HikkomiHouou – Part 7 A new doctor, new friends and an OOOLD enemy
In the darkest part of space, lay a woman. A being of night, and the cause of many wars, between the great powers. She has been asleep since long before the moon kingdom arose, and hopefully would have remaind asleep long after Crystal Tokyo was dust. She was a force that could defeat the ultimate force, if she wished, and soon she would awaken fully and call her children back to her from the grave. She was The mother of all, the Silence itself. She was End of everything, be it living, dead or immortal. Slowly, in this deep recess, she was starting to awaken. She was Nyx.
Belldandy had gotten Urd's request and while she thought it was somewhat odd, she of course agreed to go and help her sisters. As she started to get ready to teleport there, another phone call came to her, this time from Heaven. After pleasantries with Peorth, she was asked to review a file before arriving. Belldandy looked at the file, and sighed. "Kei-kun, can you give me a ride to Juuban? I need to help my sisters." Kei-kun loved spending time with his girlfriend so of course went to prepare his bike. 'good that should give me time to read this, while we travel, and its a lovely day to be driving with Kei-kun' she thought
Rei looked somewhat dejected as she saw Setsuna show up with Hotaru of all people. 'Still' she thought to herself "Hotaru is probably in as much need as he is." She sighed to herself, thinking of how it must be to have him... And noticed her grandfather was watching her with a somewhat annoyed look on his face. She instantly blushed a deep red, and excused herself to go clean the great hall. 'that girl had better not doom us all in this mess', her grandfather thought to himself.
Setsuna, Hotaru and Skuld sat together talking to Ranma. Ranma was at first very cautious around the two new girls, but a few things set his mind at more ease than he had been before. First Skuld vouched for them. (and in his mind Ranko vouched to him rather strongly in favor of the young girl with purple eyes, as someone he should get to know) 2nd One of the FIRST things Setsuna said to him, was to inform him that neither of them, nor any of their friends were in any way, shape or form his fiancees. Apparently they knew already about Genma and his issues , as well as he suspected his curse. What synched it was when Skuld almost dropped her glass of ice tea on him and Hotaru dove under it, pushing Ranma down, protecting him from the water. This was a first for him, someone actually trying to protect him. Hotaru immediately blushed, and apologized for knocking him over, she just did not want him to feel uncomfortable. In his mind, he heard Ranko tell him "I told you so, Nice girl, play nice with her". He did wonder about Ranko's comments, but if she and Skuld vouched for them, he should listen.
It was a nice calm afternoon spent with them, with Urd only occasionally trying to sit with them, and Ranma ignoring her completely when she did. Eventually she just left to go sit on the stairs and wait for her sister to arrive.
Urd was miserable about this situation. For some reason, a perfectly wonderful boy, with a healthy libido, who she had never done anything too, hated her strongly. He was apparently completely immune to her charms, in favor of her younger sister. Even her powers and the "goddess of love" did not seem to have any effect on him. There was little in life that would have confused her more than this. If she had read the file, rather than get lost in the pictures of Ranma fighting, and misinterpreting the scenes with Ranma and his many fiancees, she would have know Why her charms failed. To Ranma, she very easily could have represented to him the worst of the parts of him life from before. She never read the file, though and would not understand what was going on until she returned to heaven, and Peorth explained it to her in small words. Either way this was not a happy time for Urd.
In Nerma, Kasumi and Nodoka stood side by side chopping vegetables together to prepare for tonight's dinner. Things had calmed down drastically since Akane's and Ranma's departure. Peaceful was now the norm, as the various girls left, the amazons returned to china and even the Kuno's started on court mandated psychiatric care. All was at peace. Nodoka loved cooking with Kasumi. She had started to think prior to Ranma's departure that Kasumi would have made him a much better bride, but they upped and eloped one day. She hoped her son was happy where he was, and not still being accused of things by his new wife. In the midst of these preparations, there was a knock on the door. A messenger was there with a letter for Ranma, from the Australian court system. Fearing something was wrong, Nodoka opened the letter and read its contents. As she read through it several tears descended to the paper she read. Kasumi noticing the tears came to her to ask what was wrong. Nodoka just dropped the letter and started crying into Kasumi's shoulder. Nabiki picked the letter up, read it herself and turned to her father (who was playing Shogi). "Daddy, apparently Akane's lawyer is demanding the Dojo be sold and the money be sent to her as part of her divorce award" Both Genma and Soun faces went white. The only word they could think between them was "divorce?".
As the woman started to feel the edges of her being, much closer to home, a hand, buried in rubble for millennia, opened and closed. Ephialtes was awakening, hearing his grandmothers call, and would soon begin his war on the gods again. The giants would be the first to be reborn.
In heaven, Peorth sat at her desk, and watched her screens. Behind her sat an old terminal. Not covered in dust of course but on that had not been used since the new system, Yggdrasil, had been put in place. In truth from the layout it actually predated that system, hailing all the way back to the Pools of Delphi system, the earliest computer matrix that was used to control creation. Peorth was still watching Skuld's first major assignment, and seeing how the ultimate force was going to enforce her Promise to Ranma when a soft sound started behind her. A gentle beep, like an alarm, but quiet, unassuming. Peorth scanned all of her screens, moving one past another, and the quiet little alarm persisted, but for the life of her she could not see any of her screens where any alarms were present. Peorth was very frustrated by this. 'Where is this beeping coming from' She thought. It was about this time that Ere entered her office.
"Supervisor Peorth, Have you seen this odd alarm that appears to be ringing through out all of our"... Ere went silent for a moment. "Supervisor, I seem to have found the source of the alarm". Peorth turned around to look at Ere, and then at the Old terminal beside her. There, flashing on the screen was a warning.
"ALARM– Giant moving through Gaea. Probable Giant Ephialtes – ALARM Classified as waring against the immortals, and very Dangerous – ALARM"
"oh no" Peorth said aloud. She rushed to the office where Kami-sama resided...
Far below heaven, Hild sat at her control screen of Nidhogg. As Daimakaicho she is the only one who has total access to it, and its predecessors. Clearly on her terminal an old screen popped up an alarm
"ALARM – Giant moving though Gaea - probable Giant Ephialtes – ALARM Classified as waring against the immortals, and very Dangerous – ALARM"
Hild blinked as she looked at this. Her terminal then brought up all of the information on Ephialtes, how and what he was. She turned pale, thinking of the doublet system and what he would do to her forces, if he was allowed to assault Heaven. Then her "helpful"? Terminal popped up with the message.
"Warning – Giants at war attack Tartarus as well as Olympus – Under orders to exterminate all immortals. Prime target, Hades - Warning"
Hild looked at her system, and then saw at the top of the oldest screen, the one that prompted the alarm, that her log in name was Hades.
"ohh this will NOT do. MALLER!, GET IN HERE!"
Ranma was enjoying himself for the first time in along time. Perhaps truly the first time ever. He had many times of solitude to deal with his problems, and my times of sympathy from Kasumi, even times of debauchery in a sense when he scammed ice creak as Ranko. He just would not remember any time that he was more relaxed, and calm than with these 4 women. Setsuna and Rei were very nice to him, and neither seemed to have that "mine" look in their eye. Skuld was, well, Skuld, and while he could see why she was a goddess, he didn't really have this strong attraction to her. What DID surprise him was the laughing younger girl, Hotaru, who while she laughed with them, also seemed to bear this weight on her, that she was not good at hiding. That weight seemed familiar to him, the weight of everyone around you, needing you, and the fear of being tossed aside once you are done being useful. That was his life, for so long, it drew him to her, almost protectively. She also was the one to save him from Skuld's tea, and he could not come up with any other reason for her to do that, then she already knew about his curse, and was OK with it. That she knew somehow. He examined her closely as he had these thoughts, until he realized that he was looking directly in her purple eyes, and had been for a few moments. Rei sniggered, and they both looked away, blushing.
'Busted' thought Rei. 'Yeah maybe Setsuna is right on this. Maybe none of the rest of us ever really had a chance anyway. Ill have to see if I can help. Somehow'
Hotaru excused herself right after being caught claiming she needed to visit the powder room, and Rei got up to join her. This was NOT what Hotaru had in mind, she wanted to bury her head in embarrassment, not be made fun of by the Senshi of Fire. As they entered the bathroom, Rei closed the door and turned to Hotaru. "Ho-chan, I may have something to help you trapping him"
Hotaru blushed VERY brightly. "Trap? I don't know what you mean".
"Yeah right Dear. Anyway, have these, I will bet from listening to him, about his life this would be a new experience for him. I also will bet that if YOU ask him he may actually go." in Rei's hands were her two prized tickets to the Tsukiko Amano concert next week. Rei had worked a part time job for a month just to afford them. Even if she had not found a date, she would have taken Ami, or Mokoto, as they were all big fans of Amano. Internally Rei sighed about offering them up, but, IF it helped her Senshi sister, and according to Setsuna, her new brother, it was worth it. "Take them, and him and have a good time for me. You could even take him to our favorite ice cream shop." Rei smiled at Hotaru, and pushed the tickets into her hands.
Rei returned to the table first, and reentered the conversation. Setsuna had a very good idea what had happened in the bathroom, and smiled at Rei, getting her attention, just so she could nod in approval. For that moment Rei felt much better about giving up the ticket, and any chance at Ranma herself. She would later regret that of course, some of the time, but inside she knew it was the right thing to do.
Hotaru returned and continued the conversation. Around this time two things happened. Setsuna stood up and said it was time for them to go home, thanking Rei and Ranma for hosting them so well, And a motorcycle with a boy and woman pulled up. Rei took a hard look at Hotaru, as she was walking off. Hotaru took a big breath and turned around
"Ranma, I know your new here and all, but I was wo...wondering.. If, " another Deep breath " ?" If you mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ?" (1)
She took another deep breath, and looked up at him. Ranma could see the fear of rejection in her eyes, and knew that feeling all to well. He just for the life of him could not figure out what she had just said, it was too run together one big long word that had some meaning, and embarrassed Hotaru.
"Hotaru, I know you asked me a question but could you repeat it, it all ran together and I didn't get what you asked" replied Ranma
Hotaru took a deeper slower breath. "Could yo go with me to a concert next Friday, I have a couple of tickets and wanted to offer one to you" She looked at the ground not even able to look at him this time.
"Well, I have never been to a concert. Can we get ice cream on the way? I KNOW ice cream, and would love a good serving of that" Ranma almost starting drooling at the idea of getting free ice cream again.
Hotaru smiled excitedly, nodding her head. Ranma just thought to himself, 'Wow, she sure is cute when she smiles"
For some reason FF will not let me write a really long run on question. She is asking if he will go to the concert with her next friday, as oneword, but when I try and type it, FF just deletes the word. Grrr