Hey there....this'll be short. Ranma people belong to Rumiko Takahashi-megamisama, Marvel people and concepts belong to Stan Lee and Marvel. Hope you enjoy. Oh, and all C & C's are to be sent to eternallostboy@hotmail.com. Please, responses are what drives me to write, and constructive criticism is always welcome. So are prereaders, if you guys want the job....don't be shy, just email me to let me know. Ja ne!

Volcano Girls, by The Talk Of The Town
Chapter 1: Ukyo, Shampoo, and Kodachi


Ukyo stared out at the last two customers as they left Ucchan's. They were a couple of gaijin, from America, and it seemed that they knew each other. They weren't that pleased to see each other, especially the big, blond, muscular one. From what little English Ukyo understood, the brown-haired one had said not to fight in here, and we'll take it outside.

*Hmm, guess it'll be a bit more wacky mayhem in Nerima tonight than usual...*, mused Ukyo as she locked the front door of Ucchan's. Sighing a bit as she stacked the chairs on the tables, she thought of Ranma Saotome, her best-friend and sometime fiancé. *God, I wish Ranchan would just smart up already and decide to marry me! I mean, I'm easily the best of the pack....I'm not psycho like Kodachi, not overly aggressive and a bimbo like Shampoo, and I'm not violent and a horrible cook like Akane. Plus, he said he thinks I'm cute.....what's wrong with him?*

As she mused on Ranma's feet-dragging on the fiancee issue, Konatsu walked in from the back. "Are we almost done closing, Ukyo-sama?"

Ukyo replied, "Yeah, Ko-chan, we're almost ready...I'm just going to grill up a 'yaki for myself before I close up the grill. Want one?"

"No, thank you, I'm not hungry. Will it be alright for me to leave then?" Konatsu asked warily. He didn't like leaving Ukyo alone to do any work by herself, but if she said she could handle it, he'd leave her to it and get home quickly to change into his fighting gear....he didn't like the look to those two gaijin that came in earlier, and something was spurring him to find them and keep tabs on them.

"Sure, Konatsu, it's not a problem," Ukyo replied happily. "Just remember that I need you to come in an hour earlier tomorrow, cause I have that meeting at school."

"Of course, Ukyo-sama. Now, if you'll excuse me..." Konatsu bowed deeply and left.

Ukyo shook her head and smirked. "That Konatsu...he sure is a piece of work. Now, to that okonomiyaki, I'm hungry." She turn to the grill to begin.

Now, one must understand that Ukyo was a Grandmaster of okonomiyaki, both the martial art and the cooking. So one would understand if she only paid minimal attention to her cooking to let her mind drift to her Ranchan, in yet another one of her fantasies of him and her being together.

However, one WOULD understand her complete attention being caught by the spatula in her hand beginning to glow, faint purple at first, but increasingly brighter and brighter until it seemed to outshine the lightbulbs above her head. Ukyo was so startled she dropped the glowing spat on the floor, where it promptly blew up with enough force to knock her against the wall.

In utter shock, Ukyo mumbled "What the hell was that?"

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As soon as he walked out of Ucchan's, Konatsu knew where the two gaijin were...their trail was quite evident by the overturned car, the smashed mailbox, and the fragments of...well, he wasn't sure what it was. If he didn't know better, he'd say they were huge strands of web.

Just then, he heard a muffled explosion from the inside of Ucchan's. He ran in to find Ukyo with a shocked look on her face, and blackened marks on the floor and walls by where she sat.

"Ukyo-sama!!! What happened??" shouted Konatsu as he ran to help her up. *Thank the Kami, she's unhurt, just slightly stunned.* he thought, relieved.

"I don't know...I was making myself an Ucchan Special, then all of a sudden the spatula I was holding started glowing, and I dropped it and it blew up! Konatsu, what's happening?"

"I have no idea, Ukyo-sama, but rest assured I won't rest until you're safe," Konatsu intoned gravely.

This took Ukyo slightly aback. "Um, Konatsu, I doubt this is world shattering news....I should be fine, just give me a couple of minutes."

Sighing, Konatsu replied, "Very well, Ukyo-sama. If you say you're alright...."

"I'm fine, I'm fine," replied Ukyo hurriedly. "Now would you stop fussing over me, sugar, and help me up?" She affixed Konatsu with a quick grin and offered her hands.

"Why, of course," Konatsu replied while flashing Ukyo his own grin. "You're sure you're alright?"

"Yeah, just a bit startled...why did it start to glow like that?"

Konatsu frowned. "In this town, you have no way of knowing how weirdness starts."

"Hmm...that's a point. Still, it's almost as if I made it do that," mused Ukyo aloud. Louder, she said, "Do you know of any martial arts techniques for infusing weapons with energy?"

Konatsu blinked. "Um, I know of one esoteric technique for charging a weapon with ki, but that has no real applications against human opponents, and is extremely hard to do anyway. Only someone with Ranma or Ryoga's ki control could do it. Besides, it wouldn't cause a weapon to explode like that. Charging a weapon with ki isn't like using ki-powered kicks and punches, or even a blast of ki. While a blast of ki has concussive properties, a weapon imbued with ki only charges it with spiritual energy, and doesn't give it any more power than it usually would have, unless you're fighting the undead, in which case..."

"Okay, Professor Konatsu, I think I get it," interrupted Ukyo. "But I didn't think what happened had anything to do with ki. I never was good at ki-manipulation. Do you think there's some other kind of energy that the body produces that I might have channeled into the spatula, causing it to explode?"

Konatsu fixed Ukyo with a bewildered stare. "Ukyo-sama," he began in a wary tone, "why would you think YOU made the spatula blow up?"

Ukyo looked at him, though whether it was with annoyance or with interest wasn't certain. "Well, it's either that or some weird spirit invaded my spatula and made it blow up. Right now, I'd rather I have caused it. Cause if I did...."

"If you did, then what, Ukyo-sama?" Konatsu asked, very nervous.

"If I did....then MAN am I going to kick Shampoo's and Kodachi's asses!"

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Shampoo sneezed.

"Great-granddaughter! Come in before you catch your death of cold!" yelled Cologne out to the backyard of the Nekohanten where Shampoo was woolgathering.

"Aiya! I be fine, Great-Grandmother. It no cold outside tonight." Shampoo yelled back. She was enjoying herself, just sitting out in back and staring up at the sky. She hadn't realized exactly how stressful trying to make Airen finally decide to come back to China is. Fun, yes, but stressful as all get-out.

Just then she was treated to a sight more befitting the steel-and-glass canyons of New York City than the suburban feel of Nerima. A blue-and-red spandex clad gentleman with a spider emblazoned on his back was flying through the air on strands of what appeared to be spiderwebs, if spiders were the size of humans. He was shouting, "I swear, it's a total coincidence that I ran into you here, Eddie!! I am NOT following you, I just wanted to come to Japan, catch some kabuki, eat some sushi, say hi to the Emperor, that sort of thing."

This was apparently directed at a huge, muscular man wearing a similar outfit to the first, only in blue-black with a huge white spider on his chest. "We don't care if you followed us or not, Spiderman! We shall have our vengance, and also a light snack...I'm pretty sure your brain isn't enough for a full meal," replied the black-clad gentleman with glee.

Shampoo watched this, with a look that said, "What else can happen in crazy city?" Then, she actually said, "Great-grandmother, Shampoo go out for while, be back later." With that, she took off across the rooftops following those two weird guys.

"Hmm, Great-granddaughter is probably going out to look for Ranma again. It's quite late, though...I worry about her sometimes,"mused Cologne.

"Would you like me to follow her and make sure nothing bad happens to her??" Mousse said quite enthusiastically while walking back to the kitchen, eager to help protect his darling Shampoo. He was promptly greeted by a splash of cold water.

"No, useless boy," Cologne snapped while putting down the bucket that was seconds ago filled with cold water. "I need you to stay here and close up."

"Quack quack QUACK!!!" replied Mousse-duck vehemently.

"WHAT did you say to me boy?" asked Cologne with a dangerous gleam in her eye, one that said 'I feel like having roast Peking Duck for dinner'.

"quack quack..." said Mousse weakly.

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Shampoo followed the two weird guys, while not exactly knowing why. *For some reason, feel like following crazy men,* thought Shampoo. *It feel...right.*

Right it may have been, but it sure wasn't easy. They both had agility that surpassed Ranma's, and that was a lot. It was all Shampoo could do to keep up with them, and even then she was badly winded when they stopped. As they stopped jumping around and started to engage each other in battle, Shampoo regained her bearings. She was at the scientific facility at the very edge of Nerima, known as Mishima Heavy Industries. Why these two came here, she didn't know. But, with the amount of skill they had displayed, she might as well stick around and watch the fight; who knows, she may have to face them someday, and it would help if she had something to work on.

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Peter Parker was thinking to himself, *That's the last time I decide to accompany Dr. Connors anywhere outside of Manhattan. First that horrible pizzeria in Queens, now this....*

Peter, or the amazing Spiderman as he's usually known in this getup, had accompanied his friend Dr. Curt Connors to Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Connors was doing some work with a Japanese scientist by the name of Dr. Sakura Okun on his Neogenic Recombiner, and the Japanese contingent had a much more reliable and consistent model than his own. He had asked Spiderman along because of his stake in this research, but he obviously didn't count on Eddie Brock, AKA Venom to be in Japan as well. Peter supposed it was his dumb luck that he ran into Venom while getting something to eat. *Well, enough pondering, time to do something about this,* thought Peter while jumping foward to engage the symbiote powered madman.

"Ah yes, Parker, you thought you could escape us, but now you decide to face us like a man! I like that....maybe we'll eat your nervous system quickly, so as to spare you the added pain....NAHHHHH!" taunted Venom as he lunged forward with a swipe intended to remove a limb from Spiderman's body.
Spidey expertly jumped over Venom, avoiding the claw swipe, and fired twin web-balls at either arm, hoping to pin Venom down and buy some time. It half worked, pinning one arm but missing the other. "I keep telling you this, you wouldn't like eating me Eddie....I'm all skin and bones! Wouldn't you prefer eating some nice thick Kingpin-burgers instead?" Spidey teased as he went up into the higher branches of a tree to give himself some room to maneuver.

Venom was losing his temper quickly, so he cut the chatter, snapped the webbed-up arm free, and leaped up towards Spidey again, only to miss again.

Shampoo marveled at the speed and agility of both combatants. *They both too-too strong and fast. Though this is like when Ranma fight Lost Boy...Red and Blue Man too-too fast for Big Crazy Teeth Man, but Big Crazy Teeth Man much stronger,* she observed silently, unaware that she wasn't the only one observing the fight.

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Kodachi Kuno watched the fight with little interest. She had been leaping about the city, finding suitable alligator chow for Midorigame (in the form of wounded sparrows, starlings, and squirrels) and daydreaming about her Ranma-sama when she happened upon the battle raging at Mishima Heavy Industries.

"Hmm, I wonder what this is all about?" Kodachi asked herself silently. "Oh well, may as well sit around and watch, maybe I can take the loser home and comfort him..." If anyone had heard the way she said 'comfort', they would have run away from Kodachi, and fast.

As she watched, she noted that the tree next to her had some interesting black stuff, apparently smeared off of the black-clad gentleman's costume. "Ah, could be the basis of a new toxin!" squeaked Kodachi. After making sure the combatants were on the other side of the yard, Kodachi leapt into the tree to examine the supposed toxin. When she got there, though, she noticed something unusual about the black substance. It had the appearance of a slime mold, but it wasn't slimy. It was black with streaks of red in it, and it almost seemed to be reaching out to Kodachi.

Kodachi, being the insane soul that she is, perceived it as such. "Oh, come to me, my little substance! OH-HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!!!!!!!" laughed Kodachi maniacally as the 'substance' crawled up her arm, and seemed to cocoon her entire body, then seep into her skin. As it did this, a small smile crept across her face, and she uttered two words:

"Blood Rose."

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Spidey dodged yet another shot of Venom's webbing. "You know, it isn't exactly fair that you've got an endless supply of your webbing, while I've got only a certain amount of cartridges before I run out and have to make more."
"Oh, quit your whining and come here so I can peel your eyes," said Venom with a hint of annoyance in his voice. "I'm getting tired of chasing you around. A spider can only play with his prey for so long, you know."

"Um, Venom, I'M the spider...I don't exactly know what arachnid you're supposed to be, but I had the spider first," witticismed Spidey as he leaped up against the large wall of the building. He was going to try a sneaky little trick here, he hoped it would work.

"ARRRGH!!!" screamed Venom, almost in agony. *Good,* thought Spidey, *it'll work better if he's riled up.*

As Venom leaped at where Spiderman was on the wall, Spidey leaped down and sprung back up, intending to nail Venom one on the chin. It would have worked too, but....

A beam of yellowish-green energy lanced in Spiderman's direction, and hit him square in the side. It didn't hurt in the slightest, but it distracted him long enough for him to lose his trajectory and land on the floor. As he landed, he traced the path of the beam, leading him to notice it hit a girl over on the far side of the yard. When he looked up at Venom, he was long gone.

"Guess the big palooka wasn't that itchy to finish me off after all. Now to check on the girl over there," said Spidey as he ran over to the girl.

He noticed she wasn't Japanese, but Chinese, and wearing a burgundy silk pantsuit decorated with flower embroidery. She had amethyst colored hair, up in twin buns on either side of her head, and twin ponytails right underneath the buns. She was conscious and breathing; he noted her chestnut eyes, almost as an afterthought. He said in fairly good Japanese, though accented, Are you okay, Miss...?

"Name is Shampoo...who you?" asked Shampoo. *What was weird light that hit Shampoo? I feel funny...* she added silently.

As she sat up, he replied, Guess you folks over here don't hear much about US superheroes...I'm Spiderman. With that, he offered his hand to help her up.

"Spider-man? Why you called that?" asked Shampoo warily.

Oh, cause I have the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of a spider, I can stick to walls like one, and I know how to make webbing. Why are you called Shampoo? asked Spidey. *Hey, I may be named after a creepy-crawly, but at least I'm not named after a hair-care product!* he thought indignantly.

"That what Mother call me," Shampoo said quickly, not wanting to stay on such a mundane subject when she needed to know what had hit her before. "What was crazy light that hit Shampoo before?"
Oh, that, said Spidey. Well, I'm not sure, but I can take you back to my friend's lab, and he can tell you that better than I can. Would you like me to carry you, Miss Shampoo?

"What Shampoo look like?? I no need man help for anything!" And with that, she stood up and said, "Which way to friend house?"

*Great....a nation built on conformity and I have to run into the ONE feminist....* Why don't you follow me, if you can keep up that is, said Spidey slyly. *Let's see her jaw hit the floor when she sees she's got to hit the rooftops...*

Spidey jumped onto the roof of Mishima, motioning for Shampoo to follow. Which she did...and also overshot the roof by about 90 feet.

"Whoa," marveled Spiderman. "Whatever that beam was, it sure did help her vertical."

The funny thing is, the exact same thought was going through Shampoo's head.

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Kodachi leapt and soared through the Ginza, delighted in her newfound power. She leaped from building to building, effortlessly, as if jumping from block to block in hopscotch.

"Ahhhh....how WONDERFUL it feels to have the wind whip by!" shouted Kodachi as she reveled in the ecstacy of her symbiotic bond.

Apparently, the substance she had found was the offspring of Venom's symbiotic costume. Where the Venom symbiote was a mutant strain, unlike its brethren in that it wanted to share in the host's experiences instead of taking the host over, this offspring was even farther from the mold still. It was a mere template, and without a bond it would have died in a matter of hours. Once bonded, the bond was so complete that the symbiote and the host were truly one organism.
Gestating in the Earth's atmosphere also gave the offspring the power of it's parent, it's host, AND itself.

The symbiote had told Kodachi this much when it first bonded with her. And as it bonded with her, and took on her personality and augmented it, it planted a suggestion for a new nickname, one to replace the Black Rose. After all, she wasn't going to be just black anymore....

Now she was black, interspersed with a red as crimson as fresh blood. And for that, an appropriate name....the Blood Rose.

"You know," mused Kodachi aloud, "I need a new look. How about this?" With that, she commanded her symbiote to shift it's form around her.

The new garb she wore was reminicent of a full bodysuit, skintight. All in black with red streaks splashed around it, it had a rose applique in blood red on the left breast. No longer was she Kodachi, the Black Rose. Now, she was simply the Blood Rose.

And she would have Ranma-sama...at ALL costs.

It is at this point that we note that maybe Kodachi isn't the best person to be wearing something that gives her ungodly strength, speed, agility, and the ability to make just about any weapon she can think of.

As she laughed at how easy it would now be to kill all her competition for Ranma-sama, she extended a tendril of her costume to a far building, not unlike webbing, and swung towards the Kuno estate. She may be able to win Ranma at any time now, but a girl DOES need her beauty sleep.

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