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It starts small in the beginning, the visions. Hallucinations? Maybe. A fleeting glimpse of a familiar blue-haired form out of the corner of Makoto's eye as she turns a corner. The sight of a guard and their surroundings frozen in a solid block of ice with an expression of confusion on their face. Shining blue eyes staring out from shadows. Every time, it's but a sliver of a moment, and gone in the next instant. It might be enough to make one think they were going crazy, if not for the visit Makoto received in her room before. That same feeling, the cold and distant emotion that was clearly not of Ami, seems to pervade the areas long after the vision is gone. After a while, if she keeps the visions to herself, Makoto will begin to see the figure behind Hild whenever she has contact with the busy queen. With cold, piercing blue eyes, it stares at Hild, and seems to be speaking, though the words are never audible. It's always but a moment, and it only seems to exist in Makoto's mind. After all, noone else ever seems to notice, and Hild /is/ quite powerful. Surely if it were real, she at least would notice. Surely. Either way, the time comes when the visions seem to come more and more frequently, and it feels that the cold sensation is rather unending. Somehow, without any communication, Makoto should get the impression that she should head back to her room. Something is about to happen.
Makoto has felt oddly better since her 'encounter'. Hope once again fills her despite the passage of time. She hasn't spoken of the conversation with anyone, nor the visions. Even Usagi might think she was going nuts and who knows what Hild might do. She does, however take notice when the hairs on the back of her neck start to tingle a bit while she's out for a walk. It's not dander... but there's something in the air and she does indeed head home. Home... When did this place start to become home to her? She tosses her jacket aside as she gets back to her room.
It doesn't take very long before Makoto's decision to return to her room bears fruit. The air before the fireplace shimmers for a moment, and if there is a fire going, it promptly snuffs out. What follows is a bit... dramatic. The air seems to bend outward with light, as if someone were shining a lamp down a tunnel that was opening in space. A brilliant figure appears within the space as it grows to accomodate a person's size. It has no details, save perhaps the slight hint of femininity in that it appears to have long hair. All of it in view is purest white, and the light shining from behind it is every star that has ever given birth to an inhabited planet throughout history and the multiverse itself. While it cannot be completely comprehended and processed, it is conceptually understood, just by looking at it. The understanding seems to be built into Makoto, in much the same way her powers naturally heeded her call when she first transformed all that time ago.
The figure coalesces, its long hair shortening, and slowly becoming the familiar form of Mizuno Ami, clearly the same being that spoke to Makoto in this same room before, distant and cold, but not harsh. "...Kino Makoto. I would speak with you again." She... ... it? ... does not ask if Makoto has the time. That would be a fallacy it cares not for. "...Your time draws near, as does that of Mizuno Ami. Ready yourself, for she will be with you soon, and I will offer you both freedom from this place. You may have to convince her to leave, but I assure you that it is in your best interests to do just that. I ask you now, will you comply?" ... This creature doesn't do things by halves, does it? Not even a hello...
Makoto simply nods. "Of course." She grins at the thought of finally being able to help Ami away from this place. Yes, Makoto's ready to act. She's been still for far too long. "I doubt she'll need much convinsing to come home with me." Makoto cracks her knuckles, suddenly very anxious.
"Oh..." The figure continues, glancing towards the room's door. "...We shall see." From outside, quite suddenly, a lot of sounds erupt. Screams, crashes, loud noises. "...It begins. Stay inside this room, and I shall show you what you wish." The tunnel behind her seems to grow larger, and the light fades, as the tunnel seems to connect to a different destination now. It grows, until it is at least half the room. On the other side, Mizuno Ami is kneeling on the floor. She seems calm, and her eyes are downcast. She is in her 'cell' again, and Khas is standing at the door. He looks... concerned. But it is Ami that speaks.
"I shall take one path... only one path. I will save her. Believe me." And soon the tunnel engulfs the room, and Makoto and the other Ami are there, though Khas, again, has no reaction. Ami looks up, and her eyes widen. The figure that bears her exact appearance moves to Ami's side, and whispers into her ear. The blue-haired girl that Makoto knows looks tired, and at the whisper, confused, and she shakes her head. "No, this is too important... I cannot leave now." More whispering occurs, and then the figure kneels as well. It is strange though, for she seems to blend into Ami, before Ami stands and looks visibly shaken. From the figure's position on the floor, it now adopts Ami's expression before Ami reaches Makoto. Ami places a hand on Makoto's shoulder, looking back at her look-a-like, and then the tunnel begins to warp away. They're back in Makoto's room, and Ami turns to look at her, confused. The room looks mostly the same, except for the fireplace, which is no longer there. There's a door. It looks very familiar. On it, it says 'Apartment 3-D'. "... Mako-chan... what happened?"
Makoto blinks. "'Show' me?... She watches the scene unfold with a mixture of facination and anger depending on the moment. The shift in scenery _does_ unsettle her though. "Ami? Is it really you?" she grabs the shorter girl in a tight hug if able, not knowing what's doing on but glad for any moment with Ami. "Are you okay? I'm trying to get you out! We're getting a chance to go home!"
Ami looks visibly shaken, but she returns Makoto's hug immediately, making a small sound. "...Home?" Her voice sounds full of longing, and she hesitates before saying anything. "...I can't go home, Mako-chan... Usagi... he said she's been ... compromised." Her voice is wavering, and she looks around, obviously not having the slightest idea exactly what's going on. "... Where is this place?"
Makoto shakes her head. "I don't know, Ami. But it looks like home and That's where we have to go! Usagi's fine. I've been living with her while looking for you." She smiles brightly. "She's just found her own way to handle being away from Japan and she's been trying to help find you... But you might not get a chance to get away like this again! We have to go home!"
The look on Ami's face isn't certain, and she wavers a bit. "...She's fine? Are you sure? He said there was a demon... and..." Ami sounds unsure, but she's easily herded towards the familiar door in her moment of uncertainty. "...it sounded really bad." It's kind of odd that she's questioning Makoto based on the word of someone else, but she sounds like she wants to believe. Off to one side of the new door, the tunnel slowly finishes closing. The look-alike of Ami raises her head to look at Khas, and there's that cold, distant look in her eyes.
"I shall take up this challenge on your behalf." The voice belongs to the one who took Ami's place on the floor, and it doesn't come from her lips, seemingly directed at the Senshi rather than to Khas. "Go now. There is not much time." From outside the room, more shouts seem to come, and the sounds of glass shattering can be heard. Of course, this only makes Ami more confused, but the tunnel closes completely, giving her no time to really respond, herself.
Makoto blinks. "Hild's a demon... But She seems nice.. She's been nothing but kind to me and Usagi... and..." she shakes her head. "I don't think we have the time to debate this, Ami-chan! If it's that slave-keeper guy telling you this, do you really think he's got no reason to lie to someone he wants to keep under control??" she reaches out to the apartment door, grasping for the handle. "Even... Even _if_ something's wrong with Usagi do you really think you can help her from a cage? That that guy won't find a way to cut me off from you forever?" Her voice is pleading now. "Ami-chan..."
"Slave-keeper? You mean Khas?" Ami speaks quietly, and shakes her head. "No, Mako-chan, I don't think he was lying. It's not..." She looks at the door to home, seeing Makoto's hand on it, and it's as if the strain in Makoto's voice has finally reached her. "... ..." She lets her head lower, and her body shakes, as if wresting with something terribly difficult to decide. "... Has it been hard for you?" There's a much louder sound, the sound of a block of ice cracking just outside of the room's normal door.
Makoto says, "Ami.. How can I answer that? You were dead... and then I find you're still out there, a slave to this... Khas. Forced to fight for him and kept in a cage, mistreated otherwise! how could I live with myself if I didn't do everything I could to get you out? " She squeezes Ami lightly. "All I know is that he's using you. You want to help and he's letting you think you are. You're kind and nice and undeserving of this treatment, and that's how he's keeping you, by making you think you're doing something good. Does he really want to help you?" she bites her lip. "That person... whoever she is.. I think she's the source of the powers of the Sailor Senshi and she's been guiding me... I think she'd see more of the big picture than we do and... I'm rambling.." She starts to turn the knob to the apartment. "Come on. Let's go home together."
Ami shakes her head as Makoto talks. There's so much she needs to explain, so much she needs to tell her... but when Makoto tells her what she thinks of the person that took Ami's place, her eyes widen a bit, and she looks around, as if she might still be able to see that scene, which she can't. She bites at her lip, and then nods her head slowly, turning back and leaning on Makoto's shoulder. "... Yes... let's go home..." Her voice is filled with longing and sadness, hope and defeat, all at once. It's a strange sound coming from her. "...I want to go home."
Back in the cell, no longer visible or audible to the two senshi, the person wearing Ami's form looks towards Khas, and speaks quietly. "....We cannot be heard, here?" The man nods his head, assuring her it is so, and she exhales slightly before continuing. "...Then begin the assault, and put me into place amongst your army's least important units. They will not see me coming, and I will infiltrate their chambers before any of them know what is happening." Khas bows his head slowly, and furrows his brows, speaking in a quiet and respectful tone. "It shall be as you wish, Mizuno-san. Your plan is proceeding smoothly." The woman wearing Ami's face nods her head slowly, not allowing any smile to reach those features. "...So it would seem."
Makoto opens the door, sighing in relief and walking through with Ami, wondering what she'll find on the other side since this place was destroyed in reality.
As the pair of senshi walk through the opened door, a vastly familiar sight awaits them. Destroyed though it may once have been, their old apartment sits in almost exactly the same condition as the last time they saw it intact.... with one minor change. ... It's dusty. [Spoofed By: Ami] Ami makes a small sound as she looks around, seeing everything, and then tension seems to drain out of her body, and she turns and gives Makoto an even bigger hug, holding on tight this time. She doesn't say anything, but the moment doesn't exactly require her to. She can explain things later. Right now, she's just glad to be home. She has to stop worrying about the details. Like how the place can possibly be intact.
Makoto just closes her eyes and holds Ami. if it's an illusion she's more than happy to lose herself in it for now. "We're back, Ami. I don't know how but we're back"
Ami nods her head slowly, letting her own eyes slide closed. She's quiet for a while, and then she lets out a small sigh. "...I'm home..." She lets the words drift from her mouth in a quieter, much more subdued version of the sing-song voice she used to use whenever she came home from one of her jobs, and then... she seems to fall asleep right there, in the middle of the hug. She's still in her senshi uniform, and it's pretty beat up and torn, though her wounds have long since healed. She must be exhausted. Does one even get to sleep at all where she was? They can't exactly die from a lack of it...
Makoto sighs and carries Ami off to her bed to rest. "I seem to have a lot of cleaning to do... When you wake up we're going to have a big dinner." She smiles brightly and starts to clean the kitchen.