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Sailor Ranko: Thrice In A Millennium: Chapter 9, Bird Fighting.
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 replace the motor oil in my car with Heinz Ketchup.

A soft hum came from the electric alarm clock sitting on the floor, next to the head of Konatsu's futon. The alarm buzzer went off filling the air with noise, bringing the kunoichi out of his peaceful dream of life with his mistress. He stretched out, quickly tossing off his thin blanket, and stared at the ceiling of his little room to welcome another beautiful day. As far as he was concerned, any day Konatsu spent in the company of Ukyou, was a day to be cherished. He got dressed, performed his morning chores and went to the back alley behind the restaurant to set up for martial arts practice with his beloved Mistress.

Placing a wooden target for spatula and shuriken practice in place, he scraped off the wood splinters with a steel brush to smooth out the well worn surface. He froze in place, as his senses felt that someone was nearby. Attracted to a soft sound coming out of an old rusted trash dumpster near the end of the alley, Konatsu set aside his brush and tapped on the side of the large refuse container. "Okay, Tsubasa, you can come on out now."

The sound from within went quiet. The ninja broke the silence by singing in a mirthful tone. "Ukyou still won't go out with you." He popped the lid open. "So you can go back to..."

Inside the dumpster wasn't his cross dressing rival for Ukyou's affections, but a rather young Chinese girl covered in newspapers instead of blankets. Her hair was disheveled, her clothes were filthy and she looked like she hadn't eaten in a while. Images of Konatsu's previous living arrangements with his step-family flashed through his head, filling his heart with empathy and pity for the little girl's plight. "Hello, there."

The girl was awake, but she didn't respond. She shivered from the cold and chattered her teeth, trying to obtain warmth from her filthy clothes. Now that she had been discovered, she didn't need to keep her presence hidden and made shivering sounds.

Reaching into the bin with a friendly hand, Konatsu batted his eyes and gave a motherly smile. "Come with me. I'll take you inside and I can get you a nice glass of milk. Would you like that?"

Plum curled up tighter, thinking about her long lost family and the futility of all that had happened to her in the last few weeks. She didn't offer any resistance and fell limp as the kunoichi picked her up and carried her into the restaurant.

"Phew!" Konatsu held his nose to avoid the strong aroma coming from the sleeping child as he slowly entered the restaurant. Setting her down in his futon, he brushed her gently to get rid of the larger pieces of trash that had stuck to her. He pulled a blanket over her cold form and reassured her that she was safe. "Don't worry, little one. I'll take care of you." Wiping away a little grime from her face with a napkin, Konatsu whispered into her ear. "I'll be right back with that milk I promised."

Ukyou came down the stairs in her workout gi with a bokken strapped to her belt. Her nose alerted her to a change in the ambient aroma of the store in moments. "Hey, there!" She noticed the open back door and a trail of trash leading into her roommate's bedchamber. "You're supposed to take the trash outside. Not inside." She held her hand to her face in disgust. "And what is that smell?"

"Sorry, but I have to get some milk." He kneeled and bowed before his mistress. "I found a little girl."

"Huh? A little girl?" Ukyou looked back at the garbage trail, thinking thoughts of the unimaginable leapt into her mind. "Oh, my god! Someone didn't..." She took a step back, holding her hands to her face in revulsion that someone would toss a newborn child into a dumpster. "How could someone do that?"

Her kunoichi jumped up to grab Ukyou before she walked backwards into a stool. "I don't know, she's in my room and she's hungry."

Nodding in agreement, the chef straightened up when her kunoichi released her after he was sure she wasn't going to fall onto the floor. Konatsu vanished and reappeared in front of the refrigerator, quickly pouring some fresh milk into a small cup. Ukyou tiptoed over to Konatsu's open door to take a peek inside, not knowing what she really was going to find.

The sight on the bed both relieved and sickened her. The girl wasn't a baby, but she looked pathetic nonetheless. She reeked of garbage, her clothes were filthy, her skin was sickly pale and she shivered as if she had slept in a freezer.

"Hello, there." Ukyou whispered to the little girl.

Tiny eyes fluttered open in fear to the unfamiliar voice. The girl reeled back in panic, looking for an avenue of escape. A moment later, she calmed down after noticing that Ukyou didn't appear to be an immediate threat. "Hello, honored guest." She meekly replied.

"Honored guest? That's a new one." The Chinese accent and the ragged hairstyle the little girl wore gave Ukyou the clues she needed to find out who to contact about this girl's parents. "Are you an Amazon?"

Plum sagged in her place, softly weeping. "Not anymore. Not strong enough to be Amazon."

Konatsu appeared, holding a small cup of cold milk. "Here you go." He held his hand on Ukyou's shoulder to balance himself as he reached forward to give the white liquid to the thirsty little girl.

Drinking it like she had been without water for days, the little girl made short work of the cow juice. She belched and held the cup outward in return. "Excuse me. More please?"

"Don't mention it." Taking the cup, Ukyou held it over her shoulder. "Get her another cup."

"Of course mist... Ucchan." He disappeared and reappeared in a moment with the cup refilled. "Here you are."

Ukyou smiled at her cross dressing friend. "Thank you." She held out the cup to Plum. "What's your name little girl?"

"Plum." She made a small bow. "Thank you for your hospitality." She politely took the cup and drank from it, much slower than last time, taking a moment to actually taste the cold milk.

"Plum? That's an odd name." Ukyou pondered. In her opinion, the girl must have been either an Amazon or affiliated with them in some way, for only those weird Chinese natives would name a girl after a fruit. "Where are your parents?"

Plum curled up into a ball, not wanting to continue talking. Her eyes glazed over as she allowed despair to take her again. She wanted desperately to believe that her father was still alive, but her hope was almost utterly destroyed.

Ukyou moved closer to Plum to give her a motherly hug. "Don't worry. We'll take care of you."

Plum whimpered. "They'll be here soon. I know it."

Ukyou and Konatsu exchanged glances. The chef stroked the little girl's hair to make her feel better. "Who?"

The little Amazon in training gripped Ukyou in a death hug, weeping. "The ones who killed my father."

Kuno sat in his bedchamber, contemplating the plight of his true loves. He had stayed awake for many hours, never giving into a restless sleep, waiting for the phone call that would change his life forever. Well, maybe not forever, but it certainly would change someone's life.

Ring! The phone didn't have time to finish the first bell before Kuno grabbed the handset, nearly ripping it off and destroying the phone in the process to answer the call. He summoned all of his inner strength to keep his cool calm exterior intact. With a soothing voice, he answered. "Kuno residence, how can I assist you?"

The voice of Hiro from the Sailor Moon Fan Club was heard on the other end of the phone line. "I wish to speak with Tatewaki Kuno, please."

Kuno barely held back his joy, for this could possibly be the phone call he had been waiting for. "This is he."

Snapping the three ring binder shut, the owner of the Fan Club felt relief that the job he took to create the book of Senshi Marriage laws had drawn to a close. "Your book is ready, you can pick it up at..."

Kuno stood at attention, hand instinctively grasping the hilt of his bokken as if the act would someone speed up time. "I'll have my man servant there in a moment."

Hiro rolled his eyes. It was seven in the morning and he hadn't gotten any sleep in order to make the silly deadline that Kuno imposed. He whispered in his mind, I put myself through hell for two million yen. If this idiot stiffs me, he'll be hearing from my lawyer. Raising his voice to audible level for the phone conversation, he spoke with the conviction of a businessman. "Very well, the office opens at..." A shadow fell over the man's desk, startling the man. "Who are you?"

Clasping his hands in a sign of respect, Sasuke bowed before Hiro. "Forgive my intrusion. I've been sent by my master to retrieve the book."

The book wasn't going anywhere as far as Hiro was concerned without his bonus being paid in full. He held the binder with a tight grip to prevent its unexpected departure without payment. "Do you have the balance?"

"Balance?" Sasuke answered quizzically.

Speaking into the phone to his paying customer, Hiro rephrased his question. "Sir, I need the payment before I'll release the book."

"That pittance?" Kuno thought, while releasing his bokken and making a fist in triumph. "Ask my servant for the envelope he carries. You will find your compensation contained within."

Cupping his hand over the receiver, Hiro asked the ninja hanging from the ceiling. "Do you have an envelope for me?"

Bowing from his inverted position again, a task that Sasuke had years of experience mastering, he groveled. "Forgive me." He held out a small white envelope that was addressed to Hiro.

Hiro opened the letter finding two million yen in large notes. Smiling at a job well done, and money well earned, he slid the pink three ring binder on his desk with a cover printed from an industrial color laser printer over to Sasuke. The title of 'The Rules of Engagement' was in the Sailor Moon font with little moon symbols lining the borders and a cute little drawing of Sailor Moon winking an eye adoring the lower right corner of the page. "There you go." He directed his voice to the phone. "Your friend here has the book. Pleasure doing business with you."

Kuno felt the calling of his loves deep in his heart. He knew without a sliver of doubt that they were another step closer to eternal happiness in his care. "The pleasure was all mine good sir." He placed the phone on the hook, looking up at a poster of Sailor Io. "The pleasure was all mine."

Ranma awoke with a start and feeling of utter doom. He vaguely recalled a dream he had had with Tatewaki Kuno chanting "I love you, I will date with you," over and over again. He shivered in terror at the mere memories of his three dates with Kuno while in female form. The first date was when he tried to be freed of his girl curse with a magic sword that the kendoist had somehow obtained. The second was when he had to prove his 'love' to Kuno for a martial arts cheerleading contest against Mariko Konjo of Seisyun High School. His final date was when he had to convince Kuno to compliment a cursed swimsuit before it cast Ranma out to sea at sunset. Perspiration formed on his brow as the events of his 'dates' with Kuno came back to haunt him in his nightmares. He shook his head back and forth rapidly to banish those memories back to the dark pit from whence they came.

He just knew that today wasn't going to be a pleasant one and he resisted the urge to call Sailor Pluto to send him to tomorrow, just so he wouldn't have to face whatever was to transpire in the next twenty-four hours. He glanced around his tiny bedroom, holding on to his sleeping wife curled up next to him, peacefully sprawled out on the bed with her foot lodged in a hole in the wall that she had created when she kicked in her sleep. Ranma's danger sense subsided and he laid back down in his bed and was asleep before his head hit the pillow.

Sitting upright from the noise in the bedroom, Nodoka saw the morning sun rising in the east from the balcony window. She was restless from the excitement of being a new homeowner today, even though the home required some assembly. She got up to make some breakfast for her two children and eventually send them off to school.

"Caw, Caw." A blackbird called out from atop the dumpster behind Ucchan's. In the distance, dozens of other birds answered the call, blanketing the sky with dark spots and the sound of cackles. Across the rooftops of Nerima, the message was relayed from treetop to treetop until it ended up at the ear of the intended recipient.

Kiima called back to her kindred kind. "Kuu, kuu." A few bird calls later, they responded. "Kii, kii, caw." Kiima listened for the response and it came in the form of more cryptic bird calls. Smiling in triumph, she turned to her three minions.

Masara and Koruma were off snoring in the corner. Kiima was disgusted with her men's performance so far in their little adventure in Japan. The only reason these two men were chosen for this assignment was the fact that of all the soldiers she had under her command, these two were the only ones other than herself that spoke fluent Japanese. A language the two had learned solely to watch the Yu-Gi-Oh television series direct from Japan. She turned to her newest minion, a tiny girl in a yellow mini-skirt and the ability to drain battle auras. Kiima hoped that this girl would be able to follow directions better than her two so called 'trained' soldiers.

Sighing, Kiima knew that it wasn't very hard to find anyone better that Koruma and Masara. She gently kicked Koruma to rouse him from his deep sleep. "Wake up. We're moving out!"

Hinako whined at the noise. "But Mommy, I don't want to go to school!"

Kicking Masara to bring him back into the land of the living, Kiima faced the direction that would lead them to a certain okonomiyaki establishment. "We're not going to school. We're going to get what rightfully belongs to us."

In a few moments, all four were ready to leave the nest and try again to obtain the object of their mission. The two men flew off first with Kiima flying in the rear of the formation, carrying a frightened little girl. Shivering in fright from being carried aloft, hundreds of meters in the air, Hinako cried. "Eeek! Don't drop me!"

"Sasuke!" Kuno called out to his empty bedroom, again. "Where for art thou?"

"Here I am, master!" The diminutive ninja bowed, holding out the book that his lord had craved for.

Snatching the binder as if it was the latest Harry Potter novel, hot off the presses, Kuno began to read the words inside. "Interesting. Oooooh, pretty pictures!"

Beads of sweat formed on the little ninja's forehead and gained in size. As time went on, Sasuke's clothes were soaking wet with utter worry and fright since he knew that nothing good would come from Kuno's latest plan for Akane's domination. His master's eyes filled with a manic look while a smile formed that should never be present on a mere mortal. The servant trembled in sheer horror as he contemplated the twisted thoughts that Kuno must have been having that would generate such a macabre expression on his face.

Kuno turned to the last page and read it in delight. He slammed the book shut, shouting in glee, finding the key that he had desperately been searching for. "YES! My loves can be freed from his spell!" He gazed at his man servant. "Sasuke! Bring out the limousine, we have to go downtown to send a message to the Senshi!"

"Don't you have school today, Master?" He asked already knowing the answer.

Kuno was already walking toward the door of the bedroom. "This cannot wait my good man. Every moment I delay, only prolongs their suffering. Don't dally, prepare my coach."

Sighing in defeat, Sasuke lowered his head thinking about where the local bail bondsmen were located in the downtown area. "Where are we going?"

With hearts in his eyes and a pure vacuum for a brain, Kuno walked with a dreamy look on his face. "To my appointment with fate." He softly spoke. "To my appointment with fate!"

"Just what in the world is going on out there?" Ukyou tied the belt on her gi and grabbed her battle spatula. She exited the open back door to find that the alley was filled with black birds. All the trash cans, dumpsters and loose wooden crates were completely covered with birds and bird poo. "What is this? A bird convention? Shoo! Shoo!" She waved her giant baker's peel to scare off the birds, but they flew back to their resting places after each swing.

Hearing the bird's squawk at each other, Plum retreated into a corner of Konatsu's room. "No! Please leave me alone! You can have the map!"

The kunoichi slid close to the little girl, trying to comfort her. "No one's going to bother you." He thought about what Plum had just said. "What map are you talking about?"

Plum pulled out a sheet of paper and crumpled it up. "Here!" She threw the wad across the room, where it bounced off the wall landed on the floor.

Outside, Ukyou was having no luck getting rid of the ever growing collection of birds. "Where are you coming from, you Alfred Hitchcock extras?" She took another swing and then all of the birds took to the air, darkening the alley and making it difficult to see.

Ukyou ran back into the safety of the shop and slammed the back door shut. Konatsu appeared next to Ukyou to offer his assistance. "What happened out there?"

The chef shook her head in disbelief. "I don't know. One minute, the birds were there, the next, they're flying around like something scared them."

A spooky voice came from Konatsu's room. "They're here."

Ukyou took a step away from the back door she was barricading. She asked Plum. "Who's here?"

Plum peeked out of the corner she was hiding in. "The bird people."

The two older people replied in unison. "The who?"

The door shuddered under a loud impact coming from outside. A second later, the door was kicked in by a tall white haired woman holding a very large nasty looking two handed sword. "Where is she?"

Ukyou held her spatula at the ready. "Hey! You're going to pay for that!" She sized up her opponent and mentally prepared counter moves.

Konatsu reached for his practice sword and held it ready. He stood behind and to the side of his mistress ready to back her up.

Kiima ignored Ukyou and looked around the interior of the restaurant from her vantage point. She called out to someone behind Konatsu. "Have you spotted her yet?"

Masara, aiming his bow at Konatsu, took another look around the dining area. "She not out here."

Upstairs, Koruma stepped out of Ukyou's bedroom. "She's not up here either."

Ukyou was nervous. There were at least three of these people and she had no idea how they got in without her knowing and what they were capable of. All three sported wings and bird like talons for hands, tell tale signs to the girl that these were not ordinary foes. She wished Ranma was nearby, he would know what to do. Standing ready for anything, she issued a challenge. "Who are you looking for and what right do you have barging in like this?"

Not wanting to start a fight if she could avoid it, Kiima held her left hand about a meter above the ground while holding her sword in the other hand. "I'm looking for a Chinese girl about this high. She has something I want."

Ukyou tightened her grip on her weapon. They weren't going to harm a little girl on her watch. "Get out of my restaurant!" She lunged at Kiima, bringing the flat of her blade down on the Captain.

Kiima jumped backward to avoid the blow. "Attack!"

Masara launched an arrow at Konatsu. He blinked his eyes in shock as the kunoichi grabbed the arrow in mid-air an instant before it was to imbed itself into his chest. Konatsu snapped the arrow in half and threw a blunt shuriken at the stunned warrior in retaliation. Masara was knocked out cold from the blow to his head.

Koruma jumped into the air from the top of the stairs. He opened his wings and threw dozens of razor sharp feathers at the kunoichi. The ninja leapt under a table in a booth for cover holding a stack of menus as a shield. The entire booth was instantly filled with feathers making it look like a giant pincushion. Konatsu thought to himself, "Ucchan is going to be mad. We had these menus printed just last week."

Ukyou had her own problems to deal with. Kiima was swinging her two handed Chinese sword and was holding her own against Ukyou's spatula. The two women exchanged blows with sharp metal clangs marking each and every strike. Neither girl gave any ground as they swung and connected with each other's weapon. Kiima grew frustrated with her lack of progress in her fight and gave a whistle.

Stepping back to take a look for any sign of a new opponent, Ukyou charged to make quick work of her foe when she heard a familiar voice from High School. "Happo five yen satsu!" Kiima ducked to the ground to give Hinako a clear shot at her student. Waves of energy seeped from Ukyou as she lost her will to fight.

"Ucchan!" Cried out Konatsu as he dropped Koruma's unconscious body to the ground. He pulled a steel dart out of the bow in his hair and threw it into the hole in the center of the five yen coin, stopping the energy draining attack.

An adult Hinako huffed, "So, you're a delinquent too!" She dropped her coin and produced another one. "I'll punish you! Happo five..." Her coin was knocked out of her hand by an expertly thrown dish. Undeterred, she pulled out another coin that was also knocked out of her hand by a sake cup.

Konatsu rapidly closed the distance between himself and the sultry adult sized teacher. Miss Hinako walked backwards to buy her some time as she grabbed another coin from her pocket to fire off another attack.

Not noticing that Kiima was still very much awake, but still lying face down on the floor playing possum, Konatsu got into arms reach giving the bird woman an opening. She grabbed the ninja's leg, knocking him to the floor. Without warning, Konatsu returned the favor with a well placed kick in Kiima's back. Reeling in pain, Kiima swiped with her clawed hand, slashing Konatsu's leg.

The kunoichi twisted his entire body around to force Kiima to release her iron grip on his leg and used his arms to climb up the wall to the ceiling. He performed a spider crawl to hang on to the roof, out of Kiima's range.

"Happo five-yen satsu!" Miss Hinako had a clear shot and took it. Konatsu cleared his mind and dropped his battle aura to nullify the effects of the chi-drain attack. Hinako jumped up and down in fury. "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!" She fumbled around for another coin. Not wanting to give the adult Hinako a second chance, Konatsu bounced off of a wall and delivered a stun blow, taking Hinako out, just like he had sent Koruma to dreamland.

"Thousand Wings of the Seabird Attack!" Kiima spewed out dozens of feathers at Konatsu, hoping she'd be able to take him out while he was busy with Hinako.

The ninja was too fast for her as he jumped outside into the alley and rolled away from the open doorway. The wooden wall of the store next door was peppered with feathers.

Kiima ran outside, hoping to be able to deliver a final blow before the kunoichi recovered. Opening her wings to deliver another attack, she was struck by three shurikens coming from nowhere. "You bitch!" Cried out Kiima, in agony. She held out her sword and deflected the other flying discs that came her way. "I'll get you for that!"

The Captain flew upwards and dive bombed Konatsu's position behind a large dumpster, sword held out in defense. Only at the last second did she swing her blade at her opponent. Sparks flew as her blade missed Konatsu's head and sliced off a piece of the dumpster's steel lid.

The strange game of death tag lasted over two minutes, with neither adversary gaining or losing ground. Kiima remained on the offensive, getting angrier and angrier as her wounds increased in pain. Twice Konatsu scored shuriken strikes while the flying girl never landed a clean blow. The fight spilled into the street, passerbys ran for cover as the two fighters tried as hard as they could to defeat the other.

Koruma woke up from his stack of menus induced nap, rubbing his forehead where a lump was forming. He heard a whimper from a room under the stairs and went to check it out.

Kiima sent another volley of feathers to distract the kunoichi, keeping him off guard to prevent him from delivering another shuriken strike. Kiima was tiring quickly and was losing too much blood from her wounds to continue for much longer. She silently cursed out this ninja because he had ruined her plans for a quick and easy recovery of the map. She inhaled to give the retreat whistle when salvation arrived.

"Happo fifty-yen satsu!" Hinako aimed her energy attack to cover the entire street. Everywhere, pedestrians fell to the ground shriveled up as if a youma drained them of their energy. Konatsu wasn't spared and jumped into the air to avoid all of his energy from leaving him.

Without hesitation, Kiima sent yet another barrage of feathers at her mark. With some of his energy gone, Konatsu couldn't dodge in time and took numerous feathers into his chest, sending him down and slamming into the pavement below.

Miss Hinako, in adult form, stood over her fallen foe. "Humph! No one escapes my punishment, delinquent."

Kiima landed next to her new minion, unable to fold her wings with all the tiny cuts courtesy of Konatsu. "Excellent work." She sneered at Konatsu and held her sword over his head. "Now, to finish her, once and for all!" Just when she was about to slice Konatsu into two equal halves, a flurry of mini-spatula's came from behind, startling the bird woman.

"Leave my Ko-Chan alone!" Ukyou huffed as she pulled more spatulas from her bandolier that she had hastily flung over her shoulder. She leaned against a telephone pole, keeping her balance as she forced herself to recover her lost energy from Hinako's previous attack.

"You again!" Kiima pointed her sword at the chef, not believing the tenacity of the pair she was fighting. "Won't either of you learn to stay down? Take her out again and make sure she doesn't get back up!" Kiima directed to Hinako as the Captain's face flushed red with rage.

Happy to please her Mistress, Miss Hinako aimed her coin at the weakened cook. A well placed spatula slammed into Hinako's forehead, knocking her out cold. Kiima readied her sword and began to run to press her advantage when a foot entangled itself with her boot, tripping her flat on her face.

Konatsu, making an instant recovery that would impress even Ranma, landed on the Phoenix Mountain Captain, inflicting great suffering as her wings were pressed down in a awkward position. Kiima screamed in pain and her cuts were further aggravated by being ground into the pavement. Wordlessly, the kunoichi repeatedly punched Kiima's back in an effort to knock the wind out of her and end the fight. Using strength reserves that only intense agony and anger could generate, Kiima rolled on the ground to pin the ninja under her and shoved her elbow into Konatsu's stomach. "How dare you!" Angrier than before, Kiima flapped her wings, sending feathers everywhere, creating a cloud blinding her hated adversary.

Intentionally losing his grip to swat away a few feathers that would have pinned him to the ground, the ninja squirmed out from under the larger girl and backflipped over to Ukyou. He paused for a moment to check on his mistress. "Are you alright?"

Ukyou barely nodded then flashed an expression of worry. "Plum!"

"Oh no! I'll be right back." Konatsu glanced at where Hinako and Kiima were and found that they had disappeared. Rethinking his situation, he grabbed Ukyou, tossed her over his shoulder and ran as fast as he could back to the restaurant. He made poor time with the extra weight and the after effects of the chi drain and entered through the open back door.

He took a quick look around and found that the other two men had also vanished. He entered his room and breathed a sigh of relief as he saw Plum still cowering in the corner. He gently placed Ukyou down on his futon and made another check of his surroundings for any possible threat. Satisfied for the moment that he wasn't in any immediate danger, he smiled at Plum. "Are you okay?"

"I am now." Plum meekly smiled then frowned. "They took the map."

Konatsu slumped on the floor, holding his stomach. "Is that bad?"

"Yes. Very bad."

The ninja's eyes rolled back into his head as he fell backwards. A small red stain formed under his hand.

Looking up at the building that Sasuke had stopped in front of, the man servant couldn't imagine what his master was up to. He was happy that the Kuno family attorney had an office only three blocks away from their current location, just in case he was needed.

"Stay here my good servant. I'll conclude my business in an hour or so." Tatewaki Kuno paused for a moment after he disembarked the rickshaw. "Mirror!"

A hand mirror appeared in Sasuke's hand and he held it in a position for Kuno to look at himself. The kendoist turned his head from side to side, admiring him reflection. "Yes, perfect."

Kuno entered the lobby of Tokyo-TV, passing numerous people going about their business. He walked to the receptionist, making a valiant pose. "My good man!"

The bored gentleman behind the counter looked up from his phone monitor to greet the newcomer. Wondering where this odd person came from was the least of his worries as he saw that the new arrival had a weapon attached to his belt. "Do you have an appointment?"

Giving an all knowing look, Kuno spoke with conviction. "I'm here to send a message to the Senshi. Who do I speak with to make such an arrangement?"

Eyes growing wide at the strange request, the receptionist slid a hand under the counter. "The Senshi? You're kidding, right?"

"I am a Kuno. I never kid." He replied sarcastically.

"Well, uh..." The man slowly moved his hidden hand to the alarm button in case the visitor got violent. "Let's see, you could talk to news crew. They can be contacted by calling..."

Kuno got impatient and shouted at the impudent peasant. "I need to speak with them now! This cannot wait, for lives are in peril. Each moment you delay me only extends their suffering!"

He pressed the silent alarm, repeatedly. "Sir, do not speak to me in that tone of voice. He slid a business card over to Kuno in an effort to calm him down. "Call the number on the card and they'll see if your story is newsworthy. Then follow their instructions if they feel they wish to pursue the matter."

Kuno looked at the clock on the wall, finding that the morning news was in progress, he smiled at the man behind the counter who was now joined by two uniformed security officers. "I see." Kuno picked up the card. It had a name and office number in the building. "So, are you in league with that foul sorcerer as well?

"Huh?" Came from the three men. In moments, all three were in no condition to speak as Kuno struck each one with a stun blow with his bokken.

Giving a slight bow to the fallen men, Kuno ran past the counter into a hall leading to the sound stages. "Forgive me, but this is for the greater good."

Several blocks away, behind a tiny grocery store, sat several defeated Phoenix Mountain warriors and a chibi-Hinako. Masara was applying antiseptic to his commander's wings while she grimaced in pain.

"When I get my hands on that girl, she'll wish she'd never been born." Kiima gritted her teeth as another q-tip doused in iodine was rubbed on another wound. "Oh, a quick death is too good for her." She looked at her leotard, noting the rips and tears along the sides. "We're going to have to watch both the Chinese Amazons and these new people."

"Well," Hinako chimed in, "these people aren't new. They're delinquents."

Kiima closed her eyes as another bandage was applied. "I figured that they were the moment they resisted. Who are they?"

"The one with the spatula is Ukyou Kuonji, she's my student at Furinken High School and she's a BAAADDDD KIIIIDDD! The other is her waitress Konatsu. She's a bad kid too, because she doesn't go to school like she's supposed to."

Glancing at her growing collection of Hello Kitty band-aids on her wings, she went red with fury at the thought of the woman who put her in this condition. "Konatsu? Is that the bitch who did this to me?"

"Yep. She's really bad. She likes to beat up Ranma. I heard she beat up Happosai and Genma too."

Kiima committed the name to her mental list of people whose lives she was going to make a living hell. "Konatsu."

Koruma studied a piece of paper he obtained from the restaurant and smiled as he became convinced that his superior would be pleased instead of beating the stuffing out of him. "I've got it!"

Glaring at her underling that had a perfect track record of screwing up, she was not in the mood for any more Yu-Gi-Oh remarks. "What, pray tell, have you got?"

"The map to Jusendo!" Koruma held out the sheet of white paper out in reach of Kiima.

"Let me see it." She took the paper with cautious optimism, examining the document for only a few seconds before her facial expression changed from stinging pain to joyous glee. "This is it!" She pointed to the outline of the cursed springs, then traced the underground river to the base of Jusendo falls. There was writing in Chinese marking the entrance of the cavern in the center of the mountain. "Finally! Let's leave this cursed country and get back home."

"Are you up to it?" Masara cut off some excess gauze from a bandage he made near Kiima's left wing tip.

Struggling to her feet, the Captain stood up and flapped her wings. The pain was still present, but bearable. "I am now. Our Lord doesn't like to be kept waiting."

Hinako whimpered. "Are you leaving me?"

Forming plans within plans, Kiima faced her two soldiers. "Get the transport net and carry her with us. She's proven herself in battle." Quietly adding, "far better than you two."

Jumping up and down in childlike glee, "I'm going to fly again! Yay!"

Sharing her enthusiasm, Kiima studied the map, memorizing the contents within. "Yes, we're going to fly again. And this time..." Stuffing the map into the remains of her bra, "we're going home with good news."

Ranma looked up from the doodle he was making on his schoolwork as he felt a wave of foreboding. He shot looks at Usagi, Minako and Akane who all sharing his concern. Something was going on nearby and they all were not going to like it.

Moments later, Ranma's senshi communicator vibrated, alerting him to an incoming message. He reached into his pocket to press the button to acknowledge his presence, and alert that he can't reply immediately. Usagi coughed to get the teacher's attention. "Teacher, I have to go to the restroom."

Minako nodded in agreement. "Me too!"

Akane raised her hand. "I've got to go too!"

Ranma joined the club. "Well..."

The teacher looked at the four in mild amusement. "Again? What? Do you all share the same metabolism?"

Ranma, without thinking, blurted out, "Well, I do eat Akane's cooking from time to... Oof!"

Akane smashed him down with a mallet. "My cooking's not that bad!"

Re-inflating instantly, Ranma stared down his wife. "Will you quit it, you macho chick!"

"Why you!" She took another swing with mallet-sama and Ranma dodged. He turned tail and jumped out the window with Akane in hot pursuit.

Minako and Usagi took the opportunity to make a quiet exit.

Frozen in place, the teacher stood like a statue for a few moments and asked the class. "Does anyone else need to use the restroom?"

Everyone shook their heads in response.

"Very good." He reached into a tiny box on the teacher's desk to pull out the pre-printed detention slips with the quartet's names on them. As was the case, he went to the four empty desks and left the invitations to the after-school study sessions that he knew these four had earned once again.

"Wake up miss!" Plum gently tapped Konatsu's face, trying to wake up the kunoichi. "Oh..."

Ukyou regained consciousness and sat up. "Where am I?" She saw her friend on the floor and rushed to his side. "Oh no." A coppery smell came from under his hand on his stomach. She moved his hand aside, finding a blood stain on his ninja costume. Examining the source of the blood by deftly lifting the fabric, she found that the wound wasn't nearly as bad as it initially seemed since it was a shallow cut.

A strange feeling came over Ukyou as she instinctively pressed her hands on the injury. A yellow glow surrounded the wound and her own hands and in moments, the damage to Konatsu's skin vanished without a trace.

Ukyou blinked and held her blood stained hands to her face. "How did I?"

Cologne burst into the Ucchan's and assessed the situation. Seething in self damnation, she hoped for the best but made mental plans for the worst. "Plum!"

Plum shrank at hearing Cologne's voice, replying nonetheless. "I'm here."

Instantly, the Amazon elder was beside the little girl. "I've been worried sick! Why did you run off?"

The smell of blood distracted the elder and focused her attention to the other two people in the room. "What happened here? Tell me everything."

Ukyou, still in a daze at her new found powers, lowered her hands. "I was hoping you'd tell me, sugar. First, she shows up, then we get attacked by the black bird squadron, then these things that were not really happy to see us trashed my place." She wiped her hands on a paper towel. "And finally, my own teacher decides to suck Ko-chan and I dry. What gives?"

"Your teacher?" Asked Cologne incredulously.

"Yeah, Miss Hinako was working with them. There was a tall white haired girl and two others that I saw. There could have been more." Ukyou leaned over to check if Konatsu had other injuries that needed mending.

Grasping her stick in worry, Cologne thought about what artifacts that the Phoenix Mountain people had in their possession. She was afraid that they had brought the eggs of enslavement and it appeared that they had. "She was helping them willingly?"

Konatsu coughed and lifted himself a bit on his elbow. "Sure seemed that way." He turned to Ukyou. "I see now why you fear her."

"So, you defeated them? Good." She gently grasped Plum's tiny hand. "Come child, let's get you back to the Cafe where you'll be safe." Turning back to the okonomiyaki chef, she made a respectful bow. "Thank you for your help."

Ukyou rolled her eyes. "Anytime sugar." She reflected on the condition of her home and dreaded what it was going to do to her bank account. "Hey! Who's going to clean up this mess!" She turned to the clock. "Darn, I'm late for school! Miss Hinako's going to..." She tapered off her voice. "Oh, she's not going to be at school today, is she?"

Examining Plum for injuries, the elder noticed the absence of something. "Plum, where's the map?"

"They took it." She groveled in despair. "I've failed."

Cologne sighed. "That's all right, my child. There's nothing left for us here. Let me take you home, to China."

"Why?" Plum cried. "There's nothing left for me there either! Daddy's gone!"

Instantly, the Amazon elder pieced everything together. Three hundred years of Amazon training was good for something. "We don't know that."

"But... You said..."

Cologne reassured the child. "We don't know for sure. Until then, there's still hope."

"I hope you're sending Mousse and Shampoo here with brooms." Ukyou stood firm, arms crossed and really really pissed. She had a look that meant business.

Snickering, the elder cradled the larger child in her arms. "You'd make a fine Amazon Miss Kuonji. I'll send them over to help out in the clean up." She bowed again, with even more respect than before. "Thank you Sailor..." She left the question dangling.

"Sailor?" Ukyou raised an eyebrow in suspicion.

Cologne did another ki reading on Ukyou to confirm her theory. The ki was changing before her eyes from one form to another. It had traces of both Ranma and Akane's ki; Unsettling to say the least. "I'll be taking my leave. Expect Mousse within an hour." She bounced out of the room and out of sight.

Konatsu raised his eyebrow in surprise as well. "Sailor? Is there something you haven't told me?"

Looking at her hands again, Ukyou formed a gentle smile and made a single laugh. "Sailor. Yeah, right." She groaned, grabbed a broom and began to sweep up the feathers. "As if that'll ever happen."

Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and keeps me from sending your email address out to the spammers.

Last edited on January 25th, 2007

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