|The Wild Horse Thesis
Author: Calamity Cordite PM
Ranma finds himself banished into the world of Evangelion replacing Shinji's character. Can he hold the fragmenting psyches of his NERV comrades together in order to prevent the Third Impact? Wouldn't that require diplomacy?Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Sci-Fi - Ranma - Chapters: 18 - Words: 110,936 - Reviews: 935 - Favs: 1,188 - Follows: 394 - Updated: 08-30-06 - Published: 08-15-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3107822
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Wild Horse Thesis
By Calamity Cordite
Developed by Calamity Cordite and James R. Axelrad
Edited by James R. Axelrad and Weebee
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 and Neon Genesis Evangelion are owned by their respective copyright holders. I am using the characters and storylines without permission. This work was not intended for monetary gain, but as a tribute to these outstanding stories.
Also, I...ahem...borrowed the concept for this story from an Anime Addventure thread and tweaked it for my purposes. I'd like to give a hat-tip to the writers who contributed to that thread.
Forward: For some reason, I am compelled to toss Ranma into a Sci-fi world and see what happens. I've done so once again with this story. Please be warned, some characters are OOC with respect to how they are portrayed in the canon stories. I justify this as having vastly different interactions with the other characters. In Ranma's case, it's also because he is in a different world with foreknowledge of what is to come. If he wants to survive it, he is forced to change his ways.
A note on Asuka: I don't see Asuka as being the same as Akane. She's way more like Ranma; stupendously large Ego, driven to be the best, etc. She doesn't hate boys. The only reason (IMHO) that she treats Shinji like crap is because she sees him as a spineless wuss that somehow manages to show her up repeatedly. Ranma is definitely NOT Shinji so she will react differently to him.
As always, I wrote this story for my enjoyment and am sharing it with you for yours. If you are offended by Lesbian themes, polygamous relationships, minors being intimate, or harsh language, you might want to pass on this story. If you are a Canon Cop or an Agent Against Acceptance (by Ranma of her female form), you might want to pass on this story.
I'd like to thank James R. Axelrad for his tireless cajoling and his generous sharing of his knowledge of the NGE movie storyline. I'd also like to thank my editor for putting up with the error riddled drafts I send him for editing.
Hikaru Gosunkugi knelt just outside a circled pentagram. Between where each of the points met the outer circle, there guttered five blood-red candles. In the center of the circle lay a stack of video tapes on top of which rested a straw doll. The doll had a piece of ragged, red silk wrapped around its torso and if one looked closely, one could see a red hair and a black hair wrapped around its head. The cover on the video tapes read 'Neon Genesis Evangelion'.
It had been a week since that strange, cowled figure had given him the spell scroll, but now the time had come to cast the spell that would solve all of dear, sweet Akane's problems. He began to chant the words of the spell while moving around and lighting the incense sticks in each of the small bowls of powdered spell components.
Still chanting, Gosunkugi returned to his starting point and resumed seiza position. As he completed his chant, each of the bowls of components suddenly flared into a column of intense fire. Gosunkugi felt occult forces drain his energy as the spell performed its purpose.
Suddenly, the fires winked out as the candles burned down to nothing, leaving the room cloaked in darkness. The only sound was the would-be mage hitting the floor as he passed out from the energy drain.
It had been three days. The Tendo home was currently hosting a meeting of people concerned with the disappearance of one Ranma Saotome. The pigtailed martial artist had vanished without a trace. He hadn't gone on a training trip, as his pack and all of his clothes and belongings were still there. In fact, there was evidence that he vanished right from his bedding since a check of his futon revealed his typical tank top and boxers laying in it.
Nabiki's network had turned up nothing. The Amazon's claimed to have nothing to do with it, although Cologne had indicated that there was a taint of magic in the room. Happosai, likewise, claimed to have nothing to do with it, citing that he would never want to get rid of his Ranma-chan. Of course, Kuno claimed he had defeated the foul sorcerer and the cowardly cur had fled from his manly presence using his dark magics. Nobody gave that any credibility.
The elders and fiancées were discussing the problem when Kasumi entered the room with a box that had just been delivered.
"What's that, Kasumi?" Nabiki asked.
"Why, I don't know," Kasumi said. "It was just delivered. It's addressed to the Tendo Dojo."
"Well, let's see what it is," Nabiki said, taking the box and quickly opening it.
Inside she found several anime videotapes titled 'Neon Genesis Evangelion 1/2' and a letter. Nabiki quickly opened the letter and read it. Her eyes narrowed as she did. Looking up at the expectant faces, she decided to read it out loud.
"To whom it may concern,
Ranma Saotome will no longer trouble any of you again. He has been banished from this world in punishment for all the pain he has caused. If you would like to view his fate, if only for closure, watch the videos and delight."
"There is no signature," Nabiki finished.
"These items have the same taint of magic I felt in his room," Cologne said, examining the tapes.
"Well, I suppose we should watch them," Nabiki said. "That might give us a clue as to where he is and how to get him back."
Everyone else agreed as Nabiki put the first tape into the VCR.
Ranma stared at the picture in his hand. It was a picture of a woman that was beautiful enough to give his fiancées a run for their money. Written on it were suggestive statements and arrows to draw attention to the woman's assets. She also looked very familiar.
But that wasn't what Ranma was thinking about at the moment. No, at the moment he was trying to wrap his brain around the fact that the last thing he remembered up to this point was that he had gone to bed at the Tendo's and now suddenly he was on a train looking at this picture. He was shaken out of his stasis by the intercom on the train crackling to life.
"The next stop will be Tokyo-3 station," the canned voice said. "Please wait until the train comes to a complete stop before gathering your belongings and exiting to the platform to the right. Thank you for traveling with us and we hope you enjoyed your trip."
"Tokyo-3?" Ranma mumbled in thought. "This must be a dream. I'm dreaming that I'm in Evangelion. Great."
Ranma was very familiar with that anime. It was his favorite after all. That wasn't because he was particularly interested in mecha anime and stuff. It was mainly because the main character, Shinji Ikari had an even crappier life than Ranma. The pigtailed martial artist found it uplifting that someone could have it worse than him. It made his problems seem easier to deal with.
Still, it sure didn't feel like a dream. Everything was very detailed; the sights, the rocking of the train, even the smells seemed very real as the train ground to a halt with a screech of metal.
Ranma picked up the pack next to him and exited the train. A brief exploration of his belongings turned up a NERV ID card in the name of Ranma Ikari. The question of whether he still had his curse was answered by the fact that there was female underwear and feminine hygiene items in with his boxers and other clothes, which included a couple of gi, several athletic suits like the one he was currently wearing and thankfully no dresses.
Nodding to himself, he looked at the picture again. Knowing how the story went, he decided to for-go calling the number on it. There would be no line available anyway given the fact that there was about to be an angel attack. He could tell that things were following the timeline due to the fact that the streets were deserted.
Sure enough, a formation of attack choppers flew by overhead launching missiles. Soon a giant humanoid figure lurched into view, its lanky limbs lashing out to smack the helos out of the sky as it ignored the missiles and artillery fired at it.
Ranma suddenly back-flipped away as the burning wreckage of one of the helos slammed into the street in front of him. As the explosion knocked him flat, he felt the heat of the flames and the pain of the debris striking him, and Ranma began to seriously doubt this was a dream.
Ranma rolled away as a blue sports car came to a screeching halt, nearly running him over. He watched as the woman from the picture got out.
"Sorry I'm late," she chirped cheerfully. "I'm..."
"Captain Misato Katsuragi," Ranma interrupted, getting in the car, "competent Tactical Operations Officer but a ditzy juicer when not in the middle of a battle."
"Hey!" Misato protested as she got back in the car.
"Let's just go, Misato, before they drop that stupid N2 mine on the angel," Ranma said.
Misato looked at him strangely, but got the car in motion.
"You are Ranma Ikari, aren't you?" Misato asked hesitantly.
"Yeah, I guess I am," Ranma sighed.
Misato nodded and turned back to driving like a maniac towards NERV. Meanwhile, Ranma began to think, something he was actually reasonably adept at when he chose to do so. He was thinking about whether or not he was stuck living out Shinji's story or if he could change things because of his knowledge and abilities. Recalling what was supposed to be happening next, he figured it would be a good time for an experiment.
Ranma looked over at the angel and sure enough, he caught sight of a large aircraft approaching. Looking up ahead, he grinned as he saw they were coming up to a short tunnel in the mountainside.
"Hey, Misato, stop the car in that tunnel," Ranma instructed.
"Huh? What? We have to get you back to headquarters," Misato protested.
"Just do it, Misato, trust me," Ranma said. "Unless you want to make 57 more payments on the junk heap this car is gonna be when it gets caught in the N2 blast they are about to set off."
"How the hell do you know they are going to set off an N2 mine?" Misato demanded.
"'Cause I saw the bomber comin', now stop the car dammit!" Ranma snapped as they entered the tunnel.
Misato stopped the car but she wasn't buying Ranma's explanation.
"How do you know they are dropping an N2 mine?" Misato demanded.
Ranma laughed nervously, scratching the base of his pigtail.
"Um...well..." Ranma stalled, trying to come up with a believable excuse. "W-what else would they be droppin'. Nothin' else has had any effect."
He smirked at her, proud to have navigated that pitfall. Misato gave him a suspicious look.
"Look, we don't have time for this," she said, putting the car in gear. "I have to get back to headquarters."
Just as she started to go, there was a bright flash followed by a huge blast wave seconds later. Misato gulped. Had they been out there when that happened the car would have been picked up and thrown, possibly killing them.
"Alright, we can go now," Ranma said, giving her a smug look.
"Well you don't have to get all cocky about it," Misato complained.
Dr. Ritsuko Akagi wore a wicked little grin as she stood in the elevator watching Misato out of the corner of her eye. The dark-haired beauty was currently eyeing the Commander's son indignantly. Apparently, the boy had refused to take one step into the facility until Misato had Ritsuko paged to meet them at the parking garage. He had evidently caught wind of Misato's inability to navigate through the facility.
The boy, the Third Child, Ranma Ikari, was unaffected by the evil eye Misato was directing at him. He just stood there leaning against the wall of the elevator with his arms crossed over his chest and one foot on the wall looking very casual about the whole thing. It was all Ritsuko could do to keep from laughing out loud at her friend.
The blonde had known that Misato was planning on dazzling the boy by using her attractiveness to set his teenage hormones churning. However, much to Ritsuko's amusement, it seemed her plan had failed utterly and Ritsuko had a good idea as to why. There was a story about the Third Child that seemed preposterous except for it came from otherwise reliable sources. It was something that Ritsuko planned to confirm firsthand, and if it was true, something she very much wanted to study.
"So, Ranma," Ritsuko said, shifting her furtive examination to the boy who looked more like a sixteen year-old than a fourteen year-old, "I understand you have a rather peculiar...condition."
Her lips quirked into a smirk as she saw the boy stiffen in alarm.
"Y-you might say that," Ranma said trying to recover. 'How the hell did they know about the curse?'
"I can't wait to see it in action," Ritsuko said. "It sounds fascinating."
"Yeah, right," Ranma said sarcastically. "I guess it would be if it was happenin' to someone other than you."
"Oh come now, surely it's not that bad," Ritsuko smiled.
"Heh, what was I thinkin'?" Ranma sneered. "Of course it's not that bad. Why, it's great fun to have people treat you like you're some kinda freak. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside when people practically run away from me as if it's contagious or somethin'. But what's best of all is experiencin' things that no guy has a right to every month. Yup, it's freakin' wonderful. Everyone should have a 'condition' like mine."
Ritsuko frowned a little. Perhaps she had hit on a sore spot. She could also tell now that Misato was burning with curiosity. As immature as her friend was sometimes, poor Ranma was bound to be the target of Misato's teasing once she found out.
"Sorry, Ranma, I didn't realize," Ritsuko commented.
Ranma deflated some.
"Don't sweat it, Doc," Ranma dismissed. "I just get sick of people tellin' me it's not that bad when they have no clue what I go through."
"What's not that bad?" Misato chimed in, giving voice to her curiosity.
"Forget it," Ranma snapped.
"Ritsuko?" Misato prompted, seeing that she wasn't going to get anything from Ranma.
"You'll find out soon enough, I'm sure, Misato," Ritsuko smirked.
Misato growled in frustration, a feeling she was becoming awfully familiar with since she picked up the Third Child.
"So this is the last hope of mankind, huh?" Ranma asked, as he and the two women stood before the purple head of the Eva sitting in a pool of reddish fluid which Ranma knew to be LCL.
"Correct," came a voice in reply.
Looking up, Ranma smirked as he saw the most evil bastard of all time standing in the window of a control room overlooking the cavernous chamber the Eva was kept in.
"Oh look, it's a dick with ears," Ranma waved. "How's it goin', Pop? Rape any children lately?"
The pigtailed martial artist stifled a chuckle as Ritsuko and Misato goggled at him. If Ranma's comments affected him at all, he gave no indication of it.
"Dr. Akagi, prepare Unit 01 for its new pilot, Ranma," Gendo said.
"What?" Misato squawked. "It took Rei months to be able to sync with an Eva. You can't be thinking of sending Ranma out there to face the angel."
"It's okay, Misato," Ranma reassured her with a grin. "He may be the poster child for Heartless Bastard Int'l, but he's right; the angel has to be stopped and I'm the only one available. Let's get somethin' straight, Pop; I don't like you. I think you're an egomaniacal coward with a god complex and I intend to bust your balls every chance I get. But for now, I got a job to do and people to protect. I ain't doin' this for you. I'm doing it for those people out there."
Ranma sat in the entry plug as it was inserted into the Eva. He was more than a bit curious as to what someone with his capabilities could do with the giant bio-mecha. He knew a lot of stuff about the Eva, but he realized after Misato's suspicious looks on the way to NERV that he had to be careful of what he revealed that he knew. If they had any inkling that he knew what he knew, they would try their best to make him quietly disappear.
"Ranma, we will be flooding the entry plug with a fluid called LCL, or Link Connection Liquid," Dr. Akagi's voice came over the comm. "The fluid helps to absorb impacts and oxygenates your Blood more quickly. Don't panic. Just breathe naturally. Your body breathed fluids for 9 months so you'll be fine."
"You sure about that, Doc?" Ranma smirked. "I mean, knowing Pop, he may have robbed morgues and put me together out of spare parts."
"I doubt that, Ranma," Dr. Akagi replied, though Ranma could hear the smirk in her voice. "Get ready."
Ranma sat quietly as the fluid filled the entry plug fairly quickly. As it covered his head, he expelled as much air from his lungs as he could and then took a deep breath. There was some mild discomfort as the LCL filled his lungs and the stuff tasted pretty bad, though not nearly as bad as Akane's cooking, but it performed as advertised.
"Everything okay, Ranma?" Dr. Akagi asked.
"Fine," Ranma replied shortly.
"Good," the doctor said pleasantly. "We're initiating the start up procedures. You might feel a little disoriented but it will pass."
"Gotcha," Ranma replied calmly.
Ranma could feel the various systems begin to power up. Suddenly a wave of vertigo passed over him as the nerve connections were made. Closing his eyes and concentrating he could feel a large field of ki all around him.
"You've reached synchronization, Ranma," Dr. Akagi said. "You currently have a 59 percent sync ratio. Very impressive for you're first attempt."
"Yeah, Doc? I'm going to try something," Ranma said. "Let me know what happens."
Ranma reached out with his ki and began to infuse it into the ki field around him using a similar technique to what Kuno and Mousse used to infuse their ki into their weapons. The Eva's ki began to react and soon they meshed with each other. Ranma began to sense the environment around the Eva. It wasn't quite like it was his own body; more like the senses were muted to an extent, but it was certainly there nonetheless.
Now what Ranma didn't know is that when the spell Gosenkugi cast created this world, it used the information from the anime videos and filled in the rest from Ranma's mind. So many of the details that were not specifically described in the anime were filled in according to Ranma's expectations. Most important of these was the fact that Ranma believed that if he were in the original main character's position, he could have made a difference in the ultimate outcome.
Thus things like Ranma being able to mesh his ki with the AT field of the Eva and achieving superior control of it, were simply that way because he expected them to be.
"What did you just do?" Dr. Akagi demanded. "Your Sync Ratio just jumped up to 82 percent. That should be impossible for your first time."
"I'm using a martial arts technique," Ranma explained. "Once a martial artist gets to a certain level, he can infuse his ki into his weapons to make them stronger and give him better control over them, making them like an extension of his own body. I'm using the same principle here, infusing my ki into the Eva."
"What you are talking about isn't possible," Dr. Akagi said.
"Sure, Doc, whatever you say," Ranma smirked. "This is all just a dream and you didn't see my 'Sync Ratio' jump up to where it is now. Anyway, don't we have an angel to smack down?"
"We're moving you to the catapult now," Misato said.
"Are you ready, Ranma?" Misato asked after Unit 01 had been secured onto the catapult.
"Fire away," Ranma's voice said cheerfully.
"The kid's got big brass ones, doesn't he?" Misato directed at her blonde friend.
"Let's just hope he doesn't bite off more than he can chew," Ritsuko replied. Misato nodded.
"Eva Launch!" she commanded.
"WHOOOO HAAAA!" Ranma's voice came over the comm as the catapult shot him and the Eva up toward the surface.
The large monitors in the control room showed the catapult reach the surface and the doors open.
"Okay, Ranma, we're releasing the locks. Take it easy. We just want you to concentrate on walking for now," Misato advised.
"Heh, no problem," Ranma smirked.
Everyone gasped as the locks were released and the Eva leapt forward into what appeared to be some sort of martial arts stance facing the angel, which had paused to assess the newcomer. Its right leg was extended forward, left knee out to the side and bent, while its left arm was extended back and held high. Ranma had the Eva's progressive knife deployed and grasped in the Eva's right hand which was held forward and low.
Misato boggled at the level of control Ranma possessed. It defied logic how he could be so good with this being his first time piloting and Eva. The kid was a natural.
The angel decided that the threat had to be neutralized before it continued its mission and began to bum rush the purple Eva. Unit 01 deftly sidestepped the rush, slashing the angel's torso with the prog knife while tripping the angel with a foot. The angel slammed down face first onto the street and slid into a building.
The stunned personnel in the control room watched as the purple Eva leapt high into the air and slammed down on the angel's back as it struggled to rise. The Eva shifted its grip on the prog knife and plunged it down into the angel's unprotected back, driving through its AT field and piercing its core. Its struggles ceased.
"Man, that almost wasn't fair," Ranma commented. "It was like fighting an untrained thug."
With a flourish, the prog knife was stowed and the Eva stood up. It had just turned to move back to the cat when the angel blew up in a violent explosion centered on a giant cross-shaped flash of energy. Unit 01 was slammed face first into a building by the blast.
"Ranma!" Misato yelled. "Ranma, are you okay?"
"Owwie," came a muzzy groan over the comm. "That didn't feel too good."
"He's okay," Ritsuko informed them. "His AT field absorbed most of the blast. Minor damage to the Eva's armor."
"Send out the recovery teams," Misato ordered.
"Okay, Ranma, you can get dressed," Ritsuko allowed. "I must say you are in very good condition. If I didn't know any better, I would say you are a couple years older than 14. I guess with all the training you've done, your musculature has matured a little faster than normal."
"I guess," Ranma shrugged.
He wasn't about to tell her he was actually 17. Besides, if he recalled correctly that Toji guy looked just as old as he did.
"I find it fascinating that your other form is completely functional," Ritsuko went on. "How long have you been having menses?"
"Huh?" Ranma asked in confusion.
"When did you start having a period?" Ritsuko asked.
"Oh, well, I guess it was shortly after I got the curse," Ranma said, blushing. "I went to change back and I couldn't. Then I started bleeding. I thought I had some kind of internal injuries or something until someone explained to me what was happening. God, I've never been so embarrassed."
"If it makes you feel any better, Ranma, we are all embarrassed by that particular right of passage," she said reassuringly. "It's interesting that while your female form seems to be...well developed, it seems a little closer to what one might expect of a 14 year old. Still, both forms are as healthy as your namesake in spite of the scarring and evidence of broken bones."
"The life of a martial artist is fraught with peril," Ranma quoted with a wry grin.
"I can see that," Ritsuko commented. "It also has some pretty unbelievable pay-offs apparently. I don't think I've ever seen someone who was able to run twenty miles in an hour and not break a sweat."
"Most people aren't stupid enough to go through the kind of training I was put through," Ranma quipped.
"I see," Ritsuko said. "So tell me more about this 'ki' you say you use."
"Heh, not much to tell really," Ranma said. "It's basically the life energy produced by all living things. With lots of training to build it up, you can use your will to focus it to strengthen your body, or increase your speed, or even infuse it into a weapon. I knew a guy that could focus his ki into a bokken so that he could slash through tree trunks like they were warm butter and another that could make cloth as rigid and sharp as steel."
"Fascinating," Ritsuko said with a raised eyebrow. "So what can you do?"
"I'm not too good with the iron cloth technique, but I can infuse my ki into a weapon," Ranma said.
"Well, I'll look forward to seeing the extent of your abilities. That was some very impressive piloting you did out there today," Ritsuko said. "Wait here and I'll have someone show you where the cafeteria is. I guess you're probably hungry."
The mention of food caused Ranma's stomach to roar in approval. Ritsuko gave him a little smile and Ranma blushed.
"The third Child certainly doesn't seem as...passive...as you had hoped," Sub-commander Fuyutsuki observed.
"Yes," Gendo Ikari nodded from behind his steepled hands. "It seems my fool of a cousin that I paid to take him on that training trip failed to break the boy. It's amazing really. The boy must have an incredibly strong will to have survived the insane things Cousin Genma subjected him too. Not even the Nekoken training or that ridiculous curse has managed to break the boy's spirit."
"What will you do?" Fuyutsuki asked. "Your plans called for him to be weak-willed and controllable."
"It's of no consequence," Gendo said. "Rei will do as she is told when the time comes. If the boy becomes a threat before then, we shall have to remove him. Until then he is still useful to us as a pilot."
"That was SO weird," Misato said, looking through the file Ritsuko handed her. "The kid is one hell of a pilot, but he's got some serious issues."
"Yes," Ritsuko agreed. "He's definitely a mass of contradictions. His intelligence and problem-solving scores are nearly off the chart, but he has atrocious math, science, and social skills. Probably because of the fact he was raised on the road most of his life with very limited contact with other people besides this Genma Saotome who trained him."
"Yeah, I can understand why the kid doesn't like the Commander after leaving him to be raised by that sadistic idiot Genma," Misato said, while leafing through the reports of Ranma's childhood. "If the Commander knew some of this stuff was happening, why did he allow it to happen? I mean, some of this stuff is nothing but inhuman torture."
"I'm sure the Commander has his reasons," Ritsuko said. "It certainly seemed to pay off in Ranma's ability to pilot an Eva."
"I'll give you that," Misato allowed. "The kid is amazing."
"Oh, by the way, do you think you could drop him off on your way home?" Ritsuko asked.
"He's not staying with the Commander?" Misato asked.
Ritsuko just raised an eyebrow and gave her a 'you must be joking' look.
"Oh, right, he hates his father," Misato said, chagrinned. "So where's he staying?"
"He's been assigned to an apartment in the same building as Rei's," Ritsuko supplied.
"What? In that slum?" Misato demanded. "All by himself?"
"Yes. Is that a problem?" Ritsuko asked.
"Absolutely," Misato announced. "He can stay with me."
"Really, Misato," Ritsuko said in a teasing tone, "while I admit he's cute, he's a 14 year old kid. I hardly think it would be appropriate for you to bed him."
"WHAT?" Misato screeched. "That's NOT what I had in mind! The poor kid has never had anyone but that worthless waste of skin, Genma to look after him. I just think he should see that everyone is not like that."
"Uh huh," Ritsuko said, raising an eyebrow dubiously.
"Whatever, Ritsuko," Misato dismissed. "Where is he, so I can get him?"
"He's in the cafeteria," Ritsuko smiled knowingly.
"Welcome to your new home, Ranma," Misato announced cheerfully as she opened the door.
Ranma shot her a wry glance, knowing what he was going to see upon entering the condo. He walked in, but even knowing what a slob Misato was didn't prepare him for the experience. Sure enough, there were piles of empty beer cans and instant food containers strewn across the tables, counters, and floors. He expected that. What sent him reeling though was the smell.
"Gah!" Ranma twitched.
"Sorry about the mess," Misato said apologetically. "I haven't had time to straighten up."
Ranma looked at her incredulously. She said that as if there were just a few magazines not stacked up and a glass or two left out.
"This place is a pig sty," Ranma proclaimed. "And it reeks like the inside of a bar the next morning. Geez, Misato, I knew you were a slob but this is just disgusting."
By now, Misato's eyebrow was twitching and she was glaring at Ranma.
"I'll tell you somethin' else too," Ranma stated. "Once we get this dump cleaned up and habitable, don't expect me to clean up after ya all the time. I don't mind doing the cookin' since obviously that's most likely the only way I'd get a decent meal around here, but you're doing the dishes right after dinner. We can trade off cleanin' the bathroom and cleanin' the house. You take care of your own laundry. If I'm gonna live here, I ain't gonna be your maid, got it?"
Misato could only stand there with her eye twitching as the pigtailed boy picked up his pack and went down the hall to pick out a room.
Nabiki paused the tape as the credits began to roll at the end of the first episode.
"Oh my," Kasumi remarked.
"That's Ranma, alright, blunt as ever," Nabiki said in wonder. "Anyone have any idea what this means?"
"It seems obvious to me that someone has used some sort of banishing spell to send Ranma into the world depicted on these tapes," Cologne said.
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but for Ranma, that makes sense," Nabiki agreed.
"We have to get him out of there," Akane insisted.
"Really, Akane, showing concern for your fiancé?" Nabiki teased.
"You know how Evangelion ends Nabiki," Akane said. "He may be a jerk but even he doesn't deserve that."
"You are familiar with this story?" Cologne asked.
"Yes," Akane said, Nabiki nodding. "In the end everyone dies and the world is destroyed. That guy Gendo is manipulating everyone so he can play God and bring back his dead wife and he doesn't care if the whole human race has to die as long as he reaches his goals."
Everyone at the table except Akane and Nabiki, being the only two that had seen the anime, paled. Soun began wailing about the schools never being joined and Genma began to lament about how his dishonorable son was foolish enough to get caught in a spell that sent him to a world that slandered his own father so.
"So how we get Airen back, Great Grandmother?" Shampoo asked.
Everyone looked at Cologne expectantly. The matriarch sighed heavily.
"I don't know," Cologne said tiredly. "Firstly, we have no idea what spell was used to send him there. Secondly, chances are we would probably not be able to reverse it if we did. Depending on the spell used, a summoning spell might work to get Son-in-law back, but the risk would be severe and it wouldn't be possible unless we knew what spell was used to begin with."
"So you're saying there's nothing we can do?" Ukyo demanded.
"It is possible that after things run their course that Son-in-law will return to this world," Cologne said, but added, "if he lives through it."
"So all we can do is watch and hope?" Nabiki asked.
"What hope is there?" Akane said morosely. "You've seen the anime."
"But Ranma is not Shinji, Akane," Nabiki said. "You saw how easily he handled the third angel right out of the box. Also, this was his favorite anime. He knows what's going on so he might be able to change the outcome."
"I can't believe that jerk thinks LCL tastes better than my cooking," Akane growled, being reminded of Ranma's first time in an Eva.
"The biggest problem I see is that to change things, he's going to need allies," Nabiki observed. "And we all know how good Ranma is at making friends."
"I can't believe Ranma-honey has a period," Ukyo remarked. "I wonder who explained things to him?"
Nabiki looked at Kasumi, who blushed.
"Figures Nice-girl be the one," Shampoo said. "Shampoo no like Airen living with purple-haired slut."
This caused nearly everyone at the table to sweat-drop and someone muttered something about pots and kettles being black.
"He better not do anything perverted with those floozies," Akane declared.
"Really, Akane, jealous of an anime character?" Nabiki drawled. "I can't wait for him to meet Asuka. She's a dead ringer for his girl form and her personality is exactly the same as his; arrogant, conceited, always insisting she's the best while trying to hide the fact that she's insecure. She's going to hate his guts."
"I'll make some tea and snacks," Kasumi said. "Everyone can use the bathroom if they need to and then we can watch some more."
"Good idea, Child," Cologne agreed.