Since you will see who dominates the prologue, you can guess what kind of crossover this will be. However, I won't fall into the common traps. Ranma won't wear a fuku, and also no tuxedo. He won't be some re-incarnation. He is just... Ranma. I want to avoid numerous stuff that became the norm in these crossovers but that actually is pretty stupid. I also will make it clear that while Ranma and the Senshi learn new techniques, I won't sink to the insane levels of the canon, where it became an absurd arms race in the later parts of both series. It's a common weakness in anime series that the power level increases to ridiculous levels. (In my opinion, DBZ is the worst offender in that regard in the anime world) I will try to stay on Earth and try to give everything a bit more realistic feeling (as much as it as it is possible) but don't worry... hilarity will still ensure!
Needless to say that I will slaughter the canon of both series, but I guess you expected this. Also I don't have any rights to both series, but I guess you know that, too.
Sorry that there is only very little Ranma in the prologue, but I need to set up things. Also after the prologue there won't be Sailor Moon related stuff for some time.
Note that this is the updated chapter, it is significantly better from the original one, as my writing skills have improved a lot over the years.
No Chance for Fate
She felt sick.
Actually she felt like thowing up all her innards, but even that was denied to her in this place of eternal time, where all her body functions were frozen. Sailor Pluto let out a cynical laugh when remembering this. Here at the Gates of Time, there were no bodily needs. She didn't need to eat or drink -she knew by now that her entire digestive tract was frozen in a time void- didn't need to sleep or even to rest. She snorted when remembering that essentially it made her just staying there in boredom, denied even mundane things like taking a leak, throwing up or... ah hell, with her body functions frozen in time like this, she couldn't even let go of a fart.
In other words it was the perfect hell, only instead of fire and brimstone, the torture was utter and mind-crumbling boredom. A fitting punishment for her.
Who'd said that being the Guardian of the most powerful time-related artifact in the universe would be an easy job? But then, this wasn't the worst thing. Much worse was what was in her head right now. Being the senshi of time had side-effects that were uncontrollable. Something like the grand temporal loop she was in for so long that it had made her wish she could slit her wrists.
Hell, she'd tried offing herself several times already and the damn loop had simply resurrected her, leaving her with the horrible memories of her own death. She'd also went insane at lest half a dozend times in the countless loops but eventually even that had proven useless and her mind by now was too numb to master this feat again.
Her memories by now were somewhat vague on numerous things, but what had happened over and over again to again and again crush her soul was pretty much clear. The loop had started with... no, that would be at the end of the story. She had memories of quite a number of times going through this, but she couldn't act on them. She wanted to, but everything was against her. What were memories worth when they got burried by the time stream to ensure the the loop would exactly repeat as last time?
It had started the same as the numerous times before.
She'd woken up with all the memories she'd had from all the previous loops at some point before the conception of the Senshi in her body of that time (she hoped that her current self didn't mind her mind melting together with hers). But at that point, she was trapped in this place. And when the time came to interact with the world again... she would be brutally forced by the powers of time itself to revert to her self from that point at the time stream, her memories supressed. The time loop was very powerful, altering her mind to ensure it's a closed circle. And then everything would happen again. The same all over again down to the last detail.
Setsuna felt like fate wanted to mock her by again and again shoving down her throat how everything would go to hell. Enternal damnation as punishment for her hubris.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions... she thought bitterly.
Crystal Tokyo had been such a good idea on first sight. A government that would care for everyone, leading mankind into a new, golden age... They should have known better. The people of the world didn't want be ruled by a self-proclaimed royal pair, especially since they remembered that these so-called saivours hadn't lifted a finger to prevent the disaster called "the deep freeze" that killed many millions, despite being able to do so. That this was because they hadn't been on Earth during that time, they had left to learn more about their past, was the reason for their inactivity.
Pluto sighed. It wasn't that Serenity, Endymion or the other Senshi were evil or bad people, they really had only the best interest of the people at heart. But they simply weren't made for ruling over an entire planet, being naive and unable to see the consequences of their actions. While they'd been great defenders against the forces of darkness, they were completely unsuitable for running a government. It culuminated in the big sin.
That was, when Usagi got the bad idea after the Black Moon family, that maybe the evil in people's hearts prevented them to see that this was for their good. That was the original sin, when she used the Silver Crystal to destroy any chance for evilness in the hearts of man. Taking the choice away from them, ripping out an essential part of the very being of humanity. The results were horrible, only they didn't see it at first. They saw happy people, who didn't complain about anything, smiling 24-7 while going on as the obedient drones they'd become.
Setsuna knew it was ironical. In a way, Wiseman and the Black Moon had been right, Crystal Tokyo hadn't turned out into what had been hoped.
And with all passion and the will to survive gone from them, humanity was doomed to die out. The children became fewer with each generation, the drive to reproduce gone. When Serenity and the others had seen what had happened, when they understood the consequences of their tampering with human nature, it had been already far too late. In the end, they'd tried to commit suicide by Serenity overloading the Silver Crystal to wipe out them and the meager remnants of mankind. Ironically, they never managed to do so.
Hotaru had beaten them to it. She'd become clinically depressed and when hearing what they'd been about to do, had pointed down the Silence Glaive and brought the Silence over Earth, killing everyone left on the planet. Her last words were, that she'd put them out of their misery.
And there she was at the time loop. In a burst of pure depression at seeing the empty Earth, she had fired a Dead Scream point blank at the gate in that future, and this somehow had made her start this loop. And with every loop she kept her memories from the last times.
And to what use? I will be forced to start all this again and again, living through it. How many millenia have I gone through this now? I don't remember... Maybe I don't want to remember... Is this the punishment for my arrogance that I thought I knew what should be best?
She knew, it WAS the punishment for her arrogance, for all her manipulations of the timeline in order to steer things towards Crystal Tokyo. She'd been fixated on the idea of ressurrecting the Silver Millenium, even accepted that the death of billions just by sitting back and doing nothing while the asteroid would hit the planet, would be worth the sacrifice. Instead, her plans had doomed Earth to be a lifeless rock in space.
Looking into the gate, she watched Earth.
She hoped that maybe something would change, something would cause a litte difference that would disturb the loop, so that she could try to escape and break it. But she felt that she was fooling herself. There was no escape for her. Even though there were small variations in the time stream in each loop, surely it wouldn't be enough.
Who do I try to kid? I should have... wait. What's that? She saw a small ripple going over the surface of the picture the gate showed her right now. Chaos energy in its purest form. It's starting to send ruptures into the time stream.
Setsuna didn't know where exactly that chaos came from, but it started to get stronger. It had to come from a person. Generally, too much chaos energy was bad, because it tended to ruin someone's life royally. Often, these people died early, most never reaching their tenth year, just because of the sheer chaos killing them. But this maybe was her chance, and she understood her single chance all too well. The disruptions in the stream affected the gate, and she could use her time staff to draw the chaos energy to the gate, the resulting chaos spike would be her key to freedom by creating a rip in the fabric that'd allow her to escape. This would break the time loop.
The sudden chance for escape had blown away her dark thoughts. She couldn't afford to blow it.
Whoever it was who emitted so much chaos, he or she should be thankful that she would drain off most of it for her own puproses, as it would make their lives much more easy. Pointing her staff to the gate, she concentrated.
...at the same time, which is 1978...
In a hospital in the Minato ward of Tokyo, a woman of barely 20 years was busy with giving birth and causing injury to her husband's hand. But despite the pain, she was happy that she was giving birth right now. A medical condition made it very difficult for her to conceive. That she nonetheless had become pregnant despite the marginal chances of this happening; she felt it was a miracle. She was only moments away from having her dream fulfilled.
The way to it had been long. Her parents didn't approve of her choice of husband. They would have liked to see her marrying a well-off salaryman, not someone like him. Her father said that he is a man of bad character, and that she didn't know what she was getting into. Her extremely traditional mother had rejected him because she doubted he could be the kind of husband who can give a family a life free of financial trouble. But she had married him anyway, the only time she went against her conservative upbringing.
For that, her parents effectively had disowned her.
She knew they were wrong, her husband was a kind man and he really cared for her. But she also knew that he was in constant danger of leaving this path. She'd heard his nightmares, where his old master, a really cruel man from what he had told her, tormented him. He himself admitted that he had to force himself not to fall into an behaviour that literally had been beaten into him. He'd warned her that all the years of abuse had left things in his head that away threatened to overwhelm him. But she had faith that he would be strong enough.
She was so excited of having a child, that her expectations literally went through the roof. If it was a girl, she would make her a real and perfect lady. If it was a boy, that he would be so manly that all girls would lay to his feet. Her upbringing and the extremely conservative circle of old woman making up her surroundings had effectively distorted her view on reality. She wasn't mad or anything like that, she was psychically healthy, but she was trained not to see a number of things. She also wasn't a bad person, shje just had no idea of how wrong these ideas were.
"Ahhhhhgghhhhhhh!" she screamed, and then relaxed, when the last push released the child, and she was greeted with baby cries.
The doctor looked up to her. "Congratulations Mrs. Saotome, it is a boy."
...back at the gate...
Setsuna felt it, the chaos energy spiked.
She knew, using it to rip a hole for her escape into freedom could have serious consequences. The fabric of time wasn't something to be tampered with lightly. However, considering the consequences if she did nothing at all, she was willing to accept the risk. The picture on the gate of time was swirling like a vortex with all the chaos energy that it had sucked out of whoever he or she was. Holding the Garnet Orb towards the vortex, she did the final step to rip the hole.
She didn't have to wait for long for the effect to make itself known. The gate was shuddering, while a white-glowing rift appeared in the middle of the picture. Setsuna didn't hesitate, as she only had seconds, and jumped through the rift towards her freedom.
Behind her, the rift closed and with it the gate.
Then she felt it. Time itself was straining with her breaking the loop. It was as if the universe was exploding around her, struggling to minimise the damage and return the flow of time to normal. The structure of time groaned, she felt that she was in the middle of a struggle between the forces of destruction and existence. She saw pictures, that not even the gods had seen before, possibilities, world that were and would never be. The structure of time screamed as much in pain as in relief...
Then it was over as fast as it had begun, with the universe still there, and she felt motion.
In the Hikawa Shrine in the Minato ward of Tokyo, a shinto priest in his very early fifties tried to concentrate on the sacred fire. He felt that something was happening. Something big. He tried to concentrate but again had to think of his daughter Risa dating this... this politician Takashi. He knew that this man would break her heart in the end, but she didn't want to hear any of it, blind in her love to him. His biggest fear was her actually marrying him, as this was a man he didn't want as a son-in-law. If only...
A transparent ripple went trough the room, distorting everything for a moment. Then it was over.
The priest opened his eyes, wondering if there was something. It had felt as if something had changed, as if things were different from what they'd been. He chalked it up to exhaustion. He only knew that tonight the flame wouldn't give him any answers. Feeling over his head, he sighed when feeling the last trace of hair on it. Soon these would be gone as well. He felt his age again. But maybe with some young girls at the shrine tomorrow, his mood would improve.
And it needed improvement since his daughter Risa had married this politician Takashi over a year ago. Right now she was pregnant with their first child, expecting soon, the only thing that made him see this marriage in a more favorable light. Still, he didn't like his daughter's husband in the slightest. He#d break her heart, he knew that for sure. And ever since his daughter had given up on being a miko and left the shrine, he had trouble with maintaining the grounds in his advanced age.
Hopefully his grandchild would be wiser than his daughter.
Nodoka Saotome looked at the tiny form of her son sleeping in her arms. They had named their son Ranma in the hope that one day in the future he would live up to his name. Her husband Genma looked proud at the baby, feeling that the boy would have a great future ahead, once old enough to carry on the school.
He had hoped for a son to carry on the school. An heir. And his hope was fulfilled with his wife giving birth to Ranma. He again felt the corruption at the back of his mind, that he should be cruel to make his son the best, but he surpressed it. Ever since he and his friend Soun had left their cruel master Happosai, who hopefully had died in the rockslide, he had to fight the results of all these years of abuse. He hoped it wouldn't become worse when he would start to train his son.
He also remembered his friend Soun. The man already had two daughters, with a third child on the way and expected soon. Their vow to unite the schools now could be fulfilled as well, but that was something for the future, and had to be adressed with care. After all, he'd seen where an unhappy marriage could lead to. Despite what Nodoka's parents thought, he was really a caring man, and his biggest fear was, to lose this trait one day.
"He looks so beautiful..." Nodoka said, her eyes full with love and caring.
"He is the future, No-chan," Genma said with a smile. "And I feel it, he will have a great future ahead."
While both parents looked in pride at their firstborn, another woman was sleeping in the hospital room next to them. She had given birth two days prior and was cleared to leave soon. In the basin beside her bed slept her baby daughter, her whole pride. Her husband had promised her, he would make a painting of their baby girl very soon. The sign on the basin read "Ami Mizuno".
No one saw it, but for some seconds, the sigl of Mercury glowed on the forehead of the sleeping baby-girl.
It was dark in Tokyo park when a glowing rift appeared. There wasn't much dignity involved when it literally spat out Sailor Pluto, who landed hard on her butt. The rift then disappeared, leaving her to the dim illumination of the park lanterns.
"Free... I'm finally free!" Setsuna gasped.
The next thing she knew was her holding her stomach while letting out a sick belch. There was even less dignity involved when she had to violently throw up, parting with her last meal from the Silver Millenium the wrong way. After spitting out the remains of her vomit, she staggered to the next park bench, collapsing on it, while thinking about what had happened.
Looking up, she saw the illuminated Tokyo Tower standing tall over the trees. To see it intact was strangly calming for her. Most of the tower had survived the deep freeze in the original timeline and had been repaired as a symbol for the re-emerge of the city, only to be destroyed by the Senshi when they'd bulldozed most of Minato to make space for the obscenity that would be the Crystal Palace.
The burning Toyko Tower collapsing into a pile of twisted metal had been a clear message to the people of old Tokyo that they weren't any longer masters of their own fate
Her internal chronometer, which came with her line of work, told her the exact date. It surprised her, because she felt the energy of all the inner Senshi, despite the fact that some of them weren't born until later that year. So she closed her eyes and felt around. He suspiction proved true. Her escape had put a severe strain on the fabric of time, changing some events. One was clearly that all the inner Senshi had been born earlier. She had no idea what else had changed, but she already knew that she shouldn't even try any preservation-of-the-timeline bullshit, as she had seen where it led to.
And when she thought about it, there was a lot that had went wrong. And in her grew determination.
She wouldn't sit back. The repeated time loops had changed her more than she had first thought. She'd paid the price for her arrogance and over all the repeated time loops, she'd become a changed woman. While originally she'd been cold and manipulative, she now was seeking for atonement for what she'd done. To prevent this horrible future from happening again.
However, there were some major uncertaincies. Things had changed, and so she couldn't trust on that everything would again play out as it did.
For example, with the flux in time as she felt it, there would be no definite Crystal Tokyo -not that she wanted this obscentity to emerge again, one time had been enough- and so no Black Moon attack. But she also didn't want to become a crutch for the girls by taking all the load off them. The Senshi needed to grow to become protectors of the world, while never elevating themselves over their fellow man. And then she decided on the course of action she would take once the Senshi would start to awaken. She would guide them on their path, as their mentor. She would only directly interfere if they were in real danger of getting seriously harmed or when it came to matters of trust.
But until then she had years for herself.
No way I return to the gate until the Senshi have started to awake. No thanks, I don't want to get trapped again. And without the Black Moon, no one will disturb the gate anyway, Setsuna decided, before for the first time in many years dropping her transformation to become plain Setsuna.
She looked at her court dress and grimaced. "No, this won't do." Wearing that thing would create undue attention and in the worst case would land her in a psychatric hospital.
Concentrating, she changed it into plain street clothes of that time. She had a lot of time on her hands, so she decided to get a life, and be a simple, normal woman without a crushing responsibility. Something that she'd silently wished for a long time. A quiet life with only the occassional excitement sounded very good at the moment.
There were some priorities. First create an identity, then cash, then something to eat and a place to live. And then she really felt she needed to get laid (Hey, even she was after all only a woman, so she had needs!)
Transferring her staff into her subspace pocket, she briefly wondered what had happened to the person emitting all the chaos that had enabled her to escape, while leaving the park.
Setsuna had no idea how many things had changed with her escape, and how many things would still change in the future, which wouldn't have happened otherwise. A village in China was severly hit by a change of their recent history. A reform in the Nerima ward was made to ensure better public safety in the area. And a big number of other changes happened.
On thing seemed insignificant compared to others. One year after her husband and son left for their training trip, Nodoka Saotome fell off the ladder when trying to change a lightbulb, breaking her leg in the process. And during her stay in hospital, she would meet someone who would become a close friend. And her friend was a woman with both feet firm on the ground who, after being horrified at how she thought about a lot of things, made it her task to help Nodoka to escape this prison of a distorted view on reality and totally warped ideas.
And so the life of Ranma Saotome was bound to become very different from what fate originally had decided for him...
to be continued...
"The Day when everything changed"