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Sailor Ranko: Thrice In A Millennium: Chapter 2, The New Enemy.
by
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 upload chapters to FanFiction.net without checking them.



The clouds high in the morning sky quickly parted creating a beam of sunlight that brightened the skyline of Nerima. The air was filled with the fresh smell of damp grass as the water deposited earlier in the day began to evaporate away.

Two Sailor Senshi sat on a park bench watching over a little Chinese girl whom they had rescued from flying birdmen only an hour ago.

The red skirted, red haired girl sighed as another passerby calmly walked by, ignoring the Senshi. Anywhere else in town, Sailor Senshi would attract a crowd, but here, everyone just assumed super powered individuals were an everyday occurrence.

Sailor Sun spoke in a soft voice to her companion. "Io."

"Yes, Sun?"

"How're we going to take this kid to the ol' ghoul without blowing our cover?"

Io pondered the question. "Well, the disguise magic is supposed to prevent anyone from recognizing us isn't it?"

Sailor Sun slumped in her seat. "Hate to break it to ya, but the old bat can see through the magic."

"Lovely."

The little girl finished devouring her third parfait. "May I have another one, honored guests?"

Io turned to Sun with a satisfied smirk. "You're the master of free eats."

"Nag, nag, nag." Sun got up to go back to the ice cream parlor to work her charm for another ice cream. She entered the shop and a moment later she held a chocolate and strawberry sundae, which was snatched by the starving little girl.

CHOMP! CHOMP! The sundae vanished in just two bites. "Thank you for your kind generosity." She bowed again as she did for each treat she had gotten from the two Senshi. She licked her lips to taste the last of the delicious confection and savored the flavor. "There isn't anything like this where I come from."

Io closed her eyes in the hope that the girl would open up to her. She had been evasive to all their questions ever since they had teleported to a location five blocks from the Cat Cafe. "Where is it that you come from?"

The little girl looked around suspiciously. "I can't say until I speak with the elder. When can you take me to her?"

Io shook her head in sad frustration. The girl refused to say anything about why she was being pursued, the identities of her pursuers, who she was, or where she came from. Sun turned to Io with an idea. "Io, stay here. My friend will be here soon to take her to the Cat Cafe. After HE gets here, you can join me back at headquarters."

Io lowered her eyebrows while thinking about Sun's words. "Headquarters? Huh?"

Sun walked off and vanished around a street corner to carry out her plan, whatever it was. Io sat for a full minute watching the little girl lick the bowl clean. "You've got a healthy appetite, don't you?"

"Thank you again, honored guest." She bowed for the tenth time. "I've been hungry for quite some time."

"Why are you so hungry? Haven't your parents..." A sound of a male screaming at the top of his lungs broke the conversation as a damp panic stricken pig-tailed martial artist ran around a corner with his arms flailing in the air.

"Get it away from me! Get it away from me! YAH!" Ranma ran straight toward Sailor Io and hid behind her, cowering to the ground. "Keep it away from me!"

Io rolled her eyes in frustration to her husband's display of fear. She stepped forward to the corner of the store, knelt down to the ground and called out to the terrible creature. "Here kitty, kitty." A small black cat came around the block and purred. She turned around to look at her big strong husband who was curled up in a ball, moaning. "I'll defeat this terrible enemy Ranma, for love and justice." She giggled then assured her husband to keep him from wigging out even more. "A friend of mine will be back to help protect you if any more of these horrible things show up." Io picked up the cat, petted it and jogged away from sight.

Ranma's teeth chattered as he bravely stood up to face the horrid triangle eared demon. "Y-Y-yeah. I-I-I'll b-be r-right here." Once Io was out of his sight and the black spawn of the fourth circle of hell was gone, he calmed down.

The black haired little girl tossed her styrofoam bowl into the trash. "Mister? Where was the monster? All I saw was a cute little kitty cat."

Ranma pulled in his inner strength to keep from freaking out again. "D-don't worry little girl. It was there all right. By the way, I don't think we've met. I'm Ranma Saotome. What's your name?" He bowed, ever so slightly.

The girl stood stone faced. "Shouldn't we wait for your friend?"

Ranma stood up from his bow of greeting. He quietly cursed. This girl's really good at keep quiet. Wonder if she's been taking lessons from Nabiki.

"Ranma?" Akane came around the corner. "Have you... Oh, there you are. Hello little one, my friend told me all about you. I'm Akane, wanna be friends?"

The girl wasn't fooled. "I need to see Cologne. Can you either of you take me to her?"

Ranma and Akane drooped their shoulders. Ranma led the way down the street. "C'mon, it's 'bout five blocks this way."

"Where did the magical girls go?"

Akane gave a knowing smile. "They had to go somewhere. They told us to take you to Cologne."

The girl jumped on Ranma's back holding his shoulders tight. "Let's run! I need to see her now."

Ranma dropped his head in defeat. "This had better be good, I'm tired of earning detention for being a taxi service."
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ryoga sat on the roof of his farmhouse looking at the clouds in a wistful manner. He was in peaceful bliss since his marriage to Akari Unryuu but something was still missing in his life. He just couldn't put his finger on it as he thought about what led him to this point and why he was here. He spoke to the empty rooftop. "Ah, Akari. How did I ever deserve someone like you? What did I do to earn your love?" He sat up to meditate for a little while clearing his thoughts but his mind wandered away again. Wandering like he used to do in a physical sense until recently.

Akari climbed up the ladder that was attached to the side of the house to visit her daydreaming husband. She carefully crawled on the roof to slide next to Ryoga. She was terrified of the roof since it was slippery, slanted and just wasn't that safe to be on. She slid next to her husband and held him tight. "Oh, Ryoga."

Ryoga squeezed Akari's hand that she had placed on his shoulder. He tilted his head against hers and sighed. Akari blinked then pushed herself harder against Ryoga's head as if she could somehow become one with him by pressure alone.

The young woman held her beloved's face to hers. She pressed her lips to his and gave him a gentle kiss. "What's wrong, Ryoga?"

He sighed again feeling a wave of depression that for all rights shouldn't exist in his soul but did. "Nothing."

"Liar." Akari playfully smiled. She grew concerned and looked into his eyes. "Tell me what's wrong. Please darling." She batted her eyes and then lowered her head to show him that she deeply cared about him and his feelings.

Ryoga turned away. "Nothing. Nothing's the matter."

Akari pulled back dejected and sad. "Okay." Her face fell into a sorrowful state since her husband was hiding something from her. "I understand if you don't want to talk about it." She pulled away lowering her hands to crawl back to the ladder.

"Wait." Ryoga pulled his knees to his chest in contemplation. "I..."

Akari gave an expectant look. "Yes?"

"I... I..." Ryoga wimped out. He couldn't tell her his true feelings because he didn't want to hurt her. He buried his head into his knees trying to summon the courage to speak.

"Ryoga." Akari whispered. "Please tell me what's wrong. You've been spending so much time up here. You hardly eat. You..." She felt sullen and alone. "You don't spend much time with me anymore." Her eyes watered a tiny bit. "Am I not a good wife?"

Ryoga snapped back into reality. "Akari, please forgive me. I-I never said you weren't a good wife. Y-you're the best thing that's ever happened to me." He held out his hands to take hers. "I'm sorry but... but..." He went back into reality denial mode with a full dose of cowardice.

Akari lifted her head up to watch Ryoga drop his head back down. "Is there someone else?"

Ryoga flung his head up. "No! There's no one else!" He flashed an image of Akane in his mind then pushed it aside.

Akari was nearly in tears. "Then why are you so sad? Why are you always depressed lately? Did I do something wrong? Did I do something to offend you? Please tell me." She shed a few tears. "I don't want you to be sad. We're supposed to be happy together."

Ryoga pulled his head back to gaze at the clouds. He ran his pitiful thought processes to try to make sense of what he felt. He watched the clouds roll by as they traveled across the sky to parts unknown. Traveled? Journeyed? Voyaged? He contorted his face and clutched his chest to the stark reality that presented itself to him. He was tied down. He had to be free. He had to... Had to... No! He couldn't do it to her. He was found. He gave up the title of the lost boy for Akari's sake. He couldn't do it to her anymore but the road was calling his name.

Ryoga's dreams were filled with images of far off places. Many of them he had already been to in his journeys. He remembered the despair, the loneliness, and the isolation that the open road offered. It was nothing like what he had right in front of him. He had a wife, a home and a pen full of sumo pigs that tolerated his company. It wasn't much, but it was a destination at the end of a very long journey. Ryoga knew deep in his heart that the destination was never the goal; it was the journey itself that made everything worthwhile. He desperately wanted to embark on another trek through the woods, deserts, fields and plains of the world. He could just hear the sounds of the distant lands waiting for him to visit, to partake in their cultures and to move on.

"Akari, I'm not sad." He tried to put on a happy face for his wife and failed miserably.

"Then what are you?" Akari held her gaze on his face, desperate for an answer to her question.

Ryoga held her hand tight. "I'm in love." He moved toward her in a gentle motion. Akari closed her eyes and savored his sweet lips. They felt their love electrify the moment and the instant their lips parted, the moment was gone.

Akari giggled like a schoolgirl charged up by her moment of passion. "Then come down with me." She tugged his hand. "Katsunishiki's hungry and it's time to feed him." Her eyes sparkled. "Together."

Ryoga quickly stood up. "Then let's not keep him waiting." He scooped up Akari and jumped off the roof to the ground with Akari screaming all the way down.

Katsunishiki snorted from his pen at the sound of his master's scream. "Bwee!"

Ryoga jerked at the sound of a pig's squeal that reminded him of his curse. Akari pounded Ryoga's head with very little force since she just wanted to get his attention. "Don't do that! You know I hate that!"

Ryoga put his wife down. "Let's get the slop and give it to him."

Akari ran to the kitchen while holding Ryoga's hand. They were a happy couple.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Cat Cafe stood before the Saotomes and their newfound friend. Ranma checked to make sure that neither he nor Akane had anything visible on them to give away their positions as Senshi. He examined his Senshi communicator to make sure it was on vibrate mode to avoid a telltale beep in the cafe. Satisfied, he entered the front door triggering the chime.

Mousse walked up to the entrance to shoo away the early customers. "I'm sorry, but we aren't serving lunch for about two hours. Please come back when we're open." He squinted at the somewhat familiar silhouettes in his fuzzy vision. "Oh, it's only you. Are you here to take my darling Shampoo?" He assumed a fighting stance but didn't charge.

Ranma was impressed that duck boy was wearing his glasses this time around and didn't try to glomp or attack them. "Actually, we're here because of her." He pointed to the little Chinese girl.

Mousse adjusted his glasses to get a better look at the child. "And who might you be?"

She bowed to Mousse. "I'm here to see the great elder Cologne."

Mousse was suspecting that this was some sort of trap to lure him and Cologne away from his true love. He asked with a tinge of paranoia in his voice. "That's nice, but who are you? What business do you have with that dried up old monkey?"

The child recognized Mousse's style of clothing coming from the area of China that she was from. She decided to trust the near-sighted man in front of her. "It's a matter of Jusenkyo."

Ranma, Mousse, Akane and Shampoo who was approaching the group and heard the girl all shouted. "JUSENKYO!"

Shampoo ran up to the girl, kneeling to her level. "You come from China, no?"

"I'm from China. My father works at Jusenkyo."

Ranma raised his eyebrows. "Your father? He isn't the Jusenkyo guide, is he?"

Mousse put two and two together realizing that the guide must be married to produce a child. He lamented his luck at snaring a bride. If that ugly fat man could get a wife, why couldn't he get Shampoo? "That fat guy's got a wife! I'm much better looking than him and he's the one who gets a wife!"

Shampoo slapped Mousse back to earth. "Stupid Mousse! Stop talking stupid."

The girl got impatient. "I need to see Cologne. Take me to her."

Cologne emerged from the kitchen hopping on her cane in sight of the little girl. She read her ki signature and checked her out using her ancient Amazon skills to make sure that she wasn't some sort of infiltrator or spy. Once satisfied that it wasn't a trap, she addressed the girl. "I'm the elder of the Amazons." The old woman stared at the little girl and finally recognized her. "You're Plum of Jusenkyo are you not?'

"Yes! It is I, Plum. It is good to see you honored guest." She bowed down before the matriarch by bending her stomach to arch her chest to a ninety-degree angle. She held her bow for a few seconds before coming up again. "We have much to discuss. Jusenkyo is in danger."

Shampoo dropped the dish she was holding. "Jusenkyo?"

Cologne remained steadfast. "What's happening in Jusenkyo that required you to come all the way here? You could have asked for help from the elders back in our village."

"Sorry respected elder, but my father instructed me to come here. He wanted you to protect this." She reached into her shirt and pulled out a folded brown parchment.

Cologne took the parchment and unfolded it. It was a map showing landmarks in the area of Jusenkyo. "What's the significance of this, child?"

"It is Jusenkyo's secret. My father was very specific that I give this to you and you alone."

The old woman scanned the map looking for anything out of the ordinary. "This shows the flow of water from the mountain of Jusendo to the springs. If this falls into the wrong hands, it could mean disaster."

Shampoo picked up the broken dish pieces from the floor. "How so, great grandmother?"

"The water is imbued with raw magic. It's what powers the cursed springs. If someone was to redirect or dispel the water, the springs would dry up."

Mousse went rigid with fright. "That would mean..."

Shampoo crossed her arms holding herself tight. "No more spring of Drowned Girl."

Mousse lowered his head in despair. "No more spring of Drowned Man."

Shampoo grew teary eyed. "Shampoo change to cat forever."

A part of Ranma cried out in anguish at the loss of a possible cure, but an overwhelming part of him wanted to see the springs vanish without a trace. He looked at the faces of the people he sometimes called friends and felt sympathy for them. "What do we do about it?"

Cologne led the little girl to a table. "First thing we should do is care for our guest. Shampoo, please give our guest some food. She must be hungry after such a long trip."

Shampoo bounded off to the kitchen. "Yes, great grandmother, Shampoo bring good good food for guest."

Cologne turned to Ranma and Akane. "Now, why are you two here? Aren't you supposed to be in school right now?"

Akane stepped forward since she wanted to avoid Ranma from saying something dumb. "We were asked to take this girl, Plum wasn't it? And bring her here to you. Well, since we did out good deed for the day, I guess we'll be leaving." Akane stepped back to go.

Cologne gripped Akane's arm in a vice like hold. "Not so fast, young lady. You're two hundred years too early to pull something on me." She turned to Plum. "Plum, who asked these two to escort you here?"

Plum got comfortable at a large table with chopsticks at the ready. "Oh, it was two girls who called themselves Sailor Senshi."

"Two girls you say?" Cologne looked Akane straight in the eye and read her ki. She gave a toothy grin and released her grip. "Good for you."

Akane brushed her arm. "Good for me what?"

Cologne continued her omnipotent smile. "I think you two may want to stick around for a bit. You might learn something. Shampoo! Hurry up!"

Shampoo bounded with a hastily prepared bowl of ramen. She placed the steaming hot bowl in front of Plum who ate it in a very ladylike fashion. It was not even close to how Ranma devoured a meal.

Cologne looked around the restaurant, checking for anyone who might be listening in. "Mousse! Get here as well." The myopic martial artist took a seat at the table. "Now, let's begin. First, who is after this paper?"

Plum stopped eating. "Bird men attacked my father. They wanted the secret. I barely escaped and came here."

Cologne pondered Plum's words. "Bird men did you say? You didn't see what they looked like did you, Ranma?"

Ranma answered in the best way he knew how. "Uh."

Plum slurped down a noodle. "Elder, they didn't see anything. The girls who rescued me saw them as I did. There were two men, the same two who attacked my father. One had black wings and dark skin and the other had white wings, light skin and black stripes."

The elder looked downcast. "Did these men have the ability to fly?"

"Yes, respected elder. They can fly very high."

"Lastly, did they transform into humans with cold water?"

"Yes. It rained and they lost their powers. The girl with red hair who saved me beat one up and I punished the other one."

Cologne shot a glance at Ranma who was trying to avoid attention. She snickered then stifled the laugh. "Where are the bird men now?"

Plum dropped her face. "I don't know. They got away."

"Well, if this is what they're after. They'll come here for it. We have to prepare. Feel up to it sunny boy? Ha ha ha! Sunny boy!" Cologne gave a hearty laugh that could drive lesser men insane.

Ranma looked around the table for any reason to stick around. "What's it got to do with me? I ain't no babysitter? C'mon Akane, let's get out of here."

Akane put her hands on the table to push herself away. "I'm with you."

Cologne slammed her stick to the ground. "So sunny boy, running away from a fight? That's not like you at all."

"What fight? All I saw was... Uh..." Akane poked Ranma in the ribs. "Nothin'. I saw nothin'."

The elder grinned. "Well then you've got nothing to be afraid of."

Ranma got his feathers ruffled at that remark. "Who said I was afraid? I'm not afraid of no oversized crow!"

Cologne cracked a smile. "Of course you aren't sunny boy. But you need to know a bit more about whom we're facing. Let me tell you youngsters a story." She waved her hands to get everyone to huddle around her. "There is another place with a cursed spring. It's on the top of Mount Phoenix where many birds live atop its craggy peak. Many birds drowned in the spring that exists up there and the water became cursed. The people who lived there, drank the water from the spring and in time grew wings and became part bird."

Ranma cut in. "Are these people related to the Musk?" Ranma got his head smacked with a cane.

"Be quiet sunny boy. I'm telling this story, not you. No, they are not related to the Musk. Now where was I, oh yes? These people became half bird as their natural form. They kept to themselves, rarely ever venturing away from their homeland. Something must have happened to make them travel so far away from home."

Akane tapped the table. "Why is it that these people change when hit with cold water?"

"Well the obvious answer is that they fell into the spring of Drowned Man. Perhaps it was to give them disguises to walk among normal humans."

Ranma cut in again. "So you're saying that their human forms is their cursed form and the Hawkman imitation is what they really look like? OW!"

Cologne had smacked him again. "That's just what I said. Weren't you listening to me?"

Shampoo waited for Cologne to stop hitting Ranma. "Great Grandmother, why they want map?"

The elder examined the map again looking for anything out of the ordinary. "I don't know child. We'll have to wait until they come here to get some answers."

Mousse felt his danger sense go off. He coughed to get some attention from the others around the table. "I've got to go to the restroom." He got up to walk to the back.

Shampoo gave a look of disgust. "Mousse, why you go when important meeting happen."

Mousse walked carefully to the back. "When nature calls, my darling I have to ANSWER IT!" He threw a chain at a decorative wall partition smashing it into pieces. Nothing was revealed behind the ruined wall fragments.

Cologne leapt into air and smashed the adjacent partition knocking down the two former birdmen hiding behind it. She took an attack stance and held her staff pointed at the intruders. "Who are you and what do you want?"

A tall white haired girl in a white Chinese collared sleeveless leotard with a very large sword answered from the front entrance. "I am Captain Kiima of Mount Phoenix." The girl made an imposing presence with her giant white wings folded behind her. Her bracers emphasized the look of deadliness of her razor sharp fingernails that doubled as talons.

The dark skinned black haired man that had been hidden behind the partition stood up. He wore a loose fitting light blue Chinese jumpsuit with black trim and a medium sized sword on his belt. "I'm Koruma."

The light skinned man lifted himself from the ground, pushing aside the broken partition. He had a wild forward swept mane of black hair and wore an off white jumpsuit with a cheetah pattern on the trim. His boots had a white tiger striped pattern. He was armed with a bow and arrows. "I'm Masara."

Kiima took a step forward. "You have something we want."

Cologne slid the paper into her tunic out of sight. Ranma stood forward to challenge the uninvited guests. "And what's that?"

"Hmph." She gazed at Plum who was hiding under a booth. "Give me the secret and we'll leave in peace."

Shampoo glanced at Cologne where the old woman had hidden the map. She then held out her bonbori in preparation to attack. "Why you want secret?"

Cologne held her hand to her face. Shampoo just gave away that fact that they had anything and any hope that they could have just bluffed their way out of a fight.

Kiima was nonplussed at Shampoo's show of force. "It's none of your concern. Now, if you'll give me the map, we'll leave in peace."

Plum cowered under the table in terror shaking her head back and forth in the negative. Ranma and Akane stood in front of the table to protect Plum. Cologne studied Kiima like she did to any new possible threat to her and kept silent.

Kiima studied the group back. It was obvious that they weren't going to surrender the map peacefully to her. "I see. I tried to be reasonable with you." Kiima stretched her arms wide. "Thousand Wings of the Seabird Attack!" She flapped her wings and dozens of dart like feathers flew toward the collected martial artists.

Ranma jumped out of the way. "That's it, you've got a ticket to the emergency ward."

"Aiya!" Shampoo blocked the darts with her bonbori.

"Thunder Hammer Strike!" Akane threw a ball of ki at Kiima knocking her aside but not down.

Mousse threw out a chain at Masara knocking his bow out of his hands. Kiima glared at Akane then focused on Cologne. "Give me that map!"

Cologne used her cane to pick up a bowl of steaming hot ramen. She threw it at Kiima scalding her. "Aww!" Kiima backed up out of the room holding her burns. "You'll regret this!" She ran out of the cafe with her two minions close behind. "To the skies!" She cast a hateful glare back at the group. "We will be back for what's ours."

Ranma yelled to the group. "After them!" The warriors sans Cologne charged the door. Kiima grabbed a bucket of mop water that Mousse had left near the front door and splashed the team to blind them.

A drenched Ranko jumped up and down like an idiot. "A C-c-cat!" Feline Shampoo held on the Ranko's shirt while the red head went violently insane. Mousse, blinded by the soapy water, flew into a wall knocking himself out cold. Akane slipped on the water landing on her butt, then was promptly trampled by a screaming Ranko.

Kiima watched the transformations and made mental notes for use against her possible enemies later. She ignored the melee and took to the air. Her underlings ran on the street below in pursuit of their leader. "Kiima! Don't leave us!"

"Get it off! Get if off! Oof!" Ranko ran into a post crushing Shampoo and falling on the floor unconscious.

Akane rubbed her sore behind while shaking her head in dismay. "She took us out with a bucket of water? Look at my dress!"

Cologne hopped into the middle of the dazed group. "We've got bigger problems."



Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and keeps me from making that bump in the night sound you hear at midnight.

Last edited on January 25th, 2007



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