting energy weapons and ammo in sufficient ways.”

“I prefer Weapons from Earth yes. By the way I’d would to reserve that MK48 over there for training sometime.”

Mako signed relieved and asked the Armorer.

“Talking about that, any word on my E-30 Blasters, Bob?”

“Sorry Boss, Administration is not willing to pay for something the Galactic Alliance should deliver us as part of their Army and the GA has problems distributing them to everyone. Same Shit as always.” Bob answered with an apologizing gesture.

“But I got word, that we might get those shipment of URGIs from the US soon.”

“14.5 URGIs also?” SunTzu asked.

“Yup, 14.5s also.” Bob answered.

“Reserve one for me. Recce Configuration. I’ll take an Block 2 as Recce Rifle base for now,” he said and grabbed one of the Rifles from it’s Wall Hanger.

“Dude knows what’s business” Bob said surprised to Mako. She just smiled.

SunTzu also took a Glock 19 from the Wall and put her also on the table.

“Bob, I need something Sub-Compact, even smaller than a MK18 but still with a bang and more range than a standard PDW. Something I also can work out from the cockpit. Do you have anything that would fit the description?“

“Give me a sec, I think I have something over in my workshop. I’ll be right back.” Bob told and left the room.

Makoto and SunTzu questioningly looked at each other and shrugged. He came back a minute later packing a short, compact rifle.

“This is a special project of mine. HK416C in .300 AAC, Custom Geiselle Rail, made to be light and compact.”



SunTzu let out a small whistle,took the rifle and examined it, including taking aim with the weapon.

“Perfect, a beautiful weapon. Exactly what I need” He stated.

“I’ll get her ready for you. And configure the Block 2 in a Recce Setup too. Everything will be done somewhen by tomorrow. But you can at least take the Glock right now.”

“Great, thanks a lot. I appreciate it.”

“Hey, Customer Satisfaction is our goal here”, the Texan said and smiled.

 

SunTzu took the Pistol and a Holster and fixed it on his Belt. He didn’t thought that he’ll need a gun soon but as soldier it was never wrong to carry something to protect you.”

 

After they were done in the armory and said their goodbyes to Bob, Makoto let SunTzu know, that he’ll get a tour of the other parts of the military wing soon too. It was about noon.





“Did you have lunch yet? You must be hungry after your travel.”

“Wouldn’t mind some food, as long as it ain’t Nutrition Bars if I’m honest.”

“I’ll show you the mess hall, she’s in the wing behind the Crystal Tower.

They set out for it and on the way they talked about his use on the battlefield.

“You know, in my opinion the whole Military of the GA isn’t incorporating Air and Space Power as effective as it could be. Earth’s Military is better In this. I think our Forces could excel in this. My A-Wing is highly autonomous and modified including enhanced sensors and communication packages so we could help from up above at least, if I can’t join you guys on foot.”

“You’re a godsend gift. Second and third Teams have JTACs but I’m still looking for one for my for my first team. They’re hard to get from other Armies. To be honest it’s hard to get anyone volunteering to join the Expeditionary Force at all. Seems nobody wants to defend the Stellar System and rather keep to their own countries. But that’s not gonna help or make things safer for anyone in the galaxy. The people of earths haven’t realized that yet unfortunately.” She paused.

“Sorry, I got carried away. Anyways. When you find time in the next few days seek up the clothing department on the same floor as the Armory. They’ll take your measures for a uniform of our Forces and you can get some Cammies there.” She proposed

“Which Camo are you using at all?” He asked.

“Lots of former Marine Force Recon and MARSOC-Operators in the Teams, so they often sport Woodland in the green. We adopted quite some of their ways actually. We of course got camos for any climate available tho. For Work in space and vessels the guys prefer Multicam Black.”

“Flexin’ on em I see.”

“Hell yeah. We might be a small force but at least we do the tacticool part.”

Both laughed. They walked around the Crystal tower now and headed for the building in the backside.

Makoto pulled out her smartphone and told SunTzu “Hey, look here for a moment” and then took a selfie of them both.



He assumed this was for facial recognition or something official but Sailor Jupiter commented something very different.

“And the first picture with the new Pilot goes to me. That just won me 40 Bucks. Minako will be so fucking mad!” Makoto took on a smile if she just won the lottery, while she was sending the picture over a messenger on her phone.

“Great, i’m a trophy for my new bosses’ Bodyguards now. Exactly what the Jedi trained me to be.” he snarled sarcastically.

She laughed and said, “I see we will have lots of fun with you.”

They then arrived at the building, which housed the Guard and the Court Servants as well as the Dinning Hall and entered. Lots of people were having lunch at that time too.

“Here we are. Listen I’m sorry, I can’t join you for lunch but I gotta meet with Team One now. I’ll make sure someone is coming to take further care of you soon, be it Marvin or someone else. See you at Training these days.”

“Goodbye Makoto, thanks for the Help! See you around” SunTzu said and hold up his hand.

 

He entered the dining hall, almost every place was already taken. He decided to first provide for food and then find a place later.

He took a dinner tray and got into line. Waiting for his turn to get served he actually felt how hungry he really was. It’s been more than a day he had some real food.

As he got his food he went to search for a table and finally found an empty one in the back.



He sat down and began to eat. The Food was pretty good and way better than on Kamino and Tattooine. One point less to worry about so.

A soft female voice came over from his left side.

“Excuse me, are this places taken?”

He swallowed down and looked to the left.

The teal haired Sailor Neptune, now in a black flight suit was holding a tray with food. Behind her was Sailor Uranus, also in a flight suit, also holding her lunch.

“Please, take a seat. It would be an pleasure to lunch with my wingmen.”

Neptune smiled and sat down adverse to him, Uranus followed, placing herself next to Neptune, not saying a single word.

Before they started eating, Neptune introduced them both.

“Lieutenant, I am Michiru and this is Haruka. Really happy to get to know you.”

She extended her hand and he shook it.

He then extended his hand to Haruka but the blonde woman didn’t take it.



SunTzu nodded and got back to his lunch. From the corner of his eye he could see that Neptune slapped Uranus thigh, Uranus didn’t flinch tho.

“So, that was not the worst show for a rookiee what you did on Tatooine. That Star Sheriff is not the worst pilot in the Galaxy.” Uranus suddenly spoke. “But do you think you got what it takes to persevere in combat?”

“Honestly… I don’t know. Never been into combat yet. But I’m more than willing to give my best.” SunTzu replied to the provocant told question.

“Good that you’re willing to give your best. I just hope it’s good enough then.” Uranus stated.

Neptune smiled apologizing and hold up her hands.

“Please, we’re here for lunch. Let’s enjoy our food.”

 

The rest of lunch neither Uranus nor SunTzu spoke much more. Neptune tried to lighten up the table’s mood with Information about the Food Schedule or tips for sightseeing around the palace but SunTzu mostly just nodded his head or gave one lined replies.

 

It looked like he was right and Haruka would be a difficult person to deal with, which in turn would probably be making being their wingman harder than it could be.

Uranus finished her meal and got up in a sudden. While she was standing up, she could see that the both Senshi had been holding hands under the table and Michiru’s hand slipped away and SunTzu got the impression that these two girls might be more than comrades.

Haruka took his and Michiru’s Trays and walked off to put them away into one of the trolley.

Neptune sighed and turned over to SunTzu.

“Listen, I’m sorry how our first meeting went. Haruka is not a bad person, she actually has a heart of gold. She’s just a bit tensed up lately.” She apologized.

“Michiru, you coming or not?” Uranus yelled, ready to leave the dining hall.

Michiru got up gave a crooked smile to SunTzu.

“Next time I’ll make sure she’s nicer. For the sake of our cooperation. Bye. And welcome on board.”

She then left the table too, following Haruka.

 

SunTzu sat there and took a moment for himself. He really had to find out, why everybody was so tensed up around here. And he hoped that things that he could proof himself to Sailor Uranus soon.

He got up, got over to the trolley and put the tray away. Leaving for the entry of the building he almost stumbled into Marvin.



“Oh, here you are. I wanted to meet up with you earlier for lunch but things took longer. I know you’re done already but care to join me. I’m starving.”

“Sure thing Captain. I’ll take a table for us so you can get food.”

They walked back into the hall and SunTzu got back to the table he was sitting before, fortunately it was still empty. Marvin got in the queue for food in the mean time.



After a few minutes he settled down with his tray.

“You liked the food?” The Squadron leader asked.

“Definitely better than on Tipoca City, that’s for sure.” SunTzu answered, but his mood was still a bit down.

Marvin nodded.

“Listen I bumped into Haruka and Michiru on the way. Michiru let me know, that Haruka was not exactly the welcoming squadron comrade one should expect. I’m sorry for this, everybody is a bit tense these days. He put down his cutlery and leaned over.

“In a few days we leave for our first combat mission and pretty much nobody has combat experience on a Galactic scale. People are pretty tense because of this. And Haruka is worried although she would never admit it. Also the whole Task Force has the usual problems you face with operations like that. Supplies, Volunteers, People saying we shouldn’t go to combat, and so on.”

“I see, this explains a lot. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Marvin said and continued eating.

“Most of the Squadron has combat experience in space but you’re not the only one that hasn’t. But don’t worry, I saw enough holos of your training to know that you got what It takes. And that A-Wing of yours is the bomb. I’ve came around quite a lot but this Fighter is supreme. Oh, it’s also getting the talk of the base. Looks like she gave some of the air crew a lesson on how to treat a lady.”

“Oh Shit, I’m sorry. I told AICA to be nice but you know she can have a special attitude.” SunTzu made an excuse for AICA.”

Marvin laughed, “Nah, it’s all good. The crew was just surprised that an A-Wing without an Astromech started talking to them. From what i heard about the Ship, she probably twisted everyone around her finger already.”

“Quite possible. She is something else.” SunTzu laughed as well.

Marvin finished his meal and cleaned his mouth with a napkin, before he opened up.

“We don’t have much space fighters available, so it helps us immense that you guys joined us. I’m really happy to have you here.”

“Glad to be home. At least I think this Earth is my home too.” SunTzu said.

“Yeah, could be worse than to fight for your own planet’s forces. After we got discovered from the GA some six years ago. Two years ago it was actually Haruka and Michiru who discovered the Coruscantian Trade Exchange.”

“Really?!” SunTzu interrupted him.

“Yeah, really. Haruka used to be a race driver but as soon as Earth got access to Starfighters she jumped in. Michiru followed her of course, you know they’re a long standing couple.”

“I was suspecting something the way they treat each other.” SunTzu said.

“Oh, they’re a beautiful couple and complement each other perfect. Goes for flying also. They share a Fighter actually. Anyways, one day the two of them made this discovery and It was like the best thing that could have happened to us. Because one of Terra’s Inhabitants found such an important trade route Galactic Alliance Government finally stopped treating us like one of the last backwater planets in the Galaxy and gave us some development support and rights. We didn’t even had a Senator in the past and now we’re a special development member of the Galactic Alliance and the Neo-queen actually meets with the import people. She actually met a few times with the Chief of State even. Without this there would be no Earth Task Force and I think you wouldn’t have joined us either. And both of them already fought in space. Some Pirates made the fault to cross into the Stellar System a few weeks ago. ESDF and us took fast care of them tho.”

“I see. My Jedi Master from Training would probably say something about the Force works and connects the dots of the Universe.” SunTzu stated.

“Maybe, yeah. If you believe in something like that. I wasn’t there for all this tho. I’ve just came back to earth two and a half months ago after I heard they’re putting a expeditionary force together and were looking for pilots.”

“Really, what you did before that then? You’re from Earth, right?”

“Yeah, I’m from Chicago, United States actually. Served in the US Air Force as Fighter Pilot in the GWOT. But you don’t get to air combat a lot there and it was were i always wanted to excel in. So when the chance came around five years ago, I left the planet and became a space fighter pilot. I was actually working as a Merc for the GA and it’s Allies in the Swarm Wars. That’s where I got my A-Wing from. GA sure made sure we were equipped well.”

“You’ve came around quite a bit so.” SunTzu said appreciative.

“Yeah, but you know what they say. Ain’t none place like home. And here I am again. Alright, let’s go. Since I haven’t done more than enough organisatorical stuff today already, I gotta head up to the HQ. Care to join?”

“I’d come along. Could take the time and get my Measures for an uniform.”

And so they left, heading back to the military complex again.



They were talking about the Squadron and the rest of it’s pilots on the way.

“Tomorrow at 10am we’ll head out for training together. Your wingmen won’t join us yet, I let them actually take the day off tomorrow. It’s Michiru’s Birthday tomorrow and i thought giving those two the possibility to enjoy this day would be nice.”

“Nice gesture Captain. Not something every commander would do.”

“Probably, but you’ll come to find that we do things a bit more different than the regular GA’s Armed Forces. We’re collecting for a birthday gift too, if you wanna join in.”

“All I got is some Galactic Credits, you’ll take them also? Don’t have any idea where to change.” SunTzu said

“For sure, course is one ten for them here so they’re rather in demand. You can let them change at a lot of places in the city already.” Marvin explained.

“Nice gesture from you SunTzu.” Marvin stated.

“Michiru seems to be a nice person. And she’ll be my Wingman after all. Just let me know when and where you want the money.”



The entered the HQ, the military complex again.

“Gotta get up to Top floor. Make sure to get to the airbase later. See you over there then.” Marvin said and left.

SunTzu left for the underground floors again, letting the various information boards and signs lead him to the clothing counter of the base.

After they took his measures and got the order for all of his uniforms and combat clothes he left the building again. On the way out he could listen two soldiers talking about a speaking A-Wing over at the Air Base as they passed by. He had to suppress a smile, AICA really was becoming the talk of the day.

Being a bit lost and without what to do he sat down on a white painted bench in the courtyard overlooking a beautiful fountain. For March it actually was a pretty nice day with the temperatures around 20 degrees and the sun still shining although it was after 4pm.

 

“Ah, here you are Lieutenant. I was searching for you.” A voice came from behind.

SunTzu jumped up in surprise and looked behind.

The King himself was heading towards him.

SunTzu bowed down.

“I’m sorry you had to search for me your Majesty.” he apologized to the King.

“No problem, it’s not about something serious. I just wanted to talk to you for a second.” The King said in a calm, reassuring voice. “You have time right now?”

“To be honest I’m a bit lost right now. Guess I should get back to the Base but i don’t have any idea how so.”

“I’ll take you, wouldn’t mind seeing this Star fighter everybody started talking about lately on my own. Please follow me.”

“Right behind you Sir.”



They left for the main building and the motor pool at a side of the palace walls.

“I hope you’re settling in is according to your liking. I’m pretty sure you already acknowledged that we have the same problems every army has but rest assured that things are or will be taken care off, before we leave.”

“No problem. Almost everyone is very welcoming so far.”

“Glad to hear this, it’s a great concern for the Queen and myself that you settle in fast.”

“I’m sure about this. But if I may ask open, is there a schedule for our deployment yet? It seems people are pretty tense already, as if it’s very close.”

“We’re aiming for spring but actually the GA Fleet Command didn’t give us an okay yet. I know that’s not a lot of time, especially for you who just got here, but it is absolutely necessary for us to get going as soon as possible. You’ll understand why in time. We didn’t forget about your questions Lieutant.”

They arrived at the motor pool and the King got the key to vehicle. He declined the staff’s offer to supply a driver and escort, stating that he got a competent bodyguard with him already. This earned him a smile from SunTzu. The King sure had Charisma.

 

They walked over to where the vehicle were parked and got in another Humvee.

The king turned on the ignition and they left for the airbase. They took a different path back to the base as before and the king showed him around a bit, pointing at buildings in the distance and what they were. As they entered the Airbase, the King went a road leading away from the Hangars and Landing strip soon they were driving parallel to a gigantic cemented square, it was at least 500 metres long and 200 metres broad but still lay inside the perimeter.

“This is the Landing spot for the FarSide, our Taskforce’s Flagship. She’s undergoing crew training near Mars right now.”

The king then took head back to the Hangars.



They arrived at the Landing Spots and parked next to AICA, where a ground crew was just finishing to wash the Starfighter, while music was playing from her integrated Loudspeaker.

 

As soon as the Ground Crew catched a glimpse of the King they snapped to attention and assembled in a line in front of the Fighter and saluted. The music stopped.

“At ease Men. Is the star fighter ready for Inspection through the king?”

“Yes, your Majesty. We just finished washing her. Standard Maintenance has been done.”

“Excellent. Dismissed!”



The crew saluted again and rushed to gather the various tools and other things they used. Then they hurried away.

“Competent guys. I didn’t tell anyone to work maintenance on my ship.” SunTzu said, as they finally stepped forward towards the A-Wing.

“You didn’t, Twas me who politely asked those gentlemen to do so. And being able to work on the Galaxy’s most sophisticated fighter they couldn’t turn down the propose.” AICA came on over the Loudspeaker. “The cleaning was more something of diligent but routine piece of work they did for me.”

“AICA, would you please introduce to yourself to the King of the Stellar System of Sol.”

A small infrared seeker on the belly of the starship turned onto the king.

“Oh! Your Majesty, I’m sorry I didn’t greeted you before. I just came out of standby when the crew left. Artificial Intelligence Controlled A-Wing 001 at your disposal.”

“Greetings… AICA?”

“Exactly, that’s what we call her.” SunTzu said. “Did you behave well for once?”

“Of course I did, I always do. Please don’t mind my pilots blatant accusations my king.”

“Of course.” Endymion said and turned to SunTzu. “Very exceptional Ship you have there. I heard about it’s potential in combat too. I’m excited to see you both In action.”

“We won’t let you down, don’t we AICA.” SunTzu said.

“Affirmative. You can count on us King.”

AICA affirmed too.

“I’m sure you will. Now excuse me please, I have to get back to the palace. I did enjoy meeting you AICA. SunTzu, since I don’t get much out of the palace these days, it’s been my pleasure to get you her.”

“Thanks a lot for getting me over here King your Majesty. It’s been my pleasure, really.”

“Till Next time your majesty” AICA bid farewell to the King.

Endymion got back up in the Humvee. And just before he left he turned over to SunTzu.

“Oh, and Lieutenant. Easy with the kisses on the hand on the Queen. They’re not good for the queen’s Ego.” He then left, speeding the Humvee away, letting a dumbfounded looking SunTzu behind.

 

SunTzu spend some time to inform AICA about what happened at the palace and how things will further continue.

After a bit of talking he climbed inside the cockpit and installed the Data Cards Sailor Mercury had provided, so AICA could analyze them and he could access them over the Ships Datapad. SunTzu also told the ship about the various people he met today and he couldn’t go on with complimenting the beauty of the Queen and her Senshi. AICA made the usual snarky remarks but listened concentrated on what her pilot told. She then gave him a run up what she did in the meantime and a positive statement about the ground crew. She made the guys clean her by providing music to listen too. SunTzu laughed and asked, “So I guess we have local music now. Great!”

“I plugged in some radio waves and the local predecessor of the Holonet. They call it the Internet.”

“I do know what the Internet is AICA.”

“Really? Should have warned me, parts of it are very, very weird and creepy places.”

SunTzu just shrugged at that and AICA continued.

“Oh, I found some really intriguing music on there. It’s called Mongolian Throat Singing, you want me to play some of it?”

“Oh, let’s do this another time, okay? I need to head over to Flight Center and see if our Squadron Leader is around.” he excused himself.

“Too bad, next time then. I got assigned a hangar. If you don’t mind I’d move over there , it’s the one in the middle on our right side.”

SunTzu sighed internally, lucky him got around a lesson about Mongolian Throat Singing he could do without.

“Great, I should find a Place to settle for the night too. You’re cockpit is comfortable but I wouldn’t mind sleep in a bed at all.”

He left the cockpit, while AICA automatically asked the Flight Control for Clearance to move to the Hangar.

He turned around and waved her goodbye as she started to turn off and head into her new Home. She answered with flashing her positional lights as a goodbye.

 

 

SunTzu entered the flight center again and went straight for the duty post.

He asked the guard if Marvin was around and got the answer that he was in the Ready Room with some of the pilots and how to get there.

He walked over there, knocked on the door and then entered.

“Excuse me, I hope I don’t disturb anyone.”

“Ah SunTzu, I was about to look for you. Good that you’re here. I want you to meet the rest of the Squadron.”

There were four more pilots in the room, a Shistavanian, a female Miralanian and two humans, a dark haired woman and a blonde man.

“Squadron, this is Callsign SunTzu. He is our newest pilot and will be the Wingman of Haruka and Michiru.”

SunTzu nodded politely into the room, and Marvin introduced the Pilots, starting with the Miralanian.

“This is Odegana, our assistant Squadron Leader.” The Pilot gave a friendly nod.

Next stop was the blonde Man. “This is Ritz”.

“Over here we have Xenia”, he pointed to the black haired woman.

“And last but not least Taego.” The Shistavanian showed his fangs.

“These are our Headhunter Pilots, against whom you will train tomorrow.”

“Against? Shouldn’t we not rather train together?”

“Are you afraid new guy?” Ritz asked him mockingly and Taego growled.

“I think it’s a nice way to get to know each other’s abilities so we can work on them.” Marvin said, before an altercation could happen.

“I want to see each one’s strength and vulnerabilities tomorrow. Anyways, me and the squad we’re just discussing what present to give to Michiru. You still in?”

SunTzu fished out a credit chip and held it up.

Marvin collected Money and credits from everyone and they settled on a gift they wanted to get afterwards.



When they finished all of the pilots left except for Marvin and SunTzu. Ritz did some more provocative shittalking towards SunTzu, but SunTzu didn’t react. Jedi Breathing techniques were a blessing.

“You know how pilots are, he’s just giving you a hard time because you’re the new guy.” Marvin told him.

“I know, I’m not mad or so.”

“Glad to hear. Mako sent me a message, saying she’s over their baracks with her Team if you want to meet them too and invited you even to stay the night over there tonight. You could sleep here too. Nobody will be around tho, we other pilots already have our apartments over in the Old City. If you want I can drop you off at the Infantry’s barracks.”

“Guess it’s not the worst idea to introduce myself to the people I will work with on the ground.”

“Good, let’s go then. You got everything you need?”

“Just let me get some stuff from my ship and I’m good.”

They head out and went to the Hangar, SunTzu packed a small bag with Necessities and they got into Marvin’s Car, a Jeep.



They drove a short distance over to the ground forces part of the base and stopped in front of one of the barracks.

SunTzu and Marvin said their goodbyes till tomorrow and SunTzu left the car, why Marvin drove on.



SunTzu grabbed his bag and entered the building.

It was a regular barracks building with some bunk beds in rows at both sides of an corridor. At the back where doors to other rooms, probably for the showers and restrooms. Behind the bunk beds was a table with chairs and sitting there was Sailor Jupiter with a bunch of Soldiers in Service Uniform.

 

Heads turned into his direction and Jupiter got up.

“Lieutenant, nice to see you again. I was just giving the squad a roundup about you.” the tall brunette Woman said.

“Hey Lieutenant , I think you got lost on the way to the Barracks of the Fly Guys.” a red haired man in his twenties yelled.

“Dish, shut up! Come over here Lieutant, I want you to meet the team.”

Makoto lead him over the table and introduced the first Squad, Team 1 of the Special Forces Detachment of the Task Force.

“This is Gunnery Sergeant Rudy Ruiz, he’s the Team Leader and doubles as my Platoon Sergeant.” A black haired Man in his late thirties with beard and hair longer than GA’s Field Regulations would allow nodded.

“Hulk, our Machine Gunner.” The name was fitting, the man was a mountain of muscles.

“Next is Pedro, CQB Specialist from Brazil.”

“Oi Tenente!” the Brazilian said.

“Nava Levi, our Martial Arts and In-Fighting Specialist. Might want to spare your blade fighting against her one day.”

A bronze skinned black haired female nodded to greet him.

Makoto pointed at the other side of the table

“Kiwi and Aussie, our Scout Sniper Team.”

One of them hold his hand up and said “Mate.”

“And these are Boots Martens, our Team Medic, Briggs and Smitty. And the Irish fucker over there is Dish, our Comms guy.” She pointed to the red haired guy that asked if SunTzu was lost earlier.

“What brings you here SunTzu?” Makoto asked him.

“I’m looking for a place to stay the night and thought it would be better to stay here and get to know the Team than staying alone over at the pilot’s place.”

“Good idea, come sit down and we talk a bit.”

 

They sat down on the table and Mako began to speak again.

“The Lieutenant here is our newest Starfighter Pilot and also will be working with us from time to time. I don’t have to tell you that he could be used as a JTAC so please be nice to him. We do need him. This goes for all of you. Also, before you guys start complaining that a Space Jockey can’t keep up, the good Lieutenant here is also Commando Certified by the GA.”

“GA Commando Certification ain’t worth Shit”, the big black Guy introduced as Briggs said.

“That’s what I was told while training in Tipoca City too”, SunTzu responded.

“Wait, Tipoca City?” Rudy fell in. “Tipoca City as in Kamino, Tipoca City. Home of the legendary ARC-Troopers?”

“Exactly.” SunTzu replied nonchalant.

“My SOF Instructor was an Imperial Stormcommando.”

Dish let out a small whistle.

“Hey Mako, why Terra Squadron gets a Guy trained like that and not us?” Rudy asked.

“It was just three weeks of Training. Also, you heard about that talking A-Wing over at the Airbase I suppose. It’s his. He’s our new Jack-of-all-Trades the Queen wanted.”

 

They talked on for a few minutes more about SunTzu’s Training and what the Storm commandos and Training Facilities on Kamino are like, when Makoto got up.

“Alright Guys, Mama is going home. Be nice to the new kid while sleepover, okay?”

“Where are you heading Captain?” SunTzu asked.

“Home of course. I’m gotta put on a floral dress, grab me an apron and make sure my husband has a decent dinner when he comes home from work.” She said and the surprised SunTzu completely. He never thought the Leader of the Special Forces Detachment, radiating the calm professionalism of a Commando, would actually be a good housewife too.

“Team”, Makoto implied a salute with two fingers, “i see you Fuckers tomorrow morning for training. Be ready.”

The team sighed and told her goodbye.

 

Rudy lead SunTzu over to the bunks and showed him a place where he could sleep this night. He then showed him around the barracks to where the sanitary facilities were and also showed him the teams gun and gear chamber.

“I’ll get you some room for your stuff too. Better to have it here and have access to tools and shared stuff than always picking everything up from Flight Center and bringing it here.” the Team Leader told him. “The Captain already told the Armory to deliver your stuff here too. Oh and by the way, did you had dinner yet?”

“No, I was so busy doing stuff today that I completely forgot to organize something or get back to the palace.”

“We got you, we possess an exquisit assortment of Instant Ramen here. We’re in Tokyo after all.” Rudy smiled.

Meeting the Ground Forces could have been worse SunTzu thought gladly.

They got back to table and SunTzu had dinner with Instant Ramen where some of the team members joined in. Answering the question about some of his first impressions of the Taskforce he had led to a long talk about the Pro and Contras of Galactic Alliance Forces Standard Procedures and what the Task Force wanted to different in the field.

 

It was around 11pm when they went to their bunks and SunTzu afterwards took around another hour of learning for some of the data Ami had given him these day. He fell asleep studying.

 


 

Chapter Text

 

SunTzu experienced a strange dream. A tall good looking brunette was next to him and he could feel her breathe on his skin.

“Lieutant, wake up! It’s time for some early morning exercise!” Makoto yelled into his ear just a few centimeters away from his ears. “Wait, did you drool on your pillow?”

He literally jumped up in the bed. Looking through bleary eyes he could see that the whole Special Forces Team was standing around his bed and laughing their asses off. Makoto was towering offer him with a big ass grin.

“You got ten minutes to get ready. The boys organized some combat pants and a Rucksack for you. Get up Lieutant, we’re having a nice little run in the morning.”

 

He sighed and contemplated murder on a superior officer for a second before he got off and ready. His Chrono said it was 6 in the morning.



Ten minutes later he was dressed in combat pants, one of his spare shirts, an assault backpack packed with what felt like stones and a rifle hanging on a sling around his neck, standing in front of his bunk bed like the rest of the team. And he thought that after Kamino he might get some more rest finally.

At least they granted him a light weight Chest Rig and not a heavy body armor. Puppy Protection they said, he was flying personnel after all, they mocked him.

As they were standing there in complete gear and weapons he was trying to figure out which swath of nearby land they were going to annex now. Everyone had tons of stuff on, even the two woman.



Makoto and Rudy lead them outside and announced that they’ll do a little run around the base for the next two hours.

“Since someone has to make sure that our attached flying personnel does not die I’ll be with SunTzu, Rudy leads. Move out!”

They started running and Boy they were fast. SunTzu had to really concentrate to keep up.

 

After one hour, meaning a few laps in and around the whole base where SunTzu sometimes really struggled to keep up, Jedi Breathing Techniques for extra stamina helped again tho, they were turning in on the Airbase again, when they bumped into the Terra Squadron just starting their Morning Run, sporting training clothes and no extra weight. Team 1 passed them head on with Hulk prominently complaining that without Haruka nobody of the FlyBoys actually even tried to keep up with them.



Mako and SunTzu felt in next to Marvin who was in the back of the group.

“Good Morning Marvin, having a nice relaxing morning walk in the park I see.“

„Good Morning Makoto, I see you borrowed my new pilot.“ Marvin replied.

„Had to show him how fit people without a sedentary work actually have to be. But I promise you get him unhurt. At least physical.“

„Great. SunTzu, I see you at latest 10am over at your fighter for some training with the squadron. That is if you’re still intelligent enough to fly after spending time with our ground based personnel.“

„Yes Sir, I’ll be there.“ he answered breathing quite heavy. Damn, those Team 1 Guys flayed him exactly as that Storm Commando did on Kamino.

„Enjoy the rest of your Morning Walk Marv.“ Makoto said and started running again.

„Keep on me Lieutant, we’re here to actually exercise“, she ordered SunTzu and both sped away, passing by all of the other pilots. SunTzu couldn’t help but grin mockingly in Ritz‘s Face when he surpassed him in whole gear.

 

Another hour later the whole Team plus SunTzu we’re back in front of their barrack, dropping off their kit and hydrated.

„Wasn’t that relaxing SunTzu? I’m quite surprised you kept up. Good job, although you still could have been a bit faster.“ she mildly mocked him. „Oh and look here quickly.“

 

She snapped a selfie of both of them with her phone and sent it to the Messenger group of the Senshi, stating that the new guy actually survived his first morning run with Team 1. Goddamn digital age, he thought.

„Okay, everybody. Shower and off to Breakfast.“



SunTzu took a shower, shaved and got back into his Flight Suit. The team and him left in a Transport Humvee. Since he didn’t have much time left till he had to be at his Starship, they dropped him off at the flight center and went off for breakfast.

 

He entered and went to the squadron‘s ready room, having the same breakfast as yesterday. He checked his datapad shortly if anything came in but there were no new messages. He wondered if he‘d get the keys to his apartment today or not.

After some sandwiches and a coffee he left for AICA.



Ground crew just had finished the pre flight maintenance.

„Good Morning my dear pilot. I hope you rested as well as I did.“

„Morning AICA, I’ll already run what felt like a marathon. In full Kit. Thank you.“

„Oh, don’t be grumpy. Have you heard, we’re having some training today, so that should cheer you up. It does cheer ME up, tho.“

He stored all of his stuff in the starfighter and gave AICA a quick headsup what has happened since yesterday evening.

He then checked all the systems, just to make sure that the ground crew did their job right. Everything looked perfect tho.

 

Point 10am Marvin came over and greeted both Snub and Pilot.

He gave him a quick rundown of the Training exercise they’ll start soon. It was AICA & SunTzu against the other four pilots in their Z-95 Headhunters over the pacific, south of Tokyo, Marvin would be supervising the whole thing in his A-Wing.

„I want you to proceed after GA Standard Mission Procedure in the exercise.“

„Affirmative, straight after the textbook.“

„Good, I’ll get going and contact you when we’re leaving. Oh, afterwards I’m taking the Headhunters up to Mars, for joint exercises with the Rest of the Taskforce. I want you train with Haruka and Michiru first before I take you to space. But i managed to get some extra flight time for the afternoon for you, near the coast. Might want to take the time to cruise freely and enjoy flying itself.“

Marvin left to brief in the rest of the squadron and to get his A-Wing going.



Ten minutes later the Squadron left and they flew in formation south to the pacific avoiding civilian air traffic.



A few dozen miles south off the coast they parted the formation and SunTzu headed west and the Headhunters went for the East while Marvin stayed in place, hovering.

 

SunTzu and the Headhunters rushed away from each other and then turned around to face each other. The combatants were closing the distance fast and SunTzu knew that because of the better sensors and weapons of AICA he had an initial advantage. The advantage would decrease drastically after a few seconds although and the Headhunters could play out their trump with simply being in superior number.

As he rushed forward AICA reported lock-on on two of the Headhunters and he simulated the start of two Concussion Missiles. The Headhunters went for Countermeasures and evasive maneuvers but Simulation counted two hits, with Ritz and Odegana taking out of the exercise within not even a minute. The two other Headhunters didn’t back down and got at SunTzu ferociously. A wild dog fight developed and SunTzu even scored a simulated hit at one of the Headhunters in pursuit, but the hit wouldn’t have been enough to take the attacker down. In the end he was taken out by a volley of missiles started from both of the remaining Z-95, as they performed a Cobra Maneuver while he was chasing them and fell behind him. He had to admit that the other pilots knew their profession and had some tricks up their sleeves. He still wasn’t feeling his performance. There was more in him.

„Exercise over. Xenia and Taego won, great flying you two. Not bad at all. But now let’s do this again, but this time I want you to fly on your own terms. No standard procedure, just do what do you think would be the best course of action.“

 



Okay, now it got interesting SunTzu thought to himself as he got back . Time for some real action, the GA‘s Textbook flying was far from being effective anyway in his opinion.

„AICA turn on some music, let’s do this our own way.“

„Specification needed, what song do you want.“

„Oh I know what kind of music I need now“ and he told her.

 

As Marvin gave permission for Round Two, SunTzu actually didn’t speed up but rather dived down, heading for the ocean surface, he had a plan to surprise his adversaries. He descended to only a few metres above the water and he found what he needed for his plan. A few hundred metres towards him a large container ship was cruising away from Japan. He moved up to the ship and gently steered to the stern of the Ship, hiding there.

He ordered AICA to shut down all emission radiating systems like radar and stayed there, slowly moving with the ship. Over the advanced Infared Sensors of his A-Wing he could detect a group of two of the Z-95 heading towards him, around 100 metres above sea level. The Headhunters probably worked as Hunter-Killer-Teams but SunTzu didn’t want to let them do this so easily. Because he was flying so deep and in the shadow of the huge Ship, the Headhunters couldn’t detect him, he just hoped that nobody on board of the Ship would cause a scene that would lead to his detection.

„AICA, when I start climbing, I’ll need you to turn one canon to a 180 and be ready to engage targets in front and behind at once, turn on all sensors also. Full power on thrusters, when I break off. We only have split seconds.“

„Are you sure you know, what you‘re doing“, the Snub asked.

„Have i ever been? Just be ready.“

A pushing song began to play in SunTzu‘s Helmet as he got ready. Just as the artist started his Verse the Z-95 reached the cargo ship.



As the two Headhunters shot over the ship, searching for SunTzu, he erected AICA skyward and gave Full Throttle, shooting up in the sky, reaching supersonic speed in a mere few seconds.

AICA spinned one cannon around and turned on the sensors, immediately locking the lasers on the both Headhunters, SunTzu opened fire a few metres below the first one and kept firing after rushing through the narrow space both Headhunters had in between themselves in their formation hitting the second one with the backwards cycled cannon, effectively putting out both fighters in less than a second. Both fighters broke their formation in shock and surprised questions came over the comms.

“AICA, switch to missiles and give me a radar lock on the other two.”

The other two Headhunters were a couple dozen kilometers away, up high above the clouds, surprised from the sudden loss of their squadron members they tried to change their course but were hit by simulated missile hits a few seconds later. The whole thing didn’t last 20 seconds.

 

SunTzu flew above the clouds too and thought the exercise was over when a fast moving radar contact moved up from the side. A few seconds later he got informed that he got hit by a simulated missile his Squadron Leader shot at him.

Just as he was about to open his comms Channel to protest Marvin came on on his own.

“This was outstanding. After now you just fly like this anymore. But I didn’t say the exercise was over, in combat something unforeseen can always happen, so be at alert all the time. Terra Squadron, with this exercise i just proofed to youhow bad standard tactics can be in actual Combat. We will be going against enemies in superior numbers and probably superior equipment, I need all you to fly as their was tomorrow anytime.”

He then ordered the squadron back in formation and let it know, that Ritz was the first to be shot down both times today and drinks tonight were on him.



On the way back to the base, the squadron was discussing SunTzu’s crazy action and congratulated him on the successful move.

 

 

After returning to base and landing, they headed out for lunch. No more jokes about SunTzu as they were discussing space and air fight tactics on the way and while lunch.

After they got back to the the Flight Center, Marvin and Z-95 Pilots got ready to fly to space and SunTzu made flight preparations for his afternoon leisure trip with AICA.

Marvin let him know, that he’ll keep contact and that they’ll see each other tomorrow for the training with Haruka and Michiru.

The other ships took off for space and soon we’re out of sight soon. SunTzu was allowed to fly around the Training are from earlier today but Marvin jokingly told him to not harass any ships.

He left off a few minutes after the rest of the squadron, climbed above the clouds and headed south again. It was another beautiful day in March.

 

SunTzu took it very easy and mostly used the time to gain some navigational info about the coast and to optimize processes with AICA. He left his chest-rig based Life Support System at the base as AICA had her own systems for the cockpit to be even more comfortable while flying. It was a whole vibe. He also took the time to process some data and especially music into AICAs Hard Drives while flying in peace this afternoon. AICA took things maybe a bit too far with creating an E-Mail-Account but hey they had 30 days of free Spotify now and, so there he was, flying the most sophisticated Spacefighter ever manufactured, 80.000 feet above the Japanese coast and burning tax money while organizing Spotify Playlists. Life was good.

He just took a turn left at Mikurajima, while he broke through the clouds taking a look from above on the volcanic island when AICA come on over the intercom.

“I got some heavy activity coming in over one of the Tac-Com Channels, want me to put it through?”

“Put it on” he said, wondering what was going on.

“All Crystal Tokyo Forces, be advised. We got enemy contact in the docks of Chuobohatei. All available personnel check in at your staging points immediately and await further instructions.” A Message told on all tactical frequencies and repeated.

 

SunTzu changed his radio frequency to the Flight Center one's.

“Flight Center, this is Callsign SunTzu checking in, current location about a 180km south of Tokyo Bay, Angels ten, Fighter armed and ready to engage. Interrogative, what’s the emergency, over?” SunTzu got back to a dispatcher over the Tac-Com.

“Call Sign SunTzu, current reports say that two Sailor Senshi are engaging an unknown combatant at the Chuobohatei Docks. More information is not available at the moment. Stand by for further instructions. Out.”

SunTzu took a hard turn right and accelerated.

“Negative on the Standby, Flight Center. I can immediately head out and help. ETA 5 Minutes. Just make sure Air Traffic is lead away from Tokyo Bay in the Area. Asking permission to immediately respond. Over” SunTzu let the flight Center know.

“Flight Center to SunTzu, Permission to respond denied, I repeat Permission to respond denied. Head back on course 175 and climb to Eagles Thirty to await further instructions. Out”

“Flight Center, I have to let you know that I got my orders to support the Sailor Senshi at any time from the queen herself. Request permission to respond.” SunTzu tried again.

“Negative SunTzu, proceed as ordered and await further orders.” was the answer he got.

 

He was contemplating to refuse the order when a third voice came in over the radio.

“This is Captain Kino, repeat this is Captain Kino, Flight Center be advised, SunTzu has his orders from the queen herself. Check out of station and disperse flight traffic over the AO. I take over from here.” Makoto declared.

“SunTzu head back to Tokyo Bay as fast as you can. Mars and Mercury a fighting a monster in the docks and it looks like they could use some help.”

“Affirmative, going there as fast as I can. AICA full energy on the engines.”

“Roger, I got Mercury on another frequency. She and Mars are doing their best but obviously the monster can fly.” Sailor Jupiter briefed him.

“Makoto, can you transmit Mercury’s frequency to AICA so we can cut in her radio?” SunTzu asked.

“Transmitting now.”

 

“Sailor Mercury, this is SunTzu. I’m on my way to help you, can you give me a Sitrep?”

“SunTzu, we’re in the western part of the docks, the monster is a humanoid with wings that can fire boxing gloves. Wait…

Mars, i know you don't run from a fight but please take cover, he’s coming around again…” Something hitting Metal nearby could be heard over the radio.

“Mercury, are you still there? Ami?”

“Im here. Are you okay Mars?!” A few seconds of silence followed.

“We’re both okay but the monster is fast moving and we can’t hit it.”

“Hold on, I’ll be there in two minutes.”

 

“AICA try to ping Ami’s Signal.”

“Done, im putting it on the HUD.”

SunTzu let down his Helmet Visor with its built in Head-Up-Display and rushed over the Tokyo Bay to the waypoint that it showed.

 

 

Down in the docks Mercury and Mars dogded the Attacks of the Monster using the containers, while Mars hurled Fireball after Fireball at the flying devil. It looked like a perverted faceless version of Boxy, the Skyboxer.

“This Motherfucker is too fast to hit him. We need to pin him down somehow.” Sailor Mars shouted.

“Help is imminent. SunTzu is on his way already.” Sailor Mercury let her know.

“Hope the new guy knows what he’s doing.” Sailor Mars commented as she threw another volley of fireballs after the flying monster.



The sound of plane, breaking the barrier of sound could be heard and a black and grey A-Wing came in sight.

“I can see you SunTzu.” Mercury came in on the Radio.

“Roger. Listen I can see the monster, I’ll do a turn and try to hit it with Lasers. You two better get to cover ASAP.” SunTzu answered her.

“No, no Lasers. There’s people running around here everywhere. It’s too dangerous for them to shoot.”

Fuck, he thought to himself.

 

“Okay, I have an idea. Try to keep him over a certain area, maybe in front of the buildings behind the containers.”

He put AICA in a sharp turn and head out over the sea again.

He took a deep breathe and exhaled slowly. His next action would be even more insane than the stunt he pulled earlier today.

 

But all of a sudden he could feel it again. The force was back flowing through him and he felt like the time slowed down slightly. He did another turn and headed to the docks again. SunTzu could feel the two Sailor Senshi’s Energy, trying to pin the flying monster to a certain spot in front of a line of building at docks. He could feel the monster, dark and black and void of life. He sped up and tried to align the front of the A-Wing towards the monster that was dancing around In the sky.

“Power on the front shields” he ordered AICA.



“What is he up too?” Sailor Mars asked Sailor Mercury when they saw the Starfighter directly head towards the monster.

“Oh no, he’s not going to…” Mercury just pressed out.



SunTzu crashed into the monster and dragged it towards a few dozen meters. The Monster crashed on the roof of one of the buildings while SunTzu shot over the building. He turned up for a Immelmann to access the situation when he saw that the monster was actually getting up again. He accelerated for another pass and shot back over the docks again. The monster was tougher than he thought and he hoped that ramming it again would finally do the the trick.

He turned again and sped up. He flew instinctively, with his hands flying over the controls and the force guiding his reflexes.

But then he saw it in his mind, he premonitioned that the monster would dodge this time. The force also told him what he could do instead. That trick would be a bit crazy though.



“AICA on my command, open the canopy” he ordered his Ship opened his seatbelt and draw his pistol. With the other hand on the joystick he aimed the front of the A-Wing at the monster, while AICA took over the control of the thrust.

The monster just took off from the roof again and there was an additional triangular glass roof behind where it had landed.

“AICA now!” SunTzu screamed and AICA opened the canopy. The A-Wing shot over the glass roof while SunTzu used the force to jump out of the cockpit and slam hard into the monster that dodged the A-Wing this time by suddenly dropping down. They both crashed through the glass, the monster hit the back side of the roof before falling down. While falling SunTzu unloaded his pistol in the Monster.

They fell four meters through the roof and SunTzu landed on the monster still shooting, unloading the whole magazine.

The monster didn’t move anymore afterwards.



After taking a deep breath he got up and took a few steps back. Damn, he would feel that in the morning.

Why the hell did the force guide him to do such stupid stuff all the time.

He turned around, holstered his now empty pistol and head for the door to tell the two Senshi that the danger was over. Also AICA would probably be worried after this action.

 

The pilot was already at the door when he heard a sound behind him. Turning around, he saw that the monster got back up.

“Fuck!” was the only thing he could say before the monster launched two boxing gloves at once at him which catapulted him into the door and both him and the door outside of the building. Using the force instinctively he crossed his hands before his chest to absorb the impact with them and he also used the force to soften his impact on the door but being punched out of the building and landing on the door he took with him, still made his world going black for a moment.



Mercury and Mars just stood their frozen, trying to process what just happened. The second time he tried to ram the monster SunTzu missed but as if he knew he would, the pilot jumped out of the cockpit and slammed into the monster. What. a. Lunatic. They heard rapid gunshots that soon ended and everything went quiet for a few seconds when abruptly SunTzu and the door exploded out of the building and landed hard a few metres away.

They immediately ran over to him.

“SunTzu!” Mercury yelled and both Senshi kneeled down next to him.



SunTzu opened his eyes and his first thought was that he was dead and he looked into the blue eyes of an angel, only to realize, that he actually was looking into Sailor Mars’s blue eyes.

“Owww!” he yelled and made a distorted face.

“Dude, are you okay?! That was insane!” Sailor Mars asked him still completely taken aback by the whole scene she was experiencing the last minute.

“Can I please just lay down here for a bit. Maybe till my retirement or so?” SunTzu pleaded.

 

The Monster’s Scream could be heard from inside the building and they turned their heads.

“Fuck… Okay, stand back, this is something personal now”, the Pilot announced while pulling out his pistol. It took a quick moment for him to realize that the Mag was empty and he searched his flight overalls pockets for a spare magazine but didn’t had any with him.

“Fuck!” He cursed again.



The monster appeared in the hole where the door used to be.

“Don’t worry, we’ll take this from here.” Sailor Mars announced and both her and Sailor Mercury looked at each other and nodded.

“Let’s steam this Bastard!” Mars told Mercury while they stood back up.

“Shine Aqua Illusion!” Mercury summoned her attack.

“Burning Mandala!” Mars summoned hers.

“Sailor Mercury , Sailor Mars, Double Planet Holy Steam Attack!” Both let out in unison while their attacks flew off simultaneously.

 

The water hit the monster and the fireballs a few seconds later, combining into a high pressured, hot temperaturedc, expanding cloud of steam that basically steamed the monster while the pressure ripped it apart at the same time.

 

All this in a split second and when the cloud started to vanish all that was left from

the Skyboxer was a puddle of black goo.

It was over, the monster was finally beaten.

 

Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars both let out a heavy breather, looked at each other and smiled.

SunTzu sighed and laid back down on the door again.

 


 

Ten minutes later the scene was bristling with activity.

Police, Ambulances and Fire trucks arrived at the scene and the dock workers slowly left their hideouts. Some were injured and required medical aid. A police chopper was appearing over the docks.

 



SunTzu was sitting sideways on the seat of a forklift near the building he left involuntarily a few minutes before, observing the scene.

 

AICA landed a few metres away and her small sensor eye was making pictures of the puddle of black goo while she was talking over Radio with Amy, who was standing next to the remains of the monster. Sailor Mercury was trying to analyze something with the help of her Mercury Googles and her miniature super computer.

 

Mars was standing near AICA and talking to some police man, that demanded to know what happened. She explained them that the whole thing was Business of the Moon Kingdom and the Royal Court would provide them answers over the official communication channels.

 

A dark green Lexus rolled up and stopped between SunTzu and Mars.

Minako and Setsuna got out and head over to Sailor Mars. The older Senshi was wearing a doctor’s overall.

They talked for a minute, then Setsuna went back to the car and grabbed a big bag from the backseat of the car.

The three then head over to SunTzu.



“How do you feel Lieutenant,” Setsuna asked him. “Any feelings of Nausea or dizziness. Any problems with cognitive sensations?”

Setsuna opened the bag, it was full of medical utensils,

“Greetings Doctor Meiou. I’m okay I guess but my back saw better days.” SunTzu answered. Before he fell asleep he studied some of the intel on the outer Senshi. Sailor Pluto was actually working as a Doctor in Tokyo these days.

“Minako, what are the indications for a concussion”, the older Senshi asked her blond companion, when she handed a small flashlight to the blonde woman who then started to examine his pupils reaction.

Minako rattled down the possible indications and both of the woman performed a quick examination of SunTzu’s head and neck.

“You were pushed out of the building along with the door?” Minako asked skeptical.

“Yeah. Used the force to soften the impact a bit. Still not something I’d like to repeat.”

“Lieutenant, I need you to take off your upper body’s clothing. I have to see your back.” Setsuna told him.

With a bit of help of her and under grunts because the pain it caused he pulled down his flight coverall and took off his undershirt.

“Lieutenant, as health professional I have to admit you have great abs,” Minako told him with a flirtatious smile. That she just pet them? He blushed.

Her statement earned her a stern look from Setsuna who was examining his back.

“This will be a nice bruise. Hold up a second.” She fiddled a hand held scanner, newest medical GA Technology, from the bag and scanned his back.

“Looks good, no internal damage. No damaged bones. You were lucky.”

“Maybe lucky but definitely not sane. Dude…” Sailor Mars shook her head in disbelief.

As he was about to give a reply, Sailor Pluto pressed on a spot on his back which made him twitch.



A LAAT/i came soaring in and landed near AICA. It’s door opened and a completely combat ready Team 1 and Sailor Jupiter, transformed in her Senshi Form as well as some armed Palace Guards jumped out.

Another Senshi jumped out, a blonde woman with two long braids and two buns on her head

“Sailor Moon!” the rest of the Senshi yelled in unison.

“Who?!” SunTzu asked confused.

Setsuna poked his bruised back again and he twitched again. Then he saw it. It was the queen, just in a Senshi Uniform. Her outfit mildly differed from the one of the others.

 

The new arrivals walked over to the forklift.

“I’m sorry Queen, I didn’t recognize you immediately. I feel through a glass roof and got punched through a door. I meant no offense.” SunTzu apologized.

“New guy is either very ambitious or totally suicidal” Sailor Mars stated.

“Most perhaps an uncommon mixture of both.” SunTzu replied to the remark.

 

The Soldiers that came along spread out and took overwatch positions. Setsuna waved Doc Martens over.



“How do you feel SunTzu.” Sailor Moon asked.

He let out a sigh and said “I could really use a cigarette right now.”

Hulk who heard that, turned around and fished a box of Marlboro out of his pockets. He hold on to SunTzu who gladly took it.

“Mind if I take on too?” Sailor Mars asked and took one as Hulk handed the box over.

“Someone got fire?” SunTzu asked.

Hulk was trying to nestle a lighter out of his pockets but Mars shook her head at him.



With a snap of her fingers a small flame appeared over her hand and she lighted SunTzu’s cigarette.

As she was lighting her own and took a deep draw, SunTzu complimented her.

“Nice trick, sure comes in Handy.”

She answered this with a hint of a smile across her face.



“Martens, you got some Bacta Patches with you?” Setsuna asked Team 1’s Medic. He pulled out a big one from his medic backpack and handed it over. Setsuna than got to work to apply it on SunTzu’s back.

“This should help with the Bruise.” She applied it over his back.

“Lieutenant, you do know, that smoking is bad for your health?”

Looking at the puddle of black goo over at the building, he answered “Yeah, no Shit?”

A fracture of a second later he was flinching another time because Setsuna poked a finger at his back again. He could have sworn she supressed a smile doing this.

 

While he was sitting there smoking his cigarette and getting the Bacta Patch on, his gaze fell on Sailor Mars, looking out onto the sea, smoking her cigarette. She turned her head halfway around and gave him another hint of a smile and in this moment it hit him.

 

Venus was a Tease.

But Mars. Mars meant real Danger.

 

“Hey Guys, look here!” Minako suddenly requested them. As they all turned to her, she took a Selfie of the scene, with her in the front, smilingly holding up a Peace Sign.



Amy tried to analyze the remains of the monster anymore but couldn’t find much other than it seemed to consist of nothing else but evil energy. Some half an hour later they packed up and got ready to leave.

“I need a Drink. But first I gotta get to the Shrine and fix myself. You’re coming along Minako?” Sailor Mars asked.

“I’m in, we were done with our shift in the hospital anyway.” The Blonde woman answered.

“I’ll take you there.” Setsuna offered.

“Coming along as well?” Mars asked her

“Don’t be mad if i just drop you off at the shrine but sorry. I had a long day at the hospital and haven’t seen Hotaru all day.”

“What about you SunTzu? Where you’re heading now?” Sailor Mercury asked.

“Good question, back to base I guess. Organizing a place to sleep.”

As he said that, Sailor Mercury went pale and facepalmed.

“I’m so sorry. I got your apartment’s keys and all the other stuff for you in my car over at the base. I was about to deliver them to you when Mars showed up and told me she felt the presence of evil in the center and we went to check it out. I’ll get that for you immediately when we’re back at the base. I can drop you off your place afterwards too.”

“Don’t worry, I’m good. Wouldn’t mind sleeping in my own bed tho.”

“Make sure that he doesn’t kill himself till he gets home tho Mercury. He seems to be a little bit of a suicidal side.” Mars dropped in.

“Don’t worry Sailor Mars, I try not to give in to this thoughts and finally crumble under the constant mobbing I receive since ever I got on earth again.” He remarked sarcastically.

She wheezed and nodded acknowledging.

“Nice comeback, I have to give you that.”

“You’ll see, I do have my moments. Even if I just voluntarily jumped through a roof window.” he said with a smug grin.

“Let’s move out then. Sun is going down soon.” Jupiter supposed.



Sailor Mercury approached SunTzu as they were heading out.

“AICA has room for two, right? Mind if I catch a ride with the both of you? Or is it not possible?” She asked him.

“Of course, you don’t even need a flight suit to ride along if we don’t fly in a too wild manner.” he responded and then told AICA over the comm in his watch, “AICA make room for a second passenger, Sailor Mercury hitches a ride with us.”

“Finally someone intelligent in my cockpit. Shifting cockpit into passenger mode.” was the answer.

 

Was there someone in this Solar System not completely sarcastic?

 

They walked over to the A-Wing and AICA opened the Canopy and went off with pre-start procedures.

As they were about to climb in Sailor Moon headed over to SunTzu.

He slightly bowed down.

“Thank you for intervening so fast and protecting my Senshi as you promised. Means a lot to me personally. I am sorry, that there was no time to settle down here in peace Lieutenant.” Sailor Moon told him.

“It was my pleasure Neo Queen. I’m happy I could help at the right time.” he said and bowed down again.

She gave him a honest smile and walked off to entry into the LAAT/i to get back into the palace.

 

SunTzu climbed up in the cockpit and then helped Sailor Merury to get into the backseat and strapped in.

 



A few minutes later both spacecraft lift off and flew over Tokyo Bay back to the Palace while the sun was settling in bright colors on the horizon.

“It’s actually way more comfortable in here than I thought.” Sailor Mercury concluded.

“It was one thing the people designing AICA had in mind, that a ship like this was predestined as a conveyor. But please don’t tell that to nobody. Don’t want to be used as a taxi all the time.” he explained with a smile. “Mind if we turn on some music over the speakers?” He then asked.

“Absolutely not. What’s next so? Duty Free and Tomato Juice?” She asked jokingly.

“You should see our assortment of Watches and Perfumes.” he laughed and turned on the music.

“So Ami. Sorry, Sailor Mercury…”

“Both are okay, at least when we’re in between the other Senshi and close personnel.”

“Okay. So Ami, could you find anything about that monster? Is it normal here that one of these things just appears and attacks people?”

“Not really much information, it was basically completely composed of evil energy and therefore didn’t leave much of usable traces. We had these attacks occur every few weeks in the last six months but not on a regular or fixed base. My theory is that something is trying to measure our strength. After the first Attack Queen Serenity ordered us to get back to our training and be ready for combat. A few months later the Idea of Taskforce Sol was born as the Galaxy was getting worse and worse when it came to Criminals and Evil.”

“I see. Better keep our eyes open then.”

„Oh and before I forget. One more thing.“ Ami announced. He then heard the typical sound effect when someone took a picture with a smart phone and he turned around.

„Sorry, couldn’t resist.“ Ami said while she tipped on her phone and sent the selfie she made from inside the cockpit to the Senshi‘s Messenger Group.

„How much?“ SunTzu asked.

„How much what,“ she tried, acting like she didn’t know what he meant.

„How much did that Selfie earn you.“ he asked again.

„Jackpot for being the first to fly along in the A-Wing was at 65 Bucks now.“ She said, turning red.

 

Girls.

 

He sighed.

 

 

SunTzu turned away at the Airbase while the Gunship flew on to the Palace.

He landed in AICA’s new Hangar and helped Sailor Mercury out of the Cockpit. After that he grabbed his datapad and left AICA too.



They said their goodbyes to AICA and the wayward AI told Mercury that she was invited to tag along whenever she wanted to. They went over to the flight center.

 

“To my Defence, i already was at Flight Center on my way to you, when Rei appeared” Ami said and pointed to a navy blue colored SUV parking at the Flight Center’s parking lot.”

I got what I could get in that time for you and since I still have time I was thinking to head out shopping first. You probably need clothes.”

“If it’s not perfectly normal for Tokyo that someone in a GA Flight Suit is running around I guess I do.” He admitted.

She wrinkled her nose.

“Maybe you take a shower before we head out first. I could use one too. And I should transform back anyway. You got showers in there?”

“As indispensable part of the Earth’s First Line of Defence our Flight Center even has decent coffee, if you need one after a shower.” SunTzu told her.

“Please lead me on then, Lieutenant.”



After a warm shower to relax his muscles and clean him off he got dressed again and headed out. The Bacta Patch really helped too, it even was waterproof and could stay on while taking a shower. At least one thing someone in the GA thought through. He needed a bit longer than usual tho because he couldn’t move that great.

He met Ami, now transformed back and dressed in civilian clothing, holding a bamboo cup of coffee in her hands, at the guard’s desk, at the entrance of the building.

 

Since he didn’t want to stay around further than necessary because someone could still be ill-humored of his rebellious behavior when attending to the Attack of the monster he greeted her briefly and pointed to the door.

“You in a hurry?” She asked while he let her outside.

“Maybe wasn’t the most cooperative with FlightOps while trying to attend to your case of flying monster.” He explained.



They got to the car and Ami opened the door and took a pile of documents and envelopes that were placed on the co driver seat. He also got in and she handed him document by document over.

“Credit Card, Debit Card, Accounts are open of course… Apartment Keys… your Service Card, please don’t loose this… your copy of the service contract and last but not least, your new phone. It’s been modified for enhanced security and encryption. I already saved my contact if you need anything. Marvin’s and Makoto’ too. Security Regulations are on the datacards i handed you yesterday as well as the phone’s hard drive. And that’s all by now.”

“Thanks a lot, I’m finally a part of society again” He said with a broad grin

“Happy to help. Now let’s get you some clothes.”

She started the car and they drove off, left the base and headed for the City over one of the bridges over the Bay.



A hour later they left a shop in Ginza and got back to the car. Of course people were staring at the European man, that went shopping in a pilot suit, but since it was Tokyo, it could have been even worse.

“It’s so much more pleasant to shop with a man. If you’ve ever shopped with Usagi you’d understand.” She said and got in.

He was carrying a few bags of clothes and other things one needs for daily life and put them in the car.

“Let’s head home”, she said, suppressing a yawn.

He fell in and covered his mouth, because he yawned. It has been a long day after all and the night was already over the town.

“We don’t live far away from your place, if you want I can pick you up tomorrow morning again on the way to base.”

“That would be great thanks. Who is we by the way?”

She smiled, “Me and my Husband Ryo. He’s pretty busy lately unfortunately.”

He nodded and smiled, “Ah I see.”

They stopped in front of an apartment building and Ami turned off the engine.

“Here we are, you need help to get all this stuff up there?” the blue haired woman asked.

“I’m good. Thanks for everything, and now see that you get home, you did more than enough for me today.”

She nodded approvingly. “One last thing, take care. We don’t know what, how and when the next attack will happen, but I’m sure it will. Stay ready so.

“On principle I’d be ready, but I forget to take care of more ammo unfortunately.” he frowned and showed his holster with the empty gun.

“Glock 19?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Open the glove box.” she demanded.

He opened it and inside was a Glock 19 and two spare Mags.

“Take one, I’m better with Ice and Water than with Bullets anyway.” she said with a wink. He took one of the Mags.

“Thanks Ami.”

“You watched out for me, I watch out for you” she replied and held up her hand.

They shook hands. Then he got out of the car and took his purchasings from the back.

She rolled down the window

“Have a nice first night In Juban. And don’t forget to study.”

 

She left and he went to the building. The key indicated that his apartment was on the second floor so he walked up there.

Apartment Number 203, his new home.

He opened the door and head in.

 



It was a nice little two room apartment with a living room and a bedroom and all kinds of amenities one needed.

He ditched his flight suit for a pair of sweatpants and a T-Shirt he dropped on the couch. He looked through the window and could make out an enlightened Tokyo Tower in the distance. Not the worst view for a city apartment too.

 

He hoped that this day was just an exception and even with a supposed combat deployment coming up and dark forces working against the Kingdom that not every of his days would be so crazy like this one had been. He lay there, knowing that he should learn some more but he was struggling to stay awake.

Suddenly the bell rang. What the hell?

Did Amy forget something? No, a person as thoughtful as her would have wrote him a message before. He got up and it rang again. Someone had it urgent with him. He took his gun, which was lying holstered on a commode behind him and slide the fresh magazine in. Keeping the gun behind his back he walked up to the door. He thought about it for a second and then unlocked the door.

 

Mentally preparing for the worst, he swung the door open. Only to be facing his two female wingmen.

While Michiru was standing there in what could have been a summer dress but now was mostly covered by a Burberry Coat smiling broadly, Haruka was there sporting a rather annoyed look, wearing jeans, Timberland Boots and also a Burberry Coat, holding a bag.

This day‘s surprises were not over yet.



„We thought you were hungry,“ Michiru said and nudged Haruka, which then raised the bag.

„We brought you Yaki Udon“, the Blonde pressed out.

Michiru got back into grinning from ear to ear again.

„Uhm, come in then please. Make yourself at home.“

Both came in and SunTzu stayed in the door‘s corner, hiding the gun behind his back.

„Nice place“ Michiru stated as she walked into the living Room, closely followed by Haruka.

When he was sure, they weren’t watching he followed and secretly slipped the gun back into the holster.

„Safety First, right?“ Haruka caught him doing so.

SunTzu just wheezed.



Then he walked over and extended his hand to Michiru.

„Happy Birthday Michiru. I hope you had a nice day.“

Smiling she shook his hand.

„We had a great day driving south west for a private Hanami until the Rosé Wine finally took effect and she demanded to head over to your place on the way home. Just to hear if the crazy rumors we heard about you today, were actually right. But Michiru gets what Michiru wants on her birthday.“ Haruka told annoyed.

„Haruka be nice, SunTzu probably had a long day.“ the teal haired woman admonished her girlfriend. „Anyway, thanks for participating in the gift for me. Marvin brought it over this morning. It really made me happy.“

„You’re more than welcome, may I take your coats?“ SunTzu said and helped Michiru out of her coat, Haruka insisted that she didn’t need help. He hung them on the wardrobe near the door and got back. Pointing on the sofa he told them to take a seat.

„You should eat, while it’s still warm“ Michiru told him, sliding the food over the living room’s table towards him. He then remembered for how long he didn’t eat and that he completely forgot about dinner.

„Thanks so much, you’re godsend.“ he said and unpacked the food.

„We heard the craziest of stories about you today. Care to tell us if they’re really right?“ Michiru asked.

„Did you really shot down the whole Squadron in less than half a minute after you hid behind a cargo ship?“ put on.

As he sat down on the floor and started eating he told the couple every crazy thing that happened today. Both shook their head in disbelief when he told them about how he attacked the monster the second time.

 

„Just to know before becoming your wingman and putting Michiru‘s and mine life into your responsibility, are you suicidal or just a maniac?“ Haruka asked in all honest.

SunTzu sighed, why people kept asking that.

„I don’t know, it just felt like the right thing to do. Like the force guided me to this crazy stunt.“ he admitted, finishing his dinner.

„Insane stunt or not, he jeopardized his life to help Mercury and Mars. You have to honor that my Love. It’s not something most people would do for someone they barely know for 2 days.“ She said appreciatively.

The two locked their hands and shared a glance.

„Maybe, just maybe, the Queen was right to take you into her service. But you still have prove yourself to me Mate.“ Haruka told him. „Tomorrow we‘ll train together, so I hope you’ll be at your best then.“

„Don’t worry, my back is nothing that a bit of sleep can’t fix. I just need some rest. 3 weeks or so wouldn’t hurt.”

This time Haruka wheezed.

 

They got up and SunTzu brought them to the door. Haruka helped Michiru in her coat. They said their goodbyes and SunTzu locked the door behind them. Did Haruka just told him, that she gave him a chance to proof his flying skills to her?

SunTzu got ready to bed and laid down. Stretching out felt great but just to make sure he took some painkillers. Then he took up the datapad and started studying again.

And again he fell asleep doing so after a while.

 


 

Chapter Text

 



This time SunTzu woke up to the sound of his phone’s alarm clock.

He got up and went for the bathroom. After pulling off the Bacta Patch and Inspecting his back he was mildly surprised to not find it completely bruised, the pain was almost gone too. Thank the Maker for Bacta he thought and went for a shower. He got ready and even had time for a small instant coffee. When Ami announced that she was picking him up in five Minutes he packed up and left. He was dressed in civilian clothes, grabbed a jacket he bought yesterday too and decided to change into a new flight suit over at the base. He was in a good mood although he knew he had to at least halfway content Sailor Uranus with his flying today.



He was outside just in time, as Ami rolled up.

He waved at her and got into the Car.

“Guten Morgen Leutnant.” she greeted him in German.

“Ohayōgozaimasu”, he greeted back in Japanese.

“How was your evening? Could you relax a bit? Is your back fine?” She asked as they drove off.

“My back is way better than I thought but my evening brought another surprise. You never could tell who visited me later on.”

“Please tell me, that it wasn’t Minako.” she said concerned.

“What? No. No, no, no! It was Haruka and Michiru.” he responded.

“Oh, good. I was a bit worried right now. How did it went? I know Haruka is a bit skeptical about you but this is mainly because she is concerned about the Queen and Michiru. She wants to be completely sure, that the safety of both of them is in the right hands.” the blue haired woman explained.

“Cannot argue with that. It actually went better than I thought. Guess she wants me to proof my abilities to herself today.

By the way Ami, I read the Inner Senshi’s details yesterday before sleep. How does it actually feel to be able to have calculation skills of a Givin. An IQ of 311 is unbelievable.” he said commendatory.

“Well, some of us like to study I guess.” she replied with a smile.

“All the Senshi are extraordinary.” He concluded. “I really don’t know if you actually need me to guard you.”

“We are. But we had to sacrifice a lot to get to where we are now. I’m sure the queen will tell you one day. And you don’t even know everything about us by now” she said in a mysterious way.

“If you say so.” he said with a questioning look in his face but he decided to let it slip by now. “Why you choose Intelligence tho, you could have done everything with your genius.”

“I actually wanted to become a doctor, like my mother, but decided that it would serve our course better if I specialize into Intelligence. Same with Rei, she wanted to take over her grandpa’s Shinto Shrine but we needed a diplomat and since her father is a high ranking politician and she knew the most about being around those people she opted to study Politics. We actually studied together.” She went on.”Minako wanted to be an idol, a pop star but decided that she needed to give even more to the people so she started studying medicine and actually is finishing becoming an MD with Setsuna as her guide. It’s not that everybody had to give up everything tho. I love my work, nowadays I think that this is my destiny as it is Usagi’s, the Queen’s Destiny to be the Queen of the Silver Millennium. Haruka is also an good example. She used to be a famous Race Driver before becoming a pilot but you can see that she loves flying. And Michiru is the happiest when she is with Haruka. Plus she still does her Music. Setsuna is fulfilled with her job in the hospital too. And Makoto. Makoto basically lives her dream she told me. She wanted to become a florist but you can see how much she loves to be a Leader of Warriors, she loves her troopers. And they love her. And she also loves going home and being a good housewife.” she finished. “But what about you? What are your dreams? I know you have kind of an amnesia when it comes to the time before your training but is there something”

“Honestly, I don’t know. I still can’t think right about this time. And the memories that I have feel strange and distant, as if they weren’t mine. So far I’m just happy to fly. And honestly, yesterday, when I helped you and Mars, it felt so naturally, so important. Like this is what I need to do.”

“I see. Good for us then.” she replied with another smile.

 

 

They arrived at the Air base and Ami dropped him off and drove off to the Palace.

 

SunTzu entered AICA’s Hangar and they greeted and updated each other on news since yesterday. After the stunts they pulled yesterday AICA was pretty sure satisfy whatever Sailor Uranus wanted from them.

Taking the rest of his flight suits and uniforms he told AICA to see her later and went into the Flight Center.



He went to his locker, changed into training clothes and hung up the rest of clothes in there. Just as he was finished and torn between taking a run and asking the Guard where the Gym is to hit that up, he received a message from a unknown number.

It said meet me in the gym and was signed with Haruka. Guess that decision was made. He went to the guard’s desk and asked the Duty where to had to go to get to the gym.

 

 

As he entered Haruka was already getting at it and drenched in sweat. Right now she was doing Jump Ropes with some split jumps in between.

He assessed the gym, everything Someone could need was in there. He decided to warm up first and went for a jump rope too. If Haruka noticed him, she didn’t show any sign indicating it.

He went to a place beside her and started too. She finally acknowledged his presence with a nod.

They did this for some fifteen minutes more and then stopped pretty much at the same moment.

“I see you finally made it. Guess training with Team 1 made you think you’re in good shape, huh?” the Blonde was teasing him.

“Don’t worry, with the amount of training that I did on Kamino I should be able to keep up.” he answered.

“Try to keep up then.” was her comeback.

The next hour they pushed through a heavy workout with none of them trying to let the other see how demanding it actually was.

“Not bad New Guy, not bad.” Haruka pressed out with gritted teeth after the last Set.

“Thanks, dito. You seem way fitter than the rest of the squadron.”

“Comes with the Job. I’m still a Senshi also.”

SunTzu nodded knowingly.

“Breakfast?” Haruka asked.

“Breakfast.” SunTzu responded.



They showered, put on Flight Suits and then met at the Entrance.

“Where’s Michiru by the way?” SunTzu asked the other pilot.

“Oh, she opted to go to the Royal Pool for her Workout. She loves swimming” he said and a hint of a smile scurried over his face.

“I see. Ready to go?” SunTzu said.

“So you’re walking to the Chow Hall then?” Haruka asked him mockingly.

“You’re not fit enough anymore to walk over there now?” SunTzu countered.

“C’mon, my car is waiting outside.” Haruka said and nodded towards the door.

They walked out and to the parking lot.



Parking there was a white Ferrari, that unlocked when the female Pilot clicked on her car key.

“Nice car.” SunTzu approved.

“Yeah, I get that a lot.” she answered.



They drove off to the palace.

“I guess discovering a Hyperspace lane makes you cash in pretty much.” SunTzu remarked.

“Not as much As one would think. Being a race driver does tho.” Haruka replied.

 

Soon they arrived at the palace and parked the car at the car pool. Haruka met them at the side entrance and gave Haruka a kiss on the lips. After that she greeted SunTzu with a kiss to the cheek which earned both a stern look from Haruka.

“What? You got the better end of this.” She mocked her girlfriend and Haruka closed her eyes and sighed.

Together they left for the dining hall.



 

Arriving there they found Makoto shoving down her breakfast with a grim face alone at a table in the corner.

They sat down next to her.

“What’s the matter, you look like someone just told you Team 1 is not allowed Hand Grenades anymore.” Haruka asked the other Senshi.

“Started my day with a training match Venus and me against Saturn and Pluto. Damn, these two stepped up their game immensely. We didn’t have much of a chance against the Silence Glaive and the Garnet Rod.” the brunette Woman explained.

“I’m sure you made it hard for them too.” Michiru replied conciliatory.

“Whatever. I’ll get back to base and hit up the Range. Will blow away the cobwebs. See you guys around.” Jupiter grabed her tray and left.

“Let’s eat. Michiru what can I bring you?” Haruka asked.



After Michiru let her girlfriend know that she wanted some fruits and Onigri, Haruka and SunTzu and left the table. Between themselves they decided to go for bacon, eggs and Hash browns, that was totally viable after that killer workout earlier.

SunTzu could feel, that the blonde pilot was warming up towards him.

While Haruka and SunTzu devoured their breakfast under dunning comments from Michiru to at least chew right, they were talking about the upcoming training exercise.

“We’ll not be flying against each other. Marvin forbid that. Instead we’ll be focusing on standard wingman procedures.” Michiru explained.

“Talking about him, where is Marvin anyway? They’re still on the FarSide?” SunTzu asked.

The girls started to smile broadly and exchanged looks.

“Actually yes, yesterday was Wednesday.” Michiru said.

“And that means?” SunTzu questioned.

Haruka leaned towards him.

“He does this special thing every Wednesday Night. He, with some support from Artemis, broadcasts a radio show from the bridge of the FarSide. Every Wednesday, no shitting you.” Haruka went on. “Before he joined the Airforce he was a Radio DJ and he told me once wherever he goes now, he broadcasts a radio show once a week. Good for morale he says. So every Wednesday he stays on the FarSide and does this show, he calls it “The Nightshift”. Mostly old 80s, Funk and Disco Stuff but a lot of the older personnel onboard loves its. He usually does that every week now and stays on the Far Side over night.” She finished with a shrug.

SunTzu wasn’t sure if the two girls were giving him bullshit, but on the other side it was nice to know that he was not the only one special on board.

 

 

“Listen, I’ll head up to HQ and see if I can get Marvin on line for the latest updates.

You two don’t wait for me and get the ships ready. I let someone take me back to base after.” Michiru announced.

“Haruka stay nice with the new kid.” she said playfully before giving Haruka a quick kiss and leaving.

 

Haruka and SunTzu drove back to the Flight Center. On the way Haruka and SunTzu discussed the background of his Callsign and while he knew who SunTzu was and even was able recitate parts of the Art of War, he didn’t know why it actually sticked with him as his preferred Callsign. Just another mystery regarding his history.



They hopped out the car at the Flight Centers Parking Lot and Haruka asked if he already saw their fighter yet. When SunTzu told her, that he had no idea what they were actually flying except that he thought it was a TIE of some class because of their particular Flight Suites, she lead him onto a closed hangar a few dozen meters away from the Hangar AICA was stationed in.

Both entered through a hall and there it was.

 

A heavily modified TIE/ag or Tie Aggressor, typical TIE Colors but with the Royal Crest on the Solar Panels. He also spotted the Crests of Neptune and Uranus on the Cockpit.

 

SunTzu let out a whistle and examined the Fighter from all sides.

“It’s beautiful”, he remarked as he walked around it.

“Third Canon in the back turret. Is that a Ion-Cannon?” he asked.

Haruka nodded with a broad grin.

“Back window for so the Gunner sees more, great idea. More sensor nodes and antennas. Do I see the same engines that the Defenders sport?” SunTzu talked on.

“Yes, almost everything got upgraded or modified. Upped reactor output, better shields, ECM, sensors, engines and weapons. Standard Aggressors are to slow but this one can keep up with a regular Tie-Interceptor or A-Wing. Included Life Support Systems in the Cockpit, if Michiru and me ever have to fly while transformed. Took me years to get it running like that. We call it the Voyager, ever since we discovered that Hyperlane with it.” Sailor Uranus explained proudly.

“Voyager. I see. Guess it’s a beast in space.” He pat the Solar Panel.

“Space Superiority, Attack Role, Reconnaissance, you name it, we can do it.”

“Can’t wait to see it in action, Haruka.”

“Can say the same about your A-Wing. Care to introduce me to her?”

“Oh, no problem. I hope you like your girls hardheaded.” he said with a smug grin.



They went over to AICA’s Hangar, where the ground crew just finished their daily work on the starship. AICA was playing Music over her loudspeaker to entertain the crew.

They waited aside till the crew packed up and left the hangar.

“Is she playing music for the ground crew?” Haruka asked her fellow pilot.

“Yeah, that’s how she scrounges extra services from them. Word of safety, don’t hit the topic of Mongolian throat singing.” He said nudging Uranus’s shoulder.

 

When the mechanics left they stepped forward and Uranus began to walk around here.

AICA’s small infared sensor head turned towards Haruka.

“Good Morning, First Lieutant Tenoh, always nice to meet the local pilot legends.” AICA greeted her on her own.

Haruka froze and stared at the ship’s cockpit.

“Please don’t worry and come closer. As my future wingman you should get to know me.”

AICA opened the cockpit.

“Good Morning AICA, how’s things?” SunTzu greeted his ship.

“Good Morning SunTzu, I hope you had a great first night In your new home. Happy to finally meet our wingman. Systems are green.” the StarShip said.



Haruka followed the dialogue quietly and then shook her head. Those two were connecting like friends not like Spaceship and Pilot. SunTzu commented how good the mood of AICA was today and she replied that even after the fun she had yesterday even more flying was due for today which cheered her up.

SunTzu gave Haruka a heads-up of the modifications AICA received.

“How fast is she in Atmosphere?” Haruka asked.

“Mach 4, when I put extra energy in the thrusters. How about the Voyager, Mach 2 I guess?” he told her.

“Mach 2,5.” she replied to her wingman’s question.

“Faster than almost every other TIE still.” he said approvingly.



They ended their inspection and SunTzu got to the front of the A-Wing to show Haruka the last modification.

“You’ll like this one. It’s for when landing spots aren’t that friendly. AICA, Self Defense.”

On command a small turret with a blaster cannon popped out from the opposite side of IR-Sensor.

“Give Car-jacking no chance.” Haruka said and SunTzu nodded with a broad grin.

They said their goodbyes to AICA and the snub told Haruka that she couldn’t wait to finally see her in Action.



When they walked back to Flight Center they saw a Humvee stop in front of it and Michiru got out from the passenger seat.

She waved the driver goodbye and turned around. As she saw that the two pilots were on their way over she waited in front of the door.

“Hey you two,” she said as both of them approached, “I talked with Marvin. Our exercise is a go. Also we’re going space bound in the afternoon. We’re going to fly to the Far Side with the LAAT/is in tow. Looks like we gonna train Escort Mission.”

Haruka rolled her eyes and told “Great. As if dogfight training wouldn’t make more sense.”

Michiru just shrugged her shoulders.

“I’m gonna get in my jump suit now. You two wait for me, okay?”

She disappeared in the building.

“Wanna wait in the pilot’s room?” Haruka asked.

“Honestly, I’m trying to stay out of Flight Center as much as I can right now. Still waiting to get chewed out for my attitude yesterday.” SunTzu answered with slitted eyes.

“What did you do?” Uranus wanted to know.

“I was a little uncooperative when it came to Stand-by-Orders. I wanted to help Mars and Mercury and stressed the case a bit before Jupiter finally joined and I became my go.” SunTzu told her while she started smiling amused.

“Little Troublemaker i see. Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure the queen has her protecting hand over you.” Haruka replied and nudged his shoulder.

 



A few minutes later Michiru came out, dressed in the same black Tie-Fighter-Pilot-Suit Haruka was already wearing. SunTzu noticed, that they both also had colored strips going down the suits’ sides, with Haruka’s being yellow and Michiru the same teal her hair was colored in. The Crescent of the Kingdom was also shown prominently in Gold on their sleeves.



Michiru told them the parameters for the Exercise that their Squadron Leader told them and they headed out to their Fighters.

Fifteen Minutes later they were entering the same Training Area SunTzu has been exercising already yesterday. SunTzu knew it was on and he already drew on the force as much as it would let him. Which wasn’t much again.

 

“Hey New Guy, can you keep up?” Haruka’s voice came over the comms.

She accelerated and dived down in spiral.

The blonde wanted to show off and SunTzu knew that he had to proof his flying skills to her now.

He even did a Barrel roll before he steered AICA in a steep descent closing in on the Voyager again.

They pierced through the low hanging clouds, it was rather rainy today, and just a few metres above the Pacific Ocean Haruka abruptly leveled her TIE and started jinking from left to right.

As she was smiling satisfied that he probably couldn’t have catched up to all this, when she saw Michiru waving at SunTzu staying completely in line behind them through her rear mirror. She could even see him coming closer through the rear window Michiru was sitting in front of.

Her smile immediately vanished and she made the Tie Aggressor veer off left.

“Hold on Michiru, I’m trying to shake him. Turn off all active sensors and power up all passive ECM Measures!” she told over their intercom. The TIE went into full stealth mode now.

 

She waited to gain a few metres of height more and then tilted the TIE to 90 degrees and shot up in the Sky. After climbing fast and reaching the clouds again, she took out thrust and turned the machine on it’s back. Immediately she gave full thrust again and used it to do a barrel roll and turned the machine up again, now flying the opposite direction they had down above the ocean. They were surrounded by the clouds and Haruka was more than sure that he shook SunTzu off this time. No way he even had the reflexes to keep up.

As they moved out of big field of clouds, Haruka slowed down and was about to mock SunTzu over the radio when she saw Michiru leaning forward and looking down at the fighters tail.

„Haruka, don’t get mad, but he‘s still there. On our 6, around 5 metres below and 3 metres behind.“ Michiru told her as AICA was flying quietly behind them.

What a persistent SOB Haruka thought, but okay, let’s see if he can keep up with this.

 

She instigated a Super Cobra and as she saw him passing them, she tilted the spacefighter back again and started to dive down. She then turned the fighter into a Vertical Split S and climbed up. After climbing a few hundred meters she peeled off towards the Japanese coast and gave full thrust. The whole maneuver didn’t even took half a minute. As she raced towards the Coast she laid the TIE on its back to be warned if he would be coming up from their downside.

Just to be greeted by AICA a few metres below them, also rolling around to show her downside towards the sky.

Not that she gave up, but he really could fly. Or at least his ship could. She slowed the spaceship down and turned into a long right before they were about to leave the training area.

 

 

„Now we know that you can keep up a basic formation. Not much in combat but if we ever have to do a parade fly over you’re good to go.“ Haruka radioed in.

SunTzu smiled and shook his head. Haruka was a Hell of a Pilot tho. Without AICA‘s modifications he wouldn’t have kept up.

„Shit, i thought it at least would be enough to qualify for agricultural flying.“ he answered with a sad voice. „You’re a hell of a pilot, Haruka.“

„Roger.“ she copied „Also I think I know some farmers I could introduce you too.“ she added smiling.

„Guys, did you both show off enough to each other and we can seriously start to train now?“ Michiru came on.

 

They trained some basic wingman maneuvers like combined attack runs and evasive actions. Although it was their first time flying together things were going quite smooth.

 

 

It was about noon when they headed back to base.

The trio was talking about some maneuvers when Haruka asked what that background noise was, they were always hearing when he came over the radio.

“Oh this. I’m listening to Music. Makes me fly better in my opinion. AICA plays it over the cockpit speakers.” He explained.

“Haruka, I want that too. Would be perfect for those long recon missions.” Michiru demanded.

“I see what I can do Love.” Haruka said with a bit of irritation in her voice.

“If you don’t mind, I can transmit music over the radio already, if you want.” AICA chimed in.

“Oh, that would be so lovely from you AICA! Haruka on the other side can’t, she has to stay concentrated on flying.” Michiru replied with her sweetest voice.

Both women looked at each other in the cockpit. Michiru mockingly sticked out her tongue towards her Partner and then told AICA that she was going to switch radio channels so she could listen to music in peace.

 

A few minutes later they landed at the base. Since they were ordered to fly to Space later on, they landed on spots outside the hangars. Haruka helped Michiru out of the top placed hatch the Fighter possessed as way to entry and exit.



The trio left their ships and as the three of them were standing in front of the two starfighters Michiru begged Haruka to make a selfie of them. It took some begging from her side but after some time Haruka agreed and took a picture. Booth fighters were in the back, SunTzu exceptionally smiling while standing in front of AICA, Michiru on the left, striking a pose in front of the Voyager and Haruka giving the hint of a smile in the foreground. Did AICA flashed on her positional lights for the pic?

Of course the picture ended in the Senshi group again but Haruka also announced that she just created a group for the three of them, prominently decorated with their picture as cover.

“Of course, that doesn’t mean, that I’m warming up to you. It’s just better for communicating.”

Michiru looked at her with a grin and nodded sarcastically.

 

Suddenly SunTzu’s mobile phone rang and he apologized and attended it. It was Makoto telling him, not to forget that Bob brought his guns and armor. They were on their way to lunch but would be back at their barracks before their departure to the Far Side. He said, that they were off to lunch too and they’ll probably meet over there anyway. They entered the Flight Center and the Guard organized a lift to the Palace for them.

On the way to the Dining Hall they stumbled into Team 1 and Jupiter and the Soldiers wished Michiru a happy belated birthday while they walked over there together.

“How was training with our flying Senshis? Did Haruka showed off?” Makoto was asking.

Before Haruka could talk back, Michiru already chimed in

“They were both showing off. Pilots…” She shook her head, “… it’s always the same with them.”

“You tell me sis. You know my opinion. I would never ever ride in a starfighter. It’s not natural.” the brunette woman told.

“Makoto, could it be, that you’re afraid of flying?” SunTzu had to ask her.

“I’m not afraid. But it’s just insane to ride in one of these things. Especially with someone like Haruka piloting it.”

“Hey! My flying is excellent!” Haruka complained.

“But yesterday you were riding in a LAAT/i, it’s basically the same.” SunTzu told.

“But, first I don’t have to see the outside and can concentrate on something else. And second, those Gunship Pilots are not maniacs as you Skyfighters are. Personally I’m glad I’m a ground fighter. After all infantry is the king of the battle anyway.” Sailor Jupiter stated and this started a heated discussion between the blonde pilot and the brunette soldier about which branch was actually better.

This discussion lasted till they queued up for the line at the food disposal and Michiru and Rudy finally managed to calm them down. People were already looking.



To keep the peace Michiru and Rudy decided to take tables at different places in the hall. SunTzu told Makoto that he’ll be at their barracks before departure to get at least some of his stuff and would let her know via message.

 

He sat down with the two Outer Senshi and they began to eat. They were halfway done with their lunch when Rei and Minako appeared at the table and sat down with their trays.

Minako wore a red colored knitted dress with white thighs, short red boots, a short black coat and her red bow, her small hand bag was red too. Rei was dressed in long beige colored coat, a grey Louis Vuitton scarf and matching bag, a white turtleneck sweater and a pair of black jeans.

“Hi you guys. SunTzu how is your back doing? Any problems?” Minako started while the two girls took off their winter clothes.

“Hello Miss Aino. The Bacta Patch worked miracles. It’s not even that bruised fortunately and I was able to do sport and fly without problems.” SunTzu told her.

“Please, call me Minako. Or Mina. Glad to hear that. If anything comes up please don’t be shy to contact me, I’ll give you my number.” Venus said and pulled out a pen and paper from her handbag and scribbled down her number.

Rei facepalmed and Michiru was more or less successful suppressing a smile.

“Guess you scored a number, Lieutenant. Don’t worry, as Pilot you’ll get used to it.” Haruka said mockingly in between bites of the burger she was eating.

“We actually have a picture of the Lieutenant smiling.” Michiru announced triumphantly and put her phone over the table with their selfie from earlier showing.

“Did you had fun playing TopGun with Michiru and Haruka Lieutenant? And did you play Maverick or Iceman?” Rei asked him with a hint of sarcasm.

“Yes Ma’am. Although I felt more like that guy in the tower spilling his coffee because Haruka’s flying was so reckless.” he answered with a happy voice while making a gesture as if he spilled a cup.

Haruka almost choked on her burger and Michiru laughed out.

“I’ll tell Usagi to keep this guy. If only for his shit talking.”

“Thank you Rei. I’ll include you in my evening prayer for this. What was you guys up to today so far? Makoto said something that Minako and her spared against Saturn and Pluto this morning.” SunTzu went on.

“Ugh! Don’t remind me. These two pretty much wiped the floor with us. Even tho Makoto is in peak form. Had to hit the studio up afterwards and let some steam off.”

“Studio?” SunTzu asked.

“Music Studio. Besides becoming a doctor, being a Senshi and important member of the Royal court or Mina is also a Pop singer.” Rei explained to him. Mina nodded with a proud grin.

“I see, sounds like your pretty busy. And what did you do Rei, found out anything new about this monster?”

She made a waving gesture.

“I wish. I was preparing the official statement from the Royal Court for the Tokyo Police Department about yesterday’s incident and had to deliver it. The Queen let’s me do stuff like this as part of my duty as diplomat. Although I think she sometimes only does this to anger me.” the raven haired Senshi told him.

“Do you have any idea how hard it is to explain why one of your pilots flew out of a building, taking the building’s door with him?” She asked him with a fake severe look.

“You know, I just like flying.” He said and shrugged.

This time he even earned a half smile from her, which made his heart skip a beat.

 

Just in that moment Minako slid the paper with her number over to him.



 

After lunch they went over to the palace entrance again, linking up with Team 1 again. Minako and Rei informed them that the Inner Senshi were taking the ride to the Far Side with Gunships too, just Saturn and Pluto were supposed to stay here and guard the King and the Queen.

 

Rei walked a bit offside while the group was setting up the time schedule for departure and took out a box of cigarettes out of her handbag. SunTzu observed her a few meters away and when she met his gaze she nodded and hold the cigarette box in his direction. He walked over and took one. This time she pulled out a lighter and lighted her cigarette before she gave it to him.

“What’s with the magic trick?” He asked, giving the lighter back after lighting his cigarette.

“Don’t wanna run around and let everybody know that I can project fire like my Name is Carrie,” she answered while she put the lighter back in her bag.

“Understandable. But if you ever decide to live out the whole burning girl thing let me know, I’ll get the bucket of pig blood ready if you wanna light up the ball.”

“Ever the gentleman.” she said with a sarcastic nod.

They stood there and smoked when Rei rose to speak.

“So, we’re going to Space now? I’ve actually only been to the Far Side one time. But I like being in space. Eases my mind, calms me down. Probably because the vastness shows you how small of a part we actually are,” she said with a longing look at the Sky. She extinguished her cigarette in a ashtray.

“Space is not a big deal anymore for a Starfighter Pilot probably. Sorry for romanticizing around.” She said and walked over to the Group again, heading for Makoto and Minako.



SunTzu, Second Lieutenant of the Galactic Alliance Starfighter Corps, force-sensitive Pilot of the most sophisticated fighter the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances had in it’s arsenal and trained by Elite Storm Commandos and the Jedi was too shy to let Sailor Mars know, that he felt the same about space.

 




They decided to take off in 45 minutes. The Senshi would return to their chambers in the Palace and get ready, SunTzu was to ride with Team 1 back to their barracks and get at least his guns and gear to be ready if the need arose.

 

Twenty something minutes later, SunTzu was back at the Landing strip, storing the compact Assault Rifle the Armorer delivered as well as a low-vis Platecarrier packed with Ammo and a Radio. Thank god, AICA had lot of storage capacities inside and outside. He also packed some additional clothing, just in case. Never know, when you’re in need for a formal uniform.

His both wingman were also back already and got their Fighter ready. They were already wearing their helmets again.

SunTzu noticed that the only way to tell the two girls apart now, were the colored strips down their sides.

 

Five Minutes later they were airborne and crossed the short distance over to the Far Side’s Landing Port was. There two LAAT/i Gunships were waiting for their passengers. They greeted the already waiting people with a flyover and then turned around and landed next to the LAAT/i.

Order from Flight Control was to wait till everybody was there and right now they were waiting for the Senshi. Team 1 already split up and five members boarded per Gunship. SunTzu opened his cockpit and took a mouthful from a bottle of water he brought with him. The weather cleared off and some rays of the sun shone on the concrete landing spot.

“God, I hate this waiting game. It’s always the same with the Military.” Haruka came over the com in his helmet.

 

After a few minutes, that felt way longer than they actually were, two black SUVs appeared and the inner Senshi as well as Luna and Diana got out, each also carrying a little bit of luggage. SunTzu closed his canopy and got AICA ready for take off.

“Finally, we can get going now?” Haruka urged over the radio.

“The Jedi say patience is a virtue.” SunTzu answered her.

“Don’t overstretch your advanced praise, Mate.” came the Answer.

“Okay, there was it again. That Mate. What’s with the British accent?” he asked her.

“I thought you know?” Michiru chimed in laughing.

“Know what?” SunTzu replied.

“Haruka is half British. That’s why she sometimes can’t shake her accent,” came the answer.

“No shit? Might explain why she gives me such a hard time. Not I’m because a threat on her alpha-status or because I’m the new guy. It’s because I’m German and she’s British.” he joked.

“What? Fuck no. And for the record you’re definitely not a threat to my status new Guy.” Uranus responded.

“If you say so. Mind if I come over for tea later? Or is it already past tea time?” He went on.

“Mate…!” That made him laugh even more.



They watched the woman pack their stuff into the Transports.

“Actually I’m not fully Japanese too. I’m half French.” Michiru told him. “And some of the others are not fully Japanese as well. Mina is also part French, part British, half Japanese mixed and as far as I heard Rei is part American. The Queen and the King are definitely of European descent as well. And Setsuna. Setsuna is a completely different story.” She said the last sentence with a laugh. “By the way, were from Germany are you from SunTzu?”

“As far as i remember, from the south. Bavaria, you know Munich and stuff.”

“Beautiful City, gave a few concerts there. Love the architecture and the green cityscape.” Michiru rhapsodized.

“Yeah, it’s beautiful. At least I think so. You know, my memories are still blurry.” He said

“Cut the chatter. I think we’re ready to leave.” Haruka ordered.

 

As soon as everything was packed and everybody was on board on one of the two Gunships, Flight Center gave the small group the okay to lift off. First the Gunships left and a few moments later the two Fighters rose and took flanking positions on each the Gunships.

 

They accelerated and pushed through the cloud ceiling and rose higher, soon they left the atmosphere and entered space.

It was beautiful sight to behold as the stars were shining light years ago. SunTzu had to think about the words Rei told him earlier and he wondered if she could see this beautiful sight from inside the LAAT/i she was flying in. Thinking about space it also felt crazy that he just arrived here a mere three days ago.

“Stop sleeping and get back into formation 2!” Haruka blared over the voice comm.

He jumped and steered the A-Wing back into a tight, clean formation with the rest of the ships.

“You okay, want me to fly?” AICA asked him.

“No, it’s all good. Just was lost in thoughts. Maybe I’m still a bit groggy from yesterday,” he answered.



They pushed further on and speed through the dark, leaving earth the beautiful blue and green planet it was behind and headed for Mars. The flight would take around 50 Minutes from Earth to the Far Side, so SunTzu settled back and took it easy, just steering if he needed to.

Every now and then they passed a cargo hauler or shuttle going for Earth. Other than that it was very quiet and soon they passed the Moon.

“God, this is boring. Anyone got a idea how to kill time?” Haruka came on again

“Let’s play a game! I start!” Michiru replied cheerful.

“I packed my bag and in it I put my Violine!” She began.

Although first reluctantly Haruka joined in and packed his bag with his sunglasses. SunTzu on the other side packed a hat.

They played on for a few minutes till all of them couldn’t get it together anymore. Laughing they decided to stop.

“Hey, what about some music?” Michiru asked. SunTzu was just about to switch it on but AICA beat him to it. The next ten minutes they had to listen to Mongolian Throat Singing, while AICA additionally told them facts about the traditional Mongolian Way of making music every few minutes.

 

When the Far Side came In side, peacefully hanging in front of the red planet of Mars, SunTzu sat up back again.

The Far Side was a Gladiator Class Star Destroyer, being MK1 that is but he had read that the ship was slightly modified.



The sleek ship with the big frontal hangar opening slowly moved around so that the front showed towards them. Closing in fast the two Lartys landed first in the hangar while AICA and the Voyager flew a extra round around the ship.

 

Soon they were ordered to land also and both ships flew in side by side, with just a few metres between them. They touched down and shut down the engines.

A voice he heard before came on.

“Welcome on Board the Far Side, Pilots.”

 

He did a small landing check together with AICA and then opened the canopy. He saw that Michiru and Haruka were also leaving their Fighter right now. Around the Gunships Soldiers, Senshi and Crew were also busy.

A female, middle aged Devaronian with weathered face and a oil spilt Coverall came over to his cockpit as he was unstrapping and got ready to leave the cockpit.

“That that A-Wing that has anybody talking?” She asked.

“If you mean the most sophisticated Fighter the Galaxy has ever seen, yes that’s me.” AICA chimed in.

The Devaronian was completely perplex and needed a moment to get back to him.

“Yes, it is this one. And yes, she is always that humble.” SunTzu said.

He climbed out the cockpit and got down on the deck.

“SunTzu, Pilot of AICA, the Taskforce’s newest Fighter.” He introduced himself and held out his hand.

“Karlena, Chief Starfighter Mechanic of the ship.” She took his hand gave it a firm shake. “Artemis told me to take care of the fighter and warned me that it was different but it’s not what I expected.”

“Yeah, I get that a lot. Don’t worry, she’s actually quite nice when you get to know her.”

“I bet. Mind if I have a closer look?” The Mechanic asked.

“Not at all.” He replied to her and the turned to the shoo. “AICA, be nice to the Lady, she will be our new Mechanic.”

“Of course I will. Hi, my name is AICA.”

“Karlena” the Devaronian introduced herself to the Starfighter.

“Do you like Music, Karlena? I really like this Genre called Mongolian Throat Singing.”

SunTzu rubbed the back of his nose and shook his head. Then he walked over to the other fighter.

 

Haruka greeted him with a friendly “If I ever have to listen to this again, i’ll open fire onto you”.

SunTzu answered with a “Copy. I’ll make sure the shields are down if I have to listen to it as well.” They three of them shared a smile.



SunTzu took a look around in the rather spacious hangar. He could see two Y-Wing Longprobe Scout Fighters on parking spots and a pair of AT-PT-Walkers in mounts at the starboard side end of the hangar. A single Lambda Class Shuttle was parked inside the Hangar too.

“So this is the Far Side,” he said.

“Yes, Lieutenant this is the Far Side.” The voice from earlier that wished them welcome sounded off behind him.

They turned around and saw Artemis standing there, neatly dressed in a white Officer’s uniform with the rank of Commodore and his hair stowed in a braid under a officer’s cap.

He saluted and the two Senshi and SunTzu returned the greeting.

 

He stepped over to them and asked Haruka how the flight was. While she told him how uneventful the flight was, SunTzu excused himself and went over to the LAAT/is that we’re placed a little bit deeper in the hangar.

Right now Team 1 was loading their gear and guns onto a hover sled while the girls waited beside with their luggage.

He walked over and stood himself next to the Girls’ Luggage. He saw that the black cat and her grey kitten were sitting atop the luggage, lounging. This was strange, but maybe they were actually the pets of one of the girls.

“SunTzu”, Minako threw herself at him, “You’re not here to help me bring my luggage to my room, are you?”

He held up his hands defensively and was about to find an excuse when the other girls turned around and chimed in. He let his hand fell down and gave up to find a way out of this.

His two wingmen and Artemis came over too and eyed the wildly messed up discussion, where only Ami stayed quiet, on whose luggage was the first to be taken to their respective room.

“Artemis could help you too!” Minako yelled.

He twitched a second and then stand stiff with a severe face. Listening to this Haruka stealthily stole herself away leading Michiru with her.

“As Commanding Officer of this Task Force I’m way too busy to take care of the luggage of someone.” he responded.

The girls were looking at him with annoyed faces.

“Artemis, you really could help a bit here. At least take the luggage of me and your daughter.” the voice of Luna could be heard.

SunTzu was surprised because he didn’t see Luna around since they left the earth.

He started to look around.

“Down here Lieutenant.” He heard her voice again, but only saw the black cat, now sitting In front of the luggage. He started to look around if she was hiding somewhere.

“Here Lieutenant.” It was the cat. That cat was talking to him. And it had the voice of Luna. But that was insane, she was a human two days ago. Maybe his head really took some damage yesterday, probably he should head over to the med bay ASAP.

“Why this always draws this reaction. Especially in a Galaxy where mountains can be sentient and hundreds of individuals can use Telekinesis?” Luna asked into the room, seemingly annoyed.

“We’re members of a different species from a different planet.” Artemis said behind him. SunTzu turned around to see his superior in the shape of a white cat, the same he saw before entering the palace. “Actually this is our regular shape, the human shape is just something we took on in our duty for the Crown.”

“Please Mr. SunTzu, don’t be afraid.” The grey kitten now said and he turned there.

“I hope the shock is not too much to take. But it’s way more comfortable too travel as a cat in one of those things than as a human” Luna went on.

“Oh, uhm, I guess It’s okay. I wasn’t expecting this but it’s okay.” SunTzu told apologizing.

“Good.” Artemis said behind him and he turned around, seeing that the Officer was in his human form again, sporting the white uniform. “Now that we could clear this off, would you bring the Ladies’ Luggage to their rooms Lieutant.”

“Affirmative, Admiral.” SunTzu said and sighed.

“A bit more Motivation Pilot!” Artemis boomed and SunTzu snapped to Attention.

“Sir, yes Sir!” SunTzu yelled and almost gave a salute. Mako and Rei burst into laughing, while Minako made a annoyed face at Artemis as Ami looked at him sympathetic.

 



He took the luggage of Ami and Minako first and they let him on to their cabins. Their cabins were located beneath the Bridge Structure.

He put their luggage in front of their respective doors and both woman thanked him and Venus invited him for having a fresh brewed tea with her. There would be worse things than to enjoy some afternoon tea with a great looking blonde medicine student but Orders were Orders and the other girls were waiting. Also having tea in the afternoon would make him a target for Haruka’s jokes.

He politely declined and headed back to the Hangar.



On the way he stumbled into Michiru and Haruka, on their way to their cabin. Haruka, Gentle Lady as she was with Michiru, carried all their luggage.

“Don’t get yourself a lumbago carrying heavy bags around Lieutenant. We need you to be healthy for deployment.” the shorthaired girl mocked him.

He put on a sour face but then remembered something.

“Talking about deployment, where’s Marvin and the rest of the Squadron anyway. I didn’t see their fighters either.”

“They’re doing training on the other side of the Mars but will be back soon, Artemis told me.” Michiru answered.

SunTzu nodded and got back on his way to the hangar, giving a half salute to the girls.

Michiru waved him goodbye and Haruka answered with, “See you later, Jerry.” This gained her another sour look from her Wingman.

 

As he arrived back in the hangar the Soldiers of Team 1 and the Repulsor Sled were already gone and the ground crews were busy working at the Gunships and two fighters.



Walking over to Rei and Makoto, that were remaining he saw that the Brunette was wearing a big backpack on her bag, a rifle and a plate carrier, standing above her luggage and waiting. Even her helmet was hanging down from the backpack. Luna, Artemis and Diana including their Luggage were gone too already. He got his own little bag of things and walked over to them

“Mind if I carry the Ladies’ luggage to their rooms now” he asked.

“I’m gonna bring my personal gear over to the Team’s room. Please bring my luggage to my room, Rei knows where it is.”

He looked at her with a questioning face.

“See, as a Soldier I carry my own stuff. But as a lady I need you to carry my luggage over to my room.” She said and left.

He shrugged and picked her and Rei’s luggage.



As they were about to leave the Hangar, Mars pointed to AICA and said:

“I bet you have a great view of the stars from the cockpit. Not like those things,” she pointed back to the Lartys. “I’m tempted to hitch a ride with you next time but since you’re flying with Haruka and we’re talking also about that guy that thinks jumping out of flying starships is a normal thing I’m not sure if I’d survive that.”

This time she was the one earning a half smile.

“Whatever. Let’s go or you want to settle down here for our whole stay?”

Rei lead the way and they had back to the cabins. On they way she told him which directions to take to certain important parts of the ship like the cafeteria or the exercise rooms. He tried to memorize it but was sure that he’d need some time to find anything on his own.

As they arrived, Minako and Ami just left their rooms.

“Since you can’t spare any time for me, I decided to have a tea with Ami instead.” Minako told him with fake annoyed look.

“We’re at the cafeteria if you’re looking for us.” Ami told Rei, while SunTzu stood there, packed with luggage. A few moments later they were gone around the corner.

 

They first went to the room of Makoto, whose was between Ami’s and Minako’s chambers on the same corridor.

Rei had Minako’s key and unlocked the door. SunTzu put her luggage in and they closed the door again, heading down the corridor. Rei’s room was the second last on the right side, next to Minako’s.

“If you’re looking for room, it’s actually next to mine. Here.” Rei told him and handed him the room keys.

She unlocked her door and he carried her stuff inside. She said Thank you and he left.

As he was unlocking his door, she leaned out of her door.

“For your hard physical work you deserve a reward, give me five minutes and I’ll be ready to show you something special.” She let him know.

He nodded, hoping she didn’t see him blush under this sudden burst of affection from her and stumbled in his room.

 

It was not much but more than enough. Small room with a few places for storage, rather spacious bed and a own bathroom including a shower. It even had a small entertainment unit. He quickly put his stuff away and closed everything in. He was done in a few minutes and before he head on he sit down on the bed, which felt comfortable he had to admit and took a deep breather. This was his new home for deployment so. He looked at his chrono and saw that the five minutes were over. He was eager to see what she wanted to show him so he left his room.

 

Taking a moment and another deep breath he knocked on her door. She opened, phone on her ear, talking with someone. She smiled excusingly, waved him in and pointed on the phone.

“Yes Grandpa, everything is okay. Yes, I’m taking care. Of course. Of course Grandpa, don’t worry. Okay, talk to you tomorrow. Love you, bye.” she was saying to her caller and then hung up.

He saw that she took off her turtleneck and was sporting a red top under it. He tried not to stare at her too much.

“Sorry, had to call my grandfather, he’s always a bit worried with me when I’m abroad.” She said with a warm smile, thinking about the old priest of the Hikawa Shrine. “Are you ready? I show you something very particular about this Starship.” She pointed to the door and they left.

“As you saw, phones, at least over the Internet, are working here. But be prepared that everywhere out of this stellar system will have quite a delay so messages or using the Holo Projector at all are better then.”

He nodded, that was good to know. Not that he had someone on earth to call. At least he couldn’t think of someone.



Rei lead him on and they passed the cafeteria and went on.

After five minutes or so, they stood in front of big blast door, SunTzu figured they were somewhere around the middle of the ship.

Rei opened the door and they entered. It was a observation deck with a great view into the stars and also gave view to the front of the ship and ships entering and leaving the hangar. It was decorated with a lush garden. SunTzu was amazed.

“How many warships do you know who need their own gardener?” Rei asked with a smile. He walked up to the big windows and let the view sink in, enjoying a great look at Planet Mars.

She walked up beside him.

“Can you imagine I’m actually the princess of this planet? There’s even a rumor that theres a castle on Mars where my previous reincarnations dwelled in.” She absently said and looked up to the planet hanging there too. “Ugly brown thing up there.” she said disapprovingly.

He looked over to her.

“From my point of view, Mars is beautiful.”

She turned her head around with him, her mouth open. They’re gazes met and both blushed.

“The planet of course. We were talking about the planet.” he said emphatic and hold his hands up defensively.

“O-of course. We were talking about the planet.” she said turning her gaze down on the floor.



Suddenly Artemis Voice came over the ships’ loudspeakers.

“This is your Captain, all personnel be advised. The Queen and the King will arrive here in 30 Minutes. All available personnel to find in as guard of honour in the Hangar before!”

Both stared at the loudspeaker.

When the message ended a little curse escaped out of Rei’s Mouth.

“I hate when she does that. So that we’re ready if someone important would ever show up. Better get presentable before her Highness shows up” she said and lead on to the door.



The ship was bristling with a bit more activity now and on the way back to their rooms and on the way back they walked into Ami, Minako and Makoto coming out of the cafeteria. Makoto was quite annoyed because she just sat down for a coffee when the message came over the speakers.

Arriving at their corridor, they all went to their rooms.



SunTzu took pulled out one of his uniforms and then stormed in the bathroom to take a quick shower. Afterwards he shaved the stumble that he got since his last shower, he had quite a beard growth.

Because he was thinking about that embarrassing scene he caused in the observation deck, he didn’t took enough care and cut himself with the razor. Great exactly what he needed now as he put a piece of paper on the wound.

 

Ten minutes later he was heading out in his best service uniform, officers cap on and even shoes shined.



Some few minutes later he arrived at the hangar where a platoon of the Royal Guard and Team 1 already were standing in formation. Artemis and a number of bridge personnel were already lined up too. The mechanic crews had left the hangar for their ready rooms and some of the personnel that was not occupied with work trickled In too.

AICA had been moved over to a parking spot. When he looked in her direction he could see her turn on her positional lights as greeting and he waved at her.



One of the door to the hangar slid open and the Sailor Senshi, now all transformed along with Luna and Diana, back in their human forms, entered the room. And boy did they turn heads. Of course the girls were aware of that. They strutted up to the formation, with Venus sometimes stoping for small chat or a selfie with one of the crew members. Blowing kisses into the ranks of personnel she was the last to arrive at the front of the designated landing spot.

Senshi then positioned themselves in two rows with each looking to another.

SunTzu was standing somewhere in the back, a bit lost. 

Luna took a pity on him and walked over to him. She gestured him to follow and placed him between the Senshi and the Royal Guard, on opposite direction of some of Artemis and his Command Staff. This earned her a grim look from Artemis but she just smiled at him.

Standing next to him she told SunTzu with a smile , “Attention Pilot, your Commander in Chief is arriving.”

SunTzu looked out the Hangar’s magnetic shield and could see a white Lambda-Shuttle, escorted by an A-Wing and four Z-95, incoming.



The whole hangar was in formation now.

The Shuttle landed while the fighters took another turn over the Star Destroyer. As it landed and it’s engines died down a ramp emerged from its underside. The formation took on a firm salute.

Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn were the first to emerge and took point on the left and right of the end of the Ramp.

A few moments later Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion in their formal attire appeared followed by the Princess, in a dress similar to the one of her mother. The queen was holding her hand out which was taken by the king.

They strutted down the ramp and passed the Senshi, standing at attention. They strode over to Artemis who took a step forward and saluted.

The Queen leaned forward and had a short conversation with her old friend and mentor before the royal couple and her daughter returned back to the middle of the alley of people in formation and stepped further through the room, with the Sailor Senshi beginning with Venus and Mars being in first in line seen from the entrance, falling in behind them and Saturn and Pluto following as last. While they did, the King and Queen gave a slight nod as gesture of greetings to Luna and SunTzu, as they did with a few other people in the room like Team 1. Luna, Artemis and Diana also falling in behind the Royal Family.

A few moments later they were out the door and the formation loosened up again.

 


 

Chapter Text

 

He stood there for a few seconds more, not really knowing what to do, when the five Fighter Craft entered the Hangar and landed.

SunTzu went over there as his squadron members got out of their fighters.

He gave them a wave as they moved up, the four Headhunter-Pilots passing him with some mocking comments like if he finally found the way to the Far Side or that he shouldn’t jump out of his fighter again because he could hurt himself.

A tired looking Marvin was last and went over to speak with him, his gaze following the other pilots.

“Sorry, they were quite busy up here and need a break. Me too actually, we were flying since the morning. You need anything?”

“Nah, I’m good. Just moved into my room.”

“Good. I heard that it’s up with the Senshi, because our corridor are already full. Sorry for that but at least you have the better looking company then.” He laughed. “I’m a get some chow and then head to my room. I’ll send the squadron a message later regarding tomorrow’s training. I need to catch up on some sleep, It got late yesterday.”

“I see. No problem, I don’t mind some free time too.” SunTzu answered as Marvin gave him a pat on the shoulder and left the Hangar. Following his superior with his gaze SunTzu shrugged and went off to his room.

 

As soon as he got In his place he took off his hat, boots and uniform jacket and jumped on his bed. He took out his datapad and checked for messages. Of course none. He then contacted AICA with his chrono and asked her if she was able to connect to his phone too. After a rant, that for a high tech machine as she was one such a simple thing like hacking into a smartphone or connecting over Bluetooth was nothing. A few moments later she called his phone and let him know that she was done with it. He thanked her and told her to behave with the mechanics. She told him he worried too much and told him to enjoy his evening. They said their goodbyes and hung off.

 

He locked at the chrono and it was nearing 7pm Earth Time. He could go for some chow, but lying In bed he decided to relax a bit first. Dutiful he set an alarm for 7:30pm and then closed his eyes a bit.

Of course he awakened with the sound of the alarm at 7:30pm. Opening his eyes he needed a moment to remember where he actually was, too much traveling in the last few days.



The pilot got up and walked over to one of the shelves in his room. As he thought it really was a small refrigerator and it had something to drink in it. Someone in this ship was actually thinking along more than most of the people in a whole GA Fleet. He took out a cold water and took a big sip, then he went over to the bathroom and freshed himself up. Time for dinner.

He put on his boots and jacket but decided to leave the hat off this time.



A few minutes later and mentally praising himself for not getting lost he walked into the dining hall. Although way smaller than the one in the palace it still had place to house a few dozen people eating. And it was pretty packed right now.

Luckily there was the the possibility to get food packed so he decided to do that. They also had a small convenience store there, where one could get snacks, beverages and other stuff. He got dinner, something to drink and package of cigarettes including a lighter and left again.

As he walked back to his room he stumbled into Ami, now wearing her Intelligence Service Uniform again, carrying a datapad. She came down the stairs from an upper level and smiled when she saw him.

“Dinner?” she asked and he nodded. “Want to have some company?”

“Yeah, why not?” he said.

“Follow me.” She said and lead him on. Around the corner where there rooms were was a small lounge with a sofa, a Holonet Receiver and some tables with chairs.

Makoto was sitting on a table there, she was wearing combat pants and an olive colored t-shirt. In front of her lay a stripped down pistol she was cleaning.

On the Holo a News Channel was showing, reporting about the steep rise of Piracy and crime in the Galaxy.

“Hey Guys.” she looked over to them and invited them to the table. Both sat down and SunTzu started to lay out his food on the table.

“No room In the dining hall?” Makoto asked.

“Yeah. Rush Hour.”

“See this is the Point, when everybody always stays at their place. I’m the only one here that knows that there’s a second one on the lower levels. Team 1 usually goes there. It’s usually less people there because it’s meant primarily for the ground forces and were far away from being at full capacity when it comes to that part. And there’s also that small Officer mess near the bridge. But don’t get your hopes of eating there up Lieutenant, this one is just for the ship’s top brass.”



SunTzu began eating while she was telling this, cleaning the barrel of her pistol.

“Talking about ground troops. I only saw like a Platoon of Guards and Team 1. What’s with the rest? Is that all?” he asked.

“Right now, yes. Team 2 is on a Joint Mission with some regular Earth Forces against smugglers somewhere in Europe. Amsterdam I think. Team 3 and the regular troops are on Yinchorr for training. So it’s just us and the guard. Be aware of the guardists tho. They double as MP here.” She ended the sentence with a wink towards him.

“I see. Better not try to annex a planet the next few days then. Or a riot in here.” He shrugged and took another spoonful of the Pasta he brought with him.



From the corridor a figure came approaching and Hotaru, Sailor Saturn, emerged. She was dressed in all black and typing on her phone with speakers in while walking. She was also chewing bubblegum. She walked past the table and the girls greeted her with warm smiles, while she waved back at the girls with a small smile.

“Hi, I’m SunTzu. I’m the new pilot around. Nice to meet you.“ He introduced himself with a smile.

The teenage girl just stood there and stared at him for a moment, turning her head slightly. Then she nodded one time and walked away.

That was strange SunTzu thought.

„Teenagers.“ Ami said with a apologizing smile.



While he was finishing his dinner, Makoto and Ami told him some other information about the ship.

He then cleaned up and said goodbye for the night to the girls. It was a long day and he needed some time to calm down. It started to catch up to him, that he was constantly on the move.



When SunTzu got back to his room he undressed from his uniform and got ready for bed. He literally dived into the bed. Something in the back of his mind told him to gain rest now. He didn’t know why but he knew the force enough now that one should listen to his guts. Seconds later he was sleeping.

 


 

He woke up by the sound of banging on his door. He jumped out of bed, struggled into pants on the way to the door and finally, more out of luck than out of skill, arrived to open the door.

It was Haruka, she was in her Pilot Suit and had a serious look on her face.

“Get into your flight suit ASAP, we’ll meet up in the Briefing Room, it’s up on the way to the bridge..” she said and stormed away.

SunTzu turned around and got out his flight suit from the wardrobe and put it on, also he put his holster with the gun on his belt. He left his room and went on to the next flight of stairs up. On the way Rudy catched up with and he fell in line behind the Team 1’s Teamleader after asking him if he knew where the Briefing Room was.

 

Soon they arrived in the circle shaped room with a big holo map table in the center and different other holo and regular screens around the table.

The room was bristling with activity. Naval and Intelligence Officers were busy doing planing on the maps and screens and doublechecking data, with some guardists around.

 

The Senshi and Marvin were already there as well, sitting on some small tribune. The Royal Couple and Artemis where at the table in the middle, looking at a map, with serious faces. Ami was talking over a Headset she took from a working station a young ensign was operating.

Marvin waved SunTzu over and he sat down next to his superior. Rudy joined Makoto on the row before them. SunTzu wondered what was going on.

„What’s going on?“ he leaned over to Marvin and asked.

„Don‘t know either, I was just contacted to get the Squadron ready and head up here on the double. The others are already boarding their Headhunters.“

 

Neo-Queen Serenity turned around and made a gesture with her hand to quiet everyone down, then adressed the situation.

„I‘m sorry everyone for the late disturbance but 20 Minutes ago a group of three Freighters entering Realspace around at a CTE Nav Beacon a few lightyears ago reported unknown ships closing in. Some minutes later they send out an SOS because they were under a attack from a Group of Pirates.“ The room was quiet and everyone was looking at her.

„Currently we are the only Units of the Galactic Alliance Forces available fast enough to intervene. The freighters reported Starfighters and at least two corvettes. Artemis assured me that we are ready to intervene. Is everyone of the same opinion? I don’t want to start a fight, that we cannot win or risk lives in that matter.“ She seriously asked the people on the tribunes.

Minako and Rudy looked at each other and Rudy nodded. „Team 1 is good to go.“

Marvin put his hand on SunTzu‘s Shoulder and stood up.

„Terra Squadron is ready your majesty. The Headhunters are already being manned.“ The Queen nodded approvingly.

„When did we ever let you down?“ Venus chimed in and the other Senshi told their approvals.

She then looked at SunTzu and their eyes met. He could see a certain pain and uncertainty in her eyes as she waited for his answer. He nodded. She took a moment, looked at her husband and both nodded to each other.

„Alright. Captain, take direction and jump to hyperspeed! We’re responding the SOS Call.“ She gave Order to Artemis who turned around to one of his adjutants.

„May the Light of the Moon protect all of you. Dismissed!“



People stormed out of the Room, Communicators we’re drawn and orders were giving. Next to SunTzu, Marvin used a communicator to inform to the other pilots to get the fighters ready for combat. Haruka and Michiru along with Rudy and Minako were already out of the door. He nodded to Marvin while his Squadron Leader was still on the Communicator and left too.

 

Alarms sounded off with red lights flashing. Artemis‘s Voice was booming through the ship over speakers

„All Hands to Battle Stations! This is not a Drill“

 

SunTzu called AICA in.

„Get ready, we’re going to combat.“

„I know. I was scanning the Ships frequencies. I heard the SOS coming in. Karlena and the crew are arming me and the other ships up right now. I’m starting Pre-flight-checks right now!“

„Copy, I’ll be there in a minute.“ SunTzu answered. After this, should there be an afterwards, he need to have a serious talk with AICA about her curiosity. God, he was nervous. Real Combat. He was not ready for this. Of course accidents could always happen in training too. But he never been flying against someone who actually really tried to kill him. He passed the corridor where their rooms were and had to do a quick pitstop in his bathroom. Nervous bladder. And he also wasn’t sure if he didn’t need to throw up right now.



The Hangar exploded with activity. Fighters were refueled and ammo distributed. An armored Squad of the Guard took station. The Pilots and Gunners of the LAAT/is manned their ships, the four Headhunter Pilots of Terra Squadron did. their preflight-checks.

Haruka and Michiru arrived running at their Tie-Aggressor and were greeted by a ground crew loading up Concussion Missiles into the Fighter. Haruka and her Girlfriend got on to preflight checks.

Marvin arrived at the hangar, now wearing his flight suit and his helmet under the arm. He went over to the Headhunters to briefly talk with each pilot.

„King Endymion now has taken command of the operation. ETA till Real Space five Minutes“ Artemis announced over the ship‘s loudspeakers.

A few corridors away SunTzu was back on his way to the Hangar and he almost crashed into Hulk, fully geared up, carrying a Machine Gun, and the rest of Team 1, all ready for combat.

„Hey New Guy, you ready to pop your cherry?” he said as they all rushed together to the Hangar. “Bet you Space Jockeys are the only ones getting some today.”

“You don’t know yet Hulk. Depending on how good those Pirates are they might be already boarding the freighters.” Rudy chimed in.

They arrived in the Hangar and Team 1 went over to the Gunships, SunTzu rushed over to AICA. Ground Crew was just packing up.

 

“She‘s fueled up and armed. 6 Concussion Missiles loaded.“ Karlena said, standing in front of the A-Wing. She was cleaning her hands with a greasy cloth. „Good luck out there. Try to come back in one piece. Same goes for you A-Wing. May the Force be with you.“

„I’ll try to. May the force be with you. And thanks!“ he said and swung himself up in the open cockpit.

„Good late evening my dearest most sophisticated fighter in the universe.“

„You’re the Last of the Pilots to arrive. About time.“ his A-Wing complained.

„Because I know you already did the Preflight-Checks.“ he said as he threw on his Life-Support-Equipment and Flight Helmet.

A black helmet with two yellow Crests appeared next to him.

„Stick with me and we‘ll be good, okay? Don’t do anything stupid I wouldn’t do either!“

„Don‘t plan to. I got your six.“ he answered to Haruka.

Haruka held out her fist and they gave each other a fistbump. Then she was gone.

 

Sailor Venus, Mercury and Mars passed him on their way to a Gunship as he was double checking some displays in his fighter.

„You ready for this?“ Ami asked him in a caring tone.

“It’s what I’m here to do, no? Don’t worry, just gonna play a bit of Top Gun as Mars would say and will be back in five minutes.” He answered with a smile, trying to sound calm. Mars dramatically rolled her eyes acting like the comment was impertinent, the other two girls grinned.

 

Inside he wasn’t calm at all tho, he actually was nervous as fuck and hoped nobody would recognize that his hands were slightly shaking.

“You stay safe, I’ll take care of the other two girls”, he said and pointed onto the Voyager, where Haruka just soared up to the entrance hatch.

Ami nodded, Venus gave him a nervous smile and they headed further.

“Good luck out there!” Rei said with a hint of a reassuring smile and then turned away to catch the other girls.

“Thanks, I’ll try to not do something stupid for once.” he answered.

“At least try to stay in the cockpit this time.” She replied with a grin looking over her shoulder while she left.

He got back to the displays and said “That’s at least the plan” to himself.

 

As he closed his canopy Marvin came over Radio.

“Listen up people, we’ll drop out of Hyperspace in one Minute. I’ll head out first with the Headhunters and take care of fighters. Haruka, SunTzu you follow and protect the Far Side from anyone coming to near. Everyone good to go?”

The pilots checked in, one by one, with SunTzu being the last.

He looked over to the Voyager and saw Michiru take a big breathe. Their eyes met and she gave him a victory sign with a exerted smile and slipped her helmet on. He gave her the Victory Sign back and nodded.



 

The Far Side dropped into Real Space 20 kilometers away from the freighters. One was already drifting motionless while number two just got raked with Turbolaser Fire from a Marauder Class Corvette and Number three tried to flee the scene, being the nearest to the Star Destroyer but also being chased by a Pelta Class Frigate.



“Terra Squadron go! Front Guns aim for the Pelta!” the King’s Voice ordered. He was sitting in a big chair in the middle of the Bridge with Artemis standing by his right side.

Immediately Marvin’s A-Wing and the four Z-95-AF4 Headhunters shot out the Hangar.

“I got some more Contacts. Squadron of mixed Fighters, all over the place in groups of two to four.” The Squadron’s Commander radioed in. “Terra 2 to 5 form up on me, we’re heading to that nearest freighter. Haruka, SunTzu take off and take flanks on Far Side. Do not engage before someone gets too close.”

 

That’s it, SunTzu thought as he made the repulsors lifted AICA off the deck.

He took a big breathe and cut in after the Voyagers tail as both Starfighters accelerated out the Hangar and shot for the stars.

“You okay?” AICA asked over the intercom.

“Just a bit nervous, nothing to worry about.” He answered as steered right when Haruka steered left.

Both ships swung around and flew a loop around the Far Side, turning around at the aft side of the ship and taking the flanks.



Marvin and the other four pilots closed onto the third freighter fast and they locked on onto four surprised Scurrg H6 Bombers. The Bombers, dating back even before the Clone Wars, didn’t stand a chance when two concussion Missiles each was fired up on them. The four bombers exploded around the fleeing fighter.

 

Then the Far Side opened fire on the Pelta Frigate. Turbo Laser Hits made the Frigate’s Shields light up and the Hunter turned into the Hunted. The Frigate made a full turn and tried to get away now.

 

The enemy reacted now and the Marauder turned around to get away as well while the remaining eight enemy fighters swarmed in. Four T-Wing Interceptors pounced onto the Z95s and Marvin while four R41 Starchaser took headed for the Far Side.



On the Bridge of the Far Side the King ordered all four of the ship’s Proton Torpedo Launchers to fire at the Pelta Class. The Frigates Shield were already failing when the first Torpedo hit its mark. The rest of the salvo let the midship of the Frigate explode in a bright fireball before ripping it apart. Both parts slowly drifted apart, spilling their insides out, lighted up by secondary explosions.

The Pirates answered with concussion missiles from the Starchasers. Eight Missiles were unleashed but thanks to the point defense lasers only two found their mark at all. And those two burnt up on the Gladiator Cruiser‘s Shields.



“Okay, for me this was too close! Let’s join the festivities!” Haruka announced over the Radio and both fighters left their flanking positions and sped up towards the R41s.

SunTzu switched to Missiles and got lock on one of the fighters. On his left Haruka already fired a pair of homed Concussion Missiles which found their mark in the engines of one of the StarChasers. The ship exploded in an fiery light. SunTzu fired a missile salvo too and hit a StarChaser right in the middle of the fuselage as it was about to rise steeply. The ship exploded, leaving nothing but star dust.

“I got one, I got one!” He cheered over the radio.

 

The other two StarChaser hauled ass and turned around, soon overshooting the brawl of starfighters that were fighting around the third freighter and the debris of the Pelta Frigate. Unfortunately they were already to far away for a lock on.

“You guys need help, One?” Haruka asked Marvin over the radio.

“Wouldn’t mind some to be honest” was the answer. The Voyager and AICA approached the freighter trying to get a lock on but the cluster of fighters was to tight to not risk friendly fire. While the Squadron had a numerical advantage the T-Wings were faster than the Headhunters and now both sides were trying to somehow get the upper hand.

Haruka sank the Aggressor’ nose down before the Freighter, just diving down into the bundle of fighters. Finding a T-Wing hunting one of the Headhunters in a dog fight and took aim. With a few well aimed laser shots she ripped apart two of the T-Wing’s Thrusters and her next salvo made the ship explode. That was number two for today.

“Thank God Haruka! I owe you one!” Ritz radioed in.

“You’re welcome Mate!” she answered, looking for new targets.

 

SunTzu overflew the Freighter and after doing a looping to climb higher over the remains of the Pelta Frigate found a Headhunter chased by one of the T-Wings, he took away thrust and as soon as his Squad Mate, which left thruster was already spitting fire left his sight marks, replaced by a T-Wing he opened fire. The first shot didn’t went through the Shields but the next two hit the cockpit and the third one the astromech droid. He hit the pilots and the ship just started spinning around his own axis, veering away.

 

Now the tables had favorably turned in their direction and the other two T-Wing tried to get so far away that they could jump to Hyperspace. Their efforts were fruitless in the end as Marvin and Odegana sped up behind them, shooting them down.

The Far Side now had passed the fleeing freighter and headed past the destroyed Pelta Frigate closing in to the other freighters and chasing the Marauder Corvette. The last two Star Chasers took flank on the fleeing Corvette.



“Galactic Alliance Defense Fleet Cruiser Far Side to Freighter Fleet near CTE Nav Beacon 03. What’s your situation?”

The Far Side contacted the freighters. The Freighters gave their sincerest thanks and told that Freighter 1 had a destroyed impulsion, 2 just minor damages and 3 was nearly undamaged. The Freighter Fleet’s commander told the Far Side that they were good on their own so far and the Far Side continued the pursuit of the rest of the Pirates with full speed. Terra Squadron, with two Z95s less, Taego and Xena had to return to the Far Side because Damages they took, regrouped and Marvin had to quiet down the chatterous pilots. Just as the Far Side aimed in on the Corvette, the Pirates fled into hyperspace.

 

SunTzu took another deep breathe. Wow. He really made it through his first fight. But somehow he still wouldn’t calm down.

 

“Terra stand by, we’re pinning down where the Pirates jumped to.” King Endymion’s voice came in.

A few moments later AICA came on over the same frequency.

“King, this is AICA. I got a pin as well. Sending over the data, standby to receive.“

She sent over the data to the Capital Ship.

„Receiving Data, wait one.“ Another voice came in.

“You can track down Hyperspace Jumps?” SunTzu asked his Ship.

“Yes, I can do that to a certain degree.” She answered nonchalant.

“And when did you wanted to tell me that?” He scolded her.

“You never asked.” His Ship replied to this.

She wasn't wrong.



Two minutes later Ami came on over the radio.

“Okay, we tracked them. Just a five minute jump from her. I’m pretty positive that it’s the pirate group that has been harassing ships around here lately. Problem is, that the coordinates are pretty close to a Asteroid field and it might not be safe for the Far Side to jump there. Best bet would be to send Starfighters to investigate first.”

“Sounds like a job for the Voyager. Requesting permission to check it out.” Haruka replied. A moment of silence followed.

“Permission granted. Your wingman will also go. Standby for navigational data. Jump when ready. Rest of Terra Squadron stand by to support.” Endymion informed the Taskforce.

 

“Congrats on surviving your first battle but you heard the man. Let’s go.” The Voyager’s Pilot came through the radio.

“Affirmative, right behind you. And thanks. Let’s keep it that way.” He answered, not sure why he felt so tense.

 

Both fighters jumped to hyperspace.








A few minutes later they fell into Real Space again, near a dense asteroid field.

“Through that asteroid field?”

“Through that asteroid field!” Haruka replied.

“Mind if I lead on, better shielding.” He asked.

“After you.”

 

He flew past the Voyager and both ships entered the asteroid field on the search for the Pirates. Flying in a line with just a few meters between them they carefully made their way through the field, sometimes in need to change their path to avoid bigger asteroids. Some smaller asteroids hit their Shields from time to time, making them flash up. Even their both ships advanced sensors were pretty limited in this field.

“I have a bad feeling about this.” Michiru commented.

“Don’t worry Babe. Anything that could get dangerous for us, would hit SunTzu first, giving us enough time to dodge it.” Haruka answered.

“You know what I really like about you being my wingman Haruka? SunTzu chimed in. “You always make me feel so safe”

“Shhh, focus on flying Mate!”

 

As they were through a third of the asteroid field SunTzu started to feel something. Something was about to happen. Hello again, dear Force.



A bit apart from them, hiding with shut down sensors behind a bigger asteroid, the pirate’s remaining StarChasers waited for their prey. They waited till the three Earth-Dwellers passed them and rushed to action then.

 

“Behind us!” SunTzu suddenly screamed.

“I don’t have anythi…” Haruka tried to say.

“I see him!” Michiru yelled, swinging around the Tie’s Rear Guns and opening fire. One of the StarChasers was unlucky and got hit, loosing his shields.

Michiru shot on and the fighter starting reeling and crashed into a asteroid, exploding in the process. The other fighter steered away and hid again.

While they had the better ships and were two, the Star Chaser obviously knew his way around and that gave him a bit advantage.

“Anyone see where he went?” Uranus asked.

“I lost him behind the two big asteroids on our eight.” Michiru answered.

“AICA you got anything.” SunTzu asked the AI.

“Negative, the Asteroids are scrambling the sensors.” The ship answered.

“Great” he replied. “Hey Girls, listen. I’m trying to shoo him down, so you can nail him.”

“Roger, be careful.” was the answer.

“Careful is my second name.” He said as he broke left and began his search.



“C’mon SunTzu, c’mon. You have to find this guy,” SunTzu thought while he was searching for the last R41 Star Chaser.

He remembered Kyp Durron’s words about virtue and decided to start with some Jedi Mediation techniques. And it worked, slowly the universe opened up to him again and he could feel it’s bindings again. He instantly knew how to manage through the asteroid field without turning down the speed.

Something in his mind urged him to close his eyes and open up more. Although it was suicidal to fly with closed eyes in an asteroid field like this he trusted the inner voice.

It was like he never closed his eyes, he saw the asteroids, their manifold sizes and shapes and he steered through them between them, letting AICA dance through them.

Far away he could hear her remarks about that but that was not of concern right now. Right now the concern was to find the last enemy fighter. With closed eyes he looked to his left and he suddenly knew where it was. That sneaky bastard took his time to fall back and changed to the opposite side than the one he steered away. Now he was closing onto the Voyager again. Probably aiming for an attack from around a 45 degree chevron, where the rear turret couldn’t hit him and the Solar Panel gave a nice target.

 

Smart plan but SunTzu was not here to loose his wingmen so easily on the second day of the job. He opened his eyes again but the sensation of the force stayed.

No way he could get over there that fast and take him out from behind, so he had to make something up and that fast.

„AICA, you have to trust me now.” he said as he threw the ship into a Immelmann, nearly missing two asteroids. He sped up and radioed in on the Voyager.

“Girls, you have to trust me on this one. I found him but I need you to go on with your route but when I tell you have to dive down!”

“Roger, I don’t have any idea what you’re planning but I’ll be on standby to dive.”

 

SunTzu raced through the asteroid field, trying to reach the height of the TIE before the enemy, dodging objects. He closely sped through two big asteroids that were about to touch, just a few seconds more. He could feel the other fighter turning into his attack run and boost up the thrusters more.

“Haruka on my mark! AICA, energy up on frontal shields and lasers!” he ordered the other pilot and his ship while he made a sharp turn to his right.

He could feel the enemy speed on the Aggressor, being sure on a successful attack run while he tried to close the distance to the Voyager.

“Now!” He yelled and Haruka immediately dived down, a fracture of a second before the Star Chaser opened up fire.

 

SunTzu aimed quickly as he saw the R41 racing towards him and fired. The shots went through the shield and the fighter fell apart, spitting fire out of his frame.

In an Instant SunTzu changed the energy fully back into the forward shield and rushed through the debris, making his shield flash dangerously. Fortunately the shield held up and as he passed the cloud of fire and debris Haruka came exploded into his comm.

 

“Mate, the fuck was that? Where did that wanker came from!?” A sigh could be heard. “Guess you just saved us. Not, that it’s not your Job but thanks.”

“That was close! Thanks SunTzu!” Michiru joined in.

“Roger, close call. I’m glad you guys are okay”, was SunTzu’s reply.

 

They got back into a tight formation and flew on through the asteroid field.

“Good Reflexes on that shot with the rear turret Michiru.” SunTzu praised the teal-haired woman.

“When your girlfriend’s a speed junkie you have to have fast reflexes. But thank you.” she answered joyfully. “In all honest that was the first combat kill i scored.” she told further.

“Looks like we both been blooded today.” SunTzu said.

“Roger that. Hey Haruka, our new wingman and me got deflowered. We’re finally adults now!” She replied laughing.

SunTzu could imagine the annoyed look Haruka had under her helmet and he had to grin.



Reaching the end of the asteroid field the two snubs shut down their active sensors and slowed down. Jumping from asteroid to asteroid they carefully approached the edge of the field and soon they could make out an asteroid base with the Marauder Corvette hanging around in front of it.

“Well, would you look at that. We found our friends hangout.” Haruka broke the radio silence.

“I think we should invite the rest of the gang for the Afterparty too, don’t you think?” SunTzu asked, looking at the Corvette.

“The more, the merrier. AICA my dear, would you please be so kind and tell the rest of the Taskforce where we are and how to get here safely?”

“Sending signal!” The A-Wing replied.



It was time to end these Pirates wrongdoings once and for all.



AICA told them, that they had five minutes before the Far Side would arrive and they used the time to observe the base.

They found a quad barrel anti fighter laser on the top of the hangar entrance and a single laser cannon atop the main building.

Nothing the Far Side couldn’t handle but being cautious was never wrong.

 

„The King thanks us personally for our effort and wants us to know that they‘ll drop out of Hyperspace in thirty seconds“.



On the second later the Far Side and her three accompanying Star Fighters dropped out of Hyperspace. The Marauder Corvette turned her frontside towards the Gladiator Cruiser, getting ready to attack it.

 

“Uh uh uh, is that a way to receive one’s guests?” Haruka commented. “Let’s teach this Corvette crew some manners!”

“On your three, switching to missiles.” SunTzu affirmed.

Both Ships left their hiding place and rushed towards the Marauder. As soon as both got a lock each of the fighters launched two concussion Missiles towards the Corvette. The Asteroid Base’s weapons opened fire but missed by far, the fighters being too fast for the ancient guns.

The Missile barrage didn’t do any damage but was enough to let the shields collapse. Marvin and the two Z95 followed the example and another barrage rained down on the Corvette, this time aimed at her wings and destroying her main weapons.

 

Seconds later the guns of the Far Side opened fire and blew the Marauder to pieces.

Terra Squadron linked up again and flew a loop around their carrier ship. The Far Side blew off the Base Shield Generator with a barrage of Missiles in the meantime.

Ami came in on the radio.

“The King and me would like to breach the Base and see if we could any Intel on the suppliers and collaborators of those Pirates.

The Gunships are standing by to ferry us over. Soon as the Base’s defenses are gone we’re off."

“You the Lady. Squadron, Open Formation, Fire at will!” Marvin ordered over the radio.

 

Terra Squadron didn’t need to been told two times and the fighters swarmed out.

“Let’s show them what we’re really capable of AICA!”

SunTzu accelerated and rushed past the other fighters, switching to missiles. Dodging the inaccurate fire of the Anti-Fighter-Battery, he waited for a lock and launched his last two Concussion Missiles. The Emplacement lighted up in a fiery fire blossom.

“You’re turn!” he told his squad members.

“Oh, we can do that too!” Sailor Uranus made known and accelerated too.

 

She head for the single laser canon that couldn’t track her at all and shot two missiles, destroying the last defensive gun of the base. The fighters swarmed around the base, looking for other defensive measures but couldn’t find any.

 

A LAAT/i exited the Far Side’s Hangar and took course to the base. Marvin’s A-Wing hovered in front of the Base’s Hangar, checking if the coast was clear.

A minute later the Gunship touched down and Team 1 and formed a perimeter while the remaining Senshi, sans Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon, exited the Gunship too. The Gunship left again and stood by in a low orbit above the asteroid, together with the Starfighters.

 

At first they encountered only light resistance and the first ten enemies were neutralized soon. But Far Side’s scanners read at least thirty lifeforms, so they were still in the minority. Sailor Pluto and Saturn were flanking from the right while Team 1 was taking the main corridor and the Inner Senshi the left two corridors.

 

 

SunTzu‘s inner voice came again, telling him to land too and join the ground forces.

“I gotta check something out and will land there too.” he announced and took course onto the base.

He landed in the Hangar and took a good look around. When everything seemed safe he, took off his helmet and life support system and exited the cockpit. He hurried around the fighter and opened a storage compartment, taking his plate carrier and the Subcompact 416C Rifle. He threw the helmet and vest on and loaded up the gun.

“Extend your blaster and shoot at everything that is not part of our Taskforce” he ordered to AICA.

He then turned on the Rifle’s Micro-Reddot and took aim. The weapon felt great, although he wished he had had time to train with it before. Better luck next time, he thought and headed out the hangar.

 

 

The whole base was a labyrinth of vertical and horizontal corridors with rooms up the most northern parts, making it easy to defend and flank any attacker. Who ever designed it, knew what he was doing.

 

Team 1 has been hold in their advance when they stumbled upon a makeshift barricade including an E-Web Blaster that was keeping them down, although Hulk exchanged loads of belt-fed hate with the energy weapon.

 

Piedro was hit in the side of his neck while he took point and Doc Martens now was taking care of the nasty looking black stripe of burned flesh on the Brazilians neck.

 

SunTzu decided to head right up the various intersections leading away from the hangar and cautiously but as fast he still could moved forward. The base had a lot of intersections and various rooms coming from the sides, which made it easy to be flanked. Suddenly he heard blaster fire ahead of him and he rushed there. Two attackers were laying in ambush and opened fire on Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn but the later one used her Silence Wall to shield them both from the blaster bolts. Relentlessly moving forward the two Pirates realized that It was better to flee and ran away. But Saturn and Pluto immediately chased after them and when they turned around on the next corner to let off some shots it was already to late. The left one, an overweight middle aged human was hit in the face by Pluto’s Garnet Rod and with a cracking voice it broke his jaw. A immediately following high kick from Pluto’s boots left him unconscious on the floor. The second pirate, a Weequay was even unluckier as Saturn jump kicked his back which made him fall down and with a swift swing of decapitated him.

Those two In action were quite a spectacle thought as he just stood there gazing.

He closed up and immediately both Silence Glaive and Garnet Rod were shoved into his face.

Holding his hands up he smiled apologizingly. The woman lowered their weapons as SunTzu yelled “Down!” and pushed Saturn out of his way. In a fluid motion he brought up his gun and started shooting, hitting a third attacker, armed with a big vibro blade that was sneaking up from behind. He looked down onto Saturn to see if she was okay, before he hold out his hand and helped her up. They both looked at each other and nodded. Pluto pulled Saturn back into cover as SunTzu raised the rifle again and moved over to the third attacker, making sure he was neutralized. He just had kicked the blade away when he felt the urge to duck and as soon as he dropped a blaster shot rang centimeters over his head. He dove forward into the cover of the next corridor.

The attack came from behind.

 

He gestured the two Senshi where the shot was fired from and also to stay put. He tried to risk a glance and was treated with another near missing shot. Great. As he was thinking about what to do next he looked over to Saturn and Pluto and the older one motioned him to wait. She summoned a garnet ball protruding out in the corridor crossing and this draw the fire. SunTzu used this to lean out and shoot a full auto salvo in the direction where the Blaster fire was incoming from. A Scream was to be Heard- and he got up and crossed the corner. Weapon aimed down he walked down the corridor. Another Pirat lay there in puddle of blood, hit multiple times. He was already dead. He didn’t wast any time and moved back.

He got back to Pluto and Saturn‘s cover.

„Thanks for the help!“ he told Pluto, to which she just nodded.

„Maybe it’s better if we join up with the others.“ he suggested.

„Way ahead of you.“ Was her reply as she started moving out and crossed the corridors. Saturn took a moment look at him and then headed off too. With a sigh he followed.

 

They were moving fast and soon arrived the middle corridor where Team 1 was pinned down by the fast shooting repeating blaster. Pluto didn’t wast no time and summoned her Dead Scream, air flowing out of the corridors around the Orb. The E-Web was raking the left side of the corridor with salvos. Therefore couldn’t change it‘s aim fast enough when Pluto took a short running start, slammed her staff into the ground, using it to catapult herself into a side flip into the corridor and then released the energy ball midair towards the weapon with a whisper of the attack‘s name as everyone watched in amazement. The emplacement exploded taking it‘s crew with it. Pluto landed on her feet mid corridor, with a hint of a satisfied smile on her lips.

 

What. A. Woman.

 

She landed on her feet and crossed over to Team 1 without any indication of effort.

Pluto was icecold. Saturn followed and after a moment to process what just happened SunTzu crossed over too.

 

Hulk, Nava, Briggs and Smithy moved up while Kiwi and Aussie secured the corridor and Pluto kneeled down next to Martens, taking a look at Piedro‘s wound.

Saturn took a defensive stance to the left and SunTzu asked where the rest was, while he reloaded his rifle. Rudy told him that the Senshi headed left and SunTzu decided to link up with them. Rudy and Dish covered his advance while he moved out. Up ahead Gun and blaster fire could be heard.

 

On the second most left corridor the Senshi were fighting against a group of Pirates that took cover stacked up up the corridor. The senshi in turn were scattered over three corners. Jupiter, also dressed in a Plate Carrier, was taking turns in sending rifle fire salvos and Thunder bolts towards the enemies while Venus and Mars hurled their attacks at the enemies. They already got some of the attackers but the rest was even more determined to hold the corridor. Mercury was using her Googles to find an alternative way.

SunTzu arrived at the height of Sailor Mars, this time he announced himself.

"Earthling coming through“

Mars turned around in surprise.

"Lieutenant, I see you left your cockpit again, despite my advice.“

"You know I got bored of playing Top Gun with the other two girls so I decided to check out what the rest of the gang is doing.“ he replied.

"Actually not much. We’re here getting shot at, yelling profanities at the enemy.

He looked over to the other side of the crossing and saw Mercury and Venus. Venus waved at him smiling.

"Sounds like fun, mind if I join in?“

“Not at all, Help yourself.”

They traded places and he took a quick glance. He felt Mars’s hand on his back and that made him actually more nervous as the fight around him right now.

 

SunTzu let out a small salvo down the corridor which draw counter fire. Jupiter used this to aim and take out another pirate.

He turned around to Mars and told her: “I think it’s been long enough since I didn’t do stupid stuff. Don’t wait for me with dinner.”

“Jupiter, Coverfire!” he yelled and Jupiter let out a full auto salvo and the rest of her magazine. SunTzu crossed the corridor and moved up to here. As he got in cover she turned back and reloaded.

“Great to see that you decided to join us grunts. Isn’t it way more fun than flying in the boring vacuum of space.” She stated.

“I almost got into two asteroids tonight. Boring Vaccum never.” He replied.

“Don’t wanna end up between a rock and a hard place. Ready to move up?”

“Ready.”

“Girls, You’re turn. I give you the signal.” Jupiter yelled. She looked over to SunTzu and told “Mag Dump on 3, I take the high.” She waited a moment.

“1… 2… 3!”

She leaned out and opened up while SunTzu dove down next to her feet and opened up too. Their fire suppressed the enemy and when Jupiter yelled “Now!” after their magazines were empty a wall of Burning Mandalas and Crescent Beam Shower flew down the corridor felling at least two more opponents. In a Blink of an eye Jupiter reloaded and moved up one horizontal corridor. SunTzu reloaded also and covered her.

Behind him Ami and Venus moved up to Jupiter’s old position. The two women pulled him back behind the corner.

“Hi”, Venus said with a smile and he answered with one as well. Ami was in contact with the Far Side, trying to get detailed maps from the ship’s sensors.

He reloaded and asked Jupiter for Cover again. He didn’t cross over to her this time but rather moved straight forward. As a pirate leaned out to take a shot at him, Jupiter took him down with a thunderbolt.

SunTzu moved up further and wasn’t greeted by any more resistance. In the distance more shots and explosions could be heard.

“Let’s move up to the end and flank them.” Jupiter ordered and she and SunTzu moved carefully up, weapons raised.

 



The group moved up some corridors and took cover again.

“You know actually i came here to tell you guys to link up.” SunTzu said as the sounds of the firefight one the right didn’t stop.

“Not the worst idea. Care to stay here and defend our flank?” Sailor Jupiter asked him.

“Will do. See you soon.” he responded.

“Venus, Team 1 just told that they have another wounded. It’s better you come along. Ami you too.” Jupiter briefed the girls.

“Mars, care to stay here and cover us as well?”

“You rather mean taking care that the new guy doesn’t kill himself with stupid actions?” Rei shook her head after a moment. “No, anybody knows I’ve always been a philanthropist.” Sailor Mars answered. This earned her a sceptical look from SunTzu, who was a passage up, taking aim down the corridor.



A few minutes later Sailor Mars and SunTzu were slowly and carefully moving up the most left corridor with SunTzu having his short rifle at the ready and Rei ready to cast a fire soul.

The sound of combat coming over from the central corridor died down at first but erupted once more after a short break.

The two Guardians were walking next to each other when they suddenly heard something making the sound of metal rolling over the floor. A big metallic sphere rolled in sight a few dozen meters away and on a sudden protruded laser bristling arms and legs while it’s joints made squeaking sounds.

 

Fuck.

 

“Take Cover!” SunTzu screamed and both dived for cover in the next horizontal hallway.

The now combat ready Droideka Destroyer Droid was old, probably predating the Clone Wars, and not well maintained which led it to be a bit slower in movement than the models the CIS used but was still a deadly opponent. While the two Earthlings jumped into the corridors he already aimed and opened fire.

 

Great.



SunTzu took a breathe and let off a salvo onto the droid while it was firing after the left side where Rei just stood up, to her right the corridor was closed off through debris. No moving off to the right.

The bullets ricocheted right off it’s shield without piercing through.

 

Fucking great.



“What the fuck is this thing?” Rei yelled.

“It’s called a Droideka. Even the Jedi had their problems with them in the Clone Wars.” SunTzu answered her and then leaned out for another unhelpful salvo.

“Next time I’ll stay with the girls! I bet they’re safely chilling, protected by a group of Elite Soldiers, while me and TopGun here landed on an automated Bugs Dinner menu!” Mars yelled in his direction and hurled a Fire Soul at the droid. The Droid’s shield flickered but still stayed up.

“Oh yeah?! And I’ll stay in my fucking starfighter.” He yelled back while getting back into cover.

“I could be up there just vibing to “Highway to the Dangerzone”. But nooo, Dumb me had to come down here and participate in this clusterfuck while being get yelled at by someone I just managed to not get turned into Swiss chess by a fucking droid!”

He let off the rest of his magazine into the Droideka’s shield. The Droideka slowly but unflinching came closer and now took turns raking fire at their both covers.

“It’s not helping Mars. Unless you have EMP Grenades or a Light Sword we cannot take this thing out!” SunTzu informed her over the Droid’s blaster fire. “I’ll cover you and you fall back to the others.”

“And give myself the bareness to actually let you die? Don’t think so!” She responded. “I don’t know if you someone told you this yet, but Sailor Mars doesn’t run away from a fight!”

“So, any ideas before this thing comes around the corner and bbqs us?” SunTzu asked.

“Actually yes. I need you to do stupid stuff again. Distract this thing from me, I need some time to cast something!” Mars told him.

“Don’t make me regret that!” he answered and unloaded a whole magazine in the shield of the Droideka, gaining him the full attention of the Battle Droid.

The pilot loaded the next magazine and waited for the droid’s fire to cease after a salvo to repeat the whole thing. “Last Mag!” He let Rei know.

Sailor Mars began to summon an attack, she looked angry as hell. The Droideka was just a few meters away from SunTzu and marched on.

“You know, I could be in bed, having my well needed beauty sleep. Or back at home, having a nice lunch with grandpa tomorrow. I could have been on a shopping spree but NO. I have to be on this stinking asteroid in the absolute nothing, middle of the fucking night while a mechanical Cockroach is trying to shoot me!”



SunTzu draw his Pistol and took aim at the Droideka around the corner. Between single shots so he didn’t get hit he could see Rei, who looked furious and was actually emoting heat and even smoke from herself, getting on her knee, a huge bow of Fire in her hands.

The droid crouched slowly around the corner and SunTzu jumped on his back, emptying his pistol.

The Droideka needed a moment to rearrange his guns but SunTzu was sure that this was it.

 

“MARS FLAME SNIPER!”

 

An arrow made out of Fire and Heat left the bow and hit the Droideka’s shield on the back, it hang in the shield for a split second then penetrated it and went into the Droids upper half, exploding there. The Droids upper third ripped apart and it’s legs gave in, making him fall to the side.

SunTzu got limp and laid back, making a big sigh. He would feel that one tomorrow too.

“Are you okay TopGun?” Rei asked him.

He held up an arm and gave her a thumbs up.

“I feel fucking perfect!”

He closed his eyes for a few seconds and took another big breath of air.

When he opened his eyes, Rei was standing above him, looking down and holding out her hand.

“Nice trick!” he said as he took her hand and got up. Her hand felt soft and warm and for a split second he forgot the pain his body made him feel.

“I’m the Star at every kid’s birthday party. Are you injured?” She said, actually looking kinda worried.

He saw that he earned a small grazing shot at his hand from when he was shooting his pistol at the Droideka but other than that he was fine.

“Next time, do that sooner.” he admonished her.

“I need time to prepare it.” she answered apologizing.



He opened a zipper on his flight suit and put a new magazine in his pistol.

“Better link up with the others. Don’t wanna run in another one of these things.”

She nodded and they turned around to get back.



Just in that moment Sailor Venus and Sailor Saturn appeared behind the next corner, rushing to their position.

“We run into some Battle Droids over there and thought you probably did too and need help.” Venus told them.

Sailor Mars and SunTzu looked at each other, started shaking their heads and broke out in laughter.

Saturn and Venus both were wondering what was wrong with those two, looking perplex.

 


 

15 minutes later the Base was completely cleared according to the Sensors of the Far Side and AICA. Ami was busy extracting data from the pirate’s computers and Team 1 searched the base to make sure that really every Pirate was either dead or detained. Hulk had some cuts from shrapnel in his face and Piedro the gazing shot he attained earlier in the battle, other than that their TaskForce didn’t have any casualties. Still it was a close case, SunTzu thought. Especially against that damn Droidekas.

They had three detainees, the rest of the Pirates were dead. The Droideka was last measure action from four surviving Pirates in their operations central, which included their leader too.



After Venus took a close look at his hand, caressing him as his fingers had been all but blown off, and but some Bacta and a bandage on it, he helped Team 1 with the room to room search of the base.

He and Lance Corporal Smith came into a hallway were Sailor Saturn surprised three Pirates while she was flanking from the left.

SunTzu was glad he didn’t eat before, those Pirates were extra dead. He was looking on the remains of a decapitated Zygerrian, a human with a long and deep slash from stomach up to the neck and a tall Iridonian that had been literally cut in half by her.

“All this mess done by a single teenage girl. Good thing she is on our side. But honestly… She creeps me out, always moving like a shadow and always being that quiet.” Smith commented about the macabre scene.

 

SunTzu went on his way back to the hangar and crossed into the central corridor.

Saturn was standing there, looking at the smoldering remains of the E-Web-Emplacement and it’s charred crew, like she was guarding the scene. Okay, that actually was a bit creepy but maybe she had her reasons. He walked over to where she stood and positioned himself next to her.

“You good kiddo? Don’t wanna go back to the hangar with me and get ready to leave?” he politely asked her.

She stared at him for some long seconds. Her mouth moved as she was trying to say something but she stayed silent and her gaze wandered to the front again.

Well, at least he tried, SunTzu thought and with a last glance left the scene.

He took a few steps when she turned around.

“I enjoy the silence. The silence after the battle.” Sailor Saturn said quietly.

SunTzu turned halfway around.

“Thanks for saving me earlier.” The girl thanked him sincerely.

“Just doing my job”, he answered with a smile and waved his hand. “My offer regarding the hangar still stands.”

“Thanks, but I’ll wait for Mom here.”

 

Mom? Oh yeah, he read something that Sailor Uranus or rather Setsuna Meiou, officially adopted Sailor Saturn alias Hotaru Tomoe a few years ago.

“Alright, see you on the way home then.” He said and gave her a two finger salute.

She nodded and turned around again.

 

Two minutes later he entered into the Hangar. Kiwi and Aussie were there, securing it and right now they were standing over the corpse of a pirate, laying face down in front of AICA.

“Mate, that starfighter of yours is the bomb. Made a Barbie of that wanker here.” The Australian sniper said.

He wasn’t hundred percent sure what the guy from down under told him but then AICA chimed in.

“Well behaved as I am, I followed your orders. That guy tried to steal himself away, so I shot him.” She said with a hint of pride.

SunTzu just nodded. Seems everybody got sum down here tonight.



Another ten minutes later, the Task Force Members trickled in. Far Star communicated that a RASP Arquitens Cruiser and a pair of X-Wings were on the way to relieve them. The freighters we’re expecting help from a GA Fleet Tender that was on the way from Coruscant including an Escort.

He was sitting on AICA’s left wing, looking around him. He already had stowed the rifle and his Plate Carrier again.

Venus and Mars strolled in.

 

They headed over to him, looking tired.

“Hey TopGun, how’s the hand? Did Venus caretaking save it?” Rei mocked him.

“You know, I’m beginning to think, that you’re bad luck to me Mars. Usually I end up in pain around you” He mocked her back.

“Around me?!” she pointed to herself. “You’re the one doing stupid stuff all the time. You should be happy that I was there to save you. Two times already!” She stated with agitated voice.

“You saved me!? That’s not how I have it in mind!” he answered and jumped down from the Snub’s wing.

“Guys, please! No reason to fight. Let’s be glad nobody got really hurt.”Venus chimed in, trying to calm the two hotheads down. Both of them looked to the floor in anger.

“Fine. But my opinion stands.” Mars replied, looking up again.



SunTzu reached In his pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes he bought on board of the Far Ship and put into his pockets on his pitstop before deploying.

“Here take one. As a peace offer.” He offered her a cigarette.

She took one and lighted it again with a flame coming from her hands. While she did that SunTzu offered one to Venus, who politely declined, and then draw one for himself.

She extended her arm and he lighted his cigarette with the flame she offered.

They stood there in silence for a moment when another group of people arrived, with Hulk amongst Others.



The Giant came offer when SunTzu waved with the cigarette box, his face coated with band aids.

His mood was fine though.

Hulk took a cigarette and lighted it with a Zipo he pulled out. After a deep draw where he put his into his neck, he let the smoke out and told them how wonderful this was.

Then he gave SunTzu a strong pat with his gigantic hands, making the smaller Pilot flinch slightly.

“Heard you actually shot some Pirates today! I’m proud of you. When are you transferring over to Team 1, Buddy?” Hulk asked and then laughed out loud.

 

A few minutes later the Lartys came back and one of them spilled out a few Guards and some personnel from the Far Star’s MedBay.



The Reconstruction Authority Space Patrol Arquitens Light Cruiser and the two XJ5-X-Wings arrived with the X-Wings heading for the base and landing there.

After a short briefing through Sailor Mercury, the Patrol Members began further investigations and the Taskforce’s Members boarded their Gunships. SunTzu was already sitting in his Cockpit.



When everybody was on board the Gunships took off and SunTzu fell in line behind them.

He opened a comm channel to the rest of the squadron and was greeted with a “Hush!” from Haruka. “The Rest of the squadron already went back on board the Far Side, it’s just us waiting here for you guys. Michiru already fell asleep tho. What were you guys doing for so long?” the female pilot spoke with a quiet voice.

At least Michiru was at peace enough SunTzu thought, as his adrenaline slowly faded. He had very mixed feelings ranging from regret because he killed people over being thankful that he actually survived to joy because they won. It was strange. Above all he felt a deep tiredness and couldn’t wait to get back to his bed.

 

They landed at around 4am Earth Time and SunTzu thanked AICA for having his back in the Battle, which AICA brushed off with an Always while he took off his helmet and gear. Then they said their goodnight and consigned her in the care of Karlena who was already waiting for them. He thanked her and excused himself. He saw that he had a message from Marvin telling him, that the Debrief would be tomorrow morning.

 

As he left the Hangar, Haruka catched up with him, with a dozing Michiru riding piggyback.

“Finally back to bed.” Haruka said.

“Sleeping like a log already,” SunTzu said and looked at Michiru. The two pilots smiled at each other.

“What a night.”Haruka said tired.

“You tell me.” SunTzu replied with a tired smile.

“I heard you also did pretty well at the base. Not to stroke your ego too much but you did good tonight. It’s probably the fatigue talking but I think me and Sleeping Beauty here could got a worse Wingman. You really saved our arses out there. You really did good out there.” The shorthaired blonde woman let her comrade know.

“You would have done the same for me. I’m glad that nobody was really hurt today” he hold up his bandaged hand. “Although it got a bit crazy in that asteroid.”

They arrived at the corridor with their rooms and SunTzu noticed that Michiru and Haruka actually stayed at the room opposite of him.

“Get some rest. We’ll see you tomorrow.” Haruka sent him off.

“Will do. Good night, give my regards to Michiru.”

They both opened the doors to their rooms. When Haruka entered her room, Michiru drowsily said “Was that SunTzu? We’re both adults now.”

SunTzu closed his door smiling. The talk with Haruka calmed him down mentally a bit.

 

What a night.

 

He didn’t even care about taking off his flight suit completely and just pulled the top down before he fell into his bed and was gone.

 


 

Chapter Text

Not even four hours later he was up again, wearing his formal uniform and standing in line at the dining hall, waiting for his breakfast. He was still tired as hell and could feel the last days in his bones. He was so tired that he actually forgot to shave but he didn’t care right now.

 

He slept like a stone and just before he woke up, he had a very pleasant dream about a dark haired woman that told him she’d follow him to the end of time and universe. Just as she was about to turn around and reveal her face his phone woke him up, with Marvin calling and telling him to be at the Operation Center at 9am.

 

No rest for the weary.

 

He decided to eat there this time and as he was halfway through his breakfast his both wingmen sat down next to him. Haruka looked at least as tired as he did, Michiru on the other hand looked pretty fit.

They greeted each other and Michiru asked how he was.

“Except from being tired and worn, I feel okay I guess. One thing is nagging on me and that’s how easy it was to kill someone.”

“It’s kill or be killed out there.” Haruka answered. “I don’t like it, but it is what it is. After all we were protecting innocent and ourselves. Would you’d prefer if it was one of us. Ami for example?”

“No. It’s just weird how easy it actually is. And I have to admit I enjoyed the rush of combat” SunTzu said quietly.

“I know what you mean. But don’t forget that your actions yesterday saved a lot of people, including us too.” Haruka replied.

“Guess you’re right.” SunTzu nodded slowly.

“It’s good that you reflect. But don’t forget, those guy were Pirates and about to kill some innocent spacers. And they were more than willingly to kill us. You had to do what you had to do. And you saved yourself and others, me and Haruka included.” Michiru participated in the conversation. “Don’t be so hard to yourself.” She took on a warm smile. “Also, it’s way too early and we’re all too tired for this kind of conversation.”

He agreed. They finished breakfast and draw some conclusions regarding their flying together yesterday and then left for the Operation Center.

 

They sat down behind Marvin and the Rest of the squadron and greeted each other. The King, Artemis and other officers were also already there and brooded over the map on the center table. Team 1 sat at the other tribune opposite of them.

Marvin told them, that he had to talk with the three of them later on. They were talking about yesterday’s battle when the door opened and the five Inner Senshi walked in. All transformed but wearing sunshades. Looks like SunTzu and Haruka weren’t the only ones, that were tired. They waved at each other.

They sat down on the row behind them. Rei was sitting behind Haruka, SunTzu turned around.

“Had a long night?” he asked her.

“I could ask you the same Top Gun. By the way, what happened with being accurately shaved Lieutant? Fighting mechanical Cockroaches made you badass now?” She replied ironically.

“You know, after becoming a man yesterday I decided to rebel against the establishment now. Beginning with not shaving” He let her know. Both shared the hints of smiles.

“Why do we have to do that so early? I slept for two hours!” Makoto complained. “Venus! Wake up for God’s Sake!” She violently shook the blonde girl that sat there motionless and with a slight open mouth.

Venus jumped up and almost slipped from the bench.

“Why you guys are transformed? Don’t tell me we’re heading out immediately again.” SunTzu asked.

Michiru and Haruka looked at each other and started laughing. The Inner Senshi shared Looks between each other till Ami chimed in.

“When we transform it applies make-up and does our hair and clothes. No need to do that on our own then.” She said sheepish.

“So, to save time and still look presentable you girls transformed rather than to put on make-up on your own?” SunTzu asked.

The girls answered with apologizing shrugs.

 

SunTzu decided that he should really take

some time to think about where he landed here soon.

 

Setsuna and Hotaru entered and while Setsuna looked neat as a pin in a Galactic Alliance Medical Corps Uniform while Hotaru entered in sweat pants and a top, looking she didn’t sleep at all. Setsuna greeted the rest and they sat down next to Michiru. Hotaru, who was sitting beside the teal haired woman put her head on Michiru’s shoulder and yawned.

They waited for five minutes when Sailor Mercury waved the King over and they had a whispered conversation. Mercury nodded with a sigh and the King got back to the map table in the middle, looking a bit embarrassed.

“What are we waiting for?” Rei asked slightly irritated.

“We’re waiting for Neo Queen Serenity and the Princess to start.” Ami answered in a neutral tone.

“Of course. Anyone wanna bet that Usagi overslept again?” Rei asked.

“She definitely overslept.” Makoto replied.

“Some things never change.” Minako chimed in.

All the Senshi let out a sigh while SunTzu was looking to them with a questioningly look in his face.

A few minutes later the door opened again and Princess and Neo-Queen tried to enter simultaneously, wedging each other together in the process.

A lot of sighing and face-palming from the Senshi, Artemis and the King followed.

 

I really have to think about where I landed here, SunTzu thought.

 

After they struggled themselves free, the Queen and Sailor Chibi-Moon, who was also transformed, entered the room. The queen went over to the King and Artemis, Chibi-Moon sat down next to Setsuna, giving her a kiss on the cheek and then greeted Hotaru and the rest.

 

The Queen walked up in front of the table, adressing the waiting Warriors.

“Good Morning. And excuse me for being a bit too late.” she started. “First and foremost I want to sincerely thank all of you for yesterday night. We saved over 50 people and thanks to our fast and courageous Intervention only a handful of the Freighters were hurt, with no casualties.” She paused.

“Taskforce Sol had his baptism of Fire yesterday and succeeded everyone’s expectations! The RASP Unit that relieved us, was speechless that not even twenty people cleared that pirate base in just under two hours. Me, as well as the King and your Commanding Officer are very proud of you and GA High Command congratulates us to this successful mission.”

Joyful although tired cheering followed. Usagi went on after it died down.

„Sailor Mercury spent the rest of the night analyzing data from the raid and they have been sent to Coruscant for further investigation. I want to personally thank her again for the selfless dedication.“ heads turned and people cheered for a embarrassed looking Ami.

“We’re heading for Yinchorr today, linking up with our ground troops already there for training. The next few days will be packed with training exercises for all of you, Senshi included. You have the rest of the Day, shouldn’t emergencies appear, Off-Duty. Use it to get some rest, you’ll be busy the next few days. You’re dismissed.“

 

Marvin turned around to Haruka, SunTzu and Michiru while the rest of the pilots stood up and went their way.

„Listen Guys, after yesterday and talking with Artemis and Odegana, i decided to outsource you out of the Squadron for the time being. You’re better off being self-sufficient than with a squadron, although we‘re still looking to expand Terra Squadron. You guys function very well as an small strike unit. he explained to the three wingmen that were listen carefully to his words.

„That sequence in the Asteroid field reinforced me in this and I was actually thinking about it for before SunTzu even came. Both your Fighters are way too special to be used aside Headhunters. I’ll still be your superior and will be there if you need anything, so don’t worry about that. It just gives us way more flexibility.“

The two girls and SunTzu nodded and agreed. So they were there kinda on their own. And it was up to them to further proof their unique qualities.

 

Together they walked back to their rooms.

„Good work Mate. Two days with you as wingman and we’re out of the squadron.“ Haruka teased SunTzu.

„Yeah, because I led us to bigger things so we don’t stall as opportunists in a Headhunter-Squadron!“ SunTzu replied mocking her back.

„You guys only know each other for a few days and already behave like an old couple.“ Michiru dropped in. The two pilots jerked to a stop, while she walked on and crossed her hands behind her head. SunTzu and Haruka glanced at each other and then turned away.

„Not at all!“ they both replied at the same time.

„Yeah, yeah. Don’t worry, I’ll find a way to take advantage out of it, if just for the fun of it.“ she said and waved up a hand. This was the start of a friendship she thought.

Keeping silent the two pilots followed Michiru.

Soon they arrived at their floor and Michiru teased Haruka.

“Haruka my dear, how about you give me a massage now? Or shall I rather ask your new better half If he gives me one.” She said with a challenging grin and pointed at her new comrad.

SunTzu blushed and disappeared in his room while Haruka just let out a long sigh. Michiru knew how to push his buttons.

 

After taking a small nap of four hours SunTzu took his off time to wander the ship and get to know it. He ended up at the observation deck again and decided to stay a bit and do some star gazing.

They even had a special space for smokers there, perfect. He sat there and smoked a cigarette thinking to himself how crazy his life had became since he woke up in that tank on Kamino. Was he a soldier and a pilot before? Or was he just a regular dude? Was he doing all this voluntary?

His phone vibrated and he saw he got a message telling him to come over at the MedBay by chance to get his hand checked again. The number was signed with Setsuna Meiou.

Shaking off all the questions he had, he extinguished his cigarette and left for the MedBay.

 

He arrived at the MedBay and asked for Dr.

Meiou, a medic brought him over to a small examination room, where she was sitting at a computer, writing something. She had a doctor’s coat over her uniform now.

“Just a Minute.” She told without looking up.

She finished writing and turned around on her chair. Even now she didn’t really show any sign of tiredness.

“Oh Lieutenant, I didn’t expect you that fast here.”

“I wasn’t busy anyway. Hello Dr. Meiou.”

“Please sit down on the examination couch and take off your jacket, I’ll have a look at your hand. And please, call me Setsuna.”

He sat down and she rolled forward to him on her chair, pulling up his sleeve and taking off the bandage Minako applied to him yesterday.

“Looks fine, no scar tissue, burn marks or anything else left over.” she said examining his hand. “I wish we had access to Bacta before. So many lives could have been safed with it.” Her gaze drifted off for a moment.

“Any other issues regarding your health? Any problems with your head regarding the day before yesterday?” She snapped back to here and now and asked.

“Im fine, a bit of sore muscles but I guess that’s natural for participating in combat.” He said with wry smile.

She nodded and turned around, opening one of the drawers in the desk behind here.

“Apply this, it will help.” She gave him a salve against muscular pain and tensions.

“Thanks Doc, appreciate it.” he said holding the tube up.

“Least I can do. Listen Lieutenant…”

“Please, call me SunTzu, like everybody else.” He interrupted her.

“Okay, listen… SunTzu, I didn’t thanked you yet for saving Hotaru yesterday. Thank you, thank you dearly. I mean it.”

“As I already told her, you’re more than welcome. I’m just doing what I swore to do.”

She nodded and smiled slightly.

“For my part we are done.” She replied then.

“And do me a favor. Try to take care of yourself too.” she urged him.

“Will do. But lately I have this tendency to end in dangerous situations.” He answered as he got up. “See you around, but hopefully not in this room.” he bid her goodbye.

“Hope so. Goodbye.”

He left the MedBay and thought about how different the cold blooded warrior from yesterday was to the doctor he just met.

 

Since he was good so far he decided to get at least some Cardio in, maybe it would even help with his sore muscles.

After changing he arrived in the ship’s gym.

Of course parts of Team 1 including Makoto were going at it already.

On a area that was laid out with Mats and functioned as Close Quarter Training Area, Sailor Saturn was training with her Silence Glaive, wearing training clothes.

She was jumping, jabbing, dekeing and spinning with her weapon, making it look more like a dance than training for combat.

After finishing her exercise, she recognized him and nodded as greeting. Taking a bottle of water she had near her and downing a big sip she came over to him, Glaive in her hand.

“Up for a sparring session? We got some wood sticks around here and I heard you trained with Jedi.”

“Oh, I’m terribly sorry, but I’m still a bit sore from my run-in into that Droideka yesterday. And you seem like someone who wants me to fight at my best. Next time.” he apologizing said.

At least one day of not doing stupid stuff he thought to himself.

“Okay, but next time it’s on. I’ll keep it in mind.” She said and got back to her exercise.

Great, now the Grim Reaper’s Teenage Daughter wanted to sparr with him. Maybe he should contact Master Durron and ask for another deployment, something more safe. Mine Clearing in the Outer Rim. Or Rancor Taming on Dathomir.

He walked over to the treadmills and got one. He opted for a thirty minute run and got going.

A few treadmills further he could make out the pink haired Princess, struggling to keep up. He bowed slightly when she looked over and he turned on his tunnel vision and looked straight.

He didn’t take it too hard and at least some of his muscles felt better after.

He walked over to a drinking fountain and drank some cold, refreshing water.

“Don’t forget, you owe me a fight!” Hotaru yelled in passing, with the Princess next to her. The pink haired girl looked completely done.

He turned around and nodded politely with a fake smile and waved goodbye.

Could a juvenile Rancor hurt him more than Sailor Saturn actually likely would.

 

He took and shower and then strolled to the hangar and checked on AICA. After they gave each other the latest updates, he took his weapons in and gave them a thorough cleaning in his room. Basic training with them followed. He made a mental note to stock up on ammo again too.

 

Soon after he received a message from Michiru, asking if he’d be up for dinner with the two of them. Good timing, he was starving.

He texted he’ll be right out and they told him they were waiting in the lounge nearby.

 

He strolled over and found his two wingman along with Setsuna, Luna, Diana, Chibiusa and Hotaru there.

Diana was sitting on Setsuna’s lap, being hugged from beyond and very busy drawing. The two teenage girls were sitting left and right from Setsuna and they all were playing with her.

Diana was overflowing with Joy and Luna, who was sitting opposite of Setsuna observed the scene with a happy smile. Even Saturn and Pluto were smiling beamingly, giving a completely look to their usual stoic and cold expressions, especially Pluto seemed to be more than happy.

Neptune and Uranus were sitting on a couch nearby and watched the whole thing smiling.

SunTzu walked over and although it was a strange scene to find on a warship he thought it to be wholesome and smiled too, it was strange to see the Saturn and Pluto like that after their performance yesterday.

He greeted everybody, beginning with a bow towards Chibiusa, which made Saturn chuckle.

“Please, I’m not the queen yet and we’re among our own. I’m Chibiusa.” the pink haired princess introduced herself.

“SunTzu.” he nodded thankfully. “I see you girls are having fun.”

“Yessss, look what i drew!” Diana told him and proudly showed the picture she just finished. He looked at it and praised her which made her smile even wider.

Luna turned to him with a smile and back to her daughter.

“Time for bed Sweetheart.”

Small opposition followed and was fastly defeated by the promise that Hotaru, Setsuna and Chibiusa were coming along to say goodnight.

While they packed up the toys and drawing material SunTzu went over two his two female wingmen.

“Look Haruka, the new co-worker actually came to the dinner date I proposed him.” Michiru mocked her girlfriend, which just rolled her eyes.

“Hungry?” Haruka told and got up.

“Hungry.” SunTzu responded and after saying good night to Diana, they went off to the cafeteria.

 

“You seemed a bit surprised when you came over.” Michiru stated.

“Yeah, unusual scene on a warship. Also that differed from the Sailor Saturn and Sailor Pluto I saw yesterday night.” He responded.

“Setsuna often seems cold, especially in combat but she really cares about her close ones. And her patients. Also she adores kids. And Hotaru usually just needs time to warm up with people but she’s a lovely girl. Although see is a bit rebellious these times. Teenagers!” Michiru explained.

As they were walking down the ship, Haruka took the word.

“I hope you like English Food Fritz, it’s Fish’n’Chips Friday.”

“Oh don’t worry, Mate, since it’s Fish it’s okay for me. We eat fish on Friday, where I come from. At least I think we do.” SunTzu replied.

“Isn’t that nice, you both just found a common ground about something.” Michiru chimed in, smiling happily.

Both Pilots just looked at her sceptical.

 

Dinner was pretty peaceful, mostly because both pilots were busy stuffing their faces with fish and chips. Michiru however was all grace as usual.

 

Afterwards they strolled back to their rooms, talking about what kind of training was coming up the next few days.

When they arrived SunTzu excused himself because he wanted to finally get back to study the data Ami gave him a few days ago and said goodnight to them.

 

This time he really studied for hours and exceptional didn’t fall asleep reading but on his own terms after he finished.

 

The next morning the FarSide and their passengers arrived at the rocky planet of Yinchorr, Home of a training Facility of the Galactic Alliance Forces.

Soon they started their four days of training and the days went by quickly.

When they weren’t training in space or Sky, with or against Terra Squadron, SunTzu was on the ground, exercising with Team 1 and the two girls training their combat as Senshi.

The training was successful tho, SunTzu could use the opportunity to be the intersection between Sky and ground and train some Close Air Support Missions with the Voyager and the other Air/ Space Assets of the Taskforce. Even AICA was able to do some basic gun runs without Pilot after a few days. Her learning AI was impressive and the A-Wing flying on its own was the spectacle of the base.

He also trained Bombing runs as her pilot but wouldn’t let her do that on her own yet, because he didn’t want to generate any risk for the own troops on the ground.

The training was tough, especially Team 1 grinded him a lot but also gave him lots of insight to fight better and especially when it came to Reconnaissance and Concealing oneself.

 

Team 1 built a reputation after two days for the expertise in the Recon Field and because of that befriended two GA Units training there too. Scout Team Forn, of the Imperial Remnants 2nd Legion and a Deep Recon Team from the GA Special Forces stationed in the Outer Rim. Both very capable units too and way above the average of the regular GA Forces. It was never bad to have capable friends in places Makoto stressed.

 

SunTzu also met the commander of the Hover Tank Platoon the TaskForce around the FarSide deployed, a German called Christian Schmitt. It was nice to know that there were other Germans on the ship too.

The Tank Platoon fielded four 2M-Saber Hover Tanks, also prominently used by the Galactic Empire and its Remnant.

They usually worked in as combined arms unit with parts of the two regular Infantry Companies that were part of the Task Force. The Infantry fought dismounted from Imperial Troop Transport Hover Vehicles when they joined the Tanks. The unit was able to quickly strike in this composition. The other Infantry company was specialized in Airborne Deployments and would be transported via the Lartys to the Battlefield.

 

All in all the Taskforce was not big and fit for prolonged or conventional warfare but very capable as Fast Strike Force for surgical strikes.

 

AICA and the Voyager excelled in Fighter Training, proofing to be too much for Terra Squadron, with only Marvin giving them a hard time.

 

After four hard but fruitful days the Taskforce loaded up on the Far Side again and left for Earth, which took another day.

Everybody was exhausted and most of the crew and accompanying troops tried to relax and take it easy therefore it was quite silent on board.

SunTzu, who was not less exhausted than the rest took the time to meditate and getting better with the flow of the Force. He also was practicing Force Telekinesis with small things like his lighter inside his room in what little spare time he had. After four days he was at least able to let the Lighter float above his hand but he was still struggling in making it move around.

 

It was evening when suddenly someone banged on his door.

He stood up and walked over. The banging just got more aggressive.

“What the hell… Oh Makoto, what’s up? What’s going on?”

Makoto stood there, dressed in combat pants and a tank top, as well as an Army Cap.

“Lieutant, we’re having a drink with the rest of the Team. Let’s go!” She told him with a big grin.

“Now?” he asked, looking surprised.

“Of course now. And now c’mon, that’s an order soldier!” She said as she turned around and started walking.

They walked to the next turbolift and descended further down the ship’s insides.

Soon they arrived at the quarters of team 1 that pretty much resembled the inside of their barracks, just smaller.

Everyone was sitting around some

tables fit into each other and three bottles of strong Sartinaynian Brandy were placed on them as well as few sixpacks of beer.

“Guys, I brought our honored guest with me!” Jupiter said as she lead SunTzu into the room. Cheering followed and Rudy got up from his chair.

“Welcome Lieutenant, apart from celebrating the end of the trip this is also your welcome Party. Don’t worry, we’ll go easy with you. As always!” Rudy told him ironically. “Please take a seat.” SunTzu did as told and sit down as did Mako. Rudy stayed up and explained:

“We won three bottles of finest Brandy from the guys of Forn, as we beat them in shooting on the range! Stuff is older than Bastion has been Capital of the Remnant.”

He distributed some cups to everyone and opened the first bottle.

“Captain, would you give us the honor?” he said to Makoto and handed her the bottle as she stood up.

“With pleasure. Lieutenant, if you would hold up your cup.” She looked over to SunTzu, that raised his cup after her words.

And she filled it up completely with the dark brown liquid, his eyes went big as he stared.

As she was done she filled up the others cups, although not even half than what she pulled in his cup.

“Lieutenant SunTzu”, she started and motioned SunTzu to stand up “At attention please!” He rose to a formal attentive stand.

“As commanding officer of Taskforce Sol Special Operation Forces it’s my pleasure to at least partly welcome you to Team 1. You may drink now!”

The whole table started shouting “Chug! Chug! Chug!”, demanding to down the whole cup in one sip. Well, Moma didn’t raise no bitch, at least he was pretty sure about this, so he gave in to another stupid idea and chugged the whole thing down in one go.

It burned, like hell actually but also didn’t taste that bad to be honest.

When the cup was empty he turned the cup around to show that it was empty. The whole table cheered and toasted to him.

What followed was a night of excessive drinking, testosterone filled challenges which weren’t limited to the males and some crazy stories from the Team Members that already were Veterans of former Wars.

 

He woke up bare chested in one of the showers of the dorm and needed a moment. A throbbing pain reminded him pretty fast on what he was doing last night.

He walked out of the shower and was greeted by Team 1 laughing their asses off as he walked out of the shower.

After getting more than enough mocked by Team 1 he grabbed his shirt from where he sat and headed back to his room. Checking his chrono and seeing that it was around 8am and that he still had some time till the Cruiser would arrive at the Earth. Walking around just made his head feel worse but it didn’t help.

He got to his room, showered and chugged down a bottle of water against the thirst he felt. Then he put on a flight suit and a pair of sunglasses and headed out to get some food, that would help him feel better maybe.

At the cafeteria he saw a cooing Michiru and Haruka enjoying themselves and breakfast. When they saw him, they laughed and waved him over.

“Oh, you actually survived. I wasn’t so sure?” Haruka told him with a big grin.

“How do you know?” he asked her.

Both woman looked at each other and smiled even more. Haruka pulled her phone out and showed it to him. Jupiter took a Picture when he fell asleep in the shower and of course sent it to the rest of the girls.

His jaw dropped. The second time in one week he shortly contemplated murder against a superior officer again and again it was against Makoto. He blushed and his wingmen started laughing.

“Slept well at least. It looked like you were really comfortable?” Michiru asked kindly and nipped on her coffee to not show her smile.

He just sat there facepalming and asked himself if jumping out of an airlock was an option.

He got some breakfast and coffee and shoved it down in silence while the two Senshi gave him a hard time.

Some time passed and Minako appeared at the table.

“Ah SunTzu, I was looking for you, good morning. Since you didn’t open the door i thought you could be here. I figured you probably have headache so i got you this.” She hold two painkillers up. Thanking god for sending this blonde angel he nodded and took them, downing them with a cup of orange juice he got with breakfast.

“Thank you Minako. You’re godsend. Oh and good morning.”

She blushed a bit after being told that she was godsend and sat down next to him.

“Did you have fun at least?” She asked.

“I had till your fellow Senshi shared a shot of me passed out in the shower.” he answered.

“Oh, don’t worry. The girls will forget that very soon.” Minako tried to build him up.

“Not me. I’ll saved it as his Caller ID already.” Haruka chimed in, earning a grim

look from SunTzu.

Few minutes later the painkillers started to kick in and his head felt better.

“Feeling better?” Minako asked as he was finishing his breakfast. She got herself a cappuccino and was sipping it.

“Yes, thank you again Minako. Sartinaynian Brandy is a helluva drug. Stay away from it, if you can.”

“Will do”, she nodded enthusiastically and smiled at him.

Afterwards, and after Haruka asked him, if he was sober enough to get there or needed help, he went back to his room and started to pack the stuff he was about to take with him. Also he called AICA over the chrono and asked her for news. Even his damn Starship had access to the goddamn pic and made comments. He facepalmed again. Being not fit he decided to let AICA now, that she should get from the ship to the hangar on her own and he would find another way to get to the flight center.

 

He laid for another couple of hours and was awakened by an alarm he set on his chrono. It was one hour before they would land.

It banged on his door again, this time it was more civilized.

He opened and immediately stood at attention.

“Your Majesty, I’m sorry.” he greeted the King.

“At ease Lieutenant. I just came here to let you know that the Lartys going to the palace will be leaving soon and that you might take one too. Better than walking from the ship to the Flight Center. If you don’t fly in your own starfighter that is”.

“Actually not, I don’t feel fit enough to fly to be honest. You know Team 1 welcomed me as one of their one yesterday.” SunTzu said with a wry smile.

“I heard about that. Head up over to the Hangar so. Oh and by the way, we’re having a banquet at the palace tonight to celebrate our success at the CTE these days. I’d be honored if you could join us. If you’re feeling well enough that is.” Endymion answered also with a smile.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be good till then.” SunTzu stated honestly.

“Excellent. See you later.” the king nodded.

“My king.” SunTzu bowed.

 

He got his bag and headed up to the Hangar, there he bid goodbyes to AICA and Karlena and told them, that he’ll see them tomorrow before he headed out for one of the Gunships, now all four were on board.

He also had a small chat with Marvin, as the Pilots of Terra Squadron and their leader entered the Hangar shortly after him. Marvin told him, that they’ll see each other at the banquet tonight. Then Marvin went off to his A-Wing and SunTzu got on board of one of the LAAT/is as it’s first passenger, greeted the crew and crept up in the back as far as he could and sat down, leaning against the ship and dropping his luggage next to him.

From where he could see that the hangar slowly filled itself. Terra Squadron just left it also.

He was closing his eyes and dosed a bit when something landed next to him.

„Mind if I sit there?“ Luna, now the black cat with the gold crescent on her forehead again, asked.

He shook his head, but instead to next to him she jumped on his lap, stretched and laid out like a regular cat would do.

This felt strange.

„Don’t worry Lieutenant, I’m a married woman.“ she informed him. „It’s just so much more comfortable.“

„Uhh, okay. If you say so.“ he answered a bit perplex and she giggled a bit. Slowly more people came on board, mostly Guardsmen and some Soldiers.

Luna had laid her head down and purred slightly. Out of a habit he started to pet her behind her ear.

Guess now I know that I like Cats he thought to himself.

The black cat started to purr louder and SunTzu found it to be very relaxing. At least this flight would be enjoyable and quiet.

“I heard the girls are having way too much fun with giving you a hard time Lieutenant.” Luna told after a time. “I’m sorry, sometimes they still behave like Teenagers. Don’t be mad with them, deep down they’re still good girls.”

“It‘s all good, at least they keep me on my toes. Although I have to say my first week here was everything but boring, also thanks to these girls.” He smiled and Luna answered with a smile too, before she laid down again and enjoyed being petted again.

The Inner Senshi entered the Transport and went also to the back.

Makoto told the Crew Chief to close the side doors and don’t open them before they were landed.

“Look, Luna found Robinson Crusoe. Ah wait. No. It’s just the new Pilot.” Rei yelled as she catched sight of them. In that moment they took off.

“Hey TopGun, you still in your rebel phase or was shaving just too dangerous with the amount of Brandy in your veins?”

Friendly as always he thought as he felt on his face. He hadn’t shaved since five days and he decided to keep the beard and grow it out a bit. After all he was a badass Commando now too.

“I think it suits him very well. You look good with a beard SunTzu.” Minako barged in.

“Girls, please don’t yell so loud.” Makoto didn’t look so healthy either.

“What’s wrong? Is there Karma and you have a hangover too Captain?” SunTzu asked her ironically.

“I was not as drunk as you’ve been!” She responded.

“That’s because I had to drink more than anybody else!” he justified himself.

“Guys, please no reason to get loud. I’m sure the Lieutenant isn’t used to drinking with Team 1. And Makoto, don’t forget your not a Saint either. May I remember you on that on night in Roppongi?” Ami rose to speak.

Rei and Minako started laughing.

“That was one crazy night!” Mina stated.

“Damn, I wanna go home.” A mad Mako stated.

“Me too, I’m looking forward to Ryu. I miss him a lot on these trips.” Ami told, with a hint of sadness in her voice.

“Same for me with Kenji.” Mako stated.

“Ain’t Love grand.” Rei said and she and Minako sighed.

“Talking about Love. Is there already someone in your Life? Are you even married as are these two lucky bitches?” Minako asked SunTzu and pointed at Ami and Makoto, earning a dark glance from Mako.

“No, not that I would know of. But you know my mind isn’t the best right now. But it doesn’t feel like it.” he answered honestly.

While Mina started smiling because of the answer, Rei had her own comment on this.

“Probably divorced. Two times.” She said mockingly with a ironic face.

SunTzu was working on a counter but the hangover didn’t make it any easier.

“Girls give the Man a break.” Luna intervened motherly. “He had a hard week.”

“Any idea how you’re going home to your apartment? Wanna carpool again?” Ami asked him.

“That would be awesome. Thanks Ami.”

 

In that moment the Larty landed at a small landing place in the back of the Courtyard. The Pilot made extra sure, that he was on the ground before he opened the side doors.

Luna jumped up from his lap and landed next to the girls. SunTzu got also up and grabbed his bag. People spilled out, while he, Luna and the Senshi waited to leave the Transport.

“Excuse me, he said and passed the girls gently.

As everybody else was out he jumped out, dropped his bag and waited at the door to help each of the girls out of the Gunship.

This earned him reactions ranging from a “TopGun, I didn’t know that you’re actually an Officer and a Gentleman” from Rei to a wink and some flirtatious playing with her hair from Minako.

The last to exit was actually Luna and she actually transformed back to her Human form before she left.

“A man, that knows how to behave.” She stated approving after being back on earth.

He took his bag back up and followed the women.

Luna told them that she would stay here and wait for Artemis and Diana that would take the same Transporter as the Royal Majesties. They told her they’d see each other later and went off for the car pool and parking lot.

Ami and SunTzu got into Ami’s Car and left while the other three girls got into the car of Minako.

 

The drive home went smooth and fast and the two were just chatting about how nice it was to be home again and what they were up to the last few days.

They rolled up at SunTzu’s Apartment Building.

SunTzu asked if he’d meet Ami’s husband tonight and she told him, that her Husband wasn’t really the man for momentous occasions but they all could get some coffee tomorrow afternoon. SunTzu agreed to the opinion and Ami told him, she would pick him up later on again, with more Info.

 

He got into his apartment and took the time to contact AICA, asking If everything went right. She made a bit of a scene because she had to fly alone but that was mostly just acting up. She was good. He told her, that he’ll be there tomorrow morning to make up for it. She mocked him and told him to not get drunk again.

 

He unpacked his stuff and saw he had some time to pass. Looking in the mirror he decided that he could use a haircut. He googled for a barber nearby and went off.

Self Care is necessity after all

 

Not even a hour later he was back at home again, with a firm haircut and feeling better. He took a shower and rinsed away the last of his hangover with it. Although his eyes still looked a bit tired he looked socially presentable again, as he got dressed in an officers uniform.

 

Shortly after Ami was back and they drove back to the palace. Ami opted for an uniform too. They both commented that it was about time for a common Uniform for the Taskforce and laughed. Further on they spoke about tomorrow and she informed him, that coffee tomorrow was a go and that her Husband was eager to get to know the pilot of the speaking spacefighter.

 

The palace looked different than usual, it was enlighted by flood lights and only the Honor Guard was visible, not the combat ready troops. Although SunTzu was sure they were still there. Valets greeted Guests at the steps of the main entrance and parked cars for their owners.

SunTzu nervously looked to Ami.

“Nobody told you?” she asked.

“Told me what?” He answered with a question.

“It’s not only for the TaskForce, some important people from outside like politicians, ambassadors and attachés are also present. But don’t worry, it’s not that they are near us. It’s more that they are invited. They’ll be lucky if they even see the Queen having dinner.”

Great, good thing he was feeling better again.

A Valet took Ami’s car and as they arrived at the entrance doors of the palace they were greeted by Marvin, dressed in his uniform with various decorations including a medal stating he has been a Combatant in the Swarm Wars.

Ami excused herself and entered the building.

“How are you doing? Feeling better?” Marvin asked the younger pilot.

“Im Good again. Maybe just a bit nervous. I’m not the type for occasions like this.” SunTzu responded.

“Better get used to it. As Guardian of the Queen and Officer of the Crown there will be more activities like that down the line.” Marvin told him with a sympathetic smile. “C’mon, let’s get this over with. Just shake hands and be nice if someone comes over to you.”

First there was a champagne reception at the main ballroom. After yesterday SunTzu decided to stay with pure Orange Juice tho.

Some people came over to them from time to time and him and Marvin got busy shaking hands. The Military Attaché of the US Embassy was pretty interested in details about the battle at the CTE a few days ago. Both pilots were professionals enough to say nothing with a lot of words. And still detail out what big of a success the mission was.

As the Attaché left again, he and Marvin turned around and Marvin told. SunTzu downed his sexond

„Maybe you were right. I’m not build for this either. Next time, I’ll check us in for special combat aviation training to save us from this.“

A servant informed the Attendees that it was now time for dinner and the people started to stroll into another room where big round tables were aligned.

 

A few of the tables as well as a long rectangular dinner table were positioned a bit secluded from the rest of the room, with the round tables covering the rectangular one even more.

“Good thing the King and Queen value their privacy”, Marvin said as he headed for the secluded tables.

SunTzu could see some of other pilots and members of the ground troops at the secluded round tables and guessed they were for Taskforce Members only. And the Rectangular Table probably for the Inner Royal Court.

He followed Marvin as a whistle sounded off from the larger table.

Makoto was waving at him and pointing to a seat between her and Haruka.

Oh no, that was too much for him now.

“Looks like you’ll be the missing link between Space and Ground Forces, Lieutenant.” Marvin joked.

“Ah you know, I’m good. I’m not important enough to sit there.” SunTzu explained himself while Makoto’s pointing at the seat got more aggressive.

“You’re wrong SunTzu. Actually the queen demands your presence at her table. So please, follow me.” Michiru walked up and politely motioned at the table, hiding a smile.”

Marvin nodded, surpressing a smile and told him to have fun while he’d stay her with the lower folks.

Somehow SunTzu had the impression that Marvin knew that before.

Michiru was wearing a dark green dress, making her hair color even stand out more. As he followed her he catched himself thinking how lucky Haruka was. He shook the thought off and got to the table.

Michiru placed herself on the opposite side of Haruka, which only had eyes for her. She, as well as Jupiter, were dressed in their service uniforms.

Mako pulled the chair he was supposed to sit on out and he sat down.

“About time that you come over. I was starting to feel like a lunatic.” She said.

“Good evening Makoto, nice to see you too.” He answered sarcastically. “I wasn’t sure I was even allowed at this table, to be honest.”

His wingmen and the Special Forces Officer looked at him.

“But you’re one of us, a guardian of the royal family, so you sit at our table. That’s only natural.“ Makoto told him with a shrug.

“But don’t you worry, you don’t have to wear a short skirt and bows now. If you don’t want to of course. If you want, we’re cool.” Haruka chimed in.

Oh, he almost had forgotten why he wanted to sit at another table.

“Oh and I wanted you to sit here to let Haruka unmistakably know, that being a soldier on the ground is better than being a space jockey.” Jupiter said nonchalant, taking a sip from a glass of water.

“It’s not. Flying has a grace and honor that ground combat never could have. Ground combat is like a bar brawl with guns.” Haruka retorted, looking angrily at Makoto.

“Oh yeah, as if you could occupy a city or a planet just with Snubs. Good luck with that!” Makoto turned to Haruka.

SunTzu ducked down on the table.

“Try to bring as much firepower as the Voyager to a fight.” Haruka responded.

SunTzu sighed.

How tall was a juvenile Rancor? And how hard was it really to teach them to be used as mount?

Ami appeared at the table and sat down on the opposite side of SunTzu’s place.

“What’s happening?” She asked.

“Oh, just the usual discussion between Haruka and Makoto about which branch is better. And SunTzu is trying to get out of the crossfire.” Michiru answered

“Ah, so basically the usual stuff. Except for the collateral damage.” Ami nodded knowingly.

“Exactly” Michiru told.

In that moment Minako and Rei showed up, Minako in a white dress with orange LV Symbols and Rei in a red ball gown. They both looked stunning but came to the table with exhausted looks in their faces and half empty Champagne Glasses in their hands.

„God, I hate these events.“ Minako told while she sat down next to Makoto.

Rei sat down too. The girls downed the rest of their champagne and motioned for a nearby waiter to fill them up again.

SunTzu had to concentrate to not stare at her.

“Two Hours of acting friendly towards stubborn old man, that are actually more interested in drooling over me than in contributing the smallest amount to peace in the Galaxy. I don’t know how you do that Rei” Minako complained further.

Rei shrugged.

Also Naru and Umino showed up and Naru settled down at the left end of the table with Umino on her right. This was a good sign that the Dinner would begin soon, everybody was hungry.

Shortly after a fanfare sounded off and a big door to an adjacent room opened. The Neo-Queen, as usual in Gold and white, but this time in a more festive dress, and the King, dressed in a white Tuxedo entered the room and everybody stood up and applauded.

They were followed in short distance by Luna and Artemis.

They gave a small speech thanking the attendees for coming and honored the Taskforce for it’s successful mission. People applauded politely and the Royal Couple and their adjutants settled at the table the Senshi were sitting. The queen was sitting at the right head of the table with the king on her right and Luna to her left, Artemis was sitting in between Minako and Luna.

Someone asked where Saturn, Pluto and Chibiusa were and Ami explained that they were on a mission.

Before Dinner was served King Endymion gave a small toast to the attending members of the TaskForce, that were sitting on the three secluded tables and thanked them again for their engagement.

 

A multiple course dinner followed with some exquisite fushion food.

The food was actually so good it made it worth it to sit between Haruka and Makoto and their mocking, SunTzu thought. To be honest he had a ready tongue too and gave them a good dose of shittalking too. All in all it was a fun evening and he enjoyed it thoroughly, but it would have been even better if he would have found more time to talk to Rei.

 

After Dessert he went up the stairs and entered the balcony of the Frontal Palace Building to catch some fresh air and enjoy a cigarette.

He was just about to light his cigarette when a voice behind him sounded off.

“Mind if I disturb your loneliness?”

He turned around to see Rei standing behind him, wearing a stole over her dress and holding a cigarette In her hands. The night was clear but a bit chill.

 

No, not at all. Why don’t you stay the whole night. Or forever.

 

“Not at all.” he responded and offered her fire. While she lighted her cigarette he got lost in her blue eyes for a moment.

She seemed lost in thoughts the whole evening already and her eyes spoke off a certain sadness tonight.

“You okay? You’re so quiet tonight.” He asked her and lighted his own cigarette.

She took a drag and blew the smoke out.

“Oh TopGun, i don’t think you’d understand.” She said with a melancholic voice in her tone and sighed, walking to the balcony’s balustrade and looking up to the sky where a big half moon hang above the palace.

“Do you believe in Destiny?” She turned around and looked at him.

Her fine featured face was beautifully illuminated by the moon light and her raven hair gave a nice contrast to the red of her dress as some strands of it fell over her shoulder.

Her beauty stung him on the inside for a second and he needed a moment to focus.

“I believe in the Force. And that the Force guides us to our destiny.”

She thought about it for a second and a smile shooed over her face.

“You sound like a Jedi right now.”

“Spent too much time around them lately I guess. But watch this, I learned more from them than mystic sayings.”

He pulled out his lighter again and placed it in his open palm.

She looked at his palm and then with a puzzled look into his face.

“Wait a second, i gotta concentrate.” He told her.

A few moments later the lighter slowly rose off his palm and hovered a few centimeters above it.

It took a lot of concentration and after a few seconds the lighter fell back into his hand.

“Nice trick. Might not wanna go on a world tour yet but I guess if I ever need a substitute for the Kids’ birthday parties I’ll give you a call.” She said with a small smile, obviously the trick cheered her up a bit.

She looked down the balcony and her eyes went wide for a moment, than she turned around, extinguished her cigarette quickly and stormed away.

“I’m sorry, I gotta go!” Rei yelled as she left the balcony.

Questioningly he looked down the balcony. All he could see was an important looking black haired man, maybe fifty to sixty years old and probably Japanese, in a dark suit. Probably a politician or something like that, he thought. The man was accompanied by two bodyguards and probably was waiting for a car to pick him up.

He shrugged, not knowing what Rei saw that made her leave so fast, took a last draw and then extinguished his cigarette, leaving the balcony and walked back to the banquet.

 

He wouldn’t have mind to cheer Rei up even more, but he guessed she had her reasons to leave that fast. But still. He wished she would have stayed on that balcony with him.

 

Most of the guests began to leave and as he got back to the table Ami asked him if it would be okay to leave soon too.

He approved of it, getting tired and feeling yesterday’s missing sleep again.

 

A few minutes later they said their goodbyes to everyone and SunTzu politely and respectfully thanked the Royal Majesties for the invitation to the dinner and their table.

Then they left and went out to the central entrance.

Rei was standing there, looking more sad than before and smoking another cigarette with deep fast draws. Something seemed to have happened.

She saw Ami and SunTzu approaching.

“You’re going home?” She asked Ami.

“Yes, going to drop SunTzu off before.” Ami explained.

“Did something happen? You look sad.”

“It’s nothing. Could you please drop me off at the shrine?” Rei asked her friend.

“Sure, let’s go.”

 

The Valet brought Ami’s car and before SunTzu could even open the door for her, Rei was already sitting inside, taking the backseat. He got in next to Ami and both shared a concerned look because of Rei.

Nobody spoke a word on the drive back to the city.

He didn’t want to stress Rei out more so he didn’t ask what was wrong, so he stared out the window most of the time, as was Rei.

As he looked at her in the rear mirror somewhere half way over one of the bridges connecting Crystal Tokio with Old Tokio, he saw a single tear roll down her cheek.

 

When Ami stopped at the steps leading to the Hikawa Shrine, Rei left the car instantly.

“Thanks Ami. See you tomorrow.”

 

SunTzu gave Ami a questioning look and she just shrugged her shoulders, not knowing what was going on either.

 

A few moments later they arrived at his place and he thanked Ami and got out, wishing her a good night.

 

He went to bed soon after. His last thoughts before falling asleep circled around Rei and he wondered what hurt her so much. And how much he wanted to make her feel better again.

Chapter Text

 

SunTzu woke up to the sound of his alarm, he was well rested, but something didn’t feel right.

He took a moment to search his feelings. Was it because Rei’s sad mood yesterday? Or a psychological hangover following the alcohol induced one?

No, it was neither. He felt bad for Rei and hoped she’d be better by today. And it was not a psychological hangover. He didn’t feel bad or sad. He just felt that something bad was about to happen.

He got ready and waited for Ami to text him that she was on her way. He checked his pistol and remembered that he just had one magazine left. He needed to get some more Ammo at the base. And he needed to find out what this premonition meant and the Force or his guts or whatever it was tried to warn him about.

 



The pilot went outside in time and waited for Ami, closely scanning his surroundings.

When she rolled up, he checked again and got in.

“Good Morning, slept well?” she greeted him with a smile. “Hey what’s wrong?”

“Good Morning. Hey, did you encounter anything strange or unusual this morning?” He asked her in a distinct tone.

“Err no… why?” She responded with a questioning face.

He took another look around.

“Ami, if something happens, you still have your gun around?”

She looked at him. “In the glove box as always? What’s going on?”

“I don’t know, to be honest but I have this premonition that something bad will happen today.” He told her with a grim look

She started the car and they set out for the base.

“Hm, Rei had a premonition as well yesterday. That’s why Pluto, Saturn and Chibi-Moon were on that mission yesterday evening. They were out, scouting the city. I haven’t heard anything from them yet tho.”

“Do me a favor and keep your eyes up today.” He urged her.

“Of course. You rather wanna cancel our afternoon coffee then?”

He was thinking about it for a moment.

“No. It’s safer if it’s two of us. At least for us. Is it okay for your husband?”

“Oh trust me. Nobody wants to mess with my husband when I’m around.” She told him with confidence.



 

They rolled up at the palace and got out for breakfast at the dining hall.

Afterwards Ami left for her office in the HQ and promised she’d check on any info about things being off.



He left for the armory and stocked up on Ammo, at least for his pistol and the rifle in AICA.

A motor pool vehicle and it’s driver brought him over to the airfield and he went to AICA’s Hangar.

SunTzu greeted her and asked for anything unusual. The Fighter didn’t report anything unusual. He told her to keep her sensor open while he put the spare ammo into the compartment where he stowed the rifle.

When he was finished he walked over to the AirCenter and got ready. Today’s schedule was a training flight in the morning and the he was off. Terra Squadron was already gone when he got there.



His two female wingmen showed up soon afterwards and got ready too.

On the way to their Starfighters he told them to take extra care today.

“What’s wrong? Did something happen? Michiru asked.

“I got this feeling, don’t know why but something bad is about to happen. I can sense it.” He told them. “Do me a favor and double check everything today.”

“I’m touched by your concern but everything is okay. Don’t worry, really.” Haruka tried to convince him. “Maybe your premonition is wrong.”

“No, it’s like in that asteroid field. I can really feel it.” he explained to the two woman as they entered the Voyager’s Hangar.

Haruka thought for a second and then looked over to Michiru. She nodded.

They looked around if somebody was around and when they were sure it was just the three of them, Michiru summoned a hand mirror and grabbed it out of the air.

“This is my talisman, the Deep Aqua Mirror. It can detect enemies.” Michiru told him and asked the Mirror about the Presence of

Enemies but the mirror didn’t show anything.” Michiru frowned.

“It can’t detect anything.” Michiru told him.

“See, everything’s good Mate. Nothing to worry about. Maybe the force just plays a trick on you.” Haruka chimed in.

SunTzu wheezed not really convinced.



But maybe the girls were right and everything was okay. Maybe the bad feeling had other reasons.

The two Senshi began their preflight check up and SunTzu got back to AICA.

On the way he pulled out his mobile phone and thought about to ask Rei if she was feeling better today. Maybe it really was this what made him feel so strange. As he wasn’t sure how she would take it, he decided against it in the end.

Before he entered the cockpit he did a thorough check on the outside of the Spacefighter. He climbed in and did the preflight checks on his own. After that he let AICA, who got annoyed by his exactness already, double check it.

Everything was in order.

He tried to relax a bit and shut out that strange feeling.

 

After they got permission they took off and head for the training area in the North Pacific again.

 

They trained till noon, sparring against Terra Squadron and Marvin and the three wingmen especially trained covering each other.

Around 12:30pm they landed back at the base. SunTzu told AICA to Inform him immediately if she stumbled on anything unusual, before they went to lunch.



SunTzu felt relieved that everything went right but the feeling was still there.

Ami texted him, that she also couldn’t find anything unusual somewhere, and that it was the same for the nightly patrol of Saturn, Chibi-Moon and Pluto.

She also told him, that they’ll be meeting at 3pm in the Juban Arcades.

He got back to AirCenter and they had a short debrief before Marvin dismissed them. The two Senshi would stay at the Palace and train this afternoon they told.

 

SunTzu left the base and took a taxi back to his apartment, where he got ready and hurried out into the Arcades. He had a few minutes left and decided to visit a branch of the bank his account was and deposit most of the Galactic Credits he was having in cash.

On time he was waiting for Ami and her husband, the weather was nice, with temperatures hitting up to twenty degrees.

Ami, finally clothed casually for once, and her Husband Ryu. He was a dark haired slender guy, around the same age as Ami.

SunTzu remembered that the dossier about Ami told, that she took his last name Urawa and that both of them had a doctor title.

He walked over to them and Ami introduced them to each other. Ryu made a sympathetic impression although he seemed to be rather quiet guy. The two of them made a beautiful couple.

 

They went for a nearby coffee shop and ordered.

“Found out what your premonition meant yet?” Ami asked SunTzu

He looked at her questioningly and she looked over to Ryu and told him.

“Oh, it’s okay. Ryu knows about me being a Senshi of course, actually he has premonitions too. He also has Top Secret clearance.”

“Oh, okay. No, I couldn’t find out what it’s about. Maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me.” SunTzu told her. He looked at Ryu.

“Top Secret Clearance, what do you do? If you’re allowed to talk about it Doctor.”

“Please, Ryu is more than enough. I’m a scientist and develop and examine the new technologies our discovery by the rest of the Galaxy gave us access too.”

“He’s actually the head scientist of the Crystal Tokio Technological Science University. World’s leading Lab for the new Technology that were brought to us. My Husbando has an IQ of 280.” She said with a proud look at him. SunTzu let out a smile whistle when she mentioned that. He was having coffee with the two most intelligent humans on the planet if not the Galaxy.

He smiled sheepish and grabbed her hand.

“Right now we’re working mostly on combining our technology with the GA Technologies.” he explained. “I heard you have quite an interesting starship.”

“I do, although she can be very stubborn sometimes.” he told with a smile. “You should come over one day. I’ll introduce you to her.”



The waitress came with their drinks and the couple told him where they met when suddenly a tall, broad strange looking man appeared at their table. He was at least 2 metres high.

He stood there for a second looking for SunTzu and the three of them on the table wondered what was happening right now, when the face of the guy seem to melt and uncovered a mutilated grimace as it oozed down, the man reached for something under his clothes and pulled out something looking like a whip .

“Oh Shit!”

 

In a split second Yuuzhan Vong whipped his Amphistaff back and forth directing the venom spitting mouth into SunTzu’s direction.

In the same split second, SunTzu jumped up, grabbed the table and pushed it against the Vong Warrior. Hello Force, there you are again.

The Amphistaff just hit the tabletop and gouged deep inside it.

 

“Ami, Ryu, get out! He said still pushing the table at the huge Alien.

Ami jumped up and grabbed Ryu’s hand leading him out of the cafe.

The Vong finally pushed the table aside and threw it away a few metres.

He gave SunTzu a hard right hook that pushed him back and put his gigantic left hand around his throat and lifted him up.

The smaller human angrily tried to kick the Vong’s Upper body and rattled insult at the towering Warrior.



In an alley next to the cafe, Ami told Ryu to stay put and straighted up.

 

“Mercury Crystal Power, Make Up!”

 

SunTzu tried to rip the Vong’s hands off his throat but it’s hand was like a iron vice around it.

He spat in the Vong’s Face and the Alien threw him away disgusted. SunTzu flew through the cafe’s bane behind him and landed on the street, the impact knocking the air out of his lungs.

Thank god for safety glass.



He needed a moment till the stars he saw left and got up, drawing his pistol. Now he was really pissed and started curseing in German into towards the Vong.

Around him people were screaming and running away from the scene. SunTzu made sure, that he couldn’t hit any bystanders as the Vong appeared in the opening of the window and took aim. He let the magazine off in the Alien Warriro, but his armor didn’t even make him flinch. I need a bigger weapon, SunTzu thought as he reloaded.



The Vong jumped out of the window and stormed towards SunTzu.



“Mercury Aqua Rhapsody!”



A stream of water hit the Vong and knocked him over.

“Mercury!” SunTzu said and both nodded at each other.

The Vong jumped to his feet again, growling at the two of them. He rushed forward again, but this time they were ready. He tried to hit SunTzu with his fist again but the pilot ducked and slammed his right fist into the side of the Alien’s face. The alien’s head turned but it probably hurted SunTzu’s Hand more than the Vong’s face. SunTzu shook his hand in pain.

Mercury slid down and straddled the Vong’s legs making him fall down again. The Vong answered with a kick Mercury could barely protect from and was pushed back.

SunTzu saw his chance and tried to jump onto the Vong’s face with both of his feet. The Vong Warrior rolled out of the way and grabbed his feet, taking him down to him. He gave SunTzu an uppercut and kneeled down above him, closing his hands around his neck.



Think, SunTzu, think. Where is the soft spot of a Vong’s Armor?



The Vong chocked him and tried to crush his neck with his iron hard grip.

Ami a few meters away, had trouble getting up and was on her knees and held her side. That guy was strong, she thought.

His vision begin to blurr, why SunTzu still tried to remember the soft spot of Vonduun Armor.

The armpit. It was the armpit. Focusing all the energy he still had he raised the pistol in his hand and shoved into the Vong’s armpit, with his last bit of strength he pulled the trigger. The iron grip on his neck loosened a bit and he could shoot again. He took another two shots and the grip finally loosened up completely. The Vong fell down from him, dead, the shots penetrated his ins innards.

 

He leaned back and took some deep, deep breaths.

Mercury came over with clenched teeth, holding her arm on her side.

She slumped down next to him.

“Turned out your premonition was right.”

“I hate when I’m right.” he responded and sighed, laying his head on the floor






Ryu helped both of them up and carried them to back of their car, where Mercury detransformed, before he sped off to the hospital. On the way Ami called the other Senshi and told them what just happened and that they were on the way to the hospital.

Makoto answered that she’ll rush over to Juban with Team 1.

Police cars with flashing lights and sirens were racing to where they just came from.

 

They arrived at the hospital and Ryu helped Ami out of the car. She had pain on ribs and couldn’t stand up straight.

SunTzu felt like he got hit by a truck, his face was bruised and he had marks on his neck as well a small cut on the back of his head from the glass of the window he bursted through.



They got to the reception and the clerk told them where the Entrance for the ER was and the started to move.

A female doctor came around the corner, reading some patient’s data. She had the same hair color as Ami.

“Ami?” she asked.

“Mom?” Ami answered.

“Hello Dr. Mizuno, we need help.” Ryu told the doctor.



Turned out, that Ami’s Mom was the chief physician of the internal medicine department of the hospital.

She examined both, beginning with Ami. The two boys had to wait outside of the room.

Ten minutes later Ami left the examination room, stating that she got a bruised rib and got a Bacta patch and some painkillers.

 

SunTzu was next and although he wasn’t hurt serious, Doctor Mizuno decided that he’d spent the next two Hours in a Bacta Tank, because how got roughed up pretty good, with bruises all over him. He wasn’t the type to start debating with a friend’s mom, so he was okay with it.

He told Ami and Ryu to go home and relax, he was okay. After all it was Ami’s Mom.

“Thanks for saving me out there Ami. And get well soon.” he told the Senshi.

“You’re more than welcome.” She took on a wry smile. “Guess it never gets boring around us. Don’t worry Ryu will take care of me. Have a speedy recovery.”



The next two hours he spent sleeping in a tank of Bacta. And it felt like heaven. For a brief moment before falling asleep he was thinking about a black haired blue eyed angel but then exhaustion overmanned him.

SunTzu woke up to the sound of giggles, and after struggling to open his eyes actually he saw two persons in front of the tank. The Bacta made everything outside blurry but he could identify one as short haired blond and one as teal haired.

Oh no, that was too much now.

 

Someone let out the Bacta and he slowly descended to the pools floor and when all the blue liquid was drained a nurse helped him out the tank and gave him a towel to dry himself.

“Hey Wingman, nice briefs.” Hotaru greeted him with a comment about the underwear the hospital gave him for his dive In the tank. Michiru tried to suppress a laugh.

He sighed and looked at them.

“I hope your visit is just a thing of imagination based around the lack of oxygen earlier on”

“Oh, come on. We just wanted to visit our favorite wingman in the hospital, when we heard what happened. Dr Mizuno told us, you were here and we couldn’t resist to be there for when you wake up.” Haruka defended them with a grin.

“Fine, thanks then I guess.” SunTzu responded. At least he was feeling better.

“You guys mind to wait outside while I change.” he asked them ironically.

Uranus shrugged and turned around.

“Ohh, too bad.” Michiru stated with a sad face earning her a sour expression from Haruka. She was pretty good at that game too, and if her better half was running game on every female they encountered, why shouldn't she have fun once in a while too.

 

A few minutes later, feeling way better, almost painless and without having any bruises and marks anymore, SunTzu came out the room, being received by Ami’s Mom, telling him, that everything was fine and to keep it easy the next few days nonetheless. Haruka asked if flying was okay and Dr. Mizuno told it was alright if he wouldn’t go too crazy.

He thanked Ami’s Mom and they said their goodbyes. Thanks the Job as Royal Guardian came with an all-inclusive health insurance. The employee benefits of the job were definitely a plus. The expectation of an addiction to painkillers in the foreseeable future weren’t, tho.

 

 




They went outside and SunTzu was about say Bye, when Haruka chimed in.

“I can imagine you could use a drink tonight. I’ll be around your place in an hour.”

“Actually I just need some rest. How about I see you tomorrow.”

“Hogwash. Are you a man or a mouse? It’s just a few beers not drinking with a bunch of elite soldiers.” Haruka said in a welcoming tone.

“Okay, but just one single beer.”

“Of course, we’re not crazy.” Haruka assured.

“I’ll drop out, seeing SunTzu float in that tank made me want to have nice hot bubble bath.” Michiru said. “Don’t wake me up when you come home. And if, be prepared for the echo,” she told in a seductive way to Haruka. Haruka gave her the car keys and she disappeared after wishing the both pilots a nice evening.

Haruka waved over a taxi and they headed to SunTzu’s place, where SunTzu took a shower and changed his clothes.



Haruka was at his fridge and what she saw, discouraged her.

“Mate, you’re a German and you don’t have beer in the fridge. What’s wrong with you?”

“Bavarian! I am a Bavarian! And if you happen to remember I’m here for just a week and was deployed most of the time.” SunTzu informed her.

“Whatever. Can we go?”

“Just a sec.” He checked his phone and it was actually exploding with mails ranging from asking if he was okay (Mina), over to asking if he really killed a Vong that was choking him to death (Rudy) to Ami asking if he was home safe again.

While Michiru was urging to go and complaining that he needed more time to get ready then the whole Sailor Senshi he answered the Mails.



He even got a message from an unknown number, asking if he was okay. The message was signed with a bunny Emoji. He asked Haruka and showed her the message.

“Oh, that’s the Queen. Usagi. Get it?” She said.

Wow, he didn’t expect that. Even the boss seemed to care, that was a bit embarrassing for him.

 

He also got a message from Rei, beginning with “Dude, what the fuck are you doing again. I’ll keep you out of sight for one afternoon and you almost get killed again.”

 

Charming as ever.



“Either we go now or I’ll go alone.” Haruka chimed in.

“Okay, let’s go.”

“Finally”, the short haired Blonde sighed.

 

 

They left and took a cab back to a pub in Azabujuban.

They had a hearty dinner and a pint to start off the night. One beer only of course. As SunTzu insisted.




 

Three pints later they decided to head to the next place and Haruka told she knew a place near the Train station, they could walk there. To not arrive there thirsty each of them grabbed a can of beer in a nearby Convenience Store.

As they walked on SunTzu asked about the place they were heading to.

“Am I even allowed in there as man?” He mocked her.

“Might have to pretend you’re into boys. If you aren’t anyway.” She answered, mocking him back.

“If I tell you that I like girls, would you blush?” He looked at her.

“Fuck you!” She laughed.

He made puckered lips and kissing sound in her direction and she laughed more and flipped him off.

 

Few moments later a group of five young women, out for the night, walked passed them and Haruka turned around looking after them, asking how they’re feeling tonight, proofing her Ladykiller Image again.

While she was flirting with the girls, SunTzu stepped over to the display window of a boutique. He pulled out his cigarettes and lighted one up.

 

Someone walked down his way, coming from the other side of the way. He was dressed in dark clothes and hooded. The guy stopped a few steps away from SunTzu, who was still looking at the displayed clothes and smoked his cigarette. SunTzu turned around to see what Haruka was doing when he saw the guy, easily a head taller than him, standing there watching him. The big guy put down his hood and revealed a tattooed and disfigured face.

 

Not again…

 

SunTzu immediately sobbered up and grabbed for his pistol but the second Vong Warrior jumped forwards and slammed into SunTzu, pushing him through the window and making him land in between some mannequins.



Why every Motherfucker on this planet with an issue had to throw or blow him through something?

 

 

He was gone for a second and the Yuuzhan Vong pulled out a Coufee Dagger and was about to enter through the broken window and finish his work when suddenly an angry Haruka jumped with both feet’s toward into his side, making him stumble. He tried to hit her with the Coufee’s Blade but the Senshi was already out of his range.



SunTzu got back up, his back sending jolts of pain through his body.

 

He had been pissed the first time, this time he was beyond furious, getting up just out of pure Anger he jumped out of the destroyed shop display as the Vong just recovered from the hit Haruka scored.

 

Fist first he jumped into the Vong’s Face and hit him. This time it hurted again, but not as much as it did for the Vong. Something definitely broke in the Alien’s face and the alien let go off his coufee.

The alien countered with an uppercut into SunTzu’s stomach sending him flying back, and he hit the floor but Haruka was ready again and thrusted her knee into the Vong’s stomach. That didn’t showed much effect and the Vong grabbed her, swang around with her and threw her away in swift move.

She landed hard on her back.

“Only chance we have is to get to his soft spot in the armpit!” SunTzu yelled over to here as she struggled to get up.

“Why didn’t you start with this!” She yelled.

SunTzu rose, drew his Pistol and let off. A hit in the knee penetrated the armor and let the Alien Warrior stagger to a knee fall under a loud hiss. SunTzu took this time to run up to to the Vong, he wanted to shoot him from close quarter and end it.

I’m gonna shove my fucking pistol in your fucking mouth you freak. I hope you don’t need the upper part of your head, he thought.

 

As he got to the Vong, the Alien suddenly straddled him and SunTzu feel, loosing his pistol in the process. The Vong got up under a scream and towered above him, picking up his coufee.

Suddenly Haruka slammed into the Vong, spinning his arm up and shoved a scimitar into his armpit as far as she could and then turned around. The Vong dropped to his knees again and she shoved the dagger up again. When she pulled it out the Yuuzhan Vong dropped dead. Leaving a sweating, heavy breathing Haruka Tenou as the winner.

SunTzu got up and took a look at the dead Alien.

“That was close! I’d be Kebab now without you.”

“We’re Wingman, after all,” Haruka replied with a s wry smile. “Looks like someone wants to see you dead.”

“Suppose so. ” He sat down and fiddled out his cigarettes, putting one in his mouth. As he was about to put them away again, Harukas Hand reached for it and fished one out too. He gave her fire and then lighted his own cigarette. They looked at each other and then at the dead Vong, that almost killed them both and started laughing out loud, releasing the rest of the adrenaline that rushed through their veins.

 

Haruka called Sailor Saturn, who was out patrolling with Chibi-Moon again and then informed the Palace. A Group of the guard was on it’s way as well as the two Teenage Senshi.

 

The two Sailor Guardians were the first to arrive, with Saturn landing nearly soundless next to them, making SunTzu twitch from the surprise. A few moments later the Princess landed on the other side of them. They came over the rooftops.

“Are you two okay?” Chibi-Moon asked while Saturn scanned the surroundings.

“Better than that motherfucker!” Haruka said, making SunTzu smile and nod, and flipped her cigarette butt at the dead Vong. “God, my back kills me. How you do that all the time?” She glanced to SunTzu.

“I wanted to stay home. You wanted to go out.” He said with an ironic tone in his voice.

 



They waited for the Palace Guard to show up and Chibi-Moon and Saturn told them, that they’ll stay around and look for anything suspicious.

 

Why kids never want to sleep?

 

A SUV from the Palace Guard brought them to the Hospital. It was better to get checked after the amount of beating they took.

Haruka called Michiru on the way, telling her what happened. She was worried but Haruka told her that everything was fine and they were just going to the hospital for precautionary measures.



When they arrived at the hospital they entered through the regular ER. As it was nearly midnight it was very quiet.

A nurse told them that a doctor will see them soon.

After a few minutes the doctor attended them. To her own disbelief their Doctor actually was Setsuna and she was surprised to see the two.

“What are you two doing here? Please don’t tell me you guys are here because you’re drunk and bored.” She sighed, seeming annoyed.

The Pilots glanced at each other and then turned their heads around, displaying their bruises.

“Bar brawl?” The dark haired woman asked them

“No, but it had the same elegance.” Haruka answered.

“Follow me, I’ll have a look at it?”



Haruka was examined first, and why she wasn’t hurt bad, she was about to take a dive in a Bacta tank.

SunTzu followed next, Setsuna told him to take off

“If I wouldn’t know firsthand how dangerous it is to be around Sailor Senshi, I’d get the impression you’re just doing this to take off your shirt in front of me Lieutenant.” She told him.

“Is this a warning that this madness is not just gonna stop after a certain time?”

She actually had to smile at that one.

“I’m afraid not. But don’t worry, we still got Bacta around.” She said with a way to big smile.

“Talking about that, can too much Bacta be harmful in any way? Or get me addicted or something?” He asked, a bit worried.

“What? No. No, I don’t think so. But maybe you try to not end up in the hospital twice a day I suppose.” She answered.



Haruka and SunTzu both ended up in the Bacta Tank and spent another two hours in there. At least they weren’t injured seriously.

After getting out of the tanks, and thankfully feeling better, they redressed and met with Setsuna.

“It’s very quiet tonight, so I’m able to drop out early today and can take you home. She told them.

“Hotaru is heading over here too, they patrolled the city but didn’t find anything. The guard already took Chibiusa home with them.”

“You’re crashing our couch tonight SunTzu, it’s not safe enough for you to stay alone. Setsuna, I wouldn’t mind if you two stay over too. Maybe we need all the Warriors we can get.” Haruka stated in honest.






A detransformed Saturn appeared soon after in the hospital. As usual she was very tight-lipped. Setsuna gave a notice of her departure and they headed to Hiro-o, where Michiru and Haruka had their luxurious apartment. SunTzu let out a whistle when he saw the extravagant building.

Setsuna parked in the underground garage and they took the elevator to the top floor where the two lovers lived in the penthouse.

 

Haruka opened the door to be greeted by a worried looking Michiru, wearing a teal silk robe.



“Are you okay Baby?” She asked and hugged her Girlfriend. “I was worried!” The two shared an passionate kiss.

“I’m good, the Bacta helped immensely. But I really need sleep. I brought the girls and SunTzu. It’s safer in numbers I suppose.”

Michiru hugged Haruka again and then turned over to SunTzu. To his surprise she hugged him too.

“Im glad you’re okay.” Then she hugged Hotaru and Setsuna.

 

They got ready for bed and Michiru arranged some pillows and a blanket for the living room’s big sofa, where SunTzu was about to sleep.

Setsuna just disbanded with a Good Night to him and Saturn wasn’t seen at all but Michiru wished him a good night and asked if he needed anything more. She also brought him a bottle of water.

“No more painkillers for you though”, she told with small smile.

Haruka, was the last in the room.

“Hey Haruka. I’m sorry i got you into this.” He apologized to her.

“I’m not. We’re comrades, wingmen. You got our six, we got yours. Don’t forget that you saved us in that asteroid field.”

“Thanks. I really appreciate it.”

Haruka smiled and they shared a fist bump.

“Sleep well wingman. And if something feels unusual don’t be shy to wake us up. You can crash on my couch but please don’t die here.” Haruka said with irony.

“Not intending too. He smiled. “Good night Haruka.” She turned the light off on her way out.

 

SunTzu laid down and immediately fell asleep.

 


 

Chapter Text

 

He woke up one time after just falling asleep for a few minutes, feeling like someone was watching him. He straightened up and scanned the surroundings.

He felt her more than he was seeing her but Hotaru was staring at him from the hallway, hiding in the shadows.

“You know, that’s kind of creepy Kiddo.” He told her in a hushed voice.

“I thought it would be better that someone stands guard, since someone obviously wants to kill you.”

He waved her over and she descended out the shadows, walking over to the couch. He didn’t want her to stand guard all night as it would be unpleasant that his safety kept up a teenager all night, cold blooded Warrior or not. Also he didn’t want to get in trouble with her adoptive mother, Setsuna probably would tear his head straight off, if she found out, that Hotaru would have been up all night to guard him.

“I really appreciate that, but that’s not a reason I want you to stay up the whole night, I’m pretty sure I’m more than safe here.” He laid his hand on the pistol holster that was laying on the table beside him. “My Instructors teached me to get as much rest as one can outside of fighting, to be able to function well on the battlefield. Go to bed Hotaru.”

She listened and thought for a moment. Then she nodded knowingly.

“I’ll see you later, maybe we can finally spar against each other then.” She whispered.

“If this is what it takes for you to go to sleep so be it.” He answered with a hushed voice, knowing that he would regret that, when they really met each other in combat.

She disappeared in the shadows again, this time going to bed. He laid down again and closed his eyes another time.

 

Sunrays shining on his face woke him up. According to his chrono it was almost eight in the morning.

Sitting up he thanked Bacta, he didn’t feel that bad at all. Just a bit of exhausted mildly sore. He took a glass of water that Michiru put on the table and gulped it down in one big sip.

He could feel the hint of a headache somewhere in his skull but tried to stand up against with not thinking about it anymore.

He got up, pulled up his pants and pulled out his cigarettes.



Walking over to the door to the balcony, he opened it and went outside. Lighting up a cigarette he took a deep draw and exhaled the smoke. It was a pretty nice view above most of the rooftops of the area and he could make out the prominent features of Tokio’s Skyline.

The sun was rising up and promised a nice early Spring day.



“Good to see your still alive.” a voice came in from behind him. He turned around.

“Told you I’m not gonna die on your couch.” He responded and smiled, pulling out the cigarette box again and offering Haruka one.

She took one and he handed her the lighter.

“Slept well?” She asked and lighted her cigarette.

“Very much. Bacta is a blessing.” he responded.

“Yeah, imagine how bad we would feel now without it.” They shared a smile. Haruka was wearing PJ pants and a tank top. And obviously no bra but she didn’t care at all.

She walked to the parapet, taking a look at the skyline.

“Someone out there really wants you dead. I never heard about Vong Warriors on Earth ever before.” She stated with a side look to him and then taking a drag on her cigarette.

“I guess I bring out these desires in some people” SunTzu said and shrugged. “By the way, I was thinking how wonderful of a target I’d be for a sniper right now.”

“Yeah, like in a fishbowl. Maybe we should duck.”

“Yeah, probably.”

 

Quite worried the two of them ducked and sit down on the balcony floor, back to back with each other, smoking their cigarettes and although someone was out for SunTzu they enjoyed the rays of the morning sun in their faces.

Michiru appeared in the door and they motioned her to duck.



“What’s wrong?” She asked looking at the two sitting on the floor.

“Fishbowl!” Both of the pilots said at the same time.

She looked at them and shook her head. Those two were destined to be the best of friends.

SunTzu and Haruka just smiled at her wide and goofy.

 

They got up and we’re ready to have some morning coffee, when Ami called. A mysterious letter had been found at the palace and right now EOD was examining if it’d would contain explosives or other dangers.

The whole Palace Guard had been put on alert and the Senshi were ordered to get to the palace immediately, as SunTzu was ordered to be on standby for a combat sortie. Also SunTzu was about to get an armed escort to the palace just in case another attack on him should happen, with Parts of Team 1 on the way already.

SunTzu called AICA and ordered her to get ready for liftoff and be on standby too immediately afterward.



A few minutes later Rudy called and told them they were waiting in the underground parking lot, with an armored SUV to take SunTzu to the Base.

The Senshi were set to go in another car, to get straight to the palace.

They left the Apartment and SunTzu noticed that Saturn was transformed and wielding her Glaive.

 

The Guardians got down where Rudy was already waiting at the elevator with Nava, both with short rifles underslung. The two groups greeted each other.

Rudy handed SunTzu a bulletproof vest.

“You guys take care!” SunTzu told them as he put the vest on.

“Will do, but i think they want you more than us.” Haruka answered.

“See you at the Palace.” Michiru told him. The atmosphere was tense.

Setsuna, inscrutable as always, just nodded as goodbye, as they went to get to their car.

He noticed that Saturn was still standing next to him and Rudy.

“You’re not going with them?” he asked her.

“The one that’s in danger is you, figured it would be better to stay with you. The rest of the Senshi are more than enough to defend the palace.” she replied. “Additional safeguard is never incorrect.”

“Okay,” he shrugged. Looks like the Grim Reaper’s Daughter now was his bodyguard.

“Can’t let happen anything to you before I sparred against you.” She remarked as she entered the car.

Ah, that was the point, she still wanted to whoop his ass.

 

The woman drove off, with Haruka steering a four door Bentley out of the garage.

SunTzu was asking himself again, how rich the two women actually really were.

 



Soon the black, tinted glass SUV left too, with SunTzu sitting in the middle of the vehicle while Nava and Piedro were sitting behind him and Rudy sat Shotgun next to Smithy, who was driving. Saturn sat next to him, nonstop checking the surroundings.

Around halfway to Crystal Tokio a radio call came in, stating that the Letter was no threat and that they were to drive to the palace first, SunTzu was supposed to have an audience with the queen.



They arrived at the palace, Royal Guard was still swarming the Palace and Base.

The vehicle stopped at the main palace entrance and SunTzu got out and walked up the stairs leading to the frontal building, with Sailor Saturn close behind him.



At the door was told by a Guard Officer to wait for Luna to take him to the Crystal tower.

Something popped behind him and as he looked behind himself, Sailor Saturn was chewing Bubble Gum and blowing it up. She looked at him with expressionless face and chewed on, standing there with her Glaive.

He turned back again and shook his head with a wry smile.

 

Teenagers.

 



Ten minutes later they were still waiting and SunTzu started to angrily look at his chrono every other moment, and finally started to light up a cigarette

“Setsuna-Mama always says time is relative."

He looked back, where she still was standing and stoically was chewing her bubblegum.

He turned around again, took a draw and let out a cloud of smoke to his front.

“Also she always says, that smoking is bad for your health."

“That’s why you better never start with smoking Kiddo. Same goes for alcohol and gambling by the way.”

 

Educational duty for today completed.



Now if he could only reward himself with some coffee.

 

 

After another five minutes Luna showed up, apologizing to him, that it took so long.

She told him to follow her and with Sailor Saturn falling in close behind him, they walked off to the Crystal Tower.

 

A lot more armed guards were patrolling today and although the alarm was pulled back, most of the guards were still on duty.

 

They arrived at the Tower and the Door Guards opened the Doors for them.

Luna led them into the throne room SunTzu visited on his first day in the Palace.

 

The Royal Couple was sitting on their thrones with the Sailor Senshi standing next to them. He gave them a nod, when he arrived. Saturn walked past him and queued herself in into the other Senshi.

“Queen, as you wished, the Lieutenant is here.” said Luna as they stopped in front of the throne where Luna and Saturn took a bow and SunTzu took a knee.

“Lieutenant, please rise. I heard yesterday was a pretty rough day for you.” Serenity said. “Looks like someone doesn’t like you being on earth and protecting us.”

“That mysterious letter was found on a bench on the palace court was actually addressed to you. It states that this was a mere test and that you, proved yourself as expected. It also says that no more attacks on you personally will follow now that you passed. Looks like someone wanted to see what it takes to kill you.” King Endymion followed onto his wife, holding up said letter.



SunTzu glanced to Rei if she was about to make a comment about this too and when she saw his glance, she made an innocent motion.

“We don’t have any idea who is the sender of this letter or how it came into the palace. But it was written in Aurebesh, so we believe it’s not from the earth. Ami and the Intelligence Service are already on the case.” Endymion told further and held out the letter.

Luna took it and gave it to SunTzu to read.

“This actually looks a lot like my own handwriting. But of course It couldn’t have been me who put the letter on the bench, I was with the Outer Senshi.” He told after he read the letter.



The queen rose up.

“For the sake of the security of all of us, the King and me decided, that the Sailor Senshi and SunTzu will cross train with each other effective tomorrow” she stated.

“This means, you SunTzu, will learn to fight alongside the Sailor Senshi and their unique attacks.” He could see that Sailor Saturn looked over to him and showed a hint of a smile.



Great, now he really had to go training with her. And Haruka. Both would probably make the two Vongs’ Attacks on him feel like a pillow fight.

For a short moment he was asking himself if the money in his bank account would be enough for a Rancor Saddle and a one-way-ticket to Dathomir.

 

“Senshi, you on the other side, will get training flights with SunTzu to get used as a passenger in his Starfighter.” The queen told further.

A surprised Sailor Jupiter was about to protest when the Neo-Queen held up her hand. “This is not up for discussion. We will need to move quickly on the battlefield as well as the Galaxy.” She defended their decision.

Jupiter seemed rather angry but didn’t say anything anymore.

 

The Royal Couple then explained more details and that the training flights would start tomorrow, with the Queen also participating. SunTzu would actually start training with the Senshi this afternoon already, beginning with his two wingmen. Haruka was already smiling, not being able to wait to kick his ass.

The queen dismissed him friendly and he was happy to finally get some breakfast and a coffee. Sailor Saturn still didn’t leave his side and followed him again.

“You know, I’m pretty safe here. And that the letter indicates that no one is going to attack me anymore. So you really don’t have to follow me around anymore.” He told her.

“Got nothing more interesting to do anyway.” She shrugged.

“This is another one of those Senshi’s bets about who’s staying around the new guy the longest, right?”

“What? No.” She slightly tilted her head when she told this.

“Okay, then I guess it’s because you actually want me to spar with you and won’t leave till I say yes.”

“Exactly this. But there’s also something else.” She hesitated, which was strange for her.

“And what would that be?” he asked her with a sceptical look.

“I want to fly in your starfighter. It looks like it’s fun.” She said shyly.

“Okay… Let’s strike a deal. I have flight training later anyway.

You stop following me around and I’ll take you with me as passenger. Deal?” He asked her.

“Deal!” Her face lit up.

“Okay, I’ll see you at 2pm at the Airbase then.” He said and she nodded enthusiastically. “Later then Saturn.” He waved goodbye and turned around, walking away.



Finally free again. He was pretty proud how he handled this.

Some passed distance later he looked behind him again.

Saturn was still following him.

 

“I thought the Deal was that you’d stop following me.” He dispraised her.

“I’m not following you. I’m just going to the cafeteria too.” A sigh was heard coming from him.

 

 

Stepping into the dinning hall SunTzu asked Hotaru if she doesn’t want to sit down and he would bring her breakfast too. Not that someone would hurt himself in the queue with that Glaive around.

“I’ll have fruit salad, some sweet pastry and a fruit juice, please.” She told him smiling.

Who knew the Reaper’s Teenage Daughter had a sweet tooth?

He got her and his food at the serving counter and got to the table she was sitting at, SmartPhone in hand and busy texting.

There really was a teenager inside this short black haired death machine.

He sat down and distributed their food between them.

Was that a smile on her face?

She thanked him well-behaved, her mothers did a good job educating her at all.



The Inner Senshi came into the dining hall, now detransformed. While Ami and Makoto were wearing uniform the other two were in civilian attire. When Rei and Minako saw him they walked over to his table.

“Good Morning Top Gun, I heard you’re a serious threat for the display window population in Juban now!” She said with a grin, making him sigh.

“Good Morning my dear Moeru Shōjo!” He greeted her, calling her burning girl in Japanese. “It’s actually that I developed this serious addiction to Bacta now, the window breaking with my body is just a way to supply my addiction. And it’s all because hanging around Senshi, usually gets me hurt.”

“What year, month and day did you get hurt being around me without doing something stupid on your own!?” She bited back, slightly angered by his comment.

“Oh yeah, because you totally got that skyboxer guy and that Droideka all on your own!” Minako raised her hands up trying to calm them down. Saturn was just sitting there, calmly eating her breakfast and observing the scene.

Rei leaned forward over the table.

“As you might remember, I actually got the both of them. One with Ami and that mechanical Cockroach completely on my own!”

“Yeah on your own, as if you would have had time to cast that attack without me risking my life to buy you time!” He was standing up too by now and their faces where only centimeters apart from each other, staring into each other’s eyes.

 

Angry or not, that fire shining in her eyes right now was a sight to behold.

 

“Please Guys, calm down. I know everyone is a bit tense since yesterday but let’s not fight with each other.” Minako chimed in, trying to deescalate the situation.

Rei turned around, seemingly pissed and SunTzu sat down again.

“I like that Nickname tho.” She said with a hushed voice. “Moeru Shōjo. Has something. Anyway, I’ll get breakfast now.” She got off the table and walked over to the queue without even glancing at him anymore.

Minako waved at him with an embarrassed smile and left the table as well.

 

Saturn turned her head to him with a curious look between two bites of some sweet pastry she was eating.

“When did you two started dating?”

He just gave her a quick side glance and then started eating his breakfast.



After he finished his meal he turned to Saturn.

“Did you already inform someone about our trip later on? At least Dr. Meiou?” He told her imaging the horrible death he would die when something happened to Hotaru without Pluto knowing.

“Not yet, I can get to it right now, if you want.” She answered.

“I really wouldn’t mind, I don’t want to get into trouble with anyone, especially your mom.” He said with a honest tone in his voice.

“Will do, excuse me please.” She got up, put their both’s plates on the tray and brought it away. She really had great manners for a teenager.



Afterwards she came back to the table, said she would be punctually at the airbase and left.

Wait, was there actually something like a lightness in her steps? At least it seemed that taking her along for the flight seem to make her happy.



 

Okay, not that this morning wasn’t busy enough and the fact that the letter the guys that tried to kill him sent, was revolving around his mind all the time he really should get some physical exercise done.

Why not something else for today and trying out the royal pool. Swimming would probably relax him.

He took a motor pool vehicle to the Airbase, got the stuff he needed for taking a swim and left for the palace again.

 

After getting the way to the royal pool explained, he made his way there.

It was in one of the side buildings basements, a nice indoor pool with comfortable temperatured water. He changed, took a shower and got into the pool.



Oh yeah, that felt great. He loved swimming, at least he thought so.

For a hour he swam round after round, physically exercising himself and calming his mind down. After dozens of rounds in that hour he took a break at the edge of the pool.

A pair of slender, well cared for, teal painted toes appeared into his vision.

He looked up and saw Michiru standing there, wearing a black one piece swimsuit, smiling down at him. Not the worst view to be greeted with.

“Taking a swim?”

“Wasn’t in a mood for running. Swimming calmed me down really good now.”

She ducked down to him and looked at him with an sympathetic look.

“I understand. Calms me down immensely as well. And the nice thing is, it’s almost always quiet in here. I meet here with Ami often to take a swim and get a clear head.”

She stood up, got to the next row and got into the water.

She swam up next to him.

“Are you okay?”

“I guess. Sometimes it feels like that ever since I woke up in Kamino my life’s pace changed up dramatically and I’m running from one crazy situation into the next.” He said, with a tired look.

“That might be the case, but don’t forget the great things that you already did. The lifes you saved. Do you have any idea what kind of efforts it usually takes till Haruka warms up to someone?”

“I guess you’re right but on the other side. It’s hard. Hard and frustrating, to not know where you’re from and where you’re going to.” He jumped out the water and sat down on the edge of the pool. She looked up to him, with a compassionate look on her face.

“Please know on thing tho. I wish we had someone like you before.”

With this she pushed herself away from the edge and dove away, starting to swim.

He glanced after her as she elegantly glided through the pool.



He got up and left, taking a shower and redressing. On the way outside he walked into Ami and greeted her. No new Intel about the letter tho. He thanked her and left, back to the Airbase.

 

It was noon but because the late breakfast he wasn’t really hungry and just had a sandwich and some juice at the Pilot’s room.

He met Terra Squadron and Marvin there, having a debriefing. SunTzu told Marvin about the last day as Marvin asked what happened, he also told him, that he’ll probably take Hotaru as passenger into the next exercise. Marvin was okay with the plans of getting the Senshi accustomed to flying passenger in AICA. The other pilots and Marvin left for lunch, while SunTzu got into his flight suit and got his pilot helmet.



Next stop was AICA’s Hangar, he entered and greeted his Starship

“Hi, how’s my favorite A-Wing?”

“Don’t you come at me like that Mister! I’ve been ready to take off here since this morning and haven’t been flown ever since. Not cool SunTzu, not cool!” Her attitude was pretty bad today so. And he was about to give this day a second chance.

“I’m sorry. I was busy.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyways, I’m happy we have a passenger today.” The Starfighter changed the topic.

“How do you already know this?” SunTzu asked surprised, while he inspected AICA’s Wings.

“Hotaru told me. She messages me over the datapad. She often visits me in here and we have a chat.” The A-Wing explained.

“She does what?” SunTzu looked up from his inspection.

“She visits me, sometimes in the night, when she comes back from patrolling. Sometimes in her free time. We’re friends. I guess she likes Starships a lot.”

The Hangar door beside the huge Hangar Gate opened and someone came inside. It was Hotaru and she walked up to them.

 

“Good afternoon you two.” She greeted them. She seemed a bit nervous, which was totally different to her usual demeanor.

“Hello Hotaru! How are you?” AICA greeted her friend.

“Kiddo.” SunTzu nodded. “Heard that you already made friends with AICA.”

“Yes, I was intrigued with her and visited her after you two got her. We became friends soon.”

“I heard that and was a bit surprised but I’m getting used to be the last one here to get to know anything.” He said, shrugging. “You got the permission for today?”

“I have the documents for Flight Control here. Signed by the queen herself.” SunTzu let out a small whistle as he took them from her.

“Guess it helps to be best friends with the Princess. What actually was harder was to convince Setsuna-Mama. She agreed but she said she sent you Message.” Sailor Saturn told him.



Surprised, he took out his phone. Actually he had a message and it was from Setsuna. It just said that she expected him to bring Hotaru back in one piece. Not more. Nice way to warn me that I’m beyond fucked if something happens to Hotaru, SunTzu thought.

He sighed and then turned to Hotaru.

“Let’s get you dressed up.” He said dryly.

She answered with a big smile.

 



They went over to the Airbase and SunTzu gave the written permission that Sailor Saturn was allowed to participate in flying exercises as Passenger to Commander Jim “Stinger” Jordan, the Flight Chief of the Far Star and Taskforce. Although he wasn’t too happy about this he had to obey the order as they came from the Neo-Queen herself.

As soon as they got the okay from him, they went and looked for a pilot suit that would fit the Teenager. Fortunately they found one after a bit of searching and SunTzu sent her off to put it on.



She came back wearing the orange colored suit which was a bit too tall for her and he handed her a pilot helmet before they left the building and went back to the Hangar again.



On the way they passed Haruka and Michiru walking toward the Voyager’s Hangar.

The both women came over when they saw them.

Haruka ruffled Hotaru’s dark hair and then went over to SunTzu. Michiru stayed a bit afar with Hotaru. Hugging the smaller girl from behind, while they watched as Haruka motioned SunTzu to turn around so they could talk in private.

Seems the Outer Senshi were very protective of their youngest member.

“I want you to take extra care, okay. I always declined her wish to fly with me. You know, I’m very protective towards her and you know how many things can happen flying, so i just can’t bring myself to do it.” She said very serious but not angry. “I know how much and for how long she wanted to fly in a Fighter, so I’m happy she gets the chance but, please, take care.”

“Don’t worry, me and AICA will make sure nothing happens. I’ll promise you this, my friend. But yeah, she really wants to do this and seems so happy with the chance. She’s basically still a kid and been through a lot in her life I can imagine. I’m doing this because i think it makes her happy.” SunTzu replied.

“You’ve got a good heart Mate. Smooth skies, don’t overdo it.”

“Thanks, we’ll get going and meet you in the skies later. Smooth skies to you booth too.”



They turned around where the other two girls were standing, with big smiles.

Haruka went over to Hotaru and talked with her, while SunTzu nodded Michiru goodbye and left for his hangar.

“Take care and do whatever SunTzu says. And don’t be afraid to say stop, when it gets too much and you wanna go home. Have a good time In the skies Little One.” She hugged the teenage girl and ruffled her hair again.

“Thank you Haruka-Papa! See you later! You too Michiru-Mama! Don’t worry, i’ll take care!” The Girl smiled a beaming smile and left ,following SunTzu.

“She hasn’t called us like that for years.” A melancholic Haruka said. “They grow up so fast, don’t they?”

“Oh Baby, you are so cute when you’re the worrying parent. Don’t worry, she’s not a kid anymore and knows how to take care. SunTzu and AICA are taking care very well of them. And she looks so happy.”

 

They arrived at the hangar, where AICA already switched up to her Double Seater Configuration and got in. SunTzu let Hotaru climb in first and then double checked her seatbelt, life support system and helmet.

After that he settled himself in and did a thorough preflight check he then repeated. Clearance for take off was given and the hangar gate opened.

They were good to go.

 

“Are you ready Hotaru? Feeling alright?”

“I’m good, happy that we actually do this. Thanks a lot SunTzu.”

“It’s okay, after all i don’t pay for fuel” he said with a laugh. “Need a barf bag or so, just in case?” He asked nervous.

“No, no. I’m totally good.”

“Alright then, let’s go. Let me know if anything is not right.”

“Sure, don’t worry.”



He radioed Flight Controll and told them that he would take off now.

Gently AICA took off from the floor a meter and passed through the Hangar Gate, heading down the Runway.



SunTzu increased the thrust and they shot up in the sky, making a turn at the end of the airbase, flying parallel to the base and passing the palace, giving a great view from above over the pompous buildings and the magnificent Crystal Tower.

A look in his mirror revealed a totally delighted Hotaru, enjoying the view.



He turned again, gave more speed and rose through the low hanging clouds, making his course over the Tokyo Bay and into the North Pacific.



“You good?” He asked her as they passed over Kamakura.

“I’m more than fine! Enjoying the view.” The girl answered.

“Might want to take some pics.” SunTzu told her.

That didn’t need to be told twice and she pulled out her phone and took some pictures.

“Wait a sec, might be better like this.” He flew a loop and crossed back over Tokyo Bay, descending a bit so she had a great view of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area and could take some pics.

“Nice! Chibiusa will love these.” She said very pleased.

“Hey Hotaru?”

“Hm?”

“Is there still a reward for selfies taken while flying with me?”

She laughed.

“Unfortunately not! But I still wouldn’t mind taking one if it’s okay for you.”

“Sure thing, but send it to me later too please. I’m tired that all my pics just land in that Senshi Group.” He said and laughed.



She turned around, hold up a V-Sign and took a Selfie of them both, sending it immediately further into the Senshi Group.

“Okay, we enjoyed the view, how about we start flying for real?”

“Up for it, just a sec.” She stowed away her phone again.

“Okay, I’ll accelerate and rise up now. If you don’t feel well or get afraid tell me ASAP.”

“I’m ready.”



He threw AICA into a sharp angle with her nose pointing up and accelerated.

The teenage girl was cheering in her seat.

He accelerated and soon reached the border of the atmosphere.

“I’m not gonna cross up into space today, if you don’t mind. That’s reserved for someone else first.”

“Oh, I understand. May I know whom?” She asked curiously.

“Actually… no. I’m sorry. I don’t know if said person is interested in it. But I promise you’ll be the next one, okay?”

“Roger.”

“Okay, let’s get back down there. Hang on.”

He turned AICA’s nose down and dove, dropping back down to earth at high speed.



He intercepted the Starfighter a few hundred meters over the North Pacific and took course to the training area.

“We’ll be waiting for the girls here. If you want we can shorten the wait with some music.”

“Really?” She asked.

“We both have a great interest in music from earth. Although he doesn’t like my preferred music.” AICA came on over the incom. “Just take the datapad on your side, put on a streaming service.”

“Awesome, that’s so cool!”

“Personally I prefer SoundCloud for my Mongolian Throat Singing.” AICA explained.

She took a moment to decide which song to play first and then entered Name and band.



AFI’s Miss Murder began to play.

SunTzu looked back, smiling.

“No way, you listen to AFI?”

“I do, I like them a lot. You also?”

“I love AFI, at least I think I do. You ever listend to Blaqk Audio too?”

 

After the song SunTzu showed Hotaru the Side Project of some of the band’s members and they decided to leave the playlist running while they were cruising over the Pacific. A few minutes later the Voyager arrived in the training area and they started training.

Hotaru had lots of fun, when they were flying maneuvers and waved at Michiru and Hotaru from her seat.

She also proved as great observer, keeping her eyes open for him, when they were training approaches where they parted their formation. Her profession as Warrior instinctively came out again.



Two hours later they were heading back to Crystal Tokio.

“You enjoyed the trip?” SunTzu asked his passenger.

“It was more than lit! Can we do this again please?” She answered.

“Can we? Please!” AICA chimed in too.

“I’ll see about this, okay?” The good mood of the girl was infectious now, he felt way better than before and didn’t even care for the letter anymore.



SunTzu radioed in onto his two wingmen.

“You guys mind, if we fly back low. I think Hotaru would definitely enjoy this.”

Michiru turned around in their Tie and gave a wink to her girlfriend.

The Voyager, who was in lead, accelerated and dove down. The two woman noticed how much fun their former ward had.

“Keep up New Guy! Watch this Hotaru!”

Haruka put the Voyager in a barrel roll and descended even stepper.



“We can do that too”, said SunTzu and copied the maneuver.

They dove down and around 30 meters above the ocean they leveled and thundered over the Tokyo Bay.

Even if Stinger Jones would tear them a new one, they didn’t care.





A few minutes later they landed and SunTzu helped Hotaru to climb out of the Snub.

She said her Goodbye to AICA and then turned around to SunTzu, who was doing an outside Afterflight-Inspection

“Thanks so much for this. I had such a great time.” She hugged him, which surprised him. After that she turned around and literally danced out the Hangar.

At the door she turned around again.

“I hope the person you reserved the flight to space for will go there with you. You deserve it!” She told and then was out the door.



He stood there, glancing after her and was glad he could see under the girls stoic impression for the first time. It made him think that all the Senshi probably didn’t have the nicest time growing up with all that pressure on them.

He pressed his lips together and got back to the Afterflight-Check.

 

 


 

Chapter Text

 

He finished the inspection, told AICA to keep her sensors up about any news about that letter and told her goodbye for now.

Then SunTzu headed back to the Flight Center and changed into training clothes.

 

Waiting for his wingmen he allowed him some coffee while he was watching the base from the window.

The two women entered the room while he was staring out the window, lost in his thoughts.

“Hey SunTzu. Thanks for making Hotaru so happy, we really appreciate it.” Haruka said.

“Oh. Hey you guys. Didn’t hear you come. It’s cool, glad when I could give her some pleasure.” He turned around and said with smile. “Guess it’s time for the other training now?”

“Indeed. The Neo-Queen instructed us to take it easy at the beginning and rather focus on fighting together than sparring. Also no casting attacks yet.” Michiru explained.

“Which doesn’t mean that I won’t fuck you up now.” Haruka chimed in.

 

Great. Maybe it was about time to start reading specialist literature about Bacta and it’s kinds of secondary effects.



They took a motor pool vehicle to the Palace and went to the Senshi’s Training room, that was located in the back building also.

When they walked in, Setsuna was also there, training combos with her Garnet Rod, reminding SunTzu, that she’d probably would kick his ass too. With pleasure.

She was so concentrated on training that She didn’t stop when the two Senshi and SunTzu arrived so the later three decided to not disturb her.

The plan was to train some basic hand to hand combat.

“I’ll start if you don’t mind.” Michiru said to Haruka, who frowned.

“You should be lucky that I can’t reject things to you.” Haruka replied. “But leave some for me.” She winked at her.

SunTzu didn’t found that cool. And also he was not so cool to fight with a slender woman like Michiru was one.



They lined up on one of the fighting rings and nodded at each other.

Haruka gave the signal to start and Michiru immediately rushed towards SunTzu. She was fast.

Jumping up she tried to hit him with her fist but he could block it with two hands, making her give up her attack attempt and back up a bit. She started another attack and this time tried to go low with a kick to his knee cap that he barely could dodge.

Taking the swing with her she took another try with her fist immediately afterwards. And this time she hit his jaw.

He answered with a block and push against her, making room.

She hit harder than he thought. She attacked again with a high kick that he could only block with his shoulder.

Okay Girlfriend, Orders were Orders and he was ordered by the queen herself to do this. While he blocked the kick with his shoulder he tried to grab her but she was to quick.

He was leaning trying another time grab her. He wanted to use his higher mass to his advantage and subdue her.

But she parried fast and catapulted her feet against him, using the force to get away as he struggled against the impact.

So much for basic hand to hand training, when even Michiru was out to knock him out cold.

He immediately jumped after her but she was to fast, he used the energy to roll up and landed beside her in a bit of distance as she got up after landing on her back.

Immediately jumping up again he got after her and swang wide with his right arm.

His arm found a target but it wasn’t Michiru. His fist crashed into her Deep Aqua Mirror she was suddenly holding up with both arms to cover her face.

“Owww! What the fuck! You said basic hand to hand combat not some magic items!” He complained shaking his hand in pain. The mirror was harder than the Vong’s face he hit yesterday.

“Sorry! I was pretty sure you would hit me hard so I had to defend myself.” She said with an apologizing face, pulling the mirror down. “Let me see your hand.”

She took his hand and opened it gently with her delicate fingers, checking if something was seriously hurt.

“It’s okay. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to fight against you at all but I guess I got carried away after you hit my face.”

“Same, but if it’s for a greater good, you know.”

“I know. I’m just not cool with fighting against the persons I’m here to protect. Especially if they’re women.”

She looked up into his eyes, her fingers in his hand.

“Draw?” She smiled.

“Draw.” He answered and she closed her fingers around his for a handshake.

“Excuse me! You two know that I’m still here, right?” Haruka yelled, seeming pretty jealous. “How about that it’s my turn now?”

“Awww, look who’s jealous. Sorry my Love.” She slowly moved her fingers of SunTzu’s hand, caressing his hand while doing so, looking SunTzu in the eyes.

“I’ll try to keep my fingers off the new coworker and leave him to you”, she said with a provocative smile while she walked away with extra swinging hips.



Thanks to Michiru teasing, SunTzu would suffer even more now, he knew.

When Michiru reached Haruka both of them shared a passionate kiss and then traded places.

“Ready to get your arse kicked?” She asked SunTzu with a smile.



No, not after yesterday. Or last week. But it’s not that anyone would ever care.



Both got into position and Haruka changed into a Combat Stance, holding her hands up. Michiru was about to give the signal to let the fight start, when the Garnet Rod appeared in front of her and Sailor Pluto walked in front of her looking at SunTzu.

“If you don’t mind, I’d like to have this exercise with the Lieutenant my dear Haruka.” Setsuna said with a serious tone.

Great, Mama was obviously not happy that her daughter went flying with me today, SunTzu thought.




 



Haruka let her Arms down and stepped back. Although she really wanted to find out how good SunTzu was in hand to hand combat, and give him a rundown for actually let Michiru use him to tease her, but she knew that one shouldn’t get between Sailor Pluto and her adversary, not even other Senshi. Why Pluto was so eager to fight against SunTzu she didn’t even know tho. Maybe she was angry because SunTzu really took Hotaru on a flight exercise. She felt a bit of bad conscience, after all Hotaru had a great time and SunTzu really took care, but Setsuna seemed angry and SunTzu was about to feel that.

 

And SunTzu knew. But he had a trick above his sleeve too. He closed his eyes for a brief moment and began his breathing techniques.

“Any objections Lieutenant?” Setsuna asked.

 

Yes, plenty but I’m not going to get out of this anyway.

 

He could feel her power in the force, it wasn’t the force itself but another strong form of energy flowing through her.

“I wouldn’t mind not fighting against someone who has a weapon to be honest”

“You think the enemy will hold back also?”

“Point.”



Let’s just get over with it. This won’t take long anyway, SunTzu was sure.

“When you’re ready Lieutenant.”

“Thank you Doctor.”

 

They lined up and Haruka gave the signal. Michiru was fast but Setsuna was like a flash. She crossed the distance between them and tried to hit SunTzu with a jumped of the Garnet Rod. SunTzu could only dodge with a jumped roll, she immediately went on and slashed after him. He could only roll away and move from left to right to avoid getting hit, as she was standing above him already. Her eyes

He tried to tackle her with a swift leg slash but she parried with her boot and a stomp on his ankle.

Through the sting of pain he tried to leg slash her again and this time she at least had to back up as reaction.

With clenched teeth he jumped up and got into a defensive stance.

“Not bad. I was pretty sure I could take you out with my first attack.” She said with a respectful nod. She grabbed the Garnet Rod with both hands across her chest and carefully crossed the distance.

She had the advantage of Range, what is she doing, SunTzu asked himself.

Both opponents began to circle around each other, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Her icecold stare pierced through him.

Suddenly she leaped forward and with a slash from the downside she tried to pull him off his legs, he answered with jumping forward, intended to tackle her down. With a swift move she swung the Garnet Rod back, trying to fend him off. This stopped his jump but he held onto the Rod now with two hands.

While they both were wrestling for control of the garb their eyes met. They both stopped their struggle for a second. Her eyes were showing the hint of passion burning inside them now but there was also something else, a deep sadness. Like the whole fight had hurted her.

“Sorry,” she whispered.

He heard her say Garnet Ball and then was thrown back a few meters landing hard on the training mattresses.

Outside the ring Michiru and Haruka were sharing a rather shocked glance at each other.



He needed a moment to come back to his senses and when he opened his eyes she was already towering over him again, Garnet Rod aiming onto his temple and ready to strike.

Her eyes were showing the usual cold again.

“Pluto!” Michiru yelled. The older Senshi didn’t show any sign that she heard her, just standing there, ready for a final strike.

SunTzu just glanced in her eyes, finding that sadness again.

“Pluto! Stop!” Michiru yelled again as the two other Senshi hurried over.

Pluto snapped out and lowered the Garnet Orb.

“Sorry, I got carried away.” She apologized.



SunTzu sat up and looked at her again, as she stepped away a few steps.

“It’s okay. Happens in the heat of battle.” He answered. “Nice trick there.”

“Are you okay?” Michiru asked him, kneeling next to him.

“I’m good I guess.” he replied, looking forward with a stoic expression.

 

What was that right now?



“You still up for a fight against me now, Mate?” Haruka asked him mockingly, standing next to him.

He glanced up to here.

“Haruka, in all honesty. Fuck you.” Haruka started laughing while SunTzu started rub his temple.

 

Sailor Pluto left, sparing with words, and the other two Senshi and SunTzu gave the later a few moments to relax before he stood up. Neptune and Uranus apologized for their fellow Outer Senshi but SunTzu told them that it was okay. She was right, the enemy wouldn’t hold back either.




 

They went back to the Airbase, showered and changed back into a regular uniform. The two woman went home, SunTzu told them he’d have dinner at the Base and then take a taxi home or see if he could catch a ride home with Ami.

 

It was already dark, when he stepped into the dining hall, which was pleasantly quiet and low frequented right now.

He got dinner, today was Fish’n’Chips Friday again and some greasy food was the right thing to cheer him up now.

As he sat there, a bit aside, and ate, Minako came over and sat down.

They greeted each other and she pulled out a phone.

 

Oh, Selfie Time.



But she wasn’t taking a picture, instead she dialed a number and called someone

“Hey, it’s me. I found him. He’s here, having dinner at the dinning hall. Okay, I’ll tell him. Bye.” She ended the call and looked to him, smiling.

“The Neo-Queen asks for your audience in the Crystal Tower.” He was about to stand up with a surprised face, when she motioned him to sit down. “After your Dinner. Trust me you have time. I’ll take you there when you finished.”

He basically vacuumed in his food and they left shortly after Minako showed up.

 

They walked over to the Crystal Tower with her leading on. This time he wasn’t lead into the throne room tho. They followed one of the corridors on and Minako led him to a guarded elevator, who took them up the tower.

 

Around two third of the absolute height, but still it's top floor, it stopped and let them out to what seemed to be the sanctums of the Royal Family.

Minako led him in front of a big door in the midst of the story.

She knocked on the door and a "Come in" could be heard.

“Just a second, please. I have to check something.” Minako told him with an apologizing smile. “If you don’t mind, would you turn around, please.” She motioned him to turn.

He did as told and she opened the door a bit.

He heard a flustered conversation.

“Usagi, are you dressed yet? I brought him with me, he’s standing behind me.”

“Give me a second. Luna, where are my Earrings?! Oh God, I got three missed calls from Mamo already. Mina I need your help with my hair!” The muffled voice of the Princess could be heard.

Minako turned around and smiled apologizing again.

“The Neo Queen will receive you in a moment. Please stand at ease.” That said she disappeared in the door.



Twelve Minutes later the door opened again, revealing Luna, seemingly annoyed.

“If you might want to step inside Lieutenant.” She said and motioned him to enter. When he passed her she whispered into his ear “I’m sorry, for keeping you waiting. And this mess.”

 

He walked in what seemed to be the Princess room’s. This here was a living room with a door leading to a big dressing room or walkable wardrobe, a door to a bathroom and another closed door, probably into the Royal Couple’s Bedroom.

Minako was sitting at a Settee, looking quite stressed out as well.

“Ah, yes. There I put my earrings earlier. I’m almost done girls. Where is the Lieutenant?” The Queen’s voice came out of the bathroom.

Putting on a pair of Diamond Earrings she walked out of the bathroom.

 

She was wearing a beautiful pink ball dress and a smaller version of her crown as Tiara with her usual hairstyle of buns and long blonde pigtails. Stunning as always.

“Oh, there you are Lieutenant. Excellent. I need you to do me an important favor.” She said.

“At your service your Majesty!” he stood straight and saluted.

“I need you to fly me to a rooftop in Old Tokyo Town. I have an important… Meeting there, with the King and the Princess already waiting for me. The fastest way to get there now is your Spaceplane. Is this possible?”

“For me it’s not a problem, I can let AICA land on the Palace Landing Place in a few minutes. The bigger problem is the permission to fly through and land in Tokyo.”

“Oh, that’s no problem.” She motioned with a wave of her hand. “Luna would you be so kind.”

 

The black haired woman mumbled something that sounded like being late as an excuse for interference into flight safety policies isn’t right but nodded.

“If you wish your late Highness.”

“Maybe you can solve it that way, that we can make that exception for the Royal Family all the time now. Let Artemis do it or so?” The Queen shrugged.

Luna pulled out her phone and called.

“Yes, your beloved Wife. No I’m not coming back yet to help you to take Diana into bed. And if you, Admiral Smartass, don’t want to have Bringing-Diana-to-Bed-Duty the whole week, I need you to do something…” she walked out the room for the rest of the conversation.



One day, one beautiful day, I’ll find the time to think about all this and to really analyze the whole professionalism of this Kingdom.



He stood there for a few minutes more, with the Queen buzzing all over the place still getting ready with Minako’s help, when a satisfied looking Luna came back.

 

“Permission granted. Permanently.”

He nodded impressed. That actually was quite a flex to get that permission.

Over his chrono he called AICA and told her to get ready for takeoff and that fast but with triple checking everything, the Queen was about to be their passenger.

“I can fly like this, right?” the Queen asked motioning over her dress.

“I’ll fly extra smooth, I’ll promise. But we are construed for this sort of transport my Queen.”

“Very well, I see you at the landing spot in five minutes.”

“Affirmative, I’ll be down, waiting, checking the Fighter again.”



He said goodbye to Minako and Luna and left the tower, heading for the landing pad.

“AICA, Status?” he called her.

“Pre-Flight-Checks done, three times, Systems green, Fuel at a 100%. I’m leaving now, where to go?”

“Head for my signal, there’s a Landing Spot here.”

“Alright, be right there.”



Two minutes later AICA sat down on the landing spot and SunTzu did another quick outside inspection. Not everyday that a Queen is your passenger at all.

After that he got into the cockpit and ran another check. Everything was running smooth. They were ready for their passenger.



But she didn’t come after five minutes or ten. He let AICA even turn on music quietly again to kill time.

Soon as he got out to light a cigarette a gasping Neo Queen came in jogging holding her dress up to not get dirt on it. Minako followed her, helping her keeping the dress up.

“I’m sorry Lieutenant. Are we ready to go?” She asked, between two breaths.

“We are your Majesty. Let me help you inside.” He gave her a hand so she could put her high heels into one of the embedded entry steps of the fighter and gave her a leg-up after. She sat down and smiled.

“Way more comfortable than I imagined.”

“Thank you your majesty, I’ll make sure your flight will be pleasant.” AICA said.

“Oh, I forgot. Your ship can talk. Hello there!”



While AICA and the queen introduced themselves to each other, SunTzu got into the Fighter too and made sure that the queen was belted properly and safe.

“I hope I didn’t destroy my hairdo now.” The queen commented. And tried to get a glimpse at the rear view mirror.

“You’re stunning my queen.” SunTzu reassured her with a calm, neutral voice.

He got in his seat and strapped himself in, gave Venus a wave as goodbye and closed the canopy.



“Uhh, this is exciting. Ami already told it’s great to fly in here.” The queen babbled on the backseat. She was visibly excited.

He turned the engines on, asked for starting permission and turned around.

“We’re good for take off. Where to your Majesty?”

“Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, direct on the roof if possible.”

“Affirmative. On the way.” That said he started the Repulsors and slowly lifted off into the night. After rising a few meters, he turned on the Thrusters too and began to rise forward.

 

Slowly but steady he rose over the palace and with a loop around the Crystal Tower they were off to Tokyo.

“Wow, what a view, I think I saw my quarters from here!” Serenity cheered from the back.

He smiled, that little maneuver didn’t fail it’s intention.



SunTzu made AICA rise up more and the ship also picked up pace.

“You even have music here, I see.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, if it disturbs you my Queen. I’ll turn it off.” He replied, the Ships incom was playing Blaqk Audio’s Cities of Nights as they passed over the Bridge to Tokyo Harbor.

“No please, it sounds fitting.” She said as they passed over the lights of the harbor. “And SunTzu, please call me Usagi in Private. You calling me Queen and Majesty all the time makes me feel old. Also someone who already saved my Senshi so many times earned that right.” She smiled.

“I will your Maj… Usagi. By the way, we will be there in two minutes.” He replied.

“I’m pretty late, is there a way we can at least guarantee a grande entrance?”

“Well, if it’s okay for you I could take a low approach through the town and circle the towers a bit, before I land.” He proposed. “Nothing too risky tho. You’re in good hands with us.”

“Sounds like fun.” She answered. “Lieutenant, I hereby order you to commence Operation Grand Entrance.” She said with a smile.

“Affirmative, hang on my Queen.”



He boosted the thrusters and descended, turning left to Shinagawa and then another one leading to Azabujuban Station, overflying the part of the city the queen grew up. He took another turn and prominently took a loop around the Tokyo Tower, which the queen commented with more cheering.

“Okay, final spurt. You okay back there?”

“More than that, this is awesome.” She commented , being full of joy.



SunTzu flew in direction of the Skyscraper that was prominently standing in front of them, bathed in light.

He descended and when he arrived at the tower he rose in circles around it, giving everybody around a crazy show. People on the rooftop where completely stunned by the display of flying the Fighter was doing around the tower. Some were afraid, that it would hit the tower.



“I’m gonna land now”

He crossed the top of the Tower and started hovering. There was a rooftop bar with a pool In the middle. He know how he would even make it even better. He descended and hovered the A-Wing not even a meter over the pool. People were going crazy and the present press photographers started taking pics of the dark A-Wing as he hovered over the pool. SunTzu turned around, stood up and hanged over his seat, opening the queens seatbelt.

Davey Havok came out of the ship's speaker. “We’ll shine this time, we’ll make headlines!”

“Okay, AICA glide over a bit to the pool edge and I help the Queen get out.” he ordered his ship. “Open the canopy when I tell you.”



As soon as she was free, SunTzu asked for her hand and nodded to Usagi, to see if she was ready. She also quoted the song.

“Fuck Love, give me Fire!” She smiled and he also started smiling.

“Put my voice on the speaker and open the canopy after.” He ordered AICA.

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Her Royal Highness, Neo Queen Serenity!” In this Moment the canopy opened and she stood up.

SunTzu jumped on the wing and helped her out of the cockpit and onto the wing from where he helped her down to the building’s roof.



People were speechless, he could make out King Endymion and Princess Serenity III. standing a bit afar, they’re mouths open. The Queen was now posing for the Press Cameras at the rooftop and after a small salute to the King he got back into the cockpit, closing the canopy. A few of the photographers also took pictures of him. As soon as he was back in the cockpit he veered AICA off from the side the Queen was still sieged by the press. He didn’t want to splash water on her when he rose. He slowly rose and the queen shot him a last glance with a wink before she gave interviews for the Media.



After he had risen around 50 Meters above the Bar he gave energy on the thrusters and shot off into the night.

Mission accomplished, although SunTzu had a good laugh, that he and the most sophisticated Starfighter in existence had just been abused as taxi for a Queen that was too late for a party.




 

He rose over the city and decided to take it easy with getting back. Being allowed to fly over the city was awesome. Tokyo’s Night Lights looked stunning this Middle March Night.

“You have a new message.” AICA came in.

“You’re my smart phone now?” he asked.

“I decided to connect to it now, yes. You’re supposed to fly not texting.” She explained.

“Okayyy. And what does it say?”

“Hi, I was wondering if you could pick me up and get me back to the palace. It looked like fun when you came in with Mom. And it’s boring AF here. Bunny Emoji Wave Emoji Chibiusa.”

 

Looks like he was the Royal Chauffeur today.



“AICA, tell her, we’ll be taking her home and that we’ll pick her up at the entrance of the Mori Tower.”

He put AICA in a loop and headed back to Roppongi Hills.

 

 

A minute later he landed in front of the Tower, this time he went without stirring any attention.

 

A few minutes later the Princess came out of the tower, escorted by a bodyguard in a dark suit.

She told the bodyguard goodbye and walked over to AICA. She wore a pink dress, the same color as her hair and also a small tiara similar to her mother’s.



He was waiting outside the starship, having a cigarette.

“Your Uber has arrived” he told her and saluted with two fingers.

„Dude, leave some coolness for us. First that entrance on the roof and now you’re standing here, in front of Mori Tower with a damn starfighter smoking a cigarette as it’s nothing.“ She said with a grin.

„Guess that comes with the job. Also the entrance was an order of your Mother. I was just doing what i was told to.“ He told her with a wink.

“Hello Chibiusa!” AICA told.

“Hello AICA!”

 

Ah, Hotaru wasn’t alone all the time visiting AICA. Maybe it was time to check the security measures on the airbase.

 

“To the palace, right?”

“Yeah, if thats okay.”

“No problem. I was on my way back anyway. Hop in.”

“Wait a second and come here.” She stood in front of AICA , waited till he was in the seeker and took a Selfie of them three.

He helped her inside, buckled her up safely and sat down too.

“You good, no problem with flying or something Princess?”

“Just excited. Hotaru said it’s awesome. Oh and call me Chibiusa. I’m not your regular damsel and don’t need the title. I’m cool when you call me by my name.”

“Aye Aye your Majesty.”

“Let’s get out here. By the moon, was it boring up there.”



AICA lifted off and he steered her up through Tokyo's skies.

“What is that Party about anyway? It seemed important to the Queen.”

“Ah, something about backers of the Taskforce. Rich old men. Don’t ask me how they were staring at me. I was so glad, that Dad was there! A wonder nobody had a heart attack after your great show.” She laughed.

“Wanna do the same trick around Tokyo Tower?” He asked her.

“That would be lit!” She yelled enthusiastically.



He steered AICA up the Tokyo Tower the same way he did with the Mori Tower. Chibiusa cheered the same way her Mother did. The resemblance was uncanny, in and out.

After the small stunt he climbed up and gave her a few moments to take pictures of Tokyo by night from the Sky.

 

Five minutes later they landed at the Palace Landing Spot, where a black wearing Hotaru was waiting.

“Dude, that was awesome. We need to do it again please!” Chibiusa rejoiced.

“Sure, just let me know.”

 

He helped her out of the A-Wing and she waved him goodbye, running over to Hotaru who got a big hug. The two girls talked for a minute or two and then hugged again, the Princess left afterwards.



SunTzu was having another cigarette, he was tired. And his body started to feel sore after the rubdown Setsuna gave him.

Saturn waved at him and came over.

“Still flying I see.”

“Been promoted to Royal Uber.” He said ironically.

“Mind to take me home too?” She asked, more shyly then he would have expected from her.

“If you promise me, that your Mother won’t be mad at me, she didn’t seem happy after your earlier flight.” He replied honestly and felt his ankle where she stomped onto him beginning to hurt again.

“She won’t, at least I guess. She didn’t seem angry about it at all. Even more like being glad because I was so happy.”

 

If this was happy he didn’t want to see angry. All Bacta in the universe wouldn’t safe him then.

 

“Okay, whatever. Jump in.” He said and flipped his cigarette away. He was too tired to give fucks anymore today anyway.

 



Ten minutes later they landed in front of a nice house in the outskirts of the central prefecture.

He touched down and opened the Canopy. A happy, pictures with Tokyo by Night as well as another Selfie with the new Pilot richer, joyfully Hotaru literally jumped out the cockpit and landed safely next to it.

“Thanks so much again. I really enjoyed that.” She politely told him.

“It’s all good Kiddo. You’ll have a good night and I’ll see you around.”

She walked away and after a few steps she turned around and waved at him again.



Setsuna, now untransformed, appeared next to her. Hugging Hotaru from behind and whispering something into her ear.

Hotaru left with a last thankful glance to SunTzu and Setsuna walked over to AICA and her Pilot.

 

Maybe it would be better to perform an alarm take off now. Or should he rather instruct AICA to arm the Self Defense Blaster?

 

“Good evening SunTzu.” The Doctor greeted the Pilot.

“Good evening Doctor.”

“Setsuna.” She said.

“Setsuna.” He replied.

“I know that you’re probably not really in a mood to talk with me after earlier ago. But I wanted to thank you for the nice day you gave my adoptive daughter today. I haven’t seen her that happy in a long, long time. Thank you.” She said with the hint of a smile.

“Nothing to thank me for. I’m glad I could make her feel happy. I can imagine she didn’t have the easiest of lives.” He stated soberly and looked down.

“She hadn't. So I really appreciate things making her as happy as it did today.” Setsuna stated, looking down on the ground too.

“I see. Let me know, if I can or should take her flying again.”

“I will. Good Night SunTzu.”

“Good Night, Setsuna.”

He closed the canopy, while she backed up a few steps.



He rose into the sky and took course back to Crystal Tokyo.

 

Setsuna stood there alone, her gaze following the black A-Wing till it was out of sight.

 


 

SunTzu landed AICA at the base, checked himself off with the Flight Center, said goodnight to AICA and left the base through the main gate. A taxi, that he ordered on the flight back to the base was waiting there for him to take him home.








 

Chapter Text

 

The next morning he participated in another morning run with Team 1 and then joined them for some plinking on the range, getting to know his various guns better and optimizing the Loadouts. Usagi informed him, that training with the Senshi would just commence in the afternoon, beginning with flight training for the girls.



He went to Lunch with them and they were joined by Terra Squadron and Marvin. Rumors circulated that an official space mission was up soon. Nothing official was out yet but there were reports that a delegation from Coruscant was on it’s way.



He finished his lunch, not really participating in the conversation, just listening. He left the dining hall and decided to have a cigarette in the royal court before he would head off to the Airbase and get AICA and himself ready for the Flight Training with the Senshi.

He sat down on a bench next to a fountain overlooking the Crystal tower and lit his cigarette.

It was a nice spring day again, with the sun shining and the sun colored the Crystal tower in all colors of the rainbow.

Suddenly he heard steps coming towards him, he looked back and saw the Inner Senshi rushing towards him. Jupiter was holding a newspaper in her hands.

 

“Lieutenant, you cunning son of a bitch, not even two weeks on earth and you already making headlines.” Jupiter mocked him and put the newspaper in his face. On the frontline was the picture of him helping the Neo-Queen out of the A-Wing. Rei grabbed the newspaper.

“Here, this is gold.” She began to read. “The Queen made a surprise entrance with a daring maneuver in the Starfighter encircling the Tower. TopGun, if you’re stupid actions include the Queen now, we have to protest.” She laughed sarcastically.

He sighed and took a deep draw from his cigarette.

Minako chimed in. “I think the King is a little bit jealous too. There was a quite much holding hands involved.” Now even she started to mock him. Great

Maybe he was still in the tank on Kamino and this was just a fever dream. So why not try something else for once.

“Maybe, just maybe, my dear Royal Guardians, I take my responsibility as other Guardian of her Majesty so serious that I make sure she doesn’t take a dive and blames herself in public. I’m not so sure if it would be the same for some of you.” He said with a shrug.

“And what do you exactly mean with that!” An angry Rei responded.

“Nothing particular, Rei. But it’s strange that it triggers you, isn’t it?” He said and looked further towards the Crystal Tower.

The girls could swear there was a small cloud of smoke rising up from Rei. She had to take a breather to calm herself down after Ami and Jupiter got already ready to hold her in place if she was about to jump over the bench.

“It’s nice to see that growing a beard made you a man now. Let’s see how much is left of it, when we spare against each other.” She said, trying to sound calm.

“Oh don’t worry. Before that it’s flight training for you with me this afternoon. I hope your lunch was rather light.” He said completely calm too.

“Oh and about that. Jupiter, would you come here please for a second?” He said further and motioned to comer over to him.

She got there and leaned over the bench.

“Listen, I know you’re not so cool with flying. I’ll try to make it as easy as possible for you, okay?” He said so quiet that only she could hear him. They both nodded to the other.

“Alright, I’ll see you at the landing strip in a hour. Please be completely kited up for flying.” He got up, extinguished his cigarette at a nearby Ashtray and left, giving the girls a small salute with two hands as he walked away.



Phew. He was not sure if he would survive this. Rei was probably close to attacking him physically. But damn, changing the role one time felt great. Oh and it seems that she likes the beard, he thought as he stroked over the beginning Full Beard.

 

 

His phone rang and the Caller-ID said that it was Ada. Surprised he took the call.

“Hey SunTzu, how are you? I heard some really good things about you.”

“Hi Ada, except that my job should be labeled as a hazard I’m good. What’s up?”

“Just wanted to let you, know I’m part of a small delegation of GA Personnel visiting the Queen tonight. I was thinking, that maybe we could catch a coffee together.”

“I got a training unit in one hour, when do you leave?”

“I was thinking about right now, I’m at the Military Complex. Don’t worry I’ll hurry.”

He stopped walking.

“Sure, I’ll get you there.” he told her and turned around heading to the HQ.



SunTzu walked over the short distance and saw her standing in front of the Military Building, wearing her GAIS Uniform.

 

He waved at her and she walked over to him. They shook hands and said Hi to each other. While they walked to the Cafeteria, they talked about what happened to him since he left Tatooine. On the way they crossed Hotaru and Chibiusa that came out of the Cafeteria and were on the way to the Crystal Tower. Of course the black haired Woman next to him attracted their curiosity and almost immediately pictures were taken and sent to a certain group.

SunTzu told her to not care about it. Just a quirk of the locals.

They took some coffee and sat down in the dining hall.

“I heard there’s rumors that your Taskforce is going on a mission soon.” She said, drinking her black coffee.

“Yeah, I heard that. Rumors.” He said, drinking his coffee with milk.

“Actually, the delegation is here to proof that Taskforce Sol is mission ready. And if you ask me you guys are.”

“If you say so. The last battle could have gone worse I guess tho.”

“The statistics speak very clearly for you.”

They talked a bit more and drank their coffees.



Ten minutes later they stepped outside and head to the Crystal Tower, where Ada was to link up with the rest of her delegation. After bringing her over they said their goodbyes. SunTzu rushed over to the Car Pool and headed out to the Airbase. He jumped into his flight suit there and headed out into AICA’s Hangar.



Only to be greeted by Sailor Saturn, completely transformed and talking with AICA.

 

“Hi SunTzu.” Saturn said.

“Hello Pilot.” AICA said.

“Hey Girls.”

“Who was that woman? Was it the one you wanted to show space?”

“Wha..what?! No, no, no. She’s my assigned Intelligence Officer from the Intelligence Service. Her Name is Ada.” SunTzu explained, with a embarrassed look on his face.

“Oh. Well if you say so. Bets in the Senshi Group are high, saying that it’s your girlfriend. Haruka is offering money for information.” Saturn said and smiled.



Hm, do I get this money If I tell her what I know. SunTzu thought.

 



He looked at his chrono and saw that it was time to get ready for the exercise.

 

“AICA, get ready for take off.” He ordered his Starship.

“I gotta go too. I was just trying to get some information from AICA. See you later.” Hotaru told and left the Hangar.



SunTzu did a preflight check up on the outside of AICA, while she ran a preflight systems check. And as always when passengers were expected another one.

 

The Hangar Gate was opened and after he did another system check on his own they hovered out to one of the landing spots on the outside, settling down and waiting on what was about to come.



 

Ten minutes later a van showed up and spilled out seven Sailor Senshi in Flight Suits.

 

Instead of focusing on training SunTzu found himself in a babbling cluster of women immediately. Only Pluto was standing a bit afar, just observing the scene.

 

“TopGun, who was that girl?”

“Why didn’t you introduce us to your girlfriend?”

“No way a woman like this is with him!”

“She is with the Intelligence too? You got a thing for spies?”

 

“Ladies! Could you all be quiet for a second? And let me talk?” He shouted. “Jesus! Nice that everyone is caring about my private life so much but can I please explain things to you.”

The girls went quiet.

“What’s the jackpot? And yes, I know there is one. As I know, that you, Haruka are offering money for info.”

“They’re at 60 Bucks now. To my Defence I didn’t participate.” Minako said.

“Because it would be unfair, because your certain advantage.” An annoyed Jupiter chimed in.

“Ami and Setsuna didn’t participate either.”

“I didn’t think it’s right to be honest.” The blue haired Senshi said. “SunTzu has a right for privacy too.”

“Thank you Ami. At least someone treats me like a human here.” He said with a friendly nod towards the blue haired woman.

“Hey Haruka, how much you’re willing to pay for Intel?”

“To you? Nothing.” She answered bluntly.

“Thanks. Anyways, she’s not my girlfriend. She’s my assigned Intelligence Officer ever since I left Tatooine. Her Name is Ada Wong.” He explained

“Oh this was Ada Wong. I remember that memo.” Ami chimed in, nodding knowingly.

“Again, take an example on Ami, Ladies. She made her homework. Ada is just my assigned Intelligence Officer not more. I barley saw her before anyway. We just had a coffee and briefed each other a bit.”

“Yeah, right. “Briefed” each other. How come you need an assigned Intelligence Officer anyway.” Rei stated.

“Believe it or not. I even have a Jedi assigned to supervise me. I don’t know why somebody thinks I’m that important but it’s nice, that it’s not only to let my die through the hands’ of Vong Warriors.”

“This means Jupiter and Haruka won the jackpot.” Michiru told.

“No guy with a girlfriend would sleep in a barrack’s shower, I knew it.” Jupiter stated.

“And I’m still not sure if he’s even into girls.” Haruka mocked SunTzu.

“Shut up. Or I’ll ask your girlfriend out to dinner.” He mocked her back.

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind that to be honest. And now that I know that you don’t have a girlfriend…” Michiru replied with a playful smile.

Both then laughed at the sour expression Haruka put on.



“Okay, that was fun and stuff. But back to the important points. You heard the rumors about our next trip coming up and it seems like they’re true I was told by a bird with the GA Intelligence. Looks like we’re heading to space soon and this means we should train, how you get flown around by me.” SunTzu stated, trying to make anybody focus.

“Since when he started to be that dutiful?” Jupiter asked.

“Must be the beard. Feeling like an Adult now.” Rei answered.

“He’s German. Probably he also wants you guys to train insertions into France soon.” Haruka answered.

 

SunTzu sighed, shaking his head.



It was really time to check out how far he could get on Dathomir with just speaking Basic.

 



“Okay. Enough. I want to see a nice straight line of Senshi right now! May I have to remind you, that some of you are officers! Get into Formation, Ladies!” He barked orders.

Suddenly it got quiet and the Inner Senshi got into a line, next to each other. Setsuna joined them while Michiru and Haruka lined up behind SunTzu.

“See, that wasn’t too hard. 1st Lieutant Tenou, I suppose you and your CSO gave them the theoretical part already?”

“Affirmative 2nd Lieutenant.” She leaned onto him and whispered. “You do know that I’m higher ranked than you?”

“I know, but if it’s the only way to make them focus play along.” He whispered back and walked up the line again. Makoto didn’t look good, she was pale and shaky.

“Okay, listen. As you probably know, we’ll take AICA here and go for a flight with each of you. There will be some maneuvers that will be pretty harsh and it’s to accustomate you girls to fly with me or Haruka should the need arise, as we both have the fastest ships in the Taskforce if not the Fleet. What Haruka and Michiru told you was the basics and safety measures, please stick to them.” SunTzu told them, having a close look at Makoto.

“Captain Kino, would you come here please?” He said to an even more pale looking Makoto.

 

The girl had visible problems to walk up to him, so he walked towards her too. She was near to tears, the other girls were looking at her with commiseration.

As they were next to each he gave her a careful hug and started to talk in a quiet, reassuring voice.

“Hey, it’s okay. It’s all good, you know. Let’s check out what we’re flying with today, okay? Don’t worry we’re all here.”

The girls chimed in supportive and Ami came and hugged her too.

He spoke in his chrono and ordered AICA to open the Canopy.

 

“Let’s go over there and have a look, okay?” He asked her and she quietly nodded. Ami linked arms with her and they walked over to AICA.

 

“AICA, say Hi.”

“Hi Ami! Hello Captain Kino! Nice that we’ll fly together today.” AICA greeted them.

“Makoto.” Jupiter said “You can call me Makoto. And I’m not getting in!”

“Hi Makoto! My name is AICA. Why you don’t want to fly?”

“AICA, Makoto is not to keen to fly. Can you give her a moment please.”

He leaned against AICA and looked at Mako, who still linked arms with Ami.

“We don’t have any pressure here. Why you don’t take a look around or just take a seat and see how it feels inside.”

“If I really have too. But promise it’s not gonna just fly away with me.”

“AICA, shut down, Override Code OSK-13.”

 

Everything in the Starfighter turned off.

“I completely shut her down. I usually don’t do that, but nothing will be working now, till I turn her on again.”

Jupiter taped Mercury’s Hand and slowly walked around the Machine, when she was on the starboard sight she took a look at the Engines.

“This thing is just two rockets with a Cockpit. This is insane to fly in.”

“And shields, sensors, safety measures, ejectionable cockpit and foremost a pilot. Cigarette?”



She nodded and he gave her a cigarette and then lighted it for her. He then lighted one for himself.

“Is it even safe to smoke next to it?”

“Yes, there’s no way something could leak out that is actually capable of catching fire from a cigarette. After all, she's not a plane.” He smiled. “Makoto, you know why I’m on this planet, pretty sure even better than me actually. We know I’m here to make sure you Senshi are good. I flew with Hotaru yesterday and I guess it couldn’t have been too bad because otherwise Setsuna would have killed me. Not to speak of that I’m still here in my position and flew the Queen and the Princess.”

“Because she was late to the party.” Makoto laughed. The color came back into her face.

“She wanted a grand entrance, she got one. I’m just a soldier obeying orders. Just like you.”

 

She thought for a moment.



“I know I was ordered. But still…” she was fighting with herself.

“How about this. We smoke up, get in and I just rise a few meters with the Repulsors. No flying yet, just hovering and we see how do you feel?”

She took a deep draw. After letting out the air she shook her head in disbelief what she was about to say.

“Okay, but we go easy.”

“Of course.” He pointed onto AICA. “Captain Kino, it would be my honor to welcome you on board.”

 

 

They walked to the nearest hangar, extinguished their cigarettes there and got back. He then helped her into the backseat and strapped her in, very gently.



“So far all good?”

“So far. It’s way more comfortable than I thought.”

“Yeah, AICA, apart from being a piece of spacefaring Art and her Artificial Intelligence also had the pleasure to have people work on her that actually had a brain. Not something you find that often in GA R&D.”

They both laughed.



He pressed a few switches and the lights in the cockpit got back again.

“AICA, SENTH-14.”

“Systems are being booted up”

“Just a moment. While we do this why we don’t wave at the cowards that didn’t want to get In the plane before you?”

 

She laughed and then waved at the girls that stood afar and laughed even more.



“Boot up completed.” AICA announced.

“Welcome back AICA Darling. Please do another preflight checkup to let our guest know, we are good to go”

“Ugh, work just after a power nap. Mako, he can be the worst.” AICA told over the Intercom.

 

Makoto shook her head, grinning wide.

“Would you please close the canopy.”

The canopy closed and AICA announced that the System Check was done and everything was running fine.

“How about some classic music?”

 

He pulled out his phone and started to music inside the cockpit with it. Schubert&Liszt began to play.

 

“Not bad. If it wouldn’t be for flying I would almost feel halfway relaxed” Mako announced.



He radioed to Haruka, she and Michiru were already In the Voyager and ready to take off. They would be cruising above the clouds over the airbase. He gave them the info, that they would hover over the airbase now and then see further.

 

A few seconds later the Voyager came into sight while climbing up over the Airfield.



“You ready?”

 

Makoto took a few deep breaths and the said, “Let’s get it over with!”

 

“That’s the way!” SunTzu said and slowly put energy into the Repulsors, making AICA softly rise up. One meter, two, four. Ten meters over the ground he stopped.

“Okay?”

“Actually, yeah.”

“Okay, I’ll go up a bit more.”

After 10 meters more. He hovered again.

“Hey, the view actually is nice. Can we go higher?”

He got up to 50 meters.



She was looking out the windows, waving to the girls.

“Nice, I can see our barracks from here!”

“See, it’s not that bad. Your call, flying or not?”



She took a moment, glanced out and took another moment.

“Okay, just a small round over the airfield, okay?”

“Affirmative Captain.”

He slowly started moving forward and took a small round over the airfield.



“Fly a round like you would normally do.”

He flew a loop and cruised over the airfield two times.

“That actually is fun. If you promise me, that we can stop whenever I say so, we can fly a bit more.”

“Promise! Enjoy it Mako.”



He crossed the Airfield again and descended, giving more thrust on the engine.



Soon they glided through the sky over the Tokyo Bay.

“Enjoying the view?” He asked her

“Have to admit it’s beautiful. Okay, so far it’s really okay. What kind of flying would you do if I wouldn’t be afraid?”

“Some basic maneuvers for evasion and turning. Nothing to fancy for the first time.”

“How much more crazy would it be?”

“We’ll it’s more breaking and speeding up and some sharper turns too. Maybe a looping as Grande Finale.” He explained honestly, expecting her to tell him to turn around.

 

“Is there anything involved where we can harass Haruka?” She asked challenging.

“Well, I could think of something but I guess it would need some more crazy flying.”

“Since I’m already up here and this chance maybe never comes again. Hit it!”



“Aye, aye Ma’am!”



He flew a loop and sped up, nose slightly bent to the sky to rise up.



“Wohooo!” came from the Backseat. The A-Wing pierced through the Clouds as they headed for the Voyager, which was flying slightly above the clouds a few kilometers away.



“AICA deactivate all the active sensors. Let’s go dark.”



He dove down into the clouds and flew a turn that sat him on course above the Invader. He sped up and soon was behind the Invader as he slowly rose out of the clouds. He closed up until AICA was completely under the Voyager and then rose out of the clouds and started a slow roll around the Explorer.



“What the Fuck!? Where did you guys came from?” Haruka came in, cursing over the radio.

“I think Makoto has to tell you something.” SunTzu replied as they were headlong above the Voyager, so close that they could make out Haruka on the Pilot’s seat.

Makoto pulled off her glove and gave a middle finger to a dumbfounded looking Haruka.

“You owe me a training on the ground. I was In your element.” She said and throw Haruka a kiss.

SunTzu gave a brief salut and ended the roll around the Voyager under it’s belly, going down the clouds again and activating all sensors again.



“Surprising for someone that didn’t want to fly ground pounder. I owe you that.” Haruka came over the radio again.

“Didn’t expect it, huh? I let you know when to join us for ground training. I hope you like backpacking”

“Oh, she will love it, I’m sure. I’m just a bit worried about me, how I will feel when I have to listen for three days how sore she is” Michiru entered the conversation also.

Laughter from everybody except Haruka followed.

 

“Okay, I’ll bring Makoto back to base and get the next one.” SunTzu announced.

“No more fucking around like this please.” A sour Haruka commented.

“Yes Mum. We’ll be nice from now on.”



He took a turn over the Pacific and headed back to Crystal Tokio. Over the bay of the Tokio, Makoto pulled out her phone and took some pics. She was completely different to before.



“You know what’s missing?” She asked.

“Hum?” He answered.

“Something everybody does in here I guess.”

A click followed. Another selfie within AICA. Makoto was way better than before.



 

They landed and he helped her out.

“Are you really okay? Everything fine?”

“Absolutely, I did enjoy it actually.

I wouldn’t get in the same machine as Haruka but if the need arises, I’d fly with you and AICA again.” She stated.

“Anytime you want, that was fun!” AICA cheered and SunTzu smiled and nodded.



They fist bumped each other, she got off her helmet, shook her hair out and left with a big, satisfied grin.

 

Another happy customer.








Ami walked up next and he helped her up in the cockpit, while AICA run a check up. Safety first. He checked her seatbelt while she put on her helmet. Everything was in order.

“We’ll be doing a bit more of maneuvering today, so let me know if you don’t feel well or we should stop, okay?”

“Sure, but don’t worry, it’s not my second flight. I’m actually qualified as copilot on a Probe-Y-Wing.”

“Really, didn’t know that.”

“Yeah, Marvin and me trained for this a few weeks ago. We got the Voyager and AICA but you never know.”

“True. Not bad. So since you’ve already flown with Marvin, I guess it won’t be to crazy for you anyway.”

 

They left and soon rose over Tokyo, heading for the Pacific, crossing the Voyager in the distance.



“Can we go to the Area you guys always train?” She asked and leaned forward.

“Sure, on our way.” He replied and put more energy in the thrusters.

 

A few moments later he declared that they would be over it now.

 

“Excellent. Okay, pull down the speed. I have to ask you something.”

“Okayyy, what’s up?”

“Do you trust me? Like really trust me."

 

He looked back at her and thought about it for a moment.

 

“Well… you’ve been good to me since I got here and safed my life also. Yeah, yeah I do. Why?” He said a bit worried and confused.

 

“AICA, CRESH-003, maximum security, all scramblers on!” She ordered and AICA immediately went into Electronic Warfare mode and scrambled every bit of data she was processing.

She knew AICA’s Override Codes. Of course, she was a spy. And Ada was on earth, so this was no coincidence.

 

“Why am I not surprised. Trust a spy I guess, huh?” He asked her.

“Don’t worry, I just need your help. Between us and Agent Wong.”

“Shoot it, what do you need?” He asked bluntly.

“After the Training, when the Delegation is leaving, you’ll be flying escort for their shuttle, this is also arranged. I’ll be with you and we’ll shortly land in their ship. I have to receive some very important data there, but nobody has to know I actually went in there. Can you get me in there with minimal signature to the outside?”

“Yeah, yeah I think I can do that. But we have to hurry if you don’t want anybody to notice our absence.”

“Don’t worry, it will take less than a minute.”

“Okay then. I don’t know why you have to do it like that, but I got you.”

“Don’t worry, if everything will be going as it’s planned to go, you’ll know soon enough.”

“I hope so, I’d hate to having to search for another car share.” He told her.

They both laughed.



“You can turn the scramblers out now. And also, we got some more classic music?” Ami asked him.

“Chopin or Litvinovsky?” He answered with a question either.

 






He flew some evasive and dodging maneuvers with her but she was already used to flying like this because the training she did with Marvin.

The probably most intelligent person In the universe also had a pretty strong stomach. Was there anything these girls couldn’t do?

 

 

Next one up was Minako, who was a bit more quiet than usual but still seemed excited in a positive way. And that didn’t leave her and AICA from a lengthy introduction.

After what seemed like 10 minutes of chatter, he made sure she was strapped in good and everything was running green, when he saw her already pulling out her phone. A few pics of herself followed, even with the helmet on.

When she noticed that he had turned around, she excused herself.

 

“Sorry, now that I finally made it to your backseat too, I thought i take pics before you’re done with me”, followed by a wink.

 

Goddamn Tease.



If it wasn’t for those butterflies he felt every time he saw Rei, someone would have been so due for the Mile High Club.



He sighed and lift off, they took a harmless loop over the airbase and he headed for the bay next. Mina already had her phone out again and took shots. Including a selfie with her and the pilot showing. Six seconds later it was in the Senshi Message Group, with a comment how she finally made it into the cockpit too.

 

He told her, that they were going to the training area and he’ll fly some harsher maneuvers and if it would be okay.

“Lieutenant, you can do with me whatever you want.” She answered with a seductive undertone. His eyes widened and he turned around.

“This also goes for if we go down and strand on an remote island. Even more.” She continued and bit her lower lip.

His jaw dropped so hard, that AICA’s Ground Proximity Alarm almost turned on, his face became the same color as the emergency buttons, the way he blushed.

Then she broke off into a loud laughter.

“I’m sorry. I really am, but I couldn’t resist. I know I’m a tease.” She apologized, still giggling.

He sighed, shook his head and turned around.

“You are a very attractive man Lieutenant, but I know I’m not the one you’re heart beats faster for.”

“Aha, and if, and that’s a big if, there actually would be someone that would do so, how’d you know of all?”

“Hm, maybe I’m the reincarnation of the goddess of Love and just can feel such stuff.” She said and winked again.

“If you say so. I get so much shit from y’all, that I decided to not care anymore anyway.” He said and shrugged.

“Awww, you’re cute when you’re trying to be angry. Don’t worry, I haven’t found out whom yet, but I’ll stay quiet when i will, anyway.“

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Believe what you want.” He tried to hide himself. “Can we start the training now?”

“Make me scream.” She aspirated and laughed again.

 



He flew a few more crazier maneuvers than with the other girls but Minako enjoyed the whole thing through and through.



They landed and this time the other Innner Senshi, swarmed the Fighter, because they heard from Haruka, that he flew a bit more crazy with Mina than with the rest. Curious as they were they couldn’t resist to immediately ask firsthand.

 

The canopy opened and Minako faned air to herself with an exhausted expression.

“You were quite rough with me Lieutenant. But i really enjoyed our little “ride””. She said so the others could hear it.



SunTzu just sat there eyes on the cockpit displays.



Maybe he should have told her, that his heart started to long for Rancor Taming lately. Or that his only Love was Bacta right now.

Anyway, another Shitstorm incoming in 3.2.1…

 

“TopGun, what did you do with Minako?”

“If you fly with me like this I’m not gonna get in there again.”

“Minako are you okay?” Ami asked.

“I’m perfect. That was really fun. He really know how to put butterflies in your tummy.”



He stood up without a word, helped Minako out the cockpit and then jumped out also.

“Give me a sec, I need a break. And maybe we can finish this whole exercise still today still." The Pilot said in a rather harsh tone to the girls.



He went over to the Hangar and lighted a cigarette. He was nervous.



What if? What if Rei would be afraid to fly now? What if Minako knew who it was and that she was right? And what if she told Rei? How would Rei react? Did he even had the hint of a chance?



He smoked up and got back, the Senshi went back to their waiting point, talking prodoundly. Rei was smoking a cigarette, waiting.

 

Selfcare first, he turned on his Blaqk Audio Playlist again, maybe this would calm him down.



AICA already run another check and looking over to the Senshi again and saw Rei step out her cigarette. She walked over but looked a bit tense.

“Alright, TopGun. I know you’re pissed and Minako just told that maybe she or we all overdid it with the teasing and shittalking today. And unfortunately I learnt from you and found a liking in doing stupid stuff, so I’m willing to give it a try. Now. But I promise, if I have to vomit, I’ll make your Beatdown by Setsuna yesterday look like a picnic in the park.”

 

He jumped out of the cockpit and landed next to her.

 

Oh, you wanna play? Then let’s play.



He looked her straight in the eyes and kept his stare for a moment. He could see she was about to take a step back, but before that he made a welcoming gesture to the A-Wing.

“Please, be our Guest, Moeru Shōjo. AICA, be a good girl and introduce yourself to Rei Hino.”

AICA introduced herself and she and Rei talked a bit while he helped her get into the cockpit. He gently made sure she was strapped in right and their eyes met for a moment before he turned away.

He swallowed hard and turned around, as she put on her helmet. He got into his seat too.

“You okay, feeling good?” He asked her with a calm voice.

“I’m good.” She answered with a slight smile.

“If you feel unwell or it’s too much or whatever, let me know immediately okay?” He told her.

“I will.” She paused for a moment.

“If Makoto enjoyed it, i can too I guess. You seem calmer anyway.”

He turned around. “Who said I wasn’t? The others enjoyed the flying by the way.”



He lifted off and did his usual turn over the airbase and headed over the bay, he was flying slower than the times before.



At the training area he flew some loops and then turned around to Crystal Tokio again. Rei seemed to enjoy it but seemed to be a bit disappointed that he only flew very basic and no crazy maneuvers.



Five minutes after they passed the Tokyo Bay the first time they were over it again, on the way back. Rei sighed, and stared out the cockpit, slightly bored and unimpressed.



The singer in AICA's speaker was letting them know that he would take her out but he know she will hate him. SunTzu started to grin, having another look at a disappointed Rei.

He slowly rose down on the airstrip and AICA very slowly glided forward, almost touching down.

 

From what she heard and saw Rei was neither impressed nor happy. Actually she was asking herself, what the reason was he didn’t gave her a show like the others.







-But I know you'd hate me, I know you'd hate me-

 

 

“Okay, I really expected more from this, the girls gushed so much about it. You even did crazier stuff with Makoto on board. I’m disappointed!” She complained as AICA started to hover on the place.

“Rei? That was just the warmup.” He said with a grin. “AICA, Danger Zone!”

Danger Zone began to play as SunTzu put full energy into the engines and AICA rocketed into the Sky.



“Toooopppp Guuuunnnnn!” Rei screamed from the Backseat, taken by surprise.



A few seconds later, Haruka and Michiru saw something fast breaking through the clouds a few kilometers away. It took a sharp turn and headed towards them. He shot passed them and flew a looping. Haruka could barely make out a gasping Rei, as SunTzu passed them again and shoot back through the clouds, he raced towards the ocean and catched AICA a few meters above it and racing through the Bay of Tokyo and under flying on of the Bridges before shooting up straight into the sky after it again.



He leveled a few hundred meters up and went to training area.



“Better? Or you need a break?”

“Wow, that sure was something. Now I know what the girls meant! Care for another round? It’s amazing!” She said after a moment, grinning from ear to ear.

“Round Number two, coming in!”

 

He flew a series of Loopings and other maneuvers and after a slow barrel roll to the end the series he started to climb fast and steep, soon reaching the end of the atmosphere.



“Hey Rei, remembered when you said, that the view of space would be amazing in here. Have a look for yourself.”

 

She leaned forward and looked out the front, her face beaming but she needed a moment to be able to speak.



“This is so beautiful.”

 

AICA’s engines were off now and they just glided through the vacuum.



“I’m glad you like it. I hope that makes up for playing with you.” He said.

“It does. If you don’t put on “Take my breath away.” She smiled and pressed his shoulder.

 

They stayed there a few minutes more in silence enjoying the view, when Haruka came on.



“You coming back or stay up there forever.”



Timing my blond friend. Timing.



SunTzu sighed innerly, looked back at Rei who nodded at him and began to descent.

 

“Can we at least have some more action on the way down?”

 

She was enjoying this way too much, he thought as he put on music again.

“Sure, hang on!”



After a few more crazy maneuvers, a circle around Tokyo Tower and a Looping over the Palace the they landed at the airbase.



Rei was just crazily giggling anymore and didn’t stop even when she already was standing outside the cockpit basically falling into the other Senshi.

 

 

Setsuna jumped into the seat, immediatly after Rei got out, strapping herself in, commenting AICA’s Introduction with just a nod and her Name.



“We can lift off.” She stated, as SunTzu turned around to check her seatbelts, but her glance made sure she was good.

 

He lifted off, as soon as the girls were a few steps away.



Rei was jumping like a schoolgirl because of joy.

“That was so awesome! I was in Space. Oh my good, i wanna do this again!” She let her friends know. She paused for a minute and face expression changed. “I also need new Panties. I’m wet as a Mango.”

 



SunTzu did the last round for today.

“If you feel unwell or need to stop, just tell me.” He told his passenger.

“Mhm.” Was her answer.

“I hope you don’t mind the music?” He asked as Black Audio’s “First to Love” began to play.

“No, it’s okay.” Very talkative again today.

He took a look In the rear mirror. She was sitting in there with a stoic look, unapproachable as always.

He didn’t want to stress it more and went straight to the Training Area. He told her which maneuvers he was about to fly and she just answered monosyllabic.

 

What did i do wrong this time again he thought. Was it because she had to wait?

 

Ten minutes later he landed at the Airbase and before he even could get up, Setsuna was already unbelted. He gave her a hand that she didn’t take, getting out of AICA on her own. Ice Queen as she was, she didn’t even look and said goodbye or thanks.

 

Wow. Good thing I don’t have to spare against her today. Better stay out of her way for a while.



He should have been happy because Rei enjoyed it so much but this strange last flight made him thoughtful instead. God, this Senshi could be exhausting.

 


 

The Senshi left for the Palace again and the Voyager landed. SunTzu was doing an after-flight-check when his wingmen coming over, Helmets underslung. He jumped out of the cockpit and was greeted by a helmet to his shoulder.



“Traitor! Letting me get caught so off guard from Makoto!” Haruka complained, playing to be hurt. SunTzu rubbed his shoulder and laughed. Michiru had to hide her smile too.

“Sorry, I really couldn’t resist. And hey, she was not complaining about my flying.”

They joked around for another few minutes and then said goodbye to each other.

 

The two woman left and he finished the checkup.

 

Just in time for a text from Ami, telling him, to be at the Palace Landing spot in five minutes.



He jumped back into the cockpit and took off, for another time. He touched down next to a shuttle of the GA and a waiting Ami immediately jumped into the Cockpit after he opened the canopy. He closed it again and got into a waiting position near the landing spot.

 

Ami seemed to be a bit tense and was very quiet.

After his last passenger didn’t seem to be too kind to stress cases he stayed quiet too.

 

A few minutes after the delegation entered the shuttle and it left off too. SunTzu got into a flanking position and they left earth. They flew over the Indian Ocean and space wards where a MC90 Mon Cal Cruiser was waiting. This was not an ordinary Delegation. AICA identified the Cruiser as the Galactic Voyager, the former Flag Ship of the faded Admiral Ackbar. This really wasn’t an ordinary delegation. He followed the shuttle and as it entered the Cruisers port hangar, SunTzu veered off right, went into passive mode, turned on all scramblers and flew a sharp turn.

He landed also in the hangar, opening the canopy before he even touched down.

 

Ami jumped out the cockpit and ran over to Ada who was waiting nearby, next to a elder, noble looking woman with prominent white hair and a man in brown robes. Jedi Robes, SunTzu could feel it in the force. The man pulled down his cloak, probably he could feel SunTzu too. Holy Shit, that was Master Jaden Korr, SunTzu remembered his face from data he learned in training.

Something very big was going on here.

 

The Jedi looked into his direction and nodded. SunTzu returned the greeting. Ada, Ami and the white haired woman talked for a few moments and Ada gave Ami a data stick. Ami bid farewell to the woman and the Jedi and walked back to the A-Wing, followed by Ada. Ami climbed back in the cockpit and Ada climbed up AICA’s steps, looking into the cockpit and said goodbye to Ami, shaking her hand. SunTzu saw that with that move, she led another data stick fall into Ami’s hand.

 

“Goodbye SunTzu, we’ll stay in contact. And AICA, don’t be so curious and try to hack into every ship you land in.” She gave SunTzu a smile and a wink and left again.

SunTzu closed the canopy as soon as she was off the Snub. Ten seconds later they were hovering out the hangar and falling back into a flanking position of the Mon Cal Cruiser.

 

“Not to be curious, but what’s on the second stick, that nobody is allowed to see that you received.” He asked her.

“I told you I’ll get back to you. War is expensive, that’s all you need to know.” She answered.

“I wasn’t expecting answers anyway. But should it be nudes of my assigned Intelligence Officer I’m willing to support the War Effort with a baronial amount of money.” He said as he turned on all systems again and the scramblers off. For Sensors it would have seem that the small starfighter just dove into the bigger sensor profile of the Cruiser.

“SunTzu, shut up.” Ami said in an educational voice, shaking her head. “Always the same with you pilots. Haruka is the same.”

Ami put the second data Chip into her bra and the one she got first into a datapad she had with her.

“By the way, AICA did you try to hack yourself into another ship again?” SunTzu asked his Starfighter.

“Sorry, i couldn’t resist. It’s a ship with history. And I’m very interested in History.”

Both he and Ami shook their heads and laughed.



They left their position on the back of the port side of the MC90 and flew back to Crystal Tokyo, Night already fell down on this side of earth.



“Give me sixty minutes and we can go home. I’ll get you at the flight center then.” Ami told him, after studying her datapad for a while.



Finally, closing time. He had way too many things to think about at rest.

Chapter Text

Ami even needed just 55 Minutes before she rolled up at the base and took him home but eight hours later they were already back on the way to the base.

 

“Didn’t I just see you a few moments ago?” He said when he entered the car.

“Not my fault you work overtime. But maybe your superior has an ear for your appeal. If she’s not busy using you as the Galaxy’s most sophisticated Taxi.” She answered.



Touché!



“You haven’t got the word yet? Whole Command Chain is in for a meeting at 8.” She told him while they were on the way to the palace.

“So it’s official, we’re off to Space.” He stated bluntly.

“This time, we’ll be really going on a mission. And from what I know, you, Michiru and Haruka gonna be quite busy. Looks like we’re clearing the way to Coruscant.” She told, waiting for his reaction.

“Well, at least that means just two Senshi that can work on my nerves out there.” He replied.

“Oh don’t worry, I’ll make sure all of the girls have your radio frequencies.” She said and giggled.







Leaving the car at one of the side entrance’s parking lots they got out and went straight to the military headquarter on the east side of the palace.

 

Ami directed them to a big conference room and excused herself. A lot of people from the upper echelon of the Task Force where already there.



When he got inside, Admiral Artemis walked up to him, SunTzu saluted and stood straight.



“At ease. I heard the flight training was quite fruitful yesterday Lieutenant.”

“Yes, Sir. All the intended Senshi including Princess and Neo-Queen were my passengers and got accustomed to flying with me in the last 48 hours.”

“Good. Listen, i heard the Senshi, especially the Inner Ones were a bit of work for you. They’re good girls but they’re quite the bunch. I speak out of experience. Don’t take it personal. Just know that we can count on them if we need them.” Artemis explained and kinda apologized for the girls antics.

“It wasn’t a problem. We could finish the training to success. Girls are Girls, Sir!”

“Girls are Girls, you can say that again.” The white haired Officer laughed and nodded.

“You got quite the amount of flying coming up for you. Are you and your ship ready?”

“Affirmative Sir, we’re good to go.”

“Excellent, now if you would excuse me.” Artemis said and went to a group of ship officers nearby.

“Sir!” He saluted again and then moved to the last row of tables in the room, where he sat down next to Taego, the Shistavanian Pilot of Terra Squadron. They both briefed each other on the info they already got.



Marvin and Odegana were sitting a few more rows to the front and the other two Pilots of Terra Squadron were sitting next to some Larty-Pilots, SunTzu heard, they trained escort Missions lately.

 

More and more people trickled in and while he was talking Taego somebody black haired sat down next to him. He turned around and saw Hotaru, dressed in black as usual, sit down next to him.

 

She nodded and he nodded back. Looks like his Shadow was back.

 

The grim looking Team Leaders of the Special Forces Team entered and seized a table for them. All of them were wearing Combat Clothes already and had their sidearms open on them. They were followed by the rest of the Outer Senshi, Michiru greeted him with a Wink, Haruka with a Nod and Setsuna’s look got even more grim when she saw that Saturn was sitting next to him.

 

A few minutes later, the royal Family and the Inner Senshi entered.

 

The attendants stood up and bowed.

The queen told them to be at ease and thanked them for their coming although everything had been set up in a hurry.

She then proceeded with the news, that most of them already knew. They were going on a real, official Mission as Part of the Armed Forces of the Galactic Alliance, their first one to be precise.

 

To increase safety on the Coruscantian Trade Exchange they were to scout the Hyperlane from earth to Coruscant. They would drop out of Hyperspace every few lightyears plus on all the beacon points and scan for possible adversaries and dangers.



Artemis as official Commander of the Task Force took the word.

 

“Our two special Fighter Craft, commandeered by Lieutenants Tenou and SunTzu will fly ahead a few thousand kilometers and scan, with the rest of the Task Force following. Terra Squadron as well as the SpecFor Teams and the Gunships will be on standby.” The admiral briefed the room.

 

Great, most of the work in the next few days was left to him and his two wingman. Well at least AICA would be happy, with the amount of flying they’d be doing.

Maybe he could at least enjoy space a bit.

He looked over to Haruka who looked back to him and rolled her eyes. She was thinking the same.

 

Mamoru came on next, telling them, that their last fight sparked some good attention for them and that a group of free working mercenaries wanted to join them. They recently lost their home world in the wild space against an massive enemy force equipped with CIS Ships, Droids and Fighters and were now looking for a place to stay. After they heard what TF Sol did with the Pirates on the CTE, they decided to give Sol a chance.

 


The meeting finished and people went off to get ready for the deployment.



Hotaru leaned onto him and asked.

“Need a Co-Pilot, Observer or just someone to keep you and AICA Company?”

“Honestly, no. We’re good, you just would bore yourself to dead anyway. And I’m not interested in your Mom getting even more mad at me, as she obviously already is.”

“Oh, I couldn’t see or hear any indication that she’s angry with you. She just said she needs to train regularly with you, you appear not ready for your duty.” Hotaru told him, making his eyes go big.

 

Great, now she wanted to kick his ass on a daily. Maybe he could fake his own death on the Way to Coruscant and escape. He maybe could hide in the Maw or so.



Hotaru didn’t give up so easily tho.

“Hey, someone told me you went to space with her yesterday” She took on a mischievous smile. “Looks like the reserved flight was taken. Does that person know that you’ve planned for this?”

 

Did a sixteen year old teenager just blackmail him into taking her along in space?



“Okay. I’ll see which part of the route is the safest one and, if Setsuna is okay with it, you can come along for a bit. You’re pretty corrupt for your age, Kiddo.” He agreed finally.

“Oh, you got me all wrong, I just do it because someone has to take care of you.”

“If you say so. By the way, do you know if they speak basic on Dathomir?” he answered with a sigh.



The blonde haired Senshi here were bonkers, but the dark haired ones were plainly a threat on one's life, even the underage one.



 

He linked up with his wingmen and they went for some morning PT before breakfast. Haruka was quite pissed with their task.



“I fucking discovered this bloody Hyperlane, why do I have to scan it all the way to Coruscant again? This is casting pearls before swine!”

“Oh Baby, after all we’re the most fitting ship for this task. And SunTzu will be there too, to keep us company.” Michiru tried to cheer up her other half.

“I bet he will sleep in the first chance he gets and let AICA do the flying.” Haruka barked.



How did she found out about his plan?




They had breakfast with the rest of the pilots with Marvin briefing them with some more specific infos about the route and line of action. The trip to Coruscant which usually shouldn’t take longer than four hours in hyperspace would take a couple of days at least now because the scanning to be done. Also the Mercenaries were to be met in the first Hyperspace Beacon on the way to Coruscant, after that the Voyager and AICA would take the lead and scout.

 

Afterwards they got back to the Airbase and checked in with the Ground Crew, that just finished the inspections of the fighters. The Spacefighter Element of Taskforce Sol was ready.

 

All that was left was to wait. They killed the time with installing some modifications in their fighters, the Voyager got some speakers so AICA’s Music could be heard into it too. SunTzu modified one of his in-cockpit-lockers, so that it fit his HK 416C safely and he could draw it with easy access from the Cockpit. No more getting out and running around the ship to be seriously packing heat. He also used the time to stock up on some more efficient ammo. Bob even gave him a special box of 9mm Ammo for his Glock. The bullets had great piercing power but also could cause a hydrostatic shock it was said. Sounded like the right thing to bring up against living Vonduun Armor.

 

 

 

A few hours later, the Far Side was ready to lift off, with the Taskforce’s Ground Element neatly packed inside. Except for the two of them inside the Voyager, all the Senshi including Chibi-Moon and Serenity were also on board. King Endymion was on the bridge with Artemis beside him and gave to order to left off.

 

The huge Star Cruiser slowly rose off while the Ground Crew saluted it’s departure.

 

A few dozen meters off it’s landing spot, the two main thrusters ignited and began to speed it up towards the sky. It passed palace and the Crystal tower and began to gain speed. The seven Starfighters of the Taskforce got into formation around it, with Marvin’s A-Wing in the middle.

 

Earth’s first regularly military mission into the Galaxy was a go.

 

 

They passed the Earth Space Defense Forces with it’s Cruiser Selene and the ESDF’s Starfighter Squadron, including it’s planet based Squadron Oceania, got into a guard of honor formation and sent the Task Force off with the best wishing.

 

At the height of the moon the TF’s fighters landed on board and the Gladiator Cruiser jumped into Hyperspace.



33 Minutes later Terra Squadron and the Far Side welcomed the Companion, a CR-90 Corvette into the Taskforce and the Corvette took point on the starboard side of the Cruiser. After a thorough scan of the proximity of the first Hyperspace Beacon and the neighboring Customs Station and a Starfighter Patrol following after, the now bigger Taskforce went for it’s next jump.



Another thirty minutes later, SunTzu sat inside AICA and calibrated his sensors finely. Now their mission began.

 

When the Far Side returned to real space AICA and the Voyager took off and glided out the hangar. They greeted the new arrived Companion with a Passover and left for the void of space, their scanners on max.

Everything was clear on this part of the Exchange and just six uneventful hours later they landed back in the Far Side.

The next days we’re going to be fun, especially when it was decided that even more time was to spend in real time.



After the first three sorties they arrived the second beacon. A RASP Patrol was stationed there and greeted them with a Harrier Frigate and some old New Republic Defender Fighters.

 

Haruka, Michiru and SunTzu didn’t care though. They just fell in their beds.








Two days later, it was already Wednesday now, they were halfway to their Destination. The two pilots and the gunner were beyond bored at that point. Neither music nor games did help anymore. Especially Haruka was annoyed as hell, so when Hotaru declared that she was allowed to take passenger with SunTzu it was a welcoming change.



Haruka even changed places with Michiru and let her fly a while to teach Hotaru about space faring and it’s various dangers and characteristics on their own.

The teenage girl absorbed all the info eagerly.

“You’re really interested in this stuff, aren’t you?” SunTzu asked her over the intercom.

“I am, I always wanted to journey alongside Haruka and Michiru. Space is beautiful. And it’s so quiet.” The teenager answered with a big smile, making SunTzu smile too.

“Our little one always was thirsty for knowledge.” Michiru told with a hint of melancholy. “I still remember how often she came with some books about topics way to advanced for her age and asked us to learn with her.”

“Man, those were the times back then. We were all living together on the outskirts. Remember, it was back then when we awoke again. The fight against Queen Nehellenia. It feels so distant and far away now.” Haruka chimed in, clearly melancholic too.

“I know, like a lifetime away.” Michiru commented.

“Oh Hotaru, how I wished you’d always stayed that small.” Haruka laughed.

 

They indulged a bit more in the past till an embarrassed Hotaru protested because SunTzu heard her childhood stories and they switched to the story how Haruka first discovered the Hyperlane they were traveling along now.



Another few hours later they landed back on their Flag Ship and the TF held it’s position for the night. It was Wednesday Night Earth Time and that meant that Marvin did his Radio Show, although he was tired as hell SunTzu couldn’t do other than listen to it for a few hours before falling asleep. The music wasn’t bad if one was into seventies and eighties music actually.



The next morning, after less sleep than he should have had and a quick breakfast he checked in with Karlena about AICAs maintenance. Everything was okay but even the A-Wing was starting to complain about just flying forward towards a Coruscant light years away.

 

SunTzu felt that way too more than he would admit. Haruka was straight pissed only anymore and even Michiru seemed stressed. Life on the ship was going slow, people were training and taking care of their gear, interrupted by a lot of alarm drills instated by Artemis.

 

Another day of scouting followed. Because the proximity to Coruscant the shifts now either were longer or there were more than the days before.



On the evening of the Thursday, SunTzu took a small break in between flights, wolfing down some energy bars at the observation deck listening to music that could be played there. One could even link their phone there.

He was tired, bored, annoyed and needed a real meal.

 

“God, you really became an Animal.” A familar voice came in from behind.

 

Rei. Of course, his outgrowing beard and animalistic eating had to be seen by her.

 

“I do feel like a whipped dog, yes.” He huffed. “One more day of stupid flying just straight forward and I probably take a detour through the next asteroid.”

He finished the dry bar and swallowed it down with some isotonic drink he brought.



“Care if I join your picnic?” She asked.

“Contrary to my look and behavior while eating. I don’t bite. Yet. But I wouldn’t bet on it in 24 hours.”

 

She giggled and sat down next to him. She was wearing comfortable clothes. How he wish he could just get out of his flight suit too and just relax a bit. They both lighted a cigarette each.

 

“At least you can enjoy the quietness of space out there.” She said and pointed to the stars in front of them. “And you don’t have to participate in all this alarm trainings Artemis fell so in love with.”

“You tell me. If he does another one of these when I’m actually able to sleep I’ll mutiny.”

“Let me know if you need someone for pyrotechnics for it then.”

They both laughed. He had to admit that he missed seeing her the last few days.

 

They stayed there in silence, smoking and looking out to the stars for a few more moments before their cigarettes were finished. He got up and walked to the door.

 

“Gotta get back, some more flying straight forwards is waiting. See you later Rei.”

“Hey TopGun?” He turned around again. “Try to not make that detour through that asteroid. There’s not so much smokers up here that are as entertaining as you are.” She smiled at him.

“I’ll try my best. But you know me, I’m totally down for stupid ideas.” Saying this he turned around and waved.




Back in AICA, who to his surprise, even showed signs of boredom, he got ready to lift off again.



He was observing Haruka and Michiru who wearily looking rock-paper-scissored who had to fly this time. He was hoping that didn’t lead to a heated discussion like it did the second last time ago. The three of them were done. Haruka won and Michiru had to fly. He didn’t thought that the teal haired girl actually could curse so loud.



Another run without any events ended a few hours later and at least they were allowed to catch some sleep now. They were tired to death but decided to head for a quick bite first.

They sat down in the top cafeteria and had some sandwiches and juice.

 

The trio decided to sit down next to the wall and Haruka and SunTzu leaned against it, while Michiru cowered up in between her lover’s legs. They were holding hands.

“You know what’s nice?” SunTzu asked.

“Please tell me there is someone finally taking actions because it’s irresponsible to let us fly so much?”

“No. But it’s a point. Tomorrow evening we should be done with this shit.” He said and bit into his sandwich.

“Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. About bloody time. Hey Michiru you still gonna eat this?”

She couldn’t hear her, because she already napped away leaning on Haruka.

 



The next, way too early, morning the got ready for the second last patrol.

 

Finally something happened as they brought up a CEC freighter that couldn’t Identify itself. Pretty fast it became obvious that a broken Transmitter was responsible for the missing Identification. At least something happened.



 

Early afternoon, after a halfway decent lunch and a small nap they were back on the last patrol.

Nothing happened anymore but the prospect that they were done made them feel more happy than the last few days.

 

 

Three hours later they jumped for the last few light years to Coruscant into Hyperspace singing America’s Horse with No Name. Marvin had played the title in his radio show a few nights ago and the story of the man crossing the deserts to get the ocean reminded them on their own journey the last few days.



You see I've been through the desert



On a horse with no name



It felt good to be out of the rain



In the desert, you can remember your name



'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain”

 

 

They entered the Coruscant System and why the other two hummed further, Haruka announced.



“Hiya lovely Coruscant! Can’t believe we finally bloody made it!”

“Would you be so kind and tell our mothership that we’re done here now?”

“Affirmative my dear wingman!”

 

Haruka called in the Far Side and a few minutes later the Cruiser and it’s accompanying Corvette as well as an A-Wing and four Headhunter fell outta Hyperspace next to them.



“End of shift!” SunTzu announced as they made their way to land in the Far Side.

“I smuggled some Guinness into my cabine. Mission de-briefing in 15 Minutes at our place?”

Michiru audibly cleared her throat.

“Okay thirty minutes.”

“Thirty Minutes, but then I’m there. No matter if you girls are still naked or not.”

 

 

After landing he gave AICA into the caring hands of Karlena and the rest of the ground crew and headed up straight to his quarter. He took a long, hot shower and changed into something comfortable.

After SunTzu downed a bottle of water he went over to the room of his wingmen. Philanthropist he was he even gave them an extra five minutes.

 

He knocked and after a minute a smiling Michiru, dressed in a Yukata the color of her hair opened and motioned him to come in.

Haruka, smiling satisfied, was opening their fridge and pulled out a six pack of Guinness cans.

“Oh the cans so they stay fresh. Awesome. Hey Michiru if you don’t marry her I’m considering it right now actually.”

 

Haruka smiled wryly and looked at him.

“You wish.”



They filled up three glasses with beer and toasted to their first successful mission in duty of the Galactic Alliance.

 

“CHEERS!” They said unisono and took a big sip each.

“Yeah, let’s never do that again.” Haruka said and they all laughed.




Chapter Text

That was one well needed beer but it showed it’s effect after one pint already. Michiru fell asleep on the bed and the two pilots sat on the floor talking. Haruka told SunTzu their story from when their Guardian Powers awoke till they discovered the Hyperlane to Coruscant, drinking the rest of the beer and another sixpack. Somewhen around 3am Earth Time they both fell asleep too, leaning against the bed.

 

Somewhen around 5 am Michiru woke them both up and SunTzu left for his room.

At 7 he had to get up and get ready, because they had a debrief at 8.

He met up with the girls and they left.

 

 

The debrief was exactly as eventful and exciting as the whole mission had been and 45 minutes later they left the mission center again, good thing that they were off duty today so Haruka and SunTzu went back to bed while Michiru went to have breakfast with Setsuna and Hotaru.

 

The Far Side hung over Coruscant and at noon a Shuttle carrying the royal couple and the inner Senshi, escorted by two of the Headhunters left for the planet, more specifically the rebuild Imperial Palace, Seat of the Government of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.

 



The two pilots met for lunch and Michiru joined them.

Look who finally made it out of bed. And straight to lunch. We’re living our best lives aren’t we?“ She said with a smile then leaned over and kissed Haruka.

 

„SunTzu, Setsuna gives her regards.“

 

No, I don’t think she does.



She strongly implies that you should train with her this afternoon. She thinks your lacking in Close Combat. Oh and by the way you two, the Royal Couple is at the Imperial Palace, looks like our trip is not over yet.”

They finished the meal wondering where they’d go next.

 



SunTzu was back in his room and wanted to finally enjoy some free time doing sweet nothing when it banged on the door. He opened and found Setsuna, transformed waiting there with an impatient look on her face.

Time to train Lieutenant. You have a minute to get ready.”

He was about to protest but he was pretty sure she’d fuck him up anyway so it would be better to at least do it where there were mats.

He changed into sport clothes and followed her into the training room.

“Don’t worry, I know you had a hard week, so today we gonna train fighting together not against each other. Would you please get one of the training sticks from the wall?” She ordered him. At least this won’t pain as much as last time.

They trained for several hours and started with basic combat stances up to the point where one defended and the other striked out. Not bad for the first time but damn she had endurance.

They both were completely drenched in sweat but he had to admit she made fighting with her orb look like art. Her combat style was so flowing that it reminded one on dancing.



Like stated, the dark haired ones here where the real danger.



She said goodbye tight-lipped as always and told him, that they’ll train together again tomorrow and then left.

He left also and he was completely busted when he stepped out the shower.

He checked his phone and saw he was ordered to participate in a briefing in half a hour, so he changed into an uniform and left again.

 

No rest for the weary.

 


He got into the mission center early and settled next to Marvin who already was there. They talked for a while and Marvin made a few jokes if he would ever fly straight forward again and SunTzu said, that he won’t even park forward anymore.

Bit by bit the others trickled in.



The other pilots settled down around them and Pluto and Saturn settled behind Uranus and Neptune who in turn were sitting behind Marvin and SunTzu.

The last to enter where Uranus and the King.

 

The briefing was short but pregnant. A big gang of slavers was terrorizing some planets in the colonies near Doldrums. The Slavers didn’t have a base but operated with a Dungeon Ship, which made them very flexible and hard to catch. All of the GA’s Fourth Fleet Assets, the Core Fleet, were busy somewhere and TF Sol was the only available unit up to the Imperial Remnant or Corellia. TF Sol was on it’s next Search & Destroy Mission.This time officially for the GA. The Far Star was about to set course in the next hour and arrive in the Area of Operations within four hours.



Looks like there was a new sheriff in town.

 

After the boredom of last week a bit of action wouldn’t be too bad and this time hopefully without any asteroid fields.

 

Marvin did a briefing for the TF’s Fighter Element in the follow up of the main briefing and told the Pilots about their roles. The Voyager and AICA were about to strike first and fast against any enemy fighters while Marvin and the Headhunters would close off the battlefield so that nobody got away. The Companion would take the Fighter Screening duty around the Far Side. So far, so easy.

 

 

The pilots left the mission center to get ready. At the hangar SunTzu instructed AICA who answered enthusiastically. The ground crew informed him that the Voyager and AICA had been outfitted with enhanced Multi-Lock-Missiles, two each as they were very spare. The Missile could lock on to four targets at once and the main missile would eject four smaller warheads heading for the locked targets. Someone would be in for a nasty surprise.

 

They still had two hours left after all the preparations had been done. The ship was the exact opposite to last week, it was loud, stressful and everywhere were people running around.



The waiting time was the worst. The three wingmen decided to not wait at their fighters and headed for the cafeteria, having a coffee and a small snack, killing time somehow.

SunTzu thought that maybe he should have slept more but the coffee worked wonders.



One and a half hour later the three of them were about to get in their cockpits, standing in front of their ships.

“This waiting is killing me. But at least we get back into doing something senseful and exciting. We fly the new formation we trained, right?” Haruka told.

“Yup, I’ll be slight behind and under keeping it clear and my eyes open. I got ya.”

“Same. Can’t wait to test out this new missiles.”

“Yeah, they won’t like that.” SunTzu said

Alright, see you at the debriefing then. May the moonlight light your way.” Haruka told him.

“May the moonlight light your way. And may the force be with you.” He replied and nodded, doing a variant of fist bumps with Haruka and then he and Michiru hugged.



He walked over to the cockpit entrance of AICA when he saw, that Saturn was talking to the Starfighter.

“I see your going to battle again Kiddo.”

Hi. Yeah. Me, Chibi-Moon and Pluto are on Gunship Three with Sailor Venus and more medics. We’re going in to secure the Slaves. I’d rather be on the first Gunship with the Special Forces doing the first entry.” She said, a bit disappointed.

“It will be dangerous enough out there. Do me a favor and take care, will ya?”

She looked at him for a moment and then a hint of a smile appeared at her face.

“Sure. AICA just told me you’ll take good care that space will be safe.”

SunTzu smiled and nodded.

“That’s our job. See you later. And don’t do stupid things.” He told her.

“You sound like Mom, you know that?” She giggled, waved and walked over to Sailor Venus and Sailor Pluto that were instructing a group of Medics.



He made himself comfortable in the cockpit and started to do some Jedi Meditation Methods, this time he wanted to be ready from the start.



A few minutes later he could feel a strong, fiery energy, but not force related walk up to the ship. He opened his eyes again and Sailor Mars came up to AICA.



She stepped up the steps to the cockpit and her face popped up next to his.

“Hi, do I disturb you?” She asked.

“Hey, no. I was just meditating and not sleeping if you thought so.” He answered with a smile.

“As a Shinto Priestess I know the difference of course.” She said, sporting a smile too.

“You’re going in, too?” He asked her.

“Second Shuttle with Jupiter, Mercury and Team 1. Helping to mop up the resistance.”

“I see. We’ll make sure the coast is clear for the Lartys, okay?”

“Just do your TopGun Thing as always.” She replied.

“It’s actually way more like Hot Shots, but please don’t tell anybody. I got a reputation to loose.” He joked.

You take care out there, okay?” She honestly told him.

“Always. And I got the girls looking out for me too.” He pointed onto the Voyager.

Hey Rei?” He said with a serious voice and Sailor Mars looked back at him. “Take care out there too. Don’t do anything I would do”

She giggled.

“Don’t worry, I will. Grandpa didn’t raise a fool, you know. I leave doing stupid stuff to you, TopGun.”

They both shared another smile and she left.

 

Wait. Did she just showed genuine concern over him?

 

A starfighter further an intrigued Michiru was smiling under her helmet from what she just observed. It looked like her new coworker was already settling in well.




 

A few minutes later the Taskforce fell out of Hyperspace somewhere near Doldrums and AICA and the Voyager immediately launched out the Hangar, followed by Terra Squadron.

 



“Back to the always so entertaining game of Search the Bad Guys?” SunTzu asked the girls over radio.

“Looks like it. Well at least we have experience in scanning for things now.”

 

A hour later they were still patrolling space, waiting for anything going on. He was tired, he was annoyed and this seemed completely senseless. Just like the whole last week. At least Pluto had made sure that he sweated his hangover out earlier on. But therefor now he felt his whole body aching.

“Goddamit, this sucks. For one week I haven’t done anything else yet.” SunTzu complained vocally.

“What’s wrong Fritz? I thought you Germans were always so neat and don’t complain about work.” Haruka mocked him, laughing.

“Oh don’t get me started, Jerry!”

Are you tired or didn’t you tolerate the beer yesterday? How ungerman of you.” She went on. When bored, annoy the wingman, the classic.

He sighed and then set on a monologue.

“You know… My flagship’s Captain is a cat, my reigning sovereign has a teenage daughter that makes her look like an underage mom and my starfighter has a kink for cyber crime. But yet, the worst thing that there is here, is that my wingman is half British. And The Galaxy thinks the Jedi Order was a bunch of weird individuals!”

Silence.



After a few moments Michiru’s loud laughter came over the radio.

“Joli.” She commented in French.

 



Twenty minutes later, Stinger Jordan came in over the tactical radio channel.

 

The Slavers were attacking in a nearby system and sent over the coordinates for an immediate jump to hyperspace.

Thank the force for that timing.



They jumped into hyperspace leading the Taskforce on and fell out of Hyperspace two minutes later, with the rest of the fleet following close.

 

The small slaver fleet was attacking a big passenger ship, probably with hundreds of lifeforms on board.

 

 

On the bridge of the Far Side, Endymion and Artemis assessed the situation.



We read 20 snubs, the dungeon ship, a Kiltrin-Class frigate , a gunship and two other frigates. One of them a Nebulon-B2, this one could be dangerous even for the Far Star.” Artemis explained the enemy strength to his king.

Artemis, let our starfighters attack the enemies’ fighters and concentrate our fire on the nearest frigate.” The King ordered.







“Ladies we’re going in. SunTzu fall back behind us. Shields up and target computers on. Michiru, as soon as you got locks, tell me. Same goes for you SunTzu.” Haruka instructed them.

They pushed out and head for the cloud of fighters soaring around the Civilian vessel.



Except for a near Interceptor IV Frigate that shifted direction to the Far Side nobody seem to take notice of them now.

Time to change that.

 

Michiru and AICA almost simultaneously got a lock on four fighters each. An acoustical signal notified the pilots of the Lock-on they also saw in their helmet displays.

“Fire!” Haruka yelled.

“Missile away!” SunTzu and Michiru reported simultaneously. Each fighter started a missile that flew for about an kilometer and then split up in four smaller Missiles rushing towards their targets.

All eight of them found a target in the cloud of fighters and explosions were visible around the Passenger Ship.



In the meantime the Far Side opened fire on the Interceptor Frigate. After a few seconds the Shields of the smaller ship flickered and finally gave up. Not even ten seconds later it’s remains were spitting out fire, crew members and debris into the void of space.

 

The Frigate managed to shot a salvo of three torpedoes towards the Far Side but all three were intercepted by the Far Side’s Point Defence weapons.

 

 

The enemy fighters formed up and rushed toward the Voyager and AICA.

“Let’s break off and make them split!” Haruka said and they broke their small formation and veered into a different direction each. Making way for four Z-95s and an A-Wing, shooting another barrage of six rockets at the enemy formation. Another five downed enemy fighters and a double kill for Marvin later, the numerical odds between the StarFighters was even. The enemy learned a bloody lesson dissolved it’s formation trying to score in close dog fighting now.

A Skipray Blastboat rushed as fast as it could behind the Voyager. The old but heavy armored ship couldn’t get a lock for it’s rockets against the Voyager’s Jammers and opted for laser fire instead.

A volley lighted up the Voyager’s shield.

“Oh, I can do that too.” Michiru said and answered with a volley of laser fire from her rear turret. The Blastboat’s Shields held but it started jinking and dove into the blind angle of the Aggressor but couldn’t get a straight shot against the Tie anymore as Haruka was flying evasive maneuvers.

The Gunship stopped its jinking and came up again.

“Oh Baby, that was stupid.” Michiru said and lighted the enemie’s shield up with the rear ion cannon. After three shots that burned through the Skipray’s shield she switched back to Lasers and ended the whole thing with a salvo into the Skipray’s Cockpit. The second shot vaporized the pilot, the fourth finally made the Blastboat explode.

“Why did you make them think they had any kind of chance and just didn’t outmaneuver them?” Michiru asked her Pilot.

“I thought I’d get you an easy kill too my love.” The Pilot said and shrugged.

Michiru smiled and shook her head. Typical Haruka, always playing with the enemy.

 



Meanwhile SunTzu had a dance with a old battered X-Wing sporting a faded Rebel Alliance Paintjob. The pilot was good and they were dogfighting close for quite some time now, waiting for an opening in the other’s Defence now. The X-Wing stayed so close that he couldn’t make use AICA’s rotatable cannons either.

 

Doing another round of barrel rolls around each other, SunTzu took a deep breather and opened himself for the force. And boom, it suddenly became so clear. He could foresee what the X-Wing was about to do next. It was risky but SunTzu pulled out all the thrust and abruptly stopped, the X-Wing’s lower X-Foils already scratching his shield. As the X-Wing overshot him, his hands danced over the the cannon controls and started firing, following the other fighters course. It took a few shots till the aft Shields broke down but the next shot cut off two of the foils and burned the lower thrusters of the X-Wing. The X-Wings spiral became wider as he spun away and another laser salvo made the X-Wing explode in a fiery ball of fire.

 

That was five for today. Hello Ace-Status.

 

But first of all, where the hell were his wingmen. He took a quick glance at his radar and turned into a Immelmann Maneuver.

 

 

Elsewhere a angry Nebulon-B2 was throwing everything it had against the Far Side, making the Shields of the Gladiator light up all over it.

“All turrets target the shield generator. Fire on my mark!” Artemis announced.

“Front Shields down to 50 Percent Captain!” The Officer in charge of the Shields informed his Skipper.

Artemis looked over to the Ship Weapons Lieutenant, who nodded.

“Fire!”

 

Twelve Turbolaser turrets opened fire at the same spot on the Nebulon-B2 Frigate and the ate their way through the Frigates Shields and hammered into its shield generator. The enemy Frigate put all her remaining energy in the engines and turned around. This didn’t save her Shield Generator but the Dungeon Ship came to it’s help and hammered into the Far Side’s weakened frontal Shields with it’s quad Turbolasers.



“Disengage, put extra energy in the frontal Shields!” Artemis ordered. He couldn’t simply destroy the 150 Meter long Dungeon ship, which was built after Mandalorian designs, because of the possible Slaves on board.

“Ion Torpedoes?” He asked Endymion and Endymion answered.

Ion Torpedoes.

Artemis turned around and instructed the Bridge Crew.

Launchers load Ion-Torpedoes. Turbo-Lasers attack the Dungeon ships engines as soon as possible. Don’t let this ship get away. Raid Parties to Standby for Boarding.” The plain white haired Officer ordered.



 

SunTzu linked up with the Voyager again when a VCX Freighter bristling with laser turrets shot past them, some of the shots landing way to close for comfort.

“Looks like this guy is angry with us” Michiru stated.

“Why people always get so mad when we show up to their parties?” Haruka commented.

“He’s a big fella. I guess we tag team him with our new toys”

“Roger, let’s bring some distance between us. Stay with me.”

 

They sped up and flew a turn away from the Freighter. After bringing some distance in between them, they turned around again, as the Freighter also did. The ships were now racing towards each other, what the CEC Freighter didn’t know, was that the two fighters shooting towards him had a nasty surprise for him.



As soon as they got a lock, the two Starfighters shot their remaining Multi-Lock-Missiles and while the two Starfighters veered away again eight warheads were racing towards the Gunship now. Four were needed to shut down the Shields, two didn’t hit, one destroyed a turret but the last one crashed trough the cockpit panel and exploded somewhere in the middle of the ship, ripping it apart from the inside.



“Bloody ‘ell. I like these doodahs!” Haruka announced over the radio, cheering.

“Michiru, could you be so kind and translate what Haruka just said?”

“Negative. Pilot Tenou seems to speak in foreign tongues.”

“Shut up you two!” Haruka complained.



 

The rest of the Fighters were quickly disabled from Terra Squadron with the help of the companion. Two enemy fighter bombers endured a bad surprise when they tried to attack the gladiator from below and found the Companion, with it’s Anti-Fighter-Lasers waiting.

 

A full salvo of Ion-Torpedoes made the Kiltirin hang motionless next to Far Side who already had her in tractor beams working on her and the Laser turrets facing towards her neutralized through aimed shots of her own Turbo-Lasers.

 

The Nebulon-B2 was still on the run but the last shots of the Far Side before turning in on the Dungeon Ship messed up her engines pretty well too.



Artemis ordered the whole force of Fighters to finish the whole thing.

All seven fighters formed and formation and flew on a course towards the Frigate so they would face the complete port side.



Okay People, listen.” Marvin came in over the tactical frequency. “We target the ship's connecting spar with force. It’s more durable than the one’s on the regular Neb-B but I’m pretty sure it will work. I’ll transmit the target.”



Seven starfighter with Marvin’s green A-Wing in the middle of its formation launched fourteen missiles at once, each finding its target in the middle part of the Frigate. With big secondary the Capital Ship broke in two a few seconds after the impacts and the two halves, each still rocked by secondary explosions slowly drifted apart.



 

The Boarding Teams got their order to lift off and the first one to go was the single Gamma Class Assault Shuttle, that the Far Side housed. Specifically built for boarding operations, it was meant to cling onto the enemy ship, the troops inside then sliced their way through the fuselage and entered.

 

Special Forces Team 3 was specifically trained for this and Team 2 was also on board to support them. Made up of former US Marines, from special Units, Team 2 had hundreds of hours of boarding experience too, if only on sea based vessels.

 

After fighting their way in and seizing the small hangar the Kiltrin possessed the other team supported by three Senshi as well as team of medics, lead by Pluto and Venus would be brought in. After that the regular troops of the Taskforce were on standby for additional support.

 

While the fighters took point and swarmed the Kiltirin the Gamma slowly left the big hangar opening in the middle of the Far Side. Marvin and Odegana escorted the ship to the top of the Dungeon ship’s front section.

 

The Gamma Class docked and within a minute the first of Terra’s Soldiers were inside the Kiltirin.



Good luck in there boys, SunTzu wished them from inside AICA.



Eleven minutes later and some fierce gunfights later, the Commandos radioed in that the Hangar had been seized. Immediately the first Larty shot out the Far Side and took course.

“I’ll escort.” SunTzu radioed through and took the starboard position of the Gunship. He gave a quick salute to the pilot and they steered over to the enemy Capital ship.



He made AICA visible hover in front of the Hangar, able to immediately push inside and engage. He saw Team 1 and the Senshi dismount and the girls even turned around to greet him, with Jupiter giving a quick two finger salute. After they left the Hangar he made room for the Larty to exit again and flew over to the Far Side again, to escort the LAAT/i carrying the Medic Troop over.

 

He did the same as before and saw Saturn happily waving at them when he and AICA veered off.

 

Meanwhile the first two teams advanced in the ship, soon supported by the Senshi and Team 1. The loss of the rest of the fleet broke the slaver’s morale and after the first attempts to defend they almost showed no resistance anymore with most of the Slavers just capitulating.

More troops were still flowing in, just in case.



Artemis informed the Taskforce that a medical Frigate to take care of the enslaved hostages was on it’s way along with a RASP Detachment to take care of the arrested Slavers.

 

 

“I heard Kessel is nice this time of year.” Haruka told over the radio.

“I don’t even know if that’s enough of a punishment for those fuckheads. They’re slavers after all. Might just drop them out a airlock.” SunTzu replied with a serious voice.

“That’s… not very Jedi of you.” Haruka replied surprised.

I’m not a Jedi. I’m only a soldier and pilot and try to project some peace over this crazy Galaxy. Don’t tell that to my Jedi Overseer tho.”

 




Two hours later RASP and the Medical Frigate showed up and they took the Case.

 

The Starfighters were the last to land, just after the last flight of the Gunships lifted down.

 

They had zero casualties, except a non harmful knife wound and some bruises. The start of the fight inside the Dungeon Ship was pretty heavy but the agressiveness and speed of the Commandos overwhelmed the enemy completely.



Around 300 enslaved sentient lifeforms were on board the Kiltirin and the medical detachment gave first aid to the most dire cases before a bigger medical team from the GA Frigate took over.

 

All in all it was a flawless victory.

Almost too easy.

 




The Starfighter Pilots met in the middle of the Hangar when everybody was back and cheered. Hands were shaken and shoulders patted. Haruka gave SunTzu a firm handshake going over into a hug and both congratulated each other to being Ace in one Mission. Michiru followed with a hug.



A pleased sounding King announced the end of the mission and congratulated everybody to the success.



Although they all were tired and exhausted the next stop was the cafeteria, it was time to celebrate. And the cafeteria’s staff always had a secret stash of good stuff stashed away for moments like this.

 

Almost too easy. But rather celebrate now, than regret later. This was just the beginning.

 

Deep down he knew there was something big coming up.





Chapter Text

 

They got into the upper dining hall and loudly annexed two tables. A few persons including Soldiers were also there and observed the spectacle.

 

Suddenly all of the other Sailors and Soldiers rose up and saluted.

“Admiral present!”

Nice guys, at least they try to warn you.



Artemis entered the room, with an Ensign in tow, carrying two cases.

The pilots froze and abruptly went silent too.

“At ease! Pilots, your Captain has a small present for your good work out there. Ensign!” Artemis told with a smile and motioned to the young Officer to forward.

The Ensign put the two cases on the nearest table of the pilots and nodded.

 

Marvin who had one leg on the bank opened one of the cases and pulled out a bottle of beer. The Pilots started cheering loudly and Marvin nodded smiling towards Artemis.

 

Artemis showed a satisfied smile and greeted with his hat. Then he left, the tired looking Ensign falling in behind him.



The pilots, except for Michiru, who went over to the food counter and started talking to one of the staff members, all took out a beer, a few moments later Michiru joined them with two bottles of Wine and a few cups.

Marvin brought out a toast to the best Starfighter Pilots that earth ever fielded and they drank. In the course of the Night a lot of toasts were given and Odegana and SunTzu, as first time Aces, had to do a special display for the rest of the pilots while standing on top of the tables.

 

They partied till the early morning and when they finally left, Michiru and SunTzu basically had to carry Haruka to bed.

They had to laugh the whole way and stumbled into a similar drunk Makoto also on the way to bed. The whole Special Forces detachment was still partying evenly hard, celebrating the successful mission without loosing anyone and as Commanding Officer Mako had to do her fair share of toasts for her troops.

The view of the almost passed out Haruka made her laugh uncontrollably. They carried Haruka to bed and Michiru motioned them to be quiet and waved them goodbye.



The other two also went to their rooms and to bed.

 




Around noon he awoke because someone was aggressively banging on his door.

 

He opened the door with a mild hangover and without a shirt.

A stoic looking Pluto was standing there, handing him a paper cup of coffee.

“Training in ten. And take a shower before.” She said and walked away.

 

Really? After yesterday nights battle? What was wrong with that woman?



He took a sip of the coffee. Black. No sugar.

At least she had the decency to bring him coffee. He took a shower, downed a liter of water and got into training clothes.

 

He left his room and went to the training area, drinking his coffee in the meantime. She was already there, warming up.



First they trained some more fighting together and after a hour or so, she supposed a training fight.

He was panting so much, that he couldn’t say no in time.

 

They got ready and this time he was armed with a training staff to counter her Garnet Rod.

He lasted longer than last time but she packed quite a punch with her weapon.

 

After a series of attacks from her, that slowly moved him back a especially strong hit from above broke the staff, she used his surprise to this to her advantage and with a swift move swung around and pulled his legs from under him, making him fall down.

 

Then she playfully swung the Rod back into the vertical and stepped back, looking at him for a moment.

 

Wait, did her mouth just twitch?



She nodded and walked off, ending today’s lesson.

SunTzu decided to stay laying down there for a bit, hoping that someone came and told him that he was transferred for disciplinary reasons to a single person post at the Arctic shelf.

 

Instead Makoto entered the room, searching for him.

“Yo SunTzu, Marvin is looking for you. He’s at the Hangar!” She told him.

He answered by raising a thumbs up in the air.

“Hey, whatcha doing down there?”

 



He got up with less pain than he thought and went to the Hangar, he found Marvin working on some Software Updates of his A-Wing.

“Wow, you look miserable. Bad hangover? Maybe some sport would help.”

SunTzu just waved it down, shaking his head.

“Heard you were looking for me.” He asked the senior Pilot.

“Yeah, didn’t found you in your room. As you know, where heading back home. I have the pleasure to tell you, that there will be a festive reception for our new Aces in the Palace in two days. Oh and there’s a nice bonus for becoming a Ace. Congratulations again.” He smiled. “Get some rest and make sure to be presentable till then. Word on the grapevine is, that our new Uniforms are done when we come home.”

SunTzu nodded, said thanks and with a small break to greet his starfighter and Karlena went back to his room, taking another shower and changing into uniform.



His stomach was growling so it was the dining hall next.



Early afternoon next day the Far Side landed on Earth again. Unfortunately not before Setsuna was in front of his door again and ordered him to training. He just came back from a session at the ship’s gym and when he came back the second time his whole body felt sore.



When he left the ship flying in AICA he could barely move his arms.

 

If things went on like that, this woman would probably be his demise.




 

He parked AICA in her Hangar, said goodbye and, after managing some organizational stuff, met with Ami who drove him home.



The blue haired Senshi was more than glad to be home again. She really missed Ryu this time. She also told him, that tomorrow the new uniforms would be given out in the morning and that she would take him along if he wanted.

They arranged to meet up at ten in the morning and the said their goodbyes.

He was happy to be home again and after leaving for a bit of grocery shopping he was ready for a whole evening of doing sweet nothing. And this time nobody would disturb him.

God, he needed that timeout.





He finally had time to check his emails and he found, that he had a message from Master Cilghal asking how he was was the first thing he answered.

He fell asleep on it’s sofa watching anime and woke up when his phone was ringing.



It was Minako and it was pretty loud in the back. Also her voice was kind of slurred.

“Hey, whatcha doing? Me and Rei had a few cocktails in Shibuya. What?! Yes, I really called him.” A pause followed. “Where was I? Ah yes. Whatcha doing? Where are you?”

He yawned and answered. “I’m home and I was asleep already.”

“Huh, he said he was already sleeping. Here talk to him on your own. I’m sure he’ll be happy to talk to you. Here!” A small inaudible discussion occurred.

“Sorry. She’s… not available at the moment. Anyways, i thought that you might were going out today too and that we could meet up. What? One moment. Why?! But…but... Well if you say so. Okay, we’re going home now too!”

She waited a second and the flustered into the phone. “Be sure to look extra good tomorrow, okay. We’re having an appointment at the beauty parlour tomorrow afternoon, just for your ball. This is a secret tho. I gotta go. See you tomorrow.” That said she hung up.



What was that all about? And could it be that Minako finally found out which person he meant last time?



This time sleep didn’t come so easy.

 






His alarm woke him up at eight in the morning and he had enough time to get ready and even have breakfast at home.

Rei was still buzzing around in his head when he left for outside and got into Ami’s car.

 

Twenty minutes later they were at the palace and went to the clothing department of the HQ. It seemed that the whole Force was out to get the new Task Force exclusive olive colored Dress Uniforms.

They waited in line for 45 minutes till they got their tailor made uniforms and five minutes later they were proof wearing them. They fitted perfectly.

When they saw each other in front of the fitting rooms they jokingly commented the nice uniforms of the other.

 

After redressing again they left the base again. Ami told him that the Senshi, all of them, were about to go shopping and had a subsequent appointment at the beauty parlor. All this was the spontaneous idea of Minako. They were excited and looked forward to the girl time.



She dropped him off and he decided to get some beauty treatment too. He went to the barber and got a fresh haircut and even got his beard trimmed down, sporting a well groomed three-day-stubble now. He also bought a expensive, awesome smelling perfume on the way home.



He got home and got himself ready, when Rei wrote him.



She was sorry that Minako woke him up yesterday night and that they were getting ready now. Followed by a message saying that it’s nice the Palace was having a party celebrating that his stupid ideas didn’t kill him yet.

 

Second part Classic Rei Hino. First part? Not so much, did she really just apologize?

 



He was ready, looking good, smelling great when he got a message from an unknown number.

 

It actually was the King stating they should meet ASAP and he needed help.

A car was on it’s way.

 

 

A black limousine arrived a few minutes later and took him to the palace. The King was waiting in front of the palace entrance and from what SunTzu could see the preparations for the party later on were in full effect.

SunTzu stormed up the stairs and bowed down before the King who immediately motioned him to follow.

“Lieutenant, we have a problem. I know the reception will be in a few hours already but I need you and your ship. A GA Ship will wait half way to the nearest CTE Beacon, you’ll get a very important data pad there. Bring it back here as fast as possible. I’m sorry but you’re the only one available who could make it in time.” The King ordered him.

“Understood. Don’t worry, I’ll try to be back in time.” SunTzu replied.

“You better, that party is for you also.” The King laughed. “You excuse me. I’ll see you later.” Then he left.



SunTzu called in AICA and ordered her to the Palace Landing Spot.

Three minutes later he was sitting inside the cockpit, getting a compliment for his new uniform.

They lifted off and rocketed spacewards, not even five minutes later they were in Hyperspace.

 


 

It was around eight pm when the ball started and people were flocking in, mostly from Crystal Tokyo this time.

Haruka, Setsuna and Michiru were standing a bit afar, observing the party and having a glass of champagne. The two pilots were wearing their new uniform while Setsuna was wearing a stunning evening dress the color of hair. Hotaru excused herself, she wasn’t much into these things.

Some of the more important guests were greeted by the Royal Family and or Artemis and Luna themselves.

Marvin and the other pilots were already sitting at a round table, toasting to their assistant squad leader. Venus and Jupiter were at the side of the Queen, greeting people.

 

“Where is he? I didn’t thought he’d come late to his own party.” Haruka asked where SunTzu was.

“Maybe he fell asleep. I can imagine his sleep deficit is quite high. Especially when the girls woke him up this night again.” Michiru replied.

“Should he have the impertinence to oversleep his own ball after we all got so dressed up, he’ll get a double lesson from me tomorrow.” A sour looking Setsuna declared. “Excuse me, I’m gonna call up Hotaru really quick.”

“And I’m gonna head out to the entrance and see if I can find this crazy German.” Haruka announced.

 

“Of course, I’m perfectly fine here at home. Don’t worry Setsuna. Have a nice time. Love you too. Bye Mom.”

Sailor Saturn put her phone away again and concentrated on the three suited guys opening the gate of the storehouse she were sitting atop on, wearing a black bodysuit with her Glaive on her back.



In that moment a black colored A-Wing fell out of hyperspace near earth, rushing towards the blue and green planet.

 

He was late, but that damn Capital ship made him wait for a small eternity until he could land and retrieve the Datapad.

Well no point in understatement anymore, next stop front entrance. And to make it look more natural he should go for the whole grande entrance show.

He entered the atmosphere near the training area and hold AICA off a few meters above the water line. Flying so fast that he actually left a trail in the water behind them he punched AICA towards Crystal Tokyo.

A few minutes later he descended and reached Crystal Tokyo.



Showtime!

 

“Loudspeakers on maximum, play something that the people we are coming.”

“Are we having a little flight of fancy tonight?” She asked.

“Just trying to cover up coming to late.” He told her.



He flew between the skyscrapers In the south of the Island and shot passed the Airbase. Air Control was already calling going crazy with his flying. He turned it off and hoped King Endymion would offer some help for this later.

 

He overflew the palace, with all his lights turned off and people could just see a pair of afterburners in the sky and hear his approach. AICA started playing Party Up from DMX while SunTzu turned on the lights again and gave the people a show with a few Loopings and a barrel roll around the Crystal Tower. Another low pass over the palace and a narrow loop over the main palace building and he landed right in front of the stairs up to the main building and opened the canopy. Standing in the cockpit he put on his Uniform Hat and jumped out afterwards. Gently slapping the side of the cockpit he whispered to AICA to lift off again and land at the Palace’s Landing Spot.

Apart from some fast thinking photographers people were still staring at him motionless. He smoothed out his Uniform jacket as he jogged up the stairs.



He was greeted by a head shaking Haruka.

“Mate, what the bloody Hell? Little flight of fancy tonight?”

SunTzu took a look around and leaned in to her.

“Special Mission for the King, could you make sure MP is not arresting me before I get to him?”

She looked at him and nodded.

“Don’t worry, I got ya bum.”



He rushed inside the building and just passed the entrance to the hall where two big flight of stairs into the second floor encircled the room.

“TopGun! Or should i rather call you Maverick from now on? You really made yourself a name on your own with this entrance.” Rei said and showed an amused smile, coming down the stairs with Ami.

The blackhaired woman was wearing a breathtaking tight pencil cut dress in red, highlighting her features. Ami was wearing her new uniform and nodded to him.

“Moeru Shōjo, Ami.” He nodded as greeting and turned to Rei. “Actually more like Topper Harley, but don’t tell people.” He winked. “Please excuse me, the King is waiting for me.” He rushed further. “You look great.” He yelled as he walked through the door.

 

He casually grabbed a glass of champagne from a waiters tray and downed it in one sip, putting it on the next tray.



He noticed the king and walked straight up to him. In front of the Royal Family he bowed down.

“Lieutenant SunTzu, respectfully reporting back my King.”

“Lieutenant, you have the datapad?” Endymion asked and put his hand on SunTzu’s Shoulder as they both turned around.

SunTzu pulled the pad out of his inner uniform pocket and handed it over to him.

“Sorry, took longer than expected, had to park at the entrance.”

“Better late than never. I already heard that you’re in trouble because your entrance. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” The King announced. “Enjoy the party.” They turned around and saw an angry looking Artemis marching over and heading straight towards SunTzu.

“Lieutenant, what the hell…” King Endymion held up his hand and waved Artemis over. Putting his hand on his shoulder they turned around and the King explained the situation to him.

 

SunTzu stepped back and gave the Neo Queen and her daughter each a hand kiss and excused himself. He greeted Jupiter and Venus with a nod and went to the nearest waiter to get another glass of champagne.

“Hey, you finally made it.” He turned around to see Michiru walking up, Setsuna in tow.

“Good evening Michiru. Good Evening Setsuna.”

Damn, Setsuna in that dress was stunning too.

Michiru greeted him with kisses to each cheek, while Setsuna just nodded. He was tempted to go for a hand kiss but the risk of severely getting injured in the process seemed to high.

“Did you see Haruka? She wanted to wait for you at the entrance.”

“Yeah, she tried to buy me some time running from MP.”

Both women looked questioningly to him.

He motioned them to calm down.

“Long Story but the King already took care of it.” He appeased them.

 

At that moment Haruka showed up.

“You’re still a free man I see.”

“Mission accomplished, the king was so nice to intervene.” SunTzu let her know.



They went to a table that was reserved for them and sat down.

“Where’s Hotaru?” SunTzu asked

“At home, these receptions are not her thing. Same goes for Chibiusa.” Setsuna explained.

 

SunTzu took another look at the Princess and yes, you could tell she was rather annoyed in between shaking hands and wearing a fake smile.



 

“If that isn’t our other fresh Ace!” Marvin yelled from the other table. “A toast!”

The people of both tables stood up and toasted to each other.

 




People got to their tables and the official part began with an eulogy from Artemis and was followed by one from the King.



The Inner Senshi were sitting across the room to them, the Royal table, who also housed Artemis and Luna was located in the middle. Team 1 was at the table next to the Inner Senshi with Team 3 neighboring. He couldn’t make out Team 2 at all.

 

Too bad the tables were so far away. He caught himself staring at Rei in the distance a few times that evening and hoped nobody would notice. Dinner was served and like the last time, it was exquisite again.

 

After the main dish Setsuna excused herself and left the table.

Dessert was just served when his phone vibrated.

 

It was a message from Hotaru and stated to not call her or tell anyone. She was in trouble and in the need of backup down at a storehouse in the docks. She was observing a group of Arms Dealers since a few weeks yet and finally found their hideout. The problem now was, that she was trapped inside and couldn’t get out unseen and they were heavily armed. She asked for his discretion again. The last sentence told that he was the only one that could help now, without her getting in trouble.



 

One time, one single time he wanted to not get into trouble because of these girls. He downed his champagne glass in a sip and wrote her back to send her location. He put his napkin on the table and excused himself that he had to leave. Unforeseen problems with something he was doing in his free time.

 

He strode out of the room and called AICA to get ready for take off.








On the way out he bumped into Rei who just came back from smoking.

“Leaving already? That’s cold, first you come late to your own party and now you leave already? You don’t like us anymore?” She told him with played outrage. “I thought we celebrate tonight?”

“Urgent emergency. I’m sorry. But don’t worry, we catch up on this.”

“If you say so Topper. Don’t do anything stupid.”

“Hey, you know me. See you around Wah-Wah Tukina.” He told with a playful smile and left.

“Wah-Wah-what?” She yelled after him.

“Wah-Wah Tukina. Google it!” He answered over his shoulder.

 

Half a minute later Ami was walking up to Rei to find her laughing loudly over her phone screen. Wait, was she blushing too?





SunTzu jumped into AICA and shot into the Night Sky, while AICA pinpointed Saturn’s position.





Three Minutes later, he circled over a warehouse in the Tokyo Docks, trying to come up with a plan.

 

He descended and landed in front of the warehouse. Two men wearing suits, guarding the entrance, draw pistols and ran over to him. As the first shot hit the canopy he had his plan. As always, when I doubt apply Violence.



Two shots from AICA’s Lasers let most of the men disappear in a cloud of smoke.



The gate opened and a whole bunch of thugs, armed with all kinds of weapons from smgs over to Shotguns and Assault rifles ran out, opening fire on the fighter.



Well, they asked for it.



“AICA write Hotaru to stay as close to the ground as possible.”



“Done. And… Message read.”

 

Good girl.

 

He opened fire and within seconds the whole bunch of people was a whole bunch of fervent corpses. The gunfire stopped and SunTzu grabbed his 416C and jumped out the cockpit. Carefully he walked up to the building, aiming his rifle. Out here nobody survived.

Slowly he entered the building and scanned for targets. Nobody was to be seen.



“Hotaru?!” He yelled. Hopefully the kid was okay.

The slowly strode though the room when suddenly a hand with a gun rose from behind a table.

That immediately fell to the ground again, amputated at the elbow. Another slash from the Silence Glaive ended the man’s existence completely.



“Thanks.” SunTzu said.

“Thanks on my side.” Sailor Saturn said.

“Let’s get the hell out here.”

She fell in behind him and him covering their retreat they got out of the warehouse.

In the distance police sirens were already audible.



AICA opened the canopy, transformed to two seat configuration. They jumped in and hurried away, fast and low.

“What the hell Kiddo?” He asked her.

“They were Arms dealers and i had them on my hitlist for a long time already. I was looking for more info inside when they showed up in force and I had to hide in a closet. Wouldn’t have made it out alive without you I guess. Thank you again.” She told him.

“No problem. Just promise me to never to such stupid things again. Especially alone.”

“Lesson learned. Really.” She explained.

“Good. Fancy some dessert?”






Ten minutes later AICA was parking on the parking lot of a Convenience Store and the two Warriors were sitting on the snub's wings, eating Mochi and acting like a man in uniform and a Teenage Girl, wearing all black and sporting a glaive on her back sitting on a starfighter and eating candy would be the most normal sight in the universe.



Hotaru's phone vibrated and she pulled it out of her body suit.

"Fuck! Mom is going home, we need to go!" She yelled and stuffed her mochi down.

"Language!" SunTzu replied as he stuffed his mochi down too and stood up to get into the cockpit.



Three minutes later he landed in front of the Meiou's House and Saturn stormed inside while SunTzu immediatly lift off again and left for Crystal Tokio.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

SunTzu awoke somewhen around early noon when his apartment’s bell was rang violently.

Fighting to put a shirt on he rushed for the door and opened it.



Ami was standing there, casually clothed but with a serious face.

 

“Ami, you do know we’re off duty today?” He asked her, surprised to see her.

“May I come in?” She asked.

He opened the door complete and motioned her to come in.

 

“Make yourself home, I’ll be with you in a moment.” He said and went to the bathroom.

She sat down on the sofa and three minutes later he was back in the room.



“What’s wrong? Why are you here?” He asked her.

“What did you do yesterday night, after you left the reception?” She asked him with a serious voice.

“Uhm, I… I had a date. With a girl. I would appreciate it if you don’t tell anyone”

“Of course. You haven’t heard about the dead arms dealers in the docks, haven’t you?” She asked, narrowing her eyes.

“Dead Arms Dealers? No idea what you’re talking about.”

“Of course not. What was your date’s name by the way?”

“Uhm, her name was H… Hina. Yes, her name was Hina.” He explained with a stupid grin.

“Hina. I see. Let me guess, shoulder long black hair and still underage, often sporting a Glaive? That would explain the one guy that got killed by a sharp blade when the rest of the twenty one guys was vaporized by a laser that apparently belonged to a Starfighter.” She looked at him angry now.

 

„Ami…“ he tried to calm her down.

“No! What the hell were you two thinking?”

“Listen, I can explain. But you have to promise me that this stays between us.”

“SunTzu.”

“Promise me.”

“Okay I promise.”

“I didn’t meant to leave but Saturn sent me a am message telling me she was in trouble and couldn’t leave that place without noticing this guys. When I got there they immediately started shooting at me and me and AICA just defended ourselves and got Hotaru out.”

“Oh my god. Are you two superheroes now? Like Batman and Batgirl but with more terminal violence?” She facepalmed and sighed loud.

“She needed help and was onto this guys for a long time she said. Please don’t tell anyone.”

 

Ami took a deep breath.

“You know this data that you retrieved for the King yesterday? It was data about this Arms Dealers, they were shipping earth made weapons into space. Recognized that Team 2 was missing yesterday? The data had the know location of this group and they were out to raid the place. Unfortunately nobody was there anymore because they left. And now we know where they went.” She let him know the background.

“Nice. Not that I left the ball that was meant for me too I also came late because I spent hours In space to retrieve outdated information.”

“Basically that’s it. Okay, I don’t like it but I'll stay quiet about it. At least when it comes to Hotaru’s part.”

“Thank you, really tho. By the way, what did I miss yesterday yet?”

“When I left with Makoto around midnight, the Commandos and the pilots just planned the rest of the night. Sounded like they wanted to stay out the whole night. Your missing presence was the subject of many jokes and the one or other toast by the way.” She giggled. “Good luck with the echo of this the next few days.”



Rei, in her beautiful red dress she wore yesterday, shot into his mind. Yesterday she seemed to be in a great mood. Well, he saved the kid. That counted more.

 

Germans. Always duty before pleasure.

 

 

They talked for a few minutes more before Ami left and went home again. When she was gone he got ready too and head out for lunch.

He took his time and walked through the bustling main parts in Shinjuku. Also he went for a stroll at Shinjuku Gyoen Park to catch the Sakuras there in full bloom. It was beautiful.



In the afternoon he had a coffee overlooking the Shibuya crossing before he went home again. He just sat down, when Marvin called him up.

“Hey SunTzu, you good? That was a fast retreat yesterday.” He sounded a bit hungover.

“Yeah, I had to take care of something urgent unfortunately. I’m sorry.”

“Hey, I’m sure you had your reasons. You missed one hell of a Afterparty tho. And the other pilots will probably give you shit till the rest of your life.”

“It’s my own fault, guess I earned that then.” SunTzu said with a smile.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, let’s have a cup of coffee or so then.”

“Sure, see you at the base then.”

“Aight, till tomorrow. I need some more rest till then.” Marvin laughed and hung up.



He just was about to put his phone down, when Hotaru called.

“Hey. It’s me. How are you?”

“I’ll probably be the laugh of the Earth’s Starfighter Corps for the rest of the decade because I fled my own reception but other than that I’m good. How are you?”

“I’m good. Thanks to you. Setsuna didn’t find out. Thanks for that too. I’ll promise I’ll won’t go solo anymore.”

“Good to hear. I’ll see you at the base Kiddo, I have a suggestion for you then.”

“Okay, see you tomorrow then.”

“Bye Hotaru.”



The girl sounded very thankful. At least she was warming up to him, not like her adoptive mother. Oh yeah, Setsuna. She looked great too yesterday.



Ah, why I always have to leave when it’s so nice, SunTzy scolded himself.

 






SunTzu decided that he needed something to entertain himself at home in his spare free time and head out into the city again. What better to shop for entertainment stuff than Akihabara?

He was actually looking for a video game console in one of the shopping centers when the clerk praised the newest karaoke machine they just got, telling how popular it is with Japanese people.

That thing might be fun to have on the long trips on the Far Side and would fit in the lounge near the rooms. And he just got a bonus. Fuck it.

 

He bought the Karaoke machine and took an Uber to the base. Wait, why did he came to Akiba in the first place? Wasn't there something else he wanted to get?



He took a motor pool jeep to the Far Side, that was silently sitting at her landing spot, greeted the soldiers guarding her and began carrying the parts of the machine on board.



SunTzu had to go a few times and it actually took it’s toll to carry that stuff all the way to the Guardian’s Lounge. He was down to wearing a T-Shirt top anymore when he got everything over and he started connecting the various parts.



 

“Hey TopGun, whatcha doing down there? And why are you even here?” He was laying behind the main screen and hit his head as he sat up.

“Ow… Rei. Hey.” He rubbed the paining spot on his head, surprised to meet her here. She was wearing a Miko outfit and damn, was there something this woman didn’t look good in. “I bought a Karaoke Machine because I thought I’d be diversion on long travels in here. Not for me tho, I’m a horrible singer.”

“Wow, great idea. I love it and the girls will do too. You know how much we Japanese love these things.”

“Good, nice to hear. What are you doing here by the way? Especially in that dress?”

“Oh, I was working in the temple today but decided to check in the palace to see what’s new. I was on my way to the palace when I saw you hauling boxes into the Far Side and decided to check out what crazy things you were up to now again.” She smiled.

“Oh, basically I’m just here to hid from my close environment. I’ll get so much shit for leaving so early at my own party yesterday.” He said with a smile.

“Oh yeah, I hope you could solve everything. I wasn’t that long either. But at least it wasn’t my own party and I didn’t leave as the first person.” She giggled. “Oh TopGun.”

 

He frowned at her and she answered with poking out her tongue. He smiled and leaned back again, continuing with connecting the machine with it’s various parts.

“You could solve anything that bothered you yesterday, could you?” She asked again.

“Yeah, it’s all good. Thanks, I could solve it.”

 

What was that about now? Why was she caring so much right now?

 



Some twenty minutes later everything was up and running and cleaned up and SunTzu mentally patted his own shoulder, not thinking about the snarky remarks Rei hit him with, as he connected some stuff wrong at first.

 

He turned the machine on and handed a microphone to Rei.

“Miss Hino, would you have the honor?”

“What? Now?” She looked at him with a questioning face.

“Someone has to try it out. And you don’t want to listen to me singing.” He shrugged.

 

She took the microphone and stepped forward, searching for a song to sing on the machine.

“This is a very famous and old folk song about the Sakura.” She said as she opted for a song. “You might wanna sit down and enjoy the show.” She smiled and motioned to the nearby sofa. He sat down and she started the song.



She sang beautiful. And didn’t even needed the screen for the vocals. Her red and white Miko clothes gave the whole thing an extra touch and for the next four minutes he couldn’t take his eyes from her, while she was singing with closed eyes and full of passion.

 

The song ended and she opened her eyes again. He started clapping his hands.

“Rei, that was awesome. You’re a great singer!”

 

She bowed down, trying to hide that she was blushing.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re far too kind.” She was throwing kisses into a imaginative crowd.



SunTzu got up and walked over to the Senshi. They shared a long glance at each’s other eyes.

“You know, usually I get paid good money for this stuff, but well knowing that you probably do something insane to procure that money I resign from charging you.”

“Too bad, I was about to invite you to another space trip as payment.” He shrugged slowly and grinned at her. Then he turned the machine off and walked away.



Why not have sweet revenge this one time.



“Come on, let’s get out of here.” He told her.

“Hey TopGun, that’s not fair. I was accommodating right now. Hey, wait!”

She rushed after him.



A fierce discussion later, they settled on a bargain that he would take her for a trip to space again as soon as they could manage.

 

They left the Star Destroyer through its main ramp again.

 

“Great, my driver’s gone. Looks like you have to drive me to the palace TopGun.”

“As you wish Mylady.”

 

But only because she looked kinda cute in that Meiko dress. Like really.



They drove the short distance to the palace and parked at one of the side entrances.

“I’m gonna hit up the Crystal palace and then get some dinner. Care to join in?” She asked him.



Okay for real now, why was she so friendly?



“What’s with being so nice with me right now? You have a fever or something?” He asked her skeptical.

“Hey, I’m always nice with you. Tell me a month, week, day, minute or second that I wasn’t!” She took a breather and continued with a more quiet voice. “Also Ami told us to give you a break earlier on. She didn’t went into detail but told us you did something very important yesterday, that’s why you left.”

 

Ah, Ami intervened to give him a chance to have a break today as reward for saving Hotaru. Thanks Sailor Mercury, it was appreciated.



“Oh. How kind of Ami. But like i said everything solved. Thanks for empathy tho.”

 

Without any rush they crossed the courtyard that also contained some blooming cherry trees and head to the tall Crystal Tower. They were walking side by side and Rei explained the meaning of Sakura Blooming for the Japanese Culture.



He listened very carefully to her words. He stopped a moment in front of one the trees. A slight breeze was swirling a couple of cherry blossoms through the hair and lifted Rei’s long black hair to the side too. The blossoms flying around her. It looked like straight out of a movie.



A few minutes later the guard opened the Tower’s entrance door for them and they stepped in, heading towards the Throne Room.

Rei opened the door and casually strolled in.

 

“Hey Mamo-Chan, what’s up?” She asked a tired looking King, dark rings around his eyes, sitting laid back on his throne. He was completely alone In the room. SunTzu straightened up.

“Protocol, Sailor Mars!” He reprimanded her.

“Oh c’mon. It’s just To… the Lieutenant. Where’s everybody?” She said.

 

He sighed and sat up, glancing at SunTzu.

“Chibiusa is over at the Meiou Place and her Royal Wineness went back to bed. Everybody else is off duty and most are curing out their hangover. Things got a bit out of hand yesterday.” He shrugged.

“Hear that, you left your ball too early, Cinderella. But at least the prince had fun.” She looked over to SunTzu and giggled.

“I’m sure the Lieutenant had it’s reasons Rei. Oh, only Ami is active. Heard about the shooting at the docks? She voluntarily took the case.” The King told them.

“Whatever. I go and annoy Usagi a bit. I’ll be back soon, you boys behave.”

She left with a smile and closed the door behind herself.

 

“Lieutenant… SunTzu. Please at ease. After Sailor Mars’s harsh break of the Royal protocol and in my current condition, I think we can forget about formalities. As my wife and daughter already do too. Call me Mamoru. I’m sorry for my tired appearance but the Admiral and your Squadron Leader thought that as Supreme Commander I had to bring out way too many toasts. You really missed out on something.” He said and smiled. “Talking about that. Where was your Starfighter yesterday night?”

“Oh, I had to take it to take care of some business.” SunTzu explained a bit nervous.

“And that business, was not about vaporizing two dozen arms dealers in the docks right?” The prince asked him with an interrogative tone.

“Ami? Or Hotaru? Who told you?”

“Neither. But a pilot leaving the ball with his A-Wing and the absent Sailor Senshi with the Glaive speak words for the wounds on the corpses over there.” Mamoru stated.

“Saturn sniffed around there and needed help. Those guys were pretty unhappy with me arriving and I had to take care of them.” SunTzu explained the incident.

“I see. Best to keep that in between us. Sailor Pluto would be very upset with the both of you. And to be honest, someone needed to take care of this thing anyway. Team 2 was on the case but the data you retrieved yesterday was outdated.”

“I heard that from Ami already. Glad that I did my regular job too then.”

“Between us. Good job even. And I make sure Saturn and You will be safe. I heard you’ve taken enough of Setsuna’s wrath lately. And also I know how hard it is to look out for these girls.” Both men shared a wry smile.

 

The door opened again and Sailor Mars came back.

“I couldn’t get her up at all. Typical. You guys came along nice?” She said.

“We did. The Lieutenant told me why, he left in such a hurry yesterday.”

“Oh really. Why did he so?”

“Boy’s stuff.” The king told her and shrugged, knowing his answer to her question would make her even more curious.

“Oh, really. Now I wanna know it even more.”

 

Rei tried to get that information for a few more moments and gave up then.

“Okay, keep your secrets then. I’m going to have dinner now anyway.”

 



They said goodbye to the king who closed his eyes and leaned back on his throne again as they left, and walked out the Tower, taking course to the Dinning hall.

 

“You two seem very familiar with each other. Giving that he’s your king.” SunTzu stated.

“Well, I’m not gonna give him the Royal treatment in private. For how long we known each other already. Also I’m basically his last ex-girlfriend.”

 

Hold up, WHAT? Rei and Mamoru?

 

“Oh really?”

 

“Yeah. But that was ages ago, I still was a teenager back then. Soon afterwards he started dating Usagi, the Queen, and they’ve more or less been happy ever after.”

He didn’t expect this. Probably led to quite some hassle back then.

 



They entered, it was very quiet as most of the personell was off duty and away. They got food and sat down on the regular table the Senshi always used.

“Ah shit. I forgot something to drink.” She noticed.

“Stay put, I’ll go. What do you want?”

“Green tea, cold please.”

“As you wish.”

 

He stood up and went back to the counter.

A few moments later he came back and handed her the beverage, and sat down again.

They looked at each other and Rei crossed her hands.

“Itadakimasu”

“Itadakimasu” SunTzu repeated including the crossing of hands.

 

They took their first bite when Ami’s voice came from behind.

“Awww, nice to see you two together. You two aren’t on a date, are you?”

Both blushed and looked away from each other. Rei recovered first.

“A date? With him? Am I suicidal? He probably would take me bungee jumping without a rope or so. No! Me and Cinderella were just looking for her glass shoe she left here after she left the ball in a hurry yesterday.”

 

Look who will have to get her beverage on her own next time.



“Don’t be so harsh Rei. I heard he got good reasons to leave.” Ami said with a grave glance to SunTzu.

“Whatever. Wanna hear the latest Spy Girl? Topper Harley here bought a Karaoke Machine for the Lounge near our rooms on the Far Side.”

“How kind, thank you. Great idea. See Rei, SunTzu is actually thinking about other people too.” Another grave glance from the dark haired.

“By the way, I just come from the docks. You might have heard about what happened there.” She switched the topic.

“Mamoru said something.” Rei replied.

“Lunatic stuff. A group of arms dealers was killed at a store house, where they had tons of guns and ammo ready to ship into the Outer Rim. But someone took them all out, without really leaving marks.”

“Really? Sounds like something Mina would have done in her Sailor V phase, minus the killing tho.”

Ami took another glance at SunTzu and swallowed hard.

“Probably another gang took them out. And probably left when the heard the police coming. They secured everything.”

“Really. That’s great, no?” SunTzu said with an endorsing face.

“Well, apart from the violence, yes. We were trying to hit these group shipping arms into the Rim for a long time already.” Ami said with an rather stringent face.

“Good. So basically a Happy End.” SunTzu said in between bites.

Ami just shot him another stern look.

Then she sighed and looked over to the food dispensing counter.



SunTzu had already finished his food by then.

“I’ll get some food too. Shall I take you guys home afterwards?” Rei nodded already, chewing her food.

“Sure, I’ll just bring the key for the pool car back.” SunTzu said and cleaned his mouth with a napkin

“How can you be already done with your plate? Dude, you eat like an animal.”

“Oink, oink Moeru Shōjo.” He just commented her shot at him and got up, picking up his tray.



Don’t listen SunTzu. She’s just teasing you again, he thought.



“Also, I googled what you said to me yesterday.” She told him.

He just nodded, not really listening.

He put his tray away and walked on to the door.



Wait, what words from Yesterday did she mean?



She yelled after him.

“Hey Topper Harley! If you behave really, really, really well, we might could have bacon and eggs for dinner one day! But you bring the olives!”

He looked back, jaw dropping as he understood what she meant and she topped it all with a playful wink. Still staring open jawed at her he crashed head first into the wall next to the door.

 

She started laughing loudly, while Ami facepalmed again.

That worked even better than intended she thought and laughed some more.

 




Rubbing his second Rei caused lump of the day SunTzu walked over to the vehicle car pool and handed the key of the car he took back to the soldier on duty.

The pilot then walked back to the dining hall and just as he arrived in front the two women stepped out of the building.



As soon as Rei saw the red lump on his right forehead she had another fit of laughter. Ami on the other hand took a close look and it and showed empathy.

They left for the car and Rei really had problems to calm her laughing.

 

“I can’t believe you really ran into that wall.” She laughed loud again.

 

 

Stay calm, breathe in, breathe out. Think about your Jedi Training with Master Durron. Anger is not the way.

 

 

They got into Ami’s car, SunTzu was sitting in the back, staying quiet but with a sour expression because Rei still couldn’t stop to laugh.

“Rei, would you please open the glove box?”

Rei opened it, got big eyes because the pistol inside and looked at Ami.

“See the plasters, blue packaging? Give me one please.”

Very carefully Rei took one out, making sure to not come too near to the Glock inside and handed it to Ami. Then she fastly closed the compartment again.

Ami took it and turned around.

“Bacta Plaster. Setsuna gave me a few, when she heard I was your regular ride to and off the base. Guess she knew why. Take it for your head.”



Oh, what would I do without Ami and without Bacta.

 

They drove back to Juban, first heading to SunTzu’s apartment.

“You worked at the Shrine today Rei?”

“Yes.” She sighed. “Grandpa’s rheumatism is bad these time of the year and he needed the help.” She seemed a bit sad telling about that.

Ami nodded empathetically.

 

When they arrived at his place SunTzu thanked Ami and said a short Bye into the round.

He closed the door as Rei rolled her window down.

“Hey SunTzu. I’m sorry for laughing so much. But it was too damn funny, you have to admit.” She took on an apologizing smile.

“Thanks for hanging out tho. I had fun, and not just because you hit your head.”

SunTzu took on a tired smile.

“And I won’t forget that you owe me another trip to space.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll keep my word. Have a nice evening Rei.” He was about to walk on, when she chimed in again.

“Hey, my Birthday is around the corner. I know it’s a bit much to ask for with someone like you but at least try to not kill yourself till then. Would make me kind of sad if you weren’t around for entertainment, you know?”

“Need a Clown for the Party, I suppose?”

“Yeah, you could do that trick with the lighter again. Also with the spotlight you lately take, your funeral arrangements could overshadow my birthday party. And i’m not so good with sharing.” She laughed. “Have a good evening.”

“You too. Bye Ami!” He waved at Ami through the window too.

 

The car left and he got into his apartment.



What was that now from Rei again? Tsundere much?



First thing he then did was to put on that plaster on his forehead.

 

On one side Rei gave him a headache.

 

But she also gave him butterflies in his stomach on the other.

 


 

Chapter Text

 



The next weeks were basically over in a blink of an eye, even tho they were basically all the same. Full with training, training and training. Training in AICA, Training with Team 1 and training with Setsuna.

 

He got better and began to stand his ground against her but damn she was one hell of a warrior with her Garnet Rod. Also they now began to function as an unit. Especially when they were both fighting with long weapons. If only he got a light sword.

Apart from training with her, he also trained with the other Senshi, but mostly fighting alongside, very much to Haruka’s discontent. She still hadn’t had the chance to spar against him.

 

Too bad. Not.

 

He only wished he could have spent more time with Rei in the last time but except for two small trainings where they trained fighting along each other, which one time ended in quite a heated dispute, he didn’t see her much.

He also proposed the idea to train the Senshi with weapons if they haven’t yet.

Especially Hotaru and Chibiusa took a liking in training with guns and shooting at the range.

It didn’t take long, till both of them requested their own guns. And after a lot of persuading their mothers both were allowed to get their own weapons and gear, if it would be stored with Team 1 too.



SunTzu both took them to Bob, the Chief Armorer.

Hotaru wanted something compact with stopping power, Chibiusa opted for something quiet she could use out of the shadows. As if her hair wouldn’t be prominent.

 

Kids these days.



Nodding understandingly, Bob, the big man, disappeared in his workshop and came back with two Cases.

One was containing a Kriss Vector SMG in .40 for Hotaru and the other a HK MP5SD for Chibiusa. Both cases included optics and other accessories too.

The kids were happy, even if the “gifts” were more than questionable and after picking up Micro Chestrigs and Plate Carriers for them, the rest of the afternoon was spent at the range.



Strangely enough, SunTzu didn’t got hit worse by Sailor Pluto the next day. On the contrary, Setsuna-Mama, even wearing flannel to sport the right look, joined the girls for basic training at the range the next afternoon, coldly stating that being trained in all kinds of weapons wasn’t the worst the worst thing to be in these times.

 

The woman that made staff based combat an art also was quite the good shooter.

“I already have some experience.” She stated mysteriously between two magazines she shot from SunTzu’s Block 2 Rifle, hitting the target with round after round.

The two younger Senshi needed some training tho, although Hotaru was a natural talent. He instructed them and corrected their stances when necessary.

From outside it probably looked like a very twisted family outing.



One time he told Hotaru how to more effectively use the front grip and she landed the next salvo with loud pings directly at the target.

She secured her weapon and smiled like she just won Olympic gold.

“See, just listen to the old man sometimes.” SunTzu told her. Setsuna was standing next to him and turned around to him, almost leaning onto him. Their gazes met and for a fraction of a second he saw a fire in her dark cherry red eyes, but this time it was not anger towards him.



More like a longing… no, that couldn’t be. Not her. He must have seen that wrong.

 

Probably just anger because his remark. She quickly looked away and went over to the next alley where Chibiusa was training.



Soon they finished up and the two teenagers were satisfied with today’s progress. Setsuna was back to her usual Ice Queen demeanor.



When they were back at the armory, he got word that the supply with Blasters and Blaster Ammo, still wasn’t really sufficient and that they had Major problems. Bob complained, that if they had the budget they could just buy without the GA assignment but that wasn’t an option right now.

 




Later that night he thought about that and also remembered that Ami made some comments that war was expensive. Did they have a budget problem?

He could imagine that the governments of the world weren’t too happy with a young Queen leading the planet and protecting her reign as official instated Reign by the Galactic Alliance.



He had an idea in sudden and called AICA. There was that feeling in his gut telling him something.

“Hey AICA, can you check the stock trade for Earth products for me? On a Galaxy-wide level. I need the sectors where most money could be made.”

“Just a Minute, calculating now. By the way, I’m a starfighter not a slot machine!”

“I love you too.”



Two minutes later AICA came back on again.

“Results show, that Earth on a Galaxy-wide level of stock trade is pretty unimportant right now. What stands out and I predict a steep growth in are the entertainment and media sectors. People in the Galaxy are acquiring a taste for earth’s music and movies. Right now companies are working on a way to get movies converted to Holo Dramas.”

 

Interesting.

 

“AICA, take the rest of our bonus and invest in these sectors. Let me know somewhen if It worked out.”

“If you say so. Not my money. Good that the Kingdom pays my fuel and Tibanna Gas.”

Let’s hope it stays like that, SunTzu thought. But let’s give it a try, the few hundred credits wouldn’t kill him, he didn’t need much as he was.

 


 

The days went by with Training, training and more training. The moral was great, the last two missions proofed that the Taskforce was on a good path.

 

Since everything went so smooth lately and training paid off, the three wingman decided to go out for a drink. Since he never done it the girls decided to show him the Izakaya experience. They had a small room for themselves and ordered food and drinks, the pilots opted for beer, of course, while Michiru opted for Lemon Sour.

The food was good and the drinks cold.

“Setsuna will join us for a drink too.” Michiru announced after looking at her phone.



A few minutes later the older Senshi arrived, wearing a black pencil skirt and a black blazer, coat under her arm, entering the room where the other three were sitting around the table.

“Hello Setsuna, how are you?” The girls asked.

The dark haired woman sat down too, next to Michiru who sat opposite of Haruka, who in turn sat next to SunTzu.

She let out a big sigh.

“Hard day at the hospital today. I really could use a drink. How are you two?”

“We’re good, kicked some Terra Squadron ass today. And the Larty-Pilots got their share too.” Haruka announced proud.

“Don’t forget that Marvin almost got you, if a certain Bavarian wouldn’t have helped!” SunTzu chimed in, mocking Haruka.

“Oh yeah? As if you would have dodged that Gunship’s Missile in combat!” She said back, angrily.

“Of course, a rookie in a ARC would have dodged that.” SunTzu countered and nodded a hello to Setsuna. The waiter came and brought a glass of beer for the later.

“Sorry, they’re always like that.” Michiru excused the two squabblers to Setsuna.

“Looks like they became good friends.” Setsuna replied, observing the two pilots in their heated discussion.

“Friends? More like siblings. Ever competing siblings.” She shook her head and leaned in to Setsuna. “Exactly what Haruka needs tho. Someone to hold her ego down a bit. And I don’t know if SunTzu would have settled in so easy without Haruka. They can be annoying from time to time, tho.”

“I can imagine that.” Setsuna said still eyeing the pilots.

 

The two woman clinked glasses.



“Guys, you don’t want to toast with us?” Michiru said with a fake angry voice.

Both pilots abruptly went silent and grabbed their glasses.

“Kanpai!”



They enjoyed their food and the two pilots downed beer after beer. Michiru didn’t go slow with drinks either and switched to Oolong Hai. The pilots were debating again and really started to work on her nerves tonight.

 

She leaned in to Setsuna again, who was having her second beer, Michiru was pretty tipsy already.

“Tonight they’re even worse than usual. Just because our super pilots won a little training fight against people that have exact same big ego. Well except Marvin maybe. Pilots.” She sighed and took a big sip of her Longdrink.

“Teasing is a sign of affection.” Setsuna told her, looked at the two ever fighting pilots and took a sip from her beer.

“Haruka, come here and give me a kiss! All that fighting and not showing me affection.” She pouted.

Haruka got up and rounded the table, letting herself down to her girlfriend and hugged her.

 

Setsuna and SunTzu looked at each other and shared a warm smile.

They toasted to the couple and finished their drink.

 

“I’m going now, Hotaru sleeps over at the palace but I’m really tired.” Setsuna said and packed her stuff, putting a Yen bill on the table. Haruka friendly slid the bill back and shook her head at Setsuna. With a sigh the other woman put the bill back in her wallet.

“I’ll accompany you to the subway.” Haruka stated and got up, getting their jackets from the coat rack and helping Setsuna in her coat.

“SunTzu, entertain Michiru in the meantime, will ya Mate?”

“Aye aye Chief.”

“Don’t worry, SunTzu at least will give me some attention, without asking. Not like a certain blonde.” Michiru really was drunk by now.



Haruka and Setsuna left and Michiru sat down next to SunTzu. The waiter came with another round of drinks for the two.



“Shouldn’t you take it easy by now?” SunTzu asked her.

“No. I don’t. I’m annoyed with you two tonight. Always this fighting! You two are so similar to each other.” She complained, taking another swig.

“You two don’t even take notice of me. Although I made myself so pretty tonight!” She took off her jacket and showed what was underneath.

 

She was wearing skintight black jeans, a purple corsage and a tight black Stola with a collar over her shoulder. Her hair was curled up beautifully too. She maybe was right, the outfit deserved more attention but after all she was his best friend’s girlfriend and his wingman.

“Don’t you think I’m beautiful tonight?” She said and took another sip. He downed most of his beer in one sip.



Where was Haruka? And did she even bother?



“Ahem, you know you’re a very attractive woman Michiru. Haruka is a very lucky girl.”

She started smiling and played with a strand of her hair.

“You know, SunTzu, you’re a very attractive man too.”

“Thank you.” He smiled shyly.

She put her hand on his and started caressing it while she took her glass with the other and took another sip of her highball.

“You know, it’s been ages, since I had something with a man.” She put the glass down and started to run her finger up his chest. She leaned In coming ever closer to his face with hers.

“Excuse me a second. I need to go to the restroom.” He stood up and stormed out of the room. He pulled out his phone after he went into the restroom.



“Haruka, where the hell are you?”

“Problem on the Rail line. Setsuna just left. What’s the matter?”

“Michiru is quite drunk. And she gets a bit too close if you know what I mean!”

“Oh. Yeah, sorry. She can get a bit touchy when she’s drunk. And also she likes to scram in that state. So please get back there and take care that she stays put.”

Haruka hung up.



Great. Haruka made that sound way easier than it was. He sighed.

 



He entered the room again and was happy to see that she was at least still there. Wait, did she had ordered another round.

She saw him and motioned him over with her finger.

“About time you come back. I missed you already”, she purred. “Now get back here.”

“Oh, I’m good over here.”

“No buts!” She half crawling, half walking came over to him.

“Sit down!” She pulled him down and moved up next to him. “Here have a drink.” She filled his glass with beer while she snuggled onto him.

 

Fuck. This was not fair.



She handed him the glass, basically sitting down on his lap now.

“Here drink.” She shoved the glass into his face and made him chug a big sip down. Some of the liquid was spilled and dripped down his chin.

“You mind?” She purred into his ear and licked the drip away.

“Delicious. And your beard tickles.” She smiled seductive.

That made his body react in a natural, but right now, unfitting way.

“I see you finally noticed me.” She let her hand briefly glide over the growing bulge in his pants. Her other hand caressed his face.

 

How much could a man take? Haruka you better get here in the next ten seconds.

 

SunTzu shook his head to come clear, stood up and took a step back.

Michiru took hold on his shirt and pulled herself up too. Because her intoxication she lost her balance and fell into SunTzu who got stopped in his fall by the wall.

She basically was in his arms now, her face looking up to his. Her hand was at his cheek again. Her eyes locked on his.

“Mon petite boche.” She whispered in french. “You think Haruka would mind a little kiss between us? Especially if it’s not on the mouth?”

 

Of course she would. She’d boil me alive. And I can’t even blame her.

 

In that moment the door slid open next to Michiru and Haruka stepped in.

“Oh Haruka, good that you’re back. Me and the new coworker were just about to “deepen” our relationship.” She smiled a wry drunken smile and pulled Haruka next to her while her other hand was still on SunTzu’s shirt.

“What about a Threesome? You both could eat me out.” Michiru whispered as she pulled both pilots next to her.

Haruka looked at SunTzu, who had a shocked expression on and bursted out into laughter.

 

She grabbed Michiru from behind and pulled her closer, smelling her hair.

“We have to go home now Baby, you’re drunk.” Haruka flustered into Michiru’s ear.

Michiru let her hand glide down SunTzu’s shirt and pants again one last time and then pouted an sad “Ohhh.”

“Can we take him with us? Please, I’ll promise I’ll take good care of both of you. Juste en peu de Ménage a trois.” She asked or rather, teased her girlfriend.

SunTzu still had the shocked expression in his face. And his fucking pants were about to explode too.

Haruka smiled again, seeing his impression.

“He has to be fit tomorrow as we have to be too.”

Seemingly disappointed the teal haired girl turned around and fell into Haruka’s arms.

“I’m sleepy, bring me to bed.”



Haruka looked up to SunTzu’s face again and shrugged.

 

They paid and left the place, taking a taxi home. Michiru wanted to sit in the middle, which she explained could do in bed too, but Haruka somehow could park her at the window. Two minutes after the taxi left, she was sleeping.

“I’m sorry. I should have warned you.” Haruka said.

“You should have. Not that I’m remotely her type or gender.” SunTzu replied.

“Oh, actually. I’m the lesbian. She’s 50-50. Or rather 80-20, but yeah, she’s bi.”

 

Internally a certain Bavarian starfighter pilot mad a lot of signs of the cross and thanked the lord for being so chastely.

The car turned into the street SunTzu had his apartment in.

 

“Are you angry? I’m sorry but I could hardly hold her back.” SunTzu apologized, keeping his voice low to not wake Michiru up.

“No, it’s cool. Like I said, she sometimes has this when she’s drunk. Especially when I don’t give her enough attention. Usually not with guys tho. I’m sorry if it was too much.”

“It’s okay, although I’m also just a human.” SunTzu paused and smiled wryly. “Between us? You lucky motherfucker. I’m having a cold shower now. Good night.”

They did their special fist bump greeting and SunTzu opened the door.

“And i bring her to bed and hope she doesn’t vomit all over the place. Love is great, isn’t it?” Haruka smiled and gave a small two finger salute.



That cold shower was much needed.



 

The next day, after a modest training session with Setsuna, who renounced from kicking his ass today and rather went for a combined arms CQC training with his pistol and her rod he got ready for some flight training.

A contrite looking Michiru appeared in the hangar with a grinning Haruka.

The Tealhaired walked up to SunTzu and bowed down to almost a 90 degree.

“I’m so sorry. I was too drunk and and didn’t want to harass you!” She apologized. She really looked embarrassed on top of tired.

“Hey, hey. It’s all good. Oolong Hai is a hell of a drug. Happens. Were all just people.”

Michiru straightened up.

“I don’t know what happened to me yesterday.” She really was moved.

“It’s also mine and Haruka’s fault, we shouldn’t have fought the whole evening and took care of you.” SunTzu comforted her. Michiru put on a constrained smile and nodded to him.

“See Haruka, that’s how you treat a girl. Not making jokes about it all the time.”

Michiru started arguing or rather yelling annoyed at Haruka and they left, leaving a smiling SunTzu. Haruka was brought back down to earth pretty hard from an angry Michiru.

“Oh, and by the way Haruka! If you don’t take care, I’ll take my shot at him again! Sober!” She yelled as they walked away, looking back smiling and taking a wink at SunTzu, before going on and chewing Haruka, whose jaw stood open now, out some more. Using him to annoy Haruka for her bit ego made SunTzu smile too. Michiru really knew how to push Haruka’s buttons and put him in his grounds. They were really made for each other. And he was glad they were flying together, he could have ended with way worse wingmen.




 

Soon it was middle of April and Rei’s Birthday was approaching fast.



Two nights before, Ami and SunTzu were on their way home. He humed and hawed in the car.

“What’s the matter? You’re not good?”

“Well”, he sighed. “Need your help with something.”

“Sure, what is it.”

“As you know Rei’s Birthday is approaching and she kinda told me i’m invited for the party, so I figured I need a gift. But I really suck at this and don’t have any idea what to gift her.”

“Typical Male. But it does mean something that Rei wants you around for her birthday. Well, let’s see. We know her for years so it’s easy to find something for us. Hm, ah yeah. I’ll send you the adress of a perfumery down in Juban. Go there and tell them I sent you and that you’re looking for a gift for Rei. The owners are friends of ours, Rei goes there all the time, they’ll know of something fitting.”

“Thanks. What would I be without you.”

“Probably living at the base first and foremost.” They both had to laugh.

 



The next day, he had some time before training since Setsuna was working at the hospital and Flight Training was set in the afternoon, he went to Juban Arcades after a morning workout.

He was wearing his uniform already, as he entered the perfumery.

In the small store, which was pretty packed with customers, were four woman working, one could see that they were taking care of their beauty. Also they seemed to really love what they were doing and offered great service to their customers



Since the two woman in the store were busy as well as the two at the check out he strolled through the store and checked out different perfumes.

He was looking at a shelf of floral and fruit based perfumes when one of the woman, a tall woman with a long blonde braid asked him if he’d need help.

“Ohayou, Dr. Urawa told me to come here. I’m looking for a gift for a certain friend.”

“Oh, you mean Ami. Yes, she mentioned that you come over. A gift for Rei, right? Koan, could you come here please?”

One of the woman, she had long purple hair, came over from the check out.

“What can I do for you?” She asked SunTzu.

“Koan, that’s the young Man Ami was talking about.” The blonde woman told her sister.

“Oh, yes. The Gift for Rei. Thanks, Berthier. I’ll take it from here.” The purple haired Woman said.

“So, you must be the new pilot. I heard from you already.” Koan said.

“Name’s SunTzu.” He bowed down and she nodded. “Depending from whom probably not the best.” He smiled.

“Hello, I’m Koan. Well, Rei told me something that you like to live dangerous but safed the Senshi quite some times already. She mentioned something from a robotic cockroach last time.”

“Oh, you know about the Senshi?”

“Yeah, We might not always been on best terms but we became friends years ago.” She said, the first part sounded mysteriously.

“I see.”

“Rei and me are good friends. Ami told me you’re looking for a birthday gift for her. You two are not dating or something? I guess she would have told me.”

“No, no. She just invited me to hang out on her birthday and I don’t want to go there without a gift.”

“I see. Give me a second.” Koan walked to a nearby shelf and pulled out a beautiful decoded flacon. She took it and came back.

“That’s one of her favorite perfumes, if I remember right, it’s been a while since she got one. Here, smell it.” She sprayed a small amount on her wrists and he smelled it. It smelled floral, like Sakura and also he could smell something like Almond. It was like perfect for Rei.

“This smells wonderful. I’ll take it.” He said, daydreaming for a second how nice it would be to smell this fragrance on her.

“Great Choice, I’ll wrap it in gift paper already.”



The fragrance was packed and he paid. He then said his goodbyes to the four sisters and they said, they probably would see each other tomorrow again.

 

———————————

Chapter Text

One last strafing run and it would be a wrap for tonight.

SunTzu was somewhere over a military training area on Okinawa, exercising nightly Close Air Support Missions with the Joint Attack Terminal Controllers, the guys directing in Air and other Support, from Team 2 and 3.

 

The teams were flewn out with the Gunships and would also leave the Training Areas afterwards to go back to Crystal Tokio.

 



The Tactical Air Controller on the ground checked in and laid down the various parameters for the strafing run through a nine point spanning procedure, called a Nine-Liner.

The JTAC gave SunTzu the necessary data and SunTzu copied and repeated some important info.

 

He turned about and began his run.

“You’re cleared hot SunTzu!”

His lasers were set to training mode but the Light Show the black and grey A-Wing gave as it lighted up the training target with red lasers was still a sight to behold. The soldiers on the ground were cheering and after his run SunTzu veered off and deployed some flares, since no enemy was around that could target him with heat seeking weapons that was more for show. But it was a nice ending.



“Good effect on target, SunTzu.”

“Copy, SunTzu checking out. Have a nice evening!”

Saying that he descended up again and headed back on a straight planned course back home.



It was now 23:59 on the 16th of April and he was glad to finally be able to go home. He wanted to be fit tomorrow, for whenever Rei told him to show up. She didn’t tell him yet if she wanted to throw a party or what was planned but he knew, she was pretty busy with the temple lately too.



When the clock sprang to 00:00 he already had his phone in hand while AICA flew home on Autopilot and texted Happy Birthday to Rei.

The answer didn’t took a minute either, asking if he set an alarm for this.

SunTzu responded with a voice message.

“Actually I’m somewhere over the East Chinese Sea on my way home, I had a night exercise. I’m rushing home right now to be fit tomorrow. Or rather later.” He laughed shortly. “By the way you didn’t tell me when and where tomorrow or what at all.”

She wrote him if she could call him. He answered with a sure, AICA has Bluetooth now. And internet inside. The GA didn’t spare any expenses.

She called in a few seconds later and AICA took the call.

 

“Hi.” She sounded a bit tired.

“Hey. Whatcha doing?”

“Nothing as fancy as doing TopGun Stuff in the middle of the night I’m afraid.” She laughed shortly. “I’m at the temple and already in bed.” She said, sprawling in her bed.

“Oh and the mean Pilot Man is keeping you awake. I’m sorry. But also, I was expecting you to celebrate into your birthday already with the Girls.” He answered.

“Not in my age.” She laughed again. “No, I’ll keep that for tomorrow, I have to take care of some stuff here in the temple tomorrow morning. She paused. “God, i feel old. TopGun, tell me I’m not old.”

“Rei you are not old. Stop talking nonsense. You’re far from old. You know how’s old? Me! I want to go to bed like a grumpy old man and sleep ten hours.”

She giggled again.

“I can actually imagine this.”

“So, before I let you sleep. Where and when shall I be tomorrow?”

“Hm, have you been to a Shinto Shrine yet?”

“Actually no, I don’t even know if I’m allowed to visit one as catholic.” He stated.

“Oh c’mon, why you shouldn’t. Every single damn tourist visits them. How about I give you the tour tomorrow early noon, say 10:30.”

“I’ll be there. If we find the way home from here again.”

“I told you, no dieing till my birthday party.”

“But you didn’t say something about getting shipwrecked.”

She laughed again.

“You cut your beard, that Robinson Crusoe Style doesn’t fit you anymore.”

“Just give me a few months.” Another chuckle.

“I’m going to sleep now. Please get home safe, okay?”

“Of course, AICA takes care of me.”

“If taking care means that I do all the work here, than I do!” AICA chimed in.

“Hi AICA!” Rei said.

“Hi Rei, Happy Birthday!”

“You’re actually the first Starship that ever congratulated me on my birthday.” Rei laughed again.

“Okay, I really gotta get my beauty sleep now. Have a good flight home you guys. SunTzu, I’ll see you tomorrow morning. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Rei, happy birthday again.”

They hung op.



“AICA, I’ll take control again.”

He took the joystick and flew three Loopings in a row.

 

It was 2am till he fell in his bed. But his alarm was set and his heart happy. He even put her gift prominently onto his floor stand to not forget it.




His alarm sounded off at 08:30 and with a smile on his face he walked into the bathroom to get ready.

He put on some new clothes, had a small breakfast and ordered an Uber.



10:20 he was standing at the entrance of the Hikawa shrine, wrapped gift in his hand, heart jumping.

He heard something crowing above him and when he looked up, he saw two crows circling over him. Strange.

“That must be this German punctuality I heard about.” A voice came from behind him.

A smiling Rei, dressed again in her Miko Clothes, walked up to him, smiling.

Something about her was extra beautiful today.

“Guten Tag!” He said and straightened up, giving a stiff expression.

“Good Morning. I see you found home.”

“Barely! But I found this also.” He handed her the gift.

“Oh, wow. You shouldn’t have.” She was visibly surprised.

“You don’t even know what it is.” He said to her with a smile. “Happy Birthday!”

She glanced around her for a moment and then hugged him shortly.

Being so near to her made his heart jump into his throat.

 

“Mind if I open it?” She asked?

“Of course not, it’s your gift.”

“Right. She opened it and handed him the packaging.

“What? How do you know? I love this perfume!”

“Well I had a little help from a friend of yours. And a certain blue haired Senshi was involved also.”

“Koan and Ami. I see.” She smiled happily. “Just a moment okay.”



Rei rushed back to the living quarters of the temple and came back a few minutes later.

The two crows were still circling over him and he were observing them. They swooped down and landed in front of him.

Beautiful looking birds with shining feathers. He wish he had something to feed them with.

 

“I see you met Phobos and Deimos already.” Rei came back.

“Phobos and Deimos?” He asked.

“These two beauties are the shrine's and my guardians.” Like on a command both ravens took off again and settled on Rei’s Shoulders.

“You know you make it harder every day to beat your party tricks.” He said, pretty amazed.

She petted the two birds and the birds rubbed their beaks on her arm.

“Can I pet them?” He asked her, still amazed from the habituality the birds and Rei had with each other.

“Of course, come here.” He walked over and slowly extended his hands.

“Girls be nice to our visitor. Don’t worry SunTzu, they don’t bite.” He extended his hand a bit more towards the crow on her left shoulder and the bird looked at him with his head tilted to the site before it jumped down Rei’s arm a bit and rubbed his head against SunTzu’s hand.

SunTzu started to pet the bird.

“They’re beautiful birds. Think they might like AICA, we could set up a play date for them.”

She giggled.

“Well, the colors would match at least.”



They petted the two crows for a bit longer and then Rei whistled and they took off.

“Time to give you the tour. My grandpa is running some errands in the city and the shrine opens only on the afternoon today so we should be on our own.”

Being alone with Rei sounded great. Well, at least if there weren’t any Droidekas around.



She showed him around the beautiful historical wood made shrine and told him about the various parts of the building and about Shintoism and it’s characteristics.

He listened carefully to everything she was saying.



The shrine lay beautiful on top of a hill and was now naturally decorated by some blooming Cherry Trees.

Talking about Sakura. Did he just smell a hint of the perfume while walking next to Rei?



“How about some tea? Or do you guys just drink beer?” She asked him playfully

“Isn’t beer kind of a tea too?” He answered raising his eyebrows.

“Oh TopGun, that one was bad even for you.” She laughed.



They had a wonderful, freshly made green tea together sitting in one of the rooms.

“Thanks for the tour and the nice morning.” He thanked her.

“Thank you for the gift. And the company.” She replied.

“So, what’s the deal for later on? I have to get some stuff done on the base in the afternoon but then I’m down for whatever.”

She sighed.

“I guess I have to be honest. My birthday’s are usually this. I try to make the best of the day and in the evening I have a dinner with my Dad. It’s basically the only time of the year we really meet each other and talk. And it’s like something I have to do. Japanese culture, you know. After that I’m usually so annoyed that I get drunk as a fish. Our relationship is not the best.” He could see, that she got sad thinking about this.

“I’m sorry to hear this.”

“It’s okay. I’m used to it. He’s a big number in the Japanese Government and thinks our Kingdom is just something on the fringes, that won’t hold up for long.”

He nodded.

“I think I became a diplomat mostly to show him that I can do as good as he can, even without his help. He rather would see me as a wife for one of his associates. Political marriage and stuff.”

“Not to intervene, but trophy wife is the last role I see you in. Especially after fighting side by side with you.”

She looked up, showing SunTzu a small smile.

“Yeah, but he doesn’t see stuff like that.” Another pause. “God, I’m already annoyed again.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t want to ruin your mood. It’s not your fault.”

“Is there something I can do?”

“Well… Actually there is. You got a dark suit?”



She proposed the idea to him, that he could play her chauffeur and when she had enough she would just text him and he would get her out there with a excuse like her person was needed at the palace or something.

It was her birthday so of course she got what she was wishing for.

 

Next stop for him was Juban Arcades again, where he shopped for a black suit and the other necessary clothes and the fitting pair of shoes. He needed a suit anyway so this kinda came in handy.



She told that she’d take care of the car and that they’ll meet at 18:30 at the palace car pool.

 


 

He settled his stuff, mostly organizational stuff. that was needed to be done at the base, took a shower at the Airbase Center and left for the palace.

When he got there at 18:20 she was already waiting. She wore a little black dress, her usual red earrings and black high heels as well as a black and golden purse. Stunning, as always.



“You’re German too now?” He said as he walked up to her.

“Just want to get over with it as fast as I can.”

“Here the keys, it’s the one over there.” She motioned to a shining black Mercedes Limousine at one of the parking lot places.

Nice. He smiled.

“I thought a German car would make you happy.”

“You know you’re kind of a philanthropist on your birthday, Rei?”

“Just one of my secret super powers TopGun. Oh and I have this.” She was hiding a chauffeur hat behind her back. He took it and put it on.

“How do I look?” He asked her.

“Like a glorified taxi driver that likes to do stupid things.”

“Perfect.“



He smiled and walked over the car. Opening it with the remote he held up the back door for Rei.

She got in and thanked him. He rounded the car and got into the driver's seat.

“So, Miss Hino, where can I drive you to?”

She gave him the Adress and he put it into the car computer. Off they went.

“Hm, I could get used to this.” Stated Rei, lounging in the roomy rear of the car.

 

 

They arrived on time at a very fancy restaurant in the city center. SunTzu got out of the car and held the door for Rei.

Around the same time a large black Lexus limousine rolled up too.

The man SunTzu saw from the balcony that one time at his first ball at the palace got out when his chauffeur opened the door for him.

Oh, now he understood.

Rei bowed down to his window, to tell him something.

“That’s my father. You know what we said, my phone is out, but when I write you a message get me out there with the story we agreed on.”

“Affirmative. Have fun nonetheless.”

“I don’t think that will happen.”



Her father walked over and greeted her very formally. Rei bowed down slightly for a greeting. From what he heared the tone was rather cold. They disappeared in the restaurant and SunTzu got back into the car.

Around a hour later, he was checking in on the latest galactic developments, his phone rang.

He thought she’d write a message but okay. Seemed that it was really going bad in there.

He pulled out his phone. It wasn’t Rei calling. It was Usagi personally. He took the call



“My Queen…”

 


 

Two minutes later he stormed into the restaurant, ignoring the receptionist and the waiters, straight heading for the table where Rei and her father were sitting after he discovered them.

He got to the table, where they just finished their main course and leaned over to a surprised Rei.

He started whispering into her ear.



“We have a problem. Usagi just called.”

She looked to her father and got up.

“Excuse me Father.”



She went a few steps away from the table with SunTzu. SunTzu looked really tense.

“What happened?” She asked him quietly.

“There has been attacks around most of the northern Trade Lanes. Someone started a goddamn offensive against the Galactic Alliance. It’s absolutely crazy. The whole fleet is on alarm, and the Far Side is moving out as we speak. Usagi said, you can stay here, she doesn’t want to spoil your birthday but I have to leave immediately. I’ll take AICA to catch up with the Far Side before they jump, AICA also gets ready to take off right now.” He said with a stern face.

“I’m sorry this is happening, bad timing. You have money for a taxi later?”

“What do you mean? We are leaving. Now!”

“Rei, you can stay here. It’s chaos out there, it looks like War is coming to the Galaxy.”

“Listen, i appreciate your concerns but Rei Hino doesn’t run away from a fight. If it’s really that crazy out there you’ll need Sailor Mars’s Cleansing Fire.” She looked to her father and then back to SunTzu.

“I’ll take AICA with you to the Far Side. You owe me a space trip anyway.”



She went back to the table, SunTzu following behind her.

“I’m sorry father, there has been unforeseen developments that need my immediate attention as representative of the Crystal Tokyo Kingdom, as well as representative of the Galactic Alliance. Two legitime governments that you don’t trust in. So if you’d excuse me, your daughter is needed to do her part to save the Galaxy. Send me a message on how much money i owe you for the dinner.”

She stormed out the restaurant, SunTzu nodded politely to the politician and followed the black haired woman.



As they rushed out of the restaurant she quickly walked over to the car of her father and exchanged some words with her father’s driver.

She got in the passenger seat of their car as SunTzu sat down in the driver seat and started the car.



“Rei, could you open the glove box please?”

“Let me guess, another gun?” She asked.

“Nope, open it.”

She opened it and a small red flashing light was inside. He installed it on the rear mirror then turned car and flashing light on.

“Fits well, I just told my father’s driver that we need an exceptional right to speed though the city?” She explained.

He looked over to her.

“What? My dad is the Minister of the Interior, so that’s just a small favor.” She shrugged.

“Your dad is the Minister of Interior of Japan?!”

She shrugged again with an apologizing look in her face. He shook his head and started the car.

They rushed through the city as fast as they could, the flashing light shooing off Traffic in front of them.



She had her phone out and tried to get information as well as cancel her birthday plans.

She just had ended one call.

“That was Amy, they’re all on board already and the Task Force is taking course onto Moon to jump into Hyperspace. We’re supposed to head to Shwuy first. Hold up, I gotta take this. Koan? Hi!”

 

 

As the car entered the bridge from Juban to Crystal Tokio SunTzu opened his window. And he could immediately hear here. Seconds later a beautiful black and grey colored A-Wing appeared beside the car and the side of the bridge. The Starfighter followed them all the way to the Base.



Few minutes later hey arrived at the base gate and stopped the car. SunTzu threw the car key to one of the soldiers on guard duty, which all were armored and sported rifles now as AICA landed on the parking lot and opened the canopy.

Rei run over to the starfighter, stopped for a second to take off her high heels and entered the backseat. SunTzu followed in close, picking up his pilot helmet that lay on his seat. Thanks Karlena.



As soon as both were sitting the canopy closed and they strapped in while AICA was already lifting off.

SunTzu took controll and after a back look to check on Rei, who actually seemed to enjoy the whole thing, he pushed the thrusters to max and shoot up in the night sky.

 




“I’m sorry your birthday has to end like that.” SunTzu stated.

“Disregarding that the Galaxy is burning right now, I’d have to say that was the best birthday evening I had in years. Did you saw my father’s face when I told him what I was about to do?”

Well at least she tried to take it sportsmanlike.

“Let’s see how bad things really are. Maybe some Chairborne Generals on Coruscant are just exaggerating.” He tried to cheer them both up. It didn’t work that well.

“I hope so. I’m not ready to go to war.”

He know what she meant, if this was a coordinated, full blown attack on the Galaxy things would be way different than in the last missions.

“How about some music?” Maybe that would help to take out the tension a bit.

“Yeah, please. AICA, can you play Starships, by Nicki Minaj?”

“Oh you like Nicki?” He asked, while the song started to play.

“She the baddest. And also. Starships need to fly.” She said and forced herself to a smile.

 



Soon they passed from atmosphere into space but while Rei still looked out the window in amazement, it wasn’t the same, the lightness was missing.



“This doesn’t count as the one we bargained. It’s for work anyway.”

She turned her head forward, towards him again and nodded slowly.



Seeing the ESDF Ships in combat formation patrolling around earth made SunTzu realize, that probably this whole thing was as severe has he thought.

He put more energy in the engines and shoot for the Moon, heading towards the Far Side.





Not far later AICA touched down in the Far Side’s Central Hangar, that was bristling with Activity. The Canopy opened and both opened their seatbelts and stood up.

It was quite the absurd sight to behold, he in front in a good sitting black suit and tie and her, with the little black dress standing in the cockpit of the black A-Wing, assessing the situation.



“Hey Mr. and Mrs. Smith, glad you finally could join our party!” A certain short haired blonde Pilot and Senshi yelled over from her Tie-Fighter. “Nice dress tho, Rei!”

Michiru was staring at her girlfriend with an annoyed look and facepalmed.



Sailor Venus walked up to AICA.

“You guys had a date? I thought you had dinner with your father? You both look good tho.”

The Galaxy was falling into chaos and these women just cared about Rei and his love life. Great.

He climbed out the cockpit.

“No, we didn’t. TopGun just helped me with a plan to end the annually disaster date with my Dad, when somebody decided to start a war against the Galactic Alliance.” Rei explained, and climbed out of the cockpit with SunTzu helping her. He then grabbed her shoes from her seat and gave them to her. She slipped the heels back on.

“What in hell’s name is going on now? Are we at war?” She asked Venus.

“Follow me, Queen Serenity and Sailor Mercury know more.” She lead her to the door.

Meanwhile Karlena and some ground crew members were swarming around SunTzu and AICA already.



Rei stopped and looked back and wanted to thank SunTzu for the ride and that he tried to help her with the dinner with her father.

Karlena was busy talking with him. He noticed her out of the corner of his eye while he spoke with Karlena and gave her a wink.

She smiled and then turned around again, following Sailor Venus.



Well at least she looked more happy than the last time she met her father, he thought while Karlena told him that they’d arm AICA up completely now.

 

 

Something in his stomach told him that things were about to go down south even more.


 

Chapter Text

SunTzu finished talking about preparations with Karlena and walked over to Haruka. Michiru was already gone, following the other two Senshi.

“So, what’s the big deal? Some Five Star Guy on Coruscant had a paranoid dream or what?” He asked his wingman.

“To be honest, I don’t know Mate. Nobody knows for sure what’s really up. Command will brief us soon, but it’s chaos. Marvin told me he heard that Vader and the Executor II are slugging it out with a Mandator near Ansion right now. Other rumors say, that the 7th is general mobilizating in the new frontiers.” She told, looking tense, crossing her arms.

“I have a very bad feeling about this.” He replied.

“You tell me Mate.”

 

Haruka excused herself, she went off to the rest of the Senshi. SunTzu went to his room and changed into his Flight Suit.



SunTzu then decided the best thing now would be to get some Answers or at least to try to. He sent a message to Ada, asking what was really happening and then went up to the mission Center.

He walked in, the chaos was the same as in the hangar, naval and intelligence officers swarming all over the place, collecting data and Intel. Artemis was standing at the central table, next to his First Officer James Santos, a middle aged Filipino, that used to command a naval frigate in the Pacific. The table in the middle now showing a map of the whole galaxy. An Intelligence Officer was drawing red and blue markers on it. And there were red markers all over the northwest and north of the map, much more than he expected. Near Ansion a smaller blue marker, named DTH SQN was in the midst of three red markers. He hoped the three enemy fleets would surge against the Supreme Commander of the Galactic Alliance Force’s Personal Fleet.

 

The pilot walked up closer to the map and Artemis got next to him.

“Lieutenant, you made it. Good.” The Admiral said. SunTzu saluted and Artemis returned the greeting.

“Affirmative Sir, I brought Sailor Mars with me.”

Artemis briefly looked to the ground.

“I wished her birthday evening would have ended better” The white haired Fleet Officer quietly said. SunTzu nodded slowly.

“Sir? What’s really going on? Are we at war?” The pilot asked his superior.

“To be honest. If this isn’t war someone makes it damn near look like it.” He said with a stern voice. “You’ll get the full heads-up soon but someone really hit us with our pants down. We had coordinated attacks on every major Space-lane outgoing from the Northern Wild Space as well as some out the Unknown Regions. Partly whole fleets although mostly outdated Equipment from the Clone Wars, supported from local rebels, Pirates and other scum.”

“Fuck!” A curse escaped the pilot. Artemis threw on a wry smile.

“I see we share the same opinion on this.”

SunTzu put on a wry smile too and began to check the data on the map again.

 

Artemis announced a Briefing for the Leading parts of the Taskforce over the board speakers, and people kept strolling in in the already buzzing conference room.

SunTzu sat with the Pilots of Terra Squadron that were exchanging rumors they heard since the departure with the soldiers of Team 1 and Leaders of the other two teams.



The pilot was just listening in Silence. Something inside him, told him something very bad was about to happen. But he couldn’t think about what the force was trying to warn him about.

 




 

A few minutes later the door glided open and the Senshi strolled in, all nine flanking the Queen and the king.

Uranus and Neptune had their talismans in their hands too. The King and Queen walked over to Artemis and Santos and was briefed on the overall situation. Their faces took on a frown very fast. Not very reassuring.

Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn flanked the Queen at the table. Saturn took on her mother’s well known icecold demeanor too. He nodded at her but she didn’t even react. The rest of the Senshi showed faces hard as stone too.

Most of them stood near the table, Ami was working on the map in the middle, her Mercury glasses on. Jupiter had a Plate Carrier on and a Rifle hanging from her back.

Mars shot him a brief glance, obviously she tried to take on a smile but it didn’t work. She was looking worried.

 

Shortly afterwards Endymion started the briefing, broadcasted through the whole ship as well as on the Companion.

“As all of you probably heard already, the Galactic Alliance has been attacked. An unknown enemy force started several coordinated attacks Galaxy inwards and into the north and northwestern GA territory outgoing from the northern Wild Space and Unknown regions. Right now we’re also getting reports from the Outer Rim and other places that attacks have been started. The 1st Fleet under direct Command of Grand Admiral Pellaeon is rushing to Ansion to help Lord Vader repel an combined attack of three enemy fleets. The Executor II already destroyed an enemy Mandator Super Star Destroyer. 7th Fleet is engaging a giant enemy fleet with everything they have. Fourth fleet is mobilizing as we speak, in fact we’re assigned as part of it at the moment. All other fleets are preparing to mobilize too.” He paused for a moment, letting the shocked people silence down again.

“We don’t know who attacked us, yet, but as of right now, we are at War! Madame State of Chief Organa sent her own husband as well as Jedi Groups to investigate further. Many mercenaries, slavers and other criminal organizations and groups are attacking the Alliance too. The attacks seem to be coordinated with the fleet attacks.”

Another pause till people were silent again.

“Right now our orders are to fly to Shwuy and to standby. A very important Galactic Alliance radar and communications site has been seized by a Elite Mercenary Group called the Bull Rancor’s. We’re intended to retake it. Right now, Fleet Command is in process of clearing the mission.” The young Leader went on.

“So King, you’re telling us, that a Elite Commando Force is digging in there will we sit here and wait till some bureaucrats finally give us the go?” Rudy asked Endymion.

“I’m sorry but as Senior NCO of this Taskforce’s Special Forces Troop I urge you to immediately attack, the sooner the better!” A lot of the pilots and ground troops agreed. Even Jupiter and Uranus were nodding approvingly.

“Gunnery Sergeant Ruiz, please believe me, that I dislike this waiting situation as much as you do, but you, probably more than anybody else, know how it goes. We have our orders.” He motioned that he didn’t understand it either.

“At least not everybody in Coruscant has to be woken up first. Fleet and Central Intelligence are already trying to get as much info as they can including diverting recon vessels and drones. And I’m more than convinced that Lord Vader will start an immediate counter attack and mop-up operation after he fuses his forces with Fleet One.”

 

He told the attendants some more info and which actions would be taken immediately. As he finished and was about to call the briefing off, the Neo-Queen walked up to him, putting her Hand on his wrist stopping him.

 

“My soldiers, pilots, sailors and officers! I wish the events we trained so hard for would have never unfolded. I prayed a many nights for the peace to stay in this galaxy but my prayers haven’t been answered. Now it’s up to us to do our part to finish this war as soon as possible! And with many lives safed as possible.” Serenity paused. “My troops, my friends, my guardians I trust you to give your best out there on the battlefield. Let the galaxy know, that the Crystal Moon Kingdom and it’s warriors took up the purpose to shine the light of hope in the this dark times. In need all of you to fight beside me, for a better and safer Galaxy.” She looked to Chibi-Moon. “A safe place for the following Generations. May the moon light shine a light on all your paths! Dismissed!” The people started cheering and SunTzu was astonished. The often clumsy seeming Usagi gave one hell of a speech that swore the whole Taskforce in to fight as hard as they could.

 

Marvin told the pilots to form two fighter teams that would stay on standby in their fighters, ready to immediately take off. The first shift was done by SunTzu, Haruka and Michiru.

Ten minutes later the three were on their seats in their fighters, the girls detransformed and in flight clothes again.

 

“And again I’m sitting in here waiting.” Haruka came over the intercom.

“Yeah, imagine if we would have to fortify the Radar site we just annexed instead. Because nobody tries to take it back from us immediately.” He replied.

“I don’t want to be into the Commando’s Skin when they have to take that things away from the enemy again.”

SunTzu agreed. And this bad feeling in him didn’t get any better. It got worse even more.

 

A hour later he was stretching his body outside of AICA, that sitting around tiring him down.

“Getting old Topper Harley?” Rei came over.

“Please tell me, that this was a prank and we can go home now. I’ll even chauffeur you around again.”

“I wish it would be. I just wanted to come over and see if you and the other two were good.”

“We are right now I guess. We’re playing our favorite game, it’s called waiting. Wanna join?”

“Sorry, as amazing as it sounds, I have to fulfill my duty as diplomatic agent for the Kingdom. You don’t wanna let Usagi do all this on her own. At least if you don’t want more intergalactic incidents coming up.” She smiled.

“You’re doing diplomacy stuff in this outfit?” He said with a mocking grin, pointing at her Senshi Outfit.

“You’d wonder how far a short skirt can bring you in this galaxy.” She winked. “But actually, I’m gonna get a bit more professional looking now. Talking about work clothes, you should think to change the flight suit to the chauffeur outfit again. That hat suited you. If you would excuse me now, i have to do my part to save the galaxy.”

That said she left with a smug smile.

 

And yes, with such a skirt she could get everything she wanted from him too.

 

 

Two hours later they were relieved by Ritz and Xenia and left for a small snack and some sleep. The Taskforce didn’t drop out of Hyperspace yet.

The girls said goodnight while he still stayed a bit in the dining hall, checking his phone and having a tea to calm down a bit. Ada didn’t reply yet, he could bet she was busy. He decided to shoot a message to Colt, asking how bad things In the Frontier really were.

He didn’t feel any better after the tea.

 


 

Another four hours later he woke up and took a shower. He still had that bad premonition and couldn’t get it away. He jumped into a flight suit and headed for the hangar. On the way he stumbled into a tired looking Marvin, on his way for some sleep. No news from his side, except that the attacks were going on and that more and more places were under attack. He was also a bit annoyed he had to drop his radio show because of all this chaos.



SunTzu went further to the hangar and greeted the ground crew and pilots on the guard shift.

He got into AICA and closed the canopy.

 

“Good Morning. How are we this morning?”

“I’m good, how is my Pilot?” The AI answered.

“Been better. I guess the Force is letting me premonition something. I feel horrible inside.”

“Sorry to hear that.”

“It’s okay. Hey, you got any news from listening in anything going on?”

“Other than the GA is fighting any- and everywhere the same time not much. Lots of the attacks aren’t severe tho. Looks more like probing the defenses and condition of the Fleet. Except for the Fleets that try to take Ansion. But Death Squadron is giving them hell. The Chimera and other ships of 1. Fleet arrived a hour ago there and it looks we will win that battle.” She told.

“What about us and our current Situation?” He asked.

“Well, we’re at Shwuy and the Radar site is in a neighboring system. A recon drone is entering this system soon. King, Queen, Artemis and Rei tried to get a go for a mission the whole night. They sounded pretty pissed at the end. Nothing new from Coruscant other than the order to standby tho. I might be just a computer but even I’m tired of waiting now.” Yeah, like her pilot, meanwhile the enemy mercenaries are digging in and have to time to extract data from that side.

 

They were ready to strike. Fucking bureaucracy.

 

He went up to the Mission Center again, Usagi was already gone but tired a looking Endymion and an equally tired looking Artemis were still there.

And Rei, now dressed in a strict business outfit but still wearing her red earrings, she was communicating over a Holo projector with a important looking Rodian. It didn’t took long and the call was over, leaving her almost as angry as tired.



SunTzu walked over to Rei and when she turned around her mouth twitched and she bumped her head forehead first into his chest, staying like that.

“TopGun, please bring the car and drive me home. I wanna go to bed.” She closed her eyes while her head lay there and sighed.

“Why is this galaxy so fucking stupid. And I thought my dad was a stiff asshole.”

His heart started jumping again.

“Do i disturb you two?” Endymion’s voice sounded from behind them.

“No, no. He just wanted to chauffeur me home, so I can finally get some sleep.”

At that point SunTzu didn’t know if she was joking or actually hallucinating.

“Rei, I think you and Artemis go down to your rooms and get some sleep now. You two did more than enough tonight.”

“King…” Artemis tried to object.

“No, you both go and get some sleep now. I need you fit and ready. I’ll take it from here.” The King ordered both of his friends off.



Rei grabbed SunTzu’s clothes at the height of his chest and pressed her head a bit stronger against him for a moment.

Then she walked away and she and Artemis left the Command Center.

“My King, what about you?” SunTzu asked the dark haired royal.

“Someone has to be in charge. Even when I’m tired I owe this to my troops. Also, watch this.” He waved at a man in a service uniform.

“Steward, Coffee. And please bring the Lieutenant one also.” He paused and looked at SunTzu, who assessed the newest changes on the map from across the room.

“And if I don’t work properly till Artemis gets back here, I have you around for stupid ideas.”

 


 

Three hours and three coffees for Mamoru later, Ami came back after a few hours of sleep. Perfect timing, the unmanned drone just entered their target system. A big monitor was swung out and showed the life feed. A 3D Map Holo of the world the Radar Site was, was shown in the table in the middle.



The fast flying drone showed an old Quasar Class Carrier hanging in orbit over the planet. The small unmanned spacecraft flew a long turn away from it and then entered the planet’s atmosphere, racing towards the Communication and Radar site.

A few minutes later the planet surface came In view. The planet was small and mainly made out of a water surfacewith some small islands and archipelagos scattered in the large ocean.

One of the islands, made out of beach and green vegetation that reached into a mountain in the middle of the island, had a big Radar dish mounted at the beginning of the green, shortly behind the beach.

The camera, the quality of the pictures was fantastic, showed fresh excavated trenches and some other fortifications.

Suddenly a swarm of fast flying things came over the mountain and at least one fired a missile. The transmission ended a few ticks later. The throne had been destroyed.

Ami and a bunch of Intelligence Personal immediately started to analyze the Video.



“Those things were A-Wings. I guess a whole squadron.” SunTzu stated, his eye trained for fast acquisition because flying.”

Great, they had 4 Headhunters, a Tie-Aggressor and two A-Wings.

“It was. I remember that I heard about the Bull Rancors before.” Marvin appeared at the console Mamoru and SunTzu were standing. “Their leader, a guy named Brohou is an Ace and Vong War Veteran. Founded the Rancors after the War. It’s essentially an A-Wing Squadron of old Veterans and a platoon of former SpecForce Soldiers. They’re fighting for money. I guess the Quasar is there mobile base. Someone else saw the Back of that Assault Shuttle near the Radar Dish?”

Great, this thing kept getting better and better. No wonder he felt a bad premonition.



Half a hour later Intelligence was done with the analysis of the video material.



Another briefing was called up a hour later, this time less personnel was attending as a good part, including Sailor Mars, the Queen, who spent the night with an Adress to the people of Crystal Tokyo as well as the world and a following Q&A with earth’s twenty most important leaders and Artemis were missing.



Apart from the twelve A-Wings and an Assault Shuttle at the base, there were also two mobile AA Emplacements.

Their Carrier was no match for the Far Side but the opposition planetside, especially from the A-Wings, was grave. It was decided that the own Starfighters formed a formation around the Companion, who would transport Team 3 and a Platoon of heavy armed regular Troops into Battle, Corvette and Starfighters would then work together against the A-Wings. When the AA and the enemy fighters wouldn’t post a threat anymore more Ground Units would be flown in for the raid on the complex.

The attack was to start as soon as Coruscant gave the Go.

 

 

The pilots gathered in the hangar around the machines and thinking about the fortifications SunTzu requested the ground crew to load Proton Bombs into AICA’s small bomb bay as additional weapon. This slowed him down marginally but a proton bomb would make quick work of embedded enemies, if they weren’t sitting in duraconcrete hardened shelters.



Team 3 and the Heavy weapons platoon of the ground troops had been already shuttled over to the companion and the rest of the ground troops assigned to the raid was strolling into the Hangar too.



SunTzu was observing the loading of the bombs into AICA’s bomb rack when he saw Sailor Saturn entering the hangar, glaive in hand and her SMG slung under, wearing a chest rig with extra ammo. He walked over to her, his expression quite angry.

 

“And where the hell do you thinking you’re going?”

“Huh? I’m joining Jupiter and Team 1. They’ll need every help they can get.” She answered with a shrug, as If it was the most normal thing in the world.

“Hotaru. These are not some stupid thugs or amateur warrior anymore, we’re fighting against even odds here.” He sharply described her the facts, hoping that she would change her mind what coming along concerned.

“I know, I got the briefing with Team 1. So what?”

 

Teenagers. And why the hell did he even care so much? This girl was a coldblooded killer machine, so why he wanted to see her in safety?

 

“Does Setsuna know about this?” He asked her. Mommy probably wouldn’t like the idea of lil Miss Reaper running around in a war zone neither.

“I don’t know. I was gone before she woke up. She was guarding the Queen the whole night till Venus relieved her.”



Great. In my time teenagers stole theirselves away to get drunk, and nowadays because they want to fight in a special forces raid. Thanks Call of Duty.



“Listen SunTzu, I’m a Outer Sailor Senshi and the Soldier of Silence. I’ll go and fight because that is what is expected from me.” Her tone became angry. “And this is what I know and where I excel. You either let me go anyway or I’ll just smuggle myself into one of the Gunships and fight hiding on my own. Something you forbid me to do.” This weren’t the words of a regular teenager. It sounded like the girl really didn’t know anything other than Battle.

He sighed, she was right. She would just steal herself away in secret and fight anyway.

“Okay.” He nodded, pressing his lips together. “But you promise me to take care. If you need any kind of backup, me and AICA will be there, okay?”

“I was expecting as much.” She winked and walked over to Sailor to talk with Piedro and Nava.

He looked over to the rest of Team 1 and saw Jupiter handle a heavy repeating blaster.

“Yo Jupiter, is that a TL-50?” He shouted, surprised to see such a rare weapon in her hand.

“Only one in the whole Taskforce. I heard we need the big guns today.” She answered proudly holding up the big weapon.

At least they packed some serious heat.



The pilot slowly walked over to AICA again, as Michiru tipped him on the shoulder.

He turned around and after looking around if someone might hear them she told him something very important.

“Hey, you have that bad premonition since yesterday right?” She paused and he nodded. “I asked the mirror about the future right now.” She checked again if nobody was in earshot, she seemed extremely moved. “And it showed me that beach and the fortifications. And they were all engulfed in flames. Like hell itself. And you were in the midst of it.”

That didn’t sound any good.

“Does it usually show the exact future or more of metaphors?”

“One as well as the other.” She frowned.

“Okay, Michiru listen. No matter what Haruka wants to do, you make sure you stay near the Companion. No actions on your owns, promise me.” SunTzu ordered her and put his hand on her shoulder.

She nodded with fast motions, looking to the ground.

“And what about you SunTzu?”

“I’ll make sure you two come home safe, okay. I promise.”

“But what about you?” She asked again.

He put on a crooked smile.

“Don’t worry, bad weeds grow tall.”

“Please do me and Haruka, although she would never admit It openly, a favor. Take care too.”

“Promise. I’ll go get ready now. See you in the Sky.”

She squeezed his arm and tried her best for a reassuring smile before returning to the Voyager.



He did a outside checkup of AICA and was about to climb into his cockpit when someone approached from behind.

“Michiru said you still have that bad premonition. I just wanted to let you know we got your six, so no need to worry.”

It was a Haruka looking less tense than everybody else in the Hangar.

“I got your six too, but and I know this sounds strange when i say it, no ego runs, no stupid ideas, no stunts today. Let’s stick together around the Companion, okay?”

“If you really want. Not that we are better than these bastards.”

“I really worry. Promise me to take care out there.”

“I will. And if only for Michiru. You too, okay?”

He opened his arms and took on another crooked smile.

“Safety is my second name.”

They shared a smile and did their special fistbump greeting.

 

SunTzu got into AICA’s cockpit and put on his helmet. He ran a preflight check and leaned back to meditate afterwards. The anticipation made him breathe heavy. And that feeling in his stomach. It was about to rip him apart.






Minute after minute went by where everybody was basically just waiting. The troops were hyped, anticipating the fight with an even enemy. Someone attacked their galaxy without warning, attacked their comrades without warning and now wanted to put a foot into the door leading home. The speech of the Neo Queen did the rest. The last fights were won so easy, an aura of invincibility hang in the air. At least for most of them. Michiru and SunTzu felt different about that.

 

 

After what seemed like an eternity, an alarm sounded before XO Santos gave the order that everybody was about to man Battle stations.

The people in the Hangar started cheering. Earth finally joined the Galactic Alliance’s War.



The fighters shot out the hangar with Marvin being the first and the Voyager being the last this time.

They formed around the Companion and the Taskforce jumped into Hyperspace.



A few minutes later they fell out of hyperspace.

Sensors didn’t show any signs of other ships other than the Quasar.



The old, battered Carrier tried to get away but the Task Force was way faster than it and a few minutes later the ship exploded to stardust after the Far Side pumped a full volley of Proton Torpedoes into it.



While the Far Side went to a stationary orbit it’s accompanying CR90-Corvette and it’s fighters descended onto the planet.

Marvin told them again to stay put around the Corvette.

 



After a few minutes they broke through the clouds and saw the island with the Radar dish on the horizon already.

So far no opposition.



They turned down the velocity and descended as much as they could so the AA-Guns didn’t get much of a target. Some of the fighters were not even five meters above the sea.

“Sensors are picking up fast movement!” Odegana came on.

And there they were a wave of six brown colored A-Wings with painted on fangs shot towards them, trying to get a lock on them.



AICA and the Voyager had the better range tho, both released two multi-warhead-Missiles. Although each enemy starfighter was locked on at least two times only four got shot down and while the other two jinked away, ejecting countermeasures. These guys were better than the one from last time that was for sure.



The small fleet veered right to not steer into the range of the AA Guns.



As they flew parallel to the island the enemy A-Wings appeared again. This time it was the complete rest of the squadron, jumping out of the lush tropical vegetation of the island and in a blink of an eye a salvo of eight concussions Missiles were rushing towards the Companion and it’s fighter escort.

 

“Evasive Maneuvers!” Marvin yelled over com as he broke away in the sky.

The fighters ejected a cloud of countermeasures and broke their formation.

SunTzu stayed behind the Voyager, making sure to guard his wingmen.



Within seconds the enemy A-Wings were there. Marvin managed to shoot one down while it was speeding to get behind Xenia. The Anti-fighter-lasers of the Companion also got two enemy fighters that came to near.

The five A-Wings were still a threat.



A voice came in over an open voice channel.

“This sad excuse of force is what the Galactic Alliance sends to liberate it’s most important surveillance site for six sectors? How pitiful.”

It was the enemy commander, the Veteran named Brohou.



Terra Squadron and the other two starfighters formed around the Companion again, whose gunners carefully aimed at the enemy fighters, driving them off while trying not to hit their own snubs.



The Remaining five Rancors rushed back to the island, trying to hide in the jungle again.



“Hey Brohou, between veterans, why we don’t see who’s the better pilot?” Marvin challenged the enemy commander.

“Come and get me GA Scum,” was the answer he got.

 


 

The companion veered to its left, rounding the island in a distance now.

No sign of the A-Wings.

Marvin came in on the squadron’s com channel.

“I’ll try to lure them out. 2,3 take flanks but stay back.”

He shot away and Odegana and Taego followed with distance.

“Marvin get back. I don’t trust this.” SunTzu told over the com.

“Don’t worry, i won’t get any nearer.” He was already veering off when the brown A-Wings shot out of the vegetation at the beach. They used their Repulsors to hover and hid between the big trees.



Fuck!



A missile from Marvin destroyed another A-Wing but the remaining A-Wings plunged into the three fighters, Odegana immediately turned into an Immelmann while two fighters rushed at her and another headed for Taego.

Marvin and Brohou’s A-Wing clashed together in a deadly dance near the shore of the island.

 

 

“Haruka, you stay put!” SunTzu yelled over the com as she was about to veer out to help. He swang AICA around and sped up to get into the fight.



While Odegana tried to rush back to the Companion, the Corvette opened suppressive fire onto the two A-Wings rushing after her, buying her precious seconds and finally forcing the enemy fighters away. Haruka fired a missile after one of them and scored another kill on the enemy, the surprised pilot didn’t have time to react to the missile while trying to not get hit by the Corvette.



Taego and Marvin were still in their deadly dance with the two enemy snubs.



And then it happened.



SunTzu felt it. SunTzu saw it. It was like in slow motion. While doing barrel rolls around each other the Bull Rancor’s Commander pulled his complete energy into his shield and slammed into Marvin’s A-Wing. Marvin’s shields collapsed and he was thrown off course.



SunTzu’s stomach lurched. He started screaming.



The brown A-Wing turned its nose skywards to take out it’s speed and then the rancor bit, butting forward again opening fire and hitting Marvin’s fighter. The first shot hit Marvin’s reactor, immediately making the ship explode.



At the same time the third enemy A-Wing shot a concussion Missile at Taego, that found its mark on the rear side of the headhunter, ripping it apart in an another explosion. At least Marvin was dead in an instant.



RAGE. He felt Rage explode inside him, burning through him. And he felt the force. And he felt power.

Why his friend and mentor had to die on this fucking planet. A planet so unimportant that it didn’t even had a name, just an alphanumerical designation.



SunTzu grabbed his joystick more firm. He could feel AICA, the whole ship, every circuit, every chip, every bolt. As he was a part of it.

Something strange happened then.



AICA’s Shields became visible and turned into a light yellow, also her engines exhausted longer flames as ever before and SunTzu shot forward, becoming one with AICA, projecting his power, his force powers into her.



He wanted revenge. He wanted to kill them all. The pilots. And then the ground troops. Nobody of his comrades would be hurt today anymore.



He spiraled into a barrel roll and within a blink of an eye locked on the two Rancor Fighters between him and Brohou. They didn’t stand a chance, being blown out of the Sky before they even knew they were locked on. SunTzu accelerated towards Brohou and tilted AICA to the side, racing through the air like an axe blade.



Brohou started to mock him on the radio, while he put more power into his A-Wings-Shields.

“Did I kill your friend? Don’t worry, you will follow him soo..”



SunTzu didn’t care for the monologue. He just accelerated more and cut straight and without any sign resistance through the brown Starfighter, literally cutting Brohou’s sentence short, the yellow shields visible in the following explosion.

 

Haruka, Michiru and the others couldn’t believe their eyes.

 

 

But it wasn’t over. While his comrades tried to close up on him SunTzu shot up in the sky for an inverted looping. He overflew the mountain and rushed back to earth, heading for the fortifications and AA-Emplacements.



Shooting Missiles and his lasers at the same time he transformed the beach and nearby tree line into hell. The AA-Emplacements were hit by rockets before they even had the chance to react.

 

Troops in the trenches were vaporized by laser fire or ripped apart from rockets.

 

He swung the fighter in a tight arc and dropped the four bombs on the main defence line.



When he left after his first run, Michiru’s vision was true and the area was burning and smoking like hell itself.



SunTzu sweeped over the area as if he had become war itself.



Haruka, although having a lump in her throat because Marvin’s dead, opened a secured com channel.

“Mamoru, are you watching this?”

It took a moment as the King had to swallow first.

“I do, Ami, Minako und Usa are here with me too.”

“I don’t know about you, but if he’s not the person from the prophecy I personally don’t want to see how much more a man can become personified war.”

“Try to stay away. We don’t know about his mental state right now. I know it’s SunTzu but take care. We’re sending in the Gunships.”



Inside the control center the three woman and the King stared at the monitor showing the cameras of the Companion broadcasting the carnage. None of them talked, Venus had her hand over her mouth in shock and Ami had to look away when SunTzu bombed the area.





In the back of the Voyager Michiru quietly watched the gruesome spectacle as SunTzu went for another strafing run and tears began to roll down her face.



The other starfighters made a big detour about the island and the Companion got into a waiting position.





After a third strafing run, AICA, now without visible shields and normal thrust again, hovered down on the entrance of the Radar site and aimed into its door. A salvo burned the heavy metal door into slag.



The defenders inside opened fire on the A-Wing. The fighter answered with a salvo of its lasers and the fire from inside stopped almost immediately.



The message that the Gunships were on the way came over tactical channel and if nothing happened SunTzu lifted up again and went to rendezvous with them as they crossed through the clouds.



Team 1 went straight for the Site while team 2’s Larty flew to the part of the island the dogfight was, looking for survivors.

SunTzu flanked Team 1 until they made landfall and hovered almost on the ground, ready to give them fire protection.



The team got out with raised weapons and awaited enemy fire but was greeted with silence. Only the fires and secondary explosions of cooked off ammunition was to be heard. There was no more opposition, just death greeting them.



Hotaru got out as last, but instead rushing over the beach like the others did she walked over to AICA and stopped a few metres before the fighters front.



She then stared at SunTzu. It was a haunting image. The fire and the smoke, the wind the flames produced tearing on her Senshi outfit while she stood there, stoically upholding the Silent Glaive, looking straight into SunTzu’s soul while he stared back into hers. And he understood.

 

He nodded and she turned around, taking guard over the devastated battlefield.

He let his fighter climb up again and flew turn after turn over the exact spot Marvin died.






Artemis left the Bridge, he gave control of the ship on the First Officer, and headed towards Mission Center, as he heard there were casualties from the TF’s Side.



As he entered the room he rushed over to the Queen and Sailor Venus who were standing at a console, watching the operation through the Companion’s cameras. King Endymion left shortly after SunTzu attacked the installation. That has been the final straw for him and he went to his quarters.



“I heard we have casualties? How severe is it?” He asked the two blonde woman.

Usagi and Minako shared a sad glance with each other, Artemis and Marvin were good friends. Minako nodded and then hooked in under the young Admiral’s arm, leading him out of the room.

“Artemis, let’s go outside, okay. I have to tell you something.” Sailor Venus said with a sad, tense voice.



Queen Serenity followed their departure with a sad face till the door closed behind them. She felt horrible. And she felt immense guilt. People she was responsible for had died.

 

 

While Saturn watched over the devastation SunTzu left, Team 1 stormed the Radar site while the Companion flew in to land on side and dismount the ground troops she carried.



As they stack up at the door leading inside the building a voice was to be heard.

“Don’t shoot, we surrender!” Through the smoke two of the mercenaries with raised hands walked out and were immediately detained.

Overheads SunTzu still flew turn after turn over the same place.


 

Chapter Text

“He’s been doing this for four hours now. Loop after loop. At the same exact spot. Except when something flew in or off. He escorted every Gunship and the Companion off. Heck, he even escorted the Shuttle with the Engineers Coruscant sent to the island. Other than that he just flew loop over loop over that point.” The Queen explained to Ami and Rei who just joined her at the monitor that now showed SunTzu and AICA from above. “When ordered to fly to the Hangar, he declines and states that not every member of the Taskforce is back at the Far Side yet.”

“It’s the point where Marvin died. You know, when Saturn is standing guard over the battlefield after the end of the fighting? He is doing basically the same.” Ami replied.

“Great as if one person doing this stuff already wouldn’t be creepy enough.” Rei chimed in. “How is he?”

“We don’t know. He just answers in a strict military tone. But apparently he’s not a danger to us.” Usagi told, not knowing more than anybody else.

“So how many people did we really loose?” Rei asked, with a worried face.

“Till now? Just Marvin. Which is hard enough. One of the Commando teams found Taego floating in the ocean and pulled him out of his cockpit before his fighter sank. He lost a leg and Setsuna reckoned he’s more dead than alive. He’s In the surgery room right now.” Usagi sighed. Even one dead Taskforce Member was more than enough.



Parts of Team 1 and Sailor Saturn were the last members of the Taskforce on the island.

SunTzu curved in next to the Gunship and followed it down to the beach where it landed hovering next to it.



The four remaining members of Team 1 climbed into the Larty. Saturn stopped at the side door and looked over to SunTzu. They both nodded to each other and she entered the Gunship as last member of the Task Force. The ship lifted off and AICA followed on point.

He followed it spacewards to the Far Side and fell in between the small Star Destroyer and the Companion, like he would escort them too.



“Lieutenant, you have clearance to land, proceed accordingly.” Flight Control came over the com.

“Negative Control. I’ll be on escort till every member of the Taskforce has been accounted for.”

“Lieutenant, proceed to land. Over.”

“Negative Control. Not every Taskforce Member has been accounted for yet.”

 

In the Mission Center the Queen and Ami looked at each other, not knowing what to do.

“I know what this is.” Setsuna walked up from behind, wearing a lab coat. “He’s shellshocked."

She took a headset and switched to the tactical channel.

“Lieutenant SunTzu, be advised. All Taskforce Personnel have been accounted for. Mission accomplished. Proceed to land.” She ordered him in harsh commanding tone.



Immediately AICA swung around and moved off to the Hangar opening of the Far Side.



“Get everybody that is not a Senshi out of this hangar.” Serenity ordered and left the room, the two Senshi following her.



 

SunTzu landed AICA and their designated landing spot. Ever since the Attack AICA was shutdown, the energy flow too much for her circuits.

When he touched down, she came back on.

“That was something else. I really had to proceed this first.” The KI came back. “How are you?”

Tired, exhausted. And still angry. He liked to open the canopy and throw his fucking helmet through the whole hangar and scream out his frustration. He couldn’t save Marvin. He failed.

“Im tired AICA. And I feel ashamed. That burst of the force. It was definitely not the light side.”

“But you probably saved a lot of lives with it. Although I was busy processing and trying to not burn out my circuits I was on enough to witness what you did. Do you think the Commandos would have found that less of opposition without your actions? Or that every other Pilot would have gotten home?”

He clenched his teeth.

“Still. I became a monster. I became what Michiru foresaw in her mirror.”

“I’m a machine, a computer and although I learn and adept and might be even able to show emotions I see things more objective than humans, so my interpretation of good and evil probably differs from the one human’s see but what I see was that after Marvin’s dead you single-handedly beat any threat for your comrades. Think about it”

He put his hand on his chest and went into his thoughts.

AICA opened her canopy.



Michiru and Haruka were waiting next to the fighter. Ever since they landed they stayed in the hangar, waiting for SunTzu. Michiru still had traces from the tears rolling down her face on her mascara.

Near them stood Sailor Saturn in her guarding stance, Glaive up, just staring towards the A-Wing.



The canopy opened, revealing a tired looking SunTzu, gone completely internal.

“Fuck!” Haruka let out a small curse.

She walked up to AICA and climbed up next to him.

“You good, Mate?” She asked him.

“I’m tired Haruka.” He asked, not looking in her face.

“I can imagine. Quite a show you provided there.”

He looked up in her eyes, trying to find hints of anger or shock. He couldn’t find any.

She offered him her hand and he took it, getting up his seat.



He took a look around the hangar, apart from the three Senshi and a worried looking Karlena the hangar was empty.

He got out and stood there for a moment, looking like limp dishrag, staring down to the floor.



Haruka put her hands on his right shoulder and squeezed, she had seen better days too.

Michiru came over and and took the left side. They both hooked in under him, Michiru put his hand on his shoulder. They stood there for a moment in silence, Michiru was crying again.



“That was not fair.” SunTzu flustered. “I’m a monster. It should have been me instead of Marvin.”

“Shhh, don’t say that. You’re actions safed a lot of lives today. We wouldn’t have taken that beach so easy without you.” Haruka laid her head on his and the three of them stared out of the hangar shield, into space.

 

The door glided open and the Queen, with Ami and Setsuna behind her entered the room. The three pilots didn’t notice her, while she slowly moved towards her three grieving guardians.



The trio just noticed her when she almost was standing behind them and only because the clicking of her heels on the floor of the hangar and when they turned around, the three of them were surprised to find the Queen standing there.

They straightened up.

“I’m sorry my Queen.” SunTzu looked in her face and he couldn’t hold back anymore, tears shot down his face. “I couldn't safe everybody today.” He sobbed while Haruka struggled to not to cry too.

She had a grim look on her face when she replied.

“No. I failed you.” The last words were a mere fluster. She stepped forward and embraced him, letting him cry onto her shoulder. “I’m sorry.” She flustered an leaned into him too. He could feel she was crying too now. “I didn’t want anybody to die.”

For a moment they stayed like this, embracing each other crying, the two Outer Senshi joined the embrace, Michiru crying shakingly and even Haruka had a single tear run down her face.

Then the Queen raised her head again.

“I’m sorry i put that burden on you. I failed to guard us. I failed to prevent this war.”



Haruka looked up and put on a neutral face again.

“Don’t be stupid bun head. We did everything we could to prevent this war. Some things even exceed your powers.” Haruka said.

“Sailor Uranus is right. You did what you could Usa-Chan. But this is war and we knew it would come. And every war has its victims although I wished we would haven’t had to experience that. Marvin gave his life for the cause, we have to honor that with our actions now. And crying doesn’t let us win this war.”

The King stepped up and Usagi fell onto his chest, sobbing.



SunTzu took all his strength together to straighten up and was about to salute, when Mamoru put his hand on his shoulder.

“Thank you Lieutenant. You safed a lot of our Soldiers today.”

“Thank you, King Endymion.” SunTzu said with a quiet voice, looking to the floor.

“Now get some rest. All of you.”

That said he hooked in Usagi after another hug and a kiss on her forehead, wiped away her tears and lead her out of the room, Ami following the two.








The three pilots watched them leave, Saturn and Setsuna came over, they were standing aside, Setsuna had her hand laying over her adoptive daughter’s shoulder.

Even Setsuna had a warm, empathic look on her face when she approached them.

“I’m sorry for your loss. Marvin was a great pilot and man.” She condoled them.

“He was.” Haruka nodded with a forced smile.

Setsuna stepped over to still crying Michiru and gave the younger Senshi a tight hug. Michiru was sobbing into Setsuna’s lab coat. “Come on, I’ll bring you to your room.”

“Haruka, take care of SunTzu, I’ll see you later.” Michiru told to Haruka and gave her a fleeting kiss.



The doctor then lead her fellow Senshi out of the the room. Saturn nodded silently to SunTzu and Haruka and followed after them.

When Hotaru was at the door, she turned around. “Thanks for taking care of that fortifications. We wouldn’t have made it without casualties without that.” Then she disappeared too.





“And now?” Haruka told, wiping her face.

“I could use a cigarette.” SunTzu stated.

“Now that you mention it. Me too.”



Karlena came over, a piece of cloth in her hand, handing it over to SunTzu. She looked sad too, but comforted the two in a maternal way.

“Here, blow your nose. I’m so sorry Guys. He was such a great guy.” He handed the cloth to SunTzu who cleaned his face first and then his nose.”

She hugged the two.

“Go get some rest, Ol’ Karlena will take care of your Snubs.” She forced a warm smile from herself and walked over to the Fighters.





The two tired pilots made their way to the observation deck, the ship was ghastly quiet. They only passed a few people working on the ship. Everybody was looking grim and tired. The feeling of invincibility was lost.

 

They arrived at the observation deck, it was empty. SunTzu pulled out his cigarettes and handed one to Haruka, along with a lighter. They sat down on one of the benches, staring through the window into the void, silently smoking their cigarettes.

They had finished their smokes and still didn’t say a word, when someone approached them.

 

“I thought I find you here.” It was Rei. “Care if I join?”

“Oh, Good Timing, I’ll have to see after my girlfriend anyway. SunTzu, if you don’t mind?” Haruka said and got up.

“No, tend to Michiru. She needs you.”

Haruka squeezed his shoulder and then left, nodding to Rei.

“Hey TopGun.” She asked shyly, not really knowing how he was mentally.

“Hey Rei. Did you get some sleep?” He looked up to her.

She nodded and sat down next to him.

“A good dose. I feel better.”

“Good to hear.”

She answered with another forced smile, not really knowing how to take him right now.

He handed her a cigarette. She took it and lighted it with her powers. He took one too and was about to light it with his lighter, when put her hand on his arm and presented a small flame above her other hand. He lighted his cigarette and took a big draw.



They sat there in silence for a minute or so.

“I hope you’re not afraid of me now.” He stated bluntly. He was a monster.

She looked at him, tilting her head.

“Why?” She bluntly asked.

“I’m pretty sure you heard what I did.”

I did. So what. You saved the lives of your comrades. And you were angry because your friend died. A reaction like this is normal, don’t you think? Don’t worry, Moeru Shōjo’s reaction would have been even worse.” This time she smiled a honest smile and his mouth twitched upwards too.



She laid her head on his shoulder.

Don’t worry. If your anger, your reactions or something else ever gets over the top, I’ll be there to slap you back to conscience.”

She playfully hit his shoulder with her fist.

This time he genuinely had to smile too and she put her head back on his shoulder as they both looked out the big window.

Some guys on board gave you a new nickname already. Doitsu no akuma.” She hooked in under his arm, smiling while looking out into space. “I think that’s a fucking badass nickname!”



He enjoyed her company so much in that moment. A place of calmness, being a safe harbor inside his stirred up mind.



A few moments later he closed his eyes and napped away.

She didn’t see it at first but when she saw that he was asleep now she cuddled up more onto him.



Watashi no doitsu no akuma.” She flustered to herself. My German Demon.

 


 

A hour later SunTzu awoke, jumping up.

Where was he? Oh yeah. How long has he been sleeping here? And where was Rei?

He got up. He felt horrible again. And he was still beyond exhaustion.

Okay, time to go to bed.

With his last energy he went to his room and fell into his bed.



 

He slept for ten hours straight. And still felt miserable. He took a shower and changed into new clothes, as if it would work to make him feel different but to no effect.

Sitting at his bed staring onto the wall of his room he went internal again.

A knock at the door startled him.

He jumped up and opened it.

It was Ami, standing there with a paper bag.

“I thought you might be hungry so i got you some sandwiches.” She gave him the bag.

He forced a smile and thanked her.

“How are you?” She asked empathically

“Honestly. Felt better before. It hurts.”

“I can imagine. I have to leave for a meeting with the intelligence officers now but let me know if you need anything.”

“Will do, thank you Ami.”



He ate the sandwiches and checked his chrono. It was half past eleven in the night, Earth time.

He remembered something and took out his phone.

He wrote Rei, how long he had been sleeping there. And why she left.



She greeted him with a “So you’re finally awake sleepy head?” and told him, using lots of emojis, that she was there for a few more minutes but left when he started snorring like a bear. Merciful as she is, she stated, that she at least didn’t took a picture or a video.



Philanthropist as always.



SunTzu put his phone away, not seeing the message, where she asked how he was.

 

The Pilot got up and decided to walk. Not knowing where to but he had to get out of his room. He wanted to run away.

 

The next hour SunTzu spent walking around the ship with no destination.



One time he passed the flight control center and something told him to go inside. There were just two service man working there, all smaller ships were on board and the Far Side traveled through hyperspace anyway.



He walked through the control room, the two man working there not taking notice of him.

He came to a small cabin inside the room. It was a table with a microfone on it, a laptop and a pair of headphones beside it. Some chairs stood around the table. Also a ashtray was in there.

“It’s Marvin’s radio booth. Or rather was.” Artemis told him from behind, approaching. He looked even more tired than the last time he saw him.

“Sorry, i couldn’t help but come here. I thought that maybe if I come here, I found him sitting there, playing music and I just had a bad dream.” Artemis excused himself.

“I was kinda lead here too. Guess it was the force.” They both nodded knowingly.

“Mind if I have a look?” SunTzu asked and Artemis motioned him inside.

He sat down and the same feeling from before to told him to put on the headset and boot up the laptop.



No password, he got into the starting screen and a software to play music opened.

He looked at Artemis and Artemis glanced back and they knew what had to be done in tribute to their friend.

SunTzu accustomed himself quickly with the software and decided for a few songs. Then he gave a thumbs up to Artemis. Artemis went to a console near the room and pulled some switches.

Then he took a headset and began to speak, his voice coming over the ships onboard speakers.

“This is your Captain speaking. In tribute to Captain Lewis a special episode of the Nightshift will commence soon on the show’s regular channel.”

Throughout the ship radio channels were switched to the one of the show. The crew really took a likening in the nightly entertainment.



Two minutes later, Artemis gave SunTzu a countdown and with Zero he was On Air.

 

“Good evening TF Sol, Lieutenant SunTzu reporting in in absence of our good friend Marvin. And we’re starting with our theme tune, here are the Commodores with Night Shift.

He put the music on and as it began to play he looked out of the window in the small room. Artemis standing in front of the booth doing the same.

SunTzu did the show Marvin usually did with his own touch in the spirit of Marvin. Actually it was fun playing DJ and took his head off from this morning.



Playing the fourth song and looking into space again. Someone entered the booth. It couldn’t have been Artemis because he excused himself after the first song. The visible moved Fleet Officer needed to be alone with his thoughts a bit he said.



He looked over his shoulder and saw Haruka, carrying a bottle of whisky and two glasses. The female pilot nodded and sat down, contrary to her wingman. She pulled two glasses of whisky and slid one over to him.

The song, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms, was still playing.

They both raised their glass and toasted to each other.

“To Marvin.” They both declared at the same time. A long sip of the Whisky followed. It was pretty smooth and tasted well.

“I kept this for special occasions.” She explained.

“I don’t think it will get more special than this. I did a lot of crazy stuff in the last one and a half months but I think doing a radio show was the last thing I expected.” SunTzu said with a wry smile.

“You could actually do worse.” She smiled approvingly.

He put on the next song and lighted a cigarette, giving lighter and cigarette box over to her, she lighted a cigarette too.

“You know, if Marvin wouldn’t have outsourced us from Terra Squadron things would have gon’ pretty different, probably.” He said, looking at the whisky in his hands.

Haruka looked out the window.

“Yet alone the last battle before. Thank you for looking out for Michiru and me. I’m not used to this but I appreciate it immensly.”

“Same,same. And anytime. This goes for all the Senshi actually, I’m grateful for you girls. I came here without knowing anybody and I found… I found a.” He was struggling to find the right words.

“Family. It’s been just weeks but we’ve grown so far. Michiru grew so attached to you. I did too. Fighting side by side and almost dying together does that you. I usually don’t trust people. But for you. Hell and Back Mate.”

Toast to that, same goes for you two. Hell and back.” They clinged their glasses together, smoke was billowing through the air in the small room.

The emptied their glasses and Haruka poured another round.



SunTzu started the next song in the meantime. No hosting in between songs this time. He could get used to this.

“To Marvin!” They toasted again in honor of their dead friend.

“Have you heard about Taego? Looks like he’s going to make it.” She told him.

They toasted to the health and Will of live of the Shistavanian Pilot.

“How’s Michiru?” SunTzu asked her, genuinely concerned about her girlfriend and his close grown friend.

“She’s still in shock but at least she’s not crying all the time anymore. We’ve seen death before, too many times actually but all that things cumulated where too much.”

“She saw it coming in her mirror. Me standing inside the flames at that beach. I hope she’s not horrified with me.”

No. She see’s you like kind of a big brother, that’s always looking out for her. I don’t think there’s much that could change that opinion.” Uranus told her worrying friend.

A third round whisky was given out.



“When it comes to me tho…,” Haruka paused for a moment. “…You’re in no way a match for me and I can’t wait to finally kick your ass in training. But yeah. Like a brother.” She raised her glass.

“To Family.” - “To Family!” They toasted to each other and in their minds to Michiru and all the other Senshi and their inner circle.

SunTzu made a small announcement about the next song and let it play.



Haruka was absently looking out the window again, the Whisky started to really work on them. Marvin would have loved to do a show with the three of them. The thought made her smile.

She raised her glass and looked to him.

“To my brother. That ever annoying, suicidal, crazy Kraut Maniac.” She toasted to him.

He raised his glass, genuinely smiling at her.

To my sister.” He drank. “That tomboy with tits, so basically my brother with tits.” He drank another sip.

Haruka tried to be angry but had to laugh out loud instead.



Three more songs followed and then SunTzu called it quits. They finished the bottle of whisky and the box of cigarettes and sometime and left the booth in the early morning.



They both were leaning onto each other to actually be able to walk back to their rooms.

They opened the room of Haruka first.



Michiru was at the door when they opened it. She heard them coming from far away because they were so loud.

“Why Is it, that whenever I leave you two alone you either end up drunk or in a fight.”

The both pilots looked at each other and laughed.

Michiru helped SunTzu or rather vice versa to bring Haruka to bed.

“I’ll go now. And sleep.” SunTzu said goodbye to Haruka and dumbly smiled at Michiru.

“Hey SunTzu!” Haruka yelled. “I love you!”

“I love you too Man!” That said he stumbled to his own door and disappeared.

Haruka immediately fell asleep and Michiru just stood there laughing.

Lost and found was so fitting for these two.


 

Chapter Text

And another day were he was woken by banging on his door. And god, his head felt horrible. But at least the hangover overshadowed the emptiness inside he still felt.

He opened the door just wearing pants and wiped the sleep out of his face.



Rei pressed herself past him and walked into his room, she had a paper bag with her.

“My god TopGun, it’s smells like a distillery in here. What did you drink? Kerosene?”

She turned on the ventilatory and put the bag on his nightstand.

 

Good morning beautiful, yes I slept well, at least till you woke me up.

 

“Go and make yourself presentable. The Royal Couple wants to see you in their quarters ASAP. Move it.”

Knowing that resistance was futile he shuffled into the bathroom.



“While you shower I’ll see to get you some coffee.” She said and went back to the door.

She stopped midway through the door and looked back at the bathroom, considering something.

After a moment she shook her head with a sly grin and walked out.



A few minutes later he walked out the bathroom, showered and cleaned up and pulled out one of his new TF Sol uniforms.



He was fixing his tie when it banged on the door again, Rei was back with a cup of coffee.

“There’s also breakfast and something with electrolytes in the bag over there. I thought you need a refreshment before you meet the Royals.”

“You’re too good to me.” He said and opened the bag pulling out a sandwich and taking a bite.

“Mars is a generous goddess of war.” She shrugged. “Since you didn’t answer me yesterday anymore, I’ll ask again. Apart from the hangover you have, how are you?”

He paused for a moment and thought about the question.

“I’m a bit better, I guess. Apart from my head tho. This stuff here is a lifesaver.” He said and took another bite followed by a sip of an electrolyte drink.

“People really liked your show yesterday. I listened to for a while. Marvin would have been proud.”

He stopped again for a moment. Mentioning his name still stung.

“Thank you. I hope so.”



He stuffed the rest of the food down, emptied the beverage and took on his uniform jacket.

“Let’s go, can’t let Royalty wait.”

Off they went.

 




The Royal chambers were one floor above them and Rein handed him his coffee, which he greedily chugged down, a look at his chrono told him it was almost 10:30am.



“Oh, Ambrosia.” He told and they both shared a smile.

“Next time you get shitfaced with Haruka try to be a bit more quiet. I was afraid that you were actually falling into my room as loud as you where when you went to yours.” She scoffed him.

“Sorry, i had a bit problems standing right. But hey, the Whisky was great and we had reasons to drink.”

“I get that but next time you two confess your love for each other, do it in a volume that the whole ship doesn’t hear it also.”

“Hey, ain’t no wrong with a little bit of love confessions between a sister from another mister and her brother from another mother. That’s at least, if I have a mother, which I guess I do.”

 

Most probably. But you probably have to ask someone on Kamino about that.



 

They arrived at the deck above them and Rei went to a certain door, where the Moon Crest was beautifully enthroned above and two Royal Guardsmen stood watch.

 

He drank the rest of his coffee and put the paper cup in a nearby trash bin, waste separation of course. While wage war for a better galaxy when you don’t care about the environment also.

 

Rei opened the door and the stepped inside, into a bit living room with a big sofa and some armchairs around a table.

Mamoru and Usagi where sitting there, apparently having a tea.



“Your Majesties!” Rei did a curtsy. “The Lieutenant as you wished for.”

“Thank you Rei.” The King said.

“Was that more according to protocol now?”

Mamoru nodded surprised.

“Yes. Good! Then I’m out again. Deuces!”

Looks like the King gets his fair share of Diplomat Hino’s Ego too.

She nodded to Usagi and SunTzu and walked out the door again.



The three present people’s gaze followed her outside.

“Classic Rei.” Usagi told to her Husband and frowned.

“Yup.” He agreed and both heads swung over to SunTzu.



“SunTzu, glad you were able to come up here. We heard you had a longer night after your radio show.” Mamoru greeted him while Usagi giggled.

“It was, me and Pilot Tenou needed to let off some steam.” He told. “You sent for me?”

“If letting Mars kick you out of bed while sleeping out your inebriation and drag you here, counts as wishing, yes.” Mamoru was telling him, hiding a smile. Where they mocking him?

“She didn’t use physical force, did she?” The Queen asked.

“No, not at all. She even provided nutrition.”

“Really, looks like she quite took a liking in you, then.”

 

Not that I tried hard to get to that point.

 

“SunTzu do you know, why you are here?” Usagi asked him.

“I don’t have any Idea, my Queen.” He replied. “I guess it has something to do with my outburst of rage yesterday?”

Queen and King looked at each other.

“Please, we’re under us, as already stated, call me Usagi. We know, you’re still looking for answers regarding your past and your background.”

SunTzu nodded while his eyes widened.

“Do you have any idea, how special you are?” The Queen asked. “It’s still to early for details and we don’t know about all of them yet but it seems that you’re going to play a major part in this war, that is just starting.”

 

He twitched. Why all of him, if he thought who he was surrounded with, he was nothing compared to the power of the Senshi or the Jedi. Even Artemis and Luna with their ability to transform into Cats had more abilities than him right now.

“Compared to the power people around me have, it’s nothing.” He stated, gesturing with his hands.

“That outburst yesterday was glimpse of what you are available off. I know, that it was triggered by the wrong emotions and I can imagine you are worried now. But as of now, we have to find a way to awake that power whenever you need it and more importantly, to control it.” She looked down to the floor.

“You have to become a warrior so strong, that you will not guard and protect those around you but the galaxy itself. A warrior so strong, that just your presence will inspire your comrades and make them fight stronger and more tenacious. A warrior so strong that you will storm through the enemy like a force of nature.” The King explained. “We know this is a lot we demand. But trust us, it’s the only way we can save this galaxy. And not only from war but annihilation.”

“This war that is coming is one of the worst Conflicts to ever hit this galaxy. It pains me to say, but millions if not billions will die. Taskforce Sol’s only purpose is too save as many people as we can.” The Queen paused for a moment, struggling with her voice. “Unfortunately the Crystal Kingdom is not well known and well equipped enough to bring the fight to the enemy on it’s own. We need supporters. Supporters and friends in high places and all over the galaxy. This means we all of us have to do our best to establish our name as Force to be reckoned with.”

“But I’m just a pilot and a soldier. What can I do on a galactic scale?” SunTzu asked her, really not knowing why she thought he was so important.

“Believe me, you, we all will proof our worth to the galaxy. And will be a long, enduring and painful way tho.” The Queen told further. “I was a teenager, just 14 years old, when I became Sailor Moon for the first time. We all were teenagers, SunTzu. But me , Mamo and these girls saved Earth and the whole galaxy dozens of times. But this time we need help. I need help. Can I count on you?”



He genuinely had to think about it for a moment. These girls costed him his last nerve and he almost lost his lives so often already saving them. But damn, they were worth it. They welcomed him with open arms and proofed that even when he became a deathdealing demon they stood with him.

“You can.” He bowed down. “I’m at your service your majesties. Let me help you safe this galaxy.”



The King and Queen both smiled and looked at each other.

“Please rise, no need for bending a knee. We are the ones that should show our gratitude.” The Queen told him with a gesture to stand up.

“I know it’s not much and not the answers you wanted or earned. But let me tell you this SunTzu. Ever since Mamoru and I married, I was 22 years, so six years ago, and the Crystal Kingdom was founded, I wasn’t able to transform into Sailor Moon anymore. My role as Guardian was over and the role of Sovereign overtook. I was tired of fighting, tired to see my future daughter, my love and my friends fight. But a few months ago, I transformed again after a vision showing the galaxy falling apart, burning in the fires of war. The need to fight arose again and although, from the deepest of my heart, I wish it would be different I accepted it. A kingdom of peace, a galaxy where lifeforms can prosper peacefully is worth it. I accepted my faith.” She looked sad now, but there was genuine hope in her eyes.

“Our dream is a galaxy of peace, even if we have to wage war as individuals first. This is the price for a bigger cause. We’re not naive about how hard it will be. But we can achieve it. And you will be a big part in that plan.” The king continued for his wife. “So, 1st Lieutenant SunTzu, carry on doing your best. We all need you. And if you ever need someone too, all of us are here for you.”

 

The King nodded towards him, acknowledging his work so far.

“And know try to get some rest, we’re home soon and we need to be ready to strike again.” The King sent him off.

“See you later SunTzu. Keep up the good work.” The Queen discharged him.

“Usagi, Mamoru.” He took a bow and left.

 

Wait, did they just promote him?




 

Chapter Text

 

Four hours left till Crystal Tokio meant another two hours of sleep. SunTzu's inside, especially the mental side, felt better sleeping than being awake right now anyway.



SunTzu woke up, got ready again and packed some stuff to take with him in a bag.

Thank the maker, that there were service droids cleaning the rooms and doing the laundry.

He didn’t feel well enough to fly so he called AICA up.



“Hey, I’m sorry. But I won’t fly you to the hangar, you’ll fly on your own.”

“No problem. Hotaru is here, she will accompany me.” The A-Wing answered.

“Wait, what?”

“Hotaru is sitting here. Don’t worry she won’t fly. But she said, if you don’t take her to space it’s just fair that I take her to Crystal Tokio. Her mom says it’s okay.”



That’s fair actually. Cunning small thing.



“Okay, but fly cautiously. I don’t want Setsuna to have a reason to be mad at me.”



No, training with her was painful enough already.



SunTzu sighed and took his stuff. Twenty minutes till touchdown, let’s see this from a different view than usual.

 

The Pilot moved over to the observation deck, that was pretty packed this time. They just passed the moon.

On one of the benches the Inner Senshi were sitting, observing the last few houndred-thousand kilometers home.

They waved him over, made some room for him and together they watched the approach to earth and Crystal Tokyo. The atmosphere was rather quiet and depressed, although the room was full.

A few minutes later they passed the Selene and two of her squadrons did a flyover in a missing man formation, a detail that not everyone noticed.

 

Thanks Comrades.



SunTzu had to fight a lump in his throat seeing this as he was sitting between Rei and Mako and the Infantry Officer saw that he was moved. She put a hand on his shoulder.



“It’s okay, he was a friend. Even I liked him and you know my opinion about most pilots.” She said, trying to comfort him.

“It’s okay, I just need a moment.” SunTzu responded, thankful for her empathy.

Heads were turning to him commiserative.



The Pilot got up, lighted a cigarette and walked up to the window, looking down at earth. Did Marvin had family? Were they living on earth? And what about himself, he still didn’t have much infos about that either. His head started throbbing again, so he tried to take his head off to something else.

Smoking didn’t taste too good yet.

He sighed and went to the nearest ashtray.

Makoto came over to him.

 

“Dude, you look so lost right now.” She shook her head. “I have a suggestion. You come over to my place tonight and have dinner with me and my husband. A good meal works wonders.”

He thought about for a moment, when was the last time, someone not getting paid for it, cooked for him. He couldn’t remember.

“Sounds great. But I have to warn you, usual very bad things happen when I do something with Senshi in my leisure.”

And that was no joke.

“Then it’s time to change that. I’ll take that challenge.” She said with a crooked smile.

“Tonight at seven, I’ll send you the adress. And come hungry.”



Outside the Voyager passed them, flying out of the lower lying hangar, closely followed by AICA. It was strange to see her flying in space without him piloting her. His eyes followed her till she was out of sight.



They get autonomous so fast.

 




The descend to earth was a beautiful sight to behold but didn’t live up to doing the same with AICA. The Far Side landed on it’s spot and the central ramp was lowered.



The first to actually leave the ship was Taego on a hospital bed escorted by doctors and nurses. He was still unconscious and they moved him into an waiting ambulance, that brought him to a special clinic in Tokyo. The ambulance was escorted by two of the kingdom’s SUVs, manned by guards in suits and a Tokyo Metropolitan Police Escort was waiting at the base gate to lead the convoy as fast as possible to it’s destination.



SunTzu didn’t need to rush, he kept sitting for a while, while the room emptied. The Senshi said their goodbyes too and left.

They still worried a bit with him but SunTzu told them that he would be alright again.

He left the ship as one of the last, rucksack with his stuff thrown over.



SunTzu had an idea what might made him feel better, so he went to the flight center, that was pretty much empty except the duty guard, locked his stuff and changed and went into it’s gym. The next two hours he absolutely smashed himself in there, as if he needed to punish himself. To be honest, that was how he felt.

He actually pushed himself so much, that he had to use Jedi Techniques to not fall down.

But after letting out all his anger and frustration he felt a tad bit better.



He changed back and with a short stop to get a gift for Makoto and her Husband he left for home.

God, was he looking forward to some home cooked food.

Also he was eager to meet Kenji, the man that tamed Sailor Jupiter.

 




It started to rain before he left for the address that Makoto had sent him over the course of the afternoon.

 

The UBER brought him a to a nice house near the Argentinian embassy.

It was a typical Japanese single family house with two floors and a small garage.

 

He rang at the front gate and waited. A busy sounding Makoto answered. She opened the gate and he got inside. Bit of garden, middle class limousine in the parkway. It really looked like that the Sailor Senshi with the Power of Jupiter and Commanding Officer of Crystal Tokyo’s Special Forces lived an absolute prissy life.

That was somehow shocking. Who ever drank with Mako would have never thought so.

 

She already waited at the house door and received him with a warm smile, while wearing a bun and an apron.

Behind her was her Husband Kenji, a regular looking brunette man, who was smiling although seemed a bit reserved.

They welcomed him in and he was immediately lead to table.

 

Mako just finished cooking for what looked like it was for her whole platoon, the whole table was packed with food with the main dish being a Japanese Roast Beef.

Exactly what he needed right now.

 

The dinner was excellent and he compliment Makoto on her cooking a many times. At home no one would think of the tall brunette as a fierce warrior no matter as Senshi or as Special Forces Operator.

She really seemed to enjoy the whole moment too.

“Because of work, we don’t have much opportunities to do something like that lately. I’m very busy and often away and Kenji works a lot too. He’s an chief engineer at a telecommunications company.” She told, proudly admiring her husband.

Was that really the Heavy Repeater Blaster packing, lighting throwing woman he knew?

“Oh really, sounds interesting. I can imagine with the alignment to the Galaxy a whole new options opened up for your sector.” SunTzu said to the rather quiet man.

“It did. Right now we’re working with the tech institute of Crystal Tokyo to find ways to align our communication signals better with the Galaxy Standards.” Kenji told him, he seemed to open up a bit, when he was talking about his job.

“Problem often is, that the Galactic Standards are way diversified than ours. And of course the transmitting power. Right now we’re trying to send an Internet-Signal at least till the next Hyperlane Beacon.”

“Kenji helped me and Dish immense with coming up with an Interface that makes our comms into being able to transmit and receive from both parts, Earth Standard and Galaxy Standard.” Makoto explained, yearning at her husband.

“Oh, that was nothing. And I’m glad I can help, make my wife’s duty a bit more safe. I worry a lot with her. Although I know she has to fulfill a duty.” The married couple glanced at each other and began holding hands.

“Always having someone like you around would come in handy. I bet my starfighter’s AI wouldn’t mind helping either.” SunTzu told.

“Ah yes, the talking spaceship. Hats off to you that you made Makoto take a flight in a small ship like that. She told me she loved it actually. I guess it’s fascinating to work with a machine like that.” Kenji told him.

“It is, although she has her own head. But I wouldn’t trade her for any other fighter in the Alliance.”

“He saved countless people with that ship already.” Makoto told her.

“Except for one.” SunTzu chimed in and Makoto immediately became silent for a moment.

“And there was nothing you could have done against it. Not without risking someone else’s or your own life. And you pretty sure safed a lot of my men’s lives at that beach. If Marvin would be her he would tell you the same. And then he would tell you to rather enjoy this dinner than to be sad about the loss.” She reproved him. And she was right.

“Sorry. I….” He answered, struggling with the words.

“No need to say sorry. The loose is still fresh but it doesn’t help to not go on anymore. Trust me I know what I’m talking about, I’m in this fight since I was 15.” She told with a warm, understanding smile. “And now let’s get back to this dinner. I hope you still have room for dessert.” She smiled and got up to take care of the dessert.



Dessert was a Matcha Creme Bavaroise Cake and it was so good it brought one to his knees.

“I thought Creme Bavaroise would be fitting for you. Being from Bavaria.” She told after the two man exuberant complimented the cake.

“Yeah. But you already, it’s just a at least I think I am.” They shared a laugh and explained the unknown background story to Kenji.



After dessert Makoto served an espresso to finish the whole experience.

The good food and even better company made him feel way better. And when Makoto made a Selfie for the Senshi Group he was even able to smile again.

Shortly afterwards SunTzu got ready to leave and they said their goodbyes.

 

“That was the best meal I ever had, as far as i can remember at least.” SunTzu told her in honest.

She answered with a proud smile.

“Glad you liked it, don’t forget tomorrow’s training with us, I’ll see you at 6:30 at the Barracks.”

“Yes Ma’am. Have a good evening and thanks again. That helped me.”

“Good to hear. I’ll make you pay for it tomorrow.” She said with a wink.

“Kenji, nice to meet you. Oh and think about if you’re expertise wouldn’t be a big gain for the Taskforce.” SunTzu told the Engineer.

“Never thought about it. But it’s not the worst idea.” Kenji said.

“And we could probably spent more time together.” Makoto chimed in, with a smile.

“Makoto, I see you in a few hours. Kenji, have a good night. Thanks for the invitation.”

 

He left and took an Uber home, he had to get some sleep in before the Commandos would fuck him up in the morning.


 

Chapter Text

 

On his way home SunTzu received a message from Rei, saying he looked better in the pic Makoto shared.

He answered her that he actually was feeling better and that the dinner was great.

He also told her that he was on his way home because tomorrow morning he had training with the commandos.

Rei answered with a comment stating that that's how he has to pay the dinner to Makoto then with a lot of Emojis and he answered that he had the same opinion.

She let him know, that she had shooting training tomorrow noon because of the cross training they decided to do. She asked if he'd by chance be at the range too.

Hm, he probably could arrange that. He had flight training in the afternoon and promised Hotaru and Chibiusa a night training even before they left earth the last time. It would be a long, busy day but spending some time with Rei would make up for it. Play it cool tho.

He told he was trying to make things work out and that he would get back to her tomorrow morning after training.

 

Shooting Guns with Rei, how much better could it get?

 

Way too less time later his alarm sounded off and he got up, ready, smashed a small breakfast down and hit the base up in a taxi. Good thing that most parts of Tokyo sleep at night, or he probably wouldn't have made in time.

 

The Pilot got to the barracks at 6:28 and the Commandos were already waiting outside. He ran inside got his gear and rifle and rushed back outside, where Captain Kino mocked him, that he probably ate too much yesterday and was slacking now.

 

The next three hours they did a nice forced March in complete gear and heavy rucksacks, reminding him again, why he was a pilot foremost. Marching was interrupted by simulated enemy contacts and disengagement drills.

If it wasn't for the possibility to spent some time with Rei later he probably would have gone back home to sleep again.

 

He went for a shower, dressed in a fresh pair of combat clothes, opting for a fresh tacticool Multicam Black and Black Thermo-Shirt Look and headed over to the dining hall for a real breakfast and first and for all more Hydration. The days we're getting warmer now and yesterday's rain had already dried off completely.

 

Walking through the courtyard he wrote Rei that he made some time and they could meet at noon at the range.

 


 

SunTzu had a real breakfast and was joined briefly by Ami, who got some Coffee and sandwiches and left again soon. She was busy with something special she said. Intelligence Personnel, always the mystery.

 

Sailor Pluto was at the hospital today so he was safe from her drills today, the forced March made up for it tho. He spent the early noon checking in with the Flight Center, Ground Crew and AICA. Terra Squadron was still on pause, so right now the Spacefighter Capacity of the whole Taskforce were limited to AICA and the Voyager. Also he got some of his guns from AICA.

 

He did hear plans to fill up the squadron up again as soon as possible although. Good news were also, that Taego was awake now and probably would make it. At least that was something, the mood in the flight center was still grim though.

He left the Flight Center and took a Humvee and with a detour to the armory to get some Guns and Ammo he went to the training area, where the shooting range was also located at.

 

SunTzu arrived there and checked in for a lane at the range.

He brought some pistols and military shotguns with him, and after putting on Protection Equipment and a small chest rig he laid the weapons out on a table and also put the ammo on the table. He figured that special shotgun ammunitions should take out even Vong Armor, so it won't hurt to be trained with them too.

Rei dressed in Jeans, Top and a leather jacket, arrived with a van transporting Team 1 and Makoto too.

Makoto already gave her the safety briefing and a pair of ear protectors as well as safety googles.

 

A bit nervous she cautiously walked up to the range and stood there, watching soldiers shoot at some of the lanes. A nearby group lane was used by a squad of soldiers of the Royal Guard, shooting their service rifles.

SunTzu already had noticed her and observed her nervous approach. Not often you'd see her like that. After a few moments of her trying to accustom to the surrounding she finally noticed him too. Her nervous facial expression changed to a smile and she waved and came over to him.

 

God, that fitted T-Shirt looked fine on him, she thought. Okay, calm down Rei. Don't let him know, that you're nervous.

 

"TopGun, I'm glad you could arrange it. Oh, and I see you already got everything ready."

"Hey, you good? You look a bit pale around the nose." Risky but when there will ever be a moment Rei Hino would be nervous with something.

"Oh… really? No, I'm good. Maybe it's because your dark shades." She tried to overplay her nervousness.

"Maybe." He smiled, a bit broader than usual. "You ever shot before?"

"Actually yes, we got basic handgun training a few months ago. Was a while till I went shooting tho." She explained.

"I was thinking we start with pistols and then slowly work up to shotguns. I thought someone that likes to fling around fire would be fine with those. Either way it fucks stuff up." He smiled. "You got the safety briefing yet?" Safety first.

"Makoto just gave it to me on the way from the palace. Also I have you around to take care of me, no? Not even you would do something stupid here."

"Alright, then please, see which gun you wanna shoot first."

"That one, the small black one." She pointed at the smallest of them all, a subcompact Glock 26, basically the even smaller version of his already compact Glock 19.

 

All right, same gun just a little smaller than mine.

 

He checked if the gun was really empty and unloaded and handed it over to her.

"Here. Try it in your hands, does it feel comfortable to hold?"

She walked over to the lane and did some dry testing.

"Yeah, I think this works."

"Good, then let's load it, get back here."

He showed her which ammo to use and how to load the magazines. He brought two for that particular gun and let her load both.

"Alright, are you ready? Let's put some lead down that lane."

"I guess I'm ready."

 

She got to the shooting place, reloaded the weapon, cocked it and started shooting single shoots at the target twenty meters away. After the magazine was empty she checked the gun and laid it on the stand in front of her. He went for the target to see how well she shot.

 

He let out a small whistle after he took a look. All ten shots hit at least the target. Natural talent.

"Great, all ten shots hit the target. Not bad!"

He praised her while she took a look on her own.

"Comes from shooting bow and arrow. I learned aiming and how to breath through it. Shooting Guns is cool and stuff but you should try Bow and Arrows one day." She explained, happy with her hits.

"I don't know if Bob has bow and arrow in the armory, to be honest."

"No problem, I have everything you need at the shrine. Just let me know."

 

Was that an invitation to do something with her again?

 

"I'd be up for it. Actually I don't have duty for so long tomorrow, so afternoon I got time if you have time too."

"Tomorrow afternoon? You know I'm a really busy person and I probably have to cancel my afternoon tea with the Queen of England for this but if Topper Harley wants to visit me, who am I to leave him hanging."

"You're too kind my dear Moeru Shōjo. I can't wait to be introduced into the art of shooting bow and arrow. I promise I'll try to not kill anything with arrows."

She boxed his shoulder.

"Owww!"

"Earned! But very well then, tomorrow afternoon. And just for the record before you think of it otherwise. This is training not a date."

 

Yeah, yeah keep saying that to yourself, both of them thought simultanously.

 

"And now let's defame you a bit more with my shooting qualities." She got back and reloaded the Glock.

 

A few magazines later, he took over the lane and run a few magazines trough his pistol. Rei came very close to him In points of marksmanship. Also she was intrigued with his pistol so he let her shoot a few magazines with it too.

 

Soon they changed to the shotguns now and after seeing the effects of Sabot Rounds on Steel targets he was pretty sure to have found something he could bring down a Vong with. And probably the Vong behind the first one too.

 

Rei wanted to try them out too and he gave her a compact Mossberg and carefully instructed her how to load and use it.. She stood there aiming down the range when he got up behind her and corrected her stance slightly. His face was next to hers and his arms supported hers. She could feel his breath on her cheek.

"Okay, like that. Now turn the safety off and cock it one time."

She did and took aim at the nearest target.

"Shot when you're ready." He told her, still standing there.

She pulled the trigger and he helped her absorbing the recoil but she hit the target and smiled.

"Alright, now I let you do it on your own. Try to shot slowly to manage the recoil."

Rei shot another time, hitting the target and managing the recoil alone this time.

She smiled again, looking like she took a liking in it.

 

 

They shot all the ammo SunTzu brought and also trained some pistol drawing drills for Rei.

 

In a Galaxy like this even a diplomat should be ready to defend herself.

"Better keep that Thang on you Diplomat Hino." He joked.

"Stay strapped or get clapped." She laughed.

When they were finished, SunTzu loaded everything back up in the Humvee.

"Need a lift to the palace?" He asked her.

"Won't say no to that offer. About time for lunch also. I'll ask the girls, wanna tag along?" She asked and pulled out her phone.

"Food is always a good idea, he smiled and after she texted her message into the Senshi Group stating that she and SunTzu were heading for lunch now they left.

They brought back the guns to the armory and then walked off to the dining hall from there.

 


 

Inside Minako, Chibiusa and Hotaru were already sitting at a table, waiting for them.

They greeted each other and sat down on the opposite side of the three girls.

"Where you guys have been?" Chibiusa asked.

"TopGun showed me how to use shotguns at the range. That quarter part American in me is still cheering." Rei told with a grin.

"Sounds awesome. Don't forget tonight SunTzu, we already maintained our guns for it." The Princess said to SunTzu.

"And got fitting helmets for the Night Vision Googles!" Hotaru chimed in.

 

These two girls were still way to hyped for shit like that.

 

"Don't worry I won't forget. And don't forget it's not for fun we're doing this." He told them with a fatherly tone.

"Yeah, yeah. The expectation of tonight at least made school today more bearable." Chibiusa told and Hotaru nodded approvingly.

"You should take school more serious, girls. It's important to learn." SunTzu told them.

 

What's next SunTzu, Dad jokes?

 

"But it's still plain boring. I'm sure Ami or Setsuna could teach me more and better than our teacher." Chibiusa responded.

 

Minako and Rei observed the conversation in silence, internally amused by SunTzu's tries to educate the two teenagers.

 

After some more discussion and SunTzu dropping the inevitable "You learn for yourself and not for school" the two elder Senshi couldn't hold in anymore and decided to intervene with leaving for food.

 

Minako and the two younger girls went first, while Rei stayed and mocked SunTzu a bit.

"Hahahaha. TopGun, you're such a dad dad. You learn for yourself not for school, what the fuck." She laughed some more as he just sat there with a sour expression.

"Hey, if that isn't our favorite non dating couple not being on a date again." Haruka suddenly chimed in as she and Michiru approached the table.

This was getting out of hand, now there were two of the Senshi that mocked him all of the time at the table.

"If that isn't my British Nemesis. Hey Haruka, you actually did survive. I haven't heard from since I went to bed yesterday."

"We're not on a date, Chibiusa, Minako and Hotaru are here too. They are over there in the line." Rei angrily explained and pointed to the three girls. "I was just nice enough to stay with Topper Harley here so he doesn't feel alone and starts thinking about doing stupid things. Plus someone has to mock him because he's Superdad now."

Haruka jumped to the table and sat down next to her.

"Tell me everything!"

 

Rei, laughing furiously all the time, told Haruka and Michiru, that sat down also the whole thing and how SunTzu tried to educate the two teenage girls.

 

At the end both of them were laughing and even Michiru had to chuckle.

 

Hey, I had completely forgotten about Dathomir. Maybe it still wasn't too late for a transfer request. Especially if I'd ask directly at the top of the food chain. I'm  sure the royal couple would honor my educational service too.

 

Rei had Company on the table now so he guessed it was okay to queue up for food too. Standing up without saying a word he got into the line to get some food, leaving the three Senshi staring after him.

 

Why am I so annoyed? Especially with the comment Haruka made and Rei's answer. Oh well, maybe I'm just hangry.

 

When he came back with a tray of food the two younger Senshis and Mina were already eating. He started eating too, and noticed the three girls were observing him while eating.

"Is something wrong?" He asked them, while he was eating a Miso Soup.

Minako defensively put up her hands.

"No, no. The others just meant you're in a bad mood."

"I am not." He said that maybe a bit more harsh as he meant it, making Mina twitch.

 

Not my fault they don't like the responsible custodian here.

 

He wolved down his food and was done with it when the other three Senshi appeared with their food at the table.

 

He just remembered Hotaru and Chibi-Usa to be on time and all geared up and ready tonight and left with a nod.

"What's gotten into him today?" Chibiusa asked when he was gone.

 

He left the dining hall and took the Humvee back to the Air Base, parking at the Aircenter. He changed into a flight suit and went over to AICA's Hangar.

He ignored AICA's remarks that for one time he was over punctual and performed the necessary checks before starting.

Today's training was about navigating with landmarks. He was too early but already checked in with flight control and requested to push up the exercise to now.

The Request got denied and he waited in the cockpit with a sour mood.

The day was going well but now everybody seemed to have the goal to drag his mood down.

 

So he waited for quite some more time till he got his take off clearance.

 

A few seconds later AICA was out of the Hangar and shooting up vertically into the sky, making her way to a remote island for the navigational training.

 

SunTzu flew AICA, who commented how much she liked it, on the limit and arrived a few moments later in the Area of Operations.

Keeping his flying on the limit, his mood got better bit by bit again.

It was just him, AICA and the sky. And an early death if he would hit one of the mountains or hills he was navigating through way too fast and too low. YOLO, even tho flight command reminded him about his risky speed and altitude by the minute till he broke out between two hills on the other side of the island. Flight Command let him know that he beat the record time for the exercise but they also reprimanded his flying, telling him they won't count the time as punishment.

 

The pilot just shrugged it off, his mood was better again after pushing up his adrenaline and he told Command that he'd go for another pass. This time he was more cautious and kept in the parameters Command demanded.

 

He didn't beat the record this time but he didn't care much as he went back to Crystal Tokyo Air Base.

On the way home Stinger Jordan chewed his ass off for risky flying already.

 

SunTzu didn't really listen tho, in his mind he was already preparing for the night training with Hotaru and Chibiusa and how he could drill them.

 


SunTzu got a message from Rei, asking him what his sudden departure was all about. And if Bow and Arrow was still up for tomorrow afternoon. Looks like leaving angry worked.

He sent her a voice message from the way back to the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, stating that he would still be up for it. He didn't cater about her first question.

A sorry if they overdid it followed as well as a confirmation for tomorrow afternoon.

 

Do I finally begin to learn how to handle the Princess of Mars?

 

Soon he was back over the Air Base but Commander Jordan just left him for senselessly turn loop after loop over the base and not giving him clearance to land.

 

Well, if the Commander only knew, that duty wasn't over for the pilot anyway.

He turned on music and let AICA do lap after lap. The view over the palace and it's Crystal Tower and over Tokyo Bay wasn't the worst either. His mood was back to good again.

 

They let him wait for another ten minutes, till he was allowed to land. On the way to the hangar he saw the Voyager getting ready for it's take off to do same exercise. Haruka was checking the Solar Panels right now, he brought AICA to a hold and let her hover on the spot and opened the canopy.

Haruka turned around waved her hand.

"Can you imagine, I broke the record but because I was too low and too fast they didn't let count it?" SunTzu told the blonde Tomboy.

"Stinger Jordan was about to get a stroke with you in there. That whole standby for landing clearance. He'll probably will let you do this for the rest of your career." She laughed, but not because he earned but because he made the superior Officer so mad. "That was pretty ballsy Mate."

"Yeah, well had to blow some steam off." He shrugged. "I'm out now, I'll have to teach two teenagers how to own the night. See you around and say Hi to Michiru."

Haruka gave him a quick two finger salute and SunTzu hovered over to AICA's Hangar while Haruka finished her inspection.

 

He said his Goodbye to AICA and went to the Flight Center. After ten minutes of receiving a dressing-down from a certain commander, which he used to think about what clothes would be fitting for tomorrow's occasion, he left, dressing in an uniform. He brought the Humvee back to the car pool and took a civilian car instead.

 

 

SunTzu then rushed over to Tokyo to buy a nice but simple Kimono for tomorrow. The shop clerk also recommended a Yukata for him, so he got one too. After a quick dinner in a fast food restaurant he hasted back to the Base.

 

He changed into Combat Clothes again and loaded his weapon and gear into the car, before driving off to the training area of the base.

It was dark already on this early evening and the pilot passed Team 3, marching back from training.

 

SunTzu parked near one of the Killhouses, opened the trunk and geared up.

Then he went into the kill house and got the targets ready, as well as to two nearby lanes on the shooting range, preparing them as well.

Shortly afterwards a vehicle was approaching, but no lights were visible. There was definitely something approaching and soon he could make out a Humvee with canvas cover in the back but no Doors, heading towards him.

 

Why would someone drive around without lights on?

 

The vehicle came to a halt next to him and from the driver seat a helmet and Night Vision Googles wearing Hotaru was grinning at him. Next to her Chibiusa leaned over to him.

"Moons out, goons out Lieutenant!" Chibiusa greeted him and made a „Hang Loose" sign with her hand.

"Wait, did you two just drove here from the palace without lights on?"

"No, not all the way. Just when we didn't see people anymore." Hotaru stated as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

"Do you even have a driver's license yet?" He asked her.

"Why do I need one on base?" She asked, not getting the question.

„Wha… how do you even got this Hummer?"

„Helps to be the princess if you need to obtain something." Chibiusa answered from the passenger seat.

Maybe if he'd just steal AICA now and went off planet immediately, nobody would take notice till he already was on Dathomir.

After needing a moment to collect himself he took a deep breath and told the two girls to get out of the car and in a line.

 

SunTzu gave the two teenagers a safety briefing and the two followed more or less interested.

Then he told them that they would start with shooting with Night Vision on on the range.

The girls let him know, that they already did that before.

"How? And when? Where did you get the guns and Googles?" He asked.

Chibiusa leaned forward while the both were standing in line.

"Like I said, it helps to be the Princess to obtain stuff."

He took another deep breather.

"Please tell me, that you at least took safety serious."

"Of course, Guns are not toys. Who do you think we are?"

 

Thank you Hotaru, please don't tell your mom anyway. Not before I'm safe in a cave where a pack of Rancors has their home.

 

"Nice Kit by the way, you look fucking tacticool." Hotaru told him further.

He looked down at himself and then shook his head.

"Okay, then my always a step further than me being Junior Senshi. Please head over to the range with me. Let's see how good you shoot in the dark." He told them and they fell in behind him.

 

Of course they already were loaded up and ready to shoot. He just hoped that they showed the same eagerness when it came to school.

They got ready, turned on their IR-only Lasers, only visible with their Night-Vision and when he gave the signal they unloaded their first magazines with steady but semi shots.

SunTzu waited till the two girls checked and secured their weapons and then went to get the targets.

He brought them back and gave them to the girls to check their results. They were really good considering their age and given their state of training.

They were comparing each other almost immediately.

"Ha, i shot better than you bitch." Chibiusa remarked.

"Wait till the next magazine, and please don't start crying again." Hotaru responded.

"Language!" SunTzu chimed in.

 

 

The next magazines were let off and this time Hotaru shot a grain better.

"Who's laughing now, bitch?" He mocked her best friend now.

"Okay, next magazine decides then."

They both shot another magazine and then secured their weapons.

 

SunTzu let out a small whistle when he saw the results. These girls were really good, he thought when he walked back.

"I call this a draw", he said as he gave the target paper to the girls.

They both shot almost identically good and called it a draw too, sportswomen they were.

 

 

He cleaned up the range a bit and then lead the girls over to the kill house.

He gave them a small briefing and asked who wanted to start. Hotaru wanted to go first and Chibiusa was okay with that.

They did a small radio check and then lined up for the sweep. Chibiusa was to watch from a balcony while SunTzu followed Hotaru inside, monitoring her run.

 

Hotaru loaded her weapon and got ready.

"Go Bestie!" Chibiusa came over the headsets.

"3… 2… 1… Go!" SunTzu started the exercise and Hotaru rushed off, SunTzu following in close behind.

A few minutes later the exercise was cleared, for the fact that she didn't know where the targets were and how the house was built up, totally acceptable.

 

Next up was Chibiusa, loading a new Magazine in her German SMG and cocking it with a slap on the charging handle.

She knew how to do the show part already.

"Oh yeah, slap dat Bitch!" Hotaru came over the radio.

"Language!" SunTzu chimed in over his headset.

 

They started the exercise and Chibiusa took a little bit longer than Hotaru but still in a totally acceptable time.

He let them ran the exercise as single person two more times, and their times got more than acceptable.

When the finished the third time, he went in again and changed the position of the targets a bit, while the two young Senshi waited outside.

 

SuunTzu came in over the radio and told them that this time they'll go together and he would observe them from the balcony above.

 

He told them to really take care to not shoot themselves but he somehow knew that he had to see how good they really were especially as team. This would stay between them he told and the girls promised they would stay quiet.

The Pilot let them start and goddamn, they were fucking effective as team. It was kind of creepy how soundless they cleared the kill house. They even changed to subsonic ammo for this run, so their suppressed guns made nothing much of a sound than the click of the bolt. They went methodical from room to room and cleared the house in quite a good time. They assembled outside and secured their guns.

 

"Girls, I have to admit that was great work for the first time running an exercise like this."

The girls fistbumped each other satisfied.

"We own the night!"

"Some more training and you two will probably break some records in there. Also great work on being soundless."

"We're fucking Ninja's Hotaru!" Chibiusa commented.

"Fuck yeah. Don't fear the reaper, fear the silence." Hotaru replied.

"Girls! Language!"

 

They packed up and SunTzu drove the Humvee back to the Palace Motor Pool, delivering the girls to the palace.

 


 

"Do I need to bring you home Hotaru?"

"No, I'll sleep at the Palace. Mom had a sixteen hour shift at the hospital today, I don't want to wake her, when I come home. She knows I'm good at the palace."

"Alright. Good work girls. I'll see you around. And please, no more roaming around tonight."

"Okay, but just because we were allowed to run the exercise in a pair." Chibiusa winked at him.

 

 

He told them goodnight and let one of the night guards drive him back to the car he brought to the range. He went over to the AirBase and locked up his stuff before he took the car and went home.

 

 

After another way to short night he was back at the base in the early morning, getting some time in the gym in with Haruka.

"You better today?" She asked him, as he spotted her when they were lifting weights.

"I guess. Talking with Makoto helped a lot. How about you and our favorite teal haired copilot?"

"It's getting better. Still fucking hurts tho. At least Michiru is not crying all the time anymore. Everything was a bit too much for her."

"I can imagine. I'm still saying she's afraid of me."

"No, absolutely not. You know how much she's attached to you. It was just the shock that her vision became reality."

"Hope so."

"Don't worry. Let's have breakfast together. If you don't want to run away again all angry."

They traded places and Haruka spotted him.

"I wasn't angry, just busy."

"Yeah, yeah, of course. By the way, what's up with you and Rei? You two are always around each other lately."

SunTzu tried not to blush or act caught.

"Pure Coincidence. Maybe I have a masochistic side and just like to be mocked. You tell me."

"Mhm, why would I bet that I get a similar sidestepping answer from her If I'd ask her the same."

"Sidestepping? It's the truth. As if I had a chance at all." SunTzu tried to play it down.

"You're right. Not a maniac like you. After all she's smoking hot."

They finished their workout, showered and went for breakfast where they met Michiru and Setsuna.

 

 

Setsuna was quiet as usual. But Michiru was basically the same as always. SunTzu was glad that Haruka was right.

After Breakfast Setsuna told SunTzu that it's been quite a while since their last training and if he was up for it. She told him that they wouldn't spare today but rather train fighting together again. She seemed to be a bit sad and absent-minded today.

"Are you okay, you seem sad."

She twitched and forced a smile.

"No, no. I'm good. Just a bit in thoughts because a case at the hospital, that's all."

"Okay. Let me know if I can do something, okay?"

She needed a moment before she answered.

"Sure, I let you know." Another forced smile.

"Up for training?"

"Sure, just let me change." He replied.

 

A few minutes later they met in the training area. Today it was all about changing from defensive to offensive attacks and working together. She made him part of her deadly dance, rolling over him, fighting back to back and he even gave her assistance with jumping higher. Slowly they were growing into a deadly team. If only he had a light sword to attack with strikes too.

They trained for over a hour and the exercising actually seemed to lighten up Setsuna's mood slightly.

He sat down after they finished and drank a big sip from a bottle of water, towel over his head because he was sweating like crazy.

Even she seemed to be exhausted this time. She was also having a bottle of water.

Their gazes met and both shared a smile. They really killed it today.

"Lieutenant, I have to go and see after Hotaru, her training should be done by now too. You performed quite well today. You're finally getting there."

"Thank you Pluto. I appreciate it. Say Hi to Hotaru to me." She nodded with a smile and left.

 

He couldn't help but let his gaze follow her outside. What a woman.

 

 

SunTzu sat there for a moment longer, taking energy from the force and finishing his water when he remembered that he should get going if he wanted to meet Rei in the afternoon.

 

After a shower he got to the AirBase, checked on AICA and Karlena and finished his many organizational tasks for today.

Time to go home.

 

He took a cab home and changed into his newly bought Kimono. He needed some time to got it right but thank god there was a tutorial video for everything on a certain video website.

 


 

SunTzu took a cab to the temple and arrived there and he walked up the stairs to the temple.

Then he walked through the shrine's Tori-Gate and stopped on the main square.

 

He didn't see Rei but two black haired girls in Miko Outfits were outside the shrine, doing chores. They looked identical, just like twins.

He stood there looking like a lost sheep till the two Mikos came over.

The two young women, maybe in their early twenties, bowed and greeted him.

As it was local manners he bowed too and greeted them back.

From near it was even more clear, that they looked identical, except for the eyes. One had blue eyes and the other had red eyes.

 

The two Mikos asked what it was he was looking for and he told her that he had an appointment with Miss Hino.

The two girls bowed again and rushed off into one of the buildings. He didn't see the two crows flying around today, SunTzu noticed.

 

A few moments later Rei came out of the main building, also wearing her Miko-Outfit, the other two falling in behind her.

Sailor Mars approached him with a broad smile.

 

She couldn't believe what she saw. He really wore a kimono fitting the occasion and even wore it right. Yomi, he was looking good.

 

SunTzu didn't know why, but he loved that Miko Outfit on Rei. It gave her a certain specific class.

 

"Hey TopGun, nice outfit. Usually I'm against tourists in traditional clothes but you actually seem to care about what you wear." She said, still smiling.

"Well, I thought I should dress for the occasion. Hope you don't mind."

"No, actually it's really fitting." She turned around to the other two Mikos. "Girls do me a favor and take care of the shrine. I'm at the archery range if you need me."

The two raven haired girls bowed and got back to their chores while she let SunTzu on to a side building.

 

"Better mood today?" She asked him, Arms crossed in her sleeves, slowly walking over to the wooden building.

"I don't have any idea what you mean." He said crossing his arms behind his head and looking skywards, searching for the crows again.

"Of course not. Anyways, how was your day? Are you fit enough for shooting Bow and Arrow?"

"Well, I didn't sleep enough, did a workout with Haruka before the sun was really up and did tons of paperwork. Nothing too fancy you see. But at least Setsuna praised me today after she rolled around on top of me for like a hour and we both ended up completely drenched in sweat."

Rei stopped in her tracks and turned around with raised eyebrows.

"What did you do?" She seemed to be angry. Wait, was that smoke rising up from her hand?

"What? Ah, we trained together. I think we become quite the good team now."

Rei took out a deep breather and suddenly turned around again, rushing on.

"Hey, wait. What did I do now? Rei-Chan, wait for me, I can not walk so fast in these shoes!"

 

This prick, no empathy for the feelings of a woman. What did he think he was saying?

 

And why was she so bothered by it. Not that Topper Harley had any chance with the Guardian of Space and Time anyway. But still, sometimes he acted like an idiot.

She opened the door to the building and entered. She took another deep breath.

 

Easy now Rei. Don't get bothered with this stupid guy. Let's just defame him with Bow and Arrows to show him his place.

 

SunTzu arrived also and entered the building.

"Hey, what was that about? I'm not used to walk in these Shoes."

"We're on a schedule today TopGun, not my fault if you hang behind." She said with a stern look on her face.

 

 

In the long stretched building there were two targets built up and she got a traditional longbow, called a Daikyū, and a quiver with arrows from hooks on the wall.

She told him about the story and the meaning of shooting bow and arrow in Japanese history. It was the embodiment of discipline and purity she told him.

He curiously followed her explanations and he really admired how she got caught up in these explanations.

"I'll show you how to do it first, okay? So watch me close." She told him as she lined up and took the stance.

As if he would do something else. Or ever did when he was in the same room she was.

She took an arrow, aimed and let it fly. It almost hit bullseye. Pretty impressive he thought.

"The first one is usually my worst." She said with a pouted mouth.

She took another arrow and shot it, hitting bulls eye now. He started clapping.

"That was great! Good shot!" He congratulated the Priestess.

She looked at him with a sly grin and took another arrow, this time she hit bulls eye again, just a few millimeters apart from the second arrow.

"Wow!" Was all he could say, she was an expert at this.

 

Rei handed SunTzu the bow.

"Thank you. Now it's your turn." She handed him the bow and quiver and he tried to copy her stance.

Spanning an arrow in the bow, he took aim. Everything was way less gracile than with Rei but at least he was eager to try.

Rei could see SunTzu was trying extra hard to do it right.

The Pilot shot the first arrow and and barely hit the target.

He grimaced and took another arrow from the quiver.

"Wait a moment." Rei walked over to him and stepped behind him.

She put her hands on his shoulders and corrected his stance. She had to concentrate because the feel of his tensed muscles distracted her. He could feel her breath in his neck and tried his best not to blush. Her hand glided down his arm and corrected his grip on the bow.

She took her other hand and corrected his grip on the arrow too.

"Now, breathe in and breathe out as you know from shooting." She whispered in his ear. "Aim. Yes, exactly like this."

He took aim, the bow was spanned to the maximum.

"And shoot."

He let the arrow fly and it hit near the bullseye.

"Very good." She aspirated in his ear and clapped his shoulder.

Rei took a step back and got of his way.

"Now shot the third one, just like I showed you."

It was hard for him to concentrate, because right now, after that close encounter with Rei, he needed a cold shower.

 

Countenance SunTzu, countenance.

 

He started breathing from deep within, lowering his pulse. Then he took aim and shot.

The shot hit the upper verge of the bullseye.

"See, you can do It. A few more years and you could maybe keep up with me."

SunTzu looked at her and smiled.

 

 

They took their time and in turns shot more.

As the evening began the two of them stopped.

Rei told SunTzu, that she had to get her grandfather from the train station now.

 

"Thank you for the nice afternoon Rei, I really enjoyed it."

"I enjoyed it too. Let me know if you need more training one day. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yeah. Although this was the second time I did something outside the base and I wasn't attacked nor did a war break out. So I don't guarantee for anything on the way home." They both laughed and Rei shook her head. Never without a stupid patter.

"Let's also train together soon again. So we're ready the next time a robot cockroach wants to grill us."

 

If Setsuna made you sweat, wait what the fires of the burning girl will do to you.

 

SunTzu left, saying goodbye to the two Miko Twins on his way out and left for home.

 

Today has been a good day.


 

Chapter Text


The next morning SunTzu met with Ami, that picked him up for the drive to the base. He slept well and long, nobody attacked him on the way home and there hasn't been any attacks on the Galaxy further.

Hell, he even had time to communicate with Colt, Ada and Cilghal.

Ami on the other side was strangely tense and very quiet on the way to the base. She barely got a word out.

"What's wrong? You're tense as hell." He asked her, while they were on the Juban-Crystal-Tokyo-Bridge.

"Ah, it's something I'm working on. Something where I probably need your help soon. Might have to act immediately then, are you busy today?"

 

Why ask a spy something he's gonna answer with a question anyways.

 

"I'm not that busy today, just training."

"Good, be on standby if I need you. And don't tell to anybody, not even the Queen."

Whatever she was doing there it sounded like trouble.



He got out at the AirCenter and changed into training clothes for a morning run with his two wingmen. The girls were already waiting for him.

They started and soon joined Team 1 and Makoto on their morning run.

The tempo was kept quite high so shittalking was less than usual but the soldiers and pilots of the Taskforce were aware that they were at War now and the next combat mission could start at any moment, so better to be ready.

After morning sport and a shower he changed into combat clothes and went for breakfast with Michiru and Haruka.


They were the only Senshi around this time but when he just started eating he got a Message from Ami, telling him to urgently see her in her office in the Military HQ.

Another wolved down breakfast later he was on his way to the HQ and when he stepped inside he got the instructions how to get to Dr. Urawa's Office.

A few minutes later he arrived at her office door and knocked on it.

"Come in please." Ami's voice came from inside.

He entered and found a stressed looking Ami on her desktop, viciously pounding into her Computer's keyboard and looking into three monitors at once. Printed out paper with data was all over the desk. He thought Ami to be more tidy.

He stood there and took a look around. It was a small functional arranged office with just the desk and two chairs in front of it. Behind the desk were shelves were books after books were neatly stored in.

She also had her own big printer and a holo-projector in the room.

After a while, she was still completely busy with her computer, he cleared his throat, finally getting her attention.

"You asked for me?" SunTzu asked her, wondering why she was so tense.

"Ah, yeah. Sorry, I just have to finish this." She typed a bit more. "And sent. Good. Okay, sit down please." She motioned to one of the chairs and while he sat down he got up on her own, opened a drawer and pulled out a device that looked like a handgrip with Antenna.

She started to scan her room and then the Pilot also.

"I'm checking for bugs." She told him as he was eying her skeptically.

"Ami, what is this all about?" He demanded an answer.

"Just a moment."

She turned on a black device next to her telephone near her computer.

"Scrambler." She told as he was eying the object.

What is so goddamn confident?

She sat down again, elbows on the table and sighed.

"Okay, as you probably remember I asked you for your discretion and help a while ago."

"I do. Back when you showed me, that you have AICA's Override Codes as well. Nice surprise by the way."

"Exactly. And now the time has come to tell you why."

He still looked at her with a skeptically look and motioned her to go on.

"Waging war as well as building a nation costs money as you can imagine."

"Taking all in account I picked up here and there I'd say Crystal Tokyo and Taskforce Sol need money. Isn't that so?"

"As I expected from someone like you, you put two and two together. But yes, it's basically this, we need money." She sighed again and looked back at him. "As you know, a lot of Marauders and Mercenary Groups work together with the unknown enemy and as you know they don't fight for ideologies but only for money. What if I tell you, that I and a certain Intelligence Officer from Coruscant you know also found out, that these groups get their money from an unknown source in cash? Galactic Credits."

"Hm, as part of the Galactic Alliance Executive Branch we would be allowed to seize that money. Which also would help against the enemy because it would smaller it's force of paid forces."

"Even more, seized money is allowed to be used for war, restructural or infrastructural efforts of the GA and it's members.

"Which means that if we seize money from the enemy we're allowed to use it for ourselves and hurt the enemy with decreasing his fighter while being to strengthen our units."

"Exactly. And know, if I would tell you that I found a mercenary group that just received their share of money and is on the way to their base to store it?"

"Well depending on the strength of the mercenary group I'll send out at least an adequate raid force if not the whole Taskforce, to seize that money." He explained from his military view of things.

"Unfortunately that is out of the question. Let's say obtaining this informations was not the most legal thing to do. Or that our royal family and superior officers are informed that we have this information."

"So, you're telling me you illegally obtained data on potential enemy elements and want to rob them of their money and nobody besides us two knows about it on this planet?"

"Broken down to the basics, yes. Although to rob is the wrong word. More like seizing of course, we are the government."

"You could even call it a tax but it's still the same."

"It's also time sensitive. Either we strike immediately or the chance, or rather the money will be gone."

"Enemy strength?"

"Modified Container Transport ship. Armed and probably full of combat proven Mercenaries."

He looked down and facepalmed.

"Who? Who will do the raid?"

"You. Me. And AICA."

He sighed and facepalmed some more.

"Ami, you're the most intelligent human being in the galaxy, you do know that this is suicide, right? I mean, even i think it's stupid. And I jumped out of a flying starfighter already. Please remember, you have a husband at home."

"I know. But it's the only way to keep this ear going. I am aware that you don't know the real importance of this Taskforce in this war, yet, but it's absolutely mandatory to keep it functional. Do you have any idea what the last missions cost us?"

"Our squadron leader and friend? Is that enough? Or do you think it's better that I loose another friend plus my life on top because we need money?"

"I know, I know. Marvin was a friend of mine too. But what if we had better equipment, better fighters for all? Don't you think it would have made a difference. Do you think Bunny and Mamoru enjoy these forced parties to collect or rather beg for money for Crystal Tokyo and the fight, while some old men drool over their daughter?"

He didn't answer immediately and thought through everything first.

If they could disable the Freighter and then swiftly move in and surprise them they might survive.

"Fuck it. I'm in, but only because someone has to take care of you. We will need Ion-Torpedos on AICA and I need money. Plus we need protective equipment for you."

She pulled out a medium sized backpack from under her desk. It seemed to be pretty heavy.

"In here. AICA is getting loaded up right now, I already gave the orders, tell her to land on the palace landing spot. We leave immediately. Officially you're on a mission to test a new strategy about Ion-Torpedoes I invented, somewhen between here and the nearest CTE Beacon."

He took the backpack from her.

"Now, if would be so kind and leave the room already? I'll have to transform."



Two minutes later they were on the way to the landing place, SunTzu called AICA over his chrono and she said she was fully loaded and ready to start with lift off checks.

As they stepped outside in the courtyard they ran into Mars and Venus, who just walked over to the training rooms, coming from the palace.

"Hey TopGun, what about the ass whooping I wanted to give you? We're heading to training now, care to join?"

"Sorry Rei, I gotta help to evaluate some data for Ami. Weapon Testing and stuff. Another time. Have a nice training." He told her as he and Sailor Mercury passed the other two Senshi at the double.

Venus and Mars suspiciously looked at each other. What were these two up to?

"1000 Yen that he's up to do something stupid. And he's taking Ami with him." Sailor Mars said, gazing after the two.

"Definitely!" Sailor Venus answered with a nod.


AICA landed at the landing spot when they arrived and she immediately opened the canopy. SunTzu helped Sailor Mercury inside and then opened the backpack and handed her her armored vest.

She put it on while he climbed inside and closed the canopy.

 

When Sailor Mercury was finished putting her armor on they lifted off and shot into the sky.

As soon as they left the earth's gravity AICA jumped to light speed, Ami gave her the coordinates for a system near Uviuy Exen.


When they fell out of hyperspace there a few hours and a lunch made out of emergency rations and bagged water, later, Ami plugged her Mercury Pocket Supercomputer into AICA and connected to her.

"AICA, I'm sending you the data of the ship we're looking for. I need you to find it."

"On it, Boss!" The starfighter answered.

SunTzu frowned, as Pilot he should be the boss, shouldn't he?

A few minutes later AICA found data about the course of the ship. Even mercenaries were traceable when they landed on an official spaceport, wrong ship name or not.

And the data gave them a vague course where they left too. A minute later AICA was back in hyperspace.

They fell out of hyperspace and for once had luck. A check with AICA's long range sensors detected a fitting ship nearby. They switched into full stealth mode.


"You really wanna do this?" SunTzu asked Sailor Mercury, while he checked the systems a last time and armed the weapons.

"No. But I still have to do it. I'd rather go home, get back to studying medicine and have kids but the galaxy as well as my friends depend on me." She sighed. "You with me?"

"This is probably the most stupid thing I did so far and Rei and Haruka will never find out about it. Of course I'm with you. That's what friends are for." He told with a slight irony in his voice.

She squeezed his shoulder from behind.

"Thank you."

He nodded and brought AICA on an intercepting course to the medium sized container freighter.


The multicolored freighter with the logo of the mercenary organisation was on a straight path that brought him to a small sized tropical world that had quite a notorious reputation as smuggler hub. What they didn't know was that a single black-grey colored A-Wing was already closing in on them as a shark would on a wounded seal.

To not reveal their position SunTzu let AICA Programm the point where the missiles would hit the ship just being shot without lock.

AICA pointed him a waypoint in his hud and he switched to the missiles.

As he reached that the point AICA shot the missiles on the freighter and they immediately dodged away to not get seen.

The missiles both hit the container ship and immediately its shields and engines turned off.

SunTzu shot towards it from above now and headed for it's small hangar. As he closed in, a single Spacefighter left the hangar not knowing where the enemy was. SunTzu waited till the snub was away from the hangar opening and shot a single concussion missile at the small fighter, turning it into a flash of short lived light.

So far so good, but now came the hard part.


With a swift move he entered the hangar from above and was greeted by at least two dozen mercenaries drawing their blasters.

AICA immediately opened fire and draw her anti-personal blaster from her downside and opened fire with it too.

"Duck down!" SunTzu said to Ami as he opened the canopy and helped AICA clear the hangar with his Subcarbine.

A few seconds later the cacophony of death fell silent, leaving nothing more than dead mercenaries.

He reloaded with a swift motion and told AICA to scan the ship for more lifeforms.

The door to the hangar opened and another group of mercenaries entered, guns blazing.

SunTzu had to duck as the blaster bolts ricocheted over AICA's frame.

The A-Wing immediately opened fire again to counter the enemy.

 

Good girl, go get some.

 

The last enemy had an Plex Rocket Launcher shouldered but all that was left from him after a salvo from AICA's lasers was an arm including shoulder, still clutching the launcher.

SunTzu got back up and jumped on the deck.

He draw a few breathes to let the force flow into him and checked the surroundings if everything was really dead. Sure, that nothing was alive again he walked back to the ship and helped Ami out of the cockpit.

Wearing her body armor and Mercury Googles she took a brief look at the carnage laying in front of her before she snapped out and analyzed AICA's Data.

"We have a lot of lifeforms on the third deck, probably the quarters. AICA, if I plug you into the freighter can you close the bulkheads leading to it?"

"Can do, just need to splice in." The Starfighter answered.

SunTzu cautiously moved up to the hangar door, weapon raised. He kneeled down behind a crate and covered Ami as she approached a terminal in the hangar, plugging in her Mercury Computer and sending the data wireless over to AICA.

A few moments later AICA reported that the bulkheads were closed and most of the mercenaries were closed in on the third deck and that the other decks had been sealed two, except for the one they were on, where also the ship's bridge was located on. Ami's guess was to search the bridge for info about the money first.

 

Only a few lifeforms lay between them and the bridge.

SunTzu got up again, walked up to the hangar door and opened it, standing at its side. As soon as the door opened blaster fire erupted from the other side and was swiftly silenced by AICA's cannons.

SunTzu moved into the corridor and took cover at the next alley crossing. Hopefully there weren't any Droidekas this time.

Mercury moved up and fell in behind him.

"Wait a second." She said. "Mercury Aqua Mist!"

Immediately cold wet mist was wafting through the corridor and limited vision to a few meters.

SunTzu moved up swiftly with Mercury close behind him. They run into two advancing Mercs that both got a salvo into their faces, leaving them dead on the floor.

 

They were halfway to the cockpit, and Ami stayed back a bit, when a large Trandoshan jumped out behind a crate and grasped SunTzu, choking him while holding him up.

Sailor Mercury created a large, pointed icicle with her powers and rushed into the trandoshan, pushing the icicle into his neck with all her force.

The trandoshan lost his grip on SunTzu as he was struggling with the Senshi that stabbed his neck and SunTzu, after a few well needed breaths, took the chances and pulled out his pistol putting a round Into the trandoshan's forehead. The humanoid went limp immediately and fell down, falling on the icicle that pushed through his whole neck then.

Ami and SunTzu both took a deep breath and nodded at each other. That was close.

 

Ami's glasses informed her over two more mercenaries rushing in and SunTzu opened fire into the direction Ami pointed him. The two mercenaries fell down dead, never knowing what hit them.

AICA reported just two more lifeforms and they were on the bridge. Also she reported that she was trying to hack into the ships surveillance cameras. The mercenaries in the quarters on deck three desperately tried to break through the bulkheads but didn't came far yet. She also reported the positions of the two enemies on the bridge. One was standing next to the door, the other one, looking like the captain or commander took cover behind a console.

They moved up to the door leading to the bridge and SunTzu handed Ami his handgun, before they lined up at both sides of the door.

The pilot pulled out a flashbang and nodded to Ami, making a three with his hand.

He started to count with his hands and by three Ami opened the door and SunTzu threw the flashbang in. Ami immediately closed the door again and they waited till they heard the loud bang. Ami opened up the door again and SunTzu entered veering to the side where the one enemy was waiting. The enemy holding his ears and SunTzu shot him with two well placed shots, while Ami moved in. They circled around the console the mercenary Captain was cowering, Guns at the ready.

A blaster came up and shot wildly into SunTzu's direction who had to jump back and get to cover. Ami rushed in from the other side, rounded the console and took down enemy with two shots.

SunTzu got back again and rushed over from his side.

 

AICA reported no more immediate threats and they ordered her to lock all doors from the bridge to the hangar.

Ami searched the captain for clues and found a data pad she connected to her computer.

She scanned for data and took what she could get regarding Intel.

 

She found attack plans, a list of personnel but unfortunately no data about the money yet. She searched more and more and, Bingo, she found the place the money was at. There was an armory near the hangar where the money was closed in.

Unfortunately the captain didn't have any keys on him. She went through the list of personnel and looked for clues for a minute.

Ami finally found the data on a mercenary that was called armorer on the list. And it was a Trandoshan. They wouldn't be so lucky, would they?

 

The blue-haired Senshi showed it to SunTzu and they rushed back to the dead Trandoshan, the icicle in his neck slowly starting to melt.

She kneeled down next to him and took a look at his lower neck. A chain with a heavy key was hanging there.

Sailor Mercury thanked Technology, Darwin, God, the Force, Moonlight, Buddha and every deity in this universe. Finally they had luck for once.

 


 

But with the icicle in the Trandoshan's neck they couldn't move the key over his head. Meanwhile AICA told them that the rest of the mercenaries on the third deck actually were reinforcing their work to get out. They somehow organized a plasma cutting tool down there and were busy cutting a man sized hole into the bulkhead.

And their run of luck was over again.

SunTzu's mind raced. He pulled out the small knife for close combat he was carrying and examined it in his hand. No fucking way he could decapitate a fucking Trandoshan with it. It was really about time to obtain a light sword somewhere.

Ami kneeled down again as he still was contemplating the gruesome act. She moved the chain and Voilá, the necklace had a closure. She opened it and showed it to SunTzu with a sour face.

He shrugged.

"You're the brains of this operations, I'm here for the killing."

 

 

They rushed over to the armory as AICA told them the way. The key really worked and the door opened. Maybe there was still luck left.

On a table two big bags were prominently placed, locked with locks. No problem for a artificial intelligence backed genius like Ami. She pulled out a hairpin from her hair and opened the lock in less than ten seconds. She took a glance in the bag, it was full of galactic credit chips.

 

Jackpot!

 

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath and then gave the heavy bags to SunTzu.

AICA informed them, that the bulkhead had been breached and the mercenaries were on the way up. They rushed back to AICA and jumped inside, just as the first mercenaries arrived at the hangar too, opening fire immediately. AICA lifted off with guns blazing and swiftly moved out of the hangar, followed by angry blaster fire.

They gained distance and took a deep breather then.

SunTzu saw, that the engines were starting up again and he flew a loop and shot two his missiles into the thrusters, destroying them completely. Too bad that the shields weren't up yet. As two gun turrets swung over in their direction he strengthened the shields, turned tails and rushed off, making the jump to hyperspace.

 


 

As soon as they were in the safety of Hyperspace the two friends broke out in hysteric laughter.

"That was pretty fucking Gangster!" SunTzu stated. "That stuff with the icicle in the Trandoshan's neck? Holy Shit Ami!" They laughed some more.

"I can't believe we actually made it out alive, especially in the end. And we have the money!" She hold up one of the bags.

The enemies ship engines were destroyed beyond any repairs so they were sitting at their location for ever or till someone brought them up.

"AICA sent an untraceable message to the fleet, give them the location of our new friends and tell them there are some trigger happy pirates on that position."

A few hours later they felt out of hyperspace near earth and speeded down to Crystal Tokyo. It was night now, but they were still way too full of adrenaline to be tired.

They touched down on the palace landing spot and grabbed Ami's backpack and the two bags of credits. AICA said her goodbye, she had being thoroughly reminded through a system override to keep utmost secrecy of the mission, before she left off for her hangar.


Ami had trouble to not run into her office but SunTzu reminded her to stay calm and inconspicuous.

A few minutes later they arrived at her office, where she locked the door and turned on all the security devices again.

She started counting the money while SunTzu sat down and guarded the door.

Almost thirty minutes later, after recounting three times, with no difference at all, they were sure. They robbed the enemy of 300.000 Galactic Credits and when Ami finished the last count and told SunTzu the amount they were jumping and cheering.

They could buy two new headhunters or even an A-Wing with that money. Or buy dozens of concussion missiles or proton torpedos with it.

But first of all they needed to make the money available for the war.

Good thing that everyone's favorite blue haired genius always thought one step further.

 

As high ranking member of the Royal Court Ami could always have someone attending the persons she sent to the Royal Bank of Crystal Tokyo. She had secretly opened a bank account for a fictional foundation, a foundation of donors that backed the Kingdom with money. All there was to do was to deposit the money without getting identified. She could say the money had been given from the donors and even could show the official quittance the palace issued for donations. Umino would never suspect something was fishy about the donations from that foundation.

She even had a letter written from the head of the foundation to the Royal Family, saying that the money was dare to help in this dire times of war. A criminal genius was lost on Ami.

They calmed down and Ami called the bank and demanded a clerk for an immediate deposit of money from some very close associates of the palace. An appointment at the bank direct was setup happening within a hour. It was 11pm.

For not getting identified Ami had a pair of black contact lenses and a real hair wig in black color, the hair reaching down her shoulders.

He checked his pistol, while she packed everything. She changed into a business attire she stored in her office, while SunTzu went over to the vehicle pool. He decided a black SUV would be the best choice, after all they were gangsters now and drove off to another side entrance where he met again with Ami. Ami got into the backseat and as soon as they were out of eyeshot of the Palace Gate, she put on the wig and the contact lenses. She also put on a pair of glasses.

"Black hair suits you by the way." He told her as they approached the Royal Bank Building.

Or was it because he was into dark haired women?

He stopped on the opposite street side of the bank and took a minute to scan for dangers first.

When he didn't notice anything unusual he nodded to her. She took the two bags and went to the bank.

Fifteen minutes later she left the bank again and got back into the car, this time she took the passenger seat. SunTzu immediately drove off and took a detour through Crystal Tokyo Town to cover their tracks.

"I would have needed less time but the Manager needed to show me his safe and everything first. But… mission accomplished!" They high fived and Ami took off her disguise, still looking thrilled.

"Let's go home, I… I need to see my husband. You know… for reasons." She said, blushing and stuttering.


Looks like our blue haired genius seemed to have developed a kink for non legal spy stuff. And i had high hopes that at least she was completely normal.

SunTzu drove the car back to the palace and said goodbye to Ami. It was late and she wanted to see her husband. He'd take a taxi or so home later on. He needed some time to calm down anyway.

He headed over to the dining hall and had a light dinner. On the way out he bought a bottle of Doc Pepper and went outside to the courtyard. Sitting down on his favorite bench, looking over to the Crystal Tower with a half moon hanging beside it in the sky he lighted a cigarette. After a deep draw he toasted to the top of the Queen's Residence where there was still light shining.

Don't worry Neo-Queen Serenity, with Friends and loyal Soldiers like that, winning this war will be a piece of cake.


 

Chapter Text

 

Just enjoying the night, SunTzu sat there for another while, drinking up his soda, smoking a few cigarettes.

A gust moved the leaves in the three behind him.

"Saturn, little fairy of death. Shouldn't you be in bed?"

Something up from the tree landed behind him, almost without making a sound.

"How did you notice." She asked, surprised he could make her out.

"I felt your presence through the force. I'm getting better with this stuff."

"I see. Where have you been today?"

SunTzu thought about what to say for a moment.

"Officially I was on a R&D Mission with Ami, but honestly Kiddo, you wouldn't believe anyway." She just nodded unmoved. "You girls stole away for patrolling the city again?"

"It's not that we STEAL ourselves away."

"Yeah, yeah." He got up and extinguished his cigarette before putting it in an nearby ashtray. "C'mon, I'll get you home."

He ordered a taxi to the main entrance of the palace and they walked over. Saturn took a moment to detransform and now was wearing dark sweatpants and a hoodie.

 

Taking a taxi with a long glaive probably would have caused some questions.

 

When they arrived at the gate the taxi just rolled up. SunTzu wished the gate guard a good night and quiet duty and they left.

 

The taxi took Hotaru home first. SunTzu let the taxi stop a few houses away from the Meiou's House.

"Good luck not getting caught." He said to Hotaru, who sat next to him and just pulled out her headphones. She was listening to music the whole ride.

"Oh, don't worry. I'm good at sneaking back in. Although I'm pretty sure Mom knows anyway." She shrugged. "See you tomorrow SunTzu."

"Sleep well Hotaru."

She got out and the Taxi left for SunTzu's place.

 


 

After another short night SunTzu waited for Ami the next morning.

She rolled up and the Pilot got in, they greeted each other.

She was beaming with happiness but looked a bit tired, no sign of tenseness anymore.

SunTzu understood, Ryu you lucky man.

 

They left for the base and onn the way Ami explained that she will instruct the booking of the money from the fictional foundation's account to the official kingdom's accounts afterwards.

That meant the next combat mission was paid for.

 

The two Guardians parked near the Military HQ and entered Ami's office. When all the safety measures were up and running she ordered the transfer of the money, with a fake telephone number registered on the fake foundation. She even used a voice decoder for a different voice.

 

When she hung the telephone up, both friends high fived. It was still hard to believe they really pulled that one through.

They decided to celebrate with breakfast at the dinning hall and headed over for it.

 

He just sat down, allowing himself some eggs, bacon and hash browns today, when someone dropped down on the place next to him.

"Eggs and Bacon without me? I have to say I feel kinda hurt Topper." Rei came from his left.

"You better eat well Lieutenant, your due for training with us afterwards", came in from the right as Minako sat down next to him.

Rei stole one of the crispy bacon strips from his plate and ate it.

"Hm, could be more hot." She said after eating it completely.

He sat there frowning, overwhelmed by the sudden attack from the two Senshi.

"Hey girls, be nice to him, he had a long day yesterday." Ami tried to intervene.

"Yesterday was yesterday, he owes me a training. And with not being available yesterday the ass whooping today will just be doubled." Rei said with a stern voice.

"I never said something about training yesterday the day before. Plus I never said a tone that I'll spare against the two of you."

"Oh that. Since Rei complained that you just run away yesterday, to your ominous space mission with Ami, I decided to take part too. In my role as leader of the Senshi." Minako explained her participation.

"Leader of the Senshi? I thought the Queen is the leader of the Senshi." SunTzu said.

"Actually, Venus is our leader, since the Queen rules this Kingdom and we are her guardians." Ami explained.

SunTzu's eyebrows went up surprised. He wouldn't have guessed that.

The two girls on his sides leaned down closer to him.

 

So much for not teasing anymore, right Mina?

 

"Usually we two don't need guys to have fun." Minako hushed in his ear.

"But you'll be the exception." Rei whispered from the other side, both had their hands on his knees now.

The girls leaned in even closer and had their heads behind his head now, their grips on his upper leg tightening.

"I can't wait to tag team the Lieutenant Rei. Do you think he has enough stamina for this?"

"There's only way to find out." Rei replied and the leaned back again. With a sudden move they both stole the rest of the bacon from his plate and got up.

"See you later at Training. And enjoy your last meal." Minako shot him a wink and they left, laughing.

 

Ami, on the opposite side of the table facepalmed in a mixture of cringe and being annoyed.

"I'm sorry." How many times did she apologize for this girls to him already?

He just sat there quietly for a moment before he sighed.

 

Did Dathomir have a steady climate or seasons? And if, was riding a rancor in winter cold or did they emit enough warm?

 

"I'll get more bacon." That said he stood up and got back to the food counter.

After breakfast he wished Ami a nice day and went to the flight center, changing into a combat pant and a T-Shirt.

 

Let's train then.

 


 

SunTzu got back to the palace and went to the training room the Senshi trained.

It was empty.

He sat down on one of the mats and wrote Rei that he was waiting for them.

Then the Force-Sensitive started meditating.

 

Let's find out if the force will be with me for this.

 

A few minutes later the door into the room opened and Sailor Mars and Venus strolled in, wry smiles on their faces, apparently pretty sure they'll defeat him easily, especially since they were two.

The Pilot was still sitting there, eyes closed, meditating.

As they approached the ring his eyes snapped open. With a swift move he let himself fell on his back and then jumped up straight, standing there now.

The girls twitched for an instant. Looks like he was serious about it now.

 

He bowed down, greeting the two Senshi.

"Glad the ladies could make it. Ready to dance?" He asked them.

The two women looked at each other and grinned, challenge in their faces.

"Ready, when you are." Rei told him.

Venus stepped forward, smiling the smile of someone who was sure of his victory.

"Oh SunTzu. I admire your sudden self-confidence. But you just trained against a demigoddess and not against a real goddess yet."

Whatever that meant, he was ready.

"Whenever you want Sailor Venus." He motioned her to attack.

Trying to end the fight before it even began she summoned her Venus Love-Me Chain and tried to tie him up with it.

What she didn't consider was that he dodged the attack, grabbed the chain and pulled her over to him with a swift, force-backed moved. She basically swirled into his arms, her back landing onto his chest.

 

Wait, did her butt hit his lower body harder than it should have?

 

His face was next to her.

"And now I could just break your neck and it would be over for you." SunTzu whispered in Venus's ear.

"Oh, maybe that was just part of the plan and I wanted to see how it feels in your arms. Or close up to you. You should cover your face now." That said she kicked her leg over her head in his face, he barely could cover it as fast as it happened. As he tumbled back, Rei suddenly attacked from his flank, trying to high kick him too.

 

Distract and attack from two sides.

Clever girls.

 

He blocked Rei too and jumped back to gain some distance to the two women. But the two Senshi immediately followed in and attacked him furiously with legs, hands and elbows. Even with force sharped reflexes he had problems blocking all the blows.

When both rammed their fists into his face and he could barely block with his hands he tumbled a bit back and decided to jump away to get some room to breathe.

All three were warmed up now. And speaking from the grin on their faces they enjoyed their fight.

After a deep breather SunTzu decided that attack was the best defense and rushed toward the two girls. He showered the girls with a series of kicks and punches trying to separate one. The girls held against it tho and waited for an opening to attack. While he definitely delivered the harder punches, they were faster.

Sailor Venus saw in opening and tried to ram her high heel into his ankle.

Unfortunately for her it was a trick he already knew and he swiftly pulled his foot away and when she stricked he slashed at her leg while he was blocking a punch from Rei at the same time.

She tumbled and decided to take a jump back to regain her balance.

 

In the meantime SunTzu and Rei traded blows, trying to open the others defense.

Both were completely going out now, locking in on each other's eyes.

Rei's eyes were burning with passion and for a fracture of a second he lost himself in them. That millisecond of not taking care was enough for her to land a punch on his cheek, making him stumble back. He tried to counter with a leg sweep but she jumped up and kicked at his head from above.

The combination of short skirt, visible bodysuit underneath and her speed made him forget to dodge and the force of the kick made him fall down.

Minako just stood at the edge of the ring now, observing the two fighters. Mars always has been a fierce fighter but going In like that was rare for her, even for her.

 

With the ferocity Rei was showing she was expecting her to bare her incisors soon.

When he hit the ground he answered with a leg scissor and pulled her leg away under her, making her fall down too.

Before he could react any further tho, she jumped forward and landed on him. She was smoking, that last move came surprisingly to her and made her rage out.

She held her fist up, Fire dancing over it and was about to strike him in the face with it. He was so surprised that he couldn't react immediately.

"Rei!" Venus yelled from behind.

Rei snapped out and the flames on her fist immediately vanished.

She still had one hand on his shirt's collar and seemed to be a bit shocked, that she zoned out that much.

SunTzu just laid there and looked in her eyes, a small trickle of blood running down from his lip.

They're gazes met and the universe froze for a second, while she sat on top of him, eyes piercing into the soul of each other.

"I'm sorry. I lost my poise." She quietly said, closing her eyes.

"I have that effect on people." He replied and his gaze wandered to the ceiling, trying not to indulge the view of Sailor Mars in her Senshi Outfit sitting on top of him.

"I guess that was a victory for Rei." Minako announced and walked up to them.

 

"Although I wouldn't mind if we both would be sitting on top of you." She teased SunTzu as she kneeled down and checked his lip.

"She got you really good there. Wait here, I'll get something for it." She got back up and started to walk to the door. Rei nodded and got up too.

"You rather stay here with him till I come back, not that he has a concussion or something else too." Venus instructed Rei, her medical education kicking in, as the adrenaline from the fight flowed away.

 

He laid back and closed his eyes. He could feel the blows he took now and tried to block any pain with the force.

"I'm really sorry." Rei stood beside him, holding her arm with the other hand on the elbow. She genuinely looked sorry.

"You got quite a punch Sailor Mars. Enough to knock down even a demon like me." He replied, trying to smile but that made his head hurt.

She tried to smile too but it didn't really worked. She worried a bit that this time she really overdid it. She didn't know what came over here but she wanted to show him how capable of a fighter she really was. Or was it rather to proof that she didn't need anyone, especially a man and not even him, to take care of her? Or was it a way to punish him for the butterflies she always felt in her tummy when she was with him lately?

 

A way to keep him away? I can't tell anymore.

 

He sighed and slowly sat up. Rei got next to him and kneeled down to support.

"How do you feel?" She asked and he hold up a thumbs up.

"Wait a second." The Senshi got over to a sink and put water on a paper towel lying there. She got back and pressed it onto his hurt lip.

"Thanks." SunTzu pressed his lips together and glanced into her face.

"Next time, can we train together and not against each other." He said, with the hint of a smile. "Or go back to shooting something. It's less dangerous ." They both shared a smile.

 

Venus came back with a cool pack and a small flashlight.

She checked if he got injured or had a concussion but everything was alright.

After some time pressing the cool pack on his lip he got up, washed his face, and the blood away and drank some water. At least he went down fighting. The two Senshi seemed to feel a bit uneasy how everything got out of hand.

"Hey, it's all good you two. Don't forget the enemy will go out all the way too. This is a lesson Pluto told me and that's right." They both nodded. "Just do me a favor and promise me that you fight like that against the enemy too. If you fight like that, I don't see any reason we won't win this war."

They both nodded again and had to smile. No hard feelings from his side fortunately.

 

He checked his chrono.

"Unfortunately I have to leave you know, I'll have a training flight soon. I'll see you around." He smiled and started to walk away.

"Good fight SunTzu." Venus told him as he walked off to the door.

"Don't worry Venus, next Time I'll make sure you both get your fair share." He replied and waved goodbye, while he walked out of the door.

 

 

SunTzu had a soldier on duty drive him to the Flight Center and changed into a flight suit. Haruka was already there.

"What the hell happened with your lip?"

"The goddesses of War and Love decided to tag team me." SunTzu replied.

"Sounds hot. I see you didn't win." Haruka said.

"Less hot than one would think, especially for the fire fist of Miss Hino. And actually it wasn't a skill reason I lost."

"Yeah, yeah. One day. One day Mate. You and me. Too bad I won't be the first to draw blood."

"Talking about that, how about hitting the range up soon. Or are you afraid Makoto will tease your shooting skills?"

"A well trained warrior like me shoots excellent! Give me a time and date and I'll proof it to you."

 

They left for their starfighters, Michiru was out today, she had a meeting with Ami and other intelligence personnel the same time the flight training, navigational nature again, was.

 

 

The exercise took hours and when they got back it was already evening. They decided to have dinner together and after getting ready again they hit the dinning hall up.

As they sat down to eat, Michiru already was home, Hotaru joined them. Happy to see them she greeted them and soon joined them with a tray of food. Surprisingly it was not just junk food and candy.

She noticed SunTzu's surprised look.

"I was raised to know, how important healthy food and a balanced diet is. Alone for my performance as Warrior."

Nice when teenagers were eager for something, but weird when it was about fighting. But who was he to judge.

"By the way SunTzu, i heard you had a rather tough sparing fight with Venus and Mars today. What about sparing with me?"

"Those were two adults at once. And it almost escalated. I don't wanna hurt you kid." He replied to her. Haruka observed them while eating. This would be interesting

"No, really SunTzu. I think you're ready to spare against Sailor Saturn too." It was Setsuna approaching the table with tray of food also. "Or are you afraid to get hurt again?"

 

Wow, even Mum wants Lil Miss Reaper to fight me.

 

"Yeah, don't let her hanging like you do with me Mate."

Thank you Haruka, I really needed that knife in the back.

"You know what, okay. I'll fight you. Come see me tomorrow morning in the training room."

He knew how this would end, Saturn was an absolute death machine in a compact frame.

 

Why all of these girls are so eager to make me feel pain. And why didn't I bought my ticket to Dathomir yet?

 

Hotaru enjoyed the rest of her dinner with a broad grin from then on and even took a selfie for the Sailor Guardian Group of the four. Everybody was smiling and showing a V-Sign except a certain Bavarian Pilot. He looked kinda grumpy and sported a bruised lip.

At least Haruka was so nice to take him along in her Ferrari. Nice car, although he expected her to demand the car a bit more, but she was strictly keeping on the speed limit.

 

 

At home he wrote some mails with Colt, the 7th Fleet was still out and fighting basically nonstop in the New Frontier. They kept their ground but the Cowboy was mad as hell that Coruscant was reacting so passive to the attacks. There were enough fleets on standby but nobody sent over any real reinforcements. SunTzu understood that and although the death of Marvin was a shock for the whole Task Force he was eager to get out and fight the enemy again.

Just as he was about to go to sleep he got a message from Minako.

She asked how he was and if he was angry at her and Rei, decorated with lots of Emojis.

He wrote back, that he wasn't angry at all and that they needn't to worry.

She seemed to be glad and wished him a good night. Surprisingly no teasing or ambiguous language was used this time.

He wished her a good night also and then went to bed. Tomorrow would be another exhausting day, that was for sure.

At least he got a decent amount of sleep in. And boy, did he fall asleep fast. Yesterday had really exhausted him.

 


 

Ami picked him up, as usual and off they were to the palace. His lip almost looked normal again but Ami still excused the girls again. At least she didn't get out and bowed as it was manners here.

They arrived at the palace and Sailor Saturn was already waiting for him.

Great he had hoped that the universe showed merci and she caught a cold over the night. Well, let's go down in a manly way at least.

She said good morning to Ami and him. Her mood was way to good for what she probably would do to him later.

Ami excused herself and told SunTzu that she might need him soon for a R&D Project again and left.

 

Awesome, if I survive today the next suicide mission is just around the corner.

 

He sighed. And then he turned around to a happy looking Sailor Saturn.

"Mind if I have breakfast first?"

"Of course not. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." She replied.

He left for the dining hall, a few steps later he noticed she was following him.

Probably she wanted to prevent that he still used the chance to flee.

SunTzu sighed again.

His last meal consisted of porridge, OJ and some fruits. At least he'd die full of healthy food, the maggots eating up his corpse later on would probably be very thankful.

 

Y'all welcome.

 

Saturn sat down next to him, Glaive slung around her back, blade carefully secured not to hurt someone.

Her breakfast consisted of the same stuff he had on his tray. Good girl, like she said, a healthy diet was important, gives you enough strength to beat up the guy you've been waiting to beat up for weeks now.

"I have a propose for you. Why we don't spice the whole fight up with a bet between us?" She told suddenly while eating.

"A bet? It's a trap, right?" He replied.

"No, not at all. If you win I'll leave you in peace and stop my night patrols. If I win I want a favor."

"And that favor would be?"

She kept quiet for a moment, thinking about how to put her answer.

"I let you know before we fight, okay?"

Hm, her being home at night safe would make him feel better somehow. Her following him around wasn't that bad actually, he got used to it.

"Then we talk about it before the fight."

She wanted to protest but he hold up a hand to shut her up and she kept quiet, looking a bit agitated.

 

 

After breakfast they went over to the training room and even SunTzu got a bit excited, how would he do against such a skilled Warrior.

When they entered the room Michiru and Makoto where there sparing against each other.

The followed the fight, that was pretty well-balanced, neither one of the women could take an advantage.

After a couple of minutes, while both were getting exhausted, they called it draw.

The two Senshi shook their hands and congratulated the other before they laughed because they should have called it quits minutes ago.

 

The four greeted each other.

"So today, is the day? The Soldier of Silence versus the Doitsu no Akuma?" Jupiter said, nodding her head. "I'll definitely have to watch this one."

"As someone who participated in raising her I should intervene but I know she's been looking forward to this." Neptune said. She took a look at Saturn. "Are you sure you want to do this. I don't like the fact that you two fight each other."

"Don't worry Michiru-Mama, it's just a training fight." Saturn smiled at her friend.

They went to the ring and lined up opposite to each other.

"So Hotaru, what's the favor you want if you win?" He was curious to know what could be so important to her.

"Well… If I win… I want you to train me to become a pilot!" She yelled the last words, it seemed to be very important to her.

He exploded internally.

 

How can she? Did she forget what happened to Marvin just a few days ago?

 

He wasn't furious with her, he was angry about the thought that she would do something as dangerous as flying combat sorties.

"Not gonna happen! Last word." He shook his head energetically and left the ring.

"So I'm gonna ask Haruka then. Or Odegana." She replied, looking disappointed.

"Do you have any idea how dangerous flying Starfighters is? Was the last missions not proof enough? Michiru would you please tell her too?"

Michiru looked at him and then before saying something sighed and looked at SunTzu.

"Listen, I really admire the fact that you want to make sure she is safe but this girl has been fighting all her life so she knows about danger. And if she set her head on something she does it. I'm sorry." She shrugged her shoulders and looked apologetic.

 

So much for help from mother number two.

 

"Let's alter the deal. If you win, I'll teach you how to fly. If I win, you never ever mention flying again. Deal?" He supposed to the girl.

She hesitated a moment.

"Okay. Deal!" She gripped the glaive harder and got ready.

 

She had a glaive but he had some new tricks up his sleeve too. He'd been secretly training Force Abilities at home. And right now, he had a purpose, to make that girl not start a pilot career that probably would kill her one day and this purpose focused him so much more to the force. Maybe it was also because there were Senshi in the room. He got the suspicion lately that when he was around the Senshi he could tap in the force more easily. Maybe it had something to do with purpose, after all he was the Guardian's Guardian.

He looked to his right side, were wooden training staffs were stowed in a mount.

"You prefer weapon less combat SunTzu?" Hotaru asked him, swinging her Silence Glaive.

He smiled at her and hold out his arm in direction of the staffs. One of them rumbled and suddenly left off and flew into his hand.

 

Very Nice. At home I only achieved that with the TV remote. Seems Master Durron and the other Jedi were right, size didn't matter.

 

Jupiter's and Neptune's Jaw dropped. They didn't know that he was capable of something like this.

"Oh, I'm okay with weapons." He answered to Saturn swinging around his staff, while she stood there forming a sly grin. She always wanted to best herself against a force user, competing against a worthy opponent for once.

Both opponents bowed to each other, Sailor Jupiter was to give the signal.

 

Contrary to before he wasn't there to get his ass kicked anymore. He really wanted to win now, to safe Hotaru from herself.

 

A sixteen year girl shouldn't be a starfighter pilot. Who does she think she is? Jaina Solo?

 

Makoto gave the signal and immediately both fighters rushed towards the other, their weapons clashing together in the middle of the ring.

He tried to open her defense, she was way stronger than she looked. He tried to kick her knee but she blocked with a slight move the Silence Glaive. Using the momentum she swang it around in a whole circle trying to use the energy to snap his staff out of his hands. He jumped back and she tried to hit him from above with the blade. She was pretty serious about winning.

SunTzu let himself fall down so she didn't hit him and while she immediately stabbed after him he rolled away and got back up through a jump, immediately aiming for a hit in her flank. She blocked with a quick move with the glaive but he already attacked with the other end of his staff. She countered with a kick into his flank, making him twitch on his right side and jumping back again.

A moment later he recovered and got his defense up again and both opponents started to circle each other trying to find an opening. Sailor Saturn was grinning ferociously and SunTzu had a smirk on his face too, both wanted to win. Hotaru for her dream of becoming a Pilot, SunTzu for Hotaru's safety.

 

Time for a change of tactics he thought. He took a running start and pushed the staff into the ground to push himself feet forward towards her, trying to bring in his higher mass. She could block the impact but she tumbled backwards as he landed on his knees and tried to slash at her legs. She answered with a Glaive slash at his leg, he barely could dodge with a front roll, trying to kick her face, followed by a handstand roll backwards to safety. Both were sweating now.

"Not bad, i wouldn't have thought old man was still such an acrobat." She said looking at him, still sporting her animalistic smile.

"And I never thought a small girl like you had that much of strength. But enough with the talking."

At the same time they attacked each other again and slashed after each other in a speed that made it hard to follow the fight.

Their weapons clashed together again after a series of blows. As they were both struggling to gain the upper hand and their faces were near to each other behind their weapons he asked.

"Why do you want to be a pilot so badly?"

"Why not? It's great to fly!" She said and span around trying to hit him from the other side, but he blocked again and the weapons crossed again.

"No really. It's not just the flying for you. The freedom? The solitude maybe?" He asked through clenched teeth.

"I can destroy a planet on my own but how good am I in a galaxy spanning conflict when I cannot defend my friends and my Mother from afar already." They slashed at each other again, crossing weapons again.

"But you. You are. You can fly afar and bring the battle to the enemy, never even let them come near us. And with a small fighter you can almost slip in anywhere unseen."

"So you're doing this because you want to protect your loved ones and this solar system?"

"Why do you think I still fight as hard as I can although I've been doing this literally even before my birth?"

He looked in her eyes for a moment. A small glow was visible in her iris. He nodded.

"So, may it be then."

He pulled all the strength he still had in one slash that hit her glaive so hard that she tumbled back.

While she recovered he still looked at her and then, suddenly, threw away his staff. She was already attacking again and the point of the Silence Glaive stopped a few centimeters before his throat.

 

Both stood there for a moment, heavily breathing and visible exhausted.

"I hope this fight was worthy for a warrior like you." He said following the weapon from his throat to her face with his eyes.

She pulled away her Glaive and took on a safe stance, holding the weapon upright in her arm, before she bowed down.

"It was. Thank you for the fight. I appreciate you didn't hold back." She straightened up again and walked up to him.

They both shared a firm handshake. A handshake that only people that traded even punches with each other understood, the handshake of warriors that found their counterpart.

 

"Good work Hotaru. But believe me it won't be easy to become a pilot." He said with a smile.

 

What is that feeling? Am I proud of her?

 

"Thank you. I'm eager to learn. But don't think that I call you Master or Senpai or whatever."

They both shared a laugh while the other two Senshi carefully approached the opponents to ask if they were okay.

They were, nobody was hurt, SunTzu didn't bleed this time either.

 

Who would have thought Rei would kick my ass harder than Hotaru.

 

 

The four of them left the training room and while the Senshi stayed back at the Palace SunTzu left for the Flight Center to shower and change clothes. He said he'd be back in half a hour. Since he had time left he decided to let AICA know, that Hotaru was to learn to fly on her.

"I already know that. She messaged me 17 minutes ago. I'm happy, Hotaru will be a great pilot, I suppose." The Starfighter stated. At least the Ship was happy and already knew, there were more people to tell the news too and to convince about the plan. There still was a chain of command after all.

He told AICA he'd be back for training later and left for the palace again.

 


 

Of course Hotaru, now detransformed and wearing a goth outfit with a skirt and a long hoodie as well fitting jewelry and make up.

 

Great, perfect outfit to beg for a cost expensive education as Pilot through various parts of the command chain. Not to forget about her mother either.

 

At least she was looking more happy than he ever saw her before, stark contrast to her clothes.

And of course Chibiusa was waiting beside her, wearing a short pink checkered skirt, sneakers, thigh highs and a large black hoodie also.

Well, if Royalty could run around like this also there was at least a chance they'd succeed with the request.

 

He stepped up to the girls, both beaming at him now.

"Hotaru, really is becoming a pilot now?" Chibiusa asked, chewing on gum, but seeming quite interested in the answer.

"Of course, the Lieutenant told me he will make me one!" Hotaru declared.

"Hotaru, this is not only my decision. There are superiors that have to approve it first. It's not cheap to make a pilot, AICA is unique but even she needs fuel and ammo. We need gear for you." He explained, with a severe look in his face.

"Oh, don't worry. We'll take care of it. I'm Royalty as you know." Chibiusa replied, making a bubble gum bubble afterwards.

"And what about your mother? Does she know about your plans at all?" He asked Hotaru further.

"She does. She knows for a long time already. She's not too keen on it but she understands my motivation. Mom is a warrior too after all."

"Okay, so i guess we start with the most important parts first. Your parents Chibiusa and Artemis as Commander of the Taskforce. And we need the stuff for your theoretical training."

"No problem. AICA already told me which books and documents I need, I got them on my datapad already. And let us take care of the Royal Couple and Artemis. Give us a few hours."

That said the girls tried a salute and walked off.

 

Well, we'll see how this will work out.

 

He had time to wait so he took it easy, got himself a coffee to go at the dinning hall as well as a Bacta plaster for his flank at the sick bay of the palace guard and sat down on his favorite bench in the courtyard. The Bacta worked fast and the coffee was rather strong, paired with a cigarette on this fresh and mixed April morning Life didn't seem to bad. Apart from that he didn't know anything about who he really was, that he lost his mentor and that there was a war going on. But for once all that had to wait for a moment.

He put in his headphones of his phone, Life was good.

 

It didn't take an hour till the two teenagers were back.

"Dad wasn't really happy with it and Mom was unusually quiet but they gave their okay."

Chibiusa said, giving the permission from the Royals.

"Artemis wasn't amused but Luna intervened and we're good now." Hotaru said.

 

That was way too easy.

 

He pulled out his phone, took a look at Hotaru while dialing a number and turned away.

"Doctor Meiou."

"Greetings Doctor, it's SunTzu. I'm sorry to disturb you but there's something I have to talk about with you."

"Just a moment." It took a moment but then she was back. "Lieutenant, I heard the news already."

"Hey, I just wanted to make sure you're really know what's up and are okay with it. Hotaru wants to start the training to become a starfighter pilot."

"This i know. I don't like it much but I understand her motives. And if she puts her mind on something she usually doesn't let up anymore." Setsuna let out a sigh. "If you're calling to make sure, if I allowed I do. Even if I don't like it much."

"Okay, just wanted to make sure that you know. Excuse the inconvenience Doctor."

"I appreciate that you checked in with me. Have a good day."

"Dito, have a nice one."

"Oh and SunTzu? Thank you for taking care of Hotaru. I hope she wasn't too ruthless in the fight."

"Don't worry, it was all right, hell of a fighter tho."

"She is. Goodbye."

"Bye."

He hung up and looked back to the girls, noticing a sour looking Artemis walking up to him.

 

Uh-oh.

 

He straightened up and saluted his superior officer

"Lieutenant, a word please."

 

Artemis lead him a few meters away and started right up.

"Lieutenant SunTzu, as you aware Sailor Saturn wants to start pilot training. With you as instructor. And I don't like it any bit." SunTzu stood there straight, face expressionless, ready for the ass-chewing.

"But apart from my lovely Wife that will choke me in my sleep if I disappoint any of the Senshi, the Royal Couple ordered me to authorize the whole thing." Artemis straightened up himself and adjusted his uniform's tie. "Therefore, First Lieutenant SunTzu, I order you to take over the education of Cadet Meiou as candidate for Spacefighter Pilot. You have your orders."

SunTzu saluted again and stayed in the salute till Artemis left.

 

"Cadet Meiou, on me!" He shouted towards the girl when Artemis was out of sight.

The girl came running and stopped a few meters before him.

She looked up to him.

"Cadet Meiou, the Admiral just authorized your pilot training." He saluted. "Welcome to the Galactic Alliance Starfighter Corps."

The corners of her mouth went up high and she tried her best of a formal military salute too.

"And now, go and fetch yourself a flight suit or at least the hint of a military uniform. Training starts this afternoon." He ended his salute as she stormed to Chibiusa to take her to get a flight suit. In the midst of running she stopped again and turned around, remembering military etiquette.

"Yes Sir!" She yelled and saluted again before hooking in under Chibiusa's arm and leaving.


 

Chapter Text

 

SunTzu got to Flight Center and arranged some stuff for Hotaru's Training.

 

Hotaru of course was over punctual and arrived in a flight suit that was quite too big for her.

She didn't mind it all it seemed though.

 

Today's flight was another navigational training flight, this time near the Northern Mariana Islands, because of the proximity to Guam and it's nearby US Airbase flight routes there were a bit more strict.

 

The exercise lasted a few hours and they even had the chance to fly in formation with an US-Stealth-Bomber that was approaching Guam and asked for the gesture between Allies.

 

Hotaru loved every minute in the air, also she was eager to learn anything she could and constantly wrote stuff in a datapad she was carrying with her.

 

SunTzu told her for three fundamentals that needed to strictly be uphold by her if she wanted to train under him.

First and foremost safety. Everything should always be done with the necessary caution and preparations.

Second, consistency. You decided for training, you stick with it. No stopping, no unnecessary distractions.

And third, but important. Heart.

Fighting in a snub was hard, there's thousands of ways to die in space or sky. But with dedication and a purpose one would stay the course and live to see another day.

He told her to internalize this three fundamentals.

 

As they landed Haruka and Michiru were getting ready for their flight.

They both heard the news already and congratulated Hotaru and welcomed her on board. Haruka seemed a bit melancholic though.

"I knew the day would come where you would start to cut your own way. But I'm a bit thrown off guard, it came so fast." She said and a sorry looking Michiru put her arms over her.

"Awww Haruka-Papa, don't be sad. Don't forget that we will spent more time with each other now again." Hotaru said with a warm smile, trying to cheer her up.

 

Like already stated, they get big so fast.

 

Hotaru and SunTzu went for an early dinner and talked about a rough schedule for things, when Ami called him up. She wanted to see him ASAP, regarding an R&D-Mission.

Why was it so goddamn hard to either have a night of good sleep or food in peace on this planet?

He excused himself with Hotaru and and prepared to leave.

"But where are you going?" The dark haired girl asked her new superior.

"Special Stuff for Ami, you know. Some Real Goon Shit." He winked and walked out of the room. Deep down he hoped Hotaru wouldn't be too heartbroken if her instructor would vanish this night.

 


 

A few minutes later the pilot was in Ami's Office, while outside the sun slowly set down.

 

"I got another money transport. And this time I even have their exact course. They're heading for Palanhi. But there is a catch in it." Ami started, showing him a map of the nearby systems where a red dot was moving on the Shwuy Exchange towards Palanhi.

"Let me guess, this time it's guarded by a rogue legion of Stormtroopers inside a Star Destroyer." SunTzu sighed, why did he even show up.

"No. It's a small freighter but the individuals on board are bounty hunters. Around five of them."

"Are you kidding me? How do you think we can take out five bounty hunters. Let me guess they're also with the guild and even if we don't die there every bounty hunter in the galaxy will chase us afterwards."

"That is a Pro for us, they're not with the guild."

"At least something. But for real, we cannot do this on our own, we need help. Someone who can fight."

"And someone we can trust."

"Makoto!" Both yelled out at the same time.

 

Ami called her up and luckily the brunette Senshi was still on base.

She told her to come over ASAP.

 

"What do you mean we're stealing money for the war? What did you guys take?" Makoto asked them both frowning.

"No, Ami is serious. The kingdom needs money for the war effort and we make sure there is some extra cash coming in." SunTzu replied.

"There's a few hundred thousand Galactic Credits ready to be taken from the enemy." Ami explained.

"Only a bunch of bounty hunters stands between it and us." SunTzu chimed in. Let's play with open cards.

"And you need help to get rid of them?" Makoto asked.

"5 vs 2 doesn't cut it. But with you, things would look different. And our chance to survive would be higher." SunTzu explained the situation with a severe look.

"You'll take this dance with me Mako-Chan?" Ami asked and SunTzu looked at her inquiringly.

 

What the hell did she mean with that?

 

"Looks like the tall girl has to save the night then. I'm in, but just because it's you two. That whole thing is insane."

"I said the same." SunTzu commented, nodding approvingly.

They agreed on a general plan to attack the ship on planet side this night, maybe they could surprise them.

 

"It's around five hours to Palanhi. We have a problem so, I can't pack both of you into AICA, we just have room for two inside her for such a long time. Any ideas, what we can do?"

"I'm not gonna fly in an starfighter for five hours anyway!" Makoto replied, shaking her head vigorous.

"We'll take one of the shuttles we have. I'll give out the orders. Please tell me, you can fly them." Ami asked SunTzu with a pleading glance.

"Of course. I probably could fly the Far Side if I'd have too." SunTzu shrugged as it wouldn't be nothing.

"Good, that's great. Makoto you take care of weapons we need. We got room now. I'll get the organizational stuff done. See you at the building entrance in thirty minutes, okay?"

Mako pulled out a phone and called Rudy.

"Rudy, I need the DL50 and and a suppressed Sniper Rifle with subsonic ammo. No question asked, okay?"

 

 

Makoto and SunTzu left, and on the way to the vehicle pool, they saw Rei, having a cigarette outside of the palace.

"Hey, where you guys heading?" She asked them curiously.

"Mission for Ami, no time. Sorry!" They both told her.

"Hey TopGun, you have to stop doing secret stuff with married women. That's weird, you know." She mocked him, while they passed.

They just gave her a dark stare.

 

What the hell were those two up to now again?

 

They took a Humvee to the Military Base. Makoto dropped him at the Air Base and he went into one of the hangars, where a Lambda-Shuttle, one of two of the Kingdom.

He went straight to the cockpit and started the preflight checks.

Half an hour later they were picked up by SunTzu at the palace landing spot and they left earth.

 

 

Five hours and around thirty minutes later they landed on a spaceport on the capital of Palanhi, a few landing spots away from the bounty hunter's ship.

It was night and SunTzu and Makoto were wearing the dark Multicam Black Camo while Ami wore a civilian attire.

She was supposed to scan the area before the other two attacked.

 

The other two stayed on board of the Lambda as Ami headed out. She mingled with the people in the spaceport and didn't stand out. The landing spot of the Bounty Hunters was a bit aside and secured by a wall. She saw that a house nearby was overlooking the wall though. She was wearing a tiny earpiece for communication and a small camera, disguised a brooch, on her clothes.

The house was open so she stealthily entered it and went up to the roof.

She could oversee the landing spot with the Corellian freighter sitting on it. One guy in a painted Storm Trooper Armor but without helmet. He was obviously guarding the ship.

Way better for them than an automated blaster.

 

The other two watched on a screen in the cockpit what Ami filmed.

"What do you say? Sniper Kill from that building and then guns blazing into the ship?" SunTzu asked the Senshi turned Special Forces Captain.

"A possibility but let's be subtle and try something different. See that on the wall here." She pointed on the wall of the side of the landing port. "Bet these stairs are on the other side as well. We could take out the guard silently and then slip inside the ship and try to hit the rest silently as well."

SunTzu nodded impressed, that was a way better plan.

 

She radioed in to Ami, as SunTzu mounted a suppressor on a HK45CT Pistol.

"Ami, I have a plan."

 

They sneaked out the shuttle and moved stealthily through the shadows and darkness, till they arrived at the wall. There were stairs onto it also and they climbed them up. While SunTzu gave overwatch with his Block 2 Rifle Makoto silently climbed down and hid in the shadows.

A double click in her earpiece was Ami's signal. She slowly moved to the gate of the landing port. She took a quick glance to know where the guard was and then started to tumble. It made the impression that she was drunk and she moved inside the walls.

She headed over to the guard.

"Excuse me… I'm looking for my ship. I'm a bit… I drank too much. Maybe you can help me." She stumbled forward and fell into the man, who catched her.

"Oh, thank you. I slipped… hihi."

"Hey Girl, you should take care. Maybe you need to sleep, I'll can get you to my bunk." The coarse man said with a smile, revealing uneven teeth.

She straightened up and stepped back.

"Maybe you need to sleep." She whispered as Makoto came out of the dark and with a touch of her fingertips electrocuted the man, catching his body and slowly dragging It into the shadows.

 

So far so good.

 

SunTzu climbed down too and closed up to them. The ramp of the ship was down, so SunTzu hung his rifle on his back and draw his pistol. He also reached for a flashbang.

Makoto put a hand on his hand at the holster with the grenade.

"I have another idea. Ami, Supreme Aqua Thunderbolt. SunTzu cover us for a moment."

Ami nodded and both slipped into the darkness, they vanished into a storage room for space ship maintenance. A few moments later they came out again, now transformed.

 

"Really?" SunTzu whispered as they came back.

"We have to transform for some stronger attacks." She shrugged.

Both Senshi cautiously and slowly moved up to near the ramp, staying out of sight from it.

"Sailor Mercury, Sailor Jupiter Double Attack Supreme Aqua Thunderbolt."

Ami casted her mist into the starship that was immediately electrified by Jupiter's Lightning.

Anything within a radius of a few meters was dead now. That was quite impressive. He cautiously went up the ramp of the YT-1760 Transport, pistol drawn, Jupiter put a hand on his shoulder to immediately drag him out if the need would arise.

 

Inside lay two dead bodies, one a devaronian slumped over a chair looking towards the ramp, with a long blaster rifle pointing toward the ramp.

The other one, a Rodian, was lying dead on a sofa in the middle of the lounge of the ship.

He stepped forward into the ship, ready to shoot.

Makoto tapped his shoulder and he looked back to her, where she motioned to her left side. Then she nodded towards the front where the cockpit was.

He veered left while she sneaked forward.

He went for the nearest door and secured the room, a storage room, it was empty.

Second door was a refresher and also empty. While he headed for door number three, Makoto reached the door to the cockpit and opened it.

A man was sleeping in the pilots chair. A electric shock from Makoto's hands made him never wake up again.

 

Meanwhile SunTzu scanned room number three and bingo, it was the quarters. A man was sleeping in a bunk bed there, he woke up when SunTzu walked up to him but was immediately sent back to sleep with two shots in his head.

The ship had been cleared. SunTzu went down the ramp again and waved Ami inside. While SunTzu stood watch at the ramp the two girls started looking for the money.

 

The Trio found a large, heavy backpack in a secret storage compartment near the cockpit. It was out of pure luck, that Makoto noticed the casing on the wall was off a bit when she walked up to the cockpit again.

They glanced inside, it was full to the brim with Credits. Makoto shouldered the bag and they left the ship. SunTzu noticed that the ship was getting filled with fuel right now and he pulled the hose out, the fuel still spilled out and soon formed a puddle under the ship.

He motioned for the girls to move on. The girls climbed up the wall again and waited there, making sure the coast was clear.

 

When SunTzu was satisfied with the amount of spilled fuel he followed the Senshi back up the wall. When he was there he told them to go on to the shuttle, when they were down the wall he pulled his rifle from his back and got ready to shoot. He aimed for the puddle of fuel and pulled the trigger. The bullet immediately ignited the fuel and the flames shot up the ships fuel tank. SunTzu was already on the move down the stairs when the ship exploded internally, lighting up the night sky on the space port.

Okay, now it was really time to go. He rushed back to the shuttle, where the girls already were waiting. He ran straight into the cockpit and jumped into the pilot seat, while he hung his rifle over the copilot seat.

The pilot immediately made the start preparations, closed the ramp and lighted up the engines.

"Strap in Ladies, we're going home!" He yelled out of the cockpit. The two women secured the bag and strapped in.

SunTzu told the space port control that he had important GA Personnel on board and would take off immediately for safety reasons. Twenty seconds later he had permission to take off.

 

He shot off in the sky and as soon as they could, he jumped to light speed.

 

As soon as they were in hyperspace the girls started counting the money. They stole 420.000 Galactic Credits. He heard wild cheering from Makoto, who was throwing credit chips in the air, laughing.

This went way easier than expected.

 


 

When they made the next jump to the CTE the girls were sleeping in their seats.

He looked at the chrono, when they would land the sun would probably be already up.

He set an alarm, that would wake him up before they fell out of hyperspace again or if something would be wrong and closed his eyes too.

 

One hour of sleep wasn't much and he was really regretting having slept at all, he felt way more tired than before. Some force meditation and a energy bar helped at least temporarily.

 

 

It was around 07:30 when they landed in Crystal Tokyo. He let the girls out at the palace and flew over to the Shuttle's hangar. Ami would take care of depositing the money while Mako would bring the weapons back.

SunTzu overgave the Shuttle to the ground crew for inspection and left for the palace again. He went into the Military HQ but Ami was gone already and her room locked. Either she went home or to the Bank.

 

He was tired, but fortunately they had coffee in the HQ's lobby.

He took one to go, went outside and sat down at his favorite bench and lighted a cigarette.

God, he was tired. And training on the range was about to start soon.

"Long Night?" Setsuna asked him, walking up from behind.

"Way too long." He gave her a tired smile.

"So, you're the instructor of my daughter now. What's your impression?"

He took a draw from the cigarette and exhaled.

"She's happy for the chance. And seems eager to learn. I think she'll be a great pilot one day." This was his honest opinion, although he awaited some pushback from her.

"You know my opinion. But I understand her motivation and I'm glad she's so happy." She sat down on the bench too.

"Did I told you lately that smoking is unhealthy?"

She smiled and he gave her a half smile back.

Suddenly both their mobile phones vibrated. Surprised they took their phones out. It was a message from Usagi, telling them to immediately assemble at the throne room.

 

Quiet moments after an almost sleepless night were overrated anyway.

 

He got up, downed the rest of his coffee and extinguished his cigarette in the ashtray. Then he motioned towards the palace and looked at Setsuna.

"Shall we?"

 

 

They were one of the first ones to arrive. Shortly followed by Makoto, who looked tired but didn't act the way.

"Dip and Energy Drinks Team 1 provided me with. Proven combo."

 

Ah yes, the Royal Cardiologist might like to have a word with you dear Mistress of Lightning.

 

He sat down behind a pillar in the room and closed his eyes a bit until someone kicked his shoe sole.

Who else could the kicker have been other than a certain short haired blonde, wearing a flight suit.

She looked down on him.

"Are you really sleeping in the throne room? Wow, you're on time for once and still fuck up." SunTzu opened his eyes and sighed while he straightened his back.

"Good Morning to you too my dear friend. How are you this morning?" He replied sarcastically.

"Mate, you look like shit." She let him know.

"Ask me how I feel."

"What the hell did you do all night." Haruka asked him, now looking curious.

SunTzu waved with his hand.

"You wouldn't believe anyway."

The last one to actually appear was a yawning Ami.

And as soon as she was halfway into the room, the meeting began.

"To cut things short. We're heading out again, tomorrow morning we move out. The Fleet is starting a counter-offensive and we will support it." Artemis told the attendees.

 

About time that something happens.

 

When that short meeting was over it was announced that today would be used for preparations. That would mean early off duty and finally some sleep.

 

He left the throne room together with a hyped up Makoto and a yawning Ami.

"The money is in the bank. And I'm going home now. " Ami let them know, that she deposited the money.

"I don't understand what you guys have. I'm feeling totally awake." Makoto said, the words rushing out of her mouth, her eyes wide.

"If you have twenty minutes, we can share a taxi Ami." SunTzu told.

"Sounds good, I'm not able to drive anymore to be honest."

Rei and Mina came over.

"What did you guys do all night, that you're so tired now?" Rei asked them.

"You wouldn't believe anyway." All three of them said at the same time.


 

Chapter Text

Sleeping is bliss.

SunTzu stayed most of the rest of day in bed. He needed a break, the last few days of sparing with the Senshi and the Raids for Credits took their toll on him. He wasn't twenty anymore and his body was aching when he finally got up.

Word was that they would patrol around the CTE, Shwuy Exchange and other routes around the Core Worlds. Since the enemies' decreased gathering Intel was one of their primary missions.

Terra Squadron was now lead by Odegana and had a new Pilot, one of the crew members of the Companion who had flown speeders and sky hoppers before, Terra was deployed as close by fighter screen for the Far Side now which meant lots of work more for SunTzu and the two Senshi in the Voyager. Especially now that Reconnaissance was a main part of the mission. Better to get some rest while he could.


The next morning he was up extra early and took a run through Juban before sunrise. His heart was heavy, the last weeks finally catched up to him mentally too. Marvin's death, the responsibility for Hotaru, the near death experiences. Hell, even Rei almost gravely injured him.

He tried to run it all out, to run away from it. It didn't help much though.

As the sun slowly rose up he was already at the base and entered AICA's Hangar in his flight suit.

He let his hand glide along her sleek black frame, while he walked down to her tail. Galaxy's most advanced fighter ever. And he was it's pilot.

"Good Morning Beautiful" he hushed as it would be pillow talk.

"Good morning. I heard we're going back to space today." AICA came on.

"We will. And we'll be busy, prepare for loads of long range recon missions."

"Boring." The highly advanced Artificial Intelligence was on point. SunTzu smiled.

"My voice recognition detects a divergence in your voice. Are you okay?"

"Bit of Weltschmerz I suppose." He answered with closed eyes and a sad smile.

"It's been a ride since we came here, wasn't it." The snub told. Sometimes it was frightening how human she behaved.

"It was." He caressed her frame again, his gaze staring into a void.

The canopy opened.

"How about a ride?" The Starfighter asked him.

It was at least worth a try.

He entered the cockpit and strapped in.

A few seconds later AICA hovered out of the hangar while SunTzu informed the flight center. Special training flight, because a special Top Secret Update, a R&D Mission.

SunTzu was pretty surprised that this actually worked. Thank you Ami for the idea.

And away they were. Almost vertically and in a matter of seconds they broke through the clouds. As soon he was sky bound he felt better. The world could suck it, he was in his element now.

He ended climbing with a looping and raced AICA back to the ground again, catching her off the ground a few meters above Tokyo Bay just south of Crystal Tokyo Island. Racing through under the bridges in the bay he headed off for the pacific.

Soon he raced over the remote islands south of Honshû. Fast and low level, after he passed the islands he veered off and greeted a convoy of Japanese, US and allied Warships going for a maneuver in the pacific.

Just letting the neighbors know we cool.

He raced past an American Aircraft Carrier a few meter afar it's bow, waving with AICA's wings.

The crew on the flight deck cheered and waved at him.

As soon as he passed, he put all energy into the thrusters and rushed back, heading for Tokyo again. His sorrows were like blown away. Flying was his life and up here nothing could catch up to him.

"AICA, music please. Loud!"

Time to wake this city up.

A certain raven haired Miko was standing on the main plaza of Hikawa shrine, oddly talking to two Crows that sat on her shoulders and giving them tasks for when she was gone. A rumbling in the heavens made the three look up, a single black Starfighter pierced through the sky above them.

"Up early this morning Top Gun." She whispered and smiled, her gaze following the ship.

SunTzu flew a looping around the Tokyo Skytree and headed back to the bay.

He flew on his head as he passed some of the bridges.

Wait, was that a white Ferrari down there. He threw AICA back on top and veered left.

"Good Morning. That was you passing over Tokyo Bay, right? We're on the Juban Bridge right now." Michiru said into her phone as SunTzu called her. Haruka was trying to make him up the sky while she was steering the car over the bridge.

"I know. Look onto your nine." He told her.

As the half french Senshi looked out of her side window AICA rose up next to the bridge.

Michiru put down her phone and opened the window, waving out of it.

He gave them a quick salute, made a barrel roll to his left and then accelerated again.

 

A short time later he was circling over the landing strip and he saw a black haired girl in a orange flight suit that was too big for her standing near one of the landing spots.

 

It was 07:30, so someone was even there before the school bell rang. Good girl.

He hovered down next to her and opened the canopy even before he touched down.

 

"Hey Miss Murder, want a ride."

Hotaru beamed out a bright smile and literally jumped in onto the backseat. Immediately they took off again and took another round over the city, passing Michiru and Haruka again as they just were to leave the Juban-Crystal Tokyo Bridge.

 

This time Tokyo Tower was part of the show and after their circle around it SunTzu asked Hotaru for her phone. They had the Shibuya Skyline in the background when he took a Selfie of them both from his pilot seat.

 

"For the group. There's probably not one pic from this perspective and with me smiling yet." He gave her a wink.

Shortly afterwards they passed over the Bay again and headed back to Crystal Tokyo.

"Can we fly over to the tower? I wanna wake up my Waifu." Hotaru asked.

He didn't know who she meant by this but why not.

He raced over the palace and circled In on the Crystal Tower.

Good Morning Crystal Tokyo.

He stopped and hovered near the tower.

"Top floor, right side." Hotaru instructed him where to go.

He flew more near to the tower and hovered where Hotaru sent him too.

He couldn't see inside but from the position of the rooms it had to be the Royal chambers. But the other side from he was the last time. He hoped it wasn't the king's workroom, Endymion might end his piloting career very fast and very terminal and turn it into a kitchen help career when he was disturbed at his breakfast.

They were hovering there for a moment, when Hotaru pulled out her phone and called someone. It rang for quite a time till someone answered.

"Wake up Bitch!" Hotaru greeted the Callee.

"Hotaru? What time is it? I'm trying to sleep more but one of the starfighters is making so much noise. I'm sooo tired." It was Chibiusa.

"I know, look out of your window!"

A small cry of surprise followed.

"There's a starfighter in front of my window." A surprised Chibiusa stated.

"Yes, I got flown up here just to say good morning to the Waifu!" Hotaru told her with a big smile.

"That's so dope Hotaru. We could do tons of stuff with a starfighter."

"Yeah, I know. Anyway, I think we should get going. Not that your parents get angry."

"Later Besty!" Chibiusa said and they hung up.

SunTzu slowly hovered away and turned AICA sideways slowly veering away from the tower.

King Endymion was sitting on the sofa in the Royal living room, having his morning coffee and reading the newspaper when Lieutenant SunTzu's Ship hovered around the tower. Behind him the Queen was walking around, tooth brush in her mouth and trying to figure out where to start with the preparations for their departure. She didn't notice the ship.

The King stood up and walked up to the Crystal wall, which let him see everything outside but prohibited to see inside.

The ship turned away and accelerated, heading back to the military base.

He stood at the window, gazing at the vanishing starfighter.

From behind the Queen asked him:

"Why you're looking out the window?"


They landed briefly at the Airbase and SunTzu got the little bit of stuff he wanted to take with him. He didn't have much personal belongings and his biggest possession was with him all of the time anyway. He didn't tell anybody but he kept all the pictures that showed him with his friends on a secured cloud, being accessible from AICA or his phone.

He next stop was the palace where they took Hotaru's stuff and took care she had some flight suits.

 



The Far Side left Crystal Tokyo on point 10:30 am, escorted by Terra Squadron, the Voyager, the Companion and AICA. So far everything was according to schedule. A short distance behind the moon the starfighters landed in the hangar and the Taskforce jumped into Hyperspace.

Rei was waiting for them in the Hangar.

She walked up as SunTzu gave Hotaru a hand to get out.

Rei shook her head dramatically.

"Top Gun, Top Gun, Top Gun. Where will all this end with you? First you wake up the whole city of Tokyo in the early morning and now you trade my place for going to space for a younger girl."

Hotaru immediately blushed, the fierce Warrior of Fire, that only listened to herself most of the time, had always been one of her role models and now she was afraid that the fellow Senshi was jealous.

"You know Hotaru doesn't forget herself, going as far as risking to hurt me, while training with me. And she's also way more nice to me than a certain other black haired girl." SunTzu answered and made Hotaru blush even more.

"What do you mean with being more nice. As if i wouldn't be nice with you! Tell me the month, week and day, hour and minute I wasn't nice to you?"

Hotaru looked like she wished the ground would open up and swallow her.

"Look, you even make Hotaru uneasy with your behavior." SunTzu stated.

Hotaru defensively put her hands up.

"I'm sorry if you guys are fighting because of me. I didn't want to make you jealous Rei."

"Jealous?! Why should I be jealous?" Rei asked, seemingly surprised.

"Because it's very much looking like that you guys are dating."

"We're not dating!" Rei and SunTzu yelled at her at the same time.

"You know what Hotaru? Let's have a coffee together. I don't know what Topper Harley here is telling you but we're definitely not a thing. But I'm excited to see what he told you that make you think this, because it's ridiculous."

Rei pointed to the door.

Hotaru looked at SunTzu and he nodded, although he seemed kinda agitated.

The two girls walked away, with Hotaru looking back again if it really was okay. SunTzu nodded again, encouraging the girl to follow Rei.

"Hey Rei. Try to not injure Hotaru by accident, okay?"

Her answer was a middle finger over her shoulder.

Okay, maybe that last one was a bit over the top, but it's not like she needed to curb herself a bit too.

He went to the Flight Command Center, that was located under the bridge of the Gladiator and got his orders for today there.

AICA and the Voyager would take turns with Long Range Reconnaissance Missions in advance for the Task Force.

Great, not even with a wingman to have someone to talk too. He hoped that Hotaru was available for most of the flights but he knew that she was to start her simulator flight training on board as soon as possible, probably already today.

This was going to be a long day, and night. His first flight started in the afternoon and he was scheduled with an even longer patrol in the night.


He got back to his starfighter and took his stuff, Hotaru was there also when he came back, taking her stuff from the fighter also.

"I'm scheduled for patrols later. You up?"

"I can't, my simulator training is starting this afternoon." She smiled. It was a big step forward for her and he was happy for her too. Not long and she probably would take her first real flight lessons with him.

"Good, we'll have you flying AICA in no time. And than we can share this lame stuff."

He smiled and she gave him a small smile back.

"By the way, how mad is Rei? Should I lock myself away in AICA or is at least not life threatening for me to walk around the ship?" He was expecting the worst actually.

"I guess she's okay, you guys have a weird way to talk to each other, especially since you're not in a relationship. That last comment was a bit harsh tho."


Sounded better than he expected. At least she probably wouldn't burn him to ash when she would see him the next time. Hopefully.



They left for their quarters and before he went off to his room he told her he'd have lunch afterwards. She couldn't make it because she wanted to check her notes before the simulator again. She was an eager learner, he appreciated that.

Soon as he left for the cafeteria she pulled her phone out and started typing a message.

The cafeteria was pretty packed and when he finally had his food and found a small table he had to hurry.

Maybe one day he would find time to actually enjoy a lunch.

As he rushed his food down, Rei appeared at the table.

"This seat taken?" She asked, her tone being very neutral and calm.

Not good.

He silently motioned for her to sit down, the table was so small, that they would have had problems if they both had food trays.

She sat down, crossed her arms and legs and looked at him, as if she was waiting for something.

Yeah, I get it.

"I'm sorry, if my last comment was over the top." He told her.

"And?" She asked, awaiting more than just a sorry.

"And what?" He replied. "I said sorry."

"And what about my flight into space?" She narrowed her eyes. "Last time didn't count you said."

That was a few days ago but right now it felt like it's been ages.

"I didn't forget, don't worry. I'm just a bit busy these days. And today Hotaru was already with me. I have to take care to prepare her for her own flying too."

"Oh yeah. Top Gun is Flight Trainer now." She showed the hint of a smile.

"Yeah, I'm making quite the career here. But Cadet Meiou is an example student also."

She shook her head and smiled.

"And before you say something now, of course I never would fly maneuvers more risky than necessary with her inside my fighter." SunTzu told Rei.

"I know. You usually keep the stupid ideas for yourself. And I don't think you would ever willingly put someone of us into danger. Even if that someone is about to hurt you." Rei looked into his eyes, a hint of sadness in them.

"Rei, I have to hurry, because I got to get going for my mission, and I desperately need a cigarette before I lift off. Don't worry, as I said I'm not mad about accidently having been hurt in the heat of training."

She nodded slowly as he got up and put away his tray.

"Mind If I accompany you?"

He shook his head.

Not at all. By now you really should know how I feel about your company.

 

They went to a smoker area near the hangar.

"You seem tense." Rei said as SunTzu was smoking his cigarette up fast.

"Not a fan of these missions. They take to long. I'm glad I got AICA for company at least."

"See, it ain't that bad, at least you're not alone." She smiled at him and hoped this would cheer him up.

"Hum… I guess you're right."

They finished their cigarettes and Rei accompanied SunTzu to the hangar also. He climbed into the cockpit and got ready to lift off. She climbed up next to him.

"Have a good flight. Be safe out there."

"I'll probably die of boredom. But I appreciate your concern."

"Of course, you owe me a flight." They shared a smile. "See you later Pilot."

He saluted playfully and returned the smile.

"Diplomat Hino."

The Senshi stepped down again and he closed the canopy.

Her gaze followed him as AICA flew out of the hangar.

And his gaze was on her in the rear mirror till he couldn't see her anymore.

 


 

As expected the whole patrol was boring like hell. Why he had to patrol an area they already patrolled a few days ago was behind his understanding. But orders are orders.

 

After he came back he immediately went for his room to get some sleep in in advance.

 

Four hours later, 10pm Crystal Tokyo Time, he was back in space. The Far Side was now patrolling on the Shwuy Exchange and SunTzu had the pleasant mission to scout ahead.

If it hadn't been for AICA and the ability to play music inside the snub he probably would have flown voluntarily into a asteroid after the first two hours. Almost every ship using the hyperlane used the hyperspace so not much was going on in real space.

Around 1am CTT he got an incoming call.

It was Rei. What a pleasant surprise.

"Crystal Tokyo Office for boring Tasks, how may I help you?" He answered the call.

Rei laughed heartily.

"I see you're having fun. Where are you?" She asked him, sounding a bit tired.

"Wait, I'll look out the window to see where I'm at. Oh, yeah as I thought. Nowhere. I'm nowhere. And it's dark."

"Awww, good that you have AICA to take care of you. I'll tell her to leave the light on tonight." Rei giggled.

"That's far too kind. Whatcha doing?"

"Don't get jealous but I'm going to sleep now. Being a diplomat and debating stuff with governments in this part of the galaxy is almost as boring as flying senselessly through space alone."

"I appreciate that you called. Don't get cocky but this was the highlight of my night so far. Leading in front of AICA's explanation how she will promote Mongolian Throat Music to the galaxy." They both laughed.

"Sure, I had to make sure that you're not doing stupid things now that you're alone. Good night SunTzu."

"Good Night Rei, sleep well."

They hung up. The next two hours were way more easier to bare than the ones before.



SunTzu actually was out there for seven hours since someone decided that he should scout another hour. Haruka and Michiru wouldn't relieve him, rather the Taskforce would take a small detour to a mediocrely important planet on the exchange.

He jumped back to the Far Side and requested permission to land.

Stinger Jordan himself answered him and told him to standby. That moment he knew there was no more chance of a speedy landing.

After ten minutes he started Meditating. Ten minutes later he gave up. He turned on the music to something uplifting and while he waited he began to hum and sing along.

 

Here’s a little song I wrote

You might want to sing it note for note

Don’t worry, be happy

 

After he ended that song a laughing Commander Jordan came on the radio.

"After that singing performance you have permission to land Lieutenant."

He checked his comm channels, they were open all the time and sending, he just gave flight command a serenade.

 

How bad could this night still get?

 

He landed, gave AICA over to the maintenance crew and rushed to bed, hoping nobody had the idea to record this.


 

Chapter Text

Four hours.

Four fucking hours was all of the rest he had when someone banged on his door.

With half closed eyes and just wearing boxer shorts he opened his door.

"What is it with soldiers that you guys always have to run around half naked when off duty?"

It was Makoto and she was wearing combat clothes. Not a good sign.

After contemplating to close the door in her face again he decided that she probably would hurt him afterwards. And she was strong after all.

"Sorry, that I actually tried to sleep. What's going on?"

"Dude, Pants first and talk afterwards."

Minako wouldn't have mind.

He turned around and searched for pants and a shirt. Which actually wasn't that easy because he was still half asleep.

Makoto was already sighing when he came back.

"Again. What's going on?"

"Ami sents for us. She said to tell you R&D."

And again he contemplated just to close the door but Captain Kino was ahead of him.

"Follow me. I'll bring you to her office."

The things I do for money. Even if it's not for mine.

A few minutes later they arrived at a room in the center of the ship, located near the replacement bridge room. She made sure to be able to work when everything else was already falling apart. Ami being Ami at her finest.

They knocked on the door and it took almost a minute until Ami told them to enter.

The Genius made sure the door was locked and a whole battery of electronic safety measures were working again, before she motioned the two to sit down.

"I got a new lead on some of the money. Anyone ever been to Mrisst?"

SunTzu and Makoto looked each other. Makoto looked not less tired than SunTzu.

"What organization are we talking about this time? Full fledged Combat Fleet? Rogue Warlord?"

"Neither. Local crime syndicate. From what I learned, they're supposed to use the money to grow as organization, trying to take power over the the planet with corruption."

"Where's the money located at?"

"In a warehouse, in a suburb of the capital. Give me a second, and I can give you the exact location."

She typed in her computer and on her desk a holoprojector sprang to live.

It showed the planet and zoomed into a certain point.

"I can even get a live feed of the warehouse."

The camera zoomed in some more and soon a clear view of the warehouse came insight. Some guards patrolling the outside were visible.

"What's the plan Makoto? Wait till nightfall and stealthy approach? We could climb up the roof and then try to sneak in." SunTzu asked the Special Forces Officer.

Makoto looked over to Ami and then to SunTzu.

"Pilots." She shook her head. "It's a warehouse and those are regular criminals. Let's not be more subtle than we need to. How much training did you have with Machine Guns?"

"I like how you think. But this time we're taking AICA. Ami you stay here and give overwatch." SunTzu stated.

Mako didn't look happy and hesitated for a moment.

"Fine, but fly easy, will ya? I have to shoot people and if I'm nauseous I can't do this properly."

Makoto and SunTzu went to the Armory where she got her TL-50 Repeater and SunTzu took a M249 Light Machine Gun, both guns completely decked out of course.

They put them in large bags and left for the hangar, Ami arranged all the necessary orders and twenty minutes after they left Ami's office they were on the way to boost the crime rate on Mrisst.

The trip took a little bit more than three hours and after some twenty minutes Makoto fell asleep on the backseat.

Guess her fear of flying was healed. Wish I could get sleep in too.

He probably could with AICA overtaking the flying but he wanted to stay awake if anything would come up.


Mrisst was a mid-sized jungle planet and SunTzu wasn't very keen to fight in the climate. Internally he thanked the criminals for having their headquarters in the city and not the jungle.

Makoto's plan was simple. Fly in, drop at the front door and shoot down everything moving before they could react. So basically what SunTzu did that other night in the Tokyo Harbor. Just with even more firepower and without even waiting to be attacked.

As they entered Orbit he woke up Makoto.

"Where are we, I must have napped in."

"Napped in? You slept over two and a half hours!" He told her, shaking his head. "We're entering the atmosphere of the planet."

"Awesome. Take AICA down to one of the gates and let her cover us while we get the guns from the transport compartments."

"Very well then. AICA you heard the Lady."

"Yup, proceeding to light up a warehouse of criminals. Again."

"What does she mean with again?" Makoto asked suspiciously and then she remembered something. "Ha, I remember now. You were the guy that smoked up that warehouse full with thugs down in the docks. I knew it."

"Actually Bat-Wing here did most of the work." He patted AICA's console while Makoto shook her head.

"You know what I like about criminals?" Mako asked him.

"Hm?"

"They're not combatants, so no basic laws of war goes for them."

"That's messed up. Although you're right."

"Says the guy that kills thirty Yakuza on ball night."

She has a point tho.

They swooped in fast and AICA touched down with drawn Blaster right in front of the south gate of the warehouse.

The guards outside immediately raised their weapons but were greeted immediately by the overwhelming firepower of the starfighter.

While AICA mowed them down with her self defense blaster her laser cannons took aim inside the storehouse and opened fire too. Just like last time they mowed down anyone she could track.

The canopy opened and Makoto and SunTzu jumped out, running to the back of the ship and opened of the storage compartments.

Makoto took her heavy blaster and moved up. Without caring for cover she opened up too and joined in AICA's wall of deadly light.

SunTzu followed, bringing the machine gun up and pulling the trigger, joining in also.

He had to adjust his stance because the recoil but he did his best to overlap Mako's arc of Fire and while Makoto emptied the enlarged energy cell of the heavy repeating blaster, AICA stopped firing.

SunTzu tried to do the same but the squad assault weapon he was wielding let him down and jammed after half of his box Mag.

"Fuck! My gun is down." He yelled over to Makoto, trying to let her know over the sound of battle.

"You're shitting me! Alright, try to fix it, I'll cover!"

SunTzu kneeled down and opened up the gun's ammo feeding charge.

He wasn't used to this and took accordingly long.

Finally he could fix it, just right in time as Makoto's energy cell was empty.

Using bursts in wide arcs he covered her while she reloaded.

As she had her gun back up they both let out another long burst and then laid down to cover, waiting for the answer of the enemy.

No reaction came.

They briefly glanced at each other.

"Go, I'll cover!" Makoto ordered him as he got up again, weapon raised and carefully moved up.

He got up to the gate and took cover on the side of the entrance.

"Covering!" He shouted to Makoto, letting her know to move up.

She took cover on the other side of the entrance and aimed down the entrance again.

SunTzu moved forward and entered the building, so far nothing was moving. He went to a row of crates and took cover, aiming down.

Makoto moved up and took the next best cover In the front of him.

As Mako covered SunTzu, he moved up again and got down beside her.

"AICA, take a scan and tell me how many lifeforms except us two you can detect." SunTzu called AICA in over his chrono.

A few moments later the ship radioed back.

"Inside and around just you two. I got two tangos leaving the scene. You want me to get them?"

"No, stay put. We're gonna look for the money now."

They swarmed out and carefully checked the building to see if anyone was still alive. Every enemy was dead.

Overwhelming firepower and speed of violence for the win.


They began the search and Makoto called him over after a few minutes. He just found a crate full of explosives. Better not smoke a cigarette while searching.

Beside the corpse of a Gamorrean that was split in two, upper part still holding its war axe were five big bags.

"Don't you think it smells like pork roast here?" SunTzu asked, sniffing around.

"Ewww, that's so messed up man." She said with a disgusted face.

"What?" The pilot asked.


She opened one of the bags. It was full of Credits.

They both looked at each other and grinned.

Makoto called Ami.

"Ami, we got the package. This time counting credits will take a while."

They grabbed the bags, SunTzu threw one over his shoulder and rushed back to AICA. Guns slang over the chest, a bag in each hand it was quite demanding to get them to the snub. They packed up and took off.

"AICA, put a laser target on the middle of the building."

"Done."

"Launch a concussion missile at the target."

"Affirmative."

A missile shot away and turned around, crashing into the iron sheet roof of the building and a second later the building vanished in a gigantic explosion, leveling it.

AICA rose higher as a big cloud of smoke arose.

 

"What the Hell was that for a missile?" Makoto asked looking back at the former warehouse.

"They had some explosives stored there. Figured it was better to take it out. That was way easier than I thought. You're lucky charm when it comes to criminal acts Captain." They laughed as they entered the atmosphere and rushed into space.

 




Three hours later they landed on the Far Side, Ami was already waiting for them.

 

The canopy opened and the two Guardians stood up.

"Hey Ami, we got your delivery. Might want to help us carry it."

They got out and opened the compartments where the bags where stored, pulling them out.

When Ami saw the five brimmed bags her eyes widened. It was way more than she expected. That had to be more than a million credits. She thought about something for a moment.

"Okay, this amount of money will raise suspicions."

SunTzu threw one bag on his shoulders.

"Maybe it's time to come clear and tell Usagi the truth."

Ami hesitated, not knowing what her close friend would say about the rather unusual ways they collected money for the kingdom.

"Fine, follow me. Let's hope the Queen and King have a good day."


SunTzu took three bags and Makoto two, Ami lead them out the hangar, obviously nervous.

They went all the way up to the Royal Quarters, with a few breaks. Those bags were heavy as hell.

 

For the last part of the journey they took a elevator up to the top floor.

When it opened, Ami noted the Guards on the floor to leave them alone.

She knocked on the door.

 

Chibiusa, wearing a pink sweatsuit opened.

"Ami. Hi."

"Chibiusa, are your parents here?"

Usagi appeared in the door to one of the rooms. She was basically wearing the same outfit as her daughter and no make-up.

"Usagi-Chan, can we enter?" Ami asked her, still nervous.

"Of course, what's wrong? What happened?" The Queen asked her friend.

Ami entered and motioned for Makoto and SunTzu enter too.

 

The other two entered as well and nodded as greeting. They walked up to the low standing table in the middle of the room, a sofa and a chair were around it. They put the bags on the floor and the table. It was relieve to not have them to carry around anymore.

Ami closed the door and looked at Usagi, Chibiusa was standing behind her, curiously looking at the bags.

"You might want to sit down Usagi." Ami said and motioned to the sofa.

The same moment Mamoru appeared, wearing his usual King Outfit, except for the sword and the armor.

"What's happening here?"

"Please Mamoru, take a seat too."

They moved to the sofa but her curiosity got the best out of Usagi and she opened one of the bags.

Her jaw dropped.

"This… This bag is full of Galactic Credits." She looked up to Ami. "Where does this come from?"

Ami explained the whole thing how they got the money and where the last donations came from to the Royal Couple and her daughter.

"Damn, Ami that's Gangsta. I wouldn't have thought of you as such a Goon." Chibiusa stated after Ami finished.

Usagi sat on the sofa, hands clenched together, obviously looking for words.

 

It was Mamoru that chimed in first.

"It's war. And we need every credit we can get. I shouldn't approve of this but if we stay real about it, it's legitimate. And we need that credits."

Usagi looked at her husband. She sighed, admiting a ethical defeat.

"Okay, and I trust you guys that you got the money from criminals and enemies only. The GA would have confiscated it also."

"Exactly. It's basically the same. And yes, as German I'm aware that I shouldn't talk about spoils of war. But even I already know that we need more credits." SunTzu explained.

"Exactly. We need more equipment and personnel." Makoto chimed in.

"Fine, but this stays between the inner circle and is top secret. How would it look if we would officially order people to rob the enemy."

"Fine for me." Makoto nodded.

"How much is this?" Usagi asked.

"We haven't counted yet." Ami stated. "May I?"

She opened a bag and started counting. Even with everybody involved, at least in the beginning, Chibiusa and Usagi gave up pretty soon after they miscounted their part and fell into a battle of words against each other.

After over half an hour they were done, before them lay 1,2 Million Galactic Credits.

SunTzu let out a small whistle.


Afterwards the hid the bags in one of the Queen's wardrobes.

 

Ami stayed back to talk further with Usagi, while SunTzu and Makoto got ready to leave.

As the pilot was almost out the door, he turned around.

"Does anybody know if they serve pork roast somewhere on this ship?"

"Ewww! Goddamit, I already told you that was messed up Lieutenant." Makoto replied as she pulled him out of the room on his collar.

 


 

Chapter Text

 

Makoto and SunTzu hit up the cafeteria, they didn't had any breakfast yet and it was afternoon. Killing a warehouse full of criminals sure makes you hungry also.

 

Today there were burgers on the menu, just the right after half a day of looting the enemy and dismembering bad guys.

Also ain't nothing better than burgers when you just survived a raid against a ten to one ratio enemy rate.

A beer to go with the burgers would have been nice though.

It didn't take long and Sailor Pluto joined them.

"Ah SunTzu, I was looking for you. I thought we could use the time for another sparing match but Ami just told everybody you're off for the day.

 

Thank you besto friendo.

 

"Yeah, I'm sorry. I didn't get much sleep and just came back from a R&D Mission for Captain Urawa. But I'll make up for it, as soon as I can."

Pluto seemed a bit disappointed and changed into her Ice Queen demeanor.

"No problem. Just let me know when you find the time." With that she was off.

"Huh? She seemed to rather be disappointed now." Makoto stated in between bites.

"Oh, I think she enjoys kicking my ass. As the rest of you Senshi. Maybe a bit more than the rest."

"Is that so." Makoto's face showed the hint of a smile. "I heard you're doing quite well along fighting along her."

"Practice creates masters." He stated and shrugged, he was too exhausted to think about it.

"Not bad by the way. Given her strength and abilities."

SunTzu just shrugged again.

 

After lunch they discreetly brought back their guns and gear and SunTzu went to sleep for the rest of the day.

He did a bit of exercise in the evening and went back to his room. Before he went to bed again, Rei sent him a message stating that he shouldn't forget about his debt with the flight to her.

He let her know, he'd take her with him the next time he could.

 


 

The next morning a meeting was scheduled for the inner royal circle. He got there after getting up early and hitting up the gym. Fresh out the shower, wearing one of the Taskforce's uniforms he went to the Command Center.

He was one of the first, just Artemis and Luna were there before him.

He greeted them and sat down.

The next one that showed up was the king and the two man greeted each other with a nod.

Bit by bit, the room filled. The outer Senshi showed up and sat down in front of him.

He asked Hotaru how the simulator training was going and she told him it was going very well. The instructors told her that she's a natural talent.

 

That's my girl.

 

She would be busy with the simulator for the next few days so joining in for a flight of him was unfortunately not possible. Both were a bit upset by this, teacher and student enjoyed the others company in the cockpit.

 

Haruka was pissed, they almost had nonstop Recon Missions and it bored her to death. SunTzu understood, probably the same was waiting for him the next few days at least. Haruka's mood was abysmal today.

"I don't understand why we have to do this meeting here, so bloody formal also. Why we cannot just met at the Royal Quarters and have some tea without the formalities."

"First Lieutenant Tenoh, may I remind you that you're an officer of the Galactic Alliance as well as a Member of the Royal Court of the Crystal Kingdom and therefore a role model for adequate formal behavior." SunTzu told her in a very formal tone.

Haruka slowly turned her head around.

If looks could kill he could switch places with the Gamorrean from yesterday now.

"Haruka, be nice. Neither me nor SunTzu like these scouting missions but it is what it is. And he is right, we're officers and should act accordingly."

Haruka turned around again, keeping quiet but frowning.

 

The rest of the Senshi strolled in and Artemis started the meeting when everybody was sitting down.

 

He explained the attendees the current situation in the galaxy. Ami, as head of Intelligence, joined him in the front and gave them information and let them all know what the predictions were about the enemy's next move. They were pretty vague but at least the offensive that hit the universe seemed to be mostly over.

"If you ask me, they just tried out our defenses. And the Galactic Alliance pretty much failed miserably, with exceptions like the Death Squadron and Seventh Fleet."

She nodded to Mamoru who stood next to her, he stepped forward.

"The Sol System as well as 419 other systems and sectors will bring in a resolution to the senate that the fleets will be reinforced with ships from the sector fleets. Right now the GA's warships are a prestige object for sector fleets and not the powerful force we need to strike at the enemy." He paused for a moment. "Therefore the Queen and me will travel to Coruscant. Sailors Pluto and Jupiter as well as Neptune and Uranus in the Voyager will accompany us. The rest will stay here and continue their doings."

Artemis stepped forward again.

"Lieutenant SunTzu, you'll get a special mission as well. We need you to retrieve high valuable data from a governmental military base on Vakkar, at the end of the Shwuy Exchange. Prepare to leave within the next two hours. Bring this data here as fast as possible and be aware to act as emissary of the Crown."

He nodded and made notes on his datapad. At least better than scouting.

Artemis wasn't finished though.

"Because the sensitivity and importance of the data one of the remaining Senshi will accompany you as extra security. Any volunteers?"

Rei waited a moment before she raised her hand, as well as Ami and Minako.

Finally her chance to fly around in space some more.

 

"Sailor Mars, I'd rather have you around here if any diplomatic skills would be needed." Artemis told immediately and wanted to take one of the other two girls.

"Excuse me Admiral. But Sailor Mars would be my first choice for accompanying me on this mission obviously." SunTzu paused for a moment and all eyes shifted over to him.

"I'm not very proficient when it comes to diplomatic and social skills. Should any need for diplomacy with the Vakkari institutions arise Diplomat Hino would be an immense help. Also Sailor Mars's Power would be an immense force multiplier if we should get attacked. Sailor Mercury is needed around here to analyze the data as soon as it arrives here. Sailor Venus obviously is needed as leader of the remaining Senshi on board as the Queen is away." He stated that completely neutral and objective.

Artemis thought about it for a moment.

"Well then. But hurry nonetheless."

The meeting was ended and before she got up and left the room with Minako, Rei leaned forward from her place behind him and whispered into his ear.

"One could think you'd want to have me around TopGun." A grin showed up on her face.

"Just keeping my word and organizing you a flight in Space." He replied, showing the hint of a smile as well.



 

One hour later he and Rei met at AICA's landing spot.

Since the distance wasn't too wide and they acted as official envoys of the Kingdom they decided to fly in uniform.

 

SunTzu didn't know that Rei even had one of the Taskforce's olive uniforms. It didn't sport any rank but the logo of the GA's diplomatic corps instead. She looked quite good in the uniform, officers hat on and hair in a ponytail.

The pilot helped her in the backseat and while she hung up her uniforms jacket next to her seat he started the preparations for start.


Two hours later they landed at a starfighter and intelligence base on Vakkar, a mostly temperate temperatured planet with lots of forests and mountains. An adjutant received them and led them from the landing spot into a nearby office building.

In an office room at the top floor of the four story tall building a high ranking officer was waiting for them.

The officer seemed to be rather annoyed and acted rather unfriendly. His demeanor changed when they introduced themselves. When he heard SunTzu's name he remembered it from his intelligence report about the Taskforce he got before this meeting.

"An Ace, a real frontline combatant." The Colonel said appreciatory and nodded.

"And I thought they'll send me some Intelligence Officer without any combat experience. Execuse my behavior from before, we had our fair share of combat lately too and I'm a bit over with the Chairborne's on Coruscant not getting their sticks out of their asses. Actually I wanted to give the data to Coruscant so they get it through to you." A process that probably would have taken weeks. "But now that I see your Taskforce sends out his best people for us I'm handing it over. Give your superior my greetings, I appreciate the gesture." He looked over to Rei.

"And also it's quite interesting to see a diplomat in a military uniform. You have any combat experience too, Miss?"

"Believe it or not, Diplomat Hino is one of our fiercest warriors. But that's top secret." SunTzu chimed in before Rei could answer.

"I see. I'll get the data ready." The Vakkari said, propitiated.



A few minutes later they had the data and SunTzu and Rei left the building, walking back to AICA. She walked In front while he walked behind her, carrying a closed box with the various data.

"One of our fiercest warriors, hm? You do know I could take this as a serious compliment." She said, showing a small grin.

"It was. How many people do you know that can melt down Droidekas?" He stated.

She walked further and brushed out a strand of hair out of her face, blushing slightly.

"Thank you."

The two Earthlings arrived at the starfighter and Rei stood there and observed him, while SunTzu locked down the box into one of the storage compartments of his fighter.

When he was done he gave his companion a hand to get into her seat.

"Let's go home." He said as he climbed up himself.

"Hey TopGun, let's have a sing along as you did last time. I guess it's fun. Some old fashioned songs so it's extra trashy and fun!" She looked at him amused.

"You know about that?"

"Everyone does." She started laughing as he blushed into a deep red color.

They had around half their way in hyperspace down and SunTzu turned in another song to which they could horribly sing along too.

“Meat Loaf, really?” She asked and laughed.

 

“Of course. I’d do anything for love is a rock classic!” He explained. “Meat Loaf is a goat.” She laughed loud again and he started singing.

 

Just as he had started singing the emergency communication channel awoke.


"SOS, SOS, this is the Cruise Ship Queen Zenobia. We're under attack by a group of pirates. All available ships please come to our help!" The message was repeated over and over.

After a minute or so a voice answered, it was the official GA Fleet Channel. They didn't had any ships available at the moment and would sent help as soon as they could. Which would take at least one more hour.

SunTzu let out a loud sigh.

"I know we have our orders to return to the Far Side immediately but…" He said as Rei interrupted him.

"I know, I want to help too." They stayed quiet for a moment.

SunTzu sighed again, after all he swore to help people.

"Fuck it! AICA, radio in on the Zenobia, we're on the way, let them give you their location."

Rei leaned forward and squeezed his shoulder. "Thank you." She smiled at him.

This smile alone was worth the trouble they probably would recieve from Artemis.

A few minutes later, the song still didn't end yet, they dropped out of hyperspace and saw the big cruise ship.

SunTzu accelerated AICA straight toward it and soon he noticed a small gunboat sitting on top of the cruise ship's frame.

"They probably cut their way in, let's blow up their way home and then take care from the inside!" He told and Rei nodded.

He switched to missiles and closed in. A few kilometers before the bigger ship he launched two rockets into the gunboat, blowing away anything but the downside that was docked on the hull of the Zenobia.

He then flew a loop and radioed in on the Zenobia.

"Zenobia, this is Taskforce Sol, Callsign SunTzu, the pirates' ship has been destroyed, we're landing now and help you with the combat inside."

He looked back to Rei.

"You ready?"

She nodded with a determined expression.

As he said that AICA ended the other song and started a new one.

 

“Holding out for a Hero? Really?” Rei asked from the backseat.

 

He rushed AICA into the nearest hangar and opened the canopy before they even touched down.

Rei immediately jumped out and transformed in the jump.

Oh. Now i know why they didn't like to transform while everybody was watching.

The silhouette of Rei's perfect body made him blush and he had to concentrate to land AICA straight.

She ended the whole thing with a front flip, which made SunTzu blush another time.

That's what is under the skirts so.

He strapped off and immediately grabbed for his Plate Carrier and Subcarbine in their compartments as she already rushed out of the hangar.

"Rei, wait!" He yelled but she was already gone.

The Senshi of Fire ran down the ship's alleys, following the sound of blaster fire.

Soon she arrived some makeshift barricades where a group of seamen from the Zenobia were trading shots with some Weequays.

In running she casted a Burning Mandala and sent a hail of fire tips down the corridor, taking out two of the Weequay, she passed the barricade and the dumbfounded looking seaman and let herself slide down on the marble stone of the floor. Stopping next to two more pirates she flung a fire ball into the face of the first one and then hit the second one, who was closer to her with a fist full of fire. She paused for a second to take a breather and then rushed further on.

Moments later SunTzu entered the alley, running.

"You saw a woman throwing fire?" He asked the seaman while he rushed up to their barricade. The still puzzled man pointed forwards.

"Thank you!" SunTzu yelled as he ran past them.

Straight ahead, Rei was forced to jump into cover as three more pirates opened blind fire into the hallway, nailing her down in a cross way.

SunTzu approached and saw the blaster bolts coming his way. He readied his gun and let out a burst where the fire came from.

The blaster shooting stopped for a moment so he closed up and got into cover on the opposite side of Rei.

"Could you please fucking wait the next time?" SunTzu said to her as he waited for a chance to let out a burst of his rifle.

"Hey, it went great till I got to this position!" Rei answered.

He shook his head and then leaned out and let out short burst. He got back into cover just as a blaster bolt hit the wall where his face had been seconds before.

"Any ideas?" She asked him, knowing that he would come up with something extremely stupid.

"Of course." He secretly pulled out a hand grenade from his plate carrier. "We wait till they have to reload and then rush back and get back to AICA. We fly home and forget that all this ever happened and life happily ever after."

She looked at him like he really lost his mind this time and he sighed loud and shook his head.

"Rei, get to cover."

He pulled the pin and threw the hand grenade down the floor while Rei ducked down in her side alley.

 

A few seconds later the grenade exploded and as soon as the hail of shrapnel ended he jumped out and opened fire, advancing through the cloud of smoke. He was joined by a determined looking Sailor Mars, both hands enwrapped in flames.

The two rushed up ready to strike. Two of the pirates appeared and before they could react Rei took the left one out with a fireball while SunTzu took the other out with a headshot.

The third pirate was already dead, he took a deadly shower of metal fragments from the hand grenade.

They came to a double door, one of the doors was open, the other closed. They led into a dining hall where big expensive looking tables and chairs from fine wood were located in. And a big, fat Weequay with a strange looking hat. Probably the pirates' Captain. He tried to raise his blaster when he saw SunTzu coming through the door but SunTzu had the better reflexes and hit him in the stomach. The Weequay fell down to the floor, his blaster clattering away on the marble floor. He was still breathing and SunTzu carefully approached him, gun aimed on his body, Rei was right behind him.

A survivor wouldn't be that bad as lead to some Intel on the enemy.

 

SunTzu closed in the last few steps to the pirate that held the wound on his stomach.

As he was standing over him the pirate suddenly started laughing and took his hand away from the stomach, revealing a live grenade, ticking.

 

SunTzu immediately sprung around grabbed Rei and dove under one of the thick tables, pulling the table with them. Wouldn't it have been for the force kicking in and giving him the reflexes and speed to do it, they would have been mixed meat as the hand grenade and the pirate exploded.

While shrapnel and remains of the pirate captain flew over them SunTzu guarded Sailor Mars with his body, behind the table's thick plate.

 

It took a second but as soon as he got his senses back he opened his eyes again. There he was laying on top of Rei, their faces centimeters apart. She gazed into his eyes and for a small eternity that just consisted of a few seconds they stayed like that.

"Are you okay?" He asked her, more whisper than anything.

"I guess. How about you?" He could feel that she had her hands wound around him.

 

I don't know if I'm hurt but I'm more than okay to stay like this.

 

A few moments later the armed seamen of the cruise ship stormed into the room with the first one slipping on the marble floor and falling down

SunTzu and Rei broke down in loud laughter.

They needed a moment to calm down again, the laughter washing away the last of the adrenaline.

Very, very subtle she pressed herself against him for a moment, before she took her hands and put them on his chest pushing him up.

 

Wait was that a hug?

 

He got up from her and sat up straight, she did the same.

 

They looked around and immediately noticed a big piece of metal sitting in the thick plate of the table, it almost completely penetrated the wood. And it was at the height where both of them had been lying down.

Looks like the Galaxy didn't want them to leave it already.

She glanced back at him.

"It never gets boring with you TopGun."

"Never my intention my dear Moeru Shōjo."

He got up and gave her a hand.

 

When they both were standing again they brushed the dust off of them as a bridge officer, actually the first officer of the Ship, entered the dining hall.

"Did you save our cruise ship?"

Thankfully no passengers had been hurt, just one steward was wounded in the attack. They went to the bridge where the captain thanked them for saving his ship and men.

He promised them to see for a reward for their actions.

 


 

A few minutes later they were back in AICA. Rei was detransformed again and was looking flawless in her uniform. SunTzu on the other hand was looking like a mess though.

 

They left off the Cruise Ship and jumped back to hyperspace, heading back home to the Far Side.

Artemis and the rest would probably go crazy because of the detour but they didn't care. On the way back they even started singing again and joked around like teenagers. Her hand was always on his shoulder when she leaned forward to tell him something.

When they fell out of Hyperspace he opened a channel to the bridge of the Far Side.

"Good afternoon Task Force Sol. It is my pleasure to announce that Miss Rei Hino and my humble self prepared a little serenade for you to make up for showing up late."

They started singing "I’d do Anything for Love" into the microphones of their flight helmets. Rei was so much more of a better singer than he was but right now only participating made the joke perfect. And Rei's part made the whole thing sound good also.

Artemis shook his head in disbelief on the bridge. He wanted to rail them for coming so late, word that two Earthlings saved a cruise ship from a pirate attack already came in from the Galactic Alliance channels. He shook his head some more and then a small smile slipped up from his mouth.

Instead scolding them he broadcasted their song all over their ship, at least their excuse was noteable.

When they landed after they finished the song and the canopy of AICA opened, a crowd in the hangar applauded them. Even Luna and Ami were there and applauded.

 

They stood up and took each other's hand, bowing down before their ardent audience.

 


 

Chapter Text

 

Soon as the avalanche of people cheering and congratulating them to the rescue of the cruise ship as well, surprisingly as it was, the song, which was obviously thanks to Rei, ebbed away, Ami and Luna came over and congratulated them and Ami asked if they had the data.

 

SunTzu just told her how lucky they were to get the data from Vakkari, when the door to the hangar opened and Artemis, escorted by two Royal Guards entered. This definitely meant trouble.

The Admiral marched towards them, his face unreadable. SunTzu immediately straightened up and when Artemis was five steps away he saluted.

"First Lieutenant SunTzu reporting for duty as ordered Admiral!" He stayed in the salute.

"As ordered? Could you please repeat that Pilot? I think I heard as ordered. You were ordered to get back to the Far Side AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! I think we should think about a fitting punishment for your unauthorized and order refusing behavior!" Artemis scolded him sharply. Even one of the guards looked at him empathizing. Nobody in the military wanted to be chewed out like that.

 

A friendly smiling Luna came forward and held her hand up.

"Guards, would you please excuse me and the Admiral for a moment. And SunTzu put that hand down, you saluted long enough now." She told the guards and SunTzu. The married couple then backed up a few meters.

She grabbed Artemis by his collar and pulled him away to the end of the hangar, out of earshot.

 

Gesticulating energetically she let him know what she thought about his scolding. Now he was standing straight and SunTzu was expecting him to salute to his wife any moment.

 

After a moment they were back, Artemis face was unreadable again and Luna' s smile just had gotten bigger.

"Lieutenant, Lady Luna just enlightened me how selfless and benefiting for our cause your and Sailor Mars's actions were. Consider the affair as settled and proceed with your duty."

SunTzu saluted again. "Sir, thank you Sir!"

 

Artemis muttered something that sounded like he should thank his wife as he walked away, the two guards resolving their escort again.

 

Someone please remind me to never raise anger from Luna, ever.

 


 

A few days later:

 

Things we're going their usual way, since the Voyager and the Senshi steering it were still away on Coruscant SunTzu spent most of his time with Recon Mission, in advance of the Task Force. When he wasn't space bound or doing sport, he was training with the Senshi, mostly with Setsuna who gladly for him kept away from whooping his ass, except the first time they got back to training together. God did she beat him up this one time. Rei wasn't the only Senshi that draw blood on him anymore after that. Occasionally one of the other Senshi trained with him too, but after that package they decided to give him a break and trained with him instead of sparing.

 

Rei spent the most with her duty as Royal Ambassador and promoted the Kingdom's Agenda as well as the resolution to strengthen the fleet with nearby planetary, system and sectorial governments. Some of these politicians were so stubborn and nearsighted that some people were afraid that she'll be combusting the furniture around her soon, because the emissaries made her so mad.

 

Hotaru was doing her simulator training but found time to come along for one shorter night mission. Her motivation was high and her results in training were great.

 

Ami was analyzing tons of data Including the one from Vaakari and so didn't have much time to check for some easy money to take away from the underworld. SunTzu was happy for the break though, Makoto wasn't here and things went so much more smoothly with her.

 

Minako was busy studying for her M.D. and checking in on the Senshi on board and their training regime. Setsuna, who spent most of her time in the medbay helped her with studying a lot and called her also over when something interesting was happening at the med bay.

 

Luna was either taking care of Diana, who developed a liking in playing Hide&Seek on the ship with Chibiusa and her mother, or her father. Sometimes it seemed that his title grew over his head. For his defense, he gained a lot of sympathy for upholding Wednesday traditions and still broadcasting the night shift, with himself as moderator.

 

The others, including the Royal Couple were busy on Coruscant, promoting the proposal to reinforce the Fleets.

 

SunTzu just came back from a several hour spanning scouting mission going till the early evening when Karlena told him, that Luna wanted to see him and that she was at the bridge.

 

 

He went up there and greeted the officers on the bridge.

Luna was having a tea with Artemis, they were enjoying some Them-Time while Chibiusa looked after Diana.

The pilot cautiously approached them, because he didn't want to disturb them but Luna already saw him.

"Don't be shy Lieutenant. We don't bite, It's usually just scratching." She smiled and earned an annoyed look from her husband.

"Let's just wait for Rei. I got good news for the two of you."

 

Rei arrived a few minutes later at the bridge, she was wearing a formal looking black skirt and a white collared shirt. She looked tired and annoyed though.

"Sorry, I had another lengthy discussion with some dense sector governor. What is it you wanted to see me about?"

Luna smiled wide and looked at both of them before she began to speak.

"The ship owning company of the Queen Zenobia sent a message. Because you saved the ship and it's high class passengers they want you to invite you to an all-inclusive-overnight-stay. They said alone the jewelry of some of the passengers was worth millions and they were glad no passengers were hurt."

She looked over to Artemis, who stood there drinking his tea in silence and observed the scene.

"I pulled some strings, you guys are off duty tomorrow and can leave in the morning."

She smiled again. "I hope you have a wonderful day there, I'll forward the details later to you."

 

Rei and SunTzu just stood there, eyes wide open. They were expecting a Thank-You-Letter but a free day on one of the most exclusive Star liners in the universe was something they couldn't imagine.

 

Soon the two Cruise Ship Saviors were sitting in the dining hall, having dinner with Ami and Minako.

Minako stated how jealous she was and even Ami remarked that she'd like to have a day on a cruise ship like that too.

 

They just received the details from Luna. Everything was open for them, they even were invited for shopping for clothes on the ship's own boutiques. The evening program included Captain's dinner and all the shows were open for them. Accommodation in a suite. The ship owner's company didn't spare any expenses.

"You guys have so much luck! Can you imagine how much a stay in a room like this costs?" Minako told them.

"And the captain's dinner, I bet there will be some very interesting interlocutors sitting on that table." Ami stated.

"Let's not forget, we earned that. It's not like that we almost ended up as Sloppy Joes on that ship." Rei told the two girls.

Mina's phone vibrated.

"Oh, it's Setsuna. Radial head fracture in the medbay. I'll head over there, this sounds interesting. I'll see you guys around. Well if they get you off that cruise ship again." She winked and stood up.

"I'll go back to work too. Evil never sleeps and i want to find out where it strikes next."

 

They said their goodbyes and left the Diplomat and the pilot at the table.

"This still sounds too good to be true. Shopping. For. Free! I hope AICA has enough storage room for the bags."

SunTzu smiled, it was wonderful how much she anticipated the short trip.

 

After they finished dinner and toasted with a glass of apple juice on their reward they both left for bed. SunTzu made a small detour first, he made room in the storage compartments of AICA.

 

Before he went to sleep he saw, that Rei sent him a message, stating that she was looking forward to tomorrow and wishing him a good night.

Rei was almost asleep when she got an answer from SunTzu, telling her that he was also looking forward to tomorrow. Before wishing her a good night he promised her to not do anything stupid tomorrow.

She had to laugh. Maybe I will do something stupid tomorrow, she thought. Who knows.

 

 

The next morning after breakfast an over excited looking Rei and everyone's favorite German starfighter pilot left the Far Side and made the trip to the Queen Zenobia.

The trip to the cruise ship took a little bit longer than last time but it was okay. They planned what they wanted to do on the ship that day.

 

The captain, first officer and other important staff members received them at the hangar when they landed.

Two stewards brought their luggage to their accommodation already. They travelled light, since shopping was on the list for today.

 

After a tour of the ship, lead by the captain himself the First officer led them to their accommodation.

They didn't know if they needed two single rooms or if they would share one, so they gave them a suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room. The First Officer told them to use whichever room they want or need.

Oh don't worry. If someone is playing his cards right tonight we might be using all of these rooms.

Rei tried not to blush after she thought of this. But honestly that skirmishing between the two of them had been going on for weeks now and it was time to put wood behind the arrow now.

The two earthlings settled in quickly and left for the ship's shopping center.

 

They had a budget but each one still had a thousand credits to spend.

SunTzu knew on what he would spent his money. He needed a suite for tonight and one of the male boutiques seemed to be the right place to get it. But first a fresh haircut and some care for his beard, that he grew out again.

He told her he'd be hitting up the barber and that she should let him know when she needed his help, hauling her bags.

 

Rei still was undecided what she'd buy when she was scrolling through the stores after he left.

And then she saw it. A beautiful dress from one of the most hip designers from Coruscant. SunTzu's eyes would fall out when she would appear in that dress.

 

After he got fresh at the barber SunTzu went to the Boutique and got a suite or rather a tuxedo with all the features. Damn, he was looking fine. Let's see what Rei would say when he appeared like that.

 

They met two hours later for a light but delicious and exotic lunch in one of the ship's restaurants on the arcade deck.

To his surprise she didn't have much bags after shopping, actually it were just two.

They were discussing what to do to next and opted for the ship's cinema and the latest corellian Holo-Blockbuster.

"Cinema? This awfully sounds like a Date." SunTzu stated with a challenging grin.

Rei took a sip from the glass of water in front of her before she answered.

"I know, horrible right? But you know what? Maybe the pilot that saved the Queen Zenobia deserves a date. And if only to see how long I could take him being around before burning down something." She smiled back. Challenge accepted.

 

The movie was entertaining although not very deep. But it was perfect to get their mind a bit off from their duties, responsibilities and the war for a bit. Right now they were just two young people enjoying a movie.

What distinguished them from other young people were, that now, they finally half officially were on a date together both of them were too shy to start anything with the other.

Eight graders would have tried harder than the two saviors of the Queen Zenobia in that cinema. Most action both got was blushing.

After some nervous gibberish about the movie they decided to visit the ship's famous exotic garden.

 

 

The garden was amazing but they decided to playfully just remark bad things about it.

"It's too hot and humid in here."

"Yeah and see that giant flower over there?"

"The one with all the colors?"

"Exactly. Can you imagine the amount of water it takes to keep it fresh? What a waste!"

"Yeah and let's be honest, the palace's courtyard is way more beautiful than this place here anyway."

"Yeah, the cherry trees at the temple are looking more beautiful when they bloom than this mess here."

"Oh i see you're visiting the Zenobia's famous Garden." The voice of the captain came from behind.

Rei and SunTzu blushed in a deep red and hoped the captain didn't hear their snarky comments.

"We had to, it so famous. And now that I finally came to see it, I understand why it's so famous. It's stunning captain. Such a nice place of green and colors on a ship. I can only imagine the work it takes to make it look this beautiful. We were just talking about that." Rei Hino, Diplomat, innocently played up to the white haired man.

"It does, but I do enjoy coming here too. I'm delighted that you enjoy it also." The Captain looked at his watch. "Please, don't let me disturb you any further. I'll see you later at dinner." That said he walked away.

 

As soon as he was gone SunTzu and Rei burst into laughter. That was close.

"Rei Hino, you dirty little liar." SunTzu said in between laughs. "You really told him that without batting an eye."

She shrugged.

"I'm the daughter of a politician, what do you expect?" She laughed also.

"To be honest. It is beautiful here. But I still prefer my garden at home to any other garden in the galaxy."

"Yeah, I understand that. Hey, They have a miniature Wroshyr-tree here, let's go over and remark that Wroshyr's are actually just redwoods with gigantism."

She hooked in under his arm.

"Show me, I want to personally defame it because where I come from Bonsais are Boss."

What followed was probably the most sarcastic tour of a botanical garden ever. And they took pictures while they bashed some of the most beautiful flora the galaxy had to offer.

 

They were laughing so loud that people started to look.

After a guided tour with ten passengers and their guide all stopped taking pics and stared in their direction they decided it was time to go. She took his hand and pulled him away as he was just complaining about that he had finer wood on one way chopsticks in Juban Restaurants than the wood of a very exotic tree they were looking at.

 

They evacuated to the nearest smoking room and laughed their asses off some more when they got inside. The elegant decorated room with lots of wood had some armchairs standing around and they sat down and lighted their cigarettes.

"I can't remember when I laughed so much the last time." Rei said, still giggling.

"Me neither. But that's probably because I woke up in a tank full of Bacta just a few weeks ago." He stated ironically and nodded to himself which made her laugh even more.

"I'm glad we're here. I needed that break. There's so much incompetence in these galaxy's politicians that I'm sure to burn down half of the conference rooms on the far side in a fit of rage one day."

"Yeah. I think AICA already has a countdown ticking to when she will self-destruct if we have to fly more scout missions."

"But who will be my space taxi then?" She asked way too sweet.

 

After the cigarette they left for their room, it was time to get ready.

They both took their time to get ready but of course he was finished way faster than her.

 

He sat down on the sofa and the living room and gave her another generous ten minutes before he announced that he was done.

Out of her room came the answer that she still needed more time and that he should already go to the dining room and have an aperitif before she'll join him.

Well if she insisted on him drinking, who was he to suppose her.

 

 

SunTzu left the suite and went over to the main dining hall, where he stopped at the bar.

He ordered a drink as aperitif and leaned at the bar, gazing around the room. He was pretty early for dinner time but the passengers were civilians and probably not used to strict schedules as he was. Also he pretty fast realized, that even if his pay wasn't bad, he probably was the least rich person in the whole room. To the galaxy's simple men he thought and toasted to himself.

He further observed the arrival of the wealthy and important from his place at the bar and after a few looked at his chrono.

Why women always were late. And how did he know about that although he couldn't even remember his name.

He took another sip of his drink and suddenly almost spit it out.

 

There she was, entering the room. She looked beyond breathtaking, wearing a yellow dress that was longer in the back than in the front and had a double collar with white strips, that also extended on the short sleeves. Finished with yellow high heels that sported a white frame on top and were decorated to big red flower blossoms that matched her red star earrings that she usually wore too.

He literally stood there with his mouth open and needed a moment to process her beauty. He finished his drink with a big sip and the burning sensation of alcohol brought back his senses. He fixed his bow tie and smoothed out his tuxedo.

 

As every male's head and most of the female's heads too turned into her direction he walked up to her with a smile.

 

A-Game now, with an outfit like that my dear  Rei Hino I'm  definitely coming for  you  tonight.

 

She entered the room and found him pretty quick, he was leaning at the bar and observed the people in the room, just looking effortlessly cool. He noticed her and froze for a second.

 

Don't spill your drink, I know I'm looking fine.

And besides, how did you know i always had a thing for men in tuxedos. I hope you know I'm coming for you tonight and put some work in, I'm not wearing matching lace underwear for nothing TopGun.

 

As every male's head and most of the female's heads too turned into Rei's direction SunTzu walked up to the breathtaking beautifully raven haired with a smile.

They stood opposite each other for the blink of an eye and just smiled at each other. He then surprised her with a hand kiss.

"You look stunning Moeru Shōjo." He said as his face got up again.

"You're quite looking sharp too, TopGun. Go on like that and someone will give the king a run for his money when it comes to male attire." They both smiled at each other again.

"How about a drink?" He asked her.

"Are you trying to get me drunk Lieutenant?"

"Maybe. But you sent me to drink first, so I guess your intention was the same as mine."

"Touché."

 

She hooked in under his arm and they went over to the bar. With a stunner like this beside you, you don't have to wait to get your order by the way.

He ordered the same drink he had before and she also ordered one.

"Go easy, that's a pretty strong drink." SunTzu told her.

"Don't worry. Just don't let me do stupid stuff like hosting a radio show." Rei grinned at him, a little mocking had to be done.

The drinks came and they toasted to the saviors of he Queen Zenobia.

"You were right, this stuff is quite strong. But good."

"Yeah, a few of them will completely fuck you up. Perfect for military personnel. Haruka introduced me to them."

"Why can I imagine that the british tomboy and the crazy German needed Michiru to carry you home after that?"

"Actually we're still in training to compete against Hulk and Makoto. Cultured people like us pilots prefer the rush of speed to the rush that alcoholic beverages bring."

"Yeah, I'll quote you on that, next time you wake up in a shower."

 

People still remember that?

 

A steward came and told them the dinner would begin soon and then led them to the captain's table in the middle of the room.

The captain wasn't there yet, just some very important and rich looking couples on the other side of the table.

They introduced them formally to the attending money nobility, without actually stating that they were sitting here because they saved the ship from a pirate attack.

 

SunTzu was a bit afraid with the etiquette at the table as he was examining the silverware on the table.

"TopGun, don't make me check your pockets later. I know that robbing criminals secures our income now but please be nice around here." She leaned in and whispered to him.

"You know about that?" He looked at her surprised.

"Of course. The girls told me after you, Ami and Makoto confessed your new leisure activity to our Queen." She laughed. "So, you three are Gangsters now?"

"Yeah, but that's just the side hustle for the street credibility. Actually we're trying to drop the most violent mixtape of the year."

She laughed louder than she wanted to and the other people on the table turned their heads towards them.

"Excuse me, my companion just told me a funny story from his duty as combat pilot for the Starfighter Corps." Rei lied to the other people on the table.

This of course provided to a lot of curios questions for SunTzu. A starfighter pilot in troubled times like this was exciting.

 

Thank you Rei.

 

To his luck the captain appeared soon and draw the attention to him.

SunTzu sighed quietly, that had been quite exhausting.

"You held up pretty well, TopGun." Rei told him leaning in and petting his leg shortly.

 

The captain rose up. He again introduced Diplomat Hino from the Crystal Kingdom of Planet Earth and First Lieutenant SunTzu of the GA's Starfighter Corps and toasted to them both as they were tonight's honored guests, because saved the Zenobia from pirates a few days ago.

The whole hall was applauding.

Both earthlings were a bit uneasy with the amount of cheering they received but bowed down complimentary and waved.

"Wave and smile TopGun." She hushed out between smiling.

"But I don't have to do any tricks?" He answered, pressing out through his smile.

After the Applaus slowly stopped they sat down again and both took a well needed big sip of wine.

 

The Captain held a speech thanking everybody for showing up and the usual other formal stuff and then the dinner was opened.

The food was terrific and the five course menu alone was a reward on it own.

 

They just had finished dessert and now they were planning the rest of the evening.

Rei played with her hair while SunTzu tried to explain why going to the ship's casino was better than the ship's ballroom.

She smiled at him, knowing very well why he so eagerly avoided to dance.

"I think the real reason is, that you cannot dance."

He looked at her and pressed his lips together. Busted.

"Don't worry, I'll teach you. And if you step on my feet I'll set your bow tie on fire."

She said and fixed his tie for him orderly, their faces just mere centimeters apart.

They locked eyes for a moment, freezing in time, before breaking the eye contact blushing and looking away.

 

In that moment the First Officer appeared at the table and flustered something into the Captain's ear. It seemed to be important because the Captain stopped smiling, his gaze shifting to SunTzu and Rei.

He got up and walked over to them, the First Officer behind him.

They looked up surprised to the captain as he stood before them.

"I'm terribly sorry to disturb you two, but it seems that there is a urgent call waiting for you on the bridge. Would you please follow the First Officer." The Captain told.

They glanced at each other. It looked like the galaxy had other plans than letting Rei teach SunTzu how to dance. She nodded understandingly and they got up and followed the Officer to the bridge.

 

 

The communication ensign gave him a headset when they were on the bridge.

Admiral Artemis was on the other end.

"Admiral, SunTzu speaking. You requested us?"

"Yes she is here with me. Yes, it's great."

SunTzu's facial expression went grim.

"Immediately?"

"Affirmative. And Diplomat Hino?"

"Understood. I tell her."

"I'm basically on my way. ETA 2 Hours."

 

He gave the headset back to the ensign. SunTzu took a deep breather and looked to Rei, his face took on an apologetic expression.

Rei understood what the last sentence meant, they were leaving the ship immediately.

"What happened?"

He looked around, and took a step towards her, so only she could hear it.

"Various mercenary attacks between the Core and the Colonies, going up the Namadii Corridor. I'm ordered to immediately get back to the Far Side and get combat ready." He paused for a moment. "You're allowed to stay here. Someone will pick you up tomorrow morning."

 

The First Officer approached them again and SunTzu told him, that he had to go but Miss Hino would stay on board. The Officer told him, that Rei could be ferried to the Far Side with one of the Zenobia's Shuttle tomorrow then.

 

 

They left the bridge and SunTzu rushed to their suite, Rei in pursuit. She could tell that he was beyond pissed although he hadn't said a word since they left the bridge.

Rei was angry and disappointed too.

"Hey wait!" She yelled as he was storming down the corridors.

She had to run to catch up to him and took grabbed his hand and pulled it to make him slow down a bit.

He swallowed hard and turned around.

"Listen, I'm sorry. I hope you know that."

"It's not your fault Rei." He looked away for a second. "I'm glad that at least you can enjoy the night here further, you earned it." She still held his hand and he looked down at their interlaced fingers for a moment.

"Duty comes first. Right?" Hey looked back up to her and saw she was also looking at their hands, having a disappointed look on her face.

"Right." She looked back up too and their gazes met again.

"Promise me you'll have a great night here."

The Senshi nodded firmly.

 

He wanted to kiss her but how good of a kiss would it have been now that he had to leave. Especially if something would happen to him tonight.

"Promise me you take care tonight. I want to see you again tomorrow." She said piercing his gaze with her eyes.

 

She wanted to kiss him but how good of a kiss would it have been now that he had to go, probably to combat.

"No promises in war. But be sure that I'll think of something stupid to save my ass when things go down south. Let's go?"

She nodded and they continued on their way to their suite, holding hands all the way till the reached the door.

 

 

In two minutes his luggage was packed and he was ready to leave.

SunTzu was already standing outside the door when he said his goodbye to her. Rei was standing in the door, leaning against the door frame

"Alright, I'm out." He told her, trying to not look to disappointed.

"Say Hi to AICA for me."

"You'll be good here?"

"Of course." She forced a smile. "I'll hit up the Spa now. You take care, okay."

He nodded.

"Good hunting TopGun."

"Try not to burn the ship down because someone annoys you."

"Oh, believe me. I'll be the most relaxed person in this sector after the massage I'm gonna treat myself too now."

He nodded again and they both glanced in each other's eyes again. She then tipped his nose with her finger. That forced a genuine smile from him.

"Good Night."

"Good Night Rei."

 

SunTzu turned around and rushed off, his luggage in a sports bag slung over.

Rei closed the door behind him and leaned against it with her back and let out a heavy sigh.

 

Fuck! It would have been so perfect tonight. Who knows when there would ever be such an opportunity again.

 

She sighed again and walked into the room, at least she would enjoy the rest of the night, she owed him that. And she would enjoy the Spa, she thought as she tried to take off her dress to change in something more comfortable.

 

Why, oh why, in the name of everything that was holy, did this galaxy made me wear a dress that was opened on the backside and left me alone with nobody to open it?

 

SunTzu arrived at the hangar.

"AICA, we're leaving immediately."

She opened the canopy, as he stored away his luggage.

"What happened? Where is Rei?"

"We're back to patrolling. Rei still stays here for the night."

"You didn't do something wrong, did you?"

"AICA?"

"SunTzu?"

“Please shut up. And turn on music. Loud.”

He thought for a moment.

“Play the song Rendezvous from the playlist. And im sorry for my outburst.”



Two minutes later AICA and SunTzu were in Hyperspace.

 


 

The next morning, 10am

 

That's it, as soon as he was done here, he was off to Dathomir. AICA already had the route ready in her Navicomputer.

 

SunTzu was so pissed with the overall situation that he actually contemplated to desert for a second.

He had been flying recon and patrolling missions for the whole night now, with only two hours of sleep.

And they had zero enemy contact. Nothing. Not even a smuggler or a freighter with a broken identification transmitter.

 

He felt betrayed by the whole universe when he landed on the Far Side this time.

Not even Karlena dared to come near him because he was looking so grim. He even turned AICA off to not accidentally say something to her, he'd regret afterwards.

 

As he sat there and waited for his next mission that would come in over Radio from the control center he noticed that a small shuttle was landing in the hangar. He didn't care much for it and didn't see that the shuttle had the Queen Zenobia's logo on its flanks.

It landed and a refreshed looking Rei, pulling her luggage in her rolling suitcase behind her, walked out, when the shuttles ramp opened.

 

Feeling relaxed and years younger, the spa treatments and especially that massage from a Besalisk she had on the Queen Zenobia were amazing, Rei stepped out onto the hangar deck of the Far almost forgot how disappointed she was when SunTzu had to leave. And that kingsize bed in her room was so comfortable, she sleeped like a baby. Okay, she had to admit it was a too big for her alone and she rather would have shared it with a certain starfighter pilot but hey, he told her to enjoy the night and she tried to make the best out of it.

 

Refreshed and relaxed as she looked the stark contrast to the tired, hungry, stressed out and overnighted mess that he was, while he sat in his cockpit with bloodshot eyes and tear sacs that wanted to fall down to his knees, his hair a total mess after he took his helmet down after flying for hours.

Rei smiled when she noticed SunTzu was in the hangar too and walked up to AICA.

She heard that he was busy getting instructions over radio so she waited till it was over.

Then, SunTzu was typing something into the Nav-Computer, Rei left her luggage standing in front of AICA and climbed up to the cockpit, bringing her face next to him.

 

Poor guy looks so tired. He probably had been flying the whole night.

 

SunTzu still hadn't notice her, while he hacked mission data into his ship's computer.

Rei leaned down to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you for this wonderful date."

He jumped up in surprise, while she leapt away from the cockpit and landed on the ground. She grabbed her luggage and walked out the hangar, not looking back.

Internally she was beaming and it was quite hard to not look back at him, she really had to fight not to smile.

The look on his face would be priceless to see.

 

As he sat there and hold his hand on the spot where she kissed his cheek and followed her out of the room with his eyes, he decided that staying another one or two days wouldn't kill him. After all there were worse things than flying through space with a starfighter like AICA.

 

He lifted off for his next mission and made AICA dance an extra round around the Far Side before he shot away.

Although his mission was planned to span two hours he was called back some twenty minutes later.

 

A certain raven haired Shrine Priestess asked a certain blue haired Genius if she'd know if it was okay for fighter pilots to fly the whole night and morning without break as a certain German was doing.

 

A certain blue haired genius than asked a certain black haired Royal Administrator/ part time cat if she'd knew anything about that. Finally a certain black haired Royal Administrator/ part time cat asked the white haired Commanding Officer of the Taskforce who happened to incidentally be also a part time cat and her husband why the pilot of the most advanced weapon in their arsenal as well as Guardian of Senshi was flying without any real sense for half the time a day lasts now already.

 

Under pain of penalties regarding his place to sleep tonight and the rest of the week as well as other harsh punishments the certain white haired CO of the Taskforce called a certain German's mission off and replaced him with two Z95s from Terra Squadron.

 

Inside his cockpit on the way back to his carrier ship a certain German was just happy to be hugging his bed soon. And he was thinking if he should ever wash his left cheek again.

 


 

Chapter Text

 

SunTzu was out straight for ten hours and awoke when someone was banging on his door.

He opened the door ajar and lensed out, still trying to wake up fully.

"Good Morning and Good evening TopGun. Do you have any idea how long I was banging on this door already? I'm in a hurry."

"Rei, what's up?" He asked, eyes still half closed. She sighed.

"I'm sorry that I had to wake you up. I just wanted to let you know that I'll be gone for a day or two also. The Queen requested me on Coruscant. As far as I know Usagi, I'll probably have to safe the Sol System from complete destruction because she put her foot in it with the wrong person." She put on a smile. Artemis showed up in the hallway and walked up to her.

"Rei, please hurry, the shuttle is waiting for you." The Admiral said as he came near.

That made Rei briefly glance over to Artemis and then back to SunTzu.

"I'll see you around, okay?" She said as Artemis walked up next to her and motioned her to the hangar.

 

As she was a few meters away she stopped briefly and turned around.

"Nice boxers." She laughed and continued to walk away. Artemis turned around and gave him a dark glare.

SunTzu stood there for a moment, looking down on him. He was just wearing boxershorts when he had opened the door.

 

SunTzu's stomach announced loudly that he was hungry, when he stepped out of shower a few minutes later so he got into some clothes and got to the cafeteria.

The ship was pretty empty, while he was on the Queen Zenobia most of the ground forces were flown to a maneuver on a nearby planet, just a platoon of Troopers and Team 3 remained on board. Now with Rei gone and everybody that was still onboard busy it would probably get boring for the next few days. Although he didn't think that he wouldn't be busy either.

As he sat there and spooned a tasty stew, a blonde haired creature, vaguely resembling Minako, entered the dinning hall. She was wearing a baggy grey sweatsuit and looked exactly as SunTzu looked this morning, maybe just a bit more pale even. The only thing that gave away that it really was Minako was the red bow in her hair.

She got to the food counter and took a triple espresso and some sandwiches as well as some candy, everything to go. Even he figured that something was not right.

She didn't even see him, when she walked past him.

"Mina?"

"Huh?" As she finally noticed him she jumped a bit. "Don't look at me. I'm not presentable at all."

"What's wrong? Are you not well?"

She sighed and sat down on the small table he was sitting. One of the tables that probably were too small for two people with trays.

"I've been learning for an exam that i have tomorrow the last few days and so far it costed me my beauty sleep, my self confidence and any sort of glamour I ever had. But if I fail it I can forget passing this year."

Poor girl, she really looked like she was done with the galaxy.

"Is it so hard? What about Setsuna? Can't she help you?"

"She does the best she can but it's about fractures and there's some stuff that I just can't get in my head. It's infuriating. And it doesn't help that there's no real medical library on this ship yet, not even digital."

"I see." He nodded. "Where is the next library that has anything you need?"

"Good question. I guess I'd go for earth." She shrugged, pressing her lips together.

"To earth?" He looked at his chrono and then called AICA.

"Darling, this is your Pilot. Can you tell me our position? Or even give me an ETA from here to earth?"

"Good evening. Give me a sec. We're in the Palanhi system. I'd estimate five hours if everything goes smooth and we give full thrust."

"Thanks AICA, I might get back to you." He looked away from his chrono and back to Minako. "How fast can you leave for earth?"

"I, uh, I… Give me thirty minutes. No, give me thirty five to take care of Artemis too."

She took her stuff and vanished. Meanwhile he ended his meal.

 

 

Thirty minutes later he arrived in the hangar. He saw Odegana and Ritz, which just got back from patrol and greeted the two. They briefly talked to each other, about news on enemy activity but they didn't found anything either. The most interesting thing that happened was that a Corellian Frigate from GA arrived in System also and reinforced their defenses. Other than that nothing worth telling happened.

 

A few minutes later Minako appeared, now wearing a flight suit and a medium sized bag over her shoulder as well as a pilot helmet in her hand. Artemis followed her close by.

 

They walked over to AICA and the Pilots. Artemis was driving in safety measures into Mina.

"And don't forget to be strapped in all the time as well as never take off your helmet, Minako."

"Artemis, it's not the first time I'm flyin with him, I know how to take care. And you know he's going to take care of me. Relax please, the older you get the more worried you become."

She greeted the other pilots as SunTzu took her bag and carefully stored it into one of the freight compartments.

 

"Lieutenant, I have your promise you'll take care of her?" Artemis asked SunTzu. The Admiral probably wouldn't have looked less worried if it would have been Diana. He seemed to have a very close bond with Minako.

"Yes, Sir! I'll take extra care, Sir." SunTzu said and saluted.

Artemis stood there and looked worried when SunTzu helped Minako into the cockpit. She strapped herself in and then waved at Artemis.

"See you tomorrow, Cat Dad." She smiled and blew him a kiss before the canopy closed.

 

 

They left the Far Star and jumped down the Shwuy exchange till the crossing of the CTE.

"Can I learn in here?" Minako asked over the radio in her helmet.

"You can, but I'd rather have you sleep some so you immediately can hit up the library when it opens tomorrow morning. I'll land at the palace, you'll have a room there right?

"I do. But what about you?"

"I can sleep in the Flight Center or even at home. I'll take you to University tomorrow morning."

"This is so nice. Why you're doing all this?"

"I have pity with you, you looked so done in the cafeteria. And also I know how important getting your M.D. is for you."

"You have a good soul SunTzu, i really appreciate it."

"It's all good, it's also better than just to fly straight trough space and hoping for something to shoot at me."

She fell asleep soon and he took care of flying.

 


 

At around 3am they landed at the palace. She just woke up when they hit the ground. She yawned and stretched herself, meanwhile SunTzu already opened the canopy and was out, retrieving her bag. A patrol of two guards, weapons under slung, came over to see if everything was okay, the nightly landing wasn't scheduled.

"Guards, please accompany Princess Venus to her quarters." SunTzu said and thrusted the bag into one of the Guards hands. They both nodded and stayed put, waiting for Minako.

Then he helped her out of the cockpit. Minako looked sleepy but smiled pleased.

Before she left she gave him a hug.

"Thank you so much again. You're a life saver."

"No problem. Get some more rest, I'll be here tomorrow morning to take you to the library."

"Alright. I'll be on time. Good night SunTzu."

"Good night Minako."

 

The first Senshi and her escort left then and SunTzu flew AICA over to the AirBase, where he went to sleep in the Flight Center.

 

 

The next morning SunTzu was waiting at 07:30 in front of the palace. The day promised to be beautiful and sunny. She came out, looking way better than the night before.

Minako smiled when she saw him.

"Good Morning my savior."

"Good Morning. Breakfast?"

He hold up a paper bag with pastry and a coffee.

"You're an angel right?"

"As far as I know I'm more known as a demon in the Task Force."

She took her breakfast and started eating while they walked off.

"Where did you park?" She asked him, in between bites of a chocolate croissant.

"We're not taking a car. We're heading to the landing spot. Someone will flex on her fellow students when it comes to entrances today."

A few minutes later AICA landed on a plaza in front of the Royal University's Library and SunTzu got out.

A lot of heads turned this morning.

 

 

SunTzu helped the blonde student out of the cockpit.

"I'll learn and then directly head to the exam, now that I can write it in the auditorium. I let you know, how things went."

"Good luck, I know you can do it!"

"Thank you so much." She paused a moment. "Okay, let's do that!" She said with confidence and walked off into the library.

 

 

He took AICA out for a small morning flight over Tokyo before heading out to the pacific with her. He even took a small tour to space and made a honorary visit to the ESDF Fleet in the orbit before returning to the base.

After landing a round of sport followed. It was awesome, when you had time to actually get shit done. After a shower he went for lunch in the palace, followed by enjoying some time in the courtyard, thinking about the little tour on the botanical garden on the Queen Zenobia he had with Rei, which made him smile.

It hasn't been a whole day yet but he still looked forward to see her again, he concluded.

 

 

He spent the rest of the time in the Flight Center getting Intel about what was going on right now in the galaxy. Something told him something was brewing up again, although it didn't feel too bad as last time. This made him think about Marvin also, he was so busy lately that he didn't find much time to think about his friend's demise much lately.

Looking at a holographic map of the galaxy where a gold mark was on Coruscant and a blue one near Palanhi he decided to never let one of his friends die in combat again.

A message snapped him back to reality.

 

It was Mina, telling him she'd head to the exam now and asked to wish her luck.

He answered that he wished her the best of luck and that she should just contact him afterwards so he could get her.

SunTzu finished making notes, that he wanted to talk about with Ami later on. Maybe he could help her find clues or even a pattern for where attacks would happen next.

 

 

He was back in AICA storing the data for safety into her as well, when Rei sent him a holo. What a pleasant surprise.

Good thing he was in AICA, the snub had a miniature holo player on the console, so he could play the message.

It showed Rei, in business attire, including hair in a strict bun, also a key lace with her ID Card was hanging from her neck.

"Hey TopGun, just wanted to let you know that we're going home. We were successful but that was mostly because Darth Vader showed up and told about his support for the plan in his position as Supreme Commander. You cannot imagine the aura of this man. Senators switched their opinions just because he showed up. He didn't even have to talk to intimidate you. Man, I'm glad he's on our side. The Imperial Remnant also supports the cause. That Senator Daala? Damn, she's a bad bitch. Some senator from Fondor tried to talk shit and he ate him verbally in front of the whole Senate! It was amazing. Anyway I hope you are good and could rest a bit more. See you soon on the Far Side and if something comes up please, take care. Bye!"

The message ended. So they were successful which was definitely great. Rei also seemed to have found liking in the big political intergalactic stage the senate was. Who'd knew. And she looked kinda cute with that bun.

SunTzu played the message again.

 


 

It was around 4:30 pm when SunTzu left for the university.

He landed in front of the medical faculty, thanks Google Maps for the adress, and waited for the blonde student.

 

The pilot sat on AICA's front and smoked a cigarette, flight suit pulled down to his hips, revealing a tight black thermo shirt underneath. He sat there, his feet dangling down and smoking a cigarette, while the sun slowly sat down.

Soon more and more people streamed out the building and after a small while he could make out Minako in the crowd of people. She was talking on her mobile phone but waved when she saw him sitting on AICA.

The blonde finished her phone call and walked up to him smiling.

"Hey James Dean. Aren't you a bit too old to hang around the university like this?" She laughed while he started to smile.

"And I thought you'd like the idea of being picked up from school by the bad guy. You know for the street credibility and stuff."

They shared a laugh and Minako pulled out her phone and took a picture of him. That was for her social media accounts this time. Today's Taxi Driver.

"How did it go?"

"Way better than I expected. My topic was radius head fracture, exactly what Setsuna had in the medbay a few days ago and teached me about. I already called her to say thank you. But learning here helped immense too. Thanks for bringing me here."

He smiled, glad that she did good and that everything went alright.

"I'm glad to hear this, congrats."

"How was your day?"

"Awesome. Way better than recon mission after recon mission. By the way, the others are on their way back."

"Setsuna just told me. What do you say, let's head back too?"

 

He helped her store her stuff and get inside and got into the cockpit himself afterwards.

"Wait a second, I'm not gonna fly without dinner. Hold on."

He left off and at the next convenience store with parking lot he found he landed again.

He rushed inside and came out with various snacks, warm and cold.

"Ever had dinner in a star fighter?" He asked Minako, as he shared the food.

"Lieutenant, you know what a woman wants." She laughed as she unpacked an Onigri.

They left off again and headed to space, while they were enjoying their food.

 

Mina dozed off short after they reached the Shwuy Exchange and awoke half a hour before they reached the Far Side.

"Good Morning Sunshine. Did you enjoy your nap?" SunTzu asked, looking at her in his rear view.

"It's amazing how comfortable it is in here." She answered and stretched her arms. "I understand why a certain someone always wants to fly around with you. And with certain someone I don't mean your new trainee." She looked into his eyes over the rear mirror and winked.

"I don't have any idea what you mean Minako."

"Oh c'mon, everybody can see that there's something going on between you and Rei. Well, almost everybody. Usagi probably can't. What's the situation right now? What happened on that cruise ship, tell me."

"Nothing happened. I don't know what you mean. Me and Rei are just friends."

"Yeah, right. I mean even if Rei wouldn't be one of my closest friends I could see how you look at her."

He didn't answer and turned his gaze away from the rear view and to the front.

"I really don't know what you mean." He tried to get out of this again.

She leaned forward.

"I'll show you something."

She put her hand over back, and slipped under his life support system, hand resting over his heart now. He could feel a warm, pleasant feeling in his chest.

"What are you doing?" He asked her surprised.

"What if I tell you, that I'm really the incarnation of the goddess of Love and I can feel certain emotions when I touch people?"

"I'd tell you that even you're on university to still go easy on the drugs."

She laughed.

"You think this is so devious in a universe where people can bend space and time or move things with their mind?"

SunTzu turned around to her.

"Okay. And what is my heart telling you then?"

She leaned closer to him so she could whisper in his ears.

"You're head-over-heels in love with a certain someone. But like i said I don't need my powers to see this." She smiled before she continued. "I tell you a secret. Maybe, just maybe, this certain someone has feelings for you too. Even though she has problems to show it."

His eyes widened and his jaw dropped for a moment and she laughed when she saw his reactions.

"Sad, that the Goddess of Love has to interfere so that you two finally can get it together." She said with a played annoyed voice and sighed. "She should be happy that I'm such a good soul and dropped out of this competition."

 

So, I'm a competition now. Sure, just use me and throw me away like a dirty towel. Not that I have feelings or something.

 

Her eyes lighted up and she had an idea.

"Which doesn't mean I can't provoke her a bit." She let out an evil laugh. "Say, you can transmit music from inside here, right? Did you know I'm a pretty well known idol?"

 


 

Some twenty minutes later they dropped out of hyperspace near the Taskforce and the Corellian Frigate.

SunTzu glanced at the chrono, the Royals and their diplomatic mission should've been back already.

Showtime.

He gave AICA the order to transmit over to the Far Side while Minako wrote a message to Artemis

"Good evening Taskforce Sol, this is Lieutenant SunTzu speaking again and tonight we have a very special treat for you. Ladies and Gentlemen, the wonderful, the beautiful, Goddess of Love, Minako Aino. And tonight she's singing just for us.

Minako began singing Little Lies from Fleetwod Mac and Artemis opened the channel to be audible on the whole ship.

 

In the Lounge near their quarters Ami, Hotaru and Setsuna were enjoying a cup of tea after a long day and were soon joined by the Senshi that accompanied the mission to Coruscant, even the Queen joined them.

They all were surprised as the speakers suddenly started to play music.

"Hey, that's really Minako singing." Ami stated and looked up to the speakers.

"She's pretty relieved that the exam is over now. That's probably her way to celebrate."

"Where is she by the way?" Michiru asked.

"Oh. She and SunTzu went to earth yesterday and stayed there till today. She needed something from the library there or so." Ami told her.

Rei, who was sitting next to Ami now, dropped her jaw.

"They did what?"

"They left for earth overnight. I guess with the song they're signaling they're back and that they're good. Like you did with SunTzu last time."

Ami could swear she saw a small cloud of smoke rise up from Rei.

"Ah. Okay. You girls excuse me please." With an austere look she got up and left for her room.

The other girls gazes followed her.

"What was that about?" Usagi asked, with a puzzled look on her face.

Most of the table facepalmed, except for Setsuna, Ami and Hotaru.

"Oh Usagi." Ami sighed.

Rei tore her closet open and yanked out the flight suit she kept around lately. Next she searched for the tightest bra that she had in her cabinet.

 

If you wanna play, girlfriend, we gonna play, girlfriend.

 

She thought that Minako gave up seriously hitting on SunTzu a long time ago but now they had been on earth together, doing whatever together. She even was singing songs in AICA now.

 

But be aware Goddess of Love, Rei Hino doesn't run away from a fight.

 

As soon as Minako finished the song SunTzu landed on the Far Side and when he opened the canopy she was already strapped out and stood up.

A cheering crowd moved up to the starfighter and applauded her. She blew kisses, waved and shook hands with and to the mostly male crowd. She was a magnificent singer after all and the crew loved her performance.

A dozen hands offered their help to her to climb down and when she was on the deck she even had to write autographs, partly on arms. Selfies with her were taken, even a group photo where she sat on the shoulders of a particularly big and strong guy.

The blonde enjoyed the interaction with the crowd greatly.

 

SunTzu followed the spectacle from his pilot seat and shook his head smiling.

After a few minutes of interacting and thanking the attending crewers Minako turned around and gave a wink to SunTzu, forming a Thank You with her mouth which he answered with a sloppy salute and a smile.

Then the singer excused herself from the fans, got her luggage and after telling three fans that she was okay to carry her bag on her own she left, blowing a last kiss to the crowd.

 

 

She was almost at her room, when she run into Rei. The fellow Senshi was wearing a flight suit.

"Hey Rei, whatcha doing?"

"Oh, I thought I'd see if I could catch a leisure ride with SunTzu. He usually does that for me, you know. What about you? How was earth?" Rei said in a snarky tone.

"Rei? Are you jealous?" Minako asked, trying hard not to laugh.

"Me jealous? Oh please. For what? Do you really think I could be jealous because of Topper Harley. We're just friends." She remarked, with crossed arms and a severe look on her face. "Did... did anything happen between you two?" She asked, suddenly not being so harsh anymore

Minako sighed, Rei should know better.

"Rei, listen. He just helped me to pass my exam with bringing me to earth, that's all. And you should know that I wouldn't make the smallest move because I know that you developed feelings for him."

Rei wanted to open her mouth and disagree.

"No Rei. You know who you're talking to." Mina put her hands on Rei's shoulders. "Maybe you guys should think about how long you want to keep up this charade between you two up before you both finally come out with your feelings." She gently squeezed Rei's shoulders and turned away, picking her bag up again and continuing her way to her room.

"He's still in the hangar." Minako told her over her shoulder.

"Mina-Chan?" The blonde girl stopped and turned around. "I'm sorry."

Minako smiled and closed her eyes for a moment before she looked back to Rei.

"It's all good. That was just the temper of Sailor Mars we all know and love. Now do the goddess of love a favor and go." She winked and turned around.

Rei nodded and began walking to the hanger with fast, energetic steps.

 

Minako was right, time for results.

 

The crowd soon dispersed back to their various tasks around the ship and SunTzu went on with a after-flight-check, minding his buisness, the hangar almost empty now.

 

Rei arrived at the door to hangar and stopped for a moment. She fixed her hair and opened the zipper of her flight suit till under her chest, revealing tight pushed up cleavage In her most tight bra available. She fixed everything in place and took a deep breath.

 

I hope you're ready for the whole fiery package of Sailor Mars my dear little Top Gun.

 

Then she stepped inside the hangar and headed for the AICA's Landing Spot.

 

SunTzu was almost finished with his checks. In the corner of his eye he saw that someone was moving towards him so his head turned.

It was Rei. And she wore a half opened flight suit, revealing a great looking pushed up décolleté.

His jaw dropped. What was happening now? Was he hallucinating?

 

Suddenly the lights went red and an alarm started blaring through the whole ship.

Artemis came over the speakers and declared all hands battle stations.


 

Chapter Text

 

If SunTzu ever felt betrayed from the universe than it was right now.

 

Are you fucking kidding me?

 

While he still tried to turn away his gaze from Rei, the Hangar erupted into chaos. The few mechanics that were there immediately took action and made ships ready to start and brought over carts with weapons and ammunition.

 

The pilot shook his head and turned to his console.

"AICA, try to find out, what's going on! Are we under attack?"

 

For a moment Rei reconsidered her being as priestess as the universe just decided to throw another spoke into the wheels of her and SunTzu's need for clear conditions.

 

 

SunTzu put on his helmet, while Rei nervously advanced AICA. He motioned her to wait when she arrived next to AICA, while he carefully listened to someone.

 

Michiru and Haruka were on the way to the hangar, to talk with the ground crew when the alarm went on. They looked at each other and started running.

SunTzu was still talking over radio, when Michiru and Haruka rushed past Rei. Haruka turned around for a moment, taking a look.

"Hey Rei, nice package!" She yelled over her shoulder before she continued to run to her ship.

Rei briefly gave Haruka an irritated look before she looked back up to SunTzu and closed her zipper.

 

Haruka and Michiru jumped into their TIE and strapped in. The female TIE-pilot put on her helmet and activated the comm system.

"What is it?" She asked SunTzu.

"Wait one." Was the answer Haruka received.

She looked over her shoulder to SunTzu who strained listened into his helmet. A few moments later he came in on radio again.

"Okay, listen. We got multiple attacks of smaller groups on the Namadii Corridor between here and Bilbringi. Guess who is the closest unit available."

"Just when I thought I could have a a few laid back hours after that snake pit that Coruscant is."

"Oh believe me, I was pretty busy too."

"Really, I heard you were chilling on earth."

Mission data came in over the board computers.

The Corellian Frigate and the two advanced starfighters from the Far Side were about to jump up to the nearest attack in advance and start the fight while the rest of the Taskforce followed, after at least a company of the ground troops and another of the commando teams were back on their mothership.

 

Great, holding out and waiting for the Far Side till whenever and more. Let's at least hope that it's really just small enemy units.

 

Rei, when she saw that he wasn't listening to the radio anymore but rather checking his cockpit monitors, climbed up to the cockpit and appeared next to him.

"Trouble?"

"Looks like. Guess who's going in first."

"Let me come with you. I can help."

"No! It's too dangerous. You help me more if I know you're here, safe and sound." He looked into her eyes, the Senshi really seemed to worry.

"Besides, I got AICA and the girls taking care of me. Don't worry, if anything goes as planned, we'll be back before the Far Side even moves out." He forced himself to smile to make her feel better.

 

AICA announced their permission to start as he looked into her eyes again. "I promise I won't do anything more stupid than usual."

He expected a sarcastic remark, a wry smile or maybe a playful punch on his shoulder as reaction but definitely not what she actually did.

 

Rei leaned over and pressed her lips on his, closing her eyes. He was completely taken by surprise for the blink of an eye before closing his eyes as well and reciprocating the kiss.

 

For a short moment the universe stood still and was made completely out of her warm, soft lips, that were passionatly pressed against his.

 

A space fighter further Michiru's eyes widened before she started to grin from ear to ear.

„Are you seeing this?"

Haruka, whose jaw dropped from what she saw, just could answer with an „Un-huh."

"Looks like our two non daters finally came clear." Michiru clapped her hands happily and grinned from ear to ear.

 

The kiss lasted for a few seconds although both wouldn't have mind if it would have lasted till the end of time.

Rei pulled back and looked into his eyes.

"Go get'em Tiger!"

 

That said she climbed down again and moved away from AICA, while SunTzu's gaze followed her.

As the canopy closed he nodded with a determined face to Rei who was holding a fist up to her heart.

 

 

AICA lifted off and passed the Voyager who left off also and veered in behind AICA.

SunTzu's gaze stayed on Rei in his rear view and AICA had to intervene in the controls as he almost grazed the hangar gate's upper edge.

"Awesome. This starts out fantastic again." Haruka commented from her cockpit.

 


 

They soared out into space and took flank on the Corellian Frigate before all three ships jumped into hyperspace.

 

Some thirty minutes later they fell out of Hyperspace, near a middle sized asteroid that housed a mining station that dug for ore on it. And a dozen starfighters attacking the station.

 

The Frigate turned about and it's complement of two LAF Fighters swarmed out taking defensive positions. Which made AICA and the Voyager available for attack and they Immediately used their change.

 

Or rather SunTzu did as he immediately broke away and speeded towards the enemy.

As soon as he got a lock he shot two multi lock missiles into the fighters, making five ships explode at once and immediately got to hunt the remaining fighters.

Haruka followed close by and took out four more ships with a single multi lock missile before the Voyager joined the dog fight.

 

SunTzu finished two more fighters, one in front of him and one that tried to sneak up from behind but was destroyed by the combination of fire from the back turned lasers to put down his shields and a Cobra Maneuver to let it pass and give it the rest.

Haruka destroyed the last enemy starfighter with an approach from under the asteroid and they went back to the Frigate.

 

"Are you in a hurry somehow?" Haruka asked SunTzu when they turned around to the Frigate. The whole fight didn't last two minutes.

"Yes. I need answers to a few things."

 

They had to stay in system to look for the enemies mother ship and soon they found it. It was an old, converted container freighter, hiding in a nearby asteroid field.

The Voyager found it first and took a small turn to join back with AICA.

 

Both ships than pounced on the old freighter like to wild hornets, while the Corellian Frigate and it's escorts stormed towards it too.

 

The Pirate Freighter had a few turrets on it but none was fast enough to keep track on the two fast fighters buzzing around it.

 

The two snubs covered the bigger ship with missiles, laser fire and ion shots from Michiru's turret. Finally the aft shield broke down and the Voyager and AICA put another salvo of rockets into the now unsecured engines.

As they veered off to shake the enemy defensive fire the Corellian Frigate came into weapon range and opened up.

The turbolasers of the frigate made quick work of the front shields and when the shields finally completely failed took big chunks out of the hull of the makeshift carrier.

 

After a few salvos hitting midship the light on the ship flickered and a big explosion destroyed the ship from inside out.

"Can we finally go back now?" SunTzu asked.

 


 

As soon as they landed, Ground Crew got to work again and brought carts with missiles to reload the ships.

SunTzu jumped out of his seat and headed out of the hangar, straight to the living quarters.

 

He almost ran into Rei, who was on her way to the hangar. She was transformed now and they stopped a few meters in front from each other.

"I heard you were back so I wanted to see you. I'm glad you're well." She was superstitious because of the kiss earlier and his no promises in combat still rang in her ear.

"Rei. What was that earlier?"

"What do you mean? It was a kiss, of course." She looked at him questioningly.

"I mean. What does that mean for us?"

As soon as this question left his lips the alarm rang again.

 

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck... FUCK!

 

"I'll be back. This question still stands!" He turned around on the spot and ran back to the hangar, while she was standing there and followed him running away with her gaze, nervously.

 

Good question, Rei thought, what did that kiss mean for them? He reciprocated the kiss and it was clear he felt something for her as she did for him. But where were they heading to now?

 

 

SunTzu jumped into AICA and took on his helmet.

"AICA, give me news. What's happening?"

"Unknown contact some 300.000 kilometers away. Immediate scramble."

Alright. The canopy closed and ten seconds later AICA was out of the Far Side with Odegana and Xenia following close by.

They made a micro jump and began to recon the area.

 

A few minutes later the unknown contact was identified. It was a legal trader's ship whose ID Transmitter had a malfunction. Usually a RASP Patrol would have been called in and charge the captain with a fine, but right now war lingered around this corner of the galaxy and after a reprimand from flight control the ship was told to get moving and repair it's transmitter.

 

AICA landed again and after a small break for refreshing and drinking some water SunTzu was back on his way to the quarters, trying to continue his conversation with Rei.

 

Rei wasn't in her room and also not at the lounge. He pulled out his phone and wrote her asking where she was, while he made his way to the Mission Control Center.

 

She wrote him, that she was on her way from the cafeteria to her room and as he wrote her, where she exactly was, she walked up from behind him, now de-transformed again.

"I'm here." Rei said and put away her phone.

Just as SunTzu was about to open his mouth the alarm started blaring again, making him think that someone up there really had a personal problem with him.

He had to laugh out loud and shook his head as he turned around again.

Before he started running away again Rei rushed over to him, grabbed his arm and spun him around to her.

She kissed him again, with the same passion as the first time. Their hands grabbed around each other and they pulled themselves as close as they could to each other.

The kiss lasted for a few seconds and was followed by a hug and Rei laid her head against his chest.

"I'll be waiting for you to come back. And then we can talk." Rei said while she listened to his heartbeat.

"I'll try to be back as soon as I can."

SunTzu kissed Rei's forehead and they parted.

The pilot rushed back to the hangar while she stood there, gazing after him.

She sent a small prayer to heaven, hoping he'll be back safe. The sooner, the better.

 

 

When he arrived at the hangar, Haruka and Michiru were climbing into the Voyager.

SunTzu rushed over to AICA, got into the cockpit and put on his pilot helmet.

Michiru came in over radio.

"We're flying to a planet called Carratos, located in the inner rim. Various ships, formations and units are involved. The planet is a pirate stronghold. Looks like Vader wants to sent out a message, we'll rendezvous with the Stalker, a ship of Death Squadron in System."

She waited a moment and waited for an answer or questions. But he stayed completely quiet.

"Earth to SunTzu. Are you there?" The teal haired Senshi asked him.

"Mate, snap out of it!" Haruka chimed in.

"I copy, I copy. Sorry, won't happen again."

Haruka and Michiru looked at each other in their cockpit. Michiru shrugged her shoulders.

SunTzu took a deep breath, sent a small prayer up into heaven, to be home safe soon and lifted off. Duty came first, right?

 


 

They returned six hours and three more kills for each ship later. There were plenty of pirates and marauders in the system Carratos was in but the combined strength of the Stalker, an Imperial-II-Class Star Destroyer, which already served under Vader in the Galactic Civil war, it's three veteran squadrons, the two fighters from Taskforce Sol, a RASP X-Wing Squadron and two Corellian gunboats quickly decimated any opposition. A contingent of Stormtroopers and Navy Personnel from the Stalker was dropped on the planet with escort from the star fighters and took care of the planetside hideouts.

The three earthlings were quite impressed from the professio