Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah by now I think we all get it.
Chapter 19 – Picking up the shattered remains.
Ranma stood on the black planet she had come to recognize as Nemesis. A voice spoke to her saying, "You have done well my avatar. No longer does the Wiseman possess a portion of my heart. No longer will my nature be subject to a change into something else. You yourself are almost completely freed from the contract as are the others who were seduced by the Black Moon family. There is but one thing left to do, gather my power to yourself and remove it from the last bearer. Accept your place as the one true avatar of Nemesis."
Ranma's thoughts were a whirl of confusion as she realized the implications and possible power she would be getting. She stood there a moment and then in a moment that she knew Nabiki would be proud of she said, "Um, what are my other options?"
Was there some humor in the voice, Ranma was not sure, but it seemed that perhaps just a slight hint was there so as the voice said, "Behold the present that now exists."
A hazy mist appeared and then Ranma was watching as Neherenia and Cologne stood near a hospital bed next to them lay the body of Ranma Hitoshirenu monitors and devices were hooked up to the girl. Neherenia spoke to Cologne saying, "My magics can not cure this wound something about that sailor girl's attack is negating my own efforts."
The ancient Amazon in a middle aged body nodded her head and said, "Indeed Ranma's own chi flow seems to be avoiding the area as well. We must hope that the doctors are able to do what we can not."
Neherenia stared at her sister's fallen form and then looked to Cologne and said, "What about the sailor girl then, the one who did this to my sister and knows her identity. What shall we do about that one in consideration of that fact and what she was able to do to our friends and allies."
"My great-granddaughter Shampoo has been tasked with dealing with their knowledge. As for any other actions I think that will have to wait until Ranma's fate is determined."
"If she dies I swear that Moon and her lackies will follow her."
The scene faded out and Ranma said, "I get it without being your avatar I can't be healed right? But, what did they mean by what Sailor Moon did?"
The voice just said, "A short while ago," and a new scene arose. Ryouga was walking to school wearing a standard Furinkan boys outfit while Ranma Saotome followed behind saying, "Come on P-chan what's with you!"
"There is nothing wrong with me Ranma-kun I am simply going to school as do other students. I intend to catch up on my schooling and hopefully get a job for a corporation some day."
Angered Ranma said, "What do you mean there ain't nuthin wrong with ya! Ryouga Hibiki office drone? Are you nuts? What about the art, what about our rivalry? Heck how are ya even going to get to school with your sense of direction?"
The formerly lost boy pointed and said, "Furinkan high school is in that direction and I have no interest in fighting you or continuing any sort of rivalry. If you wish we can however be friends and study partners. I'm sure I could use some help in catching up."
"We are friends pork butt, kinda, but this ain't like you," the two passed by a canal and Ranma quickly dove over the fence and gathered some water. He then splashed the water onto Ryouga with absolutely no effect. Then he stared at the boy in astonishment and said, "No way!"
Ryouga hardly seemed annoyed at all as he looked at Ranma and said, "Why would you splash me like that aren't we friends?"
Ranma stared in utter astonishment and said, "Come on Ryouga, I almost liked you better when you were controlled by that Black Lady person. At least then you had your spirit, your vitality, even if it was being controlled by an evil force. Now, well now it's like you're not even you anymore."
Ryouga just said, "I'm sorry Ranma-kun, but this is how I want to be. No more violence, no more anger. I'm at peace now."
The Saotome boy stared at Ryouga as the boy walked off to school. Then he followed behind and was met by Ukyou Kuonji. The young girl was not wearing her combat spatula, or her chef's outfit. Instead she was wearing a traditional Furinkan girl's outfit.
She greeted them both by saying, "Good morning Ryouga-kun. Good morning Ranma-kun."
Ryouga responded to her greeting and continued walking into school as Ranma stopped and said, "Hey Ucchan it's Ran-chan remember? Just cause you said you aren't going to be my fiancée doesn't mean we can't still be friends does it?"
Ukyou blushed and said, "I wouldn't mind being friends Ranma-kun, but I don't think I should call you by such a familiar name. What would people think?"
Ranma gaped at her and said, "What do you mean Ucchan we're best friends. What does it matter what other people think?"
Ukyou just bowed to him and said, "I'm sorry Ranma-kun, but I just can't do something that improper. Anyway I must get to class before I am marked tardy."
With that Ukyou quickly walked into school leaving the young Saotome boy staring at her retreating form in exasperation. Just then a purple haired girl came up behind him, "Hello Airen ready for school yes?"
"I don't know Shampoo, I really don't," he pointed to where he had last seen Ukyou and Ryouga and said, "How can I be ready to face that all day."
"What happen Airen? You tell me that Ukyou not interested in being fiancée anymore, but why would that be so bad."
Shampoo's eyes searched Ranma's as the Saotome boy said, "It's not that, I mean not really because that went better than I had ever hoped it would. I mean come on normally I would have told her you an me were dating and she'd have had my head. Instead though she just accepted it. Like it didn't matter to her anymore, plus she showed up today without her combat spatula and dressed like the other girls."
"You think she give up fighting?"
Ranma nodded and said, "Ryouga too, he wants to be an office worker now. Can you believe that Ryouga Hibiki an office worker! What happened to them Shampoo what happened?"
The scene faded away and was replaced by the Juuban High gym and the Gymnastics team. Kaede, Aiko, and Miya were practicing a routine. It wasn't going so well and Kaede finally said, "Enough! Let's take a short break," she turned to Miya and said, "Hey where are your sisters anyway?"
The brown haired girl looked downcast and said, "They will be here soon I think," under her breath she said, "sooner than I would like with Ranma in the hospital their news will be yet another blow to us all."
Kaede then said, "And what about Dai has anyone heard from her? She's not at the hospital or something is she?"
The other two girls shrugged and then a door opened at the far end of the gym. The very short girl with black hair and blue eyes walked into the room followed by two girls who looked almost exactly like Miya. They were all wearing their school uniforms as they came in.
Kaede stared at them and said, "Hey! Why aren't you guys dressed yet practice started about five minutes ago. I know Ranma's condition concerns us all, but we should honor her memory and teachings by being here on time. Now go on to the changing rooms and get ready."
Dai and the two others seemed unaffected by Kaede's speech as they approached the group. Then all three kneeled to a mat and said, "We are terribly sorry, but we can no longer practice with you."
Kaede practically exploded as she said, "What do you mean! We're not just the Rhythmic gymnastics team for Juuban high, we're also team Nemesis. You can't just quit like that!"
Aiko piped in saying, "Yeah! Just because Ranma got hurt it doesn't mean we should just give up! She'd want us to continue fighting!"
The outbursts seemed to roll past the three girls. They just kept their heads to the mat said they were sorry again. Then starting with Dai they each walked to Kaede and handed her a green ball. Nothing that Kaede, Dai, or Miya could say dissuaded them from what they were doing. They walked out of the Gym and away from Gymnastics towards a boring and hum drum life that anyone else without great talent or ambition might reach for.
When they were gone the three girls who were left in the Gym collapsed into each others arms. Miya sobbed the hardest saying, "I'm sorry I should have said something, but I thought that maybe you two could talk them out of this. That perhaps something might sway them."
"It's not your fault Miya, it's not mine or Kaede's or even Ranma's fault. Maybe it's not even their fault it didn't seem like they had much of a choice did it?"
"No Aiko it didn't, I think we should be glad that Neherenia was able to teleport us to safety and that we should mourn our fallen sisters. They fell in battle against our foes trying to save our planet. We'll never forget them and we will fight on together as team Nemesis to honor their sacrifice!"
The scene faded and Ranma stood there in shock and horror. "No! They were like those people from the future I saw. Neherenia called it a cleansing, but that's not clean! Not at all, it is an abomination to all that they ever were!"
The anger rose in Ranma's throat and thoughts of slaying Sailor Moon ran through her head, but she stopped them. The sailor girl was not evil and did not mean harm by her actions and besides Ranma vividly recalled hearing the Ginzuishou crack.
The voice spoke to her again and said, "That is the present. As for your options they are simple choose to become the true avatar of Nemesis or choose to renounce Nemesis forever. Either way you will return to your body and it will be healed of its injuries."
Ranma realized that there wasn't a choice. There never really had been, not if she wanted to remain true to her ideals. The red haired cat girl looked at the black landscape of Nemesis and said, "I accept I will be the true avatar of Nemesis."
The voice said, "Let it be noted and let a new contract begin. Ranma Hitoshirenu you are my designated avatar!"
Back in the hospital room Cologne and Neherenia were astonished as Ranma's form glowed with power and then transformed. Sailor Angerona stood before them healed and whole. The two women practically pounced on her with hugs. She smiled accepted the affection and said, "So, how long was I out?"
All of them laughed and then Neherenia said, "Three days sister, you have been here three days since Cologne brought your bleeding form to this hospital."
Ranma nodded and said, "I guess that when I take enough damage I lose the transformation then. I'll have to remember that."
Cologne looked at her sternly and said, "Yes daughter you will and you will have to train some more as well. I'll not have the other elders laughing at me because my adopted daughter stands still while blasts of energy come at her."
"Hey cut me some slack I was improvising a revised breaking point and as you noted I hadn't even specifically trained in the technique yet."
"That is a situation that will have to be rectified immediately as well as further training in other Amazon arts and a thorough reading of the book of Dim Mak if you plan to face evil powers bent on world domination." As Cologne finished speaking medical personnel started to bang on the door.
Neherenia blushed at that and said, "Simple ward spell it keeps the living away."
Ranma nodded and quickly transformed back to her civilian persona as Neherenia released her ward spell. After that medical technicians and doctors spent some time examining Ranma from head to toe. After a few hours they finally released the girl and she headed home.The three women walked for a bit while Cologne and Neherenia caught Ranma up with some of the events she had seen while speaking with her planet. "So what happened after Ranma and Shampoo saw Ukyou and Ryouga?"
Cologne sighed and said, "Let us just say that you should not be terribly alarmed tomorrow if the Senshi no longer recognize you."
"Zai Fang Zhou Shiatsu Massage?"
"That's Xi Fa Xiang Gao, but yes you are correct. I had Shampoo follow the scouts to their houses after they faced a rogue Droid she used the technique on them."
Neherenia growled a bit and said, "I still say we should have done more to them for their crimes."
Ranma shook her head and said, "No, sister I know how you feel about them, but we must consider our own actions and not become like either Wiseman or the Sailors. I think leaving them without memory of who I am in addition to the destruction of their crystal should be more than enough for now."
Neherenia looked like she was going to argue when Ranma said, "Look part of me wants to just go get them all as well, but that's the cat talking. Battle well, maybe that's another story and even then they aren't evil so I would prefer that we not kill them, okay?"
"We Amazon's have a saying it translates to something like, 'Death to your foes in battle is honorable and glorious, death to your foes sleeping in bed is dishonorable and a sin to the gods."
Neherenia smiled and said, "I like it."
Ranma just sighed looked up and said, "The station is that way so I guess this is where we part ways for the night."
"Not true young one, I will be staying with you and Neherenia tonight."
Ranma looked confused and said, "Oh why is that?"
"The Neko Hanten will be taking on additional staff in Nerima and I will be staying here in Juuban to help you. Perhaps this way Shampoo and her airen will have some space to themselves."
Ranma gaped and then said, "Okay. That works I guess, but I'll have to fufill one last poromise before that can happen. Still, let's go on home for tonight."
When they arrived home Neherenia handed Ranma the phone and she called the rest of her Gymnastics teammates. Hearing the bad news for the second time seemed to soften the blow a bit and the enthusiasm and excitement at her recovery helped as well. That in addition to a practice in the Gym the next day with Cologne and Neherenia brought everyone's spirits up somewhat.
Rei was dreaming. She saw the Sailor Senshi and everyone else made out of stone while the world around them was eerily black and purple. Rei felt as if she could do nothing to prevent it, then suddenly she saw a bright light that nearly blinded her.
A voice seemed to say, "The messiah?"
Rei moved her stone body and said, "Please help us!"
The light divided into three stars and then slowly dissipated, "No wait!"
But, the stars did not listen and became blackness. A tremendous black force devoured everything in its path and made its way through the city, destroying all buildings and people, then the Sailor Senshi.
Rei suddenly woke up to hear Usagi snoring and drooling on the table next to her. She was inside and studying with the other girls. They asked her what was wrong, and she looked at them saying, "Sailor Angerona it must be. I saw her in a dream, she is the last member of the Black Moon family and I saw darkness destroying us and the city. I think it must be her."
Usagi woke to say, "I dreamt that I went to the hospital after overeating. Mamo-chan was there and he was healthy and whole again. Then Usa walked in and smiled at us both, thanked us for saving her and handed me the Ginzuishou whole and undamaged."
Usagi teared up as she finished, "But it was all a dream! Mamo-chan is still in a coma because of what happened to him and Usa was killed by that evil woman and the explosion she made coming in to fight Wiseman."
Usagi broke down into hysterical sobbing and the rest of the group tried to comfort her. After some time she quieted a bit and said, "When I see her again, I swear that in the Name of the moon I'll punish her for what she's done."
The rest of the scouts nodded in agreement. No longer were they somewhat naive girls who would accept any one's friendship. No longer would they immediately see good in everyone they met. Their experience with betrayal and death had changed them more than they realized.
Nabiki shouted to be heard, "This is it last chance to place a bet! Ranma-kun and Ranma-chan the fight of the century!"
A boy in a red chinee shirt looked at a red haired girl with black jeans and a black hat, pointed at Nabiki and said, "This your idea? Neko-chan?"
The girl smirked and said, "The names is Ranma Hitoshirenu, and I just thought some people might like to see Ranma Saotome lose."
The Saotome boy growled and, then he pulled a blue ball from his own pocket and tossed it to the girl saying, "Here you take this. I'm not going to cheat and use magic. In fact you keep it for good after what happened to Ryouga and Ukyou I'm done with this whole magical business entirely. What about you? Are you gonna use your magic powers on me?"
The girl pulled her hat from her head and dropped it to the ground exposing her black cat ears for all to see. Then she said, "It's mostly a gesture, but I can beat you without them Saotome."
"Whatever Neko-chan, just one thing though. You want to tell me why you're doing this?"
The cat girl pointed over to Nabiki and said, "Extra cash really, but the main reason for this is simple is simple. I promised myself that if I didn't kill you I would kick your ass, so since we're both alive aer our last fight I figured that I would make good on my promise to myself. Now, let's go!" With that the red haired girl dashed towards the boy at super high speeds.
The boy blocked the storm of blows, but couldn't easily strike back without taking blows himself, so he allowed a blow or two to strike and sent a spinning kick towards the girl. She slipped under the kick and backed up saying, "Come on Saotome you are faster than that aren't you? Maybe you're holding back because I'm a girl?"
Ranma Saotome took a breather and realized she was right he was holding back a little and if he kept doing it she was going to cream him. Then suddenly she was on the attack again, but this time he saw lethal red claws slicing towards him. His mind immediately registered the threat and he kicked into high gear to avoid the dangerous attack. Then, he retaliated shouting, "Mouko Takabisha!"
The confidence laced chi blast rocketed into the cat girl and sent her flying, but she quickly stood up, dodged another blast and came right back at him. He tried to dodge, but even so the vibrant chi claws sliced right into him, but they did no damage at all. His shock registered on his face and then a powerful uppercut sent him flying.
He stood up and immediately shot towards the girl at full speed channeling his amaguriken training and punching as fast as he could. The girl dodged and blocked taking a few hits and then she jumped into the air. He smiled and followed her with a smirk thinking, 'Mid air combat is a Saotome specialty.'
The two traded blows in the air and then a punch went through her guard and the girl was sent hurtling to the ground. She missed her landing and crashed down and took quite a bit of damage from the boy when his foot slammed right ino her. Bearly staying concious she grabbed the foot and stood up with it. Ranma tried to pull away and she let go at the right instant in order to send him towards a nearby tree. He stopped himself and went right back at the girl again.
The girl was waiting for him this time. His Amagurikan speed punch was intercepted, then she flipped him into the ground and tried to attack with a number of her own high speed punches. Just as the first one impacted he shot another chi blast point blank into the girl's chest. She flew backwards and landed on her feet a short distance away. He walked towards her wondering why she hadn't thrown a chi blast of her own yet.
Ranma Hitoshirenu kept herself from bringing out her deadly claws and forced her anger down as well. She stared at the boy coming towards her and just knew that he didn't realize exactly how much she was trying to avoid using a lethal tactics on a Neko ken fueled improvisation of the Moukou Takabisha.
She sighed, then took a calming breath as his attack came. This time she just went with the flow and was almost able to lose herself in the sheer momentum and joy of martial arts, but the feline spirit within craved just a bit more. He wanted to shred and tear, to feel the blood of enemies fall at his feet. That wasn't something she could completely dismiss and so even as the martial arts battle was fought on the physical plane she had to fight her own wants in the spiritual plane. Still after almost a month she was starting to find just the right compromise.
The physical combat continued and the boy sent another chi blast her way. She dodged the thing and ran at him again, then broke off and started to run around him. Then she said, "Splitting cat hairs" and broke into a number of images
The images went around and around him in a circle and he tried to figure out which image was the real one. The blows that the images landed seemed quite light, but they were still annoying. The boy concentrated on his senses other than sight and felt sure that he knew exactly which image was the real one. Once he did so he streaked towards it in a full out assault. When he did that he ran full bore into a veritable deep freeze and desperately treid to cool his aura, but even so he cringed knowing that it would not be enough. The last thing he heard was a soft almost silent call of, "Hiryu Shouten ha."
Ranma Saotome woke up in the lap of a lavender haired girl. She smiled down at him as his eyes opened and said, "Airen? You is awake now?"
"Yeah I'm awake Shampoo."
"Is Good. When she leave tribe sister say you not stay down long. She also say that all between you two is done now. If you no want to help her you not have to, but she left ball just in case you change mind."
Ranma allowed Shampoo to help him to his feet and took the blue ball in his hand, "Hmm, I don't know about that. What about you Shampoo? What are you going to do?"
The lavender haired girl said, "I stay here and go to Furinkan school with you Ranma. Aunt Min-tsu Is here along with Ling-Ling and Lung-Lung to run Nekohanten while Grandmother is in Juuban. I keep my own blue ball just in case, maybe it be good luck."
Ranma nodded and said, "Yeah good luck. I wonder if Neko-chan or I are going to need it more..."
Meanwhile at the Gates of Time Setsuna woke up. She sensed it, the silence had awakened, and so had Neptune and Uranus. She would have to notify them all and warn them about the new danger that was coming. First though she would have to make repairs on the damaged time gate. She just hoped that the repairs could be made in time…
Author's Notes: This completes what I had basically planned for the Black Moon Contract and foreshadows events that will be occurring in a second story arc. If you happen to be reviewing this story send me a line because I'm not sure if I should continue the story as currently named or if I should start a new story line with a different title.
Find the new book right here:
Other than that I haven't forgotten my other works. They will get updated as my muse catches me. Thanks again for reading and stay tuned.