A Sailor Moon/ Ranma ½ crossover story by
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.
Ranma and Cologne finally stopped at the far end of the glass-domed room. There on a raised platform was a massive oak table. Six people sat in plain, high-backed chairs. A seventh chair stood empty. It was quickly filled, though, as Cologne leapt onto the platform and took the seat. The hum of numerous conversations suddenly disappeared and an awkward silence swept through the room.
"Who comes before us today?" a white-bearded gaijin man in his middle years asked. He occupied the center chair.
"Ranma Saotome," Cologne answered for him and for the first time since arriving in the underwater city, Ranma realized that he hadn't heard Japanese spoken once. Even his conversation with Cologne had been in another language. It was probably just more magic.
"And who was his teacher?" an extremely dark-skinned man with a shaved head asked.
"I was," Cologne once again answered.
"Is he worthy to be a member of the Order?" the only other woman asked. Her hair was as red as his girl form's and was, Ranma decided, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
"He is." Cologne again. Ranma dismissed the ritual for what it was, a waste of time.
"Can he be trusted with our secret?" the giant of a man beside Cologne asked.
"His honor is unquestionable."
"Is he warrior, scholar, or guardian?" asked a dumpy little man with three chins.
"How has he distinguished himself?"
"Ranma is a warrior of legendary skill and an unrecognized master of fifteen martial arts disciplines. Saffron, the greatest of Magi, fell to him in battle when his knowledge of our craft was limited to a simple emotion based chi attack and the hiryu shoten ha." The previously quiet gathering of people seemed to erupt with questions and comments. It only lasted a few seconds before the white-haired man clapped his hands above his hands once, producing a resounding bang.
The only man yet to ask a question, rose and walked down the platform's steps. He stopped and offered his hand to Ranma, "Be welcome, young Ranma, to the Order of Mages." This time, no one stopped the thunderous applause. They lasted for several minutes before dying down.
Ranma thanked the man and was about to ask Cologne what was next when she asked, "Would someone please escort Ranma to the armory? The Council has much to discuss."
From the streams of people leaving through various exits, a girl not much older than Ranma, wearing a pair of jeans and a Hello Kitty tank top, broke away. She took Ranma's arm and began leading him towards an unopened doorway. Ranma decided that she must be the redhead's daughter. Her hair was brown, but her face was virtually identical. "Hi, I'm Margaret."
"I guess you already know my name." Ranma was glad that so many beautiful girls had thrown themselves at him, or being in such close proximity to Margaret would have been difficult.
She laughed. It sounded like tinkling bells. "Everybody knows your name. I even have a picture of you hanging on the wall in my room at home."
Ranma blushed and asked, "What are you talking about?"
"I live in Tomobiki. There's a little shop at the end of the street mother and I live on that sells posters and greeting cards. It's called Nabiki, Inc. You're on most of the posters and some of the greeting cards.
"Nabiki," Ranma growled. "She's gone too far this time."
"You know her?" Margaret asked curiously.
"She's the sister of one of my fiancées," he answered offhandedly.
"One of your fiancées?" she screeched, jerking her arm away. "What are you, a pervert?"
"Hey, it's not like I had a choice. The only one that wasn't arranged by my stupid father is the one to Cologne's great-granddaughter. I'm engaged to her because I beat her in a fight. Stupid Amazon laws," he grumbled.
Margaret scrunched her face cutely and grabbed his arm back up. "I'm sorry. Sounds like you’re in a pretty bad situation."
"Yeah. Akane, Nabiki's sister, is really violent, and she hates me. Kodachi is insane and Shampoo and Ukyou are head over heels in love with me. I'm obligated by honor to marry all of them."
"That's horrible!" She sounded genuinely sorry for him.
"Don't worry about it. How about telling me what just happened back there?"
"The ceremony?" Ranma nodded. "Its been around for a really long time. I had to go through the same thing last year. Of course I didn't have the famous Cologne speaking for me."
"But isn't your mom on the Council?"
Margaret laughed again. "That's my grandma, silly. She was too busy to teach me."
"You're not a warrior are you?" Ranma asked. He already knew that she wasn't, but he was trying to keep the pleasant conversation going.
"Oh, no! No fighting for me. The sight of blood makes me sick to my stomach. I'm a scholar, just like my mom. My dad is a warrior, though."
"What do scholars and guardians do, anyway?"
"Scholars do all kinds of things. Mostly, though, we observe and record human history. Guardians are assigned areas to keep safe from supernatural interference and take turns watching over Atlantis." They came to a plain wooden door with an armored guard on either side.
Without speaking, one of the guards opened the door for them and returned to his original position. Ranma and Margaret walked into another one of the rooms like the one at the Nekohanten. The walls were lined with swords, staffs, knives, and any type of imaginable weapon. There were also racks off armor and cases of jewelry.
"I don't use weapons," Ranma said.
"You're a warrior and you don't use weapons?" she asked in disbelief.
"I fight unarmed," he answered adamantly.
"Well you don't have to get a weapon. My ring," she held up her hand so that he could see the simple gold band that adorned her left ring finger, "focuses my power as good as any weapon and lets me see through walls."
Ranma didn't really want a ring. Maybe he could find a set of bracers or something. He saw in the center of the room a glass case with several miscellaneous items. There were several swords, two small ornate rods, and various bits and pieces of armor. "Why are those closed up?" he asked Margaret.
"Grandma told me that they're the only remnants of a kingdom that vanished thousands of years before Atlantis was ever constructed. No one has ever been able to bond to one, so they were put in the display."
Ranma walked over to the case and lifted the lid. It wasn't even locked. He reached down and touched a large translucent band of crystal. At his touch, it flared with sapphire light and like water, flowed up his hand, wrapping itself around his wrist. Once settled, it glowed brightly and steadily sapphire blue. All this occurred in the span of a second. In another second a second crystal band flew up to the hand holding the case open. The process was repeated and Ranma was left with a very conspicuous set of glowing wristbands.
"Ranma," Margaret whispered reverently, "how did you do that? Why did you even try?"
Ranma didn't know how or why. He did somehow know, though, that his new whatever they were's granted him the ability to teleport. There was also a lot more knowledge in his head than had been there before. Most of it was about a long dead kingdom, but with it came knowledge of how to do a few interesting things with his chi. To check the accuracy of his information, Ranma picked up a sword made completely of obsidian. He released a precise amount of chi into it and was not surprised when it became a silvery liquid that crawled slimily across his skin, moving from one hand to the other, then returned to its original state. Ranma didn't even have to look under his shirt to know that a black and silver dragon was now coiled around his chest. "Cool."
"'Cool'? Ranma that was amazing!" she squealed.
Ranma reached into the case and pulled out a plain gold ring much like Margaret's. "Here. It won't focus your power anymore, but you'll be able to move really fast."
"It won't work. We can only bond to one focus. We're only supposed to be able to bond to one," she said in confusion.
"This isn't a focus. It's just a ring that lets you move faster than you should be able to. The more chi you put into it, the faster you go." He handed the ring to her.
"How do you know, Ranma?"
"These things," he tapped his wristbands together, "put some info in my head. Watch." Ranma made the glow coming from the crystals dim until they only seemed to be blue crystal. "They told me how to do that."
Margaret slipped the ring onto her other ring finger and said, "Thanks, Ranma."
He scratched the back of his head a bit nervously and told her, "Don't worry about it. We're friends, right?"
They walked out of the room and found Cologne and whom Ranma assumed was Margaret's mom, waiting impatiently for them. Resemblance was really passed through her family. It was like seeing an older Margaret.
"What took so long? You weren't fooling around with our newest Mage, were you?" asked her mom.
Ranma and Margaret blushed badly and Margaret said, "Ranma discovered the most extraordinary thing…" and so she explained to them what had happened in the armory.
Cologne shook her head and smiled wryly. "Ranma, Ranma, Ranma, whatever am I going to do with you?" she asked.
"Maybe we could get back to Nerima before there's a national emergency. We should probably bring a few Mages to help settle things down," he joked.
"I'm sorry, but we can't leave for another few days. The other Councils have to meet, and then the High Council will convene to determine your rank among the other Mages and within the Society as a whole."
Ranma's hope of coming back to a reasonably intact Nerima fell. Then he remembered just how unhappy he was in the Tendo home. A little time away from the fiancées would be nice. He finally shrugged and said, "Oh, well. They'll just have to make do without me."
"Where will you be staying Cologne-san?" Margaret asked.
"My quarters have been readied by now, I believe. Ranma can sleep on the couch."
"My brother's on his honeymoon and couldn't join us. I'm sure mother wouldn't mind if Ranma stayed in his room." She clasped her hands together and smiled innocently at her mother.
"Don't you think Ranma should have some say in where he'll be staying?" her mother asked.
Margaret blushed slightly. Ranma said, "I don't mind staying with you and Margaret."
"Okay, it's settled. Margaret will show you to our quarters while Cologne and I finish talking."
Ranma followed Margaret into a nearby corridor. It soon forked into three separate passages. Margaret pulled him down the left one for another hundred feet and past a few doors. She stopped at a nondescript door where she placed her hand on a small panel on the wall. The door slid open quietly and lights automatically lit the interior.
"Wow, nice place," Ranma commented. The room they were in was furnished with expensive looking antiques. The gold veined walls gleamed and the crystal fixtures gave off a soft yellow light.
"It's a little old for my tastes. Mom likes it, though. When I'm assigned my own quarters, I'm going decorate them to be more modern. You hungry?"
"Let's see what we've got in the pantry."
The kitchen was as modern as any Ranma had seen. It also had one of those rooms like Cologne's in the Nekohanten for a pantry. It looked like what Ranma imagined the stock room of a large grocery store to be. "It's huge!" he exclaimed.
Margaret giggled at his reaction. "You should see one of the main storage rooms. They're really huge."
"What could you need so much food for?"
"The High Council has been buying food for years and preserving it with magic. Grandma told me that a whole bunch of the Psychics had a vision that one day there would be another world war. When that happens, we're all going to come live in Atlantis."
That made sense in a bleak kinda way. "Psychics? Aren't those the Witches and Warlocks?"
"No. Witches and Warlocks use their psychic energy to do magic. Psychics use theirs to do stuff like magic. Didn't Cologne tell you all this?"
"I didn't even know that I was learning magic from her until less than an hour ago." Ranma tucked a bag of potato chips under his arm.
"Do you know about the different kinds of magic-users that make up the Society?" Ranma nodded. "The Psychics?" He shook his head. "Okay. Psychics are different from us because they don't specialize in any particular field. There are different abilities they can have. Pyrokinesis is the ability to create and control fire. Telekinesis is the ability to move matter without touching it. Psychokinesis is like telekinesis, but it lets a person control machinery and electronic stuff from a distance. Let's see, what else is there." For a few seconds Margaret thought about other psychic abilities. "Telepaths can read people's minds and Precognizants can see the future. There are other abilities that I can't remember."
"How have they kept it all this a secret?" Ranma finally asked the question that had been playing itself through his mind.
"I haven't been a Mage long enough to know how everything works, but I do know that there are politicians all over the world who are members of the Society. The High Council spends a lot of money to bribe people also." She grabbed a handful of candy bars and a couple bottles of water.
"We really shouldn't leave them alone together for so long," Cynthia told Cologne. "Their personalities are too compatible."
"Don't worry about Ranma, he's used to pretty girls throwing themselves at him. My great-granddaughter does it on a regular basis. He's very honorable."
"My Margaret isn't throwing herself at him!"
"Hey, don't take it the wrong way. I was just trying to reassure you." soothed Cologne.
"Sorry about that. We're just really protective of her, that's all," she apologized.
"How is Kenji by the way?"
"As infuriating as ever. I still love him, though." They continued towards Cologne's quarters. "Have you told Ranma about his engagements?"
"Not yet. It really doesn't matter. From what I've gathered from conversations with him over the past several months, he all but hates Akane, and the other girls, including Shampoo, have alienated him beyond repair with their behavior. If he knew that he was no longer honor bound to marry any of them…" she let the thought trail off.
"It'll also keep him in check around Margaret."
Cologne shook her head at her friend's stubbornness.
Jupiter barely had time to bring up a dome of crackling energy before the hail of gunfire from the gang of looters hit her and the group of students she was escorting from the school to the relative safety of the park, where her fellow Senshi and some of the insanely powerful martial artists from Nerima were making a stand. How the entire ward could become a war zone just because Ranma disappeared was beyond her mind to comprehend. Mercury was still trying to figure it out and she was a supergenius. "Chain lighting!" she called. From her outstretched hands ropes of lightning shot into the gang, jumping from one person to the other until they were all dead or unconscious.
"You killed them!" a girl in the back accused.
"Not all of them are dead. If they had their way, we would all be dead," an older boy explained.
Jupiter dropped the shield and said, "Come on, we've got to get to the park."
When the group finally arrived, the students were escorted to a small camp near the center of the park by a police officer. Jupiter found Mercury and Mars talking with Ukyou.
"This is a lot worse than the last time," Ukyou was telling them.
"I hope the rioting doesn't spread any further. If it does, other wards may be affected," Mercury replied.
"This is ridiculous. How could one boy cause all this trouble?"
Shampoo who had just walked over to them answered, "Great-grandmother say that Airen have very powerful life force. It bend other life forces around it. When Airen go away, all other people's life forces confused, make them do crazy things." She wiped the sweat from her brow then wiped some blood from one of her bonbori with a piece of cloth.
"I wish she was here," Mercury said. "Maybe she could do something to help us."
"I'm telling you," Ukyou said angrily, "that old bag of bones is responsible for my Ranchan's disappearance!"
"No accuse great-grandmother, stupid Spatula-girl!" Shampoo exclaimed.
Jupiter and Mars pulled the girls apart before they could get in another fight.
Margaret turned the channel before Ranma could become anymore depressed. He was really taking it hard. It wasn't his fault that Nerima was full of psychos.
"I didn't imagine it could get so bad," he sighed.
Attempting to change the subject, Margaret asked, "Do you think the Sailor Senshi are members of the Society?"
"Nah. If I remember correctly, they're leftover princesses from the Silver Millennium," he answered without thinking.
"What was the Silver Millennium?"
"That's what people used to call the time during reign of the House of Serenity. The line of Serenity bore powerful Channelers every generation. From the Royal Palace on the moon, they ruled the entire solar system for a thousand years. The Senshi were the princesses of their respective planets. They're still linked to their planets, I guess."
"What happened to the kingdom?" Margaret asked.
"I don't know. These things," he tapped the crystal wristbands together, "cut off right after the birth of Queen Serenity's daughter, Serenity."
"That's where all the stuff in the armory that only works for you came from, isn't it?"
"It would work for a few other people, too. Probably for the Senshi. That is where it's from, though."
Margaret quickly flipped through several adult channels. A few moments later the door slid open and Cologne and Margaret's mother, who he now knew was called Cynthia, walked in.
"Cologne, I really think we should go back to Nerima. People are dying." Ranma was tempted to teleport back using the wristbands, but he wasn't sure he could control them properly yet, and materializing in a wall wasn't on his list of things to do.
"As bad as this is going to sound, I'm going to say it anyway. There is someone out there with access to Atlantean technology trying to kill you. You're safe here, but if you went back to Nerima you might get a knife in the back for your trouble." Cologne paused. "What I'm saying is that your life is more important than those in Nerima who are dying."
Ranma was on his feet in an instant. "You can't be serious! Your own great-granddaughter is probably fighting for her life right now! What if she gets killed?"
"Shampoo can take care of herself," Cologne said calmly.
Ranma stomped out of the room and into the one Margaret had told him was his.
"That went well," Cynthia said after he was gone.
"It couldn't be helped. Ranma is too young to see beyond his heart."
Margaret shook her head in dismay. What was it with adults that made them think they were always right?
Ranma was twirling a rainbow of multicolored chi ribbons through the air when Margaret entered his room. She dropped to the floor as one of the ribbons passed through the space where her head had been. "Sorry, Margaret. I wasn't paying attention."
Margaret accepted the apology and stared in awe of the feat Ranma was currently performing. "How are you doing that?"
"The chi? It's just something that Cologne taught me." The ribbons fizzled out of existence. He sat up in the bed and asked, "Do you want to learn?"
"Sure," she answered, eager to change Ranma's attitude. "Is it hard?"
"At first it is. It gets easier the more you do it, though." Ranma motioned to a place in front of him. Once she had taken her place, he asked, "How many different temperatures of chi can you maintain at the same time?"
The room was a virtual kaleidoscope of light as their chi swirled through the air. Ranma's ribbons were sharper and better formed, but hers were just as numerous and she was quickly improving. The ribbons began to form a knot in the air above the bed. The more that joined the forming sphere the lighter and brighter it became. As the last ribbon was drawn into the sphere it became perfectly white and the air filled with the same hum Ranma had heard when Cologne used the ring to take them to Atlantis.
"I think we just created some kind of new spell," Margaret said.
"But all we did was make a big chi ball," Ranma replied nervously.
"It's not just the chi. It must be how we tied it together. I can't say for sure, since I've never made one before."
"What does it do?"
"I haven't the slightest clue. You?"
"Nuh uh. Maybe we should go get Cologne and your mom." Ranma was afraid to move too much. Kami-sama only knew what would happen if it triggered.
"Sounds like a plan to me." Margaret eased herself off the bed. She was followed by a reluctant Ranma. Before they had taken two steps towards the door, however, the sphere began to pulse irregularly. Soon its edges began to blur and minute wisps of chi began to detach from it. "Ranma, what's happening?"
"I don't know." Neither of them moved for fear of aggravating its integrity. It was too late. The sphere's cohesion was rapidly decreasing and before long the air was full of threads of white chi. As the pulsing grew to a fever pitch and the threads were practically a fog, they both dived in opposite directions for cover.
For both Ranma and Margaret the world seemed to go completely white. They could feel the chi throbbing against their skin and hear the hum as it grew deafening. Then, somehow, the whiteness fractured and fell away in shards.
Ranma watched as the last remnants of white chi were absorbed into Margaret.
Margaret watched the last bits of chi being drawn into Ranma.
"Are you all right?" Ranma asked her. Before she answered he already knew that she was. He could feel all of her emotions and the sensations that she was experiencing. It was comforting.
Even as she was nodding Margaret could feel Ranma's concern for her and the relief that flared in his mind when he knew she was unharmed.
The door slid open and Cologne and Cynthia rushed in. "We felt a disturbance. What happened?" Cynthia asked worriedly.
Ranma never took his eyes from Margaret as he answered, "We were playing with chi ribbons and…" Ranma explained in as much detail as he could what had happened. When he was finished, he asked the astonished adults, "What was it, and why can I feel her in my head?"
A look passed between Cologne and Cynthia. "You've both somehow bonded to each other. The process has been lost for thousands of years," Cologne answered.
"You know what this means?" Cynthia asked Cologne. She nodded. "You two are pretty much married." Watching Ranma faint wasn't nearly as satisfying as she thought it would be. Poor kid. He'd better be as good as Cologne claimed, or Kenji was going to kill him.
"Mom," croaked Margaret, her green eyes wide. "Please tell me you're joking, please," she pleaded. "Daddy'll kill him."
"Don't worry," Cynthia said soothingly. "Ranma can take care of himself."
"I can't be married! I don't even know him! What will the girls at school say? What about his fiancées? He says they're crazy. What if they try to kill me? Did you know that he's cursed? He changes into a girl. A girl!"
Cynthia, using a shiatsu point, put the panicking girl to sleep. She collapsed in her mother's arms. "Cologne, isn't there anything we can do?" she asked.
"Not that I'm aware of. Take comfort in the knowledge that to bond in the first place, people have to be soul mates."
Cynthia gasped and looked from her sleeping daughter to the unconscious Ranma. "They are soul mates?" Her whole demeanor changed. She smiled broadly at everybody in the room then mischievously carried her daughter over to Ranma's bed. By the time she had positioned the girl, Cologne had caught on and was holding Ranma. She placed him next to Margaret and pulled the covers over them.
Together they snuck out of the room.
Ranma was the first to wake up. His shriek woke Margaret up. Before Margaret's eyes could fully focus, Ranma was pacing the length and breadth of the room repeating to himself, "This isn't happening."
"I'm afraid it is."
Ranma turned to Margaret and said, "We really screwed up. If only I hadn't shown you how to do that stupid trick!
To be continued.
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