|Ocean of Eternity
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Entertainment. Any other series used in this work of fanfiction are property of their mutual creators as well.
Author's Notes: Kudos to MercForHire off of the Delphi forums, who's detailed C&C helped me a great deal :D Since it's so rare in that place, I thought I'd give him his proper dues :D
Also, some people expressed confusion about the timeline of this chapter. I'll tell you now that it's written from a future perspective, so some events and knowledge that Ranma does not have as a child will be inferred. Oh, and this is an AU, so you'll see some differences.
Chapter 1 - Invasion
'Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.' You've all heard that expression, I'm sure. Probably a little tale to go with the tragedy one particular wish brought, right? Well, here's a tale of one wish and what it brought to my world.
Years before I was born, the Americans made a three-part wish. To find life outside of our own world, to teach it about us, and to have contact with it. Deep space probes, sent out by their space program, were sent out into the far reaches of the galaxy and beyond. The probes contained within large quantities of data on the human race. I was only thirteen, when humanity learned that the Americans' wish was granted. All three parts of it.
Sounds kinda egotistical, doesn't it? I wish it were. To explain why I'm the last, I'll tell you more about the Slavers. It's a fitting title for them, I can tell ya. I don't know what they're called really, even after the year and a half since these events took place, so I'll just call them that until I find out the truth.
Me an' the old man had been on the training trip for about eight years or so at that point. Pops taking me to martial arts masters all over the place and getting them to teach me, as well as teaching me our own style of martial arts: The Musubetsu Kakuto Ryu.
I know he would insult me a lot, but when we weren't training, which I can admit wasn't often, he'd tell me how proud he was of me an' stuff like that. I never really liked the sappy stuff, but it made me feel warm to know that I was doing good. Better then I thought actually, 'cause by the time I was thirteen he'd run out of things to teach me. Even taught me the Forbidden techniques of our school, which I managed to learn a few weeks before the Invasion of Terra.
We'd gone to China to train at all the different training grounds that were there, having exhausted the ones in Japan and America, much to Pop's irritation. In those days he complained about his wallet more times than he did his stomach, which is sayin' something, considering that this is by dad we're talking about.
Everyplace we went I heard two things: 'Prodigy' and of course the usual, 'oh God not them again.' I'd learnt so much by this point that we were going anywhere and everywhere just to find something to teach me. Of course, that did boost my ego a bit but hey, who wouldn't be affected? I already knew that there was something about me that was special: I could remember practically anything I'd ever seen. I oculd even remember the face of my mother, and I thought about her often, hoping that we would return home soon to see her. It never happened though, not that I'm surprised, of course.
I'm changing the subject again, I suppose. Best get back to it.
I was thirteen when they came, billions of spacecraft pouring down from the sky like a gigantic plague of locust on the horizon. We didn't hear about the invasion until a week after it had begun, being in the rural parts of China, and at that point it was in full swing. By then nearly three quarters of the world had already been enslaved. Some parts of South America, central Africa and rural China were all that were left of human civilization.
We were due to go to the last training ground on the old man's list when we caught wind of the rumours of a global crisis. We were given a morbid confirmation of those same rumours when a black cloud descended from the sky on the horizon and headed toward the last city in the surrounding countryside.
My stomach dropping like lead in water, I turned to my parent.
"What do we do now, Pop?" I asked, too numb with surprise to think of anything smarter to say. He looked at the guide book he held in his hand then, flipping through the pages to the last one and reading carefully. He could be really stupid sometimes, but occasionally he had his good moments. Working out that learning to speak and read Chinese would be a good idea was one of 'em.
He looked up at me for a few moments, an uncertain look on his face, before he seemed to come to an internal decision.
"We go to Jusenkyo, Ranma." He answered evenly.
And so we left, trekking as fast as we could make our
selves move toward our destination. Eating little and sleeping less, we
arrived at the valley tired, irritable and sore after two days. But we
were alive, and that was something to give thanks for.
It was confusing, and made me wonder what on earth was going on. I didn't really have any time to ponder that question much though, as I was usually busy forcing my tired legs to move at a faster pace.
Now that we had arrived, Pops took out the guidebook and made an all encompassing gesture.
"These springs are cursed, Boy. ANyone who falls in them will turn into whatever drowned last in that pool. Or that's what the books says, anyway."
"And you brought us here why?" I asked sarcastically as I eyed the springs with trepidation.
"Ranma," Pops addressed me seriously, quickly capturing my full interest. It wasn't often he sounded so serious, and usually it meant he had something serious or profound to say. "When you cannot fight, no matter how much you want to, you must run. Run and think of a way to fight back, think of a way to win. And when you have it, come back and kick their ass." It was...certainly different from any ther advice he had given me, and I stared at him for several minutes in non-comprehension.
"Huh?" I remember adding. Looking impatient, my father elaborated for me.
"If they have captured the world as the rumours
say, do you think either of us stands a chance against them right now?
I'm not that stupid, Boy. I know we can't. That's why I brought us here,
to the Cursed Springs. If what they say is true, and the aliens are taking
humans and nothing else, then if we get ourselves cursed with an animal
form we can escape notice! Do you understand?" I nodded, though the
idea was unsavoury to me at best, but I could see the wisdom (rare as
it was) that lay in his words.
I felt my body go momentarily numb before I felt a shrinking sensation that left me swimming in my clothes and struggling to stay afloat. After the sensation passed, I wormed my way out of my clothes and onto the slippery bank of the spring, where I lay in an undignified heap, panting to get my breath back.
"Well, Boy. You do make a fine fox, I must say...if a bit scrawny," my father added with a smirk. Not thinking particularly clearly, I lunged forward and latched my sharp fox-cub teeth on my father's big toe. I was impressed by how high he was able to jump from a standing start, even though he had gone higher in the past, before arching back down and landing smack-bang in the middle of the drowned panda spring. I imagine to this day that he was quite put out by his abrupt and graceless transformation. It is a source of endless amusement for me.
It took us an hour to locate the guide to the springs, as he was out camping with his young daughter at the time of our arrival. After finding out the mechanics of our curses, reversal with hot water and so on, we gave him urgent warning of the coming danger. He looked at us as if we were mad and obviously said he would take a dip in the springs to appease us before we did anything drastic. We got directions to the next nearest town, and set out in the right direction.
Apparently, the guide forgot to inform us that the village was one of Amazons, or warrior women, as when we got there and tried to warn them of the danger knocking on their door, we were promptly chased out of the village under threat of execution. They don't take 'mere males' telling them what to do very well, apparently. I was tempted to tell them just where they could stuff it, but Pops insisted that he could do something and went back, using the Forbidden Techniques of our school to try and make them listen by other means.
He came back two hours later with a lot of bruises and eight locked chests in his storage pocket.
It turned out they ignored us and were holding a tournament of some sort, celebrating three thousand years of amazon tradition and strength. Of course Father, being the honourable person he was, decided that if they were going to get themselves enslaved, he certainly was not going to let them loose all that martial arts knowledge. So he stole it from right under their noses, only getting caught on the outside of the village when the daft sod dropped a chest on his foot.
He still managed to get away though, although he would not tell me how.
A day later, trekking up the highest side of the valley
in our cursed forms, They came. By then I'd begun calling them the Slavers,
since that was apparently exactly what they did. I hated the idea with
a vengeance, as I knew I would not get to see my mother again. Japan had
It was impressive what some of the Elders could do,
really. Dried up monkeys that they were, they produced some damn impressive
chi blasts, even managing to destroy several of the ships in the process.
The Slavers spread out across the valley and the surrounding
area, scouring it for any sign of human life for whatever purposes they
Next they found the phoenix, and it was the most awesome
battle I had ever seen in my short life. The Phoenix King rose above his
mountain magestically to protect his people, and I could feel his
nobility from where I crouched nervously in my cursed form.
I nearly rejoiced then, thinking that this great creature
would finally rebuff our attackers, but it was not to be. From the sky
a great ship descended, blocking out nearly all the light from the sun,
and within a few moments it was over. A single shot at the Phoenix King
and his eternal imprisonment began, trapped in a giant egg of metal that
I later learned was the outer shell of a living reactor.
His people were stunned and captured. just like the other peoples of the earth, though if it were possible I would say that the Slavers were much more gentle then they were with the human populace I had seen them 'aquire.'
I hate that word now. It only reminds me of those disgustng creatures that enslaved my world.
We left quickly, unable to bear the depressing sight of the Slaver swarm, and it would be a week at least before we encountered the Slavers again.
This time though, they were looking for something other than humans.
I was nosing about in some bushes looking for food when they found my father, and I can guess why they took him as well. Three times larger than the average panda, all of his considerable bulk made of muscle. The intelligence of a human being...well...it was obvious he was something to collect, so they shot him and dragged him away.
My suspicions that they were some kind of insect were confirmed when I saw them, as each had sex arms and four legs that they used to walk upright upon.
I know there was nothing I could have done, but it
still galls me that I stood there, frozen in the bushes as they took him
away from me forever, the three of them chittering to themselves behind
their helmeted faces. Despite not being able to do anything to save him,
the only thing I could do was relieve him of that which he had worked
so hard to gain, even if it was by less than legal means.
Two days later, having found a good-sized cave free
of any inhabitants, I turned my thoughts to getting the chests that I
Truthfully, it's still my most prized technique, since I managed to work it out by myself when I was ten years old. Not bad, really.
The locks on the chests didn't stand much chance then, opening easily with a swipe of semi-transparent claws. Only the last gave me trouble, giving me a concussion when it exploded and sent me into the cave wall. After that I decided not to open things in that manner, just in case. Whatever the case, I still had gotten the chests open, and for the next three months I stayed in that cave as a fox, hunting when I got hungry and spending the rest of my time reading. Or trying to read. The first month I spent firguring out half of the phrases in the books. They were very old.
Once that hurdle was crossed, I absorbed their history
like a sponge, not really reading the text, just looking at it
and imprinting it onto my memory so that I could read it later.
I was thirteen and I could read ancient languages,
remember everything I'd ever seen, and also could work things out far
faster than anyone I'd ever met.
I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of getting me, that's for sure.
I forget how long I stayed up there after that, re-reading everything and making sure I could remember every single book. There were hundreds, if not thousands of the things, stored in something similar to my storage space inside those chests, so I had a lot of reading to do, even if I could skim my eyes over the page to read it.
In the end I thought I had everything down, or at least all the relevent bits that eluded to martial arts. Aftert that I dug a huge pit and dropped all the chests into it before covering it up again. Just above it, on the wall, I carved my initials, just so I'd know where to look next time. Outside, on the rock face, I did the same.
Then I took off towards what I last knew to be civilization to find out what had happened.
Must have been over a year and a half since the entire mess started before I finally found out what happened to the human race.
We had become cattle. Penned up in vast complexes where cities had once stood. It was hardly any trouble for my slight form to slip into the air vents that had been left for air circulation and scout out what had once been Beijing.
It was a female camp, and I learned then that humanity was segregated into camps of man and woman, seperated by age, race and other factors I could not grasp.
And then I found them.
I'd been to school a few times, learning about the World Wars and that sort of thing. I'd seen the pictures of the dead Jews that Hitler's men slaughtered and dumped in mass graves. I thought nothing could sicken me after seeing that.
I was wrong, as the enormous graves that stretched for miles prooved to me, simple trenches dug into the earth and filled with the bodies of the dead.
I can remember clearly now, having managed to detatch myself from it, that only the bodies of the obese, diseased or elderly littered the graves. Some looked normal, of course, but I worked out that these were the 'defective' humans. People too old or too fat or diseased that the Slavers didn't want.
I snuck myself onto one of the alien transports that took me across the world to another of the camps, again filled with women. I guessed that they were Americans, giving the wide difference in appearance.
If this was what had become of humanity, what was I supposed to do?
Then I remembered what my father had said on that fateful day at Jusenkyo:
"When you cannot fight, no matter how much you want to, you must run. Run and think of a way to fight back, think of a way to win. And when you have it, come back and kick their ass."
It was almost prophetic, in a way. It fit so well, as if my father knew that I would be faced with this decision at some point in my life. Had he been faced with something like this? Is that why he had said what he had?
It did not matter. All that mattered was that he was right. I could do nothing back then, being...fourteen and a half I would guess, though I knew not the date.
I was one man. Boy, even. How could I free our people
like that? I knew I couldn't, so I stowed away on one of the large transport
ships that perodically left the Earth, watching as it was reduced to a
blue-green ball dotted with white.
Now, six years later, I sit at this terminal jotting down the history of my vendetta for future generations to see.
I just hope I succeed in freeing the Human Race.
But then again, Ranma Saotome doesn't lose!
End Chapter 1, revision 1.
*Since this is set at a time when Ranma is thirteen, this is therefore not Herb, but rather his father. No clue what his name was, but as Herb would be around about the same age as Ranma I'm guessing he did not put up much of a fight.
Author's Notes: Before anyone asks, yes I will be showing what happened
during those six years. Who he met and what occurred. I probably won't
use the 1st person perspective too much, as it's quite difficult to maintain
believability at a consistant rate.
He helped me make this a better fic. I hope! ^_^
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