Sorrow and Hatred
I own none of these characters, I am just a humble
writer with an idea.
"His transformation is almost complete" he heard a voice say, "the trigger has not been found but once it is we can start the programming."
Something was wrong with his body, he felt sluggish, almost like he was drunk. He tried to move his arm but found that it was locked in place by something. His eyes opened slowly and he could blearily make out a metal ring encircling his wrist and bolted to the table he was laying on. Around him lights shone brightly with sporadic patterns that blinked and pulsed. His head was covered by a metal band, making him feel heavy and slow with its weight.
"Sir, he is awake," a man said frantically.
A man in shadows replied, "Give him more sedative, we cannot have him resisting."
Ranma felt something pierce his neck and his vision started to grow blurry once again. With some amount of strength he fought the sedative off. The person standing over him prepared to inject more of the sedative into him. With great effort Ranma used his strength to tear his arm free of the shackle and grabbed the syringe, shattering it into pieces.
"Stop it," the man growled out, voice sounding thick and tired, "I will not have people putting drugs in me."
The doctor frantically shouted at his colleges, "Start the restriction system."
There was a buzzing sound seconds before electricity arched through the headpiece on Ranma's head. The man screamed and went stiff, arching his back, as the electricity ran through his body. Ranma collapsed back on the table as the juice was cut to the headpiece.
"All right, I will now inject more sedative," the doctor said as he brought out a new syringe.
Just as he was about to inject the liquid into Ranma's neck, a guard came running up, "Doctor, we have an intruder, I believe it is the girl you are looking for."
Sighing the doctor cursed, "Whatever, I'll take care of this. I'll take care of this man later."
The doctor removed his gloves and walked out of the room in a brisk pace. Ranma could see the man in shadow following the doctor out of the room. He idly wondered why they would be so careless about leave him unguarded in this room. Then he noticed a group of black and white monitors in the room that showed a group of guards massing in tactical areas. They were dressed in heavy armor and their guns were all big enough to take out a tank. He continued to watch with interest as he scanned through the different monitors. Then he saw something he did not want to believe, a girl with wings and a tail was sneaking in through one window.
"Damn, why did you come here Dizzy?" the man muttered.
"That girl is stupid, she will be slaughtered," someone said from beside him.
Ranma looked over at the man, "If anyone in this base so much as touches her I'll kill you all."
The man laughed at Ranma's comment, "I do not know if you have noticed but you are in no position to make threats, man."
Ignoring the comment, Ranma turned back to the monitor to see that Dizzy was about to walk into a trap. Just as the guards were about to round the corner, she stopped and jumped into a room near bye. When they came around the corner they walked right by the room she had taken cover in. Ranma smiled inwardly, it seemed that this girl was not so incompetent in fighting after all. Mostly likely it was her desire not to fight that gave her the label of a weak girl.
There was a sudden alarm as more guards scattered, however this was to a different location. On a different monitor was a picture of the rest of his travel group as they broke in the front entrance. That was a dangerous thing to do against the Guild, but it was distracting them from Dizzy. The assassins were unused to dealing with this many enemies of this caliber at one time. Nobody had dared to attack them openly in so long that they were caught unaware. The rag-tag group cut through them easily, though they had yet to meet any of the more powerful members. The group made their way farther into the compound, defeating a good number of assassins on the way.
Then something happened that nobody had thought about, a trap made itself known with a sound of metal settling heavily on the ground. Without warning a thick steel door suddenly slammed down and boxed the group in. Even with Potemkin's strength they could not break through the walls. Then they heard the sound of metal gears turning and the ceiling started to close down on them. As it came down there was the sound of hydraulics and smooth metal spikes suddenly stuck out of the ceiling. Then Ranma turned his head to look at another monitor, searching to see if Dizzy was okay.
When he found her she was just outside the door, two guards had been knocked out near her. She threw open the door and Ranma found light suddenly flooding the room. Looking over he saw that the door she had pulled open was the door to the room that held him. She started to run over to him but was stopped suddenly as steel bars shot from the ground and stopped her progress.
"INITIATE COUNTER MEASURES, SECURITY MODE: NON-PREJUDICED," a computerized voice sounded form the intercom.
Ranma watched in horror as giant Gatling cannons raised from the ground and aimed at the girl. Quickly he looked to see how his trapped friend were fairing in the spike room. The quick glance told him that they were not doing any better than the first time. Ryouga and Ky were staring defiantly at the spiked ceiling as they hid the Chinese chef, Jam, behind them. Potemkin did not seem to show much emotion at all as the ceiling got closer to him.
Looking back at Dizzy, Ranma could see the Gatling cannons starting to spin up. He was sure she could use her power to block a lot of the bullets but probably not all them. He watched helpless as the guns let loose, Dizzy wrapped her wings around her for protection. It seemed to go on forever as dust was kicked up from the exploding bullets as they impacted with the wings. Ranma went numb as all he could do was watch the guns wind down as they ran out of bullets.
Then he saw the blood, not much, but it was enough to make something in his mind click. His aura came forth unbidden as he felt his numbness replaced by anger. A deep growl rose from his throat and grew in direct proportion to the size of his angry aura. His blue eyes turned red as his skin took on a slightly red tinge and leathery wings sprung from his back. His skin hardened and took on a scaly look and his fingers elongated and took on a pointed look, more like claws than fingers. He tore through his shirt as his body mass increased and his feet grew larger and took on a talon look. In short it looked like someone had combined a human with a dragon.
"INITIATING AUTO-CONTROL SYSTEM, MAXIMUM POWER," the computer automatically started juice running through the metal headgear.
The new Gear-formed Ranma did not seem affected as he continued to sit up. Sliding off the table, he reached up and took the headgear off, electricity still flowing through it but not affecting him. Blinking he turned it over and seemed to study the device for a second.
"WARNING, SYSTEM OVERLOAD," the computer said, "SELF-DESTRUCTION IMMANENT IN 5, 4, 3, 2..."
The dragon Gear looked at the crushed remains of the device in his hands. Opening his hands he let the pieces of metal fall from his hand and spread on the ground. Almost casually he walked over to the metal bars and swiped at them, they shredded like so much butter. The once man walked over to the hurt girl who was kneeling on the ground and holding her leg where she had been shot. The Gear looked down at the girl, kneeling down next to her and putting a hand on the leg.
"Ranma?" the girl asked.
The Gear looked at Dizzy with something that seemed to border on sorrow, "Yes, Dizzy," his voice came out as a kind of half growl as he spoke for the first time in his new form.
"Oh my, what happened to you?" the Gear girl asked.
Ranma fixed her with a look that was almost bitter-sweet, "I changed into my Gear form apparently. We better get you out of here."
"Where are the others, I think they were planning on rescuing you," the girl asked suddenly.
The former man shot a glance over at the monitors in panic, he had totally forgotten about them. From the look of things it was not going to be an easy task to rescue them. Potemkin was holding the ceiling up but he had a spike jutting though one hand as a result. His blood was dripping to the floor and he was losing strength fast. Ranma had no idea where they were and was not sure he could even make it in time. Then an idea came to him.
Walking over to an intercom, Ranma clicked it on and spoke into it, "Ryouga, remember the breaking point."
Inside the room, the group looked up at the speaker in surprise, the voice was unfamiliar to them, however it offered advice of some kind. Whatever the breaking point was to Ryouga, the man seemed to come up with an idea. He yelled at Potemkin to let go of the ceiling, and though the big man questioned the order he did so. Ryouga jumped and yelled something that nobody in the room could understand. The man touched the ceiling between the spikes and came back down. For a second nothing happened and the group was worried that the plan did not work. Then the ceiling shuttered and broke apart into dust, fragments came falling from high, having no affect on the Ryouga or Potemkin. Both of them covered Ky and Jam until the roof had finished breaking up and the dust settled.
The doors opened, caused by the roof shattering making a glitch in the system. The group exited and found two figures coming down the hallway. One was walking, the other was being carried by the former who looked to be a strange mix between a man and a red dragon. The group prepared to attack the creature, who was holding Dizzy in his arms, until they realized he was holding her protectively. The girl was passed out and there was blood running from a crudely bound wound on her leg.
"What happened to Dizzy? Who are you?" Ky asked with a little anger showing in his voice.
The creature looked at him with narrowed eyes and flapped it's wings with irritation, "Really officer, this is not the time for this, she is hurt and in need of medical attention. Now step aside or I'll be forced to move you."
With surprise, the police officer stepped to the side and let the creature pass. The group looked as the creature walked past them without a care for any of them. Its attention was focused on the wellbeing of the girl in it's arms. As it walked away, Ryouga followed it, trying to confirm if his suspicions were real.
Once they stepped outside the Guild headquarters, he addressed the dragon man, "Ranma, what happened?"
Ranma turned and looked at Ryouga with a neutral expression, "I lost control and my latent Gear trait activated."
"You care for her that much," it was a declaration not a question, "you have not changed, Ranma. You are still more emotional than you like to let on."
The dragon man turned away, "I have to leave and try to find somewhere that will take care of Dizzy."
Smiling, Ryouga walked up to him, "No you don't, you forget that I have traveled a lot. That being the case I have gotten hurt a lot and learned to fixed my own wounds."
The Gear looked down at Ryouga with surprise, "You'll help her out, even if she is a Gear."
"Think of it more as helping a friend out," Ryouga said with a wave of his hand, "come back inside and we can take a look at the wound. I have supplies in my backpack."
"Yes, thank you."
The two of them walked back inside and found a room where they could take a look at the wound. Helping to laying the girl down on a flat metal table, Ryouga unwrapped the binding on her leg. Luckily the bullet had only grazed the girl, there was no arterial damage. He only had supplies to take care of a minor wound, this one would only require cleaning and stitching. She did not suffer so much blood loss that she would be down for long either. Considering her Gear genes and how minor the wound was, she would be better within two or three days.
"I need you to hold the wound together while I stitch it," Ryouga said to Ranma, "there is not much damage so stitching it should be okay. Just wait until I need you, I have to clean the wound right now to make sure it does not get infected."
Ranma nodded and watched as Ryouga tenderly wiped down the wound with alcohol. He cleaned up around the wound, his hands covered in the girls blood, then motioning for Ranma to help him. The man grabbed a needle and some thread as the Gear took a hold of the wound and held it together. Ryouga used a lighter he had in his pack to heat the needle before he looped a thin piece of clear thread through the needle head and cut a length of it. He proceeded to run the needle back and forth just under the skin until he had totally sealed the wound. He cleaned the wound one last time before going to a nearby sink and washing the blood off his hands. It had taken awhile to finish the surgery but they had gotten the blood stopped.
"She will be fine, she is lucky," Ryouga turned the water off and dried his hands, "just a few more inches and she may not have been able to walk again, or it could have hit an artery."
Ranma looked down at her, sadness in his now inhuman eyes, "I should have been there, I was so stupid to let my anger control me then. Damn! Why am I so stupid, I almost lost another person I care about."
"Don't you dare start this again," Ryouga said as he took the man by the throat and brought him close, "don't think I don't know how easy you could hurt me right now, but this is for your own good. You have to get it through that thick skull of yours that you cannot change the past. You live the life you are given and hope for the best, if you don't you self-destruction. You got me?"
The Gear was too surprised by the words to do anything about the hand around his neck, "Ryouga..."
"You are too caught up in the past to see a future," Ryouga continued as he looked the Gear in the eyes, "that is why you are so suicidal. Believe me, I know what you are going though."
Ranma felt the hand leave his neck and he looked down at Ryouga to see them man looking at him neutrally, "I know Ryouga, you're right, I guess I just needed to hear it from someone."
"I'm going to fill the others in on what happened," Ryouga said as he walked out, "you probably want to stay with her, so I'll be going now."
As Ryouga left without another word, Ranma turned back to Dizzy and took a seat on a chair nearby. The room was small and made almost completely out of metal. With the only exception being the cabinets that hung over the sink. Ranma looked over at Dizzy as he got bored looking at the room, there was a limited amount of time that a person could look at a metal walled room. He watched as her chest rose and fell with a rhythmic pulsing. Sliding the chair closer to the girl, Ranma looked at her closed eyes.
Many times he had seen them, only now did he register just how much he missed them. Their reassuring redness, so shy one moment and so willful the next. Her small mouth was slightly opened as she breathed in and out. Ranma cupped one side of her face with his and, then ran it up so that he eventually pushed her blue hair out of the way, revealing her whole face. Ranma smiled for a second before closing his eyes and shaking his head as if trying to clear something from his head.
"Dizzy, I'm sorry," Ranma said as he took his hand away from her face and leaned back in the chair, "You got hurt because of me."
Ranma felt his eyes get heavy, he accepted the sleep that wanted to take over. Everyone had a long day, and the Guild had been dispersed so much that there was no way they could get back together. With their most powerful warriors missing, they had not chance of taking the headquarters back. This was probably the most secure place they could be right now. As the Gear wrapped his wings around himself he felt sleep overtake him and he drifted into unconsciousness.
End of Chapter 10. I have to say that I am liking the way that Ranma's Gear form has turned out. I know it is a drastic change, the reason will be explained later. As for Dizzy getting hurt like that, I know some people are going to not like that. Trust me, I know how much some people like her, but I figured that Ranma needed a valid reason to let himself go.
Two days passed with little happening, Ranma secluded himself in the room with Dizzy. Ranma had become human again after the first day of going to sleep. The only difference he could tell after that was the two bracers that seemed to be attached to his skin. He also noticed that there was tattoo on the palm of his right hand that was done in oriental style. He noticed these while he secluded himself in the room with Dizzy, Ryouga occasionally came and gave him food so he would not starve. There had been no visible change in the girl, and Ranma was starting to get worried. As he looked at Dizzy, he saw her start to tremble and her eyes slowly opened.
The man stood quickly and rushed over to her, "Dizzy, you're okay, I was getting worried."
"Ranma? Where am I, what happened?" the girl said as she tried to sit up.
The man helped her sit up and hugged her, "Yes, it's me Dizzy. You got hurt when you tried to rescue me, we are in a room inside the Assassin Guild."
"How long have I been out?" The Gear girl asked as she returned his hug.
Ranma smiled as he looked at her, "It's been two days, Ryouga helped to patch you up."
Just as he said that, the door opened and Ryouga stood with a tray of food and water. Actually he had two trays in his hand and he set them down in front of each of them. Ranma looked at him in surprise before taking the food.
The man waved off the words with a serious look, "I know what you're thinking. Why is a man who hates Gears helping two such be creatures. The simple answer is that one is my friend, and the other is important to my friend. My hate for them was not misplaced, and I still hate them, but I am not so hard headed to think that there is no difference."
Ranma smiled and put his hand on Ryouga's shoulder, "Thank you for understanding. And thank you for talking sense into me."
Ryouga nodded, "If you don't take care of her though, I will have to beat the crap out of you. You understand that don't you?"
As the man smiled, Ranma chuckled, "Don't worry, I'll take care of her. We still have one last obstacle to overcome before we're done."
The man nodded, "Yes there is, and we will all fight it together."
"I'm glad you're here Ryouga," Ranma said, "as much as we hated each other when we were younger, I thought we would become bitter enemies."
"Wow, this is good," Dizzy said suddenly as she took a bite of the food that had been offered, "did you cook this Ryouga?"
The two looked over at Dizzy in surprise, Ryouga answered, "No, Jam did. She was a little confused when I asked for two servings but I persuaded her to make more."
"Well tell her it's very good," Dizzy said.
"I will, Dizzy," Ryouga said, "I guess I'll let the two of you talk.
The man walked out the door, leaving Ranma and the blue haired half Gear girl alone. Ranma looked at his food and picked up a piece to try it. Dizzy was right, the food was very good, Ranma began eating as if it was the first meal he had eaten in three days. The reason he ate this way had a lot to do with the fact that it was the first meal he had in three days. When he was finished he set the tray aside and wiped his mouth.
"Ranma," Dizzy said when she had finished, "did you stay with me for those two days?"
The man nodded, "Yes, I wanted to make sure nothing bad happened."
"Do you blame yourself?" Dizzy asked as she stared at him.
The man suddenly had the urge to look away, "How couldn't I, you got hurt trying to save me. You wouldn't have even been hurt if you did not have to come save me in the first place. All because I let my anger control me."
Dizzy grabbed Ranma's hand, causing him to look at her again, "You blame yourself far too much, I was hurt because of my actions not yours."
Ranma moved his hands so he was grasping hers, "It was my being captured that made you act the way you did."
"And if you want to go that far back, it was you meeting me that caused you to be captured," Dizzy replied with a satisfied grin.
The man looked surprised before he returned the grin, "I guess that's true. I really have to stop thinking like this, it's not healthy."
Dizzy was caught unaware as Ranma suddenly reached his arms around her. She blushed as the man hugged her tightly, she felt the warmth of his body press against hers and felt comfort from it. Closing her eyes she leaned into him, putting her hands on his chest as she did so. In the middle of this scene the door swung open and in the arch stood Ky. The police officer looked surprised as both the man and the girl grew red in the face.
"Sorry for interrupting, but there is something I have to tell you," Ky said as the two broke apart reluctantly, "I have learned the location of the rebuilt Justice. The Gear has been seen entering a small warehouse just on the outskirts of Spain. The actual location is condemned and there is little information about it. It is a great place to keep hidden from the world if he wanted to."
Ranma looked at Ky with not apparent emotion showing, then he brushed past the officer without a word. The door closed behind him and the officer was stuck alone in the room with the blue haired girl. Dizzy looked at him with the innocence that most people had become use to when the saw her. Ky sighed and turned to leave the room, leaving the girl alone in the room.
As the blond man exited the room, he found Ranma waiting for him with his arms crossed. His long dark hair hung in his eyes and his mouth was set in a straight line. The hallway was empty except for the two of them and Ky was beginning to feel oddly vulnerable. This man reminded Ky a lot of Sol when he stood there with his mouth in a thin line. For a second Ky wondered if Sol had gone through the same pain this young man had. They looked the same age but sometimes Ky could swear Sol sounded older than he actually was.
"I can't go with you," Ranma said, "Dizzy needs me, and she cannot travel on her wounded leg."
Ky's eyes widened in surprise, "You don't want to destroy Justice?"
Ranma looked up to let his blue eyes show under his long hair, "I do, but now is not the time for me to leave. I'm not going to be so careless enough to think she will be okay. She is strong but she is too innocent to protect herself. Besides, Justice will eventually come for her and we will be ready."
Ky stared for a second, "You are right, she does need protection and you are the best one to offer it. We will go after Justice."
"No," the two turned to see Sol Badguy in his usual fighting uniform walk out of the shadows, "the boy has the right idea, or rather I should say the Gear has the right idea."
Ranma grit his teeth as he heard the words form from Sol's mouth, "How could you tell?"
Sol's grin bordered on evil, "That is my secret, the important thing is that I know what you are. You were a prototype for people trying to harness the energy of life. All Gears have a certain affinity for an element of nature. The company that made the Gears easily used their talent to create the other powers but they were stumped when it came to using life energy. One scientist came up with the idea to try implanting a gene into a human that had an affinity for using this energy."
The man paused and let this sink in, Ranma blinked and looked confused, "So you mean that I was their test subject?"
"Yes," Sol said still with a grin, though less sinister, "though nobody but the scientist knew this. It was so experimental that he did not dare tell the others, however bad the consequences were he could not let it be known that he was responsible. This gene was implanted without the knowledge of the patient and it grew through he years, waiting for the trigger."
"So what does this have to do with waiting for Justice?" Ky asked.
"It's easy, Justice wants to try to brainwash the two of them and kill all the humans," Sol said as he took the sword that rested on his shoulder and threw it into the ground so it stuck straight up, "of course he has no idea that there is no way he can control these two. The fact that they had to have the willpower to even become a Gear in the first place will prevent this from happening."
The three of them looked down the hallway as they heard frantic running down the corridor. Ryouga appeared, running as fast as he could down the hall. The man came to a stop in front of them and bent over to try to catch his breath. Once he caught his breath and stood straight he turned to the three of them.
"There is an army of Gears," the man said with frantic words, "Potemkin and Jam are holding them off so far, and the samurai girl Baiken happened on the scene. She is also helping but they won't last long."
Sol cursed, "Damn, it's too soon. Boy, go back and help the three, we will be there soon. Ranma will stay here and protect Dizzy from Justice."
Before anyone could object, Sol took off running towards the direction of the entrance. He was not going to let the Gears ruin everything he had tried to accomplish. The whole thing had been his fault and he was trying to repent for his mistake. The only way he could do that was to help the new breed of Gears live. Besides, he felt a weird obligation to keep the girl Gear alive even if he did not know why. As he exited the headquarters, with Ryouga and Ky right behind him, he saw a vision that he had not expected. There was thousands of Gears marching towards the building, Justice was nowhere in sight but he was sure the Gear had to be close.
"We have to keep the Gears back," Ky yelled from his position behind Sol, "it looks like the others are tiring."
Ryouga nodded and the two ran into the fray, trying to help their friends. Sol was about to follow when he felt a twinge at the edge of his consciousness. With horror he realized that this was only a distraction and ran back towards where Ranma and Dizzy where. When he got there he found Ranma pounding on the metal door, trying to break it down. Sol slowed and tried to help the man break the door down but it would not budge.
"Damn, this door is too strong," Sol said, "I hate to do this, but it's the only way. Dragon Install!"
There was a flash of red around the man as his full power unlocked and everything went red. Ranma was not sure what happened but he had felt an immense wave of energy when the man did that. Apparently he had been hiding his true power, and if he let his out why should Ranma hold back. With a white flash, the man summoned his Gear form and helped Sol knock the door down.
As the heavy door fell inward, the two were granted with a view of Justice standing over a frightened Dizzy. The girl was looking at the Gear with obvious fear in her eyes as he raised his hand to strike. Within a split second, Ranma tackled the full Gear and started to pummel the thing with all his strength. Each hit left a deep gash from his claws in Justice's exterior. Even with all the damage, Ranma did not let up his attack once. He would not let the Gear gain any ground or have any chance to fight back. Then Ranma felt something wrap around his waist and the next thing he knew he was thrown against a wall.
As he got up he saw Sol escorting Dizzy out of the room to a safer place. Growling, Ranma charged the Gear and performed a sliding kick to the Gears feet. Justice stumbled but managed to recover from the sweep, clawing at the man as he was on the ground. Ranma brought his hands up and the claws hit his arms, where his skin was thicker. Justice kicked at him right after and Ranma slid into the wall that he had just picked himself up from. With a grunt of frustration, Ranma jumped to his feet and let fly a ball of energy from his right hand. At least he intended it to be a ball, it turned out to be a stream of energy in the shape of a dragon.
The beam hit the Gear with enough force to throw it back into the wall behind it. It was beginning to occur to Ranma that this room may be too small of a place for a proper fight. The only reason he did not move it was the fact that it gave him a better advantage for maneuvering. It was obvious that Ranma was doing a lot of damage to the Gear, but the man knew that Justice was not even close to done. If he wanted to stop this he would have to press his advantage. Ranma released another blast of dragon energy at Justice and then started clawing away at the Gear once again. With a final blow, the wall that had weakened from all the previous blows finally gave way. Even the steel could not resist the strength of the two Gears fighting within its confines.
Justice was barely alive as he lay before Ranma, this did not stop Ranma from his relentless pursuit. The fact that Justice was a machine just helped him to let loose with all his strength. The only thing that bothered Ranma was the fact that Justice did not seem as strong as people had told him. Whether it was because he was a prototype for a new kind of Gear did not matter to him. All that mattered was finally defeating Justice. With his claw extended, Ranma drove his hand through the Gear and watched as blue electricity shot out. Slowly the light faded from the Gear's eyes and Ranma withdrew his hand with slow satisfaction.
"Finally, I have finally laid my demons to rest," Ranma said as he let his energy subside and he changed back into his human form.
Turning his back on the wreckage that was left of the Gear, Ranma started to walk away. Turning one last time he wanted to make sure that the monster was not going to get back up. Seeing that Justice had not moved, Ranma turned forward again and walked out of the Assassin Guild.
End of Chapter 11. Not the end of the series, there is a twist in the next chapter. If you are smart you can probably figure it out but I am not going to outright spoil it. Enjoy.
Ranma exited to find the place in chaos, Gears were stopped in mid-attack and the four fighters who were left where nursing wounds. Potemkin was still injured from earlier but out of all of them he was still the least injured. Ryouga had blood running down his arms and gashes across his chest. He was helping Baiken who was kneeling on the ground using her sword as a support. Ky's hair was matted with blood that could or could not be his own, it was hard to tell. His uniform was ripped to reveal one arm and his shoulder. He was helping to bandage Jam, who had cuts running along her arms and legs. What little clothing the girl did wear to fight in was torn in what many would consider revealing ways. Ky was having a little trouble keeping his mind on his job for this reason.
"Ranma!" Turning at the voice he saw Dizzy run up to him, "you're okay."
The man smiled, "Yes, I'm glad you're fine Dizzy."
Ranma accepted the hug from the girl, "I though that Justice would hurt you for sure."
"We should help the others get inside," Ranma said, "they are in pretty bad shape."
Dizzy nodded, "Yes, I will help to dress their wounds."
With that they walked up to the group and did not notice Sol disappear behind them. When they had helped everyone back inside, everyone started to help tend to wounds. There was little that could be done or the torn uniforms but that was unimportant now. What was important was stopping the blood from flowing any longer than it needed to. Outside the window, white flakes started to float to the ground slowly. It started slowly but soon grew into a full out snow storm as the ground became covered in white. It was a drastic change from what they where used to.
By the time all the wounds had been mended the ground was covered in white. Everyone was spread out, trying to find food to eat after the long time of fighting. As Ranma walked along he found Dizzy stopped by the window and looking out. As he came up behind her she looked at him with wide eyes, and he wrapped his arms around her waist as he looked out of the window with her.
"Is that snow?" the girl asked as she looked at the white with awe.
Ranma nodded, "Yes it is."
Dizzy leaned her head back into him, "It's so beautiful."
The man nodded, "Yes it is. It's hard to believe you haven't seen snow before. I keep forgetting what your true age is. Not that it's a bad thing, you just don't look three."
"There is so much I want to learn," Dizzy said, "maybe then I could understand why people don't like me."
"I know a lot about the world and I still don't fully understand that," the man said without humor, "how they could hate someone with such an innocent heart I cannot understand. Maybe it's for the better, maybe I just don't want to understand."
"Didn't you used to hate Gears though?"
Ranma nodded his head, "Yes, and I'm not sure I don't now, but mindless machines are not the same. If I became a mindless machine when I changed then I would hate myself for what I was. It wouldn't be like I could help it but I would still hate it."
"Hmm, could you help me get to my room?" Dizzy asked suddenly, "I'm feeling a little tired."
"Yeah, I think I could manage that," Ranma picked the girl up and started walking towards where her room was designated.
With the way the building was laid out, it took him a while to find the room. When he did though, he threw open the door and gently set the girl down on the bed. As he disengaged himself from her and went to leave he felt her hand grab his arm. Looking back in surprise she pulled him down and gave him a warm kiss. Breaking the embrace, Ranma went over to the door and closed it, making sure nobody would walk in.
Ryouga had found some food in a little supply depot in the bottom of the Guild headquarters. He was on his way back when he heard something thump from inside one of the rooms they had chosen for sleeping. For a second he was worried that something might be wrong but when he heard a familiar voice yelling something incomprehensible he smile and continued walking. There was not point in interrupting them for something trivial.
As he made his way farther down the hall he saw Baiken staring with a hard look out the window. She looked to be contemplating something as he walked up to her. Putting the food on the ground, Ryouga cleared his throat, when he got no response he tried it again a little louder. When he still got no response he went up to her and started to wave his hand back and forth in front of her face. It was at this point that he found his hand held firmly in place by the woman's hand.
"What the hell are you doing?" Baiken asked.
"You were not responding to my calls," Ryouga answered as he freed himself from her grip, "I thought you were daydreaming."
"I don't daydream," Baiken growled, "I was just thinking about something."
Ryouga grinned, "So you were daydreaming in other words."
The woman growled, "Shut up! What do you know? You're just some punk that somehow survived though the Gear war."
"Punk?" Ryouga said with a perplexed look, "I don't know if that is exactly the right word. Honor is very important to both Ranma and me, and there is nothing in our life that does not reflect that."
Baiken said nothing in reply to his statement, just turned and walked away. Ryouga followed her along the corridor as she tried to increase the distance between him and her. Finally she turned on him in irritation and pointed a finger in his chest.
Baiken grit her teeth, "Just leave me alone! I don't feel like talking."
"You cannot get away from me," Ryouga replied.
The woman narrowed her eyes at him, "You want to fight me?"
Ryouga blinked, "I only want to find out what's wrong. You're always so distant, I'm not stupid, I can see something is troubling you."
"Bah, you don't know anything," The woman said, "I'm going to have a drink."
"Whatever," Ryouga said with a shrug, "you have fun being alone and unhappy."
"Just shut up," Baiken said in a sour tone as she walked away from him.
Ryouga finally finished his rounds at the place in the building that had been designated the kitchen. It was more of a galley than a kitchen, but either way it provided a great place to eat. All the food before they had hunted themselves, but now they had a huge stockpile waiting for them. This food was useful because it was hard to hunt things when it was snowing outside.
As Ryouga walked into the kitchen he found Ky and Potemkin already enjoying some of the food that Jam had cooked. Ryouga sat down at the table and was soon enjoying some food of his own. When he was done he walked back to the room he was staying in. On his way back he found Baiken leaned over on a table with a bottle of sake (pronounced Sah Keh) in her hands. Sighing he walked up to her and tapped her on the shoulder to try to wake her up. She mumbled something and shifted slightly, so he tried it again and she slowly opened her eyes and lifted her head off the table.
"Baiken, just a suggestion," Ryouga said as he crossed his arms, "but maybe you should go to bed."
The woman yawned and nodded, "Yeah, yeah, whatever."
"See you in the morning," Ryouga said neutrally as she walked off.
"Whatever," the woman replied.
Ryouga frowned, "Yeah, whatever, why do I even try? I'm going to bed."
The man walked off to his room, passing Ranma and Dizzy's room on the way to his. It was now silent, and the hall was dark, with a sigh he opened the door to his dark room and went to sleep. In Dizzy's room, Ranma was laying awake as the girl's head rested on his chest. He was idly running his hands through her soft hair as he stared at the ceiling. Usually when this happened he was thinking about something important that had happened in his life. Right now he was just trying to get over what had just happened. It was a spur of the moment type of thing, but the feelings the two of them had shared was amazing.
The girl shifted and he looked down with a smile as he wrapped his arms around her and let his eyes close. It was the first time in a while that he had been able to fall asleep without seeing the horror of his past life. The two of them slept the whole night without moving from their position. When Ranma woke the next morning he detached himself from the girl quietly and walked out of the room, throwing a shirt on as he did so. He had found different clothes to replace the tank top when the assassins had run off. He now wore a black Chinese style shirt with rolled up sleeves that were white on the inside. It gave him the look of an ancient Chinese master except for the fact that he was so young.
Opening the doors to the Guild headquarters he took a breath and relished the fresh air. Ranma walked out into the snow and started to go through a practice form that was easy for him. To the casual viewer it looked incredibly tough, all the flowing and movement changes would have been hard for an average martial artist. For more competent martial artists, forms like this one were just a warm up. As he went longer he flowed seamlessly into another form that was considerably harder. This form involved a lot of mid air twists and landing at peculiar angles. As he moved through the snow he left tracks where he stepped, creating a pattern in the snow. Not anything coherent but it was a pattern of steps nonetheless. This pattern would boggle the mind of those looking at it for the simple fact that footsteps seemed to run over one another at angles that should not exist.
As Ranma finished the form he stood straight, clasping his hands in front of him, and bowed. As he turned to walk back he felt something at the corner of his mind, like someone was watching him. Looking back towards the forest he saw something he thought impossible. Justice was standing at the edge of the for rest, not a remade one, the same one that he had fought before. There were no other Gears with him, but Ranma knew that he did not need any other Gears around. Justice could fight by himself, the man had experienced this first hand.
Without warning, the Gear suddenly appeared in front of him with a shriek and Ranma was immediately forced on the defensive. The Gear seemed intent on not allowing the man to change forms by how offensive he was. Ranma was doing a good job of defending himself but he knew it could not last forever. The snow was hindering his movement and the practice right before was doing nothing to help his energy. Then Ranma made a fatal mistake, he forgot about the Gears lethal tail, with a gasp of surprise he let himself impaled on the appendage.
Ranma slowly looked down at the Gear's tail with anger, that had been stupid to forget about on his part. Grabbing the appendage, he pulled it out with a sickening sound. The stab had missed any real vital point but with a hole as bit as it was, there was no need to hit something vital. As he collapsed to the ground a vision flashed in his mind of that first day he had seen the Gear. The burning hellfire that Japan had been turned into came to his mind with clarity. It was the same scene as before, him being stabbed and Justice standing tall. With a yell, Ranma made one last effort to kill the machine but passed out from blood loss. That was then, he could not let it happen like that again.
"Damn you," Ranma said as he collapsed to one knee and put his left hand over his wound, "I will not let you get away with this."
Raising his right hand, a small white light grew in the palm of his hand. The energy grew larger and larger until it was the size of the Gear itself. Justice did not move the slightest, he seemed confident that Ranma would not get the move off. With a growl, Ranma summoned his Gear form to add more energy to the move. It was then that Justice reacted, surprised that the man could even summon the form. The man did not give Justice enough time to teleport away though. With a loud cry he let the dragon energy cannon fly from his hands. There was a flash as Justice was caught in it and when the flash was gone Justice had been cut in half.
With a few heavy breaths, Ranma summoned another beam of energy and finished the job. Having seen the Gears destruction with his own eyes, Ranma closed his eyes with one last breath and started to fall forward. His ears were ringing and his vision was going black, but before it did he saw a single white feather float in front of his eyes. The vision of a blue haired half Gear flashed through his mind and he silently apologized to this girl. Then he fell into unconsciousness as crimson blood spread from his body, and he changed back to his human form.
End of Chapter 12. End of Book 4. End of Story. I know this was evil, but there is an addendum. Hint: Read the prologue.
Chapter 13 (Prologue)
"Hinata," a female voice yelled out, "time for dinner."
The little girl, about four five year old, with a long white dress and red and blue hair turned towards the voice. She was torn between whether to run towards the voice or stay with the strange man she had just met. Luckily the man seemed to sense her hesitation and with a smile he told her to go to the woman who called her.
As the girl approached her mother she looked up into her mothers eyes, "What were you doing out there Hinata? You know how worried I get when you wonder that far away."
The little girl nodded, "I know, but I was playing and I was in trouble and this man helped me. He was a really nice man, he said he knew you."
The woman smiled, "I'm sure he was nice, now let's go eat."
"He said he really wanted to meet you," the little girl said.
With a sigh the woman nodded, "Well I guess it would be all right, but you need to go eat young woman."
The girl looked slightly saddened, "Yes mother."
"Don't give me that, you haven't eaten all day," the woman said, "now go inside and eat."
Once the girl was inside, the woman walked off in the direction the little girl had come from. As she walked she caught the sight of a man in a dirty brown cloak with dark long hair. He was knelt down on the ground and seemed to be studying something that was laying there. As the woman moved closer, the man stood and looked at the sky, holding a scarred arm up to look "at something in the light of the sun. On his arms were bracers that fit so tightly around that it looked like part of the arm.
"So what is this about," the woman said.
The man did not turn around but he did drop his hand and the object he was looking at, "Quiet a way to talk to an old acquaintance."
The woman crossed her arms over his chest and look at the man with little patients, "I can't even tell if I've met you with your back to me like that."
The man chuckled, "I guess that's true, makes it hard to see who I am, well here you go then," the man turned to the woman and she froze in shock, "surprise, Dizzy."
"R, Ranma?" the girl had gone almost numb with shock, "how?."
The man developed a serious look, "I really could not let you live alone. The thought of you being sad prevented me from dying, you guys just buried me a little soon. When I awoke in the dark I didn't know what to think at first, I wasn't even sure I was alive."
The blue haired woman looked down at the ground, "All that time you were alive. I thought you were dead, but no matter how hard I tried I could not get over you."
Ranma walked forward and gave her a hug, whispering in her ear, "It took so long for me to find you. I was so worried that even when I did find you, my chance would already be gone."
The girl leaned forward and put her head in his chest, "I've missed you so much."
"Who's little girl is that?" the man asked.
Dizzy looked up, "That is my little girl, or maybe I should say our little girl. I gave her a name that would help me remember you, not really in the meaning but in the nation the name came from."
"Hinata," Ranma said, "it's a nice name. I wish I was here for her birth. She must be about five, right?"
Dizzy nodded, "Yes, where you what was keeping her earlier?"
The man laughed, "Sorry about that, she is such a sweet little girl. She reminds me of you."
"I think she gets in just as much trouble as you though," Dizzy said with a grin before she became serious, "would you like to come inside and have something to eat."
"Yes, I am pretty hungry," Ranma said before reaching in his pocket for something, "This was the last thing I saw before I passed out you know."
Dizzy looked at the white feather in Ranma's hand with wide eyes, "That's... one of my feathers, I saw you fall and ran up to you, but you fell to the ground before I could do anything. There was so much blood and I was so scared."
"This kept me alive, I have thought of nothing but you these past five years," Ranma said as they walked back to the house, "every time I felt like giving up I just had to reach into my pocket to find hope. You always helped me be strong through the worst situations Dizzy."
The woman opened the door to her house, "You always had a way of making me feel safe. I'll be right back, hold on."
The woman walked off, leaving Ranma to stand in the entrance to the house. When she came back, Dizzy took his cloak from him, revealing the evidence of his hardships over the past five years. He had become even more tone than before and multiple scars ran across his body, some disappearing under his black t-shirt. The view almost brought tears to the woman's eyes as she looked at the old cuts that had failed to heal quickly enough.
"Did you get those from trying to find me?" Dizzy asked quietly.
Ranma looked down at the scars as if he forgot they were there, "You could say that, people get very defensive when you ask about a Gear that's supposed to be dead. It's okay though, they did not hurt badly enough that you should worry about them."
The woman nodded but did not seem to be happy, "How careless, why do you have to put yourself in such danger?"
"Because nothing is more important to me than making sure I see your face one last time," Ryouga said as he grasp her shoulders, "please don't let the scars get to you, I like it when you smile."
Dizzy looked surprise at his admission, "You never told me that before."
"I never had time to," Ranma replied, "we had better eat, we can catch up while we have some food."
The woman nodded and led him into the dinning room where Hinata was still eating her food. The red and blue haired girl looked up and smiled at the man as he walked into the room. Then she stared wide eyed as she saw the battle scars on the man's body.
"Wow, you must be tough," the girl said, "you have a lot of scars."
"Hinata, don't be rude," Dizzy said to the girl, "it's not nice to point things like that out."
"But mom, it's so cool," the girl said with excitement.
Ranma laughed, "It's okay Dizzy, I don't mind."
As the man sat down, Dizzy brought him a plate of food, "I hope you like it. We didn't have much to cook with, oh, that reminds me, Johnny is dropping by a little later."
Ranma looked up in surprise, "You mean the pirate Johnny? How is he doing anyway?"
"Uncle Johnny is a pirate," the girl asked, "wow, I knew he was cool but that makes him even more cool."
"Uncle?" Ranma asked with a raised eyebrow, Dizzy just sighed developed a look that said not to ask her about it.
"Are you done Hinata? I have a surprise for you when you finish," Dizzy said to the little girl.
The little girl nodded, "Yes mom, I finished. What's the secret?"
"Well, you know how I told you that your father died before you were born?" Dizzy asked as she sat down, "It seems that he actually lived and I was unaware of it. Hinata, I would like you to meet your father, Ranma Saotome."
The little girl stared at the man for a second, seemingly in shock, "You? Wow, I never knew my father was so cool. Does this mean you can stop being sad about him being gone, mom?"
Laughing, Dizzy hugged the girl, yes it does, Hinata. Now go give your daddy a hug."
The girl walked over to him, and Ranma picked her up and held her in his arms, "Wow, now that I look at you, you do look a lot like both of us. How are you Hinata?"
"I'm fine," the little girl answered, "I hope you can calm mommy down, she gets so worried sometimes."
Ranma looked at Dizzy as the woman turned red, "Really now, well I will certainly work on it."
Ranma put the girl down and proceeded to eat as his stomach made it clear that he was very hungry. As he took a bite of the food, his mouth lit up with the flavor and he began to eat ravenously. As he finished and wiped his mouth, he looked up to see his daughter looking at him with wide eyes.
"Wow, you're more messy then me," the girl said.
Dizzy covered her mouth as she laughed, "Sorry, it's just that it's true."
Shrugging, Ranma sighed, "Well, at least it was very good. I'm glad I came back, now come her the two of you."
Ranma picked Hinata up in his arms and wrapped Dizzy in his free arm. With a smile, Ranma realized that he had found the joy he had been missing in his life right then. And with that embrace, his journey for peace finally ended with the two most important things in his life in his arms.
End of Chapter 13. End of Prologue. Real End of the Story. I hope you liked this, I'm thinking of having either a side story or a spin off in the future, though the spin off would be hard considering most of the things that could happen have already happened. I will think about it during my hiatus anyway. Until the next time, hope you keep writing and/or reading.