Clow and Ki
Written by: Jumper Prime
Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonball Z, Card Captor Sakura, or any of the characters therein. I have combined the 2 series according to my own vision. This I have done for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others. I am receiving no money for this, so please don't sue me(I haven't got much to be sued for, anyway)
Alright, this is a crossover between Dragonball Z and Card Captor Sakura. For purposes of this fic, both series occur in the same universe on the same planet. For the Card Captor Sakura part, it has been about 3 years since the final episode of the TV series, where Sakura finished transforming the Clow Cards into the Sakura Cards(why Nelvana called them Star cards, I dunno) and since she did that, Sakura has been using the cards and her own innate magic to fight demons. Just think of the old saying "With great power comes great responsibility." What? You don't think Clow Reed made the cards for fun, do you? When in Dragonball Z this fic occurs will become obvious rather quickly. Oh, by the way, in this fic, the whole world uses the calendar used in DBZ, so Sakura finished transforming all the Clow Cards into Sakura cards near the end of 764 A.D.
Chapter 1: Warning of Doom
May 16, 767 A.D.
15 year old Sakura Avalon wrote a few more lines in her notebook and then closed it, leaning back in her chair, giving a satisfied sigh.
"Finished all your homework for the vacation, already?" a voice asked. The owner of the voice looked like a yellow stuffed animal with wings and a tail, but was actually Keroberos, the Guardian Beast of the Seal, often called Kero by his friends
"Yes, I have." Sakura answered
"You sure you're feeling OK?" Kero asked as he floated over with a thermometer "You usually do all your vacation homework on the last day before you go back to school."
"Kero!" Sakura responded in an indignant tone "I haven't done that for a long time."
"Try the last vacation you had. BUT, since this time you got it all done midway through vacation, I'd say you're maturing."
"Why thank you, Keroberos." Sakura grinned as she stood up and worked some kinks out of her back from sitting so long.
Sakura took a step towards her bed but then suddenly stopped dead and grabbed her head as she screamed. As Sakura screamed, Kero's eyes widened. Sakura screamed for a full 30 seconds before she ran out of breath and started panting.
"Sakura? Sakura!" Tori's voice shouted from the other side of the door as he pounded on it "Sakura! Are you alright!"
"I... I..." Sakura gasped "I'm... fine..."
"Open the door and tell me that."
Sakura shakily got to her feet, she had fallen to her knees during her scream, and walked to the door, slowly opening it wide so Tori could see no one was threatening her. Tori gently pushed Sakura aside and quickly checked the room. He looked under the bed and in the closet, his eyes lingered on the stuffed animal on his sister's bed a bit longer than any of the other items in the room.
"Was there someone in here?" he asked at length
"No, Tori." Sakura sighed "No one else was in here. It was just me."
"Then why'd you scream? Did you see yourself in the mirror?"
"Grrrr!" Sakura growled and grabbed a pillow from her bed, throwing it at her brother "Out! Out of my room now!"
Sakura angrily pushed her older brother out of her room and slammed the door shut, then listened to his receding footsteps until he was far enough away. The Mistress of the Cards then turned to Kero.
"Kero, what was that?" she asked
"I think you already know." Kero answered in a serious tone
"Evil..." Sakura whispered "Pure evil. Like nothing I've ever felt before."
"Yes. I've never felt anything like it either, and I've been aware of the mystical world around me since Clow Reed created me, centuries ago."
"It's got more raw power than anything I've ever felt. What if I'm not powerful enough to beat it?"
"Your magical powers are stronger than ever, Sakura. Plus, you've got the Cards on your side. Heck, this thing might just be an amorphous blob of dark energy you can easily trap with the Shadow Card."
"Or it might be something else."
"Hey, raw power isn't everything. It's how you use it that counts, and you're very skilled with your magic now. As we felt it, that evil force was getting a major influx of energy. It'll probably take it time to learn how to handle all of it."
"Then I guess I'd better divine exactly what and where this thing is before it does."
As Kero nodded in agreement, Sakura walked back to her desk and opened up a drawer, removing an ornate bound book with her name on the cover. She opened the book and took out the deck of cards that was inside. Sitting down in her chair, Sakura shuffled the cards and laid several cards face down in a set pattern while her eyes were closed in concentration.
"OK, first we find out what this thing is." Kero instructed
"I know Kero." Sakura sighed as she opened her eyes "You taught me this years ago."
"Sorry. Sometimes I forget just how much magical knowledge you've assimilated. I guess, to me, you'll always be that schoolgirl who didn't know a thing about magic until I made her a Cardcaptor."
"Cards of Sakura hear my plea, show the vision now to me." Sakura intoned and the cards in the pattern glowed with pink light. She then turned over the three cards at the top of the pattern, reading off their names as she turned them "Hmm. Dark, no surprise there, Change, and Erase."
"An evil shapeshifter that lives to destroy." Sakura nodded at Kero's interpretation and, one by one, turned over the five cards at the bottom of the pattern that indicated the target's abilities.
"Power, Fight, Fly, Shot, Shield." Sakura said the names of the cards as she turned them over
"Definitely powerful. Lots of abilities. Good news is, it's a generalist, so it won't be indomitable at any one ability."
"But all of them combined could be dangerous." Sakura noted as she turned over the two cards in the middle that would tell the creature's location. "Mirror and Illusion? Those two have never come up in this part of the pattern before."
"I'm stumped too. You might want to be careful around mirrors for a while, though. Just in case it's hiding in one."
"I guess if I see a reflection that doesn't match what's in front of the mirror, I might've found it."
"Could be. Better keep the cards with you, just to be on the safe side."
"Yeah, if this thing lives in a mirror, it's probably able to pull people inside them."
"Not the sorta place you wanna be without your most powerful magic, that's for sure."
Sakura nodded as she gathered up the cards and put them all in her pocket. She then reached into her shirt to touch the small key that hung around her neck, reassuring herself that the staff she used to command the Sakura Cards was close at hand. She went downstairs and started on her chores. A few hours later, Sakura was carrying a basket of clean laundry through the living room when the basket fell from suddenly limp fingers and she grabbed her head, her mouth open in a silent scream. The evil force she had felt before was fluxing again. By the time it stopped growing, it was twice as powerful as it had been the first time she had sensed it.
"Sakura? Are you alright?" Sakura's father asked as he rushed over to her
"Y-yeah dad." Sakura said with little conviction as he helped her back to her feet, she had fallen again when she felt the evil force
"Are you sure? It looked like you were in some serious pain."
"I'm fine Dad. It was... just a headache."
"Looked like a really bad one. Maybe I should take you to see a doctor. A sudden, intense headache like that could indicate something seriously wrong with you."
"I'm fine dad. Please, believe me."
"Alright." Sakura's father sighed "But if it happens again, I am going to drag you to the doctor, kicking and screaming if necessary."
Sakura and her father gathered up the spilled laundry, which Sakura quickly put away and then she rushed upstairs.
"Kero, did you feel it?" she asked as she entered her room
"I think every magically sensitive person in the world felt it."
"Kero! Its power doubled in just a minute or two!"
"So it's gonna have even more adjustment time to go through."
"What's to stop it from doubling its power again and again? What if it doesn't need to adjust? What if it can access all that power right now? And even if you're right, how am I supposed to find it? It could be in any mirror, or even a window, and that might not even be what the cards were trying to tell me! I don't even know if I have a chance against it!" Sakura was close to hyperventilating now
"Sakura! Calm down before you give yourself a heart attack! Or before you make all your stuff fly off the shelves."
Indeed, Sakura was in such an agitated state that the objects in her room were vibrating, a result of her magical powers not being as contained as they should be. At her mentor's warning, she took several deep breaths and the objects in her room ceased their vibration.
"Thanks Kero." Sakura said at length "It would've taken forever to clean everything up."
"Aw, that's what I'm here for." Kero responded in a dismissive tone
The rest of the day passed without incident. For the rest of the day, Sakura scrutinized every reflective surface she passed but didn't see or feel anything unusual from any of them. She slept fitfully that night, her dreams depicting a man with spiky blond hair fighting a creature that bore a striking resemblance to a man in green and black armor, but was actually not human at all, the armor actually an organic part of his body and his skin and eye colors were obviously not human at all. The battle itself was a spectacle with both combatants flying through the air and firing energy blasts at each other, as well as fighting hand-to-hand in mid-air.
Sakura awoke with a gasp, wondering if her dream might have been a vision of the future. It had been a very lucid dream, as her prophetic dreams always were, but in all her previous visions, she had been in the dream somewhere. This time, she had not seen herself. At her father's call, Sakura went downstairs to have breakfast. She picked at her food, not having much of an appetite, causing her father to ask if anything was wrong. Sakura lied and said nothing was wrong. A few hours later, Sakura was sweeping the front room while her father and brother were watching the television, which was tuned to WHN where the news was just coming on.
"And now it's time for the International News." the anchorman announced
Before he could continue, there was a crash as half the desk he was sitting at shattered. The anchorman let out a yelp as the green and black being from Sakura's dream rose into frame. Sakura's broom dropped from limp fingers as she saw what was happening on the television. Her father and brother were similarly dumbfounded, but for different reasons.
"Hey! What's the idea!" the anchorman demanded right before the newcomer grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up.
"You, tell me, is this Studio B?" the inhuman man asked. The anchorman couldn't get enough air to answer, so he was dropped to the floor
"Of course it is!" the anchorman turned to yell to the camera crew "Call Security! Hurry!"
The question-asker flicked his fingers at the anchorman, sending a small ball of red light at him. When it hit, the ball exploded like a miniature grenade, killing the anchorman. The cold-blooded killer then turned to face the camera again.
"I am Cell." he announced "I have a message for all the people of Earth. Now pay attention to what I say." the picture shook as Cell spoke, indicating the fear felt by the cameraman "Your boring lives are about to get a lot more interesting, thanks to me. I have enjoyed terrorizing Earth, but now I have something far more entertaining planned for this pathetic planet. For those of you who don't remember me, take a close look at my face." Cell's next sentence was delivered in a less human-sounding voice. "The big monster of Nicky Town?" Cell then continued in his normal voice "I am the evolved form of that creature and I owe it all to this worthless planet for providing me with the bio-extract I needed. But the reason I'm here is to announce my decision to hold a martial arts tournament. I'm calling this competition 'The Cell Games.' It's a catchy little title, don't you think? The Cell Games will be held nine days from today at Area S, Point 5, 28 miles northeast of Eastern City. There you'll find an arena that I have designed myself. I modeled it after the one used in the original World's Martial Arts Tournament. I believe it is the ideal location to crush my competitors. Bring me your best fighters and I will face them one by one in a contest of strength. This is the last chance for planet Earth. If I am not defeated, it belongs to me!" Cell chuckled "My competitors will have the advantage since I won't be able to rest between matches and my new opponents can enter the competition immediately. The rules will be the same as The World's Martial Arts Tournament: If you give up or your body touches the outside of the ring, you lose. And, though I will try to avoid this, if you die, you will of course be disqualified.
"I hope I haven't frightened any of you from playing The Cell Game. Now that you know where the competition will be held, all you have to do is find the courage to show up." Cell laughed heartily, then continued talking "Now watch this, here's just a little taste of what you'll be up against!" Cell pointed his right arm behind him and fired a beam of energy from his open palm, blasting a hole in the wall and demolishing the cityscape on the other side, as well as destroying the mountain in the background. "Come and get me, if you dare. Now, let the games begin. The tournament starts in nine days, good luck!" Cell laughed as he flew out the hole he had made in the wall.
The television broadcast then switched to a commentator who started to talk about Cell's announcement. While her father and brother were glued to the television, Sakura was racing up the stairs. She burst into her room, where Kero was watching a cartoon on Sakura's television and eating a piece of cake.
"Kero!" she yelled, causing the diminutive Guardian Beast to yelp and fall off her bed "Don't tell me you didn't see it!"
"Didn't see what?" Kero asked as he floated up to Sakura's eye-level
"He's what we sensed earlier!"
"How do you know?"
"He was on the TV news! When it's turned off, you can usually see your reflection in a TV tube-"
"And when it's turned on, it shows artificially generated pictures. Illusions!"
"Right! That's what the cards were trying to tell me."
"So, what'd he say? And what's he look like?"
"He's holding a martial arts tournament in nine days called 'The Cell Games.'"
"That's it? You sure it wasn't just a commercial?"
"Kero! He wasn't human! He was definitely a demon. He killed an anchorman on camera with a blast of magic, after smashing up through the floor. Then, when he finished his announcement, he blew a hole in the wall behind him, and the same blast demolished the city AND blew up a mountain in the background!"
"All that with one blast? This guy's a real showoff. Something you can use against him."
"Kero, he smashed up a city with ONE shot!"
"You could too, if you wanted to, for some unknown reason. Remember, the Earth Card might've destroyed Readington if you hadn't been able to capture it, and if you hadn't been able to control the Firey Card correctly when you used it to melt the snow that another card had covered the city with, it would've burned the whole place down. All four elements combined and sent out to destroy... There wouldn't be anything left of Readington, or even a city the size of West Capital City. The cards are very powerful, and they draw their power from YOUR star."
Sakura nodded mechanically, in shock over the revelation that she had the power to destroy a city, and changed the channel on her TV from the cartoon Kero had been watching to the news. The story of the day was, of course, about Cell. The story included a replay of Cell's earlier speech and information on what had happened in Nicky Town, as well as the disappearances in Ginger City and other places.
"OK," Kero said at length "Cell's obviously a fighter-type demon. Wants to get his kicks and prove his invincibility by beating up on some poor shmucks who don't stand a chance against him. If nobody shows up, it proves to him that the entire world is too scared of his power to fight him. But what he doesn't realize is that there's someone powerful enough to take him down: You."
"At least now we know-" Sakura was interrupted by the ringing of her cellphone, which she picked up and answered "Hello?"
"Sakura!" Madison's voice came over the phone "Did you see it?"
"You mean Cell's broadcast? Yeah."
"I assume you're planning to take on Cell?"
"Cool! I'd better start designing your battle costume, then."
"Madison..." Sakura sweatdropped "The most powerful demon I've ever felt and you're talking about a new battle costume?"
"What? If it's the most powerful demon you'll have ever fought, it's more important than ever to look the part with a cool battle costume."
"Alright, alright. Just one thing. I want this battle costume different from all the rest. I want this one designed to hide my identity."
"What! Why would you want to cover up that beautiful face of yours?"
"Because there'll probably be a bunch of reporters at The Cell Games."
"And your point is?"
"Grrrr. Madison, if my face is caught on camera, everyone in the world will know I have magical powers. I'll never be able to live a normal life after that."
"Hmmm. You do have a point. And there are a few relevant design options I've never used in any of your previous battle costumes. It'll be good to try one or two out. OK, one secret identity-hiding battle costume, coming up! Gotta go! My design table awaits!"
Madison hung up, and then Sakura did. She then pressed a speed dial button.
"Who ya calling now?" Kero asked but received no response as the phone rang before someone picked up
"Hello, Li?" Sakura said "It's me, Sakura. Did you see-? Yeah, figured you would. I'll bet you felt his power yesterday. I'm thinking we need to do some research. Your family's got a real comprehensive library of the supernatural, I'm gonna call Eli to have him check his, and I'm gonna look through the books in Dad's library downstairs to see if there might be anything usable there, like that mythology book that got me the secret to trapping that really weird demon last year. Between all of us, we should be able to find something on exactly what kind of demon Cell is and what his weaknesses are. Thanks Li, I knew I could count on you." Sakura hung up the phone and pushed another speed dial button.
"Good to see your brain hasn't shut down from the pressure on ya." Kero praised "Most demons have some sorta weak point that can be exploited, as you know. With three separate researches running simultaneously, we're sure to find something useful."
Two days later, Sakura and Kero were still searching through her father's library, no closer to finding information on what kind of demon Cell could be, when Tori called to her from the top of the stairs.
"Yo! Sakura!" he yelled "Get up here! The Royal Army's about to take out Cell!"
"Oh no." Sakura whispered
"They won't stand a chance." Kero grimaced
Kero hopped into Sakura's pocket and she ran upstairs and gazed at the TV, which showed the Royal Army advancing on Cell, who was standing in the middle of the ring he planned to hold The Cell Games in, while a correspondent narrated what was happening. As the Royal Army surrounded the ring, Cell jumped into the air, flying away.
"Is he running?" Sakura wondered
"No," Tori said as Cell immediately touched down on a nearby mesa "It looks like he just doesn't want his fighting ring to get trashed."
Both siblings watched as the Royal Army surrounded the mesa and started firing. The explosions quickly enshrouding Cell in an opaque cloud of dust. The bombardment went on for several minutes, the human forces expending enough firepower to destroy a small city before they finally stopped. The mesa collapsed in on itself, throwing up even more of a dust cloud than the bombardment had. Both Tori and the TV correspondent were shocked as the dust cloud cleared to reveal Cell standing in mid-air at the height the destroyed mesa used to be. Sakura and Kero were not surprised, of course, knowing from Sakura's divination that Cell had powers similar to the Shield card. As the Royal Army started to run away, Cell raised his hand, which began to glow with yellow energy.
"No..." Sakura whispered "They're no threat to you. Don't kill them..."
Cell had no way of hearing Sakura's words, and wouldn't have obeyed her even if he had. He swung his arm in a circle and a circular blast of destruction started to engulf the Royal Army all around him. The blast had traveled about halfway around the circle that the Royal Army had formed before the picture suddenly dissolved into snow, the camera crew apparently caught in the blast as well. A few seconds later, an anchorman came on from the studio.
"Umm," he began "We seem to have lost contact with our correspondent covering the attack on Cell. We're trying to reestablish communications but, based on the last images we received, we do not expect much success."
Tori turned off the TV with a sigh.
"Man," Tori grimaced "He took everything they dished out, then swatted them all with one shot... How does he expect anyone to be able to fight him at all."
"Maybe he doesn't." Sakura said softly
"Sakura, you're not planning to do something crazy, are you?"
"Crazy? Like what? You think I'd do something crazy like fight Cell?"
"Well, in those Godzilla and Gamera movies, the monster always saves the day..." Tori teased
"Grrrrr!" Sakura growled and hit her brother with a pillow "I'll show you a monster!" A pillow war quickly erupted and stopped just as quickly
"But seriously, I don't want you to even daydream about fighting Cell. The day before he made his announcement..."
"The day before Cell made his announcement... What?"
"Nothing. Just, exactly seven days from today, I don't want you anywhere near that ring where The Cell Games are gonna happen. I don't want you even as close to it as Eastern City. You got that!"
"Geez, Tori!" Sakura sweated "What would I be doing so far from home? I'm not even into martial arts."
"I dunno, maybe one of your friends might dare you to watch the Cell Games in person. But if they do, you tell them flat out NO! Understand?"
"Alright! Alright! I promise that if one of my friends dares me to go watch The Cell Games in person, I'll turn em down!"
"I guess that'll have to do. Please Sakura, listen to me for once."
Tori got up and walked upstairs, glancing back at Sakura for a moment.
"Whew!" Kero wiped his brow as Sakura did the same "For years, I've worried that guy was on to me, and to your powers. The way he talked, it was like he knew you were planning to take on Cell. But how could he know that?"
"I don't know, but I'm lucky I was able to dodge him like that."
"You shouldn't make a promise you know you won't keep, ya know. Even if it is in the interests of secrecy."
"I didn't lie, Kero. I said I wouldn't go to WATCH if a friend DARED me to. I'm not going to watch, I'm going to fight, and no one dared me to do it, I already knew I had to, because I'm the only one who can."
"Yeah... You're right. You HAVE gotten smarter since you first set the Clow Cards loose."
"Not like I coulda gotten any dumber, scattering them to the four winds the way I did."
"Yeah, I gotta admit, triggering Windy the way you did that fateful day sure was a boneheaded thing to do, but I can't help but wonder if the hand of Clow was involved that day."
"What can I say? Before that day, I didn't think saying a single word would produce any sort of magical wind. Boy, did my world get turned upside down."
"More like right side up. You always had your magical powers, you just didn't know about them until you opened the Seal on the Clow Cards."
"Well, we've rested enough, let's get back to the research or else, in seven days, there might not be any point to going to fight Cell."
Sakura and Kero went back downstairs to resume their search for the secret to stopping Cell, a secret they had no way of knowing didn't exist because Cell was a creature of twisted science, rather than magic. Meanwhile, Tori lay down on his bed, staring at the ceiling.
"Mom, why were you so vague?" he wondered aloud "The day before Cell popped up, you appear and tell me that, in exactly ten days, Sakura would be in major danger from a creature of pure evil. Then Cell shows up on TV. I know Sakura's even less normal than me. I can see ghosts, but Sakura... Seems like every time something weird goes on, she's nearby, usually with her friend Madison, often wearing some sort of fancy costume. That spirit that impersonated her twice, years ago. Why did it?
"The first time, it seemed to want me to get hurt, for some reason. Or maybe it wanted to hurt Sakura, doing pranks while looking like her. The second time, it took her place when she was supposed to be sick in bed. I never did find out where Sakura went that night, in such bad weather. It's like she bent that spirit to her will, or helped it do what it needed to do so it did her a favor when she needed to sneak out. Could she be planning something like that with Cell? No way. A simple spirit that takes Sakura's form is one thing, but a real monster like Cell? No, she'd have to be insane... unless she's really powerful. Or maybe that stuffed animal of hers is. Whenever I'm near it, I can sense a life force from it, just like a person's.
"Maybe I should just tie her up that day, so she can't get into any danger? Yeah! I'll tie her to her bed early in the morning, bring some food up to her room and feed her at mealtimes, then untie her once the sun goes down. Then she'll be perfectly safe, all day."
No Tori. You shouldn't. Tori suddenly heard an ethereal voice, a very familiar one
"Mom!" Tori gasped as he sat up quickly to see the ghost of his mother standing in front of him
You can't stop her.
"Can't stop her from doing what? You said she might get killed."
Might. Not will. The future is constantly in motion. Always shifting. Even Sakura's clearest visions are subject to shifts. In the year leading up to the completion of her first Quest, Sakura had a series of progressive dreams, each one showing her more of a certain night, when she would be tested. As they became more and more clear, the shadowy figure seemed to resolve into her teacher, Layla Mackenzie. But on the night she was dreaming of, her tester was not Layla Mackenzie, but Yue.
That does not matter. What does matter, is that your sister is one of the few people in the world who might have a true chance of defeating Cell and saving the world.
Yes. Your sister has great power, and equally great responsibilities. This may be her greatest test ever, but she must face it.
"What about one of those other people who can stop Cell? Surely one of them could do it, without Sakura getting in the line of fire."
There are a total of two others, besides Sakura, with power roughly equivalent to Cell's. One is almost as strong as Cell, but may not be powerful enough to get the job done. The other has the strength needed to defeat Cell, but he lacks self confidence, and fears that which he needs in order to unleash his full power, which may make it difficult for him to draw upon it when he needs it most. If both fail, only Sakura has any chance of saving the world.
"Mom, Cell just shrugged off enough firepower to obliterate a small city. Is Sakura really powerful enough to hurt him?"
Powerful enough to hurt him, possibly powerful enough to kill him.
"Possibly? You mean she could still lose? I SHOULD tie her up that day! Surely the other two can take him out. They're adults, right?"
One is an adult. The other, the stronger one, is younger than Sakura.
"You're kidding me."
No, I'm not. Tori, even if you did tie Sakura up, she would be able to get free, either with her own powers or the help of her Guardian Beast.
"Guardian Beast...? That stuffed animal she's always got with her..."
Yes. Were you to try to physically restrain Sakura from going to The Cell Games, you would only succeed in driving a wedge between the two of you that is far more substantial than the teasing and occasional bickering you engage in now.
"Well... Maybe I can talk her out of it. Tell her there are other people who can stop Cell."
Who MIGHT stop Cell. Earth has precisely three chances for salvation, including Sakura. Would you cut the world's chances by one-third, just to keep your sister safe?
"If it means Cell won't have a chance to hurt or kill her, you bet I would!"
And what if the other two chances fail? What then? If Cell wins The Cell Games, nothing will be able to stop Sakura from going to face him, and then she will die.
"You mean might die, right? You said she had the power to beat Cell."
Either Cell will die in seven days, or he never will. That much is certain. If he wins The Cell Games, that abomination will grow far stronger than he is now. Too strong for Sakura to have any chance of winning, and he will have no reason to show mercy after the Cell Games are over. If she fights him at The Cell Games and loses, he may spare her life. If she attacks him a day or two after The Cell Games, he WILL kill her. Do not try to stop your sister from doing what she needs to do. Your every instinct is to try to protect her, but you cannot. The fate of the world might rest on Sakura's shoulders.
"Alright, Mom." Tori gave a sigh of defeat "I'll play it your way. But please, if you have any contacts up in Heaven, see if they can fix it so those other two guys fight Cell first. If they fight him first, even if they lose, he'll be easier for Sakura to beat since he'll be tired."
I'll see what I can do. Goodbye until next time, Tori.
The image of Tori's mother faded out as she waved goodbye. Tori let himself fall back to horizontal, his head landing on the pillow, as he mulled over what his mother's ghost had told him. An hour or two later, Tori's friend Julian was walking down the street when he looked up to see a golden streak flying across the sky overhead. Inside the Avalon house, Sakura and Kero looked up from their research in the basement as the golden streak flew overhead. Both feeling the strange energy it was giving off, but not knowing exactly what it was except that they had felt it several times before. Four years ago, they had felt it twice in a single year, then no sign of it until now.
"You feel that, Kero?" Sakura asked
"Yup." the diminutive Guardian Beast answered "Guess it got back from its vacation or something, whatever it is. Twice in one year, then four years before we sense it again."
"It's not just that, Kero. It feels different somehow."
"Feels the same to me."
"No. It's real subtle, but something's changed in it. It's the same as we sensed four years ago, but it's not."
"I think it's just that you're comparing what your highly developed magical senses sensed just now to what your less developed magical senses picked up four years ago. You weren't as powerful then as you are now. Not as in-tune with the magic within and around you. You're probably picking up some nuances you couldn't sense last time this thing popped up."
"I guess you're right. It's just. I can't help feeling like the difference I'm feeling in this strange force is like the difference between the Clow Cards and the Sakura Cards."
"Aw, it's just your imagination. Now C'mon, there's still a few books we haven't gone though."
Upstairs, Tori had also looked up as the golden streak flew overhead. He had felt it quite a few times over the course of his life, always preceded by a period of total blackness in the sky above. He had always been puzzled by it, and had tried asking a few of the ghosts he had seen over the years but never gotten any answers.
They had no way of knowing that the Dragonballs were once again functional after having been rendered powerless by Kami's merging with Piccolo. They didn't even know the Dragonballs existed, nor that the difference Sakura had felt was the difference between Kami's power and Dende's power fueling the Dragonballs.
The next day, after lunch was over, Sakura was laying on her bed, staring at the ceiling while Kero played a video game without his usual enthusiasm. They had finished going through the entirety of her father's library that morning, and had found nothing that matched Cell. As Game Over started to flash on the screen, Sakura's phone rang. She immediately answered it.
"Hello?" she said into the phone
"Sakura-" Li Showron's voice came over the phone
"Li! You found the answer!"
"No Sakura. I-I'm sorry. We couldn't find anything."
"Me, Meilin, Wei, my mother, all my siblings... We've gone through my family's arcane library three times and we haven't found anything that fits Cell. He's completely unlike anything any of us has ever read about. I'm completely at a loss to explain it. Not a single clue about him."
"Oh man. Me and Kero came up short too. Let's just hope that Eli can-" Sakura was interrupted by a beep on the line "Hold on Li, that might be him on my call waiting now." Sakura tapped a button on her phone "Eli, is that you?"
"Yes Sakura. It's me." Eli's voice sounded rather dejected
"Oh no, don't tell me you couldn't find anything either."
"Layla, Spinner, Ruby, and I searched through every reference we could find. Ruby and Spinner even broke into the National Museum to check some ancient texts they had under lock and key. We found nothing. Not a single entry that matched Cell. I'm sorry."
"It's alright Eli. Li's whole family came up empty too. I don't know what I'm going to do in six days. Without any info on Cell, I've got no idea what his weaknesses might be."
"When you don't have the key to a lock, you can always try kicking the door in."
"What?" Sakura heard a dial tone, indicating that Eli had hung up. Sighing, Sakura tapped the button again. "Li, that was Eli. He came up dry too. All he said was 'When you don't have a key to a lock, you can always try kicking the door in.' What the heck does that mean?"
"Brute force approach." Li immediately answered "You go at Cell with everything you've got and don't stop until he's dead."
"Do you really think that could work?"
"Without an easy solution, all you've got is the hard way. Cell's powerful, but so are you. You used Fight to take on that berserker demon, right?"
"Yeah. But it was just that, berserk, no real brain in its head. Cell is smart, and he can do a lot more stuff."
"So use more cards with Fight. Power to add strength, Shield to protect you from his blasts, binding cards to hold him in place, and attack cards to blast him from a distance."
"Do you really think that can work?"
"It has to work. It's your only chance."
"Guess I'd better start working on my strategy then, huh."
"Yeah. Sakura... If I don't get another chance to talk to you before The Cell Games... Good luck and..."
"And what Li?"
"I... I love you." Li's declaration was immediately followed by a dial tone
"I love you too, Li." Sakura whispered as she hung up the phone
"The kid's got a good idea." Kero commented, having listened in on the conversation
"Do you think it'll work?"
"Like he said, it's gotta work. But there's something you need to remember: Using more cards at the same time increases the strain on your body and your magic. Remember how exhausted you get every time you use the Time or Return cards? Use too many cards at once, and you'll experience a drain equivalent to using Time or Return alone."
"Guess I'd better start working out which cards to use, then. For the physical combat, I guess Power and Fight together would be best, but I'm worried about if they'll be compatible or not. I used Power to capture Fight, after all."
"Oh, don't worry about that. Power and Fight work great together. Fight respects Power's strength and Power knows Fight is great at using available strength to best effect. It was actually good for Fight's ego that you used Power to capture it. I remember Clow Reed would sometimes let those two out to spar with each other, do a study on skill versus raw strength, or something like that. Never knew which one would come out on top."
"Guess I'd better organize the cards so I know which ones I'll use during the fight."
"Sounds like a good idea. And before you say anything, I'm gonna be going with you for backup."
"Are you sure Kero? Cell's gotta be dangerous."
"No argument, Sakura. I'm the Guardian Beast. No way I'm letting my Mistress walk into danger without me right next to her. Probably be a good idea to bring Yue along too."
"No! I don't want you telling Yue about what I'm doing. And no telling Julian either, before you try to make an end run around my order."
"Because I don't want to put him in danger. We both know I'm much more powerful than Yue. If I can't beat Cell, he wouldn't stand a chance. If I got killed, Yue would probably go berserk and get himself killed too."
"And if you get killed, he won't be able to draw power from your star anymore. He'd eventually run out of energy and disappear."
"No he wouldn't. He could go back into the book, right? Both of you could hibernate inside the book, like you did before I opened it, until someone else opens the Seal. If it comes to that, you and Madison can retrieve the cards from my body and put them back in the book and you seal it up. Just don't fall asleep on the job, this time."
"Yeesh. You take one little nap and you're marked for life."
"Kero, please. Promise me you won't do anything stupid if Cell kills me."
"Nothing stupid, I promise. Can't say the same about insane, though."
"Alright, alright. I won't do anything stupid or insane if you get killed." *But I might throw myself in the way if it looks like you're about to be killed.*
Sakura took out the Sakura Cards and started organizing them, dividing them into ones she would use throughout the fight, including Power and Fight, binding cards, attack cards, and cards she would not use at all. The day before The Cell Games, Sakura packed everything she needed for a sleepover, including the Sakura Book, and was about to head out the door with Kero in her bag.
"I'm heading to Madison's for our sleepover!" she called out as she started to open the door
"Have a good time, Sakura." Sakura's father called from the kitchen
"Sakura." Tori said softly as he stepped up right next to his sister "Do you really expect me to believe you're just going on a sleepover?"
"Wh-What're you talking about Tori?" Sakura asked as she sweatdropped
"Leaving the day before The Cell Games? Pretty suspicious."
"I-I'm not going to The Cell Games. I'm just going over to Madison's house. You know, one last sleepover in case that Mr. Satan guy blows it and Cell takes over the world."
"Uh huh. Well, good luck."
"Good luck with what?" Sakura was now sweating profusely
"You know what." Tori said mysteriously and walked over to the kitchen
Sakura mechanically walked out the door and started down the street towards the bus station. As she went out of sight of her house, Kero popped out of her bag.
"I think your brother's on to us, Sakura." he said
"But how could he know?" Sakura wondered "I didn't tell him and you didn't tell him and Madison wouldn't tell him and Julian doesn't know..."
"He can see ghosts, remember? Maybe one of them told him."
"Well, assuming we come out of this in one piece each, I think we should still try to keep things under wraps, in case he doesn't really know."
"Sounds fine to me. Though I can't help but feel like he knows I'm not a normal stuffed animal."
"I don't have time to think about that now. I'm too nervous about the fight with Cell."
"Y'know, Li and Eli might still be able to catch a flight to Eastern City in time to meet us at The Cell Games before it starts."
"No Kero, I told you, I told them, and I'm telling you again: I don't want them getting hurt if I blow it. We all know I'm more powerful than both of them combined. I'd never be able to forgive myself if anything happened to either of them, especially Li."
"But the backup could come in handy..."
"I don't want to hear anything more about this, Kero. The subject is closed."
"Alright, alright. But I'm gonna go on record as saying that I think it's a bad idea to go after a largely unknown quantity like Cell with only a single Guardian Beast for backup when you could have me, Yue, Li, Eli, and likely Ruby and Spinner too."
"Noted, and rejected. Drop the subject Kero. You're not going to convince me. If they have any respect for my wishes, neither Eli nor Li will be there, which is good, since they won't get hurt. Ah, here comes the bus."
Kero immediately went quiet and motionless as the bus pulled up to the bus stop and Sakura got on. She rode the bus to the stop near the mansion where Madison and her mother lived and then walked to the front gates, which opened almost as soon as Sakura pressed the intercom button. She walked down the path and was greeted at the front door by Madison.
"Hi Sakura!" she smiled as she opened the door
"Hi, Madison." Sakura smiled back
"C'mon, it's all finished. Just could use a final fitting."
Sakura already knew what 'it' was as they walked up to Madison's room. The item in question was hanging from a portable rack in the center of Madison's main room. The new battle costume designed specifically to be worn at The Cell Games.
"It's ummm..." Sakura was at a loss for words as she saw the battle costume for the first time
"It looks great!" Kero declared as he flew out of Sakura's bag to float in the air in front of her
"I just need you to try it on, to make sure it fits perfectly." Madison said "Can't have it flopping around while you're fighting Cell, after all."
Sakura reluctantly tried on the battle costume and Madison meticulously checked the fit.
"A perfect fit!" Madison declared at length
"It seems a little snug." Sakura observed
"It's skintight. Harder for Cell to get a grip on it during the fight. C'mon, take a look at yourself in the mirror."
Sakura did as she was asked and gasped as she saw herself. The battle costume was bright pink, made of a spandex-like material that clung to every curve of Sakura's teenage body. It covered Sakura's entire body from the neck down, the sleeves went all the way to her wrists, where they tucked into pink gloves, and the pants of the outfit were tucked into a pair of pink combat boots. There was a decorative skirt that went down to just above Sakura's knees and was slit on both sides to allow for unhindered movement. Sewn into the skirt were several pouches suitable for holding Sakura Cards, each was big enough to accommodate the entire deck. On her chest was the wing symbol that decorated many of Sakura's possessions. The symbol was also on a pink cape with white lining that was attached to the shoulders of the costume and hung down to just above her waist. Finally, covering her eyes were a pair of Oakley O Frame snow goggles with a pink frame and band and a pink-tinted lens.
"Madison, it's..." Sakura struggled for the words
"I know, I know. Another work of fashion excellence." Madison grinned
"But... It looks like something a comic book superheroine would wear."
"Very appropriate, since you'll be seen as the world's most powerful superheroine after you beat Cell."
"But nobody's gonna take me seriously in this getup."
"All the better. Cell won't take you seriously, so he'll underestimate you and you'll have the advantage. You'll kick his butt and look good doing it."
"Wellll, I guess I'll need every advantage I can get, but where'd you find pink combat boots?"
"You'd be surprised what you can find online, these days. Oh, Kero, will you be going in your true form or your usual look?"
"My true form." Kero answered "I've got more power when I'm in my true form. No point in being a stuffed animal around Cell."
"Aw shoot, and I made a cool mini-costume for you, too."
"I'll find a way to make it up to you, somehow."
"Anyway, after dinner, we'll just have a few more things to take care of and then we need to go to bed early."
"Why?" Sakura asked as she took off her goggles
"I've done some calculations. Based on the Fly card's maximum speed, we need to wake up at 6 AM, have a hearty breakfast, get dressed, and be on our way by 7 AM to get there on time."
Just then, there was a knock on Madison's door.
"Miss Madison," A servant's voice came from the other side of the door "Dinner will be ready in five minutes
"We'll take it up here, Maggie." Madison called back
Sakura changed out of her battle costume and hung it back up on the rack. The servant brought up dinner and Sakura, Madison, and Kero ate. After dinner, they went over the route to the location of the Cell Games ring and then went to bed. Sakura had a little trouble getting to sleep, her mind occupied with what would happen the next day.
End of chapter 1
Next chapter, Sakura and company head for The Cell Games, and meet some very familiar characters, including the world's biggest blowhard, the world's greatest hero, a certain arrogant prince, and a boy with power belying his age. What's this! Piccolo and Keroberos know each other! Get the whole story in Clow and Ki chapter 2.
If you want to know what Sakura's goggles look like, here's the URL for the page I found them on, including a picture and description, as well as price(it's the site that sells them, though they don't come in pink)
Special thanks to DarkHeart81 for telling me about those goggles. Without them, I woulda been stuck on Sakura's headgear for who knows how long. Go read his lovely story "Two Halves of a Soul" once is back up. It's a story where Gohan and Videl meet right after the Cell Games, while dark clouds start to gather on the future horizon. Could Gohan and Videl's love be the only thing that can save the universe?