Magical Girl Pretty Ruri
Episode Three: A Tangled Web
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.
   "Sometimes, I feel like I can get used to this new world.
Sometimes,  it is enough to drive me insane.  Everyone  here
is  just a reflection of the way they were in reality.   And
although  they are nice, I can't get used to the  fact  that
they don't act the way they used to.
   "But since I can't figure out where I am, I might as well
get used to it."
   Tail Kinker and Kitsy present
   *Magical Girl Pretty Ruri*
   Episode Three:
   A Tangled Web
   "Ruri!  Hurry up, you're late!"
   Ruri  blinked  and sat up.  "You've got to  be  kidding!"
She glanced over at the computer screen.
   Her  computer monitor was a pleasant shade of blue,  with
white text.  She squinted to read it.
   "Bill  Gates no baka."  She jumped out of bed, grabbed  a
school uniform and ran for the bathroom.
   The  cat  hopped up in front of the computer.  He  tapped
the spacebar once with a paw.  The screen cleared back to  a
picture of Sailor V, and the cat was knocked flying  by  the
blaring of the alarm clock program.
   Ruri  turned  around, clicked off the  alarm  clock,  and
scowled at the cat.
   The cat shrugged.  "Well, it works."
   * * * * *
   "At least I have time for breakfast.  Just for a change."
   Ruri  rounded the corner of the stairs, one hand  on  the
bannister.  She froze in shock.
   "Mars Star Power, Make-UP!"
   Ruri twitched.
   "Oh, yeah.  We have a television set."
   "Hey,  sleepyhead."  Megumi was seated in  front  of  the
television  set.  "I thought I'd come early,  just  to  make
sure you got up in time."
   "You're mean."
   "Am  I?"  Megumi shrugged.  "Y'know, the Sailor Senshi  I
saw was a lot ditzier than Usagi."
   Ruri's  mother  stuck her head out the  doorway.   "Who's
   "Sorry, Hoshino-san!"
   Ruri   filed  another  fact  away:   Her  mother's  name,
apparently, was Usagi.
   She  twitched again.  It was not shaping up to be a  good
   Ruri walked into the kitchen, grabbed a bowl of soup, and
sat  down  at the table.  Her mother sat down opposite  her,
and dropped a sheaf of paper in front of her.
   "Mind explaining this?"
   It was her astronomy test.
   "Utopia Mars Colony?"
   ~I  must have been out of it more than I thought.  Utopia
Colony is on Mars, not at Lagrange Two.~
   "All  this  is pure fantasy.  Well, not all of  it.   But
still...I swear, you watch entirely too much anime."
   "I don't--"
   "Oh,  come  on!  These last couple of days are the  first
I've  not  needed  a  crowbar  to  get  you  away  from  the
television.  And obviously, you're going into withdrawal!  I
think  you're corrupting Megumi as well -- she told  me  the
same  wild story, about the ice cream parlor being  attacked
by a monster."
   Ruri leaned back in her chair.  "What?"
   "Mercury just threw up a smoke screen, to blind a  Youma.
Then used some sort of sensor to spot for Sailor Moon!"
   Ruri blinked.
   "Good  morning!   How  are my two favourite  ladies  this
morning?"   Ruri's father walked into the kitchen, newspaper
in   hand.   "Usagi,  you're  not  going  to  believe  this.
According  to the paper, a monster of some sort  attacked  a
local ice cream parlor..."
   "You're  kidding!"  Ruri's mother grabbed the  paper  and
read  it  quickly.  She shook her head, dropping the  paper.
"Ruri,  you  really  shouldn't go to dangerous  places  like
   * * * * *
   "Did you remember your bento this morning?"
   "Hai."   Ruri  raised  it.  "Mom wouldn't  let  me  leave
without it."
   "We've  got self-study first period.  You'll be  able  to
   "I got enough sleep last night.  I'll be all right."
   "Who said that?"
   Ruri blinked, and looked over at the fence.  The cat  was
pacing the two girls.
   "What are you doing here?"
   The  cat  jumped over onto her shoulder.   She  staggered
slightly -- it was not a light cat.
   "Hey, isn't that the cat you kicked Wednesday?"
   "Yes.  It sort of adopted me."
   "What's its name?"
   She  shrugged, nearly dislodging the animal.   "Mostly  I
just call it Cat."
   "It has an H on its forehead.  Kawaii!"
   Ruri  frowned.  "H?"  She picked up the cat and  examined
   ~That's not precisely an H...the top lines are too  close
together,  and the crossbar is very thick...Nadesico!   It's
the outline of the ship!~
   "Hmmm...he needs a name.  How about...Nadesico?"
   The cat shook its head.
   "No?  Omoikane?"
   The cat nodded slowly, looking pleased.
   Ruri  nearly  dropped the cat.  ~It IS  Omoikane!   Or  a
reflection...but still...~   "All right, Omoikane it is."
   * * * * *
   "Good morning class.  I have two announcements to make.
   "First, we are graced with a rare presence.  Hoshino Ruri
has  decided  that  she would deign to honour  us  with  her
presence  this morning.  Welcome;  home room is  probably  a
new experience for you."
   "Second,  we  have  a transfer student.   Please  welcome
Misumaru Yurika."
   ~Huh?~   Ruri looked up.  Sure enough, it was the Captain
of  the Nadesico...though in a school uniform.  Her hair was
pulled  back  into  a simple ponytail,  bound  with  a  blue
   Yurika bowed to the class.  "Good morning...My father was
doing  duties overseas, and we just returned to Japan.   Our
ship  came  in  only  two days ago.   My  interests  include
computer games, wargames and sports."
   ~Two days ago...when all this silliness started...~
   "Thank  you, Misumaru-san.  Please sit at Row four,  seat
   Ruri  realized with a start that that was right  next  to
her.   She  watched Yurika make her way back  to  the  fifth
rank.   ~Looks kind of spaced out...of course,  for  Yurika,
that's  normal.   Also  looks rather young...but  I  suppose
she's supposed to be fourteen, like the rest of us.~
   Yurika  sat down next to Ruri, and flipped open  a  book.
The  teacher left, and the class started to degenerate  into
what was laughingly called "self study."
   Ruri turned to Yurika.  "Hi."
   "Hello, Ruri-type person."
   Yurika  was  definitely in a daze.   "You're  not  really
Ruri,  I  know.  You're just a reflection.  After  all,  all
these people are just reflections.  Not the real person."
   "Yurika, I'm real."
   "Yep.  Of course you are.  Everyone is real."
   "You're not making a lot of sense."
   "Of course not."
   Ruri  had a flash of insight.  "You made more sense  when
you were captain."
   "Yeah, but I'm not captain now, am I?"
   Ruri  grinned.   Sort of.  "Well, at  least  the  war  is
   Yurika  just about gave herself whiplash.  "'re
   "I think I said that.  Baka."
   "No, you're really real!  I mean, you're you."
   "Last time I checked."
   "Status report?"
   Ruri  blinked.  "Yurika...we're not on the Nadesico right
   "Oh...sorry.  Have you figured out what's going on?"
   "Me either."  She sighed.  "Does anybody else remember?"
   "No.   I've  seen others, but they're not real.   Megumi,
Yukina, Ryoko, Akito--"
   "Akito?"   Her  eyes lit up.  "My prince,  my  knight  in
shining  armour!  He can help us!  Whenever I'm in  trouble,
he always turns up!"
   "Lean...he's a little old for you, too.  Besides, I think
Ruri already has dibs."
   If  looks could kill, Ruri would be crimson mist and bone
   "He's just a reflection, Yurika.  He's us."
   Megumi leaned in from the other side.  "What are you  two
talking about, anyway?"
   Yurika paused, mouth agape, one finger raised, trying  to
think of some way to answer the question.
   * * * * *
   Ruri and Yurika sat alone together at lunchtime, under  a
convenient  sakura  tree.  Ruri was sitting  on  her  heels,
knees together to form a convenient place for the bento, her
back against the tree;  Yurika was lying on her back, ankles
crossed,  looking up at the tree.  They had spent  the  last
ten minutes bringing each other up to date.
   "Basically,  I just wandered around, until  I  found  the
school.  I had no idea where it was, and no-one like  Megumi
to lead me there.  My transfer papers were open-ended, so  I
just had to lie to Father until I found the place."
   Ruri  nodded.  "I know the feeling.  Nothing was familiar
for  me, either, even places that supposedly I had been many
   Ruri looked up.  "Omoikane!"
   "The computer is here?"
   "Sort  of.   I  think it's just a reflection."   The  cat
jumped down and nestled in her lap.
   "'re a Sailor Senshi?"
   Omoikane scowled at Ruri.
   Ruri  winced;   already,  she regretted  admitting  that.
Even  though  her  commanding officer had requested  a  full
   "Complete with Love Arrows?"
   "No.  No Love Arrows."
   "So you're not one of those cute anime princesses?"
   A  few minutes passed.  Ruri finished off her lunch, then
turned back to Yurika.
   "Captain...what was the last thing you remember?"
   "Before all this started?"
   "Hmmm...I  was on the bridge.  We had just initiated  the
Boson  Jump.  The Boson field was still forming  around  us,
there was a flash...and then my alarm clock went off."
   "Yours too, huh?"
   "Yeah!  Who sets an alarm clock for six in the morning?"
   Ruri blinked.
   "For  some reason, the last three days, I've been getting
up at six AM.  I can't even try to sleep in."
   "I hate you."
   "Hey,  you  two!  You going to be anti-social  all  day?"
Megumi  and Yukina walked up to the girls, bentos  in  hand.
"Can we join you?"
   Ruri shrugged.  "Why not?"
   Megumi  sat  down next to Ruri, chin on her  knees.   She
sighed, looking down at her feet.
   "What's wrong, Megumi?"
   "That  beetle that attacked us  shoes  got
all  torn  up.  So I'm stuck wearing a pair of  older  ones.
And I don't know how much longer they're going to hold out."
   "Lean...Stare...Didn't that style go out last month?"
   Megumi wailed.  "I know!  They're so last season!"
   "Perk!   Hey,  there's a sale at the ND department  store
this week!  Two for one sale!"
   "Yeah, but the styles at ND are almost five minutes old!"
   "But  you can't beat the prices!  And two for one on  top
of that!"
   "It's  agreed,  then."   Megumi struck  a  pose.   "After!"
   * * * * *
   The girls were walking in pairs, Megumi and Yukina ahead,
Ruri  and Yurika behind them.  Omoikane was riding on Ruri's
   "So what do you call yourself?"
   Ruri  shrugged.   "It's not like I  give  interviews.   I
don't have a name for my alternate form."
   "What  was  it  the Jovians called you?  The  Golden-Eyed
   "I am not using that."
   "How about the Golden Angel?"
   "No.  No need for angels."
   "Mighty Morphing--"
   "Don't say it, or I'll hurt you."
   "Hmmm...well, I'll think about it, and get back  to  you.
I'm  sure  I can come up with something."  Yurika  shrugged.
"How long till the ice cream parlor is fixed?"
   "Maybe a couple of days.  It's really popular."
   "Yep!   It's probably Akito!  He probably was drawing  in
all the crowds."
   "Akito seems as popular here as he was back home."
   "Well, they're all out of luck.  Because Akito loves  me,
no-one else!"  Yurika had hearts in her eyes.  "And one look
at  me, and he'll fall madly in love with me, and everything
will be all right again..."
   "Stare...she  really  lives in a fantasy  world,  doesn't
   "Yeah,  she's never even seen the guy, and she's  already
convinced that she's the one for him."
   "Maybe she thinks she's living out a manga?"
   "Well, she can forget about it.  Akito really likes me!"
   "Blink...I though it was Ruri he was chasing?"
   "No, it's Ruri chasing him!"
   "Baka bakka."
   "Kuso..."   Megumi  stopped, scowling at  the  department
store door.
   "What's the problem?"
   "The sale's over.  Sold out."
   "So we'll have to go somewhere else for shoes?"
   "  says  here,  that they  have  other  shoes  for
sale...just not two for one."
   "Bait and switch.  Isn't that illegal?"
   "Oh,  well..."   Megumi pushed open the department  store
door, and the girls filed in.
   The  ND  Department  Store  was  larger  than  most,  but
compared to the shops Ruri remembered from Peaceland, it was
miniscule.  One could look over all the stock in, oh,  three
or four days, tops.
   "Hey, you!  No pets allowed!"
   Ruri  blinked, then reluctantly set Omoikane down.  "I'll
be out shortly."
   Omoikane  couldn't say anything -- no need  to  blow  his
cover -- but his expression clearly said, "Hustle!"
   The  Footwear department was on the second floor  of  the
store.   Megumi  immediately dived in  and  started  sorting
   "Too  pointy...too small...too yellow...too  ugly...These
are  nice."   She  looked at the shoes appraisingly.   "Very
nice, indeed."
   "Hmm?"  Megumi looked up at Ruri.
   "Why so much difficulty in picking a pair of shoes?"
   "You never really got into fashion, did you?  Ruri, shoes
are  an  expression of a person's soul.  They say, `This  is
how I approach life.'"
   "So  you  approach  life...loudly,  fitting  poorly,  and
clashing with everything else?"
   "Well...yeah.  What do you guys want to do next?"
   "Well,  I'm  a  little  hungry..."   Ruri  trailed   off,
realizing what she'd just said.  ~Baka.~
   The  response was instant.  "Ruri..."  Wow, stereo, even.
"You're always hungry!"
   Ruri rolled her eyes.  "Food court.  Let's go."
   "Ruri and food...almost as much a natural law as Ruri and
sleeping in."
   Yurika looked puzzled.  "What do they mean?"
   "Stare...Oh, you don't know Ruri very well, do you?"
   "Ruri is always hungry.  And she always sleeps in."
   "I am not.  Reality just has it in for me recently."
   "Ruri,  I've  known you since you were six.  Reality  has
had it in for you for at least the last eight years."
   * * * * *
   The  doors  of the store opened to the sound of  screams.
Omoikane ran up and jumped into Ruri's arms.
   Megumi looked around.  "What's going on?  Another monster
   "Let's go see!"
   "Yukina!"  Megumi followed her.  "Wait up!"
   Ruri  drooped.  "I think I'm going to have to  save  them
again.  Omoikane, what's going on?"
   "It's another golem attack.  Several of them, this time."
   "Wow, the cat really does talk!"
   Omoikane  blinked  at Yurika.  "And  why  have  you  been
telling this person all your secrets?"
   "Yurika remembers where we came from."
   "Really?"  Omoikane stared at Yurika hard enough to  make
her sweat.  "Yes...yes!  She is Shugotenshi!"
   The  cat  did a back flip, and a small stick, similar  to
Ruri's  Kasei  no  Henshin, appeared.  The  cat  batted  the
silver Henshin Stick to Yurika.
   "Pick it up and say, `Mars Warrior Make-up!'"
   "You've got to be kidding!"
   "There  are multiple golems in there.  They are attacking
innocent  bystanders.  Are you just going to  sit  back  and
watch them all die?"
   Yurika's  features set, and she picked  up  the  Henshin.
Straightening,  she held the Henshin at  arm's  length,  and
said, "Mars Warrior Make-UP!"
   For   the  first  time,  Ruri  was  able  to  watch   the
transformation effect from the third-person point  of  view.
The  light  came first, blinding her momentarily.   When  it
passed,  Yurika's body was all a-glitter, no details visible
to  the eye.  Flames seemed to dance around her, burning the
clothing off of her, then reforming itself into a short  red
skirt,  white bodysuit, thigh-height red boots, elbow-length
red  gloves  and the same stupid bow at the  back,  red  and
white  striped.  Her hair lightened, and shifted to a flame-
red  colour.  A silver tiara, with a single red gem centered
in  it,  appeared on her brow.  The Henshin stick lengthened
and curved in on itself, becoming a silver bow.
   Ruri smirked.  "Looks like you have the bow."
   "NOOOOOO!!!  I look stupid!"
   Omoikane  blinked.  "'re almost as  flat-chested
as Ruri."
   "Do you want to live?"
   Ruri  raised the Kasei no Henshin.  "Mars Guardian, Make-
   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  the
blue  skirt,  tight-fitting golden bodysuit  and  long  blue
boots  and  gloves.  The tiara formed on her brow,  and  the
Henshin lengthened to quarterstaff proportions.
   "Omoikane...what magical attacks does Yurika have?"
   "The  bow  allows for ranged fire, much like your  plasma
pistol.   She  can  also call Flare Punch, for  a  superheat
physical attack."
   " I have to say `Flare Punch?'"
   "Yes!  It adds drama."
   "Right.  Let's go kill some golems!"
   * * * * *
   "Ki!  Our master needs ki!"
   Standing  in  the middle of the room was a  large,  green
figure.   Four  legs,  scythe-like arms,  triangular  heads,  looked mostly like a giant Praying  Mantis.   It
slowly  looked  around, surveying the  destruction.   Tables
were  overturned, food and drinks were spilled, and  half  a
dozen people lay scattered about on the floor, unconscious.
   Several smaller creatures milled about.  They were  giant
beetles,  yellow  carapace, eight  black  legs,  four  small
glowing  eyes.   One was drawing the life-energy  out  of  a
victim, the energy flowing into the creature's eyes.
   A flame-arrow slammed into the beetle, demolishing it.  A
second  arrow  slammed  into  the  floor  in  front  of  the
OverGolem.  Slowly, the creature looked up, to see  the  two
Mars Senshi on a second-level balcony.
   "In the name of the Martian Empire, and by the honour  of
the Martian Successors..."
   "Prepare to be punished!"
   The OverGolem smirked.  "And who exactly are you two?"
   "I am Yurika!  And this is Magical Girl" - she pointed at
Ruri with two fingers in a V - "Pretty Ruri!"
   Ruri twitched.  "Please don't say that again."
   The  OverGolem laughed evilly.  "I don't think I have  to
take  you two seriously.  Your ki will serve my master  just
as well as these pathetic weaklings."
   "Oh,  yeah?"  Yurika raised the bow, and pulled back  the
string.   A  flaming arrow appeared at her fingertips.   She
fired  it  directly at the see it bounce  off
   "Um...that's not good."
   Ruri  sighed.  "It's one of the stronger ones.  You  have
to hit the underside."
   "You won't get that chance!  Golems -- attack!"
   Yurika jumped, fists at her mouth.  "Those are spiders!"
   "Very  observant."   Ruri raised her staff.   "Distortion
   "I  hate spiders!  And those are Jovian spiders!  I  hate
them more!"
   "So kill them."
   Yurika  fired off a stream of flaming arrows,  vaporizing
four   more  spider-golems.   The  remaining  golems   began
climbing the walls, approaching them rapidly.
   "I'm not sure my Distortion Field can hold back that many
golems.  We'd better move."
   The  two  Senshi jumped down to the floor,  Ruri  landing
near    the   fountain,   Yurika   landing   on   a   table.
Unfortunately,  the  table was balanced on  one  point...She
flipped off the table and landed, rather painfully,  on  her
   Several  golems  took the opportunity to  close  on  her.
Yurika  jumped  to her feet, drew back a fist,  and  called,
"Flare Punch!"
   Her  hand  glowed a bright red, rippling with heat.   She
punched  a golem directly in the head.  The impact caved  in
the beast's skull, and the heat-blast vaporized the rest  of
   "Ick!  Spider guts..."
   Ruri  had pulled her plasma pistol and was rapidly baking
down  golems.  Unfortunately, there were rather more on  her
than  on Yurika.  One hit her from behind, knocking her face
   "Yurika!  Fire support, please!"
   "Right!"   Yurika drew back a fire arrow and launched  it
at  the spider.  Ruri realized a moment too late that  given
Yurika's accuracy, this could really sting...
   But  the arrow slammed into the spider, setting it alight
and  flipping it back into the fountain.  A cloud  of  steam
rose from it.  Ruri's eyes widened.
   "Yurika!  Get ready with a Flare Punch!"  She raised  the
plasma  pistol  and shot a sprinkler in the ceiling.   Water
began to fall as the fire control system was triggered.
   "Flare   Punch!"   The  heat  of  the  attack   instantly
converted  the falling water to steam, obscuring vision  all
through the food court.
   "Where are you?"  The OverGolem cast about, trying to see
through  the steam.  "I can't see..."  Suddenly, it  paused,
at the feel of a plasma pistol placed just under its chin.
   "Oh, hell..."
   The  creature, now headless, staggered back a  few  steps
and  collapsed.   Without direction from the OverGolem,  the
remaining spider-golems crumbled to dust.
   Yurika raised two fingers.  "V!"
   * * * * *
   Yurika  flopped down in the beanbag chair and  stretched.
Ruri,  laying on the bed, rolled over, picked up  the  alarm
clock, and tossed it out the window.
   "Huh?  What'd you do that for?"
   "I've  wanted  to  do that ever since I  first  saw  that
   "No school tomorrow!  We can sleep in!"
   "Where'd you get the idea for using the sprinklers?"
   " was on Sailor Moon this morning."
   Omoikane  piped up.  "Episode Eight.  Except that  Mizuno
Ami  can generate her own fog.  And Sailor Moon uses a tiara
instead of a blaster."
   "It's a style thing."
   * * * * *
   Authors notes:
   You  may  have  noticed that switched over to  using  the
Japanese  names/phrases for any Sailor Moon stuff that  pops
up.  We decided against DICing around with this series... :)
   We  got  a request for "more silliness", and we  tried  -
really, we did - to add a little more in this chapter.   Ah,
well...there are just limits to how silly TailKinker can let
things get.  Kitsy, on the other paw...
   Comments   and   Criticisms  can  be   sent   to   either  or  to    We   haven't
received  any  flames yet...I guess this  is  a  good  sign.
Hopefully, TailKinker will soon have this posted to his home
page,  at  Or, we  might  just
open a new page just for this beast.