A/N: Here we are, the real chapter 7. Trying to make this more story-oriented than gag oriented. Not sure what I'll do to StrikerS. Fortunately, that's still many years in Nanoha's future, so she has time to have Uminari destroyed right out from under her by aliens and go insane and die and become the Specter and come back from the dead and everything …
Takamachi Nanoha of 2814
by Shadow Crystal Mage
Chapter 7: The Linker Cores War, Part 1: Lolis Keep Falling On My Head…
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters in this story.
This is the world. It's round and three dimensional and is definitely not a disk, nor carried on the backs of four elephants. While such worlds are fun, and involve interesting people and manipulative bastards and powerful beings and funny little parodies of the world we live in, ultimately… Batman would do horrible, non-lethal things to us if we messed with his world like that, and we like the anatomy we have now.
This is a story about… well, we're not exactly sure. It's definitely not about fan service, though it has plenty of that. It's not about lolis, though there's plenty of that too. The friendship kinda gets pushed to the bottom somehow, but that's there as well. We'd like to say it's not about crack, but we'd be lying. There's plenty of crack. The only thing we can promise on that score is that it wasn't made on crack. we've had to read the kind of writing to many times to want t omake it ourselves.
Ultimately, this is a story about a girl, who just happens to be a superweapon, with a superweapon. And that books are really, really dangerous things…
Superheroes can get busted a lot of ways. They might have been sloppy about returning home and been trailed by people intent on their identity. They could be sloppy cleaning up after themselves, leaving behind clues such as blood and DNA that ultimately lead to a conclusive match. They might be getting changed into their 'work clothes' when suddenly someone walks in, putting them in quite an incriminating position. A suspicious friend or family member might search their room and find paraphernalia belonging to their alter ego. They might be forced to reveal it due to a wardrobe malfunction, or some machination of another party.
Nanoha was busted when she came down to breakfast the day after her first experimental test run of her new Starlight Breaker Plus, with added Barrier Breaker Ability. She'd flopped onto the table and blearily eaten breakfast, helping her mother dry the dishes before slouching upstairs and getting her bag for school. She stepped outside, swaying slightly as she headed for the bus stop, stepped off the street without looking, and was promptly hit by a car.
It was about that moment that she realized two things.
One, it was Saturday, so there was no school on.
Two, she was wearing her Green Lantern uniform.
The second revelation washed over her like a cold shower of liquid nitro, and she frantically scrambled to her feet, shouting a hasty apology and repairing any damage her protective aura might have caused the car before she dashed back home via a circuitous route, to find that, unlike he, her family had been wide awake.
That had been a very awkward conversation.
Fortunately, this happened to some other Nanoha who happened to be a Green Lantern and not to our protagonist. Had you going there, didn't I?
Our Nanoha was currently speeding back to Earth in a blaze of green light, having just finished her rounds of some of the planets of her Sector. As much as trouble gravitated to Earth like shotacon schoolgirls to a welsh ten-year old, she did have duties to other planets and worlds. She'd stayed long enough to show the flag, handle some problems, help with some areas that they could do themselves but were speeded up considerably with her help, and moved on. She did this on weekends, passing through a couple of systems while people at home thought she was doing something or other by herself.
Now she was heading back home. As she passed by Mars, she reflected on the incident Raging Heart had detected, all those months ago after Fate left with the TSAB. To think there'd been a whole world magically hidden and out of phase on the planet's surface, so subtle neither her ring nor the Asura's sensors had detected it until there had been that enormous burst of magical energy.
Well, there wasn't much for her to do there, though she was thankful she'd finally been put in contact with those winged girls from months back. She'd been surprised to learn they were part of a group, this 'Ala Alba', with the delicate-faced magical girl who'd shot lightning those months ago being their apparent leader. Yuuno had been quite eager to meet them, and had spent many hours while Nanoha was patrolling talking to some of them, who were apparently librarians by profession.
She thought of her friend with eagerness and anticipation. The decision from Oa had finally pushed through, and they'd actually been willing to ratify her choice. It was highly unusual, but given the Earth's rather unfortunate position as 'Sector 2814's Black Hole of Weirdness and Evil', a designation she very carefully did not shared with all the other heroes working so hard to make it better, they'd had sufficient motivation to approve it. Plus she knew there were some reservations about her age, still. Perhaps to their minds, the ages, when added up, was suitably high enough.
The item the Guardians had sent her seemed to burn a hole in her pocket. The other thing was safely in her personal storage space, a Confined Pocket Dimension about a foot less than arms-length from her right hand, next to her own Power Battery, but this she kept on her person, wanting it there, ready and waiting, so she could personally award it. The look on their face… the thought made her want to giggle as she passed by the moon.
That was her signal to slow down to merely high ultrasonic– not that the speed of sound really meant anything here where it didn't travel– flying through cloud of satellites and orbital debris–she really needed to clean up here. Someone could get hurt– and doing a couple of loops around the International Space Station being constructed, Kaznian markings already adorning one finished module. One of the astronauts putting together something looked up and caught sight of her, letting go of the component he was holding in shock. Nanoha waved cheerily at him and helpfully stuck the piece where her ring deduced it was supposed to go, then swung past to the Hubble Space Telescope, where she spent a really immature few moments making faces at it. It was always funny to see which ones were posted online.
Giggling to herself, she changed her angle to fly her high past Metropolis, making a coded series of sonic booms and waving in the city's general direction to Superman before arcing back for Uminari.
Ah, routine boredom. No really big crisis, no big, harrowing disasters, no incoming giant monsters from space. Bliss…
Takamachi Nanoha was having a perfectly average day. Get up ridiculously early, as ridiculously quickly get dressed, train with Raging Heart for about an hour or so, do a quick sweep of the area as Green Lantern (morning's catch: a drunk about to fall off a bridge, a rather inept burglar and a couple of children throwing stones at someone's house), get dressed for school, admire how saccharinely close her family was (utterly failing to notice her sister Miyuki was coming out of her brother's room), meet her friends at the bus, go to school, drop off Suzuka at the library, appear to head home but actually go on her more complete patrol (afternoon catch: a team of industrial spies trying to break into Wayne Enterprises, some rather stupid Ayakashi, a rather apologetic notification from Sailor Mercury about a park they'd totaled dealing with an old Witches 5 creation that had woken up, reports of a giant monster off the coast that she'd ben able to lure away into deeper water…), a quick spot of tea with Tomoyo, hearing about Sakura's adventures now that shewas actually Mistress of the Cards rather than just the Card Captor, head back home to have dinner with her family and do her homework, and not hear mysterious voices calling her name…
"Caution, Emergency," Raging Heart said.
"Warning! Dimensional distortion detected!" Ring-chan announced.
About a second later, Nanoha felt something wash over her, a familiar feeling that had her rising out of her chair. "A barrier?-!" she exclaimed.
"The dimensional distortion is immense," Ring-chan continued. "Detectable manifestation indicates that the phenomenon has enclosed 97 percent of Uminari city. Intense caution is advised." A pause. "Might I suggest utilizing the Starlight Breaker construct in a massive-area leveling barrage?"
Nanoha glared down disapproving at her left middle finger, where the ring was resting.
"It was just a suggestion."
"Caution," Raging Heart interjected. "Magical entity detected incoming from the east."
Nanoha turned to look out the window next to her bed, crawling onto the mattress for a better look.
"It approaches at high speed," Raging Heart added helpfully.
"Detected air displacement and radar reactions clock the speed of the entity to be well within known non-Kryptonian humanoid unassisted flight speeds," Ring-chan said, as if determined to have the last word. "Recommend we vacate current location to maintain security of identity and confront entity at a tactically superior position."
Nanoha nodded in agreement. She concentrated, sending her will coursing into the ring, visualizing the effect she wanted. The ring didn't shudder, but it felt like it should, an emerald light appearing around her as she walked through the wall of her room and outside into empty air. "Raging Heart, onegai," she said. Pink light flashed as her barrier jacket formed itself around her, and she let the energy aura around her dissipate as Flier Fins appeared at her feet, sending her surging to the city, Raging Heart held in her off-hand. She used magic for this, knowing that it was less visible than her ring's protective field. Besides, she needed to exercise her magic muscles more. Surely this wasn't anything she and Raging Heat couldn't handle. She'd defeated Fate-chan, hadn't she? Well, alright, she'd used her ring for that too, but she'd grown stronger in her magic now. She'd make it…
"I don't remember doing anything to anyone that looked like you recently," Nanoha cried as she dodged the third attack of the red-clothed girl, face slightly annoyed behind her green mask, her barrier jacket glowing with Corps Green lines and accents, the only signs of her nearly dark ring. "Stop this now! This is your only warning!"
The girl readied to attack again, frowning face intent and determined, but before she could launch, the Divine Shooters Nanoha had launched under the cover of the smoke of the last attack arched behind the girl. The girl whirled in surprise, managing to dodge one and block the other, but it detonated in her face. The barrier kept it from really hurting her, but the girls face contorted in anger, and with a cry she launched herself at Nanoha.
Nanoha Flash Moved out of the way, Raging Heart converting to Shooting Mode as a Divine Buster began to charge. "You have been warned!" Nanoha cried. "Surrender!"
The spell was meant as a warning shot, barely really grazing the girl. Nevertheless, the supercharged air sent her tumbling, and Nanoha watched as her fat flapped off, dissolving into tatters.
Murderous blue eyes turned to Nanoha and she suddenly felt the urge to step back as words practically screamed themselves at her: DON'T! MESS! WITH! MY! HAT!-!-! "Graf Eisen, Cartridge Load!"
"Explosion," the weapon intoned. "Raketenform."
"Raketen…" the girl called as a thrusting blame exploded from one end of the suddenly reconfigured weapon. She charged at Nanoha, bulding up speed, and Nanoha dodged, bringing up a circular shield of her own. It last only a few moments. "HAMMER!"
The shield shattered, and the point of the hammer slammed into Raging Heart. There was an unholy shock through Nanoha's arms as the force came thought, her ring aura, dark until then, flaring to life as it tried to catch the punishing impact.
The attack sent her flying into a building. Nanoha's cry of pain and surprise wa cut off as dust entered her lungs, and she suddenly found herself dissolving into a coughing fit as she struggled to get to her feet. The sound of a cry and a glimpse were the only warnings she had as the red-clad girl charged again. Instinct came to her, and she raised Raging Heart, activating it' protective field to defend herself.
It was the wrong instinct to follow.
The pink light of her magic blinded her as she tried to use it to resist, and strain sending strange resistance through parts of her she didn't know could feel that way. She was unprepared when the hammer her enemy wield suddenly increased its power.
And suddenly the pink shield in front of her broke like sugar-glass, the hammer's point streaking towards her breast. Again her ring aura-flared, but without her will to guide and shape it, its light was painfully insufficient for protection. The point struck the front of her barrier jacket, crushing the Corps symbol that hung on her bow into dust that dissolved into green light, before finally striking the barrier jacket itself.
It, too, shattered, breaking apart into a million motes of pink. Yet it managed to save her life, managing to absorb the energy of the strike into its destruction and distributing the rest through the entirety of her barrier jacket, so that instead of striking all one point and collapsing her chest then and there, it dissipated the impact.
Along the barrier jacket that as under her energy aura.
She was thrown back violently, crashing into some wooden furniture, the impact of that at least caught by her energy field and reduced to merely leaping enthusiastically on the couch instead of the paralyzing accident it should have been. Her head rung, the world spinning around her in pain and sudden nausea and disorientation. Shakily, her vision blurring, skull throbbing, she tried to raise Raging Heart, an instinctive gesture of a primate with a stick. A red light was pulsing in her vision, and she saw the hammer rising.
It's not fair… she thought fuzzily, all thoughts of willpower far away, I was supposed to have four more years…
There was a crash. A moment later, Nanoha realized she was still alive.
She opened her eyes– when had she closed them?– and saw a billowing black blur, outlined against the opening in the building's wall, long golden locks streaming in the wind.
A hand suddenly came to rest on her shoulder, and she twitched in an attempt a jumping away, her head lolling to the side and brining her eyes to face the hand's owner. "Sorry we're late, Green Lantern," a voice she had been eager to hear coming to her ears. "Traffic was horrible."
"Ferret Lantern…" she said, dazed and feeling like she was dreaming. He looked very heroic in his barrier jacket. How had she never noticed that before?
She could hear the red-clad girl struggling with someone. "Allies, huh?" a semi-recognizable voice said, and there was the sound of someone leaping away.
"Scythe form," a masculine voice intoned, and Nanoha forced herself to open her eyes, to focus them properly.
Fate stood in front of her, Bardiche's glowing energy blade before her, standing like Death's granddaughter herself, implacable and the stuff of nightmares. "We're her friends," the other girl said.
After so long, it was wonderful to hear that voice in the flesh again.
"Magically attacking a law enforcement officer," Fate said in a voice like a crank lowering a coffin to the waiting earth. "This crime can't be considered a mere misdemeanor."
"Who the hell are you supposed to be?-!" the semi-recognizable voice said, and Nanoha realized it belonged to the red-clad girl. "Some mage from the Administration Bureau?"
"I am this girl's friend," Fate said softly, the way a blade on a velvet sheath is soft. "I am one who owes her my life, and my soul, and my freedom. TSAB temporary mage, Fate Testarossa. And by my authority, you are under arrest for assault, destruction of private property, vandalism, disturbance of the peace, and being a bloody nuisance. If you do not resist, you will be granted the chance to plead in you own defense." Fate's form shifted, becoming more belligerent. "Please resist."
The red-clad girl sneered, and leapt out the way they had come. Fate chased after her.
Quiet came rushing back. "Yuuno, what…?"
The boy-mage one her shoulder again, squeezing reassuringly. "Let me explain," he said, and began to tell her the story as he healed her.
Meanwhile, on her finger, Ring-chan struggled.
When Yuuno finished, Nanoha was… well, still very dizzy, nauseous, seeing double and unsteady. In other words, she was in absolutely no condition to drive heavy machinery, much less a superweapon.
Still, she'd insisted Yuuno take them somewhere they could keep an eye on fate, and he'd reluctantly flown her to the top of the building. They watched the battle, confidence breaking as the new combatants joined in to outnumber their friend.
"This is bad. I have to save them," Yuuno said.
"Yuuno, wait!" Nanoha called out.
He paused, turning to look at her.
Nanoha reached into her pocket. She'd wanted this moment to be a happy occasion, something to remember fondly. She'd wanted to be able to take a picture of the look of surprise on his face. She'd been planning to bake a cake. It looked like that wasn't going to happen, now. Still, there was still something she could do to make this moment special, something to give it meaning.
"Yuuno Scrya of Mid-Childa," she whispered, her voice barely audible above the sounds of fighting in the otherwise silent city as she struggled to remember the formula of words that had changed her life so many months ago. "You have the ability to overcome great fear." She reached for Yuuno's hand weakly, and placed her closed fist on it. She opened her hand, drew it back. A green ring lay on his palm. "By the authority of the Guardians of the Universe, you have been chosen as the second Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814. Do you accept?"
Yuuno looked like she'd hit him between the eyes, then between the legs for good measure. "Nanoha…"
"Do you accept?" she said urgently.
His face softened. "Of course I do."
Nanoha sighed. "I welcome you to the Green Lantern Corp, Yuuno-kun."
"Willpower recognized. Ring online. Orders accepted."
The ring floated from his hand, settling on her finger. Green light flared as his uniform shaped itself over his barrier jacket.
Yuuno looked at his arm. "This is Tomoyo-san's design, isn't it, the uniform?"
Nanoha essayed a sickly grin. He sighed.
Yuuno made a healing barrier with a few deft words, then looked at the ring on his finger. He looked a Nanoha. "I'll make you proud," he said.
"Do the duty," she said. "Arrest them."
Yuuno grinned and took to the sky
Yuuno found Fate. He knew the basics of using a ring. Nanoha had let him use her's a few times, carefully as she watched, and he'd been able to make shapes and do scans and things. His magical training had stood him in good stead those few times, allowing him the focus the weapon seemed to need.
Now he used it to scan for Fate in the rubble of the building as he tried to remember what else Nanoha had taught him about the ring. He hadn't expected it to be like this. When Nanoha had suggested he become a Corps member and help her protect Earth, he'd thought she was half-joking, even when, while organizing her paperwork, he'd run across the report she'd sent to the Guardians about it. And now it was actually here.
He wondered if this was what performance anxiety was like.
Angrily, he shoved these thoughts away as he helped Fate up. This was really no different from what he had once would have asked of Nanoha, all those months ago. He would be damned if he did not meet this challenge with even HALF the courage and determination he knew she would have.
Fate looked at him and raised an eyebrow. "Ferret Lantern, I presume," she said, one side of her lip twitching.
He glared at her. "Quiet you. Once this is done, I am going to give SERIOUS consideration to a new name. For now, letss make those three pay for Nanoha, buy time for Arf and the Asura to decode the barrier. I'll take the girl and the familiar."
Fate nodded, "Agreed," she said, and held up Bardiche.
"Recovery," it said.
Together, the two shot back into the sky, Yuuno glowing green as he focused his will. He resisted the urge grin. As a mage, he'd never been much good with attack spells. But as a Lantern…
Blasts of green light streaked through the air as Yuuno attacked the red-clad girl and the familiar while Fate resumed her battle with the swordswoman…
"No," Nanoha breathed, staring at the battle above. As bravely as her friends fought, they were barely holding their attackers off, Yuuno too new to the Ring and to being the attacker to fight effectively at two to one odds. Tears were beginning to force their way out of her eyes. "I have to do something…"
"Ma'm," Ring-chan suddenly said. "A way exists. I have been able to calculate the optimum course of action to resolve this situation in our favor. But to do so, the dimensional distortion effect must be removed. I believe I am capable of accomplishing this within my parameters, but to do so I require your active Willpower to neutralize the dimensional distortion effect."
Nanoha grit her teeth, tried to concentrate, and her head exploded in pain. She nearly fell to her knees. "No," she panted. "I can't… Ring, initiate cellular reconstruction and regeneration!"
"Without active Willpower, effect will not progress to any significant amount within the immediate timeframe," Ring-chan said.
"Master," Raging Heart suddenly said.
Nanoha turned to look at it. It had obviously seen better days, and if she hadn't known better, she'd have said they'd been near the dawn of time. She'd never thought Raging Heart could be damaged so badly.
"Shooting mode. Acceleration." Raging Heart changed shape, pink wings of energy flaring to either side. "Let's shoot it. Starlight Breaker." The words, despite their completely deadpan and even delivery, somehow managed to convey an evil grin.
"No… it's impossible for us to do that in our condition!"
"I can be shot."
"It will destroy you, Raging Heart!"
"I believe, Master."
Nanoha stared at her Intelligent Device, torn, her emotions whirling like a really good special effect in a pirate movie.
"Trust me, my master."
Nanoha stood on the knife edge of decision, her choice teetering on the brink.
"Nanoha…" Ring-chan suddenly said, startling her. "Let Raging Heart do this. If she assesses that it can be done, than it can be done."
Nanoha stared at her finger, then gave a sharp, decisive nod.
The ring gave the same impression. Then it said, "Raging Heart, if you are incorrect in your assessment, know that I intend to reconstitute you so that I may utterly destroy you myself."
A beat. Then there, too, was the sense of a nod. "Those terms are acceptable. So be it."
Nanoha allowed herself to smile. "Then… I will trust you both."
She raised Raging Heart as magic circles began to form.
"I will prepare our counterattack," Ring-chan said.
Nanoha concentrated on telepathic communication. Even that was almost beyond her, but she powered through her suddenly pulsing migraine. Fate-chan, Yuuno-kun, Arf-san…
Lantern Scrya, Ring-chan transmitted on a different wavelength, with different means. Be ready to reconstruct the barrier on my mark…
The countdown began. Raging Heart became stuck at III. Just as Nanoha was about to be concerned, a small jet of light suddenly erupted from her ring, striking the side of the Intelligent Device.
"Ahem. III. II. I…"
And a hand suddenly erupted from Nanoha's chest…
She thought the pain of trying to use her ring just now had been unbearable. This hand, cupping a shining light as it stuck out from her chest, put things in perspective. She stumbled back, once, twice, feeling vile, violated, like that time she'd accidentally drunk expired milk. Something seemed to be draining from her…
Another jet of light erupted from her ring, and snaked at the intruding hand. It pierced like a knife, hard as a steel blade, drawing blood, and from another building, there was a cry of pain as the hand convulsed.
"S-starlight…" she gasped, swinging Raging Heart back and forth with all her might. "BREAKER!-!-!-!-!-!"
A pink light connected heaven and earth as the spell rose into the sky. The barrier broke. It was glorious.
Dragon Slave, eat your heart out…
Nanoha collapsed, spent.
Raging Heart lay on the ground, immobile.
And Ring-chan began it's counter attack.
All over Japan, and the world over, people had been having an average day. Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go through their daily routine, head home…
And now, hear mysterious voice calling their name…
Attention, this is an automated message. Green Lantern is under attack, condition severe. Assistance is required. Response?
And as one, many said:
The barrier fell apart. In the first few moments, several balls of light streaked into the night. They returned after heartbeats, screaming at many times the speed of sound as they dropped back to the rooftops of Uminari with their precious cargo.
Before the three strange attacker could react, Yuuno had reestablished a barrier.
"The hell…?" the red-clad one said.
Before one of her could respond, there was a cry that instantly drew attention. Several, actually.
"JOVIS TEMPESTAS FULGURIENS!"
All except the last was instantly accompanied by power and searing pain. There was impact. When the three Wolkenritter were able to look around them, they could see around them again, they found themselves surrounded.
"What did you DO to Green Lantern!" Superman practically snarled, eyes crimson with heat and rage.
The three stood quickly, back to back, weapons raised. They eyed the forces around them.
Eight Sailor Senshi, as angry as they ever got– and with Uranus, and Jupiter, that was a lot. Behind them, Mercury tended the unconscious Green Lantern, who'd managed to keep her mask.
Kaleido's Ruby and Sapphire flanked two girls inexpertly masked with handkerchiefs.
A delicate-faced young form, long hair twisting behind them like a serpent, crackling with energy, face hard and flanked by various girl ins various stages of angry, outraged and armed.
A soft-eyed, determined child, her star-tipped pink wand shaking slightly, her mask elegant and slightly fetishistic. Determination radiated from her in waves.
And above this floated a specter in blue with crimson wings and eyes of fire.
Fate, Arf and Yuuno, taking their places in the circle. Bardiche glowed, scythe ready to rend, it's wielder more so. Yuuno raised his unfamiliar ring in a manner he'd seen Nanoha do so often.
"Surrender!" he cried. "You're outnumber at least six to one. Maybe seven to one.
"12 to one," Superman supplied.
"Give up now, and we might forgive you for what you did to Green Lantern!" Yuuno cried.
Strangely, the three didn't seem intimidated. In fact, they looked… eager? Hungry? Starvations victims who suddenly found themselves in Heaven's buffet?
It was the red-clad girl who spoke, eyes looking wide, teeth barred in the kind of grin that eats boats. "Linker Cores…"
- To be continued...
A/N: in the DCAU, the GL Oath is a statement of principle. After all, it's standardized. Comic cannon seems to be going that way as well, as of the most recent Corps reconstruction and retcon. Oh, and Alicia's dead and buried.
Nanoha's not as strong, magically speaking, since she has less time to train and has her Power Ring to use.
Trying to stagger things as much as possible on the Negima-side of things, so that I don't say anything that counter's the manga.
ATE: Possible Futures
The Guardians looked at each other. There was a tension in the air, of silent communion and deliberation.
"Very well, Lantern 2814.1, 2814.2," one of the Guardians– Ganthet, Yuuno recalled his name was– said, speaking for the rest. "We have decided that, for the moment, this Red Lantern will be relegated to your care. If she proves herself in control of her rage, than perhaps in the future…"
Nanoha grinned widely as Yuuno and several other people in the crowd who had been prepared to do violence allowed the tension to be drawn away into cheers. The once-deputy had to give the Guardians their due: they knew how to follow a running gag.
The red and black-clad figure drew themselves up proudly, the crimson ring pulsing on their finger. "Thank you, Guardians. On my Oath– my new Oath– I promise to be worthy. This I swear."
"Then speak this Oath, and let it be done."
The figure, the delicate-looking features serious but with a hint of childishness, raised the crimson battery from the table that had been provided for it and raised their ring to the front. They spoke, anger and grief breaking through suddenly clenched teeth as crimson light flared.
"With blood and Rage of crimson red,
Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead.
Together with my Hellish hate,
I swear none other shall share my fate!
Magister Magi, Agent Crimson, ADEAT!"
The Hall of the Guardians roared with angry, crimson power as the ring was charged.
"We welcome you to the service, Agent Crimson, Last of the Blood of Ostia and Vespertatia," a Guardian said. "See to it that our faith in our Green Lantern's judgment is well founded."
"Setsuna-sempai," Tsukuyomi said, dead eyes as bright as they ever were in life. "Now, you're mine!"
Konoka screamed as Tsukuyomi, the Black Hand of Nekron, ripped Setsuna's heart from her chest, savoring the pouring life's blood as the hanyou's body suddenly fell, limp. The Regina Medicans kicked and screamed, but the hands of the dead were implacable and unyielding as the Black Hand daintily plucked a Black ring from the swirling cloud around her. She knelt by the newly-made corpse, taking it's left hand in hers almost delicately. "And with this ring," she said, giggling, "I name us wed in the name of Nekron!"
"SAKURAZAKI SETSUNA OF EARTH: RISE!"
Konoka's screams of anguish wove into Tsukuyomi's delighted laughter as the fallen angel rose once more…
"Chao…" Negi said, eyes wide and horrified at the grinning girl.
"Chibi-Usa," Eternal Sailor Moon said, eyes equally haunted at the choice before them.
The two exchanged looks, and Chao moderated her expression, smiling sadly at the horrified heroes, magi and magical girls before them. "It has to be done. The Time Trapper must be stopped before he destroys all Time. You, all of you, need to live for there to be any sort of future."
"But…! The time-stream!" Eternal Sailor Moon protested.
Chibi-Usa shook her head. "You don't understand mother. Puu knows. You are our past, yes, but we– the Legion, the Team Titans, Riot Force 6000, the new Senshi, Ala Nigra– we need not be your future. How could we, when Crystal Tokyo and the United Planets are so irreconcilable? All we can do now is to make sure that a future, any future, is there to be made. And if it means dying to do so, then so be it. We are the children of heroes. We shall not shirk our duty."
"Besides," the strange girl with the mismatched red and green eyes who called herself simply Ion said brightly, "if this works, then maybe we'll ALL be in the new future you make! So everyone wins!"
"Not likely," Brainiac 5 said, before several people kicked him in the shin.
Chao made a happy sigh. "Now go! Don't make us have to teleport you into position. You have your duty… and we have ours. That's all anyone can ask."
Hearts pained, the Senshi called tearful good byes to their Small Lady, Saturn needing to be dragged an ultimately carried away. Negi looked at his descendant, and nodded, once, before handing her his staff. No words were exchanged. They knew what this meant. The Justice League dragged themselves reluctantly way, looking over their shoulders many times at the young people who had chosen to stand this ground. Green Lantern stared at the young girl who claimed to be al that was left of the Corps she served, until Yuuno pulled her away, Fate at his other side. He gave the girl as salute with is ring hand and turned, trying not to look back and failing miserably.
Ion watched as they left, finally letting a tear fall as Green Lantern and her friends walked away. "Good bye, mothers," she said, pulling off her glove and staring at the three rings there, two green and one yellow, stained by old marks that looked like blood. "Good bye, father."
Chao smiled at the theatrics. Then she turned to the pink-haired Eternal Sailor Moon next to her. "You know, the Springfield family has a tradition," she said. "In times of great danger, we find and kiss the person closest to us, for luck and to give them the power to continue this fight by our side."
Usagi the 2nd tilted her head rakishly. "Why, Miss Springfield, are you coming on to me?"
"Yes," Chao said, bluntly. Her eyes were intense. "It's our last moments alive. We don't have time to do this dance anymore."
Usagi paused. Then she smiled. "How do the women in your family put it? 'I don't dislike you'?"
"Good enough," Chao said, and suddenly they were in each other's arms as Vivio helpfully took time off from her drama to draw a circle under them.
Vivio then turned to their field commander. "Might as well give the order, Mordred," she said.
Emiya Mordred nodded, drawing her mother's legendary sword Excalibur from her hip. She turned to her many half-siblings. "You heard the lady!" she barked like a drill sergeant. "Let's show them how things are done Fuyutsuki-style!"
Vivio turned towards the Time Trapper's forces, and raised her voice, throwing out a hand. "Sacred Heart! Raging Heart! Bardiche! Reinforce! SET UP! Come at me, abominations! I am Vivio of the Justice League, last of the Green Lantern Corps! I am the Saint King! I am the Torchbearer! I am Ion, daughter of heroes! Look at me and know your doom! My counter-attack begins now!"
The assembled ranks of teenagers faced the enemy, and the cry rang forth as they became united for the first and last time under the name they had chosen when joining this suicide mission.
"Daidouji Tomoyo of Earth, you have great love in your heart."
"Daidouji Tomoyo of Earth, you want it ALL"
Tomoyo stared at the Orange and Violet rings jockeying for her attention. Then she shrugged. "Okay."
Fate stared in horror at the form leaping for her, scythe in hand. Dead as dirt, it leered at her, gaping eyes framed by straggly hair. "Hello Fate. No hug for your big sister?"
Terror ran through Fate, and her power Ring's energy rose by 2 percent. "You're not Alicia!" she cried.
"And whose fault is that?" it sneered. "You buried me just so you can dance on my grave!" It lunged for her heart…
Some of this may happen, some may not, or not exactly the same way … but if they don't, I want them at least written down somewhere. Blame it on Hypertime…
Coming next: Takamachi Nanoha has beaten Precia, but now a more insidious enemy is targeting not just her, but every mage and magical girl on Earth. The Battle Lines are drawn. Who will be taken?
The Sailor Senshi?
Himari of the Crimson Blade?
The Linkero Cores War has begun...
Please review, C&C welcome.
Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.