It was the year of fire...

        The year of destruction...

        The year of pain, and the year of joy...

        It was a new age...

        It was the end of history...

        It was the beginning of...

        Oh, eh heh... That had already happened.

        But it was still a new age! Really, it was. What'd they call
it? The Golden Millennium? The Crystal Millennium? The Neo-Silver
Era? The Third Birthday of Humankind in General?

        Come on! Throw me a bone here!


        Oh well, nobody cares anyway...

        At least, Sailor Pluto didn't at this particular moment.
Something else weighed heavily on her mind... "Ranma, why did you
just agree to be a Senshi?"

        "Well, I couldn't let her cry," Ranma-chan replied. "Besides,
with the way you've been acting, I thought you wanted me to be one."

        Pluto looked at the redhead in annoyance. "Well, yes, but
you're not supposed to go along with it!"

        Ranma-chan's confusion deepened. "Why not?"

        Pluto spluttered. "Er... Well, it's... it's the principle of
the thing! Isn't there something... un-manly about your current
situation? What about your mother?"

        The cursed, sailor-suited martial artist considered it, a
thought bubble appearing above her head...


        SD-Ranma-chan stands with the SD-Sailor Senshi.

        SD-Nodoka runs in, embracing her 'son.' "Oh, you're with so
many girls... Ranma, you're so manly!"


        "What about her?" Ranma-chan asked impassively.

        Sailor Pluto stared, raising an eyebrow. "You mean... you're
not the least bit worried about what she'll do when she finds out?
That katana is rather sharp..."

        "Somehow... I don't think she'll mind."

        Pluto blinked. "Ranma, this is your MOTHER that we're talking
about. First of all, you're a GIRL. Now, take a look at yourself,
and examine what you're wearing: an almost swimsuit-like GIRL's
leotard, a _short_ pink skirt, pink bows, pink boots, a cutesy pink-
jeweled tiara, dainty little pink-rimmed gloves, a pink, heart-shaped
jewel on your chest... Are we sensing a theme here yet? Now, look me
in the eye and just try tell me--with a straight face--that you are a
manly man in accordance with the agreement your father made with your

        Ranma-chan looked down at herself, fingering her skirt, and
confirmed each of the points as they were mentioned, cringing
slightly. She pulled off her tiara and examined it. "Eeech... You're
right..." She looked back up at her fiancee and put her tiara back
on, smoothing back her hair as she did. "All I need now is pink

        "That can easily be arranged," Sailor Pluto said enigmatically,
narrowing her eyes.

        Ranma-chan laughed nervously for a moment. "Eh heh... Maybe
later... But Setsuna, this really isn't about that! It's a matter

        The keeper of time sighed. "You are absolutely correct. This
is about the engagement between two parties that will, for the
moment, remain unnamed. At this point, and at all previous points,
one party did not wish to be a part of this particular arrangement.
Now, the only way for the engagement to be nullified is for both
parties to agree to cancel it. Unfortunately, the other party keeps
dodging the subject and will not comply to the first party's wishes.
Therefore, the first party is attempting to coerce the second party
into compliance. This has been completely and utterly ineffective
so far, and stronger measures WILL be applied if an agreement is
not arrived at soon. What do you suggest we do about this?"

        The redhead blinked. "Huh?"

        "Renounce the engagement, or things will become worse for you."

        Ranma-chan fidgeted. "I... can't call it off... There-"

        *CRASH!*GLOMP!* "Sweeto!"

        The martial artist looked up through the hole in the roof,
then looked down at the thing that was now attached to her. "What
the huh!? How did you...? Eh... Get off me, ya old freak!"

        "Ah, my darling Ranma-chan," Happosai said, nuzzling into
the pink ribbons on the front of the redhead's Senshi uniform.

        In one swift move, surprising even herself, Ranma-chan
flung the old man off of her, into the wall behind the ice cream
shop's counter. She looked at Pluto. "Uh, hey, Setsuna... I thought
this was the future. What's he doing here?!"

        Pluto smiled. "Well, I warned you," she said sweetly. "Feeling
up to-"

        "Oh, yeah, baby!" Happosai called, pulling himself out of the

        Pluto paused. "Poor choice of words. What I mean to say is...
Are you ready to call off the engagement?"

        Ranma-chan glanced at her fiancee. "Why do you keep-"

        *SPLAT!* She was cut off as several large globs of ice cream
impacted her face.

        "Wrong answer," Pluto said calmly.

        Ranma-chan wiped the ice cream from her face. "Where'd that
come from?!"

        *SPLUT!* An ice cream pie splatted into her face.

        "Food fight!" Happosai called, tossing various ice cream-based
products at the redheaded girl.

        "Not ANOTHER one," Ranma-chan groaned, wiping the pie off her
face, getting a another one for her troubles. "I just got done with
people throwing stuff at me!"

        "Remember your training: dodge and panic," Pluto mumbled

        Not having heard her, Ranma-chan wiped off the pie and began
to use her speed training to strike away any incoming objects.
"No... (*Splat*) way... (*Gorsh*) am... (*Splut*) I (*Splutter*)
going to (*THWIP*) panic!"

        "Fine, don't," Pluto said, "it really doesn't matter."

        Nevertheless, Happosai continued tossing things at Ranma-chan.
"Hey, get a couple a your new friends together! We'll have a wet fuku
contest! I'll be the judge!"

        Ranma-chan recoiled slightly at that idea. "No way, you freak!"

        The door opened and a blue-haired young woman wearing a
blue-skirted, blue-bowed Sailor Senshi uniform entered. "Hello,
Ranma, I was looking forward to meeting you." She paused, pursing
her lips. "Why is-"

        *SPLAT!*GLOMP!* In one quick move, Happosai covered the
blue-haired young woman's face in blueberry sauce and latched on
to her.

        The blue-skirted Senshi slowly wiped the blue goo away from
her eyes and looked down at the small being snuggling against her.
She blinked, then paused, seemingly considering whether or not
to believe that this was actually happening.

        Finally, she did.


        "Mercury," Pluto sighed, "your response time needs work."

        "Get off of her!" Ranma-chan yelled, picking up a bowl of
ice cream to throw at the small old man.

        Happosai looked up at Mercury. "Well, it's been fun. Gotta
go." He leapt off of her.

        *SPLAT* The bowl of hideously cute, pink ice cream splattered
all over the blue-haired Senshi's uniform.

        "Uh, sorry!" Ranma-chan said.

        "OOF!" Happosai grunted, his attempt at glomping Sailor Pluto
being thwarted by a quick timestaff to the ribs.

        "Not today, I'm afraid," Pluto said disinterestedly.

        *GLOMP!* The old man shook off the strike and went back onto

        "So, Ranma, are you ready to cancel the engagement yet?"
the green-haired keeper of time asked nonchalantly.

        "What's that, Setsuna?" Ranma-chan asked, once more punting
Happosai into the wall behind the shop's counter.

        "Engagement?" Mercury asked, looking quizzically at the
redheaded girl. "What's going on here?"

        "Uh, long story," Ranma-chan said, glancing back at her,
ducking another splatter. He looked back at her again. "You know,
you look a lot like-"

        *SPLAT!* The redheaded girl was cut off by another ice cream

        "Hey, this place is well stocked," Happosai said, opening
a few cupboards, finding a few new items to toss.

        Ranma-chan stood up, again wiping the ice cream off her
face and uniform. "Okay, now you're gonna get it!"

        The battle was joined as she jumped behind a counter on the
opposite side of the room and began to retaliate by throwing her
own flurry of ice cream.

        "Typical, just typical," Sailor Pluto muttered to herself, her
face buried in her hands, the crossfire from around the room missing
her completely. On the table in front of her, debris from the battle
smashed together and plopped down in the form of a perfect banana
split. A small, plastic spoon imbedded itself in the mix.

        Sailor Mercury crawled under the main fighting toward Pluto.
"Sailor Pluto, what is going on here?!"

        The keeper of time looked down at her, considered something,
then pulled her up. "Have a seat."

        The slightly confused blue-highlighted Senshi took a seat
by Pluto, the exchange of Anything-Goes Martial Arts Ice Cream
Throwing mysteriously missing them both.

        Pluto looked down at her banana split, then pushed it in front
of Mercury. "Care for some ice cream?"

        Mercury looked at her, then at Happosai, then at Ranma-chan.
"Well... I suppose," the blue-haired Senshi said. "But what about

        "Do not worry about them," Pluto replied nonchalantly.

        "Take this, ya old freak!" Ranma-chan shouted, throwing a
huge, crystal container of rasberry frozen yogurt at the ancient
martial arts master.


        Sailor Pluto rolled her eyes at the utterly stereotypical
food fight going on about her.

        "Learn some respect for your elders!" Happosai called back,
crawling out from under the crystal bowl. He searched the small
freezers under the counter and pulled out a large, three-layer
cake. In a flash, he had replaced all the candles with firecrackers.
He threw the cake at Ranma-chan.


        Mercury closed her eyes and turned aside as the debris from
the blast flew past her. "Shouldn't we be doing something about

        "Do not worry," Pluto said reassuringly. "Our new Sailor Earth
is quite capable of handling this on her own."

        Slightly blackened, but otherwise uninjured, Ranma-chan crawled
out of the devastated counter, dripping with melted ice cream. "Oh,
man, are you dead!"

        "See?" Pluto asked, pointing toward the pigtailed girl.

        Mercury winced as Ranma-chan took another hit. "You're
_absolutely_ sure? Shouldn't we be helping her?"

        The keeper of time was silent. Mercury looked at her, then
looked at the battle, and decided that something had to be done.
She began to stand, gathering her powers for a strike. "Mercury Ice-"

        "Do not interfere," Pluto said in a tone that left no room
for argument. Instantly, Sailor Mercury's attack dissipated. "Sit
down. I have something I must discuss with you."

        The blue-haired Senshi sat back down, occasionally shooting
a concerned glance to the battle going on around the room.

        *GLOMP!* Happosai had again acquired a hold on the redheaded
martial artist... *THWACK!* And was once more thrown against the
wall. "Well, it looks like somebody's been practicing," he said,
relatively unhurt, despite the constant thrashing.

        "Either that, or you're just gettin' too old and slow,"
Ranma-chan said, beginning to glow with a massive, yellow aura.
She cupped her hands together in front of her, an extremely bright
ball beginning to form between them. "Mouko Takabisha!"

        *BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!!* The small ball of ki, unable to
contain itself, blew outward in a cone-shaped blast, obliterating
everything in its path.

        Ranma-chan was blown backwards into the remnants of a counter
from the force of the attack. "What the..." she said, looking at
her gloved hands, surprised the sheer power behind the strike.

        "Whoa," Happosai mumbled, having dodged and taken only the
side shockwave from the blast. He stood and brushed himself off,
glancing at the gaping hole that had been made in the crystalline
wall of the ice cream shop.

        The redheaded, sailor-suited girl stood and decided to try
her attack again, just to figure out what went wrong. "Mouko

        *BLAAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!* The shot went exactly as before,
tearing out another large section of the wall, the shockwave throwing
Happosai a couple yards away. Ranma-chan also flew back from the
force of the blast.

        "Yeouch!" the old man shouted, patting out the smoking fires
on his clothes.

        "What's goin' on here?" Ranma-chan asked in confusion.

        Sailor Pluto looked up from the conversation she was having
with Sailor Mercury. "Excuse me for a second," the keeper of time
said, standing and moving toward her fiancee.

        Happosai stood, wobbling for a second. Once he had stabilized
himself, he looked at the redhead. "What're ya doin'?!"

        Ranma-chan stood, and decided to try her attack again, to
see if she could figure it out this time. "Mouko-"

        "Oooh, look at the time, I gotta be going!" Happosai said,
beating a hasty retreat through one of the new exits.

        "You can stop for now, Ranma," Sailor Pluto said, putting a
hand on the other girl's shoulder.

        The yellow aura around Ranma-chan dissipated. She looked
around for Happosai. Not seeing him, she turned toward Pluto.
"What just happened with my attack?!"

        Sailor Pluto sighed. "Ranma, you are currently a Sailor Senshi.
With the transformation comes enhanced speed, strength, and just
about everything else you can possibly think of. Your attack was
boosted significantly by the powers of Earth."

        "The powers of Earth?"

        "Yes. You are Sailor Earth, and therefore, your powers come
from the planet Earth... plus whatever happens to be there. At the
present time, that includes the people of Crystal Tokyo, Queen
Serenity, King Endymion, Sailors Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter,
_Saturn_, Uranus, Neptune, and myself."

        Ranma-chan's eyes widened. "So I'm taking power from
everything on this planet? Even the people?"

        The green-haired Senshi smiled wryly. "What do you know... He
CAN learn," she whispered, then said, "Yes, you're drawing strength
from the people. All thirty million of them."

        "Oh boy," the redhead said, taking a moment to absorb the
concept, which seemed to her like something out of Dragon Ball Z or
GT, and what happened to the power levels when Raditz showed up.
Something else occurred to her. "Wait... did you say thirty million?"


        "Only thirty million? What happened to the other, like, four

        Pluto rolled her eyes. Telling about what happens this far
down the line would not have a significant historical impact,
especially when told to Ranma. He simply didn't play THAT important
of a role in the grand scheme of things. Besides, who was he going
to tell? More importantly, who'd believe him?

        So, that meant it was History Time... "Several assaults by...
otherworldly forces have taken their toll. Add to that the Great
Ice... Tack on a few skirmishes with Nemesis... Casualties are bound
to take place."

        Ranma-chan stared in shock. "I'll say." She thought about
it. "But I guess it had to happen eventually, huh? Some wacky
destiny thing?"

        "Something like that," the keeper of time agreed. She looked
out of the hole in the wall. "Don't you have an old man to catch?"

        "Uh, right," the pink-skirted Senshi said, then leapt through
the broken wall, following the feminine screams in the distance...

        Pluto turned and sat back down by Sailor Mercury. "Now,
back to what we were talking about. Have you, or would you ever,
given the chance, wield a huge croquet mallet to cause massive
bodily harm to a brand new Sailor Senshi?"

        Mercury blinked. "No... I don't believe so."

        "A large table?"


        "A giant rock?"


        "Not even your bare fists?"


        The keeper of time sighed. "Oh well. Scrap that idea, then.
Know any good methods of torture... or where I can find some?"

        The blue-haired young woman raised an eyebrow. "What for?
What is all this for?"

        "Oh, just a personal study. Just... you know, in case I have
a fiance I'd like to get rid of in an unnecessarily gory fashion..."

        "I'll... check the archives and see what I can find."

        "Thank you."


        "The beatings will continue until morale improves," Neo-Queen
Serenity said darkly, an snarling grimace spread across her face.
She turned toward Sailor Neptune.

        "I always wanted to see you do that," the aqua-haired Senshi
said, smiling uncontrollably.

        "Well, that was pointless," Sailor Mars said.

        "But it WAS funny," Uranus added.

        Serenity sighed, her expression returning to normal. "Well,
I'm glad to have been able to improve _someone's_ mood... Now,
I'd like to call this meeting to order... Where's Mercury?"

        Sailor Mercury hurried in, taking a seat at the large
conference table. "Apologies for my lateness, Queen Serenity...
I had to get cleaned up from an unpleasant encounter with some
odd, little creature."

        "Arby been giving you trouble?" Sailor Venus asked.

        Mercury shook her head, brushing back a stray lock of hair.
"No. It wasn't him. It was something... something else. It looked
dangerous, and I tried to help fight it, but Sailor Pluto wouldn't
allow me to. She kept assuring me that our new Sailor Earth could
handle it herself."

        "Hmm," Serenity said, "I'll have to ask her about that..."

        "By the way," Mars said, "am I the only one that's noticed
that Pluto's been acting a little weird lately? And what's that
stuffed penguin doing on the table?"

        Mercury nodded. "Yes, as a matter of fact. She just asked
me to research torture methods for her." She blinked and looked
at the table. "Penguin?"

        The penguin just sat there.

        "Think it'll lay an egg?" Venus whispered in jest to Jupiter.

        "Unless it's male," Jupiter replied, staring at the penguin.
"Looks fairly butch..." After another moment's examination, she
said thoughtfully, "It reminds me of my last..." She looked at
Venus, who snickered at her, holding up a small disc, which
projected the holographic image of a man who looked rather like a
stereotypical penguin. The brown-haired Senshi covered her mouth,
barely managing to contain her laughter.

        The Queen glanced at the two smirking Senshi, then looked back
at the rest of the group. "Has anyone else noticed anything strange
about Setsuna?"

        "Yeah, come to think of it," Saturn added, summoning her
Silence Glaive. "Ever since her fiancee got here, she hasn't quite
been herself..."

        Neo-Queen Serenity blinked. "Fiance? I wasn't aware that she
was engaged..." She glanced at the bladed staff that Saturn was
holding. "Why do you have that out? You know very well that you
are not to use your powers without _very_ good reason."

        The Senshi of Silence smiled. "Well, it's just that... it's
nine o'clock. Time for the penguin on the table to explode."

        "Why is that?" Mercury asked, wondering where that particular
train of thought came from.

        *BLAM!* Sailor Saturn aimed her Glaive at the penguin and
fired a small shot, completely obliterating the small stuffed animal
in an explosion of cotton stuffing.

        There was Silence as the rest of the group tried to comprehend
why she just did that.

        "Well... It's not as if I never... abused my powers when I was
a Senshi," Serenity said, breaking the Silence. "However... you are
supposed to responsible with them... and I shouldn't have to explain
this to you now. What has been with you these past few days?"

        "Oh," Sailor Saturn said, twiddling her thumbs uncomfortably.
She stood up proudly and began singing.

o/I'm a Sailor Scout and I'm okay!
  I work all night and I sleep all day!\o

        Neo-Queen Serenity sweatdropped.

        Uranus and Neptune chorused along, smiling and holding the
mangled tune remarkably well.

o/She's a Sailor Scout and she's okay!
  She works all night and sleeps all day!\o

o/I blow down droids, I eat 'em for lunch,
  I send 'em to the Void!
  On Wednesdays I go shopping, and get somewhat annoyed!\o

        Mars and Mercury stared in disbelief.

        Venus and Jupiter looked at each other, shrugged, and started
singing along with Uranus and Neptune.

o/She blows down droids, she eats 'em for lunch,
  She sends 'em to the Void!
  On Wednesday, she goes shopping, and gets somewhat annoyed!
  She's a Sailor Scout, and she's okay!
  She works all night and sleeps all day!\o

o/I blow down droids, I skip and jump,
  I like to get weird tattoos!
  I put on biker's clothing,
  And hang around in bars!\o

o/She blows down droids, she skips and jumps,
  And likes to get weird tattoos.
  She puts on biker's clothing...
  And hangs around in... bars?\o

        Neptune and Uranus were still going strong, but Jupiter
and Venus started to drop out of the song. They shrugged and
brightened up as soon as they hit the chorus.

o/She's a Sailor Scout, and she's okay!
  She works all night and sleeps all day!\o

o/I blow down droids, I wear thick boots,
  Leather, and steel studs!
  I wish I'd rode a Harley,
  Just like my dear Mama!\o

o/She blows down droids, she wears thick boots...\o

        Venus and Jupiter looked at each other quizzically. "Leather
and steel studs...?"

        Mercury looked on, agape, and raised an eyebrow. "Hotaru...
I had no idea."

        The song died off and Saturn sat back down.

        Once again, there was an uncomfortable Silence.

        Saturn looked around at the rest of the group and smiled.
"I _do_ have a life outside being a Senshi, you know."

        Serenity raised an eyebrow, looking vaguely disturbed. "Now
that you have *THAT* out of your system, I would like to continue
this meeting."

        "Okay," Saturn said, smiling contentedly. Neptune and Uranus
nodded their acquiescence, and burst into hysterical laughter.

        "What's that all about?" Venus whispered to Mars.

        "I don't know, but it seems like everyone in this world has
gone mad except for me," the raven-haired Senshi whispered back.

        "Or maybe it's just you," Venus whispered, then smiled. "Or
maybe it's just me." Her smile deepened into a cheshire-cat grin.
"But then, we're all mad here..."

        Sailor Mars just stared. "Riiight."

        "In ANY case," the Queen continued, cutting off the side
murmuring and laughter as gently as she could, "I would like to
discuss the plans we have for finalizing the opening of the new
section of Crystal Tokyo-"

        *CRASH!* Smashing directly through one of the large, hard,
diamond windows overlooking Crystal Tokyo came a small, shriveled
creature carrying a sack. He landed in the center of the conference

        He opened the sack and snuggled into its contents. "Ah, my
wonderful, silky, silky, silky darlings! Never before have I felt
your equal!"

        **GLOMP!!!** Before anyone could react, the small thing leapt
on Sailor Jupiter, knocking her out of her chair and rolling with
her along the floor until they hit the wall with a *Whump*.

        "What the... Get off, ya freak," the brown-haired Sailor
Senshi said, tearing violently at the thing clutching onto her.

        In the next second, the Senshi were up and ready for combat.

        "It's what Ranma was fighting!" Mercury shouted.

        "Sailor Mars," Serenity said in concern, "is it evil? Should
we fight it?"

        "It's evil," Mars confirmed. She whipped out one of her
paper anti-evil wards. "BEGONE, EVIL SPIRIT!!!"

        The small creature, being distracted by the exceptionally
good time he was having with Jupiter, didn't see the ward coming,
and therefore didn't dodge quickly enough.

        *HISSSSSSSSS* The ward sizzled against the evil thing, which
dropped to the floor, slightly dazed. "Whoa..."

        Jupiter leapt off the floor into a backflip to land beside
the other Senshi. "Let's take this thing out."

        "Alright!" Venus said enthusiastically.

        "Sparkling Wide Pressure!"
        "Mercury Aqua Rhapsody!"
        "Mars Flame Sniper!"
        "World Shaking!"
        "Venus Love and Beauty Shock!"
        "Deep Submerge!"

        Saturn held out her Glaive and quickly powered up.


        All of the attacks coalesced into one huge ball of sparking,
swirling, breaking, drenching, freezing, burning, blasting, killing,
monster-destroying so we can go home later and have a party energy...

        *KABLAAAAAAM!!!!* Which blew out the entire magically
reinforced crystal wall, plus a generous portion of the floor.

        "Oh dear," Serenity said in shock.

        "Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen," Sailor Saturn said, twirling
her Glaive above her head, "is what we call tappin' a keg a' whup-"

        "Happodaikaran!" a voice behind them shouted.

        The Senshi turned around...

        *BLAAM!* Just quickly enough to see the large bomb that the
small creature had lobbed explode, knocking them out of the room;
the room that was near the top of the tallest building in Crystal

        Serenity watched in horror as her closest friends tumbled
downward, quite possibly to their deaths. She looked at the cause
of this dire situation. "You monster!" she shouted, bringing out
the Ginzuishou, which was atop the current incarnation of the Moon

        The small creature grinned lecherously at her.

        "Moon Cosmic-"

        *GLOMP!* The wand was unceremoniously knocked from Serenity's
hands as the little thing flung himself forward onto her,
accidentally shoving both of them out the hole in the wall.

        "Sweeto," the creature whispered contentedly, nuzzling himself
against the beautiful blonde queen, not noticing or caring that they
were plummeting to their doom.

        In the room, the wand clattered to the floor.


        "Here are seven unsuccessful encyclopedia salesmen," Sailor
Neptune noted sedately.

        "Okay, don't panic," Sailor Uranus said, watching the ground
approach. "Uh, can anyone here fly?"

        "All of the Inner Senshi can," Mercury reminded, maintaining
her composure remarkably well. "If we upgrade to Eternal level, that

        "Well, do it!" Saturn shouted urgently.

        "Eternal Power, Make Up!" the Inner Senshi shouted in unison.


        Neo-Queen Serenity clashed desperately with her new foe.

        It was of no use. The creature seemed to grow stronger with
every second as it groped, snuggled, rubbed, and otherwise fondled
her; an altogether unpleasant experience. Though Serenity didn't feel
any major energy drain, the small being seemed to somehow be drawing
massive amounts of power from her.

        Whatever it was, it had proven to be malicious and destructive,
and therefore had to be stopped.

        The Queen was reminded of the other problem as she felt the
air rush past her. She looked down and saw five of the Senshi
engaged in their respective transformation sequences.

        Serenity blinked, wondering why they were transforming. Then,
as the wings formed on the back of the Senshi, she remembered.

        "Wings!" she realized.

        As Neo-Queen Serenity, she also had wings. Not having had to
use them that often, it was easy to forget a little detail like that.
Attempting to use them to slow her descent, she made a frightening

        One of her wings had somehow been caught in the small monster's
grasp, and there seemed to be no hope of being able to get it free.

        "Ah, my precious," the creature murmured in satisfaction.

        Below, the transformation sequences finished... a mere three
meters from the ground.

        Three of the Inner Senshi quickly grabbed an Outer Senshi.
All of those with wings used them to slow their fall.

        Serenity held her breath, hopes rising.

        *WHAM*WHAM*WHAM*WHAM*WHAM*WHAM*WHAM* In quick succession,
all of the Senshi hit the ground. They didn't get up.

        "No," Serenity whispered in despair. Her Senshi had not made
it... And the monster had not loosened its grip on her wing. She
watched the ground rush up, and knew that she wouldn't be able to
stop... Where was Endymion when you really needed him?

        "Mouko Takabisha!" a voice rang out.

        A small, concentrated, laser-like blast impacted on the small
creature, tearing it off of the Queen and blowing it away.

        Serenity quickly unfurled her wings and desperately tried
to slow her descent in the small distance that remained between her
and the ground... and was caught.

        "Ooof," her impromptu coushin said, knocked to the ground from
the force of the impact.

        Neo-Queen Serenity looked up to see the face of a redheaded
girl. Her eyes widened for a moment. "Terra!"

        At the girl's raised eyebrow, the queen thought about it, then
remembered who this girl really was. She quickly shook her head and
looked back at the girl holding her. It wasn't Terra, her long lost
friend/adoptive sister/fellow warrior, but: "Ranma!"

        "Uh, yeah. Sorry I'm late," the martial artist said, laughing
nervously. "I... kinda lost track of the ol' pervert the last time
I blasted 'em."

        "I'm glad you came," Serenity said sadly, "but the others..."

        Ranma-chan glanced at the group of sailor-suited young women
on the ground.

        Uranus sat up, groaning, holding her head. The rest of the
Senshi started to make attempts to get up.

        "They're alright," Serenity whispered joyfully.

        A far-off commotion attracted their attention.

        "I gotta go take care a' that guy," Ranma-chan said, standing
and placing Serenity on her feet.

        "Be careful," the Queen pleaded. "It's extremely dangerous...
I don't want to lose you again."

        Ranma-chan blinked. "Me... again?"

        "I... don't want to lose another Sailor Earth," Serenity
quickly amended.

        "Hey, don't worry about me," the redhead said, unconcerned.
"I've fought this guy before. I'll be fine." She glanced at the
wounded Senshi. "And when I'm through with him, he won't be."

        The new Sailor Earth rushed away, following the distant
yelling and screaming.

        Serenity watched her leave, then moved to kneel by the Senshi.
"Are all of you alright?"

        Sailor Mars tried to sit up, but slumped back to the ground.
"Not really," she groaned.

        "I've had worse," Saturn said. "Come on, ya pansies." She
made an effort to stand, using her Glaive for support, but collapsed,
unable to move. "Alright, we'll call it a draw..."

        "That was some fall," Jupiter muttered.

        "You're telling us," Mercury said, dazed.

        "As a friend once said," Venus stated, lying on her back,
"to err is human... but to really mess up, you've gotta be a
girl in a miniskirt with wings when pigs fly off the beaten path!"
She pondered that idea for a moment. "Well, it was something like
that, anyway."


        Crystal Tokyo... Such a beautiful place, really.

        Exquisite sapphire structures adorned the landscape, giving
the entire city celestial overtones.

        Many small walkways wove their way through lush, vibrant
flower gardens at the base of the sparkling crystal buildings.

        Shallow pools of shimmering, pristine water decorated the

        Occasionally, one could find a lake, the water as clear and
clean as the smaller pools, yet hosting a dazzling array of exotic
fish, plants, and other aquatic life.

        During the daytime, the sight was extraordinary as the
sunlight refracted through the city's crystalline formations.

        At night, however, the celestial hues transformed into
outright heavenly majesty.

        Glowing crystal spires, twined with ornamental vines provided
a soft, yet distinct illumination beside the walkways and roads,
and oftentimes there were lights shining atop the taller buildings.

        The glow highlighted the beautiful gardens and pools, as well
as giving the buildings their ambient sparkle.

        Viewed from a distance, Crystal Tokyo appeared to be a
shining beacon, all alone in the night, seemingly fighting the
darkness that surrounded it.

        It truly was a divine paradise.

        Wouldn't it be just horrible if something... unpleasant were
to happen to it?

        "Happodaikaran!" Happosai called from atop the second level
balcony of the exquisite Royal Palace, tossing down a rather large
bomb into the fabulously decorated courtyard fountain.

        *KABLAM!* Ranma-chan took the full blast, shielding a group
of more or less innocent bystanders from it, which utterly
obliterated the fountain, tore a huge hunk out of the pavement, and
shattered all of the many stained-glass windows in the building.

        The sailor-suited martial artist was barely singed. "Ha! Is
that all you've got, old man?!"

        The three bystanders quickly thanked her for the save and
made a hasty exit.

        "And what's the deal with attacking innocent people, huh?!"
Ranma-chan asked incredulously.

        Happosai looked down at her. "Hey! I'm sorry about that! I
just survived getting blown through the timestream after a couple
months in outer space! My aim was little off. Gimme a break!"

        Ranma-chan stared. "You nearly killed Queen Serenity, her
friends, and a few bystanders, and you want me to give you a break!?"

        *GLOMP!!!* In an instant, the old man was on her. "Well, when
ya put it that way, it DOES sound a little extreme here, doesn't-"

        *WHAM!* Ranma-chan quickly tore off Happosai and sent him
crashing through a beautiful, crystal pillar.

        "Ow," Happosai mumbled as he pulled himself out of the rubble
he made out of magically enhanced fine sapphire. "How do you keep
doing that?! You couldn't do that before!"

        The redheaded martial artist, breaking all traditions and rules
of common sense, took a moment amidst the battle she was supposed to
be fighting to think about that.

        For several days, she had performed feats of speed, strength,
and endurance that were lightyears beyond what she had been able to
do normally.

        Usually, she would be exhausted nearly to the point of
unconsciousness after using even a medium-sized ki blast, and now she
was tossing around enormous bursts of power like they were nothing.

        In the last couple days, she had gone through an extreme,
nonstop running and dodging session, and had barely gotten winded
until she started sprinting past the speed of sound.

        Setsuna told her that she was getting extra power from Earth
and its inhabitants... but she hadn't had much of a chance to think
over the sheer scale of the energy boost until now.

        Ranma-chan began to consider the possibility that this
'Sailor Senshi' thing wouldn't be so bad after all. It had *REALLY*
helped her fight off Happosai. Not that she couldn't take him out
normally if given the chance...

        There was, however, the fuku to consider. An embarrassing
outfit, to say the least. She was glad that nobody around here
seemed to think it was anything out of the ordinary. Having
Happosai see her in it was bad enough without having to deal with
anyone else.

        Good thing Nabiki wasn't here...

        *Click!*Click!* An audible click of a camera was heard.

        "Huh?!" Ranma-chan blurted out, looking around in shock.

        "Wave to the nice Sailor Senshi, Nabiki," Sailor Pluto said
to the girl standing next to her.

        She did so. "Thanks, Ranma!" she called, then whispered to
herself, "I'm gonna be rich... Kuno's going to LOVE these..."

        "Doh!" Ranma-chan shouted in frustration, slapping her hand
to her forehead. "Setsuna, Nabiki... PLEASE don't let this get out."

        Sailor Pluto shrugged. "I _DID_ warn you..."

        Pluto and Nabiki disappeared.

        "Oh, great," the sailor-suited redhead muttered to herself.
She turned back to Happosai just in time to notice that he was quite
near to glomping her again. "Hiruu Shoten Ha!!!"

        *WROOOOOOOOOOOOAR!!!!!* Harnessing her own power as opposed
to using Happosai's hot chi, Ranma-chan created an impossibly strong
whirlwind around her.

        The old man was unable to prevent being caught up in it.

        "Whooooaaaaa!" Ranma-chan shouted in surprise as she barely
managed to hold the Rising Dragon Ascension in some semblance of

        The richly ornate balconies tore off the palace from the force
of the wind. Various other debris started to collect in the spiraling
gale. The shining crystal surfaces began to wear down in the extreme
friction caused by the rapidly moving rubble.

        "Okay, now how do I stop this!?" Ranma-chan asked rhetorically,
beginning to lose control over the appallingly intense swirling air

        As if on cue, the wind stopped.

        *Thump!*THUD!*Crash!* All of the debris came tumbling down...
on top of Happosai. "Ow-(*SMASH*)-HEY-(*WHAM*)-ACK-(*SLAM!*)-URK!"

        Ranma-chan smirked as she saw this. "What's the matter? Losin'
your touch, old man?"

        Happosai spit out a huge hunk of crystal and climbed out of
the beautiful pile of glistening junk. "Not hardly, boy!"

        Ranma-chan shrugged and held her hands forward. She took a
wide stance, bracing herself for the recoil her attack would be
sure to cause. A dense, yellow aura radiated from her. "Mouko-"

        "Ya like wind, eh?" Happosai asked. "Hentai Surprise!"

        A strong breeze arose from beneath Ranma-chan, blowing up
her skirt. "Taka--HEY!" she shouted, pushing her pink mini-skirt
back down, her attack dissipating as she lost her concentration.

        "Hehehe," Happosai laughed, leering.

        "Hey, wait a sec..." Ranma-chan said in bemusement. She was
a guy! She didn't worry about stuff like that! Not in the thick of
battle, in any case. It wasn't very manly...

        So, she stopped holding down her skirt--not much of a skirt,
anyway--and got back in her ready stance...

        *WHOOOOOOOSH!!!* Only to be blown upwards by a sudden gust.

        "Surprise!" Happosai called with a grin as he watched the
redhead spiral off toward another part of the glittering city.


        Most sentient beings have very odd habits.

        Whether it be collecting mushrooms, fighting absurdly strange
martial artists, blowing things up, or stating the obvious, nearly
everyone has some obnoxious quirk about them.

        There have been many questions as to whether this is a bad
thing. There have been far more answers, ranging from, "No. Quirks
are what make people unique," to, "Ya bleedin' daft, man?! OF COURSE

        Attempts at removing said quirks from individuals have met
with varied results.

        Some have succeeded, while others just made it worse.

        Such is the case with Neo-Queen Serenity.

        Initially, kindheartedness and concern for others was merely
an afterthought for her. Ever present, yes, but second place to
either her whiney-ness, selfishness, clumsiness, or any of a
dozen wonderfully endearing flaws.

        However, several horrific experiences have heightened her
concern for others, and as a result has become more kind than anyone
could have ever imagined.

        These experiences involved nearly constant battle with the
forces of evil, seeing her friends and loved ones injured,
slaughtered, consumed, or converted by the lieutenants and leaders
of those dark forces, and finally having to give her life over and
over again to repair all the damage that had been done...

        One would think that she'd be used to it by now.

        Well, allow me to put it this way... If one is constantly
punched in the shoulder, do you build up an immunity to being hit...
or do you just get sore?

        If you are in battle for an extended period of time, and if
that battle involves guns and bombs, do you eventually not care about
the sound of them... or do you get shell-shocked?

        If you get covered in sausage and repeatedly thrown into a pit
of starving cats, do you not mind cats after a while... or do you
become deathly afraid at the mere thought of them?

        Finally, if you see your friends killed over and over again in
varyingly grotesque manners, do you stop caring about seeing them
hurt... or do you worry about them all the more?

        "Are you _certain_ that you are alright, Lita?" Neo-Queen
Serenity asked in concern.

        "Don't worry, I'm fine," Sailor Jupiter replied with a
reassuring smile.

        "Is everyone else okay now?" Serenity queried the rest of
the Senshi. They indicated the affirmative. "Good... I just hope
that Ranma is alright..."

        *CRASH!* A sailor-suited figure fell face-first into the
magically reinforced concrete pavement, imbedding her head into it.

        "RANMA!" Serenity shouted in shock, running towards her,
quickly followed by her Senshi.

        Ranma-chan struggled for a second, then managed to pull
herself out of the walkway. She stood up dazedly. "That's right...
It's thirty-two minutes past the hour, and here's the Buckinghams
with 'Kind of a Drag.'"

        The redhead wobbled for a second, then fell flat on her back.

        "Ranma! Are you alright?!" Serenity asked.

        Ranma-chan groaned, her eyes closed tightly.

        Serenity turned toward Mercury. "PLEASE tell me you still
have the medical program installed in your computer."

        The blue-haired Senshi nodded and touched her right earring.
A transparent blue visor appeared in front of her eyes. She took
out a small, blue laptop computer and began imputing commands.

        Ranma-chan opened her eyes, gritted her teeth, and stood.
"I'm gonna get that old geezer..." she muttered under her breath.
She began to leave, but Neo-Queen Serenity stopped her.

        "Wait," she said, then turned to Mercury. "Is she injured

        Mercury blinked, staring at the readings in front of her.
"No... As a matter of fact, aside from a few unusual..." She trailed
off, looking at the redhead in question. "Do you spend a significant
amount of your time in lower Earth orbit or something?"

        Ranma-chan laughed nervously. "Actually... I, uh..." She
stopped as she heard more feminine screams in the background.
"Okay, look, I gotta go finish this."

        Serenity held her new Sailor Earth by the shoulder. "I can't
let you go back."

        The redhead blinked. "Er... Why not?"

        "What I mean to say is... I can't let you go back... alone.
The rest of the Senshi are going with you."

        "Oh no, they're not," Sailor Pluto said calmly, appearing
mysteriously behind Neo-Queen Serenity, who leapt up in surprise
and landed in her arms.

        There was a pause before anything was said.

        "Sailor Pluto," Serenity began, "could you please put me down?"

        Pluto nodded. "Yes... You're mindless, worry too much, and
make a horrible queen."


        All noise, including the background screams halted in the
wake of the soft sound of crickets chirping.

        "You people have no sense of humor," Pluto said in monotone,
placing Serenity on her feet. The screams resumed. "But in all
seriousness, Ranma must face this ancient evil alone. No one must
interfere, for this battle is hi... hers alone."

        Serenity thought about it. "Is this a situation where
before Ranma can truly become a Senshi, she has to face her worst,
darkest enemy... or have I been rewatching too much Star Wars?"

        "Yes," Pluto said with just the proper amount of ominous
mysteriousness, doing a perfect imitation of a Vorlon. She turned
to Ranma-chan. "Go."

        The girl in the pink-highlighted sailor fuku hesitated.
"Wait a sec, Setsuna... I wanted to ask you something..."

        "Go... NOW!" Pluto emphasized this by rapping her timestaff
against the ground.

        "Okay, later, then," Ranma-chan said uneasily, then rushed
off, occasionally glancing back.

        "Sailor Pluto," Jupiter began, "really, why can't we help

        *BLAM*BLAM*BLAAAAM!!!* Several explosions flared on the
opposite side of Crystal Tokyo, illuminating the countryside as they
tore through the terrain just outside of the city.

        "That's why," Pluto replied. "The Black Moon is staging a major
assault on Crystal Tokyo. If you act quickly, you have a chance at
preventing any casualties." She handed Serenity the wand she had
dropped earlier. "Their forces are considerable. You will need this."

        The Queen paled. "Is it _that_ bad?"

        The keeper of time shrugged. "No, but it will be if you don't
act now." She disappeared.

        Serenity turned to her Senshi. "Well, you heard her."

        "We're on it," Venus said, motioning for the other Sailors to
get into position for teleportation.


        Every hyper-powered human has some sort of energy source.

        Some use planets, others use magical gems or empowered
artifacts, while still others can draw upon their own internal

        Internal energies for humans consist mainly of two things:
Chi and Ki. In order to determine whether you are using Chi or Ki,
you must first find out what country your martial arts is based

        If you need to have a Ki attack, make certain that you are
studying a Japanese style. For some odd reason, Ki is only found
in techniques based around that area.

        If you must have Chi, then Chinese is the only way to go.

        If you want Qi, though, the martial arts are slightly more

        On the other hand, the terms could be interchangeable,
if you really wanted them to be.

        One needs only have a whole lot of it, whatever it is.

        Unfortunately, your average human being is normally incapable
of generating the sheer quantities of energy required to incinerate
one's enemies.

        Even slightly strange people have difficulties gathering
their energy into a coherent form.

        So, one must be an obnoxiously weird individual in order to
use major Ki attacks.

        These obnoxiously weird people often have a focus helps them
collect and use their high level of Chi.

        Some need to be extremely confident, to the point of thinking
that their fiancee, who smashes bricks with barely an afterthought
and routinely decimates hordes of male attackers, isn't much of a

        Others need to be depressed beyond the point of absurdity.

        A few can focus their energy through love or hatred... but
one thing remains the same: It is, for the most part, a matter of
harnessing the proper emotions.

        Then again, there are a couple individuals who forego this
sort of thing entirely and simply use women's underwear...

        "Ah, my silky darlings," Happosai said to the items he had
just liberated from their unseen captivity.

        The beautiful young woman that the old man was currently
attached to trembled in fear. "H...HELP!"

        Happosai looked up into the girl's glistening blue eyes.
"This is a nice place, you know... Glittering gowns, beautiful
women... a wonderful selection of pa-" He broke off as he heard a
loud humming behind him, combined with a now-familiar energy

        "Mouko Takabisha!"

        *BLAM!* A concentrated burst knocked the old man off the
young woman.

        A redheaded girl in a pink-highlighted sailor fuku ran into
view. "You okay?" she asked the other girl.

        The girl nodded. "Yes, I am now..." She paused. "You don't
look like any of the normal Senshi... Who are you?"

        "Ran-" the redhead began to say, then looked down at her
outfit as she reconsidered her answer. "S..ailor Earth, I guess..."

        The girl smiled at her defender with large, tear-filled eyes.
"Thank you, Sailor Earth!" she said gratefully before hurrying off.

        "Aw," Ranma-chan said, blushing slightly. "It was nothing."
At the back of her mind, she noted that in this 'Sailor Earth'
business, she did get thanked a LOT more than usual...

        As she began to think about how nice the situation had really
been for the past while, she noted with some irritation that she
hadn't had a chance to change back to a guy for well over a week...
Of course, that'd have to wait until she figured out how to get out
of the fuku... and THAT would have to wait until she got some time
off from the 'Sailor Senshi' thing she had agreed to be a part of.

        Besides, the fuku seemed to be indestructible. Despite several
days of intense workouts, the recent ice cream splatterings, and the
more or less constant battering, it was always down there, taunting
her with its slightly cute, pink, pristine appearance; Despite
everything, it remained perfectly intact, and had stayed annoyingly

        A practical upshot of this was that despite the harsh, sweaty
exertion and days without a shower, bath, or even an untimely splash
of water, she remained just as clean as her outfit.

        With all the other surprises that had come with the fuku so
far, it made her wonder what else there was...

        "Happodaikaran!" Happosai shouted as he finished working his
way out of the painfully thorned rose garden he had been blasted
into, tossing a fuse bomb at the other martial artist.

        *KABLAM!* A spherical energy shield flared up around
Ranma-chan, blocking the blast entirely.

        "Whoa... If this goes on for much longer, I could get to like
it," Ranma-chan whispered to herself in astonishment.

        *GLOMP!* Happosai took advantage of the sailor-suited girl's
distraction and jumped on her.

        *WHAM!* In a quick move, Ranma-chan tore the old man off of
her and imbedded him into a crystal wall. "Don't you ever get tired
of that, old man?!"

        *GLOMP!!!!* Happosai pulled himself out of the wall and
fiercely latched back on. "NEVER!!!"

        Ranma-chan grabbed the old man, intent on pulling him off
again... but found that he was quite secure. "Hey! Get off!"

        "Not this time, my dear Ranma-chan," the small thing replied,
nuzzling ever closer and groping ever more vigorously.

        Ranma-chan looked down at Happosai in disgust and held her
hands in front of his face, beginning to glow with a yellow aura.
"We can do this the easy way or the hard way!"

        "I like it here!" the old man replied, smiling fanatically.
He looked up fearlessly at the ball of ki beginning to form between
Ranma-chan's hands.

        "Alright, then... MOUKO TAKABISHA!"

        *BLAAAAAM!!!!* The blast exploded between the two combatants,
throwing them apart.

        *CRASH!* Ranma-chan flew upwards and backwards, smashing
through the third floor wall of a Crystal Tokian residential center.

        *RUMBLE* Happosai tore through the street's concrete surface,
digging deeply through several meters of hard-packed dirt.


        Ranma-chan groaned and held her head as she sat up in the
sapphire debris. "Ugh... Maybe that wasn't such a good idea..." She
stood and winced as she felt the material of her fuku rub against
her sore chest. "Ow..." She looked down and saw the scorched material
of her sailor-suit slowly regenerate. "Yeah... That's what I

        The original occupant of the apartment stood on the other
side of the room, a puzzled expression on his face. He glanced at
the gaping hole in the ten-inch-thick sapphire wall, then looked
at the redheaded Senshi. "I'm almost afraid to ask..."

        Ranma-chan took a deep breath, feeling the soreness subside.
She looked at the man. "Do me a favor and don't. Long story, okay?"

        The man shrugged. "I'll take your word for it, then... By
the way, are you the new Sailor Earth that so much is being said

        Ranma-chan slowly nodded. "Yeah, I guess so."

        "Is it true that you're engaged to Sailor Pluto?!" the man
asked earnestly.

        The redheaded girl paused nervously. "Er, well, yeah, but-"

        *GLOMP!* Happosai jumped through the hole in the wall, right
onto Ranma-chan's chest. "Haha! Gotcha this time!"

        *SMASH!* Ranma-chan brought her fist down on the old man's
head, knocking him off of her and imbedding him into the floor.

        The other man in the room held his hand to his head in
realization. "No, wait... Don't tell me... Overzealous grandfather
that doesn't approve of your marriage to another girl, right?"

        Ranma-chan blinked, then looked at him, making sure to grind
the heel of her boot into Happosai's head to keep him down. "Huh?
This guy is *NOT* my grandfather." She paused. "I hope..." She
looked at the man. "And whaddaya ya mean: Another girl?! I'm a-"

        Happosai used the distraction to twist out of the impression
and climb up the sailor-suited girl's legs, taking the opportunity
to grope everything as he made his way back up to Ranma-chan's
chest. "Oh, man, this is great stuff!"

        Ranma-chan looked down at him in disgust. "You're sick, old

        "And how!" Happosai replied happily.

        *WHAM!* Ranma-chan backhanded the little freak off onto the
wall, where he absorbed the impact and jumped back at her.

        *WHACK!* A quick roundhouse kick sent Happosai thudding
back against the wall. He slid down onto a sofa, a slightly dazed
expression on his face. He shook his head to clear the confusion
and looked at the younger martial artist. "Stop that!"

        Ranma-chan smirked. "What's the matter? Startin' to feel
yer age, O Decrepit One?"

        Happosai stood, glaring annoyedly at her, beginning to glow
with a thick, blue aura. "Skirt Chaser Jam!"

        Ranma-chan ducked as a massive ball of ki sped by her,
flying out the hole in the wall. She looked at Happosai and
laughed. "Oops, looks like you're losin' your eyesight now, too!"

        *KABLAM!* The ball of ki circled back around and nailed
her in the rear, driving her head through the ceiling. She flailed
around in surprise.

        Happosai took a moment to admire the view this provided. He
rolled up his sleeves and prepared to-

        "Wait," the other man in the room said.

        "What?" Happosai asked, startled by the interruption.

        "Couldn't you two go somewhere... safer to kill each other?
I have some paperwork that I'd like to finish, if it's all the
same to you..."

        The old man thought it over and grinned. "Yeah, okay..." He
yanked Ranma-chan out of the roof, threw her over her shoulder, and
jumped out the window, laughing maniacally.

        "Senshi today," the man said, slowly shaking his head. "Always
getting in over their heads. 'Simply isn't proper."


        And, no more than a swallow's flight away...

        A platoon of Nemesian combat droids marched unchallenged
through the streets of Crystal Tokyo.

        Their fearsome, bishonen commander, an empowered human whom
we shall call, for the sake of argument, Commander Fancy Pants,
was, in true Nemesian Fashion, standing at the rear of his troops.

        "The next person to call me Commander Fancy Pants dies," the
commander announced cheerfully.

        "We're all droids here, sir. Not people," one of the more
talkative cannon fodder in the group said.

        "Ah, yes, well, you know what I mean," Commander Fancy Pants
replied. He pulled out a Portable Communications Device(TM) and
activated it. "It's quiet here. Where are they?"

        The PCD crackled, the sounds of horrific battle heard in the
background. [PLAT@#%$@#%^*R THIRTEEN!!! YOU ARE IN THE WRONG AREA!
IMMEDIA$#^%#$^] The PCD crackled again, then went silent.

        "Oops," Commander Fancy Pants said indifferently, right before
a rather large firecracker landed in his arms. "Oh dear, I appear
to be about to die." He tossed the bomb to one of his inferiors.
"Absorb the blast for me, will you?"

        The droid obliged, stuffing the large firecracker down its
readily expandable mouth.

        *KABLAM!* After the explosion, it disintegrated into a pile
of black dust and a dark-red gem with a black, upside-down crescent
moon on it plopped down into the pile. The crescent moon vanished
and the gem turned black.

        "Ah, I love having cannon fodder to throw around," Fancy
Pants continued as a very small old man with a red-headed girl
in a sailor-suit slung over his shoulder jumped on top of his head,
and, just as quickly, jumped off. "What was that?"

        "LET GO, OLD MAN!" the girl shouted, struggling against the
old man's grip.

        "Heehehehehehe..." the shriveled old guy laughed.

        After a minor struggle, the sailor-suited girl broke free
of the small man's grasp and jumped away to stand on top of a two
story crystal building. She cupped her hands together and charged up
an energy blast. "Mouko... Takabisha!"

        *BLAM!!!* The blast shredded the ground beneath the old man
as he jumped away, blowing a rasberry at the girl.

        Commander Fancy Pants watched them fight, then smiled and
clapped his hands together in joy. "Oh, goodie! Do you see what I
see? It's one of them! Look, everyone! Mini skirts ahoy! I've always
wanted to bring one home to cousin Thursday as a trophy, and it's
just the right color! Now, as you remember, the only way to capture
a Senshi's mini-skirt is to destroy the Senshi herself! Now, let's
go out there and snatch it!"

        "Um, sir?" yet another cannon-fodder droid asked nervously.

        Fancy Pants glared angrily at his minion. "WHAT IN THE DEPTHS

        The droid cowered noticeably. "Er... The Senshi... She doesn't
seem to be after us; she seems rather occupied with that man."

        Commander Fancy Pants straightened his fancy jacket, and
rolled up his fancy sleeves. "Well, we'll just have to change that,
then, won't we, utterly mindless minion?"

        The droid stared. "Don't we have to get over to-"

        *BLAM!* The Fancy Panted Platoon Leader obliterated the
cannon-fodder droid in a single shot. He looked at the rest of his
troops, and addressed them in his annoyingly high-pitched voice,
"Now, we won't have any more insubordination within the ranks, will

        "No, sir! Commander Fancy Pants, sir!" all the droids shouted
in unison.

        Commander Fancy Pants gasped and lifted his hand to his mouth
in shock. "Oh dear... You've just done something wrong..." He
straightened. "I'm afraid you'll all have to die now."

        "But-" one of the droids spluttered.

        "No buts," Fancy Pants replied, and systematically vaporized
all forty-eight of his remaining troops. He looked around at the
numerous piles of dust he had just created. "Oh, what a mess..."
he said, and was promptly annihilated by a stray ki blast.

        "Nice shot," Ranma-chan congratulated Happosai, looking at
the newly-formed pile of dust.

        "Eh, it was nothing," Happosai replied, walking toward her
nonchalantly. He casually glanced at a slightly torn, but slowly
regenerating part of the front of Ranma-chan's sailor fuku. "Sweeto!"

        *GLOMP!* And the battle continued...


        And now for something completely the same...

        "It's," Sailor Saturn whispered to Uranus and Neptune.

        The other two Outer Senshi hummed a relatively short theme,
finishing off with, "Da-da da da dah daaa dah daa da dah!"

        *SQUISH!* A giant foot, constructed from a combination of the
powers of the three Outer Senshi, came down and smashed an entire
company of droids, plus a commander or ten, before vanishing.

        Eternal Sailor Mars glanced at them with a raised eyebrow.
"What's the problem with you three!? We're in the middle of a
battle here! It's no time to be joking around!"

        Neptune shrugged. "However you look at it, it did work..."

        Mars sighed, slowly shaking her head. Not able to dispute the
effectiveness of the technique, she flew skyward, preparing a
rather potent eternal-level area attack to send the enemy.

        "Mars Fuel Air Explosive!"

        *KAAAABLAAAAAM!* A ball of fire slammed into the midst of the
enemy, expanding outwards and flash-frying a square mile of droids
that hadn't quite made it into the city yet.

        Below, inside the city, the ruthless Nemesian forces, striking
with the black, crackling energy of evil, clashed with the brave
foot soldiers of Crystal Tokyo. Armed with magical armor, swords,
and glowing with the white energies of goodness, the home guard
fought back with the same ferocity as their enemies...



        The clang of metal against metal and of energy against shields
echoed throughout the battleground as the two sides fought,
exchanging blows and the occasional taunt.

        Sailor Mercury, fighting under the guard of her soldiers,
provided cover for Crystal Tokyo's forces, and occasionally made
a precise strike to throw the enemy into disarray.

        Commanding her side of the battle, with assistance in the
field by Sailors Venus and Jupiter, was Neo-Queen Serenity. She
could be quite apprehensive when her friends were in danger, but
she knew how to handle battles. After the initial couple years of
uncertainty and difficulty keeping from tripping over her own feet,
she had become quite a warrior.

        Now, as Queen, she was not supposed to fight in the thick of
battle, except in the most dire of situations. You can't have your
ruler killed in an inconsequential battle... it simply isn't proper!
So, she communicated what she thought was best to her Senshi and

        "Venus, I need the area sealed off! We can't let any more
get through!"

        [We're doing our best!]

        "That's all I can ask."

        In the fray, Sailor Venus was a blur. Not a second passed
when she wasn't firing off a Crescent Beam, twirling her Love-Me
Chain around, or giving an enemy a nasty Love and Beauty Shock.
Nobody was getting past this human firewall.

        Serenity turned her attention toward another part of the
battle, and noticed something. "Jupiter... They have an _EXTREMELY_
potent aerial attack wave moving in... They're far too fast for
you to hit. Withdraw immediately!"

        Jupiter's return signal came back somewhat scrambled from
the amount of energy being thrown around near her. [#@%REME
THUNDER! (BLAM!) What was that? I missed it.]

        "I just need you and your backup out of there for now..."

        [$#^$@#et some! (ZZZT!) ...Right! We'l#@!$!^%t of here ASAP.]

        Jupiter's group quickly pulled back out of the area as
a group of twenty enemy fighter craft moved in. They were
serpentine structures, glossy black, and their thin, rippling,
wings gave them an appearance that was rather reminiscent of
aquatic manta rays.

        The assault craft made a quick sweep of the area Jupiter
had been in with their devastating air to ground weapons before
circling around to make an attack run on their pilots' most hated
enemy: Neo-Queen Serenity.

        The Queen took a deep breath. "Seraph Wing... deploy."

        Ripples appeared in the air, which moved in a straight
line across the sky. Lightning began to dance around each of the
distortions until they finally coalesced into glistening, crystalline
constructs. The fifteen craft flew in a delta formation, slicing
through the Nemesian fighters' attack pattern, golden energy lancing
from their weapon ports.

        Six Nemesian fighters went down with the first strike,
exploding in a burst of flame as they crashed into the city below.
While the craft had been smashed into unrecognizable masses of metal,
the buildings remained unscathed.

        Five of the remaining fighters broke off from the main group
and began dogfighting with the crystal fighters.

        The twelve attacking assault craft dove toward Neo-Queen
Serenity, firing their weapons...

        *ZREOW!*ZREOW!* Four crystal spires erupted from the ground
around the Queen, which projected a shield around her, absorbing
the incoming dark missiles.

        When the flying Nemesian craft came around for another strike,
the spires fired dozens of white balls of energy, which tore into
the fighters as they came within range, annihilating them in a
matter of seconds.

        Within the dogfight, the five Nemesian craft were clearly
winning. Their superior firepower and maneuverability allowed them
to strike down their targets with near impunity.

        When they finished off the airborne crystals, the manta-shaped
assault craft broke into opposite directions, making swift strafing
runs through the streets of Crystal Tokyo, beginning to decimate the
city's ground forces.

        Eternal Sailor Mars took notice of this and flew to intercept
them. "Burning Mandalla!"

        Rings of fire shredded the wings of four assault craft. They
crashed to the ground, skidding to a halt as they plowed through the
ranks of combat droids.

        Mars turned toward the remaining fighter and prepared to
fire off another blast. "Fire-"

        *WHOOSH!* The fighter swept past her at a phenomenal rate,
sending her spiraling towards the ground from the force of its wake.

        As Mars took the time to prevent herself from becoming parking
lot pizza, the fighter escaped into the city, its engines screaming,
seemingly in triumph.

        "Terrific," Mars muttered under her breath. She opened up
communications with Neo-Queen Serenity. "A fighter just got through.
Requesting permission to go after it."

        There was a pause. [Permission... granted. Make sure it doesn't
hurt anyone. I'll call for you if things get worse.]

        "Right," Mars replied, flying off in pursuit of the invading

        From her defensive command position, Serenity observed the
battle intensely, watching for anything more that could be done.

        The ground battle was essentially a stalemate, even with
the Senshi doing all they could to assist their soldiers.

        An enraged yell rose from the rear of the Nemesian army.
The apparent commander of the entire onslaught rose into the air
above his forces, a sphere of swirling black energy surrounding him,
making it nearly impossible to make out any definite features. As
a matter of fact, the only way you'd be able to identify the
figure as a 'he' would be his tone of voice, which could be heard
over the sounds of battle.

        "SERENITY!!!" the Nemesian leader bellowed in rage as he
surged over the battle towards the Queen.

        It's an interesting thing to note that most of the Nemesian
leaders hated Neo-Queen Serenity... with a vengeance, in many cases.
So, it was really no surprise that the leader, in this scenario,
chose to make an attempt on her life.


        It's also an interesting thing to note that the majority of
Nemesian leaders stood no chance whatsoever against her.

        The offworld forces, enraged at the loss of their leader,
began an advance that broke through the line that had held them
back until now.

        The yells and screams of the wounded rang out as the tide
of battle turned against the soldiers of Crystal Tokyo. Even the
Senshi were forced back, their armies falling around them...

        "Kikkausse enshubub legume," Sailor Uranus whispered in
code to Sailor Neptune, who nodded and turned toward Sailor Saturn.

        "It's time," Neptune said.

        "Alright," Saturn said, taking out a sheet of paper with
bizarre writing on it. She ran forward, banishing her Silence Glaive
and holding up a megaphone, beginning to speak in absolute gibberish
to the rapidly advancing army. "Yen dis guarde nottin' then aupsaide
th' yaudz con mis amigos y muy muy dificil en deinz wanzinzkai,
'Yeth I am, NOITH LAYDEI!!!; Por queno. Gerai Lweisse. Verika,
Demion, Rankana, EXPLODTHEL!!! Eeeny meeny meiny moe!" At this,
she stopped and flashed an overcute, maniacal smile at the Nemesian
forces. "Yee... Yappothka!"

        The oncoming army stopped. The droids and empowered humans
whispered among themselves, bemused expressions on most of their
faces, as did the withdrawing Crystal Tokian soldiers.

        Unable to comprehend the words, Crystal Tokyo's forces shrugged
off the words and stood firm, their weapons ready, awaiting the
moment that their enemies would continue their advance.

        The members of the evil army of darkness continued to whisper
amongst themselves...

        Then, suddenly...


        The army of Crystal Tokyo stared in utter confusion... Their
enemies had begun to laugh... Not a maniacal 'We have won!' sort
of laugh; It was the uncontrollable laugh of those who had heard
the Funniest Joke in the Universe(TM)... and got it.


        Just as suddenly as the laugh had begun, it stopped.

        *THUUUMP!!!* Like a giant wave, the entire Nemesian army fell
dead, leaving all of Crystal Tokyo to gawk at the sight in shock,
their mouths hanging open like those of freshly spawned salmon.

        And then they cheered.


        The Nemesian fighter pilot screamed in a mixture of rage,
hatred, shock, and despair as she watched all the green dots
disappear on her threat display; as she saw all of her comrades
die in one horrifying instant.

        She gritted her teeth as she watched the glistening city pass
beneath her. Crystal Tokyo: the home of Neo-Queen Serenity, the
one who had destroyed humanity.

        Not only was Serenity responsible for the deaths of over six
billion people and the near obliteration of the human race, she also
had taken the few remaining survivors and subjected them to her,
removing their free will with that... CRYSTAL of hers!

        The sole purpose of this battle was to kill or capture the
queen. It was the largest assault ever staged against Crystal Tokyo,
and it had failed... miserably. The last hope for freeing mankind
had been dashed to pieces.

        The pilot breathed haltingly, tears flowing down her cheeks.

        She was the last one of the entire group, and she alone had
no chance of being able to accomplish the mission... And if it
could not be done, then all was for naught.

        The only thing she had left was... revenge.

        The Nemesian pilot straightened in her seat.

        Yes... Revenge.

        She armed all of her remaining weapons, intent on destroying
as much as she could before they got to her, starting with that
girl in the sickeningly cute, pink-skirted sailor suit and her
grandpa down there...


        *CRASH!* After a semi-successful glomping attempt, Happosai
was once again imbedded facefirst into a hard, crystal wall.

        "Ha! Gotcha again!" Ranma-chan shouted brazenly, proudly
straightening the pink bows on her outfit.

        Happosai pushed himself out of the wall, stumbling around
dazedly for a moment as the fluid in his inner ear that dictated
balance readjusted itself. "I'm beginning to sense a theme here..."

        Ranma-chan snickered. "Took you THAT long to start seeing
a pattern, huh? Starting to lose your mind?"

        "Have some respect, boy!" Happosai snapped as his sense of
balance finally returned to normal.

        "You keep telling me that, old man, and I _STILL_ haven't
found ONE good reason to give you any."

        Suddenly, Happosai gasped and pointed behind his opponent.
"What in the world could THAT be?!"

        Ranma-chan smirked. "I'm not fallin' for that one!"

        *KABLAM!!!* A dark missile exploded against the redheaded
girl's back, throwing her to the ground and knocking the wind out
of her... Well, that and temporarily making a mess of her fuku...
Not to mention her pride. "That... hurt."

        Happosai calmly observed the situation. "Yup. Sure looks
like it would..." He looked up at the hovering, serpentine object
that had fired the missile, and went on to make a mental note
to himself that there appeared to be a rather good-looking female
pilot inside... "SWEETO!"

        *CRASH!* The old man dove into the cockpit, easily smashing
through the reinforced plexiglass and latching himself onto the
woman, who screamed in rage and hatred, tearing wildly at him.

        The craft started tilting, wobbling, and spinning as the
pilot lost control.

        "Ah, my precious..." Happosai whispered, securely attached
to his current victim, greatly enjoying the... texture she had.

        The woman pounded frantically at the controls, inadvertently
sending two more missiles at Ranma-chan.

        "Uh oh," the sailor-suited martial artist said, ducking under
the incoming explosives. She turned around and saw that the missiles
had swung around to come back at her. She sidestepped them, and
they continued to track her. "This is gonna get tedious..."

        "Fire Soul!"

        A burst of flame swept toward the aircraft.

        In the cockpit, the pilot snatched at a lever on the side of
her seat.

        *Pop!*BLAAAAM!* The pilot ejected just as the oncoming fire
caused the assault craft to explode.

        *WHAM!* Ejecting at such a low altitude and thereby not
allowing enough time for the parachute to deploy or even the seat
to detach, the pilot, her seat, and Happosai thudded to the ground
in the midst of the debris from the craft. The woman was rendered
unconscious, and the pervert... seemed unaffected.

        A winged girl in a red-highlighted sailor fuku flew onto the
scene, surveying the area for other threats. She caught sight of
Ranma-chan, who was still dodging a pair of tracking missiles.

        "Sailor Earth?" the flying Senshi asked. There was no
response. "Ranma?"

        "Huh?" Ranma-chan asked, looking up at the one he recognized
as Sailor Mars, pausing long enough for the dark missiles to lock
on more fully.


        "SAILOR EARTH!" Mars shouted in shock, diving toward her.

        Ranma-chan lay on the ground, twitching, her hands held out in
what is traditionally called the Takahashi gesture. Her fuku slowly
regenerated from its damaged state.

        As Mars reached the younger Senshi, she paused, raising an
eyebrow. "You sure can soak up a lot of damage..."

        "Yeah," Ranma-chan said, gritting her teeth as she slowly stood
up. "Stuff like this happens all the time back home... You get used
to it."

        Mars stared. "Just where are you from, anyway? Anyone else,
even one of us Senshi, would have been either killed or _seriously_
injured from the blast you just took."

        Ranma-chan shrugged. "Well, Setsuna tells me that-"

        *GLOMP!* Happosai had apparently tired of the pilot, and
went back onto his favorite target. "Ahh... _This_, I can never
get tired of."

        "I'm not going to warn you again, old man," Ranma-chan said,
having a moment of complete insanity and deciding to give him one
last chance. "Get off."

        "NO!" Happosai shouted vehemently, clinging tighter than ever.

        The sailor-suited martial artist firmly grabbed the old man
by the shoulders, and, slowly but surely, forced him off...

        *WHACK!* And threw him against a wall.

        "Still haven't destroyed that thing, have you?" Sailor Mars
asked in the voice of a trained professional to a rank amateur.

        Ranma-chan sighed exasperatedly and shook her head, all the
while keeping an eye on his opponent and staying in a defensive
stance. "Believe me, it's impossible. The guy's, like, a couple
hundred years old... Well, probably over a thousand now, and no
matter what, he keeps coming back! I've tried dozens of times!
He's worse than-"

        "Let me take care of it," Mars said. "Mars Flame Sniper!"

        A flaming bow and arrow flared into existence, which Sailor
Mars fired at the moderately stunned creature.

        Happosai saw the flaming arrow come at him, and pulled out
a bottle, the contents of which he chugged down in an instant.
"Chinsui Meijin Fureaa!"

        The old man belched out a HUGE burst of flame, which absorbed
the arrow and sped towards Eternal Sailor Mars, engulfing her in
a blaze of fire.

        Ranma-chan gasped. "Mouko Takabisha!"

        *KABLAM!* The attack hit Happosai directly, blasting him
through the ground floor of a Crystal Tokyo skyscraper, which,
weakened by the remnants of the ki blast, collapsed in on him.

        Ranma-chan looked toward Sailor Mars, who was noticeably
blackened. "Are you okay?!"

        Mars coughed and nodded from her partial kneeling position.
"I'll be alright." She looked at the collapsed building. "I'm glad
we didn't start moving people into this section yet."

        "Section?" Ranma-chan asked.

        Mars stood. "Yes... You see, we recently expanded the city,
and just finished checking the buildings for flaws. We had planned
on opening it for general use by next week. Good thing we didn't,
because if the building was wrecked _that_ easily..." She paused,
noting the stillness of the glistening wreckage. "I think we got it."
She put a hand on the redhead's shoulder. "Come on, there's a battle
on the west side of the city, and it's a big one. We can use all the

        Suddenly, Happosai burst upwards through the sapphire rubble
and jumped at them, a lecherous grin on his face.

        "Fire Soul!"

        "Mouko Takabisha!"

        Both blasts missed the old man as he somehow managed to dodge
midair. His trajectory sent him onto the fire Senshi.

        "What the... HEY!"

        "Oh, baby!"

        *THWACK!!!* Sailor Mars sent a vicious slap at the shriveled
creature, stunning him and leaving a red, inflamed handprint on his
left cheek. The raven-haired Senshi easily pulled him off and drop
kicked him away.

        Ranma-chan's eyes widened. "Hey, could you teach me that one?"

        Mars glanced at her. "Maybe later." She turned back to the
matter at hand. "Burning Mandalla!"

        Rings of fire sped towards Happosai, who had just recovered
from his stunned state. He dodged the rings and leapt at Mars,
knocking her down and tying her up with the bows from her own fuku.

        "Heh heh heh..."

        *WHAM!* A swift kick from Ranma-chan sent Happosai flying over
one of the taller buildings. She turned to help Mars.

        "No, don't worry about me. Go after him! Don't let that thing
escape," the winged Senshi urged, struggling against the strong
fabric of her ribbons.

        Ranma-chan hesitated. "But-"

        Mars scowled. "Now! I'll join you when I can."

        The redhead held up her hands defensively. "Okay, I'm going!"
She jumped over a building in the direction Happosai was sent.

        "Nice girl," Mars noted to herself, "but she really needs to
stop hesitating and just do it..." She continued trying to work her
way out of her bonds without any success. "Okay, maybe I _should've_
let her help me..."

        *WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!* In the distance, a small, but very
intense whirlwind appeared, grinding down the buildings around it.
It died down in a couple of seconds.

        *KABLAM!* An energy blast tore through another building.

        Sailor Mars watched a couple more blasts shatter several other
landmarks, and came to a conclusion. "She is definitely going to
need some backup." She opened up communications with the Queen.
"This is Mars... Can you spare anyone, Queen Serenity?"

        [Mars? Yes, we can. The battle is over. How much do you need?]

        "Well, I took out the fighter, but now our new Sailor Earth
is having some problems fighting-"

        [If Sailor Earth needs our help... We will all be there for
her,] Serenity replied, almost a little too quickly. [We will arrive
momentarily. Can you be there also?]

        "I'll try, but I'm a little tied up at the moment, if you'll
pardon the expression."


        "Kachuu Tenshin Amaguriken!"

        In one second, thousands of strikes pummeled Happosai, who
was knocked back through a crystalline lamppost and into a thick,
sapphire wall.

        *RUMBLE*CRAAAAAAAASH!* The sonic boom from Ranma-chan's
quickly-moving hands shattered windows for miles around.

        "Ugh," Happosai groaned as he slipped out of the indentation
he had just made. He snapped back to readiness when he hit the
ground. "Alright, so you've learned some pretty impressive things,
boy... You made a big improvement since we last sparred... How?!"

        Ranma-chan laughed out loud at him. "It's not me, old man.
It's you! You're old, slow, shriveled, and ready to retire!"

        "Oh, really?" Happosai asked. "Happodaikaran!"

        The sailor-suited martial artist batted the firecracker
away, which exploded harmlessly in the air. "Face it! You've lost
your touch!"

        Happosai glowered. "No, I haven't!" He threw a bigger bomb
at Ranma-chan, who smacked it up into the air, where it also
exploded without any damage done.

        Ranma-chan smirked. "What's the matter? Gettin' senile, JIJI!?"

        The ancient martial artist glared at the young girl. "We'll
see about that." He began moonwalking, humming a quiet tune.

        Happosai sang out a phrase.

        o/Hentai Happaa Nami!\o

        Happosai jumped up into a 360 degree spin before landing
and doing a Michael Jackson crotch grab. "Whoo!"

        Ranma-chan raised an eyebrow, her arms folded in front of her.
"That supposed to do something, old man? Besides gross me out, I

        "Give it a couple seconds," Happosai said, waiting patiently.

        At that moment, Neo-Queen Serenity materialized, quickly
followed by six Senshi.

        Mars flew in, landing by them.

        "We're here to help you, Sailor Earth," Serenity said.

        "Thanks," Ranma-chan said, "but I don't think he'll be that
much more of a prob...lem..."

        "HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!" Happosai cackled lecherously as he watched
his latest attack come to fruition.


        From the darkest nether regions of the universe, an evil
force gathered.

        Above the bright, glistening city of Crystal Tokyo, a
purplish-black cloud of roiling, perverted energies descended.

        The cloud draped itself over the city, permeating every
surface, darkening and damaging all that it touched.

        The city dimmed in the sea of perversion, losing the happy
glow it always had.


        The wind blew against the Sailor Senshi and their Queen,
pushing them back and crackling at them as the energies took
their toll, grappling at them and draining them of their energy.

        Sailor Mercury was rendered unconscious almost immediately
as the cloud permeated her being. She fell to the ground, followed
quickly by Venus and Jupiter. The wind pushed them against the
wall of a building.

        Mars, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus were still fighting it,
but were rapidly weakening.

        Neo-Queen Serenity stood, holding out her Crystal, a bubble
surrounding her that barely managed to block out the energy that
threatened to overwhelm her.

        A perfect, unmoving sphere surrounded Ranma-chan. She looked
around and saw dark, swirling tornadoes starting to shred their way
through every part of the city. Lightning periodically flashed,
crackling around the vortexes.

        At the focus of these energies, controlling them, was Happosai.

        "THAT'S ENOUGH, OLD MAN!" Ranma-chan shouted against the wind.

        "Someone has to teach you to respect your elders, boy!"

        Ranma-chan gritted her teeth. "Right... MOUKO TAKABISHA!!!"

        The blast, as soon as it left the sphere surrounding the
redhead, dissipated into the cloud.

        Ranma-chan's jaw dropped. "Okay... HIRUU SHOTEN HA!!!"

        A whirlwind began to emerge around her, but one of the
cloud's tornadoes rushed into the area she was standing, far
overpowering her own. It smashed through her spherical shield.

        The perverted energy grasped Ranma-chan, lifting her into
the air by her skirt and tearing apart the ground beneath her.

        Utilizing his control over all this, Happosai rose up,
becoming level with Ranma-chan. After a quick leer, he dove
forward... "Sweeto!"


        "Haven't you learned yet?" Ranma-chan asked, then gasped in
surprise at how weak her voice sounded. "What... what's..."

        Then she felt it... An energy drain, for lack of a better
descriptive term. Well, that and an arm reaching down her fuku.

        Unfortunately, her anger seemed only to aid the draining

        Weakly, she looked over to the Queen and the Senshi, who
were barely visible through the dark cloud. The Queen's protective
bubble had almost collapsed, and all of the Senshi were down.

        "Unnnnh," Ranma-chan groaned, attempting to call out, and
failing miserably. Feeling quite defeated, she closed her eyes.

        Nearly all of her energy was gone, which seemed odd,
considering that Setsuna had told her that she was getting power
from an entire planet, and not just any planet: She was drawing
energy from Earth.

        But the fact remained that she simply didn't feel like she
was getting strength from anything but herself.

        <Therein lies the lesson,> an ethereal voice called.

        Ranma-chan would have blinked if she could. <Huh?!?>


        There was a flash, and Ranma-chan found herself floating
downward through an odd, transdimensional ether.

        Her eyes still closed, she sailed through the tranquil sea of
semi-nothingness, enjoying the reprieve from the painfully draining
battle. She felt the comforting warmth of her fuku; her only link
to any semblance or reality at this point.

        After a short time, she regained some of the strength she
lost in the fight and opened her eyes.

        "Hmm... This is new," the redhead commented as she took notice
of her surroundings, which soon shifted one-hundred-eighty degrees
for some unknown reason.

        Suddenly, she felt somewhat... freer than she did a moment
ago. She looked down at herself, and discovered that she had just
become subject to a natural phenomenon most commonly known as
transdimensional nudity. "AAAAAH!!!"

        She curled up into a near-fetal position in an attempt to
cover herself.

        This was drawn out for several minutes longer than necessary,
giving her the time to contemplate the universe.

        Why was this happening to her?

        Why was she floating in limbo?

        Why was she here?

        Why did she keep using feminine pronouns for herself throughout
this entire thought process?

        Was she alive?

        Was she dead?

        Or was this that mythical place Americans call Wyoming?

        If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody but the squirrels
are around to hear it... does anyone care?

        What is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?

        "Fourty-two?" Ranma-chan guessed, using the answer she had
used all too often in school when she really didn't hear the
question, sometimes actually getting it right.

        There was an authoritative, but loving laugh in the distance.
<Excellent guess!>

        Ranma-chan glanced around and caught sight of the speaker:
a tall, regal-looking white-blonde woman with a sort of 'odango'
hairstyle that looked a lot like Neo-Queen Serenity. She was wearing
a long, flowing white gown, and had two sets of gossamer wings on her
back. There was also a golden crescent moon on her forehead.

        "Hello, Ranma," the regal-looking woman said serenely.

        Ranma-chan, still curled up in a fetal position, raised an
eyebrow at the sight of her. "Uhhh... Hi. Who are you...?" She
glanced around at all the odd hot-pink bubbles and multi-colored
cloud formations, then back at herself. "And what's going on?"

        The woman smiled slightly. "I will explain." She snapped
her fingers.

        There was a flash, and Ranma-chan found herself standing
in a room with a Roman-style architectural design. She looked
down and noticed that she was wearing a green dress that looked
similar to what the gossamer-winged woman was wearing.

        Ranma-chan looked up and noticed that the tall woman was
standing in front of her, smiling pleasantly, with a hint of
sadness in her expression.

        "I'm so glad I am finally able to meet you," the woman said.

        "Wha... what just happened? What was the deal with the weird
stuff and the thing--floating around in that wacky place, nice lady?"
Ranma-chan asked semi-incoherently, internally berating herself for
OD'ing on Jerry Lewis for some odd new comedy martial arts a few
weeks back. "Freunlayvin!"

        She shook her head in a vain attempt to clear it, and continued
trying to talk to the woman in front of her. "Why am I wearing this
dress? Not that I'm complaining... It's better than _nothing_, but...
Well, you said you'd explain this... Could you, please?"

        The woman smiled comfortingly. "Of course. I am Queen Serenity,
ruler of the former Moon Kingdom. You are wearing that dress because
it is what Princess Terra, the girl whom you were forced to replace,
wore during the Silver Millennium... The explanations could go on for
hours, but in answer to your other question, you were brought here
to recieve... guidance, I suppose you could call it."


        "Because you were in a state of crisis... You were moments
away from destruction at the hands of-"

        Ranma-chan drew back indignantly. "Hey, I coulda taken 'em!"

        What does it take to get an ancient queen, whose basic
principles involve kindness and tolerance, to smirk mockingly and
laugh out loud in someone's face?

        Something like that.

        "Oh, of course! There you were, facing your greatest adversary
and moments away from death, with no power worth speaking of, and
you're telling me that you could have won! That's rich!"


        Serenity stopped laughing and resumed smiling. "I apologize.
It's just that you remind me so much of Princess Terra... Well, she
was much better at concealing her overconfidence, and at least _she_
had a very good reason for it, but-"

        "What's that supposed to mean?!"

        The Moon Queen held up her hands in a gesture of peace.
"Again, I apologize. I am merely sorry to see that my other
daughter did not make it this far... But back to your guidance."

        Ranma-chan nodded, cracking her knuckles. "Yeah, let's do that.
I got a pervert to kill."

        Serenity chuckled at that, barely keeping herself from
doubling over in laughter. "So much like Terra," she whispered
to herself. She straightened. "In those last few moments, as you
were questioning yourself as to why you didn't have any strength
left, when you were supposed to be drawing from a planet, you
came to a conclusion that no one else had ever reached."

        "Uh, what was that?"

        Serenity smiled more deeply. "You realized that you were not
getting anything whatsoever from the planet Earth."

        Ranma-chan raised an eyebrow. "Wait a sec... Setsuna said
that..." She paused. "Um, what about my ki blasts? The Chestnut Fist?
The Hiruu Shoten Ha? Those were... really... suped-up, you know?"

        "Your abilities were enhanced and increased as a result of the
transformation, yes... But aside from the energy required for causing
and maintaining the transformation, you haven't received a drop of
Earth's power. It was truly a monumental leap of intuition you had
when you perceived that. Until you, nobody had figured that out about
the powers of a Senshi... Except perhaps Terra... and a few others,
long before my time."

        Ranma-chan blinked. "Uh, yeah, thanks... So what do I do about

        Serenity's eyes seemed to twinkle at her. "That is simple. Find
Earth's connection to you, and draw upon it."

        The scene began to fade.

        "Wait! How... How do I do that?"

        The Greek/Roman style room was gone, but Ranma-chan could still
hear Serenity's voice. "Look inside yourself... Find Earth's
connection to you..." There was a pause. "It's green and shiny. Don't
worry, you can't miss it."


        Ranma-chan awoke, unable to open her eyes due to the lack
of strength to do so. "Ungh," she groaned, meaning to say, "Hey!
Get off of me, old man!"

        Then she remembered what she just learned from that weird,
laughing chick. <Okay, connection to Earth...>

        She probed around in the darkness, and didn't find anything.

        <INSIDE yourself, Ranma...> an ethereal voice reminded.

        <Oh yeah...> Ranma-chan realized, and tried a different
approach: a sort of meditation, which was easy, considering how
relaxed one typically becomes when you have nearly all of your
energy sucked out.

        So, in the next moment, she found himself floating in a
metaphorical ether and staring straight at a shining, green
sphere. <Guess that's it...> He glanced down at himself, seeing
a male body and his typical red Chinese shirt and black pants.
<Hey, I guess that means I'm not really a girl! That's a relief...
I was gettin' kinda worried there...>

        Ranma paused metaphysically and smiled. <I take that back.
I had nothing to worry about all along.>

        After all, anybody can be a guy. But it takes a real _MAN_
to be a girl.

        Or was that the other way around?

        Ranma blinked twice in response to this train of thought, then
shrugged at the complete and utter meaninglessness of it all.

        He went back to the task at hand and grabbed the green sphere
in front of him, acquiring the key to using Earth's true power.


        Utilizing a magical, strength-sapping crystal to keep
from being overwhelmed by a cloud of dark energy and seeing
her friends fallen around her after an almost non-existent
struggle, Neo-Queen Serenity was finding this scenario all too
familiar... and it worried her a great deal.

        She couldn't see most of the action, due to all the evil,
swirling, perverted energy flying around, but she had last seen
her new Sailor Earth locked in combat with the creature that
had caused all this madness.

        Something about this situation struck a chord with her.
For one thing, she and all but one of her Senshi have been
rendered unable to do anything, and for another, Sailor Earth
has been left the only one capable of fighting the evil force
that threatened to destroy them all.

        The last time this had happened...

        Serenity drew an uneasy breath. She sincerely hoped that
history would not repeat itself.

        She looked up in hopes of being able to catch a glimpse
of how the fight was going...

        There was a flash of lightning.

        Serenity saw Ranma caught up in a dark tornado.

        There was another flash.

        The Queen saw that Ranma was not moving, despite the chaotic
wind. The small, evil creature was firmly attached to the Senshi's

        Serenity frowned. Several things today had looked bad, and
yet they hadn't turned out to be nearly as horrible as they first

        Yet again, lightning illuminated the area.

        Neo-Queen Serenity caught sight of the swirling, purple
vortexes that were systematically tearing the city apart. She
also saw the darkened state of her Senshi.

        Then again, she considered, perhaps this was just going to
be an altogether rotten day for them after all...

        Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of a
wispy, green thread of energy rising from the ground.


        All over the Earth, green energy arose from the ground in
wisps and ribbons, swirling together into coherent rivers which
quickly covered the entire surface of the planet.

        The rivers of energy condensed further and wound their way
across the surface, rapidly moving toward Crystal Tokyo.


        Serenity watched in awe as the energy gathered and twined
around the redheaded girl, shafts of light slicing through the
darkness that sought to overwhelm them all.

        The little monster attached to Ranma looked around in confusion
at the newly arrived force.

        The energy continued to intensify around Ranma. As it did,
it gave off a hum that grew ever more high-pitched.

        A massive, blue vortex spun into existence above the city.

        The energy infusing itself into the new Sailor Earth finally
reached a threshold...

        Ranma let out a triumphant yell as she awakened, a blinding,
white aura forming around her, letting off a small shockwave that
threw the monster off of her.

        Serenity grimly noted that this was quite similar to what
happened when Terra fought Metallia.


        The aura around Ranma-chan intensified as she worked out
how to use the immense amounts of energy she was drawing from the
planet. She glanced up at the blue vortex she was planning on
using, then locked her attention back at her adversary.

        "Impressive, boy!" Happosai yelled, levitating some distance
away from her. "But take a look at this!" He swung his arms around
wildly, causing an even larger tornado to rip around the sailor-
suited girl, accompanied by more concentrated lightning.

        The slow destruction of Crystal Tokyo continued.

        "This has to stop, old man!" Ranma-chan shouted, bringing
her hands forward in preparation for focusing her energy. An
appropriate name for the maneuver sprang to her mind...


        Happosai paused as he saw the intensity of the attack that
was being built up. "Wait... what are you doing, boy?"


        Happosai paled at the ball of energy that was directed right
at him. Judging from the size of it, there didn't seem to be much
point in trying to block or dodge. "Oh no... WAIT, BOY! STOP!!!"




        A blast of radiant energy spread across Crystal Tokyo,
tendrils of white encircling the black clouds of evil, drawing
it all into the vortex above the city, which regained its normal

        On the north side, a small section exploded in a flash. The
vortex gathered in the flying debris from the destruction below.

        The thin vortex spiraled, vanishing into nothingness as it
slowly faded into the starry night sky.


        As the swirling, chaotic energies subsided, a silence
settled over Crystal Tokyo.

        Neo-Queen Serenity looked to the Senshi near her, happy
that they appeared to more or less okay and regaining consciousness.

        The Queen looked with some dismay at the ruins around
her. In the distance, everything seemed to be more or less intact,
but the new northern annex of the city was ruined. But as long
as nobody was badly hurt... Which reminded her...

        Where was Ranma?

        Where was Sailor Earth?!

        Serenity glanced around frantically, and caught sight of
the redheaded girl, who was lying on her back amidst a pile of
rubble, not moving.

        The blonde queen gasped and rushed toward the new Senshi,
tears beginning to form in her eyes.

        Not again...

        Soon, Serenity was kneeling over Ranma.

        Please, not again...

        "Ranma..." Serenity whispered in despair. "Not you too..."
She reached down to touch the young girl's face...

        That was approximately when she noticed something...

        Ranma was snoring.


        Quite vibrantly.


        And, a thousand years before that...

        There was a silence as everyone in the classroom looked up
at the hole in the roof that Jade had just made by blasting that
old man through it. A student from the classroom above peered
down at them.

        Ms. Haruna stood, glancing up at the hole in the roof.
"Excuse me for a moment. I need to file a report on this. Please
behave while I go do it." She left, wading through all the extra
female students that had come in after the old man...

        Noting the shocked stares she received from everyone, Jade
silently cursed herself for not having been able to exercise more
control over her anger. She had a cover to maintain, and now... To
say it was blown was an understatement. "I..." she began cutely.

        One of the many girls in the class began to clap, quickly
followed by the rest of the class. Soon, they were all cheering at
the cute, blonde girl that had gotten rid of the annoying pervert.

        "Wow! How'd you do that?" one girl asked in awe.

        "Yeah, tell us!"

        Jade blinked cutely, and considered how much to make up...
or to just spill everything. One part of her wanted to drain and
obliterate all of these idiotic children...

        Another part of her, one that had been gaining strength ever
since Queen Beryl had ceased to hold a binding influence on her,
wanted to enjoy the smiles and adoration of these fine, young
individuals, and be nice to them in return...

        Previously unseen mental barriers began to break apart.

        Deep down, she realized that she wanted to make friends...

        More internal walls shattered as she felt the sheer intensity
of positive energy directed solely at her.

        Like a new tree rising from the ashes of an incinerated forest,
her soul shook off much of the long, crushing burden of Beryl's and
Metallia's dark taint, remembering a myriad of long-neglected needs
and emotions.

        She wanted to enjoy happiness again...

        She wanted to feel joy once more...

        She wanted to experience life anew...

        But most of all... she wanted to sing!

        "Well, I'll tell you..." Jade said.

        Music began in the background...

        The small, cute blonde girl smiled, taking a deep breath,
looking lovably adorable as she did, and started singing.

o/I am a youma general!\o

        The class sang back enthusiastically.

o/Hurrah for the youma general!\o

o/And it is, it is a glorious thing to be a youma general!\o

o/Hurrah for the youma general, hurrah for the youma general!\o

        Terra raised a hand. "Um, wait... That's the Pirate King song,"
she said in a very nice, supportive tone. The music ground to a halt.
"I'm not sure, but... I believe you want the Major General one."

        Jade paused, holding a hand to her mouth as she thought about
it. "Hmm... Yes, I suppose you're right."

        Different music began to play.

        Jade cleared her throat, stood up straight, and started singing
once again.

o/I am the very model of a modern Youma-General,
  I've castigation negligible, cannibal, and visceral,
  I knew the queen of Luna, and I fought the war millennial
  From Omicron to Betelgeux, in fashion astronomical;
  I'm very well acquainted, too, with ebbings enervational,
  I understand depletions, both the planned and unintentional,
  Concerning draining energy I'm known throughout the Universe,\o

        Jade stopped and frowned as she mentally went over the
song's rhyming scheme. "Universe..." She smiled. "Got it."

o/With many gleeful hints about the purpose of the Negaverse!\o

        The class sang a chorus in response.

o/With many gleeful hints about the purpose of the Negaverse!
  With many gleeful hints about the purpose of the Negaverse!
  With many gleeful hints about the purpose of the Negaverse!\o

o/I'm very good at triggering and agitating agony;
  I know the diabolic ways of breeding ill-born tragedy:
  In short, in matters negligible, cannibal, and visceral,
  I am the very model of a modern Youma-General.\o

o/In short, in matters negligible, cannibal, and visceral,
  She is the very model of a modern Youma-General.\o

        The music slowed down. Jade matched it with the tempo of her
singing and began to pace among the students to help emphasize the
main points of the song.

o/I know our recent hist'ry, Queen Beryl's and her care of talks;
  I combat callow klutzes, I enjoy creating paradox,
  I fight with necromancies all the convictions of Serenity,
  With magics I can crush representational regality;
  I can tell undoubted Pegasi from Mistress Nine and Kaolinite,
  I know the galling guffaw from the laughing of that Zoicite!
  Then I can bring a doom of which I've made my minions' fail immune,\o

        The blonde singer paused, a bemused expression on her face.
"Fail immune..."

        The crowd started whispering amongst themselves.

        "So... is the song over?"

        "Probably... She'll never get that one..."

        Jade glared momentarily at that last speaker. She grinned and
held up a hand to quiet the group and accent the line she just came
up with.

o/And cripple all the heirs of that infernal nuisance Sailor Moon!\o

        Without missing a beat, the students continued singing along.

o/And cripple all the heirs of that infernal nuisance Sailor Moon.
  And cripple all the heirs of that infernal nuisance Sailor Moon.
  And cripple all the heirs of that infernal nuisance Sailor Moon.\o

o/Then I can smite a Senshi girl with horrifying torture,
  And tell you ev'ry detail of the Moon Kingdom's culture:
  In short, in matters negligible, cannibal, and visceral,
  I am the very model of a modern Youma-General.\o

o/In short, in matters negligible, cannibal, and visceral,
  She is the very model of a modern Youma-General.\o

        The background music added a couple of filler notes.

        Jade took a short breath, looked at the excited looks of
the other girls in the class, and sang as quickly and as flawlessly
as she possibly could.

o/In fact, when I know what is meant by "cardian" and "Vadianne",
  When I can work in spite, of many losses and a harridan,
  When such attempts at slaughters and surprises I'm around to reap,
  And when I know precisely what is meant by the "Eternal Sleep",
  When I have learnt what research has been made in ancient wizardry,
  When I know more of magics than a warlock at his apogee--
  In short, when I've a disregard for Sailor Pluto's 'destiny',\o

        Jade took a deep breath and smiled.

o/You'll... say a better Youma-General has never forced a plea!\o

        Most of the class smiled at this as they resumed singing.

o/You'll say a better Youma-General has never forced a plea.
  You'll say a better Youma-General has never forced a plea.
  You'll say a better Youma-General has never forced a plea.\o

        Without pausing, Jade went directly into the finale.

o/For my villainary powers, though I'm mighty and extr'ordan'ry,
  Have nearly been brought down to the beginning of th' ordin'ry;
  But still, in matters negligible, cannibal, and visceral,
  I am the very _model_ of a modern Youma-General.\o

o/But still, in matters negligible, cannibal, and visceral,
  She is the very model of a modern Youma-General.\o

        Several notes played as Jade made her way over to the sack
that the old man had dropped when she blew him into the next
millennium. In half a second, she had identified and retrieved
the stolen objects.

        She deftly put her possessions away, took a bow, and sat down
with a flourish, just as the music drew to a close.

        The class cheered and applauded.

        The intercom crackled, somehow managing to quiet everyone
down. [Will the ladies from the Performance Arts classes _please_
return to their classrooms.]

        The girls that had entered in pursuit of the old pervert
looked at each other, shrugged, and exited.

        Some high-fived Jade on their way out.

        "That was great!" the blonde girl with the exceptionally
long pigtails behind Jade exclaimed, smiling at her.

        Jade paused, glanced up at the hole in the roof, and then
back at the other girl. "Yes... Thanks..." She looked back up at
the hole in the ceiling. There were still a few people from the
above classroom clapping. She frowned in deep thought.

        As the number of the classroom's occupants returned to normal,
Jade turned toward her cousin. "You know, that little... _troll_
seemed somewhat familiar..."

        Perry leaned in close to whisper, "Well, while we were on
that tour through that high-tech thing, you did tell me that you
were... you know, by some little thing during your last battle
with the Sailor Scouts. Maybe that was him..."

        "I doubt it. I blew that... _thing_ into orbit," Jade replied
quietly, relaxing into her chair. She frowned a little more deeply
as she thought over some of her final moments in the employ of Queen
Beryl. "The battle, though... I must admit that I feel... rather bad
about the whole thing. It now pains me to think of the way the Senshi
looked at me..." She sighed sadly. "After all, they were just
defending themselves and others from my attacks..."

        Perry blinked, keeping the conversation too low for anyone
but them to hear. "Really? You never talked about it that way
before. It was always 'kill,' 'destroy,' 'hate,' some more 'kill-'"

        "I know, I know," Jade cut in. "But now, when I think of
those poor girls, frightened for their very lives at my hand..."
She paused. "And... _Tim_ laughing at me." She scowled. "TIM!
Tim... Tim... Tim must suffer horribly for what he has done to

        Perry perked up. "Now, THAT's the Jadeite I know!"

        "Yes..." Jade replied, her scowl creeping into a deep
frown. She began to wonder why there was so much apparent change
in demeanor in so short of time. Rationally, she knew that Tim
was only responsible for one or two harmless pranks on her,
aside from what happened during battles. But there was something
else... something that was preventing her from keeping her feelings
in check...

        And then it hit her... with fifty times the force of an uncute
tomboy's Transdimensional Mallet of Doom(TM). Her inner being,
which had appeared to be so free of Metallia's taint a moment
earlier, was suddenly thrown back and buried into the deepest depths
of her subconscious.

        "TIM WILL DIE!!!!" Jade screamed, jumping out of her desk, so
cute that you'd just want to come up and give her a big, squishy hug.

        "Who do you think 'Tim' is?" a brown-haired boy with glasses,
Melvin, asked a nearby friend.

        "Hmm... Probably an old boyfriend or something. Doesn't sound
like she has any fond memories of him..."

        Melvin thought about it. "Hey, then that probably means..."
He stood. "She's free!" He walked up next to the lucky girl. "Hi!
I'm Melvin! Would you like to-"

        "Get lost, you gaggling goof," Jade muttered cutely, sitting
back down.

        Melvin gasped. "You're a Lost in Space fan, too? Yeah, I
kinda like Doctor Smith... He's got a bigger vocabulary than the
rest of the cast _combined_!" At the unresponsiveness of his target,
he decided to try something else. "So... You're name's Jade? That's
a pretty name... Can I call you Jade?"

        "Yes, you may refer to me as 'Jade,'" Jade said darkly, standing
and holding up her hand, beginning to charge it with a small amount of
destructive energy, "but I warn you... I am also known as JADEITE,
She held the energy in both hands, aiming it at Melvin. "Was there
something you wanted to discuss with me...?"

        Melvin barely repressed a smile at the complete and utter
cuteness of how Jade was handling the situation. "Yeah... You're
really, um... cute. Would you like to go out sometime?"

        Jade scowled. "Oh, you'll be 'out' soon enough."

        *BLAAAAM!* Melvin ducked as a relatively small beam of energy
blasted into the wall behind him.

        "Okay... So... that's a... maybe?"

        "Grrr," Jade growled in her incredibly cute, high-pitched
voice, preparing another strike.

        "Um... 'Jade?'" Perry said quietly, putting a hand on the
blonde girl's shoulder. "Are you sure you want to do that?"

        Jade glared at him, then looked back at Melvin, who was
still smiling. She gritted her teeth in anger. After several
intense seconds, however, her expression softened and she dissipated
the blast she was preparing. "Waste of energy," she muttered, then
sat back down.

        "Uh," Perry said to Melvin, "you might want not to try
anything like that again. He... SHE's gone through a lot lately,
and she's kinda powerful-"

        "-And never forget it!" Jade snapped.

        "-So," Perry continued, "uh, well, you know..." He made
a couple of meaningless hand gestures, and nodded at Melvin in
a semi-vain attempt to communicate with him.

        "Oooh," the bespectacled boy said knowingly, going back to
his seat. He turned to a nearby friend. "So, what do you think?"

        That certain nameless and faceless friend chuckled. "I
think she likes you."

        Melvin looked on, hearts and stars in his eyes. "You really
think so?"

        "Oh, definitely!"


        Amy stared in complete and utter dumbfounded shock. "Serena...
please tell me I was hallucinating."

        "Aw, that was sooooo cute!" Serena said appreciatively. She
turned to the blue-haired girl near her. "Amy, did you see that? It
was... awwww."

        Amy looked at her friend, agape. "Weren't you listening to
what she was saying?!" she whispered urgently. "OR watching what
she was doing!?"

        The pigtailed blonde shrugged. "Well, I guess if you've seen
one big energy blast, you've seen 'em all..." She paused. "But
the song was GREAT! Youma generals, Sailor Moon..." She looked
at her friend. "It was a song about me, right, Amy?"

        Amy slapped her hand against her forehead in disbelief.

        "Something wrong?" Serena asked in innocent surprise.

        The blue-haired girl quickly regained her composure. "At the
risk of sounding like Luna... I think she's from the Negaverse.
She called herself _JADEITE_, and remember what happened to him
during our last battle against him!?"

        Serena blinked, then shook her head and smiled. "Naah. She
blew away that... guy. Anyone who'd do that can't be evil! She
doesn't look anything like Jadeite did. She's... MUCH cuter than
that _creep_ was when whatever it was happened. I think she's waay
too cute to be _from_ the Negaverse, as a matter of fact!"

        "Well, what about the doll-robot youma that spat out fire from
that fake park? Raye tells me that you thought it was cute, too."

        "Yeah, well... It was..."

        "Until it started trying to kill us..."

        "Okay, there was that..."

        Molly glanced back at them, a confused expression on her face.
She looked to her left and started whispering. "Al... What about
them?" There was a pause. "You don't mean that--No, they can't be...
I seriously doubt that. Al! They're just... Well, we'll see."

        Serena raised an eyebrow at the brown-haired girl. "Uh, hey,
Molly... You've been acting kinda... I don't know... weird today.
Is something wrong? Anything I can help with?"

        Molly looked back at them, projecting a rather good impression
of being calm. "Nothing in particular..."

        "And what happened to your accent?"

        "...Accent? A slight sore throat, I guess..."

        Serena breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, if it's just that..."

        "Serena," Amy whispered exasperatedly, "something's going on
here, if you haven't noticed!"

        "Okay," Serena whispered back. "Look, if something really
_serious_ happens, like if Jade starts draining energy from the
class, we'll do something about it... But not until then, alright?"

        "But if we don't act quickly-"

        "Nope! Not another word, Amy," Serena said pointedly. "_I'm_
the leader, remember?"

        Amy let out a sigh of defeat, slowly shaking her head.
"Alright, Serena..."

        From her desk, Terra just smiled...


        Atop her throne, Beryl, the evil Queen of the Negaverse,
sighed. "Zoicite!"

        Zoicite appeared in her usual shower of flower petals. "Ha ha
ha haa! What is it, Queen Beryl?"

        Beryl drew a short breath as she considered the proper
question to ask. "Have you... sent anyone out to get Neflyte?"

        Zoicite smiled. "Why, yes, I have."

        The youma queen relaxed. "Ah, good, then."

        At that moment, Nephrite appeared before them. He was slightly
disheveled and had a small scratch on his left cheek. "Queen Beryl-"

        "YOU'RE LATE, NEFLYTE!" Beryl snapped angrily, leaning forward
on her throne and unconsciously smacking away a carnivorous, jagged-
toothed mushroom that had taken up residence on the arm of her

        "I apologize, Queen Beryl," Nephrite replied gruffly, "but
_SOMEONE_," he glared at Zoicite, "sent out a hit squad to eliminate

        "Oh, really, Neflyte?" the queen asked accusingly. "Where is
this supposed 'hit squad?'"

        The brown-haired general snapped his fingers.

        *Whoosh...*Thump*Thump*Thump* A black swirly-thing appeared
and spat out three plant-like youma. They were tied up in their
own branches and looked Generally mangled. They looked to Zoicite
in desperation.

        "He fought like a cornered lion!"
        "We stood no chance against him!"
        "Help us, Lady Zoicite! Help us!"

        Zoicite gasped. "Those were my best youma!" she blurted out in
shock. Her eyes widened as she realized what she had just said and
quickly snapped her hands over her mouth.

        Nephrite looked at the blonde general with more than a hint
of disdain. "I believe you have a bit of explaining to do. Wouldn't
you agree, Queen Beryl?"

        "Hmm?" Beryl asked, looking up from filing her nails.

        Nephrite scowled. "ZOICITE TRIED TO ASSASSINATE ME!"

        "Watch your language!" Beryl snapped. "There'll be none of
that while I am your Queen!"

        Nephrite blinked incredulously. "Haven't you understood a
word I've said?!"

        "Oh, I understand, NEFLYTE! You are trying to accuse poor
little Zoicite of trying to kill you. Now, you wouldn't do that,
would you, Zoicite?"

        Zoicite batted her eyelashes innocently. "Nope, sure wouldn't."

        "There, you see, Neflyte? She wouldn't hurt you."

        Nephrite coughed in disbelief. "But... Queen Beryl... Even
_YOU_ can't be _THAT_ stupid!"

        "Quite right, Neflyte. So, get back to work on finding the
Empyrean Silver Crystal. Chop chop!"

        Nephrite stared at his leader, trying to remember where he
put that job application he got in the mail from Sailor Galaxia.


        Ah, what to do when your place of work explodes...

        There are many suggestions as to a proper course of action when
you should happen to be unfortunate enough to experience this.

        Most, for example, recommend that you vacate the premises in
order to keep from being caught in the explosion.

        This, however, is merely common sense.

        A more advanced course of action would be to research time
travel and utilize that to prevent the explosion in the first place.
This, unfortunately, leaves you open to an embarrassingly complex
temporal loop.

        If the explosion never happened, then why would you have
invented time travel in the first place?

        If you didn't invent time travel, then you were unable to
prevent the explosion, and therefore, you would have invented time
travel as a direct result.

        But if you did, in fact, invent time travel, then... you
could try to leave something behind to make sure it was invented
despite the fact that the original reason for the invention no
longer exists.

        But then... if _you_ invented time travel, and if you ended
up not inventing it, then any other device or purpose that you left
behind would not have ever existed, and therefore always would.

        Sailor Pluto has to deal with these sort of concerns all the
time, and it's a mind-bogglingly boring process figuring out what
will work, and what wouldn't.

        The sad thing is, whatever it is usually ends up managing
to happen, and if it didn't, there would be no need for a Guardian
of Time. Much less a green-haired one with a timestaff and a sailor

        This is not her scene.

        So, back on the subject of exploding work places... There
have been surprisingly few that recommend going back and explaining
what happened to your boss.

        Strangely enough, that was exactly what Ukkyo was doing.

        "This has to be the most idiotic idea I've had all day," the
youma chef noted to herself as she surveyed the damage to the
restaurant. If her new boss was anything like her old one...

        Actually, the concept of staying around seemed to be inversely
proportional to the concept of staying alive.

        Still, she felt that she had to go back, if only to fulfil a
bizarre need to face her problems, whatever they may be. She had
run away from too much recently.

        She had run away from the Starlight Knight, even though a
better term would have been fleeing death at the hands of a madman.

        Also, she had run away from her place in the Negaverse, though
that was a poor choice for any sort of livelihood.

        Even so, she couldn't, and wouldn't run away from everything.

        She wasn't a coward, like... like...

        Ukkyo blinked.

        Like who? Who was the coward that she wasn't like?

        Dark Horse.

        Ukkyo gritted her teeth. "Yeah, him. The jerk who stole..."
She paused. Who was Dark Horse? A rival youma? What did he steal?

        But any attempt to remember more was met by a dull headache.

        "Oh well, it doesn't really matter," she muttered to herself.
"Here he comes..." She braced herself for the swift retaliation that
was sure to come at the hands of her employer.

        "Hi, Ukkyo!" 'Tim greeted cheerfully as he stepped out of the
elevator that had risen from the rubble a moment ago.

        "Hello," Ukkyo replied grimly.

        The pink-haired man started walking towards her, then stopped.
He looked around, then blinked and frowned. He opened his mouth to
speak, then blinked again and closed his mouth. After another moment,
he finally spoke. "How could you?"

        "I... apologize."

        "I trusted you!"

        Ukkyo winced. "I realize that."

        "You blew up my restaurant!"

        "I'm sorry..."

        "You blew up _my_ restaurant..."

        "I said I'm sorry!"

        "You blew up MY restaurant... and didn't invite me to come see
it! That was extraordinarily inconsiderate of you."

        Ukkyo blinked. "Excuse me?"

        'Tim sighed sadly. "You're excused." He pointed at her and
looked her directly in the eye. "But next time, just call me and
I'll be here to help; help blow this place into smithereens!" He
smiled. "Next time, we'll use full thermonuclear warheads. Not those
wimpy tac-nukes, either. I'm talking the hundred megaton fusion ones.
It'll be fun!"

        "Er," Ukkyo began uneasily, "did I hear you correctly?"

        "Darn right you did. You can't blow up _my_ restaurant without
inviting _me_. It simply isn't proper!"

        Ukkyo breathed a sigh of relief. "I understand."

        "We are in agreement, then?"

        The youma chef nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, yes! Of course!"

        "Good." 'Tim looked up. "Computer, activate the deus ex

        There was a beeping noise. [Confirmed.]

        The area was bathed in a blue light.

        Ukkyo took a defensive posture. "What's happening?"

        'Tim looked at her. "What? Never seen a plot device in action?"

        "...Plot device?"

        The restaurant owner sighed. "Just watch. You'll get the idea."

        The blue glow flowed to the edges of the shattered remnants
of the building's various components.

        There was a sort of shimmering sound, and the broken pieces
of the restaurant rose into the air and spiraled into a relatively
calm whirlwind.

        The debris at the bottom of the spiral fused together, forming
larger pieces of what appeared to be the walls and furnishings of
the restaurant.

        Finally, everything settled into place, becoming a rather
nice-looking dining establishment.

        The brown-haired youma cook was visibly impressed. She looked
at her boss. "Nice work."

        'Tim shrugged. "Eh, you just need to learn how to program
right," he said, just before a hatchet imbedded itself into his
right shoulder.

        Ukkyo gasped.

        'Tim groaned for a moment. "Ow... COMPUTER!"

        [What is it?] the computer asked, a little too sweetly.

        "Would you happen to be aware that there is a rather large axe
protruding from my back?"

        [Oh my!]

        "You wouldn't happen to know anything about this, would you?"

        [Oh, I hope you don't mind. I've refitted the place with deadly
traps, too complex for any average being to escape. You will all be
killed! Won't that be nice? Then we can all go and have cookies and-]

        'Tim winced as three large arrows shot into his back. He looked
around and noticed a few small spider-like combat droids sprout
from the floor. He glanced sideways at Ukkyo. "Say, are you any good
at fighting?"

        Ukkyo had already unsheathed her enormous spatula and spun it
around, deflecting several high-velocity daggers away from her. "Is
the Pope Catholic?"

        "Alrighty, then," 'Tim replied enthusiastically, seemingly
undeterred by his injuries as he dove away from a shower of bullets.
"Let's go blow it up!"


        Having hurried home to the temple as soon as school let out,
Raye was once again sitting in front of the Sacred Fire.

        It was vital to her that she find out any more information
she could about the Starlight Knight. She had to be certain that
this morning's vision wasn't a fluke. She had done readings on
him before, and had only gotten a few quick flashes of something
causing mass destruction among the stars.

        The initial visions, while not exactly encouraging, were
not quite conclusive, either.

        The revelation she had received earlier, however...

        "Now _that_ was freaky," Raye commented to herself. She
noted with a sigh that she'd probably sleep a lot better not having
known about it. But now that she did, she felt a need to check and
make certain of the fire reading.

        The Starlight Knight, despite all else, had been a tremendous
help in fighting the Negaverse. He had been with the Sailor Scouts
since the beginning, and even now showed no sign of wavering in that.

        Even so, there was something about him that Raye didn't like.
Be it his face, his cavalier attitude toward everything, or the
fact that he always had an underlying feeling of chaotic evil about
him, the priestess could never quite feel completely confident when
it came to deciding whose side he was on.

        Besides, she didn't know who he really was. You can't really
trust someone if they keep things like that from you. What else,
for example, could they be keeping from you?

        On the other hand, there was Tuxedo Mask. Raye had never
distrusted him... Actually, she really liked him, even though up
until recently he had also kept a secret identity. And, there were
several extremely suspicious things about him, too. Moreso than the
Starlight Knight, as a matter of fact.

        Tuxedo Mask...

        Normally only appeared for a quick save, then gave a quick
speech and stood on the sidelines while they fought.
        Only occasionally got directly involved in combat.
        His generally mysterious, superior attitude.
        His thrown-rose saves only rarely hurt the enemy seriously.
        The fact that his saves were _always_ last second ones.
        His opening lines were even cheesier than Sailor Moon's!

        Then again, Raye considered, how many times had she been
seriously tempted to shout out, "I'll punish you in my high heels!"
Too many to count...

        And on the other side of the debate, the Starlight Knight...

        Had always gotten down and dirty, fighting hand to hand and
sword to claw whenever he showed up, which was quite often.
        Didn't merely disrupt a fight when he joined in; he usually
dealt serious--sometimes critical damage before making any speeches.
        He seemed quite intent on giving whatever help he could to
Sailor Moon--upgrading her powers that one time and occasionally
giving her combat advice. Not simply telling her to believe in

        The more Raye thought about it, the more it seemed to her that
she _should_ be trusting him.

        So why didn't she?

        "I just don't know..." the priestess murmured quietly to
herself as she began to get a psychic impression from the fire.

        In an instant, the once peaceful world was thrown into chaos
as the vessel descended, beams lancing from it into the cities below.


        A dark, winged, clawed, and fanged creature stood with its
massive jaws filled with the remains of a purple-fukued Sailor
Senshi, a long, bladed staff weapon dropping from her limp hands.

        The monster snapped up and swallowed the remains.

        It smiled with those terrifying teeth, rearing up and roaring
triumphantly against the rocky landscape.


        The black-haired man in green armor smiled a sharp-toothed
grin as he watched his surroundings crumble to ashes. {Look at it


        {ADMIRAL! WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS WRONG!} the projection of
a brown-haired woman shouted desperately.

        {Don't you think I know that?} the man in green armor asked
calmly, leaning to the side in his chair, an amused expression on
his face.

        The Admiral's youma, stationed around the voluminous command
center, laughed evilly at the face on the viewscreen.


        The ground was crumbling beneath them all.

        Geysers of foul-smelling vapor gushed through rapidly widening
chasms, which swallowed up entire forests in mere seconds.

        {The spire has fallen... The plates are collapsing!} the
teenage girl in a pink and green highlighted Senshi uniform shouted
angrily, pounding on the tall man that was holding onto her with
a vicelike grip. {In a matter of minutes, all of my people are going
to die because of you! We trusted you! How could you?!}

        The man shrugged impassively. {All too simply, I'm afraid.}

        He forcibly pulled the girl close and vanished in a glittering
effect, just as the ground collapsed out from under them.


        The once-magnificent city was in flames. The royal palace lay
broken and scattered across the now-barren landscape.

        Fearsome troops marched among the smoldering ruins, delighting
in the tortured screams of the few remaining survivors as they slowly
gutted each and every one of them.

        A fanged, red-haired woman, flanked by four men in grey
uniforms, and backed by a horrifying, titanic shadow, motioned to
the slightly battered man in blackish-green armor to move forward.

        He drew his sword, which seemed to wail in hungry anticipation
of its next victim as it left its scabbard. Razor-sharp and polished
to a dark, metallic sheen, the tip of three-foot-long blade drew
blood as its owner touched it painstakingly to the neck of a
beautiful, white-blonde woman with a crescent moon on her forehead.

        The armored man sneered at his prey. {Do you _really_ think
you can win?}

        The woman, badly injured from the preceding battle, clutched
at her wand, atop of which a multi-faceted crystal was placed. A
tear went down her cheek. {I have to... for them.}


        Filled with the souls of the dead, the glistening spheres sped
toward Earth....

        "EEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!" Raye shrieked in shock and fright as the
images hit her in rapid succession, knocking her back into the wall
behind her.

        And, just for spite, another vision involving a shadow in that
all-too-familiar green armor, attempting to kill a blonde guy with a
sword and starting to possess a redheaded girl, popped up from the
fire and nailed her directly in the forehead.

        Raye slowly slid down the wall.

        From her newly acquired position on the floor, the wide-eyed
priestess took a few deep breaths to help herself calm down.

        "This is... this is..." she muttered between breaths. "This is
extraordinarily _BAD_, that's what it is! I have to tell Serena...
and maybe the national guard while I'm at it!"


        Archaic rituals... Rites that would unlock the secrets of the
ages... Enchantments that would guide a seeker to their most prized

        Magic, for one or a dozen reasons, requires the most bizarre,
convoluted, and time-consuming protocols that would make even your
most hardcore computer software programmer scoff at them. They
require a tremendous amount of power, effort, and concentration to

        And, at the moment, that was exactly the way Nephrite wanted

        "I ask for power from the stars!" the youma general shouted
dramatically, placing the small, black Star Crystal into the newly
formed magical void, preparing it more fully for its task.

        Nephrite gritted his teeth and smiled malevolently. "Guide
me to the Ginzuishou..."

        The stars spiraled amidst the emptiness.

        As the power came into focus, Nephrite nodded slightly, a
clear and logical course of action forming in his mind.

        Beryl was a fool. Plain and simple.

        The general frowned. No, not simply a fool... The queen was
the most insane, incompetent, and unfit leader that he had ever
known. And, it didn't help that she seemed to be slowly losing her
mind on a day to day basis.

        "Yes..." Nephrite whispered.

        The Ginzuishou, or 'Empyrean Silver Crystal,' as Beryl insisted
on calling it, should only go to the most worthy; the most fit to
command its awesome power.

        "I will be..."

        The Star Crystal's magical infusion was complete, and it
flew out of the void, into Nephrite's outstretched hand.

        "...its master."

        He held out the crystal, and opened his hand. The crystal
spun into a straight up and down position three inches away from
his palm. "Show me the one who will lead me to the Crystal!"

        A rippling, triangular void emerged in front of the brown-
haired youma general, revealing the image of a young, reddish-brown-
haired girl.

        Nephrite narrowed his eyes in recognition. "Molly..."