Continuing Tales

Dark Kingdom Renegades 8: Titanite's Bogus Journey

A Sailor Moon Story
by Mark Latus

Part 1 of 7

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Titanite's Bogus Journey

This is my story so I at least get to tell you the start of it. I'm Titanite of the DKR, you might know me better as the Sailor Senshi fighting for love and justice, Sailor Polaris!

OK, you've probably still never heard of me. I'm not as well know as the other Senshi, matter of fact I'm not exactly an official Senshi yet. But someday ...

Anyway that's not what I wanted to tell you about. This is the story of how I unlocked my full powers, fought a hentai god and met a lot of crazy people who are supposed to be fictional. It's a little saga I call:

Titanite's Bogus Journey

Now where to start ... okay, I've got it.

It was our first autumn in Tokyo, we'd arrived back in winter. The last couple of months had been busy what with Magnesite, Jadeite, the Knight Sabers and a few other weird events but it had been quiet enough the past couple of weeks. At least for me, Margrave and Azurite had had a run in with those two new Senshi not long ago. That was sort of my fault, I was trying to get them to get along which was why they were out together. But it seemed to have backfired as Azurite and Pyrite were moving out as soon as they found their own place. Which wasn't going to be too long. Matter of fact they were close to closing the deal. They'd decided to rent a house rather than an apartment. Pyrite wanted to have a few rooms to use as a lab so that meant they needed space. Which is at a premium in this city. Luckily we're well enough off. We'd be real well set except as I understand it most of our gold reserves were placed in England before the Kingdom fell. After all that was supposed to be our final destination. But things got weird and so we're stuck in Tokyo. Not that I mind but it makes the others a bit edgy.

Sorry I'm getting sidetracked, now where was I? Oh yeah ... well the morning in question I'd headed down to cook breakfast. No one makes me but I like cooking and I've been doing it for a couple of years now. I like to feel I'm pulling my weight around here. It was a little tricky after our arrival because I couldn't get the ingredients for any of the stuff I knew how to make. But I picked up a few cookbooks and after a while got the hang of doing human style food. My early efforts were edible at least and now I think I'm a pretty fair cook. Which is good, much as I like anime I'd hate to emulate it and cook like C-ko or Akane. As for the latter I can tell you that they don't exaggerate what her cooking's like ... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

As I headed downstairs I was surprised to run into Margrave as she's not much for early rising. Then I realized she wasn't up yet being sprawled over the couch and snoring slightly. Looked like she'd had a very late night and got this far before collapsing. It wasn't the first time this had happened but it still annoys me. She spends most nights with Calcite but every now and again she goes out looking for "variety". I try not to ask for any more details. It's things like this that keep the two of them from getting any more serious. Cal'll just shrug it off and say he doesn't own her so she's free to do what she likes. At least as long as she keeps to her vow about not causing youma style trouble. I think it hurts him more than he lets on. At least it did, I guess he's used to it by now. But it means there'll never be anything permanent between them. It's exasperating really. Sometimes I'd swear she's going out of her way to make sure Cal and her don't get too close.

Still when all's said and done I like her. There's a softer side to her that she won't let most people see. Actually the others wouldn't see it anyway as they've already made up their minds about her. Cal's caught glimpses of it but she keeps distracting him from getting any further. If he got another look inside her mind he might get a real surprise. But she's not going to volunteer and he won't force his way in so that's that. Bottom line is I've given up expecting to get a catwoman sister-in-law.

Another thing I like about having Margrave around is that means another anime fan in the place. She's become a big fan of Nuku-Nuku, Cheshire in that Clamp Wonderland thing and the Puma Sisters. Matter of fact after she saw Dominion she kept pestering Cal to buy her a machine gun. Wonder what she would have done with one? Now that I think of it Azurite kept a closer than usual eye on her that week. Anyway the more perceptive of you will have noticed a certain pattern in her fave picks. Still is it surprising she's a big neko fan?

I was tiptoeing past so as not to wake her when the point became moot. Azurite came stomping down the stairs looking unhappy. Which probably meant Margrave had done something again. Margrave's eyes opened and she stretched making a noise somewhere between a yawn and a purr. "Morning Ti. Oh and good morning Azurite."

"Good morning." Azurite sounded a bit terse, yes Margrave had definitely done something. I excused myself and headed for the kitchen leaving the door ajar. The toaster has a nice shine and if you position it right you get a great reflection of the living room. That's just a bit of trivia you understand. So I busied myself getting breakfast together and if I happened to overhear ... well it's hardly my fault that sound travels.

Azurite's a very different person from Margrave. Normally she's calm, strong and dependable but capable of raising hell when she has too. Have I mentioned she's secretly Sailor Arcturus? Well it's not that secret, everyone here knows it and I guess the Senshi do to. Unlike me she doesn't want to be a Senshi, it's just a way to use her powers publicly when necessary. The problem is Margrave gets a kick out of trying to break her composure. They've had a rivalry for years now but we (that's me and Cal) didn't find out the cause until recently. With that resolved I was hoping they'd become friends. No such luck. They don't want to be friends and I think they're determined to keep it that way. Last time I asked Azurite about it she said that it was so unlikely to happen that if it ever did it would probably be a harbringer of the end of the world. Personally I don't want to see that, it was bad enough being almost caught in the Kingdom's version of armaggedon.

Azurite sounded edgy. "Okay I've torn the bathroom apart. So where are they?"

Margrave looked coy (which would make any of us suspicious). "Whatever do you mean?" Before Azurite could tell her (probably loudly) she went off on a tangent. "It must be a wonderful thing to have a regenerative factor like you Renegades have. With the odd exception."

"Margrave ..."

"Have I ever mentioned how much I envy those metabolisms of yours. Most of time anyway." She grinned. "The only biological trick I can do is shutting down my breeding cycle. Which is and was certainly handy. Otherwise given my popularity back in the Kingdom I'd have been whelping litters left and right." I've heard her mention this before, apparently it was a fairly common ability in the Kingdom among youma females. Unfortunately it's unknown among Renegade females. I decided I knew what this was all about. Margrave continued.

"Must be especially difficult when you're committed to not having children. Contraceptive magics are no more certain than those human devices. There's always surgical solutions ... sorry I forgot, you both regenerate don't you. Tricky, tricky, tricky. I suppose the only real solution is abstinence during these ... peak times."

"Where are they Margrave." Azurite's voice had a definite edge. "This is the worst possible time to hassle me."

Margrave chuckled slightly. "Please Azurite spare me the barely controlled death machine act. I've talked to Pyrite, your healing factor keeps your hormones from getting too far out of whack. No the only real trouble here is that for the past few days you haven't been able to get ..."

Azurite cut her off, she sounded cold. "Margrave, have you ever stopped to think what the main problem with taunting a Renegade is? I'll tell you. We lack the desire to sadistically gloat before striking. When we decide to take someone out we do it quickly and cleanly. We don't taunt or savour the fear, we just take the target out. So the day you finally push me too far you'll never know what hit you." Margrave was definitely looking a bit uncertain. "Now with that in mind where are ..." Margrave pointed to the laundry hamper in the hallway holding the washer. Azurite flipped the lid open, scrabbled around and emerged with a box of tampons. With a final glare at Margrave she headed back upstairs. Margrave whistled a tune and Azurite froze in place for a moment. Then she kept going and slammed the bathroom door. I think Margrave muttered something about no sense of humour.

I have to say there are some things about growing up I could do without. That's one of them. Especially since it's totally useless. Humans and youma can't interbreed, the genetics are just too different. So if I ever wanted to have kids someday I'd need a youma male to father them. As the only ones left are my brother and my cousin that's more or less that. Could be worse, I could have a monthly cycle.

Here's a really sick thought. Jadeite was probably the only chance I'll have ever had to be a mother. Yuck, that creep! Forget it, I'm glad he's dead. As I thought that I got one of those funny flashes. Something about a tiara. Just as suddenly as it came it was gone. Nothing worth worrying about. Probably some sort of side effect to getting hurt in MegaTokyo. Like those nightmares I had during our first weeks in Tokyo about Magnesite coming to get me. Of course he did but since he became an ornament I haven't had a single bad night's sleep.

Margrave slunk in and headed for the fridge. She'll insist all the time that looking feline doesn't make her cat-like. But she has a definite weakness for cream and fish. She was still humming the tune she was whistling at Azurite.

"What's that song?"

"It's a Rolling Stones tune, 'I can't get no satisfaction.'"

"Oh." Boys are something of a mystery to me. Circumstances required growing up in near isolation so I didn't get much contact with members of the opposite sex my own age until recently. Not that I'd have wanted to know Kingdom guys. I did have a crush on this guy (at least I thought I sort of did) but there was a bit of a problem. This definitely wasn't something I could ask Calcite about.

"Margrave ... could I ask your advice on something?"

She put down the cream bottle and looked at me. "Is this about a boy?"

"Sort of."

"In that case, no I can't help you."

"Just like that?"

"This is some sort of first love problem?"

"Well yeah."

"Then I'm definitely not qualified. Now if you had a nice healthy case of lust I could give you plenty of advice but romance isn't my style. I'd suggest talking to someone else. Someone other than Azurite."

"I know the two of you don't hit it off ..."

She shook her head. "This isn't about that. I was thinking about that mess she got herself into with Pyrite and Calcite. She let that drag on for years. Anyone who could screw herself up that badly is definitely not an authority worth consulting." That made a certain amount of sense. Anyway I plowed on.

"The problem's this. I've fallen for this guy ... at least I think I have. There's a lot of problems. He doesn't know I exist, besides he's already got two fiancees and a lot of other wannabe girlfriends."

"Sounds like a lot of complications."

"Thing is I've never actually met him. Just sort of seen him from a distance. So I'm wondering if it's worth trying. If I meet him then I think I'll know for sure if he's worth pursuing. Of course that'll mean a lot of competition. So what do you think I should do?"

Margrave looked thoughful, as if she was reliving some old memory. After a pause she shook herself and said, "All I can give you is my opinion. Which is go meet him. If you don't you could spend the rest of your life regretting it. If he turns out to be a loser then you can stop worrying you missed out on something great. From a personal survival viewpoint if I hadn't gone after your brother I doubt I'd have survived my teenage years. Besides I think you've already made up your mind to meet him. You just wanted someone else to tell you to go for it."

"I guess that's right." She was right, I was planning to do it anyway but I wanted someone to reassure me I was doing the right thing. So who is this mystery man you ask? His name is Ranma Saotome.

Hold on, you say. He's only a character in a manga or ink on a cartoon cel. It's ridiculous to fall for a fictional character.

Normally you'd be right. But I know something you don't know.

Dark Kingdom Renegades 8: Titanite's Bogus Journey

A Sailor Moon Story
by Mark Latus

Part 1 of 7

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