Disclaimer: blah blah blah I don't own blah blah not mine blah blah
If you see any big colossal errors, or something doesn't make sense please, by all means, keep it to yourself. /sarcasm
--Chapter 7: Just be conscious! The awakening of events--
Ranko found herself floating around in complete darkness.
"Ummm…what the heck is this?" The red head looked around in obvious confusion.
"Beats the hell outta me." Ranko blinked and turned to see a boy her age with an irritated expression on his face.
"Who are you?" The girl demanded.
"I'm the guy you used to be. I'm not sure what's going on, but for some reason it looks like we've split our consciousness or something."
"I can explain that." Came another voice from the side. They both turned and saw someone who neither could have predicted would be there; Lina Inverse.
"What the hell…"
"Okay, this is one weird as all hell dream," Ranko said as she shook her head. "Lina Inverse and my past self. Yeah, great. When you guys decide to start making sense and cease to exist, call me," She said as she started floating away from them.
"You're not going to get very far," Lina said lazily as she floated over to the boy.
"Watch me," Ranko said as she grit her teeth and continued to float away. Brian and Lina watched as Ranko continued to try and float away from them. She turned her head around and frowned. She hadn't gotten any further.
"You done yet?" The boy asked with a sigh. "Looks like we're going to be here until we get this sorted out."
"You're right about that." Lina said.
"Okay, I'll humor you two idiots for now," Ranko said flippantly as she floated back over to them. "So you're saying you know what to do?" She looked at Lina.
"I'm saying I know what's going on, not what to do." Lina frowned. "Weren't you listening?"
"Not really," Ranko admitted.
"Okay, so what the hell is going on then?" the boy demanded.
"It's like you said, our consciousness split," Lina said. "This wasn't supposed to happen, as far as I can tell."
"Well yeah, splitting your brain isn't exactly an everyday event," the boy said, rolling his eyes. Ranko looked back and forth from one to the other with a frown.
"What caused this, then?"
"Our reincarnation," Lina said, as she mirrored Ranko's expression. "I'm supposed to be the only one, but this guy is here too. I've got no idea how that happened. Usually, from what I know of the stuff, I'd have merged with her by now," Lina said as she pointed her thumb at Ranko. "But because he already had, our soul wasn't ready for us to merge. So, it split up into three even parts."
"So? If that's true, shouldn't we have merged again by now?" the boy said, frowning.
"That's true. And it would have, if she were a true reincarnation of you. She'd have had my memories as well as yours. But your soul is different," Lina said, appearing to inspect him. "She's not really your reincarnation, but she is mine. When you merged, you corrupted her soul,"
"Corrupted?" Ranko frowned and glared at the boy, who was holding up his hands.
"Hey hey, don't blame this on me, I didn't choose to be thrown into your head when you were born. Actually, I thought I was you, cause we both had access to my memories."
"Technically, you were both the same person, until I came," Lina said. "Then things went back to how they were supposed to be. But the time you spent merged changed you both."
"Yeah, yeah, so what exactly is this corruption?" Ranko demanded.
"You don't have to sound so angry," the boy said with a yawn. "More importantly though, what would the result of this all be?"
"Well, for one, if I'm right, she shouldn't have access to your memories anymore, nor you hers," Lina said. The two frowned at her then looked at each other, surprised.
"She's right?" They said in unison.
"I can't remember anything beyond my fourth birthday," Ranko said with a frown.
"I can remember some things after that, but it's hazy…" The boy replied, mirroring his expression. He looked over at Lina. "So wait, does this mean that she's a different personality now?"
"She always has been. Neither of you were aware of it, though, because of the unity of your memories. I think." The sorceress had a contemplative expression on her face.
"Ah… I see…" the boy said with a nod.
"I don't get it," Ranko said with a frown. "What the heck is going on?"
"In other words, we thought we were the same person because we had the same memories." The boy said. "That wasn't true, though." He frowned and looked at Lina. "How do you know all of this stuff?"
"Oh, it's all old theory, and some guess work." Lina said casually. "I've never really extensively researched reincarnation though, nothing beyond what was required at the guild…"
"I see," the boy frowned as he looked at her. "One more thing. How the hell are you real?" Lina rolled her eyes.
"The same way you are."
"Right," He nodded, not getting anything out of her answer. "So now that we've decided what's wrong, what should we do?"
"I dunno, I've never really died before," Lina said with a shrug. "I'm not exactly an expert on anything that goes beyond theory. Most people wouldn't be."
"Ah. Yes, of course."
"I still think you're both crazy," Ranko said as she watched them with a frown. "How the hell do I know this isn't some dream, anyway?"
"You don't," Lina said with a shrug. "It could be a dream."
"If that was true, then the two of you would be fake, not me and Lina," the boy said with a frown.
"I dunno abo-
Ranko sat up, wide awake. She blinked and looked around the room.
"…It was a dream." Ranko shrugged and looked over at the clock on the wall. It read 6:28 AM. It was almost time to wake up anyway, so there was no point in going to sleep. "Man, that was just creepy."
It was Monday afternoon, and the kids were all at school. Genma sat in the dojo with a look of intense concentration on his face as he focused his inner energies and mumbled something under his breath. Ryoga stood in the doorway with his arms cross, and an interested look on his face as he watched the master martial artist continue what appeared to be meditation.
"What are you doing?" The teen asked as he tilted his head. Genma stopped mumbling and answered without turning to look at the boy.
"I'm developing a new technique," the older man said in a gruff voice. "That magic stuff that the girl does, it works for her, but I noticed a few flaws in it…"
"Flaws?" The boy said as he walked into the dojo. "What kind of flaws?"
"It requires the user to invoke certain energies other than Chi. Like Chi, however, it's something that's easier to build up when you're younger," the old man explained.
"So for older guys like you, just picking up and learning it isn't possible," Ryoga said with a nod.
"Hmph. It's possible, but much harder," Genma said as he straightened his glasses. "Watch." The older man held up a hand and Ryoga saw a familiar swirl of orange energy gathering in his palm, but it was much, much smaller than he was used to seeing. "Fireball!" The man cried out dramatically as he made a throwing motion with the ball of magic. The ball crashed into a dummy that Ryoga hadn't noticed earlier, but instead of incinerating it as Ranko's much larger Fireball had, the fireball merely impacted with a small explosion. The effect was visible; there was a charred hole about the size of a basketball where his attack had hit it, but the rest of the thing remained untouched.
"I didn't know you could do that,"
"Didn't she tell you it's a family art?" Genma snorted.
"Oh, then why haven't you taught Ranma?"
"I wanted to focus on his Chi manipulation abilities," The stocky man said indignantly. "It wouldn't have been efficient to split his focus and have him half as good at either art." Ryoga snorted at that, familiar with the elder Saotome's deceitful ways.
"Right, so what are you going to do to fix that?" The boy asked.
"I have found that it is possible to somewhat imitate the effect of that attack with Chi," the man said calmly. "Unfortunately, there is an element missing that I have been unable to figure out."
"What can you do so far?" The boy asked.
"You ask so many questions, but I suppose this is good review," Genma said as he stood up. "Perhaps it would not hurt to show you." The man braced himself and held up his hands in front of him, with his fingers bent at different angles. Ranma found that the pose was somewhat reminiscent of what he'd seen martial artists in Anime do when firing those over-exaggerated ki blasts, but a little bit more complicated. His fingers being bent at different angles probably had something to do with how the technique worked.
Genma started gathering his energy around his entire body. The older man's battle aura suddenly became visible, and Ryoga took a step back out of surprise.
"A visible Battle Aura…" He shook his head. 'I'd underestimated Ranma's old man…'
"This isn't all I can do boy, watch closely!" Genma's battle aura suddenly took on a reddish, orange hue and had the appearance of flames. His entire body appeared to be on fire. "Kaenkyu!" His body's aura suddenly contracted and shot through his hands, and the projected Chi took on the shape of a huge sphere that was at least half as tall as he was, but the ball of red, flaming chi didn't move away from Genma. It stayed attached to his hands rather than flying off like the Fireball had. It dissipated after a second, and Ryoga blinked as he figured out what the problem was.
"You can't send it further than that?" He asked.
"That's right," The older man nodded as he panted and sat back down. "I'm mimicking something else that has been perfected, without seeing how it was originally created. Copying the finished product of something isn't always better than watching someone go through the steps, you see,"
"I get it," Ryoga said. The level of Chi manipulation was beyond his and Ranma's level though, and his respect for his friend's father rose tremendously. 'I wonder what else this old guy knows how to do?'
"And Fireball is only one spell," The older man said as his breathing normalized. "There's several others that I've seen, but haven't even begun to unravel yet."
"I see," The younger man nodded. 'I'd better go practice too.' "Well good luck with that," The teen said calmly as he turned around and walked back towards the door.
"Hm." The older man acknowledged him and continued his meditation.
As the Tendo sisters and the Saotome twins walked home, a stick suddenly landed in front of them in the sidewalk. The four blinked at it and noticed the familiar sound of a lit fuse. Ranko's eyes widened as she recognized the stick as an arrow with an explosive attached to it.
"GET BACK!" the red head cried out. Akane immediately grabbed her sister, and the three martial artists jumped into the air just as the thing exploded. When they landed not five meters away, they saw a large crater in the ground, and in the wall that had been on the edge of the sidewalk. "What the hell?! Who's trying to kill us?!"
"Ranma…" Akane growled out as she looked over at her fiancé.
"No one's ever attacked me with that kind of weapon before," He said angrily. "That's just cowardly." Suddenly, they jumped in random directions and a hail of shuriken landed where they were.
"Who the hell set ninja after us!?" Ranko screamed. "We're screwed!"
"Calm down!" Ranma said just as he flipped backwards to dodge another spray of shuriken. "Where are they?" They all looked up and noticed a group of ninja clad in dark brown uniforms on the roof of a nearby house. One was pulling a bow, and released it almost the moment they looked. They all dodged, and unlike the last one which had presumably been faulty, the second arrow exploded upon contact with the ground. "They're up there! We have to get them, come on!"
"Get them?!" Ranko shrieked as she looked at her brother. "Ranma! NINJA! REAL NINJA!" Ranma sighed and shook his head.
"You're blowing this all out of proportion. Come on, use your magic!"
"Oh, that's right, I do know magic," the girl said as she suddenly calmed down. "Raywing!" She screamed as she flew up into the sky… away from the fight.
"You idiot!" Akane screamed as she looked up at the girl.
"You guys want to fight them?" Ranko demanded from her position in the air.
"Um, no thanks," Nabiki said nervously. "I'd like to go home." Ranma grabbed her and roughly pulled her out of the way of some more shuriken.
"I'll take her home," Ranko said as she flew down to the three.
"You'd better come back and make yourself useful..!" Ranma said pointedly.
"You guys focus on attracting the ninjas to an open area or something. The school's football field will work nicely."
"What, so they can attack us where no one is watching? If we give them more space than we already have," Akane said as she gestured the streets around them, before suddenly diving forward. There was an explosion behind her, and she hurriedly stood up and ran over to Ranma.
"You're sitting ducks wherever you are. Here, they can only hit you with projectiles, in an open field, they'll try to use hand-to-hand combat," Ranko said calmly.
"You don't know that!" Ranma shouted. They all jumped away from another explosion, and Ranko continued.
"I've got a plan, when I tell you guys to get away from the field, you jump away as far as you can, as quickly as possible. Go to the field at Furinkan, it's big enough," the girl said.
"You'd better come back," Akane growled. Before they could all say anything else, they noticed an arrow screaming through the air towards them and scattered. Ranko grabbed Nabiki and took to the skies, while Ranma and Akane started backtracking to their school. The two dodged all manner of lethal projectiles on their way back to the school, flipping through the air as shuriken, arrows, and explosive arrows shot past them. 'At least they aren't using guns,' The girl thought with relief. Almost immediately, the two heard the sound of an automatic weapon firing, and just as both teens landed, they rushed over to an alleyway.
As soon as Ranma turned to look at the street they had been on, the familiar sparks of bullets hitting the ground splashed all across the pavement.
"What kind of ninja uses guns!?" the boy roared furiously.
"I think I jinxed us," Akane said regretfully.
"Oh man, thanks a lot, Akane," Ranma said, his voice tinged with nervousness and anxiety. "We've got to find some other way to the school now. Come on!" Ranma said as he took off running down the street, and Akane moved to follow him almost instantly. They turned into an alley just as the bullets started up again. "They have guns now. Ranko didn't see that coming. If we just run out to a field, they'll just gun us down, even worse than they would have anyway…" The boy said. "We have to figure out a different strategy, but Ranko doesn't know about it." They came out on the other end of the alley and turned on the street, only going for a small distance before they turned into the next alley.
"That sucks," The girl said. "What should we do?"
"I'm not sure. I've never fought guns before," The boy said nervously as they stopped for a breather in the middle of the alley.
"We need to figure something out, just running around isn't going to help us!"
"I know, Akane! I know!" The boy was looking around. "They're coming!" He quickly gathered the girl in his arms and leapt towards the end of the alley just as a spray of shuriken, arrows, and bullets all rained down on where they had been standing. "Oh man, they're really trying to kill us!" He said as he landed and started running, not bothering to set the girl down. She looked over his shoulder and screamed. Vaguely humanoid shapes made of silvery metal that had a streamlined look to them were following after them, hovering in the air.
"Ranma, they've got robots!"
"Robots and gun toting ninjas, what the hell is next?!" The sound of a rocket flying through the air met their ears and both turned their heads in the direction it was coming from. With a surge of desperation, Ranma's legs lit up with chi, and the boy launched into the air, flying straight up over two stories to land on one of the buildings on the street. Before they even landed, the missile had reached it's destination, and the sound of an explosion reached their ears from below. As they landed on the roof, Ranma took quick stock of the area and noticed a door that lead downstairs into the building. The two ran over and crouched down, hiding in the shadows of the door.
"Your sister was right, we're screwed," Akane said miserably.
"I don't think this can get any worse," Ranma agreed. Suddenly, on a reflex, his hand shot up over his shoulder, and he felt it connect with someone's face. There was a garbled groan as a ninja garbed in brown fell over his shoulder. Ranma looked at the unconscious ninja and blinked. "Hey, he's got stuff." Ranma quickly took the kunai that had been in the Ninja's hand and put it in his pocket. There was a sheathed Katana strapped to the man's back, and he took it and the pouches full of shuriken and kunai as well. As Ranma searched him for remaining weapons, Akane looked around without being too obvious to see if there was anything else on the roof with them.
"Did your pop teach you how to use these?" Ranma asked as he held up a bow and some shuriken. "I can, but you should be armed too." The girl nodded and accepted the bow, while looking for arrows. There were two different quivers; one with regular arrows, and one with arrows that had circular objects at the heads instead of normal arrowheads.
"These must be those explosives they were using," the girl said. She strapped both of them around her right shoulder and held the bow in her left. "What's the plan?"
"I don't have one yet," Ranma said as he finished tying the ninja's hands together with steel wire that he'd found on the man. He was satisfied when the wire bit into the Ninja's flesh, and started bleeding slightly. He ripped the rest of the wire off and put it in a pocket. Just as he stood up, three ninjas landed on the roof and started throwing more shuriken at them. Ranma reacted by jumping up and dodging most of the projectiles, while deflecting the ones he couldn't with the katana. Akane reached up and retrieved an arrow, then quickly let it fly at the three.
The arrow exploded upon reaching its destination, sending the three ninja flying off of the building, and Ranma stared at Akane.
"I-I grabbed the w-wrong kind," she stuttered.
"Akane," Ranma started. "Come on, let's go," He ran over and grabbed her. "These people started trying to kill us first. I don't think we should exactly go around with genocide on our minds, but just injuring them isn't going to stop some of them, and we can't afford not to be serious," He said in a grim voice.
"I-I know…" The girl said quietly. Ranma nodded and let go of her hand as he ran towards the edge of the building and jumped off. Not a second later, Akane followed after him.
Ranko landed swiftly at the Tendo dojo and set Nabiki down on the ground gently. She ran into the dojo and shouted out.
"Father! Ranma and Akane are being attacked by Ninja!" The girl said urgently. Genma immediately looked up at her from where he was with a look of shock on his face.
"Ninja? Are you absolutely certain?"
"You haven't done anything to piss any Ninja off, have you?" Ranko asked angrily.
"Not that I can remember…" The old man said as he strained his mind. He'd remember pissing off Ninja, that was for sure.
"Well, what should we do?"
"How many Ninja were there?" Genma asked seriously.
"I could see maybe five from where I was, but there were several more in hiding," she said. Genma snorted and waved it aside.
"If it's just a single clan of Ninjas, Ranma can handle it," He started to calm himself down and go into meditation again.
"W-what? Ranma can handle it?!" She nearly screeched. "What part of NINJA do you NOT understand!?" the girl demanded.
"Oh calm down, Ranma's handled worse before,"
"Not yet he hasn't," the girl grumbled. "Fine, you sit here you big coward, I'll go help him fight the ninjas myself!" She said as she ran out of the dojo. Within moments, she was a dot in the sky.
"People are going to notice her flying around like that," Nabiki said casually as she turned towards the door and started walking.
Within moments, Ranko was above the familiar field of Furinkan High. Unfortunately, there was no sign of neither Ranma nor Akane, and no big group of ninja to blow up with one spell. As she turned her head around, she managed to notice an area in the city with large explosions, and automatically assumed that was where they were.
"What the hell? They're moving away from the field! And why are there that many explosions?"
"I can answer that," came a familiar snide voice from behind her. Ranko grunted and turned around in the air with her hands behind her head. There before her floated Hikaru Gosunkugi.
"You must be the one who's causing all of that nonsense," she said levelly.
"Perhaps," the cloaked sorcerer said with a sneer. "Whatever the case may be, I have you to myself again, and Ranma will not save you this time,"
"Save me?" She snorted. "Ranma saved you that time, trust me." She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes as a cold expression set on her face.
"Oh? Is that so?" The man asked with a sneer. The three long scars running up his face added a certain malicious quality to his face. His sneer turned into a scowl as his own eyes narrowed. "Let's begin, shall we?" He said as he held up a hand with a blue sphere of energy. "Freeze Lance!" The blue energy elongated into a lance and he threw it at her.
"Geez, right to the chase, aren't you?" the girl grumbled as she dodged by suddenly flying much lower. Gosunkugi snorted as he followed after her. "What the hell do you want with me, anyway?!"
"You'll find out soon enough," Gosunkugi glared at her and held up his left hand. Blue magical energy swirled around before forming into a solid, translucent lance. He threw the lance down at her with visible effort and Ranko eeped, barely dodging the attack once again by moving her body to the side. The projectile curved upwards a bit and cleaved a small cleft in the earth instead of impacting it dead away.
"Exactly when do you plan on telling me?! After I'm dead?!"
"Precisely," Gosunkugi said with a dark smile. "Ly Briem!" The dark teenager held his hands up into the air and a blast of freezing wind flew from his hands towards Ranko. The redhead's eyes widened in shock.
'He's getting serious,' She thought. She quickly turned and increased her flying speed down towards the ground. The girl landed on the school's gym and jumped off just in time for the icy winds to hit the roof. The roof was entirely frozen over in seconds. Ranko turned back long enough to see the effects of the spell. 'I can't compete with that level of magic! Damn it!'
"This is the end for you, Lina Inverse!" Ranko winced and jumped up in time to dodge a multitude of icicle lances that would have skewered her sideways, front, back, diagonally and top to bottom. She winced and turned to face the source of the voice. Gosunkugi was standing there with a grin and a blue glow about his hands. 'I don't have any choice but to use something more destructive than even fireball.'
"You've asked for it then," Ranko said. 'Think, think… something good enough to… kill… this guy!'
'Val Flare should do it.' Ranko didn't even blink at the other voice that went through her mind, distracted as she was.
'I've never used it outside of practice before, but it should work,' She agreed, thinking it was her own idea.
A few feet away, Gosunkugi grinned and he started walking towards Ranko, preparing for another ice spell. "Any last words, Inverse?" His tone held a smug note to it that was certain to piss her off. As he neared her, though, he noticed her lips moving and heard her mumbling something beneath her breath. He frowned as she suddenly looked up at him with a smirk on her face.
"Yeah," She started as a stylized bow made of energy appeared in her hands. "Eat this! Val Flare!" She pulled the bowstring back and a red arrow made of pure fire energy appeared, set in the bow, and she let go. Gosunkugi scowled and jumped away as quickly as he could in order to let the projectile fly behind him, and right into the wall of the gym. There was a deafening explosion as the arrow collided with the wall, and both Ranko and Gosunkugi were blown off of their feet from the explosive force.
Ranma swore again as he flipped over a hail of bullets with Akane right behind him. The girl nocked an explosive arrow in her bow and fired it at the robots that were shooting at them. The arrow exploded and took out a few of the robots with it. Shrapnel flew this way and that, and Ranma had to dodge it as well as shuriken and the other projectiles. The two started leaping across the rooftops again,
"We're doing too little damage," Akane said. "We have to escape somehow!"
"I'm trying, Akane, really, I am!" He jumped up onto another building. "Damn, it, first thing I'm doing when we get home is getting her to teach me how to fly!"
"Me too," The Tendo girl agreed. The two noticed a Shinto Shrine.
"Kongosoha!" A familiar voice cried out nearby and both teens turned to see a man with long white hair and archaic red clothes swinging a huge sword in their direction. They both jumped to the side in order to dodge the hail of lethal looking spikes that shot out of his sword and into the crowd of robots and ninja. The Ninja and robots were all taken by surprise, and only a few of them managed to dodge the widespread attack. The few Ninja that survived the hailing of spikes all took quick stock of the figure in red before running away. Their robotic antagonists, however, continued the assault, letting loose a volley of missiles towards the new target.
"Watch out!" Ranma cried out a warning to his would-be red clothed savior, and the silver haired man frowned before launching his own attack again.
"Kongosoha!" The various projectiles all collided in the air, and the robot's missiles exploded. The figure in red's eyes widened a bit in surprise at the explosions, and he looked over at Ranma. "What the hell is going on here? What are those things!?"
"I have no idea," Ranma said. "But-" Before he could finish his thought, the robots let loose another volley of machine gun fire, and the three teens all scattered. Ranma growled as he leapt into the air and a glowing ball of light appeared in his hands.
"Fireball!" He launched the projectile at one of the robots, but the explosion was small compared to one of Ranko's and only the target robot was affected. Parts of its midsection were blown off completely, and other parts of it had melted together. But despite its seemingly debilitating injuries, the robot continued to function. It suddenly started flying towards Ranma in a haphazard motion, and Ranma jumped away as he realized what it was doing. The robot exploded upon crashing into the ground, and the force from the blast sent Ranma flying even further than he'd intended to go.
"Those aren't even alive, how can they be fighting? What are they, some kind of golem?" The man in red was speaking seriously to Akane, who happened to land next to him.
"They're robots!" She said incredulously, somewhat surprised by his inquiry.
"Robotto?" Akane's eyes widened as she realized that he honestly had no idea what she was talking about. She noticed his form of dress and realized that he probably didn't get out very much.
"They're artificial beings made of metal, but they're not supposed to be this advanced yet. This is a huge advancement from what I know of robots," She admitted.
"You said golems earlier, that'll work," She said. He nodded.
"So they won't just die by normal means then,"
"Which is why we were running from them," Akane said. The two suddenly jumped in separate directions to dodge another stream of bullets from the few remaining robots.
"I'm no good at running away!" Hey suddenly leapt at one of the robots and cleaved it in half at what would be the waist with his huge sword. Akane's eyes widened as she watched him cut through what was assuredly strong metal with his strange looking sword.
"Maybe we do have a chance then,"
"Damn, that hurt a lot," a familiar male voice said suddenly in her mind.
Ranko's eyes widened in shock at the voice reverberating in her head.
"No! You're not real!" She screamed in defiance at the voice.
"What the hell is she going on about?" the male voice asked, confused.
"I think she hears us now," A familiar feminine voice said.
"I don't believe this! I've gone insane!" Ranko lamented.
"It was only a matter of time," The male voice said cheerfully.
"We can worry about that later, you idiots! That guy is looking at us weird, and we owe him,"
"You're right about that, let's go pay our debts," The male voice said. Ranko's eyes widened again as she felt her body moving against her will. She watched as her hands were used to move the small chunks of rubble that had fallen on them. She stood up and surveyed the area, looking for their enemy. "Heheh, this is awesome! I can move again, rather than just watch!" She started walking back towards the building.
"Stop doing that!" Ranko demanded as she tried to walk on her own. Their combined effort made them trip over their own feet, and fall back down onto the ground.
"Ow! What the hell was that for?" The male voice said irritably as Ranko sat back up.
"This is my body, damn it! Stop doing things!" The male voice ignored her as she continued to stand up. "I said stop!"
"Make me!" It demanded as she slapped herself.
"What? How dare you!" Ranko punched herself in the nose, knocking herself back down to the ground.
"You bitch! Take this!" Ranko's fist crashed into the side of her head.
"Stop, you two! This has gone on far enough!" Lina yelled. "Remember where we are, you idiots!"
"What?" Ranko asked as her left hand began to strangle herself. The other one was making a valiant attempt to remove it from their throat as they heard someone chuckle.
"You seem to have forgotten someone," Hikaru's voice came from behind them. Ranko immediately stood up, but before she could turn around, his fist impacted the small of her back. There was a flash of white light before Ranko flew forward and into another wall. The girl's entire body was tingling painfully, but she managed to stand up and turn around, glaring at the sorcerer standing before them. His face and clothes were visibly very burned, and he had a scowl on his face.
'He did something just now!' Ranko blinked at Lina's voice reverberating through her mind. "You! What have you done to me!?"
"Simple, I bound a soul to you," He smirked.
"What? Bound a soul to me?" Ranko asked. The man blinked at her word choice.
"That is correct…" He narrowed his eyes as he studied the girl.
"I don't hear anyone else freakin' out in here," The boy's voice said. Ranko smirked as she looked at the man.
"Your little trick didn't work," She said as she started cracking her knuckles. "Now, it's payback time for that embarrassing little scene!" She jumped at him with a fist cocked back and swung at him. Hikaru easily dodged the attack by stepping aside and laughed.
"That was pathetic. You've gotten worse at fighting."
"Oh yeah? Well try this!" She frowned as she charged him and jumped high into the air to kick him. He merely watched as she flew over him and laughed when she crashed into the pile of wreckage from the gym.
"Well, I can't say I'm impressed," He commented as he patiently waited for her climb back out of the rubble.
"Damn, this body is a lot more powerful than I thought," The male voice said sheepishly as they rubbed their head in pain. "I guess I tried too hard."
"You damn idiot, let me handle this," Ranko growled, standing up. She glared at the grinning Hikaru and leapt out of the rubble, facing him.
"You can't hope to fight me, disoriented as you are," Hikaru snorted as he turned away. "I don't have time to waste on handicapped people."
"Handicap THIS!" Ranko shouted as she flew at him with her fist cocked back yet again. Hikaru's eyes widened as she clocked him, sending him sprawling onto the ground. "Heh! Who's disoriented now?" She taunted as he scrambled back to his feet, glaring at her. The sorcerer narrowed his eyes as he wiped some blood from his mouth.
"You actually hit me," He said in a low voice.
"Yeah, that's what happens when someone throws their fist at you, idiot," She smirked as she took a wide stance. Hikaru lifted off of the ground without saying the name of his spell and frowned at her from the air. "What, you want to fight up there? I'm fine with that too," she said as she prepared to join him in the sky.
"Hmmm… let's have fun, Lina Inverse."
"Stop calling me that!" She demanded as he became enshrouded in a bubble of pure darkness and vanished. She turned her head to the side and frowned. "That guy is definitely becoming troublesome. I've got to figure out what to do about him," she muttered.
"There is not much you can do, Lina Inverse," The voice taunted from all around her.
"Hmph. Sure there is," the girl said calmly. In her head, two people were confused.
"What can I do? He's invisible!" The body's original owner demanded.
"Watch," The boy said as he closed their eyes.
"We can't see anything!" Lina said agitatedly.
"Shut up, I'm trying to focus… there!" The boy suddenly opened their eyes and jumped up with a fist held back. "Fireball!" He threw his fist forward and the fireball flew straight up into the sky… and didn't stop, or crash into any invisible sorcerers.
"…And what was that?" Lina asked heatedly. "You wasted energy and made us look like an idiot."
"Trust me, this will work," the boy said. "Now…"
"I assume that was supposed to amuse me in some way," the voice of Hikaru said from infront of them. "I must admit it was slightly humorous."
"Ah ah ah, but the fun's only begun," the girl said.
"And what, do you mean, by that? Are you going to waste my time?"
"No," the girl said as she crossed her arms. The fire ball suddenly fell down onto Hikaru, slamming him towards the ground and then detonating when it finally touched down. Ranko quickly ran over to where the fireball had detonated, intent on finishing the fight. However, when she got there, there was no Gosunkugi to be seen.
"As much fun as this all was, it seems we won't be alone much longer," Gosunkugi's voice came from all around her. "Another time, then, Inverse."
"Hey! Come back, you slimy bastard!" She said this just as some sirens became audible. "Damn it, he's starting to annoy me!"
"You mean us," the male voice piped in.
"She's right, though," Lina remarked, annoyed. "He is going to be a big problem. And we still don't know how he knows about us,"
"Ugh…" Ranko groaned and held her head.
"Hey, yeah, that's right. You don't suppose he's a reincarnation too, do you?" The male voice suggested.
"It's possible, but who would from then hated us that much?" Lina asked curiously.
"You were an infamous bandit-killing city-destroyer, pretty much everyone," The male said calmly.
"Hey, I saved the world a few times, damn it! Give me some credit for that!" Lina yelled back.
"Fine, you were a heroic bandit-killing city-destroyer, you happy now?"
"Both of you just shut up," Ranko said angrily. "Neither of you should be real. One of you is or was me, and the other is from a comic book or something, I can't remember."
"Well, actually, both of us used to be you, and vice versa," Lina reminded her.
"Shut up, I said!"
"You can't make us," the male voice said, mentally scoffing at her attempt.
"If you don't, I'll…" Ranko trailed off as she realized there wasn't much she could do to a voice that was in her head.
"You'll what? Yeah, that's right, shut the hell up," The male voice sneered. Ranko scowled and punched herself in the face. "Ow! You bitch!" Ranko bit her tongue and slapped herself again.
"You little bastard, this is my body, I won't give it up to the likes of you!"
"I can do whatever I want," The two continued to brawl. Lina growled and used her own power to try and stop their body from hurting itself, but was only able to stop one of them at a time.
"You idiots! Ow! Stop already!" The girl suddenly registered the sound of sirens in the distance and stopped fighting herself. "What's that noise?"
"It's, ah…" Ranko looked over the gym and noticed that it was on fire from the Val Flare she had shot at Gosunkugi. "Oh boy…"
Ranma stood above the last of the robots, panting. His clothes were cut up and he was bloody from close encounters with shuriken and regular arrows. The robot beneath him was a melted hunk of metal, having first been attacked by a fireball, dismantled before it could kamikaze on him, then melted again. Ranma glanced to his side when he noticed Akane and the strange man in red approach him.
"That was a work out," The man in red said from behind him. "What the hell was going on here, anyway?"
"I wish I knew," Ranma said, turning to look at their unexpected assistance. "My fiancé, her sister, my sister and I were all walking home when all of a sudden, Ninja and Robots attack."
"Nevermind how odd and impossible seeming that combination is," Akane muttered.
"Those Robotto things don't attack people often, do they? I've never seen them before," The silver haired teen said. Ranma blinked as he noticed something familiar about the white haired-man.
"Inuyasha!" The three all turned to see a girl running towards them. "What happened here?"
"I saw these two being attacked by a crowd and decided to even the odds a little," Inuyasha said. "There were Ninja and something called Robotto," Kagome blinked and looked at the other two.
"We're not too sure what happened either, what he said covers it pretty much," Ranma said. He finally connected the name and the person, then looked over at Inuyasha. "You, you were there last night!" Inuyasha blinked at him before suddenly recognizing him as well. "What happened to your hair?"
"None of your business," Inuyasha snapped. "But what are you doing here? And what happened to that girl? I want to talk to her,"
"We were running from those guys," Ranma frowned. "And my sister split up with us so she could take my fiance's sister home and away from the Ninja."
"Wouldn't she have just been followed?" Inuyasha asked.
"She can, er, fly," Ranma said. Akane frowned at him, but it faded when she noticed that the two before them were only mildly surprised.
"Why didn't they help?"
"My sister is a non-combatant, and Ranko didn't know we would be coming this way. We had a plan worked out before we split up, but things changed and we had to abandon the plan…" Akane looked over at Ranma. "We should probably hurry on over to the school, she's got to be worried about us."
"Right," Ranma looked over at Inuyasha and the other girl again. "Uh, thanks, again."
"Whatever," Inuyasha snorted. "Just go."
"Hmph, fine," Ranma turned to face Akane. "Akane, let's go," He said. The girl nodded and both leapt away onto a nearby rooftop, then continued going.
"What was that about, Inuyasha?" Inuyasha turned to look at the girl standing beside him and frowned.
"I have a bad feeling, like something has started," Inuyasha said. "Those guys may not turn out to be our friends later, so why get attached now?"
"You still don't have to be rude to them. It may be a long time before we see them again,"
"I hope we don't ever meet up again at all," Inuyasha said with a frown.
When Ranma and Akane approached Furinkan, they noticed smoke in the direction of the gym. When they got there, it had already been swamped by the authorities. Firefighters were fighting what looked like a losing battle against a fire that enveloped most of the Gym by then, three police officers were separately talking to civilians, and a news crew was on the scene, with the reporter speaking into her microphone and looking at the camera, occasionally gesturing at the blazing fire in the distance.
"Well that's not something you see everyday," Ranma frowned. "What the hell happened here?"
"Not much, just an altercation between two experienced spellcasters," Ranko cut in. The two turned and noticed the girl walk up to them. Her school clothes were all torn up, and her body was covered in bruises and other dirt marks. Her brother and best friend immediately ran over to her, concern on their faces.
"Ranko! Are you all right?"
"I'm just peachy," the girl muttered. "What happened to you guys, though? I know you didn't abandon my plan for no reason," She said with a frown.
"They brought out machine guns and robots," Ranma said with a serious look. Ranko's face paled in shock.
"The Ninjas had guns, you mean? And robots?" Both Ranma and Akane nodded. "What the hell…"
"I know, we were confused too," The other two said. "We have no idea where they came from or who sent them, and why they're trying to kill us." Ranma added.
"This is very bad. They'll probably try to make an attack on us later, when we're vulnerable," Ranko said, calming down and focusing a bit. "We need to find out what the hell is going on here. Not to mention Cologne and Shampoo…" She muttered the last part under her breath, and Ranma blinked.
"Shampoo and who?"
"Nothing," Ranko said, waving it away. "Let's go home already. I'm tired, beaten and hungry, and staying here won't solve anything." The other two nodded at that and with one last look at the raging fire behind them, they started the walk home. "Tell me more about what happened on your end…"
That night, Ranko sighed and stared up at the ceiling from her futon.
'This whole thing has been shot to hell. Ninja and Robots attacking out of nowhere, Gosunkugi becoming a magical tank… Then Inuyasha and Kagome appear. Exactly what has happened here?' She shook her head. 'Just waiting for stuff to happen isn't going to work. I'm going to have to beef us all up. Ranma will have his speed training, Ryouga can have the bakusai tenketsu training, then I'll teach both of them the Shishi Hokodan and Ranma the Hiryu Shoten Ha… And I'm going to stop by home to look for that Umisenken Scroll, too. But how am I going to explain it all… No, that can wait. Getting everyone ready for whatever the hell is happening to us comes first. But the Amazon techniques, those I'll really have to think up an excuse for…' Brian's voice rambled on in her mind.
'What about magic?' Lina asked. 'We can teach them that too,'
'Their magic just won't be as effective as mine…yours…ours… whatever.'
'That will come with time, so we can't just skimp on that,'
'What is this about Shishi Hokodan and Hiryu Shoten Ha and what what?' Ranko asked, concernedly. Before, whenever such things were brought up, she would just immediately remember them from the Manga, but now, she had no prior knowledge of the entire Ranma ½ series, or what was to come in the future anymore. When that knowledge had finally set in, she had been left with only a foreboding feeling and the knowledge that many bad, powerful things were to come.
'Advanced Chi Techniques. Hey, You and Akane can probably learn them too, since you're both near Ranma's level,'
"Ranko, are you all right?" Ranko turned her head and looked over at her brother, who was lying on his own futon between hers and Genma's.
"I'm fine, Ranma. Go to sleep." Ranma mumbled something under his breath and the girl returned to her thoughts. 'I'm not near Ranma's level at Martial arts.' She frowned.
'You could hand any normal blackbelt his ass,' Brian snorted. 'Both of you can manifest a battle aura. That's all it takes, I think. And anyone, even a small, untrained child, as long as they have the mental conditioning and ability to dodge, can use the Hiryu Shoten Ha, but it's extremely useful. It uses the foe's own chi against them, so the stronger your opponent is-'
'As interesting as that explanation may be, save it for later,' Lina said. 'I'm hurt, tired, and cranky, damn it, let me sleep already!'
'Fine. In the morning, then.'