Spiritual Mage Ranma.

Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma one half or Lyrical Nanoha, they are owned by their owners, who are not me, and who own what they own. Mojo-Jojo is also owned by the person who owns Mojo-jojo, who is not me, and is the person who...

Disclaimer 2" This story has been rewritten due to continuity screwups and because of major later plot restructuring. This note will be repeated in the new chapter. It shouldn't need a deep re-reading, just assume that any inconsistencies from the original version you read are things I changed, such as Marla becoming Marle.

Disclaimer 3: This fic will not be lore friendly to the MGLN series, as it's actually based off an idea I stole from Drunken Grognard, with permission... I think... and involves a really really big A/U for that series.

I decided to re-list it as a Nanoha crossover, since at least one MGLN character is a decently important first arc character, and it crosses into the main 'verse in Arc 2, but as this slight rewrite attests, I tend to misunderstand some things pretty badly. Just go into this with the understanding that I'm not precisely promising accuracy, have not listened to the sound stages, and have not watched anything past A's due to an inability to read subs without a headache that could rival small countries in size.

STAB is intentional. You'll see why later.


Soun Tendo and Genma Saotome sat at a Shogi board, carefully moving pieces in an intricate dance of strategy. Or, at least, that's what they'd like an outside observer to think. In point of fact, they were both cheating like mad, and quite enjoying it. It was a quiet, lazy afternoon, and both men felt rather contented, doing their best to forget what had happened a month earlier involving the spectacular implosion of the last wedding.

Yes, at the moment, everything was peaceful, quiet, and above all, pretty relaxing. "Look Tendo, it's the USS Saratoga smashing through the wall!" Genma exclaimed, pointing behind his friend, who merely nodded, keeping his eyes firmly set on the board.

"Worth a try, Saotome, worth a try." Soun chuckled, reaching forward and sliding a piece. As he was about to release it, however, his arm stiffened. "Saotome..." He said, his voice sounding nervous. "Do you... feel that?"

"Feel what?" Genma asked, suspecting that his friend was trying to get him to stop paying attention to the game.

Soun's face turned grey, and he let go of the piece he was holding, his hand reaching for his pocket. For a moment, his oldest friend wondered what he was doing, before Soun withdrew quite an unusual looking item.

It looked like a clear ball, made of thick glass, until the man in the brown Gi tapped on it for a moment, causing a small glyph in its center to begin glowing.

Genma paled. "You don't mean..." He started, and his friend nodded solemnly. "I don't wanna die," he mumbled, but eventually stood, letting out a long sigh. "Lead the way, Soun ol' buddy."

Soun nodded, as Genma felt inside of his Gi for a rather similar looking ball that he carried, this one much more opaque and colored a light blue.


Ranma woke to the sound of several dozen girls screaming in rage. This wasn't particularly new to him, aside from maybe the number of girls, but it was considerably less boring than the math class he'd passed out during, and if what he thought was happening was, in fact, happening, it meant a good fight.

He hoped that it was the old freak again, so that he could pound him for the incident at the wedding. Granted, He, Ryoga and Mousse had already done so, his father deciding not to for some reason, but it was always therapeutic.

Leaping up from his chair and then straight out the window down to the schoolyard, the pigtailed boy blinked at what he saw.

There, in the middle of the gym field, were several dozen girls, all suspended in mid-air by what looked like whips of darkness. He noted that Nabiki was one of them, the only one who wasn't screaming, though she was glaring darkly at him as though he'd just stolen her life savings.

He raised his hands in the universal "It wasn't me" symbol, before charging towards the field, gathering Chi around himself as he went. Leaping up for Nabiki first, since he knew that if he didn't he'd be facing debtor's prison for the next thirty years, he lashed out at the line holding her... and his hand, then the rest of his body, promptly fell right through it.

"What the hell?" He asked, righting himself as he hit the ground. Jumping again, he tried to grab the strange black thing a little further from the middle Tendo, and promptly jumped through it again. "Huh..." He muttered, confused.

"No Huh, Saotome, get me down from he... Eeeeeh!" Nabiki squeaked, as the blackness moved up her body for a moment, and withdrew, somehow, with her bra without having taken off her shirt. As the undergarment started floating away, Ranma began to follow, paying little heed to Nabiki's yelling for him to get her down.

"Don't worry, I think I know who's doing it, 'n I'll stop 'em!" He yelled back, running along beneath the floating lingerie. Sure enough, within a few moments, the pigtailed martial artist noticed that several more black lines were joining the one he was running under, and there were bras and panties floating down each of them. "How the hell'd the letch pull this off?" he mumbled sourly, skidding around a corner to see the Kendo team's clubhouse in the distance. On its roof sat the gnome of the hour, Happosai, laughing maniacally and rolling around in a very large pile of panties.

Ranma smirked, charging forward and leaping into the air, coming down with an axe kick that would likely hurt like hell when it connected. Unfortunately, it didn't, as a wisp of the black stuff snapped out from Happosai's body and the pigtailed martial artist stopped dead in his tracks.

"Oh Ranma, m'boy, how're you this afternoon?" The old letch asked, stopping his frolicking for a moment to smile up at the suspended martial artist as though he were an old friend.

"Shut up 'n stop whatever you're doin, old man," Ranma growled back, struggling to try and change his position somehow.

Happosai shook his head sadly. "M'boy, you really have to learn to appreciate the silky darlings!" He declared. "Why, I'm sure if you wore some while you were a girl, you'd understand!"

"Yeah, right." Ranma grumbled, taking a fifty yen coin from his pocket and wincing as he chucked it at the old man's head at high speed. Happi just caught it, slipping it inside his Gi, and cackled again.

"Aha!" He yelled in triumph, producing a set of panties from the depths of his pile and showing them with a flourish. "Take a look at these beauties, for example."

shaking his head to get the garments out of his face as the old man pushed them into it, Ranma growled, finally getting fed up. Stretching one hand out, he collected a ball of confidence energy in the palm, and fired it at Happosai and his collection. The old man dodged, however Ranma's main goal was accomplished as the strange shadow that held him vanished, letting him fall to the ground.

"You little punk!" Happosai screamed, as he looked back to where a decent portion of his new collection smoldered. "I'm going to beat you until you learn to regret that, then I'll make you model all my new silky darlings! You don't know who you're messing with!" He ranted, shaking his fists rapidly. Ranma considered just standing there and smirking to piss him off more, but as his danger sense flared in the back of his mind, he pitched himself to the side just in time to avoid a tendril of the strange blackness that had caught him before.

"What the hell is that?" He wondered, springing back as the thing came around to grab him again.


Nabiki grumbled as she brushed grass off of her legs. The day had been going far too well before whatever it was had hit her and the rest of her class, and she fully intended to make whoever had done it pay through the nose, even after Saotome was done with them. But first, she thought, as she felt a draft running across parts of her bottom that she pretty much never wanted exposed, she needed new shorts.

Looking around rapidly, she saw several boys standing nearby, gaping in her general direction. Smirking, she straightened and strode towards them, tugging her shirt down for some degree of modesty, but trying not to show it. "Hey you guys, Two thousand yen for the show!" She called, glaring over the group.

All but one of the boys scowled at her after this, though they fished said money out of their pockets, handing it over and muttering about the ice queen. "Well?" She asked, walking up to said odd man out, who was fidgeting and burying his hands in his pockets.

"I... I don't have any money," He croaked, tremulously.

"Oh, that's all right," Nabiki said, cheerfully. "I'll take your pants instead."

"M... my pants?" The boy asked, gulping, and at Nabiki's nod and steady look, he sighed, undoing his belt and stripping them off.

"Thank you, and have a nice day," Nabiki said neutrally, picking the uniform blue pants off of the ground and starting to step into them. When she heard a loud explosion from nearby, she sped up this process, securing them tight with the boy's belt and starting for the source. It sounded like whoever had done this was a real threat, or at least enough for Ranma to bring out Chi blasts for, and that meant fight bets.

As she stepped towards the conflict, which reminded her that it was still there through a second explosion, she glanced over to her own side and waved one of the girls over, who started walking next to her. "Yes, Nabiki-san?" The girl asked, nervously.

"Two thousand yen," Nabiki said, holding out her hand.

"Wait, how'd you.." The girl asked, blinking at the mercenary Tendo oddly.

"You should wipe off your chin," Nabiki said, and after accepting her money, smirked. Sure, she'd gotten a little humiliated, but she'd also made about fifty thousand yen, and that was all that was important, right?

"Nabiki, do you know what's going on?" The middle Tendo looked up to see her younger sister standing in front of her, flushed with rage and carrying a large wooden mallet that she'd apparently gotten from the janitor's closet.

"Got me, Sis," the older girl confessed, "But lover boy's gone to fix it."

Akane nodded, running ahead of her sister until she reached the corner of the school building, where she stopped in shock. "Wow, he's mad," She observed inn slight aw.

For a moment, Nabiki wondered what she meant, until she came around as well, and saw a picture that would have been funny if it had been happening in some slapstick comedy, but was much less so in real life.

Ranma was hopping around in his usual, ping-pong ball on speed fashion, but the surprise was that Happosai was there, standing in one place and chucking bomb after bomb at the swiftly dodging boy, while black tendrils whipped around in a rapid pattern. "You will pay for destroying my silky darlings!" The old man shrieked, chucking a new bomb that looked about twice the size of his usual.

Ranma didn't respond, slightly too caught up in dodging like a madman to really have anything to say, but Akane did. Readying her mallet at the shoulder, she charged, yelling a battle cry at the little old bastard who dared to steal her panties and bra... again.

Nabiki couldn't really blame her sister, but still winced at the almost inevitable result. Akane managed to deflect four bombs that were thrown at her, but the fifth knocked her and her mallet in different directions.

Spotting a small tag floating down on the wind nearby, the mercenary Tendo snatched it out of mid-air. "Do not attempt to hit old perverts with this Hammer." She mumbled, and shrugged.


How far now, Tendo?" Genma asked, as he ran after his old friend, who was diligently studying the little ball in his hand.

"Not much further, Saotome," The other returned, "but it looks like the power source he's using is pretty strong."

"Damn it," Genma cursed. He'd known that this day would eventually come, no matter how long he'd dodged it by playing along with the old man's games. Even the sealing had been only a temporary reprieve, but he'd hoped that the child who could wield the weapon would be born by the time it got this far. "Stupid boy, not marrying Akane like I told him," he grumbled, under his breath.

"Now Saotome, it really wouldn't have mattered if this had happened anyways," Soun said, in a voice that was so reasonable that it would have shocked most of his family if they'd have heard it. "Ah, and we're here!"

"You don't have to be so happy about it, Tendo," Genma replied, worrying, not for the last time, about his best friend's sanity. Leaping over the wall of Furinkan high school just behind the brown clad man, the older Saotome had to whistle at the destruction being perpetrated.

As he saw what was doing it, he had to whistle again. He didn't quite know how the master had gotten what he had, but it was powerful, and Ranma looked very outmatched. For a moment, the heavy set man considered running, but he knew that he'd be found. It had nothing to do with the fact that his son was in danger... really.

As he thought this last, Akane charged into the middle of the fight, and was blown backwards by an explosive. What happened next was almost predictable, as Soun charged forward, aura building and Samurai armor appearing on his body as he did so. "Akane-chan!" He cried, outraged, but didn't get far as a tendril of black energy grabbed him, throwing him into the air and over the school building.

Ranma, on the other hand, was much more effective. "Moko-Takabisha!" The boy cried, and as the older man deflected the blast effortlessly, he was actually surprised to see Ranma running in behind it, fists raised. "Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken!" He yelled, but the old pervert nimbly leapt over or around each of the blows, before finally responding with his pipe, sending the pigtailed martial artist stumbling back and into a shadowy line.

"Finally," Happosai cackled, and when Ranma prepared to blast him again, there was a flurry of movement, and Akane floated in front of the grand master of anything goes. "Just try it, boy." The man said, dangerously. "All I wanted was to have my fun but it seems you people won't let me," He grumbled, moving Akane to the side a bit, while she squirmed and hurled implications of grievous bodily harm. "Now Ranma, give me your word that you'll never oppose me again."

"What?" Ranma asked, glaring at the old man.

"Yes, and that you'll wear my silky darlings whenever I want you to, that too!" The other proclaimed, crossing his arms over his chest.

"No way in..." Ranma started, before the little man shook his head, and Akane floated away, eventually hanging over the school's pool.

"Now think about this, M'boy," Happosai said, gravely, and Ranma gulped.

"I... I..." The young man said, his throat catching at what he knew he had to do.

"Ranma, don't do it, I can swim well enough to get out of the water," Akane said, glaring at the old man heatedly, even though she knew better. She'd needed to be almost wrapped in flotation devices the one time she'd made it across a pool.

Ranma opened his mouth again, half way through articulating his surrender, when his father interrupted. "Hey, what am I, chopped liver?"

"Like you'd do anything, you spineless worm," Happosai sniffed, derisively.

"You're right, master," Genma said, still very nervous of the much older man, but reaching into his gi, he came out with the small blue marble from before. "Think fast, boy. Its name's Darkfire." Saying this, he chucked the marble at his son, who caught it in a state of nearly complete confusion.

"Darkfire?" Ranma asked, "What the hell is..." As he said this, Happosai's eyes widened, and he cursed.

"You still have that?" He demanded. "Ranma, drop it, or the girl WILL die."

Ranma started to open his hand, but as he did so, the marble in it began to glow, and a seemingly robotic male voice announced "Stand by, Ready." The glow increased as the voice announced "Set up," and Ranma's body exploded in a red light.

"What's happening?" He asked, still suspended in mid-air, though now it was full of light.

"Current situation is critical. Mirroring clothing for Barrier Jacket. Weapon type?" The voice from before asked, and Ranma blinked.

"Weapon type?" He repeated. "Um, I use staves, when I have to."

"Weapon type confirmed, staff," The voice announced, and the light grew brighter for a moment before receding. This was, of course, just in time to drop Ranma on the ground.

The pigtailed martial artist was about to ask what was going on again, but as he saw Happosai prepping a bomb, and heard a splash, his eyes widened.

"Take care of the Master, boy, I'll get Akane!" He heard his father yell, and Ranma turned back to the grand master of anything goes, getting into a ready position as he felt a staff materializing in his hands. "Okay..." He said, slowly, testing the balance of his newly acquired weapon with a few short swings. "I'm gunna kick yer ass for threatening Akane, got it?"

The ancient pervert shook his head. "You can try, but even with that intelligent device, you're no match for me, and it's time you truly learned how outmatched you are!"

Ranma just shrugged, disregarding the part of the old man's comment that he couldn't understand, and charged towards him with his staff ready.


"Captain Hewlette, we're picking something up on sensors!" A young woman reported from a set of consoles near the front of a gleaming white room, several arcane looking pictographs flickering across the walls.

"Hmm?" her commander asked, taking a quiet sip of the small bottle of Sake that was sitting before him and sighing at how well the cool liquid rolled down his throat. "What is it?"

"An intelligent device nearby has sent out its universal distress call, sir. The transponder's old, so I can't make out its name." The woman reported, typing rapidly on her keyboard. "It appears to be coming from Non-regulated planet HF, in Dimensional plane C-N-C-O-S-O-T"

"Hmm, that's only a few hours away," The man said, raising his hand to his chin and stroking it contemplatively. "Commander Creyton, do we have any urgent orders that would be delayed if we checked it out?"

"No, sir." A strangely young looking man with dark purple hair who sat in a chair nearby reported, Our last message from STAB headquarters only had us taking mapping missions."

Captain Hewlette nodded decisively. "All right then, change course and head to the source of the signal at best speed," He said. "I'll go notify our resident Combat Mage to prepare for any trouble."

"Yes, sir." The first officer said, with a grin.


Akane held her breath as she slid deeper into the water, weekly waving her hands and feet to try and move herself back up to the surface. She knew that she wasn't very good at swimming, but this was important. Happosai'd apparently gone insane, and was fighting Ranma in the school's front yard, and she wanted to help. Relieved, she felt her feet hit the bottom, and coiled her legs beneath herself before jumping as hard as she could.

The light got closer for a glorious few seconds, before gravity took a hold of the muscular girl, and she started falling again, her lungs burning for air. Fortunately for her, that was about when a massive, fur covered hand caught her by the arm and pulled.

The youngest Tendo broke the surface trying to gasp for air and cough up water at the same time, hanging on to the edge of the pool side as though it were her life line, which it likely was. "Hey sis, you all right?" Nabiki asked, kneeling down next to Genma's panda form and looking at her younger sister with a quickly hidden relieved expression on her face.

"...Yeah..." Akane said, between heavy breaths. "What's going on?"

"Maybe you should look for yourself," Nabiki drawled, as Genma offered a paw to help the girl out of the water. Akane nodded, taking the appendage and hauling herself out, before she blinked at what was on display before her.

There, Ranma was standing and holding a strange, metallic and sectioned looking staff in front of himself, while Happosai struck it with the shadow bindings that had so easily immobilized all of them before. He also seemed to have somehow changed outfits, as his red silk now had some sort of armored pads on the shoulders, elbows and wrists, and the same kinds of armor were visible on his knees. The oddest part, however, was that he was actually wearing shoes, both of them a mixture of red and black.

"Wow, what's happening?" the blue-black haired girl asked, blinking rapidly.

Hearing a growf and a sniffle from her side, she looked over to see Genma wiping one eye with a paw and holding up a sign that said "That's my boy!"

"Okay, Saotome, where'd Ranma get the shiny staff?" Nabiki asked, wanting to go and offer odds to a steadily growing horde of students who were gathering at the windows of the building, but not entirely sure how to set them.

Genma began writing on a sign, as Ranma suddenly began to glow.


At the moment, Ranma Saotome was confused. He was also fighting Happosai on a much more even footing ever since the old man's new shadow attacks had begun having trouble picking him up. He was pretty sure this had something to do with his new weapon and armor, especially as the effect had started immediately after he'd gained them, and he was suddenly having information on the old man's attacks shoved into the back of his mind, most of the terms and principles related to which he didn't understand.

Trying to ignore this, the martial artist charged in, swinging the staff in front of him to sweep aside several shadow tendrils as he did so, and then bringing it around to try and hit Happosai in the head. Unfortunately, the pervert saw this coming, bringing his pipe out from his purple gi and using it to redirect Ranma's energy, sending him shooting into the air as per usual.

Regaining his balance and still flying up due to momentum, the younger martial artist studied the schoolyard where he'd been fighting and couldn't help but wince at the damage. The front yard was pretty close to unrecognizable, and there were several craters that actually breached the edges of the pool, widening it significantly. Combined with the fact that half of the front wall was blown down, it was looking like the place could actually be closed down for a few days.

Starting to descend, Ranma's eyes turned back to Happosai, as the gi clad man glared up at him, preparatory to throwing more bombs. Really, at range that seemed to be his only trick, though Ranma had to admit that the Moko-Takabisha was similar, and he didn't really have enough energy to throw too many of them. He sort of wished he had something else, but...

"Insufficient power." The pigtailed boy flinched as he heard that, and looked down at the staff in his hand.

"Huh?" He asked, blinking stupidly at it, as a small blue jewel inset into one end blinked.

"Insufficient power for requested spell program," the staff said this time, and Ranma noted that the end blinked with every word it said.

"So ya can do somethin to the ol' freak if you get more power, huh?" Ranma asked, and though the device didn't respond, he got the feeling that he was correct. "Well, if you say so," he decided, and began channelling Chi into the strange smooth metal under his hands.

"Unfamiliar energy source," the staff noted, and Ranma was about to reverse his Chi infusion, when the object clicked rapidly several times, an aperture opening at the bottom end and emitting a long, thin beam of golden energy. "Tiger Sniper," it announced, as the bolt smacked into Happosai's face, sending him sliding across the ground, and Ranma landed with a negligible impact where he'd started.

"Huh, so this thing does have uses other than blockin attacks," the pigtailed martial artist muttered, ignoring a sense of irritation that ran through his mind. releasing the weapon with his right hand, he blasted the old man with a Moko-Takabisha while he was trying to recover, sending him back to the ground. "All right, ol' freak, gimme whatever you're using to pull this crap off." he demanded, striding forward.

As he heard this, the martial arts master's eyes narrowed, and he hauled himself to his feet, trembling. Any thought that it may have been in fear was dispelled as a bright blue aura burst out around him, mixing with the blackness that he'd been commanding earlier. "I think it's time to stop playing around with you, you insolent little punk," he spat, stretching out an arm and letting loose his own Chi attack, almost catching Ranma completely flat footed.

Even so, the younger man managed to roll to the side, his opponent's attack slamming into the side of the school. "Fine, he wants ta get 'serious' like a bad guy in DBZ, I'll let 'im," he grumbled, pushing off the ground and charging along beside the still firing beam. As Happosai finally let up, he smirked at the rubble he'd caused for a moment, until Ranma's fist smacked into the top of his head.

The second blow was easily blocked, and the two began exchanging blows at high speed, the old man matching the Amaguriken, and dodging like mad. Ranma frowned as the smaller fighter grabbed his left wrist, trying to twist it and make him let go of the staff he was wielding. Admittedly, he'd found it, and the protection it was somehow giving him against his opponent's blows, useful, but Ranma wondered if it was more important than that.

He normally didn't like using weapons in combat, but Happosai was just plain stronger than he was, and he knew that he was just barely holding him back right now. "If the stick had more tricks up its sleeve, he wouldn't be adverse to using them. As if in response to his thoughts, which it in fact was, the weapon reported "Insufficient Mana for High Capacity Operation, alternate energy source effects unknown."

"I don't really care," The pigtailed fighter said, and began pumping Chi into the weapon, laying his right hand back on it and sweeping it in a complex staff kata to clear the area in front of him as Happosai moved backwards.

"Understood. Close Quarters Combat Mode Setup. Redirecting resonance systems to new energy source." The weapon responded, beginning to click again as its end seemed to reform, a blade of golden energy forming there and converting it into a beam Naginata.

Ranma twitched as an odd sensation seemed to wash over his body, but did his best to shrug it off as he pointed the newly formed weapon at Happosai and began to smirk, assuring himself that he could beat the old man and noting that the blade was gaining definition as he did so.


"Well, Saotome, it might actually be happening," Soun Tendo sniffed, as his best friend and former partner stepped up next to him, Akane standing beside them. Nabiki had gone moments before to start taking bets.

"Mmh," Genma grunted, his panda eyes steadily fixed on the combat before the three, but Akane had a lot more to say.

"Dad, you know what's going on?" She demanded. "Why's Happosai doing this, and what's Ranma wearing?"

"It's a long story, Akane, and we should probably tell it with Ranma present," Soun said softly, "But I can tell you this now, if Ranma defeats the master in this battle..." He shook his head. "Things are definitely going to change."

"Well, that's completely unhelpful," Akane muttered, sourly, before she saw the combat increase to a critical speed, Ranma's arms and blade blurring as he parried increasingly furious attacks by the old man, who was using both his pipe and hands. As they started to become too fast for even Akane's trained eyes to follow, A loud voice that she'd been hearing periodically already announced "Capture field."

Happosai's eyes widened, and he started to jump back, but Ranma stopped him with an axe kick to the back of the head as several tendrils of blue-white swirled around him, securing the other's arms and legs tightly. Only a second later, a tiny glimmer of blue light seemed to rip itself free of his Gi top, floating above his head.

"Ranma, collect that!" Soun yelled, causing the black haired boy to look over at the group for a moment, before reaching out one hand to grasp the blue object. As he held it, it seemed to turn to white light, sliding into the orb just below the blade of the Naginata. "Unknown Artefact, Serial XXI, sealed." The strange male voice announced, and Ranma looked down on Happosai as he squirmed in his confinement of light. "Looks like I won this time, ol' man." He smirked, rearing back to punt the master of Anything Goes into next week. As he did, a sign flew at him, smacking into the side of his head.

Ranma rubbed the point of contact for a moment, before throwing an irritated glare at his father, and then looking down to read the projectile. "Don't be stupid, boy. We need to keep him where we can see him!"

Ranma just shrugged, turning and walking towards Akane and the fathers, and leaving Happosai to snarl curses at his back. "Fine, but you're gunna tell me what the hell's goin on here, Pop," He declared, looking straight at the Panda.


"Captain, something new on that distress call we received!" The woman sitting in the front of the strange looking control center announced.

"Hmm?" Captain Hewlette asked, looking up from a report he was reading.

"The distress call's stopped, but we've gotten a preliminary mission completion report."

"Are there any missions being conducted out here?" The captain asked, frowning in confusion.

"None currently, no." commander Creyton replied. "About all we have on this section of the multiverse is that it's mostly harmless." The captain quirked an eyebrow, and the commander smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, sir, I was reading..." He shook his head. "Never mind."

"All right," Hewlette said, rubbing his chin. "What's the completion report say?"

"STAB Support Team Theta 4 reporting successful completion of mission. Criminal 'Happosai' captured. Casualties: Kimiko Tendo, plus most hardware and two of the team's devices. Mission completed by 'Unknown Operative' and Intelligent Device 'Darkfire.'"

"I'm looking now, sir." Creyton announced. Seconds later, his eyes widened. "Theta 4, they were dispatched on that mission twenty years ago. Disappeared during the pursuit, and only one member ever returned through the emergency beacon they'd carried."

"Well then, it looks like they've managed to come back after all. Let's keep heading for their position and see what happens next." The captain ordered. "Also, send a priority message to headquarters informing them what we've found." As the crew began to work at their tasks, he frowned. He supposed that their resident mage wouldn't be happy about this one, but then, he'd never flat out promised there'd be combat.

Turning, the man walked from the bridge as light exploded across the windows, and the STAB exploratory ship Typhon jumped dimensions.