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A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Benjamin A. Oliver

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is owned by Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.


Chapter 9-E


~~~ A thousand years into the future… ~~~

Sailors Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus sat at a table in the Crystal Tokyo-based ice cream shop. Sailor Pluto and the new Sailor Earth sat at another a few feet away.

Mars was idly sampling her ice cream while Uranus and Jupiter were listening in on the conversation between Ranma and Setsuna in hopes of hearing more gossip-worthy things from them. If things kept going as they had, they wouldn't be disappointed…

"Ranma, this is getting ridiculous. You keep evading the subject," Sailor Pluto said exasperatedly. She paused as she noted her fiancé’s eating habits. "And how can you do that?"

Ranma-chan looked up from her ice cream. "Hmm? What?"

"You've been sitting there, packing away inhuman quantities of ice cream…" Pluto sighed. "But that's not important right now. I am attempting to be reasonable… You are not—"

Sailor Pluto was cut of as a little, pink-haired girl sat down next to her and Ranma-chan with a monstrous bowl of hideously cute pink ice cream. The girl looked at Ranma-chan, then smiled and hopped into her lap, hugging her around the neck as she did so, loosely hanging off to talk directly into her face. "Hihi! Are you the new Sailor Earth?! I'm Reenie, nice-ta-meetcha-whats-your-name?!!!"

"Gah!" Ranma-chan shouted in surprise, tumbling backwards out of her chair. At the other table, Uranus smirked.

Pluto sighed. "Ranma, this is Princess Serena, daughter of Neo-Queen Serenity and sole heir to the throne. Princess Serena, this is Ranma."

"Er, hi," Ranma-chan said, standing and setting her fallen chair back up, regaining her seated position.

"But you can call me Reenie," the pink-haired girl continued brightly, still clinging to Ranma-chan by the neck. "So… how'd ya get here? Where ya from?!"

The still-confused sailor-suited redhead began to answer, but Pluto cut in. "Apologies, Small Lady, but that is classified information."

"Really?" Reenie asked, giggling. "Cool. How didja' get chosen to be Sailor Earth?!"

"Well," Ranma-chan began uneasily, adjusting the small girl that was clinging to her into a more comfortable position, "I really… don't know."

"Oh, okay," the cute little girl replied. "So what kinda ice cream are you having?"

"I believe that Ranma is having just about all of them," Pluto said, then looked back at her fiancé. "There, you see? You just aren't going to let me—"

"Is it true that you're having some kinda secret intense Lebanese relationship?" Reenie asked, once more cutting in.

"EXCUSE ME?!" Ranma-chan and Sailor Pluto blurted out at once, staring at the pink-haired girl incredulously.

Reenie looked up at them innocently. "Well… You know, like the old PLO in the Mideast? Leb—"

"Who told you that?" Pluto asked, quickly regaining her mysterious composure.

Reenie wordlessly pointed at Sailor Uranus, who smiled mischievously and waved at them, winking. At the same table, Jupiter was laughing hysterically, and Mars had her head tilted back as her eyes rolled, and was groaning.

"Haruka," Pluto said in a controlled tone, "be very glad that you haven't had time to spread this rumor further… Otherwise, I would have been honor-bound, as the Guardian of the Gate of Time, to hurt you very badly. Very, very, very badly."

Uranus continued smiling. "What rumor?"

Jupiter was still laughing at a particularly hilarious concept. "Ranma and Setsuna, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes Setsuna—"

Pluto slammed her time staff against the floor angrily. "SILENCE!"

Jupiter stopped singing, but continued laughing to herself quietly.

The heavily-stressed keeper of time sighed, attempting to calm down. "You have no respect for the hardships I must endure," she muttered.

"Come on, Sailor Pluto, you're not the first girl to have that kind of relationship!" Uranus said. Pluto glared at her, standing.

Meanwhile, Ranma-chan had missed the entire conversation, being occupied by the little girl hanging onto her…

"What kinda special Senshi powers do you have?" Reenie asked excitedly.

"Um, I don't know," Ranma-chan replied, still in a state of heavy confusion. "Whatever's going on here… I have no idea. The past few days are a blur… Why is Setsuna having an argument with that blonde girl over there?"

Reenie glanced at Pluto. "I don't know… I've never seen her look that mad before…"

*KERRUNCH!!!*

"Ow… That looks like it hurt," Reenie noted, wincing.

*CRACK!!!*

Ranma-chan blinked. "Uh, yeah. Hey, Setsuna, what are you doing?"

*SNAP!* Sailor Pluto looked up at Ranma-chan, discontinuing her task of tying Sailor Uranus into rather painful-looking knot. "Anything Goes Martial Arts Stress Relief. Haven't you heard of it?"

"Uhhhh," was all Ranma-chan could say.

Pluto walked back to the table Ranma-chan was at and sat down. "I trust that there will be no further interruptions…"

The room was silent.

"Good," the keeper of time said. She looked at Ranma-chan. "I'm giving you a chance, Ranma. Either—"

At that moment, Neo-Queen Serenity entered the ice cream shop. "Greetings."

"Hi, mommy!" Reenie said brightly, waving with one hand, and clinging to Ranma-chan with the other.

"Hello," Serenity said. She looked at Ranma-chan. "I see that Princess Serena has taken a liking to you."

Ranma-chan looked down at Reenie, who smiled up at her and giggled. "I… guess she has," the martial artist said.

"So has Sailor Pluto," Uranus muttered suggestively, trying to work herself out of the bind she was in with the assistance of the other two Senshi.

Pluto shot an annoyed glance at her, then looked back at Ranma-chan. "Ranma, either renounce—"

"Setsuna, if you don't mind, I would like to speak to our new Sailor Earth for a moment," Serenity said.

Pluto sighed, slowly shaking her head.

"It's no trouble, is it?"

"No, no trouble at all. Go right ahead," Pluto said sarcastically, standing and offering her seat.

The Queen nodded and sat down, facing the profoundly confused cursed and sailor-fukued martial artist.

"Ranma," Serenity began, attempting to sound casual, "how are you doing?"

Ranma-chan froze, looking at her, awed by the aura of sheer presence that the Queen seemed to radiate. There was something about her that gave the martial artist the idea that if there were ever any time to be polite, now was it. "I'm… fine," she replied, "Queen… Serenity?"

Serenity nodded. "My full title is… much longer, but that is sufficient." She noted that her new Senshi kept glancing at something behind her. "What is it?"

Ranma-chan looked nervous. "It's… well…"

The Queen turned around, and saw what the problem was. "Whatever happened to Sailor Uranus?!"

"Pu tied 'er in a knot!" Reenie said enthusiastically. "She didn't like talking about her secret Leb—"

"Reenie," Pluto said disapprovingly.

"Oh, right!" Reenie said, giggling.

"Haruka, are you all right!?" Serenity asked in deep concern.

"Oh yeah. Fine," Uranus said, still working her way out of the uncomfortable position. "Sailor Pluto called it 'Anything Goes Martial Arts Stress Relief'." A pull and a shove from Jupiter and Mars later, she sat up, testing out various joints to make sure they still functioned. "And it works! I haven't felt this loose in a LONG time! Thanks, Pluto!"

The Keeper of Time rolled her eyes. "You're welcome."

Serenity blinked. "Oookay…" She processed this for a moment and turned back toward Ranma-chan. The Queen paused, thinking of some good smalltalk in order to ease her way into the conversation. She didn't want to force her new Senshi into anything; the poor girl broke and ran when she tried to pressure her into quickly accepting her new responsibility. "Say, is that a banana split you have there?"

Ranma-chan looked down at what she had been eating before the series of interruptions began. "Y-yes it is… your highness," she said, still not quite adjusted to Neo-Queen Serenity's presence.

Serenity sighed. The new Senshi obviously wasn't comfortable in speaking to her. "So… how is the training going? I understand that it has been rather… strenuous."

The redhead nodded, a little more comfortable talking about her martial arts. "Yeah." She smiled confidently. "I've had worse, though. Pop used to put me through all sorts of stuff back home… The old ghoul did some pretty weird things, too."

"Yes, Sailor Pluto has told me about some of it," Serenity said, a compassionate expression on her face. "You have been through much. One technique in particular worries me… I've seen what it requires. You have truly learned the Neko-ken?"

"Yup. Don't know what Pop was thinkin' when he did THAT one."

"More like 'what was he smoking?'" Pluto mumbled to herself. Even though she fully intended on breaking Ranma's will on the engagement manner, she would never be THAT cruel.

"Ah," Serenity said, glad the conversation was settling in, "so, how are you adapting?"

Ranma-chan sighed. "Uh, okay, I guess… I haven't had much time to think about it, really."

"But do you feel up to fulfilling your responsibilities as our new Sailor Earth?"

The sailor-suited redhead looked down, shaking her head. "I… really don't want to be your Sailor Earth."

The blonde queen frowned slightly. "Are you absolutely certain?" Ranma-chan nodded slowly. "We… really do need you."

Ranma-chan looked at her. "Why? Why do you need me as your new Sailor Earth? What happened to the old one?"

Serenity began to open her mouth to answer, then closed it. She took a moment to collect her thoughts on the matter. There were a few things she didn't like thinking about. This was one of them. "She…" The Queen closed her eyes for a second, took a deep breath, then continued. "She died, a long time ago."

"Well, what happened to her?"

Serenity pursed her lips. This was indeed something that she did not wish to remember in its entirety. "It was… during our first year as Senshi, fighting an enemy known as the Negaverse. There was a sort of mission that we went on. As I look back upon it, it was a very foolhardy to have attempted… but, as they say, hindsight is twenty-twenty."

"I can understand… I've been on a few things that were like that," Ranma-chan interjected.

Neo-Queen Serenity nodded slightly and continued. "It proceeded very well at first, but things quickly decayed… One by one, we were taken… All of us except for Terra, the original Sailor Earth."

Ranma-chan nodded, listening intently.

"We were brought to Queen Beryl, the leader of the Negaverse. She took us to a cavern that held the demonic force known as Queen Metallia… We were placed near her… cocoon, and she began to drain us of our life forces. It looked as if all was lost… then Terra came."

"She saved you…?"

"Yes… It was incredible. She came and broke us free, clashing with Metallia's horrific power. The battle couldn't have lasted longer than a minute… and Terra had won." Serenity paused as she took in a deep, shuddering breath. "But that victory cost her life…"

Ranma-chan couldn't think of anything to say to that. "Oh."

"She sacrificed her life for us," Serenity said, beginning to weep. "She's gone… and is never coming back."

Ranma-chan gulped. "That's… gotta be rough…"

Serenity nodded. "I have faced dangers and horrors that boggle the imagination… but the hardest thing that I have ever had to do… was explain to her parents why their daughter wasn't ever coming home." She looked at Ranma-chan, tears in her eyes. "Even though it has been so long, it still hurts to remember. Nothing was the same without her… Losing her diminished us all."

"It was her destiny," Pluto noted mysteriously.

Serenity sighed sadly, looking up at Sailor Pluto. "I know… Since then, we have tried to locate her… if perhaps by some chance she was reborn like Sailor Saturn was… But it never happened."

"Things cannot always turn out the way we want them to," the Keeper of Time added.

"I know…"

"Okay, I guess that answers one of my questions," Ranma-chan said uneasily. "But… why do you need me?"

Serenity looked at Sailor Pluto. "You explained this to me before… Could you please explain it to her?"

Pluto nodded with half a smile, taking out several charts and a slide projector from one of those staggeringly useful dimensional pockets that everyone and their cat seems to have. "Please bear with me for a moment."

~Two hours later~

"So now, if we trace the destiny line from Terra, it avoids everything else, and runs smack dab through… nothing whatsoever. But if you look off to the side, you'll see Ranma," Pluto explained. "And that's why only Ranma can fulfill this job."

Ranma-chan was asleep, slumped backward against her chair. Reenie was also asleep, still clinging to her in the cutest way possible.

Serenity yawned. "Setsuna… couldn't you have tried a simpler explanation?"

Pluto shook her head. "No, time is a very complex thing…" And keeping track of it is the most boring job in the universe. "But if you want a simple explanation… There is none. Suffice it to say that Ranma is the only one that 'fits the bill', so to speak."

"Yes… So, Ranma, did you get all that?" Serenity asked. There was no response. "Ranma?" She turned toward the redhead and noticed her unconscious state. "Ranma!"

Ranma-chan jumped up, grabbed the table, and threw it out the window, smashing through the glass. "Just five more minutes, pop!" She sat back down and went back to sleep. The sleeping pink-haired girl clinging to her remained undisturbed.

Serenity blinked. "Okay, no problem… We'll have that fixed." She cleared her throat. "RANMA!"

"Huh?! What?" the sailor-suited martial artist asked, opening her eyes and looking around wildly.

"Do you understand why you must be Sailor Earth?" the Queen asked.

Ranma-chan squinted, eyes readjusting to the light. "Sailor…? Um, no. Why?"

Serenity sighed. No more beating around the bush, then… "If you must know… It is because of the emptiness Terra's absence has caused. You look so much like her… When I first saw you, I had hoped that… she had somehow returned to us."

The Queen began sobbing.

"I should have accepted her loss long ago. Ranma, I'm not going to force you to be a Senshi if you don't want to be one. It should have been clear to me before… Sailor Earth is gone forever."

She finally broke into all-out sprinkler-system crying.

Ranma-chan drew back nervously, making motions for her to stop. "Please don't do that… I didn't mean to make you cry."

Neo-Queen Serenity's fountain of tears continued unabated.

"Please stop," Ranma-chan pleaded.

"I'm sorry," Serenity said, still unable to stop crying. "It's just that… I miss her so much… And you were…"

The martial artist fidgeted uncomfortably. "Um, look, if it'll help… I'll be your Sailor Earth. Just… stop crying, okay?"

The Queen's water-works weeping slowed and finally stopped. "You will?" she asked, sniffling slightly.

Ranma-chan paused, considering what she just said. She was about to begin easing away from the subject, but she looked up into Neo-Queen Serenity's pleading, tear-filled eyes and saw the pain, the grief, the heartache, the glimmer of hope… and knew that there was only one right answer to this. "Uh… S-sure."

Sailor Pluto's jaw dropped slightly. "Excuse me?"

The redheaded girl took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "I'll stop fighting against it… and I'll be your new Sailor Earth."

Serenity looked at her gratefully. "Thank you… You have no idea how much this means to me." She stood, walking over to embrace the one who looked so much like her long-lost friend, but stopped when she took notice of Reenie. "Oh dear… It's past her bedtime. Excuse me."

Neo-Queen Serenity gently took her daughter off of Ranma-chan. "I'll see you later," the queen said quietly, then walked out of the building, but not before turning around and saying, "Thank you so very much."

"Elvis has LEFT the building!" Sailor Uranus shouted obnoxiously, grinning at Pluto and Ranma-chan. The blonde Senshi stood. "I gotta be going, too." She walked past Pluto, leaning in close to whisper, "I guess you two will 'going' soon, eh? Nudge-nudge, wink-wink. Know what I mean?"

Pluto glared at her, clenching her fist.

Uranus smiled and waved as she left. "Nudge-nudge, wink-wink! Say no more. Say no more!"

The Keeper of Time sighed. She really regretted having to overexpose the Outer Senshi to so much Monty Python. The effects would lessen in the next couple of weeks, but until then, Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn would be… somewhat more irreverent than usual.

However, Sailor Pluto's current source of frustration was not, for the most part, Sailor Uranus. It was Ranma, and the fact that he always found some way to destroy her plans for breaking out of the engagement.

Pluto's current attempt involved forcing her fiancé into something he wouldn't want to do— be a miniskirted, sailor-suited Senshi— and use the stress involved with that to break his will sufficiently in order for him to agree to break off the betrothal.

By agreeing to go along with it, Ranma had just destroyed several weeks of Sailor Pluto's work. Even if she convinced him to cancel the engagement, which seemed highly unlikely if this went through, she would still never be rid of him.

Pluto's normal work was very closely tied with the other Senshi, despite all detached, mysterious appearances. With Ranma as one, she would be closer to him than ever.

Mars and Jupiter groaned groggily, waking up and glancing at the clock on the wall. "Well, it's been fun," Jupiter said. They left.

The green-haired Keeper of Time watched them leave, then buried her face in her hands in frustration. "Ranma, do you realize what you've just done?!"


~~~ About a thousand years before that… ~~~

The screams echoed throughout the hallways… angry screams.

They were the tortured, enraged screams of those who had been wronged…

Those who had been stolen from…

And those that were just a bit uncomfortable, wondering why it felt so drafty all of the sudden…

*SLAM!* Ms. Haruna closed the door, cutting off the noise. "Whatever THAT'S about… is no concern of ours. Now, Terra, if you will please read that section."

"¡Sí!" Terra read, smiling happily, glad to be of help and adding the proper intonation. "¡He dejado en liberdad los prisonaros y ahora vengo por ti!"

"Very good," the teacher said. "Class, you'll probably be wondering why we're reading this, considering that this is not a Spanish language class. This is because the classic work that it's from comes—"

At that moment, a shrunken old man burst through the door, slamming it behind him. He was carrying a rather large sack and had a lecherous grin on his face. "Oh, man! What a haul!"

*GLOMP!!!* The old man jumped toward the unsuspecting class and latched onto the chest of a girl in the first row.

"AAAH!" the girl screamed, pulling at her new attachment. "GETITOFF-GETITOFF-GETITOFF-GETITOFF!!!!"

"Ah, my silky darlings!" the old man said joyfully, somehow managing to extract something off of the girl. (We can't mention what it was, due to the fact of it being an unmentionable. Simply wouldn't be proper, ya know.)

Ms. Haruna was not oblivious to this. She was concerned about her students' welfare, but first, order had to be maintained. "All right, class. Remain calm. Sir? Whoever you are, get off of her. Now!"

The tiny old man looked back at the teacher happily. "Okay!" In an amazing feat of aerial maneuvering, he flung himself off his current victim, flying directly toward Ms. Haruna.

The redheaded teacher didn't have time to react; She was distracted by something one of her students was doing. "Serena, wake up!"

*Wham!* Ms. Haruna reflexively made a move to pick something up to toss at her, but accidentally ended up backhanding the airborne old man into her.

"Wha… EEEK!" Serena said in shock as she took notice.

It was an unpleasant wake-up call, to say the least.

"Suito!" the small freak of nature said with a slight Japanese accent, enjoying himself immensely. "Er… Sweeto!"

"WAAH!!!" the meatball-headed blonde girl whined, frantically trying to brush off the old man. "Okay, I'm sorry for sleeping in class again!"

"Apology accepted," Ms. Haruna said quickly, trying to decide on a method that would stop the riot that was just about to break out in the classroom.

Having taken his fill of Serena, the small, old thing jumped off of her into a forward-rolling dive, taking a cheap feel as he went past a certain redhead.

"Oh my!" Terra said in surprise.

The man completed this leap, latching onto a stunned Amy for a couple of seconds, then made a jumpshot above the other students into the really cute, short-haired blonde girl in the second row.

"What do you think you're doing?!" Jade exclaimed cutely, wincing as she heard how she sounded. She attempted to smash the little old man snuggling up against her.

"Aw, you're such a cute one," the man said, jumping off her to avoid being hit, then landing back on her for a second go.

"Stop it," Jade said threateningly, a black, energized aura beginning to form and crackle around her. Still, there was something really cute about the way she was doing it. The rest of the class didn't know whether to cower in fear, or giggle at the sight.

"Try to keep a little control," Ms. Haruna said.

Several female members of the class stood and began to move purposefully toward the small thing latched onto Jade, murderous looks in their eyes.

A loud commotion was heard outside before the door swung open. A large group of angry-looking girls stormed in with lanterns, flaming torches, and multi-pronged pitchforks. "THERE HE IS! GET HIM!!!"

"Well, so much for control," the teacher said, slumping back into her seat in defeat.

Suddenly, Jade felt an extremely liberating sensation. Almost as if… "Return those at once!"

"You're free, my silky darlings!" the old man shouted, further stuffing his bag with the articles he had just obtained.

In the next moment, the large group of angry young women struck…

*WHAM!!!* Unfortunately, their target jumped off his current prey. And, allowing for Newton's laws, the assortment of strikes continued their previous course.

"Not ME, you idiots, HIM!" Jade shouted in cute vexation, shrugging off the multitude of impacts.

The large group continued to pursue the old man as he leapt on to several other subjects. "Sweeto! It's all comin' back to me now, baby!"

"Get him!"

"Over there!"

"Destroy the foul demon!"

"Vengeance will be ours!!!"

"In this glorious day, the battle will be won!!!"

*GLOMP!* The rather strange old person had now secured himself to Molly, smiling contentedly as he rubbed himself against her.

"What, exactly, do you think you're doing?" Molly asked in bemusement.

"Ahh, my precious," the old man said, snuggling against her. Then he noticed something. "Hey, I'm… not gettin' anything here…"

"Is there something that's supposed to happen?" Molly asked with a raised eyebrow.

The small, old creature looked up at her, patting her chest. "Yeah. I'm—"

*CLAMP!!!* All conversation was cut off as Jade moved forward, still crackling with dark— yet rather cute— energy, and grabbed the old man's shoulder with an iron grip. "You have a lot of energy… Let's see it put to good use."

"Whoa… baby," the old man mumbled and grumbled as a blue aura began to surround him. Waves of energy wafted off from him, spiraling into the cute blonde girl.

"Yes… I can feel your energy," Jade said, glorying in the massive amounts of power she was drawing from her quarry. She pulled the small, dazed man off of Molly, raising him above her. "Now feel the true wrath of the Negaforce…"

*KAAAAAABLAAAAAAAAM!!!*


~~~ Back to One Thousand years hence ~~~

It was the year of fire…

The year of destruction…

The year of pain, and the year of joy…

It was a new age…

It was the end of history…

It was the beginning of…

Oh, eh heh… That had already happened.

But it was still a new age! Really, it was. What'd they call it? The Golden Millennium? The Crystal Millennium? The Neo-Silver Era? The Third Birthday of Humankind in General?

Come on! Throw me a bone here!

Oh well, nobody cares anyway…

At least, Sailor Pluto didn't at this particular moment. Something else weighed heavily on her mind… "Ranma, why did you just agree to be a Senshi?"

"Well, I couldn't let her cry," Ranma-chan replied. "Besides, with the way you've been acting, I thought you wanted me to be one."

Pluto looked at the redhead in annoyance. "Well, yes, but you're not supposed to go along with it!"

Ranma-chan's confusion deepened. "Why not?"

Pluto spluttered. "Er… Well, it's… it's the principle of the thing! Isn't there something… un-manly about your current situation? What about your mother?"

The cursed, sailor-suited martial artist considered it, a thought bubble appearing above her head…

{{{ SD-Ranma-chan stands with the SD-Sailor Senshi. SD-Nodoka runs in, embracing her 'son'. "Oh, you're with so many girls… Ranma, you're so manly!" }}}

"What about her?" Ranma-chan asked impassively.

Sailor Pluto stared, raising an eyebrow. "You mean… you're not the least bit worried about what she'll do when she finds out? That katana is rather sharp…"

"Somehow… I don't think she'll mind."

Pluto blinked. "Ranma, this is your MOTHER that we're talking about. First of all, you're a GIRL. Now, take a look at yourself, and examine what you're wearing: an almost swimsuit-like GIRL'S leotard, a short pink skirt, pink bows, pink boots, a cutesy pink-jeweled tiara, dainty little pink-rimmed gloves, a pink, heart-shaped jewel on your chest… Are we sensing a theme here yet? Now, look me in the eye and just try tell me— with a straight face— that you are a manly man in accordance with the agreement your father made with your mother."

Ranma-chan looked down at herself, fingering her skirt, and confirmed each of the points as they were mentioned, cringing slightly. She pulled off her tiara and examined it. "Eeech… You're right…" She looked back up at her fiancée and put her tiara back on, smoothing back her hair as she did. "All I need now is pink hair…"

"That can easily be arranged," Sailor Pluto said enigmatically, narrowing her eyes.

Ranma-chan laughed nervously for a moment. "Eh heh… Maybe later… But Setsuna, this really isn't about that! It's a matter of—"

The keeper of time sighed. "You are absolutely correct. This is about the engagement between two parties that will, for the moment, remain unnamed. At this point, and at all previous points, one party did not wish to be a part of this particular arrangement. Now, the only way for the engagement to be nullified is for both parties to agree to cancel it. Unfortunately, the other party keeps dodging the subject and will not comply with the first party's wishes. Therefore, the first party is attempting to coerce the second party into compliance. This has been completely and utterly ineffective so far, and stronger measures WILL be applied if an agreement is not arrived at soon. What do you suggest we do about this?"

The redhead blinked. "Huh?"

"Renounce the engagement, or things will become worse for you."

Ranma-chan fidgeted. "I… can't call it off… There—"

*CRASH!*GLOMP!* "Sweeto!"

The martial artist looked up through the hole in the roof, then looked down at the thing that was now attached to her. "What the huh!? How did you…? Eh… Get off me, ya old freak!"

"Ah, my darling Ranma-chan," Happosai said, nuzzling into the pink ribbons on the front of the redhead's Senshi uniform.

In one swift move, surprising even herself, Ranma-chan flung the old man off of her, into the wall behind the ice cream shop's counter. She looked at Pluto. "Uh, hey, Setsuna… I thought this was the future. What's he doing here?!"

Pluto smiled. "Well, I warned you," she said sweetly. "Feeling up to—"

"Oh, yeah, baby!" Happosai called, pulling himself out of the wall.

Pluto paused. "Poor choice of words. What I mean to say is… Are you ready to call off the engagement?"

Ranma-chan glanced at her fiancée. "Why do you keep—"

*SPLAT!* She was cut off as several large globs of ice cream impacted her face.

"Wrong answer," Pluto said calmly.

Ranma-chan wiped the ice cream from her face. "Where'd that come from?!"

*SPLUT!* An ice cream pie splatted into her face.

"Food fight!" Happosai called, tossing various ice cream-based products at the redheaded girl.

"Not ANOTHER one," Ranma-chan groaned, wiping the pie off her face, getting a another one for her troubles. "I just got done with people throwing stuff at me!"

"Remember your training: dodge and panic," Pluto mumbled indifferently.

Ranma-chan wiped off the pie and began to use her speed training to strike away any incoming objects. "No… (*Splat*) way…
(*Gorsh*) am… (*Splut*) I (*Splutter*) going to (*THWIP*) panic!"

"Fine, don't," Pluto said. "It really doesn't matter."

Nevertheless, Happosai continued tossing things at Ranma-chan. "Hey, get a couple a your new friends together! We'll have a wet fuku contest! I'll be the judge!"

Ranma-chan recoiled slightly at that idea. "No way, you freak!"

The door opened and a blue-haired young woman wearing a blue-skirted, blue-bowed Sailor Senshi uniform entered. "Hello, Ranma, I was looking forward to meeting you." She paused, pursing her lips. "Why is—"

*SPLAT!*GLOMP!* In one quick move, Happosai covered the blue-haired young woman's face in blueberry sauce and latched on to her.

The blue-skirted Senshi slowly wiped the blue goo away from her eyes and looked down at the small being snuggling against her. She blinked, then paused, seemingly considering whether or not to believe that this was actually happening.

Finally, she did.

"AHHH!!!"

"Mercury," Pluto sighed, "your response time needs work."

"Get off of her!" Ranma-chan yelled, picking up a bowl of ice cream to throw at the small old man.

Happosai looked up at Mercury. "Well, it's been fun. Gotta go." He leapt off of her.

*SPLAT* The bowl of hideously cute, pink ice cream splattered all over the blue-haired Senshi's uniform.

"Uh, sorry!" Ranma-chan said.

"OOF!" Happosai grunted, his attempt at glomping Sailor Pluto being thwarted by a quick time staff to the ribs.

"Not today, I'm afraid," Pluto said disinterestedly.

*GLOMP!* The old man shook off the strike and went back onto Ranma-chan.

"So, Ranma, are you ready to cancel the engagement yet?" the green-haired keeper of time asked nonchalantly.

"What's that, Setsuna?" Ranma-chan asked, once more punting Happosai into the wall behind the shop's counter.

"Engagement?" Mercury asked, looking quizzically at the redheaded girl. "What's going on here?"

"Uh, long story," Ranma-chan said, glancing back at her, ducking another splatter. He looked back at her again. "You know, you look a lot like—"

*SPLAT!* The redheaded girl was cut off by another ice cream barrage.

"Hey, this place is well stocked," Happosai said, opening a few cupboards, finding a few new items to toss.

Ranma-chan stood up, again wiping the ice cream off her face and uniform. "Okay, now you're gonna get it!"

The battle was joined as she jumped behind a counter on the opposite side of the room and began to retaliate by throwing her own flurry of ice cream.

"Typical, just typical," Sailor Pluto muttered to herself, her face buried in her hands, the crossfire from around the room missing her completely. On the table in front of her, debris from the battle smashed together and plopped down in the form of a perfect banana split. A small, plastic spoon imbedded itself in the mix.

Sailor Mercury crawled under the main fighting toward Pluto. "Sailor Pluto, what is going on here?!"

The keeper of time looked down at her, considered something, then pulled her up. "Have a seat."

The slightly confused blue-highlighted Senshi took a seat by Pluto, the exchange of Anything-Goes Martial Arts Ice Cream Throwing mysteriously missing them both.

Pluto looked down at her banana split, then pushed it in front of Mercury. "Care for some ice cream?"

Mercury looked at her, then at Happosai, then at Ranma-chan. "Well… I suppose," the blue-haired Senshi said. "But what about them?"

"Don’t worry about them," Pluto replied nonchalantly.

"Take this, ya old freak!" Ranma-chan shouted, throwing a huge, crystal container of raspberry frozen yogurt at the ancient martial arts master.

*SPLAAAAAT!!!*

Sailor Pluto rolled her eyes at the utterly stereotypical food fight going on about her.

"Learn some respect for your elders!" Happosai called back, crawling out from under the crystal bowl. He searched the small freezers under the counter and pulled out a large, three-layer cake. In a flash, he had replaced all the candles with firecrackers. He threw the cake at Ranma-chan.

*KABLAMMO!!!*

Mercury closed her eyes and turned aside as the debris from the blast flew past her. "Shouldn't we be doing something about this?!"

"Don’t worry," Pluto said reassuringly. "Our new Sailor Earth is quite capable of handling this on her own."

Slightly blackened, but otherwise uninjured, Ranma-chan crawled out of the devastated counter, dripping with melted ice cream. "Oh, man, are you dead!"

"See?" Pluto asked, pointing toward the pigtailed girl.

Mercury winced as Ranma-chan took another hit. "You're absolutely sure? Shouldn't we be helping her?"

The keeper of time was silent. Mercury looked at her, then looked at the battle, and decided that something had to be done. She began to stand, gathering her powers for a strike. "Mercury Ice—"

"Do not interfere," Pluto said in a tone that left no room for argument. Instantly, Sailor Mercury's attack dissipated. "Sit down. I have something I must discuss with you."

The blue-haired Senshi sat back down, occasionally shooting a concerned glance to the battle going on around the room.

*GLOMP!* Happosai had again acquired a hold on the redheaded martial artist… *THWACK!* And was once more thrown against the wall. "Well, it looks like somebody's been practicing," he said, relatively unhurt, despite the constant thrashing.

"Either that, or you're just gettin' too old and slow," Ranma-chan said, beginning to glow with a massive, yellow aura. She cupped her hands together in front of her, an extremely bright ball beginning to form between them. "Mouko Takabisha!"

*BLAAAAAAM!!!!!* The small ball of ki, unable to contain itself, blew outward in a cone-shaped blast, obliterating everything in its path.

Ranma-chan was blown backwards into the remnants of a counter from the force of the attack. "What the…" she said, looking at her gloved hands, surprised the sheer power behind the strike.

"Whoa," Happosai mumbled, having dodged and taken only the side shockwave from the blast. He stood and brushed himself off, glancing at the gaping hole that had been made in the crystalline wall of the ice cream shop.

The redheaded, sailor-suited girl stood and decided to try her attack again, just to figure out what went wrong. "Mouko Takabisha!"

*BLAAAAAAM!!!!* The shot went exactly as before, tearing out another large section of the wall, the shockwave throwing Happosai a couple yards away. Ranma-chan also flew back from the force of the blast.

"Yeouch!" the old man shouted, patting out the smoking fires on his clothes.

"What's goin' on here?" Ranma-chan asked in confusion.

Sailor Pluto looked up from the conversation she was having with Sailor Mercury. "Excuse me for a second," the keeper of time said, standing and moving toward her fiancé.

Happosai stood, wobbling for a second. Once he had stabilized himself, he looked at the redhead. "What're ya doin'?!"

Ranma-chan stood, and decided to try her attack again, to see if she could figure it out this time. "Mouko—"

"Oooh, look at the time, I gotta be going!" Happosai said, beating a hasty retreat through one of the new exits.

"You can stop now, Ranma," Sailor Pluto said, putting a hand on the other girl's shoulder.

The yellow aura around Ranma-chan dissipated. She looked around for Happosai. Not seeing him, she turned toward Pluto. "What just happened with my attack?!"

Sailor Pluto sighed. "Ranma, you are currently a Sailor Senshi. With the transformation comes enhanced speed, strength, and just about everything else you can possibly think of. Your attack was boosted significantly by the powers of Earth."

"The powers of Earth?"

"Yes. You are Sailor Earth, and therefore, your powers come from the planet Earth… plus whatever happens to be there. At the present time, that includes the people of Crystal Tokyo, Queen Serenity, King Endymion, Sailors Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and myself."

Ranma-chan's eyes widened. "So I'm taking power from everything on this planet? Even the people?"

The green-haired Senshi smiled wryly. "What do you know… He CAN learn," she whispered, then said, "Yes, you're drawing strength from the people. All thirty million of them."

"Oh boy," the redhead said, taking a moment to absorb the concept, which seemed to her like something out of Dragon Ball Z or GT, and what happened to the power levels when Raditz showed up. Something else occurred to her. "Wait… did you say thirty million?"

"Yup."

"Only thirty million? What happened to the other, like, four billion?!"

Pluto rolled her eyes. Telling about what happens this far down the line would not have a significant historical impact, especially when told to Ranma. He simply didn't play THAT important of a role in the grand scheme of things. Besides, whom was he going to tell? More importantly, who'd believe him?

So, that meant it was History Time… "Several assaults by… otherworldly forces have taken their toll. Add to that the Great Ice… Tack on a few skirmishes with Nemesis… Casualties are bound to take place."

Ranma-chan stared in shock. "I'll say." She thought about it. "But I guess it had to happen eventually, huh? Some wacky destiny thing?"

"Something like that," the keeper of time agreed. She looked out of the hole in the wall. "Don't you have an old man to catch?"

"Uh, right," the pink-skirted Senshi said, then leapt through the broken wall, following the feminine screams in the distance…

Pluto turned and sat back down by Sailor Mercury. "Now, back to what we were talking about. Have you, or would you ever, given the chance, wield a huge croquet mallet to cause massive bodily harm to a brand new Sailor Senshi?"

Mercury blinked. "No… I don't believe so."

"A large table?"

"No…"

"A giant rock?"

"No…"

"Not even your bare fists?"

"No!"

The keeper of time sighed. "Oh well. Scrap that idea, then. Know any good methods of torture… or where I can find some?"

The blue-haired young woman raised an eyebrow. "What for? What is all this for?"

"Oh, just a personal study. Just… you know, in case I have a fiancé I'd like to get rid of in an unnecessarily gory fashion…"

"I'll… check the archives and see what I can find."

"Thank you."


"The beatings will continue until morale improves," Neo-Queen Serenity said darkly, an snarling grimace spread across her face. She turned toward Sailor Neptune.

"I always wanted to see you do that," the aqua-haired Senshi said, smiling uncontrollably.

"Well, that was pointless," Sailor Mars said.

"But it WAS funny," Uranus added.

Serenity sighed, her expression returning to normal. "Well, I'm glad to have been able to improve someone's mood… Now, I'd like to call this meeting to order… Where's Mercury?"

Sailor Mercury hurried in, taking a seat at the large conference table. "Apologies for my lateness, Queen Serenity… I had to get cleaned up from an unpleasant encounter with some odd, little creature."

"Arby been giving you trouble?" Sailor Venus asked.

Mercury shook her head, brushing back a stray lock of hair. "No. It wasn't him. It was something… something else. It looked dangerous, and I tried to help fight it, but Sailor Pluto wouldn't allow me to. She kept assuring me that our new Sailor Earth could handle it herself."

"Hmm," Serenity said, "I'll have to ask her about that…"

"By the way," Mars said, "am I the only one that's noticed that Pluto's been acting a little weird lately? And what's that stuffed penguin doing on the table?"

Mercury nodded. "Yes, as a matter of fact. She just asked me to research torture methods for her." She blinked and looked at the table. "Penguin?"

The penguin just sat there.

"Think it'll lay an egg?" Venus whispered in jest to Jupiter.

"Unless it's male," Jupiter replied, staring at the penguin. "Looks fairly butch…" After another moment's examination, she said thoughtfully, "It reminds me of my last…" She looked at Venus, who snickered at her, holding up a small disc, which projected the holographic image of a man who looked rather like a stereotypical penguin. The brown-haired Senshi covered her mouth, barely managing to contain her laughter.

The Queen glanced at the two smirking Senshi, then looked back at the rest of the group. "Has anyone else noticed anything strange about Setsuna?"

"Yeah, come to think of it," Saturn added, summoning her Silence Glaive. "Ever since her fiancé got here, she hasn't quite been herself…"

Neo-Queen Serenity blinked. "Fiancé? I wasn't aware that she was engaged…" She glanced at the bladed staff that Saturn was holding. "Why do you have that out? You know very well that you are not to use your powers without a very good reason."

The Senshi of Silence smiled. "Well, it's just that… it's nine o'clock. Time for the penguin on the table to explode."

"Why is that?" Mercury asked, wondering where that particular train of thought came from.

*BLAM!* Sailor Saturn aimed her Glaive at the penguin and fired a small shot, completely obliterating the small stuffed animal in an explosion of cotton stuffing.

There was Silence as the rest of the group tried to comprehend why she just did that.

"Well… It's not as if I never… abused my powers when I was a Senshi," Serenity said, breaking the Silence. "However… you are supposed to responsible with them… and I shouldn't have to explain this to you now. What has been with you these past few days?"

"Oh," Sailor Saturn said, twiddling her thumbs uncomfortably. She stood up proudly and began singing.

o/ I'm a Sailor Scout and I'm okay!
I work all night and I sleep all day! \o

Neo-Queen Serenity sweatdropped.

Uranus and Neptune chorused along, smiling and holding the mangled tune remarkably well.

o/ She's a Sailor Scout and she's okay!
She works all night and sleeps all day! \o

o/ I blow down droids, I eat 'em for lunch,
I send 'em to the Void!
On Wednesdays I go shopping, and get somewhat annoyed! \o

Mars and Mercury stared in disbelief.

Venus and Jupiter looked at each other, shrugged, and started singing along with Uranus and Neptune.

o/ She blows down droids, she eats 'em for lunch,
She sends 'em to the Void!
On Wednesday, she goes shopping, and gets somewhat annoyed!
She's a Sailor Scout, and she's okay!
She works all night and sleeps all day! \o

o/ I blow down droids, I skip and jump,
I like to get weird tattoos!
I put on biker's clothing,
And hang around in bars! \o

o/ She blows down droids, she skips and jumps,
And likes to get weird tattoos.
She puts on biker's clothing…
And hangs around in… bars? \o

Neptune and Uranus were still going strong, but Jupiter and Venus started to drop out of the song. They shrugged and brightened up as soon as they hit the chorus.

o/ She's a Sailor Scout, and she's okay!
She works all night and sleeps all day! \o

o/ I blow down droids, I wear thick boots,
Leather, and steel studs!
I wish I rode a Harley,
Just like my dear Mama! \o

o/ She blows down droids, she wears thick boots… \o

Venus and Jupiter looked at each other quizzically. "Leather and steel studs…?"

Mercury looked on, agape, and raised an eyebrow. "Hotaru… I had no idea."

The song died off and Saturn sat back down.

Once again, there was an uncomfortable Silence.

Saturn looked around at the rest of the group and smiled. "I do have a life outside being a Senshi, you know."

Serenity raised an eyebrow, looking vaguely disturbed. "Now that you have THAT out of your system, I would like to continue this meeting."

"Okay," Saturn said, smiling contentedly. Neptune and Uranus nodded their acquiescence, and burst into hysterical laughter.

"What's that all about?" Venus whispered to Mars.

"I don't know, but it seems like everyone in this world has gone mad except for me," the raven-haired Senshi whispered back.

"Or maybe it's just you," Venus whispered, then smiled. "Or maybe it's just me." Her smile deepened into a Cheshire-cat grin. "But then, we're all mad here…"

Sailor Mars just stared. "Riiight."

"In ANY case," the Queen continued, cutting off the side murmuring and laughter as gently as she could, "I would like to discuss the plans we have for finalizing the opening of the new section of Crystal Tokyo—"

*CRASH!* Smashing directly through one of the large, hard, diamond windows overlooking Crystal Tokyo came a small, shriveled creature carrying a sack. He landed in the center of the conference table.

He opened the sack and snuggled into its contents. "Ah, my wonderful, silky, silky, silky darlings! Never before have I felt your equal!"

**GLOMP!!!** Before anyone could react, the small thing leapt on Sailor Jupiter, knocking her out of her chair and rolling with her along the floor until they hit the wall with a *Whump*.

"What the… Get off, ya freak," the brown-haired Sailor Senshi said, tearing violently at the thing clutching onto her.

In the next second, the Senshi were up and ready for combat.

"It's what Ranma was fighting!" Mercury shouted.

"Sailor Mars," Serenity said in concern, "is it evil? Should we fight it?"

"It's evil," Mars confirmed. She whipped out one of her paper anti-evil wards. "BEGONE, EVIL SPIRIT!!!"

The small creature, being distracted by the exceptionally good time he was having with Jupiter, didn't see the ward coming, and therefore didn't dodge quickly enough.

*HISSSSSSSSS* The ward sizzled against the evil thing, which dropped to the floor, slightly dazed. "Whoa…"

Jupiter leapt off the floor into a backflip to land beside the other Senshi. "Let's take this thing out."

"All right!" Venus said enthusiastically.

"Sparkling Wide Pressure!"
"Mercury Aqua Rhapsody!"
"Mars Flame Sniper!"
"World Shaking!"
"Venus Love and Beauty Shock!"
"Deep Submerge!"

Saturn held out her Glaive and quickly powered up.

"…DEATH RIBBON REVOLUTION!!!"

All of the attacks coalesced into one huge ball of sparking, swirling, breaking, drenching, freezing, burning, blasting, killing, monster-destroying-so-we-can-go-home-later-and-have-a-party energy…

*KABLAAAAAAM!!!!* Which blew out the entire magically reinforced crystal wall, plus a generous portion of the floor.

"Oh dear," Serenity said in shock.

"Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen," Sailor Saturn said, twirling her Glaive above her head, "is what we call tappin' a keg a' whup—"

"Happodaikarin!" a voice behind them shouted.

The Senshi turned around…

*BLAAM!* Just quickly enough to see the large bomb that the small creature had lobbed explode, knocking them out of the room; the room that was near the top of the tallest building in Crystal Tokyo.

Serenity watched in horror as her closest friends tumbled downward, quite possibly to their deaths. She looked at the cause of this dire situation. "You monster!" she shouted, bringing out the Ginzuishou, which was atop the current incarnation of the Moon Wand.

The small creature grinned lecherously at her.

"Moon Cosmic—"

*GLOMP!* The wand was unceremoniously knocked from Serenity's hands as the little thing flung himself forward onto her, accidentally shoving both of them out the hole in the wall.

"Sweeto," the creature whispered contentedly, nuzzling himself against the beautiful blonde queen, not noticing or caring that they were plummeting to their doom.

In the room, the wand clattered to the floor.


"Here are seven unsuccessful encyclopedia salesmen," Sailor Neptune noted sedately.

"Okay, don't panic," Sailor Uranus said, watching the ground approach. "Uh, can anyone here fly?"

"All of the Inner Senshi can," Mercury reminded, maintaining her composure remarkably well. "If we upgrade to Eternal level, that is."

"Well, do it!" Saturn shouted urgently.

"Eternal Power, Make Up!" the Inner Senshi shouted in unison.


Neo-Queen Serenity clashed desperately with her new foe.

It was of no use. The creature seemed to grow stronger with every second as it groped, snuggled, rubbed, and otherwise fondled her… an altogether unpleasant experience. Though Serenity didn't feel any major energy drain, the small being seemed to somehow be drawing massive amounts of power from her.

Whatever it was, it had proven to be malicious and destructive, and therefore had to be stopped.

The Queen was reminded of the other problem as she felt the air rush past her. She looked down and saw five of the Senshi engaged in their respective transformation sequences.

Serenity blinked, wondering why they were transforming. Then, as the wings formed on the back of the Senshi, she remembered.

"Wings!" she realized.

As Neo-Queen Serenity, she also had wings. Not having had to use them that often, it was easy to forget a little detail like that. Attempting to use them to slow her descent, she made a frightening discovery…

One of her wings had somehow been caught in the small monster's grasp, and there seemed to be no hope of being able to get it free.

"Ah, my precious," the creature murmured in satisfaction.

Below, the transformation sequences finished… a mere three meters from the ground.

Three of the Inner Senshi quickly grabbed an Outer Senshi. All of those with wings used them to slow their fall.

Serenity held her breath, hopes rising.

*WHAM* WHAM* WHAM* WHAM* WHAM* WHAM* WHAM* In quick succession, all of the Senshi hit the ground. They didn't get up.

"No," Serenity whispered in despair. Her Senshi had not made it… And the monster had not loosened its grip on her wing. She watched the ground rush up, and knew that she wouldn't be able to stop… Where was Endymion when you really needed him?

"Mouko Takabisha!" a voice rang out.

A small, concentrated, laser-like blast impacted on the small creature, tearing it off of the Queen and blowing it away.

Serenity quickly unfurled her wings and desperately tried to slow her descent in the small distance that remained between her and the ground… and was caught.

"Ooof," her impromptu cushion said, knocked to the ground from the force of the impact.

Neo-Queen Serenity looked up to see the face of a redheaded girl. Her eyes widened for a moment. "Terra!"

At the girl's raised eyebrow, the queen thought about it, then remembered who this girl really was. She quickly shook her head and looked back at the girl holding her. It wasn't Terra, her long lost friend-adoptive sister-fellow warrior, but: "Ranma!"

"Uh, yeah. Sorry I'm late," the martial artist said, laughing nervously. "I… kinda lost track of the ol' pervert the last time I blasted 'em."

"I'm glad you came," Serenity said sadly, "but the others…"

Ranma-chan glanced at the group of sailor-suited young women on the ground.

Uranus sat up, groaning, holding her head. The rest of the Senshi started to make attempts to get up.

"They're all right," Serenity whispered joyfully.

A far-off commotion attracted their attention.

"I gotta go take care a' that guy," Ranma-chan said, standing and placing Serenity on her feet.

"Be careful," the Queen pleaded. "It's extremely dangerous… I don't want to lose you again."

Ranma-chan blinked. "Me… Again?"

"I… don't want to lose another Sailor Earth," Serenity quickly amended.

"Hey, don't worry about me," the redhead said, unconcerned. "I've fought this guy before. I'll be fine." She glanced at the wounded Senshi. "And when I'm through with him, he won't be."

The new Sailor Earth rushed away, following the distant yelling and screaming.

Serenity watched her leave, then moved to kneel by the Senshi. "Are all of you all right?"

Sailor Mars tried to sit up, but slumped back to the ground. "Not really," she groaned.

"I've had worse," Saturn said. "Come on, ya pansies." She made an effort to stand, using her Glaive for support, but collapsed, unable to move. "All right, we'll call it a draw…"

"That was some fall," Jupiter muttered.

"You're telling us," Mercury said, dazed.

"As a friend once said," Venus stated, lying on her back, "to err is human… but to really mess up, you've gotta be a girl in a miniskirt with wings when pigs fly off the beaten path!" She pondered that idea for a moment. "Well, it was something like that, anyway."


Crystal Tokyo… Such a beautiful place, really.

Exquisite sapphire structures adorned the landscape, giving the entire city celestial overtones.

Many small walkways wove their way through lush, vibrant flower gardens at the base of the sparkling crystal buildings.

Shallow pools of shimmering, pristine water decorated the landscape.

Occasionally, one could find a lake, the water as clear and clean as the smaller pools, yet hosting a dazzling array of exotic fish, plants, and other aquatic life.

During the daytime, the sight was extraordinary as the sunlight refracted through the city's crystalline formations.

At night, however, the celestial hues transformed into outright heavenly majesty.

Glowing crystal spires, twined with ornamental vines provided a soft, yet distinct illumination beside the walkways and roads, and oftentimes there were lights shining atop the taller buildings.

The glow highlighted the beautiful gardens and pools, as well as giving the buildings their ambient sparkle.

Viewed from a distance, Crystal Tokyo appeared to be a shining beacon, all alone in the night, seemingly fighting the darkness that surrounded it.

It truly was a divine paradise.

Wouldn't it be just horrible if something… unpleasant… were to happen to it?


"Happodaikarin!" Happosai called from atop the second level balcony of the exquisite Royal Palace, tossing down a rather large bomb into the fabulously decorated courtyard fountain.

*KABLAM!* Ranma-chan took the full blast, shielding a group of more or less innocent bystanders from it, which utterly obliterated the fountain, tore a huge hunk out of the pavement, and shattered all of the many stained-glass windows in the building.

The sailor-suited martial artist was barely singed. "Ha! Is that all you've got, old man?!"

The three bystanders quickly thanked her for the save and made a hasty exit.

"And what's the deal with attacking innocent people, huh?!" Ranma-chan asked incredulously.

Happosai looked down at her. "Hey! I'm sorry about that! I just survived getting blown through the timestream after a couple months in outer space! My aim was little off. Gimme a break!"

Ranma-chan stared. "You nearly killed Queen Serenity, her friends, and a few bystanders, and you want me to give you a break!?"

*GLOMP!!!* In an instant, the old man was on her. "Well, when ya put it that way, it DOES sound a little extreme here, doesn't—"

*WHAM!* Ranma-chan quickly tore off Happosai and sent him crashing through a beautiful, crystal pillar.

"Ow," Happosai mumbled as he pulled himself out of the rubble he made out of magically enhanced fine sapphire. "How do you keep doing that?! You couldn't do that before!"

The redheaded martial artist, breaking all traditions and rules of common sense, took a moment amidst the battle she was supposed to be fighting to think about that.

For several days, she had performed feats of speed, strength, and endurance that were light-years beyond what she had been able to do normally.

Usually, she would be exhausted nearly to the point of unconsciousness after using even a medium-sized ki blast, and now she was tossing around enormous bursts of power like they were nothing.

In the last couple days, she had gone through an extreme, nonstop running and dodging session, and had barely gotten winded until she started sprinting past the speed of sound.

Setsuna told her that she was getting extra power from Earth and its inhabitants… but she hadn't had much of a chance to think over the sheer scale of the energy boost until now.

Ranma-chan began to consider the possibility that this 'Sailor Senshi' thing wouldn't be so bad after all. It had REALLY helped her fight off Happosai. Not that she couldn't take him out normally, if given the chance…

There was, however, the fuku to consider. An embarrassing outfit, to say the least. She was glad that nobody around here seemed to think it was anything out of the ordinary. Having Happosai see her in it was bad enough without having to deal with anyone else.

Good thing Nabiki wasn't here…

*Click!*Click!* An audible click of a camera was heard.

"Huh?!" Ranma-chan blurted out, looking around in shock.

"Wave to the nice Sailor Senshi, Nabiki," Sailor Pluto said to the girl standing next to her.

She did so. "Thanks, Ranma!" she called, then whispered to herself, "I'm gonna be rich… Kuno's going to LOVE these…"

"D’oh!" Ranma-chan shouted in frustration, slapping her hand to her forehead. "Setsuna, Nabiki… PLEASE don't let this get out."

Sailor Pluto shrugged. "I DID warn you…"

Pluto and Nabiki disappeared.

"Oh, great," the sailor-suited redhead muttered to herself. She turned back to Happosai just in time to notice that he was quite near to glomping her again. "Hiryuu Shoten Ha!!!"

*WROOOOOOOOAR!!!!!* Harnessing her own power as opposed to using Happosai's hot chi, Ranma-chan created an impossibly strong whirlwind around her.

The old man was unable to prevent being caught up in it. "Whhhhhhhhaaaaaaaa!"

"Whooaa!" Ranma-chan shouted in surprise as she barely managed to hold the Rising Dragon Ascension in some semblance of control.

The richly ornate balconies tore off the palace from the force of the wind. Various other debris started to collect in the spiraling gale. The shining crystal surfaces began to wear down in the extreme friction caused by the rapidly moving rubble.

"Okay, now how do I stop this!?" Ranma-chan asked rhetorically, beginning to lose control over the appallingly intense swirling air currents.

As if on cue, the wind stopped.

*Thump!*THUD!*Crash!* All of the debris came tumbling down… on top of Happosai. "Ow -(*SMASH*)- HEY -(*WHAM*)- ACK -(*SLAM!*)- URK!"

Ranma-chan smirked as she saw this. "What's the matter? Losin' your touch, old man?"

Happosai spit out a huge hunk of crystal and climbed out of the beautiful pile of glistening junk. "Not hardly, boy!"

Ranma-chan shrugged and held her hands forward. She took a wide stance, bracing herself for the recoil her attack would be sure to cause. A dense, yellow aura radiated from her. "Mouko—"

"Ya like wind, eh?" Happosai asked. "Hentai Surprise!"

A strong breeze arose from beneath Ranma-chan, blowing up her skirt. "Taka— HEY!" she shouted, pushing her pink mini-skirt back down, her attack dissipating as she lost her concentration.

"Hehehe," Happosai laughed, leering.

"Hey, wait a sec…" Ranma-chan said in bemusement. She was a guy! She didn't worry about stuff like that! Not in the thick of battle, in any case. It wasn't very manly…

So, she stopped holding down her skirt— not much of a skirt, anyway— and got back in her ready stance…

*WHOOOOOOOSH!!!* Only to be blown upwards by a sudden gust.

"Surprise!" Happosai called with a grin as he watched the redhead spiral off toward another part of the glittering city.

 

Continued in Part 9-F

Chapter 9-F
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