|Ocean of Eternity
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and Viz entertainment. Any other series used in this work of fanfiction is property of their mutual creators as well.
Chapter 2 - Espionage
Ranma leant away from the terminal before him and popped his neck to alleviate the stiffness of the past three hours work before sighing and plodding over to the replicator he had cobbled together and ordering himself a small pot of green tea.
Inhaling the aroma with a small smile, the teen returned to the desk and inspected the designs he had finally completed with great satisfaction.
For the past five years he had been learning and preparing himself for this day, quickly realising that in space you had to be smart to survive, especially when there were people like the K're after you. It had taken him two years before he had understood enough Galactic standard to be able to work out that The Slavers, as he had called them, were in fact called the K're. He had been correct in his first estimation as well: they were an insectoid race that thrived on the swarming and attacking policy.
He had learned many things in the first few months in space: how to avoid the sensor nets in cargo ships, how to survive on little food, and what had attracted the K're to Terra in the first place.
Quite simply, it was the fact that there was nothing like the human race
in the entirety of the known galaxy. Sure there were the Juraians and
several other humanoid races, but each and every one of them were incredibly
strong in various ways. The Juraians had the power of Jurai, as well as
their Tree-ships that could take any and all comers - an obvious deterrant
for such a race as the K're. The Sylvans had their highly developed mental
capacities, allowing them to make mental attacks from a great distance
as well as possessing highly advanced technology. There were many others,
all in some way compatible with the human race, yet not actually human.
It was a source of constant consternation to the young man that there were three classes in the galaxy. There were those like the K're who preyed upon races that had resources they could use or physical beauty, but could not defend themselves. There were those races that were too primitive to know of life beyond their planet that were given a rude awakening when the K're empire knocked on their galactic doors and destroyed all they had worked to build. And there were those who did nothing about the K're menace because they were comfortable in their safety. Or they used the K're themselves, buying that which they had stolen or shopping for more slaves.
The last made his skin crawl. A year into his interstellar journey, he had seen the first human slaves begin to appear. They were usually female, though he had seen a male one every now and then, and each and every single one of them were docile and subservient.
He knew it wasn't their fault, that there was nothing that they could do to escape their slavery, short of killing themselves, and in his eyes that was just giving up, but it still made his blood boil in anger that they were so accepting of the way they were treated, like animals.
The first one he had seen had been a pretty brunette woman, he guessed about mid twenties or so, caucasian, being groped and leered at by disgusting Malkai pirates as she stood nude next to her owner. His fur had stood on end for weeks as she stood and accepted the attention, seemingly oblivious to the large bruises that were appearing all over her porceline-like skin. At length the owner - a portly disgraced Juraian noble - wised up tot he damage that was being done to his property and chased his pirate associates off. Ranma had left quickly as he seemed to wish for the woman to share his bed.
Ranma had retched for an hour when he had regained human form in the hold of an ore freighter.
Sighing and banishing the unpleasant memories, Ranma finished drinking
his tea and made his way out of the workshop and into the hangar. It had
taken him a week to carve out the hard rock using the amazon breaking
point technique, but it was worth it. On this barren world there was a
predominance of two things: desert, and mountains. Water was almost impossible
to come by unless you wanted to trek to the other side of the world, since
that was where the pole was located, and as such the small concentration
of ice was one of the only sources of fresh water. Even then it had to
be purified unless you wanted to suffer radiation poisoning.
Ranma considered himself lucky that he was well prepared for the trip there and arrived suitably protected. He had cannibalised the shuttle he had stolen to get here and used the shell to line the walls of his home from top to bottom, even constructing a small radiation meter to see if he had constructed it properly.
Currently the large hangar was occupied by his pride and joy: The Pride of Sol, so named for his home system and as being the first star-worthy fighter created by human hands. It was long and sleek, carefully stained with ultra-dense duranium alloys until it gleamed jet black, about three hundred feet long and just under a hundred wide with dual-axial dorsals and a nano-molecular warp engine capable of speeds of up to eight times the speed of light, approximately 13 warp standard. For a ship of its size, that was nearly twelve times faster than it should be capable of.
Ranma smiled to himself as he ran his hand down the sleek hull again. That was yet another thing that space had tought him: his father would have been a tactical genius if he had been born on a warp-capable planet. The lessons that he had taught Ranma in his early years had allowed the teenage human to aquire a mass of technology and knowledge that no single race could boast - except the Sylvans, he supposed. Nearly every race he had come across he had stolen from. He could admit that he had done so, but he thought that the ends justofied the means - and that amalgamation of knowledge had combined to create the most advanced fighter in the galaxy.
The raven haired youth chuckled at the mistrust of the various races around the galaxy. If some of them bothered to share their technology on a large scale with each other, races like the K're would be wiped out very quickly. But, he supposed, they had learned not to trust the hard way, so he supposed that the dangers outweighed the bonuses in their eyes.
His eyes tracked to the Pride of Sol again, or Pride, as he called it.
Stealth capable material interwoven with the durainium alloys and boosted
with hyper-spacial relays made his craft a perfect hit 'n' run fighter,
though it could easily hold its own in a dog fight due to the heavy phase
cannons that he had constructed after stealing the theological data of
one of the professors at the Science academy. Each one of a set of four
was capable of delivering a sustained payload of half the thermo-nuclear
output of a star going nova for twenty seconds before cycling around to
the next to cool down. Also thanks to Asguardian technology, the collant
systems allowed the cannons to reach maximum overheating before cooling
down in an astonishing ten seconds, meaning that at any time he would
have three phase cannons online. Also added to their already impressive
hitting power were dual front-mounted gauss launchers that fired depleted
centrum shells that contained small pockets of antimatter that exploded
on impact, creating a large-scale anitmatter explosion that would, in
theory, alllow him to scythe through nearly any type of sheilding he could
"I wonder if it's possible to marry a ship?" Ranma mused to himself in amusement before strolling over to the three inactive droids he used to assist him in constructing the Pride. Activating them quickly via the input terminal to their left, he fed the desired data into their systems and stood back to watch as the final touch on the Pride was added.
Rapidly taking shape just either side of the Pride's cockpit reared what
he had come to think of as his personal sigil. A rearing Stallion.
"Yuck," he muttered and returned to the replicator in his workshop. "Okonomiyaki. Ucchan special," he ordered, a fond smile tugging at his lips as he remembered the exuberant girl he had been friends with. Quickly the smile dropped as he thought of what she would be doing currantly. Balling his fists, Ranma concentrated on the soul of ice and calmly picked up his meal. Wolfing it down hungrily, he returned to the hangar just as the droids finished adding the final touches to the Pride.
"Perfect," he muttered as they returned to their alcove as designated. "Good job guys," he added as an afterthought before entering the living area again. Quickly he made his way around and placed intems and equipment into energy conservation mode before returning once again to the workshop and entering the walk in cupboard that held all his clothes. Carefully digging through his meagre wardrobe, the teen finally withdrew a gleaming black flightsuit, highlighted around the shoulders, forearms and chest with red. Quickly he doffed his regular scruff clothes and pulled the skin-tight suit on over his body, being careful not to activate the suits systems until he had evacuated the air via the depressurisation button. Stretching slightly, he pulled a full-length mirror out of 'null-space' as he had dubbed it and glanced at himself.
Due to his constant work and labour, the suit rippled with condensed power as his muscles flexed and stretched, drawing a pleased smile from his face at the intimidating picture he would present when he finally made his move. Idly he scratched at the intricate tattoo that ran up the left side of his face from beneath the suit, being part of a much larger design that he himself had come up with and which ran down his chest to his stomach and all the way down to his lower back on the other side.
Soon he was ready, and stood before the Pride with a new sense of purpose and almost childish glee that he had to put effort into the soul of ice just to keep from cracking a smile.
"Let's rock," he muttered, and clambered up into the cockpit of the fighter.
The K're slaver clicked his mandibles eagerly as he prepared to announce the next item for bidding. The evening had been going well, the humans pulling in a great deal more bids than he expected, and consequently upping the bidding by a great deal. The insectoid's multi-faceted eyes glinted as he inspected the merchandise for a third time.
[Hmm...] he murmured to himself, [three females..yess...I think a set should go down well... Ct'rak! Chain them together and bring them out when I announce them!] He ordered before whirling around and entering the arena to address the crowd.
[Yes, Master,] the Karaeid servant murmured, his snout wrinkling slightly at the stench of fear from the three slaves. [Move!] He barked, his tusks making his glowering appearance and great height highly intimidating. The tallest - and by that Ct'rak guessed the oldest - squeaked as the smell of fear intensified exponentially before nearly sprinting for the entrance to the arena in her haste to follow orders. The other two, hampered by their bonds and the almost frantic pace of their companion, staggered along behind her and nearly crashed into her suddenly motionless body as the hulking servant uncoiled the neuro-whip before her quivering body.
[Wait.] He growled, knowing that humans were incapable of understanding
complex Galactic standard. Usually they were able to understand command
phrases such as 'wait' or 'move,' but nothing else.
[Ah! Ladies and Gentlemen! Here they are! A set of three mature human females! Would anyone care to start the bidding at...One million Galactic Standard?]
As he suspected, the bidding skyrocketed immediately, making his mandibles click excitedly at the prospect of so much profit, and therefore praise from his superior. His excitement was immediately dampened however, when an enormous explosion rocked the arena and the surrounding areas and a large section of the arena's walls collapsed, killing several hundred of the bidders instantly and injuring nearly double that number. From behind the dust and electical discharge, a streamlined fighter slid into the stadium, it's sides gleaming black in the artificial light and effectively silencing the budding panic that had afflicted the stadium.
[My name,] the fighter's audio outputs thundered, [is Ranma Saotome. And this...is my revenge!] At this pronouncement the fighter swung about in a complete circle, it's weapons firing simultaneously and obliterating the high walls of the stadium and their occupants. During all of this, the K're slaver had attempted to escape, only to be face with a figure in a gleaming red and black jumpsuit. It was with a large degree of shock to the slaver however, that his opponent was human.
[And where do you think you're going?] The young man asked, a sinister
smile forming on his lips. Reeling from the second shock of a human
knowing Galactic Standard, the K're slaver hardly had time to feel anything
before the teen's gloved fist swept up and eviscerated him from stomach
Hearing a furious bellow coming from behind, Ranma turned around and nearly fell over laughing at the sight of a fourteen foot upright pig charging his position. Feeling a chilling laugh bubble past his lips, Ranma disappeared from the monster's sight, appearing behind it almost instantly and burying his arms to the elbows in the creatures back over eight hundred times. Ct'rak squealed in agony before his chest exploded outwards in a grotesque display of body fluids as he collapsed, dead at Ranma's feet.
Ranma, his arms completely untouched by any bodily fluids, turned to the three girls that were huddled, naked and terrified, in the centre of the podium. Pausing when after taking a step forward they huddled closer to each other, he put up his hands.
"It's ok," he soothed. "I'm here to rescue you. To take you away from all of this." His words had immediate results as they sprang to their feet and stared at him in what appeared to be shock, completely unconcerned about their nakedness.
The eldest took a tentative step forward.
"Y...y-you're...h-h-human?" She rasped, her voice scratchy from disuse. Ranma gave her a warm smile and nodded, greatful for a topic to distract him from their appearances - perfectly groomed and gleaming from head to toe. He wa unprepared however, for the trio to rush forward and embrace him tightly, all three sobbing and thanking him over and over between excstatic cries and hiccups of nervousness.
Eventually he managed to calm them down enough that they would listen to him and told them to wait where they stood while he searched for the key codes to their cuffs. He found them quickly, on the body of the dead K're slaver, and returned to open the cuffs. As soon as he did so however, the miniature datapad on his suit's wrist beeped to alert him of new information from the Pride's tac net.
"Shit," he muttered, "took longer than I thought I would."
Quickly he glanced at the trio of women before entering a short sequence
of numbers into the pad. Immediately, the Pride descended, rotating so
that the central bay doors opened directly onto the podium.
"N-no," she stuttered. "A-all gone. Sold." Cursing to himself, Ranma pointed them over to several secure bays where they could sit during the evacuation.
"Stay here, I'm gonna get you out of here, alright?" Seeing
all three nod, he keyed the doors closed and made a standing jump straight
behind the cockpit.
"Oh I'm so scared," he muttered sarcastically. His ears twitched as he registered the sound of bare feet whispering across the metal grating of the bridge. And when he turned around the last thing he expected to findwere a pair of well-shaped breasts mere inches from his face.
Several moments later, and three chastised looking females wearing loose shirts, found Ranma glaring furiously at the opposing ships, a scarlet blush staining his cheeks.
"Stupid girls," he muttered to himself. "Nodoka!" He called, activating the Pride's onboard AI.
"Yes, Ranma-kun?" The synthesised femenine voice responded immediately, prompting the trio of girls behind him to jump slightly at the noise.
"Lock onto the highest threat levels first, cycle through evasive patterns eight and four and... try not to scrape your paint?"
"Of course, Ranma-kun," Nodoka responded, sounding amused despite
the synth tones of her voice.
"So," he asked casually, ignoring the rapidly approaching flotilla of ships. "I don't think I've got your names yet. Mine's Ranma. Ranma Saotome." The eldest of the three sat up slightly, eyeing his muscled chest shyly and casting the occasional glance up to his face.
"I-I'm Kasumi...Tendo Kasumi." She answered before a horrendous blush coloured her face and she stared at her hands. The second girl made no secret of looking him over, but looked away when she came to his eyes.
"T-Tendo Nabiki," she stuttered, looking flustered. Turning his eyes to the third of the trio, Ranma found his gaze returned innocently.
"Tendo Akane," the youngest responded, giving him a friendly smile.
Feeling a warmth spreading through is body after their introductions, Ranma successfully captured their eyes again before giving them a warm smile that made the older two blush and look away and the youngest dimple her cheeks at him.
"Well then," he stated loudly as he placed his hands upon the Pride of Sol's controls. "Let's get you to safety, hmm? Nodoka, engage manual controls!"
"Manual controls engaged, Ranma-kun, please don't scratch my paint?" Ranma smirked at the running joke, remembering when he had miscalculated the thrust on the drive and crashed the Pride nose-first into the side of a mountain.
"I'd never do such a thing!" He pleaded as he span the pride about, the phase cannons shredding throuh the cruiser armour of the surrounding ships as if it were nothing. "Let's kick some ass!"
Some ten minutes later, the Pride of Sol streaked out of the atmosphere of Athkatla IV like a black comet, bound for the outer-rim of the milky way.
End Chapter 2.
|Author's Notes: This chapter will soon be undergoing rewrite, so stay tuned for an update!! :)|