Of Worlds to Fall
Chapter Forty-Three - Descent
by Apollymi

Main Series: Sailormoon, Dragonball Z, Gundam Wing
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Word Count: 1,973
Disclaimers: I own nothing but the idea. All series and characters are copyright to their individual creators and distributors, of which I am not one. I make no money from this fan-created work.

The plan had been made while Usagi was unconscious for everyone to meet at Sylphiel-san's place. It wasn't so much because it was somewhat centrally located as because everyone knew where it was.

Apparently this little city extended further than she had realized. She'd known that the place she shared with her boys was on the southernmost edge of the city before it descended into Carrion territory. Raitei had controlled the northernmost portions of the city, and as long as Ginji-chan didn't really say anything, people would keep thinking Raitei was around terrorizing the populace in general and the Reapers and Carrions specifically.

But there were entire swaths of the city to the east and west that she hadn't even thought about and was apparently where a lot of the people she had met in the last few days resided. At the time, she had just been too exhausted during her initial meeting with most of them to give too much thought to where they might all have been coming from.

Right now, she was more concerned how they were going to fit everyone in here. By all indications, there were still at least another twenty or so people who had yet to arrive, and they were already at standing room only.

Well, most of them. Sylphiel-san had quickly laid claim to her chair and all but pushed Usagi and Trunks-kun to sit on the sofa; Duo-kun and Heero-kun had quickly claimed seats on its arms. If nothing else, they at least presented a united front, if it happened to come to that. Hopefully it wouldn't, but they were prepared in case.

It felt so weird to be taking such precautions against people who were going to be their allies very shortly, but it felt... Well, honestly, it felt like it was a necessary precaution. She didn't feel any sense of trustworthiness from any of them, save a select and very limited few. She knew she could trust her boys, but she also felt fairly safe trusting Sylphiel-san, Ban-san, and Ginji-chan.

The rest of them? There was an... uncomfortable feeling that came off of them, like they had all been here too long. The stench of this place had rubbed off on all of them. They could all be great people for all she knew, but she couldn't shake the feeling. She had never claimed to be psychic before this; she had left that sort of thing to Rei-chan and, to a lesser extent, Michiru-san; but she was going to go with that feeling. It had served her fairly well thus far.

At this point, she was just trying to spot someone she recognized, even just his or her face. There was Tenchi-san with Kagome-san, and apparently the two of them were a thing, because she hadn't seen them apart yet. She did see Ranma-san and Ryoga-san near the door leading to the stairs; she was going to just be quietly amused that every so often Ryoga-san started to wander off, and Ranma-san just grabbed the back of his shirt to drag the other man back to standing next to him.

Ban-san and Ginji-chan were on the far side of the room. She got the distinct feeling that Ban-san was measuring up every single person in the room for whether or not he could take them in a fight. She had a weird feeling that he probably could take most of them with the exception of Trunks-kun; she was just going to go with that feeling. No sense putting too much thought into it anyway. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that.

Another group pushed their way into the already overcrowded room. More than a few people had to shift to accommodate the newcomers. This was really getting out of hand.

This whole thing needed to get started or come to order or something before it turned into a free for all fight. Well, if no one else was going to do it...

She pushed herself to her feet--and then stopped and cursed completely to herself for being so damn short... and apparently Duo-kun's language was rubbing off on her. As if he could sense what she was thinking, Trunks-kun smirked.

Fine. She could deal with this. It wasn't a big deal.

She climbed up to stand on the seat of the sofa. It wasn't much added to her rather unimpressive height, but it was still something.

By this point, everyone in the room was staring at her... and that wasn't intimidating at all, mind the sarcasm. Trunks-kun squeezed her hand briefly in reassurance. From far across the room, Ginji-chan grinned broadly and waved.

She could do this. It was just a matter of opening her mouth and starting to talk. God knew she had no trouble with that in general.

"Thank you all for coming here, everyone," she began, pitching her voice loud so that hopefully it would carry throughout the crowd. "I think I've met a lot of you, but if I haven't, my name is Usagi. We're here today because it's time we take the fight to the Reapers. It's time we get out of this crazy world."

"It has been tried before," a voice she didn't recognize commented from the back. She couldn't actually see the face that went with it for all the other people, but if it matched the voice, it would be older. "Everyone who tried back then died horribly at the Reapers' hands and were fed to the Carrions."

Well, that was certainly more than Tenchi-san had told her... and distinctly gross for that matter. "Be that as it may, we still need to get off this world. These two," she gestured to Duo-kun and Heero-kun, "are from a world the Reapers seem to be moving to. Do you want to risk being left behind here with the Carrions--and no food being brought in?"

"Besides," someone else spoke up, and she thought maybe it was Ranma-san, "she's given a lot of us back some of our powers. That goes a long ways towards evening up the odds. I don't want to end up rotting here or getting eaten by any damn Carrion."

"Even if we die trying, it's better than not trying at all." To her surprise, that one came from Heero-kun, loud enough to carry throughout the room.

"We have a way to get everyone off this world at least," she continued after shooting Heero-kun a grateful smile. "We can't send everyone back to their own worlds, but we can get away from this dead world and to one where we can live."

"Some of us have lived on this world longer than we did our own worlds." There was that first voice again. At least this time, he didn't sound nearly as querulous. "I know I don't remember what my original world looked like. Why would I want to go back there?"

To her surprise, there was a murmur of agreement to that statement.

Another new voice jumped in, this time belonging to a young woman around Usagi's age with light brown hair. "Can you give the rest of us back our powers as well?"

"God, I wish I could. Doing as much as I have nearly did me in, though," she admitted. Honesty was going to be the way to go here, and she did wish she could more to help every single person in this room. But she had made promises to the most important people in her life, and she wasn't about to break it.

"Any more might well kill her" came from Sylphiel-san. She wasn't speaking any louder than she normally did, but it seemed to carry through the room anyway. And that was a bit more than even she had known. She had no reason to doubt Sylphiel-san or think the older woman had simply said that to get her off the hook; no, she felt like if Sylphiel-san had said it then she meant it.

"I think about half the people in the room have their powers back. That will be enough to take the fight to the Reapers."

"How many Reapers are we talking?" That had been Tenchi-san's voice. She felt fairly certainly she could expect him to come down on her side of things when it came to it, but she wasn't going to place bets on that. "I know I've never seen more than one or two at a time."

"We saw about twenty," Duo-kun commented. "There certainly weren't anymore than thirty."

"Twenty or thirty Reapers?" And it was back to the old man's voice, and he sounded utterly incredulous. "Against what? Fifteen of us with powers?"

"More than that," she returned. The rest was true, though, so she didn't bother denying it. "It's not like we have a lot of choice at this point. Either we take the fight to the Reapers while they aren't expecting it, or else we wait for them to come take us out. If we fight them all now together, we honestly stand a better chance of making it out of this alive."

A quiet murmur went through the room again. It certainly didn't sound like a particularly good one, like she was losing her crowd. She had to... do something.

"I don't know about all of you idiots, but I want to make it out of this alive." And that was Ban-san, who sounded beyond disgusted with the room at large. "We stand the best chance this way. I'm fighting. The rest of you are welcome to do whatever you want." He nodded over at where Usagi still stood on the sofa. "I'm with you, Usagi."

"Same here!" immediately came from Ginji-chan, and that was quite a relief. People seemed to look at him, make the connection to Raitei, and slowly start nodding.

"So what's your plan?" And it was back to the old man. She was going to have to find out who he was. Whoever he was, people certainly listened to him. She was going to need that.

"Trunks-kun?" That was his part of the plan; he was going to be the best one to discuss it.

He climbed to his feet, slowly taking stock of the room. She wished she knew what it was he was seeing in the crowd assembled around them, because he nodded rather decisively before he started to speak. "Usagi-san mentioned that we have a way off this world: the machine I landed in. Heero-san and Duo-san here fixed it so that it will take us all to a new world. The minute we cut it on, though, we figure the Reapers will show up. We'll need to buy enough time to power up the machine and start the process of going to another world. It'll take time; how long, though, we don't know. The Reapers are going to be on us hard and fast, and that's our chance. They aren't going to be expecting us to fight back. They aren't going to be expecting all of us to fight back."

"That's your plan?" Okay, seriously, she was going to have to find out more about this old man.

Before Trunks-kun could add anything in response, she cut back into the conversation. "It's what we can do without knowing what powers everyone has. Of course, we would welcome additional feedback after the meeting..." She trailed off, deliberately leaving it open for him.

"Kuwabara Kazuma."

"Kuwabara-san," she repeated, nodding slightly as she committed the name to memory. "But really, it's not like we have a lot of choices on what we do now. We have to get out of here before we get left behind by the Reapers for the Carrions to pick off."

"We're cutting the machine on tomorrow," Trunks-kun stated, "just after sunup. If you're with us, please, be there."

02 November 2012

More characters, yay... But not really, because the named cast is getting ridiculously large.

I'm now 1800 words into this year's NaNoWriMo, which isn't as good as I was hoping for, but it's still something, right? You guys are going to buy a copy when I get it up and available, yes? I'll let you know more when it's closer to done.

Part of me still wants to finish last year's NaNo, a steampunk-ish novel, and the one from the year before, a rewrite of Endless Loop in a more original setting, and get them both up for sale sooner rather than later. But that's a thing for another day. I still need to finish edits on the last Preterhumans book, after all. (It never ends...)

See you in the next chapter!

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