Update: 070407, 250407, 020907
Disclaimer: Ranma and the Nerima Wrecking Crew belong to Rumiko Takahashi while Rifts and Nightspawn belong to Palladium. Babylon 5, Nightspawn and Sailormoon belong to all their creators respectively.
Part 9: Exodus
It had not been an easy thing to do … getting their families, relatives and their closest friends to come to their departure zone but finally they had done it. After weeks of pleading, cajoling, threatening and to some extent … kidnapping … the bone-headed ones who stubbornly refused to believe in the Coming of the Ba’al … despite all they had done … they were finally here.
“Usagi … if this is one of your stupid tricks or ideas … consider yourself grounded for life,” her father spoke.
“Mom … Dad … I have already shown you the truth. You know that I’m Sailor Moon,” the blonde-headed girl replied.
“Yes … you have which is just about the only thing that convinced us to go along with this insane idea of yours. I still can’t believe that you would take a stranger’s word at face value. I thought that I taught you better than this,” her mother chided.
“She is not just any stranger, Mom. She is Sailor Pluto … the eternal Guardian of Time. The one person who can see the future.”
“Usagi, do you take me for a fool? No one can see the future …”
“Please Mom … Be patient … She’ll be here …”
“When we get back, Usagi …” her father threatened.
The Moon Senshi shivered beneath her father’s gaze.
Not faraway … the other Senshi were not having an easy time either.
Usagi could hear Makoto having a very long and difficult discussion with her parents.
“But Mom … We had no choice. Our enemies are coming in less than a week. If we do not leave now … we will never be able to leave again. And there will be no safe place on the Earth”
“Enough! Hiding a secret from us was one thing. Fighting a war behind our backs is quite another matter, Makoto!”
“We had no choice. If we didn’t-,” The Jupiter Senshi protested.
“Quit giving me the ‘We had no choice’ excuse. This is not some game, Makoto!”
“You could have been killed many times over! It’s a miracle that you aren’t a corpse yet!”
“The Earth must be protected.” Makoto started once again but was cut off.
“When this is over, you’re grounded, young lady!”
“But-“ the Jupiter Senshi protested.
There was a collective groan farther away … and judging from the loud voices and sullen looks on their faces, Minako and Ami were having just as difficult a time as she was having.
Finally … the sounds of their chattering were broken by … the sound of something large rising from the sea. It cut from the sea to come ashore like a large whale and slid to a stop in front of them.
“See Mom! It’s here … The Time Guardian is here!” the Moon Princess cried out excitedly.
A strange unidentified man stepped in his fifties out of the alien vessel towards them.
He looked the group over before saying, “Highness … Your vessel awaits. Please come aboard my ship and make yourself comfortable.”
“I don’t believe it. It’s a relic from the Old Kingdom!” Ami exclaimed excitedly.
“We must depart immediately. Before unwanted visitors arrive.” The man spoke.
“Unwanted?” the Moon Princess asked.
“That’s right. Come aboard the ship quickly.” The man who appeared to be the captain answered.
They were about to step aboard the ship when a voice they knew so well called out “Dead Scream!” much to their shock and surprise.
The captain of the ship fell to the ground without a sound … his chest blasted through by the time wave attack.
“What is going … ?”
“Take cover! That won’t stop him for long!” The Time Guardian shouted.
The ship’s weapons activated and opened fire on the Senshi and their families …
“SILENCE WALL!” … only to hit an impenetrable barrier.
“What’s going on???!!!” the Moon Princess asked.
“Run! Now! I can’t keep this up for long!” The Senshi of Silence shouted, straining to keep the barrier up in place against the relentless pounding by the ship’s main guns.
Without hesitation, everybody ran for cover as fast as their legs could carry them … Unfortunately for everyone … nobody alive could hope to sustain a barrier forever especially when said barrier was being pounded continuously by the main guns from a frigate-size class ship … even when said person was the Senshi of Silence. Sooner or later … said barrier would have to come down … and when it did … the sight was not pretty …
“Mom … No!”
Another explosion rocked the area killing scores of people.
“No!!! I never knew that it would end like this! Our hopes … dreams …”
Multiple circles of lights appeared around all the Senshi and their families as gunfire continued to rain down on them, scorching them with the heat from the powerful beams of energy and leaving nothing but dust and ashes in its wake … Smoke filled the air … and then a voice barked out a command.
There was silence as the ship’s cannons were powered down.
After a few minutes of studying their handiwork, a voice announced.
“All targets have been eliminated!”
“No, you fools! They’ve escaped. Management would not be pleased …”
The captain answered as he got up from the ground, the cavity in his chest shrinking rapidly as he did so.
Everyone looked around in a state of befuddlement and disbelief ... as they studied the vast metallic room they were in. The place was poorly lit. The lights so dim … that they could barely make out one another.
“What place is this?”
“It looks like an abandoned warehouse or something.”
“I don’t know … The Time Gates never revealed anything about this place before … This was not in the plan!” Time Senshi answered nervously.
“What do you mean … you don’t know???!!! You’re the Guardian of Time! Nothing escapes you!” The Senshi of Mars shrieked.
“That’s right! You had us all go to Easter Island for our Exodus from Earth and you don’t know where we are??? We’ve been manipulated, threatened and shanghaied from one zone to another for our personal safety, not to mention d*-near just about blown to bits and you don’t know where we are?” Usagi’s father shouted.
“Be quiet everybody … Let me do a few scans … that’s not right! Something’s blocking my scans …” The Senshi of Mercury answered.
“Let me go check the Time Gates …” Setsuna offered when a voice interrupted her departure.
“Now … that wouldn’t be necessary … would it?” a voice spoke.
As one … Everyone turned in the direction of the voice to see a long-haired broad-shouldered man stepping out of the shadows.
“Marcus???!!!!” The Senshi of Time gaped in shock at the figure of the man as he came to a stop before them.
“You have failed, Ozymandiaz.” a voice purred ... sweetly, the stench of death and decay quite evident in its voice.
“There was outsider interference! External events I had no control over,” the captain growled.
“Flimsy excuses … Go .. give that excuse to Management … See whether Management is as understanding and merciful as I am …” the sweet, syrupy voice purred again.
“I don’t have to justify myself before you Dilgar worm! If I recall correctly, that batch of drugs that you so painstakingly prepared for distribution was destroyed by the Senshi as well! Let’s see how you explain that to Management!” the captain retorted.
A voice boomed loudly through their heads, the pressure so great that it caused both persons to drop to their knees clutching their heads in pain.
YOUR FAILURES GRATE ON ME! JHADUR! MAKE THE DRUGS AGAIN! STRENGTHEN THE DOSAGE! MANKIND MUST BE TERMINATED! DO NOT FAIL ME A SECOND TIME!
“As you wish … Mighty One,” the Dilgar Warmaster cried as blood exited the pores of her skin in spades.
OZYMANDIAZ! REMEMBER HOW I SAVE YOU FROM SERENITY’S PRISON! I COULD JUST AS EASILY SENT YOU BACK!
“No Master … Have mercy …” the man pleaded … his blood flowing as freely as the person beside him.
YOU HAVE ONE MORE CHANCE TO PROVE YOURSELF. A WEEK FROM NOW, MANKIND IS GOING TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE FOOLISH MINBARI FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GALAXY. STEPS MUST BE TAKEN TO ENSURE THAT THE MEETING GOES BADLY FOR BOTH SIDES. THE VORLONS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO INTERFERE WITH MANKIND’S FATE AS THEY DID IN THE PAST.”
“I will not fail you … mighty master,” The man answered with difficulty.
YOU WON’T. SHE WILL BE COMING WITH YOU.
“She???” the man spoke a little nervously.
YES. MY AVATAR AND CHIEF ENFORCER …
A dark shadow solidified in the room into the figure of a beautiful violet-haired woman …