Kingdome Comes Again

Disclaimer: Woo Hooo… no, wait… that's for returning. I own… let's see… that plant in the corner! Nothing else though.

Chapter 16

It was like magic. Blue eyes met blue eyes, over the candle in the center of the table. Usagi and Ranma gazed into eachother's eyes with an intensity none who knew them had ever witnessed before.

"GO!" Nabiki yelled, and the spell was broken.

Ranma and Usagi's arms blurred, as the piles of beef fried rice (the only rice everyone at the table was comfortable with) began to vanish at a speed usually only rivaled by industrial vacuum pumps.

Cologne, the only person in the room who could actually SEE the individual movements of the two competitors in the sudden eating contest Ryoga had suggested, raised her eyebrow.

"Give me a month to teach her something akin to balance, and I'm fairly sure Usagi could master the Chestnut Fist faster than Son-in-law did." She observed to Kaga.

"How… how do they eat like that. They just ate a whole meal like… five minutes ago." The man demanded.

Cologne shrugged. From her perspective all youngsters ate like that. "Want to know who's going to win?"

"You can tell?"

"Yes."

"Ranma right?"

Cologne just smiled.

"Damn it."

"And done!" Usagi yelled, slamming her forks… they'd forgone chopsticks in favor of speed… onto the table. Ranma, the last hunk of meat on his lips blinked in shock, as did Nabiki.

Rei, Ukyo, and Makoto, however, cheered. "Pay up, Tendo!" Ukyo yelled.

"You lost? You never loose! Damn you Saotome!" Nabiki yelled.

Ryoga fell out of his chair, laughing. He hadn't been sure that Usagi would win, but he'd been fairly confident after Minako's stories. "She… Beat… Ranma!"

Ranma swallowed the last piece of meat. "Hey, Granny… are you sure the portions were equal?"

"I weighed them out myself, son-in-law. She beat you fair and square." Cologne pogoed up the the blonde girl. "And a joy it was to watch such fine control of one's arms. Would you be interested in learning Amazon Wu Shu?"

"What… Martial arts, but I…" Usagi, who was trying to stand, tripped over her chair and fell on the floor.

"You even already know how to fall properly." Cologne observed with a wry chuckle.

Rei coughed. "Elder, I don't think Martial Arts are really appropriate for Usagi. She's… not really a fighter."

Cologne smirked. "I can fix that."

"But she's not an amazon." Rei observed.

"You're the one who told us she'd be queen one day, correct?"

"Well… Yes…"

Cologne just arched her eyebrows.

"Oh… Right."

"owiee…" Usagi said from the floor.

Hiro ignored, with difficulty, the two youma devouring the body his demon lord had vacated, in favor of looking into his new eyes. The longshoreman who's face he wore had leapt at the offer of bail, after having seriously injured several men in a bar fight, and hadn't questioned why someone would bail him out just to move some furniture.

The ninja wasn't entirely sure the lobotomy had been necessary, but it seemed to make his Lord happy. This wasn't a comforting thing to know about Mikata, and he tried his best to ignore it as well.

"Yes, this one should last much longer." The Dark Lord observed, flexing his muscles. "But then, he's far less damaged than my previous host had been."

"Yes, My lord."

"So, to work. How is our criminal empire developing?"

"Well, my lord. As you ordered, we've stepped up efforts to infiltrate government offices through the use of Vice and loan sharking. It's been amazingly successful."

"Not really." The former emperor replied. "Low level government employees and functionaries always feel underappreciated and over worked. Offering them a release, especially one that doesn't appear to have a down side and with a hint of respect thrown in, is like drugs for an addict."

"Yes, my lord. I am surprised none of my previous employers had thought of it."

"None have had to overthrow a series of planetary governments before." Mikata observed. "Have they gathered the information I expected?"

"Between the police, fire department, and City's Clerks Building Permit office, yes." The ninja replied. "We have localized the area's where the Sailor Senshi have been most active since their appearance."

"What are those."

"Most are what you'd expect. Large shopping centers, concert halls… places that would be ideal for the type of terror attacks the so called "Dark Kingdom" seemed to prefer, as did many of their other enemies." The shinobi reported. "However, there are three specific targets that particularly stood out."

"Yes?"

"All are in Juban. One is a shrine, another a jewelry store, with an arcade being the third most frequent target that contains less than fifty occupants at a time."

"Excellent."

"Shall I contact your Youma agents, and arrange for an attack?"

"Of course not. That would be foolish." Mikata replied.

The ninja was confused. "My Lord?"

"Ignore the shrine. I would wager my former hosts wife that it is where Mars lives. That family was always so religious." Mikata commanded. "Watch both the Jewlery store and the Arcade. Determine if any employees of those places are the sort no one would miss for a few hours in the evening. Once you have, bring me those employees."

"But… sir… you've suggested you know who the Sailors are."

"But not their allies. Not all of them, at least. Your scouts have a bad habit of getting caught up in the monster attacks." The former emperor held up his hand. "No, that is unfair. Monsters have a bad habit of eating your spies. I know. However, spies in locations they may frequent could give us that information, without wasting any useful monsters. Speaking of which…"

Mikata waved his hand, and the naked, broken woman who had been the wife of his first victim in the modern era walked closer. Chanting, he caused the defiled body of her husband to rise… and seeming melt into a mist which flowed into the woman.

She began to scream, falling to the ground and writhe in pain.

"Once this less than useful monster finishes forming, order it to attack something vaguely important." Mikata commanded. "A school, an airport… I don't really care. It'll obey you, so don't worry about that. Just keep it away from anyone else you don't want eaten."

"Yes sir."

Mamoru Chiba could only laugh as he hung up his cellular phone. He regretted not being able to get down to Nerima that day, and see the "unbeatable" Ranma Saotome's defeat by "Sailor Moon". Apparently Usagi had been nearly exploding with the need to tell him, but didn't want to "Rub it in" while Ranma was there.

"More like she didn't want him to punt her communicator into orbit, if she called me immediately." He muttered with a smile. He loved Usagi, but boy could that girl gloat when she wanted too.

"Chiba?" A man called out. Mamoru stood up, out of the uncomfortable chair he'd been sitting in, walking over to the air freight desk.

"That's me."

The customs clerk pushed the large box across to him. "Roses? You a gardner?" He asked.

"I work in a nursery, yes." Mamoru replied. What he didn't mention is the plants, or rather seeds, were for him. No reason to explain that he was trying to create his own strain of roses, with the goal of them containing more magic than the run of the mill flower.

Hell, he hadn't even explained that to Usagi. She just thought he was trying to make an "even prettier one."

Granted, he'd settle for both.

"Sign here."

He did, and walked out, heading for his car. He heard the screams as he was putting the box into his trunk.

"What now?" Mamoru demanded. The chill of fear ran through his spine. Not just of monsters, or accidents, but in an airport, in the modern world… there were to many horrible thoughts that could be considered.

He ran out of the underground garage, only to throw himself to the ground as a hatchback flew over his head. Looking up, he recognized the distinctive, mutated female appearance of a youma. Her skin was all weeping sores and puss, a horrible thing to see.

"Well, better call the… where…"

Looking around he realized his cellphone, which a year ago he'd had Ami install his communicator in, was gone. He spotted it a dozen feet away, where it had landed after falling out of his pocket.

Another car crashed down onto it as he watched, apparently having been thrown at a cop nearby.

"I hope Ami's near the Mercury computer." Mamoru muttered, as he pulled a rose from his coat. Nearly instantly his normal blaizer and slacks were replaced with a tuxedo, top hat and mask. For once, he didn't waste time with a speech, instead charging the monster directly.

The car in its hand had a woman and child screaming inside.

"Is that the Mercury computer?" Makoto asked.

"Yes… An alert." Ami opened it, frowned, then pushed a button. The alarm ceased.

"Well?"

"False alarm. They've been installing new Radar systems out at the airport, and for some reason it's been setting the computer off. Once they finish installing them, I'll get their frequencies locked in, and then maybe get to sleep three nights in a row."

Makoto snapped her fingers. "Darn, I could use a fight right now."

Ami chuckled. "Maybe another time, Mako-chan."

AN: You know what the problem is with advanced technology? It's so damn smart, it gets stupid really quick sometimes. Then the user follows suit, even if they are Sailor Mercury.

And hey, look at me, one chapter for two separate stories in one day. Yay me! For those who are interested in stalking me and asking why I'm not writing anything right now darn it, I am now on twitter. If you want to follow me, look for Shadoe_Fox. If not, just keep watching here!