Ranma 1/2 Independence Day: Chapter 5 They Stop
Set during the middle of Ranma 1/2 before Ranma's mom finds out about the truth of his curse.

Based on the film "Independence Day" By Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich and Ranma 1/2 by Rumiko Takahashi
By Bill Heineman

I don't own these characters. Please don't sue me, kill me or jam my radar with real raspberry jam. I hate it when you give me the raspberry.
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July 2, Mid-Day.
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Cologne tried for the fifteenth time to connect to the Amazon village on the phone. "All circuits are busy. Please check the number and dial again or call the operator for assistance."

The elder swore an ancient Chinese curse on the phone company to go with the thousands of other hexes and curses that are cast daily on them. "I could have sent a carrier pigeon and gotten a reply before this infernal thing ever works." The phone company god heard her plea. The phone connected. "About time!"

"Nihao!" Came a familiar voice to Cologne's ancient ear.

"Lo Xian! It's good to hear your voice. Have you heard the news about the giant spacecraft above Tokyo?"

"How could we not? The communists are broadcasting it on every TV and radio station. They want to make this a national holiday today to celebrate the birth of universal communism."

The short white haired woman slumped in her chair. "Oh please. Next thing you know they'll be claiming that the Chairman was personally invited to be the first to greet these visitors."

"Oh, so you've already heard that?" Lotion answered.

"I was only kidding. Please tell me that that isn't what they're claiming."

"It's on the news being broadcast every ten minutes. The Chairman is supposed to make some sort of speech in Tiananmen Square with loudspeakers. But this brings up a subject the council wanted to discuss with you."

"With me?" Cologne loved her people dearly, but sometimes the council made rash decisions.

"Yes, we wanted you to go to the ship in Tokyo and represent our people to them. We've just sent a delegation to Beijing but it will take them three days for them to travel there while you're next to a ship right now."

Cologne's heart sank. "And what of the omens? Have you consulted with the ancestors about our course of action?"

"The council spent over three hours communing with the ancestors. It was decided that we contact you to send you as our ambassador to the Japanese ship. Since the phones have been jammed, we sent Brush and Gloss to Beijing in case we couldn't reach you. I'm glad you called. I've been trying to get a hold of you for over an hour."

She chuckled when she realized the phones were jammed because they were trying to call each other at the same time. "I must make a formal protest. I feel that the omens are foretelling something wicked. How could you have not seen the omens?"

"We've seen them, but Gloss is convinced that it's because these beings are not in tune with the harmony of our world that the omens are incorrect. Once they're accepted here and become part of our world, everything should regain balance."

"And if they're not accepted? What if the omens are correct and they mean us harm? What do we do about it?"

The phone was quiet for a moment. "We leave our fate in the hands of our ancestors. Let's hope that they've taught us well."

Cologne gripped her stick tightly. "Three thousand years of Amazon history, I hope it's enough." She hung up the phone. "Shampoo!"

"Yes Great Grandmother?" Shampoo popped out of nowhere to answer her elder's call.

"We're going to visit the son-in-law. I hope we can convince him to join us for a while."

Shampoo clapped her hands. "Shampoo spend time with Airen!"

Mousse broke his broom in the back room at the thought of Ranma showing up. His head was smacked with a walking stick in punishment for breaking cleaning supplies. The elder barked her orders. "Mousse, you stay here and prepare the ramen cart. We'll be setting up shop near the Imperial Palace."

The hidden weapons master was not thrilled about the plan. "Uh... Isn't that close to the... Well..." He pointed out the window. "That thing?"

"Yes. We'll do a lot of business feeding the crowds that have gathered there. Now hurry up, Shampoo and I have some business to attend to. When we return we'll be expecting the cart to be stocked and ready to go." She spun to face her great granddaughter. "We leave now."
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Nabiki locked the door to her bedroom after she slammed it shut. She needed some privacy since she knew deep down that all of Ranma's friends, enemies, fiances, and the weirdoes that showed up just for the heck of it would arrive in moments causing yet another round of destruction to the Tendo home. This was the time of all times that Nabiki had to think things through alone and in peace.

She turned on her computer to access the CNN website to get the latest information on the spaceships worldwide. She spent a few minutes surfing the web until she gathered the intelligence that she needed. The facts were adding up to a depressing answer. She cursed. "Damn."

There were thirty ships spotted so far across the globe. Ten had already parked themselves over major population and government centers in the United States, Germany, Japan, England, France, Russia, Iraq and China. The other twenty were enroute to the capitals of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, India, Israel, Libya and others. She scoured the pages for any hint of any successful contact with the aliens. Every news agency reported of attempts to talk to the visitors but no reply came from any transmission made to them. Well, the Weekly World News had 'exclusive' photos, but they didn't count.

Nabiki reclined in her chair to reason out all of the possible scenarios. "If I wanted to make contact with the people of Earth, how would I do it?" She tapped her pencil to her head in deep contemplation. Ideas of how a massive show of force could be taken as a show of peace was over and over again dismissed by logic. The only idea that held any plausibility was for the aliens to stick around for years to teach humans that we were not alone in the universe despite what conspiracy theorists could come up with to try to say it was a government hoax. She dismissed that idea after coming up with a dozen more likely ways an alien race could show that they just wanted to stop at Disneyland.

There was only one conclusion that made any sense. They were going to take over the world, but how? How were they going to do it? Robot armies? Death beams? Maybe it was to be eggs that spawn creatures that hug your face? Mind control rays? She then thought about why would they want to take over the Earth. Food? Slaves? Bored? Colonization? Too many America Online CDs? None of the scenarios she came up with meant that the human race was going to be better for this.

Nabiki sat up, reached for her phone and called a hotel that owed her a favor. She already figured that every hotel in remote locations was being booked as she was dialing the phone. The phone rang then a happy receptionist answered. "Inn of the Antique Doll, how can I help you?"

"Hello, this is Nabiki Tendo. I'd like to book a room for tonight."

"I'm sorry, we're already booked solid. Our earliest opening is..." Some rustling was heard. "August 12th."

Nabiki checked her notes and found a name. "May I speak with Kenji please?"

"The manager?"

Good! He still works there Nabiki thought. "Yes. Tell him that Nabiki TENDO wishes to speak with him." She emphasized her family name for effect.

"Very well, I'll get him for you." The line changed to elevator music boring the middle Tendo the instant it came on. Nabiki looked into her book of dark secrets that contained the dirt on just about everyone she had come into contact with. The book came in handy numerous times and it was going to pay off again.

A male voice came on the line. "Miss Tendo, I'm sorry but we're really booked."

"Is that so? I'll make this real easy on you. I'll take any room you can find or even a storage room if you can produce a roll away bed. Otherwise that little doll of yours will get very angry."

"Oh. You're THAT Nabiki Tendo?"

Miss Tendo exposed her teeth as her well-earned reputation opened yet another door for her. "I expect my room tonight. I'll be there in the mid afternoon."

"I'll make the arrangements but I must say that it will be a very small room."

"It will be fine. Make sure that the room is ready when I arrive. You don't want to anger the doll now would you?" She hung up the phone, grabbed a gym bag and filled it with essentials.
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Kasumi slid away from the growing crowd of people collected in the Tendo living room. She climbed up the stairs to her bedroom and opened her closet to find her old scrapbook that she had hidden there for many years.

She smiled as she turned the pages; memories of years gone by were contained within the treasure she held. Pictures of her mother were the most dominant item found besides small scraps of paper with old amusement park tickets, school play programs and a good citizenship award given to Akane during her Kindergarten year. Kasumi froze on a page in the middle of the book. It was the obituary for her mother.

"Kimiko Tendo, age 32, mother of three." The paper read as Kasumi choked back a tear. Visions of her mother during her treatments for breast cancer flashed in her mind reawakening long forgotten painful memories. Her mother assured her that everything was going to be all right and she was going to get better. She had told Kasumi that she was too young to die.

Kasumi regained her composure to turn the page again. Taped to a thick cardboard page was a lock of her mother's hair. Kimiko had cut it off and gave it to Kasumi the day before she died so a piece of her would always be with her. Kasumi felt the softness that the hair still possessed and dreamed if it was possible to bring her mother back from the grave. All around her was proof of magic through Ranma's curse, Happosai's spells and Cologne's Amazon artifacts. Kasumi snapped the book shut and slid it back into the closet.

The eldest Tendo daughter brushed off her dress and went downstairs to greet the new guests she heard ringing the entryway buzzer. She had a family to feed and care for and a potential war to diffuse.
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The phone rang at the Tendo home while Kasumi went to greet their new guests. "Could you please answer that for me?"

Akane picked up the phone. "Tendo residence. Oh, uh..." She glanced at Kasumi to see if she was listening. "What can I do for you Doctor? Yes. She's here." Akane with a look of surprise waved at Nodoka. "It's for you."

Nodoka pointed at herself. "For me? Who would be calling me here?"

Akane handed the phone to Mrs. Saotome. "It's Dr. Tofu. He says it's urgent."

Nodoka nodded and took the phone. "This is Mrs. Saotome." She listen to Dr. Tofu on the other side for a moment then went pale. "I see." She cupped the receiver to look around for Ranko. "Ranko? Akane? I need you over here for a minute."

She listened intently to the phone for a little longer. "Yes. I can do that." She fingered her katana while she spoke. "Are you sure? Isn't there any other way? Oh, I see. Very well, give me the address and I'll be right over." She scribbled an address on the notepad by the phone. "I have everything I need, just get everything ready for me when I arrive." Nodoka put the phone down holding her eyes closed.

Ranko stood next to her mother. "What's wrong?"

"Everything Ranko." She burst into tears and held her favorite Tendo. "Everything."
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"Nihao Ran... Ugh..." A giant paw covered Shampoo's mouth as she entered the courtyard of the Tendo home.

A sign appeared behind the black and white fuzz ball. "Ranma's mother is here." He flipped the sign. "Call Ranma Ranko now if you know what's good for him."

Cologne held back a chuckle. "Now, now, if you just have him marry Shampoo, we'll just be on our way to China and you won't have to worry about your wife now would you?"

"Growlf." The Panda flipped the sign again. "He's marrying Akane!"

Cologne shoved her wrinkled face towards the Panda giving him the evil eye. "Shall I tell your wife your dirty little secret hmm?"

Mr. Panda curled up into a ball and assumed the dreaded Saotome Special Position of total surrender.

The Amazon matriarch held back a chuckle. "Typical male." She bounced alongside Shampoo while they walked up the steps to the front door.

Shampoo produced her bonbori and was about to smash the wall to enter when Cologne tapped them out of her hands with her cane. "Shampoo! We must show a little more restraint."

"Shampoo understand." She turned to the door to kick it down.

"SHAMPOO!"

Kasumi opened the door. "Welcome, are you here to see Ranko?"

Shampoo blinked at the odd name for her husband. "Is Ranko mother here? Stupid panda say we call Airen Ranko."

"I'm afraid that they had just left. They were in a big hurry."

Cologne turned to look at the giant spacecraft. "How long before they return?"

"I don't know. They didn't tell me where they went or why."

The elder scanned the area for ki to make sure she wasn't being lied to. She found no trace of her son-in-law or Akane. "Very well, tell him that I wish to speak with him. It is of the utmost urgency."

The eldest Tendo daughter smiled like she usually did. "I'll tell him when I see him. Are you sure you can't stay for some tea?"

"I'm sure. Shampoo, let's go."

Shampoo gave a sad puppy dog look. "Shampoo was all excited to see Airen again." She trudged off after her great grandmother.
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Nodoka wanted to be anywhere but here. She checked her white kimono for wrinkles and felt the hilt of her hooked katana. She took a long cotton band of cloth and tied it around her forehead leaving the knot's cords dangling from the back of her head. She walked up the pig-tailed girl who was kneeling before a small table with a tanto on it. The matriarch shed a tear of sadness for what she was about to do, but honor demanded that she carry out her duties as an assistant for the seppuku ritual.

The kneeling girl painted the last passage of her last words on the neat piece of rice paper. Instead of writing a traditional haiku, the girl wrote a more detailed letter of her life. She took her name stamp and imprinted her signature on the bottom to mark the note as genuine. Nodoka read the paper slowly learning the confessions contained. Three times Nodoka paused to weep as the truth was finally told and years of dark secrets were laid out for anyone to read.

The crime was unforgivable in Nodoka's eyes. There was no other way that honor could be restored to the family. The girl took the tanto and with a quick stroke cut off her hair to expose the back of her neck. She dropped her locks then bowed one final time before sitting in the position for the cutting. She held out her tanto before her stomach, holding it there, awaiting the signal to begin.

Nodoka looked to the sky for some sign of divine intervention. Anything that could undo the past was what the Saotome elder begged the gods to give. A minute passed. Nodoka took her position and unsheathed her katana holding it blade high above her head out of eyesight of the smaller girl. She had practiced this swing for years on watermelons but had never dreamed in her life that she would actually have to use this skill on a living human being. A human being whose life was now forfeit.

The elder took a deep breath. "Are you ready to restore honor to your family and your ancestors?"

The forlorn girl nodded. "Yes."

Tears flowed down Nodoka's face. "Begin."

The girl wiggled her fingers to tighten her grip on the tanto. She hesitated a moment as she reflected on the events that brought her here. "Forgive me my children. It was the only way." Mariko plunged the knife into herself. She quickly cut across her belly gasping at the pain.

Nodoka grimaced at the suffering of her childhood friend. She swung the Murakami family blade down neatly severing off Mariko's head. Her body fell forward onto the floor trailing blood in a growing pool. Mrs. Saotome wanted to throw up at the smell and sight of death that filled the small room. She held her strength to lift the blade up and clean off the metal with a piece of rice paper. She took a step back as Dr. Tofu came forward to assure her that it was over.

Nodoka turned away from the carnage she helped create. "I'll be fine doctor." She put the blade back into the sheath and tossed it to the side. The blade was now tainted with death. The whole house was tainted with death.

Dr. Tofu escorted the Mrs. Saotome out of the small home. "There was nothing you could have done."

"She..." Nodoka sat at the porch a crying wreck. "How could she do that to her children?"

"Well, they didn't suffer. The poison killed them all in their sleep. Sadly, I'm getting reports of suicides like this all over the city." Dr. Tofu looked into the open doorway of a home that once had a family of five. He regretted getting the call from Mrs. Murakami about what was to be found inside. Shortly after the spaceship arrived, Mr. Murakami confessed to his wife that he had a mistress and he was taking her out of the city instead of his family. Mariko Murakami in great distress killed her own children and then begged for the only person she trusted to assist her in joining her ancestors.

Once Dr. Tofu arrived, he had found three dead children in their beds and Mariko ready to perform the seppuku ceremony. The doctor tried in vain to revive the children but it was too late. He had little choice in what to do. She begged him to help her leave this world so he called the only person he knew that might help him restore his former patient's honor. Now, four people were dead joining the hundreds of others all over Japan who have opted to leaving this plane of existence instead of participating in what could be a new age of mankind.

Nodoka sat forlorn on the porch in front of the home. She held the Saotome blade loosely in her grasp. She was disgusted with the thought of the seppuku ritual and cursed herself for giving in to Genma's demands all those years ago. She wept at the thought that she may not ever see her son again. From a short distance, a gentle voice was heard. "Auntie?"

Nodoka looked up to see a concerned Akane kneeling before her with both Ukyou and Ranko staring at the house with empty eyes. Akane held out her hand to lift her Aunt up. "Let's go home. The police will take care of this now."

"I know." Nodoka took Akane's hand and gently stood up. She turned to look at the home of the dead in misery.

Akane slowly shook her head at the total waste of human life. "Why?"

Ranko finally found a little courage to speak up. "It was honor."

Ukyou blurted out in anguish. "Honor? What sort of honor was this?"

Nodoka wished she could travel back in time to undo her horrible mistake. "Sometimes, honor demands things that maybe..." She held her katana. "Oh Ranma, my son..." She started walking away from the home back toward the home of the Tendos, making a sobbing sound from time to time.

Akane and Ukyou exchanged worried glances at each other and at a sad Ranko as they followed Mrs. Saotome home.
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Nabiki ran to the front door stopping there to say her goodbyes. "Doesn't anyone want to come with me?"

"Sweet-o! I see you're ready to go for some hot lovin'!" Happosai jumped out to glomp Nabiki who held out a pair of Ranma's boxer shorts in the path of his flight. The old freak stopped in mid-air, turned to stone and crumpled to dust. It would only distract the thing from an evil dimension for only a minute.

Nabiki put the boxer shorts of Happosai repulsion back in her gym bag for later use. In other words, it was underwear worn by a male. "I want people to come with me who deserve to live."

Kasumi stepped over Happosai's remains to hug her sister. "Have a safe trip."

Nabiki held her older sister firmly. "Sis, come with me. It's not safe here."

"I have to take care of father. He and Mr. Saotome are planning something for Ranma and Akane when they get home and I need to be here."

"Oh please, they're not going to try to get the married again are they?"

"Hmm, I don't know if that's what they're planning but it wouldn't surprised me at all."

Nabiki held her face in her hand holding back laughter at the absurdity of her father. "The world's in crisis and all he can think about is getting my little sister married to Ranma. Oh that's just great." She looked at Kasumi's eyes and knew that her sister wasn't leaving. She reached into her gym bag and rummaged around a bit. She found a cell phone and handed it to her sister. "Take this."

"Why thank you." She looked at the simple cell phone and then her sister. "But we already have a phone."

"All the land lines are jammed right now since everybody is calling everybody else. Now, my cell phone is on the same system as that spare one so I can call you without any problem." She silently added. "For now, I hope the line stays open."

Kasumi slid the phone into a pocket in her apron. "I don't think I'll be needing it. You'll see."

Nabiki sealed up her gym bag and slung it over her shoulder. "You know sis, I hope you're right." Nabiki turned and walked out the door. "For all of our sakes, I hope you're right."
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Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy, why I'm so happy I could just sing the doom song now! DOOM DOOM DOOM DOOM DOOMY DOOMY DOOM DO DO DO DOOM DOOMY DOOMY DOOM The End.

Bill Heineman
March 14th, 2003
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burger@contrabandent.com

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