Yet another Ranma / Sailor Moon crossover story
by Josh Temple
Naturally, I own neither Sailor Moon nor Ranma. So here's the disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.
C&C as always is wanted.
Chapter One: Girls and Guns
Luna scratched her head against a bedpost. The brooch sitting on the bed would allow this blonde girl to transform into Sailor Moon, but she had the feeling that she was forgetting something else, something important. Yes, there was something else.
This sensation was quite familiar to the moon cat, who, not being able to remember her own name at first, had originally called herself Wrench. The mark on her forehead was a crescent; just of the lunar variety and not of the tool variety.
"Umm… Luna, is it? What about the brooch?" Usagi asked the pondering feline. If she was going to start talking with cats, the least they could do was talk back.
"There's something that goes with your brooch… I think…." The feline shrugged. Maybe it would help her memory if she could see what the item was. Luna performed the spine-mangling back-flip and produced another item that landed next to the first one.
"It's not as pretty as the other one," Usagi said, somewhat despondently. She guessed a jewelry making cat was too much to hope for.
"It's not supposed to be pretty," Luna scolded. Though something about that statement felt wrong to her. She was fairly sure these things were supposed to be pretty. It was less a case of form over function and more of a mangling of form to the point where the only possible function was something quite insane, but quite attractive. For some reason the cryptic phrase "gumball-shoulder" flashed into her mind.
"Luna!" Usagi shouted into the cat's ear. "What's with you? Are all talking cats this messed up, or is it just you?" the blonde asked with genuine curiosity.
A vague, unattached memory flashed in Luna's mind involving a white cat with an identical marking to her own. "No, some are much worse," she said with absolute clarity in her voice, though she couldn't quite imagine what she was talking about. "Never mind… there's more important things."
"Like these things?" Usagi asked as she picked up the second item. There was an indentation in the wire-embedded surface that looked to be the same shape as the brooch. The blonde grabbed the other item and tried to put it into the slot.
"What are you doing?" Luna asked. Her ears perked up as the brooch seated with a crisp, metallic click. "Yes, that's it! The Surge Chip goes right there!" Luna briefly wondered why there was the need for a separate part, and why it seemed off to her, but it fit in the slot so it had to belong.
"Surge Chip? What's that? Why does jewelry need a chip?" Usagi asked. Maybe this was a computer thing, just disguised as something else. Like those pens that were really cameras.
"I'm… not sure. I know it goes with your brooch."
"And what does this do?" Usagi asked holding the joined items.
"Well… heh… this I really should know," Luna said with embarrassment. I knew I should have written this down! Or at least practiced it beforehand. Stupid street punks! If Usagi hadn't have come along, I'd have shown them a thing or two! The feline's mental monologue was then interrupted by Usagi coughing.
"Oh, sorry. Just hold it to your heart and say whatever pops into your head," Luna said dismissively before returning to her internal rant. Unfortunately, the cat was too absorbed and did not pay close attention to the transformation sequence.
The burst of clothing-dissolving light surrounding her body that was followed by the appearance and encirclement of ribbons of pink and blue light was of the expected format. As the girl rotated, the ribbons solidified and formed the elements of her uniform. The transformation sequence was still very flashy and glittery, but it seemed somewhat shorter than one would expect for such a process.
"Hey… shiny," Sailor Moon said as she unholstered the weapon at her hip. "Wow. I'm a gun-toting superhero now. Just like in the Sailor V game! But aren't guns illegal here?" the blonde asked.
"Who cares? You're a magical girl!" Luna corrected as she looked the new Senshi over. The miniskirt and bows were correct. The boots were fine. The jewelry was even okay. However, the gun belts, bandolier, and large, high-caliber handgun did not seem quite appropriate.
"Wow! I never held a real gun before! I always thought they'd be heavier. Cute name, though," the Sailor Senshi commented, after reading the name inscribed on the barrel. She then hefted and aimed the Comet. It was just like in a video game, though she still had to find which button to press to reload and which to press to clear jams. Her stance and grip were atrocious and in another life would have earned a slap upside the head from Courtney.
"I think you're stronger, or something," Luna observed. Again, she got the feeling that Sailor Moon should have a different sort of weapon, but the Comet had all the correct symbols engraved on its side: crescent moons, comets, and crystals were all present. There was even the royal seal on the slide just behind the ejector.
"So how do I work this thing?" Sailor Moon asked as she fiddled with the weapon. Fortunately for Luna, the first button she pressed was the magazine release. The magazine slid out of its housing and tumbled to the ground… right onto her foot.
"Ow! Hey, these things are pretty heavy!" Usagi frowned. "What's wrong with this thing? I thought the bullets were supposed to come out of the other end…?"
Luna sighed. She wished there was someone better equipped to teach her charge.
Ranma sighed as she leaned back, trying to fall to sleep. It had not taken her long to find that sleeping in her real body, at least on the road, was not a sure thing. It was a pain to heat up water, and normally the martial artist simply went to sleep and changed back in the morning.
Though the redhead was considering going through the hassle of rebuilding the mostly dead fire. Lately her dreams had started to get… odd. Being a martial arts instructor was normal. That part was pretty good. That she was a girl at the time was not as good, but she was sleeping as a girl so that explained some of it.
The strange part was his — well, her — students. They were a bunch of… Ranma shook her head. It was crazy. Princesses in stupid uniforms with goofy powers. Although not when she was teaching them. The redhead smiled at that; there was some satisfaction in getting whiny rich girls to actually have some semblance of skill. Of course, the best part was that she could smack them upside the head when they messed up. It did not always work, but it always satisfied her.
Ranma fell asleep wondering where it would all end.
"Lemme get this straight… you want me to train the Princess and her… what was the word?" Ranma asked. She looked around the room she was in. It looked like a princess' bedroom out of a storybook. The redhead sighed. At least the room was not totally pink.
"Senshi," the silver-haired royal sighed. "I want you to train them. You are the one best suited for the job. You have everything, Ranma. You are a skilled, noble warrior, who knows exactly how to train these girls."
"Oh… and how do I know how to train them? Sure, I can do the martial arts, but the rest…."
"Remember those dreams you've been having?" The Queen almost laughed.
"Oh yeah… that instructor chick. You're being awfully clear about this, lady. Why?"
This time the queen did laugh. "I suppose I could have given you another royal advisor with next-to-no memories and let you figure it out bit by bit, but I dare say you would not like that."
"Oh, okay." Ranma said, unaware that his ailurophobia contributed to such forthrightness. "This ain't gonna make me a princess, is it?" the redhead inquired.
The Queen laughed. "Of course not. You won't be made into one. You'll train them in the martial arts, fighting as a team, how to use their powers, and other areas as needed."
"You want me to make sure some crazy girls don't get beaten up," Ranma nodded. This really fit with the current theme of her dreams. At least this time I'm me, instead of some "Fargo" chick.
"Yes." The queen sighed and ran one of her hands over her gown.
"Okay, so what's this gotta do with those freaky dreams? Wait… is this a dream too?"
"The answer is yes to all of your questions."
"But that first one's not a yes or no…."
The queen interrupted Ranma's statement. "Ranma! A goddessesque queen who knows everything about you is asking you to train a group of girls and you're getting strange dreams! What part of this don't you get?" The queen's serene demeanor started to fray.
"It's just a little confusing." Ranma paused, trying to straighten out what was being asked of him.
"I know. I'm sorry, but there's also a lot at stake here. More than you can possibly imagine."
"Will they have to save the world?"
"Oh," the queen paused. "I guess you can imagine it then."
Ranma paused, thinking about her options. It was just a dream, but… a part of her supposed it was more than that, and she really only had one choice. She just had to be sure "Again… this could save the world? It's like, important and stuff?" The redhead's tone was skeptical.
"Very important. If they fail…." the queen trailed off.
"Then I'm not gonna just train them! I can't let them fight by themselves. They'll need all the help they can get. I mean, they're just schoolgirls," The redhead had started to pace during her little rant.
The silver-haired queen laughed. "I knew we could count on you."
Ranma paused and wondered exactly what she had agreed to and how much trouble it would get her into.
"I'm the Sailor Senshi of Love and Justice, Sailor Moon! In the name of the moon, I will punish you!" the magical girl exclaimed as she repeatedly pulled the Comet's trigger.
The youma's eyes widened in shock and confusion as a series of magically enhanced rounds pierced its thick hide and released their charges. There was a flash as the magical equivalent of shrapnel violently tore apart the monster's internal magics. The mortal magical wounds, in addition to the damage to its physical form, were too much and it crumbled into gray chunks that further disintegrated.
"Yay! They all hit!" Sailor Moon cheered as she spun her gun around on her finger and tried to drop it into her holster. Naturally, it did not go in and hit the floor, accidentally discharging once before it came to rest.
"Thanks for saving me, but who are you?" Naru asked shaking her head to clear out the ringing in her ears and to massage her neck where the youma had been strangling her.
"I gave a speech," the blonde pouted as she scrambled to get her gun and carefully slid it into its holster.
"I couldn't hear it while you were shooting."
Sailor Moon paused. "I guess I could have given a speech and then shot her…. but I really wanted to try this new gun!"
Naru blinked as she rubbed her neck again. "Yeah… So how did you know she wasn't my real mother?"
"That was your mom?" Sailor Moon asked, horrified.
"No… She’s locked up in the basement! Everything's okay." Naru reassured.
"It's okay that she's locked in the basement?" Moon blinked. She had thought she knew Naru.
"Gah!" Naru shook her head. She seemed to attract thick-headed blondes.
"Well, it's great that you're okay, Naru-chan! Bye!" Sailor Moon said as she ran out of the store.
"Did I tell her my name?" Naru asked herself as she went to get her mother.
"Good thing you shot the youma right away," Luna said, sitting on Sailor Moon's shoulder as the blonde walked home.
"It's not like it was hard. It was just like one of my little brother's video games. Just point and shoot."
"I think there's more to it than that," Luna sighed. It seemed that Usagi spent more time playing "her brother's" video games than Shingo did. "Anyway, I checked out those unconscious people the youma had drained. They seem fine."
"And what about it? Not like it matters. I heard Naru cry for help, with one of my… hair jewel thingies and killed the monster. Everything worked out."
The cat narrowed her eyes. "That's the point. If you hadn't acted that fast, I think all those unconscious customers could have been made into slaves, minions of that youma."
"Oh…" Sailor Moon paused in thought. "That would have been bad."
"Yes, it would," Luna agreed.
"I mean, my gun only holds twelve bullets. There was a lot more passed-out people than that."
"No! Bad magical girl!" Luna said as she took a swipe at the blonde's head. "You do not shoot zombified people!"
"Then what am I supposed to do with them? Throw my tiara at 'em?"
"Yes. You could have taken it off and yelled Moon Tiara action."
"Right," Usagi said sarcastically, elongating the word. "Maybe I could have knocked them out by crying at them too," the magical girl teased.
"Now that just sounds stupid," Luna agreed.
In a darkened room, the energy sphere a blond man was holding suddenly disappeared. "Morga, you screwed up. You idiot!" the man scowled. If he had had a visual feed of the youma's destruction, his reaction would have been much less subdued.
A formally-dressed man opened the second floor window that looked over the jewelry store's foyer. In his billowing cape, tuxedo, mask, and top hat he gave off an aura of… At the very least he thought he looked mysterious and impressive.
With a rose at the ready, he spoke in a commanding voice. "I am—" He looked at the scene below him. Instead of a magical girl fighting a monster he saw a mother and daughter waking up sleeping patrons and cleaning up.
"—late," Tuxedo Mask completed as he slunk away.
"Boy, where have you hid it?" Genma said as he rummaged through Ranma's pack.
"Hey, get out of there!" Ranma said as he grabbed the backpack, spilling its contents. "What are you talking about, Pops?"
"I know you've hidden something here." The older man looked over the contents of Ranma's pack.
"If you're looking for that food I've been keeping, we already ate it, old man," Ranma sighed as he carefully put his meager possessions back into his pack. "What were you looking for anyway?" Ranma asked, hoping that his face looked clueless enough.
"Don't play dumb with me, boy. I know you're up to something, sneaking out at night."
"That's a bad thing? I thought you'd be happy that I'm training more."
"You're up to something." Genma narrowed his eyes. If his son was working some sort of scam, he wanted a share of the take — namely all of it.
"Yup," Ranma cheerfully agreed. "That crazy Amazon chick's still after me. I wanted to be prepared for her." She was still after him, but Ranma had figured out the way to make the most of the situation, namely by turning it into a form of training.
"I see," Genma said, ignoring the tense Ranma used. "So you don't have any scrolls for new techniques that you've been hiding."
"Nope," Ranma said as he remembered the events of a few nights ago.
"So what exactly has the training been?"
Ranma paused, wondering how much he should tell his father and how much he would believe. He decided to be cautious and not tell him much of anything.
Ranma squinted as another drop of water dribbled into her eyes. The light rain, while annoying, proved two things about her new weapons: they worked while wet and they could be summoned in this cursed body.
The martial artist made a note to disassemble and clean the guns before putting them away… wherever they went. I never did fully trust magic, she thought to herself. Sure, it works… most of the time.
She blinked as she sighted her weapons and considered her last thought. Where did that come from? The redhead then looked down at her chest. Oh yeah… stupid things. I really hope the magic behind this doesn't screw up.
After firing a couple shots to see how the weapon was sighted from a stationary position, Ranma stretched her neck. She was annoyed at the lack of finding a cure. Every place that inept guide had sent them to had only made things worse.
Even if I turn into a girl, I should be able to get these ones to pay attention to my training. They are just girls themselves, Ranma thought as she went through one of her kata trying to figure out the best way her weapons fit in. It made for interesting training.
It's not really weapon for a martial artist, though, she thought as she twisted in midair and tried shooting at a pair of falling leaves. One hit the leaf. The other missed and grazed the trunk of the tree it fell from.
She made her landing and frowned at her performance. "I should be doing better. I've gotta make sure they don't screw up. War is the true Martial… Well, it's not really an art. It's damn ugly. People are gonna be trying to—," she muttered, as she reloaded her guns. Before Ranma could finish musing, her ears picked up a sound to her back.
Acting automatically, she holstered one of her guns and unclipped an item that she had scarcely noticed was there. In one smooth motion she prepared it, turned slightly, and lobbed it behind her.
Shampoo had been more cautious in her tracking. It had seemed that the redheaded girl had armed herself. While the Amazon could understand — she was planning on killing the outsider girl and the redhead knew it — it was still annoying.
Her plan was straightforward. She had assumed that the rain and gunfire would help mask her already-silent approach. However, there had been one thing she did not count on.
The Amazon should have taken better care to blow her nose before starting. She paused, taking an instant to decide what her next course of action was: charge up to the outsider, withdraw and attack later (it would not be a retreat, she assured herself. At least not like the last time, where that insufferable redhead lazily shot at her as she fled), or wait and see if the redhead heard her little sneeze.
The small metallic object that bounced off her foot settled that issue.
Ranma gritted her teeth as the grenade went off. The smell of ozone — not that she knew it was ozone or even what that gas was — wafted from the blast site. Holding one of her handguns at the ready, she walked up to where the body was.
She shook her head as she looked over the scattered and twisted remains of the…. grenade. "You're one lucky crazy chick, you know that?" Ranma asked Shampoo's twitching form.
Her face contorted in pain, the Amazon focused her will on attacking. The result was much like that of a little shark flopping on the deck of a boat. It was the last menacing gasps of a creature that, while lethal in its own environment, was only dangerous if someone was stupid enough to put her hand in its mouth.
"That could have been a… frag." The redhead had to pause to remember the name. "But hey, those saps? Zaps? Oh I know! Zats hurt too."
Shampoo tried to move her arm, but only managed to make it spasm.
"Heck, I'm amazed you can still move," Ranma admired as she swapped which hand she held her gun in. The redhead got a distant look and began to count on her fingers. "One blast takes you out, a second kills, and a third… um…. I don't know. I mean you're already dead. What's the point of a third hit?"
Fear had started to enter the Amazon's eyes as she tracked the gun in her enemy's hands. It was one thing to talk about dying for her honor; it was another to have an insane girl casually talk about killing you while you were helpless.
Ranma sighed as she fiddled with her gun. "Look I really don't want to do this." She stood up, keeping her weapon aimed at Shampoo. "It could be a huge mistake, but, heck, it might give me some good training." Ranma laughed. At least these new weapons took care of his problems easily, strange as they were.
"Stupid youma," Sailor Moon whined as she trudged back home. It was yet another night spent out shooting things instead of asleep in her bed.
"I told you, you should practice more," Luna offered as she lay folded over the magical girl's shoulder with her legs dangling on either side.
Moon narrowed her eyes and grabbed the cat by the scruff of her neck. Holding the advisor in front of her eyes, Usagi shouted irritably. "You also told me that I could 'use the power of love' to defeat my enemies when my bullets ran out!"
"Well… it worked," Luna sheepishly admitted.
"Only because the mocking laughter of the youma gave me time to reload!"
"You still need more practice," Luna muttered.
Moon's right eye twitched. "I've been fighting these things almost every other night! When am I gonna have time to practice?"
"Well… you could sleep less." Luna turned her face from the blonde's.
"You know what? You're right. I think I'll start practicing now." Moon let go off the cat and reached for the Comet. This time she did not fumble on the holster and had the gun out only a few seconds after the cat landed.
"Good, you're on your feet. Means you can still run." Sailor Moon tried to look menacing and despite her appearance, pulled it off. The 0.454 caliber handgun helped, somewhat.
"Okay, okay! No more training. But we still need to find the Princess and the rest of the Senshi."
"Princess? You just remembered this, didn't you?" Usagi shrugged as she holstered her gun. "Though it would be nice to have someone helping me." She paused to glare at her cat. "Someone who knows what they're doing."
"Stupid pops," Ranma muttered as he wandered the streets. He took some comfort in that it was a clear, brisk night. The martial artist sighed as he replayed the night's events, wondering what he could have done differently.
Maybe he could have sparred better with that Akane girl. He supposed he could have remembered to put up the occupied sign in the bathroom. Convincing Pops that it was best to wait and visit them in their real forms would have been better too. Although the most appealing option for Ranma was using one of his zat grenades and ditching them all.
Ranma smiled at the thought. He would be back on the road again, free to… To find those girls he was supposed to train. Ranma could have left right now; though it would be a pain to go without his pack, he did have other… supplies.
Besides, it's not like Pops was planning to stay here for a while. This'll be just like every other dojo he's scammed. We'll be outta here in a week.
The martial artist walked aimlessly for a couple more blocks. It took him a while to realize exactly what he was looking for. Ranma sighed at that. Practicing his gun-kata would be more difficult here than in the Chinese wilderness.
"Awww nuts," Ranma sighed as he felt… off. Something was wrong, very wrong. He looked at his wrist where a plain, rugged watch was. It was another one of the items that his father was unable to locate.
"Okay… I think this'll do it," Ranma said as he pressed a few buttons on the watch. "Damn it!" he cried as it started beeping annoyingly. "You'd think Yuhamaro would make this thing easier to use." Ranma punched the watch and it stopped beeping and its display switched to a small map that showed a couple blips, a compass heading, and some distance markers.
"Hey, it worked! And I found one of those girls!" Ranma's jubilation was cut short by the realization of what the other blips were and what the range to them was. He did not consider how he was able to read the display and what all the blips meant.
While he could cover the distance, she could do it faster. He wished he did not have to do it, but supporting the girls he was supposed to train and fight with came before his pride.
He remembered the first time he activated that form. What had started as a simple attempt to unlock more weapons had turned into an hour-long screaming rant about the trickery of regal, goddessesque prophets of doom.
Ranma inhaled. This was what he had been training for. This was it.
After trying to shoot at the youma, Sailor Moon ducked back behind a column in the subway station. If not for the group of people that the youma was controlling, she would have charged right in.
"Why didn't they do this before?" Moon cried as she took another shot. It missed the monster, but at least it held the thing at bay.
"You killed the others before they got the chance," Luna stated as she watched Usagi's back. It was about all she could do.
"Great… just because I ran into that same tall jerk that I keep meeting. Mamoru, I think his name was," Moon said as she took more care to aim. At least this shot grazed the youma. Not that the blonde had time to cheer, as she ran back a bit to avoid the slowly, shambling hordette.
"I'm pretty sure that was Tuxedo Mask who you knocked to the ground and ran over," Luna muttered. "At least it looked like him."
"Whoever he was, he was in the way." Moon looked at the closest zombie. Time was running out and something had to be done before she was pushed out of the subway station. With a sigh of resignation, she used her gun on it.
"Damn it! I told you, don't shoot the zombies!"
"I'm not!" Moon said, annoyed at the feline distraction from her pistol-whipping.
"You're hurting them!"
"They'll live," Usagi said after smashing her gun across another zombie's face. "I hope…."
"Get back, Moon!" a new voice said.
The new visitor sighed. At least these goofy uniforms were color-coded. That made identification easier.
Sailor Moon was about to point her gun at the latest visitor when a small metallic object fell among the zombies. It detonated in a flash, and arcs of electric energy lashed out and spread across the floor in a wide radius. The youma-controlled people fell to the ground in a heap.
The blonde felt a headache bloom in her head, but ignored it. She stepped over the pile of people, aimed her gun, and pulled the trigger. Her shot went wide and hit the wall behind the youma, which was then blown apart by gunfire from above.
Sailor Moon turned to see someone jump down. Her uniform was familiar: short skirt, bows, and guns. The new Senshi's skirt was forest green with silver trim. Her bows and wool socks were the same green. Black high-laced combat-style boots, with a couple-inch wedge heels adorned her feet.
She still had the requisite jewelry: a golden tiara with an emerald gem and a pair of pearl earrings poked out from her brilliant, freely flowing red hair. Then came her armament. She was holding a pair of handguns that were a bit smaller than Sailor Moon's, but she had two long guns tied down on her back and an ungodly number of grenades were clipped to her belts along with the rest of her gear. There were a set of metallic bracers on her arms in place of gloves, and Sailor Moon guessed that they were not decorative. The redhead looked over Moon's gun. "Thank goodness you're using Surge. At least that's working for us."
"Surge? Oh yeah, the chip." The blond blinked. "Yay, another Senshi!"
"Calm down, Moon. We should make sure the enemy's dead."
"It's a pile of disappearing dust." Sailor Moon pointed to the remains.
"Oh…. that's convenient." Terra knelt over the pile of youma dust and watched as it vanished.
"So which Senshi are you? How did you know who I am? Do you know what's going on? You have a talking cat too?" The blonde inquired in a rapid barrage.
"Umm…. Sailor Terra. Our uniforms are color-coded. I was hoping you'd know, and I certainly hope not," the redheaded Senshi answered with a sigh. Somehow she remembered how…. bubbly this girl could be.
"So you know more of what's going on?" Sailor Moon asked raising an eyebrow as she followed Terra out of the subway station.
"Uh, yeah…." Sailor Terra admitted.
"Great, that's so cool! Luna's been next to worthless!"
"Moon! I am not worthless. I can… oh, a new Senshi…. funny, I don't remember her," Luna said as she bounded up the stairs after them
Sailor Moon rolled her eyes and sighed. "You can't even remember the Senshi. Terra seems able to do that."
"Get back! Cat!" Sailor Terra screamed as she drew both of her handguns.
"Yeah, I know, talking animals kind of creep me out, too." Sailor Moon agreed, misunderstanding Terra's reaction.
Luna froze and edged closer to Sailor Moon. The blonde Senshi had paused in amazement. The other Senshi was fast. The redhead's hands had moved faster than she could see, in a blur of movement she had them drawn and cocked. It was like watching a gunslinger in one of those old cowboy movies her father liked. She sighed in the memory of her father wearing a ten gallon hat and his horrific John Wayne impression.
Sailor Terra paused as she looked over the iron sights of her guns. "Hey… I'm not afraid… well I am, but there's only one of you, and it's not like I can't spatter your horrible little guts if I wanted to." The redhead smiled as she holstered her guns but kept one of her hands on the butt of a gun and an eye on the cat.
"I know what you mean," Sailor Moon sympathized. "She can be a real pain."
"Uh-huh…" Terra agreed absently as she looked over the other Senshi. "So how long have you been doing this?"
"A couple of weeks, I guess," Moon said.
"Doing pretty good for a novice, being alone and all."
"Hey, I've been helping her!" Luna interrupted, indignantly.
"Don't make me use you for target practice, hairball," Terra said as she rested a palm atop one of her holstered guns.
Sailor Moon giggled.
"Anyway, that should make your training easier. You seem like a natural with that thing." Terra said, eyeing the Comet. Part of her wanted to slap Moon upside the head for not holstering it properly, and test her on blindfolded disassembly and reassembly time, but another knew that she had to take things one step at a time.
Terra nodded. "But first, let's get out of our uniforms. Someone's gonna notice what looks like two schoolgirls carrying this much firepower… even in Tokyo." The redhead stepped over the still form of an over-dressed man that lay near the entrance of the subway station. She assumed that he was simply another one of the youma's victims. In fact, his slumped presence had helped pinpoint the youma's location.
"Um… okay," Sailor Moon said, while she and Terra powered down.
"Huh… so you're a natural blonde," Ranma noted, still keeping one of her guns visible. Though she really would not know that until she saw Usagi transform into Sailor Moon.
"And you're a natural redhead too." Usagi smiled.
"Not really," Ranma laughed.
"Oh, sure…. I can see your roots."
"Oh-kay." Ranma shook her head. "I think I saw an all-night diner a couple blocks from here. We can talk while we eat."
"Yay!" Usagi said. It was late, and the battle between food and sleep was an evenly-matched one to her, but a new friend tipped the scales. She then noticed something. "Hey, how come you get to carry your guns in normal form?"
"It's just my handguns and a couple of grenades. To get any of the really cool stuff, I've gotta get into that goofy getup. Thankfully that youma was so pathetic I didn't need any of it." Ranma said before making her handguns vanish.
Usagi nodded in agreement.
Mamoru's eyes swam back into focus. Looming over him was the concerned face of what looked to be a priest. Mamoru made this assumption from the gigantic, strangely oily crucifix that hung from the man's neck and almost touched Mamoru's chest. The white, notched collar around the man's neck helped, too.
"Yah okay? Dave be praised! Laddy, you took one mean spill there, boyo." the priest asked in an accent that was… odd. It was almost as if the clergyman had grown up speaking Japanese and adopted a strange accent for the fun of it.
"Yeah… I'm fine." He had a vision of an angelic being running to him. He opened his arms to embrace her, and then the blonde beauty ran past, over, and through him like he was nothing more than debris.
He sighed sadly. "I was just knocked down," Mamoru leaned up and tried to get a better view of the man's face, but it was obscured by the shadows under the large, floppy brim of the priest's hat.
"What's tha last thin' you remember?" the priest said as he sat down on the stairs leading to the subway next to Mamoru. As he eased himself down his long coat opened slightly, revealing a thick leather book and something long and metallic. The priest quickly closed his coat.
"Um… I was walking… I think I was gonna do something important. Then I ran into that blonde girl."
"So yah don't remembe' much then? This evar happen to yah before?"
Mamoru looked down at his hands.
"I see," the priest narrowed his eyes. "I think thise mah be somethin' biggar than a mere subway incident."
"Don'cha know what's happened? Look around yahself, boyo."
Mamoru tilted his head and noticed for the first time the large number of paramedics that were helping people from the subway platform. Most could be helped up the stairs but a few needed to be carried up in gurneys.
"They'ves been sayin' it's a gas leak of some kind that's knocked 'em all and yah out. But gas leaks don't break jaws if you get my drift." The priest laughed heartily, and Mamoru suspected that the clergyman was the one exposed to dangerous fumes.
"And you're here…?"
"Tah provide comfort for those in need. It's the Lord's work, mah son," the priest said as he pulled a pamphlet out of his pocket.
Mamoru groaned, and wanted to leave. It was more than the lame recruiting; there was something else wrong with this fellow, but Mamoru was intrigued by him. There was something charismatic about this man. It was like a massive expressway pileup that was somehow running for mayor. One could not help but stare and on election day… vote.
"Dah not worry, mah son. I bring the Good News." He dropped the pamphlet in Mamoru's lap and stood up. "When you go there, and I know you will, tell them Father Orin sent you."
Mamoru shook his head again and grabbed the pamphlet. He watched the large priest lumber off with a spring in his step. He gazed at the pamphlet, and was for the first time in his life truly amazed and disturbed by what he saw.
It was a menu to a ramen takeout place. From the address it was less than three blocks away from the subway station. Several items on the menu were circled in pen with strange annotations following them. "Jesus recommends? Goes great with the blood of the Lord? Full of Sunshine? It's like a miracle in my hat? Peter likes but Paul thinks is too spicy?" His tone became more incredulous, fearful, and maddened with each one he read. Mamoru stopped reading the comments and dropped the pamphlet.
In light of the increasing gaps in his memory, especially since he just woke up from yet another blackout, Mamoru did not want to make his sanity worse. He got up and, after assuring the paramedics that he was indeed fine, he slowly made his way back to his apartment. It was still very late at night, or very early in the morning, but he wanted to get back to his own bed.
"You've spent ten years on a training trip? Wow… you take this Sailor Senshi stuff seriously," Usagi whispered as she ate her dessert.
"Yah, right now me and my Pops are crashin' at one of his old friend's places. He's got me engaged to his one of his kids," Ranma sighed. She kept one of her hands near her gun. Luna was sitting next to Usagi, and Ranma wanted to be ready in case the cat… did something.
"Is he cute?" Usagi asked stars in her eyes.
"Hardly," Ranma muttered. Then realization dawned on her. "No you don't understand! It's not a guy! I got engaged to a girl!" The redhead waved her hands.
"Oh, you poor girl. Your life's so strange."
"You don't know the half of it," Ranma agreed. "Wait…. girl! Okay. I've gotta get something straightened out first."
"What is it, Ranma-chan? Is it about my training?" Usagi asked.
"How come Ranma can train you but I can't?" Luna quietly pouted.
"She knows what she's doing. You don't."
Ranma looked around the small restaurant and sighed. "I'll tell you after we finish. It's pretty dang strange."
"Stranger than magical girls with guns?" Usagi whispered.
"Hmm… Yeah, I think so."
"Does it have to do with the weird girl-girl relationship your dad's cooked up?"
"Yeah, pretty much. More importantly, I've gotta start training you. These youma might not stay dumb forever. We also need to find their base and take the fight to them. Though we should probably find the rest of the Senshi first."
"How many are there?"
"There's one for each planet, plus the Moon. So…." Ranma started counting on her fingers.
"There's six left?" Usagi offered.
Luna sighed. "Eight, Usagi. There's ten Senshi in total."
"Quiet, you! You didn't even know if there were other Senshi until tonight!"
Ranma coughed. "Anyway, back to your training…."
"Will you show me how to do cool moves with my guns like dodge and roll and shoot? What about slowing things down? There was this really cool video game where you could do that too!"
"Uh… not sure about the time thingy," Ranma admitted. "You will learn how to use your weapon better. You have to remember your gun is only a tool. I will train your whole body to be a weapon. That is how you will become the best you can be." The redhead pointed her finger, proud that she had practiced this speech a couple times before.
"That sounds like a lot of work," Usagi whined. "Why do I need training? I've got a gun."
Ranma sighed. "And if your gun gets knocked out of your hand? You need to know what to do then."
"Oh, yeah… that always happens in the movies. But can't we just play video games? That seems to work pretty well as training," Usagi suggested.
"Only if we can dig up some giant robots to use," Ranma said dryly, "otherwise, that won't cut it."
"What? It's been working so far!"
To be continued.
Special thanks for this goes to Black Dragon for helping me get the concept of Sailor Senshi with guns in my head. And also for his never-ending work to get this project off the ground. This one is dedicated to him.
Other prereaders have helped with this project to finding my mistakes and helping this be better Black Dragon, Jerry Starfire, Joe Fenton, Himitsu, PyroRaven, Jakub, Wray, Mike Koos
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