Enjoying the Scenery



Saariyah had learned long ago that any sense of normalcy was forfeit when you were a soldier. It was why, when Saariyah’s thoughts lingered to even the littlest possibility of it, she stopped herself. Many would probably say that it wasn’t a healthy move, but Jeremiah wasn’t wrong – neither of them would trade their duties for the world.

“Friendships that form during your time as a Sailor Guardian are important to keep yourself alive during times of duty,” Saariyah sighed.  “I think that’s why Fireball, Kes and Maker were so eager to come back here.”

She wasn’t blind to that, either – she understood why they wanted to come here. Everyone felt so alive here versus than they had back home. Earth was…. a unique planet of freedom, and she was envious of humans in more ways than people realized.

She would elbow him a little hard in the arm when she saw his grin, only to roll her eyes at the mention of the conspiracy theories from a little over a decade ago.

“Ugh! I know about those conspiracy theories,” Saariyah huffed. “When we were last here, they were still trying to figure out the reasons behind all the attacks—it was actually pretty funny watching how ignorant people were on this system on television. I remember complaining a lot back at our apartment about these stupid alien movies.”

This was at a time where they influenced the acting world, as well.

“You are, I think,” Saariyah sighed. “Cynthia might not make the best choices but she’s faced Chaos more than once to know that honesty is better.”

The laughter that he received caused her green hues to flutter in surprise and shifting into a scowl. “Don’t push it, okay?” Saariyah huffed, reminding him that she was known to be tough as far as her opinions went, but…there were exceptions to the rule, and it all came down to trust. Jeremiah was one of the few people in her life who earned that trust.

The mention of Kes had caused her eyebrow to raise, famously crossing her arms. “What did she want this time?”






"There were moments," said Jeremiah, "that I was concerned we would have trouble integrating." Considering who and what the Heavenly Kings had been, the fact that they had meshed with Cynthia's Guardians was proof of just how much everyone wanted to work together to support the King and Queen. "Our bonds--or friendships--were not forged as some were during the Sailor Wars but ..." A slanted glance was given to Saariyah, the corner of his mouth twitching upward as she elbowed him in the arm. "It makes them no different, providing us with that spark of life and more we need to keep going forward."

It was sometimes a wonder that Jeremiah was so idealistic, especially considering his preference for realism. Yet if he was any other way it would probably be odd.

Saariyah talking about the conspiracy theories and television that was prevalent during her previous time on Earth drew a curious look before he simply shook his head. "I was little at the time but ..." There was a roll of his eyes. "You would not believe what the world went on about at the turn of the millennia. If it wasn't aliens and all those conspiracy theories, it was the world is ending." A pause. "In ways that make absolutely no sense considering all the ways that it actually could have."

Both hands were held up, palms facing towards Saariyah. "I yield, dear friend, and will not push it." Even if the glint in his queerly bright blue-green eyes said that he likely would but only in ways that would likely further endear him to Saariyah. It was his way, after all. What he did do, however, was scoot over a little bit on the grass and pat the ground so that Saariyah would sit with him. He even held a hand out to her, like a proper gentleman (because he was one).

"Well, first she implied that I did not understand what it means to have your trust," said Jeremiah with a shake of his head. That had honestly been Kesatria's first mistake (of many). "Beyond that, she wanted to take advantage of my trust of you, and our friendship, to find the answers to her questions." Here was where the silver-haired man truly paused, studying Saariyah's face for a heartbeat before he continued.

"She was asking me about Mason, Saariyah. Who he is as a person, a judgment of his character, anything and everything I was willing to divulge." His cane-sword had been set on the ground next to him, Jeremiah nudging it with a finger before letting it roll back toward him. "I truly do not want to speak ill of her but ..." A breath was taken in and then released slowly. "I have seen her around the Crystal Palace, especially around Cynthia, and cannot help but think she wished to learn about him for less than noble purposes."





(This post was last modified: 28 Aug 2020, 05:53 AM by Jeremiah Mercer.)



Huh?

Saariyah was caught off-guard at that remark, green eyes looked towards Jeremiah perplexed. “You? Why would you think that?” If anyone should have had that worry, it was the Starlights when they first arrived. Why would a natural born human have that fear?

It made no sense to her.

“There’s no reason to feel alienated on your own planet,” Saariyah huffed. Saariyah made no attempt not to alienate herself from humans, often preferring to appear standoffish than approachable. At the time they were on Earth, she wasn’t there to make friends – she was there to focus on her mission. Times, unfortunately, were different now – it was part of their mission to make nice.

Saariyah was trying, but not in the ways that people expected, and she was still very private about the bonds she formed. Her own selection of friends seemed to be of the introverted variety, as the extroverts within the Crystal Palace’s inner circle were often infuriating.

“The fears that Earthlings have are ridiculous,” Saariyah rolled her eyes. “It’s honestly a no wonder that people aren’t fond of us right now, the governments prior to the current one didn’t do anyone any favors.”

Saariyah huffed once more, a disgruntled look forming on her features at Jeremiah’s remark. What she wasn’t expecting though was for him to take a seat onto the ground, patting it in a way that Saariyah couldn’t mistaken it for anything else. Saariyah groaned, her shoulders slumping as she had a feeling that this was going to be a conversation that she wasn’t going to like.

While most women would have taken hold of his hand to make sitting easier, Saariyah didn’t – she just wasn’t the type. It was more her own inability to appear delicate even though she knew she was delicate. She would, however, sit down, crossing her arms as she listened.

The last thing that she liked was hearing about her leader doing stupid things. There were moments she wondered if she was more leader capacity, but Saariyah knew that she wasn’t a people person like Kes was. That, in itself, was the reason Kes was their leader.

When Mason was brought up, Saariyah face-palmed. Really? This shit again?

“Great,” Saariyah said irritably. “I can only imagine what she asked, but you’d think that returning to Kinmoku and living life at court would have swayed her opinions on Cynthia.” Saariyah was, in fact, angry – especially at the fact that Kes wasn’t even subtle about it.

The fact that Kes had the nerve to ask Jeremiah about Mason was an outrage. Never mind the fact that it was a question about Mason, but the fact that she went to Jeremiah!

“Kes’s opinion of His Majesty is less than favorable.” Saariyah lowered her arms into a cross-arm position. “She thinks that Cynthia was abandoned during the Sailor Wars and seeing her alone again wasn’t really helping the matter, but Cynthia seems too nice to say no outright.”

Saariyah growled. “But the fact that she went to you angers me. I can understand her going to an Inner with concerns, but you? Just because we’re close?”






With a shake of his head, Jeremiah gave the silver-haired woman something of a sad smile. "The world does not know the truth, knows nothing of those years I was gone," because he had been dead, spirit within a piece of zoisite that he kept on him now that it was no longer carried by Mason, "the Queen's Guardians do. Not just that but ..." A sigh escaped, Jeremiah's head tilting back as he looked up at the sky. He was thinking about Akari, who still seemed to be caught within the trauma they had suffered while corrupted. "Corruption does things to your mind, leaves scars behind that only take time and therapy to heal."

His gaze slid to Saariyah, looking at her out of the corner of his eyes. "While I have moved forward, have worked to prove I am more than the weak youth I was, it does not mean I did not worry about my brother-in-arms or that they would have trouble integrating back into society." After all, not all of them had a family they could reunite with either. Jeremiah had, quite frankly, been lucky to be welcomed back with open arms by his mother and twin (his father was another story altogether). It was, ultimately, a very gentle way to say: there are many reasons to feel alienated on your own planet.

"As long as we work to keep those of Earth educated, to not keep them in the dark, then things will work out." There was another shake of his head, Jeremiah rolling his eyes. "Unwinding and fixing the damage done by those that came before us is something that will likely take centuries." Even without the troubles of the Dark Kingdom and Black Moon and everything else. "Even if sometimes I simply want to be done with it because the level of idiocy is a bit much, even when you prove and otherwise show the truth."

Jeremiah just smiled at the fact that Saariyah didn't take his hand. After all, it was not as if he expected her to--if she had, he would have wondered who she was and where his friend was--and lowered his arm back down to lean back once more.

That facepalm reaction, however, was certainly one he did not get to see often. Yet what she said ... Jeremiah's expression shuttered, closed off for a moment before he breathed in deep, and slowly released the air from his lungs. "She wanted to get information from someone who knew Mason beyond all the," he waved his hand through the air, "pomp and circumstance spread about thanks to being King. I can only speculate that because of our friendship, she decided that it made me a better individual to approach." His being close to Mason likely solidified it, making him the best case individual to talk to.

Still ... Saariyah confirmed things for him, though he had hoped that that was not the case. It was not as if those sorts of details were within the database but he could read between the lines and he saw how Kesatria looked at Cynthia when she thought no one was looking.

"... you know we were with him," said Jeremiah after a quiet moment, "when Galaxia took his Star Crystal." His fingers stretched out in the grass, pressing into the soft earth as if it helped ease the rise of feeling within his chest. "He always carried our stones with him, kept them close because even then we could provide him with counsel." Yet they had not been able to do anything, only stones that had been-

"Forgive me for saying this," his voice was softer, truly not wanting to speak ill of the leader of the Starlights, "but Kesatria is an idiot to think Mason abandoned her. Not just that but ..." A breath was released. "It hurt them both and I am reasonably certain Cynthia still has moments where she gets upset that she suffered traumatic memory loss about what truly happened to Mason during the Sailor Wars." Which certainly did not include Mason’s feelings on what happened to him, the inability to protect the woman he loved all because-

Jeremiah sighed.





(This post was last modified: 28 Aug 2020, 05:53 AM by Jeremiah Mercer.)



Oh?

Saariyah sighed irritably. “What’s with this planet and keeping secrets?” Saariyah asked, but continued to listen as Jeremiah explained his situation. Her green eyes narrowed, her head turning the other way.

“I know what corruption does to people,” Saariyah replied with a disgruntled sigh. “I know it’s hard for people to move forward afterwards. I see it within the Galactica soldiers; I’m not blind, but I’m not going to handhold them and make it seem like everything’s okay because it isn’t. It’s better for them to be faced with the reality of things and to work harder and receive genuine trust. They’re just lazy and don’t want to, they behave in ways where they want things spoon-fed to them.”

Saariyah liked to think that she wasn’t nearly as cold-hearted as people believed that she was, but she just had her own way of operating.

“I don’t think we’d be friends if you haven’t already proven yourself.” Saariyah reminded him, knowing just how duty-focused she could be. “What your team does is their choice. Who has time to sulk over that?”

Saariyah scoffed, shrugging her shoulders.

Saariyah fell silent for a moment though as she briefly reflected about events during the Sailor Wars. It made a chill crawl up her spine at the mere thought of what would drive a person to become corrupted, to forsake everything that they lived for…strived for, for the sake of Chaos. While Saariyah knew that she couldn’t ever completely relate, she had witnessed time after time someone descent into madness.

She shuddered. She never, ever wanted to be faced with a situation where it was she who would have to attack her comrade. Refocusing her attention on Jeremiah, Saariyah’s gaze was firm with her decision: she’d repeat once more to him what she had told her comrades once before.

“If I’m ever corrupted, if I ever turn against my team…against you…I want you to kill me.” Saariyah began to unhesitatingly instructed him. “After everything that I’ve faced, there’s nothing in this universe that should ever force me to succumb to that choice. I won’t be insulted like that if I never fell to Sailor Galaxia. My own team and I…we all came to a similar agreement. I’m expecting you to uphold it, too.”

It was a lot to ask, but Saariyah wouldn’t have it any other way. If she was faced with a worse-case-scenario, was purification that justifiable? While she knew that others had redeemed themselves, including the man next to her, Saariyah wasn’t so sure about herself. She knew then that she was mostly being hypocritical about the Galactica, but…Saariyah wasn’t the most approachable person in the world and she already felt like she wasn’t doing herself many favors.

“It just takes time,” Saariyah finally spoke up. “Your planet is just under different circumstances… Kinmoku….I don’t think we ever were faced with what this planet is facing, but if your planet can move forward… Well, I’m sure you know what the possibilities are.”

It was a more prosperous future.

Saariyah’s disgruntled expression hadn’t left her features when she listened to Jeremiah explain the situation with Mason and Kes. Regardless of what Kes’s reasoning behind it was, it still pissed her off. It wasn’t right for Kes to go behind her back like that, what was she thinking?

She’d have a talk with her later.

Saariyah sighed in defeat when Jeremiah informed her that they were with Mason during Galaxia’s attack. Her head lowered, and her already crossed-arms tightened as she shuddered at the thought.

“There’s a lot about this planet that I still don’t understand,” Saariyah informed him. “Your Star Seeds becoming stone is one of them and that you…still remember all of that.”

Was it possible that it was because their Star Seeds were stones that they possessed stronger powers than most with a True Star Seed? Saariyah still ultimately wasn’t sure, but she hated that her knowledge of Star Seeds and Sailor Crystals was being contradicted.

A chuckle escaped Saariyah’s lips when Jeremiah called Kes an idiot. “I know, I know,” Saariyah rolled her eyes, getting up from the ground. “She’s very stubborn, and Maker and I weren’t oblivious to what Cynthia was going through. She just wouldn’t listen to us, she kept insisting that she reminded her of our Queen… She wasn’t wrong.”






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