There are some things in life, which I'll never understand. Ever since Jusendo I never actually got the feeling of something big out there, something not necessarily good, or evil. .

I can never really could explain it. Have you ever felt like you never knew if you were asleep or still dreaming? I did, and it scared me to the core.

It wasn't until 'the' call that changed my beliefs, and my life.

The call was an unusual call. It gave me clues, statements, absurd statements, which made sensed in what I felt, and every time I am alone, the phone never fails to ring.

After a few weeks, I tried to meet up with her, but something interfered. A bunch of girls crashed where I was supposed to meet 'her', and ever since, I awaited the time where I would get called again. Seems today was my lucky day.

Project IV: Crystal Tokyo R

Prologue: What is Crystal Tokyo?

Ranma seem to out of thought as he moved with slower pace as he moved towards the dining table, where he waited for lunch.

It was late afternoon, with the Tendo family, with the patriarchs of the Saotome household also going towards the new center of town: the new ice cream parlor. Akane, being Akane, loved ice cream, and wanted to go. Soun agreed, and Genma, thought with his stomach, also joined. Nabiki followed, and so did Kasumi, and so did Nodoka. Only Ranma said he wanted to stay.

"Why aren't you coming, baka?!" Akane had demanded. "You're going to invite one of those hussies that crashed our wedding again while I'm gone?"

"How many times do I have to tell you, you stupid tomboy?" Ranma had replied. "I didn't invite them to our wedding, you should..." Unfortunately, Ranma wasn't talking fast enough to finish his sentence, as Akane hit him with a mallet towards the ground for the tomboy comment.

"FINE! AS FAR AS I KNOW, OUR ENGAGEMENT IS OVER!" Akane shouted, and left.

Of course, that wasn't everything. Ranma tried to forget the part where Genma called him dishonorable for making his fiancée mad, or how Soun took out his demon head and tried to intimidate the boy, but he didn't care anymore.

All the life he lied through was nothing short of a suicide pact. The fiancées, the pact signed by Genma and his handprints stating he'll be a man among men, and all the rivals out for his blood, everything was really going downwards, towards his death.

Ranma sighed, as he took his time to walk out of the garden, and began some katas.

++++++++

A dark figure was jumping from rooftops to rooftops. She had dark blue hair, and wore black shiny leather tights with trenchcoat, shades, and was talking to a cellphone.

"I'm approaching him," she said in her phone.

"Make sure you are not being followed, Mai," the voice on the phone replied. "We need to get him. 'He' might be the one."

The girl 'Mai', just nodded, and closed her phone, nearing Tendou Hall. But then, she stepped on a weak tile, and slipped down, falling on her butt.

There were two teen boys watching, and they stared at the girl for the longest time. Mai stood up, and blushed. "I MEANT THAT!" she shouted towards the boy, and she jumped away.

The boys looked at each other, confused.

++++++++

Ranma punched Ryouga in the head, launched him in the air, followed through with fast punches, kicks, and a little aerodynamics to stay in the air as long as possible, and then, landed on the ground, his legs spread out a bit, not even displacing the ground as he landed.

It was too bad the Ryouga he was not fighting was for real. It would have been nice if Ryouga came around or so, fighting him. Of all the rivals he had, Ryouga was the most understanding one. Sure, he always came towards Ranma with the usual 'I went through hell because of you!' routine, and blasting Ranma to smithereens, but still, they had respect for each other, one trying to outdo the other. It was an endless rivalry.

Ranma suddenly turned around, and looked up, in a ready position. "WHO'S THERE?!"

On the rooftops, a girl in a clad of shiny black leather and dark shades raised her hand. "It's only me, Ranma."

"Mai-san," Ranma relaxed. "Sorry. I thought you were..."

"We have no time. You're going to meet 'her' now," cut Mai.

Ranma nodded. "Lead the way..."

=Streets=

Ranma smiled as he followed the girl jumping from rooftops to rooftops, going into one particular direction. "Hey, is 'she' really going to want to meet me now?"

Mai didn't turn her head. "Quiet..." Ranma remained silent, until Mai sighed. "Yes, 'she' wants to meet with you."

"Why, of all the times I talked to 'her' on the phone, I get to meet her now?" Ranma asked.

"We were running out of time. 'They' are on to you already, and it will only be a matter of time before they reach you," Mai replied.

"Them, huh?" Ranma asked. He suddenly looked worried. "You think they are following us?"

"I doubt it," Mai said. "I have some help, warning me what might be coming up. If there is something wrong, they'll..." RING! "...call... Hello?" Mai said as she took her phone out. "WHAT?! Shit..." turning her head back to Ranma, the girl gave out a grave stare.

"What is it?" Ranma asked seriously.

"I've been detected!" Mai replied. "They'll be raining upon us soon, so hurry up!"

"Got ya!"

=Somewhere in Nerima, near the Tendou Training Hall, a few minutes later=

"They passed through here," a blonde girl said.

"Hmm, yes," the brunette with ponytail said. "It's kinda weird that we are chasing the same woman, and maybe that cute boy with her."

"Do you think he was with her?" the black haired girl asked.

"Wherever they went, their energy signature is fading. We have to move fast if we want to catch up with them," the girl with short blue hair stated looking at her, what seemed to look like a computer.

The girls nodded, and jumped towards the rooftops, following the girl with blue hair.

=Rooftops=

Ranma was keeping all quiet, his body posture not really healthy. He and Mai were in a narrow crack on a wall. It was big enough to fit Ranma and Mai, and it gave them good view of the place around them.

It was near Dr. Tofu's place, which thankfully was closed. Dr. Tofu was one of those people who can, more or less, detect Ki signatures [except Kasumi's... go figure], and if the good doctor saw Ranma with a girl up there, it would rouse suspicions.

"Hey, you okay there?" Ranma asked. "Your breasts must be squashed tight there..."

Mai glared at the boy. "Shut up!" she replied heatedly. "See if they are here..."

Ranma nodded, and scanned the streets. After a few minutes, of searching, he saw them. "They are here..."

"Just see if they spot us... we are in a very vulnerable position, you know?" Mai replied.

Ranma nodded, watching. The girls following them were really scaring him. He couldn't feel any Ki from them, which was impossible. Any living thing had Ki, and if you find someone without Ki, it was either a zombie, a demon, or anything which was never from earth to begin with.

He also wanted to avoid fights with the girls. They were, more or less, much more powerful then they look. A few weeks ago, when Ranma tried to meet 'her', and when those girls crashed in, he shuddered at the power they held.

He was actually confident enough to try and take them all at once at that time, rushing towards them. They didn't have the skill, but then, they were abnormally tough, super fast, and mucho power on their energy projectiles. He found out when he tried to blast them, punch them, or even tried his most powerful Hiryu Shoten Ha. They shrugged all of that off.

"Are they here?" Mai whispered.

"Yeah..." Ranma whispered back. He shivered as he saw one of the girls looking at their general direction. He didn't want to fight those girls. They were worse than Herb, Saffron and Pantyhose combined, except they have almost nil skills in fighting.

Then, Ranma noticed the girls left. Looking back towards M{Ai, he nodded his head and smiled slowly.

"I think they are gone," Ranma replied. "But I'm not sure if they are just hiding, or how far they are. I can't feel them..."

"I told you before," Mai said slowly, "you can never feel them. Hey, I think they really are gone. Come on, lets go!"

"SURE!" Ranma said excitedly. He moved a bit, and then saw a new problem. "Um, Mai...?"

"What?" Mai asked, her voice with a small hint of fear. "They are here?"

"No... I'm kinda stuck..."

++++++++

Without almost any difficulty except getting Ranma out of the crack, Mai used caution this time, and used a Taxi to take Ranma towards 'her'. When they arrived Ranma was the first to get off the Taxi, and looked at his surroundings. Everything looked so mysterious, so dark, and foreboding. It was also a shanty.

Out of all those things, he was much more curious why 'she' would want to meet him in a building with shanties around the place. Looking at Mai, he asked, "Mai, why does Be..."

"Do you have an extra 500 yen?" Mai cut in, looking mad, but not exactly towards the boy. "I can't believe I forgot my money!!"

Ranma shook his head, a sweat drop evident on his head. He dove his hands towards his pocket, and took out some coins, and grouped them until he got 600 yen, and gave it to Mai. Mai paid the rest of the meter, and got a hundred yen as change. She flipped it towards Ranma, who caught it easily, and both figures walked towards the building.

"Uh, Mai, question..." Ranma began.

"What is it?" Mai replied.

"Uh, are you guys poor that you can't afford a Taxi ride?" Ranma asked.

Mai stopped to her tracks, and glared at the boy. "Care to repeat that?"

The two figures walked into towards the building...

=Nerima Streets=

The girls returned towards their headquarters, taking their time. They stared at the space around them, and it took a few minutes before someone spoke. "Are you sure it's that woman again?" asked the girl with long black hair.

"Same signature," the girl with blue hair replied. "And it seems the boy joined her again."

"That boy can't be a bad guy! He's too cute!" the blonde said.

"Well, we can't find her, or him anymore," the blue haired girl said.

The door opened and in came another blonde. "Hey everyone! How was your chase?"

"YOU STUPID GIRL! WE CALLED YOU A FEW MINUTES AGO, AND ALL YOU DO IS JUST LEAVE US ALONE WHILE YOU DATE THAT HUSBAND TO BE OF YOURS!" the girl with black hair replied.

"WAHH! REI! You're so mean!" the blonde replied.

=Back to Ranma=

Mai showed Ranma towards a beaten wooden door, and paused. Ranma stopped behind her, and waited for Mai to say anything. When she didn't, he decided to brake the ice.

"Is she here?" Ranma asked.

"Yes she is..." Mai turned towards Ranma. "Piece of advice. Be honest. She knows more than you can imagine..."

"Whoa, heavy... I wonder if she's really heavy on top..." Ranma laughed at his joke. He wanted to lighten the mood, but it seems Mai took it the wearing way, as in a blink of an eye, opened the door, shoved Ranma in, and gave a good kick in his butt.

"HEY!" Ranma shouted, trying to get back to Mai, but she closed the door, locking him in. "Jeez, it was only a joke..." he rubbed his behind for some measure.

A sound of a person clearing her throat brought him back to reality. Turning around, he saw a woman in a clad of much more exotic black leather set of clothes, had dark red hair, and was smiling at him. "Hello Ranma," she greeted. "As you have guessed, I am Beryl."

"It's an honor meeting you at last," Ranma said, smiling. Finally, he was able to see who she was. She was actually much prettier than he thought.

"Actually, the honor is mine..." Beryl took out her hand. Ranma took his out, and shook it. "So, I guess I know why you are here."

"Yeah... by the way, you should give more money to that Mai chick. She was short when she tried to pay just a damn taxi..." Ranma said.

++++++++

"T-that asshole!" Mai said, trying to make her way to the door. It was only with the help of her friend that she wasn't able to kick the door down.

"Easy girl," the girl behind Mai said, holding her. The girl had short blonde hair, and was smiling. "It won't do good to kill him while the boss is talking to him."

"When that asshole and I meet in person, I'll personally kill him!" Mai declared.

++++++++

"Please, sit," Beryl began, motioning the one of the two red seats in the room. Ranma did as he was told, and noticed a small round table holding a glass of water. Beryl, though, didn't, and walked towards behind her seat, and started to play something in her hand. "So, after we have been keeping contact for weeks, I guess you have few questions."

"Damn right I have..." Ranma replied quickly. Looking around him, he began his first question. "First, why live in this dump?"

Beryl smiled. "I don't exactly live here," she replied, not insulted. "We just use this place to hide long enough to explain everything to you."

Ranma nodded, understanding... a bit. Looking at Beryl, he went a bit more serious. "Beryl-san, the time you called me, and told me this... things, I couldn't help but believe you. Everything I lived seem so... constrained. There was only a few things I can actually do. Do you understand?"

Beryl nodded. "Yes. I too, felt like that, until I was freed."

"Freed?" Ranma asked. "What, you were in prison or something?"

"You can say that," Beryl replied. "Let me ask you a question, Ranma. Do you believe in fate?"

Ranma took his time, queenly looking at the floor. "No..." he replied.

"Why?"

"Because I feel like being controlled by some unknown force," Ranma replied. "If that is fate, then I hate it. Everything in my life, I was doing nothing but being told what to do. Eat this, marry that, learn this... it was getting crappy, and became shitty when it finally all came down to it."

"I know exactly what you mean," Beryl replied, nodding her head. "You feel the world around you, is nothing but an illusion, right?"

"Every time I wake up, I look around the place, and ask myself..." Ranma sighed. "What is Crystal Tokyo?"

"Crystal Tokyo," Beryl repeated. "Do you even know the word?"

"I don't even know such word existed," Ranma replied, "much less question it. I tried to ask you, but you never replied. What is Crystal Tokyo?"

Beryl sighed. "I couldn't reply because it was a dangerous question. That question started to make 'them' chase after you, and almost got us during that incident." Beryl paused. "So, do you really want to know what Crystal Tokyo is?"

"Yes..." Ranma nodded.

"Well, Crystal Tokyo is all around us," Beryl replied cryptically. "It's there when you eat, when you drink, when you sleep, when you practise. It's there when you go to school, when you beat up your enemies. It is a the world pulled from your eyes, to blind you from the truth."

"What truth?" Ranma asked, Beryl serious demeanor scaring him.

"That you are a slave, Ranma," Beryl replied. "Just like around you, you were born into a bondage, inside a prison you can neither see, smell, or touch. A prison, for your mind."

Ranma bowed his head. Was his life really like that? Was he a slave? Or was Beryl just joking? Unfortunately, she looked too serious to be joking.

"Unfortunately, no one can be told what Crystal Tokyo is," Beryl said finally, opening the object she had in her hand. Taking out the contents, she stared at Ranma. "Right now, I'm giving you a choice." She opened her right palm, revealing a blue pill. "Take the blue pill, and you'll wake up in your bed, and you can believe, whatever you want to believe. Take the red pill, and stay in the blender, and I'll show you how fast the blades turn."

"What?" Ranma asked, confused.

"I mean, take the red pill, and I'll show you all you need to know," Beryl paraphrased it.

Ranma took a while, and looked at the blue pill. "Isn't the blue pill viagra?"

Beryl smiled a bit. "You can believe, whatever you want to believe."

Ranma took his hand, and was about to pick his choice, when Beryl spoke again. "Remember, all I'm offering is the truth, nothing more."

Ranma decided...

To Be Continued

Author's Notes: Sorry for the delay people, but college days are really tough... sigh... Anyway, this is just an experimental project, so please vote if you would like to continue. VOTE!

Ranma takes the red pill, or the blue pill? Your choice, your review. Thanks people!