Categories > Anime/Manga > Ranma 1/2 > Dual Shadows

Chapter 1: Loose Minds

by Nighthawk 2 reviews

The first chapter of Dual Shadows

Category: Ranma 1/2 - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Crossover - Characters: Ranma - Warnings: [!!] [?] [V] - Published: 2005-05-08 - Updated: 2005-05-09 - 7601 words

Dual Shadows
A Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon Crossover
By Tomas Megarson

Disclaimer: The characters, settings, and places of "Ranma ½" belong to
Rumiko Takahashi. The characters, settings, and places of "Sailor Moon"
belong to Naoko Takeuchi. The events, situations, and words of this
particular piece of Fanfiction belong to me and are in no way part of
the original stories created by the two very talented people mentioned
before. There is no profit being made off of this story, so if you would
be so good as to not sue me, I'd be very grateful.

Chapter 1
Loose Minds

"Fast Break!"

With his back to Ryoga Hibiki, Ranma Saotome spring forward
and off into the woods, his mind hoping that as his father taught him,
the surprise would by him a bit of time. Putting a number of trees
between himself and his opponent, Ranma took to the air, his powerful
legs carrying him to a branch of a nearby tree before he crouched down
to watch and think. With his head slightly bowed, his black bangs
fluffed into his startling blue eyes, and the short pigtail he had in
back draped down his neck.

The Saotome Secret Technique was one of the more challenging
ones his father had taught him. It was hard for him to swallow his
pride enough to actually run away from his opponents, but on top of
that he had to start coming up with a plan on how to defeat them. Or
rather, how to defeat Ryoga after the training the Old Ghoul Cologne
had given him.

"Damn it," Ranma muttered under his breath as Ryoga ran into
view. "What to do?" As Ryoga continued to run, Ranma trailed the
other boy from the trees, coming to a stop and Ryoga did. "How do I
beat this guy?" He continued in a whisper.

'I can show you how, since you're having trouble.'

"Wha.." Ranma barely managed to keep his voice down, his head
whipping around trying to find whoever it was that spoke to him.
"Where the hell are ya?" His voice was still quiet, though now it had
also turned harsh.

'Great, not only can't you fight, but you've got memory
problems too.'

"What the hell's that suppose to mean!"

'Forget it,' the voice replied, still rather calm about the
whole thing. 'Do you want to win or not?'

Ranma was starting to grow tired of the whole mess. "Of
course I wanna!"

'Well so...'

As the voice trailed off, Ranma was forced to blink and his
eyes widened as a black figure suddenly seemed to cover Ryoga. The
black figure was faded, though, like an image from a school projector
on one of the multi-stained walls in Furinkan. But as his eyes took
in the scene, another feeling took over him, as though he was being

Slowly he stood up in the tree, his right arm rising slightly
so that his open palm was facing Ryoga. As he did so, he felt a
blackness begin to surround him. It wasn't something tangible, just a
terrible feeling that what he was doing was wrong. Even as the
feeling grew worse, Ranma found himself somehow forced to reach into
the depths of his soul, and what he found there scared him. It was a
darkness far worse then what the Neko-ken had done to him, but as this
darkness touched him, the fear faded and a sense of strength grew. As
his sense of strength continued to increase, the internal darkness
slowly became a tangible ball of energy resting against his out
stretched hand.

As the dark power slowly grew to the size of a tennis ball,
the image of the forest seemed to change before his eyes. While he
could still see the trees and rocks of the forest, vague images of
walls began to appear, seeming to pass harmlessly through them. While
the sun was shining down into the forest, swirling, dark red clouds
seemed to cover up the source of light. The strange sites, however,
were unable to shake Ranma from the path he had chosen.

As he stared at Ryoga, the lost boy suddenly spun around his
gaze moving up to the tree and lock onto Ranma. His face was a blank
mask to Ranma's eyes, however, as the ghostly image that covered the
other boy blocked out his face. And then a name entered Ranma's mind,
not a name for the boy, but a name for what he was doing. "Kokuei

The dark ball of energy ripped from Ranma's hand, traveling at
a blinding speed and slamming into the fanged young man before he had
time to react. Ryoga stiffened almost immediately, a scream tearing
from his throat and echoing through the woods as Ranma's attack did
damage to his muscles and organs. Then, all at once, Ryoga collapsed
to the ground, his eyes rolling up to the back of his head and a small
trickle of blood coming from his mouth.

Ranma managed to remain standing on the branch for a few
moments longer, his mind and heart screaming in fear and rage over
what had just happened while the energy kept him cold, calm, and
still. The battle of dual personalities lasted only a moment longer
before Ranma's body gave in to the pain it had felt in unleashing the
attack, and collapsed from the stress, letting the boy drift into
unconsciousness even as he fell from the tree.


His back pressed against a brick wall, Keikan swallowed hard
as he tried to see through his swollen eye. The little he could see
did nothing to improve his situation. The small truth he could admit
to himself was that he really wished he couldn't see at all. At least
then he wouldn't know when he was about to get pounded into the
ground. Again.

He hated Japan. He really, really hated his mother's home
country. All he ever got were racist comments, whispers behind his
back, and baseball bats in his face. It was the last one that he was
experiencing today.

"Get up you damn half breed! At least show some honor, you
piece of garbage!"

Since the first problem always came with the other two, Keikan
had stopped counting it alone long ago. Again through his nearly
closed eyes, he took in the scene. Four large boys, probably college
students he thought, had him backed into an ally. The softest weapon
that they were carrying was the wooden two by four one toward the back
had. While the situation was familiar, it wasn't any more pleasant
then any of the other times.

"You can kill them," a voice whispered to him.

"What?" Keikan muttered to himself, looking around but seeing
no one but his tormentors.

"You can kill them, if you'll take the power."

"Kill them?" Keikan whispered to himself. "I can't do that."

One of the boys facing him began to laugh. "Oh, he's going to
kill us? How funny! I think he's lost his mind."

"I guess we should put the fool out of his misery. Its for
the best," replied the one on the right.

"They'll kill you if you don't get them first, and you have
someone to find."

"Someone to find?" Keikan asked, almost in a daze. He saw the
other boys approach him, and his fear began growing.

"Do you want to live or die?" the voice asked him.

"To live..." came the trembling reply from the young man sure
he was about to die.

"Well so..."

An image seemed to form over the boys. No longer were they
some punks dressed in street clothes, but now they were shadowy
figures screaming death to him. The knowledge seemed to hit him like
a bullet, and his hands came up instantly, the flat of his palms
facing the four boys cloaked in darkness. Even as his fear grew, a
power seemed to swell in him, pushing that fear aside and bringing out
a feeling of strength.

Rippling black flames formed along his hands, quickly
condensing into a floating ball of fire. The four boys had stopped in
shock and fear as Keikan's face went from one of fear to one of rage.
"Black Fireball!"

The name of the attack tore from his throat, and the attack
shot forward, slamming into the lead boy. The flames quickly exploded
outward, engulfing the rest of the gang and shooting out of the ally,
never once moving in Keikan's direction.

As the flames cleared, Keikan finally got a good look at his
attackers, their bodies black, charred, and clearly dead. The sight
was slow to register in his mind, but as soon as it had, he began
throwing up. That lasted only a few moments, however, as the strain
the event had put on his mind caused him to black out.


Sitting in the living room with a book on her lap, Hotaru
Tomoe gave a slight smile. The windows were open and a gentle summer
breeze was drifting through the living room in the home she shared
with her 'parents', Michiru and Haruka. The two older girls were
sitting on the couch just enjoying the family time and relaxing quiet
in the world. Things had been peaceful for the past few months since
Galaxia had been dealt with. Everything seemed to be moving smoothly
toward the creation of Crystal Tokyo, and now the Sailor Senshi could
just spend their time enjoying life.

A peace like this was something that none of the Senshi had
had since before they had gained their powers and been tasked with
protecting the Earth. Most of the Senshi were enjoying the break from
one major crisis to the next by shopping, studying, or boy hunting.
One, however, had taken to the peace in a way none of them had

Turning her head, Hotaru glanced toward the kitchen where the
soft sound of classical music coming from the radio was drifting
through the house from. She could make out the long green hair that
drifted down the back of the Sailor Pluto, or rather Setsuna Meio as
she wasn't in her Senshi guise. Since that incident, she had taken to
staying with the other 'Outer' Senshi rather then watching over the
Gates of Time. She smiled, she laughed, and she stopped being so
mysterious. She was acting like a normal twenty year old woman would,
which fit with how she looked. No one had been brave enough to ask
Setsuna what had caused the change in her. Everyone was afraid that
if they asked she might revert to her old self, and then they'd never

Turning back to her book, Hotaru smiled in content. Life was

As is common in the universe, when someone of importance
thinks that, everything starts to go wrong. The first sign of trouble
was when the handle of Setsuna's tea cup broke, dropping the rest of
the cup into her lap, causing her to swear for a brief moment in pain.
While one sign alone could be dramatic, though not as much as Setsuna
swearing, the Silent Glaive suddenly appearing before Hotaru and
rippling with black energy caught the attention of everyone. The
weapon floated in mid air for no more the a few seconds before the
energy suddenly winked out of existence and it dropped to the ground
with a dull clang, the blade falling away from everyone.

Hotaru's voice was trembling slightly as she gazed at the
weapon. "What...what was that?" Getting off of the chair she was in,
she bent down and reached out a hand to her weapon.

"Hotaru! Don't touch it!" Haruka's cry filled the house, her
body moving to push her daughter away from the weapon of Silence.

Haruka was too late, though, as Hotaru's hand brushed against
the long grip of the weapon. She ignored the intake a breath from
Michiru and picked up the glave, holding the weapon that towered over
her in both hands. "There doesn't seem to be anything wrong, Haruka-

Gazing down at her daughter, Haruka's worried face said all
that needed to be said. "Hotaru-chan, do not do stuff like that. It
could have hurt you."

"No it couldn't," came Setsuna's reply as she walked into the
room. The jeans and lower part of the t-shirt she was wearing were
stained with her tea as she moved from the kitchen to her room. "The
Glaive will never harm her, it needs her to fulfill its destiny. The
rest of us aren't so secure, though."

"What's that supposed to mean, Setsuna? And what the hell is
going on?" By the stress in her voice, it was clear that the Senshi
of Uranus was far more upset then the volume of her voice would have
led others to believe.

"Despite what you think, Haruka," Setsuna's calm reply came as
she disappeared from view, "I do not know everything."

Looking at the Glaive for a moment, Hotaru frowned in
concentration and the weapon disappeared. At the look Michiru was
giving her, Hotaru gave a small, almost timid shrug. "I couldn't
leave it out, and Setsuna-mama said it wouldn't hurt me."

Giving an almost tired sigh, Michiru nodded and sat back down
on the couch. "Despite what Setsuna said, I have a bad feeling."

Haruka gave a short nod as she returned to her lover. "Yeah,
I know what you mean."


Setsuna stood quietly in her room, her eyes gazing distantly
into the closet that she was digging though for a clean shirt, her
mind not anywhere near the task at hand. Her hands rifled past
various dress shirts taking in their style even as she thought of the
events downstairs. Despite what most people claimed about
superstitions, a breaking teacup wasn't important. It meant nothing
more then the material that was used to make it was finally
deteriorating. The Silent Glaive was far more important then a

Never had she heard of the weapon reacting in the way it had.
Not during Karinna's lifetime, not in any of the history books she had
read, and never in the teachings of her predecessor. It was yet
another sign that things were changing beyond what she had planned.
She only hoped that the changes weren't going to harm those around
her. Perhaps, she thought as she moved to look out her window with
her shirt now on, it was time to see if she could find her old
friends. She had yet bothered to take the time it would be needed to
find her Knights, as events moved too fast for her spare the energy.
With the need for Sailor Moon so low at this point, perhaps a true
vacation from being the Guardian of Time would be good for her.

Besides, she thought as she continued to gaze outside, it
would do her good to find out how they had dealt with a new life.


There was a blackness surrounding him, darkness not too unlike
what he drew upon to go into battle with. Most people when confronted
with a darkness such as he was would let their minds call upon fear,
trying to do whatever was possible to pull the person out of the
blackness. He, however, reveled in it, it was safety; it was
sanctuary. Yet, he knew he couldn't remain there. To do so would be
to loose himself to the darkness, to fall to a point where he wouldn't
control it, but it would control he. He let his mind rise, going
above the darkness that was his safety and back to the light of the
world, where he would have to face true demons once more. The work of
a Knight was never done.

The sapphire irises of his eyes peaked ever so slightly
through his now only mostly closed eyes as he took in his situation.
He was on his back, staring at some ceiling made of what seemed to be
a rather fragile substance. His body ached all over, and there was
the dull throbbing of a headache caused by exhaustion. He hadn't felt
like this since he had gone solo against those demonic assassins Queen
Serenity had raised while he had been pretending to be a student and
watching over the Saturn Royal Family. That at least explained what
had happened to him. He'd drawn upon more strength from the Void then
his body was capable of handling. Briefly, as he heard someone
speaking a strange language he didn't understand, he wondered what
army he'd had to fight to end up in his current state.


With the call of his name and more words in that unknown
language coming after, Ranma finally opened his eyes all the way and
sat up, turning his body so he could take in who was in the room with
him. None of the faces were familiar to his cold eyes, and he kept a
weary gaze as they continued to babble in their own language, the only
recognizable word being his own name occasionally spoken.

Taking in more of the room as he let his situation slowly sink
in, Ranma worked to keep his face expressionless. Nothing in the room
seemed to be magical in any nature, and the science level of what he
saw was very low tech. There were a few charts displaying the muscle
and bone structure of the body, and he could see a skeleton in one
corner. "Great," he muttered to himself, "some backwater village on
one of Jupiter's moons, probably. How the hell did I get here?"

At some more excited words from the various people around him,
Ranma let out a tired sigh. "Look, I don't understand what the hell
you're saying. Would you go get someone who speaks common?"

A girl with short hair pushed her way towards him and
practically screamed in his face. Raising an eyebrow at the girl,
Ranma replied, "Look, I don't understand what you're saying."
Reaching out with an arm, he pushed the girl aside and stood up,
ignoring the slight wobble in his legs. Look at everyone in the room,
he continued, "We're not getting anywhere with this. I'm going to go
find someone who speaks common. I'll get back to you for payment
later, not that you understand what I'm saying anyway."

As he moved to the one door in the room, the girl with short,
blue black hair stepped in front of him, screaming again. Ranma gave
the girl an annoyed look as he reached out to push her aside. "Get
out of my way."

Even as he began to move the girl aside, her fist lashed out
for his head. Not even thinking about the actions he was taking,
Ranma dropped to on knee letting the fist pass over him. Just as it
had passed his head, he came up again, this time not speaking but
instead stepping forward and driving his clenched fist into the girl's
stomach. His eyes held a touch of anger in his otherwise emotionless
face, as the female seemed to ball around his punch before he let her
drop off his fist and to the ground. He frowned as he looked at the
girl for a moment longer before heading for the door. That punch had
been weaker then he thought it would be.

Deciding not to give it anymore thought, he pulled open the
door and walked out into the night air. Stretching his arms over his
head, he glanced around the street he found himself on as he turned to
his left and started walking. Like the inside of the building he had
found himself in, the street was likewise old tech. As he slid into
the shadows of an ally, he took a look at the construction of the wall
and frowned a bit. It wasn't like anything he'd really seen before.

Hearing his name called again from the direction of the
building he'd just left, Ranma turned around and frowned. He really
didn't want to get into a fight at the moment, and the people inside
were probably upset at what he did to the screaming bitch. Even as
the old woman on the walking stick bounced around the corner, Ranma
reached out to the darkness that surrounded him. "Death's Shadow," he
whispered, as the shadows jumped to life and swallowed him whole,
leaving the old woman where she was in shock.

To Ranma's senses, the world became nothing more but shadows
contrasted against pure white where in the real world the darkness was
absent. In this shadow form of reality, the strength of his legs
wouldn't let him take even the smallest step. Instead, it was his
force of will and the powers he drew from the Void that allowed him to
streak from one patch of darkness to the next.

This wasn't to say that he was safe in any measure. Every
time he passed through the points of white, searing pain racked both
his mind and his body, as though he was running through a raging fire.
The threads of black were no safer, as every moment he entered them,
they reached out with grips of ice, trying to drag him away into the
darkness, to devour him and leave nothing left.

Though it felt like an eternity to Ranma, it was no more then
a few seconds when he entered another patch of darkness, and forced
himself back to the world. Both his will and his powers reached out
to reality and gripped it, and pulled himself back from the darkness.
He stumbled his way out of a shadow blocks from where he had started
and collapsed, his legs drained of strength and his chest heaving.
What, he wondered to himself, did he do to end up like this?

With a groan and what effort he could muster, Ranma pushed
against the ground he was on and managed to roll himself over so that
he could turn his gaze to the sky. Upon seeing a small, quarter moon
in the sky, Ranma blinked twice and painfully raised one of his arms
to rub at his eyes for a moment before taking another look at the sky.
Despite what he had perhaps hoped in the back of his mind, the moon
continued to hang against the stars.

As he gave a tired sigh and allowed himself to drift off to
sleep, he could only wonder just what the hell had happened to Earth.
And as he dropped into a restful sleep, he dreamt of battles gone by,
of friends lost, and of a new hope he had tried to help create.


As the moon was rising over the world and a soft wind blew
through the sky, a young woman knelt within her grandfather's shrine
before the sacred flame that was contained within. Her eyes were
closed and her breathing was even as she meditated before the center
of her spirituality. "Sacred Fire," Rei spoke quietly as she came
away from her center, "what can you show me tonight?"

She had been asking the Fire this question for years, and it
had only very rarely responded to it. When it wished to show her
something, it did so without her request, or only when she asked for
something specific. It seemed to her, however, that the Fire would
remain quiet when asked of the future in general.

It was for this reason that her eyes snapped open the moment
her ears heard the fire before her suddenly roar. She gazed deep into
the depths of the fire as slowly images began to flash before her
eyes. Dark figures slaughtering dozens of people at a party, Queen
Serenity, whom she had only seen briefly in past memories before,
pacing and her face in a rage, a party and the face of a handsome man
near her own, and lastly, the image of a child on an alter that looked
much like the one the Flame was burning in, with her chest cut apart
and the blood running toward her hands.

At the last sight, Rei couldn't keep back the scream that came
to her throat. She tried to push herself to her feet, only to fall
back on her rear as her sock covered feet pushed at the wooden floor
to slide her away from the flame. She squeezed her eyes shut as hard
as she could, but even in the darkness behind her lids, the image of
the child's mutilated body was visible.

By the time her grandfather reached her, Rei had her face
buried in her hands and she was a sobbing wreck. He tried what he
could to get her to respond to him, or to do anything more then hold
her own legs and cry. He tried soothing words, holding her, patting
her back, and everything else he could think of to get his raven-hair
granddaughter to come around. Finally, he shook his head and left the

Rei, for her part, had never even noticed her grandfather's
presence. She felt trapped by the image she saw, every detail of it
flowing into her mind and seemingly assaulting every fiber of her
being. What was worse, however, was that she could feel some small
part of her mind, something locked deep away, take some form of joy
out of the image. It was from that feeling that she had blocked out
the world as the tears streamed down her face.


His emerald eyes blinked open as he came to, the bright lights
above him causing them to water as they battled to focus. His head
felt like it had been split open so that fire ants could be allowed to
run around inside, and his hands were in searing pain. As he fought
to filter out the light a voice from one side asked him something he
couldn't understand.

Turning his head to where the voice had come from, he gazed at
an older woman, perhaps, he thought, in her two hundreds and from
Venus, dressed in a white uniform of some sort. He focused on her
lips as she spoke strange words again, but even in trying to read them
he failed to make any sense out of what was coming out of her mouth.
"I'm afraid I don't understand you."

Some more words of gibberish came from the woman, and he let
out a tired sigh. Wherever he was, this person apparently didn't
understand Royal Common. That, he felt, was strange given how
Serenity's grandmother had insisted that everyone in the system be
able to at least speak a enough to get by anywhere else. Closing his
eyes for a moment, he spoke again. "I speak Royal Common," changing
languages, he continued. "Plutonian Standard," changing for the third
and final time he finished with "and Terran Standard."

The woman continued to stare at him blankly before turning and
leaving the room. Shaking his head, he turned his gaze to take in his
surroundings. He was lying on a bed with white sheets within a white
room with a single decent sized window. There were a couple of
needles stuck in his arm attached to a machine by his bed. He didn't
feel drowsy or drugged up, so he ignored them for the moment, taking
the time instead to try to see something outside the window. However,
except for the fact that it seemed to be dark out, he couldn't tell
one way or another about where he was.

Grabbing the sheets of his bed, the young man tossed them
aside and stood up on slightly wobbling legs. Looking again at the
needles in his arm, he quickly pulled them out, ignoring the bit of
blood that dripped down his arm. He'd been hurt far worse plenty of
times before; a few needle holes weren't going to effect him. Moving
himself to the window, he turned his gaze out of it and to the sky,
leaning against the wall to help support himself.

His eyes took in the constellations that covered the night
sky, but for the life of him, he couldn't make any out. None of the
stars seemed to be in the right place for the Sol system, and that
started to worry him. Glancing back toward the wooden door that
sealed him from the rest of the building, he made a quick decision.
As he felt his body slowly mend, he grabbed the bed he had been
sleeping on and used all of his strength to move it to block the door.

Rubbing his arms for a moment as he heard excited voice
suddenly sound on the other side of the door, he turned back to the
window. He wasn't sure how long he had been out, but he was certainly
weaker and more lethargic then he had been in his entire life. As the
door began to shake and rattle as those on the other side attempted to
open it, the young man frowned at the light green gown he was wearing.
While it was quite a humiliation to be dressed in such, he wasn't
going to let that alone stop him.

Moving back to the window, he quickly began searching over it,
and after a few moments of failing to find a latch to allow him to
open it, he simply grabbed the machine that he had been attached to,
and used it to shatter the glass. There was a pause at the door as
those on the other side stopped their attempts to force it. He
ignored that, however, as he grabbed the edge of the window and jumped
out, allowing himself to fall into the darkness.

Even as he felt his feet slam into the concrete of the street
below him, he allowed his legs to collapse and threw himself into a
roll, spreading the impact over his body. While he ended up standing
up with cuts and bruises over a large portion of his body, none of his
joints felt sprained, and he hadn't heard any bones break. With his
escape made, he used the years of training he had to vanish into the
city night.


"Rei-chan! Rei-chan, stop crying!"

The cries from the slightly high-pitched voice slowly began to
pierce the veil of horror that was surrounding her. As Rei slowly
struggled to gain control of her self, to raise her head away from the
image of the dead girl she kept seeing before her eyes, and return to
the real world. More cries came and she could now feel arms on her
shoulders shaking her, moving the image, distorting it and clearing it
from her mind. Finally, her tear streaked and horror filled face rose
from her arms to look at the face of Usagi Tsukino.

"Rei-chan, what's wrong? What happened to you?" The concern
was obvious on Usagi's face as she did her best to try to comfort her
friend with a hug now that Rei was responding slightly.

"It..." Rei was hesitant to speak of what she saw, not
wanting to disturb Usagi with what it was. The pause in her speech
continued as she continued to fight against the urge to speak and
share her fear, but eventually, the comfort that Usagi's presence
alone was bringing her quickly melting her resistance. This was the
person she had fought for, had died for. "It was a vision, Usagi-
chan. Something...horrible."

Usagi let go of Rei, though she took up the other girl's hands
as she looked imploringly into her eyes. "What did you see?" Her
face was filled with trust, concern, and a deep desire to help her
friend get through this.

Rei took a moment, knowing that Usagi at times like this could
be as solid as anyone in the world, and rather start with the horror;
she started from the beginning of her vision. "I saw a party and
these dark shapes killing the people there."

"Oh no, that's not good. What do you think it was? Is it
something that's going to attack us again? I don't want to fight!"
Usagi, now looking on the verge of tears, the mature look she'd had
when comforting Rei now gone and replaced by the ever-visible crybaby.

"That wasn't it, Usagi-chan."

"There's more?"

Sighing at the look that came over her friend's face, Rei
looked down at the floor again. "Yes, there's more. I saw Serenity,"
Rei paused and corrected herself, "Queen Serenity, and she looked very
pissed. Then there was this guy I saw dancing with me."

"Was he cute?" The question came before Usagi could think
better of it. And, after a brief second she shrugged that bit of
thought off as well. A cute guy was definitely better then some black
thing killing people.

"Yes, no, he was wearing a mask, I couldn't tell." Rei
answered the question before she could find it in her to stop.

"A mask? It better not have been my Mamo-chan!" At the
thought that her friend was having visions of HER boyfriend with her
at a party, Usagi instantly became jealous over the fact.

"It wasn't Mamoru, Usagi. I would have recognized him if it
was. For one thing, the mask was completely wrong."

"Huh, not Mamo-chan?" Usagi thought this over for a moment
and then shrugged. "What was the mask then?"

"I don't know. It was black and like some kind of bird." Rei
shrugged as she continued. "I didn't get to see it all that long.
Then the bad vision came." Before Usagi could interrupt, Rei
continued, "There was this child on this alter, and it was
bleeding...all over the place."

"Oh Rei, that's so horrible. What do you think it means?"

"I...don't know." Rei shook her head. "It felt...old,
though. Like it had already happened." Sighing again, the young
woman finally raised her head to look at her friend. "What are you
doing here, though? Its late, isn't it?"

"Oh, that, your grandfather called and said you were crying.
I came over as fast as I could." Dropping her head and shrugging
slightly, she pointed off to the side. "I told my parents I was
spending the night. I hope you don't mind."

For a brief flash of a second, Rei wanted to lash out at her
friend, claiming that she wasn't afraid of anything, but that response
fled almost as soon as it arrived. "No, its fine. I'm not sure I
want to be alone."


It was with a groan that Ranma forced his eyes to open. He
could feel his head pounding right behind his eyes as though a heavy
metal band had decided to take up residence inside his head. Pushing
himself up off the ground, the pigtail young man shook his head and
looked around trying to figure out where exactly he was.

"Boy! There you are! What do you think you're doing, boy!"

Groaning again, Ranma turned around in time to see his father
land on the rooftop he was sitting on. "What the hell are you talking
about, Old Man? And how the hell'd I end up here? Where's the
forest?" Blinking for a moment as that thought came to him, Ranma
couldn't keep the grimace that was forming off his face. "Damn it,
don't tell me Ryoga beat me, Old Man."

Genma blinked at his son for a moment as a frown appeared on
his face. "What are you going on about, boy?"

"Where's the forest, Pop? Why the hell are we back in

"You don't remember, son?" The frown on Genma's face deepened
as he thought over what the boy had been saying.

Ranma was quickly growing both tired of the conversation and
of vague implications that Genma kept referring to. "Remember what,

"That you were spouting gibberish and hit Akane, boy."

"What!" Ranma's face was almost aghast at that very thought.
"I wouldn't hit the tomboy! It's not like she's a real martial
artist. She couldn't handle it if I hit her."

"Son in law, there you are!"

Both Genma and Ranma turned at the cackling voice of Cologne,
both frowning as the old woman hopped toward them on her stick. "What
do you want, old ghoul?" Ranma's question snapped out, his annoyance
that she had taught Ryoga a technique as dangerous as the breaking
point still running through him.

"You are in grave danger, Son in Law. We need to speak."

"What the hell are you going on about, you old bat?" Ranma
grimaced, the pain in his head swelling as Cologne hit him with her
stick. "What'd you do that for!?"

"Respect your elders, boy. Especially when they could save
your life."

Genma then moved, placing himself between Cologne and his son.
While not normally one to place himself in harms way, something about
everything that was going on was making his normally lazy brain work.
"What are you talking about, old woman? What danger is my son in?"

"I followed Son in Law after he fled the good doctor's place,
while the rest of you were crying over the Tendo daughter. Son in Law
here used a technique to escape me, one that I seemed slightly
familiar to me." Hopping around Genma so that she could see Ranma,
Cologne continued, "After doing some research in some of my scrolls, I
came across a brief mention of the technique, one that allows shadows
to be used for transportation. It is a demonic technique." Turning
her gaze from Ranma back to Genma, Cologne concluded with, "Son in Law
seems to be possessed."

"Possessed!?" If he had been standing, Ranma would have
stumbled back in shock. As it was he simply sat there, thinking about
what had happened to him during the fight with Ryoga. "Hey, old
ghoul, when I was fighting Ryoga, I heard someone talking to me."

Looking at the young martial artist for a moment, Cologne
blinked once and peered hard at him. "What were you told, Son in

"It told me how to beat him, and showed me how. And I saw
something, and then I just started doing some kinda technique. But it

Gazing at Ranma for a few more moments, Cologne finally
replied, "This is not good, Son in Law. This demon has much control
over you if it is able to act this way. In the morning we will have
to make a journey."

"What are you talking about, Old Woman? The boy isn't going
anywhere!" Placing himself once more between his son and Cologne,
Genma glared at the suggestion. "The boy must marry Akane! You will
not take him anywhere."

Shaking her head, Cologne, replied tiredly, "Son in Law cannot
improve my village if he is possessed, and I can do nothing for him
but set some wards that may help." Thinking for a moment, Cologne
shook her head. "Come with us if you want. Bring the Tendo girl as
well if you wish. We must travel to the temples of this land and find
someone who can exorcise this demon from Son in Law. Just know that
no one who comes with us is safe if the demon gains control once


He waited quietly in the shadows as his prey stumbled toward
him. He'd been waiting hours for someone of his rough size and build
to pass by this night, to give him a set of clothes that wouldn't
stand out in a crowd. He could have attempted to break into a store
and steal a set of clothes, but with how low tech everything around
him was, he wasn't sure that he could actually bypass any alarms.

And so he dropped back into his childhood job, that of a petty
criminal. Sure he wasn't going to pick the guy's pocket, but it was
close enough it brought back memories. Pick a mark, watch it for any
type of set up. Let the mark approach, let him pass, and move behind
and take what you want.

Only this time, what he wanted he couldn't get without a
fight. The only real question was whether or not he would let it be a
fair fight. The answer to that became obvious, as the drunk walked
past his ally, and was casually brained with an old, metal pipe.

Quickly dragging the man back into the ally, he began to strip
his target, leaving the poor man only his underwear. That was
something even he wasn't desperate to take. Within moments, he was
dressed in a pair of black pants and a white shirt, and walked calmly
out of the ally. He traveled for a few blocks down the street,
observing the reactions he was getting to the few people he passed,
and noticing no alarm, he assumed he had chosen a decent target.

Moving into yet another ally, he sighed and attempted to
stretch out his senses, to feel the only other person in the solar
system who was like him. It was hard, and the feeling was extremely
faint, but he eventually gained a vague sense of direction to travel
in. Turning in the direction and opening his eyes, he quickly lost
his sense of where his brother was. But it didn't matter too much.
He had a direction to start with.

"Okay, Keikan, lets see if you've still got it."


Setsuna walked quietly down the stairs, her long legs
automatically seeking out the points on the stair case that wouldn't
creek under her weight. She'd just looked in on Hotaru, who was sound
asleep and apparently dreaming something happy by the slight smile
that had been on her face. She had been slightly worried at placing
the Senshi of Saturn into the care of Neptune and Uranus, given it had
been Haruka's past incarnation that had killed Karrina.

Things had turned out well, however. The Senshi didn't know
what the past was really like, and the vast majority of their old
hatreds were completely gone, and the few that remained had been
reduced to the occasional petty insult. Things, it seemed, were good,
and from what she had learned from her potential future self, things
there would be all right as well.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Setsuna turned through a
small doorway on her left and walked into the living room of the
Senshi's home. She shook her head slightly at the sight of Haruka and
Michiru huddled together on the couch, enjoying a bit of private time.
The relationship they had didn't bother Setsuna any, she just wished
that they would do such things in the privacy of their bedroom.
Walking up behind the pair, Setsuna coughed into her hand.

The pair didn't exactly jump away, but they did separate
fairly quickly and turned to look at their roommate. "What do you
want, Setsuna?" Haruka questioned her friend.

"A favor, actually."

"Oh?" Raising an eyebrow, Haruka gave a fast grin. "Do you
finally want to join in?"

Setsuna's replied in a deadpan voice, "No, I don't. This is
something else entirely."

Haruka gave a mock frown as Michiru asked, "What is it?"

"I need a ride in the morning into Ginza."

Haruka blinked at her friend for a moment and then shrugged.
"Sure, that's not a problem. Why do you need to go there, though?"

Setsuna gave the pair a slightly mysterious smile. "There's
some research I need to do there. There are a couple of people I want
to see if I can find."

Michiru blinked at that for a moment before asking, "Can't you
just use the Time Gates for that?"

"As a matter of fact, no I can't."

"Really?" Haruka suddenly perked up at the sight of Setsuna
stumped in something. "Wow, why not? Is there some chaos thing that
keeps you from seeing these people? Or maybe it has some kind of
destiny thing where they're so tied to you that you can't see them.
Come on, tell me why!"

"Nothing so dramatic or pathetic as that, Haruka. Its simply
that the Gates are not as strong as they used to be. Why else would I
have to go through Chibi-Usa and her Luna ball to speak to Usagi? Why
didn't I get to Hotaru and protect her from Mistress Nine? Because I
couldn't use the Gates to aid them."

Haruka and Michiru simply blinked at that and thought it over
for a few moments. Finally, Haruka replied, "Oh."

"Right. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bed. I have a
long day ahead of me tomorrow." With that, Setsuna turned and headed
for her room.

Author's Notes: Man, this was a long time in coming. Glad to finally
get it done. The real problem with it was getting one of the scenes
in the middle written. It took me forever to figure out how I wanted
to do it. Next chapter, stuff happens. ^^;

Anyway, below are the two attacks from TBP that were used in this

Death's Shadow: Ranma pulls shadows around him to swallow him up and
take him into the void. From there he can emerge from any shadow. He
must do so quickly, however, because extended time in the void will
cause him to go insane.

Black Fireball: Keikan gathers black flames from the Void and uses them
to create a fireball. Much more powerful than those created with red
flames from the astral plain.
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