This is something of a Tenchi-Ranma cross and I own neither. Strictly for my own enjoyment this is.
A Wild Horse and a Cabbit
Prologue and Amazon Retreat
Two ships emerged into normal space around Jupiter's orbit. One ship was made of wood. The other ship appeared to be made of crystal spires, with what seemed to be a large dome on the upper section. Each ship turned ravening beams of destruction upon the other, but no damage was done due to their own spherical force shields. The ships played tag, neither getting the upper hand until they passed through the asteroid belt.
The crystalline ship lost a spine when it was struck by a relatively small asteroid. The damaged ship went spinning away, lightnings shooting out of the damaged spire and emitting a pained 'Miyaaa' over a broad band of the electromagnetic spectrum. The other ship had been following too closely and hit the hyperfast debris cloud. Its shields flared but held, though at a lower apparent energy level following the strikes. The wooden ship was slowed by the mass of the asteroid and the crystalline ship had recovered enough to head insystem, running from its less damaged foe.
In the skies of the third planet, a few hours later, twin streaks passed over the Sahara desert. Bright beams of light shot out of both streaks and what looked like chunks broke off of each to follow their own trajectories. The two ships had shed enough speed to begin maneuvering. The crystal ship was severely damaged, most of its spires had been truncated, but the other ship hadn't arrived unscathed either. As the two opponents passed over a deep valley within a mountain range, the crystalline ship ejected a small spherical object over some ponds. The two ships screamed away from the valley toward the east and disappeared over the horizon.
The object fell into a pool and embedded itself in the mud at the bottom. The only witnesses were a portly man, his wife and two children who had emerged from their hut at the first sonic boom. The man looked at the pool and wondered if the Spring of Drowned Young Girl would be affected by the dragon's egg that had fallen in.
Seven Hundred Years Later (give or take)
After almost three quarters of a millennia, seals were beginning to fail. Water was entering delicate organoelectronic circuits and was slowly degrading the stasis field containing the pod's tiny passenger. Within two days the field was only strong enough to affect the creature's metabolism. Its mind began to assess the situation and came to the only conclusion it could. It would soon drown without outside help. The bottom centimeter of its egg was already submerged and it realized that something had changed with the contact, but remained confused as to just what had happened.
Two days later the stasis field sputtered out, the bottom third of its eggshell was covered with water and it felt itself going through the early stages of a slow suffocation. At that point it sensed a pressure wave strike its outer prison and felt another sentient presence. The creature reached out with its mind and found…
Please help me!
The outer prison opened up. Its egg was grasped and carried up. Up into warmth. Fresh atmosphere caressed the shell. Oxygen passed across membranes that had been sealed away for hundreds of years. It wrapped its presence around its savior, pouring gratitude and love into its savior's mind. Its joy multiplied when it felt the feelings returned.
Thought. Coherent thought. 'Thank you for saving me.'
"Huh? Felt like the egg tried ta talk to me."
Ranma hit the water flat on his back, but continued to the bottom of the shallow, fenced in pool of water, impacting the mud in the bottom. His mind fearfully contemplating the tingling change in his body, 'Pops is a panda. The pools are magic. What'll it do ta me?'
As Ranma pushed down into the mud to go to the surface to see his 'awful revelation' his hand contacted something hard and he felt his mind being grasped by something. An empathic bond was instantly formed and he felt the desperation of whatever it was. It was suffocating, dying. Knowledge of how to free whatever it was entered his mind and he tapped portions of the surface in a sequence that seemed to have been in his mind all along. The object split and he grabbed the almost spherical shape within. He placed his feet on the bottom and stood up, holding his prize above his head.
Ranma looked up, 'Its an egg.' Ranma looked down, 'I'm human, but what's that on my chest?' Holding the egg with one hand, the other gave the objects on his chest a good grope. Shaking, the other hand reached down the now loose pants and could not find the part that made him a man, a finger verified that he wasn't a man at all. A quick pinch of one of 'her' breasts confirmed that he was a she. Ranma, woodenly, marched to the bank of the spring and gently placed the egg into a bunch of dry grass and stared at the portly Chinese man, finally tuning into what he was saying in pidgin Japanese. "…Spring of Drown Young Girl, now you young girl. Tried warn honored guests. Hot water reverse curse until find cold water. Look like you found dragon egg in spring. Dragon egg fall in spring seven hundred year ago during battle of two great dragon."
The neo girl picked the egg back up and set it into her lap and wondered at the feelings that seemed to emanate from it. The happiness that she felt was not her own but seemed to be wrapped around her. 'Thank you for saving me.' sounded in her head.
"Huh? Felt like the egg tried ta talk to me." Ranma couldn't really hear words, but felt the gratitude, joy and unconditional caring. She felt tears of happiness welling up inside, though they never left her eyes.
The creature had begun to take in sensory input from its partner and sent some of its data into Ranma's unconscious mind for her later use. Particularly the data/knowledge its mother had of her own partner.
Ranma took all this in at a level of unawareness and reacted with nervousness, until he saw his father turned Panda coming over to look at the 'dragon egg'. Ranma stared at Genma. Ranma stared at her chest. Ranma reached into her pants one more time. Ranma looked at her approaching father and took a deeeep breath. She carefully placed the egg into the clump of grass. "AAAAUGGHH! You bastard. I'll kill you! She leapt at her father, glowing like a bonfire, casting shadows, even in the daylight."
Genma swelled with panda pride at his pusillanimous child's demonstration of a potent battle aura. At that point, some facts began to filter into the upper portion of his brain. 'Glowing eyes, confirmed. BRIGHT red aura, yep. Grass smoldering where feet touch ground. Approaching VERY fast, uh-huh. Swearing in a threatening manner.' His hind brain jolted into awareness, 'OH #()-, Ranma's pissed…better RUN!' Genma turned in time to receive a powerful kick in the rump that sent him sailing over a rocky outcrop. His neo daughter jumped over the same outcrop in hot pursuit.
The guide turned around and looked at the pool and thought, 'Well, that's the first customer that fell in the spring in at least seven hundred years. I'll need to take honored guests to Nyanchicsu village.' There were standing orders regarding this particular pool, any victims had to be shown to the matriarch. 'It looks like the spirits 'chose' on this one's watch.' He then began to approach the dragon's egg.
Ranma was chasing her panda father when a feeling like cold icewater dousing her brought her up short. The egg was exposed and being approached. She didn't know how she knew, but there was something more important to her than chasing her father now. The girl spun around as her father kept dashing madly away. Ranma took off, leaping from the top of the bluff overlooking the springs and touched down running.
The guide was about to touch the egg in curiosity when the red headed customer shouted, "Don't touch it mister." His hand jerked back as the girl took the egg from its impromptu nest in the bunchgrass. She spoke to the egg and said "Don't worry, I'll take care of you."
A male Ranma and his now human father sat in the guide's hut eating the meal that his daughter, Plum, provided. The guide looked with a tinge of disgust at the two as he considered his actions. He needed to get them out before his food supply was gone. "Honored customers can go to village of Chinese Amazon to learn more about young customer curse. They can help if ask nicely."
For some reason that he couldn't fathom, Ranma shuddered as a chill ran down his spine. 'I think this guy ain't tellin me everthin that I need ta know.'
The two martial artists followed the guide the next day, travelling to an equally inaccessible valley via a pass and high altitude rainforest path. Two days of travel brought them to a valley that had a surprisingly large, flat flood plain. Straddling the stream in the center of the valley was a walled village that was surrounded by rice fields arranged in a manner to impede approach from any direction but the front. Oaks, ash and poplar trees showed their crowns above the walls of the village and forest ringed the edges of the fields to the valley's edge and a fair way up the mountainsides. Men were working the fields with diligence and some had babies in carriers on their backs. Ranma and Genma were in the forms given by the pools, thanks to a rain shower earlier that morning. As they walked, Ranma felt uncomfortable at how the men bowed low to her and kept their eyes averted.
Ranma had given Genma a haunch of goatmeat that had been dried to almost the hardness of concrete and the panda was worrying at the seasoned 'fossil' goat, falling back in his effort. The girl type Ranma used the distance to pump the guide for more information about the Amazon's they were about to visit without her old man listening in. "Young customer be best off staying young girl when see Amazon elders. Here women are warrior and men do cooking raise children. Try not to get in battle with Amazon, it very bad thing to do. You beat warrior, get kiss of death and be followed to ends of earth till killed."
Ranma considered what was told her and thought about what her old man had tried to instill into her about women being weak. Since she was a young woman now for the better part of three days, she realized that while she didn't have the sheer power that she had in her male form, she more than made up for it in speed. Heck, she thought that her weight training regimen could compensate, in time, to make the difference negligible. Her first reaction to the change had been horror, followed by self pity. One thing had brought her out of her depression and that was the feelings that had come from the egg that she carried in a pouch slung under her arm. She maintained a fiercely protective attitude toward the small life contained within the egg.
Ranma knew that she was having long conversations with the egg, but all her conscious mind could discern were colors, emotions and images that seemed like memories or movies without sound or great clarity. Her ability to commune with the egg was best when she was female and in skin to eggshell contact, but still felt as protective when a male. The communication at the unconscious level was much more complex and affecting than she could realize. She was being prepared for the birth of a life form not native to her world. Ranma was also being assessed regarding changes wrought by the egg's presence in the spring for several centuries.
As the travelers approached the village, it appeared that a contest was going on in an open field outside the gate. Two women were squared off against each other on a huge log suspended between several poles. Ranma noted that one woman was very beautiful. She had lavender hair, a bountiful bosom, and wore a battle dress that displayed her legs thoroughly. The other woman looked like a sumo wrestler, but without an ounce of flab. Her face was the sort to sink ships while her opponents would launch a thousand.
The fight appeared to have been going on for some time. The lighter opponent would dodge and jump around the other's slower attacks. She would strike with her bonbori, but her opponent's mass made her almost immovable. Finally, the larger woman overextended and the smaller woman dropped her weapons, grabbed the meaty arm and assisted the follow through with both feet to the gut. The large woman went sailing into the dirt while the smaller kept herself from falling by grabbing an irregularity in the log and swinging herself back to a standing position with considerable grace.
Cheering erupted from the crowd as the girl raised her bonbori above her head. Then she noticed the panda eating her prize. In a rage she threw a bonbori at the panda, which just batted it away and grabbed a drumstick and devoured it while looking at her. The guide interpreted her shouting to Ranma, "Girl say stupid panda stealing her prize for winning tournament."
"Can you tell her I'm sorry that my worthless father ate her feast and ask what I can do to make it right?" The guide translated Ranma's request.
The girl shouted some words and the crowd of women began laughing in a nasty manner. "She say you can fight her and die, she have panda rug and your skin for curtain in hut." Ranma looked at her father, feeling disgust at yet another situation that her father's greed had fomented.
She leapt thirty feet onto the log and faced off with the girl. "If I win you will forgive the panda?" The guide translated.
The other girl just charged. As the fight carried on, the crowd just hooted and jeered Ranma. After a bit the catcalls died down as the warriors began to respect the display of martial arts prowess that the stranger showed. Their champion was unable to hit the dodging Ranma and the smaller girl was leaping, ducking and tapping her opponent, causing extreme embarrassment to the village champion. Ranma almost had her head taken off when she looked past the girl she was fighting and saw her panda father fade from existence inside a circle of spears. The Amazons that had been guarding him shouted out with astonishment. After she recovered, Ranma thought, 'Another technique the old bastard's been holding back! I saw enough ta figure how he did it, gimme a week.'
As Ranma wore down her opponent, the guide had left, returning with a very short old woman. He was speaking rapidly in the village dialect.
Ranma was getting to the point where she was running out of energy. She had decided that it was time to end the fight and struck a series of pressure points in the wide open hole (to Ranma) in the other girl's defense. She had been moving with care to prevent the egg from dislodging or being shaken but still felt a bit of dizziness emanating from it. As her opponent sagged to the log, glaring at her, Ranma felt something strike her head from behind and everything went black.
Xian Pu and her great grandmother Elder KhoLun were sitting in a large hut, dimly lit by a number of candles. A pot of water and some bottles were setting on a table nearby. Ranma's 'dragon' egg rested on a pillow in a box between the women. They had discovered the folly of trying to touch it with bare hands when one of the warriors was shocked with a lightning bolt. Ranma herself was bound, spread-eagled on a frame to one side. She was rousing and her groans caught the attention of the other occupants of the large hut. The crone spoke in perfect Japanese, "Thank you for retrieving our dragon egg from the spring. It is with regret that I will have to end the existence that you have known in your short life, but it is for the good of our tribe that I do this and, I assure you, our good far outweighs yours."
"Whattaya mean? Why are ya holdin me like this. Let me go!"
The women stood.
The old woman carefully opened a small jar and poured water on Ranma's face, allowing it to run down her front. "This is the first step toward you becoming one of us. Now and forever you will be a woman."
As her words settled into Ranma's mind, realization sparked a loud "NOOOOOO!" Ranma began thrashing fruitlessly at her bonds.
A brief touch and a mute, paralyzed Ranma's eyes flickered about in fear as more water was poured over her head and body. The old woman smiled at her as she picked up another bottle and walked behind her and worked a shampoo into a lather. Ranma's awareness began to fade away as she heard an unpleasant cackling behind her.
Maoling woke up with the early morning dew soaking through her clothes. Rising from her straw pallet outside her adoptive grandmother's hut, she hurried about. She built up the fire in the oven in the outside kitchen, just a fireplace covered by a roof with no walls this time of year. Maoling ran to the stream where it ran into the village to fetch buckets of water for heating. "Grandmother and Xian Pu will need hot water for their morning ablutions." She next went to the stores to get the ingredients for breakfast.
Life had improved much for her since she had come to live here, at least that was what she had been told. She was the only one who had survived the flood that had taken the lives of her entire family six months ago. Grandmother said that she was pulled from the waters and brought back to life, "For which I am very grateful." She also said that being deprived of air was likely what took her memories. It was awful to have to learn how to talk all over again and her initial clumsiness had shamed her. However, she had proved to be a quick study and the beatings from Xian Pu were now few. Elder KhoLun hadn't caned her in a month. The warrior's training was finally getting her some respect from the tribe's women and the men were actually eyeing her as a potential wife. She knew that they would have to hurry before she got too good, though, if they wanted her for a wife.
Maoling set about preparing breakfast, singing a song with childlike innocence as two women watched from the hut's window.
"Grandmother, I still don't see why we had to lock Maoling as a girl. He was an excellent specimen of a male and could have given me several strong daughters." They had verified the curse while she was unconscious those months ago.
"Child, we have been over this many times and it is a moot point now. In just a few more weeks we can pick a strong male to get her with child and she will be ours, fully. What memories are still buried will be removed with the birth. Then it will be safe to expose her to the dragon's egg again."
"Why can't this one try again to touch the egg. The last time, this one held it for a few seconds before the fires burned."
"No, granddaughter, it is obvious that the egg has chosen and we must use the tools we are given, flawed though they might be."
"This one sees and accepts, but could you tell why this is so important. If this one is to someday become an elder, she feels that knowledge shared would make the path more certain."
KhoLon sighed, "Very well granddaughter. Four hundred years ago our eldest seer, Viagra, made a prophesy. She said, "When the wild horse, immortal Daughter of the Stars joins the Dragon of the Void our most deserving people shall be transformed. Men clothed in white shall serve our needs as we strive toward our goals."
"What do you think the prophesy means Grandmother?"
"Tell me your guess and I'll let you know what the consensus of the elders has been for the past four hundred years."
Xian Pu took on a contemplative pose. She knew she was being tested and the speed of her advancement into tribal leadership might hang in the balance. It would do her no good to make a rushed decision.
"Well. This one thinks that the obvious story is that the dragon that hatches from the egg will be a source of great power if it has the potential to transform the tribe. Maoling will control the dragon through her bond and we will control her. A full dragon would likely be able to defeat the Musk and might be as strong or stronger than the Phoenix. If the dragon can take human form like the musk and is female, our tribe's transformation could happen through the strong Dragon bloodline."
"Granddaughter, you have just described the best case path considered by our combined elders of several generations. However, there is one more factor. We have yet to find what effect the presence of the Dragon's egg had on the spring. Maoling's form follows the original victim of the spring and displays no apparent signs of being affected by the egg, beyond the obvious bond."
"Pardon this one's curiosity, Grandmother, do you know what the Dragon's parent looked like?"
"We only had about a dozen witnesses, including the guide of Jusenkyo, his wife who was one of our sisters and their children. There was a battle happening and two dragons were breathing fire at each other. The Dragon's Notch near the head of our valley is the result of one fiery attack. They were said to be large enough to have been able to cast a shadow from the southern wall of our valley to the northern wall at the village!"
"Aiyaa! That would have to be at least two kilometers. A dragon that large and powerful might even defy the Red Army that we must be so careful of."
"Yes, and the stories said that one was a wooden dragon and the other was made of crystal. The egg is from the crystal dragon. I hope that you now know why I had to take such drastic action with Maoling."
"This one already said that she understands, Grandmother." 'I think that I should treat Maoling better from now on. It has been getting harder to dislike her anyway and having a shield sister who may be part dragon would be a good thing.'
Six weeks later, Maoling was feeling happier than she could remember being. Xian Pu had told her that she had earned her place in the village and asked her to be Xian Pu's shield sister. She had glomped the Amazon and had to be pried off the other girl so that KhoLun could apply CPR. The ceremony had taken place before the whole tribe and marked a change in her status in the village. There were no more random beatings and the derogatory remarks were no longer said to her face. Part of the honor of being shield sister was the privilege of patrolling the outer boundary of Amazon territory for spies and other enemies.
The sparring that the two had done in clearings and woods on their patrols had brought her up to Xian Pu's level in the warrior's art. She learned so fast that it was almost as if she had learned similar techniques once before. It was like memories tickling the back of her mind, but when she tried to tease them out there was nothing but mist. One part of her mind though contained nightmares and that had walls that were obviously of her own making and she was always ejected from her meditations when she began to look at what was behind them.
Maoling's reverie was brought to an end as Xian Pu tapped her shoulder and used hand signals to indicate that there were possible enemies nearby. The two started to head for the nearest trees when two Musk warriors stepped out. One of them said, "Look. Girls. They have titties. I want the red haired one."
Xian Pu and Maoling began to back away when two more Musk walked onto the trail. The two girls moved back to back and Xian Pu felt a little thrill in addition to the small amount of fear when Maoling began to shudder and stutter "C-C-C-C…" then felt her fall away from her. She looked behind herself and saw Maoling facing off on all fours, hissing, against a tiger. She saw the other girl growl and swipe at the tiger missing by three feet, but the tiger split open ant showered the Musk behind it with blood. At that moment, the warrior that she had been facing took advantage of the opening and sapped the back of her head. Xian Pu's world went black.
Maoling was ready to take care of her share of the Musk warriors when the tiger landed in front of her. She recognized the essence of evil slowly approaching and her conscious mind 'passed out' which dropped the barrier to the hidden portion of her mind. That's when her feline side leapt into the driver seat.
Neko Ranma saw the tiger threatening her and 'Warm Lap'. A quick slash, ki claws fully extended took care of the tiger and the 'strange pride' warrior beside it. Ranma then noticed 'Warm Lap' being dragged off by three 'strange pride' warriors. 'Warm Lap' was HIS and no one would steal his friend. Sniffing the air, she realized that at least one of them smelled like PREY. With a loud "Mrowoar!" he moved so fast that the Musk warriors seemed to stand still, as he sliced all of their limbs off. He batted them around until they stopped making noises and settled down to feasting on the one that smelled like an ox. As he ate, a link flared up from dormancy and became fully functional. Pathways were made and strengthened. Ranma's soulmate didn't want to be deprived again and steps were taken to prevent separation ever again.
Xian Pu swam upstream toward consciousness. She let out a groan and propped herself up on one elbow while feeling the tender lump on the back of her head with the other. As her vision slowly cleared and focused, she took in the carnage in the clearing. The enemy had been shredded, literally. Maoling was taking bites out of the arm of one of the enemy and cleaned bones were littered about. "Is Maoling a demon? But…but she did not turn on me. She saved my life!"
Ranma heard his 'Warm Lap' making querying noises and, being full at last, purring went to the 'Warm Lap' and began to groom her. Ranma then pushed her into a seated position and climbed into her lap and fell asleep.
"She's coming this way. Please ancestors don't punish me with death this day." Xian Pu, for the first time, felt true fear and released a bit of urine at the approach of the blood soaked Maoling. The neko girl sniffed the air and sensed the fear and began purring and grooming her with her tongue. "Are you a cat demon?" "Mrow?" was Ranma's reply. Xian Pu slowly reached up and scratched the other girl behind the ears and heard the purring intensify in a sound that should have been impossible for human vocal cords to make. The neko girl let out a loud belch and curled up into Xian Pu's lap and went to sleep, purring loudly.
An hour later, Maoling awoke with a buzzing feeling in her head that was slowly fading away. She stretched and opened her eyes to see…Xian Pu looking down at her. "Sister Xian. What am I doing in your lap? And why am I covered with blood?"
Xian Pu shuddered a bit. "Do you not remember killing all of the Musk bastards that attacked us?" Maoling shook her head. "Well, you did. You began to act like a cat and killed the tiger. I was knocked out and when I woke up, you had killed them all." 'I don't think I ought to mention that she had eaten most of one of them.' "Then you came to me and curled up in my lap and fell asleep."
"I wonder how this could happen?" asked Maoling.
"I don't know, sister. I just don't know.
In the trees downwind, a gaunt panda watched the two girls get up and leave. "Just wait son, I'll get ya back to yourself and then we'll fix those bitches wagons." Then he faded into the shadows.
Maoling was washing off in the pool by the stream that had been set aside for that purpose. Xian Pu was in her grandmother's hut relating the events of the patrol. "So you tell me that Maoling killed five Musk warriors and a tiger that was likely a Jusenkyo Musk warrior as well and fed on one of them?"
"Yes, Grandmother and she was acting like a cat. She came to me and lay in my lap and purred while I petted her."
"This is bad, so very bad. I believe that I made a grave mistake when we locked Maoling's memories and form. I thought that this was the more sure way to bind her to us."
"Why do you say that, Grandmother?"
"Maoling was trained in the Nekoken. A truly horrible technique that creates unstoppable berzerker warriors and one that I never heard of in which the victim regains sanity. Maoling is an anomaly. The thing about it is, I think that all of Maoling's blocked memories are resident in the part of her mind that houses the nekoken. There is a good chance, no, a cetainty that ALL of her memories may resurface and our people's transformation may be that of death."
"What can we do Grandmother? I have come to cherish Maoling as a sister and owe her a life debt at the least. Worse, I could have been a Musk bride!"
"Child, I see some alternatives. We can kill her and destroy the egg; we may get her with child and hope that softens her attitude; or, we can lay out our cards and beseech her mercy while promising to help her in any way we can to recover her memory and unlocking her form."
"Maoling is a good and honorable person. Even if she should hate me after her memories return, I will do what is right by my shield sister."
"Xian Pu, you make me proud, and I think that our tribe's future lies with the friendship that you have built with her. The fact that she not only killed the enemy, but came to you in her feral state makes me hope. We won't tell anyone else of this, yet. If our society is to suddenly end, I want our sisters to enjoy themselves and not worry. Let us work to correct this mistake."
Xian Pu led Maoling to the Matriarch's hut. "Why are we going into Grandmother's home?"
Xian Pu said, "It is time for reckoning and I sincerely hope that you will forgive this one's transgressions. I have come to love you, sister, and hope that you will not drive me away, for I owe you my life."
"I don't understand. You saved my own life when you pulled me from the flood."
"That is just what we told you…oh please forgive this one." Xian Pu began to cry and fell on her knees with her arms around Maoling's waist.
Maoling couldn't comprehend what Xian Pu could have done that was so horrible to break her down like this. After a bit the lavender haired girl recovered and, sniffling, took her hand and led her through a trapdoor into the rooms under the house. They went down stairs until the walls went from shored timbers to solid rock. She was led into a high domed room lined with shelves containing scrolls and artifacts. One area held bricks of gold, chests filled with loose gems and others filled with various items of jewelry. In the center of the room was Kho Lon. Her staff lay before her and her head was bowed.
The old woman looked up at Maoling and said, "Ranma." And tossed a large round object to her. She found it to be an egg covered with several layers of silk. As she removed the last cloth and came into contact with the egg her mind filled with whispers. The whispering seemed joyous and made her feel one step closer to completeness. "This is mine, isn't it." A pause. "And, I feel that I belong to it, somehow."
"Yes, Ranma, I suppose that is so. That is the egg of a crystal dragon, powerful beyond our comprehension."
Quickly, "Why do you call me Ranma."
"Because that is your name, child."
"I can help you remember everything from before your rebirth as Maoling. I only ask one boon. Please let me live long enough to unlock the magic that keeps you from your birth form."
"Of course I promise not to attack you."
"No, child, wait to decide 'after' your memory is restored. My own twisted honor requires you to have your full faculties, Wild Horse-Daughter of the Stars. Let us commence, this will be the least painful way. Kneel down, I am too short to apply this with you standing."
Maoling knelt and bowed her head as her hair was lathered up.
Girls are weak!
No we're not!
I was brainwashed!
I was trained!
Those bitches stole my memories!
But they returned them and Xian Pu loves me as a sister and friend.
They used me!
So did pops.
They still used me… 'sob' they used me.
But they're sorry. Look at Xian Pu. Look at Shampoo!
Shampoo's crying, I hate it when girls cry!
Miyah mirow miaow.
You're the dragon? Why do you sound like a c-c-c-c…one of them things?
Coincidence? You're a cabbit.
What do you mean? You are about ta be born?
Miyah! (Here I come!)
Ranma collapsed onto her rear and held the egg into her lap.
Kho Lon and Xian Pu stared at the egg as it began to glow with a bright blue light. The light spread to encompass Ranma and cracks formed spilling white into the blue. Ranma began to emit her own golden glow into the mix as the top part of the shell shattered. The creature emerged, kicked the shell to the floor and snuggled into Ranma's lap as the light show died away. All three stared at the small thing that looked like a cross between a cat and a rabbit. Kho Lon remarked, "Such a small thing, this dragon, that the fate of our tribe rests upon."
Ranma got up smoothly, resting the creature in the mini lap formed by her breast and arm. "It ain't a dragon. It's something with a lot more potential. This…is a cabbit." She looked about and spotting something, used her father's thief training to get an object from a shelf.
Ranma approached the matriarch, "Now, old ghoul, I've decided ta forgive Shampoo and 'your' punishment is certain, but how am I gonna get this 'curse' unlocked?"
"I appreciate you restricting your vengeance to myself. Your only chance to unlock the water based transformation is to obtain and use the Kaisufu kettle. As to the 'curse', there is no true cure, anywhere."
"Well, ya can just help me find this kettle then." Ranma splashed Kho Lon with the contents of a jar she had taken from the shelf.
Kho Lon grew a snout, fangs and a long scaly tail, but oddly, did not shrink any. She looked at her paws and tail and sighed, "I accept your judgement. If it is satisfactory, we can leave within the next week." The giant rat picked up her staff and started to pogo out. When she started to leave, she whirled about and cried "NOOOOO!"
The cabbit had jumped from Ranma's chest and had apparently eaten the entire pallet of gold bars, well over two tons, the chest of opened jewelry and was running through her magical artifacts like a wood chipper. When she was done, she looked up at a wide eyed Ranma and said "Miiyaa." Ranma just replied, "I guess you were right about being hungry." Kho Lon just mechanically went through the non magical jewelry and searched the shelves for any evidence of her magical artifacts. Tears ran down her muzzle in a steady stream. Xian Pu was stunned as well, seeing most of her inheritance go down the gullet of the cabbit.
The cabbit floated through the air to Ranma's arms with a self satisfied look on its face. "Miyarow. Buuurrrp!"
"Your name's LinOhki?"
"C'mon elder and you too, sister, my partner is still hungry." Kho Lon facefaulted. The tribe would be beggared if she didn't hurry and get away.
"Ranma? How would you feel about leaving now to find the unlocking kettle?"
"Sure, the sooner the better." At that, the giant rat pogoed off to make arrangements and hurriedly explain the new situation to the other elders.
Ranma, LinOhki, Shampoo and the old rat were leaving through the remains of the village gate. The crowd seeing them off was a mix of well wishers and lynch mob. The cabbit had eaten virtually every bit of exposed metal in the village. There would be no carrot crop this year. Three warriors were still stuttering wrecks after LinOhki had briefly changed into a fourteen foot tall crystalline construct that roared at such a low frequency and volume that they lost all bladder and bowel control. That was what kept the more militant women warriors in line.
Quietly, the four headed out on the first leg of their journey to retrieve a pail and ladle from the musk. Secretly Cologne hoped that the cabbit would rape the Musk's resources at least as much as had been done to the Amazons. 'Parity and all that...and maybe a side trip to Phoenix Mountain.' thought Cologne with a small cackle.
In the trees a thin panda form followed the group, looking for a sign that would indicate that his son was recovering himself.