A New Path Shown
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Sailor Pluto was not having a good day.
Well, that was putting it mildly. After all, how good would your day be if you found out everything you worked for would be dead and gone in around eleven years?
She looked over towards the Gates of Time, seeing the blood splatters left by her future self, still not yet erased by the gates. She was still on the ground, sitting and crying at not only the tale her future self had woven before passing, but at the very state of that future self.
Her future version had been missing her right arm and the lower half of her left leg, using the garnet Rod to steady herself.
"We had no chance...they were too strong."
So Pluto sat, looking at the blood that was being erased by the gates, feeling the raw emotions swell inside her yet again. Not again! I can't let them all down yet again!
But she had few options, and even fewer ideas of what to do. She knew the girls would never be prepared to face what they needed to, even with the help of Chibi-Usa. Their skills and reclamation of their past life's memories would never be good enough to allow them even a slim chance.
They would need help: people who had trained for enough time to match and surpass the skills of the new threat.
But that would nearly be impossible. Such skills would require a lifetime to acquire, and the minds of children and teenagers would be hard pressed to give up those times for the training.
She sat upright as the Gates flashed, indicating someone had intruded in the Time Stream. She shakily stood, and observed as a man wearing a yellow bandana appeared, holding a...mirror? The fool used the Nanban Mirror? She knew of most artifacts that would allow time travel, and this was one of the worst examples. The mirror didn't even allow the user to travel through time, just into a different reality.
Close, but no cigar.
Well, she decided to observe. This was occurring in Nerima, a place that seemed to breed exceedingly strong martial artists, so she held out hope that perhaps a few of them might reach the power levels necessary to help the Senshi when the time came.
Ryoga breathed a sigh of relief as he materialized in the past outside the dining room of the Tendo home. His body was in poor shape after acquiring the mirror from Ranma.
But it would all be worth it if his plan succeeded.
He cursed his past self for not thinking smarter. If that Ryoga had had any modicum of foresight, he would have cured his ability to get lost first before seeking vengeance on Ranma. After all, it allowed the pigtailed nemesis to grow stronger while Ryoga simply spent his time wondering the barren ice fields of Kyoto.
If his younger counterpart was here, Ryoga could give him plenty of techniques that would enable him to defeat Ranma permanently.
But alas, he had no idea where that Ryoga could be. Plus, he was not in any shape to take on this Ranma.
That left a final plan. Looking to ensure that his nemesis was distracted, Ryoga tossed several of the age-reducing mushrooms onto Ranma's plate, and shed a tear to disappear, never even noticing that Akane had P-chan in her lap.
But one unintended side effect occurred. While Ryoga had no care if Genma was reduced in age, Nabiki—deciding to have a little payback from Ranma stealing her lunch—stole some of his food, which contained some of the mushrooms, and thus became an unintended victim.
Soon, Kasumi arrived, and the meal began.
Followed by Hell breaking lose.
Ryoga returned to when he left, expecting a new world to be there, and a grateful and loving Akane to leap into his tired arms.
"Nekoken Kijin Raishuu Dan!"
What he got were ten red vacuum blades that ended his life from the target of his rage.
Ranma Saotome would not let Ryoga injure anymore people in his quest for false revenge.
Unfortunately, he didn't know that Ryoga had already altered the destiny of one world.
Pluto stared in awe as the two teenagers shrunk into the bodies of five-year-olds. That was his great revenge?
The plot made more sense as she fast forwarded the viewing to the next day; the two were attacked by enemies, some who claimed to be "honorable" martial artists.
Pluto and most sane people would have referred to them as bullies.
Finally, the battles got too dangerous, the boy ran with the girl into a raging storm, disappearing as the storm reduced some of the attackers to animals, while washing out the rest.
She flashed forward again, seeing the two regain their proper age after a few weeks when the found another supply of those mushrooms at a store that sold them, but the owner kept questioning about the belief in "those types of things".
She was now confused. From what she saw in the battles that followed, the male easily had enough skills and power to face the enemies the Senshi would die at the hands of, and it would be a simple matter to get him to help.
So why didn't he?
She flashed forward again, and saw the reason why. "By Serenity...NO!"
There, within the viewing portal of the Gates of Time, lay the boy, a katana through his chest, and thrust into him by the girl he had married, crying about how his perverted self would never embarrass her again.
Pluto began to backtrack through destiny, looking for a way to intervene and save the boy's life.
But there was nothing. The girl he had married and often referred to as "an uncute tomboy" had broken his will to fight back early on. He lost more of himself two years before when the girl he had saved and ran into the storm with was killed by a gang she had been extorting.
Pluto stood back, thinking of what to do. The boy would need to survive, as well as keep his spirit whole. She began to trace through his life, learning of the boy named Ranma Saotome. Maybe I can place him with another girl?
But those options fell through as well. If he went with Shampoo, then the man would be caged, stripped of what defined him, and die of heartbreak of what his life had become before the Senshi even awakened. Ukyo was not much better, as she expected Ranma to make all the sacrifices so she could have her restaurant. Kodachi resulted in a drugged Ranma walking directly into Mr. Turtle's open mouth, believing it was a hallway.
She even considered placing him with a male, since he was cursed to become a girl. Those ended with his mind and spirit broken before the vows were even exchanged.
Maybe I should change the Tendo girl he ends up with?
Kasumi was a poor choice, as it resulted in Tofu Ono's suicide at missing his chance with her when he returned shortly after the two married. With Tofu dead, two of the Senshi also died early on from childhood ailments.
That left only Nabiki, the girl he had saved from their attackers when they were trapped young. As she stared at them, she began to feel as if she had seen them before.
"No, it couldn't be! Could it?"
She teleported into her room at Castle Pluto, looking for the image crystal that would either prove or disprove her thought, finding it buried after the millennia in the back of her closet.
She activated it and gasped. "Ramius. Demeter. You are reborn as well, thank the heavens."
She smiled at the thoughts of her old friends. Those two had been newly chosen by Serenity to guard her daughter.
When the planetary councils had suggested that perhaps the heir to the Moon Kingdom would be better prepared for the harshities of governing if they knew the harshities of the battles they would need to decide to fight, the asked for another Sailor Mantel to be created: Sailor Moon. Queen Serenity gave in, but added the creation of two more mantles: one for Sol, the sun, and one for the newly discovered world simply named Nemesis for its harsh living conditions that defied taming by any current magic.
Pluto knew what the Queen's intent had been. The new scouts would protect Princess Serenity while she donned the mantle of the first Sailor Moon.
They had gathered the star seeds necessary to forge the mantle. None were surprised when the mantel of Luna: Earth's moon, chose Princess Serenity. Nor were many too surprised when the mantel of Nemesis had chosen Demeter. She had been a great warrior in the Imperial Guard, and was often seen sparring with the Senshi that would allow such training.
But the surprise had been when the mantel of Sol had chosen a male. Ramius was a warrior, true. And while not a member of the guard, he did serve when asked by his wife, Demeter.
So, instead of Sailor Moon being protected by Sailor Nemesis and Sailor Sol, she was to be protected by Sailor Nemesis and Solaris Knight.
But Beryl attacked before the mantels were completed, and the couple died while giving Queen Serenity the necessary time to send the Senshi forward and seal the Negaverse.
It was a pity that the mantels...
"Wait, if the mantel of Sailor Moon was in the future, then the mantels were finished. That would mean...
"And if the two don't get cured...they would be just a little older than the others when they awaken."
Pluto jumped for joy, a sight to behold should anyone other than her have been around. She rushed off to gather the two remaining mantels, and further look into the life of Ranma and Nabiki. She would need to make a perfect case for them to willingly stay young, as well as leave their old lives behind. She had so many plans to make and data to collect.
But luckily, she was the Mistress of Time.
She did have to wonder though, what the mantel of Sol would do with Ranma's curse once he reached the right age for it to activate again.
As the fury of the storm attacked Nerima, all were inside and sheltered save for two children, sitting on a milk crate under the lid of a dumpster that was propped up against a wall.
A pigtailed boy hugged a crying girl with a page-boy haircut, his ki drying them off and trying to keep them warm as the storm raged, both hoping for there to be light at the end of the rain.
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