By Saturn Knight


The hiss of metal scraping against metal roused Hotaru from her unconscious state.
Violet orbs slowly opening to view a world that swirled around her, leading her head to
begin pounding, though now all she heard was her own breathing. Groaning lightly, she tried
to push herself up off what felt like the ground, but as she placed her palms to the floor, it
was smooth, too much so to be anything natural, and thought it better to try to see where she
was before risking another swoon. Unable to focus her eyes in the dim surroundings, she
squinted in a vain attempt to see with any kind of clarity.
The room had no visible walls, or ceiling, simply blackness lit with sparsely placed
torches, their shadows slithering menacingly across the ground. Out of the corner of her eye,
she saw a flash as the light from the torches reflected something. Her head turning in that
direction, her eyes rested on two figures, vaguely human shaped, one living midnight, the
other as crimson as blood. Not a word spoken between them as they stared each other down,
with what appeared to be weapons held at the ready, the suspense was almost tangible. The
red figure struck first, and once more they danced before her, the sharp, pronounced cry of
metal meeting in a tango of death, which Hotaru wanted no part of.
	The figures moved at a blinding speed, ducking, jumping, stabbing, their motion left
streaks of color behind them as they battled harder than she has ever seen anyone, anything
fight before. Whoever they were, whatever they were, they seemed oblivious to her presence.
She thanked the gods for that and tried to hold as still, and as silent as possible, to avoid any
attention to herself, while she continued to watch on. There was simply nothing else she
could do.
	The figure in red was obviously the aggressor; it gave the black shape no rest as it
hacked at it mercilessly with what appeared to be a pole arm of some kind. Its relentless
attacks were coupled with growls and grunts as the shots were either blocked or dodged
completely. As the sparks from the clashing weapons flew, the black outline continued to be
driven back, towards Hotaru's position on the floor. Was it defending her? Who was it?! She
had to get out of there…
	Her heart began to race, as she looked around herself frantically for somewhere to
hide, somewhere to get herself out of the open but saw nothing but blurry darkness. Closing
her eyes to prevent the room from spinning, she focused herself, trying to will herself into
lucid sight. Opening her eyes once more, she looked upon the room again, and by some
miracle, her attempt worked. Vision slowly starting to clear, she could see a few details
about each of the figures fighting before her. The black figure was obviously human, or
humanoid and was dressed in dark clothing and what appeared to be a ninja's mask covering
his face. He wielded a black bladed sword, which he handled as if it were an extension of his
body, obviously having been doing it for quiet some time.
	Hotaru gasped as she looked upon the red figure. It was the same size as a human,
but its face was distorted into a sick mockery of a person. The mouth was full of razor sharp
fangs, dripping saliva onto the floor as it grunted and roared, angry that the man wasn't
going down as easy as it hoped. It's eyes were two dried out sockets, a faint red glow seen
from them in place of pupils, and the thing had no nose; it's entire body was dried, red flesh.
Once more placing her hands to the ground, she pushed with all the strength she could
muster, and barely managed to gain any kind of clearance from the floor before her hands
gave out and she fell back to the ground with a loud thud. Both figures turned to her, neither
of them speaking. The creature took advantage of this and thrust his pole arm at the man
before he could have a chance to ready a defense, slamming him directly in the chest with the
weapon. A sickening crunch was heard as the metal sunk into the man's rib cage, blood
starting to seep over the silver blade and splattered onto floor. The man turned to look at the
creature, his eyes narrowed as he dropped to a knee, the weapon embedded firmly in his
body. Thick, red blood splattered from his wound onto the floor before he too slumped down
	"It lives!" the thing screeched, glaring directly at Hotaru. It's 'voice' was
indescribable, the sound of a million souls screaming out in sheer agony at once. It chilled
her to the bone, causing her to freeze in place; a tiny whimper her only viable action. She
knew she had no defense. She was too woozy and disoriented to fight it hand to hand, it was
just too fast for her in any state. It approached her, leaving the crumpled figure on the
ground about 30 yards, or so, away.
	Picking up the man's sword, the creature did what could only be described as a grin,
it's jagged, yellowed teeth bared further as it's mouth opened. "Now YOU die, girl." The
creature laughed as it held the sword high in triumph, the black blade glimmered in the light
of the torches. It hissed to Hotaru and began to slice the blade through the air, but was
disrupted by the sound of the man behind them once more standing off the ground.
	"No…" the black clad man's voice sounded, "You know you can't kill her as long
as I still breathe…" and he winced and grunted as he pulled the pole arm from his chest,
leaving blood to spurt down the open wound. Hotaru's eyes went wide as she saw the
weapon he was holding: The silence glaive.
	"WHY DON'T YOU DIE!!?" the monster glared at the youth, making an
indistinguishable clicking noise before screaming at the top of its voice as it charged at the
man, who was in no shape to fight it any longer. The man closed his eyes and held the glaive
parallel to the floor. The light suddenly increased dramatically, as the torches flared, the
sudden burst of light blinded the creature, causing it to scream in rage and fall to the floor,
covering its face with it's clawed hands. Hotaru could now understand why the red beast
didn't let the man have any kind of rest at all: he knew it's weak point. All the colors of the
prism swirled from the flames into the glaive in his hands, the blood sizzling on the blade of
the weapon from the intense energy that caused the metal to glow. The youth's eyes opened
then, completely white with the energy feeding from the power of the torches, the light, and
turned to the creature.
	"DEATH EVERLASTING…" The man screamed to the sky… Death everlasting?
Is that like Death reborn?! Hotaru's head quickly snapped from the creature to the one who
held her weapon. "REVELATION!"
The blade flashed a single time in response to his call, and as he slashed the weapon
vertically through the air, a crescent shaped sickle of energy screamed across the sky to the
vulnerable creature on the floor. As it struck the writhing figure, what sounded like
electricity began to crackle, causing the monster to scream only once before being cut off
into silence. Its body quickly turned into nothing more than a pile of ash on the floor, a
massive scorch mark surrounding its former position.
	"W—who are you?" Hotaru managed to ask, causing the youth to turn to glance at
her, dropping back to a knee, and as the light from the glaive began to fade, she caught a
glimpse of black colored irises.
	"You'll see in time…" he feel back into a sitting position raising his hand to the sky,
his palm beginning to glow gently white. "Just go back to sleep, Hotaru…You need your
rest." then all went black once more.
	Red, watery eyes glanced at Hotaru's motionless body, which lay on the hospital bed
in the silence of the night. Usagi hadn't returned from her run to the cafeteria yet, leaving
Chibi Usa with ample time to take in every feature of the sleeping angel. Her hand caressed
Hotaru's slender digits her own smooth palm,
"You'll be okay, right Hotaru?" Chibi turned her eyes to Hotaru's expecting her to
open them and reassure her that everything was just fine…. The only sound that was heard
was the incessant beeping of the heart monitor and the hissing of the ventilator as it forced
air into and out of her lungs.
	A click sounded behind Chibi, causing her to turn and look at the door, taking her
eyes off Hotaru for a moment. In came Usagi, carefully holding two foam cups in her hands,
and a bag in her mouth, carefully opening the door with her back. Chibi immediately went to
Usagi and took a cup from her, not because she wanted to help, but she knew that Usagi
can't be trusted to carry things… She has a tendency to fall and spill them.
	"Thanks," Usagi said, after removing the bag from her hand and moving to one of
the three wooden chairs in the room that were stationed by the window. "Careful, it's really
hot." She had already burned her tongue, and didn't want Chibi to do the same.
	"Ok…" was Chibi's response, as she set the drink down on the window sill, not
really interested in it right now, and immediately turned her eyes back to Hotaru. "You like
chocolate don't you? I know you don't like milk…" Usagi sighed, looking to the pink haired
child speaking to the incapacitated girl on the bed. Silence followed for a moment, the
sounds of the machines were the only things that broke the thick silence until Chibi spoke
again, "Do you think she can hear me?"
	"I dunno…I think so…." She knew that it was doubtful, since she wasn't conscious
and moving, that the receptors in her brain didn't register the words. "You should ask the
doctor, he would know for sure." Chibi only sighed and picked up her chocolate and looked
at it through the small drinking hole in the lid. "It's a bit on the sweeter side," Usagi relayed
to Chibi, hoping that would coax her into drinking it.
	"She can hear every word you say," the doctor said as he entered the room via the
door Usagi forgot to close, a few of the staff following suit. "She's not asleep, exactly…she's
in a state of coma, her brain is active, but her body isn't…she doesn't know she can't move,
she doesn't know she can't see, but she can hear you since sound is involuntarily heard."
The doctor sat down on the chair opposite the girls, and crossed his legs, before opening the
chart. The staff, on the other hand began to huddle around Hotaru, Chibi saw that most of
them had needles.
"It looks like your friend has spent a good few days in hospitals before," he pushed
his glasses back and continued, "We have to run a few tests on her skin for feeling, and her
lungs, her brain…it'll be done right now since this is still considered and emergency." Chibi
winced lightly as they stuck Hotaru in her arm to take some blood samples, "We'll have to
take her for another CT scan in the morning…it might take a while to get all the data, and
you two should get some rest."
"Another CT scan…and what is a CT scan?" Usagi looked to the doctor, rather than
the group around Hotaru, not wanting to watch them poke and prod around on her.
"A CT scan is a type of tissue scan…a CAT scan, you've probably heard of that."
He looked at the chart again, then back to Usagi, "And she had one when she came in, and it
showed no abnormalities." Usagi let out a breath that she felt like she had been holding since
she heard that Hotaru was here. "Another one in the morning will confirm the results, as well
as show any damage that might have occurred after the scan. She's not out of the woods yet,
not by far, but if the scan is good she should recover just fine."

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