Kevin Hammel, with Andrew Norris' Thanks.
Two Side Stories to Streams of Time, covering the year of training.
looked up from the book she was reading. Her predecessor was
at finding the important things to record, and using JUST
words to describe them. This made for reading exceptionally
AND boring. But with each sentence, her memory filled in
details between the fragments. Slowly, she was remembering her
life, with the aid of the paper patchwork.
gaze fell for a moment at a cup of tea she had fixed herself. She
a tiny, secret smile. The previous Sailor Pluto had always
cup of tea; Ranma had grown to appreciate it just as much.
her mind off her studies, other sensations called for attention;
more so than the pain in her tightly wrapped foot.
heels..." She whispered to... herself? Laughter rang through
empty halls as she thought about the sheer lunacy of WHISPERING.
the only person for thousands of millions of kilometers.
pop was still back on Earth, with everybody else. As laughter
down to a smile, her throbbing foot brought her mind full
she tried to work out in her Sailor Senshi fuku anyway?
that's what she would wear when she fought. And she had been
from infancy to be a warrior in this life, in HIS life.
she swore to herself, she would be able to FIGHT in those
It was tough enough just to work fight and fashion into the
sentence, but she had to do that and more. Pluto had to fight
the frills of her station.
Pluto's memories told Ranma it was NOT her place to fight. She
like a chess player, manipulating her pawns to defend her
To defend the Earth and its people. To do what was right
Humanity, not individual humans.
what Elder Pluto had done; to her it was all just a matter of
pieces to get the desired result. Wars were started, innocent
lost, but Earth and Humanity had survived, so the end DID
could she do that? Could SHE treat people like that? Think of
cattle or tools? What GOOD was saving a world inhabited by
If Humanity itself was worth saving, weren't all the people?
was one thing that her life as a martial artist had taught her.
weak were to be protected; it was a martial artist's duty. There
talk about 'acceptable casualties' or 'sacrificing the few for
many'. The martial artist might sacrifice his own life, but it
for him to sacrifice others. Each life itself was important,
killing itself was wrong. No matter what else her father had
her, THAT had stuck. A small laugh escaped her grasp, as she
about some of her father's other teachings... that girls were
for instance. SHE certainly wasn't and neither were the rest of
of her fellow warriors brought back remembered glimpses of
lives the inner Senshi led. Each loved her position, and each of
people they protected. Surprisingly, none of the inner Senshi
the people more than their Queen did. Eventually each of them
found someone to share her life with.
other outer Sailor Senshi were warriors first. They fought to
the system itself. It was a hard, lonely, life. Companionship
what made it bearable. Each of those girls had found a mate as
Pluto lived in isolation, perhaps BECAUSE of what she did, and
do. Ranma, on the other hand, had NEVER been without
His father was always there for him... whether to push
through an insane training regimen, or berate him for whining
weak girl. Sometimes, he would even praise his son or listen
his child had to say. And it was those moments he treasured
seemed, no, WAS a good idea to have someone close to talk to.
wanted another person to give a second opinion on things. Someone
remind her SHE herself was human. Heck, she even needed somebody
teach her how to be a girl so she could go to school and not look
TOTAL loser. She smiled as she thought what Pop might teach
about girls and being one... The smile became broader as she
what she could teach him about girls and being one.
it wouldn't or couldn't be her companion of the last decade. So
would, who COULD be that person for her? If she was lucky, maybe
could find several girls to help her. Listening to the absolute
of the castle, Ranma realized how nice it would be to have some
course, when the Senshi reawakened, they might prove to be
but could she let them know her... his secret?
returned to the question of a life-mate, a woman she could open
freely. After all, Ranma had been raised a boy, and WAS a boy,
mater what her body looked like. So, it was only natural for her
a woman to share her life with. But... her old body brought
after only a few hours, and the water temperature required for
was scalding. She would not be a man in body often, but she
ALWAYS be a man, at least inside, at least in her heart. But
would ALSO have to be something she knew nothing about... a girl.
Ranma did not want to sacrifice other lives in the pursuit of her
could he ask a woman to make a similar sacrifice for a man
she supposed, that was where love would come in. Though to be
she knew neither how nor why it would help. It had never
his mind before.
for the fine china teacup on its elaborately decorated
she took a sip of the now tepid beverage. A small frown
her beautiful face for a moment. She WOULD have to re-heat the
later. With a small sigh, she resumed her reading.
nearly time to go. The young woman paused for a moment to
herself in a mirror. The image in the looking glass was...
now. A year ago, it had been someone else, a curse that hid her
form, what she truly was. Now, it showed one facet of her being,
hadn't seen the other facet for six months. He was there to
the Timestaff, awed that its power was now his
He touched it, and could sense the incredible energy
controlled, but it was veiled, dimmed. A visit to a fountain
him to wear his alternate form, now she could actually feel
power in the staff, but not fully. Raising her henshin stick and
brought Sailor Pluto into full contact with her
the Pluto-Charon system, and time itself.
that staff was exhilarating far beyond anything she had ever
almost intoxicating... until she considered the burden
represented. The power she now wielded had to be used for the good
Earth. And she HAD to learn to control it, and defend it. Even at
cost of her life.
spent six additional months training. Waiting for the staff,
kept in shape and studied countless tomes, both those dusty
age and newly printed. When the staff arrived, she decided to
her body like she never had... like he never had. He had ten
she had six months. The Princess of Pluto had to protect her
with her life, so she HAD to train. Hard.
surface of her patron world, and its moon Charon became familiar
The low gravity made feats impossible on Earth reality. She
so hard; she didn't really have time to be lonely... or to
sorry for herself. It was time to get to know this body as
as she knew his. Leaps became instinctive. Her Art became
natural in her Sailor Senshi fuku as his martial artists gi.
natural for her as it had been for him. A girl's body was a LOT
from a boy's. She had to re-master each kata, redefine each
and defense as it applied to her new form. It had been a tough
months. It had been a wonderful six months.
body itself had changed as well. Looking in the mirror, she could
own physical prowess in muscle definition. She knew it had
been Pluto's place or mission to fight on the front lines, but
swore to herself not to waste the gift of the Art sixteen years
had developed in her. It was every bit a part of her as her
and uniform. And after a half year, it was used with as little
second, she looked at the form in the mirror for a slightly
perspective... his old one.
were weak. Well, MAYBE some were... jut like some GUYS were.
knew SHE wasn't. Strength could be seen in every part of her
less obvious that in her other body, but evident nonetheless.
Sailor Senshi uniform... when she first saw it, looked
knew, had learned, better.
white body suit was resilient, light, flexible, and tougher than
armor plate. The gloves were made of the same material. The
skirt, and bows provided a bit of decoration and style; she
girl, after all. The tiara befit her station as a planet's
and the Guardian if Time.
there were the boots. High heels weren't ideally adapted to the
For a few days she had stumbled around but in the end, she got
wearing them in her workouts. They DID look great on her;
all she was a BISHOJO Sailor Senshi. So she accepted them as a
price of her station, once she forgot the havoc they played
what at first glance was a beautiful young woman, became at
a beautiful warrior. Physical strength in her arms and legs,
of will in her steady gaze, finally the incredible strength
power hinted at by the faintly glowing Timestaff. Looking longer
reflection showed a bit of feminine weakness. A flow of tears
down her face.
looked down, seeking answers somewhere else than in the mirror,
finding them. No matter what she looked like, she would always be
inside... as well as Pluto. Looking up to the mirror again with
tear-streaked face, she saw Ranma... in her confident stance,
body six months of incredible training had built, in the
smile that told her the staff was in good hands. She would be
them... ALL of them, and so would he.
freshening up a bit, Sailor Pluto opened a portal to meet her
and her destiny. She was ready for the tough task ahead,
by the confident elation of Ranma, bolstered by Elder Pluto's
and wisdom, and braced for battle as Sailor Pluto.
a confident teenager of seventeen years who stepped up to the
She was far different from the confused, angry sixteen-year-
had emerged from it a year ago. But, as a teenager, she was
far less experienced and wise that the woman she succeeded...
all, she was at least a millennium younger.
WOULD succeed. Despite her youth, her birth-gender, his Art -
hers too, his cocky confidence, or because of all of them... she
triumph. Sailor Pluto stepped through the portal... her time
come. And she could neither wait nor keep a little youthful
off her face.
it for now,