A Ranma ½ x Destiny Crossover
A Frozen Light
Tokyo, Honshu, Old Japan, Earth
There were many ruined cities across Earth. Small ones nestled amidst mountains. Large ones that sprawled across plains. Yes, there were many cities on Earth. Each and every one of them a broken monument to humanity's glory. There were few, however, that matched the scale of the long-abandoned city of Tokyo. A metropolis of such scale that it stretched into the distance. Even now, centuries after its fall, its broken towers reached out clawing the sky as far as the eye could see in every direction.
For a Ghost, it just meant a lot of places to look. Floor after floor. Tower after tower. Block after block. One district at a time in a city that had dozens of districts, each large enough to stand as a city unto itself. Each the work of a lifetime to search the bodies within. Such was the life of an unbonded ghost.
For the Ghost known as Kiko, Tokyo was just one more trial in a centuries-long search that had taken her across deserts, through cities, and even to Mars and back on one particularly foolish whim.
Kiko hummed as she made her way down the abandoned thoroughfare, pausing to scan cars, the occasional skeleton, and the odd blast crater. You never knew when or where you could find some trace of a potential Guardian. She had heard from some other Ghosts, those who had found their Guardians, stories of just how little you needed in order to bring back a guardian, even for the first time.
Finishing that section of the four-lane roadway she consulted the map she had borrowed from the remnants of the city's administrative systems. That was another grid down which meant… She looked up at the tall skyscrapers before her.
"More towers, oh goody," She sighed sarcastically before floating across the road to the front entrance of the first building. The first floor appeared to be a small mall made mostly of boutiques and a central food court. It was, as to be expected, run-down, overgrown, and ransacked. There weren't even cash registers at the tills anymore, just scarring from Fallen plasma cutters where they had been bolted down.
It was, Kiko reflected as she scanned a body with a hole as large as she was through its head, entirely typical. Many places around the solar system had been stripped clean. Not all of them, the solar system was so large that that was nearly impossible, even with centuries of time.
Concluding that the cafe she had ducked into did not hold the resting place of anyone compatible Kiko floated back out into the hallway. Her external shell twitched as a distant roar echoed off the buildings. Her processors analyzed it and spat a very recognizable result out to her. Fallen, quite a ways out but much closer than the last time she had heard them a half-hour before.
"Just have to keep an eye out," She told herself, floating into another storefront.
The search took several hours, during which sunset came and went, it started raining, and the Fallen were picked up shouting in the distance a few more times. Eventually, she concluded that the first floor was just as empty as anywhere else she had scanned, which meant it was time to move on again.
"Guess it's onward and upward… again," She sighed, floating over to the elevator shaft in the center of the structure. She fiddled with the interface. There was power thankfully, it was always a bit of a toss-up when it came to whether or not a golden age building had it. At least she didn't have to try and smash through a window or something. Golden age glass tended to be a bit tougher than she was. Well, tougher than she liked to pretend she was.
She had to trick the system behind the door into thinking the car had arrived since it seemed to be refusing instructions, but a few moments later the doors slid open to reveal an empty elevator shaft. She floated out over the shaft and looked up, her built-in light reflected off rusted and pitted supports. Thankfully, the shaft was clear all the way to the top floor.
She glanced down and her singular electronic eye blinked before focusing. The city's plans for the building said it had one underground maintenance level. She counted five more with the last buried beneath what had to be the ruins of the elevator car.
"Secret levels not on any schematic? Oooh~ Promising," She purred. If she had a face she would have been grinning as she descended down the shaft. She had barely disappeared under the lip of the floor when another roar, far, far closer than any before, came from somewhere outside the building. She dropped quickly, eager to get out of sight before something got close enough to spot her. She would not resurrect her Guardian only to lead them to their immediate death by being followed.
She shot a worried look up the shaft before descending to the pile of scrap metal that had once been an elevator car. Scanning it only took a moment, but she quickly confirmed that there wasn't anyone inside it. At least no one she could resurrect.
There was a small gap, however, that led to the internal control panel for the door. She floated through the tiny gap, knocking against the twisted metal a few times as she navigated to the door. There were times when she wished her shell had fewer spikes. They made maneuvering rather tricky at times.
"Ow, ow. Ow," She winced, floating to a stop before the glowing control panel. The light was a bit dim, the display was probably at the far end of its lifespan. The very far end. Still, it was good enough to establish a connection and with that she was-
Her shell spun with consternation. Denied? DENIED? The system was denying her entry? She fumed for a moment before trying again. There was a beep from the panel and a small beam of light swept out from it over her.
"Wha- You're scanning me!" She fumed, then blinked as the light stopped and a green "ACCESS GRANTED" flashed across the screen before the door slid open. Not one to overlook good fortune she darted through the doorway before the door could close on her. The metal of the elevator car shifted, some of it spilling into the hallway beyond. The door closed on the scrap, grinding to a halt with a half-inch left. It opened and closed a couple more times, but finally, it stopped and a red light went on above the door.
Kiko ignored it as she looked about the new hallway she found herself in. While hardly spotless - time had taken its toll after all - the hallway was practically pristine compared to anyplace she encountered outside the city itself. Dusty wooden floors, bright white walls, a few still functioning lights and the artwork on the walls made it probably the nicest place she had visited outside the Last City.
"Maybe we can bring some of this back. If I find them here anyway," Kiko said, scanning a couple of paintings for reference. A loud clang echoed from the shaft above. She spun to face the entrance. The gap in the door was letting some light out into the lightless shaft. There was no way the Fallen could miss that.
"Oh no, no, no," She repeated, spinning in place before shooting down the hallway. She needed to be quick and thorough and search everything.
She passed offices, reception areas, a lounge. All of them empty. There were no bodies down here. There had been no fighting here at all. Until now. More hallways, more empty offices. The place was filled with everyday Golden Age technology, but it seemed to be little more than a secret administration area. She was considering backtracking and moving onto one of the floors above when a loud crash of metal echoed from the elevator. There was a roar followed by an explosion and red emergency lights flared to life all down the hallways.
The Fallen had found this place.
"No, no, no," She kept repeating as she rapidly scanned another empty office. Nothing, but she couldn't go back. She would need to either find a place to hide, find her guardian, or find a way up to the next level where she could do one of the other two things.
There didn't seem to be another way up though. Hallways ended in dead ends rather than stairwells and she could hear the dregs chattering in the distance as they spread out into the facility. She shut her flashlight off. It would just give her away, and there was plenty of light with the emergency lights now flaring up and down the hallways.
She kept searching, going deeper into the hallways of the facility. She passed what had been the property line of the mall. Security checkpoints and cleanroom airlocks marked a sudden shift from administration to science. She passed both without bothering to go in. The moment the Fallen spotted them they would be crawling over the labs. Which could contain who knew what, but there was nothing a Ghost could do to stop them.
If only she had a Guardian.
She swept around a corner and came to a stop before a pair of sliding rice paper doors and a pair of skeletons, their tattered and stain clothes pooling amongst the bones. Rifles of some nature were discarded a short distance away. She ran a quick scan over both. Nothing. Figured.
She punched another hole in the rice paper. The area beyond was decorated in a very traditional style that she recognized from a few places around Tokyo with mats for the floor and walls of tattered rice paper. There were scattered bones, broken furniture, and stains of blood everywhere. This place was a palatial suite.
This place had seen fighting.
She scanned the bones as she went hurriedly. She could hear the fallen in the distance, but any one of these people could be her Guardian. Anyone of them could be hers.
It was with a disappointed and heavy metaphorical heart that she confirmed time and again that no, none of these people was the one she was looking for.
"No, no, not again," She muttered scanning another body briefly before moving on. She passed through a doorway into another hallway and stopped as something strange appeared on her sensors. It wasn't the light, it also wasn't the dark either, though the presence of the Fallen was beginning to gather the darkness to this place.
Ignoring the bones scattered in this hallway she floated down the hall, searching for the source of the strange reading. She turned a corner and paused as she found herself before a heavily dented and rent blast door. More than a dozen bodies were scattered across the floor, their bones mixing to the point it was impossible to say where one ended and another began. All seemed to be wearing body armour and carrying weapons. Not that it seemed to have stopped their assailants. The blast door had a hole large enough for two men to walk through side by side and Kiko floated passed them without checking. Something told her they weren't what she was here for.
The room beyond was a shrine or temple of some sort. Tall pillars of red stone held up a vaulting ceiling four floors high and decorated in a complex mural straight out of mythology. A red woman appeared repeatedly throughout the mural battling men, women, dragons and even a phoenix. Each foe was felled until a shadowy figure drove a blade through her back and she was laid to rest on a bed of ice. Around the room hung tattered scrolls and traditional paintings, many featuring the same red-haired woman. Towering above it all was a statue of a young woman made from gold. She stood a blade held pointed towards the ceiling and at the base of her feet was a bed encased in a clear glass-like material, its red-haired occupant on display in a beautiful black qipao, a bouquet of roses held in her hands.
Kiko's eye went straight to the occupant of what her sensor's said was some form of stasis pod. The strange energy she was picking up was coming from her. She floated towards the pod and started when she bumped into something. She 'jumped' several feet to the side and floated, her shell spinning, as she stared at what she had somehow ignored.
There was an Exo dressed in heavy plate with a sword kneeling in the center of the room. Bullet holes littered its plate armour, but the piles of bones scattered across the rotting tatami mats said that the robotic man hadn't died alone.
"Oh, oh my," Kiko sighed, "That gave me a scare. Whoo, just a body." She turned away from the Exo and floated over to the pod. Her scanner started going the moment she came into range. Inside was a girl with crimson red hair who couldn't be more than… her sensors said between sixteen and eighteen.
Her eye narrowed. Her sensors were having trouble scanning the girl through the stasis pod. At least, she assumed they were. A person couldn't be both dead and alive at the same time. Well, a Guardian might count, but the girl could be one she wasn't giving off l-
Her shell spun in surprise. There was no light, but for the first time, she felt what other Ghosts had told her about. Something inside the girl was resonating with her and oh god did it feel wonderful. Like sharing a sunny day with a friend, or having a quiet moment with a loved one. Not that Kiko had ever experienced either before, but this felt like what she hoped such things would be like.
"I found her. By the Traveler, I did it," Kiko breathed. She paused for a moment, basking in the achievement. Then the sound of chittering and a loud bang from behind her announced the fact that the Fallen were still sweeping the facility. In the distance, there was another bang before what sounded like an automatic weapon opened up. Another bang silenced it.
"And they're still coming. Because of course, they are," She said to the girl in the stasis pod. "Right, uuuuuh, open the door then revive you. Erm... You are dead right?" She ran another scan. The life or death status of her Guardian came back as a confusing maybe. Right, well she'd just have to wing it and hope for the best then. First, get the pod open.
Kiko went to work on the pod, quickly locating the control on the lower backside of the device, well out of sight of the public area. Which made sense. This wasn't a stasis pod that these people had ever intended to open, probably. There was clearly some religious connotations going on here.
The chittering grew closer as Kiko tapped into the control system of the pod. Security systems were bypassed or overrode faster than she had ever worked before. This was her Guardian and Kiko would not leave her here for the Fallen to paw like some petty Golden Age bauble. The very thought sent her shell spinning.
Eventually, though she hit something she couldn't bypass. A block that seemed to adapt to her every trick and effort. It was like those times she watched human children try to catch fish with their bare hands. Only, this thing was the fish and she was the child and it was decidedly less amusing with the life-threatening situation that was looming.
"Oh come on!" She snapped, smacking herself into the side of the pod. "WORK WITH ME!" She snarled, "I'm going to resurrect her you stupid machine. LET HER GO!" She tried again. To her surprise, the block had disappeared. "Ha! Holiday was right, percussive maintenance does solve everything!"
The pod's systems fell under her control and she triggered the release protocols. It was clear that this had not been intended for a living occupant since the hatch released instantly, sending a cloud of fog rolling across the room. Kiko floated over the girl as the fog released and ran a scan over her would-be Guardian. Okay, so this was her Guardian but… What was with that life reading? There one second, gone the next. What- no wait, it was there- no, gone wait-
Her shell was spinning with frustration. Was her Guardian dead or not? Could she-
The snap-crunch of bones in the hallway outside said she was out of time. The Fallen were there, now. She cast a look towards the mural. "Oh, I hope that you remember how to do that sort of thing," Kiko said then engaged her resurrection protocols. Dead or alive she needed a Guardian, and this girl was her's.
Pure light washed over the room, sinking into the girl as a hulking nine-foot Fallen Captain ducked through the hole in the blast door, a rifle held in its lower two arms. It spotted her and the rifle came up as it snarled something in Eliksni.
Then the light that was washing over the girl met the strange energy that had drawn Kiko to the girl and everything got very, very bright.
A/N: A Thank You to Gekkou_Yoko once again~
This idea has been bugging me for a while and I just finally decided to write the prologue for it. I have most of the rest of the story planned in some form or another.
A/N 2: Revised and prepared for a proper release~ thank you Gekkou_Yoko for your help as usual~