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Chapter 15

A Ranma ½ - Sailor Moon crossover story
by Dark Phoneix

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.

Hersh's brothers were in full battle armor when Demon dropped us off at the rocky clearing at the mouth of their cave. They must have been preparing to mount a rescue mission for Demon's latest catch. To their credit, the demons didn't even run away as Demon came into view. It was understandable, though, that they would draw their weapons and spread out into a loose formation that wouldn't hamper their ability to haul ass if the need arose.

Hersh sprinted to the pack leader, a tall cat demon with shaggy black fur and a blood-red chainmail shirt. They exchanged several hisses and growls, what passed for a language, I guess, then the big black demon slowly approached me, his three-inch claws fully withdrawn in a show of peace.

He bowed his head slightly and said, "We are at your ssservice, Lord Ranma." Well, this was just getting better and better. The guy was at least seven feet tall, and outmassed me by a good fifty kilograms, but he hadn't attempted to challenge my status as interim leader.

We exchanged pleasantries, a few old war stories, and finally got down to business. I informed the leader of the coming escape attempt and invited him and his brothers to join us. The same 'no harming the girls' policy was in effect, and they couldn't bother the pokémon— for their own health.

"I'm going to have to go ahead of you and smooth things over with the girls," I told Squirm, the pack leader. I won't even begin to elaborate on how he got that nickname. "They're the Sailor Senshi, and don't really like demons too much. I have a lot of influence over them, though, so just behave and they'll leave you and your brothers alone." The pack of demons had been getting their gear together while we talked and they all waited at the cave mouth for further instructions.

Squirm didn't like fraternizing with the enemy much at all. He was an intelligent demon, though, and saw that there was little alternative, and besides, he had to obey my every command. "I'm gonna leave Slammer behind. He's a sort of rock demon, and will be able to lead you and your packmates to my camp."

I unpacked my Golem and gave him his marching orders. He nodded, as much as a semi-rigid boulder can nod, and walked over to look at the demons. He'd never seen real ones before, so he was curious. The cat demons obviously respected— or at least feared— Slammer, lowering their eyes whenever his gaze met theirs.

No one was happy, especially Telerin, when I made my announcement. Rei the most vocal of all, threatened to unleash Ratty on the demons if they got within a mile of her. I had to laugh as that comment; I couldn't help it, sending the temple maiden off in a huff of rage. I ignored Telerin, his face a pale as a ghost. He would just have to deal with it, or he could go home.

"Ranma, it's too dangerous to bring that many demons here," insisted Makoto. I knew otherwise. The demons were all weak, and fading faster by the day. Makoto's meager martial arts skill could probably have allowed her to take out a half-dozen of the felines before they swarmed her. With the pokémon— no worries.

"Don't sweat it," I retorted. "They're weak, and we have all these pokémon, including Demon," that's saying a lot, "and myself. If, by some freak occurrence of nature, the demons did turn on us, they wouldn't live to regret it. That's not a problem, though. These are servants of a friend of mine. They sorta know of me by reputation, and will obey my every command." It took a little more insisting on the girls' part, and a lot of begging to get Ami to have anything to do with me that night— a man can get used to certain things after a while,, but they eventually conceded to give my 'friends' a chance.

Slammer, a long line of cat demons trailing behind, arrived at the trampled-down area of grass that I like to think of as home. The giant rock had a little spring in his step and a twinkle in his diamond-coated eye. I decided to let him stay out in the open for a while. Being out of his pokéball was doing him a lot of good. I'd let Gyarados out later and let him have a few days to relax in the river and gorge himself on fish.

Squirm sought me out immediately. He was most impressed by Slammer's destructive abilities, and wished to know where he could get one of his own. I told him I didn't know the exact planar coordinates, but did give him a general idea of where PokéWorld was. If they ever do run across PokéWorld, the demons are probably going to have more trouble not getting caught as pokémon than anything else.

I was going to have to have a talk with Slammer and find out how Squirm knew of his pokémon powers. "Get your brothers settled in, and I'll introduce you to the girls." They were waiting for an all-clear signal a couple kilometers into the grass. The precaution had been mostly for Telerin's sake. The girls just went along to make sure the guy didn't do anything stupid.

"This will help me to find Ranma?" Shampoo asked. In her hand she held a large glass bead slightly larger than her thumb. From within the transparent bead, faint pulses of yellow and green light came intermittently, and it gave of an soft warmth.

"Yes, child. Once you leave the confines of this valley and its various mystic wards, the Orb will guide your to Ranma Saotome. Trust your instincts, because they are what the Orb works with. You have a month," finished Cologne. They both knew what happened in a month. The first attacks would begin in a few days, but they would be night raids, carried out in secret and designed to destroy supply and ammo dumps so that when Saffron's artifact was put into use, its effects would be magnified by the internal chaos already present within the Chinese People's Army. A month, and the crystal egg would be shattered, throwing the Earth into an artificial, century-long dark age.

"I won't fail, great-grandmother," assured Shampoo. Across her back, its pommel covered to conceal the burning light within the giant ruby and the ruby itself, rested Ranma's sword. Shampoo's status had increased enormously, thanks to her prowess with the magical blade and her ability to summon and control winds greater than even her great-grandmother.

"Be well, then, and return safely," Cologne said in parting. She took to her staff and was gone from Shampoo's sensory range within moments.

"Well, Shampoo old girl, you're finally out on your own," the young warrior commented to herself. The narrow mountain pass that led into China proper wasn't far ahead, and if she pushed herself, she would be able to reach it before nightfall.

Shampoo found Mousse waiting for her as she reached the almost unnoticeable crevice, formed by a fault in the surrounding mountains, which led into China. The Hidden Weapons Master had always been more of a nuisance than a friend, especially during the short time that Ranma had stayed with the tribe. Ranma had done something to the boy, though, fixed his eyes with magic. From then on, Mousse had been like love-starved puppy, following Ranma around the village constantly. He hadn't even taken offense when it became public knowledge that Shampoo had been bedding the foreign sorcerer.

Once Ranma left, though, Mousse had returned his full attention to Shampoo. She couldn't even deny forming a relationship with him because of his poor eyesight, not since Ranma fixed it. Not only was he persistent, Mousse was also a skilled warrior, a very skilled warrior when his eyesight improved. Shampoo had worried that Mousse would challenge her for marriage and quite possibly win the fight. That hadn't happened. Now what was the young man doing?

"Shampoo, is it true that you leave to seek Ranma?" Mousse asked, his voice was oddly serious, none of its normal obsequiousness present.

"Yes. Great-grandmother and Council of Elders wish to bring Ranma to our side before the war starts. He is a powerful sorcerer and warrior, who would give the Amazon Nation several advantages." Shampoo feared that Mousse may have chosen this time to challenge her, thereby delaying her mission to find Ranma to the point where to attempt it would be useless.

Mousse nodded and stood, taking his weight off the rock wall. "I shall accompany you, then." The former blind boy had a canvas traveling pack at his side. The only reason he wouldn't keep it in the warped space within his robes where he stored his weapons was if it contained food, something that spoiled quickly in the unstable space.

"Mousse," Shampoo warned, "Ranma is a powerful warrior—"

Mousse interrupted, "And nearly invincible as a sorcerer. I know that, Shampoo, and I have no wish to harm him. I owe Ranma more than you can imagine, and if my aide will bring him to the safety of the village before the war throws the world into chaos, then I would risk my life to see it through." He spoke as a warrior, one of the greatest in the village, not as a love-starved freak. Shampoo nodded, and silently, they passed from Jusendo, a tiny refuge of magic and martial arts, to China, the sprawling and overcrowded nation that would soon learn to fear the Amazons as of old.

Haruka and Michiru, lesbian Senshi extraordinaire, were shopping at an adult book store, very discreetly, when something exploded outside, throwing chunks of shrapnel and asphalt through the blacked-out windows of the store. Haruka threw down the double dildo she had been examining and reflexively dived for Michiru, knocking the girl out of the path of a burning rubber woman.

"We've got to transform!" Michiru shouted over the clamor. Haruka nodded her agreement and they pulled out their henshin rods. A few seconds later, Sailor Neptune and Uranus were in the street. The pedestrians of Juuban, by now well aware of the daily threat posed by exploding objects and energy hungry creatures from other dimensions, had cleared the area in record time.

Warily, the duo approached the large crater that had formed in the center of the four-lane street. The debris had stopped flying by now, and they could easily see the metallic sphere that rested within the crater. What was it? An invader from beyond? Martians?

The sphere split in half like an egg and the two Senshi gasped at what they saw. Another Senshi. Her fuku was silver, to match her shiny silver hair, and the bows and body suit were a mixture of blue and black. The woman stood up, stretching regally, and her face became clear to the Senshi. Wow, she was hot! And she sort of looked like Setsuna.

"You two," the new Senshi snapped, finally opening her eyes, "what has my bratty little sister screwed up now?" She rose from the crater, floated over the bubbling asphalt at the edge of the crater, and landed lightly beside Uranus and Neptune.

Haruka and Michiru didn't answer immediately; they were too busy ogling the new arrival. Finally, Michiru got enough sense back to ask, "W-who's your sister?" She knew the question was a waste of breath. This woman's sister absolutely had to Setsuna.

The Senshi rolled her eyes. "Setsuna Meiou, Sailor Pluto, Guardian of the Time portion of the Gates of Time and Space,” she answered. Setsuna's sister gestured with her left hand and a smooth shaft of unadorned metal appeared in the air above her. She snatched the object from the air and said, "Never mind. Since you two halfwits can't stop staring at my breasts, I'll just have to see for myself." The Senshi of Space rapped the end of her staff on the ground and a hole of the purest black appeared beneath the three Senshi.

Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus clung to each other in gibbering terror as they slowly rose from the floor, alongside the Senshi of Space. They were in the general vicinity of the Time Gates, as indicated by the eerie lack of natural light and the perpetual waterless mist that covered everything.

"She never was very original," Setsuna's sister said. With a wave of her arm the mists parted and the three Senshi got an eyeful of Setsuna, now about three hundred and fifty pounds heavier than the last time they had seen her, shooting up a hit of heroine. The garbage surrounding the Senshi of Time's sofa, if that's what the thing was, had reached near mountainous proportions and absolutely reeked.

"By the Almighty's Sacred Jewels!" the new Senshi roared. "Setsuna, what the hell happened to you?!" She began pointing her staff at garbage heaps, causing each one to disappear into nothingness, followed shortly by the TV, refrigerator, and the sofa that sumo-Setsuna had been occupying.

Setsuna fell to the floor with a squeal not unlike that of a stuck pig, and looked at her three guests in ill-disguised horror. She stared at her sister for about three seconds, then covered her grimy face with equally grimy hands and began crying softly.

"Ah jeez, little sister, you know how long it took you to lose all the weight last time," sighed the Senshi of Space. She turned to the other two Senshi and said, "Here, have fun." She waved her staff and another hole opened beneath the girls, swallowing them into the void.

"Oh, Katya, it's so horrible. I…" And Setsuna launched into a full recounting of everything that had happened since she'd contacted Ranma, leaving out only some of the more embarrassing curses. "And now they're gone, gone from the time stream as if they never existed!" she wailed as a closing to the story.

Katya shook her head and chuckled. "Little sister, leave it to you to never consider the obvious." Setsuna had always been a brilliant child, and so Temporally grounded that the Time currents couldn't even hope to affect her, but she was stubborn, shortsighted, and as arrogant as any ten queens.

"How can you laugh about this?" Setsuna whined. "The Senshi and the Princess are gone! Crystal Tokyo will never be! All is lost!!! Wah!!!!" Katya patted her distressed sibling on her back, lightly so as not to get anything of questionable sanitary origin on her gloves.

"If the girls are not within your domain, then they are within mine," Katya answered. "Ranma, from your description, could likely open a dimensional portal. If he was as powerful as you say, and was attempting to close a breached tomb, he could easily have misdirected some of that energy and unwittingly opened a portal to another plane." The fact that her sister hadn't even considered this possibility was a good enough reason for Katya to believe Setsuna was in serious need of a vacation. The roundabout attempt on Ranma's life while he was nothing but a child said that her little sister needed psychiatric help.

What was really bad about the situation, though, was that Ranma was probably innocent of trying to corrupt the Senshi. He might have been a little rough around the edges, thanks to his demonic upbringing, but he'd been relatively civil and his instruction of the Senshi had been top-rate, even going so far as finding the princess's mind block and having it removed. The curses may have been a little over the top, but Setsuna had deserved it, sort of. You just don't manipulate someone into a situation where they have to change genders to fulfill a blood pact.

Setsuna looked up, hope lighting her eyes from within. The tears she had shed made oily tracks in the dirt and bits of food that covered her face.

"Okay, you and your brothers can have the guards," I told Squirm. "Just don't let the Senshi hear them scream, okay?" Squirm nodded eagerly. "They get kinda offended by that kind of thing." Not that I liked the idea, but some of the cat demons were at the point of starvation, and when a being has to eat, it has to eat. There were no alternatives.

Ami and the other Senshi were turning the enormous combination lock into a position that would free up enough energy for us to escape to our home. The hundred and forty-nine metal disks had to be perfectly aligned, and it was taking time. Telerin, careful not to look directly at any of the demons that were now quietly streaming into the streets of Chicago to feast on the incapacitated guards, walked over to me and said, "There are only three disks left to align. Ami says that you should be able to begin gathering energy in less than a minute."

I nodded and stepped into the ring of light generated by one of the spell constructs that hung from enormous chains embedded in the temple's ceiling. I wasn't taking any chances. I had the Silver Imperium Crystal in my pocket and was going to use the first of the energy I absorbed to key the crystal into my aura. If I'd done that sooner, we wouldn't have been in this mess.

"All right, Ranma!" Makoto shouted. I felt as much as heard the metallic click emitted by the key structure. The crystal above me, glowing blue and white, suddenly began to pulse and the energy began to flow. I sucked the energy from the air as fast as it was produced, all the while keying Usagi's crystal for my use.

My energy capacitance is vast, and with it completely drained, I took almost two minutes to reach my storage limit. I signaled to the Senshi and stepped out of the beam of raw, concentrated energy. Usagi was the next to bathe in the flow. I didn't see who came after her, since I ran out to Squirm and said, "Get your spellcasters cleaned up, and I'll take them to recharge."

The three demons that followed me into the temple were old for their species, and one of them had the mange, I think. Ami was just stepping out of the beam of energy as we entered. I had the demon sorcerers wait for Rei once Ami was finished, then gave them the go ahead.

They didn't take but a few seconds each, not because any of them were particularly weak, but because all demons naturally learn spells as they age and such natural magic is very efficient. For these three to be able to travel dimensionally, they had to be old.

"Tell Xochial that I may pay him a visit sometime soon, now that I've got this planar travel thing worked out," I said to Squirm. He and his fellow demons were traveling back to their master's realm, and I didn't think the girls, or myself, much cared to see the ritual that would open the portal they would use.

"Squirm owess hisss life and that of his packmatess to Ranma and hisss femalesss. If you ever need my help, the Master'sss blade will call me. Farewell." I shook the demon's hand and jogged over to Demon. My enormous pokémon was lazily chewing on a car-sized boulder when I arrived. He swallowed his midday snack hurriedly, and held his hand out to me.

"You sure?" I asked. Telerin was dead set on coming with us. I didn't mind really, but I had some concerns about his ability to adapt to a culture so unlike that of Chicago.

Telerin nodded. "My life here is not anything special. I would much rather travel to your world and learn of my ancestors." I had to agree with him. His life really had sucked here on this backward Earth.

"You'll have to get a job," I told him. He shrugged. "Well, I guess you can stay with me, if the apartment is still mine." I really doubted that one. Then again, time flows differently between universes. We could arrive at home and find that three seconds has gone by, or just as likely have missed three thousand years. Oh, well, anything was better than this shithole.

The preparations had been made, and I'd gotten a serviceable mirror from one of Squirm's sorcerers, so we would be leaving soon. I'd absorbed and magically linked my crystal and Usagi's (it was mine now, ha, ha, ha) and absorbed them into my body. Hey, it may be paranoid, but Setsuna's abilities aren't fully known to me, and she could have figured out when we would be returning. I was just making sure I was prepared to defend against anything she could possibly throw at me.

"I just know Mom will love you," Ami said as she came up behind me. "She may try to claw your eyes out for a few minutes, but once she's calmed down, we'll be able to explain things to her and everything will be fine" Oh, great, very reassuring.

"That's nice," I lied. I knew she knew it. It's not like I had ever expected to have to meet the parents of the girl I'd been screwing for the last few months. I felt Ami's ire rise and began thinking happy thoughts and some more naughty ones. Whew, disaster averted.

"And I arranged this one special, just for Shingo," Usagi was saying to Minako. "It's a Charmander egg. Won't he just love that?" Oh, crap. She was already making plans. Her brother would probably blow up their house or something if he had a fire pokémon. You can't expect a child to act responsibly when he has access to a living weapon of destruction.

"Shingo is a good kid," Ami commented after reading my thought. "He might burn the carpet a little, but that's about it." We shared a laugh and went about gathering Senshi for the trip home.


To be continued.

Author's Notes: I said they would be going home this chapter, sorry, plans sorta changed. They'll be arriving back on Earth at the beginning of the next, though, and that's when the shit's gonna hit the fan. What side will Ranma and the Senshi take in the coming war? I'm not sure yet. Will Setsuna regain her figure? Maybe in a decade or three.

C&C me at dark_phoneix@hotmail.com


Chapter 16
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