Posted: Monday 11 June 2012
Disclaimer: This fanfiction uses existing ideas, characters and or worlds, but is an independent work of art. I own nothing, hence the reason for publishing my writings here instead of in real books where I could make some money.
Change of Power
Chapter One – Issues With Acceptance
Standing on top of what used to be a rocky hill just outside the town of Bayville was a house with a very Asian look about it.
The hill itself was now a spiraling set of stairs winding up the concrete and rock height, covered in tiled roof to keep the visitor from immediate contact with the elements. Situated at the bottom was even an electrical chair lift for the enfeebled. Though it should be said that the chair took close to twenty minutes to reach the top, and even a fit and normal individual would need at least ten or fifteen to reach the top.
The home at the top was surrounded by walls, which had tiles on the top to angle water down the sides instead of into the compound. The space in front of the house was as big as a basketball court, and had a few thick wood poles sticking out of the ground at varying heights along the side.
The house itself appeared to have two levels, ground and upper. It was somewhat a fusion of Western and traditional Japanese in design.
Most of the house had walls with white paper in wooden frames, capable of being moved around to allow air to circulate or to close it out. A few rooms did not hold to that openness and flexibility, primarily the bathrooms which had solid wooden walls and a solid door with a lock which flipped a sign as the lock turned, informing those on the outside if the room was occupied or vacant. It contained a shower, a large tub with seating capacity for four and water jets along the sides that could change a normal bath into a hot tub, one toilet, and one sink. A few feminine products were lined on the cabinets next to the sink, which had a mirror. A second bathroom on the ground level had no showers or bath, but was fully stocked with toilet, sink and towels.
The kitchen had one solid wall, along which stood the kitchen sink, the dish washer, the wood cooking stove with cooking top, and the refrigerator.
A common area was set up not far from the kitchen, containing a sofa, a coffee table and a projected 70 inch TV shown on the large white wall.
As there were no power lines attached to the house or property, one might wonder where the electricity for the electrical devices came from.
The answer to this query would be found in the lowest level of the property, nearly twenty feet below the ground around the hill. The additional levels below the house were not on any blueprint, as they had been constructed in secret and without a permit. The bottom level being the garage, where the motorcycle of the owner was normally parked. The bike was not there, but the power plant was, spitting out enough power for the average household by splitting the hydrogen and oxygen atoms from water through the means of an electric charge transmitted from the photovoltaic cells on the roof, releasing the oxygen while trapping the hydrogen, which was then used to generate electricity, a process which bonded the hydrogen with oxygen and as a byproduct made water which was piped back into the water tank with diminishing returns. As a result the tank had to be topped off every few days in order to keep everything running. The City had not approved such a thing, but then it wasn't anywhere in the plans so they didn't know that the owner used far more power than supplied by the panels on his roof.
The owner of the property was standing in the middle of the top subterranean level, making measurements and notations.
The owner was one Ranma Saotome, born in Japan and sent to America, or Bayville specifically, in an Exchange program. He had discovered quite a bit about himself, including that he had an Aunt no one in his family knew about, that he had a mutation, and that he had a dual citizenship as a result of being born on a US military base in Japan; American soil. For almost three years, he'd had a curse which changed his gender with the right application of water temperatures but the moment his body had dissolved into particles of smoke the magic had nothing to hang on to and lost its grip. Ranma had gone almost two days without noticing.
The process of becoming a mutant had not changed much about Ranma's appearance, but there was one damning feature and that was his eyes. In their place was a space of swirling black mist. His eye sight was still as sharp as ever, but while he had managed to reassemble every other part of himself the eyes had not been included. To cover up this, he had taken to wearing a pair of sunglasses, which made him look like a blind man as he wore them indoors and when it was dark.
"That's right, Forge," the teenager stated into his cell phone. "Forty feet by forty feet by ten feet."
"Are you kidding me?" the teenage boy in the other end of the line answered. "The Danger Room at the Xavier place is at least five times that much!"
"I know that's not much to work with," agreed Ranma. "But it's all I have available without starting further excavations beyond the borders of my property."
"And just how did you expect to manage with that kind of space restrictions?" Forge demanded. "As soon as you move you'd almost reach the end and hit a wall!"
"I was thinking something along the lines of a containment field which allowed the user to interact freely with the environment but kept them in one spot throughout the simulation-"
"Are you insane, man?" erupted the Native American mutant from the seventies, cutting off Ranma's suggestion. "Do you have any kind of idea how difficult it would be to get something like that done?"
"No need to throw a fit, I know how hard that would be." Ranma confirmed. "I've spent a day trying to think up an alternative, but I don't want to travel or send my residents over to the Xavier Institute for simulations."
"I'll see what I can do," sighed Forge tiredly. "But getting parts won't be cheap, you know."
"If it helps, I'll supply the parts you need," suggested Ranma. "I know of a very nice old coot at a scrap yard. He lets me walk off with what I can carry in hand. And you've seen what I can carry."
"I'll get on it, then. I'll be at your place when you get back from school tomorrow."
"You're the best, Forge. See you then."
"This is Ranma," Ranma answered immediately after hanging up on Forge.
"Ranma, it's good to hear you found your way home," the cultured voice on the other end stated.
"Professor," returned Ranma, having heard of the situation pertaining to his entrapment within the containment tanks designed to sedate and keep the Juggernaut from going out on a rampage.
"I assume you still intended on finishing your education, am I right?" the Professor asked rhetorically.
"Yes," confirmed Ranma slowly.
"Then I think you should go to school tomorrow as normal," Xavier continued. "The School Board has allowed the mutant students to return for the day, provided they do not use their powers."
"Of course," agreed Ranma. It made sense that this would be one of the conditions. After all, many of the mutant powers available to the mutants at Bayville High could cause quite a bit of damage.
"Principal Kelly opposed the decision, and may attempt to sabotage things," warned Professor Xavier. "It is imperative that you do not use your powers or anything that may seem out of the ordinary. Explaining things away as something which could be achieved with rigorous training is not credible enough for the normal everyday human. At least not in these troubled times."
"I see," Ranma confirmed that he had understood.
"The School Board will be assembling tomorrow evening at City Hall to discuss whether or not mutants will be allowed to attend school with regular humans."
"I'll be there," assured Ranma, making a note of the time and place. "Thank you."
Ranma flipped closed his cell phone and stuffed it away as he returned to the main levels, where he found a blonde girl about his age lounging on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn in her lap, a paper cup of McDonald's soda on the wooden floor inside reach, and on the screen he could see a sandy Arena with beams of bright colors held by robed individuals surrounding it as an army of robots flooded in from every entrance.
"You started without me," Ranma accused, shoving the girl's feet off his sofa and planting himself at that end.
"You were late," the girl answered. "And I was bored. Not much else to do around here."
"There will be soon," corrected Ranma. "The School Board has allowed mutants to return to school until the Hearing later today when they'll decide if we're allowed to attend a normal school. But we're not allowed to use our powers."
"Good thing I won't be going, then," the girl decided and popped a corn in her mouth.
"I can't believe I'm the one asking this, but why not?" Ranma asked, snagging a handful of the popped corn. "Don't you want a job where you don't have to serve people their greasy meals for minimum wage?"
"We're mutants, Ranma," the girl answered. "We'll be lucky if someone wants to hire us regardless of education. Face it, we're the new pariah class of Western society; shunned and hated by all."
"Well then you're lucky your codename fits as a stripper name as well," Ranma stated and turned his voice deep in an impersonation of an announcer. "Next on stage four; Boom-Boom! Or if you're feeling very racy you could have a short three hundred film career as a porn star. Those are the main bulk of places where you'd get a job with that education and name if you don't want to stir fries and flip burgers."
"Then I'll just sit here for the rest of my life," Tabitha 'Boom-Boom' Smith sulked.
"You know as well as I do that we have to at least appear to conform," Ranma consoled, then stole another handful of popcorn which earned him an indignant 'hey!' "Lest someone comes along and pays attention to us. Besides, I hear Principal Kelly doesn't want us there ..."
"So," Tabitha picked up where he trailed off, a naughty grin on her face. "We'll be stickin' it to 'the Man' by going? Okay, I'll go, if only to snub that stiff guy by going against the grain."
"Just remember; no powers," Ranma reinforced the condition for attending. "I get the feeling he'll be very strict on that, going as far as arranging situations where a mutant uses their power may be a possibility. Be sure never to go anywhere alone until we get this issue cleared up."
The next morning, Ranma stepped out of the shadow of an oak tree on the property of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters and noted with some amusement that his bike remained where he had parked it days before.
There were some scorch marks on the ground and a slight humming which suggested that the Anti-Theft was active, and the scratches and skid marks around it suggested someone had attempted to tow it when moving it manually hadn't worked.
"Who goes there?" demanded a girl's voice and Ranma saw Kitty poke her head out from behind one of the partly erect walls of the Mansion. He noticed that the walls had become a bit more decorative since he saw them a few days ago.
"Just me," Ranma called out. "I'm getting my bike. Want to appear a little more normal until they decide if we get to return permanently. Need a ride?"
"No!" Kitty answered emphatically. "I mean, Scott already said he'd drive."
"Smooth," Ranma remarked with a chuckle as he remembered her reaction from the Dance, pushing up the shades he had gotten Tabitha to get for him. She admitted she had wanted to mess with him and get him girly ones, but instead went for the same ones Keannu Reeves wore in the massive multiplayer online society reproduced from the human world, where machines harvested bio energy from ignorant humans who didn't know they were only living in simulations transmitted directly into their brain. "See you at school."
"Look under the pile of rotten fruit," the brunette called as Ranma started his bike.
The drive was much less adventurous than the last time he'd been on it, but that was because after the stir he'd caused he didn't want to draw more attention to himself. He was starting a boarding house for mutants who wanted not to take one side or the other in the Mutant War which was breaking out around them, yet wanted a sanctuary to learn how to use their powers and be themselves.
He had enough room for nearly a score, forty if they didn't mind having only nine feet by seven of personal space or if they doubled up in each room. He could fit sixty or seventy if he got bunk beds and had four share a room.
Ranma didn't realistically anticipate that he would have that many as he didn't have any credentials in educating people other than in Martial Arts, and didn't have a lot of money, but it was good to be prepared.
Meanwhile, in his parents' basement come high tech science lab, Forge the Techno Genius Mutant was hard at work.
He did freelance work for Professor Xavier, and now Ranma. While the Professor was able to pay for his services, Ranma was not able to pay as much, so Forge decided to take some payment out of amusement instead.
His Computer, personally assembled from scratch and programmed with his own Operating System which was more than capable of interacting with the existing OS out there through the internet, was designing a web page linked to an invasive virus which would seek out the users who typed in certain search words successively and open a new browser window to the site which told them about the Boarding House Ranma was setting up, and the benefits of staying neutral while learning to use mutant powers.
He was well aware of that he would not see immediate responses, but his future amusement was assured and ample payment when factoring in that he got to be present when the events unfolded. After all, the Danger Room would require frequent upgrades, and occasional inspections to make sure it wasn't malfunctioning. New equipment for other parts of the house was also a given, as Ranma didn't have the funds to purchase it from the normal manufacturers.
All across the world, the virus burrowed secretly into computers, hiding within a few bytes inside important files, waiting for the parameters for their action to come up, while spreading more of their numbers to other computers. Already, less than a minute after the virus had been released, half a dozen users had been redirected to the web page for Sanctuary Boarding House where images of the property, rooms and owner popped up with the information that this was a sanctuary for mutants who wished not to take part in the war between mutants and humans yet wanted to learn how to control their powers. The exact location was not described, for security reasons, but once a place had been reserved the pertinent information would be sent to the applicant.
It took approximately an hour before three candidates had made a formal request to the administrator of the site to be allowed a space at this new place, and tentative arrangements in preparation for passage had been made.
Somewhere over the East Coast a scheduled passenger airliner was making its final approach for JFK International Airport.
Completely unaware of the exact goings-on elsewhere in the world, Ranma half sat on his bike in the school parking lot as he waited for the Xavier students. Might as well make it official that he was an active mutant by entering the school with them.
With his long leather coat and shades as he leaned against the powerful piece of two-wheeled machinery Ranma looked the very picture of a rebel. All that was missing was a packet of cigarettes and maybe some tattoos.
Several students saw him and thought nothing of the appearance other than admiring it. It was sunny out, so shades was not spectacular, and as it was still early it wasn't exactly warm so a coat wasn't strange. Perhaps it was the combination and the air of confidence about him which made him look cool.
At long last the two cars containing the Xavier students arrived, one dropping them off and the other parking not far from Ranma.
"Reinforcements at last," Ranma noted, his mouth twitching into a crooked smirk. "What's the matter? Couldn't tear your eyes off the new decorations?"
"Stuff it, Saotome," Scott grumbled as he got his pack from the back of his car.
"Don't mind him," Kitty apologized on the red-shaded teen's behalf. "He's just grumpy because we all have to double up to fit in the underground chambers and he ended up with Mr McCoy, who sheds."
"Try sharing a room with a panda for a year," Ranma snorted and hooked his school bag over his shoulder with a finger. He didn't really need a bag, but because of the mutant paranoia he didn't want anyone to think that making things appear out of nowhere was part of his power and that he was using it, so he had the bag filled to capacity with books, pens and notebooks. "Shall we?"
"We shall," Kitty answered and looped her free arm through Ranma's. As far as he was aware, there was nothing romantic going on between him and Kitty, but he had apparently been mistaken about that kind of assumption before.
"Once more unto the breech," quoted the black-haired teen, and informally led the group towards school.
As predicted, Ranma's association with known mutants was very telling about Ranma's status as a mutant, and more than a few gave the group harsh glares. Whispers followed them and went along the line of the group not being welcome. One even went as far as to tell them to go back where they came from, which was amusing as some of them already were where they came from. The only one who hadn't been born on American soil was the disguised Kurt, and he was keeping his distance as he had not been positively identified through the media and was enjoying not being shunned again. Amara and Roberto had been born in Brazil, but the statement that they go back where they came from could not possibly be focused solely on them.
At the top of the steps to the main entrance stood the guy who had been Jean's boyfriend when Ranma had arrived in Bayville, Duncan Matthews the school football star. He attempted to reconcile their differences by saying that her little flaw didn't bother him and suggested how great they could do on tests and professional poker.
Disgusted with the blond teen's suggestion and attitude, Jean renounced their association and pushed past him into the school.
In his lab, Forge took a break from his research into realizing Ranma's vision of a Danger Room confined within a smaller space.
He checked his e-mail and found several applications for places at Ranma's Sanctuary.
He ran background checks on the candidates for a criminal background and association with known anti-mutant groups which had cropped up over night but other than an occasional parking ticket came up clean in each of the now five cases.
The techno genius sent the command to the virus within the candidates' computer and they would automatically print out the address and directions if they were still online, or as soon as they booted up again. It was safer than sending e-mails, even if it was technically hacking.
Ranma had known that there would be trouble.
Humans much like small dogs would bark at anything they found intimidating and scary in hopes that it would go away.
But unlike small dogs, some humans tended to back up their bark with a bite, not having the good sense not to further antagonize someone much bigger or stronger.
The Football Team had appointed themselves as the school's guardians against mutants, being among the most physically fit, and it was Ranma's turn to be harassed.
"Nice shades, mutant," spat Duncan Matthews as he and three team mates came up behind him outside the school building as he was moving to the parking lot.
"Thank you, human," Ranma replied without turning back or missing a beat. "I'd give you a compliment in return, but I honestly can't think of anything you've got or accomplished that deserves one."
A bruised ego serves as a far stronger motivation than physical injury, and Ranma didn't need to be a mind reader to sense the moving air behind him as the offended teenager rushed him in a tackle.
Ranma extended his right foot, placed his weight on it and lowered it so he was crouching with his left foot still in the same place it had been.
The length of leg between the left foot and the left hip tripped the charging athlete and Duncan crumbled on the ground.
"I trained in Martial Arts all my life, grasshopper," Ranma informed the Football Players as he stood back up. "I was beating Black Belts into paste before I entered my teens. I defeated a living God a little over a year ago. Do you really want to challenge me in a physical altercation?"
Reason penetrated the thick skulls of the three who followed Duncan and they hurried away.
"You can't use your powers," the blond teen reminded and entered a sloppy boxing pose. "So I'll grind you into paste!"
"Idiot," Ranma responded and intercepted the fist, twisting it behind the jock's back all in the space of a second, disorienting the Football Player by being presented with the opposite directional view than the one he had been facing. "I could have beaten you in your present age and fitness with a blindfold when I was five."
Ranma pushed the trapped arm away, propelling Duncan forward several large, stumbling steps.
"You may attack me if you feel like it," Ranma said as the teen turned, rubbing his wrist. "But I will defend myself with equal force and intent. I don't need any mutant powers to win against you and I never did."
"And what is you power, then?" demanded the blond teen.
"You think I would reveal that to you?" snorted Ranma. "I learned a lot from my interaction with Ewing and his dad, and I believe that giving you that information would not be in my best interest. I suppose I'll see you at the meeting tonight."
Ranma turned his back on the swearing teen and returned to his bike, which had some paint marks on the ground around it and a slight static buzz in the air to suggest that someone had attempted vandalism on it. He chuckled at the imagined looks of frustration on the faces of the would-be-vandals as their spray paint simply dripped off the bike without adhering.
He simply hopped on and started the bike.
Ranma's return to his property was uneventful other than the occasional one fingered salute he was given in passing by his fellow Bayville students as they recognized him.
The sensors Forge had installed around the property recognized his approach on the bike and opened up the underground garage for him. It closed behind him as soon as he was inside the safe zone on the downwards sloping ramp outside the reach of hydraulics and such. For safety reasons it had been marked with yellow and black stripes so people would know not to be within that area when the hidden door closed. He pulled to a stop next to the Jeep Forge had managed to get for himself and modified.
"Hey, man," Forge greeted from where he was halfway crawled under the Hydrogen Power Plant. "Just beefing up the performance to handle the strain you'll put on it soon."
"Excellent," Ranma answered and stood back so as not to be in the way.
"You should make ready some rooms," the presently horizontal mutant added. "There are five mutants heading this way to stay for a while. They should be here inside a few days."
"Yup," Forge grunted as he tightened something. "I did a background check on all of them. Nothing big, just a parking ticket or two. One of them has a brother in the Army, but hasn't been in touch with him for years."
"I'll set up a detention cell or two just to be safe," Ranma said more to himself than anyone else.
"Oh, and there's someone at the door, bell went off five minutes ago," added Forge as Ranma turned to ascend the stairs he had carved out of the rock which made up the foundation of this geographical feature.
"Thanks," Ranma offered and sped up his journey by stepping into a shadow and out of one near the gate.
He sensed two normal humans on the other side of the door, so he prepared himself for another round of 'Whatever you think I did, it wasn't me'.
"Yes?" he asked, pulling open the double doors.
His question was answered by a high kick which sailed over his head as he leaned back and out of the way.
"Pops?" Ranma demanded as he righted himself and followed the limb back to its owner.
"Your time in this slovenly country has made you weak, boy!" Saotome Genma declared and lunged at his son.
Ranma jumped and flipped back onto one of the thick poles lining the bailey in front of the house.
"Oh, how cursed I am to have such a weak and disobedient son!" bemoaned Genma as he leaped after him.
"Who's weak?" demanded Ranma, batting away each strike and kick while jumping from one pole to another. "If anything, you got weaker! This is hardly worth the effort of defending!"
"Listen to your father!" Genma demanded, striking at what he felt was an opening.
"When you have something worth listening to, I will!" agreed Ranma mockingly as he trapped the old man's wrist. However, unlike Duncan, Genma was very well trained and Ranma had to duck under a straight kick to compensate for the trapped limb.
Ranma would normally have lost his footing when the fat man suddenly reversed his kick and swept the ground, but as it stood the kick didn't do what the old man had intended. Instead of sweeping the feet out from under his son, Genma was witness to the feet dissolving into misty black smoke and reform as soon as the kick had passed.
The fat man recovered from the surprise quickly and broke the grip on his hand before leaping away to land on the pole opposite the bailey from his son.
"I didn't teach you such things," the bespectacled man noted solemnly.
"I can do many things you didn't teach me, Pops," Ranma grinned. He extended his hands to his side, and from between his knuckles sprouted foot-long white blades. "Care to test my best material?"
"That's enough, Son," declared a very familiar female voice, drawing his attention to the formally dressed Japanese woman standing in the doorway with a cloth covered bundle on her arm as always. "Are you going to ignore your Mother and not invite her in?"
"Of course not," Ranma answered and materialized before the woman with an apologetic bow, weapons gone. "Welcome to my home, Mother. I apologize for the delay. Please enter."
"Thank you," nodded the formal woman and stepped through.
"Would you care for some refreshments?" Ranma offered, keeping pace with the woman as he walked towards the house. "I'm afraid my selection is limited to water, milk, tea and soda pop. The last of the coffee went this morning and school just let out."
"Tea," answered Saotome Nodoka promptly.
"Right away," Ranma nodded as they entered the house, followed by Genma. "Father?"
Ranma nodded and deposited the two adults in his living room, which while sparsely decorated had a few items of value within the entertainment category.
As he returned from the kitchen with a cup of Jasmine tea and a large glass of water, Ranma saw his father examining the film selection with disgust etched on his face.
"I hope this is to your liking," Ranma said to his mother as he carefully placed the steaming cup before her.
"It is fine," was the polite answer after a sniff and sip.
"It is not that I'm not pleased to see you, Mother," Ranma stated and sat down on a chair opposite the woman. "But I assume there is more to this visit than a quick spar and a cup of tea."
"Indeed," confirmed the redheaded woman, taking another sip. "We came to remind you of your duties. When Nabiki returned we were not satisfied with what she had to tell us and decided that a more elaborate explanation was in order. As your Mother, I wish to know what are your plans regarding the Engagements you have left unfulfilled and unsolved?"
"I have given the matter great thought," Ranma answered, taking a sip of the highly caffeinated soda pop he had brought for himself. "It has been very heavily weighed in my mind, each fiancee pitted against the others in terms of skills, appearance, personality and finally my feelings for them. After nearly a year of deliberation I have come to one natural conclusion."
Ranma stopped speaking and took a deep drink of his beverage.
"What have you discovered, Son?" asked Nodoka curiously. It was unlike her son to be so firm, structured and intellectual. She knew sending him to America was the right choice; the was so Manly!
"The old man made this mess, let him clean it up," answered Ranma simply. "I'm not following through on his promises."
"WHAT?" demanded Genma angrily, rising as quickly as the flush to his face.
"Sit," Nodoka stated simply, and in an instant the large man was sitting meekly next to his wife. "So you do not accept your father's authority or responsibilities?"
"Correct," Ranma answered, surprised at the swiftness of obedience instilled in his father during his absence. "I have a new life here, a home to keep, an education to finish and a job which I find amusing and challenging. In addition to that I am taking in people who need a refuge from the outside world which wishes harm on them, and teaching them to better defend themselves."
"Hey, Ranma!" cut in a female voice which had Ranma sagging in his seat from the poor timing. "There's a woman outside asking for you!"
"Just a moment, Boom-Boom," Ranma answered in resigned English as the blonde woman ran through the open room, headed for the bathroom. "You drank the last of the coffee this morning."
"I know! That's why I'm in an hurry!" the blonde called before the bathroom door slammed shut.
"Excuse me," Ranma apologized to his mother. "I suspect that is one of my new residents. Please give me a few minutes to greet her."
"Of course, Son," Nodoka agreed. "We will use the time to talk amongst ourselves."
Ranma got up and exited his house and moved towards where the gates were open and a female shape with a suitcase was visible. Upon closer inspection she was a woman of African descent with her hair in tight cornrows tipped with metal ornaments, she was slightly taller than he was, thin, and wore a black dress reaching to the middle of her thighs, and matching low heels.
"I'm Ranma Saotome," greeted Ranma, offering his hand as soon as he came within reach.
"I'm Doctor Celia Reyes, MD," returned the mocha woman. "Your contact person gave me this address after I asked for a place at this 'Sanctuary'. I want no part in the Movement, but want to learn how to use my power. I have already declined the offer put forth by Professor Charles Xavier because he made it clear that his students would be on the front line."
"Of course," Ranma agreed. "Do you need help with your bag?"
"No, I got it," Doctor Reyes declined. "So, what is your gift? Telepath, like Xavier?"
"No," Ranma corrected. "I turn insubstantial and teleport through shadows. There may be more but I haven't gotten tested fully yet because the Xavier Institute doesn't have fully functional medical equipment and my equipment is still on order."
"Yes, your web page said you were just starting," Doctor Reyes remembered.
"At least with a doctor on the premises I would know what equipment to get for the Infirmary," Ranma reasoned. "I'm afraid my accommodations aren't quite as spacious as those that once were at the Xavier Institute, but when I built this place I didn't originally intend for it to be a Boarding House. But you'll have your own room, which only you can access once I key you in. There will be a panic button which will allow me to cut security to the room if there's an emergency, but as there are so few residents here at the moment I haven't gotten them made yet."
"Yes, that was included on your page," confirmed the Doctor.
"Was there by any chance a tour included on the page?" laughed Ranma.
"A map with the emergency exits for the residential levels, and a few other levels," Celia answered. "Your contact person also said that I would get better accommodations if I accepted an on-call position for the medical facilities on the premises."
"True," Ranma admitted. "Let me show you to your room."
Ranma chose not to take the woman through the living room, instead taking her up the stairs to the room at the end of the corridor.
"This is yours, Doctor," announced Ranma. "It is twice as large as the other rooms, or just as big as mine. The outer walls can be moved outwards to create an open space when it's hot or allow access to the walkway which you saw circling the level. You can decorate your room as you want, but keep in mind that nothing will remain stuck to the walls, floor or ceiling without my help."
"You do know these walls are made of paper, right?"
"Yes," Ranma confirmed. "And I guarantee you they are more secure and private than any place you've had before. Try punching through one. I dare you."
The MD did as challenged, and as her fist impacted the paper it was surrounded by an energy field which protected the woman's hand and moved it back six inches. The wall was unharmed.
"I'll leave you to settle in," Ranma said, a note of pride in his achievement at making such a good wall. "If there's somewhere you're not supposed to go, you won't be able to, but feel free to explore. I have to finish meeting with my parents and then I have to get to City Hall and catch the meeting concerning mutants in school. Help yourself to whatever is in the fridge and freezer, but please respect the posted meal times or give advance notice if they will be ignored, and please remember not to let things clutter up the place in general."
Ranma left the newcomer and bounded down the stairs and into the living room where Tabitha was engaging in conversation with Nodoka.
"Oh, he hasn't changed gender for over a week as far as I can tell," laughed the blonde literal bombshell as she sat on the armrest of the sofa. In the background she had turned on the TV to some music channel and a bunch of half-dressed women were dancing in beat with the music while a bunch of enthusiastic guys were on the side-line bobbing their heads. "Not that I'm complaining or anything, he's got a killer bod."
"You found a CURE!" declared Genma accusingly, pointing at his son as soon as he saw him.
"I suppose I did," Ranma admitted. He found himself splashed with the cold water his father had been given earlier.
"I demand you share with your loving father!" the bald, fat, bespectacled man cried in an authoritative manner.
"Gladly," Ranma decided. "Be sure to remember, because I will not repeat myself."
"Yes!" barked Genma in vow and somehow managed to produce a fresh notepad and pen.
"First," Ranma started, shaking his head at Tabitha who did not understand the Japanese dialogue. "You get yourself arrested by the American Military."
"'-by the American Military'," repeated Genma slowly under his breath as he quickly scribbled it down, tip of his tongue between his teeth.
"Second. You get locked in a tiny cell with barely any air holes."
"Third. Point out something mocking and obvious about their treatment of you in violation to national and international standards."
"Fourth. Allow them to shoot you with electric stun guns as many times as it takes for you to catch fire."
"'-to catch fire'."
"Fifth. And most important of all. You burn until there is no body left for the curse to dwell in, then reconstitute your own body from the carbon atoms floating in the air."
"'-in the air', got it!" announced the fat man triumphantly and started going over what was needed. "This seems very odd."
"Like the Neko Ken did?" Ranma asked. "Regardless, that is what happened. My body was obliterated, and my will forced carbon atoms to come together until I was a fully functional person again. The curse is gone. Maybe all you have to do is die for it to go away, but I cannot say for certain."
"You died and came back to life?" Nodoka asked in a surprisingly small voice.
"Uh, yeah I supposed you could say that," Ranma mused. "Anyway, I'm a Mutant and that was how I became active as one. Now I just want to make sure that some mutants don't have to take part in a war they want no part of, so I offer them a place away from the rest of the world within these compound walls. I can help them learn to Master their powers, defend themselves if need be."
"My Son," Nodoka sniffled. She then looked up with happy tears in her eyes. "My Son is the Mutant Messiah!"
Ranma didn't know how he managed to get out of the awkward turn his mother had taken the conversation, but he still managed to excuse himself for the meeting at City Hall.
Just as he drove onto the parking lot the ground started shaking.
He saw the Brotherhood and X-Men fighting one another. The Brotherhood members were using their powers while the X-Men weren't.
The collateral damage was unacceptable.
Ranma hopped off his bike and disappeared from sight, passing into the shadow of a flying car. It was almost as though the shadow of the car erased Ranma from the world.
Avalanche was doing his best at what he did best; make things shake.
The Flatscan Duncan had suggested they work together to force the X-Freaks into using their powers so the Council Members would see that they were to be feared. The blond idiot then engaged Scott in a brawl which quickly went south.
Even without using their powers, the X-Freaks were holding their own if only just.
It was time to kick it up a notch.
As Lance 'Avalanche' Alvers raised his arms to bring to bare the full extent of his power, there was a flash of light behind his eyes and he knew no more.
Ranma stood over the downed Avalanche.
The reduced and dying trembles was just as conspicuous as their presence and eyes turned in his direction.
"Ah Crap," summed up Toad succinctly. "Later!"
"No, now," Ranma disagreed, appearing in front of the leaping mutant, delivering a wicked overhand punch to the teen's face, knocking him out cold.
"Uh oh," Fred 'Blob' Dukes expressed at seeing what had transpired. He had been the victim of Ranma's beatings before, and he had seen how the teen was incinerated and came back into physical form as well as passing through solid material. He knew the havoc Kitty Pryde could wreak on machinery when she passed through it, and he had a suspicion of what someone with Ranma's martial and anatomical knowledge could do if he felt particularly vicious now that he was a full mutant. "I give."
"Good," the cat in Ranma approved of the unconditional surrender to his dominance. Now, if only the rest of the world would fall into place just as quickly. "Is anyone else thinking of causing trouble?"
Silence met his loudly asked question.
Author's Notes: No, I will not reveal all the applicants before they arrive. Shame on you for wondering.
Ranma's boast about defeating a God was a slight exaggeration, but that is in essence the purpose of bragging; exaggerating in order to make the other party feel inadequate. It's a Guy thing. I believe the female equivalent is pointing out and emphasizing a small flaw in the opposing female to the point where they feel insecure and can't help but thinking of that flaw. I apologize if this sounds offensive, but I'm only speaking from what I've observed in social interactions in Norway and America. A representative of the closest divinity will possibly appear and correct Ranma's statement at some point.
I will also point out that though Nodoka did not cross the threshold to Ranma's home without permission, it does not mean she is a vampire. It's simply good manners not to trespass.