From the Ashes

Ryoko stared in shock at the battlefield before her, all of the Jurian soldiers massacred and from what she heard, the king as well. If the king was dead though that would then mean that Tenchi would now become king of Jurai now since the Azuka had only a few months earlier relented and agreed to make Tenchi the next in line for succession in place of Yosho. The only stipulation had been that Tenchi had to take two wives by the end of the month which at the time made Ryoko sure that she would be one of them.

Sadly, it was not to be as Tenchi had chosen Aeyeka and, what hurt her the most, Washu. Devastated, Ryoko left with Ryo-ohki and traveled the universe in a state of depression until receiving news of an uprising on one of Jurai's colonies and that the king was dead. It was believed that Tenchi, along with his wives to be, was heading to the colony on a galaxy police cruiser.

Not knowing why, Ryoko had changed course for the disturbance cursing herself for even caring for the traitors who had hurt her so much. Even her own so called mother who took the only chance of happiness that the former space pirate felt that she had. The stuck up princess who was always a royal pain. Ryoko felt that by all rights she should hate them, all of them but she couldn't. She still cared for them a great deal though she would never admit it to any of them, especially after what happened.

And now, she was floating through a war torn colony as the battle waged between the opposing sides. The scary thing was that both sides were actually of Jurian descent and yet they were killing each other as if it was nothing. Ryoko may have one time done things like that, but she regretted every day of it as she was really forced into doing all of it by Kagato.

All too soon Ryoko spotted a very familiar group surrounded by soldiers from both sides and gasped as she noticed Tenchi was distracted by a soldier he was fighting as another one started forward with a sword raised high ready to strike down Tenchi in surprise.

Ryoko could have blasted the soldier but he was too close to Tenchi that she might have hit him as well as the soldier. She summoned her energy sword and phased out and back in between Tenchi and the soldier, intent on taking the attacker out. Instead, a scream escaped her lips as soon as she reappeared when the soldier's sword was thrust clear through her abdomen.

"NOOOOO!" Several cries rang out as a powerful flash of light lit the area up for several moments before dying away. Ryoko found her head cradled in Sasami's lap, tears streaking down the young girl's face as other faces crowded into view. Ryoko tried to say something but the pain was too much, both physical and emotional. She knew that this was the best thing for everyone.

"P-Please take care of R-Ryo-ohki." Ryoko finally managed to say as she felt wetness on her cheeks that she told herself was actually blood as she wouldn't cry. Another part of her knew better though as she knew that this was her last moments of life. The little girl nodded, her features maturing into that of Tsunami's as the Goddess's markings glowed brightly for a few moments.

"I will, Rook." The Goddess cried, "Until you come back." The woman bent down and kissed the dying woman's forehead and whispered, "Rest now child and know that you are loved."

A sense of peace and warmth spread out through Ryoko's body as she smiled and closed her eyes as everything started to grow dark.

At the same time on a planet far from the battle...

Ranma grumbled about stupid tomboys as she made her way back towards the Tendo dojo after Akane had malleted him, now her, half way across the city for no reason. The red-haired martial artist was actually starting to get both tired and pissed at the way everyone seemed to always be treating her. No one wanted to ever listen to her side of the story, nooooooo, they wanted to jump to conclusions.

"DIE RANMA!!!" A very familiar voice screamed in outrage, actually catching Ranma off guard. She jumped and flipped backwards just in time to avoid a clumsily thrown umbrella as it crashed down to where it she was standing just earlier.

"What did I do this time?!" Ranma demanded as she dropped into a stance facing the lightly swaying lost boy. She noticed that there was something off about her opponent as he lurched forward, a fist racing towards Ranma who easily dodged it only to be caught by a leg sweep that knocked her to the ground. Ranma rolled away and launched back to her feet and threw a punch hitting Ryoga in the jaw without even doing any damage. The close proximity to the pig boy told Ranma what was wrong with Ryoga, the idiot was drunk.

"You hit like a girl, Ranma!" Ryoga growled as he launched another offensive at Ranma who danced and weaved around every strike launching attacks of her own that seemed to hurt her a lot worse that they was hurting him. In fact, she didn't even think he was noticing her attacks at all with all of the alcohol running through his blood.

Another punch knocked Ranma back into an alley and up against a dumpster hard, leaving a dent shaped like her in it and knocking her breath from her. Ranma growled as she cupped her hands together, concentrating all of her confidence into a powerful ki blast which Ryoga was now mimicking. The only difference was that Ryoga's ki was sickly green with depression while Ranma's was bright with her confidence.

The two let their attacks go at each other, Ryoga's overpowering Ranma's knocking her back into the side of the dumpster even harder, the back of her head hitting the hard metal surface with a savage thump. A scorched, tired, and disoriented looked on at Ryoga who had a twisted smile on his face as he leered at Ranma. He took part of the blast from the attack but Ranma took the worst and it was showing.

"You know, don't look half bad as a girl." Ryoga sneered, "You should really just give Akane up and become a girl full time because she'd never want a pervert half man like you."

"Shut up you bastard!" Ranma swore as she launched forward dizzily trying to attack Ryoga again but was only knocked down on the ground hard. She hit her head hard on the ground and started to lose conciousness. She seemed to float in between consciousness off and on while vaguely being aware at a weight on top of her and her entire body in pain.

Ranma opened her eyes and winced from the pain it caused her. She tightly screwed her eyes shut for a few moments before opening them again very slowly. She was wearing a hospital gown and was lying covered in bandages and very sore in Dr. Tofu's clinic. Slowly she crawled out of the bed and made her way over to the sink in the room and looked into the mirror as she gently prodded the back of her head where the was a nasty bump and hissed at the pain touching it caused.

She turned the water on slowly, letting it heat up and cupped her hands under the stream and splashed her face with it. She started shaking as faint memories of the night before slowly started coming back to her causing her to splash herself with the water even more frantically and after several attempts the red head collapsed on the floor crying, not wanting to believe what Ryoga had done.

Not long after the first sob escaped Ranma found herself drawn into strong, comforting arms that belonged to a soothing voice that she recognized as Dr. Tofu who kept assuring her that it was going to be all right.

16 years later...

"Come on, Ryo-chan, you're going to be late for school again!" Ranma called up the stairs to her daughter. It had been so long since she believed her life to be destroyed by that fateful night long ago. Most of the people who claimed to care for her turned their backs on her leaving only a few people to help her. Dr. Tofu had helped Ranma set up a branch of her own clan when the elder Saotome's tried to disown Ranma. Kasumi and Nabiki was Ranma's life support when she needed one the most and those was the only three who actually remained close to Ranma over the years.

As time went by though, Ranma began to realize that while a part of her felt like she had lost a lot, she had in fact gained much more than what was lost. She now had a home of her own for herself and her daughter. She had a daughter who she loved with all of her heart and soul. She had her freedom from Nerima and all of its craziness. She no longer cared that she was forever stuck as a girl now, she was Ryoko's mother and that one fact made Ranma prouder than anything else.

"I'm sorry, mom!" Ryoko said as she hurried down the steps and kissed Ranma on the cheek, and grabbed her bento, book bag and shoes, "I don't have time for breakfast, I'll be late. See you tonight."

Before Ranma could even say anything at all the blur that was her daughter was out the door and off to school. The speed that the girl possessed surprised Ranma and so did the young girl's skills in the martial arts. Ranma didn't put her daughter through any thing stupid like she had once been through, but she did teach her daughter the martial arts. Ryoko had turned out even better than Ranma had ever been and when she started learning ki control, the girl came up with some of the strangest yet very powerful techniques that Ranma couldn't even begin to master. A ki sword, the ability to fly for short distances, and the most shocking was the ability to teleport a few yards. The girl was a marvel and that made Ranma even more proud.

Ranma turned and looked at one of the pictures on the wall and smiled at her smiling daughter in the photograph. The strangest feature was the girl's wavy hair that she wore shoulder length, a light blue color to it. A lot of the time she would wear a simple scrunchie in it keeping it in a simple ponytail. Besides the hair, she was almost the exact mirror image of Ranma when she was that age.

The smell of smoke broke Ranma's thoughts and drew her into the kitchen where the breakfast was burning. With a curse, Ranma went over to attend to the food and see if any of it was even salvageable.

To Be Continued...