Ranma belong to Rumiko Sensei
X-Men belongs to Marvel Studios
Special Thanks to : Cheeser and Mingyu who volunteered their times to help edit this bad boy!
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW: I received a lot of PM and request to know more about the Broken Future. Time Travel Rocks! So I decided to paint a broad picture of what happened. More detailed explanation down below in the AN.
Broken Future: Hope
Ranma awoke, startled by the sound of Sentinels hovering above him in the red sky. He ignored them and began to roll up his sleeping bag to stuff it into his backpack. Eventually the Sentinels flew away, as he knew they would. After all, why wouldn't they? He was neither mutant nor superhuman, merely a regular flatscan.
Looking at the stream nearby, he gingerly smelled himself only to recoil in disgust. He was pretty ripe. It had only been a few days since his swim from Japan to Alaska. From here he could cut into the Canadian woods before turning northward into the Arctic. After a long debate with himself, he had decided to bypass America for now. They been at constant war for the past 14 years with civil unrest at an all-time high.
He felt a tiny tug on his conscience that maybe he should at least try to make a trip to Salem Center, to pay his respects to Jean, but ultimately decided against it. After all, she had Saffron to care for her grave now and his wayward son probably wouldn't want to see him anytime soon. His decision to join the X-men after his growth spurt had put them at odds with one another. While Ranma knew he couldn't paint all mutants with the same brush, it did not help that the Brotherhood, the same Brotherhood who murdered Kasumi and his children, had now allied themselves with the X-Men.
He had gotten his revenge against Sabertooth and Magneto, but that did not excuse the others who had joined their cause. They were responsible for ignoring civilians in their battles with the Mutant Response Division making things escalate. So while he had grown to care for Saffron like a true son, Jean had influenced the phoenix far more than Ranma had. As a result, it had not been a surprise when Saffron had left the nest and called Ranma a coward for abstaining from the war.
The war between superhumans and mutants had cost him too much already. Akane had died in the first year, leaving Kasumi perpetually sad. In his wife's eyes, she would always be a replacement for his true fiancée. Nabiki had joined S.H.I.E.L.D to see if she could make a difference and he had not heard from her since. Soun Tendo died shortly due to heartache from Akane's death, causing his own father, who had wasted away to a shadow of his former self, to finally let go. With his friend dead, Genma Saotome had simply closed his eyes and left this mortal coil.
It wasn't until Kasumi gave birth to his firstborn, Mia, that some life returned to the Tendo Dojo. Saffron's presence had helped, but being surrounded by all of that death hadn't been good for him. Of course, Saffron had been very proud to be the "Onii-chan" to Mia, and then later to Chiaka and Ryu. And when they died, he had been extremely wounded trying to protect them from Sabertooth. Unfortunately Ranma's mortal children did not have Saffron's regenerating abilities. Guilt ate away at his son, and Ranma was too aggrieved by the loss of most of his family to offer any comforting words.
The only thing that brought him comfort after that was the art and Ranma threw himself into it. Saffron's grief led to an exponential growth in his power and despite being slightly under eighteen, he had decided to join the X-men believing he could prevent such atrocities from happening again. They both had words and eventually Ranma let Saffron leave. He left Japan soon after, following Happosai's death after being granted the title of Grandmaster and the leech's secret scrolls. Happosai had requested to be buried with his "silky darlings" and Ranma, in a final act of respect, did so for the old fart.
Since then, Ranma had been wandering aimlessly, a bit like Ryoga. Last he heard, the rock mutant had been one of the top fighters of the X-Men. He still wasn't leadership material though, his wife Blink was the only thing keeping him from getting lost.
Shaking himself out of the past, he heated up some cabbage and rice for breakfast even as he stripped and started wading in the water stream. Immediately he felt his body change and looked down. He was still top heavy, but his girl side had grown taller and its face had aged a few years.
As he, or rather SHE, was soaping herself, Ranma heard a distant boom echo through the mountain range. Turning her head to the sound she realized it was in the direction the Sentinels had headed towards. Once more, loud booms echoed through the wilderness of Alaska, making Ranma consider on what she wanted to do. From what she knew and remembered from the news, if the mutants did not resist then they would not be harmed. They would be registered as weapons based on their mutation and that would be the end of it. Even Ranma had registered himself and his fists as weapons when he opened the Dojo, so she wasn't sure what the big deal was. Perhaps had all the mutants registered, Kasumi and his children would not have died.
So Ranma forcefully ignored the sound of battle and concentrated on her bathing.
+++ Outskirt of Nearby Town+++
By the time Ranma had finished breakfast, the booming echoes had stopped. She decided to stay female for now, making sure to alternate between male form and female form each day. Both sides were part of her and she needed to train them both. She was, however, low on supplies and going into town as a girl would make it easier to haggle for her needs.
Looking at the map, it just so happened that the closest town was where the sounds of battle had originated from earlier. So here she was, walking on the road leading to said town only to find a lot of it damaged with a good dozen twenty-five-foot robot body parts strewn about haphazardly.
Ranma walked her way into town and was greeted by the sight of dead bodies, both mutants and human, everywhere. As usual, the majority of deaths seem to be from collateral damage. Families were crushed in their cars. The bodies that littered the streets appeared to be running in one direction, probably in an attempt to get away from the fight, but they were all burnt to a crisp. From what she could tell, there were at least two fire mutants, two explosive and possibly a strength type (if the caved-in head of the Sentinel leaning against the building was any indication) or a powerful telekinetic.
Ranma noticed several weaker auras in the nearby area but no one came out. Probably people in hiding. She moved on to the local market, whose window had been busted open by the corpse of a blond mutant in his thirties. He had probably died shortly after being bisected slightly below the waist.
Taking her time to browse through the wares, Ranma eventually put a bunch of items that she would need into her shopping cart and left some money on the register before leaving with it. A moment later, she stuffed her "purchases" into hidden space. Non-food items she could store almost indefinitely, but fresh food expired as normal.
Adjusting her bulky winter wear, Ranma was just about to head out of town when a weak keening sound made itself known to her. Stopping in her tracks, she followed the sound to an alleyway. The keening sound continued though it sounded muffled as she stepped in and saw a woman with auburn hair face down, large animal marks on her back seemed to be the cause of her death.
Ranma knew that a feral type mutant must be the woman's killer, and she had probably bled out. Respectfully she lifted the corpse revealing the origin of the sound.
It was a baby.
Ranma gently eased the woman's lifeless body to the side and looked at the baby, whose clothes were stained by its mother's blood.
"Waaaaaaaah~~~~!" The baby continued to cry, shaking its arms and legs weakly.
The first thing Ranma did was lift the baby up gently and discard its clothes, revealing it to be a girl. Taking out a clean towel, she wrapped the infant snugly in it. Then finally, she extended her ki a bit and slowly warmed the child. Her effort was rewarded when the baby girl slowly stopped crying and opened her eyes to look at Ranma.
"Heya runt," Ranma greeted with a smile. She studied the baby's face even as the baby studied hers. For some reason, the baby reminded Ranma of her old Headmistress from the Xavier institute. She had seen other redheads and people with green eyes before, but the same red hair and green eyes of that exact shade were few and far between. This baby in her arms had both.
"Jean?" Ranma asked tentatively, only to have the baby scrunch her face up and start bawling her eyes out.
"Okay, okay, not Jean!" Ranma panicked as she rocked the bundle in her arms and made soft cooing noise like she used to do for her own children. And it worked, causing the baby to calm down and even giggle.
"Yeah yeah, laugh it up."
Easily balancing the baby, she used another towel to form a cradle on her torso. Ranma knelt down to check the woman for any form of identification, but to her disappointment there was none, the woman had a look to her that showed she might have been very outgoing when alive. Ranma left to enter the nearby bedroom store and saw several of the clerks cowering in fear behind the desk. She decided to ignore them and grabbed a few sheets and turning back to the woman.
Turning the gurgling baby forward to face its mother, Ranma clapped her hands together and bowed respectfully to the woman three times. Then she took the infant's arms and helped her do the same. With the ceremony done, Ranma draped the sheet over the woman while looking at the infant in her coat. She pegged the baby at around four to six months at the most. The girl wasn't frail like a newborn and had an adequate amount of fat on her.
Just as she was about to leave town, she felt something. The baby had somehow turned inside her coat so it was facing her breast once more and began to root for milk.
"Oh come on!" Ranma growled and removed the baby, much to her protest. "Nah uh, I ain't breastfeeding ya kid. I didn't even do that for my own kids."
The baby eventually calmed down, but continued to balefully glare up at her.
"Nope, it's baby food for you," Ranma replied as she stuffed the baby in her coat again, faced forward, and got the appropriate baby food, some of which Ranma fed to the baby immediately. Afterwards, Ranma once again paid the non-existent cashier and made her way out of town. She thought about staying put and waiting for the police to show up, but there was a chance that the next wave could also be mutants. If those two forces collided, then the baby would be put in harm's way again.
Her best bet might be to drop this baby off at a local church in the next town. They could find out if she had any relatives. So with that, Ranma left Cooperstown.
+++ One Hour after Ranma's Departure+++
One moment there was nothing in the air, the next a group of people appeared. All of them were wearing assorted colored clothes that could double as armor. The thing that stood out most among the group were the X motifs that covered said clothes. Among them was man with a ruby-quartz visor, a girl with long black hair and green eyes, a massive giant of a man made out of rocks, and an elfish girl with purple skin.
"Damn, it looks like the MRD and the Rogue Brotherhood got here first," Scott Summers, aka Cyclops and leader of the X-Men growled as he balled his fists. He surveyed the scene of destruction and wanted to hit something, anything, really badly.
"There are some survivors," Laura Kinnely, aka X-23, spoke up as her enhanced sense of smell picked up the sweating humans.
"What about the Messiah?" Ryoga Hibiki, aka Rockslide, asked as he stood completely still. He had greater control of his traveling power so long as he maintained concentration. However, his wife, Claire Hibiki aka Blink had her hand on his wrist to make sure if they did get lost it would be together.
"The Stepfords said she was definitely in this town," Cyclops replied as he looked around for any survivors. He was one of the few original X-men still alive and free, and it showed. His face had become haggard, no longer the healthy shade it once been. White streaked his hair from the stress of the war.
"Tracks," Laura said showing a trail of footprints leading out of town. The scent smelt foreign, yet familiar to her for some odd reason. "It's the only set leading out of town."
Scott smiled in relief. Destiny had foretold that the Mutant Messiah would be able to save the mutant race from extermination, that her power would be unmatched by all. Of course Bishop had called the Mutant Messiah a monster, claiming that she would commit unspeakable evils. So great was his fear he let the Superhumans knew about it.
Five months ago, when she was born, all of mutant-kind felt her presence. It was new, joyful and utterly innocent. Mere moments afterward that presence was gone. Cerebra overloaded from the sheer power of her signature. When they repaired it, Cerebra had been unable to find the powerful presence again. It took a while, but they had eventually pinpointed the Messiah's location. Unfortunately, they weren't the only ones.
"Cyclops, company." Laura pointed to the sky as several M.R.D dropships and the Avengers of Alaska headed in their direction.
The superhumans were nervous about the Messiah, fearing she would wreak havoc on the humans as Bishop had foretold. The Rogue Brotherhood wanted to use the Messiah as an avatar of vengeance; however, the X-Men and those that fought under their banner only wanted the Messiah for one thing.
They needed her to bring back hope.
***One Week Later***
"Grug, gah, bawh!"
"Yeah, I think we're getting close to the next town too," Ranma replied to the baby now snuggling up against his chest. The baby was more animated than usual, as she would often wiggle around, slapping his cheek with her chubby arms.
"Gah?" The baby seemed to ask before she rustled around in his coat so that she was facing forward.
"No, we need to approach the town like regular people," Ranma chided the young girl. The baby loved it when he jumped through the trees. The girl was fearless, that's for certain. He didn't even understand what she was saying but that didn't stop him from pretending he did.
Before Ranma hit the main road leading into town he poured some water over him to change back into a female. He also left his large backpack hidden in a tall tree nearby so he could retrieve it later. Nodding to herself, she looked at the bundled up baby who was staring at her change with the same wide eye fascination she always had.
"Well runt, it looks like you won't be my problem for long," Ranma casually told the baby. Ranma left the baby nameless on purpose so that she wouldn't form any attachment.
Straightening her outfit, she walked into town and was immediately noticed by people. Though a lot of people gave her a curious look, they were polite enough not question her. Her objective right now was the large church she had seen earlier. In her experience, Christians were always kind to travelers.
It took Ranma a few minutes, but she finally made it to the large building. There didn't seem to be anyone in the main building so she went to the adjacent building. Knocking on the door she waited for a response.
"Naa ba ba ba," the baby talked to her, as if telling her to try another place.
"Shh," Ranma replied to the baby as she heard footsteps making their way to the front door.
The door opened to reveal an elderly man in black clothing looking at her.
"Yes can I help you?" the priest asked in a kind voice.
Taking the baby from the bundle, Ranma shoved the girl in front of the man face. "She's an orphan, I heard you guys deal with orphans."
Father Kenneth was taken aback by the abruptness of the pretty teen in front of him. In his professional opinion, this was a teen mother who no longer wanted her child. The red hair that mother and child shared definitely gave away their relationship.
"We… do. Do you know what happened to her birth mother?"
Ranma sighed in relief as the man took hold of the baby, who immediately became fascinated with this new human.
"She was collateral damage in a mutant hunt," Ranma replied. It was close enough to the truth. "She had no identification on her, so I have no idea who the baby belong to."
"And where did you find her?" Father Kenneth asked as he looked at the child and felt his heart instantly warmed by the child's large emerald eyes and cute expressive face.
"I dunno, a town five-days-walk back that way," Ranma pointed in the direction of Cooperstown.
"Have you named this child?" the priest asked, starting to suspect that this girl before him was a mutant. Not that he had anything against mutants; they were all God's children after all.
Ranma hesitated for a second before she shook her head. "No, you can name her anything you like."
The priest nodded and suffered the beautiful child tugging on his short beard. "Well then, thank you miss…?"
"Ranma, just Ranma," Ranma said before she gave one last look at the baby and turned to walk away.
The baby who had been focused on the priest was startled when she saw her caretaker walking away and began to squirm and reach out toward her caretaker's back.
"Shhh, there there little one," the priest began to try and soothe the baby, but child's arm was now stretching out, as if trying to will her mother back.
"Maa! Paa!" The baby began to cry to get her caretaker's attention.
Ranma had heard the baby protest but ignored it. Babies were young, she'd get over it. So steeling herself, she continued to walk as the babbling escalated into crying. The baby was the priest's problem now, not hers.
So why did she feel so bad?
+++ One day later +++
For reasons she could hardly justified, Ranma continue to stay in the town overnight. She rented a cheap motel with the excuse that she needed a real hot shower after so long on the road. After she was done, she dressed in her large winter coat and decided to walk around town for a while. To her own surprise she found herself walking toward the direction of the church and had been about to turn back when she heard the weak cry of the baby.
Before she knew it she was quietly sneaking through the church grounds and went to the adjacent building where the priest lived.
"There there little one, you shouldn't cry anymore, you'll hurt yourself if you continue," the priest voice could be heard trying to sooth the child.
In response the child seemed to weakly cry a bit more despite the priest's best efforts to placate her.
Ranma had flashback to her own children and felt her heart squeeze. As much as she hated to admit it, perhaps… perhaps it was fate that brought her and the baby together. Steeling herself she walked to the front of the door and knocked gently.
A moment later the door open and the priest revealed his surprise at seeing Ranma standing there. It was the baby, however, who stopped and glared at the pigtailed girl. The baby's eyes were red and swollen, fresh tears still leaking out from them, but her face had a very displeased expression upon seeing Ranma.
The priest looked between Ranma and the baby and began to smile. The Lord worked in mysterious ways, and seeing mother and daughter reunited was heartwarming. Wordlessly, he handed the baby back to the fidgeting teen and saw the baby relax almost immediately.
"Heya, squirt, sorry about that, had things to take care of ya know?" Ranma told the baby who continued to glare at her making her feel extremely guilty. Those Jean-like eyes were so accusatory! Looking up from the baby at the priest to get a reprieve from the baby's glare she gave him a weak smile.
"I changed my mind; I think I'm gonna keep her. Heh heh..."
"She hasn't stopped crying since you left her yesterday," Father Kenneth answered gently with a smile. "You two were meant to be together."
Ranma winced at the priest's rebuke. "Yeah…sorry about that. Shouldn't have dumped her on you like that… did you name her yet?"
"Not yet, I had the paperwork done to get her registered with the United States, but I have yet to give her a good name," the Priest replied. "Although I am leaning towards Hope."
"Hope?" Ranma asked before frowning a bit. Looking at the baby, the name seemed to fit the girl. But this was her baby now. Smirking she look down at the child and grinned. "I was gonna call her Alaska, since that's where I found her."
"Alaska?" the priest eyed Ranma weirdly but shrugged. "What should her last name be then?"
Ranma hesitated for a bit before deciding that her baby should have proper paperwork if she was going to be traveling the world with her. "Alaska Saotome."
"Wait here a moment," the priest said as he walked inside his office. A minute later he came back out and handed a certificate to Ranma. "This is her proof of citizenship. Even though it lists her as an orphan, it still has her registered with the United States and you as her caretaker."
"Thanks," Ranma bowed respectfully as she still held the glaring baby in her arms. The baby still was recovering from her sniffling but her eyes still drilled into those of Ranma.
"Aww come on, give me a break!"
***Eighteen Years Later***
Alaska Saotome remained absolutely still as she searched the surroundings for her enemy. She even went so far as to hold her breath for fear of giving her position away.
Alaska yelped as the voice was whispered directly into her ears and she turned around to throw out a fast punched only to encounter nothing but air.
"Gah!" Alaska whirled around with super human speed to attack the source of the voice, yet try as she might she was unable to detect her assailant's presence.
"Tsk. Tsk. Focus on your senses A-chan," the whispers were once more near her ears.
"Come out and face me like a man!" Alaska challenged and before her, stood a tall handsome man that looked barely a few years old than her. "Gotcha! Amiguriken!"
To her chagrin the man blocked all of her attacks with one hand while using the other to stifle a yawn.
"Tell me when this gets interesting," the man commented before his eyes literally closed in front of her even while blocking her attacks.
"GAAHHHHH!" Alaska screamed in frustration before she channeled some ki into her palm and fired it at the man. She was not surprised when it didn't hurt the man at all.
"Papa no baka!"
Ranma Saotome grinned at his daughter's frustration and felt pride in her persistence as she began to kick up her attacks. She wasn't as good as he was at her age, but she was better than he was after he arrived in Nerima.
"A-chan, if you don't get a least a single hit in, you get no dinner tonight," Ranma taunted and saw his daughter's face pale. As expected she stopped and increased her fighting abilities to another level. Did he know how to motivate people or what?
This led to a good five minutes of sparring, with Ranma striking whenever he felt Alaska left herself open. He nodded to himself before he slapped both of her hands away and punched her hard twice in her gut, making her double over to the ground.
"Good job, a big improvement. Go get cleaned up while I prepare breakfast."
Alaska's body ached and her stomach felt as if it was on fire, but those two pieces of praise from her father made it all worth it. She felt her father's presence retreat before she recovered enough to slink her way to the nearby river stream.
Stripping off her clothes, she carelessly tossed them aside and waded in the clean springs of the Canadian frontier. She let out a moan as the cool stream caressed her skin. She was soaking and letting herself be set adrift when she heard a rustling from the nearby woods. Instantly alert and standing on two feet, she tried to pinpoint the source of the sound.
A moment later, Alaska found out when a figure was sent crashing through the trees and into the riverbed water. Being raised around her father, she never really had much modesty. Eventually her father did try to instill some decorum of modesty in her but by that time was too late.
She quickly swam toward the figure that was floating face down in the river and turned them face up, noting that it was a male; a mutant male judging by the wings on his back. His clothes looked battered and torn up. The figure jolted awake upon her touch, but his eyes still showed that he was obviously concussed.
Alaska did not have long to reflect as several heavy thumps could be heard coming from the trees. Looking up she saw large monstrosities enter the clearing. They were tall, at least ten feet, and had black scales on over a sleek body design.
"Mutants located," the Sentinel verbally confirmed as its eyes stared at both Alaska and the winged mutant.
"Wha- hey, I'm not a mutant!" Alaska protested before the mutant in the water grabbed her wrist.
"R-Run!" the winged mutant told her as he pushed her away and stood to his full height, which was taller than her father, and stared down the sentinels.
That was when something odd happened. Alaska felt a surge of ki around her hand, like it was twisting and morphing into something else. Looking at her hand she noticed that it was on fire.
"Gah!" Alaska shouted as she dipped her hand into the water only to find out the fire was still burning as strongly as before.
"RAAAHHH!" the winged figure yelled as he flew up and threw a massive fireball at the machines and struck true, blowing open a hole where water immediately poured in.
To Alaska's surprise, however, the Sentinel's black scales had turned into ice, the rest of the machines morphed into the same ice design and fired at the winged being who ignited his fire power to resist the onslaught of ice.
Even though her hand was still on fire, she was able to focus for her familiar thread of ki and grabbed a hold of it before she cupped her hands together.
The Ki beam struck one of the machines and blew up its outer covering, exposing wiring and circuitry. Apparently it might have been the wrong thing to do as several of the Sentinels changed targets from the winged being and turned their attention to her.
"Run, girl!" the winged man shouted even as the fire around him started to die down.
"Alaska Saotome never runs from a fight!" Alaska shouted and saw the winged man did a double take and stare at her in shock. That was the wrong thing for him to do as that momentary lapse in concentration allowed the ice beam to strike, causing him to howl in pain.
However, she could only spare him a moment's thought as several of the Sentinels flew at her. Like she was trained, Alaska got into a ready stance…
… That proved to be unnecessary as invisible blades of Ki infused air cut through the Sentinels coming toward her, destroying them immediately. The other scaled Sentinels that were firing their ice beams were also struck by the same attack moments later, causing them to literally fall apart.
"Father! I had them!" Alaska rebuked her father who was already in the air hovering above her. She put her hands on her hips to let him know her displeasure.
"First, put on some clothes. You don't want to give people a free show," Ranma pointed out, not caring about his daughter's displeasure, before he turned to the winged figure who was staring at him in shock.
"Saffron, it's been a while."
Alaska looked between her father and the winged man and blinked. This was Saffron, her father's other adopted child?
"F-father?" Saffron Grey, leader of X-Factor, stuttered out. It was then something else registered as he looked between the nude girl and his father. She called him father too?! Did he remarry? Why didn't his father invite him if that was the case? Saffron could not help but feel a little hurt at the exclusion.
"Yeah, get dressed, definitely giving Saffron a free show," Ranma quirked his mouth in a displeased manner at his daughter as he looked at Saffron. He had grown, even larger than he had been at Mount Phoenix.
"And before you ask, I found A-chan here and decided to keep her."
Alaska glared at the way her father casually mentioned her adoption, but quickly got dressed after drying off her skin with hot Ki.
"Father..." Saffron sighed and had to admit, it was something Ranma would do. So his father had adopted someone else. Looking at the girl over, he could not help but be reminded of his deceased mother. The girl, however, seemed to preen once she noticed he was looking at her. He had to smile a bit at that before he turned back to his father, a man he had been trying to find for quite some time now. Even the late Ryoga could not find him.
"I'm surprised you're alive… no one has heard from you in decades."
"Of course I am," Ranma nodded sagely before he floated down to stand in the water with his adopted son. "Why would you think I was dead?"
"Father… Roc- Ryoga spent five years looking for you, but he unable to find any trace of you," Saffron explained before his father held up a hand.
"Explain it to me on our way back to my camp," Ranma said as he hovered down and picked up the now clothed Alaska by the collar of her shirt, much to the girl's displeasure. Saffron followed easily enough and it didn't take long to make it back to his camp.
"So why was bacon breath looking for me?"
Saffron bristled at hearing a respected member of the X-Men referred to in such a manner, but he also knew that his father had a different experience with the warrior known as Rockslide.
"We needed your power, King Herb and Ryoga all said you would be invaluable to the war effort," Saffron explained as he recalled the power his father had displayed. His father could make such a difference in the war. "We needed your strength… still need it."
"You're still with the X-Men?" Ranma asked casually as he offered some tea to Alaska who had remained oddly quiet.
"I am, but I'm leading one of the other branch known as X-Factor," Saffron declared proudly and was relieved when his father simply nodded. Saffron had to admit, he was a bit surprise that his father's appearance had remained almost exactly how he remembered him. Mr. Hibiki, when he was alive, had aged more than his father and even King Herb was not unaffected.
"Well, my answer remains the same then," Ranma said easily and saw Saffron bristle.
"Father, I know you protested the Brotherhood's inclusion into the X-Men but we needed them and they have proven invaluable to the cause. You shouldn't punish them any longer for Kasumi-mama's death," Saffron pleaded with his father. Even to this day, he carried the memory of his brothers and sisters with him. Their memories made him fight harder, but his father had avoided this war all together.
To Saffron's ire, his father just simply shrugged.
"What happens out in the world is no longer my concern," Ranma said and meant it. He decided long ago to become a martial arts hermit.
"Father!" Saffron stood up and glared at his father, but sensed the confident strength within. "You are being too selfish!"
"So I've been told many times," Ranma shrugged again as he tore off a piece of deer meat and consumed it. "My answer remains the same; I'm not gonna to help."
Saffron once more bristled but knew that his father had yet to forgive the Brotherhood who made up a sizable portion the mutant forces.
"I'll be going at first light then, father," Saffron replied and his father nodded. They would talk for the rest of the night, but once daylight broke he'd be gone from his father company once more. He looked at the redhead near his father and had to suppress a bit a jealousy at the close relationship the two had.
"I'm going for some fresh air."
Normally Saffron would fly, but he didn't want to alert possible Sentinel scouts. Walking through the woods, he was aware that the girl was following him. Turning around he saw that he had caught her judging by the guilty expression on her face. He had to admit, the girl was beautiful and while her coloration reminded him of his mother, their facial features were nothing alike.
"What can I help you with?"
"I want to go with you when you leave," the girl said casually. "The name's Alaska by the way, Alaska Saotome."
"Saffron Grey," Saffron replied and saw the girl raise an eyebrow at him. "I took my mother's surname to honor her memory."
Walking through the woods, he noticed that several animals spotted him and made a run for it. He did exude the presence of a predator after all. He took some time to mule over what Alaska had asked as they continued to walk.
"Why do you want to go with me? You know father wouldn't allow it," Saffron flicked his head in the direction of the camp.
"It doesn't matter what father allows. I'm eighteen, I can do what I want," Alaska said a bit hesitantly before she looked down at her hand. "Besides, I'm a mutant too so your war is my war."
"You know father blames the X-Men for not carrying out justice on Magneto's Brotherhood right?" Saffron asked the pretty redhead, who only shook her head. "Worse, the current mutant population blames father for snatching their victory away against the humans."
Alaska blinked, a bit stunned.
"The Saotome name is reviled among the mutant community," Saffron explained as he and Alaska still made their way through the woods. "To avenge Kasumi-mama, Father tore through the Brotherhood Elite to kill both Magneto and Sabertooth. Had he killed everyone it wouldn't have mattered, but he left people like Shatterstar, Polaris and Domino alive."
Saffron stopped, remembering why he had abandon the Saotome name when he enlisted in the X-Men to smooth out the transition.
"He blinded Domino, and de-armed Shatterstar. Polaris will never walk under her own power again because he shattered her spine into thousands of pieces. Although, to be fair, they were trying to kill him."
Alaska looked a bit hesitant and gazed at Saffron. "I… I had no idea."
"The worst part of it all is, Magneto was winning," Saffron continued looking up at the sky. "He had both humanity and the X-Men on the ropes. Had he won, it would be mutants hunting down humans. Father cost mutant-kind everything."
"Then why do you want his help if he's so hated?" Alaska was curious as she peered at the mutant before her. She had to admit he was handsome and regal in a way.
"The X-Men don't blame father, nor had Mr. Hibiki," Saffron explained and saw that Alaska was confused. "Besides, whether you love him or hate him, father would make an invaluable asset. However, Franklin thinks that we could do well with Father's help."
"Franklin?" Alaska asked as she and Saffron both sat against some trees looking at the river flowing in the distance.
"A friend," Saffron clarified before he unfurled his massive wings to check for damages. "And the current leader of the Resistance."
"Oh. Well, I won't change my name," Alaska said stubbornly. "I'm proud to be a Saotome."
"Do you mind me asking why he named you Alaska of all things?" Saffron asked with a raised eyebrow. He knew his father had a… different naming sense, but to name a girl after a state?
"That's where he found me," Alaska suddenly grinned wryly as she recalled asking her father the same question. "It was either that or Cooperstown as my name."
Saffron head snapped over to Alaska and scrutinized her, making her extremely self-conscious.
"H-hey! What are you looking at?" Alaska asked blushing, not used to such intense scrutiny outside of training.
"Cooperstown?" Saffron asked and the girl nodded. Suddenly a lot of things made sense. Why Destiny and any other organization was unable to track the mutant Messiah. Father being the Chaos Nexus could disrupt even the best laid prophecy or derail a timeline.
Looking at the girl once more, he could not believe that after all these years the Mutant Messiah was with his father. However, he was one of the few that knew about her, and the rest had assumed the M.R.D had managed to kill her.
Saffron decided he would keep the knowledge to himself; it was then that he saw the girl was glaring at him, though her face was still red.
"Sorry, just recalled something that happened there, the state I mean."
Alaska debated for a moment and nodded to accept Saffron's answer.
"So what time do we leave?"
"Early, but I wouldn't be surprised if he come looking for you," Saffron warned, but the red-head merely shrugged.
"I'm a mutant now. I belong there, and this is my fight now."
As if to make her point she raised her hand to eye level and ignited it with flame. Saffron looked at the hand. The mutant messiah was a fire type mutant; he always thought it'd be something more impressive, something more along Jean's level.
"I knew you'd see things my way," Alaska smirk before patting Saffron hard on his back.
+++ The next morning+++
The two adopted children of Ranma Saotome woke up to find their father gone. They had assumed he was training and figured it was the perfect time to leave. Unknown to them, however, Ranma was looking at them from high atop a tree, his presence masked by the Umisenken. Next to him was a very aged, diminutive, old lump-looking thing.
"Are you sure that it's wise to let your daughter go with him Son-in-law?" Cologne, the aged Matriarch of the Amazons asked the powerful man beside her.
"I can get her back later," Ranma replied before looking at the old woman. In truth, the old woman looked far from healthy and that was saying something. "Why did you seek me out?"
"As you know this war has been taking its toll on all of us both humans and mutants alike," Cologne coughed out. She knew her body was failing her and soon. "Everything that I tried to prevent have come to pass. And now the Amazons elders are fully committed to fighting the mutants even at the cost of the next generation of Amazons."
"People dying in wars? Gee who would have thunk it!" Ranma snark before shaking his head for his rudeness. "Sorry..."
"Son-In-Law, you can probably sense it. I'm not long for this world," Cologne ignored Ranma's crass behavior as her eyes followed the two children leaving the forest. "I need to pass on my knowledge to another, but Shampoo is dead."
Ranma bowed his head at the mention of his former Amazonian fiancée. He had heard that she died during the opening strikes by Magneto's forces.
"I'm… sorry about that, for her death and your loss."
"Well, my mourning period is over and I have more than exacted my vengeance. You killing Magneto satisfied honor."
"Uh… your welcome?" Ranma replied questioningly.
"I want to pass my knowledge on to you. My art, my knowledge, our ancient treasures. You were, after all, my Son-In-Law," Cologne said suddenly as she turned to give Ranma a serious look. "I only ask that you don't let the Amazonian martial art and history die out under your watch."
Ranma blinked at that. "Me? Despite all the times we fought each other?"
"Fought?" Cologne cackled mockingly. "We sparred, son-in-law, nothing more. I only conceded defeat when I had to in order to make it more interesting. Your growth made you interesting."
Ranma bristled but he knew that she had been holding back. Just not to what extent.
"Now however, at your current level, and me at my prime, I am not certain I could say who would win that battle."
"I would of course!" Ranma smirked and fold his arm to look down at the old woman.
"Perhaps, though I never pegged you for wanting a kiss of marriage from me so certainly," Cologne cackled again as Ranma paled at the thought of the old woman giving him the kiss of marriage.
"I think I'm gonna be sick!" Ranma suppressed his urge to vomit before glaring at the old woman.
"That said, it would probably take me a good year or two to teach you everything. I have also spent quite a bit of time writing those I won't be able to teach in this manual," Cologne handed over a thick tome over to Ranma. "Hopefully you're clever enough to decipher it."
"What make you think I would agree to your conditions or want your training anyhow?" Ranma asked as he took the tome in his hands. He already knew he was going to accept no matter what.
"Because you're a martial artist first and foremost," Cologne said knowingly, and Ranma made no move to deny it.
"I will have to check on Alaska from time to time," Ranma warned and the tiny Chinese woman merely shrugged her shoulders.
"Do as you wish, if I die you have the manual to learn from," Cologne answered before she looked at him. "Oh, one more stipulation, anything you learn cannot be used against any Amazon."
"That's fine," Ranma nodded as he had other skill sets and another school to rely on to battle Amazons if he needed to. "On my honor, I will only teach these skills if the opportunity arises and never use it to harm other Amazons."
"Good, Good," Cologne nodded. "Well then, let's get started shall we?"
Ranma could only grin in anticipation of what he would learn. Briefly he spared a thought for his daughter. Alaska was getting older now. And because of him sheltering her, she didn't have much life experience. He hated to say it, but he was too overprotective of her, much like a certain Tendo Patriarch. Thankfully, the girl have always been fiercely independent, even more so than he was at that age. The fact that she wanted to leave him to go with Saffron suggested that he had not made her totally dependent on him. Perhaps this trip out to the world would do his daughter a world of good. Besides, Saffron would look out for her, of that he was certain.
"Let's begin then... Sensei."
The early twenty-second century looked different from how it was a hundred years ago. Where once there were lush green fields and clear skies, barren wastelands and perpetually dark skies replaced them. Where once stood proud, tall, immaculate metropolitan buildings were now broken ruins with vine growth creeping up on their sides. It was in such a ruin, once called Washington D.C, a figure was now rummaging around what had been called the Capitol Hill building.
The figure was not tall. In fact, the male figure in a black armored bodysuit stood maybe six feet at the most. A helmet with a dark tinted glass panel was all that covered his face. The only thing different that stood out was an emblem of the blue earth with a Phoenix spreading its wings out to either side on his shoulder.
The figure moved slowly through what was once the heart of the United States government and took a moment to admire the history. His flashlight shined along the wall, looking left and right with no sign of life in sight. However, the figure knew differently. Slowly, almost casually, he sat on one of the broken Congressional tables and took off his helmet, revealing dark blue eyes on a young face with a thin ponytail.
The figure looked up through the open hole in the roof before dusting himself off and placing his helmet to the side. The man with light scarring on his face looked around the room and smirked before he took off his outer armor layer and unbuttoned his dark leather jacket. Then, as if doing the impossible, he reached into his jacket and pulled out a whole chicken. A glow of his hand later and the chicken was reheated and emitting a tantalizing aroma.
Not yet finished, he took a large canister and opened the bottle to reveal that it was traditional tea, very hard to come by in the new world. By the time he was done, he had taken out seven whole chickens, and other assorted foods, with the same number of drinks. Looking at the spread, he smiled and nodded as he tore off a chicken leg.
"Itadakimasu~~~" the man said in a sing song voice as he took out a small cup, poured himself some tea and began to eat the chicken leg slowly.
The man ate alone for the first few minutes and did not move or acknowledge the new presence entering the room. The new presence was a group of men and women, looking haggard and eying the food hungrily. They numbered six in total, but two of them were different from the rest. The first was a man that had rainbow color skin that kept rotating in anxiety. In his hand was a large hand cannon, literally still attached to a robot arm. The second person was a female that looked to be in her early teens, dark energy dancing around her form. The other four were made of three men in their late thirties and a woman in her twenties. They were also armed as the rainbow skinned man. That is to say, holding a severed robotic arm as their primary weapon.
The ponytailed man ignored the group even as they closed in on him, cautious. The girl's stomach grumbled as she eyed the food. However, the smell was making all of their mouths water and the closer they moved to the man, the more nervous the group seemed to be. Clearly the ponytailed man must have known they were there, yet he acted unconcerned. He confirmed the fact by throwing a chicken bone away and tearing off another piece.
It wasn't until they were less than a meter away that the man turned around for them to see. He was clean. His face didn't have any trace of dirt on it and his hair, while messy, was still well kept compared to their own ratty appearances. It was his eyes that were the most telling, they almost seem to dance in amusement with just a hint of sadness.
"Oh my, now this is unexpected… ah, would you like to join me?" the man asked, ignoring the five cannons and one black electricity charged fist aimed at him. He merely raised an eyebrow at their gestures and some of the members of the group could not help but feel a bit embarrassed.
"I have plenty, as you can see."
The group all looked at each other cautiously, but did not waver as they continued to aim the robotic canons at him.
"Who are you? What are you?" the oldest man step forward. He was wearing a very, very old and worn U.S military uniform. The patches were still noticeable.
"Name's Ranma, Saotome Ranma," the man, Ranma, introduced himself, much to several of the adults' shock. The eldest man narrowed his eyes after a moment of disbelief and kept the weapon aimed at the man.
"So you claim," the elderly man said tightly. "However, last I heard, the High General was making inroads from the southern sea.
Ranma only grinned in reply before pouring himself some tea and drinking from the cup deeply.
"That's actually being led by my son," Ranma said casually as he smiled at the group. "I actually came in from the east."
"That's impossible! The eastern seaboard is too well guarded!" It was the woman who spoke up, looking at the man suspiciously.
"Ah, so you all must definitely be with the American Resistance right?" Ranma asked happily even as the weapons began to whirl and charge up. "Think you could put me in contact with your leaders?"
Before anyone could fire off a blast another presence made itself known, some unseen force swinging the door open with a loud bang. In marched a blonde-haired woman who was also dressed in an old American military uniform. Every part of her looked ordinary except for her bio-luminescent eyes that were glowing a soft orange-red color.
"Major!" the elderly man turned to the new arrival. "You shou-"
The woman only had to turn her eyes to the man to silence him. Slowly she turned back to the cocky, confident looking young man before her with the Free People's Army emblem on his shoulders. Taking out a gun, she leveled it at the man, even as she raised her wrist to her mouth and talked into it.
"Haze, what are the surroundings like?"
"All clear ma'am."
"And this man who's claiming to be the High General?" the blonde beauty asked the other person on the line.
"He's not a Sentinel ma'am, I can feel his presence, but he locked his mind pretty tight. I can't get through his mental defenses."
Slowly the blonde-haired woman lowered her gun, but did not signal the others to do the same. "So we know that you are not a Sentinel, but how can we be sure you're not a Scavenger? This is their territory."
"I know," Ranma answered with a smile trying to appear as disarming as possible. "That's why I came here; I'm surprised to meet Resistance troops though. These food was bait to lure them out."
The blonde woman's eyes widened as she looked around and suddenly saw several dozen figures making themselves known in the room of Congress.
"Haze! How did you miss this?!" the blonde woman shouted even as the group of six turned their guns to the even more ragged group of people. The people in question, however, were not armed but had powers ranging from elemental types to pure energy.
"They probably have a stronger telepath than yours," Ranma volunteered helpfully even as the blonde Major threw him a scathing look. Ignoring the woman, he turned to look at the new group that just showed up and smiled.
"You guys should probably eat; I'd imagine rat's not all that nourishing."
"Are you really the High General?" a man from the new group stepped forward. He was initially covered in a cloak with a hood, but pushed it back to reveal vines for his plantlike face.
"Yup," Ranma answered with a nod and beckoned to the food on display. "You should call the children too; they probably haven't had a decent meal in… well, I am guessing never?"
Ranma's suggestion seemed to alarm the man as he saw the other Scavengers tense up. "How could you possi-"
"-Know that underneath this complex there are an almost a hundred kids?" Ranma asked with a lazy smile as he sat on the table. "It's because I felt them, just like I felt all the other life signs in this city."
The plant mutant slowly nodded as if his explanation made sense and looked at Ranma. "So it's true, the High General's mutant power is tracking other mutants."
"… Sure, let's go with that for now," Ranma said a bit tiredly before he shook his head. "Anyways, call the kids up; there isn't a Sentinel around here for a few miles. They got bigger fish to fry, namely the cans of whoop-ass that Laura and Myst are about to unload on them."
"So the Free People's Army is really launching a two pronged attack?!" the blonde Major asked in pure disbelieving shock.
"That's correct," Ranma answered as he stepped away from the food as the little pitter patter of feet could be heard moving toward the room. He walked over to the major and looked at the Resistance fighters.
"They should join in if they're hungry."
To their credit, the adults shook their heads and it was the elderly man who answered Ranma, this time as if answering to a direct superior.
"No, the children should eat first," the man answered formally before he awkwardly saluted Ranma. "Name is Matt Crane, sir."
"No need for that, I'm not part of your outfit, remember?" Ranma replied amused after the rest had introduced themselves. Against the teen's wishes, she was pushed to start eating with the rest of the children, some her age.
"Uh, with all due respect sir," this time it was the Major who answered formally, as she now looked at Ranma with something akin to admiration and respect. "You're the High General. As far as High Com is concerned, you outrank all of us. My name is Valerie Carter, sir."
"...well, that's… surprising," Ranma blinked at that little revelation, looking a bit chagrined. "How is that even possible? I haven't been on American soil since...2070."
"No sir, you haven't, but you did start the Resistance before you left, sir," the Major stood at attention formally once more. A few of her men, herself included, were shocked at the apparent age of the High General. It seemed that the High General was unaware that the Resistance Cell he left behind was not completely wiped out as he had thought.
"We've been waiting all this time for your return."
Ranma uneasily ran a hand through his hair as he remembered how he had been forced to abandon the American front, leaving the resistance fighters at the Sentinels' mercy and could only imagine the horrors they had faced.
"Well, to be frank, I thought this was a different resistance cell that had cropped up after my… failure."
"No Sir," Major Carter spoke up this time again. "The Resistance was spared because you left American soil."
Ranma blinked at that as he folded his arms. "Explain."
"After you left, High Com had expected the Sentinel's to come down hard on all pockets of resistance and eliminate both human and mutants, but it never happened."
"It never happened?" Ranma parroted and his face showed his confusion.
"No sir, though we could not cut through their jamming signal to contact you, we noticed that their efforts and newly minted Sentinels were always sent abroad. It wasn't until we raided one of their factories that we found out why. They considered the Resistance a low priority target, merely devoting fifteen percent of their forces to keeping control of the Americas. You drew their focus away from us, sir."
"...wow. Myst is gonna have a field day with this," Ranma muttered to himself before he grinned at the Resistance fighter. "Well, if you don't mind, tell High Com that I have a combined force of over four million soldiers ready to make landfall in Virginia. If we can gather the Resistance and hit them from behind, we'll make them fall back past the Potomac."
"Yes sir!" Major Carter agreed and for the first time gave Ranma a beaming smile. She quickly turned to her soldiers and began barking out orders.
"We'd would like to join as well," the plant leader rumbled as he towered over Ranma. "You were a the Right Hand of the Blessed Xavier. The Scavengers are at your command."
Ranma could only nod his head even as he muttered something softly only for his ears.
"Damn it Myst..."
***JAPAN- Two months later, Nerima Sector***
Alaska Grey-Saotome knew her father was back as she sensed his Ki signature and waddled out from the Tendo Dojo to greet him. She briefly passed her family shrine and bowed in respect to those that have passed before her. At the top of the very top was Nodoka Saotome, followed by Jean Grey, all the way down to the Tendo's. Alaska paid extra respect to her step-brothers and sisters, but lingered on the last three tablets with a bit of sorrow before she exhaled deeply and smiled proudly at them.
The last three tablet had the name of Genma Grey-Saotome, Xavier Grey-Saotome, and Logan Grey-Saotome.
Alaska continued to waddle to the front door and opened it even before her father could knock. She knew he had sensed her, but he still acted surprised that she was there.
"Welcome home, Father."
"Oh my god! You ballooned!" Were the first words out of Ranma's mouth as he took in his daughter's much larger form. Apparently it was the wrong thing to say, as before he knew it her dainty white fist caught him across the jaw and propelled him into the nearby wall.
"Papa no baka!" Alaska glared at her father's tact, or lack thereof. In her heart, however, she knew he did it on purpose. It was one of their rituals and it made him feel more at home. Just like how a replica of the Tendo Dojo was built in the Nerima Geofront to make him feel a bit more at ease.
Slowly, Ranma picked himself up and blurred before he picked up his daughter and grinned at her. "What did I say about staying off your feet! You're six months pregnant, you need to take better care of yourself!"
"Correction, I'm seven and half months along!" Alaska corrected and struggled to stand back on her own two feet, refusing to be babied like an invalid.
"Where the hell is Umi and Freya? Weren't they supposed to be taking care of you?" Ranma said dangerously, just in time to see the two Gifted maids enter. One was cat-like and reminded him of the golden Sybil, while the other was a pretty tall human looking girl with a katana.
"Ranma-sama/Master Ranma!" the two greeted him with wide eyes even as their faces paled. "This- this is not what it looks like!"
"Oh? Really?" Ranma glared at the two girls, drawing upon his impressive aura. Umi was from an old samurai family that was well versed in Ki. He had saved her family fifty years ago and they had pledged their line to him. Freya however was a European Gifted. "Cause it looks to me like you left my five months pregnant daughter alone."
The two girls begin to quail under Ranma's accusation, but before he could get any further, Alaska pulled at the cheek of her father and squeezed hard.
"Rrow..." Ranma slurred the words even as he turned his gaze to his daughter.
"Before you say something you regret, I sent Umi out to get my nausea medicine, while Freya was picking up some ice cream for me, and they only left five minutes ago. That's why they weren't here. So lay off, okay dad?"
Ranma, cheek still pinched, awkwardly flushed a bit. "Errr… sorry 'bout that girls… good job?"
Apparently the praise did the trick as Umi immediately went red and started stammering while Freya's fur puffed out as she tried to calm herself down.
"No, Ranma-sama it was my fau-"
"Master Ranma, I was wro-"
Alaska could only roll her eyes at her two maids and shot her father a deadpan look even as he helped her waddle over to the sofa. He was completely oblivious to the crushes the two girls had for him. She had to admit, at one hundred and twenty her father was still handsome. However, she never had time to really entertain any more thoughts in that direction as she was to busy trying to survive her father's training most of the time.
At the time, her father did not value life as she and Saffron did. She could not blame him; her father often spoke about her step-mother, Kasumi Saotome, and her step-siblings that were killed by Magneto's men. It was part of the reason why he trained her so hard; so that she would not be defenseless.
In fact, it wasn't until she met Saffron Grey that she had a moments peace from her father's training. Alaska suspected to this day that her father had actually pushed for her and Saffron to get together and perhaps was one of the reason he did not question her leaving him at the time.
Of course, things wasn't easy with Saffron either. That was because, when Saffron took her back to one of the mutant bases, she met Franklin Richards.
Franklin Richards, to her, was the perfect man. Handsome, strong, powerful and smart. He was everything a girl could want, and it was no surprise that she found herself extremely attracted to him, being one of the first human boys she had ever met. She viewed Saffron as little more than an annoying brother at the time; he claimed to be her father's son after all.
However, Alaska reflected that what probably pushed her into Franklin's arms (and bed) was that her father had just up and left her when she decided she wanted to stay and help the Mutant Resistance. She remembered her words for him too, how she called him a coward for hiding from the rest of the world and ignoring the injustice. Those words, as she recalled them, made her feel ashamed. However, her father had kept his promise and did not involve himself in the Human-Mutant war.
Granted she was eightteen at the time, but he had been the only other person she had known. And because of their disagreement, he just left. When she eventually chose Saffron, she noticed that the light in Franklin eyes became a little dimmer. She loved them both dearly but, perhaps it was Saffron's mannerisms that were so much like her own father's that eventually won her over. To this day, Alaska still felt guilty that she was the caused the rift between the two close friends.
Shaking herself back to the present, Alaska looked at her father as he continued giving orders to her caretakers and obliviously ignoring the two girls' blissful expressions. She decided to have pity on the two girls.
"So father, how did it go on the American front?" Alaska asked as she made herself comfortable on the sofa.
Ranma stopped, waved the two stammering girls off and turned to his daughter. "Well… You'd never imagine what I found out."
And then Ranma proceeded to tell Alaska all about the American Resistance that was never crushed. He saw his daughter's expression and knew that something spinning in her head.
"What's on your mind, A-chan?"
Alaska smiled at her father's affectionate nickname for her. Sure she was grown and nearing a century herself, but her father was always older.
"Well, think about it father, if they have been focusing on you and we have been receiving the bulk of their attacks… that mean we're winning!"
Ranma blinked a few time before it finally sank in. Before he went to the America's he had thought the Sentinels wave was endless. The brutal war between his forces and those of the Mastermolds was vicious and deadly. It was always tough for him to eek out a victory, but he always managed it. Even when the price in soldiers' lives was high. However, he had lost ground before, and had assumed America itself to be extremely tough to gain ground on.
Even the two pronged assault on America was just to get a true measure of their strength and test their new EMP bomb. It was a massive force, yes, but anything else wouldn't get the Sentinels' attention, and they wanted to destroy as many as possible.
However, when he found out about the Resistance, they had been able to coordinate with the larger network of human and mutants survivors and attack the Sentinels' rear guard, letting the Free People's Army establish a foothold on the American continent. If what Alaska said was true, that meant that they could end the war.
"I need to talk to Saffron," Ranma suddenly realized the implication of everything before he shot a guilty look to Alaska. "A-chan..."
"I know," Alaska nodded in understanding and patted her father on his chest. "He was there for the birth of his three sons. I think he could afford to miss one."
"A-chan- Alaska… I-" Ranma began only to be cut off by his daughter look.
"Father, Saffron and I never blamed you for their deaths," Alaska said firmly while looking into her father's eyes, even as she held his hand and squeezed it firmly. The loss of her three sons was still a dull ache to her. But if she let it weigh her down, she'd never make their sacrifice mean something. Once the war is over she'd have plenty of time to mourn.
"In this day and age, death is just around the corner for everyone, even us. We're not invincible."
Ranma guiltily averted his eyes from his daughter's green ones. Three grandchild that he helped train, three that he watched grow up, three that died under his watch. He knew that Alaska said she didn't blame him, but he did. Had he been stronger, had he been better prepared, perhaps they wouldn't have died. Genma was Alaska's firstborn and died during the Battle for the Middle East as the Sentinels made a big push to destroy Free People's Base there. Xavier was killed by Thanos, the mad titan, when he decided to invade the Earth thinking it had no more defenders. That war had taken him off planet as he teamed up with the new Guardians of the Galaxy and the Shi'ar Imperial Guards to defeat the prune-looking bastard. Finally, Logan's death in Egypt, taking a fatal blow meant for his grandfather had caused Ranma to go into rage afterward that finally led to him put down Apocalypse once and for all. In the aftermath of that battle he remained in a coma for a good six months before regaining consciousness.
Now it looked like Ranma was going to be a grandfather again. If he did not take this moment now to capitalize on the Sentinels' weakness, then all the death so far would be meaningless. He owed it to everyone who had given their lives to win this war.
"Father," Alaska smiled and grinned cockily at her father. It was the same one he taught her so long ago. "Go win this war so that Fyro won't have to grow up in this war-torn world."
"Fyro?" Ranma raised an eye. "Boy or girl's name?"
"Girl," Alaska smiled as she looked down at her stomach. "It works as a boy's name too, but I think I'm having a girl this time around."
Ranma raised an eyebrow at Alaska. "You didn't have the doctor tell you?"
"No, I want it to be a surprise," Alaska answered with a mischievous smile. "Yes, Fyro Grey-Saotome has a nice ring to it. I can't wait for her to meet her princes."
"..." Ranma found himself at a loss for words. He was surprised that Alaska thought an engagement to princes or princesses of interstellar empires was romantic. However, he had to honor the agreement.
"Send Saffron my love, won't you?" Alaska's green eyes twinkled as she looked at her father, who only rolled his eyes back at her.
*** Russia, Moscow ***
Ranma ducked under the black scaled Sentinel's swing before he punched through its hide and fired a Moko Takabisha, blowing it up. Turning around he threw seven vacuum blades at the units that were fighting his honor guard and destroyed them on the spot. His vacuum blades were sharper and infused with Ki, making it into a deadly explosive type of attack.
All around him a deadly battle was being fought. Allied airships were crashing into the ground every few minutes, but even more debris from broken Sentinels had been raining down non-stop since the battle had begun several hours ago.
Taking care of the last of the Sentinel Elite units, Ranma moved in to look at the Master Mold of the Russian facility. The massive machine was large, even for a sentinel, the largest that Ranma had even seen up close and was a least a hundred meters tall still sitting.
"RANMA SAOTOME- YOU WERE SEEN IN SECTOR 03, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?"
The voice from the Sentinel Master Mold rumbled all around the room Ranma and his honor guards were in. However, the large Sentinel unit did not make any move to fight but continue to sit inert on its command chair platform.
Wordlessly Ranma flew up quickly to face the Sentinel's controller, machine to human. "You know, it's funny that for something so big, you're nothing but a glorified controller and completely defenseless without your little Sentinel guard units."
"THIS UNIT WAS NOT DESIGN TO ENGAGE FLATSCAN-SAOTOME RANMA IN COMBAT. THERE IS ONLY A 12.3419 PERCENT CHANCE OF VICTORY IF THIS UNIT ENGAGES YOU. IT IS FUTILE TO RESIST. THIS UNIT'S DESTRUCTION IS INEVITABLE."
Ranma blinked in surprise and sense the shock from his honor guard. "So… you're just giving up?"
"THIS UNIT'S TIME IS BETTER SPENT DIRECTING OTHER SENTINEL HUNTER KILLER UNITS TO DESTROY ALLIED FORCES CURRENTLY ATTACKING THIS FACILITY."
The Mastermold's voice boomed one more through the room even though its mouth did not move.
Ranma narrowed his eyes as he charged up his Ki attack and fired directly into the Master Mold's eye socket, burning it out and visibly damaging it.
"Waste it!" Ranma ordered his strike force as they began to attack the Master Mold's body.
"FLATSCAN SAOTOME RANMA, YOU HAVE PROVEN TO BE A GREATER THREAT THAN EVEN THE MUTANTS."
The Master Mold's voice boomed out, even though it's chassis was taking more and more damage with Ranma being the one inflicting the most destruction upon it.
"THROUGH YOU WE LEARNED DEFEAT, THROUGH YOU WE LEARNED TENACITY. FROM YOU WE LEARNED OF PYRRHIC VICTORIES, OF VENN-N-N-GENCE."
The voice began to short out as the power in the room began to fluctuate and Ranma blew off the lower jaw of the Master Mold. However, he stopped at the last part and watched the massive machine.
"What are you talking about?" Ranma asked. He had never heard a machine sound so bitter, so… human. From his vantage point he had inflicted damage over most of its body, holes where he had fired Ki blasts into its body, exposing the circuitry beneath.
"W-WE WILL D-D-D-DE-DEEEEE- STOOORY WH-WHA-WHAT- Y-YOU- LO-LOV-*"
Before the Master Mold could finish its final sentence the light in its eyes faded and its head hunched forward.
"Moko Tabakisha Burst!" Ranma fired a large ball of Ki at the massive Sentinel head and completely blew it apart like a ripe tomato, its parts raining all over the room.
"High General Sir!" Beak the Seventh, his ex roommate great-great-grandson spoke up, getting Ranma's attention.
"The Fourth Air unit has confirmed destruction of the Sentinel power grid. They're mopping up the rest of the stray units now."
"Thanks Beak," Ranma muttered as he looked at Beak's namesake, a tall muscular bird-like humanoid. He even had his claws coated in adamantium to be more effective. He was everything his namesake had hoped he could be.
"What do you think it meant, sir?" Beak shifted on his feet nervously as he stared at the legendary figure. Even now, he was still awestruck by this human's power. Not superhuman, not mutant. Even the other martial artists in his units did not come close to the High General's power.
"Forget what it said, clear the area first," Ranma ordered as he flew up overhead, and with two Moko Takabishas in hand, joined the aerial battle. Beak and the rest of the units left behind. Once he cleared the first layer of clouds he saw the massive battle in the sky taking place and proceed to destroy the Sentinels closest to him.
Immediately, the Sentinels disengaged from the Allied Air force and converged on Ranma.
Beak tried to follow the High General, but he had already flown into to the heart of the Sentinel forces before he started to spin quickly. Moments later the sky was lit up with bright lights as Sentinel units exploded.
Once more the Allied forces were surprised by the pure destructive capabilities of their High General before they charged in to engage and clean up the stragglers.
Ranma's Ki-reserves remained full, despite the immense barrage of vacuum blades he had just thrown. After all, it was a numbers game with the Sentinels, so he just had to make sure he destroyed more than they could deploy against his forces. Looking ahead, he saw several Sentinel air carriers floating through the dark clouds.
Charging his twin Moko Takabisha he fired them at two of the carriers. He made sure to form the narrow energy attacks in order to ensure they penetrated the Carrier's shields and armor plating. He was rewarded when his attacks struck true and two of the Carriers exploded, taking out hundreds, if not thousands of Sentinel units.
Breathing a bit harder now, he slowly eased back with the rest of the units and flicked his hand forward. Without needing his verbal command, several Heli-carriers rushed past him, firing their full payloads and taking out even more Carriers as other flying Gifted maintained a tight protective distance.
After a couple of minutes, Ranma watched as his elite units gathered around him. He knew he couldn't just spam his Ki attacks anymore and it would serve better to tear apart units by hand. Saffron was holding the Gekkaja and Kinjakan and he needed it more to secure the American front. Nodding to them he flew quickly, overtook the other Gifted flyers, and punched through the first Sentinel sky-hunter unit, destroying it. He continued on to his second as the battle once again renewed.
***Four Hours Later***
Ranma was sitting on top of a downed Heli-Carrier, drinking some water as light explosions detonated in the background. His armor had multiple holes punched through it, both from energy and physical based attacks that the Sentinels had used on him.
"Sir, Sky Marshal Saffron and Director Howlett," An armored woman handed a communication plate to the ponytailed general. Ranma smiled at the woman and was puzzled as the woman practically ran away from him.
Ranma turned his eyes down to the split-screen that showed both his son and the on-off leader of his black-ops project, who both had amused smirks on their faces.
"What's the situation on your end?" Ranma asked immediately. His face taking on a serious appearance.
"It's fine, we heard about Moscow, finally," Laura replied and looked critically at the ponytailed man in front of her with her teal green eyes. "You look injured; did you get the medic to take a look at you?"
"Nah, I'll be fine, just minor wounds. Others have it worse than me," Ranma replied and saw the displeased look on the commander of X-Force. "Is Myst not there?"
"She's scouting," Laura replied as she continued to show Ranma her displeasure. "Go and see a medic."
"I agree," Saffron chimed in, but his smile told Ranma that his son was just egging him on. "You usually don't do social calls, what is this about?"
Ranma hesitated for a bit, but repeated what the Master Mold had told him, causing the two to frown.
"That is new," Laura's mind began working overtime. "I'll talk to Bastion about it."
"Glad to know that you still care about us," Saffron's eyes shone brightly, making Ranma face-palm in exasperation.
Laura, who had been thinking about the situation, finally realized what it meant and immediately blushed red.
"Idiot! Go see a medic!" Laura snapped before she cut off the line on her end abruptly.
"As Myst-Mama would say, Tsun Tsun," Saffron, whose face now took up the entire screen, pointed out.
"Big time," Ranma smirked before he looked at his son seriously once more. "So, the situation is fine over there? Nothing out of the ordinary?"
"There been several incursions against our forces, but nothing I couldn't handle. I think they are trying to test our defenses," Saffron mused and looked at his father. "We'll be ready for them."
"Stay safe, if anything happened to you A-chan would have my head," Ranma teased his son and saw that Saffron laughed a bit nervously.
"Yeah, you too, old man," Saffron replied before doing a quick wave and disconnecting the call.
Ranma felt relieved, once more he looked out over the Horizon and saw several armored vehicles decorated with old style Russian flags begin to pull up. That would be the resistance force for this area. Hopefully they'd agree to his plan of clearing the Euro-Asian continent before they hammered into the main Sentinel bases. Standing up, he casually flew over to where the meeting between the two forces was taking place.
When Ranma arrived, he noticed a tall bear of a man was looking at his forces with respect.
"You must be ze High General?" the man said in a thick Russian accent. "I am Boris Antipin, you did good vork here."
"We try," Ranma agreed before he looked over the man and his forces. "How many people do you have in your outfit?"
"Twenty or thirty thousand, there are other pockets that I am not in charge of, but Moscow belongs to me," Boris chuckled, causing the men around him follow suit. Of course, before Ranma got here, the Sentinels had owned Moscow.
"I must say, I never seen the Sentinel turn tail and run before. The ones on the eastern borders just up and flew off."
That was news to Ranma, the Sentinels usually fought to the last, like they did here. "When was this?"
"Hmmm," Boris made a great show of thinking before he looked to his lieutenant and began talking to him in their native language. "I think when the battle here began, their eastern hold all empty and headed toward China, I guess."
Decades of battle instinct told Ranma something was wrong. That was not normal Sentinel behavior. Then the Master Mold's words came back to him. He had not bothered contacting Alaska because Japan was heavily fortified, the Sentinels wouldn't waste power in taking that fortress. At least, the old ones wouldn't.
"Excuse me," Ranma said immediately as he took out his communication pad and order the operator to connect him to Nerima Geo-Front.
"Hmm, that is strange," the Operator said with a frown. "I can't get anyone from Nerima on the line..."
"The Sentinels are attacking Nerima," Ranma whispered, anger and fear coursed through him. Anger at the Sentinels, fear for his heavily pregnant daughter. They were going after his daughter!
"Sir? That's impossi-" Beak began but shut his jaw when he saw the murderous look in the High General's eyes.
Ranma balled his fists tightly before he looked at the elites. "Gather who you can and head toward Nerima. I'm going there first!"
"Sir-" Beak began but it was too late as Ranma had already shot off into the sky. Turning to the rest he saw the concern on their faces for the High General. "Well, you heard the man, gather up and notify Director Howlett and the Sky Marshal."
**** Japan, Nerima Geofront outskirts***
Ranma flew toward Nerima, expending a lot of his ki reserves, but by himself he could cut through the Sentinels patrols in China. However, his heart was in his throat as he saw smothering embers in the distance even as he saw signs of war being waged. There were thousands upon thousands of destroyed Sentinel debris everywhere, showing that the Nerima Defense Force had put up quite a fight.
After a few more minutes Ranma was on top of the Geofront, at least half a hundred Sentinel carriers littered the surrounding area, but he could see several openings where the Sentinels had breached. Growling he flew down through one of the openings and was ambushed immediately by three Nimrod-class Sentinels.
"Bakusai Tenketsu!" Ranma called out as he focused his Ki into his fingers and touched the weak points of the powerful sentinels. The first one blew up immediately even he was struck by plasma rays from the other two, sending him crashing into the burning city below. Their energy shot hurt but his ki infused body acted like a shield against such attacks.
Recovering immediately, Ranma dodged the next attack even as it created a crater where he was standing. Using his superior speed, he slink underneath the buildings and jumped up behind another Sentinel, caving in its head before it could react. With the exposed wiring, he fired a Moko Takabisha into its body, overloading its circuits.
The final Nimrod-class sentinel fired a stronger energy burst from its chest, only to have Ranma tank the attack. Then he closed the gap between them before punching his arm through its chest. With its circuitry exposed, Ranma took out a Stark Nega Bomb, placed it inside the opening and backed away just in time for the implosion to take the mechanical being.
Ranma looked around the burning city to take in the damage, and to his chagrin could sense almost zero Ki energy. The Nerima Geofront was home to millions.
Homing in the closest one, Ranma discovered it was a teen who had the ability to manipulate metal fighting a large fifty-footer. Ranma landed on its shoulder, and infused his fist with Ki and punched its head off before firing into its expose circuity, causing a chain reaction.
"High General!" the Asian teen spoke in relief, even as Ranma killed the other seven Sentinels that had converged on them.
"Follow me," Ranma ordered; the kid would be safer with him than anyone else in Nerima at the moment.
By the time Ranma got to his residence he had picked up over a dozen survivors, most of them Gifted. He turned to the oldest woman, who had an ability over water, and raised his hand up.
"Stay here and keep out of sight."
"Yes sir," Miko nodded as she led the survivors into a nearby ruined housing complex. She quickly surrounded them with a water shield to fool the sentinel's infra-red sensors.
Ranma nodded and did a scan once more of the horizon for Sentinels before he walked into the ruined Tendo Dojo to see the dead bodies of both Umi and Freya. Their eyes were still open, not in horror or pain but determination. He rushed through the house and saw that the floor was ripped up. Underneath his dojo was a large safe house, much like the X-Mansion had back in the day.
Jumping down, he noticed broken paneling and flickering dark lights. The signs of battle were obvious.
His voice echoed through the empty abandoned hallways.
"Father over here!" Alaska's voice called back.
Ranma immediately picked up his speed and homed in on his daughter's voice.
"HELP ME FATHER!" Alaska voice sounded as if in pain, spurring Ranma on until he entered the storage room of the complex and saw nothing.
"Father, help me!" Alaska voice caused Ranma to look up in confusion at where it originated before he was struck by a heavy plasma blast, bouncing him off the surface of the floor.
Ranma's body screamed in pain from the direct hit. He survived, as he had never dropped his ki channeling, but most of his armor was blown off or melted onto his flesh. Spitting out some blood, he looked up again and was hit by another direct energy blast that sent him through the walls and impaled on a jutting piece of metal.
Another flash of light let Ranma know that another shot had been fired at him, but he tore himself off the metal and dodged the hit. The blast created another hole where he was, however, it was enough time for him to look up and saw through an X-Class Omega Sentinel through the flickering lights; the most dangerous of its kind.
"Father help me!" Alaska's voice came from the machine's mouth, inflaming Ranma with rage. At his best he could take on the Sentinel, but he was far from his best. Looking around he saw several of Laura's medical syringes that could heal up minor wounds and used them.
As much as Ranma hated to admit it, he needed help. Already, a plan was formulating in his head as he stepped out from hidden cover and looked at the Omega Sentinel.
"Hey, over here!" Doing his best to draw its attention, he fired off a vacuum blade that shattered on its Adamantium chassis. In reply, it fired a larger direct energy beam blast at him, but Ranma was already moving, flying through the ceiling and emerging on the city street surface.
A moment later, a blast of energy rose from the street and the Omega Sentinel flew up looking for Ranma. However, Ranma had already entered the house where the survivors were hiding and was letting them know what he needed from them.
The Omega Sentinel scanned the area and was startled when another figure emerged to attack it. It was surprised by the strength of the attack as it matched Ranma Saotome's strength. However, the figure was clearly female with red hair.
Ranma had opted to turn female so that her wound would close quicker and make her faster. She lost some raw strength, but it was the best option she had at the time. She had to engage the Omega Sentinel in close combat, and grimaced as it replaced its hand with serrated adamantium blades. She could not engage this thing from range and she needed to reserve her Ki to break through this thing's armor.
Dancing out of its reach, Ranma looked at Miko and nodded to her. A moment later a large surge of water materialized and surrounded the Sentinel in a large pressurized ball of water.
"Your turn kid!" Ranma shouted to the Soma, the teen who had magnetic power. Ranma saw the teen look at the machine and extended his hand. "Just focus on its arm!"
The thing about an Omega Sentinel was how it had to be assembled the good old fashion way. It still had openings like the old-style machines, unlike the weaker Scale and Nimrod versions which could protect their critical systems seamlessly. Miko was trying to waterlog the Sentinel's system, causing it to close off all access ports and hopefully also prevent it from flying. At the same time, Soma would try to keep the Sentinel's bladed arms away from Ranma.
"Alright asshole, Bakusai Tenketsu: Molten Grip!" Ranma dove into the water and gripped the thing around its neck, her hand glowed red as it forced molten hot Ki through the flaw of the adamantium. Pure one hundred percent Adamantium was liquid in nature. Only by inserting a flaw into it could it be made solid. Of course the flaw was minuscule but for Ranma that was all the opening she'd needed as she continued to superheat the metal around the Sentinel's neck.
So focused on attacking on the Sentinel, Ranma did not see Soma's pale countenance and the next thing she knew pain exploded from her side as the right arm of the Omega Sentinel tried to dig in deeper. The water that Miko had surrounded the Sentinel with began to be tinted with Ranma's red blood.
Soma panicked, and through sheer force of will, pulled the Omega unit's arm from the High General's side.
Ranma fought through the pain and was rewarded when a few seconds later she popped open its head and was blown backward by the nuclear detonation it unleashed. Thankfully another mutant that was with her could form energy shields and immediately funneled the nuke blast upward through the Geofront roof.
Soma released his control while Miko finally stopped gathering water from around them in order to maintain the pressurized ball.
Ranma breathed hard and held her side, but nodded at the destruction of the Omega unit. Still, now her fear for her daughter doubled as she rushed into the Dojo and jump down into the secret complex.
Despite the pain, Ranma rushed through, room by room, and it wasn't until the last one that she detected a faint energy Ki signature. Fear gripped Ranma heart then as she homed in on it and saw that it was inside a big metal ball of sort.
'She must have copied a magnetic mutant,' Ranma thought to herself as she ripped open the paneling and saw her daughter clutching something close to her chest.
"A-chan?" Ranma asked softly as she saw Alaska's opened eyes, but felt no Ki emitting from her. Her face had been set in a defiant expression but her eyes were lifeless.
Rushing toward her daughter, Ranma finally noticed the blood that covered her dress and several stab like wounds on her body. Ranma world crumbled before her as the strength in her legs gave out.
Alaska was dead…
…her daughter was dead.
Ranma did not know how much time passed, but it wasn't until a soft mewling cry brought Ranma's attention back. Looking up at Alaska's lifeless body, Ranma let out a choking sound, she did find it odd that her eyes was somewhat blurry. A touch confirmed that she was crying.
Ranma blinked again and looked up at Alaska and noticed something was wiggling in a red bundle. With utter fascination, Ranma stood up and nudged the bundle to reveal green eyes and a tuft of red hair, for a moment it was as if she was back in Cooperstown, Alaska.
"Waah!" the baby's cry shook Ranma out of her reverie as it looked between its mother and Ranma.
Ranma looked at Alaska's arm and noticed the strong protective grip she had around it. It was without a doubt Alaska's baby. Taking out a canister of water from her hidden space, she poured it over herself after super heating the water with her Ki and changed back into a male. He had been able to super accelerated his healing by burning more ki to close the wound in his side.
The baby stared at the transformation in fascination.
"Come here little one," Ranma, now male, cooed softly; and to his amazement, the moment he touched Alaska's arms the grip on her baby relaxed. Ranma's heart broke all over again, but softly held the baby to him, rocking it softly.
"Gahh~~" the baby uttered again as it stared up at Ranma with its large eyes.
Its face scrunched up as it scrutinized its newest handler. Whatever test the baby had for Ranma, he apparently passed as the baby softly smiled at him before closing its eyes and dozed off.
Ranma ignored the pain in his side and looked at his daughter. Slowly, he kneel down to her level.
"Be at peace A-chan, I will take care of Fyro. You have my word," Ranma promised softly before he put his hands over her eyes and brushed them closed. They did so without much resistance.
As much as he would want to stay with Alaska's body, he had to lead the survivors to safety. The Nerima Sector was compromised; they'd go to the Okinawa fallback site. Hopefully by that time, either his main strike group or one of the other Generals would get to him.
Looking at the content sleeping baby in his arms again, he slowly unwrapped the bundle to confirmed it sex along with two very small white wings protruding from her back.
"Congratulations…" Ranma whispered softly. Whether it was for him or Alaska's spirit he did not know.
"It's a beautiful baby girl."
The baby, apparently hearing his voice, opened her large green eyes and smiled at him before drowsily dozing off again.
Just like all those years ago when Ranma had been in pain and despair, Alaska's gave him hope for the future.
Author's Note: First of all, thank you to everyone for the bail out. Plain and simple you saved my ass. For those that donated on Paetron, they still haven't given me a cent. I am working things out with them to see what is going on. Now there is light at the end of the tunnel and things are looking up. It'll be lean but it'll be enough. Thank you SOO much for the help.
Secondly. Why this story? Because of personal issue, my writing is rusty. Any writer would know the more you write the smoother you get. So I figure, instead of jumping back into Apoc/Sin war with rust. I'll work out the rust here on this story. It could also explain why my editors had to really scrub at it.
Now finally as for what is going on. This is the Broken Future universe and what happened. I kept things broad but enough to fill in your own blanks. Yes that was Hope. Yes Hope and Franklin hooked up. Yes, Saffron and Franklin are BFF and rival in love for Hope or rather Alaska in this one. After reading this and if you guys go back to the Broken Future segement in Homo Superior itself. You'll understand Future Ranma attitude regarding everything more. Why he doesn't feel like he should be thanked.
Yes Ranma did screw over all of mutant kind when he touched her and his choas thing blinded the mutant known as Destiny.
Nabiki died. If anyone was wondering.
So yeah, this is my hurrah back and hopefully I can start working on the central story itself. I have another small piece to add to this but cut this story off here at this point because hey. It seem going on a bit too long already.
I am pretty sure there can be a bunch of story written about how Ranma grew up raising Alaska but i just wanted to show the important points.
If you have any question feel free to PM me and I'll respond. I love a good discussion with my readers ! :D
Thank you ll for reading!
ANNNDDD! It's been a while since I said this so here we go!
C+C Welcome, Reviews Appreciated!