A Ranma ½ / Bishoujo Senshi 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 requested as always.
Chapter 10: Revenge and Rebirth, Part 2
Ukyou opened her eyes. She was surprised to be alive. A more pleasant surprise came after she looked her body over. She was still human. Turning her head, she took stock of what seemed to be a hospital room. The drab concrete walls were somewhat comforting.
The wounded girl leaned up on the bed to see the two other people in the room. They were dressed in grey Willard International Consulting jumpsuits. Ukyou recognized the coloration and rank symbols on the uniforms.
The woman was a lieutenant in Medical Section. Her chestnut hair was cut almost too short to pass for a business-professional style, and her brown eyes carefully studied a clipboard in her hands.
The man was a captain in Operations Section. Tall, thin, with dark blue eyes and close-cropped hair, he looked Germanic to Ukyou. His clipped accent helped reinforce this perception.
"You're awake. This is good," Jarvis said, looking the Assembly acolyte over. "Dr. Covington, her condition is stable?"
"Yes sir," the female agent nodded.
Jarvis continued, "We shall call your people. Unless you have a specific way you want to us to contact them?"
"No." Ukyou eyed the gun on his hip. She did not see her weapons anywhere in the room. This was to be expected; WIC and the Assembly were not on the best of terms.
"Really? Unusual. Then we will use a number that we know of. Cooperation on your part would be helpful."
"What happened to my partner?" Ukyou asked. There was a chance WIC had separated them.
"We don't know. None of the victims in the building were Assembly. The building was sealed, but we believe a high class pattern D still managed to escape. She might have taken him or destroyed him entirely. We are still investigating."
"Oh." Ukyou slumped. She had watched Ryoga fight that demon, and now he was…. The girl pushed those thoughts aside. Now was her chance. "I'm not going back."
"I — I want to defect to WIC."
Jarvis kept his face neutral. "Really? I'll have to talk to my superiors."
"I'm sure they're already listening," Ukyou casually remarked.
Alexia looked over her work. Teleporting out of the building was a pain, but it was the only option. She was angered by the loss, but those demons, while powerful, were still ordinary humans originally. Who she had now was…. special. Alexia had appeared in the large household that now served as her headquarters. The remains of her brood watched expectantly when they saw their mistress' new find.
The blonde demoness smiled. The conversion process had some complications, but they were easily circumvented. It was time for her to wake her newest creation. The demoness' smile widened. She really was a lovely little thing. Alexia went over to the sleeping succubus and gently rocked her awake.
The first thing the young succubus noticed was her sense of smell, if one could still call it that. The orange-haired girl could smell… another demon in the luxurious bedroom, one that was very familiar. Then came the other sensations from the new body. Her horns, wings, and tail felt alien and strange… At least the fangs were familiar.
The new demoness was at a loss. Her Assembly training told her that she must try to kill the monster that had turned her, or at the very least destroy herself. She shook her head. Why would I want to kill my mommy? And why would I want to throw away the precious gift I've just been given?
The orange-haired girl glared at Alexia. "Bitch! I'm going to destroy you!" she then screamed after steeling herself. She would kill the monster that did this to her, and then… herself.
Alexia's face dropped and to the newborn demon the elder looked genuinely disappointed and hurt. The smaller demon shook her head again. Why did she care what this… thing thought of her? She was an Assemblyman; demons like this were prey to her.
The girl smiled in remembrance. Slaying all those demons had been satisfying. It was a shame she had missed out on the chance to feed on them. That was such a waste. She blinked and a slight growl escaped her lips as she promised herself that she would kill at least one more demon.
Extending the talons on her left hand, she focused her attention on Alexia, who was simply watching this with a slight frown on her face. The younger succubus flexed her hand and was puzzled at the sensation. She then looked to see slightly glowing semitranslucent dark green claws coming out of her fingers. Looking through the weapons, she almost grinned. Until now her experience had been on the receiving end of such claws.
Alexia maintained her outward appearance as her mood improved. The former demon hunter's self image was being shifted. The young creature would have much the same fanatical hate and disdain to those not her own kind.
Loyalties were being altered and reformed.
The blonde demoness increased her influence over her new minion. The new succubus was almost ready. "Whatever you do, I forgive you," Alexia lied in a convincing tone. The demoness then relaxed her stance, giving the appearance of acceptance.
The younger demoness paused. She had not expected this kind of reaction from the monster that had taken her humanity. "But…."
"It's okay," Alexia said as she traced her fingers over the fins of the newborn's tail. Alexia was sure that the new girl would not extend her tail filaments.
"Oh… oh… Mommy." The young succubus' eyes widened in horror at what she had just said. "What… what am I?" She had her memories, but those were what she was. The thoughts and sensations she was feeling now were more familiar, more right.
Alexia gave a warm smile. She's almost ready. Just one more push. "I'll show you," she said as she stood up. The blonde then lead the smaller girl to a full-length mirror.
The newborn young demon looked at her reflection in shock. A beautiful seductress stared back at her. Her nude, just over five feet tall body was perfectly proportioned. Her large expressive eyes were a familiar shade of bright green, though now their shape was subtly different. The confused smile on her face was accented by a set of slightly longer fangs.
Little black horns peeked out of longish orange hair. Spreading behind her were a large pair of orange-and-red wings. An orange tail with red fins was pulled around and rested in her hands. Alabaster skin contrasted greatly with the tanned flesh of the larger blonde demoness, also nude, who leaned over her.
"What do you think… my child?" Alexia asked affectionately.
The orange-haired succubus stared at her reflection, mesmerized. It was the most impressive female body she had ever seen, and it was hers. A small trickle of blood flowed from her nose. Releasing her grip on her tail, she clumsily wiped it away.
Alexia smiled and cleaned up the smeared blood.
"I'm… I'm a succubus," the orange-haired girl said weakly. The girl's eyes hardened. "No! You won't get away with this!"
"I already have." Alexia laughed as she pushed even more pheromones out and used her hand to rub the other demon's left horn.
The young demoness tried to fight the sensations within her, but soon she was purring and leaning into the hand petting her horn. The feelings intensified, and the young succubus' purring was mixed with cries of mindless pleasure.
The orange-haired girl gave one piercing cry that was a mix of growl and scream before she slumped back down. Her mind clouded she looked to Alexia, who then grabbed one of the young demon's horns and twisted it. The newborn succubus yelped and tried to move her head to minimize the pain in her horns.
"I'm trying to protect you, dear," Alexia said as she held onto her creation. The blonde then angled the demon's head so the younger succubus was looking at her reflection. "You've got great potential, but you are so very young."
Nodding, the young demon studied her image. Alexia released her grip, but the newborn could still feel her presence.
"What are you?"
"I'm Assembly of—" the demoness started, but was cut off by Alexia caressing her neck. The last bit of resistance crumbled and the girl embraced her new form. "I'm a succubus." Her tone was confident and prideful.
"Yes, you are, my dear Aurora," Alexia said, hugging the newly-named demon.
Aurora purred again, lost in the bliss of her mother's presence and reveling in the glory of her own body. "I love you, Mommy," she uttered, snuggling with the succubus that created her. Aurora reveled in the sense of warmth, protection and love the larger demon gave her.
"I love you too," Alexia said, while inwardly smirking. Normally she would have corrected her spawn, telling her to call her "mistress" instead of "mommy", but she decided to let Aurora enjoy herself. The task of molding Aurora into the perfect minion could wait for now.
There was something that bothered Aurora. Something that remained from her old life. "What about Ranma?"
"Oh, the traitor?" Alexia laughed. "Don't worry. We'll tear her apart… together," the blonde succubus reassured.
"Good." Aurora's blissful grin turned sadistic and cruel. "There's nothing worse than someone who betrays their own kind." Her eyes flared and she laughed darkly. Alexia rewarded her minion by rubbing her horns again.
Deep within the corridors of WIC Toronto-A, a group of girls waited. The Sailor Senshi had detransformed. It was strange to do this inside a paramilitary complex surrounded by armed soldiers and a small brood of demons, but their identities were already known and these people were on their side.
Rei eyed the two demons. They had showered and changed their clothes, but she would still clearly recall the blood and… other items splattered on them. She turned to see the redheaded demon step out of an adjacent locker room. Ranma's hair was still slightly damp, despite being pulled back into the style she wore at school.
"You girls sure you don't wanna clean up?" the broodmother asked the Senshi.
"We're fine, thanks," Usagi replied as she pushed the image of a certain redheaded succubus helping her clean up out of her mind. The blonde's frustration grew. She did not want some demonic replacement! She wanted her Mamo-chan! But he was gone… killed by a lunatic, whom Pluto seemed unable or unwilling to help bring to justice.
Usagi had met Murdock and she had done nothing. She chastised herself for not trying to… What? Kill the mage? A part of her wanted to do just that. Murdock had killed him. It was fair.
Usagi banished those thoughts. Sailor Moon did not kill people. She had to keep those thoughts controlled… like other urges. She remembered what she did the first time her lover died… picking up Venus' sword and…. She wanted to be with him so badly, but she was needed here, and unlike that time, her Queen Serenity was not around to reincarnate them. There was no assurance that things would magically return to normal, and as much as it hurt and as much as oblivion appealed to her, she had responsibilities more important than her own needs.
There was still the chance that Mamoru would come back. It had happened before. It will happen this time, the blonde swore. Usagi smiled at the thought. She would wait for him, he would be reborn, regain his memories, and she would find him. It would be very romantic. They would be together. What Usagi ignored, what had happened to her throughout her life, was that fate tended to have a sense of humor.
"Yeah, we didn't get as bloody as you did," Rei stated.
"I got some on me," Janet said as she rotated her transformation item in her hands. The knife's silver blade reflected the florescent light.
"It went away when you detransformed," Ami said.
"And when I transform again?"
"It will be clean and fresh. That's part of the magic."
"Oh. Then why'd Ranma shower?"
"I wanted to get clean," Ranma stated. After reverting out of Sailor DarkStar form, she was physically clean, but she did not feel clean. Disturbingly, she felt more sweaty than anything else. He, on the other hand… It was not just out of concern for her kids that Ranma returned to her demon form after the shower. The lingering taste of demonic flesh remained in his mouth too. The worst part was that feeding that way was not her worst option. There were other feeding urges she had; fortunately, killing satiated them.
"It'd be nice if we had uniforms that'd clean us up," Akane grumbled. She had tried using her powers to shift her clothes, but the gore remained, just on different garments.
Ranma paused at that. For some reason her mind flashed to those demons with their fire shields. She then remembered her own fireballs consuming bodies. The redhead shook her head.
Maybe you shouldn't tear into your enemies like that, Rei thought as she looked over to see Minako happily chatting with Nariko.
"Hi, Mommy! Mina-chan thinks I should get my ears pierced!" Nariko smiled cutely at her mother.
"What? How'd that come up?" Ranma asked.
"We were talking and I noticed she didn't have pierced ears. It's odd for a girl her age to not have them," Minako said.
"Can I get 'em, Mommy? Please."
"I don't know. We'll see."
"But you've got pieced ears," Nariko said with a slight pout.
"My Senshi uniform has 'em."
"I've seen you with earrings in school too," Usagi added quietly. A normal, girly conversation had drawn her attention. She wondered if Ranma was having problems like she was. A loss of humanity, instead of a loss of a lover. A brief glance at Ranma's eyes confirmed this suspicion.
"Makes sense that it'd carry over," Ami said.
"I wonder if Ranma's male form has them too?" Makoto idly remarked.
Akane snickered and Nariko giggled.
"Girls, that's not funny." Ranma sighed at her daughters.
"So now what?" Rei asked. She was not terribly interested in the demon's piercings. "Why are we here?"
"I wanted us to talk to each other," Usagi stated. "We should be working together."
"I'm just here because that Assembly girl's here," Ranma shrugged. "They'll tell me when she wakes up." She sighed.
"What's wrong, Mother?" Akane asked.
"Oh, nothing. Just thinking about the girls we killed," Ranma lied slightly. She was also thinking about her eyes. It had happened again. There was still more blue than violet in her eyes, if barely. On the plus side, if it could be called that, the violet highlights in her Senshi form's hair had dramatically reduced. Ranma was sure that the two were related, but did not know what the reduction of purple hair meant. Purple eyes, on the other hand….
"They're just demons," Rei interjected.
Usagi almost laughed. It was true that Sailor Moon did not kill people; however, she did kill demons and other monsters, many of whom where once human. Some of them she healed, but others, like that succubus this morning, she simply destroyed.
Ranma looked at Rei. The redhead's narrowed eyes softly glowed in anger. The demon's stance changed ever so slightly. Anyone who knew succubae body language would have been concerned for Rei's safety. Except Nariko and Akane, who didn't really care.
"And what about her and her kids?" Ami looked between the succubae and the humans. "They're demons too. The difference is that they're not just demons. They fight for the same things we do."
"But their methods…." Rei mumbled.
"None of us hesitated to kill that demon. We blew her apart," Janet reprimanded.
"Exactly. The only difference is that we didn't drain our kill," Ami stated in a strange voice.
"You sound as if that's a bad thing!" Minako exclaimed
"What? Of course draining's a bad thing! I was just saying that's the difference."
"We didn't cut them apart," Rei counted.
"Uh… I did." Janet held her up transformation item, a large knife that could expand into her staff.
Ranma sighed as the Senshi argued. She hoped that Assembly-Girl would wake up soon.
"Besides, is it really any different from us blowing away demons that used to be people?" Usagi asked Rei in a calm voice.
Makoto glanced at her princess. The blonde seemed to have retreated from the conversation again. There was a distant look to Usagi's eyes. It worried the Senshi, more than Usagi's nightly crying jags. Puzzlement grew on Makoto's face when she noticed the small smile on Usagi's lips. She wondered exactly what the princess was thinking about.
From a display on the wall of his office, Jacob watched Captain Jarvis' conversation with the Assembly acolyte. Looking over his shoulder, Jacob saw Commander Stillwater enter the room.
"What did the general say, sir?" Jacob asked.
"We can conduct preliminary interviews with the acolyte. If she's a sincere defector, we could learn a lot from her."
"I'm sure that will be easy to determine," Jacob remarked dryly. "She could be full of misinformation, or better yet a simple spy."
"Perhaps, but there's also the issue of her partner. Our scanners detected a powerful Pattern D and a Pattern A. Both have disappeared. If this was a setup, then the Assembly is much more capable than we thought. Our knowledge of them is somewhat limited, but it's best for us to be careful."
"Perhaps our new guest can help us with that."
"Maybe. So Section Chief Tofu did not find an Assemblyman among the dead?"
"No, he did not, but his team is still going through the building. The carnage is pretty standard, but fairly extensive. They have found several Assembly weapons, however."
Jacob nodded. "I'll tell Jarvis he can go a bit further then. What of Miss Saotome?"
"She was the one that saved the acolyte from those demons. Make sure Jarvis does not do anything… excessive," Stillwater said as he got up to leave the room
"Yes, sir." Jacob then pulled out his phone. He would call Lt. Tendo and tell her to inform Ranma.
"Interesting," Jarvis noted. "So revenge was an initial motivation for your joining?" Several sets of devices recorded his words.
"Yes," Ukyou nodded. She was sitting up in the bed. It had been painful to get up, but the doctor that had examined her seemed confident in a quick recovery. The worst were the burns and cuts on her leg. Her mobility would be reduced somewhat until those healed more. "It was a… family dispute between my own and Ranma's." The brunette did not elaborate further.
"I see." Captain Jarvis concentrated on keeping her talking. He could always go back and ask for clarification in subsequent interviews. The important part was to open up a dialog with her, to get her to talk. Jarvis paused to see if Acolyte Kuonji would continue of her own accord of if he would need to prod her.
"Funny thing, my partner had the same vendetta. Well… different reasons, but the same target. Then we learned that Ranma had been turned into a demon. Actually, Father Oslo told Ryoga first. Then, after Ryoga was almost killed by… Ranma, I was told who that redhead was.
"Though it was Ryoga who helped me see what was so wrong with the Assembly. Sure, he was always a bit… obsessive, and he could be a real stubborn jerk, but he was a good guy. We were killing monsters. Some of the things we'd seen demons do…." Ukyou bowed her head and paused to clear her mind.
"Sure, they cured his… problems, but they made him worse. Then I noticed that he was starting to get strange… It got worse the more… proficient he became." Ukyou sighed.
Jarvis nodded. He had read the reports on Assembly techniques, and knew they were dangerous, but this girl had more detailed information.
"I guess it ate at me. I couldn't even confide in my partner. If he knew… if he suspected…." Ukyou shrugged. Ryoga was a good little Assemblyman. He would do the right thing. She looked up to see the door being opened. The agent that entered was unsurprising, but the person accompanying her was….
The pale girl appraised the room. "You! What are you doing here?" she suddenly shouted, flaring eyes that were a strange mix of blue and violet flecks.
Ukyou reflexively pulled back until she realized that she was not the target of the demon's rage.
"I am conducting an interview, Miss Saotome," Jarvis replied coolly. He leveled his gaze to meet the succubus'.
Ranma almost smiled. It amused her that these agents were still able to stare her down. They might be creepy, but they had guts. "Really? Are you going to torture her too?"
"You were fully capable of stopping me last time, yet you stood aside and let me work." Jarvis darted his eyes to the defector before continuing. "I even gave you the chance to finish her off."
Ukyou blinked. She knew WIC had information extraction personnel. She assumed they were equivalent to those she had met in the Assembly, but even the grim-faced, black-robed members of the Inquisitorial Branch never fed people to demons. Her appraisal of the blue-eyed blonde changed for the worse.
"That was one of Alexia's brood. This is a human," Ranma replied.
Ukyou relaxed slightly. It was a demon that they were talking about. She tensed when the redhead turned to face her. The demon studied her, and Ukyou was about to ask the captain to remove her. Ukyou wanted to learn more about what had happened Ranma, but not while she was vulnerable.
"Ucchan? Is that you?" Ranma inquired. "It's been so long!" The redhead then leapt up and embraced the acolyte. "Why didn't you tell me you were a girl?" the succubus asked while nuzzling her old friend.
Impressively, Ukyou froze for only a split second. She screamed and shoved the demon, who surprisingly released her grip and tumbled onto the floor.
"Sorry," Ranma apologized. Why'd I do that? I guess I really missed Ucchan, but…. Ranma recalled how affectionate her children were, and some of the things she had done. Stupid succubus body.
"You have no right to call me that, demon," Ukyou spat.
"Hey, I'm not evil!" Ranma snarled.
"You were evil long before you got turned! You and your father abandoned me!"
"You don't even realize what you did," Ukyo realized with a bitter laugh. To have caused so much pain and to be oblivious of it…. She would learn what had happened to Ranma, after she set the record straight with the demon.
Jacob listened as the two teens dug through their memories to piece together what had happened. He had interviewed Genma Saotome and was not terribly surprised by that man's actions.
Ranma looked into her old friend's eyes. "Pops tricked me. I was just a kid! I didn't know that by choosing okonomiyaki, I'd abandon you. I didn't even know you were actually a cute girl!" Ranma slapped her hand to her forehead at that slipup.
"That means a lot coming from a succubus." Ukyou tried to keep her voice cold, but a slight blush did creep onto her face.
"I'm not a succubus!" the redhead bristled. "Well… not all the way. I'll show you." She opened the door to the room. "Akane, can you bring me two glasses of water?"
"One hot, one cold?" asked Akane, who was waiting with her sister and mate outside the room.
Kasumi watched Akane walk down the corridor. "A little demonstration? Why?"
"Turns out the Assembly girl's an old friend. Though I could have sworn she was a boy back then."
A ghost of a smile appeared on Kasumi's lips.
"Mommy, if she's an old friend, she must have thought you were a guy too," Nariko explained.
Ranma blinked. "Yeah, Nari-chan, that's right."
Akane returned with the two glasses and gave them to her mother. Ranma reentered the room and demonstrated using the hot water. "See? I'm still human." Ranma's blue eyes made contact with Ukyou's.
Ukyou looked him over. She knew powerful succubae could shape shift, and that she could not detect any demonic energy was meaningless. Her own senses were rudimentary, and a demon powerful enough to change her form might be able to evade her detection. That water was a trigger, however….
"Jusenkyou? But I thought demons were immune to that." Ukyou paused to consider what she had seen. "What, is there a spring of drowned succubus?"
"Might as well be. My cursed form's now a demon."
"And you just happened to turn people?"
"It didn't just happen!" Ranma almost growled. It was for the best that he did not. Ranma's male form was not nearly as capable as his female form in that department. "I had to save their lives."
"So you turned them." Ukyou's voice was flat.
"Yeah. I know some crazy demon hunter like you'd rather die than live as a demon, but not everyone thinks like that."
Ukyou tilted her head slightly. "I'm not that crazy. I did want out of the Assembly." The demon hunter sighed. "But not like this…. not at Ryoga's expense."
Jarvis noted that Ukyou had avoided directly answering the question. His curiosity as to the nature of the relationship these two had increased.
"What happened to that guy?" Ranma had wanted to… The martial artist paused. He did not want to think about what he… no, what she wanted to do to the demon hunter.
"We don't know," Jarvis spoke up. "We were unable to find him or Alexia."
"When I last saw him, he was fighting her. If he'd won, he would have come for me," Ukyou quietly added.
Ranma simply nodded. He knew what Alexia would have done to Ryoga. They all did.
The former acolyte steeled herself and looked Ranma in the eyes, eyes that were the same blue she remembered. "Thank you." Ukyou flexed her fingers. It was a reflex from her training. "If you and your…" She paused to find the appropriate word "…kids hadn't helped me… Thank you."
"It was the right thing to do," Ranma shrugged.
Ukyou smiled warmly at that. A succubus had saved her, a demon hunter, from other succubae, and why? Not for the "purity of humanity" like the Assembly spouted off, or for whatever mercenary reason WIC used, but for something as simple as it being the right thing to do.
"Now what are you gonna do?"
"I defected to the Company. I'm sure they'll want to know everything I know. At least I'm out of the Assembly. I would like to get back at Alexia too."
Ranma nodded. "I should get going. If you want to talk to me, just ask one of these guys."
"Uh, okay," Ukyou said. Ranma was the only person she really knew here.
Ranma gave a slight smile and exited the room.
Ukyou watched her old friend leave. Once Ranma was out of the room, he used the cold water to return to demon form. The brunette sighed and turned her attention back to her interviewer. She started thinking of her future — which seemed linked to the Company now — and how to make the most of it.
"You really wanna see that?" Ranma asked her mother. She and the rest of the brood were getting ready to use WIC Toronto-B's showers after their daily flight training session. They had been intercepted by the ranking Science and Technology Section officer.
"From what you've told me, it's a very interesting attack."
"I just wish the name was better."
Nariko's tone was eager enough, but her expression confirmed what she really thought. "What did you expect, Mom? You are a magical girl."
Ranma sighed. "Somehow, being a succubus is less a problem than being a magical girl," she mumbled as she activated her Senshi form.
"So, where do you want the demonstration?" a demoness with fully violet eyes asked. It had been three days since she had first used that attack, and it would be good to practice with it again.
"I'll show you," Nodoka said. She led them outside the building and across the facility's campus. Their destination was a large block of steel and concrete down at the end of an outdoor target range. The range was closed and a pair of young S&T agents were setting up cameras and sensors for what had to be target.
"So, how is the Kuonji girl doing?" Nodoka asked as she was handed a clipboard by one of her assistants.
"I dunno. She seems happy to be out of the Assembly, but she did lose her partner. She seems to have warmed up to me a bit." DarkStar's tail swished nervously. She had gotten into the habit of visiting Ukyou in her… cell in WIC Toronto-A.
The doctor noticed this and noted that her daughter had not mentioned what the former acolyte thought of her. She held those questions and instead explained what she wanted Ranma to do.
Agent Aida checked the scanner before walking back to behind the line. For once the weight of his sidearm was a comfort instead of a burden. These Pattern D's might be the major's family, but they were still demons. The broodmother, a girl whose height was hard to pin down — she had very tall boots — was especially worrisome. He looked over to see his coworker Ayami was her usual composed self.
Sailor DarkStar smirked when she saw the agents scurry behind the protective shield and man their machines. One of them, the girl with an odd hair color — a dye job, DarkStar could see the roots — had the almost robotic composure that was common to Company agents. The other was more nervous and almost human.
The demon focused her power. A fireball formed in her hands. She focused more and its surface smoothed over, becoming a glossy black. As she shouted her attack phrase, she could see violet and silver swirls forming inside the orb just before it launched out of her hands.
It raced down the field and slammed into the armor-faced concrete target. The orb split apart on the four-inch steel plate and exploded in a forward arcing cone. Strangely enough, the attack's secondary explosion seemed to come from behind the steel armor. Later examination of the high speed video capture and the test block would indicate that this is exactly what happened. The shards from the DarkStar Burst had sliced through the steel, embedded themselves in the concrete, and exploded. However, this was not the most interesting result of the little test.
"Was that what you wanted?" DarkStar enjoyed blowing up the block, but it was not much. The demon walked over to the equipment's display. A slow motion tracking of the orb's progress was being replayed.
"I don't see what's so important," Akane commented.
"It's hard to see without obvious references, but that trajectory is all wrong." Aida pointed to the screen.
Seeing the confusion on her daughter's face, Nodoka explained it herself. "We've found something odd with your attack." She then went on to explain what she wanted Sailor DarkStar to do for the next test.
The redhead quickly smiled in understanding. She might not get science that much, but she understood the martial arts. If her mother was right, that attack might be much more useful.
A tall man stood on an overlook. Rain steadily poured around him, but he did not notice. Unusual for the location, there was little wind and the precipitation fell nearly vertical, and his wide-brimmed had kept his head dry. Draped over his narrow-shouldered but surprisingly spry frame was a long coat. The ends of plain but sturdy pants peeked out of the coat's ends. These were tucked into pair of boots that while in good condition had been thoroughly broken in. The coat's material was a faded grey-black oilskin that had clasped up the center using a series of snaps. A large satchel, also made of oilskin, was slung over one shoulder.
His eyes were a muddy brown, but his gaze seemed to dwell in the borderlands between dedication and obsession, faith and fanaticism. His hair, what could be seen under his hat, was a light brown that seemed to be of a respectable length.
Even without the notch in his coat's high, almost chin-reaching collar, he would have strongly resembled a saddleback preacher. These were men who went from place to place preaching the word of God to towns too small to have a permanent Shepard.
He stared at the rain-soaked valley that spilled out below his position. Pine forests stretched below him. Out of necessity, the monastery was in a remote location, but the man enjoyed the scenic side effect.
"Father Oslo?" A younger man asked, bowing his head. He had walked out of the monastery, and like the other man seemed unfazed by the rain.
"The Bishop is ready for you."
Father Oslo nodded. He entered the monastery, and after passing plain stone- and wood-paneled corridors and finally through a small, but interestingly stocked library, was let into a spacious and spartan office. There was only one embellished aspect of the spare room. It was an immense, cunningly carved desk. The lovingly cared for oak glowed under the soft lighting of the room. That thought brought a smile to the father's face. He remembered the hours he had spend cleaning and polishing such objects during his own days as an acolyte. Humility was important to impart into the young.
He did not allow his recollections to disrespect the man who had summoned him. Father Oslo bowed his head and let one knee touch the ground. The man behind the desk smiled, showing a little of teeth that while white and straight, were still… unpleasant. Though no one else at the monastery dared comment; besides, after a while they stopped looking off.
"Stand, Father," the man behind the desk said, to which Oslo immediately obeyed. "I wish I had more pleasant news."
"It's one of your protégés. Acolyte Hibiki and his partner have failed to respond." Fortson's voice was conversational and warm.
Oslo nodded. He remembered sending those two. "There were complications?"
The bishop gave a slight laugh. "One could say that. It seems that the demon Hibiki and Kuonji were tracking lead them into a trap." The bishop ran a pudgy but oddly nimble hand over his bald head. "All we know was that our acolytes went into a building crawling with demons and Willard mercenaries."
"You want me to ascertain what happened?" If he were a younger man he would have sighed, but he had experienced the deaths of enough brave and rash acolytes.
"You and a squad of your best men. I want to know what happened. I want you to make sure our missing people's souls are laid to rest, and I want you to exterminate everyone who dared to stand against us!" the bishop shouted, his voice finally gained an edge.
Oslo smiled. The bishop looked soft, but he still had it in him. "I will avenge our people's sacrifice."
Bishop Fortson smiled, again showing those upsetting little teeth. He knew Oslo would be able to take care of things. It was a mistake to send those kids in, but they were only tracking one demon; they were unprepared for such an ambush. It was a shame to have lost such a promising young acolyte, but Hibiki knew the risks.
"Why are we here with these… humans?" Aurora spat out. Her green eyes scanned the filth that surrounded her. The demon wished her mother would let her dispose of them. Or at least give her a chance to train with her powers more.
"Watch your tongue," Alexia corrected in a casual voice.
Aurora stiffened and bowed her head. She had quickly learned the folly of crossing mother.
"You need to learn the usefulness of humans," Alexia said as she opened the salon's door.
The demon saw her spawn's respectfully skeptical look. "They're a species designed to serve us as food, and fodder to make minions or servants," Alexia whispered to her daughter as they entered the store.
"Hello, Alexia. Is this your daughter?" the stylist asked. She smiled at the younger succubus. "She is a lovely girl." The woman could see why the girl's mother brought her here. Her body was very nice, but it could be complimented a lot better than the simple t-shirt and jeans the girl had on now.
The orange-haired succubus nervously licked her lips. Mother had gone through a lot of trouble for her.
"Daughter, it's a bit early for that," Alexia laughed. "First we've got to give you a proper makeover."
Aurora would have cocked her head in confusion, but she trusted mother's judgment. She followed Alexia and the humans to a waiting styling chair.
"Once we've made a proper princess of you, then the fun can begin," Alexia whispered in Aurora's ear.
The stylist smiled as she organized her equipment. It was good to see such a wholesome family: loving mother and adoring daughter.
Ukyou smiled at the warm rays of sunshine on her face. For a few seconds she was able to put aside her worries. Her partner's fate, her betraying the Assembly, her imprisonment, the aches in her still damaged leg, and her… feelings for a demon, were out of her mind. Right now she was outside, breathing fresh air and laying on the grass. It was a welcome change from a solid week of recycled air, florescent lights and concrete inside that underground base. It was also a positive sign; her privileges had increased.
She was still on a WIC base, but this one was much nicer than that other one. This was reinforced by the pair of agents that watched her from a few feet away. Ukyou heard someone approach. The person's footsteps were surprisingly quiet, though his blocking her sunlight was a pain.
The former Assembly acolyte opened her eyes. It was Jarvis. "Did you pass along my request?" she asked her interrogator.
"I did." Jarvis' speech, while clipped, did not have its usual accent.
Ukyou suspected that he could switch in and out of it to better aid information extraction in some way.
"The commander is considering it."
"It's better than having me rot away in some safe house for the rest of my life."
"There is the question of loyalty."
"I know. I betrayed one organization. What's to say I won't betray another?" Ukyou almost laughed. In all her dreams of quitting the Assembly, she never really considered what she would do once she was out. Now that she was, she found herself being drawn back into the business.
"I'll let you know when the commander does make a decision." Jarvis smiled.
Ukyou's thanking response was cut short by an angry growl. She watched as all the agents moved their gaze to the direction of the noise and instantly moved to their weapons. Afterwards, Ukyou would realize that she had done the same thing, except that she was unarmed.
Soon they were rewarded by seeing a trio of succubae fly overhead, dive down, pull up, twist and retreat. It was a maneuver Ukyou recognized very well, a demonic strafe. Though she could tell that the redheaded broodmother had added some new moves to it. From her prone position, it was quite an impressive formation. Her eyes could even pick out the satisfied grin on the lead demon's face.
Ukyou suspected why the succubus was so pleased. Ranma was fulfilling what she saw as her role as a male martial artist and a broodmother, protecting and training the weak, protecting and training her children. Ukyou could see the martial artist and warrior within the succubus, and that worried her.
Jarvis cleared his throat and pulled out a recording device. "You mind? I believe we were at the composition of what the Assembly uses to treat their blades and ammunition?"
Ukyou nodded, and started explaining what she knew of the process and materials. It did not take long. "Is that all?" Jarvis asked as he stopped the recorder.
The former Assembly acolyte nodded. Her eyes scanned the sky briefly.
"I believe they're still on base. Jefferson, Reynolds, take Miss Kuonji to the brood."
The two agents saluted and escorted Ukyou around a couple of buildings. When she rounded a corner and got a clear look at what the demonic trio were doing, she paused. It was not the flying that she had seen them do earlier, and it was not the sparring that she had seen the day before. It was a combination of the two.
Ukyou saw a curious mix of ground and air combat. A demon would be flying in the air one moment, then would drop to the grass, dodge and leap back up, or would try to intercept her sparring partner another way. The succubae instantly switched between aerial and terrestrial modes. The broodmother was the most fluid, though her spawn were performing well too.
Even Ukyou's trained eyes strained to capture their movements. Again she felt the absence of her weapons. The traitor to the Assembly of Man watched as the redhead neatly tipped over and landed on the ground in a tight roll. The demon then smoothly untucked and sprung her body liken an uncoiled spring. Claws appeared and seemed to cross over a dozen yards. The demon unfolded her wings and slashed into the air.
Ukyou blinked. The redhead had turned toward her.
Ranma turned, reduced her altitude, and landed a few paces from the brunette. She folded her wings back and her tail lazily swished back and forth. "Hi. Good to see they're lettin' you outside now." The demon then wiped her brow. It took more effort in this form, but she could still sweat.
"I guess it is." Ukyou found herself unable to meet the demon's eyes for very long.
Ranma could tell that Ukyou was more than intimidated and afraid. Some of those emotions were present. The succubus could smell them radiating from her; but there was something else, too. Ukyou's body language was also off a bit. The redhead had become a bit more observant of such things. It was due to her spending more time in demon form, and getting used to the signals it was sending her mind. As such, the succubus had a fair idea what was making Ukyou uncomfortable. The demon sighed. She supposed it was a mistake to hug Ukyou and call her cute, although Ukyou was not reacting too badly. Ranma wondered if Ukyou even knew what her feelings were.
However, the succubus declined to broach that subject. She told herself that it was to avoid making the defector more uncomfortable, but that was not the whole truth. After what she hoped was not a terribly long pause, Ranma spoke. "They been treating you okay? I know that Jarvis guy's pretty bad." She then turned to her kids, who were still sparring, and waved them to come over.
"No, he's been okay. Jarvis is a professional."
"That he is," Ranma dryly remarked. She recalled that little green-haired succubus and what Jarvis did, and what Ranma herself did. The demoness turned to see her children land, much more gracefully than they used to. The broodmother smiled at this.
Both Akane and Nariko felt the pride their mother had in them. Their cheeks gained just a hint of crimson. "How's it going, Ukyou?" Akane asked.
"Why're guys so at ease? I'm a demon hunter."
"So are we," Ranma shrugged.
"Yeah… You guys were training how to fight other demons, I guess."
"Sorta," Ranma laughed. "I've been tinkering with my family's school, modifying things for flight, tails, claws. Stuff like that."
"I see." Ukyou's response was a bit muted. She was at a loss as to how to reply.
Ranma laughed again. This time it was strained. The demon turned away and tried to reduce the information she was getting from the human. She did not know how to handle what she was sensing from the hunter.
"Ranma, Major Saotome's on base." Kasumi had walked up to the group. She eyed the former Assemblywoman before turning back to the redheaded succubus.
"Mom? Oh, okay." Ranma sighed. This was not something she wanted to think about, but she had to. "Akane, Nari-chan, stay here with Ucchan. I won't be long. Come on, Kasumi."
After the agent and the broodmother left, Ukyou looked at the agents and demons that she had been left with. She laughed nervously.
"I guess we can keep sparring," Akane suggested to her mate.
"I've done some thinking," Ranma said as she looked down at the glass coffee table in what looked like a reception room. She could see her reflection. Even at the awkward angle and the imperfect reflection, the violet in her eyes was clear. "People die in what we're doing. There was that agent you had in the school. Chase, I think his name was. I don't want… We have to do this, but…." The demoness cleared her throat.
"I don't want my kids to be without a mom. They still need me," Ranma blurted out.
Kasumi and Nodoka exchanged a glance. "What do you propose?" Major Saotome asked.
"If I… die, my girls will need to be taken care of. They're a bit older now, so I think nothing drastic will be needed, but still." Ranma knew that Nariko was not strong enough to use the forced biting method, but she might be able to do it the… other way. Ranma hoped that there would be no need for that. Not with them being at their age.
Nodoka looked into her daughter's eyes. She knew what drastic meant, and wondered if her two granddaughters could survive without demonic parenting. "Of course. I'd do anything to help my family."
"Well… I hope it doesn't have to come to that; you needing to be… something else. I think Nari-chan could… You wouldn't be… minions."
Nodoka nodded. She had assumed as much.
"Count me in. For my sister, I'll do what needs to be done." Kasumi's voice was flat, but held conviction.
Ranma smiled slightly. Kasumi, and her own mother for that matter, preferred to die as a human rather than live as a demon, but if it would save Akane and Nariko….
"Good. I'm glad we got that out of the way." The succubus had one less thing to worry about. She stood up, but was stopped by her mother reaching over and hugging her close. The demoness wrapped her arms around her mother automatically.
"I'm so proud of you. You're such a good mother," Nodoka said, hugging the demon tighter. Ranma responded by spreading her wings and folding them over Nodoka's shoulders and back. Despite the disparity in height, the large structures easily accomplished this.
Kasumi noted the difference in stature. She could see that the redhead was wearing shorter heels, but that still did not seem like enough. The agent supposed that Ranma was either shorter than she remembered, or that the demoness had altered her own height. Kasumi shrugged. It was something to look into later. She decided to give the mother and daughter this private moment and excused herself.
Ranma leaned her head against her mother's chest and purred happily as her mother ran her hand through the demon's hair. Nodoka was careful to avoid the redhead's horns. I just wish I could be half the mother you are, Nodoka thought from within her child's wings.
A pair of beautiful bronzed women leaned on a bar. They looked somewhat alike, although their difference in ages was too close for people to think of mother and daughter. The younger looked like she was hardly the requisite nineteen to legally drink. The older had a curly mane of blonde hair, while the younger had an equally long wave of orange locks. They both had green eyes that evaluated the other patrons with hunger.
Aurora smiled at her mother. Alexia was right. With the proper attire, attitude and bearing, she did not even have to use her powers… much. Aurora adjusted her dark green leather dress slightly. It took time to craft the right mix of regal and appealing, but the young succubus was confident that she had done it.
Alexia slid over to her minion and smiled. She put her hand over one of Aurora's manicured ones. "Anything catch your eye?" Although it was really another sense that the demons were using. Both were scanning the humans, looking for one whose scent indicated that they would taste the best.
The broodmother smiled as she watched her daughter's reaction. The young demon was so eager to perform, yet so worried about screwing up and disappointing mother. While Aurora maintained an outward appearance of control, Alexia could tell how she really felt. Aurora's attention was on a human male who had entered the bar just then.
Alexia smiled as she evaluated the human. His physical appearance was good, though the demon evaluated him in much the same way a stockman looked over a steer. The human's energy and scent indicated that he would be filling and tasty. Alexia nodded her approval.
Putting a seductive smile on her face, Aurora got up. This was still hunting, something she had done her whole life, even before… her life had really begun. The succubus fell into her body's urges and used information and training mother had given her.
Alexia observed her daughter's performance with pride, at her own skill in crafting minion. Her spawn had quickly gotten the attention of her prey and started working on him. The blonde demon smiled. Once you pushed the right buttons, humans were simple.
Eventually, Alexia got up and paid for her drink. Aurora had persuaded the human to go somewhere more private. Alexia did not want to miss this. The demoness exited the building and took to the sky. As Alexia followed the cab her daughter and the human were in, the demoness smiled. Aurora had started to feed. It was just some minor draining while she made out with the human.
Alexia landed on the roof of the apartment building that the human had taken Aurora. Alexia could sense that the young succubus was just about ready….
Aurora reached out to the human. This was it. She was about to get a full meal, and if the appetizers were any indication… She was about to make contact when she felt a slight draining.
The newly tanned demon looked down to see a single drop of blood fall from her nose and onto the human's chest. It was quickly joined by another. The succubus snarled and put a finger to her nose. It came back bloody.
The human asked a question, but Aurora's eyes flared at the human and he was cowed by her mental command. The succubus resumed her work once the flow had stopped. She then grinned at the human that she had dominated. It was time to get back to work.
In between feeding sessions, Aurora checked her nose. She smiled when it came up clean. It looked like that was over with. The young demon had another reason to be happy. Her mother was proud of her. Aurora basked in the glow of mother's approval… and a different sort of afterglow.
Aurora wished mother would let her kill the human. She had gotten what she wanted from him, and Aurora knew his flesh would be as tasty as the rest of him. However, mother insisted she simply cloud the human's memory and leave. Aurora pouted as she primped in front of the human's bathroom mirror. Hopefully, mother would let her be more thorough with her prey the next time. The demon also hoped that the next time would come soon. The energy she had gotten was good, but more important than nourishment was the sense of power that she got.
Aram sighed and looked at his watch. He glanced up at the overcast sky before looking back at his two companions. Conversation during the journey had been muted, to say the least.
"You know… it's a bit too dark to wear those things," Gabriel chastised his fellow agent as he locked the silver Company sedan. Aram sighed and pocketed his sunglasses. The trio of humans made their way across the parking lot.
"Maybe it would've been better if you guys had just stayed in the car." Ranma sighed as he walked slightly ahead of them.
"You're the one that wanted an escort."
"No, I'm the one that wanted a ride." Kasumi and Nabiki were busy, and Ranma could not ask his mother for help, not with what he was getting.
"You sure your kids are fine?" Gabriel asked, for the third time by Ranma's count.
"Yeah, they're having… fun." The pigtailed martial artist shook his head. He had found that times like this were the best chance for him to get a break. While mating pairs of succubae were surprisingly private with their intercourse, they still wanted mother to occasionally watch them perform, both for approval and for… suggestions.
"And they'd better be fine. I am trusting you guys to watch over where we live." Ranma knew they were not that far from home. If they got warning, he could change and fly over there within ten minutes, and mother was there too.
"Of course," Gabriel said in an understanding voice. The kid was concerned about his spawn. The agent shook his head. He found it strange that a demon mommy was more normal than… whatever this teenage guy was.
Ranma groaned. At least this was less awkward than when they were in the car. He smiled. He had seen the item in one of Akane's magazines and knew it would be perfect. Ranma's grin increased slightly; he could even give it to mother while in his real body.
The martial artist had his hand on the department store's door handle when he caught a beige van reflected in the glass door. He watched as the door slide open. "Guys… you see this?" Ranma asked quietly.
"Yeah, I see 'em," Aram said. There was a large van idling in front a small bank that sat in the middle of the parking lot like an island in a sea of slowly rusting cars. The three young men watched another trio of men exit through the van's open side door. Their long coats were not too unusual given the brisk wind, but there where characteristic bulges in their coats.
"They're human," Gabriel said while he looked at what appeared to be a combination cell phone and palm computer.
"Call the authorities," Aram said as he knelt down to check his shoelaces. His head tilted slightly when he heard shouts.
"What? Wha'ya guys talking about? Wait for the police?" Ranma's voice was conversational in tone and volume but his gaze was even.
"They are human." Aram shifted to check his other boot.
"Come on, you're saying you guys can't do anything to humans?" Ranma looked at the two agents' guarded expressions. "Fine. Screw you losers, I'll do it myself."
As Aram stood back up a small smile crossed his face. "You heard him, Gabe. It's his idea, we're just providing backup."
"Besides, it's a good chance they could be working for the opposition," Gabriel added as Aram made the call to command.
"Stupid Company rules and goons," Ranma grumbled as he walked over to one of the large concrete combination ashtrays and trashcans that flanked the doors to the store. It had rained earlier in the morning, and some water had collected into the curved depression that surrounded the lip of the trashcan.
"Goons? We're not that bad," Gabriel said as he adjusted his coat. The agent was really using that as cover for checking the position of his weapon and extra ammunition.
"We could have gotten something cleaner," Aram said after Ranma took the rainwater and used it to transform.
"No time," the succubus said as she glared at the bank, and extended her senses. "There's still one guy in the van."
"I'll take the driver. You two go into the bank. I'll be right in," Aram said.
"Good, you're even wearing a purse," Gabriel noted.
Ranma raised an eyebrow in curiosity. Despite being able to wear pants, albeit leather ones, she continued to generate a leather purse. She suspected that it was because of her time using one at school. Her eyes widened slightly with realization at the agent's plan.
Aram separated from the two and walked around the back of the van.
As the girl known to many as Sunshine entered the bank, she allowed fake shock to cross her face. Gabriel delved into a similar type of chicanery. Three gunmen: two in the main room watching the handful of customers they had forced onto the ground, and the last collecting money from one of the bank's employees. No one seemed hurt… yet.
"Hands up!" the taller of the two gunmen shouted at the two intruders.
"Bad time for you and your pretty girlfriend to stop in, eh?" his partner added.
"Just get them down on the floor, Mike!" the one collecting money shouted.
"Right, right," the shorter of the pair, Mike, said. "On the ground, you two." He then waved his gun at them, a short pump-action shotgun, and suggested, using a few choice offensives both explicit and racial in nature, that if they cooperated they'd be home and having sex in no time.
Gabriel's eyes darted to Ranma's purse then back to the gunmen. The redhead simply contained her anger at their suggestion.
"Your little girl going to make a deposit?" Mike laughed. "Darrel, check her purse."
The taller of the two gunmen stepped closer to Ranma, "Hand it over, little girl."
The redhead slipped the purse off of her shoulder and reached out with the hand holding it. Darrel responded by stepping closer. He barely saw any movement as the small girl blurred, followed immediately by an immense pain in his chin as something impacted it.
After smashing into the first gunman's jaw, Ranma tossed him aside and leapt at the other one. Mike only caught a hint of movement before the redhead had clamped down on his neck with one hand and ripped the gun out of his grip her other hand. The maneuver broke his finger and almost ripped off a thumb. The demon then pulled his head forward and slammed it into her own.
The robber at the counter panicked. Things had changed too fast. Darrel and Mike had been taken out by a little girl, and now her boyfriend had drawn a gun at him.
"Just kill the moron," a new voice said. "Hey, Red, go ahead and gut these two, then finish this last worthless bastard. I already took care of the driver," Aram said as he entered the bank and aimed his gun at the last remaining robber.
The demon paused in thought. "Nah, this is boring me," Ranma said after dropping the now unconscious Mike. Lack of oxygen and head trauma will do that to a person. She felt dirty just touching such incompetent lowlife scum. At least her real enemies were more of a challenge, and not just punks like these.
"Wait! No! You cops can't kill me if I surrender!" the last robber said as he dropped his gun and put his hands up.
Aram laughed. "Sorry, man. We're not the police."
"Not at all," Ranma smiled, showing a bit of her fangs.
The last robber slid back, more afraid of the girl than the two men pointing guns at him.
"Yeah, sis, I guess I could do that, but did you have to ambush me like this?" Nabiki asked.
"Sorry." Akane blushed in that subtle way succubae did. She supposed that it was rude to question her sister immediately when she had gotten home, but Akane preferred to get this over with before mother got home.
"No problem." Nabiki smiled at the irony. For once Akane was the one asking Nabiki to take her photo, especially given who the photo was for. "You know my standard rate?" Nabiki said as she walked up the stairs to her room.
Akane nodded. After Nabiki had picked up her camera and some film, they went into Akane's room, or at least the room Akane kept most of her stuff in. "Don't worry, I don't need too many photos," Akane assured her sister. She had been practicing in front of a mirror and had found the perfect pose.
"Good." Nabiki fiddled with her Polaroid camera. She was not terribly worried. Akane had asked her to take these photos. There would be no negatives, so Ranma and Kasumi could not blame her if something happened. "Okay, Akane, I'll do it, but you're gonna have clothes on."
"But… it's for my mate," Akane pouted.
"I've seen enough naked demons, thank you. And I'm not getting your mom pissed at me." Nabiki had figured that Ranma was not home.
"Please," Akane whined, trying to look her cutest, which given her species was not too bad.
"Just wear a bikini."
"Yeah… good idea," Akane agreed as her clothing shifted into a tiny blue string bikini. She looked herself over, then paused and shifted into a less skimpy version. After all, Nariko saw her in the nude every day. "We're doing two. One with me looking human and another with my full form." Akane then posed.
"Right," Nabiki said as she put the viewfinder to her eye.
"You really scared the piss out of that last guy when you said you killed the driver. Heck, I could smell that he was this—" Ranma held her finger a quarter inch apart. "—close to losing it," Ranma said before she sipped her beverage.
"I said no such thing. All I said was that I took care of him. I almost wish he'd have resisted," Aram stated leaning back into the booth.
"Why? You know all the paperwork we have to fill out when we kill a civilian," Gabriel said.
Aram nodded. "Also, don't think that having Red hear take out his two friends like that didn't freak him out."
"Bah, they're worthless. They let me get too close."
"Yeah. It was very clean for you," Aram laughed as he took a sip of his beer.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ranma bristled. "Ya know those special bullets you guys shoot are pretty dang messy too."
Gabriel nodded in agreement.
"You sure we should wait here?" Ranma asked as she looked around the bar.
"It's the closest restaurant to the bank. That is where the colonel told us to wait."
"Yeah, but I'm under nineteen."
"You looked old enough that no one's asked you for an ID."
"Yay… the wonders of being a sex demon," the redhead quietly deadpanned.
"Hmmm. He's late," Aram said as he looked at his watch.
"I'm sure the colonel is talking with the police at the scene. Making sure everything's nice and smooth with them," Gabriel sighed.
"Least we don't have to worry about getting chewed out… much."
"What's with that? I thought you guys were working with the local police. They didn't seem to like you guys very much." Ranma had found the police were fairly annoyed by what they had done.
"We stepped on their toes by going out of jurisdiction. We're not supposed to go after humans." Aram took a sip of his beer.
"Unless they're cultists or mercenaries in the service of pattern registering entities, of course," Gabriel added.
"You know, that reminds me about something Sophie and Rob did." Aram smiled. It was a shame what had happened to Rob, but risk was a part of the job.
Aram had gotten halfway through the story about the incident between the Peruvian police and those two agents when Ranma's eyes widened. "Oh no! I forgot to get mom's gift!"
"Relax, Red. Just take another sip of your beer. You can get that thing for the major after the colonel stops by," Gabriel explained.
"Okay. You know, the only reason I'm having one of these is because I'm curious."
"Not like one drink would affect a Pattern D of your level."
"Yeah, and she's just nursing it," Aram teased. He and Gabriel were restricting themselves to only a couple slowly drank too. They were WIC agents, after all. "Anyway, back to my story. Remember, Sophie was pretending to be Rob's wife, so that's why the policeman said 'Mrs. Talbert, are you aware that your cooler is full of human eyeballs?'"
"I can't believe Rob blurted his real name." Gabriel shook his head. "And of course those weren't human eyes, and the case was hardly full. There couldn't have been more than a dozen in there."
"Look, you wanna tell the story?" Aram sighed.
"No, you go ahead."
Aram grumbled, and continued telling the story. When he got to the end, Ranma took along pull from her drink and blinked at the two agents.
"What's wrong with you guys? All that hassle just for some monster eyes? You guys had to impersonate FBI agents just to get them out." The succubus shook her head.
"It was better than our backup plan," Aram laughed.
"Lemme guess. You guys were gonna bust them out with helicopters and a daring midnight raid?"
Gabriel and Aram shared a conspiratorial grin.
"Never mind," Ranma sighed. "What about those vampires or whatever that were out in the woods to the south?"
"After the Pattern Silvers and Lieutenant Patterson's team busted up their base, we haven't heard anything from them. We think they're done for." Aram tipped up his beer, finishing the drink.
"Though we did hear some weird stuff. You ever see the Senshi in battle?" Gabriel asked.
"Not really. Why?" Ranma asked.
"Get this. Their leader, Moon, she's got this beam weapon and Morrison swears it's a kaleidoscope."
The succubus shook her head. "Man. And I thought my powers were lame."
"That new one of yours has a silly name, but, oh man, it's effective," Aram said after coming back with another beer.
"You guys know about that test too?"
"Only that you tested a new power you found in that office building fight. Looked impressive," Aram noted absently.
"You don't know the half of it," Ranma smiled darkly.
Gabriel adjusted his coat and looked at his watch. "You and your girls were doing very well that warehouse and then in that office."
"I think it has to do with all their training," Aram pointed out.
"Of course I'm gonna train my kids. They are Saotomes."
"Yeah, a bunch of bouncy succubae doing their 'demon-fu' would attract some attention," Gabriel said.
"Yes, and what they wear's got nothing to do with it," Aram snickered.
"My uniform's a lot better than what those other magical girls wear!" Ranma defended.
"Yeah, it's got an even shorter skirt."
"It's still better."
"Hey, Aram, what was with that gut thing back there?" Gabriel asked
"Hmm… I was tempted. We didn't eat lunch yet, you know," the succubus said with a wink.
"See, man? Some things you can't just say around a demon."
"What? I kinda forgot what you were for a min." Aram shrugged. "Just handled it like any other operation. It's not like you were gonna eat them."
"Nah… not worth my time," Ranma smiled with genuine amusement. Her eyes widened and she turned to face the new arrival. The demon could have sworn she had not sensed the man enter.
"Well, isn't this cute," Jacob said with a crooked smile. The WIC officer sat down on the edge of the semicircular booth, pushing Aram into Ranma.
The succubus blinked and adjusted herself. Unexpected physical contact was always… odd. She was also surprised that it had taken her this long to sense Jacob.
"Colonel Edwards," the two lower ranked agents said simultaneously, giving quick salutes. Jacob Edwards glared at the two agents. "I had an interesting conversation with a Toronto Police Captain. Two suspects with concussions and a couple broken bones, one so scared he shit himself, and the less we say about what Agent Kowalski did to the driver the better. He has some… interesting questions."
Ranma smirked. She knew that one robber was close to losing it. Serves the punk right. That'll keep him from stealing.
"Now, normally agents from PR Section handle this, but since a Pattern Silver was involved—" Jacob gave a sideways glance at Ranma. "—Commander Stillwater felt I should handle it."
"What's wrong? We did the right thing," Ranma said.
Jacob smiled as he reached over and took Gabriel's unopened replacement beer. "Yes, it was," the officer said as he popped the cap off.
Aram glanced at the table. Colonel Jacob Edwards, one of the few surviving members of WIC's groundbreaking Epsilon Team. This was Gunslinger Jacob, Executor Edwards. The only way it would be more surreal was if Commander Stillwater or perhaps Johan Willard himself had sat down to have a beer.
Gabriel similarly boggled. Here was the man that was instrumental in their training. A man whose operations were being analyzed by cadets, right up there with Sheppard's Creek.
Ranma simply shrugged.
"I don't see anything wrong with your actions. You were assisting Miss Saotome here," Jacob said evenly as he sipped his drink. He disliked the Canadian beer, but he drank cordially anyway. In truth, this incident was something he wholeheartedly approved of. This Pattern Silver had gone from using Company facilities to leading agents.
The officer allowed a small grin to form on his face. It seemed that his plan of being honest and supportive to Miss Saotome was paying off. At least that was one less issue to worry about. "What I'd like to know, right now, is what actually happened. Unsurprisingly, witnesses at the scene were a bit… unreliable." Jacob chuckled.
Aram spoke up first. "Well, sir, I took the driver. Annoyingly, but not surprising, his window was rolled up. So I broke it and extracted him."
"You almost strangled him to death," Jacob noted.
"I see." Jacob sighed. "And after that?"
Gabriel took a turn telling what had happened, with Ranma filling in the details of what she had done. "And you know what happened once the police arrived," Gabriel finished. "Sir, do we know who these guys are and why there were there?"
"We're looking into their backgrounds now. So far, it seems like a quartet of simple and stupid thieves. Though that would be a great cover for something more."
"Perhaps someone else sent them to that bank at that time knowing we would be there," Aram suggested.
"Though that would require surveillance of us and having those guys on standby, and for what purpose? It's not like anything happened to us." Gabriel countered.
"We're still investigating their backgrounds, their van, and their homes," Jacob said.
"I can't believe you paranoid loons. Maybe we just stopped a simple bank robbery?" the succubus asked.
"Why take the risk?" Jacob replied as he finished his beer.
Lieutenant Tendo walked down the corridors of WIC Toronto A. She stopped when she passed the commissary to see who was inside. She first saw Captain Jarvis, looking over his cup of coffee. Kasumi followed her superior's gaze to see a quartet of teenaged girls.
Inside the commissary, Ranma was chatting with her daughters and Ukyou. "Don't you mind that he's staring at you?" The succubus looked at the agent with narrowed eyes.
"Not really," Ukyou admitted as she sipped her iced tea. "It's not like this place isn't crawling with cameras, and part of my defection was that I tell them everything."
Ranma grumbled and resumed her lunch.
Jarvis smiled slightly. The events of Miss Saotome's life were rather noteworthy. The young succubus' — or was it young man's? — life was intertwined with NH activity. Two of Ranma's childhood friends joined the Assembly of Man, the martial artist's own mother joined the Company, and in an attempt to get a cure he ended up becoming a Pattern Silver.
All of these events were largely due to the actions of Miss Saotome's father, a person Jarvis wished he could have disposed of in a more permanent manner. Jarvis renewed his smile. Genma was only part of the picture. The man was friends with the Drake, a longtime associate of WIC. The Company connection was largely due to Drake.
Jarvis was always fascinated by the connections between people, the secrets they held, the interlocking way one event fell into another. This was part of the reason the officer had the job he did.
He got to pry the information out and analyze it, and it was all distant and professional. It rarely got personal, although often it was messy. Jarvis blinked. Was what he did that impersonal? The officer shook his head. He did what he had to do.
Jarvis then looked to see one of his team leaders enter the commissary, carrying what looked like a prototype weapon.
"His is!" Akane exclaimed as Kasumi entered.
"Hello," Kasumi said as she sat down next to Ukyou. Opposite them, Ranma sat with her kids on either side of her.
"That looks new," Ukyou noted, looking at the weapon Kasumi was holding.
"It's the new series," Kasumi said.
"What's the deal with those things anyway? You guys even have a name for 'em?" Ranma asked, only partially interested.
Kasumi grinned and began her speech. "As you know, the standard WIC weapon fires two sizes of ammunition, allowing for more flexibility and firepower. The design is based off of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon the US Army is developing. Our version has some changes. Most notably, the use of a 7.62mm round for the lower barrel instead of 5.56mm, allowing for more customization in ammunition.
"The Company version was initially called the Heavy Armament Optional Weapon." Kasumi laughed. "Of course, the design did have some problems. It was heavy — problematically so in the first versions — and it had problems in loading and in separation of the 20mm section. Naturally, to give it a better nickname, agents started calling it the Heavy armament Optional Gun."
"HAOG? Wait… HOG?" Ukyou asked after decoding the new abbreviation.
"Uh, yeah… great," the redheaded demon sighed.
"Though this version's not nearly as hoggish." Kasumi lifted the weapon. "We've got your mother to thank for that," the officer then said to her fiancé.
"Mom made that?" Ranma asked.
"The major designed new, lighter components for it. It still needs to be tested to make sure it can handle the battlefield, though."
"Can I see it?" Ukyou was curios in how WIC armaments compared to those of her former organization. Kasumi complied, but not before dropping both magazines and working the actions to remove any chambered rounds.
Ukyou was neither surprised that the weapon was loaded nor at Kasumi's actions. She lifted the gun and practiced shouldering it. "Nice. It is a lot lighter. Wouldn't have any problem carrying this all day," Ukyou said as she handed the weapon back.
"You've used one of these before?"
"The Assembly has acquired WIC weapons in the past," Ukyou flatly replied. It made sense. After all, WIC had gotten Assembly weapons… and personnel… although most of the time such weapons were scavenged after battles with NH. WIC and the Assembly rarely fought each other directly.
Ukyou remembered when her partner had first fought Ranma. He had lost one of his umbrella swords. Undoubtedly, it was now resting in a WIC warehouse somewhere. Not that her partner would care about that… not anymore. Once again, she hoped that Alexia had simply drained, killed, and eaten her partner instead of something worse.
Kasumi nodded. "I just got back from some field tests at the B base,"
"Really? We're just going there for some training," Nariko said.
"Is Miss Kuonji going too?" Kasumi's voice had gained some distance as she eyed the former Assembly acolyte.
"You can call her Ukyou, sis," Akane said.
Kasumi noted that Akane did not say Ucchan. The agent turned her gaze to the demon. "I'm going to drop this off at the Major's lab. You want to come?"
"Thanks for reminding me," Ranma said, getting up and picking up the box her mother's gift was in. The redhead then hugged her daughters. "You two play nice with Ucchan until I get back," Ranma said before following Kasumi out of the room.
"I'll have Aram drive you to the other base; he and Gabe aren't doing anything now," Kasumi decided. Sophie, the forth member of Kasumi's team, was still at the B facility going over a control test with the previous model weapon.
"You're testing the new model too?" Ukyou asked, eyeing the metal case that lay between the two front seats of the WIC van.
"Sure." Aram shrugged as he drove the vehicle. "We're the ones who're gonna use these things, so they'd better have us test them. Isn't that what the Assembly does with you guys?"
"Not really," Ukyou sighed. "Our weapons are more custom-made, based on our own abilities."
"Tell me about it," Ranma grumbled from the back bench seat, in her usual position between her daughters. That umbrella was a pretty annoying weapon.
"Yeah," Ukyou sighed. Ryoga had told her what he managed to do to the demon.
"Creepy little cultists," Aram said, before glancing at Ukyou.
"No, you're right. Why do you think I quit?" Ukyou asked with a shrug.
"Heh… It's kinda funny. WIC's not the creepiest bunch of demon hunters, is it?" Ranma shifted over to give Nariko more room.
"Not by a long shot," Ukyou grimly remarked.
"Next time we go out, you should bring your kids. They didn't have to stay home," Aram offered.
"Yeah, Mommy, you went without us." Nariko pouted.
"You two were busy last night. I was just gonna buy Mom's gift, but then we spotted those idiot robbers."
"Yeah. Took longer waiting for the colonel than taking care of them." Aram shook his head.
"What do you expect? It's not like those guys were a challenge or anything. Just scum." Ranma leaned back slightly.
"That they were," Aram agreed.
"Maybe you can come, Ucchan," Ranma suggested.
"I don't know." Ukyou looked out the passenger side window
"Why not? You are getting more privileges. Being allowed outside and…." Ranma's voice slowed as she spoke. Something was off. She looked to see similar worry erupt on her daughters' faces followed by Ukyou starting to blink.
The scanner in the van started to chirp in an irritating pulse of increasing frequency. "Shit," Aram swore as he increased the vehicle's speed and activated his radio. "This is Agent Kowalski. My scanner's going off. Hasn't been resolved yet." Aram then told his location and what the scanner could tell him.
"Alexia!" Ranma shouted when it became clear what was coming.
That was when the fireballs started to hit the van. The first couple hit the roof of the vehicle, deformed it, and started to burn through. A pair slammed into the back of the truck. One blew apart the rear windows; another uselessly hit the bumper. One fireball hit the rear wheel well and dripped onto the tire, blowing it apart.
"Stop the car!" the redheaded succubus ordered as she transformed into her DarkStar form. "Kids!" The succubus pointed to her sides before looking up herself. As Aram braked the vehicle, DarkStar leapt up and tore her way trough the roof of the van. Akane dived through the window and took flight, while Nariko simply opened the passenger sliding door and jumped out.
Sailor DarkStar extended her wings and gained altitude. Sensing where the majority of the succubae were, she turned towards them. A frown crossed the demon's face. She would have preferred the enemy's formations to be tighter, but…. She then ordered her kids to take flanking positions on either side of her.
"DarkStarBurst!" she shouted, generating and expelling the black orb at the closest enemy demon. The targeted succubus dropped her altitude, hoping to avoid it.
Sailor DarkStar simply smiled and concentrated. The obsidian orb jigged down just enough to smash through the point where the succubus's wings joined her back, then curved up, gaining altitude until it slammed into a succubus. The sphere blew apart, dissolving the demoness into a cloud of meat, blood, and bone. Shards from it burst out, and a fair number impacted into the flesh of demons. The embedded fragments then exploded, crippling or killing six more demons. The redheaded demon smiled as she absorbed energy from her kills.
As this happened, Akane and Nariko had fired their own, simpler fireballs, hitting those that their mother had missed or only wounded.
Aram handed his sidearm to Ukyou, who immediately dropped the safety before opening the gun between the seats. "How long 'til backup comes?" Ukyou asked as Aram tossed a pair of magazines to her.
Aram thought of the fast response team the Company kept next to a helicopter. "No more than ten or so minutes," Aram said as he pulled out the HOG and checked the ammunition.
The agent opened the van door, and as he stepped out, aimed the weapon to the sky. "Watch my back!" he shouted and fired at his first target, and started to run from the van to the forest.
Sailor DarkStar banked off to the side as a white-haired succubus below and to the front of her exploded. In actuality, the 20mm high explosive round had only blown apart the demon's torso. The succubus' extremities separated and tumbled to the ground where they splattered across the width road and well into the woods on either side of it.
"Morons!" Aurora screamed as she watched her sisters die. It was supposed to be a simple mission: hit the van, fly in and kill the humans and the traitor, and subdue and rescue Eclipse and her mate. This is my first mission. Mother has trusted me to do this. I won't fail her, Aurora swore.
"Kill the humans!" Aurora ordered as she closed in to deal with the traitor herself.
DarkStar and her kids flew through their opponents using their superior maneuverability and training to weed out their enemies. Support fire from the ground helped. Although some of the shots Aram fired were dangerously close, his accuracy was unnervingly good.
"Fuck!" Aram swore, switching to 7.62mm mode on his gun. A three round burst of silver-jacketed rounds blew apart the closest succubus' skull and gave him enough time to drop the spent 20mm magazine and slap in a fresh one, and he switched back to it.
"Pretty much," Ukyou agreed as she finally took down the succubus that had tried to circle around them. The trees gave them cover, but it worked both ways. The demoness was wounded, but she was getting closer. At least they weren't exposed out on the road by the smoldering van.
The agent narrowed his eyes as a pair of demons swooped down to try to surprise him. He fired two shots. The first demon was hit in the navel and lost everything between her knees and her breasts. The second flared her aura, and instead of trying to dodge, she lobbed the fireball she was holding.
Aram depressed the trigger, killing the succubus just before his head was consumed by the magical napalm.
Ukyou turned and took the weapon from the dead man's hands. She shuddered and tried to avoid looking directly at the still burning, melted, and charred remains of his head. At least he went quickly enough. She shouldered the weapon and backed a few more paces deeper into the forest.
Sailor DarkStar pursued the handful of remaining succubae, picking off the stragglers. A pack of almost twenty had been quickly decimated, though some were so weak they could hardly summon fireballs or fly worth a damn.
Those of Alexia's brood that were still alive seemed intent on getting to Ukyou and…. the redheaded demon's eyes widened when she got a clearer look at the slumped figure at the edge of the forest.
She swept back her wings and speed down to the scene. A succubus flew up to stop her, but DarkStar simply dodged the incoming fireballs, extended her tail filaments, and whipped the weapon into the enemy's face as she corkscrewed past her. The energy collected hardly registered as she continued in.
Nariko and Akane gave a worried glance at their mother, but followed her.
Ukyou swore as she switched to 7.62mm mode, once again wishing she'd had the time to loot Aram's corpse for ammunition. A trail of demon remains marked her trail deeper into the woods. She calmed her breathing as she tracked her surroundings. The succubae had smartened up. Instead of charging and trying to launch their fireballs at her, they tried to shoot from a more concealed position, all the time forcing her to expend ammunition.
Her senses pricked and she twisted around, firing a couple bursts at the succubus that had tried to come in behind her. Before the demon could hit the ground, another came from the opposite direction. Ukyou reversed her position and shot the remaining rounds into the other succubus. Dropping the now useless HOG and pulling out Aram's other gun, Ukyou wondered how much time had passed and when backup would come.
"Not having a good day, are we, Assemblywoman?" a sensual voice from above taunted.
Ukyou brought her weapon up and fired. The bullet was deflected by the succubus' fire shield. The flames of the aura were a familiar green. Ukyou squeezed off a second shot, but the gun was knocked off-target as the orange-haired succubus instantly closed the distance between them.
"Mother's going to be very angry," Aurora said almost conversationally as she disarmed the human and pinned her arms back. "I suppose I should bring back something for our trouble." The succubus drained a bit from her prisoner, savoring the flavor of the energy. The human was quite tasty and had potential. "Don't worry, you'll love being one of us," Aurora whispered.
This human was familiar.
"Ryoga?" DarkStar asked as she landed a few paces from the former Assembly acolytes. The orange-haired succubus' scent was familiar despite the obvious changes. "Oh man, I mean, I knew this might have happened to you, but still…."
"My name is Aurora. I will kill you, you filthy traitor," Aurora snarled, her eyes flaring green. She then pulled Ukyou in front of her and renewed her aura.
Sailor DarkStar sighed. It looked like this version of Ryoga was just as crazy as the church nut.
Ukyou blinked. Even if Ryoga was not totally gone, she was still a servant of Alexia's will. She then gave a short nod to the redheaded demon.
Sailor DarkStar saw this and knew what she had to do. As she spoke, her eyes began to angrily flare violet. "Fine. Kill the damn human! Not that it matters. We survived, and you and your little friends are all going to die. We've fought before, and this time you don't have your little anti-demon toys. Now you're just a weak little newborn."
Aurora extended her claws, and was blasted by a pair of violet beams that came from the traitor's eyes. The violet energy narrowly missed Ukyou and burned through Aurora's aura, shoulder and a good portion of the spot above her left breast.
"Forgot I could do that, didn't you!" DarkStar yelled as she ran forward, intent on feeding. Her friend had been killed, and she was going to get her not so metaphorical pound of flesh.
As Aurora was blown back, she ran the claws on her left hand across the front of Ukyou's stomach. Aurora regained her balance and glanced between her bloody claws and the gaping wound in her. "We'll see how much you care about humans," Aurora taunted as she spread her wings.
"Ahh, hell!" Ukyou gasped as she sat slumped on the forest floor, trying to hold herself together.
DarkStar looked down at the blood streaming out of Ukyou's wounds and the bits of intestine poking out between her arms, and the tattered remains of her shirt.
"See you girls later." Aurora laughed as she flew off, now more concerned about Mother's reaction to her failure.
Kneeling over Ukyou's form, Sailor DarkStar took a closer look at the dying girl. Her demonic senses made that abundantly clear. "Ucchan!" DarkStar blinked to clear the tears from her eyes. "Ucchan… is…. there anything at all?" she asked as she hugged Ukyou.
"Turn me," Ukyou gasped. If this had happened to her two weeks ago, she would have asked for Aram's gun instead.
"What? You know what that means?" the redheaded demon whimpered as the tears forming in her eyes started to freely fall down her cheeks.
"Of course I do, jackass! Do it!" Ukyou shouted, glaring at the demon.
DarkStar looked at the girl she held, the scent of her blood and sweat filled the demon's nose. "Why, then?"
"I just got out and I don't wanna die like this. With you, I have a chance." Ukyou's frustration grew. There was another reason, but she decided to hold back on telling it while she still could.
Akane and Nariko watched in silence, holding hands and watching for enemies. They knew what was going on.
DarkStar nodded and wrapped her wings around the human. "Last chance?" Ukyou cried in pain, but nodded in agreement. The demon pooled her energy and bit into the human's neck.
Ukyou felt an alien presence intrude into her body and start changing it. Her flesh rippled and shifted as her body altered and formed into a new design. She quickly passed out, letting her new mother complete the work in silence.
"Oh shit," Lieutenant Patterson said from his doorgunner position on the WIC Blackhawk helicopter. He could just make out the plume of smoke rising from the road. It matched the location Agent Kowalski had given them. "Rich? You see anything?"
"Just a cluster of stationary pattern D's. One is maybe Class 11, and definitely Pattern Silver too," Specialist Agent Morrison replied.
"That's them. At least they survived," Patterson said before ordering his team to check their rappelling gear again.
"There's dead in the road," the pilot said over the communications link which was also connected to base. "I see a grey Company van. It's on fire."
"Bring us down. I want you to maintain orbit for fire support," Patterson ordered the pilot.
"Yes sir." The pilot reduced the altitude of the helicopter and held it level over the road long enough for Patterson's team to descend to the ground.
"That's a lotta dead demons," Stevenson remarked as he looked down the road, his weapon at the ready. His HOG was set to 20mm mode.
"Yeah, the cleanup geeks are gonna have a field day," Morrison remarked as he inspected the van. "It's clear of bodies, sir!" he told Patterson.
"Okay. Any friendlies among the dead?" the officer asked.
"I don't recognize any of the parts, but that doesn't mean much," Stevenson said.
"I see something at the edge the woods!" Jenkins remarked. She narrowed her eyes and looked past the two succubae corpses in front of it.
"That's the direction Miss Saotome is in," Morrison said, after checking his scanner.
"Let's go!" Patterson said before leading his team towards the woods. "We're going in. Estimate ETA on further backup?" he asked into his headset.
"Sir, it looks like Kowalski," Jenkins said as she rolled over the male body. It being male was the clearest indicator of who it was; further confirmation would require either a DNA test or fingerprinting.
"What took you guys so long?" Akane demanded as she dropped to the ground. The agents turned to her, but immediately lowered their weapons.
"We got into the helicopter as soon as we got the call. I'm sorry. Any other casualties?" Patterson stated, doing his best to ignore the meat that the blue haired demon was eating.
"Not anymore," Nariko quietly said as she wiped some blood off the corner of her mouth.
"Where's Miss Saotome?" Patterson asked.
Akane turned and started to walk back while Nariko made a motion for him to follow.
"You three secure the area," the officer told his men before following the two demons. Stepping over some demon bodies, he quickly reached them. The redheaded demon was sitting on the ground, protectively cradling the defector with her wings and arms.
"Ucchan, it's time to go," Sailor DarkStar said, trying to wake the girl up.
The platinum blonde-haired succubus stirred and nuzzled closer to her mother, while mumbling the word "Mommy".
"Uh… gimme a moment," DarkStar said, a slight blush rising on her face.
To be continued.
Author's notes: Thanks goes to my prereaders for enduring my mistakes and making this story better: Jerry Starfire, Black Dragon, Joe Fenton, Wray Loflin, Kevin D. Hammel, Mike Koos, and PyroRaven.
Also I'd like to thank the people who created fan art for this story.
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