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Chapter 13

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.

"Amazing!" Ami exclaimed. "This newspaper goes back to the year 2098." We had been rummaging through the lower floors of the Archives for about half the day, finding all kinds of useless crap. Most of the stuff was just books and magazines stored in the library that the Archives had become, and it was all in English. Ami and I were the only ones who could read any of it. Telerin was stunned speechless by that alone, saying that the language had been dead in Chicago for millennia.

I hurried over to the girl, leaving behind Telerin and his crash course in pokémon accustomization. Usagi was really getting a kick out of showing the man all of the cute pokémon in her pokédex. "What have you found?" I'd found records at least three hundred years more recent than Ami's paper, and none of it had shed any light on the changes that occurred to Chicago to make it into the present day city-state.

Ami pointed to the headline of the yellowed piece of crumbling paper. Everything down here was remarkably preserved, at least. The headline read, 'Self proclaimed Queen of Earth, Usagi Tsukino, defeated at last!' "Ami, whatever you do, don't tell the others about this," I ordered. Ami would have known better than to do that, but I had said it by reflex.

"I wasn't planning on it, Ranma. It just surprised me, that's all." She laid the paper down and looked at me imploringly. "Ranma, if some form of Senshi existed in this universe and they were deposed like that, couldn't that happen to us when the times comes on our world?" She didn't seem like she could accept the possibility.

I shrugged. "Anything is possible, I guess. Just look at this place; an actual floating city, but I really doubt that will happen on our Earth. Usagi and the rest of you Senshi, along with the army of pokémon that Usagi plans on breeding, will be more than powerful enough to take over the Earth when the time comes. And besides, you'll have me on your side." What better insurance could you ask for than that?

Ami smiled at me, patting the bench beside her. Obviously, I sat down, wrapping my arm around her waist in the process. "I'm sure you're right, dear, but that isn't supposed to happen. Usagi is supposed to become ruler by complete consent of the people of Earth, not through a long, bloody battle."

The 'dear' comment about made me do my little disappearing routine again, Ami's arm around me, and the warm emotions I felt coming from her, stopped me. I'm doomed; I know it now. Absolutely doomed. "That's a long time away and in a completely different plane of existence. The people of Earth may accept Usagi with open arms. If they don't, well, maybe I can arrange for you to be in charge." DO NOT SAY A WORD!!!

The girl squeezed me around the waist and laid her head on my shoulder. Oh, well, might as well live with it as best as I can.

"Ranma…" Ami murmured into my shirt warningly.

"Just being pessimistic, ignore me." Communication isn't going to be a problem, like I hear it is in a lot of other relationships.

"Now is the time, Master," Lady Kiima said, bowing to Lord Saffron. Her white and purple-speckled wings were folded tightly against her back and a plain-hilted sword hung at her hip.

"And the Senshi?" Saffron asked, his voice rising and the light emitted by his body darkening to red in anger. He hadn't forgotten his ill treatment during the Silver Millennium by the Sailor Senshi and their Bitch Queen. If anything, the ancient resentment had festered and grown through each of Saffron's incarnations.

"Gone, my lord. We know not where. Only the temporal mage, Setsuna Meiou, remains, and she appears to be thoroughly preoccupied with more pressing matters." Kiima hadn't forgotten the old tales, stories told by mothers to frighten newly hatched Phoenix People. Her race had been viciously oppressed for a thousand years, and the Fire Witch had enslaved their lord and master. Now, with their power gone from the world, Lord Saffron's empire would know no bounds.

"Then, my loyal servant, send emissaries to the Musk and Amazon nations. Tell them of our plans and invite them to join the cause," the Phoenix King ordered.

"As my lord commands," Kiima stated before rising from her knee and marching to the open window. Once there, she unfurled her wings and stepped off of the railless balcony.

"The world shall be mine!"

Setsuna screamed a lot that day. Then came the overwhelming urge to blow something up. After that she seriously contemplated suicide. If only she had thought about her actions. If only she had considered the consequences of those actions. Now, though, she had perpetuated a time loop, and to attempt to change that loop after its initiation would be very, very bad. What could she do? Any action she took would cause a paradox that would change her memory along with everyone else's. Ranma would still be in the picture as the Inner Senshi's teacher and she would have no knowledge of his true intent.

Haruka and Michiru had arrived from their little trip minutes after their departure. The couple had a nice bronze tan and several bags of clothes. Retro seemed to be in style again. They'd found their less-than-illustrious leader ranting and raving like a madwoman. Before they could help her, though, she'd teleported herself back to the Gates of Time and continued her breakdown.

(Note that time does not pass in the Gates of Time as it does in the rest of the universe)

Several months later:

Setsuna sat on a badly soiled sofa, watching an episode of Welcome Back Cotter. In her left hand a two-liter coke bottle rested, ready to be poured at a moment's notice, and her right hand sported the leading end of a three-mile long Fruit Rollup fruit snack. Her Sailor Pluto uniform hadn't been changed since she'd planted herself on the couch and her growing bulk was threatening to burst it at its seams.

I'd quickly changed my planned approach to the whole Chicago problem. The people just wouldn't cooperate. And they were idiots. I don't mean ignorant, but with the ability to learn, these people were just idiots. Telerin appeared to be about the most intelligent person in the whole city, and look how life had treated him.

Caretakers were expected to provide their own lodgings with the money they drew as a weekly stipend. Telerin's stipend barely allowed him to maintain a closet-sized room and leave him enough food to survive on. We certainly wouldn't be staying with him, and since we needed his help, he had to stay with us.

He didn't much like the idea, but he didn't really have a choice. Stinky was out for our blood, Telerin's included. So, with each of us burdened with bundles of ancient documents and books that I hoped could shed some light on a way to transfer energy from the constructs, we snuck from the Archive building after night fell and the attendant guards went home. Why have guards in the daytime if you're not going to have them at night? Idiotic people.

Telerin took a lot of convincing, but I finally managed to persuade him to climb into Demon's hand. I stepped up onto the other one and the giant pokémon gently closed his hands until we were each held snugly in his grip. Telerin managed not to scream during the whole flight, another point in his favor.

Usagi's Dragonites flew up from the dark sea of grass below to greet us. Telerin did scream then, but stopped himself before I had to get involved.

"So this is what true ground feels like," the Caretaker mused out loud after we'd set up camp for the night. "From all the stories I hear from foragers, it's supposed to be like being stuck in a pit of tar. Not that I know what that feels like, but they described that too…" He walked off into the gloom, muttering to himself.

A couple hours later, when I had nearly convinced Ami to slip off into the grass with me, Minako said, "Guys, come look at this one." Why the girl hadn't volunteered her knowledge of English to me earlier I don't know, but Usagi's explanation of her friend's stay in England as a fighter for love and justice had got boring fast, so I couldn't be blamed for that.

I cursed and detached from Ami. Minako was reading by the fire. The sheet of plastic she read from was the standard replacement for paper after about 2100. The material was tough, resistant to heat, and gave one hell of a paper/plastic cut, whatever. I scanned through the document she handed up to me, reading the first few lines to myself. 'Wide scale nuclear bombardment over majority of Africa and Asia. Experts expect fallout to cover much of the globe, concentrated mostly in southern Europe and the desert regions of Australia'.

No wonder magic started being more commonplace here. Planet sized disturbances like that can cause all kinds of nasty side effects. Just look at the invention of the television. Do you think that half the world used to sit on its collective ass before the little moving picture box was invented? The prevalence of magically gifted children coming into the world would lead to a more in-depth study of magic, and a revival of much of the old knowledge.

The fact that the world was going straight down the toilet probably prompted a lot of people to start looking into alternative lifestyles, too.

"Sucks, don't it?" I asked, handing the plastic sheet back to Minako. "I can't believe they actually nuked more than half the world's population over fishing rights. But if you look at it from a certain perspective, that could have been nature's way of saying that you're all too stupid to live. Seems to me like something should have happened to all the old people in charge of everything, though, and not the normal people. Oh, well, not my problem."

"How could you say that?" Usagi almost shouted. Leave it to her to feel compassion for people who'd been dust for so many freakin' years.

I shrugged. "Don't whine, Usagi, it'll give you wrinkles." 'That' shut the future queen up faster than if I'd stapled her lips together.

Ami and I slipped back into the grass, leaving Minako with instructions to keep any more discoveries to herself until morning.

"Ranma, I think you may need to do something about Demon," Makoto said a couple days later. We were steadily moving through the material from the Archives, our fourth load, and Telerin was almost adjusted to being around pokémon. "He's still growing, and I noticed him looking at Fluffums," an ugly little Snubull, "like she was a snack. If this keeps up, Demon may actually eat one of our pokémon."

This had been coming for a while. Demon was maybe a third the size of Gojira now, and eating huge swathes of grass daily. "I'll take him back to the forest and let him hunt himself stupid, how's that?" I asked.

"That's fine with me," Makoto answered, turning back to her breakfast of rabbit stew.

I told Ami about my little side trip and she insisted that she go along. I didn't really mind, but I went through the motions of refusal anyway. "But this is supposed to be one of those male-bonding things, between Demon and me," I protested.

Ami looked at me, her eyes flat, but a tiny smile gracing her small mouth. "Ranma, don't even waste your breath. Demon can carry me without any trouble, and it wouldn't hurt him to become more acquainted with me. We are going to know each other for a while. Besides, I can be reached on my communicator if there is any trouble here at the camp."

I gave up, abandoning my last few arguments. Ami didn't need any verbal confirmation, reaching up and giving me a quick hug when she felt my capitulation.

Hunting himself stupid turned out to take Demon longer than I had imagined. Ami and I mostly had the days to ourselves, and used them for lots and lots of cardiovascular exercise. I was starting to get a little sore, when, after two and a half weeks, Ami's communicator started buzzing.

Ami held the watch-like device at an angle so whoever was on the other end couldn't see her unclad body and asked,” What's wrong?"

I peaked over her shoulder and saw Minako in the little screen. "I just thought you and Ranma would want to know that the stuff we picked up last night has begun to use some Japanese. I think we're getting pretty close to the actual cause for Chicago to go airborne."

I sighed. The vacation and countless hours of wild sex were at an end, at least temporarily. "We'll be there as soon as I can round Demon up."

Minako nodded, blushing as Ami turned the screen at an angle that showed way too much of me to be decent. The screen went blank.

"That wasn't very nice," I chided. "I feel so violated. And think about poor Minako, she'll never be able to find anyone even close to my standards." I didn't really mind, but this had 'I've been naughty, please spank me' written all over it.

"I just discovered the most amazing thing," Kasumi said excitedly to her sisters. "If you turn Ryoga into a pig and then change him back, 'Little Ryoga' is fully recovered and ready for more." She held a weakly struggling P-chan under one arm.

Soun banged his head on the coffee table really hard, rendering himself unconscious.

Nabiki waved Kasumi's discovery off. "Old news, big sister. I've known that for weeks," she confessed.

Kasumi looked at her middle sister in a heartbroken sort of way and her lower lip began to tremble. With pearly tears in her eyes, she asked, "A-all this time, a-and you didn't tell me?" She turned her gaze to Akane who was in the process of slipping a home movie of her and Ryoga into the VCR. "Not you too, Akane."

"Sorry, big sister. I just didn't think about telling you." Akane actually hadn't felt much like sharing.

Kasumi sniffed. "Well, fine, I'm going to go lock myself in my room with Ryoga and I'm not coming down to cook for anyone for a week. See how you like that!" The eldest Tendo, P-chan now squirming desperately under her arm, stomped upstairs and slammed her door.

"Jeez, who unplugged her vibrator?" Nabiki asked caustically.

Akane shrugged and made herself comfortable just as the screen began to display her movie. The Tendos, with the exception of Soun, had never been happier and they didn't plan on ever letting Ryoga escape their grasp. Who knew how many days he would be gone if that happened? The thought was unbearable.

"Are the advanced parties armed and fully supplied?" asked General Marthalus. His iron-gray wings were still powerful, despite his advanced age, and the glint of steel that could occasionally be seen between his feathers indicated him as a master of the Raging Storm school of Phoenix Combat.

"Yes, sir. We have also received a shipment of herbs from the Amazons that will give our warriors extended stamina and endurance during battle. I took the liberty of having it rationed among the men, after proper testing, of course," Commander Berhid answered. Most of his body was covered by intricately worked armor fashioned from minute metal scales and the only weapons he wore came in the form of metal gauntlets that lent strength and power to his natural talons.

"Excellent. If at all possible, I would like to speak with the Musk and Amazon Commanders. I'm sure they would appreciate a chance to send their people along with ours. Their skills would greatly compliment our warriors. That is all," finished the general.

"Right away, sir."

"It has been decided," Cologne said to her heir. "You will accompany the first squad of Amazon warriors that will travel with the Phoenix People." The Matriarch of the Joketsuzoku Amazons led her great-granddaughter to the building adjacent to the armory. This one held the magical artifacts and enchanted weapons collected over the millennia by the tribe.

Shampoo glanced across the room. Along the walls hung items of power that she couldn't even begin to control. Ironbound trunks and strongboxes held within them smaller, more valuable items, and some even contained martial arts scrolls, the most valued treasure of the Amazons. Her eyes alighted on a particularly deadly looking sword. The light reflected from its razor sharp blade in a cascade of bright colors and an inner fire burnt within the hen egg-sized ruby attached to its hilt.

"Ah, I see you've noticed the contribution your young friend Ranma made to the tribe." The boy had been a powerful sorcerer and martial artist, and many of the tribe had set their sights on him almost as soon as he'd walked through the gates. Cologne had put a stop to those notions almost immediately. Ranma felt pure evil to her senses, and when attention was called to that fact, so too did the other elders notice. Cologne saw deeper though, as her three centuries of training allowed. Ranma's heart was pure, if slightly shadowed, and his evil presence was nothing more than some kind of curse he wasn't even aware of.

"Aiyah, Ranma made this?" Shampoo asked in wonder. She'd sparred with the foreign boy a number of times and had hoped their relationship would go further, but the few times she had lured him to her bed hadn't been enough to keep him in the village.

"Yes, dear child. Ranma made that sword. It was part of a deal to instruct him in our deepest arts. I believe we came out the betters in the deal, but Ranma appeared satisfied." Cologne cackled. Not many within the tribe had any of the Gift for sorcery, and none of them could create an object nearly as powerful as the one before them. Trading it for a few advanced martial arts techniques that would go to the grave with their owner was a small price to pay.

"What does it do, great-grandmother?" She reached out to touch it, running her hand along the silver wire wrapped hilt.

"At it's user's command, the sword begins to give off enormous heat or equally massive amounts of chill. It only lasts for an hour before needing to recharge for a full day, but you can see the advantage a sword like this would be in battle, especially to a wielder versed in the Hiryu Shoten Ha and Soul of Ice." Cologne had tried the weapon out for herself, and with a little practice, had been able to create the cyclone without moving from where she stood.

"But that's not why we're here," she reminded the much younger woman. She walked over to a large trunk and opened it with a tap of her staff. It contained the more useful temporary curses that could be derived from boiled down Jusenkyo water. She grabbed a handful of the packets and moved on to another trunk. From this one she retrieved a wax-encrusted bar of waterproofing soap.

"What am I to do with these, great-grandmother?" Shampoo asked in confusion as the ancient woman passed the materials up to her.

"Those will allow you to temporarily take the form of Phoenix People. Combined with the waterproofing soap, you and your fellow Amazons will be able to travel with our allies without slowing them down." Shampoo nodded her understanding. "Good. Now, on the way out, grab Ranma's sword. Tomorrow morning I will teach you how to properly harness its power."

Shampoo grinned in anticipation. Finally she would be going into battle.


To be continued.

Author's Notes: I know that Demon is getting big, and he's going to be leveling off in size now, I think. Anyone remember that episode of Pokémon with the giant Dragonite? That's about how big Demon is gonna be. Ranma and Ami are pretty much irrevocably linked now, so that's a done deal. Does anyone think I'm taking the Ryoga/Tendo girl bit a little to far? In the next few chapters the valley of Jusendo is going to be taking the world by storm, obviously aided by magic to some way avoid all the nasty technological weapons we have. C&C welcome at dark_phoneix@hotmail.com

Chapter 14
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