Resurrection of the Silence
A Ranma ½ Sailor Moon crossover by Metroidvania
Disclaimer: I'm just expressing an idea here, no profit intended.
Warnings: Violence, Language, and a fair amount of Angst…
Note: Now after the wedding Ranma-wise, and after Galaxia SM-wise
Thanks to everyone at Fukufics for the inspiration and the information.
Chapter 9: Transgressions
"So how long can you keep up that Senshi transformation, Setsuna?" Mistress Nine asked as the trio of herself, the eldest Senshi, and Ukyo leapt over the rooftops of the Juuban district.
"And I should tell you…why?" Setsuna's voice was no longer bluntly antagonistic, but Nine could read the anger lurking beneath the surface.
"Well, if we're in the middle of trashing Kaolinite, it'd probably be best to know if you're about to forcibly drop your transformation sequence. I can't have you dying on me, after all."
"The Time Gates weren't a part of our deal," Setsuna warned her, eyes flicking to the silent Ukyo for a moment before returning to staring at her captor.
"I'm well aware," Nine stated smoothly, her voice reaching Setsuna's ears easily despite their speed, and the interference from the wind.
She stopped suddenly, motioning for Setsuna to do the same, and the eldest Senshi glanced around, taking in her surroundings.
"Another safehouse?" she guessed, and Nine smiled, pleased at her deductive reasoning.
"Indeed. Until Kaolinite uses enough power for me to sense her, we're going to wait."
"Mercury probably has a fix on their location already." Setsuna boasted, only to scowl at Mistress Nine's glare.
"And she'd probably be trying to kill me on the way. No, I'd rather not fight the Senshi at the moment..."
Nine staggered, almost losing her balance. Instantly, Ukyo was at her side, helping her to regain her footing. Setsuna quirked an eyebrow.
"Feeling a little under the weather?"
"Silence," Nine hissed, her hair beginning to flicker as the anger finally rose to her eyes. "I do not have the luxury of a planet to draw on, and the…"
"The what?" Setsuna pressed, eager for anything that would help her defeat the daimon once the truce between them had ended.
"…Nothing you need concern yourself with." The other woman's voice was back to normal now, the easy, almost purring tone grating on Setsuna's nerves. "Now, we wait."
"You expect me to just sit here?" Setsuna asked, one hand gripping her staff tightly.
"Setsuna, the key word here is 'Helping me' defeat Kaolinite." Nine smirked at her, violet eyes dancing with dark mirth. "While I'm sure that it could be construed many different ways, leaving would not be high among that list."
"Then tell me something," Pluto demanded.
"I'm not your personal information kiosk," Nine warned, her eyes narrowing in intensity. "And there is a limit to my patience, and trust me, you don't want me toeing that line."
Refusing to be intimidated, Setsuna pressed on.
"How did you come back?"
"Uranus, to your left!"
Saturn's cry was barely heeded in time as the Senshi of wind whirled to her left, decapitating the pink daimon with a pointed shout, the Space Sword glimmering in the dim glow of the various store lights.
"They're not dying!" Venus cried out, Crescent Beams blowing holes clean through the daimons, who shrugged it off as if they had been mere love taps.
"Moon!" Mars cried. "Try your attack!"
"I can't," Moon replied quickly. "Every time I try, they manage to get too close!"
"They're getting smarter," Neptune commented, Deep Submerging a daimon into a mass of pink, water, goop…only to have it twitch and begin reforming a few seconds later.
Saturn was silent as she slashed through three daimons with the Glaive, hands tightening as the halves slowly moved towards each other. So distracted was she that she missed the daimon sneaking up behind her, taking a claw to the back of her seifuku.
She cried out involuntarily, the razor sharp claws tearing against the magical armor.
A blast of lightning tore down behind her, and she gave a shaky nod to Jupiter as her armor began to repair itself. The Senshi of wood and thunder nodded in response, and turned back to Mercury.
"The daimons seem to be a new breed." Mercury admitted, her visor flashing in rapid succession.
"Thank you, genius!" Mars gritted her teeth as she leased another arrow into an incoming daimon.
"Our attacks are having an effect," Mercury continued as if she hadn't been interrupted, knowing of Mars temperamental nature. "But their powers of regeneration seem to be based on a connection to chaos."
"Would Moon's attack cut that off?" Uranus asked, now back to back with her lover as the two of them cut through the swath of half-formed daimons, deftly evading the reaching claws, jaws, and other appendages.
"It should," Mercury nodded, one hand brushing against invisible strings, and the Mercury Harp acted upon her desire, creating an icy swath that froze several of the daimons in their tracks.
"All right then, protect Moon!" Venus shouted, happy to have a plan. Her Love-me chain whipped out, smashing a daimon into two others as she leapt over their heads, joining the now-forming circle of Senshi.
"Hurry it up, Meatball head!" Mars cried out as she loosed arrow after arrow at the oncoming horde.
The beam of pure white light shot out towards the encircling beasts, sending them back, reeling in pain as their crude eyes strained against the forced blindness.
"Now!" Mercury cried, and the Senshi released their attacks as one.
After the dust had cleared, Moon peeked her head over Uranus' shoulder.
"Are they gone?" She asked curiously.
"…Yes," Mercury announced. "They've disintegrated."
"I didn't think Nine had access to daimons like that," Venus stated as she moved forward, one hand still resting on the pommel of her sword.
"Taking things on directly seemed to be more her style," Moon admitted.
Before the conversation could continue, however, the various residents of the area began to peek out, and Mars cringed, opening her mouth to tell the Senshi to…
The Senshi of Fire turned to face her Princess, eyes widening in surprise. Moon turned and smiled at her for a moment before leaping onto one of the nearby rooftops.
Usagi Is growing up…she thought to herself as she followed suit. Can't say I mind, either.
Pantyhose Tarou was angry.
Actually, scratch that, he was seething.
"Damned old freak, damn hermaphrodite, Damn little magical girls…"
"Excuse me, young man?"
Tarou didn't even look up, ignoring the bitch, probably only interested in getting into his pants.
"Did I just hear you say you hate the Sailor Senshi?"
Tarou stopped dead, finally turning to face the woman speaking to him.
"What's it to you?" He demanded, fists clenching. If he was going to be neutral about this, which, in his state of mind, he certainly wasn't, the woman was pretty in a pale sort of way, red hair a few shades darker than the transvestite, well-stacked, with legs that wouldn't quit.
Of course, he noticed none of this, focusing on her face.
"I happen to share a…similar dislike." The woman admitted modestly, shrugging.
"So, young man, I'm guessing that they did something to you?"
"Those damn bitches took my curse!"
"Curse?" the woman sounded even more curious now, and Tarou paused.
"I used to be able to turn into a being of immense strength…and those whores took it away!"
"Ah…" the woman fell silent, and Tarou began walking once more.
"Wait!" the redhead called out after him, falling in step with him.
"Get lost." Tarou rumbled, aura beginning to manifest as his anger slow-boiled.
"I can restore your curse." The woman finished, and smirked as she saw Tarou's foot freeze in mid-extension.
"Don't lie to me, the old crone told me that the girls had sealed up the springs for good or something."
"They didn't get everything," the woman promised, her eyes shining with a decidedly sinister gleam. Tarou, though, didn't even notice, his mind already flashing back to a broken Happosai, begging to let Tarou change his name.
"What do you want?" He asked finally, though it was more of a formality than anything else in his mind.
"Just help me…deal with the Senshi after you get your curse back."
"That's it?" Tarou asked, suspicious now. In his dealings with anything magical, except for Jusenkyo, everything in life came with a price. Tit for tat, yin and yang, call it what you will, but he had seen far too many examples of it coming true to suddenly believe in miraculous luck.
"That's it." The woman confirmed. "Now, follow me, young man."
"Tarou," The boy corrected her.
"Then call me Kaolinite." The woman asserted as she and the formerly cursed boy disappeared down a side street.
Tarou had a sudden flash of panic, but forced it down, focusing on his revenge. He had purposely dunked himself in the pools of Jusenkyo to beat Happosai, he wasn't going to miss out on a second chance, no matter how dangerous it seemed.
Besides, if worse came to worse, judging from "Kaolinite's" physique, he would have no trouble besting her in a fight…and what came afterwards would not be pleasant for her. Not at all.
"How did I come back?" Mistress Nine pondered the question as she pulled out a pair of what looked to be a pair of nondescript black pants. "An interesting question to ask…curiosity, or something deeper?"
Setsuna shrugged, giving off an attitude that suggested she could care less about what Nine thought. Internally, though, her mind was intensely focused, ready to dissect Nine's story, gain useful facts, and turn them against her captor at the first opportunity.
"Curiosity, I suppose." She admitted after a moment, having let the silence run long enough. She had noticed that around Nine, the background noise seemed to diminish, becoming less noticeable, but filed that question for later.
"Hmm…well, there once was a man in Nantucket…" Setsuna stared at Nine blankly, her mind recognizing neither the place nor the rhyme which upon it was based. Nine chuckled, handing the pants to Ukyo, who, acting on some sort of communication, took her leave through the door to the small room, closing the door with a gentle "click."
"Forget it, a nonsensical English saying." Nine sighed, the tension disappearing from her body as she moved to the floor, entering a meditative posture.
"Should I have even bothered asking?" Setsuna snarled, and Nine opened one eye to stare at her.
"That can't be good for your blood pressure, Setsuna. And besides, that vein sticking out of your neck does make you look rather unattractive."
"You…you…" Setsuna sputtered.
"Are you sure you're not interested in something a little more personal, Setsuna?" Nine mocked her, and Setsuna's jaw closed with a snap. "After all," Nine continued. "I hear it's a great stress reliever, and you just look so tense…"
"You can stop trying to keep me off balance," Pluto was back in control now. "It's not like I would believe any story of yours anyways." She sniffed and closed her eyes, reclining into her chair.
"I'll tell you a story, Setsuna, and it's your choice on whether or not to listen."
Setsuna kept her eyes shut, but her ears perked up slightly.
"There once was an individual who had been born for a very specific role in life. Their parents knew from the day the child was born that their baby would be destined for great things."
"I saw Ran-"
"Don't interrupt." Nine's voice was harsh, and Setsuna followed the command.
"Now then," Nine continued. "The father took the child on a long journey, spanning many years. Along the way, he made many promises for the child's future, some honest, some deceitful, some downright for his own benefit."
"As the child grew older, as the parents had predicted, the youth's skill grew and grew, until the father was certain that they would be chosen amongst all of the candidates. After all, his child was the best."
"Unfortunately, however, the father's earlier promises came back to harm his dreams three-fold. He had spread his promises too thin. As a result, the child's friends learned of the father's deeds, and grew angry. They could not decide amongst themselves who would take the position, but one thing was certain, none of the others would be allowed to be near the child."
Setsuna growled internally. If Nine was trying to go for a convoluted backstory on her host's history, she really needn't have bothered.
"Each friend formed a plan, on how they would best take advantage of the situation. Again, unfortunately, fate had other ideas. Each plan backfired, the friends trying to take advantage of the child's situation for their own efforts."
Nine paused, and Setsuna finally glanced down to her, wondering the point of all this.
"The child cried out in anger, frustration, and sadness. They had been betrayed by those they considered dear to them, and deep in their heart, they cried out for vengeance."
"And you answered." Setsuna interrupted again. "I get that, I've already seen Ranma's life up to when you took over."
"But you have to agree, my way was quite a bit more mysterious." Nine stood, grabbing the pair of pants from the just returning Ukyo, pulling off her shoes, and dropping her skirt.
Setsuna looked away, rolling her eyes at Nine's brazen audacity.
"And I bet you were wondering if there was some parallel to my life before Pharaoh 90, weren't you? Poor Nine, the misunderstood villainess, enslaved by the cruelty of others…"
After a few moments and another low laugh, she turned around, ignoring Nine's last comment.
"Mistress…" Ukyo spoke softly, but Nine shrugged her off.
"Leave it, Ukyo." The girl nodded slowly, stepping back.
"Now…." Nine trailed off, turning to stare out at the sunrise. "There."
"Kaolinite?" Setsuna guessed, standing and stretching out her legs.
"We're going." Nine commanded, leaping out the open window, followed closely by Sailor Pluto, Ukyo taking the rear, one hand already resting on her halberd.
"Now, as I was saying, Nine didn't generally use daimons, did she?"
Moon's question was greeted by shrugs all around, and she turned to Saturn.
"…She generally liked killing things by herself," Saturn admitted. "At least, I think so."
"So then it was…."
"Kaolinite." Uranus finished Venus' drawn out half-statement, half-question. "Mercury, is there any way you can trace it at all?"
"After Moon blew away the link to chaos, the signal got weak quite swiftly. It would be a slow job, I'd have to recreate their steps…"
She broke off suddenly, even as all of the Senshi sensed the vast gathering of dark energy to the east.
"Or," Mercury admitted weakly as the other Senshi took off. "We could just use that."
Sasuke watched in morbid fascination as the woman his mistress had ordered him to find leapt off in the distance, and as he turned his head to follow her, an ominous feeling rose to the back of his neck, causing a shiver.
Cursing his luck in actually spotting the sorceress, he pulled out his mobile phone, and quickly sent Mistress Kodachi the direction in which the woman was heading.
A moment later, he read that he was to follow the stranger, and keep her informed.
Sighing, he sent up a prayer to his ancestors before following the trio at a discrete distance.
As she followed her Mistress and Sailor Pluto, Ukyo Kuonji wondered to herself on how far things would progress, and if the plan envisioned in her Mistress' mind would still play out that way she had hoped.
She was able to sense a dim outline of the scheme with her connection to Mistress Nine, and the plan shared both her fiancé's tactical genius and reliance on desperate schemes as well as the new output of Mistress Nine's powers and other talents.
Ukyo was still wary of Sailor Pluto, though, and Mistress Nine's reluctance to just deal with her. She recognized the need for the Gates of Time, but she still didn't trust the Senshi any farther than her new daimon-enhanced arm could throw her.
And if that wasn't bad enough, something was troubling her Mistress. She had tried several times to help, but each, Mistress Nine had rebuffed her. Yes, it had been far more gentle than Ukyo had deserved, but in most circumstances, she would have gladly accepted the punishment.
Serving her Mistress was her highest priority, and to step out of those boundaries was now unthinkable to the girl.
In the dimmest recess of her mind, something protested at this new, unwavering loyalty, but she utterly ignored it.
Her Mistress…her fiancé had saved her from the brink of death. She could do no less in return than to place her life in the hands of her savior.
With this sudden self-conflict solved, Ukyo emptied her mind, and focused on following her Mistress and the Senshi to the sudden eruption of chaotic energy, of which the bitch Kaolinite was sure to be involved in.
She would enjoy gutting the redhead, she mused. She would enjoy it greatly.
Sailor Pluto stared at Mistress Nine's back as she followed, her mind racing with curiosity.
As she had seen earlier, something was…different with Mistress Nine. She could barely recall the actions to which Nine had pervaded into her subconscious, but from what little she could remember, Nine could have gotten quite a rather mild oath. Granted, her magic and her previous oath to Serenity would not have allowed Nine to extract a promise of such magnitude that would require her to hurt the Senshi, or access the Time Gates without her conscious and aware permission, which she would never give.
She had deduced that Nine needed her time-based abilities for some reason, most likely to travel back in time and manage to summon Pharaoh 90 and end the world before Saturn could be awoken.
Not for the first time, she cursed Galaxia and her bracelets. While under her control, all of Setsuna's knowledge had been made privy to the chaos-infested Senshi, and while Galaxia had been far too arrogant to consider using it, had she been more astute, she could have gone back into the past, killed off Moon before any of the other Senshi had awoken, and won without a fight.
But Mistress Nine had admitted to being made privy to the knowledge through the cauldron of Chaos, which meant that she did at least know how the Gates worked, and would almost certainly have no such hesitation in killing off Moon.
As soon as Kaolinite was gone, and if Moon wasn't on hand to force Nine out of the Saotome boy, she would have to kill Mistress Nine and her host. Without mercy, and without hesitation.
Akane blinked tiredly, fighting to keep her eyes open, in order to not miss Kasumi's return to consciousness.
She watched on drowsily, her head drooping slightly as her eldest sister remained blissfully unconscious, the expression on her face the very picture of serenity.
A finger twitched, and adrenaline shot through Akane's nerves.
"Sis?" She whispered softly.
"Akane…" Kasumi whispered back, sitting up in bed. "But if you're here…." Her eyes took on a terrified glance, and one pale hand clutched Akane's wrist desperately.
"Where is Ranma?!" she breathed, voice almost too quiet to be heard.
"He's…he's still possessed by that demon lady." Akane admitted, only to pause in confusion as Kasumi shook her head.
"I saw him!" The eldest Tendo daughter insisted. "He caught up to me at the market, he told me everything was fine, and then he…"
Tears formed from Kasumi's eyelids, and the eldest Tendo's hands flew to her face.
"Kasumi , it's okay." Akane tried to comfort her, but her sister would have none of it, beginning to weep.
"Nabiki!" Akane shouted, having no clue on how to comfort her surrogate mother. "Daddy! Kasumi's awake!"
There was the sound of rushing footsteps from the stairway, and Soun burst onto the scene, followed closely by Nabiki.
"Kasumi!" The Patriarch cried, waterworks already beginning to erupt from his face. "My daughter is alive!"
Kasumi's eyes widened in shock, and Nabiki promptly smacked Soun upside the back of his head.
"Daddy, you're not helping." She stated calmly, and the fountain stopped as if plugged.
"But…" Soun blubbered, and Nabiki sighed.
"Sis, how are you feeling?" she asked, ignoring Soun's new tears over the cries of how his daughters hated him.
"I'm…okay." Kasumi replied finally, hands dropping down to her sides.
"Can…can you tell us what happened?" Akane asked cautiously.
"Indeed, I find myself curious as well."
"Cologne!" Akane whirled around, almost dropping into a defensive stance before catching herself.
"He…he…" Kasumi stopped, looking at the small clock on the wall. "Oh my, I should start making breakfast!"
A twitch formed on Nabiki's right eye.
"Sis, Aunty is making breakfast…"
"Then I should help her."
Not minding the fact that she was still dressed in yesterday's clothes, Kasumi eased out of her bed slowly, patted herself down, and hurried downstairs.
"It is how she copes," Soun tearfully explained to Cologne. "Takes after her mother…"
"Very well, I can wait until she has properly recovered. I will be back shortly with Shampoo and Mousse."
Cologne pogoed out of the room, and presumably, out of the Tendo home.
"Odd." Nabiki finished Akane's sentence for her. Shrugging as one, the two followed Soun out of Kasumi's room, the door sliding shut.
"That display should be more than enough," Kaolinite called over her shoulder as she walked into the abandoned courtyard.
"Yes, Mistress," came the decidedly animalistic tones from several shadowy figures.
"You and you," The former assistant pointed out. "Wait for the Senshi. You," She continued. "Wait until Mistress Nine appears, and jump her."
The silhouettes nodded, and with a flourish of her lab coat, Kaolinite stalked off. The three beings melted further into the shadows of the courtyard, avoiding the slowly rising rays of the sun.
"Here!" Mercury called out, dropping to the middle of the courtyard. "The signal is coming from in here."
The Senshi fanned out, presenting a half circle, protecting Moon.
"They're right on top of us," The Senshi of Ice continued, eyes darting about the lot in front of her.
"Very good," a voice growled from the blackness. "But not good enough."
From one of the corners, a black blur darted forward, intent on ramming Mercury. Mars shot off a Flame Sniper as a deterrent, and the creature dove into the ground, disappearing beneath the crumbling concrete.
"What is it?" Uranus asked, her eyes darting from shadow to shadow. Suddenly, the ground beneath her shattered like glass, and she could do nothing but cry out as she fell.
At the last moment, Neptune grabbed her free hand, and with supreme force of will, hoisted the larger girl up out of the pit.
"Jump!" Mercury cried as her visor flared. "It's coming up again!" The Senshi leapt up as one, leaping into the air.
Unfortunately for them, that was when the second beast struck.
Out of the air came a hideous shrieking sound, and before the girls could react, a giant, bird-like creature struck, razor sharp talons drawing large gashes in Saturn and Mars' arms.
Venus launched a Crescent Beam as she fell back to earth, but out of nowhere, a manhole appeared. As the two connected, the metal, superheated, exploded into dozen of shards, heading down towards the Senshi. Saturn spotted the falling projectiles, and quickly placed up a Silence Wall, shielding her fellow Senshi from the quivering daggers, embedded firmly within the wall.
"What kind of daimons are these?" Jupiter asked breathily.
The bird-monster landed in a nearby tree, the black blur, now revealing itself to be a giant boar, burrowing out of the ground beside it.
Unlike the daimons, who, despite their unique "characteristics, had been more or less humanoid, the beasts were the opposite. Their bodies carried very little resemblance to humans in physical form, almost fully embracing their animalistic attributes.
"We…are your doom." The boar huffed, its teeth peeling back menacingly.
"Indeed," The bird shrieked. "It's your turn to feel suffering before you perish."
"We need a plan," Venus whispered as she moved closer to Moon.
"I'm thinking," Mercury shot back, eyes flickering to the two daimons.
"Couldn't Jupiter deal with the underground thingie and Venus lasso on the bird?"
"That…would work," Mercury admitted, giving Moon a momentary glance. "Mars and Uranus support Venus, while Neptune and I protect Jupiter….Moon, you get ready to finish either of them off when we trap them, Saturn, you're with Moon."
Moon nodded eagerly, scepter held at the ready.
"Finally ready to die?" The bird shrieked.
"Very well," The boar continued. "Now, you perish!"
Having said their piece, the bird once more took to the sky, while the boar burrowed into the dirt.
"Jupiter Oak Evolution!" Jupiter cried out, slamming her fists into the ground.
"Venus Love Me chain!" Venus cried simultaneously, the golden whip shooting out towards the bird's leg.
Even as the ground rumbled, the bird shrieked, straining to get free, Venus barely managing to hold onto the chain.
"Mars Flame Sniper!"
"Space Sword Buster!"
The two quickest attacks of the Senshi shot out towards the aerial daimon, Jupiter's shaking of the ground revealed one of the boar beast's tunnels.
"Shine Aqua Illusion!"
Neptune and Mercury flooded the revealed tunnel with a torrential burst of freezing water, forcing more and more liquid down into the hole.
Back by the tree, the boar stumbled out, even as the bird monster duplicated its earlier maneuver, a long spear hitting Mars' arrow, while a strange looking shield disintegrated under Uranus' energy sphere. It struggled, and Venus was forced to dispel the chain before she could be lifted and carried off by the inhuman being.
"You're going to have to do a lot more damage than that, Senshi," The boar chuckled, seemingly unhurt. "We're not ordinary daimons, after all."
"Yes," The bird screeched, flapping its wings majestically. "We're far more powerful, thanks to being in our hosts for so long."
"Wait," Saturn paused, Glaive balanced between her fingers expertly as she stood in front of Moon. "You're…"
"That's right," the boar grunted. "We have been given the power of the cursed fools in Nerima. We should thank you, Sailor Moon. It was due to your efforts that we were able to take our true forms."
"I…" Moon's voice trailed off.
"Wasn't it you who said let the people deal with chaos in their own way?" The boar grunted out, teeth peeling back once more in an awful grin. "And then you go and do something like this, releasing us."
"I didn't…." Moon whispered incredulously, her eyes darting to the two daimon beasts, her grip on her scepter loosening.
"But you did," The bird shrieked triumphantly. "And now….you die!"
It shot downwards with stunning speed, talons that were sharp enough to pierce steel heading straight for the Princess.
Saturn readied herself, waiting until the last possible moment to throw up a Silence Wall that would hopefully shred the thing…when out of the corner of her eye, she caught the glare of a metal object hurtling down towards her. She threw herself to the side, but it was not her the halberd was descending upon.
The gigantic avian screeched in confusion as it too spotted the weapon, cutting its dive short and flapping desperately, trying to regain some altitude.
"Over there!" Mars pointed out unnecessarily, as all the Senshi were already staring up at the nearby rooftop.
"This a private dance, Pig boy, or may I cut in?"
While the Senshi had originated the encounter with the two daimons, Mistress Nine stood watching, observing the tactics of both sides.
"Pluto," she announced finally. "Stay back unless it's necessary."
Setsuna started to argue, but before she could voice any of her arguments, Nine was directly in front of her, strands of hair whirling to an invisible breeze.
"Quiet, Setsuna," She purred. "You don't want your daughter to think you've gone to the Dark Side, do you?"
Setsuna, unable to think of a reply to this, nodded angrily. Nine, satisfied, turned to Ukyo.
"Fire a warning shot on the bird when it dives."
The former chef nodded, hoisting her axe like a gigantic javelin.
The two waited in silence for a few moments.
At Nine's signal, Ukyo's arm came crashing down with stunning force, whipping the gigantic blade towards the bird…and, by proxy, Saturn.
Setsuna gasped in both shock and horror, but Ukyo's aim was true; the halberd firmly embedded itself in the ground scant inches from Nine's former host, pole quivering slightly from the impact.
Nine nodded to the girl, and stepped forward, out of the shadows.
"This a private dance, Pig boy, or may I cut in?"
"Mistress Nine!" Venus cried out, her focus temporarily diverted from the two daimons.
"Where is she?!" Saturn continued. "If you've hurt her, Nine…"
"Saturn-chan, please try and think of something new, those old threats almost make me think you don't even really care…" Nine adopted a hurt expression, leaping down from the rooftop to stare at both the Senshi and daimons.
She closed her eyes, focusing, and once more, after a flash of blackness that was impossible to see through, Mistress Nine was once more in the guise of a dark Seifuku, Tioron Crystal embedded in her bow.
"You can't fool us," Jupiter declared. "We've dealt with you false Senshi before!"
"I'm not wearing a bracelet, so it must be a pretty good fake, hmm?" Nine countered, holding out her wrists for all to see. And it was true, under the gloves, there was no evidence of any false powers brought on by Galaxia.
"Stop ignoring us!" the boar cried, charging towards Nine with previously unseen speed.
Nine smirked, and in her hands, twin balls of purple and black energy that Saturn recognized from their earlier encounter aboard the rooftop.
As she watched, fascinated, Nine's hands clenched around the growing spheres, the energy transferring to her gloves, giving them the appearance of gauntlets.
Nine stood, that confident smirk adorning her face as she stood, stance low, ready to receive the charging boar.
With a roar that shook the earth itself, the boar's tusks smashed into Nine's waiting arms….and forced them backwards.
Nine blinked in surprise, trying desperately to throw herself to the side, but before she could free herself, the boar slammed her full bore into the wall, tusks cutting through her gloves, sliding to the side as some black liquid leaked out, and pinning the Messiah of Silence to the wall like a Pincushion.
"Overconfident as always," The boar grunted, even as the bird took to the air once more. "It always was your undoing."
"And your stupidity was yours," Nine replied with a smirk. In her hands, the glow from earlier reappeared, and she smashed her left hand into the boar's snout, leading to a squeal of pain as the beast tore loose from the cement and brick.
The beast took a few steps backwards, tusks stained with black fluid.
"Tough as ever, I see." Nine noted as she stepped forwards. "Too bad you're much too slow."
"Nine!" Saturn's Glaive shot through the air as the girl leapt forward, anger overriding her common sense.
Nine, having been forewarned by Saturn's shout, quickly ducked backwards, her whole body twirling into motion as she spun low under the Glaive.
"Did…she just copy the Matrix?" Moon asked absentmindedly.
"Really not the time!" Mars shouted, bow held at the ready, but unsure of who to take out first.
The bird beast made her decision for her, taking another dive towards the group of Senshi.
Mars exhaled slowly, letting the oxygen fuel her fiery arrow, and letting it fly with utter precision into the bird's chest.
The daimon apparently had not seen the arrow coming, and thus, was not able to dodge or materialize some sort of ancient weapon in its defense, crying out in pain and surprise as it fell towards the ground, barely pulling out of its dive and riding on a morning thermal of hot, rising air.
"Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, help Saturn!" Moon commanded, her earlier timidness disappearing. "The rest of you, focus on the daimons!"
"I'm almost insulted," Nine commented, standing between Saturn and the Glaive, glowing gloves still held at the ready. "The four of you won't be nearly enough to stop me…"
"Then how about just me?"
An additional voice rang out from Nine's right, and before the Messiah of Silence could twirl out of the way, a gigantic lavender furred lioness was on top of her.
"Cats never miss their pounce," it proclaimed in a satisfied manner, and raised one paw for a swipe to Nine's neck.
"C-c-c-c…" Saturn grabbed the Glaive out of the wall, and turned to face Nine. To her shock, her nemesis seemed paralyzed under the gigantic purple cat, eyes full of fear.
Saturn jerked back to the voice, where a girl rushed towards the cat and Nine, halberd at the ready.
"…Ukyo?" She asked faux-calmly.
The girl flipped into the air, ready to come down with a crushing blow on the lioness…only to be have her arm shredded by the birds waiting talons. Giving out a small cry, she dropped to the ground, one arm hanging loosely at her side, the other clutching the gigantic axe with white knuckles.
"You've got to stop that thing!" She cried out, struggling to her feet.
"You want me to help Nine?!" Saturn asked incredulously, even as Venus shot a blast towards the boar, who was unable to dodge, getting blasted backwards into the wall, while the bird fell prey to a slash from Uranus' Space Sword, barely avoiding having its pinion feathers clipped as it struggled to regain altitude.
Even as Nine struggled uselessly under the Lioness' full-body trap, the lioness herself apparently enjoying the moment, carving various slashes up and down Nine's arms, fear began to instill itself inside Saturn's mind.
She ignored it as best she could, but soon, the pain forced her to her knees.
The boar spotted this weakness, and charged her, taking the full brunt of Neptune's Submarine Tide Reflection without even blinking, and rammed Saturn into the wall much like he had to Nine earlier.
Saturn gasped in pain, the air leaving her lungs in a whoosh as she fell to the ground, body twitching against her will.
"Saturn!" Uranus and Neptune cried out, moving towards her, even as the boar moved to finish its charge.
A ball of energy the color of the deepest pink shot down towards the boar, and where the other attacks had been shrugged off, by chance, or perhaps by incredible timing, the Dead Scream impacted upon its snout, where just scant minutes earlier, Nine had impacted with her magically augmented fist.
"Saturn," came a voice that Saturn recognized instantly, her face giving way to sheer and utter joy. "You looked like you could use a hand."
"Pluto!" Moon cried, echoed by all the other Senshi.
With a flick of her wrist, Pluto's staff embedded itself down upon the boar's snout, and the beast howled in pain as the unnaturally heavy metal crushed its nose. It quickly burrowed away, reappearing a fair distance away even as the bird hovered, unsure of who to attack next.
It was then that the fear inside Saturn's mind suddenly disappeared in a single instant.
The Senshi, the boar, and the bird turned to stare at the lioness, only to see her sent flying twenty five feet into the air.
The female cat had landed on her feet, of course, but no one had missed the large slashes that had been gouged into her belly.
Mistress Nine stood on all fours, back arched, dark seifuku glittering with power, her hair moving as if under typhoon level winds.
The Neko-ken had been unleashed.
And it was not at all happy.
A/N: It's been a while, and I apologize. Been working on other projects for other writing groups for a while. But we're finally back to a vague sort of schedule. Of course, college always plays hell with that, so we'll see.
As always, reviews are greatly appreciated.
Thanks for reading.