Child of Hope Chapter 12


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Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is the property of Naoko Takuechi. Chrono Crusade is the property of Daisuke Moriyama. You're Under Arrest is the property of Kosuke Fujishima.

Child of Hope
By Bissek
Chapter 12
Sonata of Death

The statue was unique in the world of art. Nobody knew who made it, when, or for that matter how. The life-size statue of two women, one of whom had collapsed dying in the arms of the other, was made from a single flawless green crystal. Geologists marveled at the sheer size of the work, amazed that a gemstone that size and quality could have been found to create such an artwork in the first place. Sculptors wondered at how such a creation could have been made without leaving a single tool mark anywhere on either figure. Art historians were puzzled as to how such an incredible piece could have been made without anyone having ever heard of it before it had been found by chance by a fishing boat.

The detail was exquisite. The injuries on the dying woman were depicted with painful accuracy, with cloth and flesh torn in the exact same manner that it would in a real person if cut with a blade. One of them was even so deep that an observer looking closely could see the rounded shape of a done inside the wound. The clothing of the two figures had folds and creases in the exact same places that similar dresses would if the wearer entered the poses held by the women in the statue. A very careful examiner could even make out individual strands of hair that had come loose from the styles of the wearers. It was almost as if someone had taken two living people and transmuted them into solid crystal.

Nobody knew who the two women depicted in the statue were, or what story it was supposed to tell. Since the dying woman was wearing clothing of an expensive cut while the other wore a dress more suited to a domestic, it was assumed that the statue was of a dying noblewoman being comforted by a loyal retainer. Thus it was referred to as The Fallen Lady.

But historians and archeologists had not been able to examine the statue for long. A bare two weeks after its discovery, The Fallen Lady had been purchased by retired hotelier Azmaria Christopher for a truly exorbitant sum and shipped to her home in Chicago. Researchers who had been clamoring for a chance to study it had protested, but to no avail. The Fallen Lady was moved into Mrs Christopher's private collection, and there was nothing they could do about it.

But now, the biggest mystery of the art world was being moved again. Wrapped in what looked like enough padding to stop a cannonball, the statue was carefully boxed up and loaded into a plane bound for Tokyo. What the owner was planning to do with the statue once it was there, nobody knew but the people waiting for it to arrive.

The scholars clamoring for a chance to study the statue would have been very surprised to learn that the woman who purchased it already knew the answers to all of their questions, and had since the moment she first laid eyes on it. But then again, if she'd told them, they almost certainly would not have believed her.


Captain Fujita had been called on to make a report to his superiors on many occasions over his long career in law enforcement. But this was the first time he'd ever been required to speak to superiors this high up. Normally he'd have to go talk with a commissioner, or the mayor. This was the first time he'd ever had to go before the National Public Safety Commission, along with a committee from the Diet. Generally only officers much higher in rank had to face scrutiny from a level that high.

"If the attack on your station is an act of war as you claimed, Captain, shouldn't this matter be deferred to the JSDF?" Representative Hino asked. "After all, fighting wars is what the military is for."

"At the moment, unless you're willing to have armed soldiers patrolling the streets alongside my officers, that wouldn't be useful." Fujita replied. "At the moment, we don't know where these so-called Death Busters are based, so until we can work that out, most of my manpower is dedicated to trying to respond to any possible attacks as soon as we hear about them. Once we do find their base, however, I wouldn't mind the extra firepower. I lost a lot of good men when they attacked us, and they probably have more of those daimons protecting their headquarters."

"So you're saying that you know nothing about these criminals?"

"Not exactly. We have positively identified two members of the organization, but have not been able to locate them. We also have a possible lead on a third, but do not have sufficient evidence to act on it just yet."

"I presume that the first two are the women whose pictures have been displayed in the news recently," A member of the commission commented. "Who is the third?"

"With respects, I cannot discuss that in an open meeting," Fujita objected, gesturing to the press representatives covering the hearing. "Until there is sufficient evidence to justify formally charging this person, I will not name said person in front of the press. If you wish to continue this discussion in a closed session, I will tell the commission what I have on this individual then."

His questioner noted something down on a piece of paper, then moved on to the next topic. "There are reports that the group known as the Sailor Senshi are working with the police on dealing with this situation. Why has the commission not been officially notified of this?"

"To the best of my knowledge, neither I nor anyone under my command is knowingly affiliated with the Sailor Senshi. They did show up to help lift the siege on the precinct, but that was something they apparently did of their own volition. If I had some level of authority over them, I'd have arranged for them to explain what they know about this gang long before Chrono arrived in town."

"And what about this Chrono? We know absolutely nothing about the man."

"That may be, but he's also the only reason we've been able to do anything about the current situation at all. Everything he's provided us so far has enabled us to fight against the daimons. A couple of my officers tried facing off against the daimons without the special ammunition after they ran out and were barely able to inconvenience them before they were killed. Unless we're willing to defer one area of national security to a pack of schoolgirls, we need Chrono and what he's willing to give us."

"Still, this commission would like to speak to Chrono-san as soon as possible."

"I will pass than on to him, sir."

After several more hours of questioning that didn't accomplish anything that Fujita could tell, he was finally permitted to return to the station. As he entered the building, he asked the desk sergeant if anything had broken on the Arimura case.

"I'm afraid not, sir." The man replied. "But that Chrono fellow stopped by earlier with some stuff he felt might be able to help when we find her. I think he left it in the garage."

Intrigued, Fujita went to the garage, noting the state of various repairs being made to the precinct on his way. When he reached his destination, it was obvious what had just been delivered. Lined up along one wall was a set of five motorcycle engines. Lying on top of one of them was a note, which the captain picked up and read.

I had these made in case some prospective buyer for the Tindalos wanted to run some of their own tests, but given what just happened, I think you'll be able to put them to better use.

Good hunting.

If those engines were what Fujita thought they were, then he definitely could use them. With these, if his men could find the witch responsible for the death of twenty six of their fellows, they could chase her down no matter how fast she tried to run. All he needed was to get them mounted in some bikes, and he knew exactly who to call on for that job. It would probably cost him a couple of the bikes once the case was closed, but that was a fair price for taking Arimura down. Hurrying to his office, he picked up his phone and called up the Bokutou traffic section.

"Kachou? It's Aritomo. I need to borrow Officer Kobayakawa for a couple days."


Azmaria had given a lot of interviews over the years. Most of them had been work related, pertaining in some way to the operations of the chain of hotels and casinos that she had been running for her entire adult life. A few had been more personal, the result of periodicals which obsessed over the minutiae of the lives of anyone with wealth or power. But this interview was different. For the first time, she was not giving an interview as Azmaria Christopher, millionaire hotelier. She was giving an interview as Azmaria Christopher, retired exorcist.

Given how she had publicly admitted to her connection to Chrono on two separate occasions since arriving in Japan, Azmaria supposed that the interview request was inevitable. Chrono's little speech at the race track may have convinced the press to leave him alone personally, but there was no way that they were going to give up on finding some way to get a story out of what was going on. Since she was far more experienced at dealing with the media than Beth was, Azmaria was the logical choice to be the one facing the press.

"Thank you for agreeing to meet with me, Christopher-san" Katamari Makimachi said.

"Not a problem, Makimachi-san," She replied. "I must say, this is the first time anyone's asked to interview me about my brief career as an exorcist."

"It certainly wasn't something that you had been advertising up until recently. Can you tell me how you ended up in such a line of work?"

Azmaria sighed as she thought back to a night seventy years past. "It started back when I was twelve, working as a singer at the Hotel Melda in Atlantic City. I had just discovered that the hotel's owner, Ricardo Hendric, had murdered my previous guardians to free me up for adoption."

The reporter froze. "You're joking,"

Azmaria shook her head. "Ricardo was an occultist. He was planning to use me in a ritual to resurrect his deceased wife, which, in retrospect, probably wouldn't have worked even if his assistant Leraije hadn't betrayed him partway through it. I tried to run away, and it was during my escape attempt that I ran into Rosette Christopher and her partner Chrono, who were there investigating Ricardo for the Order of Mary Magdalene.

"The two of them helped me get away and brought me to the Order. They protected me when Ricardo and Leraije came after me. Afterwards, they arranged for me to be able to take sanctuary with the Order when it became clear that others would be seeking me out for the same reason that those two did.

"After a while I decided that I didn't want to be protected. It's one thing to need to be rescued once. It's another to know that you're going to need to be rescued again. And again. And again. I didn't want to be perpetually helpless, so I went through exorcism training to learn how to protect myself. Ultimately, I became an exorcist out of self-defense."

"And how much did you continue to work with Chrono after that?"

"Pretty much constantly. I was assigned to Rosette's team the moment I finished basic training. The three of us worked together right up until Pandaemonium. Rosette was the exorcist, I was the assistant, and Chrono was our secret weapon, who we had cleverly disguised as the luggage boy."

"Luggage boy?" Makimachi inquired curiously.

"Most of the time Chrono's job was to lug the backpack we kept most of our gear in. If we actually needed him to directly involve himself in a case, it meant we were over our heads and sinking fast. Between the injuries he was still recovering from at the time and his anger management issues, it just wasn't safe for him to use his powers very often or for very long."

"I can't recall him doing anything suggesting that he has anger management problems here in Tokyo."

"There aren't many things that can set him off, Makimachi-san, but when he does, it's spectacular. The only real incident I witnessed even part of was what happened in San Francisco."

"What happened in San Francisco?"

"I'm sure by now official histories have come up with other explanation for what caused the fire that wrecked a sizable part of the city back in 1924, but what really happened is that Chrono and Rosette were on a date. This shouldn't have caused any problems beyond minor injuries caused by both of them being terrible dancers, but the evening was crashed by a demon - the same demon who had murdered Chrono's previous girlfriend. Chrono got so angry he couldn't think straight and the resulting brawl quickly got out of control.

"The fallout from that battle was severe enough that the Order kicked him out. Not that this stopped Rosette from bringing him with her to Pandaemonium. And it was a good thing she did."

"I've heard mention of that battle before, but I don't know any details about it. Could you expand on that?" It was clear that he thought this subject would be a meaty topic to include in his article.

"Pandaemonium was the home city of the demons. The Sinners, a group of renegade demons led by Chrono's nemesis Aion sought to destroy it in such a way that its destruction would contaminate the world as a whole for generations.

"The Order fought against the demons on both sides, but all they really did was keep the conflict contained to one small area. The real battle was getting Rosette and Chrono into a position where they could take Aion down. Everything else was a sideshow.

Azmaria paused as she recalled that long-ago day. "The Battle of Pandaemonium was fought on Christmas Eve, 1924. If it wasn't for those two, the human race as we know it would not have survived to celebrate Christmas in 1925. You want to know who Chrono is? He's a disavowed hero from a war that history forgot."

"How did all of this happen without anyone noticing?"

"Before monsters started attacking the city only to be driven back by a bunch of teenaged girls with magical powers, would have believed any of this? I tried writing a book about the war once. The manuscript is still sitting in a desk drawer back in Chicago. I've never been able to bring myself to show it to a publisher - anyone who read it would have thought I was insane. It helped that the only people who really saw anything during Pandaemonium were the people fighting the battle. No one on the outside saw anything, so nobody thought to ask any questions."

"So what happened after the battle?"

"Chrono stayed behind on Pandaemonium to ensure that it was destroyed in a safe manner. With the demons all wiped out during the battle, Rosette's had accomplished everything she had joined the Order to do, and I was no longer in danger, so we volunteered to be released when the Order had a reduction in force the following year. She spent the rest of her life working at the orphanage she grew up in, while I started studying how to run the businesses I had inherited from Ricardo Hendric and eventually ended up marrying Rosette's brother shortly after she died. As for what Chrono spent most of his time doing for the past seventy years, you'll have to ask him. He pretty much dropped off the map until you published those articles about him a few weeks ago."

The interview continued, but the important details had been covered. Azmaria continued to answer the reporter's questions, but there was one area she was careful to not discuss. If word leaked out that Chrono was a demon, there was no way of knowing how the public would react.


Father Francesco Vazzoler set his things up in the park and started to wait. This was where the demon had first been sighted, and from what he had heard, he had been back to this place several times since. All he had to do was stake out this place and sooner or later he would spot his target.

Today he was in luck. In the distance he could see his enemy approaching the park. Vazzoler watched with horror as Chrono entered the park and was greeted by a child. What sinister plans did the demon have for those young girls? He had been known to consume the souls of others before, was he getting ready to do so again?

Fortunately, the cover he was using while at the park meant that his preferred weapon was always close at hand. Turning to face his foe, the exorcist took careful aim.


It was a lovely day for a walk in the park. The sun was out, the sky was clear, a cool breeze stirred the air. In the distance, Chrono could hear the sound of a busker playing a violin.

Chrono was certain that some people in the park were raising their eyebrows about how glad Hotaru was to see someone who appeared to be at least twice her age (And was actually more than ten times her age). He didn't care. If they were really concerned about her wellbeing, they would have acted to protect her against the bullies who had been harassing her on a regular basis for years before Chrono came around.

He laughed as the two of them played together. Between the prejudices of her classmates and her abilities placing her right in the middle of the extremely dangerous world of the occult long before she was old enough to know how to handle herself in it, Hotaru never really had the opportunity to simply be a young girl.

Chrono's efforts at adding another event into the short collection of days in Hotaru's short life that could actually be considered a childhood was cut short when an invisible force sent him flying. As he pulled himself off the ground, he saw that several other people had been affected by whatever had hit him. And all of them were pretty much on a straight line between him and the violinist.

At the sight of several people getting knocked around for no obvious reason, most of the onlookers started to panic. In fact, the busker was one of the few who wasn't. He was watching him calmly, his bow still at the ready. Thinking back on some of the more exotic weapons that had been used by some members of the Militia, Chrono knew who the man really was.

"Everyone, stay low and get out of the park!" He commanded. The bystanders quickly complied.

"Prepared to face your doom with honor, Ignoble One?" The man taunted as he resumed his assault.

That clinched it. Nobody outside the Order was likely to have even have heard of that name. "Doesn't the Order have better things to do than worry about me at the moment? The monsters that have killed two dozen people in the area in the past month, for example?"

"There is no greater threat to society than you, monster."

Chrono didn't dare use the Tetragrammaton until the crowds had dispersed. Even at the low power setting, a missed shot could kill half a dozen bystanders. Unfortunately, the only other weapons he had on him were short range. If he shifted to his true form, he could easily tank the damage and rush the man, but doing so in public was something he'd rather avoid. That left him in the unenviable position of trying to keep himself in one piece until someone in the crowd reported the presence of a homicidal priest with a magic violin wreaking havoc in a park to the authorities.

Unfortunately, the police were taking far too long to arrive. Chrono was stuck trying to dodge blows he couldn't see, which came as quickly as the assassin could play. He was getting slowly whittled down, and while his legion were healing him, that didn't make the injuries any less painful.

One attack landed a direct hit, sending him flying backwards to where a terrified Hotaru had been watching one of her only friends getting attacked.

"Chrono-niisan! Are you alright?" She asked. Moments later another attack smashed into her.

Chrono had barely even felt that attack. As he rose to his feet, he knew that it had been deliberately aimed at a child purely for showing concern for his wellbeing, not at him. As he stared at the exorcist, Chrono started to see red.


Father Vazzoler watched as the child crumpled to the ground. A sad fate for one so young, but if she was willing to side with a demon then she was probably already beyond redemption, assuming that her comment hadn't been literal, meaning that she wasn't human to begin with. Turning his attention back to his primary target, he saw the demon look down at the stricken girl in shock, then turn to face him, his eyes blazing with fury.

Literally blazing with fury. Chrono's eyes glowed with the fires of hell, and black flames erupted from his body. Wreathed in hellfire, the demon advanced towards his foe. It was not a battle charge. It was a slow, steady advance, carrying with it a silent promise of inevitable doom.

Vazzoler set his bow to his instrument and started playing. Waves of sound lashed at the demon, shearing off his left arm, but to his horror the attack didn't even slow his opponent. It didn't even do him any lasting harm. Fear crept into the priest's heart as he watched a new arm sprout from the stump of the old, leaving him totally unharmed in a matter of seconds. Again and again he attempted to strike the monster down, and each time the damage he inflicted disappeared within moments. The demon just ignored the pain of his wounds in order to continue approaching, confident that the injuries would heal in time for him to take his attacker down. As his nemesis finally closed the distance between them, Vazzoler knew his end had come.

"D-Demon..." he gasped out.

Five claws drove themselves into his stomach. The sudden agony forced Vazzoler to drop his violin and bow as he was lifted from the ground by one hand. The creature drew him close, and whispered one word into his ear.


Then the demon spun about and hurled him out of the park. The priest had only a few moments to register the swiftly approaching brick wall as he flew across the street before the impact.


Chrono forced himself to calm down as he saw the Order's assassin smash through the wall. As his legion became quiescent, he wondered what could have driven the man to act so rashly as to attack him in such a public place, with so many innocent bystanders around.

The thought of said bystanders reminded him that some of those bystanders had been wounded. Rushing to Hotaru's side, he prepared himself to heal her injuries.

The young girl was barely moving, her breathing shallow and weak. A quick look told him that her wounds were beyond his ability to help. His powers could only heal flesh and bone. There was nothing they could do to repair the prosthetics embedded in her body, which were now sparking and failing.


Omake: Self-preservation

Naru Osaka looked up from the article about the retired exorcist. Christopher-san's childhood sounded atrocious... and uncomfortably familiar.

Naru knew what it was like to be at the center of a war against monsters. Over the course of the past two years she had been targeted by youma, droids, and daimons so many times that all of the original five Senshi knew her by sight. She had honestly lost track of how many times she'd needed to be rescued, and to this day she still didn't have the foggiest idea as to why it kept happening to her.

She had already lost one loved one as a result of her chronic misfortune. If this trend continued, then Masato would not be the last. What if next time it was her parents, or one of her friends? All it would take is one bit of bad luck, and Naru would be in mourning again.

The article stated that Christopher-san had gone into the monster hunting business out of self-defense. It seemed to Naru that would have to follow in her example if she wanted to live to see her high school graduation - and especially if she wanted everyone she cared about to still be alive to attend it.

Naru started to think about how to approach Christopher-san about finding a teacher. She could no longer depend on her previous good fortune in always being rescued in time. She needed to be able to save herself.


A/N: The only reason the Naru omake isn't canon is because I don't have a place for her in the story proper.

The long term implications of Minako's canon association with the Tokyo PD (Like her boss calling her up to ask what's going on) is never really developed. I think the reason for that is that despite taking place before the start of the 1st arc of Sailor Moon, it wasn't completed until after the Sailor Moon manga ended, and her being recruited by the police took place at the end of the manga. As such, Takuechi might not have realized that she was going to do that until several arcs in, and therefore retroactively created a plot hole.

Some time ago I mentioned that the thought of a Miyuki Special Tindalos was scary. Hopefully a Miyuki Special made with some Tindalos parts will be a lot safer, and will make for a good chase scene at some future date.

One bit of Azmaria's backstory I took from the anime instead of the manga (In the manga, she met Chrono and Rosette in Vegas). This was because 1: It makes a lot more sense for a team based in New York to be sent after a girl in New Jersey than it does to send that team to pick up that girl in Nevada when the Order had at least one base in California (US Geography is apparently not one of Moriyama's strong points), and 2: There weren't any casinos in Las Vegas in 1924.

Yes, the Magdalen Order does canonically have exorcists whose weapon of choice is the violin. One appears during the final battle, though he never speaks or gets named. Part of the reason I chose this for Vazzoler's weapon is because it could easily get past any normal customs check without so much as a raised eyebrow. I'm sure you people can guess the other reason.


Well-Known Member
Thank you for the chapter, I enjoyed it a lot. There was one typo I spotted:

bissek said:
One of them was even so deep that an observer looking closely could see the rounded shape of a done inside the wound.
(should be 'bone').