Biker 1/2 Cycle 1 - Birth of a Modern Legend.
Book 1 - Opening moves - part 1.
LEGALISTIC SHIT and RANT
Ranma 1/2 is not mine, no no i didn't do it you can't make me say it woz my
THIS FIC WOULD BE 18-RATED IF YOU FILMED IT AND GAVE IT TO THE BBFC!
There's audible off-screen sex (but no more, even Ranma has a right to some privacy when he wants it and I'm no good at writing sex scenes) gratuitous violence, character deaths, drugs, rock 'n roll and insane quantities of swearing. If you can't handle it don't read it.
Ranma 1/2 is property of Rumiko Takahashi and varied companies much bigger than me; I'm just borrowing the characters and world without permission as a way of learning to carry a decent plot. I'll put them back when I've finished with 'em. I promise.
The Amerai, S'Vek, Sidhe, the Wade family, Clan Hakkenan, Rat Diva, Seven Hope and all related concepts are property of Calum John Wallace (me) and Mad Dog Games; all rights reserved and all that. If you want to use 'em in a fic, please A) read Biker 1/2 carefully, it should give you a good idea of what the Amerai are all about, B) ask for my permission and C) include me in the prereaders for your tale.
Finally, at least four characters are gay or bisexual - if you can't handle that then please be so kind as to fuck off. Like the alternate Ryoga of this tale I have little time for homophobes due to certain problems suffered by my (bisexual) elder sister.
Ah, that's the legal bit. Now, if you have read this before you'll probably
be going something along the lines of 'Ere, wot's all this then'
Well, back when I was just starting to write Biker 1/2 I had it planned as a single 'book'. That was until I worked out exactly how long the warm-up plot would be - around 80 ten or so page episodes, something like 300,000 words.
This was overlong to put it mildly.
Then I realised I'd made a couple of really stupid spelling mistakes, missed some more that crept in during rewrites and so forth. Like, D'OH!
To cut a long story short, I decided I'd better split the story into sections. The first obvious division point was the end of the second battle of Nerima, a point where everything's gone to hell, half the cast are dead or just plain gone, half the remainder are suffering from the aftereffects of the battle and so on. A suitably apocalyptic place to stop.
And yes, the name I gave the (now 3 book) warmup section IS a dig at Jim Lazar's 'Childhood/Adulthood of a Modern Dynasty.' Talk about unwieldy name!
Finally, I must thank everyone who's sent me feedback. I haven't received a single piece of negative feedback out of over 100 'fan' emails. Thanks,
people. That kind of a reception sure makes writing this monster less of a slog... Though I suspect I'm going to get screamed at a few times over the last chapter of book 1.
Please note, I'm using "this" to denote things said in Cantonese. I know
it's grammatically downright wrong, but it makes it easier to keep track of
who can understand what. I originally used a different sign ( and ,
horizontal arrows in case it went invisible) but since that's used in HTML code it screws up as soon as it hits a website, including the TASS archive,
meaning you couldn't read any of the Cantonese speech. D'oh. Ah well, at least I know I'm in good company - no less a fanfiction luminary than Greg 'Metroanime' Sharp (please oh please whatever gods happen to be listening,
let me have spelt his name right) made the exact same mistake...
Okay, okay, having made you scroll through that spiel I'll get on with it. I
present the corrected and slightly revised (some tightening up of my
terminology and punctuation, and I've taken the chance to add more quotes)
Book 1 of Biker 1/2.
CHAPTER 1 : In a world gone bad.
"All the ingredients for the events of the latter months of 1998 were in place by mid July; all it took to trigger off the avalanche was the catalyst. This catalyst came in the form of Akane Tendo and Ranma Saotome meeting for the first time. Of course, we mustn't forget the other ingredients that made up the Great Change - but, like a cross-country skier moving over unstable snow, that day was the turning point." - Dr. Kumori Tendo, 'The Domino Effect'
Akane Tendo is pissed off. Again.
Consider her. She presents an odd sight - she looks almost like any other Japanese schoolgirl. Almost but not quite.
There's the cartridge belt she's got over her seifuku for one thing. It's a short length of inert .50 machine gun ammo which she's got looped around her waist. Then there's the thin leather choker she's wearing around her neck.
It's black leather and about half an inch wide.
Her hair - long and black with a slight bluish hint to it - is tied back in a loose ponytail with a black velvet ribbon. She does not have a schoolbag -
instead she has a backpack which looks to be an old US Army one. By the look of it it dates back to the Second World War and is probably worth a fair bit of money And then there's the wraparound mirrorshades she's wearing They completely conceal the upper half of her face, giving the impression of a chrome visor.
And there's the way she's running - instead of the 'in a hurry' run adopted by eternally late schoolchildren everywhere, she's adopted a seemingly unstoppable headlong charge. Head down, legs pumping. Almost as if she's about to fight a battle.
Finally, she has a lit cigarette hanging from her mouth. It's a Lambert &
Butler Kingsize. Her lips are peeled back in a snarl and the cigarette is clenched between her teeth. All in all, she looks like someone who is not at all willing to conform.
Events are a strange thing. Tatewaki Kuno had not noticed this fact.
He shifted his grip on his bokken and narrowed his eyes slightly. Suddenly his alert ears picked up a low snarl.
Motorcycles were fairly popular among the students of Furinkan High, but most of the school bikers rode either 50cc mopeds or 125's, with the Honda CG125 being the most popular. The engines he was hearing were no small-bore bikes - no, this was the howl of full size motorcycles. He glanced at the bicycle shelter. His own bike was parked there; it was a Honda Fireblade and the most powerful machine owned by anyone in the school.
Up till then. Four massive flat black and crude looking machines peeled off from their formation and zoomed into the schoolyard spewing burnout smoke from their tyres. The riders - four girls - skidded their machines to a halt by the bicycle shelter at the opposite end from Kuno's bike. Kuno was suddenly lured from his purpose by his sheer fascination with big motorbikes.
He sheathed his bokken and headed for the bikes, standing back a little to get a better look. All four machines appeared to be supercharged and all four had obviously hand made engines.
Now Kuno did not know much about engines, but he knew enough to know it would take an exceedingly skilled technician to completely hand - build an engine. Even the cylinder blocks were rough enough to look hand machined.
The engines were watercooled - even more clever - and the waterjackets were somewhat scruffy.
What's more, the bikes lacked any maker's name engraved into their crankcases. Or anywhere else. He looked closer and realised with a jolt that these were V8 engines. Really massive traverse - mounted V8 engines. Apart from the biggest and ugliest bike which looked horribly like a V12. And it had what he recognised to be a nitrous oxide cylinder hanging from it's top yoke.
Which was completely and utterly insane. Supercharger + nitrous + V12 barking mad. Kuno shook his head - but not in disgust. In admiration.
One day, he would ride a machine that insane. Only he would wash it.
The rider of the V12 pulled off her helmet. She had an unmistakable air of toughness about her. Kuno recognised her - she was one of the very few people he didn't dare mess with. Her name was Gary Wade and she was a martial arts master. Gary was around six foot six tall, heavily muscled, had a messy crop of brown hair and bright green eyes, one noticeably darker than the other. He nodded to her. "Nice machine. Miss Wade"
Gary snorted. "We've been putting these brutes together since we arrived in Japan. I thought the local bikies would want ta see 'em"
Kuno nodded. "A V12, correct? Supercharged and fitted with nitrous if my eye does not fool me"
Gary nodded. "Yep. Me an' onea Dad's pals built her outta busted up old Gixers an' a few huge hunks of aircraft quality alloy. She's got twelve GSXR1100 piston an' valve sets. Insurance is murderous - she puts out near five hundred brake horse at the rear wheel and she's a complete one off"
Kuno nodded. "Truly a sight for sore eyes, Miss Wade. The learner bikes and mopeds ridden by most pupils of this establishment tire one badly"
Gary snorted again. "Just a little. But somea the kids do righteous stuff to their 125's an' with their 125's - it's not what ya got it's what ya do with it"
Kuno glanced back at the gateway. The realisation that Akane Tendo had slipped by while he and his gang were distracted slowly stole over him.
Akane sat and stared into space. She let out a low sigh of relief - Kuno
and his cronies hadn't started on her today. That made it a good day from
The reason she had been able to slip into the fire exit at the back of the school walked into the classroom - the toughest person in the school. Gary Wade. Today Gary was wearing a leather jacket over her usual ragged T-shirt and jeans. She had a crash helmet tucked under her arm and her Doc Martens were replaced by a pair of heavy motocross boots.
Akane smiled at her. "Hey! Gary! Thanks for distracting Kuno"
Another familiar face now wearing a leather jacket and carrying a crash helmet bounced into the room - Gary's girlfriend Shan. Shan was the shortest of Gary's gang at around five foot three or so and had the most incredible mop of purple hair. Akane frowned slightly. She had never plucked up the courage to ask why Shan always referred to Gary as male.
No time like the present. She started to ask then bit her tongue and stopped.
Gary sat down - or rather sprawled down - in her seat and started loudly discussing motorbikes with another of her little gang - Janine. Janine could only be described as a beanpole. She was very slender and six foot eight tall making her look too thin for her body weight, but she managed to be stunningly beautiful despite it. Good looking enough that Akane had tried to chat her up once - and only once. Janine had simply smiled, shook her head and said 'sorry I'm straight'
Akane sighed. She still fancied the thin Scotswoman. That was the other thing about Gary's gang that made them stand out - they were all foreign.
Three of them Scottish and the fourth - Shan - Chinese. The final member of Gary's gang chose that moment to make her entrance.
Angel had her usual superior expression on her face. She was slightly shorter than Gary and as thin as a rake. She was a blue - eyed blonde to boot. Despite all the claptrap about 'dumb blondes' Angel appeared to be the female equivalent of Einstein - she always seemed to know what was going to happen before it happened. And she always looked bored and like she was trying not to laugh at you. Angel was downright scary.
Akane sighed. Gary (who's seat was on Akane's left) glanced at her.
"Whatcha sighing for, Goth babe"
Akane paused. "Actually, I was trying to work out what it is with you four.
Shan, if you don't mind me asking, why the hell do you... oh, never mind"
Shan sighed. "I is think I get it. You want for to know why I call Gary 'he', no"
Akane paused then nodded. Angel snorted.
Gary sighed. "Can you keep a secret, Akane"
"Can you keep a secret really, really well"
Akane nodded. "I don't bum out on people"
Gary leant over and whispered directly into Akane's ear. "I'm androgynous in a really fucked up way... I'll explain at lunch - Matsui's here"
Sure enough the pudgy teacher was just walking into the room. The little man was as well turned out as ever.
Despite his 'fat twit' looks, Mr. Matsui was the most inspiring teacher Akane had ever met. The short, fat, sleepy - headed looking man had a sheer intensity of teaching style and outright belief in education that could get through to all but the most bull headed of pupils.
As Matsui began the roll-call, Akane stared into space until he called out her name.
The morning passed peacefully enough. Akane could never work out how Gary
and her gang managed to pay so little attention yet get such high grades.
The four were top of the class despite whispering about things like motorbikes and martial arts to each other all day.
But it was now lunch break. Akane shook her head slightly as she walked outside.
A hand tapped her shoulder. She spun round, automatically going to a defensive stance. Instead of the Kuno-or-crony she had expected she found Gary grinning at her.
"You ready to have your mind blown, Akane"
"I'm not sure"
"Well, let's head round the back and I'll show you what I'm talking about"
Akane nodded. "Okay"
Angel sighed. "She won't be able to handle this"
"Shut yer trap, Angel"
Akane sighed and followed the four girls round the back of the gym. Once there Gary leant idly against a wall.
"I've heard a lotta stuff about your family, Akane. Particularly your sisters... Seems that yer eldest sister has damn near killed almost everyone in town with her car and yer other elder sister will sell anything. Am I right"
"That's not very polite... but it's true"
"Well, make damn sure Nabiki Tendo don't get hold o' this one. You know how I said I'm androgynous? Well, that's not exactly true - but it's close. I'm actually able to change sex at will. Don't ask me how because I don't know.
And be warned - I'm about to demonstrate"
Gary twisted slightly and sprouted a beard. Akane stared. And stared. And stared. Gary's chest had also gone flat. She - now he - shrugged.
"You see what I mean?" The voice was unmistakably male. He twisted and became female again. "Just say I prefer wearing the female form - when I'm not having sex. That's why Shan refers to me as male - we're married. Shan's not my girlfriend." Gary held up her hand. Akane had spotted the plain gold ring before but never twigged the connection.
Shan raised the same hand, revealing a matching ring.
"Yeah - we're 'husband' and wife, me an' Shan"
Akane leant against a wall and fished out a cigarette. "Seriously"
"I wouldn't bullshit anyone about that. Look, I know you're gay. So I trust you not to go blabbing this to anyone and everyone"
Akane nodded. "I won't. I'm not gonna go setting Mister Bummerclassman Kuno the Kendo Fuckwit on anybody else"
Angel snorted. "I suspect Kuno'll be the least of your problems before long.
Never heard the saying about weirdness accumulating, have you"
"Oh, come on. This is Nerima - Weirdo Central - and I've lived here all my life"
Gary snorted. 'You only seen the tip o' the iceberg, Akane."
Akane clung to the car seat. Her eldest sister - Kasumi - was known as
'nicest girl in the area', 'most likely to make some incredibly lucky
bastard a wonderful wife' and 'most likely to completely splat herself and
several innocent bystanders if she keeps driving that supercharged V8 with
seats the way she does.
Everyone liked Kasumi. Except when she was driving.
She lived a two mode existence. Most of the time she appeared blase and unflappable, doing the housework and generally acting mother to all the Tendo family. But then she got in her Corvette hotrod and the plain dress and apron was replaced by a large brown trenchcoat and mirrorshades. And the self - propelled road hazard rode again.
In truth Kasumi was an excellent driver. That was why she had never killed anybody. She took 'shortcuts' - in other words did things like 180 miles per hour in a 30 zone. Or doing jumps over railway cuttings. Or driving through the park at 70. On the grass, of course. Kasumi drove like a raging loony and got away with it because she drove like an extremely skilful raging loony.
The only reason she still had a driving license was because she had never got around to registering her car. She kept a set of bolt cutters in the boot to remove wheelclamps. In fact, she stuck a wheelclamp on each end herself so the cops couldn't tow the car away. And when it was at home she parked in the garage - or rather, her car tuning den. She spent all her spare time doing insane and noisy things to her car's engine.
Akane sighed slightly. Gary though her life wasn't weird? It was obvious that said hermaphrodite had never seen Kasumi's car in action.
Kasumi finally reversed into the garage. Akane and Nabiki rather gratefully climbed out. All three Tendo girl's were wondering exactly why their father had asked Kasumi to pick her sisters up from school - they normally rejected the offer of lifts so as to avoid 4G takeoffs. Having your weight multiplied by four straight backwards was not fun, but Kasumi was under the impression it was.
They walked into the house and were immediately hit by the sound of their father's favourite music (when he was in one of his hyper moods) - Fatboy Slim's best set was bellowing out of Kasumi's prized rave speakers. The house was very thoroughly soundproofed due to Kasumi's taste in music (industrial metal) so they couldn't hear it until the door was open. Kasumi rolled her eyes and swayed gently through to the kitchen, but Akane beat her to the volume control.
Soun Tendo was dancing around like a maniac in the living room. He saw the three girls walk in and immediately stopped. He tried to school his face to a serious expression, but couldn't suppress the grin. He bounced through to the kitchen (which the garage opened onto) and started jabbering.
"Genma phoned this is so cool I've been waiting for ages for this they should be here any minute now and"
Kasumi butted in. "Like, how about starting at the like start, man. That way we might kinda like get it, man. Dig"
Soun paused and carefully worked out exactly what she meant. Spaced out described Kasumi very accurately. "Well-um-er-that is... Yes. An old friend of mine named Genma Saotome - well, more a kindred spirit - phoned earlier"
Akane walked in from changing out of her school uniform and heard something ominous in the middle of her father's careful drone. "...Fiancee"
"Run that past me again, dad"
Soun sighed. "Ho hum. My oldest bestest mate Genma Saotome is bringing his son Ranma here - they have been on a voyage of training, recently in China.
At any rate, myself and Genma agreed fifteen years ago to unite our family lines... Which means that one of you three girls will marry young Ranma"
Akane gritted her teeth. "Dad, you can count me out. You know about my sexuality as well as I do, damnit"
Soun sighed heavily. "Akane, give Ranma a chance. Nabiki, I will not permit you to profiteer from him! He will be an honoured guest! Genma intends to reopen his motorcycle customisation business here in Nerima and I have offered him some of our land to do so. He has enough capital stashed away from selling his old business in Juuban to get SCC up and running again -
apart from the land. As the bottom of the garden is a complete wilderness.
a decent building is sure to be an improvement. And he is one of the best motorcycle customisers in Japan. What's more he tells me his son is even better. So they will be fully able to pay their own way without you blackmailing them. While I do appreciate you coordination of our accounts"
Nabiki sighed and nodded. "I get it. You don't want to piss you pal off,
"Not exactly. Genma is my best friend - I haven't seen him in years - and -
well. Funny - they must be taking it easy - they got off the ferry two hours ago and it's only four hundred miles.
Akane (who had taken no more notice after she told her father exactly where she stood) suddenly jerked her attention back. "What? How are they going to make four hundred miles in under two hours"
"Motorbikes... Some of the most powerful motorbikes in Japan"
Kasumi frowned. "Like, black ones? One with a Dodge V8 motor, right"
"Huh? How do you know"
"It's just there's like two bikes just kinda pulled up outside. Only one's being ridden by a - oh, well"
Soun had already charged out the door.
Ranma yanked off her helmet and hung it on her handlebars, She tugged her
damp leather jacket open and fished out a cigarette.
"Bloody cars. Bloody weather. Bloody pigs. Bloody curse. Fancy some hot water, old man"
The panda seated on the other motorbike grunted and put the bike out of gear. It switched off and clumsily fished out then lit a cigarette.
A tall man with longish black hair and a moustache burst out of the front door of the large house. "GEN- What the fuck"
Ranma looked up at him. "You're Soun Tendo, right"
"Yes. And you are"
"I'm Ranma... Ranma Saotome"
Soun stared. The way Ranma's damp black T-shirt was clinging to her made the truth painfully obvious. Nabiki and Kasumi had followed him out.
Nabiki leant over and poked Ranma's left breast. "It seems that 'he' is female"
Ranma's hand whipped out and smashed Nabiki's away. "Keep yer fuckin' hand's to yer fuckin' self"
Soun went from bounce to droop. He turned and walked slowly inside.
Ranma glared at the panda. "And another fuckin' wonderful ballsup ya got me in, old man. Hey ho, time for the hot water and a nice, detailed explanation, huh"
The panda grunted and fished a can of chain lube out of it's bike's saddlebag. It started cheerfully lubricating it's motorbike's chain.
"For fuck sake, yank the radiator refill cap off ya dipshit! Or I'm gonna do it"
The panda shook it's head and put it's paw over the radiator refill cap.
Ranma gritted her teeth. "You fuckin' asked for it, old man"
She yanked the refill cap off her own bike's radiator and sloshed some water out of it into a battered tin mug and advanced menacingly on the panda.
The panda made a warding off gesture.
In the porch, Soun heard "Growf-"SPLASH"-idiotic boy"
He immediately recognised the voice. "GENMAA"
Akane stuck her head out the door to see what was going on. What she saw was her father dragging a fat bald bearded biker into the house by the ear while a red - haired and obviously female figure sat and laughed on the motorbike which the panda had not been riding.
The panda was nowhere to be seen. The fat guy was holding a spray can.
Hadn't the panda been holding a spray can?
Akane Tendo smelt a rat. She waited until her father and Nabiki had gone inside then looked thoughtfully at the girl.
"Are you Ranma"
The girl nodded. "Yeah, the one an' fuckin' only"
"Look, I think I've got some idea what's going on. Come on over the training hall - I don't want my sister hearing this"
Ranma snorted. "Intrigue an' shit is it? Yeah all bloody right - I doubt what you're thinkin' is the fuckin' fact o' it"
She followed Akane to the Tendo's training hall. Once there Akane leant against the wall beside the door. Ranma carefully looked her up and down.
Short and stocky. Dressed in a black trenchcoat, leather trousers, Sisters of Mercy T-shirt, cartridge belt, slim leather choker and hiking boots.
"You're a Goth, right"
"And let me guess - you're actually a guy. Having 'When in doubt suck my cock' written on your motorbike is a hint"
Ranma stared at her. "How the fuck did you guess"
"There's someone I know from school who's a bit like that. He - she - it -
can change sex at will. I've seen it and it's real"
"I wish it wuz that fuckin' easy. Damn right I do. Naw, I change to female whenever I get hit by cold water an' hot water changes me back. At least I bloody stay human - Dad changes into a fuckin' panda"
Akane frowned. "How"
"A soddin' stupid Chinese curse I picked up a couple o' weeks ago. Before that I wuz a guy full time"
Akane nodded again. "Look, do you want to be friends? I could do with some proper friends"
Ranma nodded slowly. "You think you're the only one? I ain't gotten any friends. Well, apart from my brother. An' he fucks off whenever he feels like it - I only see him a couple o' times a month"
Akane nodded again. "But you actually do stuff with him"
"Yeah - we're bike buddies, right? We watch out fer each other. Damn, it's so fuckin' typical it wuz me who got this fuckin' curse an' not the guy who's gonna fuckin' like it"
"My bro's gay an' he's been mutterin' about a sex change"
Akane snorted. "Your brother's gay'
"Yeah - what of it"
"Oh good - you're defending him"
"What the fuck's that supposed ta mean"
"I'm a lesbian... and I get a lot of trouble with homophobes"
Ranma paused. "Ah. Fair enough"
"Come on - let's head inside and tell Dad the facts before he has a hernia"
Ranma nodded morosely. "Yeah - suppose we better... But first I'm gonna fuckin' change back so he fuckin' believes me"
They walked back to the bikes. Ranma tugged the radiator refill cap off her father's bike and blew down the hole thus splashing herself. He straightened up, unfolding to an impressively large young man around five foot ten tall,
broad shouldered and black haired.
Akane stared for a few moments. The change was much more noticeable than with Gary - Ranma gained around six inches height and almost doubled in bulk. Which explained the baggy leathers.
He grabbed the bottle of water from down the front of his father's bike's seat then glanced at Akane. "Right. Let's get inside." He slipped on a pair of sunglasses and lit up a smoke. Akane nodded and slid on her wraparound mirrorshades. She too lit up a smoke.
Both felt much more comfortable in the company of someone equally at odds with so - called 'normality.
As they entered the porch they heard Soun yelling "...Fucking liar"
Ranma stiffened. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists then banged the door open very hard indeed. "Oy, Tendo! Just you stop an' fuckin' think"
Sun looked round and found himself looking at a tall and heavily built young biker wearing an extremely pissed off expression. "Huh"
"The name's Ranma Saotome - punk. And have I gotten news fer you"
"Start thinkin'. One, who's gonna let a PANDA ride a motorbike on th' road?
Two, what th' fuck wuz it doin' with yer old pal Genma's V8 ratbike? Three,
what the hell kinda girl's gonna have 'when in doubt suck my cock' written on her fuel tank? C'mon, think about it. Where did the panda go"
Soun paused. "What"
"Ho hum, looks like we're gonna have ta spell it out." Ranma sloshed the bottle of water over his father.
Kasumi, Nabiki, Akane and Soun stared at the panda Genma had just become.
"What in the fuck?!?!" "Wow, man!" "What the?" "Freaky"
Ranma nodded. "All o' that. When Dad get's splashed with cold water he turns into a panda. Hot water turns him back - dunno what temperature but tick his V8 over fer five minutes an' the water in th' header tank'll be hot enuf ta turn him back. I turn into a girl the same way an' change back the same way.
Turn yer brains on! Somebody get th' walkin' carpet some hot water before he pisses himself"
Kasumi stood up and hurried through to the kitchen. She ran the tap for a few moments then came back with a glassful of water.
"Thanks. Just chuck it over the asshole"
The panda nodded. Kasumi poured the water on it's head.
"Wow, man! Groovy"
Ranma snorted. "It ain't so groovy when it's your body that's warped into somethin' fuckin' else"
Genma rolled his eyes. 'You said it. Aye, you said it"
"Cut the crap, old man. How about you tell this crew the whole shitty deal since it's your fuckin' fault"
Genma sighed and nodded. "Very well. Myself and Ranma spent the last few months cruising around China. At any rate, I purchased an old map outta a junkshop in Shanghai... it listed seven training grounds. We decided to"
Ranma kicked him. "I thought you decided"
"- Ahem. I decided we would visit them all in turns... we worked our way round, so to speak. It was at the third one it happened. I don't suppose any of you have ever heard of Jusenkyo"
Soun scratched his head. "I vaguely remember something... but the details escape me. My memory can be a bit sketchy"
"At any rate, I'd eaten one too many cans of baked beans the day before and had a bad case of gas pains - I started farting"
"Bullshit, old man. I'd gotten to the point o' better than him about a year ago an' I tanned his sorry hide. It's onea yer average balance training setups- ya know the deal. Bamboo poles set up in pools, added bonus of a fucked up curse if ya take the plunge. Any rate, I gave this twit a damn good kick an' he landed face first in th' drink. An' a panda come out. A fuckin' PANDA. Still wearin' dad's glasses"
"Ahem. I noticed I felt a bit heavier as soon as I hit the water, but I discounted it as my gi being soggy. But when I jumped back out Ranma completely freaked and I gave him a damn good shove before I figured what was going on..." Genma stopped talking and started spluttering.
"A fuckin' PANDA! The dickhead shunted me into another spring - sperloosh!
Well, guess what. My gi felt too fuckin' big an' tight round the chest an' I was like what the fuck have I turned into then I realised I had tits"
Soun swore. "Bloody hell! Now I remember - Jusenkyo! The Training Ground of Cursed Springs! Shit"
Genma nodded. "The fucking same. The one and fucking only. The fucking place I fucking wish the fucking People's fucking Army of fucking China would fucking bomb to fucking oblivion"
Ranma snorted. "Shut yer cake - hole, dirtbag. So are you crew gonna go through with this arranged marriage deal or are you gonna yell 'freak' an'
kick us out"
Soun spluttered for a moment. 'Ah-well-um-that is... You remain a fully operational man when this curse is not activated"
"Yeah, everything works. That goes for both forms far as I can work out. You got any fuckin' idea how much o' a fright it gave me first time I had a period in female form? I nearly shat it"
Soun spluttered again. "Ah-well-um-that is"
Kasumi rolled her eyes. "This is kinda freaking me out, man"
Ranma glared at her. "Well thanks a shitload. This freaked me completely out a couple o' weeks back"
There was a short pause which Ranma broke. "Look, I gotta thought, right? I don't know yer daughters an' they don't know me, right? How about we generally leave decidin' anything fer a couple o' weeks then see what's th'
Soun and Genma looked at each other and shrugged. 'Sounds sensible." they chorused.
"Right. We'll worry about that shit in a couple o' weeks. But right now I gotta go do some motorcycle maintenance. Lube me chain, y'know"
Soun nodded. "Yeah... Genma, fancy a drink"
Genma nodded. "I'm dryer than a nun's- ...Yes please"
Ranma snorted and trudged outside. He fished around in the old Chinese army pack that served as a saddlebag on his bike then fished out a tool roll, a half dozen lumps of metal and a spray can.
Akane had followed him out. She watched as he sprayed the contents of the can on the motorbike's drive chain.
The label on the can read 'High Performance Formula for Final Drive Systems'
"Chain lube" Ranma explained. "This stuff may look like snot but it stops the drive chain killin' itself - especially the way I tuned this thing.
Which reminds me-" he spun the back wheel half a turn with his hand - "I gotta make up a new piston - conrod - crank set. This ones'll be about dead by now"
"Huh? I thought engine bits should last as long as the whole bike"
"Not the way I tuned this thing. It does somewhere over 220 miles per hour.
I've broken 200 wheelieing"
Akane whistled. "That's crazy"
"So am I. A bike's only as mad as the guy who builds it. An' if a bike's completely mental just think what the builder is. I started with a Suzuki GSXR1100 an' gasflowed th' heads, supercharged it, fucked with th' gearbox,
changed th' final drive setup, added nitrous for a laugh, kept tunin' it then it started holein' stock pistons every three days. So I whacked in a set o' home made ones. They last about a week - the state of tune she's in the stockers'd burn out within twenty minutes. Yeah, it takes a fair bit o'
work to keep runnin'. Yeah it's barkin' mad. But damn, is it worth it!" He paused then bit his lip. "I stalled our dad's long as I thought I'd get away with - but it ain't gonna last forever. They're both pretty fired up... I'll fuck off if you an yer sisters want me to - that'll mean a lot less trouble fer ya. I got a stack o' shit followin' me"
Akane shook her head. "Ranma, you're a friend. I don't want you to go away'
They stood in an uncomfortable silence for a few minutes then Ranma grabbed his tool roll and the lumps of rough metal and headed inside. Akane followed him.
She could tell he had to be extremely good just by watching. Despite the tight leathers and heavy boots his gait almost said 'martial artist' out loud.
Genma looked up as they walked in. "Ranma! Myself and Tendo decided you must start attending school. We had things set up ready so - hey, where are you going"
"Lookin' fer a dustsheet so I don't get alloy filings everywhere. So you're shovin' me off ta school, huh? Well don't think you're gonna get me in no fuckin' uniform"
Genma glanced at Soun as Ranma vanished through to the kitchen. "He took that rather better than I expected..."
The next morning Ranma was up before dawn. He had a quick smoke then decided
to go for an early morning blat. He fished his keys out of the secret
pocket, put on his leathers, got his crash helmet and headed for his bike.
He climbed onto the machine and snapped the headlamps on. They flooded the street with their yellowish light. The bike had eight halogen floodlamps fitted - thus it's oversize alternator. He snapped the kill switch to run and thumbed the starter. The engine spluttered twice then started.
Akane jerked awake as the deafening roar echoed up from the driveway. She
shook her head, thinking the noise was part of a dream. But it didn't go
away. Suddenly she realised it was coming from outside.
She shoved her curtains aside and looked outside. The houses on the far side of the street were awash with a bright yellowish light. The light and noise were coming from the driveway.
Akane looked down at the exact moment Ranma shifted into first gear and started doing a burnout. The green glow of the clocks, the dull red glow from the taillight and the blaze of the headlamps stared back at Akane as she stared at Ranma. Smoke drifted up around him from the back tyre as he revved the bike up.
Then he began to ease off the front brake. The bike surged forwards, did a powerslide out of the driveway and vanished leaving just the fading howl from it's exhausts and a single black line of rubber on the tarmac.
He was back about twenty minutes later. He shot past with a police car hard behind him. Akane heard the dull thud of an explosion off down the street then Ranma came back, turned into the driveway and parked his bike. He idly fished his bike's numberplate out of his pocket and reattached it.
Akane watched Ranma out of the corner of her eye all through breakfast. He
ate slowly, appearing to savour each mouthful. He also ate a large amount -
she could hardly believe the quantity of food he managed to fit between his chopsticks at the same time.
Once he had finished stuffing his face he vanished upstairs and came back down wearing the Chinese army pack and his leathers. He glanced at her and Nabiki.
"Either of you guys wanna lift? I only gotten room for one and I ride fuckin' fast"
Akane nodded. "Yes please"
"Dad - gissaloan o' yer lid, huh"
Genma shook his head. "Use the spare lid - it's on top of my pack"
Ranma nodded and vanished upstairs again. He reappeared carrying said crash helmet in one hand and his own helmet in the other.
He handed the spare to Akane. "You need this"
Akane nodded and followed him out to his bike. He spent a bit of time fiddling with it then nodded at Akane.
"Always stick the lid on before I fire the engine, right? This bike's LOUD"
Akane nodded, remembering the way the roar had cut through the double glazing in her bedroom window. She put the helmet on. Ranma spent a few moments adjusting it to fit her chin then swung onto the bike.
"Hold on tight." he instructed. Akane paused then wrapped her arms around him.
Ranma shot her a 'thumbs up' then fired the engine. The bass roar hit Akane like a wall of sound, blasting through her body and making her go wide -
eyed. Ranma paused then unfastened what looked like an old belt that was wrapped around the fuel tank. He passed it around both of them and buckled it into place, trapping Akane's arms in the process. He clamped his hands on the handlebars, pulled in the clutch, flipped into first then gunned the engine. No burnout this time - instead he simply rocketed straight forwards.
Akane felt a jolt then the bike seemed to be going straight upwards.
She glanced sideways and immediately wished she hadn't. The bike was going straight upwards - up the side of the house next door. It lifted into the air for a moment then slammed down on the roof on it's back wheel.
Ranma pulled up near the peak of the roof and glanced around. From up here the school was clearly visible. He swung the bike's handlebars over and thundered off down the row of houses that formed the street the Tendo's house lied on, neatly jumping each gap.
Kuno was waiting as per usual. He shifted his weight onto his other foot and
glanced up and down the street.
Gary and company were long since there. They were talking about bikes over near the bicycle shelter.
A bellow grew off down the street. Another extremely powerful motorcycle.
Only this one was coming from an odd angle.
Kuno peered down the street. So he got a clear look when the machine flew off a roof at the far end of the street, slammed down on the blacktop and rocketed towards the school in a massive rolling burnout. The rider braked hard and slid the machine into the schoolyard, ending up with the bike stood beside Gary's facing back the way it came.
Kuno recognised the girl on the back of the bike before it had even stopped moving. The cartridge belt and US Army pack were unmistakable. It was Akane Tendo - and she was fastened to the biker by a very long belt.
Kuno watched calmly as the biker switched off, unfastened the belt that was keeping Akane with him (or her) then pulled off his skidlid. Definitely male. Loose ponytail, unshaven.
Akane removed her crash helmet and glanced around.
"Oh great - Kuno's here already"
"That fuckhead." She pointed at Kuno.
He sauntered over and frowned at Ranma.
"I suspect you do not know what Akane Tendo is, sir"
"Fuck off, pal. I neither know nor care"
Akane swung off the bike and clenched her fists. "Get outta my face, Kuno"
Kuno ignored her. He continued staring straight at Ranma.
"Akane Tendo is a bitch dyke pervert."
Finito - da - Parta Wun.
Chapter 2 - Unleashed "The first gas turbine engined SCC machine? Easy, a bike built well before Dad reopened the business in Nerima. It's basically a Rolls-Royce Allison helicopter engine with a wheel bolted to each end; there's none of the sophisticated electronics we fit to the production machines. That's because it was a deranged idea caused by finding a half scrapped Bell Jetranger in a junkyard, I forget where." - Ranma Saotome, propertier of SCC.
Ryoga Hibiki sat and listened to the whine from the gas turbine as his bike
rocketed down the interstate, lit only by his machine's single headlamp, the
green glow from the clocks and the blaze of pulsing blue light from behind
He glanced over his shoulder. The three cop cars were closing on him. After all, his bike lacked a numberplate. A helicopter had joined in the chase.
He glanced at the speedo. Why the fuck was he only doing the ton twenty? He gassed the engine and jammed his thumb on the big red button. There was a dull thud from behind him and the bike lunged forwards, ramming the backrest into his arse as the afterburners cut in, thrusting rider and machine forwards at wildly increasing speed. The road clung to the side of the mountain, on one side was a cliff upwards and on the other a sheer eight hundred foot drop.
The cop in the lead car picked up his radio. "No good, we've lost him. Is the road block ready"
"Roger. Let's see this maniac get past us!"
Ranma slowly set down his crash helmet and slid on his shades.
"If," he drawled, "Ya ever say anything like that about anyone again I'll rip off yer head and shit down yer neck. Got it"
Kuno snorted. "What exactly makes you think you can defeat me"
"Shut yer face. Akane, put yer fingers in yer ears." Ranma flipped his bike's kill switch to run and thumbed the starter. The engine let out a meaty grunt and started. Ranma pulled in the clutch, locked the front brake,
short - shifted to sixth and began to ease out the clutch. As soon as the back wheel began to spin he hit the nitrous trigger.
The sonic bombardment from the exhausts went beyond loud. Every window in the school blew out. And Kuno fell flat on his back.
Ranma let go of the nitrous and pulled in the clutch. He nudged the back brake and the wheel stopped spinning. He switched to neutral and shrugged.
"Next time he tries that I roadkill him"
Akane glared at him. 'You didn't need to help - I can take"
Ranma shrugged. "Maybe not - but I wanted to so I did"
Gary calmly walked over to Kuno and picked him up by the back of his shirt then hooked his collar onto the bicycle shelter guttering.
"I dannae reckon anyone else's strong enuf ta get him down, huh? Let him stay there till lunch"
Ranma laughed quietly. "Yeah - let him stay there. So - who are you"
"Gary Wade. And you do be"
"Ranma... Ranma Saotome. Top notch martial artist an' the best fuckin' biker on the planet"
Akane glanced from one of them to the other. "Hey - Gary - can I have a word with you"
Gary nodded. "Yup. I'm needin' a piss so come along, right"
Akane nodded and followed the big Scot androgyn to the toilet block. Gary vanished into a cubicle and started doing a massive and noisy widdle.
"Gary... Can I tell Ranma about you? He's got something similar and he may hide it but he's really depressed about it. I just want him to know he's not the only one"
Akane made sure nobody else was in the toilets. "Whenever Ranma get's wet he changes sex - it's this curse he"
"Picked up in China? Jusenkyo, right? I've come across it before. Say no more - you can tell Ranma about me. I like the guy already and he's no homophobe"
Akane sighed. "Yeah. Thanks."
Ranma looked up from where he was now talking bikes with Janine as Akane and
Gary walked out of the toilet block.
"Hey, Akane! A-OK"
Akane nodded. Gary looked at Ranma's bike. "GSXR1100, right? Blower,
nitrous. Nice machine - I like the stereo"
Ranma chuckled. "You ride this V12 thing, right"
"Yeah. It's gotten twelve Gixer 1100 pistons - around 3.3 litre capacity all in all. We hand - made the block and crankcase"
"Yeah? You could get better horsepower usin' hand - made piston-conrod-crank sets. That's what I use an' she puts out around four hundred brake horse at the crank"
"I'm already getting clear of five hundred... I don't really need more"
"Aw, c'mon - you don't tune up an engine because you need to. You tune it because you can"
Gary nodded. "Yeah, but she's a bitch to control. Wheelies off the throttle in every gear in the box even with the length o' swingarm I've fitted. Much more powerful and she'd be unridable - you couldn't launch without flippin'
her. I normally pull away in third as it is"
Ranma chuckled. "Wicked! I gotta go talk to the top fuckers round here -
catch ya later"
Gary nodded again. "Stay cool, man"
She waited until Ranma was gone then turned to Akane. "When'd you meet him"
"Yesterday after I got home from school"
"Waddya think about the guy, huh"
"Him? He's a lot different to the guys we get around here... he's a lot nicer. In a hairy, foul-mouthed way"
Gary laughed quietly. "Yeah - in a hairy foulmouthed way he's alright. Hey,
ya gotta stick up for anyone who sticks up for ya"
Akane nodded. "Suppose so."
Matsui looked thoughtfully at his latest pupil. Beefy five foot ten leather
- clad biker. Nicotine stains on fingers. Name: Ranma Saotome.
Wild Horse, huh? The boy certainly looked wild.
"Ranma, would you like to introduce yourself to the class"
Ranma nodded. "Sure thing, teach. Hello there, I'm Ranma Saotome. I'm a twelfth dan black belt in karate and the best fuckin' biker on the planet.
I'm lookin' forwards to this"
He bowed politely. "Right, where do I park me butt"
Matsui coughed politely. "Ahem. Please sit in the spare seat to Akane Tendo's right, Ranma"
"Sure thing, teach." He swaggered over to said seat. Matsui nodded slightly - here was a young man with an attitude that needed to be watched.
He was in for a pleasant surprise. Ranma paid diligent attention and truly strived to achieve. The boy had an almost visible need for knowledge.
Lunch time came and Ranma swaggered outside with Akane and Gary's gang. They found Kuno's shirt hanging from the bicycle shelter gutter.
Ranma rolled his eyes. "So the freak gotten away"
"Indeed I have." came a voice from behind them. Turning round they found the whole Kendo club glaring at them.
Gary snorted and flexed her wrist slightly. A stubby knife on the end of a length of chain snapped out of her armband.
"You people can fuck off. I don't wanna have ta kill anyone"
The kendoists made no move to leave. Ranma pulled a length of rusty chain out of his pocket.
"Looks like we might have ta do this the hard way... Hard for you dicks that is"
Kuno sighed. "If your wish is for a fight I am prepared to face you"
Ranma spat. "Cut the shit, bubba. Yer the one who started this - back down or I'm gonna finish this. Ya understand me"
Kuno drew his bokken. "Men - kill."
Matsui heard a massive fight breaking out. Weird - a fight at lunchtime? He
looked out the window.
His new pupil Ranma, armed with a length of chain, was fighting with Tatewaki Kuno. And winning.
Around the two a huge brawl had broken out. He recognised five more of his pupils - Akane Tendo, Gary Wade, Shan, Janine Crawford and Angel Grey. They were up against the entirety of the school's kendo club - around thirty people. And they appeared to be winning.
Akane ducked a bokken strike and kicked the Kendoist in the balls. The boy
doubled up and she kicked him in the head a couple of times, leaving him
writhing in agony on the floor.
Another kendoist leapt at her. Again she avoided his attack and slid through his defence, slamming him into a wall hard enough to dent it.
As she was doing so another bokken flashed out. She felt a stinging pain from her breast and became increasingly angry. Kuno flew backwards between her and her attacker, smashing head - first through the reinforced concrete wall behind.
She stared at the boy. He was sniggering through his kendo mask.
She reached inside her coat and whipped out a short length of steel pipe. It was her number one emergency weapon.
She deflected his second bokken blow with it. The front of her blouse felt damp.
He attempted to attack again and she smashed the bokken out of his hand then grabbed his mask and ripped it off. Two kicks in his groin and he was curled up on the floor. She hit him in the face a few times then kicked him in the head twice.
As she drew her hand back to thump him again Ranma grabbed her wrist.
"I think he's had enough - what the fuck? You're bleedin"
Akane glanced down. Her left tit was hanging out of a rent in her blouse.
Blood was dripping from a long slash on her breast.
Ranma swore violently. "That stinkin' motherfucker craphead bastard!" He yanked off his leather jacket and handed it to her. "Here, wear this. Won't be the first bloodstain on it. We gotta get you to the doc's - that cut is nasty. Are you gonna be alright"
Akane nodded. "Get me to Doctor Tofu's, Ranma"
He nodded. "Gary, you know where this Doc Tofu works"
"I'll lead you there."
Tanaka was bored. And a bored traffic cop means trouble for any biker in the
area. When two machines shot out of a sidestreet and blasted away at well
over the speed limit he stopped feeling bored. Especially since neither
person on the rear bike was wearing a crash helmet.
He snapped on his car's siren and went after the bikes. Much to his disgust the bikers stayed well in front of him despite his best attempts to overtake and force them to pull up.
Then both machines suddenly skidded to a halt on the pavement. Tanaka skidded to a halt beside them.
"You three are"
The dark haired and helmetless boy cut him off. "Shut yer cake-hole, pig.
Akane's just been slashed - why do you think we pulled up by the doctors?
Gary, make sure this stupid little shit don't mess with my bike"
He helped Akane off the bike. She was very pale and shaking.
"The inside of your jacket feels wet, Ranma"
Ranma looked at her. A bloody mark was appearing beneath the waistline of the jacket. Tanaka stared. The girl's abdomen appeared to be bleeding heavily.
Ranma carried Akane inside. As he stepped through the door her foot knocked against a vase of flowers.
There was a huge splash and Ranma, now female, exploded.
"Aw for fuck sake! This is all I fuckin' need! Fuckin' goddamn stupid fuckin' curse! I'm gonna rip that fat shit's guts outta his arse"
Dr. Tofu looked round and immediately sensed something was wrong.
"Akane? What's happened"
"She's been fuckin' slashed by some fuckin' Kendo shithead, that's what!
She's bleedin' all over the fuckin' place"
Dr. Tofu nodded. "Come through to the surgery, girls"
Ranma had to bite her tongue to avoid swearing at the doctor.
Tanaka frowned at Gary.
"Look, ma'am. What you were doing was highly illegal - but this car has no camera and I'm not going to tell the sergeant. Give the young lady my best wishes"
He wound up the car's window and drove away. Gary locked the two bikes, took the key's out of Ranma's ignition and walked inside the clinic.
She looked around the waiting room then stepped through the door marked 'SURGERY'. As she had guessed, Ranma (now female) and Akane (now being stitched up by a thirtysomething man, presumably the doctor) were in there.
"Are you gonna be alright, Akane"
The doctor answered for her. "She'll be fine... she's lost a bit of blood but not as much as I feared"
Akane winced. "OW fuck"
"Sorry - hasn't the anaesthetic taken full effect"
"Dunno but it hurt when you did whatever you did"
Tofu nodded slightly. "Sorry"
Gary leant over to Ranma. "Hey - you left these in yer bike." She handed Ranma the keys.
"Fuckin' hell! Thanks"
"I locked it to mine. I'm just gonna phone Shan an' get her to bring yer lids here, right? You left them under yer desk, didn't you"
Ranma nodded. "Um - just one thing - "
"Yeah? What's that"
"How the fuck did you recognise me while I'm in curse form"
"Akane told me about your curse and you couldn't be anywhere else, so"
"So now you think I'm some kind of freak, right"
"Don't talk bullshit, Ranma. I'm androgynous in a really fucked up way, so I can accept a little bit of magic fuckup no bother. I'll go get you some hot water"
Ranma nodded dumbly. Doctor Tofu stared from one of them to the other.
"If you don't mind me asking, what the hells are you talking about"
Gary snorted. "I'll get Ranma some hot water and we'll demonstrate"
Ranma sighed. 'I'd better come with ya - I need a smoke. Did ya get rid o'
"No problem - he drove off after he saw the blood on Akane's blouse. Said he's not gonna grass us and he hopes she's okay"
They walked out of the room. Dr. Tofu frowned at Akane.
"You've had some strange girlfriends in your time, Akane. But that redhead is the weirdest"
"Ranma's not my..." Akane stopped.
"But you are in love with her. I can quite clearly see it in your ki. And she adores you"
Akane sighed and explained about Ranma's curse.
Ranma lit up her cigarette and glared into the middle distance.
"What a fuckup"
"Hey man - you fancy Akane, dontcha"
Ranma nodded. "Yeah. I do. But she's a lez, right? I'm not gonna try anything on her, oh no way. She don't want a guy"
"Ranma, she fancies you something rotten. I'm a martial arts master, man.
And I can see both of you two's auras clear as day"
Ranma sighed. "Look, I'd like to believe it, but... nah. She's gay, Gary. I know gay people like I know my own brother - he's gay himself so..." She stopped and shrugged again.
"Have a close look at yourself and say you're sexually normal, Ranma. You may be a straight guy, but when you're female you're a lesbian"
Ranma paused. "But I hate my curse form. I ain't as strong, I ain't as tall,
I don't fit my bike so well - hell, it's plain too big for me in curse form.
I can't get both my feet on the deck at the same time in curse. It's shit -
I keep gettin' GUYS tryin' to chat me up. I fuckin' hate it"
"But between your curse, your martial arts and your bike you are Akane Tendo's perfect man. I know a bisexual when I see one and Akane is bisexual no matter what she thinks she is."
Soun Tendo and Genma Saotome looked up from their game. Each man had a
cigarette hanging from his mouth and a glass of sake in one hand.
A grand total of five bikes - Ranma's machine and four others - zoomed into the driveway.Soun and Genma peered at the machines.
"They're back early"
"Fucking hell - that's a V12! And three V8's"
Soun smiled slightly. "Beautiful. Genma, I've never been much of one for motorbike construction - fancy helping me put a chop together once you get SCC open again? My old 250 Superdream feels sluggish"
Genma nodded. "CB250's are good little bikes - but they're LITTLE bikes"
Soun nodded. "Hmm - never seen those machines around before"
"Well, their riders are girls - look young enough to be classmates of Ranma and Akane... Why the hell is Akane wearing Ranma's jacket"
The six youths walked into the living room. Ranma was supporting Akane with one arm.
"Akane? You look awfully pale - what"
"That sonofabitch Kuno and his cronies attacked us an' she caught a bokken comin' the other way. Doc Tofu stitched it up but her school uniform's fucked. C'mon, Akane - let's get you changed into somethin' wearable"
Soun half stood up. "She got hurt? Stitches"
Akane nodded. "Yes. Doctor Tofu say's I'll be alright - but I've got eight stitches in one breast"
Soun went red. "Who did that"
"Don't worry - I gave him a really good thrashing"
"She fuckin' near killed the little bastard"
Ranma helped her out of the room. Gary smiled slyly at Soun.
"Mind if we come in"
"Not at all, young lady. Are you schoolfriends of Ranma"
Gary nodded. "Yeah - we're him an' Akane's mates." She paused. "And I'm a bit like Ranma - only I don't know what sex I actually am. I can change at will, unlike him. I'm Gary Wade, this is my wife Shan, this is my best friend Janine Crawford and this is my aunt Angel Grey. You're Akane's dad,
"Yes, I'm Soun Tendo and this is my best friend, Ranma's father, Genma Saotome"
Gary nodded. "Pleased ta meetcha, guys. Don't you worry - Akane's one tough chick. She'll be fine - she's just a bit shaken up. It's Ranma I'm worried about - he's incandescently angry over this"
Soun frowned. "Why do you think it's got him so mad - not that I mind"
"He's fallen for her in a very big way. And she for him. I'm not sure if they've figured - yet. Look, I'm a martial arts master - I can see their auras as clear as I can see their faces. People in love have a kinda band joinin' their auras - but I've not seen one that fucking big in years"
Soun and Genma stared.
"You're serious?" Soun asked.
Gary nodded. "No bullshit"
Soun grew a big smile."That's fantastic! Our deal's gonna pay off"
Genma nodded. "Fifteen years ago - first time we saw each other after Ranma was born - we agreed to join our family lines by engaging him to one of Soun's daughters as soon as they were all of age. It got delayed about eleven months by myself and Ranma's training trip"
Soun nodded. "I didn't really think it was going to work out that well.
Kasumi and Ranma wouldn't match - Ranma hates cars while Kasumi is a car nut. Nabiki actively avoids sexuality. And as far as we knew Akane is a lesbian"
Gary snorted. "It'd seem she's not as lez as she thought. She's fallen for Ranma pretty heavy. And he's fallen for her much the same. Look, don't push them into anything. Ranma strikes me as bull-headed and I've never met anyone as bloody minded as Akane - well, apart from Dad and his sister." She glanced at her watch. "Shit - we gotta go. We need to get back to class -
I'll tell Matsui what happened so Ranma and Akane don't get detention over this"
Soun nodded. "Thankyou - you've been a great help. You're welcome to my home any time... your news has lightened my entire day"
Gary nodded. "Mind what I said about not pushin' those kids, huh? See ya later"
Soun smiled happily. "I believe I will take your advice. Thankyou again"
Gary grinned. "No problem, man. Bye"
She and her gang walked out the door.
Ranma glanced out the window as the four big engines grunted into life.
"Wonder where they're goin"
Akane sighed and slipped off her ruined T-shirt. "They'll probably be going back to school - lunchbreak's almost over and they haven't got the excuse we have"
Ranma nodded. "Suppose so." He paused and started twiddling his thumbs,
carefully not looking as Akane put on an undamaged bra.
"Akane, Gary told me somethin' I can't quite believe.." He stopped and bit his tongue. And started blushing.
Akane set down the flannel she had been cleaning blood of herself with.
"Gary reckons two things. First, she say's I love you. And I know that's true, like. Second, she say's you kinda... love me back. Is it true"
Akane gave him a very big fright by launching herself at him and wrapping herself round him. Something she had been wanting to do since she set eyes on him - even after she found out he was actually male.
Ranma put his arms around her shoulders and carefully sat down on the chair by her desk.
"I'm guessin' that was a yes, right?"
Ryoga saw the speed limit sign coming up and released the afterburner
button. He braked heavily - no point in killing anyone and he had lost the
cops well before it got light.
Houses closed in on the roadside as he dropped to thirty miles per hour. A leather clad figure on a ratty CG125 waved at him and grinned as he swept past the other way.
Ryoga saw a roadsign coming up. It was in English. Measurements in miles.
America or Britain, then.
A fuel station rolled towards him. He pulled in, filled up the massive jet bike's fuel tanks and rode away. Without paying - all he had was a few yen and five American dollars. Money measured in pounds - Britain it was.
And the bike's fuel tank took sixty pounds worth of diesel. By the time the police were called he would be completely lost again.
Ryoga smiled as he thundered out of the small Scottish village. His jet bike - given to him by his mechanically - minded younger brother and the only thing he could find in under half an hour - had changed his life. Being constantly lost was no big deal when you had a thundering six hundred brake horsepower gas turbine monster bike to keep you company. He pointed the bike at the distant hills, opened the throttle and hit the afterburners, letting the roaring pillar of flame carry him away to God-only-knows-where.
Ranma smiled slightly. Akane was still half naked and wrapped around him. He
could get used to this very easily indeed
"I love you, Akane"
"I love you too, Ranma"
His smile grew to a wide grin. "I can't get enough of hearing that"
"Me neither... I think we were made for each other"
"Shit, this is real Romeo and Juliet stuff, innit? But unlike them our families are gonna be cool about it"
Akane nodded. "Yes... but fuck them, we're not together for them. We're together for us"
"Yeah. We're gonna take all the time we need about this"
"Ranma, fuck taking time. I want to get married as soon as possible"
Ranma chuckled. "Tomorrow we get engagement rings - it's Friday innit"
Akane nodded. "Tonight we sleep together. In this bed"
"Bit small - I'm a big lad"
Akane shrugged. "That doesn't matter. We can put the mattress on the floor and get a spare out of the basement"
"Good enough for me. I've got everything I need now - my bike and you"
"Don't be silly, Ranma"
"I'm serious. For year's I've just had my bike - oh sure, I've had a few flings here and there. Just one night stand stuff - me an' a chick both feelin' like a fuck"
"I've only had girlfriends before... I've had three girlfriends"
"An' now you gotta girlfriend who's a boyfriend at the same time"
Akane giggled. "A big bad biker who changes sex now and then"
Ranma sighed. "I hate it"
"I like you the way you are"
"Thanks- What the fuck"
A whine was building in the background. Akane looked up.
"What is it"
The jet rumbled towards them.
"It's flying low"
Ranma looked out the window and started to grin. "It's not flying"
"Come on out and see. But first - put on a T-shirt"
The jet suddenly dropped to a tickover. Ranma stood up and handed Akane a T-shirt from her clothes draw. She pulled it on, tugged off her skirt,
yanked on her leather trousers and fastened her cartridge belt over them then slung on her trenchcoat. She followed Ranma as he hurried downstairs and outside.
A leather - clad figure was sitting astride a motorbike that made Gary's look sane. The machine was long and low and it was basically a jet engine with a wheel on each end. The rider tugged off his crash helmet and turned off the engine.
He looked around, kicking the bike's sidestand down as he did so.
"RYOGA! OVER HERE"
Ryoga swung off the bike.
"Ranma! What're you doing in Britain"
"We're not in Britain ya berk! You got lost again"
"Shaddup about my sense of direction, you dork"
"Come an' get it"
Ryoga dumped his crash helmet and the two young men charged each other.
Within seconds they were rolling about on the ground in a obvious playfight.
They started to roll towards the pond. Akane yelled a warning at them.
"Watch out! The"
There was a huge splash and the two vanished into the pond.
Akane groaned and shut her eyes. Two female voices yelled "WHAT THE FUCK"
She opened her eyes again. A pair of fairly similar looking young biker girls, Ranma and one other who had to be Ryoga, were staring at each other in the pond.
Only Ryoga had pointed ears and cat eyes. And a tail "WHAT THE FUCK?!?!"
Th-th-th-that's all, folks!
Chapter 3: It's All In The Family.
"Us Saotome-Hibiki bunch have always been a tightly knit family... well,
that isn't quite true. Hell, even as late as mid '98 we were still finding close relatives we had no idea existed. I mean, no surprise I didn't know about them considering the Hibiki family curse and that, but Dad? He always - and I mean ALWAYS - knew where he was. It's like, Dad had the perfect sense of direction and I have the exact opposite... pretty funny, huh"
Ryoga Hibiki, chatting with a fellow biker on a home video made at the Clanrats MCC rally in May 2003.
Ranma stared at Ryoga, still stammering "What the fuck? What the fuck"
Ryoga stood up. "What the fuck"
Ranma stood up. "What the fuck"
Both climbed out of the pond. "What the fuck? You too"
Ryoga nodded and grinned. "Yeah. I got what I wanted"
Ranma sighed. "Yeah - and I got what you wanted"
Ryoga's grin faded. "Life's a bitch an' then you die"
Akane stared from one to the other. "Ranma, who is this"
Ranma sighed. "My half - brother, Ryoga Hibiki"
"Half SISTER now, Ranma man"
Ryoga stared at her feet. 'Shit, that's totally fucked up the good news I had for you... it's like maybe Jusenkyo wasn't such a good thing"
"Ryoga, if Jusenkyo means that Akane's got her perfect lover an' you got your dream, I can live with it. I'm gonna get some hot water. Don't suppose you want any, huh"
"Think I'll stay female... Is this Akane? Your girlfriend, right"
"Yeah... Uh - Ryoga, what's the name o' the spring you fell in"
"I got knocked into a pond called 'spring of drowned cat' by this dickweed with long hair, a white trenchcoat an' specs. Then I jumped into 'spring of drowned girl' once the guide dude explained what was going on"
"So he wasn't bullshittin' about the curses combinin', huh"
"Nah. I get some weird looks, but that's not so bad"
"Hey, we gotten weird looks all our lives"
They arrived in the house. Ryoga was grinning broadly again. Akane couldn't help but notice that she was incredibly good looking. Definite supermodel material.
Soun and Genma looked up. "What the fuck"
"Dad, Ryoga's bin ta Jusenkyo too"
Genma stared. "Ryoga? Is that really you"
Ryoga nodded. "Yeah, it's me. As big an' bad as ever"
Genma shut his mouth. "You lucky sod"
Ryoga nodded. "My dream's come true - I am really, truly female. Even if I'm not totally human any more - I fell in Spring of Drowned Cat first"
Genma paused. "Yeah? The guide warned us about the curses combining"
"Uh - Ranma, my bike's been being a bit slow to start lately. Could you have a look at her"
Ranma nodded. "Sure. I'll check her out right away - what sorta way"
"She takes a few seconds longer to catch and the battery ain't holding a charge that well"
"Gotta be connected. You checked the igniter"
"Yeah - it was getting old so I replaced it last week"
"Right... I'll just get some hot water then I'll check her over. Don't worry - I'll have her runnin' sweetly again in no time."
Ryoga and Akane watched as Ranma started unbolting parts from Ryoga's bike.
They had hung around and smoked while the engine cooled.
Ranma frowned. "Hmm - let's see... Battery not chargin' proper - I'll check the alternator first since you've had trouble with that before"
Ryoga snorted. "I'll say - I've blown six so far-" She suddenly stopped.
"Ranma, give that alternator a real good check over, huh? I had to replace it again two weeks ago - the old one's bearing were stripped. And I'm not as good with machines as you"
Ranma snapped his fingers. "That'll likely be it." He grabbed a different spanner and started carefully removing the alternator. It was a Ford van part and not designed to be revved as high as the jetbike spun it. He placed it onto the ground, removed the cover and glanced inside it.
"Yep, that's it. Check this out - the brushes are clagged with mank.
Surprised ya didn't see it"
Ryoga groaned. "Just my fucking luck"
Akane caught a flicker of motion out of the corner of her eye. She turned to look - and saw something large moving in the bushes.
"Ranma, there's someone in the bush over by the garage"
Ranma stood up and walked into the house. Ryoga pulled a very large spanner out of the back of her jacket.
Then Ranma stepped out of the garage side door. He swore as someone with purple hair jumped over the wall and ran for it Akane stared in the direction the figure had gone. "Ranma! I think it's Shan"
"Wrong hairstyle - Shan's hair's shorter." He jumped on his bike and fired the engine then did a smoking burnout out of the driveway. But he was back within moments.
"No good. Whoever it wuz is gone"
"Why do you sound so tense"
"Because a chick with purple hair hunted me for two months in China"
Akane stared at him. "You think that was the same person"
"Yeah. Why the fuck didn't she attack? She's gotten an AK47"
Ryoga winced. "A machine gun"
"Naw, an assault rifle. Not quite as fuggoff but pretty fuckin' close"
He sighed and started to clean Ryoga's bike's alternator.
Ryoga scratched her head. "Maybe she's run out of ammo - or maybe she didn't bring the shooter to Japan"
"Ryoga, you ever come across the Chinese Amazons"
"Not as far as I know, but I've heard they're not to be fucked with"
"I hadn't. I fucked with her - beat her up after she punked on me an' Dad.
That wuz just after Jusenkyo"
He replaced the alternator. "There - I'll charge the battery and she'll be runnin' fine again"
"Bro, we've got to prepare some sort of defence for the house"
Akane sighed. "So this Amazon person has an AK47 and want's to tangle with you, Ranma? I think I'll be able to dissuade her"
"Huh? Akane, I couldn't and I'm a fair bit better than you. I mean, you're pretty good for someone who trains an hour a day, but I've trained for most of ten years. Just trained - well, that or repaired bikes. Or slept"
Akane chuckled. "Come on down the basement and I'll show you why I can scare her. She think's an AK is hard, does she? Ha"
Ranma and Ryoga shot each other a dubious look then followed her down into the houses basement. She vanished behind a pile of cardboard boxes then reappeared carrying an M60 machine gun.
"This thing is live. It works. I've got ammo"
Ranma stared at it. "I see hand machining marks"
"Yeah. You do - I downloaded the plans off the Internet. You wouldn't believe what's on there. I made the propellant myself - used the proper recipe - and set up moulds for the cases. I'd do a lot of jail time if the cops caught me with it." She paused again. "And I always have a .44 Magnum on me. Look, I know I'm not the best fighter around - Dad can beat me easily and several of his old students are better than him now. So I decided to get some emergency backup"
Ranma chuckled quietly. "Let's see that little purple - haired bint mess with us!"
Shampoo slouched angrily down the street. That had completely thrown her
trail dead - only one option left. Talk to the young Japanese guy and ask
him who he bought the bike from. It was unmistakably her target's bike - but
the phrase on the fuel tank seemed somehow out of place now she knew what it
She sighed slightly. Seeing the Japanese man with his girlfriend - she had marked the girl in the black trenchcoat as his lover immediately - had made her realise just how much she wanted a family. Back home she just had her brother and an annoying twerp.
She kicked an empty soft drinks can. It clattered away, landing in front of a pair of feet.
"What the hell?" said a voice. The voice spoke Japanese but had a clear Joketsuzo accent.
Shampoo looked up - and found herself looking at her exact duplicate. Well,
not quite her exact duplicate. The stranger had a gold tooth and shorter hair, and was dressed in motorbike leathers.
The six foot six European girl beside her groaned. "Oh shit, it's your parallel"
Shampoo's double nodded. "That torn it"
The European nodded and advanced on Shampoo, tensing up her muscles. The other girl followed her, drawing a katana as she did so.
Shampoo weighed up her options for a couple of seconds then ran like hell.
Ryoga and Ranma stared quietly into the middle distance.
"Machine guns, Chinese Amazons - what next"
Ranma shrugged. "Fuck knows. You gotten any idea where Akane's off ta"
"I heard Kasumi asking her to take a book back to Doctor Tofu or something"
"Ah, Doc Tofu. He's the local medico. He stitched up Akane's tit after Kuno's crony got her"
Ryoga narrowed her eyes. "Kuno? Who's Kuno"
"You don't wanna know - he's this fuckhead who hates Akane. Dunno why"
"What'd his pal get her with"
"Bokken. Kuno's a kendoist an' the school kendo club're his private army"
Ranma sniggered. "Though his army don't have a machine gun"
"Let me get this straight. This Kuno guy's pal slashed Akane's tit. Is he dead"
"Naw - not yet. He will be"
Ranma finished rolling the joint and lit up. He took a couple of draws then handed it to Ryoga. "Here, have some ganga"
Ryoga nodded and took a couple of puffs then handed it back. "What're you planning to do about this Kuno person"
"Beats me - maybe I'll rip his face off. Or ram his bokken up his arse so it comes outta his fuckin' gob."
Dr. Tofu looked up as Akane walked in the door.
"Ah, hello Akane. How's your cut"
Akane sighed. "Could be worse..." She handed him the book.
"That's not really why I came to see you. You were right. About Ranma and me, I mean"
Dr. Tofu nodded. "I know - it was only a matter of time until you knew"
There was a crash from the direction of his office then a scuffle and thud.
He and Akane dashed through.
A shoe showed from under the desk. They could hear yelling voices outside.
"Where the fuck"
"Shit, we lose her"
"That's fucked that"
Then there was just the sounds of the city and straining breath from under the desk. Dr. Tofu peered under it.
A purple - haired girl dressed in baggy combats and wearing a heavy pack on her back stared up at him. She was shaking and hyperventilating.
"Were you being chased"
The girl nodded.
"Well, you're safe here. I think they've gone"
Akane frowned at her. She was the spitting image of Gary's wife, but had noticeably longer hair and didn't have pierced ears. She slumped over onto her side and kept gasping for breath.
"Hour... And... Half... Try... Lose"
Each word was followed by a gasping inbreath.
Dr. Tofu helped her up and through to a sideroom. "I am a doctor. Lay down -
here, I'll help you off with your pack"
Akane nodded slightly. The girl definitely wasn't Shan - she didn't have a gold front tooth.
The girl looked at her. "Why... you... stare"
"You look a lot like one of my friends"
"Girl... look like... I... she try... kill I"
Dr. Tofu frowned. "Akane, I'd talk to your friend." He turned back to the girl. "Now, you just lay here and rest. You're exhausted"
The girl sighed heavily and was suddenly asleep.
Gary stared wildly around. "Fuck, fuck, fuck. Where the hell has she gone"
Shan shrugged. "No way of know"
"Yeah - we'd best get out of here. Dad'll have to have Rocket finish checking up here later"
"It'll be good for go home, huh"
"Yeah - in a way. I hate it when thing's don't work out. What the hell's she doing here this soon? He only arrived yesterday! There's something real fishy about the whole thing"
Shan nodded. "Is so."
Akane slowly walked back into the house. She was worried - very worried.
She had a feeling Ranma's Chinese Amazon and the girl now fast asleep at Dr.
Tofu's were one and the same person.
Ranma and Ryoga jumped down from the roof as she walked up the driveway.
Much to her surprise they fell over in a giggling heap.
"Wow, man - I am so fuckin' ganjed..." Ranma remarked from under Ryoga.
"You're stoned, ma-ma-br-si-sis"
Ranma staggered to his feet. "Akane... can you help get this fuckin'
lightweight outside - no, that's not right... in..in... Inside"
Akane sighed. "You two have been having a spliff, right"
"Yeah... it's good sit... I mean shit..."
Akane watched as Ranma and Ryoga slowly came round from their stoned trance.
"You two are idiots"
Ranma giggled. "Yeah, that's sorta right"
"I mean, getting stoned when there's a trigger - happy Amazon after your ass"
Ranma sighed heavily. "I needed ta unwind, like"
"Fmmrrgh splrt mmerp"
"You two are useless"
"Like, chill out"
Akane shook her head and walked out the room. Ranma went pale and followed her.
"Shut up, you idiot"
Ranma started banging his head on the wall. "This is so fucking typical"
Ryoga lurched out into the hall. "Fmerrgwhat'stypical"
"I fucked up, I fucked up, I"
Akane swore. "Oh for fuck sake"
"Akane! Don't punk"
"Just leave me alone!" She stormed outside and sat down staring into the middle distance. Another stoned figure lurched out of the house - Kasumi.
"Akane, what's kinda wrong, like"
"Will you spliffheads lay offa me"
There was a clump as a beercan landed in her lap. Kasumi stared sadly at her.
"Drink that, little sis. It won't help but at least you can get too pissed to remember anything"
Akane set the beer aside. "No - I want to remember! Look, Mr. Right just turned out to be another spliffhead. Of course I'm fucking upset"
"He does some weed and you punk? Why"
"Because I want someone who can think"
"Akane, there's no Mr. Right - just wrong ones we make right. Ranma isn't as much a stoner as you make out - he's been dead sober since he arrived and I've never smelt grass on him, right? Ryoga's got a bit of hash smell on her, but not much. Just calm down"
A voice drawled at her from the doorway. "Kasumi, bugger off willya? You're not helpin'. This is completely between me an' Akane and it's no yer fuckin'
Akane looked round. Ranma was swaying slightly but seemed alert enough. He shot her a sad look. "Akane, just hear me out, okay? I'm still a bit stoned so this may not make much sense, but just listen, okay"
"I do smoke dope - now and then. I do get pissed - now and then. Who don't?
Okay, your sister Nabiki may never party but what the hell - she's got as much personality as a lump o' tofu. I've never, ever fallen in love with someone before an' I don't really know what I'm doing, okay"
Akane glared at him. "How do I know you're not lying"
Ranma's hand shot out and smashed through the wall of the porch. When he spoke again it was an angry snarl.
"Because I never, ever, fucking lie, okay? Never fucking ever"
Ryoga lurched out the door.
"It's frooo... true... Ranma's not a liar"
"Ryoga, fuck off outta here"
"Go inside. Naw, fall over in the porch"
"Alright, man." Ryoga vanished backwards with a crash.
"Now why are you so mad at me for having a spliff"
Akane glared at him. "Because Kasumi's been stoned for eight years - and just look where it got her"
"So one drink now and then's the same as being an alcoholic, right? Your big sister may be a heavy toker but I just have a spliff now and then. Whenever I'm feelin' fucked up and in need o' gettin' away from the world, okay"
Akane lost her temper again. She stood up and gave him a good shove. He vanished into the pond with a huge splash.
"Waddya do that for"
"Leave me alone"
Ranma disappeared into the porch, dragging Ryoga after her.
Akane stared at Ranma's bike. The big machine sat and looked dark. She walked over to it and looked it over.
"What side of Ranma do you see, bike"
The machine predictably didn't answer. Akane walked round it and stared at the clocks.
She suddenly realised she could see her own reflection in the speedo dust cover.
"Ranma made you, bike. With his hands"
Her reflection silently mimicked her.
She reached out and took hold of the handlebars. They felt heavy even without any weight on them.
She let go and backed away from the silent machine. She felt like she had broken some unspoken law, just by touching it.
Something made her apologise. "Sorry." She hurried inside.
Ranma sat and stared at her hands. Ryoga was snoring from the guest bedroom.
They were good hands. With their help she had built several bikes. Her old CB250. Her Gixer. Ryoga's jetbike.
But just now they felt useless. She wanted to do something with them - she wanted to make something. Or hit something.
She glanced around the room - Akane's bedroom. Goth rockers stared from posters back at her. A old Apple Mac in the corner. It had a scanner, modem and printer beside it. A stack of heavy metal CD's. A large ghetto blaster.
The whole room smelt of Akane. Her trenchcoat was laying in the corner.
Ranma selected an Iron Maiden CD from the stack and slipped it into the stereo. She twisted the volume to full blast and pressed play. As Bruce Dickinson began to sing Ranma settled herself, closed her eyes and spread her hands, palms upwards.
Akane walked into the house. She slipped the front door closed.
Iron Maiden howled from her bedroom. She found Ranma meditating in the centre of the floor. Ranma's leather jacket was lying on the back of a chair.
She looked at Ranma's powerful muscles where they showed beneath her battered T-shirt. Her cleavage was visible through a rent in the neckline.
How this miserable, seemingly defenceless teenage girl could at one and the same time be a big, confident, rowdy man was beyond Akane's understanding.
Then something clicked. In his male form Ranma wore a mask of arrogant foul-mouthed strength. But the curse took his mask away and revealed the defenceless, frightened child beneath.
Her instincts took over and she slipped an arm around Ranma's shoulder,
feeling the smaller girl's heavy muscles beneath. Akane sighed lightly.
The most she could do for this scarred adult child was accept Ranma as he (or she) was. Powerful but weak. Scary but scared. Big but small.
And beautiful to Akane's eyes. In both forms. Ranma had crashed into her world like a whirlwind of destruction.
And changed everything. Even things Akane had taken for granted. He had somehow managed to sexually attract her in his male form. He had blasted away her loneliness. He had stuck up for her, cared about her, worried for her safety.
And he loved her for who she really was.
The CD ended, Brucie's final words faded to silence, Steve Harris stopped blasting out chords and silence filled the room.
Ranma opened her eyes. Akane's head was lying against her chest.
"Akane? You alright"
"If you're not still mad at me"
"I weren't never mad at you. I wuz mad at me"
Akane looked up into the dazzling blue eyes of her sometimes boyfriend,
sometimes girlfriend. "You sure"
Ranma nodded and sniffed. Akane suddenly realised the smaller girl had been silently crying all through the CD.
She reached up and wiped the moisture from Ranma's face with her thumb.
"You shouldn't need to cry"
"Everyone needs ta sometimes. Does yer good"
Akane nodded. "You're right"
"What're we gonna do? About our dads? About their engagement deal? About Kuno? About that Amazon psycho bitch?... what're we gonna do about us"
"I don't know... but all that can wait"
"It can wait as long as you damn well please, Akane"
Ryoga stuck her head in the door. "Ranma? Akane? What the hell are you guys doing on the train"
"Er - did ya try ta go ta th' toilet, Ryoga"
"Yeah, Kasumi said it was two doors down to the left, but I got in a punch -
up with a guy on the edge of the cliff and ended up falling into a coffee shop roof. After I picked the mess up they gave me some spliff and I tried to get into their toilet and ended up in a train. We're not on that train any more, are we"
"Yeah - ya got lost again"
Ryoga shrugged. "Aw well. Don't matter"
"Don't try ta get ta th' toilet without me ya twit! You'll get lost"
Ryoga groaned and allowed Ranma to steer her into the loo.
Some time later all three of them were sitting in the garden watching the
night go by. Ryoga scratched her chin.
"Nice, clear night. Looks like good riding weather"
"Aye. Sure does... but it'll get cold later on with the sky so clear"
Akane sighed. "I wish we could just stay here forever"
"Yeah, but we can't. Tomorrow we gotta go ta school, then there's that Amazon bint and our dads ta deal with. What'll we say ta them"
"I don't know"
Ryoga looked away from her stargazing. "Why don't we go to a nightclub tomorrow? I could do with a night dancin' and I won't get lost without my bike for that long"
Ranma glanced at Akane. The lights from the kitchen highlighted her face.
"Yeah - let's. Akane, you know any good clubs"
Akane smiled slightly. "Yeah... I know just the place..."
fuckit this one's full.
Chapter 4 - The Plot Thickens.
"I really should have been more careful what I wished for, not that I regret it." Xian Pu, interview for 'The Hidden People' by Dr. Minako Shima.
Ranma opened her eyes. She immediately sensed a large warm shape laying on
her arm. Just as she was about to kick her father into the stratosphere she
realised who the person who was laying on her arm was, who's hand was laying
on her chest. It was Akane. Ranma stared at the girl.
She slipped her other hand away from her own crotch (a place it always crept to when she was asleep, male or female) and ran her fingers along Akane's face.
Akane opened her eyes and stared at Ranma.
"Hey - I'm gonna go for a blat... wanna come"
"Early mornin' ride goin' nowhere real fast"
Akane nodded. "Yeah"
Ranma sat up and fished around in her leathers. She found a cigarette and lit up.
"Aahh... that's better. First fag o' the day always clears yer head"
Akane smiled slightly. She fished a smoke out of her trenchcoat and joined him.
They sat and smoked in companionable silence for several minutes before pulling on their clothes and heading out to Ranma's bike.
Shampoo walked silently down the street. She could feel the heavy shape of
her Makarov against her leg making it's comforting presence felt.
As well as the mission her crazy old bat great - grandmother had sent her on she had a more personal crusade to fulfil. She shoved her hand into the pocket with the missing bottom thus resting it on her handgun and turned the corner.
With her other hand she fished out the sketch map Wu Chii had given her -
the map to the place where her mother had died.
She stopped outside the rundown bar and found her spraycan. A few swift motions and the acid within burnt into the brickwork, leaving a permanent memorial to the Amazon who had died under the Japanese secret service's guns there seven years before.
Shampoo turned and headed for the graveyard. As she stepped back round the corner a blaze of light caught her, the staccato howl of a motorbike engine swept past and thundered away leaving only a black mark on the tarmac where it had skidded slightly round the corner.
Shampoo stared after it. It sounded exactly like the bike she had been tracking - the bike which led her up a blind alley.
"I wish I could be like them"
She should have been more careful - sometimes you get what you wish for.
Ranma and Akane arrived home as Kasumi was calling everyone for breakfast.
They walked inside. Ranma was still female.
They ate their breakfast in silence then went outside to the bike. The engine was still cooling, emitting a sharp clicking sound.
Ranma smiled slightly and changed himself back with water from the radiator.
They climbed aboard and rode off to school.
Kuno stood and shifted his weight to his other leg. He was worried - how had
that greasy biker managed to take him down so fast?
A doppler howl announced said biker thundering up the street and into the schoolyard. But there was another bike behind him, it's engine emitting a whine like a helicopter. The two machines pulled up by the bicycle shelter.
Ranma pulled off his crash helmet and glared around.
"Okay, you Kendo fuckwits! This has gone far enough"
He swept an angry glare around Kuno's cronies.
"Yesterday afternoon one of you slashed a teenage girl in the breast. It's a six - inch long cut and around three inches deep - she had to have stitches.
The next man who so much as draws a weapon against her dies. With my fuckin'
Bowie knife in his throat. Do you goons get me"
Ryoga pulled off her lid. "Fuck with my brother's girlfriend again and you'll have all three of us down on you - with Ranma first and worst. You're looking at a guy who's wrestled a large black bear and won. At age twelve"
She reached up and tore a bracing strut out of the bicycle shelter with one hand.
"And I'm a fair bit stronger than him." She bent the strut - an inch thick steel rod - double then ripped it in two.
Kuno's gang filtered back into the school. They refused to meet his eyes as they passed. Akane glared at the kendoist.
"Give it up, Kuno! You're finished"
Kuno calmly drew his sword. Not a bokken - a katana.
"It is you who are finished, dyke. You do not have the assistance of Miss Wade today - I will face and "
Ranma fired his bike up. "Akane, get off. I'm gonna rip off his head an'
shit down his scrawny little neck"
He aimed the bike at Kuno and started doing a burnout. Akane realised that he had changed his tyres - they were now studded with two - inch steel spikes.
Kuno readied himself to face the charge. Ranma dropped the clutch and flashed past Kuno.
There was a whine and the sound of glass smashing as Ranma rode up the side of the school, blowing out windows as he passed. He flipped the bike off the wall and bore down on the back of Kuno's head. Kuno turned and tried to sidestep, but Ranma somehow changed his bike's flightpath and the steel frame smashed Kuno's sword out of his hands before the sumpcase slammed into the unfortunate Kendoists face. Ranma slid the machine to a halt and charged again.
Kuno grabbed his sword and jumped up. Blood was streaming from his nose.
Ranma's foot flashed out and disarmed Kuno again with an expert twist. He kicked Kuno in the head and leapt from his bike, leaving it ticking over on it's sidestand.
Kuno started to grab for his sword, but Ranma caught his wrist. Then Kuno screamed and dropped to his knees, clutching his wrist with his other hand.
Akane stared. Kuno's right hand was the wrong way round.
Ranma grabbed a handful of Kuno's hair.
"If I ever hear of you callin' anyone anythin' like that again I'll rip yer fuckin' balls off, Kuno. A guy who once called my brother a faggot ain't livin' any more. You got off lightly, Kuno. You won't next time"
Kuno held his tongue. Thanks to Gary, he knew when he was beaten.
Ranma dropped the kendoist and went to park his bike.
That evening the trio headed for the nightclub Akane told Ranma and Ryoga
They pulled up outside. There was a considerable number of bikes around -
mainly either scruffy CG125's or big, glittering cruisers. The two filthy flat black ratbikes really stood out. Especially Ryoga's jet bike - but then, it stood out anywhere.
Ranma and Ryoga locked their bikes then all three headed for the entrance,
crash helmets in hand. Ranma looked around the nightclub past the large form of the doorkeeper. "Goth club, is it?" He made to walk inside.
"Ranma, cool it!" Akane shouted.
The bouncer grinned nastily. This was his favourite part of the job -
refusing people entry. He had to have a reason and this biker kid had given him plenty enough reason.
"You ain't coming in here, boy"
Ranma sighed. "Akane, it's obvious a fuckhead like this ain't gonna let me in"
"Ranma, this place is full of people who look like us! If you hadn't been so stupid"
"It don't matter no more, lady. Nobody calls me that and lives"
Ranma shot him an astonished look.
"You? Kill me? How? That's awful strong language for a big pansie"
The bouncer went red in the face and tried to snap kick Ranma, who neatly sidestepped and flipped the beefy man across the street, pile driving him into the bonnet of a parked Ford Mondaeo.
"Well, I warned him. C'mon - let's go in"
Ryoga started laughing. Akane shook her head.
"You two are fucking bonkers"
"Aye and we know it"
Across the street, a certain purple haired person turned and followed them as they went inside and ploughed their way through the crowd to the bar.
Ranma leant across said bar. "Okay, three pint's o' Bud, mate. An' I think you need a new bouncer - he tried to beat me up an' I'm a twelfth dan"
The barman nodded. He looked worried until he saw who was hanging on to Ranma's arm.
"Crowded tonight, eh Akane"
She nodded. "Sorry about your bouncer - where's Fermov"
"He's got a touch of the flu and we had that guy temporary." He grinned at Ranma. "Please don't break the bouncers - they're expensive"
Ranma snorted and paid for the beer. "As long as they don't try ta break me"
He accepted the glasses and slid one along the bar to Ryoga. "Here ya go,
Ranma handed the second to Akane and took a large swig from his own. "Ahh,
that's an improvement"
"Hey, Akane - your ex Hanako Shatori is in"
Akane rolled her eyes. "Oh, great. Just what I fucking needed"
Ranma frowned. "Who's that"
"My last girlfriend... she dumped me after I got too pissed and slept with someone else. She's still got a chip on her shoulder about it"
"Well, she's gonna have a chip outta her shoulder if she tries messin' with us"
"Ranma, she's a whole lot better than me"
"Sorry ta insult ya, but a lotta people're a whole lot better than ya. Yer talkin' to one - me. And I somehow suspect this Hanako person ain't trained as long as me. Ten years is a little extensive"
Akane's eyes widened slightly and she put her hand in the pocket Ranma now knew her .44 was hidden in.
"There she is"
Ranma turned round. An athletic leather - clad five foot six girl with short cropped black hair was walking purposely towards them. She stopped well out of arm's reach.
"Well, look who's here. It's the lying little nymphomaniac slut"
Ranma reached into his pocket and pulled out his two foot length of chain.
"Mind yer fuckin' tongue. Hanako Shitter I presume"
The girl went red in the face. "How dare you twist my name like that!" She pulled a long stiletto knife out of her pocket and started spinning it round her fingers.
Ranma snorted and flipped his chain at her like a whip. A bloody weal appeared on her hand and the knife slammed into the ceiling where it stuck,
"It's so fuckin' easy, insultin' people who slag off yer girlfriend. Sod off, willya? I'm not looking for a fight but if that's what ya want"
Ranma shrugged. "Well, ya got the fight o' yer fuckin' life comin"
Hanako let out an angry snarl and jumped at them. This suited Ranma just fine. He leapt and met her in mid air, blocking her leap and flipping her to land flat on her back. She rolled neatly onto her feet.
Ranma grinned nastily and walloped her with the chain again. She swore and caught it, letting it wind round her wrist. Ranma jerked the chain up,
flinging her ceilingwards. She caught onto a lighting bar as he jumped up to join her. The length of chain spiralled down and smashed into the floor.
Ranma caught onto a lighting bar a small distance away from her. The music roared into life, Ministry's Jesus Built My Hot-Rod thundering from the speakers.
The pulsing lights served to dazzle and confuse Hanako. This suited Ranma perfectly. "A-OK. Let's dance, bitch"
He sprang from his lighting bar to the one she was hanging from . She attempted to kick him away before he landed, but he seemed to slide round her blow and landed neatly.
He winked at her and started kicking in time to the dementedly fast music.
The mixture of goths, metalheads, punks and bikers below roared their approval.
Akane glanced around the floor. Around half the clubbers seemed to be
rooting for Ranma, who was clearly better than Hanako. The rest were a fifty
fifty split between cheering Hanako on and just watching with some interest.
Then she spotted the purple - haired figure. The girl she had seen in Dr.
Tofu's was now dressed in a baggy pink shirt and trousers with a wide blue belt around her waist. She had what looked like a Chinese army pack on her back and a katana hanging by her side. And she was watching the fight with an amazed expression on her face.
Akane frowned. So this was the dreaded Chinese Amazon? So this was the girl who was hunting Ranma with an AK47?
Ranma grinned as Hanako tried to kick him again. He kept up the tempo of his
kicks, turning aside each of her blows with ease.
He wanted to mock her, but there was little point - the music would drown out any word he said. Finally she managed to land a blow and he somersaulted away on the end of her kick. He grabbed onto another lighting bar and flipped himself back towards her.
Hanako stared. How had he managed not to drop as he flew through the air? He somehow seemed to flick himself upwards as she kicked him.
Then his foot flashed through her defence and caught her in the guts. She tried to breathe as the ceiling receded and the floor came up and smacked her in the back Ranma dropped neatly down and stared at the gasping girl. The music faded into silence.
"If you ever fuckin' mess with me again I'll rip off yer head an' shit down yer neck, bitch. Got it"
Without waiting for an answer he swaggered back to where Akane and Ryoga were standing, ignoring the applause as he went.
He leant against the bar beside Akane and grabbed his beer.
"Y'know, that Hanako girl wuz pretty good - I musta hit her forty of fifty times before I took her out." He took a swig from his beer.
Akane frowned. "Ranma, I think that's that Chinese Amazon you were saying about. Over there"
Ranma looked where she was pointing. "Oh, fuck! Here comes trouble - it is her an' she's headed our way!" He yanked another length of rusty chain out of his pocket and spun it so it wrapped round his hand.
Shampoo stopped a few feet beyond arm's reach. "Excuse I"
Ranma glared at her. "Come ta finish me off, huh? It ain't gonna be so fuckin' easy, ya psycho sore loser bitch"
"What mean? Look for girl who own bike before you buy"
"Fuckwit. I built that bike nine years ago an' it's been my ride ever since.
No, ya got the right biker"
"For what you mean"
Ranma sighed. "Fuckwit. Yer village is only three miles from Jusenkyo, Go on - figure it out, willya"
Shampoo narrowed her eyes. "You fall in Spring of Drowned Man, no"
"Wrong again, psycho bitch!" Ranma sloshed the rest of his beer over his head, shook the dregs out of her now red hair and glared at Shampoo.
"Spring o' Drowned Girl, ya stupid fuckwit! But now I got ya in my sights -
so come on an' fuckin' get it"
Shampoo backed away slightly. "Ahh! No! Is all huge fuckup"
"Oh yeah? It is is it? Why did ya no think o' the fuckup ya were pullin' two months ago, ya psycho bitch sore loser"
Shampoo waved one hand around. "Not know all details, okay? Now know truth"
"Aye and is that supposed ta make me feel any fuckin' better"
"Please listen to Xian Pu"
Ranma nodded. "Okay. But move one fuckin' muscle an' my fist goes inta yer fuckin' mouth. Got it"
"Xian Pu try for much. In Joketsuzo, is law that if outsider woman beat Amazon woman, Amazon hunt down and kill. If outsider man beat Amazon woman,
hunt down and marry. When you fight I, I have no way for to know you actually man, see? Is major big fuckup"
Ranma snorted and lowered her fist. "Ya could put it that way. How do I know yer not bullshittin' me"
Shampoo shrugged. "Is no way for to know, but is matter of honour. Why for I try lying? That not way it work"
Ranma glanced at Akane. "Now that is what I call a fuckup"
Ryoga snorted. "Not much. From what I've heard - met a dude who's married to an Amazon couple o' three months back - any marriage outside Joketsuzo ain't legal in Joketsuzo. An' vice versa"
Ranma made a face. "An' as far as I've heard the Amazon's waste any rival for their 'target'. As in kill. Which ain't exactly subtle." She jabbed a finger at Shampoo. "Touch a hair in Akane's head an' yer gonna eat lead bigstyle. Got it"
There was a long pause. Akane suddenly snapped her fingers.
"I've got it! Was Ryoga right? About a marriage outside Joketsuzo not being legal inside Joketsuzo and vice versa"
Shampoo scratched her head then fished a book out of her back pocket. She read through it for a while, sticking her tongue out with concentration.
She snapped the book shut. "Is so. Outsider wedding not business of Amazons"
Akane nodded. "Right... So, it would work out if we went through with both"
Ranma swore quietly. "Fuckin' hell! Ya can't mean it"
"Oh yes I can!" Akane nodded at Shampoo. "From what you're saying, we could both marry Ranma. It's a matter of honour for my family that I - or one of my sisters - marry Ranma. And I'd guess that it's a matter of honour for you, due to your Amazon Law thingys. Am I right"
Shampoo nodded slowly. She revised her opinion of Akane - she had expected her to be of low intelligence. After all, she was Japanese and a goth. But no, Akane seemed to have a razor - sharp brain.
Ranma nodded. "I get it. That way I'm not gonna fuck up anybody, right?" She shrugged. "I mean, personally honour ain't worth a goddamn. But it matters to some people - dunno why." She glared at the barman, who was staring around the four of them trying to work out what was going on and how Ranma had managed to change sex. "Get some hot water, willya"
He nodded mutely. Ranma sighed.
"This curse is fuckin' WEIRD"
Shampoo waited until the barman got back with a glassful of hot tapwater then leant across the bar. "Get pint of Carlsberg, please"
He nodded. "Ur - yeah"
She turned to Ranma, who was now male once more.
"I drink to that, maybe join I"
Ryoga suddenly started to laugh. Ranma glared at her.
"What the fuck's the joke, buggerlugs"
Ryoga stifled her sniggering. "You three... fucking mental... WAHAHA"
Ranma swore. "Fuckin' shut yer fuckin' cake-hole, dirtbag"
Ryoga again stifled her laughter. "Sorry, bro. Honour? Fucking hell, what a joke"
"Well, yer right about that. Some people give a shit about it, though. An'
I'm not gonna fuck up people who care about it. Get my drift"
Ryoga nodded. "Yeah, and you're right, man. I mean, what do we care - but "
Genma sighed and filled himself another glass of sake.
"I just hope that Wade girl was right, Tendo. All our plans hinge on this -
Soun nodded. "Yes, Saotome. Indeed - it is imperative. But how do you think Ranma will take everything"
Genma shrugged. "Fuck knows. Ranma's been getting harder and harder to predict lately. Which I doubt Akira will be very happy about"
"He'll likely be glad for it. If Ranma was predictable..." Soun shrugged.
Genma frowned. "Point"
"Say, I overheard Ranma saying something about the Chinese Amazons earlier"
"Yeah? Ranma's already crossed with Joketsuzo. But he doesn't know what she is. Yet. He doesn't have a clue - Akira specifically ordered that"
Soun nodded. "So he's met the first of them"
"Yeah - the first of the enemy."
Nabiki decided not to push her luck and slid back into the stairwell. She
ran over what the two men had been talking about as she eased her bedroom
She grabbed her laptop and typed down what she had heard and her guess as to what it meant.
First, Genma and Soun had further plans for Ranma.
Second, these plans were the instructions of someone called Akira who Genma had a lot of respect for. Finally, there was something distinctly fishy about the so-called Chinese Amazons. Something Ranma hadn't caught on to and Genma hadn't explained about. Something both Genma and Soun were very worried about.
The enemy, Soun had said. But whose enemy? And why?
She saved the file, encrypted it and plugged into the phone line. She dialled up onto the net and ran a search on the word 'Saotome.
She clicked through links, scribbling down web addresses for later reference then ran another search. This time on the word 'Joketsuzo.
One result - at the address She clicked the link. Five seconds later her firewall broke the connection and started spewing illegitimate access warnings across her screen. She unplugged the laptop from her mobile phone and sat back.
Nabiki knew something big when she saw it. And not only was this big but it involved her family.
Ten minutes later she was back on line - but this time she was connected to a different account. An account using the best security software the JSDF had been able to come up with.
Kasumi looked up from the novel she was reading as the telephone rang. She
muttered a string of curses and went to the phone.
"Hello, Tendo dojo"
A male voice at the other end of the line answered her.
"I need to speak to Nabiki Tendo - is she home"
"Yeah man, she's like in her bedroom. Who is it"
"Tell her it's Mr. Honda"
"Alright, Mr. Honda, man." Kasumi balanced the handset on top of the phone and swayed to Nabiki's door.
"Nabiki, there's a like, phone call for you. It's some guy called Mr. Honda,
A muffled but explosive "Fuck!" came from behind the door. Five seconds later it banged open and Nabiki bolted past her sister to the telephone.
"Alright, Colonel. What the fuck did you phone me on this number for? I've told you only to use the mobile!"
Ranma, Akane, Ryoga and Shampoo staggered out of the bar to the bikes. They
had a brief argument about which of the girls went on the back of which bike
but Akane solved it by clambering onto the rear seat of Ryoga's bike.
Ranma shrugged and cheerfully belted Shampoo to his back.
"Let's hit th' fuckin' road"
"On the fuckin' throttle!"
Kasumi stared as Nabiki put down the handset and stood with her eyes shut.
She was as white as a sheet.
"What's kinda wrong, sis"
"It's nothing." Nabiki walked quietly back to her bedroom. She connected to the net via a third account and placed three posts on three carefully selected newsgroups. The general public couldn't get at these particular newsgroups.
Only demon hunters could get at these particular newsgroups - but Nabiki had a copy of the decryption key.
Soun and Genma stopped their discussion as two bellowing motorbike engines
announced the return of their blazing drunk offspring.
Not three but four ratarsed teenagers staggered into the living room. Ryoga grinned at the two men.
"You're never gonna guess what happened, Dad..."
No, you're not gonna get any more because I say so!
Chapter 5: You Can't Make Me Change My Mind "Let's just say I'm not exactly proud of my behaviour during that period of my life. But then, a certain person kept putting lysergic acid dyathelamide in my Valium." - Tatewaki Kuno, interview for Channel 9 News, January 2020.
Genma stared at Shampoo.
"Er - Ranma - Is this who I think she is and if so exactly what the fuck's going on around here"
Ranma sniggered and fell over. "Urp. Fuggit. Fuggoff fatty it ain't none o'
yer fuggin' business"
Ryoga groaned. "Waddya mean, Dad"
"Ranma, is this that Chinese Amazon"
Ranma belched. "Urp. Nunna yer fuggin' business... yeah"
"So what the fuck's going on"
Akane groaned and explained. By the end of her explanation both Soun and Genma were shaking their heads.
"No. No fucking way, son! This is not going to work"
"Fuck you! I'm gonna - urp - do what I damn well like"
Ryoga groaned. "Dad, mind your own business. You and Mr. Tendo's deal is gonna go through. Just be satisfied with that"
"No try ta calm th' bastards down, Ryoga - hic - fuggit - hic - now I - hic - gotten fuggin' - hic - hiccups"
"Shaddup Ranma you're pissed"
"Sho - I mean so - wot"
Genma thumped the table.
"Goddamnit, Ranma! Listen to me"
He froze. So did Soun.
Soun frowned. "Er - Akane - where the hell did you get that gun from"
Akane cocked her .44 and clenched both hands on the pistol grip.
"I made it. Now, mind your own fucking business if you like your heads"
Soun Tendo and Genma Saotome started nodding wildly. The teenagers headed upstairs.
Genma waited until he was sure they were gone.
"Well, that's torn it"
"Er - Genma - what're we going to do about that Amazon"
"I've got a few ideas, Tendo. Just a few"
Genma started to cackle evilly.
"Oooh, I can't wait till Akira hears about this! That Amazon's gonna be dead meat"
"Just as long as we ain't dead meat, Saotome."
Ranma woke up as early as ever. He opened his eyes and stared at the
He was boxed in from both sides by warm shapes. His left hand was nestling in his crotch as ever. It always ended up there when he went to sleep.
And he had a raging erection. He leant across the person to his left - once more the purple hair gave him a slight shock - and found his leather jacket and ashtray. He extracted a cigarette and his lighter and sat half up.
Akane mumbled something from his right as he lit up. Shampoo let out a stifled yawn then a surprised remembering noise.
"Mornin', Amazon warrior woman"
She sighed. "Xian Pu not just Amazon"
"Same as I'm not just a shitkicker"
Akane found her fags and fished her .44 out of under her pillow. She stuffed it down the side of the mattress.
Ranma glanced at Shampoo.
"What's th' gun on yer leg"
"Is Makarov. I attacked too many night to not keep gun"
Akane yawned and lit up her smoke. "You should keep it under your pillow.
It's safer that way"
"I is often not have pillow. Just blanket"
"What - ya don't even have a bivvy bag"
"What bivvy bag be"
"Army sleepin' bag. Me an' Dad usta use 'em out on the road. Keeps the cold offa ya better than a civvy sleepin' bag"
Shampoo sighed. "Is not be room in pack. Xian Pu keep weapons in pack"
"You've gotten yer AK with ya"
"Is so. Not be go nowhere without machinegun"
Akane climbed over the others and fished her M60 out of her underwear draw.
"Check this beast out then!"
Kasumi swayed into the kitchen and turned on the stereo. She headbanged for
a bit then started cooking.
Clumping feet told her Ranma the Walking Dustbin was approaching.
"Like, morning Ranma man... you ain't off on your bike"
"Naw, it's a two seater. Can't fit all o' us"
Kasumi looked confused. Then Akane and Shampoo came into the kitchen.
"Like, morning dudes. Like, who's this"
"I Xian Pu"
"Yeah, an' due to a fuckup I'm married to her. Don't worry - it's under a different set o' laws so I'm gonna marry Akane under our set o' laws, see"
Kasumi nodded. "Groovy, man. Free love... That's so cool - so I'll need to kinda make more breakfast, yeah"
Ranma nodded. "Somethin' like that"
"I dig, man. That's cool."
Nabiki yawned and turned on her laptop. She stared blankly at the startup
screen and gulped down her Coke. By the time the computer had booted up her
reasoning functions were back on line.
She clicked through to the newsreader, typed in the decryption key and read the answers to her posts.
Genma watched Shampoo very carefully all through breakfast.
The Chinese Amazon seemed to be unsure how to react to anything. She was carefully polite at all times. She seemed bedazzled by Ranma, watching his every move intently.
She also kept an eye on Akane. Genma sensed complete fascination from the girl. He could normally pick up fairly well on anybody's emotions, but the strength he received from Shampoo totally threw him.
Maybe, just maybe, everything would work out.
Ranma slouched into the garden. Akane, Shampoo and Ryoga were hot on his
He glimpsed Nabiki riding off on her father's bike.
"Funny - didn't know Nabiki could ride"
Akane frowned. "Huh? She can't - well, she's had a few shots round the garden but that's it"
"Well, she just rode off on yer dad's old CB250"
"Dad's not going to be very happy about that"
Kasumi grinned at them as she swayed out of the house.
"Like, see you dudes later. I gotta go shopping, dig"
Akane rolled her eyes. "Don't roadkill anyone"
Kasumi giggled and climbed into her Corvette. She fired the engine and did a burnout out of the driveway followed by a handbrake turn to get the car facing in the right direction.
Shampoo stared after her. "She drive like much loony"
"Yeah, that car's known as the self-propelled road hazard round here"
Akane nodded. "She pulls G's in that thing"
Shampoo looked blank. "Er - what mean 'Gees"
"Acelleratin' hard enough that inertia produces a gravity effect straight backwards. My bike hits around five or six G's. That's why I strap passengers to myself - to stop them flyin' offa the back"
"Kasumi's car hits four G's. If she's feeling crazy - which is most of the time. Word to the wise - never accept an offer of a lift from Kasumi." Akane paused for effect. "She thinks pulling G's is fun"
Ranma frowned. "It is - if you're drivin'. It's prime shit-it material if you're a passenger"
"Well... I suppose so..."
Nabiki knocked on the door of the Kuno mansion.
A short - arse wrinkled figure answered it.
"Hello, Ms. Tendo. How can I help you"
"Hello, Sasuke... I have information I believe Tatewaki may find useful."
Once Nabiki had gone Kuno grabbed a drawing pad and started doodling. He
found he always thought better while drawing.
"Akane Tendo. Ranma Saotome. And now this Shampoo person... what will that blasted boy think of next?" He paused "I shall have to do something about him and that psychotic lesbian slut"
His sister walked into the room. With each step she swayed violently to the left, giving her walk a shambling look that belied her true agility.
"Good morning, dear brother"
"Good morning, Kodachi. Are you well"
Kodachi sighed. "As well as ever"
Kuno patted the couch next to himself and tossed his drawing pad away.
"Come, sit down. The servants will have breakfast ready in a moment. Let us sit together, dear sister"
Kodachi sighed and sat down beside him.
"You don't need to try to cheer me up, Tatewaki. It won't work"
Kuno sighed. "But still I must try, for you and I are of one blood"
Kodachi smiled slightly. "I do appreciate it"
"Then I shall never give up, Kodachi"
Kodachi nodded. Her smile had vanished again. Kuno stifled another sigh as he remembered the tragic day four years ago - the day of the beach buggy crash. Before that Kodachi had been vibrant, graceful and lived her life in a dazzle of happiness. Then their father took them to Hawaii and they rented a sandrail.
The snapped axle could have happened to anyone - it was bad luck and poor maintenance. But the broken metal flew up and severed part of the rollcage.
As the vehicle flipped over the sturdy metal frame was crushed and Kodachi got hit.
When she woke up three days later - after being resuscitated five times -
she was told she would never be able to use her left hand again. She would never be able to walk properly again.
It had been crushing. She and Tatewaki had never got on that well - before the crash. While their father went on an alcohol binge Tatewaki insisted on taking care of Kodachi himself.
After all, she was his sister. It was the least he could do for the girl who was born of the same mother on the same day as himself.
Tatewaki picked up the T.V. remote.
"I understand that there is a good movie on in a few minutes. Shall we watch it"
Kodachi nodded. "Might as well."
Ranma stared at the road as it streamed past under him. White Zombie on the
bike's stereo. The bellow of the engine. The whine from the supercharger.
Shampoo and Akane perched on the seat which he had spent most of the morning extending. It didn't come any better than this.
He pulled up at the park entrance, parked the bike and let the girls off,
turned off the stereo and locked a hefty piece of chain through both wheels and the frame.
They ambled over to the nearby pond. Ranma stayed well clear of the water.
"Okay, we're here. Let's doss"
He flung himself full length on the ground and fished a six pack of beercans out of his pack. "Here, have a pint"
Shampoo nodded and opened one. Akane followed suit.
She shook her head. "Well - what a fuckin' life, huh"
"Could be worse. Could always be worse"
Shampoo snorted. "Is so"
A tall and good - looking teenage girl dressed in a denim jacket and jeans limped through the gateway. She stopped beside Ranma's bike and started examining it.
Ranma grinned. "Hey! Quite a machine, ain't she"
The girl looked up. "This is your motorcycle"
Ranma nodded. He stood up and walked over.
"I put her together outta wrecks - stuff outta scrapyards. The motor an'
frame came outta one that'd failed it's MOT. Rest o' the bits came offa seven junkers - couldn't believe me eyes when I found the blower. Some twit'd binned his bike an' lobbed a perfectly good supercharger. The nitrous was a 1200 Bandit set - I adapted it ta fit the Gixer's carbs. It started off pretty near stock then I just couldn't stop tunin' it. I hafta make a new set o' pistons an' conrods an' a new crank every week but damn is it worth it! She puts out near 400 brake horse at the crank, somewhere near 360 at the back wheel"
The girl sighed. "I wish I could learn to ride a motorcycle"
"Huh? Why cantcha"
She smiled sadly and raised her left arm. 'I cannot use my left hand"
Ranma looked at her hand. It was half clenched in an unnatural looking position and obviously atrophied.
"Shit - what happened"
"I was nearly killed when I rolled a sandrail after it's front axle snapped and smashed part of the rollcage. That is why I limp so - several tendons in my leg were severely damaged"
Ranma looked at her thoughtfully. She looked depressed.
"That don't mean you can't ride. I once met a dude who's right arm's missin'
at the shoulder an' he rides a turbo Blackbird. You can get th' controls adapted to fit on one bar an' a steerin' damper. You look a bit lop-sided,
but what the hell. It's a ride, huh? An' from the way yer standin' it's yer knee that's buggered up so you'd be able to work a gearshift no trouble -
you use ankle motions to change gear"
The girl stared at him. "Truly"
"Yeah, it's a bit harder than ridin' a normal setup since yer right hand hasta do that much more, but hey - it ain't impossible. A Blackbird's the fastest stocker they make. Turbo it an' it's stark starin' mad. An' if some dude can ride that with his left arm ya can ride with yer right hand, huh"
He fished a leaflet out of his pocket. "Here, you'll find an address where they can convert a bike an' you can get ridin' lessons. If you're gonna go for it join JABD"
"Japanese Association for Bikers with a Disability. A lotta people've picked up real nasty injuries from bein' hit by cars - JABD is run by a crew who got together an' went 'fuck it we're still bikers'. They forced the government ta allow people with missin' feet, one arm an' so on ta get bike licenses. Me an' Dad help 'em with fundraisin' a lot - me grandfather wuz killed when a car hit him head on so Dad does stuff fer JABD in his memory"
The girl nodded and pocketed the leaflet.
"No prob. The more bikers an' the less car drivers the better far as I'm concerned"
Akane whistled at him. "Hey! Ranma! Gissahand"
Ranma nodded. "I'll be over in a sec." He smiled at the girl. "Ya look pretty down - might as well just go for it, huh? Yer still alive so the world ain't got ya yet, huh"
She smiled. "Thankyou"
Shampoo ambled over as Ranma went back over to where Akane was sitting.
She smiled at the sad girl. "Is you martial artist"
"Huh? Yes - I do a bit of Kung Fu"
Shampoo nodded. "Is thinking you walk like martial artist, no"
"Even with my limp"
"I see worse limp before. Is not so bad - I is know people who hardly able to stand. Wu Chii got AK47 bullet in knee. Not able walk in straight line,
but still warrior"
The girl smiled slightly. "I suppose it could be far, far worse"
"Is so. You still able walk. Not like you in wheelchair, no"
"Yeah... Say, I don't know any of your names"
"I Xian Pu, him be Ranma Saotome. She Akane Tendo. You be"
"I am Kodachi Kuno"
Ranma and Akane looked up from their fiddling with Akane's geometry homework.
"Say, are you any relation to Tatewaki Kuno"
"Indeed - he is my twin brother. Do you know him"
"Yeah, we know him from school"
Kodachi frowned. "He was saying something about a biker with an impressive machine... apparently he is at loggerheads with this biker"
Ranma nodded. "Yeah, Akane's bisexual an' he don't like that, th' fuckhead.
He kept on tryin' ta work her over - so I told him exactly where ta get off the only way he seemed ta understand. Hey, she's my fiancee - d'ya blame me"
Kodachi shook her head. "My brother has always had a distinct chip on his shoulder - and he very rarely gives up on anything"
"Yeah, I beat him up a couple o' times then hadta bust his arm fer him. Only way I could think o' ta get th' point across"
Kodachi nodded. "That is simply my brother for you... I am afraid he is quite disturbed - he was in the car during the accident in which our mother died and the experience unhinged him somewhat"
Ranma nodded. "That explains that - but it don't make it any less worse. Any chance o' seein' if ya can get him ta lay offa Akane"
Kodachi nodded. "I will try... but beware. He has a shotgun"
"He's gotten a shooter? Aw great, that's all I fuckin' need!"
Ryoga stared at Ranma.
"Kuno's got what"
"He's got a shotgun. His sister reckon's he might decide ta blow me an'
Akane's heads off with it. She said she's gonna lean on him a bit - but,
Akane sighed. "Ranma, can you use a gun"
"Akane, I've been ta Afghanistan. You name it I can shoot it. Handguns,
sub-machine guns, assault rifles, machine guns"
She nodded. "I've got a spare shooter - Browning GP35. I think we'd better all carry guns"
"9MM semi-auto, right? I'd prefer a .357 or .44 Magnum. More in the way o'
stoppin' power, right"
"Hang on, hang on, hang on. Are you two so sure it's gonna go that far"
"Ryoga, I don't know. But sure as shit an' pigs I'm gonna find out -
Ryoga nodded. "I suppose so"
"Look, we gotta find out what Kuno's plannin"
Akane sniggered. "I know how to find out"
"Huh? How? Ask the shitface"
"No - ask Nabiki. What she don't know isn't worth knowing"
"Nabiki? She strikes me as a outright bookie but that's it"
"If you want to know it Nabiki either knows or can find out"
Ranma nodded slowly. "Right. Yer dad's bike's back - let's go chat with her"
They trooped up to Nabiki's bedroom. Ranma banged the door open.
Nabiki hastily closed and encrypted the document she was working on.
"Do you lot have to charge in here"
"We need some info, Nabiki. We wuz talkin' ta Kuno's sister - she tells us he's got a shotgun. How about findin' out if he plans to blow me an' Akane's brains out"
Nabiki paused. "You what"
"You know as well as I do the creep hates Akane's guts. And he's got a gun"
"Fuck!" Nabiki grabbed her mobile phone and dialled a long number. She waited for a moment then talked to someone in a very quiet voice.
She listened to the somebody's answer then pocketed the phone.
"Excuse me, you lot. He's got a shotgun license - I've got someone to blackmail. I'll be back later"
She charged out. Once again her father's bike spluttered into life and she rode off on it.
Ranma watched her go. He narrowed his eyes.
"Stupid of her ta leave her laptop booted up. Let's see what she wuz workin'
"Er - Ranma, she encrypted it"
"Yeah? If the encryption an' decryption keys are the same it's no bother. I got an excellent short - term memory." He opened the file and typed the key in.
"Bingo - aw, fuck"
"She's written it in Cryllic."
Like, later dudes.
Chapter 6: I seen your mummy "Frankly? I had my reservations at first, but I was and am damn proud of my son. Ranma may have a completely skewed sense of honour, but he's all the more a man for it. He lives life by his own rules, always has done, always will do. And those rules of his seem just so damn right." Nodoka Saotome.
Ranma scratched his arse for a while then sat up. He fished out a cigarette,
fished his lighter out and lit up.
Shampoo was already awake. She watched him carefully as he puffed away,
pausing to spit in the ashtray.
"Mornin', Shampoo. Wanna smoke"
She shook her head. "I not smoke"
"Fair enough." He tapped ash off the cig.
Akane opened her eyes. "I hate fucking Mondays"
"Could be worse - could be a lot worse"
"Do you reckon Nabiki had enough blackmail material to stop Kuno"
"Dunno - Ryoga's still translatin' all that shit we got offa her laptop.
Stupid of her to use the same decryption key all through"
"Yeah - I would've though she'd think to use multiple keys"
"Maybe she's gotten a shite memory"
"Nabiki's got total recall"
"Let's get up"
They pulled on their clothes in silence. Akane made a face. "I feel sick"
"You gonna stay home"
She shook her head. "I'm sure it'll settle down once I get some food inside me"
Ranma shrugged. "Your call." He headed downstairs with the girls hard behind him.
Kasumi looked up from where she was just putting food onto the table.
"Like, mornin' dudes. What was it with that kinda racket you lot were doin'
last night and the night before and the night before that"
Ranma snorted. "Not your problem. Let's just say we wuz havin' a bit o'
Kasumi shrugged. "Like, whatever. Well, grub's kinda up, man"
Genma and Soun ambled into the room. Soun was in the process of cleaning his teeth. Nabiki was already at the table - she was reading something off her laptop.
Ryoga was sat across the table from her, busily writing something. She snapped her notebook shut.
"Food? Great - I've been translating since six this morning"
Nabiki looked up. "What're you translating"
"Some stuff a mate of mine - I think he's American - gave me. It's all in English"
"Oh. Right. So you speak English, huh"
"Fluently. Hell, I speak quite a few languages"
"Er - how many"
"Two hundred and fifty six. And I can make myself understood in another three hundred and twelve or so. I can read Chinese, any romanic or cryllic and a few others pretty well"
Ranma snorted. "If it's written Ryoga can probably read it. If it's spoken Ryoga can probably understand it"
Nabiki nodded slowly. "Hmm - interesting. I have several documents I have been unable to find a translator for - a local dialect of Scottish Gaelic, I believe. Ryoga, can I trust you not to spread information"
Ryoga nodded. "You're family. Of course I'm not gonna shit on you"
Nabiki paused. She looked at Ranma, Akane and Shampoo. All three were nodding. She looked back at Ryoga's serious expression.
"Okay. How soon can you start work"
"I'll do it during English class today - I'm gonna get top marks at any rate even if I don't do any work whatsoever"
Nabiki nodded. "How much do you want for it"
"What? Nabiki, you're family. Don't talk bullshit"
"You'll do it for nothing"
Ranma chuckled. "Nabiki, like Ryoga said - you're family. Family've gotta stick together, see?"
The two bikes pulled up in the schoolyard. There was no sign of Kuno, but
his friends were there.
Ranma let the girls off then locked up his bike. He stared at the Kendo crew.
"So wadda ya fuckwits want'
The lead Kendoist growled from behind his mask.
"You weirdoes beat up Mr. Kuno"
"Aye, and the fuckhead was askin' fer it"
Shampoo smiled nastily and drew her katana - four feet of razor sharp chemically blackened steel.
"It not good move for to fuck with we"
Akane put her hand inside her trenchcoat. "Yeah! Lay off of us or we'll start killing people!" She drew her .44 and glared down the gunsights at the mob.
Ranma sighed and pulled out his length of chain. Ryoga shrugged and tugged a three foot adjustable wrench out of the sheath on her back.
"I think it's time to put a spanner in the works, huh?" She tossed the spanner up and caught it neatly in her other hand then belted the bicycle shelter roof with it leaving a foot deep dent in the corrugated iron.
Ranma shrugged. "So are you dumbclucks stupid enough to fuck with us"
Nabiki stepped out of the school doorway.
"Excuse me, gentlemen. I happen to have heard that one of you pukes slashed my little sister? Hmm, let me see - between you you owe me at least a quarter of a million yen. Hmm - and I know what you lot did last year.
Perhaps you would like to examine some of my photo collection"
Akane stared. Nabiki was blackmailing those guys when she had nothing to gain from it?
The Kendo crowd stared. Their apparent leader shook his head.
"What the hell are you going on about"
"Christmas party. Sex. Telephoto lens"
"Now sod off unless you want her parents to know"
Nabiki pulled a photograph out of her pocket and held it out to them. The whole Kendo club went pale and legged it.
She laughed, pocketed the photograph and turned to Ranma and the gang.
"Now we're quits, eh Ryoga"
Ranma shook his head. "No. Now I owe you one"
"Ranma, you are as Ryoga pointed out family"
"Hey - if ya no mind me askin' - how th' hell'd that photo scare them dicks so much"
Nabiki sniggered. "Gang-bang. Kuno bought the girl off. But her folks don't know"
"And let me guess - ya were waitin' with a camera"
"I heard the row and snuck up. Had my telephoto lens - so I got real good detail. Fifteen photos. That's the Kendo club got out of the way fourteen more times"
Akane frowned. "They gang raped this girl"
Nabiki shrugged. "Dunno - but I later saw Kuno giving her a large amount of money. I interviewed her and she told me that her parent's didn't know what had happened. She's the local underage slut. And her father's a cop"
Mr. Matsui looked up as his rowdiest and best pupil charged into the room.
"Mornin' Teach. How's tricks"
"Good morning, Mr. Saotome. I suspect you'll enjoy today - we're starting the mechanics class this morning"
Ranma grew a wide grin. "Don't be surprised if I already know everything"
"Oh yeah? Why's that"
"You've seen Ryoga's bike. I built it - outta scrapyard parts. I built my own bike the same way - when I was eight. I've scratchbuilt seven other bikes and two trikes outta junk, I've fixed up forty-odd cars from dead to fully road legal. Yeah, i know the whole nine yards. Hell, I'm plannin' on doin' engineerin' in uni"
Matsui smiled happily. "Glad to hear it, Mr. Saotome"
He looked from Ranma to the other three. His smile immediately turned into a frown. "And where have you been the last few days, young lady"
Shampoo shot him a confused look. "What"
"Er, teach - she's not Shan. She's Shampoo. Totally different person"
"Ranma not be enunciate I name correct - I name be Xian Pu." Shampoo spoke very fast indeed. Matsui paused to work out what she meant. "Ah. Sorry"
"Is not be trouble... Call I Shampoo - is easier for japanese-type person for to enunciate"
"Xian Pu, that's pronounce." Ryoga pointed out.
"Huh? You is enun- pronounce I name proper"
Ryoga nodded. "I'm fully fluent in Cantonese - unlike my little brother"
"Ryoga - any chance of speakin' Japanese ya show-off"
"I'm planning to help Xian Pu learn Japanese, bro"
"That be much aid"
"The word's help, Xian Pu"
Matsui sighed. "Okay, okay. Shampoo, sit with Ryoga. That way she can help you with your Japanese"
Shampoo nodded. "Is be good ploy"
Matsui realised he was developing a headache.
Ranma had a wide grin as they headed out of the classroom. He was as high as
a kite - answering questions before Matsui had a chance to had been fun.
The English lesson that afternoon had been downright dull since he spoke the language fluently. Better than the English teacher in fact - at least he had been able to make sarcastic remarks about other people's pronunciation.
He climbed onto his bike and shoved a tape into the stereo. The rear suspension crouched as the girls climbed on behind him.
He passed the long belt around them and buckled it into place, shoved the key into the ignition, flipped the kill switch to run and thumbed the starter.
The bike grunted into life and spat a thin jet of dirty black smoke out of one exhaust. Ranma pulled a face and fiddled with the carbs for a moment.
The smoke cleared up and he nodded satisfiedly.
He pulled in the clutch and tapped the gearshift with his toe. The box let out a sharp chunk and he tugged back slightly on the throttle. The engine grunted, lifting dust from the pavement. Ranma gunned the engine a couple of times, keeping one eye on the temperature gauge. It edged up as he revved the bike.
Satisfied that the engine had warmed up nicely, he flipped off the choke and started to let out the clutch. He could take off without letting it warm up,
but the engine was happier this way.
He lent hard over and out of the gates. Other kids on their 125's pulled aside to let him through. He nodded cheerfully at them, grinning from behind his lid.
Then they were out on the road. Ryoga's bike popped out of the driveway,
appearing hard on his tail. He flicked the supercharger on and gassed the engine. The front wheel popped up in a 45 degree wheelie. He let it down well before the corner and changed up into second. Clutch in and off the gas, kick gearshift, drop clutch and gas it again. A massive thud behind him told him Ryoga had just hit the afterburners. He chuckled and thumbed the nitrous trigger.
The back wheel spun up, jetting shattered tarmac and blue smoke. The scenery went into fast forwards.
He let the back wheel slide out around the corner, it's spikes clawing wildly at the road. Smashed tarmac rattled off the buildings like buckshot.
A fireball appeared in his wing mirror with Ryoga's bike attached to the front.
Ranma grinned toothily. It didn't come any better than this.
As the two bikes thundered onto the street the Tendo's house was on they got
their first look at what was going on. An eighteen-wheeler articulated lorry
tractor unit was sat outside the house.
Ranma frowned as he skidded his bike to a halt in the driveway. He switched off and let the girls off the bike then sauntered over to the truck and began examining it.
Akane joined him as Ryoga pulled up. "Nodoka Saotome Express Haulage." she read off the side of the truck.
Ranma frowned. "Nodoka Saotome? Mum"
"Your mother, right"
He nodded. "Yeah! Come on - let's get inside! Funny - she didn't look much like a trucker the way I remember her"
The four youths barged into the house. All yelling.
They found Soun and Genma chatting with a small woman who was dressed in a massive blue boiler suit and heavy safety boots.
Ranma stared at her.
She stared back. "Ranma"
Mother and son spent a few moments staring at each other, each one of them trying to equate what they saw with what they remembered.
"I dunno what ta say, Mum"
"Just one thing - how in fuck did ya end up drivin' a truck"
"It's fun and I need the money"
Kasumi handed Ranma a beer. He grinned and opened it. "Thanks"
"Like, no bother man." She ambled back into the kitchen.
Ranma took a large swig of beer. "Ahh - clears yer throat"
Nodoka nodded and held up her own can. "I'll drink to that"
They clinked their cans. At which point sod's law came into play and Ranma's beer went mental. It exploded upwards in a huge shower of foam and booze and hit him square in the face.
She shook beer out of her hair. "Fuckin' curse! Just my fuckin' luck! Waddya know? Duckponds, downpours, janitors, exploding beercans, fuckin' typical"
Nodoka stared. "What the hell"
"A fuckin' curse I picked up a couple o' months back in China. Cold water -
curry - beer - or whatever, if I get splashed with it I change sex. Hot water changes me back. It sucks ta hell"
Nodoka kept staring. "Is this for real"
"Hey, Kasumi - couldja get us some hot water?" Ranma turned back to her mother. "Ya should see Dad." She chucked some of her beer over Genma.
"A fuckin' panda"
"Magic. Shit, huh? It's alright fer some - like Ryoga - but it's shit"
Nodoka turned to Genma.
"You... you... you IDIOT! How could you let this happen"
Kasumi handed Ranma a glassful of hot water. "Like, here ya go man"
"Thanks." Ranma sloshed some over herself then his father.
"There ya go, old prick. Hey presto, yer human again"
Genma groaned. "Thanks, son. Goddamnit I hate this fuckin' curse"
"Who don't - well, apart from Ryoga"
Nodoka sat down heavily. "This is terrible"
"It's more shit than a Calcutta sewer"
"Ranma, you don't get it. I mean, how can you? Genma, how could you? How could you stand by and let this happen"
"Mum, mind explainin' what th' fuck yer goin' on about"
Nodoka fished around in her pocket then pulled out a thoroughly folded piece of paper. "There the fucking thing is." She handed it to Ranma.
He read it. "What the fuck is this bullshit"
Genma groaned. "Nodoka, don't you get it? Ranma hates his curse. Ranma is a guy. Ranma is heterosexual"
Ranma flung the piece of paper onto the table and blew his lid.
"All of which means bugger all! I ain't gonna kill myself over some fuckhead promise that overstuffed lump o' boke made ten years back! I don't know who ya two fuckheads are foolin' - yerselves? I mean, come on - which o' ya cunts could hold me down long enough ta make me gut myself"
Akane exploded. "What the fuck are you going on about"
"It seems that fuckin' PANDA promised Mum that if I didn't end up what he calls 'a man among men' both o' us'd commit seppuku - just what the fuck are ya on? I gotten stuff ta live for! I'm a fuckin' BLOKE ya fuckwit"
Shampoo decided to explode. "What this crap be"
But Ranma cut her off with his continued swearing. "Motherfuckin' crazy!
You're motherfuckin' crazy if you think I'm gonna fall for that freeze-dried stone age bullshit! He ripped his jacket off and flung it on the table then tossed his T-shirt after it. This revealed his extremely hairy chest.
"D'ya see a girl here? Nah! Because there's a fuckin' self - propelled mullet here, d'ya get my drift?" He grabbed his own crotch. "An' how about here"
Nodoka exploded. "Do you mean you don't know the meaning of honour, you twit"
"Honour? Why am I supposed ta give a shit about that decayin' crap? This is 1998 ya fuckwit! When did yer 'honour' last matter fer bullshit? World War fuckin' Two, before the Yanks kicked our asses an' fuckin' nuked us, that's when"
There was a shocked silence.
"Ranma, listen to me for five fucking seconds"
Nodoka prepared herself to rant. "Look here, a promise is a promise and much as I don't like the idea"
"FUCK YOU! Ya know where ya can put that fuckin' bit o' paper? Up yer arse where th' sun don't shine"
"Ranma! I do not need to be spoken to in that manner"
"Oh yeah and why not? Because ya want to gut me? Aye right - th' last dick who wanted ta do that's in twenty odd bits across th' scenery! I only gotten one life. This ain't no computer game an' it ain't no fuckin' comic book,
there ain't no comin' back fer a second go an' ya can go fuck yerself"
Akane sighed. "This has gone far enough." She shoved her hand into her trenchcoat pocket and pulled out her .44, cocked it and levelled it at Nodoka's head. "You are not gonna come anywhere near my boyfriend with that 'promise' his fat fuck father made. Because I don't give a flying fuck what you want, and by the sound of it neither does Ranma. We're going to marry,
we're going to do it by our own terms and you are not going to do anything to get in the way. Nobody - absolutely fucking NOBODY - messes with my man"
There was a polite cough from the doorway. Nabiki looked around the crowd.
"Akane, where the hell did you get that"
"I made it"
"Ah, that's why you wanted to use my internet connection, huh"
Nodoka stared at Akane. "A gun? Is that thing real"
Akane turned and fired through the window, shattering it and blasting a rock to pieces in the process.
"No prizes for guessing"
Shampoo pulled her Makarov out. "Maybe I shall for join facedown"
Ryoga idly got up and walked over to beside them.
"Come on, Nodoka. I always did know you were stupid but isn't this taking it a bit far? I'm the 'effeminate' one, not Ranma. And anyway, where do you get off dictating what is and is not manly? Take a good look at yourself -
you're not exactly a paragon of feminine virtue, you grease - encrusted trucker you"
Akane nodded. "I happen to be bisexual so I'm a better judge than Ryoga. You look like a roadie and I'd guess at first look that you were a lesbian"
Ranma snorted. "We've said our piece, Mother dear. Ya said yer piece an' th'
girls have pulled their pieces - now how about gettin' fucked"
Nabiki sighed. "Nodoka, Ranma is about the least camp person I have ever met. Even taking his curse into account. Now, I happen to know you'd have to kill Akane and Shampoo to get at him, and I also happen to know he'd kill absolutely anybody who even tried that. So I strongly suggest that you lay the hell off of my future brother in law before things get nasty"
Nodoka shook her head. "But family honour dictates"
"Take yer 'family honour' crap an' blow it outta yer exhausts, Mum. I am not gonna kill myself. I am not gonna let ya do it. Akane and Shampoo sleep with guns on 'em so that rules out tryin' anythin' funny at night. So give it up"
"Akane and Shampoo"
Ranma nodded. "Akane is my girlfriend and we've already set a weddin' date.
And I'm also married to Shampoo under a completely different set o' laws"
Nodoka paused then picked up the famous piece of paper. She grabbed her lighter.
"Now that," she stated, "Is what I call manly"
She set fire to the contract and dropped the ash in the fireplace.
"Good riddance. Now, I've got a load to take up north - when is your wedding set"
"Er - um - ah - Sunday. We decided last night"
"Excellent. That fits in perfectly - I don't work weekends. I have to pick up car parts in Osaka tomorrow then fifty tons of sheet steel the day after... let's see. I'm free to help with arrangements from Thursday"
Ranma snorted. "Sound's like a life in the fast lane"
"Yep." Nodoka grinned. "Just the way I like it. My jam-boy is real effective - he needs to be"
"Yes, he drives like a raging twat to distract the cops so I can go through at full speed. I had a 37,000 brake horsepower railway locomotive engine fitted to my truck - 'express' really does mean 'Express' when you're talking about me"
"Thirty-seven thousand brake horse? Fuckin' hell"
Nodoka grinned again. "Top speed around 150 fully laden. Nought to sixty in around six seconds if I'm on the ball with the gearshift. I can run a load the length of Japan in under half a day. I normally carry emergency supplies to factories who've had a muckup in their delivery schedule"
"Ya should fit an airshifter"
"Oh, I'm saving up for one. I've got a sixteen speed box"
Ranma scratched his jaw. "Hmm - don't go fittin' any off the shelf crap,
Mum. I can put together a real good shifter fer ya - give me the truck fer two days and it'll be sorted"
"Yeah - hey, you got it turboed or blown"
"Right. I'll rig ya a supercharger - then you'll really need that airshifter"
"A blower? Won't that cost a fortune"
"Not a hand made one. Fifty kilos o' aircraft-quality alloy, a sportsbike crank an' some bits an' shits an' job's a good 'un"
Nodoka slowly shook her head. "Amazing. Absolutely amazing"
"Ha - ya ain't seen Ryoga's jetbike. I built it outta wrecks an' a Bell helicopter engine then rigged afterburners onta it"
"Afterburners? On a motorbike? You're crazy"
"But damn is it worth it!"
On to the next episode, fellow hairstyles!
NOTES Not much for me to say, the next post'll be along in a minute.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Ratbike - A motorbike made to look as fucked up and unroadworthy as possible
while still being street legal. Normally painted flat black.
Honda CG125 - Small single - cylinder 4-stroke road bike. Not very much of anything but supremely reliable and dirt cheap. It's reliability stems from having very little to go wrong and a low - revving 4-stroke engine.
Honda Fireblade - Insane Honda sportsbike. Mad but beginning to show it's age.
Supercharger - A pump driven off the crank that forces more air into the engine thus forcing it to run faster.
Nitrous oxide - Laughing gas. A petrol - nitrous mix burns faster than a petrol - air mix therefore produces more horsepower and more wear in the engine.
Top yoke - The yokes are two pieces of metal that hold the front forks together and to the bike. The top yoke is the upper one. Known as triple clamps in the US.
Gixer - Slang for a Suzuki GSXR (one of the craziest bikes built.
Chain lube - Motorbike chain lubrication oil.
Header tank - Tank that contains the spare water for the radiator on a sealed cooling system as found in most cars.
Gasflowing - trimming off excess metal from inside the cylinder heads to aid the burn rate of fuel within the engine. Gives a small horsepower boost.
Final drive - the drive chain that goes from the gearbox to the back wheel and the cogs (final drive sprockets) that it runs on.
Conrod - The bit of metal that connects the piston to the crankshaft.
Alternator - Higher tech version of a generator.
Kill switch - The engine's 'off' switch. Turns off power to the ignition.
Lid / skidlid - Slang for a crash helmet.
250 Superdream - CB250. The next up the Honda model range from the CG125 and just a bigger version of the same.
500 Superdream - CB500. A CB250 with a bigger bore and heavier frame.
Engine clicking - An internal combustion engine heats up when run. Run it hard and it heats up more, then when you switch off the engine will start emitting a series of sharp clicks as the metal cools and contracts.
Stocker - unmodified factory - built vehicle.
Binned - crashed. Normally means written off.