Child of Hope Chapter 10


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Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is the property of Naoko Takuechi. Chrono Crusade is the property of Daisuke Moriyama. The series cameo referenced in this chapter is the property of Kenichi Sonada.
Child of Hope
By Bissek
Chapter 10

Captain Fujita was of mixed opinion of how his day was going. On one hand, he now had two promising leads that could potentially lead to the Tokyo Police identifying who the people responsible for the monsters plaguing the streets were, and from there hopefully dealing with them once and for all. On the other, the main ally the police had in this matter was becoming even more mysterious by the minute.

While the information that S. Chrono had provided the police had enabled them to successfully fight against the Daimons, Fujita knew nothing about the man himself, not even what the S stood for. A routine check into his background had revealed absolutely nothing - not nothing out of the ordinary, nothing. There was no record of him ever entering the country, no record of what his nation of origin was, no record of him even being born, for that matter. The articles about Chrono since he had been witnessed facing off against the Daimons were the most detailed pieces of information about him that anyone could find.

And that part of the mystery was something he had known about before two old friends of his showed up to complain about how he hadn't written since he had faked his death seventy years earlier. If Fujita had been asked to guess at Chrono's age from his physical appearance, he would have estimated that he was in his early twenties. Now it seemed that he was a survivor of the Battle of Pandemonium (Which also did not exist in the public record) in which the demon race was exterminated, making him in his nineties at least.

What else was Chrono hiding? While Fujita could hardly reject any help being offered in dealing with the current situation, the fact that he knew nothing about his ally whatsoever was troubling. Perhaps looking into his old friends would reveal something.

As Fujita started in on some of the backlog of paperwork on his desk, a knock was heard at his office door.

"Come in." He said. The sketch artist he had sent to interview Officer Fujiwara entered.

"I have the composite sketches of the two suspects finished Captain. We should have enough copies made to start distributing them by tomorrow morning."

"Good. Have the copies left with the duty sergeant so he can hand them out at the morning shift briefing. These women are responsible for killing three officers and crippling a third, and they are not going to get away with it."

"Crippling? Didn't you hear the news about Fujiwara, sir?"

"What news?"

"Most of his injuries just spontaneously healed a few hours ago. He should be free to leave the hospital in a week or so. Nobody's sure how this happened, but the doctors are convinced that that Chrono person had something to do with it."

Yet another thing that the department owed Chrono for. And another mystery. Aritomo was starting to hate mysteries.

"That's good news, at least. Was there anything else?"

"Just an idea one of the people in the armory had. He figures he can modify some tear gas grenades to spray that stuff that's being used in the anti-Daimon bullets. Maybe that will slow the things down a little."
Aritomo didn't know if the oils in the Sacreds would work as a gas, but then he didn't really understand why the Sacreds worked on Daimons when regular bullets didn't either. It was worth trying out, at least. If it worked, then the police would have one more weapon to use to protect the city, one which couldn't hurt civilians if an officer's aim was off, at that.

"Tell him to make enough for some field tests." He ordered.
Three people stepped through the portal in Tokyo and emerged on a floating island hovering over Mount Fuji.

"Welcome to Eden." Chrono said to his old friends.

"It's been a long time since I was last up here." Azmaria reminisced.

"Why don't I show you both around?" Leading the other two past a large tree, he cautioned them not to eat the fruit.

"Why? Will it give us forbidden knowledge?" Beth asked.

"No, it just isn't ripe. I planted the tree back in '35. I figured that given the name of this place, we had to have an apple tree."

Later on in the tour he showed them an enormous pipe organ. Azmaria recognized it immediately.

"Why is this still here? Don't you remember how dangerous that organ can be?" She demanded?"

"Azmaria, the power of the Astral Organ can only be used by an Apostle, and you're the only Apostle who's been to Eden in the past seventy years. To anyone else, it's just a musical instrument. One of these days I might even get around to learning how to play it."

The tour continued through the rest of the floating island until they reached the door to Shader's lab.

"And this is where Shader spends all her time. And I mean that literally. Once I left her enough food for a week and locked her in. When I came seven days later I couldn't any evidence that she'd even noticed."

"She's still around?" Azmaria asked, remembering the catgirl Sinner.

"Who do you think has been making all the devices I've been selling over the years? I'm not an engineer. She's the only other survivor of the Sinners."

"So Aion's definitely gone?"

"Oh, yes. My brother's body was scattered across the Pacific Ocean shortly after you left Pandemonium." The hate Chrono had for his old enemy still lingered in his voice.

"It's amazing that nothing about that battle ever made the papers." Beth commented.

"Come on, Beth," Chrono joked, happy to take his mind off of Aion, "If you tried to tell anyone that the real reason for the great tidal wave of '24 was because a mentally disturbed teenager who'd had horns grafted to the side of his head used a magic pipe organ to cause an ancient alien refugee ship to rise off the ocean floor and teleport to Seattle, who'd believe you?"

"He's right," Azmaria agreed. "I actually wrote a book about the war, but I realized that if I ever tried to publish it, I'd probably get committed. The manuscripts still sitting on a shelf at home somewhere. But you'd think that the official explanation would be wearing thin. Sooner or later somebody's going to send an oceanographic research expedition down there, and when they do, they'll find that there's no meteor down there and never was."

"At which point the conspiracy theorists will go into overdrive trying to figure out who was hiding what, and I really doubt that they'll even get close to the truth." Beth added in. "Now, I believe you were going to introduce us to someone?"
"That's right." Chrono opened the door. "Shader!" He called out. "We've got company!"

A pair of cat ears popped up over a pile of half-finished machines. "Company? Did you bring that cute Apostle girl up here?"

Azmaria chuckled, "I'm glad to see you remember me after all these years."

Shader emerged from behind the pile, dusting off her solder-spotted work apron. Seeing the two women with Chrono, she paused, trying to figure out if she knew one of them.

"You're... one of the Apostles that Aion brought here to deal with Pandemonium?"

"Yes. It's been a very long time, Shader." Azmaria replied. Then she got a good look at the logo on Shader's apron and had a double take.

"Chrono got it for me the last time he was in Chicago. Isn't it nice?"

Nice or not, it was certainly appropriate. As the world's only catgirl weapons engineer, Shader had every right to consider herself a Gunsmith Cat.
"I keep trying and trying, but Rosette just won't wake up. Then Chrono came in, gently lifted her out of her bed, and tossed her out the window." Azmaria reminisced sipping her drink.

"Didn't those dorms face the pond?" Beth asked.

"Yup." Chrono nodded. "There was a tremendous splash, and then Rosette climbed back in, soaking wet, and spat out a fish."

"And then Chrono innocently commented that she no longer needed to worry about showering that morning, or going down for breakfast either." Azmaria continued. "At which point Rosette said."

"I like my fish fresh, but not THAT fresh!" The two said in unison before they all burst out laughing.

"It's nice to be able to reminisce about the old times." Azmaria said. "There aren't many of left."

"How many are there, other than us?" Chrono asked.

"Claire's still alive." Beth said. "She's in New York. She took over as head of the Order's Militia in North America after Sister Kate died."

"And possibly Satella and Fiore. That's about it."

"Azmaria, there's no way those two survived. They weren't on Pandemonium after Aion died, and if they'd gotten off earlier, someone would have noticed." Chrono objected.

"I know exactly where they are, Chrono. They turned up a couple months ago."

Chrono spit out his drink.

"You're kidding."

"A few months ago a fishing trawler dredged up an exquisitely detailed crystal sculpture of two women out of Puget Sound. It's definitely them. I don't know how they did that to themselves or if they're still alive in there, but it's them."

"Do you think you could bring the statue over here?" Shader asked. "I think I might be able to figure out how to get them out if I get a chance to study it."

"I bought the statue. I can have it shipped to Japan. It'll take a few weeks, but I should be able to get it delivered without too much trouble."

"It would be nice to see them again." Chrono agreed, then sighed, remembering yet another long-gone friend.

After delivering that piece of potentially good news, Azmaria decided to broach a subject that she had been wondering about for decades.
"Chrono?" She asked, "What happened on Pandemonium after we all left?"

"It was a nightmare," Chrono said flatly. "Oh, not the fight with Aion. That was actually rather anticlimatic. When Rosette destroyed his sword, she took away his ability to absorb Astral. He didn't have my decades of experience in using as little power as necessary, so by the time I confronted him, he barely had the strength to stand. It was over after the first pass.

"The problem was cleaning up the mess he had left behind. Pandemonium was dying, and Shader and I had to get rid of the pieces in such a way that its Legion wouldn't scatter across the world and infect anything that crossed their path. And while that was going on, every single surviving Pursuer was rampaging through the corridors, attacking anything that crossed their paths.

Chrono shuddered. "It was ghastly. Aion's geas had driven them all hopelessly mad. There was no way to cure them. And even if I could, that would have simply changed things so that they were attacking because they knew who I was rather than because they knew I didn't. Fortunately the geas warped most of them to the point that I couldn't recognize who they had once been. I could ignore the fact that many of them had probably been people I had once known. So I could fight and kill and kill until Shader and I were the only demons still alive at the end of the seven year bloodbath.

"There are times when I wonder how much history would have changed if I'd taken Duffau's hand instead of Aion's that day a hundred and twenty four years ago. If things would have turned out better if I had turned against my insane twin a few months earlier and ended the rebellion then and there. Maybe then things would have changed so that the conflict between humans and demons could have been ended by something other than genocide.

"And then there are times that I wonder if the real reason our people had such a strong prohibition against killing each other is because once we get started we don't know when it's time to stop."

As Chrono refilled his glass, he looked like he was considering drinking the rest of the scotch right out of the bottle.
Katamari Makimachi looked over his notes. It looked like he had another line of investigation to pursue. Chrono's speech at the race track made it difficult to investigate him directly without being seen as trying to interfere with his efforts to protect the city from the Daimons. And that would be very bad for the career of the reporter caught doing so and the business of the paper he worked for. So he had to find an indirect method of gathering information.

But then he got the news of an unusual incident at Juuban General where Chrono was confronted by two old women who claimed to have known him from the twenties, one of whom even claimed to be his in-law (A claim that Chrono made no attempt to refute). Looking up names that were dropped in that conversation, he found nothing on Dr Elizabeth Grunberg or the late Rosette Christopher (Unsurprisingly, as the Tokyo Times saw no reason to keep records on people who lived in other countries or had been dead for decades unless they had done something noteworthy), there was a record on the other person present.
Azmaria Hendric Christopher. Owner and former CEO of the Hendric Group, a chain of hotels and casinos operating across Europe and North America. Born Azmaria Cantor in Fatima, Portugal in 1912. Orphaned in 1920, taken in as a singer by a local orchestra. Adopted by Ricardo Hendric after the mysterious death of everyone else in the orchestra in 1923. Orphaned again in 1924 after Ricardo died in an accident on his private blimp (Orphaned three times in five years. Katamari winced). Hired by a local church as a choir girl shortly afterwards, where she remained until taking over her adoptive father's business in 1930. Married a Joshua Christopher (Apparently a relative of Rosette Christopher) in 1932, which lasted until his death in 1981. Thanks to the success of her inherited business, she and her family were quite rich.

Now, how best to follow up on this? Just reporting the existence of a connection wasn't enough to make a decent story, he needed to develop this a little. The record on Mrs Christopher stated that the Hendric group had briefly tried expanding into Japan, only to give up due to the extreme cost of local real estate after building a single hotel in Tokyo. A little more research revealed that that hotel was still in business. Since she owned the hotel, that would undoubtedly be where she would stay while in the area. A message left there would be sure to reach her.

Reaching for a sheet of paper and a pen, Katamari started writing a letter requesting an interview.
The Senshi gathered in Rei's living room, discussing the latest developments in the fight against the Death Busters. The conversation had ultimately drifted to the subject of their unexpected and mysterious ally.

"So you're saying that upon hearing a brief description of the time disruption that happened more than seventy years ago, he was able to identify what had happened, where it had happened, and why?" Setsuna inquired doubtfully.

"That's what he claimed," Rei confirmed. "Though why he was so immediately familiar with an incident that had happened that long ago is beyond me."

"He might have known someone that was there," Ami suggested.

"How could that happen?" Haruka objected. "The man's in his twenties. Thirty, tops."

"Mom actually managed to get home in time for dinner last night," Ami began. The other Inners nodded, knowing that her mother's work kept her away from home for long hours often enough to make that an unusual occurrence. "She mentioned that she was visited by a retired doctor who had treated someone who had suffered life energy draining at the start of her career. After they finished their discussions, they ran into Chrono - at which point the visiting doctor asked him why he hadn't written since she had entered medical school in 1922."

There was a pause as the other Senshi wrapped their minds around that. "Could she have mistaken him for someone else? If she entered medical school in the early twenties, she'd have to be around ninety years old." Michiru asked hopefully.

"Not unless he was in on it. He knew her by name. He also knew another lady who was only slightly younger who claimed to be his sister-in-law."
"But how could he live that long and look so young?" Usagi wondered.

"Says a girl who will still be able to have children at the age of a thousand." Makoto pointed out, nodding at Chibi-Usa.

"Are you suggesting that he's a Senshi?" Minako asked.

"He probably isn't a Senshi, but he definitely isn't normal." Rei countered. There were nods of agreement to this. "Though one thing he said when he last visited makes me think I know who has the Talismans."

"Who?" The others all wanted to know.

"When I mentioned them to him, he said that they were undoubtedly lost forever, as the odds of a reincarnation happening naturally are so low as to be effectively impossible. And he went into some detail in explaining exactly why. Now tell me - how many people can you think of who have reincarnated through unnatural means?"

There was a pause as the other Senshi realized what Rei was getting at.
Eudial looked over her notes. It had taken her a while, but she had found a weakness in the city's defenses against the Death Busters. While she had not been able to find any way to predict the movements of the Senshi, Chrono, or the new octogenarian magical girl who had turned up, the response time for police officers equipped to fight daimons had revealed something interesting.

Not every police officer in Juuban was so equipped. And given the rough area where the officers who could stand up to the Death Busters were found was a pretty close match to the area of responsibility for a single police precinct, which implied that this was where they were all based.
Eudial wasn't sure why only one precinct out of the hundred precincts in the city had the anti-Daimon bullets, but there was a good chance that it was simply that they had yet to acquire enough to distribute them to everyone. If that was the case, then the fact that they had been proven to be effective against Daimons meant that sooner or later they would do so. And that could be troublesome. Four hundred odd men capable of resisting the Death Busters was an irritant. Forty thousand odd such men could be a serious threat.

There were two things she could do with this information. First, she would focus heart crystal activities to parts of the city away from the one dangerous precinct. That would reduce the number of possible threats to just the Senshi and their immediate allies. Second, she would make an example of that precinct. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police had challenged the Death Busters, and she would teach them a lesson. Once the precinct that had dared to resist had been destroyed and its men wiped out, the others would know better than to challenge the power of Pharoah 90.

Grabbing a few sheets of blank paper, Eudial started planning her assault on the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
The Council of Bishops gathered around the table. The chief executive body of the Magdalen Order hadn't faced a major crisis in the lifetime of any of the current members, but now it appeared that they were facing one.

"So the Ignoble One still lives," One of them said, "I thought he had been executed seventy years ago."

"He was supposed to have been," Another agreed, "It seems that the agent who had been dispatched to do so either failed to finish him off or simply lied about doing it. Since the Minister died fifty years ago, we can't exactly ask him."

"If Chrono is still alive, how many other demons might have survived?" A third asked, clearly worried, "We don't have the numbers we did when Pandemonium was destroyed. If they rise again, we aren't ready for another war."

"Then we'll just have to destroy them before they are."

There was further discussion, but the decision had effectively just been made. In the end their conclusion was simple: Seventy years before, the Council had ordered that all demons be hunted down and exterminated without exception. That order had never been rescinded and wasn't going to be changed now.
A/N: Has it really been five years since I updated this? Wow. I didn't intend for it to be that long, but I just found Kirika to be a more interesting character to write about than Chrono, and after finishing Black Hands, I got the idea for White Devil and ended up writing that instead of returning to this story. Fortunately, at this point I don't have any ideas for other stories that are developed enough to actually try to write them.

Sister Claire is an anime-only character. She's one of the three girls whose primary purpose is to gossip about how much stuff Rosette managed to accidentally destroy recently.

The defenestration incident did happen, in a manga-only story.

Cantor is Portuguese for singer.
A pleasant surprise to see this update once again.

So this is still a blend of the manga and anime?


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If you mean Chrono Crusade, primarily manga (As as far as I'm concerned the only anime only story that didn't suck was the Gabriel Hound episode).

There certainly isn't going to be the kind of recrimination over whose fault the end of the Moon Kingdom was as there was in White Devil. Chrono is barely aware of the existence of that civilization, and doesn't consider a long-gone society vaguely referenced in some fragmentary records to be relevant to dealing with the issues of the present. He honestly believes that Endymion started the war that ended opened for unknown reasons (Which for all he knows could have been justified), but that's because it was started by his Generals, who the ancient Banmaden had no way of knowing that they had been subverted by someone they'd never heard of.

Besides, Chrono once trashed a sizable portion of San Francisco because Aion crashed his date. He has no ground to stand on on the subject of doing foolish things in the name of love. He's also a condemned traitor (Only escaping the death penalty because he killed everyone who tried to execute it), so he can't exactly go on about failing one's responsibilities.