Crystalline structures, delicate spires of magic reaching to the heavens like angel's wings.
People laughed, people smiled, people almost never cried. Why would they? They lived in Utopia.
I hate it. I hate them. I hate her.
Serenity. 'Neo-Queen' Serenity.
I'm Here to Help is a Sailor Moon fanfic mostly written in 1998 (but finished in 2007) by Mark Doherty. What seems to be a typical "Big Bad wants to change history" plot upon first reading quickly becomes much, MUCH more.
This story provides examples of:
- And I Must Scream: What Emerald ends up being subjected to when he was frozen in the Great Ice. Specifically, while almost everyone else experienced it as a sort of "bad dream" with varying degrees of consciousness, he was fully aware the entire time for over 300 years before he managed to free himself, (less than an hour before Serenity freed the rest of the world). Naturally he comes out of it rather shaken and leading to his Identity Amnesia. Beryls "Eternal Sleep" punishment is also along these lines, Emerald even directly compares it to being frozen in the Great Ice.
- Anti-Hero: Emerald himself, though he has noble goals, his lack of manpower and resources means he's willing to resort to questionable means to accomplish them, especially since he's privately admitted to himself that his fight is probably already lost. He tones it down once he arrives in the past.
- The Ageless: Emerald and the Sailor Senshi are this by Crystal Tokyo's time.
- Assimilation Plot: What the "purification" supposedly did to the majority of mankind. The few that were strong enough to reject it or otherwise weren't affected are regarded as enemies by the Senshi, according to Emerald.
- Badass Boast: All the freaking time.
- Bad Future: Whether Emerald is averting or creating one is up for the reader to decide.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Emerald notes that all of his powers are pretty much stereotypical villain powers. He also mentions that he's been treated with suspicion by a number of people with more traditional "good" powers even before the Great Freeze while he was fighting for the Earth and that afterwards the survivors weren't surprised by, or were even expecting, him to fight against Crystal Tokyo.
- Beware the Superman: Emerald asked why the Senshi should rule the world just because they had powers instead of making it better in one of his diary entries.
- Big Bad: Neo-Queen Serenity, and the (future) Senshi. To Emerald, Beryl and even Metallia are not worth the time.
- Bittersweet Ending: Emerald never gets to fully enjoy his victory as he's erased from time moments later, but his younger self will not have to go through the pain he did.
- Blatant Lies: Emerald's "past lover" story. Also the lie to Queen Beryl that he served under Jadeite, but she doesn't believe him.
- Blessed with Suck: Emerald's view of immortality, after many years of suffering and fighting.
- Brainwashed: Everyone in Crystal Tokyo and the rest of the Earth, except Emerald and those exiled. The result of purification, and the main reason Emerald wants to change the past.
- Clark Kenting: Due to the Senshi's disguise magic changing even their auras. It takes Emerald a long time to figure out Sailor Moon and Serenity are the same.
- Crapsaccharine World: Crystal Tokyo according to Emerald.
- Cruel Mercy: How Emerald sees his planned punishment after being defeated in the first rebellion, mainly banishing him from the planet. More accurately, he's not so much angry at the punishment itself then the fact that everyone at his trial acted like this was being magnanimous of them.If being thrown off the planet that had born, raised, and supported you, if being thrown off the planet that you fought time and time again to save and protect, if being thrown off the planet that people died, DIED to help you protect, if being thrown off your home planet, the planet you love is MERCY, then by the GODS, never, EVER show any mercy to me AGAIN!
There's no mercy in planetary exile, none at all.
- Determinator: Emerald. He's been fighting against Crystal Tokyo just by himself and with his small sentient crystal for centuries, always dragging himself up to try again whenever he fails. This does take its toll however, and when he finds out that Serenity has Resurrective Immortality he decides to go for a Pyrrhic Victory by stopping the Purification whilst he was in the past.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Emerald is draining youma to regain his energy, he is only shown hunting female ones. While this can be attributed to the fact that most Youma in the series seem to be female, he corners them in ways that can be seen as reminiscent of assailants (he catches his first by breaking into her apartment as she comes home from work and gets another by luring her to an alley and tossing her down it, before going after and coming out saying how "easy" it was), which to be frank, is in fact what he is technically doing but not for the reasons normal people would think.
- Dramatic Irony: The protagonist is unaware that Sailor Moon is Queen Serenity.
- Enemy Mine: One of Emerald's off lines mentioned a brief alliance he had with the Sailor Senshi against an intergalactic conqueror who controlled his entire army through brainwashing. It lasted less than an hour and was described as ending in disaster. He also has a brief and unintentional one with Sailor Mars during one of their last battles when they work to save a child who gets caught in the middle. It leads to a brief moment when they both realise just how meaningless their battles have become. It's also implied that this event was what directly lead to Emeralds plan to travel to the past and prevent Crystal Tokyo from ever being born
- Energy Absorption: Emerald needs to do this to get stronger, he can do so through a variety of ways and can even drain energy from the elements around him.
- Exact Words: Sailor Pluto sees Crystal Tokyo prevented from coming into being as it existed through no act of her own. Meaning by arranging events so Emerald be forced to go through with his fallback anti-Purification plan, and being in the right place so he could defeat her and feed off her energy, Pluto could prevent the future she didn't want without breaking her oath to Queen Serenity.
- Fashion-Victim Villain: Emerald described the Senshi as "girls with interesting powers in silly suits. As opposed, of course, to women with horrifically intense powers... in silly suits."
- First-Person Smartass: Whenever Emerald isn't being introspective, his narration tends to be this.
- For Want of a Nail: It is heavily implied that in the original timeline, Emerald would have become Wiseman. Pluto's "If you knew your original fate, you would have thanked me" line cinches it.
- Future Badass: The Senshi's power are mentioned have grown strong enough to rival and even surpass natural disasters by the time they reach the age of the Crystal Kingdom.
- Gambit Roulette: At the end, it is revealed that Sailor Pluto was the true mastermind behind the plot to prevent Crystal Tokyo (or at least the "purified" version described) from coming into being. She spent "thousands of manipulations over thousands of years" working towards the goal "Only to realise only after [she] got it that it wasn't what [she] thought it was." After that she started secretly working towards getting Emerald to change things.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: The Purification is described as something like this, not so much forcefully making everyone happy so much as severing every "negative emotion" and leaving only "positive emotions." Emerald himself scoffs at this black and white view on emotions and he also sees his inability to prevent this from coming to pass as his greatest failure
- Go Out with a Smile: Emerald ultimately dies this way, erased from casting his Anti-Purification due the paradox he created, content with finally achieving his goal.
- Heroic BSoD: After Emerald finds out that Sailor Moon is the Serenity he has been looking for all along.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Emerald, whilst tracking down Youma sometimes pretends to be an oblivious victim that the Youma will attempt to drain only to turn the tables on them once they get close enough.
- I Did What I Had to Do: In the beginning of chapter 8 Emerald reflects on how his abilities makes more conventionally "heroic" strategies impractical for him and, as last rebel left, he can either challenge the Senshi's power openly and lose or go underground and resort to guerrilla tactics and perhaps one day find an opportunity. He chooses the latter.What you will become is not about what you are, or who you are, or who are thought to be. My life, like anyone's life, has been a series of choices and consequences.
After the rebellion, it came down to this:
If I had done nothing, I would have lived - albeit in exile. If I fought the Senshi directly without allies, I would have died. And if I fought from the shadows, then one day it was possible that I might get my lucky shot and win. That, then, left me a clear choice - to do nothing, or to do what I can.
Destiny be damned. I choose to do what I can.
- Identity Amnesia: Emerald cannot remember his own name or much of his past. His true name is revealed to be Yukio, by Pluto.
- Jadeite, after being freed from his Eternal Sleep, remembers everything about his past before his brainwashing by Beryl, leading to a moment of sheer, screaming horror as these memories overwhelm him. Emerald thinks he's simply gone crazy and so snaps his neck.
- In Spite of a Nail: Emerald's arrival ultimately changes very little to the Sailor Senshi's battle against the Dark Kingdom, even his rescuing Tuxedo Mask simply activates a dormant spell that teleports him right back. This is spelled out for him by Pluto only for him to subvert it at the last minute by absorbing Pluto's energy and casting his Anti-Purification. Of course, depending on your interpretation, according to Pluto his actions my have inadvertently been critical in actually creating the canon Sailor Moon Crystal Kingdom. It's also shown at the end that his brief meeting with Sailor Mars hasn't been forgotten when The Stinger shows her encountering his present self an indeterminate amount of years in the future.
- The Immune: Emerald notes that his and Serenity's energies naturally repel each other. This effectively renders him immune to the Purification. He eventually casts an Anti-Purification when in the past after draining Pluto's energy that renders everyone on the planet this.
- In the Name of the Moon: Emerald thinks it's over the top and at one point interrupts Sailor Moon during one such speech. It's noted by Pluto that this isn't the first time.
- Meaningful Rename: The original group of rebels (who, in this fic, would come to inspire the Black Moon Clan) named themselves after gems and stones to reflect the fact that they were fighting for the Earth, Emerald was actually indifferent towards the idea since he saw little importance in names but did so anyway because everyone else urged him to.
- Meaningless Meaningful Words: Emerald's journal entries are full of his fauxlosophical thoughts. At least some of it is written down deliberately to taunt the Sailor Senshi.
- My Greatest Failure: Emeralds was his inability to prevent the Purification from coming to pass. This is due to him being immune to Serenity's power, had he released and bathed the planet in his energies first, he could have prevented the Purification from having any effect. Although, on an intellectual level, he notes that, at the time, he had neither the control, the knowledge, or the power to actually pull it off, the fact that he had the potential still caused him endless guilt. This eventually comes into play at the end when he does this whilst in the past.
- Nerves of Steel: Emerald has this almost by necessity due to facing Crystal Tokyo by himself. The one time it was truly broken it's revealed that he actually has access to a pocket dimension of pure blank space that requires pure calm and focus to exit that he retreats to in order to meditate, literally forcing himself to control his rage and return to being calm before being able to leave again.
- Never Hurt an Innocent: Emerald was tempted to drain Naru of her energy after seeing how much she has but ultimately refuses due to this.
- One-Hit Kill: Emerald does this to one of Kunzite's youma, with Kunzite himself standing there. And then to Kunzite himself later on, as well as many more Dark Kingdom fodder.
- Pet the Dog: Emerald rescues all the Youma trapped in "Eternal Sleep" on principle due to his distate for any kind of experience similar to being frozen in the Great Ice and reluctantly allows the survivors to feed off his energy to nourish them enough to survive on their own.
- Power Crystal: Emerald's green crystal that he keeps around his neck by a leather chain, though he's quite powerful enough without it. It is also sentient.
- Really 700 Years Old: Emerald is nearly a thousand years old, but appears to be no older than a young adult. Same with all the Crystal Tokyo Senshi, and the King and Queen.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The whole motivation of Emerald's life, as written in his journal entries. He succeeds.
- Or, alternatively, Make Wrong What Once Went Right, depending on your interpretation.
- Time Travel: From the 30th century, to the time the Senshi first reawakened in the late 20th century (Dark Kingdom Arc).
- Unreliable Narrator: Almost everything we learn about Crystal Tokyo being a Bad Future is told to us by Emerald, who, it must be noted, has a very deep-set grudge against Neo-Queen Serenity. The fact that barely any of the fic actually takes place in Crystal Tokyo means we don't have much choice but to take his word for it, or reject it. Of course since part of this was implemented by Sailor Pluto, it really calls into question how right or wrong Emerald was. Word of God is that this was done deliberately.
- Unrequited Love: Emerald and Rei in the future, due to them being Arch Enemies on opposing sides trying to kill each other. After journeying to the past, Emerald doesn't understand why he seems so willing at times to aid the younger Rei. May be possibly subverted at the end with the "present" versions of themselves.
- Vampiric Draining: Emerald gains power most effectively by draining other living creatures, mostly youma to the point where they die and turn to dust.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: From chapter 1:"I killed it. A creature, youma, demon, call it what you will. Did it have dreams, aspirations, hopes? Did it wish for its life, to be hunted and killed? Did it want to be left alone?"
- We Win... Because You Didn't: Emeralds ultimate plan. He breaks through the timeline to attract Sailor Pluto's attention and drain her energy. Afterwards he casts his Anti-Purification spell whilst using Pluto's energy to prevent a paradox from occurring and effectively preventing the Crystal Tokyo he knew from existing.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite Emerald's antipathy towards the Sailor Senshi, even if we take everything he says at face value at their worst they, at most, come across as this given that they did their best to save the world and try and provide a home for many people who lost theirs in the Great Freeze. Emerald himself is also one of these, given that he's willing to travel through time to achieve his goals.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Out of all the Sailor Senshi, Mercury is the only one Emerald truly fears. Partly because her analytical and strategic abilities makes her dangerous to fight and partly because she attacks with ice due to his lingering trauma in the Great Freeze.
- You Will Be Spared: Emerald's offer to a horde of youma ready to invade the Earth through a portal... not that they listen despite knowing how strong he really is.