PROLOGUE

NERIMA, JAPAN

"Damnit, old man! How dare you decide my future this way?"

The young, red-haired girl jumped up from the cafe table and threw a punch at the older man seated across from her. Her Chinese clothing was overly loose on her, and it was obvious to any observer that she was not wearing a brassiere. The older man, dressed in a white gi, jumped up and dodged the punch. The cafe manager groaned as he considered how much damage was about to be inflicted on his restaurant.

"You've got no right whatsoever to pick my fiancee for me! Damnit, I've already joined the service!"

"Ranma, you idiot! What about your...little secret? You think they'll let you stay in with your curse?"

Ranma threw a kick at the older man, slamming him into the wall. "You think I was gonna tell them? Give me credit for brains at least, oyaji!"

The older man stood, a little unsteadily. "I did not raise you to be a master of the School of Unrestricted Grappling to see you waste your life in the JSDF."

"Who said anything about the Defense Force?" The girl did not let up on her attacks. "I'm joining U.N. Spacy!"

The older man grabbed the girl and smashed her into the wall, pinning her to it with his superior mass.

"Did you say...U.N. Spacy?"

"Yeah...And I've already been accepted and posted!"

"To...Macross Island?"

The girl seemed surprised. "Yeah...how did you know?"

The man released her, and she slid to the floor. He adjusted his glasses and scowled at her. "Ranma, I am still deeply grieved that you went behind my back in this affair. However, I will tell you now that the U.N. Spacy is the only military I would have allowed you to join."

"Oh? Why's that?" The girl stood, rubbing her neck. Already, a bruise was reddening around her throat.

"I cannot say. But if you truly do not wish to uphold your engagement, I shall so inform the Tendo family."

Ranma sighed. "Look, oyaji, I never said that I didn't want to get married, or meet family obligation. But I already have my career planned out, and getting married will only throw it out of whack. Not to mention I haven't seen my so-called 'fiancee' in seven years. When I get married, it'll be on my own time, when I decide to, to whom I decide.

"Sorry, oyaji, but you really should have thought this out beforehand. Just like with Jushenkyo."

"Hey, who's going to pay for this damage?"

Ranma grinned at the cafe manager. "He is!"

With one swing, she knocked her father on his ass and pulled out his wallet. She extracted a hefty sum in yen--far more than the cost of the repairs--and tossed it to the manager.