Sailor Ranko - Thrice in a Millennium
Chapter 1: A Visitor from China
By Rebecca Ann Heineman
The ongoing saga of "Sailor Ranko", set after "Sailor Ranko: The Harder They Fall"
Based on "Sailor Ranko" by Duncan Zillman and "Twice in a Millennium" by Kevin D. Hammel and acknowledging "Black Moon - Eclipse of the Sun" by Arthur Hansen
I don't own these characters. Please don't sue me, kill me or make me write yet another Sailor Ranko story.
The story so far:
A very long time ago, in an age known as the Silver Millennium, there lived a simple farm girl by the name of Angwyn Weaver. Shortly after reaching her twelfth year of age, her parents were killed in a sudden savage attack that destroyed her home and everything she treasured. She vowed revenge against the creatures that had invaded the only place she knew, and took away from her the two people whom had she loved more than anything else in the world. The memory of her parents, who died protecting their only child, was the sole thing that had kept her going in her sad, empty, lonely life. Under the protection of the Senshi, who wanted to know what was so special about her and her family that had warranted such a violent end; allowed the young girl to live her life among the magical planetary Princesses. In the fullness of time, she single handedly created a link to the Sun and used that terrible power against Queen Beryl and her followers during the Senshi's darkest hour. She paid the ultimate price with the loss of her life, ending her tragic story.
Time passed, and without the guidance of Queen Serenity's magic spell that brought the Senshi to the future together, Angwyn's soul floated free to live out several lifetimes. Her current life took on the form of the male heir of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts, Ranma Saotome. By a twist of fate, luck and some kami's idea of a sick joke, Ranma, while training at Jusenkyo with his dim-witted father, fell into the spring of drowned girl, allowing him to become for some of the time, his female self. This singular event unlocked his ability to tap into the part of his soul that was still connected to the power of the Sun, even though thousands of years had gone by. After an attack by Jadeite, hell bent on taking over Tokyo and killing the Sailor Senshi, Ranko, as Ranma was called when in female form, was given the privilege to wear a dress as Sailor Sun with the re-awakened Sailor Senshi for love and justice. The Senshi, with Akane Tendo helping, were able to defeat and kill Jadeite once and for all.
Akane, on the eve of her wedding to Ranma, was offered the position of Sailor Io by Sailor Moon. The young Tendo happily accepted the role and devoted her life to it, just as much as she devoted herself to cooking something special for Ranma. The newly created Sailor Io and the recently awakened Sailor Sun had several adventures together, blowing stuff up in the name of Io, the Sun or the celestial body of the day.
One of Ranma's former fiances, Ukyou Kuonji; a high school student by day, okonomiyaki chef extraordinaire by night, recently joined in on the newlywed couple's most recent adventure when Tokyo was overrun with baby Godzillas and was almost killed by the hungry monsters in doing so. In respect for the sacrifice of her leg and hand during the battle, the Sailor Senshi joined their powers together and healed her by giving a part of themselves to restore her body to its original form.
Ukyou Kuonji felt like a new woman...
Really she did...
A tiny seven year old Chinese girl cowered under a tarp inside of a cold, drafty, and dirty lifeboat, fearing for her life. Freezing, alone and scared beyond belief, she clung to an object hidden under her shirt that gave little comfort in return. Whispering to the silence around her, she closed her eyes and shed another tear to add more moisture to the ever growing stain on her blouse, "Daddy, I miss you."
She wondered whether it was day or night outside of her hiding place, since she had long ago lost track of time after she had stowed away on a Japanese freighter en route to Japan from China. Empty food cans littered the floor of the tiny boat, her only companions on this long and lonely journey, far from the comfort of home. A bird cawed from a distance, and she trembled in fright from the sound as she had done so many times since being forced to leave her father's side a lifetime ago. She backed away from the bird call, knocking over some tin cans and made a loud racket from their resultant clanging together. Shaking in terror from the noise she had accidentally created, she spoke to the darkness around her as if those words were going to be her last. "Please go away. Go far away."
The unexpected noise from a supposedly empty tarp covered lifeboat attracted the wrong kind of attention for the little stowaway. Mako, a tall, burly middle-aged ship's mechanic, put down his tool box and extracted a monkey wrench for whatever was inside the boat on the deck. Holding his weapon over his head to deliver a strike, he lifted up the covering from the lifeboat expecting a dog or some other wild animal. He was surprised in finding a child softly sobbing within the darkness. He relaxed his guard and asked in a gruff voice, "Hey, who're you?"
The little girl stopped crying and jumped out of her hiding place with a speed that took Mako completely by surprise. She flung a can as a distraction and ran on deck alongside the massive cargo containers, looking for cover. She saw the inviting skyline of Tokyo and instantly realized that the ship was docked and she was finally in Japan. She leapt to the top of a single shipping container to ditch her pursuer and saw near the front of the ship that the gangway was down and it led to shore. Freedom! Happily, she exclaimed in her native language, "So close! Must find the elder!"
Togashi, a security officer who came to Mako's aid, moved into position, holding his hands out to catch the little unwanted passenger. He tiptoed close by and jumped to tackle her, but he missed his mark as she instinctively ducked to the side to avoid his lunge, causing the hapless man to plant his face into the cold hard steel of the container the girl was once standing on. Rubbing his forehead to soften the pain, he growled at the retreating girl. He pulled out his walkie-talkie and pressed the all call button to alert everyone on board the vessel. "Hey, guys! We've got a Chinese stowaway! Head her off at the gangway, 'cause she's making a break for it."
The girl was fifteen meters from the exit when she saw a Japanese customs agent crossing the gangway to get on board the ship for the standard inspection. The man looked up to see the child approach, then noticed the two crewman chasing her and shouting at him to intercept her. He outstretched his arms to block the exit to box her in, realizing that she was going to have to be turned over to the Department of Japanese Immigration.
The tiny girl stopped dead in her tracks, trying to find a way of escape. She looked upward to the heavens with a sky that was overcast and looked as if it was going to rain. Finding nothing dangerous above, she smiled at the Japanese man in front of her and leapt head first off the deck, scaring the two men behind her with her apparent suicide attempt. Having no real intent on dying today, she grabbed the main rope that moored the ship to the dock and quickly scampered across it, like a very fast sloth, to shore. Stopping for a few seconds to get her bearings, she ran away as fast as she could, ducking behind crates and cargo containers to hide her trail. She spoke in Japanese to herself, "Must find help. Tragic end for me if I can't find her. I must find the elder, she will protect me." She held the object under her shirt tightly, as if her very existence depended on it.
Dumbfounded, the men spread out from the ship, looking for their uninvited passenger. The customs agent scratched his head in frustration. "She must've been really desperate to leave China. How'd she keep out of your sight?"
"Dunno," Mako shrugged. "From the looks of her hiding place, she was alone." He paused a moment, "and starving. Poor thing."
Looking at the hundreds of containers that littered the docks, the men shook their head in mutual pity. The Japanese agent sighed, "Leave her. We've got better things to do."
Above their heads, there was abnormally high number of black birds filling the dark overcast sky. They were searching for something, or someone.
BRING! Went the alarm clock next to Ukyou's bed, announcing the dawning of a new day. She reached over and turned off the annoying racket that disturbed yet another wonderful dream of her and her beloved Ranchan. Yawning, she got up and dressed in a simple martial arts gi for her morning sparring session with her male kunoichi, Konatsu. She looked forward to her daily ritual she practiced in the morning at dawn to expand her martial arts skills, especially since she had taken up learning to use a katana.
Ukyou felt good during her sparring session in the side alley next to the Ucchan's with her kunoichi. She didn't allow a single shuriken that Konatsu threw at her to even get close to her body, deflecting each one with her spatula. Reminding herself of the times that she had endlessly trained against the raging sea, she honed her abilities to a higher level, pushing her Art farther than ever before. Konatsu was impressed that his love could avoid everything he threw at her, even when she ordered him to go all out and actually tried to hit her.
They finished their session with a small bow of respect for one another. Ukyou completed the ritual with the usual marching orders, handing her ten yen an hour employee a scrap of paper with a list of items to buy. "Here's a shopping list of everything I need for the after school crowd. Don't forget to pick up the cabbage and the eggs since I'm really low and I'll run out if you don't get 'em." Ukyou held her spatula over her shoulder as she entered the shop through the side entrance. "I'll make breakfast, you clean up."
Konatsu bowed to his mistress again, grateful for the tasks that Ukyou had entrusted to him, and began the chore of cleaning up the broken bricks and crates that littered the alley. He collected all of the throwing stars that were embedded in the walls and found all of Ukyou's throwing spatulas stuck in a wooden target at the end of the alley. Satisfied with a complete job, he entered Ucchan's for his morning meal.
The kunoichi sat at his usual stool and ate his usual okonomiyaki, wearing his usual kunoichi outfit with his hair tied in his usual pretty bow. Taking another bite of his Japanese pancake, he secretly wished that Ukyou would cook something else for breakfast once in a while, since okonomiyaki for every meal was getting old. He dared not openly speak his mind lest he offend the woman he loved. A slight draft made him notice that the patch on the knee of his cotton pants was falling off from wear. He made a mental note to himself to find time to fix his ninja outfit before it completely fell apart.
Konatsu was a complete contradiction. He was born a man, and in every way but his physical gender, he was a woman. He wore female ninja garb, a beautiful kimono as a waitress when he was serving the customers at Ucchan's, and had lovely long black hair done in a ponytail that drew compliments from men and women alike. He was a very attractive female looking ninja who took great care in the application of his makeup to look his very best.
He was deeply in unconditional love with Ukyou. She was the first person to ever show him kindness when he needed it the most and he wanted to repay that kindness one hundredfold. His absolute submissive personality forbade him from ever speaking his mind about his distaste for Ukyou's relentless chase of Ranma or even disobeying the tiniest whim's of his beloved Ucchan. But it didn't matter, for he was hers and hers alone. As long as she lived, he would love no other.
He ate his breakfast and dreamt of a day that Ukyou would finally return his love and ask him to marry her. He had no idea if it would ever happen, but he was willing to wait a lifetime if need be. As long as he was in the company of Ukyou, he was exactly where he wanted to be.
Ukyou finished cleaning the griddle and put away her tools while her kunoichi silently sighed in bliss. "Ko-chan, I gotta get ready for school." She ran up the stairs to her bedroom with Konatsu watching his beloved disappear from view. Ukyou closed her bedroom door, threw off her gi, toweled off her sweat and quickly put on her Furinkan High School girl's uniform. She combed her hair and tied it into a pair of ponytails, miffed at how short her hair was. She took an unusually long time fixing her hair since it was being unruly as she created a ball with each ponytail. Once her hair was done, she took a ponytail and smelled the sweet fragrance coming from it. "Peaches? Oh yeah, it's that new shampoo I got yesterday." She picked up the bottle from her basket of bath supplies she took with her when she went to the public bath yesterday evening. She normally didn't buy this brand but, for some reason, she just felt like a change was in order.
The chef smiled and put the shampoo back in her basket and made last minute adjustments to her hair and makeup. She admired herself in the mirror for one last moment holding her hands in an odd gesture. "I'll punish you!" She giggled, then strapped on her giant baker's peel, grabbed her school bags and went downstairs.
Konatsu was finishing sweeping up the floor when Ukyou ran by in a blur. Ukyou waved at him as she zoomed out the front door with her long ponytails trailing in her wake. "Don't forget the groceries!" She left a trail of dust that followed her to the horizon in her haste. The front door slammed shut with small sheets of paper fluttering onto the ground marking her quick departure.
Konatsu did a double take as he remembered Ukyou's brief appearance before running off to school. "Strange, she's been wearing a dress for several days straight. I like her new look though." He began to whistle as he picked up the last of the dust and papers from the floor. He stopped as he had a revelation while he looked in the direction that Ukyou ran off to. "That's really a new look for her."
"Akane! We're going to be late!" Ranma was standing in the living room of his Juuban apartment tapping his foot, while waiting for his wife to get out of the tiny bathroom. Makoto and Minako had already left after the early morning sparring session the four 'girls' participated in. Ranma shook his head at the thought of being a girl during this morning's training due to Minako's incessant whining and sudden splashes of cold water on Ranma. He was really beginning to wonder if Minako was a closet boy hater, since she was demanding more and more for Ranma to stay a girl in her presence.
"Here you are, my son." Nodoka came out of the kitchen area and handed Ranma a bento she had lovingly prepared. She was staying in the tiny apartment with Ranma and Akane, while she was scouring Juuban for an affordable apartment or condominium that had more space than the tiny one bedroom apartment that the three currently lived in. Ranma was thankful that his mother had come to live with them. She was a great cook and had fixed most of the damage to the kitchen that Akane had done.
"Thanks, mom. AKANE! We're gunna be late!" He looked at the time from the clock on the wall. "Aw, man. I don't wanna stand in the hall again with a sign like Usagi that says 'Late to class'. Okay?"
The sound of the shower stopped and a voice came from behind the closed bathroom door. "Well if someone didn't use all the hot water, then I wouldn't need to wait for the hot water heater to refill!"
Ranma huffed. "Maybe a cold shower is what you need to chill out!"
Akane built up her battle aura and the crack under the door began to glow. "Maybe if you hadn't spent all of your time looking at Makoto's leotard and concentrated on teaching her to use her ki, we wouldn't have run late!" The four girls wore leotards during some sparring sessions to simulate battles wearing their Sailor Senshi uniforms, much to Akane's dismay and Minako's delight.
Nodoka clasped her hands together and swooned at her son's suspected peeping. "Oh! Ranma, you truly are a man."
Ranma was acting upset but his face didn't show it for he had an ulterior motive. "Hey! I wasn't looking at that, you macho chick! Maybe if you weren't so uncute, I would've a reason to look at you instead!"
The door to the bathroom quickly opened with a very furious towel wrapped Akane standing within. "What did you say?" She shouted, as a mallet appeared from nowhere in her hand. She was seconds away from sending him to the moon via a soon-to-be created hole in the roof.
Ranma laughed and pointed his finger at his wife. "Ha ha! Got you to dry yourself! Now get some clothes on so we can get outta here!" Ranma jumped out of the way of the mallet strike and leapt toward the balcony. However, the sliding glass door was shut and Ranma slammed into thick glass. He groaned in pain and fell to the ground, stars twirling around his head.
Akane looked down at herself and noticed that she and the towel she wore were bone dry. Her battle aura had done an excellent job in removing all of the water from her body, leaving her ready to get dressed. She peered over the couch to the lump on the ground formerly known as Ranma, happy to see that he got what was coming to him for insulting her. She walked over to her fallen husband and slammed her mallet down on him on principle alone. "You've really got to work on your teaching methods, dummy. There're better ways to get me to use my ki to dry myself than that, you insensitive jerk."
The pile of Ranma mumbled. "You're so uncute."
SLAM! Akane smashed him down again, reducing him to a wafer thinness.
Nodoka sighed while holding out a bento for her daughter-in-law to take. "You really shouldn't do that. It's going to affect the security deposit when we move out."
"I'm sorry Mrs. Saotome, er... I mean, Mother." She bowed while stowing away her mallet into mallet space, then went into the bedroom to change into her Juuban school uniform.
The Saotome elder tapped on the kitchen counter to attract Ranma's attention. "Son, please get up. It's time to go to school."
"Okay. Okay." Ranma peeled himself off the carpet and re-inflated with only a few scratches to show for his beating at the hands of his wife. He glanced at the clock and frowned at what he saw. "Well, we're officially late."
Nodoka handed Ranma a thermos with hot water inside. "I think you'll need this to get to school on time."
"Why would I need... Oh, great." Ranma turned to the balcony window and slid the drapes closed. "One taxi coming right up." He pulled out his henshin stick and held it high. "Sun Star Power! Make Up!" A mist of water from the transformation wand encased Ranma, turning him into a her and three seconds later, a red headed Senshi of the Sun stood where Ranma had been. "Okay. Now we can get there on time if Akane gets ready in three minutes." The red head brushed off her red mini-skirt. "Aw, man, Sailor Moon is going to kill me someday when I wear out my henshin stick."
Akane ran out of the bedroom in her Juuban High School uniform, holding her shoes in one hand. She tripped as she was trying to put on a sock using only her other hand. "Is there a youma alert?" She asked from the her place on the floor and pulled up her sock onto her foot. A henshin stick appeared in her hand from nowhere and the short haired girl stood up with her arm in the air, ready to transform.
Sailor Sun held her hands to her hips with impatience. "No, just a 'Ranma wants to avoid detention alert'. C'mon, we haven't got all day y'know."
Disappointed, Akane put her stick down and slid on her shoes. "Oh, darn."
A chill ran down the Senshi of the Sun's back. "Uh oh... Maybe it's an alert after all."
Akane felt the chill as well. "Uh oh, is right. Where's it coming from?"
Sun turned to the direction of the harbor with a look of concern. She pointed in the general direction of Tokyo harbor. "That way. Whatever it is, there's a lot of them."
Akane shouted as she held her henshin stick high above her head almost banging her rod on the low ceiling. "Io Lumina Power! Make Up!" She spun around to transform into the yellowed skirted Senshi of Io. "I'm ready when you are."
Sailor Sun held onto Io's waist tight to carry her while calling out her spell. "Sun Beam Transport!" The two girls vanished in a bright flash of light.
Nodoka Saotome looked around the empty room, gently shaking her head. She picked up Ranma and Akane's book bags holding them tight against her chest with a smile. "My children are going to have to learn to take their things with them." She stacked the book bags and the thermos of hot water that Sun had left behind on the living room table. She tidied up the room, picked up her list of real estate appointments and then left to look at some more possible homes for herself and her heirs.
Ukyou ran to school, arms outstretched behind her like an airplane's wings, running along the fence tops taking in the fresh morning air. She felt good to have her hair flutter in the breeze as she picked up speed to get to school on time. She kept her balance and focused on the path ahead to train just like Ranma did. She leapt into the air when she reached the end of the fence, did a somersault and landed gracefully onto the sidewalk without having her giant spatula touch the ground. She was full of energy this morning as she welcomed a wonderful new day. Ukyou entered the front gates of Furinkan High with her spatula being the only thing holding her back from gaining more speed. She stopped by a tree and inhaled the fragrance from the fresh morning air. She rubbed her regrown leg and smiled, happy to be alive and well.
A voice called out to her, filling her soul with dread. "Honored warrior, I beseech you to grant me the privilege of your audience and allow me to date with Sailor Sun and... Wait a minute, you're not Sailor Moon."
Ukyou knew Tatewaki Kuno was dense. But to confuse her with Sailor Moon was a level of stupidity that rivaled Forrest Gump. She turned her head to face the kendoist with a look of disgust. "What's gotten into you, jackass? Don't you know who I am?"
Tatewaki Kuno took a step back. "I'm sorry fair maiden but I don't believe we've met. I am the... Now I recognize your face! You're Ukyou Kuonji, am I not correct?"
"Of course I'm Ukyou, you jackass. Who else would I be? How many people walk around with this strapped to their backs?" She reached an arm over her shoulder to touch her trademark spatula that she always carried behind her.
"But of course my fair maiden, forgive my grievous error and accept my apology by dating with me tonight." He pulled out a bouquet of flowers and presented them to her with a graceful bow.
"Thanks, but no thanks, Kuno. I'll accept your apology, but I won't date with you." Ukyou turned toward the school, took two steps and was stopped by a quick moving kendoist.
Kuno held his hand to the collar of his robe in a dramatic pose, not budging from his place in front of the chestnut haired girl. "Fair maiden, there is a rumor about, that you have a connection with the Sailor Senshi. Is this not correct?" He tried to make the request as non-intrusive as possible to entice the girl to surrender to his charms.
Ukyou shifted her demeanor to be a little bit more annoyed at the idiot that was invading her personal space. "Whoever gave you that idea, sugar?" She peeked around Kuno into the schoolyard to see if she could find Nabiki lurking about.
Kuno looked away in classic Kuno style, facing the sky with his hands on the collar of his kendo robes. "I was fed the information by the fair maiden, Nabiki Tendo. However, your appearance only adds credibility to her claims. Tell me, what do you know about the Senshi marriage laws?" He turned his eyes toward Ukyou's, hoping for her to come forward with a favorable answer.
The chef glared back in response, lowering her eyebrows in annoyance as the clock was ticking toward a tardy bell. "I have no idea what you're talkin' about. Marriage laws? What? Are you stalking Senshi now? Aren't Ranma and Akane enough for you?"
Kuno stared upwards to the heavens, as if the gods themselves were blessing his pronouncement. "My only business with Saotome is to break his hold on Akane Tendo and the pig tailed one. I have other matters that need my immediate attention and the learning of the entire text of the Senshi marriage laws will aid me in my quest to free those poor maidens from their entrapment." Kuno stopped staring into space while he was speaking to look at Ukyou again when he saw that she wasn't standing there anymore. He spun around to see Ukyou walking calmly into the front doorway of the high school.
Kuno ever so slowly nodded his head. "Ignore your upperclassman will you? You show the same disrespect as that foul Saotome. Perhaps he has poisoned you as well." He called out in a loud voice. "Sasuke!"
Tatewaki's private ninja appeared from nowhere and bowed at his feet. "Yes, master?"
The kendoist shot a glance at his man servant, only interested in his undying faithfulness and nothing else. "Have you obtained any further information about the Senshi?"
"Since twenty minutes ago? No, master." Sasuke groveled at Kuno's feet.
"What do I pay you for? Get to work then! Find out who Sailors Sun and Io are so that I may date with them."
The ninja looked up from his prone position in shock. "But, master? Didn't they instruct you that they would kill you if you bothered them?"
Kuno had a gleam in his eye. "They did indeed. However, I'm not the one bothering them as you so eloquently put it. You're only investigating them, not bothering them. The only one bothering them is the one I intend to properly put into his place. I need the book that contains the laws of the Senshi. Once I have it, I can find a way to impress upon the fiery red haired goddess and the strong willed yellow skirted warrior, my prowess as their future mate." Kuno held his bokken to the sky and laughed insanely. "Yes! They will come to me and join my glorious house!" Lighting struck a nearby tree then bounced off a branch directly into Kuno's bokken, frying the upperclassman into a blacked crisp. He fell face first into the grass.
Sasuke groaned as he pulled out a first aid kit from his ninja robes. "Oh, master."
The little Chinese girl ran under store awnings and the trees that lined the street as she journeyed away from the docks and into the city of Tokyo. She took extra precautions to avoid going out into the open, keeping her eyes glued to the sky. A mass of black birds flew overhead and the girl jumped into a trash can and covered it with the lid to hide from anyone's view.
"Caw caw!" The birds called to each other, after seeing nothing in particular and flew off to the north.
The girl shivered in terror remembering what happened in China to her father on the night she was driven from her home. Her father had given her a quest that brought her to this foreign land. She slid her hand into her shirt to check if her precious parchment was still present and sighed when she found that she had not lost her treasure. She still had hope that she would be able to finish the task that her beloved father had entrusted her with.
Tap! Tap! A gloved hand knocked on the trash can. "Anyone in there?" Sailor Io asked.
The tiny girl cowered in the refuse. She whimpered and thought. "They've found me. Oh, Daddy, I'm so sorry. I failed you." She shivered in fright, softly whispering to the person outside of her sanctuary. "Please don't hurt me."
Sun looked at Io. "Wadda ya think?"
Io shook her head. "Lost kid maybe?"
"Doubt it. There's something going on and she's the center of it. We wouldn't have of felt danger if this was just a lost kid. Heck, Ryoga would be the center of trouble if being lost was all it took."
Io huffed with her hands on her hips. "Stop picking on Ryoga! He hasn't done anything to you."
"Whatever. Anyways, let's find out who or what's in here so we can get to class and avoid detention." Sun tapped the trashcan again. "Anyone home?"
The lid slowly slid open and a pair of tiny eyes looked out. "You not one of... them?"
A thunderclap was heard in the distance. Io bent over to get a good look at the girl inside the can. "One of who? We're the Sailor Senshi and we'd like to take you home to your parents."
The girl popped back into the can. "No! Can't go to Father now! Must find elder before they find me."
Sun looked to the sky in disgust. She was going to get a detention for rescuing a lost girl who might have an overactive imagination. The darkening sky attracted the Senshi's attention as it filled with a huge number of black birds who were circling their location. The birds began to descend with a few heading straight for her. "What gives?"
"Caw! Caw!" Several birds flew just over Sun's head and pecked her as they dive bombed. Soon, a hundred birds flew in a pattern to attack the Senshi.
Io slammed the lid on the little girl to protect her. Sun spun her head around to spy a pile of gravel with a shovel stuck in it and grabbed a handful of tiny rocks. She pinched the pebbles at the birds to rapidly knock them out of the air unconscious. Io stood guard by the trash can keeping a lookout for the little Chinese girl.
One of the birds was much larger in size than the others. It descended rapidly and as it got closer, it became a man with black feathered wings and bird like talons for hands. He flew directly above hovering over the pair of Senshi. "Caw! Caw! Give me the girl!"
Sailor Sun swung her hands out in defiance. "Forget it!"
The bird man smiled. "Caw! Caw! Then you die now!" He folded in his wings to perform a dive attack.
Io threw a ball of lava. "Lava Blast!" The bird man twisted his body to easily dodge the magical fireball. Io barely dodged a counterattack as a flurry of sharp feathers were unleashed that almost turned her into a pin cushion. The feathers were thrown from a second bird man with white feathers and black tiger like stripes on his clothes.
Sun took stock of the situation. "Aw, man! Two of them?" Another thunderbolt arced across the sky as the area filled with rain from a sudden cloudburst. Sun smiled since she was already female, so rain didn't bother her. She kept forgetting that the Senshi magic locked her in female form while she was powered up.
The bird men gave looks of shock and surprise to each other as the rain touched them and their wings instantly vanished. They fell together onto a pile of crates nearby.
Sun's eyes grew wide as the shock of the transformation overtook her. "What? They turn human with cold water? What are they?"
One of the former bird men popped out of the broken crate. "Give us the girl!" The rain began to subside leaving a fine mist all around the alley.
Sun stomped on his head three times to send him into dreamland. His companion popped out of another broken crate. "We'll face you again!" The little girl appeared and stomped on the second former bird man until he was knocked out cold.
Io folded her arms watching the little girl bounce like a beach ball on the unconsious head of the bird man. "Girl's got spunk."
The little Chinese girl finished jumping up and down after the man's head was completely covered in lumps. She hopped in front of Sailor Sun and bowed. "Thank you for saving me, honored guest!"
Sun held her wet gloved hand to her chin in remembrance. "Honored guest? Where've I heard that before?"
The Jusenkyo guard poured hot water on Ranma-chan. "Honored guest, you fall in Nyannichuan, Spring of Drowned Girl. Very tragic story of..."
Sun shuddered at the memory of that terrible day.
The little girl bowing before the Senshi was only a little more than a meter tall with twin pigtails in her jet black hair. She wore a large flower on each side her head, a simple loose Chinese shirt and cotton drawstring pants. "Please take me to Amazon elder. She's in Nerima at a place called Cat Cafe. It very important I see elder."
Sun and Io groaned in stereo. Io kneeled down to the girl while Sun leaned against a wall sighing. "Is this elder's name, Cologne?"
"Yes! That's her name! She's the great elder who can help me."
Sun watched the sky as the rest of the birds flew off and the clouds dissipated. "Oh, that's just great." She shook her head in dread. "I'll take you there, but first let me get some answers from your friends." She walked over to the crates and pushed aside the wood to drag out the two men. Sun gasped as she saw that the two men had disappeared. "Io, did you see 'em go?"
Io looked around the alley. "No, they must have snuck away."
"Great, just great. That's all I need to start my day." Sun faced the little girl. "Let's get you to safety and then I want some answers."
Ukyou sat at her desk worrying if she was going to serve detention. She unpacked her homework and looked it over for any last minute mistakes. Yuka and Sayuri strolled up to Ukyou with smiles on their faces. Yuka sat down next to Ukyou holding her face in her hands with little stars in her eyes. "Hey Ukyou, tell us all about it!"
Sayuri sat in front of Ukyou with her hands to her chin in a dreamy fashion as well. "C'mon, what's it like to be around the Sailor Senshi?"
Ukyou bugged her eyes out. She thought in a panic. How much do they know? She put her papers down sliding them back into her bag. "Girls, what makes you think I know the Senshi?"
"Well, for starters, there's all the rumors going around school about you helping them out with those giant lizards. What did they call them?"
Yuka answered. "Gojira, although the Americans called them Godzillas."
"Yeah that's it, Gojira. Didn't you sell Gojira okonomiyaki at your place?"
Ukyou nodded. "Yeah, but I ran out of the meat yesterday. If you wanted some, you should have let me know. I would've saved you some."
Yuka looked around noticing that several students were staring at the three of them. She lowered her voice so that only Sayuri and Ukyou could hear. "I heard that you went to the hospital and the Senshi healed you. Was it true? What was that like?"
Ukyou sighed. "Look, class is going to start in a few minutes. I'll tell you at lunch, ok?"
Both girls said while clapping their hands together. "Okay!" The rest of the students nearby paid very close attention to the trio, taking notes and whispering among themselves.
Sayuri was all giddy. "Tell me, did Sailor Moon show you how to do that?"
Ukyou's eyes narrowed as she didn't like where the conversation was going. "Do what?"
"Your hair, silly. How long did it take you to do that?"
"What are you talking about?"
Yuka and Sayuri glanced at each other. Yuka tapped a meatball on Ukyou's head. "That! How did you do that to your hair? It's really cool!"
Ukyou got very quiet. She slowly lifted her hand to the top of her head and felt the meatball on her right side. She quickly reached over the left side and felt the second meatball. Using both hands, she felt her twin ponytails as they reached down to her shoulders. She gasped. "Do either of you have a mirror?"
Yuka reached into her purse. "Sure." She handed Ukyou a small compact.
"Thanks." Ukyou opened the compact and looked at her reflection. "Oh... My... God..." She dropped the compact as she vanished into the ladies room.
Sayuri shrugged. "I thought it looked good on her."
Yuka nodded in agreement. "I thought so too."
Ukyou stared at herself in the restroom mirror. Her hairstyle was a dead ringer for Sailor Moon except that her hair was chocolate brown and shoulder length since most of the hair went into the twin meatballs on her head. "When did I do that? I don't remember doing... Yes, I did do that." She began to undo the hairstyle to change it to something less embarrassing. "Why the hell did I do that?" She combed out her hair in record time.
"I'd better hurry or I'm going to be late." She brushed her hair, fluffed it up and combed her bangs. She got a red ribbon out of her book bag and tied it in back of her head. "Okay, that's more like it." She admired herself for a moment then ran back into her classroom and sat in her seat just as Miss Hinako entered when the tardy chime rang.
Sayuri glanced over at Ukyou and liked what she saw. "Yuka!"
"Now she looks even better!"
"Do you think she'll dye it blond tonight?"
"I think she should. She'd make a perfect Sailor Venus."
Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and stops me from sending over those 100 pizzas I ordered in your name to your house. You're buying of course.
Rebecca Ann Heineman
January 25th, 2007