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Sailor Ranko: Thrice In A Millennium: Chapter 11, Birds Of A Feather.
Rebecca Ann Heineman

Ranma 1/2 and the characters therein are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. Based on "Sailor Ranko" by Duncan Zillman and "Twice in a Millennium" by Kevin D. Hammel.

I don't own these characters. Please don't sue me, kill me or make me write buggy software.

High in the skies above a mountainous region in the heart of China, three bird people flew in a 'V' formation eagerly returning home. "There it is." Masara gasped as he flapped his wings faster and harder then ever before. Flying across the ocean from Japan was bad enough, but doing it while carrying a bundle containing a twelve year old looking girl made it almost unbearable.

Koruma panted as well, holding onto a rope that helped ease the burden that Masara bore. He was barely able to keep up the pace that Kiima had set for the trio. The warrior almost released his grip on the cord but was able to recover with a quick maneuver, sparing the little girl a horrid death and himself from agony at the hands of his Captain. He was barely able to speak due to the sheer exhaustion from flying non-stop for hours. "Almost there, huff, just a little longer..."

Kiima gracefully led them high over the craggy mountains until they were in sight of their ancestral home, Mt. Phoenix. She called out to her tiring minions, "We're almost home." She touched her satchel to make sure that the object of their quest was still contained within. Happy to find that the map hadn't been lost, she spoke in a relaxed tone. "Lord Saffron will be pleased with us. Soon, you can watch your TV show again."

"Hooray!" Shouted the pair in glee. Masara continued, "I wonder how Yugi's going to win the next card duel."

"Me too! Yugi has to win, he has to." Nodded Koruma in approval while trying to remember what channel and time the show comes on in China.

Miss Hinako poked her head out of the bag with a strained look on her face, "I gotta go potty!"

Koruma and Masara looked at each other for a moment, then at the mountain village below. Grinning, the pair in unison folded their wings to increase their speed and flew over the small buildings at high velocity. A few twists and turns later, they landed in front of a small hut and released their bundle, letting it fly through the curtained doorway and splash into the bathing area inside.

A miffed child like voice cried out from inside the hut. "It's cold!!!"

Koruma shrugged unconcerned. "It's not my problem."

Kiima landed a moment later, took a look around at the few passersby and ordered. "Koruma, alert the chamberlain that we've returned."

"Yes, Captain!" He saluted and flew off in the direction of the palace.

Kiima opened the curtain that covered the doorless entrance. "You, stand guard. Alert me if anyone from the palace arrives."

"Yes, Captain!" Masara saluted and waited until Kiima entered the bathhouse and was out of sight. He pulled down an eyelid and stuck out his tongue at his superior, then stood at attention, utterly bored and patiently waiting for an hour to pass. That was the time for the next exciting episode.

Kiima looked around the tiny hut trying to find her brainwashed minion. Windows, covered with translucent cloth curtains to let light in and prevent viewing from prying eyes, encircled the room giving plenty of illumination. In the center was a small pit lined with concrete that made a nice pool for bathing. Inside of the pool was a shivering and drenched little girl. She reached out a comforting hand and cooed. "There, there, let me help you."

Miss Hinako softly cried. "I still gotta go potty."

The Captain pointed to a curtained stall in the back of the room. "You can do it over there. After you're done, I'll get you a change of clothes."

"Okay." She crawled out of the water and sadly moved toward the stall with the toilet. She seemed like she was expecting something.

Groaning, Kiima added, "And I'll get you some candy."

Brightening, the little girl made a big smile and skipped into the tiny alcove, "Hooray!" She tossed off her dress which flew out of the stall and grabbed a towel to dry herself. "I'm gonna get some candy!"

Kiima sighed and held her head in her hand in dismay. "Why do I get the weird ones?" She counted to ten and found no relief. She counted to ten again to calm her nerves. She went to a small clothes closet next to the towel rack and extracted a small cheongsam for the micro-teacher and set it on a small changing table near the stall.

"Captain!" Came an excited shout from outside the hut.

"Now what?" Kiima replied, angrily storming to the entrance. She slid the curtain aside to see her two minions standing there. "Well?"

Koruma giddily bowed, barely able to hold back his excitement. "We've been summoned for an audience with Lord Saffron."

"We have?" Kiima held onto the entryway, looking faint. "An audience with our Lord?"

"The chamberlain told me himself. We're to present the map directly to our Lord at once."

"Very well." Kiima turned around. "Hinako, you must stay here until I come for you."

The teacher peeked out of the toilet stall wearing only a towel. "Okay, mistress. Don't forget my candy!" She got wide eyed. "Delinquents! How dare you look at me dressed like this?"

The three bird people blinked.

"Happo fifty yen satsu!" She held out a coin and started to drain Koruma and Masara for being mashers.

"Stop that!" Kiima commanded her newest minion.

"Okay," answered Hinako in a sultry voice and adult's body. She clenched her fist around her Japanese fifty yen coin with a defiant look. "Hmmph." She sneered and closed up the toilet stall curtain.

"Gwah..." Moaned Masara and Koruma as they leaned into each other to postpone their appointment with the floor.

"Come." Kiima instructed her followers and opened her wings for flight. "We can't keep our master waiting." With that, she took three running steps and flew into the air with her slightly shriveled minions close behind.

They flew for only a moment, taking in the familiar sights of the place they called home, before they landed at the ornate door that was the entrance to the sanctified lair of their people's living god. Kiima paused for a moment as the gravity of what she was about to do sunk in. She was going to see her Lord Saffron. Only the royal chamberlain and a few select servants were allowed near their leader since he had been reborn. She studied the carvings in the massive doors, remembering her history lessons. Reliefs of their Lord, shining light and warmth upon his people, were scattered among images of great battles and other historical events. She was proud to serve to her master. Holding onto the map for comfort, she knocked on the door.

A sound of a wooden board being slid aside answered her request for entry. Clanking and creaking signaled the door's imminent opening. Parting inward, the interior of the palace was seen as a long hallway lined with lit torches and a beautiful red carpet with intricate designs of birds of all species. A guard appeared from behind the door and bowed to the three. With an open hand, he pointed the way to their earthbound deity.

Kiima and her two companions respectfully bowed to the guard in return and went inside while the doors loudly shut behind them. Following the carpet, they came to a large door with a symbol of a Phoenix on it. The royal chamberlain, a regal looking old Chinese man with bird wings and claws for hands bowed and spoke. "I will announce your presence. Wait here."

Turning around, the ancient bird man opened the door and approached the chamber where his master dwelled. He gently bowed in reverence, slowly moving his arm forward to push aside a blue silk curtain allowing his lord to see him in a position of respect. He spoke with honor and conviction. "My lord, your loyal servants have returned from Japan with great news."

The silhouette of a man was all that was visible on the ornate throne. Quietly sitting, he made no motion or sound to acknowledge his retainer's statement. The room remained deathly silent, with only the old man's breathing creating any sound. Stillness permeated the chamber, until it was broken by a soft gentle breeze that came in from an open window. The slow air rustled a curtain on the far side of the room giving the only sign of life in an otherwise lifeless bedroom. It was as if death itself had entered and stayed for an extended visit.

The elder was extremely nervous, not knowing if his master was angry with him or someone else. He swallowed and spoke without raising his head so he wouldn't upset his master by speaking directly to him. He was hoping that his Lord wasn't in a foul mood. "Captain Kiima and her charges have arrived from Japan, m'lord." The old man's aged wings shook ever so slightly as he felt foreboding in his soul because of his master's continued silence. Was his master still displeased from yesterday's bathing disaster? Was his master considering replacing him for someone younger? Was his master testing him?

He remained bowed for several minutes, waiting for his lord to give him an answer. His spine creaked from the strain of staying in this uncomfortable position for too long. The elder slowly lifted himself to back out the doorway when he spied his prince's head resting at an odd angle. Fearing the worst, he rushed in to check on the health of his great leader only to find that what he had thought was his master was a crudely made dummy.

The elder called out for his errant king. "Lord Saffron!" He picked up the large watermelon that was used for the head and threw it down on the ground, smashing it. Kiima, Masara and Koruma rushed inside, weapons drawn, ready to defend their leader to the death. The elder angrily growled, like a parent to a disobedient child. "Where has he run off to?"

Deep in a jungle in the wilds of Japan, a lone traveler made his way slowly through the dark brush. Pushing aside another branch, he growled as he found another large rock blocking his path.

"Grrr..." Snarled Ryoga at this latest obstacle to wherever he was going. The steadfast rock mocked his attempt at making forward progress towards home. Undaunted, he pointed his finger and touched the stone with his special technique. "Bakusai Tenketsu!" The stone shattered into thousands of pieces, only to clear a path to the base of a large tree. The pig-boy shouted to the treetops above. "Where on Earth am I now?"

Down the block, Mousse, riding his bicycle approaching Nerima central park, paused when he heard the familiar scream of anguish. Taking a second to remember, he thought out loud. "I know that voice."

The part-time duck stopped at the gates in the front of the tiny park. He scanned the area from side to side, noting nothing of importance since it was all one big blur. "Hmm... I guess I must be hearing things."

He was about to ride back to the Cat Cafe when a tree shook at the far side of the park and another explosion rattled all of the nearby windows. Mousse nodded in understanding and rode his bike to the tiny grove. Setting his bike next to a park bench that looked to him like a bike rack, he stopped at the first bush and parted the branches seeing a familiar blurry outline.

Ryoga was holding the top of his head with both hands in frustration. "I'll never get back to my farm! ARGH!"

"Hey! Ryoga!" Mousse called out, waving his hand to attract the lost boy's attention.

The lost boy twirled around in surprise with a look of joy. "Mousse! What are you doing in Sapporo?"

A swan shaped training potty smacked the wanderer on the head in response. "You're in Nerima, you idiot."

"Nerima? You sure?" Ryoga pulled out a map and quizzically studied it. "It's not on the map."

"Let me see that." Mousse snatched the map and studied it as well, completely forgetting that he couldn't read worth a darn without his glasses. As usual, he feigned understanding when he really didn't have a clue. "See, that mark." He pointed to a tea stain. "That's the uh... Tendo's and that's Tokyo Tower and that's where we are right now."

Ryoga nodded happily. "Great! Can you show me the way to the Unryuu farm?"

Mousse was about to tell Ryoga to get lost, but that was just too easy. A plan formed in his head. An evil plan, a dark plan, a plan that actually could work if Mousse really thought things through. "I know the way. It's a long journey and on the way, we'll be able to stop at Jusenkyo."

Ryoga froze in horror and the mere mention of that cursed place. "Oh, no. Not there."

"Why not? Don't you want to get cured?" Mousse smiled. He had Ryoga just where he wanted him.

"F-f-free of the p-p-pig?" He folded up his map and weeped with ecstasy. "YES! To be free of the pig! Let's go!" He marched southward and stopped at a tree trunk. "Now, which way is Jusenkyo?"

"I knew you'd see it my way. Follow me." He tugged at Ryoga's shirt sleeve to lead him out of the tiny grove of trees and into daylight. The lost boy squinted his eyes as the bright light momentarily blinded him as much as his companion.

Ryoga blinked as he saw the Tokyo Tower in the distance. "Hey, they've got one of those in Sapporo too."

"You're hopeless." Groaned the hidden weapons master as he led Ryoga through the streets of Nerima like a wayward child. As he walked, he detailed his plan to finally win back his love and deal with Saotome, once and for all. Memories of all the times that Shampoo had spurned him rushed in, making him hate his rival even more. Yes, Ranma tried to help him woo his love, but it never was enough. As long as Ranma still breathed, Shampoo would never be his. The hidden weapons master formed plan after plan and found the one that he was sure was going to succeed. All he needed now, was to find Saotome and convince him to journey to his doom.

And Mousse knew he had the perfect bait, an all expense paid trip to Jusenkyo. Ranma would never turn that down in a thousand years.

"Greetings, welcome to Ucchan's." Konatsu bowed to their newest customers. Taking the couple to a small booth, he handed them their menu and proceeded to take their orders. Dressed in a beautiful cotton kimono with an Ucchan's logo on his apron, Konatsu was doing what he did almost as well as he did as a kunoichi, waitressing.

Ukyou took the order sheet, read it, and poured the batter on the heating surface. "Order comin' right up, Sugar." She smiled as she did what she was born to do; cook okonomiyaki.

The bell on the door rang again and Konatsu instantly appeared before the new patron and bowed again. "Greetings, welcome..." He stopped as he got a good look at the girl's light blue boots. Footwear he instantly realized belonged to... "Sailor Mercury."

Sailor Mercury gave a gentle bow as well. "Thank you. I'm here to see Ukyou Kuonji. Where is she?"

"Of course, follow me." The kunoichi couldn't hide his glee. He escorted the Sailor Senshi the short distance to where the chef was standing at the grill, completing an order.

"Lovebird special up." She slid two plates to her waiter / waitress and set her spatula down. "'Bout time you showed up. Ranma said you'd be here a while ago."

"I'm sorry Ukyou, but I had other matters to attend to." She checked the back of her uniform for any more roses and sighed in relief that she had been successful in removing all of the offending flora from her person. She produced her Mercury computer and opened it, turning it on. "Now, I need to scan you. It won't hurt a bit."

The cook slumped her shoulders. "That's what my dentist tells me. Y'know what? He don't understand the meaning of the word 'hurt'."

"I assure you. This really won't hurt. In fact, I'm done." She pressed keys fast and furiously and frowned at what she saw. "Strange."

Miss Kuonji raised an eyebrow. "What's strange, Sugar?"

"I need to scan you again to confirm. It'll just take a moment." The blue haired Senshi started another scan and a colored silhouette of a human body appeared on her screen. It was filled with a rainbow of colors as if a bag of crayons were tossed in a blender and the particles were sprinkled on her screen. "This doesn't make sense. They don't match."

Konatsu appeared behind Mercury and peeked over her shoulder. "Is she alright?"

Mercury jumped in surprise at his voice and calmed down once she saw that it was a friend. "Don't do that! I've already got enough people trying to get near me and throw roses."

Ukyou snickered while Konatsu was clueless. "You mean to tell me that people actually listened to Blue Blunder when he was on TV? Just when I thought that Jackass couldn't do anything stupider, he proves me wrong again."

"What did he do?" Konatsu timidly asked.

Mercury blushed in embarrassment. Ukyou sat back on a nearby tall stool. "Oh, nothing much, just declared mating season on the Sailor Senshi."

He placed his painted nails into his mouth and gasped. "He what?" He turned to Mercury who was even more embarrassed than before. "I didn't know it was mating season. How often does that happen to you?"

Mercury wanted to curl up and die from sheer shame. But she composed herself and shook her head in the negative. "There's no such thing as Sailor Senshi mating season." She glared at Ukyou. "Mr. Kuno made a lot of false statements and Nabiki is taking care of the problem as we speak."

Ukyou and Konatsu went white in terror. Even Kuno may not deserve the full wrath of Nabiki Tendo. The tall girl uttered in horror, "she's taking care of it?" She then lifted the edges of her mouth ever so slightly into a devilish grin. "Can't think of a better person for that to happen to, don't you agree Ko-chan?"

"Yes, from what I know of Kuno, he deserves to be punished." The waitress vanished as the couple in the booth's drinks needed refilling.

"Well," Mercury scanned Ukyou again. "Enough of him, now for you." She compared the readout and typed several commands to analyze the data. "This still doesn't make any sense, unless..." Mercury stopped in realization, then stared intently at Ukyou's forehead expecting something to appear at her gaze.

"Woah, Sugar, what's with the evil eye?" She slid back as Mercury's stare gave her the chills.

"You don't have a sigil."

"A sigil? What's that?" Ukyou asked inquisitivy.

Mercury answered sadly since she was hoping to welcome a new Sailor Senshi among their ranks but this wasn't the case, "It's a symbol of something, but you don't have it. You don't need to worry about it." She typed another command. "Answer me honestly, please. Are you cursed or under the influence of magic?"

Ukyou sat silent for a moment thinking about all of her adventures with the Nerima wrecking crew. Nothing came to mind except... "Wait... Ranchan said there's something wrong with my ki." She held out her left hand for Mercury to see. "When I was healed at the hospital room. He said that I got your ki."

"My ki? You mean my life force? Let me see. Maybe that's what I'm doing wrong." She set up some data filters and displayed the human outline on her screen again. "Well I'll be." She modified a parameter to confirm her findings. "Amazing."

"What?" Asked Konatsu from behind the Senshi, scaring her once again and causing her to throw her computer into the air. The ninja snatched the clamshell computer in flight and glanced at the image on the LCD screen.

A shadow of a twin pony-tailed girl was superimposed on the image of Ukyou. A magical aura detector claimed that the two were a perfect match. Konatsu gazed in awe at his beloved mistress and held out the computer to a rapidly breathing Senshi.

"Please, I can't take much more excitement for today." Mercury took her computer back and read the results as well. "Well, this confirms it. I'm going to have to consult some... People about this." The Senshi set her computer to scan for life energy and magical auras and aimed it at Ukyou for another pass. She hoped that Luna or Artemis might be able to figure out what to do in this situation.

"Are you done probing me with that?" Ukyou took a utensil to scrape her griddle clean. "'Cause if you are, can you tell me what's going on with my body." Ding! Went a bell on an oven at the end of the counter. "Hold that thought, I'll be right back."

Mercury nodded. "I'm not going anywhere. This is just so unusual." She went over her reading a final time and found the answer. She didn't know to be excited or worried, but she did know that something was going to have to be done before things got out of hand. She cross referenced the data and found something terrible.

"Awww..." Ukyou extracted a cake pan from the small oven. "I could have sworn I did this right." The cake in the pan was slightly burnt and emitted a rancid odor like roasted rubber. "What's that smell?" She broke off a small piece and tasted it. "Yuck! Salty." She pulled out a box with a white powder in it and stuck her finger inside. "How did I? No way I put salt instead of sugar. Only Akane's that dumb."

Mercury avoided looking at Ukyou. "You haven't cooked with Moon or Venus, have you?"

Tossing the ruined cake into the trash and leaving the pan in the sink, the chef sat back down at the stool near the Mercury Princess. "You gotta help me. I think I'm going nuts. One minute I'm a star gymnast, the next, I'm clumsy as an ox. And now I'm having urges to make cakes and I've never wanted to make a four layer cake before. To top it off, I was playing the violin in music class today. I've never played that thing in my life. I don't know what's happening to me."

"Well," Sailor Mercury snapped her computer shut and shoved it into subspace. "What happened was this. When we healed you, we gave a part of ourselves like someone giving blood. Part of that was our aura and with you being a normal girl, your body is having a difficult time accepting the donated energies."

"Are you telling me that I've got a little of each of you? What does that mean? Do I start wearing a mini-skirt and create windstorms or something?" Ukyou asked rhetorically. "What now?"

"Well, as far as I can tell. This is temporary. In time, the magic will dissipate and you'll be back to your normal self. Or maybe..." She went downcast.

The chef sat upright at attention for more bad news. "Or maybe what?"

"Well," Mercury explained, "It could go the other way and the magical energies could take over. You may actually get your wish."

"What wish?"

Nonchalantly, she shrugged then looked very depressed. "For you to wear a mini-skirt and create windstorms. I'm going to take my findings and see about finding you a treatment or cure."

"You do that. Unless I am going to wear a mini-skirt and that other stuff." Ukyou smiled. "I wouldn't really mind that at all."

Mercury rapidly shook her head. "No, not unless you have control over the magic coursing through your body, it will do far more harm than good. I'm going to research this and get you a cure or a way to gain control."

"Or what?" Ukyou nervously asked, seeing that Mercury wasn't exactly sharing everything she knew.

"I owe you this much. You saved my life." She breathed softly for a few seconds as she fought for control of her emotions. "The readings I got from you are completely unstable. If I don't find a cure for you..." She hated this part about being a future doctor, telling her patients bad news. "You're going to die."

A spatula hit the ground from Ukyou's limp hand. She closed her eyes and took a deep calming breath. "How long do I have?"

This was the worst part of the doctor patient relationship. "Months, weeks... It might even be a matter of days."

Wanting to cry, she gripped the edge of her counter for support. Konatsu instantly appeared behind his mistress and prevented her from falling on her own griddle. Tears filled his eyes as he wept for his mistress as well .

Mercury saw the fear in Ukyou's face. "I swear to you that I'll do everything I can to help you. I won't rest until I find a cure."

With new resolve, the chef stood up, pulled out a spatula and poured batter on her grill as if nothing was wrong. "You do that, Sugar. I've got a business to run. Now, what'll it be? Shrimp? Beef? Chicken?"

The Senshi sheepishly asked. "Can you make a ham okonomiyaki sandwich? To go."

Back on her favorite subject, the cook rolled up her sleeve. "I like a challenge."

The Amazon trio had taken the trip to China in a crate tied behind two large funny looking yellow birds to cross the ocean in record time. Hitching onto a jet for speed was the easy part. Detaching and landing without being shot down by the Chinese Air Force was the tough part. They had to land many kilometers away from the village to ensure that the government didn't know the exact location of their hidden homes.

They walked the final leg of their journey and Shampoo couldn't be more pleased. "I'm happy to be home." The purple haired girl said in Chinese as she hiked with Plum and her great grandmother along a thin dirt trail up a mountain near the village. The Amazon smelled the fresh scent of wildflowers and morning dew, reminding her of the things that she had missed the most from where she was born and raised.

"Why do you say that?" Cologne answered the statement, not looking at her great granddaughter who walked behind her. If Shampoo knew what awaited her as Cologne did, she wouldn't have been as happy as she was.

"Why not? It's good to be home." She reached down to pick up a wildflower from the side of the path. "I almost forgot how beautiful it was here. I'm glad we're coming to visit."

The ancient Amazon didn't show her concern, she didn't want to worry Shampoo for what she knew was going to come. "Yes, it's always good to come home."

Overhead, a small cloud of black birds flew across the sky, too far to be of any immediate interest, but Cologne watched it with intense scrutiny. "Hurry, my children, we don't have much time."

They approached the edge of the village and Cologne stopped the group. Ahead, there was the sound of fighting and shouting. The elder held her walking stick in a defensive pose. "Come, hurry! The village is under attack. Plum, stay here."

The little girl nodded and found a large rock to hide behind. Producing bonbori from who knows where, Shampoo ran as fast as she could behind Cologne ready for fierce hand-to-hand combat. They entered a city in chaos, bird people swooped down everywhere grabbing at anything that moved. A familiar white haired woman stood on a roof of a hut and snarled as she saw the pair from Japan approach.

"Thousand Wings of the Seabird Attack!" Cried out Kiima as she opened her wings and threw a rain of needle sharp feathers at Cologne. Angrily, the old woman twirled her stick to form a perfect shield to the attack. Shampoo crouched behind her great-grandmother waiting for the bombardment to end.

Cologne ducked and Shampoo lunged forward swinging her bonbori at her opponent. Kiima barely had time to draw her sword to block and the pair fell from the roof onto the dirt below. Shampoo made an overhead strike at Kiima's head, but the girl rolled to the side to avoid it. Shampoo kicked the fallen girl in the back and used her other hand to shove a club into Kiima's arm.

Grimacing in pain, the Captain rolled on the ground to get away from the purple haired Amazon. She got to her feet and took to the air with a bonbori bouncing off of the soles of her boots. "Everyone, retreat!"

Dozens of bird warriors heeded the call and pulled back, following their Captain into the sky. They circled for a moment then scattered as archers shot arrows at them. The Amazons collected in the center of their town, all of them watching the sky for a return attack.

Minutes passed, silence the women's only companion until Gel, the current acting matriarch whistled for attention. "I need six warriors to stand watch." She pointed into the crowd. "You, you and you will take the south tower and you, you and..." She was about to point at Shampoo but her gaze turned ice cold. "
YOU! You're under arrest! Seize her!"

The Amazon grew wide eyed in shock. What had she done? "Honored elder," she bowed, "I am Shampoo."

Cologne closed her eyes and she shed a single tear. She focused her being away from this place and wished that fate hadn't come to this.

"She admits it. Guards, take her away." Gel snarled with hate filled eyes. "For the crime of failing to fulfill your obligations under Amazon law, you'll be punished."

"But... But..." Shampoo stuttered as four women surrounded her, weapons drawn. She dropped her bonbori and held her head down in shame. "I don't understand."

Gel watched in glee as Shampoo was taken away. She was still smiling when she gloated to Cologne. "I take no pleasure in this."

Cologne wanted to rip her lungs out and feed them to fire ants. Gel's attempt being sympathetic was utterly transparent. Cologne knew full well that she was the real target of this travesty and that it was her great-granddaughter who going to suffer for it. The tiny matriarch hopped onto her cane. "What happened here?"

"They came looking for someone, but they wouldn't say who." She glared at Cologne with utter contempt. "They must have figured out that Plum was coming here."

"It's too soon." Cologne pondered. "They shouldn't have found out about the phony map yet."

"What? What have you done? I knew that you'll be the death of our way of life." A livid Gel grew red with rage. "First you teach your great granddaughter those corrupt ways and now you play tricks with Saffron?" She pointed her cane accusingly at her hated foe. "I will enjoy seeing you fall." She spun around an hopped away in fury.

"So will I." Whispered Cologne. "So will I." She hopped away to find Plum and tell her the bad news.

The squadron of bird warriors landed just outside of the Amazon village and formed a small circle. Kiima, nursing her arm, led the group. "So, have any of you seen any sign of him?"

"We checked all the bathhouses. There's no sign of him."

"Damn it." Kiima flinched as her wound was aggravated. "Where are they hiding him?"

A soldier raised his hand. "Are you sure that our Lord is there? He would have called out for us."

Kiima nodded. "Perhaps you're right. We'll need to infiltrate them and find out what they know."

Another soldier, female this time, stepped forward. "Who can we send? They know all of our human forms."

All of the soldiers nodded in agreement. The female asked the group, "Is there anyone who they don't know about already?"

Kiima thought for a minute. "Yes. I think I know the perfect spy. You and you." She pointed to her most trusted warriors. "You're coming with me. The rest of you," She laughed maniacally. "You've got some work to do." She laughed some more making her soldiers a little concerned for their Captain's sanity.

Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and keeps me from replacing your champagne with shampoo.

Last edited on January 26th, 2007

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