Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The roar of powerful engines filled the air as the cars raced around the track. Spectators filled the stands, cheering on their favorite drivers. Many of those spectators were cheering for the star of the racing league—a dark skinned Japanese man by the name of Natsuno Kinrei.
His car, number twenty three, had led the most laps of any other in the race. Kinrei himself had won the most races so far this season, more than any other rookie in the league’s history. At the rate he was going, he’d win the championship.
In interviews, he often credited success to his cousin and crew chief, Kouhai Insei, and to the support of his half-Japanese half-African girlfriend, Ryuuyami Tamashii.
Most of the cars were heading out of the pits after taking on more fuel. No one wanted to take the extra time to change their tires so close to the end of the race. They raced around the track. They sped around the track as the spectators began to scream and run as far away from the track as possible.
Tires screeched as the source of the panic became apparent. Several drivers collided with each other as they couldn’t stop their cars in time. Seeing the massive monster standing on the track, the drivers got out of their cars, turned, and fled.
Kinrei climbed out and looked at the thing blocking the track. It looked familiar but he couldn’t place it. Over his helmet mic he could hear Insei, demanding to know what was going on.
“I’m not really sure, but there’s a big monster blocking the track. You and Tamashii might want to get over here.”
The thing shook its head and leaped over Kinrei, heading for the fleeing spectators. Kinrei watched it run and ducked behind his car.
“Hydra Spirit Power, Make Up!”
Clad once more in his green, blue, and orange fuku, KnightHydra ran after the creature.
Sailororion and Sailorpolaris met up with him at the stands. Orion took one look at the creature and identified it as a Manticore. It was too busy savaging someone to notice the three senshi sneaking up on it.
The Manticore backed away from its target as a woman with perky fox ears and fox tail appeared and knelt on the ground beside the man the Manticore had attacked. She picked up a crystalline object from the ground that looked like a silver oval with teardrop shapes floating around it, one at each end and side. She stood, sliding the object into a pouch on her right thigh.
“Hey!” Polaris shouted as the woman turned to leave.
The fox woman looked at her. “What do you want?”
“Give that back to him,” Polaris told her, clutching her North Star.
“And if I don’t?”
“Hydra flicked his Cat o’ Nine Tails menacingly. “Then we’ll have to take it by force.”
“This belongs to us now. I warn you, you’re not the first senshi I’ve fought. I defeated those others; I can most certainly defeat you.”
Orion laughed, brandishing her Celestial Bow. “If you think you can take all three of us, feel free to try. We’ve beaten people like you before.”
The fox shrugged. “Whatever you say. Manticore, attack!”
When the battle was over, the three senshi reverted back to their civilian forms in the privacy of Kinrei’s trailer. They sat silently, staring at the floor. It was a long time before anyone spoke.
“We have a big problem,” Insei finally said.
Kinrei nodded glumly. “Whoever she was, she was really strong.”
“Not as powerful as Sailorhera was, but we were clearly outmatched.”
“At least we took out the Manticore,” Insei reminded them in an attempt to see the bright side.
“We did. Barely.”
“Someone should call Ryuusenshi,” said Kinrei. “The others need to know about this.”
Tamashii stood. “I’ll call Riley and Clover if someone else will call Ryuusenshi.”
“I’ll so it,” Insei volunteered.
“That leaves me to get a hold of Ginme,” said Kinrei.
“Sounds like a plan.” They went off to make their respective phone calls.
Unknown to the three senshi, their battle with the Manticore had been watched. A timid pair of eyes belonging to a girl wearing an outfit of sea green, sky blue, and copper had seen everything; she peeked out from behind the pillar she’d hidden behind.
Are they the ones we were looking for? There aren’t all that many senshi around, so they must be. But…where are the others? We were told that there were twelve of them. Did we make a mistake? I didn’t think that Yoarashi ever made mistakes.
She shook her head. No, this is them, I’m sure of it. Their powers and descriptions look right. I’ll hang around and see if they show themselves again. I only hope that this isn’t some play by the Initiative to trap me.