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A Magic Knights Rayearth fan fiction story
by DarkHorse

DISCLAIMER: Magic Knights Rayearth and its characters, settings, and situations are properties of CLAMP Bandai, and Media Blasters, and are used here without permission.

Chapter 1: Wormhole Discovered

Present Day on Cephiro:

Hikaru Shidou, First Knight and Pillar of Cephiro, looked around at the land with wonder on her eyes. She was currently dressed in a resplendent battledress with a long, billowy cape. It was similar to what she wore when donning her rune-god, but all white. She didn't like wearing it, but Umi and Fuu insisted. With a smile, she decided it was the last time she was going to allow them to talk her into something like this.

Refocusing on the land, it was hard to imagine that not too long ago, Cephiro was a crumbling planet, its entire surface more barren than the bleakest desert on Earth. Now, the land was green and lush again. The myriad flora and fauna was once more vibrantly rich with colors and scents. If it was possible, Cephiro was even more beautiful now than when she first saw it from the back of giant flying fish all those… weeks ago. It seems like it was years ago, Hikaru thought, with a slight crease on her brow.

Her memories took her back to those moments leading up to the moment she became the Pillar, and how she made her final wish: to make the people of this world the true masters of their destiny. She could never forget the power she felt inside. It was totally unlike her Fire magic. She felt that power well up inside of her, making her feel giddy and almost faint, when suddenly, in an explosive rush, it streamed out of her towards the sky. Before her very eyes, Cephiro began to change.

The joy and feeling of fulfillment she, and she was sure, Umi and Fuu, felt was unparalleled. They had succeeded in saving a whole world. She remembered looking at Lantis, her saying out loud that she loved him. She remembered him telling her that he loved her too. She was reaching out to him and all of a sudden, she felt the undeniable pull of her own world, of Earth, finally laying claim to its children.

As soon as she got to Earth, she vowed that she would return to Cephiro. She didn't know how she would manage it, knowing that the power that would have allowed her to return was the very same power that would allow her to breach the dimensional barrier between Earth and Cephiro. It was only when she woke up the next day that she felt the stirrings of power in her. With surprise and wonder, she realized that she continued to possess the power after all. With a bit of shame, she felt happy; but only because now, she had to power to return to Cephiro. Calling Umi and Fuu, they were equally ecstatic. But still, nothing would compare to how they all felt when they returned here, to Cephiro, the very next day.

Looking at the people brought additional joy to her heart. They were so very obviously buoyed and happy and enthusiastic. This was what she, Umi, Fuu, and all the others fought so hard for. This was why they had to return, to see for themselves the fruits of their labor. The beauty of Cephiro was finally restored, all because of the people. Or was it?

Hikaru turned to her companion, Master Mage Clef, who accompanied her to survey the reconstruction of one of many villages that were lost together with the last Pillar.

"What is it, Princess?" Clef asked without taking his eyes off the happy scene before them. It was Hikaru's sharp intake of breath that finally caused Clef to look at her and smile already knowing what caused her surprise and subsequent discomfort.

"You called me Princess," Hikaru cocked her head mischievously at the mage, as she was wont to do.

"But of course, for you are the Pillar."

"But I'm still Hikaru," insisted Hikaru.

Clef shrugged nonchalantly and smoothly changed the subject: "You have a question to ask of me?"

With a twinkle in her eyes that made it clear she knew what Clef had just done, she smiled and then looked back at the people. "I have given the power of the Pillar to the people, so that it will be they and not the Pillar who will ultimately determine their fate, and the fate of this world."

"And you are wondering whether you have succeeded in doing that." Clef glanced momentarily at Hikaru in time to see her nod slowly. "Tell me, Hikaru, what are you feeling now?"

As Hikaru was about to answer, she caught sight of a little girl running towards her carrying a garland of white, delicately scented flowers. She was still afar off but already Hikaru knew who it was. It was Mira, the little girl who gave her a flower as a token of gratitude for saving her from a monster. With a wide and enthusiastic grin, Hikaru waved at her.

Normally, Mira would just run up to her and jump into her arms for a big hug. This time, however, Mira stopped three feet away, knelt on one knee and with her head bowed down offered up the garland. Hikaru, of course, would have none of that and she promptly scooped Mira up into her arms, which delighted the little girl tremendously.

"Oh, Mira, you don't have to do that," Hikaru said as she hugged Mira.

"My mother said that you were the Pillar and that I should behave myself in front of you," was Mira's breathless reply. Hikaru smiled affectionately at the little girl with shoulder-length hair.

"I'm still just Hikaru, Mira."

"I made this for you myself!" Mira said as she raised the garland, innocently dismissing Hikaru's remark. Hikaru smiled and bowed her head and allowed Mira to drape the gift over her neck.

"This is really pretty, Mira. Thank you. Thank you very much!" Mira beamed at that and gave Hikaru a kiss on the cheek.

"I gotta go now. I'm sure Mother is looking for me." At that the little girl wiggled free from Hikaru's arms and ran. "Bye, Princess!"

"It's Hikaru!" Hikaru called out, but Mira was already out of hearing distance. "Oh well." She caught several of the villagers' awestruck eyes on her, but as soon as she glanced back at them, they all turned shyly away.

"It's not funny!" Hikaru said, sensing rather than seeing Clef's grin. "I'm not sure I like being the Pillar." Clef nodded sagely but didn't say anything, knowing that there was more that Hikaru needed to say. "I have this feeling. Oh, Clef! You know how hard it is to describe the magic in one's heart. This is something like that except it's… it's deeper and more powerful and… frightening."

After several heartbeats of silence, Clef finally spoke. "I have served two Pillars before you. I had the momentous honor of guiding Princess Emeraude. And now there's you.

"It is a great effort to maintain the peace and order of an entire planet. To do that, the Pillar must think of nothing and pray for nothing but the welfare of this land and its people. The Pillar is not allowed to pray for her own happiness.

"These past few days, I have watched you closely, Hikaru." To emphasize his point, Clef turned to fully face Hikaru. "You think that you have successfully transferred the power of the Pillar to the people. I'm not entirely certain you succeeded. What I am certain of is that the power you possess is far greater than the past two Pillars have ever had. With minimal effort you are able to maintain and protect this world." At this, Hikaru's eyes widened.

"That's what frightens me, Clef," Hikaru said glancing at the mage before turning her eyes back to the people. "No one person should ever have this much power. I mean, what if I make a mistake? I might just sneeze, for instance, and cause a volcano to erupt or something. I am only fourteen years old, in case you've forgotten!"

"Hikaru, I know your heart. We, here at Cephiro, who you have been with, have seen you act in times of sadness, fear, anger and happiness. We all know your heart and it is a good heart. Do not burden yourself with too much worry. Your heart knows what is right, true and just. And always remember that we will always be there for you."

"Oh Clef, I have so many questions—"

"And all will be answered in due time." Clef took her arm and guided her back to her coach, which is really like a big bowl with wings, much like what Mokona conjured up for their journey to the Water Shrine, way back when. "It is time to return to the palace and prepare you for your journey home."

With one final look and wave to the villagers, who happily waved back, Hikaru reluctantly boarded the flying coach.

Fuu was looking out from one of the many balconies in the palace towards one of the many mountains of crystal floating in the sky. The one she was looking at in particular was the sky shrine of her rune-god, Windam.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Fuu was startled out of her reverie, but pleasantly so, for the voice came from someone she cherished. She felt Ferio's arms slip around her waist from behind, his cheek pressing against her cheek.

"Yes, its beautiful. Everything is so beautiful."

"Then why are you sad?"

"I'm not sad," Fuu said with a smile on her cute lips.

"Well, when someone has an expression on their face like what you have, it normally means they're sad," Ferio quipped with a twinkle in his eyes.

The allusion was, of course, not lost on Fuu, who grinned remembering a similar conversation on the back of a griffin flying away to escape from Fahren. It wasn't a very nice memory, but looking back, it was really romantic the way Ferio had risked his life to rescue her, even though, to this day, she thought it very reckless. After all, wasn't she a Magic Knight, capable of taking care of herself?

Fuu turned to look deeply at Ferio's hazel eyes. "I'm sad because I'm going back to our world soon."

"And why exactly is that making you sad?" Ferio asked, feigning innocence and deliberately failing. Although equally saddened that Fuu would leave soon, he wanted to make her smile, cheer her up.

Fuu looked away, a smile already forming on her dainty lips. She was, of course, aware of Ferio's game. "Oh, you know. There is this guy I'll be leaving behind and I'm going to miss him terribly."

"Really," Ferio slightly tightened his arms around Fuu. "He's a really lucky guy for someone like you to be missing him. What's he like, anyway?"

Fuu turned her head ever so slightly to watch Ferio's expression from out of the corner of her eye. "He's very tall, with jet black hair and dark eyes." Ferio was so easy to bait. His frown was already deepening.

"Are you talking about Lantis?" he demanded.

Fuu turned around in his arms, tapped his nose teasingly and said: "Gotcha!" She impulsively leaned forward and gave Ferio a quick kiss on the lips, which surprised both of them. They pulled back from each other instinctively and stared at each other, Fuu's face was turning as red as her friend's Hikaru's hair.

"Um, I… ah… gotta go! See ya!" With that Fuu turned and fled from the room leaving Ferio watching incredulously. When she had left the room, Ferio touched his lips with a finger.

"Well, whaddaya know," he said, a grin plastered on his face.

Ascot silently commanded Fyula to swoop down fast under an outcropping of rock, causing Umi to hold on much tighter on his arm. It worked, Ascot smiled inwardly. He chanced a glance at Umi. This trip was truly exhilarating for her. Her face was flushed, her light blue hair billowing in the wind… She was truly beautiful. And the more she was with him, the more deeply he felt for her.

Umi, noticing that Ascot was looking intently at her, playfully jabbed his side with her elbow. "Hey, Ascot, shouldn't you be watching where we're going?"

Ascot quickly averted his eyes. "Oh, don't worry. Fyula knows what's he's doing."

"I'm not worried," Umi said with a smile. She wasn't really sure how she still felt about Ascot. That she was enjoying herself with him was enough for her.

"Umi… " Ascot began but it was clear he didn't know how to continue.

After a moment, Umi couldn't take the awkwardness anymore. "Yes? What is it, Ascot?" She turned her blue eyes on him, which seemed to unnerve him even more.

"Uhm, well, you see… It's just… You know… " he stammered.

As thrilled as Umi was that Ascot really liked her, she was getting a little impatient. "Yes?"

"I'm going to miss you!" With that declaration, Ascot brooded morosely, attempting to shut out everything to cover his embarrassment.

"Well, I'm going to miss you too, Ascot," Umi said gleefully. "Just like I'm going to miss Clef, Lantis, La Farga, Caldina, Presea, and everyone else!"

Ascot rolled his eyes. Not again! He thanked the gods for the hair that covered his eyes; otherwise he wouldn't have been able to hide his consternation. Honestly, is she doing this on purpose?

Umi knew that Ascot was getting really exasperated with her, but she couldn't help teasing him. Even though he had grown physically, she couldn't help but picture him as that young boy who she slapped those many weeks ago. Well, she was not worried. Perhaps it was because she was used to the attention she got from boys. Right now, she just wanted to have fun. Riding Ascot's beast felt wonderful. It took her mind out of the melancholy she was feeling about her imminent departure from this beautiful world.

Her thoughts wandered to the recent events leading up to Hikaru's crowning as the Pillar. She was extremely proud of her best friend. Proud that was she there at her side throughout their ordeal, up to their triumph over evil. She didn't feel envy at all. She didn't think she had the strength of will to sustain this entire world, after all. On the other hand, she knew with all her heart that Hikaru was destined for this very responsibility. Knowing Hikaru, however, she knew it would not be easy for her, which was why she vowed to herself that she would always be by her side when needed.

It was hard for Ascot to feel dejected for long. Umi's joy was truly contagious. Looking around, there was every reason to be joyous. Cephiro has been restored. For a time, he thought it was hopeless, that he would lose the world that he truly loved. But then, at the bleakest hour, Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu came through for all of them. Ascot smiled. Who would have thought that that little wisp of a girl, Hikaru, would end up being the Pillar?

"I see the palace," Umi said, interrupting Ascot's thoughts.

Ascot merely nodded. "Do you have any idea when you'll be back again?"

"Not really. Although I understand Hikaru can conjure up a portal that will take us back here any time we want or need." Pause. "If I had my way, I'd be back here even for the slightest of reasons."

"I'm glad." Ascot looked at Umi. "I really haven't had the chance to thank you personally for saving our world."

"Oh, enough of that, Ascot! You played a huge part in that too." Umi leaned and planted a kiss on Ascot's cheek. A rather platonic kiss, in Ascot's estimation, though. Nevertheless, it didn't fail to send sparks along his spine at the slight touch of Umi's lips on his skin.

All too soon, the ride ended as Fyula landed smoothly at the palace entrance. Ascot helped Umi down.

"Thank you for that wonderful ride, Ascot!" Umi said cheerfully. "You have to promise that we could do this again when I get back."

"Sure thing, Umi."

"Well, I'm off to see Hikaru and Fuu." Umi reached out and touched Ascot's cheek. "Take care of yourself, okay?"

"I will. You take care too," Ascot said. With a last smile, Umi walked away. What a magnificent woman, Ascot thought. He felt Fyula nudge him on the back playfully. Looking up, he saw the twinkle of amusement in the creature's eye. "Yeah, yeah! I've got it bad." He slapped Fyula's beak affectionately. "The gods forbid you would have to go through this too."

Hikaru, Fuu and Umi stood at the center of the Grand Hall. Everyone was there to see them off. Despite the fact that all knew they would be back, none of them could hold back the annoying mistiness in their eyes. The return to their own world was inevitable. They had to still live their lives in a normal way. They all hoped that their destinies would be revealed to them soon and that it would lead them back to this world permanently.

The three Magic Knights were in their school uniforms; Hikaru in her red top and black skirt, Umi in her navy blue top and light blue skirt, and finally Fuu in her green ensemble. For a time, Hikaru didn't think that she could return to her own world after becoming the Pillar, but Clef assured her that she had the power to maintain peace and order in Cephiro even from Earth. For some reason, deep within her, she knew it to be true. Why exactly it was possible was something she had yet to comprehend. After all, of all the people in the universe, why would she have that power, which apparently exceeded that of the two other Pillars Clef had served? On top of that, Clef told her that her powers had yet to grow. She definitely felt the weight of responsibility on her shoulders now.

Hikaru stepped forward, gazing almost regally at everyone gathered to see her off. She had learned to love each person here; Presea, Clef, Ferio, Caldina, La Farga, Ascot, and Lantis. Lantis. His eyes were the ones she held onto the longest. Her love for him was definitely different from the love she felt for the others. Nova, her evil and hyper-aggressive alter ego, had made that very clear. Lantis had his fists clenched, his body tense as if he was stopping himself from doing something. In the end, he walked solemnly towards Hikaru and gathered her in his arms.

"Oh, Lantis," Hikaru whispered, glad that he did this because it was something she really needed.

"You take care of yourself, Princess," Lantis whispered back as he pulled away — but not too far away — to gaze into Hikaru's sienna-brown eyes. She was already feeling extremely giddy inside, but that was accentuated even more so by the way he uttered the word "Princess". It sounded like a promise. Of what… that was something that she was now sure they would both discover in due course.

All too soon, Lantis stepped back in line with the others to say their farewells to the three Magic Knights from another world. Hikaru looked out the large window overlooking all of Cephiro. Earth was her world, but Cephiro was now her home.

Clef stepped forward, to stand in front of three Knights, addressing them. "If we ever have need of you, we will send you a signal. That signal will manifest itself on the ornaments on your gloves." The three Knights nodded.

To Hikaru, Clef said: "You already know you can come back here any time you want. Only you have the power to do that. Be strong, Hikaru. Always remember, your strength gives all of us here strength. Your peace is our peace, and your joy is our joy." With a serene smile, the highest-ranking mage in all of Cephiro stepped back and nodded to the Pillar.

With a nod of her own, Hikaru took a deep breath to cast a spell to open a portal to her world for the very first time. She smiled at everyone nervously. "Well, this is it." I hope this works. It sure would look very bad if I fail to pull this thing off. Hikaru closed her eyes and searched for the magic in her heart, a little surprised that it was actually there to find, and so easily at that. Stretching her right hand in front of her, she felt the power course through her being, leaving an indescribable but pleasant sensation throughout her body. She heard the collective gasps of the people around her and as she slowly opened her eyes, she knew the reason. Right before her was the portal, its blinding light initially stunning her. But, like everyone else's, her eyes adjusted.

Hikaru looked back at Umi and Fuu. "Ready?" When she got their nods of assent, Hikaru, First Knight and Pillar of Cephiro stepped into the portal, followed closely by the Water Knight and the Wind Knight.

"There!" Dasma excitedly pointed to the screen of her monitor. Rogo immediately leaned forward to look at the display. The display clearly showed a surge of power, the nature of which was unknown; but it was a great power indeed. Their computer attempted to measure it, but it was clear that whatever it was, its intensity was beyond their charts.

"Dasma. Grat." That was all it took. Dasma punched a button, which shot the coordinates of the power surge to the monitor located at the driver's side of the van. Grat immediately engaged the transmission and pulled the black van they were all in into the mid-morning Tokyo traffic.

Grat took another look at the coordinates, which were now superimposed on a city map of Tokyo. "Rogo, the power surge is in Tokyo Disneyland. That's two hours from here."

"Just get us there," Rogo said as he punched inquiries into his computer, trying to decipher the nature of the power surge.

"You're the boss." With that, Grat concentrated on the traffic and left his leader alone with his work.

"This is incredible," Rogo said aloud, but to no one in particular. The statement, however, drew the attention of both Dasma and Crata.

"How so?" Crata asked. Crata was the technology expert on this small expeditionary team from Ramar. She already knew that the power registering on their scopes was clearly beyond their charts but she also knew that Rogo had insight about these things, which was, she supposed, why he was the leader.

"Not only are we unable to accurately quantify the intensity of this power, we are also unable to determine the composition." Rogo's brow creased in concentration. "The energy output has some elements of light, electricity, fire, wind, water… in other words, the computer cannot identify it."

It was clear from Crata's facial expression that the concept of an unidentifiable type of energy was completely alien to the technology expert. All forms of energy could be identified, catalogued, and measured. As a matter of fact, all forms of energy used by Ramarians and their technology were already present on Earth, albeit some of which are still unknown to the latter. Crata had been a resident of this planet for five years, and it was clear that in terms of technological advancement, this planet was way, way below that of Ramar. The fact that Ramarian civilization has existed for far longer than Terran civilization, something like a fetus compared to a middle-aged man, did not alter Crata's contempt for earthlings. Seeing an as-yet-to-be-identified form of energy on Earth, which was more powerful than anything Ramarians already had, totally unnerved the technology expert.

"Relax, Crata," Rogo said. "This is not a common form of energy. It is isolated. Else its peculiar existence would not have been reported in their newspapers at all." Rogo was of course referring to a news item a few days ago about an "unusually bright light" that appeared in Tokyo Tower. It was purported to have temporarily dazed several of the Tower's visitors that day. The computers at the plush apartment the team had in downtown Los Angeles in the U.S. had already registered it even before it broke out in the news the next day.

For reasons that the team did not yet know, Rogo ordered all of them to pack up and fly to Japan immediately thereafter. It was indeed strange to the rest of the team that Rogo would decide to stake out an "unusually bright light", especially considering they had to fly out to the other side of the planet. Every member of the team was aware that strange occurrences are common on Earth. More so with the Japanese, apparently, since they tended to be superstitious. A good number of the citizens in this country held beliefs in magic, in one form or another. Magic happened to be another concept that was completely alien to this expeditionary team, since there wasn't even a word for it in the Ramarian vocabulary.

"For all we know, it could be that 'magic' thing these people believe in," Dasma snorted in derision. "I can't believe these creatures consider themselves to be sentient at all. Magic… bah!"

Rogo did not make comment. Something in him told him that Dasma was right, and that his decision to leave the United States was rather hastily made. Nevertheless, another part of him couldn't shake the feeling that there was a lot more to this than met the eye. Rogo reached into the inside pocket of his jacket and retrieved a clipping of the news item. The item stated that three junior high school students from three separate schools seemed to have reacted rather differently from the others after the "unusually bright light" had dissipated. Apparently, three popular rival schools had their field trip to Tokyo Tower on that same day. Students from the different schools were interviewed and they each thought it strange that these students who did not know each other previously would end up hugging each other and crying after the light touched them.

It was a longshot at best. But… If his hunch was correct, that bright light was actually a wormhole, and it transported those three students somewhere. The concept of a wormhole was not new, even to the relatively low-tech terrans. The theory of it was also easy to explain: if the universe was a magazine page, one way of traveling from one end of the page to the other end would be to fold it in half. When both edges of the page touched, the distance between the ends would be nullified. That nullification was often illustrated as punching a hole into the page while folded; the person needing to travel the distance would therefore just go through the hole, hence the term wormhole. Of course, while the theory was easily described, its application was a different story altogether. For one thing, you would need a tremendous amount of energy in order to fold the space/time continuum, something that was beyond even the technology of Ramar.

There was one more implication that tugged at Rogo's technologically-enhanced brain. If, in fact, this was a wormhole, then the three students must have traveled to another system. That system, and not Earth, was somehow responsible for the wormhole technology. The news item stated the bright light lasted only a few seconds, and yet there seemed to be a profound effect on the three students. This pointed to a lapse of time. It was frightening to consider, but it seemed that this other system had the power to not only fold the space/time continuum, but also to disrupt it in such a way that time advanced in that system but stopped here on Earth.

If we Ramarians can duplicate this technology, then we can easily be the masters of the entire universe. This thought caused Rogo's enhanced heart to beat slightly faster. He had to calm down. Everything was still a big "IF".

"How much farther, Grat?"

"Nine-zero minutes."

As soon as Hikaru stepped out of the portal, she knew that something was wrong. Surrounding her were a crowd of people, men, women and children, all having a stunned look on their faces.

"Oops," was the only word Hikaru whispered.

"'Oops' is right, Hikaru. Where have you taken us?!" Umi replied, clearly dismayed by what she saw.

"It appears we are in an amusement park," was Fuu's reply, as always in her calm, clinical voice.

For several heartbeats, neither the crowd nor the Knights said or did anything. Out of nowhere, a single child in the crowd clapped his hands. "Wow! That was soooo cool!" Pretty soon, everyone was applauding the Knights. It was clear that everyone thought it was part of the attraction. With nothing else to do, Umi and Fuu smiled sheepishly and shyly waved back, bowing as they tried to move away from the crowd.

"Boy, that was close," Umi sighed, relief clearly painted on her face.

"Yes, Miss Umi, I quite agree," Fuu said. She turned to face where she thought Hikaru would be. "Miss Hikaru, I…" Fuu stopped mid-question when she realized the person she was supposed to be talking to was not there. Fuu snapped her head around to look at Umi. They locked eyes and then together looked back to the crowd. Twin jaws dropped at what they saw.

"Thank you! Thank you!" Everyone was still applauding and talking to Hikaru, who in turn was basking in the attention. "I'm glad you enjoyed it. What's that? How did we do it?" She turned to address a young boy who obviously asked her a question. "Um, well, that's a secret." This she delivered with her usual disarming charm that pleased the crowd.


"Miss Hikaru!"

Hikaru snapped her head around at the sound of her name. Her face showed embarrassment as if she was caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Turning back to the crowd, she said: "Well, I have to go. Thanks for coming! I'm glad you enjoyed the show!" With that she turned and ran in the direction of her companions.

When she reached the two other Knights, she found Umi fuming, although Fuu was clearly amused.

"Hikaru, what kind of stunt was that?! And where are we? How did we get here?" Umi was clenching her fists at her side, not knowing whether to strangle the pigtailed girl because of exasperation or hug her because of relief that she was okay.

"It appears we are in Tokyo Disneyland," Fuu said looking around.

"So do you mind telling us how we got here, Hikaru?" Umi crossed her arms on her chest, clearly daring the petite redhead to come up with an excuse that would appease her.

"Um, well, see, I ah… Well, I've wanted to visit Disneyland again, so it was the last thought I had in my mind when I created the, ah, portal," replied Hikaru sheepishly, obviously embarrassed.

"I think it's wonderful that you brought us here, Miss Hikaru," Fuu cheerily announced, as she was wont to do which further infuriated the statuesque, blue-haired Knight. Hikaru could only smile at that.

"Wonderful?! You've got to be kidding me, Fuu!" Umi fumed. "We are hours away from home. How are we going to get there from here when we don't have enough money?!"

"Calm down, Umi," Hikaru pleaded. "I think I can conjure up another portal that will take us to, say, Tokyo Tower. I'm sure when we get there, our money will be enough to get us home."

"Well what do you mean 'I think'? Can you or can't you create a portal?"

"I can create the portal." Hikaru put up a confident front.

"May I suggest, Miss Hikaru, that you conjure up the other side of the portal to open somewhere where there will be no one to witness our arrival?"

"Good thinking, Fuu," Hikaru nodded. "We wouldn't want a repeat of what just happened, now would we?"

"Fuu and I won't. I'm not sure about you, though," Umi rejoined good-naturedly. It was impossible to remain angry with her diminutive best friend. Both Hikaru and Fuu laughed.

"Okay, guys. Let's look for a more private place." The three had to walk a considerably distance until they spotted a relatively private area. It was one of the smaller roller coasters, which was down for maintenance. The three girls walked behind the maintenance shed.

"Okay, guys, here goes." Hikaru closed her eyes and almost immediately the portal opened, much to the surprise of all three. "Hey, I guess I'm getting good at this. And to think that we're on Earth and not Ceph—"

"Hikaru! Go already!"

"Oh, of course!" Hikaru once again smiled sheepishly and stepped through the portal, followed closely behind by Fuu and Umi.

"By the powers that be!"

"What is it, Dasma?" Rogo straightened up on his chair and tensed.

"There are now two power surges!" Dasma replied as her fingers flew over the computer keyboard. She felt Rogo peering over her shoulder, which all the more spurred her fingers to frenetically command the computer to display statistical information about energy formation. "One is in a slight different location but still within Tokyo Disneyland. The other is in Tokyo Tower!"

"Grat! How far to Tokyo Tower?"

"Ten minutes! I'm on it!" Without waiting for the order, Grat stepped on the brakes and turned hard on the wheel, causing the van to fishtail before doing a complete 360 on the highway. Horns and screams from both motorists and pedestrians alike could be heard. Everyone else in the van had the quick reflexes to hold onto something stable, lest they get buffeted against the delicate equipment they'd brought along.

When the van finally stabilized, Crata began her own analysis of the surges. "The energy output of the portals is still off our charts, but as you can see," Crata traced a finger on the bright lines denoting the energy outputs, "the bars are less bright, indicating a lesser output than the one we saw earlier." Rogo merely nodded at that, and sat down in front of his own computer.

Crata and Dasma looked at each other as they saw the program that their leader was opening. "Rogo, what are you doing?" Dasma queried.

"I'm sending a priority message to Higon."

"Isn't that a bit too hasty, Rogo?" It was Crata this time. "After all, we still don't know what this really is."

"I'll explain later." Rogo's own fingers flew over the terminal interface as he sent a two-word message:



To be continued.

Author's notes: If you haven't yet noticed, this story takes much of its influence from the anime instead of manga. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of the manga that I decided I like better than the anime, like the fact the Knights can come and go as they please between Cephiro and Earth.

As the story progresses, you will notice other aspects of the manga that I've included in this story. Other than that, I try my best to stay faithful to the characters.

C&C is very welcome. Please send e-mail to darkhrse0714@yahoo.com

NEXT — Chapter 2: Alternate Plans

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