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Heart of Fire, Heart of Darkness: Chapter 1
A Ranma/SM Crossover Fanfic
by: Aaron Nowack

Disclaimer: Neither Sailor Moon or Ranma belong to me. Ranma is Rumiko Takahashi's and Sailor Moon is Naoko Takeuchi's. However, the text of this fanfic is mine, and should not be used without permission. Thank you.

The tired, war weary man stared into the setting sun. He absently dusted off his now-tattered gray uniform, pausing to finger the black trim. An all too appropriate color, considering the dishonor that had been brought to that uniform, the uniform of a Guardian of Earth, by some who wore it.

The day's fighting had been long and bloody. Many who had once been the man's friends had been slain by his own hand. But this battle would soon be over. Beryl's forces had broken through the outer wall of the Crystal Palace, and now were encamped between that wall and the inner wall, where the man stood silently, now looking at the risen moon. A moon that the horrors of war had not touched. Not yet. But it was only a matter of time, now.

No one knew who had opened the outer gates that morning. No one knew who had betrayed King Endymion, and by extension High Queen Serenity. No one knew who it was who had turned against friends and family, who had sold his soul to Metallia. No one but...

"Lord Chrysolite?" the voice came from behind the man.

Chrysolite turned and glanced at the figure behind him. The soldier was young, far too young. He should still be in academy, memorizing the Alchemical Table of Elements, not fighting a war that would not be won. By all the gods, he was too young to shave! But his eyes... his eyes were far older than they had any right to be. They were the eyes of a man who had seen far too much. Just like Chrysolite's own.

"Lord Chrysolite?" the soldier repeated, rubbing a bloodstain on his uniform. Chrysolite couldn't tell whether it was the enemy's blood or the soldier's own that had created the dark stain on the once white tunic.

"What is it?" Chrysolite finally said. His voice had an edge to it, a fierce fire that contradicted the Guardian's appearance and the general feeling of hopelessness that covered what was left of Crystal City, and indeed the entire Earth.

"King Endymion requests your presence in the throne room, my lord." Another strategy meeting, probably. Not that any strategy could save the Earth now. Beryl had already won.

"I will be there momentarily," Chrysolite replied. He took no notice of the departing soldier. His eyes took in the campfires that covered the land as far as he could see, rivaling the starry heavens above in sheer numbers. Around those campfires were both the hideous abominations called youma and ordinary human beings, who had rallied to the banner of rebellion and revolution or who loyally served those Kings who had done so.

Opposing them were a rabble of men from over three dozen kingdoms, who had fought and retreated across the entire continent, making Beryl pay in blood for every mile her forces took. Now, there was nowhere left to retreat to. Of course, the nobility and leaders, like Chrysolite himself, could still take refuge in the Moon Kingdom, but this was the end of the road for the fighting men of the Grand Alliance. And that last retreat would buy only a few weeks, before Beryl's final victory came.

Chrysolite concentrated briefly, and an image appeared before him, though none other would be able to see it. The image was that of a man about Chrysolite's height, but with blond hair, rather than Chrysolite's unruly black hair. The man wore a uniform similar to Chrysolite's, but with red trimming.

"Good work today, Chrysolite," Jadeite's astral projection said.

Chrysolite bowed his head. "Thank you. Endymion is calling a strategy meeting, for what it's worth."

Jadeite laughed. "Absolutely nothing is what it's worth. Does he have any idea who opened the gates?"

Chrysolite grinned at his fellow General. "None."

Not too far away, but thousands of years in the future, Saotome Ranma awoke, shivering from the incredibly vivid dream.

In the Qinghai region of China... Jusenkyo.

The legendary cursed training grounds of Jusenkyo have been the birthplace of countless tragedies.

At the hut of a man who had devoted his life to learning those tragedies, and had seen some of them himself, a knock was heard on the door. The sound echoed through the hut.

The Jusenkyo guide stood and put his hat on his head, walking towards the door. "Now this is very peculiar. What kind of guest would show up at this time of night?" He began to lock the door. He knew who this guest would most likely be.

The door burst open with a loud thunk, the lock breaking from the force. The open door revealed two winged, humanoid figures. One reached forward, grabbing the guide. "Where is the map?"

The guide's eyes narrowed. "It's already far from here, youma. You'll never find it, not until it's too late for you." Please, Plum... forgive me.

The creature growled, casually draining the guide of his energy before throwing him against the wall. "We will find it, human. And then, it will be too late for you..." The two creatures quickly and efficiently tore the hut apart, searching in vain for 'Jusenkyo's Secret'.

The second creature frowned. "Where's the fleshling's whelp?"

The first's eyes widened. "You're right. The female's not here!"

The second creature grasped the implications quickly. "She must have the map!"

The first nodded in agreement. "Captain Kiima must know of this." The two winged creatures flew off silently into the dark and stormy night they had emerged from. Moments later, they settled before another of their kind.

"Well?" asked Captain Kiima.

"We didn't find the map," one of the creature responded.

Kiima placed her hand on her sword. "Do you have any excuse for your failure?"

"The map was not in the hut, Captain. Neither was the human's hatchling. We believe she had the map."

Kiima frowned, concentrating and casting a brief spell. "Yes... the girl is to the east. Let's go." The three flew off into the darkness.

Not too far away, atop the legendary peak of Phoenix Mountain, two tall figures, one winged, one not, stood, conversing.

"Sometimes, I never thought I would live to see the Day of Return," the winged one said.

"But, it is now at hand. Soon, all will be made right. Once we find the map, and harness the energies here, we will have all the energy we need. Our Queen will be freed, and your people will no longer have to survive alone in this hostile world," the other replied.

"Yes..." Saffron smiled, staring out at the valley before him, imagining the power that would soon be his.

Moments later, an identical smile appeared on Nephrite's own face, as he contemplated much the same thing.

In the Qinghai region of China... Jusenkyo.

The legendary cursed training grounds of Jusenkyo have been the birthplace of countless tragedies.

This is just one of them.

"Vasta et Malcha Beryl. Ainlu, v'nohnlu, v'hemlu arga nosta." An ancient language. One not heard for thousands of years.

Ranma had no idea he had just spoken, as he meditated on the rooftop of the Tendo Dojo, beneath a star-filled sky. If he had, he would have had no idea what the words would have meant.

However, another person, who had been silently flying overhead, to check on one of his many projects, did hear and understand the words. Startled, Jadeite began to hover overhead.

After a while, Ranma began to speak one more, this time consciously. "What's wrong with me? I can hardly sleep at night anymore, not since... the monster." Some odd creature, some demon, that had arrived out of nowhere. It had taken a brief alliance of Nerima's martial artists to defeat it.

This particular martial artist continued. "Something just felt wrong... like I shouldn't have been fighting it... and since then... the dreams..." Ranma fell silent.

After a while, when it became apparent the boy was done speaking, Jadeite took note of the house's location, and flew onward towards his meeting. This was interesting. Could he be one of the Seven? That would be a coup, to succeed at Zoicite's mission, which he continued to be an utter failure at.

When Jadeite arrived at his meeting, after accepting the energy his youma had gathered, he questioned his servant. "Do you know any young men with black hair and a pigtail?"

The youma answered unhesitatingly. "You probably mean Saotome Ranma. I've mentioned him in my reports. He's an excellent martial artist, and an even better source of energy."

"Yes, I recall your reports. Keep an eye on him. He might be one of the Reborn," Jadeite stated.

"Yes, Lord Jadeite." Ninimiya Hinako waited for her lord to leave, before smiling. This would be very interesting...

Not very far away from Nerima, in Juuban, the Sailor Senshi were fighting another of Jadeite's youma. The situation was not looking particularly good. The youma was fast, and had dodged Mars's attack before unleashing one of its own that had knocked Mars and Mercury out of the fight. Now, the demon was advancing on Sailor Moon, intent on finishing her off.

Sailor Moon fell back, desperately searching for anything that could help her. The youma launched forward, but a rose thudded into the pavement in front of it, sending the monster back.

Tuxedo Kamen stood in front of the low moon. "Fear not, Sailor Moon. Those who fight for love and justice are never without the light of hope, even when the night seems darkest."

Sailor Moon nodded, before turning to the youma. "Moon TiaraACTION!" A few moments later, the youma was moondust.

Slowly, the Senshi began to gather themselves together. Mercury sighed. "Another one down."

Mars frowned. "Yeah, and only nine hundred million to go! How many of these things are there?"

Sailor Moon placed her hand on Mars's back. "Don't look at it that way. At least we're winning. Every one of these we find, we beat."

The three Senshi were silent for a moment, until Mercury asked the too obvious question. "But what about those we don't find?"

No one could answer her.

*A palace, made of crystal. A demonic army, besieging the palace. Another palace, on the moon. Blood, war, death. Beryl. Serenity. Endymion. Jadeite. Nephrite. Zoicite. Kunzite. Metallia.*

With a start, Ranma awoke once more. Sighing, he turned over in bed, trying to forget the odd dream and go back to sleep.

The young girl ran down the streets of the city, clutching two sheets of paper to her chest. One was a map. The other was an address in Nerima.

Three winged beings flew through the night, heading east towards the Chinese coast. Their prey could not escape them for long.

Usagi quietly crept back into her room, and began to tell Luna of the night's events. It would be a while yet before the leader of the Sailor Senshi returned to her bed.

Jadeite bowed, and gave his report to his queen. Though she was irritated by his continual failures in battle against the Senshi, the energy he brought in from those plans they didn't discover more than mollified her.

In a place that was both everywhere and nowhere at once, a green haired woman sat back to watch. The times ahead would be hard, but there was nothing she could do. She could not interfere.

The pieces were in place. The final act of a millennia old play would finally be enacted. The world was going to change. For better or for worse was the question to be decided.

That's it for the moment. Once again, any and all C&C is welcome.