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Chapter 4

A Ranma ½ - Sailor Moon crossover story
by Dark Phoenix

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.

"Guys," Usagi squealed as she ran into the latest meeting of 'learn to be a sorceress', "you won't believe what happened!"

Since no one appeared to want to take the cue, I asked, "What, oh what, has happened?" in a voice as falsely interested as I could muster. Needless to say, Usagi thought I really cared.

"When I got home there was this really nice woman in a limo waiting for me. She says that she works for the Emperor of Japan! Isn't that great? She told me that all that stuff that happened last week was just a big misunderstanding. You know, when I was kidnapped? The government is going to give me lots and lots of money!" she exclaimed happily.

I could see that I wasn't the only person not completely thrilled by this development. I had used several different methods of concealing my route to and from the shrine to keep the other girls from being discovered. The government obviously knew of Usagi and I, but they could still have been in the dark about the other Senshi. Now though, if they hadn't known before, they most likely would now.

"What else did they say?" I asked with deliberate calm.

"Ms. Tokugawa, that's the woman's name, said that from now on they wouldn't bother us or anyone else like us. In fact…" And she went on to describe what her limited grasp of the situation would term a police force to fight 'demons and other evil supernatural bad guys'. Those last few words were direct quotes, by the way.

"What about the rest of us?" Makoto asked. "Don't we get money too?" Heh, could my little angels be getting greedy?

Usagi's face screwed up in puzzlement. "Hold on, I'll go get her and you can ask her." And she ran back out of the shrine.

Well, so much for secret identities. Usagi returned, escorting an attractive woman who looked nice and trustworthy, but gave off some bad vibes. Not 'I like to torture people' but something closer to 'I like to watch people be tortured'. As long as she didn't bother me, I couldn't care less.

"I'm sure you girls will be compensated just like young Usagi here," Ms. Tokugawa assured us. I'm not about to turn down free money.

"I'll take mine in cash," I said. The woman agreed much too readily to my snide demand. People in positions of power like hers don't normally take that kind of treatment very easily. Something was up. I sat back and listened as Tokugawa assured all the girls that they would be treated with the respect they deserved and all that crap. I didn't interrupt for fear of being stoned. They weren't exactly greedy, just damned close.

Once we were alone again, I told them, "When something appears too good to be true, it normally is." I didn't say anything else on the matter. With the exception of Usagi (again), they all seemed to get the gist after a moment of thought.

"Not that I don't appreciate everything," Ami said one night a few weeks later, "but don't you think a spell that slowly freezes a person's brain over a period of months is just a little… evil?" Despite her reservations over learning it, she had knocked it away no problem.

"Yeah, I guess. I learned it from this ice nymph that had gotten dumped by her human lover. She made it extra special just for him. Even if you never use what I teach you, Ami, the more you know the better equipped you'll be in the future to handle unusual situations. One day you may feel like freezing someone's brain, who knows?" Not that those were adequate explanations for a very painful and debilitating way to die. Ami seemed to accept them, though, so I'll leave it at that.

Later, out of nowhere, Ami informed me, "Luna and Artemis don't trust you. They think you've killed Sailor Pluto and are trying to corrupt us." I probably shouldn't have left the furballs behind when we went to rescue Usagi. Setsuna's tongue was a bit too swollen for it to work properly. Neither of which were my concerns, except for the swollen tongue being my fault.

"Why are you telling me this?" I asked, honestly dumbfounded by the confession. I was also worried. I hadn't felt a lessening in the ring's enchantment, but those cats could be more sensitive to that type of magic than me.

"Well, you do seem pretty cynical, and not really nice most of the time." Ami answered. "I don't think you're trying to corrupt us, though, because I know that we're not a threat to you, so what'd be the point? You could have killed us at your convenience. And Setsuna has gone months without talking to us. No, the cats just don't like you for some reason." An adequately accurate analysis.

"Thanks," I said dryly causing her to blush. "Do you think that they'll try to turn the rest of the Senshi against me?" That would result in a case of stir-fried kitty cat.

She shook her head. "No. If you have Pluto's support, they'll stay out of your business as long as you don't endanger Crystal Tokyo. If anything, your teaching us magic helps to ensure its creation." This was new to me.

I asked, "What's Crystal Tokyo?" I was thinking a moon cult or something. Maybe try to get back to their Silver Millennium roots and all that.

"Setsuna didn't tell you?" I shook my head. "Oh. Well, it's the reestablishment of the Old Moon Kingdom on Earth with the Prince and Princess becoming the rulers of Crystal Tokyo, the capital city in the future."

"Is Setsuna the Princess? Who's the Prince?" This really blew. I don't want to live in a utopian society like the Silver Millennium. Not that peace on Earth and good will towards man isn't a good thing; I just don't want everything to be perfect. Where would the fun be in that?

"Usagi is the reincarnated daughter of Queen Serenity of the Moon Kingdom, and Mamoru is the reincarnated Prince of Earth…" she trailed off when she saw the unbridled horror in my eyes. "Are you all right, Ranma? Do you need to lie down?"

Good Lord, what was Setsuna thinking?! It took a minute to get the uncontrollable trembling under control. "Ami, please tell me that this is all some elaborate practical joke. Usagi isn't really going to be in charge of the WHOLE planet, is she?" There was still hope if this Mamoru guy wasn't a total blockhead. I didn't have much hope.

Ami nodded and I fought down the urge to cry. "Where's Mamoru?" I asked desperately. That little bit of hope I mentioned, it was in serious jeopardy of withering up and turning to dust.

She shrugged. "He sorta took a trip to America and broke off contact with Usagi. He said he needed some space." Yeah, Usagi did seem like the smothering type. "With the problems in America now, we don't know how he's doing." Heh, Bill Gates had really screwed that place up. Might be a nice place to spend a few weeks relaxing.

I sighed. "No offense, but I have all intentions of leaving this planet if Usagi ever comes into power." I can't see how that could possibly happen, even with Setsuna manipulating things. That's it! Setsuna plans on running things from behind the scenes!

Ami frowned at me, her brow scrunching up cutely. Gah, I really need to get some soon. "Usagi isn't as bad as you make her out to be, Ranma. She can't help it if she's clumsy and a bit flighty. Setsuna assures us that she'll grow out of it." Setsuna again. The Senshi trusted her way too much. Good thing she's out of the picture for a while.

I acted apologetic, saying, "Maybe, maybe not." To change the subject, I asked, "Wanna try to squeeze that flight spell in before you go home?"

"Damn it, old man!" Ryoga shouted. "I am not going to pretend I'm Ranma!" He turned to leave but was hit in the back by a small car. He picked himself up off the street with much more grace than anyone hit by a giant chunk of metal has any right to do.

"I taught you the forbidden techniques, boy!" Genma roared. "Now you have to fulfill your part of the bargain!" He would have to be careful. Ryoga was behaving even more erratically since those people with lightning guns had caught them.

"Those forbidden techniques that were supposed to be able to let me defeat Ranma couldn't even break us out of one little cage," Ryoga snapped, dusting his tunic off and glaring at the older man. His umbrella was held at his side and had begun to glow a malevolent yellow.

"It wasn't a cage, you idiot! We were trapped in some kind of energy barrier. I didn't create the Umisenken and Yamasenken to combat things like that. Ranma is made of flesh and blood. He'll go down just like any other person."

"So how come you haven't beaten him already and forced him to marry a Tendo?" Ryoga demanded.

"I may be stubborn, but I know when I'm outclassed," Genma responded bitterly. "My son was trained by the Master," shudder, "and the kami know what else. The last time I fought him, I was in the hospital for three months and it took me another month after that to pee without sitting down. I know what the boy is capable of and I know that you can beat him." Genma knew no such thing. Ryoga was simply gullible enough to believe it. "I'm an old, fat man, well past his prime. You're stronger and tougher than a tank. That, combined with the secret techniques, means you can't lose!"

Ryoga's rage quickly fled, a mental condition that really needed looking into, Genma thought. "Are you sure?"

Genma smiled and said, "Sure. Would I lie to you?"

I was still having problems accepting Usagi as future ruler of the world. I could have killed her, but that would have been a complete violation of the pact between Setsuna and me, and the things she could do to me through such a connection would make my little joke curses on her look like child's play. I had started looking for alternate planes of existence similar to Earth last month. Now I was making a point of spending at least an hour every night in search of a suitable home.

"No, no, no. If you do it that way, Usagi, you'll make your arm melt," I chided Usagi gently. I'd learned that any firmer tone than that would make the girl cry. "You have to form the proper image in your mind, not just push the energy into your hand. Here, I'll show you—" The arrival of Grandfather Hino and his announcement cut me off.

"Sorry to intrude, children. I just thought you should know that there is a giant robot rampaging through downtown Tokyo. Back to chores," he said and scampered back inside.

"We have to do something!" Usagi shouted. I'd bet my left arm that she was worried about the malls.

"Don't look at me," I said when I noticed four pairs of eyes turned in my direction. "The fighting crime and evil bit is your job. I'm just along for the ride." Times like this I think back to when I agreed to take this job and I wish I could reach back two months and smack myself.

"We're the Sailor Senshi for a reason," Rei stated vehemently. "Some stupid robot can't stop us. Let's go!" Yay, yippee, and all that. At least she didn't make a stupid speech. Saving it for the robot, I'd say, not that a robot would care.

"I have a suggestion," I volunteered. "Unless you want there to be a lot of smashed buildings and dead people, you might want to try to fly there instead of running or taking the bus. A couple of you should carry Usagi." Now I know why she had those wings on her last costume; she's completely hopeless with a flight spell. We'll just ignore the fact that I was acting like a leader here, thanks.

Mysterious Background Music: Go, Go, Bible Rangers, Mighty Praying Bible Rangers! :

"Form Mecha Jesus!" shouted the Turquoise Bible Ranger. "That creature is a work of Satan and must be destroyed!"

"Praise Mecha Jesus! Divine Left Leg of Smiting is go!" proclaimed the Maroon Bible Ranger.

"May Mecha Jesus guide us with the cleansing light of his death rays! Right Leg of Holy Wrath ready!" The Purple Bible Ranger turned on her stereo and started listening to Christian rock. The external speakers broadcast the horrible sound to the evil robot and made it scream in pain.

"Lick the balls of Mecha Jesus… Um… Oh, shit. Forget I said that! God is good! Yeah, God is good, that's what I meant to say! Left Arm of Supreme Ass-Kicking powered up." Reformed Crackhead Bob, also known as the Magenta Bible Ranger said.

"The Word of Mecha Jesus is law! Right Arm of Gay-Bashing fully operational!" said the Rust Bible Ranger.

"And I'll form the head!" Shouted the Beige Bible Ranger.

Then they said in unison, "Mecha Jesus is go!!!"

(Yeah, yeah, it's stupid and blasphemous and really dumb and done in bad taste. I like it. I might have the Bible Rangers make other guest appearances later on in the series; you never know, though.)

We got to the area where the robot was last reported being seen and found nothing but a twitching pile of semi-melted chunks of metal that had once possibly been an giant evil robot. Then again, it could have been an exploded alien space ship or a lot of buses all stacked in a pile and stomped on by the Almighty. I'm going with the giant evil robot theory, though.

Littered all over the ground were small pamphlets expounding on the glories of God and following in His light. They also had an explicit threat to all evildoers (exact words) that the Bible Rangers and Mecha Jesus would destroy then if they went against the Christian way printed on the back. I didn't know whether I was dreaming or stuck in a really bad Gojira (Godzilla in Japan, right?) movie until I heard a group of eyewitnesses talking about a giant robot wearing a robe beating the other giant robot to death with a giant book. They went on to say how they would be going to church from now on. I just tuned them out.

"Looks like you ladies have some competition and they're spreading the Word," grin, "against evil." Before Usagi could get into another session of 'isn't that great', I said, "Of course, these new ones probably don't like anyone who uses magic, seeing as how the bible says witches are bad and that they should die. I've read that there were a bunch of witch burnings in Europe and America a couple of centuries ago. Heh. The Bible Rangers," and I had to add just a tiny bit of scorn into it, "might be thinking about reviving the old practices." Good old Usagi started to gnaw on her gauntleted fingernails.

'And in further news, The Wizard of Gates, conqueror of the United States of America, has announced his plans to turn Mexico into a theme park. When contacted, the President of Mexico was unavailable for an interview, but we at CNN's Tokyo branch have exclusive information that places Mexican President Santiago in Brazil. Experts believe he has gone into hid—'

I turned the TV off and flipped out of the couch. My life was sooo boring. I slept, ate, played nursemaid, ate, taught, slept, and the cycle continued. Would it ever change? Not likely. Hell, as far as I could see, everything was just gonna keep getting worse. Even further worsening Setsuna's state of existence wasn't really fun anymore. I wad just keeping the current curses I'd placed on her active out of spite.

Seems that there are a few more Senshi that no one deigned to mention to me earlier. Good ole Ami finally mentioned it in passing, thinking that I already knew. I'd actually heard of the Senshi of Saturn, at least through obscure references in some really ancient tomes, and even on a Sanskrit tablet an old possessed woman let me see once. The Bringer of Silence, real hero down in hell. Not silence the concept, but Silence the demon kami of destruction. The Silver Millennium must have had some real heavy hitters to leash an entity that powerful. I chose not to inform anyone that little Hotaru probably didn't have long to live. No one can remain in contact soul-to-soul with that much force without fading away.

I'm really glad they were off racing in Europe or wherever it is that people care about that crap. From what Ami told me, Neptune and Uranus weren't the kinds of people I got along with.

Ami was turning out better than expected. Even with her affinity-based handicap, she was beginning to grasp the concept of other spell types. It'd be years before she was anywhere near as good with them as she already is with water and ice, but those of us with the gift for magic don't really age all that much. She has plenty of time.

"Ranma, I tried that internal viewing spell you showed me last week on Usagi," Ami confided worriedly. "She has some kind of blockage in her brain. I don't know what it is; I'm not proficient enough with the spell to tell. I know it's harmful, though." Her eyes were red-rimmed and bloodshot. She must have really been worried.

I almost joked about the girl having a brain tumor and that being why she's such a dingbat. Then I thought about it and decided not many people besides myself would find that funny instead of really mean. And, possibly, the thing really could be why Usagi was so stupid. "I'll check it out tomorrow. There's nothing I can do for her tonight. Do you feel up to learning tonight?" Hey, I'm not entirely unsympathetic. I knew this guy once who had a tumor growing on the end of his dick. I felt really sorry for him, and his wasn't even life threatening. Ami's friend could be dying; the least she deserved was a little kindness.

"Yeah, I can manage."

"I'll be damned!" I exclaimed. That thing in Usagi's head wasn't a tumor at all. It was the most complex magical ward I had ever encountered. I'm talking MAJOR. It had to be divine in origin. I wasn't about to get any closer to it than I already was.

The moon cats were present for the little examination. "What?" Luna asked impatiently."Did she suck a cherry up there? I always warned her about eating so fast."

"Lady," I said to the cat, "I don't know why that was put in there. I don't care; really, it's none of my business. And I am not going to try to take it out." You don't mess with these kinds of things. They sorta have an astral 'no trespassing' sign on them. Just looking at it made my hair stand on end as if I were about to be struck by lightning.

"What is 'it'?" Artemis demanded. He sounded more worried than angry. His fear was echoed in the appearances of the other Senshi.

"'It' is a block or ward put in her brain by the Almighty. You know, the Big Guy upstairs? I don't feel like getting blasted out of existence, so I'm just going to pretend like I didn't see it and go on with my life." Shit, they were looking stubborn.

"We can't just leave it in there," Makoto said. "If you won't try, we will. Just tell us what to do." Didn't even think about going to a doctor. Usagi-itis must be spreading.

"Do you not understand? There is no one in existence capable of removing that thing except for the guy who put it there. If you try to take it out or dissolve it, you get a one-way ticket to meet the guy who put it there. I can't make it any plainer than that." I was about to pull Usagi out of her spell-induced nap and get on with the lessons when Luna coughed.

"Does it have any particular shape?" she asked, sounding curious, and a little smug.

Shape? I hadn't really looked at it hard enough to determine it's exact shape. Why would I? It wouldn't hurt anything, though, so I said, "Rei, could you tilt her head back a little so her eyes aren't in the way?" Once my instructions were carried out, I again altered my senses to see the energy flows within the girl's brain. I continued to sharpen the definition until I could see the sharp edges indicative of unbelievable power. It did have a sorta curvy hump thing going on. "Turn it a little to the right and lean her forward some." Was it my imagination or was there a crescent moon-shaped ward inside Usagi's brain? I looked closely then shifted my gaze to Luna and Artemis then back to Usagi.

"Someone want to tell me why she has a crescent moon up there?" I asked, tapping her forehead with my index finger.

"Ah, ha!" Luna cheered, dancing a little jig. Don't ask. I wouldn't have believed it possible either. She eventually stopped dancing and began receiving completely blank stares from all of us, including Artemis. She coughed to clear her throat. "Queen Serenity, Usagi's mother, is Lord Kami's seventeenth removed grandchild. He must have done this as a favor to Serenity during the reincarnation. He always was partial to her."

Wow. That explained the energy tolerance. I wish I had some of His blood. It's not fair. "That's great. Now we know that Usagi is only slightly more divine than normal people. Does it matter? I'm sure as hell not summoning the Creator of reality to get the thing removed. He probably wouldn't like me too much." So I haven't been the nicest and most law-abiding citizen.

"There's no need for that," Luna said confidently. "If it is indeed a crescent like you say, it was specifically keyed into my and Artemis' telepathic power, as limited as they are. My mind will act like a key."

It's her life. I for one decided to back away and wrap enough force around myself to bend space. I looked down as something brushed my feet.

"Mind if I wait in here with you?" Artemis asked. "Luna may be confident in her abilities, but I'm not."

"Sure. Just don't try using me for a scratching post."

"Luna mind meld!" Luna shouted. A beam of yellow light shot out of her forehead and struck Usagi's.

"It's really called a Melmackian headlock," Artemis said. "Luna is just a little," he held up a paw and rocked it side to side, "you know." I could believe it.

A bright, but not blindingly so, flash of light burst from Usagi's forehead. It took shape into a house-sized crescent of almost solid energy and then blazed into space. For the record, that much energy, properly harnessed and placed within the proper spell pattern, could melt Japan. No wonder Usagi had problems.


To be continued.

Author's Notes: Yippee yay! No writer's block! I hereby proclaim it defeated. Okay, to the story. Will Usagi change? Maybe, maybe not. C&C welcome at dark_phoneix@hotmail.com


Chapter 5
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