A New Beginning
by Lerris Smith
Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma 1/2, Sailor Moon or Tenchi Muyo. This piece of work is purely for entertainment purposes. This is just a reposting to insure clean chapters. This story is on hold for now.
Author's Notes: This story is a continuation based on the Ranma 1/2 series by Rumiko Takahashi. The story diverges shortly before the end of the Ranma 1/2 manga. A characters thoughts are shown this way.
I would like to start with a quote from the end of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. I hope you enjoy the story.
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this,-and all is mended,-
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call:
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
It was early afternoon. Ranma stood his ground and continued his relentless assault on Lord Saffron of the Phoenix people. None of it did any good though. Saffron just regenerated any injuries and Ranma's own strength was not going to last forever.
I've got to do something. This is getting me nowhere and if I don't get past him soon Akane is going to be killed. Dang it! If only.. If only I had trained harder or I could come up with a way to stop his regeneration or ... Arggh! Akane is going to die and its going to be my incompetence that kills her.. and I never even told her.. I've got to do something..
Suddenly as Ranma prepared to launch yet another Ki blast at Saffron the world in front of him went black and out of the darkness came a young woman who looked much like his cursed form but was a little taller and perhaps a couple years older.
"Ranma, please listen, I think I can help."
"Where am I? What is going on? I've got to save her.."
"This place exists only in your mind. I can't maintain it for long, but while we talk here no time is passing in the rest of the world."
Ranma looked up at her, at the curse he used to hate, with what could only be hope. "Help how?"
"My name is Cara Inverse. Over 1500 years ago I was a 16 year old Sorceress healer in training. I was running from a group of bandits who wanted me in ways I wasn't willing to give them. While I was talented, I had never spent much time learning how to use magic to harm so was unable to give much defense. I managed to make two of them too sick to continue the chase, but this only enraged the others. When I ran across the pool that imprisoned my spirit for so long, I had already had an arrow into my chest. Still I drowned before the arrow could kill me, and thus begins the story of the spring of drowned girl."
"So how does that help me save Akane?"
"When you fell in that spring, my spirit was carried with that part of the magic that is your curse. I don't know why then, and not before. I think that when I died I was exactly as old as you were when you fell in. Perhaps that was part of it. Perhaps something in your spirit resonated with my own. I don't know."
"Ranma, Saffron's fires are burning with a lot of magical energy. I don't think you will be able to win this battle as you are, and when you lose we are all, Akane included, likely to be engulfed in those flames. I don't want to know what would be left of our spirits after that. They might survive intact, but I think it more likely that they would be shredded. I really don't want to end like that, nor do I want to see you or Akane end that way."
"Please, just tell me how to save her.."
"Impatient as always I see. Ranma, if you are completely willing, I think we can merge our two spirits. I'm not sure, but I think then we would have enough skill and power to kill Saffron and save Akane. If we do this though, there is no going back. Ranma and Cara as they were would be gone forever. We would be one person forever."
"Would... I still .. lov..e her?"
"Well its about time you finally admitted it, even to a voice in your head. Ranma, I have been with you since you have known her and care for her a lot. It seemed that fate destined the two of you to marry someday, and I confess I liked the idea, although the thought of losing that mallet of hers somewhere before the honeymoon sounded like a very good idea."
Ranma laughed quietly. "I was prepared to die to save her life. Perhaps this is death in its own way, but it gives me a chance to save her. Lets do it."
"Ranma, my spirit is somewhat weakened from being in that pool for all that time. When you feel my spirit touch yours, you must allow it and accept me completely. Please Ranma, this is important. I do not want to be destroyed and I can't help if I am. I know the idiocy your father taught you about women, but please for Akane's sake at least.."
"I promise." I will save her, no matter what it costs.
Ranma saw her come closer and suddenly she was fading into him. He focused all of his will on accepting and welcoming this... part of himself. It was strange, it was .. warm and it felt like he was getting back some part of himself that had been missing for years. The memories came. The years spent training with her dear mother. Her fathers sickness when she was 12. Her mothers tireless efforts to save him, spending her magic, spending herself but it was not enough. A year later her mother was lost to her as well, unable to fully recover from her fathers loss and the magic she had spent trying to save him. He had a mother who loved him..err her.. without a contract and a katana. But she was long gone.. Loss, sadness. She stayed with her grandfather from then on. He taught her more about magic, about healing and nurturing life. Then the bandits came. Grandfather tried to stop them, but died from a sword through the gut almost right away.. I ran and ran. In desperation I tried to cast a spell to slow a couple of them down, but I got shot with an arrow... then the water claiming me, the long sleep, waking up shorter.. can't control my body, running after a panda..
Disorientation, confusion. Who am I? I am Cara. No, I am Ranma. I was Cara. A part of me still is, but I am Ranma. Saffron.. Akane... What can I do? If I combine a spell to disrupt his ability to regenerate with a ki blast..
Shampoo looked up at Ranma. Aiyah. Ranma is fighting Saffron. Saffron who could destroy us all and Ranma is facing him for her. We are dead, but at least I got to see Ranma fight once more, even if it was for her, again. For a second Ranma glows brilliant blue and white and then a ball of red and blue energy leaves his hands that impacts on Saffrons right side causing it to cease to exist. A second blast swiftly follows and Saffron explodes.
As soon as Ranma launches his second attack he grabs Akane and jumps in the spring as Saffron explodes shattering the top of the mountain and sending waves of raw magic and rocks into the surrounding area. Fortunately only two people were in the path of the blast. As Ranma and the lifeless Akane fell below the surface of the magical spring the wave hit, penetrating the springs surface and impacting their bodies. A brief thought that at least the water was warm ran through him.
Ranma could feel the raw chaotic magic of the spring leaching into him, and then the wave that was Saffron's power hit and he almost blacked out. This is so not good. He could feel the wild energy eating away at his being but their was nothing he could do. The way in was probably blocked by half a mountain. First things first. Air. Ranma called on the half of him that was Cara and cast a spell on Akane and himself. Sooner enough their was a small continuously refreshed shell of air around their heads.
Ranma looked down at Akane. Her skin looked healthier than just moments ago, but she was still not breathing. She was dying in his arms. If only the mountain hadn't fallen on top of us and trapped us here. A short immersion in the waters of Jusendo would have probably cured her as intended. Continuous immersion is killing her, even quicker than it is killing me. She will be dead before I can find a way out of here. I refuse to let her die.. Their must be something I can do.. Ranma held Akane gently while searching for a solution. He could sense that there was no way out of here near enough.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity of frantic thought, but was in actuality only about a minute he remembered a very intricate spell that his grandfather showed him on his 16th birthday. It created a bond of sorts between a man and a woman tying their essences together. His grandfather joked at the time that perhaps someday she, for she was Cara then, would meet a lucky man to marry who she would love enough to risk forming such an intimate attachment with. Cara didn't think she would ever use the spell, given she was fairly certain that men were scum, but now it gave Ranma a small hope. The spell was permanent so if they survived this, there was the possibility that he would be linked to an Akane who would hate him and thanks to the bond he might have to live with that hatred as a living thing for the rest of his life. I don't really think she hates me though, well she says she does allot, but then sometimes she smiles and... It doesn't matter, it is her only chance. I owe her whatever chance at life I can give her.
Ranma began to cast the spell. He focused on his love for her and his hope for her well being. Delicate webs of spirit, water, and fire formed around Akane and then settled into her resonating with that part of her spirit that recognized Ranma and cared for him. The webs changed and grew. Parts of Ranma's spirit found a permanent home in Akane's heart, while other parts of Akane's spirit wove themselves into the web which reformed and rose out of Akane and formed back around Ranma. He pushed aside the part of him that would always react in a rather childish way to her and welcomed her spirit into his heart where it settled and resonated with his own. The bond did not form quite as expected though. The residual energy Saffron emitted and the raw magic leaching into them changed it-made it into something much stronger than originally intended. Saffron's regenerative powers incorporated into the bond had bought them time. He wondered how long. It might be years before the bond developed fully. He hoped she would have those years. Seconds later Akane awoke in Ranma's arms surrounded by water.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I'm drowning." She flailed her arms randomly in what wasn't a good approximation of swimming. Ranma managed to keep her in a lose grip.
He carefully turned her to face him. "Akane. Stop struggling. You are alright. We will get out of here." Ranma was in no way certain of the last. He created a small globe of light using a mixture of ki and magic and held it in his hand.
"Where the heck are we?" Akane completed ignored the fact that their was air around her head in spite of being surrounded by water. She looked around, and could see the cavern extended for a long ways down, but couldn't see any way to go up.
"We are in the spring at Jusendo. I was able to defeat Saffron, and get us to the spring, for your cure, but he kinda blew up leaving a good part of the mountain on top of us."
"Baka! Only you would managed to trap us under a mountain in the process of trying to save me!"
Ranma smiled. Akane was alive, and for the moment everything was right with the world. "Follow me. We must get out of this water as soon as possible. I'll explain later."
For once Akane resisted the impulse to demand he explain now, sensing the urgency of the situation. Ranma moved down into the tunnel and glanced around every now and then to make sure Akane was keeping up. They really needed to get out of here soon, if it wasn't already too late. Almost an hour later they found a way up that led into an underground cavern. They were out of the water, but their was no way out of the cavern.
"No, not after all this.. There must be a way out.. I won't let it end like this."
"We can just go back in the water and find another way out."
"Its not that simple. While that water may have been your cure, continuous exposure to that raw magic was killing us. I don't know.. if we got out of it soon enough. Going back in, even if we knew another way out would almost certainly result in our deaths within days."
"Your kidding right? Besides what do you know about magic. Your Jusenkyo curse hardly makes you an expert. I feel fine."
"Actually it was my Jusenkyo curse that helped us get this far. The girl who died in that pool so long ago was a young sorceress. Her name was Cara. Somehow when I fell into the spring of drowned girl her spirit was freed from the pool and became a part of me. I was losing the final battle with Saffron. I was going to lose you. Cara was able to join her spirit with my own. Under less insane circumstances I don't think either of us would have been willing, but it was our only chance. In a way Ranma and Cara are gone. In another way they both live on in me. Thankfully it gave me the power and the knowledge to kill Saffron and save you, but now... Its not fair.. I tried so hard.." The stress and the chaos, finally showed their toll on Ranma and he started crying and shaking..
Akane didn't know what to say right away. It was almost as if she could feel his pain, but she dismissed it as her imagination. She just took him into her arms and held on. After several minutes she said, "Hey! Since when does Ranma Saotome give up a fight? Has my fianc? become a quitter?"
"You can't give up now. Not after we have come this far. What would Nabiki think if she lost her best source of revenue, or our parents think if they lost their pastime of scheming to get us married? Heck if both the pig-tailed girl and Akane Tendo died, Kuno's heart would be broken forever!"
"Thanks Akane. Hmm, well there are two options. I can try to blast a way to the surface or someone else can save us. I seriously doubt I have the strength to blast so far, and if I did, the cave in would probably finish us so that leaves us with someone to save us.. Hmm Ryoga and Shampoo might manage something, if they knew where we were, but then I imagine all those phoenix mountain people might be hunting for me by now, making it unlikely they could even get close to us.."
"If only the Sailor Scouts were here. They could save us."
Ranma groaned. "Akane, be serious."
"I am being serious. Don't you ever watch the news. They have saved a lot of people in Jubaan. I guess its pointless though, how would they even find out where we were?"
This sparked a memory in Ranma. There was a spell he had studied long ago when he was staying with his grandfather. It was a spell from the silver millennium. It was given to her grandfather, as village elder, as a way to summon help in a crisis. He hoped it would work. "Thanks Akane. You helped me remember a spell that might be able to ask them for help."
Akane smiled, but since when did Ranma learn manners? Perhaps it was only the about dying thing. Akane hoped that if they survived this, it wouldn't take about dying again for them to talk.
"Akane, after I cast this spell I might fall asleep for a little while. Don't worry, I'm just tired." Ranma focused his energy and small ball of blue and gold energy began to form in his hands. He focused his thoughts on the ball and a copy of their basic situation became a part of the ball of magic. Finally he took the ball of magic and information and pushed it into subspace in the manner he remembered. His energy expended, he slumped into sleep.
Akane took hold of the sleeping baka, and hoped it wouldn't end here. She didn't notice her own tears stream down her face and fall on her fianc, before she too drifted off to sleep.
Ryoga shouted, "Akane!..."
Genma said, "Run! The whole mountain is coming down. We can't save them.."
Mouse struck Shampoo in the back of the head knocking her out and picked her up and ran to safety.
Genma was already gone.
Ryoga intended to run towards Akane, but got lost.
They managed to meet up a short time later and tried to go back to see what had happened. Unfortunately their was an army of Phoenix mountain warriors searching the area. Evidently they weren't pleased that their kami was killed. The bird people seemed confused for some reason, almost as if they couldn't believe their leader was gone.
Regardless, they had to leave if they didn't want to join their friends. At least it seems that the searchers hadn't found them. Perhaps their was hope, but no one really believed it. A mountain came down on them after all.
In a dimension isolated from the rest of the universe that was geographically located on the planet Pluto, Setsuna Meio was startled out of her ponderings by the appearance of a ball of blue and gold energy appearing before her on a small pedestal near the entrance of the time gates. I never thought to see one of those again. I didn't think anyone existed who even could create a message spell. She was hesitant, in case it could be a trap. There was a lot of power in that ball, much more so than the spell required. It could also be a legitimate call for help. She took out her communicator and called the other Senshi, "Meet me at the temple, ASAP. I received a message." She then took the time staff and directed her will to cause the spell to become attached to the end of her time staff. She then opened a portal to near the temple and stepped through.
When she arrived all of them were already there. It seemed they were already having a meeting.
"Hello. I called you here because I received a message spell just a few minutes ago. It is coded as an emergency message to us. What's strange is it has more power in it than a message spell like this should require. What is really strange is that it exists at all. That spell is over a thousand years old, and I don't know how anyone could have learned it. Regardless someone could be in trouble, so we should begin."
Ami asked, "What do we do?"
"Everyone transform and join hands. Then I will open the message. By opening it together we should be able to contain anything in case it is somehow a trap."
A light show later eight Senshi formed a circle and held hands. Pluto sent the message into the middle of the circle and caused it to be replayed. In his desperation and lack of understanding of the spell Ranma messed up making the message. It included not just details of his immediate situation, but all of his thoughts since the battle with Saffron began.
Usagi was the first to recover from the inundation of thoughts and feelings they were bombarded with. "We have to help them!" The others blinked their eyes and focused on their princess.
Mercury suggested, "Sailor Teleport?"
"No, your teleport drains too much of your energy. You may yet need it. I will bring them here."
Pluto opened a portal and appeared in the cave where Ranma and Akane had fallen asleep.
"Hey you two, Wakeup..."
Akane and Ranma blearily opened their eyes.
Ranma looked around. "What? Who?"
"It worked..Sailor Pluto.." I'm glad Ranma never found my manga collection.
"I can only take one of you at a time. Who's first?"
"Take Akane first."
Akane stared at him, but by the time she tried to say something Sailor Pluto had already grabbed hold of her and deposited her in the middle of the other Senshi.
As she was setting Akane down, she could see the girl almost pass out. She didn't understand. "Saturn, try to heal her. I'll go get Ranma."
Pluto again appeared in the chamber, grabbed ahold of Ranma who had passed out, and pulled him with her into the temple and set her down next to Akane.
Saturn's hands were glowing as they were placed on Akane's head. Unfortunately she could do little. The chaotic magic coursing through their bodies prevented anything from working even as it continued to slowly kill them. As soon as Ranma appeared Akane's health improved, and she looked much better, but Saturn could tell it wasn't enough. They had time.. But time to do what? Saturn moved over to Ranma and checked his condition. It was almost the same as Akane's and just as depressing.
"It seems Ranma or should I say Cara's magic worked very well. The bond between them is sustaining their lives even while the raw magic from that spring and Saffron's death is killing them. As it is, they will still die in a few days and my own healing powers can do nothing for them. The very thing that is killing them prevents me from healing them. They should feel almost ok for a day or so though. From then it will go downhill rapidly."
Usagi said, "There has to be something we can do! Ranma has worked so hard to save the woman he loves. We are supposed to be protectors of love and justice. We can't fail in this."
Mercury replied, "I'm afraid I can't think of anything either. The raw magic that is coursing through them is literally eating them alive. Its certainly nothing a normal doctor could help with.. "
Makoto said, "If it were one of us.. Well we use magic to heal ourselves.. But that doesn't do them any good.."
Pluto glanced up at Makoto and then back at Ranma and Akane who were sleeping peacefully now. "I need to check on something at the time gates." She vanished.
Michuri said, "You don't think... I wonder if it is possible for them to become Senshi. Heck Ranma is half-girl.. even down to his soul."
Haruka said, "I wish we knew more about Akane. We know from the memories that Ranma sent, that he loves her more than his own life, but our knowledge of her is limited. Still to inspire such love, I bet she would make a good senshi."
Hotaru said, "I sensed that both of them were very strong willed, but beyond that I don't know."
Minako said, "Figures, we would manage to rescue a young hero that is allready in love with someone.. sigh Well I guess we are just going to have to find a way to make them Senshi or heal them in some other way. Love that true cannot be allowed to die."
Ranma and Akane woke up again to the sound of voices.
"We are not going to die. I wouldn't accept that from Ranma and I won't accept that from anyone else either. Ranma and I have been through too much to quit now."
"Huh? Make us into magical girls? But I'm a guy.." His automatic response felt empty on his tongue since he no longer was fully a guy, not even in his own mind. It felt like he should regret it, but he didn't. Somehow perhaps gaining that part of himself made up for part of his idiot fathers lack of parental skills during his 10 year training trip.
Michuri formed a ball of cold water and splatted him in the face with it then almost regretted it as Haruka glanced over in admiration.
Minako said, "Yep, you'll make a great magical girl."
Akane laughed and nodded.
Mercury said, "Were not even sure if we can do it or not, or if it will help. It may be your only chance though."
Saturn said, "Whatever we do, its going to have to be to both of you. That bond you created Ranma is probably the only reason both you and Akane are still alive. I'm fairly sure if either of you were to die now the other would as well.."
"Bond, what bond? What are you talking about? Is that why I almost passed out after Pluto transported me or why I think I can tell what Ranma is feeling?"
"I'm sorry Akane. You were unconscious and dying. I remembered an old spell my grandfather gave me to study to link the spirits of a man and a woman. It was the only thing I could think of to save you. It was said to allow one to heal faster by borrowing the others strength and vitality. I don't remember hardly any of the details, and I think the lingering magical power from Saffron and the raw magic in the water strengthened the spell far more than the could be expected of that spell. I think it also somehow imbued part of Saffron's regenerative magic into itself.. If we survive this, it seems likely that you will be stuck with me."
Akane said in a fond tone, "Baka." She continued with, "Only you would apologize for saving my life Ranma. Well it seems our idiot parents got their wish, we are a couple, if not how they intended. Don't worry Ranma. I don't regret this, well not much anyway. How can I regret being alive?"
Ranma-chan seemed torn between a mixture of surprise, relief, fear, and wonder.
Neptune said, "Actually there is one thing you forgot to mention about that spell. Didn't your grandfather say that perhaps you should use it someday when you find a man worthy enough to marry?"
"Marry a man? I think not. Besides the part of me that was Cara was even more convinced that men were the 'root of all evil.' than Akane was when I met her. It has taken me some time to sort out my feelings, but from what I can remember Cara came to love Akane as much as I did. She kept having these dreams were she got control of my female half and ... errr.. um.. nevermind"
Haruka added, "Sensible girl!"
The remaining senshi sans Michuri face fault.
Akane noted outloud, "Well I always knew you were a pervert.."
"Hey, I'm only half pervert...arrrggggghh!"
"Well merging with a 1500 year old spirit of a sorceress certainly was not enough to completely cure a case of Saotome foot in mouth disease."
Everyone except Ranma laughed. Ranma tried to look betrayed, but gave up and joined in.
As the laughter faded, Pluto stepped out of a portal right where she had left from. "I'm glad to see that everyone is getting along. First of all, I have been at the time gates for the past two months my time. I knew some of it before, but I hadn't intended to tell you yet, since it would have made little difference. I still can't make out any details."
"In about a year from now, the world will face some threat that if things continue as they are will probably lead to our deaths and the deaths of much of the worlds population shortly afterwards. I knew all of this last week, and have been searching for a way to avoid that fate ever since."
"What about Crystal Tokyo? What about my daughter?"
"Before she died stopping Beryl, Queen Serenity granted me the job of guiding the future towards a time when people and nature were in balance. That future is what we have known as Crystal Tokyo, although obviously it affects the entire solar system and not just Japan. Unfortunately, that future, as is any future, is still only a possible future until it comes to pass. Your daughter comes from that future, and we will continue to work to make it possible"
"Ranma and Akane were unexpected. Much of my time at the gates was spent studying their past. Ranma is a warrior that is almost without peer among those in his age group. Until his desperate merging with Cara, the woman his cursed form was based on, he was also completely without any form of tact. I have hopes that merging with Cara helped there. Many of his problems, including his pathetic social skills, and several of his fianc?s can be layed at the hands of his idiot father."
Minako said, "Fianc?s, as in plural?"
"Its not my fault. I never asked for my dad to use engagements like an atm card."
Akane said, "Baka."
Pluto said, "Perhaps it wasn't your fault initially, but it is your problem now since letting it continue is making a lot of people miserable including yourself."
"Akane on the other hand, is from what I can tell possibly the equal in potential of Ranma as a warrior. She learned at a remarkable rate when she was very young, then her mother died leaving behind three daughters. The oldest hides behind a mask of being the mother in the family, always smiling without truly being happy. The middle decided to do battle with the world and prove that it could not get the better of her and turned into a mercenary of sorts."
"Akane, the youngest, got angry and stayed angry for a very long time. It got much worse when an idiot at her high school decided that she must be concurred through violence and had half the male student body attacking her every morning followed by the idiot himself once she had been worn down a bit. Fortunately the idiot, one Tatewaki Kuno, held back in his matches with her, and she was able to win them. Can you imagine what it would have felt like, to be living in constant fear of being forced into a relationship with a guy, just because he was the one to beat the crap out of you?"
Several of the senshi shuddered, Haruka and Makoto looked like they were ready to skin Kuno alive.
"I'm sorry. I never stopped to think of it that way. And then I showed up, and you thought I was a girl and felt betrayed when you walked in on a guy taking a bath and the secret of the curse came out.."
"Ranma.. That was a long time ago.. Why are we talking about all this now anyway? Shouldn't we be looking for a cure?"
Pluto added, "You have asked for our help, and I believe that we will give it, but first I think it is important for the other Senshi to understand a bit about you."
"Ranma it wasn't just discovery of your curse. Your father taught you to treat women as inferior and it showed in the way you casually beat Akane at sparing without ever taking her seriously. It got worse when she caught you sneaking in her room that night.. While your presence had put an end to the stupid fights at school, it just made her wonder if she hadn't traded one evil for another that lived with them... that had her fathers permission to do with her what he wanted."
"I would never hurt Akane.."
"I know Ranma. I still don't understand why you came into my room then though.."
"I know you made a promise Ranma, but it is time for the truth to come out. If you will not tell it, I will."
"When Cara became a part of me, the Ranma that was before then was lost. I think perhaps it is time to free myself of the chains of my past. Cara sacrificed her individuality to allow me to become strong enough to save Akane, to save myself. How could I continue to bind myself by promises my father made or even my mother, or even myself. It wouldn't be fair to her. It wouldn't be fair to me either."
Quiet settled into the shrine as the Senshi waited for him to continue. A few tears touched the eyes of Usagi and Rei, but no one noticed.
Akane asked, "Ranma, what are you saying?"
"I suppose first things first. I who was once Ranma Saotome, who was once Cara Inverse renounce the promises made on my behalf by my parents and the one promise I made to a friend that has caused so much trouble. I never took Shampoo's engagement seriously since I am not an Amazon. As to my engagements to Ukyo Kuonji and Akane Tendo on behalf of my idiot father, I too declare them over. The same goes for any others that the panda may not have told me about."
"Akane, I don't intend to give up on you. If we survive this, then perhaps we can begin again. Who knows perhaps we can even get engaged again, but this time it will be our choice. Okay?"
Akane just nodded. Words seemed to be failing her now.
"Akane, do you remember the time I told everyone about Ryoga and I in junior high school. We were better friends then. I would lead him back and forth to school. He got so mad at me, because I won the competitions at lunch to get the best bread. It seems so silly looking back on it. At any rate I did wait for three days at the lot behind his house for the duel he wanted, but pop dragged me off to china."
"It was after pop knocked me into the spring of drowned girl.. and I surfaced, with.. those.. Given how I thought of girls then, it was as if my worst nightmare was given form. I was angry, so angry.. I chased pop around for like an hour. I didn't even notice when Ryoga stepped in the way. Apparently he was so angry that I didn't wait another day to fight him, that he followed me to china."
"I didn't find out what happened to Ryoga until later when Akane gave me a small pig to clean up. Because I was responsible I promised him that I would not reveal his curse. This was before P-chan started sleeping in your bed of course. I tried so often to give you hints, without breaking my promise, but you never caught on. It was so frustrating."
"No.. It can't be.. Ryoga can't be P-chan." She thought about it and knew it was true. "I slept with that little pig in my arms. I told him all my secrets. Hell I even dated Ryoga because I felt sorry for the poor schmuck. That pig is so dead. That bastard used what I told my little pig to drive a wedge between us time and time again.. And you.. How dare you not tell me?" Akane was so angry, at Ranma, at Ryoga, at herself that she didn't even think of her mallet, but instead slapped Ranma-chan across the head. Ranma-chan went down for a few seconds.
"I'm sorry Akane.. I'm so sorry. Pluto is right, it was past time you knew... I'm sorry."
Rei added, "You should be. How dare you keep something so important secret from your fianc?"
Pluto noted, "To be fair, Ranma gave so many hints that it would be amazing the Akane never figured it out, except for one thing. Shampoo, the Amazon woman after Ranma for her husband, knows a technique for selectively erasing memory. She used in on all three Tendo daughters so that they would never make the connection between Ryoga and P-chan. I think she used it to somehow make Akane's cooking worse as well since I don't think it is possible to be that bad of cook and not realise it."
Ranma-chan said, "And I thought her a brainless idiot like everyone else. She must have thought that Ryoga's deception was bound to keep us apart giving her the chance she needed.."
Akane said, "When I'm through with her..."
"Akane, you aren't ready to face her. If we survive this, I will teach you if you want and then you can.. "
"There are more important things to consider now. To be honest, I didn't drag all of that out of you two because I like solving peoples relationship problems. I fully intend for you two to become Sailor Senshi. From what I saw looking at possible futures in the time gates, this would give us a much greater chance at surviving and winning against our next opponent. I don't really know why this is true, but I know that it is true, and that we need you. Also from all accounts the magic of the Senshi is the only thing we can think of that will give you a chance to live more than a few days as well."
Pluto asked to borrow the Mercury computer. Mercury hands it to her.
Pluto said, "Activate voice control, authorization Sailor Pluto, guardian of time."
The mercury computer responded with, "Access granted."
Pluto said, "Request level 1 priority 1 access."
"Reason for request?"
"The future of Crystal Tokyo is in danger. The creation of two new Sailor Senshi has the potential to greatly reduce that danger. We need the knowledge of how to make Ranma and Akane Sailor Senshi."
"Verifying statement with the time gates and the moon computer core... Statement verified. Level 1 access requires the consent of all current Sailor Senshi. Will those Senshi that consent to this place one hand on the time staff?"
After a few hesitant looks at Ranma, Akane, and Pluto, all of the Senshi, one by one placed a hand on the time staff.
"Level 1 access granted to knowledge of creation of Sailor Senshi. Will Ranma and Akane also take hold of the staff?" They each place a hand near the bottom of the staff. "Please keep hold of the time staff until the memory transfer is complete... Transfer complete. A recorded message from Queen Serenity plays now."
A life size hologram of Serenity appears. "It seems that dire times have fallen upon you all and despite all my preparations you are in danger of failing to be able to protect our home. You now have the knowledge that was used during the initial binding of your souls to the different celestial bodies in our solar system. The binding gives you great power and longevity, but it was very difficult to create requiring many of our most skilled Wizards. I pray that the knowledge you have now will be enough and that you will continue to be well."
Mercury said, "She is right. This is not going to be easy. I understand how they did it now, but I don't see how we will be able to summon enough power.."
Usagi asked, "What about the silver crystal?"
Mercury said, "No, it would still not be enough. We could support you with all of our powers, and in the end the more likely result is your death and not a new senshi."
Uranus said, "We can't allow that, no matter what our princess must be kept safe."
Pluto said, "Dead is dead. Right now if we do nothing, she will almost certainly die, if we do something she may... Mercury what about them? They are coursing with raw magic. It is after all whats killing them."
Mercury added, "Of course, if we gave Sailor Moon our power and she directed the silver crystal to pull the raw magic from one of them and order it, then she would have the power to create the link and the power that was killing them would be burned up in the process!"
"I still don't like the idea of being a Sailor Senshi."
"Whats wrong with being a Sailor Senshi? Its a childhood dream of mine."
"Have you seen that outfit? Its enough to give Kuno a nosebleed that would cause him to die of blood loss."
"Well what is it your father always said, 'The life of a martial artist is fraught with peril."'
Everyone laughed and then Akane asked, "When can we begin?"
Mamoru had arrived some time ago, but had been largely silent until now. "Aren't we out of planets?"
Minako pointed out, "Well there are unclaimed moons.."
Mercury reported, "The mercury computer suggests Akane be linked to Jupiter's moon Io and that Ranma be linked to the Sun itself. It goes on to say that a link to the sun would potentially give Ranma more power than any other Senshi save Saturn. Unfortunately the attempt to use more power from the sun that what we could call from our planets would be dangerous to Ranma."
Mamoru said, "Why would it suggest that, if doing so is so risky?"
"It is probably for the same reason that certain things are forbidden to me rather than simply being impossible. I know that their use is very likely to cost me my life someday, but I also know that their may come a time when the trade is worth it."
"I don't see the problem. I'm well aware that attempting to do too much at once can kill me. It was that way when I learned to do chi blasts. I'll just be careful and not take needless risks."
"Hah! You not take needless risks. I sometimes think thats all you live for."
Ranma-chan said quietly, "I may not have a choice anymore. Unless becoming a Senshi lessons the link between us, a risk taken by me becomes almost a risk taken by both of us.."
Mamoru said, "Well the pizza's I ordered should arrive in a few minutes. Once we've eaten I suppose you'll be off to see the creation of a new Senshi." Their are definitely times when I hate not being able to do more for them. Its almost as if Serenity was biased against men.
The remaining Senshi detransformed before the pizza delivery guy arrived. Night had fallen by the time they had finished the pizzas off and shared a few stories. Unfortunately for Ranma's sake, Minako had found a couple large capacity squirt guns. Akane got the one filled with hot water. By the end Ranma had changed gender a dozen times and ended up a girl. It seemed Akane didn't know how to ration her ammo. Usagi was similarly drenched, and everyone except for Ranma and Usagi got all the food they wanted. Oh Ranma and Usagi still ate twice as much as everyone else, so no one felt sorry for them. Rei found them towels and some dry shirts.
Fortunately the inner Senshi's parents were already expecting them to stay overnight at Rei's so they were able to leave right after dinner.
Ami said, "We should go now. I believe Akane should be the first. Ranma's will be harder due to the size and power of the sun and we will need what little practice we can get. Also that way Akane will be a Senshi then, and she will be able to help."
"It is time to help our new friends. Lets transform and do it.", added Usagi.
Eight light shows later the senshi stood and formed a circle and joined hands around Ranma and Akane.
Mamoru turned to Usagi. "Take care my love."
Mercury added, "Hold on you too. Teleportation is a little disorienting for a non senshi. There is no air on Io anymore so you will have to remain close to us to breath."
Sailor Moon asked, "Is everyone ready?" She waited for everyone to indicate their readiness. "Sailor Teleportation!"
For Akane and Ranma reality took a holiday as they were ripped from their rightful place in the universe and shot out to what was left of Castle Io. In moments they arrived at their destination in the courtyard in front of the library. It took several minutes more before their destination chose to hold still. The Senshi arrived with no ill effects.
Mercury scanned them her computer. "Just remain still you two. The effects of the teleportation were probably made worse by all that raw magic in your systems, but you should be ok in few minutes."
In the distance you could see several active volcanos, and the air was cloudy with volcanic ash and debris. Definitely not a vacation spot, yet it had a kind of terrible beauty to it.
Akane look around in awe. She was going to become a Sailor Senshi and this would be her world. She wondered if that would make her princess of Io.
"Ah this place is perfect. Volcanic fury to match Akane's temper."
"Ranma no Baka!" She then produced Mallet-sama and proceeded to emphasize her point.
Ranma recovered after a few minutes and said: "Um what I meant to say was, 'This place has a unique beauty and fierceness that complement Akane's own."
Minako said, "Nice save.. A bit late, but nice save.."
Akane in a quiet awe filled slightly confused voice, "Thank you Ranma." Is this the result of the battle and the rest, or is this the result of merging with Cara? I like this new Ranma, but I almost miss the old one. What am I thinking, missing all those insults and taunts... argghh..
Jupiter glanced up at her planet and then back at her surroundings. "This was allways my favorite moon. I think you will make a good Senshi of it."
"I will do my best."
"Because of his link to Akane, Ranma must be one of Akane's guardians during the ceremony. As the senshi of Jupiter, Io is in my domain. I offer myself as the second guardian."
"I .. Thank you. I accept."
Pluto said, "Akane, you must put your faith and trust in your two guardians and in us. In your heart you must accept a part of the soul of Io, as well as the duty given to all Senshi, and our hearts as well. Focus on that and you will do well during the ceremony."
Sailor Moon said, "When this is done, you will forever be a member one of us. You will forever have a place to be."
Mercury turned to Ranma. "Ranma, this will be hardest on you. You are not yet a Senshi, so will not be protected from the forces involved in linking Akane to Io. Unfortunately, due to the link you to share, you cannot be replaced. Believe in us. Believe that no matter the pain we will not let you die. Beyond that focus your heart and mind on giving Akane what strength and help you can during the ceremony."
Minako said, "Focus on your love for her Ranma. We all know that you have loved her for a very long time. It permeated the message you sent us. Focus on that love and it will allow you to endure what you must."
"I will use my strength and the strength of my guardian star jupiter to protect and help you both during it."
"Let us begin then. Jupiter, Ranma, Akane join hands and form the inner ring around me. Everyone else join hands and form the outer ring." With an effort of will Sailor Moon went beyond her normal transformation and became neo queen Serenity."
Rei said with a bit of awe, "Moon Princess.."
Serenity called forth the silver crystal. "It is time. Let us begin."
Sailor Pluto focused her power with "Pluto Star Power" and began sending all the power she could to Sailor Moon. Mercury, Mars, Venus,Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn followed immediately after and Serenity was glowing like the sun.
"Ranma, Akane, Jupiter are you ready?"
"Yes. Yes. Yes, my Queen."
Serenity focused the power of the silver crystal on Akane and pulled forth the raw magic that was coursing through her veins, that was killing her. She pulled it into the silver crystal, and with the power of the other scouts purified it, and then pulled the power into herself. Serenity was now glowing a brilliant silver white with random flashes of other colors.
Serenity took all of that power and drew more from the crystal and began to weave the web of magic. The web's melded into Akane and you could see the pain in her eyes, yet she remained focused. Jupiter was also in rigid concentration with an aura of green power surrounding her. Akane could see the pain in Ranma-chan's eyes, yet she held on.
The weaves continued to grow and spread. She created a tapestry that no one who knew her could ever believe came from Usagi Tsukino. It grew and grew. For over an hour the tapestry grew. Ranma was glowing a faint blue that also surrounded Akane. He seemed to wilt over time, yet he held on. Jupiter looked tired but continued to glow green and give energy to Ranma and Akane. Akane was now surrounded by her own yellowish gold aura. Ranma's fading blue was surrounding and mixing with that, while being surrounded by Jupiter's green. The silver white light of the spell was surrounding her as well seeming to want to squish her out of existence.
Finally the tapestry spread out in all directions, lightly covering the surface of Io and settling into its heart. Serenity put away the power of the silver crystal, and collapsed to the ground as her transformation faded to her normal Sailor Moon form. Around her, Akane and Ranma also collapsed, while Jupiter managed to insure that no one was hurt during the fall, and proceeded to lie down as well.
Mars shouted, "Sailor Moon!..."
Saturn reached over and placed a hand on Sailor Moon's leg. "She's ok, just exhausted." She then placed one on Ranma and then Akane. "They are both ok. We did it."
Pluto said, "We are in no shape to teleport back to earth or to even attempt Ranma's ceremony now. Mercury can you tell if there is a good place left in the palace for us to spend the night?"
Mercury worked with her computer a bit before saying, "Yes there is one large room with full life support working. I think we can find some futons or something as well. Mars, will you help me look?"
After a time everyone met in the room. Pluto made a quick trip to the time gates, and recovered some rations she kept there. Mercury had found some drinking water as well so those that wanted it had a small not very tasty snack. Sailor Moon was given the first futon. She detransformed and was asleep seconds later. Akane was worried that Ranma hadn't woke up yet, but Mercury assured her that he was ok and he just needed rest. Akane layed down and fell asleep next to her erstwhile former fianc?. hmm former.. something is going to have to be done about that.. but sleep... Makoto took the next palate and proceeding to commune with her pillow.
On the other side of the room the remaining senshi talked quietly.
Pluto said, "You all did very well."
Haruka turned to Sailor Pluto. "What about tomorrow? Linking to the sun is supposed to be harder, and what we just did took a lot out of Usagi as it was."
Michiru asked, "How long can we afford to wait? Perhaps if we were all rested.."
Ami turned to the others. "Akane will be able to help tomorrow since she is a full Senshi now. Unfortunately it will be harder to create a link to the sun, and Ranma doesn't have much time left. He had several days before Akane's ceremony, but the ceremony took a lot out of him. I don't think he will live more than another day without the Senshi magic. The longer we wait the harder it will be on Ranma.. I am worried."
Suddenly out a portal opened from the future and a 17 year old pink haired neo Sailor Moon walked through. "Hello guys. Miss me? I brought ramen." She sat down the ramen and detransformed.
Minako said, "Our hero.."
Pluto looked at Usa. "I take it you were sent..?"
"You know I can't say anything about the future. At any rate, I'm here and it looks like your doing something interesting. Can I help?" Somehow when Usa tried to look innocent it just didn't work..
Ami said, "Yes you can. First of all let me introduce you to our newest Senshi Akane Tendo otherwise known as Sailor Io. Tomorrow morning we will be performing the ceremony to create the Senshi of the Sun. Your help will definitely be appreciated."
Saturn turned to her friends. "Where will we teleport to? I mean we are supposed to teleport to the planet we are creating a senshi for, but well I don't particularly want to try standing on the surface of the sun.."
Mercury issued a query into her computer. "Were in luck their is a space station from the Silver Millenium near the sun."
Usa said, "We should all get whatever rest we can. Mercury can you have your computer wake us up early enough so that we will have time to fully recover from the teleport before we begin.. Oh and I can lead the teleport which should help as well.."
Pluto glanced over at Usa again. She was clearly sent. I shudder to think what disastrous outcome warranted sending Usa into the past to help us. "Usa, is everything ok?"
"Sure, everything is fine.. I get to have an adventure and torment my mother. What more could you ask for?"
Pluto nodded. Well I'd interpret that to mean, that with her help everything will be fine at least tomorrow. That was more reassurance than she could hope for.
The senshi slept and dreamed of the future. Shampoo, Mousse and Genma were nearing the cost of china. No one knew where Ryoga was, not even Ryoga himself. Genma didn't know how he was going to face his wife. Perhaps there was still hope. If anyone could survive that it would be Ranma. Unfortunately staying might have meant capture and death. Of course with his skills he could probably avoid discovery, but no it was too big a risk. Genma was well aware when it was time to leave, so he let old reflexes guide him.
Shampoo had been furious when she awoke and found herself being carried by Mouse. She had tried to beat the crap out of him for taking her away when her Airen needed her, but he had disarmed her and tied her up and carried her like a sack of potatoes. I mustn't let Cologne find out about that. When the heck did Mouse get better than me? Then she recalled the rest of the details of the previous day. Aiyah. Husband killed Saffron. But where is he. He can't be dead. Great Grandmother know what to do.
Mouse finally released her when she promised she wouldn't go back without talking with Cologne first. It was obvious really, they were grossly outnumbered. He looked over at Shampoo. I bet she still believes that Ranma survived that and is going to be her husband. He still doubted that Ranma lived, even after Genma had said he saw Ranma carrying Akane just before the mountain came down. Regardless, even if he did survive, it was obvious even to his poor eyesight who held Ranma's heart. He killed a kami for Akane. If by some chance Ranma did survive this, then it was time for him to try to make peace with Ranma. He definitely did not want someone who could kill Saffron as an enemy. It wouldn't be healthy. He had known for quite some time now, that Ranma wasn't trying to steal Shampoo from him. He just couldn't believe it. How could anyone not want Shampoo? He didn't know what he was going to do. A part of him really did hope that Ranma was dead, but then another part of him was afraid that even if he was, it would change nothing. He would still have lost Shampoo, to the memory of a dead man.
In Nerima, at the Tendo Dojo their was an air of anticipation in the air. If Nabiki's estimates were correct they should all be home in less than a week and then everything would be back to normal. After all, Ranma Saotome didn't lose, right? For once Nabiki was willing to believe in Ranma. The alternative was unthinkable.
In a small Okonomiyaki establishment downtown, Ukyo Kuonji was cleaning up after a long day serving customers. She didn't know why, but she felt.. something.. Some certainty that Ranma was lost to her. She forced the thought out of her mind with a rather large bat, and went back to cleaning.
Konatsu Kenzan finished sweeping the floors, and wondered what had upset his mistress.
At 6am, Japan time, the Mercury computer woke everyone up. It took a bit of work to get Usagi up who immediately claimed that it was too early. Ranma-chan awoke as well, but briefly wished she had not. Ranma looked over at Akane. She looked much better. That brought a brief smile to her face that Akane saw.
"Hey mom, wake up! You only need to stay awake long enough so that we can teleport to the space station near the sun, then you can rest a little more..."
"Chibi-usa, What are you doing here? Why are you so old?"
"Oh I just got bored and well you know.. sooner or later everyone grows up.. Come on guys the sooner you transform the sooner we can all get a couple hours more sleep."
Akane looked with concern at Ranma. "I don't want to hurry you guys, but Ranma does not look well."
Mercury said, "We know Akane. Why don't you transform so we can get moving. You should know how now.."
"Oh. Sorry." She reached out and suddenly a henshin stick was in her hand. "Io Lumina power, Make Up!" See links at end for pictures.
Ranma-chan decided not to comment about how the transformations made them all briefly naked for a moment.. No, he wanted to live through this day... That outfit made her shudder though..
By this time, everyone had packed up what supplies they had left. Those still wanting sleep also grabbed blankets.
"Ok everyone form a circle around Ranma and I'll lead the teleport."
"But I normally lead the teleport."
"As your daughter, and the future Sailor Moon, I have that power as well. I will lead the teleport this time. You will need to be at your best for Ranma today. Is everyone ready?.." Usa checks their faces for acknowledgment "Sailor Teleportation!"
Ranma-chan collapsed when they were done. She was really beginning to hate teleportations.
Mercury said, "Akane, the best thing you can do for her right now is to hold on to her and make her comfortable. The link that exists between you too should help her. Staying transformed may help as well since you can draw strength from Io then. Don't worry I will set the computer to wake us all in two hours and then we will begin. We should all be rested and at our best then. Trying before we are fully rested would put us all including Ranma at much greater risk."
Akane found a little bit of hot water and splashed Ranma and then dried him off. He always preferred to be a guy after all. Its not as if I like the idea of holding male Ranma more than female Ranma. No of course not.
Usa smiled at Akane. "Everything will be ok. Have faith in us."
Most of the senshi got in what sleep they could. Usa looked around for a few minutes, but decided that it was far more important to focus on what would happen before long. She knew that even with her help, trying to tap into the power of the Sun was a foolish thing, yet sometimes desperate people do desperate things. The Pluto of her time told her that she would be needed over a month ago, and she had diligently prepared for this. She still didn't know how Setsuna had got her mother to lend her the silver crystal to practice with. She hated that thing. It was the most powerful artifact of the silver millennium. It would faithfully do whatever its master asked, and just as faithfully drain the person dry if its master wasn't very careful about how much it asked it to do. Even with the Saturn of her time sitting in the room with her, the thing had almost killed her three times. Still in a few hours it would be over.
Time passed and a horrible buzzing occurred. Ranma's first thought was to smash whatever it was, but it was too far away and wherever he was it was comfortable.. and soft.. and.. Oh my gosh I'm lying on Akane's chest.. She is going to kill me. Ranma struggled to pull away but her arms were around him and he wasn't very strong for some reason..
Akane continued to hold him. Haha the baka probably thinks I'm going to mallet him. It is tempting. Still I guess I'll have to wait till after we heal him before malleting him again. She felt a moments guilt with the direction her thoughts were taking, even if she was not really serious now even in her own mind. Hmm perhaps if I just held mallet-sama threateningly in the future it would work as well. Finding new inspiration Akane smiles. "Wake up sleepyhead. I think its time." Ranma-chan had a sudden bad feeling about that smile.
The other senshi were getting up and taking care of their morning rituals. Most everyone spent a little time staring out at the sun through the darkened windows as they finished off what little food was left. In short order they were ready.
Ten light shows later they were truly ready to begin.
"In the name of the future moon I ask to be Ranma's second guardian during the ceremony."
"Not that I object, but is their any particular reason you are volunteering? Mercury is closest to the sun."
"I am volunteering because it is the way it must be."
Mercury nodded. She doubted she could get a better answer from Usa and her word was enough for her.
Neo Moon asked, "Saturn, you are my friend. You are also the best at healing among us. Will you be my guardian during the ceremony?"
"I thought the candidate could only have two guardians and that Akane had to be one, due to her link with Ranma."
"Ranma will be guarded by Akane and myself. I am also going to be using this." She summoned the silver crystal from her time. "I am asking for you to grant me your power during the ceremony to help me control it."
"What are you doing! How the heck did you get your hands on that? Do you know how dangerous that is? I could have died yesterday when I used the crystal, save for the other Senshi's support and strength.."
"I know exactly what this is and I know the risks of its use. The Setsuna of my time convinced my mother to let me practice with it. I still don't know how she pulled it off. I have spent a month preparing for this day. The ceremony yesterday weakened Ranma too much. Without my help and the second silver crystal from the future Ranma would not survive this day, nor would Usagi or Akane. Akane and I will guard and protect Ranma during the spell. This silver crystal will give me the power I need to do it, and it will allow you to focus on the main spell. With Hotaru's help I will have the strength to maintain control of the crystal."
"I still don't like it. Perhaps another Senshi should help you with your crystal."
"No. Your task is far more difficult than mine. I would not take Saturn's help if I didn't need it."
"I don't want anyone to risk their lives for me. I have known for sometime that their may be a fight that I don't return from.. Its ok really.."
Neo Moon said, "Are you forgetting Akane? If you die, she will as well."
"Surely you could use that crystal of yours to give you the power to dissipate the bond without killing Akane.."
"I don't want to lose you Ranma.."
Neo Moon said, "Forget it Ranma. You have become the friend of the Sailor Senshi, and we do not abandon our friends."
Sailor Pluto said, "At the risk of inflating your ego Ranma, what I said yesterday is still true. You and Akane both becoming Senshi are somehow pivotal in making the future where Usa is born a reality instead of the future where most of mankind is dead. That is not to say that any of the Senshi are unimportant. I doubt that Crystal Tokyo is possible if any of us are lost. There is a lot of work ahead of us."
"What do I have to do?"
"Well first things first." Usa pulls a water balloon out of subspace and lobs it at him. poof Instant Ranma-chan "Ah your looking more like a Senshi all the time."
Ranma-chan pushed her wet hair out of her face and tried to look annoyed, but failed and somehow managed cute instead.
Neo Moon continued, "On a more serious note, the pain you and Akane endured yesterday will be much worse today. Just remember that Akane and I will be there with you. You must accept our help, and allow us to share the burden with you. This is very important, if you fight it, you might die and then Akane would die.. Ok?"
Ranma-chan did not like this. She had to allow pain to come to Akane. It was bad enough yesterday when she was only able to take some of Akane's pain, but to allow Akane to take some of her pain.. She wasn't sure she could do that.. But if she didn't, then she could die, and then Akane would die... There was no choice then, she would have to let them take their share of it all, but she did not have to like it.
"Its ok Ranma. You have protected me so many times since you arrived at our home. I'm just glad that for once I will be able to protect you. Please Ranma, don't fight us on this. I want to do this for you."
Neo Moon asked, "Well it looks like you are outnumbered Ranma. Do you agree to consciously and willingly let us help you?"
Ranma-chan in a quiet voice, "Yes."
"Mother there is one final thing you must be prepared for. It would have already came up, were the cats not away. When Ranma was six years old, his idiot father attempted to train him in an insanely dangerous and foolish technique known as the Neko-Ken. It involved tossing his son into a pit full of starving cats repeatedly wrapped in fish products, until he learned the technique or died. Had Genma not been an idiot, he might have read the next page, and found out that it was banned for causing the recipient to go insane."
"The true purpose of the technique was to link the recipient to a demonic cat spirit, and create a berserker. Fortunately the training manual that Genma had was seriously flawed, and Ranma's own strength was such that he was never taken over by the demonic spirit. He did learn the technique, after a fashion though. A couple of the cats that were trapped with him felt so sorry for the young boy that they merged their own spirits with Ranma's as a way to protect him so that now whenever he is confronted by a cat and cannot escape he starts to act like one, complete with nearly unstoppable fighting abilities. It is fortunate that a demonic spirit never was able to take control, otherwise Ranma would be gone and he would have probably kill hundreds or maybe thousands before he was stopped."
Sailor Moon said, "Who could do such a thing to a child?"
"I'm kind of use to it." Several gasps are heard. "I've never hurt anyone that I know of. It has even helped a time or two. Still I worry that one day I will."
Neo Moon continued, "It says something for your true character and resolve that you have never been taken over. As long as the seeds of the Nekoken remain in you, that potential exists. We cannot allow the creation of a Senshi as powerful as you could potentially be to be potentially taken over by a demon. Mother, when you draw forth from Ranma the raw magic that is killing him, you must also use the silver crystal to free the trapped spirits of those cats that have valiantly protected his soul from the Nekoken for so long. Finally you must ensure that all of the tainted magic of the Nekoken is destroyed."
Sailor Moon said with a soft determination, "I will."
Uranus mused, "When we are done, I think we should pay a visit to Ranma's father."
Io just stared at Ranma. A little insight gained into her former fiancee, but at such a horrible cost.
"There is no need. My father is an idiot, who is often blinded by other considerations when he has a goal in mind. Despite it all, I still care for him. I.. will make sure that he understands again what his foolishness could have cost. You know that a few times the Neko-Ken has helped me. Akane's life has even been saved because of it, but I suppose I owe those times to the spirits of those cats that saved me in the pit.. I confess it will be good to not have to fear them. Even now, even with Cara as a part of me, I can barely talk about them."
"Mother can take away the taint of the Neko-Ken. With that gone, you will be able to one day even grow to like cats. It won't be easy, but then few worthwhile things ever are."
Pluto paused in thought. Well now I know why my future self told me to arrange for the moon cats to be out of town for a few days. Still I wonder if they found anything useful searching the archives on the moon.
Neo Moon called forth her scepter which extended. The silver crystal flew forth and became a part of the top of th staff. "Moon Eternal Power, Make up!" Suddenly Neo Sailor Moon transformed into her Eternal form, a change that surprised many, but they were too focused to comment.
Usagi focused her own will on her need to go beyond Sailor Moon into her princess Serenity form. After a minute of concentration, the Moon princess was there in her white dress, holding the silver crystal.
Serenity spoke with a gentle yet commanding tone. "Then let us begin. Neo Sailor Moon and Sailor Io, I charge you with guarding and protecting Ranma who will become Sailor Sun." Serenity stepped in the middle and Ranma, Moon, and Io formed a triangle of hands around her. "Saturn please lend your strength and healing to my daughter during this." Saturn walked behind Moon and placed her arms on her shoulders. "Everyone else form the outer ring. Sailor Moon let me know when you two are ready."
Saturn invoked her planets power with, "Saturn Star Power" and began to send everything she could into her friend. She hoped it would be enough. Io began to glow bright violet and then the glow passed over and into Ranma. Moon called forth the power of the crystal and a silver nimbus of power extended from her that formed around Ranma. A second silver cloud passed into Akane and mixed with her own power and intensified the aura around Ranma. "Begin."
A short while later the remaining scouts begun to call forth their power and pass it to Serenity to use. Serenity focused her power through the crystal into Ranma-chan. Amazingly she had converted some of the wild magic from the spring and Saffron into her own. The rest was still killing her though, and she was very weak. She saw the magic of her curse as well and left that alone. Finally she saw the horrible darkness that was the Nekoken and the souls of the two kittens that were protecting Ranma-chan from its darkest aspects.
Serenity took her daughters advice and did not spare any power to protect Ranma from the pain and damage destroying the Nekoken and the linking web would cause. She would trust her daughter and Akane there. She launched her will, amplified by all of the Senshi's power and the silver crystal against the Nekoken burning it out of existence, freeing the spirits of the kittens that had served so well."
Ranma-chan and Akane screamed and screamed in pain and terror. Io and Neo Moon tightened their grips on her hands and sent their care and strength to her. The bond with Io protected Ranma from a lot of damage, even as it shared the agony with her. Saturn's healing power flowed into Neo Moon and was amplified and given freely to Ranma and Akane, preventing any permanent injury if barely.
Serenity then lent a tiny amount of energy to the kittens spirits and wished them well. They gave Ranma-chan's face a small lick and brushed their cheeks against Serenity's face in thanks before departing. She then focused on all the remaining uncontrolled wild magic in Ranma-chan's body and drew it into the crystal where the powers of the other scouts helped her to change and order it. Finally she drew the purified power into herself. Serenity was now glowing silver white and even brighter than yesterday.
She spun the web of purest silver that melted into Ranma-chan's body. Serenity could see the pain they were enduring, but knew any hesitation on her part could spell disaster. She continued to spin and the web grew and grew and grew. Over 90 minutes had passed and she was finally nearing completion of a web large enough to create a Senshi of the Sun. Even without sparing any power to protect Ranma like she did for Akane yesterday, her strength was running out. Just a little more...
Ranma was in pain and agony.. Akane was in little better shape. The only time he could ever remember so much pain was the cats... No mustn't think about that.. He could sense the love and caring of everyone around him.. particularly Usa and Akane and that did help in a way.. He wanted it to end soon. He needed it to end soon. He wanted to see the look of pain leave their faces.
Akane was beginning to really regret saying she wanted to do this. Ok not really, it was the first time she was able to truly help Ranma in a fight and she would not fail him, but all the same she was praying it would end soon.
Neo Moon had been expecting it, as much as anyone could expect such pain. She endured it because she knew she must. For her friends, for their future.. Heck for her own life.. Now thats motivation. Still Mom had to be almost done right... right? now? how about now? Now? Please..
Serenity cast the final threads and the spell snapped outward and encompassed the sun and sunk into it. The Senshi of the Sun was born. Ranma screamed again. Ten seconds later it was over. Ranma, Akane, Usa, Hotaru, and Usagi passed out from the strain. Once the rest of the senshi confirmed everyone was only unconscious, they decided that the floor looked great and promptly followed suit.
On earth a twenty percent increase in the sun's output for 10 seconds was noted minutes later, that scientists were at a loss to figure out. They chalked it up to a fluke.
Ukyo was sleeping in late that day, and woke up covered in sweat and shaking. She didn't know why.
Cologne was beginning to get the shop ready for business when the feeling hit her. Somehow son in law was still alive. She had been uncertain for awhile after receiving the message from elder Sulin. Now how was she going to get that idiot to accept his fate.
Mouse, Shampoo, and Genma had made it back to Japan, and were heading to Nerima. None of them felt a thing.
Author's Notes: This work of fiction draws inspiration from both Ranma 1/2 and Sailor Moon anime series. Much thanks goes to their creators and creators of all quality anime series. Additional inspiration comes from various Ranma 1/2 fanfiction with a special credit going to the Sailor Ranko series. This is my first work of fanfiction and I hope it is something people will enjoy.
The sailor Ranko series was begun by Fire. It was entitled Sailor Ranko.(8/19/99). The character of Sailor Sun originates with Fire's work. Twice in a Millennium is a follow up by Kevin D. Hammel. (9/19/99). The character Io was introduced by him there. While I am using the same names for the lead characters, this work is an independent work and is otherwise unrelated.