Well, as normal as this home ever got with people who thought the abilities they had were everyday things.
From a girl who could lift, and throw, well over three hundred pounds a distance of thirty metres to a panda that used signs to talk. The home also included a woman whose only thought was babies, and a gender changing martial artist. In this place, normal was a matter of definitions.
For Kasumi, whom monks, shine attendants, and spiritualist envied for her calm, this was not a cause for concern. Then again, she could weather just about anything without raising her voice, tended to think the best of people, no matter the evidence to the contrary, and was the one person in the middle of the normal happenings in Nerima that was considered off limits. Her reputation was such that major companies planned their activities around hers, Mishima Heavy Industries, being one of the most conscientious, had a constant watch over her in order NOT to get her angry enough to frown.
But then again, Kasumi lived in a world where, according to her, the universe was always tilted towards the good, and the bad was an aberration that would solve itself.
Another attitude in the Tendo home was that which most people know as Neutrality. According to those that consider themselves neutral, there was a saying that the universe balances itself. They took the simplified physics of a reaction causes an equal and opposite reaction to a level that was beyond philosophy.
This typified Akane's current mindset as she stood outside the living room. For once, her mind could not think of anything else as it was the easiest explanation for what she was seeing. Akane stared at Ranma and the tapes she was lugging about. A huge bag of secondhand VHS tapes. She peeked around the corner of the room, and gasped quietly at the titles.
Sailor Moon. Wedding Peach. Di Gi Charat. Kakumei Shojo Utena. It was if the new girl was trying her best to catch up on all the shojo she'd missed.
Then again, thinking about everything, Ranma did make a better girl than boy, even before her newfound self. She could sew, cook, plan meals and menus, dress in a feminine, but not outrageous manner, and scam ice cream and treats better than any other girl that she knew of, even when the person serving her knew she was taken. All in all, a typical female that almost every one of those pervert boys would love to have. Thinking about it more, she could see the innocence and naivety of her current fiancée.
Damn that Ryouga for getting his hooks into HER girlfriend.
Could she peek inside the redhead's mind, she would have been floored to discover that this was, in fact, research.
More studying various kinds of mahou shojou and deciding on her own style.
This represented the third mindset in the Tendo home. As any scientist will tell you, no matter what shape, creed, following, or ego they had, 'the perversity of the universe tended towards the maximum'. It was so widely held a view among these notables that it had become more than just a theorem, it became a cliché.
It was with this mindset that Ranma had approached the tapes, hoping to use them to help in her current dilemma. 'Okay. The Wedding Peach stuff is kind of dumb. And not so good for fighting. Sailor Moon is Okay, but the speeches take too long-but I can turn those poses into an avoidance kata. There's only one of me tho...well, two if I count that Z guy. I have to watch that Di Gi Charat tape again...funny stuff.'
To this point in her reasearch, Ranma had found her life reflecting various types of manga and anime. From Projrct A-ko to the various Sentai series, her life was running strangely parallel, if one took parts of everything together. Then again, Ranma was looking at things with the view that the bastard that changed her life was determined to drive her crazy. In other words, she was seeing things that weren't there.
Nabiki just stared at Akane pulling a Ranma while Ranma pulled an Akane. She represented the fourth mindset as put forth by an English doctor for his fictional detective 'Sherlock Holmes'. 'When you have eliminated the possible, then what remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.'
She had talked with Sasuke about the change in attitude among the Kuno's. As far as the small ninja was concerned, it was a blessing. The older Master had finally become someone to respect. Planning on helping the students and the community, and proposing several ideas that would show both short term and long term benefits. To quote him:
"Masters Kuno have become the type of family I have always dreamed of serving. The type of Masters that my ancestors served. They have taken to the modern world, and have actually started to follow the modern ways of honour, with the people coming first before themselves. I no longer have to run the day to day affairs of the family company or investments, nor do I need to follow the slightest whim, no matter how insane.
"Master Kuno has become an epitome of studiousness. He has proposed a series of reforms in the education system, and has plans for improving the lives of all the students of Furinken by using a part of the family fortune to create a series of scholarships. He has also proposed a series of continuous education centres where anyone may go to learn and research what they may to improve their lives.
"The young Master has also put away certain items. He has become studious, concerned for his fellow students, no matter their background, and has started to look for an answer to many questions. He has embraced philosophy, literature, and business ideals. By putting away the persona of an ancient Samurai, he has become more like that ideal. Mistress Tendo, he has even taken down the pictures of your sister and miss Ranma saying that he was disgusted with himself. He also told me that he is glad that his actions did not lead to rape. Master Kuno regrets everything he has done and is now striving to improve himself, becoming a defender instead of a taker. Indeed, he has put behind him all...
Doesn't that feel...
A fan fiction based on Takahashi Rumiko's Manga series, Ranma 1/2
Saotome Ranma, Saotome Genma, Saotome Nodoka, Tendo Akane, Tendo Soun, Tendo Kasumi, Tendo Nabiki, Kuonji Ukyou, Hibiki Ryouga, P-chan, Shampoo, Shan Pu, Mousse, Mu Tsu, Cologne, Ku Lon, Kuno Tatewaki, Kuno Kodachi, Tofu-Sensei, and Hinako Sensei are copyright 1987, 2006 by Takahashi Rumiko.
Edited by Digital Civilization Multimedia Productions Group Inc.
Publishing rights:Japan byShogakukan Inc. Tokyo
Hong Kong by Jademan (Holdings) Ltd.
North America by Viz Inc.
Written by Ichinohei Hitomi With help from Robert Haynie and the people on #Akane
It had taken a week. Well, to be honest, a bit more than a week as gathering the required components to the potion were not as easy as she first thought. However, Shampoo was able to gather them by visiting the more unusual markets.
To imagine that a common herb, with no use for anything other than as a spell component or as rope would be considered illegal. The police had tried to arrest her when she asked for fresh taima stem, stating that she was trying to buy some drug named mariwana. Didn't they know that that the plant was not good for things other that rope, clothing, spell components or offerings to the Dieties?
She finally found what she was looking for after talking with some of the priests at one of the Shinto shines in the area.
It would take at least ten hours to properly prepare the ingredients and then another twenty to brew properly, but it would be worth it. Shampoo had already started to set things up, as per the shows she had seen and the manga that she bought and hid in her locker. The Senshi in Jubaan had their headquarters hidden underneath an arcade. After finding a series of unused rooms in the basement which extended out well beyond the building, she had hidden them with false panels and walls, so if anyone came, they wouldn't find them. She shuddered at the thought of Akane, of all people, discovering that Ranma was a protector. That would be a disaster. It would be even worse if she found the training area and resource centre, especially the potions lab.
She had been in the home economics room when the girl had created a new life form when she was trying to make a cherry pie. It was quickly put down, but, if Akane could make a youma, which was what she discovered the evil creatures were called, with mundane kitchen ingredients, what would happen if she used magical ingredients. It was no wonder Ranma was usually hungry when she was pretending to be a boy, and fortunate that she lived in the same house as the Kitchen Destroyer as the district survived her attempts at a meal many times.
"As advisor, I will have to ensure that girl is kept away from anything that could cause a disaster. Ranma may be doing a good job right now, but she also had other responsibilities. Ones that she had to train for." Shampoo muttered in her native language. She hated to think about it, especially since it would change her colouring completely, but she would need to get her fur dyed a solid colour so as not to alert the Kitchen Destroyer.
She continued to chop away at the taima, getting rid of the smelly, and disgusting, flower buds.
"Well?" asked Hikaru.
"I liked the place. How did you find it?"
"Strangely enough, Sakura, it's because something was wrong with the plans for the building. According to them, the basement wall stops with the outside wall of the building, but it was about a metre short. When I checked the wall, I found the hidden door and this entire area. It already wired for power, and is ready to put computers in."
Sakura blinked. "An already wired and ready hidden complex, under the Juku? Are you sure that we are not in a video game?"
Hikaru chuckled, "I'm sure. Look, whatever the rooms were originally made for, it's not being used, or even listed. We have a large area, a small auditorium, and space for desks and computers. Phone lines are already here, and they are on, so we can use modems. Hacking should be somewhat easy, and the police are sure to have some information somewhere."
Sakura looked around and then nodded. "How about access to these levels after hours?"
"Not a problem. There is a set of entries leading from the surface. Eight in all, including a garage area for a vehicle."
Sakura turned. "O.K. That's not normal by any stretch of the imagination. It's more like something out of a spy movie than anything else. Are you sure these rooms are not being used?"
"Quite sure. The whole area was covered in dust. It hasn't been used since it was built, from the looks of things. Maybe someone was going to use it, but ended up not doing so. Besides, who would use a Juku as a cover for a spy agency, or for espionage, or anything else. Do you think they would actually recruit teenagers and students to be in some agency? This is real life, not anime!" exclaimed Hikaru.
Sakura looked over at her companion in arms. "Hikaru, not to be mean or anything, but since you've known Ranma, hell, since most of Tokyo knows of Ranma, don't you think that maybe, just maybe, that a high school spy organization just MAY have been contemplated at some time? We already know of curses, high level martial arts, magic, and a load of other stuff that makes manga, anime, and RPG's seem normal."
Hikaru was about to reply to that when he realized he couldn't, "Whatever. Anyways, since this is your idea, you're in charge. I'll get the others and we'll start setting everything up."
Sakura shook her head as she watched the miffed gamemaster stalk off. "And he say's I have a skewed view of reality."
The hotel was a nice place, then again, she could well afford it, not that it would be admitted to back home, of course. Then again, despite her age, or perhaps because of it, she loved traveling. And this little jaunt to Japan promised to be interesting, not that she could really go openly of course.
There were so few chances to escape ennui in the world. Despite all the advances that were being made, most people made the same choices over and over again. How it would surprise them to know that mankind dipped into, perhaps needed, a battle or war every thirty to forty years. Something to enchant the younger generation with tales of glory since, if not for those tales, the youth of the world would embroil themselves in ventures that were far worse than mere war.
In her opinion, letting fighting become something where buttons were pressed instead of personal combat would lead to something worse. With buttons, you did not have to face the person across from you. Personal combat meant that you trained yourself, and understood the horrors of war. This, in her mind, was a better deterent to future conflicts than trying to explain.
Well, enough of philosophy, she had an old friend to meet, and a building to buy.
The next day...
"I can't put it off any longer." Ranma mumbled to herself as she walked through the streets, not quite looking for trouble. "I'm just going to have to talk with the old ghoul, but how am I going to do that?"
If everything was following the various research sources that she had, then she could not just say something out loud, no matter how much she wanted to. To have Colonge just hand her the item that she was sure was being held, was just not done. An intermediary of some sort was usually called for, hopefully not one of those creatures.
Almost without noticing, she ended up near the Nerima Museum of Art. Looking up at the very modern building, she had to wonder what idiot would build a museum in an area that had as much damage in a day as the average for the rest of Tokyo in a year. Were there actually enough people who cared about paintings and strange statues to make such an inviting target of destruction? It was almost as if the museum was purposely set up as a...
"'Could it be?" Ranma mumbled to herself.
"Nah, even they aren't THAT stupid...Are they?" She answered her own question.
Groaning in frustration, she realised that she would at least have to go in. At some point, some stupid person WOULD attack the museum, especially since there were no longer daily battles. "Might as well get a copy of the map and see the museum from the inside. I KNOW I'm going to need it somehow."
An old woman sighed as she sat at an outdoor cafe drinking coffee. The day was nice, good weather, store closed, and no troubles with the kids. It was relaxing, it was sunny, it was as boring as hell...
Colonge sighed. At least it was before she heard THAT particular voice. She gestured to the table. "Sit down, and what is with the Pinky comment?"
The woman in front of her cackled a bit, "Just something from American television. So how are the kids, still as troublesome as ever?"
"They are everything that we could expect from being the best in the village." Cologne replied.
"Not so much anymore. Believe it or not, they are actually starting to grow up, but with Nerima..."
"Years away from actually being mature, I take it."
"Very true. Now what are you doing here, Ti, I don't remember inviting you to see me." Colonge stated to her onetime childhood rival.
"Well, I was taking off on another trip, don't look at me like that, to see the girls in Shanghai since they wanted to go to University, not that I'd deny them that, mind you, despite what the rest of the biddy's think, when your interesting communications came in. I decided to come see for myself, and if it so happens I have a few girls with me..."
"No!" Cologne growled. "This is my game."
"Ah ha! I knew it! Keeping the fun all to yourself again!" Ti exclaimed. "You never could learn to share."
"I AM going to tape all of the records that are shown on TV." Colonge blushed.
Ti considered that. "That's ok, as far as it goes, but the girls I'm bringing aren't fighters. They're technologists. You know, cameras, computers, telephones, that kind of thing. Basically outcasts from the villiage. I'm bringing them to go to university here, and they can film and plan things as well. They may not be warriors, or even martial artists, but their brains..."
Cologne grinned, "And they are coming here?"
"Yep, but they absolutely insist that no one try that 'Kiss of Marriage' bit with them. They do NOT like a lot of the rules, and since they've been out of the village," Ti stated, "They will not allow the Elders to dictate their lives."
Cologne laughed. "Do you have the items I requested?"
"Yes, but I have to ask why you wanted them remade."
"Remember the games we used to play? My main student has started to play them."
"Ah." Ti stated as the waitress came over to get her order.
Finally, the potion was ready, as was the dye that she was going to use.
Shampoo undressed, then poured the concoction into a small bowl in front of her. She set a small kitchen timer and, making sure of everything, she then taped the bottom parts of her eyes shut, as it wouldn't do to get the dye into them. She then poured some cold water over herself and become a cat.
Acting from the feel of her whiskers, she got to the bowl and started to lap up the potion, and right after the first taste, decided that pouring it down a cat's throat was the right way to do it. It was disgusting! Knowing of no other way, as she had to be a cat to drink the potion, she quaffed the stuff as fast as she possibly could.
"Yuch! Why couldn't the old bitches who created the stuff make it better tasting!" She stated in Japanese, not yet realizing the potion had corrected some of her worst language offenses.
Shuddering, she then turned and started to slowly climb the board that led to the dye, placing her feet carefully so that she didn't fall off. As soon as she reached the end, she gave a small jump and landed right into the black foul smelling liquid. Almost immediately, she snorted a small bit into her nose and her reflexes kicked in, the paws swiping without meaning and knocked the tape from her eyes and onto her forehead before she was completely submerged.
Groaning, she decided to keep her eyes tightly shut as she did NOT want to do this again anytime soon. It was already bad enough that she would have to do this again in a month.
After swimming in the small tank for about 15 minutes, she climbed the other board that she had set in the tank, and slowly made her way out. She just had to wait for the timer to ring and then she could continue to the cold water bath, although she wanted to leap in right away. The smell was much worse than when she was human!
As Ranma toured the museum, she was amazed at all of the displays. They actually had good stuff in here, ranging from classic paintings to furniture and fashions. What caught her eye, however, were the anime cels. They were beautiful productions showing colours and various details that the eye missed when viewed on tv or in the theatre.
This was what art was about. Clean lines, that, while interpretive, did not deny reality by much. The attention to the smallest of details, such as shading so as to point to lighting sources, the backgrounds, which were remarkably accurate representations of parts of Tokyo. Yes, this was the sort of artwork that she could appreciate.
As she continued to take a close look at the cels, the museum staff were preparing to unload a truck that was contained a new exhibit.
Ukyo kept a bright smile on her face as she greeted her customers. For the past few weeks, her place of business was becoming a bit more popular, as there had been a large reduction in damage due to fights. It was somewhat irritating however, that several of the older patrons were saying that they were glad she had stopped crossdressing, and asking when she was going to marry her cute waitress. In a way, it was both a compliment and a blow to her ego. As it turned out, some of her customers thought she was a boy, pretending to be a girl to get more business.
For her, the worst part of the day so far was that she could not try to find her girlfriend. If she was to succeed in her efforts, she would need the chance to casually bump into Ranma, and offer to listen to her problems. She needed someone who could go in her place, be able to hide, and...
"Konatsu-chan, I need you to do something for me."
Akane was taking a walk, trying to find some information on some of the activities of her rivals. Not that she was having much success as the neighborhood seemed...on edge for some reason. She had asked, but they said they couldn't feel any tension in the air. Either everyone was lying, or it was her imagination.
So far, Cologne had closed her restaurant for the day, and Mousse had gone to the library. Shampoo had apparently left earlier to visit various shrines as she had been doing for the past few weeks. Apparently, while she could understand that Ranma was, for all intents and purposes, a girl, she couldn't quite get around to wooing her. At most, Shampoo was now a friend instead of a rival for Ranma's hand.
Ukyo was too busy to try and find Ranma. Her business in the past two weeks had increased and she was hard pressed to keep up. The only opportunity she had to meet with Ranma was at the school.
Kuno...the less said the better as he was REALLY freaking her out with the new attitude.
As for her main rival, Ryouga, he had seemingly disappeared again, although she doubted that. Ryouga had proven that he could, quite easily, get from one place to another without getting lost. In fact, speak of the devil, and so shall he appear.
A low growl escaped her throat as she followed the betrayer on his rounds.
Ryouga was simply thinking while wandering. How had he ended up as a sidekick to a magical girl? Aside from the obvious fact that he was in another universe.
Perhaps magic was the key, he had never been too far from magic in the past year and a half. From his curse, to the various items he came across and people who he encountered, he was a walking compass to finding the most unusual magics in the world. "If Indiana Jones actually existed, then he would have wanted a Hibiki with him just to get the more interesting items. I wonder what being an archaeologist would be like? Perhaps a magical archaeologist? Although, how could I make a living like that?"
Off to his side, a small boom made itself known, as well as smoke billowing from the entrance of that building.
Time to be a superhero again.
Akane looked at the explosion, as had others, then quickly turned back.
He had done it again!
She would solve the mystery of how he kept escaping, or so help her, a Saotome would feel her wrath.
The smoke had started a few minutes before the loud explosion coming from somewhere in the building. Ranma coughed, and started to try to find an out of the way place to change. The washroom seemed like a good place until she went in and saw some terrified girls who were hiding out here. If this was a fire, then it was the worst thing to do so she started to herd them towards the doors. When she was sure that they could finish finding their way out of the building, she rolled under one of the seats that was hidden in the smoke.
From the other side of the seat rolled Gem, ready and eager for battle with the person who had the audacity to ruin her life!
Running quickly, she noted more of those 'Rubber Men' as she termed them, considering that is what they felt like when she hit them. They were removing one of the exhibits from the gallery, so she couldn't launch her 'energy' attacks. In fact, she had to be careful, or very few pieces would survive.
Gem paused in the doorway, "Halt, Art is to enrich everyones soul, not a thing to be used for evil!"
She posed, "Descending upon evil like an Angel, I am GEM. I will stop your marauding and deliver you to justice."
"So, you failed to take my warning from last time." a voice in the back sounded.
"YOU!" Gem shouted, having recognised the voice. "I will stop you and your creatures. This is a promise!"
Gem started running towards the Grey dressed man when two of the Rubber Men moved in front of her with a painting. She leapt in order to avoid it and came down on the other side, only then noticing that her adversary had disappeared. "How..."
"Over here little girl!" A voice said from the upper gallery.
Gem's eyes closed a little. He was distracting her. That had to be it because his Rubber Men were not bothering with her and continuing to move the artwork towards the exit. This called for a different tactic.
Gem Crossed her arms in front of her and shouted, "HIDDEN LIGHT!"
Her form flared brightly for a second, and when it cleared, she had disappeared.
The Grey Man shouted, "Quickly, get the items out of here. We need them to complete the summonings!"
Suddenly artwork was being taken from the Rubber Men's hands and being placed against the walls. The Rubber Men stopped, startled, and then the artwork was away from them. As soon as that happened, they started to fly in the opposite direction of where the artwork was.
Gem, in the Umi-Sen Ken was being very careful not to punch too hard to avoid sending them flying. She had to defeat them without damaging any of the precious artwork.
The Grey Man adjusted his monocle, and then tossed something similar to a Bolo at what only he could see. It wrapped around the invisible figure, and the girl screamed as it started to cut into her upper arms. "That should take care of you, at least for now."
He suddenly fell back as his head received a hit. Shaking it, he noticed a figure that shouted "Gem!"
It was that annoying man that kept interfering at the last minute. Making a signal, all of his men beat a hasty retreat.
Z, in the meantime, had removed a knife from his jacket pocket and started to cut the wire that was causing Gem's upper arms to bleed where they touched. As soon as it was cut off, she reached to fell the Rubber Men, when he stopped her. "You're hurt Gem. Get them later, you don't know what that had on it."
Gem looked and noticed that her enemies had disappeared. "It wasn't poison, if that's what you mean, but it cut into my skin. Nothing should be able to do that."
She reached down and drew the wire slowly over her gloved hand, noticing it started to cut it. "What is this thing?"
Z looked. "Leave it. We need to leave now before someone notices us, other than the enemies."
Gem looked up, "You're right. Lets get out of here."
They started to leave when Gem stated, "Who are you anyway?"
Not receiving a response, she turned. Z had disappeared as well.
Sakura nodded to one of the group as he got another computer up and running. Having to use old computers that were technically scraped was taking a risk as their speed was going to hamper them, but they could ill afford to buy new machines. Perhaps in the future. In the meantime, the new headquarters was coming along well.
Officer Kinomoto looked over everything in the area that the battle had taken place in. The museum had been robbed of their collection of Anime cels while the battle had been taking place, although what they could be used for was beyond her. It was something to add to the unusual crimes that had occurred.
Picking up a cut Bolo with a pencil after the forensics team was done, she noted the blood on it.
"Well?" her new supperior asked.
"Blood, not much, but enough. The splatter marks show it was wrapped around someone."
"That will have to disappear, along with the forensics files when they've completed their work."
"I understand." Kinomoto stated as she baged the evidence.
When she left the building, she sat on a nearby bench. "If that was wrapped around Gem, she needs help. How can I get it to her?"
A voice said, "If she needs help, she will find you."
Kinomoto looked around, but didn't see anybody. "Must be imagining things."
She paid no attention to the black cat with a marking of an Ankh of it's forehead.
The Nerima Building Association was meeting in a board room.
"What did Nabiki say?" asked one of the members.
"She didn't know what happened, or if things will return to normal. If this continues, our companies will be bankrupt in months." replied the chairman.
"We need to do SOMEthing to increase the damage in the area."
"How about that new villian?"
"What do you mean?"
"We toss him some support, and get him to destroy things."
"See about getting in touch with him. As long as no one is killed, then we'll support him with equipment."
"The Nerima Insurance Collective meeting is called to order. Are there questions from the floor?"
"Can we depend upon this lull in the destruction?"
"Ms. Tendo said she had no idea."
"How can we make sure that no more destruction occurs so that we don't have to pay off policies."
"We have a plan for that. If everyone agrees, we support that new heroine, Gem, monetarily as well as with whatever materials she needs."
"I so move."
"All in favour?"
It was unanimous, the Nerima Insurance Collective would be more than willing to provide support to the heroine, if they could find her.
To be continued...