DISCLAIMER: I still don't own Ranma ½, Sailor Moon, Oh! My Goddess, or any other property which might show up. What I do own is the idea for this story, the concept of the Flower Knights (but not the individual characters who become one), and story elements unique to this tale.
That Old Time Renewal
by Faerie Knight
"In all the multiverse, there is only one thing that's infinite. And that is how many realities there are. Anything else is finite. It has a beginning, and an end. Even power sources are finite. Some sources just have a larger supply then others."
August 25th, 1995
Time is a funny thing. It's passage is steady and dependable. It always flows at the same rate, never faster nor slower. And yet it can speed past before you notice. Time can also crawl by agonizingly slowly. When in a crisis situation it can even selectively speed up or slow down on a case by case basis. Conventional wisdom says this is all a trick of perception. Conventional wisdom also says the past can't be changed. Conventional wisdom however can be very very wrong on occasion.
Which was why Sailor Jupiter was fighting a power mad teenage girl, again. This was the seven hundred and eighty first time they had fought in a row. Each time Jupiter was about to win the villainous teen would jump backwards in time. When that happened she would do something to ensure victory. Jupiter in turn would return to the time gates to determine what had changed, and try again. It seemed to be a never ending cycle.
It could end, but that to Jupiter wasn't an option. Giving up would have dire consequences after all. There was one good thing though. As long as this battle continued, the half-demon couldn't work against the senshi. There was no way to win. But there was equally no way the guardian of time would concede defeat. Not with the stakes this high. But there had to be a way There just had to be. How else could someone have come from the future?
SHIT! Jupiter thought as she saw a sixteen wheeler about to hit her. An emergency jump back to the time gates saved her life, again. Even so, the truck had managed to impact. After coming to a stop a good twenty feet away from her entrance point, Jupiter laid on the ground and groaned. Once more she would have to let the senshi magic repair her body before trying again. Where did that truck come from anyway? It wasn't there last time!
Her friend and mentor wasn't back yet. That meant the crisis with Ranma hadn't ended yet. I wonder how things are going?
The streets of Tokyo looked like a warzone. A fact which wasn't too surprising considering what was happening. The senshi were doing battle against a monster yet again. That usually left a fair bit of destruction in it's wake. That a couple of the Flower Knights were fighting by their side was all that kept the property damage levels down. Of course, this just meant that seventy-five buildings and the streets had been trashed so far instead of a hundred.
The problem wasn't that the senshi were incapable of fighting in hand to hand. They did have training in that regard. The problem was that only Sailor Venus was skilled enough in melee combat to face the current foe. The two flower knights also were skilled unarmed combatants. But they too were hard pressed by the creature that once was Tatawaki Kuno. Since energy attacks had proven ineffective time and again, hand to hand was the only real option.
Sailor Moon groaned as she pulled herself out of a collapsed wall. Her determination had been slowly eroding for a while. Even the magic of her transformation was having trouble keeping up with the mounting injuries. Her fuku was torn in several places, and the gloves had long since fallen apart. The others were no better off. Venus was the only one who had mostly avoided getting hurt. And she too was covered in nicks and shallow cuts.
Sailor Mercury moved in and swung a steel bar at the Kuno yoma responded with a cry of "Strike! Strike! Strike!" It was accompanied by a series of high speed thrusts of the energy blade. With the scant warning given the cerulean haired warrior dove to the side seconds before being struck. Mercury's makeshift staff impacted just behind the left knee, but visibly did little damage The black and white clad senshi whispered something, and an orb of energy shot forth at the former Kuno.
"Would ya stop feeding it?" Venus snapped at the black and white clad senshi. "All your doing is making it stronger!"
Bokken for brains was never this good before, Venus thought to herself as she ducked under a slash. And if miss 'dead scream' doesn't stop helping it, we might just lose. It struck Venus as odd that this foe was all but immune to energy attacks. Physical assaults seemed most effective. But even that had no visible affect. And when the former Kuno managed to land a blow it actually hurt, a lot. Not quite as much as fighting a yoma as a flower knight did. Her magic wasn't being suppressed. And the fuku did offer some protection.
However the blows were able to partly bypass the senshi protective magics. This was evident in the others too. And then there was the skill of this foe. Kuno had never before shown this much raw combat ability. The creature almost seemed to be Venus's equal in fighting. A fact which was frightening. It meant they could actually lose. At least the kid's not here, she thought grimly. While it wasn't the first time Venus had faced someone as powerful or more then herself, it was arguably the first time the person had been equally as skilled as Venus.
As another blow managed to slip past her defense Venus found herself flying backwards into the other senshi. She saw the green haired one was about to launch another energy sphere, and put a stop to that action rather quickly. She did so with a stiff slap to the back of Pluto's head while covering the woman's mouth. Moments later Venus had to propel both of them out of the way of the kuno monster's attack. With a soft hiss the senshi of love slapped Pluto again.
"Are ya a complete baka? Energy attacks strengthen it instead of hurting it. Ya keep healing that thing and we will lose."
A few feet away Sailor Moon was busy healing several downed warriors yet again. And all around the city enchanted statues reached critical mass from absorbing this last bit of magical discharge. Even as a pulse of raw magic surged the Kuno yoma managed to thrust her energy sword into Venus's back. The creature let loose a wordless celebratory cry. With it's guard down, the creature didn't see a chain or thorn covered whip heading it's way. Nor did it see as Sailor Mercury brought a telephone pole down on it's head.
Neither the other two senshi or the two flower knights had realized Mercury was that strong. To be fair, Sailor Mercury had also been unaware of it. The unexpected strength also seemed to vanish moments later. Since the yoma started to slowly crumble into dust the danger had clearly passed. But in the wake of battle the girls found one of their own dying, again. Sailor Moon tried, but found her own magic nearly depleted. It was only pure luck Flower Knight Clover heard the senshi of love's pained whisper.
"need... lake... hurry..."
An exhausted Sailor Moon started to cry. She could see her friend and sensei was dying. And there was nothing she could do about it. With no magic left, there was no hope. No! I wont lose another friend! She thought frantically. Her broach glowed with an inner light. As the light bathed the senshi of love something miraculous happened. Venus's heart beat strengthened. The hole in the center of her chest slowly started to close. Those nearby watched as vaporized lungs and bone reformed centimeter by centimeter.
But it was not without cost. Even as Sailor Venus grew stronger Sailor Moon started to sag. Until finally the blond collapsed to the ground. Her skin had taken on a deathly pallor. While she was still breathing, it was extremely shallow. To Sailor Mercury's horror her friend and one of the last two original senshi was dying. And according to the mercury computer there was nothing that could be done. Her friend had used her own vitality to power that last spell.
"You can't stop me!" Nabiki screamed as Sailor Jupiter once again showed up. "I control time it's self!"
The little girl was a new feature of their battle field. Neither combatant knew quite where she'd come from. A pulse of raw magic chose that moment to wash through the area before continuing onward. In it's wake lights failed and cars stopped working. Another thing that the wave caused to malfunction was the blast of temporal magic Nabiki had launched from the mirror. It was a trick the demonically infused girl had only just figured out how to do.
Such an attack should have ripped the senshi of Jupiter into thousands of pieces, each thrown into a different time period. Barring that it should have caused rapid aging until death. What happened instead was that raw magic impacted the orb of destructive energy and shattered it. When the child kicked Nabiki in the shin the shock was enough to cause the mirror to slip from her hand. The hand held object fell in what seemed like slow motion. When it struck the ground there was the distinctive sound of breaking glass.
The former mercenary's nails extended into viscous looking claws. Claws which she tried to disembowel the little girl with. A silver staff in the shape of a key blocked her though. It quickly became apparent to both who was more skilled in hand to hand combat. While no where near the level of one Ranma Saotome, Sailor Jupiter still was far better then Nabiki. In part it was because the teenage demi-demon hadn't practiced at all since she was about six.
After several exchanges Nabiki found herself losing badly. With one arm hanging limply and several ribs causing a great deal of pain she fled. Upon reaching some deep shadows Nabiki vanished to another location. Once at her hideout the budding villainess found piles of dust where her top soldiers should have been. With a snarl she tried to revive them with her power over time. Only to find she no longer had that ability. What was more, she only knew of one way to create more minions.
"Damn it!" Nabiki shouted to the wilds. "This isn't the last they heard of me! They'll rue the day they crossed the Ice Queen!"
Post Merger, dates unknown
All over the world it was the same. In the wake of what would become known as the Pulse anything that was powered by electricity had stopped working. At the same time forests appeared in many places where none had existed previously. In time new species would be discovered, many that defied scientific explanation. In time things would settle down. Eventually order would be established and stable communities would once again develop. But for the moment anarchy was starting to take hold.
There were those who defended the helpless. There were those who tried to maintain control. But even these self appointed champions knew they couldn't be everywhere. Some would found communities where civilization still existed. Others would go down in legend as wandering heroes. And more then a few would found religions which would still exist thousands of years later. But in all the world there were only a handful of people who knew what had really happened that day.
Some places became almost holy sites. One become known as the Shrine of Dreams. The shrine was always tended by the same family of priests. Why they tended the shrine was never known. Some said they were bound to the spirit which resided in the shrine's small lake. Others said they tended the shrine to warn people away. The truth had been lost long ago. All that was known is that sometimes people would enter the lake. And if the spirit accepted the person, they never left it.
The priests never stopped anyone wanting to enter the lake. But for those the spirit rejected, they would be there offering what support they could. The spirit didn't show it's self very often. Some tales said it was male, others female. No one was quite sure. All anyone knew was that the faerie spirit known as "Ranma of the Lake' would protect the shrine's caretakers if they ever were threatened. So when a traveling priestess with pink hair approached the shrine the current caretaker was cautious.
Every few years some priest or anther came to try removing the lake's guardian. While it never worked, some ended up needing an undertaker after threatening the family. This young woman however did not start any banishing rituals. Instead she knelt beside the lake respectfully. After praying for several minutes the woman smiled sadly. The caretaker could tell she'd seen much sorrow in her life. And that broke his heart for some reason.
"I'm home Mom," the priestess said in a soft voice. "I know you still feel guilty. But it's time to fight again. After all these centuries, the ice queen is back. Please Mom, I can't do this alone. Will you help me find the others?"
I hope people have enjoyed this. It's a lot more action oriented then Old Time Magic was. And it likely isn't the end of the story either. As people who read the first story in this series might know, it deals heavily with karma. And one theme is that even heroes can die. Every action has a reaction. Every boon has a price. And sometimes the price is rather high.
I'm not sure when or if I'll write the third 'book' in this story. But if I do, it will follow Riana's quest to gather the current generation of senshi and stop Nabiki once and for all. In this story I didn't do much with Riana Tendo. In part that's because I wasn't quite sure what to do with her. I just knew her role would be important somehow. Maybe not for the current story, but for the overall storyline. That, and I was getting too many characters to keep track of.