Disclaimer: Sailor Moon, Ranma 1/2, and all related characters are properties of their respective owners. I don't own any of it, and won't make a penny for the creation of this work. Please don't sue me for the $0.42 and used chewing gum wrapper I own.
In a formless void outside of normal space and time, there is a small island of reality. This small sphere of normal space-time where there should have been nothing allowed people of ancient times the ability to do something that should have otherwise been impossible: Travel through time. A space-time gate was constructed there, and the people of that time used the door to turn their civilization into a paradisical utopia unmatched in any time before or since. But meddling with time has its price, and when the civilization's origin became tied up in the gates, the civilization stopped existing. The past, present, and future of the civilization were wiped out in a single instant, leaving only an abandoned relic in a place where time and space should have no meaning as a monument to that civilization's folly.
The monument was found millenia later by a girl with fledgeling powers over space. She was a diplomat for a queendom ruled by magic, spanning a solar system. Her ability to view and teleport to anywhere instantly was invaluable to a civilization that spanned light-years, hastening the development of the civilization and giving it a unity that would not have been possible until it developed faster-than-light communication hundreds of years later.
The development of faster-than-light communication started a time of unparalleled peace and prosperity for the queendom that lasted nearly a thousand years. The queendom developed and spread to cover the entire solar system it resided in, and assigned guardians to each of the planets inside its borders. It was at the beginning of this time, this Silver Millenium, that the diplomat girl discovered a point in space that was connected to all others, yet was somehow outside of normal space. Investigation of this point led to the discovery of the artifact left by a civilization that never existed. It didn't take long for her to figure out that this point in space was connected to all points in time it had traveled through as well, augmenting her ability to view any point in space; while she was in the vicinity of the artifact she was able to view any point in space at any time in the present or past. Her ability to teleport remained rooted in the present, but her innate abilities, augmented by the artifact, left her uniquely suited to become the guardian of said artifact.
It was when she began looking into the paradoxical origins of the artifact that she began to understand the full importance of guarding the artifact from those that would abuse it, and when she revealed her findings to her queen she was given a strict mandate, three things she was forbidden to do. She was never to use the artifact to travel through time. She was never to abandon her post at the artifact. She was never to use the artifact to stop time. The artifact was sealed, and she was given the key. She spent the remainder of the Silver Millenium guarding the artifact from those that would use it to meddle with time, the dull tedium broken only by summons from her queen.
When the Silver Millenium began to fall to outside invaders calling themselves the Dark Kingdom, she was sorely tempted to break the Queen's first taboo and prevent it all from happening. Instead, she broke the second, and begged the queen to release her from the first. She was denied, and her punishment for breaking the second taboo was that she would be forced to watch the queen's death from the artifact, where she could do nothing to prevent it. The queen sealed her ability to teleport while she was at the gates, the seal only breaking when the queen released her last breath. By the time she was able to return to the Queen's palace, it was too late. The only survivors were a pair of Mau, the queen's most faithful and trusted advisors, both in grief over the death of their charges: one the Princess of Venus, and the other the Princess of the Moon. She promised the two they would see their charges again one day, and sealed them in a stasis chamber to await that day, before returning to the artifact to grieve.
It was centuries later that the grief-stricken girl finally realized the significance of what the Queen had done. She had watched the queen cast a spell to fling the true star seeds of the planetary princesses and her daughter, along with their souls, forward in time. Those souls would need help and guidance in the future, and the queen had chosen her as the one to provide it. The queen hadn't been cruel in forcing her to watch her death with no way to prevent it. She had sacrificed herself that the souls of her daughter and the seven girls she loved like they were her daughters could live in the future, and prevented her from throwing herself into a futile death, all so the nine of them would have a chance for a future.
It had been thousands of years, and something in her could feel the ripples of magic caused by the Queen's final spell finally start to ebb. It was time for the princesses to return and awaken. She released the stasis lock on the two Mau, Luna and Artemis, and sent them to find their charges once again.
Sailor Pluto had watched the girl that had awoken to the mantle of Sailor Venus since Artemis had discovered and awakened her. The girl was very much like she was in her past life; spirited and resourceful, and with a touch of boy craziness. That last was to be expected for a girl with a magical domain over love. She had triumphed over the Dark Kingdom in London, acting as a distraction as she posed as the Moon Princess, and giving Luna time to locate the true Moon Princess. Luna, however, had failed to locate any sign of the Moon Princess, and when the Dark Kingdom discovered Venus's deception and that Venus did not have the Silver Crystal they sought, they abandoned London and returned to Japan. Realizing that they had run out of time and the true Moon Princess was in danger, Artemis and Venus returned to Japan and began to awaken the Inner Planetary Princesses, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupiter.
It was during their first fight against a Youma that Sailor Pluto sensed something was very wrong. Turning from the void she stared into, she was astonished to see that the artifact was activating. The space-time door, the seal that had been in place since the beginning of the Silver Millenium, that only she had the key to, was opening and something was coming through. Her duty was clear: anyone that would misuse the Gates of Time was to be eliminated. Since she had stood guard over the gates constantly since the Silver Millenium, and would stand her guard for millenia to come, she decided that this threat could only have come from before the Silver Millenium.
And so she was astonished beyond all reason when the intruder came into full view, and she stared herself in the face.
She shrieked. "No! No, no, no, this isn't possible! I am forbidden! You are forbidden! We cannot travel through time! You can't be here! You mustn't!"
As she left the space-time door open behind her, the identical Sailor Pluto, complete with her own Key, smoothed her skirt. "Now, that's not a very proper welcome now, is it? After all, I went through the trouble of breaking the Queen's first and second taboos to come deliver a warning to you."
Current Pluto gaped for a moment at her future self's candidness, then closed her mouth and gulped. For her future self to knowingly break two of her taboos to change the past could only mean that the threat to the future was dire. After struggling for a moment to find her voice, she shakily replied, "O-okay. What do I need to know?"
"That's better," said future Pluto. "I don't have much time, so I'll need to keep this brief." The irony of the statement was not lost on either of them; imagine the guardian of time having a lack of that which she guards.
"In my time, the moon princess was never found. The inner senshi, without Moon's powerful purifying attacks, died one by one to the invading youma. I tried to awaken the outer senshi to help the inners, but I couldn't find them before the inner senshi were all dead." Pain flickered across future Pluto's features at her failure and loss. "The outer senshi didn't last long, and I didn't have a chance to find Saturn."
Current Pluto gasped. "Saturn... The Silence bringer? Why would we want to awaken her?"
"Because she is the second most powerful senshi, her destructive powers are second only to Moon's purification powers, and she has some minor healing abilities. Look at the battle going on right now. What do you see?"
Current Pluto focused on the fight between the inner senshi and the youma. The inners were getting beaten badly, but it was four against one and the Youma was taking just as much punishment. "A stalemate? The girls can't deal enough damage to destroy the Youma..."
Future Pluto nodded. "They'll kill the youma eventually, but the Dark kingdom won this battle. The youma drained more energy than was used to create it and send it here. The next one will be stronger."
Current Pluto looked alarmed. "That's what they're doing? Gathering energy? I have to go help, we have to stop it!"
"No, it's too late," Future Pluto said. "It's already won, no matter when it dies. The victims it was draining are already dead. It has sent their life energy to the Dark Kingdom. Let the four inners have this battle experience, they'll need it.
Current Pluto was troubled. The implications of this were dire, she needed to awaken outer senshi in and quickly. "Will the outer senshi be able to help? I mean, will they help enough? It seems each Youma that is sent will prompt a race to kill it before it gathers enough energy for the next one."
Future Pluto shook her head. "It won't be enough, but it will be the key to awakening Saturn. But time is not on our side. I didn't find the outer senshi in time. You must awaken them right away. They are Haruka Tenoh and Michiru Kaioh; Uranus and Neptune."
A wave of dizziness swept over current Pluto. Being given the names of the outer senshi she would be looking for by her future self was certainly future-changing. Of course, that was the intent, wasn't it?
"Once the outers are awakened, they must find their talisman. You already have yours, the Garnet Orb attached to your time key. In my time, we were never able to find Uranus's or Neptune's. You must awaken Saturn. Her attacks are the key to destroying the Youma before they gather enough energy."
"What about the Moon Princess?" Current Pluto asked. "Wouldn't it be better to focus on finding her?"
Future Pluto shook her head. "I thought the same thing, at first. But we never found her. Luna seemed to think she was in China at one point, but by the time she got there the Dark Kingdom had already beaten the inner senshi. Then Luna turned around and came back to Japan. Either the Moon Princess moved, or Luna was off track. In either case, we can't do anything to help Luna, she's the only one that can locate the Moon Princess. But Luna doesn't have enough time."
Current Pluto thought about that for a moment. "So we need to delay the Dark Kingdom and give her that time. And to do that, we need to awaken Sailor Saturn. Only she has enough destructive power in her attacks to kill the youma before they gather enough life energy."
Future Pluto nodded, and then stumbled. The portal in the time-space door was collapsing, and the door was closing. "Looks like... I ran out of time," she said. She smiled bitterly. "I aimed an attack at my gates to destroy them, then stopped time and stepped through the gates myself. The time stop just wore off. The Dark Kingdom must not get control of the gates." Her key was dissolving, and so was her Sailor Senshi uniform.
Current Pluto gasped. "You didn't just break two of the taboos, you broke all three. Oh, what have you done?"
"The future must change! My present must not come to pass. I knew this could happen, my life was forfeit the moment I stopped time..." Her uniform had finished dissolving, leaving her naked before her past self. "I just... didn't know how much this was going to hurt. Oh, help me, I didn't know." Tears leaked from her eyes as her body began to dissolve into the air, the tears themselves dissolving before they could leave her face. "I didn't know! Please help me!"
Current Pluto looked at her future self in pity. There was nothing she could do, and both of them knew it. "She knew." The whisper that left Future Pluto's lips, and the mercifully short scream that followed chilled her to her soul as Future Pluto finished dissolving, leaving only her starseed in her place. The starseed dimmed, shattered, and then the shattered pieces dissolved.
To say Sailor Pluto was shaken would be an understatement. She felt sick and nauseous, and she wanted nothing more than to leave the artifact and never return. Her future self had ceased to exist, right before her eyes, for daring to try to change the past. But she had been given her duty, and her duty weighed more heavily on her than her newfound fear of what the artifact was capable of. The future now depended on her to change it, and she would not let her future self's sacrifice be in vain. She looked into the formless void, and focused her sight on the two girls her future self had mentioned.
Luna was tired, hungry, cold, wet, and miserable as she huddled under a piece of cardboard shielding her from the rain. She had wandered all over Tokyo, living as a stray cat does, searching and waiting for any sense of the Moon Princess she was charged with finding. It had been years, and there was still no sign of the Princess.
She sighed miserably. She often wondered why her life was so hard, why she was given an impossible task. But it meant more to her than anything to be able to see Princess Serenity again, no matter what guise she was in in her current life. She missed her. Even now, she could almost feel the warmth and love she shared with the Princess through the bond that connected them...
Wait, she could feel the bond. She raised her head, looking in the direction the sense of the bond had appeared. It was weak, but it was there. And it was... distant. It felt like she wasn't even in Japan. Was that the direction of China? She struggled to her feet, getting ready to leave her shelter and pursue the feeling of the bond, and a pair of long, black, heeled boots stepped in front of her. Her eyes travelled up the long legs they were attached to, to the black miniskirt and white leotard, and finally to the green hair framed face of the woman that had put her in stasis and released her in this time.
"She's in China, isn't she?" asked the woman.
Luna nodded. "You've been watching me?"
The woman didn't answer that directly. "Your mission to find the Moon Princess is more important than you know. But you must not follow her to China, that would cause a critically fatal delay in locating her. Wait until she returns to Japan."
"How do you know? Who are you?" Luna asked.
"I am Sailor Pluto, the guardian of time. And I know because... a friend told me." The woman who had identified herself as Sailor Pluto turned, and vanished before Luna could react to that.
Luna sighed. She took what comfort she could in that her mission didn't seem so impossible anymore. She would be reunited with her beloved princess, all she had to do was wait. She shivered, and settled back down in her shelter. She was still cold.
Back at the artifact, Sailor Pluto shook the water out of her hair. She was taking a desperate gamble, that the information she had received from her future self regarding Luna was solid. Luna in her future self's time had travelled to China, and then started to return to Japan, but by then it was too late. She couldn't afford that kind of delay this time. The world needed Sailor Moon.
She had awakened the Outer Senshi, and they had located their Talismans. Sailor Saturn had been awakened, but this was barely enough. The Senshi could kill the youma before the youma killed their victims, but the life energy they gathered did not return to the victims at the youma's death; the Dark Kingdom received that energy, and it always seemed to be enough to make the next youma even stronger. Even her own personal involvement in the fights was required, they needed every senshi. Just when it seemed they had found a balance, a stalemate, they discovered the Dark Kingdom had started to send more than one Youma. By the time they were able to dispatch the first (which took the entire team) and track down the second, the second had already killed its victims and returned. The balance had shifted again in favor of the Dark Kingdom, and there were no longer any survivors among the youma victims of either attack, and the youma were growing ever more powerful. And finally, the Dark Kingdom stopped sending multiple youma, and instead sent a single, powerful youma that the Sailor Senshi could not defeat before it finished its mission and returned to the Dark Kingdom.
She had brought up the idea of using the Silence to the team, but that idea was vetoed by Sailor Saturn herself; she refused to end everything as long as there was a chance to defeat the Dark Kingdom without it. But that chance was fading quickly, the light of hope was dimming fast. If Luna did not find and awaken Sailor Moon, the end of the world was a mercy compared to what awaited them.