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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.

Okay, maybe not Heaven, but this place absolutely rocked. If you could think of something you wanted enchanted, Hong already had three of them. I whistled in appreciation and asked, "This isn't all for the Alliance, is it?" The items I'd stolen that was meant as payment for Hong's work wasn't possibly enough to trade for the entire collection.

"Not even close. Most of this is just stuff I decided to make when I got bored. I'm not a skilled spellcaster in the traditional sense, so I never know when one of my creations will come in handy." Mental note: Hong will be getting damned near anything he wants in the future to keep me on his good side. Really, I could fully equip an army with all the enchanted crap in here.

I did a mass dump of my spatial pocket, only keeping my personal effects, my athame, and a few priceless magical objects, the jewels included. "You just want to barter or do you have some sort of monetary system set up?" I've run into some strange characters before, a couple of which had their own magical money system, so it didn't hurt to ask.

Hong shrugged his thin shoulders and said, "I'd rather trade, really, but the athame that was supposed to be brought to me by the Alliance will get you more by itself than most of this stuff." How'd I forgot that? Why did he want the thing so badly? I reached into the pocket and searched around for a few moments. Finally, I found the ancient blade and retrieved it.

"Here it is. In the interest of fairness, I should warn you that it isn't very stable." Honor among thieves; or in this case, honor among sorcerers.

"Ah, yes, I suspected as much, but I don't intend to employ it in my work. It once belonged to another Artificer like myself. I'm hoping to glean some lost knowledge from it." It went into the pile. "Why don't you just have a look around while I inventory your collection?"

I nodded gratefully and went over to a section of wall that I believed to be the Alliance order. It was separated slightly from the other items and there were several sets of the enchanted steel feathers used by some of the Phoenix People. Most of the shipment consisted of enchanted weapons capable of producing varying effects, and an almost equal number of different types of armor. Mixed into the weapons and armor, there were a few scrying mirrors, a single chi void held within a worked gold amulet (a kind of chi battery when charged), and a portable teleportation circle made from intricately woven silk. That circle alone must have taken weeks to craft. I shook my head in wonder. I'd never have the patience to work on something so delicate for such an extended period of time.

I ended up passing on most of the Alliance stuff. I didn't want to limit myself to such a small choice when there was so much more to be seen and had. I did get a sack of shuriken that could be programmed with most low-to-midgrade offensive spells, the chi void, and a wickedly bladed glaive that stabilized temporal irregularities. I have no idea why the Alliance needed such a weapon, but it would be quite useful if Setsuna ever got sane enough to somehow access her power and come after me.

I'm not really a big weapons user, but some things are just too good to pass up. That, or they look so damned cool that you just have to have them. The item that caught my attention almost immediately was a combination of those two factors. It was a hovering blob of liquid metal mixed with raw energy. I could make small ones that didn't do much, but this was about as complicated as they get. What in Hell am I talking about? They're kinda like those Ditto pokémon back on PokéWorld. In principle, if you have the power, you can take one of these amorphous constructs and apply an object to it. The construct absorbs the object and uses its extra mass to become a larger version of the object.

And how could this be remotely useful to me? You people don't think very far ahead, do you? Okay, this construct (I have no idea what they're actually called) is so large that if I decided to meld Setsuna's gender-bending ring to it, the ring would come out looking more like a hula hoop, while still retaining its original properties. Still don't get it? You will.

Grabbing hold of the blob, I moved on into the armor section. Ryu'd been getting uppity ever since he'd gotten that upgrade thing from his helicopter, and if I showed up with some armor of my own, it might just knock him down a peg or three. Even with the large selection, I didn't really find anything that I particularly liked or needed. Wonder if Hong would mind doing a custom job?

I trekked back across the vault and found Hong. He had all the crap I'd stolen from the Amazons when I'd left their village arranged on a trio of folding card tables and was in the process of labeling the items. "That all you want?" he asked. He sounded surprised, even a bit hurt.

"Not that you don't do excellent work, but I just don't need most of what you've got." I laid out what I had decided to get on one of the tables and floated the blob to rest near me. "Is it enough to cover these?" I asked.

Hong looked at me and blinked a couple times, then blinked some more. "You're not kidding, are you?" He chuckled. "Kid, you want to set up a credit account with me or something? What you've chosen barely begins to make a dent in just what the athame is worth to me."

I must be building up good karma somehow. "Well… there may be some other things now that I think about it. I'll be back in a few minutes." I wouldn't have gotten anything else if it weren't for the blob, but I may not be coming back by here for a while, so I should make the most of the visit.

I found a small alcove that held gems enchanted with various spells, most ones I'd heard of or knew, but some completely new to me. I pulled a pre-spelled crystal from a bracket in the wall. It was designed to bind a person's soul to something, not unlike the way Ami's was intertwined with that infernal poison. Hmm, next came a spot teleportation retrieval enchantment designed to recall the effected item. Finally, after finding nothing else of interest, I grabbed a handful of unprogrammed illusion-generating pearls (just something to keep in case I ever learned to actually make a decent illusion).

With my pile of miscellaneous magical equipment, I found a quiet corner to work in and laid it all out on the floor before me. I also brought my athame from the spatial pocket and removed the crystals from my body. To work with these things, intent and will have as important a role as power. The blob, now a stationary puddle on the smooth metal floor, rippled as I dropped in all the crystals I'd gotten from Hong. Then I began to bend my will and power upon the construct, giving it instructions on how to handle what it had so far received.

Hoping Xochial wouldn't mind, I dropped the athame he'd given to me into the puddle. The vorpal-bladed knife disappeared into the puddle. Once again I gave the blob instructions. I repeated the process with both the Silver Imperium Crystal and my own lens crystal. When nothing but the blob remained, I broke my constraining bands of energy from it and let it take its new form.

Slowly, the puddle lengthened, rising from the floor as it did so. Over the next few minutes it grew sharper in detail and the features became recognizable. When ten minutes or so had passed I had to snatch the newly forged sword from the air as the blob lost all of it power and truly became the sword.

The evil-looking vorpal blade and the plain hilt looked exactly the same as before (except larger), and there were no signs of the numerous crystals that it now contained. Sword isn't really a descriptive enough term for what I now had. First, from the athame itself, it had complete indestructibility, the ability to summon and control demons from Xochial's realm, and a thoroughly ingrained network of channels that would properly energize complex spell patterns. Thanks to Hong's crystals, the sword/tool was now irrevocably linked with my soul and I could find it wherever it may be, and with the spot 'portation spell, I could retrieve it from anywhere in the multiverse with a simple thought or transport myself to its location. The lens crystal and Silver Imperium Crystal were no more. They were now part of a greater whole.

I'd been reflexively accessing the pair of crystals to perform magic and that could have eventually caused problems, but now, I would have to consciously use the sword to get their effects

…And a really shitty thought just popped into my mind, reminding me that I shouldn't do this kind of thing without planning it out a little bit more thoroughly. We of Talent only die of one natural cause. That is when our soul becomes too frayed and weak to stay within our body. This process normally takes thousands of years, and very, very few of us ever live for this to happen. Now (I pulled a real Usagi this time), my soul wouldn't fray and weaken, because it couldn't fray and weaken; not bound to an indestructible sword. So? Immortality is nice, I suppose, but NEVER dying can start to suck after a while. Oh, of course I could die of an accident or something more nefarious, but then my soul would still be bound to the sword. Damn it. That means no reincarnation for me, no Demon Lord Ranma, nothing but an endless existence as a ghost.

I began beating myself in the head with my newest curse/sword/tool. The kind of ghost I would come back as would still be me, magic power fully intact, but there would be no sensation beyond sight and sound, forever. Forever….

Hong, drawn by the metallic ringing as I pummeled myself, found me leaning into the corner. I was cursing my stupidity when he interrupted with a slight cough.

"You know, that's gonna leave a mark," he said cheerfully, oblivious to how much I felt like disemboweling him. Hong must have either psychic empathy or the chi/magic equivalent to it, because he took a step back almost as soon as I stopped hitting myself.

"I really need to be alone right now, Hong. I'm going to go out and destroy something. Could you find a friend of mine? He's about two kilometers east of here," I managed to grate out from between clenched teeth. I calmed myself enough to explain Ryu's condition before grasping my new sword and teleporting to a random location. I probably set off a good number of Hong's wards doing so, but I can't say I really care.

Look at the pretty islands go boom. All right, I'm not that far gone, not yet. I can't help that I vaporized Hawaii. I wasn't thinking clearly. What good is the place anyway? I doubt many people were still alive there, what with there not actually being actual sources of food, and without operational ships or aircraft, the state wasn't much of a vacation spot.

Fuck it; I probably earned Hell three times over for that one. Well, I wouldn't ever be condemned to Hell, so like I said, fuck it. I should probably go back to Siberia now and see if Ryu and Hong are getting along with each other. Ryu's mystic battery should be about dead now, too, so he would need a recharge.

Smashing through the fabric of space can be a great stress reliever, and I didn't hold back on the stress relief as I teleported back to Hong's little hideaway. Poor Katya, with her Space affinity; she'll be getting about the worst headache imaginable in a few seconds.

Appearing in the air above Hong's place, I saw Ryu demonstrating all his weapons (there are a lot of them) to Hong on the long unused firing range at the north end of the abandoned base. If he was cutting loose with that much power, Hong must have taken care of the energy supply. Heh, the old guy'd probably set Ryu up with a lifetime charge.

This area wasn't warded and I set down behind the two. Hong held a polished wooden staff in his right hand and before I could call attention to myself, he pointed the staff at a decommissioned tank resting at the end of the range. From the end of the staff a white beam of chi erupted. The beam slammed into the tank and did a combination job of melting it down while turning it into little pieces.

I hadn't really checked before, but now that it was brought to my attention, I could see that Hong had an impressive chi force. To have not noticed any of it earlier meant that he not only had excellent control, but that he kept it bottled tightly within. Good. It's always a pleasant surprise to find a sorcerer who doesn't view himself as 'above' such a crude Art as chi manipulation.

"This has got to be Ranma's fault," Ryoga muttered darkly as he crushed yet another zombie with the light pole he'd appropriated earlier in the day. Ever since he'd recovered from his injuries to find the world in the shitter, the eternally lost was no longer lost. Whatever had happened, definitely not Ranma's fault, had fixed his directional problems instantly. He even knew everywhere he'd ever been (if only anyone was still around who cared about the Bermuda Triangle).

Besides making sure to avoid Japan, just in case he should once again run into the Tendos, Ryoga didn't really have much to keep him occupied. He'd wandered around, though he could now use a map to determine where he was wandering, and eventually, after helping a few people with monster or bandit problems, he'd stumbled into this place.

The town was once known as New York, a place the no-longer-lost boy had accidentally visited a few times during his youth, but now its only inhabitants were zombies, mutant rats, and really big monsters that wanted to kill him, and none of them cared what the city was called. Somehow, Ranma and his foul magic had contrived to dump Ryoga in this hellhole. He just knew it.

Using strength far above the human norm, Ryoga swung his giant club, easily liquefying a horde of shuffling zombies. There had to be millions of the damned things. From around the corner, smashing and overturning cars as it approached, one of the twelve-foot-high, thirty-foot long super rats charged. By now well versed in monster rat extermination, and knowing just how tough the bastards were, Ryoga didn't attempt to beat the rat to death. Instead, he lashed out with a powerful vacuum blade, cleaving the top portion of the rat's skull from its body. Convulsing and emitting a squeaking roar, the monster rat collapsed to the ground, its python-like tail flailing about.

His senses honed by years of surviving in the wild, Ryoga turned around to see a zombie not two feet from attempting to sink its rotting teeth into his flesh (like that would ever happen). Before the boy could react, though, a baseball-sized sphere of blue fire flew from across the street and burnt the creature's torso into ash. Ryoga spun on his heel, light pole at the ready, and was confronted by a pair of attractive girls. This immediately set him on internal red alert. Girls could lead to being a sex slave. He'd learnt that lesson with the Tendos.

One had red hair, and she glowed with the force of magic, a totally different sensation than that created by chi. The auburn-haired girl possessed a powerful, if completely unfocussed chi force that Ryoga could see bubbling beneath the surface, just waiting for the proper training to unleash. Slowly, cautiously, the pair made their way over to Ryoga.

When they were within a dozen meters of one another, the auburn haired girl said, "Hi, I'm Buffy."

"Status report?" Bill asked. He'd had to stop watching the one-sided space battle to attend to other matters with B.A.S.C. and when he'd returned to the command room, the H.V.E.s were returning to base.

"Atomics have been placed at the indicated coordinates. We are currently waiting for the celestial body to acquire the desired position to detonate the devices," replied the technician on duty.

"Very well. Also, I would like the data from the H.V.E. combat recorders sent directly to my quarters for review.


To be continued.

Author's Notes: Another short chapter, I know, but for reasons I don't feel like explaining, reading or writing is about the only way I can keep my mind focused on something long enough to really think about it. So, I wrote this. Not much happened, and I sorta screwed Ranma over, though it's as much a blessing as a curse, IMO. I've begun to think about the future chapters and I'm may be changing the direction of where I had planned for this fic to go. Not gonna mention that yet. Send C&C to dark_phoneix@hotmail.com

P.S.- I'm posting this without prereading it for any errors, sorry.

Chapter 5
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