Categories > Anime/Manga > Ranma 1/2 > Twin Black Phoenix

Chapter 3

by Nighthawk 0 Reviews

Chapter 3 of TBP

Category: Ranma 1/2 - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Crossover - Characters: Ranma - Warnings: [?] [V] - Published: 2005/05/08 - Updated: 2005/05/09 - 6044 words

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Twin Black Phoenix
A Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon Crossover
By Tomas Megarson

Disclaimer: I disclaim everything in this story that isn't mine.
Meaning everything in it but Keikan. He is mine, and I am more than
happy to lend him out if asked. Slavery is a wonderful thing, no?

Note: This is going to be dark in some places. It will be extremely
dark at times. In fact, I suggest you think of this as a Dark Fic. I
don't have plans to kill off the main characters (too soon anyway) but
that'll probably change. If you don't like dark fics don't read, but
then again, this may be the fic that gets you to like them, so give it a
shot anyway.

Now on to the story.

Chapter 3

"Oh no."

There right next to Ranma was the head of Salina. Her body,
however, was nowhere to be seen.

The guard who was standing over the bodies blinked as Keikan's helmet
receded back into his skin. The green eyes which seemed so dead at that
moment almost caused him to run away. He had never seen eyes like that
before, and it scared him.

Keikan looked up at the guard. "Is the princess alive?" His voice was
ice cold.

It took the guard to analize the question. He obviously meant the
younger princess as the older was easily identifiable as dead.
"Y..Ye..Yes."

"Good. What's your name, soldier?"

"Ca..Cadet Hi..Hibiki, S..Sir"

"How many of those things did you kill Cadet Hibiki?"

"T..two..I...I..I think Sir."

Keikan's eyes swept the room for a moment. Spotting what he wanted he
turned back to the trembling young man before him. "Congratulations on
your promotion Captain. I will speak with you in the morning. Your
first order is to have these two" he waved his hand at Ranma's and
Karrina's still bodies" moved to a safe room. Then you will guard over
them until he awakes. Do you have any questions?"

"Who are you?" The now Captain Hibiki couldn't believe what just
happened. He went from Cadet to Captain after a single fight.

"Captain of the Planetary Knights. That's all you need to know." He
turned and started to walk off. "Have them moved now. I must inform
the King and Queen of their daughter's death."

Keikan began to wander the ball looking for the Royal couple. With all
of the death that was in the hall, medical staffers had begun to flood
in. Keikan pushed and shoved his way through the crowed trying to find
the soon to be distraught parents. He didn't really like what he was
about to do, but then he didn't have any choice. As, from what he could
tell, the highest ranking person around it was his duty. Stepping over
another body he finally located his targets.

As he moved toward the couple, he grimaced at the thought of what he had
to do. It wouldn't be easy to tell a parent that they lost a child. And
it would be even harder to tell them exactly how it happened. He knew
that he had to do it however. As he drew up to them his face became a
cold, emotionless mask.

"Your Majesties, I have disturbing news." His voice seemed to come from
the grave. The area around the Royal pair became silent. "During the
attack your eldest daughter, Princess Salina, lost her life. A group of
the attackers entered a crowed of nobles and began a gruesome slaughter.
It appears that your daughter was one of the first to die. The wound
suggest that she died quickly and with little pain. On another note,
your youngest daughter, who seems to have been the true target of the
attack was not injured seriously. She has been moved to a secure room
and is under guard. Now I have other business to attend to."

To the surprise of all present he turned and walked away. He gave no
support to the distraught couple, expressed no sadness over what he had
done, and gave no one any reason to think that he saw this event as
anything more than a simple footnote to the battle. They where right
too. To him this was a small footnote. As he walked away his gazed
penetrated the growing crowed trying to catch sight of someone who was
actually important to the grand scheme of things.

He walked through the halls his eyes sweeping the blood that now stained
the floor and walls. He didn't see it. He didn't allow himself to see
it, for it was more than he could take. He was trained to kill, it was
all he really knew how to do. Sure he had been trained in other skills,
but they always led back to making him a more effective killer. The
scary thing was that the first thing he ever killed was himself. The
old him. He had to do that, because the old him would have gone insane
by all the blood shed. A petty thief really isn't equipped to deal with
mass murder.

He almost paused at the door. Almost. He walked through and ignored
the sharp change in conditions. It really didn't matter two him, but
his subconscious marveled at how a single door could block the world
from carnage and bloodshed. As he strode down the hallway his gaze
swept for the possibilities of more intruders. Seeing that none where
present he gave a slight smirk. The courier he had been passing took
one look at that smirk and fainted. Ignoring the pitiful man, Keikan
turned the corner into the wing set aside for high ranking guests.
Moving up to a rather ornate door, Keikan paused to look himself over.
As he didn't see any blood on his clothes he raised his hand and knocked
three times. After pausing for a moment he opened the door and went in.

The first thing he did was to sweep his eyes across the room.
Not wanting to take any chances with the topic he was going to bring up,
Keikan felt it was best if no one else was here. Not seeing anyone in
the room, Keikan closed the door and moved to stand by the single couch
in the living area of the quarters. After about five minutes of waiting
the door to the bedroom opened and Setsuna walked out. Keikan paid no
heed to her nightgown, even though it was rather low cut and revealing.
Setsuna moved to the couch and sat down, motioning her Knight to do the
same.

"What do you have to report, Keikan."

Keikan sighed and allowed his tense muscles to finally relax.
"The Princess Salina lost her life in the battle. She was beheaded.
Princess Karinna is alive, though asleep. Ranma hit her sleeper point
to make sure she stayed out of the fight. Ranma is unconscious.
According to a guard he caught Salinas's head as it went flying across
the room. The sight of it caused him to pause and be overwhelmed. He's
alive though and in the same room as Karinna. I promoted the guard who
stood over them to captain and am going to talk to him in the morning.
He's rather skilled, even killed one of the assassins. No mean feat.
He should not be wasted as a cadet."

Setsuna blinked at that. "Keikan, you don't have any authority
to promote people in Saturn's military."

Keikan gave her a small smile. "Actually I do. As the highest
ranking military officer currently alive on Saturn I have full command
of the armed forces of the world. That means I can promote people.
It's one of the perks of being the captain of the Planetary Knights.
Also, 2/3 of the Saturian Nobility were killed." Keikan gave Setsuna a
pointed look. "And none of the Senshi participated in the fight even
though there were two present besides Sailor Saturn."

Setsuna gazed into Keikan's eyes and could see the betrayal that
was in there. He knew that had she participated in the fighting there
would have been far fewer deaths. Finally Setsuna broke the gaze and
looked down at her hands. "There was nothing I could do Keikan.
Princess Serenity took myself and Uranus into a side room a few minutes
before the attack started to tell us something. Then she ordered us to
stay and protect her. There was nothing I could do."

Keikan shook his head at the thought of it all. "Why do I have a
funny feeling that it's been the Royal family of the moon trying to kill
Karinna all along? Is it just me or does all of this stink?"

"It's not you Keikan. I agree that the Queen was most likely
responsible for the recent attacks. I received orders for you a few
minutes before you came in. You are to stay here on Saturn. The
princess will be returning to the Moon tomorrow morning. I think she's
making sure that no suspicion is left on her. I'll be returning to
Pluto in the morning as the Queen ordered me. I left orders not to be
disturbed as I was having a "guest" for the night. I figured you would
want to be nearby in case of another fight."

He gave her a smile. "You know me too well Setsuna. I'll see
you in the morning."

"Goodnight Keikan." With that Setsuna got up and walked toward
her bedroom door. She got no more than two steps before a massive power
build-up in Keikan caused her to turn around.

"THEY'RE ALL DEAD!"

*

Ranma's eyes slowly opened to the world. The first thing he
noticed was that he was sitting up. The second thing was that he was
still in his armor. Without giving it a thought he triggered his armor
to flow back under his skin. Looking around the room without the
distortion that the eyes in his armor gave him, Ranma saw two things.
First was that there were no windows in the room. The second was that
the only light source shown on the still body of Princess Karinna.
Without even thinking about it he got up and checked to make sure she
was alive.

The movement caught the eye of Ryoga. Turning slightly so he
could see the young warrior, "Her Royal Highness is fine, just
unconscious, My Lord."

Ranma glanced over at the young man and took in his looks. "And
you are?"

"Captain Ryoga Hibiki of the Royal Saturn Guard. Knight Captain
Pluto ordered me to stand guard until you awoke. Is there anything you
need, My Lord?"

Ranma thought it over for a few moments before he shook his
head. "No, there is nothing that I need. You can go now. I'll guard
the Princess." Ranma never bothered to look toward the opening and
closing door. His eyes were locked on the features of Karinna. "She
looks so much like her sister. Its actually kind of scary." As he
stared at Karinna his eyes grew a distant look as he was drawn back to
the fight only a few hours before.

Ranma caught Karinna as she fell to the ground. (That should
keep her out of the fight). Ranma lowered the now sleeping princess to
the ground. As he raised himself up he swept his key claws into one of
the black figures cutting a set of gashes from its stomach through its
head. Glancing around he realized he was surrounded. Shifting his
body so he could offer the Princess the maximum protection, Ranma waited
for the Black things to move in. As one began to get close, it sopped
and then slumped forward. Ranma looked at the wound in its back and
followed it to a young guard holding a spear. With a quick motion for
the guard to join him, Ranma turned to attack an approaching assassin.
As the guard surged forward to try to get to Ranma, the battle began in
earnest.

Things were going well for Ranma until he sensed a projectile
coming his way. After sliding his body to the left ever so slightly,
Ranma's hand came up and caught the object. Ranma stopped, his claws
disappearing from his hands. Holding the object he could only stare
into the dead eyes of Salina, filled with horror. Then everything went
dark.

Ranma's eyes snapped back to the present with a slight dead
look. The look turned to horror as the room was suddenly sprayed in
blood. Even as Ranma summoned his Ki claws and moved toward Karrina's
killer, he knew he was too late. The figure vanished with a slight
flash of light. Ranma took one last look at the room before he turned
and left. Ranma faded into the shadows and began to move down the halls
toward where he thought Setsuna's apartment was. When he felt an
extreme rise in Void energy behind him, he knew he was going the wrong
way, turned around and hurried to see what else went wrong.

*

Setsuna stared at Keikan, as power seemed to flow off of him.
She stared at her Knight as the power of the Void radiating from him
began to incinerate the carpet around him. She blinked once as her
glass table melted into an unrecognizable puddle from the intense heat.
She looked into Keikan's eyes and saw something that she had never seen
before. As she watched his eyes change, Setsuna began to feel fear
spread into her. Not wanting to even think of what was going through
her servant's mind she did the only thing she could think of. "Keikan,
stop that NOW!"

The aura instantly snapped out of existence but the look of pure
rage never left his eyes. Keikan ignored the mess he had unintentionally
created as he stood almost still; his only movement was shaking in
anger. "I'm going to kill them Lady. They're all going to die." His
voice seemed as cold as the Void that he drew his strength from. "They
hurt you Setsuna, and for that I'll destroy their very souls if I can,
or at least what's left of them. There will be no mercy when I go for
them. They're all DEAD!" The black aura began to build around him
again before he noticed it and tried to relax again.

Setsuna stared at Keikan trying to figure out what he was talking
about. Glancing down at the melted table she noticed that it had gained
a reflective gleam. Staring at her image in the mirror glass, Setsuna
gazed at herself. Her gaze than moved to her nightgown, and she
recalled with a dread that this particular nightgown had an extremely
low back. A back low enough to show the bruises that she received from
her fellow Senshi. Looking back up at Keikan she felt certain that there
were going to be more deaths tonight unless she did something to prevent
it.

"Keikan, you can't take"

"LIKE HELL I CAN! They hurt you Setsuna, and for that they'll
pay with their lives!" The anger and rage that was moving through Keikan
was unlike anything he had felt before. Even as he was coming up with
the most effective ways to begin to kill the Senshi, he tried to sort
through all of the emotions that were behind the rage.

Setsuna wasn't going to let herself be beaten so quickly though.
"The time stream Keikan"

"TO HELL WITH THE TIME STREAM! The time stream means nothing to
me Setsuna, you do! The time stream can go to hell for all I care.
They're going to pay for the pain they caused you." He was getting
through the rage now. He was beginning to get a look at the emotion
that caused the rage. "My first oath was to you, Setsuna. It's an oath
that I will never break. If I don't respond then...then I've broken my
oath and let you down. I will never let you down Setsuna, you...you
mean too much to me."

Setsuna looked into Keikan's eyes. She saw the anger and rage
there still. But something was behind it this time. She could see
respect...and maybe something more? She couldn't tell though since she
had never seen that look directed to her before and even now it was
pushed far behind the rage. The desires that had come to her during the
dances that she and Keikan had shared during all of the Royal Balls that
they had been forced to attend came back to her. She didn't know how,
but she suddenly found her head pressed into Keikan's chest and tears
running down her face.

Keikan was caught off guard by suddenly having a crying young
woman in his arms. He had never seen Setsuna acting in such a manner
that it didn't occur to him that this might happen. She had always
acted so strong, wiping his tears or Ranma's tears when they flowed and
assuring them that the pain wouldn't last forever. Now he suddenly
found the roles reversed.

Trying to go on instincts, Keikan wrapped his arms around his
ruler. He gently began to rock her back and forth trying to say
reassuring words about taking vengeance on the Senshi for all the pain
they had caused her. He could feel her trembling slowly begin to
subside. Gently moving her back with a hand, Keikan brought another up
to wipe the tears from her face. His hand came to a rest on her
shoulder. The two stood motionless gazing into each other's eyes, try
to pierce the depths that were there. Setsuna slowly tilted her head
back as Keikan's began to come closer.

That was when the door opened.

Keikan spun around, his hand going for his sword, but stopping
half way as Ranma entered the room. He knew that something was wrong
simply by Ranma being there. He was supposed to be guarding the
princess. When Ranma looked at him he almost shivered at the pain he
saw there. When Keikan heard Ranma's voice he did shiver.

"Saturn is dead. Uranus killed her in her sleep. I failed."

After Ranma's announcement silence fell over the room. Each
person was trying to figure out what to say next. Ranma was slowly
coming out of the shock that he had suffered in the past few minutes (at
least it seemed only a few minutes to him). Keikan was trying to figure
out just what they were going to do now that their reason for being on
Saturn was dead.

Pluto was the only one who managed to keep her head on straight.
"We're going to accelerate the plan. I didn't want to do this, but we
have no choice. "

An evil smile crossed Keikan's face. "Good, that means hunting
season has started. I got a feeling that it is a good night to die."

Setsuna realized her mistake immediately. She never told Ranma
or Keikan exactly what the plan was. That caused a small problem. By
the time she realized what was happening the two young men were gone.
They did leave a note, however. She stared at the note for a moment
before fainting. She fell backward and landed on some pillows that had
been left on the floor.

Ranma and Keikan knew exactly how she was going to respond to
that little note. It took the two quite a while to write it, since the
goal of it was to get Setsuna to faint. They needed time to execute
their plan.

*

Ranma slipped through the open window and crouched low to the
ground. He had to get into position quickly. After all, it wasn't time
for games anymore. He had a job to do, and one that he was happy and
eager to perform. Moving quietly through the shadows, Ranma left the
empty room and made his way down the hallway. Pausing at a corner, he
leaned around just enough to see. Only a single guard, and he wouldn't
even have time to scream.

The guard turned his head and Ranma made his move. He made no
sound that could be heard as he ran down the hall. The guard's head
turned back just in time to see a black blur. Then his head fell neatly
from his shoulders.

Ranma continued down the hall at a run. He paid no heed to the
man he had just killed. The guard was insignificant. His real target
was only a few dozen meters away now. Ranma turned a corner and cut
down another two guards that were on patrol. One made a gurgling sound,
but it was far too quiet to wake anyone. Another dozen feet and he
jumped up, landing on a rafter. The funny thing about the construction
on this world was that the walls didn't connect to the ceiling. The
pressure got to bad during the worst storms and had a tendency to cause
buildings to implode. There was a good two feet of space between the
wall and the ceiling.

Ranma crawled threw the space and landed lightly on his feet in
the deep shadows just as the real party began.

*

Keikan finished setting the explosives and had moved back to the
front gate. He never really thought that all that equipment they had
stolen from Earth would come in handy. He moved himself into the bushes
by the main palace entrance and counted to ten. Then the explosives
went off.

Keikan had to admit the fireball was rather pretty. The guards
who got incinerated by it probably didn't think so, but he didn't really
care. They weren't important anyway.

He smiled as the main doors opened and a dozen of the palace
soldiers came through and raced toward the now destroyed gate. He shook
his head in disgust as not one of them remained to guard the palace. Of
course, that made it easier for him. He quickly ran inside and began
racing through the corridors, killing everyone who got in his way.
Luckily that only amounted to a few guards. He turned a corner and
smiled as the doors that he was going for opened. They were making it
easy for him.

*

Ranma watched as the Princess of Uranus shot up at the
explosion. Keikan was right on time. He quietly moved out of her view
as she headed for her window. As soon as she had moved past him he
slipped up behind her. It was too easy. Just before she opened the
window's blinds, Ranma's Ki Claws were formed and through her back and
stomach.

"For Saturn" he whispered. Then he made an uppercut motion, cutting
Sailor Uranus' head into three pieces. Quietly he left the room and
headed for the rendezvous.

*

Keikan was through the doors like a shadow. No one saw the door
crack open and then close again. Not even the two guards that were
supposed to be watching it. Though their being dead already might have
had something to do with that. Not too much though.

The Queen and King of Uranus certainly didn't see him. If they
had they might have gotten a scream off. Instead they both died
quietly, by being split in half. The Royal Chancellor soon followed.
It really was stupid to keep all of the highest ranking members of
Uranus's court in the same place during an emergency.

The room was soon a bloodbath with minimal struggle or effort.
Keikan left the room and head two doors down. There he saw Ranma and
gave him a nod. A nod in return and the two went through the door.

The room was a storehouse, nothing more, at least that's what
most believed. It was a store room filled with magical artifacts, so
many that one more was never noticed. Ranma and Keikan stepped onto the
transporter and were taken first to an asteroid between Mars and Earth,
and then back to Setsuna's rooms on Saturn.

The mission was a complete success.

*

Ranma sighed and allowed his armor to flow back into his skin.
His eyes didn't take notice of Keikan's armor doing the same. Things
were going to get a lot more complicated for them now. Their actions
had basically been a declaration of war against Serenity. Ranma wasn't
sure what to think now. Everyone on every planet was going to be after
them.

"Ranma."

Ranma turned toward Keikan and raised an eyebrow. "What is it?"

"Watch over Lady Pluto, I need to go and inform their majesties
about what happened." At Ranma's nod, Keikan turned and left the room.

Ranma walked over to the still out of it Senshi of Pluto and
gently picked her up. He carried her into the bedroom and laid her down
on the bed. Grabbing a chair, the young assassin sat down and began to
think.

Why had he and Keikan taken such drastic steps? Was it for
revenge or to protect others? Was it because they had no choice, or
because they wanted no other choice? These questions made his head
hurt. All he wanted was a sign that they did what was right. Was that
too much to ask?

*

Keikan walk through the halls of the palace trying to decide
exactly what to tell the King and Queen, and exactly how to act. As he
approached the door, he decided it would be best to go with a tired
warrior look. If he showed them he was human, they would be far more
likely to go along with him.

He came to a stop before the doors of the Council Chamber. "I
need to see the King and Queen, alone. I can wait." The two guards
looked at each other for a moment. They weren't quite sure what to do.
However they had seen him commanding troops earlier and decided that he
had rank to request such a thing.

One of the guards opened the door and went in, the door closing
behind him. Keikan waited at a relaxed attention his face perfectly
calm. He didn't want to appear excited about anything after all. The
shock was supposed to come later.

*

Ranma gazed out the window in Setsuna's bedroom, his eyes lost
in the distant clouds. The sky was beginning to brighten, the thick
cloud cover gaining light as moments passed. Ranma, however, did not
take much notice in it. Instead his mind was lost in the memories of
the past few weeks. He wondered how he could have allowed himself to
fall in love. How he could have allowed his charge to die. How he
could have failed. In the end he had come up with only one answer:
duty.

The old Earth saying, he had found, was indeed true. Duty is
heavier than a mountain. Ranma really hadn't understood that saying
before. All of his duty had been simple missions. Go here, kill him,
save her, steal this, destroy that, with nothing to get in the way.
Here on Saturn was the first time any of his missions had lasted more
than a day or two. And Salina had been so...gentle. He'd never met
anyone like her. She touched something in him, something that he didn't
think he had had. And now she was gone, lost to the strands of fate.
Something special had passed him, he was sure of that, and now he would
never gain the chance to understand just how special it could have been.


It was surprising how easy it was to bring her face up in his
mind. How easy it was to hear her soft voice again. How easy it was to
feel her gentle touch. It was almost as though she was right in front
of him. But Salina wasn't, and she never would be again. Instead he
was alone once more, besides his closest friend and Lady Pluto. It was
hard now, to think of that. His eyes slid closed as he wondered just
how he ended up changing so much in so little time.

"ughh...."

Ranma turned towards the bed, removing the last traces of
sadness from his persona as Sailor Pluto awoke. He moved over to the
bed as she pushed her self up and looked around the room. Her eyes
almost seemed relieved about something. For some reason Ranma felt
himself curious as to the cause. "Lady Pluto, you look relieved about
something. Is it anything you wish to discuss?"

"Oh, Ranma." Setsuna gave the young man a smile. "I just had
the funniest dream. You and Keikan went to Uranus to kill the Royal
Family and the entire military command, and simply left me a note about
it. Isn't that funny."

Ranma gave Setsuna a gentle smile. He decided to let her down
easy. "We did." Well...so much for easy anyway.

"You...did?" Setsuna swallowed hard. "Please tell me this is a
joke." When Ranma shook his head a growl of frustration escaped her
lips. "That wasn't in the time line Ranma! What in the world were you
thinking!?"

Ranma was quiet for a moment deciding what to say. After
Setsuna jumped out of bed and was holding the Timestaff over his head
threatening him, he decided on an answer. "Oops." His voice, however,
was deadpan and sarcasm almost dripped from his posture.

The Timestaff fell from Setsuna's hand. "Oops? Oops? Is that
ALL you have to say!?"

"How about I'm glad we did it? That they not only deserved it,
but that they got off light considering what they did." The anger had
reached Ranma. He was almost snarling by this point. "How about the
fact that they stole a life from me!? I should have made them pay
tenfold for what they did!" Finally, Ranma was at the point that no
more words could get out. He stood there shaking, his teeth clenched
and fists at his side.

Pluto watched Ranma, her gaze trying to penetrate the anger he
felt, to see who he really was. And finally she saw what she wanted.
"What's done is done. Not even I am allowed to go back and change the
past. We'll have to simply move on. Where's Keikan?"

Ranma swallowed his anger, and let it drip away. Pluto wasn't
deserving of it. "He's meeting with their majesties. Do you wish to
join them?"

"Yes." With that she started toward the door, expecting Ranma
to follow.

*

Keikan stood quietly at the end of the table. Upon the table
were a number of maps of the planet Uranus and of its military
facilities. He had been surprised at how quickly their Majesties had
agreed to go along with the plans that he and Ranma and Setsuna had
created. Keikan had been expecting to have to argue over them, but
instead their Majesties instantly agreed to allow Ranma and him to run
everything.

"Now, your Majesties, the crux of the operation is that we will
be freeing not just Uranus, but also Pluto and Neptune. Ranma and I
have already planted explosives within the operation centers of Neptune
and Uranus as well as within their shield generators. Lady Setsuna will
deal personally with her mother." Keikan turned his attention to the
heart-broken pair. The news of both their daughter's deaths had
destroyed what Keikan could have best considered their hearts. They
would be cruel and ruthless to the ones who took their children from the
living, but they would also care for their people so none other would
face such a devastating loss.

"You've already planted explosives?" The Queen of Saturn said
with a frown.

"Yes, that was part of the operation in which we eliminated the
threat of Sailor Uranus. We would have gone ahead and struck even if
you didn't agree to join with us."

King Saturn nodded slowly. "You're taking a lot of risks in
this whole thing. What more do you have for us? I will not commit my
people to a war if I don't know what exactly is going on."

"Well...we do plan on talking Beryl into finally making a play
on the moon. That comes later though." 'No need to mention how we're
gonna do that. Getting her to release a demon probably wouldn't go over
well here' he thought. "That's not going to happen until later,
however. If we do anything with that dumb Earthling too soon and she'll
just get herself killed and leave us all out to dry."

"So," the Queen said, "what would you have us do exactly? Just
announcing our succession from the Silver Millenium pact won't be
enough, will it?"

"No, it won't." Of course, this wouldn't be hard to sell. "We
need you to seal your borders as soon as you make the announcement. If
the bitch Serenity can get soldiers to reinforce Neptune and Uranus,
they're going to be a pain in the ass to take over ourselves." Keikan
grew silent for a moment as a frown grew on his face. "It might be
better if you sent your forces there now, actually." His voice was
thoughtful as he continued. "Serenity is bound to be moving troops
there after that raid my partner and I pulled."

"But would that not give us away?"

Keikan turned his attention toward the King and shook his head.
"Not if you hit them fast enough. It'll just look like one solid pirate
attack trying to insult the Queen more." Keikan grew quiet as he thought
about that. If there were any Senshi with the soldiers it'd probably
fail, which would mean they'd have to move ahead quickly. He didn't
think that there was a strong chance of that happening, but it was
there.

"Is there anything else that you need, Sir Keikan? You haven't
mentioned how you plan on taking Neptune yet."

Turning his attention back toward the Queen of Saturn, Keikan
shook his head slowly. "There are already resistance forces within
Neptune itself. We've made contact with them, and they know what they
have to do. Thankfully Neptune doesn't have all that well trained a
military." His face grew a look of disgust. "They're more into art and
music and other useless things like that."

Keikan would have said more, but that was when the door to the
room burst open, and the Senshi of Time stalked in her staff leveled at
Keikan. "You." Pluto's voice was practically a growl and her ruby eyes
flashed with all manner of danger.

Her young Knight took his time to carefully place a mild
expression on his face. "Yes, My Lady. Did I do something to upset
you?"

"YES!"

Keikan couldn't help but flinch at the scream. He gazed past her
shoulder to see Ranma looking at him, his face expressionless. He took
a moment to curse that girl who Ranma fell for before turning his
attention back to Setsuna. "I've only done everything that you planned,
My Lady."

The room grew extremely tense after that single remark, as
Setsuna turned her anger fill gaze full bore on him. Despite all of his
training, Keikan really could do nothing more then stand there wondering
if maybe he'd gone to far, and that he was about to come close to dying
this day.

Finally, though, Keikan saw Sailor Pluto let go of her rage, and
with a sigh of defeat the room seemed to cool off. "What's done is
done. If you EVER go behind my back like this again, however..." Keikan
could only swallow at the implied threat and nod his head in agreement.
This was not turning out to be a good day for him. "Now, what have you
accomplished, and what is left to do?"

With a tired sigh, Keikan began to go over the plans once more,
though occasionally his eyes drifted toward Ranma, wondering just what
was going through the other's mind.


Author's Notes: Well, I've decided to shorten these last few chapters
up. The reason is that I've begun to do work on the second part of this
series: Dual Shadows, and you'll learn specifics then. So now, Chapter
3 is done, and there are only two chapters to go. Each one will
probably only be 25k or 30k.
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