Revolutionary Girl Sakura: Prologue

Sakura raced across the Tokyo rooftops, her sword held firmly in her hand. 'Where did she go?' she thought, looking around her wildly. She felt the presence before she actually saw her, and leapt up just in time to avoid the burst of flame.

Golden fires danced all around the pretty brown haired girl, the young woman in Sakura's class who always smiled at people so very gently. There were no gentle smiles on her face now, instead her expression was nearly blank and eyes glazed over, entirely possessed by the card's power with a rose made of flame on her chest.

"Please Rika, just surrender the card to me," Sakura gently tried to reason with her, "you're hurting people with it's powers."

"No," Rika cried out, "I need it to protect us! I need it to protect him..."

'Her mystery crush,' Sakura thought grimly. She shook her head, 'Never mind that now! I've got to stop this before the entire city's ablaze.' She racked her brain, watching the flames dance around her opponent, then her eyes widened, 'Of course!'

A Clow Card appeared in Sakura's hand, and she cried out "Water Card! Empower my blade! Water!" threw it up smoothly up into the air, and then sliced across it with the Sword of Dios. There was the image of a fish-like boy hovering just above her, and as she swung her blade a tidal wave of water rushed towards where Rika stood.

The flames roared up around the girl, the water rapidly changing to steam. "This is useless against my power," Rika cried.

"Maybe so," Sakura cheerfully agreed with her, having used the steam as cover to get right in front of the startled Rika, "but it does make a great distraction." With a single smooth swing of her blade the fiery rose was destroyed.

"No," Rika cried out in grief and pain.

The fires rose up from Rika's body, hovering there confused in midair. "Fire Card! Return to your power confined! Fire!" she cried, and stabbed the flames with her sword. For a second it writhed at the end of her blade, then reformed as a golden card, dropping down into her hands.

Rika swayed, then dropped bonelessly to the ground. Sakura rushed to check the younger girl over, feeling relieved that she was visibly all right. A few anxious moments later there was a slight fluttering under her eyelids, and then Rika opened those eyes to look up at her in confusion. "Where am I? What happened?" she asked weakly.

'She doesn't remember a thing,' Sakura thought in relief, 'good.' With a slight smile Sakura helped her up to her feet, "It's a long story..."

Sakura yawned mightily as she walked away from another day of classes. Running around at night could be tiring even for a teenager, it seemed. 'Glad I'm getting used to it,' she thought. 'But I wonder how long all my nights will be occupied chasing these Clow Cards?'

"Sakura Kinomoto!" the school teacher cried.

Sakura winced slightly as she turned back to look at the older teacher who was running up to her. She mildly answered, "Yes?"

"Why are you still wearing that horrid boy's uniform?" the woman scowled.

"Horrid? I've always thought that it looked pretty good on the boys myself," Sakura answered her with her usual cheer.

"But you're a girl!" the woman growled.

Sakura sighed, thinking about how she looked. A slim young woman wearing the black with rose trim boy's school did look odd, but she had chosen it for entirely practical reasons. Card capturing in skirts could be hazardous to one's modesty, something that she had learned the hard way. Still, she didn't think the teacher would want to hear about that.

"It's an official school uniform, purchased from one of the officially recognized shops," Sakura said patiently, "and therefore it's within the rules." A cheerful smile, "So that's all right then?"

The teacher groaned as the girl walked off. "It looks like she'll be making a fool of me for yet another term," the woman said softly.

"Sakura is very unusual, isn't she," the male teacher standing nearby observed, "but considering her past, it's quite understandable."

"How so?" the woman asked.

"Both of Sakura's parents and her elder brother passed away when she was very young," he explained, "ever since she was a little girl she's been raised by her Aunt,"

The woman looked off where Sakura had gone, her eyes wide in surprise, "I never knew."

"She doesn't show it," he agreed, "a star athlete, cheerful, outgoing, one of our very best students." He shrugged, "I suppose that's why she's allowed her little eccentricities."

Unaware that she was the topic of the teachers conversation Sakura leapt over a old crumbling wall, taking the alleys back home. Some of her friends had questioned the wisdom of that route, but Sakura wasn't afraid. It was as if all the supernatural things she had faced had left her unafraid of the more mundane dangers of the world.

'Not that I wouldn't mind someone coming along with me,' Sakura thought. But such a person was elusive to the young woman, and she had other things to consider. Like where she was going to go to school after graduating here. And it was getting to be that time of year once again...

It had been raining, the skies crying as tears trickled down Sakura's own face. It had hit her, finally, the clear and certain knowledge that her parents and brother were gone, never to come back. She walked along the river, mired in despair, until she stumbled upon the hole in the fence. Her spirits as low as they had ever been, she crawled through the hole, falling towards the river.

Only to be stopped by a firm but gentle grip

The woman pulled her up, her long brown hair flowing around them both. She pulled the soaked, sobbing Sakura close to her, and Sakura smelled the scent of roses and cherry blossoms carried in the strands of hair. Her fingers tangled in the necklace the woman wore, and somehow it came free, the tiny sword shining in Sakura's fingers. She smiled down at Sakura sadly, and Sakura felt all floaty inside as she softly murmured, "We will meet again." With that, she gently lay Sakura down under a sheltering tree and was gone...

Each and every year on or near the same day since then she had received a postcard, all bearing that same unique scent. A simple image was on one side, and on the other printed the words, "I will meet you again." Sakura reached the house that she shared with her Aunt, checking for mail, and smiled as she drew out another of those familiar cards. She flipped it over to read the message and her eyes widened to see, "This year, finally, we will meet."

"What?' Sakura blurted, "but... how?"

Shaking herself, Sakura ran upstairs, the card in hand. She pulled open a desk drawer, and spilled the other cards out there on the desktop. All the messages were written in the same text, all still carrying the same scent, but other than that they carried no other information. Casually she flipped the cards over to look at the pictures, and froze.

With shaking hands she swiftly assembled each of the scenic photos on the back of the cards, eventually forming the image of a school. "I've seen this before," Sakura murmured, "but where?" Digging through the piles of school catalogs the guidance councilor had given her, she swiftly found the match: the famous Ohtori Academy!

"Does that mean I have to go there?" Sakura wondered. She examined the last card, noticing a nameplate hidden among white roses there, in a language that she recognized. "Latin," she grumbled under her breath, "it HAD to be Latin."

Pulling down one of her least favorite textbooks, Sakura went to work. After a few false starts, and at least one translation that made little or no sense, Sakura thought that she had it. "I await you here," Sakura read softly, an odd look on her face.

Dinner that night was quiet, as Sakura considered what she was going to say. "Aunt Shouko," Sakura smiled up at her, "would you mind if I continued my education at Ohtori Academy?"

"What?" Aunt Shouko blinked at her in surprise.

Sakura Kinomoto smiled slightly a few months later as she pulled her bags out from the taxi cab. Her first day of classes was a week away, but she wanted to visit Ohtori Academy early, to get a feel for the place first. As she strode through the front gates her eyes narrowed, an oddly familiar sensation running down her spike.

'The Clow Cards,' Sakura thought, 'the last few I couldn't find in Tokyo. They're here, I can sense it! I guess coming here was the right thing to do after all.'

Checking the paper with her room assignment on it she made her way to the East Hall, a run down Victorian era building that had seen better days. She went upstairs to room #21, and blinked in surprise to see two names on the door.

Pushing it open, Sakura called out, "Hello?"

"Hello," a pretty, dark haired young woman smiled back even as she finished putting together a massive home entertainment system, "you must be my roommate, Sakura." She bowed slightly, "My name is Tomoyo Daidouji."

"Sakura Kinomoto," she bowed to her in return, wondering why Tomoyo's gentle smile was making Sakura blush.

To be continued...