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Chapter 7

(Tales From The Land Of Rand)
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.

Now Pevara knew why she'd never bonded a warder. It wasn't the whole Red-Ajah-doesn't-use-warders 'rule', no; she just didn't like pain. The emotional pain of a lost warder could drive a sister insane. The pain of a warder being beaten into a pulp, while physically less intense than what the warder himself felt, was also something she really wanted to avoid.

"This is not going well," Sera snapped peevishly. Of course it wasn't going well, Pevara thought. The ter'angreal had indicated the presence of active saidin very close to the Tower, and the contingent sent to investigate it should have been enough to deal with anyone short of Rand al'Thor himself. Nine sisters and a dozen unbonded gaidin should have been able to deal with any single person on this planet, including Rand al'Thor, may the Dark One blast his soul!

"It's the sword," gray-haired Noreata commented calmly. She was referring to the boy's sword, and what a weird sword it was. How had it been properly forged with all those curves in it?

"Huh?" Pevara couldn't discern who'd grunted the question, but was relieved she herself hadn't needed to ask.

"The sword, it is a ter'angreal. This boy has shown no actual channeling ability. Every questionable action we've witnessed him commit has been recorded as effects of various ter'angreal. His sword must be extremely powerful to possess so many qualities." It was a possible scenario, but just as likely, the boy was a channeller with a funny sword.

"I've never heard of a ter'angreal actually imparting a skill to its user before," Pevara said. Light, she hadn't meant to say that aloud!

"You are correct in your assumption, Sitter Pevara." Noreata continued, "Though it is possible for there to be ter'angreal that could teach, I believe this one's wielder to be the holder of the skill."

As Noreata finished speaking, the last gaidin still fighting flew through the Spirit barrier that had resisted all attempts by the Aes Sedai to breach it.

"The question you should be asking," the boy commented, "is how you're gonna take my sword from me."

Over the ring of steel on steel, I heard the gist of the sorceress's conversation. I didn't understand some of the words, but it was obvious they all thought my sword was the source of my power. Fools. "The question you should be asking," I said, "is how you're gonna take my sword from me." If they wanted to believe it, why should I tell them otherwise?

"No one defies the Tower," gray hair said calmly, her deep eyes glinting like the broken blades lying at my feet. Tower? Shit! If these women were from that tower, the one with the magic concentration, I couldn't expect any help from its residents. Stupid book. It could at least have had a warning about crazy psycho sorceress chicks.

"I still don't understand what I've done to bother everyone so much, much less 'defy' the Tower." As I spoke, I was quietly manipulating a spell within my spatial pocket. It's harder to do this way, but I didn't want the women to know I was planning something. They may not even be sensitive to Talent, but it doesn't hurt to be cautious.

By the time any of the sorceresses could think of anything to say, my spell had been cast. The gray haired woman opened her mouth and before she could say anything, a singsong voice completely at odds with her real voice said, "I have warts on my ass!" Heheh… and her mouth never even moved, except to open, of course.

The woman's mouth snapped shut and she began to turn slightly pink. Her companions looked to be having trouble controlling themselves. One couldn't manage and busted out laughing. As soon as her mouth opened, a voice not her won shouted, "I masturbate seventeen times a day!" She went straight to the purple range.

"Um, that's nice, but I was wondering why I've been attacked without provocation." I'm proud of myself. I actually managed to say that with a straight face. The really great part of this spell is that it only speaks the truth. I wonder how many more dirty little secrets they'd air out before the spell wore off. Hmm, it lasts a little over a month… depending on which month you're in. Heh, redefines the meaning of clean slate, I guess.

"I'm in love with my horse." Ouch, that's a bad one. Too bad I couldn't see who said it.

"I'm a member of the Black Ajah!" Not a clue what the Black Ajah is, but it got the short little brown-haired woman startled glances, snarls, and a magical blow of white magic— that's what it appeared to be, but I'm not sure— that knocked her out like a light. Must be pretty bad.

The eight remaining sorceresses tried to argue over something, but they just kept on blurting out embarrassing secrets. I whistled loudly to get their attention and said, "Have fun, ladies." Shields tight and layered, I shunted the sword into my spatial pocket and rose into the air. Levitation must be completely unknown here, because despite everything that had happened so far, the women looked at me in fear. Not shock, amazement, or even awe. Fear.

I'm not complaining. With a final wave, I ascended out of sight.

Looking back on it, I probably should have waited to find out what they actually wanted with me before activating that spell. Oh well, it sure was funny. I guess they could have a precog somewhere that predicted my arrival. If that turns out to be true, I must do something pretty bad here to earn such an enthusiastic greeting. Maybe it's illegal here for men to use magic? Nah, not likely.

Ascending out of sight, while normally a nice way to make an exit, becomes more of a spectacle when you're being struck by bolts of lightning, fireballs, and more fireballs. They really like those fireballs. The woman who acted as the Talent focus was fairly accurate, and I was probably five hundred feet up before she started missing. None of her attacks had done more than dent my shields, but the enormous amount of noise and the bright lights ensured that anyone within a kilometer had seen me.

So much for sleeping in an inn or hotel or whatever the things were called in this type of time period. Okay, big white tower of sorceress bitches, that one is off the list. Hmm, mega-evil concentration, way far away from here. There were a couple other magic centers much closer, and without actually having been to the place, I couldn't teleport to the evil one.

And so the journey begins…

Heheh. Doesn't sound too bad, eh?

"Wow, all this stuff is neat," Willow said, as she and Ryoga helped Mamoru and his friends to sort through all the stuff they'd brought down in the cargo pods. The boy, Ryoga, was abnormally strong… Abnormally, in comparison to building-smashing demons. Willow was equally strange… Well, strange if you thought that girls that did magic were strange. What was the world coming to?

"Yeah, it was designed to work off the flux generators in space. Right now, it's the only way anyone can find to make technology work down here," Mamoru replied. Mamoru watched as Ryoga lifted a reinforced container that he knew weighed no less than three tons. It was also the size of a small car and empty. "Ah, just put that over there with the others." The others had been moved with help from the H.V.E.s and, of course, Ryoga. Was he some kind of magical warrior for love and justice, one without the annoying skimpy clothes?

"No problem." Ryoga hefted the container of H.V.E. armor plating over his head and effortlessly carried it to the slowly forming pyramid of metal crates.

"Mr. Chiba, do you think you'll be able to do anything for Buffy? That bite is bad," Willow said worriedly. Giant robots didn't normally fall out of the sky, and Willow thought she was handling the situation remarkably well. They weren't aliens, but the technology the men possessed was far more advanced than any she'd previously seen. Maybe Buffy would be all right.

Mamoru shrugged. "Burton is a great medic. He used to be a doctor. But I'm not sure about your friend, Willow. I can only promise you that we'll do everything in our power to save her." Before Buffy had succumbed to her infection and gone into a coma, she too had been moving around massive objects one-handed. Mamoru had watched the girl pitch a brick through a zombie's head.

Speaking of zombies… Where in hell had zombies come from? Sure, he and the Senshi had fought a horde or two of zombies, but those were just magically drained and controlled people. The zombies that he'd seen in the last couple days were REAL flesh-eating living dead. One of the cargo pods had housed a load of automated light defense turrets. Those turrets currently formed a ring around the encampment, and occasionally the 'zap-whoosh' of one firing on an animated corpse could be heard.

"Nerve gas? No, probably wouldn't work… Biotoxin #P453? Nah, have to be alive for that stuff to work…" Ryu continued to mumble to himself as he mentally catalogued the contents of the enormous bunker of various substances designed to kill people. He didn't hold much hope that any of the tanks would yield positive results, though.

Enter Sho Fukamachi. Ryu had first thought the boy to be some sort of Umbrella superweapon. When they'd fought to a stalemate, Ryu'd been willing to listen to the thing's attempt at peacemaking. How was he supposed to know that it was just armor? The armor sure looked like something Umbrella would cook up.

From swapped stories, Ryu and Sho managed to convince one another that Chronos and Umbrella were either one in the same, or competitors. Chronos had more powerful intelligent mutants, but Umbrella had the ability to turn the world's population into mindless zombies and raving mutants. Sho wasn't in his armor, thankfully. It still gave Ryu the creeps. Alien bio-weapon or not, it still reminded him of some of the horrors he'd encountered in Umbrella's Chinese mountain facility.

"Anything worth bothering with?" Sho asked. The teenager, as weak and scrawny as most, didn't look very impressive, but with a single word, he could become most people's worst nightmare. Then again, there were people into that kind of thing.

"I moved a few back towards the exit. They may be able to create a cloud of acid, but the identification was sorta vague. You?" Ryu finished, wiping dirt and spider webs from his synthetic hands.

"There are plenty of nukes, but the damned things won't work." Sho wasn't in the best of moods. He hadn't been in a good mood for a while. He'd get Chronos, somehow, for fucking his life up. Now, with their processing facilities useless, and a powerful ally, he could see his dreams realized.

Ryu hadn't really planned on using nuclear weapons. They tended to be more trouble than they were worth. He hadn't said anything to Sho about that when the kid had mentioned it because he didn't want to deal with the young fanatic any more than he had to. He shrugged. "Don't worry about it. We've got the firepower to handle the job. It'll just take longer."

I've been homicidally enraged maybe three times in my life. Number four was working its way into my mind pretty quick as I surveyed the military camp far below. With my vision modified magically, I could see the orderly spaced tents of thousands of soldiers, the numerous picket lines of waiting horses and other less typical mounts, and of course the chained— physically and mystically— women. They were Talented. They were led around on leashes like animals. They were treated like animals. From the faint traces of emotion I could detect, some of them even thought of themselves as animals.

I'm not even going to attempt to describe on just how many levels this offended me. Talent is a mark of superiority, of power. Those of us with it should never be used as some sort of beast of burden. Kami-sama, I'm going to kill a lot of people. Fuck that. The horde of demons I'm about to summon is going to kill a lot of people. Well, I may participate a little, but I'm gonna be too busy disenchanting those leashes and freeing the Talented women to really enjoy myself.

My sword appeared at my summons, already resting comfortably in my hand. A bolt of blisteringly cold fire arched from my hands, slamming into a draconian beast being ridden by a small woman. They died together, a single shriek escaping their tortured throats as my spell sucked all the heat from their bodies in a split second. Before the fused carcass had covered half the distance to the ground, I had already made the appropriate gestures with my sword, the base power of which was the ability to summon demonic aide from my patron and adopted father, Xochial, a Demon Lord on a plane that borders my own.

All around me portals began to open. They all varied in size and shape, but shared one general characteristic. From black so solid that it hurt the eyes to gaze upon, poured creatures straight out of the realm of nightmare. All winged, some took the form of cat-sized imps, while others dwarfed me— and most houses— in size. Let the bloodletting begin.

With a mental command from me, their temporary master, the demonic host swarmed downward. They wouldn't harm anyone of Talent unless they themselves were threatened by one of the women's magic. Everyone else was fair game.

A disjunction spell is fairly simple. It does as the name implies, causing a rift between the magical energies of an enchanted object and the material of the object. Disjunction spells are also practically useless because another simple spell locks material and mystical together permanently, making disjunction impossible. Too bad no one here seems to have discovered that little tidbit of info.

Those leashes were evil. Even from here, several thousand feet into the atmosphere, I could perceive the sheer wrongness they embodied. Each had caused untold suffering to its victim, and those negative emotions were locked away within coils of ever-tightening and swirling energy. I intended not only to destroy the leashes, but the bitch masters with them, turning the explosive power of a disjuncted item into psionic feedback. Let's see how they liked being tortured. Not that their minds would survive the experience for more than a few moments, but it was the best I could do on short notice.

Far below, the leading edge of my forces met with the ill-prepared soon-to-be-massacred victims.

Morgan didn't know what caused the a'dam to lose its power over her and disintegrate into dust, but neither did she care. She was free. Saidar flooded her being, bringing ecstasy without the menace of pain and humiliation brought by the presence of a sul'dam. Around her, she felt the glow of saidar building as the other two sisters who'd been captured with her realized their bondage was at an end. The thick canvas walls of multi-sectional tent where they were kept turned to dust, revealing Sarah, a Red Sister, and Ella, a Yellow.

Verbal communication wasn't needed. The tent exploded around them in a tempest of ribbons. Morgan took it upon herself to harden the canvas, propelling it outward at impossible speeds. She couldn't directly use the One Power to attack unless she was defending herself, but all sisters of her experience were able to attain the proper mindset that allowed them to partially bypass that particular restriction, much like speaking in riddles and partial truths helped to negate their inability to lie.

As men, women, and beasts all collapsed around her, their bodies sliced into nothing more than gory piles of flesh, the oath kicked in and she reflexively cut power to her weaves. The maneuver had attracted attention, mostly in the form of soldiers and stunned sul'dam. To their detriment, they attacked the sisters.

It was only as a bolt of lightning leapt from Morgan's hand that she noticed the black, red, and purple shapes descending from the sky. They were everywhere. The Dark One had surely been freed! Demons of incredible size slammed into the earth, throwing great gouts of sod and blood into the air. In sick fascination, Morgan watched the monsters scythed about them with wicked claws, spiked tails and razor sharp wings. The other sisters had also been caught up in the display and they all nearly paid for it as a new wave of desperate soldiers made an attempt on their lives.

An instinctive shield of woven air formed around them, courtesy of Morgan's quick thinking, and they were able to obliterate the newest threats.

"What is this?" Ella asked.

"I know not," Morgan replied.

Sarah nearly blasted a creature twice the size of a horse as it landed a dozen feet to her right, but stopped in amazement as the demon waved at her and hurled a fallen warrior's spear through the heart of one of the Seanchan's giant cats before it could leap at them.

"Don't mind me," the thing growled. "I'm on your side."

My karmic track record isn't looking very good lately. I mean, how was I supposed to know that sudden freedom would turn the majority of those enslaved sorceresses into raving loons? The result? A whole freaking lot of dead demons. Most of them had been the lower rung, eat-its-own-mother-for-fun type of fiend, but at least one general of middling power had fallen to the uncoordinated lashing out of dozens of Talented women. Thankfully, Xochial was the understanding sort, and he didn't mind such a slaughter costing a few of his minions' lives. He did, after all, have several billion more at his beck and call.

I sighed as I looked over the remains of an army. Not a single enemy lived, and I'm pretty sure that the dozen women, myself, and the six-legged lizard creature busily chewing on the discarded scabbard of some nameless warrior were the only living things larger than a squirrel for more miles than I cared to count. Those women were another problem. Four of them had been true prisoners and products of the Seanchan, as I now know the people just recently added to my list of planned genocide are called, and all but one of them hated the Seanchan with a passion that was truly frightening to behold. I can understand anger, hate, and other darker emotions, yet to allow one's mind to become consumed by a permanent madness that stifled all reason was to become less than human. Hell, demons weren't even that bad. The best I could figure to do with them was to rig up some enchantment or other to keep them from being stripped of their power on the first occasion they ran into a few more tamed sorceresses, point them in the right direction, and turn them lose to reap whatever revenge they thought necessary.

And, as luck would have it— bad luck, of course— the remaining women were from that damned tower. One day I'm gonna have to sneak into that place just to check and see if it really is filled to the brim with lesbians, because I've never met such a man-hating lot in my life. Now, after a trio of attempts on my life, my Talent, and my soul, the eight Aes Sedai found themselves bound from their warped magic and held tightly in the same exact strands of power they had attempted to use against me.

Turning back to the stubborn group, I asked, "Why is it so hard to believe that I speak the truth? Not that I care, but this is getting annoying. I'm not from this world, and ignoring its laws of magic are easily accomplished with the training I've had."

Obviously, they thought this 'madness' they spoke of had already come, and that I was a raving lunatic. "The taint can not be avoided by any man, unless he be in the service of the Dark One," snapped one of the women hatefully as she momentarily struggled against the iron-hard bands of air that held her.

"The Dark One isn't my master, lady. I don't have a master and never will. The Dark One isn't even a very prominent Demon Lord or I would have heard of him before." I laughed just for the fun of it. I might as well be blowing smoke out of my ass for all the good this conversation was achieving.

"Spare us your lies, darkfriend," another snapped.

This was getting me nowhere. I'd hoped to ask one of them to take a look at the poison for me, just to see if their brand of magic could in some way neutralize it. With them all glaring at me and probably planning the different ways they could tear me into little pieces, I didn't dare let them close to the poison for fear that they may somehow destroy it.

"Ah, screw this and screw you. I go through all the trouble to raise an army of demons, destroy your captors utterly, and free you, all out of the kindness of my heart, and this is the gratitude I get for my effort." I altered the binding magic that held the women, forcing them into a fraying cycle that would completely free the sorceresses within half an hour.

Their eyes bugged out a little as I lifted off the ground and hovered over them. "Have fun, and don't let the Seanchan get you."


To be continued.

Author's notes: This isn't actually a new chapter. The original chapter 7 was a dinky little thing and I had written some more for the next chapter, but felt it would be better as part of 7 so that I could begin 8 how I wanted it, so this is just an updated version of chapter 7. I'm hoping to get back into writing this fic ASAP, and hopefully it won't be a waste of time to start looking out for new chapters in the near future.

Chapter 8
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