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A Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction/"Longinus" A Kitamura Ryuhei film

Longinus – Cage of Angel by S³

Prologue

It was the third of long nights standing vigil, and the young nurse feared she was reaching her limit. With the closing of the hospital days prior, she'd had little to occupy her time, other than seeing to the doctor's comfort in his final hours. The way things looked, she wouldn't have too much longer in his service.

"Doctor, is there anything I can get you?"

The man in question lay in a fevered sprawl on one of the few clean beds. His head lolled toward the nurse's voice, but no words escaped. He no longer had the energy for even simple words.

Though saddened by his deteriorating condition, the brunette showed no outward sign other than mild fatigue. The doctor was only a few years older than she, but he had been her mentor, and friend, for a long time. He would never see anything but a smiling face from her, especially now. She respected him too much to let his final moments be burdened by the ache in her chest.

Not much later, the nurse was free to shed her tears. Closing the doctor's lifeless eyes, she said her farewells before covering his face respectfully.

"Goodbye, Dr. Tofu."

---

The nurse gathered what supplies she would be taking, and made one final round of the three story clinic. The place was still in decent shape, considering the damage that the surrouding buildings had incurred. It had power and water, and the structure was sound.

While the area was mostly uninhabited now, thanks to the destruction, there were a few families around. As well as the few stragglers that passed through the area, but even those occurences were lessening. While there were bound to be those in need of medical attention, anything serious would likely be beyond the capabilities of the lone nurse. She might have decided to stay under other circumstances, but without the doctor around, it felt like a lost cause.

Besides, the clinic had been closed several days prior to the doctor's injury. It was a simple matter really. They'd almost run out of food, and any nearby convenience stores had long since been ransacked. Even if she wanted to stay in the relative comfort of the clinic, the situation required that she make a trip downtown.

Once she finished making sure the medicine and other medical supplies were safely locked away, the nurse went to the front to lock up.

She was just about to unbolt the doors, when several voices caught her attention from outside. Whoever they were, they were right out front. She strained, trying to make out what they were saying. Before Tofu's passing, she might have opened the door right away, but experience was a harsh teacher. Not all that came calling were in need of healing.

"This the place," a gruff voiced asked beyond the wooden door.

"Yeah, think so. I swear I saw lights inside last night." A second voice, much more subdued, answered."

"Good. If that sign's right, we got ourselves a place to hole up. Course, we'll have to clear out the trash first."

"Think its squatters?"

"Probably. You saw those homes back there. There's no way folks are still around here. Some unlucky bastard found himself a nice place to crash. We're just gonna thank 'em for housesittin'."

Behind the door, Kasumi's eyes widened. She needed to get out, before she was found. There was no telling what they'd do to her if they caught her.

---

"One--Two-- Three," the male voices shouted from just outside.

Kasumi scrambled backward as door burst open, scattering bits of wood and one of the hinges. She landed on her rear, having tripped herself up in the rush to flee.

Weak sunlight streamed in through the doorway, outlining the two figures that'd smashed their way into the clinic. For a moment, no one moved. The two looked just as surprised as Kasumi felt, but there was a slight difference, as she found herself staring up at the two handguns suddenly focused on her.

The situation wasn't wholly unexpected, but the guns were making her extremely nervous. It wasn't helping that she'd fallen in what felt like a compromising position, though the other two didn't quite seem to notice.

"Can I help you?" The words slipped from her lips before she could stop herself.

The taller of the two men moved toward the fallen nurse, the earlier surprise replaced by a mask of indifference.

---

A few blocks from Tofu's clinic, a girl in tattered clothing was running for her life.

She passed by a dozen dilapidated buildings, keeping close to the high brick wall that separated the residences from the street. Her staccato footfalls were punctuated every so often as she risked small glances over her shoulder. While she could no longer see her pursuer, there was no doubt in her mind that she was still being followed. After all, she was wounded, and leaving a clear enough trail.

Clutching her right arm, the girl kept moving. The sun was rising over the tops of the houses, and the light spurred her on.

In the distance, a gunshot rang out.

---

Kasumi lowered her hands from her ears as the gunfire ceased.

"What the hell was that," the shorter of Kasumi's apparent captors exclaimed as the two struggled to get the door back into its frame.

"Shit, this isn't going to work," the other man cast around for anything close by that might bolster the door. "Find something we can use! I'll hold the door in case that thing comes sniffing around again." He spared a glance for the woman attempting to get to her feet. If he had to go by appearance alone, she wasn't just some vagrant that had decided to hole up in the place. "Hey, you work here?"

Kasumi nodded absently, her attention now only partly on the intruders. The two men had ceased to be the greatest threat, but since she didn't know what they intended, she could hardly dismiss their presence, not after they'd forced their way in. She'd have to wait until it was safer to see what their intentions truly were.

"Well, make yourself useful. Help me with this damn door."

For now, they were the lesser of two evils. That thing hadn't been human, and it most certainly hadn't been friendly either. Kasumi had caught its stare, just for a moment when it rose up in the doorway, behind the men, and had been shaken right to the core of her being. Its eyes had been filled with powerful emotions. Hunger, rage, and strangest of all, promise. Of what, she couldn't say as the encounter had been only the barest of moments. The young nurse knew one thing for sure. She didn't want it to have another chance at her.

"The bookshelves-- They're heavy enough, probably," Kasumi said, having decided. After all, the men wouldn't be able to do much of anything, if they were sufficiently occupied. "And, the backyard. If it comes around through the alley," Kasumi trailed off, recalling her earlier plan to escape out that way. She dismissed it almost immediately. There was no telling how safe it was outside. If there were more of those, things, it was doubtful that she'd get anywhere near downtown, let alone out of the neighborhood.

---