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Chapter 2

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.

I sighed, rubbing my temples slowly to relieve a headache that was quickly becoming a migraine. Ryu wasn't a bad guy, he even had a lot in common with me, at least as much as any one person can, but he absolutely would not give up on the idea of completing his mission. I was almost ready to believe that he had somehow been programmed to take out the Umbrella building.

"I have to do this, Ranma. If the viral agents stored within that facility are released into the atmosphere, the world will be ravaged by monsters and civilization will cease to exist!" Ryu shouted. Fully energized and no longer using his chi just to stay active, Ryu Kumon had a chi-force at least as strong as mine. He couldn't properly use it, only knowing the Yamasenken and a rudimentary chi bolt maneuver, but it was there, and the martial artist wasn't attempting to restrain it.

"Newsflash, the world is already ravaged by monsters and civilization went down the tubes about three months ago. This virus you talk about, the one that makes monsters and zombies, has already been released into the atmosphere. Remember all those zombies and the monster yesterday? You exploded quite a few of them. The winds up on top of the building were higher than average, more than powerful enough to spread out infected blood over long distances." Hell, if things kept getting worse, the remaining people of the world might turn to the Alliance willingly, just for protection.

Ryu's mouth gaped open, but he snapped it shut and said, "You don't know that for sure. The virus may not take hold long enough to spread from just those zombies. The Umbrella installation has to be destroyed or the virus will definitely spread. You haven't seen the labs, Ranma; there are warehouse-sized caverns full of nothing but incubation tubes with monsters like the one I fought yesterday. Thousands upon thousands of them." Maybe he was just an idiot and not really programmed to do this.

"Fine then. So, how are you going to destroy the place? Last time I checked, NOTHING that goes boom went boom. I don't suppose you're going to walk up to all the zombies and ask them to tear it down for you?" I have all intentions of transporting that entire mountain into space, but the idiot wants to go inside and do it himself, alone.

Looking sheepish for the first time, Ryu said, "I was hoping you could teach me some magic, you know, something that would blow it up?"

I shook my head disbelievingly. This guy was unreal. "One day you'll be powerful, but your power is several orders of magnitude below what would be required to cast such a spell." I wasn't about to tell him that he actually could one day destroy the mountain; he didn't need to know that now. I didn't want the place destroyed— that left too many chances for something to survive. I wanted it gone.

Ryu remained silent. I continued, "You see? I have the capability to do the job, so I'll do it."

Teleporting a mountain is the kind of thing I don't like to do (I have done it before, though), but the alternatives— mainly Earth as zombie heaven— didn't sound very fun. The kind of work involved in transporting a mountain as large as this one was more than I felt like doing. In this day and age you just can't let yourself become exhausted, not and remain intact and breathing. So I didn't do the work; I used a couple of crystals in my possession that made me the most powerful being on this planet (that thought just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside).

In one powerful grab, I appropriated an enormous amount of raw energy from the Silver Imperium Crystal and used the lens crystal of my own creation to focus and shape that energy into a space-warping spell. Katya, the older, wiser, more beautiful, and less insane sister of Setsuna (a.k.a Sailor Pluto), a spatial mage and the other Senshi of Pluto, had taught me the spell and I'd pretty much worked out all the bugs. I wouldn't use it to transport myself with anything more than a few hundreds kilos of mass for a few more years, but that wasn't likely to be a requirement either.

"Wha—?" was all that Ryu managed to get out before the giant hole in reality formed above the mountain and sucked it and a large part of the surrounding forest into space. If I'd been doing this unaided, I'd have drawn a complex spell pattern and been left exhausted for hours. Shit, I'd better start relying more on more on personal power or my reserves would begin to atrophy.

Unlike the first time, where I had inadvertently drawn the Senshi and myself into another dimension along with a small mountain, this one didn't leave behind a super-smooth surface. There was, instead, an enormous chunk taken out of the Earth, leaving a gaping crater-like maw.

Along the jagged edge of the crater, large rooms and storage areas remained undamaged. Within some of those rooms I could see the incubation tubes mentioned by Ryu. Most of the rooms, though, held zombies that wondered around aimlessly, cages that housed a several varieties of mutant and undead creatures, and broken equipment. At least Ryu would get a chance to complete his mission, sorta.

"Hey, Ryu, wanna see who's the most accurate?" I asked. Of course, the entire inner area of the crater would have to be incinerated, but for now nothing was going to escape that hadn't already done so.

"Huh?" I think the whole disappearing mountain thing had addled him a bit.

I snapped my fingers in his face a couple times until his eyes unglazed, then repeated, "I asked you if you wanted to see who could blow up the most zombies from here?" I wasn't going to use magic, if that's what you're wondering. I wanted the guy to at least have something of a chance.

Ryu grinned, all signs of shock, sullenness, and anger gone. "None of that magic crap?" I nodded, reminding myself to pound the value of magic into Ryu sometime in the near future.

By the time we found an area that would allow us to cover the most ground, some of the skinless ape creatures were scampering up the side of the crater. They had a good distance to climb still, but we agreed to pick them off first.

I unleashed my chi, letting it burn around me in a tight, liquid-like battle aura, while constraining the energy with my will so that none of it would be wasted. The effect was that I became barely recognizable as anything but a glowing green and gold humanoid shape. Also, I began to gather excess chi from nature, carefully screening out any magic that almost always came with it. I'd agreed to no magic, but Ryu was going to get one hell of a demonstration.

Ryu was more straightforward. He crossed his arms over his chest and they were enveloped in a dark bluish-purple aura. He must have thought that by limiting the chi burn to his arms that he was saving energy, and in a way, he was, but that also kept him from building up a much larger charge or queuing a series of attacks into his aura. As his arms uncrossed, the forearms split into three sections and expanded outward about three inches. The battle aura flowed between them heavily, but I could still see the metallic innards of Ryu's cybernetic body. From the central section of the mechanism, a black bar of metal began to pulse, eventually turning into a steadily glowing white light.

I didn't ask what exactly was happening. I'd only agreed on not using magic. Oh, well, maybe this will be a better game than I'd thought.

Ryu may have some powerful tech on his side, but he doesn't have the knowledge or skill to equal a true master. I decided to fill him in on that real quick. My first attack came in the form of a pair of energy blasts, each connected to the other by a thin filament of chi. Moments before slamming into a single skinless ape, the two spheres rocketed away from each other, still connected by the chord. The chi filament bisected four of the ape things at various levels, and the main attacks smashed into the rock wall, raining debris and ape pieces down on other ape things. Total: 10

I looked to Ryu and saw him shake his head in what I like to think of as wonder. His attack was a variant of the Kijin Raishu Dan, a much larger and stronger one. I'm not totally sure, but it appeared as if he used the vacuum of the blade to encase a large amount of non-magically harnessed plasma. The now white hot blade of energy, slammed into the wall, vaporizing three of the creatures instantly and killing eight more in the ensuing fall of debris and quick-flowing molten rock. Total: 11.

My next attempt created a thermal void and sucked all the heat from a dozen of the ape things, freezing them solid. The shock wave created by such a rapid atmospheric change shattered the frozen mutations. Ryu next targeted an outcropping of rock directly above a large pack of ape things. This time his attack was a gyrating cable of chi that he held in check and guided with some kind of force generated by the mechanism within his arms. That got him a dozen. Damn it, I didn't intend to lose.

Concussion wave. 13. Weird metallic disk of death. 12. Ah ha, a tie! That pretty much took care of the wall crawlers. Far below, zombies were gnawing on one another and undead pooches were getting the stuffing beat out of them by giant monsters that resembled the one Ryu had fought.

The next hour rapidly degenerated into a cosmic pissing contest. Behind by three, with the sun just about to set over the horizon, I lost my patience and performed the mother of all Bakusai Tenketsu. Mother doesn't really describe the cave-in that followed. I had to jump to safety, followed closely by Ryu, as the much abused wall of the crater collapsed inward, throwing up a mushroom cloud of dust. When it settled, thanks to a little help from moi, there wasn't much more than a lake-sized dimple in the ground to identify the resting place of lots of nasty little things.

"Guess I win, eh?" I asked, allowing myself to gloat a bit. It had been fun, a true test of skill. I just had more skills.

"You sure that last one wasn't magic?" Ryu asked. With all the super weapons he had pulled out, Ryu shouldn't have cared if I used a little magic.

"No magic, just something I learned from the Amazons."

As we traveled through the wilderness of China, I passed the time by either teaching Ryu magic or teaching him to fight. There wasn't really that much else to do. The war was far enough behind us that the only hope of meeting an Alliance force would be if they were coming for their stuff. The few villages we passed through were little more than patches of firm ground in between rice paddies, and their inhabitants didn't come across as friendly, taking careful aim as they did to kill us with their bows.

Ryu himself, aside from teaching him, was an entertainment. The Japanese government had built so many different weapons into his body that just watching him try to form a martial arts style that would incorporate them could become a fireworks display. I also studied him. If they could make one, though Ryu was most likely the strongest by far, there could be others, even if it was unlikely they were capable of moving.

I'd sent Demon with a warning to Usagi about Umbrella and the danger posed by the remnants of their experimentation. The pokémon had returned slightly scorched and battle weary, but the message had gotten through and the Senshi were prepared. Heh, I'll bet Saffron won't mess with Demon again, not after their first encounter.

"So, who's the chick, Ranma?" Ryu asked. I was flying low, nearly skimming the trees and the cybernetic martial artist was hovering right along. He couldn't fly yet, but he knew enough to augment the magnetic jump thrusters throughout his body to simulate the feat.

"Huh?" I'd been thinking about Ami and all the things I could have done to those who had harmed her if only I'd been in my right mind. I looked over at him innocently.

Ryu snorted. "Please, don't deny it. I've seen the way you zone out every so often. You may not know it, but sometimes your eyes start to glow and you give off 'pissed' vibes. I know the signs. My dad was the same way when mom got killed." Ryu wasn't stupid, despite his behavior all those weeks ago. For his benefit, I'd decided that he had been programmed to take out the installation.

I shrugged. "Some Amazons tried to kill me. They got Ami instead. Right now, I've got her frozen in a stasis spell until I can find a cure for the magically constructed poison she was exposed to." Here I go, getting depressed again. Bastard, why couldn't he mind his own business?

Ryu didn't want to mind his business and he didn't let the matter drop. "Amazons? I thought you were all buddy-buddy with them." Fine. If he wanted to know, then I'd tell him.

"I was, but then they decided to take over the world. I decided to take over their takeover and some of them didn't like it. The ones that are still alive are constantly reliving a demonic gang rape. Their souls… well, their souls would probably much rather be in hell right now." I'm not too sure about that one. If I tried, I could most likely get the Dark Prince to see to them personally. Next time I talk with him, I'll bring it up.

"Ah… that's nice. Shit! I mean it's bad that Ami got hurt, but it is nice that you got them back. Yeah, that's it. I hear demons are very thorough." Ryu nodded vigorously. I'm Ranma Saotome, and I strike fear in the hearts of some of the world's most powerful men. Grin.

"Yeah, nice."

Xochial wasn't your typical Demon Lord. Typical being large, dripping explosive slime, and the screams of tortured souls escaping from every orifice. No, Xochial wasn't typical, but he was one ugly motherfucker. My mentor stood at just under eight feet tall and his entire frame resembled nothing more than a snake that had grown arms and legs. His body truly was that thin, and looked as if it would break into little pieces if exposed to a good breeze. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Xochial was almost pure magic; dark magic, but still magic.

I wouldn't have dreamed of facing him in his own realm, but even on my own plane and equipped with the artifacts I possess, I still wouldn't wager in my favor if such a fight ever came to pass (50/50 isn't bad, but I'm not gonna bet for myself with odds that could swing either way so easily). He was currently scanning the vial of poison from which Ami's plight originated. I knew he wouldn't be able to offer a cure— it wasn't within his power to affect the lighter magicks— but it didn't hurt to let him look.

Ryu had quickly, but with admirable discretion, slipped away when my old friend appeared before us. I'd lost track of him after he covered a few kilometers.

"Quality work," hissed Xochial, his jaw moving up and down without any sign of hinged motion. "The child's soul, the one used to lock the spell, was also Talented," the Demon Lord continued. "That gives it potency and power, but also a weakness."

I perked up at this announcement. I felt like bitch slapping myself. If I had only sought out Xochial earlier, I could have saved months of wasted time. "A weakness?" I asked hopefully.

The snake-like head bobbed once. "Yes, a small weakness, but a weakness nonetheless. A normal soul would have been consumed within decades by the poison's power, but a Talented soul adapts to the power and becomes twisted by it. If you were to remove the factor which gives the soul its Talent, the poison within your woman would become powerless within a century." The demon who had helped raised me, who had somehow found it within his black heart not to eat me when I had asked for his tutelage, handed the small vial back to me.

I nodded once in return, all the appreciation Xochial would accept without getting weepy (you wouldn't believe me if I told you). I reached into my crowded spatial pocket and drew out the ancient tomes I'd stolen from the Amazons, and one of the gems. The tomes wouldn't travel across the dimensional barriers, but the gem, a black diamond useful in death spells, would. "Could you give these to the Dark Prince when you see him?" I still think his name is Escobar. I passed the books to Xochial, then the gem. "It's not really my kind of thing, you keep it."

Xochial nodded again, and in a puff of sulfuricly reeking smoke, disappeared.

Contemplating how I was supposed to remove the Talent from a disembodied soul, I went in search of Ryu. I had to travel for nearly two hours before I could even pick up so much as a hint of his location.

The martial artist was in a clearing, shredding a large pine tree with those metal tentacles that he could extend from his palms. He's the Swiss Army knife of cyborgs.

"How could you stand to be around that thing?" Ryu asked without preamble. I could almost see his synthetic skin crawling with revulsion. I couldn't blame the guy; Demon Lords and their kin do have rather disturbing auras. Then again, so do I.

I shrugged, taking a seat on a piece of log that moments before had been a living tree. "Xochial and I go back a long way. He's sorta like my big brother." Ryu's eyes, probably synthetic too, threatened to pop.

"Don't worry about it, he takes getting used to. He told me a way to help cure Ami, though, so I'm not complaining." Sure, if I felt like waiting a century to revive her.


To be continued.

Author's Notes: I'm going to cut this a bit short due to the monstrous headache I've got. I didn't mention it in the fic, but don't you think that Umbrella has lots of other bases around the world? There are other companies that worked with the T-virus and G-virus, too, so they too must have had such labs. Now that there is no way to contain their biological menaces, I wonder how long it will take for the world to get even more fucked up.

Send C&C to dark_phoneix@hotmail.com

Chapter 3
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