The Fall of the Silver Millennium

Title: The Fall of the Silver Millennium
Premise, or Lack Thereof: In a world with game-breaking powers, strategy is still necessary.
Reason for Banishment: Lost steam


The Fall of the Silver Millenium
a story by Dot


The Queen did not bother to turn around and instead continued to stare at the Imperium Silver Crystal floating above its sacred pedestal. “So you figured it out, then.”

Sigyn dropped her invisibility spell. “Well, that is my job.”

“Ah, yes, the perils of having a Minervan for an adviser.” A touch of the Queen’s usual dry wit crept into her otherwise resigned tone.

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” Sigyn’s own voice was quiet, with just the slightest tremor.

The Queen reached out to touch the Crystal, but drew back before she made contact. “Someday, you’ll understand.”

Sigyn was reminded of her meeting with the Princess of Pluto, and the snark they exchanged gained new meaning. Her next words came out in a rush. “How much time do you need?”

Now the Queen turned to stare at Sigyn. “You’re not—”

“If my instincts are correct, Beryl will use the Low Tides as an opportunity to invade. From what I saw of her forces, our troops won’t be able to hold her for long, but I can organize some sort of defense that’ll at least bring you that much closer to the next Tidal Change.”

The Queen shook her head. “This isn’t a war that can be fought with swords or wands.”

Sigyn had to wonder whether the Queen had lost Her mind. “Then we’ll fight with our lives!”

“No, Siygn, We forbid any meaningless sacrifices.”

It was time to play her trump card. “Hild came to see me today. She’s planning to use the Forbidden Power.”

“She—she told you that?”

“In her usual cryptic manner, of course, but it wasn’t hard to read between the lines. And if Hild—who’s the most fatalistic person I know—is doing everything she can to turn wheels of Destiny, then I don’t intend on any less.”

For a moment, a grim silence hung in the air.

The Queen was first to speak again. “Your mind was already made up before you came here.”

Sigyn’s mind was now on full speed. “You bet. And I already have an idea how to get the defenses set up without arousing too much suspicion.”

“We—” The Queen took Sigyn’ hands into her own, her eyes shining. “We don’t know how to thank you, Sigyn.”

Sigyn returned the Queen’s strong grip with a wistful smile. “If all of us can make it out alive, I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with adequate compensation.”

{ ♎ }

Sigyn smoothed down the wrinkles in her dress and checked her reflection in the mirror. The armor did not show, and in fact helped flatter her figure. Her spindle lay snug against one leg, while her spear had to be disassembled in order to fit over her back as the supports for her ‘wings’. As a final touch, she put on the hand-painted mask.

Celeste curled around the small of Sigyn’ waist, an occasional twitch of her tail betraying her nerves. “You realize that the Nobles will have your head for this once they find out the real reason they were invited.”

“They don’t know that this was my idea. And even if they suspected, they’re not going to say anything to the Queen’s face about it.” Sigyn fitted a shimmering beak over Celeste’s nose. Everyone had a secret role in this production, even the lunar cats; they were to be the front-line scouts, relaying information to the command center so that the Queen would have the most up-to-date picture of the upcoming battle. “Besides, they did swear to serve the Queen in whatever capacity they could.”

A polite but assertive knock sounded at the door. “Are you ready, Lady Sigyn?”

Sigyn turned back to the mirror and began pinning the decorative sparkles into her hair. “Almost. Come on in and let me take a look at you.”

Forseti entered, looking somewhat self-conscious as he held a feathered hat in one hand and a mask in the other. “Can’t I find some other way to incorporate a sword into my costume?”

“There’s no better place to hide than in plain sight,” Sigyn replied, tweaking the mask’s exaggerated nose with a smirk. “Besides, I think you make an adorable Rhyming Romantic.”

Forseti posed as he put on the mask. “Alas, alack, please do take that back.”

Sigyn almost poked herself in the forehead with a pin. “And you say your sister has no talent.”

“Poetry is more difficult than I thought, but try my best is what I ought.” Forseti held out his arm for Sigyn to hold. “Let us make haste, as there’s no time to waste.”

}

It had been little more than a single week into the siege, but weariness was already evident on everyone’s faces. Before this, the people with any combat experience were the nobles, who battled just for sport. This sort of war—brutal, bloody, and never-ending—had become a relic of ancient history thanks to the Silver Millennium, and the centuries of peace had made its citizens unaccustomed to such trauma.

Sigyn woke from her light nap and began canvassing the hallways to see what she had missed while she slept. She was a little more used to keeping odd hours and getting in quick winks during emergency situations, but she was going a little stir crazy. Ever since the initial wave had been repulsed she kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but Beryl was no fool who would limit herself to throwing minions at the Moon Palace. Each subsequent wave had become more subtle, testing the defenses and striking where they were weakest. Just yesterday the South Wall almost broke, but Forseti had managed to reorganize his group fast enough to keep the enemy from pouring in.

This morning she had to tell him that they would not be able to save his arm.

Sigyn was beginning to understand why the Queen would risk using the Imperium Silver Crystal, and during the Low Tides on top of that. The price of war was great and terrible, and She wanted to do everything she could to spare her people that pain. But perhaps this was the wake-up call for the Kingdom that it needed to stop playing all those stupid pointless power games.

“Penny for your thoughts.”

For a moment Sigyn wondered if Hild liked sneaking up to people and scaring them witless. “I was just being cynical again and wondering if anybody really appreciated how wonderful life was before it all went to shit.”

Hild gave Sigyn half a smile. “Well, I did, but I might not count.”

Sigyn stared at her hands. “I’m also wondering if this whole mess is just me trying to prove to myself that I can do something, even it it’s just getting people killed.”

“Do you honestly think that it would have been less cruel to let the Kingdom fall on the first day, taken by complete surprise, with people being slaughtered in their beds as they slept?”

“If you put it that way, then no.” Sigyn sighed. “I just wish it wasn’t so damn hard.”

“Don’t we all.”

}

Sigyn waved off the approaching medic. Compared to everyone else, her injuries were superficial. Besides, she needed the opportunity to reorganize her thoughts. She still couldn’t believe that she—nor the Queen, for that manner—realized all four of Endymion’s generals would turn traitor until it was too late. While her plans didn’t hinge on their presence, losing them to the other side was without a doubt the biggest blow to the defensive effort so far.

Her most immediate concern lay with the Princesses. It was no longer practical to keep any of them from the front line despite their respective planets’ ambivalence towards the rift in Earth-Moon relations. No one else had the capabilities to make a strong enough stand until a distress signal could be sent out, and even then, whether anyone would—or could, for that matter—come to their aid was not a guarantee. Without a doubt, Princess Serenity would make token protest over her dearest friends taking the field—against their former suitors, no less—but even she knew the pressing need for every able-bodied warrior to fight.

Sigyn then pondered the practicality of securing a secret path out of the Palace. On one hand, such a path would be necessary for receiving supplies, gathering intelligence, sending out strike teams, or even a route of escape should the Palace fell. On the other, it would represent a massive vulnerability in the defenses. Although if she could make some sort of preparations, this might serve to draw at least some of the troops into an area where the defenders would have the upper hand for once. Still, such a ploy would have limited use. It was, perhaps, wiser to save it for more desperate times.

But this much was certain: they would need to take the fight to the enemy, and soon, if they were to have any chance. Previous to the start of the invasion, the climate had been kept at a pleasant but bland Spring by the Queen’s magic, but now that all non-essential power had been redirected to actual defenses Sigyn could consider using the elements to her advantage. With the Moon’s lighter gravity, Wind attacks were the most useful, but she could still find ways to incorporate earth, fire and water into the mix as well.

Then there were the darker arts that the Queen would never approve of, no matter how grim the circumstances. Sigyn didn’t like to think about using them, either, but every once in a while she found temptation difficult to resist. So far she was able to channel that energy into coming up with ways to prepare against such methods, but she knew she was a handful of disasters away from using them herself regardless of the consequences.

Sigyn got up again, having had her fill of thinking. It was time to put her plans into action.

}

Sigyn grit her teeth as she tightened her grip on her spindle, the thin silver threads cutting into her hand. Above her, at the other end of the taut wires, Jadedite sliced away another lifeline, a cold smile playing his lips.

“Come on, Minnie” Jadedite taunted, using the despicable nickname that Sigyn was often called behind her back. “Is that crybaby of a Princess really worth dying for?”

“And what does Beryl have to offer? What plans does she have after she’s done with her petty revenge?” In truth, Sigyn didn’t care what Beryl wanted, but she needed to buy some time so she could plan her next move.

Jadedite pretended to consider this for a moment. “Good question.” He smirked and swung his scimitar again, and Sigyn was down to a single, tenuous strand. “But you’re hardly in a position to worry about Beryl’s long-term goals, don’t you think?”

Sigyn mirrored Jadedite’s expression now that she saw an opening. “Neither are you.” She dismissed the spindle and fell, recalling her spear back into her hands as she did. Stabbing the point into the wall, she flipped into a handstand and pressed down to leverage her weight. As the spear sprung upward, she switched weapons again, shooting threads at Jadedite.

Jadedite parried them all except one that caught on his wrist. “It seems I’ve underestimated you.” He tossed the blade into his other hand. “Good thing I’m ambidextrous.”

Sigyn pretended to be caught off guard by this, letting Jadedite pull her forward. As she drew within striking range she blocked the blade with her arm, catching the edge on her gauntlet and stabbed into his chest with her spindle, transforming it into her spear as it pierced through the skin. “What a coincidence. So am I.”

“You little—” Coughing up blood, Jadedite stabbed at Sigyn again, but this time she grabbed the blade and held it fast. Fire erupted around her as Jadedite summoned his most powerful spell, holding onto life by sheer force of will. Sigyn pressed forward, pushing Jadedite against the wall. The heat of the flames grew, but thanks to the protection of her armor they were not able to do much harm.

When the backup forces lead by [mars] of Mars arrived at last, Sigyn still kept her spear in Jadedite’s side, not daring to move for fear of him springing up for one last blow. “He’s dead, Sigyn,” [mars] remarked, checking Jadedite’s vital signs.

Sigyn let her weapon fizzle as she dropped her arms and allowed the medical team to move in and check her injuries. “Thank you. And I’m sorry.”

[mars] shook her head. “It was his life or yours, Sigyn.” She reached over to close his eyes, her hands resting over his face. “Do you think the Queen will let me have his ashes?”

Sigyn considered this for a moment. “Ask for a private audience.”

}

One after another, the Generals fell in battle, and Sigyn found herself by the sides of the respective Princesses whom they had courted.


Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
Yeah, another one of those Sailor [Insert Planet Here] stories. Despite all the doubts in my head saying I should quit while I’m ahead, I don’t really want to give up on this particular character yet. Even if she doesn’t work out to be a Sailor Scout, she could be recycled into something just as interesting.
As I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired, I used Norse mythology to name the citizens of the Silver Millennium. (Hey, it is appropriate given the whole death-of-the-gods themes in Norse mythology.)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrby feather