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.
Through means best left unmentioned, I managed to extract a great deal of information from my captured Elder before putting her to the knife, or the magical equivalent. Seems that this town was simply a rallying point for the three factions before they began a trip into Russia to gather up a load of enchanted weaponry created for them by a powerful sorcerer. I also discovered the source of payment for the transaction. Hidden, about a kilometer from the town, within a small copse of trees, was a large wooden trunk. It was bound in iron and a number of fairly decent protective wards, and contained four crumbling tomes of magic, an ancient athame that bore the aura of long and heavy use, and a sack of extremely valuable gems. They weren't valuable for their monetary worth, though their size and quality was impressive. These were the kinds of gems that had been in contact with places of power for thousands upon thousands of years.
The tomes were useless to me, not being able to read— or even recognize— the language they were written in, and the athame wasn't stable enough to be trusted with the kinds and levels of power I was accustomed to (not to mention that Xochial's athame put this one to shame). The gems— they would stay with me. Thinking about them made me shake my head. To have gathered such a collection of nearly priceless objects together, the Alliance must be expecting a major product.
The directions I'd gotten from the Elder were vague, but they would be good enough to get me close enough to reliably use magic to find the Artificer. Anyone capable of dealing on equal footing with the Alliance was worth checking out. The man might even have a cure for my Ami.
"And the latest probe?" Bill Gates asked. The so-called Wizard of Gates (he'd only taken that title so others would think him insane, and therefore easy to manipulate, double-cross, etcetera…) sat in the command chair of the Microsoft Lunar Testing Center. Through holographic displays, he received constant streams of information from satellites orbiting the Earth and Moon.
The petite young woman that sat far to his right behind a touch screen console replied, "The results are the same, sir. We can get visuals of the surface easily enough, but as soon as atmospheric contact is made, all communication ceases. Other probes and satellite feeds indicate that like the others, the probe lost all descent control and broke up on re-entry."
Bill frowned. His quantum computer (explained in the author's notes), B.A.S.C. (Big Ass Super Computer), had predicted a global conflict, but the actual reality went beyond just war. The world was, for all practical purposes, in the Stone Age. How B.A.S.C. had come up with even a hint of the war that was slowly spreading throughout China, Bill didn't know, but it had and he was glad he'd acted. The resources of the U.S. had been more than enough to establish a lunar base, and the natural deposits of titanium and materials able to be turned into a sturdy concrete had aided in rapid construction.
Even now, in two automated construction facilities, plans were being carried out to manufacture the first in a series of Humanoid Vehicular Exoskeletons. The H.V.E.'s were constructed mainly from the titanium variant found in large deposits on the moon, and their weaponry included the latest in particle beam and magnetic levitation through manipulation of Earth's energy fields. A sizable portion of B.A.S.C.'s computing power was turned to discovering a way for the Gundams, as Bill referred to them (a reference from a favorite anime of his), to operate in the altered conditions on Earth that had rendered its technology useless.
"Very well. From this day forth, I want bi-weekly insertion attempts by the probes. All information will be fed directly to B.A.S.C." If all went as planned, Bill expected the computer to have found an adequate counter to the anti-technology field shortly after the Gundams went online.
"Kijin Raishu Dan!" I recognized the attack as I heard it shouted, but not the voice of its user. Had the fat bastard gotten the balls to teach his 'forbidden' techniques to someone? Well, that was a stupid question.
The building that I stood before was large, but that was only the visible portion. I could sense, through distortions in the Earth's energy patterns, that the structure extended far into the mountainside that it rested against. No roads led to it, and there appeared to never have been a road. Weird.
I shrugged that little mystery aside and leapt from the top of the large boulder I'd been standing on, using a trace of levitation to carry me above the 20-odd stories of the building. I could not see nor probe past the shiny black material used for windows. Gravel crunched under my heavy boots as I landed on the roof.
Littered around the roof of the mysterious building were a number of things that should not have existed. The large Dobermans— they would have been expected, except that they were running towards a Japanese man no more than three years older than myself… and they were dead. Three zombies also shuffled towards the man. There were dozens of them already down, some immobile and others crawling weakly through the gravel. The man, a powerful and skilled martial artist, was fighting a demon. The demon easily topped thirteen feet. Its spiked and taloned arms were disproportionately large when compared to the rest of its massive frame, and the creatures skin looked like partially melted wax mixed with chords of exposed muscle.
What's unusual about this, besides a lot of zombies and a demon? Quite simple, really. There wasn't a bit of magic in any of them. I'm not a practitioner of necromancy— it's a vile art for the weak-willed— but I have sufficient knowledge in the area to know that you can't animate any kind of corpse without necromantic energies channeled through a living sorcerer (which does very strange and ugly things to that sorcerer). The human and canine zombies had never been exposed to necromancy. They shouldn't be anything more than rotting wormfood. That demon, it also had no magic; but all demons possess innate magic— they can't exist without it.
Answer. Those weren't zombies and that wasn't a demon. This place was starting to get on my nerves. Oops, they just spotted me. The zombies weren't worth bothering with. Those that decided to eat me instead of the martial artist (another mystery) didn't get to enjoy being undead for very long. They might not be mystical in origin, but a little dose of white magic and the sons of bitches turned into pretty little piles of dust.
When not constantly harassed by lesser foes, the martial artist made quick work of the not-demon. I watched with interest as he kept his distance and steadily whittled away pieces of the creature. He avoided coming in contact with any of its blood, going so far as to flash his battle aura into intense heat whenever the black ooze sprayed too widely for him to easily dodge. The poisonous property of the blood was a good enough explanation for why the man hadn't used any of the Yamasenken's direct physical attacks.
A little more than a minute after arriving, I witnessed the demon-like creature collapse in on itself, becoming little more than a puddle of steaming black and red ichor. The martial artist, his fight over, seemed to come out of a daze. He looked around and was obviously surprised that there were no living dead waiting to feast on his brain.
I whistled, catching his attention. Without taking a chance to see who I was, the martial artist turned, flinging a vacuum blade in my direction. The attack met my shields and dissipated harmlessly. Now that I could see the man's face, the exhaustion of fighting off so many attackers was clear. That last blade had cost him whatever small reserves he had left. Time for another good deed.
The martial artist possessed a fairly high level of Talent, so I was able to infuse enough energy into him to heal any minor injuries he'd taken and bring him around within minutes. He sat up, shaking his head groggily, and attempted to stand.
I'd put as much distance between us and the creature-infested building as I could in five minutes. "Mind telling me what in Hell those things were back there?" I asked. His eyes focused on me and he assumed a deceptively tight fighting stance. "Oh, please, you couldn't fight of a kitten right now, man. Just sit down and tell me what it was you were fighting back there."
Warily, the man sat down across from me, the small fire I'd built forming a barrier between us. "Who are you?" he asked suspiciously. He'd just been through some rough shit, so it wouldn't hurt to tell the guy.
"I'm Ranma. I saved you from the zombies. Now, tell me what that place is and why there were zombies and demons running around." Though he had the Talent, this man hadn't been trained in its use at all. He wouldn't have known that he was fighting unnatural undead, if the undead can be said to ever be natural.
His voice edged with the kind of mental exhaustion brought on by constant stress, he began, "I'm Ryu Kumon, a special operative for the JSDF. Roughly three months ago, I was sent on a mission to infiltrate and destroy the Umbrella installation where you found me. I was chosen specifically for my… special abilities. In route to the rendezvous point with my contact, my chopper went down, and ever since then I've been unable to get a satellite uplink with HQ and I've found nothing of any technological sophistication that actually works. My weapons won't even discharge. Knowing the importance of my assignment to the entire free world, I chose to continue the mission. I finally arrived last week. Without proper navigation equipment, and with the GPS down, the trip took much longer than expected." His eyes were haunted, those of a man who had seen too much. I know the look; I still get it sometimes when I think of Ami.
"Umbrella, what is that?" I asked. I was getting one of those bad feelings. The kind that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, stretch their legs, and run away.
Ryu shrugged. "I'm not entirely sure. All I was told was that they were some sort of secret worldwide organization bent on global domination. There are dozens of those, though. Umbrella ranked special attention because they had the means to possibly succeed. Their scientists have developed a series of viral mutagens that can be used to reanimate the dead by restoring nervous function and forcefully awakening primitive parts of the brain, or if allowed to properly incubate, develop living biological weapons possessing qualities from several natural species." That's some fucked up shit. Damned idiots. No wonder I couldn't detect any magic in the zombies or the demon. "The beast that gave me so much trouble earlier was a frightened scientist just a couple days ago. He'd been using a type of enormous electric jellyfish to maintain enough power within the facility to contain the experimental subjects, but the jellyfish died last week of side effects from exposure to the mutagen. When the storage and containment fields went down, he was infected with a new strain of the mutagenic virus. In less than twenty-four hours, he grew into that… thing." Damn. Its mass had been easily ten times that of almost any man. Such a growth rate was frightening, and would have been more so if I'd not watched Demon literally grow before my eyes.
Uh, oh. I threw up my shields, keying them to specifically screen out anything but clean air. My eyes rolled back in my head as I scanned my body for any irregular activity that could indicate a viral infection. None, I was clean. I relaxed, and saw that Ryu was giving me the eye. "Sorry, just making sure I'm not infected with whatever it is you're talking about." Still with the eye. "It's sorta like a martial arts technique," I explained. That seemed to suit him well enough.
Without the huge amounts of energy that I kept stored within my body, Ryu was much easier to scan. Almost immediately, I found more than just an irregularity. The guy wasn't infected; no, his immune system was at least as strong as mine. Ryu was a cyborg of some kind, a very advanced one if he was able to survive in today's less than perfect world. "What school do you practice?" Ryu asked, not really caring whether I answered or not. Jeez, this guy is almost as bad as Ryoga.
Without really thinking, I answered, "Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts. That's what I was originally taught, anyway. I've picked up quite a few styles in the past decade." I was still preoccupied with solving the problem presented to me by Ryu. How was he surviving?
I looked up as I heard rocks scraping, expecting to see a zombie or something similar. Instead, obscured faintly by firelight, Ryu Kumon stood once again, glowing with a faint battle aura and once again taking the familiar Yamasenken stance. "Saotome!" he hissed.
Before this could get out of hand, I exerted my will, forcing the martial artist back to the ground. His eyes were wild and threatened to roll out of his head when he found he could not longer control his body. "Calm down, damn it!" Another fine mess courtesy of the bastard. "What did my father do to you?" I asked, mentally adding this to the very long list of reasons to torture my father. "I don't have any money if he stole something that belonged to you, not that money is much good nowadays."
"You're the son of Genma Saotome?" the older man grated from between clenched teeth. At least he'd had the sense to kill his battle aura.
I nodded. "Not by choice, but yes, he is my father. It's been a few years since I saw him last, though. He was running away from me at the time. Idiot tried to sell me to a Chinese circus. "That one was going to get Genma a skinning.
Ryu's expression seemed less anger now and more curiosity. He didn't attempt to kill me when I released the pressure of inverted shields from him, so I continued, "Does this have anything to do with you using the Yamasenken? He didn't steal it from your family, did he?" Was the man put on this Earth for the sole purpose of pissing off the entire human race?
Ryu shook his head. "No, he didn't steal the techniques. He gave them to my father without warning him of the danger of practicing them. My father died when our dojo collapsed on him, as a result of your father's carelessness." Genma couldn't have possibly done that out of charity. A roundabout way to kill off a rival? Possibly.
"Sorry, man. I feel for ya, I really do." He couldn't possibly know what it was to truly lose someone you care for more than your own life. "My father is an idiot, honorless, ugly, the scum of the Earth…" I didn't stop for about five minutes. When my little lecture was over, Ryu was smiling faintly and the only negative emotion he was feeling was a weak regret.
"At first I spent years looking for Genma Saotome, to take the Umisenken and revenge from him, but then there was the explosion and my priorities changed. Now, I guess I've found the other half of the forbidden techniques and I won't live to learn them." Gloomy.
"The explosion, is that why you're a cyborg?" Before he could ask how I knew, I said, "Magic, true magic." He swallowed that pill much easier than I'd expected.
The man nodded. "It wasn't just an explosion. The truck was carrying sulfuric acid. The government was only able to save 35% of my body. The rest is life-support equipment covered over with bio-mimetic alloys and poly-ceramic armor. My main power source has been dead ever since my chopper went down. I've been supplementing the back-up fuel cells with my own chi, but that won't work but a couple more days." Ouch. Who knew the government was good for something, after all?
"Your fuel cells have been working for the last few months, though?" That shouldn't have been possible. Then again, Ryu shouldn't be alive at the moment.
"Yeah. It's some kind of bioelectric battery. Fighting my way out of the Umbrella installation has pretty much drained the remaining power from it." Hell, if his body still worked, even with the technology-dampening field of Saffron's, why not try to keep it running? Ami— if I ever found a cure for her— could probably find lots of uses for that kind of technology.
Ryu was Talented, at least at the level of the Senshi, and would, with instruction, eventually be able to keep himself running; but for now, I'd have to play generator. I reached into my spatial pocket and drew out a perfect marble-sized yellow diamond. It was one of those the Alliance had sent as payment for their new toys, and I'd planned on giving it to Makoto in a couple decades when this whole mess was over.
"Remember, magic," I responded to the unasked question as Ryu watched in complete fascination while I worked. I used my athame to carve the elemental symbols of air into the diamond's surface (yep, it's much harder than any diamond), empowering it with an enormous electrical charge. Full night had taken hold when I finished. The yellow gem glowed with a greenish-white light and floated an inch above my palm.
"It'll give you electricity for a while, but I don't know how much your body needs or at what level it needs it. If what you say is true, though, it's your only chance at survival." I passed the gem to Ryu.
The older man held the glowing diamond reverently. He stood up and took his brown and green camouflage shirt off. Without any visible action, he caused a three inch square hole to open in his chest, the realistic skin parting at an invisible seam. Within the small cavity, a short and thin cylinder filled with a luminescent green liquid hovered. Ryu took a deep breath and snatched the cylinder from his chest, replacing it with my diamond in the same motion.
I didn't really have much hope for him to do more than start smoking and explode, but after a couple minutes of rigid inactivity, he sighed and the panel closed, the skin resealing and looking unbroken.
Ryu shook his head in wonder. "I don't know how you did it, but I'm back at full power. That little rock gives off more power than my original, but I can handle it." He pulled me to my feet and shook my hand vigorously.
Yes, yes, I know. I'm such a good person that I leave trails of blooming flowers in my wake. Hmmm, I really could do that. Ranma the Messiah… Nah, I hear the Almighty frowns on that kind of thing. Anyway, back to the moment. "No problem. Just don't get in my way, and we'll get along fine."
"Huh?" I guess I should explain.
"That thing won't last forever, and you'd better believe that you won't be able to find any of your old batteries that actually works, for a long, long while." I hate it when people look at me like I'm an idiot. "Trust me on this. In the entire world, you're the only piece of technology that isn't a paperweight." And that was only true because of Ryu's chi control and latent Talent, I suspected. "The reason for it is that a guy got hold of some powerful magic and turned it loose. Now technology is dead for a hundred years. You have the ability to learn magic, and if you want to survive, you're gonna have to let me teach you." Okay, I've gotten used to teaching. I wouldn't really mind the company of another martial artist all that much, either.
"Magic? I can't say that it doesn't exist, not after the last hour, but learning magic? I don't know." Please don't be one of those purist assholes. I've run across them every so often. They always want to use just martial arts or just magic. So few people seem to understand that when taken to the higher levels, the two disciplines compliment each other immensely.
"I won't force it on you, though you'll die without the knowledge. I guess I could teach you the Umisenken too. Anything to piss the old man off."
To be continued.
Author's Notes: I know that this Ryu Kumon is way different than canon, but this one had been through some major shit, you know, the character building kind. I'm planning on him having some really cool weapons built into his body that will be revealed next chapter. Sigh, no one sent in any Resident Evil info, so I'm gonna have to do the research myself. Send C&C to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About B.A.S.C.— I'm not entirely sure about the theory of quantum computers, but it goes something like this. Since a quantum particle can and does exist in more than one place at any given time, a computer that could use a quantum processor like the CPU of a normal computer could run trillions (if not more) of equations in the time it takes today's fastest computers to run one. That translates to a whole hell of a lot of power. B.A.S.C. would not only be able to possess an A.I. of some kind, it should be able to decipher the meaning of life, the purpose of the universe, and God's last name.
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