Magical Girl Pretty Ruri
Episode Two: Reflections
By Tailkinker and Kitsy,

   Warning:   Java compilation error.  Insufficient  coffee.
Due  to  this, none of the characters, situations and  sites
belong  to  the  authors of this story.  They are  currently
just used to explore the effects of sleep deprivation.
   "When  I  woke  up yesterday, everything  was  different.
Suddenly, I had a home, and parents.  I was a student, going
to middle school.  Everything was just as I always wanted it
to be.  Normal.
   "Why do things never stay normal for me?"
   Tail Kinker and Kitsy present
   *Magical Girl Pretty Ruri*
   Episode Two:
   "Ruri!  Wake up!  Time for school."
   Ruri blinked.  ~No incredibly irritating alarm clock this
morning?~   She  tried  to focus on the  Hello  Kitty  alarm
clock.  ~Right...I unplugged it last night.  Ruri no baka.~
   "Ruri, hurry up.  You're late again!"
   Ruri struggled to her feet, then grabbed a school uniform
from  the closet.  She ran for the bathroom - she had  spent
some  time  the previous night figuring out where everything
was  in  her new home.  She wasn't going to be unwashed  for
school today...although it probably meant missing breakfast.
   "Aren't you forgetting something?"
   "Huh?"  She looked over.  ~Oh, yeah...I have a cat now.~
   The cat batted at a dresser drawer.  "Underwear?"
   "Hey,  I'm  just reminding you.  I think you should  wear
these  ones."  The cat had dragged out a pair of Hello Kitty
   Ruri  reminded herself that she wasn't a violent  person.
"First   off,  Cat,  don't  go  through  my  drawers  again.
Especially not my underwear drawer.  Second, I would not  be
caught  dead  wearing those."  She grabbed a different  pair
and made a break for the bathroom.
   The  cat  shrugged.  "At least she's flat-chested  enough
that a brassiere isn't an issue--"
   Megumi  was already at the door when Ruri came  down  the
stairs.   "We've  got  ten minutes to get  to  school!   You
should buy an alarm clock."
   "I have an alarm clock."
   "Why didn't you use it?"
   "I forgot that I had unplugged it..."
   Megumi rolled her eyes.  "Let's go!"
   The  two  girls began their mad dash for school.   Ruri's
mother waved to her as they ran.
   "Ruri, you forgot your bento..."
   * * * * *
   "At  least we'll be on time today, Ruri.  As long as  you
   Both girls were running short on wind.  Ruri was slightly
in  the lead.  As she rounded the corner, she smacked  head-
first into a gentleman's chest.  She sprawled to the ground,
dazed by the impact.
   "I'm  sorry, I'm running late--"  She looked up, and  her
eyes widened in shock.  "Tenkawa-san!"
   "I'm  sorry.  Do I know you?"  Tenkawa Akito,  Aestivalis
pilot  and cook aboard the Nadesico, reached down and helped
Ruri to her feet.
   "'s me.  Ruri."
   "You look familiar...Oh, yeah!  The little girl from  the
ice  cream  parlor!"  Akito scratched his head.   "Shouldn't
you be in school?"
   Megumi  grabbed her arm.  "Come on, Ruri!  We don't  have
   "But--"   It was no use.  Megumi's grip was like a  vise,
and Ruri was dragged off down the street.
   * * * * *
   Bucket brigade again.
   "This is all your fault, Ruri."
   Ruri looked down.  "Akito..." she murmured.
   "Huh?"   Megumi  looked  closer  at  Ruri.   "Don't  tell
me...The  guy  that's  had  you distracted  this  while  was
   Ruri  looked  up  at Megumi in surprise.   "You  remember
   "Duh!   Of  course I do!  He's that cute guy  that  works
down  at the ice cream parlor.  Of course, he's too old  for
either  of  us...but  he  kind  of  reminds  me  of  my  old
   Ruri twitched.  Of course, Akito and Megumi had broken up
months before...but still...
   Her stomach growled.  Megumi snickered.
   "Is there ever a time you're not hungry, Ruri?"
   "I didn't have time for breakfast."
   "And why not?"
   Ruri sighed.  "Because I slept in..."
   "Well,  that's a no-brainer.  You always  sleep  in.   Of
course,  I  don't  really blame you.  Thinking  about  Akito
would keep me up nights, too!"
   Ruri  managed  to  avoid saying, ~Actually,  I  slept  in
because I was up late saving your butt...~
   * * * * *
   "Stare...Stare...Stare...You're kidding."
   "No,  I'm  serious!  It was a real Sailor Senshi.   Right
down to the ondangos."
   Ruri  was  studying her book very intently.  Trying  very
hard to ignore the conversation.
   "Blink...but I thought the Sailor Senshi were in  Juuban,
not here in Nerima."
   "That's only in the manga, silly."
   "Yeah,  the  one  who saved my life  was  right  here  in
   "Maybe she was only visiting."
   "HELLO!  They're fictional!"
   "The  one  I  saw sure wasn't!  She was just like  Sailor
   ~Baka bakka.~
   "Right  down  to fantastic command word speeches,  and  a
cutesy costume."
   "Do Sailor Senshi normally use ray guns?"
   "Right.   What's  next,  breaking  out  a  bow  and  love
   ~Minna baka.~
    "Lean...Hey, Ruri!"
   The  book landed somewhere behind her, and a few  minutes
later, she was able to swallow her heart.
   "Leave me alone, Yukina...I was up late last night."
   Megumi leaned over.  "Reading manga again?"
   "No.  I was actually trying to study."
   "No.  Math."
   "That's great.  We have an astronomy test today."
   ~Astronomy...I can ace that, even without Omoikane.~
   * * * * *
   Somewhere, a cat sneezed.
   * * * * *
   "Class, the marks for the tests were fairly high for  the
most  part.  With the exception of one  usual."
The  teacher was passing the tests back.  Ruri gaped at  the
large red F on her sheet.
   ~What on earth...~  She flipped through the test.
   The  teacher stopped in front of Ruri.  "Perhaps  if  you
studied  astronomy, rather than manga, your mark would  have
been   higher.   Utopia  Lagrange  Colony  does  not  exist.
Neither does Lunar Colony or Mars Colony.  And what is  this
'Great Barrier' you mention?  Lastly, there is no such thing
as  spatial navigation buoys.  And even if there  was,  they
would not belong on an astronomy test."
   Ruri thumped her head off the desk.
   "Lean...I told you."
   "So you *were* reading manga last night, ne?"
   "I was *not* reading manga."
   "You know, you're mom's gonna flip when she sees that."
   * * * * *
   Ruri discovered, to her pleasure, that she had about 1000
yen  in  her jacket pocket.  Since she didn't have a  bento,
and had skipped breakfast, she decided to go out for lunch.
   Unfortunately, she had no idea where to go.
   She grabbed a phone book and thumbed through the business
directory.          "
okonomiyaki in town...nah.  Ramen...nah."
   "Whatcha  doing, Ruri?"  Megumi looked over her shoulder.
"Restaurants?  Let's just go to the ice cream parlor."
   "Ice cream for lunch?"
   "You  would  think  that!  No, we can  grab  a  slice  of
   Ruri shuddered.  "No thanks."
   "Or a burger.  Or whatever."
   "Fine."   She snapped the phone book shut and  picked  up
her bookbag.  "Let's go."
   * * * * *
   ~It's times like this that I could get used to this.~
   Ruri had always been somewhat of a loner.  After all, the
sterile 'environment' she'd been raised in didn't do  a  lot
for  a  person's social skills.  Nor did spending six  years
plugged  into  a  battle computer.  Her  only  real  friends
aboard  Nadesico  had  been Yurika and  Akito...and  perhaps
Minato  and Megumi.  At least among the humans;   there  had
also been Omoikane, the ship's computer.
   But the small crowd that accompanied her to the ice cream
parlor...Well, she knew all of them, from the Nadesico.  But
here,  they were all her age.  Aboard Nadesico, few of  them
would have talked to her.  Here, they all seemed to share  a
few  common  interests, and seemed to want  to  try  to  get
   Except for Izumi.  ~I guess no matter where you go,  that
girl is weird.~
   Being   surrounded  by  friends  was,  for  her,  a   new
experience.  One that she found she rather liked.
   With  her  were Megumi, Ryoko, Yukina, Hikaru, Izumi  and
one other girl she didn't recognize.  She hoped that the ice
cream parlor had room for all of them.
   As  it turned out, the parlor could seat three times that
number,  without  strain.   They  commandeered  two  booths,
enough  room that they didn't have to squeeze.   Of  course,
talking  over  one's  shoulder  could  become  a  pain...but
sacrifices had to be made.
   The  girl she didn't recognize - a small, red-haired girl
- jumped up.  "Woohoo!  They have fighting kanji!"
   "Huh?"   She  looked over at the videogame  console.   "I
thought  that  wasn't put out until 2003..."   She  realized
that the other girls were looking at her oddly.
   Megumi  sighed.  " can be such  an  airhead  at
   Ruri winced - then saw Akito.  She jumped up and ran over
to him.
   "Hello, again!  Would you like to order something?"
   "Tenkawa-san, can't you remember?  We served together  on
the Nadesico!"
   "...Huh?   I  think  you  have me confused  with  someone
   Ruri  paused, remembering.  "You have problems with  your
memory, don't you?"
   "...Yeah.  How did you know that?"
   "You suffer from partial amnesia, right?"
   "Yeah.   How--Oh,  I know.  I must have  told  you,  then
forgotten I'd told you.  Right?"
   Ruri  deflated.  "Never mind..."  She moped back  to  her
seat and sat down.
   She glanced up, irritated.  "What is it, Yukina."
   "That's him, right?"
   "That depends.  What do you mean?"
   Megumi  leaned  forward.   "That's  the  guy  she's  been
mooning over."
   "At least he's cute."
   "But he's awfully old..."
   "Yeah, I hear he's a college student."
   "Nudge.  Nudge.  Wink.  Wink."
   "What's he in college for?"
   "So she likes older men."
   "He's learning to be a chef."
   "I didn't think she was the type..."
   Ruri  hopped  up  from her seat.   "I'll  be  back  in  a
minute..."   She turn and practically ran for the  bathroom,
the  door  slamming behind her.  She leaned up  against  the
back wall, studying herself in the mirror.
   ~It's times like this that I really hate this.~
   * * * * *
   "I win!"
   "Blink...I must have done that last move wrong."
   "Hey, do you feel that?"
   Yukina steadied herself.  "Feels like an earthquake..."
   Everyone  paused, listening intently, but  all  that  was
heard was the traffic outside.
   "Must have imagined it."
   Another tremor struck the ice cream parlor.  Dishes  fell
from shelves, and the customers were pitched about.  A large
circular pattern of cracks formed on the floor.
   "Ah, guys...Maybe we should leave."
   The  floor exploded outward, and shards flew throught the
air,  ripping through the vinyl seat covers.  One girl fell,
gasping in pain, a shard projecting from her leg.  A massive
rust-red beetle pushed itself through the newly-formed hole.
It had a large horn protruding from the top of its head, and
massive  mandibles clicking like scissors.  It stood  at  an
incline, four arms ready to strike.
   Panic struck almost instantly.
   "ACK!  What is that!?"
   "Outta my way!"
   "It's blocking the door!"
   Slowly, the creature turned towards the assembled  girls.
It  grabbed Megumi, lifting her up.  In a guttural voice, it
hissed,  "Ki!"  Its horn glowed a silvery-white, and visible
waves  of energy flowed from Megumi to the beast.  It tossed
Megumi's  limp  body across the parlor, then turned  to  the
next victim.
   In the bathroom, Ruri heard the noise and commotion.  She
looked  out through the window, to see the beetle  attacking
her friends.
   "Great.  Just when I was almost having fun, along comes a
golem  to  wreck it for me."  She dug through  her  pockets,
finally locating the Henshin stick.
   "Mars Guardian, Make-UP!"
   This  time, she could see the effect, thanks to the large
mirror  over  the  bathroom counter.  The light  seared  her
eyes,  all  blue and gold.  The air around her rippled,  and
she felt waves of incredible heat pounding her.  Her clothes
shredded  and  re-formed  into a very  short  skirt,  tight-
fitting bodysuit and long boots and gloves.
   She   was   very   glad  that  no-one   could   see   the
transformation   effect;   there  were  moments   when   she
was...less  than decent.  She glanced over at her reflection
in the mirror - and shuddered.
   She  had known about all the accessories - the tiara, the
ribbons, the pompoms.  What she had not known about was  the
fact  that  her  hair got a lot longer, and  changed  style.
Still two ponytails - but topped with small ondangos.
   ~Kami-sama, I look stupid.~
   She  readied her staff, burst through the door, and  came
face-to-face  with  the  golem.  Said  golem  did  not  even
hesitate  before  backhanding her through  the  plate  glass
windows.   She  hit the pavement hard, rolled a  few  times,
dust clouds forming in her wake, and finally came to rest in
a self-made dent in the side of a nearby car.
   ~That  hurt.   This  one's faster and stronger  than  the
other.~   She staggered to her feet and turned to  face  the
   The  golem,  for its part, was maneuvering  on  her.   It
sprouted  large wings from beneath its carapace  and  jumped
through the window, widening the hole she'd made on her trip
out.   It  landed  ten  feet away, its  claws  digging  long
furrows in the asphalt.
   The golem hunkered down on all six legs, its horn glowing
red.  Ruri's eyes widened, and she quickly spun the staff in
front of her.
   "Distortion Field!"
   The  effect  formed  not a moment too  soon;   the  beast
launched  a  devastating beam of heat from  its  horn.   She
ducked involuntarily as the flame-wave impacted against  the
Distortion  Field,  searing her slightly  even  through  the
effect.  Her hair whipped wildly in the wind caused  by  the
heat.  The flame billowed outward, buckling and melting  the
asphalt around the Field and blowing the car behind her down
the street.
   Ruri watched the car tumble.  "Nothing a little duct tape
won't  fix..."   She  pulled out  the  plasma  pistol,  took
careful aim at the beast, and pulled the trigger.
   The shot bounced harmlessly off the golem's carapace.
   The golem started to advance, and Ruri was forced to fall
back;   she  had  little doubt that another  flame-wave,  at
close  range, would crush the Distortion Field.   She  fired
another  shot from the pistol, but the golem simply  dropped
down, again deflecting the shot with its carapace.
   "What  am I gonna do?  The plasma pistol won't hurt  this
thing, it's too well armoured..."
   The cat bounded up.  "What's going on?"
   Ruri  pointed  at the golem.  "My pistol  isn't  working!
It's too well armoured."
   "Kind of like a tank's armour?"
   Her   eyes   widened.   "The  tanks...when  we   attacked
Nanafusi.  It's weakest on the underside!"
   She  deactivated  the Distortion Field and  ran  forward.
The  golem  promptly smacked her again, sending  her  flying
into  a brick wall.  She staggered to her feet, gasping  for
air.  "I can't get close enough..."
   There  was  a  sudden sound, like someone  dropping  down
beside  her, and she looked over to see Tuxedo Ken  crouched
on  the  ground.   He straightened up and  drew  his  sword.
"We'll have to work together.  If I can draw its fire  high,
you can attack it low."
   "But you don't have a Distortion Field to protect you..."
   "Wanna  bet?"  He ran towards the golem, and  leapt  into
the air.
   "Armour of Nergal!"
   Shimmering  planes  of  blue and pink  energy  surrounded
Tuxedo  Ken,  and solidified into a massive  suit  of  plate
armour.   Technological armour;  she could see jump jets  on
the  back  and  circuitry in the joints.  The armour  plates
were  a metallic blue, except for the breastplate and  head,
which  were  pink.  He fired the jump jets  and  raised  the
sword to attack.
   The  beetle  reared  up, and loosed a  heat-wave  attack,
striking  the armour dead-center, enveloping it.   Ruri  ran
forward,  threw herself under the creature, and  raised  the
plasma   pistol,   aiming  directly  between   two   massive
underbelly   plates.   She  fired  three  shots   in   rapid
   The  creature howled in pain.  Ruri rolled out from under
it,  as  it crashed to the pavement.  It struggled to  rise,
then collapsed, slowly crumbling to dust.
   She  stood  up, holstering the pistol, and looked  around
for the armoured Knight.
   Only the sound of sirens greeted her.
   "Tuxedo Ken?"
   The  cat  walked up to her.  "Best make yourself  scarce.
The authorities are en route."
   "Right."   She  leapt up onto the roof of the  ice  cream
parlor,  and  from  there to the top of a  nearby  apartment
building.  This golem had definitely been tougher  than  the
last one;  she was badly winded, and gasping for air.
   "Nicely done."  An evil chuckle.
   She  stopped,  and turned to face the voice.   It  was  a
tall,  rather slender man, with unruly black hair.  In fact,
the  man was a dead ringer for Shiratori Tsukuma, the Jovian
   But she had seen Tsukuma's body, rushed to the Nadesico's
sickbay.   Had attended his funeral. Had helped  his  sister
and his fiancee cope with their grief.
   Tsukuma took a step toward her.  "I can see you're  going
to be a major thorn in my side."
   "'re dead!"
   "I got better."
   "...baka."  She shook her head.  "A reflection, just like
Megumi, and Yukina, and Akito."
   "That's hardly important."  He held out his hand.   "Give
me the crystal."
   "What crystal?"
   He  thrust  his hand at her, and an energy  wave  slammed
into  her, driving her to her knees.  She raised the  staff,
and called up the Distortion Field.
   Tsukuma sneered.  "Please!  I've defeated that Field more
times than I can count!"
   "You'll be fighting two of us!"
   Tsukuma and Ruri turned, to see Tuxedo Ken perched on top
of  the elevator service compartment.  The armour was  gone,
but his sword was drawn and ready.
   Tsukuma  lowered  his  hand.  "I think...perhaps  another
time."   His  body shimmered, a black sphere  formed  around
him, and he disappeared.
   Tuxedo  Ken jumped down next to Ruri.  "Are you  injured,
   "No."  She shuddered.  "Just very tired."
   "Best  go  rest, then.  This is only the beginning."   He
turned,  cape flaring in a newly formed breeze, and  stepped
off the edge of the building.
   "No!"  She ran forward, and looked down, but he was gone.
   * * * * *
   "Hey, Ruri!  You'll never guess what you missed!"
   Megumi  was sitting up weakly.  The paramedics  had  gone
over her, and determined that the only thing wrong with  her
was  low blood sugar.  It wasn't difficult to fix, in an ice
cream parlor.
   "What did I miss?"
   "Well,  there was this monster that popped up out of  the
ground.   It  attacked us, but it was  beaten  off  by  that
Sailor  Senshi wannabe I told you about.  Houmei's having  a
fit,  because  her  ice cream parlor was  wrecked,  and  her
insurance doesn't cover youma attacks."
   "Here, in Nerima?  How could it not?"
   "Anyway, the paramedics called the school, and all of  us
have  the  rest of the day off.  Maybe you should  spend  it
catching up on lost sleep."
   "Lean.  Or studying."
   "And no manga!"
   * * * * *
   Ruri  took off her shoes and slipped on her indoor shoes.
She  was  halfway up the stairs when her mother walked  into
the family room.
   "Mom!  What are you doing home early?"
   "I might ask you the same thing."
   Ruri  handed her mother a slip of paper, given to her  by
the  paramedics.   Her  mother  read  it,  then  looked   up
skeptically.  "Do you really expect me to believe  that  you
were given a half day off due to a youma attack?"
   "All I can say the school."
   "I   will.   If  you're  lying  to  me,  I'll   be   very
disappointed in you."
   Ruri  looked  at  her mother, blinking back  tears.   "H-
hai..."  She turned and ran upstairs, through her door,  and
threw herself on her bed.
   ~My  'real'  mother would never have said  anything  like
that...~  She smiled.  ~Because my 'real' mother was just  a
shadow, a computer program, something that didn't care about
me...just  a  reflection of someone's idea  of  the  perfect
   She  gazed  balefully  at the Hello  Kitty  alarm  clock.
~That  thing  has to go.~  She stood up, went  over  to  the
computer, and connected to the Internet.
   ~I  have this computer sitting here, I might as well  get
some  use  out of it.~  She connected to the Microsoft  home
page and downloaded Microsoft Alarm Clock.
   ~I am not gonna sleep in tomorrow.~
   * * * * *
   Author's Notes:
   Bets she's gonna sleep in tomorrow?  :)
   This chapter led us slightly astray from the outline, but
we  managed to sledgehammer it back on course.  Comments and
Criticism   can  be  sent  to   or   to
   Enjoy! (?)