Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up. Please feel free to review, and make comments. If you find a spelling or word age mistake, feel free to let me know. Thank you. Ranma ½ belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and Mission: Impossible belongs to CBS and Paramount Pictures and was created by Bruce Geller.


Mission: Impossible R

Chapter 1

Prague Mission


By: Kagewaki Hitomi


(Is the tape message)

"In English"

"In radio communication"


Airplane

An opened wallet and a picture of a woman was in it. She was beautiful with red lipstick and brown hair, and she had a on a black pock dot dress.

The older man sat in a darkened area of the plane. He took his left hand from the wallet. He then brought it up to his face and still looked at the picture.

Up in front the stewardess asked, "Would you like to watch a movie Mr. Rosen?"

Mr. Rosen shocked his head and replied, "No, thank you."

She then walked onto one of the other passengers.

She asked, "Would you like to watch a movie Mr. Phelps?"

"No, I prefer the theatre." he replied looking up from his wallet.

"Would you consider the cinema of the Ukraine?" she then asked.

"Perhaps you'd choose one for me." he said putting his wallet in his jacket.

She opened up the case she was holding and picked out a tape. She handed it to him.

"Thank you." replied Mr. Phelps and opened up the case.

He reached down and turned a lever on the support between his seat and the empty one beside him. He flipped up a small movie screen and angles it toward himself, away from the other passengers. He puts on a headset, opened a door in the armrest, and puts the tape in. He then presses play.

On the screen it showed a black screen. In the middle was a symbol and the initials IMF. Then the voice started.

(Good morning, Mr. Phelps.–)

On the screen a man appeared and was walking among the crowd of people he looked left. Then straight ahead and the picture froze.

(The man you're seeing is Alexander Golitsyn. An attache' at our Embassy in Prague and he is also a traitor. He stole one half of a CIA Noc List. Record of our deep cover agents working in Eastern Europe.)

It changed to a black screen with the words. 'FOR THE EYES OF JIM PHELPS ONLY.' Then that changed to the Non Official Cover List Noc List. It started showing false names on the screen on each side. One was for code names and real names.

(For security reasons the Noc List is divided in two. The portion Golitsyn already has contains code name. But this half is useless without it's mate. It matches code names with there true names. It 's this half that Golitsyn plans to steal from the Embassy at a reception tomorrow night. Your mission Jim, if you chose to accept it, is to obtain photographic proof of the theft, and shadow Golitsyn to his buyer. And apprehend them both. I have already dispatched teams selected from your usual group–Sarah Davis is already undercover,–)

On the screen a picture of a woman appeared she had shoulder length black hair in a brown business suit and a scarf around her neck.

(Jack Harmon can hack any security system,–)

On the screen a picture of a guy appeared. His hair was almost brownish-red. And it looked like he hasn't shaved in a couple of days. He had on a grey t-shirt and a black sweet jacket.

(Hannah Williams will handle surveillance,–)

On the screen a picture of a woman with long brown hair. She had on a blue business suit with a white shirt underneath.

(Yourwife Claire will cover transport,–)

On the screen a picture of a woman with long brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. She wore a black business suit.

(and Ranma Saotome will be your point man as usual.)

On the screen a picture of man with short black hair. He wore a green dress shirt and a black t-shirt underneath.

(He is now in Kiev and will rendevous in Prague at a safe house of your choosing. As always should you or any of your I.M.Force is caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Good luck, Jim.)

He lighted up a cigarette and blows the smoke out.


Prague

In the distant a cathedral bell tolled it told the hour in the day it was late in the afternoon. The IMF team's safe house is a sparsely furnished Prague apartment with a panoramic view of the city. They were scattered around the room. Sketches, pads, overfilled ashtrays and equipment are strewn everywhere. Sarah closed the shades then the curtains and turned around after to the others in the room. As Jim started to talk.

"A very straight objective–We photograph Golitsyn stealing the NOC List, and fallow him to his buyer . . . and apprehend both of them. Now here's the plot. Ranma, you're going into the Embassy in Character during the party. Hide in plane sight. Highest possible profile. Are you game?" asked Phelps who stood in front of a map with various locations on Prague.

"Wouldn't have it any other way." replied Ranma chewing some gum.

"Sarah, you're at the party already as the Embassy's Washington visiting liaison. Make contact with Ranma and you'll run the game together."he said as he turned to her.

"I haven't a thing to wear." she replied.

"Well, I'm sure you'll work something out." he said to her before continuing. "You'll mark Golitsyn, and hand him over to Hannah. Hannah, you'll have him for the duration of the interior. Find yourself a perch and stay on him."

"No problem." she replied.

"Jack . . . "

"Yeah?"

"Fingerprint security--" he said pointing to an area on the second floor. "Is access through the elevator shaft here."

"So, I guess I'm not wearing my tux."

"Open, close, get out. Zero residual presence. Claire, you'll cover outside in the vehicle. Hannah will join you as Golitsyn goes exterior, you two stay on him till there."

"Okay." she said looking up then to Hannah.

"Anything goes wrong, I call abort-- everybody walk away immediately. Regroup here at 4 A.M. that's 0400. Any questions?" he asked.

"Yeah. Could we get a cappuccino machine in here? 'Cause I don't know what you call this." asked Ranma.

"I call it cruel and unusual." replied Jack.

"Hey, I made that coffee." stated Claire.

"Exactly. Is it possible that it worse then that sludge you made in that barn Kiev?" asked Ranma.

"Thank you."she replied jokingly.

"Hey, take it easy on my wife's coffee, will you?" said Jim.

"We missed you in Kiev, Jim." replied Ranma.

"Missed you, too, Ranma."

"Were you on one of your cushy recruiting assignments, again?" asked Jack.

"Where did they put you up this time? The Plaza?" asked Ranma.

"Drake Hotel, Chicago."

"OOH!" was their reply.

"Cushy! 24 hour room service." replied Jack.

"Chauffeured cars." added Ranma.

"Fat expense account." commented Jack.

"He's getting soft in his old age." replied Ranma.

"Yeah, he's is look at him." said Jack.

"Ok, listen. If that List get's out into the open, the names of our agents in every country in Eastern Europe will be up for grabs to the highest bidder--Third World Terrorist, Arms Dealers, Drug Lords, any and everybody who'd love to get rid of long term coverts like us. If there exposed, they'll be executed. So, I'll run the whole show from here from the Crow's Nest here. Everybody knows their roles. Let's punch out the details."


Jack and Sarah seated next to each other. Jack demonstrating the VISCO glasses to her.

"There's a camera built right into the bridge. Whatever you see it sees and transmits it back here. Can you hear me?" asked Jack into a microphone.

"Of course I can hear you." replied Sarah.

"No, in your . . . ear piece. You have a lovely eyes. Can you hear me now?" asked Jack again.

"Loud and clear." she replied.


Jim had a map of Prague around the Embassy area. He was talking to Claire about the transportation. He said, "If he has a car waiting, and he rolls, you stay with him no matter what. You should take the afternoon and drive the streets around this little quarter. They're confusing as hell."

"What do you've think I been doing all morning." she replied.


Claire is seated opposite Jim at the computer, with Ranma behind them. Clare had pulled up a Quick Time video image in a box on her screen. In it, an old edition of the NBC Dateline news show, is playing.

Ranma turned to Jim and asked, "You're going to use Walters?"

"He's our guy. He's half Japanese you can pass for him easily."

"Isn't he chairing the Armed Services hearing this week?" asked Ranma.

"Not this week. This week he's flyfishing at the Oughterard Slough in County Kildare, with one of our best Irish guides." replied Jim.

"He won't be back in a hurry?"

"No, not in a hurry. What do you think?"

They watched the program on the computer. Senator Walter, a bearded, bespectacled man in his forties, is holding forth. "...irrelevant at best and it's unconstitutional at worst."

"With all do respect, Senator, it seems that you want to lead the kind of charge that Senator Frank Church led in the 1970's, and in the process destroy the intelligence capability of this country."

"I want to know who these people are and how there spend taxpayers money! We were living in a democracy the last time I checked."


Jack and Ranma sat together at a table. Jack unwrapped a piece of gum; one half was green and one half red. He asked, "Stick of gum. Right?"

"No."

"No, Red light. Green light. If you come up against a lock, you can't pick--Mash them together, hasta lasagna. Don't get any on ya," replied Jack as he handed Ranma the gum. "You'll have five seconds. Just don't chew it."

Ranma looked at him as he chewed the gum in his mouth.


It was night and The American Embassy glitters beside the Vltava River. Party at the Embassy tonight. In the back ground string quartet played.

Jack, wearing black coveralls and slightly odd-looking eyeglasses (they're called Visco glasses), enters an elevator shaft through a small door at the base of the wall. He looks up the shaft, shining a flashlight until he finds what he's looking for a gray metal box, protruding from the wall one floor up.

Phelps is at a table in the safe house apartment, watching the bank of monitors Hannah wired together earlier. The monitors are alive now, showing various views of the inside of the Embassy, where the party is going on, and one view of the elevator shaft.

He was wearing an IMF headset and speaks into the mouthpiece. He spoke into it, "Ranma. Jack's inside. Window's open by twenty-three hundred."

Inside the Embassy, the party is a formal, tuxedoed affair that's in full swing on the second floor. Senator Walters, the man who was on TV, walks up a grand staircase, headed in. An American Diplomat in a tuxedo hurries up to him.

"How do you do, Senator, I'm Rand Houseman, the Ambassador's aide." as he introduced himself.

"Hello, Mr. Houseman."

"How was the Opera?" he asked.

"Uh, it was boring."

"If I could just steer you through the reception line here--"


Jack climbs up the elevator shaft, toward the gray metal box. He stopped next to it and put his other leg on the other wall the opening for the elevator door. He turned on the lights to his glasses and then pulled a small placed card on the metal box.


Jim watches the event on a small laptop in there home base. He spoke into the microphone, "Windows open by 23:00."


The fake Senator was talking to the Ambassadors aide. As he introduces him to everyone. He continued, "Allow me to introduce Jaroslav Reid, the director of the National Gallery--Petr Brandl, the mayor of Prague and his wife Mrs. Brandl."

Sarah, a very attractive young American dressed in an elegant gown, steps out of the reception line and shakes hands with Walters.

"I bet you don't remember me, do you, Senator?" She asked.

"Of course I do. How are you, Miss Norman?" he stated.

He leans in and kisses her on the cheek, and as he does so Sarah whispered into his ear."He's in pocket. Under the underneath the stairway behind me."

The Senator had on a pair of Visco glasses on his face and looks up, over her shoulder.

Alexander Golitsyn, has just come in from outside. Passing under the archway near the entrance.

Jim sees the Senator's point of view of Golitsyn, through the glasses, broadcast back to Jims' monitor. He speaks into his microphone. "Hannah, pull the shade."

Hannah stood at top of the staircase she had on a black evening dress that went with a gold color jacket. She also had on a pair of th Visco glasses on. She brings her right hand up and changes the tint. It changes to a odor detection, and it was a night vision.

The waiter behind her watched what she did closely.

"Sarah, mark the package and go to two." said Jim over the headset mouthpiece.

Sarah still has the Senator's attention. She had pulls a small bottle of perfume from her purse. But as she sprays, she points it slightly to the left, missing herself and hitting the back of Golitsyn's head. He never notices. They move on and down the flight of stairs.

"Your advance team mentioned you'd want a tour of the facility, so I've gone ahead and set that up for you. Excuse me. This way. Thank you." replied Sarah.

Sarah led Walter down some stair. Away from Ambassador's Aide.


Jack was pulling out some wire in fast succession that was huck up to the small card on the box. He heard a noise from above. He looks up and sees the elevator above him descending.

Jack quickly pulls himself flush against the wall. The elevator comes down adjacent to him and stops, pinning him to the wall. Trapping him against the wall.

"Oh, great." muttered Jack.


"–Which leads directly to the Denied Area, the only limited access area in the whole facility." continued Sarah.

They continued walking to the elevator Senator Walters behind her. She turned and faced Walters and he looked at her. She then placed her left thumb on the elevator button and it turned red.


The elevator moved down so Jack could get out. The elevator got further down and he stood on it and kneeled down. He started to pull out something.


She kept her left thumb on the elevator button and it started to turned from white to red.


In another room her thumb print started to show up on a computer. Where two guard sat one by the door and the other in front of a computer. The computer matched ten distinguishing marks and tried to match them with who was on file.


Jack put a black box on the top of the elevator. He turned it on and the red dot started to beep.

"Governor's in position now." he said


The one by the door leaned over to the computer. The other one shock his head and the other got up and fixed his tie. And went for the door.


Walters and Sarah stood there waiting. Just then a man from the other room appeared. He asked, "May I help you?"

Sarah started ding in her purse. Walters had turned away. She replied, "Oh! Sorry. As you can see. This area has both a Marine guard and video surveillance. This place is like–." she put on her Visco glasses Walters turned to her. "Excuse me. I'm sorry. I know I have it in here somewhere."

"Sargent why are not in your uniform this evening?" he asked.


"Uh we have been order to wear civilian cloths this evening, sir." Jack heard over the radio as he sat down and opened his computer up. Jack pulled up the Remote Access. It asked for access and find.


Sarah handed the guard her ID. He took it and looked at it then at her. He said, "I'll be right back." He left taking the card with him.

She smiled and turned to Walters. She took off her glasses and asked, "Tell me Senator, don't you have a young man on your staff named Jack?"


"Jack? I believe we did have a young man named Jack. Not a reliable man, as I recall. Constantly late or behind in his work."

Jack typed away at his computer he was in the data base all he had to do was to upload the thump print.


Sarah pushed the button again. While Walters kept talking.


"We were forced to tie him to my best stallion and drag him around the barn for a few days."

Jack kept typing away and was shifting throw the files to places Sarah's identification.

"Relax your crack, Foghorn, I'm workin' on it."

He hit the enter button and the file started to be up loaded to the other computer.


"Sorry, sir. Thank you and have a nice evening." he said coming back out and handing her ID back.

"Thank you."

The elevator door then opened for them. They entered and Sarah pressed a button. The elevator started to go down. Walters looked up to where Jack sat.

"The date with Sarah is definitely off."

The elevator came to a stop. They exited to another room which was an office room. Sarah walked to the computer and put a disk in and started typing. Ranma took of his Visco glasses and placed them on top of a small safe.

They switched places and Walter's sat at the computer looking at his watch. He said, "Higher."

Sarah picked up a book and placed it underneath the glasses.


Hannah, stationed on the second floor of the Embassy, moves to get a better view of the party. She reacquires Golitsyn's glowing head.

"He's heading to the denied area."


"Get moving, Ranma. He's rolling to you."

Walter pushed the monitor to the screen. Then he and Sarah walked back to the elevator. He pushed the button, but it was already going up.

"Jack? Jack, we're in position. Jack."

In a split view, we see both sides of the elevator wall simultaneously -- on one side, Jack is lying on top of the rising elevator, on the other side, Ethan and Sarah are waiting for it to arrive.

"I didn't touch it." was his reply.

The elevator stops, the doors open and Golitsyn gets on. Golitsyn descends in the elevator with Jack on top and Ranma and Sarah waiting down below.

"What about my coat? I don't want to freeze."

"He's in the box, Ranma, he's in the box."

"Ok . . . Taking Golitsyn's exit. Jack, open the doors. "

"I don't have it." replied Jack.


Phelps whips over to a laptop and starts typing. He brought up the elevator door program sand typed a few things. He then hit enter.

"Opening the doors. Go under."


The elevator doors whisk open, revealing the empty shaft beyond. Ranma and Sarah jump into the shaft. Ranma and Sarah jump down into the five foot empty space below the work room floor. Above them, the elevator continues its descent, with them hiding below. The elevator drops too just over their heads and stops.

Golitsyn steps off the elevator, crosses the room and slides a 3.5 computer disk into the computer in the work room. Through the Visco glasses, we can clearly see him at work, downloading the vital information.

Waiting below the elevator, Ranma takes off his jacket, starting to reverse it. He checks his Visco wrist monitor as Golitsyn perpetrates the theft. He smiles and speaks into a microphone.

"He's got it. Saved your ass again Jack."

"Give me a break, Pops."

"Such a nice ass."

"And a lonely ass."

"Transport in five minutes."

"Yes, indeed."

Ranma started to tear off the mask he had on and put his now reversed jacket on, he and Sarah exit the small door at the base of the elevator shaft.


Golitsyn pulls out the now-programmed disk from the computer, slips it in his jacket pocket and heads for the door. He pushed the call button for the elevator and waited.


They then exited the Embassy service area by the waterfront and blend into the Embassy crowd, as an amorous couple.

"Jack we are in position. Open the door and let the package roll." said Ranma.


"Roger that. Open doors now."

He typed a few keys on his computer.


"Stairway your wrapped. Go to transport."

Hannah took off her Visco glasses and turned from the railing at the top of the stairs before she left.


The car engages with a sharp jolt and starts to rise. Jack looks down, into the elevator car, through the grate. There's no one in it.

"Hey."

On one of his monitors, Jim sees the elevator moving up in the shaft.

"Jack, what are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm not doing anything."

He started typing and got a 'SYSTEM ACCESS ERROR' on his screen. Jack's face pales. He looks up, above him, at the approaching ceiling.

"I don't have control Jack."

"Uh–then I got a problem."

"Cut the power, Jack."

Jack pulled the blue wire and pulled out a pocket knife and pulled it against the wire.

"Come on, Jack."

"Cut the power, Jack." he repeated.

Jack finally was able to cut the power. But it was to late the elevator kept going up. He looked up these weird spikes hung from the ceiling. Jack was stabbed throw the eyes.

Jack . . . Jack?"

The screen on Jim's computer showed his three in field with there names on it. Jack's one was blue.

"Jack. Jack. Jack do you copy? Jack?" said Ranma and closes his eyes, knowing what that means.

"Man down, Ranma. Man down."


Golitsyn, who now has the disk, jabs again and again at the elevator button but it won't even light up. He studies the elevator doors and jumps into the shaft, just as Ranma and Sarah did moments before.

He hits the floor of the elevator shaft and exits the small door at the shaft's base.


Jim put in another ear piece and got up from his chair. He grabbed his coat on the back and the chair fell over. He started to put it on.

"Ranma, stay where you are. I'm coming to you." he replied ting the belt to his coat.


A man and woman were walking on the waterfront dressed up. The woman was singing in Russian and leaning on the guy. The man had a wine bottle in his left hand. They were staggering away from Ranma and Sarah.

Sarah turned her head to the exit they used and saw Golitsyn exiting. She stated, "The package is out in the open."

Ranma then turned his head to Golitsyn.


"Jim . . . The package is in the open."

Jim just exited the apartment building and turned left and started jagging down the street.

"En Route."


Sarah watched Golitsyn as she placed her head on Ranma's shoulder. She saw Golitsyn light a cigarette he just took out.

The man that was with the woman screamed in Russian and ran to the river bank.


On the bridge not far away Jim was running across it. He was almost to Ranma and Sarah. He stopped into a walk then stopped all together and turned around.


"Jim, he's in the open. Jim, the package is in the open."

Sarah kept her head on Ranma shoulder. Watching Golitsyn.


Jim turns back around. He said, "I've got a shadow." He started walking again and broke into a run.

"Can you lose him?"

"No. Abort."


Sarah kept a close eye on Golitsyn and watched him as he started to walk off. She said, "Ranma he's out of pocket."

Ranma turned and saw Golitsyn walk away. He looked at Sarah. She looked back at him. Fog starts to roll over the river towards the bridge.

"Can't do that."

"We are being ambushed, Ranma. Abort that's an order."

"Negative. Golitsyn is on the move."

"No, damn it! No! I said abort!"

"Sarah eye on the package." he said to Sarah. "Jim, I'm coming to you."

"Jim gave an abort. We should walk away."

"No, we're going to recover the disk, understand! Now move!" stated Ranma.

Ranma takes off for the bridge, leaving Sarah to shadow Golitsyn. Ranma moves between some cars and down the street to the bridge.


Sarah follows Golitsyn as he hurries toward the shore, where a cobblestone promenade runs along the river. He disappears into the fog at the edge of the river. She spotted him again and pulled the jacket tighter to her. There was drunken chatter in the background from the couple.


Ranma continued to walk on the street heading for the bridge.

"Where are you?"

"About 200 yards from the bridge."

"There covering this frequency. Cut all radio communication. Repeat--Cut all radio communication."

Clare watched as Ranma walked passed her. He looked at her and continued walking. She sat in a silver BMW. Ranma ran to the bridge stairs and went up them. Then there was a popping sound Ranma looked at the small screen and the barrel of a gun is visible, pointing at him and before Jim.

"Ranma."

Ranma started to up the stairs.


Jim looked at the blood on his hands and fell on the railing. He then fell into the water. Ranma came running were Jim fell in. He looked at the water, but only sees only dark, choppy waters below, obscured in the gathering fog. He then turned around to see if the shooter was anywhere.

"Sarah . . . Abort. Repeat. Abort. Abort. Do you read me? Sarah? God!"

Ranma ran back to the stairs.


Sarah comes out of the fog near the riverbank and sees Golitsyn again, slowing down. A man comes out of the fog an seems to ask Golitsyn for a light. As Sarah draws closer. Behind her, the drunken couple seems to be hanging with her for some reason.


Hannah looked around before getting into the car with Claire.


Ranma ran towards the getaway car, reaching a vantage point on the top of the stairs, the car explodes and bursts into flames. The force of the blast knocks Ranma back.

"CLAIRE! Oh! My god. My god."

He ran down the stairs to the embankment to find Sarah.


Sarah is almost to Golitsyn. Suddenly, the man in front of Golitsyn pulls him toward him. Sensing something wrong, Sarah quickens her pace. The man is now hunched over Golitsyn, facing away from Sarah, going through Golitsyn's pockets through the gate.

The figure finds what it's looking for -- the disk -- and takes it. Sarah comes closer -- and the figure whirls. It brings a knife up sharply, plunges it into her chest and slinks away out of sight.

Ranma races around the corner onto the embankment. He bursts out of the fog, just in time to see Sarah falls to her knees, over Golitsyn's body. Ranma sees the knife in her chest and gasps.

He pulls the knife out of Sarah, who is close to death. He looks at it, and it is a black Teflon knife with a serrated edge.

Sarah tries to mumble something to Ranma.

"Oh, no . . . Sarah . . . " whispered Ranma.

The drunken couple seem drunk no more. In fact, they're watching Ranma. Through the fog and night, they see him leaning over Sarah, holding the knife in his hands.

Sarah goes still. Ranma lays her down, turns the other body over and sees that it is Golitsyn. He quickly begins rummaging through his pockets. Ranma hears police sirens and sees a Prague police boat, siren wailing, arrives at the dock in front of the Embassy. The drunken man and woman stop suddenly.

As three police leap off the boat and race toward the explosion shouting order in Czech, Ranma leaps over the gate and races up the alley and out of sight.


Ranma unscrews the mouthpiece of a payphone receiver. He's holding a flat piece of metal with six prongs on it, a modernist cockroach. He clicks the cockroach into the guts of the phone's wiring, piercing it with its little prongs.

He screws the mouthpiece back on, holds the phone's tongue down for a second, releases it and listens. He has a dial tone. Now he punches in a fourteen digit number he knows by heart. After a moment, a flat voice comes on the other side.

"Satcom seven."

"Central Europe. Unsecured."

"Designator?"

"Bravo Echo one one."

"Switching."

There is a long pause and then familiar voice comes on the line.

"This is Kittridge."

"Go secure."

Pause. A funny series of clicks comes over the line.

"Okay. Go ahead."

"This is Ranma Saotome. They're dead."

"Who's dead?"

"My team. My team is dead!"

"Jesus."

"Golitsyn's gone. They knew we were coming man. They knew the disk is gone."

"Are you intact?"

"Do you read me? The list is in the open!"

"Listen I read you. Let's just bring you in safely, and then we'll worry about that, okay? Were you followed?"

Ranma closes his eyes. Kittridge's voice is strong and reassuring and he needs that right now.

"I don't think so."

"Don't think, be sure. Are you clean?"

"Yes."

"Location green. One hour. I'll be there myself."

"You're in Prague?"

"One hour."

He hangs up. Ranma does the same. He stares at the phone for a moment, thinking. He checks his watch.

Ranma steps out of the phone booth and starts down the street. Every face seems to be starring at him now, every sound is menacing. He pulls his coat in tight, shoves his hands in his pockets and walks among the crowd.


Ranma makes his way past the old town clock, a towering, gothic structure and into a plaza, surrounded mostly by residential buildings.

Straight across from him is a glass enclosed restaurant built on the portico of an old palace. Brilliantly lit up from inside, the restaurant positively shimmers, every table visible from everywhere in the plaza.

Ranma walks in the glass front doors, right next to an enormous fish tank, part of the restaurant's exterior wall. He scans the clientele carefully -- maybe a dozen patrons are scattered around.

Eugene Kittridge is seated at a table in the middle. He and Ranma make eye contact. Ranma walks to the table, a couple of quick, seemingly cursory glances around the room as he goes. Kittridge has been working on a pretty good-sized lobster. He rises to greet Ranma and they sit.

"I can't tell you how sorry I am. I know how much Jim in particular meant to you, Ranma. Personally as well as professionally."

"Yeah."

He spots a stack of documents on the table. Ranma picks them up. There's a Canadian picture bearing Ranma photo and the name Kyoshiro Fumizuki, credit cards, drivers' license, etc.

"Passport, visas - you know the usual drill. We'll work the exfiltration thru Canada, debrief you at Langley. Throw the Prague police a bone, you know toss them a few suspects. You follow me?"

"Yeah. I follow you."

"We've lost enough agents for one night."

"You mean I've lost enough agents for one night."

Kittridge seems to be at the point of saying one thing, then, carefully.

"You seem hell bent on blaming yourself, Ranma."

"Who else is left?"

"Yes. I see your point."

"Why was there another team?"

"What?"

"Of IMF agents. At the Embassy. Tonight."

"I don't quite follow you."

"Let's see if you can follow me around this room." he replied eyes moving around the room. "The drunk Russians on the embankment at 7 and 8 o'clock. The couple waltzing around me at the Embassy at 9 and 11. The waiter behind Hannah at the top of the staircase. Bowtie, 12 o'clock. The other IMF team. You're worried about me. Why?"

"For a little over two years now we've been spotting serious blowback in IMF operations. We have a penetration. The other day we decoded a message on the Internet from a Czech we know as 'Max'."

"The arms dealer."

"That's right. Max, it seems, has two unique gifts--a capacity for anonymity and for corrupting susceptible agents. This time he's gotten to someone on the inside-he's put himself in a position to buy our NOC list. An operation he referred to as "Job 314." The job he thought Golitsyn was doing tonight."

"But the list Golitsyn stole was a decoy."

"Correct the actual list is safe at Langley. "Golitsyn" was a lightning rod. He was one of ours."

"This whole operation was a molehunt. This whole operation was a molehunt."

"Yes, the mole's deep inside. And--like you said . . . You survived."

Ranma stares at Kittridge levelly.

"I want to show you something, Ranma."

He now shoves the papers across the table. They're xeroxed copies of a Nippon bank account in the name of Nodoka Sotome It shows a balance of 1, 270, 000 yen.

"Since your father's death, your mother has been in almost an bankrupt state and now, suddenly, you 're mom is flush with over one million two hundred and seventy thousand in the bank. Dad's illness was supposed to have wiped out the bank account, but dying slowly in Japan after all, can be a very expensive proposition Ranma. So, why don't we go quietly out of here onto the plane."

"How about if we just go quietly into the bathroom and I wash your mouth out with soap-you pathetic button down bureaucratic asshole."

"Ranma, I can understand you're very upset."

"Kitteridge, you've never seen me very upset."

Ranma takes something from his jacket pocket. While Kittridge talks, Ranma unwraps whatever is in his hand.

"All right, enough is enough Saotome. You've bribed, cajoled, killed-and relied on intimate loyalties to get away with it. You're determined to shake hands with the devil and I'm going to make sure you do it in hell."

We see what Ranma holds in his hand it's was the piece of bubble gum, half red, half green. He squeezes the gum, mashing the two sides together.

Ranma lashes out, swatting Kittridge's glass of wine off the table in one quick motion. As he does, he hurls the piece of gum.

Diners look up, startled at the sound of the breaking wine glass. Kittridge follows the trajectory of the glass and sees the piece of gum, stuck to the tank. His eyes widen. KA BOOM!

The tiny piece of plastique explodes, shattering the fish tank. A hundred gallons of water flow over the man and woman, knocking them to the ground. And knocking one guy through the window.

At the same time, Ranma bolts out of the broken window. Ranma races out of the restaurant and takes off, into the deserted square. As the water raced into the street.

To be continued . . . In Chapter 2: On the Run.


Author's Note: Well I finished another chapter of this story. I took me almost five months to finish. I'm still working on my other three stories at the moment. Kagewaki Hitomi signing out.